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Archive for May, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Sine Qua Non

May
30

An odd episode.

Sine Qua Non (Latin, a “dead” language): Without which, not.

Adama is nothing without Roslin.

The fleet is nothing without a president; it also is nothing without forward motion, heading inexorably toward its ultimate destination.

Romo Lampkin is nothing without his cat, his lone connection to his dead family.

Lee is nothing without a purpose.

Athena is nothing without her daughter.

Is humanity truly doomed?

It would seem, in the end, that Romo accepted Lee’s assertion that people need to make a conscious decision to live, to perpetuate the human race. So long as there is faith in humanity, so long as the human race believes in its future, there is a future and it is deserved.

But what if he was right and Lee was wrong? What if the human race is doomed? What if the human race doesn’t deserve to go on? What if the future of humans and Cylons as a hybrid race is the true future and the only way that either race can continue?

The fleet is now headed by Lee Adama, a virtual Boy Scout, and a Saul Tigh, a Cylon who is only just coming to grips with what he is. The two races already are co-existing; they just don’t know it yet.

I have more to ponder and at least one more viewing before I can properly consider what I’ve just seen, but I do have a few other quick points:

• Great fight between Adama and Tigh. Tigh’s the only man in the entire fleet who could have punched Adama (who, frankly, needed it) and not ended up in the brig.

• Even so, Adama was totally right in blasting Saul about his relationship with Caprica Six, and Tigh needed those punches as a wake-up call just as much as Bill.

• Speaking of, if Caprica Six is pregnant, what does that mean? Is Saul actually the father? If he is, does that mean Cylons can procreate with one another just like humans do? Do they not need hybrid breeding? Or is it the difference between the Final Five and the Known Seven that makes the pregnancy possible?

• Will Adama finish reading Searider Falcon before he finds Roslin? I mean, c’mon, you know he’s going to. There are few things certain on this show, but there’s no way Adama is going to stay floating out in the middle of nowhere, especially considering we know that Roslin’s still alive. Not that we have proof of that, either, but, I mean, c’mon.

Photos courtesy of NBC Universal. 

Posted by Amy Vernon on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 11:42 pm |


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BSG’s back, baby!

May
30

It’s been a long two weeks (not as long as the next, what, seven months without Lost will be, but that’s another story for another day), but Battlestar’s return is not a moment too soon.

We were left with the jaw-dropper of the hybrid being plugged back in and immediately jumping the base star away (to where?) with Roslin, Baltar and others on board.

Here’s a “What the Frak” video recap of “Guess What’s Coming to Dinner”:

Download:

Tonight’s offering, “Sine Qua Non” will look at the deepening divide between Lee and his father, and Athena having to answer for her actions in shooting Natalie. A preview, after the break:

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Posted by Amy Vernon on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 4:17 pm |


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Harvey Korman, 1927-2008

May
30

korman-conway.jpgTim Conway’s recent guest stint on 30 Rock got me thinking about what a funny show The Carol Burnett Show was.

I was too young to know prime time sketch comedy was a dying breed, or even that comic talent of such caliber, all in one place, was a rare thing.

tcbs-cast.jpgConway, of course, was the loveable oaf. But his straight man sidekick, Harvey Korman, deserved half the credit for all the laughs they got. In almost explicit homage, they were the Abbott and Costello of their time.

So it was sad news that summoned happy memories to hear that Harvey Korman died yesterdy at age 81. Korman died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago.

He distinguished himself on the big screen in Mel Brooks’s History of the World, Part I and Blazing Saddles, and the Pink Panther movies. But he is most identified with The Carol Burnett Show, where he spent 10 years, and with Conway, with whom he toured during the 1970s, doing as much as 120 shows a year together.

Photos Right top: In this 1975 file photo, courtesy of CBS, Korman, left, and Conway perform a skit on The Carol Burnett Show in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/CBS, file); Bottom left: In this 2000 file photo, Carol Burnett Show cast members, left to right, Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman and Vicki Lawrence appear at a discussion at the Director’s Guild Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Neil Jacobs)

Posted by Brian Howard on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 3:49 pm |


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Sexy vegetarians

May
30

Despite the fact that so many of the shows we follow on this blog involve killing people and blowing things up, many of our favorite actors and actresses are vegetarians.

