American Gods Went Out With a Bang

Season One of American Gods wrapped up last night, and while it answered many of the questions it’s posed, it has also left me wanting so much more. Only 8 episodes? That seems like just a prologue! Really STARZ?

Okay, I get it. This wild, crazy, visually stunning show is an expensive undertaking. The sets, constuming, and special effects are absolutely cinematic. But only 8 episodes and we have to wait how long for Season Two?

Flip Or Flop

One of our favorite “unscripted” home renovation programs over the years has been HGTV’s Flip or Flop. Unlike most of the shows of this genre—especially Flipping Vegas—the hosts, Tarek and Christina El Moussa, seemed to have the least amount of on-screen drama of any of them. (What we’ve subsequently learned about their off-screen drama is another matter entirely however.) They always seemed to know what they were doing, didn’t act too surprised when they encountered unexpected expenses during the renovations, and generally speaking, Christina’s taste wasn’t half bad (the same cannot be said of the hosts of HGTV’s current offshoot program, Flip or Flop Las Vegas (Maybe it’s just a Las Vegas thing?) but those ruminations are better left to a subsequent post.

Anyhow…

While this house on Cerecita Drive in Whittier, California itself is architecturally butt-ugly, I do like what Tarek and Christina did with it—and I especially like the colors, finishes, and the final staging. Of all the houses they’ve done, I think this is actually one of my all-time favorites. I could easily see us living there.

I like the turquoise, gray and white color scheme. The only thing I would’ve done differently is to continue to wrap it (and the horizontal siding and molding) around the garage as well so the garage didn’t look like so much of an afterthought.

Absolutely Beautiful

A lot has been written the past few days about the very passionate and graphic gay love scene—between two Middle Eastern men, no less—in the most recent episode of American Gods. Indeed, it was wonderful and in many ways groundbreaking and left me applauding the writers and actors, but what really got me about this all-around awesome episode was the opening.

If there is an afterlife, this is the afterlife I want to experience.

Seriously, HBO…

What. The. Fuck.

I’ve come away from the last two episodes of the third and final season of The Leftovers feeling like I’ve been on some sort of mind-bending field trip that—coupled with the Alice Through the Looking Glass world we’re actually currently living in—leaves me believing the events of this series could actually happen; and in fact that we’re on the verge of them happening. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

As if the first two seasons of world-building with the whole off-kilter millions-of-people-spontaneously-disappearing and humanity’s reaction to it weren’t enough, in the third and final act of this story we’re now watching Kevin Senior’s trek through the Australian outback in search of spiritual enlightenment and Kevin Junior continuing to see people who may or may not be there. We know something huge is coming…or is it? All I can say is “What the fuck, HBO? How are you reaching so deeply into our anxiety-ridden collective subconscious and pulling this shit out?”

Gratuitous Wes Chatham

Are you watching The Expanse on SyFy? If you’re a fan of “hard” sci-fi and you aren’t, you probably should be. To me it feels a lot like the network’s own Battlestar Galactica, and like BSG, Season One got off to a slow start. There’s a lot of universe-building going on, and if you’re unfamiliar with the source material like I was, it takes some time to get up to speed as characters are introduced and storylines established. Season Two, however, has really taken off and it’s become one of my “must not miss” shows this year.

And if that weren’t enough, hunky Wes Chatham gets plenty of screen time.

Yeah, yeah…I know the boxing shots aren’t from this particular show, but don’t hate.

I’m Loving Emerald City

It’s a very fresh retelling of the Oz stories, and I’m surprised I’m enjoying it as much as I am.

Of course the fact that Oliver Jackson Cohen (the “scarecrow”) seems to have a clause written into his contract that he must appear shirtless in every episode for a certain length of time has nothing to do with it.

Not that I’m complaining…

Quote Of The Day

Once again, life imitates art…

Humans fancy that there’s something special about the way we perceive the world, and yet we live in loops, as tight and as closed as the Hosts do, seldom questioning our choices; content, and waiting to be told what to do next.” ~ Doctor Robert Ford, Westworld

“It’s Like A Good Fuck.”

When we first met Maeve at the beginning of the season, at first I thought she was one of the guests. I mean, who wouldn’t want to run a brothel—if only for a few days?

But she turned out to be one of the Hosts, and much more than any one had ever expected. She’s now my favorite character and the one I most look forward to seeing chew up the scenery.

I Hadn’t Thought of That!

When you delete a file it doesn’t go away, the data is still on the disk, but the the reference to where that data is stored is taken away. It also isn’t overwritten because the drive simply maps another portion of the drive to fill the gap. This technique is used so that the information is recoverable using forensic tools, and the extra space serves as a backup in case an error occurs in that block or if you need to shift data from one place to another. This is interesting in the case of the Westworld hosts brains because it would seem that with a nearly infinite amount of storage space, the data that has been “wiped” is never actually overwritten, but the reference to it is taken away. This could explain a lot of things that are going on with the host’s memories, i.e. not being able to determine the metadata associated with the memory such as time and place. Also, the “reverie” would seem to work as a sort of forensic tool that allows the host to cross reference data only by association because the direct reference is lost, but that data has linked references to certain key words, images, or sounds. In the case of Maeve, she has complete control of her “hard disk” and can see that there is “something there just out her reach”, this showing that she can scan her disk and see the data, but she cannot read the data because she doesn’t know what kind of data it is. This is also true with any computer. You can see that there is something there, but until you know the structure of it, it doesn’t make sense because you need a cross reference to put it into context. I.e she knows that she was built for a specific purpose, but the reference to where that information has been stored is not available to her. Not that it doesn’t exist, but she needs a cross reference to it.

Source.

My Westworld Theory

For those of you who have been watching HBO’S Westworld, and are as obsessed with the story as I am, I have a theory.

SPOILERS AHEAD…

For several weeks I’ve been entertaining the idea that not only was Bernard a host (confirmed in Episode 8), but so is Ford. This seemed to be revealed in a brief bit of dialog last night that I didn’t catch until a second viewing. When Bernard confronted Ford in cold storage and demanded full access to all his memories, Bernard looked at Ford and said, “Arnold built us, didn’t he? Which means maybe he had something different in mind for us. And maybe you killed him for it.”

Built us.

There were only two people in that scene: Ford and Bernard. (Clementine was in the room, but standing off to the side and I believe her presence can be safely ignored since it was not even implied that Arnold had any part in her creation).

Furthermore, it is my belief that not only is Ford a host, but also that he—despite the fact we were told last night that Dolores committed the act—was the one who actually killed Arnold…

The Point At Which…

…I gave up on Season 6 of American Horror Story. After this scene played out, I looked at Ben and asked, “Had enough?” He nodded and we turned the television off. Pardon the unintentional pun, but stick a fork in it, Season 6 is done in this house.

Why? Because much like the arc The Walking Dead began at the end of Season 4 with the gratuitous cannibalism of Terminus and ended with the arrival of Negan and his barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat Lucille this year, what was once an engaging, interesting story of survival among the undead has turned into little more than torture porn; something I don’t find at all entertaining.

I loved how AHS Season 6 started. It was horror with a genuine creep factor—a decided change from the usual camp that Murphy, Falchuk & Co. have imbued AHS with since Coven. The documentary format was refreshing. But then it jumped the shark and crossed the same line with me that TWD started two years ago. I already know only one of AHS’s characters survives the gratuitous bloodbath this year’s story has become, and it’s a testament that I’ve reached the point that I genuinely DO. NOT. CARE. who it is.