Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Commentary: The ALIAS Legacy


Taken from the comments in our last article, this excellent post was written by blogger Robetron. - SRM
********************
It's a shame, but ALIAS is far enough in the past that people forget it was ALIAS that ushered in a new era of television action-drama. Before Alias (officially, "BA") nothing was AS well written, well produced, and well acted while so crammed full of movie-style action.

Now it's been a while since the show-creators have figured out what works, and they have all borrowed from ALIAS (which, of course, borrowed extensively from other, lesser-quality productions).

From The Unit to 24, from LOST to BSG, from Chuck to Nikita, and a dozen others, it was ALIAS that open the eyes of TV watchers to realize that great TV doesn't have to compromise quality.

(Perhaps, that is one of the more disappointing aspects of the way it all ended - everyone was looking at ALIAS as the gold-standard for high quality TV, and then they pooch-kicked the game winning field goal try.)

Sure, there were some good precursors like Buffy, Angel, and Firefly (though, I think Firefly was during the ALIAS run). But they were very genre-specific in their appeal. People woke up to good TV about the same time they woke up to the many realizations that came with 9-11-2001.

There have been good dramas also, like The Practice in the era of BA. But nothing combined story, acting, character development, and tons of action balancing it all on a razors edge until ALIAS.

But that's the past. There is a whole new generation being raised to enjoy the benefits of ALIAS' pioneering, but without an appreciation for its efforts. It's a history-repeating problem that has continued since time immemorial.

You think there is a single 16 year old today who knows what the world was like pre- 9/11? Do you remember what life was like pre-"60's revolution"? (Shhh, don't answer, Uncle. I'm making a point).

Do we have any idea what the sacrifices were and how people generally conducted themselves pre-Great War? How can we possibly appreciate a country won by defeating the greatest military on the face of the planet in the Revolutionary War when we cannot even appreciate what an innovative program like ALIAS has done for TV watching in the last 5 years?

The year 2001 has been shaping our social conscience ever since in a multitude of ways, not the least of which is the effect ALIAS has had on how TV is made and watched to this present date.

Yes, I made those historic comparisons a little tongue-in-cheek, but the truth of the matter is that ALIAS changed things, and those changes continue til today.

So... uh, what great program will be dissed and placed on the chopping block this week?

-R.

352 comments:

1 – 200 of 352   Newer›   Newest»
Paul Kremer said...

Great article Robetron! I totally agree with you personally. I remember the first time I was flipping through channels and landed on Alias. I was immediately hooked for life. The great action and acting, it was like a really great extra long movie.

And I definitely agree that its influenced the quality of television.

Paul Kremer said...

This is just so I get your responses e-mailed to me...superfluous comment, sorry. :)

Page48 said...

An embarrassing fourth place finish for "Alias", managing only a tie with "Breaking Bad".

Robetron said...

Thanks for the honor, SRG. As I said before, I had no idea, when writing that little missive, it would affect anyone at all. I was just glad to have a forum where my thoughts might be appreciated.

The subject really is a bit larger in scope than the under-appreciation of ALIAS. It actually strikes at the core of our materialistic society, and the conflict between inner-man and fleshly-man. It's the failure to appreciate history any further back than our own birth date so that we are in a constant state of disassociation from the fundamental lessons learned from generations passed.

People go through hardships. They become wiser than before. They improve the world around them to provide a "better" life for the next generation.

The next generation is given the benefit without the cost of having had to learn from mistakes personally, though they may respect the previous generation for what they endured.

Another generation arises, not knowing the first, only the luxuries of the second. They "feel" neither connection nor sympathy for hardships too distant for them to relate to, and the present benefits go unappreciated, taken for granted, and in a short time, neglected. The benefits provided by the first generation begin to lag and diminish.

Finally, another generation, noticing a steady decline in their quality of life but having no knowledge of how to regain the former glory, now begins to fight with itself, casting blame everywhere other than to itself. What was left of the benefit is now torn in pieces by the selfish, self-serving ambitions of a fractioning, sectarian society.

In four generations, approximately 160 years, the process has come full circle so that consecutive generations must suffer, learn, and grow wise by experience; while, all the time, they could have been looking at history and learning everything available from those who went through it all before.

Did you know that more that 5500 years ago the long-forgotten and wasted cities were once thriving, sophisticated societies? Amidst the ruins of some of the most ancient cities, ornate buildings once stood where children's classrooms were built. They each would have a tablet of soft clay in a frame...

[Continued in the next post]

Robetron said...

...where they could write out their lessons, and smooth it out to erase and start over. These people were not cave dwelling simps who knew nothing of engineering principles, the art of language, or logical reasoning. So why were their cities and societies wiped out? With a number of other factors, primarily because they failed to appreciate what they had available to them; they fell into wantonness; and, then someone who studied history became very powerful, conquering them.

It has happened over, and over, throughout history. Where is the great Babylonian Empire that once ruled most of the Earth? The Medo-Persian Empire that gained even more? The Grecian Empire soon folded like a house of cards after the death of Alexander "the Great". Rome was finally unseated by barbarous hordes because the Roman people were incapable of learning from the past examples of poor behavior.

Self-importance has allowed us to put ourselves at the center of the universe; and to us, nothing has existed before us, or will after – not really. Remember? "Parents just don't understand." Or "Anyone over the age of thirty just hasn't got a clue."

It is manifestly evident that, to many people, anything that happened even a relatively short time ago isn't really worth our time in the present.

Black and white movies are considered "quaint"; old westerns are only for those who are so aged and infirm that it no longer matters whether they would ever be “hip” to what "get jiggy wit it" means. I wonder how many people, 30 or younger, can hum the theme music to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".

TV innovation has gone in cycles, and ALIAS is just another microcosm of humanity's tendency to forget where the goodness in life comes from. It is another victim of mankind's self-imposed blinders to what or who might be behind everything, deserving credit for having provided the goodness in the first place.

And so it goes around and again. The benefits ALIAS provided to TV quality are already starting to degrade. TV will eventually fall to pathetic drivel on every channel in every time-slot. People will suffer. Some will be made wiser, and create good TV again. Another ALIAS will be born. The upcoming generation will take great pleasure in it. Some will seek to kill it for envy. It will inevitably be cut short. The next generation will begin the under-appreciation all over again.

Only those who look back in order to look forward will ever see clearly. Such a one with an honest, inquisitive mind will go back to the origin, and discover precisely where the Truth Be Told.

*wink*

-R.

uncle111 said...

Someone just sent this to me from http://tv.ign.com/articles/108/1089195p1.html:

Great news for a cool show and its fans - Human Target is coming back! According to The Hollywood Reporter, FOX has decided to renew both the DC Comics based Target and the Tim Roth led Lie to Me. This is a bit of a surprise, since most thought the network would renew one of the two somewhat ratings challenged series, but not both.

uncle111 said...

zzzz

Page48 said...

Uncle, it's good news but, sadly, the article is referring to Season 2.

FOX's new and returning shows listed here.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Wow. I missed that. Guess I wanted it to be true so bad.

Page48 said...

Robetron said: "the failure to appreciate history any further back than our own birth date"

You need look no further than this article to back that up.

Page48 said...

In a world where "Charlie's Angels" gets a 3rd kick at the can, surely, if we're just patient enough, "Alias" in one form or another will be back.

uncle111 said...

Gee, looks like it could be an ok action-chick, semi-cop, semi-spy series. That is if we didn't just see the best they have to offer.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I think the CA trailer looks very much in keeping with the mood of the movies, which were kinda fun. I was never a fan of the original series.

Will the new CA be the new "Chuck"? Will it be purely self-contained episodes? Will it be any good? Time will tell, but I'll give it a look.

Page48 said...

I see the Hollyweird version of "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (with Daniel Craig) has an early website up and running. Not a very revealing trailer, but the movie isn't due for release until December, so patience will be required.

