Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling pretty soggy

As October is ready to exit with the traditional appearance of candy-hungry demons, Sacramento is also experiencing its first wet weekend in some time. We got a fair amount overnight, and will get more tomorrow.

I am feeling soggy, too, because of what I've heard about Pushing Daisies. It got hit twice by the final innings of the World Series and the Obamamercial.

There's already rumors that ABC has mowed the show down, mainly because we have to wait nearly three weeks for the next new episode. We may be told whether it's over after 13 episodes even before it comes back for its only sweeps broadcast. I think ABC, to avoid the blatant stupidity Fox TV was so proud to express six years ago, should give the show nine more episodes to give it a better finish.

Even so, that's a disappointment to a great show that offsets the gloominess that we're all feeling lately. When it opened last year, people embraced the kooky yet entertaining show. It could have been a bigger hit if not for the writer's strike. So, how could we have changed in one year? Have we become more cynical, sour, and contemptuous towards the show because we have been worn down by the election, or Wall Street going down the drain? Is it because ABC didn't think to repeat the series over the summer? At least Fox was smart enough to do that with Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, even if it was up against the Olympics. It knows, now, that not everyone will think to go to the webiste to see episodes, or even get the DVD set. ABC relied a steady string of ads for the show, plus the Mobile Pie Hole tour, but that's no substitute for summer reruns that can attract new fans. That may have been the Kiss of Death that Ned's Magic Touch could not overcome. Also, I refuse to believe Knight Rider is a better show. So, if ABC has decided that Pushing Daisies is a weed, rather that one of its best-looking flowers, it knows nothing about TV gardening...but I hope it gives the show enough time to give it a good ending while we plan to throw yucky pies at the ABC building.

Also, at the Downtown Plaza, Macy's has opened a new holiday store...two days before Halloween. I understand the traditional holiday season is only four weeks this year, but I don't know if this is going to convince parents to buy their ornaments just after they throw away the last of the candy wrappers. I won't go that far. My website won't go into Thanksgiving mode until 12:01 AM on November first. Period.

On the plus side, I'm getting a good rep from the people who are part of the Bonnie Hunt Show forum when they forget to tape a certain episode. I've helped out three people so far. I really think this show ought to provide longer clips for those people who miss the show, or can't watch it because their affiliate...PHILADELPHIA...airs the show in the middle of the night. Really. It's the only city that does that, and should consider fixing that problem by the new year.

I also got the MST3K 20th anniversary special edition set with the Crow figurine and the metal box. I will see that when Thanksgiving rolls around. Even though I already have those movies in my collection, it's the extras that I wanted, from the "oral history" that may rival the Scrapbook that was issued only on VHS about 12 years ago (you can get this on DVD through certain channels, or me), and the big reunion panel at Comic-Con. It's real value, especially for this holiday season.

So, I will spend the weekend to send off the latest batch of GSN shows to Canada, and hopefully get to see the latest Simpsons Halloween show before everyone else (thanks to a screener DVD). It will probably be minutes earlier. That depends on how far along I am to taping all the shows, along with the latest big winner on Deal or No Deal and Cloris Leachman recovering from losing her spot on Dancing With the Stars (Bonnie Hunt, you may have been luckier than you think).

Oh, and don't forget Joss Whedon's interview with Mother Jones. Click the "Mother Jones" to download.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Joss is keeping us posted

It's been great that Joss Whedon has been keeping us posted on Dollhouse, and several other things, in Whedonesque. I copied his post from last Saturday, and put it in my web page where future reviews of Dollhouse will exist. He submitted another one early Wednesday morning, talking about some of his favorite things, including Patton Oswalt. It's great news Patton may soon be seen at a Dollhouse near us. I suggest he could be someone who almost finds out what's going on while hooking up with an Active (not Eliza Dushku, but someone else). That would be something to look forward to.

There was also an article about someone asking Joss about True Blood and Twilight, which feature vampires in love with human girls as opposed to Slayers. He had the right attitude with this comment: "If people want stories about girls who love vampires, they should have them...It's not like I came up with it. It's always deeply romantic or deeply interesting or deeply scary, or all of the above, and that's going to be mined long after I'm gone."

