Saturday, February 17, 2007

Jericho on iTunes

For those who are interested in getting caught up with Jericho, the show is now available on iTunes. In addition, the recap episode that aired last Wednesday is now on iTunes as a free download.

All extant episode are also still available at, as well as the recap episode, but if you've had trouble with their player or just prefer downloading to streaming like I do, iTunes is a good option.

Jericho Season One:
Jericho - Jericho, Season 1

TV Tie-Ins—Spike vs. Dracula

A five-issue series from IDW, now available as a trade paperback compliation, Spike vs. Dracula presents five more or less standalone stories that, taken together, explain Spike's reaction to Dracula in "Buffy vs. Dracula", the Season Five premiere episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We also find out why the bloody ponce owes him eleven quid. There's also a bit of backstory for Angel's Season Five episode, "Why We Fight". I found this series to be quite an enjoyable little romp.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Weeds—Season One

Weeds is a Showtime comedy series, the second season of which aired last fall. Season One is available on DVD. It's about a suburban mom, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) whose husband suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, leaving her to support their two sons and maintain their comfortable suburban California life. In order to maintain the lifestyle to which she is accustomed, she turns to selling marijuana, which, as it turns out, is a pretty lucrative venture in the not-so-sleepy suburb of Agrestic. It's a whole new world in many ways, and Nancy's journey is by turns funny, painful, touching, and downright absurd.

Okay, I admit it. I'm shallow. I grabbed this box set because Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural) is in this show. Of course, after the little teaser picture of him on the back of the box, it turns out he's only in two episodes. But I can forgive that, because he burns up the screen, especially in his second appearance in "Dead in the Nethers".

Plus overall I found this to be a pretty enjoyable show. It got a lot of belly laughs out of me, and I enjoyed the characters. Mary-Louise Parker is wonderful as Nancy (I think I kinda have a little girl-crush on her now), and Elizabeth Perkins is equally good, managing to make Celia likeable by the end of the first ten episodes. The show could wander into some pretty dark territory, but every time it looks like it's going to, it veers into something completely absurd to undercut itself. (And sometimes vice-versa--Celia's painful revelation immediately after a plane drops a load of Coke bottles into her bedroom is classic.) My only real quibble, aside from the underuse of Mr. Morgan, is that we're never told exactly why Nancy decided to turn to dope dealing to support herself after her husband's death. One has to wonder if she tried other jobs. Maybe that last stint behind the counter at McDonald's just did her in.

I haven't seen the second season, and I hope it's as good as the first. I'll be keeping an eye out for those DVDs.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Supernatural—Tall Tales

First item tonight--in the "Then" section, they've switched from Dean's money shot coming out of the water in "Dead in the Water" to Sam's comparable shot from "Playthings." As pretty as that shot of Dean is, I think it's fair to give Sammy his due there.

Tonight's episode was... well, it was a trip. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chaise. And the best part was, as goofy as it got, it all made sense in the end.

The teaser gives us a professor at a college, who approaches a student who's waiting for him out in the dark. Is it just me or does she look like a brunette Reese Witherspoon? The professor has written a book on Modern Morality. The girl isn't really a student. He thinks she's trying to seduce him because he's a celebrity and all. Man, I never get anybody wanting to seduce me cause I wrote some books. What's up with that? He acts all, "I don't want to take advantage of you, I respect you too much," and then macks all over her. But he gets what he deserves because she's a zombie and she throws him out the window onto the steps four stories below. He bleeds a lot.

One week later, Sam and Dean are researching in a ratty hotel and Dean is eating chicken wings in Sam's bed. Sammy is computerless and very tense, and Dean is being brattier than usual because apparently there's something wrong with the Impala. The tension is palpable. They've called in Bobby to help with the case, because it's so bizarre.

And here's where the fun begins. After a season and a half living in each other's back pockets, Sam and Dean are having friction. This comes out as they take turns relating the story to Bobby in a "he said/she said" fashion. Sam thinks Dean is a slutty horndog, Dean thinks Sam is an annoying pansy bitch. Bobby tells them they're squabbling like an old married couple. Which they are, and it's hysterical.

The case becomes more and more bizarre, as they find an apparent alien abduction and a man attacked by an alligator in the sewers. It's like every crazy urban legend that they couldn't spin into a full episode is crammed in here, and in this context it all works. Honestly, I want my very own slow dancing alien. I could do without the alligator, though. There doesn't seem to be a pattern, although Dean notices that all the victims were, in his words, dicks. Their fates are suited to their various crimes.

