Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's Your Damage?

I’ve found it. I have found an Alias substitute!!! Can you believe it!?

The FX Network has a new original series that debuted on July 24th called Damages, starring Glen Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan and Ted Danson.

Meet Ellen Parsons (Byrne), a twenty-something lawyer fresh the bar examine. Ellen is a good lawyer, so much so, that she has several offers, from several different firms. We first meet Ellen wondering the streets of New York, barefoot, in a trench coat covered in blood. Yeah, got your attention, huh? She stumbles into a police station and WHAM, we back track 6 months to reveal how such a promising young litigator winds up in a murder mystery (oh Alias, how I love flashbacks!)

Meet Patty Hewes (Glen Close)- New York’s most revered and most feared litigator. She runs her firm with an iron fist and she has it in for Art Frobisher (Ted Danson). Frobisher is a billionaire and when he asks his employees to invest in company stock, he ruins their lives when he sells his own shares. Patty is determined to make Frobisher pay, but her clients are getting antsy to settle. Meanwhile, as Ellen is getting settled at Hewes & Associates, she learns that her fiancés sister, Katie is employed by Frobisher and may have the information Hewes needs to finally put Frobisher away. Now Ellen begins to think that Patty hired her just to get her hands on Katie- but when Katie’s dog is murder as a threat to keep quiet, Ellen runs straight to Patty.

In grand Alias tradition, nothing is as it seems- as Patty did know about Ellen’s connection to Katie and it was actually Patty who hired someone to push Katie into testifying, by killing her dog.

Flash forward-the episode ends in a police interrogation room- where a disheveled Ellen asks for a lawyer- as the police have just found her fiancé murdered- in a bathtub. IN A BATHTUB!! I nearly fell out of my seat! This show is fantastic. It’s fast paced, it’s well directed, well acted, beautifully shot. Glen Close is, well, Glen Close. She’s superb as the cunning and unfeeling Patty Hewes. Tate Donovan puts on a good show as Patty’s wielding sidekick, who is used to getting fired for show. Ted Danson, I’m usually not a fan, but man, he kicked it up a few notches for this one. Tons of slimy go-to-guys, tons of backstabbing, tons of law bloody and guts. I am in people, I am totally in!

Check the show out at FX! They will be re-airing the pilot today at 7pm EST. If you missed it, get on that and then get back to me. I think we have a winner!

PS. In my YouTube euphoria, I finally watched Catch & Release. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be- very sweet actually. Also- have you noticed the little video reel on the sidebar? Super cool huh? Now, to watch Alias scenes and fan music videos, just click click click. Enjoy!


Bonkers for Bristow said...

Maybe it's just me, but the minute you said they killed her dog to shut her up, I was out. I have a personal dislike for movies and tv shows that introduce animals just to kill them off in an effort to show how tough someone is.There's enough animal cruelty in the world, we don't need the media to demean it to a plot device.

OK. I'm off my soapbox. :)

Girlscout said...

I totally know what you mean. They didn't show the dog being killed though, it was all insinuated. Plus, the theme was sort of animal- at one point Glen Close takes her dog to the dog park and while she is talking to Frobisher's attorney, the camera focuses on 2 aggressive dogs fighting in the park. It was very symbolic- I thought it was tastefully done though.

Page48 said...

I'm downloading as we speak. Unfortunately, no access to FX programming by conventional means.

I suppose if Woody Harrelson can be a "Natural Born Killer", then Ted Danson can surely be a bastardly billionaire.

Back-stabbing and double dealing are certainly right up our alley.

Girlscout said...

Let me know what you think Page!

Robetron said...

Its 7 PM eastern right now. I'll go watch it, but I have to admit, I'm no fan of Glenn Close or Ted Dansen. Any show that is being compared to Alias deserves a chance, however; and I happen to have the day off. :D

Robetron said...

Okay. Replacement? No. Not even close. A cheep imitation without the action? I think so. There are too many similarities to be a tip of the hat, or an omage, to Alias.

I had the expectation of quite a bit more, and the fact that it was aired without comercials, I knew it had the best opportunity it could have to impress. It was the many similarities that made it interesting.

There is an innocent looking young prodigy of a gal, who is engaged to a doctor. She is hired by a scheming, coniving, two-faced, ego-manic who is willing to do anything to achieve the agenda. Her friends begin to fall prey to that agenda. Her boyfriend is murdered and left in the bathtub after the apartment is trashed.

It was like they said,"Let's take Alias as our format, take away all the action, fill it in with pointless dialogue, and rather than the danger of the CIA, we'll make them lawyers." 40 minutes into it and I was ready to snore aloud.

No offense, GS, but I think maybe you miss ALIAS too much. It has blinded your critic's eye. Of course, this is only an opinion, and everyone has a right to enjoy Damages according to their own dictates and standards. It's possible that I hold Alias up too high so that nothing else can ever reach it. If so, am I unjustified?


