Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Okay, so it's been a while since I've written anything new. And, instead of talking about that, I'm just going to jump right in and talk about new stuff.

First, I saw Stardust over the weekend. It's been a number of years since I read the book, by Neil Gaiman, so I can't say how exactly faithful it is to the original. But it feels like I remember the book feeling, so that's a good thing. I like the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean movies just fine, but while Stardust is similar to those in that it's a historical fantasy/adventure, it's way better. I loved it.

On to television...

Saw the season finale (and apparently series finale) of HBO's John From Cincinnati. Wish I could say it made sense at the end, but no, not really. Maybe I'm just thick. But it was still well-acted, the dialogue was great, and it was fascinating to watch.

The 4400 and The Dead Zone continue to be reliably entertaining. Sort of the good, solid mainstream programming that networks don't produce any more. Not that they're old-fashioned, but sometimes you want good, solid, straightforward storytelling with likable, human characters. Not edgy or experimental, just fun to watch.

Over on TNT, Heartland came to the end of its first season. Not a spectacular show, but one I watched because I like the cast. If it comes back, I'll watch it again, and if it doesn't, I won't shed a tear.

Saving Grace stirs mixed feelings in me. I really enjoy watching it, but when I think about it, the cop show stuff isn't really any better than any other cop show, and the stuff with the angel trying to bring Grace back to God doesn't have any connection to the cop stuff, so it's almost like it's shoehorned in. So what makes it so special? Holly Hunter, obviously. Twelve feet of pure sex shoved into a five foot woman. Apparently, it has been renewed for a second season, and I'm glad.

A new favorite is Kyle XY. It's almost like a low-key Smallville, and maybe that's what I like about it. (More about a superkid discovering his powers while trying not to become an outsider, less of the whole beating-up-women thing that Smallville had seemed to focus on for a while. Although, to be fair, they seemed to get away from that in the 2/3 of the most recent season that I've seen.) And Kyle XY is less melodramatic.

Meanwhile, over on Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay made the right choice by picking Rock to win. Admittedly, I wanted Bonnie to win, but only so she'd be working down the street from me and I could go stare at her in a way that wouldn't be stalker-ish at all. Still haven't tried Terra Rosa, the restaurant run by last year's winner.

Another new favorite is My Boys on TBS. (Which surprises me, because the part of The Bill Engvall Show I caught on the same network was supremely unfunny.) It's a bunch-of-friends-hanging-out-together sitcom, along the lines of (obviously) Friends or Sex in the City, but it makes me laugh. Not as hard as Psych, but still.

And I watched the first episode of ABC Family's new cartoon, Slacker Cats. Not as funny as My Boys, not by a long shot. It sort of reminded me of the sort of cartoon we got in the early 90s, when everyone was trying--and failing--to duplicate the success of The Simpsons. Maybe it's because there's a Simpsons movie out. Or maybe it's because shows like Family Guy strike me the same way, but it seems to be doing okay. Anyway, I laughed once or twice, so I'll give it another shot.

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