Tag Archives: Iraq War

Talking about My Generation (on ABC)

Hello, fellow TV Watchers!  Welcome to Fall!  It’s a time for Back-to-School Sales, cooler temperatures, and multi-colored leaves that crunch beneath your feet while you walk.  But, more importantly, it’s time for the networks to bring back all the Good Ole’ Television Shows you became obsessed with last year  — thereby, preventing you from doing anything remotely productive between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m. (at least, until winter hiatus).

Fall is also a time when networks try to sneak new shows into their preexisting program lineups, in hopes that you will stick around, and watch them too.  More often than not, this “little scheme” fails miserably, resulting in a sizeable percentage of shows not making it past the Pilot stage, and a significantly larger percentage of new programs not surviving the first season.

Having been burned a few times by shows that were canceled, just as I was starting to warm up to them, I’ve become a bit more picky about which new Fall shows, if any, merit a coveted spot on my television viewing roster.  Yet, as luck would have it, the ONE new show I deemed worthy of an “audition,” just so happens to air opposite my absolute FAVORITE show, The Vampire Diaries.

Faces (and bodies) this beautiful simply MUST be viewed in “REAL TIME.”

Of course, I am “talking about My Generation,” the new hour-long mockumentary-style drama, which is set to air Thursday nights, at 8 p.m. on ABC.  (Just in case, you neglected to read the title of this post.)   The show is actually based on a successful Swedish television program, entitled God’s Highway, which had a similar format and premise.  For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, you can catch the latest promotional trailer for the show here:

As you might have noticed from watching the trailer, My Generation focuses on nine fictional characters, all of whom graduated from the same high school in Austin, Texas, during the year 2000.

Not surprisingly, all obligatory high school stereotypes will be showcased, in their two-dimensional glory.  Prepare to make snap judgments about the following archetypes:  the Brain, the Beauty Queen, the Jock, the Nerd, the Rich Kid, the Overachiever, and the Wallflower (Ummm . . . Wallflower?  Did anyone actually use this word in the year 2000?  Has anybody actually used this word since 1952?  Let’s just call her “Shy” and be done with it, OK?) 

In short, it is a cast of characters that would be at home in any John Hughes movie.

(R.I.P. Mr. Hughes.)

Using a compilation of interviews, photographs, and live-action shots, the show then chronicles the characters’ lives in present day.  Ten years after their high school graduation, these native Texans, now facing down their late 20’s, are forced to grapple with war, worldwide recession, and other unique challenges that characterize the 2010 American Experience.

In terms of the show’s cast, you will find a lot of suitably attractive, and vaguely familiar — if not immediately recognizable — actors and actresses.  Quite a few times, while I was watching the trailer, I found myself squinting at an actor I thought I recognized, only to look him up later and learn that he played “Guy at the Bar” in a movie I watched on HBO the week prior.  

However, in the actors I DEFINITELY recognized column, I would include Michael Stahl David . . .

. . .  who starred in J.J. Abrams Shaky Cam Extravaganza, Cloverfield.

Michael plays Steven Foster on the show.  Steven starts high school as “The Overachiever,” the kind of guy who, even at 17, wore a suit to school everyday, carried a briefcase, and owned a Blackberry LONG before everybody else did.

10 years later, he’s become Sam Merlotte from True Blood . . .

Oh, how the mighty hath fallen . . .

Learn more about Steven Foster here:

I also recognized Mehcad Brooks . . .

. . . he of the INSANE abdominal muscles.   You might remember Mehcad as the tragic Eggs Benedict (Yes, that was actually the character’s name.) from Season 2 of  True Blood.

Mehcad plays Rolly Marks, a high school jock, who enlists in the Army post 9/11, and ends up fighting on the front lines in Iraq.  You can learn more about Mehcad’s character here:

Additionally, I WAS VERY happy to see Julian Morris’ name on the cast list!

For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Julian played the adorable (and WAY  TOO SOON departed) cradle-robbing, sister-swapping British med student, on ABC Family’s summer smash hit, Pretty Little Liars.

That’s him with the magic fingers on the left.  As for the girl on the right?  Well, I like to pretend that’s me!

Julian plays Anders Holt, a “Rich Kid” who, from the looks of it, becomes a “Rich Adult.”  Listen to what Julian has to say about his character here:

Rounding out the rest of the main cast are:

Daniella Alonso,

Kelli Garner,

Jaime King,

Keir O’Donnell,

Anne Son,

and Sebastian Sozzi.

Refreshingly enough, age wise, all the show’s cast members are actually within three or four years, of the characters they are playing.  (Unlike we’ve seen in similar shows about 20-somethings, Grandmas and Teenagers  needed not apply for this casting call.)  As a twenty-something myself,  it is particularly nice to see a show — which is supposed to be about people I could have gone to high school with — where the characters are played by actors that I could have actually gone to high school with.  You see that so rarely nowadays!

