Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Amsterdam

So, now that Terminator is done, I thought I'd check out this show, New Amsterdam. Yeah, I'm not really sure why, considering I basically never like police-investigation-type-drama-thingies. I assume it has something to do with the main character being immortal. So, anyways, I checked it out. And, well, it's alright. I guess. Nothing special. I'll give it another week or two.

In any case, watching this show got me thinking. Having watched House, it's really hard to appreciate an asshole character who isn't actually an asshole. I mean, obviously House set the bar for being a likable asshole pretty high, but that doesn't mean that characters shouldn't make the attempt (Dr. Cox made a good attempt, but that heart of gold of his keeps working against him). I mean, seriously, we've got a main character who has been alive for centuries. By this time, he should basically be insufferable. He should just know everything and everyone and rub it in everyone else's faces. But, no, this immortal is too cool to make other people feel bad. And, well, as the viewer, that makes him kind of boring.

He's basically likable. He uses his vast database of human experience to find a way to connect with anyone he wants to connect with and uses them. I mean, the using them part is cool, but he doesn't make them feel stupid for it afterwards. The worst part is that he narrates his life with this whole cynical attitude and stuff, but he's not actually cynical. He likes people. The people who interact with him like him too. The people who have to follow him around all day start to get tired of him, but that counts for nothing.

So, yeah, I was kind of disappointed about that. I was kind of hoping for a main character who's more depressed and reckless than the one I got. I kind of get the sense that his character was that way like 50 years ago, but that he's started down the path to enlightenment already. And what's worse, the show seems to want us to know that. They've already told us that he's gone over 30 years without alcohol and we've met some ex-flame who could remember when he was incapable of being in a stable relationship.

But, it was just the first episode. He's still got plenty of time to get depressed and rediscover alcohol as a way to escape the burden of centuries of living. He's even got plenty of time to continue losing faith in humanity and himself, and to take that out on the people around him. So, I still have hope.

There was one other vaguely interesting philosophical thought brought up in the show. So, the whole idea is that he'll be immortal until he meets his one true love and their souls become united or something like that (I'm not making this up). So, I'm not going to make fun of that, because well, I don't care. Obviously, it's completely stupid, but so long as only a small part of the plot is dedicated to him looking for his one true love, I don't really mind. Although, it's kind of depressing that already many of the characters in the show have made fun of the search for his one true love, since it's so ridiculous.

Anyways, the vaguely interesting philosophical thought is the idea that there is only one true love for all time for each person. Now, I imagine the show's writers haven't thought about this too hard, but we'll just assume that they're paired up (ie- you are your one true love's one true love). If that wasn't the case, things would pretty much suck. On the other hand, I imagine it would work well with the whole "find someone who thinks you're amazing strategy" from Juno, since it would make sense to kick out all the people who aren't inherently impressed by you. But anyways, the interesting idea is that this person could be anywhere, either spatially or temporally (well, most likely spatially somewhere on planet Earth, but you know what I mean).

I don't know, but I feel like that would pretty much screw up just about everyone's hopes of meeting their one true love. I mean, the main character's already gone centuries without crossing paths with her. How should he know if she hasn't already lived, married, and died?

It's weird, though, because it's kind of hard to imagine there only existing a single person whose truly right for you for all time. I mean, it basically means, settle for whatever you can get. However, maybe it makes more sense to never settle to always allow the opportunity for the perfect person to arrive.

If you're the main character of this show, then that makes sense of course. The next question, though, is whether him having a heart attack was at all related to the women around him, or whether maybe that Native American spell is starting to lose it's strength. If it is related, that would be pretty convenient, initially, but I imagine it would get old after a little while. Can you imagine having a heart attack every time you hang out with the person whose perfect for you, that would totally suck. I mean, it's one thing to always be nervous and stammer or sweat or puke or whatever, but I think it would be better to die of embarrassment from the interaction as opposed to die of a heart attack from the interaction, but that's just me. And I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that dying of embarrassment isn't fatal.

So, yeah, that's the show. It didn't wow me, but I watched the whole thing. I mean, that's gotta be worth something. Plus, it feels like his police work is just kind of a backdrop for his life, rather than the focus of the show. I have to wonder, though, why he doesn't seem to make any attempt to keep the fact that he's really old secret. It feels more like he's just tired of telling everyone the long and boring story of his life, instead of him wanting people not to know. But, well, what can you do? When you live forever, I guess if you wait long enough then everybody forgets that you live forever, so why bother keeping it a secret? Admittedly, I can think of a couple reasons, but we'll just ignore those for now...

That is all.


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