Friday, February 29, 2008

Welcome to the Dollhouse

More info coming out about Joss Whedon's eagerly awaited return to television, the Eliza Dushku vehicle Dollhouse.

First, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, most recently the showrunners on Women's Murder Club, and previously writers for Angel, have joined the writing staff of Dollhouse. That's good news.

Second, TV Guide's Mike Ausiello has obtained a character list for Dollhouse. His entertaining article not only lists the principal characters on the show, but also suggests "Buffyverse" and "Non-Buffyverse" actors to portray them. Check out the list and come back.

Okay, back here now? Good. Here are my comments and further suggestions (and I've expanded the "Buffyverse" to be the "Whedonverse," including some folks from Firefly/Serentiy, also.

Adelle Dewitt: I really like the suggestion of Juliet Landau. We certainly don't see her on TV enough.

Paul Ballard: I have no problem with Gunn. I also think his suggestion of Ben Browder is right on, though Crichton is a bit old for the "thirtysomething" description of the character. Keeping with the 'verse, what about Christian Kane? He was terrific as the conflicted Lindsay McDonald, and is closer to the character age.

Boyd Langton: Anthony Stewart Head would be just about perfect, but is the role too close to Giles? Skinner is also a great choice, but what about Alexis Denisof? He certainly knows how to create a vibrant friction with Eliza. Or hell, even James Marsters? He definitely spiced up Torchwood.

Topher Brink: Andrew is on target, and I don't know the other suggestion. If you want to go less "ambiguously gay" and totally nerdy, how about Jonathon Woodward, who pulled off the rare Whedonverse hat trick?

Sierra: Bianca Lawson? Really? As long as she doesn't try a Jamaican accent, mon. Personally, I'd prefer Morena Baccarin, Amy Acker or Katharine Towne, who played delightfully bitchy vamp Sunday in the Buffy ep "The Freshman."

Victor: What about Sean Maher?

Dr. Claire Sanders: No problems with Gina Torres, but Michelle Forbes rocks the known world. Great suggestion.

Okay, fellow Whedon geeks. Whaddaya think? Any other inspired choices?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What time is it?

Check out EW's always helpful and illuminating Lost preview.

Don't worry, as usual, it doesn't give any significant spoilers for tonight's ep, just wild ass theories and possible explanations.

Of note to me was this "blooper reel" from a Dharma video on "The Orchid," another station on the island. Evidently, this was out there for a while, and somehow I missed it. Maybe it was during the whole transition and moving period? Anyway, in case you're like me and haven't seen it, you can check it out by clicking below.

It features the enigmatic Dr. "Marvin Candle," who goes by other aliases, including Wickmund and Halowax (which both, probably not coincidentally, have candle references) and may or may not be missing an arm. There are obvious reasons not to let the bunnies near each other, but I don't think he's referring to their proclivity to breed like a Columbus stripper. The "same" bunny from different timelines or realities, perhaps?

Just 14 more hours. Give or take, if you're on the island.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In hindsight? Still throws it hard.

I was cleaning up some old files and notes this evening, and ran across this link that I had meant to post at the beginning of the 2007 college football season (note the August date on the byline). It's from ESPN/Scouts, Inc, and rates college QBs, prior to last season, in 8 different categories. You'll see a lot of familiar names in there (Brohm, McCoy, Daniel, Brennan, Woodson, White, Ryan, Booty) that stayed in the national headlines all year, and some that continue to be mentioned with the NFL draft coming up.

The reason I saved the article was because of category number seven:

Best three examples:
1. Matt Stafford, Georgia (So.)
2. Anthony Morelli, Penn State (Sr.)
3. Curtis Painter, Purdue (Jr.)
Throws a tight spiral with excellent velocity. Gets great RPMs on the ball. Shows the ability to fit the ball into tight spots downfield. Can throw deep sideline routes and deep go routes with ease. Can drive the ball through wind. His deep ball does not sail. Is able to get zip on the ball even when throwing across his body and off his back foot.

During the course of many games last year, I recall babbling to my seat buddies that Stafford had the strongest arm I'd ever seen in person, at any level. For a while, Brett Favre held that honor (and still throws a pill, even in his advanced years) until I got to see Michael Vick flick his wrist on the dead run and launch a missle 50 yards on a rope (often over the head of a handsless receiver, and into double coverage, sadly). But UGA's #7, in the opinion of this humble correspondent, has a similar cannon hanging from his right shoulder. Keep in mind these rankings were before Stafford's sophomore year. I'm sure an off season of lifting kegs will only improve the pace on his fastball, and another year of maturity should equally enhance the improved touch he showed over the course of '07.

  • Judgment/Mental Capacity: Brohm is listed as #1. Guess that doesn't factor in actually staying at Louisville for a dismal senior season, after his cocksucking coach abandoned him for a 13 game "commitment" to the Falcons.
  • Colt Brennan at #3 on Durability. He missed some of the regular season, and was ground into a fine white and green paste in N'Awlins, before eventually leaving the field wondering how to get back to Stately Wayne Manor. #1 was Chad Henne, who missed three games.

More college football items:

Number actually getting knocked off the helmet in this cool picture.

More proof that the SEC rules: 281 SECers on NFL rosters. Next is the ACC with 259. That means that every NFL roster contains an average of 8.78 SEC players (decimals account for players from Tennessee), or 16.5% of every NFL roster is comprised of players from the SEC.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A couple of more thoughts about "Eggtown"

A reader posted something about Faraday's "card game" with Charlotte that I hadn't considered (check it out here). My take was that Faraday was having memory problems, and she was giving him a simple "Concentration" like exam to see if he could remember the three cards that she had just shown him. The memory problems could have been caused by an as of yet unrevealed malady or brain trauma, or even by (insert wacky theory) being "out of phase" with linear time, much in the way that our friend Desmond is. They did make a point of showing his odd reaction to the finding of the undersea wreckage of 815. It was also noted that in the "pop up video" version of that same episode, the mysterious woman in the background of this reaction shot was described as his "caretaker" and not necessarily as wife, girlfriend, roommate or fuck buddy. However, CoolSchool suggested that Faraday might be psychic, and the test was to gauge his ability to determine the cards without having seen them previously (a common psychic test. Just ask Dr. Peter Venkman). Thinking back on the scene in "Eggtown" I can't recall if any dialogue or visual cues indicated to us that Faraday knew the cards prior to his guesses, which I just naturally assumed. Good food for thought all the way around.

Speaking of the undersea wreckage of 815, I can't believe this didn't dawn on me immediately: the general public has to know that this wreckage WAS A FAKE. There are the survivors, the Oceanic 6, who all profess (and have now sworn under oath) that the plane crashed on an island. How can you reconcile their stories, and the fact that they survived, with the fact that there was a huge Oceanic 815 underwater? Was the island swallowed whole after the crash but before the rescue? Was it exposed that this plane was a fake? Something else?

God I love this show.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Don"t worry. They"ll never notice.

Last night, I was "watching" the XM music channels on DirecTV. And you know how when you press the "info" button, the song title and artist description appear on the screen? Well, there were typos. Not misspellings or songs/singers named incorrectly, like "Nuthin' but a G thang" by Buck Owens. Nope, just one little mistake that kept driving me crazy over the course of the evening.

There were no apostrophes ('), just quotation marks ("). So, "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain was "I"ll Be."

Is there actually a job, where you know the song coming up next, and type in the artist and title? Are you sitting in cube, headphones on, looking at a dimly lit monitor, keyboard in front of you, and doing nothing but typing song titles? And if there are 50 music channels, does this mean one typist per channel? Wouldn't this be the saddest cube farm ever? Interestingly enough, there were no other mistakes except for the apostrophe/quotation mark confusion. Could all 50 keyboards have malfunctioned at once? Or on a smoke break, did all the song title typists get together and declare that on Saturday, they were going to fuck with all the OCD types who read these things and intentionally sub the quote for the apostrophe?