PETA is holding its annual Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest, and here’s the stars from Remote Access shows who are in the running (sorry if I missed anyone!) — and you can vote for one woman and one man, so you can choose your favorite two:

The women


Kristen Bell (Heroes)
Lisa Edelstein (House, M.D.)
Sheryl Lee (Dirty Sexy Money)
Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy)
Perry Reeves (Entourage)
Carrie Underwood (American Idol)

The men


Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Ruben Studdard (American Idol)

Posted by Amy Vernon on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 3:18 pm |


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‘Dance’ auditions move to Charleston, D.C.

May
30

I know I’ve said this before – and perhaps I’m a little cranky because my brain’s turned to mush after over-analyzing last night’s “Lost” finale. (Yes, it’s been a frenzied, TV-watching 24 hours.)

But once again, I honestly don’t care one lick about the “So You Think You Can Dance” auditions.

Get me to Vegas already!

wamodernsytycd_dc-day1_399_1.jpg Charleston and Washington, D.C. were a positive snore, as far as I’m concerned.

Just like the other cities, this audition episode was just an excuse to highlight a handful of stand-outs, who, if they’re as talented as they seem, we’ll see again during the main event.

Sheila Kaiser of Atlanta was the first contestant of the day, and the first one in awhile to get a trademark WHOO! from Mary Murphy.

And Brandon Bryant of Miami, thank goodness you came back to audition when you were finally of age to try out. (He auditioned in Season 1 when he was 15; contestants have to be at least 18.)

This is a cliche, but it’s still true: The boy has a body of a Michaelangelo statue. Every muscle rippled during his audition, and every move showed off incredible strength. Nigel nailed it when he said Brandon’s body was “built for dancing.”

Other than that, no one else moved me. much I was even kind of blase about the tearjerker inclusion of Claire Callaway.

To recap: She injured herself during the Season 2 auditions, and Nigel gave her an automatic free pass to Vegas for Season 3. But she couldn’t take advantage because she got pregnant; giving birth to a cutie-pie daughter sidelined her dancing for awhile.

Yay, Claire nailed the choreography and got through to Vegas, yada, yada, yada. Sniff, sob, hooray.

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Posted by Heather Salerno on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 2:07 pm |


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“Swingtown”: Welcome (back?) to the 1970s!

May
30

Let me introduce you to CBS’s new one-hour primetime drama, “Swingtown.” The Eye network says that the show “traces two generations of friends and neighbors as they forge intimate connections and explore new freedoms during the culturally transformative decade of the 1970s.”

It debuts Thursday, June 5 at 10 p.m.swingtown-6.jpg

The gory details: In July of 1976, marrieds Susan and Bruce Miller (Molly Parker and Jack Davenport) move to an upscale suburb of Chicago after leaving their life elsewhere, which was filled with wholesome block parties and barbecues. They’re forced to confront temptation from their horny (they’re into threesomes) and lascivious neighbors Tom and Trina Decker (Grant Show, Lana Parrilla) while trying not to ditch their buds from their previous ‘hood, Janet and Robert Thompson (Miriam Shor, Josh Hopkins). The Millers are also introduced to the world of recreational drugging via Quaaludes. Meanwhile, the Miller and Thompson kids start to discover and assert their own morality and sexual identities as they come of age in a world on the precipice of change.

Rather than a social examination of or a tongue-in-cheek nod to the decade, this series seems like it’s counting on heavy-duty sex themes—even GROUP sex!—to draw in and keep viewers. Any series that relies on sex to grab viewers couldn’t be all that interesting in other areas, such as character development and thoughtful plots. But, as “they” say, “Sex sells.” And were the ‘70s truly “a world that was on the precipice of change”? To me, it—especially the second half of the decade—was a time of recovery and calm after the turbulent 1960s. (And, I must add, I’m not just rehashing what I’ve read about that time. Those were my teen years.) But let’s give the pilot a look-see and then determine what this thing is all about.

