Poll: Who Will be the Next (Imaginary) Charlie’s Angels?

We’re all pretty tired of remakes, right? Right, so guess what today’s poll is about? Yes, exactly, an imaginary remake of a television show that’s already had one failed television remake and two commercially (though probably not critically) successful films.

c angels

So, here’s the thing: I grew up on reruns of Charlie’s Angels, and I own and enjoy both the ridiculous Charlie’s Angels movies, and I don’t know that we necessarily NEED yet another remake. Like, we could just have new stories featuring awesome women doing awesome things. BUT if we were going to do one anyway, I think I’d like it to be a little less ludicrous. Like, I don’t particularly want Dark, Gritty, Everybody’s-Miserable-all-the-Time Charlie’s Angels. There can absolutely be humor, and in fact, I’d prefer it — no one’s looking for Se7en levels of bleakness here — but I’d also rather it to not be completely absurd, like maybe it could have a shred of credulity so that the whole idea of women detectives didn’t seem like a joke.

To that end, I have proposed six different teams of leading ladies who could be the Next (Imaginary) Charlie’s Angels. It’s quite the assortment of varied talent, I think — we have actresses with geek cred, actresses who have believably played law enforcement in the past, comediennes with considerable acting chops, etc.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (PLEASE ACCEPT IT) is to pick which team you would be most interested in seeing. (It could be for either a film or television series. Whichever you’d be more interested in.) You cannot mix and match the actresses to make your own team. Or, you can, obviously, but then your vote is not counted, and you’ll make me sad, and why would you want to make me sad? I’m already sad because my handy ‘Add Poll’ button does not appear to be working, so now I have to write the whole survey out and it’s not going to look nearly as official and perty, and people will probably yell at me because they can’t just click a button to answer. Please don’t contribute to my despair.

Your choices are as follows:

Team 1:

Emma Stone (Zombieland, The Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2)
Alison Brie (Community, Scream 4)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Die Hard 4)

Team 2:

Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, Death Proof)
Maggie Lawson (Psych, an awesome episode of Justified)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Unstoppable)

Team 3:

Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, Thor & Thor: The Dark World)
Jennifer Lawrence (Days of Future Past, Hunger Games 1 & 2)
Ellen Page (Inception, Super)

Team 4:

Taraji P. Henson (Person of Interest, Smokin’ Aces)
Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways)
Kerry Washington (Scandal, Django)

Team 5:

Amber Tamblyn (The Unusuals, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Heroes)
Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim, The Brothers Bloom)

Team 6:

Jewel Staite (Firefly & Serenity, Higher Ground)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Agents of SHIELD)
Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy)

This poll will be open for a week. Friends on Facebook and Twitter, I will attempt to count your votes if you leave your answers there, but I’d really prefer it if you’d comment here on the actual blog site itself. Just makes life easier for me. Also, depending on interest (like, if more than three people actually respond to this poll), I might have a followup poll next week on who should voice Charlie. Spoiler alert: all of the choices will be women. That’s not up for debate.

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2014 Fall Premieres – The September Issue

The 2014-2015 Fall TV Season has begun. Sadly, many of the new shows I’m interested in won’t actually begin until after the new year (I haven’t forgotten about you, Galavant!), but I did get to see one pilot this week, along with a few returning favorites.

Here is my report card for the September premieres. SPOILERS ABOUND, PEOPLE.

Agents of SHIELD

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The second season premiere of SHIELD had at a lot going for it, I thought. Flashback Peggy, Dum Dum, and Fresno, for starters. (I’m sure this guy has an actual name, but I will always remember him as Fresno. I would be SO HAPPY if Fresno and Dum Dum ended up as regulars on Agent Carter.) Also Reed Diamond, who shockingly — shockingly — is playing a bad guy. And Clark Gregg facing off against Adrian Pasdar. (No, autocorrect, I do not mean Adrian Persuader. The hell?) And even Ward fulfilling the role of Skeevy Hannibal Lecter, complete with sexy Angst Beard! (Obviously a must have.)

Honestly, I thought this was a pretty good setup for the season. We’ve introduced some new bad guys and set up some new mysteries. I totally didn’t catch that Jemma was a hallucination, and that’s an awfully tricky stunt to pull. (I’m hopeful that they’ll also provide an explanation on why Jemma thought leaving would somehow help Fitz, since that seems like a spectacularly bad plan at this point. Poor Fitz. I sort of expect he’ll be magically fixed by the end of the season, but I kind of hope it isn’t quite that easy. I think it’d be fascinating to have a main character who has to actually live with his traumatic brain injury.) I’ll admit to being a bit bummed that Lucy Lawless died so fast, but I am always happy to see Lucy Lawless, even briefly. And I guess I have Attractive Accent Guy to take her place?

