Tuesday, September 25, 2018

So, um... what was that?

Ramblings Post #354
I am, at heart, a creative. I didn't realize how much I missed this until I started writing this again. As of late, as the ranch has gotten more intense due to our 'change of the week' feature (it's feature, not a bug), an old injury reasserted itself, the Cowboys look extra pedestrian and so everything has kind of gone to seed. I'm not even reading, and I love to read. I have writing I'm not doing, stories just sitting around as notes on bits of paper and scribbles in a notebook. But life ain't supposed to be easy. So, I'm doing something even if it ain't exactly what I want. The journey of thousand miles starts with a single step. Or in my case, the first sentence.

So instead of watching the Bucs slowly come back to football reality, I switched over to see what all the hubub was about with the new iteration of Magnum, P.I. last evening. Thomas Sullivan Magnum is back. Only now he's....Latinx? Latino? Of Hispanic descent? His name sounds so mid-western though. I'll need to look up exactly what the proper term is later but he's played now by Jay Hernandez, who I'll admit looks properly easy going enough to play the titular character, but I would like to see him grow a mustache. Tom Selleck's Magnum always looked to me like a guy whose grin said he knew his life was just a little too good to be true - in Hawaii, spot on an estate, Ferrari to drive, etc, but he was smart enough not to screw it up. This new guy, I dunno yet.
That's not a Magnum. This is a Magnum. And no, that doesn't even sound right.
Let me tell you why. I'll be honest, I could only watch twenty minutes or so because after I was almost done with the whole thing. So very many cliches.

The show opens with a space jump. Like the Red Bull skydive from like the edge of space. Into North Korea, because those are only international people left you can reliably get to call bad guys at this point. So then, from the promo it's the  car chase with an old Volvo and APC, which Magnum disables with a handgun to signal TC and Rick in the chopper. Ha ha, gotcha, it's all fake, because in this version Robin Masters writes Clive Cussler-esque action novels (no disrespect to Cussler, I have enjoyed way too many of his books) and Magnum and his friends are one of the inspirations for the stories. This whole scene is from one of Robin's books and the principals are sitting around laughing at how outrageous and hokey the whole thing sounds. Ah, a little misdirection, but as an opener it kind of threw off the old school low-key cool of the original.

Then we meet Higgins as a woman, and who is now young enough and cute enough to throw off a "will they or won't they vibe" between her and Magnum. Which is also so off-putting. The grudging respect the two characters developed was one of the key elements of the original series. Making the major domo a woman is an interesting twist, but they could have made her older in my opinion. And a little more English. Or at least television English.

Then the first giveaway. Magnum is at the estate with Rick, TC and a fourth guy who is part of their crew. So a new character for the reboot I'm thinking. They laugh it up and crack jokes but when the opening credits roll, guess who is missing? So my new math is the new guy is dead before the episode ends. Then Magnum meets a client where he doesn't so much do his job as counsel the woman, to show his empathy and charm and suddenly I'm bored because this is hack television. Now, I wasn't expecting The Wire, or Better Call Saul, but this is barely a cut above Empire.

If I had looked at the Promo shots, I would not have made that first assumption.
Give it few more minutes I say.

So, soon to be dead buddy calls to hire Magnum, and he heads over in a Ferrari..., not THE Ferrari, but an newer one because as head of security at Robin Master's estate you get to drive his car. Makes sense. It made sense during the original run, why not now? He arrives and has made for TV gun battle with the bad guys who kidnap soon to be dead buddy and proceed to turn the car into Swiss cheese. That was painful to watch. Magnum pulls out the old trusty handgun, maybe a .45, I dunno, and instead of ducking for cover and shooting out a tire, um, misses at every shot? The cops arrive, don't hold our hero for questioning and don't notice when he takes evidence from the crime scene because he's Magnum. Then we go back to the mansion, which happens to have what must be a showroom of Ferrari and there it is, the classic GTO! Yes! And no. He's taking the 'old Ferrari?" Is that even a phrase? This beautifully manicured estate doesn't have an old pickup truck he can use? He just got a three hundred thousand dollar car destroyed, so take the classic one, please.

