Thursday, February 28, 2008


I Remember the Poker Chips

I just watched Saturday's episode of Torchwood. WAIT, don't stop reading! I'm going to tie this into a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode and a hilarious story from my wild college years. Anyway, the Torchwood episode was about an alien who feed off of changing and exploiting people's memories. I was reminded of an episode of ST:TNG called Violations. "Violation!" In that episode Troi was telepathically molested by an alien making her remember a sexual encounter with Riker, which he then changed for his own pleasure. The memory began at the end of one their silly poker games and Troi spills the poker chips on the floor... and the sexiness ensues. Back when this was on, my college card group would constantly (and I mean constantly) replicate this scene by spilling the poker chips during a staged fall. We found it hilarious. Well Sean and I did. I think Mike did, too. Beth, on the other hand barely tolerated our shenanigans. Picking up poker chips was still more fun than watching Nancy Kerigan win the Silver in Lillehamer, which happened the same month that "Violations" first aired. This is about as an exciting a Saturday night I would have during college. I didn't drink until I was 28.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Never Dead

There are two quite dissimilar genres which have the commonality of having character who can never really be dead. These are Sci Fi shows and afternoon Soap Operas. I've been watching Days of Our Lives since leaving Microsoft five years ago. Recently the popular character John returned after being killed by a hit and run driver last fall. I think a majority of character on the show have been presumed dead at one point in time. Stefano has been "dead" ten times. Currently he is considered brain dead after a stroke induced by Marlena, herself presumed dead at least four times (strangled, plane crash, gunshot, and tsunami). John, who joined the show when I was 14 as the mysterious Pawn. Just two weeks ago they finally finalized who his actual parents are, Santo Dimera and Colleen Brady. This means his granddaughter Claire is related to every single character on the show. She's only three and has already been kidnapped twice and presumed dead once.

Tonight is the return of the dead inexplicably hot Scottish doctor, Carson Beckett on Stargate: Atlantis. He died in an explosion last season. Usually I don't like to put spoilers on my blog, but this isn't really a spoiler. Last week during the "next time on", the narrator states, "and you won't believe what happens in the last five minutes!" And then they showed us Carson during the previews. I will now completely believe what happens in the last five minutes since you just told me. I'm happy to have Carson back, but I would have been happy to be surprised. He's probably a replicator like Elizabeth Weir.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm sick of Elisabitch

I didn't watch the week's episodes of The View yet, just Thursday's. Last night having dinner with Matt, he complained of Elisabitch Hasslecunt on the View. Today was a perfect example of why she should be banished from TV. The topic of discussion was the allegations of an affair against McCain. Even though four or so newspapers reported on these allegations, she is under the opinion this is a conspiracy by the New York Times to discredit him. What she says goes so beyond logical thought it boggles the mind. I hate her. If it isn't true and someone has orchestrated this it was the extreme right trying to get more support for Huckabee before the next primaries.

On a completely unrelated note, I noticed today that I can see the Columbia Center from my dining room window. The top twenty floors or so are visible between a house and a big apartment building to the southwest. When the leaves grow back it will be gone again. I can't believe I've lived here for 3.5 years and I just noticed it. It's the tallest building in Seattle and looks like Lego macaroni pieces.


LOST 4.03: It's No Use Having Friends You Can't Trust

Episode 4 of season 4 is on tonight. It looks like maybe a Kate episode. We might learn another member of the Oceanic Six. Maybe. Last week I was entranced by Sayid's flashforward. Although watching it a second time with the element of the mystery, it wasn't that interesting. It was a good episode even though I haven't figured out what the title "The Economist" means.

