Monday, May 28, 2007

Lost Season Finale Obit--SPOILERS

That spoiler warning is specifically for Chas. Dude, do not read this post. Just move right along. Now. I mean it.

So, obviously I'm late to the party talking about the utter brilliance that was the Lost third season finale, so I won't spend too much time rehashing what everybody else has been saying. Instead, here's the text of the obit that caused Jack to almost jump off a bridge:
The body of John Lantham of New York was found shortly after 4 am in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue. Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room. According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham is survived by one teenaged son. Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."
BTW, Hoffs-Drawlar is an anagram for "flashforward," which--for the record--I totally did not catch.

My reaction to Kate showing up at the airport, reprinted verbatim: "What?! Oh, they're not gonna try to say that Kate and Jack knew each other before--Oh. Oh, oh, oh my god!"

Update: smart money seems to be on Michael (obviously under an assumed name) as the Lostie in the box. Sounds right to me, from the details in the article: from New York, the teenaged son, living in a loft (he's an artist, remember).

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Gilmore Girls Reunion Movie?

05/24 - Amy [Sherman-Palladino] explained why she couldn't divulge her long-ago-planned Gilmore ending. In the next year or two, she hopes to make -- wait for it -- a two-hour Gilmore Girls TV-movie that ties up all those loose threads! (BTW, lest you think Amy was pulling my leg, her partner in life and in showbiz, Dan Palladino, confirmed that a GG reunion pic is something they're interested in pursuing.) Source: Ask Ausiello @ TV Guide

Now, that would be nice, huh? A proper finale.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bird Shits on Bush

The bird clearly hates our freedoms. --Richard Wolfe, Newsweek


Monday, May 21, 2007

Dark Knight Details Emerge

Scary Joker (Heath Ledger) looking like he may have some nasty chemical burns on his cheeks, from Chris Nolan's upcoming Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.

Harvey Dent needs your vote, or so it appears from what's on the official website (or the promo site) which showcases actor Aaron Eckhart as a campaigning DA.

If you're extra crafty, you'll look in the site's source code to find this synopsis: "Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker."
Source: Comic Book Resources

Persistent rumors have Sarah Michelle Gellar joining the production, but if this is in the offing, it has yet to be officially announced.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God Takes Revenge on Falwell

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.
Falwell liked to claim that things like hurricanes and terrorist attacks were god's revenge on what he thought of as bad people (i.e., gays, lesbians, secular humanists, etc).

So, clearly, his death begs the question: what did he do to piss god off?

Update: here's one of my favorite Falwell quotes:
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Bionic Woman Pilot Reviewed (SPOILERS)

Just a couple of days after the trades reported that the new Bionic Woman has gotten the order to "staff up," indicating it will go to series, aint-it-cool-news has a review of the pilot.

Highlights: Katee Sackhoff (aka Starbuck on Battlestar) plays BW's nemesis, an insane protege model. Apparently, she is responsible for the accident that results in Jamie Summers going bionic in the first place.

As in the original, Jamie loses her arm, her ear and both legs. In this version, she also loses her eye. All are replaced with experimental biotech parts.

Summers, formerly a bartender, is then pressed into working for the agency responsible for saving her life.

There's a recurring character described as "Lecter-like." As with the Katee Sackhoff part, this role also apparently recurs.

Since this is a Glen Morgan show now, any bets on how long before his wife (Kristen Cloke) turns up?

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Battlestar Ends with Season 4

Edward James Olmos and Katee Sackhoff, attending the Saturn Awards, told that the fourth season of Battlestar will be its last, which should come as a shock to absoultely no one who has paid attention to the ratings.

I hope this allows them to go full-throttle toward a satisfying ending. This show never did filler episodes particularly well, anyway. One exception was the labor relations ep last season cowritten by Jane Espenson (now on staff for the final season).

I always blamed the inability to do good stand-alones not on the writers but on the budget situation. If they had the money to really explore the civilian ships--maybe even establish some recurring civilian characters and situations--the stand-alone episodes could've been really interesting. Then again, they never explored life on Colonial One, either, so who knows?

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Glen Morgan tapped as Bionic Woman showrunner

So, not only has the Bionic Woman remake (starring Eastenders-alum Michelle Ryan in the Lindsay Wagner role) received the order to staff-up (indicating it will be on NBC's fall schedule, probably in the time period following Heroes), but check out who they've tapped to run it:
Meanwhile, NBC's hot sci-fi drama "The Bionic Woman," which received a thumbs up to begin staffing late last week, has tapped Glen Morgan for a two-year show deal to potentially serve as executive producer/co-showrunner with David Eick if the show is picked up to series as expected.
Glen Morgan and his then-partner, Jim Wong, wrote almost all the X-Files episodes worth freaking out over during the show's first first, second and fourth seasons. They bowed out of Season 3 to create cult-favorite Space: Above and Beyond. Later, they ran the brilliant second season of Millennium.

Morgan hasn't worked in TV in 7 years. (Morgan's emmy-winning brother, Darin, also wrote some of the best XF and Millennium episodes, so let's hope he gets tapped for some freelance BW scripts.)

