Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More TV Ramblings 

One show I didn't mention in my last entry was Surface. Of the 3 alien shows to premiere this year (Surface, Invasion, and Threshold), I went for Invasion because it seemed a little more mysterious and, hey, it's in Florida. The first few episodes were slow, but the revelations have been of the bum bum BUM nature, and I have to give them that.

Surface, though, seemed like it was going to be hokey and cheap CGI-ridden. How many shows
have we seen now where each episode involves the believers who always see the creepy stuff (see: Mulder, Fox) and unbelievers who somehow look away at just the crucial moment (see: Scully, Dana) and of course never shut up about how the other person is crazy? I can think of a few right off the top of my head, and they're all cancelled.

But, thanks to the perseverance of a friend telling me, no! it's good! really! and the SciFi channel playing Surface marathons for the feet-draggers like me, I got hooked. Here's why it's great:

1. The CGI is not without merit.
2. They showed the creatures within 3 episodes and each episode after that.
3. The annoying unbelieving characters either don't appear anymore or have seen the creatures themselves.
4. The annoying conspiratorial characters that were trying to hijack the discovery either died or got over it.

5. Each character has gotten progressively smarter.
6. There is a pervasive sense of humor, without it crossing the line into stupid.
7. They've openly shot down every theory about where the creatures were from, finally revealing one of the creators...and then killed her off via
a guy you had pegged for a spook.
8. The government wasn't behind it at all.
9. The overriding idea that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you, because they totally are.
10. There are actual scary moments.

Speaking of scary moments, I will probably never forgive the show for last night's jump scene in which a bioengineered baboon screams, "You're not my mother!" in a voice that goes from little girl to demon spawn right before biting Rich in the face. The baboon itself wasn't all that scary, but the voice gets a creep rating of 10. This show doesn't flinch. Good characters aren't entirely good, and bad ones aren't entirely bad. Kids aren't safe. Fuzzy little poodles aren't safe. Secretive geniuses are definitely not safe.

Watch it, people! It's not too late. iTunes has all the eps, or SciFi will replay them soon. The season ends in 3 weeks.

"Eggs over EASY, I said! Not overBOARD!"
Some links:
* The Top 30 Facts about Jack Bauer: My favorite being, "Jack Bauer is just kidding. He knows who you work for."
* First, video killed the radio star. Now it's, How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV. It's a fairly verbose article, but the summary is, piracy is good advertising. Of course, we knew that.
* In case you don't get the "O RLY?" "YA RLY". Once you check out the gallery, which is hilarious, you'll understand why I thought these file pictures were perfect for the exchange.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

TV Season Warmups 

Boomer: "Ahh, Cable..."
The sure-fire cure for your post-holiday letdown is to join your bazillions of fellow Americans in plugging back into the TV for part 2 of the 2005-06 season. November Sweeps, after all, is only a time for meaningless character deaths and no answers posed by the shows' many questions. December is for whacked-out, pseudo-religious Christmukkah-themed episodes marked by dysfunction and poignant carnage that is ok even during Christmas because it Means Something about whatever our main characters are missing in their lives, but other than that, no big loss. Except for the Red Shirt it happened to, which has always bugged me, and that's why I stopped watching ER 3 years ago.

But, Spring... Spring is when we finally get the Big Payoff Episodes, when producers finally start "producing" a few answers, seeing as how their shows have been on hiatus for 6 weeks (LOST) or 6 months (24) and their now-drifting audiences have to be lured back from "My Name is Earl" with the shiny baubles that are truth, plot development, and giant explosions. Not me, because I don't watch shows featuring unkempt men, but I am a fan of the explosions.

SG: Atlantis starts SciFi Friday with a blast

Speaking of, here are a few links to get you started on the season. Ok, only on the shows that I watch, but still:

Battlestar Galactica: This Friday brings the 3-part Pegasus arc more or less to a close, and they saved all the assassinating action for this episode. Look out, Ensign Ro!
Catch up on TWOP
About the lead-in mantra
Le Podcasts

Stargate: SG1 and SG: Atlantis - Missed the first night?
Here are the screen caps...of that and most episodes in the season, including upcoming ones. Woo! Spoilers!
Speaking of spoilers, Dr Frasier ("She's like a real doctor, only smaller.") is back on January 20.

24: The intrepid Jack Bauer and snarky Chloe are back for more anti-terrorism action. I can only hope that they remember the rules this year, namely that the first bad guy is only a red herring. He cannot keep coming back like a roach until his ridiculous, green-screened demise in the final episode, unlike Season 4's Marwan, even if he is The Mummy. He cannot. CAN... NOT. NO! Bad writers! Go to your room!
The Season 5 Prequel - I almost rented the DVD just to catch this 10 minute preview, and now I'm so glad I didn't. Still, you must watch it, just to get geared up. Also, note to Kiefer: Please, please shave and cut your hair. See my note above.
Bauer - A thrashin' rock song in honor of The Kief.

Other notes:
* Lost is back on Wednesday with Mr Eko's backstory.
* Monk is back on Friday, but will have to be recorded thanks to conflicting BSG.
* Crossing Jordan has somehow snuck back on Sunday already, and we missed her and Woody finally getting together. I know!!!
* American Idol is back on Tuesday, the 17th.
* Sadly, Survivor is not back until February 2, but I hear they have an astronaut this time. Maybe he will also pretend to be a landscaper, a la Gary Hogeboom. Maybe "landscaper" will become a synonym for made up occupation to cover one's celebrity status. Or not.
* Even more sadly, Alias will not return to say goodbye until March, or until they can threaten enough former cast members into appearing in the final 3 episodes. Not like that's a bad thing, but still. March.



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