I missed a phone call this morning.  Actually, two successive calls from the same number.  As a rule, I refuse to answer my phone before 9:00 a.m. so I let it go to voice mail.  And, of course, the caller didn’t leave a message.  Presumably the reason for the call was important enough to warrant a redial, but not important enough to leave me a message.  Curious, I phoned the number on my call display and was greeted by the automated switchboard of Vancouver Coastal Health that informed me: “Unfortunately, we are unable to identify the party that called you.”

Now why the hell would Vancouver Coastal Health be calling me?  The only thing I could think of was that x-ray I got the other week.  But my doctor already reviewed the results and gave me a thumbs up and, if it WAS x-ray-related, her office would be the ones calling me back.  No?  My creative mind ran through a host of possible scenarios.  In the most unnerving, my x-ray got forwarded to VCH as a matter of procedure where their experts studied the results and marvelled “Holy shit!  How did his doctor miss THIS?!”.

Is it x-ray-related?  Are they going to call me back?  If so, when?  What’s the deal with my x-ray?!!

Lesson learned.  If somebody phones you before 9:00 a.m., assume it’s important!

Over the last little while, I’ve listed off the shows I checked out and stopped watching.  Today, I’d like to turn to more positive territory and discuss some of the shows I actually watch on a regular basis:


Ah, a show that combines two of my favorite things: food and New Orleans.  It’s been years since I last visited the Big Easy, but every time I glimpse Bourbon Street or hear mention of Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s, or The Commander’s Palace, the happy memories return.  It was a truly memorable trip highlighted by my traveling companion, a girl I fell into conversation with at the library one day.  She mentioned she wanted to go to Cuba but couldn’t find a friend to go with.  I told her: “Make it New Orleans, and I’ll go with you.”  And she did.  And I did.  I remember checking into our hotel and cutting through the courtyard toward Bourbon Street.  I heard something and happened to glance over my shoulder, catching a young woman out on her balcony, stretching – stark naked.  She smiled, gave me a wave, and ducked back inside.  Ah, good times.

Anyway, the show!  Sure, there are many competitive cooking shows out there, but none are anywhere near as good.  Great judges, great personalities, and, always, some great-looking food.  I wasn’t a big fan of Last Chance Kitchen when it first aired, the internet-only appendage to the show that allows eliminated contestants to cook their way back into the competition, but have grown to accept it.  I’m less forgiving of the decision to make last season’s finale a “live” event that ended up forced and awkward, lacking the suspense and drama that typified previous finales.


Unlike my fellows writer-producer, Carl Binder, I DO possess the zombie gene and so I do enjoy a good undead outing.  Granted, in the past, I have criticized this show for its sometimes slow progression and stealthy zombies who shamble around noisily unless you happen to back up against a chain-link fence at which point they can sneak up on you like ninjas.  But this season, the show is firing on all cylinders as the survivors of the zombie apocalypse battle the undead, internal division, AND unseen threats within their camp: a deadly flu and a potential mole within their ranks.  Will Glenn survive the flu?  Will Daryl’s group get to those much-needed meds?  Is someone responsible for spreading the virus within the prison?

In the case of the latter, I’m going to say “Yes!” and offer up my number one suspect:

Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. actor. Season 4, The Walking Dead. But why?  What’s his motive?  Well, I believe he’s working for this guy:

1No spoiler alert because there is not a shred of evidence backing up my claim.  Just writerly instinct.


The one new fall show I am still watching is this HBO comedy created by and starring Stephen Merchant, one half the talented duo that brought us The Office (the UK original and, by extension, the U.S. version as well).  It’s humour in the vein of Larry David and Ricky Gervaise as our hero attempts to navigate the oft-treacherous waters of the L.A. dating scene.  Merchant is brilliant and he’s backed up by a terrific cast of supporting players including Christine Woods as a struggling actress, Nate Torrence as his recently divorced buddy, and Ken Wiseman (formerly Marshall Flinkman of Alias) who plays a physically disabled Lothario with a mean streak. Wonderfully, uncomfortably hilarious.


I know, I know.  It’s admittedly a guilty pleasure.  I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about this season’s Blood vs. Water set-up which sees former contestants competing with/against loved ones – and am still not convinced.   Still, I love the human dynamics – the alliances, the shifting loyalties and, best of all, the blindsides!


