Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween






[Tip O' the pointy witches hat to Spout and trueblood_tv]

Update on NPR's Vote Report

"If you have any voting problems, NPR wants to hear about them. As part of Twitter Vote Report – a project born out of a collaboration of volunteer software developers, bloggers and the NPR social media desk – we'll be monitoring voting irregularities, everything from long waits and broken voting machines to polling places with insufficient ballots.

An interactive map will track election problems reported by voters. The map will display eyewitness reports as they come in, so most of them will not be verified by NPR. As reporters look into some of them, you'll find stories on our voting problems page..."


More info on submitting to Vote Report via Twitter, text message, YouTube, iPhone and Google Phone here...

Pretty cool.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

NPR twitters #votereport

I follow an excellent Twitter feed, NPR's nprpolitics.

Today they mentioned that you can tweet (or text message) to NPR any voting irregularities or problems in your neighborhood...Here's a few of their tweets on this:

If you experience probs when voting, send a tweet with your zip, the tag #votereport & a description so we can investigate trends. @acarvin

You can also sent a txt message to 66937. Begin it w/ #votereport, then include your zip and a description of the problem....We'll also have a call-in phone line, an iPhone app and a Google Android app for submitting to #votereport. More info soon. / @acarvin

The Vote Report iPhone app is live! You can use it to report voting problems at your polling station. http://tinyurl.com/5n7cex



File this under: Am I F*cking Dreaming This?

MAD MEN's Jon Hamm to guest star on 30 ROCK as potential love interest for Liz Lemon

*dies*


(While I'm here, note you Hamm fanatics need to see this, this and this. Right now. ROFL)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There's an insane amount of gigantic Matt Weiner interviews out there at the moment...

With the Basket of Kisses blog

With Variety's Season Pass blog

With The Watcher

With Alan Sepinwall



Also, BoK had the Little Jewish GOD at their MAD MEN season finale party the other night here in NYC, lucky beotches!...Those Crazy Lipp Girls are still transcribing their interview with him, and I will update this post once it's up. ETA: they've posted a few teaser excerpts. ETA2: I've added the full interview link up top.


I am still processing the final season two episode (MAD MEN 213, "Meditations In An Emergency"). First impression: I was stunned by my sudden sympathy for Pete Campbell during this hour, after spending half of season one and all of this season despising him non-stop! His warning to Don was so unexpected -- and that final scene with Pete and Peggy was surprisingly satisfying. And Peggy, OH DARLING LITTLE PEGGY! Just such a delicious character, always perfectly played by Elizabeth Moss. Her scenes with Vincent Kartheiser are consistently marvelous.


Speaking of interviews, it is my duty to pimp an interview Logan and I did for Galactica Sitrep, talking to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA writer/producer Michael Taylor. If you are a fan of Starbuck, Tigh, Adama, Starbuck/Apollo, or Tigh/Adama, you will be very happy after reading it.

One more tangent for any of you who were watching MAD MEN on AMC on Sunday -- did you catch that promo that mentioned season 2 of BREAKING BAD was coming soon? Did they say January 2009? I need to go back and check. Also there were quick glimpses in the same promo of the first footage I've ever seen of AMC remake of THE PRISONER. It looks - well - parched. Very parched. But I'm curious!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Definitely the best skit from Jon Hamm's SNL last night was:

Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women



I thought the MAD MEN sketch was pretty lame, despite the delightful presence of Elizabeth Moss and John Slattery YAY!...though the Guide sketch, the Pat Finger joke, and witnessing Hamm's spot-on mimicry of JFK and James Mason (!?!) more than made up for it...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

30 ROCK season premiere

It's on Hulu a week early, yeehaw!

Funniest Star Wars interview you will ever see.

Ever.




I can't believe how stalkery-gross that interviewer was...and how gracefully patient Carrie Fisher was. And all the stuff she has in her house! And how easily she will give pieces away! And that goddamned figure of her in the bikini, gross! And hilarious at the same time! This is just one of those historic, OMG-type interviews that leaves you both pissed off, and full of glee.

Let's hope Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer give this sort of interview when they're 50 years old. And/or do one-woman shows. Amazing.


[And thanks to gdg for finding that.]