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 12:54 pm |


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‘Lost’ finale: Jack IDs the 3 dead 815ers, clips of the alternate coffin endings and more!

May
30

If you watched the 8 p.m. replay of the May 15 installment of “Lost”—the first hour of the “There’s No Place Like Home” finale—you probably sat up on the sofa at the same time I did. (At the 13-minute mark, to be exact.)

That’s when the show neatly inserted a re-edited version of the Oceanic 6 press conference into the episode.

pressconf.jpg

In the rebroadcast, Jack answers a question that’s been really bugging me since we first saw him give the official Oceanic 6 cover story in Kate’s trial.

Who are the other three 815 passengers who supposedly survived the crash, then died before they all could be rescued?

Well, Jack finally identified all three by name, and all three did indeed die, but not in the way that Jack describes:

• Boone Carlyle, who Jack says died of internal injuries shortly after they made it to the island. (Boone really died in Season 1 from injuries sustained in a fall while trying to contact help from a wrecked drug smugglers’ plane.)

libby.jpg

• “A woman, Libby” who died in the first week after the crash. (We all know Libby was shot by Michael in Season 2 , along with Ana-Lucia.)

• Charlie Pace, who drowned a few weeks before they left the island. (Of course, Charlie drowned in the Looking Glass to save the survivors by turning off the Others’ jamming signal.)

We’ve yet to learn why it’s so crucial for the Sixers to lie about having these particular three passengers survive for awhile.

Another line that wasn’t in the original May 15 episode involved Sayid.

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Posted by Heather Salerno on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 12:20 pm |


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‘Lost’ recap: Season 4 goes boom!

May
30

I’ll be honest: Given how “Lost” has given us the best season since the first, I was prepared to be a wee bit disappointed in last night’s finale. How on earth could it live up to the hype, the speculation, the fans’ mountain-high expectations?

And I’m thrilled to be able to say that the last two hours of Season 4 totally, freakin’ rocked!!! (Whew!)

oceanic6.jpg

It was a pure representation of everything that makes “Lost” one of the best shows on TV: intricate storytelling (Ben moved the island!), complicated character development (formerly selfish Sawyer makes a huge sacrifice), heartfelt emotion (Sun’s screams for Jin) and nail-biting suspense (the money shot of who was in the coffin).

I mean, what other show could tell viewers who the Oceanic 6 are up front, and still keep everyone wondering about their fates?

Other series would kept the identities of the Sixers secret until the last minutes of the finale. We KNEW who was getting off the island (well, for the most part), so we were more riveted by the how and why they got off instead.

The finale delivered, too, by answering loads of questions—while offering up lots more, of course. And for once in my “Lost” life, my theories were actually correct on two counts! (More or less, anyway…) We found out which couple shared what the producers called a “spectacular” kiss and got the explanation for the “frozen donkey wheel.”

(Crack. That was me patting myself on the back, sorry!)

Anyway, let’s dive into the boiling-over pot of questions that the finale covered, shall we?

And check back with me later today for another “Lost”clue that was cleverly dropped last night—except it wasn’t hidden in the last two hours, it was in the 8 p.m. replay of the May 15 episode!

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Posted by Heather Salerno on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 8:30 am |


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A McConaughey comes to the small screen

May
30

Unfortunately, that would be Rooster McConaughey, not Matthew.

And, fortunately, Rooster’s birth name is not Rooster (it’s Michael Patrick), he just, I guess, likes going by the name.tjndc5-5jj4woo2549y768efrm_original-2.jpg

Anyhow, People magazine’s website reports that brother Rooster (who named his son Miller Lyte, yes, after the beer) will be featured on a new reality show on truTV (motto: Not reality. Actuality.).

The show, which premieres June 18, is Black Gold and “takes viewers inside the race to find oil in Texas. And while Rooster does not work on an oil rig, he supplies the pipes for the drills, which typically go down 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface.”

It comes from the producers of Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers.

This won’t be Rooster’s first time before the camera. He played “Tool pusher” in 1998’s The Newton Boys, which starred his brother. You know, Matthew. (Oh, and Skeet Ulrich and Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio. Hey – I think I have to rent this film, directed by Richard Linklater.)

