Monthly Archives: March 2010

FOX Greenlights Fringe Season Three, Rob Swoons reports that FOX has given Fringe an order for a third season.  I didn’t think it was going to happen, considering how the sci-fi drama usually stays in the 2.5 range with ratings on Thursdays against tough competition from The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, and Supernatural.  But now that it is officially coming back for a third year, my heart is all fluttery because, with Lost ending, this looks to slot into position number one on my favorite shows list next year.

Coming back for another season.

What does this mean for the show?  Well, it allows the writers to craft a fantastic cliffhanger season finale rather than scramble to give a sense of finality when season two comes to a close in May.  They can build on the parallel universe storyline involving Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.  But best of all, it allows them to continue giving one of my favorite characters of all time, Walter Bishop, more great “Walter moments”.

Also, it shows FOX is more willing to let the series develop, growing the mythology and character interractions.  That means more episodes related to the overaching storyline of the show, rather than the standalone episodes I think have hampered Fringe in the ratings this year.

Those standalone episodes can be pretty good, like the one this year with the mutant kid living underneath a small town or the one with the slug things on the Asian ship, but they do nothing to advance the storyline of the upcoming “war” that’s been hinted at.  I think viewers can see this and I doubt they appreciate the spinning-the-wheels feel it gives.

Now that Fringe is coming back, those viewers hopefully don’t have to worry about more stalling.  The showrunners can start telling the “big” story in earnest, the story they want to tell, and they now seem to have the network’s permission to do so.

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Doc Jensen’s Lost Psychosis and How It Makes Me Smarter

A promo image from Lost's sixth and final season.

Jeff Jensen, or Doc Jensen as he’s fashioned himself, loves Lost, probably more than anyone on the planet.  As a staff writer for Entertainment Weekly, he is in a position many fans of the wacky show–myself included–would be extremely jealous of: he gets paid to divulge his (seemingly) insane theories about what the show means and how it will end.

Jensen’s theories from the current-and-final season alone include Huey Lewis & The News and Islamic Judgement Day references.  Is he off his rocker?  Probably, but I’ve never felt more informed about the world of entertainment, and perhaps life in general.

Because of the good Doc, I’ve learned quite a lot.  Did you know there’s a theory that an invisible planet we don’t know about that may or may not crash into Earth?  These things get discussed regularly in Jensen’s columns.

Beyond that, I’ve discovered some very good books thanks to the show’s, and Jensen’s, name dropping of them.  I’ve read Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Stand by Stephen King, and am currently reading Ubik by Philip K. Dick, among others.  There are plenty more on my agenda, including titles by Flann O’Brien and Mark Z. Danielewski.

Now, these myriad Lost connections could be entirely coincidental, but the way Jensen writes about the show and its cultural impact has become my main reason for reading every Tuesday and Wednesday.  I don’t even care anymore about how these wild ideas relate to the show.  I just want to learn more cool stuff and get turned onto more movies, TV shows, or books that I’d enjoy.

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Fear and Spring Training In Las Vegas: My Spring Break Agenda

Today marks the beginning of my spring break.  Midterms are done, and now I’m home in the Town of Inferiority Complexes, Chicago.  But my current location is not what matters, nay.  In a few short days–five, to be exact–I will be landing in Las Vegas, land of booze, craps, legalized prostitution, and…  Spring Training?

That’s right, my sister and I are headed to the debauchery Mecca of the world to watch some baseball.  The Cubs play the White Sox for three games, and we’ll be there, decked out in Irish Cubs memorabilia to commemorate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday.  I will be bringing my laptop with me on the trip and plan to post about the games, and also the liquor and the slots.  I’ll give my firsthand account of how the Cubs’ biggest offseason acquisition, Marlon Byrd, looks patrolling center field, as well as (I hope) updates on the odds of mega prospect Starlin Castro playing with the big league team this year.

Also, I will be watching my back.  It is bat country, after all.

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Tron Legacy: Mighty Interesting

I’ve never seen the original Tron, but I’ve heard good things.  It’s about a guy getting trapped in a video game.  And it looks like a precurser to VR Troopers (“WE.  ARE.  V-R!”).  And The Dude is in it.  Or something.  Hell, I really don’t care.  All I know is that there’s a sequel coming out this December that looks slick.  The teaser trailer’s been floating around for several months and I’ve watched it a few times, finding the minimal-yet-super-stylized chase sequence very cool.  I heard the other day that the official, non-teaser trailer will be debuting before Alice In Wonderland this weekend, so I decided to join the hype machine and post the current trailer here.  Insert whatever hyperbole (“This year’s Avatar!”; “If, after viewing this trailer, you experience an erection lasting longer than four hours, consult a doctor”; etc.) you want here.

