Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Extras Christmas Special

"The Extra Special Series Finale" will air Sunday, December 16 at 9:00/8:00c.
Yep--Apparently, we're getting it here before it airs in the UK. Woo!
The 83-minute special reportedly features appearances by Clive Owen, David Tennant, Gordon Ramsay and George Michael among others.

Here's an absolutely hysterical teaser:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fake News

Is there any other kind?
The White House also rebuked the news conference and said it was unaware of the [fake] briefing beforehand.

"It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House," said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "We certainly don't condone it. OK, last question. Yes, Jeff Gannon...?"

Lost Spoiler Pics

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bryan Fuller on Gay TV Characters

Pushing Daisies' creator Bryan Fuller did a very interesting, albeit brief, interview in this week's issue of The Advocate. (Sorry I can't link, as the online version appears to be a pay site, but it's on newsstands now.) Not sure how widely known it is that Fuller is gay. He--admirably, IMO--refers to it as "the least interesting part of me."

I'd wondered since his Dead Like Me pilot--with its well-observed closet-case dad (who was heterosexualized after Fuller quit/was fired from the show). Wonderfalls, which I didn't much care for, also included a gay regular (also in the closet--so that's an issue he's interested in exploring).

I don't think he'd ever been identified as gay when he spoke about his disappointment over the lack of gay characters in the Trek franchise, and IIRC, he wasn't widely identified as gay when he spoke out last year over the Heroes/Thomas Dekker situation. (I seem to remember that a couple of gay blogs did, though... On, commenters almost uniformly--and unfairly--blamed him for the decision to censor Dekker's coming out scene, though that was hardly his decision.)

Now that he's running his own big network primetime series, Fuller admits that he's come to a new appreciation for the dilemma faced by Tim Kring and other creators/showrunners who *want* to [i]organically[/i] include gay characters.

Turns out Olive (Kristen Chenoweth) was originally a lesbian -- until ABC (historically, the most gay friendly broadcast network) suggested that making her straight would let him do a Ned/Chuck/Olive love triangle, which would make Olive more relevant to the core action. He thought about it, and came to agree... so Olive became a hetero with a bad case of unrequited love for Ned... but Fuller was then faced with the question of where in this world he'd created to find that voice he finds so valuable, the gay voice.

You get the impression he hasn't found it yet, but at least you can believe he's honestly looking.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pushing Daisies Gets The Back 9

Pushing Daisies — has just been picked up for a full season. Multiple sources confirm that ABC has ordered nine additional episodes, for a grand total of 22.
Woo! (And hoo.)

I have friends who can't stand it--I believe "cloying" was the word--but though I admit Jim Dale's sarcastic fairy tale voice over could be dialed back a bit (especially "...9 years, 4 months, 6 days, and 4 hours old..."), I'm loving this show (the only new show this fall I can say *that* about).

An intriguing high concept is lushly rendered a la Tim Burton--The Series. The scripts are filled with alternately earnest and sarcastic charm. There's an inevitably doomed love affair (Lee Pace & Anna Friel) at its core, and a fun, live-action Scooby Doo-style take on the procedural fueling the plots.

Probably the best thing going for Daisies is its brilliant, stage-trained cast (which includes Kristen Chenoweth, Ellen Green and Swoozie Kurtz), which only got better with the recent addition of the great Raul Esparza as a recurring player (hope he gets to be a regular now).

I'm all in. (You couldn't tell?) Hope the impending writer's strike (which some studio heads apparently *want* -- to erase this otherwise abyssmal TV season) doesn't kill its momentum...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bill Maher Kicks 9/11 Troofers Out of Studio Audience

"Hey, do we have some fuckin security here, or do I have to come over and kick this guy out myself?"

LOVE IT. Hate those fuckin' idiot conspiracy theorists--They regularly fuck up my commute. You're comin' up out of Ground Zero, and there's the trench coat brigade with their megaphones. For christ's sake, as though there isn't enough REAL shit to be freaking out over without all this "Building 7" bullshit. "It was a crontrolled explosion!" Oh, *bullshit*.

Monday, October 15, 2007

We Have A Kirk (and a Pegg)

Chris Pine--he of the piercing blue eyes and unknown acting ability--is now confirmed as Kirk, though not yet by Paramount. (Pine was being sought for two high-profile films. The director of the other film, Joe Carnahan, just posted to his blog that Pine won't appear in White Jazz because he "opted to 'go where no man has gone before.") has a bit more, but has apparently crashed.

And, as everyone now knows, (my beloved) Simon Pegg (who co-created the funniest sitcom in history, Spaced) has signed-on to play Scotty.

Casting is ongoing for some supporting parts--Kirk's parents, Captain Christopher Pike (Kirk's predecessor on the Enterprise)--but the main cast is now complete.

