Tag Archives: Lost

FALL IS FUN: New Series for 2011/2012 – FOX

I will admit, I’ve been struggling to find the inspiration/motivation to start up here in earnest again. I have found the answer*: NEW FALL LINEUP. There is nothing more energizing than the anticipation of a whole list of new shows. Mostly because of the implied opportunity to both praise and bash. I am Very Excited.

And so Melted Brain begins again. The method of this year’s Fall Lineup Preview is a network-by-network breakdown of the shows I’m going to be watching/tracking. First up: FOX.

TERRA NOVA
Premieres Monday September 26 at 8pm

I have every faith that this series is going to be terrible, but I am totally going to watch it. Why? Dinosaurs. I mean really. What more could a show possibly need…..that said, I have serious misgivings about Terra Nova. For several reasons.

1) It is trying so hard to be Avatar but it just can’t. They’re even using the same scary old guy – Stephen Lang – although he appears to be more toward the benevolent end of the scale in this series…although maybe that’s just a trick and he’s actually playing the exact same character. Anyway. 99% of the appeal of Avatar was the technological techniques innovated and utilized to produce it and network television just can’t match that. By a long shot. Also, Terra Nova also seems to be lacking the one minute glitter of moral appeal from Avatar: environmental undertones**. Which leads and expands into my next issue with Terra Nova,

2) The premise of this show breaks my nature-loving, pacifist little heart. No really, I have one, and the previews of Terra Nova are making it cry. I am not generally a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, not least because sometimes I think that I’ll end up living one sometime in the next eighty years or so. But, accepting the fact that post-apocalyptic literature is and always has been a major staple of Western world fiction, I will say that the appealing theme is usually humanity redeeming itself through the practice of basic kindness in a cutthroat environment (and also the creation of really awesome tools from rudimentary and scrap materials). In Terra Nova, humanity’s solution to a broken society is apparently to send humans, guns and plastics in tow, back to the Jurassic so that humans can start wantonly killing the wildlife and destroying the planet a few million years sooner. Even if we totally disregard the time travel paradoxes inherent in this scenario, there is something really wrong with this. If the apparent moral implications of this premise doesn’t worry you, you worry me.

3) The thing that confounds me most about Terra Nova is how it came to be at all. It’s about time-travel and a post-apocalyptic society, but also they fight dinosaurs. Fighting dinosaurs and other forms of violence appear to play a key role, but the story appears to revolve around a wholesome, loving family. And that family is so loving and wholesome and relatable, but apparently they are also those good guys who flagrantly disregard rules (two child limit for an overpopulated world, but they have three) and father figure is apparently that stereotypical alpha male family man who is both the biggest hero and the biggest asshole when it comes to basic law abiding. Basically, there are an awful lot of logic-gaps. And this is even before the story starts.

I keep trying to convince myself that Terra Nova must be better than it looks, because how else could it possibly have earned air time. But then the more I think about what I have seen and learned, the worse it seems. So I’m going to watch the pilot, and a few more episodes after if I find I can stomach it. But I am not hopeful. And I maintain the suspicion that Terra Nova has come to fruition simply because there is still a major sci-fi void on the major networks (because Fringe just doesn’t count for some reason) and everyone is trying desperately to fill it and inherit the ratings-bringing nerdhoards.

NEW GIRL
Premieres Tuesday September 20 at 9pm

I do not want to watch this show. I do not want to watch this show. I do not want to watchthisGODDAMMIT. Even I am hopeless against the powers of Zooey Deschanel. I think she is overrated in so many ways. I think her domination of the “quirky girl” market is ridiculous and aggravating. I think this show is going to be pretty awful but that it will survive at least a full season just because it is Zooey Deschanel. And those three guys who were cast because they’re vaguely good-looking, you’ve never heard of them, and they won’t distract from Zooey Deschanel at all. Mostly this is just going to be a Zooey Deschanel temple disguised as a television show.

