Friday, October 30, 2009

Finale Title: Last Chance!

With 242 comments so far (many of them offering up to five titles) there's been no shortage of suggestions for what the Lost season finale title will be on the Lost Rewatch blog. But if you've had a sudden flash of brilliance, you've got about 24 hours left to go and contribute! Go here to log in your vote for what the series finale title might be. And before you leave it, do a quick search on the entries that have already been suggested, just in case someone's already come up with it. I'm closing the posts tomorrow evening, and then when the finale title is actually announced, we'll see if any of us came close! Good luck.

Lost Rewatch Update

And on this eve of... All Hallow's Eve... let me take another minute to remind you to come on over for a particularly rip-roaring week of Lost Rewatching!!

3.13 The Man from Tallahassee
Locke is introduced to the concept of The Box:
Ben: What would you do if I told you there was a Box on this island that contained something you longed for more than anything?
Locke: Does it have the KFC Family combo in it? With the little brownies? Damn, what I would give for those 11 herbs and spices...
Ben: Wha...? Uh... no, John, it doesn't, it...
Locke: A new shiny bicycle? I've never had a new bicycle.
Ben: No. John... you're missing the point. By "Box" I'm being...
Locke: Oh my GOD it's the Complete DVD set of Sex and the City, isn't it? I never DID find out if Carrie ended up with Big...
Ben: JOHN! Listen to me! I'm being all metaphorical and creepy here, and when I say Box I'm referring to...
Locke: WAIT! I've got it. It's an actual box, isn't it? Did you know how many uses the common everyday box has? You can draw on it... you can make little houses out of it...
Ben: JACOB?! Are you getting all this? THIS is who you've Chosen?! Are you INSANE?!
Locke:... you can pack books in it -- not too many, or it'll be impossible to carry -- you could put your new Sex and the City DVD box set in it...
Ben: I give up. Richard? Shoot him.

3.14 Exposé
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Funniest Lost episode EVER. Watch and find out why I'm suddenly more in love with a Medusa spider than with Desmond and Sawyer combined. And read all the way through the post to watch the video at the end. It's classic.

3.15 Left Behind
Kate wastes her time trying to get her cold, fishlike mother to love her, and she meets Cassidy along the way. Together they meet Brad Pitt and eventually drive their convertible off a cliff, holding hands while... wait. I think my TV switched channels partway through... OK, back to the episode, Kate and Juliet are handcuffed together and they find a convertible on the island with Brad Pitt in the back, drive it off a... dammit!

3.16 One of Us
Jack and Co. return to the beach camp, bringing an unwelcome Juliet with them. When she rushes off into the woods to get some medical supplies to save Claire's life, Sawyer and Sayid slink after her, confronting her about her past, and she throws it back in their face, glaring at them. Sawyer is completely turned on, picks a flower and gives it to her, changes his name to LaFleur, and all is forgiven. Or maybe I'm getting ahead of myself...

Next week: Pilots fall from the sky, Sun has an Island Ultrasound, Cooper and Sawyer re-enact the Jabba the Hutt death scene (sadly, without Sawyer suiting up), and we find out Ben likes to play with little wooden dolls.

Happy Halloween!

Posting a day early to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween out there. May the vampires among you be modeled after Spike, Angel, Bill, or Eric, and NOT Edward, and here's hoping there are a few Echos, Sawyers, Starbucks, and Tim Rigginses out there this year. (I will simply be navigating an Ariel and a tiny monkey through the fray.... I couldn't talk my husband into getting the "Female Vampire Killer and Vampire" generic couples costume that I found in one Halloween store... drat.)

And for those of you looking for last-minute pumpkin carving ideas, please go check out Jorge Garcia's hilarious blog for his rundown of his annual pumpkin carving party and more.

And for the REALLY ambitious among you, I dare you to try carving the ultimate pumpkin... the Death Star:

Come on, Jorge. I know you can handle this. Instructions are here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Answer to Adam and Eve?

Will science figure out the identities of the Adam and Eve bodies on Lost before the show reveals it to us? Read this.

Flashforward 1.05: Gimme Some Truth

I'm almost a week late on this post, but I think Flashforward is officially leaving me flat. When a show starts off slow, you should give it 3 to 4 weeks to see if it gets any better (except in the case of 90210 last season... one episode was enough. And yes, I've heard it's better this season, but I don't care). But in the case of Flashforward, it started off with a bang, then the second week was even better, and since then it's quickly fallen apart, and I find it's not something I'm really looking forward to watching.

Now, my husband, on the other hand, still thinks it's one of the best shows we watch, so I know my comments will probably be divisive. And I don't completely dislike it, don't get me wrong. But the things I like about it seem to be growing fewer and fewer, while the things that annoy me about it grow by the week. You all know what I like about it, since I've been posting on it weekly (go to the left side and scroll down to Labels, and you'll find Flashforward, where you'll see the rest of my blog posts on it). But here are some of the things that are starting to drive me batty:

1. There are simply too many characters and not enough about each of them to make me care much. On Lost, season 1 focused on one episode per character, so we came to sympathize with each one of them and got to know them intimately. On Heroes in season 1, the names of the characters always flashed on the screens before a scene, so we got to know them. I honestly can't tell you what half the names of the people on this show are. I have no idea who Mark's boss is, even though the actor is excellent and he was particularly good this week. But his name?

2. If I see that Flashforward of Olivia walking to the top of the stairs and saying, "Hello Darling" one more time, I'm gonna scream. I'm so sick of them honestly thinking we DO NOT remember something they've flashed at us, oh, 5 or 6 times now. I GET IT. SHE'S WITH SIMCOE. Does she think she's talking to someone else? Is she working undercover for the FBI and pretending to be with him to help Mark get to him, but she's not with him at all?

3. There's still that paradox I mentioned the last time that they're all going about their business in their flashforwards, and not sitting staring at the clock waiting for the moment to arrive. (OK, now I suddenly have this image of "Blackbird" playing over the finale episode.)

4. The cheese factor. The bad guy in the third episode was a Nazi. Wow. That's original. And the shoot-out in "Gimme Some Truth" at the end, complete with "How does it feel?!" blaring over the scene... COME ON. At our house there was silence, until I finally said, "OK, cheesiest moment ever?" and my husband burst out, "NO KIDDING! I was just thinking the same thing." And they were all in the car AS the bomb was heading toward them, and you want me to believe they somehow all escaped? I don't care WHAT the explanation was for that one, I don't think I'll be buying it.

Or how about Chah-lie finally calling Simcoe at the end of the 4th episode and saying, "Now that we've perpetrated the single biggest catastrophe in the history of human existence..." or something equally preposterous that one person would ever say to another... it reminded me of Charlie referring to Locke and his "four HUNDRED knives" in such a way that he was exaggerating for effect, and emphasizing his sarcasm.

