Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday Odds and Ends

+ Hey all you Bradley Whitford fans out there. The Dimpled One is (hopefully) returning to weekly television next year. UPI reports that:

Bradley Whitford, known for his roles on "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," has signed on to star and produce a comedy pilot for NBC.

The Hollywood Reporter said Whitford's latest project is a single-camera pilot for a buddy comedy series called "Off Duty."

The show casts Whitford as a once-great police detective whose career is faltering and Romany Malco as the rising star who gets stuck with him as a partner, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

I may not have forgiven Sorkin for "Studio 60" but I'm always ready to welcome the Whitford love back onto my TV screen.

+ Cracked's Seven Most Impressive (and Depressing) Geek Collections. I don't know, I wouldn't mind having that "Star Wars" collection. Think of the Busby Berkley numbers you could stage with these babies:

+ Okay, this fries my Latinate bacon: in England, the Bournemouth Council has banned the use of certain Latin words and phrases in all official documents and communications because they are elitist and disciminatory. Instead, they've asked that English equivalents be used. This blogger has written up a fine response to the insanity of this decree. I hope the head of the council is forced to tattoo the words "Cogito ergo dumbass" on his backside.

+ Did you see TIME magazine's 50 Best Inventions of the Year? You know it's a good list when Dr. Horrible clocks in at #15. I'm also partial to the bionic hand, The Dynamic Tower, the Seed Vault and Montreal's Public Bike System. Very cool list.

+ I don't get choked up too often, especially with things on "60 Minutes" but last night I happened to catch this segment on scientists who are able to connect paralyzed people's brains directly to computers allowing them to do things like move computer cursers and even actual motorized wheelchairs with their brains. This one woman is completely paralyzed by a stroke but her mind is fine. She's now able to actually communicate with people via things like e-mail. Can you imagine the relief that must be, to finally be able to share your thoughts and feelings and in essence, escape the confines of your body? Truly touching.

+ And finally, what do you think about this fellow's assertion that watching sci-fi and other TV shows these days is just too much work because of the serialized nature of most programs? He says:

...TV has turned into work. Not actual drudgery, but presumably for some people an activity on par with reading Proust, or watching Birth of a Nation (or at least reading John Irving or watching The Seventh Seal). My old roommates frantically raced through the first five seasons of The Sopranos to finish before the sixth began. And then they did it again with Lost and The Wire. I’m sure they had fun, but they also had to keep a tight schedule, to cut out social obligations, and to press on when they were tired and wanted to stop.

Personally, I like the way TV shows have become more Dickensian in style, rolling out long involved storylines. Maybe it's the English major in me, but I like having stuff to analyze. Viva la longish, convoluted TV!!


Anonymous said...

WRT Time's "best inventions" list, I loved that they included Speedo's LZR racer at (I think) #26. You can tell there probably was a woman on the staff who thought, "Hmm, how can I persuade them to include a full-page, full-body shot of Michael Phelps? I know! We'll include the LZR as one of the year's best inventions!" Whoever she is, bless her. ; )

RedCochina said...

I was prepared to defend collectors of geeky paraphernelia but then I saw "PikaBelle Chu". Collecting is one thing. Legally changing your name to a Pokemon character is a whole other level of...devotion? Insanity?
I can understand how someone would relate watching TV to work. Although I see following a particular show as a relationship that needs to be nurtured. I don't want to invest myself in a show unless I think I'll be able to give it the time it deserves. (Plus, I don't have a DVR.) Monday is Terminator, Tuesday is Fringe (at this point for the Jackson eye candy with hopes it will improve with plot and story) and Wednesday is Pushing Daisies. I know I'm missing out on other good shows but I just don't have the time for a new love in my life. :)

agent57 said...

I like involved storylines and things to analyze, but I can see where he's coming from. For the shows that I can make a commitment to watching each week, (Just Supernatural right now. Shame.) it's great to have a meaty mythos. But for the many, many that I didn't get into from the start, it makes it them almost completely inaccessible.

You're gonna hate me for this, guys, but... I never got into BSG. Or Lost. Or even Heroes. (which I hear lately isn't such a loss) I feel like at this point I've lost my opportunity get into those shows, as to do so would require finding time to watch five-ish seasons each, and the whole drive to do so has passed. It might be worth it, but then what if I watch all of that and then start to slack on watching the new episodes again. (For this same reason, I fear I'll never really be as much of a comic geek as I want to be. Who can catch up on decades of continuity? [or what passes for it in the comic world] Who has... the money, for one?) And a lot of shows are like that, these days. Even shows I used to watch and then got behind on, I feel like I would have to set aside a whole day to catch up. Just the fact that I say "catch up" like it's an obligation should give some idea of the situation.

In addition, I'm just generally more interested in characters and plot. If I like the characters, (and think they're being treated fairly by the writers, if you get that) I'm really only marginally concerned with what they're doing. I think I'll always prefer the episodic... well, episodes to anything arc-based. Or at least, I need my shows to have a good balance.

(Also, it's a pain when you want to rope your friends into the show, but you have to give them a half-hour long preface before showing them your favorite episode.)

agent57 said...

(Oh, yeah, DVRs. I forgot some people have those. I guess being restricted by when a show actually airs is less of a problem for those not technologically stuck in the mid-90s.)

(Okay, I lie. To be honest I do most of my TV watching on the internet anyway.)