Tag Archives: unhealthy attachments to tv shows

Why I won’t be watching Elementary

Last night, CBS showed the pilot of their new procedural, titled “Elementary”.  This is another incarnation of Sherlock Holmes.  I am a huge fan of the BBC Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock, so it’s not like I couldn’t love one more Sherlock…but I won’t be watching.

There has been a lot of uproar over CBS’s new show.  CBS approached Steven Moffatt, the creator of the BBC version, and asked if he would help with an American adaptation.  When Moffatt said no, CBS proceeded anyway.  There has been  a lot of discussion (http://screenrant.com/elementary-cbs-bbc-sherlock-holmes-comparison-similarities) about the controversy and even Benedict Cumberbatch has been talking some smack (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/benedict-cumberbatch-elementary_n_1908478.html).  Of course the Sherlock “fandom” has also been in an uproar. (Sorry for some reason I can’t get links to work in wordpress)

There are a few reasons that people in the fandom are upset.  First of all, in the CBS version, Watson is a woman – Joan Watson – played by Lucy Liu.  Another issue with the Watson character is that she isn’t a military surgeon.  Why can’t a woman be ex-military?  I don’t know.  It’s an important facet of the Watson character. And it goes without saying that having Watson be portrayed by a woman causes the stories to lose that subtext that most of us fangirls enjoy so much.  If Sherlock and Watson are finally going to fuck, of course Watson has to be a woman.  THERE’S NO OTHER WAY, RIGHT?  RIGHT, AMERICA???

If Watson is played by a woman, the caretaking, nurturing and worrying that Watson does in regards to Sherlock will just make the woman seem subservient.  Instead of a tender story about two male friends who become better people when they meet each other, it will be about a crazy detective and his nursemaid.

Sherlock’s character is not supposed to be interested in women (or men, for that matter).  From what I have gathered, this version of Sherlock is a horny bastard who is warm for Joan Watson’s form.  Johnny Lee Miller has stated in interviews that he thinks they will end up having sex eventually.  This is not in character with Sherlock.

If CBS wanted to create a new procedural with a will-they-or-won’t-they couple, why did they need to use the Sherlock and Watson names?  These characters are not even Sherlock and Watson anymore. 

BBC Sherlock was created by two huge Arthur Conan Doyle fans, Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss.  CBS created Elementary as a money-grab and I have a feeling that none of the writers/producers or anyone else has any reverence for the source material.  This is my greatest complaint and concern, and is the reason why I will not be wasting my time watching the show.

Advertisements

Netflix Instant Pick vol. 6 – The IT Crowd and The Guild

Nerd alert!

I just finished marathoning two of the geekiest shows I have ever seen, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  For those of you who think The Big Bang Theory is the ultimate in sitcom nerdery, you need to level up.  It’s time to put away your 12-sided die and pick up your 20-sided die.

First up – The IT Crowd.  In this case, IT stands for “Information Technology”, not the “it factor”.  (And yes, I knew what IT stood for without having to look it up, thank you very much!)  It’s a British comedy, as if I watch anything else.  Roy (played by Chris O’Dowd, who you might recognize as the cop in Bridesmaids) and Moss are the tech support geeks, and Jen is their Relationship Manager.  In other words, she protects them from angry end-users.

Here is a clip so you can get an idea of what it’s all about:

As an end-user who tries not to be one of THOSE people, I laughed really hard at this show.  I’ll admit right now, I have called IT and had it turn out that I didn’t have the thing plugged in.  Maybe more than once.  How embarrassing!

You don’t have to know anything about computers to find the show funny, but it helps.  Don’t worry, they don’t spend all their time in the office.  Sometimes they go out for a drink, or go to see a play about gays called Gay, or get stuck in Namco machines.

I’ll admit it right now.  I know that everyone has a huge crush on Chris O’Dowd, and I do find him adorable.  (Though sometimes all I can see is how close together his eyes are and how chubby his cheeks are, and he starts to look demented.)  I have to be different and get a crush on Moss.  He’s so silly and sweet and innocent!  I can’t help myself.  Those of you who know me are probably not surprised.

Every episode is currently available on Netflix.  I powered through it pretty quickly and then I was sad because it was over.  That’s probably the highest recommendation for watching something that I can give.

