My TV and Me

November 17, 2010

Fringe: Episode 3.06

Filed under: reviews, Uncategorized — Tags: — gina64 @ 10:08 pm

6955kHz

I love the way this show borrows bits and pieces – story and thematic elements, even actors – from some of my favorite television series, and mashes them together into something that is wholly its own. In this episode alone we had a repeating series of numbers, much like the numbers in LOST; Kevin Weisman, who played techie Marshall on Alias, played a techie from the alt-universe (he was also in an episode of The X-Files, “Je Souhaite”); and friends reminded me that the idea of an electronic signal causing mental confusion in a listener/victim was similar to a classic X-File, “Wetwired”. Yet none of it feels like they are copying or trying to duplicate someone else’s work – it feels more like a subtle homage built into a show that is very much its own “thing”, and very good.

Observations, questions and quotes:

  • Speaking of observations, who spotted The Observer? I missed him.
  • This episode had an ethereal, dreamlike quality. Everyone was sort of surrounded with a gauzy light, and many scenes felt softer than usual, with people speaking in hushed tones.
  • I want Peter to bring me U2 tickets and breakfast in bed.
  • “Fine. If you end up breaking the universe, this time it’s on your head!”
  • So Nina is beginning to have an inkling that Altlivia is not quite right. I loved the scene with her and Walter smoking a joint together. I think that it is safe to assume that Nina is on the side of good at this point. All of the things she was trying to conceal in the past – the alternate universe, William Bell’s involvement with it, the testing on Olivia as a child, etc. – all of these things have been revealed. She can operate openly now. I like her better as an ally.
  • “I knew my Jimi Hendrix wa-wa pedal would come in handy.”
  • We got plenty of wonderful Astrid/Walter interaction in this hour. It was good to see Astrid flexing her geeky code-breaking muscles in this universe, too.
  • OK, so let’s see if I have this straight: the number station broadcasts were a code representing the locations of the weapon parts that were buried by the First People. The group of people listening on their radios cracked the code, which means that the locations would be revealed. Walternate had Marshall put the amnesia pulse on the code so that people wouldn’t remember what they learned, thereby keeping the meaning of the code a secret. At the same time, these amnesia events got the attention of Walter, Peter, Astrid, etc., leading them to crack the code and locate the buried pieces of the weapon, which was the goal all along. Right?
  • I guess we have a name for the weapon: The Vacuum, containing at once both the power to create and to destroy. Sounds like Walternate’s weapon to me.
  • Great use of music in this episode, especially during the scene where they raised the weapon piece from the ground at the end.
  • Now that Walter and Peter have learned the locations of all the pieces, Walternate no longer needs our Olivia. Does that mean that Walternate was going to somehow use Olivia to locate them?
  • Whatever his purpose was, it seems he is done with her and she begins her journey home tomorrow night. Can’t wait!

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    November 15, 2010

    Today’s Tweets

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — gina64 @ 1:41 pm

    Via @thefutoncriticInterview with the folks over at Castle.

    Via @JewelStaiteNew blastr blog post

    Via @moryan – “Please email FX at user@fxnetworks.com & let the network know how much you love #Terriers. A great show! Catch up &/or enjoy Weds 10PM ET.” Come on, do it for me!

    Via @huluHulu for Holidays begins today!

    November 11, 2010

    Today’s Tweets – Special Post-Mortem

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — gina64 @ 2:46 pm

    AMC has cancelled Rubicon. Am I surprised? Absolutely not. I am very disappointed, though. I was really clinging to the hope that AMC would give it just one more season. The “glacial” pace of the show never bothered me. The characters were interesting enough that it didn’t matter. It was such a smart show, maybe too smart for its own good. Ah, well. I will miss you, Miles Fiedler!

    Via @televisionaryNot so lucky four-leaf clover

    Via @The_AV_ClubAMC Cancels Rubicon

    Via @poniewozik You Can Never Win – AMC Cancels Rubicon

    Via @poniewozik – “Even now, #Rubicon fans scour their backyards for four-leaf clovers to mail AMC.”

    Via @sepinwallAMC Cancels Rubicon

    Via @truxtonspangler – “Analysts. An honor to serve w/ you. Your allegiance to country should be commended. We served in silence, but I won’t forget you”

    Fringe: Episodes 3.03, 3.04 and 3.05

    Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 2:23 pm

    Please don’t misconstrue my lack of Fringe recaps as an indication that the show is not worth recapping; on the contrary, it has been consistently strong and is one of the best written and most engrossing shows on TV right now. It’s all on me and my busy/procrastinating ass.

