Saturday, July 24, 2010

Three in a row.

Let’s not stop the writing trend now… more tv talk. Can you cope?

Covert Affairs is a new show with only the pilot and an episode under it’s wing, but it looks promising. A new, very green, spy is brought early from “the farm” to the agency. She is lead to believe it’s because of her linguistic abilities, but what she doesn’t know…

This is another original show by the USA Network that focuses on relationships and how to deal with them while extraordinary circumstances are happening all around. Piper Perabo, another favorite of mine, is the lead role. She lives in the cottage behind her sister’s house, and her family doesn’t know what she does (they think she works at the Smithsonian). Her relationship with them looks to be one of the things she struggles to balance as she moves forward in this new career.

But how she got to this point was a broken heart. And this broken heart turns out to be important because the man she loved was something more than what she thought. She doesn’t know this yet, but it is why she jumped the line, so to speak. With only two episodes aired, the reason behind why the agency wants her ex-boyfriend has not yet been exposed. However, she caught a glimpse of him when he saved her life, and now the wounds are open again.

Without the life-saving and the spy stuff, how many of us get that? A glimpse at someone who reminds us of the one who hurt us and the floodgates of questions and emotions arise. She can’t share this, and we usually know better after we’ve zapped our friends’ patience with it all enough times. But we still ache.

Beyond that, dealing with a new job, feeling a bit behind because training wasn’t quite complete, building friendships in the workplace… all normal stuff we face. The extreme nature of her job is obviously the part where we let go of our selves as we watch, but in the various relationships and working out the kinks of a new job, we connect. So far I’m having fun with this one. It's real life, but with the adrenaline rush (and calamity) of a spy adventure.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Try, try again.

As the writer's block continues, so to do the posts about television shows...

The background of the USA Network show White Collar is that of an art thief caught by and FBI agent who, because of a girl, escaped with just 4 months left on his sentence, essentially doubling his initial sentence when the same agent caught up with him. I like that start. I like that the art thief will do something utterly absurd for love. Okay and,as an artist and an ardent art admirer, I like that he cleverly steals art (this, by the way, is not what he was convicted of).

The premise of the show is that to work off his now extended sentence, the thief ends up assigned to help the very agent that caught him in order to solve other high end white collar crimes – while wearing an ankle tracker with a two mile radius, of course. But then, two miles in Manhattan can take you pretty far!

I really like the interplay between the agent and the thief as they try to find a trust level and become friends. Actually, with all the tugging of loyalties and complications of life, they end up trusting each other more than anyone else (save the agent’s wife) as they form a deep friendship. The the testing of this friendship, and the solving the mystery of the disappearing girlfriend, really drives this series. I enjoy the humor and the jobs the thief does “in the line of duty.”

It’s a fun show, but the key is (again) the depth of the characters. Of course the premise of the show is far-fetched, and the scenarios therefore aren’t exactly every day occurrences (which is why they are so fun), but with great characters stretching themselves a little at a time for the sake of friendship, growing along the way, and grappling to find trust through it all, we the audience find our connection - and have an adventure along the way.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's a start.

So since I have writer’s block, what with all the trauma that has been stirred up and me being sick AND having (family) company, I thought I’d write about television shows. Specifically, those on the USA Network. Yes, it's called avoidance.

I’m a fan of most of their original programs. Some I enjoy more than others, but they all have interesting relationships with emotional depth, regardless of the premise of the show. I like that they have some intensity yet are funny, and basically “clean.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind shows with some smut now and then or some cussing, provided they have a good story and involving characters and relationships, but in this case it’s nice to just sit down and know you won’t be bludgeoned with all that extraneous stuff.

The original series are: In Plain Sight, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, and Psych. I chose to end the list with Psych because it is a show in it’s own category. The others follow a similar rhythm, even if they are wildly different in subject and style. Psych, however, is something wholly separate, and for me all the more fabulous for it.

But today I want to start with In Plain Sight. Mary McCormack (love her!) plays the lead character of Mary Shannon, a tough, hard-as-nails federal marshal who has had to basically provide and care for her sister and mother for many years, having to be the adult when the adults didn’t step up. Her job is in many ways her salvation, helping to keep people in witness protection safe. This is in large part because of her dishy partner Marshall Mann (yes, that’s Marshal Marshall Mann), played by Frederick Weller, who is her best friend and counterpoint, being more sensitive and compassionate.

The thing about Mary is that in all that cynicism and snarkiness, which is quite funny for the most part, she has a good heart. Marshall helps bring that out and reminds her that that’s okay now and then. The two of them together are a classic duo, though. There are lots of layers to their relationship, but it’s the kind of friendship that we’d all like to have… the kind with a knowing beyond words.

There is a lot of depth of character and the dynamics of the relationships are not easy and are very real. In this way the show rarely feels contrived, because no matter how silly some of the scenarios might be to real life, the characters are real. They are us. They deal with crap in their lives, with difficult-nearing-impossible family relationships, with messing up in romantic relationships, with getting things all wrong and still wanting to be justified, with having to admit they are wrong and trying to mend things. This is why I love this show, and why the shows on this network all appeal to me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The separation.

Someone told me today how courageous I am. I had never thought of my decisions and actions recently as courageous until they said that.

I am a journeyer. In that, I see things differently than most. So, in the course of my experiencing God from the Christian perspective I was raised in and personally embraced, I continued the journey and found myself experiencing God beyond the limited ways and practices that are the habits of the church.

This is an amazing and exciting path. However, it is also very lonely. You see, in embracing the Sacred Mystery (God with open eyes) I effectively broke my deep bonds with the community I have always been a part of as well as with my entire family. So suddenly instead of walking alone but still solidly belonging, I walk alone because I am alone.

This is where courage was seen. In this act. It is not easy to be so disconnected. I am a person who thrives on and craves connections. It is so deeply ingrained in my being that it feels like it’s what I’m made for – to connect with others. The growth and understanding that comes from this is rich and true, but the love that exists in that acceptance is magnificent.

I seek connections where I can, but just right now, with the exception of a few (amazing) online girlfriends, I am so very alone. There is no going back now that I’ve reached higher and farther in faith than a box of religion will allow, but do I have the strength within me to continue to be courageous… and alone?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What happened.

Have you ever been so down that you just can’t seem to function? In that place, even breathing is hard. I’ve been there lately.

This explains the downfall in posts, obviously. It’s hard to find a point of interest in your life when most things make you cry. I’m not vying for sympathy, but trying to explain how frustrating it can be.

Yes, there were catalysts to this level of stress, and there were a lot more things that were waiting to surface as well. So when the current difficulties occurred, the latent pain broke free of it’s container. This is a good thing in the long run if I can face it all, but everything at once is overwhelming.

So I apologize for my lack here on this blog, and I hope that you will stick with me. I’m working on moving forward, and this includes sharing my interests and opinions, as well as my heart here. Just scrounging for some hope. Thanks for understanding.