Smallville likes gum. And product placement.

March 16, 2008 at 7:07 am (tv review) (, , )

So, in the latest episode of Smallville [Hero] Clark’s old buddy Pete returned to his hometown and got superpowers. But the whole thing was really just one long commericial for a brand of chewing gum. Anyway, at one point Jimmy was going to interview Pete about his powers, but it didn’t go ahead. Given the extreme amount of product placement in the episode, this is how I imagine the interview would have gone. Enjoy.

Jimmy: Could you describe your power a little?
Pete: Sure man, I can stretch my limbs way out, just like Stride Gum!
Jimmy: Or elastic?
Pete: Or Stride Gum!
Jimmy: Um, okay. How did you get this power?
Pete: I got it by chewing Stride Gum! Stride Gum has such long-lasting flavor, it gives you superpowers!
Jimmy: So does that mean you taste like gum now or something?
Pete: Yeah, I bet I’ve got a long-lasting minty-fresh tang, just like Stride Gum!
Jimmy: Uh huuhhh. What do you plan to do with this power?
Pete: Well, now I can get to the nearest 7-11 three times as fast, so I won’t have to go as long without Stride Gum!
Jimmy: Right. You saved Kara Kent’s life the other night. Why don’t you tell us about that?
Pete: So I’m a roadie for some suck-ass band which somehow was fortunate to get a gig at the old Stride Gum factory. I was enjoying some Stride Gum, when suddenly I saw some equipment coming loose from the ceiling. They should have used Stride Gum to stick it up there. And then I saw there was a hot chick [she probably chews Stride Gum] beneath the falling equipment. So I thought of Stride Gum, and found it within myself to reach out and pull her back from about ten metres away. Stride Gum gave me the power to save her life!
Jimmy: That’s it, I’m done. The first meteor freak who’s willing to be interviewed, and he turns the whole damn thing into a pimpfest for some crappy gum.
Pete: Hey-
Jimmy: I just can’t take this shit. Fuck you, fuck this, and most of all, fuck Stride Gum. God, I need a drink.
Pete: Can you call me Strideman in the article?
Jimmy: NO!


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Jericho review; 2×04 Oversight

March 9, 2008 at 3:19 pm (tv review) (, )

Duuude. The fourth episode of Jericho? Ab fab. The town has, by this stage, realized that the new government is not so interested in a fair and united country. As in, they are ruining the economy to gain power. They set fixed prices, but charge heaps for stock, it’s been made illegal to buy supplies from anyone else… How does Jericho respond? Everybody picks up their game. Except Stanley, who was having one of his “dumb,” moments again, and doesn’t get how serious things are. 

But everybody else was well and truly doing their part. Even Dale was helping independent businesses by smuggling stuff in. It’s not a charity, it helps him too, but major improvement. Mary flirts with all the soldiers at her bar to gain intel and convince them to overlook smuggling shipments. Emily gives history lessons in public, or something. But the three main storylines this week were about Dale getting arrested for the aforementioned smuggling, and Hawkins trying to keep his “package,” secret. The bomb kind of package, naturally. And, of course, Mimi keeping an independent ledger to check against J&Rs for inconsistencies and spotting one of $10000.

Something I found interesting is that Bill put his life on the line to help Dale. Sure, Jake did too, but that’s par for the course, and Stanley doing so was no huge surprise either. But Bill’s generally the violent idiot, not the guy who saves people. Maybe they’ve decided to improve him a little, the way they did for Gray after he became Mayor. 

The mysterious voice on the phone reckons he knows everything and calls himself “John Smith.” Oh great, a fucking Dead Zone crossover. The perfect idea to get Jericho cancelled. Stephen King is cool, but the TV show? Ugh. He Of The Psychic And Supremely Annoying told Hawkins he’ll get caught unless he can get a certain sheet of paper from Beck’s office, from a radiation scan sensitive enough to pick up the nuclear bomb in the basement. Heather is the only non-military person who can enter that office, so Jake figures they should ask her to do it. But it’s not as simple as that, she’s smart [Jake’s words, not mine, squee] so they’ll have to tell her that some shit is up. Double squee. Wisely, they don’t tell her exactly, because Hawkins saying “I have one of the bombs in my house,” was far more likely to convince her to go tell that to Beck than to help him cover it up. But they do tell her that the government is lying about who did the attacks, and she’s heard enough to know that Hawkins is not just a cop from LA, and they say what the paper is. Unfortunetly, Hawkins also gave the impression that if the government would murder her if it caught her doing this. The whole scene where she steals the paper is done from her perspective, so it’s extremely tense. The music is tense, there’s a lot of her looking nervous and glancing around.  

