Tag Archives: scott harrell

Surfer Doctor: The Complete Second Season

surfer doctor season 2

My breathless recaps of the second season of Surfer Doctor, an amazing show which doesn’t exist, arrived in September 2017. The larger budget and exotic locations led to the series not being renewed by its network, but who knows what the future holds? For now, enjoy.

S02E01: “Bugging the Tourists”

Tonight on the Season 2 premiere of Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor’s coworkers return from their search and tell everyone at Bayside Memorial that they didn’t find any trace of Surfer Doctor but later after two of them have tension-driven sex in a basket of clean scrubs one says he wants to tell the truth and the other says they made a secret pact in Peru then a bunch of tourists from a booze cruise are brought in dying of some unknown poison and just as they’re about to expire Surfer Doctor bursts into the ward lean and sun bronzed with a molcajete of muddled beetle innards which he swabs around the nostrils of each victim as he explains that they’ve fallen prey to a rare Caribbean centipede that likes to stow away in crates of cut-rate mangos and his coworkers welcome him back and suggest they celebrate by surfing but Surfer Doctor just gazes wistfully in the general direction of the ocean and says he doesn’t do that anymore

S02E02: “Doctor Don’t Surf”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor refuses to pull the plug on a comatose patient whose living will demands it and his coworkers are shocked at this apparent denial of the patient’s desire to organically transition between states of harmonic vibration so Surfer Doctor invites them over to his eclectically decorated yet indescribably calming beach shack during the eclipse and gives away one of his surfboards to each of them but this ritual causes an uproar and one female resident refuses and suggests he give it to the rebellious teenager he basically adopted after her cop father died in Season One so Surfer Doctor says the rebellious teenager is making a Marvel Comics Universe blockbuster now so let’s just say she’s away at college and the arguments intensify but then several pagers go off because some medical professionals still have those and it turns out the patient has emerged from his coma a shamanic prophet and Surfer Doctor just smiles benignly at Surfboard Refusing Intern because he’d never say I told you so

S02E03: “The Industry Gets Forked”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor is invited to be guest of honor at a banquet for pharmaceutical reps and he wants to decline because the industry is a profit-driven murdercamp but the board at Bayside Memorial forces him to do it in exchange for reinstating his privileges so he goes and stands at the podium and tells the whole room there’s no illness that can’t be cured with jackfruit and himalayan tree sap and the nurtured synchronicity of benevolent universal energies and one rep laughs so hard he has an aneurysm and Surfer Doctor saves him by trepanning him with a shrimp fork and applying some of the thin and oily crab bisque and after his coworkers congratulate him one hangs back and confronts him as he walks to his bicycle and says I know your secret

S0204: “The Long Con”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: An ancient catacomb is discovered under the city and Surfer Doctor joins the exploration team but two of the prison inmates on the digging crew fight and cause a mudslide that kills one of them and traps Surfer Doctor with the other and the inmate tells Surfer Doctor how sorry he is he’ll die before apologizing for hitting a little girl while driving drunk and putting her in a wheelchair then he passes out from lack of oxygen but Surfer Doctor notices a trickle of water from an underground reservoir and pulls on some load-bearing roots to open a torrent that clears the exit and sweeps Surfer Doctor and the inmate to safety so Surfer Doctor takes the inmate to apologize to the parents of the girl and they forgive him and the inmate tells Surfer Doctor that while he was unconscious he had a vision that Surfer Doctor will soon face a test that will determine whether he ever surfs again

S02E05: “A Bitter Pill”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Tension mounts among Surfer Doctor’s coworkers as Secret Knowing Resident begins sleeping with Surfboard Refusing Intern’s ex Pill Stealing Custodian and no one can go to Surfer Doctor for guidance because Surfer Doctor is in vibrational disharmony and Pill Stealing Custodian begins to go through withdrawal at work so one of them lets him into the pharmacy to take the edge off but he gets caught stealing pills and is arrested and some hospital board members tell Surfer Doctor he must choose which coworker will take the fall and Secret Knowing Resident volunteers to leave saying it will solve all of Surfer Doctor’s problems but the universe whispers truth to Surfer Doctor so he tearfully dismisses Surfboard Refusing Intern and she smiles and says you’re not so out of sync after all and leaves and Surfer Doctor goes to his shack for a meditative search for clarity and there’s a note stuck to the surfboard that Surfboard Refusing Intern refused in her handwriting saying this will always be who you are

