Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011 y'all! Hard to believe this will mark five years since Alias' last season. The pic above was chosen for two reasons: 1. to point out even though Alias-Media is no more we still have access to episode screen captures (link now in the right sidebar) and 2. because it's still one of my all-time favorite Sydney aliases ("hey, it's not a date!").

Not much new to post, although I've seen the number 47 eeeeverywhere lately. Plus my husband and I are rewatching season 2 at the moment and I'm noticing 47s in parts of each episode I hadn't noticed before. New Chuck is back on this coming Monday, woohoo! :)

264 comments:

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uncle111 said...

Page,

I'm wondering how much they are going to rely on quantum physics and string theory for their solution. The idea that would apply in those theories is that traveling back in time and making an alteration to the past would cause a whole new universe to be created and split off and take a slightly different course. That would mean that Peter could have his effect in the new parallel universe, without having ever existed in it.

Frankly I think it is complete and unprovable bunk, but the egg heads figured out that the math simply doesn't work out to support that life began and evolved here by chance, unless there are an infinite number of universes. If there is an infinite number of them then there could be one where life happened by chance. And, I'm not sure how it's supposed to work, but the possibility of the splitting off of a new universe(s)is related.

I guess if it makes them happy then it serves some purpose. And maybe if we can get some cool sci-fi stories out of it it's ok with me.

I think you could have Peter cause something, change the past so Peter never existed, without changing what Peter caused because those things did happen and you haven't specifically taken them away. In other words, after things have happened you go back and erase someone from reality without erasing the events he caused when he was here, and since they have already happened they would not go away. The fact that the Watchers remember Peter is proof he really had existed, it's just that for us it's as if he hadn't existed, and what Peter caused has other or no explanation.

Page48 said...

Uncle, we've come a long way since the monster-of-the-week episodes from S1. It will be interesting to see how they reintegrate Peter in S4.

I watched "Battle: Los Angeles" tonight. Pretty entertaining, I thought. There is a new series ("Falling Skies") from Spielberg's Dreamworks debuting on June 19th on TNT.

FS is another take on the alien invasion theme and stars Noah Wyle (from "ER") and Moon Bloodgood ("Burn Notice" and "Terminator: Salvation).

Always in the market for new (and good) sci-fi, I'll give it a chance.

Page48 said...

BTW, I couldn't help but notice that Peter's age in the future was "47". I wonder if that's the only reason they made it 2026?

uncle111 said...

Page,

You can bet age 47 came first.

I was watching a Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode last night and noticed a number on a paper- 4.763.

Yes, I liked Battle: Los Angeles.

I'll keep an eye out for the new series, but it wouldn't hurt to have a reminder when we are near.

Page48 said...

"Human Target" a definite maybe, while JJ's "Alcatraz" in trouble?

Page48 said...

Omitted from my list of upcoming summer series the other day was "Warehouse 13". The new season of W13 begins July 11.

Remember the old days when summer TV was all about reruns? Yuk.

Page48 said...

Well, it looks like the verdict is in: "Alcatraz" is a go and "Human Target" is a goner.

"Alcatraz" is a Bad Robot show that I'm glad to see getting the green light.

Page48 said...

Interesting comments about the "Fringe" S3 finale and where it goes from here (from Pinkner and Wyman).

Page48 said...

Things are looking good for a 5th season of "Chuck", although it sounds like NBC is giving it the lukewarm 13-episode vote of confidence yet again.

SRM said...

YAYYYYY CHUCK!!!!!! :-D :-D

p.s. wow we've gone to two pages of comments, maybe I should do a new article haha! Anyone have ideas or want to contribute an article?

Page48 said...

Wow, Blogger just continues to un-impress. For weeks now it's been eating comments during the sign-in process. Then posts that actually appear and are numbered later disappear. Then users (like me) get locked out of their accounts for "suspicious activity" (aka blogging about TV shows). And then, the biggie, they go AWOL for 24 hours.

Blogger, how does it feel to be on a roll?

Page48 said...

"Chuck" down to his last 14 eppies.

Page48 said...

It's not easy wrapping up a TV show in a satisfying way. Nobody knows that better than those of us still haunting LTA almost 5 years to the day after "All The Time in the World".

Even "Lost" raised the ire of many of its devotees with that hazy, crazy church scene which left as many questions as answers.

Last night I watched the series finale of "Stargate: Universe", and I must say that I was very pleased with the way it went out. My understanding is that this episode was written prior to cancellation, so this was in all likelihood a season finale, rather than a series finale.

Nevertheless, SGU's finale was about desperation and resignation and faith and community and sad farewells to faraway loved ones. But it wasn't tragic. There was no final battle, no traditional killing of a beloved character and no happy ending.