This was very well done, I have to say. It’s like, being murdered to cover up an evil government conspiracy is a risk that Hawkins and Jake are under all the time, they’ve gotten used to it. Heather, being a normal person, reminds us of how unusual the other two are. Darcy really didn’t, because she would have lied for years about her husband/ex-husbands occupation, then had to fake her identity, not to mention probably just picked up some “How to be a good spy,” tricks from Hawkins simply by living with him. Heather isn’t a spy, doesn’t have close contact with a spy, and has generally been a pretty open and honest person. So she is naturally totally unprepared, and shows us what happens when someone average is dropped into this kind of stuff, instead of covert CIA agents or the prodigal son who went to Iraq. And who knows, maybe she’ll become more used to it if her involvement in the A-team continues. Which would be fascinating to watch. Oh and one small note; knowing it’s a radiation scan, if she takes a look at it next episode, she’ll see there’s a very heavy source of radiation at Hawkin’s place. 

So finally we come to Mimi and the ledger. So sad, you guys. Goetz was the one embezzling, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep from getting found out. In this case, that means he’s willing to take a bunch of Ravenwood guys, with guns, and go to the Richmond house. Stanley wasn’t home, but Mimi and Bonnie were. Ravenwood came inside. Mimi ran into the pantry, thinking Bonnie was right behind her, and almost immedietly got shot in the torso by a stray Ravenwood bullet. Bonnie had instead opted for a shotgun. Like the scene with Heather earlier, this was done from her perspective, only it’s more obvious this time because we hear her heartbeat and breathing. It was a wise choice not to use that before IMO, as it would have lessened the impact of it for this scene. Due to Bonnie’s deafness, the only other sound we heard were the muffled booms of the gunplay. She was looking at the shadows to see where the bastards are going to be, and managed to get three or four of them, so she totally had the “die in a blaze of glory,” thing going. But then Goetz came through the door – of course it had to be Goetz – and we switched back to Mimi on the pantry floor as three more shots rang out, and then silence. She dragged herself up to look through a bullet hole, and can’t see anyone. Then she collapsed completely. This was a bloody excellent scene on so many levels. Alicia Coppola [Mimi] was great, so was DB Sweeney [Goetz]. But best of all was Shoshannah Stern, who went out in as much a blaze of glory as her character. *sniffles* 

So Johnny Smith next tells Hawkins that Project Boxcar was a worst-case scenario plan designed by J&R, designed to warn the US. Instead someone got hold of it and acted it out. You mean someone like… Valente? Really, is this a surprise to anyone? Oh, and Johnny doesn’t think Hawkins is ready to hear the truth of his psychic powers yet, so he instead claims that he helped write the plan. Sure, Johnny, sure. Now, either tell me next week’s winning lottery numbers or shut the hell up. 

The last scene is just as bloody excellent as the one before it. This one is from Jake’s perspective. This episode is all about perspective. There were even a couple of Goetz POV shots in there. This was in slow motion here. Some girl was singing a sad song that’s apparently called “Nine Crimes,” and we couldn’t here anything else. A car drove up at the Richmond farm, and Jake got out. He was walking all tall and strong and heroic, yet resigned, while behind him Bill scrambles around the car as though he could still stop what had already happened. We got this absolutely perfect Jake POV shot of a non-J&R ambulance on one side of the door, and Eric on the other side looking solemn, regretful, and even more resigned to the too-lateness than Jake was.  So then Jake went in, and he saw Mimi unconscious on a stretcher with an oxegen mask and a paramedic. I’m really glad Mimi was found, though. As bad as things are, they would be much worse if she wasn’t. Like, not just that she would have died too, but that she would have died mere feet away from them, simply because no one could find her or felt like some peanuts. Okay, so anyway, the next thing we saw was Stanley cradling Bonnie. Jake’s eyes widened, and everybody looked like throwing up, and Stanley raised his head. He really didn’t look like he usually does. His face was really red and ruddy and blotchy, and it was very effective. Also, I think he may be over his dumb moment and ready for a revolution. Though hopefully not onto another dumb moment where he tries to get revenge the Green Boys way.

Fucking excellent episode. But after that patch of pitch-black darkness at the end, the next episode better have a little bit of lightness in it. Not like Pushing Daises or anything, just as a teensy subplot or whatever, but it really needs to have Jimmy bumbling around a little, or Gray, or Sam Hawkins can be all adorable, or someone can kill Goetz which by this stage counts as comic relief. Shit, I’ll even settle for Emily if it means some light fluff.

Oh, and I found a vid for y’all who haven’t seen the episode to watch the two bloody excellent scenes of Bonnie’s death.

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