Friday, November 30, 2007

Writer's Strike Update

Sadly, it looks as if negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP have stalled. More information can be found at Deadline Hollywood Daily, a blog that has been lauded for providing up-to-date insider information on the strike. Long story short, the execs offered a purportedly new proposal to the writers, who felt that is was nothing but (if you'll pardon the colloquialism) the same shit in a different pile. On the bright side, talks are scheduled to resume on that most auspicious of occasions, my birthday! So maybe there's hope, yet.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We'll always have "Sway"

We here at TV Sluts would like to apologize for the unconscionable lack of a Secret TV Boyfriend of the Week over the Thanksgiving holiday. But we figured you were, you know, too busy giving thanks for your own Secret TV Boyfriends to spare much time for ours.

Happily, that gap has now been filled. Behold, people, the Supreme Secret TV Boyfriend
of This or Any Other Week, Because He Is Just That Awesome:

JASON DOHRING.

Like it's any surprise. I first made the acquaintance of Mr. Dohring via one Logan Echolls, the scene-stealing, chemistry-generating, heart-pounding anti-social rich boy gone bad who stole our girl V's heart on the late, great Veronica Mars. It's a testament to my boy's mad acting skills that when I first met Logan, I hated him instinctively. But by the end of the first season, I was regularly slap-fighting Maggie Cats over who got to call him hers. (I won, btw. Gave up my dibs on Dean Winchester. Worth every penny!) He transformed what could have been a throwaway character -- or at least one undeserving of any sympathy or loyalty -- into one of the most charismatic and complex characters on television. (Plus: the biceps.)

When Veronica got the axe, I feared for my televisual lack of JD. And by "feared," I mean "cried like a little bitch and considered launching a postcard campaign." But, as luck and CBS would have it, he got hired to play Josef Konstantin, the 400-year-old BFF of vampire do-gooder Mick St. John on vampire do-gooder P.I. drama Moonlight. (No, not Moonlighting. Although that would've been a trip, no?) Although the show is, so far, less appointment TV and more, how you say, awesomely bad, JD is brooding and glaring his way into single-handedly dragging the show into the realm of just plain awesome.

Seriously. Check out my boy in a velvet blazer. How many dudes can rock this look? (Other than my actual boy Joe, who deserves a shoutout for both rocking the velvet blazer in the real world and patiently allowing me to use his computer as I compose my mash note to a television personality.) As Josef, JD has got the full-on brooding vamp bit down. And, I am not shitting you, he has chemistry with everyone sharing the scene. Mick, Beth, Morgaline, the doorknob... sparks fly. Every single time.

The character of Josef hasn't had much in the way of character development so far, although JD has managed, with a couple well-placed hand gestures and eyebrow raises, to suggest much more than what we've seen to date. I'm hoping that as the season progresses, we'll learn a little more about where Josef came from and why he and Mick are so drawn to each other. (Pencils down, slashers.) Moonlight hasn't gotten a full-season pickup yet, though, and Lord knows what the writers' strike will do for its chances, but I am praying mighty hard that we get to keep it around for a nice long while. I mean, Jason Dohring as a vampire. What in the world could be any hotter?

Spoilers ahead!

At least, that depends on your definition of spoiler. I know some people want to remain absolutely pure (snort), but I don't consider casting news spoilers. So brace yourself for some AWESOME Doctor Who news.



Ready?






Are you sure?






Last chance to turn back!





Billie Piper returns! SQUEE!

Oh, my god, the angst will be overwhelming.

This started out as me just posting some links...

Some shows, however short-lived they may be, stick with us forever. They become part of our cultural subconscious, continuing to influence how we react and interact with the world long after they have left the airwaves. Some people out there just don't get this. They think of the "boob tube" as something that rots kids brains and turns adults into slack-faced morons. I'm not saying all television has great artistic merit (VH1, I'm looking at you), but if done right, a television show can impact the way you think and the way you live your life as well as any great work of literature.

Who can say what is it that makes us connect with certain shows? It's difficult to come up with any hard and fast rules, after all, people are themselves varied so it makes sense that each person finds something different in each show and each genre to draw them in. But I think it can be safely stated that science fiction and fantasy often produce (or even the more broad title, "cult" shows) more rabid fans because people long to escape. These types of shows take you to new worlds, new places, let your imagination run free blah blah insert cliche here. But, still, it's true. Star Trek may have been the first. But for me, it was Firefly.