Bobby, providing a more objective point of view, points out that the fact that the brothers are at each others' throats is their biggest clue. They're dealing with a Trickster, who's been visiting retribution on the various victims. He's also been leaving Sam's laptop stuck on and letting the air out of the Impala's tires to keep the boys occupied so they won't figure out what's going on. They work out that the janitor is probably their Trickster.

They hone in on their culprit, who tries almost successfully to distract Dean with a lecture hall filled with gorgeous women in a room with a bed, a disco ball and Barry White music. It's a peace offering from the Trickster, to bribe Dean to let him get out of town. In the final showdown, Dean gets the crap beaten out of him by girls in lingerie, but finally prevails. Over the hood of the Impala, Sam and Dean almost apologize to each other. And at the very end, we discover the Trickster isn't really dead. A predictable twist, but it still worked.

After last week's angst-fest, this was a welcome diversion into absurdity. Good absurdity, though, and I liked that the story supported even the most over the top bits of this episode, making them fit into the storyline, rather than just being gratuitously funny. The different kind of story let Ackles and Padalecki show a different set of talents than usual, and they carried it quite well. I'd like to see this show tackle comedy more often--they did a great job with it in "Hell House" last season, and once again tonight.

Now if we could just quit with these three-week breaks, I'd be a happy camper.

New Drive Fan Site

For those following Drive, a new fansite has opened up at . They've got links to lots of trailers and various other information about the show. Drop by and take a look.

Lost—Flashes Before Your Eyes

This episode was co-written by Damon Lindelof and Buffy alumnus Drew Goddard, aka the Ultimate Drew (I believe this moniker was invented to differentiate him from Drew Z. Greenberg, also on the Buffy staff and now working on Dexter). I met the Ultimate Drew once. He's really tall. And cute.

It was an interesting episode, too. I spent most of the hour trying to second-guess the writers, without much success, and by the end I still wasn't entirely sure where they're going with this little side trip. I've pretty much decided to just go with the flow on this show, rather than trying to figure things out. When they do explain things, it seems to make sense more or less, so might as well enjoy the ride. And since tonight the ride involved a lot of Desmond and his dead sexy Scottish accent, I'm okay with that...

Front story: Of which there was surprisingly little. This was a flashback story in more ways than one. After the discovery of Eko's body, Locke states that the island killed him. Fair enough--that fits with what I remember happening before the century-long hiatus. But our focus today is on Desmond, who seems to know Claire is drowning without being anywhere near enough to see it happening. In any case, he rescues her, leading Charlie and Hurley to interrogate him about how he knew she needed rescuing. This eventually leads to drunken fisticuffs and Desmond saying they don't want to know. Which takes us to--

Back story: First we drop back to Desmond using the key in the hatch after they didn't reset the timer at the end of last season. Then, in a nice visual cut, we transition to Desmond's flat where he lived with Penelope. He's been painting the walls red, and has fallen and gotten a concussion.

The flashbacks get weird right away, with even this first scene overlaid with sounds and elements that tie it back to the hatch and the island. Here's where I start speculating: Did the explosion at the hatch actually send Desmond back in time? As the flashback continues, Desmond relives his futile attempts to gain Penelope's father's respect so he can marry her. Penny's father humiliates Desmond with a bottle of very expensive whiskey--the exact same whiskey that, to Charlie on the island, was not a status symbol but just an expedient way to get Desmond pickled. Afterward, Desmond makes with the crazy. He sees Charlie singing on the street and says he knows him, though Charlie doesn't recognize him. Desmond starts to recount events from the island, even though we're in a flashback. Next speculation: Did the hatch explosion knock him unconscious, and now he's experiencing his backstory as a dream/hallucination?

Convinced he's been thrown back in time to relive his life, Desmond approaches a friend, Donovan, a physicist, with questions about time travel. But his attempts to prove he can "remember" the future don't work out--he miscalls the result of the footie game on the telly in the pub. (Why is it always a come from behind victory in sports that people use to prove they're time traveling? What if you time travel and you don't like sports? Or the games are boring that day? Are you SOL?)

Desmond decides to soldier on in his plans to marry Penny, and goes to buy her an engagement ring. But the woman in the jewelry store says he's not doing it right--he's not supposed to buy the ring. He's supposed to have second thoughts and go on to the boat race and get stranded on the island, or things won't proceed as they ought and everyone will die. She seems to actually have some kind of precognitive ability. Desmond's fate is spelled out and thrown in his face--pushing that button is the only truly great thing he will ever do. Desmond refuses to accept this and buys the ring, anyway, determined to change his destiny and marry Penny. At this point I'm still sticking with my unconscious/having a dream/hallucination theory.

