Tag Archives: tv

Surfer Doctor: The Complete First Season

An entertaining, boozy afternoon conversation at St. Pete’s excellent new Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe turned into a couple of well-received Facebook posts, which turned into this here non-viral internet non-phenomenon. Enjoy.

S01E01: “Wave, Goodbye”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor falls in love with the patient dying of the undiagnosable disease and saves her but the near-death experience makes her want to get back with her ex-husband and so Surfer Doctor runs his fingers through his long salt-and-pepper hair and goes surfing, pensive and alone

S01E02: “Blowhole In One”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: When a hurricane cuts the power at Bayside Memorial Surfer Doctor treats the patients using techniques he learned studying shamanism deep in the Ecuadorian rain forest and just when the hospital administration is going to fire him for being a fraud Surfer Doctor saves a dolphin that a rogue wave sweeps into the emergency room by talking it back into the ocean

S01E03: “Brother, Can You Spare A Pancreas”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor flies with a dying boy to Hawaii to harvest his organs and helps the boy make peace with his impending journey from one harmonic energy state to the next but the plane crashes into the side of an active volcano so Surfer Doctor makes a boat from the fuselage and rides the lava flow to the hospital where he uses the boy’s organs to save a cancer patient’s life and teaches her the ancient Mesopotamian dance of acceptance and gratitude and also gets her to quit smoking

S01E04: “The Traveling Scalesman”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor’s estranged snake handling devout Pentecostal preacher brings his tent revival to town and Surfer Doctor’s coworkers convince Surfer Doctor to reconnect with the only person in the universe with whom he is not in perfect vibrational synchronicity so Surfer Doctor goes to see Snake Preacher but the stress of their interaction causes a rattlesnake to bite Snake Preacher and Surfer Doctor must save him by sucking out the venom and whipping up an antivenin using the poison and some indigenous subtropical plants and herbs but Snake Preacher blames the bite on Surfer Doctor’s sinful pagan ways and satanic communion with the lower beasts and leaves town angry so Surfer Doctor does some paddle board yoga at sunset and meditates on it while weaving peace flowers into his noble gray cornrows of remorse

S01E05: “The Thin Man Who Was Also Surfer Doctor”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: A group of criminals takes the free clinic hostage so they can tunnel through the basement to the sewer to rob the jewelry store down the street and Surfer Doctor tells him he’ll do the heist for them if they promise not to hurt anyone and he pulls it off but the detective recognizes Surfer Doctor’s flawless heist style from an unsolved crime from decades earlier but when he finds out Surfer Doctor used that money to build a water purification plant in Malawi he tells Surfer Doctor that he won’t bust Surfer Doctor if Surfer Doctor identifies the criminals and they become fast friends but one of the criminals shoots the detective during the arrest so Surfer Doctor adopts the detective’s rebellious teenage daughter and begins teaching her to tame her restless spirit through the power of guess what

S01E06: “Owl Be There For You”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor’s lesbian coworker asks him to pose as her boyfriend for dinner with her conservative parents and he agrees but when he arrives Surfer Doctor knows he can’t question the choices of the universe and takes her aside and talks her into coming out so she does and her father leaves the restaurant in anger and is attacked in the parking lot by a great horned owl that slices his carotid artery but Surfer Doctor saves him with a transfusion of his daughter’s blood and her sacrifice chases away the shadows of her father’s intolerance with the illumination of understanding and when he gets out of the hospital Surfer Doctor makes them all a delicious raw uni salad on the beach

S01E07: “The One That’s An Allegory About Anti-Vaxxers Being Morons”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: A father refuses to let Surfer Doctor administer a very simple and traditional life-saving treatment to his son on the grounds that their obscure religion headquartered in an old strip mall believes a cosmic octopus made of weather who lives in the clouds decides when it’s every human’s time to leave this plane so Surfer Doctor deprograms them with a guided ayahuasca trip during which the boy’s deceased mother visits to renew the father’s sense of paternal responsibility by asking if he became a spineless gullible weirdo after she died or if it was always just sort of percolating in there somewhere

S01E08: “Pork And Beings”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: When a butcher is brought into the Bayside Memorial ER after being beaten up by a militant vegan hardcore band Surfer Doctor patches him up and brings a live pig into the butcher’s room and tells him he has to live with the pig until he’s better and the butcher begins talking to the pig and ends up apologizing to his new best friend the pig for not understanding the innate and inviolate majesty of all sentient creatures so when he’s being discharged three days later after Surfer Doctor has left early to catch the big moon tide the butcher asks the resident discharging him if he can take the pig home with him and the resident says what pig and miles away astride his board waiting for the perfect swell Surfer Doctor smiles and makes the Sumerian hand gesture of thanks to the big moon for all that is blessed and right

S01E09: “Diamond In The Rough (Day)”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor becomes the butt of jokes throughout the hospital when a co-worker reads a confirmation for the purchase of Neil Diamond tickets on Surfer Doctor’s phone and Surfer Doctor admits to a lifelong obsession with the singer-songwriter’s catalog but Surfer Doctor’s plans to see him are derailed when a patient who overhears a terminal diagnosis and mistakenly thinks it’s hers climbs out on the seventh-floor ledge so Surfer Doctor spends the evening trying to talk her down and it seems he’ll be unsuccessful when Neil Diamond himself shows up to lend a hand thanks to a fraternity connection with a proctologist and Neil Diamond and Surfer Doctor convince the patient she isn’t going to die horribly and the three of them go whale watching

