Saturday, March 10, 2007

Robin Hood—Sheriff Got Your Tongue?

Things aren't going well back at Locksley, as Guy and his cronies start cutting out the tongues of the peasants in an attempt to extort information about Robin's whereabouts (which leads to a very bad joke later regarding this episode's title and also? Ew.). Guy mostly just stands around looking hot while the sheriff does the dirty work. In the meantime, Robin and Much deal with the inhabitants of Sherwood Forest, who aren't exactly friendly. After being stripped and humiliated, they escape and turn the tables on their attackers. After a brief attempt at hot badassery, Robin formulates his patented, "Rob from the rich, give to the poor," concept. The forest dwellers decide to turn him in for the reward. After an over-the-top rescue of one of the peasants (Little John's wife), Robin turns himself in and is taken off to be hanged. In prison he gets his nickname of Robin Hood, which somehow evolves from Robin Wood in one dialogue exchange. Guy makes a leather-clad move on Marian. How does he manage to wear all that leather? Did they have talcum powder back then?

Much has to try to rescue Robin on his own, but of course the Sherwood Forest crew comes through at the last minute. Marian tries to rescue Robin, too, but Much wins out and there's a big heroic rescue, during which Robin declares his love for Much. (For real. This was not my imagination. Honest.)

Overall, the show continues to be fun but not overly deep. Guy continues to skulk and wear leather, and Robin continues to prove his prowess by shooting arrows right next to people instead of, say, drilling them through the forehead, which would seem to me to be more effective under the circumstances. The Sherwood Forest crew is beginning to come together, with a bit of poignant backstory for Little John featured tonight.

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough Guy action tonight, and Robin still hasn't managed to dethrone the animated Disney Robin Hood as Hottest Robin Hood ever.

Keys to the Castle

This show aired today in an encore presentation. It features John Barrowman as the host, leading a tour through several inhabited castles in Great Britain. It's a fascinating show, highlighting some really beautiful castles. It's enlightening to find out how much money it actually costs to maintain one of these huge domiciles. My favorite segment is the one about Cawdor Castle, aka Castle Macbeth, in the north part of Scotland.

That's what this show offers for non-John Barrowman fans. For John Barrowman fans, it has, well, John Barrowman. A lot of him, wearing jeans and hoodies and puffy vests and a kilt, and lapsing into his ancestral Scottish accent. When I first ran across this show quite by accident on its first airing last fall, I was first of all surprised to see Barrowman on US TV--HGTV, after all, is not known for its hot British hunks. I was even more surprised at how thoroughly entertaining he was. Overall, for fans of John, this show is a must-see.

Blood Ties and Andy Barker at iTunes

The new Lifetime show Blood Ties, which I mentioned yesterday, has already found its way onto iTunes. The first episode is available for download here: (NOTE: I just ran over and downloaded it and it looks like it's actually the first half of tonight's two-hour premiere, so be aware of that if you download.)
Blood Ties - Blood Ties, Season 1

Also new to iTunes is Andy Barker, P.I. The entire first season is available for purchase--and it hasn't even started airing on NBC yet. That strikes me as an interesting move by the network, especially since this show is dropping into an incredibly competitive timeslot on Thursday nights. I wonder how they'll count these downloads towards the show's overall performance. Check it out here:
Andy Barker P.I.

Friday, March 9, 2007

This Weekend

This weekend has far too much TV. Especially Sunday night.

Tonight I'm taking a look at The Wedding Bells, on Fox, but after a few minutes it's not looking like my cuppa, so I won't be spending a lot of time with this one.

Tomorrow is the Guy of Gisborne show--I mean Robin Hood. I'll be watching and reviewing that, for sure. Then Sunday night is The Dresden Files, but there's also a new show premiering on Lifetime. Blood Ties is about a female private investigator who hangs with a vampire. Based on the books by Tanya Huff, this show looks to be right up my alley.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Supernatural Stuff

Since Supernatural is a rerun tonight (of Crossroad Blues), here's some info on upcoming tie-in products. Information gathered from several Supernatural communities on LJ, including supernatural_tv.

Season 2 of the show is now available through Amazon unbox.

The Season 1 Official Companion is also available for preorder.

At his blog
, Keith R. A. DeCandido talks about writing Nevermore, a Supernatural tie-in novel, and the rockin' musical soundtrack he uses to get in the Supernatural writing mood. DeCandido did a remarkable job of capturing the voices of the Firefly crew in his novelization of Serenity--having him on this assignment can't be a bad thing. Nevermore is also available for preorder.