5. It's always felt like there's been something missing from the show, and last week a friend of mine conveyed his thoughts after watching the first episode, "Where's the humour?" And I realized THAT is it. This show takes itself far, far too seriously. There's nothing funny about it. There are the occasional gags, but the show is trying so hard on every level that you can actually feel them straining to do so.

Will I continue to watch this show? Sure... I'm intrigued enough to find out where it's going. But there's SO much good TV on these days that all shows need to step up. Don't draw me into this as a Lost fan if the writing isn't going to hold up to Lost. Don't suggest that the two are anything alike when they're not, apart from the forced references to Lost that you insert in there.

And don't dangle Charlie in front of me like that and then take him away in the next episode!!! Ahem. OK, seriously, that wasn't a critique of this episode. Yes it was. No it wasn't.


It was.

ARGH... I Just Know Ben's Behind This...

Bad news, everyone. Turns out Season 6 will NOT be running non-stop. Apparently after much discussion, Team Darlton has decided that the Winter Olympics will eat into the schedule too much, and even though the games don't air on ABC, it'll be a fierce competitor, and they don't want competition like that. So the show will begin in mid-January, apparently, and then take the weeks of the Olympics off, and then it'll resume in March. FRAK. I guess it's not like the break of season 3, but it's annoying nonetheless. I have no idea if this will push it into June (I hope not, since I have another commitment at the beginning of June and I'd hate to be torn between the finale of Lost and it) but I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much to Hunter for pointing me to the news. You can read more here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lost Rewatch!

I haven't posted one of these recently, but it's time to remind you to come on over and check out the Lost rewatch. We're in season 3, which means only one thing: Nikki and Paulo hatred.

This week's eps:

3.09 Stranger in a Strange Land
Jack loses major points when he cavorts with Bai Ling (leading even Jaters to say, "You know what? Kate WOULD be better off with Sawyer, even if he's had VD"), Juliet gets a marijuana plant carved into her lower back, and Cindy "watches." Viewers at home sit staring at their TVs in stunned silence, finally blurting out, "What the HELL was that?!"

3.10 Tricia Tanaka Is Dead
Hurley has a nervous breakdown when his mother tells him about her "needs," Sawyer helps Jin get hooked on phonics, and the whole gang Shambalas. In a deleted scene, I beat Nikki and Paulo to death with a tire iron.

3.11 Enter 77
As Sayid remembers a time when the torturer became the tortured, Locke loses his freakin' mind. We're introduced to Mikhail, a lover of Russian gymnastics.

3.12 Par Avion
Desmond tries to stop Claire from catching a bird so Charlie will be forced... to... live out the flash where he'll die? Wait, what? Then Claire catches a bird and attaches a scene from Shakespeare to its foot. Fans decide to let this oddness go and just spend their time debating the following topic: Who's hotter: Goth Claire or Blonde Claire?

Next week: The episode we've all (read: I've) been waiting for: the most razzle dazzlin' death scene EVER!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview with a Vampire...Sympathizer

So, fans of True Blood (I know you're out there!) I'm happy to announce that I signed up a book on the show (as editor, not as the writer) for release in time for season 3. The book -- entitled "Truly, Madly, Deadly" -- will be written by Becca Wilcott, who is currently working on a big fandom section of the book and is looking for YOUR input! So if you'd like to lend her a hand and answer a few questions about why you love the vamps (be sure to name drop Buffy OFTEN) please go here and help her out. Tell her Nikki sent you. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

There Is a God...

And he LOVES me. This my bible tells me so. No, not THAT Bible. Entertainment Weekly. Just announced on Ausiello: Joss Whedon is going to direct an episode of Glee! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gavin Friday: A Night at Carnegie Hall

So, only two weeks later...

It all began with a dream. As teenagers, Bono and Gavin Friday would play music together or with friends, and at one time they joked that they'd probably get so good they could all play Carnegie Hall together. It only took 35 years, but on October 4, 2009, Gavin and Bono got their wish.

As I may have mentioned in my previous post, I adore Gavin Friday, and haven’t seen him perform live since 1996, the last time he came to Toronto. So when I heard he was going to be playing Carnegie Hall, I bought the tickets. It was only after I bought them that I discovered the gig was, in fact, for his 50th birthday party (he turns 50 tomorrow, on October 9), and that Carnegie Hall had been rented out as a birthday gift to him from Bono. According to the poster, the gig was going to include the likes of some of the most eclectic and unique talents in the music world today. While part of me secretly wished they’d all come down with some mass flu, leaving Gavin the only person left to perform, I thought it would be cool to see him perform with everyone else. The concert was part of the Red (Nights) series, run by Bono, where the proceeds go to fighting AIDS in Africa.

But what would the format of the evening be? Would they perform Gavin Friday songs on his behalf? Would he perform with them? Would they perform their own songs? It turned out to be a little bit from each column.

We left our hotel in SoHo and arrived via the subway. As soon as I emerged from the underbelly of NY, there was Carnegie Hall in front of me. It’s always been one of those places of wonderment, the place where every musician one day hopes to perform (as a pianist many years ago, I knew I didn’t have a hope, though I know at least one person who accomplished it), the place where every music fan hopes to go and listen to music sound like it’s never sounded before. It was beautiful.

Inside, it was much smaller than I thought. Perhaps as a way of boosting or altering the acoustics, the balconies are very narrow, and only jut out three walls from the sides of the place (it’s like box seats all around) and only at the very top are there balconies that look like they might have 5 or 6 rows of people. I have no idea what the capacity of the place is, but I would guess somewhere in the vicinity of 2500 people.

There was a lot of buzz, and many people rushing up the aisles to hug other people sitting closer. There was a feeling of family and friends all gathering for a celebration; not a bunch of fans showing up to a gig. I was surrounded by several people who were there for U2 (you could tell the way they would shriek and throw themselves out of their seats every time they caught a glimpse of Bono; he stood off the side of the stage for most of it, watching from the doorway, and one woman in front of me kept flapping her arm in the air waving at him, as if he was going to wave back at her). And then suddenly, with the lights still up, Gavin just wandered onto the stage, head partly down, one hand in pocket, other on his chin, like he was contemplating something deep. Many in the audience probably didn’t know who he was. I did, but thought, am I not supposed to clap? Is Carnegie Hall like a church or something? Why isn’t anyone clapping? Finally, someone at the front began clapping wildly and the rest of the place followed suit.