Now, let's get one thing straight. I heart Joss Whedon. I belong to a meetup group where we get together once a month and geek out. I'll attend special fan events and other similar stuff. But I don't dress up, or pretend that I actually live in the Firefly universe, or create elaborate shrines to Firefly in my house. If that's your bag, awesome, bully for you. But I do draw a line. I prefer to keep my geekdom internal. Or at least, vaguely hidden beneath a surface of normality.

What's my point? Actually, I'm not sure. All I know is, when reading this essay by Nathan Fillion, (excerpted from Jane Espenson's new book, "Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe") it made me emotional. Which then made me feel partly embarrassed for getting emotional over something like this (just a tv show, right?), but also so privileged that everyone involved with Firefly worked so hard to make this show for people like me, a fan. I'll let Nathan put it into words:

It was only a short time, but Firefly changed me. It changed my whole life. Rotten it’s over? Sure. Regrets? No. No way. What happened, happened. Anything bitter made everything else all the sweeter. I fought the good fight. I was a part of something that resonated with people, and still does.


And here's a bonus interview with Jane Espenson. Enjoy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do Not Want

Finding the perfect gift for someone for the holidays can be difficult. But if you are trying to figure out what to get me, this is NOT a good idea.

I find it hard to believe that so many people loooooooove the music on the Weather Channel that they are willing to plop down $14 for a CD of the best of the WC's "smooth jazz." But check out the product description:

"A great gift for The Weather Channel's fans who enjoy the smooth jazz sounds played during Local on the 8's. The twelve song collection features the channel's most requested music by well-know artists..."

So this is a great gift for those Weather Channel "fans." Whomever they may be. But not me. Got it?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Strike Watch, Episode III

For Thanksgiving, Netflix sent me the first disc of Dexter. So I brought it home with me and watched it with my mother and father. If you don't know my parents, they are an adorable Indian couple who can't quite understand their daughter's obsession with television. Here's their take on Showtime's morbid fascination with a psychopath-cum-forensics pathologist.

Dad: Unnerving. Somebody who could be so messed up ...
Mom: Real world, there are people like him, messed up. Serial killer.
Dad: Like, what's his name? He used to eat them.
Me: Jeffery Dahmer?
Mom: Domert?
Dad: Dom-mer! Dom-mer! He used to cook people and eat them.
Me: I'm not sure he cooked them.
Mom: How did he eat them? Raw?

The conversation degenerated from there. Basically, this is not your grandmother's crime drama. It's easy to get behind a vigilante who tracks down the bad guy and then turns him over to the proper authorities (see Batman and The Pretender). We can even accept someone who seeks justice when the proper authorities fail (see Punisher and Firefly/Serenity). But a hero who kills people because he can't help himself, because he actually enjoys it? Never plays in Poughkeepsie. It doesn't help that Michael C. Hall is creepy as hell.


Dexter, pictured here relaxing at home.


Although, it really works for him. I'm sure his creepiness factor helped land him his first major television role as a repressed funeral home director on Six Feet Under. The rest of the casting on Dexter is similarly spot-on. From Dexter's ambitious sister Debra (Jennifer Cooper) and his insecure almost-lover Rita (Julie Benz) to his colleague/bully Sgt. Doakes (Erik King).


Debra, looking inappropriately adorable for a police officer.


Rita, with her abusive ex-boyfriend - kidding!



Doakes, in a PSA about the dangers of alcohol.


My only complaints were that the writing was, at times, simplistic (a lot of telling instead of showing, especially in the Dexter/Harry flashbacks) and the characterization was a bit spotty (especially Lt. Laguerta - if she wants to get with Dexter so badly, why is she such a bitch to his sister?). Still, an overall strong start for a series, and it intrigued me enough to drop disc one right back in the mail. Whether the rest of the season lives up to the show's promise (at least for me) remains to be seen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Doctor Which?

Children In Need is a BBC charity whose mission is to provide "support in the form of grants to organisations* working with children who may have experienced mental, physical or sensory disabilities; behavioural* or psychological disorders; are living in poverty or situations of deprivation; or suffering through distress, abuse or neglect." It also has the most terrifying mascot known to man - Pudsey, who is some kind of maniacal pirate bear.

I'll admit I added the hat, clothes and "pirate ship" backdrop in a highly diverting game from the BBC website called Pudsey's Makeover. But don't let the innocent "O" face fool you. Beneath that polka-dot head bandage/eye patch lurks a soul of blackest evil. I can just tell.


Pudsey's watching. He's always watching.

Still, even Pudsey has his moments. He and Children In Need are the reason we get adorable Doctor Who specials like "Time Crash." Warning: the following contains spoilers for the DW season three finale. Which some of us own on DVD (happy dance!).
video

The video begs the question ... who is your Doctor? I decided that Christopher Eccleston will always be my Doctor Who, while David Tennant will always be my D.W.I.L.F.