    With regard to the parallel universe, the choice to “go there” and not drag out the reveal for as long as possible was the smartest thing the writers have done. I have always loved how Fringe has embraced the crazy in all of its forms, but their lack of hesitation in chasing this outlandish story wherever it may take them makes watching the show an exhilarating experience. You never know where you may end up. Add in some very good acting – particularly by Anna Torv and John Noble – and you get one of the best shows on TV.

    In lieu of full recaps, I’m going to have to give you just a few random thoughts and/or questions on each episode. Please feel free to expand and discuss in the comments!

    3.03 The Plateau

    Alt-verse

    I thought this was a very strong MOTW, insofar as they even have strict MOTWs anymore. It reminded me of the short story “Flowers for Algernon” and the movie based on that story, “Charly“. Except for all the murder, of course.

    If Olivia reaches this “plateau”, and the Altlivia personality becomes indistinguishable from her own, what happens to the real Altlivia? If Walternate wants to use our Olivia’s ability to cross over between universes in the ongoing war, that seems like a long-term plan to me. Is Altlivia on a one-way trip?

    I really like the chemistry on the alt-Fringe team. They all seem to really care – not only about each other, but about the work they do. I hope the writers don’t make any of them “evil” versions.

    Question: Have we ever seen the version of Lincoln Lee from our universe? I can’t recall.

    I think alt-Charlie is going to be the one to figure out that his Olivia is not his Olivia. As he did in our universe, he knows her better than anyone.

    3.04 Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sleep?

    Our universe

    I thought this was a fantastic episode. It was emotionally engaging, the stakes were high, lives were lost, and there was some crackin’ good action, too. Every story was interesting, not a scene was wasted.

    Once again, the writers pay homage to a sci-fi classic: Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and the movie based on it, Blade Runner – one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, and a personal fave. Both of these stories, as well as this episode, dealt with the question of what makes us human, adding another layer to Fringe’s already dense mythology. The shapeshifters could have simply been written as emotionless automatons, terminator hit men from the other side. Instead, they are thinking, feeling beings who are fighting for a just cause – to save their universe. Nothing is black and white in this show.

    So Walter is working out of Massive Dynamic now. I really do hope this isn’t the last we see of the Harvard lab.

    I thought the scene where Senator Van Horn’s wife talks to his disabled shapeshifter form was remarkable. Very well-acted by everyone.

    Every scene between Walter and Astrid (this time in the cafeteria) is pitch perfect. I’m so glad the writers figured out early on that they are wonderful together.

    Do you think Peter has an inkling about Altlivia? At first, during the cafeteria conversation where he talks about dismissing and explaining away the differences in Olivia since they got back, at that point I thought he was beginning to figure it out and was testing Altlivia. But the ending of the episode makes me think otherwise. I honestly don’t think Peter would sleep with Altlivia, especially if Olivia’s fate is unknown.

    I will miss Thomas Newton.

    3.05 Amber 31422

    Alt-verse

    I found the MOTW story in this one to be a little weak, and a bit confusing. I understand what they were trying to do – this twin story was a parallel to Olivia’s – but I thought it was a little too on the nose. However, I thought the story did a good job of adding depth and humanity to the alt-verse and the very real, very tragic impact Walter’s past action has had on this world.

    So glad to see the return of the sensory deprivation tank from season 1. Great minds think alike, I guess.

    More great chemistry and camaraderie on the Fringe Division team. Do you think Lincoln and Charlie would be allowed to come over to our universe?

    Trivia: In our universe it was not Cary Grant that talked about “stuff that dreams are made of” – it was Humphrey Bogart, in “The Maltese Falcon”.

    The Liberty Island gift shop scenes were great. I am very pleased that they are not dragging out the whole “not only is Olivia stranded in an alternate universe, she doesn’t even know it’s happening” thing. Well done, show. Do you think Walternate believed her when she said “All I saw was black”?

    So tell me, how are you enjoying the show? Can’t wait for tonight!

    November 10, 2010

    Today’s Tweets

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — gina64 @ 3:52 pm

    Via @RoushTVGuideMagGive Terriers a Chance (careful, spoilers for those who don’t watch)

    Via @movielineJeff Goldblum on Morning Glory, The Fly at 25, and Not Being Dead

    Via @EWReality contestant suicides – Who’s to blame?

    via @moryanAMC airing all 3 episodes of The Walking Dead on Sunday (no spoilers)

    November 9, 2010

    Save Rubicon Petition

    Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 11:09 pm

    Per Beth’s request:

    A petition to save AMC’s Rubicon

    (You’ll need to register, or allow them to use your Facebook account, Sorry)

    November 8, 2010

    Team CoCo Tonight!

