My Next New Show

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on October 7, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

Assuming it premieres before Rob Thomas’s reset of Cupid: Castle, starring my one, if not quite my only, Nathan Fillion:

Not having read anything but the basic plot synopsis–mystery novelist helps chick detective solve crime–I actually assumed it was going to be a bit more of a drama. Reclusive mystery novelist, scary-smart, pushed reluctantly into helping because it’s his duty … oh hells no. A comedy with serious tones more along the lines of Bones, by the looks of it, which is A-OK with me (Bones having, thank the television gods, picked up quite a bit since its dismal season premiere). And it looks to be a lot more fun than Drive, which, sadly, isn’t saying much. This could be Fillion’s winner. Still a shame that his wittier, less routine work on Firefly went so under-appreciated, but here’s hoping this one takes off. As with David Boreanaz on Bones, it’ll be a real pleasure to see the Whedon-alum “good bad boys” become “bad good boys.”

Via Whedonesque.

For You, New York

Filed under:Cool,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on October 6, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

Photos, taken on my recent Indiana trip, of what’s commonly called the Empire Quarry, near Oolitic, Indiana, where Indiana boys dug out the Indiana limestone to build the Empire State Building. More of the same is now being used on the new Yankee Stadium. To get to the vantage point where these were taken, you cross through a hilltop graveyard. A lot of this same stone built most of my university and a lot of others in Indiana.

Colorful ID, NYC-style:

The ID from the other end of the pool:

I’m Cooler Than Than Tom Hanks

Filed under:Cool,Heh,Mothering — posted by Anwyn on October 4, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

…or anybody else with two Oscars. Because Emma Thompson says so. Yeah!

Wonder if it’s still cooler after three … Oscars, that is.

A Good Night…

Filed under:Cool,Not Cool,Politics,Sports — posted by Anwyn on October 3, 2008 @ 7:08 am

…to be a Palin fan.

Not so much to be a Cubs fan.

My Day Is Brightened

Filed under:Authors,Cool,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on September 30, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

…by learning that P.J. O’Rourke believes in God. He also has a malignant hemorrhoid, learning of which does not brighten my day. I hope he soon recovers the structural integrity of his nethers.

H/t Anne the Lifepundit.

Straight Talk (Not by a Political Candidate)

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on September 6, 2008 @ 9:03 am

Yes, I know I owe you sweet, devoted people a boatload of Sarah Palin content. I just haven’t been able to bring it yet. I’m floored by the last week in politics and its implications. When I’m floored I can’t write about it. So … wait. I’ll either have something or I won’t, and if you need Sarah Palin and somehow aren’t getting enough, just click through my blogroll, starting with Ace–I am so in love with him this week for ripping off the heads of people circulating lies about the Palins.

Meanwhile, I return to my regular beat, the oh-so-important, terribly critical Dancing with the Stars. Seriously. Wild stuff. I used to rail and rage against sports announcers and the stupid “interviews” they do with stars and coaches after the game. What do you MEAN, “How important was this win and how do you feel about that?” What a stupid question. Are you just a moron? till a boyfriend more versed in the sports world helpfully pointed out that the “interviews” are always boilerplate form, but they have to go through them anyway in case somebody says something out of line. Kind of like they always have to videotape the president taking off in Marine One in case he falls out, or a rotor blade flies off and decapitates the Rose Garden.

Sports interviewers wish they could interview my Maks. He talks about his partners as friends for life, and I guess he must really believe that, if he thinks he can say stuff about them in an interview while comparing them all unfavorably (however razor-thin the margin between them may be) to his new partner, volleyball queen Misty May-Treanor. Misty is better than Mel B?
Chmerkovskiy: I was shocked, and I don’t throw that word around lightly. People are going to be very surprised by how well she’s going to dance. Laila (Ali, season four) had an incredible work ethic. But I could be too much for her. She’d say: You’ve gotta back off. And then Mel (season five) was just this incredible personality. But she had zero attention span. So here, in Misty, I have a combination of the best qualities of both. She’s like a perfect person to love. She has this aura of sweetness, and she’ll practice for as long as it takes. Let Cheryl [Burke] and Julianne [Hough] collect the trophies. I’ll collect friends for life.