Don't look at me like that - you were thinking it, too.

*Isn't British spelling adorable??
So, the conversation I had with myself last night during the last 5 minutes of Heroes went something like this:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

(followed shortly by)

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

If you watched, you know what I mean. So, Tim Kring is forgiven for almost everything because Bennett survived. Bennet lives!

Here is some Heroes goodness, an interview with Hayden P. (if y'all think I am looking how to spell her last name you have severely underestimated my laziness) and Kristen Bell. They are the cutest things ever. And follow this link to get to the blog on of one of the shows' producers, who posts the cutest pictures of the cast.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Remember how I said I wasn't going to post updates on the TV writer's strike?

I completely lied.

*in the voice of Michael Palin* And so, television writers set out on their search to find the DVD proceeds of which the Old Man had spoken in Scene 24. Beyond the Thanksgiving holiday, they met with major studio execs, and there was much rejoicing from the peasants bloggers.

Yay!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Little ways to flirt and flounce.


It's been a hard week thus far here at tvsluts. The weather has cooled down finally and the leaves have begun to turn, but daylight savings means that it's dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home...and that's just depressing. But the thing that kept me going all day, even when I wanted to bang my forehead on the desk, was knowing that tonight I would get spend time with my secret girlfriend of the week, a.k.a. Kristin Chenoweth, a.k.a. Olive on Pushing Daisies. I mean, come on. The smile! The hair! The voice! Those boobs! Seriously, girl has some slammin cleavage. And she's so wee!

I guess I first noticed her when she appeared in the television version of The Music Man with Matthew Broderick and DAMN girl could sing. And then she popped up on The West Wing as Leo's girl friday. But it was the Wicked soundtrack and her turn as Galinda that really won me over. Sometimes, when I'm having a rough day, I'll put it on my Ipod and sing along and pretend that Kristin is teaching me how to be popular and talk to boys. And then I feel better! And then I feel sad that my life is so lame.


But! As the waitress Olive on Pushing Daisies, I get my weekly dose of Kristin (and her boobs) along with the best new show of the season. She's got great comic timing, uses her diminutive size to her advantage within a scene, and just adds some spice and sass to the show's pie-flavored goodness! While Ned and Chuck are the center of the show, I can't help but root for Olive to end up with Ned. Partly because I always root for the underdog, and partly because I just want Kristin's character to have her dreams come true. And then she'll be free to drop by and give me popularity lessons. Because if anyone seems nice to do it, it would be her.


Check out this pic with her and my other favorite Kristen, Kristen Bell from Veronica Mars. I think my computer just exploded from the hotness.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Strike Watch, Episode II

Without prime time around to rot our brains, the strike will be the perfect opportunity to watch some educational television. Enter the meerkat - well, enter about eighty of them. Meerkat Manor is possibly the best show on television. My mother and I caught the Flower Power marathon, a tribute to a particular dominant female, and became instantly obsessed. This documentary has all the drama of any reality TV show, except you actually care what happens to the participants. The life and death struggle! The birth of new pups! The complex mating rituals and steamy long-range shots of meerkats making sweet love in the tall grass! All of it makes for great television.

If you think you won't be able to relate to the meerkats, you are dead wrong. It's easy to anthropomorphize these creatures who stand on two legs, live in family groups and sometimes even exhibit altruistic behavior. Besides, they are sooooooooooooo cute!

Eat your heart out, Cute Overload.

This is another show with a killer website. You can even catch full episodes online! So go ahead - take the meerkats for a spin.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Strike Watch, Episode I

No, I'm not going to provide updates on the progress of the Writer's Guild of America strike. If you want to get more information, may I suggest this link ? While we wait for greedy execs to give writers their fair share of DVD proceeds, or for whiny keyboard monkeys to get the hell back to work (depending on your point of view), I thought I'd suggest some shows to add to your Netflix queue, for when our prime time favorites go into reruns. In other words, what to watch during the strike - Strike Watch, get it? Oh, never mind.

Today I've chosen to squee about Burn Notice. An attractive yet emotionally stunted protagonist? Check. Feisty love interest? Check. Goofy sidekick? Check. Fast-paced adventure with just the right combination of espionage and explosions? Double check. Basically, this show hits all my buttons. If only there were a zany, chain-smoking mother in the mix, it would be perfect.


Burn Notice, have you been reading my diary?