I know a lot of people are nervous about this sophomore season, but I thought this was a pretty good start and I have decently high hopes for what’s next to come.

FAVORITE PART:

Patton Oswalt mouthing, “What?” as Coulson badly pretends to be General Talbot over the phone

EPISODE GRADE:

A

Person of Interest

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All right, time for the show to start, and it’s . . . hey, Frederick Weller! Man, I haven’t you seen you since In Plain Sight! I’ve missed you! Are you going to — oh, no, you’re about to die in three, two, one — yep, there you go. Oh well. Bye, Frederick Weller!

Of all my returning shows, I was probably looking forward to Person of Interest the most, and all in all, I think this was a pretty solid season premiere. I feel bad that Shaw has to sell makeup while John gets to be a cop (and the asshole even whines about it, that loser), but I assume a master plan will emerge from this eventually. I love that John ultimately takes Carter’s place as Fusco’s partner, and I’m ecstatic that he hired Elias to do his dirty work. Please, show, please keep bringing back Enrico Colantoni. I love him in this so much.

I’m really interested to see how this season plays out with Samaritan hunting them down. (Although if they keep being idiots and refusing to come up with codewords or code phrases for the phone, I can only assume they’ll die by November sweeps. Seriously, John and Shaw. No wonder Finch doesn’t want anything to do with you two.)

FAVORITE PART:

I’m not sure. Possibly Enrico Colantoni’s facial expression when John offers to hire him.

EPISODE GRADE:

A-

Key + Peele

key & peele

I don’t know if I have anything deep or insightful to say about this because I’m better at analyzing shows with ongoing plot and character arcs than I am at sketch shows, but I’m so happy Key & Peele is back on the air. And I’m kind of liking this new setup where the skits are connected by two guys on a road trip somewhere, instead of the usual standup clips. Mek and I were wondering if they were going to arrive somewhere at the end of the season, and if so, where? Personally, I think it should be Walley World.

FAVORITE SKETCH:

Probably the aliens one, but the singing soldiers and liberal rednecks were up there too.

EPISODE GRADE:

A-

Gotham

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I’m only interested in two new shows this fall, and they’re both comic book shows. Overall, I thought Gotham was a fairly decent pilot with a good amount of potential but also some stuff that didn’t work for me. Like, dialogue. Good God. I read some early reviews calling Ben McKenzie flat, but I actually thought he did a pretty decent job with some of the lines he was given. That scene where he’s talking to recently orphaned Bruce Wayne about how there will be Light? No. That is shit dialogue. (Although I don’t know if anything made me groan as hard as that one Major Crimes guy telling Gordon and Bullock to “stay frosty.” Ugh. Guys, we have to retire “stay frosty.”) I’m also not entirely feeling Barbara Gordon at this point, although maybe her mysterious past with Renee Montoya will make her more interesting.

On the other hand, I’m interested in the setup. I think primarily focusing on the cops in Gotham is an interesting way of looking at the city, although I still wish this was taking place during Grown Up Batman time where Batman himself occasionally reoccurs as a guest character. (Which is apparently the whole plot of a comic, Gotham Central, that I only found out about last week and now have to read.) Donal Logue is AWESOME as Harvey Bullock, and I really liked that scene with him and Gordon both hanging upside down in the freezer, all, well this could have gone better. I’m looking forward to seeing how their partnership unfolds. I enjoyed Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, although I don’t anticipate her surviving past first season, and I thought Robin Lord Taylor was a pretty convincing and creeptastic Penguin. (The only other thing I’ve ever seen Taylor in was Would You Rather, where he was also a psychopathic little shit. I wonder if typecasting is going to be an issue for him.) And while I doubt anyone else cares, I kind of like that the show opened with Little Catwoman in what’s typically a very Batman shot. I’m curious to see what kind of relationship she and Little Bruce are going to form.

All in all, I think there’s material to work with here. We’ll have to see how it goes, but I’m hopeful this show can work out its kinks. Like the super clunky dialogue. Or the weird chase sequence action-cam.

