What I learned on my Christmas vacation

If you’ve never watched a show called Joan of Arcadia, it is worth Netflixing.  (Is that a verb yet?)  A teenage girl, Joan, played so honestly by Amber Tamblyn that sometimes it’s embarrassing, begins receiving visits from God in various manifestations.  There is  Dogwalker God, Library Lady God, Goth Teenager God, Little Girl God, Cute Teenager God and many others.  God seems to be there to give Joan tasks and to teach her, but what Joan tries to accomplish and what she ends up learning always seem a little bit different than what God really intends.  Her parents, two brothers and friends at school are involved in the plot and God’s plan, and the writers weave their lives together brilliantly.  Oh, and there’s great music.

This particular dialogue from the first season struck me the third time around, particularly the idea of romance as a meditative state.  What do you all think (all two and a half of you who occasionaly read this blog)?

  • Little Girl God: And they all lived happily ever after? (Joan turns) There’s a surprise. (Joan scoffs) You guys really like that ending.
    Joan: Yeah, well, you have a better one?
    Little Girl God: They all moved towards spiritual growth and enlightenment?
    Joan: Yeah. That’s gonna work with the kids.
    Little Girl God: Ever notice that the guy always has to risk his life and the girl is nearly dead when he finds her? It takes a kiss to wake her up and they ride off together. It’s a nice metaphor.
    Joan: For what?
    Little Girl God: Death and resurrection.
    Joan: Yeah. Well, that’s a fun party game.
    Little Girl God: It happens all the time. The illusion dies so that something deeper can take its place.
    Joan: (sits down) Are you saying that… Adam and I are an illusion?
    Little Girl God: Romance serves a purpose. It’s a meditative state. It puts logic to sleep so that people can come together. Otherwise you guys probably wouldn’t risk it.
    Joan: Why did you have to make love so complicated? I mean… couldn’t that one thing been easy?
    Little Girl God: Love is big. It’s a bright light in the universe and a bright light casts a big shadow. So, what do you wanna do, Joan?
    Joan: (sighs) How am I supposed to know?
    Little Girl God: By looking at it. Real love is hard work; you have to decide if you want it in your story. Or if you’d rather just stay in the dream.

Media update

The newest Office was really nice. Painfully funny, but not so painful as last week’s, and the sweetest little segment of Jim talking to the camera… You know what I mean if you saw it.

At the request of the inimitable Dub-P I’m reading Pagan Christianity and disagreeing with most of it. I’ll try to post a review when I finish it. Just to clarify, I don’t think Dub-P swallows the book hook line and sinker, but was stretched and challenged by reading it.

Next in queue for reading are a bunch of books on Catholicism that another friend of mine wants me to read, including Rome, Sweet Home and By What Authority. Pretty much the polar opposite perspective of Pagan Christianity? (Incidentally, I don’t think you should have question marks in titles; this may just be my opinion, but it seems stylistically wrong to me. Titles don’t have periods in them, and exclamation points are a mark of the author’s [or publisher’s] failure to find language strong enough to stand on its own. IMO)

I am about to hop over to abc.com to see if there is a new Gray’s Anatomy yet. Life has been stressful lately, and I’m feeling the need to get lost in fictional melodrama for a while.

And WHO are YOU? (the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland)

TV’s back! *spoiler alert*

The writer’s strike is over, and new shows are starting to appear.  I don’t actually have a TV, but there are three or four shows that I watch online.  First, and the one I’m least ashamed of is Friday Night Lights, about which David Kern will speak with much more eloquence than I.  Yet.  I highly recommend it, though this season is prematurely finished due to the writer’s strike.   But it has been picked up for a third season, so the fall looks bright.  Second, and possibly my favorite, is the Office, which had a new episode on Thursday (the whole fourth season so far can be watched at nbc.com).  Sadly, the new episode was one of the ones which, I think, are vital to the ethos of the show in that they delve into the sadness of the characters’ lives, yet really too sad to be funny.  Others may find it funny, and who am I to judge them?  😉  The only two places I laughed – *this is the spoiler alert, kids* – is when Jim realized that Michael had staged the late work day just to get Jim to say he had no plans so that he and Pam would have to come over for a dinner party, and when Jim tried to leave the party without Pam and Pam said, “You wouldn’t leave the party here all by itself, would you?”  Tee hee.  *end spoiler alert*

The new 30 Rock wasn’t all that exciting.  Not much to say about that, except that when they hit the sweet spot they hit it well, but there’s a lot of ho-humming while you wait for that to happen.

The last one I watch is pure escapism, and I excuse myself by telling you that MY PARENTS got me into it.  Grey’s Anatomy.  It’s basically a soap opera, but what keeps me coming back is the very serious struggle of Meredith Grey to cope with her past and her inner demons to accept the love that is right there in front of her on a silver platter.  Unfortunately the last show before the writer’s strike didn’t bode well for this progress.  I think the next new episode to GA is coming in a couple of weeks.

The other show I used to watch is LOST, but I am so hopelessly behind — somewhere in season 3 — that I fear I will never catch up.  Still, the whole thing from start to finish is online, so there’s still hope.  In case I do ever get back to it NOBODY TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS, okay?

I promise to write about deeper things than TV sometime soon.  Don’t leave me, okay?  I have abandonment issues.  I love you!  Don’t leave me!  Leave me alone!  And so on.  Yes, it’s exhausting to date me: I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a ton of patience and think I’m really cute (well, the chemistry helps build the patience, I guess).  😉

How are YOU?  Seriously, you never talk to me.  What are you FEELING?  What are your hopes and dreams?  I want to know!

JFK