Maurice Seezer was at the piano (where he stayed for most of the night with the exception of hitting the drums a few times). Gavin took the mic and sang “Apologia,” one of the tracks from his first album, and one of my all-time favourite songs. It’s almost entirely played on piano, and I remember learning it on mine to play along. The problem was, my piano was out of tune by a semitone, so I played it all on the black keys, wondering why Maurice Seezer would have written the song in such a strange key, not realizing that he hadn’t, and had written it in quite a straight-ahead key, but my silly piano should have been tuned differently. D’oh. Anyway, it was so lovely to see him sing, just him, a backing band, and Seezer off to the side. He finished the song, and was joined on stage by Bono, Larry, and Edge (much screaming from the audience) and they all did T.Rex’s “Children of the Revolution,” which Bono and Gavin had recorded for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. They were accompanied by Flo & Eddie singing backup, who were once known better as “The Turtles” (think “Happy Together”... I remember being 12 and going to see them at some nostalgia concert with my dad where they played with Donnie and Marie Osmond and Herman’s Hermits. I touched Donnie). Then Adam Clayton came out and joined them by practically sitting behind everyone else and they played Gavin’s song, “I Want to Live,” and it was pretty awesome. (Photo by

Next, Antony of Antony and the Johnsons joined Gavin at the mic. I’d never seen this guy live, nor had I watched him on YouTube or anything. My brother adores his stuff, and my husband is hot and cold about it. I was expecting a bald guy, since a recent album had him with extremely short hair. Instead a very, very tall person with long black hair stood next to Gavin, towering over him. Gavin introduced him to the audience, and Antony looked jittery and nervous, bouncing around, and he had a big baggy shirt that he managed to pull down over his right hand, while his left one flung about in the air while he sang. I’d heard Antony & the Johnsons before when my husband played me one of his CDs, and I hadn’t been a big fan of what I’d heard (his voice is an acquired taste). But when he harmonized with Gavin during “Got What He Wanted,” I thought he was perfect. Well... I need to be careful in using gender pronouns. Gavin introduced him as “this beautiful man” to which Antony promptly replied, “I’m not a man,” and Gavin sputtered for a moment, laughed, and came back beautifully with, “I’m sorry... this beautiful PERSON.” There’s been rumours that Antony is a transgender, or that he’s part female/part male, but none of that really matters – what mattered to me was how stunning and powerful his voice was, and how it fit the song perfectly.

After Antony left the stage (by practically running off it before the song was done) the first “surprise guest” was longtime U2 manager Paul McGuiness. He recounted the story of how the Virgin Prunes had been the mandatory opening act for U2 in the early, even when he didn’t want them to be, because Bono had insisted on it. He said once Bono showed up almost late for a gig, right before U2 was to take the stage, and he did a couple of songs and then ran off, asking Paul why the audience was in such a bad mood. Paul replied, “Oh, that’s probably because right before you got here, the Prunes had been throwing pig entrails at them.” Ha!!

Then Courtney Love took the stage, and while I’ve got the early Hole albums and I’m a fan of early Courtney, I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of her stuff lately. But her introductory speech for what came next (something that was a complete, utter, joyous surprise for me) was genuine, heartfelt, and fannish. She held her speech in front of her, written out on pieces of paper, and her hands were shaking as she held them aloft and read the introduction. She said she came to Trinity College in Dublin in the late 70s to take a degree in theology (?!) and her main goal had been to go and see the band that had recorded “I Will Follow.” She finally saw U2 in a small place one night, and said they filled her with joy, inspiration, hope, and light. Then she went to see another band, three days later, called The Virgin Prunes, “And they took all that away,” she laughed. She said if Bono was the Angel Gabriel, Gavin was Lucifer. They were dark, disgusting, fierce, angry, and awesome.

Let me pause first to say that the one band I’ve always wished I could have seen in their early days was the Prunes. I’ve often wished I’d been born 15 years earlier, and could have been in Dublin in the 1970s and seen them perform live. I’ve read about them, I’ve watched grainy videos on YouTube, I’ve bought bootleg VHS tapes of early concerts that were as scratchy and unwatchable as if they were the 1000th copy of the 1000th copy of it.

And then... Courtney said that after breaking up in 1985, they’ve never played together since. And here, for the first time in over 20 years, were the Virgin Prunes, reunited.

I almost fell off my chair. I couldn’t breathe for a moment. Gavin and Dik Evans walked out onto the stage. Dik looked far younger than I’ve seen him look in pictures and had these crazy silver glasses on. Singer JG Thirlwell joined them, and then Guggi wandered out last. Guggi. The Id to Gavin’s Ego. Or... the Ego to Gavin’s Id. Hm. How about the Yin to Gavin’s Yang?

Whatever. I was FREAKING OUT while everyone around me was clapping politely. Remember that religious experience I mentioned in my post a few days ago? Well, count this as Religious Experience #2. They first played “Sweethome Under White Clouds” (and it sounded even better, rawer, fiercer, than it does on album) and then the classic “Caucasian Walk.” Oh. My. God. I was in Heaven. It was GLORIOUS.

Next up, the divine Ms. Martha Wainwright, who sings like an angel, and on this night looked like one, too. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing her live before, but WOW, now I must. I adore her album, and she was incredible. She did “Thief of Your Heart,” the song that Sinead performs on the In the Name of the Father soundtrack, and (forgive me Sinead) it was even better than the original.

The next one was Maria McKee. Now, I remember a looong time ago Bono was touting a very young Maria McKee as the next big thing, and I went out and bought a Lone Justice album and it didn’t do much for me. I’ve never been into that whole country thing. She always irked me a bit in interviews and seemed to be a bit of an attention hog on stage, and while she seemed to do that at this show, it actually worked. She and Gavin did “Ballad of Immoral Earnings” from Threepenny Opera, and it was awesome. She was falling on him, he was leaning on her, they acted boozy and it was amazing – the song is about two people reminiscing about their immoral life together, and it can only be done successfully by people who can convince you they’ve been together that long. Considering she’s been performing with Gavin since the late 80s, it worked. I had a whole new respect for her.

Courtney then came back out and sang “The Light Pours out of Me” by Magazine with Gavin, and it was great, although she was wearing a different outfit than she’d been earlier, and then tossed her hat, then the skirt, and then the top part of the dress, and wasn’t wearing much when it was over, but it was just kind of... Courtney. And it fit. She was great, and you could tell she adored Gavin and his music.