As soon as I was done watching The IT Crowd, I felt rudderless, adrift on an endless sea.  Wherever would I go?  Whatever would I do?  Then I remembered that The Guild is also currently streaming on Netflix!

You might have heard of The Guild, but if not, I’ll clue you in.  This show stars (and is written by) Felicia Day.  You might remember her as Penny from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  Felicia stars as Codex, a gamer in the Knights of Good Guild.

Yes, the show is about gamers who play in some kind of WoW type role playing game.  However, you don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate the show.  I can tell you right now that I have not played a lot of video games.  I have zero to nil hand-eye coordination and get very frustrated.  I have watched other people play games, but I don’t know much about it.  As far as role-playing games go, I was a D&D Dungeon Master in the 1980’s.  That was back when we used graph paper to make the maps.  (NERD ALERT)

Even though I don’t like video games, and don’t understand how to play them, I laughed a lot while watching this show.  I think that anyone who has an “internet family” will understand what’s going on.  For those of us who spend most of our social time online, it hits home pretty hard.  Everyone in The Guild is supremely dysfunctional.  I think that Clara, the negligent mom, takes the cake.  I am truly horrified at some of the things Clara does, but I still laugh at it anyway.

If this clip doesn’t intrigue you, then I give up.  No one can resist Felicia Day – I don’t care if you’re a man, woman or halfling.

The Voice Semi-Finals Official Rant + Bonus Pogo

I haven’t had time to write anything because I’ve been watching The Voice for the last two nights.  Damn, that show is addictive.  The results show was incredibly predictable, and I hate to post spoilers, but honestly you should not be surprised in the least.  And of course we all know that Javier is going to win.  I am proud of my boy Nakia for making it to the semi finals!  I’m also very relieved that Xenia didn’t get through.

I have to say right now that if you honestly believe that Xenia is a talented performer and singer, then you are lying to yourself.  She’s just a deer-in-the-headlights little girl who got in way over her head and the only reason you might like her is because you pity her or you wish you could take her under your wing and protect her.  It’s times like this that I wish The Voice had a Simon Cowell type who would just come right out and tell her that she is not ready; she should come back in five years.

I have one more thing to say about The Voice. One of the biggest problems is that the coaches are way too scared to be honest and critical of the contestants. Blake Shelton is the worst culprit, and Xenia was his victim. However, every judge except Adam split their points between the contestants 50/50, thus leaving the decisions up to the fans. As a longtime Idol viewer, I know what a mistake this is. The viewers will invariably put the wrong person forward. The coaches need to strategize and put extra points to the more deserving contestant. Yes, this might hurt some feelings but if the coaches really want to play to win then this is what they need to do. Ever since the beginning of the show, during the blind auditions, Adam has been the only judge who really got cutthroat. I admire him for that. The only solution I can think of is that next season they should not reveal the way that the coaches divided up the points. The coaches are just too worried about being mean to be honest.

Wow, I had a rant in me after all.

The real reason I was going to post tonight is to share some videos with you by an artist called Pogo.  He creates amazing mixes of samples from movies.  My special favorites are the ones he does for Disney movies, because I love Disney so much.  You can download his songs at his official download page and support his art.

I love listening to them on a loop, it is very peaceful and relaxing, although at times I am moved to tears.  Please enjoy, and if you do like the songs, please buy them at the link I posted above so that he will keep creating for us.

Netflix Instant Pick vol. 5 – Sherlock and Doctor Who

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Steven Moffat, Doctor Who (Matt Smith)

Now that TV is in the summer doldrums, it’s time to peruse the Netflix archives and find something interesting to watch. I am recommending two TV shows because both of them have been penned by the magical, mystical, Steven Moffat.

I realize that most of my friends are already watching and already obsessed with both of these shows, but on the offchance that one of you hasn’t really dipped your toe in, here’s a primer for ya.

First off, I am going to recommend Sherlock because there are only three 90 minute episodes.  It’s such a breeze to watch them all, and once you do, you will be frothing at the mouth for  the next episode.  Sadly, they are only just now filming season 2, and it won’t air until next year.  (This is because the actors who play Sherlock and Watson are in some little movie called The Hobbit by some unknown director named Peter Jackson, or something.)