Girlscout said...

After watching Alias so much- episode after episode- I've started to see more of its flaws. Sure- the first couple watches, I was still digging into the story, was loving the outfits and the characters. But after as much as I have watched it- as we have watched it- I start to get bored- really quick. All the plot holes and the outrageousness of Rambaldi start to seem cheesy. And we hear a lot that Alias started moving towards making fun of itself- it couldn't take itself seriously, it started to feel comic-book-ish and campy. (I still love you Alias, like a nerd girl does!)

What I like about Damages is- its more real life danger and intrigue. It's not big red balls and magical blood and skipping across the world in record time. Maybe its not so much that I miss Alias (I do) but more that I am happy to not have to suspend my disbelief to enjoy a program. I appreciate Damages for its similarities to Alias, but always its differences.

I don't believe Damages is a replacement. I believe I said substitute (which is totally different). Damages is just something based more in reality. I wasn't looking for the fast action of secret missions and such (I already have a show for that- Alias)- I was looking for a story, about a girl who has bad things happen to her. And that is what got- filled with just as much suspicion and solid story as Alias- just in a different way.

Perhaps the sci-fi, fast action of Bionic Woman will suit you better Robby.

Girlscout said...

I think I have just reached the point here I really have to look at the facts. Alias was a good show. It had its highs and lows, it had its twist and turns. Its not a show for the weak minded or for those who have a short attention span. The show pulled me out of my literary funk- it got me to look at television in a whole new way- a good way, an intelligent way. It broke a seal and pushed TV in a new direction- for shows like Lost and Heroes.

I am not over Alias (never will be), but I am over the idea that its the be all end all of television. For me personally, I have to start looking at other shows- not compared to Alias- but compared to itself. Does the story hold, are the characters strong, is the writing good? I think that is the only way I can go on watching TV and enjoying it. If I keep looking at everything compared to Alias, everything will fail. I won't watch anything- I won't like anything and guys- I like TV too much to turn it off!!! HAHAHAhAhA!

Girlscout said...

Ya'll aren't going to beat down my door with torches now are you? Because I think my loyal bloggies know more than anyone how much I love Alias, how much I miss that weekly dose of Bristow and the gang, and just because I might be moving on in some respect, doesn't mean this is over. Like I have said so many times, there is still so much to talk about.

And sure, I can get bored easily after I've heard Jack say "Have you ever been to Langley?" 500 billion times. But I still melt when Sydney sees him for the first time after her 2 missing years. And my skin still crawls when the camera pans up and Lauren Reed is holding the sniper rifle.

WOW, this is my third comment in one sitting. I can't stop- look what you've done Robby!

Page48 said...

Oh-oh, 3 posts in a row requires a sobriety test, GS.

I've only watched "Alias" twice, first-run and my second time around last summer. Burned the eppies onto 4 DVD's and tucked them away last fall. Since then they haven't seen daylight.

I don't want to watch them too often because I don't ever want to get to the point where I begin to see the flaws instead of the shine. So, if that means I don't watch this year or next year, so be it.

It's a cold, hard fact of life that the Bristows aren't coming back and I don't like that very much but I'm dealing with it. The cast and crew have soooo moved on and we could probably learn something from their example.

So the question is what to do now. Well, I watch shows that keep me interested, whether or not they live up to "Alias" (and I haven't found one that does). I watch "24", "Lost", "Heroes" and "Jericho", maybe one or two others. I will watch "Bionic Woman", and I will be completely open to enjoying it. If it's well written, I probably will enjoy it, but it won't be Sydney and Vaughn.

In addition to TV shows, I look forward to seeing JG's "The Kingdom", JG's friend Matt Damon in "The Bourne Ultimatum", the next "Indiana Jones", anything that looks like promising adventure escapism. I enjoy the suspension of disbelief angle because it opens up so many more possibilities and I'm hard pressed to name a "straight" TV drama that gives me the same kind of thrill, certainly not the CSI/Law & Order/Justice-type formula show. I look more to movies to fill that void.

I guess the bottom line is I don't expect any ONE show to be my cure for "Alias" fever, but I'm not ready to give up looking for the next best thing, even if it's a distant second.

Girlscout said...

Then you are right there with me Page! I totally agree!

Robetron said...

You both are perfectly right to look for something else that does for us what Alias did for us.

I have no idea whether something like the Bionic Woman can do that or not. It has the albatros of it's former series, just like Battlestar Galactica, which I think successfully overcame it. (BTW, Page, I haven't heard what you think of BSG yet.)

I think LOST at least touches some of the same pleasure chords as ALIAS, but continues to be far too slow to satisfy the void.

Heroes picked up the pace toward the end of the season, but it is definately a drama, and not an action show. That, I think, is what is missing from all the other great shows: The action, good guys overcoming the bad guys at tremendous disadvantage.