I’m watching this one with Akemi because she wanted to watch something scary, but not as scary as The Walking Dead.  This show is perfect because it vacillates so wildly between visceral horror and over-the-top silliness as each episode attempts to cram in as many horror movie tropes as possible into its twisting and turning narrative.  I object on the grounds that it doesn’t make a jot of sense, but it’s immensely entertaining for those who don’t get  hung up on traditional storytelling rules like logic and plausibility.

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Das!

29 thoughts on “October 28, 2013: What I AM Watching!

  1. Well Joe, first of all, if it was your doctor’s office calling again about your x-ray, you know they would just love to leave a heart stopping message, because that’s how they toy with patients and seem to like torturing you. Maybe you asking for an MRI was like sending your food back to the kitchen at a restaurant?

    Secondly, please move your 9:00 AM answer policy to at least 7:00 AM. Seriously. You people living on the west side of the world are like so out of it all morning long. Wake up sleepy heads and join the rest of the world. Heck, it’s lunchtime in NY at 9:00 AM your time. And quite frankly, we’re tired of constantly waiting on you spoiled westerners. Get up!! The early bird gets the worm. We’re talking about you Joe!

  2. I wouldn’t worry about that phone call – if it was important they would have at least left a message for you to call back. They could have just picked your number out incorrectly from some list or something, then incorrectly redialed before realizing their mistake.

    I’m watching the Walking Dead, and I agree that this season they have really stepped up their game. Interesting take on who might be responsible – I hadn’t thought of that!

    Survivor is what it is – this season seems a bit bit better than last if nothing else because Colton left and got a thorough reaming out by Jeff Probst on the way out. I’m disappointed John and Candice couldn’t stick around to be together because I think they would have been formidable as a pair.

    I might have to try to catch up on American Horror Story. Sounds interesting.

  3. I’m looking forward to the mid season finale of The Walking Dead. Mostly because the stuff hits the fan 🙂

  4. “Alas, I can’t say anymore as things are very hush-hush, but if my conversation with this individual goes well on Monday, he gets on board with my idea, and the rest of the pieces fall into place, we could look forward to an awesome announcement before year’s end.”

    okay, joe, it’s monday, so weeeeeeell???

  5. Absolutely, positively NOT a zombie fan. *looks indulgently at the naughty little Joe who is watching same* I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Did you ever decide on attire for the Tokyo wedding? I’m still hoping for the full samuri regalia – complete with swords (short and long).

  6. Oh, I don’t know about a mole in TWD, but I think the little blonde girl is up to no good. In fact I think she was faking being sick to get put in the isolation wing and do something bad – maybe just start killing? She’s mental, I think.

    I heard Hello Ladies was rather derivative but based on your rec I’ll watch for sure when it gets to Netflix. 🙂

  7. i don’t answer the phone if it’s a number that i don’t know. i figure if it’s important, they will leave a message. but if they call again, i answer it.

    i heard somewhere that in 10 years voice-mail will be done away with because most people just call back the number that comes ups on the caller ID since it’s most likely one they have listed in their phone, so they know who it is. but i say that’s crap because there will always be some numbers you won’t have in the phone such as doctors, telemarketers or someone who got your number from a friend/relative & calls because you have something to sell or can do carpentry or something and those are the ones who might (should) leave a message.

  8. You have terrible tastes in tv shows.

    Which makes me worry about whatever you get to work on next. 😉


  9. I ask my dad to not call before 8 am, which means he calls at 7:15. If he’s awake, EVERYone should be awake. And sometimes I am awake – I just don’t like taking calls that early. But after 8 – when businesses are opening and the day is underway – then I have no problem taking calls. You, Joey, are just spoiled. 🙂

    As far as tv goes, I’m not watching much (and some of what I watch is only for Mr. Das), but I will try out Almost Human on November 17th. http://www.fox.com/almost-human/

    Looks and sounds like it could finally be the right fit for me! Which means it’ll be cancelled within a month. 😛


  10. Brava to Akemi’s great cookie design choice!

    Ditto what majorsal said: It is MONDAY…and the survey said?????
    ok…we wait patiently. sigh.