Also, True Blood and Twilight are both based on best-selling books. Their fans will support these shows, as well as Whedonistas will support their type of vampire romance. We're just paying attention to True Blood and Twilight because people will compare them to Buffy or Anita Blake or whoever else.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine at work asked me if I watched Pushing Daisies. Of course, I do. I was at the Mobile Pie Hole Tour, and I have season one on DVD. Anyway, she was worried about how few people are coming back to the show, and are leaning towards Knight Rider or Old Christine. Apparently in these sour times, with an intense election and Wall Street going down the drain despite lower gas prices, people don't like matter if it's well-done.

Well, I sure do, because I know for all its charm and bright colors, there is a dark side. We had to deal with Ned, the guy with the Magic Touch, deal with telling not-dead-anymore-unless-he-touches-her-again Chuck he accidentally killed her dad. If you saw all of season one, you know it really was an accident. Not only that, we find out a big dark secret from one of the aunts (Lily is Chuck's mom, not her aunt), which Chuck now knows but can't go to the said aunt to discuss it at length. Thing is, this season will deal with family. We had a peak at Emerson Cod's family, and it looks like we look at Ned's past as well. Not only that, we find out Gina Torres will be dropping by, too. She's the reason why I am going to a CreationCon in Burbank in a little more than three weeks. This will finally complete the Serenity Cast Experience for me.

Well, November will be an interesting month. After the election, which seemed to have started just after Bush's second inauguration, we can look to the future. With any luck, it will include Pushing Daisies. I can understand if it loses to the final chapter of the fifth game of the World Series, but if it also loses to the Obamamercial, too, ABC get a lawn mower and use it on Daisies. If it's going to be that dumb, though, it should allow extra time to wrap up the story. Whimsy must be respected, even if it's decided that it's too expensive..which I suspect will be the excuse ABC uses to yank the show. We shall see, as we send "What the...have you got bad Chocolate Pudding for Brains" pies to ABC if they dare do such a thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Heirs to the Satellite of Love

Four weeks from now, it will be the 20th anniversary of the first episode ever of Mystery Science Theater 3000...and I will be celebrating it hopefully in Culver City and in a movie house on Sunset Boulevard. I will pause to toast the Satellite of Love, and its efforts to avenge movie goers who had to endure bad movies.
Before that, I will have the 20th anniversary DVD set, complete with Crow figurine, from Amazon. Although the four movies featured are already in my library, the extras are worth the price, especially the Comic-Con event featuring everyone from the show. It marks the first time, and maybe the last time, the living history of MST3K is in one room. The crew has since split into two groups, Cinematic Titanic (featuring the cast from KTMA and season one, plus TV's Frank and Mary Jo "Pearl Forrester" Pehl) and Rifftrax/Film Crew (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett).

I thought it would be interesting to compare how these two groups approach the traditional method of ripping bad movies apart.

Mike Nelson was first with Rifftrax, when he discovered if you recorded a "commentary" for any movie, new or old, and put it in your iPod, the variety of targets, I mean movies, grows dramatically. That's why we will all skin Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull alive just in time for Christmas--or should. Before that, he, Kevin and Bill came up with the Film Crew series, which was supposed to be released by Rhino in 2005 until Jim Mallon stopped that plan. They went to Shout! Factory instead in 2007. Only four movies were riffed, and they were of the sort of stuff you'd see skewered on MST3K: bad seedy drama (Hollywood After Dark), cheesy sci-fi (Killers from Space), sword and sandal (Giant of Marathon) and just plain oddball (Wild Women of Wongo). They also went towards things that were familiar to them, such as Peter Graves and Steve Reeves. They didn't have skits like MST3K, but they did have interesting lunch breaks. The DVD extras did have comedy bits related to the movie.

After that, they concentrated on Rifftrax, which now has a wide variety of targets, even Heroes (which has been asking for it lately) and Lost (which hasn't any more). They've also added some pre-riffed shorts, just like the MST days.

