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Monthly Archives: February 2008

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Scubs ABC Bound?

Despite the fact that Scrubs has been a modest success for NBC when NBC has had a shortage of them and pre-Office was probably NBC’s most identifiable sitcom, NBC has never actually embraced Scrubs, constantly waiting to the last minute to reorder it and post WGA strike, NBC’s treatment of Scrubs has been downright shameful. I say that as someone who is not a fan of Scrubs and its smug and repetitive episodes but at the same time it deserved an actual final series of episodes from Ben Silverman and NBC, instead of going to DVD or whatever nonsense Benny had in mind, and now ABC may have the last laugh over Scrubs, which it seemed like NBC never quite wanted. If Scrubs makes the jump to ABC, at the very least Scrubs will be able to wrap it up, even if I think Scrubs will be somewhat out of step on ABC, even after Samantha Who but it will serve NBC right. Ben Silverman’s disastrous tenure, for which the Knight Rider relaunch is only the latest symptom, has done enough damage to NBC after all.

Dollhouse is Still Not Doing It For Me

Even Joss Whedon and Tim Minear reuniting hasn’t made me particularly interested in Dollhouse. There are a lot of new details coming out about Joss Whedon’s new FOX TV series Dollhouse but I’m still sitting this one out. For one thing anyone who knows anything about FOX knows it’s dangerous to get attached to a new show on FOX, particularly a SciFi series because FOX has a way of killing them before they get out of the first season, a fate that I hope doesn’t strike down Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles, also a series I would not want another failed effort from Joss Whedon to displace. For another I don’t think Eliza Dushku can headline a TV series in a non-Faith role and the Dollhouse series concept is just too out there for me to think it can work as a drama on a weekly basis. I’m open to watching it but I’m still sitting out the hype.

Microsoft Gets Desperate to Unload Windows Vista

Desperation is never pretty unless it’s wearing a whole lot of makeup but now Microsoft’s desperate desire to try and get people to switch up or down, depending on your point of view, from Windows XP to Windows Vista, is convincing the evil company from hell to slash prices on Windows Vista Ultimate by 80 bucks to 319. Of course that’s still a ridiculously inflated price and people who weren’t buying it at 399 aren’t realistically about to buy it at 319 either. Now if Microsoft was really serious about speeding up Windows Vista adoption, it might want to rethink the 50 flavors and simplify it down to Home and Professional again the way they did for XP. And then there’s the slight problem where Windows Vista is not only a resource hog but actually slower than Windows XP, not exactly a major selling point. Or the fact that it’s so buggy that even its SP1 needs its own SP1.

Victor Salva to Make Straight to DVD Jeepers Creepers 3

In creepy news, extremely creepy child molesting director Victor Salva is set to make Jeepers Creepers 3, the movie that no one much wants, after they clearly did not want Jeepers Creepers 2, the one with the schoolbus. Jeepers Creepers was a surprise hit but it’s just not a franchise and while I can see that the whole child molesting thing by Victor Salva may limit his career options a bit on movies not produced by Francis Ford Coppola, maybe having a guy who preys on kids make horror movies about a monster that preys on kids, might be just a little too creepy, in the way that Hitcher is creepy when coming from Eric Red, a guy who has a thing for running over people and killing them. Jeepers Creepers was itself part of a dying monsters hunting teens horror movie trend that followed the slashers hunting teens trend kicked off by Kevin Williamson. It’s about time to put it to rest and send Victor Salva off to a parish.

EA Sets its Sights on Consuming Take Two

After EA’s last feeding binges, Take Two is about the only major repository of gaming talent left which of course is why EA is determined to swallow it along with 2Ksports to insure that nobody competes with any of EA’s redundant officially licensed games and they can go on releasing Madden 2009, 2019 and 2085 as the same game with slightly better graphics and worse gameplay.

It’s bad enough that the game industry has congealed so badly around a few major companies. It’s bad enough that 90 percent of the games out there are the same FPS’s with minor variations in plot and RTS’s without the variations. It’s bad enough that Russian games are actually scoring here because the American developed FPS’s have become so redundant.

Now EA intends to swallow the likes of Firaxis and Irrational Games and maybe co-opt Rockstar and Gathering of Developers in the bargain, who have a record of producing original games that EA can’t match. You wonder what’s the point of this except to squeeze out the few talented people dedicated to producing something beyond another disposable shooter in favor of the EA corporate culture and the endless sequel over to the small developers.

Making Money by Terry Pratchett book review

If Making Money by Terry Pratchett is the first Discworld novel you read, the odds are that you’ll probably enjoy it. On the other hand if you’ve already read any of Terry Pratchett’s last ten Discworld novels, then you’ve already read Making Money. Discworld was never that groundbreaking of a series but increasingly Terry Pratchett has just fallen into writing Discworld novels that are minor variations of each other, all set in Ankh Morphork involving someone making some sort of modern day progress, encountering resistance from the old class structure and wackiness ensues.

