Wednesday, August 29, 2007
One of my readers just sent me this (thanks, Nancy!) and it is seriously hilarious. It's about three and a half minutes of the characters in The Office talking about what they did on their summer vacation. I cannot WAIT for the season premiere of this show (September 27, 9pm, a full hour episode). It's hard to pick a favourite moment in this clip, but I'd probably say Stanley. I heart Stanley.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
OK, I've just crawled out from under the rock I've apparently been living under to find out that the cast of Heroes will be appearing in Toronto, at Yonge-Dundas Square, this Friday, August 31st, to promote the release of the season 1 DVD. From what I've heard, the first 100 people to buy the season 1 DVD from The Bay will be guaranteed an autograph from the gang. Here's the story that appeared a month ago (argh) at Canada.com. According to The TV Addict, Zachary Quinto is going to be on hand, but so far no one is saying for sure who will really be there.
So... dilemma for me. It's my last day at work before maternity leave. Do I go downtown? Do I stay late at work the next 2 nights to finish up work so I can go early? Do I go down and then come back to finish up? Do I skip it?
Who's planning on going?? Look out for a very pregnant woman...
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Um... blogger suddenly has a feature where I can add video? Where did that come from? (See, I open a new page to start a post, see something that catches my eye, and forget what I was just doing...) Mmm... new toys.
But I shall come back to that later. First of all, my husband and I have FINALLY begun watching Big Love and I think it's amazing. The core cast is great, and every episode you can't help but put yourself into the shoes of the characters. How could a woman sleep at night knowing her husband is in another woman's bed? How do you share someone who is supposed to be loyal to you? How do you have an argument about something when you know he could just turn to the more complacent wives and favour them instead? While at the same time, look at how these women share childcare, problems, help out with groceries, laundry, etc. It's such a brilliant series, and forces me to think of polygamy, something I've barely ever thought about. I was hooked by the first episode.
Kristen Bell loves nerds. I think she and I could hang out and become best friends forever. Well, probably not. I mean, if her audience are all TV geeks, then obviously she can't say that she doesn't get these people. Read the article to see her thoughts on being asked to be on Lost and what she thinks of being on Heroes (there's a minor spoiler about the connection her character will have with others, but it didn't rattle me, and I HATE spoilers). No comment on the end of Veronica, which is pretty disappointing.
Reason #4,852 to hate Andy Rooney. Why is this crotchety old man still allowed to speak? I grew up in a house where my dad watched 60 Minutes every Sunday, religiously (that ticking noise still unnerves me, because when my bedtime was 8pm I knew you'd hear the ticking at the end and had to go to bed), and loves Andy Rooney. But I'll never forget watching the show one week in 1994 and he went off on Kurt Cobain, post-death, devoting an entire segment to asking why the hell anyone cared about this talentless loser, when this kid that he'd found in a newspaper in Podunk, Nowhere, had also died that week and no one was holding candlelight vigils to mourn him. Sigh. Don't worry... we won't be holding candlelight vigils for you, Andy. Check out Best Week Ever for a pretty funny rundown of the article. (My favourite part is where he says he can't watch baseball because unlike the good ol' days, everyone now is named Rodriguez. Um... OK, and how much is the Stamford Times paying you to put your racism on your sleeve?)
Tis the release season of TV shows on DVD, and I'm super-excited. Dexter came out this past Tuesday, so if you haven't seen it, get it. It's a darkly funny and fascinating study of a serial killer by night, forensics guy by day, who discovers another serial killer that he must investigate, and he becomes increasingly jealous by this other guy's handiwork, until clues begin surfacing that convince Dexter the guy is actually speaking to him in some way. Next Tuesday (August 28th) is the release of Heroes on DVD. This is one I plan to buy and rewatch before it starts up again on September 24th. Apparently the pilot episode has been extended to 75 minutes from 42, and includes a new introduction to Sylar. Also on that day is the release of Friday Night Lights, which ranks up there with Big Love as "that show I should totally be watching but am not." Dark Shadows, episodes 1-35, will also be released on that day. This is one of those shows I always wish I'd seen more of -- a friend lent me a few episodes on VHS a couple of years ago (you know, I should really return those to him) and I watched it and was intrigued, so I'd like to see more. Anything involving vampires has me interested.
September 4 is the release date of season 3 of The Office (yay!) and if you've seen the season, as I have, it's still worth getting it just to watch the deleted scenes. That same day is the release of 30 Rock and Robot Chicken. Oh, and Prison Break (blech).