Meanwhile, the original Lisbeth Salander, (Noomi Rapace), is cashing in on her Girl Trilogy success with roles in the 2nd installment of Robert Downey Jr.'s "Sherlock Holmes", as well as teaming up with "Lost" writer Damon Lindelof, for a sci-fi thriller called Prometheus.

Mark Valley (aka Christopher Chance aka John Scott) is working on an upcoming Nicolas Cage film, "Medallion". I tend to see most Cage films, so I suspect I'll be checking this one out down the road.

SRM said...

Evidently Covert Affairs returns tomorrow. I may or may not tune in depending on if I remember, that show was so "meh" for me. :-|

Page48 said...

Extendo preview of "Person of Interest". I hope it's not simply case of the week, but it sure has that feel to it.

CA does indeed return June 7th, and despite being "meh" (which I completely agree with), it "scored high ratings right out of the gate". People love no-brainer TV.

Page48 said...

Here's a "meh" preview of "Covert Affairs" 2.1.

uncle111 said...

Anyone seen the latest X Men movie? There is a close up of the Nazi concentration camp tattoo of the bad one who can control anything metal. It has a 47 in it.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I haven't seen "X-Men First Class" yet, but, as with most things X-Men, I will get to it eventually.

Here's a whopping extendo preview of JJ's "Super 8".

Is there anything that Spielberg isn't involved in right now?

Paul Kremer said...

I thought this article managed to perfectly nail what Covert Affairs is doing wrong. They say it feels like the show creators watched Alias and tried to pattern the show after it, but that they've "gone out of their way to ignore everything that show ever did right."

http://www.aoltv.com/2011/06/07/review-white-collar-covert-affairs-usa/

Paul Kremer said...

By the way, Robetron, I really enjoyed your commentary on how generations refuse to learn the lessons their ancestors were forced to learn the hard way.

Your running through the succession of world powers and how this process befell them all made me immediately think of my Bible history class, where over and over again the Israelites rebelled, were conquered/attacked/suffered, repented, enjoyed favor and good times, only over the preceding generations to fall right back into the wantonness that got their ancestors into trouble before them.

While scientifically and technologically right now people are building on the shoulders of giants, as a society economically and politically, I believe you are absolutely right...we have refused to look back to situations that occurred less than 100 years ago and see and learn from their failure. Somehow we seem determined to repeat those mistakes all over again.

uncle111 said...

Ditto Paul's post just above.

SRM said...

Yup Paul, that article hit the nail square on the head.

Paul Kremer said...

I just realized upon re-reading, I said 'preceding' when I meant 'proceeding." Not proofreading gets me into trouble!!!

Page48 said...

The article that Paul points to is bang on. Further to the question asked in that article about whether or not the show's creators watched "Alias", we know for sure that Piper stopped (on purpose) after watching only TBT, as per this confession.

But, leaving aside their familiarity (or lack of) with "Alias", how much mileage did they try to squeeze out of "from the producer of the Bourne Trilogy"? And, yet, it lacks ANY of the qualities that make the Bourne movies so entertaining.

And, yet, should spy-show fans like us expect more from CA, when by most accounts, it's a "smash hit" for USA? When you end a season with a "cliffhanger" about the potential death of a character (Ben Mercer) no one cares about, it would seem that there is nowhere to go but up. Or is there?

Page48 said...

"Covert Affairs" 2.1 already drawing anti-rave reviews.

Page48 said...

New "Warehouse 13" Season 3 promo.

Robetron said...

Paul, it seems you picked up on the pattern from history that I was applying to our current times. It's a universal problem, and it even touches parts of our lives as insignificant as a television program that, while earth-moving to some of us, in the grander scheme of things, will never hold much importance to humanity's well-being.

I wonder sometimes if the reason actors and actresses become so... uh, you know... weird... is (in addition to living in California) that their contribution to society, their life's work, is ultimately pretending to be someone else, someone who will inevitably become forgotten and dismissed to to the generational dissociation. The present-day fame and fortune is unsatisfying having been given to them for being someone they are not. It's got to be a little demoralizing.

- - -

Has anyone else seen Ben Afflec's recent release, "The Town"? I have to say, it was pretty good, if you can get passed the filth that poured our of every mouth given lines to say. Hey, it's based in Boston. That makes the filth believable. It was a clever, though somewhat predictable, story.

I have had a copy of the Green Hornet for a while. Haven't had time to give it a spin yet. Any thoughts on it? Did they take it seriously and throw in humor to keep it lighthearted, or is this more like a Will Ferral style, respect-no-classic approach? (I'm still throwing things across the room as the result of the butcher-job done to the Dukes of Hazard.)

Ah well... I guess I'll have to actually watch and see in any case.

-R.

Page48 said...

Robetron, "Green Hornet" definitely has plenty of humour in it, though it's miles about what Will Ferrell aims for. I thought Kato was the highlight.

The big showcase action scene is well over-the-top, but the movie isn't striving for realism anyway, so why not go for it.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started watching, since I hadn't read much about it prior to actual viewing. I like a more serious tone to my heroes and heroines, (like a "Dark Knight") but it's hard to envision how "Green Hornet" could work as a serious film.

I think it's a film you can watch, enjoy, and then forget you've ever seen it. That's pretty much what I did. Do I long for a sequel? Not so much.

Page48 said...

Typo alert: miles "above" what Will Ferrell aims for.

Page48 said...

In the course of channel surfing tonight, I had the great misfortune of landing on NBC's "Love Bites", a waste of space rom-com starring our very own Agent Weiss.

Apparently, Greg's career is now at that "anything for a buck" stage.

Here's a 'flattering' review. I wonder if he even remembers being on "Alias".

Page48 said...

A Gugu always lands on her feet.

"Undercovers" didn't amount to much, but it opened a few doors for Gugu. She's also in the lates Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts film, "Larry Crowne", which should be out soon.

Page48 said...

A little sneak peek at the upcoming 3rd season of W13.

uncle111 said...

I was just watching the next to last first season episode (named Conspiracy)of Star Trek: Next Generation. In the pre-credits opening segment they used the term "Code 47" 4 or 5 times with 60 seconds, and another 2 times before the opening theme played.

I wonder how many more times they will say it.

uncle111 said...

The episode is about a conspiracy within the government. A secret meeting to inform Picard about it takes place on a planet with a red sun...a giant red ball in the sky!

Robetron said...

I just finished SG-U.

I'll not take up a lot of space. I just want to express a heartbroken lamentation for the loss of another amazing program.

Anyone know the likelihood of a movie after the order of Serenity? What a crying shame, if it doesn't happen.

Peace.
-R.

Page48 said...

Robetron, I thought the last SGU episode, and especially the last scene was brilliant, leaving the door open for possible return.

Alas, I don't think they're going to be able to pull a "Serenity" out of their hat, at least according to the producer.

But, don't worry, the Kardashians are back for a 6th season. They'll never be canceled. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what the majority wants to watch, and unfortunately, all too often, we end up losing big.

Page48 said...

Mild "Super 8" spoilers are included in this open letter from Jace (from Televisionary) to JJ Abrams regarding his so-called "Mystery Box".

Interesting comments regarding the common thread running through JJ's work, including "Alias".

uncle111 said...

Maybe Super 8's mystery in the box was all of the 47's they threw in during the end credits.

uncle111 said...

Also, what the author is saying is consistent with my remarks when Alias closed- that they hadn't fully thought out Rambaldi's storyline before they began using him as their McGuffin, so when they got to the end they didn't know how to tie up all the loose ends.

uncle111 said...

