Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Have a Sword!
Last night’s episode of Heroes had plenty of revelations, as usual. D.L. is back (known to Buffy fans as Forrest, that annoying sidekick to Riley, the even more annoying man-who-could-never-replace-Angel; he’s a much better character in Heroes) and with him he brings a little surprise of his own. I LOVED the scene where he jumped out of the wall suddenly, to grab the Bufficized Niki and surprise us all. But did he kill her?! Or did he only affect one half of her? Could Well-Adjusted-But Meek Niki be OK but Dementor Niki be destroyed? I don’t think it’ll be that easy. I also don’t think they’ll get rid of Niki – she’s just far too intriguing.

So how did Niki and D.L. first come together? Were they put together by some scientists who needed two genetic mutants to breed? What kind of powers does Micah have? (Presumably the abilities only show themselves when the people hit puberty, like most legends – werewolves, vampire slayers, etc.) Could he be the true culmination of Suresh’s vision? Is D.L. really the bad guy Niki thought he was, or was he set up by Buffiki, and if so, then she doesn’t appear to be working in Niki’s best interests after all.

Claire met her biological parents… or did she? I’m thinking Mr. Horn-Rimmed Glasses has probably hired some people to pose as her parents. If they really are her parents, then it would seem she wasn’t born with those powers. Glasses Man didn’t pick her out to be his adoptive daughter because he knew she was a mutant and he wanted to study her; he picked her out because she was normal and maybe he wanted to turn her INTO a mutant. When the mother tells the story about how Claire underwent genetic testing when she was little, I took it to mean he took her to a lab (sans mommy) and turned her into the person she is now. He remains a mysterious person, and I’m still not clear on whether he’s a good guy or bad.

The one instinct I was right on, though, was annoying, perky little Eden McCain. I KNEW she was bad news. No one just hangs with some old guy and gets to know that much about his SECRET experiments and research. Besides, her name is an anagram for “Cad Nice Men,” and she certainly has been a cad to nice(ish) men. Then again, it’s also an anagram for Canned Mice, so maybe that theory doesn’t cut it.

I’m annoyed with how inconsistent Mohinder’s character is. One minute he believes in what his father is doing enough to go halfway around the world to seek out the answers, yet the moment he’s face-to-face with one of the mutants his father had researched and spoken about for so many years (the same type of person Mohinder’s talking about in the opening scene of the series when he explains that people can evolve to a new level), he calls them a liar, refuses to listen to them or follow them to find out where they’re going, leaves them, and goes back to Perkyville to complain to Eden that Peter’s full of crap. Huh?? It doesn’t make any sense, and I find his character to be a real disappointment.

Peter gives his message to Hiro, which sends Hiro and Ando into ecstasies about how much of a hero Hiro will eventually become. While Hiro muses on how he has a sword (a hilarious scene) they back out and bump into the guys from the casino. I found that scene far too contrived, a way to just bring them back to the room where Buffiki will eventually show up (presumably) like some crazed banshee. The casino scene was originally a funny demonstration of Hiro’s powers being used for “evil” (complete with a little homage to Rainman in their matching suits) but it turned into a dragged-out storyline. I did like, however, Hiro’s crisis of conscience when he realizes that maybe his powers can help make them some money, but he’s inept when it comes to helping people. A true hero can only be filled with sadness (see Buffy, Angel, Batman, Superman, etc.) and this is the beginning of Hiro’s true character building.

The episode didn’t have any Nathan or Matt, and the latter was missed. I hope they go back to his story next week. So far episodes are listed up to November 13, and then maybe they’re planning on breaking for the Christmas hiatus. Sigh. It’s going to be a boring December.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Funniest Show on Television
First of all, wah. I just came downstairs from putting my daughter to bed (asleep at 8:40! Woohoo! Personal 3-month record here. Of course, that involved me whacking my shin on the frame of her bed while putting her back into the bed for the fourth time, and hopping up and down going, “Ow! Ow! Owowowowowwwwwwww…. OK, Mommy needs you to go to bed, she hurt her leg!” and suddenly, magically, it’s as if she knew I was really serious and couldn’t play the “catch the toddler” game we usually play each night, and she settled down and went right to sleep. Huge bruise, but it was worth it. I wonder if this needs to be a nightly tactic? With shin guards, of course.)

Anyway, I get downstairs all excited to watch this week’s episode of The Office and… it’s a damn repeat. ARGH. Biggest disappointment of my week so far. I haven’t really blogged on The Office, but it is easily the funniest show on television. (My husband doesn’t think so, but he also doesn’t understand why I think Monty Python is funny. Sigh.)

But I watched the ep anyway. It’s the repeat of the pilot, where Oscar is outed in the office by Michael, who was upset that he’d called him “faggy,” not knowing Oscar was a real homosexual. And I loved rewatching it so much that it diminished my disappointment in it being a repeat.

Fave moments:
Michael and Dwight call Jim at one point to find out about buying a “gay-dar” online because Jim had told them you could, and Jim pretends to bang the keys and says, “nope, they’re all sold out!”

Stanley complaining to the camera that he now has two toasters because the store wouldn’t take back the wedding gift he’d bought for Pam. I LOVE Stanley’s faces.

Michael kissing Oscar in the conference room, and the look of shock on Pam’s face, as if she would give ANYTHING for Jim to be there.

Dwight opening a package from Jim, and it’s a metal detector he’s wrapped up as a gay-dar. BRILLIANT.

Fave lines:
Ryan: “Yep, I’m not a temp anymore. I got Jim’s old job, which means at my 10-year high school reunion it will not say Ryan Howard is a temp. It will say Ryan Howard is a junior sales associate at a mid-range paper supply firm.” Pause. “That’ll show ’em.”

Michael: “You don’t call retarded people retards. It’s bad taste. You call your friends retards when they’re acting retarded.”

Michael: “I watch the L-Word. I watch Queer as F**k.”
Jan: “That’s not what it’s called.”

Michael: “The company has made it my responsibility today to put an end to 100,000 years of being weirded out by gays.”

Creed: “I’m not offended by homosexuality. In the 60s I made love to many, many women, often outdoors, in the mud and the rain, and it’s possible a man slipped in. There would be no way of knowing.”

Dwight: “Michael appears to be gay, too, and he’s my friend. I guess I DO have a gay friend.”

Michael, looking out the window: “Oh, there’s Gil, Oscar’s roommate. I wonder if he knows?”

Next week: New episode. YAY!!!
"It's Not a Toomah"... Oh Wait, Yes It Is
Over at Bill Ervolino's blog today, he speculated that the preview might be misleading us to think the tumour (yes, I'm a Canadian who favoUrs the u for the coloUr it gives to words such as tumoUr, heehee) is Benji's, when in fact it's Locke's. It's funny he should say that, because I was thinking exactly the same thing until that stupid preview came on. (I really hate the previews we get at the end of Lost, both the U.S. and Canadian versions.) Remember when Juliet was flipping through Jack's file in "A Tale of Two Cities" and said they have everything on file about Jack? Could those spinal x-rays be part of Jack's file? Is it possible that Locke's case was referred to Jack years ago, and Jack, after the disaster that happened with Gabriella's father, decided no, he's not a miracle worker, and he can't help Locke? Then somehow those x-rays came to the island?

OK, that's a wild out-there speculation that I tend to stay away from. The more obvious answer could be that when Locke blew out of the hatch, he was knocked unconscious for a very long time, the Others took him to the Caduceus station and x-rayed his back and discovered a tumour in there. But if a tumour of that size might affect your ability to walk, it would make more sense to me that that might be an x-ray from before the island. Just as Rose's cancer disappeared the moment she landed on the beach, perhaps Locke's tumour similarly disappeared... he didn't lose his legs because of a gun shot or kidney failure or being hit by a car, he was levelled by a tumour. Hmm...

I mean, if that tumour was really Benry's, how can that man fight with the might of 10 men?

Other thoughts: I was thinking more this morning about Of Mice and Men. The book's title comes from the line from the poem, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (or something like that... I'm sure I've got a word wrong in there; I'm going back to my school days here). It's a line that could be attached to any of the groups -- The Others, the Lostaways, the Tailies, every individual person. I mean, it could even comment on the producers: their best-laid plan to bring in some more eye candy has given us the "less-interesting-than-watching-paint-dry" Paolo, which has seriously gone awry. (Come on, Paolo, make me like you. I loved you in "Love, Actually"... though, I wasn't really looking for you to stun me with your insight in that film.) But the book was also about two people, one the leader, the other the follower who really needed the leader. Is Ben going to be Sawyer's leader? Or will Ben's best-laid plans still go awry?

It was also very interesting to me when Ben was talking to Sawyer as S. was on the table, and he said they're not in the business of killing people. Again, like I said in Finding Lost, if we saw everything from their perspective, I wonder if we come up with a different show. From the Others' point of view, they lived on the island, quietly conducting their experiments to help animals, extend human life, etc. and along come this scraggly group of people to interrupt them, and they kill Ethan, they kill Goodwin, and now they kill Colleen. But even from their perspective, did kidnapping Walt, trying to kill Charlie, attempting to take Claire's baby before killing her, blackmailing Michael to force him to kill someone, and then kidnapping three other people somehow make them good people? It's a tough one here.

I've read some insane theories out there, including several ones that this is a comment on the U.S. government, and maybe when it comes to the Others conundrum, that's where it most closely mirrors it. Just as the Iraqi people probably don't see the Americans as liberators, despite the Americans being the supposed "good guys" in that particular story, so do the Others not see themselves as being the bad guys. It's all about perspective.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lost Ep 4: Every Man For Himself
This week’s episode was a Sawyer flashback, and it wasn’t quite as exciting as the previous episodes have been, but it was still great. Sawyer’s flashback showed him involved in another con, but one that was legal, rather than him doing something against the law. His mark was Munson, played by Ian Gomez (who I still love to think of as Javier from Felicity), who caved a little too easily for my liking. Anyone who can pull off an embezzlement of $10 million ain’t gonna start crowing to the first fellow prisoner he feels some sort of bond with.

