Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Well... half of that was true. I loved it from the beginning!
"Rose" gives enough backstory to help even the newest of the n00bs. And I'm new. Now, I'll admit I cheated; my husband was sitting on the couch next to me and I was able to fire questions at him throughout. "What's that blue thing he's holding? What does it do? Why is the inside of the TARDIS bigger than the outside? What's the Doctor's name? Does he have a name? OH WAIT A MINUTE! Is that why he's called Doctor Who, because he says he's the Doctor and people say 'Doctor Who'?"
This episode begins in Rose's world. She's just a normal English girl, going to work in a department store until one day she has to drop something off in the basement and suddenly all of the mannequins in storage come to life and start walking toward her. Now, many people said my 6-year-old could watch this with me, but I watched that scene and just pictured her having nightmares for weeks, so I'm glad she wasn't watching with me. It was campy and over-the-top, but hey, Warren built a female robot on Buffy so he could have sex with it -- this wasn't exactly something I hadn't experienced before on TV.
The introduction to the Doctor was awesome; Eccleston is instantly charming and funny, "Nice to meet you, Rose... now run for your life!!!"
I saw the TARDIS for the first time, and heard the noise that my husband said was pretty true to the original series (that grinding noise it makes when it whirs away). We're introduced to Clive, a guy who has a website about the Doctor and seems like a zany conspiracy theorist... if we didn't know he was absolutely right. This is the way Russell T. Davies gets in all of the background on the Doctor to fill in the n00bs, and then we flash back outside to the garbage bin eating Rose's boyfriend. Or, as my husband said, "In order to get eaten by a garbage pail you've really got to do something dumb." (I loved the added effect of the pail burping afterward.)
At first I thought it was a little OTT that Rose doesn't notice her boyfriend is now plastic, but then I thought it was really funny... the guy's a tool, totally boring, and annoying. She almost dies in an explosion and he comes by to make sure she's ok before heading off to the pub to watch a football match. Winner.
Best line comes from Rose: "If you're an alien, how come you sound like you're from the North?" HAHA! Doctor responds: "Lots of planets have Norths!" Brilliant.
About three-quarters of the way through the ep (we were now in the warehouse with the giant goopy plastic gobby mess talking) my husband said, "This is campier than the original series." I just stared at him and said no, I didn't think so (from the minute here, minute there that I'd ever seen, this wasn't nearly as OTT) but he insists it is. What do you guys think?
My favourite moment was at the end, when the London Eye was starting to be filled with electricity and the Doctor yelled, "It's the end of the world!!" I just thought, ah... as a faithful Buffy viewer I heard that line about three times a season, and I cannot TELL you how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel to hear it again. I welcome, um, whatever the plural of apocalypse is. It feels like home again.
Episode 2, The End of the World, is where Rose finds out just how dangerous her new traveling companion is. He says, "Where do you want to go? Into the past or into the future?" I immediately looked at my husband and asked what he would do. Without a moment's hesitation he said, "I'd go to the 70s and see the Velvet Underground play in New York... then to the 80s to see the Smiths play a small place in Manchester." Meanwhile I'd been thinking I'd go to Bono's high school in 1976 and be there the moment U2 was formed.
God, sometimes I think we're just pathetic. I could go back in time and see one of history's great events or talk to Virginia Woolf or warn Oscar Wilde not to go through with the defamation trial or see my grandparents as children... but no, we just want to go see rock stars before they were famous.
So Rose says let's go into the future and show me something interesting, and he takes her 5 billion years into the future where they're going to watch the Earth come to an end once and for all. Wow. They're on an alien spaceship and she sees all of these creatures enter the place -- crazy music is playing and it feels like the Star Wars cantina -- and the episode was definitely filled with funny moments. They roll in a jukebox and say that humans called this an iPod, and it played the music of the greatest composers of the day... a record drops and it's Tainted Love (the second time I heard that song that day, actually, since it was also on Being Human when I'd been watching it earlier). Then as the Earth begins to crumble, one of them says, "Let us mourn the Earth with a traditional ballad," and Britney Spears' "Toxic" begins playing... HAHA!!! SO funny.