This explanation of a McGuffin pretty well nails how they used Rambaldi in Alias:

A MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is "a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction". The defining aspect of a MacGuffin is that the major players in the story are (at least initially) willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to obtain it, regardless of what the MacGuffin actually is. In fact, the specific nature of the MacGuffin may be ambiguous, undefined, generic, left open to interpretation or otherwise completely unimportant to the plot. Common examples are money, victory, glory, survival, a source of power, or a potential threat, or it may simply be something entirely unexplained.

The MacGuffin is common in films, especially thrillers. Usually, though not always, the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and then declines in importance as the struggles and motivations of characters play out. It may come back into play at the climax of the story, but sometimes the MacGuffin is actually forgotten by the end of the film.

Page48 said...

Uncle, every time I hear the word "MacGuffin", I think of you. Hadn't heard of it before you mentioned it on LTA years ago.

"Super 8" has at least 4 faces who have appeared in "Alias", most notably Weiss and Mrs. Marshall Flinkman. Also appearing is a guy by the name of Jonathan Dixon, who seems to work almost exclusively for Bad Robot (has appeared in "Alias", "Lost", MI3, "Anatomy of Hope", "Star Trek", and now "Super 8").

Even more notable, however, is the appearance in S8 of Michael Giacchino (as Deputy Crawford), the man responsibe for the music in all of JJ's shows, including "Alias". According to IMDB, this is his acting debut.

Watching the closing credits for JJ's movies is essential, because you never know what he'll sneak in there. And, apparently, the refreshing Slusho beverage does make an appearance in S8 as one would expect.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I found out what a MacGuffin was from watching Alias bonus discs. JJ talked about that being Rambaldi's role.

I'm going to have to look at Super 8 again and look for the Deputy.

Page48 said...

Oh, Victor, pulllleaaaase! Why waste time on drivel like this?

Page48 said...

A sneak peak at BN's upcoming season premiere.

Page48 said...

36 years ago, I plunked down about $5.00 for "Born to Run", which included this iconic photo of Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons.

The Big Man drew his last breath today, but he left us with some epic sax solos to remember him by, such as found in the legendary "Jungleland" and "Drive All Night"

For those of us old enough to remember, these guys were welcome shelter from the disco sh*tstorm that plagued western culture and threatened to drive us all over the edge back in the day. Job well done, Clarence.

Page48 said...

Well, I left the 47th comment slot open for 5 days and no one took it, so:

"Alias" alum Bradley Cooper and Ron Rifkin, along with minor recurring "Alias" players Michael McKean and John Hannah reunite for a thriller called "The Words", slated for release in 2013.

This one also stars someone else quite familiar with JJ Abrams ("Star Trek" and "Six Degrees"), in the person of Zoe Saldana (although, for my money, she's best known as the "Avatar" chick).

Absent from this cast is, of course, Jennifer Garner, cuz, ya know, it's supposedly a thriller, not a cutesy little rom-com.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I've been meaning to post a comment for a couple of days. If I had know it would have been 47 I would have jumped on it:)

There was one line in this week's Covert Affairs that sums up why this isn't anything like Alias:

"At the end of the day, it's just a job. Don't forget that."

Can you imagine anyone in 4.7 seasons of Alias saying that?

Page48 said...

Uncle, I watched that eppie of CA last night and I remember that line. Goes to show how much higher the stakes were for Syd & Co. than for Annie and her crew. Those higher stakes = greater tension = better show, IMO.

Of course there were other factors as well, but still, I've yet to use the edge of my seat while watching CA.

And yet, CA is easily outdrawing recent episodes of "Fringe" by well over a million viewers per week, so if you're USA, I guess there's no reason to change the formula.

Page48 said...

With only 2 weeks to go till "Torchwood: Miracle Day", this article has me eagerly awaiting July 8th.

Page48 said...

I checked out the 2 hour premier of "Falling Skies" a few days ago. It reminded me of a number of shows I've seen before (BBC's "Survivors", "Jericho", "The Walking Dead"). These shows all deal with similar situations, like raiding abandoned supermarkets for food, sleeping in other peoples' abandoned houses, overall lawlessness, etc...

I thought it was sort of middle of the road. It's a survival tale set 6 months after an alien invasion. Not incredibly gripping TV, but as a summer series, I'm going to stick with it and see how it plays out.

This review claims that FS is way better than "The Walking Dead", but I tend to lean in the opposite direction.

Page48 said...

In an apparent attempt to work with everyone involved with "Alias", the aforementioned "Avatar" Chick, Zoe Saldana joins Michael Vartan in "Colombiana", which now has trailers and a website.

As the trailer says, it's from the writers of "Taken" and "La Femme Nikita". I call that 2 for 2. It also stars Lennie James, who is always great.

Also appearing is Max Martini (a likely name), who starred in "The Unit" and appeared in "Hawaii Five-0" and who is currently filming Orci/Kurtzman's "Exit Strategy", with "Alias" alum, Ethan Hawke.

Robetron said...

The newest season of Burn notice has begun as of last night. I'll be watching it on Hulu shortly.

Page48 said...

I've got my date with BN tomorrow night. I just read a couple of positive early reviews, although I think we all know approximately what's in store.

uncle111 said...

I watched BN this morning.

Page48 said...

A while back we were discussing Brad Thor's "The Athena Project", with respect to the possibility of a movie based on his novel.

Now, who knows if there is any progress on the movie, or for that matter, the movie based on Thor's special ops hero character, Scot Harvath? Warner Bros. has the rights to both potential movie franchises, but that doesn't mean they're coming to a theater near you anytime soon.

However, watch this clip and tell me you wouldn't like to get a look at "The Athena Project" on the big screen sometime before we're all geriatrics (or worse).

"Alias" fans who want to make movies featuring a team of Sydney Bristow type characters should be given government grants and encouraged to proceed without delay. Maybe Thor is the guy to helm the "Alias" reboot that we don't hear about anymore.

All of these special ops characters (Mitch Rapp, Scot Harvath, Gabriel Allon) have rights deals with either Warner Bros. or whoever, but, while the novels are churned out at breakneck speed, the movies are seemingly slow to develop.

Paul Haggis ("Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace") is making news this week. In addition to being involved in a remake of "The Equalizer", he is also set to bring Gabriel Allon to the big screen.

With "Alias" confined to the dust bin of history, with endless delays in the new Bond film, and with Matt Damon through with Jason Bourne, it's time for someone to step up on behalf of the the spy genre and unleash an exciting new franchise. If I was the deciding vote, I would give Thor the greenlight for "The Athena Project", but I'm willing to consider alternatives.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I loved The Equalizer.

I haven't seen the video you posted, but here is a Brad Thor
video you will like.

Page48 said...

Uncle, same video, different source. And, yup. I likeeee.

Page48 said...

I'm in love all over again. Can it be 10 years already?

uncle111 said...

Page,

Even after 10 years I see the opening of the scene, hear the music and I get a tear in my eye.

uncle111 said...

All 10 episodes of CHAOS are now on some sites online.

Page48 said...

Looks like our Jenny has company over on USA Network". Unfortunately, more lawyers. What ever happened to the spy game?

Page48 said...

JJ's "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" website is officially launched with the arrival of the first trailer.

Unlike MI3, which was written by "Alias" writers Orci and Kurtzman, this one is written by "Alias" writers Appelbaum and Nemec.

The trailer, unfortunately, does not give us a glimpse of 'Sawyer' (Josh Holloway), but it features prominently, Jeremy Renner, the guy apparently pegged to replace Matt Damon in the Bourne franchise.

Also on Renner's agenda is a flick called "Better Living Through Chemistry", where he'll have a dangerous liason with Jennifer Garner. This is yet another role for Jen that makes my skin crawl.

MI:GP unfortunately isn't due in theaters until December. To think that this is Bad Robot's 2nd major spy movie and neither of them is based on "Alias". What a shame!!!

Page48 said...

