Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Alive!

OMFG, ya'll. Sunday night TV.

Dexter: Went to a friend's house who gets the east coast feed of Showtime so we watched Dexter. Eh. That premiere did not have a ton of oomph. At the end of season two it seemed like there was going to be this massive transformation in how Dexter went about, y'know, his business. But after the 7 minute "previously on" (eye roll...) segment... not a ton changed besides Deb's hair (cute!) Highly underwhelming. And am I the only one who didn't care fore Jimmy Smits? The show is always so spot on with creating these characters and making amazing, unique casting choices... this didn't work for me. Well, I'm still hooked, of course, but... eh.

The Amazing Race: God I've missed this show. It was such a mistake for CBS to only do one cycle last season. This show demands you watch it. It's the only show that keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart, er, racing the entire time. The usual business of a first episode for the cycle, and I'm sad to see the team that left leave so early (they definitely stood out in the crowd), but it looks like there's a lot of Ugly American activity brewing. Yay! Also... we have a new himbo.

Desperate Housewives: First few minutes? Wow. They didn't come out and say it, per se, but THEY KILLED MIKE. In such a quaint, amusing way! And the device bringing us from the "characters we knew" to the "five years later" versions was used to great, smooth effect. Well done, show. GABRIELLE'S KIDS ARE FAT. Bree... you're Martha Stewart. And you always should have been. And Andrew's... well, in a suit. Can he please have a gay boyfriend this season? Now that he's an adult and all. Katherine: "If there's one thing you're really good at, it's posing as a chef." I wish they would've shown the pie-in-face hilarity (they still may). Parker and Preston... eh, they're still causing trouble for poor Lynette. And Brian Kinney is screwing Susan! Of course he was fantastic, Susan, he's Brian Kinney. Hm, the awkward kicking-him-out-of-bed and secret-relationship talk makes me think that (a) Mike is not dead, and (b) Susan is having an affair... but she's just "still getting over it" etc. Hm, Brian needs to work on his abs. Hm, creepy blonde dude moving into neighborhood by sorta-force-evicting some old dude... and he's married to Edie! Edie's back! Okay, time to enjoy this show and stop gabbing.

Hi, okay, I'm trying, I really am, but yay to the gay househusbands sitting on their porch and snapping a cameraphone (even if it was a clunky piece o' crap phone) a picture of Brian Kinney escaping Susan's house in his skivvies in the middle of the day. Marc Cherry, please, keep this quality up!

Fun Orson cameo. Is Kyle MacLachlan going to be on the show or will he just be doing that brief bit of The Doors karaoke? Aw, Bree took Orson back. And Danielle took her son from Bree and Orson. Where is Susan's son in all of this, b-the-dubs?

... and Mike is not dead. Not sure how I feel about that. Though it does explain where her son has been while she's, y'know, sleeping with Brian Kinney. I like that this episode progressed all these characters so much without writing people like Orson and Mike off.

The ending with "creepy blonde guy married to Edie is (a) really crazy, and (b) on Wisteria Lane to hurt/kill/whatever some mystery person" was extremely clunky, though. I've always found the serial mystery plotlines to be the most forced and, after the first season, unnecessary part of the show. But, well, everything else in this episode was so good that I'll let it slide... for now...

Brothers & Sisters: The only issues I have going into this premiere are (a) icky Justin-Rebecca feelings lingering, and (b) the fact that I know that Ryan, the new "other Walker sibling" won't be around UNTIL EPISODE 14 (thank you, spoilers from casting friends). This is my favorite guilty pleasure, sappy-emotional fluff hour of TV. I don't analyze and criticize it like I do, say, Heroes. I just laugh and smile and cry and hold my breath along with my heart on my sleeve. And to do so... I need to just watch. So... yay, the Walker family is back, I'll blog ya tomorrow with thoughts on Mad Men and the Fox comedies (er, not King of the Hill of course) if I feel an urge to (and if I'm able to watch them tonight, as it's already close to midnight and tomorrow is, well, Monday...

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Stick it in your mouth, but don't swallow it." "No? Nothing?"

Opting for a night in after this last whirlwind of a week (and of course debate-watching shenanigans).

Finally watching The Office. 10 minutes in (first commercial break). Um... wow, this show came back STRONG! I don't think I laughed as much as I have during these ten minutes during the entirety of last season.

Amy Ryan is unexpectedly pure comic gold.