To spread the word about Rifftrax, they did live shows. I was at a couple of them in San Francisco and San Diego, and both were hits. The need for Man to strike back against bad media is eternal, and these guys know that in spades. What's more, even good movies that are cheesy enough to be riffed are not safe, not even 300 or Iron Man. I bought the Rifftrax for both, and have every intention to checking them out. I should get the Lost pilot, too. That will be for later.

Anyway, it was almost a year ago that Joel Hodgson started a blog announcing that he would revive the tradition of MST3K with Cinematic Titanic. He says it was due to the fact that people were buying the DVD's, either released by Rhino or circulated through other means, and that fans were keeping it alive. Of course, that would include Film Crew, which had just released its last disc, and Rifftrax. Anyway, after a tryout at Lucasfilms Studios, they released their first movie, The Oozing Skull. They riffed in silhouette, just like the old days, although the arrangement was different. On one side was Josh (J. Elvis) Weinstein), Joel and Mary Jo, and TV's Frank Coniff and Trace Beaulieu (Clayton Forrester) and the other. Aside from that, it was like old times.

The premise, however, is different: apparently they are chosen by some group or other to protect the "digital scaffold" or all digital media will be destroyed. Lately, the crew is getting a bit skeptical about this explanation, especially since someone has put a tank in front of the main exit. Aside from that, it's riffing on bad movies, just like the old days, whether it's cheap sci-fi (Doomsday Machine), even cheaper horror (Legacy of Blood) or Roger Corman (Wasp Woman). They also have skits in the middle of the movies. Sometimes they feature dead musicians, or an over-reacting security force who hates gum.

The business model is also a little different. Cinematic Titanic is family owned-and-operated from the start. You can download the DVD, or get the fancy version if you don't trust your computer to burn the movie to a blank DVD. Besides that, you get a nice note from the crew with the DVD, complete with autograph. They fulfilled their plan to release four movies this year, and plan to do so again in 2009. Like Rifftrax, they also got their act together and put it on the road. They recently appeared in Minneapolis, slamming something called "Blood of the Vampires". They will be visiting St. Louis next week and Chicago a month later. Who knows that movie they'll bring? I just hope San Francisco, where it more or less began, will be on the itinerary soon.

For now, it looks like CT and Rifftrax can exist in good-enough harmony. CT can maintain the traditional method of slamming bad movies, while Rifftrax can be the "home game", where people rent or buy the DVD, then download the commentary for their iPod or similar device. Everybody wins.

But is there room for those who think they can riff with the best of them? The best example is Incognito Cinema Warriors XP out of Missouri. A guy named Rikk Wolf is trapped in a movie theater surrounded by zombies, and has to endure bad movies with two robots...only this time one looks like Twiki's grandson while the other is a popcorn machine. They had four movies planned out, but have released two of them. One was Bride of the Gorilla, which is about as close to an MST copy as you can get, except for the laugh track (which is only on the original copies), and Lady Frankenstein, which is racier than MST could ever dare to be. I found these guys in YouTube, which is already loaded with MST wanna-bes. One of them, Josh Way, has been recruited in the ICWXP army. They've had problems with equipment and severe storms, but hope to release more movies soon, and much quicker. It already has the support of Mike Nelson, who has featured ICWXP in his iRiffs section.

Rest assured that if there's a movie out there that's so bad, it's awful, someone out there will avenge those movie goers who were unlucky enough to spend 12 bucks on it, or a little less. Maybe when November 24th rolls around, someone will mention the fact that it's the 20th anniversary of MST3K. If not, we should remember them, the crew and the mad scientists who delivered the bad movies to us. Seeing Manos, Bride of the Monster, Laserblast, Hobgoblins, or even a Rifftraxed Iron Man while nibbling on that turkey drumstick will be the best way to honor the Satellite of Love, and all that it stands for.

Monday, October 20, 2008

TV Time

World Series: Phillies in five games

After I got a little behind in my TV watching, I caught up on both Mad Men and Pushing Daisies. Both are taking very interesting paths as one is just getting started, while another is about to wrap things up.

