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Love that photograph.  (I first saw it here.)

My friend Andy recently pointed me in the direction of a terrific web-comic called XKCD.  It’s a self-described web-comic of “romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”  My buddies who work in the computer world picked this comic as their favorite.

Here’s an interesting article that compares various shows’ original pilot episodes with what actually made it to air.  I was particularly intrigued since I recently saw Joss Whedon’s original, unaired pilot for Dollhouse that was rejected by FOX (it was a special feature on the season one DVD set), which Steph and I agreed was FAR superior to the pilot that aired (and, frankly, superior to ANY episode that actually aired during the first season!!  The two episodes that FOX never aired, that pilot and the epilogue episode Epitah One, were far far better than any of the 12 episodes that were actually broadcast.  But that’s a blog for another time…)

Here‘s an interesting list of one fella’s thoughts on the 10 best series of the 21st century so far (2000-present).  Some interesting choices there.  Love his description of season 1 of Battlestar Galactica (though beware a spoiler for that season’s shocking finish if you’ve never seen it!).

Click here for an absolutely fascinating, lengthy look into Spike Jonze’s almost decade-long effort to bring Where The Wild Things Are to the big screen, from the New York Times.  I cannot wait to see what he has created.

There’s a really intriguing new trailer out there for Up in the Air, the new film from director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis that looks spectacular.

Last year I wrote a piece that I called My Farewell to Heroes, in which I vowed to stop watching that incredibly disappointing show.  Luckily (judging by the consistently terrible reviews that the third season of the show got) I was able to stick to my vow.  Life is just to short to watch shitty TV.   Anyways, there’s an amusing review of the third season DVD set up at DVDactive.com (a terrific DVD/Blu-Ray site) by someone who shares my disdain for the show.  Worth a read.

I’ve breen pretty down on the movies of summer 2009.  My feeling has been that this was one of the more disappointing summers in recent memory.  But a recent article by Devin Farici over at Chud, listing his 10 best movies of summer 2009 just might cause me to change my tune.  I haven’t yet seen Moon, Away We Go, or World’s Greatest Dad (missed ’em in theatres, but … [continued]

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My Farewell to Heroes

December 4th, 2008

I suppose I have high standards for the TV shows that I watch.  Is that a bad thing?  I don’t watch TV casually.  I don’t sit down and flip around to find something that looks interesting.  There are a bunch of shows that I watch, and I watch them religiously — every week, every episode.  That’s how I watch TV.

Why am I talking about this?

Well, I decided last week that I think I’m done with Heroes.

Much has been written in the past few months about the show’s creative decline.  Entertainment Weekly wrote a scathing cover story about the show’s woeful third season, and (possibly in response) two of the show’s head writers (co-executive producers Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander) were unceremoniously canned

I certainly agree that the third season has been dreadful.  But let’s be honest with ourselves — the show was never really that good to begin with.

I resisted watching Heroes throughout its entire smash-hit first season.  There was something about the show, from all that I had seen and read, that just seemed off to me.  I got the sense that the show’s creators were a little embarrassed that the show was about super-heroes.  Sort of the way J.J. Abrams seems to be trying to get non-Star Trek fans to go to his new Star Trek movie by proclaiming to everyone that he’s not a Star Trek fan, I read a lot of interviews and articles where the Heroes cast and crew kept saying, “come watch us, we’re not just about tights and spandex, we’re really a drama!” or “we’re really a character study!” or “we’re really a mystery!” or something else like that.  

But when the first season came out on DVD, after so many people I knew encouraged me to give it a try, I finally gave in.  And I must admit there was something there in that first year.  The show was silly and astoundingly derivative (of other movies, of other TV shows, and especially of LOTS of great comic book stories), but there was still a goodly amount of entertainment to be found.  I enjoyed the continuity — the cliffhangers that ended each episode were fun, and it was neat how the season really attempted to tell one long, interlocking story.  And the production values were, for the most part, pretty impressive for a weekly TV series.  We got to see a lot more super-hero action than I had expected.

But the holes started to show even towards the end of that season.  Much has been made of the first season finale, which many felt was anticlimactic after all that had been built up over the … [continued]