Ok, I'll just tell you, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is Exhibit B. So far, the only thing I can find is that Javier has a longer nose and is more tan.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ok, I'll just tell you, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is Exhibit B. So far, the only thing I can find is that Javier has a longer nose and is more tan.
Monday, January 26, 2009
This season has 3 distinct changes to the plot line. First is the courtship of a possible new wife (making 4 wives). Anna, our new eastern European character is considering joining the clan. I have a feeling it won't work out, but who knows. I like how the possibility of a new wife is showing a shift in the power in the family dynamic. Its clear Margie (the third wife) is pushing Anna on them so she climbs out of the bottom spot.
The second plot line is more younger characters. I assume in an effort to mix up the cast and get younger viewers the producers have added several more "young people" to the show. One being Bill's younger brother Franky...I guess we will see how it works out and how it effects ratings.
The third is less a plot line and more an observation, Bill Paxton looks HORRID. Bill Paxton, our lead male, has clearly come down with some sort of disease because he is wasting away in a very unhealthy way and I fear there are issues like cancer we will eventually hear about. I hope he gets well soon because if he loses more weight he will disappear.
If you are anti monogamy or just a big fan of non-network shows, I suggest catching Big Love on Sunday evenings at 9. Don't worry it doesn't cross over with the Simpsons or Brothers & Sisters.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Seriously. I mean, it was awesome. Totally awesome. But also confusing. But in an awesome way. You dig?
Since there is no way I arrange my thoughts in an organized fashion, I’m just going to bullet point it.
It's just a jump to the left….
--So we are following two main storylines now. The Oceanic 6, who made it off the island in the season finale last year, are all beginning to come together to make their way back. And three years in their past (or what has been the present and main storyline during the previous run of the show) we’re seeing the people who were left behind on the island. Ok, I think I got that.
--Daniel seems to be saying, and the show implying, that it’s not the island that moved it’s the people on the island. Which ok, fine. But then why did the island actually disappear? And are only some of the people skipping through time?
--I loved all the cameos the show threw at us. Anna-Lucia, Ethan, the dessicated corpse of Mr. Eko’s brother (Yemi?), the Dharma initiation video guy, the Irish Lady whom I believe is called Mrs. Hawking. All these were awesome!
--Speaking of Mrs. Hawking, I vaguely remember popping up in previous episodes (when Desmond was hopping through time? Or when Charlie was? This is why I need the previous season’s DVDs), but she seems to be involved in some kind of quest to find the island as well. And is ordering Ben around! I think she’s Daniel’s mother.
And then a step to the right….
--Michael Emerson never fails to amaze me. I really hope he gets recognized with an award for his portrayal of Ben some day. His range and the way he can manipulate not only the characters on the show but also the viewer (one minute you hate him, the next you feel sorry for him) is astounding.
--Funniest moment? Hurley hurling the hot-pocket at Ben. I kinda feel I would have the same reaction if he appeared in my kitchen.
--Neil getting the flaming arrow was predictable, and yet, I still enjoyed it. If they want to introduce new Lostaways just to kill them off in the same episode, I can deal with that. Also, Neil was the Aaron-Burr-peanut-butter-guy from the first “Got Milk?” commercial!
With your hands on your hips….
--Kate is seriously the worst fugitive ever. She drives around in her same car (which could be easily tracked, followed, or noticed) and uses her cellphone (again, easily tracked). Ugh. I really do not like her, they should seriously kill her off. And I’m sorry, I just don’t buy the whole “she’s the only person I care about because I looooove her” thing Sawyer has going on. Did I mention I still hate him? I can never forgive the frog squishing or the making fun of Hurley.
--Desmond! And Penny! <3>
--I love badass Sun. Making Kate cry…staring down Charles Widmore…all these things make me like her even more. If Ben is scared of anyone, it should be her.
You bring your knees in tight….
--Were the flaming arrow guys the original Dharma employees that we saw uncovering the frozen donkey wheel in the beginning and with whom Ben lived as a child? They had guns though so the flaming arrows thing seems needlessly dramatic and weird. I feel like it would have been completely rad if the show had actually allowed Juliet’s hand to be cut off.
--I wish Hurley would start to make his own decisions. The only reason he ran out of the house and let himself be arrested is because Sayid told him to do the opposite of whatever Ben said. Hurley just seems to bounce back and forth between people telling him what to do and allowing himself to be used for their own purposes, and it makes me mad.
