Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Miss. Marple

Pssst......Disney. This is Miss. Marple:

This is decidedly NOT Miss. Marple.

In case you hadn't heard, Disney is developing a new modern adaptation of Miss. Marple with a youngified lead played by Jennifer Garner. Sigh. That sound you hear is Agatha Christie rolling over in her grave.

Not that I don't like Jennifer Garner, don't get me wrong. I really enjoy Alias, and even sat through Elektra for Christ's sake. But she is NOT Miss. Marple. Part of the joy of Miss. Marple is that she is this adorable whip-smart older lady. So screw you, Disney.

Also check out this article, I love the title: Oh, for fuck's sake: Jennifer Garner will play the new Miss Marple.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In for Spring: Fringe

It's been a while since anyone here at TV Sluts talked about Fringe (and I can just hear my friend Dorilyn, who is a big fan of the show, responding with a well-timed, "you got that right"). But I have FINALLY caught up with the series and now have some things to say.

First: this shit got good. Back in 2008 I gave the show a favorable review based on the pilot, and managed to stick with it through the first season, but it never really became appointment viewing for me. By the fall of 2009 (when Fringe was entering its second season), I think it conflicted with some other things and I decided to cut it loose and catch up with the DVDs. Well, that never really worked out until this past winter, when I got the second season from Netflix to tide me over the hiatus. And boy, did I get hooked.

The first season was basically spent on random mysteries of the week and establishing relationships between the characters, but after the first season finale, when we learned about the existence of a parallel universe (called Over There), things started chugging along and the show got into a great groove. The mystery of the week were now tied into the overall plot and the introduction of Fauxlivia (i.e., the Other Olivia) finally allowed Anna Torv to demonstrate some personality. We also learned a lot more about Peter and Olivia's past and how both their childhoods were intertwined with the other universe. Fascinating!

After burning through the DVDs in no time, I went to FOX's website to catch up on season 3, and by January, Fringe had moved to Friday and was now firmly on my DVR. While the ratings have not really been stellar on Fridays ( reports they hit an all-time low), it's apparently doing better than what was there before and there's no doubt the show is at a creative high. So I guess it's time to rally the troops for another "Save Our Show" campaign. And this time, I am definitely on board.

Come on FOX! You can't take Joshua Jackson away from me now!

Fringe is currently airing Fridays at 9:00pm on FOX.

Final thought: Several years ago I got into my head that Charlie was evil. Whoops! Although he did briefly become an evil half-android shape-shifter! That counts, right?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For the past month I have been obsessed with Neil Gaiman's graphic novel, The Sandman. I whipped my way through all 10 volumes (75 issues) and am now working through the extra volumes he wrote that have acted as kind of sequels/prequels. Neil Gaiman has been my favorite author for years (basically since I first read Neverwhere in law school), but for some reason I always resisted reading The Sandman. It wasn't for any specific reason--I just never got around to it. Well, that takes care of THAT.

I've seen online that there were several attempts to adapt the graphic novels into films, but for one reason or another they have all fizzled out. I know Neil Gaiman has said (because the wikipedia article told me so) that he would rather have no Sandman movie than a bad one. Well, duh. But he also stated that if a movie did happen he needed someone who loved the source material as much as Peter Jackson did with Lord of the Rings to really do it justice. Fair enough.

So imagine my surprise when I noticed an article on USA Today's Pop Candy blog talking about how a recent adaptation of the graphic novels into a television series had stalled. Whaaaa? Someone was going to make it a tv show?? And it was going to be Supernatural's Eric Kripke??? According to this site, Kripke had been developing The Sandman into a series (possibly for HBO) but he mentioned during the recent Paley Festival that it wasn't going to happen next season.

It was like all at once I had been offered a really cool gift and then it was jerked right away. The Sandman on HBO? Oh, wait, no. Sorry.

It might seem weird to blog about a tv show that will probably never happen, but the entire point of this post is to encourage you to read the series and maybe one day a good television adaptation will actually happen. But until then: READ IT. Seriously. You will not regret it; it's a beautiful series that combines so many classic story-telling elements, is so well written, and is just so poetic even if you are not a comics fan (like me), you'll get lost in it.

And bonus: if you read the series you'll get my Halloween costume this year when I go as Death. Hurray!

I'm totally pale enough to pull this off.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Face Off

I solemnly swear that this post does NOT concern the Nicholas Cage/John Travolta entertaining yet admittedly terrible movie named Face Off.

I have been a naughty blogger. Here I've been, watching a great new show and I have yet to share it with you, my adoring blog public. Well, just in time I am getting off my ass and letting you know that SyFy's reality television program, Face Off, is really quite awesome.

It follows your typical reality competition formula: a bunch of unknowns in a field compete through a series of challenges and are kicked off one by one. A panel of expert judges assesses their work, with a special guest or two along the way. And the audience gets to look behind the curtain; i.e. are made privy to the design and creation process. Think Project Runway, Top Chef, etc. etc. Only this time, since it's SyFy, the relevant group is make-up artists.

Cool, right? This season, the competing make-up artists have had to make aliens, zombies, gender switches, even disguise themselves enough to fool their loved ones. I confess to knowing NOTHING about movie make-up, so the behind-the-scenes aspect of the show is fascinating and just really neat. While I can't comment on the qualifications of the judges on the show (as I said, I know nothing about this industry), they seem to know their stuff and have interesting personalities that make judging time entertaining. It's always nice when the judges in a competition actually help the viewer understand why widget A is better than widget B. The contestants themselves seem like pretty interesting people too, I also can't remember ever seeing that many piercings in one room.

Face Off airs on Wednesday evenings at 10pm and this week is the finale. Another great thing about the show? It's going to be a tight race. Of the four finalists, there are three that I think could take the crown, and that just makes the whole thing more exciting.

It's not too late to tune in; SyFy airs the previous episodes pretty regularly, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a marathon planned for the near future. But you have been warned: the show is addicting. When I started watching I burned through about 4 episodes in one go, and was sad I had to wait a whole week for the next one.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

You can call me Melinda. Lady Heather, if you're nasty.

This Secret Girlfriend of the Week is a no-brainer. In fact, I'm a little embarrassed that it's taken this long to address the wonderfulness of Melinda Clarke.

She's probably best known as the Dominatrix with a heart of gold, Lady Heather, on CSI. But you might also recognize her as a hooker with a heart of gold from Firefly, or the torturer with a heart of gold (not really) on the CW show, Nikita. If you want to check out her IMDB page, you'll see that she's been a staple on prime time dramas and was in quite a few movies in the 1990s. But whatever. She's just stone cold AWESOME.

Gorgeous? Check. Smart? Check. Can make you poo your pants in fear with one look? Double check.

Also according to IMDB, she is a trained soprano and likes cigars. So clearly she is cultured. Also? She played an Amazon on Xena: Warrior Princess, to which I can only say: Best. Casting. Ever.

A little while ago, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Ms. Clarke would be returning to CSI as Lady Heather. Just knowing that is enough to get me to watch the show again; I always thought the episodes with Lady Heather were the best and most titillating (hee, I said tit). Maybe Grissom will come back for another cameo? Probably not, but hey, a girl can dream.

Do not piss her off, yo.