So once again, and (I swear) for the last time (ha ha):

Kirk--Chris Pine
(Young) Spock--Zach Quinto
McCoy--Karl Urban
Uhura--Zoe Saldana
Scotty--Simon Pegg
Sulu--John Cho
Chekov--Anton Yelchin

(Old) Spock--Leonard Nimoy
Nero (the Romulan heavy)--Eric Bana

According to Trekmovie:
Pre-production on the new Star Trek feature film is in full force right now. Most of the Bad Robot team including director J.J. Abrams have moved onto the Paramount lot in the last month and according to sources their little golf carts can be seen speeding all over the place. Most design work is complete and construction has been on going since September on a number of Paramount stages, including 4, 8, 9, 14 and 15…all of which have seen past Trek productions. Stages 8 and 9 have the most Trek history, having been in almost constant use for Trek films and TV from 1978 (Phase II/TMP) through 2005 (ENT). The production is also still expected to use some stages on the Universal lot as well.

Shooting begins the first week of November, and is expected to continue through March with extensive location shooting in Southern California and a tentatively scheduled two weeks in Iceland. Budget is about $120-160 million (making this more than twice as expensive as the last Trek movie... which itself was one of the more expensive Trek movies ever made.)

The movie will be released on Christmas Day 2008.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trek Casting Update

A couple weeks back, there was much speculation that actor Mike Vogel had won the part of James T. Kirk in director JJ Abrams' big-budget Star Trek reboot, which starts shooting next month. But today's Hollywood Reporter declares that actor Chris Pine is "in discussions" to play Kirk.

Pine, 27, is third generation Hollywood. Dunno about his training, but he's been acting in TV and films for about five years. Anyway, he looks the part (see right). I expect we'll find out in the next few days if he actually has it, though the article probably wouldn't have gone to press if his people hadn't approved it. And they wouldn't have approved it if they thought it jeopardized his chances. Anyway, we'll see.

Meanwhile, they've at least settled on an actor to play the Romulan heavy: Eric Bana, who starred in Spielberg & Kushner's brilliant Munich (and Ang Lee's less-than-brilliant Hulk). An excellent choice -- far better, IMO, than Russel Crowe, who had long been rumored to be in talks for the part. (Crowe is an excellent actor, but Bana is better.)

Karl Urban (Eomer in the LOTR films) is also rumored to have been cast -- in an unknown part. (Possibly second banana to Bana's heavy?)

The cast so far: Bana as Nero (who presumably will fiddle while Romulus burns); Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto as Old Spock and Young Spock, respectively; Zoe Saldana as Uhura; Anton Yelchin as Chekov.

This leaves Scotty and Bones uncast. Paul McGillion is among those rumored to be up for Scotty. If anyone has been rumored for Bones, I haven't heard about it.

As far as plot, it's rumored to feature Romulans from the post-Next Generation era going back in time on a mission to kill James T. Kirk. Old Spock (last seen on Romulus) learns of this, and is able to warn his younger self. And much hilarity ensues. While the plot to kill Kirk ultimately fails, all this tampering with history does apparently create a new timeline (freeing Abrams, et al, to do what they want with established continuity, including big screen remakes of classic episodes).

Co-writer Roberto Orci, perhaps coincidentally, told that two of his favorite episodes are TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise" (which features a time travel plot quite similar to the above rumor) and TOS' "Balance of Terror," which is essentially a u-boat movie in which Kirk must match wits against a cunning Romulan commander... Hmmmm. "Yesterday's Enterprise" meets "Balance of Terror." If that's not the movie they're making, I'm gonna end up wishing it was.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Wrong Way

Warning: Promo for Battlestar Season 4. There be spoilers.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Buffy #10

doesn't ship til January, it's true, but Dark Horse released this description and image for the issue (written by Joss Whedon) today:

Buffy and Willow meet a demon who reveals a dim future, forcing the two to reflect on their past. Meanwhile, back in Scotland, Dawn confides in Xander the deed that led to her mysterious growth spurt.

Series creator Joss Whedon writes Buffy Season Eight #10 with veteran Buffy artist Cliff Richards serving as guest penciller.

Everybody who loved the show is following this series, right? You read it, and you absolutely believe "this is what happens next." It's not some cheezy licensed adaption. It is the show--in another medium, albeit one where they can do things like this:

The current storyline, written by Brian K Vaughan, has Faith recruited by Giles to kill a rogue slayer who is set on killing Buffy. (Kinda ironical, huh?)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pushing Daisies

Brilliant, brilliant! Perfect! The best cast, most gorgeously produced, charming, witty pilot I've seen in ages.

The worry is that they've now set the bar so high it will be impossible to meet expectations week-to-week. Certainly, this pilot cost a helluva lot more than they can spend on regular episodes (and I understand the show was going over pattern so regularly that they actually had to shut down for a bit to stop the bleeding).

I'm a Bryan Fuller fan from way back. He was the one great writer, IMO, to come out of the otherwise lamentable Star Trek Voyager. His Dead Like Me pilot was likewise a thing of beauty -- though not as good as Daisies, which re-airs on ABC tomorrow night. Everybody should make an effort to tune in.

Leave Chris Cocker Alone

I'm sure I'm the last one in the world to see this, but on the off chance that I'm *not*, here you go... (Plus, there's the whole namesake thing.)