Many seasons of Smallville were quite good, but the latest, the sixth season, really kicked it up a notch and became quite excellent. I'm looking forward to season 7.

To be honest, I genuinely enjoy lawyer shows. I always love The Practice, even after it morphed into Boston Legal. I like to see it when shows give a nod to some of my favorites like Alias, but Damage had some much, it started to offend me for lack of originality.

Girlscout said...

I can see that too Page- the lost girl, dead fiance in the tub- but at the same time, it was almost completely different- like it was teetering on the edge of something far deeper and more complex. Not sure what it was- but it too was a comfort- to see that man in the tub and feel like I understood.

kelhat said...

I missed it too late for me to get into it? I watched the first 10 minutes and then family duties called! I can't ever see it replacing Alias. Alias calls up too many emotions in me...I am a true Alias nerd-girl, too, Girlscout! I just spent 20 minutes crying because I watched those YouTube videos you had highlighted, plus a few of the others...really liked the one with the Snow Patrol song.

I do love Heroes. I love the fact that you actually have to pay attention to know what is going on. I love the good vs. evil. And, let's face it, I love Weiss, I mean Matt! :) There are great characters with great actors portraying them. I am a Lost fan as well. But nothing holds a candle to Alias for me...not yet, anyway.

Page48 said...

Robetron, I've only seen 4 eppies of BSG since trying to become a regular viewer. A week ago Sunday I forgot all about it while I was watching the "Jurassic Park" sequel.

One thing I like about BSG is the lack of "Star Trek"-like aliens. I always find the aliens on ST to be so over-the-top in terms of costumes and makeup.

I like Edward James Olmos. I still think of "Miami Vice" when I see him and he still delivers his lines Vice-style.

I'm not sure yet whether I will ever be a committed viewer, it hasn't hooked me yet, but it's light years ahead of it's Lorne Greene predecessor, of that there is no doubt. I recently attempted to watch an eppie of the old version and it just isn't possible.

How's that for wishy washy? The one thing I must note is that, in the period from September, 2001 to May, 2006, I never once forgot that "Alias" was on.

Page48 said...

Further proof (to me anyway) that the magic is in the character, not the actor:

Michael Vartan's movie, "It Had To Be You" is on the tube tonight. I watched MAYBE fifteen minutes before I had to move on. At no time during that fifteen minutes did I get an "Alias" buzz. Why no buzz, you ask? The reason there was no buzz is because the movie is DRIVEL.

"Alias" actors in non-"Alias" roles are just as susceptible to making crap movies as Don Johnson (my 2nd Vice reference tonight).

It's one thing for Ron Rifkin's career to peak when he's 70 years old, but how would you feel about being in your 30's and knowing that the best work you'll ever do is already out on DVD?

Robetron said...

You must be watching reruns on TV. That may take a good deal of the tension away from the show. Rent the DVD's if you can. I know you will eventually begin to pick up on the non-partizen current events being explored on BSG; and, yeah, no goofy humaniod-like aliens.

No, I do not think it fills the space (excuse the pun) of Alias. I just finished watching the true story about the CIA/ FBI traitor, Robert Hanssen, in the movie, "Breach." I was enwrapped with the story, even though it was slow moving, lacked action, and ended predictably. I thikn I am beginning to understand what it was about ALIAS that was so great. It was the mystery, the scheming, the intregue of the spy vs. spy world of espionage. That is the whole set up that allowed the great characters and actors to really "do their thing," and allowed us to suspend our disbelief. I think 24 has the same quality. The movies, The Bourne Idenity, and Mission Impossible have the same "it" that make them pretty good.

The next "great" show could easily be couched in the CIA. I would watch. Anyone else?

dlove said...

I haven't watched Alias except some odds and ends eps. So I'm along way off from where you are girlscout and I hope I don't get to where you are. :) I love it for what it was at the moment. The same way I feel about other TV shows I love.

I knew about the flaws and still love it then, although you really have to tie me down to watch the first half of season 4. Gaack. As I said many times before the writers started losing control of the overall story and with help of JJ departure, the handwriting was on the wall.

I'm looking forward to watching season 1 my personal favorite sometime soon because it's been ages.

See I think the "realness" of Alias, which some people miss is really the core reason I love it. The Sydney and Jack relationship (aside from their profession) was as real as any father/daughter relationship. That is what Alias is to me.

So I'm downloading Damages as I'm typing this.

I may watch BW (a big maybe), I have the BSG dvds and Nip/Tuck 1 and I'm anxiously awaiting the new show with VG in January. I'm all set.

So when and what time will the BW air? Please don't say 8pm?

Page48 said...

dlove, BW airs Wednesdays, 9:00 (beginning Sept. 26) and is rerun Saturdays at 9:00 p.m.