  11. Here are the shows I’m watching:

    Castle, Psych (hasn’t started yet), The Blacklist, Agents of SHIELD, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Big Bang Theory.

    I just finished watching all 5 seasons of Doc Martin. Loved it. Can’t wait for season 6.

  12. And I am watching…none of those. Although, Hello Ladies looks interesting provided it’s not all white people (ala Girls) or ridiculous stereotypes of brohood (ala Barney Stinson). When I get time, I’ll have to check it out!

  13. Can’t stand reality TV as I have already stated many times on this blog.

    I am watching The Walking Dead, though. After the first episode I was thinking, “Oh God! It’s going to be another season of ‘The Talking Dead!'” What with all these new characters and relationships being introduced how could it go any other way? Boy was I wrong! With a host of new characters killed off in the first few episodes and maybe some of the stars on the chopping block as well it might just be enough to hold my attention.

    Personally, I think it was Carl feeding the zombies through the fence because he wanted them to breach so he could start killing again. The Governor is still at large so I have no doubt he’ll be back. Whether he has a mole in the prison remains to be seen.

  14. The shows I love are: Revolution, Falling Skies, The Neighbors, Continuum, Motive, Agents of SHIELD, Big Bang Theory, Downton Abby, and The Walking Dead.

    I hope you find out what the Health Authority wanted. But then, if you were in dire straights, they wouldn’t leave you hanging. That would just be cruel.

    @Das, I thought you would like Dracula with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. You know, the pasty white dudes that like to suck….stuff?

  15. I think I and my family are a bit out of the main-stream. We only have the recessive version of the zombie gene (we can tolerate an occasional episode like SG1/SGA did, but as for a whole movie or even a zombie TV series, we have to move on to other things). And due to our busy schedules, we only catch a small amount of what is on the air.

    Given all of that, what we are watching at the moment (mostly on DVR):
    Agents of SHIELD (Jeff and David)
    Duck Dynasty (Barb, Jackie, David and occasionally Jeff)
    Last Man Standing (all, a pizza movie night regular)
    Wheeler Dealers (Jackie, David, and Jeff)
    Various car related shows (Jackie wants to be an automotive engineer)
    Once upon a Time (Barb and occasionally Jeff)
    Psych (all)
    Supernatural (Jackie, David, and Jeff; trying to catch up on Netflix)

    The above list looks like a lot, but we rarely if ever catch every episode of a series, even if it is on DVR.

    We also might pick up Almost Human, but beyond the premise, I’ll have to see how the series goes.

    On travel, I’m on my way to Calgary this morning (Vancouver Thursday night). I’m hoping for un eventful travel…

  16. Sometimes the medical facility or doctor’s office or whatever, won’t leave a message due to privacy policy laws (HIPAA in the States)??? I dunno. *shrug*

    As far as TV shows, I’m chuffed about Sherlock and Downton Abbey paired for Sunday nights starting in Jan.! TV heaven.

  17. Hope you find out what the call was about.

    Shows I’m still watching on a regular basis
    The Glades
    The Walking Dead
    Falling Skies
    White Collar
    Say Yes to the Dress
    American Pickers

  18. Loved Akemi’s Stargate cookies!

    Amazing Race is my must-see TV. Only other reality show we watch is Survivor (even after so many seasons, still an interesting study in character motivation/human nature under duress.) Thanks to DVR, we also watch Castle, The Mentalist, Covert Affairs, NCIS, Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, White Collar, Person of Interest, Big Bang Theory and Elementary. Oh, and still trying to catch up on Supernatural and Sanctuary. Disappointed with most new shows this season.

    Hope your back is better, Joe.

  19. I love Coven, Hemlock Grove and Witches of East End. Much as I love Walking Dead I’m not ready to watch just yet. Their plight gets me in the gut, it’s so hard to watch them try to survive. I’m still recovering from last season.

    During an Apocalypse I’ll be heading east to relatives near DC, I figure the big cities will have the resources to survive, plus it’s easier to escape into Canada where people are way nicer and the only danger would be zombified hockey hooligans. Right now my emergency preparedness involves a big candle and lots of Kind bars.

  20. An early phone call is usually bad news. You can’t hide from bad news long, it will catch up to you.

    Das: I hope you feel better today.

    I love those apple mouths Akemi made! Where did she get the idea?

