Jericho is baaaack!

December 29, 2007 at 4:04 pm (tv misc) ()

Note: If you already watch Jericho and know about the campaign, there is seriously no point in reading most of this. The promo analysis is near the bottom, just go ahead and skip down to that. 

So there’s this show called Jericho which I kind of love. I’m not going to bother explaining it, if you want to know what it’s about you can read about it here on Wikipedia. But I was initially attracted to it because I kept seeing these promos for it all the time, saying “24 hours until Jericho,” “17 hours until Jericho,” ect. and showing the shot of the little boy standing on the roof looking at the mushroom cloud. It was meant to make the people watching wonder what the show was exactly about and tune in to find out. It worked. And it wasn’t crap, but it wasn’t all that good either. However, I was still curious to find out how they would deal with the bombs and how much had been bombed and why…

I continued to watch through the weeks, partially because I was still curious, partially because I had grown attached to the characters as I am prone to do, and partially becuase Strega over on TWoP was being deliciously funny in the recaps and it just wasn’t as good reading them if I hadn’t seen the episode.

After the 11th episode, it was put on hiatus. After a few months, it came back in America. Not here, though. I continued to read the recaps even though I hadn’t seen the episodes, because they were still funny and I wanted to know what was happening and couldn’t wait. The recapper, now changed to Keckler, really liked all the storylines and would often say how awesome an episode was. And though I hadn’t seen them, they did sound very awesome indeed.  

Somehow, over the hiatus, the show had made an enormous leap in improvement. For a start, pre-hiatus many of the things going on in the show had just seemed a little too normal. They were things that could have been happening on other shows. Sometimes crime dramas, sometimes The Sopranos, once Little House On The Prairie… But then in the second half of the season, they began to focus more on the effect the nuclear apocalypse had on the country as a whole, and it kind of rocked. The characters had become more consistant and better written, and the episodes and plots had become a lot tighter.  

Meanwhile, in Australia, Channel 10 repeatedly gave dates for Jericho to come back, only to change their minds. At one point they changed their mind at the very last minute and put on The motherfucking Pussycat Dolls Present instead. I had had enough and decided not to rely on Ten to get Jericho. I caught up with the US and usually got to watch the episode about a week after they did. Ten did end up bringing it back… For two episodes. Then they cancelled it. But I didn’t really care, I got to watch it anyway. 

Jericho had an excellent finale with an even more excellent cliff hanger. Sadly, the show was cancelled soon after. You see, a long mid-season hiatus isn’t good for a show viewership-wise, and then American Idol had come on in the same time slot. American Idol is the singing vacuum of network ratings, and so the size of Jericho’s audience had gone down even more. It still came second in the ratings quite a few times, and apparently a lot of people would watch it online or DVR it, but CBS either didn’t consider this or didn’t care enough and they cancelled it anyway. 

But! The fans fought it. Now, almost anything can get cancelled and there’ll be some people fighting it. But the Jericho fans weren’t kidding around, they got themselves organized and launched a large scale campaign. Reportedly so many emails and phone calls were made that we basically stuffed up both those forms of communcation for them.

But that’s not all. Main character Jake had said the line “Nuts,” in the finale, and that inspired the tactic to get everybody to buy some nuts and send them in. When an online nuts shop owner discovered why people were ordering so many nuts to be delivered to CBS, he took pains to make it easier for us, we publicized the site as much as possible, and because of that the nuts became the crown jewel of the campaign to save Jericho. I reckon there were over fifty news articles talking about it. After a while, it worked and we got a promise of a seven episode long second season, with more to follow if enough people watch.  

CBS recently announed a return date: 12th of February 2008. They’ve also compiled a very cool promo, which showed up a couple of days ago and can be seen here. Watching that gets me verrry excited for my show’s return. So excited that I decided to analyse the promo and write down anything that’s easy to miss while watching it normally. Or just writing down thoughts in general.  

Quick breakdown of who’s who for the folks who don’t watch, in order of appearance on the list.

Heather is an intelligent and optimistic twenty-something who helped the town with her knowledge of mechanics however, she was only a guest star for the first season and so didn’t get much screentime. At the end of the finale, she was in a military camp in Nebraska, but she’ll be back in Jericho next season.

Jake is the main character, local town hero and a reformed bad boy.

Eric is Jake’s brother who cheated on his wife with the bartender, then felt guilty when the wife died but apart from that is a pretty decent guy.

Constantino is the mayor of a neighbouring town, he used trickery, clever speeches and his people’s desperation to push them into a war with Jericho.

