My TV and Me

May 20, 2011

Today’s Tweets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — gina64 @ 12:44 pm

Via @vultureThe Showrunner Transcript: Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter

Via @poniewozik – TIME’s James Poniewozik breaks down this week’s upfronts and picks some early favorites.

Via @vulture – This is not television-related, but I had to share. Darth Vader plays trombone and dances the salsa. I’m not sure which this is – hilarious or terrifying.

Via @gawkerJohn Lithgow Gives Newt Gingrich’s Press Release the Dramatic Reading It Deserves

Via @TVWithoutPityMost Promising Looking New Shows of 2011-2012

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May 18, 2011

More on “Person of Interest”

Filed under: video — Tags: — gina64 @ 8:31 pm

CBS has put up a behind the scenes look at its new show starring LOST’s Michael Emerson and Jim Caveziel – Ben Linus and Jesus, together at last! – and I must say it looks really good!

It’s like The Equalizer (remember that one?) with a little Minority Report thrown in. What do you think?

Cancellations, Pickups, Trailers and Dropped Pilots

Filed under: tv news, Uncategorized — Tags: , — gina64 @ 6:53 pm

Good Lord, there has been an insane amount of TV news in the past week or so. The network “upfronts” are this week, but please don’t ask me what an upfront is, exactly. I just know that it has to do with advertising and announcing the networks’ programming choices, including cancellations of existing shows and pickups of new ones.

You can view the futon critic’s 2011-2012 season scorecard here, which contains renewal/pickup/cancellation information for all major broadcast networks. I discuss the announcements that I found notable below.

First, the Bad News

Let’s get this out of the way: Despite lots of love from the critics, FOX has canceled The Chicago Code. Proving that no matter how good a show is, if no one is watching, it won’t last long. That’s the second Shawn Ryan show in a row that I found myself really liking (the other was the even better Terriers), only to have it last just one season. I hope he doesn’t give up on TV. The season – now series – finale airs next Monday, 5/23. It really is a shame. It was getting so good!

While V was really one of the worst shows on television, I was sort of sad to hear that it had also been cancelled. Don’t get me wrong – it absolutely deserved to be cancelled. It’s just that things had gotten so bad that I was beginning to enjoy chronicling the badness. Oh, well.

Now, some Good News

The summer shows are starting up!! You can find the premiere dates for your favorites by checking out the futon critic’s summer grid. Here are a few dates for shows that I’m excited about:

HBO’s True Blood – Sunday, June 26 at 9:00 PM
Comedy Central’s Futurama – Thursday, June 23 at 10:00 PM
TNT’s Falling Skies – Sunday, June 19 at 10:00 PM
SyFy’s Warehouse 13 – Monday, July 11 at 9:00 PM

And Now Some Pickups

Alcatraz (FOX) – This is JJ Abrams’ new show, with Sam Neill and Jorge Garcia. Here’s the first trailer for it:

It’s not blowing me away, but it does look interesting.

Terra Nova (FOX), Mondays at 8, beginning in the Fall:

It looks like a mashup of a few different movies/TV shows, Land of the Lost and Jurassic Park among them. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It looks good enough to check out.

There’s a new Michael Emerson show! Person of Interest has been picked up by CBS. It will air on Thursdays at 9:00, and CSI will move to Wednesdays at 10:00. I can’t find a trailer for it yet.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to TV in the CW’s The Ringer. I’m not sure if I’ll actually end up watching this. I wasn’t so much a SMG fan as I was a fan of Buffy the show. I don’t think there’s a trailer for this one, either.

Someone (NBC) has finally gotten around to making a US version of Prime Suspect, and it stars Maria Bello in the role that made Helen Mirren’s career. I’m really torn about this one. Will Jane Tennison’s (Jane Timoney here) struggle to be accepted as an equal in the boys’ club that is the police department really be relevant in a TV landscape where women have been playing FBI agents, Lieutenants and Police Commissioners for a while now? Perhaps. And I wondered if she would be portrayed as abrasive and “unlikable” as Helen Mirren was in the BBC version. I kind of like what I see in these clips.