Wow. I said he’d have to go far to find somebody better than Mel B. Apparently he thinks he went far enough. Now I’m stoked. Bring back the rest of my fall TV! Because I watched the Bones premiere last night and, gah. You know those writers I thought they must have hired last season when the shows were clicking right along with good plots and snappy dialogue? Yeah, they all must have quit again.

Sarah. Palin.

Filed under:Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn on August 29, 2008 @ 8:15 am

Sarah Palin!

McCain faked this so well that he left Allah woozy. Up through last night they were running down the list of men, some crusty (Lieberman) and others not-so-much (Pawlenty), so uncertain that they even dragged Thompson back out.

Politically speaking: Flat-out awesome choice. Young, married mother of five, governor of Alaska, living symbol of ending pork-barrel spending, as it was she who killed the Bridge to Nowhere.

Come on over, disgruntled Hillary voters. Elect a pair of Republicans after eight years of the Most Hated Republicans on Earth. Be mavericks.

Green Light!

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 27, 2008 @ 8:25 am

ABC has picked up five pilots, including Nathan Fillion’s (and director Rob Bowman’s) Castle and Rob Thomas’s Cupid.

That latter one sound familiar? It’s a remake of Rob Thomas’s one-season Cupid from 1998, with Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson in the Jeremy Piven/Paula Marshall roles. I caught maybe all of one episode when it was on before, but I understand it had a reasonably rabid cult following. Will they like the new cast? If nothing else I’ll be able to compare the Sorkin/Thomas chops of Paulson to Marshall–Paula went from playing a porn actress on Sorkin’s Sports Night to playing a guidance counselor who falls for Veronica’s dad in Veronica Mars, and now Paulson goes from Sorkin’s West Wing right on to Cupid. I guess all we need now is for Paula Marshall to guest on a Whedon show, as Sarah Paulson had her bit as a doomed hologram in Serenity. Trifecta.

And if you are still so benighted as to never have seen Veronica Mars, get thee to a Netflix envelope. She is in serious running for my favorite show of all time, people. Does that make me a nostalgic nerd bemoaning my unbrilliant teenage years? Maybe! Do I care? No. For that matter, I know there are still some deprived souls among you who haven’t even watched my Fillion in Firefly. And to that I can only say, can the Veronica, shame on me, ditch the Firefly, shame on you.

Dancing Cast Announced

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 25, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

And the number of the counting shall be 82 … Cloris Leachman, 82 years old. Yowza. Paired with Mark Ballas’s dad, Corky, which is just awesome.

Here’s the full lineup. The other big news seems to be that 1) Mercifully, Lance Bass will be paired with a woman. It’s not about homosexuality, it’s about dancing, which in a ballroom pairing requires the complementary movements of man v. woman. Period. and 2) Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy! He’s back! I’m dubious as to how many moves she’s got, and Maks will have to go far to find a partner more likely to win than Mel B, but Misty May has earned a lot of goodwill from me by the sheer awesomeness of inviting the President of the United States to slap her rump. She and Kerri Walsh were class all the way.

Cheers: Anna Trebunskaya is not back. Jeers: Karina Sneeroff is. But she’s paired with a celebrity chef I know nothing about, so here’s hoping she’ll dance her way off fairly early.

You’re So Cute When You’re Trying to Be Cool

Filed under:Cool,Reviews,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 20, 2008 @ 9:01 am

I have a new show. The time has come to write about it. I watched another episode of it last night and it’s just fun. It’s not terribly witty. It’s not terribly fresh. It’s not heavy on a good love story. It’s not clever and very proud of itself for being clever. It’s just a straight-ahead action/drama hourlong with cute actors, stories that drive fast and sharp through the whole hour, and fun. It’s Burn Notice, on USA, and it’s like a combination of Magnum, P.I., a laid-back Miami version of Mission Impossible, and a tiny touch of Veronica Mars thrown in, in the sense that nothing ever seems to throw these characters.