S02E06: “Catching a Bite”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Morning finds Surfer Doctor sitting on his board and riding the swells yet despite the perfect tide and the ancient vine of rebirth braided into his ponytail he remains unsure of his karmic stability so he walks memory’s path back to his training in the jungle when the faceless ones spoke to him from the shadows and guided him to earn their knowledge and finds solace in the innocence of discovery until he’s jarred back to this plane by the sounds of another surfer being attacked by a shark so he catches a wave over and dives off his board and conjures an unpleasant biomagnetic vibration to harmlessly drive the shark away then packs the surfer’s wounds with chewed sea grasses and conch-slime and as he drags the surfer to the shore the surfer thanks him but it’s Surfer Doctor who feels the true joy and terrible burden of gratitude

S02E07: “You Don’t Know Jack”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: While driving his biofuel-run VW camper back from riding the Big Moon Tide Surfer Doctor comes upon a tour bus on its side and sets Jack Johnson’s broken leg and splints it with a guitar neck and surfboard leash and Jack Johnson asks Surfer Doctor to travel the world with him as his concierge physician and tells him he’ll pay him enough money to set up clinics all over the world so Surfer Doctor has to think about it but when they get to the hospital a bunch of teenagers have poisoned themselves ingesting belladonna recreationally so Surfer Doctor creates an antidote from willow sap and palmetto bug carapace and Jack Johnson rescinds his offer saying the hospital needs Surfer Doctor more than he does but he promises to take the whole crew to Portugal to ride los supertubos as soon as he’s back on his feet

S02E08: “What’s Up, Doc?”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Things seem OK between Surfer Doctor and Secret Knowing Resident but then Secret Knowing Resident tells him she actually prefers the TV miniseries version of The Shining so Surfer Doctor declines to join her environmental activist group in liberating some rabbits from a makeup factory then Surfer Doctor hears on the hospital security guard’s police scanner that the group has been arrested so he goes to bail her out and learns she never made it to the factory and he heads to her apartment but she’s not there and the door is open so he calls her again and hears her phone ring inside and Surfer Doctor goes in and finds her phone on the floor and her lockscreen picture is a photo of an ancient cave painting that looks a lot like a younger version of Surfer Doctor with his face raised to the sky bathed in silver light emanating from the heavens

S02E09: “Alpacalypse Now, Part One”

Tonight on Part 1 of the Surfer Doctor season finale: Surfer Doctor goes to Bayside Memorial to tell his team about Secret Knowing Resident’s abduction but there’s been a terrible turkey fryer explosion at a Thanksgiving family reunion and he’s torn but Surfer Doctor pitches in until the worst is over then tells the team to meet him at his shack and on the way across the hospital parking lot a homeless man stops and tells Surfer Doctor they have her and they want the eye of the alpaca returned so when his team gets to the shack Surfer Doctor has packed a bag and tells them to do the same and when they ask where they’re going he reaches into an ancient urn by his desk and pulls out an opal the size of a chihuahua’s head and says the Andes

S02E10: “Alpacalypse Now, Part Two”

Tonight on Part 2 of the Surfer Doctor season finale: Surfer Doctor and his coworkers fly to Peru and take a small charter plane into the Andes and the pilot is blinded when a ray of sunlight glints off the eye of the alpaca in Surfer Doctor’s shoulder bag and crashes but Surfer Doctor has time to fashion parachutes from seat covers and unsold promotional T-shirts from the 2016 Olympics in Rio and they drift down right in front of the sacred waterfall of illusion and charge through into the cavern of becoming and the faceless ones are there surrounding Secret Knowing Resident as she lies on a stone altar before a cave painting of an alpaca with a conspicuously large recess in its head and the faceless ones sing into Surfer Doctor’s heart and mind that it’s time and a coworker says look and the younger version of Surfer Doctor in the cave painting has changed into Secret Knowing Resident and Surfer Doctor places the eye of the alpaca into its recess and the harmonies of the universe reach a fever pitch as silver light glows from the opal and showers Secret Knowing Resident and suddenly it’s over and the faceless ones are gone and Surfer Doctor and Secret Knowing Resident share a look and everybody else is like what what and Secret Knowing Resident asks Surfer Doctor if he can still do anything and Surfer Doctor says there’s one thing I can still do and he takes his lab coat from his bag and puts it around her shoulders as they make their way down the mountain to the coast to go you know

Movie review: An unnecessary sequel comes full circle in Rings

rings movie review

Back in 2002, The Ring heralded the mainstream Asian horror crossover trend, and earned creepy-flick immortality on the strength of its unique (to American audiences) story, complex characters well-played by talented actors, and disturbingly moody visual style, courtesy of director Gore Verbinski. A lackluster sequel followed in ’05, and after that, most assumed that malevolent, visually glitchy spirit Samara’s haunted videotape had gone the way of, well, videotape.

