Monday, May 18, 2009

R.I.P. Terminator: TSCC

The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (TSCC) was canceled today.

This show was excellent. One of the best shows I have seen, especially of the Sci Fi genre. I think the nuance of the storytelling threw me (and many), but like any intricate work of art, it gets better on closer inspection.

I am disappointed, but not disheartened. Too many shows actually stay on the air too long. The finale served the series’ story almost too well. It wrapped everything up in a way that leaves me wondering, but not confused. With the “family” split, and no Cameron, I do not think it could be the same show. There is a tendency to push TV shows past the point of good storytelling, and I am glad this one ended gracefully.

Lena - I was really impressed by how well she developed the character over the two seasons. I hope someone realizes how good of an actor she is.
Summer - Always amazing. As the saying goes, I’d watch her read the phonebook.
Brian - Added a very cool edge to the show.
Dekker - I enjoyed watching John Baum become John Connor. I don’t think I realized what was going on, until it was explained in an episode, and I wish I had gotten to see more of Dekker as John Connor. But still an A+ performance.

Thank you for an excellent show!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Dollhouse Metaphor

Did Joss Whedon and Eliza Dusku play a prank on Fox by getting them to air a show about how bad the TV industry is?

I tuned in this morning to watch the Dollhouse (season/series?) finale (loved it). This show is rumored to be on the brink of cancellation, so I wanted to find out what other people thought. While I was looking around (mostly on IMDB and Twitter), I found out that there have been some rumblings with Eliza Dushku and her contract with FOX.

And then it hit me.

The whole show is a metaphor for the television (and movie) industry. I don't work in the industry, so I apologize if it was obvious to everyone else.

The main character of the show, Echo/Caroline (played by Dushku), is a young woman whom we know little about. For unknown reasons, she enters into a five year contract with this agency. Her memory is wiped clean and she becomes a slave of the agency. She periodically gets an "engagement" where she is imprinted with someone else's personality (or a hybrid). During each engagement, she becomes someone else for the duration of that scenario. When it's over, she returns to the Dollhouse, and has her memory wiped until the next engagement. Furthermore, Echo (and the other dolls) are expected to behave like soulless zombies between engagements. Once her contract is up, Echo is supposed to be free to return to a normal life.

Eliza Dushku is under contract with Fox right now. She can't make a show with another network. She just has to keep trying on different role after different role on Fox until her contract ends. She was in Tru Calling which got canceled, and apparently had a spot on a show called Nurses, which never aired. Now she is executive producer on Dollhouse, but still stuck with Fox until the contract ends. They take her out of the dollhouse, dress her up in pretty clothes, and give her a new character.

The real irony here, is that despite my admiration for Joss Whedon's body of work, I really did not like this show when it first started. The premise seemed to be a hybrid of Alias/La Femme Nikita like with a new mission every week (I like procedurals less and less). The formula has worked (Alias, X-Files), but I felt that there really needed to be strong characters and an some overarching theme (see Alias, X-Files). I asked, "How can I bond with a character if she changes each week?" That's when the metaphor really hit me...

We follow celebrities around from TV show to TV show to movie all the time. We follow them on Twitter and in magazines. We don't really know what these people are like, but we follow them. I don't really know what Angelina Jolie is like, but I will check out movies that she's in, even though it's a different character each time. And I have started to realize that the same holds true with the Dollhouse. The dolls, Echo, Sierra, and Victor, are still interesting as characters...especially since the show has started to imply that there is some quality in that doll that continues to persist despite the role that he/she is playing.

It was also reported that Joss and Fox butted heads on what the show should be during the first five episodes (the mission-of-the-week episodes that I hated). Looking back at episode 6, when Joss supposedly reasserted his creative control, the show began to feel much more like a Joss Whedon show.

Hopefully Fox will let the Dollhouse live. But even if they don't, I think Eliza and Joss got a good jab in at Fox.

Friday, April 10, 2009

You must see the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season Finale

If you have not seen it, go watch (hopefully it will be at soon).

About two weeks ago, I started rewatching the old episodes that I have DVR'd, so they are all relatively fresh. This finale was hands-down the best one of the series! The whole episode was good, but my jaw was literally open from the time the window broke until the end of the episode.

It better not be the end of the series. This show needs budget. It needs another FULL season, so they can get the stars (like Lena Headey, Summer Glau, Shirley Manson, Thomas Dekker, Brian Austin Green, and Garret Dillahunt) to not worry about jumping to other opportunities. The whole cast is great. They need to keep up the promotional efforts. Most of all, they need people to watch!

If you like this show, and you're on Twitter, tweet to @Foxbroadcasting and let them know you are watching. Let them know that tweets can spread the word about a GREAT show. And if you are not on twitter, sign up at and then go to and tell them you love this show! Then go watch Dollhouse!

No fate, but what we make...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

ShamHo Infomercial

Like a hooker, it sells itself!

