Once I’ve decided that I like something, I tend to be pretty loyal. That’s even more the case when it comes to people. But hate is very close to love; both are very strong and persistent emotions — they just have opposite polarities. The true opposite of love (or hate) is indifference.
And it does happen that, sometimes a single event that gets on the wrong side of me instantly flips the polarity of my feeling. Sadly, it’s always been from positive to negative. I’ve never had the movie experience of hating and then loving.
Recently two things have flipped my switch, and a third one is tugging at it.
The first and worst is a television show: NCIS: Los Angeles. It’s been just over two weeks since I wrote a rant about a particularly stupid episode of this show. I say “particularly” because the show seems to have gotten stupider over time, so most of the episodes this season have been stupid.
In that last post I mentioned the scene where Hetty Lange collapses while appearing in a Congressional hearing and how obvious of a trick it was. That’s part of what’s been bugging me — obvious plotting is painfully obvious. In other words: stupid.
Another big complaint involves how, for an action show, the writers and directors don’t seem to know much about how the world actually works. It’s one of the least authentic action shows in my lineup; a lot of the things they don’t make any sense at all. It’s just stupid.
And then there’s Marty Deeks and Kensi Boobs. I really hate those two. They’re like high school kids. Dumb ones. For me the show comes to a screeching ugly halt every time they have one of their romantic-cute interactions.
I wish the show would take a leaf from George R.R. Martin’s book and kill off those two. They’re just too… what’s the word?… oh, yeah: stupid.
[I can’t help but wonder what the other amazing female characters in the Bellisario Universe think of Boobs McGee there. She doesn’t hold a candle to great roles like Sarah MacKenzie, Jennifer Coates, Ziva David, Abby Sciuto, Meredith Brody, or Loretta Wade. And Caitlin Todd and Jenny Shepard must be spinning in their graves.]
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid show. The last episode — and it is the last episode I plan ever to watch — was another particularly stupid one, and it was that final back-breaking straw.
As with the last episode, the stupidity starts in the first scene and then never stops. Sam Hanna and ‘G’ Callen are meeting a supposed defector from India along with her escort, who turns out to be Jemadar Thapa, the Nepali Gurkha agent they met last season.
The scene is shot to generate maximum conflict and tension, but it’s all artificial. Supposedly the CIA… Oh, geeze, you know what? It was just too stupid to waste time describing all the things wrong with it. I’ll try to just touch on some lowlights:
¶ Sam is shot by a sniper (using, one assumes, a high-power sniper rifle), but lives after being taken to the hospital and operated on for a long time. At the end of the show, Jemadar gets shot with a pistol (in about the same part of his body) and dies pretty much immediately after uttering a nice exit line.
¶ Much earlier in the show, when Marty and Jemadar have that “expiration date” conversation (which the episode is named after), I knew right then that they would kill off the character.
¶ Speaking of obvious, that nurse in the final sequence? I knew right away she was suspicious.
¶ They also kill off the doctor Hetty brings in to work on Sam. And the nurse who was replaced by the killer nurse. Both men have families, and nurses are really important people, so fuck you NCIS:LA — I loath your casual violence. You make me sick.
¶ Killer nurse bursts in on Sam lying in his hospital bed and throws scalpels at him. He blocks the first with a meal tray, and she just keeps throwing more scalpels at a bed-ridden unarmed man from twenty feet away. Throwing them in the same spot.
It’s only when Jemadar bursts in that she pulls out a pistol and shoots him. Oh, she had a pistol all along. Good thing she was too stupid to use it on Sam!
What makes this such a bummer for me is that I loved JAG, and I love NCIS. The latter is in its twelfth season and still cranking out interesting, quality shows. It’s my favorite show currently airing. The new spin-off, NCIS: New Orleans, is following in that vein and doing great by me.
But this Los Angeles one is some kind of bastard child with sickness in its bloodline. (All the more heart-breaking because I loved living in LA.)
I watched for five seasons and a goodly chunk of the sixth, but I’ve had enough. We’re done.
The second break up involves Papa John’s. This affair has been fairly brief. I decided to give them a shot after the Pizza Man place near me disappeared. We’ve been together less than a year.
I liked being able to order pizza online, that was kinda nice, but the website doesn’t always work quite right. It’s one of those sites that tries to do so much that it runs afoul of differing browsers, pop-up blockers, and Flash versions.
But that’s not what upset me.
I’m on their email list for deals; which they send out almost daily. Recently one offered a deal that I liked, and it’d been a while since I’d had pizza, so I went to order, but the site wouldn’t accept the promo code. Even clicking the email link didn’t work.
But that’s not what upset me. At least not much.
I sent a complaint to their Customer Service email address. That was on February 18. Today is March 4, and I’ve not heard a word. Not a peep.
That’s what upsets me.
Pizza is a commodity, we can get it anywhere, so about the only thing you can really offer is convenience and service.
And this ain’t that.
So bye-bye Papa John’s. Your pizza is okay, but I can do without it.
There’s a new Target store conveniently near me, but some of the checkout gals have been surprising new and incompetent at their job. One of them recently tried to ring up a six-pack of soda as six individual bottles!
And just about all of them have had pretty bad attitudes. Some even seemed a bit surly. When did we stop believing in service with a smile?
Target is in the grocery business these days, and for a while they had a fresh salsa I liked (Jack’s Special — medium because I’m a salsa wimp these days). But they haven’t had it in months, so there’s one less reason to go there.
You’re borderline, Target. Really pushing it.
The thing that’s upsetting about all of this is: Do you think they really care about one person getting pissed off and spending their money elsewhere? I don’t. It seems obvious they don’t.
But at least I have a blog where I can get it all off my chest.