Gotta Love The Press Release

At the bottom of ABC's blurb about the Grey's numbers:

Please note: Based on last season ('07-08), "Grey's Anatomy" is the most recorded and played back program on all of TV, as the show gained +2.1 million viewers and grew by +1.1 rating points in Adults 18-49 (+13%) from its first reported Live + Same Day number to its Live + 7 Day number. With current DVR penetration nearing 28% this season, up from about 19% at the same point a year ago, "Grey's" will see even greater increases in viewership this season from the initially reported next-day overnight ratings to the final numbers including all DVR playback.

[TY - It's a shame there isn't really that much info about the Live+7 versus Live+SD numbers out there. I also found the following enlightening...]

Grey's represents TV's most-watched scripted series telecast since early-April (4/10/08 - CBS' "C.S.I.") and highest-rated among Adults 18-49 since the beginning of February (2/5/08 - Fox's "House" coming out of "American Idol").

[TY - I except CSI will be more viewed when it comes back in two weeks... but the A18-49 numbers won't touch the Grey's premiere.]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Strut Your Stuff

Bravo, ANTM for having a double elimination episode. And having the first elimination halfway through and based solely on runway, without the panel (and thus Tyra) weighing in. Glad Isis's story as a transgender came to the forefront again, I was a bit miffed last week when they had her in a swimsuit and there was nary a mention of, y'know, downstairs. It was definitely time for Isis to leave, but, again, a bravo to the show for (a) bringing her on, and (b) knowing when it was time to let her go (instead of kicking a model with far better photos off).

House Needs an Idol Shot in the Ratings Arm

Thus far this season, House's original episodes have rated far lower than it did during its third and fourth seasons' fall runs. And I think the second season may have have higher rated fall runs, too, though I can't find data to back that up so I'm not going to use it for what I'm about to say.

House needs to be back at 9pm after Idol on Tuesdays.

I've been preaching on for a while that Fox should move House to Thursdays to grab a beachhead much as ABC did with Grey's.

Now I'm not so sure.

Thanks to the strike, and to Fox moving House to Mondays at 8pm when it came back with new episodes so Hell's Kitchen could air post-Tuesday Idol, House's ratings have fallen. Back in its first season, Idol made House from a failure into a hit (including repeats of fall originals rating like new episodes). The show came back in its season season far stronger than it had been before (but, again, I'm not sure if it was stronger then than it is now). Then Idol that winter/spring made House into a megahit. House returns for its third fall campaign even stronger. During some post-Idol episodes of House during that third winter/spring, House even beat Idol in some key categories. House comes back huge last fall for its fourth year... and the strike happens. And now House isn't hitting 7s in the demo, it's barely hitting 5s (the finals for today will be 5.0, I'm betting, as it paired until 9:01pm).

Fox doesn't have a comedy that's going to be helped by Idol at 9:30pm on Wednesdays. But it does have several dramas that should be infused with the Idol lead-in. House can now count itself among them. Shift Wednesday's Idol results show to 8:30pm (should Fox stick to the plan to keep it to a still-overblown 30 minutes this season), and make use of that 9pm hour.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Fall TV Season... We Has It

Gossip Girl: Um... how awesome!? I hate Vanessa. With an unequaled passion only approached by my distaste for Dan Humphrey. Self-righteous idiot. Can't wait to see next week.

How I Met Your Mother: Ted/Stella/Marshall plot: eh. Very predictable and not incredibly hilarious in that I'm sure we all saw each "twist" coming (although that opening montage of the things going through Ted's head as he waited for Stella's answer... hilarious ending with the football jock meathead... what's up, turd?). However... that wasn't the point. The point was the "awwww" at the end. And we love Sarah Chalke (both here and as Elliot Reed on Scrubs). Barney/Lily/Robin plot: de-wait-for-it-lightful. I'm glad they found a way to keep the Barney we know/adore and progress (ish) the Barney/Robin romance. Quite enjoyable.

Big Bang Theory: Jim Parsons makes his case once again for an Emmy nomination... will he be heard this season?

Terminator: I'll watch tomorrow... or over the weekend. Definitely before next Monday. Probably.

Heroes: Starting it... now. This is sure to elicit some form of reaction... anything is better than apathy, no?

Hey, at least there's no long, drawn out mystery as to Nathan's shooter. And, yay, Heroes is "borrowing" from classic X-Men storylines again! This show is always much more entertaining when it's repeating plotlines I already know instead of failing to create decent plotlines of its own. Anyway... Nathan is interestingly not dead. Although he was dead, according to Dr. Emergency Surgeon. And yet it's not because of Claire's blood (again, apparently). Which means the series has created yet another way to cheat death and render death inconsequential, and thus merely a cheap, narrative ploy. Bravo, show. Bravo.

