Saturday, October 13, 2007

Angel Script Books

I thought I had blogged about the Angel Script Book Volume 1, but I can't find an actual post about it, so if I'm repeating myself please forgive me.

IDW Publishing started putting out original shooting scripts of Angel shortly after the series was canceled. Apparently they didn't sell well, because they only did a few, then compiled the existing one-shots into a TPB edition. The second volume consisted of the last few one-shots plus an additional episode that hadn't been published in one-shot form. I don't think they have any plans to publish any more paperback compilations, but I suppose that could change if Angel: After the Fall does well enough.

Volume One consists of the series premiere, "City Of...," by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt, "A Hole in the World," "Waiting in the Wings," and "Spin the Bottle," all by Joss, and "Five by Five," by Jim Kouf. And they're in that order, too. Seasons 1, 5, 3, 4 and 1. That's really my only complaint about this series. The chosen scripts seem a bit scattershot and aren't in order. Of course I wouldn't have been totally happy with anything but all 100+ shooting scripts printed and bound and all in order, because I'm a little weird that way.

Going on to Volume Two, we have "In the Dark," by Douglas Petrie, "I Will Remember You," by David Greenwalt and Jeannine Renshaw, "Convinction," by that Whedon guy, "You're Welcome," by David Fury, "Smile Time," by Ben Edlund (oddly much less funny in script form than the final product was), and the series finale *sniff*, "Not Fade Away," by Whedon and Jeffrey Bell.

I always enjoy reading original shooting scripts as a rule, because it's fun and I learn things about writing scripts. Having them packaged in a nice paperback so I don't have to print them out or read them off the computer is a plus, too. The way these books are packaged, though, is more reader-friendly than script-studying friendly, since unlike the Buffy scriptbooks they don't follow the exact page breaks and page formatting of the original scripts. Still a minor quibble, though, and I'm just glad they're available. IDW? We can has more, please?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Night Lights—Bad Ideas

As we cruise into our second episode, nobody seems to be settling into their new roles. Coach Taylor's having trouble settling into his new job at TMU. Landry and Tyra struggle with the aftermath of last week's justifiable manslaughter, and Tammi's having difficulty juggling baby Grace, rebellious Julie, and her needy replacement guidance counselor Glenn, who sticks his nose in places it doesn't belong. The new coach continues to alienate Buddy Garrity, which strikes me as a bad idea given the funding his business probably provides the team. Lyla continues to be annoying, while Tim continues to be a smoking hot purveyor of depraved hedonism. I approve. Of Tim, not Lyla.

At football practice, the new coach also continues to be mean to Tim. He needs to stop that cause we like Tim. Jason sees improvement in his hands, but the doctor quashes his hopes of ever walking again. A nurse sent to help care for Matt's grandmother creates chaos in the household, and tensions continue between the not-quite-divorced Garritys. And, just to round out the drama, the Swede continues to pursue Julie in spite of his apparent rejection last week. I don't like him. Julie seems to, though. I think Julie's on a bad path.

This week's episode felt a bit more like what I expected to see from this show than the premiere, and seeds have been sown for potentially interesting storylines to develop as we continue into the second season. I highly disapprove of tonight's lack of Tim, though. Let's hope we see that remedied in future episodes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Supernatural—The Kids are Alright

After an arguably weak debut, Supernatural comes back this week with all cylinders firing in an episode that's laugh-out-loud funny and keep the lights on all night horrifying at the same time.

We open with the grossest thing I've seen on Supernatural since the whole arm in the disposal thing back in Season One ("Home"). Cause seriously. Ewwww. I knew there was a reason I never use power tools.

Anyway, creepy little kid + power saw = dead dad, which also = case for our boys to pursue. Dean, though, has an ulterior motive for going to Cicero, Indiana. Apparently he had a really inspiring encounter with a yoga teacher there eight years ago. Hey, Dean, hon. I do yoga. Seriously. And I'm sure my kids could use an exorcism. I mean, don't all teenagers? Upon dropping by to visit Lisa, the very bendy ex-flame, Dean discovers she has a cocky little AC/DC loving skirt-chasing son who's -- you guessed it -- just about eight years old. Also, the freaky girl from the teaser is at the party, and her mom's concerned there's something very wrong with her. I think she's right. Little Katie has got an extremely high creep factor going on there.