I didn't realize VG's show didn't start till January. That clip on the ABC site with George Michael shakin' his moneymaker isn't a big selling feature for me. Last I looked, VG didn't even show up in the promo clip.

Why target the "Alias" crowd when you can tap into that massive WHAM fanbase?

dlove said...

Thanks page48. Hey at least that Wham factor will get them a bigger fanbase. As long as I can see VG enough, I'm happy.

Eli Stone is a midseason replacement in 2008. The GM thing is a turn off for me, too. But I read over at TV (or some TV website), that the preview was actually very good.

I just read on wiki that each ep will be named after a George Michael song.

Hey by the way, Damages is a free download on iTunes. I wish I had known that last night.

A new Alias book is on sale on Tuesday. It's a "scholarly" look at our show. The book is titled, Investigating Alias: Secrets and Spies (Investigating Cult TV) by Stacey Abbott

I will take a look at BW. A plus for me is Will Yun Lee, he negates the kid sister factor.

Page48 said...

Alrighty then, I watched my download of "Damages".

There are definitely signs of "Alias" plagiarism at work here. I almost looked for Glen Close to say "wheels up in 2 hours". JJ may want to mobilize his own legal team here (hey, it happened to George Harrison).

But as Robetron says, it's all talk, no action. Not that lying and betrayal aren't attractive features, but my adrenalin stayed put for the whole hour. My pulse was steady, and my hands remained dry at all times.

Without the adrenalin rush, there is too much pressure on other elements of the show to keep viewers from drifting, and while there were some deliciously evil developments revealed toward the end of the show, there just weren't any "Alias" thrills.

"Damages" takes the fantasy aspect away, it takes the action away, it takes the gorgeous soundtrack away, it takes the smokin' hot lead character away, and for a guy who freely admits he was spoiled rotten by "Alias", that's like drinking the tonic and pouring the gin down the toilet.

Bottom line: leaving the comparisons aside, I thought "Damages" was a decent effort. I had no trouble watching the first eppie, but it won't scar me for life like "Alias" did. In fact, it won't scar me for the weekend.

And, just as a personal preference issue, I like the fact that "Alias" dialogue wasn't peppered with token expletives in every scene. I think that TV shows and movies that think that potty-mouth dialogue is cool or "edgy" are doing all of us a disservice. It's not against the law to set a higher standard than your competition.

Robetron said...

"And, just as a personal preference issue, I like the fact that "Alias" dialogue wasn't peppered with token expletives in every scene. I think that TV shows and movies that think that potty-mouth dialogue is cool or "edgy" are doing all of us a disservice."



Girlscout said...

For some reason, I like swearing in dialog. Maybe because sometimes I have a mouth like a truck driver. hahaha!

Page48 said...

Anybody who has missed a 2 foot putt knows what swearing is all about, but script writing is supposed to be an art form.

Missing a putt is a live event followed by a live reaction, while writing for TV is a lengthy process with plenty of opportunity for editing and sober second thought. Therefore, the bar should be higher for a finished product, like a movie, which will have an unlimited shelf life, spanning many generations.

I think we can all be thankful that someone gave the script for "Casablanca" the once-over before Bogie came out with something like this:

"Of all the ****ing gin joints in all the ****ing towns in all the ****sucking world, the b***h walks into mine".

Of course, even that would be pretty mild compared to any 30 second block of "Good Will Hunting", which is second only to "The Osbournes" for quantity of F-bombs in a given time frame.

Somewhere along the way, we decided that this gave our entertainment more credibility, but all it really did is substitute cheap shock value in place of substance.

dlove said...

I didn't mind the language myself and enjoyed the pilot episode and the performances. I also like coming into the main character's life in the middle of things. I didn't think the language was excessive and most of it came in the beginning. Could I tolerate it on every episode. Possibly, if it is handled well and it feels natural.

I don't have FX and I really don't want to download, so it may be a problem with me watching it on a weekly basis.

Girlscout said...

Come on! Good Will Hunting?? You couldn't have two Southey boys talking in thick Boston accents without a whole lot of swearing, come on! And regardless of what most people thinking, movie writers- TV writers, they don't swear just to swear, that's too easy.

You know something was super intense and crazy important if Alias characters used the word bitch or ass. It was to so the importance of a situation. In movies like Good Will Hunting, it was for authentication. If you've ever been to that area of Boston, well, you can't kiss your mother with that mouth. It's part of the character, where they come from, how they talk.

uncle111 said...

Another one here who sees relying on bad language in writing as a lack of creativity and of inept communication skills, and probably of someone who doesn't spend much time with people who don't talk that way. I was around alot of it and used it in my teens and 20's, and i find it distasteful enough that if there is much of it I will just turn the program or movie off. Life's too short, especially once you pass 50:)

Page48 said...