Act Two... Hiro has mastery over his powers. Finally. Although for all you aspiring time-benders out there... please be more wary about how you treat space-time. Holes happen! If Hiro is bored, he should visit the Upper East Side and hang with the Gossip Girl crew. He has the necessary net worth! Oh, and, yes, Hiro is back to using the word "unmei" in every sentence. A good sign!

Dear Peter... I know you're all cliffhanger-y in Texas, but maybe call Claire to tell her that Nathan is alive (?). K thx. Sylar's "I bet you've been wondering where I've been since you saw me last" smacks of meta... but I'm less interested in where he's been and the long-winded monologue-y explanation it surely will be and more interested in him finally slicing the cheerleader's head open. That is all. Wait a second. It was only sort of long-winded. And it skimmed over most of the details of season two (thank god) including calling Maya of the Wonder Twins a "bad taco". Oh, Sylar, you win. You win. Excluding when you got whacked in the face by a trophy and when you lamely use your telekinesis to make Claire's house into some sort of even more boring haunted mansion. Apparently his bitch mother never told Gabriel not to play with his food.

OH GOD, IT'S MAYA. WITH MOHINDER. I COULD NOT BE MORE BORED. Dammit, why didn't she just kill him... um, if Mohinder now thinks the abilities are produced by adrenaline and not blood, then why did Claire's blood work as an instant resurrection tool? Hm? Oh, I suppose her adrenaline might be in it... whatever.

Please tell me he's going to bottle the endocrine system and sell it on the black market. That would be so 4400 of him.

Hiro's father obviously never read the Art of Rhetoric or he'd have known that when he said "never open the safe" all Hiro heard was "open the safe". Kaito also must've never heard the phrase "curiosity killed the cat". Unless this whole thing is a reverse psychology ploy, which it must be if a button on a thing on the desk by the safe opens said safe. Hahah, at least the video will of Kaito calls Hiro out for being an impudent brat. And, oh my, someone stole that thing lickity split. Hiro, you have your mission.

Although, I'm concerned about the conversation Hiro has with Lady Flash. And she's moving at, say, the speed of sound (okay, let's call her Lady Quicksilver... though the VFX implication certainly is reminiscent of light speedbands), and Hiro has now stopped time (or slowed it down considerably). How do they TALK TO EACH OTHER.

Yes, yes, I'm not supposed to notice that.

If the bullets went straight through Nathan, and he healed inside... why did Dr. Emergency Surgeon imply Nathan was dead? Oh, the plot holes... they begin...

... where did Parkman go just now?

... if I'm ever going to get to sleep tonight, I'm going to have to stop the play-by-play commentary because I've been "watching" Heroes for 50 minutes but am only 23 minutes in... including two commercial breaks. Of a 2 hour premiere. To the couch, and away from the keyboard...

... okay, I tried. But come on, Heroes. "His condition has been upgraded to stable"... from, what? Dead? ZOMG. Okay. I'm really just going to watch now. Seriously.

... hey. Me again. I couldn't stay away (though am having no problems staying awake). Linderman works as an explanation for Nathan's recovery... but I'm afraid it just means a roundabout explanation for why Linderman isn't dead (y'know, after Leonard Roberts put his character's fist through his head). And given the odd camera angles and ensuing lack of recognition by other people in the room with Nathan... imaginary figment?

Also... Niki/Jessica/whatever is alive. Cue zzz (especially if we get a lot of Micah and Monica...)

... dipping back into the "Hiro sees a cataclysmic future" well again, are we? Well, at least it was just Tokyo... not like that city doesn't get trampled by every mecha/demon/Godzilla attack ever recorded...

... and an answer on the WTF is Angela Petrelli's ability!

... Weevil got faaaaaaaaaaaat...

... jeez, quote Yeats much, Mohinder? I liked your thematic VOs better. They were somehow less pretentious!

... okay, really going to step away from the computer. Probz won't give detailed thoughts on part two. Because, obvs that takes a while from me, what will all the hole poking...

Mondays Suck Because They're Awesome


My DVR records only two programs at once.

Mondays at 8pm tonight:
- Gossip Girl
- Sarah Connor
- Big Bang Theory / How I Met Your Mother

Mondays at 8pm next week:
- Gossip Girl
- Sarah Connor
- Big Bang Theory / How I Met Your Mother
- Chuck

WTF, all networks except ABC.