On the island, the Others con Sawyer by putting a “pacemaker” inside him, but what they’ve actually done is give Sawyer his own button. Just as Desmond pushed a button for three years, followed by Locke for a month or so, Sawyer doesn’t know if the pacemaker is really inside him, and if it will make his heart explode, but he can’t afford to take the chance that it might be.

So does Kate love Sawyer or no? As I mentioned earlier, she came back from her meeting with Benry looking funny and acting differently around Sawyer, like she’s been asked to con him somehow. As Pickett starts beating the snot out of Sawyer, she admits that she loves him, but later says she only said that to make Pickett stop hitting him. Yet when she has the opportunity to get away from him, she chooses to stay with him. She really does care about him.

-Munson’s prisoner number is 248, Sawyer’s is 840
-Sawyer lies and says he’s 32 (a reverse 23)
-when Colleen dies, the last pulse count that Jack sees is 16
-Sawyer reports that Munson has parked a Bronco in unit 23C
-the warden tells Sawyer he’s getting 6 years knocked off his sentence. If he’s been there presumably for 2 years, then that means his original sentence was 8
-the bunny has a number 8 on its back

Fave moments:
-Sawyer calling Danny Chinatown, bringing to mind the scene of the guy getting the knife up the nose
-Paolo asking Desmond if he plays golf, and Desmond simply saying, “I’m Scottish” (Paolo has a crap swing, by the way… he should listen to Desmond’s advice)
-Sawyer’s pulse racing as Kate undresses
-Jack being moved to another facility and Sawyer and Kate being unable to yell to him

-why does Charlie call Desmond Brother? Was it a joke, or was Charlie falling into the lilt of Desmond’s accent?
-Juliet says she was a fertility doctor. Will she later have something to do with Jin and Sun?
-Sawyer’s prison looked exactly like Desmond’s. Did they use the same location for this one?
-Is Desmond trying to harness electricity, or is he just going insane?
-Is Clementine really Sawyer’s daughter, or does Cassidy see Sawyer as an easy mark? I speculated in my book that she was really conning him in “The Long Con” and I still believe it. I think she was conning him here, too. The thing about Sawyer is, he might be an OK con man (so far they’ve shown me very little to make me think he’s really good), but he’s about as gullible mark as he could possibly be. I was actually surprised the episode ended when it did; I thought we’d have one more flashback with Cassidy getting into a car with her sister, “Clementine,” and saying, “Got the money” or something to that effect, but maybe they’re still waiting for a later date to spring that one on us.
-how do the Others have access to such modern clothing?
-whose spine is on the x-rays (unfortunately, this one was answered in the ABC preview for next week, which I found very spoilery)
-Benry reveals the Others are on another island altogether, so they must have knocked out Kate, Sawyer and Jack to bring them to the spot they're in, or they would have noticed they were on a boat... Are the Others' houses on that island as well? That moment we saw at the beginning of the first ep of this season, where Benry was saying, "Hurry, it will land there, run!" is he pointing to another spot on their island, or in the direction of the bigger one? Why didn't anyone notice another island out in the water? Why didn't Sayid and company find it when they were circumnavigating the island in their boat? Why didn't they see it when they were on the raft? Are the Others going to the trouble of taking a boat to the larger island each time they want to spook them? This introduction of a new island certainly opens up a new can of worms that doesn't quite fit. Yet.

Did You Notice:
-Desmond predicted the rain just like Locke did in season 1?

-so far Rodrigo Santiago isn’t really cutting it for me; his acting is about as wooden as the thing they put in Sawyer’s mouth for pain.
-why isn’t Hurley a little more broken up about recent events? He’s standing there joking around and making himself a fruit salad when his girlfriend was shot only about 4 days earlier, and he found out a friend of his was the shooter.

Book of the Week: Of Mice and Men is Steinbeck’s novel of two ranch hands, Lennie and George, who dream of a better life but George knows that life will never happen. George is the smaller and smarter man, and Lennie is the larger man who is mentally deficient. When Lennie accidentally kills the wife of another man who is the son of the boss, George knows that the man will torture Lennie, so he takes him out to a stream, tells him the story of how some day they’ll own their own farm with many rabbits (the famous line from the book and movie is, “Tell me ’bout the rabbits”), and shoots him in the back of the head. As with most of Steinbeck’s novels, it’s a downer, and shows the plight of the land worker as a vicious cycle they’ll never break out of. The novel is probably evoked in this episode because of the sacrifices that Sawyer will make, and it could be foreshadowing some euthanasia incident that will happen later. It’s also interesting that Benry shakes a rabbit in front of Sawyer, leading him to believe he’s killed it.

Next week we see more of Locke and company, and continue to see Sawyer, Kate, and Jack. Sayid, Sun, and Jin, who recently appear to have fallen off the face of the Earth, look like they'll finally join the people on the beach again.
Lost comes back!
Zap2it.com reported today that Lost will air 2 more episodes (Nov 1, Nov 8) before going on a full 3-month hiatus, and will return February 7th, 2007. Sigh... it seems like SO long to wait, but it's good to have a date to look forward to.

Here are the titles of upcoming episodes, and who the flashbacks will be (SPOILERS... DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW).
Oct 25 (Sawyer): "Every Man For Himself"
Nov 1 (Eko): "The Cost of Living"
Nov 8 (Kate): "I Do"
Feb 7 (Juliet, EEE!!): "Not in Portland"**

**This one is being reported early, so don't count on it quite yet, but I think it would be amazing to finally see one of the Others. I also love the Wizard of Oz reference in the title, as my friend Crissy pointed out to me.
Up, Up, and AWAAAAAY!!
Sorry I’ve been sort of… gone. My 2-year-old daughter has moved to a “big girl bed” and has decided that rather than go to sleep around 8:30, like she used to, it’s WAY more fun to jump up and down on the bed, run around the room, play with her teddies (in the dark), put them under the blankets, then uncover them, the complain that they’re cold, sit in the bed and sing songs, say nursery rhymes, all the while insisting that I stay in the room and not leave her or she gets upset. (I tried sitting in a part of the room where she couldn’t see me last night, and she got up, walked over to the bookshelf in total darkness, tripped and banged her head on the bookshelf. Sigh.) So she’s not falling asleep until 10 or 10:30, and then I come downstairs, exhausted, try to watch a show, and then go to sleep. So I’m writing this in the morning while she’s jumping around and watching her Winnie the Pooh movie. (Soon to come: my recap of The Heffalump Movie.)

So I’m late to talk about Heroes, and I’m sure it’s all been talked about before, but I loved it, as usual. Nathan’s superfast ability to fly (WHOA…. Superman’s got nuthin’ on him) was awesome to see. I loved the way Peter commented that all of Isaac’s pictures put together look like a huge comic book, which was a real metatelevision moment, commenting on the fact that this show has its solid roots in comic books, and it’s like they’re all characters in one.

The guy in the glasses is more and more intriguing to me. As I mentioned last week, my husband thought he was a good guy, and this week there seems to be more of that feeling. He took all of Brody’s memories, which was pretty cool (since Brody appears not to have a conscience about anything, it’s not like it’s going to make him a WORSE person), and watching him threaten Brody made me like the guy for the first time. Maybe his function is to help the superheroes reach their full potentials? After all, with Matt, when he told the black guy to “clean him out” he appears to have cleaned out anything standing in the way of Matt reading someone’s mind. Unfortunately, he’s turned him all into Earshot Buffy, where Buffy almost goes insane because she can’t turn the voices off in her head. Where before, Matt could zoom in on one person and concentrate hard enough to hear their thoughts, now he has no choice and is bombarded by everyone’s thoughts, whether he wants to hear them or not. It certainly helps him in the bedroom, but not when he’s going out for some munchies afterward.

Niki’s hubby is back, and the ending of that story was creepy cool. I’m hoping she goes all Buffiki on his ass again, and then we can have some more fun times. Poor little Micah; his dad is a criminal; his mom is…. Well, sumthin.

Hiro continues to be one of my favourite characters EVER, and the look on his face as he sat at the diner and watched Nathan land was absolutely priceless. Someone asked in one of my comments why he can’t teleport himself from Las Vegas back to wherever he wants to be, but I think he can only teleport through time, not just from point A to point B. He teleported from Japan to NYC, 5 weeks later; then he teleported 5 weeks back. He’s teleported from the distant future back to see Peter on the subway car. I don’t think he knows how to move laterally without changing the time he’s in, so that’s probably why he decided to drive the car.

I didn’t notice last week that Hiro’s hair was so long when he approached Peter on the subway, so clearly it’s much further in the future than I thought.

I need to sit down and seriously work through this in my head, but right now I’m just posting to catch up. More posts to follow, and of course, my Lost one tonight. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Worried you're missing out on Heroes?
Worry no longer. NBC is playing a mini-marathon of the first 3 episodes this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST. I urge anyone who's a fan of Lost (or just good television) to watch this. If you had to watch only one show out of an unusually good fall television season, this is the one to pick.

New episodes are Monday nights. So mark your calendar, and don't miss out on this series!

And no, I don't work for NBC. I'm just always crusading for more people to be watching good television, especially the shows that I watch. That way, A) my shows don't get cancelled, and B) I have other people to discuss those shows with. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Further Instructions: Comments
I've gotten some great comments after last night's post, so I wanted to actually pull them into a post rather than hide them in the comments section.

Notice how Charlie said "What?" twice when Locke spoke to him outside the cave before going in for Eko? And how Eko wasn't really "looking" at Locke when he spoke? And how happy am I to see Terry O'Quinn back? (I am doing my happy dance.) And my "Nitpick" as Nikki would say, is how they find tufts of polar bear fur stuck in the bushes like it's cotton growing on trees. And yes, Charlie's back and better than ever!