Sherlock is a modern take on the century-old beloved detective.  It’s funny how Dr. Watson can still be a veteran of the war in  Afghanistan, though, isn’t it?  Some things never change.  Because this is a modern update, there is plenty of technology such as smart phones, the internet and even blogging.  Yes, Dr. Watson is a blogger who writes about the cases he works on with Sherlock.  To the purist, this sounds terrible, but trust me, it works.

I’ll freely admit that before I started watching this show, I had never read any of the Sherlock stories or novels.  I am quickly getting caught up now, because after watching the series, I had an insatiable hunger for more stories.

Here’s a taste:

It doesn’t hurt that the actors are supremely tasty eye candy. Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, that is his real name, thankyouverymuch) has been described as having the voice of a “jaguar hiding inside of a cello”. He’s a tall, lanky and almost awkward slice of crumpet. And then we have Martin Freeman, the ever-cuddly, wide-eyed, sweater-clad teddy bear. Put them together and it’s like putting chocolate in my peanut butter . (Yes, I compare men to food. Shut up.)

Once you’ve had a taste of Steven Moffat’s amazing world, you will undoubtedly want to sample some more.  Lucky for you, he also works on the legendary Doctor Who series.  He took over the show last year, but had written a few episodes in previous seasons.  Honestly, it would be best if you watched all of the new episodes from the reboot, but I know how hard it is to find the time.  I will give you a list of all the episodes that Steven has written.  (They’re all the scariest ones anyway…and he wrote all my favorites.)

Doctor Who has been on BBC television for over four decades.  I know that it sounds daunting to even begin watching a show.  It seems like you’ll never catch up to what is happening.  Well, that’s just not true.  Here is all you need to know…the Doctor is a Time Lord who has been alive for over 900 years, and he travels through time and space in a little blue box called the TARDIS, that’s bigger on the inside.  Sometimes he travels alone, but he often has Companions that travel with him, and they’re usually from Earth.  The Doctor doesn’t die, he regenerates himself into a new body (right now he’s the Eleventh Doctor).

See how easy that was?

And now here is a little sneak peek to whet your appetite:

Again, I implore you to add Doctor Who to your Netlix queue and watch ALL OF THE EPISODES.  Since most people are lazy, I will provide a list of Steven Moffat episodes.  If you watch all of these, then you’ll know enough to follow along.  As I said before, he wrote my favorite episodes anyway…

Season One – The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances – This is a two parter that introduced me to a world of nightmares.  I saw someone wearing a gas mask at a comic convention and I got THE CHILLS.  You will understand why after you watch it.  Also, you’ll never want to hear, “Are you my mummy?” again.

Season Two – The Girl in the Fireplace – The Doctor has a torrid love affair with a French courtesan of the King Louis XIV. (Or is it XV? I forget.)  In true Moffat fashion, there is all sorts of messing around with the timeline.  He’s really good at that.

Season Three – Blink – SCARIEST EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO EVER.  If you blink, you die.  I don’t want to spoil it further for those of you who haven’t seen it.  Just watch it!  Watch it NOW!!  Oh, and this episode introduces the phrase “a big ball of timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly stuff” which really sums up Moffat’s viewpoint of time travel.  

Season Four – Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – Another two-parter that is notable for introducing River Song, arguably one of the greatest female characters in sci-fi history.  I am going to warn you right now that when you first meet her in this episode, you’re most likely going to detest her and wish you never saw her again.  Then you’ll see her again later and everything falls into place, and you’ll want to see her every week.  Alex Kingston, who plays River Song, is a goddess, and once again I beg the universe to allow her to be my BFF.

Once you’ve watched these episodes, you should watch the entirety of Season 5.  I’m sad to say that Season 6 is not yet available on Netflix.  Also, Season 6 is not quite over.  You can get the shows that aired so far this year by downloading them from iTunes (or other nefarious sites).  New episodes start airing this fall, so you have all summer to get this done!