I'm kind of torn between whether this is appropriate or not, since I always try to be conscious of privacy issues, but there is something so sublime about this detail that I thought it worthy of posting (without the use of real names, of course).

This is Girlscout's Linkedin profile. While subject to change without notice, of course, at the time I'm posting this, she is showing (what else?) 47 'connections'.

Well played, GS. Your valuable contribution at LTA is remembered and missed by me, and, I suspect, by the few of us here who have chosen to guard the flame.

Page48 said...

SyFy chucked SGU, but they've conjured up an "X-Men" type of summer series called "Alphas", written by the dude who wrote "Elektra" (which is nothing to brag about) and "X-Men: The Final Stand" (definitely better than "Elektra").

It stars one familiar face (if you watched the 3rd Bourne movie). This promo kind of sums up the whole premise, but frankly, I'm just left hoping that they didn't cancel SGU to create a spot for "Alphas".

Here's the latest sneak peak from Syfy's site. I haven't seen anything yet to get excited about, but I may give the pilot a whirl.

Page48 said...

Looks like Terry O'Quinn (aka Assist. Director Kendall and, uh....oh yeah, John Locke) is going to have a recurring role on H50 next season.

Page48 said...

"Warehouse 13" capitulates.

If "Alias" debuted in 2011, would execs at ABC require that Vaughn and Weiss be "married"?

uncle111 said...

Well, one more reason not to tune it in this season.

Too bad.

Robetron said...

Any opinions on the latest Burn Notice?

The Burn is gone. Will there be anything left to Notice?

So far, there is no discernible long-term story arc. Methodology of telling two parallel spy stories is still in place, but it seems the CIA has no problem with their assets going off on dangerous, unsanctioned missions while they are 'on the job.'

I guess whatever critiques we might have were probably still true before erasing the burn notice, and the Robin-hood A-Team style always makes for decent TV viewing. There just seems to a be a missing element, a lack of the mysterious that makes it a little dull for those of us who can't be taken-in by CSI snore-drama.

I'm still a fan of BN, but I am concerned about this new season - that's all. I would hate for them to phone it in and miss out on a chance for another season.

-R.

Page48 said...

Robetron, isn't that just the question of the day? After 5.1 seemingly wrapped up the burn arc, 5.2 didn't seem to leave us with any clue about what's next. I don't think that Michael asking Fiona to move in with him is a particularly intriguing cliffhanger.

The show's creator, Matt Nix, didn't give much (anything) away in this article, except to say that Michael's CIA missions will set up the season arc. So, at least we have his assurance that there IS one.

As far as missing out on another season, S6 was confirmed before S4 was over (sort of the exact opposite of the way "Alias" was treated) so no worries on that front.

uncle111 said...

Robetron,

I have been feeling that something is not the same with BN, and not just the formula. They changed the structure, but without jumping right into another.

Hopefully they do have something planned, and if they do they need to get to it before the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's set in and people go looking for different TV caffeine.

Page48 said...

"Alias" on the losing end of another poll, this time to "The X-Files" by a 2:1 margin.

Back in the day, that was my Sunday night entertainment, "Alias" backed by "The X-Files". Those indeed were the days. Now it's nothing but rom-coms for Jen and "Californication" for Duchovny. Pitiful.

Page48 said...

Robetron, this "Burn Notice" news is for you.

I feel a 'Chase' scene coming on.

SRM said...

FYI for my fellow Chuck fans: "Breaking Chuck news! We’re coming back for Season Five starting October 21 at 8/7c!"

Robetron said...

That's great news SRM!

Page, I have to be honest about it: it was the earlier performances of Charisma Carpenter that has me so enthralled. On Buffy, she was pretty convincing, but there wasn't a lot of room for her character after she left Xander. In the early stages of Angel, I thought she was brilliant. Then came the last two seasons. I'm not sure if it might have been the writing, or her acting, but something about it left a bad taste in my mouth.

I'll be glad to see her on Burn notice, but I hope they do not try to give her a similar role as they did the BSG guest-stars. She can't pull off sneaky, insidious, or intentionally evil. I guess I'll just have to see where they take it.

Page48 said...

Robetron, I haven't seen anything that indicates that CC is more than a one-off guest on BN.

Some further insight into what went wrong with the planned SGU TV-movies that would supposedly have wrapped up the series. Bottom line is the series and its fans got hosed. Sound familiar?

uncle111 said...

I just finished the short lived series I watched when it was originally on, "New Amsterdam." Great series. Too bad it didn't last.

At the end Hulu ran a clip from a new series called "The Booth at the End." Here is a synopsis:
"A mysterious Man sits at a booth at the end of a diner. People approach him because theyve heard The Man has a gift. He can solve their problems: A parent with a sick child, a woman who wants to be prettier, a nun who has lost her faith. The Man can give these people what they want. For a price. The Man makes a proposition. In exchange for realizing their desires, these individuals must complete a task, return to The Man, and describe every step in detail. The trick is that these tasks are things that would normally be inconceivable to them. But The Man never forces anyone to do anything. Its always up to the individual to start - or stop. The Booth at the End asks the question: How far would you go to get what you want?"

This series stars Xander Berkeley, who was the head of Division in Nikita. Was he killed at the end of last season, has he left the show, or has Nikita been cancelled?

Page48 said...

Uncle, Berkeley will be back for S2 of "Nikita", although he looked a litte worse for wear in the finale.

"Booth at the End" was a web-series airing on citytv.com last year. I think the episodes ran around 4 minutes each or something like that. It later aired as a movie on TV, but I didn't see it. It would have been done and dusted before "Nikita" debuted.

Here's some Xander Berkeley trivia. Did you know his voice was used in several episodes of "Jericho", playing the part of John Smith? I would have to rewatch "Jericho" to remember who John Smith was.

Page48 said...

Nice little preview clip from tomorrow's debut of "Torchwood: Miracle Day".

Did this kind of delicious paranoia ever begin to plague Syd and Vaughn in their island paradise after we said our goodbyes? Well, heck, we'll never know, will we?

Page48 said...

The aforementioned CC hangin' with Michael and Fiona.

Page48 said...

As if to give us "Alias" diehards hope, TNT is officially rebooting "Dallas" in 2012 (with several original actors), a mere 21 years after it faded to black.

Using 21 years as a benchmark, we could see Syd back in business as early as 2027. Jen would only be about 56ish.

Hmmm, come to think of it, remember when Jen was supposed to star in the "Dallas" movie that never was?

Page48 said...

FOX is getting a little stingy with the episodes. Although "Fringe" is getting a full 4th season, FOX's new shows, "Terra Nova" and JJ's "Alcatraz" are both going to have to make do with 13.

Page48 said...

Yawwwwnnnnn!!

I suppose this is good news for Mark Valley, but for the rest of us it just boils down to:

a) he's not on "Fringe" any more
b) he's not on "Human Target" any more

And, let's face it, why would I want to watch "Harry's Law"? Like I said, "yawn".

Page48 said...

Well, I plumb forgot to watch the pilot for Syfy's "Alphas" last night, but I've been reading some of the reviews. Some were not so impressed while others, including this guy and this guy, thought it was a pretty strong effort.

I'm hoping to catch it online in a day or so.

Page48 said...

I read something tonight that left me speechless and yet didn't affect my ability to type.

It was a story about Ted Danson joining the cast of the original CSI for its upcoming 12th season. 12 freaking seasons of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigations"?????. I couldn't believe it. Sure, I know it's been on for a while, but I hadn't done the math. This puppy finished it's first season before "Alias" even debuted and it's back for more in the fall of 2011.

So then I switched into full research mode. I checked out the first CSI spinoff, "CSI: Miami". It debuted the same week that we "Alias" types were introduced to Lena Olin in "The Enemy Walks In". This offspring is about to kick of its 10th season this fall.

