My thoughts and reviews on books, TV shows and whatever else may come up. I have a lot of hobbies and interests and they may come up from time to time, but this will mostly be book and TV reviews and discussions

Monday, September 21, 2009

Parks and Rec Season Two Episode 1

I got into Parks and Rec since it is by the people who did the Office, which is my favorite show. I thought the first season was decent and each episode seemed a little stronger than the previous. I wasn't sure if I would continue watching, but I decided to give season 2 a chance.

This episode was very good. They quickly wrapped up some dangling plot threads from season 1 and jumped in to this week's controversy. Leslie had a marriage ceremony for two penguins at the zoo. And she stated they mate for life. But it turns out these two penguins are both male.

She instantly becomes a celebrity in the gay community. But eventually the anti-gay people step up and want her to resign as well. And Leslie, well, she is liking the attention. The show is balanced out with some great character moments as well as we get to further know this crazy office.

There are several factors that make Parks and Rec a much different show than the Office. The Office has a bunch of minor characters or supporting characters like Kevin or Creed that provide some great comic relief, and Parks and Rec doesn't have that yet. Parks and Rec has a lot of funny moments, but hasn't hit the laugh out loud moments the Office has yet. And then Leslie is just as incompetent as Michael, but is lot more likable character in the long run. She actually means well and is not as mean as they have made Michael the last couple of seasons.

This will be the last review where I compare Parks to the Office. It deserves to stand on its own. Although not a must watch yet, it has definitely earned its place on my tivo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Office Season 6 Episode 1

So season 6 of my absolute favorite kicked off tonight. And the night was all about gossip. Michael told a rumor that was true and to cover it up he told fake rumors about everyone else. Probably the funniest part of this was Andy trying to figure out if he was gay or not. But many of the rumors were typical office crazy.

Usually there is a funny subplot running through an episode or a great Dwight moment, but this episode was a little lacking. The best parts were the cold open and the ending before the credits. There were three interns who were serving on their last day, and when they say what they learned, they all realize they learned nothing.

All in all this was a weaker Office episode. After a weaker season 5 (although the Michael Scott Paper episodes were priceless) I hope the best ideas aren't behind them. It just seems the whole Dwight/Jim dynamic is off and Dwight and Michael moved from dumb and funny to just plain mean.

It is still my favorite show and a bad episode of the Office is many times better than the best show on other series, but I hope the show picks up again. Because the one thing missing tonight were a lot of laughs, and that is the whole point.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John Adams by David McCullough

I don't usually read history/biography type books anymore, but after this amazing book by David McCullough I might need to start again.

I am a little ashamed of that actually, because I have a history degree and used to read them a lot, but as I have gotten older I have gravitated towards the fiction. This book though is amazing. It sometimes reads like a novel, and other times like a great history of the US, not just a story about Adams.

I always knew Adams was the second president since grade school, but I had no idea how involved he was during the revolutionary war up through his presidency. He pushed hard for independence. He worked hard to get the French involved. He not only signed the declaration of indepence, but also the Paris peace treaty that ended the war. He twice went to Europe in a time where a trip across the Ocean could take up to 8 weeks depending on the winds.

It is also amazing some of the inner workings, and the relationships that developed. For instance, Adams didn't particularly like Ben Franklin and thought Washington was somewhat aloof.

And everything is magically outlined because Adams was a tremendous writer. He wrote diaries. He wrote letters to friends. He wrote letters to his wife during their many separations. At one time they were separated for 4 years! This book covers almost his entire life, though a little sparse on the years before 40 all the way to his death at near 90.

Enough can't be said about this excellent book, but I don't have to. It run the Pulitzer Prize. It is a tough read, as the 650 pages are so crammed with information that it seems like each page is double a normal page. If you like history books or biographies this is a must read.