EW.com has an interesting interview with James Marsters (and a not-so-flattering accompanying photo) in which he says that he doesn't think Joss Whedon ever "got into" Spike, and that's why there would be no Spike spinoff. I think he's wrong (uh, was Marsters not watching the Buffy finale?) but it's an interesting interview nonetheless.
A third new actor has been cast on Lost. I'm assuming these people are all Others, but time will tell.
And finally, someone posted this item in my comments yesterday (thanks, Sarah!)
Wanted: More than 30 "Lost" babies
At least 30 babies were needed to play Claire's baby Aaron last season, making casting a never-ending process. So many are needed because, well, babies age quickly, outgrowing the part in just a week or so. To play Aaron, a baby must have blond hair, blue eyes, a slightly round face, weighing between 8 and 15 pounds.
So if my son is born in mid-September, could he qualify for the next round of Aarons? My daughter had a round face, blonde hair, and blue eyes, so there's a good chance he'll look the same! And if they need 30 of these babies, does that ensure that Claire and Aaron will be on for a while?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I talk about the fabulousness of The Wire on here all the time, and now two of my favourite worlds are about to collide. Lieutenant Daniels (I know he's eventually a Col., but he'll always be The Lieutenant to me) has been cast in an unknown role on Lost. Zap2it reported the story by saying he joins Harold Perrineau as also having been on Oz, and they seem to have forgotten that Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Eko) was also on Oz, as was Zeljko Ivanek, who played the governor on Oz and Juliet's evil husband Edward on Lost. There's definitely something going on about those two shows.
I tried posting this this morning, but Blogger was down for some reason. I was reading Ken Tucker's column on EW about all of the awesome DVDs coming out this week, and he was talking about his latest obsession, which has been around forever, but he's just mentioning it now. Well, I'm further behind than he is, because I hadn't heard about it until reading his column. Full disclosure: In 1984, when I was 11 years old, I was a HUGE Michael Jackson fan. HUGE. I went and saw him on the Victory tour (and was nearly trampled to death), I owned every biography of him, I had the little action figure (complete with tiny sparkly glove), could do the Moonwalk, and had even subjected myself to The Wiz. Two years later, I couldn't have cared less about him. But for one brief shining year, he was everything to me. So when Tucker pointed to a penitentiary in the Philippines where the hundreds of inmates have recreated the choreography of Jackson's "Thriller" video, I HAD to click. I've probably seen this video 437 times now, and watching this video just put a huge stupid grin on my face. I especially love the guy playing the woman, who has every over-the-top pose down pat. This is seriously awesome. Enjoy.
Monday, August 20, 2007
That's right: Uncle June from The Sopranos will be cast as Jacob! Ok . . . not. Michael Ausiello at TVGuide.com is reporting that Ken Leung, who appeared in the final season of The Sopranos as the guy who seemed to idolize Uncle Junior when they were in the institution together, has been cast as a mathematician on Lost in season 4. He had severe anger issues and hated his parents on The Sopranos . . . which means he'll fit in PERFECTLY with the island folk! :)
I've got good news and bad news. Last week it was announced Kristen Bell had turned down the offer to appear on Lost in season 4 (boo). But... Bell has officially joined the cast of Heroes (yay!) It's probably what she was holding out for, and figured it was the better bet career-wise. Her character's name will be Elle, and she'll be connected to three other existing characters (I won't say who, in case people deem that a spoiler). More info can be found here.
Entourage and Flight of the Conchords have both been renewed for new seasons. I have to catch up on FotC, but Entourage has been great in the second half of this season. Last night's ep was great (maybe it was because there was less Turtle and Drama predictable bumbling, and more Ari), though it left you a little uneasy from Eric's point of view. And is it wrong of me to have been upset that Walsh's girlfriend had taken the bullets out of the gun? Dammit... I can't wait until we finally see Medellin. Who thinks it's going to be terrible?
I swear this guy is Dorian Gray.
In other news, Finding Lost Season 3 has gone to the printer, and I'm excited about that, and I've been asked to be a part of another book project called The Essential Cult Television Reader. Yay! And I'm also going to appear in a book on Heroes this fall. I'll do a blog soon just on that book.
My daughter's birthday party was a success. Eighteen adults and six children, and not a single child was hurt or crying or upset, so that was a good thing. And my daughter suddenly dropped off to sleep at 7:20, which was worth the entire day itself. Ah... a three-year-old. How time flies...
Friday, August 17, 2007
There's not going to be a Buffy season nine on television. I don't think Sarah [Michelle Gellar] has the slightest interest in doing that, and quite frankly, I don't think it's a good idea for me, either. I do have to prove at some point that I can do other things.