Ha Ha, GS.

I think authenticity in TV should begin with Jean-Luc Picard losing the English accent. That one has always driven me nuts.

I'm a bad boy, I'm downloading the unaired BW pilot (as opposed to the reshoot I suppose). I saw a news article today saying it had been leaked, so off to mininova and sure enough, it's there. At the rate it's downloading, I may see the official debut first, though.

dlove said...

Is it me, but why are the men objecting to the use of foul language and the women don't have a problem with it? lol.

Apparently JG will be using the f-word plenty in The Kingdom.

page48: will we get your review of the BW way before the premiere?

Girlscout said...

High five dlove!! Life is too short to miss good TV because of a few f-bombs. The words are part of the English language. People us it daily, I don't see what the big deal is.

You know what I got sick of? Bruce Willis calling Tim Olyphant a "dumbass" during Live Free or Die Hard. I call my sister a dumbass- this guy was taking over the world- call him something worth calling him!!

Page48 said...

I just watched the new DH a few days ago. Bruce is looking a little older but he can still take an awful pounding without taking his eye off the ball.

Bruce Willis is one of a handful of actors whose name alone will make me put down the remote for a few minutes and give a movie a chance. Denzel, Tommy-Lee, Harrison, even Arnold are a few others who always get the benefit of the doubt from me when I'm channel surfing.

Bruce has certainly made more of his post-"Moonlighting" days than Cybill Shepherd, who, at least to me (thankfully), has been completely invisible. Which just goes to show you...unlike Olyphant, Bruce Willis is no dumbass.

Robetron said...

Page48 and Uncle, you are singing my song.

Profanity is just a weak mind trying in vain to exert itself.

Literarily speaking, foul language is the worst of all cleche's. It takes no creativity to throw it in the dialgue were common people might use it. If they want a character to be truly impressive, they could take a scene where it would seem normal to cuss, and have him/her say something more creative and clever.

You fellas are spot-on, right. Writers who employ profanity are taking the cheep and easy way.


uncle111 said...

LForHD was a great movie. Better than one or two of the previous sequels. Nice it was not rated R, too.

You know, I can't think of a single person I know who uses the f word. Must be a regional thing.

uncle111 said...

I just finished the S5 finale again. Remember the scene where Dixon is trying to get Syd to go after Sark? I decided to freeze and zoom in on the shot of Dixon handing a folder to Syd. You can easily see Sark's picture with some text. Anyone want to guess what the text by Sark's picture says?

Page48 said...

I checked the still photo at, but can't make out anything of value.

I'm hoping it says something like "we'll be back with a vengeance in the fall of '07, sorry for jerking you around"

Any chance?

uncle111 said...

It actually is the dialoge between Syd and Dixon.

uncle111 said...

The screenplay contest had over 3500 entries and 311 quarterfinalists. They just posted the list of quarterfinalists and I'm not on the list. I always hoped I would be, but didn't really expect to be, so I'm not really sad, other than this probably means there is even less chance than there was that we'll see it as a movie. That was a long shot anyway because I think the Alias crew has moved on with their lives and aren't really interested anymore.
I was going to begin thinking about breaking it up into about 10
segments and posting it somehow over about a 10 week period, but others are encouraging me to rewrite the script and try it again next spring. I did write it in under 2 months and I am beginning to think of some ways to make it more marketable and more like a movie instead of a 2 hour TV show. However, anticipating the contest results, I had already started making the changes necessary to put it in a format that will make it easier to read and have the first 1/2 done. Still thinking it over.
Anyway, there's the news.

Girlscout said...

A couple things:

1. I use the f word. A lot. More than a girl should. I think it comes from playing with the boys a lot as a kid.

2. I'm sorry Uncle. I was rooting for ya! I want to see an Alias movie.

3. HAHAHA! The dialogue on the picture of Sark. You mean they couldn't remember the few simple lines they had in that scene? Funny.

4. Is this week over yet?

5. I missed Damages. Must Tivo.

Anonymous said...

has anybody else seen the new tv show that michael vartan will be on in the fall? i've only seen one ad about it and hasn't seen it repeated. i don't even remember what network it's on... but either way, i'm excited!!

Page48 said...

I think it's called "I Ditched Alias For THIS?" It's on the CBC (Canceled By Christmas) Network.

But seriously, I can't remember the name, I watched the preview clip on the network's website and I couldn't wait for it to end.

Male bonding by the pool for Michael Vartan and eppies named after George Michael tunes for Victor Garber???? What's next, a cooking show for Kevin Weisman?

Lisa said...

A cooking show for Kevin Weisman! I'm ROFL (and would totally watch it, wouldn't you?)

Girlscout said...

Vartan's show is called Big Shots, its like the male version of Desperate Housewives. I will watch for sure, to check it out. Some say good, some say bad. We'll have to see.

