, , , , , , , ,

Rajon Rondo is the man.

So it’s again been quite a while since my last entry, but I have a semi-legit excuse for at least part of my prolonged absence. You see, last week I finally hit the dreaded Australian “download cap” that I’d been fearing since we found out that unlimited Internet just doesn’t exist here. This came as a result of me downloading lots of stuff off iTunes, in part because there were lots of good season finales on, and in part because the hubs went to visit his brother in South Korea and I suddenly had a lot of extra time on my hands. Oh, and it also rained for about seven days straight, so regular fun activities like lacrosse, runs through the park, or even walking to the library were out of the question.

Unfortunately, I hit the download cap right in the middle of downloading the Lost series finale on Monday night. It was frustrating enough avoiding the Internet all day on Monday (the final episode aired from 9:00-11:30pm on Sunday night in the U.S.), but then to not be able to find out what happened? For two more days (when our next monthly Internet cycle picked up)?! Oh man, I was dying. By the way, every other country in the world showed the finale on Monday, but stupid Channel 7 here wanted something to show against Rugby League State of Origin (i.e. the most-watched television event in Australia), so they waited til Wednesday night to air it here. Damn country where no one cares deeply about television shows! Talk about misplaced priorities. Meanwhile, our Internet was at slower-than-dialup-speed until Thursday night. Brutal.

Needless to say, I was feeling very resentful of Australia’s dumb capped Internet rules, as well as the always-irritating time difference.

As for the series finale itself? [Insert Debbie Downer noise here]. Like most fans, I was pretty disappointed. I’m not going to say too much, but SPOILER ALERT! just in case…

While all of the soulmate reunions were nice and provided plenty of nostalgic “Awwww” moments, as the minutes ticked down I grew increasingly annoyed that not a single “Big” question was answered. WTF were the Others obsessed with Walt for? Why couldn’t Aaron be raised by another? What did those stupid numbers mean? Why did Ben give Sayid a list of alleged baddies to kill, and who were those people anyway? What was Charles Widmore’s deal? What happened to Mikhail, aka Patchy? And what about Cindy the flight attendant and the kids? UGH, the list goes on and on. I mean, I sort of went into the whole thing with lowered expectations, because the final season itself was a bit of a letdown. Like, as far as I can tell the only reason they introduced the Jacob/Man in Black (oh yeah, what the hell was his name anyway?) storyline was so they had an excuse to keep Terry O’Quinn around as a series regular. Oh God, and that stupid Zoe woman! She was a waste of like a quarter of the final season’s airtime.

Lost series finale

The mysterious Vincent...just one of about a million "Lost" questions that shall remain unanswered (Photo courtesy of tvbythenumbers.com)

More than anything I just sort of felt like about 80% of the show was pretty much completely pointless to the ultimate outcome. True, some of the characters were really great (Desmond and Mr. Eko were prolly my all-time faves, and of course they completely squandered the latter in the utterly retarded first half of Season 3, but I digress). And I liked the flashback/redemption angles. But SO much of the series can be boiled down to people marching back and forth across the island, shooting guns at nameless henchmen in stupid hippie costumes, and half-baked quantum physics/time travel stuff that the writers never seemed truly invested in. Which was fine by me since I liked the “tormented-characters-stuck-on-an-island” aspect of the show much more than the sci-fi stuff, but why even bother confusing people with the time travel crap if it’s almost completely immaterial to the show’s point?

Wow, it feels good to get that out of my system. Despite my obvious issues with the finale I did like the show overall; it was well-acted by a really impressive ensemble cast, and some of the storylines and drama were truly tragic/thoughtful/heartbreaking/clever/suspenseful etc. Bottom line, even if you take into account a lot of the senseless bullshit that the writers threw in for unclear reasons, it was still one of the best –  and most original- shows on television. TELEVISION RANT OVER.

Meanwhile, I’ve also had to avoid the Internet because of the NBA playoffs. I’m only a passing fan during the regular season (I feel like they play at about 72% effort most of the time), but the playoffs are a different animal. Furthermore, the hubs is a huge LeBron James fan and I grew up in the heyday of Larry Bird & the last Celtics dynasty, so unless the vile Lakers are playing I’ll watch & root for pretty much anyone with enthusiasm. The Celtics’ post-seasons resurgence is of course icing on the cake, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their all-around team effort as well as the emerging dominance of Rajon Rondo (see ridiculously awesome clip above). I only wish there was some sort of Boston sports bar where I could go to watch the games. Oh and I also wish most of the games weren’t on at 10:30am during the work week. That would help a lot, too.

Speaking of big games, though, everyone here is totally gearing up for the World Cup. (Shoot! That actually reminds me that I missed my chance to get a Socceroos car flag yesterday by buying the newspaper. D’oh!). The NSW government have announced that they’ll be broadcasting every World Cup match live on a giant screen in Darling Harbour, and I’m toying with the idea of showing up for the USA v. England match. I’m not a huge soccer fan, and I don’t find the USA team to be particularly likeable, but I do enjoy the culture of the World Cup, and I’m looking forward to watching it in a country that’s way more into it. And given how many crazy Brits there are here, I think watching a U.S. v. England match would be extremely entertaining, so long as we don’t get beaten up by hooligans. Granted, the game is at like 4am, but at least it’s on a Saturday/Sunday. TBD on that one, but if any expats out there are interested in watching on June 13, let me know.

As I’ve said before, there’s something about living abroad that just ups your patriotism. Perhaps part of it is that I sometimes sense latent anti-Americanism  here and just feel like I’m on the defensive, but more than that it’s that there’s nothing like living in another country to appreciate all the things you miss and love most about your own. So of course, GO USA! And more immediately,

BEAT L.A.!!!!!

The New Big Three (Photo Courtesy of AP/Boston.com)