Of course that doesn't work out, and a few scenes later, after we're shown the origins of the picture Des showed Claire at the beginning of the episode, he decides he can't go through with marriage because he can't look after Penny properly. They have a confrontation in the street, and he throws away the ring. Seems like he should have at least gotten his money back.

Back to the pub, Des has a pint and commiserates about making the biggest mistake of his life--again. He realizes he did remember the footie game right--it was just the wrong night. A man comes in with a cricket bat, angry, demanding his money. Knowing he's about to clock the bartender in the head, Desmond interferes with him and takes the bat in his own face instead. He wakes up back on the island, lying naked on the palm leaves, and we're back to his return after the hatch explosion. The hatch has been blown to hell. He wants to go back and try again, but of course he can't.

This returns us to the episode frame, as we cut back to the confrontation with Charlie. Hurley drags Desmond off Charlie. Desmond is ranting about how you can't change it, no matter what you do, saying they don't want to know what happened to him. But finally he relents with an explanation. When he turned the key, his life flashed before his eyes, and then he was back in the jungle. But the flashes didn't stop. He wasn't saving Claire, he was saving Charlie. Because the first time, Charlie went in and tried to save Claire, but drowned. When the lightning hit the roof before, he was electrocuted--Desmond saved him from that, as well. He's tried twice to save Charlie, but the universe has a way of course correcting (per the woman in the jewelry shop from the flashback), and he can't stop it forever. No matter what Desmond does, Charlie is fated to die.

So all my theories were wrong. Sort of. And sort of not. I do hope they find a way to have Charlie not die. This would make sense, actually, since they threw it out there so blatantly. Most of the deaths on this show seem to come out of left field, so to have one predicted and then play out would be against pattern. I'm guessing this will serve as a setup for another subplot, that'll have something to do with... well, something. It's a little early to tell which of the major arcs this could play into. But I suppose we'll find out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bones—The Man in the Mansion

Back on the job, but still undergoing therapy (no, it's not therapy, it's an official evaluation--sorry, Seeley), Booth is trying to suppress his bad impulses by wearing boring ties and socks. Everybody razzes him. I think he should not suppress his bad impulses, personally. But the razzing is hysterical. Apparently everyone is aware of Booth's crazy sock, tie and belt buckle wearing habit. As his "evaluation" with Wyatt continues, the crazy socks become a representation of Booth's need to rebel and express his inner rage against the entitled. Except for the belt buckle, which is the modern version of the medieval codpiece, designed to draw attention to his groin.

I do love this show.

Oh, right, and aside from Booth's clothing issues, there's a case to be solved, complete with gross putrid corpses. Tonight's victim is a millionaire who's been found dead in his mansion. Jack hides evidence that he had a previous relationship with the victim's wife, knowing that if this comes out, he'll get thrown off the case. This leads to all kinds of trouble for Jack, and ultimately endangers the case when the suspect is brought to trial.

In other subplots, Sully and Brennan have been dating, but Sully hasn't made a move, other than to ask her to come to his basketball game so she can ogle his buttcrack (damn, he's such a romantic), so Brennan's confused. In the meantime, Sully goes to Seeley for advice on how to approach Brennan, which doesn't go well at all. Sully accuses Seeley of having the hots for his partner. Brennan does go to the basketball game, where she falls upon rumors that her new boyfriend is--how does one say this delicately?--lacking in the filling up of the codpiece department.

The case progresses a bit differently than usual, with a sharply written courtroom scene. I really liked the way this was put together--it moved along quickly, with neat dialogue transitions from witness to witness. The case, though, nearly falls apart when Jack's tampering is revealed, leading to some nice scenes between him and Booth. Booth has a very clear-cut sense of right and wrong. Jack violates this, but then he fixes it later, in another nice scene between the two of them. They're not girls, per Booth, so Jack gets pie for doing the right thing so they don't have to actually talk.

Another nice tidbit tonight was the return of Caroline the Prosecutor, always a welcome addition. She was spunky and sassy and usual, and her lecture to them all at the end was hysterical, especially her proposal that if they win the case, Jack gets his job back. If they lose, Booth shoots him.

In the end, all is well as the verdict comes in as guilty when Angela saves the day by identifying a strain of aspergillis on the body. Brennan gets some nookie from Sully and discovers the truth about what he hides in his codpiece, then tells Booth all about it, somewhat to his annoyance. As for Booth, he switches to the trademark stripey socks (I'd put money down that these came out of Boreanaz's actual sock drawer) and feels he needs perhaps a flashier tie to deal with all his suppressed issues.

