THE CAPE 1.1, 1.2: Pilot/Tarot

I was prepared to hate NBC’s newest superhero series, THE CAPE. After all, it looked pretty campy, and I just happen to hate circus settings, so things did not look good at the start. Luckily, THE CAPE improved steadily over the course of its inaugural hour.

THE CAPE is refreshingly free of overt camp and snarkiness; at least the initial two hours played the story straight. And the tale was a surprisingly straightforward superhero origin tale: Vince Faraday (David Lyons) was a cop wrongly accused of a crime, and then presumed dead in one of those amazingly unlikely explosions in which no body is found. But he survived, and undertook special training with a mentor to mold himself into a living weapon to strike at his nemesis, corporate mogul Peter Fleming (James Frain) a man so powerful he is untouchable by conventional justice. Vince keeps his true identity a secret in order to protect his loved ones from that menace (who has a sort of villain name of his own, being known as the murderer “Chess”), and yearns to clear his name so his son can grow up proud. That’s a lot of comic baggage for one show. Toss in a sexy sidekick, and you have a TV show.
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Green Lantern Tomar-Re Lives!

As far as I’m concerned, the makers of the forthcoming Green Lantern movie have gotten nothing right, and almost everything I’ve seen teasing the movie has made me worry more and more that this June 17 release is going to be a steaming pile of crap.

Tomar-Re

I’m still convinced this is going to reek, but I would like to take a moment to (faintly) praise one thing about the trailer: I kind of like the realization of Tomar-Re, the Green Lantern of Sector 2813. He doesn’t look exactly like his comic book version (designed by the great Gil Kane), but this more organic take works for me. Tomar-Re debuted in Green Lantern No. 6, way back in 1961, so he’s seriously old-school. The comic-book Tomar-Re had more of a beak for a mouth that made him look like a hybrid if bird and fish; the movie Tomar-Re is clearly much more fish, and I actually like the altered face.

Now back to the bile. You all know that I despise Ryan Reynolds’ GL costume with a hate that practically qualifies me for membership in the Red Lantern Corps. The design is terrible, and the CGI realization looks cheap and shoddy. I instantly lost all faith and hope in the movie, and the release of the first official trailer only depressed me more. Check it out:


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NFL Parity Rewards Mediocrity

Saints QB Drew Brees

The NFL playoffs get under way with Wildcard Weekend kicking off today, and in addition to the promise of an entertaining game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets on Saturday, football fans will be subjected to the travesty of watching the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints taking an 11-5 record on the road to play the pathetic 7-9 Seattle Seahawks.

You read that correctly: A team with a losing record is hosting a playoff game against a team with a winning record. This is happening because the Seahawks play in the NFC West, a division that can charitably be called “weak.” But despite the level of competition, just because Seattle won the division it automatically qualifies for a home playoff game. This is embarrassing. You know it, I know it, and the league knows it. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ProFootballTalk Live that the situation is sparking a review of the seeding process in the coming offseason.

“This is something that we’ll look at again,” Goodell said. “We looked at it a few years ago. The strong view of the clubs was that you should win your division and if you win your division, you should be rewarded with a home game. There is another view that winning your division should automatically get you into the playoffs and into the postseason, but that it should not automatically reward you with a home game. That is something that will continue to be debated. We will look at that this offseason. Let’s let the playoffs play out here a little bit and try to understand what the ramifications are rather than reacting to a specific circumstance.”

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TORCHWOOD: THE NEW WORLD bows July 1

On the heels of yesterday’s casting announcement comes official word that TORCHWOOD: THE NEW WORLD will premiere here in the USA and in the UK on July 1! That’s great news! Also great news: Filming is scheduled to start in the colonies next week!

You can hop over to this Doctor Who News Page for a listing of the production personnel who will actually be making the series. The roster includes a lot of genre veterans, with heavy representation from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL. The director of the premiere episode will be Bharat Nalluri, who helmed the first episode of the British LIFE ON MARS. That page also has a nice roundup of all the TNW news to date, as well as previews of the official comic book series (which you are buying, right?).

Did you know there is an official TORCHWOOD YouTube channel? There’s not really much there related to TNW yet, but I’m betting there will be soon, now that production is really ramping up. There is also an official TNW facebook page and a Twitter account, @TORCHWOOD_TNW.

TORCHWOOD: THE NEW WORLD Casting

Dichen Lachman

Is this a conspiracy? The new season of TORCHWOOD has added two more CIA operatives, in the lovely forms of DOLLHOUSE active Dichen Lachman (ex-Sierra) and ALL MY CHILDREN vet Alexa Havins (ex-Babe). Lachman also did a stint on a soap opera: Australia’s NEIGHBOURS.

