Saturday, June 04, 2005

So, as we head into the summer season, here are the shows I'm planning on checking out (because the alternative is going outside in 100+ degree weather...)

Hell's Kitchen, the American cooking contest show with bad boy Brit chef Gordon Ramsay as host. Because the first episode was fun.
Beauty & the Geek, because the first episode was a lot more interesting and a lot less "make fun of the freaks" crap than I expected. (And they get points for picking the president of the Dukes of Hazard Fan Club as one of the geeks, instead of going the more obvious sci-fi or comics fan route.)
The Inside, because there are no other crime drama shows for me to watch right now. (Except for the ones I've recorded and haven't watched yet. Or the ones I have on DVD and haven't watched yet.)
Fire Me... Please, because the commercials make it look funny.
Into the West, because I've enjoyed the other Spielberg-produced TV miniseries I've seen (Band of Brothers, Taken...)
The 4400, because the first miniseries was surprisingly good, for a made-for-USA sci-fi show. (I shouldn't make fun; I love The Dead Zone, too.)

And... That's it for this week, I think.
Okay, not feeling the desire to do a whole lot of work right now...
So, against my better judgment, I watched the first episode of Beauty and the Geek on Wednesday.  It sounded like the sort of thing that just depresses me, like Average Joe or whatever.  But a review in TV Guide (yeah, I know) insisted that it was a lot more sensitive and intelligent, and wasn't just a "look at the brainy freaks in glasses" show.  And that turned out to be true.  I mean, they didn't really try to hide the more pathetic aspects of the "geeks," but considering that one of them is the president of the Dukes of Hazzard fan club, well... what are you going to do?  But they didn't gloss over the attractive women's shortcomings, either.  It actually looks like each side will be learning and growing from the experience (as opposed to, say, Amish in the City).  So I'll keep watching.
(It does still depress me a little to see guys who are essentially me and my friends being showcased as "geeks," but, you know, I'll survive.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

WONKA -- What's New? -- The Newest WONKA Golden Ticket Game

Okay, there's just something irrestistably cool about the idea of buying a Wonka bar and possibly finding a golden ticket inside...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Just finished watching the Cartoon Network Summer Preview Kickoff show, and the bit that has me truly excited(ish) is a new show called Camp Lazlo. It's a wacky comedy about animals at a summer camp, and its created by Joe Murray, who created Rocko's Modern Life, one of my personal favorite Nickelodeon cartoons.
How much did today suck? I locked myself out of my house, which I've never, ever done before. (I had taken the spare key from its hiding place when I needed to have someone come feed Penelope when I went to visit Dad last month, and hadn't put it back yet.) So, I called for a locksmith, and paid to get back into my own house. All the while, waiting in the garage, I could hear Penelope meowing for me. I swear, if it was so upsetting for her to hear me outside in the garage, then she could have opened the door for me.

As it happened, the lock-out occured as I was just about to leave to Borders to use a 25% off coupon. I had hoped to buy the second League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book in hardcover, prompted by Alan Moore's recent decision to take the series from DC to Top Shelf Press. Since the locksmith was going to take over an hour to come, I decided to run to the bookstore, because that way, I'd at least have something to read while I waited. Of course, they didn't have the book in hardcover. (They had it in paperback, but I had the first in hardcover, and wanted a matched set.)

This morning, I had seen a special about Robert Rodriguez's new kids movie, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D. I've been a fan of his since El Mariachi, and I really liked the first two Spy Kids movies. (The third just didn't feel like part of the same series, although technically, it was pretty keen.) Shark Boy and Lava Girl looks like it'll harness the effects developments from Spy Kids 3-D, but with a story designed to take advantage of the effects properly. So I'm looking forward to it. So, when I saw a pair of Shark Boy and Lava Girl kids books, both co-written and published(!) by Robert Rodriguez, and I happened to have a coupon expiring today, and still an hour's wait for the locksmith, I decided to take the plunge.

I got most of the first book read while waiting for the guy, and it was pretty entertaining. Not perfect, but a lot of fun. I finished it this evening. It's an adaptation of the movie, only told from the point of view of Shark Boy and Lava Girl (I think the movie is told from the POV of Max, the regular human boy). Now, ordinarily, I wouldn't read the novelization of a movie before seeing the film, but, well, extraordinary circumstances. Plus, it was slightly different from what appears on the screen, apparently, plus it's actually (co)written by the writer of the movie. And now, having read it, I have to say, I'm looking forward to the movie that little bit more. It's very much a kid's movie, and fans of Rodriguez's El Mariachi movies, or his more recent Sin City will be upset that it's not aimed at them. But I'll see it, and now I feel confident that I'll enjoy the story.

(Of course, I enjoyed the recent Around the World in 80 Days, starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan, which premiered on cable this weekend, so what do I know? I believe I'm supposed to hate that movie, and, well, didn't. So there.)

Other TV stuff: Gordon Ramsey's first American TV series, Hell's Kitchen, premieres in about 15 minutes on Fox. I've enjoyed his British stuff, so I'm looking forward to that. Judd Winick's Cartoon Network series, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, about a young girl who maintains the balance between the ordinary world and the magic world premiered this afternoon. Haven't watched it yet (I was locked out), but I recorded it. I'm a huge fan of Winick's comics like The Adventures of Barry Ween and the Pulitzer-prize winning (or at least nominated) Pedro and Me. I'm less enamored of his recent work on DC superhero comics, but that's partly because I'm less enamored of those sorts of comics altogether. Hopefully, Juniper Lee will have more of the spark I find in his own work.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Judge: Parents can't teach pagan beliefs: "An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to 'non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals.'"

Would these be the "activist judges" that criminal Tom DeLay is always railing about?