Of course, I could always be mistaken. This could end up having the same sort of sneaky charm-coated-clever that makes How I Met Your Mother so damn appealing. (Probably not, though.)


THE FINDER
Midseason

This series has already been premiered, to an extent, in a crossover episode with Bones last season (this is known as a “backdoor pilot”). I didn’t particularly enjoy it then, and I don’t expect a full non-Bones pilot is going to change my mind. Why? Because this series is nothing new. The Finder is going to be just another iteration of That Show. Which That Show do I mean? It could be any of three.

First possibility: TV Procedural Based On A Book Series (primary and obvious reference example, Bones). There is something about basing television series on book series that makes my teeth itch. Because when the television series is good, I wonder how a premise/story so well-suited to TV could possibly work as a book. And when the television series is bad, I just wonder why the television series had to happen at all…and again I wonder how good the book could possibly be. Which is maybe more a commentary on my bias about television series that do get adapted into TV series…anyway.

Another good fit is Quirky Procedural (examples: The Mentalist, Lie to Me, Raines). CSI is old now. We as a general public are no longer fascinated by standard forensic investigation, because we have finally figured out that it’s just a bunch of science nerds pouring chemicals and tapping at computers and that, realistically, the whole process should be a lot more drawn out and a lot more boring than television has trained us to think it is. So instead we get these off-the-beaten-path “investigators” who have superpowers, explicable and believable or not, that we are supposed to be fascinated by. This backfires, of course, when we realize that the reason we don’t understand said superpowers is because They Don’t Make Any Sense, that the writers are basically free to make up random shit, and the entire thing becomes obnoxious. These shows, in an attempt to sidesweep their nonsensicality, often also rely heavily on one other key element, the last category,

Procedural That Revolves Around An Attractive Male Lead. “Attractive” is a general term I use that doesn’t necessarily (although usually does) include the physical. Familiar favorites of this category include House, The Mentalist, and the recently deceased Lie to Me. Basically, these shows rely heavily-to-excessively on the charm of their lead character. Every other character can be boring as all hell and the premise can be totally ridiculous (or, again, boring as hell), just so long as the principal is enigmatic/handsome/eccentric/badass enough to keep the attention and affection of an audience.

The Finder fits into those two latter categories really well, but I have no hopes for it. I don’t find Geoff Stults particularly talented or particularly physically attractive. The “Finder Power” as previewed in the initial Bones episode seems especially ridiculous (Pyramids on the ceiling mean somebody is thinking about dying which means they are dying prematurely of a disease? Because pyramids have a traditional symbolic meaning of soul-immortality which of course everybody knows and…how did we get to that conclusion again?). And even giving some actual screen time to Michael Clarke Duncan is not enough to make a show worth watching. Unfortunate fact. FOX keeps trying to find that elusive new procedural to join/replace House and Bones as they dwindle into old age. But I don’t think this is it. Shoulda kept Lie to Me, guys…

ALCATRAZ
Midseason

Alcatraz is the newest form of awesome from JJ Abrams and supposedly he has promised that it will be Even Weirder Than Lost. Given the preview, I’d say that’s a distinct possibility. Which is, for those of us suffering through a world where great shows we want to watch get cancelled and dreadful shows we would never watch endure Methuselah-style, probably the greatest selling point.

I did a little research into the storyline of Alcatraz, because it’s hard to tell from the preview exactly what the show is going to look like in the long run; what the preview gives us is probably a good half of the substance of the pilot. (For other shows, I’d assume closer to 80%, but JJ Abrams is the king of pilot episodes so there is definitely way more to it than what we’re seeing already.) What you can’t tell from the preview is that the story actually largely revolves around a woman called Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and her multigenerational family history with the infamous prison. She appears to be the newest member of a well-known archetype, Fairly Dull Blonde Government Agent Female Lead. But she could always surprise us (read: me). Certainly the rest of the cast is spectacularly exciting: Jorge Garcia of Lost, Parminder Nagra (ER and Bend It Like Beckham), Heroes alums Robert Forster and Santiago Cabrera, and Sam Neill (SAM. FREAKING. NEILL.). Also featured in (at least) the pilot, an actor you maybe haven’t seen before but who I have high hopes for, Jeffrey Pierce, who I know as the alcoholic would-be rapist/murderer from Life but who you might know from any number of guest roles. Or not. Either way, I have the expectation that he’ll prove to be excellent.