Havins will play the previously announced female lead, Ester Katusi, a CIA analyst with a crush on colleague Rex Matheson, to be portrayed by former ER doc Mekhi Phifer. No name has been released for Lachman’s character. Bill Pullman (Independence Day), will be playing way against type as depraved murderer/pedophile Oswald Jones. (I guess casting him as the president of the United States would have been too easy?) In addition, Arlene Tur (Bebe, CRASH) has been cast as Vera Juarez, described as a surgeon. I cannot express how highly I approve of the gorgeous Lachman’s casting. I loved her in DOLLHOUSE, where she made Sierra such a complex character: soft and beautiful as a rose, but steely strong beneath the surface.

I’m really looking forward to TORCHWOOD: THE NEW WORLD, if for no other reason than it takes my mind off obsessing about DOCTOR WHO. If TNW is even half as good as last year’s CHILDREN OF EARTH, we are in for a treat. It has been too long since I’ve seen John Barrowman’s Capt. Jack Harkness, Eve Myles’ Gwen, and Kai Owen’s Rhys. And three cheers for the return of Tom Price as PC Andy! Remember Jack’s cameo in DW’s “The End of Time, Part 2”? Gwen and Rhys haven’t been glimpsed since the end of COE.

The best part is that the forthcoming fourth season will be broadcast here in the colonies on Starz concurrently with the premiere on BBC One back in the U.K. So no trauma-inducing wait for the series to migrate across the pond.

I have a feeling that 2011 is the year that everything changes…

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS 1.11: Moments Later

Easily the most unlikely weekly series on my DVR is ABC Family’s PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, a tale of high school girls embroiled in a complicated stew of secrets and lies that swirl around the disappearance of Alison, the school’s mean-girl queen bee… not to mention their complicated family lives, romantic entanglements and interpersonal relationships. It all sounds a bit bewildering, but once you get a sense of it, the story is easy enough to pick up.

The winter premiere of PLL picked up (literally) moments after last fall’s cliff-hanger that saw Hanna (Ashley Benson) run down by an unknown driver while investigating the identity of the mysterious “A,” a character who knows all of the girls dirty little secrets (and then some!) and has spent the season so far tormenting them with clues about Alison’s (Sasha Pieterse) disappearance.
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DOCTOR WHO Series 6: First Teaser Trailer

After looking back at the DOCTOR WHO Christmas special in the last entry, let’s indulge in a little bit of hope for the future by taking a peek at the Series 6 (That’s Season 32 for the purists!) teaser trailer that capped “A Christmas Carol.” Let’s take a look at what awaits us in Spring 2011…

At first glance, this clip seems rather low-key, which is not a bad thing, because the stories look interesting. It might be because Matt Smith looks relatively restrained as the Doctor. The season looks to have a strong Amy (Karen Gillan) element, but Rory (Arthur Darvill) is not too well-represented. I was surprised to see the Ood back, and I don’t think anyone expected a naked River Song (Alex Kingston). But we will examine the trailer in detail at a later date.

My two favorite quotes from the clip: “I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool.” And the dread-filled: “My life in your hands, Amelia Pond.”

DOCTOR WHO: “A Christmas Carol”

It’s easy to see why the latest DOCTOR WHO Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol,” was billed as “the most Christmassy Christmas special” of all – because it certainly features the most Christmas Eves, thanks to time travel.

The story sees the Doctor (Matt Smith) desperate to save a spaceliner plunging into the atmosphere of an unnamed planet with a volatile charged cloud layer controlled by a machine in turn controlled by one Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon, of Harry Potter fame), the richest and meanest man in Sardicktown. He doesn’t like Christmas, and he doesn’t like children, and he simply cannot be bothered to save the 4,0003 aboard the crashing starship: “I don’t care!” he shrugs.
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2010 in review (inside the numbers…)

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 23,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 230 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 488 posts. There were 288 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 30mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 1st with 192 views. The most popular post that day was MAKE IT OR BREAK IT 2.10: At the Edge of the Worlds.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, WordPress Dashboard, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for karen gillan, amy pond, burn notice, fiona burn notice, and burn notice fiona.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

MAKE IT OR BREAK IT 2.10: At the Edge of the Worlds September 2010
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2

Coming Attractions: 11th Doctor January 2010
2 comments

3

Doctor Who Series 5: New promos! February 2010

4

BURN NOTICE 4.1: When Michael met Vaughn… June 2010

5

STARGATE UNIVERSE 1.16: Sabotage May 2010
1 comment

11 Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2011

Since it’s 2011, you’ll be seeing lots of “Top 11” lists, so let me get in on the action right away, with the movies I am most looking forward to seeing this year. I know not every one will live up to expectations (Honestly, is they any way that Sucker Punch can be even half as fantastic as it looks?), but it’s the ones that do excel that make movie-going worth it. So here are my top 11:

1. Sucker Punch
2. Cowboys & Aliens
3. Thor
4. Captain America: The First Avenger
5. The Hangover Part II
6. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
7. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
9. X-Men: First Class
10. Green Lantern
11. Super 8
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