I caught the new Seinfeld vehicle, "The Marriage Ref," at the conclusion of the Olympics (wah!) and it was... not good. The situations with the couples were funny and in at least one case, ridiculously so. But then the attention turned away from the couples to the panel of judges who seemed more interesting in hanging out and laughing at each other's not-so-funny punchlines than truly rendering a verdict. And you wonder what qualifies people like Alec Baldwin or Jerry Seinfeld or Madonna to render opinions on other people's marriage foibles, given their own not-so-stellar track record; though to be fair, Seinfeld is still married, even if he started dating his wife right after she married another man but that's another tabloid story. So if you have an hour to spend on a Thursday night, don't mind watching other people trying to out-do each other with the awful and unfunny punchlines, then this the show for you. Me, I'm changing the channel.
Saturday night, we took a break from the chills and spills of the Winter Olympics to revisit a favorite, "Battlestar Galactica." A movie came out a year or so ago called "The Plan", and so it was with anticipation we popped the DVD in. Revisiting old friends with a potential for new insight always makes for high expectations and we figured with BSG's track record, this film would finally reveal what the Cylons' grand plan was because that was never quite clear (other than annihilate humans, but perhaps there was something more than that).
"The Plan" is essentially a clip show of the first two seasons of the BSG with a few new scenes thrown in to illustrate the Cylons' POV on certain events. The pace is quick so if you missed the first two seasons, some of what takes place doesn't make sense. Heck, even if you've seen the first two seasons, some of it does't make sense. For this outing, Brother Cavil takes center stage, acting as the master behind The Plan. He manipulates and pushes the Plan forward, but is thwarted by his fellow Cylons who are curiously uncooperative and unwilling to do what he asks. There are a couple of moments that hold the clips together exceptionally well, but in other cases, the movie tries to hard to explain events that didn't necessarily need to be further exposition.
I should also warn there is copious nudity in the film, which came as a surprise and was not necessary. In fact, it was almost distracting and there were a couple of bad language moments (not "Frak, but the other word). The nudity, the language, and at least one scene of unexplained gratuitious violence, combined with the jarring pace of scenes strung together, created a kind of "huh?" watching experience. The dissonance is one thing and the occasional incoherence is another, bu the film's ultimate failing is that it's boring and adds nothing to the overall BSG experience. You'd probably do better rewatching the first two seasons and finding some quality fanfiction to supplement.
Honestly, anyone thinking of climbing Everest should watch "Everest: Beyond the Limits." I knew it was a miserable experience where people literally go to die -- I think it's something like one out of every four people who climb the mountain die -- but this documentary really brings home just how truly terrible the experience truly is -- possibly the equivalent of having a severe migraine and associated symptoms, along with below zero temps, fierce winds, and oh yeah, that breathing thing is pretty tough too. I never wanted to climb the mountain, but I did have romantic dreams of hiking to base came (not ABC, but lower down), and holy crap. Not so much anymore. My hat's off to the people who have succeeded, especially those who ascend without bottled oxygen, but you've got to really, really want it and by that I mean want enough to lose appendages and risk death.
Thanks to the magic of Netflix's on-demand queue, I was finally able to see the first two episodes of the Discovery channel's "Everest: Beyond the Limits." From a pure documentary point of view, it's pretty good -- it's got characters, drama, plotlines, angst, everything you'd possibly want. I enjoyed it, but man. I knew Everest was a miserable experience, but this documentary/show really brings that to life more than the IMAX or books ever did. So far so good, so I'm giving the series two thumbs up.
CNN has interviewed Gillian Anderson here on her favorite places in Vancouver, where she lived while filming the first five seasons of "The X-Files." I've actually been to all the places she recommended and can heartily second all of her suggestions. The restaurants, don't know about any of them, but I do remember a cafe called "Death by Chocolate" that was just sinful and wonderful. I really enjoyed my Vancouver vacation and really hope to go back one day.