Just wait until they see Barry White's "Can"t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe." That will be hysterical! DirecTV and XM will be flooded with calls!

It was probably the idea of typing pool ringleader and bon vivant Darlene, who enters the artist and song titles for the 80s channel. I've heard that she just went through a bad breakup with a proofreader at the The Beach News, the paper serving the market area where DirecTV HQ is in El Segundo, CA. Perhaps this was her way of getting back at him because he had intimacy issues and didn't like to cuddle after sex.

Rather than a multi-typist punctuation conspiracy, I've got to believe there was just a slight glitch in a computer system that feeds information into the display. But the other scenario is more interesting, don"t you think?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $300 Alex

Random thoughts, links and observations:

Another awesome, geeky t-shirt.

Kirk and company do Jefferson Airplane.

Continuing the theme, here are some handy maps. This morning, I tried to find Romulus on my GPS, but it didn't show up. Piece of shit.

From one of the recent Democratic debates, Hillary claimed that McCain supported Bush's "wasteful tax cuts." (McCain inexplicably opposed them at the time, but backs them now). I'm not enamored with any of the candidates from either party right now, but this is the easiest and primary way NOT to get my vote. It is NEVER "wasteful" to let me keep more of the money that I earn. Fuck off, Hil.

And now, combining the previous two topics: did you realize that the race for The Leader of the Free World was forever altered by half-Borg space hottie Seven of Nine? Check this out.

Is mine bigger than yours? Check out I09's link to the accurate dimensions of virtually any spaceship you've ever thought about.

Excellent write up by Mo Ryan on HBO's outstanding and addicting In Treatment. I'm all caught up except for last night's ep, and I'm fascinated by every single session.

Wonder if Lois Lane ever experienced this.

If this is wrong, I don't wanna be right. I could order two of these right now.

Did you know that Penelope was almost Kate? I didn't. I love this chick.

The coolest thing from which you can steal another kid's Ho-Ho.

Darla looks hot with dark hair.

Vampire Dance Party!

This week's Ledger

  • Very inexpensive haircuts. And no, I'm not talking about a Flowbee. And creative tipping.
  • Bowling! After a lackluster opening in the 130 range and fueled by a Lebowski inspired white russian, round two was in the 180s.
  • Southwest's new boarding policy. I had never flown the cattle car of the air until a few months ago, and was aghast at the lack of assigned seats. However, provided that you login and check in online at the 24 hour prior to flight mark, you can now easily find yourself an aisle seat. Once again, thank god for the crackberry.
  • Watching TV shows on the iPod on the airplane. You'll see a few things I tried to find on iTunes below, but couldn't. However, I did manage to snag a Classic episode of the original Star Trek (Remastered!) to help me ignore all the noisy family travelers in the long, cylindrical tube of flying death.
  • Text messaging.
  • Aaron!
  • Falcons win the coin toss. And have someone who might actually turn that pick into something.
  • Big spikes in readership of this here blog. It seems lots of folks ventured over for the Super Bowl ad blogging, and decided to stick around. Thanks for wasting part of your day here at TNRLM.

  • No AC/DC on iTunes. Nor any Def Leppard (what? I went to high school in the 80s)
  • Picking out a show to watch on recent flights, I didn't find Pushing Daisies (I still want to catch up with this, dammit) or Dexter Season 2.
  • Removing the guns from the Indiana Jones trailer. This is also the same director who turned guns into walkie-talkies in ET for the DVD, and the same producer who made Greedo shoot first. Not sure about the rumors that the Nazis in Schindler's List will be replaced by bunnies.
  • Non-smoking hotels. Couldn't each floor have one of those little glass "petting zoo" type rooms like in the Atlanta airport, where the demented smokers could all huddle in the morning in their bathrobes drinking overpriced coffee, dying together? It's even more of a pain in the ass when it's snowing outside. Of course, I wasn't desperate enough to risk the $250 "cleaning fee" by taking a few furtive drags in the room's bathroom, like a few of my business associates did.
  • Carrying things. I'm so fucking sick of "toting." I feel like an abused burro looking for the treasure of the Sierra Madre. In the house, I could pull into the garage, and load and unload the car (golf clubs, luggage, bags from the store, etc.) in just a few steps. Now living in apartmentland, I have to walk down a long hallway, down some stairs and out into the parking deck to reach the car. Also complicating matters is the fact that there is no curbside garbage pick up in an apartment, so you have to make that every few days trip down to the car with a big bag of refuse. So mornings, you're dragging your ass down a hallway, trying to balance a briefcase with a laptop, a jumbo coffee and a bag of beer cans and cat shit. Coming home, you're hauling a briefcase, dry cleaning, mail and if you stop at the store, 15 plastic bags looped around your digits until all the circulation stops in your hand after about 10 feet. I want a moving sidewalk. Or a personal valet.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"I just killed a chicken."

No, I'm not making dinner the old fashioned way. That was a line from Craphole Island's resident Colonel Kurtz, John Locke. As always, if you haven't watched last night's hour of Lost: SPOILERS AHOY!

So Lost couldn't possibly sustain the breakneck pace established over the first three eps of the new season, could it? I mean, that was one classic hour after another, and we were bound to have a letdown, right? Last night's offering, "Eggtown" (what does that mean, anyway? Reference to the chickens? Breakfast? Pregnancies?) wasn't a groaner, like Jack's tattoo story, or completely boring, like Kate and Sawyer spend 6 episodes eating fish biscuits. But although I find Evangeline Lilly cute and competent, and Kate's story mildly intriguing, she's not at the top of my list of favorite island dwellers (that group would include Locke, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, Juliet, Ben and even newbies Faraday and Miles. And hell, even Jack, as long as he's drunk and bitter Jack, not sanctimonious and know it all assplug Jack). So last night was a bit of a downshift, especially compared to the previous three, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. (It probably helps that comparatively, just before "Eggtown" I watched Monday's Sarah Connor Chronicles, which was stupefyingly incoherent).

First, we have some "Whodats?" A few familiar faces showed up in "Eggtown." First, there was Kate's lawyer, played by Shawn Doyle, best known as Bill Henrickson's sad sack brother Joey on Big Love. Kate's mother was played again by Beth Broderick, who was Aunt Zelda on Sabrina the Teenage Witch (god help me that I know that). The prosecutor in Kate's case was Susan Gibney, whom I recognized as Dr. Leah Brahms on Star Trek: The Next Generation. (It was also rumored that she was up for the roles of both Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager). Finally, there was also the voice of Zoe Bell, (stuntwoman and featured player in Tarantino's Death Proof) who played Regina, the unseen woman on the freighter who answered Charlotte's call when Minkowski wasn't available, and declared "I thought the helicopter was with you!"

