Monday, April 30, 2007

Heroes, Chapter 20: Five Years Gone
Another awesome ep. There was some speculation in the comments to last week’s post that maybe season 2 of Heroes will take place in the apocalyptic future. Whether or not that happens, in this episode we got a glimpse of that future, and it wasn’t pretty. Everyone has changed. NY has blown to bits, and the bomb was blamed on Sylar. He was labeled a mutant terrorist, bringing all of the other heroes out of the closet and making them feared and hated. Now the heroes live in fear (the ones who are still alive, that is), those who ally with them have moved underground, and the world is looking for a way to eradicate them. It’s a combination of 9/11 and the Holocaust.

Future Hiro: He’s a hardened badass, cold, unemotional, and almost none of the sweet, cherub-like optimism still remains. He saw his best friend Ando die and became obsessed with changing the past so he could save him. Now he’s become an underground terrorist and killer, who can wield a sword like nobody’s business. Even the other heroes seem to fear and dislike him.

Peter: Remember when Future Hiro appears to Peter on the subway and says, “You look different without the scar”? In the future he has a scar that bisects his face, like Omar on The Wire. He’s rather Neo-like: same long black trenchcoat, same ambivalence while killing, same wooden acting delivery… He’s dating Niki, and is the real reason behind the NY bomb.

Jessica: Dead.

DL: Dead; killed by Sylar, who’s apparently sucked his powers.

Micah: Dead.

Niki: Alive, so just the Jessica half is gone, but losing the previous two people has turned her into more Jessica than Niki. She’s a stripper (so some things are the same) who performs under the name Jessica as if to punish herself, and she’s cold cold cold.

Claire: Working at the same diner where Charley was killed, she’s engaged, seemingly happy, but she has clandestine visits with Bennet, who comes in as a customer and whispers warnings to her. She goes to see Daddy and realizes he’s not who she thought he was. Now… dead.

Bennet: He’s working to help the heroes go underground and stay safe. He’s still in touch with Claire, and still seems to be putting her before anything, and just wants her to be safe. His wife has left him. However, if he detects a possible dangerous one (i.e. a Sylar) he’ll turn them over to Matt, who in turn brings the harmless ones to him.

Nathan: He’s the pres— oh. Dead.

Mohinder: He’s added a beard. And he’s still as inefficient and loserlike as he always was. I wonder how much of his blubbering and guilt is due to the fact that if Future Hiro would just follow that one string backwards a little further, he’d see a more obvious chance for Mohinder to have killed Sylar. Oh wait, he would have found TWO chances. Sadly, Mohinder survived the bomb. He willingly serves the president.

Matt: He’s part of Homeland Security, which has become a “hunt down the terrorist” unit. Bennet has helped send his wife and son underground, but turns on Bennet when he thinks he had something to do with two Hiros, and kills him. Then he brings back Claire and hands her over to the person who will kill her. Nice one, Matt.

Haitian: Seems to be working for the wrong side, i.e. Matt, and is killed by Mohinder to save Present Hiro.

Candice the shapeshifter illusionist: Dead, and Sylar has sucked her powers.

Sylar: EVIL. He’s killed Nathan, and is now posing in his place as the President of the United States (his speech was almost a replica of the proceedings on September 11, 2006). The leader of the free world is evil incarnate. He is continuing to kill the heroes and sucking their powers, because they’re completely unsuspecting. He’s developed a drug that will wipe out all of the heroes.

When Present Hiro and Ando leave the future, it looks like Peter and Sylar are going to create a second apocalypse (as Riley said on Buffy, “What’s the plural of apocalypse?”); Mohinder is going to be killed in the crossfire; Future Hiro is dead; Niki has broken up with Peter and will probably destroy herself; Matt has gone to the dark side; the Haitian is dead; Claire is dead; Bennet is dead… it can only get better.

Let’s just hope Hiro didn’t just accidentally time travel to 1974.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

ROY RULES!!!!
I'm posting this belatedly; this was the SNL digital short by Andy Samberg that aired last Saturday and it's hysterical. I LOVE Andy Samberg.




Tonight's ep is a repeat of the Peyton Manning episode from a few weeks ago, and it's second only to the Justin Timberlake episode in terms of funny. The Dora the Explorer send-up is worth the entire show. (In case you miss it, here it is):

BREAKING NEWS!!
FOX cancels a series before giving it a chance!
Fans reel in shock

Ahem... or not. Poor Tim Minear. He of Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Inside, and by extension, Angel cancellations, this guy's name has become synonymous with "short-lived." Looks like the hatchet guys over at FOX have been tricking us with their patience this season in letting shows try a little longer. Turns out they were just waiting for Minear to bring them a property, so they could gleefully cancel it after TWO WEEKS.

Imagine some other mid-season replacement shows in the hands of these guys.

Memo on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Yeah, the show has been on for 3 weeks, and the Slayer still hasn't banged that tall creepy guy who hangs about in the shadows. Tell Whedon he's got one more week, and if we don't see some skin from her or the red-haired nerdy girl, it's off.

The Office:
Just saw the second episode. This show is just all wrong. First, where the hell is the laugh track? How do we expect our audiences to know when to laugh if the canned laughter doesn't tell them? Secondly, why is that guy with the messy hair always looking into the camera and raising his eyebrows? Get a new actor: this guy doesn't understand how to pretend the cameras AREN'T there. And finally, what the hell does that creepy guy in the corner do? Thank god you guys only filmed 6 episodes for this season; we're pulling it next week.

Lost:
Just saw the pilot scheduled for this September. Too weird. Move it to next March, where it can replace Reunion or something we'll cancel to fit it in. And get a guy in a goofy white hat and add a laugh track. It's just not funny enough.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Mister Donaghy!
On this morning's episode of The View, Alec Baldwin revealed that following the incident involving his daughter Ireland, he's gone to the NBC heads and asked to be let go from 30 Rock. He says he wants to devote all of his time to being a parent, doesn't care if he never acts again, and doesn't want the situation between him, his daughter, and Basinger to affect the show.

But despite my feelings about what he said to his daughter, and whatever circumstances were surrounding his comments, I seriously think his departure would affect the show. The show is funny because of the ensemble. Sure, Tracy Jordon still probably has the best lines week after week, but my all-time faves still rest with Jack. No one would be able to pull off that deadpan cockiness of his. No one would be as funny. And I can't imagine a new GE boss -- whether goofy, dictatorial, serious, whatever -- coming in to replace him because "Jack's decided to take permanent stress leave in the Hamptons" or whatever excuse they'd use to let him go.

NBC has responded to his View appearance by saying they turned down his resignation, but there's no word yet on whether he's contracted to appear or not. Would you continue to watch 30 Rock if Jack Donaghy weren't a part of it?
Today's Fun Lost Question




Someone posted this question in the comments section of a post last week, and I thought it would be fun to bring it front and centre and have us leave our comments here. This is a two-part question:

A) Who do you think will die next on Lost?
B) Who (if anyone) would you LIKE to see die next on Lost?

Oh... um... the picture was that way when I found it. *cough*

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lost, Ep. 18: D.O.C.
Tonight’s episode of Lost was a Sun flashback (not a Jin/Sun one, as we’ve been seeing lately) where we discover SO much about their pasts, as most of their flashbacks show. (I love Jin/Sun flashbacks, though the one earlier this season was just OK.) We discover that the baby is actually Jin’s (yay!) but that means Sun could die (boo!) We discover that Sun assumed it was Jae Lee’s; Jin’s mom was a prostitute (and he didn’t know); that Sun knows Jin’s dad is still alive. The biggest surprise is finding out that all this time it appeared Sun didn’t know what Jin was doing at her father’s company, while in fact she absolutely knew what he was doing AND, turns out, it was because of the debt she owed to her father, and that she allowed it to happen (but she allowed it to save Jin, so… talk about another catch-22). Just as Sun didn’t know if the baby was Jin’s or Jae Lee’s, she thinks that Jack might be working with the Others, and actually seems to bond with Juliet, who, once again… is lying.

Meanwhile, Desmond and Co. discover a supposedly dead blast from the past (but interestingly, none of them had actually met him before) while the pilot slowly dies. Mikhail helps them save the pilot’s life, Desmond lets Mikhail go, and the pilot utters a shocking line at the very end of the episode.

Highlight:

  • the VERY long pause after Hurley shoots off the flare, followed by, “Oops.”
  • “You know how powerful my family is. My husband believes that you are dead. Do not force me to make that a reality.” WOO!
  • Hurley pretending to call his mom on the sat phone.