And I would be all over a cooking show with Kevin Weissman! Come on, that would be hilarious!

Page48 said...

Fans of "Jericho" must be impressed that, after successfully brawling with the network to have their show brought back from extinction, they will now be treated to a WHOPPING 7-episode Season 2.

If CBS aired 1 eppie per month, that would still leave 5 months of the year with no show.

Knowing what we know about network behaviour, I would expect 4 episodes followed by a 6 month hiatus before closing out the season.

Subliminal messages going out over the CBS Muzak system go something like this: "Must..Kill.. Jericho"

uncle111 said...

Screenplay update-
I'm converting Alias- Revelation to a secure format that will read like regular text, but will be VERY difficult for anyone to copy. Once that is finished I will announce a date and time at which I will post approximately 20 pages. These should take 40-60 minutes to read. We will then meet online an hour later like we used to on ABC's Alias site, except that there will be no lag time due to time zone differences. The next group of pages will be posted same time the following week.
This will be like having Alias back for 6 weeks, so be sure to pass this on to every Alias fan you can think of. Get the word out on this one! The bigger stir this creates the more chance someone who can decide such things will see it and decide that an Alias movie or mini- series would be a good idea.
Besides that it will be great fun!

Page48 said...

Wow, it's quiet in here. I wonder if this is what it was like at Credit Dauphine the morning after "Phase One".

uncle111 said...

I imagine none of the regular staff was available to approve loans that day. Which begs the question- what happened if you had an account or a loan at that bank?

Page48 said...

Say it ain't so, Jen!

JG continues to spin her gorgeous wheels, apparently signing on to do a 10 week stint on Broadway, starring as Roxanne in "Cyrano de Bergerac" (alternate spelling: "Snoozefest").

Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I suppose it's one way to exercise the acting muscles until something worthwhile comes along...and let's hope something does come along for Jen one of these days, before she has to accept work on one of those shows for actors who've seen better days (think "Boston Legal").

Now, in the interest of fairness, I did enjoy Darryl Hannah and Steve Martin in the movie "Roxanne", but let's not even pretend this is the same thing.

I have no appetite for theater, with it's lack of stunning visual effects, car chases, world travel, quick scene changes, blue sky, underground parking garages, etc...

I gots ta tell ya, for my money, I like my stories told to me on film, where imagination and budget are the only limitations.

dlove said...

I hope she signs up for another TV show. Nothing against film.

gs: Is this the end of the Let's Talk Alias blog?

uncle111 said...

I hope it's not the end. I have my 6 week Alias event coming up and this is where we will come afterwards to talk about it.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

I'll put my two cents just to keep the blog going...

I'd rather see JG on the stage than on tv doing a Nuetrogena commercial or the rumored talk show. Plus, we potentially have a chance to go see the play and be within a couple hundred yards of her!

(Does that sound too stalker-y?)

Page48 said...

Yeah, the Neutrogena commercials, when they come (haven't seen one yet), will be a step in the way wrong direction. I don't want JG becoming the new Andie McDowell.

Of course, if she's out of TV long enough, she'll become the new Sally Struthers, and that won't work for me either.

Lisa said...

in defense of the neutrogena commercial (which I have not seen yet) my mom said that JG does a shout out to her loyal Alias peeps. at the end she says, "a girl's gotta protect herself" which, if that's not a nod to our gal Syd, I don't know what is! (or am I reaching here?)

Page48 said...

I took a look at the "Sarah Connor Chronicles" the other day. It was enjoyable enough but I don't know how the show can evolve beyond the typical "Terminator" storyline. In other words, Sarah and John and the good terminator (not Ahnold) stay one step ahead of the bad terminator.

This makes for entertaining feature films, but they will have to expand on that theme if they hope to have a long run on the small screen. They would also appear to be handcuffed in the sense that the series apparently occupies the space between T2 and T3, and will have to find a way to mesh with stories already told.

And, of course, they won't have feature film budgets to work with every week. I think it will be a tough slog unless they can find a unique way to tell a familiar story.

On the plus side, the chick playing Sarah is the same age as JG and would look great hanging off my arm...just a thought. And, in the pilot she delivered an excellent headbutt, which you've gotta love.

srg-alias said...

Uncle - I'm sorry about the screenplay contest, but I'm looking forward to our own discussions about it though!

I did see the Neutrogena commercial w/ JG the other day. I forgot she was doing them so it was kinda surprising to hear her voice and my ears perked up. Her Alias shoutout is kinda cute, at the end she says "a girl's gotta defend herself," but it is a little disappointing to see her on a commercial. I can't judge though, she's a mom now and it's nice that she's taking the time to be a mom and still able to bring in a few bucks for the fam.

dlove said...

uncle: looking forward to reading the screenplay. I recall reading a snipet awhile back.