Well, I still had more work to do. I checked out "CSI: NY". Has anybody here EVER seen this show? I haven't. Brace yourselves, kids, this 2nd spinoff of a series I never watch is getting ready to launch its 8th season later this year.

So, let's break it down shall we?

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: 251 episodes over 11 seasons, IMDB rating: 8.3 out of 10

"CSI: Miami": 213 episodes over 9 seasons, IMDB rating: 6.5 out of 10

"CSI: NY": 162 episodes over 7 seasons, IMDB rating: 7.1 out of 10

"Alias": 105 episodes over 4.77 seasons, IMDB rating: 7.7 out of 10

Bottom line: CSI franchise sits at 626 episodes over an aggregate of 27 TV seasons with an average IMDB rating of 7.38. With each show renewed for next season, the yearend totals will approach 700 episodes across 30 bloody seasons.

So, to all those Nielsen Families out there (and you know who you are) who vote yay or nay on what I get to watch on TV...

"THANKS FOR NOTHING!!!"

Robetron said...

Here, here, Page48.

I guess I could thank them for the time to go do something else.

uncle111 said...

I've never seen any of the Doctor Who series before, but I just finished the 1st episode of season 5.

I enjoyed it. I plan to watch more.

Page48 said...

Uncle, an excellent choice. Season 5 (of the modern 2005-2011 era of DW) is my fave so far. Matt Smith is brilliant in his debut as the 11th Doctor and Amy Pond is a very engaging companion.

S5 has a very compelling season long arc and the season progresses to a great two-part finale (there's only 13 episodes).

I have no interest in revisiting the vintage DW that used to be on when I was a kid, but I've caught up with everything since the series got a modern reboot in 2005. Since DW has short 13 episode seasons (and 2009 had only 4 specials), it doesn't take long to catch up with the entire series.

Page48 said...

Robetron, speaking of boring shows freeing up time for other endeavours, how about the contribution the "Law & Order" franchise has made?

"Law & Order" - 456 eppies
"Law & Order: SVU" - 273 eppies
"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" - 195 eppies
"Law & Order: UK" - 38 eppies
"Law & Order: Los Angeles" - 22 eppies
"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" - 13 eppies

That, folks, is 997 episodes of 'no-need-to-see-TV'.

Page48 said...

For those of us who never get to Comic-Con, here's a little fun while we wait for the return of "Chuck" for its final go-round.

And, while we're on the topic of "Chuck", it looks like Agent Walker has a date with movie-goers coming up in September.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Thanks for the Chuck link. That was great!

Page48 said...

For anyone in the market for a humongous poster of our Agent Rachel working undercover in "Conan", here ya go.

SRM said...

Wow, I doubt I would have recognized her from that.

Page48 said...

Sark is back on ABC, although it may be a one-off.

He'll team up with SGU's Dr. Rush in "Once Upon a Time"

I wouldn't count on OUAT paying the bills for 5 seasons. Just a hunch, of course.

Page48 said...

JJ cornered by the gay lobby.

uncle111 said...

Oh, good grief. This is getting old fast. Does everything have to have a liberal political/social agenda?

Page48 said...

Looks like ABC has done the right thing (albeit years too late) in announcing the end of "Desperate Housewives" following the upcoming season.

When all is said and done, this POS outlasted "Alias" by some 50%, give or take.

Page48 said...

"Falling Skies" wrapped up its first season this week. IMO, a pretty decent summer series. Not spectacular, but a nice apocalyptic, alien invasion, survival type series, sort of in the "Jericho" vein. I thought the season ending cliffhanger was a little funky, but I'll be back next year for S2 (providing it gets renewed).

I thought that "Covert Affairs" actually put up one of it's better efforts to date, this past week. Still, it just lacks momentum, as if they're just burning off episodes and if one or two work out along the way, bonus.

New trailers are popping up for "Charlie's Angels". This is a show that I will be giving a fair shake in the fall. I know they could ruin it by making it stupid (and I would not be shocked if it goes that route), but there's some potential fun to be had, judging from this trailer. If ABC is intelligent about this show, it could offer some "Chuck"-like fun and action. That will come in handy as The Nerd Herd fades to black.

uncle111 said...

I intended to post last week that I'm liking CA better. I think it is improving. Last night was even better. It ain't Alias, but what is?

Page48 said...

Uncle, I'm always a couple of days behind in seeing CA, so I won't see it till tomorrow night.

Believe it or not, last night's episode was the mid-season finale already, which is no doubt why the recent episodes have shown notable improvement. Now we get to wait for the back half of the season to air sometime in the fall or winter (6 more eppies, I believe).

Page48 said...

Digital Spy has a 'first look' at JJ's upcoming series, "Alcatraz". Definitely some concern about whether this will be a weekly procedural, which we don't need more of, IMO.

The same issue is a concern with "Person of Interest".

Page48 said...

Someone's opinion of the Top 5 JJ Abrams Moments.

"Alias" got its usual lack of respect.

Robetron said...

I stopped watch Dollhouse about the time Echo was sent into the cult as a blind girl to rescue someone. I recently have gone back to see what I missed. As it turns out, that was when the show really started to pick up steam.

The second season was outstanding. Of course, I have trouble seeing Echo as anyone other that Faith from her time on BuffyTVS. Too bad this show didn't start off with this kind of pop, instead of spelling it with two O's.

If you all dropped off from Dollhouse along the way, I recommend seeing it through to the end.
-R.

Page48 said...

Robetron, in real time, DH started getting down to business the minute the cancellation was announced.

As you say, had S1 given any glimmer of the promise shown in S2, who knows what it may have amounted to? We'll never find out.

I gather that, like BtVS, DH lives on in comic book form, but I just can't go there.

Page48 said...

I feel like I've seen this movie a hundred times over the years, but I like Matt Damon flicks so I'll check out "Contagion" eventually.

Note Veronica Mars's Dad in the trailer.

SRM said...

Page - that looks like it could be really good, and a stellar cast.

Robetron - I'm hoping DH eventually comes to Netflix, I'd like to see the second season from what I've heard.

SRM said...

Oh snap! I just checked and Netflix DOES have Dollhouse, and streaming FTW! :)

uncle111 said...

The Contagion trailer looks good.

DH got better when they got away from the prostitute robot for hire emphasis. I tuned back in after that and liked it a lot. I have to say that I was very confused by the final episode. I thought I had been caught up on the episodes, but the finale made me feel like I have missed several episodes leading up to it.

Nikita should be back in a few weeks. I've been rewatching S1 in the meantime.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I'm a little fuzzy on the final DH episode. It seems to me there was some controversy about whether or not one of the 2 "Epitaph" episodes would play on TV or only on DVD. But I can't remember if that was the S1 finale or the S2 finale.

Nevertheless, the series finale was set some 10 years or so in the future as I recall and Echo & Co. were trying to salvage mankind after the damage inflicted by the mind wiping technology. I would have to watch it again to refresh my memory before I could do much more to enlighten.

One of the things I like about guys like Whedon (and, perhaps to a slightly lesser degree, Abrams) is that they have a loyalty to their TV families. Just a quick glance at the cast and writers of DH and, from top to bottom, you'll see veterans of Buffy, "Angel", and "Firefly", with a healthy sprinkling of Jane Espenson's friends from BSG and "Caprica". It might seem a little incestuous to some, but I like the fact that they continue to work together.

I see Victor Garber working all these mediocre (or worse) Canadian shows and I wish that JJ would bring him back into the Bad Robot fold as he has done most reently for 'Ben' and 'Hurley' and 'Sawyer'. Where's the love for his "Alias" cast?

Robetron, I saw DH before seeing either BtVS or "Angel", so I had no notion of who Faith or Wesley or Fred or Vi were from those earlier Whedon gems.

Page48 said...