Revisiting my summer fling with this quirky spy drama from the USA network will be just the thing to get me through the winter of TV writer's discontent. The cast includes some of my favorite faces - Jeffrey Donovan (aka Kyle from The Pretender), Seth Peterson (aka Robbie from Providence), and Bruce Campbell (aka the most famous chin in Hollywood). The setting of sunny Miami is perfect for the vivid cinematography (read: bright colors!) that make me love this network. But don't let it's shiny packaging fool you - at the heart of this show is Michael's innate sense of the human character. He isn't a spy because he can smile toothily, shoot a gun or build a bomb out of detergent, soda cans and duct tape. He's a spy because he can get in your head and mess you up.

The duct tape stuff is pretty cool, too. Michael's running commentary to explain his tricks makes the spy trade seem both easy and fun. Yes, I realize that I could not become an international woman of mystery using only products found in my local hardware store. But Burn Notice makes me think I can, and that's the real measure of any television show - how much the audience buys into the fantasy. Also, the extras available on the show's website are great fun.

Friday, November 09, 2007

In the not too distant future...

Oh, my HOLY GOD you guys.

Picture this: Maggie Cats, a young girl of 11 or 12. Her big brother, who has influenced her tv watching in the past, most notably with Star Trek: The Next Generation, comes home and says, "this guy at school told me about this show on some cable channel called Mystery Science or something." Sometime in the next couple months, young Maggie and her brother are flipping through channels early one morning (and I mean EARLY), and find some old movie with three dark silhouettes of people on top of it on the new (to them) cable channel, Comedy Central. We had found Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K), and the world would never be the same.

If you have seen this show you love it and you know exactly what I mean when I say it's genius. If you have never heard of it, you are thinking to yourself, "what the hell is she talking about?" To briefly summarize:

In the not-too-distant future-
Next Sunday A.D.-
There was a guy named Joel,
Not too different from you or me.
He worked at Gizmonic Institute,
Just another face in a red jumpsuit.
He did a good job cleaning up the place,
But his bosses didn't like him
So they shot him into space.

We'll send him cheesy movies,
The worst we can find.
He'll have to sit and watch them all,
And we'll monitor his mind.
Now keep in mind Joel can't control
Where the movies begin or end
Because he used those special parts
To make his robot friends.

Robot Roll Call:
Cambot!
Gypsy!
Tom Servo!
Croooow!

If you're wondering how he eats and breathes
and other science facts (la la la),
Then repeat to yourself, "It's just a show,
I should really just relax
For Mystery Science Theater 3000!"

So basically Joel, and later Mike, and their robot friends watch terrible movies and crack wise about them. And it is THE FUNNIEST SHOW OF ALL TIME.

And according to the link above, they are coming back! WITH JOEL! AND THE ORIGINAL ROBOTS! AND I HAVE TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I AM SO EXCITED.

Ahem.

But seriously, this show was completely formative for my snarkiness and this news is so exciting. And Tom Servo's little slinky arms are just so freakin cute. So if you haven't seen the show go rent MST3K: The Movie, and you'll understand what I am talking about. So! Exciting!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Mea Culpa," he wrote.

To piggyback off of Selvi's very excellent analysis of Season 2 of Heroes (in that it has basically has blown so far), here is an Entertainment Weekly interview with Tim Kring where he owns up to dropping the ball. He points out many of the things that fans have complained of: the glacial pace, the inability to organically introduce new characters, the rehash of the OMG I HAVE SUPER POWERS!!!! theme from Season 1...anyway, check it out.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This one is going to be controversial...

Secret Boyfriend of the Week

Ok, so usually I pick some virile young thing to be the SBotW. But we here at tvsluts are 1) lovers of tv and 2) sluts, which means we do not discriminate based on age, color, creed, religion, or heck, gender (secret girlfriend of the week, y'all?). Anyhoo, this week's secret boyfriend is none other than Jim Beaver, a.k.a. Bobby from Supernatural.


He wears a trucker hat like nobody else (suck it, Ashton), and he will not hesitate to bitch-slap Dean or Sam should the need arise. As it often does. Because while they are pretty, they are often really really dumb. So Bobby has become something of a surrogate father to the brothers and also occasionally fulfills the Giles role of Captain Exposition.

So Bobby basically kicks all kind of ass. And I have been making my way through Deadwood, and Jim Beaver as Ellsworth is just so cool I can't even tell you. Watch for a blog post in the future about Deadwood, but just know that he has delivered a performance that will break your heart, build it back up, and break it all over again.

Also, I just think he's cute. So shoot me.

Is it moral ambiguity or an epidemic of dissociative identity disorder? You be the judge.

A/N: This post contains spoilers for seasons one and two of Heroes.

