What if after years of stalking someone
(albeit only in your head)
They started to respond in a most unusual way?

Well, no stalking ever actually happened. I like to pretend that I stalk people for the sake of entertainment. The word "stalking," despite the negative connotations, is simply easier to say than "feeling a strong connection to someone's life or work that causes me to follow their career or their life closely because something about them fascinates me somehow." Know what I mean, Earl?

That said, I have been stalking Holly Hunter for some time. It more or less began during the period of the mid to late 1990s when I was in an information seeking mode, looking for books and films that in some way addressed the whole "what happens to dead people" question. There was something about her role in the movie Always that sucked me in. After all, her character in that movie remains romantically and emotionally attached to a dead guy beyond the limits of all reason, and that has a certain appeal to me.

Since then I've kind of seen Holly Hunter as a person who could understand the convoluted and confusing story that is my life since my suicide in 1994. That story involves reaching the point of total self-destruction, coming back from it, talking to an angel, getting bizarre messages in dreams that seem more like a second waking world than what are normally considered dreams, all while remaining right on the edge of sanity and ruin.

So, given that, how come Holly Hunter is now starring in a show that has these same elements of my life story as the show's plot? When they brought her the script and she fell for it hardcore, did I have something to do with that?

Probably not, but if you're reading this, Holly, I'm going to take it as a compliment anyway.

Saving Grace, airing on TNT Monday nights at 10:00 pm (check local listings) is the story of a woman dancing on the edge of ongoing self-destruction, talking to an angel, getting bizarre messages in dreams that come to her as if she is quite awake... and well, she's a woman, she's a cop and she hit bottom as a result of hitting a pedestrian while driving drunk, but otherwise this seems like a companion piece to...

Do I like this show?

I haven't really decided. After watching two episodes and missing the pilot and the second episode I enjoy certain elements while finding other elements hokey and annoying to some degree. Her angel, Earl, comes across too over the top and obnoxious for me, and while this may be geared towards being a reflection of Grace Hanadarko, Holly Hunter's character, he's constantly talking about other people he's dealing with as a kind of running gag he's trapped in. My personal experience with angels kind of puts me off the Earl character, as even though my angel sometimes tends towards an edgy and obnoxious sense of humor, she finds this fellow's behavior to be pretentious and annoying.

And from what I've seen this seem to be another cop show where the supporting roles are filled with cop stereotypes, with the exception of Laura San Giacomo, who sort of seems like she's drifting in and out of the show from a non-existent program called CSI: Oklahoma City, being as that is the city where the show takes place. If you watch the show you'll get what I mean, but it rather works.

Aside from my issues with Earl the Angel, I find it interesting that he is also "assigned" to a certain death row inmate, Leon Cooley, who he's pushing Grace to work together with for some undefined reason, which, in my personal experience, is definitely angel behavior. This element is interesting for the tension it creates, Grace the cop who barely obeys the law herself, has a deep hatred for criminals of all kinds and is being asked to work with a murderer on death row. As Earl is regarded as a "last chance angel," the way this equates the two of them makes an interesting point. "Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners..."

I do like that it takes an unconventional look at issues of spirituality and religion and doesn't seem to try to cater to any specific point of view. The idea of a "lost soul" finding herself and deciphering faith on a deeply personal level without submitting to an already packaged deal has a great deal of appeal to me.

So, my jury is still out on all of this, but I'll have to check in again next Monday night as the preview seems to be alluding to Grace being... ehem, dead.

My lawyers are chomping at the bit...

Seriously though, Holly, call me...
The whole coffee thing is still open.