Side question: Is Robin Masters selling like JK Rowling? An estate on a Hawaiian island that he doesn't even live in, fully staffed and multiple exotic vehicles just sitting around? Clive, you're getting short changed!

It was here I called it quits because it was starting to get a little too silly. Rick tracked down the getaway vehicle before Magnum had even made it home, the dead friend actually being dead (whoa), his repeating the phrase "Sully's dead" if Sully was the dead guy's name (I think, maybe) seemed to keep buying him way too much leeway, with Higgins, the Navy, etc., the flashback to prisoner of war camp where they pull off the Rambo medical procedure? Ugh, what's the score of the game?

I remember Magnum P.I. as a show with no so much A-Team style gun battles but more of a subtle Hawaii-noir, where everything was a little smoother, a little cooler and Magnum looked like an overgrown beach bum. Maybe I just didn't know the cliches then, but that was a different show. This seemed a little too slick, a little too new for my tastes. They had Zeus and Apollo fighting over a beach towel for god's sake!

By the way, I didn't see the end, but I'm betting the guy's wife set him up (The recap says that's not it, but I have imagination!). Because in the old series, Magnum would have searched around for this extremely complicated plot only find out it was something simple like that. That was kind of show it was. I'm going to give it few more views, but this isn't an exactly stellar start here.
I still say the should have gone animated for the reboot.

Barkeep. Whatever Magnum would steal from Robin's liquor cabinet. I'll watch for the dogs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Where you been?

Ramblings Post #353 
There should be something here, something smart and quippy that kind of sets the tone for the writing below. Nah, not this time. It is what it is. I is tired.

It's been a minute since I been doing this, so what happened? I've been doing nothing and  everything. A little bit of something and whole lot of time wasting. I have determined that sitting on my couch in the silence of my house is just plain relaxing.

I may have to get a recliner.

My days at "the Ranch" have become an adventure. Everyday a new bronco to bust, a fresh forty acres to tame, somebody who can't read a simple email. They just keep adding layers and duties up in this piece, and you keep wondering what's really going on. I have a long history of "falling into" pulling more than weight on whatever spread I end up on just because that's how it all falls out. Doing management things and making management decisions on a peon salary because no one else wants to step up and I have this impediment called a good work ethic and desire to always do my best. I went to law school to place myself in a position to avoid these types of setups and endgames, but this is starting to look pretty damned familiar.

Admittedly this time it's part of a larger overall plan, but still.

I've been thinking about it and the one exciting thing I've done this summer is -- work. Just work. That situation along with the legendary Atlanta traffic and a personal ennui makes the very idea of doing much productive a struggle. I'm not stuck writing, I mean I have the story outlined, I know clearly what I want to say, I'm just not writing it. I'm working out a bit, but not anywhere near enough. I need to take mine ass to the driving range and hit some balls, but that would involve doing something, so that's out. I need to clean up my house, but I keep finding reasons not to like, um, I have to look at something in the mirror, or the couch needs sitting on, or my personal fave, if I go in another room I can't see it's still junky. I have a stack of very stylish shirts with some of the weakest button-work in history on my ironing board awaiting a pressing. I just need a spark to get going, to get get back into the groove. To hit my grind hard again.

Now, my summer use to be a bevy of social events, house parties and street festivals as well as nights out finding new spots to waste time in. But with age comes new priorities - friends get married and have kids, kids get older, the music gets weirder, and the clubs start letting in people who don't realize Will Smith or Ice Cube had a rap career. My summer is now quiet nights at home, reading, halfway trying to exercise, writing as much as you can without actually writing anything, playing computer games (PC and PS4) and doing everything but what I need to be doing. I should be....

...seizing life. But right this moment, I don't know.

Barkeep, can I get a,... what? You need to see my ID? Are you kidding me?