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February 15-21, 1999
Cool! My friend Felix sent me this nifty software link. It's a Pocket Star Chart for the Palm Pilot.
A blast from the past, an older piece James Lileks wrote for the Washington Post, about
a new breed of Star Wars fan:
1. The nation's future rests in the hands of people who actually think Star Wars was a
documentary. To nitpick is gauche, like criticizing the cinematography of the films the Army
took when it liberated Buchenwald.
2. Giving youngsters e-mail accounts is like giving them telephones and a list of convenience
stores whose clerks don't know if the store carries Prince Edward in the can.
Naturally there are plenty of kids and teens and others who are intelligent wonderful Star Wars
fans. James was feeling the wrath of kids on AOL after all (er . . . ).
Just noticed this and added it to my TV picks:
Myles Berkowitz on
Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien (Fri, NBC) He's the filmmaker behind 20 Dates.
I've been wondering the same thing.
Bruce Schneier in this month's Crypto-Gram:
Sun's Scott McNealy announced that we all have no privacy anyway, and might as well get used
to it. All the more troubling, Sun is a member of the Online Privacy Alliance. With an
attitude like McNealy's, is it hard to believe that "an industry coalition that seeks
to head off government regulation of online consumer privacy in favor of an industry
self-regulation approach" has my best interests at heart?
Ouch. From a good article
about the lack of job standards for online journalists [via tomalak's realm]:
Or listen to this highly inaccurate remark from one of my print edition counterparts at the
Los Angeles Times: "Isn't the Web site where the paper sends people it doesn't want to
fire but doesn't know what else to do with?"
[Note: I work for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, specifically startribune.com. Though I work
on the technical side of things, not as a journalist]
We've got 3 Pullitzer Prize winners who work on startribune.com. More than the dead.tree edition
of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has. Of course, we're all part of the Star Tribune, but still it's interesting.
I'm always amazed that folks don't realize we have an actual online news staff that makes editorial
decisions separate from the print version of the paper. And creates content just for the website.
Newspaper websites aren't all carbon copies of the print editions, they can't be. To be
a good online paper you've got to do a lot more. Well, you certainly have to do things differently.
Kevin Poulsen on media hacking:
Viewed as a system, the mainstream news media is a bug-ridden security sieve riddled with
backdoors and Trojan horses, promiscuously copying data from disparate sources until
lethal viruses infect every node of the network.
So, not surprisingly, it gets hacked.
The folks at theforce.net
have a detailed description of the forthcoming trailer for
the new Star Wars movie. I'm a sap, I got worked up just reading the description
and visualizing the trailer. I can't wait to see it!
Can it get any cooler than this? A Lego Mindstorm R2-D2.
Anyone else thinking of going to Denver for the official Star Wars shindig?
Convention, I mean.
My Dad actually asked me about it the other day ('course my Dad subscribes to
Star Wars Insider magazine
and collects some Star Wars stuff). Too funny, got me thinking about it again.
I know it'll be more of an expo and nowhere near as fun as fan-run conventions,
but it still could be interesting. And it is at the air and space museum . . .
October Sky opens this weekend.
Fine film, true story, based on the book Rocket Boys.
I saw it at a preview and really liked the film. I've seen some folks complain that it has clichéd
moments . . . kindof a silly complaint about a true story, eh? And I suppose much will be
made of this, but it is refreshing that this is a movie I could take my grandparents or parents
to. Or one could take children to. The crowd I saw it with was really dramatically mixed in age and everyone
seemed to really like it. It's not a movie that I feel like shouting about, it doesn't
break new ground, it didn't awe me with anything in particular.
But the story and the performances are compelling.
I don't think we're related, but then I don't know many people on the Krahn side of
my family: Dells Teen Expelled for Newspaper That Criticized School.
A return to the duck, duck, grey duck discussion in
You might recall the old war movies where spies were unmasked with a simple question: Who
won the World Series? Now we know how to reveal fake Minnesotans. Just say "Duck, duck
. . ." and let them finish it. If they say "goose," they're not from Minnesota.
(Just kidding.) I know this now, because I ran a letter from a newcomer asking if only
Minnesotans play duck, duck, GRAY duck. Response: overwhelming. The basic theme: Minnesotans
are proud, strong, brave -- and utterly wrong.
But I wanna know, is it "gray duck" or "grey duck"?
