A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
I was never an avid viewer of Tim Allen’s popular TV series Home Improvement, which aired on ABC back in the 90’s. If my memory is correct I believe Frasier (which I adored) was on at the same time, and neither DVR nor streaming video were a thing yet. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed Allen’s movies a little more, especially the Toy Story and Santa Clause films. When his second television show, Last Man Standing, debuted in 2011 I didn’t pay much attention, but it has slowly grown on me over the course of time. As a diehard conservative I am aware of and sensitive to liberal bias in media & entertainment, which exists whether one chooses to acknowledge it or not. Having said that, I do believe that multiple factors led to the recent cancellation of Last Man Standing. I’m a big sports fan and compare Last Man Standing to an offensive lineman that gets drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round, plays a decade in the NFL, doesn’t make any All-Star teams or get to a Super Bowl, but always holds onto his starting job and plays the position at a high level before quietly being cut by a team facing salary cap issues. Shows like The Big Bang Theory (love it) or The Walking Dead (never watch it) are like the star quarterback who gets all the glory & good PR. They create revenue for ownership and therefore enjoy a long lifespan. Conversely, shows like Last Man Standing are good but not great, so when it begins to get a bit too expensive its spot is given to a younger, cheaper alternative that might perform just as well. Do I believe that politics played a part in the show’s demise?? I can’t help but think that it was a contributing factor. Maybe if pop culture & the Hollywood left weren’t riding an anti-Trump wave Last Man Standing would have survived another season or two. At the very least it could have been moved to a different night. The fact that it was stuck in the traditional sitcom graveyard of Friday night indicates that it was never one of ABC’s top priorities. However, in a larger sense I think Last Man Standing is just one of hundreds of shows in the history of television that were slightly above average…good, but not good enough…and ended their run after 3-7 years. It is what it is, and it’s really not worth getting too worked up about.
Sometimes I just look around my kitchen at the embarrassment of riches in my stocked pantry, full refrigerator, & packed freezer and it hits me how blessed I am in so many ways.
Speaking of ABC…
I have mixed feelings about the announced revival of American Idol. I ignored the show during its first season on Fox in 2002, until the finale in which Kelly Clarkson beat out Justin Guarini to claim the original crown. After that I was hooked for awhile, but for a number of reasons began to disengage and hardly watched at all during its final few seasons. Now, just a year after leaving, American Idol is coming back. I always suspected that it would return since it is precisely the kind of television show that can easily go away then be resuscitated. However, my gut tells me that it’s too soon, that we haven’t had time to really miss it yet or view it thru the prism of nostalgia, an angle that has led to second lives for many movies & TV shows in the past decade or two. There’s a fine line between tweaking a successful formula and tinkering unnecessarily, a difference that can be blurred more easily with the passage of time. It is rumored that Clarkson will be one of the judges, which is poetic. There are a plethora of semi-successful singers whose main claim to fame traces back to being an Idol contestant that could serve as judges and satisfy wistful cravings for those halcyon days. Another name that has officially signed on is Katy Perry, which, in my humble opinion, is a terrible choice. Idol always teetered on the edge of cool factor vs. credibility as far as judges go, with some working out better than others. If it were me I’d skew toward gravitas, which would necessitate not catering to millennials whose musical palates are decidedly unsophisticated. One constant will be host Ryan Seacrest, who may be a tool but is undoubtedly perfect for this particular gig. As much as I hate to say it, he really is like a modern day Dick Clark, with maybe a little Regis Philbin thrown into the mix.
Though I don’t actively engage in sociopolitical debates on social media anymore I still…lurk. Or observe. Or maybe you prefer the term troll. At any rate, I have been pleasantly surprised at my level of self-control when coming across utter stupidity & ridiculousness, which is basically almost every day. For example, a friend of mine recently posted a query asking why anyone is still out there defending “Four Five”, which is his lame nickname for Donald Trump (if I have to explain the moniker then just please leave immediately). His gaggle of sycophants responded heartily and with their usual level of hypocrisy. I could have easily written a cogent, logical, & concise response, but it would have ended up with me being attacked by people who don’t even know me, ridiculing my physical appearance and any other criteria they could glean from my Facebook page. Been there done that…these are not nice people, and obviously they aren’t capable of critical thought or intelligent debate. What I found really interesting in this particular thread was a comment from a person complaining about how others are always calling them names like “snowflake” or “libtard”, yet in the same thread those with whom these folks disagree (like me) are referred to as mean, hateful, & mentally ill. One egregiously despicable woman referred to a 90 year old relative of hers as “spiteful, racist, horribly rude, & obnoxious”. This elderly lady allegedly “always has something ugly to say about everyone” and is “a misery to be around”. The poster “literally wants to cut my own throat to end the pain of being near her” (her, you’ll remember, being a 90 year old woman). And yet these are the folks who are offended by being called a snowflake. I wish I could say something witty and caustic, but I am honestly at a loss for words and filled with sadness for humanity.