But it's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane….
--I still want to know what is up with that three-toed statue we saw several seasons ago.
--I love the new format of no more character-specific flashbacks or flash-forwards. Just get on with the plot!
--Who is Jacob? Locke? Jack’s Dad? And where’s Claire? Is she dead? How come only the Losties seem to be the ones jumping around in time on the island?
Ok, I’m ready for next week, Lost. Bring it!
Let's do the Time Warp again!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Friday night became one of the best nights on television.
I’m not sure how it happened. But for some reason, the universe has aligned to make Friday, the tv-network executive much maligned Friday, the place to be for drama.
First, Sci-Fi started new episodes of Battlestar Gallactica after making fans wait months for the second half of season 4. Then, NBC started airing “new” episodes of Friday Night Lights (even though they have previously aired on DirectTV, but hey, I haven’t seen them, so woot!). And in February, we can look forward to FOX moving Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Joss Whedon’s new drama, Dollhouse, to Friday nights.
So basically, that means sitting in front of your television on Friday night will be the cool place to be. Hurray! Now we all have excuses for not going out. “No, you don’t understand,” we’ll say. “I thought about going out to dinner at that awesome new restaurant and hitting up the VIP room at the club downtown, but everyone knows it’s cooler to find out if the Dillon Panthers are going to make it to States again this year!”
Or I could be deluding myself and none of these shows will do well and will all be unceremoniously cancelled in less than a month. Actually, we already know BSG isn’t coming back so: :o(
And now for some brief thoughts on the BSG and FNL premieres (spoilers!):
BSG: Well, that was bleak. I mean, I knew this show was dark, but Jeebus.
FNL: Hurray! Oh, dear god I love this show. People who don’t watch it are seriously missing out, because it is one of the best shows not just now, but EVER. I watch the interactions of Julie with Coach and Tami, and I just think, “I have had that fight. I have said that exact same thing to my Mother. I have reacted in precisely the same way.” This show is so realistic it is almost scary. Tyra not taking anyone telling her she can’t go to college, Smash pushing himself to get past his injury, and Tami stepping up to the challenges of being principal starting with telling Buddy Garrity to shove his jumbotron, LOVE. As for Lila and Tim, meh. I know some people think Tim walks on water because he’s so hot, but the boy needs to wash his hear and he never really did it for me. So, I say again, meh. Also, watch out Matt! That new quarterback, J.D. is gunning for your position and you need to step it up.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I kicked around the idea of going to the swearing-in ceremony several months ago, but as the day came closer and the newspapers and television news began devoting entire segments to the clusterfuck that would become our roads and public system on Tuesday, I put that idea away real fast.
Which means I will be sitting on my couch like most people on Tuesday watching the anointing of our new president on tv. But what to watch?
First of all, the key to watching news coverage of any large political event is simple. Keep the remote handy. If there is one thing I can't stand, it's pundits. And trust me, every channel (be it CNN, MSNBC, or *gulp* FOX news) will find ways to fill time with talking heads who will go on and on and on about something totally lame and nonsensical. So being able to switch channels in a hurry is key.
I plan to move between MSNBC (liberal hippies FTW!) and my local NBC news coverage. And in the morning, I am all about the Today show on NBC. I think Matt Lauer is cute, ok? So sue me.
In any event, the swearing-in ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m. and the inaugural parade is "planned" to begin at 2:30. I suggest you plan your day accordingly! And if you're stuck at work, most of the news websites will be streaming the event live. So you have no excuse to miss it!
Here are some other things to look for:
HBO is airing the Inaugural kick-off concert on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial at 2:30 p.m. (with a re-airing at 7:00 p.m.). This is free and available for everyone, even non-subscribers, so check it out.
Also, The Daily Show will be airing live at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night.
If you are looking for a source beyond the usual news networks, BET will be offering extensive inauguration day coverage.
If you come across any other inaugural programming that looks promising, feel free to share in the comments!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
BUT. If you are watching the show on DVR, it can be quite fun. You can skip all that other crap and get right to the dancing, which is the only reason to watch the show. It sure isn't for the actual competition, since it's never made clear what criteria the judges base their decision on (although I will say allowing each judge about 20 seconds to explain their score has been a good move since the premiere), and it's definitely not for host Michael Flatley, who is one of the most boring hosts ever.
In fact, I didn't even recognize that the host was Michael Flatley for the first hour of the show, until someone called him by name. For someone who is so charismatic while dancing, he sure comes off as an automoton as a host. And jesus, button your shirt, dude. Nobody wants to see you chest hair.