Next up: Rufus Wainwright (how could there be THAT much talent in one family?!) and Scarlett Johansson. Now, first, I have to say that when it comes to her acting, I’m a big fan of Ms. Scarlett’s. But as a singer? Not so much. I have no idea why she was there other than Bono might have thought it lent some star power to the evening or something. But... whatever. Kudos to her for not only knowing who Gavin was, but for performing “Mr. Pussy” from the third album. She sang one verse, Gavin sang the next, and Rufus stood in the background going, “Pussaaaaay,” underneath it. It was pretty hilarious. At the end of the song, Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live came walking on stage slowly dressed all in purple, like Prince (the character he often plays on SNL) and began chattering at the audience saying he was Prince (I think some people actually fell for it, which is a little crazy) and then asked Scarlett if she would leave with him, and they left arm in arm. (She’d been on SNL the night before.) They left, and Rufus and Gavin performed a song called “Benares” which I’ll admit I didn’t know, but they were fantastic together. (Photo from

And then Shane MacGowan stumbled onto the stage with a giant bottle of scotch in one hand. He’d clearly been at it all day... actually, he’s probably been in a pretty much permanent drunken state since about 1972... and he could barely find his way to the mic. He grabbed it and performed “A Rainy Night in Soho,” screaming and swaying and barely staying upright. At one point he began swinging the microphone wire, forgetting that unlike in a pub, the mikes aren’t duct-taped to the wire, and sure enough the mic detached and sailed backwards into the drum kit. He walked back, fell over trying to grab it, snapped it back on, and slurred the next verse. Chorus... and then he grabbed the cord and swung it again, with the same result. I know people love MacGowan and the Pogues (and trust me, I think a lot of their stuff was amazing) but seeing him was just kind of sad. He’d like a walking casualty. Or... barely walking casualty. A couple of people helped him off the stage after the song, and then Gavin came back on, rejoined by Maria McKee, and they did “Falling off the Edge of the World,” and it was a great version, even if her voice was a little shrill and harsh at points (I’d have rather seen him do that solo, or even with Courtney).

By the way, for the entire show, Bono stood at the doorway to the stage, watching while trying not to be seen, and you could see his genuine reactions to most. Larry often joined him, similarly bending over to crane his neck to see the action while trying not to be seen, and Edge was there, too, during the Virgin Prunes set. The woman in front of me kept standing up and waving wildly whisper-screaming, “Bono!” as if he was going to wave back at her. Sigh.

There was an intermission then, where I spotted Ali Hewson (Bono’s wife) and their eldest girls Eve and Jordan sitting near the front. Ali’s always been a major, major idol of mine. And for the record, she’s even more gorgeous in person than in pictures. Imagine marrying a guy right out of high school and he becomes one of the most famous people on the planet... that can’t have been an easy thing to have done all these years.

Post-intermission, Joel Grey marched onto the stage carrying a cane, and performed the “Wilkommen” song from Cabaret, which was AWESOME and got a standing ovation from part of the crowd (my husband: “Who’s that?” Me: “Joel Grey!! The original host from Cabaret??” Hubby: [Blank look.] Me: “The guy who cut Dawn right before Buffy saved her by jumping to her death?” Him: “Ah!”) He left and Gavin was joined by Joseph Arthur, who performed “Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves” (wicked) and then Gavin performed “You Take Away the Sun,” dedicating it to Caroline van Oosten de Boer, which was amazing.

Irish author Patrick McCabe was the next to appear, reading from Breakfast on Pluto (that movie with Cillian Murphy as a cross-dresser; if you’ve seen it, then you’ve seen Gavin: he’s the gypsy guy who falls for him). Then U2 came back out and performed King of Trash, much to the audience’s delight. Lydia Lunch was next, walking out and spitting “Knives in the Drain” at the audience, flipping us all off at the end and storming off in typical punk-bitch style.

But then came the second highlight of the night for me. Gavin walked out with a towering man named Eric Mingus (who I later discovered is the son of the legendary Charlie) and I had no idea who this guy was. They performed Caruso, and Eric’s voice was a little wavery early on, but when it came to the loud parts, he was awesome. Was he punk? Rock? Who was he? Then at the end, Gavin was singing the chorus while Eric was setting up a standing mic (they’d been sitting) and I thought oh my god, he’s going to actually sing the Caruso part (in the CD track, Gavin talks and they synch it into an original recording of the opera singer Caruso singing) and sure enough, he did. And it was beautiful. Was he an opera singer? No, because then he began growling and making snarling noises. I looked him up when I got home and he’s an avant-garde jazz/pop/rock/ you name it singer. I would love to see that guy again. (Photo from

And then... came the big surprise for the evening. Bono came out to say the next person was a woman who had transcended music, had changed it, she was the best, she was the rawest, she was the east, she was the west, she was the right, she was the left (when it comes to Bono’s speeches, they’re never subtle) and I thought who the hell is it? Madonna?? And... it was Lady Gaga. The place went NUTS. I groaned and put my face in my hands. Why was she there?! Why did Bono like her? I’m not a fan. NOT a fan. The woman is talented, yes. But when I was in the UK in April, I saw her on some daytime talk show and she could barely sing (I thought it was an impersonator and didn’t realize it was actually her) and she was pulling all these stunts, walking around London with a teacup and saucer and throwing diva fits when she left it behind once. I hate most of her music, and everyone talks about what a talented pianist she is like NO ONE else in music plays piano like that. A lot of them do. I’ll take Tori Amos over her any day.

Anyway, she came out and was wearing a lingerie/bathing suit completely sheer see-through thing that made Courtney look overdressed (the guy behind me whistled and went, “Well THAT was worth the 250 bucks right there!”) and she said she’d cheated and had written a birthday song for Gavin last night, but had written part of it before... and she basically sang Poker Face with some new (terrible) lyrics. Meanwhile Bono stood just off the stage grinning and clapping and smiling and looking at the audience for their reaction the whole time. I was a little disappointed that he was so bowled over by her superstardom. I believe she’ll be forgotten in about 2 years.

Anyway... aside from the end of the show, she got the only standing ovation of the entire place of the entire night. Sad. (I shouldn’t say entire place. My husband and I stayed rooted to our seats.)

Antony came back out with Gavin and performed “Angel” (you would have heard it in the movie Romeo + Juliet) with Flo and Eddie. Another win for Antony. Next up was Chloe Webb (remember her as Nancy in “Sid and Nancy”?) who performed/talked through “Love Is Just a Word” (there’s not a lot of singing in that one) and she was actually very interesting. Gavin came out and planted a kiss on her lips and she looked a little surprised and flustered. Sigh. To have traded places with her for a minute...

Gavin came and sang “Another Blow on the Bruise” and it was spectacular (he had Edge backing him up) and then Andrea Corr of The Corrs came out to sing “Time Enough for Tears.” And then, another highlight, Bono came out with Maurice to sing “The Last Song I’ll Ever Sing,” one of my all-time fave songs of Gavin’s from his third album, and it was GORGEOUS.

And then, for us, the FAR more interesting surprise guest of the night. Laurie Anderson had been on the bill, and I was interested in seeing her avant-garde performance art, simply because I’d seen a movie she’d done in the mid-80s that was insane, and I knew she was a big influence on Gavin. I’d had a sense that she might not come out alone, and I was right – she showed up with her partner, Lou Reed. My husband freaked out, the audience began going, “Loooooouuuuuu” (“Are they saying, Boo-urns?”) and they were accompanied by John Zorn, the cutting edge sax player. Laurie had her weird electric violin, Lou had his ugly guitar, and Zorn began screeching out some of the loudest noise you’d ever heard. Between the three of them they created a complete horrible cacophony, which suddenly turned into something quite stunning when it all began blending. I’ve never heard music transform itself like that partway through. What started as sounding like something from Metal Machine Music had become a symphony of beauty. Gavin then came out and joined them and performed “Sonnet 40” (he’s been working with the genius Gavin Bryars and this is one of their projects), and then he began singing “Sweet Jane,” joined by Boozy MacGowan, Larry and Edge, Flo & Eddie. Throughout the song many of the others joined them, with Bono ad-libbing a verse, “Gavin had a birthday/ Neither big or small...” At the end, Gavin thanked everyone for coming, and there was a standing ovation and everyone launched into “Jean Genie” (and despite my hardest hoping, Bowie didn’t suddenly surface, dammit).