Elsewhere, Sam is approached at the diner by Blonde Girl With Cool Knife, from last week. Apparently she's still stalking him. And stealing his food. She's got an attitude. She likes him because he's tall and might be the Antichrist. As good a reason as any to stalk a hot guy, I suppose. Sam seems to have lost his psychic ability. And Blonde Chick knows something about Mary Winchester that we don't know and neither do our boys. Interesting. What kind of pals did Mary have, anyway?

Lisa's neighborhood in Cicero has been plagued by freak accidents, aside from the gross power saw thing, all witnessed only by children just as creepy-weird as Katie. Many of the children appear to be possessed by... something, their true natures only showing in mirrors. Turns out they're Changelings, and there was one in each house where a death occurred. They're feeding on the moms, and the Winchester boys have to figure out how to get rid of them and also save the real children. And now Ben seems to have been swapped, as well, leaving Dean to work out how to rescue the child he seems convinced is his own son, even though Lisa's told him he's not the father.

I don't even know where to start with this episode. Everything was just damn near pitch-perfect, from the humor to the horror. The isolation of Katie's mother, driving her to unthinkable actions to escape what she knows is a threat. Dean's yearning for a normal life, embodied in a ready-made family, and his endearing if ephemeral relationship with Ben. And Jensen Ackles... Wow. The last scene between Dean and Lisa was beautifully played.

And then we have the coda with Sam and Ruby. Ruby the -- holy crap I didn't see that one coming -- DEMON GIRL!! A demon who wants to help Sam find out the truth about himself, and with all of Mary Winchester's friends systematically slaughtered, that truth seems to be no small thing. And on top of it all, Ruby can help Dean. Yes, I made flaily hands at the TV. I'm even more excited about this season now than I was last week. Maybe even more excited than I was after last season's premiere, and I didn't think that was possible.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bones—Death in the Saddle

In a charming opening to tonight's episode, a boy scout sort goes to take a leak and finds a dead body swarming with maggots. Fortunately I remembered not to have snacks tonight. Mr. Dead Guy has no feet--they find them buried a short distance away. Brennan fusses because there's still lots of meat on the bones, which means it's not her job. This leads to some clunky exposition between her and Cam to catch us up with previous episodes.

Angela is planning to be hypnotized to remember her ex-husband's name. The name she remembers was a nickname that means "little flute." This makes everyone smirk and also makes Hodgins very happy.

The body has sunscreen on it that's meant for horses, and the teeth show evidence of usage of a bit. Plus Mr. Dead Guy's stomach is full of raw oats and things horses would like to eat. And his name is Ed, so of course they start calling him Mr. Ed. Which turns out to be his pony play name.

Ed's wife says he was a fine, upstanding sort of person and doesn't seem to know anything about the horse connections, which leads to a rather awkward bout of questioning for Booth, who is also regaled with terrible horse jokes by Brennan, who of course hasn't heard any of them before.

Angela is skeptical about the hypnotism, since she worked for a magician once. That sounds like a very Angela-type job. Cam gives her a pep talk.

Booth and Brennan follow Ed's credit card trail to a pony play resort, where Ed was a pony. One of the women there is Annie Oakley (her fetish community name), played by Christina Cox--Vicky from Blood Ties. I guess she got tired of vampires. Although if she's tired of vampires why is she hanging with Boreanaz? Anyway, she was Mr. Ed's last "rider." Booth engages in more awkward questioning peppered with sarcasm, which Annie Oakley finds offensive. Annie says Ed's wife showed up at the resort and Ed disappeared the next day.

On the return trip, Brennan delivers a history of pony play. Typically, she's accepting of it from an anthropological point of view, while Booth is appalled.

They question the wife, who is also appalled by Ed's fetish. She was tipped off by a phone call from a man with an accent, but she says she went straight home after catching Ed and Annie together. Brennan doesn't think the wife did it because of the condition of the body--everything about the murder fits into the pony culture, and the wife wasn't involved in that.

Zack works on identifying the murder weapon by making casts of the head wound that killed Ed. Booth and Brennan return to the pony play resort to find the mystery caller. They question Calvin, the caller, who admits to making the call but not to killing Ed.