Other questions and observations from "Eggtown:"
  • Hurley got the line of the night: "You just totally Scooby-Doo'd me, didn't ya."
  • "You are not using my son." DunDUNdun. I know there was a suspicion that Kate was pregnant, but I actually forgot about that. But can we assume that her "child" was the person referenced in last season's finale: "HE will be wondering where I am?" Or is it someone else? DunDUNdun!
  • Those cool satellite phones? Not real at all.
  • So "everyone" thinks the Marshal died in the crash. And not shot by Sawyer and euthanized by Jack.
  • "Only eight of us survived the crash." So we know the Oceanic 6 are among the eight, but according to their cover story, who are the other two? And how is it purported that they met their end? Injuries sustained in the crash, or something more nefarious?
  • And speaking of the Oceanic 6, we know this includes Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley. Does Kate's "son" count as a fifth? And if so, is the sixth the person in the coffin that no one came to see except Jack?
  • Okay, I keep putting "son" and "child" in quotes, so instead of leaving the big honking reveal for the end, we'll just get right to it. In many ways, that was the awesome and redeeming plot point for the ep in my book. For much of the hour, we were teased by the appearance of Kate's "son." Kate had her "child rearing" moment with Claire at the laundry line, Sawyer and Kate discussed their sexual shenanigans and the possible repercussions, Joey Henrickson wanted her "son" to appear in court: all leading up to our final shot of Kate at home with the youngun. Maybe you, like me, saw the shock of blonde hair and instantly thought Sawyer's boys can swim. And of course, when the tyke called Kate "mommy" and then Kate called him "Aaron," my jaw hit the floor. Well played, Lost. Well played. (And the blonde hair made even more sense! Though I have a strange stirring for "Goth Claire" in the piercing and tattoo parlor, but hair dye shouldn't really transfer into the womb years later).
  • "No, not anymore."
  • How fucking sad is it for me that I thought Sawyer and Hurley's night of Xanadu, a good book and a big box of Dharma red wine sounds like a splendid time? Of course, I couldn't really suffer through Xanadu, ELO aside, without a big ass box of red wine.
  • What is Miles up to? And why $3.2 million? And once again, Ken Leung's line readings are priceless: "it's extortion, if you wanna get technical."
  • Why doesn't Jack want to see Aaron? Does he know that the kid is actually his nephew? Does it remind him of something unpleasant? With Claire? He couldn't wind up killing his own sister, could he? Or even worse, banging her? But with Jack and his god complex, it's probably that he couldn't save her, and doesn't want to be reminded.
  • Locke's idea of "quiet time" with Miles is amusing.
  • What was with Farady his card game with Charlotte? Is she testing his memory? Is he seriously fucked up, so much so that he can't remember three cards?
Overall, I would give this one an A- in general, and a solid B compared to the first thee eps which have all been A+. But next week we're back with Desmond, and probably hopping through time! Wheeeee!

What happens in the future, stays in the future.

Okay, thus far I've been on board with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Some eps have been better than others, but basically, I find the cast appealing, I was a fan of the movies and I've been able to overlook some of the inherent and obvious flaws (like why could Cameron act like a typical teen in the pilot, then suddenly resort to "robot behavior" immediately after with no idea how to relate to human beings? Or how does whipped up in a bathtub skin heal in a day or two, after being completely surgically sculpted to look like Garrett Dillahunt? Or does no one ever check the dogged and deadpan FBI agent's "to do list" while he's off pursuing a presumably off book and dead end case? Or how does a metal head travel through a time bubble when one of the Terminator rules is that nothing, unless completely encased in flesh, can make it through? And don't even get me started on the paradoxes associated with time travel storytelling). So those nitpicks aside, I've enjoyed my hour of Terminaty escape each Monday and played along.

However, last night, I watched Monday's ep and just scribbled down on a notepad "what the fuck?" Yeah, there were a few good moments. Yes, it was nice to get glimpses of the post-apocalyptic future. But:
  • I couldn't tell who the hell was who in the future. The actors weren't different enough in look, dress and speech patterns to distinguish individually.
  • What the hell was going on in the basement? There was some soothing music, and early 800 model terminators were dragging our resistance fighters down there, then bringing them back up. Were they being interrogated? Gang raped by models like Cameron? Forced to waltz with robots and compete in a horrific future version of Dancing With The Terminators? There wasn't enough set up on the front end, nor follow up on the back end, of the visits inside the room to create any suspense. Just a confused feeling of what the hell was that, and why are we wasting time on it?
  • Why did Kyle Reese have the poorly photoshopped picture of Sarah and her dog BEFORE the resistance captured the station with the time machine? This is where paradoxes start to cause migraines. And even if the paradox doesn't come into play, why give it to him before he's been assigned and able to go back to meeting his baby's momma?
  • Were we supposed to NOT know that Brian Austin Green shot Andy Goode? I mean, it was fairly obvious that he did last time, so why the big "reveal" at the end of the episode?
  • And speaking of Andy Goode, what the fuck? So he's in the future with Reese, chained to a floor, and apologizing for causing judgment day? Not looking any older than he does in the "present" when he was trying to get in Sarah's pants (and then shot by Reese)? How did he cause judgment day, and go from chess playing robot inventing dork now, to captured and apologizing resistance fighter in the future? And then BACK AGAIN?

These aren't Lost-like questions that make the mind wonder and send you dashing off to wikipedia to look up philosophers and mythological references. Or pique your curiosity within the framework of what you already know or surmise could be possible. These are just "what the fuck?" questions that make you aghast at the plotting and execution.

Of course, I could have more faith in the producers and determine that these poorly played out scenarios will have a payoff that will be satisfying. But for a show that I like and watch, not love and obsess over, we can't have too many more of these bizarro plot points.

Slow going this week.

Sorry to be so light on the posting this week. I've been out of town and just crazy busy. However, I'll be back tonight (or maybe sooner, if the world shuts down with a blizzard) with thoughts on last night's Lost and more.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This week's Ledger

  • Blue potato chips. This sounds positively unappetizing, but damn if they're not so tasty you overlook color that shouldn't be food.
  • Dinner and a movie, though both are open to interpretation.
  • Finally getting significant usage out of a mac-daddy new red and black window scraper.
  • The writers' strike is officially over.
  • Buffy, season 8.

  • Having to actually use a mac-daddy new red and black window scraper.
  • Dealing with egomaniacal, game playing asswipes.
  • Colds that won't go away.

They sleep with their siblings in Cleveland, Georgia?

I was catching up on a few of the latest Nip/Tuck episodes last night, and heard a reference that made me do a double take, but probably flew right over the head of 99.9% of the viewing audience. (if you're not up to date on Nip/Tuck through last week's penultimate ep of the season: SPOILERS).

While the primary patient, and episode namesake, was a horrifically ugly and venomous writer for EW (who naturally panned Sean and Hearts N' Scalpels), it was the secondary patient who caught my attention. Emmy, a young southern girl who read about McNamara/Troy and their altruistic work through the "Lizzie Grubman" (remember her?) program, came to see our docs about correcting a very visible port-wine stain on her face. Emmy was the product of a one night stand her mother had (more on that in a minute), and lived with taunts of her condition marking her like a Scarlett Letter. Of note was the city where Emmy said she grew up: Cleveland, Georgia.

For most Nip/Tuck viewers, that may seem like a throwaway line and just a reference to a small, southern town. However, for that tiny intersection of TNRLM readers and Nip/Tuck viewers, I'm sure it was a rewind moment. "Did she really just say Cleveland, Georgia?" You see, I have a few very dear friends actually native to this minuscule hamlet, including some who live there to this day (and who occasionally guest blog on a wildly popular website). My friends may know the answer to this better than I, but I can say that this is certainly the first time I've heard Cleveland, Georgia enter the pop culture lexicon in any way. Typically, Hollywood uses small southern towns as shorthand for "racist, inbred, redneck moron." Emmy was attractive, sincere and a bit naive (and had a questionable southern accent -- how hard is it to get these things right? I'm looking at you, Brenda Leigh Johnson, while throwing bouquets to Sawyer, who actually attended UGA for a time), but actually didn't represent the trite stereotype. Well, kinda.

Turns out, Matt's two dads (of which Christian is the biological father) were concerned about him falling way too hard for bombing victim / burn counselor Rachel. (side note: I didn't realize until last night that under all the make up, Rachel was played by Maggie Siff, who also plays the department store heir and Don Draper hook up Rachel Menken on Mad Men). Christian wanted to distract Matt from Rachel, and tried to push him in the direction of his sweet new southern patient, Emmy. When Rachel dumps Matt in an ugly scene and comes across Emmy in the hallway, the doc's son and newly "fixed" patient wind up doing the horizontal mambo back at dad's place. Which is all well and good, until you realize there has to be another shoe to drop. First, because this is Nip/Tuck. And second, because in the "previously on Nip/Tuck," we had a run through of Matt's cosmically awful choices in girlfriends (manipulative gender-reassigned life coach, Xenu worshipping porn star, pre-op trannie, white trash neo-nazi....). Making post-coital small talk, Emmy gushes about what a fantastic turn her life has taken, what with getting corrective surgery, meeting Matt and finally getting to know her real dad. You know, the one night stand her mom had referenced above. Her dad, who is a surgeon. Her dad, the surgeon who performed her surgery. Her dad, who is Dr. Christian Troy. Who also happens to be Matt's dad. Oooops.