First, Mad Men: who would have guessed a man fearing for his job would set off a series of events where his company, Sterling Cooper, now merges with another ad agency. That's what Duck did, exploiting Roger Sterling's future alimony and health problems to help himself. Meanwhile, the fall of Joan Holloway continues as we see her get date raped by her fiance, Dr. Greg Harris, and she can't fight back. What she does to endure it is heart-breaking, and yet she claims she'll marry him by Christmas. Peggy, meanwhile, pulls off a great presentation for Popsicle by borrowing a bit of religion, and gets rewarded wit her own office. I wonder if, after the merger, she keeps that position. As we will see, a lot of people at Sterling Cooper will be worried about their jobs...except for Duck.

What about Don? He has apparently tuned of and dropped out even before Timothy Leary. Tempted by a bunch of Bohemians into running away to Palm Springs, he decides to go to San Pedro to look up Anna Draper, the wife of them man whose identity he "stole". They get along now. In fact, he acts happier being Dick than he does being Don. Too bad that means forgetting about his family back home. Betty is doing the best she can, especially when she catches her daughter nearly smoking. It also means forgetting Sterling Cooper, which is nearly no more. It should be interesting where things will stand when we see the finale next week. Will Don come back? Will the staff be cut and/or reshuffled at Sterling Cooper? Will Peggy be damned by Father Tom Hanks Jr. because she won't admit she's a sinner and a single mom? Come to think of it, where is her kid? Will Joan get dumped by "Dr. Rape?" Better yet, will Betty dump Don? That is really going to change things. I mean, consider who she is, and what Don is throwing away in favor for the wife of a comic and a careless heiress.

Second: the Whedonistas are happy that Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles will get a full season, mainly because it's part of the re-launch of the Terminator movie franchise with Christian Bale. On the other hand, they are wondering if Dollhouse will premiere in January as the show before 24. Some are hoping it will happen, and TSCC will be shown on another night. Considering American Idol will practically dominate the week, as it always does, the options are limited...and no one wants to be shown on Fridays.

Finally...Pushing Daisies is as bright and cheery as it always is, but with a bit of the dark side, too. Chuck understands how Ned accidentally killed her dad with his Magic Touch, but he still feels bad about it. The cases have been out there, from fatal bee stings, death in a convent, and dead clowns in a circus. The main issue is Lily's big secret that Chuck is her daughter, not her niece, in an explanation that actually sounds like Soapdish. What's more surprising is that Chuck is told, and she's all right with this. Still, I am sure she's thinking about how she can pretend to be a zombie and have a nice long talk with "Aunt" Lily. Olive, of course, was told first last December, and had a real tough time trying not to reveal it. Lily "helped" her by sending her to a convent, and actually it did. She even got a new friend...named Pigby. I'm guessing both will move in with Chuck, or have.

If issues with family are going to be discussed further, they will involve Ned and Emerson more likely than Chuck. Emerson is hoping his daughter will find him through a "Li'l Gumshoe" pop-up book, while there is some suggestion Ned's dad may be alive. Does this mean dad's other family will run into Ned? There's a lot of abandonment issues that will be coming to the surface faster than daisies.

One more thing...I wrote this in TV Without Pity. I was noticing Apple's new TV ads are basically attack ads against Microsoft...

They've released the latest Apple vs. PC ads Sunday. For the first time, they're essentially negative ads against Windows. In one, PC has a buzzer so that people won't say the word "Vista" and get mad because it reminds them Vista's terrible. The other had PC with a pile of money used to advertise "I'm a PC" and a smaller amount to fix Vista. When Mac asks if the smaller pile is enough to fix Vista, PC decides to use all the money for advertising.

It's come to this: the new Apple ads don't promote their own features, but rather tell you Microsoft, Vista and Bill Gates are bad. It's almost as bad as the presidential campaign. The new Apple ads should end with "I'm Steve Jobs, and I approved this message."

Response from that I said has been mixed. I just think Apple should make ads that show how great they are, such as new notebooks that are less than a thousand dollars. Thirty seconds of "Microsoft sucks" doesn't equal "we're a better computer."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Saw V? That's nothing compared to this....