I already commented on this one, but I agree that Charlie said "What?" twice, and it insinuated maybe that ringing in his ear that we heard in "Live Together, Die Alone" might be more serious than the temporary tinitus we all get after a loud rock concert. What will Charlie do if he loses his hearing? That would be the end of his singing and playing guitar... And I agree; the tufts of teddy were a little ridiculous.

The other funny part for me was when Hurley says, "Bear?" He's so awesome. And I agree Charlie was back to his S.1 charming self but without losing what happened to his character in S.2. Go Lost writers!

Hurley brings the funny back to the program. I was a little worried about the fate of his character this season: I mean, he's lost Libby, he JUST found out that Michael was the one who killed her, he thought he was being led to his death, and now he realizes he's not important to the Others (which, while a good thing for him, has got to be a bit of a blast to the ego). But he hasn't lost his sense of humour, because he's funny without trying to be. If you watched him closely, there's a real sadness to him in this episode. Even when he's cracking jokes and holding his hands up to shield his eyes from Desmond's bits and pieces, he's not jovially hugging Charlie hello. I don't think we even saw a hint of a smile in this episode. Hurley's different, but no less likeable.

OK, here's my theory on Locke's paralysis. Seeing as this is after the father issue and before his wheelchair-bound insurance(?) career, the incident that caused his paralysis must happen soon.First factor in a cop, a massive Waco-esque gun stash that was shown for a reason, and the fact that Locke let the cop get away..I forsee a standoff between police (who are brought by Locke's "nephew") and gun-wielding, hippie, MJ growers. In the end, Locke is shot through the spine by his "nephew", causing the paralysis.As well, maybe Locke goes back, says he's "dealt with" the kid, and everyone assumes he's killed him and buried him in the woods, only to be surprised when the ATF moseys down the garden gate. Ensuring chaos, gunplay, and paralyzed Locke.Of course, I could be -- and probably am -- way off base. But it's setting up too nicely. And the guns were shown for a reason...

Very cool analysis. While it very well could play out in something like this, I wonder if it's more in Locke's nature to turn and leave the situation. This is a guy who sat in a car outside his father's house for months rather than walk up and confront the guy, and when his dad told him to go away, he did. I think he'd turn tail and run away from there rather than go back and pretend he'd shot the kid, because Locke knows the kid will be back, and could have him charged for holding a gun to a police officer. I'd like to think the reason he was in a wheelchair was a big, important thing, and not something common like a gunshot wound (common on TV, not common in the sense that I know 6 people with gunshot wounds...) But I think by holding out on us, the writers are expecting theories like yours to start pouring in, and maybe you're absolutely right! After all, in this instance, it means he was in a wheelchair because of a decision that he made, and everything bad that happens to Locke is because of a bad decision he's made.

I think it's significant that Boone had to push him in a wheelchair in the dream. It's like the wheelchair is connected to something HE did... He's responsible for Boone's death, and maybe the fact he was wheelchair-bound in the first place has something to do with this?

OK, maybe I'm nuts, but as I posted on my blog (www.northjersey.com/lost) I really, really HATED this episode. Just thought it was clumsy and poorly written. I love the show as much as anyone, but I think they really let us down last night, especially after "Ballerina" which was terrific. The big news, though: THEY NAMED A CHARACTER AFTER YOU!!!Are you celebrating???

LOL!! Why yes, I am! The writers emailed me in the summer and said they wanted to name a character after me and asked if that would be OK, and I had to think about it first, but then.... no? Not believing it? Damn. Well, in my fantasy world in my head, she's named after me. And if they kill her off in a hail of bullets, then maybe that'll be them getting back at me for not liking Fire + Water so much. hahahaha....

As for not liking the episode, that's OK, I still love your blog anyway. :) I think I loved the episode so much because it just felt like LOST, finally. I mean, of course I loved the first two eps as well, but this one was finally back with the biggest group of characters, on the beach, etc. If you base a show on its flashback, though, I agree with you. This is probably the weakest of the Locke flashbacks. They need to seriously step up on the flashbacks this season and give us something we haven't seen before in these people, and so far they've done that with both Jack and Sun, but Locke was just Locke, and I expect to always learn something surprising and awesome in a Locke ep. And I don't think we did.

Oh, but Nikki, I realize now that they couldn't have started with Ep. 2 because Kate and co. are all in it, so we'd have to know what happened before that. I guess I have to start watching both feeds now to get with you nerdlies! Also, WTF Paolo and Nikki? Just because they need one more hot man and woman on the island? At this point, I don't think I want to care for any more characters. These guys are family.

Sorry, I meant that originally they were going to air them Ep 1, Ep 3, Ep 2, which they totally could have done, since this ep didn't visit anyone else on the island, so it could have stood alone. But they must have looked at it and thought no, people will want to know more about Jack and company right off the bat, and if we make them wait for Locke and the rest of the Losties, it will just make them anticipate it more. :)

And yes, Paolo and Nikki are going to have to prove themselves to us in some way, and they can't make them too invasive in the beginning or it will seem strange. I mean, why did they stay in the background stoking their fires and collecting their wood and we never saw them before now, and yet suddenly they're all, "Hey, Hurley, how ya doin? We need Jack!" So they'll have to be careful with these two, I think.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lost Ep 3: Further Instructions

Few things on television make me happier than a Locke flashback episode on Lost. “Further Instructions” didn’t disappoint, though the flashback wasn’t nearly as interesting as what was going on on the island. In this episode, Locke awakes after the explosion unable to speak. Charlie and Claire seem to be playing house on the beach. Eko has been dragged into a cave by a polar bear. Desmond has awoken in the jungle absolutely nude (ah… there IS an island god!). Hurley has returned with news of what has happened to Kate, Sawyer, and Jack. And we finally see that the other two of the show’s new cast members… are other survivors on the island who have apparently been in the background the other time (which they haven’t). Suddenly Paolo and Nikki are main characters who know everyone, though until now they’ve never been seen. Weird.

Highlights: This was the first episode of the season with some very funny moments in it, mostly because Charlie and Hurley are back. Charlie telling Locke that polar bears are the Einsteins of the bear world, and Hurley asking Desmond if the explosion blew his underwear off, were PRICELESS moments. I laughed and laughed.

Locke’s dream:
I think a LOT of interesting stuff was shown to us in the airport. Claire and Charlie look like they’re a happy couple with Aaron, who, oddly, isn’t wearing any clothes. Jin and Sun are fighting like cats and dogs, and Sun looks like she has the upper hand. Sayid is acting like a comforting person to Jin, but doesn’t seem to exist outside of them. Hurley is the ticket agent, as if he’s somehow the one getting people onto the plane. Desmond is the pilot. (What are those two positions saying about who they are on the island?) Kate is giving alluring looks at Sawyer, and he’s all flirty with her back. Jack looks distressed, and is alone, and he’s taking off his watch, which is one of the last civilized things he has. (Is there a suggestion that Jack isn’t in the same time frame as the others? There’s definitely a point being made about time and Jack here.) Benry is the security guard, as if he’s the one who could keep them off the plane. Boone stands at the top of the escalator to Heaven, and Locke has blood on his hands, blood that’s now on the Jesus stick. He’s responsible for Boone, and if he doesn’t find Eko, he’ll be responsible for that, too.

-Desmond. Naked.
-the horror effects used in Locke’s terrifying visit with Boone
-Charlie: I liked him a LOT more in this episode than I ever did in most of season 2. Sure, he was smug at times with John, but he had every reason to be after Locke slugged him. He was funny, he still went ahead and helped Locke, and deferred to him knowing that Locke knew better what was going on. When he lectured Locke about taking drugs (I don’t want you to have to start punching yourself), it was hilarious in a way his cruelty wasn’t last season.
-Eddie wearing a Geronimo Jackson t-shirt. But I wish he hadn’t actually mentioned it; it would have been much cooler if it had gone unmentioned, a little wink to the fans paying attention (Geronimo Jackson is the psychedelic band whose album Hurley and Charlie find in the hatch)
-Hurley’s entrance. HILARIOUS.
-Hurley changing his mind when he sees Desmond and yelling, “Whoa, Dude, I am NOT alone!” Hahahahahahaha….
-Desmond wearing the tie-dye shirt and it looking like a dress on him.
-Locke NOT shooting Eddie. I literally stopped breathing.
-Terry O’Quinn.
-Locke has become the new Jack for the moment. He’s the leader, and even CHARLIE looks up to him after he delivers the speech.

Didn’t love:
-Charlie’s haircut. What was THAT? He looked like a 6-year-old kid with a bad mullet, and it wasn’t anything like his hair in the finale. Similarly, Ian Somerhalder has grown out his hair for other acting gigs, but Locke only knew him with the short hair. It doesn’t make sense that Locke would have imagined him with the shaggy look.
-John saying grace and thanking God for not making him so angry anymore. Seemed rather contrived that he’d mention that point in this very flashback.
-the CGI effects on that polar bear. They still don’t have that right.
-us STILL not finding out what put Locke in the wheelchair. Sigh.

-Locke’s first name is Johnathan! That’s the first time we’ve seen that.
-Eddie uses Locke’s vulnerabilities to his advantage: he knows Locke doesn’t have a family and needs one, so he says Locke is his uncle, just to butter him up. Nicely done.
-Eko’s Jesus stick has new passages: “Lift up your eyes and look North” (interesting that the Others are North); Romans 6:12; Acts; John 3:05; CCN 13:14; Har (?) 1:3; 4:8:15:16 (written like a bible verse) (see p 235 of my book for the original Eko passages and what they mean
-Eddie and Locke are talking about “Lizzy” who is looking for a Daddy figure. Lizzy is another form of the name Libby (and we saw a Lizzy in Michael’s custody battle; she was the hardass lawyer).
-Justin Chatwin played Eddie, and he was in Taken (another AWESOME show), Weeds, and War of the Worlds. He’s been cast in the upcoming movie version of Michael Turner’s The Pornographer’s Poem, which is cool.
-I thought Mike was Pickett at first, and was very excited that Locke had had dealings with an Other, and then realized it wasn’t the same guy. Damn.
-why is there a Tonka truck in the polar bear’s cave? Have we seen that truck before? It looked familiar to me but I can’t place it.
-some reporter who interviewed me back in September told me a rumor that was going on about Eko, and by this episode, it looks like it’s not true. (I won’t say what it was, because that would be spoilerish and I don’t know if it will turn out to be true later.)
-Did Eko really say what he said to John, or did Locke just imagine it?
-Locke’s whole life has been a series of “If onlys” and it just doesn’t stop.
-the first thing Nikki says when Eko shows up to the beach is that they need Jack. But Jack’s been gone for days, and Nikki looks at Hurley and says, “When were you going to tell us this, Hurley??” as if he had been sitting there the whole time. What is up with her?