Before they can even have the after-hump ciggie, Mattie has found a blog devoted to incestuous couples and thinks "this ain't too bad." Oh, Matt.

So while Emmy didn't represent the usual southern dolt in a typical way, our little gal from Cleveland, Georgia did just fuck her brother.

I've visited Cleveland quite a bit, but don't recall this being an issue there. However, my Cleveland readers might be able to shed more light on the subject:
  • Is sibling schtupping more prevalent there than I recall?
  • Did you ever make fun of a girl with half her face port wine color?
  • Ever see a swaggering Miami doc driving a Ferrari in town, stopping at the Piggly Wiggly to buy faulty condoms?
  • Do you remember any other mentions of your fair city on the tube?
This season of Nip/Tuck has been wildly uneven (and to tell the truth, it has been for the past couple of years). I still watch it out of habit, and because there are fantastic actors associated with it. But for a show that treads perilously close to camp, it wanders too often these days into an unbelievable caricature of itself. Sure, the ep that examined Rachel's backstory and haunted visions of her suicide bomber was deftly handled. And except for the hot tub scene, Paula Marshall's insecure actress was a welcome addition, as was Bradley Cooper's gloriously and amusingly over the top Hearts N' Scalpels sleazeball. But last week's collection of 70s nighttime soap vixens, with Donna Mills as a patient who literally wanted her face to look like a cat? Dear god. Don't even get me started on poor Joan Van Ark, who should have the dignity to not appear in public looking like that. One more face lift, and she'll have a goatee. I'll just ignore Sharon Gless's stalkery nutjob agent wannabe, and think of her more charismatic turn as Michael Weston's mom in Burn Notice. And the less said about season villainess Eden, looking like a reject from an 80s Motley Crue video, the better (though I probably wouldn't object to more movie scenes of her with Kimber).

Has anyone else completely given up on the show, or are you like me, and sticking it out until the bitter end?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jack's new advertising campaign is a killer.

Great, funny piece over on TWOP that envisions how 24 would change if other prominent showrunners take the reigns of Jack Bauer's next worst day ever. Take a look at that, smile, laugh and come back.

All done? Good. Most of the obvious choices were taken, but here's TNRLM's stab at one more:

Matthew Weiner

After finding coded messages in a cigarette advertisement about building a nuclear weapon, Jack Bauer goes undercover in a swanky Madison Avenue ad agency, taking Chloe along as his "girl Friday." Playing method actor just like he did when he became addicted to drugs, detoxed and kicked the habit in 11 hours, Jack is consumed with his new identity as Ron Raper, adman extraordinaire, and tries to sever all ties to his former life as a suspect torturing, never pissing, one man killing machine. In fact, Jack is so deep undercover he doesn't notice that everyone is wearing skinny ties and that his magical cell phone that never runs out of power hasn't yet been invented. Meanwhile, office queen bee Joan takes Chloe out for a makeover that turns her boobs into conical weapons of mass destruction, and teaches her the value of not being so sullen to her supervisor and co-workers. Bonding over martinis and ass hugging skirts, Chloe lets slip that Ron isn't really who he says he is. Later, while having convenient three hour lunch sex with agency partner Roger Sterling, Joan outs Ron's identity. Roger is panicked because he intentionally created a shitty image campaign for Richard Nixon while being secretly on the payroll for the Soviets. Chloe passes Ron/Jack some secret intel on mimeograph paper, and remembering his true identity, Jack screams "Dammit!" Jack goes down to Roger's office, pours himself a glass of scotch, smokes a pack of Chesterfields, then bashes Roger's head to a bloody pulp with an IBM Selectric. For good measure, he walks down to Pete's office and asphyxiates him with the laundry bag his tailored suit came in.

If you have an appointment, leave 31 minutes early.

Okay, at some point I should just set up a cut and paste shortcut that reads “Holy Shit! What another great episode of Lost!” Because we’re 3 for 3 this season, y’all. Last night’s ep, “The Economist,” was yet another considered, action-packed mind-blower.

In no particular order, some highlights, quotes and questions (and if you haven’t watched this ep…..SPOILERS!):

  • Naomi’s bracelet had an inscription: “N, I’ll always love you. RG.” Who is “RG?” And does Elsa (the chick Sayid dusts in the flash-forward) have a similar bracelet? Or the same bracelet?
  • Sayid is one of the Oceanic 6. That makes 4 we know (Kate, Jack, Hurley and now Sayid).
  • After globe-trotting man-of-mystery and international-killer-for-hire Sayid whacks that guy who met him on a deserted golf course, I realized it’s probably good for humanity that I don’t similarly carry a gun in my golf bag. (“Three putt? On the first hole? The motherfucking round is ruined! Bam!”)
  • Ken Leung is a magnificent prick. First we had Sawyer’s southern fried sarcasm, now we have Miles’ in your face ghostbuster sarcasm. Totally awesome. I'd like to hire him just to walk around with me and insult people.
  • “So what was he, a diplomat?”
  • “I’ll let you know when I decide.”
  • Tonight's best quotage, drolly delivered by Hurley: “Oh awesome. The ship sent us another Sawyer.”
  • “I saw you snap that guy’s neck with that breakdancing thing you do with your legs. I think I’ll hang back here.”
  • “I know it’s no use having friends you can’t trust.”
  • Did it really take 31 “extra” minutes for the test rocket to arrive on the island? Is the island in some type of time dilation bubble? Is it a constant 31 minutes behind? Or does this fluctuate? And even more illogical, if this 31 minute gap occurs with the rocket, how do folks on the island communicate with those off of it, with questions/responses happening immediately? (Faraday's conversations with the boat this season, or even last season’s Charlie/Penny convo in the undersea station). Are transmission waves (and not objects) unaffected by the time difference?
  • ''The day I start trusting him is the day I sell my soul.''
  • Hurley was a plant? Part of Locke’s strategy? Sweet innocent Hugo? “Sorry dude.”
  • “How long do you think we can play house?” (Ouch. Well, Kate, the usual answer is “until the money runs out. And your loins ache with a desire to be filled with coins and anonymous cocks.” However, I think in your case, the answer is “oh good christ, until Jack shows up again and decides he likes you better than Juliet”).
  • ”Follow the exact same bearing.”
  • “Send me a postcard.”
  • "In case you zoned out while you were tweezing your goatee . . ."
  • Funny when the former torturer is the more stable negotiator than the doc.
  • Where did Jacob’s cabin go? I’m fairly certain the bizarre “ash” was still there. Does it move around? Or just vanish?
  • Our old buddy Ben has a lot of passports. The name on one of them was “Dean Moriarty.” Obviously, you think of Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis. But googling the full name shows that it’s also a character from On The Road.
  • Okay, so let me get this straight. In the future, off the island, Sayid is now a stone cold killer, working for….dunDUNdun….Ben! Who appears to be incognito as a German veterinarian. Why is he working for Ben? What does Ben have over him? ''Do you want to protect your friends or not?'' What does this mean? What friends? The others in the Oceanic 6? Protect them from what? From Ben? And who are the people on Ben’s list to be killed? Why are they on there? Does he make them up himself, or do they come from someone else?
  • And maybe I’m just ultra cynical (shocking, I know) but I found it appropriate that an ep with two lovers, both with false identities, who betrayed and then shot each, aired on Valentine’s Day.