This project just went from possibly worth sampling to must-see TV.

Oh, BTW, looks like Pushing Daisies, Bryan Fuller's ABC pilot about a private detective who talks to dead people, is going to series, too. Which is both good and bad news: good because Fuller is fantastic and deserves his own show. Bad because it means Heroes is losing its best writer.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Studio 60 Has Been Cancelled

The announcement won't come til next week, but the sets are being dismantled as we speak. "Shows don't come back from that."

I still have high hopes for Sorkin's other two projects: The Farnsworth Invention will likely go to Broadway, and Charlie Wilson's War (directed by Mike Nichols) has a Christmas Day 2007 release date (for Oscar qualification).

I also hope that Sorkin will return to TV with a premise more suited to his talents. His approach was far too serious for a show about sketch comedy.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Paris Hilton, Future Ex-Con

How's this for Karma?
Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton today was sentenced to 45 days in jail for violating her probation in a reckless-driving case.

Hilton ... said her aides did not tell her she could not drive

But Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer rejected Hilton's plea, ordering her to report to Los Angeles County Jail on June 5. If she doesn't appear, the jail the sentence would rise to 90 days.
Fuck, I hope she lams it. We haven't had a good celebrity car chase in a while, after all, and that's what this is all about: entertaining us.
"I don't know what happened. I did what they said," Hilton said afterward.
Uh, no, sweetie. You didn't.
Her mother, Kathy, told the prosecutor after the judge's decision: "You're pathetic."
Fun with projection!


Out With The Trash Watch

It's a long-standing tradition in Washington to make embarrassing announcements late on a Friday, the theory being no one learns anything new on Saturday. Which is a pretty good theory. This is known as "throwing out the trash."

Today in the White House's trash... Deputy National Security Adviser Barty JD Crouch.
Crouch, 48, said he's been thinking for months about leaving his job as deputy to the president's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley.

In announcing his resignation on Friday, Bush said Crouch has been "at the forefront in devising and implementing the new strategy to help build a peaceful, stable and secure Iraq."
Heckuva job, Crouchy.


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Friday, May 04, 2007

The Golden Compass Movie

Swiped this from the very cool one-sheet for The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Part 1), which debuts on December 7.

The hot bear is Iorek Byrnison, one of the panserbjorne, or armored bears. They have opposable thumbs, but no daemons. Don't ask.

Suffice it to say, if they do this right (and what are the chances of that?), this trilogy will blow Lord of the Rings, Narnia and its ilk out of the water. (Harry who?)

Golden Compass Movie Website
Kidman To Golden Compass

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Lost To End After 6 Seasons

Kristin from E! Online says:
ABC is set to announce that Lost will end production after two more seasons.
That's excellent news. If they have a firm endpoint to move towards, we'll have less filler to put up with.

Updated: It's official now, but it's technically 6 seasons, not 5, so I'm modifying the thread title.

Thing is, the order is still for 48 episodes, they will just be broken down into three rather than two seasons. (The show's seasons to date have been 24 episodes each; hereafter, they will be 16 each.)

The Lost series finale will be episode 119. It will air in May of 2010. ABC's press release reliably informs us that the series finale will be "shocking."

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GOP Debate

Three of the 10 Republican presidential candidates debating at the Regan Library last night indicated they do not believe in evolution.

It's hard to tell from the video which three raised their hands, but they have since been identified as Brownback, Trancredo and Huckabee. McCain (who seems more and more unhinged to me) hesitated before saying "yes," he does believe in evolution.

Tommy Thompson said he thinks it's just dandy if an employer wants to purge gays from his payroll.

Brownback said the day Roe v Wade gets overturned will be a "glorious day."

"The Iranians looked into Regan's eyes, and two minutes later, released the hostages," pandered Giluiani, who doesn't so much smile as bare his teeth. Like a Rottweiler.

McCain promised that he would pursue bin Laden "to the gates of hell." Um... I think we can get bin Laden without plunging the United States into the infernal Lake of Fire. So, y'know, thanks, Ahab, but I think we'll have to pass on that, and you.

All in all, quite the warm and fuzzy bunch of old white guys, huh?

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"A Really Nice Butt"

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gilmore Girls Fans Rejoice

The zombified version of this once-great show has been put out of its (and our) misery by the CW, according to today's Hollywood Reporter.
Sources said that an offer had been put on the table for the show's two stars -- Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel -- to continue the series, but an agreement could not be reached.
According to rumor, Scott Patterson and Melissa McCarthy would not have returned. Bledel had been amenable to returning, but only in a recurring capacity, which would've put everything on Lauren Graham's shoulders in a very Laverne & Shirley minus Shirley (and Lenny, and Squiggey, and Carmine) sort of way.

Clearly, she made the right choice, and I eagerly anticipate her next move. Not so hot on Bledel--Never have been. She's fine--I loved Rory--but Graham, IMO, is a major talent.


