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12.06.10; Supposedly Studious Saturday; 14:28 / 18:37 / 19:40

Work-related reminders: 1.) Unlearn everything you learned in the call center industry. 2.) Don’t act as administrative assistant, act as member of the sales team. Phew!

Dear Niwee,

My on-and-off relationship with the boob tube started since college days. As an idealistic Communication Arts graduate, I got sick and tired of predictable screenplays, untalented eye candies, slapstick comedy, unnecessary gyrating wallflowers, Tagalog-dubbed and/or poorly mimicked foreign shows. I was grateful to be exposed to superb shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Boston Public, CSI, among others.

Sneering at local shows did not help when I started attending graduate school to pursue Communication Research. Most media theories are foreign in origin yet our professors insist to contextualize them in our setting. Believe me, I react with furrowed eyebrows when they discuss local soap operas, Koreanovelas and recount game show scenarios. One professor eventually took notice and reminded us that, as jologs as it may be, media practitioners must keep abreast of local current affairs and popular culture. Being a snob gets you nowhere.

I’ve heard of relieved sighs and warm applause when Mulawin and its successors aired. The better days have finally arrived, they say. With my graduate studies and graveyard work, it is rather impossible to join the fan club. Did I miss an important era in the Philippine television? So how come they are still recycling Latinovelas like Rubi, Betty La Fea and LaLola, Koreanovelas like Stairway to Heaven and My Girl and classic Pinoy films into teleserye format? 

***

Given my erratic schedule and highly stressful lifestyle, I slightly renewed my interest in TV. Instead of searching for anything that would stimulate my fried brains, I demanded for escape. In order to relate to my friends, I tried to watch what they’re watching. To be more accurate, I watched what they already watched. Unlike most viewers who are at great risk of heart attack for the weekly suspense they subjected themselves to, I opt for DVD marathons.

Yes, I’m always the last to catch the fever. Until now, I’m still yet to experience the magic of 24, How I Met Your Mother, Six Feet Under, That 70s Show, My Name Is Earl, Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies, Heroes, The Big Bang Theory, Glee, The Colony and, believe it or not, Sex and the City. I’ve seen the early seasons of House, Meet the Natives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and some of the series I’d mention below but I have to catch up FAST! My friends can’t stop gushing about the recent developments even if I’m within earshot.

For this week’s Team Carnival topic, I’d share my top 5 favorite TV series. In random order:

WEEDS

Weeds is a dark comedy that revolves around a suddenly widow who tried to make both ends meet by selling marijuana. From the confines of their rich suburbs, schools and everywhere else where the demand is, ehem, high, the well-written characters give face to hypocrisy, racism, bankruptcy, corruption, single parenthood, teenage issues, among others.

Favorite Characters:
Andy Botwin as the immature uncle turned father figure. Who else can teach the growing kids how to masturbate when their mother is too occupied drug dealing and too uncomfortable to say the D word? Who else would initiate cyber sex with his nephew’s deaf and mute girlfriend? He may seem like a Peter Pan but he sure had his share of glorious moments. Watch and find out!

Find me a cancer patient who’d spend the rest of her living life as a self-absorbed she-devil. That’s Celia Hodes for you. She remains alcoholic and unconcerned with her overweight daughter’s self-esteem, among others. You should see her take out her husband’s mistress for a drink and throw herself to her husband’s best friend.

NIP / TUCK

Nip / Tuck is about two best friends/cosmetic surgeons behind the successful McNamara/Troy. Aside from sharing the practice, they have this love for the same woman and parental duties to the same teenage kid. Dr. Sean McNamara is your typical reliable doctor whereas Dr. Christian Troy can hardly keep his white coat and slacks on. The series also highlights their patients who sometimes establish personal relationships with either surgeons.

Favorite Character:
As a sucker for loving, deep guys underneath their asshole exterior, I’d go with Dr. Christian Troy. Go watch and you’d see what I mean.

TATTOO HUNTER

Tattoo Hunter documents a tattoo anthropologist’s journey to capture the vanishing tattoo and body modification practices around the world. You should watch this episode and ask yourself how this nation will preserve this ancient skin art. I am obviously drawn to this show due to my frustration to become an anthropologist and great desire to get inked in traditional manner. At the same time, this made me imagine of hosting my own show which I’d call The Weed Hunter. Yeah, I’m a dreamer.

Remember this entry?

PRISONBREAK

Prisonbreak began with a successful engineer orchestrating his entrance to prison to break his innocent brother out of it. Little did they know that this frame-up is to torture their parents for their involvement with The Company. The repeated chase between FBI agents and the fugitives made the tiny psychologist in me resurface, making me think how they think. The escapes never failed to make me jump on my feet and this hot lead actor (hence the choice of photo) always make my heart flutter in spite of his admission that he’s gay. Have I told you about this t-shirt?

Favorite Characters:
Hands down to the ever cunning T-Bag. He’s not a genius like Michael Scofield or a tough body like Lincoln Burrows. Neither is he a loyal friend like Fernando Sucre but he always managed to get an “insurance” and survive the incessant hide-and-seek in this series. You’d want him to die, die, die but you can’t imagine the rest of the series without his funny lines and cool accent. He’s the guy to watch for!

Alex Mahone is the brilliant FBI agent who can second guess Scofield’s next move. You’d hate him for catching up on him, you’d hate him more when his ulterior motives get revealed then you’d hate him again for joining the crew in Sona. 

CHUCK

Chuck is a computer geek whose life made a major turnaround when highly classified files from the US government were downloaded to his brain. The next thing he knew, he’s being protected by CIA and NSA agents and considered an asset in their death-defying missions. Chuck and Sarah, the CIA agent, put up a phony relationship which eventually leads to a real romance Sarah can’t openly reciprocate due to work restrictions. As of Season 2. Based on the spoilers I heard, they’re officially together. 

Favorite Characters:
Morgan! He’s another adult who refuses to grow up but you’d seriously laud him for his unconditional loyalty to Chuck.

But Morgan ain’t Morgan without Chuck himself. His positive outlook in spite of his self-doubt makes him so real and easy to relate to. Add his strong feelings for Sarah and the romantic sap in me is alive again. Gosh, he’s simply awesome!

Of course, there’s Capt. Awesome! He’s so…awesome! Can’t find other words to describe him.

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