Friday, October 9, 2009

Flash Forward, The Office, and the Nobel Peace Prize

We watched the new show Flash Forward last night. The star is Joseph Fiennes (who I honestly don't think I'd seen since Shakespeare in Love, which must have been at least a decade ago).

This show has a very interesting premise: how would we change our lives if we knew one particular aspect of our future?

On the premiere episode a few weeks ago, everyone in the world blacked out for a couple of minutes and, during those blackouts, everyone saw his or her life at a simultaneous moment in April 2010. Now there's a Lost-like structure following the different characters' struggles with what they know/think is going to happen to them, overlaid by an FBI investigation (which is a bit cheesy so far) into determining what caused the blackouts.

At 9 o'clock I saw the best episode of The Office in probably three years. This show has gone seriously downhill the past couple of years (Steve Carrell, in particular, has become annoying and un-funny), but last night's episode -- during which Jim and Pam got married -- recaptured the comic magic from the first season.

Many of the lines were completely out there -- Carrell's talking to Meemaw about Pam being pregnant was just awesome. I loved Kevin's wig, and Dwight's and the other guys' obsessing about picking up the single women was both real and really funny. Plus, the wedding took place in Niagara Falls, and the scene where the newlyweds tied the knot on the ferry was just-the-right-degree of sappy (hard to pull-off for a sitcom that depends on pushing the envelope).
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This morning's news threw me for a total loop: President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

It turns out that two other sitting Presidents have won (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson), but both of them were into their second terms with a significant record of accomplishment. I am absolutely stunned at the decision; the domestic/US backlash -- from the right but probably from the center as well, which will view Obama as receiving not-yet-deserved praise -- will be significant.

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