And then... it was over. It was one of the most amazing musical nights I’ve experienced, and I’m so happy I’d done this one crazy spontaneous thing and had just bought the tickets and gone with it. I’ll never forget it.

Happy birthday, Gavin Friday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flashforward 1.04: Black Swan

CHAH-LIE!!! FINALLY!! Was anyone else whooping it up on their couch in the final minute of Flashforward? Because the moment I saw the name "Simon" on Simcoe's phone, I certainly was!!

In this week's episode, Mark found out Demetri's secret; Olivia operated on a patient who had a completely crazytown flashforward vision, but whose vision gave the other doctor clues as to how to operate; the babysitter had a vision where she was being drowned while feeling like she deserved it; she turns out to be Aaron's daughter (that's probably been mentioned already but for some reason I'd forgotten it); the other agent is looking for someone named "Celia"; Simcoe never actually saw Olivia in his dream (which we'd pretty much all figured out already); and Simcoe, as we suspected, is somehow connected to Simon and the evil, but he's in there reluctantly, it would seem.

Random Thoughts:
• I was freaking out a little as that bus was hurtling toward the people lying there in the opening scene, thinking, "Wow, imagine falling over in a park for 2 minutes, and during your blackout you're run over by a bus somehow." Yeowch.
• What are the chances that Ned Ned was sleeping and having a weird hallucinatory dream on April 29? Maybe he will never end up as a cool black dude rocking those leather pants, and was only dreaming of it, or hallucinating it through some medication.
• So... terrorist chick: How would SHE know that Demetri posted his flashforward on the Internet if she's in the LA County lock-up? How would that have become public knowledge for the prisoners?
• The other doctor keeps asking people what their flashforward was, and Simcoe comments that it's replaced "How's the weather" as the standard question. I don't think so: I think your vision would be pretty private, actually. Not everyone would be throwing it out there, and I find it a little forward of the guy to be asking everyone.

• "Jesus is my Episco-pal." I MUST have one of those shirts.
• I LOVED the choice of music at the beginning (oh, my love for Bjork is deep) and was singing along... I always love the juxtaposition of music that shouldn't fit the scene, like this lovely old standard against the backdrop of a world in flames.
• Breakfast for dinner made my husband and I crack right up. He LOVES it when I make that; I, on the other hand, am not a fan. Breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day, so why would I tarnish dinner by having it then?! Ugh. (I know I'm in the minority on this one...)
• Chah-lie as the evil little man! Presumably he's the guy who's 5'8" and 130 pounds or whatever who was walking around the stadium. Excellent! Will he be the hacker they call in, not realizing he's also Dr. Evil?

Lost moment:
• When Penny tried to get the chips out of the vending machine and it got stuck, she whacked the machine and nothing happened. I half expected Jacob to appear, get the chips and hand them to her and say, "Sometimes it just needs a little push."

Finding Lost: Season 5

Oh look, Nikki's making another plug for her new book. Must be a weekday...

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has already ordered a copy of the book. Many of you have received them already (I can say that humanebean was officially the first Lost fan to have his hands on one, since he had me FedEx it to him! Win!) And now that I've sorted out the postage on this, I can extend the offer to everyone. If you're interested in a copy of the season 5 book, autographed by me, the cost is $21.80 if you're in the U.S. ($15 book plus $6.80 shipping), and $19.75 if you live in Canada ($17 book plus $2.75 shipping). If you live outside of North America, email me and we'll figure something out.

The easiest way to pay is through Paypal; my Paypal account is the same as my email address, and when I get the confirmation, I'll send out your book (you'll get a confirmation by a name that's not mine; don't worry, that's just my husband's name).

I've also been shipping various combinations of other seasons to people, so if anyone is interested in that, please email me privately about it. That price above is the same for Season 5, Season 4, and Season 3. The Season 1/2 book is combined, so it's a heavier book and slightly more to ship, which sucks. (The book is $18 in the U.S., $20 in Canada, and postage is $11.15 to anywhere in the U.S., and $11.50 (don't ask) to anywhere in Canada, or $8.50 within Ontario.) However, if you gang it with one of the other books, shipping would probably be the same, so we'd save on that. If you're interested in S1, please email me and we'll work that out, too.

And now... my next plea. The way these books sell well is through word of mouth, especially when writing for this type of genre. As we all know, there are many fantastic Lost books out there, and when it comes to a non-Lost fan looking for a book to buy a Lost fan, they'll probably look through reviews. On Amazon they'll buy the one with the most reviews and the best star-rating. Because I was offering the chance to buy the S4 book from me when it came out earlier this year, there weren't very many Amazon reviews of it (you can only leave a review on Amazon if you buy a product there). But if anyone has any of my books and likes them, AND has recently bought something from Amazon, please go and leave a review on any of them, especially the more recent ones. That would help me out immensely.

OR... you can tell my publisher directly that you like the books, which would be fab. My publisher, ECW Press, has a great website that now takes comments. You can access all of my books here (and see an old picture of me) and click on the book to take you to the page where you can leave MUCH MUCH PRAISE!! (She said modestly.)

You could leave one at the Chapters site in Canada, or the Barnes and Noble site in the U.S. (I don't think either of those requires registration or purchase).

And thank you in advance for doing this. It would be a huge help!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Season 6: Survival

I've been posting a lot of Season 6 prep videos, and some have made us cry, while others have made us... cry. :) The work being done by campetin and theblackbox is awesome, and I can't thank them enough for tiding us over during the hiatus.

But this one (by campetin) will make you cheer, jump up and down, and scream, "Yippie-ki-yay, motherlover!!" (I'm trying to keep this a family blog here...) ;)

Attention Michael Bay: Lost has all the action, explosions, and awesomeness that you are desperately seeking. Take notes.

Risk: The Lost Edition

Despite there being Risk games that have been tailored to so many different fandoms, so far there isn't a Lost one, despite the connection in "The Shape of Things to Come," where Hurley, Sawyer, and Locke were playing it before Smokey came and blew the village to bits. So... someone decided to make one, complete with regions for "Tumba de Eko" and "Campo de golf."

