So. Apparently there's a new Battlestar in the making, which apart from the thematically very fitting music, which unfortunately is so fingerprinted with a certain other movie as to be distracting in this context, actually looks pretty cool. One can only hope that it sidesteps the utter morass that was the last two seasons of an otherwise fantastic show.
With the exception of the two first seasons, it seems like a law onto itself that every season of Lost has to start a bit ‘off’. Not necessarily bad in any easily distinguished manner; merely ‘off’. And I think the same has held true for this, the last season, until now. Episode 3, ‘The Substitute’ was the episode to finally break in the season for us. I would love to find the time when once in the future we sit down and re-watch the show from beginning to end and find out what the deciding factors are. Something tells me there’s a recurrence amongst some of the directors and writers among who that special Lost-ness really thrives.
They may be better craftsmen, but above everything else, it seems, at least for me, that there’s also another thing that usually characterizes those best episodes. Namely that they’re the character portraits. The first two episodes of this last season were mostly plot-driven, catching up on events from the previous season and setting up the events that will drive this season. Getting the pieces lined up. ‘What Kate Does’, episode 2, had its moments, but was still, at least in my opinion, more concerned with plot than character, whereas The Substitute was almost entirely character-driven.
It certainly helps that Terry O’Quinn delivers such a fantastic performance as Locke, but the episode itself was also filled to the brim with narrative glee and one amazing scene after another, all centered around the character of Locke. Yes, there’s the whole alternate timeline to keep things fresh, but it’s still pretty impressive how even after five seasons, the Lost team manages to twist and turn the character in new and fascinating ways.
I could gush over Lost all day, I really could, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Fringe forums to troll.
So Battlestar Galactica is set to return for its fourth and final season, and on the one hand I’m exhilarated, especially now that Lost is on break. But on the other season 3 was so poorly executed I almost stopped watching. In fact, I probably would have, if it wasn’t made clear that season 4 would be the last season.
That, and for this single moment, which almost managed to carry the rest of the season on its shoulders, being one of the single most impressive pieces of television ever:
Now I just hope the pseudo-religious aspects of the show is leading somewhere tolerable…
In case you, like me, have forgotten where we were at:
After [Futurama] got a green light, Cohen assembled the geekiest writing staff television had ever seen: one MA in math, one MA in computer science, one MA in philosophy, one PhD in chemistry, one PhD in applied math, and some normals to balance things out. “I went from Home Improvement, where people earnestly pitched jokes about farting and table saws, to a place where there were discussions about nanophysics and string theory and quantum mechanics,” writer Eric Horsted says. “I could only follow the conversation for a few minutes before my brain would start sweating and I’d have to reach for a copy of People.” #
Forgot just how much I love Futurama. So happy it’s back.
Wow, so I watched episode 8 of Heroes, despite having been almost ready to give up on the whole series after what has been a terrible season. Not that I thought the first season could match Lost, but at least it was entertaining enough to keep me coming back.
Episode 8 however is everything the rest of the season hasn’t been. Well written, tight, interesting and most importantly, back on track. I don’t know if they found some wunder-director or what, but whatever they did it works. Well done! It’s the first time I haven’t wanted to strangle the majority of the characters.
The writers came out of that meeting like Rocky Balboa — eating lightning and crapping thunder. After weeks of speculation and rhetoric, this was it. Writers formed their legions, shields covering them from shoulder to ankle, imagining the producers as Persia’s most elite warriors doomed to build a corpse wall outside Thermopylae. #
You go girl! Oh, and some insight on behalf of Lost:
From all appearances, Lost may have the best advantage of all series, given that it has been stockpiling new scripts since June and not a single episode has yet aired. At this point, 14 of 16 episodes have been written. And if the strike does last long enough to really affect other series, Lost could very well be the only quality scripted dramas on television in February (along with perhaps 24, though itâ€™s far more behind in its scripts due to a major overhaul of location and storyline). #
And finally a word from John August:
Iâ€™m contracted on two scripts right now, but theyâ€™ll be sitting unopened in their folders until the strike is resolved. I have a deal to write a spec for Fox, but that will also have to wait. Pencils down means pencils down. Iâ€™m not writing any features or television until thereâ€™s a contract. #
Warning: If you follow Heroes, Entourage or Lost and you aren’t up to date, turn around and go about your business, because here be spoilers.