FAVORITE PART:

Definitely Gordon and Bullock, waiting to be gutted. Although I was also impressed with Little Bruce screaming after his parents died — I was very happy it was a high-pitched, childish scream instead of some ridiculous Angry Roar that I would’ve laughed at.

EPISODE GRADE:

B

Sleepy Hollow

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This episode was decent, although I wasn’t particularly excited by it. As a season opener, I didn’t really feel like it accomplished as much as I wanted it to, although it did have a few pretty amazing LOL moments:

1. Headless Horseman firing a shotgun (because it will never stop being funny)

2. Realizing that Naked Benjamin Franklin is none other than Danny Concannon from The West Wing

3. The Shirtless Headless Horseman. I mean, holy shit.

I was also happy to see our weird subtitles back — how I have missed you, totally strange font. John Cho made a cameo appearance, which, YES! (Can Selfie get cancelled yet? I want him back.) And I’m always up for a good “there’s a storm coming” line. I mean, that will always make me happy. But I was really disappointed that they just got rid of the creepy Purgatory dollhouse, like that actually kind of bugged me. And oh my GOD, Katrina is a prisoner AGAIN? I was really hoping, after all this time off, Sleepy Hollow would have figured out a way to make Katrina interesting. Really, I would have settled for her simply pointing out to Asshole Abraham that she is not a thing that can be stolen. Instead, she remains the least interesting, useless, and most victimized character on this show, and my patience is wearing a little thin.

Since I’m losing hope that they’ll ever actually fix Katrina, I can only hope that they’ll remember they still need to save Orlando Jones next episode.

FAVORITE PART:

Probably the part where Ichabod realized his deathbed confession to Abbie didn’t record. Although I also loved the scene where she just straight up decapitated the thing pretending to be Ichabod because he said, “Lieutenant,” instead of ‘leftenant’. Jesus. I’m glad you didn’t just hear him wrong or anything, Abbie. I’m saying, if I decapitated somebody every time I misheard what they’d said, we’d have a LOT less people in Northern California. And I’d probably be in jail as a convicted serial killer.

EPISODE GRADE:

B

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“Did He Just Throw My Cat Out of the Window?”

Here’s one thing you can say about Wes Anderson: he has a very specific aesthetic. You will never, ever catch one of his movies on HBO and think to yourself, Huh, I wonder who directed that.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is no exception, and yet the movie still feels like a bit of a departure for Anderson. The screwball comedy I expected, the cast of eccentric characters engaged in various shenanigans . . . I anticipated the wacky hijinks that did, indeed, ensue. But the darker tones? The comically abrupt violence? The actual ending?

It’s fair to say that Wes Anderson and The Grand Budapest Hotel took me by surprise.

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7 Stephen King Books That Are Special To Me (For Whatever Reason)

Apparently, it was Stephen King’s birthday over the weekend. Considering he’s one of my biggest writing influences (and considering I own approximately forty books by him), I figured I should write up a list of his works that have stood out to me for one reason or another over the years. (I could work on a ‘Best Of’ or even just a ‘My Favorite’ list, but let’s be honest: he’s kind of written ALL THE THINGS, and narrowing those into some kind of ordered countdown would be way too much work.)

And yes, I’m aware many people made similar lists over the weekend when it was actually time-appropriate. I, however, prefer to think of it less that I’m behind the times and more that I’m extending Mr. King’s birthday further, so that it’s now his Birthday Week or even Birthday Month. I’m sure he appreciates it.

DISCLAIMER:

Beware of SPOILERS, for ye may find them in your travels. And by ‘may’, I mean, yes, yes you will.

7 Stephen King Books That Are Special To Me (For Whatever Reason)

1. Needful Things

needful things

My introduction to King. I read this book when I was twelve and fell in love with it. If Hearts in Atlantis had been the first S.K. book I read, I doubt I’d own all these giant ass tomes now — I liked Low Men in Yellow Coats, and not much else — but thankfully, such was not the case.

It’s been some time since I’ve reread the novel, but I think one of the things I really liked about this story was the scope of it. I come from a small town and I’m drawn to small town stories — particularly horror stories, I guess, because I’ve got mixed feelings about The Tiny Place in Which I Hail From. And I found it fascinating to read about these people who’d known each other for their whole lives, only to completely turn on one another, to watch a town more or less rip itself apart. I also liked the brutality of the book — one of the main characters is an eleven year old boy who eventually commits suicide because of everything that happens. Which I know sounds like a pretty terrible thing to bring up as a positive, but I do like when books surprise me, and I was fully expecting the kid to make it simply because he’s a Kid. At twelve, especially, I liked when kids weren’t treated as Innocent Snowflakes With No Real Personalities Who Always, Always Made it Out. (And I was particularly pissed when he survived in the movie, but let’s be real here — Needful Things is one of the very worst film adaptations for many, many reasons more important than that.)