Ed was murdered with a hoof knife, and the wound inflicted in the forehead parallels the way horses are normally slaughtered. Hodgins proposes to find the killer by tracing the baling twine used to tie Ed's hands.

Angela's hypnotism doesn't work because she wasn't relaxed enough. She obviously has issues about the husband.

Booth interrogates Lucky, who runs the resort, as regards the twine, as it was traced to his ranch. Lucky's ex-wife is Annie Oakley, thus providing motive, but it's only twenty till so I don't think it's him. Booth seems skeptical of Lucky's story. The feet were severed with the hoof knife. Hodgins is bummed because Zack figured this out at the same time he did. Booth and Brennan follow another suspect to a butcher shop. He runs. That's suspicious, I think, but he doesn't seem to know anything about Ed's death, either. In fact, he was a fan. Also a National Guard deserter (thus the fleeing) and a proponent of eating horsemeat as an extension of the pony play fetish.

Angela tries the hypnosis again. This time it works, but instead of seeing her husband she's attacked by a giant dream wasp. This makes her peevish.

Brennan determines Ed's eyes were gouged out. Okay, now we're doing Equus. They go to question Lucky and Annie Oakley, who apparently is a doctor in her day job. Annie turns out to be the killer/jealous lover. A bit predictable, that.

Angela makes a connection between the wasp and the book where she left the Polaroid from her wedding, which has her husband's first name written on it, and she remembers his last name. Hodgela smoochies ensue.
Brennan and Booth have a heartfelt conversation about vegetarianism and lovemaking. No, seriously.

This episode seemed to be trying to walk that line between over-the-top and serious forensics. I don't think it quite succeeded, because it landed a bit too far on the over-the-top side. And yeah, Bones is generally a bit OTT, but the presentation here seemed a little too tongue-in-cheek to quite work the way they seemed to want it to work. Angela and Hodgins had some nice scenes, but Zack seemed flat, almost a caricature of himself. The two scenes at the resort rehashed basically the same conversation between Booth and Brennan, which in many ways was a rehash of their conversation regarding BDSM in "The Girl in the Fridge." The best part, I thought, was Booth's closing monologue about crappy sex versus lovemaking. It was a bit poetic and heartfelt and yeah, kinda hot...

Anyway, overall not the strongest episode, but amusing.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Okay, EWW, why do they have to show the toe-cutting again in the Previouslys? It was gross enough the first time.

We open with Peter trying to figure out how to get the the mysterious box of DOOOOM!! back, while Dominic Keating tries to look inconspicuous at the bar behind them, but Peter can read his mind. I wonder if he can telepathically hear all about Dominic's adventures on the USS Enterprise. Nope, all he hears is that Will is planning to doublecross the others. Later, shirtless Peter tries to use his powers. There's really no good reason for him to be shirtless here. I like that. Gratuitious shirtlessness is good. I think Caitlin was in that scene, too. Peter goes out with the gangster types and serves as decoy for their robbery. Will turns traitor just like Peter heard in his naughty thoughts. He shoots Peter, but of course Peter heals up and saves the day. He's accepted into the gang, Celtic tattoo and all--except he can't hold a tattoo because of his healing powers. And he gets his box back. Peter is reluctant to open it, for fear he won't like what he finds. Doofus. Oh, and kissing Caitlin is more fun than looking in the dumb box, anyway.

Maya and Alejandro continue their run for the border, this time stealing a car to facilitate the journey. Or trying to. Unfortunately they're crappy car thieves and the police catch Alejandro but not Maya. I think at this point we've established that separating these two is bad so why do we keep doing it over and over? Yet somehow Maya is able to come into the police station to try to get Alejandro out of jail without killing anybody. Or maybe the eye bleeding only manifests when she's threatened? That seems to be the case, as she goads the guards into attacking her, and they drop. Then Alejandro heals her, as well as the others. They escape along with Alejandro's cellmate, who has a car.

Niki and Micah visit DL's grave. Apparently he didn't make it through the final confrontations last season. That's too bad. He was really hot. Or maybe he's not dead, based on how Niki's talking about him. Let's hope. Niki leaves Micah in New Orleans with Lieutenant Uhura while she goes off on some unspecified quest.