Another new show that looks very promising: Awake (NBC) – There are no details yet on when it will premiere or on what night it will air. It’s a tough one to describe, so I’ll leave it to the trailer to do that. Also, you can view clips here.

Finally: The River (ABC) – This one looks so AWESOME. I won’t say anything about it except watch this clip.

May 13, 2011

The wait is almost over.

Filed under: video — Tags: — gina64 @ 11:34 pm

May 10, 2011

This is for all you fellow geeks out there: Starbuck and Starbuck at Starbuck’s

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: , — gina64 @ 12:22 pm

May 6, 2011

The Fringe Cast says, “Thank You”.

Filed under: video — Tags: — gina64 @ 9:03 pm

You’re welcome!

More Fringe-y Goodness

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 4:51 pm

The A.V. Club has posted an interview with producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. Here’s a snip:

AVC: Let’s talk about a plot some fans enjoyed and some hated: the “Bellivia” storyline, which saw FBI Agent Olivia Dunham’s body taken over by the soul of dead scientist William Bell. To some, the arc seemed pointless because it didn’t advance the main storyline about the war between the universes. Others found it moving and entertaining, if only for the chance to hear Anna Torv do a Leonard Nimoy impression. Was that one of those “pathways” that came up along the way?

JP: Well, we talked early on about the idea of “soul magnets,” and it was no accident that Olivia drank tea in that scene in the second season when she was in Bell’s office. We didn’t know exactly when we would incorporate it. We also knew that Leonard was retiring, and that we wanted him still to be a part of the show. Without spoiling anything, that whole tangent will likely be a setup for something that happens further on down the line. Still, we understand that some people were frustrated, just like some people were frustrated with the idea of Bolivia having a baby. [“Bolivia” and “Fauxlivia” are nicknames for the show’s alternate-universe version of Olivia Dunham. —ed.] But there are things that we feel are entertaining to us, and that allow us to explore themes that, as Joel was just saying, we can’t otherwise access. And we think that if it’s entertaining, and it allows Anna a chance to stretch, and it gives Walter Bishop his old partner back for an episode so we can see what they were like together… those are also perfectly valid reasons for doing those episodes.

JHW: Yeah, it was important. I mean, you know, for people that say it was just a diversion, well, there was something really important involved in that Walter/William relationship. That was part of Walter’s self-actualization, that moment when William Bell says, “Look, you have to be on your own. You have to walk the path that you believe in. You gain some humility where there once was hubris, and it’s really important that you depend on yourself.” Part of our plan has always been to get Walter to embrace his flaws and uniqueness as strengths, rather than thinking of them inhibiting his performance as a scientist and as a character. We were really anxious to get that across, and the best person to do that for us was William Bell, because Walter depended so much on William in so many different ways. So that story came around at a time where we really needed to have it.

JP: Among other things, one of the ideas that really fascinates us is the idea of creative partnerships, which is what Walter and William had. You know, it’s like Lennon and McCartney. And you never get over that. We have from the beginning played variations on the Walter Bishop-William Bell relationship, including William removing chunks of Walter’s memory. This was just another way to explore that same idea.

Go read it, it’s good!

Fringe: Episode 3.21

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 3:57 pm

The Last Sam Weiss

“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. You have no idea how extraordinary you are.”

~ Walter to Olivia

I am sure that I have said this about other Fringe episodes – although I can’t point to any particular instance – and this show is so damn good, I do not doubt that I will end up saying it again, but I just call ’em as I see ’em: “The Last Sam Weiss” was quite possibly the best episode of Fringe I have ever seen. It was riveting and suspenseful – lightning storms, cars exploding, great museum escapes, spooky typewriters – while still retaining every bit of its heart. I could not believe how much stuff they packed into this episode! At one point I stopped the recording to check how much time was left. I thought that surely it must be over, when in fact it wasn’t even halfway through! Well done, writers. Seriously.