The extended cut pilot for "Caprica" is online at hulu.com. Apparently it's been online since April 14th. Haven't seen it yet -- maybe tomorrow -- but pretty excited as thought I'd have to wait until Jan. 22 to see what it was all about.
"Battlestar Galactica" has been named the 5th best show of the decade. Very cool that the show gets some respect. And oh! On January 22, "Caprica" starts on SyFy (does the new name bug anyone else? I mean, REALlY) so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing that.
We actually tried to snag Best Buy's $9.99 52 inch Samsung television as a replacement for mine. I mean, TEN DOLLARS. What a steal. But alas, it was not to be. I shall continue onwards in life without a 52-inch television.
Worst. Idea. For. A. Show. Ever. Apparently, a new show from Fox revolves around firing people on-air. Seriously. Real life people in real life jobs and their co-workers decide who goes, who stays. I just can't even fathom how something like this would work. Not to mention, who on earth would want to participate? I can't possibly see the value of Impending Doom being broadcast across the nation. And I know there are people who'd want to watch this train wreck of a show, but don't we see enough as we watch our friends and family members lose their jobs? Ugh. Terrible idea. As much as I enjoy reality shows, I'll pass on this one.
Episodes of "She-Ra" are available on Hulu! Would totally watch except for the fact my computer is so slooooooow that pictures and sounds move at different rates, causing a rather psychedelically annoying visual and auditory experience. But still, for those of you not similarly, constrained, "SHE-RA"! On Hulu! What are you waiting for?
I can't embed the video, but you really have to check out this video of Susan Boyle. Absolutely amazing rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. And a good lesson on how/why not to judge a book by its cover, so to speak.
So I'm liking hulu.com more and more. I've watched several different shows, including Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days", which I've always been interested in, and Battlestar Galactica. I also found episodes of "Remington Steele" and "The Facts of Life" on there, but haven't had a chance to watch them.
You do have to register to use Hulu, but it's free, and it's actually got a neat perk -- you can "subscribe" to shows and they automatically load into your account when the latest episode becomes available. Of course, I logged in today for the first time in more than a week and was just overwhelmed by how many episodes were in the account (anything more than 2 shows seems like a lot to me; I'm kind of one show/one night kind of gal. Actually, more of a 1 1/2 show, if you count the first 12 or so minutes of the Daily Show).
They have movies on there as well, most of them fairly old, and lots of documentaries. But what I like is that I have access for the first time to some shows on cable that I'd heard about but was never able to see. Now if I could just get "What Not To Wear" online*, then that would be just awesome and I'd have everything I'd ever want in my couch potato life.
I got my piece of the stimulus package today -- the $40 coupon for the converter box for the switch from analog to digital. Actually, I don't know if the recent arrival was part of the extended funding for the switch (and was tucked in the stimulus bill) or if someone's coupon expired and I got another one. Either way, I finally -- after several months on the waiting list -- got my coupon. And perfect timing too. My free service, provided by the apartment complex, ended last week and now I'm back on local only. So getting the coupon this week so I can make the transition to rabbit ears was really good timing.
Incidentally, hulu.com is pretty decent when it comes to providing television shows. I recommend "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" -- very cute 3-parter from Joss Whedon and singing! Good singing! Good lyrics. So yeah, I don't actually miss cable because I can get Battlestar on scifi.com or hulu.com the day after, and the Daily Show is now on hulu.com so I don't have to deal with Comedy Central's funky player. All in all, not a bad deal. Definitely a good option if, in these tough times, you're looking to cut costs -- you can still get most of your favorite shows online for free with minimal commercial interruption.
I'm taking a break from all things Palin-related because I've found something BSG-related -- What the frak?. Great picture of Katee Sackhoff. Anyone want to write 500 words on what she's thinking or looking at? You know you want to...
Frontline has a new Everest film! And it looks like you can watch it online as well, which is great, because I'm rarely home in time to watch Frontline here in Sweat Sock City. There can never be too much Everest!
