John August (writer of The Nines, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory among others) has a blog. It’s a really good blog that I’ve been reading for quite a while now. Recently, of course, he’s been on strike, as he’s a member of the Writer’s Guild of America. While he’s not writing movies and such right now, he is writing about the strike, and it’s all very interesting.
Nothing like really revving up the new year by getting a cold during the first week. Grr. All I have to say about that is thank god for Sudafed and wool socks. Stupid cold.
I took a few more pictures on Tuesday, but it was a lot colder out so my walk was a lot shorter. Nothing spectacular to show for it (you can view the bits I’ve posted here), but I did learn quite a bit so it was worthwhile. The temperature appears to be above zero again today, but I think I’ll cater to my illness and stay indoors. Stupid cold.
The TV season seems to be gearing up again, which is good — reruns were starting to irritate me. Most exciting is that Rome (Season 2) starts soon. If you haven’t watched the first season, I strongly recommend it. I think the only TV series better than Rome is Deadwood, and even that’s a tough call. Both are brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, and just top-notch productions all around. Turns out HBO knows how to make stellar TV. Stupid cold.
A few posts ago I stated that I didn’t much care for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. This is no longer true. I’ve also just heard that there are rumours that it will be cancelled. This would be a bad thing. We’ve watched it every week now (upon recommendation of friends, coworkers, and loved ones), and it’s good. You should watch it. The show is very well written, has characters with depth and real personality who you can actually care about, and is just a high-quality bit of television.
Watch it. Love it. Blog about it and tell all your friends to watch it. It’s too good to be so unceremoniously cancelled before it really starts. Ok. Go set your PVRs and Tivos. I’ll wait here.
The rise of food television, from The New Yorker.
Quick rundown of the new TV season, in no particular order:
- Heroes – Just watched the second episode. Love it. I started reading comic books when I was a kid and have always loved ‘em. This TV show holds huge promise and potential. Great characters.
- Studio 60 – Meh. Barely made it through the first episode, won’t be going back.
- Shark – It’s like House M.D. only with lawyers. And lousy acting. And terrible, terrible writing. I basically dislike every single character in the show.
- CSI – Grissom remains my favourite CSI in all three shows. This is top of my “gritty crime drama” list, and seems to be holding up well. (Yes, I know it’s all ridiculous and not at all like real life, but I don’t care…I still like it.)
- CSI: NY – This show continues to grow on me, and I like the characters a lot. Good stuff.
- CSI: Miami – Honestly, I’m not sure who watches this any more. Just watched this week’s episode and literally laughed out loud at the new transitions and other random effects. I won’t be bothering with this series any more.
- L&O: CI – No more Vincent D’Onofrio, so my interest is waning. They’ve replaced everyone on the show except Chris Noth, who was great when he was in the original L&O but doesn’t seem to be able to carry a show on his own. They may have jumped the shark by losing too many characters between seasons.
- Numb3rs – I like this show a lot even tho the math is apparently “questionable” at best. I don’t care. I’ve never really been much for math (even tho I use it “every day!”) so that stuff is mostly just gibberish to me. I like the characters (although Charlie’s getting on my nerves a bit). They seem to be concentrating more on the FBI parts and less on the dorky math parts this season, which is good. And yes, I like the silly bits at the end where the Eps family gets all quippy.
- House M.D. – Yes it’s a little formulaic, but I still like it a bunch. Good characters, usually interesting medical mysteries, fun sub-plots. Not stellar, by any means, but still several thousand times better than any given reality show.
- The Unit – Just started watching season 1, but it’s good and I’m glad it’s made it to a second season already. So far it seems like a strange cross between The A-Team and Desperate Housewives or something, but that’s OK by me.
- LOST – I’m beside myself with anticipation for Wednesday’s season opener. Eeeeee! Hurley! Yay! I love this show and I’m not even sure why. Just…awesome, even when at its most ridiculous.
- Battlestar Galactica – Also hasn’t started yet, but it remains the best science fiction TV series of all time. I’m getting the itch to buy the original BSG series on DVD and watch it, because apparently there are lots of little bits of continuity that have been carried over, and that’s cool. Absolutely “must watch” TV.
That’s pretty much all I’ve seen (or will soon see) this season. There’s more TV worth watching than I have time for, but that’s not a bad problem to have.
Goddammit. Two (TWO!) weeks of Lost reruns. Stupid Olympics.
Google Video. Yep. Now, if you really want to, you can watch a poorly compressed low resolution episode of CSI or Star Trek Voyager or (for whatever f*&^ing reason) The Brady Bunch for a mere $1.99 USD.
Um. Or not. Personally, I’ll save my money and instead of spending $51 ($44 USD) on a season’s worth of crappily-encoded episodes of CSI, I’ll spend $54 for a season on DVD. Some of which are even in high def!
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t watch enough TV to justify spending that kind of money on that kind of quality when I can, 95% of the time, order what I want from Amazon and have it on DVD at my house within a week. I also don’t buy music online, so maybe I’m just being a curmudgeon. Maybe someday when music is $0.10/track and TV episodes are decent quality. Or, you know, 5 years from now when physical media has gone the way of the poor, poor Dodo and I have no choice.
Damned kids. Get off my lawn.
I’m still angry about Fox cancelling Firefly, so their new idea of cancelling Arrested Development is just doubly infuriating. It’s starting to look like there’s a pattern of Fox being utterly incapable of actually handling and promoting high-quality shows.
Go check Joe’s post for a great clip of David Cross ranting about this very thing.
Technically I’m a bit late, but Happy Canada Day!
Our day was relatively sedate, but that was largely because we began our celebrations Thursday evening, finally crashing at around 2am. Today was mostly sleeping in, eating bacon & eggers for breakfast, having a nap, cleaning some, and doing laundry. Dinner was garlic-ginger pan-roasted pork tenderloin with asparagus. After dinner we did what we usually do (gaming, reading), and watched an episode of Deadwood. Now it’s time for bed. All in all, not a bad day off.
I’ve set up reading spot in my office now, with a comfy chair, a table for my tea, a reading lamp, and an ottoman. I’ve finished On Writing Well, and am now rifling through the shelves trying to find something to read next. Oddly, the next book about writing I picked up — Getting the Words Right — isn’t terribly well written. The Invisible Computer, while interesting and written by someone I’ve admired since I did my thesis (Donald Norman), isn’t quite what I feel like reading at the moment. In the interim, I’m poking my way through the collected short stories of Roald Dahl. I haven’t yet gone to the library to get a library card and a book, so maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.
Also on the topic of tomorrow, I think I’ll use the leftover pork to make ginger pork fried rice for lunch. Yum.
Fox (the same fools who cancelled Firefly without so much as giving it a fighting chance) have redeemed themselves slightly by ordering a third season of Arrested Development. I couldn’t care less about 24.
Update: This is also happy news — Law and Order: Trial By Jury, the first real stinker in the L&O franchise, has been canned. The question is, what will Dick Wolf cook up next to stay ahead of the CSI gang? Stay tuned!