To recap: While Peter remains in his drug-induced coma, the world continues to fall apart, at what seems to be an exponential rate. Walter and Astrid – who have the best chemistry on this show, in my opinion – through some hilarious experiments, conclude that the vortexes are appearing in a concentrated area between the locations of our machine in Massachusetts, and Walternate’s machine on Liberty Island in the other universe. Walter theorizes that the best way to slow down the disruptions is to move our machine to our Liberty Island.

Meanwhile. Sam Weiss tells Olivia that the force field around the machine can be broken with a “crow bar”, which is located inside of a box, the key for which is hidden in the Whitley Museum. They find the key, but a lightning storm erupts inside the museum, short-circuiting the alarm system and lowering the security gates. This leads to one of the funnier bits I’ve seen on this show, when Sam rolls an artifact into a very large vase, knocking it over and into the path of the dropping security gate, allowing them an escape route. I love the shrug and the “I work at a bowling alley” line. They get the key, Olivia successfully opens the box to reveal the “crow bar”: it’s Olivia, in a Rambaldi-style sketch.

Walter makes some gigantic leaps of scientific imagination and figures out that Olivia can use her telekinetic abilities to shut down the machine on the other side, so that Peter can enter the machine on this side. Walter has her practice on the typewriter that Fauxlivia used to communicate with the other side, but it is slow going and frustrating.

While all of this is going on, Peter wakes up. Like Walter said at the beginning of the episode, “Peter interacted with a machine of immense power. A surge like that could have disrupted his neural patterns, created memory deficits… Aphasia.” Indeed, he can’t remember who he is. But he knows he wants to go home (he says so in a note reminiscent of the one he left for his “mother” in “Subject 13”), which he believes is 42nd and Lexington in NYC. He goes to a pawn shop to buy a silver half dollar, like the ones he collected when he was a kid. He travels to Liberty Island to see his father, the Secretary of Defense. The machine seems to have reset his memories so that only those from *his* universe of origin are dominant. Interesting. But then as he is reconciled with Walter and Olivia, the confusion clears.

Everyone is at Liberty Island now, (except for Sam Weiss, but I’ll get to that in a bit) and Peter has his memories back. Olivia explains to Peter that she’s been trying to harness her telekinetic ability by getting the typewriter to type a certain phrase but she hasn’t been successful. Peter asks her what the phrase is, and when she says it out loud – “Be a better man than your father” – there’s something about her connection with Peter that makes it work this time. Great scene.

And so, together, Peter and Olivia approach the device. Let me say that I am very pleased that Olivia has an important part to play in this, too. It’s a beautiful scene. She closes her eyes and after a moment the device shuts down its force field. There’s an awesome Han Solo moment where Olivia tells Peter she loves him before he gets into the machine. He doesn’t say “I know”, but he also doesn’t say it back. As he approaches and enters the machine, he flashes back on his life and Olivia and Walter. He even remembers little Olivia in the white tulip field. Once he’s secured in the machine, immense power flows through him. Suddenly, he opens his eyes to find himself in a strange place, a city where a war is going on. While bombs explode around him, he finds a monument marker which reads,

We will never forget September 11, 2001
Dedicated to their memory, September 11, 2021

Peter’s in the future! But wait…it must be our future, since the towers never fell in the other universe. Right? But what about the Fringe Division badge on the officer who helps him? That’s the logo from the other universe. Peter has weird hair. And isn’t he wearing a wedding ring? What is this place?? Is it a THIRD universe?? A combination of the two?? Oh my God.

Observations

~ The glyph code for this episode? MULTI. I think I may have just answered my own question.

~ I spotted The Observer behind Peter on the streets of NY.

