Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doctor... Who?

OK. So. One of those things that I'm constantly told is seriously destroying any geek credibility I ever thought I had is the fact that I've never watched Doctor Who. And I mean never. Like, as a kid it would air on PBS and my brother and I would be flipping channels (and by flipping I mean turning the knob) and we'd come across Doctor Who on Channel 2, and we'd always go, "Ew," and continue turning the channels. There was always some alien with neon flashing lights and things that looked like air ducts for arms... pretty much only a sidestep away from the technology of Yo Gabba Gabba. It didn't attract me as a kid, and it doesn't attract me now.

But then, several years ago Russell T. Davies reimagined the series and it was relaunched. I lasted about 5 minutes into the first episode with Christopher Eccleston before asking my husband why the trashcans were talking. I got one of THOSE LOOKS and I got up to go do something else.

And so, time has passed, Eccleston has given way to Tennant who passed the torch to Smith. Yeah, I know WHO the doctors are, I just don't know what they're doing.

At the Polaris event I attended a couple of weeks ago, there were several people dressed in Doctor Who outfits, and they looked fabulous. The best was one woman dressed as someone I was told was a Weeping Angel from an episode called Blink, an ep that I was told would blow my mind if I saw it. I've been intrigued to see the show long before Polaris -- I already had the first two series on DVD, still in the plastic wrap and waiting for me to finish the book -- but seeing these costumes and watching the passion with which people talked about the show intrigued me even more.

I know that Davies was hugely influenced by Joss Whedon. A friend of mine from Space told me that I had to watch the show because it was very Buffy-like, with season-long arcs featuring smaller stories in between. I recently read an article where Davies basically said screw Twilight, it was the genius of Joss Whedon that started the vampire craze and people need to thank him for it (he kinda became a hero of mine when I read that).

At Polaris I talked to my friend Cindy, who explained that the Doctor actually regenerates from one body to the next. I was surprised -- I just thought it was a James Bond type of thing. No one notices that Bond looks like Roger Moore one minute, Sean Connery the next. They change actors on soap operas all the time playing the same character. So why would the Doctor be any different? I was fascinated to learn it was completely different. It sounded like a Cylon resurrection thing to me.

And so... I've decided I'm going to give it another go. And I'm going to track my progress on here. I'm someone who doesn't have a "Doctor," another bit of lingo I've heard recently where your Doctor is the one you grew up with (my husband's is Tom Baker... he was a huge fan of the original series). I know that tiny phone box is important somehow, I just don't know why. I think the theme music is wicked. And hey, I loved Xena, so I'm up for camp.

So I'm going to post my experience as someone who knows nothing, because I really don't know a thing. You can sit back and laugh and point at me, and hope that I'll eventually catch on, and maybe I'll get to a point where I'm actually learning and we can really discuss the show. I was talking to a friend of mine recently who is British and I told him that it seems every British person watches Doctor Who the way we watched Sesame Street or the nightly news... it's just something you do, no question. Here Doctor Who isn't as widely watched, and is considered sci-fi. He said he has friends who despise sci-fi but they've watched Doctor Who all their lives, and consider it to be something else. It's a deeply British thing.

So, I'm about to jump on the bandwagon. Or... Dalek. Or Tardis. I don't know which is which. Is the Tardis his spaceship? Oh wait, it's TARDIS, isn't it? My husband can rattle off the acronym (I remember "Time" so I've got one word down). Sigh. It's gonna be a long journey, isn't it? Here's hoping I enjoy it!! ;) Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mad Men: Public Relations

First, I have to announce (which I already kinda did over on my Facebook page) that I finally handed in the manuscript to my Finding Lost Season 6 book yesterday, so now I'm hoping to be back and blogging on a more regular basis. I think people thought this really was just a Lost blog, since I completely disappeared the moment the show was done! But it was just to write the book, and now I'm back. And I'm not the only one who's back...

Oooooh, Mad Men. It's back, it's slick, and it's as hip as it's ever been. This past Sunday saw the season 4 premiere of Mad Men, opening with a reporter asking Don, "Who is Don Draper?" and making notes in indecipherable shorthand. Don's responses are about as cryptic as the notes the reporter is making in front of him, and when he decides the best way to conduct the interview is simply to be evasive and silent, blowing smoke rings above the guy's head instead, he makes a huge mistake. This guy knows how to sell just about anything except himself.

Don's snafu ends up putting his new partners into a tizzy when the article paints a less-than-flattering portrait of the new company, and Don realizes he can't just think of himself anymore, he's got to think of everyone. As Peggy tells him at one point, "We're all here because of you. Because we want to impress you."

The new offices are all brighter with 60s glass walls rather than the 40s wood panelling in the old office. They all keep telling clients that there's a second floor that's under construction, when no such floor exists. There's no conference table; they all sit in chairs in a circle to promote discussion (this would be an early version of those silly "team-building" exercises that now include beating on drums and "sharing").

Peggy seems a lot more comfortable (and FINALLY has a great haircut) as she chums around with the new cute copywriter and drinks whisky and smokes just like the boys. The first time we see them she's longingly sighing, "John" and he responds, "Marsha" and they keep doing it back and forth. I had no idea what this was referring to, but assumed it was from a movie or an ad at the time. A quick check online showed it was satirist Stan Freberg's "John and Marsha" routine. I went to YouTube to listen to it (you can do so here) and it's an absolutely brilliant one where you hear a complete conversation between two people who say nothing but each other's names in various degrees of desire, anguish, sorrow, anger, and giggling happiness. It's genius. Peggy, and the way she's evolved from last season (including an amazing scene where she sort of tells off Don in his office) was the best part of the episode.

On the home front, Don's lawyer tells him that Betty is supposed to be out of the house that he's still paying for, and it's time he throw her out or ask her for rent. Don's living in an apartment, a single dad taking the kids on occasional weekends (something that would have been seen as very strange at the time). Meanwhile, Betty is being seen as her new beau's sloppy seconds, and his mother rightfully notices that the children are terrified of her. Sally has noticeably lost weight (are they going to introduce an eating disorder in a future seasons or can we just assume this is losing some of the adorable baby fat she had last year?) and is clearly disturbed by her new unsettled family situation. Betty continues to be a difficult character -- she's far from a loving mother, and yet she seems to have fallen into the arms of yet another man who just takes her for granted.

There was a lot to love about this episode, and I did. Roger, in particular was REALLY on. Some of his zingers:

• Roger on the newspaper who sent a reporter with a wooden leg: “They’re so cheap they couldn’t send a whole reporter.” AAHH!!
• Roger on the two prudish guys who have the swimsuits that are NOT bikinis: “I love how they sit there like a coupla choir boys. You just know one of them is leaving New York with VD.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
• Roger trying to get Don to meet his young wife’s 25-year-old friend: “You hit it off, come Turkey Day maybe you can stuff her.”
• Roger on why Don needs to go to Roger’s fave restaurant on his blind date: “They have Chicken Kiev. Butter squirts everywhere.”
• Roger tells Don that the blind date liked him after explaining that the reporter screwed him in the story, and says, “If she liked you maybe you should have fondled Peg-leg Pete.” HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

While the girl on Don's date seemed to be a bit vapid, I think it’s just Don’s nature to chase her because she wouldn’t let him follow her up to her apartment. The moment he conquers her, he’ll probably just toss her aside again, Don style.

Did anyone else notice that Don’s date was Sarah Newlin (the minister’s wife) from season 2 of True Blood? She looked SO familiar to me, and then a friend of mine the next day said, “Yeah… she looked exactly like Betty!” and then when we IMDb’d her we realized who she was. How much do I love Mad Men for completely camouflaging people I’m watching on other shows??

And I cannot end this without mentioning the Divine Miss Joan. Oh, Joanie; my girl crush on you has not abated ONE BIT.

Other highlights:
• Harry returning from his trip all sunburned and peeling and saying he was indoors the whole time.
• Joanie reassuring him that she won’t even tell anyone about his big television news after it’s aired. Ha!
• Don ordering the prudes from the swimwear company out of his office. Brilliant. (Even better when he snaps his fingers at them like they’re animals.)
• The end credit song, “Tobacco Road” by The Nashville Teens. I remember my dad playing this song when I was a kid, and I loved it. Great to hear it again!!

What I didn’t love:
• No Sal. Sadness. I miss him so much.
• While I loved seeing Joan, she didn’t have much to do in the ep, and probably only had a couple of lines. That said, they could only focus on certain characters and I’m sure we’ll see more of her in the coming weeks.

So what did you think of the return of Don Draper and the gang?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comic-Con: The Joss Whedon Experience!!!

Another fantastic upload, here is the Joss Whedon-only panel at Comic-Con. Dying here. DYING. (You can see the panel he did with J.J. Abrams in full here.)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lost Animated Tribute

This is pretty incredible.

J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon at Comic-Con!! UPDATED

To help lessen the angst I'm feeling over NOT being at Comic-Con, here is the panel with J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon (honestly, I think I would have passed out with sheer glee so maybe it's best I'm NOT there), being interviewed by the one and only Jeff Jensen. Thanks to Femme Bot for uploading these!!!!
UPDATE: This now includes all 6 parts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mad Men Book Contest!!

Well, while I'm giving away a copy of the True Blood book, I figured I might as well give one away of Kings of Madison Avenue: The Unofficial Guide to Mad Men, the amazing book on Mad Men, also from ECW Press. Mad Men's fourth season begins this Sunday (yeeeeaaaahhh!!) so, if you'd like to win a copy of this book, here's what you have to do:

Write a haiku as written by Don Draper. You can make it an ad campaign, you can just make it his clipped way of talking to his wife. Make it whatever you'd like. Again, email it to me here and I'll give a copy away next Friday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

True Blood Book Contest!!

Hello everyone... I'm just a few days away from finally handing in EVERYTHING on my book, and therefore, as promised, this blog will finally light up again. Until then, however, I wanted to offer up a contest for y'all. I've been talking about Becca Wilcott's amazing new companion guide to True Blood (I love this book so much I don't have words) called Truly, Madly, Deadly: The Unofficial True Blood Companion. Her publisher (and mine!), ECW Press, is offering a copy of the book to the winner of a contest of my choosing.

And here is my choice for contest: to enter I would like you to email me why you love the show True Blood, but write it in the manner of one of the characters speaking. For example, Sookie: "Well GOSH I just love this show because, well, it's got mah BILL in it. And Eric. Not that I have eyes for him. No. Uh-uh. It's all Bill. No, really. Why are y'all LOOKIN' at me like that?!"

Only, you know, your entries would be good. ;) You could write like Bill, Eric, Godric, Andy Bellefleur, Terry, Arlene, Sam, Tara (and if you choose her, it can be as expletive-ridden as you'd like), Jason, Sookie, or anyone else you'd like to choose.

So show me what you've got, and the best entries will be posted here, and I'll announce the winner next Friday, July 30. Email your entries here, and the winner gets a bright and shiny new copy of this fantastic book!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Nik at Nite Toronto Meet-Up!

This past weekend was the Polaris convention (and just like I actually intend to wrap up my writeup on the Slayage conference, which was like 6 weeks ago or something, I DO intend to write up my experiences at Polaris) and the highlight for me was a get-together with a bunch of my readers on the blog. Several people weren't actually attending Polaris, and instead just drove in for the dinner, which was awesome. Without further ado, here's the pic of the lovely folks in attendance!!!

