Monday, January 28, 2013

Where's a Crack Spirit Guide when you need one...

So there I was, super-excited about the return of HBO's Girls, a show I totally fawned over a few months ago. The boyfriend and I had just settled in, glasses of red wine in hand, and began watching the first episode of Season 2.

To say we were disappointed is an understatement. This show went from smart and sassy to a caricature of itself. We got the feeling Lena Dunham (the show's creator/writer/star/director/producer/caterer/key grip, etc...) read too much of her own press, got too immersed in her own fabulousness, and lost the magic that made the first season of Girls so unique and engaging.

Now the dialogue feels uneven, the jokes forced, the personalities obviously played up. In other words, not believable. It's difficult to connect with characters you just can't take seriously anymore.

It pains me to feel this way since I love seeing one of the sisters succeed, especially in comedy. But Lena, you've lost your way, and now, on the show at least, you've gone from quirky and sweetly dysfunctional to simply annoying. Even the ugliness of your outfits seems too contrived, like you're trying too hard to be "that girl who walks to the beat of her own drum". I get the feeling you're now trying to walk to the beat of the highest bidder.

On the other hand, and perhaps this series can serve as inspiration to Lena, Californication, whose sixth season recently started airing, still manages to surprise us with its sublime writing, lovable losers and increasing depravity.

David Duchovny shines in this series as troubled writer Hank Moody, as does the rest of the ensemble cast in this cocky show (pun intended). When we can watch Hank Moody descend to such depths that he ends up drinking his own urine and think: "Yep, that's Hank." we know we've got a winner on our hands.

In six seasons, Californication has been completely unabashed about its mainly soft porn content. However, the show works because the debauchery is couched in brilliant writing and characters you can't help but love despite all their faults and urine ingestion.

My boyfriend refuses to watch the remainder of Season 2 of Girls, so discouraged was he by the first two episodes, so I'll have to sneak them in on the down low, just out of sheer curiosity and hope that it gets better. Please don't be a one-season wonder, Lena. I'm rooting for you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rainbows and unicorns are overrated

2013, so far, has a really good feel to it, a seriously positive vibe. I sense big things will happen this year. For me. I mean, I hadn't really thought about anyone else.

Narcissistic much? you might say. Yeah. I take photos of myself now. Then post them on Instagram. And Facebook. I won't post them here, though. Well, ok, maybe just this one...

Just starin' at my reflection y'all
As a playwright, I'm mainly concerned with myself and getting my shows produced so throngs of people can adore me and tell me how talented I am. As an artist, cultivating self-love feels like a waste of time. If I'm not torturing myself with constant self-criticism, what will I write about?
If life is all happy and shit, I'm fucked. What would there be to say? Hey, life is wonderful. The end. I think artists are born with a predisposition to bad luck (i.e. fucked up childhood) or, if you had a perfectly normal, uneventful childhood, an unusually overdeveloped sense of self-loathing.

You must keep yourself apart from life, apart from the crowd, so you can mock it, even though you secretly want to be a part of it, and think there's something intrinsically wrong with you because you're an outsider, even though being an outsider gives you a false sense of uniqueness which you consider a sign that you were meant to be a great artist, an artist like no other that ever existed in the whole history of humankind.

The irony is that every creative person, on some level, thinks this way. So you've got a shitload of people thinking they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. Hence, the clash of egos. Not that this doesn't happen in other professions, but it feels especially true for the performing arts.

So, you've got a whole swath of the general population caught in the grips of crippling insecurity, wanting to be noticed, to be "heard", to express their "vision" with the ultimate goal of public adoration, of validation outside the self, of their very existence.

Some artists know from the start that this is their lot in life and embrace it. Others, like me, know early on, are terrified, try to deny it and "fit in" with mainstream society and all its expectations, fail, are miserable, get treated for depression and other anxiety-based conditions, realize they've abandoned themselves, have an "A-ha!" moment, and decide to come back to what they love and make a go of it.

