Friday, May 20, 2005

Finale Fever

Ah, May--the time for the season finales of all out favorite shows. I happened to check out a couple this past week...
On Gilmore Girls, Lorelei asked Luke to marry her just as they faded to black until September. I think Luke should say "no"---or rather, "Ask me later." Sure, Luke obviously wants to marry her, as evidenced by his attempt to buy that house, but when she asked, Lorelei was feeling hurt and vulnerable---she felt she'd been betrayed by her parents and, even worse, by Rory. They both need to step back before they do something they'll regret later.
The next night was the Law & Order season ender. I haven't kept up with the new episodes of L&O---for the past couple of years I've just been waiting until the following autumn when they go into rotation on TNT--so when I watched Wednesday night's episode, I barely recognized anyone. In the space of one season, they've replaced half the cast. That's a little extreme, even in a show known for its ever-changing ensemble.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Speaking of Final Episodes...

.....I totally forgot about the finale of Enterprise Friday night. I wanted to see that. I hear from someone who did see it that the rumors I'd heard were true and the whole series was revealed to be a holodeck simulation on the 24th century Enterprise. Geez....
Paramount was basically admitting that the series had been a bad idea from the start and they truly were out of ideas for the Trek franchise (except to do a high-tech rip-off of the St. Elsewhere final episode--which I loved, but you can only get away with that gimmick so many times)
By the way, I hear Data was there when the "surprise" was revealed. Does this mean that in addition to saying Enterprise was not "real", they are also negating Data's "death" at the end of Nemesis?
Thankfully, Paramount is putting the Trek franchise on hold for awhile--perhaps permanently.
If it does return, I hope the people responsible for Enterprise (and Voyager, as well) have been moved to the sitcom division where they obviously belong.

Everybody Really Only Barely Tolerates Raymond

Yes, tonight is the big finale of Everybody Loves Raymond after a shortened season stretched into May Sweeps with numerous repeats of "favorite" episodes. Raymond is touted on the network promos as "America's Favorite Comedy" or something to that effect; an honor it's earned pretty much by default. There really aren't any decent sitcoms out there any more since Friends and Frazier--the best sitcom ever, by the way--bit the dust last year. (I'm wondering how Kelsey Grammar is coping with not being Frazier Crane after playing the character for over 2 decades...he's probably in some heavy therapy) The form has once again been declared dead; just as it was two decades ago before The Cosby Show came along.
Now, what I'd really like to see in tonight's finale is Deborah kill Raymond with one of his putters after he tries for the thousandth time to sneak out to play golf rather than spend time with the wife and kids. She then picks up a knife, goes across the street and hacks Frank and Marie into little pieces. The police arrive and Robert accidentally shoots himself to death attempting to draw his weapon. Then Deborah is killed in a shoot out with the SWAT team.
But it probably won't go down that way.
I've read that the producers really aren't planning anything special for the last outing--just another episode, they say. Which means it'll be bland, unfunny and based on sitcoms stereotypes that I thought TV left behind with the 1960's.
I can hardly wait.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I Can Hold My Head Up HighAt Last!

I no longer have to be ashamed to admit that I have never seen This is Spinal Tap, as I purchased the DVD yesterday and watched the movie last night. Actually, I had seen clips of the most well-known parts of the movie, such as the amplifier that goes up to 11 or the band getting lost on the way to the stage or the Stonehenge debacle, and could bluff my way through when the film was discussed, but until last night I had never actually watched the entire film. While the film is great, some of the extras on the DVD are really amazing.
There's the "Music Videos" section which includes Gimme Some Money and (Listen to the) Flower People, excerpts of which are in the movie. These are dead on recreations of the look and sound of the 60's. If I didn't know that these were parodies shot in 1984, I would swear that these were the 60's TV variety shows they purport to be. Even the songs, while ostensibly parodies, could have been actual hits if they'd been around back then. That's how dead-on the parody is. (Which reminds me of the Turtles song Elinore, which was intended as a parody of the pop songs of the day, but was such a dead-on parody that no realized the song was meant as a joke and it became a huge hit.)
The film makers were just as adept at spoofing their own era with the Hell Hole video, which is a dead-on representation of the way videos were in the mid-80's (and sadly still are--the form doesn't seem to have evolved at all in 2 decades)
The deleted scenes are the biggest revelation on the disc. At over an hour of unused footage, it's practically a whole other movie. In fact,there's an entire subplot here concerning Derek's wife divorcing him that didn't make the film. This is a by-product of the way this film, and the later "mockumentary" films directed by Christopher Guest (picking up the mantle from Spinal Tap's Rob Reiner), are made. They shoot hours and hours of film and whittle it down to less than an hour and a half.
On the DVD of Waiting For Guffman, Guest reveals that he shot 58 hours of film for what became an 84 minute movie. (The Guffman DVD has a feature I've never seen on any other disc, but one that I just love. In addition to the commentary by Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy on the film itself, the deleted scenes come with a commentary track, allowing an extra glimpse into the mind of the film maker and the process of film making as they explain why each scene didn't make it into the final cut) Well, I've rambled on enough---catch you later.

That Explains A Lot!

So, I was listening to Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! on NPR this morning, and heard an item about how archeologists studying the Dead Sea Scrolls have discovered that, contrary to popular myth, the so-called "Number Of The Beast" is not 666, but actually 616. They also noted that this is the area code for Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This development, of course, only confirms what many fans of Ohio State football have believed all along.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Countdown This!!!

Haven't posted for a while. Have I been busy? Not so much. Maybe I've just been wasting too much time sitting around watching TV...
As if TV weren't a gigantic time waster all by itself, along comes VH-1 to both waste our time and make us hate ourselves for watching it.
OK, so I was watching something called the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock last night, and I wonder who determines these rankings? VH-1 never tells you who actually picks these lists and on the basis of what I saw last night its probably because those people would be afraid to show their faces in public if their identities became public knowledge. I mean, on this so called countdown, the Rolling Stones--that's the ROLLING FREAKIN' STONES, people--ranked no. 67. No. 67? The Rolling Stones? And to add insult to injury, Cheap Trick---that's right, I said CHEAP FREAKIN' TRICK, for the luvva Mike--ranked in the top 30. That is total BS.
Another TimeWaster-1 countdown that bothers me was called The 40 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever, but that was really kind of a misnomer since, because this was a TV show they need video clips to intersperse between the clips of Z-list "celebrities" cracking wise, the list was slanted heavily, almost exclusively to songs released since the ascendence of the music video. It really should haver been called The 40 Most Awesomely Bad Videos Since About 1979 or So.
Then there's ESPN's countdown of the Best Sports Films of the Last 25 Years. Now I realize this was part of the celebration last year of ESPN's 25th anniversary, but by limiting the scope of the countdown to films made since 1979, they left out some really great films. Like, for instance, Pride of the Yankees. What about the Oscar winning original Rocky? Then there's my all time favorite sports related film ever: The Bad News Bears.
And do we really need TWO countdowns of "Greatest Reality TV Moments"--one on E! and another on KillMeNow-1? I think not.
The rant's over, please go on with your lives. (I wonder--is there a "colossal waste of time setting on those V-chip thingees that'll block out all these stupid countdown shows and VH-1 altogether?)