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On My Mind

"And let me thank you and let me say from my heart; please engage in the things we're talking about. Don't give up on mass culture. Contribute to it. Break your heart in trying to make it better instead of standing outside it. Our species is in a fight for it's life. Nobody says that the decision is going go one way or the other. So put your bodies and spirits up. It's not that we don't have a vote anymore. It's that we're voting in the wrong election. Come and vote with me."


David Milch @ MIT on April 20th, 2006



[via This Living Death]

The HBO Presidential Debate


Was There Too Much Sex And Profanity In The HBO Presidential Debate?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A trailer for web series CHILDRENS' HOSPITAL

More InterV goodness, from Rob Cordry with assists from Stephen Colbert, Megan Mullaly, Ed Helms etc. Looks like an immensely silly mockery of GREY'S ANATOMY and that whole genre...I'm in. Premiering on TheWB.com this December.



[via tubefilter news]

Elizabeth and Seth Make a Photo Shoot

And it's very cute.






[Mean Magazine..."This Is Not Sex" Directed By Tony Kaye...aka ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO shootvid...via Spout]

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A peek at UNITED STATES OF TARA

Ooh lookie here, a teeny weeny peek and interviews on set with Toni Collette and Diablo Cody. Swell.



This is going to be on Showtime in January. [HT PopCandy]

Send questions for FNL's LIVE FROM DILLON tonight 10pm EST

ETA: apparently last night's show had tech problems and did not happen...but Kristin is to continue hosting for the rest of the season and will be taking questions for the cast every week, so keep an eye out.

Sorry it's short notice but I just saw this...you can email Kristin from E!'s Watch With Kristin questions for tonight's first FNL LIVE FROM DILLON!

If you have access to DirecTV, please don't forget to watch tonight's episode of Friday Night Lights on the 101 Network. Lyla and Riggins are heating up, and it is not to be missed!

And after the episode, stick around for the premiere of Live From Dillon, a new, live call-in show that I will be hosting, where you get the chance to ask questions (over the phone, via email or text message) of the Friday Night Lights' cast in Austin, Texas.

Each Wednesday for the next six weeks, we'll have different cast members as live guests on the show, starting tonight with the Garritys: Minka Kelly (Lyla) and Brad Leland (Buddy). Live From Dillon airs immediately following the 9 p.m. EDT episode of FNL on DirecTV's 101 Network.

I will be there tonight hosting and fielding all your questions, so it would be great to hear from some of you Watch With Kristin readers. (Don't leave me lonely!)

Enjoy the episode, and in the meantime, you can email your questions for Minka or Brad to fanmail@directv.com.

Go Panthers!

Hayden Panettiere says: VOTE MCCAIN



"Don't switch horses mid-stream! Get an older horse, who would take 12 years to cross that stream. Cuz he's old."

LULZ

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There are days I am glad I moved out of SoCal.

This is one of those days.



(Not as horrifying as summer 2007, when my old neighborhood in Los Feliz was on fire. Hat tip BuzzFeed.)

Don Draper goes West


In this week's MAD MEN 210, "The Jet Set", Don Draper finally inserted himself into a Palm Springs scene with characters straight out of his beloved movie LA NOTTE...or Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA.

Brilliant.




[screencap by designpublic]

Monday, October 13, 2008

SMART GIRLS have more fun

A trailer is up for the new web series SMART GIRLS AT THE PARTY with host Amy Poehler.



Adorable!

[Tip O' Hat to TubeFilter.]

We're In The Money

As those of us working in the Escapism Business wonder if we will still have jobs in six months, Anne Thompson has posted some clips from films that kept the populus happy during The Great Depression, and has a clip of Oliver Stone and John Cromwell's interview with AMC.




Stone is doing the rounds this week promoting his film W., which looks both hilarious and profoundly scary. I will be there, since Stone is one of the greatest living visual communicators that Hollywood's got these days.

Here is his excellent interview from last Friday's REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER...




And here is Stone playing along quite well with Stephen Colbert...

Something to calm the worrywarts...

For those of you feeling stressed-out over all these rumors that Fox and Joss Whedon are having problems getting DOLLHOUSE on track, etc, comes a soothing new balm: this TV Week interview with the Co-Chairs of Fox TV Production...

