Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unlucky 13

Well that's some weird news about Fox not wanting to air episode 13 of Dollhouse. I just got to watch last week's and agree it got me excited about the show again, but now it's off the air this week and the next eppy's preview looks way B O R I N G and sickeningly stand-alone. Talk about a buzz-kill.

**some spoilers from the last eppy below**
I enjoyed all the points Robetron brought up in the last article's posts and I give the show kudos for continuing throw plot twists. Totally didn't expect Mellie's encounter w/ Ballard (very well done), or Dewitt's secret identity as MLH. I kinda wondered about Dominic since normally he'd be the last person to suspect, but quickly forgot about that idea since I was thinking it was Ivy from the start. I'm glad to see they're not being too predictable. I wonder when we'll see the reappearance of Alpha other than a quick mention regarding Echo's true nature. How much you wanna bet her new handler's gonna be a bad guy of some sort? It would be cool if they did an episode that explained how all the main characters got involved w/ the DH (including Ballard)...sidenote that oddly enough Topher's starting to grow on me...


SRG said...

Just had a random thought, if Dominic was really keeping Ballard from finding the DH like he claimed to Dewitt, then is he the one that's sending messages to Ballard through the dolls? Could there be another "person on the inside" or was he just full of crap?

Page48 said...

I didn't realize DH wasn't on this week.

It's very disappointing to go from an episode that gives me hope, to more rubbish, and then to another hopeful eppie. Very unreliable, IMO.

With 3 eppies left to make an impression, it's hard for me to believe this will be renewed for next year.

Robetron said...

I feel the same way, Page48.

I guess (along with my guns and religion), I'll have to cling to House, 24, Heroes, and Lost, because other than those, there is NOTHING worthwhile on TV anymore. Among those, LOST is the only one that genuinely engenders good conversation.

When does Burn Notice come back again?

hey... has anyone ever seen the British spy drama MI-5? There has been several seasons; and they are free to watch on Netflix. If they are as good as the number of stars its has, I might spend sometime getting to know it.

Page48 said...

"MI-5" (or "Spooks" as it's known in the UK) is currently running on PBS. Starting dates vary depending on your local PBS station's schedule.

I just started watching it a few years back on A&E, and suddenly the show was unceremoniously dumped. I liked it enough at the time to be disappointed in it's disappearance from A&E, but my memory of the show is based on only seeing a half dozen episodes. I just recently watched 1.1 and it was (sigh!) a self-contained piece.

There was a spinoff called "Spooks: Code 9", which I recently watched. It was about a team of twentysomething spooks operating in the wake of a recently nuked London. The show ended after 6 episodes and was not renewed, so it ended with a serious cliffhanger. It was panned by critics, but I actually used parts of the edge of my seat that haven't been used since "Alias" went off the air.

"Spooks" gets an 8.9/10 rating on IMDB, and is still around 7 seasons later. I plan on watching it unfold on PBS on a weekly basis.

I recently watched the six-part BBC mini-series "State of Play" to prep myself for the upcoming Affleck/Mirren/Crowe movie. It was excellent. The guy who played the editor of the paper (Bill Nighy) was great. Helen Mirren will have trouble matching his performance. The Brits can spin a great yarn when push comes to shove.

Robetron said...

After the first episode, I can already see that I'm going to be irritated by MI-5.

I was reading through the reviews and I thought this, by someone named "Lyz," aptly describes what I perceived myself:

"The Brits vs the Yanks theme is basic story conflict. I had expected such scenes. As an American I'm not offended by such scenes and sometimes it can be fun. But if this series continues to be a politcal statement trying to infer that "conservative Americans are bad and barbaric" and "liberal Europeans are good and civilized," then I'll have to stop watching. Pedantics from either side of the political spectrum that is injected into a TV thriller becomes quite stale and boring in short time. There's an old adage in the field of fiction writing, "If you want to deliver a message send a telegram; don't waste our time with a preachy story." I hope that the rest of the MI-5 series delivers good stories and leaves the preaching to the clergy, the politicians and the radio talk show personalities. Three stars."

I see this played out even in the 1st 50 minutes. Still, it IS a spy show with gadgets and bombs and intrigue. I may give it a chance a few more times, just to see if I can get beyond the ideological hostility.

uncle111 said...

Sounds to me like I'm just going to have to cling to my guns and my religion. Well, my DVDs too, I guess.

Robetron said...

woah... Prisonbreak? I thought Dollhouse was going to get a few more episodes?

Have they canceled it entirely? I have my gripes about Dollhouse, but it's better than Prisonbreak. (How they are having a third or fourth season is beyond me.)

SRG said...

no DH isn't canceled, they said at the end of the last episode it would be back in two weeks, so it should be on again next Friday.