So, Rikke and I have been following Heroes since it opened this season. Rikke was pretty into it, though it never got hold of me nearly as much as Battlestar or Lost. But it is nonetheless a rather entertaining show and I enjoy it nonetheless.
But I must admit I was quite disappointed by this week’s finale; I mean, what was that? I understand that Malcolm McDowell and Adrian Pasdar probably only had one-season contracts, but with Sylar being the least interesting of the villains (and potential villain), having him drag himself into a sewer and survive seems like a damn cop-out if you ask me.
All season, in every episode they have been waving the ‘New York devastated by nuclear blast’ in our faces, and what do we get? A light in the sky and sobby strings lamenting the loss (or potential loss) of some characters that never really got the chance to show their true worth.
That I could have lived with though, if it wasn’t for the flat sensation left behind by all the twists and turns the story tried to take us through in the last two episodes. None of which managed, in my humble opinion, to be dramatic or cliffhanger-ish in the slightest.
All in all, too bad; around the time where Noah got shot to protect his daughter; I was all in. The 5-years-in-the-future episode? All in. So you’d think I was set up to really enjoy the finale… guess not.
And with Entourage also slowly sagging its ass into plot-plot-plot (it being by far at its best when its character-character-character) and episode on episode about that stupid film they want to make, which I don’t even know how to spell, it’s looking grim. Surprisingly, and scarily perhaps, their season break is allegedly a mere two weeks! I hope they roll back on the plot, dial up the Ari’ness and concern themselves more with the characters in the coming season or else…
As for Lost, I just hope the finale will live up to my expectations! For a few episodes earlier this season, I was afraid it was beginning to slow down as well, but then it picked up steam and just started surging ahead. And if the last several episodes are any indication (and since it’s a TV series I’m guessing it is), the two-hour finale will be a blast!
With the days numbered on both Battlestar (thank you!) and Lost—which in turn is also going down to 16 episodes a season, which is a good thing—I’m thinking that TV series as a medium is making serious strides towards encroaching on Hollywood territory.
Alright, just got back from a wedding back in Jutland to find the trailer for Rambo IV and The Sarah Conner Chronicles online. And wow, I’ve got to admit, Rambo sort of caught me off guard there! That thing is _blooo-oody!_Could be good, unless they spent all their money shot on the trailer. Personally, I think it’ll be quite entertaining, and that’s about it.
As for The Sarah Conner Chronicles… What was that about? Now a) I’m biased to not liking it and b) It’s a trailer for a TV show, which isn’t the easiest thing to do. But not only did the story look altogether meh, the casting just looks to be downright horrid. Let me see, Sarah Connor looks like a housewife, John Connor is a pretty-boy with no edge (picture him cruising hazardously through traffic on an off-roader with GnR blasting from the ghettoblaster… No? Didn’t think so) and the Terminator? Could he look more bland?
And not bland in the ‘Lance Henriksen blending into crowds and looking fucked up creepy’ kinda way, just ‘who is that again?’-bland.
All things considered, I do think a TV show could be fashioned around the Terminator franchise; there’s a lot of cool stuff that could be done, especially in todays TV market. But this just looks like a dud to me.
And seriously, stop trying to gain the favor of fans by reiterating lines from the first two movies. Cameron got away with it, but Mostow’s sorry attempt to sidestep it in a humorous way (“She’ll be back” and “I’m back”) was neigh catastrophic, and so I predict will this be.
But then, I’m getting old and grumpy.
PS: The Transformers trailer looks… pretty good :) — I rest easy in not having to hate on Michael Bay, and simply sit down, shut up and enjoy some big explosions; and the Transformers trailer promises that much.
I’m not going to link to it, but if you’re following Soprano’s and you haven’t seen last nights episode, you might want to not read Cinematical today, where they pretty much spoil the shit out of it. Thanks a lot.
