Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Death of 24

As I previously posted; I have been very unhappy with this season of 24.  More so than in any other previous season, and with greater and greater intensity.

I had decided about 5 episodes in that I was giving myself half of the season; and if 24 did not improve or show signs of turn-around, then I was going to cease watching it forever. (as Vanlandw has stated; I have said this before – sometimes it’s been an idle threat.  But, I did not and will not ever finish watching Season 6).  Well, episode 12 came and went; and all I got was more and more angry at how ridiculous the show has become.   So, while episode 13 was airing last week, I played my new Nintendo Wii.   While episode 14 was airing yesterday, I was watching “Religulous”.  Let me tell you, it feels SO good to disconnect from this show.  I have jumped ship and I will never ever make any effort to swim back.

I can’t help but feel a little bit of sadness here, but the more I think about it –  the more my sadness becomes anger.  24 was a truly ground-breaking series and was undeniably top notch television in it’s prime.  There are few other television programs that can rival 24 in it’s golden years – but the simple fact is that Fox just utterly destroyed this program.  It changed from a gritty drama to a laughable ratings-whore composed of LITERALLY trash.  Well, Fox, the public noticed…  You managed to alienate and infuriate the most loyal fan-base of all time;  Even they can only keep their hopes and dreams up for so long, and Season 8 has proven to be the last straw.  The ratings have dropped, the quality has continued it’s downward tailspin, meanwhile the only thing that has gone up has been the show’s production budget.   Finally; arguably 3 years too late, Fox has decided to put 24 out of it’s misery and cancel it.

So, what went wrong?  What happend?  Why did 24 limp into mediocrity?  Let’s run a comparative; Looking at a semi-similar series: “The Shield” on FX.

The Shield is also a gritty drama.  The Shield has a similar “bad ass” main character – Vic Mackey.  And, it has similar struggles of that main character as their job and life effect their friendships and families.  Yes, the settings and plots are sometimes very different – but 24 could have learned alot from how The Shield bowed out.  The most important thing:  The writers of The Shield never changed the heart of their show.  They never changed plots to try and cater to the masses.  In fact, they gave us scenes that we didn’t even want to see (Lem).  They gave us a final two seasons that were literally gut-wrenching, made me feel sick to watch at times, and genuinely brought me to tears.  It was utter downfall…

But, it was a most epic and decisive series finale as can possibly be had.

24, your death is brought not by skilled and emotional content like The Shield; but rather by your own greed and lust for your success.  The higher your ratings went, the further and more over the top you felt you needed to push the show.  It didn’t take long for you to push too far, to the point where it became a cheesy satire of it’s former self.  You searched for meaning in more/larger explosions, exploitations of your main character, and trying to find the charm you once had.  You killed off the characters that everyone liked while keeping around all the characters that everyone hates.  You bring in new characters to fill in the same old roles.   You put a mask on recycled plot lines hoping nobody will notice, while you combine them and cram more of them in each season.  Well, you did it – and you failed.

You straight up blew it.

You’re on your death bed and I’m not coming to visit you.  I don’t want to see you this way, and I have no desire to see how you meet your end.  I don’t owe you ANYTHING.  You un-deniably suck.  You managed to turn away your best friends at the most critical part of your life, and as far as I’m concerned you can fall into oblivion alone; reaping exactly what you have sown.

Good riddance; gtfo

Diving in to P90X

The Backstory…
As an attempt at motivation, my wife wagered that if I could lose half of the amount of weight that she gains during pregnancy; then I can pick out and purchase a television of my choosing. So, that started me down the path of getting unbelievably motivated to lose some weight, and eat healthier…

I started a basic calorie cut in February. I ate grain cereals, more fruits/veggies, and overall just cut down on portions. I stopped drinking soda comletely, I started drinking water, and I went from 254.2 pounds down to 242.2 in roughly 1 month. But, my completely sedentary lifestyle seemed to only want to let go of 12 pounds of it’s “backup” – so it was time to find some exercise to keep this going.

The problem with that is: I hate exercise. Plain and simple. I hate running, walking, biking, jogging, etc etc etc etc. Really it boils down to the fact that I enjoy physically moving as little as possible.

With my stubborn and compulsive nature, the P90X program did seem like a perfect fit. I have a coworker who shed 40 pounds with the program, and one of my cousins has seen results very early on as well. I read some reviews and researched online a pretty fair amount; and it all seemed to only confirm that P90X really does work… There’s no BS to it, it’s just freaking hard core working out to get results. And the thing is, I could actually see myself pushing through a hard 90 days to get those fast results. In fact, I’d much rather do that than to go running 3 times a week. I literally hate running so much that I’d rather do 6 hours plus of working out than to go running one time.

The Beginning…
A good friend loaned me their copy of P90X so I could try it out. It gives you a full diet plan, a lot of information, and a set of DVDs containing the workouts. I used the information to do a little prep-work, create a spreadsheet to track my progress, plan my eating habits, and get some groceries.

With the pre-flight check taken care of, I started P90X on 3/14/2010.

I am so out of shape it is really pretty sad. During my first workout, my body responded with creaking, popping, and snapping sounds as I used muscles that rarely even think about flexing. I had to make sure to start slow, pace myself, and ease into P90X because it really is an intense workout. It’s designed to take already fit people that last mile and really change their bodies. So, I have to modify the techniques on many exercises (girl pushups, lower weights, fewer reps) in order to even do them. But, I am doing them…

I honestly haven’t done any exercise like this in probably 10 years. I went through phases of biking, treadmilling, and even trying jump rope – but those were all short lived phases that did little more than elevate my heart rate temporarily and make me angry.

Now 3 days into P90X, my entire body is stiff and sore – so I’m positive that it’s working. I’ve made it into a routine to start my day waking up at 5 am, pound out the P90X workout (1-1.5 hours), and then eat an egg-white omelet with fruit and whole grain toast for breakfast. Oddly enough it has been a very simple routine for me to adopt.

The Story Thus Far
As I’m sure my good friend will want their own set back, I’m definitely going to order my own set of P90X and make sure to stick to this program. With the amount of work it is, I just can’t imagine it not making significant change to my person very quickly.

Even being only 3 days in, I can feel the changes. I can tell my metabolism is jump started working out in the morning, so I use that and capitalize on it by eating better. I also haven’t drank any coffee since starting because I feel more energetic throughout the day. My weight hasn’t gone down at all yet; but it has stayed exactly the same vs a daily up/down fluctuation that I was dealing with. I think that is a good sign that I’m eating steadily vs the feast or famine mentality.

I fully expect that this first week is all about my body adjusting to this new and heavy workload…
I’m definitely keeping it up, tracking my progress, and looking forward to seeing some results.