S01E10: “Coal’ed Shoulder”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor treats a man with a life-threatening condition and the man’s insurance refuses to cover the procedure so the man gives Surfer Doctor an enigmatic map that shows the location of an ancient fortune and the man’s wife teams up with Surfer Doctor to solve the riddles and they end up deep in a coal mine in darkest West Virginia and unemployed miners come out of the woodwork with pickaxes and the wife thinks it’s the end but the miners are like oh hey Surfer Doctor thanks for helping get our busted town on solar electricity but that emerald’s in a museum now so the miners do a kickstarter to pay the guy’s medical bills

S01E11: “A Man Without A Past Who Might Also Be More Than A Man Maybe We’ll See”

Tonight on the season finale of Surfer Doctor: While trying to put together a biographical slideshow to honor Surfer Doctor at an upcoming fundraiser for a local children’s charity a member of Surfer Doctor’s staff can find no evidence that the Costa Rican medical school where Surfer Doctor’s paperwork says he earned his degree ever existed and this leads to even more holes in Surfer Doctor’s history like the fact that he doesn’t have a birth certificate so a group of his biggest supporters at Bayside Memorial embarks on a journey to Central America to find out who Surfer Doctor really is as Surfer Doctor has his privileges at the hospital suspended so he leaves to help poverty-stricken kids in third world countries and also go on a global surf tour and on his way out of the building he heals a woman in the ER with a broken leg just by looking at her and conjuring the fire-spirit of the jaguar

I went on TV to talk about Creative Loafing’s “Meet the Brewers” (VIDEO)

I am not good on TV.

It’s weird. I’ve played music in front of thousands of people (not a lot; mostly I’ve played music in front of, like, two dozens of people), and not been too nervous. I’ve done readings. I’ve interviewed a few people whose mere presence has probably caused some of their fans to pass out. I’ve sat on panels. But TV, particularly LIVE TV, always freaks me out.

I’ve been in a few news segments over the years, usually pimping local music or talking about tech in front of an audience that probably finds instant messaging an alien and terrifying concept. And it tends to make me anxious, to some degree or other. The last time I was on Tampa Bay’s WTSP morning show Studio 10 — which I visited again last Thursday to pimp Creative Loafing’s “Meet the Brewers” cover story — was probably four or five years ago, and I think I gave better TV, because I was calmer; I was also, honestly, significantly hungover that time, and more preoccupied with being conscious in general than being on TV specifically.

In any case, click through to witness my stammering, panic attack-y appearance on morning TV. The crew and hosts were very nice. (Rebecca was embarrassed that I didn’t have time for a haircut beforehand.)

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On the Subject of Hulu

Just put my Hulu Plus account on hold after six months or so. I was going to cancel outright, but their repeated suggestions that I give myself some time to think about it exhausted me into submission. I will probably cancel anyway, simply because the service doesn’t cater specifically enough to my viewing tastes to justify keeping it–even at a measly $7.99 per month.

It’s not the expense; I certainly don’t think $7.99 is an outrageous cost to watch what I want, when I want. The problem is actually twofold: I don’t watch a lot of TV to begin with, and Hulu Plus doesn’t have what I want to see. It was nice to catch up on Community and Parks & Recreation, but once caught up, the DVR does fine for catching the new episodes I miss. It was also nice to gorge on The X-Files and Lost and Battlestar Galactica, but Netflix offers all those back series, as well as movies. (Not enough new movies, of course, but that’s a rant for another occasion.) No new-new eps of Fringe. No Justified. No full eps of Top Chef. No Primeval. Not even any Friends!

The problem is, networks have not yet accepted the inevitable. They refuse to go all in on a la carte TV viewing until they figure out a way to monetize it as lucratively as before, even though there’s just no way that’s going to happen. And I’m not going all in until I can cut the cable and be assured I can watch what I want without having to torrent tons of stuff. (I have mixed feelings on torrenting, but again, that’s for some other time.)

I’m willing to pay for comprehensive on-demand service, and I think a lot of other people are, too. You make it easy, you put it all in one place, you keep it priced reasonably, and it’ll happen. How much longer that remains an option for entertainment providers, however, is uncertain. Once whatever remaining stigma surrounding “piracy” erodes, it may be too late for them to make any money at all.

Year-End Dump: On the Subject of TV

 TV? What the hell is TV? You mean that thing that plays in the background while I eat and work?

Justified isn’t back yet, and Dexter kind of blew this season, so there’s not much to report. Archer is great, Top Chef is the only reality competition worth watching, American Horror Story was the sort of train wreck from which one couldn’t avert one’s eyes. That’s about it, really. It’s kind of weird to be American and realize that you only tied your hopes and dreams to a couple of series this time around. I honestly haven’t been fully invested in a series since Lost, and that’s probably why I won’t give my heart fully to another series ever again.