Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $2,200, Alex

You can read all about my take on the Emmy nominations here. TWOP has posted a gallery of things they're pissed about here. (having a shot of Mary McDonnell at the top of the feature just about sums it up).

I just discovered Google Notebook. What an awesome tool. Works seamlessly with Firefox, Google Reader and all the other online toys.

Stop making me wait, motherfuckers.

NPH has a chat with the Washington Post, and talks about Dr. Horrible, HIMYM and more.

Am I too old for this? Because it's just awesome.

Everyone enjoying the return of Psych? I know I am, and Friday's John Hughes love fest was no exception. Check out this season preview.

How do various heroes compare on a "wish fulfillment checklist?" You have to look over Io9's chart, complete with adorable icons for characters including Malcolm Reynolds, James T. Kirk, Paul Atredies, Spider-Man, Starbuck, Sarah Connor, The Doctor and others.

Mythbusters' Adam and Jamie debate the best movie FX. Not sure what Jamie's fascination with Baron Munchhausen is, but I gotta go with Adam on this one.

Great opening sentences from sci-fi books.

Tim Burton movies can be hit and miss for me (the less said about Planet of the Apes the better), but if he's doing Alice in Wonderland, he certainly hit the bullseye on the casting. This gal was electric and astonishing on In Treatment.

SI's Stewart Mandel on Coach Richt. I bought Mandel's book on CF, and look forward to reading that on the plane trips down the motherland for upcoming season.

Urban Meyer is a narcissistic douchepickle. But that's not exactly news.

I think from now on, I'll become a loyal customer of Accor Hotels.

More tidbits from Comic-Con

Nothing like waking up to a Reader full of juicy, geeky goodness. Here ya go:

Six awesome new Watchmen posters. Make sure to look at 'em all, because they're that good. Everyone else as excited about this flick as I am? I had my doubts at first when I heard they were making a movie, because I didn't feel it would be possible to put the entire thing on screen in the time allotted for a theatrical release (which could run as much as 3 hours, and potentially longer on the DVD). I thought an epic 8 to 12 hour miniseries on Showtime or HBO would be the way to go, but Zack Snyder's faithfulness to the original tome gives me hope.

Heroes screens the first hour of the season premiere. All I can say is that they got some makin' up to do, after that last season. If we spend hours wandering around Mexico with Maya and her dark eyes of doom, I might just hit "delete this season pass." SPOILERS from that footage.

Interview with
The Middleman.

Not much in the way of revelations, but for all the Losties out there:
The Sarah Connor Chronicles will pick up next season just a few minutes after Cameron's vehicle 'spolded. More here.

Speaking of Terminators, I certainly wasn't filled with confidence when I heard they were making a 4th movie, brought to us by "the director of Charlie's Angels!" However, getting the late Stan Winston on board for design work and casting Christian Bale as an adult John Connor helps. I'm willing to give it a chance, and its seems like they're taking it seriously. Check out some coverage here (big ass T-600!) and here (more big ass T-600!).

No, we didn't learn the identity of the final Cylon at the BSG panel. But you can find lots of Galactica goodness here and here and here, and Eric Stoltz from Caprica, here.

Get your fill of all things on Joss's new show:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Comic-Con done broke Google Reader

Of the 60+ RSS feeds I get into Google Reader, many of them are focused on geeky entertainment. And with Comic-Con going this week, the damned feed has almost exploded. Fortunately, I have no life and I've managed to make my way through them all and find my cup of nerd knowledge overflowing. Some highlights:

What to wear at Comic-Con. I particularly like the Captain Hammer shirt, and the "all the robots that matter" one.

Jack Bauer screams "Dammit!
" at a fan (all in good fun). And there's a reference to a 24 drinking game (I seem to recall getting plastered playing my own version of this one).

Highlights from the Watchmen panel. First, Carla Gugino is smoking hot. (She was also on a panel for a "re-imagining" of childhood fave Escape to Witch Mountain). Also, good insight from the actors on getting into their characters. Speaking of the flawless Gugino, here's a look at a Vargas-style pinup of her character, Sally Jupiter. Another recap of the panel is here.

Kinda cool: a look a concept art for the lightcycles in TRON. Awesomely Fucking Cool: Out of the blue and unannounced, Disney previewed a teaser (or "proof of concept") for a TRON sequel, called TR2N, featuring The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges. Here's a grainy, camera phone view of the footage.

Dexter made an appearance at the Con. Here's a write up on the panel. And check out the season 3 preview!

Thoughts on The Middleman panel. And they are cutting back from 13 eps to 12? Sigh. I, too, was worried that the smart, funny show might be too "niche-y" to find a mainstream audience (especially on ABC Family) despite all the glowing reviews. I certainly hope it comes back for a second season, but if you're not watching it, you should be, while you can. There's really nothing like it on TV, and it's the laugh out loud funniest take on "superheroes" since The Tick.

Farscape is coming back with comics and webisodes.

I knew a Wolverine movie was coming out, but I didn't realize there would be an appearance from everyone's favorite lingerie-wearing, psychotic, psionic uber-bitch, Emma Frost. Awesome. I wonder who will be playing her? How about Christina Cole? Or Emily Blunt with blonde hair?

Video from the panel with the Lost guys. Plus more on Chuck, Sarah Connor and Lost.

The Doctor is in

I'm sure by now everyone has seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, right? And everyone is on board with the awesomeness, right? If you haven't, get your ass to iTunes and buy it right now. $3,99 for 3 acts of hysterical, musical, entertaining and tragic perfection. Not too big a price to pay. I've watched the entire thing 4 times already, and plan to buy the DVD when it's released later this year (with musical commentaries!).

