Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cut or Keep? Reaper

As the DVR backs up and more networks are debuting their mid-season replacement programs, I am beginning to wonder if isn't time to cutback on some of my shows. Up this week on the chopping block: Reaper.

Pros: The number one reason I have hung in with this show is for Ray Wise as the Devil. His Satan is just so darned pleased with himself all the time, and his child-like pleasure in being naughty is infectious. But then he can turn on the scary with just one look. (see picture). Anyway, Ray Wise is the main reason I am still watching Reaper, but I'm not sure it's enough.

The other reason I have stuck around is for Sock. Sam's wise-cracking best friend is comedy gold. He loves his friends but is so delightfully self-absorbed. It shouldn't work, but it does. He's like the naughty puppy who has gotten into the garbage and strewn it everywhere while your away, but when you get home, he's just too cute to stay mad at.

Cons: Um, pretty much everything else? It's not that show isn't bad, but the main character is kinda boring, for a show about hunting demons it's not in the least bit frightening, and the subplots involving the other characters have not gotten me involved at all.

So what do we think? Keep it or cut it?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Secret Boyfriend of the Week: Chuck!

Smart? Check.

Adorable? Check.

Nerdy? Check.

Nice family? Check.

Secret double life working as a CIA spy occasionally saving the world? Check.

Need I say more?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Journey's End

All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

First off, let's talk the series finale. It's difficult for me to describe how I feel about the final two hours of Battlestar Galactica without coming off as a total schizophrenic. I thought the initial hour was brilliant and remarkably tense (at some points I had to pause it and walk away because I just couldn't take it). But I thought the second hour was overlong, heavy-handed, and cliche. But I still enjoyed it.

In a way, my feelings of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction seem kind of perfect. Battlestar Galactica has always been a show concerned with duality. Human/Cylon, monotheism/polytheism, science/faith, destiny/free will; the clash of opposites is sort of what drove the show for 4 years. So it makes me feel a little bit better about my mixed feelings.

Things that I loved: the whole "All Along the Watchtower" song having a point; it allowed Starbuck to enter the coordinates for the colonials to find Earth. The real Earth; our Earth. My jaw literally dropped when Galactica jumped into orbit of a gorgeous green planet and there, clear as day, was the African continent. They had finally found home. And I like that it was in our distant past. They had arrived on Earth when the most advanced civilization had yet to discover verbal communication. I think we all knew the show would find a way to link to our history and our planet, and I liked how they did it.

--I also loved how the shared dream involving the Opera House was resolved. Everyone wandering through the ship looking for Hera, arriving at the CIC with the final five watching above. It was a beautiful sequence that gave me shivers.

--The battle scenes were phenomenal. While it would have been nice to have a better idea of the layout of the Colony and how the colonials were planning to actually get to Hera...eh, whatever. It was totally badass. Seeing Lee command a squad of centurions was...weird, but in a "physical representation of the symbolism of Hera" way. Meaning, cylons and humans had literally come together and were fighting to preserve their joined future.

--Chief killing Tory. That bitch totally got what she had coming to her.

--Galactica shuddering after her final jump. The show is called Battlestar Galactica, and at the heart of it, is the ship herself. She carried the last hopes of humanity for 4 years and never let them down. Seeing her almost shake apart was physically painful, and I found myself urging her on. In the end, she made it through for her crew, and rode off into the sunset. Well, rode INTO the sunset and got burned up in the sun, but it was still noble and fitting.

Alright, so let's talk about things I didn't like. The last hour seemed to suffer from Return of the King-itis meaning we got ending after ending as we bid farewell to each character. While it's nice to have everyone get a proper send-off, it also dragged the show along. There are only so many sweeping shots of the African plains a girl can take. And while I don't like saying goodbye to anyone, it seemed a little lame that so few major characters bought the farm. Roslin's death was poignant, but she was essentially the only major character to die. And her death was not unexpected, but it just seemed too tidy to have all our major character spared.

--Lee's big plan to have everyone spread out far away from each other on earth without any technology. This was a total, wha? moment for me. This kind of thing sounds good in theory, let's start over, live off what we have on our backs, but in reality? Dumbest idea ever. Yeah, wait until you need a doctor and the nearest one is 100 miles away, Lee. I'll bet you wish you had kept a raptor.