Update: It’s changed now, though it still carries a picture which will hint at the spoiler…
I was a massive fan of Battlestar when I first started following it. As you may recall, I was down and out for about a week due to a serious infection in one of my molars and the following rootcanal work, and during that week, in between squirming from the pain, I managed to take in the mini-series and most of first season. And I was hooked. Bad.
Generally speaking, season 2 also had me glued to the tube every week, and while not every episode was the next coming, it was still very very enjoyable. The mid-season cliffhanger with the Pegasus had me clawing at the walls for months; only to have the entire crisis blow over in the first five minutes of the follow-up episode.
Man. I was bummed.
And if I have to peg it, which I do, then that would be the point where BSG slowly started deteriorating for me. I loved seeing the Pegasus with the fleet, and the season finale for season 2 just blew me away in its balls-to-the-walls let’s-fuck-with-them’ness.
For a moment there, I figured the series had hit a new high.
Season 3 rolled around, and I thought it was pretty good, although everything seemed so damned rushed. Here they were, having pulled one hell of a stunt in settling the majority of the fleet on a new planet and then occupying it with cylon’s, and it was all over in 4 episodes! Sure, the repercussions of the occupation and the ensuing partisan fights and what not, would be felt for a while. But consider the places the series could be taken if we had followed their struggle on New Caprica for months. The distrust, paranoia, sacrifice and anguish!
I would have loved to see that. But, to be fair, we did get to see a capital ship ‘droppin’ like a rock’ in atmosphere, and that was worth several stand-alone episodes in my book. In fact, I’ll go so far as to call it one of the best moments on TV, ever.
But as season 3 unfolded, it slowly became more and more bleh. In fact, I’m having trouble recollecting a single episode since the beginning of the season; and I’ve seen them all… All those episodes onboard the Cylon baseships… Ehm… What were they about? I don’t know; I just don’t know.
And while it slowly started picking up near the end, it still suffers from a feeling of it not having been thought through from beginning till end. Ironic, since Lost is the series most often accused of being on a wild goose hunt.
Now Ron Moore admits as much in an excellent interview over at Salon, and I can only hope that it will drive their decisions in planning out season 4.
According to Moore, season 4 might very well be their last season, which honestly would be perfect in my book. If only they can pick up the tightness of the first season and start asking some serious questions of themselves. I mean; if you’ve seen the last episode, you’ll remember Lee’s speech in the courtroom. Now, was it just me, or did it seem like they had not asked those questions all season, just so they could ask them in the final episode?
I had personally been screaming questions at the screen. Why isn’t Baltar brought to the stand? Why aren’t they asking the Six about Baltar? Why does Rosalind think the cross-breed baby is ‘the future’? What does she base that rather vague sound bite on? Why isn’t Baltar eager to build another cylon-detector he can use on himself? And on and on.
In reality, BSG leaves behind more questions than Lost, which is quite a feat.
The finale though, of season 3, was pretty good overall. As with most other mini-arcs, its parts came into being a bit too fast for them to be believable (let me see, we need an unknown mysterious lawyer whom nobody bothers doing a background check on. We need to figure out whom of the fleet are cylons (if that is the case; in which case I’m disappointed). For optimal conflict and cliffhanger’ness, we need to turn Lee, Rosalind and Admiral Adama against each other. And we need to honor or promise of Starbuck being ‘special’ in some manner, so she ‘unexpectedly’ returns from the dead).
It was played out well enough; but it was predictable and a tad boring compared to, say, landing on New Caprica…
Now I’m no expert in writing and executing TV shows, having done… ehm… none; but if season 4 is to be the last, I hope they pull all their resources together and really knock it out of the park. Plan out the entire season, find the highs and lows, and leave stand-alone episodes on the cutting room floor.
The cast is amazing, the premise is fantastic and even with the low of season 3, it would still leave a serious dent in TV series for years to come.
I’ll be holding my breath for January, 2008.
PS: “And they have a plan”... Maybe season 4 could be about that? Because so far the cylons seem as lost as, if not more than, everyone else.