Overall, great fun. But now the dreaded behemoth that is American Idol puts us on hiatus again until March.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


We start with a mom and daughter driving in the snow. I've had enough snow in real life--do I really need to watch it on TV? And as they argue they are hit by a truck. Seems like "Bad Moon Rising" should be playing about now. The girl has a piece of metal rammed into her leg but doesn't seem too concerned about it as she calls for help.

Back at the hospital, it's Valentine's Day, which hasn't mellowed our resident grumptastic Dr. House one bit. He takes one look at Hannah, our car crash girl, and decides she has a genetic insensitivity to pain. Of course his curiosity is piqued, and he orders a gamut of tests. A nicely played and amusing game of one-ups-manship between House and Hannah makes it clear that his interest in her lack of pain is directly tied to his interest in relieving his own. (And of course the title could refer to either one of them.) Given this motivation, his pursuit of the case becomes a bit more obsessive than usual. And while he's involved in that, he also finds time to interfere with Cuddy's blind date.

The case this time is overly odd and extreme, which is typical for this show, but there are times when it seems they're reaching for oddness and extreme-ness. I guess after a while you start running out of bizarre ailments. Although that's part of the fun of the show--googling after or during to see how accurate they managed to be with the science. It's usually a mixed bag. I found an article about an inbred family in Pakistan whose members could not feel pain, and another article referring to Riley-Day syndrome , found among Ashkenazi Jews as referenced in the ep, although Hannah's condition was referred to as CIPA. What little I could find about CIPA didn't connect it to Ashkenazi Jews, but to other homogeneous societies (apparently it's more common in Japan, though still very rare). In this episode, though, Hannah's condition was finally traced to B12 deficiency caused by a tapeworm. I have no idea if that's accurate, and forgive me if I really, really don't want to google tapeworms.

Looks like another American Idol-induced hiatus is in store, pre-empting House for the next three weeks.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Meredith, Claire's bio mom, talks to Nathan, who as we learned last week is Claire's bio dad. Nathan thinks the call involves blackmail and offers a hundred grand to cover it. Meredith accepts. Mr. Bennet brings Mrs. Bennet home supposedly from neurological tests. She's obviously having memory issues. Side effects from having her brain wiped so many times? Ya think?

Claire's dad busts her on the whole manatee thing and grounds her. She plays the "You're not my real father" card. Which is really cold, but given Claire's situation I suppose I can forgive her. I mean, after all, he's not just not her real dad, he's also mindwiping half his family on a regular basis. Not cool, Dad.

Claire goes to Meredith's house wanting to see her father. Meredith tells Claire her father doesn't really want to see her, but that she's entitled to half of the fifty grand her father has promised. Okay, I'm not great at math but I think that's wrong...

Nathan visits Meredith and gives her a check. Outside the window, Claire is listening to everything, and is hurt to discover Nathan really didn't want to see her. Nathan's pretty thrown by the whole thing and really not as much of an ass as I make it seem. Claire throws a rock at his car as he pulls away, but runs when this catches his attention.

At home, Claire finds her mother freaking out over Mr. Muggles. Her memory has been decimated--she can't even remember Claire. At this point, as bratty as Claire can be, I feel really sorry for her. Things just aren't going at all well in that family.

In Las Vegas, Hiro and Ando prepare to sneak into Linderman's hotel. Ando runs across a weeping dancer with cleavage that could destroy the world. Her name is Hope. Ando was looking for hope... ooo, coincidence! Ando jumps all over that. Ando seems to think a lot with the brain that is not inside his skull.

Hope tells them her boyfriend is beating her. Ando volunteers to help. Hiro isn't crazy about the idea, but finagles it into a bargain for her to introduce them to Linderman. They disguise themselves as room service, with the obligatory Hiro in the Breakfast Cart trick. Hiro wants to chicken out, but Ando keeps throwing his own words back at him to keep him in the game. I hate when people do that. Ando gets trapped in the hotel room, under the bed, when the boyfriend comes out of the shower.

Hiro overhears Hope on the phone talking about how she's set Hiro and Ando up. She clocks him in the head.

Ando brings Hope the bag. She distracts him with her deadly cleavage and some tonsil hockey and drags him off. Hiro, in the meantime, has been locked in a pantry. He's finally "rescued" by a man who indentifies himself as an officer of the State Gaming Commission, who looks like he's probably Hope's boyfriend.

