In the fifth episode of the second season of Dead Like Me, this show is REALLY starting to get good Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Dead Like Me.
Oh, we have things to discuss, y’all.
- I think this show (of all the Mark Watches shows) has taken the longest for me to truly begin enjoying it. It’s not as consistent as I’d like it, but these past three episodes have been very satisfying, even if they are flawed in some way. But “Hurry” is incredibly consistent in terms of keeping to the theme, giving us an even characterization across the board, and being entertaining.
- I suppose “Hurry” resonates with me because so much of it reflects on the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. I grew up in suburban sprawl, a relatively small city that tried to act like a big one. We were nearly 70 miles from Los Angeles, and until Metrolink was built, there was no way to get there without a car, so I was stuck in this racist, homophobic, terminally uncool city for a long time. So when I had the chance to move away to a place that was teeming with actual life, I jumped on the opportunity. I remember how blown away I was that first year in Long Beach. Obviously, being a young queer dude in Long Beach did wonders for my sense of freedom. Plus, only four people from my high school went to the same college as me, and I liked them all, so it wasn’t a matter of feeling like I was burdened my past. (Granted, I have complicated feelings about the gay scene in most metropolitan areas, but this is not the point of this.) I enjoy being in smaller towns now when I travel, and I cherish the chance to get away from the high energy and chaos of city life now and again. But I don’t know that I could ever return to a place like Riverside, California. Sure, it wasn’t the tiniest city in California by any means. My neighborhood felt that way, though, so unconnected from everything that made me happy or feel less alone.
- Since then, I’ve gravitated towards huge cities. Long Beach, then Los Angeles for six years, spending the last three years of that in downtown Los Angeles. Then I moved to Oakland in 2010, and I split my time between there and San Francisco with my boyfriend. While I think I’ll stay in the Bay Area as long as it makes sense for me to be here, I wouldn’t be opposed to moving. Still, I’d only want to be in a huge city! Chicago, New York, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, D.C. I love those place. I love traveling there. I love the energy, I love the variety and diversity (in some places, though Portland and Seattle have some egregious gentrification issues I have issues with when I’m visiting those cities), I love the fact that things are going on at one in the morning in those places, I love that I can find virtually any culture’s cuisine to eat, and I love how relentless it all feels.
- And yet, that sort of GO GO GO GO fury takes its toll on you. I know that! I’m still unable to figure out how to slow down, but then I think about how fun and rewarding my chaotic life is and I’m just going to keep this going as long as I can. Still, time becomes an interesting facet of life that must be kept track of. On my tour in March, I spoke often about time management, which is a subject I have never talked about ever. Ever! Sure, I managed my time in high school and college to accommodate schooling and worked, but it wasn’t something I was ever conscious of. But over the course of the last year (especially the last six months), I’ve had to come up with a schedule just to manage my life. I’ve never had to consciously think about time allotments like I do now. It’s how I deal with the sheer size of what I’m doing, to manage it in a way to save my own sanity.
- Watching the efficiency expert go to town at Happy Time got me thinking about how many things I do these days to save time. Hell, even these Double Features exist as an example of time management! Choosing to retire Mark Plays and schedule out bonus commissions paved the way for Double Features to come back, and even the way they’re written allows me to save time. And for what? Why do we choose to be efficient? What are we saving time for?
- (Actually, I can answer that in one specific context: My boyfriend bought Borderlands 2 for the Mac, and it is fucking brilliant and a gorgeous port from a console, and I’m a level 20 sniper/spy, and I have refused to let myself play it until I’m done with all my reviews and commissions. THIS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.)
- The writers explore time and what the value of hurrying is through all of the characters. Obviously, this is perfectly applicable to George’s story. She works with Delores to impress the efficiency expert, unknowingly turning into Rube in the process. It’s funny to watch because OH MY GOD, I have had to use so many “time-saving” techniques in office settings that were all asinine and absurd, and this episode captures that brilliantly.
- I’m not lying. I once worked at a place where the owner walked to the market closest to the office, timed himself in the process of buying lunch and eating it while walking back, and then said we were not allowed to take longer than 33 minutes to eat because that’s how long it took him. Are any of you surprised that he often took two- or three-hour lunches after that while we were all expected to do it in 33 minutes? No, of course not.
- The concept of speed dating is so abhorrent to me that I don’t understand how its still alive. Has anyone ever found love through speed dating? Granted, I’m weird about dating in general, and I have too much social anxiety and too many self esteem issues to handle dating in and of itself, but come on. Two-minute dates? What a terrible idea. Daisy recognizes how absurd this is, but she’s got to find the soul she needs to reap, so she sits through horrible dude after horrible dude in order to do so. (Including the Nice Guy who she beautifully rejects. Such a good scene.) While Daisy knows what she wants, thereby rendering the process moot to her, she comes to meet James Allen, a man who views his own sensitivity as the source of his rejection. The man’s desperation for companionship, however, doesn’t seem suited for someone who prefers to take his time and listen to other people talk. His story is brutally sad, but it’s also another sign of how Daisy has become this force for sympathy and kindness. She’s changed so much since she was first introduced in season one. I’m enamored with her character development!
- I like that Mason’s story focuses on the physical toll that hurrying takes on him, especially since he could have just saved energy by going to the address where Herm would die in the first place. Oh, poor Mason! Though I did laugh when he fell off the bike. I found that I hadn’t forgotten how to ride a bike after years of not riding one, but that didn’t mean I was Tour de France-ready when I finally got back on one. Baby steps, Mason. Baby steps!
- I read Joy and Reggie’s story as one of the fear of time running out. Joy is so desperate to make sure that her daughter lives a fulfilling life that she isn’t thinking about how Reggie feels about all of this. Putting Reggie through band is a way for Joy to feel like she’s fighting against time, that she’s giving her daughter an experience that’s exciting and satisfying. But clearly, Reggie doesn’t want this. Of course, it must be said that Reggie is perhaps the hardest-to-please human being in the history of humanity. I don’t want to ignore that. She drifts from one interest to another in nearly every episode. Still, Joy treats Reggie the way she does specifically because of George’s death.
- Even Roxy gets some time to think about how patience is not her strong suit. The agent she meets at the airport doesn’t resort to anger and violence as she would. Now, I consider myself to be a fairly patient person, but even I couldn’t deal with the rude passenger like the airport guard does. I was successful when I worked in retail and community management, as they both require patience on a saintly level, but there’s a specific type of person I can’t deal with, and that French woman was a perfect manifestation of that: entitled rich people who think their time is more valuable than theirs. So, I’ll be interested to see if Roxy tries to change herself after this experience or if she’ll continue to rely on her anger.
- And then there’s Rube. Honestly, I thought his scenes in the post office served one purpose: to point out how rude people can be just to “save time.” But then he didn’t reap anyone. And he got an envelope that was 80 YEARS OLD. And he was super upset. And he looked like he was going to burst into tears. RUBE IS MY UNEMOTIONAL ROCK, WHY IS HE SO SAD, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.
- Oh my god, I can only guess at this point, but from the letter and the money, I think Rube sent his daughter and his wife money. After he died. AND IT NEVER GOT THERE. Oh my god, my heart. MY HEART.
- I CAN’T. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME.
- I CAN’T.
The video commission for this episode is now archived on MarkDoesStuff.com for just $0.99!
Mark Links Stuff
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
– I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!