Did You Notice?:

  • how CUTE were those pictures of Little Jin on Mr. Kwon’s wall?
  • when Patchy was running away from Jin, he kept holding onto the front of his shirt like he was holding something underneath the overalls… I thought he was wounded at first, but there’s no blood. Maybe he’s a robot.
  • the door to the ultrasound room had the same metal bars in the side that the lockdown doors had in the hatch. In the one corner of the room was the crib and wall hangings that had been in Claire’s nursery.
  • Charlie seems to be completely baffled about people healing on the island, showing that despite it seeming obvious to us, only a couple of people have noticed that the island heals.
  • Hurley didn’t pass out when blood was shooting through the tube the way he did when Jack was operating on the Marshal… has the island somehow healed his aversion to blood

Pregnancy Nitpicks:

  • Juliet’s a fertility doctor, so she knows a thing or two (or hundred) about pregnancies and ultrasounds. I’ve only been pregnant twice and several things she said were inconsistent with what I know (other moms, please agree or disagree; I’m totally basing this on my own experience, and could be totally wrong). Juliet says that in the first trimester, she might not be able to see the baby on the ultrasound; she should have specified that if it’s EARLY in the first trimester you won’t be able to see it. The first trimester is anywhere from conception to 14 weeks, and at 14 weeks it looks like a tiny person. Early in the pregnancy, however (starting around 6 weeks), the most you’ll see on an ultrasound is the heart fluttering; interestingly, the one thing Juliet says you WON’T see is the heart. Huh?
  • A technician figures out how old a baby is in the womb by measuring various parts of it, and then coming up with the date within a day or two based on the size of the baby. Juliet seems to go “doink” with the wand, take one single picture and then say, “Et voila, it’s 8 weeks.” Shouldn’t she have looked at it a little longer?
  • It looked like a head at one point. You wouldn’t have seen a giant head on the screen if the baby was really 8 weeks; a baby is barely formed at that point, and the most you’d see on the ultrasound is the flickering of the heart… Then again, Claire’s island baby is HUGE.
  • this is more of a PG-rated TV show practicality, but in the early stage of pregnancy the uterus is very low, so the wand would have to be down below the waistband of her jeans just above the pelvic bone. But they couldn’t exactly have Sun disrobing on prime time.
  • Why would she ask when the last time Sun and Jin had sex was?? What the hell does that have to do with the conception date? Does she assume couples never have sex after conception? The proper question is, “When was the first date of your last period?”
  • For an ultrasound to really work, a woman has to drink a lot of water or the uterus doesn’t show up properly on the monitor. I know from personal experience that once when I didn’t drink enough, the technician dug around for a bit, then said, “Sorry, I just can’t see anything” and she sent me out to chug another litre before looking again (then they take the wand and press on your extremely full bladder… pregnancy can be so much FUN at times!). Sun hasn’t had any water.
  • Second trimester begins at 14 weeks. Sun is currently at 8, and says she has only 2 more months before she’s in the middle of the second trimester. No, she has 3 months. Juliet should have corrected her.
  • However, all of this explains why she’s not showing! So that’s cleared up.

Oops: Juliet says Sun is 53 days pregnant. She took the pregnancy test on Day 58. It’s now Day 90. That means her last period was 21 days before the pregnancy test, and the earliest a test would work is at 28…. And remember, at the time she said her period was late, which it wouldn’t have been.


Questions:

  • Uh… Patchy’s alive?? What the hell?
  • Is Jack really feeling Sun out on the pregnancy because he’s working with the Others, or is he just asking the same questions any doctor would ask? He asked Claire a hell of a lot of questions about her pregnancy because he was genuinely concerned, but now everyone’s questioning him. How much does he know about what the Others did?
  • has Jin picked up the Others’ island strength? Check out his awesome kung fu fighting! His fists were fast as lightning!
  • Charlie threatens to take out Patchy’s other eye, and Patchy says, “I’m sorry, what?” pretending to have hearing loss. Is he commenting on the fact that Charlie might have suffered some longterm hearing loss from the explosion?
  • according to Juliet, Sun is safe if she conceived off the island, but in danger if she conceived on the island. SO… back to an old question: Why did the Others kidnap Claire? By this logic, she was in no danger, and therefore didn’t require any injections. Was it just to research the baby? Because earlier Juliet had said it was to keep Claire safe.
  • Sun makes a rather harsh (and awesome) threat to Jin’s mother. Did she follow through on it? Is that what she meant when she said earlier to Colleen that she didn’t know what she was capable of?
  • “I’m getting samples of Austen and the other women”?! What the heck is Juliet talking about? Were the Others orchestrating the chicka chicka bow bow that happened between Kate and Sawyer in an attempt to get her pregnant? What other women could be pregnant?
  • why didn’t the pilot speak English earlier? She has an Australian accent and it would seem English is her first language, yet in her shock she was speaking the other ones.
  • Is Sun going to die?
  • Where. Are. Rose. And. Bernard??!!
  • what the hell was the pilot talking about??? So… is the purgatory theory the correct one after all? If they’re in purgatory, what does that make the Others? Angels? Are they angels that take the “good ones” over to heaven and continue to test the flawed ones? Where does that put Juliet? Or is all of this moot and the pilot just hit her head REALLY hard?


Next week: “The Brig,” which I THINK is a Locke episode. But I’m probably wrong. CTV didn’t show a preview, and the ABC feed jumped into CTV at the end. Urgh.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Et tu, Bono?
I've heard about some great talents and some not-so-great, um, non-talents traipsing their way across the American Idol stage, but I never thought I'd see the day when Bono would be a part of this three-ring circus. Yes, folks, tune in to American Idol tomorrow night to catch Bono. On American Idol. Bono. From U2. THAT Bono. Sigh...

Okay, it's not all doom and gloom. Turns out the show will be extended to two hours and is called "Idol Gives Back," and will be highlighting the initiatives of the ONE campaign. Is this a bad thing? No. American Idol is (sadly) the most-watched show on television, so I think it's great the campaign will finally get this kind of exposure. Ellen Degeneres will be hosting, and you'll be able to see Jack Black, Sacha Baron Cohen, and others. THAT part of the show could be great, and I hope it brings more awareness to the campaign without us having to listen to Bono preach *too* much. (Because, while I appreciate the guy's efforts on getting nations to drop the debt, I went to see U2 for three nights of four they were in Toronto a couple of years ago, and tickets were $200 a pop. Each. It's nice for him to say, "You people need to allow your government to raise your taxes to drop the debt" when Canadians are already paying over 30% in taxes every year, and he's charging $200 a ticket and pocketing so much of it.)

I love Bono, the singer. Bono the preacher is OK when he's doing his whole, "Am I buggin' ya" routine, but sometimes you just kinda want him to stop.

Anyway, that part will be good. Possible cringeworthy moment? The six remaining finalists (couldn't tell you a single name -- all I knew about was Sanjaya, and he's gone) will be singing "American Prayer," a song written by Bono and Dave Stewart. Why aren't Bono and Dave Stewart singing it? Well, we need SOME tie-in to the show, don't we? Sigh. So get ready for a grave cause to be turned into a clownish affair.

And for Canadian fans: CTV is broadcasting AI from 8-10, so Lost will be bumped ahead to 7 pm. Woohoo!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heroes, Ep. 19: .07%
It’s back, and it’s still totally awesome. In this episode, HRG helps Matt and Ted try to escape from Primatech. Sylar and Peter have a wicked showdown that ends in Sylar being knocked out, and Peter apparently dead. Claire is reunited with Daddy and brings Uncle Pete back to life. Linderman tells Nate that he’ll be the President of the U.S. and his bro will explode the next day; then wants to get his hands on Micah, and Nikessica will have none of it. So Linderman does it anyway. Mystery Sock finally meets his killer and dies, but says he’ll be leaving a hint of his own. Hiro decides to remain in the past and comes face to face with… himself. Hiro, meet Neo Hiro.

(Sorry there's no photo with this post; I finished this at 11:20, and sat online until 11:47 trying to log onto ANY Heroes site, but they were all too busy, and I'm tired, so I'm posting and going to bed.)

That damn shape shifter: I totally didn’t fall for the Claire bit at the beginning (like come ON why would she be wearing the stupid cheerleading outfit?) But then when she impersonated Jessica, I completely fell for it, assuming Linderman had threatened Micah in some way. Damn her. She says she could show HRG things that would make him tear his eyes out. What would that be?

The Healer… well, until he kills off .07% of the planet: OK, so now Linderman is set up as some kind of Xavier, fighting the Magnetos of the world. He says they all have their roles to play in the events to come. He makes it sound like what we’re watching happened 30 years ago and this is the second generation: he discovered they had powers, met up with each other, worked together, some went bad. For some reason, he doesn’t count himself among that order.

“People need hope, Nathan”: Did you notice the 9/11 subtext in the scene between Linderman and Nathan? “I said people needed hope, but they trust fear… this tragedy will be a catalyst for good, for change. Out of the ashes, humanity will find a common goal, a united sense of hope, couched in a united sense of fear. And it is your destiny, Nathan, to be the leader to use this event to rally a city, a nation, a world.” The conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was something somehow organized by the White House to improve Bush’s approval rating and allow the U.S. to go to war are applauding.

“We Follow Orders”: So says Thompson. So who is he taking his orders from?

Evil superhero cage match: The showdown between Sylar and Peter was AWESOME. Loved them going toe to toe. Peter goes invisible, Sylar’s response, “Interesting, I can’t wait to try that one,” is classic. He picks up the glass, and shoots it everywhere. Brilliant. Why doesn’t Peter crouch down? Being invisible doesn’t make you blind.