OHMIGOD, has Desmond become Isaac from Heroes now? Can he see into the future? Will he start making apocalyptic paintings… er, cave drawings? Pictures in the sand…?

-Locke’s address is 25164 Franklin St. His height is 5’10” (adds up to 15)
-Eddie’s officer number is 84023
-Eddie says to Locke that he’s been at the farm for 6 weeks, which works out to 42 days

Next week: Kate tries to break out; Benry takes Sawyer on a little road trip and cons him along the way.

Is Veronica Going Crazy?
Dear Rob Thomas,
First of all, I want to thank you for bringing Veronica Mars into my life. She’s become my new Buffy, in a world where Buffy no longer exists except in reruns (and, presumably, on Halloween). Logan is my new Spike; Mac my new Willow; Keith Mars has become the Giles/father figure that we all watch and sigh at with deep filial love.

In season 4 of Buffy, she went to college. I worried about what might happen, but I liked the first episode. It was funny, had some great zingers, and a great huge book conked Riley in the head. (Unfortunately, it didn’t put him into a lifelong coma.) Then the second episode had the roommate, and it was funny as hell. And then… well, we all know what happened next. Military, X-Filesish crap. Hostile 17. Adam. Craziness.

But at its heart, Joss Whedon stayed true to the premise. This was a show about a woman, and it never, ever felt like a show that had been written by a man. Joss knew how to write women.

But Rob… that’s not happening in season 3 of Veronica. She went to college, and I loved the first episode. The second one was pretty good, too. But the show is becoming as strange and offputting as this picture of Kristen Bell that I'm using to illustrate my letter to you. I’m starting to get uncomfortable with this whole underlying mystery involving the “feminists.” First, you’re turning them into the loud-mouthed, abrasive, hairy-legged stereotype that jocks all make them out to be. One has a bolt through her nose and is about as cuddly as sandpaper, and the other one is just rude and obnoxious and doesn’t have a sentimental bone in her body. Secondly, the word “feminist” is pretty outmoded – most women would probably consider themselves feminists. You’re turning them into FemiNazis. My buddy Crissy and I watch this show religiously and last week she said to me, “You don’t think it’s going to turn out that the feminists are the ones orchestrating the rapes to shed more light on their cause, do you?” And we both thought about it for a minute, and then shuddered. We thought, no. The man who created Veronica Mars could NOT do that to us.

And then, in last night’s episode, the feminists were sparring with the loony National Lampoon type geeks, and the geeks made a joke about raping the “blonde in the middle” and ohmigod, don’t you know it, the blonde in the middle gets raped by the end of the episode. And suddenly our worst fears seem to be coming true.

And then there’s that whole plotline with Logan. He lies to Veronica, he looks shady when she follows him to a casino, he’s doing things behind her back, he’s flirty with his “weightlifting” buddies… and in the end Veronica says SHE is the one who is being bad and should stop being suspicious of her boyfriend? Not only did this particular episode make it look like women should accept it if their boyfriends are flirty with other girls and evasive with them, and that feminists are all bullheaded loonybins, but THEN Logan delivers the line, “This would be the first time a woman has been misled by Dick.” Nice little double entendre there.

Seriously, Rob, for the first time ever, this show feels like it’s being written by a man. A man who only knows women insofar as he’s read about them in comic books.

Weevil is back, but he’s super-puffy (think Xander in season 6), and his storyline is just… unbelievable. A college would not allow a criminal of Weevil’s caliber anywhere near the school records like that. It just wouldn’t happen. Is this your way of writing him out of the show? Just make him a janitor in the background? We had so much hope for Eli in season 1, and now it’s just gone. And Keith… what the hell is with Keith? He’s chasing mysteries we can’t figure out, and the way you left that whole Kendall scenario from the first episode is just wrong.

Look, Rob, we know this isn’t like you. We know you’ve been under a lot of pressure from the CW to make this show more user-friendly. Make the Nancy Drew mysteries shorter, more palatable, and easier to follow for those who like their dramas more CSIable. But for the rest of us, who love our cult television shows, who love the uniqueness of this show, and who care about these characters as if they were family, PLEASE don’t do this. Let’s go back to being who Veronica was last year. I can’t leave this show, no matter how bad it becomes – I just love Kristen Bell too much to ever leave. But don’t make my Tuesday nights painful ones, as I sit alone watching a show that everyone else has dropped.

And besides, with only 13 episodes ordered, you have to buck up and KEEP your original audience, or CW will give you the ax. Don’t let that happen, Rob. I’ve already lost Buffy and Angel, and I can’t handle losing Veronica, too.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We can be Heroes....
...just for one day. See, I love anything that puts David Bowie songs in my head...

So I just watched this week's Heroes (one day late) and wow, it just gets better and better! Claire has risen from the dead, and I agree with her friend; it's like the removal of the tree branch from her head was what made her wake up. The only unrealistic thing about her plotline is the fact that Brody wasn't more freaked out when she wandered back into the school. He KILLED her, presumably checked for a pulse, dragged the body into the woods and dumped it near a stream... I mean, if anyone thought that girl was dead, it was him, no matter how liquored up he might have been. But otherwise, her revenge on him was AWESOME. (Personally, I thought she was going to drive the car off a cliff, but it might have lodged something in her and killed her again, only to make her wake up on ANOTHER morgue slab and have to escape again.) Oh, and by the way, why didn't the coroner contact the parents with a big WHA???

We finally saw the other side of Niki, another totally amazing scene. So, it turns out, when her other side comes out, it's none other than Buffy!! I squealed with absolute delight when she kicked the crap out of the guy in the elevator. And rather than use a cute little pun like Buffy might have done, "I think you're...going down" she put her stiletto on his head and threatened him if he ever came near "our" son again. LOVED it. Presumably, it was Buffiki who went back into the politician's room, and not Niki herself. Where will she wake up?

Hiro and Ando were hilarious, as usual. What made that scene even funnier is how people always say, "Hey, if I had a superpower, I'd use it to win the lottery" and we wonder why the superheroes never do anything like that. Well, Hiro is here to fulfill that. Let's hope he plays the Super 7 next. Now that Hiro's been knocked out and is unable to stop time, how will Ando get out of THAT one?

We now know that Peter's power is that he takes on the power of the superhero around him, which makes him far more interesting than originally thought. He flies because his brother does. He sees the future because he's around Isaac. As soon as everything stopped on the subway, I immediately thought wait, that's Hiro's power, but Hiro's in Las Vegas.... and then Future Hiro showed up. I LOVED that ending.

So is the black guy who hangs out with Claire's dad Sylar? Or is Claire's dad Sylar? Is Claire's dad a bad guy? My husband said at one point, what if he's not a bad guy, and is actually a good person trying to put the gang together? The thing is, they've made him far too creepy for that; if he turns out to be a really good person, it'll have been a really over-the-top mislead for us. And why did Claire's dad tell Maybe-Sylar to clean out Matt's head completely?

Have you been noticing the S symbol? The Maybe-Sylar dude had one on the pendant around his neck. Niki has the same tattoo on her back. And at the end, when Future Hiro showed up, he had a sword of some kind on his back with that symbol on the blade. I'm sure it's been elsewhere, and I've missed it until now, but it might be the 4 8 15 16 23 42 of this show, and is what connects these characters.

I've got lots more to say about this, but my husband tells me my blogs are far too long and I need to cut them down to 3 paragraphs or people won't read them. So I assume at this point I'm already talking to myself. ;)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Why I hate Bell ExpressVu... and other gripes
So, as usual, I’m behind on my blogging. Ugh. So instead of talking about shows I’m watching, I’m going to talk about things that annoy me about television networks and providers.

Weeds continues to be hilarious, though I really, really miss Malvina Reynolds and her shaky voice singing the theme song. Now that they’re playing the ol’ “who’s singing the theme song this week” game, it’s lost its charm there. That said, it’s pretty cool to hear Elvis Costello doing it one week, and some indie band doing it the next. By the way, I want to express my fury at sites in the U.S. that are currently closing their doors to their Canadian viewers. I went to the Showtime site to check out bands who were performing the theme song, and instead of accessing it, there’s a blank page with this on it: We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States. Oh. Well. Excuse me for being a fan of your show. Maybe I’ll stop. I wish Showcase in Canada would get a better site. And when they put up shows to watch online after they’ve aired? Only accessible to Americans. We couldn’t watch Veronica Mars up here in advance of the first ep the way the Americans could, because, you know, we’re a terrorist country or something.