Jeff Marriotte, who has written several Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel tie-in novels, as well as several of the comic book tie-ins, is also writing a Supernatural tie-in novel, Witch's Canyon. Again, available for preorder.

Supernatural will return next Thursday with a new episode featuring Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica).

Supernatural on iTunes.
Supernatural - Supernatural, Season 2

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Lost—Enter 77

Beach Story: Sawyer wagers at ping pong to get "his" stuff back. Dude, between the ponytail and the ping pong you are severely undermining your own manliness. Plus we totally know about that Little House on the Prairie thing. Sun places the wager--if Sawyer loses, he can't nickname anybody for a week. He ends up facing Hurley one-on-one. Hurley turns out to be a bit of a ringer and Sawyer gets his ass kicked.

Back Story: Sayid is working in a restaurant. He's offered a job by a man who compliments his cooking. Sayid goes to see him. He's introduced to the man's wife and the situation proves to be not so much a job interview as a set-up. They think Sayid tortured the wife when he was in the Republican Guard. He's held prisoner and tortured, though he insists he didn't do it. The wife finally gets a confession out of Sayid by overemoting and sticking her chin up in the air a lot (seriously, this bugged me) and he weeps prettily. It's not entirely clear whether he actually did it or not--this one could go either way.

Jungle Story: Sayid and Locke continue to look for the Others. When Sayid hears a cowbell (more cowbell!!) in the jungle, they discover a ranch, complete with cow, satellite dish, and one-eyed proprietor who shoots Sayid first and asks questions later. His name is Mikhail Bakunin, and he claims to be the last living member of the Dharma Initiative. Sayid chats with him for a while, prying out some complicated but possibly somewhat accurate information regarding Dharma and the Hostiles. Apparently the Hostiles were there long before Dharma was. Here's where I'm a bit confused--are the Hostiles the same as the Others? Because I'm thinking maybe they aren't--or are they? Or are the Others part of Dharma? I wish they'd move this show back to 8 so I could be awake while it's on because my brain doesn't work after 9.

While Sayid chats, Locke finds a chess game on one of Mikhail's computers and can't resist the temptation. Eventually Mikhail gets hostile and Sayid takes him out. Searching for Mikhail's accomplice, Sayid and Kate discover the entire house is wired with explosives. Winning a chess game unlocks a Dharma video menu on the computer. (This seems awfully sophisticated given the obvious antiquity of the computer.) Mikhail's accomplice proves to be the African American Other featured in the Previously On so we'd recognize her when we saw her. She's not too talkative. There's a standoff--the woman tells Mikhail to kill her and he does. Sayid takes Mikhail prisoner instead of killing him as Mikhail requests. Sayid has found a map to the Barracks, a good-sized community somewhere on the island. Even though they now don't need a guide, he refuses to kill Mikhail. This seems to be because of his cat-triggered flashback, although this doesn't explain his lack of reluctance in earlier situations where he's tortured people. Maybe it was okay then because there was no cat to remind him it's bad to torture people. Unable to access communication options on the computer, John blows up the house by Enter(ing) 77 to indicate an incursion by the Hostiles.

There was an awful lot packed into this episode, and attempting to follow it was not helped by the fact that there was a commercial break every five minutes. Remember the good old days when you could expect at least fifteen minutes between commercials? Also, did they really have to have all those close-ups of Sayid's shoulder wound? I almost puked. Other than those quibbles, a good episode, although in many ways it was one of those installments that left you feeling like a lot of questions were answered, but when you go back and think about it, they really weren't. I liked the Sawyer-Hurley ping pong battle even though it happened mostly off-camera, and it was nice to see a Sayid-centric episode again.

Jericho—Heart of Winter

The residents of Jericho continue to struggle with the demands of winter, with depleting supplies and increasing cold. While Hawkins and Sarah prepare to meet up with a colleague, Jake, Stanley and Mimi go on a hunting trip. They run across signs of a vast migration of people heading south to escape the bitter temperatures. Things outside Jericho are looking pretty grim, especially after the hunting team is attacked by a group of strangers and Stanley and Jake are badly injured. Hawkins and Sarah find their colleague, who just contacted them the day before, two days dead. Apparently this covert government operation--or whatever it proves to be--has been infiltrated. They work to recover what information they can from the computers at the checkpoint and discover their team is being methodically eliminated. Worse, Hawkins and Sarah appear to be next in line--except it appears Sarah is playing for the wrong team.

In the meantime, Emily and Roger continue to re-bond as they tend to the refugees.