"Legacy of tough, tough stain"

That from Mary Jo Pehl, a member, or maybe a prisoner (?) of the Cinematic Titantic Project, still trying to preserve the electronic scaffold that preserves all digital media. Never mind that tank that's blocking the exit.

The latest volume tackles a movie that's clearly in the same league as Hobgoblins, Ring of Terror or maybe Manos. It's painful for everyone in the CT crew, but still hilarious for the rest of us. Legacy of Blood, from the Elvira's Movie Macabre series along with Doomsday Machine, is about a hateful family who's glad the patriarch, played by John Carradine, is finally dead. They can't wait to get his money, but they have to stay in his house for a week. Whoever is not dead gets the money.

One look at this family, and you root for none of them: They all drink to excess, only to forget they are related. There's Greg, the older brother, sister Veronica, younger siblings Johnny and Leslie, who may be too close because there are hints of incest between them, followed by loud admittance. Leslie, by the way, is married or something to Carl, her shrink. She spends much of the movie in bed, in her slip, and demented. The help features Igor ("Body by Charles Atlas, head by Mel Brooks"), Helga (who was Frau Blucher before Cloris Leachman was), and Frank (who looks very familiar to longtime MST fans).

Anyway, we see lots of awkward conversations, near-pool playing and some of the ugliest deaths, and even uglier seduction scenes, from an 1970's horror movie. The only scenes that make sense are Johnny's nightmares about his hate for his dad and lust for Leslie...especially the one where Igor gets caned by Carradine whle wearing a bellhop's hat.

I'm not kidding.

The CT crew hold their own aganist this type of horror. I'll just describe some of the choice riffs...

The house, first of all: "This house is listed by the Remax Amityville office"

The funeral, such as it is: "This isn't a graveyard. They're doing a dump and dash" and "You know, I think hate is finally going to bring this family together" (which is actually true).

The law is brought in, but as usual is of no help: "Looks like a vigilante Maytag repairman". Even his patrol car is cheaper than generic: "This is the official logo of Peel and Stick County". Of course, his luck runs out very quickly.

Veronica tries to seduce the two poor replacements for father figures, both Carl and later Frank, who looks like Russ Tropp, the heavy in Untamed Youth. That's because it is the same guy, John Russell. He didn't age well since then. The best way to describe Veronica is "She's oozing something. I just don't think it's sexuality." Meanwhile, he's got plenty of Nazi souvenirs, including a lamp that used to a guy he killed in the war. Between that and her nightgown that would "make Hannah Montana look old", sparks won't fly between them, but disappointment would.

When she raids the icebox, she finds a severed head instead: "Let's go put this in a horse's bed."

As for those creepy flashbacks: "Salavdor Dali just called. He says he doesn't get it."

As for how the family deals with the bodies that soon multiply: "In this house, you never know if they're grieving or hung over".

One other lovely scene was Leslie describing a dream where she's in a cave, and Johnny tries to get inside. Her lack of clothing and acting skill makes Frank yell "Future Mrs. Frank Coniff." That feeling passes in the not-seduction scene where Johnny tries to have his way with sis, and winds up drowning in his sins...or something. Leslie then runs in terror, leading Frank to do a callback on one of his previous riffs as a tribute to himself.

This comes before one of Johnny's flashbacks showing his forbidden love for Leslie, which horrified Mary Jo to say what brothers should really do: "They're supposed to sit on your head and fart."

I'll just say the climax occurs inside "David Hasslehoff's pantry", with the real killer revealed too quickly because of too much lighting. It also leads to the strangest riff anyone has said in this series: "I think I'll have a TV dinner. We do have fresh transvestite, don't we?"

Jigsaw, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger have nothing on this movie. It was trying to be arty more than bloody and shocking, and wound up being neither. All this inspired was a "group throw-up", whcih means mission accomplished once again for Cinematic Titanic.

Of course, there are skits: Frank learns about the PTB's no gum policy, and we get a weird game show where Josh risks his life to find out what won't kill him.

This movie is usually what the guys at Incognito Cinema Warriors XP would tackle, and have with Lady Frankenstein. I'm surprised CT would go this far, and I commend them. I understand we're supposed to get a "holiday" movie soon, but what kind will we get that will measure up to Santa Claus and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?

