GREEK 3.17: Mardi Gras Madness

Casey and Cappie

The classic rom-com premise almost always sees the mature, sensible (and beautiful) woman struggling to tame the overgrown boy who refuses to grow up and man-up and enter a “real, adult relationship” (read: marriage). ABC Family’s college-based series GREEK externalizes that conflict by focusing on overachiever Casey (Spencer Grammer — yes, Kelsey‘s daughter and onetime Lucy on AS THE WORLD TURNS) and merry underachiever Cappie (Scott Michael Foster).
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The 11th Doctor Changes his Clothes… sort of.

Feeling blue, Doctor?

New photos from the filming of Series 5 of DOCTOR WHO have come to light, and they show the Doctor… well, some folks might consider that a spoiler, so I’ll refrain from describing the activity in detail, but let’s just say he’s doing something that’s popular in the U.K., and he seems to be having fun.

I was looking at this particular image of 11th Doctor Matt Smith, and something about it seemed…off. And not just because the Doctor does not look happy to be on the ground. Finally I figured out what bothered me about it: Look at the Doctor’s shirt, suspenders and tie. They’re blue. I think his trousers might also be bluish, but it is difficult to discern here. In the initial images from location filming and the first and second trailers, we have seen the Doctor wearing a reddish shirt/braces/tie combo with what appear to be black pants. This seems to indicate that just like his predecessor, this incarnation of the Doctor likes to mix up his sartorial choices — within certain parameters.

I really like this Doctor’s professorial appearance, which I have curiously seen described as “geography teacher” instead of “science teacher” for some strange reason. David Tennant‘s 10th Doctor often traded his tie for layers of T-shirts/shirts, so I really hope 11 doesn’t lose his tweedy jacket and bowtie. No matter what the color.

How long until April 17?

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And the Oscar goes to…And the Winner Is…

Bigelow\’s big win

Well, we made it through another marathon Oscar telecast full of stilted presentations, dancing, and head-scratching acceptance speeches. And, of course, little golden statuettes. And we loved it all.

Congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow for a richly deserved directing Oscar. Her work on The Hurt Locker was amazing and, as she noted, winning was “the moment of a lifetime.” I remember walking out of that movie last summer thinking I had just seen a slam-dunk best picture nominee, and that Bigelow would garner a nod as well. I am elated that both she and the film were victorious. Kudos also to Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock for the top acting awards. His Bad Blake was sublime in Crazy Heart, and my Netflix wait for The Blind Side will seem even longer. Christoph Waltz, Mo’nique and Avatar’s special-effects team walked away with the other locks of the night.

But how was the show itself, which ran just a tick under 30 minutes longer than usual? Surprisingly, it did not really feel like it dragged to me. I enjoyed Steve Martin’s erudite solo stint back in 2001, and liked him well enough this year with Alec Baldwin. In my opinion, he save the best line for last when he noted that the kudofest ran so long that “Avatar now takes place in the past.”
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Oscar Predictions 2010

The Hurt Locker

I came up with the totally original idea of listing my choices/predictions for this year’s Academy Awards. I am sure you will not find this topic on a million other blogs!

What I have done here is give my best guesses for the nominations major categories in which I feel qualified to give an opinion. I did not see any documentary shorts, so categories like that are out. Also, the hard-core technical categories like Sound Effects Editing are a crapshoot, so what’s the point? But as far as my actual opinions go…well, these are gold. Feel free to cross-reference with my post about movies I loved and hated in 2009.

