“Lost” ended last week and went out with more of a WTF than a bang or a whimper. With the finale of the show, chapters closed in all of our lives and overall, people were satisfied with the send-off of our beloved characters – even if the final scene where Jack’s eye closes after he finally comes to terms with his fatality was entirely misleading since everyone knows peoples’ eyes are open when they kick the bucket or in the case of “Lost,” pass on…to some brighter place where Jack and Kate can finally get it on for eternity.
One thing the “Lost” finale did for me was reaffirm the pure McSteaminess that is Matthew Fox and if I cried the entire last half of the show it was at the mere thought of not being able to share each Tuesday night with the dude. But on to the real point of the finale which was to reunite characters – both dead, alive or stuck somewhere in the netherworld – with each other in assisting Jack in his quest for salvation or at least spare a chuckle at the whole Christian Shepherd as guide to the afterlife thing.
Here’s the major gripe I have with finale – if we’re to believe that the island world was “real” and the sideways world “made-up” it marginalizes everything that took place this season and negates the notion that the island dwellers would have found each other anyways – crash or not.
While the crash might not have been a Dharma Initiative project, it may as well have been as far as social experiments, kumbaya, and the whole see-what-happens-when-you-put-seven-strangers-in-a-house-and-they-start-getting-real go. Of course intense situations elicit strong bonds among those that share that very common experience. Think summer camp, college dorm life, pulling successive all-nighters at work driving toward a do-or-die deadline. We don’t need to be passengers/voyeurs on Jack’s ride to self-discovery to get that relationships and people matter, especially when those very people are grappling with their mortality alongside you.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved “Lost” – watched the finale, not once, but twice for added commentary. I even flinched my way through the terrible post-show with “Jimmy Kimmel Live” all for the chance at seeing my favorite characters again. Will I know what to do with myself now that “Lost” is gone? Most likely, I’ll be practicing what the show preached and finding my time better spent strengthening my relationships with those loved ones around me.
Cue closing credits.
Back in the day, Tina Fey aka Liz Lemon aka Sarah Palin was in her element alongside Amy Poehler aka Leslie Knope tearing it up on “SNL” with her weekend updates. The comic duo were sassy, sharp, and never missed a punchline. They represented a new prototype of feminist – they weren’t your mom’s brand of feminist whose extremist tendencies of either too traditional or too workaholic repelled you from the whole notion of “women’s lib.” Poehler & Fey proved that funny, smart, and confident with a hint of vulnerable could work and moreover, women could be successful at this shtick.
So imagine my disappointment this season as I watch Liz Lemon on “30 Rock” pathetically whining, mooning over past loves, and contemplating the concept of settling for the dreamy Michael Sheen over going at it solo. Her cynicism reaching new heights, Lemon’s once empowered femme drole is merely a shred of her former hip lady self. The compelling storyline involving Liz’s desire to adopt a baby (something many single, career-minded women in their late 30s might be able to relate too) which was ongoing for the past few seasons has all but vanished with her character shifting into more of a slapstick sidekick providing occasional comedic relief for the venerable Alec Baldwin. On a side note: Do I really care if Jack chooses Julianne Moore or Elizabeth Banks? Just bring Selma Hayek back! Note to network television: In case you didn’t notice from the ratings success of “Modern Family,” Latina relief is the only thing working on sitcoms these days…
On the other hand, Amy Poehler has managed to transform Leslie Knope, a rather plain yokel and no doubt the anti-Liz Lemon hipster chick into a comedic heroine by steering clear of the “SNL” footfalls of vitriolic NY-bred humor – the type of bagel humor that might have worked with “Seinfeld” 15 years ago but doesn’t do it for the iGeneration. In contrast to Liz Lemon, Leslie is kind and giving to a fault and like Liz, she is not without her ambitions and her desire to win at all costs. The difference is Poehler’s affable delivery – it’s her refreshingly candid demeanor that endears her to us and also at the same time represents a true shift in in what we want our female role models to look like.