    Fingers crossed on your projects!

    I don’t get pay channels. If it doesn’t come on network or Netflix….

  21. I’m so with you on Hello Ladies. I love Stephen Merchant(and Ricky Gervais) and I “get” their humor, so I knew this would be a good show. Alas, I’ve only seen the first episode because HBO offered it for free on demand(as I don’t have an HBO subscription currently). I rather enjoyed it though.

    Also, I’m sure you’re already aware of it, but their “Ricky Gervais Show” with Karl Pilkington that was on HBO(which was just their original podcasts with Karl, animated) was also fantastic. As well as their Karl Pilkington spin-off on the Science channel and/or NatGeo, I believe, called An Idiot Abroad. Fun show.

    The one show that Ricky did not too long ago that was actually quite brilliant was Extras. The final scene in that series was absolutely fantastic. A bit more of a dramatic role for him, but still funny here and there.

    As for that surprise email about a project announcement….you probably shouldn’t have said anything at all. It would make the surprise, if it gets the green light, that much more tasty. When you’re cryptic, people are going to assume it’s related to either DM or SG. When you don’t say anything and just surprise us with the announcement when things are set, we crap our collective pants. Which outcome is more fun for you? 😉

    You should expect that if Almost Human is any good, it’ll only be on for a year, at best two….it’s on Fox. They cancel all their best shows before they can really get going. Their track record for that is unreal.

    -Mike A.

  22. The Walking Dead is awesome. I almost always catch the Talking Dead, but after enduring a few minutes of Marilyn Manson trying to decide what universe he was in I reluctantly switched to something on the Science Channel.

  23. Early phone call probably just somebody who realized you were THE Joe Mallozzi and they wanted an autograph (on the bill they were also calling about), but were too embarrassed to leave a message.

  24. I’m into Sleepy Hollow and Revolution. I’m hooked on Revolution. lol I also like Marvels Agents of Shield, but hey, i’m a Joss Whedon fan and a Huge Marvel fan so i have to altleast try to get into the groove. I’m also a Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy fan. But thats just me. What can you expect from some one who like Ancient Aliens? lol

  25. I would call back and ask for the office manager and then proceed to tell them the ordeal they have put you through and you would like to see the actual written report of the x-ray to put your mind at ease. On the other hand, maybe they’ve read your blog and saw what you did for the vet’s office and they wanted some of that.

    If I told you everything I am watching, it would horrify you.

    I’m upset with Directv having changed the Bravo channel to a weird number. I didn’t know the Seattle one was on until it was pointless to catch it midway. I kept looking on the website for a premiere date for the new one in New Orleans as my DVR will only let me program shows up to 2 weeks before it airs (at which point it will record them all subsequent seasons unless you get a glitch & it wipes out all the shows you previously programmed. Fortunately Project Runway is on all the time now between the show and the all-stars and that is now on Lifetime. Bravo used to be on 273. Unless it is local TV channels 2-39, I jump right to Spike on 241 and then scroll forward. Bravo is on 237 no2.

  26. My doctors office wouldn’t leave a message asking me to contact them to make an appointment for a flu shot. I assume it’s probably a privacy issue. I was told that technically a doctor and his employee’s aren’t even supposed to let people know you are a client.

    Walking Dead: Is someone spreading the virus? I don’t think so. When the first guy died, they showed him coughing into a full barrel of water in the bathroom. I think a lot of people are getting or got infected by that. Then it spread by itself. As the doc said, it was a perfect conditions for spreading the virus.

    I think the person feeding the rats to the fence zombie was one of the kids who was naming the zombies. Treating the zombie like a pet.

    Shinyhula: The average city has only three days of food in supermarkets and warehouses. Unless it’s an Ent attack, I’d stay away from the cities during any most apocalypses. Unless you like to eat long pig or you bring plenty of food.

  27. @mike from canada, True but I’d have to chose between plentiful food which we have in PA and family on the east coast, so I’d chose family. But I’ve watched enough Charlie Chaplin and Our Gang films to know how to make soup from a rock and and old shoe. If I get there and my siblings are cooking Long Pig then I’ll whip out a fork, I heard it tastes like chicken.

    Between Revolution on all the Walking Dead talk my dreams lately are post apocalyptic.

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