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

DC's Multiverse Returns

Well, after spending the last year and a half taking the band-aid off one hair at a time, DC has finally taken the last hair off. The final issue of DC's interminable weekly soap, 52, reveals what the Infinite Crisis seemed to wimp out on, and what Brad Meltzer has been teasing us with in JLA: the multiverse is back.

If you're a fan of Earth 2 (where the original, golden age versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and their Justice Society, still exist), like me, you're in luck.

Earth-3--the mirror universe of DC mythology, where the heroes are villains and the villains are heroes--is also back.

Earth-4--where the characters acquired by DC from Charlton Comics (Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, The Question, etc) reside--is back. Earth-5--the Captain Marvel Family--is back. Etc etc.

So it's official: 22 years after it did away with the multiverse, DC has reversed the Crisis on Infinite Earths. *whew*

Way to go, DC!

I was really loving Infinite Crisis until it seemed to stop short of this, the logical conclusion of the story. I thought it was a tremendous wimp-out... And, while I'm relieved I was wrong about that, I'm still not wild about the daytime soap opera way we've been strung along--for a year--waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But still--better late than never. This is why JLA 0 featured a flash forward segment where the League grapples with Flash's discovery of "another earth."--Flash forward, not back. So, as much as 52 absolutely frames this as a restoration ("welcome home"), they're not bringing pre-Crisis continuity back so much as recreating the pre-Crisis premise, which lets them undertake new tellings of classic Earth-2 crossover stories ("Flash of Two Worlds," "Crisis on Two Earths," etc). And that sounds great to me.

I wonder if the pre-Crisis Legionnaires running around JLA and JSA at the moment are related to this, too. . . Taken together--the return of both the multiverse and the real Legion--I'm pretty happy with DC at the moment.

(I wouldn't mind seeing them do their own Ultimate-verse now... on Earth 50 or whatever...)

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dr Who: Rose vs Martha: Some Thoughts

Instead of reviewing the latest Who two parter--which was truly atrocious--I've been thinking about how Martha is shaping up as the new female lead vs the character she replaced.

Rose really was more important than the Doctor--especially in that first series. We meet her -- and *she* meets him. Mulvey would say she has the power of "the gaze," meaning where she looks, the camera--and hence, the narrative--follows. She was our narrator.

Martha doesn't have that power--at least, not yet.

Rose was his equal--perhaps even his superior--in terms of importance to the show. And her significance was growing by the end of the first series as she became formidable on the more mytholgoical end of the show, which had heretofore been the Doctor's sole province: she possessed the heart of the TARDIS, rescued the Doctor, defeated the Daleks, kept hi safe through regeneration, etc.

Martha, by contrast, is clearly a subordinate--She's a wide-eyed, wisecracking guest, and possibly a protege. (Rose was new to the Doctor's world, but he was never her mentor--so that might be a potent area for them to explore with Martha.) But from the first shot of The Runaway Bride, it was clear that The Doctor is now the star of his own show, rather than the costar.

And, I must admit that, even though I really didn't like Billie Piper, I *did* prefer it the other way. I think it makes sense to have the more relatable, human character and her context (family, friends, etc) at the core of the show... and the crazy, godlike alien science ficiton/fantasy stuff off to the side just a bit. In the first series, it really helped to anchor the fantastic elements embodied by the Doctor and *his* context when they could return to Jackie's flat to watch Eastenders and do a pot noodle.

And, at the moment, they really *can't* do that with Martha. (I'm not sure how enjoyable that would be with Martha's yuppie family, anyway, but they need to give it a try.)

What I really want to see is an exploration of how Martha is different from Rose, not how they are alike, and we really haven't seen too much of that.

Rose was a wanderer at heart--quite the bohemian. Her roots at home were not that deep--no career, no property to maintain, no husband. All she had to really tie her to her time and place was her mother and an on again/off again boyfriend.... which is to say: not much. That's why she didn't have too much trouble taking off: she fell in love with the life afforded by the Doctor first, and it's easy to see why: it gave her a life of *meaning* she didn't have at home. And, like a good hippie, she developed feelings for the guy who owns the VW van TARDIS later.

Whereas Martha is a professional, from a firmly middle-class background. She has her internship, her future career--to which she no doubt has been quite dedicated--to consider. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a life of wandering aimlessly from one time period to another, one planet to another, doesn't actually appeal to her at all. On the other hand, she might sacrifice a lot to visit, and learn from, specific times and places. And she might develop deeper ties to the Doctor for other, more concrete reasons (perhaps in service to a larger purpose or mission -- if one were to materialize.)

What I don't like is the idea that she's the kind of character who can meet someone and spend episode after episode pining away. I want a strong, multi-faceted chaacter--Unrequited love is the domain of the weak, and one-note. Martha is a scientist--She's a doctor, herself. That's the defining idea behind this character, and RTD needs to start exploring that, aggressively. Dramatically speaking, she should more sensible about stuff like this--or at least, she should STRIVE to be more sensible about stuff like this. Her primary motivations for traveling with him should be more compelling than that.

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