Stanley Richmond is a good humoured local farmer and Jake’s best friend.

Hawkins worked for the CIA infilitraiting the group that set off the bombs and then forced his family to come to Jericho to protect them, he is a very Jack Bauer-ish sort of guy.

Bill is a local cop with a quick temper.

Johnston was Jake and Eric’s father, he used to be the mayor and was still a major leader for the town, but died in the battle with neighbouring town New Bern.

Emily is the main love interest for Jake, but there isn’t much else she does except piss me off.

Mimi is a former uptight IRS agent who was stuck in Jericho when the bombs went off, she now lives on the Richmond Farm and has become less uptight, possibly because she’s dating Stanley. 

Mary is the bartender that Eric was having an affair with, and loves him.

Maggie was in a group that came to Jericho pretending to be Marines as part of a scam to get food and water, she later reunited with Jake elsewhere by coincedence and ended up being carried back to Jericho with a shot leg, she has not been seen since.

Dale owns a shop and is an orphaned teenage boy who started out with a decent moral compass, but has since revenge-killed a crook and become a greedy enteprenuer taking advantage of the town’s situation.

Bonnie is Stanley’s deaf, slightly smart-ass younger sister.

Jimmy is a friendly, bumbling cop.

The Evil Thing is the mediocre, boring coupling of Jake and Emily.

Valente was the leader of Hawkin’s CIA team, but it would appear he was a double agent who also involved in the group Hawkins was infilitraiting. 

Warning: The following promo analysis has many of the spoilers from the promo, shock horror.

Yay, Heather! And I think that’s her in the background of people behind Skeet at 00:14.

I’m like, 99% sure that the bit where those two guys are dragging that other guy at 00:20 wasn’t in the finale, so that must be next season. It looks like the two dragging guys are Jake and Eric, but it might be someone and Constantino. If it’s Jake and Eric, they’re probably dragging an injured comrade to safety, but if it’s Constantino, he’s probably capturing someone. The dragged guy is really hard to see, so I don’t recognize him at all. Given they’re both so near him though, it could be Stanley.

Oooh, Hawkins is doing what I thought he would with the tank! Cool! And yep, that oughta take care of the train just as well as a missile like Bill fired could. You’re awesome, Hawkins!

Arrgghh! Bombs! Bombs bad! I wonder if they’re dropping them to end the New Bern/Jericho battle or it could easily be something on a more sinister agenda.

Looks like Constantino makes a slight on Johnston and Jake tries to attack him. Usually it’s a remark about a girl the hero likes, but Constantino doesn’t even know Emily and dead parents always work well too. It has to be about Johnston.

I love the silent look between Constantino and Jake. Constantino’s face is all like, “Don’t think this is over, boy!” While Jake looks back at him all, “Anytime anyplace, b*tchman.”

After careful study of the frames of the 00:41 woman, I think it might be Heather. At first I thought it wasn’t her because she has paler skin, but that could be the dark lighting. And the crappy quality collection of large pixels somehow very vaguely resembles her face. The facial shape looks similar to Heather’s too, but not to Mimi’s or Mary’s, who are the only other ones who have similar hair. Or it could be Maggie, but probably not because of post-cancellation contract issues. Whoever it is, it looks like something is wrong if they’re running. Or if it’s Heather, it could be right after she got back and she’s running up to see someone ‘cause she’s glad to be back. 

Arrggh! Emily! Emily bad! Anyway, it looks like she’s doing something actiony, which is better than soap-starry. 

Not sure who that guy holding the gun was. Didn’t look like anyone we know, so I’m going to guess that some random goes a bit crazy and violent and things get out of hand. And then there’s Jake heroics. 

Weird. That hanging guy is actually hanging from his hands, not his neck. There are better ways to keep someone captive, so it must be either torture or more likely, stringing up an already dead body to serve as a warning. Also in the same frame is a sign besides the tree, but with this quality there’s not a hope in hell of reading it. And yes, there is someone standing besides the truck, plus a couple more people actually in the truck. The very next shot is of an army guy looking up, so it’s mighta been the army that did this. Although the truck didn’t look military, so maybe they did it “off the books,” or something. 

Somebody’s busting Dale for something. They’re wearing black shirts, not army fatigues or police uniforms. 

The army guy is running up to Jake to give him a hug. How cuuute! But seriously, if you look past the running guy, you can see that the guys beside look like they’re wearing black hoods or coats or something, and they’ve got their arms up like they’re carrying weapons. Major trouble for Jake, and for some reason that clip reminds me of the KKK. Which, creepy. 

