Sunday, October 11, 2009

Television Shows I Will One Day (Re)Watch ... + Bright Star

- Battlestar Galactica (again; seen two times through, but will never get tired of... or have the time again...)
- Cowboy Bebop (I've seen it many times, but it's been years and recently I've been recalling just how truly amazing it is)
- True Blood (maybe I'll skim some of the first season, but I'd like to revisit it)
- Heroes (...first season. I saw it many times, but that was before the subsequent seasons were so bad)
- Glee (once the first season ends, I look forward to revisiting it and loving every moment)
- Chuck ('s so good and I miss it so much. DON'T KILL ME; I never saw the season 1 finale)

- Lost (when it finishes)
- Breaking Bad (...I'll start it eventually)
- Upstairs, Downstairs (I loved Gosford Park; this seems appropriate)
- My So-Called Life
- Freaks and Geeks

So mostly, I wrote this post because I really, really, really want to rewatch Cowboy Bebop. And Battlestar Galactica (but I always want to be watching BSG; I hope there is a parallel universe somewhere where all I do is watch BSG). But mostly, recently, particularly because I am (or rather, should be) writing a paper on Yoko Kanno, frontwoman of The Seatbelts, responsible for the brilliant soundtrack to the only anime I've ever given the time of day to. Cowboy Bebop was my favourite TV series prior to discovering Battlestar Galactica (yeah, I like me some space settings), and sometimes I forget why. Not because it's not brilliant, but because I haven't touched it in so long. I want so badly to have the thirteen (fifteen including the movie) hours necessary to just watch the whole thing. Stupid frakking homework.

On a brighter (no pun intended) note, I saw Bright Star earlier this afternoon. My mother (rightfully) thought it was slow, but I enjoyed the pace of the movie. It didn't feel slow to me because it didn't drag and the pace was steady; no rushing thither and hither (something that pissed me off about Becoming Jane was its sort-of-ending where the back-and-forth just contrasted far too much with the rest of the movie and was just blegh... but there are other reasons I don't like Becoming Jane that much that I won't get into here). Anyway, not only did I fall head-over-heels in love with the GORGEOUS Ben Whishaw, but I also loved Abbie Cornish's performance (as many have already noted in the critical world, but I don't have the bonus of advanced screenings and a career devoted to the habits that I have to find time to indulge). She was a real treat, as was the whole movie. I normally don't like historical/period romances very much. Atonement bothered me, Becoming Jane was annoying, the only ones I really tend to like are Jane Austen adaptations (Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice were both delightful, in my opinion). But I really did enjoy watching Bright Star and only felt about two ounces of guilty over it (but I blame that on my torn eye between the buzzed-about Abbie Cornish and the beautifulbeautifulbeautiful Ben Whishaw). And even if the movie wasn't a spectacular sensation, the delicacy of it and how well put together it was reflects very strongly on Jane Campion, who directed the film extremely well. No wonder she's one of the only three women to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. And as Lina Wertmuller made Swept Away (comment on the politics all you want, that is one effed-up movie) and Sofia Coppola disgraced The Godfather, Part III (thank god she's a better writer/director than actress), I think she's probably my favourite of the small club. I know it's a tough season alongside James Cameron, Jason Reitman, Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson, and even another woman (thank goodness!) Kathryn Bigelow, but I really admired Jane Campion's work in the direction of Bright Star. I just wonder to myself how long until someone updates Wikipedia with a listing of fact vs. fiction for the film (I know next to nothing about John Keats so I wouldn't know myself).

Anyway, that's all I've got to say for now. Might see Zombieland before the long weekend's out, but I wouldn't count on it. But Friday = Where the Wild Things Are! Please let it be amazing!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And Heroes!?