Mohinder Suresh is mentally challenged: Ok, let’s go back to the previous episode, where he KNEW what Sylar was capable of, but he just HAD to get in his big speech, so he knocks the guy unconscious, waits for him to wake up, and then tries to kill him. Now he gets a second chance, Sylar is unconscious on the floor, and he LEAVES HIM THERE. There’s no denying Mohinder is hot, but he’s stupid. The sheer DUH of this man is mind-blowing. Let’s get rid of him.

Granny’s got a scheme: So what power does Claire’s grandmother have? Claire thinks she has the same power as Claire, but Granny doesn’t confirm that.

Comic book geek: How much do I love the courier guy who comes to pick up the comics from Isaac? “I’ve been dying to know what’s going to happen to Hiro… man, how do you come UP with this stuff?!” For us diehards, it’s like looking in a mirror. (Though I have less facial hair…)

Matt: “What the hell’s an EMP?”
HRG: “Matt, dude, it’s like what happened at the end of season 2 of Lost when Desmond turned that key, and there was the violet sky and the big noise and stuff? Yeah… do that.”

“Cool car”: OK, it was cool and all to see the shapeshifter turn from Jessica back into her real self, and then the real Jessica pulls up and Morphy walks by her commenting on the car, but… why did Linderman’s men leave her there? Do they expect her to take a bus? It doesn’t make any sense that she wouldn’t have gotten right back in the car… unless she’s going to impersonate DL in the next scene…

“This is usually the part where people start screaming”: I know a variation on that line from somewhere (or more than one place). Where do I know it from? (Still, it’s pretty spine-chilling coming from Sylar.)

“You can’t fight the future”: Isaac tells Sylar that he knows his part in all of this. “To die here, with you, but not before I show them how to kill you, and stop the bomb. I finally get to be a hero.” Was there something more in that sketchbook that we don’t know about?

“I don’t like the future”: What were all those scraps spread throughout Isaac’s room? Was Future Hiro doing it? Did you notice when they first entered the room, on the back of the door was 3/3/07, 6/2/07, 3/5/8, 4/7/08 (three dates in the future for us, and 3/3/07 is the day before “Parasite” aired). Did you also notice, right before Hiro faced himself, his attention is caught by an article in the Odessa Register, and from the way the light is shining through the paper, the headline appears to be Train Fire…

Awesome ending! I love this show.
REMINDER! HEROES TONIGHT
One hour and counting down... (two hours in the U.S.)
Who will die?
Will NY get blowed up real good?
Will Sylar get recruited to the Dharma Initiative?
Check this space later tonight for the episode recap and more questions...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Random Ramblings
As someone posted on my comments section, CTV is airing the premiere of Drive tonight. I haven’t had a chance to watch the episodes I do**coughcough**oaded, so I’ll PVR it tonight. But considering my satellite has consistently been knocking out CTV lately, there’s a chance I won’t actually see it. Arghness.

I love this. I don’t know why.

Last night’s The Office was a repeat (but yes, I still watched it!) and then 30 Rock was its usual hilarious self. Let’s just forget for a minute that Alec Baldwin’s parenting skills are matched only by his wife’s debauchery, and think of him as Jack Donaghy only. Seriously, it’s the only way to keep on laughing. Tracy Jordan’s dream to record an album of Michael McDonald songs (he of the Doobie Brothers fame) was SO funny I was drinking something at the time and ended up in a coughing fit. It was topped only by the single funniest highlight of the episode: Kenneth the NBC page singing like Michael McDonald. My husband was recently in Cleveland, and came back completely gobsmacked (to use a word that Jaslene from America’s Next Top Model clearly doesn’t understand) to see what a vast wasteland it was. He said you could shoot a cannon down Main Street at 8 pm and not hit a single thing. So to see it played up as a tourist destination ranked with Hawaii and Paris was brilliant.

Björk is going to be on Saturday Night Live this weekend. I cannot wait!!

Ugly Betty was new last night (which, yes, shocked me as much as the rest of North America, I’m sure) and I don’t know… there’s just something about it that I didn’t find as funny in the beginning. Maybe it’s just becoming drab compared to the other shows, which are seriously ramping up for big finales? Hmm… That said, I only watched the first 10 minutes, so I'm probably not being fair.

Jael is officially gone from America's Next Top Model. She was my favourite for a while, and then after the whole 50 Cent fiasco where she was SO annoying he ended up throwing her in a pool to be rid of her, I'd kind of had enough of her, too. Now I'm rooting for Natasha, my favourite Russian girl who refuses to take an insult. "You look like a deer caught in the headlights." "Oh thank you, I've always been told I have beautiful eyes!"

I meant to post this the other day and forgot. Canadian Yann Martell (author of the internationally acclaimed The Life of Pi) has vowed to send the Canadian prime minister a book of literary fiction every two weeks, and then will blog on any response he gets from the PM. (For the Americans, think George W. without the guns.) This will be fun to watch. If anything happens, of course.

A friend of mine sent me this link (thanks, Stephanie!) and I thought it was awesome. Go here and just click through the screens, as author Miranda July tells you about her new book. I’m totally buying it.

Someone commented on one of my Lost posts a couple of weeks ago, complaining that while they enjoyed my blog, they didn't actually watch Lost, and asked if I could please talk about other things. I agreed, and have been talking about other things, but have never seen that poster since. I find that my Lost blogs tend to generate a ton of comments every time I post something, yet when I talk about other shows, I get nuthin. Anyone want to comment on anything other than Lost? ;)

Stephen King weighs in on the Virginia Tech murderer, and the link between dangerous writing and being a dangerous person. Well said. I'm not going to say his name, because I'd rather not be getting any blog hits for people wanting to find out more about this psycho, but I will say that while I'm the LAST person to ever blame movies and TV for these things happening (I, too, saw The Matrix and got a serious thrill from the massive shoot 'em out scene, but never once envisioned myself DOING it), I will say that I wish NBC and all of the media who ran pictures and video from the stuff that guy mailed in hadn't done it. He wanted that notoriety. The reason these people don't just go and off themselves is because they become a footnote. But if they go and take out 32 other people, WELL then, NOW they become history. And this guy actually stopped his murderous rampage to mail the package of video and ramblings to NBC. For god's sakes... if there really are any other potential school shooters out there who similarly hold up Columbine as the "number to beat," this will definitely give them more incentive. I mean, come ON, they can videotape themselves rambling incoherently and then star on NBC for the next 2 nights running. Can you beat that? .... it's disgusting. I'd rather have heard more stories about the victims — like the heroic Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu, who, at the age of 75, held the door of the classroom shut long enough for most of his students to escape, before the madman broke through and killed him. What, not newsworthy enough? I certainly found it more fascinating than the rantings of some psychotic moron.

But again, let's not end on that note. Instead, how about a screen test from Pepe the King Prawn, my absolute favourite Muppet character.



Thursday, April 19, 2007

Best Reader Observation of the Day
As a couple of people have pointed out in their comments to my post on last night's episode, you can see a picture of Ms. Hawking, that mysterious woman in the clock shop that Desmond visits in "Flashes Before Your Eyes," sitting on the priest's desk in the episode.



This is a screen cap from Sledgeweb's site. What I find pretty lame, however, is that if you look closely, she's wearing exactly the same thing she was wearing in that episode, and the image is probably a screen cap from "Flashes Before Your Eyes." That tells me it's probably just a red herring, something they've thrown in there as a joke, and not something they'd planned ahead of time, or else they would have taken the actress's picture wearing something else, and even if they hadn't yet cast the priest for this ep, they could have photoshopped them together, as they've clearly done with this.

Nice spotting!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lost, Ep. 17: Catch 22
A brief glimpse at my evening:
8-9: put my toddler to bed (usually my husband does it on Wednesday nights so I can watch the Canadian feed of Lost, but he was out)
9: came downstairs, flipped on the PVR, hit Play, and it jumped 15 minutes into the episode, then came a warning: Some of the program may be missing due to signal loss… and then it jumped all the way to the end.
9:05-9:45: Sat on the phone with a Bell ExpressVu technician, who first suggested I climb onto my roof and check the cables, then suggested he could send out a technician for the low price of $75 to jiggle a couple of cables, then said maybe I should just jiggle a cable from the back of the receiver. Yay. Spent the time from 9:45 to 10 praying that the ABC feed would work.
10: Began watching Lost with the rest of you. :)
11: Started blogging and couldn’t load a photo. Technology is not cooperating with me today.

Tonight’s episode was Desmond-centric, set before the Penelope years, in 1995 (as we see from the date of the wine Des is bottling). We discover that he’s actually a practicing monk (a monk?!), that he left a woman at the altar a year earlier, and that his use of the word “Brothuh” stems from referring to his fellow brothers in the monastery that way.

Kate continues to use Sawyer kind of the way Buffy used Spike. It was sad and unfair then, and it’s sad and unfair now. It’s interesting seeing Kate’s face as she watches Jack and Juliet together – haven’t we seen that same look on Jack’s face when he sees her joking around with Sawyer, and on Sawyer’s when she’s joking around with Jack?

This episode had some great dialogue between the characters, and it was nice to FINALLY have everyone back on the beach. It contained the classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” conundrum (i.e. the catch-22) and thankfully Desmond finds it in himself to save a human life over finding his true love.
At the end of the episode, the pilot of the helicopter wasn’t Pen after all, which is almost as devastating for the viewer as it is for Desmond. The flashback didn’t add too much to his character, and just seemed to serve the present story, but the search for Pen was intriguing, full of great dialogue. This episode was co-written by a newcomer, Brian Vaughan. (Up til now, he’s been a story editor on the show.) It might take the prize for generating the least number of questions this season.

Highlights:
  • Hurley and Charlie arguing about who would win in a battle of Superman against the Flash.
  • Hurley: Keepin’ Desmond company…’cause…we’re friends.
  • Kate showing Sawyer where her eyes are.
  • Sawyer referring to the Others as perverts.
  • Sawyer asking if Kate needs him to make a mix tape. HAHAHAHAHA
  • Hurley: Everybody likes marshmallows.
  • The guys whistling as they walk along the beach.
  • Jin doing Korean ghost stories while Charlie plays weird music. Hilarious! (the scared look on Hurley’s face was even better…)
  • Sawyer asking Juliet and Jack if they’re arguing over who their favourite Other is
  • Hurley telling Desmond that he’s going to have a coronary, and Desmond saying, “Actually, you’re not.”
  • “The Best of Phil Collins”

Did You Notice?

  • Desmond was a failed monk, Eko was a fake priest, Charlie was a flawed altar boy, Jack thinks he’s God but can’t get his way… what’s next? Sawyer was the prison chaplain?
  • Hurley believes The Flash could best Superman; the comic that Walt was reading was a Spanish version of The Flash and Green Lantern
  • Hurley really seems to be picking up on Korean
  • The copy of Catch-22 was called Ardil-22, which is the same title in Portuguese (remember, the guys at the end of season 2 were speaking Portuguese)
  • The scene of the outside of Desmond’s church appears to be the same church that Charlie was confessing in at the beginning of “The Moth”
  • Now we know from 1994-1995 Des was in a monastery. Then he spent 3 years with Penelope, which would take us to 1998. He joined the army, didn’t last long, then went to prison, and was on the island in 2001.

Interesting Facts:
Some biblical scholars believe that Moriah is the name of the mountain where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac. Others believe it means land of the Amorites, a group of Semitic people. There has been some speculation that it is the mountain where Jesus was crucified. Also, at first, I thought Ruth was pronouncing Celtic incorrectly, and that a Scottish person would say Keltic. But turns out, the K sound, while now considered the more correct pronunciation, is only used for the general word “Celtic.” When referring to the basketball or football teams, “Seltic” is the only proper pronunciation.

Nitpicks:
Charlie’s walking through the jungle in a rainstorm with a guitar on his back? Way to protect the instrument, Charlie.

Any Questions?

  • The big “Catch-22” of this episode is that Desmond needs to find Pen, but to do so Charlie would die, which is what happens in his vision. What I don’t get is, in his vision Charlie is standing below the body of the pilot, holding the parachute. So doesn’t it stand to reason that Charlie MUST SURVIVE in order to be one of the ones to catch the pilot? Am I missing something?
  • Monks can get fired? I had no idea.
  • Who’s the woman at the end? (Anyone else think at first that it was the little kid Mohinder kept seeing flashes of on Heroes?)

Next week: Jin and Sun in D.O.C.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Presenting... Shelf Monkey!
You know, I don't really spend all day sitting in front of my television. By day I am an editor at a publishing house, signing up new books, working with authors, editing their masterworks, overseeing production, dealing with designers, choosing photos, managing cover production and design... in other words, if you thought writing about television was the best job in the world, I actually work at TWO of the best jobs in the world. Writing about TV is what I do in my evenings.

So I thought hey, you know, I should be touting some of the books of my brilliant authors here, to show just how proud of them I am, and how thrilled I am about these books. Not only that, but just as I'm trying to recruit people to watch Lost and Heroes and Veronica Mars and The Office and Rome and The Sopranos and Entourage and 30 Rock and... (ok, maybe I do watch a lot of television) I really REALLY want people to read these books. We're a medium-sized publisher -- no Random House here -- but we publish the authors who are the future of the literary world.

So without further ado, the first of these posts will be on first-time author Corey Redekop's fabulous new novel, Shelf Monkey. The book just came back from the printer last week and I was in awe. Our awesome cover designer came up with a sparse cover with no title, no author, nothing, which forces people to go, "Huh... cool cover... wonder what it's about?" and they pick it up and boom, potential customer. But because I can't stand beside every table in every bookstore, I'll tell y'all about it. And then you can go and buy a copy. :)

This book came to me unsolicited, and I still remember sitting and going through the pile of manuscripts that had been sitting on my desk for months staring at me and taunting me for not having gotten to them yet. After the fourth memoir of someone's German parents and the fifth memoir of dealing with alcoholic parents and the third memoir of dealing with some mental disease, I hit Shelf Monkey. At first I thought, "Do I think this is really good because of all the other stuff I was just reading?" But I kept reading. And no, it was REALLY good.

For the person who isn't in publishing, it's VERY rare for an unsolicited manuscript -- this is one where the author doesn't know the editor, never worked in publishing, doesn't have an agent, just writes something and sends it directly to the publishing house with nothing going for it but the quality of the work -- to be accepted for publication. But I accepted it, and I'm so glad I did.

Shelf Monkey is the story of Thomas Friesen. The book is largely written as a series of e-mails from Thomas to Eric McCormack, the real-life Canadian author of The Dutch Wife. Thomas believes that maybe Eric will understand what he did, and why he did it, so he reaches out to him as a kindred spirit. Between the e-mails we read television show transcripts, newspaper articles, psychiatric journals, and they all help us begin to piece together what Thomas is talking about. Through the e-mails, we learn that Thomas is an ex-lawyer who has suffered from depression and pill dependencies, and he bounces from job to job until he lands one at READ. This hypermegabookstore, as Corey puts it, is run by a dragon lady named Page, and it's where good books basically go to die. Thomas loves books, thinks working at a bookstore would be fun, and begins. His first day on the job, he realizes that everyone is just there for the latest piece of crap Da Vinci Code knockoff or Oprah-recommended book. His nemesis becomes Munroe Purvis. This slimy, sleazy man loved by housefraus everywhere has a talk show where he advocates that people shouldn't be wasting their time with behemoths like Moby Dick or downers like Catcher in the Rye. So instead, he begins accepting manuscripts from his viewers -- people who've never READ a book, much less WRITTEN one -- and publishes them. Then he tells his viewers to read them, and voila, makes millions.

At READ (the very name of the bookstore has that Orwellian dictatorial nature to it), Thomas discovers other bibliophiles like himself who realized long ago that the masses don't care that one Philip K. Dick book is better than all of the Star Trek novelizations put together, and they begin to figure out ways to get the readers to buy good books by making them think Purvis or someone else has recommended them. But then Thomas finds out this group of people harbours a bigger secret -- every few weeks, they get together in a cult-like group called The Shelf Monkeys, and -- gulp -- burn books. They burn the dreck that never should have been published in the first place, the "According to Jims" of the book world, but only after presenting each book to the group and getting someone else to back them up. At first, Thomas is horrified. He takes various members aside throughout the next few weeks and has serious discussions about how wrong it is to burn books. Through Thomas's doubts, we get some of the best passages of the book, where he struggles to compromise the fact that yes, some books are just wrong, but at the same time, is burning books ever right?

And then... the group discovers Munroe Purvis is coming to town. And they know that it's time to get their ultimate revenge.

I loved this book. If you love books, this is for you. This book is written for all of those people who don't read the latest bestsellers, who tend to read reams of books that no one has ever heard of, who trumpet little-known authors to their friends not because they want to look cool, but because these authors are awesome. This book is for anyone who actually read Tristram Shandy all the way through not because the professor told them to, but because when they read the first four volumes that were actually assigned, they thought it was hellishly funny. (Am I writing from personal experience here? Yes.) This book is for anyone who was horrified -- horrified -- to discover that a publishing company was going to be putting out abridged versions of the classics so people could read them faster. This is for anyone who's ever belonged to a book club and was the only person who actually read the assigned books and didn't just show up to gossip. This is for anyone who's ever despaired at a bestseller list, wondering why the Grishams of the world will always outsell the Klostermans.

I've read this book over half a dozen times, edited it, watched it develop, and I still love it. You can buy it here and here or in your local (probably independent) bookstore. I hope you go and read it and love it, too. You can read Corey's account of being published and his ongoing updates on the book here. If you do read it, come back and let me know!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Various stuff on a Monday
This is just a blog about a bunch of random stuff.

The final episodes of The Sopranos started airing, and the past two weeks have been fantastic. In the first episode, Tony and Carmela went to see Bobby and the ever-annoying Janice, and their adorable daughter. Tony is having serious doubts about Christopher’s loyalty, and has a serious discussion with Bobby, as if he sees him as the more trustworthy one. The highlight of the episode is a drunken game of Monopoly, Tony begins goading Janice and insulting her, something that has always driven Bobby nuts. When she takes ownership of Boardwalk, and he begins singing, “Under the boardwalk, with some guy’s schlong in Jan’s mouth” Bobby clocks him. The ensuing drunken brawl leaves Tony black and blue, Carmela’s shoulder in serious pain (she gets caught in the middle), Bobby angry and worried, and Janice even more worried. The result is a tension-filled chat between Janice and Carmela, and Bobby’s virginity is gone when Tony sends him on a hit. The episode opened with Tony being arrested on a crappy gun charge, and it ends with Bobby charging into a Montreal Laundromat and shooting a guy who grabbed a large piece of his shirt (and possibly some of Bobby’s chest hair) before dying. Bobby left it in the guy’s hand. Was Tony’s stupid arrest a foreshadowing of a much bigger one coming because Bobby left DNA evidence in the hands of the man he killed?

In the second episode, we finally see some of Christopher’s “Saw meets the Godfather” mafia horror flick, Cleaver. The movie stars Daniel Baldwin because Ben Kingsley (shockingly) turned them down (when Baldwin first walked onto the screen, I said to my husband, “What is Jack Donaghy doing there?” jokingly, and then sure enough, it was a Baldwin). The movie is bankrolled by Tony, and produced by Little Carmine. When Tony found out last season that he was going to be producing it, he said, in one of my favourite lines, “Little Carmine? It’s common knowledge, the guy’s retarded.” In this episode, however, there’s a great moment where Tony goes to see Little Carmine and LC talks about how his wife wanted him to get out of the life. It’s a discussion that really hits Tony, and you can tell he’s starting to rethink everything. Meanwhile, when he sees the movie, it involves a boss who gives orders in his basement, wears a white wifebeater with a long white robe, is banging his nephew’s fiancé, and gets killed with a meat cleaver at the end. Christopher’s revenge fantasy, perhaps? Tony certainly starts to think so. The episode ends with a gorgeous moment where the whole family is at Christopher’s baby’s christening, where Tony is now the literal godfather, and as they embrace, you know that neither man trusts the other.

Entourage has returned in a big way. Ari is no longer Vince’s agent, but he can’t let go. Last week’s episode was hilarious, where Ari turned their relationship into a romantic one, insisting that he couldn’t just be friends. He shows up at Vince’s birthday party and gets into an argument with Vince’s “new relationship,” and she serves up the insults as quickly as Ari, which is surprising. But when Ari hands over the coveted script to Medellin, Vince is stuck, and doesn’t know what to do.

This week’s episode wasn’t as much fun as the first because the Turtle/Drama story was pretty boring and typical, and the Vince/E story was similarly blah. The real action was with Ari and my beloved Lloyd. When they want to sign up a gay TV writer who takes a shine to Lloyd, Ari insists that Lloyd go to the guy’s house to sign the deal. But then he can’t live with the guilt that he’s pimped out Lloyd, and shows up in a hilarious scene where he shows up the guy in a verbal showdown. NO ONE can take on Ari in a verbal showdown and come out the winner.

Somehow I missed the 2-hour premiere of Tim Minear’s new show Drive last night (thank you Fox for typically not really advertising it) so I’m currently do*coughcough*oading it so that I can continue to watch the series. I have no idea where it’s airing in Canada, but certainly not the same night. Maybe that’s why I haven’t seen much about it here. It’s been called the highlight of the spring season, so I’m definitely pumped. PLEASE, Fox, PLEASE, do not cancel this show before it’s had a chance. PLEASE.

In other news:
Still no word on Veronica Mars. Is it in danger of cancellation?


Charla and Mirna have lived to see another day. Sigh.

Don Imus is a dick.

Um… oops?

And finally, I can’t even express in words how sad I am about the Virginia Tech shooting. The death toll is beyond comprehension. What I find shocking is that the main thing President Bush has stressed is that people have the right to bear arms. Thanks, dude. That’s what we all needed to hear at this horrific time. Rah rah guns. Maybe this is a Canadian thing to say, but this guy couldn’t have taken out 32 people with a knife. Or any weapon that wasn’t an automatic. My thoughts are with the friends and families of these people.

I don’t want to end this post on a morose moment, so instead, I’ll give you something to smile about. This video has been circulating the internet all weekend long, and it’s PRICELESS. (Thanks for sending it to me, Crissy!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Update to Lost upcoming episodes
Again: Spoiler warning to those who don't want to know the upcoming flashbacks in Lost.

I got a few comments on my post the other day on upcoming eps of Lost, saying some of them were wrong. Until I got further confirmation, I wasn't going to repost them.

Well, TV Guide is now reporting what the finals will be, and that one that TV.com had listed as "Dharma-centric" is going to be a "non-traditional" flashback episode. Hmm... interesting! The claim is it's the first time it's been done on the show, though the Desmond episode could technically be considered a non-flashback, since presumably none of it happened (in my opinion; if you think he really did time travel, I appreciate that... please don't blast me in my comments).

A friend of mine sent me over the latest list (thanks, Bitter Guy!) and so here's the most recent announcement. I hope this is more accurate than the other one I posted:

• No. 17: Desmond
• No. 18: Jin and Sun
• No. 19: Nontraditional flashback time
• No. 20: Benjamin
• No. 21: Charlie
• And the two-hour season finale: Jack

So it looks like it's true, folks: Jack is getting the finale. Don't get me wrong: I think Jack's a great character, and sometimes I love to hate his holier-than-thou attitude. This season we haven't had to suffer through his God complex as much, which has been a relief. But Stranger in a Strange Land was NOT the best flashback (the present-day stuff was great, which saved the ep) and the one before it was him stalking Sarah, who told him he had to save people (saw that before) and he pissed off his dad (wow, THAT never happened before...) So this season has not been Jack's season, for sure.

So what will the flashback be? Who knows? (Don't be coming here for plot spoilers, because I avoid them like the plague... note: don't email me or post any spoilers in the comments, please). I'm assuming we've seen a lot of what happened BEFORE he got on the island, so maybe we'll find out what happened in the time since he saved Ben, and Kate saw him throwing a football. Maybe it'll be a combo of both. Will the big cliffhanger be

(not a spoiler; just my speculation, but stop reading if you don't want any speculation)



that his father is still alive, possibly on the island, probably ruling everything, possibly the "Jacob" everyone's been referring to? Since I've never believed his father was dead ever since the White Rabbit episode, (ep 5, season 1) it would confirm my suspicions, and make for an awesome ending.

So maybe there's hope for a Jack finale yet. I mean, I thought the Nikki and Paulo episode would be the low point of the season, and I was dead wrong, so I hope I'm wrong again! :)

Oh, and I need to add this for the sake of Bitter Guy: I'm sure the final moment will reveal it's ALL about the magnets.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Night Funnies
Tonight’s The Office/30 Rock combo was great. I thought 30 Rock was better than The Office, so this week I’ll focus on it. However, before moving to 30 Rock I just want to say the first part of The Office was HILARIOUS to me. At the office where I work, we have a staff meeting every other Wednesday, and yesterday it was announced that we have to start complying with all of these workplace safety board things, including all of us reading some little book on workplace safety, putting up some huge poster that explains how to stay safe, and expecting unscheduled visits by some inspector. As you can imagine, the jokes started flying: “Can we have one of those dry-erase boards that say how long it’s been since our last accident?” “Do we have to appoint someone to be our in-house safety inspector, and if so, does that person get a raise?” “Can we have a safety subcommittee?” (Our office has about 8 people in it.)

I work in an office. As I said to my husband, other than carpal tunnel, the occasional paper cut, and maybe some lower back pain from moving boxes of books, what the hell could possibly go wrong in an office? Tonight’s episode of The Office changed that. Looks like I can become uncontrollably depressed. I’ll be applying for worker’s comp tomorrow morning.

On 30 Rock Jack has a minor depression (must be because he works at a desk) when his beloved Don Geist takes him off the microwave division and tells him he needs a wife. Meanwhile, Liz is happier than we’ve ever seen her because she’s in love with Floyd, but Jack decides to move in on the relationship and sidle up to Floyd himself.

The funniest part, however, involved Tracy Jordan (who else?) when he decides to impress Don Geist and get him to bankroll his Jefferson movie (it’s like Norbit, but a drama) by shooting a preview.

Highlights:

All the clips of Jack’s fireworks special.

Don Geist talking to Jack: Everyone in this division is married except you. Look at Bob: his wife looks just like Walter Matthau, but she’s always there for him. It’s the kind of companion you need.

Liz squeezing Lutz’s face and squishing his face, saying it’s like a baby’s bottom and saying, “Poop!”

Liz going to meet Jack at Christie’s and he knows it’s her before turning around. When she asks how he does that, he says, “To be perfectly honest, the first couple of people I did that to were NOT you, but… here we are.”

Jack’s reaction to Liz telling Jack that her new boyfriend’s name is Floyd: “That’s unfortunate.”

Ken knitting an NBC bikini for his nana.

Floyd knowing EVERYTHING about Jack’s microwaves.

BEST line: Tracy standing in Liz’s office with a horse and she walks in. “Hey, Liz Lemon. Could you go away for a while? I gotta get rid of Freddie’s erection.”

Emily Mortimer as the auction dealer, with her hollow bones and constant, “You probably don’t remember me” refrain.

Tracy on the set talking like Jefferson, saying, “Speakest!” When the two guys say the horse ate his wig: “Well, stand guard by his rump, and await it in his droppings!”

Liz modeling her unsexy pajamas and turning on her humidifier. HAHAHA!

Jack stalking Liz and Floyd by phone, and standing at the front door with Liz whispering, “The call is coming from inside the house!!”

THE ENTIRE JEFFERSON TRAILER!!! Oh my god, that was hilarious. I especially loved:
  • his two bodyguards playing the slaves, and one has a Bluetooth on his ear!
  • the terrible whiteface on Tracy (and his hands aren’t painted)
  • the jogger who runs by him in the park in the background of the “slave scene”
  • the terrible backdrops (and how he hits one of them and it floats)
  • “He was a Jungle Fever-Haver” HAHAHAHA
  • Sally Hemmings telling Jefferson she’s pregnant, and wants him to free her and marry her. “Uh… I’m gonna have to get back to you on that.”
  • “Starring Source Award nominee Tracy Jordan… NAACP Image award presenter Tracy Jordan… and Academy Award watcher Tracy Jordan.”
  • Tracy saying, “Get me off this horse” at the end.

Liz telling Jack’s story in the background while Jack tells the same story to Floyd.

Tracy’s bodyguard when Tracy says he was offered $7 million for Fat Bitch II, and then turned it down. “Damn, it’s like a rollercoaster of emotion in here.”

Tracy saying he’s going to do Jefferson himself. “Now who’s with me?”
Ken: We all are, sir!Tracy: Good, good! Now first order of business? Get that dead horse outta my car.

The look on Jack’s face when Phoebe tells Jack to come to her office and see something delicate that few people have handled: “Oh god, I hope we’re talking about the same thing.”

The end, when the camera’s on Liz and you can only hear Jack proposing to Phoebe, who keeps saying, “Ow… ow…”

Upcoming episodes of Lost!
Warning: If finding out who the upcoming flashbacks will be about is something you consider a spoiler, PLEASE STOP reading now.

After I screwed up and declared next week's episode a Charlie episode (it's not) I went and looked to see how many episode flashbacks have been posted, and it turns out the rest of the season has been announced. Not only are the flashbacks SUPER-exciting, but the titles of the episodes already give me lots of stuff I'll need to work on for the book. :)

One thing I have to say: To all of those people who have quit watching the show in the past few weeks (and two of those people are dear friends of mine who have been hating it for months, and I was very sad about them leaving), it looks like all the kvetching about how we're just not learning anything has been for naught. I was SHOCKED to see what some of the flashbacks are, and assumed these would be kept for next season. Looks like we're about to find out a LOT of stuff:

April 18th: Catch-22 (Desmond)
Looks like I'll have to brush up on my Heller. It's been ages since I read that book.

April 25: D.O.C. (Jin and Sun)
DOC, when pregnant, refers to "date of conception." So that's presumably what this will be about, and maybe now we'll find out why a woman who's possibly in her second trimester doesn't show in the slightest.

May 2: The Brig (Jack)
A season just isn't a season without three Jack flashbacks. Let's hope this one's more interesting than the last one. Or two.

May 9: The Man Behind the Curtain (Dharma)
Dharma?! As in... DHARMA?! OMG... when I first saw this title I thought, "Oh please please please be a Ben episode..." and then was shocked to see it's even MORE interesting. How many questions will be answered with THIS one? Are they teasing us by letting us think there will be more seasons beyond this one, and instead they'll answer all our questions in the last few episodes? (I'm the opposite of most viewers, and worry that they'll reveal too much.)

May 16: Greatest Hits (Charlie)
Folks, get ready for yet another rendition of "You All Everybody." Maybe we'll find out Charlie quit his Oasis aspirations and decided to sound like Blur instead. Four years after Britpop was over.

May 23: Through the Looking Glass (Ben)
YES!!! A full TWO-HOUR episode, and it's named after my favourite book, AND it's a Ben episode. I. Am. So. Excited!!!!!!!

One of US -- Comments
I wanted to mention something I forgot to add in my post – this week’s episode was written by Carlton and Drew Goddard. Drew was one of the writers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in its last two seasons, and he ROCKS. Every time I see his name pop up at the beginning of the episode, I know it’s going to be an exciting show, and that there will be a twist coming somewhere in it. Yet knowing that, the twist at the end still caught me off-guard.

I wanted to post some of the comments I got (my original review post can be found immediately below this one). Someone emailed me off-list to say the comments weren’t working for them, so if you find that, feel free to email your comments to me directly and I’ll post them for you here. I apologize for stupid Blogger; I have no control over it. As I said to him, one thing I do when posting is I write it out in Word and then cut and paste it over. There are times when I hit publish and it erases my entire post, so if I didn’t put it somewhere else first, there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth in my world. :) Well… more so than usual.
One correction-- next week's episode is Desmond-centric, not Charlie-centric.
Thanks for letting me know! I saw the ABC “next week on” AFTER I sent out my post, and thought, “Wow… that doesn’t look like a Charlie episode!” I get my info from Lost-media.com, so it looks like someone was wrong over there. :)
i love juliet and don't care that she's a con artist. she'll fit right in at the Lostie camp.

No kidding! Is there anyone there who ISN'T a con artist in some way??
I knew I couldn't trust her, cause Sayid didn't. That's my boy. (There's a seriously disturbing image of Naveen in Grindhouse - my poor heart.)

I was wondering that throughout the episode. I kept thinking, “Hmm… How could Sayid have been SO wrong about Juliet?” Turns out… he isn’t. His instinct and Sawyer’s were the correct ones. Looks like they made a mistake choosing Jack as Leader Boy at this point.
Where the heck are Bernard and Rose? Did Paulo and Nikki eat them?

I was starting to wonder the same thing. Some fans were positing theories over the hiatus that Nikki and Paulo were actually body-snatchers who had changed; others thought in the blast Rose and Bernard somehow became younger (and in Rose’s case, white) and turned into Nikki and Paulo. Weirdness… But it’s definitely a huge inconsistency to just dump them. I hope we get a good explanation.
Why doesn't anyone in the Lostie camp think it strange that Claire is just now supposedly going through withdrawl weeks after her last fix? Especially, I don't know, Jack would be sort of knowledge about things like that what with him being a doctor and all.

Remember in the last season when Charlie, trying to apologize to Claire, brings her the container of vaccine that he found in the hatch? I was assuming they all figured that was holding her over, and now it’s no longer working.
I think Juliet was telling the truth about why they abducted Claire. The implant was either a backup or a secondary plot on master manipulator Ben.

I agree.
Also, I think this episode was titled "One of Us" not "One of Them" which was a season 2 episode.

Oops, my bad!! You’re right.
I think you mean that it could be a benign tumour - Ben assumes it's malignant, i.e. cancer.
D’oh… again, you’re right. As I said last week, my brain shuts off somewhere after 9 p.m., so I do not take responsibility for all of the blatant errors in my post (and man, I actually reread it this time!!) It reminds me of the time Alec Baldwin was host of SNL years and years ago, and they had this HILARIOUS sketch about how he was an actor playing a doctor on a soap opera, and how he’d done some major training, and Baldwin, in his usual deadpan way, is in all of these scenes saying, “Sorry, but you have kanker of the anal canal” (canal was pronounced to rhyme with anal). Then he adds, “We don’t know if it’s bee-nig, or mah-leeg-nont.” So yeah, that would be me as the doctor as well…
you referred in your highlights to the line when ben says "he never has his walkie on"...my favourite part is his next line, when he says "we're coming to the house" then mutters "don't shoot us". congrats on the pregnancy! when are you due?

Me too; I love Ben when we see his funnier side, and we haven’t seen much of it lately. I’m due in mid-September, so there will probably be a burp where I don’t post much here for a bit, but I’ll try to stay updated at least with Lost! :)

This is from the comment that didn’t get posted:
How on earth could you post such a lengthy post unless you saw the episode before it aired on EST?

Ah, good question. See, the island sends me these messages, and… no, just kidding. See, I DO have a link to the island and as the episodes are being filmed, Mikhail is send them to me via… his, um… transmissions… no? OK. I live in Canada.

See, in Canada we have 3 major broadcasters: CTV, Global, and City. The two main ones for US programming are the first two. CTV and Global go head-to-head with all guns blazing trying to pick up new shows. CTV tends to get ABC shows, Global goes for NBC, but occasionally they’ll cross over and get different broadcasters. The crappy thing for Canadians is, often they’re so fierce in their buying (as I read in a recent article) that they’ll buy properties with NO INTENTION OF AIRING THEM just so the other guy doesn’t get them. No, I’m not kidding. For example, CTV bought Veronica Mars just so Global couldn’t get it. Then they discovered there was actually a market for the show, so they began airing it in the summer AFTER it had already finished the season over on UPN. And they ran it out of order, changed the times, skipped weeks (they did the same with Alias and it was impossible to watch that show on CTV). Global bought The Shield, but they air it about six months after it airs on F/X in the U.S. So what’s a Canadian to do? Get satellite: I watch VM on UPN, and while I don’t get F/X, I download the episodes every week (and then buy the box sets, so before you wag a finger at me about downloading, trust me: the networks certainly get their money out of ME).