My favorite thing was the bracelets. I mean, the bracelets are cool, but how do I make that work? In the original comic book, they needed them because they fire guns on Paradise Island. I don't think I'm going there. So, I thought about it for a while, and I realized, "Oh, right, this is how this works." So in my version, she left Paradise Island with Steve, who was a world-relief guy bringing medical supplies to refugees, which is why he was so desperate to get off the island. She goes with him, and the moment she sets foot on land outside of Paradise Island, somebody shoots her in the chest. And it hurts. [Laughs.] She's just so appalled. And obviously, she heals within a few hours. She pulls the bullet out herself, and kind of looks at it like, "What the hell is this?" She heals, but she's appalled and humiliated, and the next time someone shoots at her, she puts her bracelet in the way because she's terrified of getting shot. It's just a reflexive thing. She has these bands that they all wear, just
a piece of armor, and she puts it up. And then she gets good at it. By the end, it's kind of her thing, but it's because she got shot one time and didn't think that it was awesome. I think that is probably not the feeling the producers wanted to have. Though honestly, that could have been their favorite thing. I don't know, because when I asked Joel Silver, point blank, "Well, if they don't want what I'm doing, what do they want?" he said, "They don't know."
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
A couple of weeks ago I posted an entry about people who complained about children, parents of children, breastfeeding parents of children... basically people who think that children are the bane of our existence, the "ass monkeys" we have to endure as a difficult part of life. Extremist environmentalists are now taking a "child-free" stance, saying that by having children you are necessarily damaging the environment and putting a strain on the Earth.
Well... it's time for those whiny complainers to meet James Brooks. This precocious 10-year-old has developed a keen interest in apes, and particularly bonobos, to the point where he's given up birthday gifts, raised money for the endangered animal, and is doing everything he can to raise awareness of them. The Great Ape Trust of Iowa has recently featured James on their site to talk about the extraordinary things he's done. Here's a small taste:
...it would be difficult to find a donor whose contributions were more heartfelt. James became a vegetarian the day the bonobo P-Suke died. He remains in contact with zookeepers at the Columbus Zoo, home of a dozen bonobos, after a 15-year-old male bonobo, Mambo, developed a viral respiratory infection and died on Christmas Eve. He adopted a bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo, a sanctuary supported by Great Ape Trust that cares for bonobos orphaned by deforestation, the bushmeat and pet trades, and the civil war that continues in Democratic Republic of Congo. James is convinced that he enjoys a special relationship with the bonobo Nyota, a resident of Great Ape Trust and, at age 9, an individual James calls his peer.
James' father, Neil, is a former literature professor of mine who is now a good friend, and who is part of the reason why I take pop culture as seriously as I do (this guy taught Poe's "The Raven" by first showing us The Simpsons version of it -- there... I was able to link this story to television somehow). I am truly amazed by this incredible boy. We should all hope our children would be as giving and loving as he is. I hope those people who see a child come walking into a resturant and turn up their snooty noses and say, "Oh good god, there's dinner ruined!" will read about him and maybe, just maybe, realize that some kids aren't the selfish little attention-seekers they think they are.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Every once in a while a movie comes along that defies expectations, shows you a new way of seeing the world, and leaves an impression on you that won't go away. Last week I saw Once, and it was just such a movie.
This is the little film with the big hype. The Chicago Tribune called it the "best music film of our generation." It was a hit at Sundance. It has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You probably won't find a better-reviewed movie this year.
The movie stars Glen Hansard, lead singer of Irish band The Frames (they are HUGE in Ireland, virtually unknown outside of it... kind of like The Tragically Hip in Canada or You Am I in Australia). You might recognize him from The Commitments -- he was the red-headed guitarist with the long hair. His co-star in the film is Marketa Irglova, a Czech singer who released a 2006 album with Hansard (she's now purportedly dating him).
The characters are never named -- they are simply a guy busking on a street who happens to work for his dad's vacuum cleaner repair shop, and a girl who does odd jobs and walks by him and chats with him one day. He plays music, writing mostly sad songs about a woman who left him, and she also plays music, also about someone who's no longer with her. Together they click, and together come to an understanding of how they can use music as a way of expressing their deepest emotions.
The music in this film is incredible. There are two songs that you'll hear throughout -- mostly the one they sing together in a music shop -- and by the end of the movie you're not tired of them, you just want to hear them again and again. There's a scene where the guy is in a studio with an engineer who'd rather be sleeping, and the band he's cobbled together doesn't appear to know what they're doing, but once he counts them in and they're about halfway through the song, the engineer suddenly realizes this isn't some loser with money who wants to buy some studio time for his cheesy pop crap. This guy is an artist. (The song is in 5/4 time, for god's sakes... anyone who's ever played music -- and I played classical piano seriously for 15 years -- knows how freakin' difficult that time signature is.) In the hands of a more heavy-handed scriptwriter, or using a song that's actually not that impressive, this scene would make even the most willing viewer roll their eyes, but we're right there with the engineer, wondering why this guy isn't huge yet.