And finally, I found this little tidbit about Charlotte (“CS”) Lewis in Ausiello’s column over at TV Guide. For a while, our own little Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell, was in talks to join Lost as Lewis However, she wound up going on to Heroes, opening up the door for Rebecca Mader to take the same role.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eventually, you can get laid in front of your huge-ass TV

Is this offer retroactive? Sign me up. Or can you get it on "lay-away," like in the old days? Perhaps put in a few, well spaced months, and enjoy some plasma goodness?

Good Joss Q&A here (h/t Whedonesque) with tidbits about X-Men, Buffy and Dollhouse (hopefully, soon to be in production!)

I really don't care if this movie has a plot or not. Or if there's a movie. Or if there are pages beyond the cover of the magazine.

Miscellaneous news from Galactica Sitrep: BSG's last season split in two; Bionic Woman dies quietly and two t-shirts someone needs to buy me (XXL, please). And no, there was no "Colonial Party" to vote for in the primaries today.

Spaceships blowing up. Do you need another reason?

Strike plans for Lost. Bottom line? We "lose" three eps this year, but get them added to next year, and we'll still end the season with the same (presumed) "what the fuck just happened" plot point. Awesome.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday morning gaggle of goodies

Tidbits from a JJ Abrams chat on the new Trek movie.

I don't think I've blogged enough about Lost. Here's an interview with Jorge Garcia about last week's Hurley-centric premiere. (Did we determine definitively that it was Christian Sheppard -- Jack's "kinda dead" dad -- in the rocking chair in Jacob's cabin? Was he the one there when Locke visited Uncle Jacob's cabin? And what was up with Hugo filming a scene in the chair?)

Has UGA "dominated" the last decade of SEC football? Hey, I'm a homer with the best of them, but even I might call "shenanigans" on this list. Yes, there's been a remarkable consistency and two conference titles to boot. And the list is really just ranking by wins over the 10 year period (and 9.7 wins per year is nothing to sneeze at), but two schools "behind" UGA have won national titles, and a third should have played for one (sorry, Aubbies).

The pop culture gift that keeps on giving. Would it surprise you that I know someone who is not quite as classy as this? Or who makes dear Brit-Brit look like a model parent? No? Okay, move along now.

The sci-fi cliche drinking game. Smile in recognition.

Television's best show returns in March, with a couple of specials to get the newbies up to speed and celebrate the brilliance.

How the fuck can you make a song title out of this? However, unless she winds up in the nutshack with Britney, or detox with virtually every other celeb these days, I think it's an inspired choice. And I actually liked Chris Cornell's take on the last Bond theme.

And you thought the two recent Fantastic Four flicks were bad. As my nerd brethren are probably aware, there was a FF "movie" before Jessica Alba tried to emote as Sue Storm. I'd never seen footage from this gem, but now some has surfaced. Check it out.

Did you guys know that I cut an album? Courtesy of Albums That Don't Exist, you can make yours, too.

Friday, February 8, 2008

This week's Ledger

You know, I completely forgot to assemble a "ledger" for last week. I think that's because the past couple of weeks have been a blur. Other than a few diversions, work has been kicking my ass, mainly in a good way. So there's not much to report. However:

  • Lost. Mind? Blown. Welcome back.
  • Instant messaging.
  • Freshly ground coffee. The staple that keeps me going.
  • In Treatment. There's something about this 30 minute drama that keeps me coming back, despite the fact that all the characters are fucked up. Or maybe because all the characters are fucked up. When you think about it, that's a 2 and a half hour TV show for the week. But it's much like trend toward mini-desserts. Or the wonderful tapas dinner I had Monday. Or the pony bottles of Miller we drank in college. So small, there's no guilt about overindulging.
  • The mortgage interest exemption on your taxes. A small consolation for the financial havoc wreaked upon me last year, but hey, it's something. Live in the present, right?
  • Interesting and eye opening conversations.
  • Signing day. Welcome to the fold, AJ Green.

  • Static electricity. Before the winter is over, I think I'm going to be electrocuted in my office hallway.
  • Super Bowl commercials. Overall, a disappointment.
  • Super Bowl victory. Yes, it was a great game. But we faced the Sophie's Choice of hearing obnoxious Boston fans crow all year, or obnoxious NY fans crow all year. Blergh.
  • Speaking of which, football is over. Damn.
  • I think I have some type of bug. Not sick enough to see the doctor (not that I even know who the fuck mine is up here), yet not well enough to sing from the rooftops. Because we all know how often I do that. Still, I feel like I'm just dragging my ass around. (of course, that could be because it's my ass).
  • Intently watching and reading about the presidential primaries, and realizing I hate all the candidates and no one really speaks for my issues (without the baggage of being at cross purposes with my beliefs). November is gonna blow.

"Where's the chopper?!" "I saw a cow."

Last night's new Lost, "Confirmed Dead," was surprisingly even more mind-blowing than last week's season premiere. Holy shit, did a lot happen. We learned a bit more about the "freighties," the four new characters who (it was presumed) came to rescue the survivors of Oceanic 815. However, the freighties have another agenda (more on that in a minute) and the questions bubbled to the surface at a breakneck pace.

First, the new cast members. Lost has been mainly dead-on with new additions (with the notable exception of the dour Ana Lucia. Hell, I even liked Nikki and Paulo, if only because of their campy and well deserved end in "Expose") and the freighties are no exception. We had "the drunk," the helicopter pilot who claimed to the scheduled pilot for 815, played by Jeff Fahey. (The Lawnmower Man, dude). There was Miles, the Ghostbuster with the Dustbuster, who delivered every line with a cocktail of venom and sarcasm, played by Ken Leung (who I remember for his unhinged turn as Uncle June's nutshouse friend on The Sopranos). There was the eternally twitchy Jeremy Davies as Faraday, who uttered one of the evening's many funny lines; "can't say I was in charge of packing." And Rebecca Mader as dogged anthropologist Charlotte, who I remember from the short lived Justice (with Spy Daddy). She affected a very convincing American accent for that show, since she was using her natural Brit tone here. All had an agenda and a role in the team assembled by Mister Abbadon (!) and led by knifed in the back Naomi, who didn't really have a sister to love (code for "I'm being held a gunpoint") and had, I believe, the first dead-person flashback.

Whew. Questions and Observations (and mainly questions):
  • At first, I thought that we were in a flash forward, and perhaps the island had been swallowed whole by the ocean and that's why 815 (with notable shots of the cockpit and tail) was underwater. However, by the end, it was pretty clear that this was a flashback, and that the 815 seen submerged was an extravagant fake. Where do you find a plane to "fake crash" and put deep in the ocean? And why? And when (in the future) the "Oceanic 6" make it back to civilization, how is this plane explained? Do Jack and the other 5 go with this story, that the plane they were on is the one at the bottom of the ocean? Or is this exposed as a fake?
  • "Colonel Kurtz taking orders from Walt."
  • Was there a reason we didn't see much of Faraday's wife? Especially her face?
  • Does a Dirt Devil allow you communicate with the dead?
  • Why was Faraday so upset about seeing the wreckage of 815 at the bottom of the ocean? He claimed "I don't know," but is that true? Could it be that he believed that it was really elsewhere -- on the island as it was/is in "reality," -- and was shocked and saddened to hear a news report that that this wasn't true (before it turned out to be false)? Typing that hurt my head.
  • Why did the freighties have gas masks? Is this related to the facade that the the dude Desmond killed (Kelvin) perpetrated about toxic conditions outside The Hatch? Or the "Purge" that Ben enacted? Or something else?
  • "Rescuing you and your people – can’t really say it’s our primary objective." Holy shit. So what is? Turns out, the agenda (or so they say) is our own resident psychopath and master manipulator, Benjamin Linus. And where the hell was that photo of Ben taken? Isn't he supposed to have been on the island since he was a kid? Then how did the freighties get that pic? And why do they want him?
  • Speaking of pictures, how did Naomi also have a picture of Desmond? Wasn't that picture of Des and Penny one of a kind, a Polaroid taken when they were together in London? And do the rest of the team know about Des and that pic? Arrrgh. My head hurts more.
  • If the fake 815 was discovered by folks looking for a sunken ship, was that ship the Black Rock pirate ship? (and why didn't anyone go to the trouble of building and sinking a fake Black Rock like 815? Just kidding. I think).
  • "It's only a matter of time before he gets us Johnny. And I bet he's already figured out how he's gonna do it."
  • "I don't know Miles, how stupid are you?"
  • "Sure, who are we to argue with taller ghost-Walt?!"
  • Why was there a polar bear skeleton in the desert of Tunisia? Why was Charlotte giddy to find it? Why did it have a Dharma / Hydra collar on it? How long has it been there?
  • How does Ben know so much about Charlotte, and why did he shoot her? Because he has a "man on the boat." Who is that man? Could it be Micheal? Or could it be one of the three other freighties?
  • What did Ben and Locke think about Hurley's confession that he could see Jacob's cabin?
Again: Holy Shit. Only 6 more days until Thursday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