PS - ABC, thanks for programming Dancing with the Stars, a show I have zero interest in.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Emmy Day, Oh Emmy Day

Alrighty then... predix. I don't really watch miniseries/TV movies... so I'm not predicting those categories.

Comedy Series:
- will win/I'd vote for: 30 Rock

Comedy Directing:
- will win: Barry Sonnenfeld, Pushing Daisies "Pie-lette"
- I'd vote for: Michael Engler, 30 Rock "Rosemary's Baby"

Drama Directing:
- will win/I'd vote for: Alan Taylor, Mad Men "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Pilot)"

Drama Series:
- will win: Mad Men
- I'd vote for: Lost (and Dexter)

Reality Host:
- will win: Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
- I'd vote for: Jeff Probst, Survivor

Comedy Lead Actor:
- will win/I'd vote for: Alex Baldwin, 30 Rock

Drama Lead Actor:
- will win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men (though we've been hearing buzz of a Bryan Cranston upset for Breaking Bad... and of course there's always James Spader to consider, for some ungodly reason)
- I'd vote for: Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Comedy Lead Actress:
- will win/I'd vote for: Tina Fey, 30 Rock (also, she should get an award for entertainer of the year... so, yes, I hope she wins for Individual Performance in a Variety of Music Program for hosting SNL in February)

Drama Lead Actress:
- will win/I'd vote for: Glenn Close, Damages

Reality Competition:
- will win: The Amazing Race
- I'd vote for: Project Runway (c'mon, season four? I love TAR, but let's spread the Emmy love around)

Comedy Supporting Actor:
- will win: Jeremy Piven, Entourage
- I'd vote for: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Drama Supporting Actor:
- will win: Ted Danson, Damagers
- I'd vote for: Michael Emerson, Lost

Comedy Supporting Actress:
- will win/I'd vote for: Amy Poehler, SNL

Drama Supporting Actress:
- will win: Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
- I'd vote for: Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters

Comedy Writing:
- will win: Tina Fey, 30 Rock "Cooter"
- I'd vote for: Jack Burditt, 30 Rock "Rosemary's Baby"

Drama Writing:
- will win: Matthew Weiner, Mad Men "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Pilot)"
- I'd vote for: David Simons and Ed Burns, The Wire "-30-"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesdays are getting crowded

90210: Tabitha is back! And she's still the best thing about the show! Yay! Dixon is wearing a rainbow polo shirt. Mention of money problems... that doesn't bode well for Dixon (since he will undoubtedly become indebted to some rich f*ck for some idiotic reason). Awkward transitions. They forgot to make Naomi endearingly-but-fabulously-bitchy before they tried to give her layers and make us sympathize with her. She'd be a much better arch/villain than pouty spoiled rich girl with family issues. Mention of Donna Martin graduates! This show just bought another five minutes (I know, I said it bought a few weeks last week, but after the blissful euphoria of stupidity the show left me in... my judgment was impaired). Ugh, Dixon said "do me a solid". "Just because you're a bunch of rich brats doesn't mean you can't have angst!" Oh, Tabitha. Nat! Talking about Brandon! To Dixon! As he's hiring Dixon! Well, that was only slightly expected as a result of the money talk. Could the Saturn logo be any more offensively prominent in Silver's car? Aw, troubled jock Ethan has a mentally challenged / OCD / whatever older brother. Oh, lord, Dixon is doling out dollops of wisdom. Back to the Naomi and her cheating father plot... you know the problem with this? I don't care for her, and I don't care against her. And... the baby daddy is Dylan. There goes one of very few reasons to keep watching this show (love you, Tabitha). "That was way better than cookies". Um... Ty still hasn't tasted Annie's snickerdoodles (that just sounds dirty, doesn't it?) so he doesn't really know, now does he?

House: Only show on TV that'll give you a voluptuous cleavage shot during a sexual harrassment training seminar. House is back! Yayz! Huh. The main titles still aren't changed. Wonder what that means for Thirteen, Kuman, and Mini Stud. There's obviously post-Amber fallout to deal with today, but the show needs to figure out how to (re)incorporate Chase and Cameron. And I wouldn't call what this episode did as reincorporating them... but yay, they were both in it? Also... can we move forward on either the Huddy or Hameron fronts, please?