    Filed under: tv news, video — Tags: — gina64 @ 2:25 pm

    I almost missed this one! In case you haven’t heard by now, Conan O’Brien returns to late night on TBS tonight, at 11:00 PM. Don’t forget to set your DVRs.

    In the meantime, please enjoy Conan’s new American Express ad. My favorite part is when he’s in the river, gossiping with the ladies.

    November 5, 2010

    My Favorite Characters on TV Right Now

    Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: , , , , — gina64 @ 10:27 pm

    And what I love about them.

    This post is a perfect example of how backlogged I am: The first draft was saved on September 28, and then revised on October 11. It’s time to finish it!

    Caveat: When I say “right now”, I don’t mean that literally. A couple of these shows are between seasons right now, and the renewal of one (Rubicon), is still up in the air. Regardless, for now, they are considered current shows.

    Gemma Teller Morrow (Sons of Anarchy) – Katey Sagal has been a revelation in the three seasons of SOA so far. She is fearless, fiercely protective of her family – both actual and the MC – and she’s not afraid to shoot up a porn star’s car or escape from police custody to go overseas to find her kidnapped grandson. She is the strongest and most complicated female character on TV right now. And don’t even think about messing around with her husband or you’ll get a skateboard to the face.

    Lafayette Reynolds (True Blood) – If I understand correctly, the character of Lafayette was never intended to be a regular, but audience response to him was so overwhelmingly positive that creator Alan Ball made him a regular in the second season. Lafayette is the gay short order cook at Merlotte’s restaurant, who sidelines as a drug dealer (he deals “V”, or vampire blood). He is wickedly funny, smart, a snappy dresser and he has the prettiest eyes. I could listen to him talk all day long.

    Miles Fiedler (Rubicon) – Miles is an analyst at the American Policy Institute (API), the intelligence agency that is at the center of the excellent AMC series, which has just completed its first season. There hasn’t been all that much time to flesh out his character, but actor Dallas Roberts has made Miles a favorite already. I love how nervous, sensitive, smart and shy he is. He makes me sad and he makes me laugh. I hope there’s a second season of Rubicon because I need more Miles.

    Hank Dolworth (Terriers) – Again, another new show, and this one hasn’t even finished its first season; but I knew from the first episode that I was going to love Terriers because of Donal Logue, who plays Hank Dolworth. Hank is another flawed, complicated character. He is a recovering alcoholic who lost his job as a cop and lost his wife, and he is now working as a private investigator in San Diego. Hank is the kind of guy who acts like he doesn’t give a shit, when in fact his problem is that he cares too much. He’s smart, funny and sad. He’s still in love with his ex-wife, he takes care of his mentally ill/genius sister, and his partner is a former thief. He sort of reminds me of Jim Rockford, if Rockford was made for cable.

    Walter Bishop (Fringe) – And finally, I saved the best for last: Walter Bishop (and his alternate universe double, Walternate, to a certain extent), the mad genius of Fringe. A tortured soul obsessed with pudding pops, Walter is the heart of the show (especially his relationship with his son, Peter). He is at turns brilliant, hilarious, caustic, joyful, frightened and frightnening (if you include Walternate). John Noble, the actor who plays Walter, has been robbed of the Emmy so far, and that really is a shame. He is amazing.

    So, there you have it. My favorite TV characters right now. How about you? Who are your favorites?

    November 4, 2010

    Bad Blogger

    Filed under: site announcement — gina64 @ 9:09 pm

    I have been very bad at this blogging thing lately, and for that, I apologize. It’s not that I haven’t been watching television and have nothing to write about – on the contrary, I’ve been watching a lot of good television. I just haven’t been able to find the time to post about it.

    Tonight’s Fringe has just started, and I feel guilty about watching it because I haven’t blogged about the previous 2 episodes. But I’m going to remedy that and do my best to get back into the swing of things. Work has finally calmed down and after installing new servers, switching to new e-mail addresses, hiring a new attorney and designing a new website, things should finally settle back into a regular pattern, giving me more time to blog.

    Enjoy Fringe tonight, and anything else you may be watching, and check back here in the next couple of days for some thoughts on the show.

    Thanks for hanging in there!

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