Associated Press photo of Matthew McConaughey by Lefteris Pitarakis

Posted by Amy Vernon on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 8:00 am |


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Blackjack Fairgrounds Jericho Blog Carnival

May
29

I am sorry to say that this edition will be the last of the Blackjack Fairgrounds Jericho Blog Carnival.



As most of you know, I’ve begged, pleaded and cajoled people every two weeks since the blog carnival was revived to send in entries. But each time, none gets sent in until the last minute and even then, there’s a mere handful. In this two-week period, exactly one entry was sent in.

I don’t blame anyone. Life’s busy. You have more important things to do with your time than remember a silly blog carnival. Heck, last time around, I didn’t have time to submit an entry! And the guest hosts — Anna, Margie & Edna and kricka — all did stellar jobs when their turn came. I even had two more guest hosts lined up.

But I fear that although the interest in reading a carnival is still there, the interest in keeping it going is not. If anyone disagrees and would like to take over ownership of the carnival, please e-mail me and I would be happy to transfer ownership of the carnival.

Anyway, there’s been no lack of articles out there about Jericho, so after the one entry for this week’s carnival, I’ll post quickie notes on all the things I’d been saving up in my drafts folder:

fanshawe shared Blood, peanuts and the future of television posted at cinemarealm.com. The article is a long, articulate look at how television needs to figure out how to adapt to the new viewing habits and Nielsen is a dinosaur that has little relevance.

And here’s the stuff I’ve stumbled across in the past couple weeks:

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Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 4:17 pm |


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Will Amy Ryan disappear like a Holly-gram? (Blame Michael Scott for the bad pun. Blame Greg Daniels for any short term stuntcasting.)

May
29

So I just assumed, probably against all common sense, that Amy Ryan would become a regular on The Office.

goodbyetoby-toby-holly.JPGThe season finale certainly set her up to be a recurring character, replete with a permanent desk job in Scranton and an entangling romantic interest with the boss, Michael Scott. And I admit, wishful thinking may have been a factor. Ryan was sparkling in her Office debut, alternately sheepish and intriguing, insecure and risqué.

But apparently she’s a pretty big star, and that Oscar nom for Gone Baby Gone and her acclaimed stint on HBO’s The Wire put her beyond the reach of ordinary network fare. Of course, that doesn’t explain why Glenn Close and Holly Hunter both hold down small-screen day jobs, and on basic cable no less.

Korbi Ghosh of Zap2it was snooping around the Office set and came back with this tidbit.

I ran into a well-known Dunder-Mifflin worker this weekend who was tight-lipped about season five plans, but did give me the “wink wink” on a possible Amy Ryan photo…If I read him right, we can expect Toby’s replacement to make an encore appearance in the Fall.

Matt Roush over at TVGuide.com isn’t much more encouraging in reflecting on the finale. I bolded the disconcerting part.
I agree that it was one of the show’s better hour-long episodes. Amy Ryan greatly contributed to that. Her rapport with Michael was brilliant, and the running gag involving Kevin was hilarious. It helped that the hook of Toby’s farewell was a strong one, and so much story broke in that episode (Jan’s pregnancy, Andy’s proposal, the Dwight-Angela reveal) that it rarely lagged or felt overdone. Mind you, I’m not encouraging the show to expand to an hour — not a fan of NBC’s addiction to “super-sizing” — but this time, it worked. As for Amy Ryan: Last time I checked this week, there was no news yet about her returning to the show. But it’s hard to imagine she won’t appear at least once more — unless Holly was so put off by Michael’s arousal and later rejection that her absence is explained later in exposition. I hope we get to see her again — but yeah, don’t count on her for the spin-off. This actress’s career is just taking off, and this Office role is likely something of a fun lark.

So right there you have to figure Ryan’s return is hardly considered a given. Bummer. Makes me wish they hadn’t gone with a “big name” to fill the role. Then again, I probably wouldn’t care if it wasn’t her.

