Nat's TV expands

We’ve added a new device to Nat’s TV… it’s a DVD recorder. Picked up for $70-after-rebate at one of the Black Friday sales. This will likely replace the VCR for recording things that should be stored, or things that conflict with something else already being recorded on the ReplayTV.

Published in: on November 25, 2005 at 8:28 pm  Comments (4)  

Lostword puzzle

Minor Spoiler Alert for those who have not yet seen the Thanksgiving eve Lost.

At about 23 minutes in, we see a crossword puzzle, with the clue for 42 down “Enkidu’s friend”. Locke is writing in “GILGAMESH”, which is factually correct; Enkidu was Glgamesh’s companion. However, if you look at the puzzle, it looks wrong. While all of the neighboring down words look like reasonable crossword answers, the words we can see that cross GILGAMESH come out to garbage, at least as far as I can tell (and I’m reasonably good at crosswords).

As I write this, I haven’t had time to go back and hold on the crossword pizzle for too long to figure out all the letters that should go there. It should start SPRI… I’m wondering if this is some sort of odd clue or hidden reference, or perhaps it was just that the producers wanted to show that Locke knew about Gilgamesh and just used some existing puzzle that had a slot the right size, putting in a fake clue and not bothering with the rest. The fact that the last H was already written in when it looks like it did not make a reasonable cross word (do you know any words ending in “GHR”?) actually lends to the latter explanation.

Later: I’ve pulled the puzzle back up. The first letter is either S for SHARE or O for OHARE (name of an airport) The second should probably be P for SPEND. The third, R for ACORNS. The fourth, I for IMITATIVE. The next, following LA_, could reasonably be B, D, G, M, N, P, S, T, V, W, X, or Y, so that leaves many possibilities. the next one is trickier, we just see the tail end of a long term with ISMSKEET, and the M is the letter in question; I don’t have a good guess of what this is spelling. Following that is like A for APERS, then C for ACIDS, and finally E is the likely letter between a G and an R at the end of the word (though I’m dubious about the R itself, actually, since “SPIR” is not so likely a term on what looks like a fairly easy puzzle grid; SPIT or SPIN are more likely.

So this leaves us with SPRI__ACE or OPRI__ACE… and I hate to admit that I don’t see anything obvious in either of those. Trying an online crossword puzzle dictionary search doesn’t find anything, so I’m likely making a bad assumption somewhere…

(It should be noted that it also doesn’t look like Locke filled in the rest of the letters that were there; the handwriting doesn’t match. You ‘can look at the stiff, angular lettering he puts, the dotted i, the darker writing in general.)

Oh, I’m a nerd. Happy turkey, all you turkey-eaters!

Published in: on November 24, 2005 at 2:32 am  Comments (8)  

Women are from Neptune, men are from the planet Transylvania

Just a quick note for the younger and the unschooled-in-cult-film folks among you: That little back and forth on Veronica Mars last night, where Veronica and Mac exchanged the lines “I’m glad we caught you at home/can we use your phone/we’re both in a bit of a hurry” then looked at each other oddly? That’s a quote from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Just as the previous week, there was a reference to someone who was out sick with Veronica expressing the hope that she wouldn’t see him later on a parade float, which was a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off reference. Yes, Ronnie is quite well versed in films that were released before she was born.

(And if you’re wondering, Ferris is well worth renting on DVD. Rocky, not so much – the true Rocky Horror experience is seeing it in a theater crowded with folks who see it frequently, as it’s the audience interaction with the show that really make it something special. In a way, it was a key lead-in to todays remix culture… although with time, the interaction became rote and “official”. Still worth the experience, though – says the guy who, in his day, attended hundreds of times.)

Published in: on November 24, 2005 at 1:36 am  Comments (4)  

Las Vegas: Wording counts

Spoiler Alert for those who have not yet seen this week’s Las Vegas.

Now I want to go back to the promos for the episode to see if they actually said that someone gets killed or whether just that they get “blown away”. Certainly, it’s an accurate statement (even if the way someone was depicted as being blown away was not accurate), but we cannot assume she’s dead. Pretty clearly, she’ll be blown into someone and mistaken as the flying Mothwoman.

But hey, if you’re under any delusion that the depiction of a comic con there was accurate, please rethink that. I’ve seen plenty of the very small percentage of folks wearing costumes at cons, and have yet to see one that was delusional about it – most commonly, they’re either entering a costume contest or promoting a comic. And folks don’t have a delusion that the pretty women there are really the superheroes – at most, they line up for the models who are portraying a character to get a close up with a pretty woman (which yes, seems a little silly, but it’s a small thing.)