Jeffrey Donovan (who should definitely play my brother-in-law in the family life story) plays Michael Westen, “a spy” (I didn’t watch first season, so I don’t know if it was ever made clear what agency he was with, but they don’t bother tagging it specifically this season) who was “burned”–somebody blew his cover and reported as much to his bosses, which is the “burn notice” that means they will not protect or acknowledge him. He’s on his own in Miami with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar–much, much more on her in a minute), a buddy named Sam (Bruce Campbell), and his mother, Madeleine (the Cagney half of Cagney and Lacey). The plots are dual: On one side, he’s being recruited for questionable jobs by the people who burned him. He goes along and tries to gather as much information as possible about them while reluctantly working for them. On the other side, he’s doing jobs for people in trouble–a loan shark here, an embezzling frame-up there.

It’s the focus on the Magnum-like plots that makes it work–we’re not supposed to worry too much about what agency Michael was with, what his always-available, always-competent friends do for day jobs. Westen narrates, detailing choice bits of M.I.-style maneuvers and high-tech equipment here and there, and Fiona is his all-around no-need-to-hire-a gun. Guns of every make, shape and size that she doesn’t hesitate to whip out on the least provocation.

Okay, I’ve always loved Gabrielle Anwar, had a soft spot for her ever since Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. I keep going back and forth as to whether she was miscast in this show. She is long and lean, a little too thin and spray-tanned for comfort (the Fug Girls would call her orange), and her accent (she’s English) is wobbly, to say the least, while Donovan (he was born in New England; I already know he does a creditable Southern) takes on and puts off the patois of every area of the country in his dealings with baddies. She’s supposed to be the firecracker siren, but she really strikes me as just cute under all her bad-ass cool. Maybe that’s my aforementioned soft spot for her talking, but whatever–she works in this line-up. In a show that took itself more seriously, she simply would not have enough weight, and I’m hoping they do a little more with her as time goes on. Of the four primary characters, we know hers the least–but of course I’ve come in at the second season and maybe they probed her a bit more in the first. She’s a little brittle right now–the strain of playing a vixen is showing a bit. More Gabrielle!

It’s a fun show, cute and cool, and somebody at USA is smart to run it in the summer.

Learn Something New Every Day

Filed under:Cool,Music — posted by Anwyn on August 14, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

Chess, the music(al), was written by the two Bs in ABBA.

That explains a lot, not least of which is why I like it so much. Like Bookworm says, ABBA has a lot of songs that just make me “fizzy happy.”

Quote of the Day

Filed under:Cool,Heh — posted by Anwyn on August 13, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

2) If you intend the weapon to give you plausible deniability for secret laser blasts, you probably shouldn’t announce, “Hey, check this cool shit out! We have an invisible high-powered laser letting us melt a bitch with plausible deniability!”


I know of no other blogger who can say “melt a bitch” with quite the same … gravitas.

They Still Fly

Filed under:Cool,History — posted by Anwyn on August 12, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

I love B-17s. I love Memphis Belle, I have a framed drawing of the Shoo Shoo Baby, I think the men who flew in them and their near mechanical relatives were a particular class of hero apart. I almost cried the other day describing the scene where John Lithgow tries to raise a cheer for the men of the Belle because they’re going to fly their 25th mission in the morning, only to be slapped down by the superstitious air crews who know it’s bad luck to count chickens before they’ve hatched. And I only got into the discussion in the first place in order to mention Harry Connick’s rendition of “Danny Boy.”

Anyway, there are still a few airworthy B-17s out there. Apparently if you’re in the right place at the right time, you can crawl up the hatch and get a feel for what it was like. Wow.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace