April 14, 2008

I <3 Life. Not the Cereal.

IMMEDIATE DIGRESSION: If I did nto come to a town near you on the recent tour, there’s a new video interview up at Author Magazine where I make a LOT of really google-eye crazy faces and tell how I came to write THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING.

Dear Television,



A lot of people who READ as much as I do claim not to like TV. Beloveds? I ADORE TV. If it wasn’t for TV, I would never never never sleep. If I read at bedtime, I will be awake reading until I run out of book. Then I will lie awake thinking about the book. Books wake my brain up, but TV---especially BAD TV---is a finger that pokes my brain’s pause button. BAD TV is my drug-free version of the creepy green moth of happiness, coming to touch me with non-narcotic feet. I have seen the first ten minutes of just about every episode of Becker ever made. I may have to buy myself a box set.

Good TV, on the other hand, keeps me fit. Well...as fit as someone who likes dark chocolate covered cherries and melted cheese sammiches as much as I do can possibly be. An hour long drama, minus commercials, is 44 minutes, which is exactly how long I like to spend paddling my elliptical. Then I watch a 22 minutes sit com which is how long I can stand to lift weights. DONE!

Becker has been on EVERY NIGHT to put me to sleep, but the WRETCHED WRITER’S STRIKE has RUINED TV this year. Every night has been nothing but REALITY SHOWS, 90% of which make me TWITCHY with despair for the fate of humanity, and the other 9% bore me so much they work like Becker. (The last 1% is PROJECT RUNWAY which I flat adore.)

My favorite show right now?


It’s about a cop who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 12 years in the federal pen where he got infested with equal parts rage, crazy and zen. Yes. Zen. It’s supersmartly written, and I LOVE the cast.

Damian Lewis, who plays LAPD Detective Charlie Crews, is ackshully a Brit. He looks IRISH to me---he has the slitty mouth and pointy face with the weirdly flat, high cheekbones. It’s the longer version of Dennis Lehane Face. Irish faces, to me, always look like they have extra BONES in them. It’s a look that never fails to make my potato covered genomes flutter and make YUM noises. Look here, how the deep green of the illicit marijuana plants bring out his EYES:


I also like it that the romantic lead chick, not pictured (she plays Charlie’s lawyer) has not had BOTOX. It’s weird to see a woman on TV whose FOREHEAD moves when she raises her eyebrow. Or indeed, one who CAN raise her eyebrow. I will never understand why ACTORS, of all people, are willing to PARALYZE THEIR FACES. Anyway, she’s gorgeous and as a bonus she HAS EXPRESSIONS, and I hope she doesn’t cave and get pig botulism put in her face.

If you missed this show due to the SPOTTY FIRST SEASON (With the strike, it was not REGULARLY on) you can see whole episodes from the pilot on up on the web. I was scared it would DIE because no one would realize it’s greatness due to the strike, but YAY! It will be back on Fridays at 10/9 central in the Fall, PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE CHIPS…oh no, wait, not CHIPS. I have SO MUCH TOUR still STUCK to my butt you better keep those chips where they are. I meant, of course, praise the Lord and pass the time on the elliptical. Yeah.

PS You know you are truly the best of the beloveds if at any time reading the above, you thought to yourself, MMMMM! SALTY PEOPLE!!!!! LICK! LICK! LICK!

Posted by joshilyn at April 14, 2008 9:32 AM

"salty people!!! lick! lick!" is one of my all time favorite posts of yours. Occasionally I think about it and laugh out loud, lo these many months later.

Posted by: Leandra at April 14, 2008 10:59 AM

I started reading this post thinking, "mmm-hmmm, totally with you here, I feel the exact same way, were it not for TV, I'd weigh 70 lbs. more, the writer's strike was brutal for me..." And then, you made me gasp in agreement.

Damien Lewis is my new TV crush. Hugh Laurie has been replaced. Yes, I've been married for 14 years, but Charlie Crews! Love him and the thing with the fruit! I like his partner, too. I watched all of the episodes of Life when they aired and now I'm re-watching them online.

Yum is right.

Posted by: Becca at April 14, 2008 11:40 AM

I am a best beloved. I remembered and I laughed.

Also, I just finished TGWSS and I LURVED IT! You are fantastic. I might be a little behind everyone else there, but living overseas I have to wait for the good stuff. That and I read slow. LOVED IT!

Posted by: nik at April 14, 2008 11:52 AM

Amen, sister! Without a DVR and some yummy good shows I would be in the Guinness Book of Records. And not for anything good. I can't wait until all the good shows have made a return, but until then I will occupy myself reading all the authors you have recommended.

Posted by: Heather P. at April 14, 2008 1:12 PM

The writers strike so ruined television for me, I am all but weaned. Which is SAD. But! Your new favorite detective dude is the guy from Band of Brothers, so I recognize him and already love him a little and may have to look into this Life thing.

Posted by: Mir at April 14, 2008 1:30 PM

I didn't watch Life and my dad told me I'd missed a most-excellent boat by not giving it a try and now here you are saying the same thing, so I may have to give it a try. I really don't like watching TV episodes online though. I'm not sure why, I just don't. So I'm really hoping they rerun them all this summer and I can TiVo them instead. I pink puffy heart TiVo!!!

Loved the interview! (I don't mind watching interviews or other brief video clips online. There is no logic to it.)

Posted by: DebR at April 14, 2008 2:40 PM

What a strange coincidence. I glanced at that commercial last night and immediately thought of you and "salty people! lick lick lick". It's gotten so bad that I can glance at any pharmaceutical commercial and immediately think of your posts about them and licking moths. Your posts keep on giving. ; )

Posted by: Elizabeth at April 14, 2008 3:33 PM

You? Awesome.

Their onscreen editor? Not so much. It's certainly a new way to misspell your name, though.

Posted by: Ray at April 14, 2008 7:04 PM

Gah! Now I have found the 2nd downside to living in Canada (aside from that I missed your splendiforous appearance in Seattle): NBC won't let me download.

Well. We will just have to content ourselves with The Wire, which we are watching with subtitles on because we are not from Baltimore. Will watch for Life on DVD.

P.S. have you seen Weeds? You might like Weeds.

Posted by: elswhere at April 14, 2008 10:43 PM

Darn, no, didn't think of salty people. I let myself get distracted by wondering if they had REAL illicit weed or if someone worked their fingers to the bone making fake illicit weed!

Posted by: Brigitte at April 15, 2008 5:48 AM

OOH. Thanks for the heads up. I totally loved this show last season and was sad to see it go away during strike-- should still be on my TIVO list.
I just found Canterbury Law New Amsterdam and of course, am a LOST groupie-- talking about dreamy hot dudes in the tropics... yum.
This summer they are bringing the CWT star search kind of show to a bigger network- you might enjoy that- as it is good talent without the drama of IDOL. Or not.

Posted by: lindasands at April 15, 2008 9:15 AM

Heh. Salty people. I remembered, but clicked on the linky anyway to re-read it and giggle.

I will have to check out Life. Right now my husband and I are hooked on In Treatment on HBO. Wonderful performances, and some of the smartest, emotionally-truest writing I've seen on TV in a long time.

Posted by: Aimee at April 15, 2008 10:46 AM

Life is a totally wonderful, think-making kinda show. We taped it every week and watched it together on the weekends. We also love us some New Amsterdam and adored the Dresden Files (it was not renewed, alas!) I never got to watch TV much during the 80's, so I have been an absolute addict ever since. It is a great way to engage or dis-engage with the world.

Posted by: Peggy Spence at April 15, 2008 10:51 AM

Yes. . .you SO totally win. I loved watching your interview. . .and I loved watching your hands as you had mentioned them back awhile ago. . .elegant hands, indeed. I'm glad you like to talk with them.

Posted by: Roxanne at April 15, 2008 8:10 PM