Speaking of Abrams and Whedon alumni, here's a peek at "Lost"/"Alias" dude Terry O'Quinn and "Lost"/"Angel" dude Daniel Dae Kim starring in the 2nd season of H50.

Page48 said...

Uncle, speaking of the new season of "Nikita", here's a new promo for S2.

Also in the promo department, I'm starting to see a lot of TV promo for Vartan's "Colombiana" movie, from the guy who gave us the original "Nikita", not to mention Liam Neeson's "Taken".

uncle111 said...

Page,

Great trailers. Can't wait. Thanks!

Page48 said...

What do "Alias", "Burn Notice", "The Pretender", "24", and even "My Own Worst Enemy" (remember that one?) have in common?

Well, as of this week, Patrick Bauchau (aka Aldo Desantis for us "Alias" geeks). Really, this isn't that big of a deal, since he's been around forever and appeared in a gazillion shows.

Off the top of my head, though, I can't think of anyone else of stature who has appeared in both "Alias" and BN.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I was going to post about him after seeing that Burn episode, but I got busy and forgot. He played it well.

I just rewatched Nikita, E18. Maybe my favorite episode. It's worth a rewatch.

Page48 said...

Uncle, Nikki 1.18 was a beauty. It will be interesting to see how the changing roles in S2 play out: the strained relationship btw. Alex and Nikita, Percy's apparent loss of control, Amanda's expanded role, and of course, Michael getting over that part about pretending to want to kill Nikita every week.

They have set the stage nicely in preparation for S2. Just too bad it doesn't start tonight.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I agree 100%. And the music at the end of 1.18 gave it a very Alias feel.

Page48 said...

Well, as we know, "Alias" was brilliant, "Covert Affairs" quite a bit less brilliant. Now, word has it that FOX has ordered a pilot for "The Asset", about yet another female CIA agent.

By the time this thing airs, if it ever does, we will likely have forgotten about it, but it's good to know that showrunners are out there working to bring the spy show back to network TV.

SRM said...

Aw, congrats to our girl who's expecting baby #3. :)

Page48 said...

SRM, that's a bigger number than the number of decent roles she's had since "Alias".

Page48 said...

Yet another JJ interview. What I found interesting (last paragraph) is the frankness with which he dealt with the stink-bomb that was "Undercovers".

It's amazing to me that he thought this thing could fly without any of the elements that made "Alias" rock. He had the actors in place and a prime-time network slot, but no ambition to make this anything more than a pale reminiscence of "Alias". Opportunity wasted.

Page48 said...

While rigor mortis attempts to set up shop here at LTA, how about we take a look at what may to be a potential mid-season gem offered up by ABC?

According to this article, "Missing" was going to be ready for a full season, but, based on the lack of promo material, I'm thinking mid-season is a better bet.

My own assessment is that any resemblance to Liam Neeson's "Taken" must be absolutely intentional. Even the title is similar. But, since "Taken" was a pretty decent flick, I have no issue with that.

If I close my eyes and crank up my imagination, I can even see this as an extrapolation of the Sydney/Vaughn/Isabelle story, picked up several years after we last saw them on the beach. Two former CIA agents who dropped out of the spy biz to concentrate on parenthood. Eventually, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong and voila, a series is born.

This would appear to be the only trailer footage available right now, but it sure looks intriguing.

Unlike "Alias", "Missing" will actually venture off the ABC lot, as filming has taken place in such far-flung places as Croatia and Prague.

My fear for this type of series is this: how many seasons can an uber-capable spy-chick spend looking for her son before the series ends up chasing its tail?

FWIW, some of the creative types behind this show have previous experience on shows like "The Unit", "Journeyman", "Vanished", and "Covert Affairs".

We now return you to our regularly scheduled silence, already in progress.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Yes, it has been really slow here, but I have been busy with business.

The Missing trailer looks good. I hope it lasts more than a season, assuming it's as good as it looks.

Page48 said...

"Thank You For Three Incredible Years"

Michael Vartan's waste o' time series, "Hawthorne" gets the axe after 3 seasons.

I suggest it's time for MV to raise the bar after that putrid "Big Shots" show he signed up for after "Alias" and now the mercy-kill of "Hawthorne". Oblivion is waiting just around the corner. JJ has enough shows on the go right now that he could surely find a decent role for MV in one of them.

Page48 said...

Don't bore me, Jen!

I watch ZERO sitcoms and I don't plan on watching yours!

uncle111 said...

About 20 years ago I began writing a Man From UNCLE novel. I had cool stuff like shoulder holster with sat/comms built into them, along with thin and flexible computer keyboards (which now exist). One of the advanced weapons I wrote into the story was something I called a Tesla grenade. Well, guess what showed up on Warehouse 13 recently. A Tesla grenade that does what mine did.

Someday I'll learn to finish my stories and books and publish them.

Page48 said...

Uncle, any chance your manuscript wound up as an artifact?

W13 also did an episode a few weeks back that was very 47-centric.

Finally, some fresh TV coming to a screen near all of us. "Fringe" and "Nikita" tomorrow, "Terra Nova" on Monday.

I've read mostly unflattering reviews of this year's new crop of shows (probably accurate), but, as usual, I like to be the judge of that myself.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Thanks for the show update. 5-0 is back and it was a great season opener.

Can you post a list of all the good
shows, old and new, and when they start back up?

SRM said...

Great idea! As you know I've been MIA lately, but I think a new article about new and returning shows-of-interest would be great. Curious about ones like Charlie's Angels, also the movie Colombiana (w/ our beloved Vaughn). If anyone is up for writing a new article on these please let me know and I'll get you my contact info so I can post it. :)

uncle111 said...

I'm not up enough on these to write an article, but I nominate Page 48.

I have seen Colombiana.It's worth watching. It seemed a little slow in the middle, but the final battle made up for that.

OK Page- we're waiting.

SRM said...

Charlie's Angels premieres tonight on ABC at 8pm EST. I'm intrigued given it's undercover-ladies-kicking-ass theme, hopefully they'll mix in some character development and plot w/ all the action. I won't be home to watch, might try and catch it online later.

Page48 said...

Here's a rundown of new shows complete with opinions offered up by Jace (of Televisionary and The Daily Beast) and some other chick. He has the advantage of having previewed these puppies while the rest of us have to wait and see. Let's just say that, after reading these reviews, you may want to sell your TV. The only show they seem keen on is "Awake", which doesn't even show up until midseason.

Of the shows that LTA types are likely to be interested in, they have little good to say about "Charlie's Angels", "Person of Interest", "Alcatraz", or "Terra Nova". For those of us willing to risk a trip outside the gates, they don't like "Once Upon a Time" or "Grimm" either.

A whole lotta buzz kill in that article, if you ask me, BUT this is a guy who writes extensively about shows that we've been know to watch, such as "Lost", "Fringe", and "Chuck", so I respect his opinions to a degree. Nevertheless, I'll be the sole judge of what I like or don't like, so I'll be there checking these shows out.

Page48 said...

BTW, JJ's "Person of Interest" debuts tonight at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.

Page48 said...

This roughly breaks down my 2011-2012 TV viewing intentions, listed by network:

CBS: "Person of Interest" and "Hawaii Five-0"
FOX: "Fringe", "Terra Nova", eventually "Alcatraz" and "Touch" (which was just picked up for series today)
ABC: "Charlie's Angels", "Once Upon a Time" (out of respect for SGU's Robert Carlyle and OUAT's "Lost" lineage) and, eventually, Ashley Judd's "Missing"
NBC: "Chuck" and "Grimm" (Yes, I'll give this a chance, but....)
AMC: "The Walking Dead". The first 'season' was only 6 episodes long. If you haven't seen it, don't get the wrong impression, TWD is actually pretty good (although I'd rather have "Rubicon" back). Lennie James of "Jericho", "Human Target", "Colombiana", etc... stars in the pilot.
CW: "Ringer" (seen the first 2 eppies, leaves something to be desired)
SHOWTIME: "Homeland" is a possibility (the pilot eppie is available online to US residents).