Then comes the rejection. Ah yes, the instances of repeated rejection. Not just once, but many, many times, which seems to go against every fiber of the artist's being. Where is the idolatry and the free swag?

Now, I could say what happens after this, if one truly believes in oneself and stays the course, but it sounds so corny, like something out of an after school special, that I just can't do it.

Suffice it to say, good shit happens.

Of course, once you've reached the pinnacle of success, you must be thrown into the cycle of suffering once again. Otherwise, where will your next masterpiece come from? It's not like you can write about rainbows and unicorns.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cardio-Tramp. You know you want one.

So, I get this e-mail from Air Canada and notice this:

I know I should get excited about airline seat sales and stuff but instead, I got depressed thinking our whole world is basically up for sale to the highest bidder. So I had to drink wine. To deal with my feelings of disillusionment about the corporate takeover of our planet.

I found out I can purchase the following item at Costco:

Which marketing genius came up with this? Cardio-Tramp. It sounds trashy. Which makes me want to buy it 'cause, as the kids say these days, I'm ratchet, which basically means dirty whore. I know this because my stepdaughter calls me ratchet all the time. Should I be concerned that I'm not insulted by this?

I'm trying to put myself on a budget this year so I can save money for things I really want to do like travel to some exotic locales and get a nose job. Ok, I might pass on the rhinoplasty for fear of losing my Jewishness. I'm not technically Jewish but my nose is.

It's funny when I decide to set lofty goals and the Universe says: "Mouahahahaha!" You see, next weekend I'll be on my own for approximately six hours in downtown Toronto. That's like putting a syringe in front of a heroin addict. I'm trying to decide what my approach will be. Do I give myself a modest shopping budget and try to adhere to that? Do I attempt not to buy anything at all? Do I go all ape shit and YOLO and all?

Oh Universe, you test me, yes you do.

I had to stop my spinning classes this week. I've had a sore hip for a few months now, as well as a sore hand and neck. I couldn't figure out what was causing this. I had my suspicions that it might be my spinning classes because I can't seem to do anything in moderation. Once I find something new that I like, I go hard core. Except I'm getting old now, and shit starts to hurt.

It finally dawned on me when I went to a class a few days ago and left dragging my right leg like some lame animal that had been shot but not killed. You know the ones I'm talking about. You see them and think: "Oh God! Put that poor thing out of its misery!"

So I decided to replace it with some Yin yoga, which is basically a moving nap. Hell yes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I hadn't really thought past December 21, 2012

The Mayan Apocalypse never happened. So it's not like I have a plan for 2013. I kinda thought we'd all be annihilated in a fiery blaze or thrown into Dante's Divine Comedy or something. I didn't really plan past my own death, you know?

Well, I'm glad I'm still alive. This is good. Especially since we started watching Friday Night Lights on DVD. It would have really sucked if we had died before even finishing the very first season. For this, I am grateful.

I'm mostly gluten-free but I had pizza for breakfast on New Year's Day. It's going to be that kind of year.

13 is actually a lucky number. I don't know why everyone thinks the opposite. Bad press?

I finally updated the software on my iPhone. You see, I don't have a computer to sync it to and was afraid to use my boyfriend's in case I lost stuff or the process went catastrophically awry. But alas, my phone was woefully out of date and when I couldn't get the Snap Chat app, I snapped. Now that my phone is all up-to-date, my engagement with reality has become even more tenuous.

I'm tempted to distract myself at this very moment with my iPhone as I'm basically talking out of my ass and running out of pithy one-liners.

I guess I could try to wax poetic about my lofty goals for 2013 except I don't have any. Cutting back on Cheetos is as far as I've gotten.

I could maybe shower more often...

I'm thinking in Tweets now which kinda scares me.

I want to pick up that damn phone again. Must. Stay. Focused.

Whoever said writing was fun is full of shit. Wait, has anyone ever said that? Probably not.

I will complete my first great masterpiece this year! I can't even write that with a straight face.

I think the showering thing will keep me busy for a while. This will buy me some time to reflect.


Related Posts with Thumbnails