I think there's a difference. I know a writer who has gotten into arguments with
his editor insisting that "grey" means something different than "gray".
Grey is darker, gray is brighter . . . well that's what I (and at least a few others I know)
Lileks talks of dandelions and ebay in today's bleat.
Ghostbusters III? Harold Ramis addresses the rumors.
Warning: if you follow this link and read this article,
you may very well find yourself
laughing out loud-- this can distract coworkers, housemates or housepets. As for me,
I nearly hurt myself. Philip Michaels strikes again in this teevee piece about
things irish, the new show Turks, and stereotypes. One needn't be a TV junkie to
this work. And there are bonus references to Minnesota and Garrison Keillor
in there for those that like that kindof
Rerun of the gorgeous X-Files episode "Triangle" (in letterbox format!) (7pm Fri, FOX)
Michelle Phillips guest stars in a new Providence (7pm Fri, NBC)
Barbara Bain guest stars in a new Millennium (8pm Fri, FOX)
New Homicide (second part of crossover w/ Law & Order) (9pm Fri, NBC)
Lauren Bacall on Late Show w/ David Letterman (10:35pm Fri, CBS)
Calista Flockhart (Ally!), Kevin Costner (yawn) on The Tonight Show (Fri, NBC)
Myles Berkowitz on Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien (Fri, NBC)
Bill Murray, Lucinda Williams on Saturday Night Live (Sat, NBC)
New X-Files (w/ Darren McGavin guest starring) (8pm Sun, FOX)
Andre Braugher in Passing Glory (7pm, 9pm, 11pm, Sunday night, TNT)
Classic Movies (on AMC) This Weekend:
Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn star in Desk Set. (7pm Friday. Letterbox version
airs at 1:30am Fri night/Sat morning).
Joan Collins (!) in Land of the Pharaohs. William Faulkner has a co-writing credit, Howard Hawks directs.
I haven't seen it, but I'll watch any of Hawks' work. (1pm Saturday, AMC)
Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe star in River of No Return. "An entertainer and a widower battle rapids and Indians while traveling down river on a raft."
I've not seen this, but I'm very intrigued (since I'm a fan of the two stars). (7:30pm Sat, letterbox
version airs at 1:30am sat night/sun morning).
Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, and Jean Simmons star in Stanley Donen's The Grass is Greener.
Gorgeous movie. One of my favorites. Though I prefer the widescreen version that AMC runs
occasionally (and the videotape I bought is also the widescreen version). (12:30pm Sunday, AMC)
Marilyn Monroe and Richard Widmark in
Don't Bother to Knock. Proof that Marilyn
could act (some folks seem to need it), a fine dramatic turn by her in this thriller. (9:45pm Sunday, 3:45am Monday)
The X-files episode "Triangle" is being rerun this Friday night at 7pm on FOX.
It's a gorgeous piece of work, writer/director Chris Carter did the episode as an homage to
Hitchcock's Rope, trying his best to make scenes look as if they were done in one long
shot. There are also oodles of references to The Wizard of Oz, it's fun to watch
for them. It's episodes like this that prove TV can be amazing (and as fine to look at
as the best movies).
Basic non-spoiler plot: Mulder takes off to investigate the seeming reappearance of
The Queen Anne in the Bermuda Triangle. We know he ends up overboard and hits his head.
Does he dream/hallucinate the part where he ends up somehow on the ship in 1939 and enounters Nazis and
spies and other such folks on the ship? Or does he really time travel? Does it really matter?
Naw, the ride is far too fun. X-fans will enjoy spotting the
1939 doppelgangers of folks Mulder knows in his modern day X-Files universe.
Including Scully, naturally. Does one need to be a fan to enjoy this? It helps, but
I suspect this episode stands alone alright. Sure is pretty to look at (though the
lighting is a bit dark in spots).
Orange County Register piece about Passing Glory includes a spiff interview with
On how he picks his projects:
I always make my choices on a case-by-case basis. If I find three-dimensional characters,
everything else will take care of itself. If you laugh out loud at a script, you probably
should do it. If it's a page-turner you probably should do it. It's a visceral reaction.
On playing Father Verrett in Passing Glory:
Verrett — the real Father Verrett is actually alive and well and living in Baltimore —
is passionate in his belief in the worthiness of every individual. In my own life,
I've seen several examples of priests serving God through action, through the belief that
God's love is manifested in our ability to change the world around us for the better.