Between the shot of the guy hugging Jake and the shot of Hawkins, it’s almost impossible to see what’s in those little flashes, but I think one thing from there is a girl, maybe Emily. But yeah, it’s really hard to tell. 

You have a lot of “ville” places in the US, don’t you? I don’t think we have that many over here. Though there is Townsville, up in Queensland. That’s right, like the Powerpuff Girls. What do you mean, get back on topic? 

Ohhh, Jake and Hawkins are wearing black shirts. Looks like they’s in some sort of squad that arrests Dale. And what is that light? A flashbang?  

More guys in army fatigues are storming someone’s home. What’s with that green laser? Some kind of scanner is all I can think of, which would lead me to believe it’s Hawkins’s house. 

You go, Bonnie! Shoot the bad guys who are breaking into the house!

Jake’s sitting down, leaning against something, and it would appear that he hasn’t seen light in a while. Which would make it seem as though he’s been trapped in something for a while. 

I think Hawkins just attacked some kind of military leader. 

Army, funeral/ceremony, not much to comment on here. 

Weird that they put Emily before Jake in the start of the digdigdigdig bit, seeing as how he’s the main character and all. 

When the thing explodes, there’s a sign in front of the explosion in one shot. The last bit looks like it says “rail.” Guess it’s a train station blowing up or something. 

Aaand there’s a shot of Jake that makes the questioning scenes from “One If By Land,” come to mind but with the guards wearing fatigues. Ohhh, this must be where he was trapped, if they caught him and were keeping him prisoner.

 There’s nothing much to comment on right up until the shot of Mimi crying, which makes me very worried for Stanley and Bonnie. Oh god, there was those shots of Bonnie where somebody had apparently gotten into the house… Eeeep. Please don’t kill Bonnie, Jericho. Haven’t you ever heard of the “Don’t kill kids on tv,” rule? She’s still legally in that category! 

They got Hawkin’s bomb. Then there’s a car chase, and I’m betting Hawkins is in the car that’s being chased. 

It’s Jimmy! Good to know he survived the finale! 

And it’s Bill. Man, if there was one person I thought who hadn’t survived the finale, it would be him. I can’t say I’m glad to see him personally, but he does serve nicely as a plot device of recklessness and aggressiveness. 

ARRRRGGGGHHHHH! IT’S THE EVIL THING AND IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT ON SCREEN! 

Although I do like that they have a shot of the evil thing, then the Voice Over saying “The Wait Is Over,” then a shot of Hawkins aiming his gun. The wait is over for Hawkins to shoot the evil relationship dead, folks!

They had a shot of Valente, but it’s from Why We Fight. Maybe he’s going to be more of a background, unseen villain. Like Linderman was for like, most of the first season of Heroes. 

I hope this was useful to y’all.

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Five of TV’s guilty pleasures.

December 14, 2007 at 11:54 am (tv misc) (, )

 

 1. Ghost Whisperer.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: It stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, the wardrobe department has no shame, the writing is cheesy, unrealistic and over the top, and when the ghosts attack it’s more amusing than terrifying.

But: You can still go aww at all the long heartfelt talks at the end of every episode, or wonder why Melinda always compresses the ghost’s speech into a single sentence. And when the ghosts attack, it’s amusing. Very, very amusing, especially when Mel starts shrieking. Plus, you can snark on the show. As luck would have it, Melinda is a very easy target because of her stupidity and extreme cheerfulness, which always feels fake, thankyou very much JLH.

2. Smallville.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: Moves so fast most of the important stuff happens offscreen! Nothing in the world is stronger than the creator’s perverted crush on Lana! Plots that leap logic in a single bound! Also, most of the characters are total morons.

But: Eh, it’s young Superman. He has cool abilities and when he’s not being an idiot or sharing a scene with Lana, he’s actually a pretty nice guy. The fights and stuff can look cool and if you go over to TelevisionWithoutPity.com, there’s plenty of laughs in the recaps and the forums. Which is like, half the reason I keep watching.

3. Touched By An Angel.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: It’s a show about a group of angels who go around curing people’s emotional pain by having touching talks with them. ‘Nuff said.

But: I’ve been occasionally watching the reruns of this while I eat lunch, for two reasons. Monica’s accent is so incredibly awesome and it’s really fun to repeat the angels’ wise advice in a screechy stupid voice. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but seriously, it is.

