Faith a guilty pleasure

Faith Korean TV

Faith Korean TV

It’s a quiet Labor Day weekend in the drivel dome [1] and your fearless reporter is a tad bored. I could help with the housework or get out and exercise but I have better things to do. Last night while trolling the intertubes for something to watch on Hulu I came across a transcendentally awesome Korean TV series called Faith.  I know what you’re thinking. I haven’t fallen off the skeptical horse. I’m still the same old judgmental know-it-all bombastic boomer asshole you’ve come to know and love. The series Faith has, as far as I can tell after many long hours of couch research, nothing to do with religious faith. This is one of the many reasons I adore this show.

Faith is basically another Asian martial arts epic. After the demise of the demigod Bruce Lee it’s been mandatory for Asians residing east of Himalayas and south of Siberia to work martial arts into the plot whether it makes any damn sense or not. The Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and other East Asians all follow Bruce’s mandate with various spins. Naturally, the most odious and predictable martial spins come from the mainland Chinese. With few exceptions mainland martial arts goes something like this.

Evil plots are afoot that are threatening the unity of the homeland. Nefarious forces, mostly internal, sometimes external, are plotting to bring down the well-ordered Middle Kingdom. A charismatic badass plans to exploit disunity, dishonor the people and shit all over the ancestors. Something must be done! The ruler, usually a wise emperor, or a really hot empress, tasks some typically reluctant super warrior to off the badass. The super warrior may have ambivalent feelings about the current ruler but never about the homeland. Sure the current ruler is a decadent pussy boy with weak Kung Fu and that’s too bad for him but damn, the country is not going down on my super warrior watch. Predictable mayhem ensues, bodies pile up, evil almost triumphs, gloats too much, and then falls to a combination of super warrior martial arts and old-fashioned hubris. In the end the homeland is saved and the closing credits suggest the super warrior might get some serious tail. I find it interesting that Hollywood is constantly destroying western civilization while mainland Chinese films forcefully reiterate that the homeland will always abide. I think it’s safe to say there hasn’t been an original mainland Chinese martial arts film since Bruce’s glory days.

Thankfully the South Koreans are not like mainland Chinese. Without the burden of an oppressive humorless government forever threatening serious consequences for plot wrong-think South Koreans can show some humor and originality. Faith is an excellent example. We know right away this is not standard martial arts because the bad guys are mainland Chinese threatening to overrun little Korea.  Even odder, our hero and heroine are the oddest of couples. He’s a tall 14th century ultra-ninja-oid that can shoot lightning bolts from his hands while she is a ditsy 21st century plastic surgeon.  It’s your basic boy meets time wormhole meets girl story. Faith only gets better after the hero drags the ditsy surgeon back to the 14th century. The result is a comical, martial arts, chick-flicky, self parodying guilty pleasure.  You can see the cast members thinking WTF between their lines and is there a better endorsement than that?


[1] Analyze the Data not the Drivel is not suitable for succinct self-deprecating self-reference.

Evil Queens are getting Hotter

There’s not a lot of good news out there. Our currencies are being sodomized by economic imbeciles. High unemployment has demoralized the masses and forced lobotomized bureaucrats to get off their entitled asses and redefine it. The suck—oops stock—market has returned SFO for a decade. CO2 levels are rising. The seas are not subsiding; they didn’t get The One’s memo. Goons are getting nukes. Species are going extinct. The freaking LA Kings are two up in the Stanley Cup finals and, Mohammed in a transvestite musical, the Kardashians are still on TV. In this bleak, soul suffocating, Obamalypse we must take solace from any quarter and I’ve found one; evil queens are getting hotter!

Regina

Regina, (Lana Parrilla), Once Upon a Time’s Wicked Queen.

This positive trend surfaced with TV’s Once Upon a Time: a rare, well written, series that ripped familiar fairy tale characters out of children’s books and deposited them in Storybrooke: a small fictional town in Maine. All of our favorite characters are present: Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Rumplestiltskin and, outclassing them all, Regina, Snow White’s poison apple wielding nemesis the Wicked Queen played by Lana Parrilla. Regina is no hook nosed NPR feminist hag. This wicked queen is a high-caliber alpha cougar. Frankly, I envy her victims. Please Regina; make me your next man-toy.

An even hotter queen is Ravenna, another incarnation of Snow White’s mortal enemy, from Snow White and the Huntsman. Huntsman is a dark straight up high-tech rendering of Snow White’s tale. The movie is competent but is afraid of veering off well-trodden material. I found it flat and predictable. Great movies astonish, good movies surprise, ordinary movies entertain and bad movies are lauded by liberal film critics.

Ravenna's spa

Ravenna, (Charlize Theron), in her spa.

Huntsman is ordinary but has its charms. The best character is Charlize Theron’s wicked queen Ravenna. Ravenna has an endearing nasty bitch habit. She must periodically slurp up the life force of attractive young women to stay “the fairest of them all.” Think of it as extreme celebrity Botox. You may object to Ravenna’s ravishing methods but you cannot argue with the results. This wicked queen is setting new standards for maximum babe bad.

As a mainly manly man I thank the FSM for Regina and Ravenna. Evil queening: it’s not for obese dykes anymore.

It’s all over for Broadcast TV

Human beings are worthless lumps of lazy protoplasm. We only change our bad habits when that bitch — reality — forces us to reconsider our wayward ways. In this respect the great recession has been a wonderful teacher.  It’s sat us down and made us stare at the books.  And arithmetic, being what it is, has brought out the savage budget slasher in all of us.

The amount of money we were handing over to the cable company for the privilege of watching crap on TV could not be justified.  We cut it off — no cable, no satellite, no HD, nada zip zilch!    When annualized that’s $500 bucks. What the hell were we thinking?  $500 dollars wasted on TV. Thank you recession.

OMG no  live TV – how do you survive?  Being old farts we starting reading more but then one day, in the midst of acute Family Guy withdrawal,  we tried streaming. It had been years since I last tried watching video on computers.  Five years ago streaming video was more like steaming pile of video.  I didn’t expect things had improved but I was wrong.  On high-speed internet connections streaming is now good enough to replace TV.   For months we’ve been enjoying free streaming sites like Hulu.  I really enjoy some old, rarely seen, classic TV programs.  Check out this episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  It’s a neat story with a probability lesson and a hard ass skeptic ending.