Thursday Open Thread: TV Workplace of Choice

Last week, we asked who’s television house you’d want to live in. Well, you can’t sit at home forever. Now I want to know…

What TV office or workplace would you want to work?

Don’t think about occupations. Well, I suppose you can think about occupations, but don’t discount a place just because you don’t like what they do. For example, I don’t think I’d enjoy selling paper or printers, but perhaps working in that office with those people would be a good time.

But for me, it’s not the Dunder Mifflin office. I think if I had to choose, I’d want to work in the office at Better Off Ted. Sure, it’s weird, but at least you have your own cubicle (The Office just has desks facing each other) and weird things happen from time to time. You’d have some good stories. But then again, it’s a downer that you can’t decorate your own space, and your boss is so cold-hearted. That may outweigh the benefits, despite the stories you’d have to share after they told you that you’re a cat person, space person, etc.

Ok, I change my mind. The offices from Eli Stone (from one canceled series to another). Cool layout with the balcony and some pretty swanky offices. Any office that creates a great place for singing and dancing makes for a good office in my opinion.

But what about you? Any work places catch your eye?

image from sidereel.com

 

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Thursday Open Thread: Name your TV musical

A few years ago, there was a good stream of musical episodes. Buffy, Scrubs–just to name two of my favorites. There was a slight renewal in musicals this spring when FOX was hyping Glee, but why not ask for more?

What show would you like to see a musical episode of?

Now, Eli Stone would have been a natural choice, but it’s not on the air anymore (and in some episodes, it was pretty close). But now, if I could choose, I think Drop Dead Diva could pull it off, even if it was a dream. They had some great fun in the season opener, and frankly, Brooke Elliot has a fantastic voice. Even Margaret Cho got to sing. Plus, they’ve got two ex-dancers in the cast, so it’s just adding up to some fun.

What about you? Or would you want to see any at all? I’ll leave you with some fun YouTube clips of some fun TV musical numbers. Not too many, but a couple.

The best part about that video are the cheesy firetrucks that go by when they sing the word, “Burn.”

Raked’s TV Top Ten List of the Decade

We’re signing off 2009 tonight, and we’re bringing in a new user: 2010. We’re not just ending a year but a decade this time (though some of you historian/mathematician types might disagree), so in honor of that, I’m posting this blog in honor of the best things about TV of the decade.

I’ve sorted my thoughts out as general ideas that seemed to have grown in the past ten years (though, to be fair, more so in the last five since my memory is rusty). So here goes:

Raked’s TV Top Ten List of 2000s (in no particular order):

1. Creativity: Sure, all our hopes and dreams get dashed when our favorite shows get canceled, but you’ve got to give it up for the creators of series that truly incorporate a distinctive idea in the show, moving beyond the normal ER drama or procedural. Think Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and even our favorite sci-fi shows.

2. Music: Note: This is music, not montages. I don’t know the exact year that the WB started the trend of showing which songs were played in the episode, but it’s certainly grown since then. Now music plays a huge part of television. There are certainly times that I think of a show when a song plays on the radio. I attribute most of this to Scrubs, as that show certainly brings a lot of fantastic music to plot.

3. Musicals: Ok, so most of you hated them. But some were fun! Look at Buffy and Scrubs. They’re kinda weird, but they’re rather funky. I enjoyed. And this naturally brings me to…

4. Web Series: One of the newer innovations to television, and all resting on the wonderful series that is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Plus, you’ve got The Guild, which I was introduced to over Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed, and it’s a whole new way to watch TV. All because of…

5. The Writers’ Strike: I’m sure most of you hate me for putting this on the top ten list, but honestly, it was a defining time for TV. Viewers finally noticed that TV goes beyond the pretty faces on the screen and there were smart people behind it. Plus, I got to meet Joss Whedon at one of the rallies.

6. The Middle Tier: Ok, I know that most of you see the cancellations of the series in the 2000s, but what about the middle shows that stuck around? I’m always impressed with this story of One Tree Hill, where it was never really huge, but it got enough viewers to have the freedom to stay on-air and do what it wants. Now it’s a wacky, popular show that for some reason I’m still watching. And you know it’s not the only one.

7. Cable Series: First, it was the HBO and Showtime series, and now we’ve got TNT, TBS, and USA. Don’t even forget the cable network that brings you Mad Men. These award-winning shows are coming from somewhere beyond our typical networks, which has really caused a shift in recent years. And some damn good television!

8. Neil Patrick Harris: Is it fair to put a person on the top ten list? Honestly, somehow in the past few years, he’s gone from long-gone child actor to one of the most entertaining. Heck, he’s even made us like musicals. I could say that he’s lengen–wait for it…

9. Fun Add-Ons: Dary. In the fun tribute to NPH, let’s think of the web add-ons to series. I’m not thinking merchandise, but instead, the viral things on the web that are in conjunction with shows. Can anyone say How I Met Your Mother? I don’t know how many external websites that show has now. Plus, think Big Bang and the Penny Blossoms website. Oh yeah, it’s out there.

10. Fan Support: I did leave this one for last because it did seem like a big one. But if you start with Jericho move through Chuck and land in the Dollhouse, you know what I mean. Fans just don’t give up anymore–and that’s a good thing.

So there’s my list. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

I don’t watch ‘Raising the Bar’ for sex

RAISING THE BAR: 3.10 “Making Up Is Hard to Do”
RAISING THE BAR: 3.11 “Bobbi Ba-Bing”

It’s hard to admit it, but I must get it out there. I don’t watch Raising the Bar because I hope for gratuitous sex scenes. I actually watch it for the substance of each episode. The cases.

Who knew?

So seeing Michelle’s ridiculous moment in her office with the cop (really?!) or finishing off Monday’s episode with Bobbi and Jerry getting it on just didn’t really appeal to me. Yes, we know Porter”s a jerk. We got that in a few episodes this season, particularly the one where he was the fault of a woman’s death. I had no doubt that he was faking the evidence. Anyway, we got that. Why did we need to add Michelle’s desk scene to the fire? It just seemed out of place.

And for Monday’s episode, I’m glad that Bobbi and Jerry are together. I do think it’s a little soon, as I would have thought Bobbi would still be traumatized by her ex-husband’s death. But anyway, they’re cute so yay them. Let’s see how long it lasts.

But I thought putting Jerry’s client in prison would have made a much stronger impact for the end of the episode than the sex scene. I mean, yes, I’m sure many men in the viewing audience wanted to see Bobbi in that lingerie, but I guess I wanted more substance than sex. Bad me.

By the way, I was so glad to see Robbie Jones playing Jawara Obasi. If you read Raked often, you’d know I’m a One Tree Hill fan, where he played the late Quentin. It was nice to see him reappear.

But enough about the bad. Let’s talk the good. First, I must say that I adored Balco’s reaction to Michelle’s distress. Obviously, this guy had no idea what to do with a crying woman in his office. I think if she hadn’t have been crying, he probably would have raked her over the coals. But he was so jarred by her being upset that his reaction was hilarious. Giving her basically half a roll of paper towels to mop up and doing his best to (almost) comfort her. He just desperately wanted out of that situation–and fast!

Meanwhile, we have a new lawyer in our midst. I sure how Ashley hangs around for episodes to come. She’s quite a little spitfire, and while I can see her getting annoying if this quirk is used too liberally (think Maggie of Eli Stone), I think that she can be a fun addition to the cast. Plus, it looks like they’re leading up to some possible interest between her and Richard. Wouldn’t that be something to see? (Especially since he’s a good foot taller than her, ha!).

Anyway, it does look like the show is leading us in good directions, but I wonder where we’ll be left off after next week’s summer finale. Will things get tied up in a tidy bow? Or will more questions be asked?

Somehow I see a big case coming up, and I wonder who will be left unhappy in the end.

Recap Review-ish: What they wanted for Eli Stone

Yesterday was a pretty big day for me. You know I’m a big Eli Stone fan. And I know that a lot of people felt like the series finale was forced. I was just happy that it got some closure.

Series finale aside, yesterday I discovered that season 2 is released on DVD today. So in honor of that, I want to share what was supposed to happen. A recap review in reverse, so to speak. Instead of dwelling on the past, why not the future? Thanks to eonline, we get to find out.

Executive producer and creator Marc Guggenheim spoke out to set the story straight on what would have been for Eli Stone if it had the chance to live out it’s greatness. I’ll let you read the original post from eonline to get all the knitty gritty details, but the ending we got certainly wasn’t the end. And here are my thoughts on some of the revealed couples.

Eli and Maggie: Thank thank God. I mean, not that Eli and Maggie were going to date. But that there was still the question of…

Eli Ends Up With Grace? Ok, they don’t know if he would have ended up with Grace, but you certainly know that I was pro-Grace and anti-Maggie. Maggie was just so annoying, and clearly he and Grace had something connecting them. And with all the hints at the end? I’m just so glad that this was really going to be the question. And I guess they never expected us to know the answer because…

Maggie and…Nate?! Ladies and gentlemen, the baby in the “Live Brave” fast forward was not Eli’s. In fact, it was his niece or nephew. It was his brother Nate’s child, and Maggie was the mother. This is an odd little duo, but I like it much better than Eli and Maggie. Though how many people were Eli and Nate going to have in common as far as sleeping with them? That’s getting to a grosser side.

Dr. Chen and Nate: Ok, them going into practice together sounds cute, but almost too cute. I’m not sure how much I would have liked this, as much as I enjoyed their camaraderie in the end.

Matt and Taylor: This development was just so sweet, that I’m glad they were going to work out. If they were going to break them up or make Matt a bad father, I think I would have been mad to see him go back to the start in his jerkiness again. This is much sweeter, and we got to see it happen.

Jordan, Taylor’s Mama and the Firm: This seems pretty straightforward, considering that it needed to be that way if the show were to continue. As for Taylor’s mother, well, I guess I would had to see that.

And Eli?

[Read more after the jump!] Continue reading

A fond good-bye to Eli Stone

ELI STONE: 2.13 “Flight Path”

I should be grateful. I should be happy that ABC at least had the decency to air the final episodes of Eli Stone, and not leave us always wondering what happened after Eli’s nosebleed. Just the fact that they let us see this fantastic ending to season two should be enough to raise my spirits and say, “Thank you, ABC. At least you know where we’re coming from and have the heart to let us say good-bye the right way.”

But then I realize that I just saw such a fantastic episode–such a well-done episode where it answered all of our questions about the future of Eli’s life and answered none of them at the same time. An episode that presented a case of law that really just made you rethink beliefs (religious and moral) just to decide who really has the right to live or die–or who has the right to make that choice. And one that has so much suspense covering the episode that at the beginning of every commercial break, you feared for every character you’ve grown to know and love.

You killed quality television, ABC. You did it.

I’m going to miss Eli Stone. I’m going to miss every one of the characters. And while I find it rather implausible that Grace, of all people, would be the one that ultimately got that heart, I’m even going to miss the fact that one day, maybe we would see Eli happy and not with the (annoying) Maggie.

But you know what? I would even be happy to see him with her, as long as we’d get to see more.

What I loved most with this episode was that we were really brought into the visions. The plane crash was real. Sure, there wasn’t exactly a sing-and-dance number that brought us to our feet like the first season, but there was enough to keep us guessing. An ethereal woman. Paper falling from the sky yet pounding into the ground to keep you guessing before the metal of the plane really hit the ground, nearly taking Eli down with it. And the fact that we knew someone would be in that plane…

True, again, it was a little strange that someone in Posner’s firm would go traveling for work with a WS & Associates bag, but at least it gave us the twist we needed. And look, it would have put Maggie in Rome with Paul–the vision that Eli saw a few episodes back.

