Category Archives: Television

Character Actor Composite

Found an interesting page that’s simply a composite of character actor head shots and names, so when you’re trying to remember someone you can scan the photos and find out. There are some that are obvious to even part time film buffs, like Giovanni Ribisi, Charles Napier, and James Cromwell, but also a number I could only recognize by face. Sooner or later someone is going to turn this into a photo quiz.

Kristin Kreuk on Chuck

I take back anything bad I’ve ever said or thought about McG. On Monday, Kristin Kreuk started a multi-episode guest appearance on Chuck. You may remember her as Lana Lang on Smallville; coincidentally (or perhaps not) Superman Returns actor Brandon Routh has also joined the cast. On Chuck Kristin will be joining the Nerd Herd, which means she’ll be wearing their official uniform, which looks like it was stolen off a Catholic schoolgirl. I’ve never noticed that uniform at Best Buy’s Geek Squad, but then again I never never seen anyone quite worthy of wearing it.

Zachary Levi does his impression of me in Kristin's presence.
Zachary Levi does his impression of me in Kristin's presence.

Conservative Time-For-Tea

Time for a little break.  So much going on at work, you tend to stay away from TV, movies and popular culture.  But those who are blessed with a job1, however tenuously, should take a break and thank the Power-That-Be for the people responsible for these humorous asides:


Sarah Palin does a pretty credible job getting back at our old friend William Shatner.  If Bill’s reaction is genuine surprise at her sudden appearance, then I am even more impressed with Bill’s acting abilities !!  Someone really, really needs to get him in the Star Trek sequel quickly, before he joins Scotty and Bones in the big Starship in the Sky. 

Oh, and by the way.  Bill is a Canadian actor taking valuable Hollywood jobs away from US citizens.  Can someone get the immigration problem in this country corrected?  Too many Canadians are coming down to take our high-paying white-collar jobs in this country.   Forget the Mexican border; folks down there are coming to take the lesser-paying jobs and will not affect your six-figure, professional position.   It’s the Canadians that are the problem.  And they look just like you and me so that they are harder to find and deport.

However, good going Conan.   You are so good at this that I may start watching the Tonight Show again.  I stayed away for the last 15 or so years, but I think the Show is in good, capable hands again.   Can anyone tell me what happened to Triumph, the Insult Dog?2

Finally,  I just have to mention this item that I read in the news about poor Tiger Woods.  No more jokes, this is serious.   Here’s the excerpt in the news from one of his supporters:

“One thing people don’t understand is that we’re human,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said in Miami. “You’re not born with a menu on how not to do things wrong. You’re going to make mistakes like every human being.”

Actually Dwyane, there is a menu that you were given when you were small.   It’s called The Bible.   Sure it’s old and seemingly out-of-date or out-of-touch.  It’s as old as Humanity, and it does seem to be in touch with the foibles and peccadillos that affect all of us, all of the time, since the beginning of time.    I don’t think Mr. Woods is the first person that has ever cheated on his wife; plenty of those stories in the Bible.  You may want to crack it open one of these days.

  1. I’m not implying that most bloggers are out-of-work, left-of-center hipsters with too much time on their hands.  But it is an effective stereotype. []
  2. As I said earlier,  I’ve been away from TV for awhile. []

Zoe Saldana VS. Sonia Sotomayor

One is a prominent Latina female.   The other is trying to get into the Supreme Court. You be the judge as to who will have a longer lasting effect on the American people.

Sonia Sotomayor     VS.   Zoe Saldana

My vote is with Zoe.  She is from the Dominican Republic and is a living embodiment of the richness of African culture that came to the Caribbean and still influences the culture there. And she looks extremely hot in the Starfleet issue miniskirt and booties.  A worthy successor to the lovely Communications Officer, Lt. Nichelle Nichols, and I believe Zoe speaks fluent Spanish.

On the other hand, we have an outspoken, intelligent Latina female, Sonia Sotomayor.  She has been called a “racist”  by the right-wing but I do not concur.  From her isolated comments, I make her out to be more of a mysandrist1  But she is going into a Supreme Court slot that is being vacated by another liberal-leaner, Justice Souter, so her positions2 should not make much of a difference in upcoming court decisions.  She will be outspoken, though, so it will be nice to hear a strident counterpoint to the pontificating statements of conservative Justice Scalia.

My score: 

Zoe Saldana (1) for a fantastic Star Trek franchise debut.   