I missed the Amazing Race last week, which sucked. My PVR also didn’t tape The Wire. I set it up to tape both, but I was away on the weekend. So I called Bell ExpressVu, my carrier, which is one of the WORST customer service places on the planet. I also have my phone and Internet with them. Once our phone was knocked out in a storm so the Bell guy came by to fix it. But he drilled through something where our Internet connection was, and when he left our Net didn’t work. My husband called Bell, and they said no, you have to call Sympatico, because they deal with your Internet. So he called Sympatico (sitting on hold for 15 minutes each time, I should add) and they said no, if a Bell technician went through the line, then you call Bell, it’s a phone line thing. So he called Bell, and etc. etc. It was insane. Luckily, he knew the VP of customer service, so he launched a complaint and we got something done. But what if he didn’t know that person? Would they have just yanked our chain for the next 2 years over this? So then we get ExpressVu, and a few months later decided to upgrade to the PVR. I called them to get some info because we considered going to Rogers instead. The woman said to be honest, she knew nothing about the PVR and how it worked or its features, and couldn’t pass me on to anyone who did. Sigh. So I called some friends who had it, and they told me. We ordered the PVR, which was $22 a month, instead of the $2 we’d been paying for the other tuner. They began charging us for both tuners. We called them and they said we’d bought into a 2-year contract for the original tuner, and if we get out of that they’ll charge us $200. ???? We explained to them and their tiny brains that we weren’t LEAVING Bell, we were UPGRADING, and if they knew what they were doing, they should be encouraging their customers to go with the more expensive option, not forcing them to stay with the less expensive one. They wouldn’t listen. Eventually my husband, again, had to go to higher-ups and got it resolved with an apology. They picked up the original tuner. And then charged us for it for the next 4 months until I finally got someone to take it off and credit us the amount.

SO… if you phone, you get nowhere. After my PVR didn’t tape anything last week, I decided to go onto their website to get some information on the PVR to see why it didn’t tape stuff for me. Hahahahahahahaha…. Ahem. Their site is worse than their customer service department. I began to dread that I would have to speak to some dimwit on the phone. And then I saw something on the bottom. “Click here to be connected to a live person for customer support.” I thought hey, I’m working online anyway, let’s do that. So I clicked, it said my wait time was 2 minutes. Five minutes later someone came on and said, “Hello, my name is Alpha D. Can I have your name and phone number please?” So I gave it to them, and while I waited for the response, typed up my concern in Word so I’d be able to instantly cut and paste it. And I waited. About six minutes later he (it could have been a she, it could have been a computer, who knows, but for the sake of ease I’ll say he) came back on and said, “Thank you. What is the problem?” So I cut and pasted it. And waited. He said after 3 minutes, “I am sorry to hear you’re having problems with your PVR. I’ll have to connect you to the specialist, Jean Robert. Please wait a moment.” So I waited and went to do something else. After about 3 minutes he said, “Thank you for your patience. Please wait to be connected to Jean Robert.” Another 2 minutes, and then, “Hello, my name is Alpha D. Can I have your name and phone number please?” Huh? I gave both to him and said, “I’ve already told you my problem and I’m waiting for Jean Robert? I’ve been trying to get an answer for about 25 minutes at this point.” After 3 minutes, “Thank you for waiting. I’ll connect you to Jean Robert right now.” I waited. Five minutes passed. Then, “Hello, my name is Alpha D. Can I have your name and telephone number please?” ARGH. I said, “I’ve given you my name and phone number twice now, and I’ve been told three times I’m being connected to Jean Robert. Is there a Jean Robert? Are you a real live person or a computer? All I want is an answer to my question, and I’m getting very frustrated. Can you help me?” I waited. Two minutes later, I get, “Thank you for your patience.” And waited. I went off to work on something else while I continued to wait, and got caught up in work, and then half an hour later went back to check and it was still sitting on ‘Thank you for your patience.” Which means the person typed that, and disconnected me.

Awesome. Thank you, Bell ExpressVu! Your phone service is terrible because you hire people who know nothing about your product. Your online service is apparently automated, with some evil customer service rep tired of people griping at him who can just disconnect customers at will. Our phone line crackles, our Internet disconnects all the time, and if one tree outside sways in the wind, we lose our satellite service.

And the problem is, I have 100 hours of saved programming on my PVR, and so I’m stuck with this place. And the other option is Rogers, which doesn't have the skip commercials option on the remote, and it's... Rogers. Possibly the only place on earth to rival Bell in horrifying customer service. I used to have Look TV, and I LOVED it, but their channel lineup is so limited. So I just might be stuck here.

OK, enough griping from me for one day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lost ep 2: The Glass Ballerina
Just finished watching this week's ep of Lost, and CTV cut into the end of the ABC feed and cut it off completely (argh) as Jack was staring at the television playing the Red Sox's victory so I had to watch the CTV feed that came on at 11 to find out what I'd missed. But that said, I thought this episode was even better than last week's.

As I thought, we didn't get to see anything about Locke et al, but instead focused on Jin and Sun. The episode was called "The Glass Ballerina," which puts more emphasis on the small incident at the beginning. Sun breaks a glass ballerina, but rather than admit to her father what she'd done, she lets him fire the maid, insisting that she was the one who'd broken it. Twenty-odd years later, Jae Lee kills himself because Sun won't 'fess up and be with him instead of Jin.

Highlights for me:
-Sawyer kissing Kate
-Danny saying if they step out of line, they'll get shocked, and Sawyer saying, "We'll be shot?!"
-Sawyer telling Kate she tastes like strawberries. That was TOTALLY a Buffy line for all of us Buffy fans out there -- in a season 6 ep of Buffy, Rack is this "magic dealer" who is dealing serious dark magics to Willow, and he reaches into her aura and tells her that she tastes of strawberries. This episode was co-written by Drew Goddard, who was one of the major writers on Buffy in seasons 6 and 7. Yay, Drew! (BTW, Rack nicknames Willow "Strawberry" after that so let's see if Sawyer does the same... I do love that he immediately calls her Shortcake.)
-Jack laughing when Benry tells him the Red Sox won the World Series. Since his father's favourite saying to comment on truth and fate is, "Well, that's why the Red Sox will never win the World Series," we know that him seeing that clip on the television has changed his entire world view.
-Sun shooting Colleen after she says you're not a killer and you won't shoot me.
-Sawyer finally telling Kate that his name is James.
-we get a real time of how long they've been on the island, and a connection to the outside world, which is awesome. November 29th. To give some perspective of how long ago that was, "Raised by Another" aired on December 1, 2004.

Did you notice:
-when we see Sun as a little girl, they use the same house that Walt grew up in in Sydney (you can see that same wooden octagon beam structure on the ceiling)
-Benry's got his own Pearl station in the Hydra -- he's watching 6 televisions, and one is on Jack, one on Kate's cage, one on Sawyer's, one on the hallway outside Jack's room, and the two others aren't clear. One of them is obscured by his head, and one of them appears to be alternating between a bed and a jungle. Could it be looking at somewhere else further away on the island?
-Benry didn't know about the boat!!! What's with something going on on the island and Benry not knowing about it?? Have we ever seen him genuinely baffled about something?
-the new chick, Colleen (one of the prostitutes on Deadwood) seems to be very jealous to see Juliet and Benry having a private conversation, and then she turns around and acts intimately toward Danny (who we've known until now to be Pickett)
-Sayid tells Jin and Sun that the important thing is to kidnap two of the Others, because you can use them against each other to make them do things. It's exactly what the Others are doing with Kate and Sawyer. If Kate steps out of line, Sawyer gets zapped, and if he steps out of line, they hold a gun to her head. What's most interesting about that is that Sawyer gets zapped when Kate asks about Jack; the thing is, they didn't need a stun gun to send volts through him when she asks about Jack.
-Sawyer calls Danny "Boss" all the time, like he's done hard time before and is used to referring to the guards that way
-Juliet seems to have been put there to make both Jack and Sawyer trust her. Neither one does.
-Kate still has a look on her face like she sorta knows what's going on, and feels terrible about what is happening to Sawyer. I'm still convinced they've asked her to be part of some scheme against Sawyer. She's not acting like herself.

-it appeared that Sun slept with Jae Lee, but did she? She was saying no to him, but personally, it looked to me like she was saying no to the affair continuing. I think she really did sleep with him. And if she did, does that mean that she's carrying his baby, or is there still a possibility that it's Jin's?
-did Jae Lee really kill himself, or did Paik know that Jin wouldn't go through with it? Did he have a henchman in there to finish the job that Jin wouldn't?
-what sort of labor are the Others doing? is it all a front?
-what was Alex talking about? Is she involved with Carl? What did she mean when she mumbled something about "not supposed to be in the cage"? Who wasn't, Carl? Kate? Sawyer?
-Is Alex in on what the Others are doing, or is she a victim, too? Since the dress Kate is wearing was Alex's, did they do some social experiment to push Carl and Alex together in the same way they're trying to push Kate and Sawyer together?
-how much English does Jin understand?
-Benry says that he's always lived on the island. Is that true?
-Considering Steve was killed when the Others came from the water, why didn't Sayid think of that instead of leaving Sun alone on the boat??
-what will happen to Sun now that she's shot Colleen?
-why was Sun suddenly so subservient to Jin again? These two swing a little wildly sometimes, and there's an inconsistency to their characters that can be annoying at times. One minute Jin is the world's sweetest man, the next he is telling her to NEVER question him. One minute Sun seems to be this strong, independent woman, the next she's saying, "Only if my husband says I can."

Ze numbers:
-Jin is staying in room 1516... blooper: when Jin gets off the elevator, you can see the 2 by the numbers, as if he's on the second floor. Not only would 1516 not be on the second floor, but a jump from a 2nd floor balcony probably wouldn't do much damage to a person.
-when Sun is playing piano as a little girl, the metronome is set to 116

Benry tells Jack that his full name is Benjamin Linus. Linus was one of the three sons of Apollo (think Apollo bars on the island). All 3 of the sons were named Linus, and they all ended their lives badly. (One killed by Apollo, one killed by wild dogs, and one, a musician, was killed by Hercules by his own instrument.)
More importantly, Linus Pauling was a chemist who won the Nobel Prize twice, once for chemistry, once for peace. Perhaps this Linus is aiming for a similar thing?

Next week on Lost: John Locke has lost his ability to speak! I hope it's not permanent; I love listening to his preaching. I've heard a spoiler about Eko that is similar to this, so it's interesting to me how they'll be dealing with different outcomes of the blast. I cannot WAIT!!