Though early reviews of the show have been mixed,  for me, My Generation stands out, as one of the most promising new programs of the fall season.  The show has the potential to be a daring portrait of the trials and tribulations that face Generation Y (which is, after all, MY GENERATION).  And while I may not necessarily be watching it LIVE (see The Vampire Diaries comment above), I will still most certainly be watching it.

My Generation premieres Thursday, September 23rd on ABC.  Will YOU be watching?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under My Generation, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks

Hail to Nu-Chief – A Grey’s Anatomy Recap of “State of Love and Trust”

It’s not easy being a new leader . . .

You often find yourself forced to reconcile the demons of leaders past . . .

There are obstacles to overcome . . .

 . . . and battles to be won.

And, of course, you will inevitably have to face your detractors . . .

Don’t worry, you haven’t inadvertently stepped into the wrong blog article.  (The Grey’s picture is still at the top of your screen.  That’s why I put it there!)  I am simply attempting to establish, by way of analogy, the challenges faced by our favorite McDreamy doctor on his first day as interim chief. 

Sure, he looked a bit nervous giving that opening speech. And, yes, that tie under his lab coat was misguided.  (Christina was right when she said he looked like an undertaker.)  But, overall, when given time to adapt to his new position,  Dr. Shepherd, like another charismatic leader we all know and love is about to do, soon hit his stride and, eventually, kind of kicked ass. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the various events that comprised Derek Shepherd’s first day as interim chief   . . .

The Gas Man Cometh . . .

Who says new, randomly introduced, doctors can’t be instantly likeable?

(Yeah, I wasn’t talking about you guys . . .)

I’m talking about Mercy West’s resident anesthesiologist, whose chemistry with the good Dr. Bailey crackled and popped every time the two shared the screen.  Yes, even a Nazi deserves some loving every once in a while.  And I’ll be darned if I don’t smell a bit of romance in the air . . .

Sure, things got off to a bit of a rough start, with that whole “patient waking up on the operating table” thing.  The understandably traumatized heart patient blamed Miranda for losing her cool during surgery, and refused to let her operate a second time.  Like the patient, Miranda too was playing the blame game, but her axe fell on the Gas Man, who she claimed dropped the ball out of pure laziness and boredom, and under-dosed the patient.

As Bailey became more and more heated and intense, the Gas Man remained almost maddeningly calm and collected.  He merely listened to Miranda and let her burn off steam before gently proving her wrong.  As it turned out, the incident was no one’s fault.  Rather, a freak side effect of the patient’s heart condition made her metabolize the anesthesia abnormally fast. 

Don’t get me wrong, I luuuved the Gas Man, but I’m not sure that I’m buying his excuse.  As an anesthesiologist, isn’t it kind of your job to ascertain whether your patients’ have freak conditions that make them immune to your procedures?  I certainly think so . . . but what do I know . . .

Anyway, Gas Man calls Miranda on her poo, with a sexy smile that instantly disarms her.  Miranda’s admission that she “yells when she is upset” (understatement of the year), is about as close to an apology as this confident doc has made in six seasons.  Enjoy it while it lasts Gas Man, because I am pretty sure it’s the last one you will be getting for a while . . .

As for the follow-up surgery, Traumatized Patient allows resident Meredith Grey to perform the procedure, and everything goes off without a hitch.  (Well, aside from the whole “being awake during surgery” situation from earlier . . .)

After grappling with her own control issues, the Miraculous Miranda still has enough energy left over to advise Nu-Chief McDreamy on how to handle the administrative aspect of “Patient Awake-gate.”  On her advice, McDreamy swallows his fear and pride, and (gasp) actually apologizes to the patient for her nightmarish experiences on the operating table.  Nicely played, Nu-Chief.  Score One for You.

Ass Me No More Questions . . .

Remember when Lexie broke Mark’s you-know-what while the two were getting it on in the on call room?  Well, apparently, those two aren’t the only on-screen couple who like it rough.  Throughout most of this episode, Owen was screwing Christina’s brains out with a neediness and territoriality verging on the barbaric.

(“So easy, a caveman could do her . . .”)

Seeing as Teddy has been giving her former cardio minion the cold shoulder (following the elder doc’s own drunken admission to Owen that Christina would willingly trade her boyfriend for time on Teddy’s service), Christina has some extra time on her hands.  And, boy, does she know how to spend it.  In fact, one of the couple’s literally hot and steamy ventilation room love sessions became so intense that Christina ended up scarred with painful heat vent indentations seared into her ass . . . 

That’s going to leave a mark . . .

