Archive for the ‘television’ Category

We’ve Got MOVIE SIGN!   Leave a comment

MST3K Crowdfunding Success

Just look at that.  It’s a beautiful sight.  (A beautiful sight that Twitter user Stephen P, AKA @dim_halo has allowed me to use here.  Thanks for sharing the screenshot, Stephen!)

There’s a lot of talk about this.  Most positive, some negative.  And there are worries…

I’m worried that the show will be too “polished” and won’t actually be the same slapdash performance that I like.  I’m worried that there’s some sort of behind-the-scenes issue that a lot of the old cast and crew aren’t talking about.  I’m also worried that there’s no such issue, but that fans will imagine that there is and worry about it and bug the old and new people so much that it becomes an issue.  I’m worried that it won’t be the same.  I’m also worried that it’ll be too much of the same.  Basically, I’m a neurotic Internet fan.  But not a single one of these worries are important: what really matters is that MST3K is coming BACK, baby!  I’m giddy!

And just look at what we did.  114%!  That’s major, guys.  And that 114% is of the final 5.5 million dollar goal, not the original 2 million dollar goal.  We actually raised, like… over three hundred percent!  And it stunned and delighted everyone…

Sadly, financial pressures being what they are, I had to lower my donation just a bit.  I’m still looking forward to that printable ID card, but a lot of the higher tier rewards were REALLY nice.  I especially wanted that VHS tape…

Incidentally, if you haven’t watched the Telethon, do it now!  Well… maybe not now.  Not in its entirety.  It was a multi-hour event that featured islands of really cool entertainment and information in the midst of charming awkwardness and technical problems.  But there are a lot of moments that I predict will become big parts of MSTie nostagia.  If nothing else, the look on Joel’s face when, with almost exactly a minute to spare, the totals were updated and passed the 3.6 million dollar total.  There were also moments that some liked and others didn’t (I enjoyed the Castlevania song, though I’ve heard some claim that they actively disliked it.)

Also, did I hear Felicia Day accidentally start singing Mike’s theme song for a second before correcting herself?  I could’ve sworn she almost mumbled “Way Down in Deep 13″… funny moment.

Anyway… it’s a great week to be a MSTie.  Friends, we’re not actually living in a post-MST3K world.  We’ve simply been living in the 15+ year inter-season hiatus.

And it’s almost over.

(Incidentally, I don’t mention this often on the blog, but for the record I frequent MST3K: The Discussion Board.  If you want a place to chill and discuss the show, I’m over there from time to time.  More importantly, LOTS of people are.)

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Dollhouse   1 comment

Well, the wait is over, and Joss Whedon fans have had just over a full hour now to digest the first episode of Mutant Enemy’s latest production, Doll House.  I’m a pretty solid Whedon fan, and I thought at first that I wouldn’t be able to watch it, but fortune smiled upon me and I was able to make the mad dash into my living room to flip the TV on.

My first thoughts concern Eliza Dushku.  Buffy and Angel fans will remember her as Faith, the rogue slayer, and when the episode first started we saw Dushku (did they call her Carolina in that opening?  Caroline?  I’m sure it wasn’t Coraline, I would’ve made note of it) playing what felt a whole lot like Faith.  I considered what a sci-fi show starring Faith would entail, and I got a very “Dark Angel”ish vibe off of it.  (One last note about that intro: “Have you ever tried to clean a slate?  You can still read what was on it before” simultaneously struck me as a really cool line, but also like the kind of line that people would never say in real life.  Make of that what you will.)

However, the rest of the episode quickly convinced me that we weren’t going to be seeing a show starring Faith or Max.  Instead, we meet Echo and the Dollhouse organization.

I enjoyed the episode, but I want to say that it struck me as being very different from Joss Whedon’s standard presentations.  He said once that all of his shows are about “created family.”  And while I can certainly see that as being a potential direction that the show might eventually head in, this first episode never gave a sense of  “these characters are your protagonists.”  Buffy had the core four of the Scoobies discussing why Buffy didn’t want to fight vampires but why she would.  Angel had the soon-to-be charter of Angel Investigations being fast-talked into setting up a proper business.  Firefly gave us a pull through of the whole ship which gave us almost all the characters (one who wouldn’t be a character, and one major player yet to be revealed.)

In this show?  I never got that sense of togetherness, and I think it was intentional.  I could tell who the main characters were, but they were clearly not a family.  They were coworkers, and in an organization such as Dollhouse it would make sense that familial relationships might not be a priority.

I also appreciate the fact that several characters repeatedly stressed that what was going on was criminal, and a variation on the line “we aren’t interested in justice” appeared at least twice.  It’s not a wacky-fun-lovin’ group, it’s a morally ambiguous (at best) and potentially evil (at worst) enterprise.

What we have here might be likened as the upside of Wolfram & Hart (keep in mind that I’ve only seen the first two seasons of Angel, and as such don’t know how very wrong later seasons might prove that comparison to be.)

