January 24, 2007

"Grey's Anatomy" Star Sent To Re-Education Camp "Treatment Facility"

For using an "anti-gay remark" in referring to one of his co-stars.

According to an insider, Isaiah [Washington], who issued an apology for his statements on Jan. 18, agreed to undergo a psychological assessment after talks with ABC executives.

The married 43-year-old father of three was spotted entering the facility at 9 a.m. today (Jan. 24).

Hoo-kay.

Can't he just pay a visit to the "Museum of Tolerance"?

Probably NSFW

"Dude, tolerance kicks ASS!"

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January 22, 2007

Everything I've Learned About Life, I Learned From Watching "24"

Lesson One:

DO NOT JERK JACK BAUER'S CHAIN! EVER!

...even if you're his brother. Just don't. If you do, you've brought it on yourself.

Also, memo to Joel Surnow and company - don't kill Chloe. I have no idea if Chloe is on the Season Six "hit list". But I do know you like to show that in this dangerous world, people we love die. Okay, we get that.

Let me repeat this. Don't kill Chloe. Seriously. You can almost kill her. You can put her in mortal danger. That's cool. But please do not kill Chloe. The show is better with Chloe.

Are we clear here? Let me quote Jackie Gleason from "Smokey And The Bandit": "You can think about it. But don't do it."

That is all.

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January 19, 2007

Don't Forget Your BSG

Moving to Sundays. Starting this Sunday at 10pm.

There's a piece up on NRO showing how relevant the show is to today's events. A good read.

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January 18, 2007

Why I Don't Get "American Idol"

OK, I'll admit that I've come late to the table for successful shows in the past and ended up kicking myself for not signing on sooner. The best example of this is "24", where this season is the first one I've actually watched as it's first being broadcast.

But I have to say that I really don't understand why so many viewers are compelled to tune into "American Idol" week after week to watch what - IMO - is nothing more than a version of "The Gong Show" that actually takes itself seriously.

It almost seems that there are two kind of TV viewers in the world - those who enjoy watching other people being embarrassed and humiliated and those (like myself) who not only take little pleasure in this but actually feel a certain level of discomfort in watching things that have such a high degree of "the wince factor".

To me, that's what "American Idol" is all about. And I really don't get people who like this sort of thing. Yes, in the end there is an excitement about the competition of the finalists and the eventual winner. Viewers seem to pick contestants like horses and root for them for as long as they're in the race. But if that's the really satisfying part, why not just start with the finalists - those who clearly have the talent to make the final cut? Why show the ones who by any objective standards have absolutely no qualifications to be in this competition. Just to torture them on national television? Do the people who select them to audition for Cowell and Co. have a streak of sadism in them that borders on the sociopathic?

Newsweek online has some observations from a correspondent that just earned the "AI" assignment who had never really watched it before. Here is part of his assessment:

'I was stunned by the show’s casual cruelty, and I’m not talking about Simon Cowell’s famous tongue-lashings. Obvious rejects—the sad, deluded, tone-deaf dreamers—were permitted to hang themselves for a full, painful minute or two, even though their awfulness stopped being funny after about 20 seconds. The first featured auditioner of the night, a sweet-looking blonde girl from Minnesota named Heather, who wasn’t awful—just ordinarily untalented—crumbled to her knees after the judges sent her packing and began begging, “Oh, please, please…,” then walked away sobbing. Watching her, I felt physically uncomfortable, like an uninvited guest in her house, invading her privacy. I kept thinking, “Which part of this is supposed to be fun?”'
He goes on to describe how rejected contestants are often shown trying to unsuccessfully push through the wrong door to escape this humiliation, as if to confirm the person's ineptitude. Sounds pretty awful to me.

Look, I don't mean to criticize the fans of the show. But for a while I was beginning to wonder whether or not I was being too harsh on "AI", not having really watched all that much of it. But the piece above kind of reinforces what I had suspected about the show - that the bulk of this phenomenon is centered on taking an hour out of one's week to stop and watch the talent show equivalent of a nasty car-wreck.

I'll continue to pass on this.

UPDATE 1/19/06:
Lorie Byrd offers another perspective on the early smackdowns:

"[Simon] Cowell is sometimes incredibly rude, but what makes him really different from most on television is that he tells people the hard truth as he sees it, without apology. Today children’s sports are often played without keeping score, lest one team have to lose. In a world where it is not uncommon for each and every child on a sports team to get a trophy so that no one is made to feel left out, Cowell provides a breath of politically incorrect air. He reminds viewers that not only can everyone not win, but that everyone does not deserve to win."
Point taken. However, it doesn't make it any easier for me to watch.

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January 15, 2007

Here's Irony For Ya...

I was out today much, much longer than I expected to be. Racing home with law-breaking speed I pulled into my driveway at exactly 8:01pm.

Just in time to see the "Previously, on 24..." clip.

And today is Talk Like Jack Bauer Day.

You can bet your bottom dollar I was talking like Jack Bauer from 7:30 on.

Sheesh!

And for what it's worth, the writers of "24" just reaffirmed what I always knew about the show: NOTHING is off the table.

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Talk Like Jack Bauer Day

The following takes place between 10:00am and 10:05am.

I'm off from work, it's raining outside and the wife and kids are nagging for something to do. My name is Gary the Ex-Donkey. And this will be the longest day of my life.

But it's also Talk Like Jack Bauer Day.

You probably think I can't go a whole post talking like Jack Bauer. Well, you're wrong.

This morning I awoke to find orange juice on floor in front of the fridge. I immediately headed to the living room and tied my six-year old to one of the easy chairs with duct tape. I looked him in the eye and told him, "You're going to tell me what I want to know about that orange juice. It's just a matter of how much you want it to hurt."

No response.

"Tell me who you work for!" I yelled.

No response. It was then that I noticed that the Wiggles were on the television just over my shoulder. He hadn't heard a word I said.

My wife asked me what the hell I was doing. "Dammit, I don't have time for this", I screamed. "We need paper towels - NOW. Tell me where they are!"

She told me they were somewhere under the sink. I instructed her to upload the information to my PDA immediately. She just rolled her eyes and began peeling the duct tape off my son.

"Gary," she said. "Listen to me, we have to get these kids out of the house today or they'll drive us crazy."

"You think I don't know that?!?" I shot back. "Look, I think we should head over to the Maritime Center in Norwalk this afternoon. I know that the kids like sea creatures, so that should pacify them. I'm not sure if they're open today because of the holiday so I'm going to need you to hack into their mainframe and find out what their hours are. We don't have a lot of time. Do it NOW!"

I tended to the orange juice spill while she went logged onto her work station.

"Well?", I called to her. "Are they open?"

No response.

I raced into the computer room. "Dammit, tell me if they're open!"

"Yes, they're open. Normal hours." she said.

"You better pray that this information is correct. There are thousands of lives at stake. Not the least of which are yours and mine."

"Whatever, Gary." she said, "I'll start getting the kids ready".

"Do it fast!" I yelled, "We're running out of time!"

...10:04:57...

...10:04:58...

...10:04:59...

...10:05:00...

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January 12, 2007

Jack's Back!

Hold on to your seats. The new season of "24" is about to explode onto your TV.

jack-bauer-gun.jpg

I've seen all prior seasons only on DVD or through repeats shown on "A&E". And the most I've ever had to wait between episodes is one day.

Can I handle once a week? What choice to I have?

And I'm all the more "Jack"ed up to watch the show this season because of these guys.

Two-hour premiere Sunday night at 8pm on FOX (followed by two more episodes Monday night).

UPDATE:
Jack Bauer kills a man with his jaws. Jack Bauer kicks ass!

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December 27, 2006

Set Your VCRs/DVRs Alert

This might be hard for some to find on their local cable systems because I have no idea how widespread the "Sundance Channel" is. But John Hinderaker from Powerline gives us a heads up that there will be a documentary called "Blog Wars" airing on that channel tomorrow (Thursday, the 28th). My cable system has it listed for 10pm but yours may be different so check tvguide.com.

It's basically an account of the role that blogs played in the CT Senate race between Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman. The focus is the primary race and John says that it's presented in a fairly neutral way. This is the quote, however, that piqued my interest:

Others, no doubt, will draw different lessons from Blog Wars, but for me, the film was an expose of the liberal bloggers, who come across as vapid and remarkably vulgar. I repeatedly found myself wondering why on earth they had permitted Rogan to film a particular scene, or why, knowing that his camera was filming, they behaved as they did. I think part of the explanation is that James is such a nice, unthreatening guy that his subjects are somewhat disarmed.
I plan on DVRing it and after I watch it I'll post a review.

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December 15, 2006

BSG Mid-Season Finale Tonight

"Mid-season finale" sounds like an oxymoron, I know. But it looks like the show will take its holiday break after tonight and pick up with the second half of the season in January.

They did this last year with "Pegasus", only that was a much longer break. It would be another FIFTEEN weeks before we would get to "Resurrection Ship: Part One". Sheesh.

Being as tonight's episode is number 11 of Season Three, I'm hoping this means we're in for another 11 episodes starting January 21st (which is the new night, Sunday).

To tide you over a fairly well-done Lee & Kara Viper battle montage set to Yello's "Oh Yeah". (you know, the "ow, ow...ch..chiketa..chik...ahhh...ow...ow" song from the closing credits of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"):

So get ready: Cylons and Humans rumble over what may be a newly-discovered secret about how to find Earth.

"The Eye of Jupiter"
9pm on Sci-Fi

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December 11, 2006

Why Do We Love Jack Bauer?

I've heard a lot about the appeal of "24" over the years, but this quote over at Libertas really nails it:

Jack Bauer is a hero in the oldest and truest sense: He believes in something bigger than himself and is willing to die for it. He believes in America, our government, and the office of the President. He’s not some reluctant figure pushed to heroism. He enters the breach willingly. He is a patriot and heaven help those who are not.
jack.jpg

And that's so damn refreshing in a world of crappy, narcissistic, politically-correct "entertainment".

34 more days until the premiere of Season Six.

But who's counting?

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December 08, 2006

Tonight...On BSG

BSG Lee Kara.jpg

"I missed you, Lee."
"I missed you too, Kara."
"Sorry about kicking your ass in that boxing ring."
"Um, if memory serves, Starbuck, I believe I kicked your ass."
"Yeah, in your dreams."
"Shut-up and look serious for the camera."
"Wuss."

Okay, bygones...

Tonight's episode: Soylent Green is Cylons!

"The Passage"
9pm on Sci-Fi

I'm going to have to DVR this one and watch it late. Holiday stuff at the parent's condo, ya know.

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December 01, 2006

BSG Is Back

After a one-week hiatus that felt like a month. And it looks like this one was worth waiting for.

At the end of the last episode of Season Two, the time line jumped ahead one year from the settlement of "New Caprica" to the invasion of the Cylons.

lee and kara BSG.bmp

So what happened during all that time? Apparently, LOTS. In particular there was a little horizontal hootchie-cootchie between Lee "Apollo" Adama and Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. And it also looks like there's some unresolved anger issues between the two. We'll get some good stuff through flashback.

Skye at Midnight Blue has a spoiler clip. Go on. You know you want to. There's also a Jamie Bamber beefcake shot for you ladies. And in other news, starting in January the show moves to Sunday nights at 10pm.

Tonight's episode is "Unfinished Business" - 9pm on Sci-Fi. Be there!

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November 29, 2006

Top 100 TV Catch-Phrases

According to TV Land. Personally, I think they were reaching for some of these just to round out 100.

If you've heard them all from their original source, there's no getting around it. You're OLD! And you watch too much television.

h/t: Eric The Viking

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November 17, 2006

BSG Geeks Demand Better Episodes

Actually, I didn't have a problem with last week's show they way so many others seemed to. It seems ever since the new season premiered with the whole New Caprica/Iraqtica controversy a lot of fans are getting paranoid that Ronald D. Moore and Co. are taking a turn to the Left in their storylines. I disagree.

The writers are bringing controversial issues into the show (i.e. arguments for and against a Cylon genocide in "A Measure Of Salvation"). But when have they not? I don't see these as Liberal versus Conservative arguments at all. They're issues relating to humanity. And they're designed (IMO) to simply make you think as well as entertain.

Remember when Luke Skywalker asked Yoda what was in the "haunted" tree on Dagobah? Yoda answered, "Only what you take with you." I think Liberals and Conservatives alike would enjoy the show more if they put some of their preconceived ideas aside for one hour. Anyway, it works for me. If you have iTunes, I highly recommend downloading the podcasts and listen to Moore's commentary as he sucks back double-malt scotch.

Enjoy tonight's show:

BSG trio1.jpg

"Hero"
9pm on Sci-Fi

UPDATE:
Not too shabby. In two weeks: Lee and Kara take out some pent-up sexual energy in the boxing ring. Snootchie-bootchie!

UPDATE DEUX:
Quote from RDM's commentary from last week (on the topic of genocide):
"It's not about giving the answers, it's about asking the questions."
The scene with the debate over Cylon genocide reflected an actual debate among the writers. Some of the writers were like "well, why wouldn't they release this virus? Duh!" Others raised the question, "well are they really people? Are they beings? Would it actually be genocide?"

Me: Those who feel strongly about a culture of life should think about it. Humans gave life to the Cylons. Are they life? They're machines but they're partially organic. They possess living cells, but do they qualify as sentient beings? Could they possibly have souls? It blows the mind, really. Something to ponder. For what it's worth...

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November 03, 2006

BSG Tonight

Cylons.jpg

"Torn"
9pm on Sci-Fi

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October 20, 2006

New BSG Tonight

BSG six.jpg

"Exodus, Pt. II": Will Admiral Adama get his people of "Iraqtica"? Will Sharon find her still-alive baby? Will President Balter give Caprica Six some well-deserved "cuddling".

Tune in tonight!

UPDATE:

Podcast notes and quotes: (SPOILERS!!!!!)

Click "more"

more...

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October 18, 2006

Get "Lost" Tonight

OK, I admit I'm getting a little tired of the flashbacks. We know enough about their past, let's spend more time on their present!

Here's a little Evangeline Lilly for you.

evangeline lilly.jpg

Now a flashback for Kate with her looking that that would be nice.

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October 12, 2006

Holiday Hack-Job

John Podhoretz at The Corner dropped a major bomb: There will be a live-action version of "The Year Without A Santa Claus". I looked it up and...argh...it's true.

And check out the cast:

Santa Claus: John Goodman
Ms. Claus: Delta Burke
Heat Miser: Harvey Fierstein
Snow Miser: Michael McKean
Mother Nature: Carol Kane

I have only one thing to say.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

heat-miser.jpg

Oh, when I say I'm on fire, I mean I'm really en fuego!

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October 09, 2006

BSG Controversy - Open Thread

Hmmm. Thought I'd start a new thread for this since it's generating such strong opinion.

There are a couple of different points of view as to whether or not there is an "Iraq Metaphor" going on with Battlestar Galactica. You can see some of the comments from the last post: here.

My own impressions are that the writers left it open to interpretation. If you see the similarities, then they're there. However, I tend to agree with RightWingProf that the Cylon occupation is more analogous to occupied France during WWII. If there is any analogy at all. My own opinion is the Ronald D. Moore and Co. have been fairly even-handed to date and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the date.

At most, I think they are addressing issues that people can relate to - many of them are controversial. This drives ratings and makes it a much more interesting show. But I don't detect a particular bias promoting one point of view or the other. It's more of a glimpse into the overall human condition.

Feel free to discuss. Please keep it civil!

More discussion over at MidnightBlue and RightWingNation.

If I find opinion on the web, I'll post it here as an update.

UPDATE:
That was quick. Jonah Goldberg of National Review plans a column on the subject or at least some commentary at The Corner within the next twenty-four hours.

UPDATE II:
I listened to the Ron Moore podcast of Friday's episode on iTunes.

Here's the skinny:
Moore (and his wife who is a co-writer) commented on the setting of occupied New Caprica. While they acknowledged that there are elements of Iraq in the storyline they also said that they are mixed in with parallels of other occupations - such as France in WWII, the West Bank, colonial America. All of the writers, he said, are very familiar with many aspects of human history - not just recent history.

He said he's been asked quite a bit about Iraq and he explained that he was not intending to make any political statements about current events, rather he was drawing on many different elements to create situations within which the characters react to in different ways. For example, what would Chief Tyrol do here or how would Tigh respond to this or Laura Roslin, etc. etc.

As to the inclusion of a "suicide mission", they are trying to "ratchet up" the events on New Caprica because they are leading to a major clash that will coincide with the return of Galactica. The Cylons reaction to it is important in pushing them and the humans on a sort of "collision course".

Essentially, next week's episode is a major event and these two episodes combined are meant for the audience to fully absorb the situation that leads up to it.

There was other stuff but the only other item of note regarding the New Caprica Police graduation ceremony and Duck's suicide bombing is to show that shocking things like that really happen. And rather than just hearing about it on the news, Moore wanted to present the grisly details and horrific aftermath of such an act. He was nervous that the network (Sci-Fi, which is owned by NBC) would object to showing it so graphically but he said they were actually very supportive.

Could Moore be full of crap about all this? Sure, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt here.

UPDATE III:
Jonah Goldberg (finally) weighes in. His take: Yes, it was blatant Iraq, but...

RightWingProf even gets a link!

UPDATE IV:
Was reminded by a comment on a thread at HotAir.com that this isn't the first time we've seen a suicide bombing on BSG. In season one, one of the Doral Cylons blew himself up on Galactica killing three people. Not as devastating as the one from this season, but still...

Interesting. The episode was titled "Litmus". Cylons as insurgents, maybe? I don't remember the Left get all huffy over that one.

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October 06, 2006

BSG Is BACK!

Man, it seems like forever since the end of last season when the series went in a completely different direction (that was back in March!). At first, I shared a lot of the concerns about this plotline that were voiced by other fans. But having reflected on it for seven months, I'm stoked about it!

BSG Back.jpg

Battlestar Galactica, Season Three premieres tonight at 9pm
on Sci-fi Channel (2 hr episode)

Let's go, ladies!

UPDATE:
Wow. Very intense. Before people get all pissy about the suicide bomber thing, keep in mind they didn't glorify it. In fact, I didn't pick up on any particular value judgements. The scene with Roslin confronting Tigh over it was interesting. I found the overall take very neutral.

They did a LOT in this episode (or episodes depending on how you look at it).

I remain impressed. And looking forward eagerly to next week.

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