Some choice Dr. Horrible linkage: (and note: if you haven't seen it yet -- what's wrong with you? -- there are signficant spoilers and you might want to avoid clicking on these until after you've watched)

An "oral history" of Dr. Horrible, from EW, featuring interviews with all the cast and crew. (tidbit: NPH is close friends with the adorable Amy Acker, and he also read for the part of Simon on Firefly. Sean Maher is great, but I wonder what NPH would have been like as River's older brother and Kaylee's crush?).

A wrap of Act 3, and a brief NPH interview, from Alan Sepinwall.

Quick E! recap of the Dr. Horrible panel at Comic-Con.

Io9 Coverage of the panel.

Another glowing review.

Did Sarah Michelle Gellar make a cameo in Dr. Horrible? Check it out.

Tune in tomorrow

Don't forget: tomorrow night is the premiere of Mad Men season 2. Last year, the show came out of nowhere to be one of the biggest, and most pleasant, surprises of the TV season. Following the initial run on AMC, Mad Men graced just about every noteworthy critic's "Best" list, and richly deserves all the hoopla you've been hearing and reading about.

A few Mad Men tidbits:

A "Mad Men 101" cheat sheet from EW.

Mo Ryan's interview with the show creator, Matt Weiner (and also there are links to many other interviews with the cast).

Creating the Mad Men look.

The women of Mad Men. (And I didn't realize that Marti Noxon -- former Buffy writer/producer, who looked and sounded great in Dr. Horrible -- had joined the staff).

The AV Club talks to Matt Weiner.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hey, TNRLM, what did you think of the 2008 Emmy nominations?

Well, headline, I'm glad you asked. As regular TNRLM readers know, I watch an inordinate amount of television. ("inordinate" means "excessive," so I guess it depends how you define "excessive." Of course, it also means "unrestrained," which I like better, since there's no one restraining what the hell I watch. And besides, what the frak else have I got to do?).

Below is a list of the Emmy noms in the major categories, and my thoughts on them, along with who I would nominate. First, I'll gladly admit a couple of blind spots. Two shows that consistently show up on critics' lists that I don't watch are Friday Night Lights and The Wire. Given my love of great writing, I probably should, but I've just never had an interest. As a rule, I loathe shows with too many kids (unless there's something supernatural involved, like Buffy or Reaper), and for whatever reason, I never got into The Wire when it started airing. Perhaps I might catch it on HBO reruns or DVD or something, since I live so close to the setting now, though from what I know about the storylines, I might be afraid to leave my house. (And that would be different how?). Also, I was all predisposed to love Pushing Daisies, but that kicked off right around the time of my move north, and I was saddled for three months with a barely functioning "DVR" from the douchewits at Comcast, so I missed it.

That said, here we go...

Best Drama
Boston Legal

Mad Men

I can't express enough disbelief, and joy, that Mad Men got nominated. It is without question one of the best dramas on TV, and I'm glad it made the cut. Lost had a very, very stong season, perhaps its best, and deserves a place. Dexter, which I only just recently caught up on, was just as good as the landmark first season, if not better. House was uneven this year, but should still find a place among the top 6 dramas. I didn't watch Damages, and really, I can't understand the ongoing love for Boston Legal. The glaring omission here is Battlestar Galactica, continuing Emmy's snub of sci-fi and supernatural (with the welcome exception of Lost). I think many of the voters just can't get past the name, much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also, they typically make a judgment based on one episode, and when you have such serialized storytelling, they just can't grasp the impact and nuance of the show based on such a small sample (though BSG did get a writing nod, among a few other smaller noms). In Treatment was also mesmerizing television, but the format may have been too much for some voters. Personally I loved it and think several of the actors deserve some Emmy love. Big Love had a superb season and deserves a place at the table.

TNRLM's Picks: Mad Men, Lost, House, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, Big Love

Lead Actor, Drama
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
James Spader, Boston Legal

Spader graciously accepted his award last year, and isn't it time to just let him go off into the sunset with kudos for his portrayal of Alan Shore? I love the noms for Byrne and Hamm, whose new shows were among my choices for the best of the year. Both Hall and Laurie do extraordinary work making flawed characters supremely appealing. Sadly, I gave up on Breaking Bad, but thought what I saw of Cranston was quite good. You could also make a good case for Matthew Fox (Lost), who continues to add depths to the portrayal of a conflicted leader, and whose "off island" escapades were truly heartbreaking. Edward James Olmos is the rock (along with Mary McDonnell) of the best ensemble on TV, and did stellar work as BSG wound down to brutal end of the season. Vincent D'Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) continues to fly under the radar, but had some emotional storylines to go along with his bag of quirk this year. And two stars from the Beeb deserve recognition. John Barrowman adds the right shading to some of the overwrought silliness on Torchwood (though he can be delightfully silly, also), and David Tennant is simply electric as The Doctor.

TNRLM's Picks: Jon Hamm, Hugh Laurie, Michael C. Hall, Gabriel Byrne, Edward James Olmos, David Tennant (Doctor Who)

Lead Actress, Drama
Glenn Close, Damages
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

A solid category. I didn't watch Damages nor Brothers & Sisters, but I have no problems with Hunter and Sedgwick, though The Closer is really the much stronger show (that also has a superb ensemble). With enough slots, I would give a nomination to all three of the wives on Big Love (Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin and Jeanne Tripplehorn) who invest us all so deeply in such an unusual and uncomfortable situation. And how can you not recognize Mary McDonnell here? Shame, Emmy, shame.