Sonia Sotomayor (-1) for inflamatory statements that were issued when she was not open to micro-scrutiny as she is now.   Once she gets coronated as a Justice, I’ll reset her at (0).     I’ll give her (+2) rightaway if she trounces Scalia at the weekly Supreme Court Poker game. 3

  1. Definition: a hater of males.  In this case, white males. []
  2. Normally, I would now digress into  positions held by Zoe Saldana, but I’m not familiar with her record  : )  []
  3. Always bet your hidden aces; do not try to trap or you’ll get your dream pair cracked by trip deuces or some such tripe []

Reaper Canceled

Oh, f*ck me. CW has canceled Reaper, one of my favorite shows. There are rumors it may get moved to cable; SyFy seems interested, and you can email them. There is also a good chance it could live on in syndication. I don’t mean reruns (off-network syndication), I mean first-run syndication, where the affiliate stations buy the show directly. If you want this to happen, email your local CW affiliate and ask them to buy it in syndication so we can have a third season. (If you’re in SoCal, here’s the form to email KTLA.) Normally I just rant on my blog about a cancellation without doing anything about it, because the situation usually looks hopeless. But this time there’s actually a good chance of a pickup.1

If you’ve never seen Reaper, it’s a very fun show; Kevin Smith directed the pilot and acts as a consultant. The cast is really solid with no weak spots. In particular, Ray Wise as the devil does a fantastic job of intimidating the hell out of everyone. And Missy Peregrym is just hot.

Hopefully I’ve piqued your curiosity enough to pick it up on DVD or rent it from Netflix.

  1. This seems to be happening more often, with ABC picking up Scrubs from NBC, and CBS picking up Medium. []

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Canceled; Dollhouse Renewed

It’s official, Fox has terminated Sarah Connor. There were rumors that Terminator: Salvation would reinvigorate interest in the series, but the bastards say it costs too much. So no more Summer Glau, Lena Headey, Stephanie Jacobsen, or Leven Rambin. At least not in one place. Stephanie Jacobsen will be playing a call-girl/med school student on the new Melrose Place. For the rest, the future is unclear. As unclear as that annoying, cliffhanger ending (which was actually great until the show was canceled). At this point, I’d be thrilled by a 2 hour special tying up the loose ends and clearing up the confusion.

On the bright side, Dollhouse has been renewed, albeit at on a lower budget. It’s a decent show, but I can’t help thinking I liked Terminator better. Heck, I liked Firefly way better.

Down Economy Cancels Good TV

This is a really tough year for good TV. Many shows are canceled or are in imminent danger (but mostly canceled):

Life On Mars: Canceled (but wrapped up nicely)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Canceled (with a bitch of a cliffhanger!)
Dollhouse: Canceled
Life: Canceled (almost certainly, with big plot questions left hanging in the air)
Chuck: Circling the drain (we find out in a week or two)

All those shows have one thing in common dragging them down: bigger budgets. TV executives are being upfront about next season: they expect ad revenues to be down – way down. If the big budget shows can’t bring huge audiences, they’re gone. They’re taking chances on several new shows, which I’m sure are all cheaper to produce.

Fortunately, I can end with some good news. Smallville was supposed to be wrapping up the series this season – perhaps because it’s been running for 8 years, perhaps because CW is trying to be Oxygen for young women. If you’ve been wondering why they haven’t been tying up loose ends (indeed, they seem to be creating more of them), it’s because the CW woke up to the fact that they were about to let one of their most popular shows end for no good reason. So I’m happy to say it will be back in the fall.

Also, there’s no reason to kill shows with budgets equal to what I spend on coffee each year, so It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will also be back for a 5th season. Huzzah!

Life On Mars Canceled

Son of a bitch. Life On Mars, the most intriguing cop show in years,1 has been canceled. There will only be 17 episodes, with the series finale to be aired next Wednesday. Technically, this is one more episode than the UK version, but they cut everything short over there with 6-8 episode seasons. In America, bigger and longer is better (but only for TV shows).

Jason O’Mara (Sam Tyler) and Gretchen Mol (Annie Norris)

If you hadn’t seen it – and you probably haven’t considering the ratings – it’s about a police detective who’s hit by a car in 2008 and wakes up in 1973. I missed the pilot, but basically he’s “transferred” to NYPD. There, he works with other cops (played by Gretchen Mol, Michael Imperioli (Chris Moltisanti on Sopranos), and the great Harvey Keitel) to catch crooks, while figuring out what happened to him and how to get back home. The writing is great and of course, with that cast, the acting is pitch perfect.

Michael Imperioli as Ray Carling

And Michael Imperioli as “Cochese”. Listen all o’ y’all, it’s a sabotage!

I admit, I am a little biased. I was born in 1973, so I have affection for TV shows and movies set there, like Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm. If you’re thinking that I shouldn’t be nostalgic for a year I technically can’t remember, you didn’t grow up in America. The older I get, the more I realize I absorbed huge quantities of ’70s pop culture by watching reruns as a kid. Same with the music of that era through the pop radio my mother always played. So when I see the clothes, hairstyles, cars, and electronics, set to the sounds of NY accents and music by Bowie, Simon and Garfunkel, and others, it just resonates.2 And that’s another thing – LOM has the best soundtrack on TV right now.3 It just ain’t fair.

I guess I should be thankful that the show is supposed to get a proper ending, with loose ends tied and mysteries solved. But I’m not thankful, as I’m too busy being pissed off that America doesn’t appreciate good TV.

  1. Although Life is very good, too. []
  2. Which is why I have no desire to watch the UK version; I’m sure I won’t get any of their period references like I do with the American version. []
  3. Maybe that’s another sign a show will get canceled, as Journeyman also had a great (indie) soundtrack. []