This episode begins the intrigue of where the Doctor came from. One of the tree people discovers he's a Time Lord, and he reveals that he's the last of his race after some sort of war. This was exciting. The special effects were better in this one, and while it had its funny moments (including a bad Michael Jackson joke about too much plastic surgery that just seemed to have lost something watching it now) and it's over-the-topness (the "last human" is one that's had 780 facelifts and is now nothing but a sheet of skin with some capillaries stretched out like a canvas), it ended with some profound thoughts of life and death, of mortality and leaving your mark on the world. We all want to be remembered, but some day this will all be gone. As Rose stands on the edge of oblivion, it suddenly makes her feel very small and insignificant. It was a very powerful ending.
So whoo!! I'm so glad I'm liking this, and now, on to the next one!!
Monday, August 30, 2010
So when I turned on my computer and saw some story on my Yahoo news page about George Clooney at the Emmys, I kinda smacked myself on the forehead and then excitedly went to the winners' page... to see that Lost had been shut out of everything. Acting, writing, directing, everything.
At first, anger. But then I realized, I think this is a good thing. Battlestar Galactica was not named Best Drama Series in any of its years. Buffy never got an acting nom, and never won a writing one. Angel was never recognized at all, and yet Alexis Denisof put in one of the performances of the decade, in my eyes. The Beatles never won Band of the Year at the Grammys, OK Computer didn't win Best Album, and Pulp Fiction didn't win Best Picture at the Oscars.
History is filled with shows, music, movies that are still remembered decades after they first appeared, and every year after their snub they are built up more and more as legendary. But awards shows are not there to recognize legends; they're there to recognize something that was good for that one year. Maybe Bryan Cranston put in a better performance than Matthew Fox (I think Fox put in the performance of a lifetime, but it didn't match Cranston's, I have to say). Perhaps many Academy members didn't like the finale of Lost or the final season or the spirituality of the ending or what have you, but as a series, that show was phenomenal. None of the other nominees will be remembered 10 years from now as being as groundbreaking as Lost was. Mad Men is brilliant, but the writing, style, and even the look of it is very much like the Sopranos. Breaking Bad is a tour de force of acting, but will people still be talking about it in 15 years? To be honest, aside from TV critics, most people aren't talking about it NOW. Aside from my very astute and well-viewed friends, not many people actually watch Breaking Bad (it doesn't air on any network in Canada). That doesn't mean it's not good (I love that show and wished everyone watched it), I'm just saying I'm not sure if people will be talking about it now.
But who knows what the future holds? All I can say is, when you look back at what we're still talking about on a regular basis now, most of those shows were entirely overlooked in their own time.
Lost got people talking and thinking, and we'll still be talking and thinking about it years from now. So I hope Lost simply accepts the lack of awardage as an honour, putting it right up there with Empire Strikes Back, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Star Trek, Supernatural, and all the other great material in pop culture that don't need awards to know they're good.
UPDATE: Just wanted to clarify that A) I love Breaking Bad (some people seem to think I'm dissing it, which I absolutely am not), and B) I don't think if you DO win an award that you're necessarily bad. That's just stupid. I didn't realize I had to come on here and reiterate my love of Mad Men (that would be like saying partway through a post, "And I LOVE Lost," like that needed saying) but let me say again that I love Mad Men. I pretty much love anything on Showtime, HBO, and AMC. Too bad about those networks, for the most part.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
When many people came down hard on the finale saying it didn't answer enough questions, I argued that the questions WERE answered, it just took legwork to actually do it. We actually knew the answers deep down, we just had to figure them out for ourselves. In my upcoming Season 6 book I have a long chapter where I tackle the biggest questions and provide my suggestions for answers. And then I watched the New Man in Charge... and the answers were almost identical to what I'd written in that chapter. Does that make me special? More intuitive than everyone else? No. It just meant I was watching the show and picking up on these hints I'd been saying the writers were dropping all along. Polar bear explanation? Check. Walt's significance? Check. Why women can't have babies? Check.