Later, while the two are once again going at it, Teddy finally gives in and pages Christina for an important surgery.  Owen forces Christina to ignore it and continue screwing.  Bad move, Owen.  NO ONE comes between Christina and her heart surgeries . . . NO ONE! 

After inadvertently learning about Christina’s tortured past with Burke, Owen confronts his lover about her general closed-offedness with him.  Although she initially staves him off, eventually, Christina comes clean.  In a tearful speech that was, by far, the evening’s best, Christina explains her tortured history with the dastardly and devious Isaiah Washington.

“He took something from me. He took little pieces of me,” Christina notes of the dickwad who made gay slurs at T.R. Knight, beat up Patrick Dempsey, and left her at the altar.  (OK, perhaps I am mixing TV with reality here, but still .  . )

(Pure eeevvvil!)

“Because when you asked me to ignore Teddy’s page . . . you took a piece of me, and I let you.  And that will never happen again,” she concludes.

And you know what?  I think these two crazy kids may actually make it . . .

Speaking of Dickwads . . .

Unfortunately, sex injuries aren’t the cure-all for all relationships gone rotten.  This tough lesson is learned by Mark “McSteamy” Sloan as he gives Lexie the silent treatment for the entire episode and bitches and moans about being dumped and cheated on by her, despite his own just-as-bad behavior.  When his best friend, Callie, calls him on his hypocritical crap, Sloan blubbers about her taking Lexie’s side, instead of his own. 

(“You think you have problems.  I have to sit in my own poo . . .”)

Callie decides that this cranky baby needs a nap, and lays him down in bed with her and her girlfriend, Arizona.  “This is not working for me,” Arizona notes gently.

Yeah, we hear ya, Arizona.  It’s not exactly working for us either . . .

A Shout Out to All of the Little People . . .

Sloan’s blubbery antics might not be working for Arizona, but Karev most certainly is.  Initially skeptical about having to spend a day on Arizona’s pediatric service, Karev soon finds himself wrapped up in a case of a teenage boy complaining of stomach pains.  Apparently, the boy’s parents believe said boy to be a lazy excuse-making malingerer instead of a legitimately ill child. 

After receiving a lecture from Arizona about having to “advocate for the little people,” Alex tough talks the disbelieving parents into OK’ing the doctors’ performance of a surgical procedure on their son.  Arizona is impressed.  Although Alex’s initial diagnosis is ruled out from the surgery, during a follow up procedure, Alex finds the source of the teen’s problem.  It turns out that the boy was not faking his condition after all.  He was actually very sick.

With some prodding from Arizona, Alex found himself forced to admit that advocating for a young boy who couldn’t fight for himself, and, ultimately saving his life, was “pretty hard core.”

Now if Alex would have just taken his shirt off at some point during the episode, this storyline would have been picture perfect . . .

(Maybe next time . . .)

The Changing of the Guard . . .

You know who wasn’t being particularly hard core throughout this episode?  Old Chief Webber.  When given the decision between entering rehab for the opportunity of possibly getting his old job back once clean, and tendering his resignation, Old Chief stewed in his own juices . . . for 12 Hours.  In doing so, he succeeded in making a total ass of himself in front of the entire hospital staff, who watched him from a window, as he accused Derek of being opportunistic, and then, like McSteamy, proceeded to mope around all day . . .

I’m always impressed by how unabashedly nosy Seattle Grace doctors are.  I mean, I get it.  When your coworkers (particularly your bosses) fight in the office, it is pretty awesome to watch/hear.  But most of  us regular folk have the decency to at least pretend to work while we listen/watch.  Not so much, at this hospital.  Maybe if these doctors were less focused on interoffice drama, there wouldn’t be so many cut L-vac wires, jaundiced patients, and patients who wake up during surgery.  Am I right, or am I right?

Eventually, it is Champion Ass Kicker Miranda who saves the day and beats Webber out of his funk.  “Be the Chief!”  She instructs.

Except  . . . Webber can’t really do that anymore.  But he can agree to go into rehab.  And so, he does.

With Webber finally out of his hair and off his conscience, Derek is finally able to make the motivational staff speech he chickened out on during the episode’s opening.  He promises to honor Old Chief McBoozy’s legacy.  And therefore, does not fire the Mercy Westers that Old Chief took in as a result of the merger (darn).

 In fact, he goes one step further, by hiring back Mercy Wester, April. 

Remember her?  She was the one that the Chief fired for failing to recognize soot on a patient’s lungs and accidentally killing the patient, as a result.  Apparently, with Katherine Heigel’s absence becoming increasingly more regular, Grey’s did not have enough female docs on which to inflict funny sexual injuries. 

Way to go April .  . . welcome back to the team.  I suggest you cover your ass . . . literally.

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Filed under Grey's Anatomy