Friday, January 07, 2005

I'm not sure exactly when I stopped enjoying Joan of Arcadia this year, but it's certainly happened. Tonight was the first new episode since... well, I can't quite recall, but I don't really feel like I've missed it. The DVR automatically recorded it, but I didn't feel like watching it, and I'm pretty seriously considering just deleting it and taking it out of the programming. I mean, with the return of new stuff on SciFi, and Star Trek: Enterprise being better than ever this season, I just don't want to be watching so many shows on Fridays. (I could, because SciFi reruns their entire lineup later at night, but that means I still have that much more to watch...)

I think my problem with Joan this year is it's just too serious and self-absorbed. My overwhelming impression of the first season was of entertaining stories of Joan helping others, reluctantly. This season, it all feels whiney and selfish. When Joan does help someone else, it's her boyfriend, or her brother and his girlfriend, or whatever. It's just not ... fun any more, to me. So...

Well, I think I just talked myself out of watching it. (The show's ratings are apparently in a decline this year, after last season's stellar performance, so clearly, I'm not the only one who feels this way.)

And, somewhat surprisingly, NBC is running the Battlestar: Galactica miniseries all in one go tomorrow night. It's a three-hour slot, which means it's probably edited all to hell and gone, but just the idea that it's getting a network screening... I'd recommend everyone watch it, because it's really pretty good, but who knows how cut-up it'll be?

And it snowed here today. It's the freaking desert, and it snowed. I've got snow in my freaking front yard (desert landscaping, of course), and the flowers are all gone. Hopefully they'll grow back or bloom again or whatever. If it doesn't melt overnight, I'll take a picture tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Last night finally brought the season opener of Alias, and it was worth the wait. (At least, I thought so; haven't checked out the online reaction, but I'm sure the rest of the fan base hates it.) The show has managed to reinvent itself once again, while somehow seeming to come full circle (Syd, Jack, and Dixon--now joined by Vaughn--are once again working for a black-ops splinter group within the CIA led by Sloane... only this time it's for real). For the first time since the beginning, the show also has a new opening sequence/theme, which may take some getting used to. I really loved the old one. Still, that's minor. Like anything, I'm sure that plenty of plot holes emerge on close examination, but for the most part, the episode held up. I do think that Nadia joined the team a bit quickly, given her obvious earlier disinterest (maybe something was cut out...). Also, when Syd talks about having retrieved her mother's body, I have to wonder when exactly that happened... Still, my overwhelming response is one of familiar pleasure.

Meanwhile, in other TV news, I have decided to give up on Jack & Bobby. There's a new weird mystery show coming on the same time slot on Fox, Point Pleasant, and I'd rather give that a try. Definitely planning on sticking with Fox's House, which will hopefully benefit from the American Idol lead-in. And since that and One Tree Hill are on at the same time, that still leaves Veronica Mars out in the cold. Seriously, I want to see the appeal that so many other see, but I just don't. Sorry.

And over on Amazing Race, I imagine things are going to start heating up. This Tuesday, father-daughter team Gus and Hera were eliminated. They were probably the last of the truly weak teams (Gus never really seemed to have a sense of urgency about him, and his lackadaisical attitude is probably what cost them), and the remaining teams--while dysfunctional enough to be fun to watch--are all at least trying really hard, and are all fairly canny. I expect what'll start to trip people up are stupid mistakes (formerly-dating-couple Adam and Rebecca, who filled a diesel car full of gasoline, I'm talking to you) or poor teamwork (hello, married "entrepreneurs" John and Victoria and models Freddy and Kendra). Personally, I'm rooting for long-distance-couple Kris and Jon, just because they seem the most level-headed and competent.

Oh, I did check out Medium on NBC on Monday, the show about the psychic crime-solver, starring Patricia Arquette. Turns out it's created and produced by Glen Gordon Caron, the guy behind Moonlighting and Now & Again, and was pretty well done. The story was pretty straightforward, but it bore the burden of having to establish the characters, and her standing as a psychic in the law-enforcement community (apparently, this is based on a true story). Starting tonight, it'll probably start settling into crime-of-the-week stuff, but I'm still going to see how it all goes.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

I finished A Mango-Shaped Space on my lunch break, and it did indeed break my heart.  And I still loved it.  (Maybe someone can buy the rights to make a movie and screw it all up...)  Wendy Mass has another book out, but our copy is checked out.  Not like I don't have plenty to read in the meantime... (And I just checked out Road to Purgatory, Max Allan Collins' prose sequel to his graphic novel, Road to Perdition...)