SGU went out with a visually beautiful final few minutes. A peaceful and hopeful calm, silent except for the perfectly chosen music. The finale left viewers with the feeling that, even though Syfy has chosen to take Destiny offline, the crew's adventure is far from over.

Page48 said...

It's that time of year. The news is coming fast and furious:

Highlights from my POV:

"V" - cancelled
"No Ordinary Family" - cancelled
"The Event" - cancelled
"Human Target" - cancelled
"Brothers & Sisters" - cancelled (I was not a viewer)
"Wonder Woman" - a no go (IMO, Saturday morning cartoon material)


JJ Abrams, with the fiasco of "Undercovers" in the rear view mirror, has 2 new shows picked up:

-"Alcatraz" on FOX, providing work for Hurley of "Lost" fame
-"Person of Interest" on CBS, providing work for Ben Linus of "Lost" fame
.

Hopefully, JJ has learned from his early "Fringe" folly and that these 2 shows will be serialized sci-fi goodness right out of the gate.

"Ringer", originally marked for CBS, has been picked up by CW. The last time Sarah Michelle Gellar appeared in a series headlining role was in this scene from 2003's "Chosen", the series finale of BtVS. "Ringer" provides work for Richard Alpert of "Lost" fame.

"Warehouse 13" is spinning off a series about H.G. Wells.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Did they really cancel The Event? I was really liking that one.

So, V, The Event and Human Target are gone. Chuck is going to be gone. That leaves me with Fringe, Burn Notice, Nikita, and HF-0. But for how long?

I'm going to end up being left with watching several seasons of JAG that I never watched.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I was liking "The Event" as well, but the big networks seem to have zero patience for shows to develop right now. It's either a smash out of the gate or it's gonzo.

I think we're better off hoping for the shows with potential to end up on CW or USA, where fewer eyeballs are required for renewal.

Page48 said...

Couldn't help but notice last night's "Nikita" finale sported a face (Alberta Watson)from the original "Nikita" series.

I'm surprised that "Nikita" has yet to receive an official renewal for S2. Duh, what are they waiting for?

Here's an interview about the finale and potential 2nd season.

uncle111 said...

Is anyone noticing a similarity between Alex and Volcov's daughter? Daughters trying to get back or hold on to their fathers' empires?

SRM said...

Oh no, I feel a Chuck spoiler is in there, I haven't seen this weeks eppy and I'm going to wait to watch next week's finale as well until my hubby gets home.

Blogger at my reply that I'm SO HAPPY Chuck was renewed! I guess it's good going in knowing it will be the last season, though I will miss it, such a fun show. Just watched The Tourist tonight, fairly entertaining and some fun spy-ish action, worth renting I'd say. :)

Page48 said...

SRM, I watched "The Tourist" a while back as well. It was getting panned in the media, but I like to make up my own mind.

I tend to like Angelina's action flicks and while this wasn't as good as "Salt", it was quite entertaining, IMO.

Uncle, I hadn't made the connection btw. Alex and Volcov's daughter, but now that you mention it, the parallels are obvious.

uncle111 said...

I forgot to mention that on Nikita they showed a panel with a number 4D7. Now that isn't 47, but if you say 4D7 it is.

uncle111 said...

I finally started a Facebook page for my Man From UNCLE site.

Take a look and if you like...then Like.

Page48 said...

Uncle, as of right now, you just need 4 more people to "like" your FB page for a tidy "47".

I'm not on FB. Been thinking about it for 3 years but haven't pulled the trigger. Great way to cyber-stalk old acquaintances though.

I can't believe that CW hasn't yet committed to a 2nd season for "Nikita".

uncle111 said...

Page,

I'll try to get my brother to be the 47th. He's an Alias fan.

I have found a lot of people on FB that I had lost track of. If you go on, be sure to use all of the security and privacy options they make available.

Page48 said...

Looks like "Chuck" is moving to Friday nights for the final season.

Page48 said...

Some great insight into the "Stargate:Universe" series finale, from the writer's blog.

Page48 said...

Now that JJ's "Alcatraz" has been picked up by FOX, we have a trailer available.

This is already more intriguing than "Undercovers" even attempted to be, based on the trailer alone.

SRM said...

Huh, that does look interesting... I wonder how they can make an ongoing TV show about that, but then again, I wondered the same thing about Lost. :)

Page48 said...

SRM, unfortunately "Alcatraz" will be a mid-season debut (don't ask me why).

Without "Chuck" on Monday nights next season, it would have been nice to see this show debut in the fall.

Page48 said...

FOX also released a trailer for "Terra Nova" today, which should air in the "Chuck" timeslot, beginning in the fall.

Page48 said...

"Nikita" officially back for S2.

uncle111 said...

This from Bloomberg News:
"More than 700 mu (47 hectares or 115 acres) of melons in the city of Danyang in Jiangsu province were ruined when they burst open, Xinhua reported yesterday."