I’ll admit to being pretty sad about the dog, though. I also once had a dog named Raider, so I definitely had a “Jimmy, NOOOO!” moment when Book Raider bought it.

2. ‘Salems Lot

salems lot

Here’s the thing: as big of a Stephen King fan as I am, I don’t actually find his writing particularly scary. Sometimes I’ll talk to people, and they’ll be like, “I can’t read those books. They’re too creepy.” And I’ll be like, Really? Because I am significantly more likely to be frightened by normal murder mystery whodunits than by Stephen King’s horror epics. (And that’s not me being snotty. I do get creeped out by whodunits. Perhaps this is just like when I was a kid, never afraid of the monster in the closet, only the serial killer under the bed. Unlike most serial killers, though, he always had a sword, which he improbably managed to stab upwards through the mattress, despite the total lack of room he’d have to maneuver said blade.)

However, I vividly remember reading one scene in ‘Salem’s Lot which completely freaked me out. It goes like this: a dude tries to walk down the stairs to the basement, only because the light switch isn’t working, he doesn’t see that the vampires have helpfully removed those stairs and left a bunch of knives on the ground instead. The knives, mind you, are all facing blade up.

Once again, I don’t fear the vampires themselves. I only fear their elaborate booby traps and, also, death by impalement.

3. The Dark Tower series

dark tower

It feels kind of like a cheat, picking the whole series instead of a specific book, but I’ve decided I’m okay with that. The Dark Tower series was unlike anything I’d ever read before. The giant mechanical animals in a secondary fantasy world. The crossover characters from basically every single Stephen King book ever written. Stephen King writing himself as an actual character into the series. It was a bajillion words of what-the-flying-fuck, and I enjoyed the hell out of that crazy ass ride.

Interestingly, I never cared for the first book in the series. The Gunslinger has one of my favorite opening lines of all time, but I had a very hard time making it through the story itself, even though it isn’t particularly long. I would never have continued with the series if I hadn’t been desperate for something to read and found The Drawing of the Three in a used book store for something like fifty cents.

God love you, used bookstores. What would I do without you?

4. The Stand

stand

One of my favorites, despite the fact they kill my favorite character (which is hardly surprising, considering almost ALL of the main characters die) and the rather literal deus ex machina ending (which bothers me less than you might think, although I still kind of wish I could change it). I said that Stephen King books didn’t scare me, and I meant it, but I’ll admit this one is a tiny bit unnerving if you pick up a cold while you’re reading it. Double bonus points if it’s during the summer.

You know how when you’re a teenager, all your stories are ridiculously derivative (if not outright rip-offs) of other people’s work? Yeah, this was totally one of those books for me. I remember starting a story once that was about a mysterious illness that killed off most of the world’s population, but mine was TOTALLY DIFFERENT from The Stand. Because, you know. There were a lot more adolescents.

(It’s a side note, but I wish YA had been as big of a thing when I was in middle school. I had this whole fantasy series planned out — and in fact, I finished writing the first novel/novella — but even then, I remember thinking to myself, Will adults even read books about fourteen year old girls with magic powers? Mind you, I was not some miraculous child writing prodigy, and nobody would’ve ever bought that book because I was thirteen and the writing was terrible. But I think I would have been encouraged just by knowing there was a market out there, looking for the kinds of things I was interested in writing.

5. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

dif seasons

Like most people, I saw The Shawshank Redemption long before I read the novella. And like most people who have a SOUL (Henry, I’m talking to you, buddy), I loved the movie. But the reason I specifically mention the novella (published in Different Seasons) is because I was surprised to discover that the film is one of the closest adaptations I think I’ve ever read. There are changes — they gloss over some of the more explicit prison brutality, which I’m totally okay with, and we don’t find out the horrible specifics of Red’s crime, which is probably the smart choice — but not only are the movie and novella plots identical, the script pulls a lot of its lines directly from the source material. Maybe I’m just jaded after having seen too many horrifying movie adaptations (seriously, Needful Things), but reading the book was a pleasant surprise, right up to the last lines: “I hope Andy is down there. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”

It’s a surprisingly upbeat ending for Stephen King, and while I’m often a bittersweet ending kind of person, sometimes it’s nice to end on a happy message. Also, on a not-entirely related note, I think Zihuatanejo would be an awesome name for a cat. Zooey (like Zoo-ee, not Zoe) for short.