4. Gossip Girl.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: Really, the only reason it’s a guilty pleasure is because it’s one of those teen dramas along the lines of The O.C. So it’s not a guilty pleasure for me, but it might be for people who aren’t teenage girls.

But: Despite being like The O.C., and even being made by the same guy, this is much much better. The main character Serena is not great, but she’s good, and the actress [Blake Lively of Travelling Pants fame, but much less annoying here] isn’t bad. However, her frenemy Blair is just fantastic. She’s 95 pounds of girly evil, yet you can’t help but feel sorry for her after all the sh*t that happens. The actress [Lleighton Meester of Surface] is amazing at portraying Blair’s mix of viciousness and vunerability, and helps to make her the most layered character I have ever seen on a teen drama. The directing does a great job, the narrator Gossip Girl is one of the few narrators who don’t bug and whoever wrote her lines got much better after the third episode or so. There are a whole lot of people who love Chuck and feel really bad about it because he was a twice attempted-rapist by the end of the first episode [don’t worry, he didn’t succeed.] And for all those who watched the pilot and turned away, I urge you to come back and give it a second chance. It hit its stride at about the third episode, and just keeps getting better and better. Oh, finally, the music is really good. So yeah, it’s actually a great show even if it is a teen drama.

5. Childrens cartoons.

Why they’re a guilty pleasure: It should be obvious.

This is actually three cartoons I’m talking about, so I’ll do a bit on each of them.

Digimon: It’s kind of like Pokemon, except instead of trying to Catch ‘Em All and be Da Best Pokemon Trainer Ever!!!11!!1 these are normal kids who suddenly find themselves in a strange world [Digiworld] with weird talking animals [the digimon] accompanying them. Then they find out they need to save this Digiworld from some evil Digimon. And so starts their big adventure. The kids are actually likable, sympathetic and somewhat realistic, the plots are interesting, and the script is not great, but it’s pretty good all things considered. I am talking about the first season only, btw. The second one wasn’t very good and after seeing the ads for the third I declared myself done.

Kim Possible: As a general rule of thumb, if the episode has Drakken and Shego, then it’s a good one. If it doesn’t, there’s a fair chance it isn’t. Drakken and Shego’s sniping at each other and at Kim always brightens up an episode, as does Drakken’s drama-queen-ness. And if you get the feeling there’s going to be a message to the episode [such as eat healthy or labels don’t matter] then avoid at all costs. But yeah, the non-message ones with Drakken and Shego are pretty cool and I like the love/hate relationship they have with each other and with Kim.

 Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? This is the original series, before they added Scrappy-Doo and Fred, Velma and Daphne left and Daphne came back and they made a couple of live-action movies. Every single plot is basically the exact same thing in different settings I can’t figure out why Shaggy and Scooby keep playing dress ups and painting the “ghost’s,” picture or whatever instead of running away, or why Fred keeps sending them off alone when they always get into trouble. But I like trying to figure out which of the three or so suspects was dressing up as the ghost, the chase scenes are awesome when they put on jaunty music during them and it’s hilarious that there’s often some sheriff that reveals he has been working on the case for months and then four teenagers and a dog solved it in a few hours with no equipment. Oh, and the other thing that’s hilarious is how short Velma is. I found out she’s supposed to be 4’9’, and was giggling over that all afternoon, and then half the gang dressed up in Mr Hyde monster costumes so that the culprit, wearing the same costume as they were, would get scared into the trap. And he look behind the curtain, and there was a Hyde, and then ran to hide in the closet and there was another Hyde, and then a midget Hyde popped up and I started laughing really hard. Anyway, the whole show’s vintage fun.

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TV review: Ghost Whisperer.

December 6, 2007 at 10:55 pm (tv review) (, )

This one is quite late in coming, so I’d better get started. Okay, to sum up this episode, Melinda saw a bloke talking to a ghost and realised he has “the gift.” She then spotted him out in the town square. So they had a couple of chats, he was in a mental institution for ten years or so, she found out he’s evil and wants to make the dead stronger than the living.