And I heard on the radio this evening that it was 47 members of SEAL Team 6 that were sent in to get OBL.

uncle111 said...

More great episodes from 5-0 and Chuck!

Page48 said...

Uncle, re: "Chuck", I was a little concerned about Chuck and Sarah suddenly becoming bazillionaires courtesy of Volcov. To me, that's a borderline "jump-the-shark" storyline. I would be more concerned if it had happened early in Season 2. At this point, it may not matter so much.

But, Morgan with the Intersect? Ha, that could be cool.

uncle111 said...

Maybe it will help Morgan grow up a little:)

Page48 said...

First video evidence, as well as description of JJ's other new show. Unlike "Alcatraz", I believe "Person of Interest" actually debuts in the fall.

The video is geoblocked (thanks so much, CBS), so if you're outside the USA (presumably), you'll have to go to Youtube and watch it in glorious 240p.

uncle111 said...

I'm sure I'll be picking it up on watchseries.

Robetron said...

Wow. No, really. Wow.

After 13 episodes of Stargate Universe, I am astounded that it never received more press and attention. It more than deserved it. It demanded it.

The only theory I can come up with regarding it's being dismissed (if it was) is the same reason i didn't give it a chance at first. It's association with the other Stargate programs stigmatized it. The others were campy and juvenile efforts at the SciFi genre.

I find SGU to be every bit as good as BSG, if not better (which is huge). This is not a bunch of people running around with alien-makeup and prosthetics. This is real, human, gut-wrenching drama. I'm seriously impressed.

Full-on five stars.

-R.

Page48 said...

Robetron, and yet those inferior "Stargate" renditions squeezed out 211 episodes and 99 episodes respectively, in addition to several direct to DVD movies.

To me, this indicates a rabid SG fanbase, and yet, SGU goes 40 episodes, done and dusted, no movies. AND, the cancellation notice went out after only 30 episodes had aired. Absolutely ridiculous.

Page48 said...

We already have "Chuck" moving to Friday nights next season. Now, get ready for "Nikita" to join him.

Page48 said...

Here's the hi-res trailer for JJ's "Person of Interest"

uncle111 said...

POI looks good. And I like Jim Cav.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I like James C. as well. I haven't seen a ton of his stuff, but I always remember him with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd in "High Crimes".

And, of course, Michael Emerson has earned his stripes. The odd man out in this TV season will be Terry O'Quinn, who was hotly rumoured to be teaming up with Emerson for a new show. Guess not.

uncle111 said...

Page,

The first movie I remember seeing Jim C in was Frequency, which was a great one. Probably his toughest and best known role was of course The Passion Of The Christ.

uncle111 said...

Page,

Here's your chance to be the 47th like on my Face Book UNCLE page.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Man-From-Uncle-Gun/186395181410983

Page48 said...

I mentioned the miniseries, "The Last Enemy" 3 years ago when it first aired on PBS.

I found the entire 5 part series available on Youtube the other day.

For anyone who has the time and the bandwidth, this is a great conspiracy yarn set in the near future and deals with life after the loss of privacy.

"Stargate: Universe" fans will immediately recognize Robert Carlyle in this series (almost as menacing as Dr. Rush).

uncle111 said...

Page,

The 47th like on my UNCLE Facebook page was the CG supervisor for BSG.

uncle111 said...

And I just noticed my previous post was the 247th.

Page48 said...

Uncle, anyone from BSG should be worth 2 "likes".

Speaking of BSG, in a case of what have you done for me lately, Ron Moore's "17th Precinct" did not get picked up by NBC for the new TV season.

Page48 said...

What were you doing 5 years ago tonight?

I was watching this and going, WTF?

Four years later and many people had the same reaction to the finale of "Lost".

Will next May bring a "Fringe" finale fiasco?

uncle111 said...

Page,

I noticed the views for that video are in the 47 thousands.

uncle111 said...

Speaking of 47, I was watching a Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode from the final season (1967) last night. Everyone at HQ wears a numbered triangular ID badge. I noticed that the "girl Friday" for the head of the branch that is the focus of the series has a badge number 46. No, it's not 47. But her boss wears badge number 1. Hmmmm...

Also, I've seen several 47's recently on some old JAG episodes.

Page48 said...

First respectable trailer for the upcoming "Torchwood: Miracle Day".

Page48 said...

"Alias" taking a sh**kicking on the latest poll over at seriable.com

Page48 said...

Now, an even better sneak peak of "Torchwood: Miracle Day"

Robetron said...

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.

uncle111 said...

Robetron,

Wow!!! I wish you could publish that somewhere. It's very articulate and insightful. Seriously, I'm going to copy and save it.

SRM said...

Wow, amazing op-ed, would you mind if I made your post into a new article for the blog Robetron (credited to you of course)?