Mek? Can I have another kitten? Please?

6. On Writing

on writing

I am not a giant fan of the ‘I’ word — which, if you didn’t know, is inspirational — but in this case, it’s actually pretty appropriate: I felt nothing short of inspired after reading this book. For one thing, reading about Stephen King’s many rejection letters (which he nailed to a wall) was great because if it’s one thing every new writer has to learn, it’s that EVERYONE gets rejection letters. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. Rejection letters are just a fact of life when you’re a writer. Also, I was waging war — mostly silent, internal, furious war — against all my English teachers who wanted stories to be About Something Important, and I wanted stories to be fucking stories, and this book felt a little like validation on that philosophy.

On Writing gave me some useful advice about writing techniques, but more importantly, it gave me hope that someday, I was going to write stuff that would actually get published. I’ve been writing for such a long time that I can’t see myself ever having stopped, but I can totally envision a life where I gave up trying to publish shit and just wrote in my spare time for no one’s eyes but my own. I’m glad that’s not the way my life has turned out.

7. IT

it

Finally, my very favorite Stephen King book of all time. Despite a scene in the sewers that’s just cringeworthy (and not in the good way), I love and will always love IT. There are a lot of reasons for that: I’m a sucker for friendship stories, for child magic stories, for stories about growing up and returning home and facing the monsters you left behind. I already mentioned my small hometown, and during my more “I-Hate-This-Town-Get-Me-Out-of-it-For-The-Love-of-God” years, I sometimes likened Middletown to Derry, which wasn’t a terribly flattering comparison, since the whole town of Derry basically was IT.

The ending does one of those things I usually can’t stand, where the heroes basically forget the entire story, but Stephen King does it so perfectly that I just couldn’t bring myself to hate it. IT has an excellent beginning and a hugely bittersweet end (which I’d quote, if my copy of the novel hadn’t mysteriously gone missing) and is always on my Desert Island Book shortlist. Stephen King’s written a ridiculous amount of stuff and I like a lot of it, but I have a hard time believing anything is ever going to replace this as the top prize.

Cause, come on. It’s got an evil clown. And, at the end of the day, wouldn’t most books be better off if they had an evil clown in them?

pennywise

If only Pennywise had been in Rebecca . If only.

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“I Want You To Be Honest With Me. Absolutely and Completely Honest. Have You Been Time Traveling?”

Tell me the truth: have you been missing my Teen Wolf season recaps? Hush, of course you have. Well, lucky for you, I have another one right here ready to read.

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Season 4 is the first season I’ve been able to watch while it’s actually airing (instead of obsessively marathoning it on Amazon). It’s also, unfortunately, probably the weakest season since the first one. But hey, Teen Wolf is my jam. (Sure, shows can be jams.) I will always love it. Even when it occasionally makes no sense of any kind.

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And Here Are Your Answers . . .

1. The Walking Dead

w dead

“Am I the only one zen around here? Good lord.”

“That’s pretty romantic. Screw around?”
(snorts) “I’ll go down first.”
“Even better.”
“Stop.”

“This is bad. This is really bad.”
“Think about something else. Puppies and kittens.”
“DEAD puppies and kittens.”

It’s interesting. I like The Walking Dead (particularly the later seasons), but it’s not a particularly quotable show. Four seasons worth of material, and I really struggled to pull just three lines. (I did like the one about peach schnapps, but I thought that might be a bit too obvious for current fans.) Obviously, strong dialogue isn’t the only thing that makes a TV show worth watching — acting and atmosphere count for a lot too, not to mention plot and character arcs — but it’s something I highly value in a TV series, and I wonder if maybe this is why The Walking Dead has never quite made the leap from Absolutely Totally Watchable Show to One of My Favorite Shows of All Times.

2. Elementary

elementary

“There is not a warmer, kinder me waiting to be coaxed out into the light. I am acerbic. I can be cruel. It’s who I am. Right to the bottom. I’m neither proud of this, nor ashamed of it. It simply is.”

“Don’t touch any of the first editions. Or Watson.”

“I don’t care which cock I’m holding. I just want to know how it got there.”