Fringe: Hey, hot chick in underwear in the opening! That'll keep the males watching. Lance Reddick has apparently been totally relegated to the Arvin Sloane exposition role (and he's not referring to Olivia as "liaison" in that relishy way). Zzzz, rehashy backstory. This first episode, thus far, looks incredibly (if expectedly) cheap compared to the pilot. The crazy old genius that is Walter Bishop really, really grates on me. I do like the angle that Oliva has to go back and rework the cases she and her traitorous ex-lover ex-partner worked (as he was all Patterny and traitorous). Okay, besides the description of the serial killer's MO... which gross... it's getting late (12:30am) so I'm just gonna watch and shut up. 'Night, readers!
... the science in this show confuses and annoys me. X-Files was at least based in some semblance of reality (thanks to Scully making sure it was). In Fringe, it seems the most out of the box explanation is always the right path to follow, and there's somehow a way (through Walter Bishop's old experiments and through Massive Dynamic's future-ish-tech) to test the theoretical science.

OMFG Indeed

I will take credit for Gossip Girl's series-best numbers (and... wow... it might be number two on CW this week behind ANTM) because the friend I usually watch with and I had to watch separately last night. And I assume the rest of America is the same?

3.726 million viewers
2.5/4 HH --> same in finals
1.9/5 A18-49 --> 2.0/5 in finals
2.7/8 A18-34 --> 2.8/8
4.2/12 W18-34 --> 4.3/12

Sunday, September 14, 2008


WTF? SNL was actually funny (in many parts)! And the DVR gifted me with the premiere of Lost's syndicated run! Never saw the (first part of) the pilot in HD. Until now. Er, until later. On Sunday. Since it's apparently 4am.

Remember the good old days when Lost was just plain out addictively awesome and we had no idea we'd be having discussions about time-traveling bunnies?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Return of the Fug

So... I'm behind in TV. I haven't watched Tuesday's The Shield yet. And probs won't get to tonight's Bones until tomorrow or perhaps the weekend (hey, the Gormogon plotline was the main thing that changed that show from being "save of the weekend" TV to "must see same day" TV... and that ended disastrously... though I am really invested in Booth/Bones and the long-arc plot with Bones' family).

But some things take precedence! And sadly they're all reality TV. Sorry, but nothing scripted has the same urgency as not being spoiled on eliminated aspiring models and designers! And, um, that kills me as a writer...

Anyway. The Project Runway challenge is create an avant garde look based on one of the pair of designers' zodiac signs. But the competing designers are paired with the eliminated designers.

And Stella and Blayne are put together. In the words of the promo'd Heidi clip... "Ooooh, that's bad."

The only thing worse would be if Blayne, Stella, and Suede were put on a team together. It would be a neverending string of incessant catchphrasing evil.

Nothing that comes out of this group of designers comes close to touching Team Fierce's avant garde design(s) last season.

I agree with the judges on Blayne, and I know that the show says "one week you're in, the next you're out"... but Terri leaving instead of Suede? There has to be some room for consistently good work (and terrible teammates).

Also I had drinks with someone this morning who told me that the tranny was eliminated this week on ANTM (some interview she said she heard on Today or something) so I was super happy to see that Isis escaped from the bottom two and remains in the game.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Did anyone else really enjoy 90210 tonight despite themselves? And despite the "yeah, really not good" and "super trite" nature of it? And being able to predict every single "twist" multiple story beats before they happen (Mr. Clark's affair, I'm looking at you). The first few minutes kinda super sucked. But then it picked up. And it was fun. There wasn't excess whining. And the kids were together in various combinations and it wasn't horribly contrived and painful (which is saying something because it was rather forced). I even almost cared for Naomi! Almost. And then she got all melodramatic with her mother.

Although was it really a good idea for her friend to send her cheating ex-boyfriend to console her when she's distraught about the cheating men thing? I was surprised she didn't get bitchy about how all men are jerks (like Ty, or whatever his name is). In fact, it's totally out of character for her to not react that way.

Although Dixon's joking line suggesting Silver stay in his room almost ruined things.

Dear god, I think the show just bought itself another few weeks from me...

... although, where the eff was Tabitha? Did I stroke off when they maybe mentioned she was away for a few days or something for one reason or another?

And how many episodes can they really drag out not telling us the identity of Kelly's son's father?

We were dangerously close to an episode count of "3" for the question of how long until the Wilson family adopts their first West Bev student (er, that isn't Dixon)...

Monday, September 8, 2008


Dear Ben Silverman,

Stop making cameos on hasbeen industry insider shows like Entourage. Get back to the office and do your job.

I mean, if you were going to appear on an industry insider sitcom... why the fuck not 30 Rock? Yes, yes, it films in NYC and your office is in LA.

But wait. You rarely go to the office.

*fire away, Zucker*


Sunday, September 7, 2008


So last year's VMAs sucked, right? The whole "side party" thing in various hotel rooms at the Vegas location... sucked. So this year... we're on a soundstage on the Paramount lot in LA. Yeah.