This is the comment I posted in regards to's recap of the Heroes season four premiere:

"I was sure I was going to give Heroes up after this premiere, after being someone extremely proud of her commitment to Heroes all through three seasons no matter how bad, predictable, and lame the storylines and characters got. But then I watched the season premiere and although FAR from being good or properly redeeming, there were enough good points (and the bad points were comical enough) that I might actually bother to continue watching (that is, DVRed episodes when I find some spare time). I really like the carny folk, and for the first time in forever is Peter’s nice guy behaviour actually interesting and refreshing. And, although everything about the Matt/Sylar storyline referred to far better scenarios (firstly, the already noted BSG subconscious nestling cylons incredibly lamed-down by Ricky Worthy’s appearance; secondly, the use of a substance abuse program to refer to a substance no one else has in common like in season 2 of Dexter (except that Dexter wasn’t even trying to get better and his “power” of serial killing is far more interesting); and thirdly, the whole bad cop, uneasy marriage calls back to the far superior new series FlashForward’s main characters), I actually found Zachary Quinto’s performance to be wonderful. Of course, especially with Star Trek’s (and his) success, he’s really too good for the show anymore, but he was fun to watch. So Heroes is definitely nowhere near my favourite show like it used to be back in its first season, but I might actually bother watching. Plus, the way it’s going, it’s not going to last much longer anyway, right (God, I hope so)?"

So I suppose I might bother to keep watching. It's not exactly fun in the way it used to be because it's just lame television (that makes me say "WTF?" about every five minutes), but there's still a part of me that enjoys seeing those characters (well, maybe except for Claire... I hate her so...) do their weird things. Plus, the battle between Peter and Edgar-The-Fast-Dude-With-Swords was NICE; I've always been hard on Heroes for skimping on the whole power-battles thing and it was nice to actually see one, even if it was relatively short.

I Guess I'll Stand By House...

Okay, I've changed my mind. Although I'm not as interested in House as I used to be, I don't think I'm going to be giving it up. Heroes on the other hand? While, I'm going to take a stab at the season premiere sometime tonight I think and then I'll make up my mind... but I'm pretty sure I'm just giving up on that one.

On a more movies oriented note, I finally saw The Informant! last night. I liked it, Matt Damon was great, I enjoyed seeing Scott Bakula about (related: I hope that he isn't done with Chuck; I really love him there as well), and Joel McHale, and the movie overall was very cool and quirky. But, not gonna lie, the last forty minutes or so were rather dull for me. This is partially attributable to this being a 9:10pm showing, but I heard several people as they exited mention falling asleep toward the end and I myself was feeling a bit drowsy. So not my favourite movie of the season, but I liked it, and I hope Matt Damon is taking off that weight as easily as he put it on. Oh, and a sidenote, I couldn't help but notice that despite the toupee and the oldmanish behaviour, beneath all the jazz, he still looks pretty young (he's still not 40). And it's kind of cool/bizarre to see actors playing older than they are, rather than the other way around (I'm sorry, but seeing older dudes with younger ladies on screen pretending that the age gap is much smaller than it is is kind of creepy. If the age gap is SUPPOSED to be wide, that's different, but when it's apparent how giant it is really as opposed to the story... blegh). But anyway, I would definitely support Matt Damon in his Best Actor attempts (although, with the plethora of films coming out this fall, I might relegate him to just a Best Actor (Comedy) at the Golden Globes...), and I'd be totally up for Scott Bakula for Best Supporting Actor (the real competition there thus far is Christoph Waltz, whom I am totally rooting for thus far). Best Picture/Best Director? Eh... there are way many better looking movies coming out/already come out, even with the inflated Best 10 Picture nominees this year (which leads everyone to think "oh maybe THIS random unexpected movie will be nominated" and I'm like "uhh... it's only 10 best nominees, not fifty, dudes").

Anyway, that's my mild update. Now maybe I'll go try to watch Heroes. Maybe it'll be so bad it'll make me think "hey, trekking through Moby Dick slowly but surely sounds like a fabulous idea!" Ooh... I like this thought...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Return of the Chuck: How NBC Will Probably Ruin It

So with all the excitement over at about Chuck's possible earlier return, a lot of good points have been brought up that are very important to Chuck's long term success rather than Chuck coming back as soon as possible.