But the truly fictional part of it was someone running a successful ongoing comic con at a casino. People throw business conventions in Vegas because businessmen will attend as an excuse to hang out in the casinos. Comic cons people attend because they want to attend a comic con, and the city would just be an expense and distraction. Most conventions build themselves on locals or people withing driving distance, and the Los Angeles folks (the key population center within driving distance) already has substantial conventions closer. Someone tried a casino con a couple years back, and it’s probably the most notorious failure in comic convention history — empty aisles, with the convention promoters trying to give away free tickets at the casino just to make it a little less empty. Of course, folks who weren’t in town for a convention aren’t suddenly going to want to see a comic show; they’re there for the tandard Vegas attractions.

But then, anyone who thinks that Las Vegas is a particularly realistic show needs to double-check their knowledge of the real world.

Published in: on November 24, 2005 at 1:23 am  Comments (5)  

House's house

Just in case anyone thought I was off on some longhot bizarro theory when I posted that House was obviously supposed to be a medical version of Sherlock Holmes, I can point out something which probably had been shown previously, but I only noticed last night: that the address plaque outside of House’s house reads simply “221B” – well known as the address of the world’s most famous fictional detective. As such, they’re not even trying to be subtle about it.

Published in: on November 23, 2005 at 12:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Do I boo the Boondocks?

I finally caught an episode of The Boondocks, the new Cartoon Network adaptation of the controversial angry-black-youth comic strip. It’s got the smooth-still-frame, stiff-motion look of much of the cheaper TV animation these days. And the humor is uneven (the same is true of its source material) and predictable at times. The voice work is a mixed bag, with a well-chosen voice for the grandfather and something that doesn’t sound convincingly angry for the central character, young Huey.

And I’m not the target audience of the show. I’m not into the details of hip-hop and most other black-themed cultural items that are often reflected in the strip. Next episode focuses on R. Kelly – someone who I can name one crime he’s accused of, can’t name a song he’s sung, and wouldn’t recognize if he stood on my patio wearing a t-shirt with his name and picture on it.

So, no, this didn’t blow me away. It doesn’t do what it aims to do perfectly, and what it aims to do is not aimed straight at me. But the show does have its own voice. It doesn’t come across as a generic retread of another show. It seems to have things to say. I’ll be back for at least another episode or two, see whether it can add up to much without merely being shrill.

(As for the controversy regarding “the n-word” and its usage on this show – it wasn’t pointless, and it wasn’t solely for shock. I’m not saying folks shouldn’t be offended if that’s how they feel, but I won’t be bothered on their behalf.)

Published in: on November 20, 2005 at 3:20 am  Comments (1)  

Bill Macy

So I fire up the latest Stacked from my hard disk machine (yes, Michael, I actually watch the show… despite the cartoonishly curvy central character, it’s a reasonable mid-range sitcom, although it hasn’t yet found room to grow the way the better ones do), and there is… is that… yes, it’s Bill Macy! The husband from Maude! The guy I’ve seen in so little since then, but kept looking for in other things when the opening credits said “William H. Macy”. (Eventually, I did figure out who that other guy was.)

Looking him up on the IMDb, I see he’s been doing about one TV guest appearance a year for a while now. At 83, it’s nice that he’s at least able to keep his hand in. (I don’t know how his finances are doing; I know that at times, parts have been arranged for actors mainly to keep them on the insurance rolls.)

BTW, for those who understandably don’t watch Stacked: I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that Christopher Lloyd is the best part of the show.

Published in: on November 20, 2005 at 2:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Downloadable TV

Articles are touting an upcoming service from Warner Brothers and AOL (which we should note are part of the same larger corporate structure) that will allow you to download (or perhaps stream) any of thousands of episode of the many WB-produced shows that are not currently on the tube. The articles are touting some of their long-running successes like Welcome Back, Kotter and Growing Pains, but I’ll be far more interested in seeing some of the shorter-lived stuff, the things that haven’t been rerun. I’m not good at remembering what production company was behind what show; perhaps there will be some shows that I remember fondly from my youth, and I can see whether I had better taste than the world or was just taken by anything Pamelyn Ferdin appeared in…

Oh hold on a sec, I think I remember one show that bore the WB label… (sound of Nat checking the IMDB — really, it is quite a specific and recognizable sound, I just can’t think of the right onomotopoeia for it)… yes, the brothers Warner did indeed produce The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.. I know a few people who will be quite happy about that. Myself included, for that matter.

Published in: on November 15, 2005 at 6:27 pm  Comments (2)  

Carl Kolchak, we hardly new ye (and apparently hardly cared)

As Rich points out elsewhere, Night Stalker has falled unsurprisingly to the ax. A little more watchable TV gone, but not a must-watch; I doubt this short run will inspire people decades down the road the way thatthe original longer-but-still-short run did. So far, it looks like this season’s few new must-sees are actual successes.

Published in: on November 15, 2005 at 6:20 pm  Comments (3)  

Commenting fixed

I goofed, and had settings that kept random strangers and even not-so-random strangers from posting. This has now been de-goofed, so comment away!

Published in: on November 13, 2005 at 12:44 pm  Comments (3)  
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