Starting in the foreground on the left and going down the table, that's Benny in the blue shirt (yes, our beloved Benny of the Dharmaville pdf discussion!), asiancolossus (one of my earliest blog readers), Christine, Sue (my best friend who was at Slayage with me), Me, Sonshine Music and her sister AchingHope (who were also at the New York meetup! I really need to get the gals some frequent attendance cards or something... five meetups and the meal is on me!), Heather at the foot of the table (she's the head of the Canadian Browncoats), Aisling (a Lost virgin but soon-to-be convert), her auntie redeem147 (who will no doubt be telling Aisling to focus on her beloved Sayid!), Mark Askwith leaning back (he's the producer at Space, where I appeared on TV a few times this season talking about Lost, and a longtime friend of mine), SenexMacDonald (who sold my books for me at the conference, which was so awesome of her, and is the one who sent me this photo!), Gillian Whitfield (as crazy adorable in person as she is in the picture!) and her dad Mike (Christine is her mom). By the way, Gillian has two of the coolest parents ever.

Of course, someone is missing!! So now I'll post a blurry photo but he's crystal clear in the foreground:

On the right in the white shirt is none other than QuestionMark!! And both times I've met him he's said, "Hey Nikki! I'm Question Mark!" How much do I LOVE that he introduces himself that way! Then again, once he got there I was like, "And this is asiancolossus, and here's redeem, and that's SonshineMusic and AchingHope." I was so grateful to Gillian for using her real name on the blog, ha!!

Here are a few other pics. This is me with Gillian:

And here's asiancolossus with Benny:

Here are Sonshine and AchingHope with Heather (the sisters were wearing matching shirts that said, "If you mean time traveling bunnies, then yes." Ha!!)

And me with Suzie:

It was a great time, we chatted about Lost and the blog and I talked about where I'm at on the book (and probably bored some people yakking about Kierkegaard) and we had a blast. We met up at 5:30 and I was still there at 9.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out, and I hope to do more of these in the future. Who's up for one in England??!!

True Blood vs. Twilight!

This is genius.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Very Belated. . . "The End" Haiku!

So, I had this idea that I'd take some of the haikus from throughout the season and put them in my book, so tonight I was reading through all of them (and laughing my head off all over again) and then realized with some horror that I never posted a haiku post for the finale!!

So, now I invite everyone to come and give me your best haiku for "The End."

Jack stumbles and falls
Lies in the bamboo forest.
Closes eyes. Lets go.

Me: "SOB!! Sniffle! WAH!
Oh my god I can't believe
it's over... WAAAAH!! SOB."

Wow. I hope that in
my Finding Lost book I am
more articulate.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!!

So last night, just as I was dozing off (late, since I'm up late every night trying to finish this book!) my iPhone, which was charging on my nightstand, suddenly lit up and started buzzing because it was giving me an alert I had in there for today. And when I groggily picked it up and looked, I was pleasantly surprised to see that... today is the birthday of my blog!!

So yay for Nik at Nite! Happy 4th birthday (Hurley number!!) Happy birthday to the blog, and to all of you who have been coming on here (even when I'm not actually posting anything, and for that I'm eternally grateful). Our little community is getting older (sniff... they grow up so fast, don't they?)

And on that note I want to say I WILL be back soon. I finished writing the guide to The End on the weekend, and I hand in the majority of the book this Friday morning, with the remaining couple of chapters zipping over to my editor the following week. And then... I'll be back! I have SO much to catch up on here, starting with:

-finishing my writeups on Slayage!! I still haven't gotten to Day 3, or shared the funny pictures that I took after the panels ended each day
-my visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the story of being among the first people in the world to see the special preview of the park before its official opening!
-True Blood reviews... it is ROCKING this year!
-and I'll be just in time for Mad Men. Woohoo!!

On my to-watch list for when I'm finished the book: Doctor Who and Supernatural. So watch for the first impressions of a newbie to both of those shows. Plus I have TV books coming out this fall I need to talk about, previews of the fall season, and we all need to find our new obsession. Will it be on in the fall 2010 season?!