The wait isn't over yet...
Just a warning to Lost fans thinking this week's episode will finally reveal how Hurley got back to the beach and if Locke, Eko, and Desmond are OK and what happened after Charlie and Claire kissed, etc. etc. The backstory tonight is on Sun and Jin, and the island story will focus on the two of them and Sayid on the boat. In fact, next week's ep, where the backstory will focus on Locke, was originally slated to be the second episode, and they switched these two around. There's only one way a show as tight and complicated as this would be able to actually SWITCH the order of two episodes, and that's if there's no crossover at all between them. We'll still see some of Kate, Jack, and Sawyer, presumably (I mean... there's only so much we can watch on a boat), but no Locke, et al.

Last night's Veronica Mars was still fun, though I'm a little worried about how militant they're making the feminists on the show. We all had those ones at our universities -- at mine, the militant lesbian who fronted the on-campus gay/lesbian group was SO aggressive she marched into the student newspaper, grabbed a reporter whom she didn't like, dragged him into the hallway by his tape recorder, and proceeded to beat the crap out of him. But she was an unfortunate example of the activists. I hope, as my friend Crissy said to me today, that it doesn't come out that the feminists are somehow behind the rapes in an attempt to shed more light on their Take Back the Night campaign.

I watched the October 1st ep of Studio 60 (yes, I'm behind already) and it was good, but I'm starting to think more and more that this show is pretty contrived. Couldn't Sorkin have tried to mix things up even a little bit? Someone told me about Amanda Peet's character's DUI and that after that, she gets much better on the show, but... nope. Not for me. She's still dull. And honestly, I'm not too crazy about the Bible-thumper, either. They're all just watered-down people to me. I'll still watch. Occasionally the show makes me laugh out loud.

Finally, a shout-out to my friends Jeremy and Gill, whose son Tristan was born last week (two days after a huge party they held with over 200 people... does that kid have perfect timing or what?!). I went over to see him last night and he's ADORABLE. I couldn't believe my daughter was ever that small... and then I realized he's about 6lbs10, and when my daughter was born she was 8lbs4. So, in fact, she wasn't ever that small. Go over to Jer's blog where he's turned from Mr. Pop Culture to a full-on daddy. It's so cute. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm So Rone-ry
On the weekend Kim Jong Il announced that North Korea had tested a nuclear bomb in an underground explosion. Is it just me, or is it like the new television season predicted it? In the 1950s kids were scared of an atom bomb attack, and were taught to hide under their chairs in school, like somehow hiding under a small wooden desk would protect them from a full-on holocaust. The threat was on, and it was mirrored in TV shows and movies. In the 1980s, when I was a kid, the Cold War was still raging, and the movie The Day After scared the bejesus out of any kid who watched it. (I was always worried that my family didn't have a bomb shelter.) The much BETTER movie, When the Wind Blows, which featured music by David Bowie, came out a few years later, and it was still a frightening and sad film, but it was after I'd stopped being scared of any nuclear threat.

Now, rather than art imitating life, it seems things are moving the other way around. Jericho is about a town in Kansas that believes it's the only place still standing after nuclear bombs have gone off around the world. We've learned what radiation poisoning can do to us, how inadequate old fallout shelters are, and that crows will plop onto the road in hordes if they've been flying in the area of the explosion.

On Heroes, Hiro zips forward 5 weeks to witness a nuclear explosion that completely levels Manhattan, one that was predicted by Isaac. Since he immediately time-travelled back to the present, there were little details about why or how such a bomb could have gone off.

Kim Jong Il has admitted he's a massive film buff... maybe he's been watching too much American TV as well? What's next? Will Chris Rock begin talking about watching The Day After: Julius: "I can't believe they'd just blow up 90 million dollars and 47 cent worth of materials like that!" Will we find out the rest of the world really WAS zapped by some bomb on Lost? Will Aaron Sorkin begin writing bomb jokes on Studio 60? Time will tell...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Plot Thickens...
Last week on the abc.com site, a strange thing happened. This photo suddenly appeared in the slide show of screen captures from Lost's season premiere. And a couple of hours later, after fans madly rushed back to their recorded episodes and emailed each other to see if they'd missed something, the photo was gone.

This is not a scene from the episode, so you didn't miss anything. It appears to be one from an upcoming ep, and ABC accidentally included it with the photos for "A Tale of Two Cities." But the speculation has already begun: Who is that little girl? Is Jack hallucinating Sarah as a little girl? Or Juliet as a child? Or imagining the child he could have had with Sarah had things worked out? Or is it less mysterious? Could this little girl be Emma, the girl who was in the tail section of the plane with her brother whom Ana Lucia promised to get home to her mom in L.A.? The Others took her, her brother, and 7 other people the second or third night they were on the island. She was wearing a striped shirt (different from the one in the picture, but striped nonetheless) and carrying a teddy bear when she was kidnapped. Six weeks later, Eko and Jin hid in the bushes as they watched the Others walk silently by, and near the back of the pack was a pair of little dirty feet, dragging a teddy bear tied to a string. Could it have been Emma? Or was she being kept somewhere else and the teddy bear was a ruse to make Eko think it was her? Have they pulled her out, made her one of them (a la Alex) and now she's being put to work?

Also, I'd said I couldn't find Miss Klugh in the episode, but a friend of mine pointed out a photo on the same site where you see her sitting at the book club. I didn't see Alex, though.

I appeared on G4TV in L.A. on Thursday night on their Attack of the Show, and a Variety reporter was the other guy being shown via satellite (which is sort of set up, since he's right there in L.A., presumably). He didn't like the premiere as much as I did, and said the numbers were down and maybe ABC should be worried. Just this morning I saw the report that the episode drew more than 18 million viewers, and was the #1 show of the night. Woohoo! Take THAT! Our Losties are not in any ratings danger.

Smith and Kidnapped, on the other hand, are the season's first two casualties. I blogged earlier that I thought Smith was pretty good, but probably not one to hold my attention. It had a really good cast, and frankly, it surprised me to hear the news. Kidnapped is one that people I know are watching, but I had a bad feeling about it from the start. It sounded like Reunion, and we all know how THAT turned out. However, the producers of Kidnapped -- UNLIKE those of Reunion -- will allow them to finish off the story in 13 episodes. Good news for those who watch that.

Heroes has been picked up for a full season, yay! I loved the second episode even more than the first. The porn mom is very intriguing -- her power still isn't clear, but it seems to have something to do with splitting herself and her unconscious side takes care of business, while her conscious side seems to go to sleep and not realize what has happened. She's the most intriguing one. Greg Grunberg finally appeared in the second ep, with the same power Buffy had in "Earshot" -- hearing people's thoughts. (Let's hope it's more honed than Buffy's was, and that he doesn't begin to go mad.) In a second Buffy nod, Clea Duvall (who was Invisible Girl in season 1) plays the detective who puts him under arrest.

The Office ROCKS this season. Of course, I'd love to have Pam and Jim back together, but the fun is in the anticipation. The scene in the second episode where Michael is asking Pam to look into getting him "one of those Chinese babies" for adoption was absolutely hysterical. Dwight has turned on Michael, incurring Michael's wrath and forcing Dwight's complete subservience to him. Jim is stuck in an office hell where everything shuts down several times a day so they can play war games on their computers. I love it.

I watched the second ep of Jericho and it's still intriguing me. I have no idea what the numbers on that one are, or if it's being looked at for cancellation yet... every episode contains suspense, intrigue, and terror, but it always seems to wrap up in a neat bow by the end of the ep. So it might be the very show Middle America loves. The dialogue is dull, the acting is good but sometimes overdone, so it won't be winning any awards or anything, but it's a good show nonetheless.

I have way too much still sitting on the PVR, and need a serious catch-up night. Or five.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why is the Lost season 2 premiere called A Tale of Two Cities?
I found out about a month ago that the season premiere of Lost would be named after a Dickens novel so I started looking into it then. After we saw Our Mutual Friend flash by our screen in a very big way during the season 2 finale, it's not a coincidence that they're giving their season premiere episode this title. I don't think the significance of it is necessarily in the title itself (though there's a suggestion that we've already watched the one "city" on the beach for two seasons, and now we're discovering another one) but in the plot of the novel.

I will admit outright I haven't yet read this book. It opens with one of the most famous lines in English lit: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," an appropriate tagline for the show if ever there was one. And the novel had other details in it that link it to Lost (plot spoilers for the Dickens novel ahead):

-the novel takes place during the French Revolution. One of the biggest influences on the Revolution was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose namesake on Lost is hidden somewhere in the jungle, with a rifle slung over her shoulder and looking for her daughter, Alex
-the main plot of the novel involves two men in love with the same woman -- one is a respectable man of society, the other is an alcoholic who wants to be a good man, but can't seem to manage it (sound familiar?)
-Lucie, the woman with two suitors, discovers her father is alive (she thought he'd died years earlier) and going crazy in a jail where he's been sitting for 18 years. Kate, Sawyer, and Jack are all in jails in this episode, and Jack is thinking about his father, who is dead (as far as he or any of us know)
-when Lucie chooses the more respectable man (Darnay) and marries him, he is charged with treason, and is sentenced to death. The other man (Carton), the alcoholic, visits him in the prison and offers to switch places. He loves Lucie so much that he knows she would be happiest if Darnay lived. Darnay refuses, so Carton drugs him, frees him, and takes his place. The novel ends with his execution, and the other famous line: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done. It is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known." Does this mean Sawyer will make a similar sacrifice in the future?

I'm sure anyone who's read the book could talk about it at far greater length. One of the biggest scenes in the book is the description of the storming of the Bastille, and maybe that is foreshadowing the rest of the Losties trying to save our trio?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

LOST -- A Tale of Two Cities
I've been waiting for this moment since May 23rd... and WOW, what an opening of an episode. In much the same way the second season opened in a completely unfamiliar place, with a 1960s tune playing on the stereo and a person we'd never seen before walking around their home alone, season 3 opened with Juliet's house, her book club, and then... the plane crash. It seems the Others had their own little Pleasantville on the island before Jack and co. arrived. What a GREAT opening.