Anyone else miss the old VMAs (you know, back when MTV was relevant and played music videos) in, like the Met in NYC? Big stage, big production values, big crowd, big deal... just big. This year the promotions promised music and mayhem...

... but it opens feeling so very, very small. And controlled and contrained. Though BritBrit's looking hot!

At least they let Rihanna do an entire song (last year, when she had the biggest hit of the year in "Umbrella" they only let her perform for about 90 seconds).

Ugh, Russell Brand just went political in his opening monologue. He's amusingly frenetic with his pacing and the jerking of his head... and his incredibly skin-tight black pants and shiny belts.

Anyone else amused by the cut from Jamie Foxx saying "give it up for the ladies" to Zac Efron looking like he couldn't care less about the ladies? Just saying.

OMFG BRITBRIT JUST WON A VMA. Kinda hard to believe that about a decade after she landed on the scene she's finally won one of these increasingly pointless awards. Let the comeback begin - again - bitches!

... why is Demi Moore presenting? Damn, woman's got legs to infinity.

Okay, they brought the old "scope" back for the second half of the Jonas Brothers' performance crowding the backlot streets. I still don't get them.

I'm not sure if Lil Wayne is grabbing his crotch just because or if he's regretting the oh-so-sagging-pants thing.

Dammit, I wish I'd recorded the pre-show! Apparently Fanny Pak and Kaba Modern threw down. Well, I'm sure it'll be on YouTube... and probably already is, as I'm watching on the tape delayed west coast. Woo! Fanny Pak! Ah, ubiquitous PCD song. We are so not tired of you.

Bah! I can't watch the Twilight cast presentation. I'm only 3/5 of the way through the book and I refuse to let my reading experience be altered (I also refuse to watch the trailer). Oh my god, Russell Brand is insane.

Pink looks amazing. And this is definitely my favorite song out of her since "God Is A DJ" (although, yes, there's a place in my heart for "Dear Mr. President" and I liked the other singles from "I'm Not Dead" just fine).

Jordin. Don't call me a slut. I still love you.


The acceptance speeches have really been kept to a few sentences... Oscars take note!

... and Britney obvs rehearsed one thank you speech because she basically repeats the same thank yous on win number two. Nice.

There don't seem to be a lot of awards this year. We're just above 2 hours in and they're at Video of the Year? BritBrit threepeat!

... and Russell Brand has absconded with Britney. I'm so confused.

As Kayne wraps up... I have to wonder. Why did MTV choose to have Katy Perry bookend a set of commercials with "Like a Virgin" and "I Kissed a Girl"? Why not let her have the main stage and perform? I mean... what? Sigh, the VMAs now are certainly not the VMAs of yesterdecade. For something that promised music and mayhem... I gotta say... didn't really deliver much of either...

Also, much as I *do* want Brit to have a genuine comeback... a year in which "Piece of Me" was Video of the Year? Is a sad one for music video as an, er, art form. Was Justice's "D.A.N.C.E." eligible this year or last?

Saturday, September 6, 2008


In tonight's installment... Better Off Ted, Castle, and Kings.

Better Off Ted. Okay. I sincerely don't get this single cam sitcom (I'm sorry, was I supposed to laugh?) Overly excessive talking-to-the-camera device. The cardboard cutout acting of Jay Harrington (combined with aforementioned overly excessive device as Jay plays the titular Ted). The show takes place at some umbrella catchall up-and-coming technologies, device, product, whatever firm and basically involves Portia de Rossi stooping to the Cold, Unfeeling Bitch of a Boss role asking Ted to have his team of scientists, researchers, whatever do the stupid, inane, and/or impossible all at the behest of the people above them. Gotta love middle management. Better off not giving this stinker a second thought. Andrea Anders... surprisingly cute!

Castle. The opening act, which cross-cuts between Nathan Fillion's character's book release party (he is the titular Richard Castle) - he's just written the final book of a bestselling detective character in which the main character is gruesomely killed - and a murder scene where a Female Cop recognizes the mode of murder. Castle's publisher is his ex-wife, and he's months overdue for turning in his next manuscript. Oh, and he invited his (alcoholic?) mother to live with him and his daughter now that he's divorced or something. Castle's mother, played by Susan Sullivan, pales in comparison to Jessica Walter's Tabitha Wilson on 90210 (she remains the only standout on the spin-off... but she's basically playing a toned down version of Lucille Bluth, so... moving on). And just as things are getting truly boring, Castle starts complaining about how truly boring he finds the release parties and how boring he found writing those detective books to be. Why? Because he already knew what every scene was going to be. So you'll color no one surprised when Female Cop shows up at the book release party wanting to ask Castle some questions (because the murder was done in a way that was featured in one of his novels, natch...) Really wish there hadn't been a lampshade hung on that. As usual, Fillion oozes a kind of dirty charm and chemistry with just about every extra and inanimate object. Which is why we love him and why we haven't stopped watching yet.