--Angels and Demons. I can't explain why, but the confirmation that everything was part of God's plan to save Hera, that Chip Six and Chip Baltar were angels (or demons?), and that Starbuck was an Angel or at least clearly an agent of some kind of higher power just seemed...disappointing. Religion has always been a part of Battlestar Galactica, but throughout the show it was more of a mystical and ambiguous aspect. Having it become the absolute real answer to the question of "why?" just seemed too easy. Maybe because the show has been so rooted in the science of science fiction, it just seemed like kind of a cop-out to tie it all by saying: see? Everything was part of God's plan! Live happily ever after now that you have fulfilled your purpose. Oh, and current people, try not to invent robots that will want to one day kill you!

I do find some consolation in Ron Moore acknowledging that this outcome would be difficult for some fans. In an interview with TV Guide he said,

"There's a certainly a section of science fiction fandom that has always had a problem with [the spiritual aspect of the show]. They resolutely didn't want supernatural, mystical or divine presence in the show whatsoever, and were sort of put off by that, or at least had trouble accepting that. But I just thought that was part and parcel of what we did. It was our take on this part of this particular universe, and to me, it was as important in the end as it was in the beginning."
And you know what? Fair enough. It's his story to tell and this is how he imagined it. So I'm not going to sit here and say he was wrong, but I will say that I found the end a bit incongruous with the whole of the series.

So that's it. Not to use a cliche but the end was truly bittersweet. Despite the controversy with the reimagining of the classic series, we were treated to 4 years of one of the most gripping, dramatic, human, and truthful television series ever. All we can do now is hope that Battlestar Gallactica finally gets the recognition it deserves in the television community with awards, etc.

I think it's clear that this show has changed the face of science fiction forever.

So say we all.

End of Series Quiz:

Favorite Episode: Kobol's Last Gleaming (Season 1, Episode 13)

Favorite Character: Admiral Adama

Favorite Quote: "We need to get the hell out of here and we need to start having babies." President Roslin on what the human race should do after the destruction of the Twelve Colonies.

Gone Before It's Time: No. The show went out at the height of its creativity, and you can't ask for more than that.

At Least We'll Always Have....DVDs! And Caprica! And The Plan!

Friday, March 20, 2009

God save the Kings, Part II

After watching half of the Kings series premiere, Maggie and I called it a night ... only to be greeted in the morning with somewhat depressing news.
"Despite generally positive reviews, with some calling the project the most original new drama of the season, "Kings" (6 million viewers, 1.6 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and 4 share) was the lowest-rated program between 8 and 11 p.m. on a major broadcast network." --James Hibberd of Reuters (link to full text)
Still, Cats and I would not be deterred! Personally, I love an underdog and so the fact that Kings had a slow start only made me love it more. I'm perverse that way.

Other ways in which I'm perverse
(aka when is a douche no longer a douche?)
Sri: OMFG!
Maggie: is [the prince] gay??
holy crap!
me: YES!
Maggie: OMG, if Ian MsShane was in my face like that I would so pass out
Sri: awwwwwwww, he can't be a gay king
suddenly, i love him
Maggie: he's still a douche
Sri: yeah
but now he has to be my favorite character
Maggie: i bet perry [the scribe] and the prince get it on
me: i dig that [the king] has a scribe
Maggie: they should have made the princess gay
that would have been awesome

Worst. Ice cream flavor. Ever.
*the princess yammers on about ashes of the city and ice cream trucks*
Sri: did you get to the ice cream truck?
Maggie: yes
and the ashes
human will
blah blah
Sri: ha
Maggie: that is a crappy metaphor
but I do like ice cream
Sri: ashes ice cream? worst ben & jerry's flavor EVER
Maggie: I would eat it if it was flavored with the ashes of my enemies

I'm a pretty, pretty princess!

Whores and puppies.
*King Silas drives out to the suburbs into a strange woman's home*
Maggie: who is this ho?
Sri: probably she's an actual ho
Maggie: that's why i said it
Sri: which is why [the king] couldn't marry her
she looks too young for him
Maggie: illegitimate children!
me: i know!!!
Maggie: the plot thickens
i wonder if he's mormon
Sri: he called the kid "puppy" ...?
this is how it's going to go down: jack will try to play it straight, no no avail - he'll come out / be outed, and the king will try to force him aside and name his bastard as his heir - we, as the audience, will feel conflicted about who to root for

Sarita Choudhury as "Helen" ... home girl represent! Kinda.