TVWeek: The buzz surrounding Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” has been sketchy. The show shut down production for a couple weeks. What’s going on?

Dana Walden: Trying to tell stories that involve a genre mythology, while also telling close-ended episodic stories, while also developing characters that people are going to want to come back to week in and week out—it’s an enormous, Herculean effort. [But] there’s no one we have more faith in than Joss Whedon.

The midseason opportunity is a blessing and curse. It’s a blessing because you have more time. And it’s a curse because you have more time. There’s a greater level of scrutiny. There is a greater level of intrusion from executives. The bar just keeps being raised because there’s no urgency to put the show on the air, so at no point do you just let go of it and say, “You know what, now it’s time for this country to decide whether this is something that’s going to tap into the Zeitgeist and become culturally phenomenal or successful in general, or not.” Being stuck in that limbo with a lot of well-intentioned executives is very difficult for a creator like Joss.

With [Mr. Whedon’s WB series] “Angel,” we shut that down at the very beginning of the process. There was a creative retooling. We went back up after a little over a month and the show just found the place where the stories were the most interesting and the characters just popped. And that’s where we’ve come to with “Dollhouse.” There’s a very complicated mythology that Joss is trying to crack in a way that’s satisfying to a broad audience but will also satisfy his core fan base who will watch anything that Joss does. This is a big task.

TVWeek: Is the retooling going well?

DW: Absolutely. The first two episodes … are quite good. The third episode is as compelling a script as I’ve ever read. You just fly through it. It’s engaging, it’s exciting. It was the script where everyone said, “You know what, Joss is on to something. We need to give him some breathing room. Let’s take a couple weeks down so the scripts can catch up to this direction.”



(Also, you SONS OF ANARCHY fans have something to celebrate here: a season 2 greenlight. Yay?)

What I’m watching: Fall TV 2008

Here is how my fall TV season is shaping up so far…it even includes a few shows from England that a pal sent over to me. How special! Let’s compare notes on TV we’re are loving and hating right now, shall we? I am eager to hear in the comments what you are watching, not watching, considering watching, so on and etc. Please share.

Note to spoiler-virgins, aka spirgins: I’ve tried hard to indicate which paragraphs have spoilers in them for all these shows, so that you can have a look at most of this entry.

FanGrrl Magnet’s
Best Show On The Air Right Now (tie):
MAD MEN and
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

FanGrrl Magnet’s
Best New Show of Fall 2008:
TRUE BLOOD



TRUE BLOOD

This easily wins my personal Best In Show for a new series so far this season. Sexy, intelligent, funny, dark, adult fun. I was pretty much made to love this show, being a lifelong fan of vampire tales, an admirer of showrunner Alan Ball’s work, and an ardent fan of HBO’s style of sophisticated, R-rated television for the mature mind. For any of you who consider yourselves long-term consumers of vampire storytelling, there is so much here to enjoy -- intense eroticism, violence, vamp history and lore, and tons of truly original ideas thrown into the mix thanks to Charlaine Harris’ and Alan Ball’s vibrant imaginations. The show was renewed for a 2nd season after only one episode aired, and I am already getting way too gleeful pondering Michelle Forbes as a dangerous woodland creature, The Maenad, coming up next season, tee hee. I hope y'all are along for this here ride, these vahmpahrs sure are one hell of ah time.


A few fun TRUE BLOOD links:

...HBO has released short, mildly spoilery descriptions of episodes 6-8. This livejournal community also posted descriptions for eps 9-12 (source seems to be the password-locked HBO corporate web site for the latter).

...Rope of Silicon noticed the use of favorite Bush poster of mine prominently in ep.#104.

...Food for thought from Alan Ball in a recent interview:
New York Magazine: So, what’s appealing about vampires as characters?
Alan Ball: People are also drawn to the idea of immortality. The idea of only being out at night so you can give rein to your darker, primal, carnal impulses. And I suppose we all know people who suck the life out of us. I don’t really know what it is about vampires that makes them such a powerful symbol, metaphor, whatever in people’s consciousness. But I do know they’re tremendously powerful. I mean, there’s a vampire on Sesame Street. And Count Chocula. I don’t know why it’s so powerful. As a culture we are not comfortable with mortality. We do not accept it the way other cultures do. We cling to youth, and we don’t want to die. It’s like, well, too bad, we do.