Robetron said...

oh... I don't watch the credits or previews. I guess I missed that.

They put Bones in place of House tonight before 24, and I'm all like "Is there no civilization in the world?!"

Yet, tonight's episode of Heroes will be #24 on the season, and I'm not certain if it is the season closer. It probably is, but man... its rare enough to get 24 episodes of anything.

Nothing from The Unit again last night. They only have 19 on the season, so I think they will have one or two more, at least.

Lost is only on episode 14 this coming Wed. - that's great news because it means we'll have something to watch when everything else has disappeared and replaced with reruns of "CSI - The Law and Order Edition - Detroit"

Its not like the regulars here do not know my thoughts on the matter, but I think this season of Lost has been the best of all five, and consistently interesting.

I have been enjoying "Castle" with Nathan Filion on Mondays at 10 eastern on ABC. It doesn't quite rise to the level of Burn Notice, but it is cleverly written... even if it is a CSI imitation with more interesting characters.


SRG said...

Hate to disappoint you Robby but I'm pretty sure this Wed's Lost is a recap "special presentation", at least that's the impression I got from the preview after last week's. Evidently the episode on the 29th is Lost's 100th so they were also playing that up. P.S. you need to come over to the Lost blog and check out what we've been discussing about the last eppy! :)

Page48 said...

"Lost" is set to pull out and pass "Alias" in terms of longevity. With 6 more episodes, it will become JJ's longest running show, well ahead of third place "Felicity" with it's more modest 84 episodes.

I don't foresee "Fringe" challenging any of the above.

Page48 said...

Is there any reason why we should pay $18 to see the first episode of "Caprica"?

uncle111 said...

Not for me. I hope, but don't expect Caprica to be as good as BSG. I waited till the final season to watch BSG, so I don't think I'll pay to see Caprica.

Robetron said...

Netflix will have it when it releases. I'll just rent it.

Page48 said...

Well, count me among the fans of Clint's Gran Torino. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make you want to grow a pair and be like Walt.

Dude's 80 years old and still getting it done. I fully hope to not be working when I'm 80. Of course, if I was directing and starring in my own movies, I might feel differently. But I'm not, so.....

Page48 said...

Anyone familiar with this "Flash Forward" book by Robert Sawyer? I'm not much of a bookworm. I think my last novel read was "Cat in the Hat".

Apparently, ABC (the network with the wisdom to cancel "Alias" just a tad prematurely) is going to be hyping this as the natural successor to "Lost", and in fact, will endeavour to generate interest in the upcoming sci-fi drama by hyping it during "Lost", when the 100th episode airs next week.

SRG said...

jeez, well there's an hour of my life I won't get back (re: DH). Of course next week's episode looks awesome, why does every other episode of this show have to suck so much when the others are really good??

uncle111 said...

SRG- I feel your pain, but not having gotten as far into DH as you, it fortunately isn't my pain. I'm free! I'm free!

As for Flash Forward, sounds VERY intriguing. If they don't screw it up, and we all know the possibilities of that, I'll be there.

I got tired of Lost's endless backstories and thin reveals in the second season and haven't seen it since. If it ends well I'll get the DVDs from the library and watch them. (Same story with Heroes)

BTW- if you want to make backup copies of your DVD collection, checkout www.slysoft.com
I bought the software and it works GREAT!

Also, if there is a movie or TV series you saw years ago and can't find anywhere, check out www.ioffer.com. I've gotten several short lived series and some movies you can't get anywhere there. I'd be interested on other sources if anyone has any.

I just watched the short "Spygame" series and the just as short "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" series. Both of these predated Alias by about 4 years and I can see a number of things in these that influenced Alias.

Page48 said...

Oh yeah, SRG, last night's DH just absolutely blew.

If anyone wonders why shows like "Alias" can't get a decent run, you need only pay a visit to a fan site like whedonesque.comand read the many many comments praising the genius of last night's DH. What would viewers like this know about great TV?

This is but one sample: Haunted was the first Dollhouse ep that actually made me cry. The show started off iffy, but just keeps getting better and better in my book...WTF? Is this the same episode I watched? Sure, I cried too, but trust me, I was crying tears of boredom. No plot advancement AT ALL. Just boring, standalone crap.

"Flash Forward" (the novel from 1999) is available in audiobook form. I think I'll check it out before the pilot airs (whenever that may be). The opening chapter is available to read on the author's website.

I love "Lost", but I don't know if I will go back and pick up "Heroes" where I left off. I was just sooooooo not caring when I left off in early December. They were just straying too far from the very likable first season, and the whole Petrelli family never stopped grating on my nerves. I also got tired of the sheer number of people who had these outrageous powers, none of them behaving very 'heroically'.