Best Picture
Nominees: Avatar; The Blind Side; District 9; An Education; The Hurt Locker; Inglourious Basterds; Precious; A Serious Man; Up; Up in the Air
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
What Should Win: The Hurt Locker
Why: There are two big reasons why Avatar will not win: 1. Self-proclaimed “King of the World” James Cameron has already won a boatload of Oscars for Titanic to go with his technical hardware. 2. Actors still fear losing their jobs to computer-generated characters, and Cameron’s great leap forward could be seen as a reminder of that threat. Also, The Hurt Locker is a fantastic movie that sticks with the viewer on a much more visceral, personal level than the “How did he do that?” head-shaking that lingers following Avatar.
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CAPRICA 1.6: The one with James Marsters

Barnabus

Last week viewers got to visit New Cap City in V-World, but this week we finally visited one of the other planets of the 12 colonies when we got a glimpse of Tauron City, home of Vergis Industries. But the thing most people will probably remember about this week’s episode is the appearance of James Marsters as Barnabus Greeley, an authority figure in the Caprica City cell of Soldiers of The One.

Marsters’ genre cred is unimpeachable: He broke through as that other soulful vampire, Spike, on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, moved on to playing SMALLVILLE’s Brainiac and, recently, the amoral Capt. John Hart on TORCHWOOD. Here Barnabus is a True Believer: he practices self-mortification as a way of avoiding sin – yet isn’t averse to belonging to a violent terrorist cell. I guess it’s all in how he can justify it to himself. Torturing his own flesh with that cilice is pretty extreme. And, despite his asking, “What gets unleashed when this thing gets to Gemenon?” I suspect he rejected Lacy’s (Magda Apanowicz) appeal for transport to Gemenon more out of concern for getting caught by the authorities than humanitarian worry over the morality/lethality of whatever cargo she wanted to drag along. STO are in the middle of campaign of bombing holocafes, for gods’ sakes, so he’s a believer in situational ethics, at least. Important tidbit: Keon (Liam Sproule) built the device that Ben used to destroy Maglev 23. Marsters’ appearance was brief but effective. I want to know more about this guy!
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LOST 6.6: I Am…I Sayid

Sayid stabs MiB

This week’s LOST was about personal destiny and free will. (Not aiming too high, are we, LOST?)

In two universes, Sayid (Naveen Andrews) struggled to come to grips with what kind of man was, who he is now, and what sort of person he aspires to be in the future. In the L.A. universe, Sayid is a merchant, while Nadia (Andrea Gabriel) is not only alive, she is married to Sayid’s brother, Omer (Cas Anvar), a dry-cleaner. Seems Omer borrowed money from the wrong folks and so he asked his brother to call upon his Republican Guard skills to go all Rambo on the loan sharks. But Sayid resisted — just as he resisted the temptation of Nadia, whom he clearly loves and who adores him. He even told her that he was a once a bad man and does not deserve her. Of course the mobsters tired of waiting for their money and brutalized Omer, which prompted Sayid to go all Rambo on their asses after all. How random was having Martin Keamy (Kevin Durand) show up as a gangster? From Kahana captain to mob lieutenant? Well, I guess they are both tough guys motivated by money.

Back on the island, Sayid was tired of being jerked around by Dogen (Hiroyuki Sanada), and so demanded and explanation for being “tested” by that Princess Bride-type machine. Dogen told him that the device allowed him to determine how a man’s scale of good and evil is balanced, and that Sayid’s scales were balanced the “wrong way.” But which way is that? From Dogen’s perspective, Sayid might have been too far on the side of the angels. (If concepts of “Good” and “Evil” still have any meaning on the Island…)
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DOCTOR WHO gets U.S. airdate: April 17

Gillan and Smith filming

Great news for us here in the States: Series 5 of DOCTOR WHO will be shown on BBC America April 17, which is just two weeks after it begins airing in the UK (April 3) on BBC One. The Matt Smith and Karen Gillan 11th Doctor/Amy era will kick off with a hourlong episode called “The Eleventh Hour,” so look for a 90-minute broadcast here to allow for commercials.

Believe it or not, I was so excited about this information that I thought I had already posted about it! But at least I did post about the trailer for Series 5. Anybody who doesn’t get BBC America has just over a month to convince their cable companies to carry the channel.

ETA: Some new episode titles have been confirmed thanks to Doctor Who Magazine:
4. “The Time of Angels”
5. “Flesh & Stone”
6. “Vampires in Venice”