At the end of this post, I made reference to Andy Umberger, who not only pulled the rare "hat trick" on the Whedon shows, but also popped up as the shrink on last year's best show, Mad Men. Well, there he was Monday night on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as the FBI director who was skeptical about the inconsistencies in the "dead plastic surgery dude" case. (And did the whiny, scheming agent who cut the legs out from under show regular Agent Ellison remind anyone else of Isaiah Thomas? He looked like him, and had that same phony smiling, unctuous attitude. Maybe he'll trade 7 future draft picks for a terminator and sign him to a long term, overpriced contract. Of course, that would make too much sense for Isaiah, since a terminator would probably wreak havoc in the low post).

Also, in preparation for tonight's fresh Lost, here's a TV Guide interview with the four new cast members. All hail the extra twitchy Jeremy Davies.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hey, it could have been "Moonbeam" or "Barbar."

Or even my favorite, "Gimpy McCrutch."

I found this tidbit over on Pop Candy, a link to a Sawyer Nickname Generator. Mine?

If you want to refresh your memory on the rest of Sawyer's "real" nicknames, here's a handy list.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The bitch is back.

Remember the last paragraph if this entry? It seems that this speculation was indeed correct, and Cutthroat Bitch -- or, as Wilson likes to call his new girlfriend, "Amber" -- is back.

Great post Super Bowl ep of House last night, and how nice to see the lovely and talented Anne Dudek back as Cutth....Amber. Looks like she, House and Wilson will have a nice emphasis in the next episode, which thankfully, is only two days away.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl LXII Ad Blog: Fourth Quarter

Sunsilk (celebrity hair): decent commercial, but not for the Super Bowl. B+ ad; D- on media buy.

Coke: Thirsty parade floats of Underdog and Stewie battling it out for a coke. That Charlie Brown finally gets. (and no Lucy to pull it away at the last minute, or break the bottle and stab him to death with the shards). Awwww, the little dude wins something after all. Nice. A-

Coke: Carville and Frist bond over a jinx and a Coke. Not bad. B-

Toyota Sequoia. I’m not even sure what the hell that was about. F

Movie (Don’t Mess With the Zohan): I’m sure it will make $100 million. But not from my wallet. D

You know, if I wasn’t already watching the Sarah Connor show, I might check it out based on the commercials. They’re kicking ass. A

ETrade. Fucking talking baby again. Nightmare fuel, in so many ways. F

Taco Bell: Fiesta Platters. Ola. Suddenly, I’m hungry. Again, worth $2.7 mil? Probably not. Will I order a Fiesta Platter? Probably. B-

Gatorade: Thirsty dog. Man’s best friend. Meh. C-

Bud Light (Will Ferrell’s new ABA movie ): “Refreshes the palate. And the loins. Suck one.” B+

Hyundai Genesis: Not flashy, in a commercial sense. But I think they’re getting their point across. B

Victoria’s Secret: Tom Brady just threw a pass to put the Pats ahead. And will probably have all these chicks by the time he leaves the locker room. B-

Amp: Dude jump starts a lady’s car via nipple clamps, an energy drink and “Push It.” When I think of nipple clamps, this is not what I want in my head. Premise makes sense, but makes me queasy. And not in the mood for an energy drink. C-

All in all, not a stellar lineup of commercials tonight. Bridgestone rocked, sucked cock and many, many companies wasted their money. And Clydesdales and Dalmatians are always cute. Oh, and the New York Football Giants won! I don't think Tom Brady will be getting those models after all. And this probably means we'll be doubling our quota of Manning commercials on Sundays next fall.

Hey, there's a new House on!

Super Bowl LXII Ad Blog: Third Quarter Plan B was having a witch doctor shrink the head of an unhelpful sales guy. This is such a terrible campaign. And I can’t believe Hodgins from Bones was slumming in this one! D psychic pandas, and another offensive stereotype. Where’s an animated Mickey Rooney from Breakfast at Tiffany’s? F

Vitamin Water: Shaq as a jockey. Decent CGI. I laughed at the play by play guy’s “he’s coming up like an angry Viking.” Did the water help the horse? Meh. C-

Bud Light (cavemen): You can usually count on Bud Light commercials to bring the funny, but the batting average isn’t great this year. This one was okay (“Bottle opener sucks!”). B-

Ice Breakers: Carmen Electra is impressed by gum. D-

Bridgestone tires (deer in headlights): Bridgestone is rocking this year. You think you’re in another, run of the mill “avoid the deer” car commercial, when all of a sudden Alice Cooper – and his snake – pop up. Then Richard Simmons, followed by a gunning of the engine. Great. Demonstrate the product benefits, surprise me, make me laugh. A+

CareerBuilder (wish on a star). Not bad, but a big let down from the beating heart leaping out of the chest. C+

Hyundai Genesis: Hyundai is entering the luxury market. We all laughed when the Japanese car makers did it. Wonder if the Koreans can pull it off? Salesgenie should follow this up with animated Koreans complaining in thick accents about getting not getting enough leads, while they’re dining on a Budweiser Dalmatian. The car doesn’t look too bad. Simple, straightforward approach. B

Movie (Wall-E): Pixar can do no wrong. A

Movie (Jumper): The flick will probably be terrible, but for some reason, the trailers and the premise really intrigue me. B

E-Trade: Oh fuck, talking baby. Makes me want to put on a condom. And I’m alone. F

Bud Light (Fly): I’m not sure what to make of these “ability no longer included” ads. Kinda amusing. B- (NFL Stories): I play the oboe. A tale well told. Cute, heartwarming. (I heard the “uncut version” featured a story about beating David Carr within an inch of his life with the oboe). A-

Super Bowl LXII Ad Blog: Second Quarter

Movie (Wanted): Badass gunplay, based on a videogame. Bonus points for having Angelina Jolie back in Mr. and Mrs. Smith mode. Could be dumb fun, but probably a stinker to watch on Cinemax after a bottle of cheap whiskey. C+

G2 Gatorade: A baseball field follows Derek Jeter around while he drinks the beverage. Product tie is not bad. Of course there’s a Peyton Manning cameo at the end. Not bad. B+

Go Daddy: Attempting to drive you to their website for “Exposure,” a supposedly racy Danica Patrick commercial. She takes herself waaay too seriously to be worth an extra mouse click. Good thing they sell cheap domain names. D

Dell (Red): guy gets congratulated and mobbed for buying a laptop with the “Red Campaign” benefits for saving lives. Mick Jagger sings in the background. You wanna save lives? How about giving the $2.7 million that lame commercial to starving folks in Africa. That could buy a lot of beef jerky and Snapple. D

FedEx (carrier pigeons): guy solves shipping problems with trained carrier pigeons. Not just regular size, but also dinosaur size mutant pigeons. With robot looking helmets. Very funny scenes of the chaos they cause on the streets below. I laughed out loud as the pecked on cars. A Fighting Gondor in the circle of death. Mildly amusing, but will never, ever relate that to again. C-