The end of the film is just... breathtaking. Literally.
Once is a gem of a film that's not necessarily as much about romance as it is about connection, and finding that right person in your life at just the right moment. I cannot recommend this film enough. If you love music (not in the sense of "Oh yeah, I like music, I listen to pretty much anything"; more like you've spent a good part of your life breathing music), then you must see this film. It's fantastic.
Friday, August 03, 2007
I've been promising this for a while, but I keep getting sidetracked by shiny things on the ground that attract my attention. :) I wanted to post the full table of contents of the new book, and I hope it appeals to everyone. As with my last book, the main part of the book is the episode guide, so each section is formatted with the guide coming first, and then chapters relevant to that particular episode will follow it, or in some cases, sidebars will be within it. There are more photos, and even though I don't have a specific section of location shots in Oahu, there are about 15 of those pics throughout the episode guide, with the relevant addresses and locations attached to them. This is just titles, so I'm happy to explain what the sections are if anyone is eager to find out and the title doesn't give enough info. I hope you like it. :)
How Not to Get Lost
The Others Are Coming!: Season 3
October 2006–May 2007
A Tale of Two Cities (Jack)
A Tale of Two Cities
The Glass Ballerina (Sun & Jin)
The Lost Experience
Further Instructions (Locke)
Every Man for Himself (Sawyer)
Of Mice and Men
The Cost of Living (Eko)
Sidebar: To Kill a Mockingbird
Eko’s Jesus Stick
I Do (Kate)
Obsessed with the Numbers: The Season 3 Hiatus
Not In Portland (Juliet)
Flashes Before Your Eyes (Desmond)
Sidebar: Time Travel
A Brief History of Time
David Hume (1711–1776)
Stranger in a Strange Land (Jack)
Tricia Tanaka Is Dead (Hurley)
Enter 77 (Sayid)
Sidebar: Sawyer’s Nicknames
Par Avion (Claire)
The Man from Tallahassee (Locke)
Sidebar: O Canada
Exposé (Nikki and Paulo)
Sidebar: “Exposé” Timeline
Sidebar: The Fountainhead
Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo)
Kiele Sanchez (Nikki Fernandez)
Left Behind (Kate)
Sidebar: Pre-Island Relationships
Sidebar: Kate’s Aliases
One of Us (Juliet)
Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet Burke)
Sidebar: Others vs. Losties
The Brig (Locke)
Sidebar: Parent Issues
The Man Behind the Curtain (Ben)
Michael Emerson (Benjamin Linus)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Greatest Hits (Charlie)
Sidebar: Make Your Own Kind of Music
Through the Looking Glass (Jack)
Sidebar: Fate vs. Free Will
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Remember Sark on Alias? That super-hot bad boy who was evil to the core, but you just wished he and Sydney would get together? He's coming to Heroes! Only... he's playing a Japanese kensei warrior. Huh? Well, I guess we'll be finding out more soon! Check out this hilarious interview with Masi Oka, who spills some of the beans of the upcoming season (no major spoilers in there that I can think of, just some teasery stuff) and who jokes that maybe if Hiro will always be unlucky in love, he can keep time traveling until he's got all of the women together in some sort of Big Love situation.
Hell's Kitchen was great this week. The later episodes of every season of Hell's Kitchen are what I look forward to, because he goes from being the world's biggest jerk to a serious chef who is trying to mentor a bunch of bright lights that he truly believes in. Last week's ousting of Julia was sad, and he hugged her and promised to send her to cooking school, telling her how impressed he was by everything she did. At this point he's no longer booting people because he thinks they're "donkeys," but because he thinks the ones who are left are just a little bit better. This week Jen went home. She was actually my favourite (can we just forget about the garbage thing? Thanks.) and so I was sad to see her go. I say that even though in the beginning I bet that Rock would be the one to win the whole thing, and he's still poised to do so. I just don't see Gordon giving the keys to ANYTHING (except maybe his hotel room) to Bonnie. When he asked her in the kitchen to yell at him and be aggressive, he looked a little too excited when she did... The thing about both Jen and Bonnie is they've made massive improvements in themselves over the weeks, whereas Rock seems to have plateaued. He was great when he came in, and hasn't changed much. But I think he'll still win the whole thing.