The general answers matched mine, but in each there were some specifics that differed from mine, specifics that couldn't be gleaned from the show and, to be frank, were rather disappointing. So women on the island couldn't have babies in case they got really super close to the Orchid station? Does that mean Amy was shipped off-shore? I'd always assumed it was the electromagnetic energy from the Swan, which is why women had babies before The Incident. No one had babies after the Incident. I got the part about the electromagnetism causing defects in the genetic code in the first trimester, which is why Rousseau and Claire had their babies, but to pin it on the Orchid seems confusing.
The last 4 minutes are great, where Walt is brought back into the fold, told he's special once again, and then brought back to the island with Hurley and a kinder, gentler Ben, are worth the entire episode. I love the idea of him helping his father escape Purgatory, but it once again confuses the issue of why Michael wasn't in the church. The church itself is dislocated from time, meaning it doesn't matter if people died two thousand years apart, they'd all converge on this place at the same time. Which means if Michael ultimately was freed from purgatory, he would have been in the church. Does that cast a pall on Walt going back to the island, meaning he never succeeded?
Perhaps we can assume Hurley and Ben took him to the island and made HIM the new man in charge (meaning the title wasn't meant to refer to Hurley at all), and he and Michael worked together, with one in the afterlife and one on the island, which would be the perfect leadership, I think. Michael could see things that Walt maybe couldn't, and it would free Ben and Hurley to have done their part and then move on. Or, perhaps Walt's job was to help Michael, and Hurley and Ben continued on the island and they all worked together as a group. I like the idea of Walt being the island's guardian along with his father, helping his father to redeem himself even if the island keeps him there, and they make a new world of the island. And it shows that Hurley has forgiven Michael for what happened to Libby and wants to help him. So that part, I liked.
I enjoyed watching "The New Man in Charge" (hell, I'll just watch discarded dailies if it means I can see more Lost), but I think I was happier leaving things with "The End." It just seemed like the show finished, the writers went, "Oh yeah... maybe we should jam in some of these answers because people probably won't like subtlety" and stuck them in there, rather than leaving the show the enigmatic gem I thought it was at the end of the season.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The piece of Oceanic wreckage used to cover Sawyer's stash:
Kate's toy airplane:
Hurley's winning ticket:
Sawyer's letter to the con man Sawyer:
Locke's backgammon set:
Sayid's boarding pass and passport:
Charlie's DS ring (the item I coveted the most, sniff):
The hatch door:
Desmond's Dharma jumpsuit:
Desmond's failsafe key:
Swan station computer:
Dharma fish biscuit dispenser and 30 fish biscuits (seriously):
The Frozen Donkey Wheel:
Locke's compass (another item I wanted):
Locke's suicide note (and another one):
Faraday's journal WITH his notes (OK, this one would be AWESOME):
1977 framed photo of Dharma recruits:
Man in Black's dagger:
Senet game that Jacob and boy in black play:
Man in Black's scale:
Dial from the lighthouse:
Pilot script signed by JJ and Damon:
Finale script signed by Damon and Carlton:
And the biggest money-maker:
Whew. You know, I think it's really cool, and hey, if people have the money they should be able to spend it the way they want (though I have to say, being the crazy huge Lost fan I am, I can't think of a single place in my house where I'd be able to hang the hatch door and say to people, "So... that's the hatch door. From season 1 of Lost? Remember? The thing they blew open? Um... anyway, let me show you the backyard..." What do you DO with some of this stuff? But hey, to each his own.
What I DO want to know, however, is where the money is going. There's been some minor mention of possibly giving some of the money to a Hawaiian charity, but nothing solid has been said. If the money is all lining some producer's pockets, I think that would be a real shame. The auction pulled in almost $2 million, and it should be going to a worthy charity. A Hawaiian charity is a great idea, giving back to the island for the beautiful scenery and welcoming arms the island gave the show for all these years. I really hope they follow through with that.
I still remember years ago when a woman paid $25,000 for Xena's chakram in an auction, and the following year paid $40,000 for her sword. It was a LOT of money, but it was going to the Make-a-Wish foundation, so the fans were thrilled and proud of this woman who gave so much of her money to a worthy cause. Let's hope they do the same in this case.