TNRLM's Picks: Mary McDonnell, Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Hunter, Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Supporting Actor, Drama
Ted Danson, Damages
Michael Emerson, Lost
Zeljko Ivanek, Damages
William Shatner, Boston Legal
John Slattery, Mad Men

Talk about an embarrassment of riches. Michael Emerson pwns your ass. Slattery was a weaselly silver fox, with a great role to play. God knows I love The Shat, but enough with the Boston Legal adulation. How would you classify Reaper? Comedy or Drama? Hard to say, but I'll put Ray Wise in here for the can't miss role of the year. Has the devil ever been this much fun? I hate to keep banging the BSG drum here, but both James Callis and Michael Hogan do such fantastic work that they have to be recognized. What about Henry Ian Cusick? Desmond wasn't on this season of Lost an extraordinary amount, but his work in "The Constant" deserves a little gold statue. And don't forget about Robert Sean Leonard on House, or Blair Underwood and Josh Charles from In Treatment. With a tough category like this, I doubt Bruce Campbell would get a nod for Burn Notice, but I certainly welcome him on my screen every Thursday.

TNRLM's Picks: James Callis, Michael Hogan, Ray Wise, Henry Ian Cusick, Michael Emerson, John Slattery

Supporting Actress, Drama
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment

Of these, I would only wholeheartedly agree with Wiest, who was wonderful as Paul's complicated fellow shrink. Also on the same show, Michell Forbes (awesome last year as Admiral Cain on BSG's "Razor") was fantastic as Paul's wife. Was Anne Dudek in House enough to qualify here? Cutthroat Bitch was one of my favorite characters all of last year. (if we can't consider her supporting, then I would happily substitue Yunjin Kim from Lost). Jennifer Carpenter from Dexter was adorable as the sister of the moonlighting serial killer, who was recovering from the trauma of almost being killed last season by the Ice Truck Killer, finding her confidence on the force and experiencing a little May - September romance with Keith Carradine's FBI agent. Christina Hendricks was brassy, sexy office queen bee Joan on Mad Men, and should get recognized also. But no one gave a more revelatory, unexpected and brilliant performance this year than Mia Wasikowska as the damaged gymnast on In Treatment.

TNRLM's Picks: Mia Wasikowska, Dianne Wiest, Anne Dudek, Jennifer Carpenter, Michelle Forbes, Christina Hendricks

Best Comedy
30 Rock
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
Two and a Half Men

Hey, I like Entourage as much as the next guy, but last season was a flop just like Medellin. 30 Rock and The Office are no brainers. Do we still classify Desperate Housewives as a comedy? If so, I thought it rebounded from an awful prior season to have a very strong one. The best new comedy on TV was Big Bang Theory, that poked fun at the geeks, while still showing them a lot of love, a tough balancing act that was artfully, and most important, hilariously, handled. No love for How I Met Your Mother? Another shame, especially since they had to resort to stunt casting Britney Freaking Spears just to get some eyeballs on this wonderful comedy. Pickings are slim for sitcoms, but I also really enjoyed Samantha Who.

TNRLM's Picks: The Office, 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Samantha Who?

Lead Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

Tony Shaloub is approaching Gandolfini and Spader territory, getting nominated year after year, and not allowing a little fresh blood into the contest. Though the quality of Monk has slipped over the years, the quality of Shaloub's committed performance hasn't, but time for something new, eh? Can't comment on the quality of Pace on Daisies, but I loved him on the late, lamented Wonderfalls. Carrell and Baldwin are no-brainers, and they should go ahead and start etching Baldwin's name on the trophy. But tragically overlooked in the nominations was Big Bang's Jim Parsons, a stupendously funny bundle of arrogance, neuroses and perfectionism. Can we classify Chuck as a comedy? I have a hard time with shows like Reaper and Chuck, as they could go either way. To split the difference, I'll call Chuck a comedy so we can slot the delightful Zachary Levi in here. James Roday and Dule Hill from Psych could also merit consideration.

TNRLM's Picks: Alec Baldwin, Steve Carrell, Jim Parsons, Zachary Levi, John Krasinski

Lead Actress, Comedy
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

I'm fine with Applegate, Parker and Fey. If we call Desperate Housewives a comedy, then Dana Delany deserves some credit for bringing that show back to life. It's hard to pick between the two ladies on HIMYM, but I'll go with Alyson Hannigan in a close call.

TNRLM's Picks: Christina Applegate, Mary Louise-Parker, Tina Fey, Dana Delany, Alyson Hannigan

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office

Harris is an obvious choice (and winner). And BTW, I'm still blown away by Dr. Horrible. Wilson is also very good as the sycophantic and unstable Dwight. I would add Justin Kirk from Weeds, Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock, and if we're calling Chuck a comedy, the deadpan and dangerous Adam Baldwin.

TNRLM's Picks: Rainn Wilson, Neil Patrick Harris, Justin Kirk, Jack McBrayer, Adam Baldwin

Supporting Actress, Comedy
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

Sadly, I can't comment firsthand on the Daisies gals. It's nice to see Poehler recognized for her work on the otherwise usually unwatchable SNL. No Jenna Fischer here? Why not? Smart is good in anything she does (remember her nutty first lady on 24?), and if I can fudge a bit and put Hannigan on lead actress from HIMYM, and Cobie Smulders as supporting, I will. Maggie Lawson was also delightful on Psych, as was Traylor Howard on Monk.

TNRLM's Picks: Jean Smart, Jenna Fischer, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders (and probably someone from Daisies, but I can't vouch for it personally, though I'm sure they are deserving).

Best Reality Competition
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef

Sigh. Except for blogging about Idol, I think "reality" is a blight on the face of humanity. Don't care.

Reality Host
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol


Well, TNRLMers, agree or disagree? Who did we leave out?