Today’s Mary Tyler Moore doesn’t need to wear black, live in the 100- zip code, walk around all day muttering “oy vey” under her breath, and sip soy lattes while dreaming up the wittiest retorts in preparation for their next rendez-vous. They can date park rangers, go hunting with the boys, and put it all on the line for a friend in need. They don’t need to arm themselves with sarcasm to shield themselves from being vulnerable or employ self-deprecation as a means to communicate with others for fear of actually conveying any shred of authenticity.
Today’s lady can be geeky, socially responsible, single, self-aware, sassy, and genuinely happy. Welcome to the ’10s ladies. It’s a bold new world and you, too, can be cool in this one – even in NBC’s impossibly hip Thursday night line-up.
Susan Boyle is in complete control of her career. By all accounts, the media circus that’s engulfed the 48-year-old Britain’s Got Talent performer and overnight sensation would indicate she’s either incredibly shrewd and calculated re: her career trajectory or she’s yet another tragic victim in a long line of greedy, publicity whoring TV executives.
Her recent stay in a rehab clinic would seem to indicate the latter, but then again, it hasn’t hurt her and it’s helped to keep her in the limelight and explain away her her mini-tantrum/meltdown in front of a camera crew. (Not to mention, her rumored £9,000/minute pricetag for corporate events.)
All theatrics aside, from what I can see Ms. Boyle is doing everything right when it comes to her career:
- Hired a Money Maker/Manager: Not sure Susan’s fame will be as long-lasting as that of U2, but she’s made sure to hire the same promotional wizzes to work on making her into a star. Now let’s hope Susan isn’t totally opposed to charity work and helping hungry kids should her manager decide that’s the side we need to be exposed to. For hers’ and our sake I hope this is not the projected route.
- Exposed/Branded her Talents: Susan Boyle has become a global household name because she went on a stupid reality TV show and showed us what she had. Whatever this means, her Les Miserable performance on YouTube is forever embedded into 100 million peoples’ brains (if not more). No doubt about it, Susan is not just an influencer, she’s a doer.
- Went a Little Meshuganah for her Art: People love the vulnerable, brooding, temperamental artist, especially when they label her a “spinster.” Her nut-job act only stands to help further her career…for now.
I happened to catch the newly released soccer flick, “Rudo Y Cursi,” this weekend and while I’m no fan of soccer (much to the chagrin of my husband), I’m usually up for some Gael Bernal Garcia with a twist of Diego Luna. The former more than the latter, but no need to get choosy here.
The movie tells the story of two brothers – Rudo, played by Luna is the brighter and more motivated of the two and is determined to be a soccer star at all costs to himself and his family and then there’s Tato (nicknamed “Cursi”), the more likable of the two, and possibly the more talented, but also the more foolish one. Each of them has their own vice (for Rudo it’s gambling and cocaine; for Cursi it’s women and his short-sighted desire for fame in the form of becoming a singing sensation).
So while the movie is a cliche in its own right – not to mention another variation on the theme of what happens when you take 2 neglected hicks and feed them into a world of overnight success and lavish attention on them, there is something deeper that the flick hints at which I think a lot about in my own career – the distinction between passion and talent.
The most successful people are the ones that can objectively (if that’s possible) look inward and package their talents in a way that makes them desirable candidates for the work they pursue. It may not reflect their passion, but it speaks to their ability to know their strengths and work it to their advantage.
While Cursi is drawn to music, soccer is the device that allows him to pursue his passion and what makes him such a tragic figure is that he unabashedly takes for granted the very thing that enables him to follow his passion.
But the glib side of me thinks, “How much $$ is this guy shitting through and complaining about?”
For many of us our day jobs aren’t our passion. In my vernacular, this then translates to it not being my career. The tension builds to frustration when our talents ARE completely aligned with our passion, and yet we can’t seem to make it work so that our day job = talent + passion.
But I also think it important to not take for granted the very thing that acts as my form of self-expression for the 9-10 hours I work a day because as John Lennon might suggest, “Your career is what happens when you’re busy making things happen all day long.”