My general feelings about Alcatraz run somewhat opposite my feelings about Terra Nova. I worry a little that it is going to be a sad knockoff-cum-rehash of previous JJ Abrams projects. What we know so far is that bad people with secrets disappear and then reappear mysteriously on an island and get into fights with other secret-holding morally-questionable persons and there’s a huge conspiracy underlying everything that happens that may or may not ever be explained in a totally logical way. And it takes place on an island. Ringing some rusty bells for ya? Tired-sounding or not, though, we can be assured that the pilot will be spectacular. Because again, pilots are what JJ Abrams does better than almost anyone in the business.

Alcatraz won’t be coming until the midseason, but it’s never too early to create buzz. JJ Abrams projects thrive on two things: anticipation and introductions. (Case in point, the year-and-a-half lead-in to Star Trek and then the first ten minutes of that movie.) So start getting excited. It’s not too early.

Feel like I missed something? That’s probably because I have absolutely no interest in seeing it. If you want a full Fall/Midseason schedule, I suggest Zap2It’s nifty interactive chart, which will provide you with a nifty little interface and handy links to check out the titles you don’t recognize.

*The other newfound inspiration for a Melted Brain revival is my discovery of/pending involvement with Personal Arrogants. This is a website and podcast formed around the idea of pop culture and nerd culture colliding. If you like to think and you like to laugh and you like to use the Internet (and if you don’t, wtf are you doing here), I HIGHLY recommend their podcast.

**I remember reading this article when it came out and despairing at the sheer NO SHITness of it all. Avatar has environmental undertones? Really? Avatar might be slightly racist? NO WAY. Perhaps the writer was just trying to adjust to the shock of there being anything remotely resembling substance in a James Cameron megamovie but seriously. I make a hobby of pointing out the obvious, and even I think a Captain Obvious line has been crossed.

Advertisements

My Favorite Guest Actors – Issue 2

I’m pulling this feature out of the deep recesses of early Melted Brain because, well, writing reviews takes thinking and that’s hard so I don’t want to but I do want to post something so this is the best I could come up with. These men (yes, all men this time – I don’t know why, but I have a hard time remembering or getting really attached to female guest actors) are some of my very very favorite guest actors. They’ve all appeared on several of my favorite shows and, I’ll be honest, they all have that capacity to be excellently creepy. I am nothing if not consistent in my tastes. Here we go!

Arnold Vosloo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He tends to be cast as “The Middle Eastern Guy” and it is in that capacity that he has appeared on several of my favorite shows. Most notably, he played the slipperiest, trickiest, most difficult-to-find-nevermind-kill main 24 villain, Habib Marwan, on Day 4. He has also appeared on Chuck and NCIS and, most recently, on Bones (and that role is being reprised soon as the touted “sniper arc” moves forward). Generally, it is versatility that impresses me in an actor. But that isn’t really what gives Arnold Vosloo his appeal. Instead, what most impresses me about his various performances is the consistent steadiness in his carriage. No matter what he is doing or saying, there is always a certain element of…class, I guess you could call it. Nervousness and wavering are just not in his vocabulary and, really, it’s that steadiness that makes him so appealing and intimidating as a villain. And there is nothing better than an effortlessly intimidating villain. Except for maybe an effortlessly intimidating might-not-actually-be-a-villain, which is also an archetype he plays.