For Ghost Whisperer, this was actually alright. I wouldn’t call it good, but it was okay. However, were Melinda able to read this, I would offer her some tips:

  1. It’s not classy to show more boob than Pamela Anderson at a funeral. No, not even if the corpse is dressed in a jacked over a fancy bra. But if you want to meet the person who dressed her, just look for the guy who’s staring at your massive Pamela Anderson cleavage throughout the whole ceremony. I know, given the size of the twins, I’ll need to be a bit more specific. He’s the one who fainted when he saw them.
  2. If you find a guy who can also talk to ghosts, don’t think the worst of him without knowing him at all. And don’t act all cold to him when he’s a guest in your home and seems like a totally nice guy. No, I don’t care if you think it’s suspicious, he could say the same about you.
  3. But if you are suspicious of a guy, don’t go off alone with him to a dark deserted place. Take Jim. Take Payne. Take Delia. Go during daylight, at least. Take some mace. Take a tazer. Any of these would be a good idea.
  4. If you are even more suspicious of a guy than you were before and have evidence that there’s something off about him, then don’t get in your car, alone, follow him home, and enter said home, alone. Especially not when you know he’s home. They should just show Ghost Whisperer in women’s safety classes as a guideline on what not to do.
  5. Don’t try to cross ghosts over while driving. Maybe they should show Ghost Whisperer as the what-not-to-do guide in traffic school too… Or at least if John Edward, James Van Praagh or Colin Fry are in the class.

 I don’t know what’s going on with Romano’s ghosts. They went with him, and supposedly changed and became like him, but now they’re back to normal. They can even cross over if they want to, apparently. So yeah, Romano is not so much the Big Bad he was made out to be, more the Small Naughty.

Melinda shrieky scenes! We haven’t been getting enough of them lately. They’re always unintentionally the funniest part of my night.

The bit where Mel and Co. found the room full of photos of her was actually creepy. Hardly original, but it was creepy for at least three seconds. New record! Although I was kind of distracted ‘cause I was thinking that Al and Miles [showrunners of Smallville] probably have similar rooms in their houses with pictures of Lana.

The thing where Payne wouldn’t forgive his wife – I understand if he can’t forgive her, but he should have lied. He should have said it for her, so she could cross over. BTW, it was pretty stupid how one minute his wife was all crying and sad and sorry and nice, and then the next she’s gone all evil bitchy ghost.

So concludes the review. They’re not really reviews, are they? More collections of thoughts about the show. Oh well, “review,” is quicker to type.

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Smallville Knockouts! And other stats.

December 4, 2007 at 3:38 am (tv misc) ()

Not a review, but to start off I found this web page which has all these lists of Smallville things. Like, it lists everytime someone’s been knocked out, and how. It lists all the time’s one of the main characters has broken the law.  It lists how many times everyone’s died. Smallville tends to come up a bit short in the creativity and originality departments, so it’s rather entertaining to see it all written down. Some of the best bits:Lex is the king of knockouts, being knocked out 42 times so  far. Four of them were via Clark, twice via Chloe [and she was unarmed both times, hee], once via Lana and once via his own evil twin. Four more times were all in the same episode.

Lana is the queen of KO, coming in at 39.5 times. Only twice via Clark. But once was because she was wrapped in a cocoon and for one, the description is “Saw herself ugly after a lesbian kiss and had a mirror fall on her.” Ah, the wacky fun of Smallville.

Yes, they should both have pretty bad brain damage. But with Lana, it’s hard to tell the difference. With Lex… Well, this explains why he fell in love with Lana.

Clark racks up at 26. Man of Steel my a**. Like everyone else, a bunch of times were by his friends. But twice was via himself. Seriously.

MamaKent has been knocked out once by Clark, but twice by Chloe, whom wasn’t being posessed or controlled in any way either time. Once is also described as “Suffocated out by grain.” Grain!

Clark and Chloe have both died twice [technically, Chloe’s died three times, because it turned out she hadn’t, but the explanation they gave didn’t fit, so she should actually still be dead]. Lex has died four times. And Lana had died an unbelievable ELEVEN TIMES. Attention wh*re.

In one episode early in the series, Lex taught Lana some martial arts. She used them to beat up some sleazy guy and promptly forgot about them until she was mind-whammied and told to attack Chloe. There’s a nice list of all the times she should have used her skills but didn’t. Some of them are her getting kidnapped when she should had been able to kick the villain’s a**, some of them are of her watching someone try to murder one of her boyrfriends and doing nothing. I want a list of the same sort, but for Lois.

Lana hates Clark’s secrets and lies, so there’s a list of all the times she has had SECRETH! Or told LIETH! It’s quite a long list. Hypocrite.

If you want the link, here it is

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/tv/tv.php?topic=reviews/smallville-knockout

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Hiiiiii!

December 4, 2007 at 3:35 am (misc.)

I’m Dale and this is my blog. It’s going to be about reviewing TV and sometimes movies.

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