So awesome. Check out some close-ups here. (The page is in Spanish, as is the game, but you'll get the gist of it.) Thanks to Corey for the link!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Flashforward 1.03: 137 Sekunden

I'm starting to think my TV shows are becoming incestuous. On this third episode of "Flashforward," I saw Zoe Washburne/ Jasmine/ Anna Espinosa/ Cleopatra (wow, Gina Torres... you and I go WAY back!) and Cassidy/Mrs. Saracen. I also thought I saw the chick on Heroes who used to fashion roses out of tomatoes and called that her special skill (I think her name was Monica?) but it turns out Gabrielle Union just looks a lot like that actress. At the very end we saw a boy in Somalia herding goats and he had a giant scar that bisected his face... I couldn't help but think, if this is 1991, what's the possibility that we see the boy as a present-day man and he's Omar from The Wire? (Oh... please please please please please....)

I thought this episode was excellent once again, if a little clunky at points. My husband and I actually paused the show at one point to discuss how maybe the reason network TV is starting to get shafted at awards ceremonies and they're all going to HBO is because HBO doesn't have to play to the lowest common denominator the way network TV thinks it has to (with the exception of Lost, which clearly does NOT do that). Why, for example, do we see the little boy turn around and look at Felicia, and then we're flashed to FIRST Felicia's flashforward where she's tucking the boy in and THEN (as if that wasn't obvious enough) the scene of her telling Olivia that she saw her own son? I mean, that scene flashed 20 minutes earlier... you honestly think we weren't going to remember it? Geez... Lost will flash something for half a second in season 2 that will become epic in season 5 without so much as a reminder. They just assume we're smart and savvy enough to put it together. And that was the second time it was done in the show; earlier in the episode, they announced they were going to fly to Munich to Quale Prison to meet the Nazi, and then the screen flashes "Munich, Germany"... and just in case THAT wasn't obvious enough, it says moments later, "Quale Prison." Really? You think we wouldn't have figured out it was Quale Prison by the fact they're in Munich, meeting with the Nazi? A minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.

There were a few other things that didn't mesh for me:
-I don't care if the Nazi had his attorney present; no judge is going to allow a Nazi war criminal who escaped justice for 50 years to just go free based on a trick. I don't believe that for a second.
-I also don't think you can skirt the mother's consent to exhume the body of her child, no matter where you are in the FBI. But that one is less of a nitpick, and could happen.

This week's Lost comparisons:
-Anyone else notice that the parents of Tracy are named Kate and Aaron? Heehee...
-"That's why they call it a leap of faith." Helen says this to Locke; Locke says this to Jack; Eloise says it again to Jack in S5.

-Jeff Buckley playing at the memorial service. That man has a voice like an angel, and I love that SOMEONE finally chose something other than "Hallelujah" that he recorded.
-What did Aaron see? Is it possible that some people could have had a vision of the afterlife? I know that Kate was being sarcastic, but it would be an interesting (and brave) suggestion from the show that this would be proof of one. How could the body have Tracy's DNA and yet he saw her in the future?
-that ending with the crows falling from the sky in Somalia. Man... this show definitely knows how to pack the final five minutes of each episode with enough creepiness to give you the shivers for the next week! Brilliant ending. In literature, black crows have always been a portent of doom and death, so we're already hard-wired to see crows and have a cold chill go down our spines, but there was something especially scary about the use of it here.
-someone pointed out on here last week that March 15 -- Demetri's death date -- is the Ides of March, and the day Caesar died. Any connection?
-So what did his girlfriend see in her vision? She saw a man dressed in white, but there's no way from that distance she could actually make out that it was Demetri. Did she simply assume it was him?

Watching this episode, I was once again overcome with the thought process of all of this. The entire series is one giant philosophical question: If you saw your future, could you change it? Or... does seeing it make it happen? In other words, if they hadn't actually seen their future, Mark wouldn't be filling a board and making it look exactly like it did in his vision. And Felicia is probably going to pursue that little boy now that she's seen him in her vision, whereas she would have left him alone if she hadn't. The flashforward might be a glimpse of a moment in the future, but for them, that memory is in their past, and they're shaping their present based on it.

All of the visions always look so normal: Felicia is calmly saying goodnight to the little boy; Olivia is casually standing at the top of the stairs saying hello to someone downstairs; Mark is pacing an office and looking for answers.

But if you knew that this stuff was going to happen at exactly 10:02 pm on April 29, then at 9:58 on April 29, wouldn't you be watching the clock? Would you be walking right into that vision and playing your role, or would you be so hyperaware of it that there's no way you could actually reenact it the way you saw it?

So far I'm loving this show and the philosophy it raises week after week. I'm actually wishing that, like the characters of the show, we could just see the restof the episode now so we could discuss how they all got there! :) What did you think of Week 3?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Gavin Friday: My Musical God

So, the other day in my post I mentioned where I was going to be Sunday night. And I promised to give you a full review of the show when I got back. But first... (eye rolls from my regular readers, saying to themselves, “Of course, there’s ALWAYS something to say first”) some background.

The year: 1987. My husband saw David Bowie for the first time. Being a lifetime Bowie fan, but only being 15 at the time, he missed the Thin White Duke, and the Glass Spider Tour was the first time he’d see him. It was exciting, but he was at the CNE Grandstand (Canadians who remember that venue typically remember it as crap) and he couldn’t see very well.

The year: 1990. My husband and I were now dating (yeah, we’ve been together forever) and he went to see Bowie’s “Sound + Vision” tour. Bowie came out on stage behind a white sheet and did a dance, and then the curtain dropped. My husband had great seats and there was Bowie, standing before him for the first time. My husband’s heart nearly stopped, and he couldn’t move. He came home and described it as a religious experience at a concert. I was jealous.

The year: 1988. I was reading a biography of U2 called “The Unforgettable Fire,” in which the author interviewed every family member and friend associated with the band, and he referred to “The Village.” This was a group of misfits in Dublin that included Paul Hewson, Dave Evans and his brother Dik, Derek Rowan and his brother Trevor, Fionan Hanvey, and David Watson. With the exception of Fionan (whose name was pretty exceptional), they decided that their names were boring and they needed to come up with better names, pseudonyms they would use in the Village. Paul Hewson was renamed Bono Vox; Dave Evans became The Edge. Derek Rowan was christened Guggi; his brother Trevor was Strongman. David Watson became Dave-iD Busaras. Dik remained... Dik. And Fionan Hanvey was renamed, by Bono, “Gavin Friday.” It was this particular man who captured my attention as I read through the book (which, while I loved it at the time, turned out to contain quite a number of errors, and wasn’t exactly heralded by U2 upon its release). Not only did the stories fascinate me, but there was a picture of him in the book, and he was, in a word, beautiful. (That's him on the right in the second row. BEAUTIFUL.)

The members of the Village loved music, but they realized they liked different types of music. Bono and Edge joined Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. and formed U2, while the rest of them added a drummer and a few transient members and called themselves The Virgin Prunes. U2 were immediately the more commercial band of the two, singing of religion, inspiration, hope, politics, while the Prunes were the darker of the two, perfecting “art punk,” putting on crazed performances that included spraying blood on the audience or marching around with pigs’ heads on stakes. In other words, they made the Sex Pistols look like New Kids on the Block.

