Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Four shows to watch this fall

Jane Louise Boursaw - September 28th, 2006
There’s a good crop of new shows this fall, everything from high school kids to screwed up families. Here’s a sneak peek at four shows to watch:

1. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC, Tues., 8 pm, premiere 10/3). Riffing off the 2004 movie, this show centers on the small, dusty town of Dillon, Texas, where people live and die by the high school football team. The townsfolk REALLY want the team to win those 2006 state championship rings, and well, that’s a lot of pressure to put on high school kids. They’re counting on coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler, the “bomb guy” on “Grey’s Anatomy”) to pull it off. After five years as the offensive coordinator for the team, he’s been promoted to head coach, a job that includes playing therapist to the kids who come through his lineup. This isn’t another lame movie-to-TV translation. It’s like watching the movie all over again. It’s all about those tiny, fleeting moments in life that are way more important than the big ones. It’s all good, and so is this show.

2. HEROES (NBC, Mon., 9 pm, premiere 9/25). Everybody needs a hero, right? Or maybe you’d rather BE a hero. That’s the premise of this series about everyday joes who discover they have special gifts. A Texas cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere) learns she’s indestructible. A Vegas stripper (Ali Larter), discovers her mirror reflection has a mind of its own. A prison inmate (Leonard Roberts) wakes up outside of his cell. A gifted artist (Santiago Cabrera) learns he can “paint” the future. A down-on-his-luck cop (Greg Grunberg) can hear people’s thoughts. A young man (Milo Ventimiglia) can fly. And a corporate drone (Masi Oka) can move space and time. The ultimate destiny of all these folks is, of course, to save the world, because that’s what superheroes do. Throw in jealous lovers, corporate takeovers, drug addictions, dysfunctional families, and you’ve got another “Lost”-worthy show that keeps you hooked week after week.

3. SIX DEGREES (ABC, Thurs., 10 pm, premiered 9/21). Taking the Kevin Bacon theory into prime time, this show says we’re all connected through a chain of six people. In this case, the six people are assorted New Yorkers caught in a tangled web. Mae (Erika Christensen) is a free spirit who’s popped for indecent exposure after a night on the town. Her court-appointed attorney Carlos (Jay Hernandez) calls in a few favors and is rewarded with her phone number. Sadly, it turns out to be fake, so he tracks her down at her job – a hip nightclub he’s nowhere cool enough to get into. Outside the club, Carlos meets Damian (Dorian Missick), a limo driver who offers to get him in VIP style. Carlos just misses Mae, who’s decided to quit her job, but not before picking up a mysterious black box from the club’s safe. Oh, there’s more. Lots more. But I don’t want to ruin it for you. Suffice to say that all these strangers are drawn together by… coincidence? Despite the schmaltzy narration and love-struck doe-eyed characters (Thanks, Grey’s Anatomy. Really.), this thoughtful show makes you think about destiny.

4. BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC, Sun., 10 pm, premiere 9/24). Think YOUR family’s got problems? Check this one out. New York-based radio talk show host Kitty Walker (Calista Flockhart) is heading home to Los Angeles for her birthday. Her dad, William (Tom Skerritt), is a conservative, Leave-it-to-Beaver type with a devoted wife, Nora (Sally Field). Thomas (Balthazar Getty) is the golden-boy son who never left the family business, but he’s got serious debt woes. Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) is a workaholic mom whose marriage to Joe is imploding as they deal with their autistic son. Kevin (Matthew Rhys) is an ambitious, gay U.S. attorney who’s losing touch with his family. And Justin (Dave Annable) is the troubled son, still trying to process his time as a soldier in Afghanistan. The good thing about these kinds of shows is they make us feel SO much better about our own lives. The bad thing about these shows is they’re so darn depressing. Life doesn’t have to be such a soap opera. Really. Come on, let’s see a little smile…

Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance writer specializing in the movie and television industries. Email HYPERLINK “mailto:jboursaw@charter.net” jboursaw@charter.net or visit her Web site, HYPERLINK “http://www.ReelLifeWithJane.com” www.ReelLifeWithJane.com.
 
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