...An interesting piece on what the ratings for the first month of TRUE BLOOD tells us about cable and premium channel ratings in the age of DVR and Video-On-Demand.

...Anne Rice doesn't want to think about vampires anymore -- and isn't going to be watching TRUE BLOOD, it seems.

...If you are just now starting to get hooked on this show, it is never too late to go back and check out the two full months (!!) worth of advance plot backstory that was set up over at BloodCopy.com beginning this past July. Worth reading in chronological order, IMHO.


FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

If someone had told me five years ago that I would soon be head-over-heels in love with a show about small-town Texas footballers and their families, I certainly would’ve laughed them out of the room. This addictively inspiring and profound little drama (that waaaaay too few people are watching! *sob*) continues to shine in the first two episodes of season 3 on DirecTV’s 101 Network.

I don’t have DirecTV, but a very kind friend is taping the shows for me this fall so that I can see the longer, commercial-free version now -- instead of waiting for the cutdown version that will air on NBC early in 2009. 301 and 302 are as good as ever, with plenty going on and a few new folks in town shaking things up. 302 brought me to tears in a couple of places (a first for this show).

(Skip this paragraph for spoilers.) I’ve heard a few complaints that Tami Taylor would never be hired as principal “in real life,” a plot point which isn’t bothering me too much, given the ramshackle state of the school and Tami’s good track record as a guidance counselor. Then again, I had no problem with the Tyra/Landry murder plot last year either…so if we get to fisticuffs over the show this season, so be it. Also it’s great to see that Saracen’s mom is already on the show in 302 – welcome to Kim Dickens (DEADWOOD).

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS remains an unique, incandescent highlight of a mostly dim fall TV calendar. I have no idea if this is going to be the last season…the ratings for 301 have been spun as both positive and negative. We shall see.

Starting with this Wednesday’s episode 303, the 101 Network will be running LIVE FROM DILLON just after each episode airs:
Friday Night Lights fans will get to spend more time with their favorite cast members on the new companion television show Live From Dillon (Wednesdays immediately following Friday Night Lights beginning October 15). The program will feature different cast members each week as they discuss their characters, plot lines and even take live viewer questions. The Taylor Family (Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton and Aimee Teegarden) are scheduled to appear on the first episode.

Of note for you BATTLESTAR GALACTICA fans, FNL director/producer Jeffrey Reimer, who directed 301 & 302, is also the director of the CAPRICA prequel film. No word yet if CAPRICA will ever go to series…


Some FNL links I enjoyed:

...About a month before FNL premiered, the NY Times’ Quad Blog was having a big online chat about the book that started it all.

...EW.com’s Popwatch convinced five of the FNL castmembers to blog from concerts at this year’s Austin city Limits Festival. Here’s Connie Britton, Scott Porter, Jesse Plemons, Gaius Charles, and two from Adrianne Palicki.

...Sporting News gathered a roundtable of TV journos to discuss the show.

...Get a fix of FNL/HEROES crossover in this interview with Brea Grant (Landry’s exGF and currently playing Daphne on HEROES this fall).

...TV Guide’s Matt Roush discusses what the move to DirecTV might mean for the show’s future (hey, it’s never too late to fret on this one folks!).


MAD MEN

What is left to say about this show that you haven't already heard on 25 other web sites? (Especially the best fansite out there, Basket of Kisses!) I fell hard for this show last year and am still hooked. The feminism, the behind-the-curtain glimpses at advertising creativity, the family dramas, the office politics, the details of manner and attitude that are both antique and shockingly relevant...so much to enjoy here. It was nice to finally see a script credit for consulting producer Marti Noxon (BUFFY, GREY’S ANATOMY, BROTHERS & SISTERS), on ep #210 "The Inheritance." I was wondering when we’d see her work here.


Let me dump some more of my favorite links here. There are so many this season...Chill, blend, and enjoy straight up till next Sunday.

...A local agency created these fun MAD MEN inspired TV ads to run during the show in their local market.

...Artist Dyna Moe has been creating amazing art throughout this season…some of my favorites feature The Rothko (above), "Ossining Calling" (aka Betty and That Chair), little Sally Draper’s Bartending Cheat Sheets. But they are all pretty amazing!