Lost has endured a rocky road in its third season. The season-three premiere was down 20 percent from season two’s premiere, and Media Life Magazine suggests today that “the most likely reason [for the ratings dip] is that fans are dissatisfied with the dramaâ€™s dragging plotlines. Message boards are full of complaints about producersâ€™ failure to tie up almost any of the mysteries on the show, instead adding new ones as well as new characters.” #
It’s funny, because I don’t feel the third season is less interesting because of its lack of answer, but rather because of its lack of truly huge new mysteries! Lost has never given any answers, and I don’t expect it to any time soon either.
What I’ve been missing after the hiatus has been contact with more of the survivors. I can only guess that they are off finishing other commitments and that’s why the show has been deftly avoiding their participation by secluding Jack, Kate and Sawyer for most of the second part of season three.
One thing that does annoy me though, is the lack of confrontations between the survivors and the others. I mean these people have kidnapped children, kept people captive and all kinds of other nonsense. And all the while they are keeping everyone in the dark about what is really going on. Why?
More pertinently, why aren’t the survivors asking these questions?
Anyway, I’m still on Lost (and Heroes and Entourage and a bit of Battlestar, although that is severely slipping in my ratings system).
Yes, fanlings, there is going to be a 2 disc ‘Special Edition’ released this summer. You know why? ‘Cause the 1 disc ‘Normal Edition’ has sold so well — so maybe a little self-back-patting is in order for you guys. Way to keep her in the air. #
All hail Joss.
PS: Maybe this time the cover photo-collage-art won’t be as on-par with the Star Wars DVD photo-collage-art as it was on the initial release… Hmm? :)
I’ve never heard of this show before, but I came across a single episode of Dinner for Five on YouTube:
Dinner for Five – season 4 episode 09 – Kevin Smith, Jason Lee, Stan Lee, Mark Hamill and JJ Abrams discuss Alias, MI3, Tom Cruise, Star Wars, Comics, Lost, Regarding Henry, The Incredibles, Kiss, Auditioning, Mallrats, screenwriting, Batman, Joker, Chasing Amy, Enemy of the State and Clerks.
It doesn’t air any longer as near as I can tell, and the DVD isn’t available in Europe, nor have I been able to find any torrents for it. Should you happen to be able to help me out, let me know.
While I was very surprised that they didn’t milk New Caprica for more story (budgetary restraints and the like), there is one single scene in the fourth episode, which more than makes up for it all. I’ve got some friends who are bound to read this (shu!), but for those of you who’ve seen it, you know the one I’m talking about.
How they manage to make it all work, while constantly veering the chasm of ‘rushedness’ is something of a feat really. Because in all honesty, the show often feels like it could’ve used some more time before and during production (I’ve got no beef with their post-production work). But they always manage to pull it together and really get me. Despite the fact, that when I look at series like Lost (which I also love, love, love), it’s clear that they are much more in control of things.
But yeah, I would’ve preferred the occupation and resistance of New Caprica to have lasted at least half a season. Or at least 6 episodes, so we could really get a sense of the troubles they were going through. It seems like such a waste to have the series take a drastic turn like the ending of season 2, only to see an almost complete reset within the first four episode of the new season. Obviously there’ll be a lot of residual stuff from New Caprica in this season, but still…
All said and done, I’m still head over heels for BSG.
While it’s not official as such, I think this will bring much joy and hope to some people that I know very well. And as with any other time I mention Spaced: If you haven’t seen this amazing series yet, you’re a nut!
“Despite what certain national newspapers might have said, Series 2 is not the last series of Spaced. There will be a third series of Spaced – we just don’t know when.”
Mmmm, doesn’t that just warm your heart!? Kudos to Rikke for digging out this little nugget of gold.
Also, if you’re having problems with my RSS feed, could you leave a comment about it? I got word from from Tomas Jogin that it had a tendency to update all the time.
Which leads me to another little snippet. Bandwidth is being sucked at about 80 megs or so a day. With that rate I will meet the bandwidth limitation at some point next month. So I have taken the minor precaution of dropping the number of entries in the RSS feed from 10 to 5. And then I’ll see if I can’t compress some of the page elements better and see if that helps.
There is however something you can do. Something in my mind you should do regardless. Make sure you aren’t polling for RSS feed every minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes. While the RSS feed is pure text, I get a lot of hits on it every day, and by now you should know that I don’t update every minute :)