Everything is interconnected. And was it a test? Beyond my guess that the series was a test of ABC’s ultimate cruelty and to see if people will still follow the network after having their trust betrayed and hearts ripped out?

It was all a test.

“And you, my boy, you’re passing with flying colors.”

A perfect line. For someone who laments that his father went through everything that he was going through alone. His father didn’t have the support of his sons. They felt that he was just a drunk and they had no respect for him. But with this conversation, he finally got peace.

And in a way, we got a happy ending. No, we don’t know if he ends up with Grace or Maggie. And we never actually find out how he’s to “Live Brave,” which I will always be dying to know. But we do know that he continues on, and that he has peace of mind when he does so. He continues to help, and the people he loves may still be tested in his visions, but he keeps doing what he can for them and the clients he serves.

And you know? I think he even continues to dance to George Michael.

Becoming the best in the end

ELI STONE: 2.12 “Tailspin”

I’m in Boston, so last Saturday  night I spent the evening watching the July 4th fireworks. In other words, I missed Eli Stone, and I had to watch it later. In the meantime, I saw a post discussing whether ABC really needed to air these last four episode of Eli Stone. Their argument? The show’s getting better and better…just as we reach the series finale tonight.

And I didn’t think much of it. I’ve always been a fan of the show, and I’m just glad that someone else was reaching my point of view. Then I saw last week’s episode. And it was fantastic.

I’m a sucker for my favorite shows. As I mentioned in my series finale post of The Unusuals, I’m an EIV. Emotionally Invested Viewer. And I tend to get a little sentimental when I know a show is ending. Series finales get me every time. But what can you do?

So as tonight’s episode gets closer and closer, I couldn’t help but think about it when watching this fantastic episode. When Jordan won the humanitarian award, hearing Taylor’s speech, and seeing the surprised, sentimental smile on Jordan’s face…ok, so I watered up. He just looked so genuine. It meant so much more to him than to Posner–which just meant so much to us. I’m going to miss Jordan! And the fact that he changed so much and risked everything, just to follow Eli in his belief system for a better world. The fact that they’ve turned Taylor, Keith–even Matt Dowd–into the arena for good and not money. Amazing.

And then bring in what Eli discovered about his father. He risked it all for the dark vision, all so that he could save as many people in a plane as possible. And one of those people? Grace.

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: I’ve always wanted Eli with Grace. I think they’re perfect with each other. And maybe now that the show is ending, they’ll rewrite the ending so that he does end up with her. But what about that vision? The one with “Live Brave,” and Maggie and Eli’s child?

I’d give anything for that not to happen.

And what about Maggie? We saw a connection between her and Paul in this episode, when he explains the fake persona that he wears as a partner. But isn’t it odd how they were arguing the entire episode when we saw them drive off together in the last episode? That wasn’t a vision of Eli’s (like Rome was). But it happened. So did I skip a step here?

Anyway, this episode also made me appreciate the show on another level: They’re not afraid to put these characters in a current-event situation. I mean, the idea of overpaid CEOs getting bonuses while people are unemployed and laid off is huge right now. And I loved that they gave it to the underdog. I thought they’d pay him 43 million dollars–the bonus of the ex-CEO–but over 200 million? Wow. That was just great.

Overall, a fantastic episode on many levels: We got the reveal about Eli’s father, more stuff about Grace (also a reveal), making up with Chen and Nate, happiness for the firm, an award–one much better than Posner’s–for Jordan. Happiness. Plus, Gina Torres appeared. Who could ask for more?

I could. I want more. More episode. More seasons. More than just one episode tonight. Eli Stone, I’ll miss you.