The rest of the episode -- again, like season 2's premiere -- focused on Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, while leaving the rest of the fates unmentioned (we still don't know what's happened to Locke, Eko, or Des). I've only watched it twice at this point, so these are my initial thoughts.

At times the flashback seemed a little contrived, like they were trying to shoehorn it into an episode that was more island-centric. That said, by seeing Jack's frustration in the past, it certainly made us feel his frustrations now. In "Two for the Road," when Christian called Ana-Lucia "Sarah," I was convinced he had something to do with their breakup (and to be honest, I'm still not convinced he didn't have some affections for her that went beyond what we saw in this ep). What I did like about the flashback was that Jack was obsessed with the name of the man who was with Sarah. All he wanted was a name, like to know that is to know everything. Meanwhile, last season he and everyone else spent a lot of their time with Henry Gale, a man who was using a fake name to get them to listen to him. I think this episode boasts the best performance we've seen from Matthew Fox.

-Who do we trust? Juliet's vulnerability shows in the opening moments of the episode, where she's clearly distraught, and looks like she's completely on edge. Yet she also appears to be a willing participant in what is going on with the prisoners.
-Juliet looks exactly like Penelope
-How did the Others end up on the island in the first place, and how did they find those amenities?
-If they can have something as sophisticated as a book club, where the heck are they getting that many copies of the same book? Is there some island Barnes and Noble that we can't see? Does Amazon deliver to an island in the middle of nowhere?
-Is Sarah banging more than one guy? We saw her with two potential love interests. Or is she just a REALLY flirty gal? (And GEEZ, does she have to be SO frickin' harsh?)
-who is Gary? Is he one of the Others, and convincing Sawyer to leave was just another part of their mind game thang?
-is Mr. Friendly gay? I would think that's the only explanation as to why Kate wouldn't be his "type"
-does Kate really love caffeine so much that the "then you don't get any coffee" threat would actually make her put the cuffs on?
***What did Not-Henry/Ben say to Kate after we cut away from the beach scene? Has she been instructed to trick Sawyer into something? Have they put a sexy little number on her and sent her back to Sawyer to sidle up to him, let him think she's chosen him, and then they're going to yank her out of the situation and point to him in a mocking fashion and say, "HA! GOTCHA!" She looks SO upset when she returns to him, when you'd think she'd be comforted to see someone she knows and cares about. Kate looks ravenous and takes Sawyer's only food, but didn't she just eat an entire lush breakfast? Why is she letting on to him she hasn't eaten?
-did Jack really hallucinate Christian saying "let it go, Jack" through the intercom, or were the Others manipulating him?
-now that we know Dharma had an underwater station of some kind, does that explain the shark in season 2 that had the Dharma symbol on its belly? Is it a former test subject of this aquarium?
-what are the fish biscuits made of?
-how do the Others know everything about Jack?
-how did they get Christian's autopsy report when Jack didn't even have it when he got on the plane? I still think Christian might not be dead...
-will we ever be able to think of Henry as "Ben"?

Hurley's numbers:
-4 muffins rolled into the living room
-there were 12 on the tray (4 + 8)
-when Jack is sitting in the car stalking Sarah outside the school, he looks down at his pager, and the time on it is 7:15:23
-Kate's dress was hanging in locker 811
-when Juliet brings Jack the grilled cheese sandwich, she's cut it into 4 pieces
-Christian has been sober for 50 days (42 + 8)
-when Jack leaves the jail cell, there's a 64 on a box behind him (32, a reverse 23, times 2)
-when Sarah leaves Jack standing on the street and goes to the guy at the car, we see the first two letters of his license plate, which is 2F (F is the 6th letter of the alphabet, 6 + 2 = 8)

Did You Notice?
-the book club book was Stephen King's Carrie, which is about a woman with telekinetic powers. Does that mean someone on the island has the same power? Is that why everyone was so interested in Walt?
-we found out Not-Henry's real name was Ben at the end, but at the beginning at the book club, there's also a mention of it, when someone mentions that "Ben" isn't at book club
-Jack sitting in car watching Sarah: You can see a crossword puzzle he's been working on, and he's filled in interesting words that have to do with the island, like "raft," "necessary evils," "prenatal," "ensemble," "essential facts," "heroes," "area," etc. yet if you look at the words reading down, they don't make any sense at all, like he was just filling in words that fit without paying any attention to the clues
-Sawyer being in the cage is almost the exact research experiment that BF Skinner conducted on rats (see page 187 of my book)
-Goodwin, the guy Not-Henry sent to the tail section of the island, is the one that Ana-Lucia later impaled with a spear
-all of the shampoo products that Kate was using had the big Dharma symbol on them. So what is their connection to the Others?
-the station Jack is located in was called the Hydra station. The Hydra was a many-headed serpent from Greek mythology, which may be a comment on the fact that Juliet is being two-faced in her dealings with Jack.
-when Jack is dealing with a patient and he sees Christian take a cellphone call, the patient looked a LOT like Mr. Friendly. Was it him?
-when Jack walks out of his cell to see Sarah, there's a Wanted poster on the wall and it looks a LOT like Hurley on the poster

Let me know what I've missed. I know there's a ton of stuff (I wish I could see the books on the shelf of Jack's office in the hospital better, for example).
"What goes on in that pretty little head of yours..."
Last night (Tuesday, October 3rd), was the launch of my new book, Finding Lost, and the launch had a great turnout, a panel discussion on the show, and was a ton of fun. I was on a national entertainment show that aired in the evening, and had articles about the book appearing in newspapers across North America.

But for me, the real event of the day was the return of Veronica Mars to my television set. Oh, Veronica. How I have missed you... The season premiere did NOT disappoint. Veronica was funny, charming, and adorable every moment she was on the screen. There were tons of little pop culture references, as usual (she goes to an RA at the college to tell him a student's worldly possessions had been stolen and the guy stands there for a minute, then says, "Frak," which had me in stitches. Later in the episode, Veronica ends up using the term, too). She shows up a teaching assistant in her first 15 minutes in a classroom (and seems to garner the respect and admiration of the very cute prof) and she's still with Logan. Le sigh.

Meanwhile, Daddy Mars (my favourite character) is off doing something very mysterious that wasn't immediately clear to me, and it built up to the end of the episode, which was fast-paced, suspenseful, and downright frightening. Keith, PLEASE tell me you have a back-up weapon somewhere. The very end of the episode set up this season's mystery (which will probably be a smaller five-episode mystery, as the writers have said the mysteries this season will not last the entire season) when Mac's roommate is raped by a mysterious on-campus serial rapist (one whom Veronica may have seen, since she sneaked into the room when the roommate was doing the deed), whose m.o. is shaving his victims' heads after he's done with them. I hope Veronica hurts the guy. Badly.

There was some concern over what would happen to the show after Veronica left high school and went to university. When it happened on Buffy, the fourth season seriously lagged. Xander couldn't get in to college, so he was no longer part of the daily group. Willow joined the Wiccans, Cordy left the show for Angel, Oz left altogether, and Buffy began feeling alone, and the season devolved into a weird government conspiracy show. But things feel different over in Neptune. Logan, like Xander, isn't in the school, but that doesn't mean he can't still be relationship boy.

Dick (what a perfect name for this guy) has become an alcoholic, and I think the writers have actually handled him surprisingly well. His brother committed suicide at the end of the previous season, after having done some terrible things, and they could have just made Dick and even bigger illustration of his name, but instead, while at first he seemed to be the old, sexist, idiotic Dick, deep inside he's a bit of a smoldering volcano, about to go off. By the end of the episode we find out just how broken he really is.

Veronica still lives at home, and of course adores her father (who adores her even more) but there's a separation now. Yet the separation didn't feel like the one on Buffy; instead it was more like something the writers had been slowly building to, and they still connect via cellphone or at the end of the day in front of V's computer. It's going to be an interesting season, watching them do things separately, yet stay together emotionally.

The Logan/Veronica relationship has the potential to become problematic (as it always does) but in a way that will entertain the audience, not bore us. She's already thinking of him as that high school romance she carried to university, and if he finds out that's what she's thinking, what will that do to him? I love watching these two, and as much as I delight in seeing them together, they're almost more exciting apart, wanting to be together (think Buffy and Angel vs. Buffy and Angelus...).

Wallace was getting seriously tired last season, but with the new addition of his roommate, Piz (who looks like a slightly older Zac Efron...for a moment I thought, Oh god, please don't let these two break into "Getcha Head in the Game"), his character has seriously come to life again. And his obvious crush on Veronica could make for some great sparks this season. Mac is back (YAY!) and is as funny as ever. She's having a bit of a Buffy experience over in her dorm with her super perky roommate who has a tendency to go braless and constantly change tops in front of her, which adds a squirminess that is hilarious.

Charisma is back... but for how long? The end of the episode made it look like she was being offed, but it's never clear if that's the case (and the fact that she was off-screen leads me to believe it's all an act). Why was Keith helping her? What is going on? Will Vinnie come to Keith's aid? (Vinnie? Being HELPFUL? Could happen...)

And I can't sign off without mentioning the lack of Duncan. Thank Christ. This guy was duller than wood, and having him GONE is one of the best ideas the writers have come up with (he should have been gone at the end of season 2).

Finally, the new theme song! It wasn't clear if the Dandy Warhols went back and re-recorded the song, or if it was just a remix. Apparently the producers believed if Veronica was "all growed up" and no longer in high school, she needed a more mature song. Unlike the changes to the Buffy song that happened partway through, I didn't dislike this change. The opening was super-slick, and I really liked it. I HATE change, but I liked this.