"Every-damn-body is giving me back sass today!" - King Silas
Maggie: oooh, don't talk back to the king
Sri: i know
Maggie: srsly, way over-reaching kiddo
Sri: there's folksy, and then there's just plain dumb
Maggie: oooh, I love him
Ian McShane, not david
that was AWESOME
i am clapping my hands with fiendish glee
trust you to root for the guy threatening people

And then things get ridiculously poetic.
*David walks up to the front lines and starts monologue-ing*
Maggie: ok, that's ballsy
oh, so poetic
Sri: i know, right?
SUPER poetic
like, ridiculously poetic
Maggie: ok, not feeling this
he should have said this to the King
Sri: he went from folksy to emo in, like, six minutes
Maggie: ok, there is no way they could hear him
inside the tank, "what the hell is that blond kid yelling at us?"
"Eh, just shoot him"
Sri: LOL
Maggie: they are too busy eating their warm entrees to listen
Sri: i love how the commander of the army is like, "ok, had enough of this - sniper that mofo!"
Maggie: seriously, this is a little too melodramatic for me
and with the oooooo-ing in the background
Sri: i know!
Maggie: I hope that's Tom Sellek
with the mustache
Sri: lol
no it's not
Maggie: bummer
Tom Sellek makes everything better

Is there a dermatologist in the house? (aka we are easily distracted)
Maggie: seriously, watching this on HD, I feel like I could crawl into the crags in [King Silas'] face and camp out
it's awesome
Maggie: david has a lot of moles
i hope he gets regular dermatological check-ups
skin cancer is no laughing matter
later (in other distraction news)...
Sri: awww, eli is gonna bite it … though his teeth are really clean
Maggie: they should have smeared some blood on them or something

Can you roll just one eye?
Sri: (as David) loooook - it's a butterfly!
Maggie: *rolls eye
can you roll just one eye?
Sri: NO
not unless you have a neurological condition
Maggie: living crown of butterflies!
Sri: LOL
it's god giving [David] His blessing
Maggie: that was....odd
Sri: how can you tell that you're wearing a crown of butterflies?
i mean, it's not like you'd feel it
Maggie: maybe he has a neurological condition and can roll one eye and check

Final thoughts
Maggie: i liked it!
the second half was much more enjoyable with the various twists
Sri: i think this has the potential to become a fan favorite

The whole fam damnily. We're rooting for ya!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tudors Part Deux

So I made it all the way through Season 2 of The Tudors on DVD, and then completely flaked and forgot to write about it.


With the premiere of Season 3 lurking just around the corner on April 5th, I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to bring you all up to speed.

Ok, so basically everyone knows the plot, right? Anne Boleyn seduces the King away from his wife, Catherine of Aragon, but since Henry and Catherine are married and the Pope won't grant an annulment, Henry breaks with the Catholic Church, creates Anglicanism, declares himself the head of the Church of England, and marries Anne. Unfortunately for her, she has only one daughter and then keeps miscarrying and pissing Henry off in various ways, so he declares her a witch and chop chop, there goes her head. Henry then marries wife #3, Jane Seymour.

Along the way there's sex (though not as much as season 1, boo), political intrigue between Henry, the cardinals, his council, and English Catholics, and papal assassination attempts!

I basically found Season 1 unwatchable; I think my friend Chris and I only made it through 3 episodes or so before giving up, but I was much more impressed with Season 2. For one, things moved along at a good clip. Catherine, who did nothing but sit around and look sad about her lot in life, got the boot fairly quickly, Henry purged his Court of those that pissed him off around episode 3, and he and Anne began to fall apart about halfway through the 13 episode season. And did I mention the Pope was played by Peter O'Toole, one of my most favorite people?