I find Stana Katic rather bland in the Mariska Hargitay Female Cop role (I believe it's Detective Beckett)... but she's supposed to be straightwoman to Fillion's Castle, who is something of a loose cannon / lothario (he stole a police horse... and was naked at the time... also during the release party he signs many guest's decolletage) so she does a serviceable job. Oh, my, I wonder if the series is going to revolve around UST... b-t-dubs, I think Cupid's UST between Cannavale and Paulson is better. In a semi-twist, it's actually Castle who volunteers to assist with the investigation, as opposed to him being forced to by the police. Much to Beckett's chagrin, of course. I do like the way Katic intonates "novelist" as an insult when speaking to Castle. And I do find myself thoroughly amused that the NYPD runs into real-world roadblocks such as the length of time it takes to get, like, fingerprints analyzed and Castle can just use his "I'm a famous, rich author" connects to speed things up... and then he gets a lecture from Beckett about cutting the line (other people are waiting for prints, you know).

There's another copycat murder, a frame job, yadda yadda yadda, and the only thing I'm really curious about is how the series is going to be set up (since I have to assume that it's not going to be yet more copycat murders each week... and I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that it's Castle looking for his next bestseller).

Score one zinger for the daughter when she tells Castle that if she keeps having bail him out of jail, he's going to have to raise her allowance.

It's hard to see Fillion in a brown coat that isn't Malcolm Reynolds'.

The UST banter between Castle and Beckett isn't quite up to par with Booth and Bones, television's current reigning bantery UST crimesolving duo. Although it's not for Fillion's lack of trying (nice use of entendre on the work "debrief"... XD)

And why are they going to film the series in Los Angeles, when it takes place in NYC and there's all those awesome NY state / NYC tax credits to take advantage of?

For a script that I couldn't even manage to get through 15 pages of... a rather enjoyable foundation from which a better series could rise. The series, by the way, is set up by the fact that Castle's next series of novels will center around a tough but savvy female detective, but Castle needs to tag along to do research (and it's kind of helped along because Castle is friends with the Mayor... so, blah blah, political pressure, swept under the rug, just get on with the series, peeps). I would definitely say that Castle is the first pilot I've seen thus far that has so vastly overdelivered on my expectations. Hell, I'm even willing to see if Katic can grow into the role (a role that is a tough one, as the straightwoman... and will on be aided when the series lets us know more about her character, as the pilot was pretty much all Castle all the time).

You know... I'm actually surprised ABC picked both Castle and Cupid up. Not from a quality perspective, mind you. But they're both NYC-based (though only Cupid will be able to take full advantage of that as it's going to be NYC-filmed) anthological series with a UST throughline between a larger-than-life leading man and a straightwoman. It's just that one is a murder mystery each week and the other is a romantic comedy every week. ABC has done stranger things with scheduling, and of course it totally depends on the network's needs come January or March... but I don't think they'd be a terrible fit together (though perhaps it'd be too much of the same). For now, I say move Brothers & Sisters to the post-DWTS Results 10pm hour, put Castle after Desperate Housewives and put Cupid after Grey's Anatomy (I haven't seen the new Life on Mars yet... but my hopes aren't high).

Kings. And now for my favorite script of this pilot season (which I read so long ago that I don't remember much except that I really dug it... though this was pre-strike, so you know stuff's changed). This pilot is 82 minutes long... so it might continue past what I read.

Note: Kings takes place in a near-future not-quite-New York City called Shiloh. Where America is called something else. And has a king.

Oh, good lord this starts far more boringly than the script did. And it's so dense. And stilted. And heavy-handed with the allegory. People are going to turn it right off. Someone fire Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg now. Provided it's their fault. Eh, just do it anyway.

Almost 9 minutes in and we finally get the opening of the script I read. And now I kind of get (but also hate) the first 9 minutes... it was all to bridge the gap between real world and fictional world for the unwashed masses (also to show main character David in/with his pre-soldier, pre-celebrity home and family). But why did it have to be so long and boring? I mean... hello? You're going to have to come up with something short and sweet to preamble every week. Did we need 9 minutes of tedium?