Now don’t complain to me that you have nothing to watch.  Even if you’ve seen these before, you know you want to watch them again.  I know I do…

Five reasons The Voice is better than American Idol

I used to be a huge American Idol fan, ever since season 2 when I got drunk the night Clay Aiken lost to Ruben Studdard.  (Don’t you dare call me a Claymate, though.  Those bitches are CRAY-CRAY!  I never drew angel wings on him either.)  I was such a devoted fan of the show that I stood outside CBS studios for eight hours just to see a RESULTS show.  Now that is fandom, friends.  That was the night Josh got kicked off the show, and I hated him so much.  It was very gratifying to be there in person and witness his failure.  After the results show taped, Oprah was in the studio to interview the contestants.  I never watch Oprah and almost left until I found out who here guests were.  So yes, I have attended an Oprah show in person.  (Yay?)

I think I got off on a tangent.  What I was trying to say is that despite my years of obsession and attention, I have not been watching Idol this year.  Once Simon left, I was just not interested.  It was bad enough that they fired Paula last year.  (HOW EXCITED AM I THAT PAULA IS A JUDGE ON SIMON’S NEW SHOW?  SO EXCITED.)

I felt like a rudderless ship on an endless sea, without any reality singing competition in my life.  Then The Voice came on the scene.  I totally wasn’t going to watch it at all until I noticed a local talent was in the contest.  Nakia from Austin is an amazing soul singer, who I became aware of during a Sharon Jones concert last fall.  Here is a clip of his duet with Sharon Jones that night:

As soon as I found out he was going to be on The Voice, I had to start watching.  Once I have someone to root for I am a sucker for these shows.  There are several Austin artists in the contest, and they are all on Cee Lo’s team.  Cee Lo happens to be my favorite judge, so that is just perfect for me.

The way the show works is that the four judges (Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo and Blake Shelton) choose eight contestants each to be on their team.  They choose the team by listening to the people sing in a blind audition.  This means the judges can’t see them.  If the judge turns his chair around to see the singer then he has chosen that person for the team.  If more than one judge turns around, the singer can choose the team they want to be on.

Over the weeks, the judges will coach their teams and hopefully be the judge that finds the winner, aka The Voice.

I found the auditions to be a very refreshing change of pace, and here are five reasons why I think The Voice will be a better show than American Idol:

1.  The contestants have real talent.  You won’t see anyone in a hot dog costume or someone who can’t really sing but thinks they can.  Every one of the contestants was a good singer.  Maybe a few of them were somewhat funny looking, but all of them have talent.  Most of them are working musicians who play gigs as their full time job.  Real struggling artists!  Real struggling artists who deserve a break!

2. There are no sore losers.  There were some contestants who sang their heart out, but none of the judges turned their chairs while they were singing.  This was pretty heartbreaking to watch.  You know what was great, though?  None of those people flipped double birds to the camera while shouting obscenities.  They all just said, “That’s show biz,” and tried to keep a brave face.

3.  The judges are artists and performers themselves.  Each of these judges has written and performed a Number One hit.  Each of them has toured and played shows for thousands of people.  Each of them is a contemporary artist and they are familiar with the ins and outs of the industry.  They know what it takes to be a success.

4.  Sob stories are kept to a minimum.  I have to admit that when I saw the bald lady coming up on my screen, I figured it was going to be a cancer sob story.  Nope – she is just a ballsy punk type who shaves her head.  You really have no idea what a relief that was.  I saw five minutes of James Durbin’s Idol audition where he cried because his baby didn’t have food or diapers, and I was fucking out of there.  James Durbin, I have only seen you on TV for ten minutes and your name fills me with loathing and bile beyond which I have never known.  But I digress.  What I am trying to say is that you aren’t going to hear this type of sob story that often on The Voice.

5.  Differences are celebrated, not hidden.  There are several gay contestants on The Voice, and it’s treated as a fact, same as hair color or height and weight.  Poor Clay Aiken had to hide in the closet for years after Idol because his midwest American fans would have been scandalized.  Granted, this might just be a sign of the times, but I do think it has something to do with the attitude of the producers and judges.  I love me some Simon Cowell, but he is a homophobic bastard.

The Voice airs on Tuesdays on NBC at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central.  If you live in Austin, then keep a look out for Nakia because he’s been DJing and playing shows with his band The Grifters!  I’m hoping to catch him before he becomes a superstar.  I really think he’s got potential to be in the finals.  Good luck, Nakia!

