TV Woes

October 23, 2009

OK, I admit it, I watch a lot of TV, and I mean a lot, compared to the average viewer, and yet I seem to be able to stay away from most of the main stream popular shows. However, this means my shows are always on the verge of cancellation. Which leads me to wonder, why do networks want to disappoint smart and avid TV watchers like me by taking away all the shows I love and replacing them with terrible higher rated shows, or “money makers.”

Take Veronica Mars for example. That show had rapid fans and they seemed to grow in numbers each season through word of mouth and DVD viewers, but because the ratings were poor on Show Night, it went away. Not only are fans upset by this fact, given the promising FBI idea for a new season, but we’re slapped in the face with getting replaced by The Pussycat Dolls show. Not only was this show a complete waste of time and money, it lasted one, maybe two seasons. Every time I would see a promo, I would get angry at the CW for getting rid of VM.

Is this what the network executives want? Loyal watchers to feel abandoned and angry that their favorite show is canceled? Why don’t they just let promising shows exist for a good while before yanking them from broadcast.

Also, stop changing the schedule every few months. Let our DVR’s enjoy a relaxed regiment instead of working overtime to figure out the weekly schedule.

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Show: Dollhouse
When: Fridays 9pm
Where: FOX

WHY YOU AREN’T WATCHING:

FOX’s curse on the creator Joss Whedon of course! Read that blog. It’s been revealed this week that FOX will show the remaining episodes of this season, but they are removing Dollhouse from November Sweeps Week! That’s no way to treat such an interesting show and fans who can’t wait to see more.

First season was cut super short by the writer’s strike. Second season FOX isn’t jumping to order any more episodes, so looks like another short 13 episode season.

This season the show has been moved to Friday with no help of a lead-in show. Friday is super packed already with other sci-fi shows that it might be hard for people to DVR it all. Dollhouse might fall into the “I’ll add it to my Netflix queue” syndrome.

Eliza Dushku isn’t the best actress, but neither was Sarah Michelle Geller and look how popular Buffy was.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH:

For the love of everything Whedon, watch this show. If you wait until Netflix to come, the show will be done and canceled by then. It needs viewers NOW! Netflix another show that isn’t in trouble.

There are so many actors we all know and love from other Whedon shows. The BEST by far is Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as Alpha, the rogue murdering “doll” imprinted with too many persona’s to count. Season 1 was pretty bland until he came along and from then on, Dollhouse has gained the energy and quirkiness we all know and love from Whedon.

The mystery of the show is who is real and who is a doll, how far does the dollhouse’s power reach, who can stop them and should they be stopped. Ethical questions are raised in treatment of human being.

The “dolls” can be anyone. Which means each episode has vastly different characters and situations, which makes it intriguing to watch what happens next.

Topher, the genius comic relief character. A main ingredient to a successful Whedon show.

As seen by the extra episode/season 1 possible series finale on the DVD, the future is bleak. Something happens and dolls are everywhere. The more episodes there are, the closer we can get to that future and possibly changing it.

I mainly recommend this show for the actors and the Whedon dialogue I love so much.

With the fate of Joss Whedon’s latest fan favorite, Dollhouse, on the edge of cancellation, let’s explore who is as fault here.

FOX likes to jerk us around when it comes to Joss Whedon shows and his favorite “go-to” actors. The allure of a major network is too good to pass up, but it seems to just get you canceled before your time.

It all started with Firefly. Very promising, fan popular space western, that received a very nice feature film send-off. That show was ahead of it’s time I guess since it had a very short life and so much potential for another long running Whedon series. The WB/UPN/CW mashup was very helpful to Whedon giving Buffy 7 seasons and Angel a good 5 seasons. But here is FOX giving Firefly just 14 episodes, not even a full season order. From then on, Joss Whedon and his actors seem to have a FOX curse.

Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Buffy) starred in Drive on FOX. That lived to see 6 episodes. Not that great of a show, so I was fine with it’s departure.

Summer Glau (Firefly) co-starred in Terminator on FOX. That had a short 9 episode season 1 and actually lived to a full season 2, but sadly got canceled as it was just getting interesting.

Gina Torres (Firefly, Angel) was in Standoff on FOX. I really enjoyed the chemistry of the cast on this show and was sad to see it go after an 18 episode season 1.

Nicholas Brendon (Buffy) was in Kitchen Confidential on FOX. Surprisingly had 13 episodes, but it was pretty bad.

I’m sure there are more examples, but I think I have proved my point. Whedon and his actors must run far from FOX and live on the CW or Sci-Fi Channel where they will be given a proper chance for survival and their fanbase currently resides.

Dollhouse contains many familiar faces to Whedon-fans and they are all wonderful. Season 2 is unfolding so nicely, but FOX seems to have mentally canceled the show already, removing it from November sweeps. Again, it comes down to ratings and money, which stinks.

Where has my Stargate gone?

October 23, 2009

The Stargate series on Sci-Fi Channel, or is it Scy Fy?  URGH!

Yes, it seemed SG-1 was about done. Actors were leaving to guest on existing TV shows (24, Burn Notice) or star in new ones (Sanctuary). They rushed the final season with too much info and luckily they made/are making follow-up movies to give a better finale.

They perfectly timed the addition of Stargate Atlantis to take over the franchise solo when SG-1 would go, and then the bad news. Stargate Atlantis got canceled. How dare they! They were hitting their stride with a great cast, fun comedic dialogue, and really something to look forward to each week.

Now they have introduced Stargate Universe, which is supposed to have the fun comedic writing of the previous Stargate’s, but the action of the widely popular Battlestar Galactica. Sounds like a good plan, but so far it is so watered down that it just comes off kinda boring.

Bring back Atlantis and send the Universe staff home!

Starting a Blog

October 22, 2009

Today I start a new website and a more conventional blog. I will upload some older posts from my old website and then get started on some new ones.

Happy reading!

Main Event: David Byrne and Friends
Opening Acts: Si*Se, The Arcade Fire, the Tosca Strings, and The Extra Action Marching Band
Venue: The Hollywood Bowl
Location: Hollywood, CA
Date: Sunday June 26, 2005

I never imagined I’d be able to see one of my favorite bands, the Talking Heads, play live, so to see David Byrne and hear him perform some great Talking Heads songs, it was such a wonderful experience.

This marks my first trip to the famous and newly renovated Hollywood Bowl. It is actually named “The Best Major Outdoor Venue” by Pollstar magazine. The stage is a half dome and the 18,000 seats, or benches rather, radiate out to the front and then shoot straight up the mountain. From most seats you have a nice view of the Hollywood sign in-between some more mountains. On either side of the stage there are big screen monitors showing close-ups of the performers onstage. Then further into the crowd on the sides there were 2 more monitors that were on a 1 second delay due to the sound delay caused by the distance to the stage.

6pm Picnic
There were many picnic areas inside and surrounding the Bowl. Also, unlike a sporting event, you can bring anything inside the Bowl, except weapons of course. People brought video and still cameras, take-out or food from home, and bottles of wine.

Around 8:30pm the sun finally set and we were watching under the stars. It was lovely, but surprisingly cold. Come on LA weather!

7:00-7:45pm Si*Se
This is a Latin/Hip-Hop/Electronica band from NYC. The female lead’s family is from the Dominican Republic, so she sings in both Spanish and English. Instruments in the band are keyboard, bass, drums, and violin. Actually, every band of the night had a violin. I would like to say I paid attention to this band, but the sun was still out and everyone was talking loud. Instead, I read the program telling about this concert series and the individual bands playing that night. The music was a nice backdrop while reading.

8:00-8:45pm The Arcade Fire with the Tosca Strings
This is a seven man band from Montreal, Quebec who just released their debut album Funeral in Sept. 2004. The 2 lead singers, Win Butler and Regina Chassagne, are recently married. I’ve heard some songs from this band, but not enough to call myself a fan yet. But there were plenty of teens and twenty-something’s in attendance who knew all the words and were very excited. I know people don’t like comparisons, but to me the band sounded like a mix of The Cure, Modest Mouse, and the girl sounds like Bjork to me.