Tide to Go (talking stain): Communicates the product benefits beautifully, shows the product clearly at the end and makes you laugh. I rewound just to hear the babbling stain. A

Budweiser (Horse and Dalmatian) Undersized Clydesdale trains with dog to make the beer truck team, all set to Rocky music. These are always adorable and touching. Both animals are established icons for the brand, and this one (as usual) made me smile. A

Move (Iron Man): Every teaser and shot I’ve seen from this looked fantastic. One of my most eagerly anticipated movies of 2008. Robert Downey Jr. should make a spot on Tony Stark. Was it just me, or did that last scene, where old shell-head takes down a tank, look fake like a video game? Not a fan of the music, either (Sabbath’s “Iron Man” from the teaser was perfect). Some good, some bad. I was underwhelmed compared to expectations. Still, they’ll have my $10. B-

Toyota (quiet cabin and sleeping badgers): Tied to product, and funny. What can I say, badgers are amusing. B+

Movie (Leatherheads): Not much too it, but looks like a good cast and fun flick. B+

Garmin: LOVE the product, but not too sure about Napoleon here. What the fuck does a French dictator and his tiny pony have to do with a GPS system? D

CareerBuilder (follow your heart): Loved the payoff, and the chest-bursting was the right amount of shocking, gross and funny. A-

Lifewater: A chick and lizards doing “Thriller.” D

Out of work drug dealer: Surely you can find better ways to spend almost $3 million on fighting drugs. Maybe on subsidies for the alcohol industry so people will drink instead. Because Clydesdales and Dalmatians are cute. D-

GMC Yukon Hybrid. Very stark and fascinating graphic approach to the execution, with a figure pushing a huge boulder up a hill. However, it has nothing to do with an SUV. That would have been great for an investment firm. Or a marriage counselor. Graphics: A. Effectiveness: F

Bud Light (Mencia and English pick up lessons): slight tie to previous commercials. Not that funny. Well, maybe the guy with the chicken. C-

Movie (Narnia / Prince Caspian): I’m not down with the C.S. Lewis message. Whatevs. C-

Planters: Head turning unibrow gal, because she dabs with cashews. D

TMobile: DWade finally gets into Barkley’s Fave Five. Ongoing campaign, and this was the funniest of the bunch. B+

Pepsi: Justin Timberlake gets carried across down in cartoonishly violent way. Each sip “gets you closer to Justin.” Message connected to offering, and smug popstar abuse is always appreciated. B+

Doritos (mousetrap): Much better than some lame song I’ve never heard. Bonus for antagonistic, vengeful guy in felt mouse costume. B

Halftime: I like Tom Petty as much as the next guy, but I can’t see anything topping Prince’s fantastic turn last year.

Super Bowl LXII Ad Blog: First Quarter

Bud Light (Firebreathing): I’ve liked some of the “ability not contained in Bud Light” commercials before. This one didn’t do anything for me. C-

Audi R8: Great take on the classic scene from The Godfather. The brand message and the original scene aren’t a 100% match (to owners of other luxury cars need to be intimidated into giving Audi a “fair chance,” a la Johnny Fontaine?), but it’s funny enough to let that slide. Plus, the car looks badass. A-

Diet Pepsi Max (Nodding Off): Featuring Haddaway’s tune from the SNL “Butabi Brothers” skits, shows people nodding off from lack of energy, which the soft drink fixes with a pick me up. Eh. Only truly amusing moment is a cameo from Chris Kattan at the end. You know you don’t have a winner when a Chris Kattan appearance is the high point. C (Acme cartoon): stylized cartoon, with a sales rep that sounds like Apu. Awful. D-

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Nothing we haven’t seen before, but this one is focused on scenes with Summer Glau’s terminator kicking ass and spouting deadpan lines. Love it. A

Bug Light (wine and cheese party): Similar to one from days gone by with men having Bud Light in hidden sections of the women’s clothing department of a store, except the beer is hidden in cheese and baguettes. C+

Under Armour: People training in a stylized urban environment. “The future is now!” I get what they’re trying to say – “hey, you fucks in Beaverton, we’ve arrived!” – but it left me flat. Solid strategy, boring execution. Not a good way to spend a ton of dough. Pay a college team to get a uniform endorsement. C

Bridgestone (Squirrel in road): Demonstrates product features, features always popular cute animals. Looks of terror and shrieks of horror from the woodland creatures was cute and well edited. A

Doritos: some online contest featuring voting for unknown artists. Snack chips and songs you’ve never heard before. Good time for a bathroom break. D

Unhitched: A new FOX comedy that looks awful just like every other sitcom they’ve attempted besides Arrested Development. When that didn’t garner ratings (just universal critical acclaim and Emmys), it seems they’ve gone out of their way to make every other offering as insipid as possible. Mission accomplished. F

"Let's all have sex."

That was Owen's response to the imminent destruction of London, on last night's Torchwood episode, "Sleeper." Can't say that I blame him, though I wonder if that's a bit of residual influence from last week's Captain John visit.

Overall, the episode was entertaining, and continued last week's trend of taking an "action" premise, and psychologically disturbing story (the poor sleeper agent! Didn't know what was happening to her, or how she would eventually wind up treating her boyfriend) and suffusing it with a fair amount of wit and playfulness. It's only two episodes thus far in S2, but the producers seem to be hewing more closely to the Whedon model this year, challenging the writers and actors to skillfully balance sci-fi adventure, character development, pathos and devilish humor all in one hour. It all makes for an entertaining romp, and I'm in definitely warming to the rest of the team (besides Jack and Gwen, who I already liked) who are showing more shades and more off the cuff funny.

I also like that Torchwood's more adult bent and the English sensibilities treat sexual orientation and interracial relationships like a mundane point of fact, rather than the "dun-dun-DUN" hammer frequently present on US TV.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Screw Hannah Montana in 3-D, I'm buying advance tickets for this

All week long, many of the entertainment journos have been marveling about the tracking numbers for a limited release Hannah Montana in 3-D movie hitting selected theatres this weekend. It seems parents who couldn't swiftly obtain a second mortgage to scalp tickets for her sold out concert shows (or come up with a fake, heart-tugging story about a dead dad in Iraq) can take their overcaffeinated tweens to a movie theatre in order to see that rare young starlet who hasn't showed her prepubescent birth canal getting out of a car, walked out of nightclubs looking like she had rubbed Dolly Madison powdered donuts under her nose, filmed a grainy amateur porn tape with a "producer" or "artist" banging her like a horny wolverine, or humped a swarthy paparazzo in a c-store bathroom amidst the empty Red Bull Cans and crumpled bags of Cheetos. Fandango and other online ticket retailers report extraordinary advance sales for the concert flick, which could top the box office this weekend, while most people sit on their couch knocking back beer after beer wondering what the fuck Ryan Seacrest has to do with the Super Bowl.

However, this morning I ran across this article which hints at preliminary talks ("a round of sniffing," according to Jason Bateman) for assembling an Arrested Development movie. You could tell me that there was a cure for cancer and peace in the Middle East and I wouldn't be happier. The Bluths back together? Come on! How awesome is that?

Can you buy advance tickets for a movie that doesn't have a release date yet? For a movie that hasn't even been filmed -- much less agreed to -- yet? I checked out Fandango this morning, attempting to rent an entire theatre for myself, but it wasn't listed.

While I'm always skeptical about "recapturing the magic" I think an AD movie could be a great thing, much like Led Zep's recent one-off concert.

Bring back our Bluths!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Did Mr. Universe live in Cumming, Georgia?

Here's a fun article from I09 about "high tech lairs." It's cute. Go read it. Come back.