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Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 3:00 pm |


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Kyle XY fans: I’ve got some good news and some bad news…

May
29

The good news: The premiere date for Kyle XY’s Season 3 appears to have been set. Found this on the TV.com website: An airdate for “It Happened ….” and this description:kyle.jpg

Kyle has been abducted and taken to the same location as Amanda, a Latnok building. Kyle must escape and rescue Amanda; fortunately, Kyle receives some unexpected help from Jessi.

The official ABCFamily website doesn’t have anything to say about a new date except, “ALL NEW SEASON coming soon!” so that doesn’t mean what TV.com is official, but given the description, it sounds pretty accurate.

And, even better, it sounds as if the show might be ready to redeem itself from its craptacular prom-o-rific season finale.

The bad news: Did I mention that airdate is Jan. 12, 2009. Yeah, we’ve got to wait until January for more Kyle. I hope it’s on at 8 p.m., because if Kyle goes head-to-head with Jack Bauer on Monday nights, Kyle’s gonna lose. Kyle may have super-powers, but Jack is, well, Jack. I think Jack could take on the X-Men and win.

Photo courtesy of ABC Family. 

Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 1:50 pm |


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‘Top Chef’ Week 12: Spike impales himself at Judges’ Table; Lisa unfathomably advances

May
29

It’s the “Top Chef” version of the chicken-and-the-egg, except it involves the scallop-and-the-wherever-scallops-come-from.

spike.jpgDoes the blame fall on Evangelos “Spike” Mendelsohn for using unsavory frozen scallops at a critically acclaimed chef’s restaurant? Or should guest judge Rick Tramonto have given Spike a break for providing him with an unappealing product?

So moments after I told my TV screen, “Well, Tramonto shouldn’t have had those scallops in the first place,” Spike essentially told him the same in a brusque tone that shocked everyone—including himself moments later in the Stew Room. But for one shining moment, I was glad one of the cheftestants not only defended himself constructively, but did so in a way that was so refreshingly honest compared to contestants who kiss up to guest chefs about whom the general viewing audience has never heard.

Tramonto, to his credit, took the “shot” for having bad scallops in an attempt to minimize the impact of the bad PR he would receive regardless, but in the end the judges appeared to have no choice but to send Spike home because neither his appetizer nor his entrée lived up to their expectations.

Including last night’s episode, both Spike and fellow cheftestant Lisa Fernandes had been in the bottom Elimination Challenge bracket five times. But if it weren’t for the blasted scallops, maybe Lisa’s nearly as awful cooking and frowntastic demeanor wouldn’t have made their way to Puerto Rico.

But back to Spike for a moment. As with the vast majority of reality show personalities, no one is ever really as kind or as villainous as producers and editors might make them appear. Thankfully for “Top Chef,” we had a chance to see Spike as not the villain he might have been set up to be early in the season; yes, he wanted to win, but he also had a protective side that looked out for Nikki Cascone when Dale Talde would not have, and fired back at the judges to fiercely defend teammates from the Block Party challenge when he believed the wrong team was in the bottom bracket.

After the Block Party challenge, Erik Hopfinger was eliminated. When I interviewed him a day after the episode premiered, the first person he told me he’d miss from the show was Spike. Love him or hate him, Spike obviously made an impression.

And then there were four. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Chris Serico on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 11:41 am |


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‘Dance’ moves on with auditions

May
29

I realized something last night while watching the second night of try-outs (in Salt Lake City and Dallas) for “So You Think You Can Dance.”

I’m totally captivated by the auditions for “American Idol,” but I can’t stand the ones for “Dance.” Maybe that’s because bad dancers aren’t quite as interesting as bad singers. (For some reason, bad singers are far more delusional.)

laduojump_d2y0651-1.jpg

Let’s face it: As mean as it may be, making fun of the untalented is the only reason to watch these auditions. Because it’s rare when you’ll be watching an audition and say,”Wow, that kid’s might be the one to beat.”

That said, there actually was a moment like that last night in Utah.

Kelli Baker totally blew the judges away, and she had a lot to live up to. Kelli’s mom is choreographer Bonnie Story, who won an Emmy for “High School Musical.” (Kelli had a bit part in the TV movie, too.) Not a bad legacy, but talk about major pressure for an 18-year-old.