Getting ready for the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles SEASON finale!

Must have a season 3.

Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese was awesome, but I like his character's death. As the lady said this week, "Keep moving."

I really hope that John (the writers) is smart enough to not go after his mother right away (learned his lesson from T2). All terminators in 2010(?) will see the TV coverage and waiting. I think we already saw one in the crowd of officers.

If they do, i hope Cameron goes into the police station Terminator 1 style. It would be a little cheesy but a good callback.

Finally, I do believe that Weaver is the same T-1000 we saw on the sub. I just think her mission is different. She could have followed Ellison to Sarah to find John, but I don't think she cares. I actually think her goal is to create the AI that creates her own sect of machines. I think there are definitely 3 camps in the future-the humans, Skynet, and a third group that probably views the whole was as inefficient. I think the writers have evolved from the 80's "machine-bad, people-good" view of things. Or at least I hope so.

I am finally liking the John Henry character. Let's keep it going FOX! (also watch Dollhouse).

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Shiny Toy Guns sparkling new cover

I love this song. It's like crack for the ears! Unfortunately, the single is not out yet. It's from the new 2010 Lincoln MKS Commercial. It's Major Tom (Coming Home) by Shiny Toy Guns (it's a remake of a Peter Schilling song from the 80's. Hopefully it will be released soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

R.I.P. Life On Mars

The US Life on Mars needed to be on cable...It's not made for a mainstream audience. My cable box description calls it a crime drama, when it really is/should be a sci fi show. I had heard the title of the show before I saw an episode, and had no idea what to expect. Then I think I heard a Good Morning America interview with Michael Imperioli, heard a bit about the rest of the cast and the premise, and decided to watch the pilot. From there, I've grown to appreciate the show.

I think ABC really did this show a disservice. First, it's not really a crime show. It's like calling last year's Journeyman a show about journalism. It cuts the border, kind of like Medium, but there's no sense of normalcy for people to latch onto. The promos for the show don't really do a good job emphasizing the shows good points. A show like this really needs time to build an audience.

Second, the old episodes aren't available online to watch for free. ABC only has the last 3-4 episodes up (I don't remember if it was in iTunes). Then they also switched up an episode that had a cliffhanger the week before, which left a lot of people confused.

Finally, the tone of the show is not right. I recently got the UK version to see if I could figure out the difference, and it is HUGE. I'm not in the "biz," but I would expect anyone who does this professionally to see a dramatic difference between the two versions. The UK version uses a lot of the same plots, scenes, and even lines. But it has a serious, twisted Twilight Zone feel to it. The acting is first-rate. It's like there's a joke about the 70's going on, but the whole show is in on the joke. At it's best, the US version can bereally good, but there are times when it feels like a Starsky & Hutch spoof. And while the US cast is like an A-movie, the scenes that display real acting chops are rare. For that, I do resent the creators of the show. They've taken a great premise and a great cast, and squandered it. I would sum it up by saying the UK version is Connery and the US is Roger Moore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Watchmen influence on Lost

Research the Watchmen character of Dr. Manhattan. I saw the movie this weekend, and heard that Watchmen was an influence on Lost. I will admit to being fairly new to Watchmen (Graphic Novel is on order).

I was on the Fuselage reading some general time-travel questions and thinking about how the "rules" on the show seemed to be similar to Slaughterhouse Five (been asserted many times by many people). There were some questions about what Desmond's special ability is, and after I started trying to compose an answer, I realized how the Watchmen might fit in.

1. Time appears to be linear (or curved) in Lost, meaning it does not branch. No paradoxes, no alternate realities, etc. "What happened, happened." If we take this as a law of the show, then I think what follows applies (if time is not linear, then all bets are off and none of it matters).

2. Most people can remember the past, but the memory gets more distorted the further away the memory is from the event horizon (the present). Example, I remember what I had for lunch yesterday and maybe the day before. 10 days ago? 10 months ago? 10 years? Nope. At best, I'd be guessing, not remembering. The exception would be if I had 1 amazing lunch on a special occasion or something.

3. Desmond seems to be able to remember the future, as well as the past. Inside his consciousness, he see the future. What is that vision, if not a forward memory?

4. In Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan is able to see all moments of his own past and his own future (with absolute clarity). The exception (in the movie) is when an external particle field of tachyons cloud his vision of the future.

5. In Dr. Manhattan's origin, his corporeal form dissolves and reappears. First his circulatory system materializes, and eventually the rest of him. In a sense, his particles had been scattered and then he is reborn. Naked.

6. Desmond shows up naked after the hatch implosion. Why? Well, he had ground zero exposure to some presumably powerful radioactive & electro-magnetic energy. Perhaps Desmond was also disintegrated and reformed/reborn. It would explain why he was naked. He never physically time-travelled...when his body was destroyed, his mind was spread throughout time and space.