Now, it’s altogether possible that the reason why this episode didn’t feel like your normal Joss Whedon Pilot is that it wasn’t the first episode created.  I believe that we’ll be seeing the original first episode next week.  Will it feel like a more standard Joss Whedon show then?  Possibly.  Would that be a good thing?  Possibly, but I’d argue no.

Of course, we’ve only got the first episode for a lengthy series (did they say the phrase “five years” at the beginning there?  A five year mission, boldly going into new TV conventions?)  Anything goes, and probably will.  However, this episode didn’t suffer from the weaknesses that so many pilot episodes suffer from, so I’m wondering what the show will be like months from now when I can look back at the pilot from an established status quo.

Pushing Daisies: What TV Needs   4 comments

I should’ve written this review quite a long time ago.  But something about tonight’s episode pushed me to it (midway through the episode, even, it’s only 7:34 as of this exact moment.)

Pushing Daisies is, to oversimplify the premise, a murder mystery fairy tale (or “forensic fairy tale” as I’ve heard it called, though forensics has little to do with the actual procedings of the case cracking.)  The show features a pie maker who can raise the dead with a touch, and then make them dead again with a second touch (but it has to be within a minute, or someone else will die.)  He and the staff of his restaurant (“The Pie Hole”) work for/with a private investigator to solve mysteries by waking the dead and asking them how they died, though in the granted minute of time they rarely have the ability to gather everything they need (especially in cases where the murderer pushed them from behind.)

Now that I’ve oversimplified it, the actual reason for enjoying this series has to do with its presentation.  Nearly everything about the show screams fairy tale, from whimsical names of the characters (Olive Snook, for example) to the amazing narrator who, well, narrates the events of the show.  Furthermore, I see the show as a celebration of the wonders of everyday life and community.  The people of these shows really throw themselves into their work.  Regardless of what job a person does, their whole world seems to be filled with the positive, fun aspects of those jobs.  Bee keepers work in giant, stylized bee and honey themed buildings, the local fried chicken restaurant is run by an incredibly familiar looking Colonel, and circus clowns carpool by the dozen in the smallest cars around.

This isn’t to say that the world of this show is so idealized that everyone lives in perfect happiness.  No, the murderers of this show are always disgruntled about something, otherwise why murder?  Whether because they feel wronged, or because they have something to gain, this is still a world of problems.

I think I like this because it discards that old, tired saw that happiness and wonder is just an illusion, and that beneath the sparkling coat of paint the world is filled with ugliness and meanness.  Instead, this show suggests that the world is, in fact, a wonderful place where it’s okay to hope, but there are people within it who mess up the perfection.

If I were to level a complaint against the show, it would be that sometimes the “murder of the week” style can be fit into the plot where it doesn’t always seem right.  Some episodes I would prefer for the murder to not be there while the characters deal with their own personal issues, and those issues are indeed interesting.  Everyone in the show is a schemer and secret keeper in one way or another, whether the secrets be because they’re afraid, greedy, or just of the opinion that the secret is their business and no one else’s.  What this winds up creating is a sort of stew that combines all the best elements of a farce with a stylized melodrama.  With all the people coming back from the dead, faking death, and not telling people about the deaths being faked, the series is constantly setting up dominoes just for the fun of seeing them topple an episode, five episodes, or an entire season later.

In fact, the writers may be realizing that the murders don’t always need to take place.  Tonight’s episode  (It’s 8:08 at this point in the writing.  Yes, I’ve been writing during commercials for half an hour now) featured no actual murder, just a vast series of consequences falling on the footsteps of three major characters and one recurrant character (is she the lady from Shining Time Station, that old PBS show that was on when I was younger?  I need to IMDB that, I really hope it’s her.)

Anyway, if you’re a fan of fairy tales, murder mysteries, farces, cooking shows, melodrama, pies, or kindly British narrators, you really need to watch an episode or three of Pushing Daisies.  Seriously, what are you waiting for?

The Graysons: Prediction   Leave a comment

I’m ordinarily a perpetual optimist about such things…but this? This just…this just seems like a bad idea. 

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117993158.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Smallville. I love its cheesey monster-of-the-week episodes. I love its neverending forrays into increasingly melodramatic angst and intrigue. I love the implausible changes to characterization brought about by machiavellian scheming, lies, betrayal, secrets, and the inevitable ravages of time. With the premise that Smallville started with, it all fits in. I’m not even really a Superman fan and I like it.But…the life of Robin before his parents died? It’s just…what can you really do with that?

Now, I know that I’m probably overreacting a bit. I’m imagining the show as “Smallville, but with Robin instead of Superman!” And I doubt the producers and writers tricked themselves into thinking that that’s what they’d be dealing with.

But…still.

I wish ’em well, but it’ll take some really stellar writing to pull this off.