Blog Archives

Michael Crichton’s Other Chaos Theory Returns

As Chris Webber would say this time of year: Timeout!

With my tickets safely guarded for tomorrow night’s primetime showing of Ready Player One, a new trailer dropped for one of the best shows on television. With that being said, he’s a brief deviation from this week’s Ready Player One-themed blog posts.

HBO’s Westworld has been adapted by superstar screenwriting husband and wife Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy from the 1973 film written and directed by the late Michael Crichton. The show’s themes, characters, writing, sets–and virtually everything found in this imaginatively pleasing, yet tragically gritty and violently-designed world–enlightens, entertains and challenges its viewers with delightfully surgical precision. And it’s this complex dynamic that is refreshing in the ever-evolving television medium. Add into this the support from the groundbreaking creative services at HBO and saying they’ve got a winner would be a dramatic understatement.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for–in a word–chaos.

(Warning: This is not a PG-rated trailer or show)

Westworld returns to HBO on Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. ET.

In a few more words, season 2 of Westworld looks primed to surpass the revised welcome to Michael Crichton’s other park defined by his other chaos theory in this show’s debut season.

Dr. Ian Malcolm would have a field day…and a shot of whiskey in the saloon with a beautiful host while wearing a black hat.

88 MPH to an ’88 (or so) Thanksgiving

In eight days, families from across the United States will gather together at their dinner table (and kid’s table) to individually and collectively give thanks for the blessings in their lives. There will be joyfulness from reminiscing about past memories, delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen and, above all else, complete and utter bedlam.

95% chaos, 5% peace and tranquility: Hello Thanksgiving!

Before we funnel into the designated house of our soon to be regretful host next week, one particular suburban Philadelphia family welcomed us into their home for a quintessential Thanksgiving celebration last night. While mission control was the kitchen and the commander was Beverly, the action spread far and wide on the Goldbergs premises.

Spoiler Alert for the DVR crowd for the latest episode of, “The Goldbergs”

The sons engaged in their made-up sibling game of “Ball Ball.” Or is it “Adam Ball” now…? The scenes with Adam and Barry (with Erica looking on, lounging on the spectator couch half-interested, half-rolling her eyes) was the perfect imagery of the glory that arises from a random, yet totally logical family game with a one-of-a-kind trophy to be used as a chalice at dinner for all to see.

In the case of this sibling game that involves knee pads, pillows, two hockey masks, a catchers mask and blue and yellow hula hoops scrunched in bean bag chairs, the age of old question between the older and the not-so much younger brother anymore is continuously answered:

Who’s the man? But what happens if that “one in a million” chance actually occurs? Then “the man” would have to be spelled A-D-A-M.

For Barry, the consequences would be comically dire.

When not fighting, this is the predominant therapy for how siblings interact with each other. This is how they bond. Are the rules absurd and never-ending? Will this ultimately lead to a colossal rematch for the ages that is the thing of legends and great mythology?

Yes, yes and yes!

And then, all of a sudden like something shot right outta thin air, the crazy (and oddly consistent) relative shows up with a grand entrance in a car that perfectly symbolizes the pure imagination of an entire decade and era of movies: the DeLorean DMC-12.

“Gotta get back in time!”

Huey Lewis and the News knows what that’s about.

Murray has always viewed his brother Marvin as a screw up, a chronically burdensome responsibility and, yes, a moron. Yet, during this Thanksgiving visit in 1980-something, Marvin promised it was different. Now working a “normal 9-5 job,” his future was assuredly looking brighter and smoother.

Did you know a triangle is the same shape as a pyramid?

A few mysteriously burning faces, an acknowledgement of basic geometry and a parking brake-less DeLorean DMC-12 on a hill later, the Goldbergs’ plus-1 was as unsettled as his car’s frame. Not even Beverly’s entertainingly deceitful promises to her fellow dinner companions in pursuit of her perfect Thanksgiving with a certain emphasis on the chef could have brought the harmony on the day she wanted it most.

No, it was going to take something much more powerful to change the dynamics of this disastrous day. In fact, it would take a curve ball.

In an act of sincere generosity sparked by a difficult, though necessary introspective, Marvin gave his big brother a small token of his lifelong appreciation for taking care of him when he was younger. It was a baseball. It was a memory. Perhaps most importantly, it was unexpected. Following this surprising gesture, Murray decided to bring his younger brother back into the future plans of his family’s Thanksgiving feast that evening.

What does a scheming in-law/uncle + a crazy grandfather + two battling brothers + a completely full of it (had already eaten turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce next door) teenage daughter + a thankful husband and family to their relentlessly hard-working wife and mother = ?

It equates to virtually everyone’s family at Thanksgiving.

By the end of the special Thanksgiving episode, “The Goldbergs” had confirmed the acutely accurate and reliable holiday formula: 95% entertaining chaos and 5% peace, tranquility and love.

With a full season ordered for, “The Goldbergs,” it’s a safe bet that lots of “fanz digit.”

P.S. Adam’s right, Harrison Ford does rule!