There are many instruments onstage and they all exchange throughout the set. Some instruments are violin, upright bass, drums, guitar, accordion, keys, and then a guy who ran around the stage hitting anything he could with sticks when he wasn’t playing one of the 5 instruments he could have been playing. There was also an interesting drum, which I will refer to as a drum-tree. Many little round drums were connected to a pole, each with a stick to hit it. If you press a lever near the bottom, all the drums are hit simultaneously.

After a few songs, they brought on the Tosca Strings Quartet from Austin, which consisted of cellos, violins, and a viola. So now there were many people onstage playing many instruments.

I personally couldn’t get into The Arcade Fire that much in this venue. It was still too light out to see the close ups on the big screens and I didn’t think the sound was very good. Everyone in the band sang, which made the lead singers voices too soft and hard to understand. They would be better in a smaller venue where you can actually see and interact with the band. All of their fans in the crowd thankfully ran out of their seats and down to the next level to all dance together.

9:00-10:20pm David Byrne with the Tosca Strings and The Extra Action Marching Band
Here at last was the main event! David Byrne came out in a pastel pink suit, looking young with his white spiky haircut. Center stage in front of the drummer was a row of guitars for Byrne to choose from. To the left was a percussionist who played a wooden xylophone gave the set a Caribbean feel. To the right was a bass player, who sang backup vocals, and then the Tosca Strings, who accompanied Byrne on his last solo album Grown Backwards.

His voice was clear and as interesting as it’s always been. He did a 50/50 mix of solo songs and Talking Heads songs, which was a pleasant surprise. I figured he would do mostly new songs, but I wasn’t complaining! The first big hit he played was “Psycho Killer”. At first with the strings doing the familiar beat and the Caribbean flare mixing in, it was a very different and light song, until the end when Byrne picked up his guitar and blasted the rest out.

Mid-set, he brought out the Arcade Fire to sing, “This Must Be the Place” with him. Four of the men sang together on one mic while Regina played the steel drum. Byrne sang most of the song with them, but occasionally stepped back to dance and enjoy the big stage.

To end the night, Byrne brought out The Extra Action Marching Band from San Francisco. Imagine your high school marching band now in their 20’s and 30’s in Halloween/Mardi Gras/punk rocker-type costumes with scantily-clad cheerleaders/flag girls and drag queens, playing all the marching band instruments you know and love. They came in from the side, playing while walking through the crowd as they made it onto the stage. I thought there was a lot of people on the stage before, but now its more like 50 all clumped in different areas either playing instruments, singing, or dancing.

All together they did “Burning Down the House,” which sounded great with the band. The dancing girls and pretty guys in drag were choreographed with all types of sexy cheerleader moves, which reminded me of Superbowl Halftime show. So when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Byrne says, “Here’s another number we haven’t rehearsed.” The horns start blowing and he’s doing a cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” No one could believe it at first, but soon everyone was completely enjoying it. I couldn’t help but laugh when Byrne started singing, “Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh…etc.” It was great and such a huge spectacle! The cheerleaders were having a dance orgy in front of Byrne. I noticed he was bending over while trying to sing these incredibly hard and fast lyrics and realized he was reading them off of a piece of paper by his feet. Now that was great! You may be thinking, why would he sing this song? Well, I don’t know, but out of every song on the radio today to fit his style, its one of the most interesting and difficult choices he could have made, and I love him for it. What a way to end the night!

–with the Tosca Strings:
1. The Great Intoxication (Look Into The Eyeball)
2. Glass, Concrete and Stone (Grown Backwards)
3. I Zimbra (Talking Heads, Fear of Music)
4. Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Thievery Corporation, Cosmic Game)
5. Finite = Allright (Feelings)
6. Sad Song (David Byrne)
7. Like Humans Do (Look Into the Eyeball)
8. Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads, Little Creatures)
9. “Let’s All Sing the Hippie Song (That Grandpa Taught Me)” (unknown cover)
10. Psycho Killer (Talking Heads, ’77)
11. Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) (Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues) [with Arcade Fire]
12. What a Day That Was (Stop Making Sense & The Score to “The Catherine Wheel”)

–with the Extra-Action Marching Band:
13. Don’t Fence Me In (Red Hot & Blue: a tribute to Cole Porter)
14. Burning Down The House (Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues)
15. Crazy in Love (Beyoncé cover)