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Band Pimping: Big Audio Dynamite (Originally published February 22, 2010)

After leaving The Clash in the early ’80s, guitarist Mick Jones took his growing love for hip hop and sampling and started a band called Big Audio Dynamite.  He lived up to his nickname of Wack Attack (and no, I am not making that up), with plenty of ’80s rap influence on their stuff.  This song is a standard to me, yet whenever I play it, nobody knows what the hell it is.  So this is me telling everyone.  Enjoy it.


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Radiohead Art Exhibit (Originally published February 11, 2010)

I will never claim to be an art aficionado, but Radiohead’s artwork always draws me in, and that is because of an artist named Stanley Donwood, who has done every piece of Radiohead-related artwork from The Bends on.  It’s always interesting and paranoid, probably why the guys in Radiohead like it.  And now, Donwood’s art is being displayed in Holland, and there’s a gallery of it on  Enjoy.

Stanley Donwood’s Radiohead Art

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Band Pimping: Cold War Kids (Originally published February 7, 2010)

The Cold War Kids are probably my number two favorite band around these days.  I was surfing the Rolling Stone website and came upon this page.  They just released a new EP called Behave Yourself and, just as their previous two albums have proven, they’re well on their way to roots rock glory.  Here is a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long As I Can See The Light”, which just so happens to be one of my favorite songs.  I’m so happy to hear this it’s unsettling.

Cold War Kids: “Long As I Can See The Light”

And if you want another “holy shit, this is awesome!” song, check out their new single, “Audience”.

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Band Pimping: Bruce Springsteen (Originally published February 5, 2010)

Ok, The Boss doesn’t really need pimping.  He’s a legend.  A gruff, manly legend that sends chills down the spines of 21-year-old blue collar spawn like yours truly.  No song exemplifies his classic rock sincerity quite like “Atlantic City”, a track from my favorite of his albums, Nebraska. Not only is it a simple folksy tune, but it’s got all the killer hooks you’d expect from the bandanna’d one himself.  And it’s nice to think of staying positive even when faced with impossible odds, just like the main character in the song.  Plus, the video’s pretty damn cool, with its black-and-white travelogue through the real Atlantic City, showing it in all its second-rate Vegas glory.

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Band Pimping (Flashback): Elvis Costello (Originally published February 4, 2010)

I’ve loved Elvis Costello for some time now, but hadn’t listened to him in a while.  The other day I was sifting through the giant CD book thing in my car and opened to my Costello page.  I popped in his debut album, My Aim Is True, and let it bring a smile to my face.  “Miracle Man”, with its sort of ’50s, sort of punky sound and fantastic lyrical wordplay, has been stuck in my head for days.  Despite its jaded theme, it’s always a mood enhancer for me, so I found a grainy, “artsy” tribute video to it on YouTube and decided to post it.  Enjoy.

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I Want to Marry Liz Lemon (Originally published February 4, 2010)

How sad is it that I’m in love with a fictional character?  Well, it can’t be too bad considering how every person in America with girl parts salivates at the thought of that vampire guy.  And for those of you who know me, stop saying I look like him; he’s not manly and I do not appreciate it, regardless of how much of an international sex symbol he is.

"Yep. I'm confused, too."

But anyway, a friend of mine recommended I start watching 30 Rock a few months ago, and I became smitten.  With the show, that is.  It’s hilarious, and Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy is the funniest character on television (Walter Bishop on Fringe is a close second, though).  The show’s wacky humor and constant send-ups of its parent network, NBC, are always worthwhile, and I’m glad it’s established itself as one of the few hits on the network.

The show is that way because of its creator and star, Tina Fey.  The character she plays, Liz,  is the showrunner of a late night variety show much like Saturday Night Live. And she is on fire with the jokes all the time.  She’s self deprecating and super nerdy.  And, despite Fey being not at all what I normally go for, she’s mighty attractive. In other words, jackpot.

And you know what?  I’m not at all ashamed.  Who wouldn’t want to marry someone with a boss like Jack?  I sure as hell wouldn’t mind hanging out with him.  And, if the marriage were to follow the storylines of the show, I.  Wouldn’t.  Even.  Have.  To.  Try.

So yeah, fellas, I recommend getting down on one knee (to propose, perverts) for the next super awesome girl you meet on TV.  I doubt you’ll regret it.

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