a) Promotion.
If they suddenly bring Chuck back either because of Southland's recent cancellation or if they cancel the under-performing new series Trauma (or the cancellation that it deserves but hasn't gotten yet for Heroes), there will be next to no time to properly promote the series. Chuck has a loyal following, yes, but if Chuck is to actually succeed (especially in NBC's current fail!environment with very little to offer viewers aside from their comedy block and the handful of people who want to watch Jay Leno every night and the people like my roommate who are Law & Order addicts), it needs to build up an even stronger following of new and curious viewers. Chuck is a great show that can appeal to a whole host of viewers. It's a spy comedy drama with geeks and hot girls alike, episodic and large arcs alike, interesting main characters and a great ensemble, and it's just very likeable and accessible in many ways. But if it doesn't get the proper promotion, if there isn't at least a couple weeks of build up before it gets brought back, it'll get trashed and then we probably won't even manage to see more than a handful of episodes ever again.

b) Timeslot.
Chuck's old timeslot of 8pm on Mondays (when it would lead into Heroes) is now occupied by Heroes. And while Heroes totally deserves cancellation after a dismal third season and a limping fourth, this time slot would KILL as it has, amongst other things, HOUSE to compete with. And House, although I personally have been getting bored with it, still gets excellent viewership. If Trauma got cancelled, 9pm wouldn't be quite so bad a time, but the challenge that CBS' Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory present might be too much, especially since Chuck, as half comedy, would be interested in drawing the same crowd. As for other potential timeslots, the originally intended spot for Southland, on Fridays, would also completely demolish any chance Chuck has at continuing beyond this fall. The best option I heard in the comments was to shorten The Biggest Loser to a one hour show and put Chuck in on Tuesdays.

The main problem that Chuck has is that NBC came dangerously close to not renewing it at all before and give them even a split second's doubt that Chuck can sustain decent numbers and I have absolutely NO faith in NBC's capacity to give Chuck another chance. It took a lot of effort to bring it back for March and although I love Chuck and I would love for it to return sooner, if bringing it back in fall means that either it won't get enough promotion or that it'll end up in a poor timeslot then I would much rather wait until March when it would have a real chance at a future.

Mostly this all goes back to an overall disappointment with NBC. Now, personally, I don't watch anything on NBC anymore except for Community. I know people who watch The Office and 30 Rock, of course, but are any of the scripted dramas on that network any good? Heroes has gotten so bad that even a devout fan like me has given up. And everything else on there is either medical (Trauma, Mercy) or law (Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU) shows. More and more is the Jay Leno Show looking like the stupidest idea ever, cutting out the chance for so many new shows to get a chance, proving that NBC has absolutely no faith in giving shows a chance. And when their most critically acclaimed (and pretty decently viewed) shows is about to return (I'm talking about Southland, which I never saw, but heard only good things about), they cut it out completely. Yeah, it's too dark for the 9pm time slot? Then stop with the madness of Jay Leno five times a week! Sure, it's cheaper, but that just makes your network that much cheaper. As evidenced by Tina Fey's acceptance speech for 30 Rock at the Emmys, even NBC's most stable show has absolutely no respect for the network anymore.

Oh how far the mighty hath fallen.

Oh, and NBC? If you DARE to cancel Chuck before its time, I will join the army of angry fans in setting your studio on fire. You know it'll happen. Stop being pussydicks (excuse my crudeness), and start showing some real television.

PS: If you haven't experienced Chuck, do it. And don't give up if you can't get into the first season. While the first season is definitely good, in my opinion, the show really finds its pace as the second season progresses, and morphs into a truly great television show.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh television... what a wonderful time consuming entity you are...

At least I'm not as bad as my roommate who skips sleep and drugs herself up on red bull to watch more X-Files. Anyway...