Eight countries are competing for the prize (USA, China, Australia, Argentina, India, Russia, South Africa, and Ireland) in the solo, duet, and group categories. Each country has a judge who scores the dances on a scale of 1 to 10 (although they don't judge their own country's entries).
While the judges didn't say anything during the premiere, they are now able to speak a bit before revealing their scores and have started to show some personality. Example: the South African dude is a hardass, he wants to see perfect technique. I think the Irish judge might be drunk (duh), and the Russian guy is just hilarious. He seems to delight in taking at many potshots at his country as possible, even noting that he would be killed when he returned after the competition for his remarks. The scary thing? He's probably right. Putin is a scary mofo is all I'm saying.
In the end, the show's greatest strength is also it's greatest flaw. Most of the dancers, for obvious reasons, have chosen to perform some kind of traditional dance from their country, albeit with a modern flair. But this means that it's incredibly difficult to judge the completely different styles against one another. How does one compare the South African group dancers performing Gumboot (a dance created in the gold mines of South Africa) with Irish step dancing or Indian Bhangra? It's all very subjective.
But as long as you are on board to just enjoy the many different dancers and styles, then you'll have a good time. And remember to keep that fast forward button handy.
Oh, who do I think will win? It would seem somehow un-PC for the USA team to win overall, since we are hosting the stupid thing, but I have a funny feeling it might happen. I am rooting for India though, their dances are the most interesting, IMO. The judges seem to cream themselves for the Chinese teams, but they yell a lot while dancing, which frankly, creeps me out.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
But I have to confess that my main thought throughout the evening was what the eff happened to Sting?
As for my best dressed woman pick, it's hard to say. My top three are probably Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, and Selma Hayek, but I don't think I can choose just one. Here's Kate Winslet at any rate:
Things that I also loved about the show: Mickey Rourke winning best actor (we all love a come-back story), Ricky Gervais speech, made with a beer in his hand, of course, and Steven Speilberg winning the Cecil B. DeMille award.
The only real disappointment for me was NPH losing to Tom Wilkinson in the Supporting Actor category. Also, I was shocked as hell at Gabriel Byrne's win for In Treatment. Is anybody even watching that show? Don't worry John Hamm, I still love you.
The combination of awards + hot people + booze always makes for an entertaining show. Here's looking forward to the Oscars!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Over the last half-century we have witnessed the growth of the media entertainment industry as it borrows and sometimes steals out-right from other sources entertainment, especially books and comic books. Now, for much of this last half century comics have been relegated to childish fantasy (Chabon's Kavalier & Clay portrays this quite well, not to mention it is a wonderful novel in and of itself that all should read). Sure we had movie and TV adaptations of Superman, Batman, Spider-man and The Hulk but I'm not sure anyone could claim that those movies and shows ever truly took the source material serious.
Then something changed in the comic industry with the advent and rise of the graphic novel (btw: this history of the comics is incomplete, so please forgive me), in particular the work of Frank Miller. However, by in-large that remained outside the general public consciousness. With Tim Burton's Batman and the later Batman animated television, people got a feel for some of the changes in the comic industry.
But in the 90s something else happened. Following the demise of shows like and the rise in Star Trek: TNG and the rise in Star Wars books and toys, suddenly comics became a new medium for new stories. Just like the novels for these two franchises, the stories were sanctioned by Paramount and Lucas but not written by the scribes of the shows or by Lucas himself.
Then about a decade ago, J. Michael Straczynscki had all but given up on TV. B5 and its telemovies and spinoffs were not great hits. Sure, he was well-loved by his fans, but I can honestly say that apart from myself and a few of my nerd friends few people had heard of him (even now after having a screenplay turned into a movie by Clint Eastwood I bet many have not yet heard of him). JMS had written several comics before this time, including a couple B5 ones, but rather than working occassionaly in comics while writing for TV he turned his attention to comics full-time and signed a contract with Marvel and started writing Amazing Spider-man. I am a comic fan but I've never been a big one. Sure, I bought some of the issues when Todd Macfarlane was working on it, but I got hooked by JMS's take on Spider-man. After Spider-man he has gone on to write Fantastic Four and most recently Thor. And now, like many comic scribes he finds himself writing for DC.
