Sunday, June 08, 2008

What Matt has been doing in suburban St. Louis

Among other things, getting taken out to dinner by co-workers trying to make a good impression on the Intern. Reading, a bit. Finally getting the internet! (Yesterday marked that momentous occasion.) Watching all sorts of trash on MTV--I'm so up to date on A Shot at Love that it pains me. I've also "acquired" the first two seasons of The Office, which everyone tells me that I'm supposed to love. I'm just scratching the second season now, and yeah, I see where the hype comes from. This is probably the driest comedy that the American market can tolerate, but that's entirely a good thing so far. That also means that it's downright slapstick compared to the British version that inspired the American one, which is also a good thing. Some Britcom is funny, but I get the idea that The Office was probably the driest thing to hit English television in some time. This means most American fans--myself included--are going to be turned off from it. Bottom line: if you're among the perhaps dozen or so people who have told me that I needed to watch this show, good call, and I'll update more as I get further into it.

This week also marked the return of The Mole, which is certainly my favorite reality/competition show of all time, and probably breaks into the top ten or fifteen overall. The premise, in case you're unfamiliar: a group of people is shipped off to an exotic locale and made to do ridiculous things in the name of money. Every time someone wins a challenge, money is added to the pot, and whoever wins the show gets the pot. Now, the catch: one of this group is trying to sabotage the rest of it. This can't be blatant abuse, like knocking down a tower if the challenge is to build a tower; then, people would catch on. It's subtleties, like "oh, goodness, I missed that clue buried in the sand. Oops." It's intelligent in a way that nearly no other reality show comes close to, and it's engaging to the viewer, as you yourself try and figure out who the Mole is.

Also, writing. I'm about to embark on a Super Secret Writing Mission at the request of a friend who shall remain nameless. As a warm-up exercise, I wrote the last half of a short story I'd had in the works for some time called "Ashlanders". I described this to my friend Samantha as "half trivial satirical social commentary and half weird Lost-inspired love story". The premise is based off a story one of my favorite high school teachers once told me about a game he and his college buddies used to play: go to the library on a Friday night, and find the white kid. This is really nowhere as racist as it sounds, I promise. You can read "Ashlanders" here.

Coming up next: reviews of the new Indiana Jones movie, the new Coldplay and Weezer CDs, and a discussion of the renaissance festival.

Currently listening: "Strawberry Swing," Coldplay

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