Friday, May 28, 2010

The 'Lost' finale and how it gave me permission to let go of 'Happy Hour of the Damned'

You would think that sometime between giving up on the Anita Blake series and accepting that paranormal romance and urban fantasy are not interchangeable, I should have gotten that not all stories are for everyone.  I did get it.  And yet, I've read the same opening paragraphs of Happy Hour of the Damned over and over in my quest to get through the first chapter.  I wanted to like it because Mark Henry's such a likable guy (and what if he's been watching the blogs of everyone who got an e-arc and has been heart broken by my silence?) and the book has fabu potential.

Right.  So my husband and I watched Lost's finale on Sunday night like millions of other people.  I cried.  We enjoyed and discussed.  He Tweeted, I updated my Facebook status.  And we awoke to a world in which, for all of us that ranked it among the top show finales ever, almost equal amounts either just didn't get it, or didn't get everything they wanted and therefore hated it.  Not wanting to follow the episode's theme of letting go, I mistakenly tried to enter into rational conversation with one of the haters.  Bad move.  He didn't want his questions answered, he wanted answers to questions that had never been apart of the show (i.e., the writers suck no matter what).  I turned my need for further discussion to Lost's official FB page where, among the heartfelt goodbyes there were posts of rage, some causing head/desk (not necessarily my own head) desires.

Why didn't the finale answer the question about the polar bear?!  Um, cuz it was answered like, two or three seasons ago.  The writers can't help it if you didn't watch or forgot.

What was with Richard?!  They did a whole episode to explain that.  Hulu is your friend.

What happened to Walt's storyline?!  They cast an 11 year old to play an 8 year old; puberty had the bad grace to occur on schedule.

I'll leave alone any Q&A about the actual episode for anyone who's holding off, and I left alone discussion because...well, we're not all wired to like the same things.  I'm a woman; I don't know why the so-called women's networks offer so little that appeals to me while I can watch Spike for days.  Who knows why some of us watch sports while others hate them, or why one person's favorite band is audio crap to the next person?  I'll never get why anyone would prefer dark chocolate to milk...

And thus, I finally loaded Happy Hour of the Damned into the e-reader I got for Mother's Day, started to force my way through, and found it was OK to let go.  It was still smart and witty, even if I didn't like it, and I could still tell you all that.  Funny thing is, now that I've allowed myself to not like it, I sorta like it.

“Happy Hour of the Damned—is it a comedy? An urban fantasy? A whodunit? Who cares! Mark Henry’s written such a clever and engaging story that fans of any genre will totally adore it. Amanda Feral is the freshest,funniest character to come out of fiction since Bridget Jones,and my only regret is she’s not real and we can’t go out for drinks.(Because,really? Zombies are the new black.) In short?I loved this book!”
—Jen Lancaster,author of Bitter Is the New Black

My problem is that I wouldn't go out for drinks with Amanda.  I might not use a quicky two minute Access Hollywood segment on her as a bathroom break, but I would not be a fan and I was not thrilled about reading her pov like she was a female Perez Hilton and my brain was her blog.

Released from my need to like it, I loved the wit that went into the character and her voice, the "breaks in the 4th wall" that make it like Amanda really is telling you this story, and the fantastic footnotes.  I'm totally going to go liquor shopping one day soon and make myself a Flirtini.  

My taste didn't exactly change; like a brilliantly crafted hors d'oeuvre, the book leaves me hungry for a meal--a setting that I want to live in for a while populated with characters I want to spend time with.  But now I do appreciate the hors d'oeuvre's flavor and can suggest you try it, too, without watching to see what face you make.


Diane Girard said...

I fear that I am one of those people who couldn't watch Lost. Sometimes, it was on the one channel I get, sometimes it wasn't. Then suddenly, the last two episodes were prominently advertised. I didn't watch because I would have been lost, since I hadn't seen many of the episodes.

"Happy Hour of the Damned" sounds, um, semi-interesting, but there are so many books that are more than just semi-interestig that I wouldn't likely read it. It's good that you gave an honest opinion and I applaud you for doing so.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Happy Hour of the Damned, but your post was great! I didn't watch Lost. Everyone I knew who DID watch it was completely puzzled and had no idea what was going on. I'm too much of a control freak to enjoy that! I agree about Spike and the women's channel, though! Give me Spike any day of the week!

Mark said...

Hey you!

It's totally okay not to like a book. And Happy Hour is BARELY urban fantasy. There's virtually no one to root for, I get it. The people that like it buy into the humor by the third chapter (and if I were to rewrite the damn thing, I'd start there). That way there's no beating around the bush, people will know Amanda is THAT kind of zombie. LOL.

Anyway, thanks for giving it a shot!


An Again said...

Mark, you rock for being such a good sport! I'm still checking it since I've learned to appreciate the "less-filling" charm. If you ever write something lighter on humor and heavier on the UF, I'm you're girl.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment on Lost, sorry, never saw a single episode.

Happy Hour, though, with a martini guzzling zombie, that I might have to check out. :)

Angela Addams said...

I should have watched Lost...everyone I know tells me that I would have liked it. I get too stressed out having to commit to a tv series on a weekly basis. What if I can't get home in time to watch it? What if the pvr doesn't record it? So much stress...nope, can't do it!

I'll probably end up borrowing someone's dvds and watching the whole series one summer.

An Again said...

It was a damned good show. Not the best, IMO...But damned good, and one of my favorite finales. I did, way back when, watch the MASH finale. I barely remember it, so it's hard to compare. I put the Lost finale equal to Buffy or just a little lower (depends, I suppose, on whether I'm being touchy about Anya), and higher than Battlestar Galactica by a bit.

Selestial said...

I loved HHotD! Of course, when I read it, I was aching for something different. I have all three of the books now, but I'm waiting to read the others till I'm at the point that I *need* Amanda's brand of humor again.

I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about the Lost finale. There were things I liked and things I didn't. At some point I'll re-watch and decide then :P Still love Sawyer though (I just can't call him Jim Ford. What does that say about me??)