Giving people what they want

Giving people what they want

We all know the people pleaser.  They want to give everyone or someone in particular exactly what they want.  They are agreeable.  They usually don’t have an opinion, at least one they’ll voice openly.  The appear to going with the flow.

People pleasing seems like a good solution.  You want people to like you.  You don’t want to cause any disagreement.  At least at first this seems like a good idea.  Eventually, trying to please everyone gets old, tiring, and not genuine.

Instead you shouldn’t be focused on giving people what they want.  You should be concerned with giving people what they need. They can get what they want from someone else but it takes a truly special person to take the time to understand someone. Then realize what they need to hear, see, or do in their life.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t ever give people what they want.  It’s just you shouldn’t make pleasing the default response in your life. After you’ve shown that you can give someone what they need, then you can give them what they want. Delaying the ‘want’, in this case, makes the act of giving much more enjoyable.

People try to please.  TV shows, and media in general, also try to please.  The majority of them try to give you what you want.  In TV, that typically bland thoughtless comedies or dramas.  Great TV gives you what you need.  They don’t give you what you want every episode. Sometimes there are things you disagree.  There could be things or characters you hate. Only after giving you what you need they can go give you something you want.  It makes the event so much better.  One of the best recent examples of this in TV was last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. For years, Game of Thrones has been killing off characters we love and delaying the killing of characters we despise.  After some episodes your left thinking about why something happened that we didn’t want. Last night, Game of Thrones finally game many of its viewers what they wanted. It’s what makes the show special.

The creators understand that they need to give us what we need before giving us what we want.

Photo source 

Big Weekend

It’s a big weekend, or at least an exciting weekend.  This weekend my wife and I are celebrating our anniversary at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina, a highly recommended Argentinian restaurant, in Pittsburgh.  We’ll be celebrating the past seven years of our life and how much it’s changed.  I can’t believe it’s been seven years.  During the last seven years, I lost one of the most important people in my life, my father, but I also had the amazing opportunity to welcome two of the most important people I’ll ever meet, my kids.

Overall, the last seven years have been the best of my life both personally and professionally.  I imagine we would both change a thing, or two, about the last seven years but the one thing I wouldn’t change is my family.

There are two other events going on this weekend.  The District 13 Toastmasters International Contest will take place Saturday afternoon at the District 13 Toastmasters Spring Conference.  A few weeks ago, I qualified for the contest by coming in second at the Division D contest.  I’ll be competing against seven other contestants for the opportunity to move on to the Toastmasters International Speech Competition that will be held in Washington, DC. I’m ready and excited.  It’s been a great opportunity to continue to refine a speech after presenting it multiple times. As a Toastmaster I’m used to performing a speech one time to complete the speech project in the manual and then I almost never repeat a speech a second time.  This competition process has allowed me to refine my speech by adding and removing different parts or movements.  I feel like I’ve learned a lot about my process and the kinds of techniques I can use to get my point across to an audience.

I’ll be practicing this speech twice today and tomorrow, but Friday I’m making a point to not worry about it and relax.  The important point is to simply have fun with this opportunity.  It’s a presentation I’ve given almost ten times. There is no need to stress myself out.

The last event of the weekend is something fun.  Sunday night is the premier of Season 6 of Game of Thrones.  I’m a big fan of the show. I’ll be spending Sunday night with the new Ommegang Game of Thrones themed beer and watching the premier at 9pm on HBO. If you’re on social media you’ll probably see an update like this, “All quiet in the realm! #GoTSeason6” and then I want be bothered for the next hour.

The weekend can’t come soon enough.

One Sentence Review: Entourage Movie

One Sentence Review: Entourage Movie

One Sentence Review:

The boys from Queens are back in full feature-length movie but it sadly continues down the same scattered path of its last season on HBO.

Extended Review:

In my opinion, the first two or three seasons of Entourage are some of the best TV on HBO. I’m not saying that it’s the best quality with the best acting of any HBO series. All I’m saying is that I enjoy those first few seasons more than almost anything the service has to offer. I watched those seasons more than once. This show is an example of what HBO has been missing for the past few years. Though I think that void is being filled by relatively new series, Ballers.

To put it simply, I’m a big fan of the series. Even though I think the movies follows the same path as the final few seasons, meaning it’s pretty bad, that’s not to say that their are not parts of this movie that I don’t like but the movie as a whole is awful. It’s a scattered mess that had good intentions and sometimes hits them. This movie could have been good and if broken down into its former half hour format the storylines used in the film could have worked. For example, when the movie touches on its core such as the opening sequence it works for me as a fan of the series or when it focuses on the side characters, anyone other than Vince or E’s relationship with Sloan which is something I don’t think anyone understands, such Turtle, Drama, and Ari. Drama and Ari have always been the two characters that have made this show for me. I enjoy watching there ups and downs. n the end, the whole thing felt like a final season of entourage jammed into a full length feature film. They should have cut out all the excess storylines and focused on three things: Vince making this big budget movie (without giving him much screen time), Ari dealing with how to get the picture financed (but cut the billionaire son played my the kid from the sixth sense), and how all of this impacts the rest of the crews life (Does anybody care about E and Sloan’s completely unrealistic relationship?). I’m okay with Vince directing a huge blockbuster movie, E hooking up with a bunch of ridiculously hot women, Turtle becoming ridiculously rich and dating Ronda Rousey (Why not?), Ari dealing with Lloyd’s wedding requests, and Drama stressing over his small role in Vince’s film (I didn’t understand the release the video of Drama on Mr. Skin so far into the movie. Why didn’t the video come out in the beginning of the film or before and then show the impact throughout? This was an example of something that felt like a half episode storyline jammed into the end of the movie.)