And somewhere on a beach, Sylar is having a scruffy unshaven snooze. He's with Candice, now going by Michelle. She's trying to make things happy for him with her illusion skills (beach=fake), but he's in pretty bad shape and they're not in a very sanitary facility. Later, he has some breakfast, but he can't make his mug move telepathically. He seems to have lost his powers. Candice says she'll help him get them back when he's done healing. But Sylar has a better idea--he'll just get his powers back the old-fashioned way, by killing people, starting with her. Except his usual methods don't work, and he's now all alone out in the middle of the jungle.

Claire and her dad have a heart-to-heart. At school, Claire warns West to quit stalking her. He brings up regenerating lizards in class and annoys Claire, who walks out. West confronts her and she spills her secrets to him. So he takes her flying, since they're both freaks. Later, they sit on the beach and have a chat about their powers. And smooch. And then Claire notices that West has the tracker marks on his neck. Describing his abduction experience to Claire, he mentions the "guy with the horn-rimmed glasses." Uh-oh. Dad's busted.

The 3M team are having a bit of trouble with their domestic bliss as Mohinder and Matt have a tiff about Mohinder's spy activities and how they could endanger Molly. Mohinder visits his new lab, which was built in what used to be Isaac's loft. Mohinder seems to have given up shaving. His boss takes a phone call, which turns out to be from Niki, who's making a deal with the Company for a cure. Mohinder looks around the loft for the paintings. He finds one and sends Bennet a camera phone picture of it. It's the last picture in the series, and shows Bennet being killed by Claire. Oops.

In Tokyo, Ando gets busted playing games on his computer at work. Aww, he mises Hiro. He finds a message on the hilt of the samurai sword. Inside the hilt of the sword are some little scrolls with notes in them from Hiro in the past, describing his adventures with Kensei.

In the past, Kensei is freaked out by his sudden ability to heal and thinks Hiro has cursed him, so he hightails it out of there before Hiro can curse him some more. When they meet up again, Kensei is plotting how to use his powers for Fun and Profit instead of for the good of mankind. Hiro is not amused. He teleports Kensei to a temple where he's supposed to perform one of his great historical quests. Kensei succeeds. Hiro is all sad because he's in love with the swordsman's daughter whose name I can never remember. The whole Cyrano de Samurai thing isn't really paying off. With Kensei established as a hero, Hiro prepares to return to his own time so he won't break history anymore. But he changes his mind at the last minute. I'm sure this has something to do with Kensei smooching the girl and doing the cheesy cherry blossom thing.

I'm not finding Maya and Alejandro any more interesting. In fact, I can barely be bothered to read their subtitles. The same thing seems to happen to them every week and it's not engaging me at all. Hiro's story isn't doing much for me, either, and this week's narrative structure, with Ando reading the notes from the sword, effectively compressed the action in that storyline and thus made it even less interesting to me.

On the other hand, Sylar is back and creepier than ever. I loved that Candice thought he might like to spend some, um, quality time with, um, himself. Those illusion-crafting types are just a kinkfest, aren't they?

Next week--Nathan shaves!!


I decided not to do a blog post for Chuck tonight, but I just have to mention the new theme song, because it's "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" by Cake and I love Cake.

That is all.


I also love Adam Baldwin. Seriously. He just took out two bad guys with kitchen appliances.

A Bone to Pick with NBC

Friday night, I watched the season premiere of Friday Night Lights on a big screen the way it was meant to be seen. I've already posted my thoughts on the show, which haven't changed, but I did have something to say about a dirty nasty trick NBC pulled during the broadcast.

At one point, there was an advertising bug along the bottom of the screen proclaiming in gigantic letters, "GET YOUR OWN TIM RIGGINS." Well, naturaly I was quite excited by this, since I would very much like to have my very own Tim Riggins. But in teeny tiny letters under that it said, "jersey at" So it's not your very own Tim Riggins. It's just a dumb shirt. This made me very sad.