I'm not sure he was the first, but after JMS suddenly comics became a hot place and comic execs actively sought big names in Hollywood to start writing for them. Kevin Smith worked for DC on a Green Arrow mini-series and wrote the first arc of a Daredevil relaunch (a. Smith's work was nothing short of brilliant but is all but forgotten because of the amazing talent that followed, and b. it's not surprising Smith was asked given how everyone knows he owns a comic store).
In my opinion though it was Joss Whedon that really started an amazing cross-polonization. While working on Buffy Joss had pulled together and co-wrote a couple of limited series books based in the Buffy universe: Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampire (I never read the former but the latter was brilliant). In the meantime, the tradition of stories being told in print continued with a Buffy comic. But it was when Whedon decided to write a limited series story set in the Buffy-verse, several hundred year in the future that things really changed. Titled Fray it was the story of the future of the slayers and it was brilliant. Whedon nearly returned full-circle with his female protagonist (Kitty Pryde of X-Men comics to Buffy of movie/TV to Fray of comics). In Fray we also caught sight of a certain scythe that would find its way into season 7 of the show. With Firefly over, Buffy ending soon and the end of Angel around the corner, Joss was approached by Marvel to see if he might be interesting in writing for them. And in 2004, we had Joss writing Astonishing X-Men. It was immediately heralded as one of the best comics of the year, and the storyline directly inspired elements of the third X-Men movie.
By now the flood-gates were open with scribes from Lost and The O.C. joining the ranks of writers going comics. Comics even started to pull from the literary world, with Orson Scott Card eventually writing a couple limited series books about Iron Man.
The real change in the industry happened 2-3 years ago. Heroes appeared on the air and I was an instant fan. I was shocked at first to learn that the creator was not a comic book person. But I was comforted by the familiar presence of a name, a comic book scribe of great reknown who was an executive produce: Jeph Loeb. And I was further comforted and impressed when he also had some writing credits. Of course I was dismayed to the extreme when NBC accounced he had been let go because of the poor ratings. I only hope that this show, which is an homage (and sometimes a rip-off) of great comics like Watchmen, Rising Stars and X-Men doesn't completely lose its grounding. The presence of Loeb's name signaled a change as more comic scribes entered the television world. By now we had seen Frank Miller directing movies, but that felt more like a fluke than a change. I knew something had changed while watching Lost and finding another comic scribe name show up, first with a writing credit and later as a producer: Brian K. Vaughn (who has happened to write some of my favorite Lost episodes not the least because they focused on Desmond).
I can't name any further names but I know more shows are open to the idea of hiring comic scribes. Comics are not just for kids; there are some amazing writers out there who are gain traction in the entertainment industry. And comics themselves are gaining noteriety and popularity. When Captain America was killed in an issue, it was talked about for weeks and features on CNN and in the New York Times. I hadn't even made it to the comic book store and was told about this tragedy by my wife. The author of this issue, Ed Brubaker, had been doing some great stuff and is getting noticed by people like John Singleton.
However, there is one more change that is occurring in the entertainment industry. But that'll keep for Part II.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Something to look forward to on the weekend...other than just looking forward to the weekend in general.
Believe it or not, there are actually some interesting things happening on television this weekend. And so you don’t forget any of them (like I did the Damages premiere last night, d’oh!), I’ve arranged them for you in no particular order. Actually, they are in broadcast order, so whatever.
Neil Patrick Harris on Saturday Night Live (Saturday night, 11:30pm, NBC). I think the NBC studios might implode from containing the awesomeness that is NPH. Especially if he sings something. OMG, what if they do a sketch where he plays Dr. Horrible?!?!
The Story of India, Part 2 (Sunday night, PBS, check PBS.com for your affiliate’s show time). I know it’s hard to imagine compressing the history of an entire country into a mini-series, but this one is beautiful to look at and interesting to watch. And at least it’s a 6 part mini-series, so it’s not like their being chintzy.
24 (Sunday, 8:00pm, FOX). I know this is like the twentieth season premiere of 24 or whatever, but would you believe I have never watched the show? Despite being strangely attracted to Keifer Sutherland.
The 66th Golden Globes Awards (Sunday, 8:00pm, NBC). Let’s all watch and see what other boring and mediocre shows get awards! Hey, maybe someone’s boob will fall out of their gown or something. Bright side!