Lastly, the end of this film is the highlight for me. If I’d do it again, which I probably won’t, I’d watch the opening and ending act because you aren’t missing much in between.

I can’t believe I just wrote over 500 words on such a bad movie. I must be a fan. Now, I really need to do something more productive with my day.

Consumage: Master of None

Consumage: Master of None

Master of None is my new favorite comedy on Netflix.  I read in the Times that they compared the show to Louie but funnier, and I have to agree.  Aziz Ansari is killing it. He was always one of my favorite characters on Parks and Rec but now he’s the focal point.

He’s dealing with current issues that 20 to 30-year-old people are dealing with in an interesting way.  It’s HBO quality work, and Netflix is killing it. I think this show is another huge win for Netflix and I think it’s the bigger deal then Aziz Ansar breaking out on his first main stream starring role.

Netflix is paving the way for the future of entertainment and the production of content.  They can do all the things HBO does but they aren’t tied to HBO’s quality standard.  If somethings great, awesome, increase subscribers and add it to the catalog.  If it sucks, ok lets move on.  HBO especially since they are still tied to the time slot programming schedule which is about to be extinct.  HBO unleashes usually three new seasons every 12 – 16 weeks.  I’m sure Netflix is on a similar pace but it feels much faster.  There lineup is already getting robust.

From a group that started out with House of Cards and Orange is the new black has exploded over the past year to include Bloodlines (one of my favorite seasons of this year), Kimmie Schmidt, Jane the Virgin, Peaky Blinders, Bojack Horseman, and Narcos.  I know some of these shows aren’t all produced by Netflix. Some are produced by the BBC, like Peaky Blinders, or the main channel in Norway, Lilyhammer, but Amazon owns the rights to distribute them in the USA.

Netflix is also dominating in many places other than America where HBO will want to catch up.

On top of their great adult programming what they’ve managed to hook is into is there always available, easily accessible kids library. This is probably the main thing that keeps us coming back to Netflix. It might be to the point that we can’t live without it. That’s the reason HBO secured Sesame Street. They are trying to develop the kids programming because people like me with children who get there kids hooked on a show are way less likely to cancel if there child wants it.

This is an interesting topic and it’s something i want to continue to write about but I don’t have the time to complete it now.

Till next time.

Consumage: Oberyn Lives!

Consumage: Oberyn Lives!

At least he lives on in the Netflix series, Narcos, as Pedro Pascal, the DEA partner of the main character Sean Murphy.  This week flew by, and I guess it was because it was a four day week.  I took Friday off and I’ve spent the weekend chasing after my kids.  I actually wrote the majority of this post Saturday morning but I never had an opportunity to post it so it means I’ll be posting a few things today to remove the backlog. Here is some of the notable stuff I’ve watched and read during last week.


The Leftovers (HBO)

On Sunday, Lisa and I tuned in for the second season of the Leftovers on HBO. The family has left Mapleton and has moved to a new town in Jarden, TX, which has been renamed to Miracle National Park because they did not have one departure in the town. We’re introduced to a whole new cast of characters and some familiar faces, but there is a lot going on in the first episode that needs to be explained. My wife and I started watching episodes of the first season a few weeks ago because we kept seeing the trailer for the second season before True Detective and it was so interesting we decided we had to try it. It’s now one of our favorite shows and the second season is already off to a great start. I can’t wait for Sunday.

Narcos (Netflix)

My wife and I started this show last week because I read a recommendation by Jason Hirschhorn on his daily email MediaRedef, which is awesome and you need to start reading it now. This might be one of the best shows on Netflix. I’d put it right up there with House of Cards, especially in terms of quality. If nobody would have told me this show was on Netflix, I would have assumed I was watching HBO. This show gets so many things right about a story so many people have wanted to tell. I think we’re only four episodes in and I’m hooked. I can’t tell enough people about this show. The only two cast members I recognized was Luis Guzmán, who plays José Rodríguez Gachathe one of the Columbia cartel bosses who’s been in a ton of films most notably Boogie Nights, and the other is Pedro Pascal, who played Oberyn on Game of Thrones. The two characters that play the main characters, Pablo Escobar and the DEA agent Sean Murphy are perfect. It’s been a pleasant surprise to find another great show on Netflix. Go watch this now.

Deadwood (HBO)

I’ve been watching the first season of Deadwood on HBO on the mornings when my daughter was waking up super early on the weekends. I love it. I think this aired before I got HBO. I’m only about six episodes into the first season but it’s right up my alley. It’s like a series based on Tombstone. I’ll continuing with this one.