We may soon find out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Now a word about Canadian drug ads

One of the few benefits I get from my cable outlet is the tradition free trial for NHL Center Ice, where you can see out-of-market games, including from Canada. This used to include Hockey Night in Canada, but that's now on NHL Network. The bad news is that they take out the canadian ads.

Anyway, I was watching a Maple Leafs game, and thet had an odd ad where people are watching the news. The top story apparently was a married couple missing for four days, and their friends are wondering where they went. The last scene is the said missing couple entering a Best Buy or Future Shop. They see the news, and look a little embarassed. So what commerical is this for? Cialis!

That took me back to another Canadian ad for Viagra, where women are singing the "Good Morning" song from Singing in the Rain. Just click here, and you see what I mean.

Say what you will about the way we Americans advertise Cialis and Viagra on TV. We get a married couple sitting in side-by-side bathtubs, or a terrible jingle that blasphemes a classic Elvis Presley song, but at least we have some idea what these drugs do, plus a long list of medical warnings. Just putting in the name of the drug at the end of a commercial that makes no sense looks a little careless.

But that's just me, and I still don't like the "Viva Viagra" jingle.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hey...check out the new banner!

I thought that just having a title, and some mission satement was a borning way to decorate my blog here. So, I came up with a new banner. It shows that I have been lucky to have my picture taken with people that are recognizable to some, such as Alyson Hannigan, the cast from MST 3000 and TV and comic book icon Joss Whedon. If I come up with even more famous people who will pose with me, that will probably be in the scrapbook. If you have any comments, please pass them along.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Everyone Dies For You

That's the last line from the latest episode of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, where Team Connor has to protect Martin Bedell, a student at a military school who's destined to help John fight the Terminators in the future. That line is said by Derek, who tells John that Martin is destined to rescue Future John in a suicide mission. After all, protecting John, especially when he grows up to be Christian Bale, is job one. Job two is getting more viewers away from Chuck.

The show is really picking up the pace as far as the battle against the Machines is concerned. John is coming into his own as a future warrior, especially this past week. He dared to change a T-888 model to save Martin in an "exercise" that was all too real.

Meanwhile, Sarah and Cameron had to protect a kid with the same name as Martin from the T-888, and also help him with a book report he has to finish. Never mind the crazy robot; he's worried about his teacher asking where his book report is. Sarah helped him by showing him The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a favorite of John's. It's no coincidence that Little Martin reading the climax of the book was juxtaposed with John's battle with the T-888.

The week before, Summer Glau had a chance to shine when Cameron suddenly lost her memory by looking at a mylar balloon. While she tries to remember, we learn something interesting about her....she is based on a human from the future named Alison Young. Not only that, apparently Alison was a friend of Future John, and maybe more. It was quite a trip seeing Alison being questioned by the Terminator that would replace more ways than one. The whole episode looks at identity, and the stories we tell to "define" who we are. When Cameron finds her way into a halfway house, she is asked about her past by a counselor. She recalls a birthday party that would be her last before the Terminators took over. Of course, that's not Cameron's memory. It's from the girl she interrogated in the future, and now assumes later on. That's just one example. We'll get to an evil example later.

It does bring up something: remember the season opener, when John is about to put Cameron down because her chip was broken, and she said "I love you, John, and you love me." Now, if Cameron was able to join John in the future by pretending to be Alison, and he figured it out, what kind of relationship did they have after that? Did he love Cameron because she could be Alison, and does that chance now that she's been sent to the past to help 2008 John? How's that for a psychological paper?

Now, while Team Connor battles the Terminators they do know, they are still unaware of the T-1001, also known as scary businesswoman Catherine Weaver. She's been able to recruit Ellison in her plans, whatever that may be. We know, at least, that she wants to find another Terminator, even if it's a lesser model than herself. She also thinks she has Ellison fooled, especially by her story about how she lost her husband in a helicopter crash. That's part of her human illusion, which will make him do "the Devil's work". She even throws in a "daughter", possibly four years old. Any question about whether she's a real girl, not a T-1001.5, will be resolved in due course. There's been some speculation that the T-1000 Weaver is impersonating the real Catherine Weaver who died in the crash. Considering who Cameron is, and how she came up with her persona, that makes sense.