I thought Jonathan Rhys Meyers was terrible as Henry in Season 1, but he seemed to have stepped up his game in Season 2. At least watching him act wasn't physically painful for me this go around. The real surprise was Natalie Dormor as Anne. On one hand, she plots along with her family to bust up Henry's family and become Queen, so, bitch, but then when she is married she seems to actually love Henry and yet has to put up with his constant infidelity, play the part of the dutiful Queen while also trying to make sure she bears a son, so, sympathetic. She also genuinely believes in the Church of England which is kind of a refreshing spin on the whole "Anne uses religion to get what she wants" angle. Natalie Dormor had a delicate line to walk in portraying her, and I thought she was great.

All in all, Season 2 is worth watching, and definitely doesn't require viewing of Season 1. The production values on this show are staggering (the costumes alone, wowza), and overall, the acting is high quality. If it was any more than a 13 episode season it would drag, but the show does a good job at keeping things moving. And despite knowing how it ends (chop chop), there was a great deal of tension leading up to the finale.

Hopefully Season 3 can keep it up, although since I don't have Showtime I'll have to wait a while to find out.

For a preview of Season 3, check out Showtime's The Tudors website here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Checking Back into the ER

Last week I watched my first ER episode in about, oh, 4 years. And my first new ER episode in about 5. The last one I watched was in Season 10 when Romano got the helicopter dropped on him. At that point, I was done; I mean the guy had already had his arm cut off by a helicopter, almost everyone I liked on the show had left, and I was a little busy with law school. But not too busy to keep watching ER episodes in syndication (the glory episodes!) on TNT during the day.
Quick background: when ER started, I didn't watch. I watched Chicago Hope instead since it had Mandy Patinkon. I mean, he was Inigo, hello. I didn't get into ER until I started watching it in syndication during college. Then I got hooked.

Oh, those were the days. Clooney, Edwards, Wyle, Margulies, Stringfield, Reuben....I loved them all. So when I tuned back in last Thursday it was with the promise of a return of some familiar faces. And wouldn't you know it? We got Clooney in the first 10 minutes! Thanks, NBC!

As a whole I thought the episode was really well done. Instead of trying to shoe-horn all the past characters back into the ER, we got a sub-plot in Seattle that connected to Chicago and allowed interaction between the new characters and the old. I was not expecting Eriq La Salle to show up, and the scenes between his Dr. Benton and Dr. Carter were my favorite. I think I might have actually cheered when Benton stepped into Carter's room. Oh, and if anyone knows why Carter had renal failure, let me know, k? All we got was, "it's a long story."

The end was bittersweet, however, as they often are. When Carol Hathaway explains to Doug Ross who got the kidney from Seattle, not knowing that it went to Carter, all she said was that it went to "some doctor." Missed connections! So sad!

It's going to be the end of an era when ER ends this season. After all, it's been on for 15 years, basically half my life. I feel like the epitome of the show was the episode "All in the Family" when Kellie Martin's character, Lucy Knight, was killed by a psych patient; if it's available online, I suggest you watch it. It's one of the most powerful hours of television I've ever seen.

In short, thanks for the chance to say goodbye to our fav characters, ER! Well done. And on a final note: how classy is George Clooney? How many other actors who have achieved that level of fame would bother going to back to the television show that made him? Love him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

God save the Kings

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Maggie and I are both TV Talkers - the kind of people who always have an amusing quip to interject while you're trying to watch your show. Annoying to others, but our TV Talking one of the reasons we get along so well. So every once in a while we get together to watch a show and TV Talk online. Below are excerpts from our chat (edited to reflect a more poetic version of reality) while watching last night's series premiere of Kings.

The cast is full of 'hey, it's that guy's...
Sri: oooh, it's starting!
Maggie: so random fact -
that cute blond guy is the dude from Eragon
Sri: well, i'm glad he's making something of himself
Maggie: [the queen] is the poor man's Joan Allen
have you seen Deadwood?
Sri: no
Maggie: prepare to love Ian McShane
he is so freakin' awesome
I even watched Death Race because he was in it
Sri: ha!

Sri: kingdom of glib?
Maggie: gilboa
do you know the deal with this show?
it's a fictional kingdom
Sri: isn't it supposed to be America?
Maggie: i don't think so
it's an alternative reality
apparently, they have a neighboring nation that they are always at war with
Sri: aha

Our intrepid hero...
Maggie: so David = good with cars, dead Dad
also, adorable
Sri: he fixed [the car] with duct tape!
and got an adorable smudge in the meantime
Maggie: he can improvise
he's like McGyver
Sri: clearly David is going to be the innocent everyman, surrounded by the jaded royals and their decadent lifestyle
Maggie: (as David) OMG a piano!
I am so provincial!