Sporting Events

My Pirates lost in the Wild Card game to the Chicago Cubs so I didn’t get a chance to watch any of our typical family TV on Wednesday night because I was watching the poor showing and great pitching by Arrieta. Maybe next year.


Sneaker Wars: Inside the Battle Between Nike and Adidas

Interesting look at the sneaker battle between Nike dominance and Adidas’ fight to out cool them.  I love Nike’s and I guess I’m pretty loyal to brand, at least for my nonrunning sneakers. I did recently buy a new pair of running shoes, a pair of Adidas that I love, but my main casual shoes are currently my Nike Air Jordans because I’m a kid from the 90s. I love my sneakers and I’d choose to wear them everywhere if I could. One of my main goals is to work in an environment where sneakers are the preferred shoe.

Children of the Yuan Percent: Everyone Hates China’s Rich Kids

I don’t feel bad for these spoiled brat rich kids just like I don’t feel bad for the same brand here in the US.  In a country that is supposed to be Communist and everyone should be equal but the reality is that many people are profiting through corruption off the backs of the workers who helped the party gain power.  I wonder how long the people of China continue to let this persist.  I think the record growth of the country has allowed them to mask a lot of issues.  If growth continues to slow, what happens then?  I think it is the most interesting and important issue to watch because it will have major ramifications on all of us.  Similar to the Great Recession.

What I’m looking forward to consuming next week

Episodes of The Leftovers, Narcos, Peaky Blinders, and trying to find the first season of Fargo.  I also want to check out a few podcasts.

Binge: The Leftovers

Since True Detective, don’t even ask, ended a few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to check out, The Leftovers, which aired on HBO almost a year ago and the previews for the new season starting on Oct 5 looked interesting. It was also created by someone who created, Lost, mid-2000s show about survivors of a plane wreck, that my wife and I had a minor obsession.

A little over a week ago, we watched our first episode and we were immediately hooked.  I think we finished the first season in a little over a week and we can’t wait for the new season to start.  I’m not sure why this show doesn’t get more attention because I think it’s the my second favorite show on TV behind Game of Thrones.

The show takes place three years after 140 million people mysteriously disappeared from the world.  It specifically focuses on the small town of Mapleton, NY, a place that lost 100 people.  The best part of the show is not about figuring out what happened but how people are trying to deal with the aftermath.  It’s fascinating and it’s definitely worth your time to check it out if you’re looking for a new show for the start of fall.

Emmys #Draping

Emmys #Draping

Last night, the Emmys’ aired on Fox and for some reason I like watching award shapes or seeing the list of winners. I think it’s because I like seeing who was the best at their art in the past year. I also like to see if there are any good new shows I missed and I need to check out.

Three main things happened at the Emmy’s, one is something that has been happening for years, the second is surprising that it took so long to happen, and the third is something that seemed like it might never happen.

The first thing was that HBO again ran away with the Emmys. It took home seven of the main awards including Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, Peter Dinklage, Best Director, and Best Drama for Game of Thrones, and Best Supporting Actor in Comedy, Tony Hale, Best Actress in a Comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Best Comedy for Veep along with a number of other awards. HBO is the best in the business and it was on display again as it is almost every year. Veep has been the best comedy for the past five years and Tony and Julia have taken home a number of awards but it’s about time the entire show was recognized because it kills it ever season. While Game of Thrones is on the opposite spectrum. You could give this show the award for its size along. It has to be the largest TV production of all time and HBO spares no expense making it. That’s not surprising because it’s the most popular show in HBO history. Peter Dinklage took home the only acting award and while a number of other characters are deserving, this is Dinklage’s show. In a show without a real lead actor or actress, Dinklage steals the show in almost every scene he’s in. He’s makes this show so hopefully Martin doesn’t kill him off next season.

The second thing that happened last night was that a black actress final won the Best Actress Award in a Drama. I think Viola Davis’ acceptance speech basically sums up the moment better than I ever could.

In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.

That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.

You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.

And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union: Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy. Thank you.

– Viola Davis

Finally the last thing to happen at the Emmys.

“This is impossible,” was the first line Jon Hamm uttered after crawling up on stage to accept his first Emmy after 16 nominations. Mad Men is a special show for me and I’ve written about it in the past. This past season was an end of an era. It was a show my wife and I watched together from before we were married. It’s also a show that changed television, at least it changed non-premium channel television. Before Mad Men, you didn’t see shows like it on regular cable TV. It paved the way for Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and Better Call Saul. It’s first four seasons won the Emmy for Best Drama. I don’t know how Jon Hamm didn’t win Best Actor in any of those four season but like he said it’s not like the gave the award to some bum. Don Draper, or Dick Whitman, is one of the most interesting and flawed characters to grace television, and only Jon Hamm could bring him to life. I don’t think the final season was the shows best, I did think the finale was perfect, but Jon Hamm brought the whole flawed story home. I know these awards are supposed to be judged on the episode submitted to the academy but this felt like an achievement award for not only Jon Hamm but for all the incredible actors on Mad Men. This character and this show will be missed.