...You can still get your own piece of Sterling Cooper here (I’m leaning towards the magnet myself).

...This is one of the simplest and best reviews of the show I’ve read that covers the main reasons I love this show…the writer describes MAD MEN as "a crash course in the second wave of feminism" and “a Great American Novel of a series.” Word.


FRINGE

Putting all the intense advance hype aside, I'm willing to ride this show out long term for the fun pseudoscientific creepiness, conspiracies, and family relationships. This will never be my favorite show, but it draws me in and keeps me there with a clever combination of serialized details and one-off procedural plots designed for maximum user-friendliness and erratic viewing. I respect that. Mad scientist Walter is a nutty gas...I get a big kick out of him and his damaged, deranged relationship with his adult son. Enjoying Anna Torv's groovy, androgynous macho...and that Jackson boy – so grown up now, and clever. The good news came down the pipes recently that Fox has greenlit the rest of a 22-ep season, so along with one other little Bad Robot project you might have already heard about, I’m really looking forward to more from these boys.

Some fun links:

...The fans over at FringeBloggers and their associated forum are continuing to pick away at screengrabs of every ep, looking for crazy clues. This site is really good with the “easter eggs” as they call them.; and the show, in full Abrams/Pinker fashion, continues to offer rewards for the curious. I don’t have the patience, but you LOSTies are into this stuff! Knock yerselves out!

...Here’s JJ Abrams on Conan O’Brien recently, finally getting asked about his obsession with airplane disasters.

...The Guardian UK did a fan Q&A with JJ over here last week.




TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES

The premiere episode this season blasted out of the gate last month and even gave us a delicious T-1001. But the following two eps were pretty lame. I got worried. Then last week's ep 204, "Allison From Palmdale," was a big improvement. And this past week’s 205 just BLEW. ME. AWAY. It was very BAG-centric, which is always my favorite, it had this classic scene, and there was a lot of flash forwards to Future World. All good stuff.

There are warnings about the ratings, warnings which we should be scared of...I just want the show to be good. The latest update from the show’s PTB is that 2 more scripts have been ordered…always a cause for slight hope that this is not the final 13 eps, that the show will get its back 9 order. My fingers are crossed. Either way, this is one of the most impressive Sci-Fi or Fantasy TV casts on the air, and I am watching till it's over. Hope you are reading their writers' blog, it's tons o fun. Also, no matter what happens now, at least we had The Beastwizard.

On a much brighter note, a Sci Fi Wire writer is so enamored with Sarah C. and her little TV show, he wrote her a love letter! And so did some other journos

Here’s the promo for the next new ep, which airs next week – and it looks like we’ll be seeing BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s Stephanie Chavez-Jacobsen on there as Derek’s fellow…erm. Lover? Fighter? We shall see.





HEROES - I really didn't mind season 2, so if you have a problem with that you should probably ignore my opinion now, huh? We are four eps in and I'm having a good time…while other fans and journalists are losing their sh*t over how bad it is. This show has always had a stylishness to it, a comic book look, tight engrossing direction and an amazing rainbow-colored cast. I know a lot people who have complained and bitched about it and many of them have given up by now. But I still think its great fun. Not rocket science. Not the next Great American Novel. But pulpy good fun. By the way, if you've already geeked out for hours on NBC's HEROES web site...have you also visited the blogs of Jesse Alexander, Greg Beeman and...HRG himself, Jack Coleman? Fun stuff.

UGLY BETTY - I still love to hate Marc, Amanda and Wilhelmina way too much to give this show up. Even though the series has by its nature had to get repetitive, there is still something so wonderful about watching underdog Betty make her way in The Big City. Sans Mahnolo's. Make sure to watch ABC’s weekly webisodes for this season, all Marc and all Amanda, all the time!





GREY'S ANATOMY - I was going to cross this off my list this year, but Kevin McKidd's (ROME, JOURNEYMAN) performance with Sandra Oh in the season premiere convinced me to give it another chance. So far – icicle or no icicle – it hasn’t been a disappointment. The upcoming arcs with doctors played by Mary McDonnell (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) and Melissa George (IN TREATMENT) may keep me there a bit longer.

PRIVATE PRACTICE - We all need silly escapist fun, right? Well this, GREY'S, and UGLY BETTY are mine. So sue me! I know real grown-up people (doctors!) do not talk like this...do not act like this. Consider the writing on these shows to be a modern equivalent to the screwball comedy films of the 1930s, or the film noirs of the 40s and 50s: extremely stylized, unrealistic, yet an art unto itself. Taking the perspective of art and of entertainment, surely these shows can be appreciated more for their craftsmanship than any degree of realism. These shows are incredibly honest on a purely emotional level. I know plenty of adults who have 12-year-old type emotional reactions...

ENTOURAGE - Still fun, still ridiculous. Every time I think I'm bored with these guys and their rises and their falls, Ari or Drama makes me laugh out loud...or there is some insane sexual situation...or another challenging deal gone awry. It has just been renewed for another season, btw.

CALIFORNICATION - Now that the nasty good times of SAVING GRACE and WEEDS have ended for the summer, thank god Hank Moody is back. Welcome new guest actor Callum Keith Rennie, who is a joyous addition and pops up immediately in ep 201. This show has grown on me over time, and I now prefer it to ENTOURAGE, which it is often compared to. Unlike ENTOURAGE, CALIFORNICATION doles out its snark and heartache in equal measures, and swims in the deeper waters of wisdom, experience and family. It has about 200% more sex…and, there are female characters who get to have serious speaking parts! Without wearing bikinis! Imagine that. ;-) Both shows are tons of fun, but CALIFORNICATION has the real grown up heart and soul. I keep expecting Vincent and E, 20 years in the future, to pop up in Hank Moody’s universe. Maybe some day. This show also has a mostly serious, sometimes ridiculous, writers production blog.

FEASTING ON WAVES WITH ALTON BROWN - fun, and a great sight-seeing adventure...but I don't eat like the folks down on The Islands, so this is of limited value for me. At least there are a few vegetables on the table now and then.

SANCTUARY - While this show is not really my cup of tea, I highly recommend you give it a try if you like DOCTOR WHO, TORCHWOOD, PRIMEVAL and the like. Some folks are complaining about the all-CGI sets (most of the show is shot again a green screen background), but I think it's quite well done for a TV show. Not only that, but this form of CGI points to the means for more SciFi producers to get their product to television looking good on a low budget. That's A GOOD THING folks. There is a nifty psychological angle to this story that works nicely. I watched the two-hour premiere and don't plan to continue, but don't let that stop you from giving it 1-3 hours of your time. Similar to MERLIN (see below), I can appreciate this show without feeling any need to watch all of it. The premiere is actually on Hulu now…and BonnieGrrl linked to all the webisodes, if you’re interested.

EASY MONEY – Purely on Mo Ryan’s recommendation and her comparison of this new show to BREAKING BAD, I gave this a try. The first two eps were definitely enticing, and in fact this show makes an effective double feature with CRASH (see below) -- two thoughtful and well-written shows about our culture that touch on the sides of life we might rather leave hidden. This sorry bunch of conmen, loan sharks, and the losers who cling to them like liferafts is a bit depressing, sure – but the appearance of a show about easy loans and The American Dream (Wild West Version 2.5) is so shockingly timely and affecting, given our Wall Street meltdown. Apparently one or two SOPRANOS producers are involved with EASY MONEY, but the show has definitely got more in common with BREAKING BAD. In the end, all these shows can be seen as in the same genre: extended crime families.

CRASH – I just saw ep 101 of this 13-episode series, currently streaming free before its Oct. 17th premiere on the Starz channel, and found myself completely engaged. (ETA: they are now streaming ep 102 as well.) If you admired the Oscar-winning film, I suggest you give this a try. The film’s author Paul Haggis is involved in this show and so I remain curious. TV Squad posted some clips: watch what Haggis is saying in the 2nd video over there about how he originally imagined CRASH as a TV show. Interesting stuff. Ep 101 was worth watching just to enjoy the trainwreck of Dennis Hopper’s manic, unpredictable LA music producer. There are many other serious, detailed, effecting (and R-Rated) plot lines being woven into the firmament.



MY BRITISH IMPORTS: I have a friend in England who is passing me a few new British shows this fall. Perhaps you can get your hands on them too.