I support all things House, which took home the "Favorite TV DRAMA" award and the "Favorite MALE TV STAR." However, almost every other winner is utterly ridiculous. My first issue lies with Heroes winning "Favorite Sci Fi" show. Why are we congratulating a job POORLY done? This season has been universally awful (as I previously posted) so WHY give them awards? I would have much rather former Mighty Ducks star Josh Jackson get some recognition for The Fringe.
In addition, The Mentalist, a blatant rip off of Psych on USA won "Favorite NEW TV DRAMA." As it stands, I know no one who watches this show. Same thing applies to Gary Unmarried (though I am a huge Jay Mohr fan) which won "Favorite NEW TV COMEDY." Though the other nominees in the category are just as bad, especially Kath & Kim. I would have nominated the Life and Times of TIM!
I have more issues, however, I will wait until REAL awards shows post their winners....expect another rant from me!
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Language: Apparently, you can say several four letter words on FX. Good taste prevents me from reproducing them here, but they dropped everything short of the F-bomb. Which, I dunno, they could be saving for sweeps week.
Violence: Beyond the typical gore associated with cutting people open and messing with their insides, this episode featured someone being violently stabbed. We're talking about a man coughing up, and lying in a pool of, his own blood.
Sexual Content: The protagonists pick up a couple of floozies and have Just Shy of Porno sex with them. It boggles the mind that you can't show a nipple on TV, but you can show a boob being clutched in some dude's hand hard enough to leave a bruise. I'm just sayin'.
Many shows on television are designed to link violence (danger, pain, blood) with sexual appeal, in order to best excite and disgust their audiences. Few shows do it as well as Nip/Tuck. The visual effects, all naked bodies and medical procedures, are absolutely stunning. At the end of the episode, you are left with a sense of vulnerability - even the show's tagline, "What don't you like about yourself?" takes on a whole new meaning.
But cinematography alone would not be enough for me to tolerate Nip/Tuck's utterly unsympathetic anti-heroes. Toss in some Adhir Kalyan, on the other hand, and you've got yourself a deal. That's right! Everyone's favorite Alien in America is back in the recurring role of Dr. Raj (how bloody original).
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
While winter hiatus is often difficult, (waiting for my favorite shows to air new episodes is such a drag) it does give me the chance to catch up with television programs that often get shoved to the side in favor of more flashy prime time offerings.
One such show is Discovery Channel's Cash Cab. In case you've never seen it, Wikipedia describes it as a reality game show where passengers in a specially designated taxi cab are offered the chance to win money by correctly answering a series of trivia questions on the way to their destination. Wikipedia also provides a helpful link for "taxi cab" in case you are a complete idiot who has internet access but does not know anything about taxi cabs. *eye roll*
In any event, the man who keeps the Cash Cab going (literally) is comedian Ben Bailey. He's cute, he's funny, and most importantly, he can multi-task the shit out of anything.
Think about it. He has to navigate a cab through Manhattan traffic, and at the same time host a game show. He drives the cab while receiving trivia questions from producers through an ear piece, asks contestants the questions, and then cracks wise about their responses. But in a polite way, of course. He's a nice guy.
And if he can do all that with a cab imagine what he can do....no, let's not go there.
Anyway, congrats, Ben Bailey! This Secret Boyfriend of the Week goes out to you!
Monday, January 05, 2009
Other than that, I don't really have anything else to add. I'm sure they will cut his hair when he begins filming, and if he's good enough for Steven Moffat, he's good enough for me! While I'm sad for David Tennant to leave, I'm excited to have a new take on the Doctor, and I kind of feel that 10's story has just about come to an end.
Here's some more info about the new guy, if you're interested.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
To pass the time this Saturday night, we hunkered down with Firefly. Whitney had only seen the movie, Serenity, and her husband had never seen any of it. After the 2 hour pilot and the first hour episode, I'm hoping they are hooked. After all, they went home with the series and seemed excited about watching it. And so I'm walking around with the blush of one who has converted someone to the joys of a loved tv show.
I don't know about you guys, but when I find something I really like, be it a television show, a book, etc., I feel the need to inform as many people as possible and convince them that they will like it too. I'm not really sure why I feel the need to do this; I hope it's because I just want to spread the happiness and it's not borne of some deep-rooted insecurity (other people have to agree it's awesome for me to think I have good taste!), but in the end, it doesn't really matter. It feels good when you turn someone onto something you really like.
So she and her husband walked off into the night, fresh converts to the world of Firefly. I'm hoping to get them into Wonderfalls next, and then who knows? She did ask about The Vicar of Dibley.....*cue evil maniacal laughter*