Luckily, her routine—complete with extensions that made putting a leg over one’s head look easy—made Mary Murphy momentarily speechless. Guest judge Mandy Moore said Kelli gave her “goose bumps.” She’s a sure thing for the Top 20, even without seeing the rest of the Vegas competition.

But other than Kelli, there weren’t a bunch of stand-outs last night. I was kind of ho-hum about most of them: Here’s hoping the producers are saving some of the big talent to show off in the Vegas episodes.

Even Chelsie Hightower—the blonde with five brothers, one of whom paid for her dance lessons when the family hit the financial skids—didn’t really do it for me. (Although I have to admit, the girl’s got the best set of legs I’ve seen this side of Heidi Klum.)

The two fitness friends? Yawn.

Joshua Allen, the hip-hop popper?  Eh.

And Paige Jones of Dallas? Really? You sent her to Vegas?

Granted, the show didn’t show more than a moment of her in the choreography round, but the perky pageant hopeful seemed better suited for an audition for “Bring It On.” I expected her to start a cheer in the middle of her routine. (“Gimme a D! A! N! C! E!)

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Posted by Heather Salerno on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 10:00 am |


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Thursday’s ‘Lost’ debate: What’s the Frozen Donkey Wheel?

May
29

Every Lost addict knows what the term “frozen donkey wheel” means. It’s the code name producers have given to this season’s OMG moment in the finale.

benhurleylocke.jpg

Last year, the Jack-Kate flash-forward encounter at the airport was nicknamed “the snake in the mailbox.” (And it was so top-secret that no cast members besides Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly got to see the last pages of the script.)

Codes for other secret scenes include “the bagel” (Walt’s abduction in Season 1) and “the challah” (Penny’s discovery of the island in Season 2).

Of course, none of those twists actually involved serpents or bread products.

But what if this year, for the first time, the code name was literal?

Could it be that “the frozen donkey wheel” is, well, a frozen donkey wheel?

For awhile now, I’ve been on board with the popular theory that Ben has a time machine (which explains how he seems to know everything, and be everywhere). And we’ve been told that Ben, Locke and Hurley are going to try to “move the island” at the Orchid station to save it from Charles Widmore, Keamy and his band of merry mercenaries.

And I’m guessing that they can do that by sending the island to another moment in time. That could be why Widmore can’t find the island now: Maybe Ben “reset” the island’s coordinates at some point. (The compass bearing that gets Michael and Walt off the island, and the freighter folks to and fro, could be a wormhole.)

But how would such a time machine be powered?

Perhaps by a donkey wheel?

I looked up “donkey wheel” and it’s pretty much what it sounds like—a primitive power source. You hook up a donkey to a wheel, and as it walks in a circle, it produces power that pumps water, grinds grain, etc.

Check out what one looks like in the picture below.

Donkey Work
Image details: Donkey Work served by picapp.com

This particular photo, taken in 1929, even has an interesting “Lost” link: It was shot on a street in Tunis.

As in Tunisia, the place where Charlotte found the bones of a Dharma polar bear and Ben showed up in a Dharma parka. (More on that later.)

So just maybe, there’s an actual donkey wheel located inside the Orchid that somehow harnesses the island’s unique electromagnetic properties to allow its inhabitants to time-travel.

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Posted by Heather Salerno on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 9:00 am |


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The “Smallville” Finale

May
28

(Yes, I know the show’s season finale was the week before last, but I’m hoping everyone will ignore that fact.)

The seventh-season close of our Superman-in-training series came with the obvious departures—or semi-departures, from what “TV Guide” and “EW” have said—of two main characters: Lex and Lana. Lex FINALLY found out Clark’s true status, as a Kryptonian-American, and was buried in the Fortress of Solitude. A fully recovered Lana left Clark a video message telling CK that she’s holding him back from his real mission on Earth and for him to not try to find her. With the departures of creators/executive producers Al Gough and Miles Millar, it will be interesting to see the direction the show takes without Clark’s main enemy and main love around. It’s now time to break out the cape and let the guy fly (as soon as he lets Kara teach him how to, that is)! smallville-finale-2.jpg

Brainiac suffered a high-voltage disintegration, so he won’t be back either. We will, however, get back Kara, who returned from the Phantom Zone after Brainiac was fried. But here’s the REALLY good news: Chloe! Allison Mack re-upped with the show for the next season. I can’t imagine “Smallville” without her. No word on the return of Erica Durance’s Lois Lane, but the intrepid reporter’s simmering attraction to CK (notice how tightly she hugged him after he saw Lana’s good-bye message) sets the stage for a likely return.