~ Sam Weiss. We haven’t heard the truth about him yet. I found the explanation that he’s just another in a long line of Sam Weisses to be very anti-climactic. How did he get to Liberty Island so quickly at the end? Is there more than one Sam Weiss? He was spouting more mysterious quotes…”It wasn’t supposed to happen this way,” and “It’s not a doomsday device but it’s acting like one.” What? Well what is it then?!

~ I thought this was interesting – in “Stowaway”, Bell reminds Peter that life is not that simple, that sometimes, walking away from one’s fate leads directly to fate’s doorstep. Well isn’t that exactly what happened to Peter in this episode?

~ For screencaps of Peter’s flashback, click here. Very useful!

~ “Ostrich, you are a genius!!”

OK, I think I’ve gone on long enough. Enjoy the show tonight. I think it’s going to be a DOOZY.

Psyched for the Fringe finale??

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 11:50 am

My recap of last week’s episode is coming up soon. In the meantime, check out this nod to Fringe’s brilliance from Television Without Pity:

Fringe: What It Can Teach Other Shows

I especially agree with the pregnancy part!

May 5, 2011

Fringe: Episode 3.20

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 3:45 pm

6:02 AM EST

This is my favorite time of day. The sunrise, when the world is full of promise.

~Olivia

This is the third-to-last episode of the season, and it kicks off the mad dash – and with Fringe, it’s seriously mad, like cuckoo-bananas crazy -to the season finale in typical fashion: preposterous science fiction securely anchored in reality through its foundation of emotional depth and expert character-building. And a naked Walter joking about big mushroom caps.

Things begin peacefully enough, with Olivia and Peter waking up together to a sunrise that is full of promise, according to Olivia. Of course, the peace and contentment is soon shattered, and our world literally starts to fall apart around them. Walternate has used baby Henry’s blood (Henry! She named him after Henry the taxi driver. Nice) to extract half of Peter’s DNA and used that to power up the machine on his side. Because of a quantum entanglement between the universes, our machine is also activated, seemingly without needing Peter. This confuses our team, because they don’t know about Henry. But they do figure out that the vortexes that have begun to spring up all over the northeast are a result of the machine powering up. Peter tried to enter the machine to turn it off, but was rejected (violently) because the machine “thinks” he’s already in it. While Peter is in a coma, Sam Weiss seeks out Olivia to help him get to the machine and try to stop it before the world is destroyed.

Meanwhile, Altliva asks Walternate to shut down the machine on their side, but is turned away. She realizes that the only one who can get Walternate to shut it down is Peter. After saying goodbye to Henry and Lincoln (possibly for the last time?), she decides to break into the DoD at Liberty Island and steal the formula for crossing over, but she’s caught and imprisoned by Walternate.

This show does such a remarkable job with character-building that even the smallest, most insignificant scene – Astrid hugging Peter before he goes into the machine, for instance – is heavy with emotion and meaning. And the “bigger” scenes – Walter/Peter in the lab, Walter in the Chapel – are, of course, a joy to watch. I haven’t said it in a while, so I’ll bring it up again: The complete and incomprehensible disregard by the Emmy voters for John Noble’s portrayal of Walter/Walternate is unforgivable.

Observations:

~ It’s used a lot in these types of shows, but I do love the Oppenheimer quote: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

~ Sam Weiss was even more mysterious than ever. Newton’s Cradle, the trans-dimensional viewing window and complex mathematical equations, the bottle of Brut Cologne in his apartment – what does it all mean?!

~ There was something about the way Oliva said, “The blight” that seemed filled with import. I checked and blight has been used a few times in the past when referring to the damage in the alternate universe.

~ If you can, check out the transition between the universes that takes place at the park where Altlivia is taking baby Henry for a walk. The scene begins with a static shot from our universe of trees that have all of their leaves. Then the switch happens and the trees in the alternate universe have no leaves, and Altlivia remarks how cold it is. I never noticed before, but are their seasons different from ours?

What did you think?

My recap of the even crazier “The Last Sam Weiss” will be posted by the end of the work day tomorrow, just before the season finale.

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