Page48 said...

Up until now, a new version of "Total Recall" wasn't stirring up much excitement for me. But, all of a sudden, they've added Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bill Nighy to a cast that already includes Colin Farrell.

Nice casting, guys.

Good rant by Robetron earlier regarding the under-appreciation of "Alias" 10 years after TBT.

Page48 said...

Further to Robetron's earlier rant:

Whenever I get the chance (as in this comment I made recently on Seriable), I try to make the point that, by debuting in 2001 instead of 2006, "Alias" missed out almost entirely on the sophisticated marketing that TV shows enjoy today.

There were no stunning 720p sneak peaks of the upcoming season of "Alias", as is now the case with every series.

"Alias" didn't benefit from easter-egg laden posters to generate buzz during the off-season.

The vast resources (video/photos/ teasers/spoilers) enjoyed by bloggers today were largely unavailable a decade ago.

What "Alias" accomplished, it accomplished solely on its own merits as an outstanding sci-fi tinged, movie quality TV show, the likes of which rendered almost everything that came before it obsolete.

Robetron makes the point that those who make a living coming up with new TV show ideas seem unable to re-create the formula that made JJ Abrams the household name he is today.

But, the impression I have, is that they are going out of their way to avoid the kind of storytelling that made "Alias" so compelling. This includes Abrams himself, who tried desperately to steer "Fringe" in the direction of a freak-of-the-week procedural (mercifully, he caved after 30 +/- episodes).

My theory is that, because writers didn't have a clue how to end "Alias" and left many viewers disappointed with that head-scratching "Lost" finale, there is a growing fear, among writers and fans alike, of going deep into a serialized mythology show for fear of getting trapped inside with no way out.

And, after all, what's their reward for going deep? Look at the ever plunging ratings that "Fringe" gets. The better the story gets, the fewer people want to see it. Is it any wonder that we end up with shows like "Undercovers" coming out of the same camp that gave us "Alias"?

It may, in fact, be that pooched field goal kick that Robetron referred to in his comment that helped lead to today's TV execs being gun-shy about going down an "Alias"-type rabbit hole again any time soon.

And, now, sadly, as Robetron points out, we have a new crop of viewers that don't know anything about "Alias". They do foolish things like voting overwhelmingly for Olivia Dunham as Bad Robot's greatest heroine, leaving Sydney Bristow to duke it out with Kate and Felicity for runner-up. We are the privileged few who know the folly of such uninformed opinions, but that does little to lessen the sting when no one wants to hear the truth.

Robetron said...

I didn't realize it would have that great an affect on you all.

Of course you can use it, SRM.

Nice follow up thoughts, Page. You may be right about the TV execs, but the chronology points to their utter vapidness in understanding what made the show great in the first place, because they started messing with the story-telling in the third season, inserting promotional product placement, and foisting single-episode story-lines upon us. They were afraid we were as stupid as they are, and that we wouldn't be able to figure out what was happening. Then they jockeyed the time slot, wondered why they lost some ratings, jockeyed it again, forcing their manipulative hand even deeper into the show, and eventually cancelled the show before it had time enough to flesh out the eventual end. An end, by the way, that was inevitably disappointing, after they fouled things up for several years.

The original approach of ALIAS was sheer genius, as evidenced by the masterpiece of Truth be Told. Letting the execs force their views into the show, with an unreasonable need to change the theme ever year, and then bring in time-card punching studio writers who not only refused to do their research to understand the show, they also never had a love of the overall arc of the story, and therefore never grasped the necessity of continuity, the genius of ALIAS was diminished by the season.

This continues to be the problem. there have been a dozen good show ideas that came out, obviously dumbed down, compressed, and ultimately boring because they were so excited the execs liked their idea, they let them manipulate and ruin it. I blame ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX (and no SyFy)for their disregard for artistic licence, and their obsession with numbers.

The ratings numbers of viewers will never again reach levels they have. The internet has greatly taken over. They need to reduce expectations, and appreciate when a really good program is being offered to the world, maybe even be so bold as to promote it better than these stupid police procedurals and those mentally defiling "real life" programs.

Recent programs inability to reproduce the ALIAS magic, I would say, is greatly due to the networks. Everything that recent programs have done right has been riding the wake of ALIAS' lead.

That's just my take. I AM biased, after all.

-R.

Page48 said...

I didn't realize that our Rachel had become a regular on "Criminal Minds", but apparently, after 13 episodes, she's been cut loose.

I never watch CM anyway (except for Rachel's 1st appearance), but now I have one less reason to start.

And yet, CM is another in a long line of unworthy shows headed for at least a 7th season.

Page48 said...

How about a little Will Tippin on "Charlie Rose"?. I haven't watched this yet, I'm almost afraid to.

SRM said...

Thanks Robetron, your commentary is now posted as a new article. :)

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