Archive for the 'currently' Category

Reasons to be happy!

1. OBAMA!

Not relevant to the typical content of this blog, but come on, doesn’t the very air smell sweeter already?

2. 24 is awesome again.

I was very close to not watching this season…the last season was atrociously boring, the 2-hour prequel movie beyond underwhelming (I literally did my budget for the new year during the second hour just so I wouldn’t feel like I’d wasted any more time), and the first four episodes sitting on my DVR after the two-night premiere looked pretty daunting. But it was Sunday and I had nothing to do, so I gave it a chance. Within ten minutes, an FBI agent had busted Jack out of his congressional hearing on that pesky way he tortures people for information because she needed help with some convoluted, very Live Free or Die Hard-esque plot against the nation, and then within another ten minutes he was totally beating the crap out of someone again. Yay! Then the FBI agent turned out to be essentially a girl-Jack, all ready to go rogue and shit, and then Tony was back from the dead and evil but then Bill and Chloe showed up and it turns out Tony is just deep undercover and then there was a mole in the FBI cuz there always has to be a mole and by the end of this Monday’s episode, Jack was being forced to bury the awesome FBI lady alive. Will she escape in time?! It is so ridiculous, and so, so great.

3. LOST starts tonight!

Eeeeeeeeeee! It’s happening, it’s really happening!

4. Oscar nominations tomorrow.

These snuck up on me! I am still way behind with new movie viewing, but at least now I will know for sure what I need to see before the ceremony. (In the past month I’ve only managed to see Doubt and Revolutionary Road [and My Bloody Valentine 3-D, but that’s another category entirely], and have shirked my duty to write proper reviews. Mini reviews: Doubt was good but not great, excellent acting and engaging plot but not as earth-shaking as I thought it would be given all the hype the play got, and I hated the last scene. Revolutionary Road was very good, gorgeous to look at but of course very depressing. Kate Winslet deserves all the praise she’s getting, but for my money it was Leo who made the movie. He’s incredible in what I think was actually a tougher role than hers.)

5. Flight of the Conchords has joined all the other great shows returning in January.

And if you missed the first episode, watch it here!

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Patty Hewes rides again!

The fantastic line-up of shows returning in January began last night with Scrubs transplanting to ABC (two solid episodes, say me and roomie), and continues tonight with the season two premiere of Damages on FX. It’s been well over a year since the first season finale, and I can’t wait to jump back into this twisted, twisty world. If you never saw season one, I highly recommend getting it. It was insanely dark, complicated fun, and I can only imagine it would be even better watched in quick succession rather than once a week. How can you resist becoming enthralled by this unpredictable, calculating, clever, take-no-prisoners character?

Season one’s villain, Ted Danson’s Arthur Frobisher, was nearly as fascinating. (And “Frobisher” is surprisingly fun to say!) Lawyer/henchman Ray Fiske easily makes my list of best sidekicks of all time. Zeljko Ivanek won a much-deserved Emmy for the role.

Given the intense and mind-bending developments at the end of season one, I have no idea where this season is going or if a new viewer would be able to jump right in. But since they’re adding some hugely famous and awesome new cast members (Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Timothy Olyphant…aka Sheriff Bullock of Deadwood!!), I’m sure it’s going to be a hell of a ride no matter what.

TV thoughts of the day

I’ve just realized that I have no Tuesday shows. Every show that’s on tonight I’ve either given up on (Fringe, 90210), actively hate (House), couldn’t care less about (The Mentalist), or, at best, like well enough but don’t consider must-see (Privileged). It’s a bit odd, actually.

However, there is some recent news that might mean I’ll be giving 90210 another chance sooner than I had anticipated. They’ve just hired a new executive producer to be put in charge of the writing room, and they aren’t messing around: it’s Rebecca Rand Kirshner. Think the name sounds a bit familiar? She worked for years as a story editor and writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, jumping over to write and produce on Gilmore Girls after Buffy ended. Her impressive list of credits includes scripts for three particular TV episodes that are among my all-time favorites: “The Diary” from Freaks and Geeks, Buffy’s “Tabula Rasa” (one of the funniest of the entire series), and one of the best-ever episodes of Gilmore Girls, “Emily Says Hello” (which features a punch-you-in-the-gut final scene that I still think about on a regular basis). This woman is just a flat-out great writer, and one who’s proven time and again that she can write quality dialogue for teenagers. I’ll definitely be tuning back in to 90210 in a few weeks, once she’s had time to exert her influence over the mess. I want it to be a good show. I really do.

But, for the immediate future my Tuesday nights are TV-less. Which is fine, actually, since the TV-focused part of my brain is busy freaking out about how FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS STARTS TOMORROW!!

I’ll be wearing my Dillon Panthers T-shirt.

Good news and bad news

TV networks are giving their annual upfront presentations this week, revealing their fall schedules to advertisers and audiences. Things are much more predictable this year than most, given that the 2008-2009 schedule will, in many places, be a reboot of the strike-disrupted 2007-2008. Here are some of my thoughts as announcements are being made.

1. Given the creative resurgence it’s shown in every single post-strike episode, I’m glad to see that the CW is giving Reaper a second season. As of now, it’s been picked up for 13 episodes that will probably start at midseason. This was one of my favorite pilots of the fall, but the show sagged a lot under the formula it set up for itself (The Devil visits Sam, Sam lies to Andi, Sam catches an escaped soul, rinse, repeat). The latest batch of episodes introduced two inspired characters, the gay demons Steve and Tony, who began a subplot involving a group of demons trying to overthrow the Devil. Plus, Andi finally learned the truth about Sam’s “job”, so now she can join in the Scooby-Gang-Junior shenanigans instead of just giving the boys puzzled eye rolls all the time. All in all, the show has been stellar lately, and I look forward to more.

