"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

House Plus

Alistair Quimby commented on our 22 September piece about the television program House, M.D.. He said, in part,

"I hope you're right about the upturn, particularly when you use House M.D., possibly my favorite T.V. show, as an example. By the way, the CSI's are great, along with another one that you didn't mention, Without a Trace. It awes me that these shows are so popular while being so deeply rooted in reason and benevolence."

As for predicting the early rebirth of reason as reflected in certain art, such as contemporary television, we do not read tea leaves or work the night shift for the Oracle of Delphi, but it is startling what is on television lately (past several years). Mr. Quimby puts it very well as "It awes me that these shows are so popular while being so deeply rooted in reason and benevolence." Nothing happens by accident, so something must account for so many really good programs. Only time will tell.

By contrast, look at the comedies. Except for Desperate Housewives, the sitcoms are worse than ever, and they are utter dogs. End of discussion about them.

Mr. Quimby is quite correct that we did not mention programs other than House, M.D.. We wrote about House just as the fall television series was getting underway, and many other new and returning programs had not made the scene. As of now, most of the fall season is in full swing, and it would be remiss not to cite other, very good programs.

So, Mr. Quimby, let us begin by reiterating how enjoyable are House and the three CSIs. You were absolutely right about Without a Trace. It is a favorite.

From that curious "cable network" offseason, we must mention The Closer, Monk, and Wanted. Monk is a little too slapstick, and Wanted is a little too violent, although it presents a no-bull-sh__ approach to a very hard job, one that creates much professional and personal struggle. The Closer shows great brainpower, personal strength and high self-esteem, in a brilliant woman.

Numbers makes heroes of mathematicians and scientific crime fighters. It is just plain "neat." Cold Case resurrects unsolved cases, long dead ended, leaving families and loved ones without closure. A great team reconstructs, deducts, and inducts to achieve closure and leaving you feeling that justice has been done. E-Ring pits military and civilian brains against all sorts of huge military-related problems while contending with typical, and fully disgusting, bureaucrats who do all they can to keep problems from being solved.

NCIS solves interesting crimes but with serious interference from irrelevant silliness which really undercuts what the program could be. Alias is too physical and too fantastic. If this season does not show a different trend soon, we will stop watching. Killer Instinct might turn out to be good, but the stories are not being sufficiently carried by the main characters, who seem too intellectually light-weight. The same may be said for some others as well. The science fiction fall programs are too weak to discuss.

All of the really good stuff, and note how much of it there is, shows people of the mind using their minds to deal with horrendous odds. And, they win. Good wins. We are experiencing heroes again. All sorts of personalities go into these stories, showing that intelligence may be married to morality in all sorts of personality packages. Furthermore, most of these characters take their work and themselves seriously.

Nothing happens by accident. The laws of identity and causality, the cardinal laws of Reality, permit nothing else. Leaping from metaphysics to esthetics through epistemology and ethics, begs the question: Are we watching early cultural change toward reason. We hope so, Mr. Quimby.


  • At Sat Oct 08, 12:14:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What do you think of "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica"? These are two very popular shows.

  • At Sat Oct 08, 04:42:00 PM PDT, Blogger George Mason said…

    I left out mentioning some television programs and did so purposely. "Lost" is one I omitted because it seems so "muddy." The suspense varies from OK to dull, and the characters are too seedy to admire. As for "Battlestar Gallactica," I would award this program the dullest program on television award, for my interests. We tried the first season and gave the second a real shot. It was dark, gloomy, mumbly, and convoluted excessively. The characters, well, just aren't. We do watch "Lost," but the interest is starting to fade, as with "Alias" and some others. I might add that we do enjoy Stargate SG-1 even though its stories sag. The chemistry among the cast members along with some witty dialog carry this show well enough through the light fantastic.

  • At Mon Oct 10, 07:00:00 PM PDT, Blogger Cubed © said…

    One of my favorites is Stargate I; the arrival of the newest villains on the scene, in particular, pique my interest, in that they (the Priors of the Ori) appear to be modeled after the Mullahs of Islam. The entire universe must be converted, it's their way or no way, they use any means whatsoever, up to including mayhem and murder, to achieve their ends, etc.

    I have to wonder if the cultural, if not the political, climate isn't shifting slightly in the direction of softening the influence of PC--there are more fiction books out using Islam in an unfavorable light as their subject, more TV shows seem to be less timid about Islam, and I'm holding my breath waiting for the Big Screen to have something dealing with--say--Charles Martel, or even (gasp!) an accurate portrayal of Mohammed.

    BTW, Happy Charles Martel Day, everyone! It was on this day in history that he turned Islam out of France.

  • At Wed Oct 12, 06:03:00 AM PDT, Blogger Jauhara said…

    I like Lost, but I think I will give Stargate a shot, since they are taking on the uh, priors of the Ori, heh.


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