Our intrepid anti-hero...
Maggie: ok, prince = douche

The love interest...
Maggie: so the daughter [the princess] must be the love interest
Sri: or that health care crusader chick
Maggie: that is the daughter
Sri: [the King's] giving [David] carte blanche to do ANYTHING
not only money, but power and influence are at his disposal
but then he goes and makes eyes at the princess
Maggie: wow
that was quick
*David and Michelle on the dance floor*
Maggie: everyone is looking at them, right?
Sri: yeah
Maggie: ok, that made me laugh
Sri: me too
well played, kings
well played

The other love interest...
*Reverend Samuels rubs the smudge off David's face*
Maggie: ok WEIRDNESS
hoyay right off the bat
Sri: hot
Maggie: so that's why he wasn't at the dedication [ceremony for the new capitol, Siloh]
he was rubbing some cute white boy's face
*Reverend tweaks David's face into a smile*
Sri: more inappropriate touching!!
Maggie: WTF, rev?
Sri: (as the Reverend)
*bedroom eyes
*walk away

Heavy is the head that wears the butterflies...
Maggie: so [the King] had this vision of butterflies and then united the country during the war of unification
Sri: wtf butterflies?
Maggie: ok, if there was a swarm of butterflies around my head i would kinda freak out
Sri: (as the King) nooooooo!
evil butterflies, don't carry me away!

Conclusions at the end of the first hour...
Maggie: so far, I think it's all set-up
so i have difficulty judging it
establishing relationships between characters, etc
i want to see more potentially evil decision from the King
Sri: it's got a lot of recognizable tropes, but they're combined in a unique way
the premise is strong
Maggie: right
apparently, there is a lot of back-story with the neighboring warring country
Sri: there could be some interesting social commentary, there
Maggie: i like the political intrigue aspect
i am enjoying the show so far
Sri: me, too

Next time, on TV Sluts:
Is there a dermatologist in the house?
Worst. Ice cream flavor. Ever.
When is a douche no longer a douche?
Whores and puppies.
"Every-damn-body is giving me back sass today!" - King Silas
(not really, but he must have been thinking it)
And then things get ridiculously poetic.
Can you roll just one eye?

Wow. Just when you thought those Top Model bitches couldn’t get any more ridiculous:

"Six hurt, 3 arrested in 'Top Model' audition melee"

Apparently a fight broke out when people were standing in line to audition for America's Next Top Model in New York. Since they are auditioning for the next “cycle” that will feature “models” shorter than 5’7”, can we conclude that shorter women are more violent?

Or maybe someone just insulted someone else’s weave. Hey, it’s happened on the show before. Weaves and feet seem to be the insults of choice. I believe the exact phrase was, “Bitch poured beer on my weave.” And in fact, someone had dumped a pitcher of beer on another girl’s head.

No surprise, Tyra and the CW are not commenting. Look for a special episode of The Tyra Banks Show addressing female violence coming soon!

Adventures in HD

My new HD tv has finally arrived! As with most things in life, actually procuring it was not as simple as I’d hoped, especially when I spent all of last Monday waiting for its arrival in vain since the delivery company forgot to actually put the tv in the truck. Sigh. They even told me it was 15 minutes away and then when I called back and hour later, they figured out it had actually never left the loading dock. Argh.

But the story has a happy ending, for last Wednesday my television was delivered and ever since then I have been living in a world of HD. While there was nothing wrong with my old tv and watching things on standard cable still looked pretty darn good, I can’t deny that it’s kind of cool to see things with such crispness and clarity, especially Jensen Ackles. But more on him in the next paragraph.

I don’t watch sporting events, aside from the occasional figure skating and gymnastics, so many would argue that HD is wasted on me. But I beg to differ! You have not lived until you can count the pores on Jensen Ackles’ face, or seen each leaf on the trees on Planet Earth, or truly appreciated the popping colors used to set-dress the Mode office on Ugly Betty. Actors look more like actual people, less tv-fake, which lends an air of realism to shows that was previously missing.