Page48 said...

Looks like they love their "Alias" in Greece. At least somebody named Calleigh94 does. As we speak, this Youtube user is uploading "Alias" episodes, some as recently as 2 hours ago.

I'm kind of partial to this one.

Calleigh94, we salute you (subtitles and all).

SRG said...

That's cool...but just curious, is that legal? I mean I'm all about sharing the love of Alias but also paid a good chunk of change for my DVDs, so I'm a bit hesitant about the idea of posting them online...

Page48 said...

I seriously doubt the legality, SRG. I would be surprised if ABC didn't have the clips removed. However, I'm rooting for the "Alias" underdog.

On another note, two Bob Dylan tunes were featured in "Alias" over the years ('Shelter from the Storm' and 'Lay, Lady, Lay'), both from the early 70's.

This gorgeous soundtrack song, 'Billy 4', was written and recorded for the 1973 movie, "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid", in which Dylan played a character named...ALIAS.

How sweet is that?

uncle111 said...

I saw "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" when it first came out. It was one of the first really gritty, more depressing, realistic westerns. It really unglamorized the western. I don't rememebr especially liking it then. Don't know what I'd think now. I certainly didn't remember Dylan's character being named Alias.

Dylan's songs in Alias were good ones. It was funny- when I read your post on this I had just minutes before watched that scene on my iPod. In 1969 "Lay Lady Lay" was a song on a new album just obtained by a girl/friend in high school who I wanted to be my girlfriend. She told me I just had to hear this song and played for me in her bedroom one day when I visited. She was a year older than I was and it was months later, after she had gone off to college, that I realized that she was giving me a hint. Yes I was that naive/dense and didn't get the hint. So, that song holds special memories for me.

I uploaded two 5min. segments of the 1996 series "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" to YouTube. It is not available on DVD and this episode never aired in the US. It only lasted 13 episodes total. If you watch the early episodes you see some things that inspired the Bradjelina movie. If you watch the whole series you see some things that are similar to Alias. You can see them here (and we'll hope once again I got the links right):

Page48 said...

Uncle, Scott Bakula is back in the spy biz as "Chuck" Bartowski's spydaddy.

The chick who took a slug in the chest was in an early episode of "Fringe".

uncle111 said...

I haven't been following Chuck at all. I guess I'll have to find a cheap way to get caught up.

Lisa said...

HULU! Chuck is really fun and it just got really good the last 2 episodes. I don't want to give anything away, but think SD-6 take down good. In a cheesy, never will touch Alias kind of way. :)

Robetron said...

I like my cheese on macaroni or pizza rather than on my TV. I just can't bring myself to watch Chuck. Especially when House is on in the same time-slot. Monday is the only day of the week that is crammed full with decent TV.

8PM -House (Fox)
9PM -24 (Fox)
10PM - Castle (ABC)

uncle111 said...

I don't remember you reporting on Jericho after you finished it. I just got through watching it again. Too bad it only lasted a season and a half, but they did a lot with it for the time they had. It was a good ending, espceially ending in Texas, the only state that knows what it's like to be it's own nation.

Robetron said...


Yes, Jericho was great. I still think about the whole theme of the story on a regular basis. (Sometimes I wonder if it might have been a little bit prophetic, so-to-speak.)

I did feel like the end was rushed, but given the limited time they were given to finish the story, I can see why it had to push the O2 booster to get it resolved.

Yeah, that Texas ended up being the hero-State was great. That is entirely believable, and I think it hints at why the show was canceled. Hollywood types are not receptive to a broader scope being placed on current events, allowing people a more varied point of view through a fictional story. I bet the producers were not the types to be lock-step in the liberal world-view, but were more independent.

Only slightly related, I just watched the movie "The Alamo" last night. I had resisted watching it for years because it feature Billy Bob Thornton, who, in my opinion, is real proletariat. I was inspired to look into it when I discovered that I knew too little about what happened at the Alamo or why it was worthy to be remembered.

It wasn't the best presentation of what seems like a very dramatic period in history, and I do not know how much artistic license the director took, but I think I get the idea. The tragic stand taken at the Alamo was representative of the American spirit, that there is something worth fighting and dying for that is much greater than land-boundaries, or political power.

Those few men fought against an overwhelming force so hard and so fiercely that Santa Anna's army was reduced significantly when General Houston's attack finally came. Which led to Texas becoming a Nation unto itself until it was accepted into the Union some years later. That's an event effecting a country's future that is worth remembering.

Big things can be done with small numbers, even when vastly outnumbered, if the few are willing to give their all for a purpose greater than themselves.

