Saturday, September 04, 2004

I knew it couldn't last. After my increasing approval of Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network, culminating in last week's spectacular episode featuring Batman and Zatanna, they had to drop the ball eventually. And that came with tonight's episode. They get points for actually crafting a Supergirl story that couldn't just have been told with Superman or Wonder Woman. But along the way, the Question (another favorite DC hero of mine) makes his debut, and they don't even bother mentioning his name until halfway through the episode. Now, the Question is a particularly oddball-looking character, wearing a suit, hat, overcoat, and a mask that makes him look like he has no face. He's not someone you easily accept as "just another superhero" like Captain Atom or Hawk and Dove, the other superheroes who have made their Justice League debuts so far this season. I don't think he's appeared in any comics for several years, although he does have a new miniseries coming out this fall. So, effectively, this episode would have introduced him to a new audience. Except what kind of an introduction doesn't provide a name?

Funnily enough, this was a tragicomic subplot in recent episodes of Rescue Me, with Tommy Gavin dating a woman for over a month without knowing her name, only to have the truth come out when he has to introduce her to his ex-wife. But here, it's just bad storytelling. It makes the assumption that the viewer already knows who the Question is, so they don't need to waste time with little things like names or anything. The problem I have is, by making that assumption, by believing that their viewers are familiar with each and every DC Comics hero and villain, the producers don't come across like they're taking the opportunity to introduce all these heroes to a new audience. Instead, they're making a show for trainspotting nerds. And that's just careless TV.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Not a great deal to talk about this morning. Took Penelope to the vet as planned, which went about as smoothly as expected. Now that we're back home, she's behaving pretty normally. She typically doesn't hold a grudge, but that doesn't make the trauma of the journey any easier. (She just now came running into the room with her tail straight up, so she can't be too upset.) Fortunately, while I was there, I remembered to have them trim her toenails, so that's one future trip we won't have to make.

So we should get the test results back next week, and I'll send them off to the pet insurance company, and hopefully she'll qualify. If not, well, at least we tried.

Watched this week's episode of Amish in the City last night. After a promising start, it's slid pretty much into a predictable city kids vs Amish kids show, with the city kids coming off pretty shallow and vapid. (Hard to say how much of this is editing and how much is real, but when you see Ariel, the "sophisticated" vegan city kid espousing her theories about the extraterrestrial origins of cows... Well, editing cuts stuff out or changes the emphasis, but it doesn't insert nonsense like that.) Wisely, this week, the producers turned some of the focus back onto the Amish kids' decision whether to become Amish or not. A little more interesting than the petty squabbles among the city kids, who all seem like they're playing at being grown-ups.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Heard a radio commercial on the way home for Clubhouse, the new fall ABC baseball drama with Dean Cain and Christopher Lloyd. It's on Tuesday nights, and it's getting good advance buzz. I'm interested in it, anyway. And if it's on at 9:00, that will probably solve the Father of the Pride dilemma, because I can't record two shows and watch a third live, and dramas always win out over comedies for me. (The other drama in that time slot would be One Tree Hill, which I've become a fan of. Don't judge me. It's another Tollin/Robbins production, and I've talked about how I feel about their productions before. Plus, this one is created by Mike Schwann, the original writer of The Perfect Score, a Tollin/Robbins movie I've waxed enthusiastic about here in the past.)
First, my big news: after almost three years at the West Las Vegas branch, I am transfering to the Green Valley branch. It'll mean a longer drive to work, and it's no extra money, but I'll get to do different things, and it'll be a different environment. After all this time, I felt a strong desire for a change. It's like I had reached the point where I could keep carving more detail on the same old sculpture, or I could find a new block of stone to chisel away at. I wanted a new block of stone.

Last night's episode of The Amazing Race ended up living up to its name. For once, teams were changing position constantly. More and more mistakes were being made, by teams that ordinarily knew better. The twins, last place in last week's non-elimination round, starting this week peniless, managed to keep things together to come in fourth. Lucky pretty couple Colin and Christie came in first, but Chip & Kim (the married parents) talked about their strategy to feed Colin's ego to the point of self-destruction. Sounds like a workable plan. And this week, Christian models Brandon and Nikki came in last, but it was another non-elimination round. They're still in the game, but they're starting the next leg penniless in Calcutta, India. We'll see how they make out begging for money.

And now that I've given everything away, I still recommend checking out this week's episode when it reruns on Saturday, if you can.

I also watched the premiere of Father of the Pride, the CGI sitcom about the lions in Siegfried & Roy's magic show. Advance reviews had painted this as a real loser, but I thought it was okay. The animation was nice, better than usual for TV CGI. The writing is just okay, but entertaining enough that I kept watching.

I don't know; I'm funny about TV comedies these days. I'm not so interested in the cutting edge ones everyone is buzzing about. I tried watching Arrested Development, honestly, I did. I get that it's well-made, I get that it's funny, but it did nothing for me. Curb Your Enthusiasm wore thin, too. Again, I appreciate its quality, I just don't feel like watching it. And what do I end up watching? Crap like What I Like About You or 8 Simple Rules. Or British stuff like Coupling or The Office. There's just something about those shows that I find more compelling. Maybe it's just that the characters are more likeable, and that's what I'm more into right now or something. I don't know. But I guess Father of the Pride falls into that sort of category for me, whatever the hell that category might be.

The best comic I can remember reading in a long while is the first issue of WE3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. There's a detailed interview with Grant Morrison about it on Newsarama which gives a better idea of what the series is about than I could here. (It's easy to say it's the science fiction version of the Incredible Journey, with robot power suits, but that's a good enough starting point...) Even if you're not interested in the comic, he talks a lot about animal rights activism, animal communication, and other stuff. And really, it's a fantastic comic, and it's only going to be three issues, so check it out, too.

Meanwhile, Penelope's veterinary experiences continue. She appears to be healthy, but because her most recent T4 levels were in the "gray area," whatever that means, the pet insurance company wants another T4 test run before they'll sell me insurance for her. (Did I mention in an earlier entry that I've decided to buy health insurance for her?) Which is fine, if you're looking at it from my point of view, which is this: I take Penelope to the vet on an empty stomach, they draw some blood, and I bring her back home. But I can't explain that to her. So for her, the experience is probably something like this:

Thursday night, food gone. Friday morning, hear doors closing upstairs. Man in garage, comes with bad purple box. Run, hide, doors shut, no hide-place. Man bad-hold, push hard into bad purple box. Box shake. Bad-smell metal place, bad noise. Moving without moving. Bouncing, shaking. New bad-smell place. Other cats, other dogs smell. Dogs barking. Hide in box. Man bad-hold, pull hard out of box. Stranger, woman, bad-smell, new room, sharp, pointy thing touching me fuck Fuck FUCK!

And all I can do is take her back home again and hide the carrier box so she doesn't think we're going out again. Breaks my heart that I can't explain it to her.

Monday, August 30, 2004

BBC - Radio 4 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Oh, look! A new site about the upcoming Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series! Including--eventually--an opportunity to listen to the episodes online! Of course I'm interested!
Funny Pet Photos - Index

Found this link on artist Mike Wieringo's blog, and being a pet lover myself, I couldn't help falling in love with it. Enjoy!