It wouldn’t be so bad or so lazy if Making Money wasn’t just Going Postal with a few characters switched around, but it is. Moist Lipwig aka Albert Spangler moves from the post office to the mint and many of the same characters move along with him. There’s a plot and a conspiracy, Moist Lipwig has to do wacky things to modernize the mint the way he modernized the post office and Terry Pratchett delivers his usual lecture on modernization and in this case against the gold standard, no doubt disappointing the Ron Paul crowd.

But not only is Making Money the same novel as Going Postal, it’s actually a watered down version of Going Postal. In Making Money, Moist Lipwig faces no real opposition except from Cosmo Lavish, a silly character, more pathetic than menacing, who has clearly doomed himself a few pages in. Pratchett is too busy lecturing on modern finance and capital and making his little ironic observations to even seriously contemplate setting up a compelling plot, so by the time Making Money runs its course, the reader can’t help but realize that or he or she paid twenty something dollars for a mediocre version of the same novel they paid twenty minus something dollars for two years ago. There’s undoubtedly some financial irony in that but mostly it’s simply frustrating.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles 1×07 The Demon Hand review

It would be hard if not nearly impossible to properly follow up TSCC 1×06 Dungeons and Dragons and while The Demon Hand s1e07 is not nearly as strong an episode as D&D was, it makes for a good lead in to the season finale and hopefully not the series finale of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, setting the different elements in play. From Derek Reese and Cameron both operating on their own hidden agendas to the contrast between Cameron and Sarah Connor and the difference between having a soul and not having a soul, The Demon Hand sets up some interesting blocks that the finale will either build up or tear down.

Going further in exploring and in the process creating a canon for Terminator that most never even really knew it had, The Demon Hand brings back Sarah Connor’s psychiatrist from Terminator 2, Dr. Silverman, as a reborn fanatic who has mixed the Terminators together with the Book of Revelations to produce some quasi cultic belief system that treats Sarah Connor as Jesus. Of course by calling the apocalypse wrought by Skynet, Judgment Day, Terminator was always asking for a religious interpretation and Silverman seems to suggest that there are more like him out there.

Meanwhile Cameron seems to be following her curiosity about humans while coldly manipulating the Russian ballet teacher and her brother and then leaving them to die when she got the information she needed. And yet the closing of the episode that has her slowly performing ballet routines in seeming search of the language of the soul is a disturbing reminder that she has aspirations to be human with none of the human compassion and empathy that Sarah Connor demonstrated when she saved Agent Ellison from the fire, even though he had been hunting her.

As an interesting side note, Demon with a Glass Hand was one of the Outer Limits episodes that Harlan Ellison claimed inspired Terminator.

Garth Ennis’ The Boys coming to a Theater Near You?

It’s a pretty good spin for a comic book that’s barely 15 issues in and was canceled by its original publisher, but Columbia Pictures has picked up the film rights to Garth Ennis’ The Boys. Personally I think this news is more an example of Hollywood’s bizarre irrationality than anything else, because really the chance of Hollywood making The Boys true to the comic is about as good as Alan Moore’s Lost Girls being turned into a movie, not made by Larry Flynt.

A realistic concept for The Boys movie would remind me of that Mad TV sketch of the Sopranos on PAX-TV. Considering the sheer amount of “stuff” in it, I don’t see anyone but some weird combination of the Wayans Brothers and Simon Pegg actually bringing this to life. Then again Garth Ennis designed a character in The Boys to look like Simon Pegg, so his casting is virtually inevitable.

On some level a cleaned up version of The Boys might still be cool but that really depends on where it’s going and whether Garth Ennis will keep going off the rails the way he did in Preacher and with The Boys’ Russian segment. Either way film rights sales don’t mean much. The rights for Preacher had been sold a while back with no progress.

I Wish to Announce That I Am Not Running for President

In keeping with my colleague, Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he is not running for President, I also wish to announce that I am not running for the office of President of the United States. I do not know where the rumors that I would run for President began. Certainly it could not have been with the many people to whom I promised trees with real money growing on them if they elected me President. As a three time convicted squirrel juggler, many would doubt that I even have the moral fitness to be President. To that I reply that while I have no wish to be President, should I somehow be elected President, the resulting reign of terror would leave absolutely no doubt of my fitness to govern this great land, this content, the world and major portions of the solar system beyond. However I wish to repeat that I do not wish to be President so cease attempting to vote for me at once.

Bloomberg Still Not Running for President

You wonder what kind of sweetheart deals happened under the table to get NY1 to run a ridiculous headline like “All Eyes On Bloomberg’s Choice For President”. NY1 the poorly thought out platform for the New York Times got sold and I assume it wasn’t to Bloomberg or that kind of bias would range toward the criminal. In any case Michael Bloomberg, mediocre mayor of New York, arrogant man of the billionaire people, is announcing yet again that he’s not running for office. In further news, I’m also not running for office. In order to raise his national profile, Bloomy pulled a Trump and had his aides spend months broadcasting the news under the table that he was planning to run for President, even as his denied it in public. His non-partisan conference collapsed, but along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, he did manage to get a magazine cover but that was all he got.

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