In the beginning U2 would only play a gig if the venue booked the Prunes, but after they got signed to Island, that practice had to end, and they went their separate ways. Gavin remained best friends with Bono (to this day) and became a massive influence on Bono’s own stage performance. Bono is the first to admit that everything he’s ever done on stage has been stolen from Gavin. Gavin would walk into the audience and choose someone to dance with on the floor. Bono did that in the beginning until the band became too popular, and then he began pulling women up onto the stage to dance with them. Gavin would climb stage equipment; Bono almost killed himself climbing some of the huge stages that U2 played. Bono’s charisma, long soliloquies on the microphone, attitude – all from Gavin. Even those platform black shoes and black outfits that Bono wears: Gavin was wearing them first. In 1985 the Prunes split, and Gavin began listening to different forms of music.

The year: 1989. December 27, 1989, to be exact. (There are some dates you’ll never forget.) I walked into Sunrise Records on Yonge Street in Toronto and found Gavin Friday’s first solo record, “Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves.” (Solo in the sense that he wasn’t with the Prunes, but it’s co-written and co-performed by Gavin’s musical partner, Maurice Seezer.) Hands trembling with this treasure (this was before the Internet allowed you to hear obscure music from anywhere in the world), I carried it up to the desk, where the clerk told me he’d just seen Gavin perform in Toronto two weeks earlier, where he played some cabaret hall with candelabra on the tables. I would have been underage and wouldn’t have gotten in, but I was still bummed to have missed him. I hoped I’d see him soon. (I’d have a long, long wait ahead of me.) I took this CD home and put it on... and 45 minutes later, my life had changed. I had heard some of the most extraordinary music I’d ever heard; mixtures of cabaret, pop, ballads. It opened with three stanzas of Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” set to music, and since at this point I was just discovering my obsession with Oscar Wilde, it was love at first note. This was not the man who stood on the stage screaming and throwing pig’s blood at people. This was a wordsmith, a man capable of writing such beautiful music I felt transported. He could sing beautifully, and then snarl into the mic; he put on personas, and became the very person he was singing about. I’d never heard anything like it.

The year: 1996. Gavin Friday FINALLY comes to Toronto. His third album, “Shag Tobacco” (even better than the first) had just been released, and I was more in love than ever with this magical beast from Ireland who had completely transformed my taste in music. I stood with a smallish group of people in the Rivoli in downtown Toronto, while two people stood on stage, and a spotlight hit the red velvet curtain at the back of the stage. The curtain parted, and there, standing mere feet away from me, was Gavin Friday, with a martini in one hand, and his other arm swept up in the air holding back the curtain. I lost all feeling in my entire body. He stepped out onto the stage and began the first song, and everything and everyone in the room completely disappeared. It was me and Gavin. No one else existed. Nothing else existed. He was singing to me, and me only. After the fifth song, someone said something beside me and I was jolted out of this reverie like I’d just awakened from a deep sleep. I’ve never experienced anything like this before or since. And then I realized: I’d just had my religious experience at a concert. And it was breathtaking.

A few months later, he announced he was coming back, this time to Lee’s Palace. I was working for the student newspaper at my university, and so I called Island Records to see if I could interview him. They said no problem. A few months earlier I’d bought his biography online from the author, Caroline van Oosten de Boer, who had self-published it, and runs his official website and is like a one-woman PR machine for him (all in the name of fandom). I can’t even remember how I’d tracked it down, but somehow I bought it from her and she’d mailed it to me from Amsterdam. So I contacted her to see if there were any questions I should ask, and she playfully suggested a couple that she said he was often coy about answering.

He called my house and asked for me (hearing him say my name was just... sigh...) and I began. In the beginning, the answers were all “Yes,” “No,” and I thought oh great. I’ve got Lou Reed on the phone here. But you had to earn his trust. And after about 4 or 5 questions, I did. He became animated, talking excitedly about the latest music he’d been writing, and how he’d scored the soundtrack to "In the Name of the Father," allowing the Protestant marching drums in the opening track to be at war with the Catholic hand-held drum, and allowing them to build and build throughout the song until they both just crash into oblivion. He was lovely.

At the show, he got to the part where he’d come down into the audience to dance with someone, often a slow dance. (A friend of ours was with us at both gigs, and he admitted that regardless of your sexual orientation, Gavin was such a sexual creature that just drew everyone in the audience in that it didn’t matter if you were male, female, gay, or straight, you wanted to go home with him.) Gavin came toward me, and the sea of people parted. He got closer, and closer, and I thought my heart would leap from my chest. And then... he chose MY HUSBAND. And danced with him. I’d never been so jealous of my husband in my LIFE. Like, whatEVER, I am so much prettier than him.

Ahem. Anyway.

That was the last time Gavin ever came to Toronto. I joined Caroline’s mailing list to keep up-to-date on his shows, but they were few and far between, and 1996’s Shag Tobacco was Gavin’s last studio album (he’s apparently going to be releasing one in 2010). He never came anywhere near us again, and I would long to go to the shows she’d mentioned he was doing in the UK. Sigh...

Years later, I posted something over at One of the administrators contacted me asking if I was the Nikki Stafford who’d written Bite Me. I said I was, and she said she’d give me a VIP password so my name would show up as a different colour, which was pretty cool. Until then, I (and many of you, probably) knew her only as Caroline. But she emailed me a follow-up from a different account, and that’s when I saw her full name: Caroline van Oosten de Boer. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Let me get this straight: Somewhere on the other side of the world is a woman who believes Gavin Friday and Joss Whedon are the two greatest men of the modern age? I’m sorry... are we twins?! It was awesome.

SO. About three weeks ago she sends out a post announcing that Gavin Friday and his friends would be playing at Carnegie Hall. In New York. Which isn’t that far away, technically. I mean, it’s a 90-minute plane ride. It’s not exactly England or Ireland, here. I forwarded it to my husband, with the note, “Sigh... so close, yet so far away.” He emailed me back, “Let’s go! Just buy them. Let’s go.” I sat on it, and the day they went on sale, I was about to walk into an office meeting at 11. At 10:59, I thought what the hell, and logged onto the site and bought tickets. About 10 rows back, they came out to $500. Gulp... $250 per ticket?? The timer at the top started counting down. I had 10 minutes to make this purchase. I frantically started calling my husband, who, as usual, was NOT PICKING UP HIS PHONE. I eventually decided what the hell, and bought them. The first spontaneous thing I’d done since having my first child. And then I realized I didn’t have a babysitter. After a couple of panicked days trying to get THAT together, everything was a go, and I was off to see Gavin Friday.