So I just found the characters in this story to be complex and compelling. And Rip
(Torn) is brilliant in his own right. His sensibilities are finely tuned to the Southern
milieu 'cause he grew up in it, at a time when I was a child and he was a man.
On Frank and Tim (of Homicide: Life on the Street):
Well Kyle Secor (who plays Det. Tim Bayliss, Pembleton's partner on 'Homicide') and I put
in our share of rehearsal, even on our own time. When you work so closely with somebody
like that there's no hiding or fooling. I miss him, but you can't work with the same
person forever. But it still feels funny, you know, not having him there.
(And it feels funny not having Andre there. But more power to him for moving on to
Tons of reviews/previews out there for the TNT movie Passing Glory which premieres
this Sunday. It stars Andre Braugher (one of the best actors working today), along with
Rip Torn and Ruby Dee. Directed by Steve James (of Hoop Dreams fame). Airs repeatedly
on Sunday night (7, 9, 11pm) and will likely be rerun sometime after that, too.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Sports movies tend to be about a lot of things besides sports - relationships, personal
courage, the acquisition of skill, and teamwork.
"Passing Glory" (TNT, Sunday, Feb. 21, 8-10 p.m.) is a winning, modest human drama
about individual worth, about the Civil Rights movement as it affected impressionable high
school kids, and about the courage to change.
And, yes, it is also about basketball.
You know, Michael Michelle's character on Homicide used to drive me up the wall,
now she's growing on me. As is the actress. If they write decent stuff for the character,
I think Michelle can handle it (maybe). Check out
this interview at The Record (also
contains info on the crossover, especially on the Law & Order side of things).
A simple poll: How do you prefer your external links? Do you like that I have
my links set to open in a new browser window? Would you prefer I didn't do that?
Does it matter? I bet I couldn't even tell you how other logs do it because I always
click to open in a new window my own self (yeah, even when accessing my own weblog).
Good interview with David Simon,
author of Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighbourhood:
"The world doesn't care what David Simon thinks. It cares what a detective thinks,
standing over a body. Of course, you advocate whenever you tell a story. You decide what
to take in and what to exclude. But it's never the story of you."
Both books are amazing, though I still haven't finished The Corner . . . it's very
intense. Simon is also a writer and producer for Homicide: Life on the Street.
Cool description of Homicide: Life on the Street (from an article
speculating about whether the show will be renewed for next season):
The cultural references on Homicide are more likely to be T.S. Eliot than Missy
"Misdemeanor" Elliot. The show is literate, but that doesn't mean it's pretentious.
The stories and the conflicts involve universal themes, relevant to any type of television
viewer. Homicide is also marked by a lack of forced sentimentality. Just as in real life,
many of the characters don't like each other and don't hide the fact. The director of the
PBS documentary, Ted Bogosian, says, "there's not that much redemption on Homicide, and I
find that fascinating."
Also contains more information for those of us who have wondered where the stupid romance
plots on Homicide this year
At the urging of the network, NBC, the storyline changed at the beginning of the season:
A soap opera element of office romance was added to the show -- a strange departure from the
gritty cop drama that won the show its praise.
[James] Yoshimura [co-executive producer] admits that NBC was pushing the idea, but it didn't work.
"Well, the network has always been suggesting that, they've always wanted these kinds
of things," said Yoshimura, who was speaking at an event hosted by the Canadian film
centre in Toronto Tuesday. "We've always resisted, and we should have this season."
(Darn right you should've. Sigh).
The mother of O.J.'s girlfriend talks to C.J.:
[Cathy] Bellmore has had a long time to come to terms with what [her daughter] Christie has called her
"romantic friendship" with O.J. "I've known about this longer than anybody else.
When she first moved out there I was going out there quite a bit, probably once a month,
to visit her. She wanted to meet him," said Bellmore.
"So I knew she had been going over to his Rockingham house. Finally, one day . . .
he was outside. At first I just thought it was a passing thing, a fantasy . . . Then the longer
she got into it, I would start speaking up to her about the situation. All it did was
alienate her from me. She wouldn't call me for a week. I can't stand that. I need to talk to her,
be there for her. Every day we talk."
She wanted to meet him? Hello? You gotta wonder about a 23-year-old woman who looks
a lot like Nicole Brown Simpson who wants to meet O.J. Simpson. I'm assuming she's not
a big football fan . . .