LOST IN AUSTEN - This four-episode miniseries for England’s ITV network just finished airing and is coming out now on UK DVD. I do not know when we Americans will get to see this on our shores but Austen fans looking for a lighthearted variation on our canon should check it out. It’s silly, and unreal, but has plenty to delight. Sending a thoroughly modern Englishwomen into the world of Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and then cracking open (and changing!) the story in a million tiny ways, adds up to laughs and a few trifling insights. Jemima Rooper is really entertaining as the luckiest Austen fan in the world. There is great whimsy in the show’s completely artificial yet clever twists on a beloved book – in particular for the characters Caroline Bingley, Mr. Wickham and Lady Catherine de Bourg (the latter marvelously played by Lindsay Duncan). Let’s hope PBS or BBC America gets this show over here right quick.

[I don’t know how long it will stay up, but this person seems to have posted the entire series in little pieces on UK youtube. Enjoy…if you get there in time.]


MERLIN - This is currently airing on the BBC, and the best description I’ve heard of it is the SMALLVILLE-ization of the Arturian Legend. I’m not a fan of that US superhero show -- it's aimed at a much younger viewer than I -- and I didn’t expect to get very into this one either, but I’m up to episode 3 and sort of getting drawn in. Much like what I imagine JJ Abrams' STAR TREK XI will do for that famous story, MERLIN drops us into the lives of Arthur, Merlin, Morgana, Guinevere, and the rest of these characters from the Arturian Legend at a young age, and allows us to watch as myths are born. BUFFY’s Anthony Head plays Arthur’s father King Urthur, TORCHWOOD’s Eve Myles guests in Episode 1, and BIONIC WOMAN’s Michelle Ryan appears in Ep. 3 for what promises to be a more long-term arc as the powerful and evil sorceress Nimueh.



SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL - I still really enjoy this sassy show. Certainly it's sad, but never as sad as those awful shows on HBO like CATHOUSE and the like. Billie Piper is perfect, and those short shocking 30-minute doses are just right -- like a harried nooner on a busy Tuesday, just enough, not too much. I'm up to episode five as of now and the show took a suprising detour into new ground for a few episodes...very moving, well-handled, and a wonderful showcase for sides of Belle and Hannah that we haven't seen before. Meanwhile, I recently stumbled upon the book this show is based on…and the blog. For extra fun.

Word has just come down that this second season of SDCG will be on Showtime here in the USA in January, to air in a block with the Diablo Cody/Steven Spielberg show THE UNITED STATES OF TARA and the final season of THE L WORD. Oh, what a night that shall be!

Speaking of TARA, which will star Toni Collette -- Toni was heartbreaking and fantastic in Alan Ball's indie feature TOWELHEAD, which I just saw last week. The film manages to be incredibly disturbing for the sex with minors content, while also rising to profound and moving heights. See it -- unless minorsex really bothers you; the scenes vary from consensual flirting and imagined romance to outright violation, driven by the desires of a dangerously curious preteen girl. Ball has some delicious future film projects up his sleeve…one wonders when he’ll have time with TRUE BLOOD season 2 in the works. NPR’s Fresh Air did a fantastic and revealing interview with Ball last month about both his film and his TV show, I highly recommend it (available for free download via iTunes Podcasts page).


So...what are you watching?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nathan Fillion's next show: CASTLE

Coming to ABC in midseason, apparently. (Tip o' the hat Whedonesque.)

For me, these were the funniest sketches on SNL this week:

C-Span Bailout

[NBC HAS REMOVED THIS SKETCH FROM THE INTERNETZ...
ONE NEEDS TO WONDER, WHY?]
ETA: for the time being you can see it HERE. Hurry up.
ETA2: It's back now...with a tiny edit...they removed this graphic:


So...here it is...





Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals




heheheheh

Thursday, October 2, 2008

OK, fine, whatever. Don't vote. Who cares.



Or, if you change your mind, and you DO want to vote in the most important friggin' election of our lifetimes, check out this Google Maps app. You can type in your home address, and it will give you voter registration info and deadlines.

In most states the deadline is October 10, though in a few it's as early as this Saturday, so MOVE IT!

(Later this month that Google maplet is going to add your local polling location as well. Pretty cool.)