But this is the horror genre, where you’re never truly out of ideas, because digging up something that had some box-office success a while back and rebooting or serializing it is considered “an idea.” And so, more than a decade later, we’re offered a third look into Samara’s backstory — one that manages to exemplify pretty much everything that’s wrong with this kind of filmmaking.

The film opens with a brief plane-crash scene so hacky and unbelievable, you’re actually surprised when it doesn’t turn out to be a movie-within-a-movie playing on a screen somewhere within Rings‘ real opening scene. The wholly unnecessary vignette not only places two strangers who’ve both happened to see the same lost and urban-legendary videotape within a seat of one another on the same flight, but also features some massive collateral damage that runs completely counter to one of the franchise’s central conceits: beyond those who knew Samara while she was alive, only people who watch the video are in mortal danger.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

LAWBI #76: How to Explain the Cloud to Your Parents

The cloud. It’s the future of personal computing!

Actually, it’s been the present of personal computing for, oh, about six years now. Which means it’s time for one of the concept’s biggest service providers, Dropbox, to follow in Twitter’s footsteps and make tech headlines of its own by dint of an astonishingly high valuation and impending IPO bid.

That cloud computing has now been around long enough for early adopters to tire of the term also means your parents just heard about it.

Just in time for them to have mastered email, and started looking for the next computer thingy by which to be terrified. Just in time for them to want to know if “the cloud” has something to do with why their new smartphones are clogged with photos, or maybe how the FaceSpace works.

Just in time for the holiday visit.

Here’s a handy guide to help you through the inevitable conversation.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Aaaaaand We’re Back


Hope you enjoyed your time of thanks, and are now all loaded up on thanks, and ready to return to the cesspool of selfishness and entitlement that is Life In The Modern Era.

I’m Scott Harrell. This is where I purge.

I write a biweekly (actually, that’s not the correct word, but it’s the one everyone uses, so … ) column for the Tampa Bay edition of enduring alt-weekly newspaper brand Creative Loafing called Life As We Blow It. I also contribute A&E coverage to CL.

I’m a contributor to Pinellas County arts website ARTICULATE.

I’ve published several bits of horror and darkly speculative fiction under the pseudonym Ravis Harnell, including the novella Ghostwriter.

Working on a Florida crime story.

I sometimes talk to groups of people who are still naive enough to believe they want a career in journalism, and tell them it’s ridiculous to want a career in journalism at this time. They generally then ask me why I write so much about drinking. If you would like this to happen in your classroom or meeting venue, you can contact me at thedirtytrickscampaign (at) gmail (dot) com.

My plate is pretty full of freelance / copywriting / media stuff right this second, but if you’re looking for someone to do some short-burst work–a bio for your band that isn’t the same ol’ boring profile, for instance–you can also contact me at the address above.

I’ll be catching the blog up on stuff for the rest of the week, so thanks for dropping by, I hope you visit often.

Why, Hello There

Yeah, so, while I’m completely buried under work, most of it not the kind I want to be doing, but rather the kind I must do in order to have a place in which to do the kind I want to do when I’m done doing the kind I would rather not be doing:

Hi. I’m Scott Harrell.

I write a pretty-much-every-other-week column for the Tampa Bay edition of alt-weekly Creative Loafing called Life As We Blow It. I also write occasional music and other pop-cultural criticism for the venerable CL.

I cover some local music goings-on for attention-worthy Pinellas County A&E site/blog ARTICULATE. ARTICULATE is a fairly new thing, and art fans from Tampa Bay and beyond should check it out.

I self-published several short works of horror fiction, and a longer novella titled Ghostwriter, under the pseudonym Ravis Harnell. They’re all available here at excellent indie e-book publisher/community Smashwords. Many of them are free.

There are several other fiction-y things currently in the works. I haven’t abandoned my previously mentioned Florida crime novel; it just sort of fell into a queue that grew to include several other projects.

Twitter: @harrellscott 

Tumblr: The Lamprey

Facebook: NEIN


More worthwhile bloggage soon, I promise.