You can see the full list of items and what they went for here and here.
Thanks to theblackbox for the link!
One of my favorite writers (and people), David Lavery, has given me a blurb for the back cover of my final Lost book. Yay! Thank you, David!
If John Locke (pre-Man in Black) was the most sought-after companion for anyone venturing into Lost’s mysterious island, it is impossible to imagine a better guide than Nikki Stafford for the viewer exploring the incomparable complexities of the now completed series. Whether tracing narrative threads, explaining the meaning of Lost’s many intertexts, probing the motivations of a character, identifying nitpicks and nailing goofs, elucidating mysteries, or defending the controversial finale, Stafford never fails to be funny, candid, informative, and brilliant. We will be reading and consulting her Finding Lost series, now complete, as long as Lost itself is remembered. I suspect it will be required reading even in the Sideways World for anyone seeking to move into the light.
—David Lavery, co-author of Lost’s Buried Treasures and editor of The Essential Cult TV Reader
Thursday, August 19, 2010
“Lost is over, but I know I’ll be thinking about it for years to come. And in those mental trips to The Island, I’ll be taking three things: my Bible, my comic book collection, and all of Nikki’s insightful and comprehensive Finding Lost books.”
— Jeff “Doc” Jensen, Entertainment Weekly
YAY!!!!! Thank you, thank you, Jeff!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
No, my thinking was that despite all of the chess references in the series, and the prominence of the black and white theme in season 6, and the fact that I've always argued the island was a giant chessboard upon which the game of the survivors' lives have been played, I think the concept is simply too subtle -- chess was alluded to constantly in every episode of season 6 (Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass is the mirror theme that runs through the entire season, and the book is based on one big game of chess) -- but you never see characters playing the game, and so it's just not overt enough. And when it comes to a successful cover, you need a concept that's not so subtle.
And so Barry has probably gone through about 15 different versions of new covers (Hurley number!), featuring jungle backgrounds, beach backgrounds, island backgrounds, and finally after much discussion about what should be front and centre, I told him I'd give him complete freedom to figure it out. And the moment the restrictions were taken away, he nailed it on the first go. I won't tell you what my thinking was behind this one, I'll just let you look at it, the same way you would in a store. And I really hope you guys like it as much as I do. Thank you, Barry, once again, for being so immensely patient and for coming up with a cover that made me gasp the moment I opened the attachment (click on the picture to see it bigger).
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
We are sorry to inform you that the conference as planned will not take place. We received a very disappointing response to the CFP. We suspect the economy may have been a major factor, and the time of year, January, was a problem for many.
But we have not given up. We are seeking to reboot the conference and hope to be able to announce a new location and date by October. Our goal is to piggy-back with another conference (we have one in mind) possibly in October 2011 and on a beach (Atlantic, not Pacific) in the mainland US. The cost of attendance should be significantly lower.
We will inform everyone once the reboot is finalized. If you have proposed a paper already, we will keep your proposal on file. If you wish to withdraw your proposal, please let us know or have any questions (or suggestions), write us.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Or, in Bryan Fuller's hands, they find something completely, totally, awesome. You can read about it here. Thanks to Josh for the link!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
So, what sort of show do you envision? Modern-day Odd Couple? I think Emerson would be Felix, O'Quinn would be Oscar. Actually, the other way around might be even funnier. But there's something about Ben Linus bitching about changing the coffee filter that makes him a Felix in my head.
Sitcom? YES. Oh yes, please. Cop procedural? Hope not, but who cares, I'll be tuning in. HBO series? Oh... oh... my heart can't handle that much joy. ;)
You can read the article here.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
In this week's episode things are far more complex and interesting, with our sympathies moving back to Don again. I love Ann, and he's such a better person when he's around her (making moves on teenagers in cars notwithstanding... like, seriously Don, do you ever just keep those pants zipped?! In moments like this it really DOES seem more natural to call him DICK). Watching the torment on his face as he painted her walls this week, putting a temporary cover over a bigger problem on her wall in much the same way that he was sugar-coating his visit with her knowing it would probably be the last, was heartbreaking.