Mark Pellegrino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This actor has a peculiar talent for portraying both innocuous benevolence and brute violence…often in the same character. The two best examples of this disparity are Jacob of Lost and Paul of Dexter. He is totally believable as a loving father/guardian type, as well as an abusive power-hungry sonofoabitch, and somehow he even carries off the transition between those two elements. It is thoroughly amazing. But, it is a little sad that he is being more and more typecast in that sort of role – other recent examples include appearances on Supernatural and Being Human. Though losing the opportunity to seem him anywhere at anytime would be sad, I would love to see Mark Pellegrino get his own show – preferably something that gives him a chance to show off a bit more versatility.

Titus Welliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving right along to Mark Pellegrino’s opposite number from Lost, The Man In Black. Fittingly enough, he is somewhat the opposite as an actor. Titus Welliver shares the talent for straddling two seemingly incompatible personality traits within the same character. For him, the combination seems to be enigmatic menace and almost sissyish emotionality. My favorite role of his is Kyle Hollis from Life, a murderer-for-hire turned evangelist. It was the brief clip of that character’s preaching hellfire and damnation that really sold me on this man’s talent. That talent is yet another point chalked up on the board for “Reasons Why I Should Start Watching The Good Wife.” Also, he gets major bonus points in my affections for having one of the coolest names ever.

Tony Todd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Todd is a bamf, straight up. The man is basically built to play menacing characters. He’s also got one of those excellent, excellent voices. He has played characters on both sides of the moral spectrum, but I definitely prefer his villains. He played General Juma on Day 7 of 24 and was pretty much solely responsible for what I consider to be the best (and by “best” I mean “most terrifying and exhilarating and adrenaline-rushy”) fifteen minutes of the season, possibly of the series. I’ll be totally honest and admit that he’s not my favorite because of his range, or even because of his talent. It’s pretty much just because he plays awesome villains and/or intimidating authority figures and any appearance he makes is sure to be good times.

Callum Keith Rennie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I’m being totally honest, I should probably start off this paragraph by being straightforward and admitting that, yes, part of the reason I enjoy Callum Keith Rennie so much is because he is attractive. But seriously, mostly I love him because he plays excellent creepers. My favorite role of his so far is probably Leoben of Battlestar Galactica because, thanks to the chance to bounce of the sheer brilliance of Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck, he got to dig his heels way deep in and explore that delicious moral gray area. His character from 24 (yes, 24 again), Vladimir Laitanan is a close second, but that’s probably because not only do I love charming-but-terrifying, I really love Russians. I was going to say “He’s another who I’d love to see have his own show.” But then I went to imdb and found out that he DOES – he plays the lead role, a detective with multiple personality disorder, in a Canadian show called Shattered. Guess what just jumped to the top five in my Need To Watch list.

Oh THAT Guy!: Issue 4

Here it is, a fresh new group of people who you’ve probably seen a billion times but haven’t ever really noticed or remembered. There are only four this time because I eliminated one at the last minute. As always, the pictures are linked to their imdb pages.

Dakin Matthews

Selected Appearances:
Desperate Housewives [multiple episodes] as Reverend Sikes (2005-2011)
True Grit as Colonel Stonehill (2010)
True Blood [multiple episodes] as Dr. Robideaux
Gilmore Girls [multiple episodes] as Hanlin Charleston (2000-2007)
Dexter “Father Knows Best” as Dr. Pittman (2006)
House “Damned If You Do” as Marvin/Santa Claus (2004)
Star Trek Voyager “Relativity” as Admiral Patterson (1999)
Flubber as Minister (1997)
The Swan Princess as King William (1994)

…and I’m going to stop there. This man has been in a million different things over the years, on American and British shows. Much of the time he plays, doctors, judges, or religious figures – basically, fusty or fluttery or finicky old man type roles. Nothing so significant that he is a household name, but more than enough comic bits to make him an easily recognizable face.

Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Selected Appearances:
NCIS: Los Angeles “Lockup” and “Harm’s Way” as Abdul Habaza (2011)
Human Target “Taking Ames” as Andre Markus (2010)
24 [multiple episodes] as Colonel Ike Dubaku (2009)
Othello as Iago*(2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as Captain Jocard (2007)
Lost “The Cost of Living” as Emeka (2006)
Hotel Rwanda as George Rutaganda (2004)
*I haven’t quite been able to figure out how this can work.

According to his imdb biography, Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a classically trained UK actor with a lot of Shakespeare in his resume. On American television, though, he is currently the go-to guy for a very specific role: the scary-as-hell but also really smiley violent dictator and/or terrorist. Oh man is he scary as hell. And really good at it.

Carlo Rota

Selected Appearances:
Human Target “Imbroglio” as Eli Rosko (2011)
Little Mosque on the Prairie [multiple episodes] as Yasir Hamoudi (2007-2010)
NCIS: Los Angeles “Found” as Kalil Abramson (2010)
CSI: NY “Sanguine Love” as Joseph Vance (2010)
Castle “The Fifth Bullet” as Bahir Harun (2009)
White Collar “Threads” as Ghovat (2009)
24 [multiple episodes] as Morris O’Brian (2006-2009)
Othello as Othello (2008)*
Queer as Folk [multiple episodes] as Gardner Vance (2002-2004)
A Nero Wolfe Mystery [multiple episodes] as Barry Fleming/Felix Courret/Spiros Papps (2002)
La Femme Nikita [multiple episodes] as Mick Schtoppel/Mr. Jones (1997-2001)
The Boondock Saints as Yakavetta (1999)
*I find this Othello circumstance only slightly less puzzling than the last.

My first exposure to Carlo Rota was when he played the British comic-relief role of Morris O’Brian on 24. So, it rather confused me when I realized that the majority of his guest roles qualify as “The Middle Eastern Guy,” or at least “The Foreign Guy.” (…I guess British would count as foreign, huh?) Anyway, he seems to spend about equal amounts of time on the sides of Good and Bad, usually serving in small-time-crime-boss or dry-comic-distraction capacities.

Jeanette Miller

Selected Appearances:
The Middle [multiple episodes] as Aunt Edie (2009-2011)
Legion as Gladys Foster (2010)
Four Christmases as Gram-Gram (2008)
Scrubs “My No Good Reason” as Betty (2007)
Dexter “Father Knows Best” as Elderly Neighbor (2006)
100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd [multiple episodes] as Crazy Grandma Taylor (2001-2002)
Friends “The One In Vegas: Part 2” as The Elderly Woman (1999)
The Truman Show as Senior Citizen (1998)
Seinfeld “The Wizard” as Old Woman (1998)
Star Trek Voyager “Random Thoughts” as The Woman (1997)

I’m guessing most people probably recognize her as “the old woman who crawled up the wall and tried to kill a baby in the previews for Legion.” And that is fair enough. As you can see from the small sampling of her resume I’ve provided, she is comfortably typecast and tends to play roles described and named with various synonyms for “aged” and “not all there.”

Oh THAT Guy! Issue: 2

Alrighty, welcome to the new format and official debut of Oh THAT Guy (slightly new title!) as an on-going project. Here are five more guest actor types for you all to get to know and start being able to recognize as not just “Oh them” but as actual people. Yes!

(Remember: pictures link to imdb…even though it is sort of gross now…)

Henri Lubatti

Selected Appearances:
The Good Guys “Vacation” as Nikolai (2010)
Chuck “Chuck vs. The Mask” as Vassilis (2010)
Bones “The Devil in the Details” as Phillip Womack (2010)
NCIS: Los Angeles “Breach” as Safar Jaddalah (2010)
Dark Blue “Purity” as Reuben Pike (2009)
Life “Not For Nothing” as Professor Halliday (2008)
The O.C. [multiple episodes] as Henri-Michel de Momourant (2007)
24 [multiple episodes] as Jovan Myovic (2002)
Felicity [multiple episodes] as David Sherman (1999)
The X-Files “Mind’s Eye” as Dr. Wilkenson (1998)

Hey, apparently this guy’s from Seattle! Win! …more importantly, he is an incredibly unappreciated actor. The number of foreign nationalities he’s portrayed alone is impressive. To be clearly identifiable as “The Russian Guy” and “The French Guy” and “The Middle Eastern Guy” and godknowswhatelse takes a good amount of flexibility. To do that and also somehow find the time to do some acting? Wacky crazy awesome stuff.