So I urge you to watch Veronica Mars. The CW has only ordered 13 episodes, and whether it gets picked up for a full season will depend entirely on numbers and viewership. Watch it. For the love of all that is good on television, watch it. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lost in Heroes -- The New Season
One thing is clear about the new television season: Lost has had a huge impact on it. Six Degrees is about people who are connected in various ways but don't know it. The Nine involves a group of people involved in a trauma, and their lives are shown through a series of flashbacks. Heroes also has a story about a group of people connected in some way, who are located in different parts of the world, all linked by what seems to be a sort of genetic experiment. And it's my favourite of the new shows.

Heroes had a very complicated first episode. You had to watch it twice to really follow what was going on. It was something about an Indian professor who was doing research on using genetics to take human evolution to the next level, and he may or may not have been experimenting on people. There are people all over the world who have superhero powers, but don't know it -- except for one, the lovable Hiro from Tokyo, who reads comic books voraciously and has wanted to be a superhero since he was a child. Throughout the ep, I thought maybe his powers were in his mind, and he would turn out to be the only one who WASN'T a hero, but then he did something remarkable by the end of the episode. Heroes had extraordinary ratings for the premiere (I heard 25 million people... is that true?) and if that's really the case, it has a good chance of not being cancelled after 6 episodes.

And therein lies my major concern about investing any time in the new shows. I LOVED Reunion on FOX, and they cancelled it. I adored Miracles on ABC a few years ago. Cancelled. Arrested Development (which, granted, had two and a half seasons, and wasn't axed after a couple of smart half-hours), Firefly, Wonderfalls... so many good shows are left unfinished because some exec didn't have the time to let it flourish. Considering the box office numbers on Serenity, the movie based on Joss Whedon's Firefly, and the sales of the Firefly guidebooks out there, I hope someone got fired over THAT particular idiotic move.

So what do we do? Do we not watch anything? Do we just decide to keep to our shows that are on the air now (Lost, Veronica Mars, Prison Break, etc.) and if a show from the 2006-2007 season does well, we buy the DVDs in fall 2007? It's a toughie. I'd like to say I'm holding out and just waiting, but I'm a sucker for television (obviously). So I've already watched a ton.

Heroes -- as I said, hands down the most exciting new show of the season.

Ugly Betty -- I LOVED this show because I loved America Ferrera, who plays Betty (I saw her at the film festival a few years ago starring in a movie called Real Women Have Curves, and it was a ton of fun). When she walked into the offices of Mode Magazine wearing the fire engine red poncho with GUADALAJARA emblazoned on it, I nearly fell off the couch laughing. But it's laughing in a sad way -- you just want to reach out and hug her, and not let those leeches break her down. Can't wait for the second ep.

Smith -- Felt like a movie, good acting, nice premise, a few surprises... but I'm just not sure it's got what will keep me coming back for more. This might be one of those shows my husband ends up watching and I give up on.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip -- Definitely one of the most clever shows of the new season. The dialogue is crisp, the acting is superb, and it's SUCH a good idea I'm surprised no one had it sooner (unfortunately, two shows had it in the same season). BUT... I can't help thinking it's West Wing in a TV studio. Josh... I mean, Bradley Whitford, is the guy running things, though Amanda Peet is the president of the network. Personally, I think Amanda Peet was grossly miscast -- she feels out of place, her speeches lack the oomph of a good Aaron Sorkin speech. Matthew Perry is funny, but whenever he delivers a zinger of a line, I can't help but think he KNOWS he just delivered a zinger of a line. This is a clever show that KNOWS it's clever, and that can spell trouble. I hope it can keep away from the contrived dialogue -- there was a scene in the second episode where Perry's character is trying to write the opening scene, and they come up with this Gilbert and Sullivan parody and seriously, not only is everyone in the room on the EXACT same page of the thought process, but one of them says the first line, and the second one comes up with this hilarious second line that not only has the perfect meter, but rhymes. Come ON. (But then they show you the opening number and you think, Oh my GOD... someone let Aaron Sorkin write SNL ... PLEASE.) So I'm going to hang in there, because this show has a ton of potential, and I look forward to it every week.

Jericho -- Dark, it has Skeet Ulrich (who starred in Miracles) though these days he's looking less and less like Johnny Depp (one of my friends compared him more to K-Fed... ACK!) It also has Gerald McRaney, who viewers will either think of as half of Simon & Simon, or Major Dad, or Hearst, depending on your TV viewing and generation you're from. It's a very dark premise -- a nuclear bomb has gone off near Jericho, and through various reports they're discovering it wasn't the only one, and they're beginning to suspect they might be the last people on Earth. It's an interesting premise, and it's frightening, but by the end of the first episode, I thought some of it was pretty cheesy. Ulrich's character is the black sheep of the family (what he did is unclear) and his father has spurned him, but he's involved in one heroic act, and by the final moments of the pilot you can just see the badness on screen... "Oh, SON!" "Oh, DADDY! I LUV YOOOOO!" Yeah... let's just say I have the next few episodes on the PVR, and haven't really had the inclination to watch them yet. I will, though, because I might as well get them in before it's cancelled.

Dexter -- The darkest, weirdest, and certainly most psychotic of the new shows. I don't know if I love it or if it just creeps me out too much yet. The first ep aired last night (on TMN in Canada, ShowTime in the U.S.). The premise of the show is that Dexter (played by Michael C. Hall, who was David on Six Feet Under) is a sociopath. He's a forensics investigator by day, working on crime scenes and helping police find a killer. But he has access to cold case files, and he looks through them, tracks down the suspected killers the police were unable to convict, and follows them until he's sure they really did it. Then he traps them, tortures a confession out of them, and kills them in grotesque ways (the first guy we see him do this to, he hacks off his limbs while the guy is alive and conscious). We find out through flashbacks (there are the flashbacks again!!) that his foster father figured out his son was a sociopath when he began finding little graves of animal bones, and he knew his son would grow up to be a murderer, so he taught him to funnel that rage and focus it on the people who "deserved" it. And you can't help but... kinda... agree. (My brother is a lawyer who believes strongly in rehabilitation of even the worst criminals, so let's just say this show ain't for him.) It's a tough one to watch, and the writers make it that way. (There's a scene where the wife of one of the men Dexter's killed is crying in the captain's office, demanding the department find her husband... for a moment you feel sad, then you realize her husband first molested, then killed, several little boys.) Dexter is charming to people, but he has a coldness and oddness about him that makes you wonder why more people aren't completely weirded out by him. He's just discovered another serial killer in Miami, and instead of putting his head into the case to try to find the guy to convict him, he studies the victims and becomes intensely jealous, because he believes this man has an artistry that he lacks (the man drains the victims of every last drop of blood, then slices the body into several parts and reassembles the parts in public areas). By the end of the first episode, the killer has made contact with Dexter, and Dexter is THRILLED. His girlfriend, played by Julie Benz (Darla from Angel and Buffy) is another emotionally fractured individual who also doesn't seem to realize there's something wrong with a guy who has no interest in sex, and when she tells him she loves him he says, "Oh... OK! Thanks!" I'm going to keep watching this one, but it just might be too dark. What is with Michael C. Hall and dead bodies?

And now my other viewing:

Amazing Race 10 -- I love Amazing Race. I just do. Every season they have some bitchy gay guys, some person with a physical difficulty of some kind, bartenders, twins, cheerleaders, etc. This year we have a father who is "disappointed" in his lesbian daughter, when I believe he should be owning up to his own homosexuality. There's a woman with a prosthetic leg who is absolutely amazing, but her partner... GAH! I just want someone to hold his head in a toilet and flush it about 87 times. He's AWFUL. She seriously wants a relationship with this guy? Really? Then you've got the two rehab guys who are so far just annoying. There's no older couple on this season, which is strange, but you do have two Southerners who, granted, are super sweet and I love them, but if they win the money I hope they use it for dental work. I really like the two Korean brothers. My favourite moment with them was in the premiere, when they learned they were all going to China, and the one guy goes, "All RIGHT! We're going to the homeland!" Pause. Other brother: "Dude, we are KOREAN." Hahahahahaha... this week they all went to Vietnam and visited a POW camp, and while the others were falling all over themselves to grab the clue, the only people who stopped to actually give reverence to it were these brothers. They're probably my favourite team.

America's Next Top Model -- GO TYRA! But WHY oh WHY did you get rid of my favourite one in WEEK TWO?! Sheesh...

Lost -- Can't wait can't wait can't wait can't wait....

Veronica Mars -- Can't wait can't wait can't wait can't wait...

The Office -- How much do I love this show? It's the only show that has me doubled over laughing, even when I'm completely alone in the room. Last week's opening bit with Pam and Michael talking about Michael adopting a child had me in stitches.

My Name Is Earl -- Got the eps on the PVR, haven't watched them yet, but this show is truly brilliant.

Everybody Hates Chris -- see "My Name Is Earl"

Prison Break -- watched the premiere and it seemed so predictable and derivative of season 1 I kept thinking man, they'd better change it up a bit, or they're gonna lose me. So I have something like 6 eps sitting on the PVR and I'll watch it when other things are on hiatus.

Weeds -- still one of my favourite shows, season 2 is just as funny as season 1. The scene where the uncle explains to his nephew how to masturbate without clogging up the plumbing was CLASSIC.

The Wire -- one of the best television shows EVER, this show is far too complicated to watch once a week, so I'm letting it sit on the PVR until they all air, and then we'll watch them back to back.

Life on Mars -- another show sitting on the PVR right now. Only 6 eps, so it's not the commitment the others are.

EastEnders -- yes. I watch EastEnders. It's a British soap opera, it's over the top, and I only started watching in 2003, and BBC Canada is TWO YEARS behind. But hey, it's my thing, and I love it.

Then there are the shows I have on DVD that I want to get through -- Battlestar Galactica (LOVE IT), Profit, Deadwood...

Um. I think I watch too much TV.

But let me know if I'm missing something.