Still 2 episodes (and a Christmas Special) of "Doctor Who", 2 episodes of "Warehouse 13", and the back halves of "Covert Affairs" and "Burn Notice".

If there's anything else out there, I'm at a loss to remember it at the moment.

uncle111 said...

Person of Interest is definitely on my schedule!

uncle111 said...

Charlie's Angels- started bad, ended good. I like the newest angel best. I'll stay tuned in to see where it goes from here.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I thought "Charlie's Angels" had some rough patches in the writing department. I was almost embarrassed for the actress who had to say "I never thought my heart could hurt so much" after the car bomb. It almost sounded like she hated that line as much as I did.

I'll like this more if there is an arc to the season, rather than just assignment of the week.

Page48 said...

Wowsers, is it just me, or did "Nikita" 2.1 rock? A full season of that, please.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I'll let you know after I see it Saturday.

Page48 said...

Couldn't help but notice that tonight's episode of "Charlie's Angels" sports a new Charlie.

uncle111 said...

Person of Interest seems to be on the 47 bandwagon. I have seen it in both episodes now. I also think I saw it on a 5-0 license plate.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I caught the "Section 47" last night as well. What I didn't catch from the Pilot was this "Lost" Easter Egg and this "Fringe" Easter Egg

I vow to pay closer attention if they're going to be like this.

Page48 said...

TEN

Page48 said...

In honour of the occasion, here's a pre-launch review from August 2001, as well as an announcement that ABC intended to air TBT commercial-free (a fact that I had long forgotten).

Page48 said...

I've scoured the internet looking for any interest in the 10th anniversary of TBT. It's almost like the show is completely forgotten.

I did find a few diehards, though.

One
Two
Three
Four

uncle111 said...

Person of Interest already deserves to be a multi-season show.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I just wish POI would go serial, but, as with "Fringe" back in 2008, JJ is banging the drum for keeping it simple, case of the week stuff.

Of course, we all know how that worked out with "Fringe". It took a season and a half and then "Fringe" fully embraced serial storytelling. So let's see if POI will break free of the procedural shackles in time. I think that would only make a good show better. However, based on what I've seen so far, renewal shouldn't be an issue.

There is now a trailer available for Kiefer's new show, "Touch", which looks pretty interesting. And, it brings the easy-on-the-eyes Gugu (Samantha from "Undercovers") back to TV, which in itself is worthy of my attention.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I hadn't heard of Touch before. Thanks! It looks really good.

SRM said...

I just saw Hanna, wow. Very well done imo!

Page48 said...

SRM, I watched "Hanna" a few months back. She's a very talented girl. I'm sure Arvin Sloane would love to groom her for a position at Credit Dauphine. Like Sydney, she may prove hard to handle.

Although it's a completely different movie, I also enjoyed Saoirse Ronan in "The Way Back"

Page48 said...

A couple of updates on the aforementioned upcoming ABC series, "Missing".

One
Two

This one sounds very promising and I have to admire ABC's ambition. Frankly, I'd rather see Jen in the starring role, but...

With "Missing" and "Touch" slated for 2012 releases, midseason could be more interesting than the new fall schedule.

Page48 said...

This is a 30 minute Q&A regarding "Missing", as well as an interview with cast and writers. Unfortunately, no footage in either of these clips.

This will apparently be a 10 episode season, which I gather has already completed shooting.

Page48 said...

Just got around to watching the 3rd season, two-part finale of "Warehouse 13". I thought these were very strong episodes, although I think the solution to their dire cliffhanger situation was clearly telegraphed.

Season 4 is already confirmed, so the Warehouse will be back.

Page48 said...

Finally, a trailer for Joss Whedon's "The Avengers", complete with Black Widow, Iron Man, Thor, etc...

Did I mention Black Widow?

While "Cabin in the Woods" awaits an eventual release date, "The Avengers" would be Whedon's first movie to hit theaters since "Serenity".

uncle111 said...

Page,

This looks GREAT!!!

Page48 said...

I cut "Charlie's Angels" loose after 2 episodes (sorry VG), but this writer seems to think that by skipping 1.03, I may have missed the series finale.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I just finished 1.03. I have never been fully comfortable with the show. I usually end up ask myself, "Why am I watching this?" The answer has usually been, "Because there is one show on Monday (5-0) and all the rest are at the end of the week.

Can say I'll miss it.

Page48 said...

"Covert Affairs" resumes November 1st. I spent a few minutes following this thread from the IMDB board which laments the fact that CA pales in comparison to "Alias". Seems a lot of people tune into CA each week when what they really want is more "Alias". I'm firmly in that camp myself, so I feel their pain.

"Burn Notice" returns November 3.

Page48 said...

"Charlie's Angels" officially mercy-killed after 4 episodes.

Page48 said...

S2 of AMC's "The Walking Dead" kicks off tonight.

Here's the Bob Dylan (the Youtube uploader refers to Bob as "unknown artist"....HA!) outtro for the first season finale, as the Center for Disease Control in Hotlanta goes up in flames and the survivors are forced to move on.

Here's a lengthy sneak peak of the S2 premiere.

Page48 said...

Fresh "Chuck" in 8 days (Oct. 28).

Sneak Peek One
Sneak Peek Two

SRM said...

Aw sonofabitch, I thought the season premiere was supposed to be tonight??

Page48 said...

Ha, you dreamer, SRM!

We don't even have fresh "Fringe" tonight.

uncle111 said...

Looks like Bradley Cooper may create a George Castanza "world's collide" experience for me in a new movie.

Page48 said...

Uncle, there has to be a walk-on part for you in there.

I don't approve of many of BC's movie choices, but I think he should jump at this, and I expect he will. I would have been happy with Clooney or Damon as well.

I haven't heard a peep about Jen's "Miss Marple" deal since it was originally announced.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Since they are talking about 3 Man From UNCLE films, it would be a really smart move for BC, assuming he can pull off the role.

Here is a frame.
from an UNCLE related video some long distance friends of mine are making to promote some UNCLE related products they are making. The picture is from the scene I am in and was taken with my webcam. It was shot at my office desk and shows some of the replicas I make of the gun used on UNCLE.

Page48 said...

Ha, Uncle, don't think I didn't notice the 47.

3 UNCLE movies would be great for BC. I would much prefer those to 3 "Hangover" movies (which I would never see).

uncle111 said...

Page,

Guess what the 2 other Alias items in the are.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I'm thinking Marshall's bolo tie from 3.05, and maybe the sleep darts???

uncle111 said...

Page,

Bolo tie, very good. The third is his belt from the same episode.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I considered the belt but I couldn't specifically place it.

Good "Alias" Easter Eggs.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Since the UNCLE badges always had a 1 or 2 digit number I HAD to use 47. And, since I was going to play an agent in the Dallas office I decided to use a little of Marshall's outfit from that casino scene. I have the rest of it, but his body shape is a little out of sync with mine. The boots are too wide and too short. The coat is almost too tight, but the sleeves are about an inch too short. The hat is just plain too big. I haven't tried the pants or shirt.

Page48 said...

FOX unleashes a new "Touch" promo.

Kiefer says this will be mostly standalone stories, which is disappointing, IMO, but it still looks interesting.

Page48 said...

I finally took in "Colombiana" tonite. A pretty good action flick with a number of familiar faces, mostly from TV shows that we watch ("Alias", "The Unit", "Human Target"/"Jericho") and of course, the "Avatar" chick (aka Lt. Uhura).

Pity that she was such damaged goods, because she could have benefited from being a bit more likeable. I was totally surprised by her childhood Houdini act.