Mohinder is calling folks on the list, trying to find somebody who won't hang up on him. Obviously people think he's a telemarketer. He finally gets a call back from Zane Taylor, and arranges to meet him. At Zane's house, there are lots of odd puddles on the floor. He's waiting for Mohinder to show up, and is very happy when he does. Except it's not Mohinder--it's Sylar. That can't be good.

Mohinder shows up at Zane's place and is met by Sylar claiming to be Zane. The ability he's absorbed from Zane involves liquefying things. Which explains the puddles on the floor. Also the dead body in the kitchen, since Sylar's snagged the power. Mohinder chats with Sylar about his ability. Sylar is very creepy with his discussion of inner peace and tranquility, and finally volunteers to help Mohinder in his search. Aww. They're gonna make a cute couple.

Jessica is hanging out with the family, pretending to be Niki and apparently freelancing as an assassin. Matt has landed a job as a bodyguard, and his first guard-ee proves to be Jessica's target.

The client, Malsky, is buying diamonds. Matt's telepathy clues him in to Jessica's presence and her agenda, enabling him to keep Malsky away from her. Jessica, though, is persistent. Matt is able to apprehend her, but Jessica escapes and flings Matt out a window. By the time Matt makes his way back into the building, Malsky is in two rather large pieces on the floor.

Matt tries to explain what happened to the cops who've arrived on the scene, but they don't seem very inclined to believe him. Following what he overheard from Malsky, he finds the hidden diamonds. He's about to turn them over when he "hears" the other cops mocking him with their mean mocky thoughts. He pockets them instead.

Jessica receives a package with information for another hit. This time she's supposed to kill Nathan.

And next week--a new catch phrase!!

The Dresden Files—Hair of the Dog

The episode opens with a man fleeing through a graveyard. He is violently attacked. Murphy calls Harry about a dead body found in the park, but it turns out not to be the man we saw in the teaser, but a woman. She's been partially scalped, and her upper canines have been extracted. Murphy connects the death to 7 similar murders, including one found in the river last week. There's no immediately cause of death, but silver iodide is found in her mouth and lungs, as if she inhaled it.

Harry, of course, is immediately clued in that the woman is a lycanthrope (werewolf in common parlance, though they never use that word in the episode and, if I recall correctly, Butcher never used that word in Fool Moon, either). The FBI moves in and takes the case over, pushing Murphy and Dresden both out of the way and threatening Dresden with jail time.

Dresden doesn't drop the case, though, because if he did we wouldn't have a show. Instead he focuses on the victim's roommate, Heather, and is able to put the pieces together as to what happened to her. But there's a twist he's not aware of--the hostile female FBI agent is also a lycanthrope, and her partner is killing lycanthropes in order to cure her of her affliction. Unfortunately, he's been bitten, too, as we saw in the teaser.

It seems like this would have been a much better pilot episode than "Birds of a Feather." Everybody has a general knowledge of werewolves, which would have made the story easily accessible to viewers unfamiliar with Dresden. In addition, this plot was largely adapted from Fool Moon, so it might have pleased established Dresden fans a bit better, as well. There's not quite as much background exposition in this episode as there was in "Birds of a Feather", but in this case I think that's a good thing, since the exposition in "Birds of a Feather" seemed to me to be more confusing than helpful.

In any case, this was a much stronger episode than the last two, with some genuine creepiness and strong emotion, and I hope the show continues with this trend.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dresden Files Review Delayed

Due to my need to see the Dixie Chicks on the Grammys (even though I missed the Police and yes I am bitter about that), and an ongoing argument with my DVR, the Dresden Files review will be delayed, as my TV 2 DVR has decided to watch Masterpiece Theatre, and I don't have a TV hooked up to the TV 1 DVR, which is currently recording Dresden, but won't actually allow me to watch it.

Yes, it's all terribly complicated. My apologies.

Speculation—Summer Glau's role in Sarah Connor Chronicles

It's hit the internet over the last few days that Summer Glau (Firefly) is now attached to Sarah Connor Chronicles, a series based on the Terminator movie franchise slated to show up on Fox this fall. It's set after the events of Terminator 2 and before Terminator 3. In this article from Cinematical, it's speculated that Summer will play a Terminator.


I've just read some of the casting sides (I got 'em legitimate-like, so don't be looking at me that way), and I'd say this is a pretty fair guess. There's a character named Cameron who has taken on the role of guardian for John Connor, and she's a cybernetic type. Reading her scenes, it's easy to see Summer in that role, so I'm going to put my money on that.