Oh yeah, and there were others on the bill, but, unlike 90% of that audience (sadly), I was there to see Gavin, and Gavin only. I couldn’t wait.

Tomorrow: The concert review.

Getting Ready for Season 6: Love

Thanks once again to theblackbox!!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Where I'll Be Tonight...

Click to enlarge. A full review to come later this week when I'm back home.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Dollhouse 2.01: Vows/2.02: Instinct

I missed posting on Dollhouse last week, so I figured I'd make up for it by posting on the first two eps this week.

Last season I fell behind in watching, and while I'd tried to do writeups for the first half of the season, I stopped for the second half. And then when I finally caught up in the summer, it was so late I figured everyone would have discussed it. But I'll just say for the record that those final two episodes with Alpha were BRILLIANT and gave me everything I needed to get excited about season 2.

And so far, season 2 is delivering. In the first episode back, not only do we have a fantastic scene between the doctor and Topher (Amy Acker is just amazing in this scene) where she demands to know why he made her the way she was, and he is distraught by what he's done while simultaneously trying to justify it, but we get to see Apollo lay a smackdown on Helo!! Talk about a hell of a scene for BSG fans. :) And if that was enough, Faith jumps in and wallops Apollo. Wicked.

And did I mention Alexis Denisof? Written and directed by Joss Whedon + Alexis Denisof = a squee-a-thon of epic proportions for me.

And then I come to this week's episode. WOW. I found it absolutely heartbreaking. From the scene of her happily breastfeeding Jack in the night to the walks around the park and new mom jokes to the tiredness and paranoia and unwarranted fights, the writers on this one pretty much nailed new motherhood. When Paul came to take Echo away in the police station and she was screaming for her baby, my eyes welled up with tears. I completely believed Dushku 100% (I think she's actually becoming a better actress just being on this show) and I imagined what it would be like for a new mother to suddenly have her baby snatched from her while the people around her treat her like a madwoman. It would be like something out of a horror film.

The theme of maternal instinct being stronger than just about anything certainly warmed my maternal heart, and I think I felt really close to Echo and realized that they'd crossed a line in her "pretend" world. You can prostitute her, put her in a relationship, take away parents and siblings from her at the end of her role-playing, have her marry someone and walk away from him, and wipe it all away, but you cannot take a baby from its mother. There really is something instinctual about motherhood that transcends the thought process. I remember when my babies were still babies and I would be sleeping with them at night, and I could go into a really deep sleep, but if they so much as twitched, my body would suddenly take over, and jump into protective mode, waking instantly and making sure they were OK. A mother can sense when something is wrong with her child even when everyone else is insisting it's in her head, and she is often the only person who can soothe an upset infant after it's first born. What a beautiful and poignant (and heart-wrenching) episode.

Here are a few thoughts and questions for you guys:
• When Topher said to "November" to repeat the words boat, cucumber, and wire, do you think there's any chance those just became her trigger words, and now, just like when she'd pick up the phone and Adelle could say something about a green light turning on, now they call her and say those three words and she suddenly turns into an assassin?
• What is different in Echo's wiring? I just assumed that there was something in her brain that was now resisting the mind-wipes, but then Paul offered to wipe her clean, as if there's something in the chair that's not doing the complete job. Did I miss something there?
• In "Vows," they kept bringing Echo in to the dollhouse and said that in a long-term operation, you have to turn the active off every few days or things go a little buggy. So... how come the doctor isn't ever turned off? Could they be damaging her brain by constantly keeping her as Dr. Saunders?

Overall, season 2 is a brilliant return, and here's looking forward to next week's episode already! What did you think?

Lost Meets the Simpsons, Part 2

"I've been Simpsonized, bruthah.

Oh, and Chah-lie Simpson? You're gonna die."

Simpson Punx is doing a Lost Week, Part 2. Today is the last day of it, and somehow I didn't even know about it!! A huge thank-you to Ashlie for sending me this (I would have been devastated to have missed my Des in all his 4-fingered, yellow glory... even if he looks even more like Barry Gibb than he did in "Jughead").

Check out the rest of the Lost peeps as Simpsons characters here.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Flashforward 1.02: White to Play

Whew! While at first I wasn't sure I was loving this episode, by the end the creep factor was exponential. Mark and Demetri follow the D. Gibbons lead to a creepy warehouse in Utah, where Demetri meets another person who claims not to have seen anything during the flash. A few minutes later, she's dead. She dies inside a doll warehouse that just made me shudder for the entire scene. UGH. First, the doll heads, doll legs, doll parts (I feel like breaking into a Hole song here), but then those lead to full dolls hanging by nooses, and if THAT isn't creepy enough, when Mark trips the switch, they're activated into dolls that sing "Ring Around the Rosy." Good god.

As I suggested last week, I think many of the Lost tie-ins were there in the beginning to pull in the Lost fans, but it's not something they'll be continuing. The sensibilities of the show are very similar -- clues along the way, a big mystery to be solved, free will vs. destiny, time travel -- but this week's episode didn't feel as "Lost 2.0" as last week's did, to use a phrase a few of you coined.

• So, at the AA meeting, was anyone else waiting for the guy standing to say, "When Cameron was in Egypt's land, let my Cameron goooo....."
• "We're all prophets." This line was particularly poignant to me, and, OK, Lost-like. It was the first time I thought, "Man, I wish they'd do a crossover ep."
• Did anyone else find moments in the episode that felt very "Minority Report"? It was very well done, the idea that Olivia is getting the cold shoulder from her husband for a crime she hasn't yet committed.
• I thought it was a little strange that Simcoe didn't know what "spectrum" meant. If he has an autistic kid and hasn't hear the word "spectrum," then it's not that he hasn't played a huge role in his life, it's more like he's been completely absent.
• So help my husband and I out -- does Simcoe remind you of A) a young Alan Rickman, B) Hugh Jackman, C) Colin Firth?
• Mark made the comment last week that maybe Demetri was dreaming. I can't stop thinking about that comment now -- would there be several time zones of people who largely had blackouts? Or is it possible you'd have a flashforward of a dream you had? "Oh my GOD, my life 6 months from now is going to be terrible! I'm going to be naked in front of a classroom of students, and it's the last day of class and time to write the final exam but I haven't actually been to any of the classes, and all of my teeth start falling out, and...."
• LOVED Nick Drake at the end of this episode. Loved it.

I enjoyed last week's episode a lot, but this week's was leagues above it. But just one question: Where's Chah-lie?!

Can You Guess the Lost Finale Title?

We're having some fun over on the Lost Rewatch blog today trying to guess the title of the series finale. You have until October 31 to log in your votes (limited to 5 entries per day). The prize? Eternal respect and glory among the Lostverse fandom.

C'mon, isn't that better than money? Hello? Anyone?

Come on over and send in your entries! So far I'm thinking Joan is the frontrunner. I mean, "How Rose Got Her Groove Back?" That is BOUND to be the winner!!