Part of the charm of Tim Kring's science fiction cum prime time television series is a certain level of WTF'ery. There are moments in Heroes that just make you sit up and say, "what the f*ck just happened here?!?" From the revelation that HRG is actually Claire's father to Niki injecting herself full of the power-stealing virus, these super freaks always keep us guessing. And that's how it should be – the twists are the reason I tune in every week.

This season, however, has become almost hopelessly convoluted. Don't mistake me – I love every minute of it. It just becomes difficult to keep track of a character's motivations when the lines of good/ evil/ up/ down/ black/ white/ mayonnaise/ mustard are continually blurred. For example …

  1. At first, Claire seemed to take the whole In Hiding From Big Bad Company thing seriously. She kept her head down, sacrificing her raison d'ĂȘtre (cheer leading) for the sake of her family. Then she meets a boy! Claire's body is changing, and she starts to feel new … urges. Oh wait, wrong show. Anyway, with West by her side she's not only willing to exercise her abilities; she uses them to exact petty revenge on her school rival. I can understand that her powers are a part of who she is, and it's not in her to ever be 'ordinary' again. But come on, all for the sake of some guy – especially a whiny douche like West? Poor form, Claire. Poor form.


    "I love you like most people love their sense of self-preservation."

  2. Mohinder, for some reason, decided to team up with Mr. Bennet to take down The Company. As soon as Molly gets sick, however, he runs right to them. "I didn't know where else to take her." How about anywhere but into the bad guy's lair?!? Who's your baby-sitter – Angela Petrelli? And then, in a truly shocking turn of events, he dobs Mr. Bennet in to Bob, perhaps in order to feel less "morally gray." *sigh* I love you, 'Hinder, but when you talk it kind of ruins things for me.


    So pretty. So dumb.

  3. They said 'amnesia,' Peter, not 'brain transplant.' First he agreed to commit crimes for the sake of his Identity Inna Box. Then he decides not to open said box, in favor of sucking face with some random Irish chick (hello, Stockholm syndrome much?). All of a sudden she's his One True Love, and they fly into the future together. Actually, I mostly feel sorry for Caitlin. You meet a cute shirtless guy, you clean some blood off of him, and you think he might be The One. Then BAM! He manifests all these bizarre powers and leaves you stranded in a dystopic future, probably to die of some horrible flesh-eating virus. On the other hand, she should have known better than to follow some stranger/emo kid halfway across the world.


    "Eh. It was this, or tend bar fer tha rest o' me life."

  4. The Wonder Twins looked like nice kids, and I could really relate to Maya's inability to stop killing people. Stay strong, sister! Enter Sylar and, by some sort of Evil Osmosis, Maya starts making some rather questionable decisions. She goes from sobbing about killing a couple gross smugglers who were about to molest her (and, granted, a truckful of fellow illegals-to-be) to slaying an entire border patrol without looking back. Yet, given the extreme stress of her situation (and, Maggie would want me to mention, Sylar's extreme hotness) I'm willing to let this one slide. For now. Keep an eye on her, Alejandro – Maya's on notice.


    This one's for you, Maggie Cats.

Of course, some of the characters this season are both conflicted and beautifully consistent. Take Hiro (but you bring him right back!) – he knows he should not fall in love with the sword smith's daughter, that he should return to the future and let the past alone. But he does fall for her, and he stays in the past, and he completely screws over the entire world by unleashing the Wrath of Sark Kensei Adam upon us all. You could argue that he couldn't have known the ultimate outcome of his actions, but he knew what he was doing was wrong. Seeing as it's Hiro, I'm going to give him a pass. Accidental evil committed in the name of love? Oh, go on then.


Who could stay mad at this face?

Really, I'm not going to hold any of this against them – I'm fully prepared to accept and enjoy all the WTF'ery. Because I love these characters. Because this show is awesome. And because morally gray is the new black.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I feel compelled to mention, THE END IS NEAR!

TV Writers On Strike

No resolution was reached by the deadline, so it looks like the Writer's Guild of America strike is a go. Okay, so this won't really affect me for a couple of weeks, as I'm not a fan of either Daytime (um, hello, work?) or Late Night (um, hello, sleep?) television.

On the other hand - The Daily Show, y'all. The Colbert Report. Now where am I going to get my news and opinions? CNN and rational thought? No, thank you.

Of course, as a writer myself, I can't help but wonder if this is all an elaborate scheme to get more free time for NaNoWriMo.

Just kidding, TV writers! I take back every disparaging remark, every sarcastic blog entry, every eye roll! Please don't leave me.