Thanks for sticking around, everyone, and I promise to be back here lots in a couple of weeks. Hope to see some of you at Polaris this weekend!! xox

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Had a Dream I Could Buy My Way to Heaven...

Kanye x Zach Galifianakis + Farming Equipment = WIN

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lost Love at the Emmys!!

Lost has been nominated for 13 Emmys (!!) in its final season, which is almost unheard-of for a show this late in its run. Happily, the big noms went to Fox for Best Actor, the show for Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor nods to Emerson and O'Quinn, and even a guest actor nom for Elizabeth Mitchell for the finale, and, perhaps most importantly, a writing nomination for Carlton and Damon for the finale. Well done!!! Ab Aeterno even got some love in the art direction department, although Nestor Carbonell was sadly overlooked in the guest actor category for that episode (I thought he gave the performance of the season in that one).

In other nomination awesomeness, there was a lot of love for True Blood, Glee (with 19 nominations), Friday Night Lights (with Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton both getting nods, as well as writing and casting), Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men.

Despite my sadness for Nestor, I would say the biggest overlooked person was Zach Gilford in Friday Night Lights. I won't say what happens to him this season so as not to spoil anyone who hasn't begun watching this phenomenal show, but he turned in a performance that was ASTOUNDING. I thought he had Emmy written all over it.

Here is the complete list of Lost nominations:

Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series
Lost • Ab Aeterno • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Zack Grobler, Production Designer
Matthew Jacobs, Art Director
Carol Bayne Kelley, Set Decorator

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Jack Bender, Director

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Stephen Semel, Editor
Mark J. Goldman, Editor
Christopher Nelson, Editor
Henk Van Eeghan, Editor

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Michael Giacchino, Composer

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Terry O'Quinn as John Locke

Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke

Outstanding Drama Series
Lost • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios

Outstanding Special Class Programs
ABC's LOST Presents: Mysteries Of The Universe - The Dharma Initiative • • ABC Digital Media
Christopher J. Powers, Producer
Ted Bramble, Producer
Agnes Chu, Producer
Gregg Nations, Producer

Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Thomas E. deGorter, Sound Supervisor
Joe Schultz, MPSE, Sound Editor
Paula Fairfield, MPSE, Sound Editor
Carla Murray, MPSE, Sound Editor
Maciek Malish, MPSE, Sound Editor
Lloyd Jay Keiser, Sound Editor
Geordy Sincavage, Sound Editor
Allen Mark, Sound Editor
Robert Kellough, Sound Editor
Chris Reeves, Sound Editor
Gabrielle Reeves, Sound Editor
Alex Levy, Music Editor
Adam De Coster, Foley Artist
James Bailey, Foley Artist

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Bobby Anderson, Production Sound Mixer
Ken King, Production Sound Mixer
Frank Morrone, Re-Recording Mixer
Scott Weber, Re-Recording Mixer

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Lost • The End • ABC • Grass Skirts Productions, LLC in association with ABC Network and Studios
Damon Lindelof, Writer
Carlton Cuse, Writer

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Hey all: The book is coming together and will be done very soon, and then I'll be back. Until then, I'm wondering if someone can help me out. In "Lighthouse," Jack is going to get David from school at the very beginning of the episode. He's driving the Jackmobile and there's a blues song playing on the radio. I can't make out any lyrics (I think he might say "moment of fun" and "sun" but I could be way off) and there's a harmonica... which, in a blues song, doesn't narrow it at all. Does anyone still have the episode on a DVR that they could check and might know what the song is? Thanks!

UPDATE: Wow, huge thanks to Yeyeman for such a quick answer! I just looked it up, listened to it, and you are totally right... that is the song!! Thank you SO much. Man, you guys are just so awesome.

So! Who wants to translate some Latin! ;)