So what does all of this have to do with Lost? Well, they don’t have to follow ABC’s schedule. If ABC wants to do the stupid-ass thing of booking Lost at 10 so it doesn’t compete with American Idol at 9, good for them. But CTV just runs Lost at 8, BEFORE American Idol (imagine that!) and has managed to keep their ratings up in Canada. So I see Lost a full two hours before Americans do, and I can watch it twice and post my blog before you guys are finished watching.

So yeah, living in the great white north has its advantages. Actually, it has several advantages, but I won’t turn this into a political post. ;)
Dragging Kate into the jungle is hard work. The writers are dreaming if they think a woman alone could do this. But… The reason Juliet is probably doing all of this is for her own selfish reasons: To get off the island to see her sister and nephew. That alone would give anyone the strength to drag good ol’ Kate into the jungle, despite the hardship of it, and trick our friends into trusting her.

I agree about this; as I said in my post last week, I can barely carry a toddler more than a couple of blocks. But the other thing is, have you noticed the superstrength the Others seem to possess? It’s like they’re superhumans of some kind (which might explain the fact they can’t get cancer). Ethan fought with a superstrength that was incredible when he was pummeling Jack. Goodwin had an equal strength fighting Ana Lucia. Ben fought Locke in the hatch armory and was pretty vicious. And when Kate came at Juliet with a pool cue and caught her off guard, Juliet flipped her with some awesome moves. Something is up with these people, and perhaps that could explain how she could drag Kate. I also agree that everything about her is entirely motivated by wanting to see her family.
For "Carrie," in one scene the original cover shows a woman's face half in shadow, similar to Juliet before and after she got on the island. I'm kind of grasping at straws, but there was some trickery in the book for the kids setting up the "trick" to get Carrie crowned prom queen; Carrie was conceived out of wedlock (as was Aaron, Claire's baby); they tied the bucket of pig's blood atop the rafters, similarly to how Juliet was tying up her tarp; Carrie has to bow to her mother's fanatical wishes to prevent punishment in a closet.... Otherwise, I'm "lost" as to the tie in. Awesome
devastation Carrie wreaks on her town, however, getting national AP attention, and everyone knowing her name as she walks down the streets of town, wrecking everything in her path. Will Juliet leave a similar wake?

Good points… I love that they keep coming back to this book. I ended up focusing on Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities” for the first chapter of my book, but I think I’ll have to do a full chapter on Carrie and Stephen King, since there have been tons of King references this season alone.
Finally, just a little sidenote: Did anyone notice at the very end of the episode, the camera zoomed in on the knot that Juliet was making for her tent? I paused the scene and realized if you look closely, she's forming an 8. OOOOH... (I saw a few of the numbers, actually, but didn't list them; there were 8s and a couple of 24s in the episode).

Keep the comments coming!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lost, Ep. 16 – One of Them
OK. I have a new favourite episode. You want answers?? Now you have them!

Or… not.

I literally yelled, “NO WAY!” at the end of this episode. But you know what? I don’t care if Juliet blows up the entire beach with everyone on it. I LOVE HER.

This episode was a Juliet flashback. We discovered that she came to the island drugged up on a sub (which would have made even the calmest person just a wee bit skeptical), and her primary research was trying to figure out why none of the women on the island could conceive. Not only were they miscarrying; they were dying because they were pregnant. But she soon discovered she couldn’t save them. Ben tells her six months in that her sister’s cancer has returned and she’ll be dead soon, but tells Juliet that if she stays he’ll cure her cancer (he mentions that he can cure it somehow). So she stays. Has an affair with Goodwin, has her book clubs, and becomes involved in Claire’s pregnancy and kidnapping.

Meanwhile Claire becomes really sick, spitting up blood and passing out. As we saw in Maternity Leave, the Others were administering some sort of serum to Claire, and now she’s gone into withdrawal (or not, turns out…) But if all of the women on the island die when they become pregnant, where does that leave Sun?

And it turns out, the title of the episode doesn’t only refer to Juliet; the rest of the camp begins to think that Jack has become one of them, too, the way he protects Juliet and tells them about how he made a deal with the Others to leave the island.

What makes the Juliet episodes so exciting is they feel like season 1 flashbacks; this is a character whose background we don’t know, and everything we see about them is incredibly revealing. Of course, the critics of the show will complain that we were tricked into thinking we were getting answers, when in fact they were all taken back by the end, but I loved it.

Highlights:
-Sawyer calling Charlie and Hurley “3 men and a baby”
-the reunion between Kate and Sawyer
-Hurley admitting to coming over to keep an eye on Juliet
-Juliet’s argument with Ben in his kitchen: Two seriously amazing actors
-Juliet’s WICKED telling-off of Sawyer and Sayid. I cheered. You GO… bad person!! :) Total girl power. I don’t care if the girl is an evil woman putting other people at peril.
-Ben and Juliet approaching Mikhail’s house: “‘Mikhail, this is Ben’… He NEVER has his walkie on.”
-Juliet seeing her sister on the monitor, and the fact her son’s name is Julian (I got a little weepy seeing it).

Now We Know…
-Rachel was completely sterile because of the chemo, which most fans guessed anyway.
-the submarine is used to transport people back and forth between the island and the mainland
-all of the women on the island die if they get pregnant
**This would explain why Ben doesn’t want Karl and Alex together! He’s scared she’ll get pregnant and die.
-the Others are actually good; they were kidnapping Claire to save her baby.
-the Others are actually bad; they kidnapped Claire to implant her with a chip that would help them ultimately infiltrate the camp.
-it wasn’t that Ben didn’t want to read Carrie and therefore wasn’t at the book club; he was reading it, but Juliet was seriously pissed at him so she didn’t invite him.
-the Others knew exactly what Oceanic 815 was soon after it crashed, and had full access to all news reports and were able to start accessing records on the passengers at that point
-Rachel did have her little boy, and she and the boy are fine
-Ben put Juliet up to handcuffing Kate and dragging her into the jungle, and she’s in the camp just to infiltrate them from the inside
-Ben will see her in a week; either the Others are coming to the camp, or Juliet’s going to return to Otherville

Did You Notice?
-something I discovered when I was working on the episode guide for “Not in Portland” for my book, is that Robin Wiegert, who plays Rachel, also appeared in Deadwood as Calamity Jane, which shocked me. When she’s not weaving all over the place completely drunk and passing out in a pool of her own vomit, she’s virtually unrecognizable.
-when Juliet first comes out of her room in the sub, there’s a guy sitting at a table who looks like he’s dressed as a bumblebee, but he actually has one of the I Ching symbols on his back, inverted (the I Ching symbols make up the Dharma sign).
-there’s a major vicious streak in Hurley this week, the way he makes a point of telling Juliet where Ethan is buried, assuming he was a friend of hers
-again with the Jacob talk: they talk about him like a god. Notice how the moment Ben says his name, Juliet clams up, and he asks her if she’s lost faith in him.
-Juliet tells Sayid and Sawyer they don’t have time to talk, and Sawyer says they have all the time in the world. Uh… but Claire doesn’t, dudes. They must be ABSOLUTELY convinced that she’s lying.
-When Juliet is watching the feed of her sister, Ben says, “Richard, you can come back now.” Richard is the guy with the dark eyebrows who recruited Juliet (we also saw him in The Man From Tallahassee; he’s the guy who Ben calls into the room and tells to go get Cooper). So apparently Richard is someone who is wholeheartedly involved in the project, and Ben has no worries about letting him go back and forth.

Nitpicks:
-while it works dramatically to have Juliet show up last on the beach, there’s no way Sayid would have moved ahead of her so that no one was watching her any longer. At most, she would have been third to emerge.

Any Questions?:
-Mittelos Labs is located at an airport; could they have had anything to do with the flight going down, despite Ben pretending they didn’t?
-someone asked this on my blog last week, and in light of the subject matter of this week’s episode, it bears repeating here: How are we to believe that Sun is approximately 14-16 weeks pregnant? I’m 17 weeks and already look like I’ve swallowed a watermelon. Pregnancy shows up even more noticeably on someone who is as tiny as Sun is. Has something happened to her already??
-what is on the island making these women die? Why don’t they just take them off the island?? If Ben is so worried about Alex’s wellbeing if she gets pregnant, why not go off the island? Is there something he knows that we don’t? That if you leave the island you come down with cancer or worse? That the island heals all, yet infects all if you try to leave it?
-how can Ben cure cancer? How does he end up curing Rachel’s?
-so the one question remains: why kidnap the children? Is it because they can’t get pregnant, so this is the only way they can repopulate the Others? Or are they using them for testing?
-OK, so turns out what she told Jack was a lie – they were implanting a chip in Claire, and not trying to save her life. SO… at what point did Juliet turn? Was she really developing some serum to save the lives of these women? And then we have to question the events of Maternity Leave – we saw Ethan say he was going to kill her, and Alex helped Claire escape. Is Alex working with them, and not against them? Why would Ethan kill Claire if their entire reason for kidnapping her was to ultimately infiltrate their camp? Was it all a plan to trick Alex into helping Claire escape and make Claire think she escaped?
-to repeat what Juliet said: If Ben can cure cancer, then why does he have it? (and why are they assuming it’s cancerous, when it could have been malignant?)
-Tom told Jack at one point that Juliet and Ben had “history” and I thought maybe we’d see something more about it in this one. Did he mean a relationship? Is that why there’s so much hostility between the two of them?
-what happened to Sayid in Basra? Juliet asks Sayid if they know about Basra (large city in Iraq). A quick check on Wikipedia (because, as Michael Scott says, if anyone can post anything on any topic, it MUST be right), “After the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 Basra was the site of widespread revolt against Saddam Hussein, which was violently put down with much death and destruction inflicted on the city.” Was Sayid working on behalf of Saddam?
-is Juliet doing this because Ben’s promised her AGAIN that he’ll let her go home? Does that mean she really has been tricking Jack this whole time, and the moment she saw Rachel and Julian she was willing to do ANYTHING to get off the island?