But not everything is hunky-dory in HD land. I started noticing things that have now become irritatingly distracting. Most notably, the amount of make-up some actors have slathered onto their skin. Look, I know most people don’t have great complexions. But when I look at Jared Padalecki, all I can see now is the massive amount of foundation he wears for Supernatural. And it’s really distracting and really annoying. He’s hunting demons, not trying out for the Mr. Demon Slayer with Psychic Powers and Potentially Evil Side pageant.

But overall, I have found that while HD is not essential, it just makes watching tv a little more fun.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Not the Face!

If you've ever seen Fatal Attraction, you know Glenn Close can be scary. Actually, if you've ever seen 101 Dalmations, you know Glenn Close can be scary.

Alright, let's just say it: Glenn Close is badass and she scares me.

So far in Season 2 of Damages, I've been a little disappointed with Glenn's Patty Hewes. Last season you were never sure if she was one of the good guys or the bad guys (I mean, she had someone kill a puppy!), and that is what made her character so delicious. But this season, while Ellen has been on a crusade to bring Patty down, Patty seemed to be missing that old spark to me.

Even though we have confirmation that Patty's subordinate ordered the failed hit on Ellen that is the driving force for Ellen's revenge, it's still not clear is Patty was in on it, and the show hasn't been providing many hints this season as to whether Patty has it in her to be a cold-blooded killer.

Until this week's episode.

See, Patty has an 18 year old son, Michael. Who has apparently taken up with a late 30s, early 40s art gallery owner by the name of Jill. After a lunch meeting between Michael, Patty, and Jill that was full of awkward, Patty went down to Jill's gallery to get in the last word. And boy did she.

First she asks Jill if she is "mentally ill." When Jill laughs off Patty's attempts to insult her, Patty tells her that she'll break Michael's heart, and when she does, "I will rip your face off."

And she meant it. Just look at her!

I laughed. And then I shivered. Because DAMN. With that one line delivery, Patty's back in the game!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Chopping Block Deserves the Axe

Last night, due to a complete lack of new television on the networks I decided to watch NBC’s new cooking show “The Chopping Block.” In general I tolerate reality TV. I am a solid fan of Project Runway and occasionally watch the Real Housewives of Orange County (it’s a problem, I know). However, I adore the cooking shows. I watch Top Chef, Hells Kitchen and have even begun hopelessly following the team from the Ace of Cakes. So I was excited to find another new and fun cooking show on prime time. IT WAS AWFUL!.

The premise really is a mix of the fun and quick moving style of Hell’s Kitchen combined with the cooking expertise of Top Chef. In last night’s episode two teams had to set up and run two restaurants (reminiscent of Top Chef’s Restaurant wars that everyone looks forward to). The problem though is that the players work in “teams.” Each team is a chef and a waiter or front of house person. Basically the show was a bunch of running around and undercooked food.

In an attempt to rip of the unique style of Gordon Ramsay they introduced Chef Marco Pierre White. Who I have never heard of (though that means little because I am an economist not a restaurateur). And at then end he yells, berates and axes a team.
This shows production was awful, the host was awful and the fake drama was awful. 3 Strikes…not so great for NBC. DO NOT WATCH!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TV thoughts...

Some random musings on the past few day's tv...

Castle: I liked it! I really wanted to love it, because Nathan Fillion, duh, but then I was worried I wouldn't, since it seemed to contain a checklist of stock tv characters (tough as nails yet still vulnerable homicide detective, clever and roguish leading man, worldly teenager, drunk yet hilarious mother), but somehow it all worked. Maybe the chemistry isn't quite there yet between the lead characters, but the mystery was interesting, all the characters were engaging, and yeah. Nathan Fillion, you know? I would watch him in anything, but this show has the added benefit of actually being fun. Is it a Bones and Moonlighting rip-off? Maybe. But who cares? I liked it. It's like drinking soda: tastes good, is sugary and fizzy, but lacking a whole lot of substance. But a person can't survive on a diet of hard-hitting drama alone, right?

Heroes: Ok, I cannot be the only person who was hoping that Matt Parkman would actually get blown-up. It's time for this show to up the stakes and have some consequences for the actions of the characters. Oh, and I need to acknowledge a shout-out for Cristine Rose as Angela Petrilli. That woman kicks some serious ass.