Curse you, NBC.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Supernatural—The Magnificent Seven

I know you're all wondering why I haven't reviewed the Supernatural season premiere yet, since I'm usually pretty prompt with that, what with it being my favorite show and all. (Of course I could assume you all have way more important things to wonder about, but where's the fun in that?) Well, the answer is that instead of watching "The Magnificent Seven" from my cozy chaise in Colorado, I flew all the way to Illinois to watch it with a group of fans, including my best friend, who kindly put me up on her Comfy Couch (with fluffy duvet) for a couple of nights and fed me Cheetos, peanut M&Ms and pie, in true Winchester family fashion.

While it's a little pricey to fly almost 1,000 miles to watch a season premiere (although, hint--if you visit your mom, too, sometimes you can get her to pay part of your airfare), I have to highly recommend the whole communal watching experience. It's just plain fun to watch a show with a room full of people waiting with anticipation as breathless as your own, who howl at the same jokes and get weepy at the end. The best part of fandom is the sense of community, after all, and to experience that in person rather than over an Internet connection makes it that much better.

Anyway, on to the actual show.

This season's premiere had a very different feel to last season's. Lacking the emotional impact of "In My Time of Dying," "The Magnificent Seven" concentrated more on the series reboot introduced in "All Hell Breaks Loose," last season's finale. Dean has made a deal to bring Sam back from the dead, and has only a year to live. Of course he's living it up, eating bacon cheeseburgers for breakfast and enjoying tea and crackers with the "Doublemint Twins." (What? You don't think they were having tea and crackers? Well what were they doing, then?) Sam's tolerant reaction to Dean's depraved hedonism was amusing and an interesting shift to their relationship. Obviously Sam is, for the moment, willing to put up with a lot more from his brother. I expect him to snap any minute, though. I expect Dean to snap, too. Sooner or later he'll realize exactly what's coming, and the heartfelt conversation at the end of this episode foreshadowed that nicely. Next week, I bet...

I was thrilled to see Bobby again, and I hope he continues to be a regular or semi-regular in the series. And one of the funniest moments of our viewing party was when Bobby showed up in a suit and all of us stared at the TV and then a few finally went, "Oh! That's Bobby!" He cleans up well...

And there's another regular or semi-regular character. Miss Blonde Thang with Freaky Knife had a very brief introduction in this episode, full of whiz-bang and special effects and a very cool shot of said knife glowing through the victim's wide-open mouth. While I have to wonder why she showed up (stalking Sam the Boy King?), and why she's so terribly competent, she definitely caught my attention, and I'm interested to learn more about her.

Tamara and Isaac proved interesting foils, as well, with their reluctance to work with the Winchesters and their attitude about the boys' role in opening the Gates of Hell. Apparently now the brothers are on the outs not only with the FBI and the demon hordes, but with their fellow hunters, as well. And with Sam being spoken of as the now-dead YED's Chosen Boy King, it looks like a lot of folks are out after our boys' asses, and not in the good way that involves depraved hedonism.

With all those plotlines to lay into place, there wasn't much room for the titular Seven Deadly Sins. This, in fact, was my only quibble with the episode (well, aside from some pacing issues through the last third but that's me being uber-picky). The Deadly Sins were introduced as powerful like woah! with a little temper tantrum from Bobby to reinforce the point, and yet they were dispatched remarkably quickly, albeit with the help of Miss Blonde Thang with Freaky Knife. I think it would have been nice to have explored the concept more deeply, possibly over more than one episode, especially as regards Dean's likely relationship with Lust and Gluttony. I particularly would have liked to have seen the Lust Meets Dean show. They could have a lot of fun having tea and crackers.

Overall, though, I have to say I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. With a very different tone from last season's opener, it's starting us off on the show's new arc with several things to think about, from Dean's deal to Sam's Boy King status to our new mysterious blonde hunter. I'm very much looking forward to next week, and to the rest of the season.

Oddly, iTunes doesn't seem to have much in the way of AC/DC, but we all know that was Hell's Bells, right?

Mean Little Town—Howling Diablos

Howling Diablos - Car Wash - Mean Little Town

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet—Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Not Fragile - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

"I Shall Not Be Moved" was performed by J.B. Burnett according to the CW website, but iTunes doesn't have him, either. Here's a version by Johnny Cash, because Johnny Cash is totally cool:

Johnny Cash - My Mother's Hymn Book - I Shall Not Be Moved