Bulldog Bites

Dawg Sports has a ranking of the upcoming season's toughest games, from top to bottom. A fine and thorough (as usual) assessment of the schedule. However, I would order them a bit differently:
  1. Jorts: In a lopsided series in which the Jorts had begun (rightfully) to think of victory as a birthright, we surprised them last year with a sound ass-kicking. I think our (brilliant) "celebration" is going to be played over and over and over in the Jort locker room leading up to this one, and the Coctail Party is the game they will be working toward all year. Plus, as much as I hate him, they still do have the baby-Heismaning, croc-wearing, melon-loving "superman."
  2. Auburn: Last year, the "Blackout" was one of the best fan (and game) experiences in my two decades plus of woofing. Given that, this is another one that will amp up the revenge factor, and those fucking "spread" offenses (which the Aubbies have fully implemented for '08) always give us trouble. Also, this game is at Auburn, after a hellacious stretch of games (the old "home team loses" paradigm notwithstanding).
  3. ASU: Despite a reputation for pussyball, the PAC-10 does play some decent ball, and the Sun Devils are definitely in the mix this year. I'd like to draw on our past experience taking care of bidness out west, but, uh, we don't have any. Plus, they have a senior QB and I'm sure Dennis Erickson will have some convicts suited up and ready to shiv.
  4. Cocks: It's hard to make a legitimate X and O case for the poultry here, other than last year's bedshitting and a history of the chickens playing us tough early in the season.
  5. LSWho?: Yes, their presumably talented and juvenile delinquent QB got booted, but last time I checked, they were holding a big glass trophy.
  6. Tide: We catch them early in the season, before the expected late season implosion.
  7. Vols: It's 'tween the hedges, and Phat Phil's only claim to decent coaching has left for the greener pastures of Duke.
  8. Vandy: Yoiks, that was close last year. But the 'Dores winning consecutive games on our turf? Ain't happening.
  9. Kentucky: I have no idea if they will still be a tough out, sans Woodson.
  10. "Someone teach me how to kiss" trade school: Perhaps we should put an ad on Craig's List for "how to effectively stop a gimmick offense."
  11. Central Michigan: Chippewas, huh?
  12. Georgia Southern: Speaking of gimmick offenses.
What do you guys think? What games worry you most?

The AJC's Mark Bradley has 10 reasons why UGA will win it all next year.

I don't think I'm going to like Deadspin's new college football writer that much
. And of course, he's a Vols fan.

Not a good time to be getting in line for season tickets, unless you're Bill Gates. Even then, there were only 800 available? Holy shit. And what were those 800 thinking? Although there's probably a one to one correlation between unrenewed season tickets and local Georgia obituaries. (of course, when life finally catches up with me in a couple of years, I'm sure I'll still be getting tickets Weekend at Bernie's style).

Here's something I didn't know. Did you realize that UGA (along with Oklahoma) is the reason there's so much TV money available for college football, and that all our channels can feature wall to wall episodes of the world's greatest game? From a Stewart Mandel column on SI:
Notre Dame's right to sign a contract with NBC -- just like the Big Ten's right to sign with ABC, the SEC's right to sign with CBS, etc. -- was established by the United States Supreme Court in 1984. Prior to that, the NCAA strictly regulated how many times a school could appear on TV and how much it could be compensated for those appearances. Georgia and Oklahoma sued the NCAA on the grounds that those policies violated anti-trust law, and ultimately, the highest court in the land agreed. As a result, technically, all schools are free to negotiate their own network TV deals; it's just that all but Notre Dame, Army and Navy choose to do so within the confines of a conference.
'Til next time, woof woof, y'all.

I'll take potpourri for $2,100, Alex

Wanna fight WWII with alien technology? Try this.

Original Recipe Star Trek catchphrases (including a "He's dead, Jim" montage"). And a list of all the "I'm a doctor, not a......" utterances.

Ichiro's teammates have taught him well. ("August in Kansas City, is hotter than two rats in a fucking wool sock.")

Fringe sounds like it's shaping up very nicely. This will be on the TiVo for fall.

I didn't realize they had subways, other than the sandwich shops, in Columbus, GA. Speaking of which, I wonder if they make these with 4 digits?

Eliza talks about Dollhouse. Good lord, she's so hot I think my monitor just melted.

Hey, I thought it was a proven fact that "he" was unique?!

More proof that the apocalypse is nigh.

Cheesy music aside, if this doesn't make you sniffle, you don't have a heart. Even better? It's true.

The evolution of the Batsuit. And could Batman really exist?

Geeks not exactly in situ.

Damn, I miss home. (h/t Lee).

I've been listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince audiobook on the iPod. This is the first fiction audiobook I've actually tried. Holy shit, is Jim Dale the most awesome narrator ever? Question: will any other fiction audiobooks be a step down, where the narrator doesn't do a gazillion unique character voices?

Picture This

A few random images:

I posted a while ago about the brilliant design and production of the Mad Men Season 1 DVD set (not to mention the brilliance contained within the ersatz Zippo on the red DVDs). Here's a picture of the set, along with the limited edition Mad Men Zippo (#333 -- good juju for me, as 3 is one of my "lucky" numbers!) that I bought myself for my b-day.

Another recent blog lament was about my love for crushed ice, and the fact that I can't easily get it straight from my fridge door. Well, here was my solution - another lovely gift to myself. A mini standalone ice crusher. Not convenient enough to use for every single glass of DC or Crown every single serving, but a nice treat. It crushes the ice so finely, it reminds me of the tiny "pellet" ice I so loved from Guthrie's or Long John Silver's back in the day. You can also see the one two punch of my caffeine addiction: the Grind-N-Brew for full pots and the Keurig for cup at a time.'m enjoying a giant size mug of sumatra now).

I've referenced the lake beside my shitbox before, and here are a few shots of it. Probably not a bad place to drown yourself if your coffeemaker or ice crusher breaks.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Who watches the Watchmen? We can. Tomorrow.

Remember this post from March, when the info about the Watchmen adaptation first started hitting the interwebs? Well, the full-fledged trailer is about to break. Rumors are that it will be shown in front of The Dark Knight (which I'm dying to see. But since I hate people....well, most people....and certainly many people all gathered in one place.....I won't see it in the theatre this weekend), and also popping up online very shortly.