Here's what we learned:
And here are the numerous new questions

Monday, February 11, 2008


LOST 4.02: Headcase, Ghostbuster, Anthropologist, and a Drunk

This season is starting to take shape. Season 1 was about the survivors, 2 was about the tailies and The Swan, 3 was about the Others and now 4 is clearly about the freighter people and their mission to get Ben. We didn't get many answers to old questions but we learned lots about the new characters, the headcase, ghostbuster, anthropologist, and the drunk. Here's what we learned:
The new questions:

Thursday, February 07, 2008


The Writer's Strike is Over (maybe): But First a History

So it's the first week of February and TV is filled with the riches of sweeps month. No wait a minute, there's almost nothing on because this is a strike year. Figuring out a strike year is a lot more complicated than figure out if it is a leap year, which this is also. You take the number of broadcast networks x 8 + number of cable channels (averaged between Comcast and Time Warner cable) x 3 - number of movie studios with tours open to the public and then add that to the year TV was invented which was 1931. By this model the next strike will be in 2031.

Today it was announced that the strike is probably over. The WGA reached a deal with the producers but it still has to be ratified by its members. That vote is on Saturday. This is the third time the Writer's Guild of America has gone on strike. The first one in 1960 lasted 146 days. The one in 1988 lasted 153 days. The current strike is only in its 93rd day. The common thread in all these strikes is new media.

In the 50's movie studios started selling movies to television stations. They kept all the profits and paid no residuals to the writers. "It's a new an unproven format. We need time to figure out how it will work." In the mean time they took all the profits for themselves. As we know TV became a huge industry.

In the 70's and 80's the home video market started up. Studios began selling video tapes and laser disks directly to consumers and stiffing the writers. "It's a new an unproven format. We need time to figure out how it will work." Now the DVD market is a huge profit center for production studios. The WGA took a much smaller residual percentage of the video market than they wanted. They feel suckered by the deal they got.

Now the studios are at it again. When you buy a TV show or movie on iTunes the writers get nada. When you watch LOST online presented by Red Lobster, the writers do not get a cut of that tasty seafood advertising. With the raw deal they feel they got in 1988, they aren't going to cave this time. HD-DVD and/or BlueRay will be the last physical format. The future will be all about online purchase and streaming. They aren't going to loose out on that.


Sunday, February 03, 2008


The Big Game

The "Big Game" is on today. I've decided not to call it the Super Bowl anymore since they only let approved sponsors call it that and I'm not an approved sponsor. So here is my list of reasons not to watch the game this year.
  1. New York sports fans are dicks. People from NY think everyone cares about their teams and we simply do not. In fact most of the country hates New Yorkers.
  2. Boston sports fans are bigger dicks. These guys are on step away from British soccer holigans. I don't know why they are so self important. And why do they call themselves the "New England" Patriots. Yet another reason they are dicks.
  3. Jordin Sparks is singing the National Anthem. She will never be a big star so Fox should just stop trying. She is a cruise ship and theme park singer at best.
  4. The "Big Game" commercials will be on You Tube. And they haven't been very good in a long time anyway. Once upon a time every commercial was a gem, now there might be one or two worth talking about in the entire collection.
The possibility of having an undefeated season for the Patriots is the only reason anyone is going to keep watching past half time. I say watch the Mythbusters marathon on the Discovery Channel.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


LOST 4.01: Never Say Never, Dude

LOST is back and I couldn't be happier. Even though we only get eight episodes this season, they are going to be great and not to be missed. LOST started the week I moved to my new house. After watching the first episode I wanted to be frozen in Carbonite for seven years so I could watch the entire series at once. But I've decided it is much more fun to watch them as they come out. This way I dwell on each episode for a week or more before watching the next one.

We were not disappointed with a shocking misdirect in the opening sequence. The opening of season 2 was Desmond in the hatch. Who was it? Is it a character in flashback? It was a great way to set up the story of the season. In season 3 Juliet's book club meeting opened the show. Who is she? Is she a character in someone's flashback? It was a great way to set up the Others story which was the core of season 3. Season 4 opened with a flash forward. Who is in the speeding car? Is it Kate? Is it Sawyer? No it's Hurley. And something is making him kinda crazy. Maybe we shall find out this season. Anyway here's what we learned:

And new questions:

BTW, this episode had the best ratings of an episode since the fall of 2006.


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