I was surprised by Elementary. Maybe I shouldn’t have been, given how much I like both Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, but I was really worried about this show when it first came out. Not, I think, for the reasons a lot of people were worried: most people seemed either concerned that the American show would butcher the source material (which I clearly didn’t care about, considering I enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes) or that it was a copycat and/or could never be as good as BBC’s Sherlock. (Which I kind of always thought was a dumb reason to hate something you’ve never even tried, and I LIKE Sherlock.)

No, mostly I was concerned about genderbending Watson, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years, it’s that watching a consistently unequal power dynamic between a man (who’s Oh-So-Talented and therefore a selfish, arrogant bastard to everyone around him) and a woman (who, in theory, is all competent and independent but always ends up acquiescing to whatever the man needs) makes me want to rip out all of my cartoonishly colorful hair. Which is not what I look for in my television programming.

Thankfully, though, I really like how Sherlock and Watson’s relationship has progressed thus far. I feel like they’re on a more even playing field than other adaptations, and that works for me here. I also like that I can watch how they’re both evolving as characters. As long as they never EVER hook up, I think I’ll continue to enjoy this.

3. Boy Meets World

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“Cory, the first thing I learned on the street is that any judge who spontaneously makes balloon toys will, at the end of the day, actually hang you.”

“This is classic. The locked door, the scary janitor, the bloody warning, and our soon-to-be first victim.”
“Me? Why me?”
“Well, Kenny, it’s certainly not going to be any of us!”

“It was raining. You had an umbrella. I grabbed it, stuffed it down your throat . . . and then I opened it.”

Damn you, Mekaela. I was sure nobody would get this one. I didn’t think anyone would connect horror movie tropes, homicide by umbrella, and spontaneously created balloon toys to a family-friendly sitcom from the 1990’s which now has a sequel on the godamned Disney Channel. I was all proud of myself and everything. I even specifically didn’t use, “You yelled at me! But I’m Topanga!” even though we say that to each other all the time.

Oh well. I was absolutely a Boy Meets World fan when I was younger. Shawn Hunter was one of my very first bad boy crushes. (Not my very first, though. I’m pretty sure that was Gambit.) You could never exactly call the show subtle, but I still like watching reruns now and again for nostalgia’s sake. (Especially the horror movie parody one. That was, shockingly, my favorite.)

4. Young Justice

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“I feel naked, and not in a fun way.”

“I left you behind because you know my backstory. I didn’t want my best pal questioning my objectivity.”
“Dude. That’s what a best pal’s for.”

“If dislike is the opposite of like, is disaster the opposite of aster? See, if things are going wrong, they go right . . . uh, clearly, you’re not feeling the aster. What’s wrong?”

I always have to pick at least one superhero cartoon per TV Quotes Challenge, right? That seems to be a rule I’ve imposed on myself. And I really enjoyed the first season of Young Justice. Well, I should amend that: I initially struggled hard with the first season of Young Justice but eventually became pretty happy with where the story went. At first, though. Man. I basically wanted to punch Superboy in the face, and Miss Martian was inspiring all kinds of feminist rage. I didn’t even particularly like Kid Flash, probably because he kept obnoxiously hitting on the girl who clearly had no interest in him.

But eventually a lot of that got better (I actually thought what they did with Miss Martian’s storyline was pretty clever) and I really grew to like the show a lot. Robin and Artemis are easily my favorites, and Aqualad’s not too bad himself. I do want to see the second season, but I accidentally came across a few things that are going to happen, and I’m not sure how I’m feeling about that yet. I’ll still try it out eventually, though, especially if they finally put it up on Netflix Instant. (This whole ‘only one season on Instant’ thing? It’s bullshit.)

5. Touching Evil

touching evil

“I was clinically insane for a while there, but I’m all right now, near enough. Hey, can I have your goldfish?”

“The first thing you have absolutely no control of: where you’re born. You can leave, but it haunts you like a ghost. And then you come back and you are the ghost.”

“G-man by day, g-string by night.”

I was fairly confident nobody would get this one right, considering it’s a very loosely based remake of a British television show, only lasted one season, and is only available — so far as I know — on Youtube. (I watched it in the midst of a ‘I need to see everything Jeffrey Donovan’s ever done’ obsession, which actually didn’t go very far. I mostly just watched this. But I briefly CONSIDERED watching Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 because, man. That shit looks hilarious.)