I thought this was one of the better episodes of this show. It had a little bit of everything--apocalyptic grimness, danger, dead people, intrigue, near-death confessions, and not a lot of domestic melodrama and not a lot of Eric--both pluses in my book. Maybe that's mean, but Eric's storyline tends to annoy me. Oh, and Jake was all vulnerable and weepy, which is hot. So far I'm interested in the direction Hawkins' story is going, although I hope they answer a few more questions soon, as I'm a bit confused as to whether he's a good guy or a bad guy. I know I'm probably supposed to be confused about that, but I'd like some clarification soon, please. And I liked Sarah's little twist at the very end.

Next week Bones returns, so I'll be returning to my regular Bones reviews, with comments on Jericho as time allows.

Jericho at iTunes:
Jericho - Jericho, Season 1

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Tonight's episode guest-stars Dave Matthews as Patrick, a musical savant whose talents manifested after a severe bus accident. While is skills as a pianist are prodigious, his social skills are severely lacking. And tonight when he goes onstage to play, he crashes and burns, unable to properly move his hands. House is, of course, fascinated.

In the meantime, House is planning a mysterious trip to Massachusetts General Hospital. Following up vague clues, Cuddy determines that House has brain cancer. This will annoy the Fox network, which already renewed this show for a fourth season. It also distracts the team from diagnosing Patrick, who's getting worse and worse. Eventually House comes to the conclusion that major brain surgery will allow Patrick to have a more normal life, but he won't be able to play the piano anymore.

Dave Matthews handled his role quite competently, and the storyline allowed both Matthews and Hugh Laurie to showcase their piano skills, both of which elements proved to be quite entertaining, and the main, medical mystery plotline was solid. But the "House has cancer--no he really doesn't" subplot struck me as overkill for the point they were trying to make.

Dave Matthews at iTunes
Dave Mathews

Andy Barker, P.I. Available at NBC

The first six (yep, SIX) episodes of NBC's not-yet-premiered show (it premieres next week), Andy Barker, P.I., are available for viewage on NBC's website. Not sure why they're showing them this early, but the incomparable Jane Espenson is on their writing team, so it's worth a look.

Via Whedonesque.

The OC on iTunes

For fans of The OC—the final season has just been added to iTunes. I've never watched this show, but I know some people who are sad to see it go. Drop by iTunes and check it out, if you're a fan or just want to check out the series.

Apple iTunes

Monday, March 5, 2007


This week, we return to the more standard Heroes structure, with multiple storylines running at once. Just about everybody got airtime tonight, as well as major progression of their storylines, with the exception of Matt, who got airtime but not much of a storyline. While I didn't find this episode as emotionally involving as last week's, it was still quite good, with some intense bits and some great twists and revelations.

In Las Vegas, Hiro finally manages to find his way to Linderman's gallery. With some unexpected help from Ando, he acquires the sword. Just as they're about to be apprehended by security, Hiro uses his powers to teleport himself and Ando out of the gallery. But his powers are a bit off again, and they arrive on the roof of Isaac's building--in the future, post-kaboom.

Claire is traveling with the Haitian, who's taking her out of the country. Claire doesn't like this idea and slips her leash, so to speak, in the airport. Leaving the Haitian behind, she heads for New York looking for Peter. Instead she finds Mrs. Petrelli. But the Haitian is there, as well--apparently the "higher power" he answers to isn't Eric Roberts guy, but Mrs. Petrelli.

The FBI shows up at Nathan's, ostensibly to talk to him about illegal campaign contributions from the Linderman Group, but actually to discuss the setup they're arranging in Las Vegas. Nathan's been working with the FBI since his wife's accident, gathering incriminating evidence against Linderman. In the meantime, Jessica's heading for Vegas, as well, with her assignment to assassinate Nathan. She kills the FBI agents. When Nathan comes to meet Linderman, he's met by Jessica instead--except Niki has managed to take over again, and warns him that Linderman knows what Nathan is up to, and that if Linderman offers him a deal, he has to take it. Nathan determines to kill Linderman. He goes ahead with his meeting. Linderman is in the kitchen making pot pies. He's also Malcolm McDowell, in another interesting cameo. Nathan withdraws a gun to kill Linderman. No pot pie for you. Linderman's deal is to make Nathan politically powerful, only a step away from the presidency. So Nathan has to work that one out between now and April 23rd.

Peter and Isaac are devastated by Simone's death, until Simone walks in alive and well just as the police come to investigate an anonymous tip about the shooting. But it turns out not to be Simone at all--it's Candace, a shapeshifter in the employ of the company.