So the military can just up and do
secret maneuvers complete with black helicopters
and grenades in your town
without warning? Grrrrreat.
The helicopters flew over Maria Garcia's house south of Kingsville, shaking the walls and
"I went outside, and I had no idea what was going on," she said. "I was scared."
Carol Darby, a spokeswoman for Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, said the public
never is notified before such exercises because it poses a security risk and a danger to
residents, who tend to gather to watch.
She said the Army would pay for any damage.
NEW YORK (AP) -- An attorney for Brynn Hartman' s family contends that the antidepressant
Zoloft is to blame for her killing her husband, actor Phil Hartman, and then committing
Previously released toxicology reports showed that Mrs. Hartman, a native of Thief River Falls,
Minn., had "therapeutic levels" of Zoloft in her blood, as well as a blood-alcohol level
of 0.12 percent and traces of cocaine indicating she took the drug within five hours of
Let's see, it seems pretty clear she was drunk and on cocaine when she shot Phil Hartman . . .
but let's blame the normal dosage of Zoloft for her actions. Uh-huh. They say:
" I think that the Zoloft contributed to cause her to lose control of impulses. She
didn't know what was going on. She had obviously an impulse to shoot her husband and did,"
attorney Andrew Vicary told ABC' s 20/20 for a story that aired Wednesday night.
He said the cocaine or alcohol were not to blame because she had taken both of those
substances before without becoming violent.
Puhlease. How idiotic is this? One isn't supposed to drink alcohol while on Zoloft (and
if one does, it should only be in a small amount and hours after taking a daily dose of zoloft).
And one surely isn't supposed to be
doing cocaine (it's illegal, yes?). Let's blame the makers of Zoloft, a drug that millions
of people take without incident. Sigh.
Brynn Hartman snapped that night and shot Phil Hartman . . . she'd been drinking and doing cocaine.
And happened to also be on Zoloft (if this had been heart medication or diabetes meds, would there
be this fuss?). It's sad, it's tragic, I did cry over Phil Hartman's death. And I feel for
the kids and friends and family. And for Brynn, too. But this is just nuts. I fear
it'll 'cause folks to go off their meds or to be even more reluctant to seek medical
attention for depression. And it furthers the perception that people with mental illness who
take drugs such as Zoloft are unstable. Bah. </mini-rant>
Oh-oh: Microsoft's Chase says AOL sides with government
Wheee! Via /. of course:
To conclude, this will be the last paper related to the Slashdot effect. If for some reason
this addendum to the /. effect generates a new /. effect on the server, this will most likely
not be presented as an Addendum to an Addendum. Unless the /. wave front and ensuing hit rate
structure reveal new valuable data shedding light on the inner workings of the Internet and
the people who use it.
Andre Braugher on The Rosie O'Donnell Show
New Friends (7pm, NBC)
New Frasier might be good (8pm, NBC)
Doug Ross/George Clooney finally leaves ER (9pm, NBC)
Classic Movie Alert:
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr star in this John Huston classic. He's a Marine, she's a nun . . .
they get stranded together on a Japanese-occupied island during WWII. I love this movie,
even though I can never remember it's title. Airs Thursday night
at 7pm, letterbox version airs at 1am (Th night/Fri morning).
More reviews are now online at X-Review,
worth reading if you're still pondering things X-Files (as I am).
I'm a sucker for useful websites (aren't we all?):
WashPost's Federal Internet Guide
idealist.org - 16,000 nonprofit organizations
[via Internet Research News]
Lileks on the Westminster dog show:
You might think that security would be tight -- beefy men in shades escorting the dogs from
dressing room to ring, backstage areas off-limits to all. But no: For the price of your ticket
you can wander back to the clamorous room where the dogs are kept and groomed, and visit
with the breed of your choice.
It's the United Nations of dogs back here, row after row of dogs familiar and strange:
Golden retrievers, with their simple happy faces, beam unquestioning love or absolute
simple-mindedness, depending on whether or not it's your dog. Salukis sit in their
kennels wearing wistful aristocratic expressions, like Audrey Hepburn looking in a
store window for something she couldn't afford. Whippets are curled up like heaps of
broken parentheses. Pharoah hounds, eerie and ancient, peer from behind their kennel
grates. You can pet them, give them a treat, and if you're not careful you can step
on a tiny paw. Given the stakes, the free-for-all backstage atmosphere is a little
surprising; it's like being able to go backstage at a prizefight and spike a boxer's drink.