Anyway, she also tells Ellison to investigate the meltdown at the Serrano nuclear power plant, and he finds a lot of inconsistencies. He also learns the plant manager is asking questions, which could stop plans to have the plant automated with, naturally, done with something that will eventually be SkyNet. Weaver solves this problem by disguising herself as a sleazier version of herself, and killing the manager in a way that's a little less sleazy than how she killed another guy a few weeks earlier. However, Ellison also knows that Sarah was around when the power plant broke down. After all this time, shouldn't these two people meet? Maybe he'll finally admit she was right about evil robots and all that, and come up with a way to take care of Weaver. There is word that day is coming, and about time!

There is some concern about whether season two will last longer than 13 episodes. At the very least, we should get a showdown between Cameron and Weaver. Let's hope that Fox will keep this show going long enough to finish its story, and somehow connect it to the Terminator movies that are coming next year.

Murder He Wrote?

People have known about this for a week or so, but this is the trailer for Nathan Fillion's next TV triumph...we hope, called Castle. He plays a mystery novelist who is the unwelcome assistant to a New York PD detective played by Stana Katic, who had been on Heroes and will be in the next James Bond movie.

Now, this trailer is a condensed version of the pilot in less than three minutes. It shows Nathan as a respected author but also a rascal....maybe way too much David Addison in there, too. He does have friends and a daughter to keep him grounded. Smoe have suggested that this is ABC's knock-off of Bones, except Booth isn't always on the make with Dr. Brennan. Here, you get an idea of what happens if he is. Not a good idea.

If this goes to a full season, they should dump the romantic angle between Fillion and Katic because it's just too annoying. He can still "do research", but with different detectives. He should also show he has some background in criminal investigation, despite that "Lord Godiva" episode that's pointed out. Maybe his dad was a cop or attorney, and he couldn't quite cut it in such a job, and that writing books was the next best thing.

Well, we'll see what happens once ABC gives the greenlight to this show. They filmed a pilot, at least.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Song Doesn't Always Remain The Same

While we Americans are gearing up for the baseball post-season, some of us praying the Cubs will finally get back in the World Series at least (Dodgers be damned), our Canadian neighbors have other things to worry about. They are about to make a choice that will affect their lives for generations to come.

Oh, and they'll choose a new prime minister in less than two weeks, just like we do next month.

Until that somewhat important decision, millions of Canadians will actually decide what will be the new theme song for Hockey Night in Canada, an institution that is truly part of Canada's soul, even more than Monday Night Football here in the States.

This is really a big deal, and here's why: the CBC decided not to retain the rights to the old theme, which is called "The Hockey Anthem". This theme has been around for 40 years, and millions of people connect the music with the game itself.

But this is the punch line....CTV bought the rights to the song, and plans to use it for its hockey coverage on TSN, its cable network, and the next Olympics in 2010. Can you imagine something like that happening here? Probably not, but it has.

When ABC was the Olympic Network, it used "Bugler's Dream" as its opening theme. That was composed by Leo Arnaud as part of an album. This was soon used by NBC when it took over Olympic coverage, although it also used a little bit of the 1984 Summer Olympic fanfare, too. Was there shock that NBC used ABC Olympic music? Of course not. ABC didn't own that music, but used it when it had the chance. NBC just followed.

It's just interesting that hockey fans would be surprised to hear a piece of music used by someone else, after it's conected so strongly with a national hockey telecast. It's probably the only example anywhere.

What's more, the search for a new theme for Hockey Night in Canada is so important, it nearly overshadows the upcoming national election. It's like scheduling the finals of American Idol, or even Dancing With the Stars, the night before Election Day. In this case, the final choice for the HNiC theme will be on the 9th, just five days before the national election. They'll have all five semi-finalists presented by the weekend, then pare it down to two in time for the final vote a week later. Personally, my choice is "Sticks to the Ice", composed by a young teen from Toronto. If he doesn't win, CBC should at least use the music for some reason before CTV buys that, too.