Okay, as I was reading through that, I was daydreaming about how frelling cool it would be to have one of those. Especially the Mr. Universe set up from Serenity (which I think I've watched about 7 times in the last month). Their summary:

Mr. Universe's Satellite Broadcast Station from Serenity: If you're a reclusive techno-geek who intercepts signals and watches television 24 hours a day, then you'd want your own giant, orbiting headquarters that could snag signals down from everywhere in the universe and rebroadcast them whenever you felt like it. Sort of like your own personal intergalactic YouTube. Plus in your spare time you can build a hot love-bot to marry and get busy with. All the comforts of home. Of course, it wasn't that "secret" of a place, since no one seemed to have trouble finding it.

And then it dawned on me. Didn't I really spend a couple of years exactly like that? Okay, my McMansion wasn't really orbiting greater Forsyth County, and I didn't send videos out over the broadwave that lowered the stock price of Blue Sun, and I didn't build any hot love bots. But I did have a richly appointed and spacious Death Star all to my own, hermetically sealed off from virtually all human contact with everything I need neatly organized alphabetically or by size/shape. I had hundreds of channels beaming into every nook and cranny of the house 24/7, with so many TiVos I could record all of human history and still have room for a few "suggested" random episodes of Arrested Development to make their way onto the playlist. Between the PC and the crackberry, I could blog, email and text without ever getting out of my bathrobe or hearing the shrill din of the human race. I pushed my self-absorbed, manic depressive and random musings out into the universe for all to read and most to ignore. The "lair" was right there on a hill for all to see and find via Google maps or see on Google earth, yet the palpable stench of angst and bitterness acted as a force field to repel all but the most intrepid. And while I could repair a hard drive, change the lights in a Bimmer (harder than you think) and solve the most vexing MS Office problems, I couldn't really build my own love bot (Noted philosopher William the Bloody: "sex with robots is more common than people think"). Yet I still managed to connect with the occasional honey who would make a visit to Mister Universe's suburban annex for a dip in the deranged end of the pool.

Ahhhh, those were the days. Until The Operative (aka real life, aka the mortgage company) came to put an end to The Signal.

Hey, who's up for drinking on a Friday night? Suddenly, I want to watch Serenity again and go buy a house. With a basement, a T1 line and a huge fucking satellite dish. And a hot robot.

I'll take potpourri for $200, Alex

John Byrne, comic icon that I fondly remember from my youth and his time on the X-Men, will be doing a "Lorne" gig for the new (and quite good) Angel: After the Fall comic.

We missed an ep of the new Sarah Connor show on Monday so some empty suited hypocrites could lie to us, but I did stumble across this somewhat cogent breakdown of the various Terminator timelines. Well, as cogent as timeline breakdowns can be when the producers can't even remember the fucking years clearly spelled out in the previous movies. If you're making a show like this (or even one of the movies), wouldn't you have a huge-ass white board up in your writing room with meticulous documentation of all the various timelines and key dates?

Hey, Dinner for Five has an ep tonight! THAT is one of the many reasons I pray daily at the shrine of TiVo. I didn't delete my D5 season pass, and out of the fucking blue a new episode pops up in the To Do List. Just like it should. I've almost forgotten the ass-raping horrors of the three months with Comcast and their antediluvian, ersatz "DVR".

I'm really digging the new iPod and iTunes. More sometime soon on my experiences with this little gem.

Too bad the Super Bowl isn't in Columbus, Georgia. I'm sure the prices are cheaper.

Speaking of which, did anyone catch little Wilbur's question to Christian in the latest Nip/Tuck? "Daddy, is mommy a skank?" Assuming, of course, that a child of two parents who barely have a GED between them will ever learn nouns and verbs, I'm sure this question will be asked repeatedly in Georgia very soon. (And if ya want a real answer to that one, Junior, just ask me. Or any of about 21,387 local area used car salesmen, sweaty insurance agents, college drop outs, random strangers, workers at the area free clinic, drug dealers, construction workers, pimps, sugar daddies, your granddad's co-workers, fry-cooks, get the idea).

Nina the werewolf is getting married to a pie-fucker!

Could Cutthroat Bitch be back on House? Pretty please? Could she be the "mystery girlfriend" of Wilson? And how sweet is Anne Dudek's triple play? House, Mad Men and Big Love? Quite impressive. There are the "triple play" actors from the Whedonverse, like Jonathon Woodward, Andy Umberger -- look at this dude's credits! he's the shrink on Mad Men and has been on a lot of quality TV in addition to the Jossverse -- Jeff Ricketts, and Carlos Jacott. But to bag some time on House, Mad Men and Big Love, all from different head writers/producers, makes a TV geek's heart grow two sizes larger.

I can see the future, brotha!

Find out Which Lost Character Are You at!

Well, that doesn't exactly surprise any friends of TNRLM, does it? Of course, I would have easily understood a "manipulative southern smartass" or "drunken, bitter leader with a god complex," too. Who are you, dear readers?

Other thoughts on last night's Lost:
  • Several recaps and blogs I checked out today from professional critics who have seen the next couple of eps say that next week's is even better. Holy shit. Grab your bloomers and get ready.
  • Sawyer didn't call Kate "Freckles" (or any other nickname, for that matter) when they split.
  • The dude who came to see Hurley in the loony bin, who represented himself as a business card-less representative of Oceanic Airlines, said his name was "Mister Abaddon." A helpful tour of wikipedia says that "abaddon" is a Hebrew word for "destruction." Read more here.
  • Jack makes his screwdrivers like a pussy. Of course, maybe this is just when he's casually drinking away the horrors of his time being kidnapped, beaten, hunted, starved and godknowswhatelse on craphole island, and before he really starts to miss his time there, and begins growing an untamed angry badger on the chin beard, and finally starts making his drinks fucking manly enough so that he loses his surgical privileges and hallucinates (maybe?) his dead father and thinking about jumping off a bridge. Easy on the OJ, heavy on the vodka, Jack-ass, and cowboy up.

That makes sense

Here's a headline for you.

Of COURSE you want to kill yourself. You're NOT SMOKING ANYMORE!!!

I wonder if the "control group" taking the placebos also wanted to kill themselves. Personally, I don't care if I was I was eating Flintstones chewables by the fistful after quitting smoking, I'd be prominently featured in "reports of depression, agitation and suicidal behavior."

Who are the other three?

Note: sometimes, I get friends who read this blog not knowing that I'm going to reference plot points from a recently aired show that they've saved to their Tivo. I won't go into great detail about last night's Lost "The Beginning of the End," but if you haven't watched it yet, "star" this one in Google Reader and read it later. That's a long way of saying: SPOILERS.

Questions and observations:

So Hurley gets off the island, along with Jack and Kate, making up half of the "Oceanic Six." Who are the other three that are occasionally followed by paparazzi and sought for autographs? (Apparently, it had nothing to do with choosing "Team Jack" or "Team Locke.") And Hurley freaking out in a c-store, driving recklessly and winding up in a nuthouse? When did Hugo become Britney?

Ben and Rousseau seemed to have some "parenting" issues.

Death becomes Charlie, no?

The basketball scene obviously takes place before the "we've got to go back!" scene from the s3 finale, since Jack considers growing a beard and vows never to go back to the island. Also, despite his fragile mental condition, an NBA team should consider signing Hurley, since he doesn't miss.

Why did Hurley lie about knowing Ana Lucia? Granted, I would have too, since she was so fucking annoying.

Who was the freaky "Oceanic Lawyer" who didn't have any business cards? Who does he want to know about?

Who was in Jacob's cabin? Was that Jacob? Jack's dad? Who was the "eyeball" in cabin? Locke?

Does Hurely's painting of the igloo and eskimo have anything to do with polar bears and/or Penny's "listening team?

How did Locke know about Charlie's message (Not Penny's Boat)? Did they just skip over the part where Hurley tells him? Did I miss something? Did this strike anyone else as strange?

Jack "shooting" Locke. Holy Frak! He pulled the trigger! Equally cool was Locke's calm reaction about the gun not being loaded.

Line of the night: "Better call the boat. Tell them she's getting a really big bundle of firewood."

Jorge Garcia? Dude, you can act.