I see no problem with JG doing a commercial. From what I understand she will be doing that as well as print ads for Neutrogena. It's a one year deal. You can see the commercial at their website.

I see no difference between the various forms of entertainment. It really is just work.

Glenn Close doing Damages is no different than Glenn Close in Jagged Edge or Fatal Attraction. I have my preferences and it just happens to be TV.

Robetron said...

On the comercials, I have to say, as long as it is not her only foray into show-biz, let her do them. I would enjoy any 15, 30 or 60 second spot designed to accentuate her beauty. She has it so naturally, that it is part of what sold us on Alias.

I have a hard time picturing her doing a broadway production. That sort of acting requires you to keep a straight face through an entire scene and more. It might be cool to see her and Victor Garbor do a show together, though. I really don't think either of them could do anything more to spoil the mythos of Alias than what the writers and ABC did to it already. We should just move on with our favorite actors.

BTW - Has anyone seen "Live Free or Die Hard?" (Yes, it was very good, but not my point.) Remember the woman baddie? Wow! Talk about hot and able to thrash her opponant! Keep an eyue out for her. I hav the feeling we will see her again in a leading sort of role.

Page48 said...

I consider TV work to be every bit as valid as movie work. Some actors, apparently, would not agree. Many actors flee their TV roots to make movies and then are reluctant to ever come back to the small screen. For example, let's not forget where Tom Hanks came from ("Bosom Buddies").

I believe the quality of the show, big or little screen, is what an actor should be judged on. I've never seen a Kiefer Sutherland movie that I liked, but I think "24", in it's prime, was excellent entertainment.

I understand why actors would rather fire off a movie once a year rather than endure the grind of putting out a weekly show, and I have no beef with that, but from an artistic point of view, it makes no difference to me.

As far as doing commercials is concerned, it's a personal choice, but I think overexposure can plant the kiss of death on your legacy as a serious actor or musician. It's fine if you are Ed McMahon and you have no other way of earning a buck, but for a real actor, it's like a lawyer delivering pizza on weekends.

Many western celebs do commercials in Japan to avoid that kind of overexposure back home. Sounds like a good plan to me, pick up some extra beer money and don't make us associate Sydney Bristow with wrinkle cream.

Public service spots are a different matter. I recall JG and VG doing a spot for Alzheimers (I think) and that's cool.

Yup, Robetron, I saw LFODH, and yup, she's a hottie. Also couldn't help but notice the Mac guy. You know: "Hi, I'm a PC" "and I'm a Mac".

Bonkers for Bristow said...

Warren P Cheswick!

That's how I know the Mac guy. he was a high school nerd with a crush on the prettiest girl in school on "Ed".

He'll always be Warren P Cheswick to me. :)

dlove said...

The methodical plotting by the bad guys in LF,DH reminded me of The Box.

Tim Olyphant is a hottie.

Page48 said...

I watched "Ed" occasionally, but I don't remember the Mac guy. Ed used to do beer commercials here in Canuckistan before his big "Ed" break. Had shoulder length hair , wore a ball cap, and said "if I wanted water, I would have asked for water". Ed didn't want water. He wanted beer.

Tim Olyphant is a hottie? dlove, in a million billion years, that never would have occurred to me.

60 comments on one post, some even on topic. Is this an LTA record? Perhaps it's time for a fresh canvas, I'm getting blisters on my scroll finger.

Page48 said...

I'm a little sketchy on the details of some old "Alias" scenes that I haven't watched in some time, but while watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark" tonight, I couldn't help but be reminded of a number of "Alias" moments.

One glaring similarity is the the German guy who shows up at Karen Allen's bar looking for the medallion that Indiana Jones is also looking for. You know, the medallion that goes on top of the staff and when stricken by the sunlight at the correct angle, points to the location of the ark (come to think of it, didn't Syd and Anna Espinoza duke it out in a church for a similarly functioning medallion back in Season 1?).

Anyway, this guy, who you will remember as the guy who had his hand branded by the piping hot medallion, is almost an identical twin of Suit and Glasses. Aside from the fact that he wears, well..a suit and glasses, he is also quite fond of torturing female leads. I quite expected him to ask Karen Allen " you work pretty little girl?". Unfortunately, all this S and G could ask was "well, what shall we talk about?"

I also found that certain scenes in Raiders were reminiscent of scenes involving the search for Rambaldi artifacts, particularly where the artifact is protected by elaborate booby traps. I recall a scene with Sloane and Nadia where Sloane finds the glass floor beneath him giving way as he greedily tries to snatch a Rambaldi thingy. Very similar to the opening scene in Raiders where Indiana triggers all kinds of booby trap mayhem in a cave when he grabs a gold bust off of a pedestal.

The chase across the desert in trucks also reminded me of David Carradine's journey across the desert in the back of a truck (that did happen, didn't it?)