Vaughn was basically nothing more than boy-toy material in this one.

The guy who played Catalyea's uncle in Chicago also stars in the upcoming "Missing", or at least in the pilot.

I also caught "Super 8" which was pretty entertaining and sported some good performances by the child actors.

uncle111 said...

Page,

It was all pretty good viewing.

Also, I have to say that Locke's fight scene in this week's 5-0 almost ties my pick of one of the fight scenes in 1st season Human Target for the best one on one fight scene in TV history. Incredibly outstanding!

Page48 said...

Uncle, I've been immersed in the World Series this week, so I'm behind in H50 and POI. I did fast forward to Locke's brawl, though. I didn't know he had it in him. Too bad he and Arvin Sloane didn't go at it back in the day. May try to catch POI later tonight.

Hopefully, Texas wraps up WS tonight, so that "Fringe" gets back on track tomorrow. It's already been 2 weeks, let's not make it 3.

Page48 said...

Well, the Rangers dropped the ball last night so Game 7 tonight replaces "Fringe".

What won't be affected is "Nikita" and the long awaited return of............"Chuck".

uncle111 said...

Page,

I don't really follow sports any more, but I did have game 6 on the radio (off and on) while I was doing other things. I couldn't believe the back and forth.

Page48 said...

New "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" trailer.

With "Alias" writers, producers, and the usual Michael Giacchino music, this is as close to "Alias" as we are likely to see anytime soon.

Page48 said...

Julian Sark lands a gig on "Once Upon a Time" next week.

Robetron said...

If anyone has been waiting to watch Nikita, you're depriving yourself of the BEST television available today. Get on it!

As stupid as some of the CW's programming is, I am so completely impressed with their ability to make great shows on occasion: Smallville, Veronica Mars, and now Nikita.

If you haven't seen the last two episodes, don't keep reading. *Spoilers*
I was so completely excited for the introduction of Nikita's former partner, Kelly. I so very much wanted her to become a regular. How disappointing. And yet, with all the twists and shifting allegiances in this episode, I am not at all disappointed in the show itself. This is amazing story-telling, and they even manage to make each episode self-contained, without making the background information seem like exposition (a big no-no in writing).

Join with me, Spy-TV Friends, in rejoicing for the survival of great TV!

-R.

Page48 said...

No argument here, Robetron. I love watching Percy level up each week in his effort to bust out of his glass prison. He's a brilliant manipulator.

Page48 said...

Lauren Reed mixes it up with Agent Reyes, Remington Steele and Max Headroom in Stephen King's "Bag of Bones", a 2-part movie airing in December.

Page48 said...

Paging Dr. Sark

uncle111 said...

Anyone else here seen Once Upon A Time? I watched E1 and by the time it was over I was ready for E2. I could end up changing my mind, depending on what they do with it, but for now it is on my watch list.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I've watched both eppies of OUAT, lured by "Lost" writers, Jane Espenson, and SGU's Robert Carlyle (and now Sark).

The Losties are all over this one as witnessed by the conversation over at Nik at Nite.

When you check out 1.02, you'll notice Cat Stevens kicking off the proceedings. I left a comment on Nikki's blog with a link to my favourite Cat Stevens moment (I think you'll know which one that is).

OUAT is an interesting idea with some talented people involved and I'll keep watching until I have a reason not to.

Page48 said...

BN returns tonight.

uncle111 said...

OK. Now I'm going to have to discipline myself to watch some of the end of the week shows on days when there isn't anything good on.

TV life is never easy.

Page48 said...

I feel your pain, Uncle. Wednesday night I can't find anything to watch. Friday rolls around and it's "Chuck", "Nikita" and "Fringe".

uncle111 said...

Page,

I just got caught up on Burn ans OUAT. I have POI and then Nikita and Fringe to go over the weekend.

I have a new video on YouTube that I have been panning for months and here it is.

Page48 said...

Uncle, you slipped in a "truth be told". You just couldn't help yourself. Ha!

uncle111 said...

Page,

Did you catch the 47?

Page48 said...

Uncle, don't know how I missed "47" the first time. Probably from trying to watch "Nikita" at the same time.

One-off "Alias" actor, Francesco Quinn dies. He was in the unforgettable 'Sydney rescues Jack in Havana' episode (aka 1.11).

Quinn also did some "JAG" and 2nd season of "24".

Page48 said...

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E." casting update.

Gotta say I have no idea who Joel Edgerton is.

uncle111 said...

Page,

I had never heard of him till I saw a story on this last week. I know this about he and Cooper - if they are going to play these characters they will have to shave.

Page48 said...

Grunberg on H50 tonight.

Page48 said...

Speaking of Grunberg, here is speculation that he is soon to team up with "Bad Robot" once again....preferably not for that comedy the article mentions.

Robetron said...

Tried to comment last night, but Google was acting weird.

I have been watching Nikita with the same intensity (or nearly so) I used to watch Alias. I have gone on record before saying Nikita is the THE best show on TV right now (though, to be honest, I haven't seen a few programs such as H5-0).

The question I think worthy of pondering is this: If Nikita is short on the ALIAS measuring stick, by how much and why?

It surely isn't the story-telling. The head-spinning twists and mind-bending multi-agenda subplots rival, if not surpasses, that of Alias. What quality does it lack? It can't be the action (Did you see the drone-fired missile "distraction/ escape"? Whoa.) So, what do you think? If there is anything that would put Nikita on par with the ultimate TV viewing experience we call ALIAS, what would it be?

Page48 said...

Robetron, I hope I can squeeze this in before I go to work.

I love the twisty-turny aspects of "Nikita". It was one of the big selling features of "Alias", IMO.

I think "Alias" scores higher overall marks in a few areas:

1) Though I believe that "Alias" writers eventually lost their grip on the sci-fi/fantasy aspect of the show, the whole mythology aspect was very appealing. From my POV, I always gravitate first and foremost to sci-fi tinged shows.

2) No matter where Nikki is today, she was a ruthless assassin prior to her awakening. It's hard to come back from that. Sydney was the fresh-faced girl next door, who just happened to be recruited to serve her country (or so she thought). Either way, Syd was never a killer for hire. I think Sydney is a softer, more cuddly character overall

3) The team. Sydney always had a stellar support system. Jack, Dixon, Marshall, Vaughn, Will and Francie. All of those relationships and character dynamics made Sydney much more of an open book and therefore, more sympathetic to viewers than Nikita

4) "Nikita" has a more sinister attitude overall. Berkhoff is Marshall, but with Marshall's charming innocence replaced by snarky, morally ambiguous hacker dude. Michael is Nikki's Vaughn without the boyscout demeanour. Nikita herself is Sydney with a checkered past. The 2 shows give off a different vibe, character-wise

And, I miss the whole rock video thing that, among JJ Abrams shows, remains unique to "Alias".

Bottom line is I think the twists, the turns, the backstabbing, the multiple agendas are all present and accounted for in "Nikita". What, IMO, is preventing it from being the equal of "Alias" is the same thing that keeps me from giving it up for Nikita the way I gave it up for Sydney.

I'll tell you what I definitely don't like, though, is headlines like this.

uncle111 said...

Page pointed out the same places I think where Nikita comes short compared to Alias- relationships, and that Nikita is a darker show.

Don't get me wrong, though. Nikita is near the top of my watch list, and the past few episodes have jumped up a few notches in story and surprise factors. And the first thing that popped into my mind at the Predator drone segment was Alias. That was without a doubt an Alias type and quality scene. After having worried for a few episodes that Nikita seemed stuck in a dark formula, I think the show took some kind of turn with that scene.

I think this weeks episode continued down that path and I hope they can keep it up.

uncle111 said...

Also (to be #200:) I'm still liking OUAT.

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