Friday Night Lights: Tyra, nooooooooooo! Do NOT run off with that adorable yet CLEARLY jerky Cash just because you had one bad college interview. Argh! And I love you show, but that final scene with Tim, Jason, and what's her name with the baby all crying was a little schmaltzy, even for me. Despite that little Hallmark moment, I couldn't be more pscyhed that Ausiello is now reporting that there is a chance the show will get a two season pick-up. Come on, NBC!

America's Next Top Model: In the words of Caroline, "Sandra: what a rancid bitch." Seriously, it has been years since we have seen this level of bitchery on the show, but Sandra, despite looking the most like a model of the bunch, is seriously underperforming as a model and overperforming as a bitch. And Allison? She of the scary doll and bug eyes? Her gaze scares the crap out of me. I literally had to cover my face when she would be interviewed because she scared me.

Ugly Betty: OMG! I am in love with Matt. Adorkable, smart, and worth billions. Betty, shut up and take his damn money. Now is not the time for pride. Not when you could be living on the street. Also, I like how the show finally found a good subplot for Ignacio. The Bobby Flay throw-down goof was fun and it's always nice to see Becky Newton have something to play other than vapid, even though she does it so well.

Lost: Sawyer and Juliet? I'll buy it. And she appears to have made him almost bearable. You all know about my Sawyer hate, right? With the insulting of Hurley and the squishing of the frog, Sawyer has never been my favorite person.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Burn Notice Season Finale

WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

There are many reasons to love Burn Notice. For the men: explosions, women in bikinis, and general badassery. For the ladies: tragic romance, men in Armani suits, and loving your mom. For everybody: Bruce Campbell.

If chins could kill...

My favorite thing about this show, however, is that is that the plot actually progresses. Some shows are so married to their original concept that they get stuck in a pattern for ten years. For example, take The X-files - an excellent show with a HUGE central mystery that never really got solved. And while that was sort of the point, in the end it was not quite satisfying for me. In contrast, the season two finale of Burn Notice was a big payoff for fans - we got to meet the man who "burned" Michael.

The Burninator.
P.S. There are no sinister pictures of
John Mahoney in existence. Absolutely none.

And then, when he offers Michael his old life back ... Michael doesn't take it! Usually such a fundamental change in a character's motivation would drive me up the wall. But because the writers had done their jobs well in laying his emotional groundwork, it felt natural. The result is that Michael stays in Miami, but it's because he wants to, not because he has to. Beyond that, the Burninator revealed that he/his organization had actually been protecting Michael, and by going rogue he would be throwing that away. This means that Michael will face a whole new battery of enemies and obstacles. The next season will be a departure from the show's original premise. It is going to kick ass.

This picture has nothing to do with what I'm saying,
but look how pretty!

Friday, March 06, 2009

United States of Tara

About a month ago there was a lot of hype about the United States of Tara on Showtime. The show is created and written by Diablo Cody, brought to fame by Juno and her former stripping career. However, I had enough television shows on my plate and didn't have the time to commit to a new one. But, I had some free time this weekend and decided to commit to watching United State of Tara on Showtime OnDemand.

First of all I REALLY liked it. The plot was interesting, the acting was great and the characters had a lot of depth.For those of you who have not heard, the US of Tara is a show starring Toni Colette that deals with a middle aged housewife who has D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder). DID is more commonly known as Multiple personality disorder. I really enjoyed Toni Colette's portrayl of a modern day Sybil. Her "alters" include Buck (a vietnam vet), T (a 16 year old) and Alice (a 50s style housewife). Each of the alters is given as much character background as the other characters and really feel like there is depth.

Joining Toni Colette is John Corbett playing Tara's husband. I LOVE him. Most people cherish him from his portrayl in Sex and the City but I have been a fan since the Northern Exposure days. He is great, dealing with each "alter" and struggling not to sleep with the non male alters.

The rest of the show centers on Tara's family life and life with the alters. The family has a young gay kid (15/16) and a teenage daughter, each tolerating the alters, having favorites and least favorites.

Each episode I watched was great and I watched all 7 episodes on demand in one sitting. I encourage everyone to check it out on Showtime OnDemand.

And for all of you Daily Show fans starting episode 3ish Nate Cordry steals the show as the teenage girls boyfriend and local chain restaurant manager.