Next week: A Charlie episode.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Woke Up This Morning...
Tomorrow night marks the final return of The Sopranos to TV (on HBO in the U.S.; TMN in Canada, 9pm) for the second half of season 6. These are the final nine episodes. Check out the latest issue of Vanity Fair for an awesome article about David Chase and the 10-year journey of the show (yes, six seasons in 10 years... the show didn't exactly move quickly). The writer calls it the best-written television drama... ever. True? Maybe... though my vote is still with The Wire.

The Sopranos still ranks right up there for me in my all-time top 10, so I'm super-excited. If, like me, you're one of those people who remembers general things, or events that happened four seasons ago, and you're saying things like, "Wait... Christofuh got married last season?? I totally forgot that" then you MUST check out this incredible, and VERY hilarious Sopranos recap. It's the complete 6 seasons retold in 7 minutes, and it's awesome (my fave moment: when Europe's 'The Final Countdown' plays for a second... you'll know why when you see it). You can watch it here:





Also, the Canadian broadcaster TMN has a behind-the-scenes promo here that has been running on the station.

Also returning tomorrow is Entourage: I mistakenly referred to it as season 4, but apparently, following in the footsteps of the Sopranos, it's the second half of season 3. Whatever... it'll still be awesome. Enjoy!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Funniest Night on TV Returns!!
Yay, The Office and 30 Rock are back! While both were awesome, The Office was particularly hilarious, so I'll focus on it. In this episode, Roy barges into the office and tries to hit Jim, but is stopped by Dwight. Jim and Pam have severe awkwardness around each other after the incident, Roy is fired, and Darryl now wants a raise because he's having to pick up Roy's slack. In the ensuing negotiation with Michael, they realize that if he gets his raise he'll be making more than Michael, and Darryl goads Michael into negotiating a raise with Jan.

Highlights:
  • Dwight standing at his desk with arm outstretched, holding his pepper spray like a superhero
  • Everyone's eyes watering after he's sprayed it (especially Dwight's as he's talking to the camera)
  • Michael telling Jan on speaker phone that Toby's not there, when he's sitting right there
  • Angela asking everyone to repeat Dwight's heroics to her
  • Michael talking so low during the negotiation no one can hear him
  • Kelly and Ryan arguing with Toby on the other side of the partition
  • Michael "accidentally cross-dressing" (the Miss-Terious label was brilliant; it's mysterious because the buttons are on the wrong side, says Michael)
  • Michael telling Darryl to write down the amount he wants and slide it across the table, because that's what they do in films
  • Jim trying to figure out how to level the playing field with Dwight, as if it's killing him that he owes Dwight one now
  • Darryl constantly taking pics of things (including Michael's pay stub) with his camera phone
  • Darryl (again) teaching Michael new phrases to use in his meeting
  • Roy coming into the office and Dwight slowly pulling nunchucks out of his drawer
  • Michael obsessed with Jan's "boy toy"
  • Creed (I know a lot of people think he's weird and offputting, but I LOVE HIM)
  • Jim catching Dwight and Angela kissing
  • Andy returning to Dunder-Mifflin after graduating from the anger management course, striding into the office confidently, and getting pepper-sprayed in the face by Dwight. HAHAHA!

Best lines:
Michael: It was a crime of passion, Jan, not a disgruntled employee. Everyone here is extremely gruntled.

Jim: I guess... all things considered... I was lucky Dwight was there. And Roy was lucky Dwight only used the pepper spray. Not the nunchucks or the throwing stars.

Jim (on the present he bought for Dwight to thank him): It was a little glass display case for his bobblehead. That would have made us even, I think; he saves my life, I get him a box for his desk toy. Even Steven.

Dwight: No. Don't call me a hero. Do you know who the real heroes are? The guys who wake up every morning and go into their normal jobs, and get a distress call from the Commissioner, and take off their glasses and change into capes and fly around fighting crime. Those are the real heroes.

Michael: Wikipedia...is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you KNOW you are getting the best possible information.

Jim (as Darryl): Can I have a raise?
Michael gets up to walk out of the room as a negotiation tactic.
Jim, quietly: Sex. Steve Martin. Teri Hatcher.
Michael: What?
Jim: What?
Michael: What'd you say?
Jim: I didn't say anything.
Michael: It sounded interesting... what you were gonna...

Toby: I don't think Michael intended to punish me by putting Ryan back here with Kelly, but... if he did intend that? Genius.

Darryl: Are you wearin' lady clothes? Those look like lady pants.
Michael: No. This is a power suit.
Darryl: That there's a woman suit.
Michael: I do not buy women's clothes. I will not make that mistake again.

Michael: There were these huge bins of clothes and everyone was rifling through them like crazy and I grabbed one. And it FIT. So I don't think that this is totally just a woman's suit. At the very least it's bisexual.

Karen: When I heard Jim and Pam had kissed, my reaction was to have lots of long talks with Jim about our feelings. Roy just attacked him. I'm not sure which one Jim hated more.

Jim: If you don't want a gift, at least let me buy you a beer... or lunch, or something.
Dwight: When Han Solo returns to the Death Star in the Millennium Falcon, and shoots down the Ty fighters and saves the rebel cause, do you think he does so for a free beer?
Jim: Well, I...
Dwight: No.

Stanley: Yeah. I heard how much Michael makes. I still think he's WAY OVERPAID.

Angela getting the Dwight story from Creed.
Creed: I remember it was very late at night, like 11/11:30. Big fella comes in screaming about god knows what. I think maybe Halpert had stolen his car, something like that. So the big fella pulls out a sock full of nickels. Then Schrute pulls out a can of hairspray and a lighter...
Angela: You're useless. [walks away. Creed goes right back to his work.]

Michael, calling Jan for a raise.
Jan: Because of our situation, we're going to have to have a third party present.
Michael: Yes, I'm bringing Darryl.
Jan: Darryl from the warehouse?
Michael: Uh huh.
Jan: No, Michael, we... we need an HR rep, so you should just bring Toby.
Michael: Hey, I'd rather kill myself.
Jan: Michael, he's your HR rep...
Michael: No, Toby is terrible.
Jan: We need...
Michael: Toby is the worst...
Jan: ...someone else in the room...
Michael: ...human being...
Jan: ...because of our relationship.
Michael: ...I've ever known.

Kelly (to Ryan, on the other side of the partition): YOU ARE SO MEAN.
Michael: Toby, come on.
Toby: Where?
Michael: Where?... I'm gonna smack you in the head with a hammer.
Kelly: What is so stupid about wanting to name the baby Usher?
Toby: All right. (gets up and leaves)
Kelly: Usher Jennifer Hudson Kapoor.
Ryan: Don't you see why that's insane?
Kelly: Oh, so I'm crazy now?

Kelly (answering phone, while Angela's looking through Toby's files): Sure! I can help you with that. I'll just get out your file... Ok, it says here you ordered 12,000 reams of paper..... Oh, twelve reams of paper.

Jan: This is a salary negotiation. All matters concerning our personal relationship have to be set aside, are we clear?
Michael: Bippity boppity. [Toby cocks an eyebrow.]
Jan: Right now we can offer you a 6% raise.
Michael: 6%? After all we've been through? I got you... jade earrings.
Jan: Michael...
Michael: No. We play it like this? You give me a good raise, or no sex.... (to Toby) What are you writing, pervball?
Toby: Just preparing for the deposition.

Toby: This might be the first time that a male subordinate has attempted to get a modest scheduled raise by threatening to withhold sex from a female superior. It will be a groundbreaking case... when it inevitably goes to trial.

Dwight: I am not a hero. I am a mere defender of the office. You know who's a real hero? Hiro from Heroes. That's a real hero. Also Bono.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Announcing...






My season 3 Lost guide! This isn't the final cover (we'll probably add a Juliet pic on there and find a less sweet image of Kate) but it's close to it, and I'm in love with it. I'm currently working on the book now for a late September 2007 publication date. It'll probably pop up on Amazon and various other online places in the next couple of weeks (though it could be with this cover or the original one we'd done, which was a dull pic of two islands that we just couldn't make work).

Of course, my original idea was to make it a GIANT picture of Nikki and Paulo with little hearts around their heads, but damn if the writers didn't kill them off last week. AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA... oh man, when will the memory of that episode NOT make me double over in gales of laughter?? Ah. Good times.

This isn't the ONLY book I have coming out this fall... I'll have an announcement soon about the other one. :)