I was glad (for myself, not for her) that the Department of Domestic Security arrested Chloe. The will make it so she can’t marry dorko Jimmy in the near future. If I were her best friend, I would gently tell her that he doesn’t have the strong personality that someone like her needs. And if that didn’t make a dent, I would hope that she would come to her senses before she walked down the aisle. smallville-finale-3.jpg

This season had its ups and downs, with most eps straddling the line between them. A letter on the readers’ page of “EW” stated one of my sentiments: that the series featured way too little of Clark and way too much of Lex, Lana, Chloe and Jimmy. The writer said that Tom Welling was one of the show’s main attractions. I must agree with her. The good news is that with Lex and Lana gone, the show will HAVE to feature more of Tom Welling, and that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

(Photos courtesy of The CW.)

Posted by Jenny Higgons on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 4:13 pm |


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Last days to vote: Which HBO series deserves the next feature-length film?

May
28

Shortly after the end of the opening weekend for the “Sex and the City” movie, Remote Access will close its latest poll, seeking reader input on the HBO series that most deserves the next feature-film treatment.

With “SatC” scoring mixed to tepid reviews, only two of the 65 votes tallied sought a sequel. At this point, the poll is really a duel between “Deadwood” and “The Sopranos.” And there are compelling cases for each.

ian.jpg“Deadwood,” whose 19 votes represent 29 percent of the total, was—in this blogger’s humble opinion—one of the best shows on television and deserved a proper sendoff. Viewers initially expected four full seasons, then were crushed by news of the show’s cancellation after three. And HBO’s promise of two, two-hour “Deadwood” TV movies never came to fruition, leaving devout fans furious with the cable net, especially since the equally brilliant and equally ratings-challenged “The Wire” had a chance to say good-bye.

Adding insult to injury have been the subsequent HBO projects by “Deadwood” creator David Milch. In its only season, “John From Cincinnati” should only be celebrated for Ed O’Neill’s outstanding performance and the cameos by actors better known (and utilized) on “Deadwood.” And when Milch could have demanded to film the “Deadwood” TV movies or a fourth season before other projects while renegotiating his contract with HBO, he agreed to helm “Last of the Ninth,” a not-”Deadwood” show about a Vietnam vet working in the New York Police Department in the early ‘70s. The latter series could be great, but “Deadwood” fans would never stop grumbling if there’s no closure in the Black Hills.

james.jpg“The Sopranos,” with 15 votes representing 23 percent of the total, had a controversial ending that made millions of viewers wonder if the cable cut out before the credits started rolling. It was, perhaps, the most non-ending ending in television history. To the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” three of the four members of the Soprano (biological) family gathered around the table of a diner while semi-suspicious characters hovered around them. And when Meadow arrived, the camera cut to Tony’s face.

And, uh, that was it.

Was Tony Soprano killed? Is he alive? WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?!

So say creator David Chase were to consider a more definitive conclusion. He’d be faced with either selling out for developing a movie adaptation or copping out because of his inaccessible TV finale. Regardless, tell me “Sopranos” fans wouldn’t see the movie follow-up in droves.

After the break (or in the right margin), check out where many other HBO series stand in this poll. And vote if you haven’t already! Read more of this entry »

Posted by Chris Serico on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 4:07 pm |


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A serious disappointment

May
28

And thus was Part II of A&E’s The Andromeda Strain miniseries.

As I wrote yesterday, I thought the first two hours was really well done. Light on the melodrama, heavy on the sci-fi and action.

Part II? Sigh. Where do I even begin?

SPOILER ALERT. Don’t read if you didn’t watch. Seriously, it’ll spoil the whole thing for you and you might not even bother watching it.