I think that may have been a part of the overall thought going into Jericho too. Little towns mater, and a few brave men can change the course of an entire nation. It was a great show.

uncle111 said...

I don't think I could have expressed the meaning and the importance of the Alamo event any better than you just did. Those at the Alamo, as Hawkins said to Jake about what they had just done,"changed history."

Texas is an interesting place. We have rivers, lakes, forests, agriculture, cattle, oil, natural gas, wind, NASA, military bases, nuclear weapons plants. All of that, in addition to the history we've had, and with the option to going back to being a seperate nation if we want to being one of the concessions the US granted Texas to get them into the Union, can make a state feel considerably more independent. A few weeks ago our current governor told the federal government that it has recently gone too far. It will be interesting to see if he takes this anywhere.

But then I grew up in 2 of the 3most conservative cities in the US- both of them in Texas.

Page48 said...

Any chance Jen's career bottoms out here and it's all up hill from now on? Or is it just more of the same until she fades away?

If I was Jen, I'd fire my agent's ass.

uncle111 said...

I saw previews for that movie a few weeks ago. Could be entertaining for me- depends on how they do it. But, there is no way it could ever be on my favorite's list, and I will certainly have to suspend disbelief since she is not playing Sydney Bristow.

Someone I correspond with semi-regularly was the supervisor for the recent Punisher movie (don't tell him I haven't seen it yet) commented today that he just saw the new Star Trek movie and that it was incredible. Why can't JJ do the same for an Alias movie?????

See if this sounds like a correct pre-series timeline for BSG:
The inhabitants of Kobal were the first humans. They sent people to the planets that became the 12 colonies. Kobal became so advanced that they were viewed by the others as gods similar to those of Greek mythology. Before the 12 colonies had space travel the Kobaleans left and went to earth.

During their travel they were unable to procreate, so they developed the skin-job and resurrection technology to insure the survival of the group till they could find their new planet, thus becoming Cylons. Once they settled on Earth they began having children again and didn't need the resurrection technolgy for their race to continue, so they put it away, or destroyed it.

They created the bulletheads and didn't treat them well. A war was brewing. Angels appeared to the five and warned them of coming destruction. They resurrected the resurrection technology and planned their escape.

They decided to go back to the colonies. They knew that their brothers there would have devloped the same bullethead technology they had and knew that if they weren't warned to treat them well there would be war between them.

That war was already in progress when they arrived. They met with the bulletheads and promised them skin-job and resurrection technology if they would go away and leave humanity alone. And so there was peace for 40 years. But during that time John, the first of the skin-jobs they made for the bulletheads, didn't like being in human form or that his ancestors, the bulletheads, had been treated like slaves and he vented his anger by killing the five and implanting new memories in them when they resurrected. He then snuck them into human society thinking that making them live as humans would be a great punishment. He then planned a war with the humans. Adama's botched recon mission into Cylon space was the excuse John used to try to wipe out humanity and the Five.

The rest is the series.

Page48 said...

Uncle, re: "Star Trek", even the website is pretty spectacular. The trailers are gorgeous and the movie is going to look equally stunning, I suspect.

JJ did a great job with MI3 and I'm sure ST will be hugely successful, as well. What's hard to believe is that, as in the case of MI3, ST is written by the creative team who bring us "Fringe" every Tuesday night. Somehow, this equation does not add up. It's not logical, as Spock would be quick to point out.

Speaking of Spock, JJ has recruited Leonard Nimoy to join the cast of "Fringe" on a recurring basis. Pity the blockbuster magic of ST is unlikely to follow him to the set of the freak-of-the-week "Fringe".

There's no doubt JJ could do as much for an "Alias" movie, but he's so not going to. Remember, "Alias" is way to hard to follow, unlike Romulons and Clingons.

JJ's entire reputation hinges on "Alias" and "Lost", and once the latter has run it's course, he will have nothing substantial going on in television. For his career, I think the big franchise blockbuster is the way of the future and it may prove to be what he is best at. Would that "Alias" could be part of his vision in that regard, but I'm afraid that is just California Dreamin' on the part of die-hards like us.

Robetron said...

I just have a moment, but I want to compliment you, Uncle111. The BSG background looks just about the way I thought they presented it to us.

As far as the question of where did the original first humans on Kobal come from, I think they intended something of a time-loop or a repetition of the last few moments of the series closer. The evolutionary chain urks me a little with its absurd premise of circular reasoning, but hey, for good fiction, it'll do in a pinch.

uncle111 said...

If you're not willing to bow to the neccessity of a single starting point for existence, a single cause, a moment of creation, then you have no choice but infinite regression. "This has all happened before; this will all happen again" is a knod to infinite regression, never ending repetition.