Bottom line is I think JJ probably had Raiders on DVD, and I think that, somewhere along the line, it made quite an impression.

Girlscout said...

Wow, 61 comments. I agree Lisa, shout out on the commercial to Alias fans for sure. She looks great, as usual.

I think we have had a topic with 80 some comments.I will have to go back and, look, but 61 is good. I know, I know, I need to update.

uncle111 said...

Page 48-
JJ "borrowed" alot. Think of how many times he borrowed from Alias in MI-3.
Do you remember the long list I posted once of things in Alias that were also in the series The Pretender that ended just before they started working on Alias? In one episode JG was guest staring as a charater named...Billie Vaughn. And that was actually an alis given to her by her dead father.
Another was a baddie lawyer named Sloane. Once he is caught and in jail for the rest of his life, the last line in the episode someone tells him, "Now you have all the time in the world."
And the list goes on and on and on.

Page48 said...

Good point, Uncle. Too bad JJ couldn't have "borrowed" a really great series finale.

uncle111 said...

srg and dlove,
I'd just as soon post it now, but activity on the Alias boards is so slow right now that it will take a couple of weeks for most people to see the notices.

bristow_24 said...

Big Shots is on ABC. I'll at least check it out. Same with Victors show, mid-season.

As for Jen... I really hate when 'Alias' fans put her down because all of her films and choices are not action/drama/adventure roles; why would she want to be typecast? I will see her on Broadway without a doubt - I'm trying to get to NYC for November / December.

Besides, The Kingdom is out soon (lots of media on - interviews and stuff) and that is an action thriller. 'Juno' is also getting great reviews.

Page48 said...

Hey bristow_24:

I don't think that ALL of Jen's film roles need to be action/drama/adventure. But, from my point of view, they are the only ones that I'm interested in seeing. Clearly, that is her strength and she is at an age where she is perfectly suited for this type of role.

I've seen JG in "Mr. Magoo" and "Dude W.M. Car" and "Pearl Harbour" and "Catch Me If You Can" and others, and frankly, this is not the highest and best use of Jen's talent, and honestly, not even worthwhile use of her talent.

I don't mind if she does chick flick fluff, or comedy, or Christmas classic remakes, as long as she doesn't turn her back on her strength, action/adventure.

I'm not picking on Jen exclusively. I don't want to see Harrison Ford in a sitcom, either. There are actors, like Eddie Murphy or Mike Myers, who are beautifully suited to comedy, and actors like Julia Roberts, who are beautifully suited to romantic comedy. I just believe that Jen has a knack for action/adventure and could carry a feature film the likes of "Mission Impossible" or "Lara Croft" or "Indiana Jones", and that's what I want to see her do.

Do I want to see Jen on Broadway? What for?. Victor Garber on Broadway? Forgettaboutit. Kevin Weisman in "Clerks 10"? Get real. Vartan in "Big Shots"? Don't think so.

The point is, I'm not critical of Jen exclusively. I'm critical of anyone who does crap. Crap being anything that doesn't appeal to me.

I'm really looking forward to "The Kingdom". "Juno" and "Catch and Release" are not on my radar.

Anonymous said...

(Bristow_24 here; account isn't working)

I get what you're saying Page.

I would agree 110% that Jen is quite obviously suited for the action genre. However, 'Alias' was so much more than that - it was never the action that I loved most, the but the story and characters. That's why I want to see Jen in other things ("Juno", "13 Going on 30", ext.).

I feel like her acting chops would be wasted simply staring in action flicks. I do, however, wish she could pick some better scripts. If action is done right, it can rock ("Kingdom" is not just action, but a polticial thriller... getting great early reviews). The 'Christmas' film may not get made; I'm hoping not, because the story seems weak.

Still, I'll watch anything she does just to give it a chance. I won't love them all though ("Elektra", anyone?).

Page48 said...

bristow_24, I love the character aspect of "Alias" as well. That's part of the beauty of a series rather than a 2 hour flick where you get 20 minutes of setup, and then the main course. That's one of the reasons I would like to see Jen in a franchise type flick, so her character can develop and play out over a number of years.

I'm not a big-screen snob either. I would love to see Jen on the small screen in a recurring movie role. The British have a knack for this type of show, "Prime Suspect" comes to mind. This allows the actors to pursue film or stage careers, and still have an ongoing character that fans can cozy up to. It worked for Helen Mirren and it's an avenue that Tom Selleck is working these days with "Jesse Stone".

You're absolutely right that Jen is not picking great scripts. Whether or not they are being offered to her we don't know, and we may have to accept that her greatest success will be as a supporting actor rather than a leading lady.

Hopefully "The Kingdom" will raise her profile a few notches and maybe something more substantial than her recent outings will come along as a result.

There are good movies being made every day, but, regrettably, Jen isn't in them. I be lookin' for that to change.