Great UK film mag Empire will be featuring the trailer tomorrow. You can check it out here. (For some reason, it was actually live for a period of time earlier today, and I caught it. Watchmen fans won't be disappointed -- it looks spectacular).

Along those same lines, here's an interview with reclusive Watchmen creator Alan Moore.

And if you haven't yet read this masterpiece, buy it. You won't be sorry.

UPDATE: About 10 minutes after I posted this, I found the trailer over at Apple. Enjoy your geekgasm.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Apparently, EW is going to feature Watchmen on the cover of their next issue. AICN has the image.

ONE MORE: A comparison of images from the trailer to images from the graphic novel. Faithful, no?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Hey god......have you heard......of the INTERNET??!!"

Monday night, another awesomely enjoyable outing for The Middleman. (The quote above was from the landlord's kid's party-mopping "god monologue.")

Flying fish with a rare venom that turns bite victims into a zombie? An energy drink branded by the unspeakable name of "!!!!"? Dr. Barbara Thornfield, MD, PhD.? Noser's "stump the band:" "Yeah, I know that one." Not to mention the continuation of absurdist time stamps for various scenes, like "closing time," "three quarters time," Hammer time" and "Miller time."

"Flowers for Algernon!" this show is wonderful. If you're not watching it, you should be. And here's a good list of reasons why.

"Make the Bad Horse gleeful, or he'll make you his mare."

If you haven't yet watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog," do yourself a favor and get to it. Evidently, there were server problems yesterday, due to heavy traffic. But the easiest thing to do is simply go to iTunes and download the thing, so you can enjoy it for years to come. Act 1 is only $1.99, and since it's jam-packed with awesome, that's quite a value. As expected, Nathan Fillion as self-absorbed superhero Captain Hammer is smugly hilarious. Felicia Day as Penny is adorable. The songs are witty, funny and catchy. Simon Helberg, who plays "ladies man" Howard on Big Bang Theory, is another wannabe villain "Moist." Because he makes everything around him, well, moist. But Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible is just legen.....wait for it.....dary. Part 2 comes out tomorrow.

Speaking of Whedon musicals, one of my laments about iTunes was that the soundtrack to Buffy's "Once More With Feeling" wasn't availale in the iTunes store. I thought for a while that I was going to have to purchase the old fashioned CD and import it, but it turns out that the soundtrack is available on Amazon's digital downloads store. That was my first MP3 purchase there, but it worked like a charm. 5 seconds to install their "digital downloader," and OMWF was magically appearing into iTunes, even using the payment methods and account set up for "normal" Amazon purchases. Easy.

Anyone feel like singing today?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $2,000, Alex

NY Times columnist loves Buffy.

An alien from another planet crash lands on earth during the 6th century, unleashes a monster, and works with the local vikings to kill it. Sound like fun?

Early report on True Blood
, which will definitely earn a Season Pass on the TiVo.

TV Critics "Best & Worst" shows (that aired after Jan 08, so Mad Men won't be on it). Lost is at the top, which is nice. Also of note: 30 Rock and The Office at 3 & 4; House at 6; BSG at 7; In Treatment at 10; Big Bang Theory at 14; Torchwood at 16. At the bottom? Lots of reality, which is no shock.

I need to date a former GAP employee.

This title of this list seems redundant.

Silence! Dr. Smith insults the robot.

A Hearts of Darkness style "documentary" about the making of Tropic Thunder. Funny stuff.

Who are the best bands from each state?
I'm glad that my favorite band, from "my" state, was rightfully recognized.

Hey, moron-in-charge -- if you're going to use a quote from one of the founding fathers, use the entire fucking quote. But I guess the line about "monkish ignorance and superstition" -- what we chose to escape and go to war over, along with unnecessary taxation -- conflicts too much with your dimwitted idea of a theocracy.

What colleges produce the most NFL starters
? On offense, the SEC leads with 63. On defense, the SEC leads with 74. Within the hallowed SEC, the safety-vest wearing cousin-humpers lead the way with 20, followed by the world's best university with 19.

Also, the most hated CF programs of the last 25 years. Hard to argue with #1 and #2, but as always, I'd put their #10 as my #1. Fuckers.

Makes sense. Maybe that's why I'm so happy, bubbly and effervescent.

Holy Al Gore! The polar bears are safe! (unless Sawyer shoots them).

Yesterday, I broke my leg, got hit by a car and fell down an elevator shaft

Yesterday, I was taking an afternoon walk around the neighborhood and lake, and realized that there is this "imagination" phenomenon that keeps happening to me. I was walking down a flight of steps, when suddenly this vivid, ultra-realistic "flash" happened in my mind. I made a step down, and suddenly, my left leg buckled and completely fractured. A hideous compound fracture, complete with bone cracking sound and spurting blood. I felt it, experienced it, and my breath escaped my lungs. Then suddenly, I realized I had just taken a normal step down, and everything was fine. No tibia sticking out of my leg. About 15 minutes later, I was on the sidewalk, noticing the cars coming toward me on the road and passing innocently. Then, one of the cars swerved off the road, and before I had time to react, and dive into the bushes or take other evasive action, the grill of the SUV hit me full on and and I felt myself being crushed underneath two tons of metal. Of course, it was just a mental "twitch," and the SUV had actually just driven by on the road, with nothing so gruesome happening. Heading into the office as I do every morning, I got on the elevator and pressed "3." About halfway up, the elevator cables snapped, and I plummeted down the shaft and crashed at the bottom. Seconds later, I realized the doors were opening on my floor, and nothing had happened.