Lileks on sweeps and The X-Files:
It's sweeps month on TV, meaning that the usual dreck is replaced with slightly more exciting,
multipart dreck. The only show I follow is "The X Files," where viewers were promised a
sweeps-month bonanza: Finally, the Great Conspiracy would be solved, all questions answered.
After that, apparently, the show would consist of the main characters cleaning their
desks and taking long, long lunches. At the end of the show, however, I realized I have
no idea what's going on. And neither does anyone else, including the actors and writers.
The more I watch, the less I know. It's a new format in TV entertainment:
from just one of the many articles about this week's Law and Order - Homicide crossover:
Not only are both hours splendidly written, superbly directed and, for the most part,
well-acted, they are also fascinating in the sociology they contain. "Sideshow" is the
start of prime-time, network drama interpreting, deconstructing and re-imagining the
particulars of the Clinton sex scandal through fictional story lines.
You might have thought the long, national nightmare was over with last week's Senate vote to
acquit Clinton, but pop culture's real work of shaping historical memory through narrative,
song and image has only just begun.
From all the pieces I've seen, sounds like they really beat on a Kenneth Starr lookalike in these episodes.
So if you've had the urge to beat up Starr yourself, these episodes might give you vicarious
thrills. (Me? I'm sick of the whole thing, but hope this provides the groundwork for good episodes).
Interesting interview with Suzanne Vega
There are days where I wish I could be Lou Reed. He seems so cruel. It really seems like he
just didn't give a damn. And I admire that, because I find myself caring a lot about what people
I don't think tantrums are sexy in anybody, male or female.
But kindness to me is only powerful if it has the cruel streak behind it. If someone is kind
all the time under all circumstances, they're just simple-minded. Kindness is only worth
something if you have the cruel streak to back it up.
Now here's a theory
I've not heard before:
[Dave] Foley will be taking some potshots at the Republican party in his new film, "Dick"
(opening July 9). In this snarky take on the downfall of Richard Nixon, Foley plays Chief of
Staff H.R. Haldeman. "The movie sticks very close to the facts of Watergate, except it
reveals that Deep Throat is actually two teenage girls who were hired to be Nixon's dog
walkers," says the 36-year-old Foley. "They overhear a bunch of things they don't
really understand, but when they get mad at Nixon they start spilling it all to Woodward and
better be an animated film:
Tom Hanks is bringing his favorite kid's book, Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are,"
to the big screen. Hanks will produce (no, he won't play the little boy), and Gore
Verbinski ("Mouse Hunt") will direct.
The official Episode I: Phantom Menace webpage
has some good stuff, worth
visiting if you haven't checked it out lately. Still waiting for that second trailer . . .
And don't miss this picture. Is it May yet?
Wednesday Night TV:
Two-hour Star Trek: Voyager features the Borg Queen (7pm, UPN)
Law and Order meets Homicide in the first part of this new crossover (9pm, NBC)
New Daria is a musical (9pm, MTV)
20/20 looks at Phil Hartman's death (sigh) (9pm, ABC)
Mike Judge, Julian Lennon on Late Show w/ David Letterman (10:35pm, CBS)
Jesse Ventura on Late Late Show w/ Tom Snyder (11:35pm, CBS)
20/20 LOOKS AT PHIL HARTMAN MURDER: Did antidepressants cause Brynn Hartman to kill herself
and her husband, Phil? The Hartman family thinks so: They're suing the makers of
the prescription drug Zoloft, reports tonight's 20/20 (10 pm/ET, ABC). The segment
features an interview with the Hartmans' nanny, who reports that the couple's two young
children believe "their parents are in heaven and that Brynn was forgiven by God and that
Brynn was very sick that day and didn't know what she was doing."
Just what the world needs, more stigma for the clinically depressed who take antidepressants.
Argh. I can only hope that maybe they'll focus on how difficult it is for depressives to
get proper diagnosis/medication, how long the process is, but that it's necessary and these
drugs do help people.
Okay, I'm living in a fantasy world . . .
Brief interview with Kate Mulgrew:
I'll be very frank with you. There isn't any kid in his right mind who wants a celebrity
for a mother. It's a trade-off and it's a choice. And I'm not going to make any excuses.