...And now I can be at peace.

Lost is obviously a show of mysteries. It's propensity to string viewers along for years without providing answers has, for many people, led to them fleeing from the show. But for the remaining loyal viewers, this season has been a big pay-off. It seems every episode we are provided more clues, and in some cases solid facts, to help answer those dangling questions.

For me, no question has been more pressing than trying to figure what the heck is up with the giant four-toed statue first glimpsed in Season 2's finale, "Live Together, Die Alone."

Yeah, that's right. I said giant FOUR-TOED statue. Check it:

According to its Lostpedia entry, the statue was first seen by Sayid, Sun, and Jin while sailing to the Others' camp. I clearly remember watching that episode in my mother's basement (where I was living at the time, having graduated from law school only on year prior) and seeing the statute for the first time. I believe my reaction was something along the lines of: "What. the fuck. is THAT??"

For the next four years, anytime anyone who would start talking about Lost, which inevitably leads to a conversation about lingering questions, I would have to bring up the statue. Specifically, what the crap it all meant.

But now! FINALLY! We have an answer! Is it a completely satisfying answer? Hell, no. This is Lost we are talking about. But last night while experiencing another flash through time, Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, and Miles, turned around and saw this:

It's a giant, Egyptian looking colossal statute! That has to be it, right? Consensus on the net seems to be that it is a statue of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead and gatekeeper of the underworld. Um, depressing much? But anyway! I finally have an answer as to what the four-toes statue is/was!

This means all I have to figure it is why there is a giant statue of Anubis on a tropical Pacific island. Which shouldn't be too hard, right?


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

And now, a word from our sponsor

Lately I've noticed that some of my favorite stars are showing up in the most unexpected places - television commercials. And some of these ads are really cute - Alan Tudyk ("Wash" from Firefly) and Dule Hill (of West Wing and Psych fame) for Direct TV is one of my favorites. Also, the Hulu commercial featuring Alec Baldwin is nothing short of inspired.


Sometimes, though, an actor isn't doing a commercial as themselves. Sometimes, they're doing it because they haven't had paying work in so long that they'll take a non-speaking role in a Taco Bell ad. And sometimes you just want to clutch that actor to your bosom and cry.

Oh, Tom Lenk. If you needed money so badly,
why didn't you just come to me?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Working on a Deadline

Well, I finally took the plunge. We are living in a material world and I am a material girl, so I decided it was time to upgrade my television to an HD TV. Last Thursday I used some of my federal income tax refund to order a Sony Bravia LCD tv.

It was a good chunk of change; the recession has resulted in prices dropping a little, but these things are still not cheap. Still, I think I got a good deal and I'm really excited about getting to view all my fav shows in HD now. Just think! I will be able to see every pore on Jensen Ackles beautiful beautiful face!

But there is one downside. To get HD I need to have an HD cable box. Which means I have to trade in my current cable box. Which means I am losing everything on my DVR. EVERYTHING. Including things I have been hanging onto for over a year. It just seems cruel! But I think this might be one of those "people grow apart and move on moments." I'm just going to have to learn to deal. And watch everything on my DVR before March 9 when the new tv arrives!

What has been the hardest things to lose? So far, my Pushing Daisies Season 2 epsiodes, since who knows when and if ABC will ever decide to air the remaining last three eps of the season. Apparently, ABC has the rights to air them until September which means we definitely won't see a DVD set before then. Also, I don't live in LA, so I can't go to the Paley Festival and see them there.

I'm also having trouble letting go of my BBC America Life on Mars episodes. I've never watched the American version, since I kind of figured, what's the point? The British version is so good, I never felt a need to watch the American one. But the British version isn't out on Region 1 DVD and might never be!


But still, it seems a small price to pay for the joy of HD. I've been hanging onto these shows for so long now, it's like they've become sentimental objects; like an art project from third grade, or my middle school band participation plaque (what? Like you don't have stuff like that lying around your house). I will try think of this as a growing experience and go from there.

In the meantime, I have been furiously trying to watch everything on my DVR before the March 9 deadline, and in some cases, rewatch before I have to say goodbye forever. So if you need me, you know where to find me. On the couch furiously trying to suck every moment of remaining joy out of my DVR.