OK. I’m going to rattle off the things that were SUPER cheesy:

• The kiss. I mean, was it necessary? Yeah, Stone and Noyce had been chatting regularly in Stone’s quarters, but his confession that he should have left his wife for her and the kiss that came later just sorta came out of nowhere and did absolutely nothing for the plot. In fact, just before they kissed, I shouted, “Oh, geez, don’t kiss!”

• The acidity and aspirin red herring. I’d been convinced that aspirin, simple aspirin was the solution to the Andromeda problem. OK, so that wasn’t it. It was the PH level in the survivors stomachs (so colic is a good thing for your baby to suffer from if you’re attacked by a killer virus from outer space). But with so much focus on the survivors and such buildup, to have to reject the acidity solution more or less out of hand left me wondering, “So we spent all that time on these survivors, exactly why?” You can’t even argue that it led to the bacillum inferno discovery, because it didn’t! It was a complete non-solution solution that wasted my time.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Amy Vernon on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 10:34 am |


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Bid on Tony Soprano’s clothes for charity

May
28

Totally missing Tony Soprano and the gang?

tony.jpg

Well, you can pick up a piece of TV history when Christie’s auctions off a collection of costumes from the award-winning Mob drama, including several iconic items worn by actor James Gandolfini.

“The Sopranos” memorabilia is the highlight of Christie’s Pop Culture auction on June 25 in New York.

tonycostume.jpg The outfit to the right is among the lots (No. 14) expected to fetch the most money: It’s the costume worn by Gandolfini in the Season 6 premiere, when Tony was shot by Uncle Junior, and it’s still spattered with fake blood. (The ensemble’s expected to go for at least $2,000.)

And what “Sopranos” fan wouldn’t want  Tony’s bathrobe? (Estimate: $1,000- $1,500.)

We were first introduced to the big lug wearing this tan robe (see below) when he strolled down his driveway to pick up the morning paper: Check out the big “S” for Soprano monogram on the pocket.

tonybathrobe.jpg There’s more, of course. Leisure suits, shoes, leather jackets and Tony’s famous patterned shirts are up for sale, too.

Everything was donated by Gandolfini, who got to keep his costumes when the series ended. The proceeds from the sale will go to a charity picked by the star, the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit that helps injured soldiers.

Go to the Christie’s web site to get a closer look of each item.

In addition to Gandolfini’s duds, there’s other clothing up for sale worn by the actors playing Uncle Junior, Christopher Moltisani, Paulie Walnuts, A.J. Soprano, Bobby Baccala and others.

(Photos courtesy of Christie’s and HBO) 

Posted by Heather Salerno on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 9:52 am |


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A new take on The Andromeda Strain

May
27

I’ll post more after watching Part II tonight, but I wanted to encourage anyone who didn’t catch Part I of A&E’s remake of The Andromeda Strain (based on the Michael Crichton book) to start watching at 7 tonight (Part I is being reshown then, immediately before Part II, which begins at 9 p.m.).picture-1.jpg

The miniseries severely remakes and updates the concept — a mysterious satellite crashes on Earth and soon after people start dying in droves — to bring it into our time frame (the post-Gulf War, War on Terror era).

I must admit I don’t recall much of the book or of the original movie, but I’ve vowed not to look up either until after watching tonight’s finale to the miniseris because it’s really quite good.

A&E went all out and got some good TV-star power: Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, Gideon’s Crossing), Daniel Dae Kim (Lost), Viola Davis (Traveler), Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Ricky Schroeder (if you don’t know who he is, why are you reading a TV blog?), Christa Miller (Scrubs, The Drew Carey Show) and the production values are lookin’ pretty decent.

I’m interested in what others think, and I’d encourage those watching and commenting to consider the miniseries separate from the original book and movie. I think they’ve done a pretty good job so far and am intrigued by what will happen tonight.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 5:40 pm |


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Grab a snack, pull up a comfy seat and join our staff as they share their thoughts on your favorite shows. Tune in daily for their comments and post your own on such hit shows as "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "The Office," "American Idol," "24," "Heroes" and more.

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