I have these little "waking nightmares" all the time. At least 5 or 6 times per week, if not more. They seem to last a while, but in reality, it's just a split second in my mind. Much like Picard in "The Inner Light," or the soldier in "Occurrence at Owl Creek." They take different forms and involve different types of horrific accidents (though the "hit by car" and "leg snapping like a dry twig" are pretty common). Is this normal? Does this signify some type of underlying paranoia or death wish? I was a psych major for a few quarters, but don't really recall covering this. And why can't these flights of fancy be more pleasant? Like a three-way with the Deschanel sisters and a bottle of Patron?

Does this happen to anyone else? Or should I just be looking for a comfy couch where I can pay $200 an hour to talk about my childhood?

Friday, July 11, 2008

"I've got goose bumps over my entire body"

While I'm not yet in a full fledged fever, I can't believe that I'm only seven short weeks away from getting on a big ol' jet airliner and heading back to the motherland for the blessed return of college football.

I stumbled across three posts of Dawg interest this week over on Paul Westerdawg's great Georgia Sports Blog:

Catching up with Bill Bates. Of course, all good Dawgs know Bill Bates as the baby-shit orange wearing doormat that Herschel Walker wiped his feet on when first entering the pantheon of college football immortality. Sad to say, Bates actually appears to be a good guy (much like Peyton Manning) so it's hard to muster my usual white hot hatred for all things Vol where he is concerned (plus, it doesn't hurt that we won the game featuring the classic 34 highlight, punctuated by Larry's legendary "My god! A freshman!" call, where All-American Bates was trampled like a drunken paraplegic in Pamplona, and we went on to win our last National Championship. On the other side of the ledger, he did play for the hated Dallas Cowboys, but yet again, he did suit up with his college tormentor). Cute story about his relationship with 34.

Video from the "Hose Bowl." Yep, I was there. I thought I had posted about my experiences at this game before, but it turns out it was on my old myspace blog (or TNRLM 1.0). From the archives:

One of the references cited got me strolling down memory lane again. The infamous "Hose Bowl" in Auburn. That year, I think I had just moved again (it happened every year of college, it seemed), and during the toting of furniture, I must have "torn" something. I didn't realize it at the time, as "painkillers" were readily available and frequently ingested. One thing I did notice is that for the weeks leading up to this game, I would often get knifing, crippling pain in my abdomen that came on suddenly. Eventually, it would go away, but through trial and error, I discovered the best "cure" came from lying down on my back, with my legs in the air. A very strange cure, and I'm not sure exactly how I unearthed this remedy, but I have a few suspicions. It's also important to remember the time and the nature of the rivalry, too. While I have always HATED Tennessee with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, we weren't in the divisional alignment back in the day, and didn't play them every year. Tech was a joke, and this was also during the run of complete domination of the jorts-wearing mullets down in Florida. So then, Auburn was probably our fiercest and most competitive rival, and usually, the SEC title hung in the balance when we played them. Throw in the age and history of the rivalry, the Bo vs. Herschel comparisons and the Dooley/Dye backstories, and you had one hell of a hatred.

During this time, my family was also spread across the southeast. Mom was in our "traditional" house in Rossville, Dad was working full time (and living) in Memphis, and I was in Athens. We talked on the phone all the time, and Sam and Bettye always thought it was fun to guess which road games I would go to on the spur of the moment, and then would stay on the phone "Pillow Talk" style during a televised game trying to spot me in the crowd. Hard enough, looking for your son (uh, he'd be wearing red and black) in a quick crowd shot of 100,000 people, especially in the pre-Tivo era. When we chatted earlier in the week, I didn't think I was going on the road trip to Auburn. We were three touchdown underdogs, and playing our back up QB. We weren't ranked, and Auburn was #8 in the polls. However, at the last minute, we decided to go. It was a night game, on ESPN. We spent the afternoon driving down and getting near the stadium (Auburn, along with Clemson, has some of the absolute WORST traffic once you get within a couple miles of the stadium). And of course, drinking. It was a chilly night, but as was my tradition, I was wearing shorts (back in those days, that was only cool for road games. Home games, you wore the standard issue starchy white shirt, khakis and red tie) and a new, red Theta Chi sweatshirt that my parents had purchased for me during my last trip home. Unbeknownst to me, that afternoon, mom called dad and said she just had a "feeling" that I would wind up at the game and that something "special" would happen, and they agreed to watch the game, on the phone, from their different locales.

When we finally parked, we sat around the tailgate doing shots and getting good and liquored up. Sitting down for most of the evening, I didn't have the strange recurring pain. But once we started walking toward the lights of the stadium, it hit again, suddenly and viciously. I doubled over and could barely walk. One of my friends was extraordinarily helpful, pouring my cocktail down my throat as I was prone in the parking lot field, with my legs propped up on the car beside me. Auburn fans heckled me as they walked by, and never one to shy away from engaging the enemy, I promised to gnaw on their fucking ankles if they came back. Fortunately, I was so pitiable, no one took me up on my offer. Eventually, things "settled" and I made my way into the stadium and watched one of UGA's signature wins that will go down in Bulldog lore, as we won 20 - 16 to pull the huge upset.

The point of addressing what I was wearing is this: When we took the lead, ESPN did one of their typical crowd shots. Sam & Bettye started screaming to each other on the phone, as there in the middle of the frame, was their only son, wearing his red sweatshirt, and unmistakable due to the Theta Chi logo. (Also due to the game cup in one hand, the about emptied flask quite visible in the other). Mom's "feeling" that I would be there, and that indeed something "special" would happen, did come to pass, and they got to see it on TV.

After the game was over, UGA fans poured down to the ledge at the bottom of the stadium, overlooking the field, to cheer on our Dawgs. I was standing on this ledge, screaming madly for Wayne Johnson and the boys, and teetering precariously. The stadium officials didn't want anyone on their precious turf, so they were breaking out the water hoses to spray fans who got onto the field. I had no intention of running on the field, but a bitter Auburn fan intervened and pushed me in the back and I tumbled onto the field. Seconds later, I was soaking wet from getting "hosed," but eventually found my way out of the stadium, drenched with not only Opelika backwater, but also with the indelible memories of a spectacular college football game.