I made that choice. My kids have not enjoyed this. One of my sons in particular has departed
from me in a very significant way as a result of this choice. He will not be seen with me
in public, which means that I can't go out to dinner with him, and I can't go to soccer
games, and we can't travel. And I've tried very hard.
Widescreen movie alerts:
Letterboxed Hello, Dolly and Young Sherlock Holmes Tuesday night on American Movie Classics (AMC).
Now I can play Lode Runner
(or a reasonable facsimile) on my Palm Pilot. Too cool. 'Course it
takes up a lot of space. Thanks Felix, for the recommendation.
A lovely valentine tale from Michael Finley.
New version of Calypso email client released. Version 3.0 looks like a big improvement of 2.4. Fabulous.
I used good ol' UNIX Pine for ages, then switched to reading email with various versions of
Eudora and Pegasus over the years. When I stumbled on Calypso, I was hooked. And it looks like this
version adds the few things I thought it lacked. We shall see. Great for handling multiple
Go ahead, send yourself (or someone else) a postcard from Minnesota.
My favorite? The spoon bridge, of
course. Though I bet the Jesse Ventura one is the most popular. And Mickey's Diner is classic.
Mr. Blue (Garrison Keillor) gives more good advice:
Don't look back. Life is right now and tonight and tomorrow and next Sunday. You look back
at M.F. and you'll slowly turn to salt and become old and bitter like Mr. Blue and eventually
wind up in a mobile home full of cats writing an advice column for Salon aimed at young
attractive hopeful people like yourself. Don't.
Is it too soon to talk about weblog ethics?
Nah. Good Stuff from sabren at manifestation.com. (I couldn't decide which bit to quote, read the whole thing).
Charm School for MIT Engineers?
Info on the Palm V [via slashdot]
has now been in "pre-trial detention" for more than four years. Truly frightening.
New Newsradio (7:30pm, NBC) "Lisa demands an assistant and gets one -- a woman named Foxy Jones (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) who turns Joe and Dave into romantic rivals."
Hollywood Screen Tests: Take One (9pm, AMC)
Dave Foley on The Tonight Show
Rosemary Clooney, Caroline Rhea on The Late Late Show w/ Tom Snyder
And new episodes of the usual huge batch of promising Tuesday night shows (except Sports Night,
Another reason to like the show Sports Night:
WEATHER OR NOT There is no i in corporate synergy.
But forgive Sports Night's Aaron Sorkin if he can't spell. The sitcom's producer-writer says
he refused to take part in an ABC sweeps stunt this month--when networks pull out all
programming stops to garner high ratings for even higher ad rates--that had most of ABC's
Feb. 16 and 17 shows incorporating some kind of squall into their plots. The idea? To heavily
promote ABC's six-hour Stephen King miniseries Storm of the Century, beginning Feb. 14.
"I thought it was hokey," says Sorkin. "I didn't want to turn my show into a
commercial for other ABC products." So to retaliate, says Sorkin, ABC will air a rerun
of Dharma & Greg that features a storm--rather than a new Sports Night. (from Entertainment Weekly)
Go, Autumn, Go! Autumn Tysko on the most recent episode(s) of The X-Files:
So, everyone feel fully disclosed now? Right. Thought so. I don't even know how you folks
that still try to make it all make sense do it, but God bless you. Me, I know I should try,
really try, to understand exactly why everyone wants Cassandra alternately dead and alive or
why the faceless guys with the fire fetish do anything or if colonization is now imminent or
not, but it'll just make me crazy. Suffice to say Carter and Spotnitz have written another
mythology episode that "streamlines" by killing off characters complete with a whole bunch
of confusing alien/consortium infighting. The net result is that Mulder and Scully have the
X-Files back and we still don't really have a clue about Samantha except this week she
appears to be Bill Mulder's kid again. That's what I got out of it. It's a cruel irony now
that I would rather watch a monster of the week episode over mythology and that the very
existence of these other cases seems ludicrous and trivial when you're talking about
wiping everyone off the planet.
Her reviews of "Two Fathers"
and "One Son". I completely
agree with her on these.
Jon Carroll's cat goes missing
(fine column, but I like cat columns):
So, on an inaudible command, it's the opening round of the feline biathlon, a combination of the
hundred- yard dash and Greco-Roman wrestling. So cute, except when things get broken.
