Friday, June 10, 2005

Elektra - Shiny Shelf: "The martial arts action clips by well enough, but unfortunately the actors just keep having to open their mouths and reading words from the lame, lame script. "

Okay, as a comics fan and a Disney nut, this interests me quite a bit. The idea of new Gargoyles stories by their creator has obvious appeal, and I'm a big enough fan of Dan Vado's writing, the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, and his concept for this comic that I'm totally intrigued. Tron was another childhood fave (I watched the movie and played the arcade game over and over and over again). Wonderland... Well, we'll see. But certainly worth checking out.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fallen Angel is easily my favorite Peter David comic, so official news of it's return (pending some final legal wrangling, according to the article) is great to hear.

Still feel like crap...
Feeling like crap today, so much so I called in sick (a fairly rare occurance).

On the plus side, a coworker explained to me how to email photos from my phone. So now I have to figure out how to do some photo blogging...
Here's a nice article about The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, the new show on Cartoon Network createdy by Judd Winick. As I've said before, it's probably the best adventure-comedy cartoon since Kim Possible (as opposed to out-and-out comedy brilliance with a veneer of adventure, as seen in The Venture Bros.). And it's perhaps the only proof we have that Pulitzer-prize nominated comics creator Winick hasn't turned into a complete superhero hack.
Senate panel votes to expand Patriot Act | Senate panel votes to expand Patriot Act | | CNET

Monday, June 06, 2005

So today has been filled with a--quite franly--insane amount of television, starting with the two-hour season premiere of The 4400 from last night, followed by this week's episode of Green Wing, and rounding up with the spring finale of Summerland (which, according to TV Guide, returns this week). My quick comments:

The 4400 continues the quality established by last year's miniseries. It's weird, creepy, unpredictable, and shot in Vancouver (set in Seattle) starring actors most people will never have heard of. This episode guest-starred Summer Glau from Firefly/Serenity and Jeffrey Combs from everything. It should be a nice companion to The Dead Zone, which returns next week, and is considerably less crap than The Comeback on HBO.

Green Wing continues to be completely mad, and continues to feature Sarah Alexander and Tamsin Grieg. And I continue to love it.

And Summerland is still too sweet, too sentimental, and too full of Jesse Mc... hell, I'm going to have to look this one up... Jesse McCartney. (Oh, and it doesn't come back until next Monday, so that's one less show I have to worry about this week.) And I still kinda like it, for reasons I can't quite articulate. (Okay, I can: Lori Loughlin.)

In addition to watching all this Gruddamned TV (plus whatever I watched yesterday; probably episodes of Monarch of the Glen and Gilmore Girls and the new episode of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee), I listened to the first new Big Finish CD bringing back the classic creepy-as-anything late 70s British telefantasy series, Sapphire and Steel. When I was maybe 9 or 10, when we were living in New Zealand, S&S was one of the four British telefantasy series that left a lasting mark. (The other three were, of course, Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People, and Blakes 7. And then there were Basil Brush and Dick Turpin, but that's another genre...) At the time, I saw one whole episode of S&S, the first, and it scared the crap out of me. Seriously. Couldn't crap for months, so bereft of crap was I. Now, as an adult, viewing the show on DVD, I can actually get through it, but it is every bit as weird and creepy as I remember.

And now it's back on CD! The original leads (David (Man from UNCLE/NCIS) McCallum and Joanna (New Avengers/Absolutely Fabulous) Lovely ... er, I mean Lumley) have been recast, because McCallum is too busy in the US, and reportedly no longer able to travel quite as easily as he used to, and Lumley isn't interested in reprising the role. But the new cast features Susannah Harker, from Ultraviolet and House of Cards, and who absolutely glows in person, and David Warner, from even more genre movies and TV shows than Jeffrey Combs. And they're great. And the story is moody and atmospheric, and takes place on a train (a childhood passion, inherited from my father, which has waned considerably but still elicits a bit of a thrill), and just when you think it can't get any better, Mark Gatiss shows up playing Gold. Fantastic!

And I want to write about this week's episode of Doctor Who, but I find I have no remaining energy.

Oh, I mentioned watching Juniper Lee yesterday. Highly recommended. Best new comedy/action cartoon since Disney's Kim Possible.
So, I watched the final minutes of The Comeback. No improvement.
Okay, so I watched the first episode of the new Lisa Kudrow "comedy" on HBO, Comeback. And I want to say something positive about it, but after about 20 minutes or so, I was starting to think the best thing I could say about it was that it ended after half an hour. But, after a half hour, my DVR recording of the show just ended, and it was still going on! (It was rerun later, like at 1:30 in the morning or something, so I did record the final minutes, possibly, just to see.) Apparently the season finale of Gilmore Girls ran over unnanounced as well. So I downloaded a copy of that episode off the internet, just to get the final bit. And if someone wants to make an issue of my downloading the episode, let me point out that I wouldn't have done it if the WB had fit the whole thing into its assigned time block.

Now, I know that networks are troubled by folks like me recording their TV and watching it later, skipping the commercials. To which I say, "Boo hoo." There's a lot of TV on, and I'm going to be recording quite a bit of it instead of watching it live. If a network wants to somehow force me into watching it live, they're more likely to make me just decide to skip it altogether.

Of course, making a show like Comeback is another way to keep me from watching, because it really isn't very good. The concept is, Kudrow plays an actress who once had a brief moment in the sitcom fame sun. Now, she's the subject of a reality TV series following a former star who ends up in a new series, hoping to recapture her moment of glory, all in front of the cameras. The thing is, it just isn't very funny. At all. So it's just watching this fairly clueless egotist talk about herself for half an hour (or more) with no payoff. It's painful and irritating in a way that the British faux-docu-sitcom The Office wasn't. I mean, I get that, as an actress, the character is always performing in front of the cameras, but there isn't enough of a juxtaposition where we see a sympathetic human side to her, so there's nothing to really grab hold of. And the idea of a documentary-style show about acting was done so much better by HBO in Unscripted, so it's hardly new ground... I don't know, I feel like I should give it a second week to be sure, but we'll see.

Oh, and at the end of this week's Doctor Who Confidential, they showed a commercial for the American version of The Office on BBC Three. This would be the dull American remake of the British show, and it's called The Office: An American Workplace. Their tag line: "The same, only different." Good lord...