Bennet can't remember anything after bringing his wife home from the hospital. Mrs. Bennet, however, remembers everything, including a lot she shouldn't, claiming Mr. Bennet told her to remember. Bennet plans with his wife to keep Claire safe from the company. But it turns out it's not Mrs. Bennet at all, but Candace, the shapeshifter. I might have been confused about the timeline here, but it seemed like at least part of the Simone plotline meant Candace would have had to have been in two places at once on at least one occasion to pull this off. And what's happened to Mrs. Bennet? Did they spirit her off somewhere? Kill her? I guess it'll be a while before we know.

Sylar and Mohinder continue their partnership, conferring over the list. But then Mohinder drugs Sylar with chai tea. Sylar, dude, Mohinder's totally on to you. Turning all badass, Mohinder tortures Sylar with a tuning fork. He says Sylar is a parasite, and that he can't really control his powers. Sylar taunts Mohinder, saying he knows things about Mohinder's father. Dr. Suresh used Sylar to create his formula--Sylar is Patient Zero. Mohinder takes some spinal fluid without benefit of anesthesia and isolates four genes as the basis of the mutations that allow powers to develop. Sylar begs to be released. Mohinder shoots him, but Sylar controls the bullet so it doesn't hit him. He releases himself from where Mohinder has tied him to a chair for whacky bondage/torture fun. Things don't look too happy for Mohinder.

Peter arrives looking for Mohinder and finds the place trashed. Mohinder is stuck to the ceiling and dripping blood all over Peter but oddly is not wearing a white nightgown, nor is he on fire. Sylar grabs Peter and begins to slice open his head. It's about time Peter got his damn hair cut.

And now Heroes enters hiatus until April 23rd. Dude, that sucks out loud.

Heroes - Heroes, Season 1

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Dresden Files—Soul Beneficiary

As the episode begins, Harry wakes up married to a woman who calls him Jerry and brings him breakfast in bed complete with really big knife.

Then we back up a day. A man with the unlikely name of Kelten has come to talk to Harry because he's having visions of himself dying. He wants Harry to hypnotize him or something to stop the visions--and then he drops dead in Harry's office. It proves to be a garden variety heart attack. His wife, though, is suspicious, and comes to Harry's office to get more information--then she drops dead, as well.

It seems like a horrible no good very bad coincidence, until Kelten's body disappears. Using a tracking spell on the money paid to the mortuary attendant to give up the body, Harry is led to the suburbs, where he finds Kelten, alive and kicking and using another name.

The string of deaths and apparent resurrections is finally traced to the coroner's assistant, Sharon, who's apparently running an insurance scam by killing the same man over and over, magically restructuring his memories each time, and collecting on the life insurance. Bob is deeply distressed by this, and we discover that he himself used this black magic centuries ago. His punishment was to be doomed to live out eternity as a spirit residing in his own skull.

This episode had a good premise and some nice twists, but the final reveal of why Sharon was involved in an apparently very dark, very dangerous black magic scheme seemed anticlimactic to me. She told Harry that it wasn't always about the money, but that was all we really saw as far as her motive. While it's a realistic motive, it just felt too mundane for this show. Bob's reveal seemed a little out of place, as well--it seemed like something that disturbing to him should have gotten more attention than to just be tacked onto this episode. Maybe it'll be revisited later. I hope so, as I think Bob is worth a bit more than a denouement.

TV Tie-Ins—Spike: Asylum

Written by Bryan Lynch, art by Franco Urru.

Another five-issue comic book series from IDW, Spike: Asylum gives us a story outside the central focus of the post-series Angel comic books. Spike is hired to find a missing half-demon girl, who's been taken to Mosaic Wellness Center, a sort of paranormal mental hospital where folks with abilities or origins beyond the norm are rehabilitated. As it turns out, though, it's a trap. The girl Spike's supposed to "rescue" is actually already dead--Spike killed her. Spike's been maneuvered into entering Mosaic as retribution. And it looks like it's going to work, as most of the inmates have heard of him--and want him dead.

I enjoyed this series. Spike saves the day without seeming overly non-Spike-like, and the twists and turns here aren't too obvious, and overall the story works. Of the Spike-centric comics released so far, this one's probably my favorite.

Issue One
Issue Two
Issue Three
Issue Four
Issue Five

Summer Glau and Sarah Connor

According to this article at SciFi Wire, I was right about Summer Glau's role in Sarah Connor Chronicles. Go me!!

Via Whedonesque.