I really liked Touching Evil, though. It was an interesting procedural, and it had a pretty great cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Durand, and Pruitt Taylor Vance. Donovan and Farmiga, in particular, had wonderful chemistry, and I wish the show had run longer. Or, at the very least, that they’d also put it on Netflix Instant or possibly DVD because Youtube does not have the best quality in the whole world, and I actually wouldn’t mind owning this one.

6. The Vampire Diaries

v diaries

“Aren’t you worried that one day all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back?”

“You have a friend?”
“You say that with such a discouraging amount of surprise.”

“I mean, did you learn nothing from the moonstone in the soap dish?”

The moonstone quote is basically a dead giveaway to anyone who actually watches The Vampire Diaries, but I couldn’t help myself. I laughed so hard at this line. It had to make the final cut.

On recommendation, Mek and I started watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix and — once you make it past all that awful diary writing in the first few episodes, oh my GOD, it’s so bad — it’s actually pretty fun. I like a lot of the characters (Elena, sadly, is easily my least favorite), and the snarky sense of humor is great. Damon gets a lot of the best lines and most of the love, but I’m also an unapologetic Stefan fan because I think he’s pretty hilarious. (Although, clearly, the best character is Caroline. She’s certainly the most improved character. Oh, there’s a list in that.) And the pacing of the first couple of seasons is ridiculous, and by ridiculous, I mean AMAZING.

Unfortunately, I started having some problems once the Originals came to town (and, more importantly, didn’t leave town, at least, not for quite a while, anyway, not until they finally got their own spin-off and left Mystic Falls behind). I’m behind on the last season (which had its own set of frustrating problems), but since I already know most of what happened, I’m considering just starting fresh with Season Six and hoping for the best.

7. Leverage

leverage

“You do NOT let Vicki Vale into the Batcave! Ever!”

“RIDICULOUSLY dangerous. It’s like a danger cupcake with murder icing.”

“I need her to be the stick.”
“Well, remember that time I was the carrot and stabbed somebody?”

Another show I’m watching on Netflix because it was recommended to me. Mek and I watched the first season at a leisurely pace, swapping back and forth between this (which was my pick) and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (which was her pick). But once we got to the second season, we suddenly started speeding through it and are now currently on the last season. We’ll have to see how it ends, but it’s a fun little heist show with a lot of enjoyable dialogue, geeky references, and likable characters.

Well. Mostly likable characters. I love Parker, Hardison, and Eliot. I very much enjoy Sophie. And if I could occasionally dropkick Nate into another state, I would probably be a much happier person. (Not that he’s terrible, exactly. I am just so very often annoyed by him.)

8. Six Feet Under

6 feet under

“You hang onto your pain like it means something, like it’s worth something. Well, let me tell you, it’s not worth shit. Let it go.”

“This is my . . . uh, my girlfriend, Brenda.”
“I prefer the term ‘fuck-puppet’.”

“There’s just so many months I could have loved you better.”

I loved the hell out of the first two seasons of Six Feet Under. I then struggled HARD with third season because I suddenly despised almost every single character (I think David might have been the exception, and even then, Keith was driving me crazy) and, as we all know, likable characters is a Big Issue with me. So I dropped it for a while, always intending to go back to it, but never quite did. (Per usual, this is mostly Mekaela’s fault.) I’ve seen bits and pieces of later seasons, and I know how the series ends, but I haven’t actually watched it. I really feel like I should save that until I actually watch the series in full. (Which will probably be on my own. Damn it, Mekaela. LeverageTeen Wolf? When have I steered you wrong?)

9. Cougar Town

c town

“I hate documentaries. They’re too preachy, and you can’t clap when someone dies because it’s real.”

“I think we’re both going to have the ‘You’re Hooking Up With My Mom’ Hamburger.”
“What’s on that?”
“Who cares? It’s free.”

“I ate dead baby lasagne?”

This is that show I tell my geeky friends I watch, and they look at me like they don’t know who I am anymore or maybe just don’t want to. And I’m like, “But! But! There was that mini Community crossover event, remember?” And they’re like, “Yeah, but it’s called COUGAR TOWN.” And then I sigh and just give up, knowing I’m doomed to always be the friend who watches the TV that other TV fiends scoff at.

But terrible and almost completely inaccurate name aside, Cougar Town is actually a pretty good show with a great cast and some hilarious dialogue. I sometimes tire of all the Jules Cobb crazy, but I feel a special snarky nerd connection to Travis and Ellie says a lot of the things I want to say and don’t because I sometimes pretend to be a decent human being. (Stop laughing. I totally do pretend. You have not seen the worst of me.) And for all the wacky antics, this show can be surprisingly moving when it wants to be. I’m really glad TBS saved it (however temporarily) from the inevitable ABC chopping block.