Netflix Instant Pick – Vol. 2 – Party Down

Almost everyone I know is a big fan of the show Parks and Recreation. If you’re not already watching that show, you really should be.  If you gave up on it in Season 1, it is SO much better than that now.  I had given up on it in Season 2 because I was boycotting NBC after what they did to Conan.  Except I wasn’t really boycotting because I still watched 30 Rock and Community. Long story short, watch Parks and Recreation.

What was the point I was trying to make?  Oh yeah, since Adam Scott joined the cast of Parks and Rec last year, he’s become one of those people that you want to know more about.  (Or maybe that’s just me.  He is darn cute, isn’t he?  Just look at that punum!)

He’s got those elfin features and spiky hair and a smirk on his face.  IT’S IRRESISTIBLE.  A girl can only be so strong.

I was in search for a new Adam Scott fix, and I found out he was in another TV show that was on Starz for two seasons.  It’s called Party Down, which is about a bunch of wanna-be actors who work for a catering firm in Hollywood.  Everyone is trying to get their big break except for Adam Scott’s character, Henry, who is remembered for being “that guy” in “those beer ads”.  He has given up on acting and is resigned to being a bartender.

Because this show was on Starz, there is cursing – they actually say the actual F word, which is awesome – and there are boobs and butts.  If you think you can handle this sort of naughtiness, then you will enjoy the show.  (Disclaimer:  you do not see Adam Scott’s butt.)

I’ve just finished watching Season 1, and started Season 2 tonight.  I got totally sucked in and watch the entire Season 1 this weekend.

It’s fun to try and spot the guest star.  My favorite was the appearance of one of the McPoyle brothers from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as a goth rock star in the first episode of Season 2.

I’d also like to know if it’s weird that I think the blonde McPoyle brother cleans up really well and is actually really sexy in a strange way.  I think I need help…

Oh and another connection to Sunny is that the shows are directed by Fred Savage.  So all in all, if you like off-the-wall TV shows, you’ll enjoy this one a lot.

One last bit of information for those of you who like Glee – this show also features Jane Lynch.

Here’s the trailer:

How Fringe can avoid Lost’s mistakes

Do you know what I’m really sick of?  I’m sick of sci-fi shows becoming focused on relationships (ships) instead of on the sci-fi.  Everyone who complains about the ending of Lost is really complaining that it turned into a soap opera.  Now the same thing seems to be happening with Fringe.

I was one of those people who watched Lost from the very beginning.  It was even BEFORE the beginning, because I saw the pilot at Comic Con 2004 and filled out a questionnaire before it even aired.  I watched faithfully every week.  I planned vacations around it, and I never missed a single week.  (Well, okay, I didn’t watch the Bai Ling episode about Jack’s tattoos…)  I wrote notes while I watched it and really tried hard to solve the mysteries.

Remember when Faraday realized that Desmond was his constant?  SO POWERFUL.

As the years went by, fans on the internet were more interested in debating the ships than the sci-fi mystery elements.  Jaters (Jack + Kate), Skaters (Sawyer + Kate) , Jackets (Jack + Juliet), and on and on and on.  Although it really did turn out that “Jate is Fate”, I was purely in the camp of Jack + Tears, or Jears.  Jears FOREVER. (Jears ™ Ack Attack…her website is down right now so I can’t link to it)

The writers focused on the ships at the series finale, and made sure to resolve every single soap opera plot that was going on.  All of our OTPs were addressed, and on an emotional level, the finale really delivered.

I mean, who could watch Charlie and Clare’s reunion and not choke up a little bit?

However, those viewers who weren’t really interested in the ships and soap opera elements were extremely upset and disappointed that most of the mysteries were left unsolved.  In retrospect, they were red herrings strewn along the path and were meant to entertain us.  I really don’t mind that they went unanswered, because now I can just say that all of my theories were correct.

We have now arrived at a similar crossroads on my Lost replacement show, Fringe. If you don’t watch the show, I will be dropping some big-ass spoilers here so don’t read anymore if you are thinking of watching it sometime in the future.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Continue reading