2. Though CBS’s official presentation is not until tomorrow, all signs point to go for a fourth season of How I Met Your Mother. How this show is always considered “on the bubble” is beyond me, as its ratings are solid and skew young, not to mention it is quite possibly the funniest show on TV (in my opinion, only 30 Rock delivers as consistently). This show elevates the whole concept of a traditional three-camera sitcom. The sometimes quite elaborate flashback structure and dedication to building upon itself and rewarding consistent viewing with both emotional payoffs and inside jokes really do make it the Lost of sitcoms, as I’ve heard several critics describe it. If you don’t watch, please, get season one and get with it.

3. Of all of the shows I watch now, only one seems positioned to not return in the fall—the charming and smart but almost totally unnoticed Aliens in America, which I don’t think I have ever even mentioned on this blog. Sorry, guys. You made a good show.

4. Though cable networks aren’t involved with upfronts, all this talk about scheduling has me thinking about them as well. Since so much production was pushed back by the strike, many of the shows I would usually be watching during the summer most likely won’t be back until fall: Rescue Me, Mad Men, Big Love, Entourage. So, the summer will be mostly barren (I think I only have Psych and My Boys to look forward to) and the fall will be even more overwhelmingly packed than usual. Lame.

5. Finally, my condolences to fans of Moonlight. Never watched it, wasn’t the slightest bit interested despite my general love of vampire stories, but holy geez is the despair ringing out around the internet since CBS announced it was cancelled. Just don’t start mailing them vials of your blood in protest or something, okay? You’ll get through this.

FINALLY!

NBC officially announces that the sublime Friday Night Lights will be returning to your television! You will get to see Smash in college! You will get to find out if Matt can handle the pressure! You will get to see Eric and Tami fight and flirt once more!

Obviously this news, confirming all sorts of rumors, absolutely thrills me. ESPECIALLY because I am one of those lucky lucky people who subscribe to DirecTV, the satellite service that will be sharing the show with NBC. Their exclusive channel 101 will carry the 13 episode season in the fall, and repeats will air on NBC in January. Angry Comcast customers should just switch now, DirecTV is superior anyway even without the good Panthers.

Along with this glorious news, NBC announced their planned schedule all the way through summer 2009. Why they did this, I don’t know, since it’s guaranteed to change, but it’s sort of interesting to check out anyway. The winter Thursday 9:30-10:00 slot claims to be for a spin-off of The Office…first I’ve heard about that, and not sure how I feel about it. Spin-offs are a touchy business…for every wonderful Frasier, there’s a disappointing Joey, for every magnificent Angel, there’s a so-so Private Practice. So I guess we’ll wait and see.

It’s almost here!!!

Not too much to say today other than OH MY GOD ONLY TWO DAYS UNTIL BATTLESTAR STARTS.

Before then I’m definitely rewatching the two-part season three finale that is, of course, one of the most stunningly mind-blowing episodes of television I’ve ever seen. If you know what I’m talking about, then you know what I’m talking about. Yeah.

For now, check out this clip from the special Sci Fi recently ran featuring celebrity fans talking about the significance and awesomeness of Battlestar. If you’re not caught up, no worries, you won’t find much spoilage here. But you will find some very amusing and insightful comments from The Master himself, Joss Whedon.

Too nerdy to sign off with “So say we all”??

Potentially the most awesome thing I’ve heard yet this year

Michael Cera=funniest young actor in Hollywood, gifted with some of the best comic timing I’ve ever had the privilege to watch.

Edgar Wright=director and co-writer of the brilliant Shaun of the Dead and indisputable masterpiece Hot Fuzz.

Edgar Wright writing and directing a project for Michael Cera=comedy bliss.

That project being an adaptation of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life=ME FREAKING OUT OMG HOLY SHIT YES AAAAHHHH!!!!!!

Okay, I see some of you shaking your heads in confusion out there in blog land. “WTF is Scott Pilgrim?” you may be saying to yourself, and I’m not surprised. I’m actually the only person I know who reads Scott Pilgrim, which, as far as I know, even among hardcore comics fans is not that huge of a title. I only discovered it during a round of checking a lot of random stuff I’d never heard of out of the library. But thankfully I did discover it, because it is so gleefully funny and strange that I can never wait for the next book to come out.

Let me describe a bit further: the Scott Pilgrim series, written by Bryan Lee O’Malley, is set to be a total of seven kinda-manga-style comics (really only manga-esque in the size/shape/length/design of the books, and the style of the fight scenes and whatnot. Actually I don’t really know much about real manga cuz I don’t read it). So far four of the books have come out. They follow the adventures of Canadian twentysomething super-slacker Scott and his network of friends and enemies, including his band, Sex Bob-Omb. One day while going about his business of freeloading and avoiding getting a job, Scott meets and becomes infatuated with the mysterious American roller-skating delivery girl Ramona Flowers. Unfortunately, he will soon learn, in order to date Ramona he must first defeat her 7 evil ex-boyfriends. And when they say defeat, they mean Nintendo style.

It’s amazing how well the tone of the series works, bouncing back and forth between Scott trying to pay his rent and Scott suddenly harnessing his video-game-character powers to kick someone’s ass in the middle of an emo concert. Both kinds of scenes are full of hysterical lines and situations, and all of the characters are great. And the thought of watching Michael Cera be the one doing the whining and the fighting is pretty exciting.

EW’s got the story and claims Cera’s in final negotiations. I really do hope this project comes together as they have it described. And even if it doesn’t, you all should go and check out Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life anyway….it is so delightful.


Other projects:


Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

Grand Dames: collecting sundry achievements of admirable women

The MacGuffin: archive of my days as a film critic

I love Twitter.

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