Shows I Give A Shit About And Intend To Continue Watching (That Are Currently Airing):
- FlashForward
- Community
- Glee
- How I Met Your Mother
- Gossip Girl
- Mad Men

Shows I Intend to View At Some Point In Time/Catch Up With:
- Dexter (halfway through season 3... will eventually catch up and continue watching methinks)
- Modern Family (I'm going to try and catch the first few episodes online this long weekend)
- Lost (I've decided that once it finishes, I'll rent the whole series on DVD and devote like a month to watching it)
- Breaking Bad (...I hope that I eventually get up the energy to start watching it)

Shows I Am Way Excited For Their Return:
- True Blood (I am suffering from Alexander Skarsgard withdrawl... also the show itself is just pretty damn good overall)

Shows I Have Been Losing Interest In:
- Heroes (I'm considering to watch the season four premiere and then decide if I want to bother to keep watching painfully or just divorce it completely)
- House (I don't know why, but I just don't feel up to it anymore. Even the thought of eventual Huddy doesn't entice me like it used to. I did watch the premiere though)

Shows That Are No Longer Airing But I Will Enjoy The DVDs/Reruns Forever:
- Gilmore Girls
- COWBOY BEBOP (<3 <3 ...I had a recent urge to rewatch the series; I haven't watched it in far too long)
- Boy Meets World (although the reruns are seriously all but gone)

But here, let me speak about the shows I am enjoying, particularly the new ones!

So I finally managed to watch Community, and I like it. It's a nice laugh out loud comedy and while I tend to not gravitate toward the sitcom, with my recent involvement in HIMYM, I gave Community a chance after hearing good things, and have been enjoying the first four episodes which I just viewed in a row. Funny, witty, energetic, and just a nice joyride, I'm liking the series.

I watched these episodes of Community after catching up with tonight's latest installment of FlashForward. So far, I am very impressed with how the series has kept up its well-written high-octane energy revolving around the central plot without getting too bogged down or feeling too constantly-climatic (something I know a few people had a problem with in regards to the AMAZING The Dark Knight having too many moments of build-up; but I think FlashForward handles this very well). Also, it doesn't hurt that the main character is played by the sexiest Shakespeare ever and the younger brother of Voldemort, Joseph Fiennes. I love him so and am so glad to see him regularly. The premise of the show in general is very cool, and I am highly impressed with how they are handling this single event and making it last without seeming to drag it on and on (thus far).

And, of course, one of my favourite new shows, GLEE. Now, many people have dismissed Glee as silly, which is totally is, or maybe just "eh," but I think it is wonderful. It boasts a talented cast with interesting plays on the usual stereotypes of high school and the characters involved. That and it has some bitchin' musical numbers. It's just a blast to watch and I don't feel the least bit guilty for loving Glee. I think it is just an amazingly enjoyable experience, very entertaining, very funny, and just overall so much fun to take part in.

As for the other shows, the only one I really have additional comments on is Gossip Girl. Now, although typically every character but Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass annoys me to at least some minimal extent, I have to say that I was very impressed by the most recent episode of Gossip Girl. Not only did I feel very limited disdain towards the characters of Gossip Girl (Jenny embracing her role as Queen by the end instead of being annoyingly rebellious against the structure! Serena doing something other than having boy, frenemy, or paparazzi issues! Nate not just being in some mysterious hotel room with Bree! Tyra Banks being awesomely hysterical!), but I also was nearly convinced by the episode to LIKE Hilary Duff. Now, for anyone who knows me, I have strongly disliked Hilary Duff since back in her Lizzie McGuire days. LONG ago. Like back when she tried that singing career thing and had a song called "Math" and I totally made fun of my friend for buying her CD... anyway, Hilary Duff's character on Gossip Girl? She could so easily be annoying and lame and blegh, but I actually sort of liked her. And I much prefer her with Dan than Georgina. Believe me, I loved Georgina in seasons 1 and 2, but now I am just bored with her occasional presence in ruining Blair's life at NYU. But she wasn't in last night's episode (except for the LAMENESS at the end with SCOTT, omg, PLEASE just get rid of Scott, he is SO unnecessary). In fact, the only person (other than Scott) that I actually felt some annoyance at was my darling beloved BLAIR. Oh believe me, I'm not angry with her, just disappointed in her brief stint of lameness during the episode in crawling back to Constance. I mean, it makes perfect sense, it was just painful to watch.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. I need to see movies this weekend as well, but TV's really all I've been able to fit in at school. I'm on a long weekend, but have a shitload of homework. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get to a theatre at least once. Either way, I'm out. I needs muh sleep (and I might continue watching old HIMYM episodes on my iPod before bed...)