The bad thing about being a grown-up is I won't see how this Tuesday plays out. I no longer have the ability to stay awake much later than 10 pm, and even my first 10 minutes of the Daily Show are a hard fight to stay awake. The good news is, tomorrow I'll find out first thing in the morning how it all turns out. Amazing, I've watched more of the endless (read: dull) coverage of Super Tuesday than I did the Super Bowl, which didn't even register on my radar (I watched Masterpiece Theater on PBS).
The tally is in, and without giving spoilers, I think I owe jemima a drabble because she did slightly better than I did on the BSG series finale predictions pool. That's if, of course, we discount revisionist history. If we don't count revisionist history, it's a tie and we're both off the hook, which is the place to be when yuo're a retired ficcer.
(may contain spoilers for season 3 finale BSG; look away now if you don't want to know).
So jemima and I worked out this deal to our game to figure out what exactly is going to happen on the season finale of BSG and part of the deal was we got to revise our initial guesses after seeing this past Sunday's episode. So we've both revised and jemima's revisions are over here (her part one is over here). Mine are below, after the requisite spoiler space. If you haven't seen the first part of the season finale for season 3, look away NOW. S P O I L E R S P A C E Death: Tigh Disturbing: Tigh, Anders, and Tori are 3 of the 5 final Cylons Decisions: Death penalty for Baltar Divorce: Lee & Dualla Devotion: Baltar marries Six just before his date with the airlock Destruction: The hope of finding earth before the Cylons
Note: This post may potentially contain spoilers for season 3 BSG. If you haven't watched more than half the eps, you may want to look away AFTER the first paragraph (or even this one; I won't be insulted).
jemima and I have decided, on the basis of NO spoilers, to make our 'D' inspired predictions for the "Battlestar Galactica" season 3 finale. As of this moment in time, neither of us has seen last night's episode. So our current predictions are based on everything that's happened season to date. We retain the right, after viewing last night's ep, to revise our predictions. We had to provide guesses for five out of six proposed categories, plus one 'bonus' or 'wildcard' category of our own making. The stakes are quite high: the loser has to write the winner a drabble. If none of our predictions come true, then we're both off the hook and don't have to write drabbles at all.
So here are my guesses, with the required spoiler space. jemima will be posting hers on her blog sometime this evening. You'll have to go over there to see what she has to say since I am currently unable to provide the link. Again, I reiterate -- neither of us has seen last night's ep and we both claim to be spoiler free. That being said, you have been W A R N E D
My guesses are:
* Death: Anders * Disturbing: Roslin confesses feelings for Baltar * Destruction: Colonial One * Decisions: Death penalty for Baltar * Divorce: Cally & Tyrol * Devotion: Baltar marries Six just before he meets the airlock
I spent most of Super Bowl Sunday with a massive headache due to standing way too close to a space heater Saturday night (this is my only explanation as a) I went to bed around 11, b) I didn't have anything to drink at all and c) I didn't inhale any second hand smoke). As a result, I was completely out of it for the game and it took me until nearly halftime to realize who was actually playing (I'm still not sure -- the Colts and someone else, right?). A friend tried to explain to me what a time-out was and why the red flag was actually yellow, but I was more interested in a bottle of Advil at the moment and waved off the explanation.
What I did enjoy was the halftime show -- Yeah Prince! -- and the commercials. My favorite commercial would have to be a Bud Light (Budweiser?) commercial when this couple is driving down a dark road and they pick up a hitchhiker who is carrying both a six pack and an axe. That was pretty funny. As was the Oprah and David Letterman bit. And a couple of the Dorito commercials. It's the first Super Bowl I've seen since the infamous Janet reveal and it was fun, but I was more than ready to call it a night after halftime. I'm sorry, football fans, but I just can't get into your game.
ps. Don't stand too close to an oil-fired space heater. You'll thank me in the morning.
NBC has a free download of "O Holy Night" over here. It was performed on an ep of "Studio 60" last week and performed by musicians from New Orleans. Unfortunately the episode isn't available legally online.