10. Criminal Minds

c minds

“When a woman tells a man about her feelings, she doesn’t want him to fix her. She wants him to shut up and listen.”

“There are many paths to the same place. Trust me.”
“Just so you know, you sound like a fortune cookie.”

“Can you guys do me a favor?”
“Anything.”
“Can at least one of you look like you’re going to see me again?”

I was totally obsessed with Criminal Minds for a while. I still like it, but you know, it’s on like its tenth season or something, and I checked out two or three years ago now. I really think TV shows, but especially criminal procedures, should probably cap out at six or seven seasons, max. Still, I love Reid. I love Prentiss. Morgan and Garcia are awesome. (I’m actually not a shipper, but it wouldn’t bother me all that terribly if they did get together. I can see arguments for both.) The only character I never really cared about was Rossi. And maybe Gideon. Like, I liked Gideon because Mandy Patinkin is great, but I also thought the team dynamic was a little more interesting without him.

11. Firefly

mal

“They say the snow on the roof is too heavy. They say the ceiling will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger.”

“We need to resort to cannibalism.”
“That was fast. Don’t we have rations or anything?”

“Bye now. Have good sex!”

I’ve resisted using Firefly for these quotes challenges thus far because it’s probably the most quoted show on the internet, and I knew there was absolutely zero chance that I could pull three awesome quotes that nobody would know. But I tried to at least stay away from the ones you always see on buttons. Like, I figured that “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal” was probably not the best way to go, no matter how perfect it was.

Firefly was like fourteen episodes long and aired over ten years ago and is still one of the biggest cult shows ever. Some people hate it (which I just don’t understand) and some people are still infuriated at FOX for canceling it (which I kind of get, although I also think those people had seriously unrealistic expectations on how far a sci-fi western show where people mostly swear in Chinese was going to go). I won’t lie: I was pretty devastated when it got cancelled, but I’m also not one of the people who are still clamoring to see it magically come back to television, either. Cause, yeah. I think that ship has sailed, you guys.

I have my Firefly box set, my Serenity DVD, and my memories. Ultimately, I’m okay with that.

12. Veronica Mars

vmars

“So my Grandma Reynolds was always saying, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. I wish she was still alive because I’d really like to ask her what she suggests for when life gives you chlamydia.”

“Mr. Echolls, I was wondering if I could have a word.”
“Anthropomorphic. All yours, big guy.”

“Hotdog!”
“Hotdog?”
“It’s an expression of excitement and enthusiasm. Joe and Frank Hardy and I used to say hotdog all the time while we were waiting for the carhop to bring us our malteds at the drive-in.”
“Drive-in?”
“I hate you.”

Oh, Veronica Mars. You were brilliant and hilarious and often frustratingly uneven. You were also cancelled before your time, although you now have both a movie and a meta spin-off web series, neither of which I ever thought which actually happen, at least, not if you asked me two years ago. I would like to edit the holy hell out of Seasons Two and Three (or just entirely rewrite Three), but whatever your flaws, you were still precious to me, and Veronica Mars will remain both one of my favorite detectives and favorite female heroines of all time.

All right, that’s all. Thanks for playing, everyone.

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Marshmallows, Your Spin-Off is Here

Last week I posted teasers for the CW’s Veronica Mars meta-comedy spin-off web series, Play it Again, Dick. And now the very first episode is up. I just watched it, and I’m definitely going to continue. The fake credit reel is hilarious — I particularly like the Random Running Lifeguard Shot — and I’m looking forward to seeing all the other guest stars as they appear on the series. Plus, I loved Kristen Bell’s lines about why a Dick Casablancas spin-off is a weird idea:

Kristen: “Joey and Angel were beloved characters, though. Joey, you know, was all dopey sweetness and light, and Angel was so brooding and sexy.”
Ryan: “Yeah.”
Kristen: Yeah, well, Dick Casablancas was an entitled, self-involved, hedonist moron, and I mean, if you were really paying attention to the story, a likely date-rape enabler.”

Oh, it’s so true. See, people, this is why I don’t get the love for Dick Casablancas. Ryan Hansen, though, that I understand. This series is going to run eight episodes, and I’m absolutely going to check them all out.

Marshmallows, you can watch the first one here.

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