One morning last week, though, the games of the XXXXIV Olympiad were called off because of an
absence of cat. Archie was there -- Archie is always there, even when a cat is not, strictly
speaking, either necessary or useful -- but Bucket was nowhere to be found.
Garrison Keillor tells of a character remarkably like
Jesse Ventura. Ah, satire:
I told the people: "I am not a joke, I am a decent clean person you could bring home
and not be embarrassed by. Yes, I wore a pink boa and gave flying mules and nipple
lifts and atomic handshakes, not to mention the deadly and infamous Long Nap, and will
employ them against the Special Interests. I am no smarter than anybody else and I
don't claim to have all the answers, but it ain't nuclear physics and I will work
hard and accept no special privileges, and what I don't know about state government,
I'll know a month after I take office."
Folks at the Backfence speculate with Lileks about what Dr Pepper tastes like.
Ain't It Cool News reports on a rumor that it isn't just Crusade that will be moving from
TNT to a different cable network, but possibly Babylon 5 as well. (They don't say much
more than that. And yeah, most bets are that the Sci Fi channel would get the show(s) ).
From the "It figures" file: I rave about Ally McBeal yesterday, then they go
and pursue a storyline last night that I'd hoped they'd leave alone. 'Course it's not yet resolved,
so there's still hope Kelley will Do the Right Thing. We shall see . . . but I was disappointed
in last night's episode. Sigh.
Monday Night TV:
Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis on Cosby (7pm, CBS)
First Dogs-- Kelsey Grammar hosts a tribute to presidential pets (let's hope they talk about Fala a lot) (7pm, Discovery channel)
New Ally McBeal (8pm, FOX) (Ling joins the firm)
New Everybody Loves Raymond (8pm, CBS) (Ray goes on a cruise with his Mom)
Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce on Late Show w/ David Letterman (10:35pm, CBS)
Craig Kilborn on Late Late Show w/ Tom Snyder (CBS, check local listings)
Judd Nelson hosts Later w/ guest Terry "I used to be Dax" Farrell (NBC)
Entertainment Weekly has named their picks for 100 greatest moments in TV history. I'm still digesting the list, I think they missed some biggies and made
some predictible choices. But what do I expect from these lists anyway? And their definition of moment isn't particularly fleeting.
Richard Belzer to host a crime show for Court TV and another interview with Belzer [via hlotslinks]:
"I would much prefer to do Munch, who is a funny, real character, than be some dumb neighbour on a sitcom. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done it at some vulnerable times in my career, but I may not have been happy at it."
Do you face post-X-Files depression on Mondays? Never fear, you can always
visit X-Review to see what other fans are saying about recent episodes.
Or check out Sparky's Doghouse for her weekly fanfic picks (she generally updates her site on Monday evenings).
Yes! Aaron Barnhart writes perhaps the best bit I've seen about
Ally McBeal, check it out today at his TV Barn site. I've been
meaning to write my own review/analysis/defense of the show; it's refreshing to
see someone else who Gets It (I was beginning to feel Very Alone):
Some critics have lashed the show this season for being too preposterous, too over-the-top. They missed the point: The matrix of unreality spun by David E. Kelley - the show's creator, producer and chief writer - allows him to address universal issues in ways conventional dramas won't allow. The more ludicrous the setup, the more salient the point being made. Last year the Biscuit successfully defended a 39-year-old woman who admitted to having sex with a minor. Instead of arguing the merits of the case, he used as his summation the storyline of the "Summer of '42," reminding us all that we wanted the young stud to go to Jennifer O'Neal. "The D.A. will say, 'The law is the law' ... But when it comes to love, there really is no law, is there?" To which members of the jury blurted out, "No!" On "Ally McBeal," the id has no limits.
Ally McBeal really is my favorite show of this season, it's the one I Don't Miss and the one I tape religiously. And the one I enjoy the most. I'm as fanatical about other shows, but I'm disappointed in them a lot. Ally is
pure fun. And it's moved me to laugh out loud more than anything else this season, while
also moving me to tears. Fabulous cast, I only hope Kelley can keep writing good scripts for this very unique show.
Hey Late Show fans,
Fresh Step has a webpage! Be afraid, be very afraid. (See Late Show News and the TV Barn in case you're wondering what this is all about).
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