When I went home for the Thanksgiving break, I saw a doctor, and it turns out that I had a hernia and several torn muscles that required a rather delicate surgery. Still, whatever pain I endured was well worth the memorable road trip and "precognitive" fun had by my parents.

Unfortunately, you can't see me in the clip at the link above, and one of my few TV appearances has probably vanished into the mists. But I still have a scar, and a memory, that will last forever.

To end on an even better note, and one that doesn't involve any pains in my loins, how about a little "Holy Smokes! That's the whole team!"

Yeah, baby. Seven motherfucking weeks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em

By now, surely every must know that one of Television's best dramas, AMC's Mad Men, is returning, right? It comes back on a new night, Sunday, on July 27.

If you haven't watched this show, you have no choice. You must. It's that good. It creates a perfectly realized world, Madison Avenue at the end of the 1950s (and early 60s), and fills it with captivating characters, richly nuanced performances, impeccable writing and unbelievable production design. If you're not yet on the bandwagon, you have options to catch up:

  1. Go buy it at iTunes.
  2. AMC will be running a marathon of Season 1 on the Sunday a week before the premier of Season 2.
  3. You can buy the first season on DVD, along with a limited edition Zippo lighter, just like yours truly did for his birthday:

Tell me that's not the most awesome DVD set you've ever seen?

Don't just take my word for it. (But really. Why the fuck wouldn't you?) There's more on Mad Men here. And here. And here. And here.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $1,900, Alex

Where the hell was this 20 or so years ago? Aren't the most brilliant ideas the ones that are so obvious, yet never thought of before?

Or, thinking beyond the keg, isn't this quite the tailgating set up?

Good interview with Matt Keeslar, The Middleman.

Speaking of my summer TV recommendations, here's where I stand a month later:
  • The Middleman: definite must watch. Funny, quirky and engaging. The most DPM (Dialogue Per Minute) since Gilmore Girls, and cheeky, geeky fun.
  • In Plain Sight: staying in the season pass list. Continues the USA tradition of character-driven procedurals, and Marshall is deadpan hysterical. Give him more time and ditch the family, though (or at the very least, the mom). Good guest stars like Sherry Stringfield and Dave Foley help, too.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl: still on the fence about this one. I watch it mainly for the breezy charms of Billie Piper, and if each ep was more than 20 minutes, I don't know that I'd stick around.
  • Swingtown: accumulating on the TiVo, untouched. Not sure why I haven't watched.
Here's another take on Secret Diary, along with thoughts on Denise Richards' "reality" show. Plus, use of the term "whoring sea donkey," which is always fun.

The "hospitality rider" from Barack and Hillary's "unity" appearance.

Good news and bad news for that BSG movie. Bad news? Bradley Thompson and David Weddle are leaving the script to join CSI: Original Recipe full time. Good news? The awesome Jane Espenson picks up the job. Actually, that's just lots of good news. I guess one of the reasons I like CSI so much is the quality of the writing, and they have a staff full of writers with geek cred over there, including scribes who have worked on all the Treks, BSG, Buffy, Angel and Farscape.

The BBC has done a spectacular promo for an upcoming Kubrick special. Follow the link over on AICN to see the brilliant tracking shot.

I'm sure all my fellow whedonites have seen this. But just in case you haven't, here's the trailer for Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog:

I found a link to this on Pop Candy, and it's a video of David Tennant as The Doctor blabbing to a video screen when he knew that the dialogue wasn't going to be used (Martha was just fast forwarding through it). Cute.

Why does Obama hate Tiger Woods? Yep, the lesson here from the messiah? Don't be successful.

I enjoyed Primary Colors, but Joe Klein? FUCK YOU and keep your tree-hugging and bleeding heart hands off my goddamned air conditioner. 65 or nothing, douchenozzle.

Are you kidding me? I think this would cause the homicide rate to increase dramatically.

Right on, brother. Big ups for "intellectual consistency."

Sparkly skies, from the deck

Kind of a low key 4th for me. Of course, most things for me are rather "low key" right now. I live very close to a local lake, which my office overlooks, where they do the annual 4th of July fireworks. I enjoy fireworks (from a distance, that is. I'm not to keen on shooting them off myself in the backyard, as I A. hate loud, sudden noises, like firecrackers and children, and B. like to type, so I want to keep all of my fingers), but don't really enjoy crowds, so I figured that if I could see the show from my apartment, then that was enough of a celebration for me. Plus, I was 2 feet from stepping back into the welcome chill of the air conditioning, 10 feet from mixing another cocktail and 12 feet from using a bathroom that wasn't portable. (I wanted to take a quick picture of the majestic row of purple port-a-lets they had lined up in a local parking lot for the shindig, but never got around to it. They couldn't do red, white and blue? Has anyone ever seen a purple port-a-let? Was Prince playing, and no one told me?)

Anyway, it was a nice show, and I got to enjoy it from the privacy and comfort of my own casa. I tried to take a couple of pictures, which you see below, but they didn't turn out too well. I was a little slow on the draw, for one, so I captured all the "sizzle" at the lowest point, and I didn't have the camera on the right setting. I just bought a new digital camera, and couldn't recall the proper set up for taking pictures outside. Turns out there is one for "scenes," and even within that menu, one specifically for "fireworks show." Uh, as you can tell, I never made it to that menu, but you can see some nice detail of the brick on the side of the deck. Needless to say, the show was much better than what was represented here.

Happy 4th, everyone. Freedom! Liberty! No taxation without representation! (Oh....wait....).

Friday, July 4, 2008

Trek folds in Vegas

Star Trek: The Experience is ending its run at the Hilton in Las Vegas. The whole "Trek" theme to the Hilton was one that I always found a bit odd, and I say that as both a Trekkie and a fan of Sin City. I think it's a testament to the enduring appeal of Trek that the thing lasted as long as it did, especially as other hotels and casinos upped the ante on spectacle and luxury.

I've been to Vegas many times, and even stayed at the Hilton for a convention once. I enjoyed my time there, since I could look through all the Trek paraphenalia at my leisure. It really was a good collection, and that to me was more interesting that the "rides." I also spent a few hours drinking blue, smoking and bizarre cocktails at Quark's. However, the most enduring memory for me was sitting at the blackjack tables for hours on end, with the dealers outfitted in classic Trek Starfleet uniforms. Sadly, it seemed that many of the casino personnel weren't properly trained in Trek lore, or just found me to be an overserved geek. Comments like "that's a real Kobayashi Maru" (made when the dealer was showing an Ace up) or "I feel like a redshirt" (after losing several hands in a row) or "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a gambler!" (ditto) didn't even get an acknowledgment. But it was still fun.

Is there any other "franchise" that could support a casino theme? Star Wars jumps to mind, obviously. What about DC or Marvel comics? Universal horror movies?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Into every generation, a slayer is born...

I think I referenced it before in one of my potpourri posts, but I'm really digging the AV Club's review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning, especially since the reviews are being written by someone with only a casual previous knowledge of the series. All the thoughts, observations and analysis are from the point of view of a "newbie," and it's always great to see someone exposed to the series through fresh eyes. In fact, thought it brings up memories of one of the most traumatic periods of my life, I'll always fondly recall the joy I experienced sharing my favorite show, and one of the best shows on television ever, with my new "insta-family" over the course of a few months several years ago.

Here's a link to the recaps of the first three eps of season 2 on the AV Club, and if you haven't been keeping up, it's worth going back to the beginning and watching it all unspool. The writer, Noel Murray, generally posts reviews 3 at a time and does this a couple of times per week. It's a fun and entertaining journey through the entire series, and it will be interesting to see how the opinions shape up once we get to season 4, where the views of the fans start to wildly diverge.

Longtime readers of TNRLM will recall that one of the first posts I did was a summary of my own personal ratings and rankings of BTVS eps, from 1 through 144. (Aside: in the AV Club post, there's a question about assigning letter grades to the shows as you go along, and whether or not it's worth doing. I think from the POV of the reviewer it would be interesting, but there's also a good case to be made that things that would be a sold "A" in S1 might look like a "B" or "C" once you get deeper in, so the evaluations would have to be kind of fluid anyway. For my ratings, I did them after having seen the entire series all the way through at least 4 or 5 times). Actually, in that post I just hit the highlights -- top 10 and bottom 10 -- from my own exhaustive spreadsheet. At the time I did that post, I don't think google docs was a widespread application, so I had no way to actually share the entire thing. But now I do. If you'd care to peruse the entire thing, you can, by looking here. (Note: there are three "tabs" or pages. "Episodes" lists all the eps in chronological order, with a rating for each. "Summary" looks the same, until you get to the end, where I average out the episode ratings by season, to see how each season stacks up, which was rather surprising to me looking at it numerically. Which of course, doesn't take into account the overarching quality, throughline and arc of the season as a whole, but is informative and interesting. "Rankings" reorders the list from highest rated to lowest rated, and assigns a ranking to each episode from 1 to 144). YMMV, of course, but if you'd like to debate, agree or tell me to get a fucking life, feel free to in the comments or via the TNRLM email on the right.

No matter which way you go, it's always fun to re-experience one of the greatest things to ever grace the tube.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fictional presidents make better decisions, TV notes and the earth is just a wee bit older than some believe

Gearing up for the second season of Mad Men, here's a great look back at Season One. (If you haven't seen it yet, first, shame on you, and second, SPOILERS ahoy).

Despite getting some horrific reviews, I'm still eager to see Hancock. Probably because the stars are all so damned likable, and yeah, I'm a sucker for genre fare like this. If you want to see them all amuse each other, and us, check out the latest in MovieFone's "Unscripted" series.

What's up with FOX and the interesting TV shows? First, they actually made Sarah Connor fly and actually renewed it, then they gave greenlights to Fringe and Dollhouse. Now they put Tim Roth in a TV show about a "human lie detector?" Awesome. (And damn, I could have used his services a couple of years ago).

Let me get this straight. The "tax 'em all" liberal wants to further blur the line between church and state and have the government fund more supernatural-based shenanigans -- even more than the current presidential zealot? Blergh. I have nowhere to vote. (Too bad a fictional character like this isn't running. Although I did like what I saw of Jeff Bridges' food-obsessed POTUS. But he couldn't shoot down alien spaceships, which might come in handy sometime). More on the waste of "our" money here.

Speaking of which, I don't think Shaun's flat-earth beliefs are keeping him off a roster. I think it has more to do with the fact that he runs out of bounds too often, lays down at the first sign of contact and that the Seahawks had to throw close to 600 passes last year.

Or maybe he's just not that bright.

Related: if the Earth is only 6,000 years old, how do you explain this?

Psyched for the new season of Psych? Here's an interview with Dule Hill and James Roday.

"Global warming" causes, well....everything
. But this guy might not agree.

Back in Georgia, when I wasn't home, I was on the golf course. When the cat's away, the mice will play, so wouldn't it have been ironic if this had happened? "Excuse me, just playing through" indeed. Hey, at least it would have paid for some of the booze and ciggies.

Has anyone watched Swingtown yet? They're stacking up on the TiVo, but I haven't been motivated to watch thus far, despite the promise of disco and harvest gold and avocado kitchens.