Problem with filming someone sneaking around a battleground (from the trenches to the enemy's front line of giant tanks) under cover of darkness: when you light that person in a flattering way - hell, not even flattering, just in any way that you can see the person fully - it makes the enemy look incompetent. Because how did they not see this person? And even more so when said person is able to escape with two hostages one of whom is pretty seriously injured (where were the guards? Anyone? Stormtroopers? Bueller?) The ensuing David (main character's name) versus Goliath (codename for the enemy tanks) sequence is still kinda nifty despite the logic lapse. Oh, and gravely injured soldier is the king's son. Thus David is now a hero. Also there was a photographer with a nightvision lens camera taking pictures.

Kinda weird music choices. I know it must be hard to choose stuff (after all, the near-future world won't have our pop music)... but Massive Attack's "Teardrop" outside of the House theme feels wrong.

Oh, a discussion of the war being a problem for the country's economy and public opinion of the war. That's timely. And a woman (who turns out to be the king's daughter) petitioning about public healthcare! Yes, that was in the script I read, but, well... politics. I think we'll all be tired of it in January 2009, no?

Seeing Ian McShane in an apron waxing philosphical / allegorical over cracking eggs into a bowl is just hilarious.

I've just pulled up a copy of the script that I read. I'm 48 minutes into the pilot, put only 33 pages into the script (allowing for 9 minutes that weren't in the script)... it's not a wonder this pilot feels somewhat slow. The script was 68 pages. So there may not actually be a ton of new material beyond those initial 9 minutes... so much posturing and speechifying...

Oh, I totally forgot the disgraced prince was Sekrit!Gay until King Silas / Ian McSwearengen lays into him. Although it comes out earlier in this version than it did in the script. More appropriately / less contrivancely timed, too. OMG, perhaps a good studio/network note at work!

And I forgot about the war-tech company (headed by the queen's brother) spurring the king on to a sneak attack on the enemy country right after he receives an offer for a truce / peace treaty... because peace isn't profitable no matter how much the public clamors for it. Seriously, I don't think people are going to want to watch this allegory in January.

Oh, lord, Silas just broke out in the a string of Ye Olde Testament diatribe along with Royal We. Oy. It's supposed to be frighteningly serious. But, um... no?

David's speech is moving... but part of me wonders why no one on the enemy's side doesn't just shoot him as he challenges them to get out of their tanks and face him. I mean... really? I believe this is called being "Stupid Good" by my friends over at (see:

The exacerbatedly ridiculous part being that Silas wants to have David shot because he's gone crazy, but decides against it as the Goliath tanks advance. But, oh, crap, they stop and an envoy form the enemy (btw, enemy country name = Gath) approacheth. How did the soldiers in the tanks hear the moving speech anyway?

I love that the Evil!Plan of the war-tech company was thwarted by David being an idiot. Once again, check out for Xanatos Gilligan (hey, I didn't name them... Haha, love how Silas (see, I've stopped referring to him as Swearengen) dictates complete fabrications to the guy following him around taking notes and ostensibly writing the history books.


I think I was so disinterested in the David/princess love story that I didn't mention it above. It results early on in a great line from Silas (he's offering David anything he wants, even the proverbial "half my kingdom" and David looks at the princess and Silas goes "half my kingdom, it is"). But, well... young love. Soldiers and princesses. We've seen that.

Given that the 68 page script was turned into a two-hour pilot (with the addition of a totally useless 9 minute preamble)... I'm not sure how I feel about this. It plays heavier and slower than I'd imagined. The acting is all there... and Egan (David) and McShane (King Silas) are both excellent in their leading roles... but somehow it's just not the magic I read it as. I still want to know what happens next. And I suppose that's all they need to make me want.

But I do worry about that opening.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Okay. 90210. Sound off people.

Actually, watching with friends in HD made the experience more pleasurable than my first viewing. I still think it's bad-bad television.

BTW, anyone else in LA watching the HD feed? Because damn someone at KTLA fucked up (during much of the first half hour, the video steadily fell out of frame, so it was cutting off footage at the bottom and replacing it at the top). Then for about five minutes they cut between the SD feed (which was fine, but horribly 4:3 aspect ratio and, well, SD) and the still-malfunctioning HD feed until finally getting it right.

So lame.

Monday, September 1, 2008

You Know You Love Me

Oh, Gossip Girl. I really, really do.

Thank you for finally having Serena put Dan in his self-righteous place.

And for dramatic costumes.

And Blair and Chuck.