This episode also moved a focus over to Joanie, much to my delight. I loved her walking into Pryce's office and asking about his fried chicken preferences -- "Breast? Thigh?" -- while she swished her hips about. But back home, things aren't as easy. Her husband refuses to take her seriously, slamming his way out of the house, and then again I winced as, despite everything, she takes the high road and goes out of her way to make a dinner for him, one that begins with her almost slicing off her own finger.
It's in this scene, however, that contains a moment that's riddled with mixed feelings. He shows his sweet side, making jokes with her as he stitches her hand closed. At first he uses a trick on her that he admits he usually reserves only for his child patients, but then tells a dirty joke that makes her laugh and then cry. On the surface it seems sweet. But on the other hand, I simply cannot get that scene from the show's first season out of my head (or was it the second?) where he rapes Joan on the floor of Don's office. At the time, it certainly wouldn't have been seen as rape -- even though they weren't married, she was practically his wife, and therefore his "property" for him to do with what he wishes. I remember once when I was a teenager listening to this very odd conversation between two men about rape where one was arguing that one cannot possibly rape his own wife; that's simply ludicrous. The other was arguing that rape was about consent, and who's to say a wife is always consenting? But despite Joan looking uncomfortable in this scene, it's not clear if she identifies what he does to her as rape or just something that doesn't quite feel right.
Regardless, in this scene one could see his chat as being quite sweet, and that's what brings on the tears. But on the other hand, he treats her like a child and even an imbecile, only showing a modicum of caring to her when he's in charge, and she's completely helpless, and perhaps it's that treatment that Joan simply can't take. It's a very difficult scene to watch because it's hard to come up with just one emotion while doing so. It's this sort of complexity that makes me love the show so much.
Watching Don and Pryce on their wild afternoon was a lot of fun; the Godzilla movie in particular was hilarious, between Don whisper-screaming to Pryce, "You know what's going on here, don't you? HAND JOBS" to Pryce shouting fake Japanese at the woman sitting in front of them, the scene was a classic.
I also enjoyed the contrast between Ann and Betty that we can't help but make in our mind; Ann isn't drop-dead gorgeous, but she's smart, interesting, funny, and doesn't put any pressure on Don. Betty is stunning, but is boring, flat, has no personality, and expects too much from him. While Betty didn't feature in this week's episode at all, she's still one of the most difficult characters to gauge on this show -- one minute you feel sorry for her, the next you can't stand her (and last week I was SO freaking out when creepy Glenn was back!!!)
I know we're only three episodes in this season, but this was definitely my fave of the bunch. Only downside? No Roger! ;)
When I first heard about it, I thought it must be a joke... a band I love, putting a character from my favourite TV show on their CD and naming it after him? Could this even be true? But when Jeff Jensen reported on it today (and then Jorge put it up on his blog), I figured it must be (though I can't say I'd be shocked to find out we've all been duped...).
On a scale of awesomeness of one to ten, this one's definitely an eleven.
PLEASE do NOT watch this if you've never watched Lost. Go watch Lost instead.
Thanks to SenexMacDonald for the link!
Friday, August 06, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
But you'll have to wait a couple more weeks. Until then, check out the advance clip.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Until then, if you haven't heard about the Lost Auction, where they will be auctioning off props such as an actual Dharma van (no, seriously), Hurley's Camaro, John Locke's wheelchair, Ben's fake passport, and other things, then go here to see some of the items up on the auction block. And while I looked through and went, "Want it... want it... want it..." (like John's suicide letter!) there's only one thing I really truly REALLY want, and it's this:
And I figure no one else will really bid on it, right? RIGHT?
Sigh. I'm not gonna get that ring, am I? Me all is nobody.
And the other thing everyone keeps sending me is this, part of this hysterically funny website by a graphic designer who writes these great stories of email conversations he has with people who ask him to design posters for him. Check out the correspondence between him and a woman who wants a MISSING poster for her cat, and you'll see why everyone keeps sending the link to me. ;)