Clea DuVall

Selected Appearances:
Bones “The Bones On A Blue Line” as McKenna Grant (2010)
Lie to Me “Blinded” as Michelle Russell (2009)
Grey’s Anatomy [multiple episodes] as Jennifer Robinson (2008)
Heroes [multiple episodes] as FBI Agent Audrey Hanson (2006-2007)
Carnivale [regular cast] as Sofie (2003-2005)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” as Marcie Ross (1997)

Recently, she’s been taking on the role of Tough Girl, but she actually has an enormous amount of flexibility. Her characters, ass-kicking or otherwise, and regardless of the number of episodes they have to develop, have a consistent quality of honest human vulnerability. DuVall (whose name appears in most credits without the semi-inane capitalization) has actually done more movie work than TV, but she frequents both mediums on a regular basis.

Kathleen Munroe

Selected Appearances:
NCIS: Los Angeles “Killshot” as Aimee Su (2009)
CSI: NY [multiple episodes] as Samantha Flack (2008)
Moonlight “Fleur de Lis” as Tina Haggans (2007)
Supernatural “The Kids are Alright” as Katie’s Mom (2007)
Beautiful People [series cast] as Annabelle Banks (2005-2006)

Just compare the top two roles on this list and you can see exactly what kind of range this lady has. I’ve been a bit of a fan ever since she played basically the only not-totally-obnoxious character on Beautiful People, but its really the variety of guest work that shows what a solid talent she is. She looks like a few other actresses, so sometimes I think I see her when I don’t, but she’s worth keeping an eye on in years to come.

Fredric Lehne

Selected Appearances:
Supernatural [multiple episodes] as Azazel (the Yellow-Eyed Demon) (2006-2010)
Lost [multiple episodes] as Marshal Edward Mars (2004-2010)
Lie to Me “Life is Priceless” as Company Owner Kevin Warren (2009)
CSI “Burked” (2001) and “Turn, Turn, Turn” (2009) [different characters]
The Closer “Til Death Do Us Part, Parts I & II” as Eugene “Topper” Barnes (2007)
Bones “The Man with the Bone” as Giles Hardewicke (2006)
CSI: NY “Tanglewood” as Ross Lee (2005)
JAG “Odd Man Out” (2002) and “There Goes the Neighborhood” (2004) [different characters]
NCIS “Dead Man Talking” as Captain Graves (2004)
Firefly “Heart of Gold” as Ranse Burgess (2003)
The X-Files [multiple episodes] as Young Arthur Dale (1998-1999)
Wiseguy [multiple episodes] as Winston Chambers III (1990)
Mancuso, FBI [series cast] as Eddie McMasters (1989-1990)

At least in all the roles I’ve seen him in, this guy usually plays some sort of sumbitch or other. Really really well. He’s got an air of authority that is immediately recognizeable, and a gravelly vocality that lends itself well to drawling and to general assholery. His resume is a healthy mix of the standard guest work (my favorite discovery is that he played three different roles on three different episodes of JAG and its spin-off NCIS) and semi-regular, recognizeable roles on cult favorites like the first two items on the list. FYI: He is usually credited as Fredric Lane, which’ll tell you how to pronounce his last name properly.

Tom Virtue

Selected Appearances:
The Secret Life of the American Teenager [multiple episodes] as…multiple roles?* (2008-2010)
CSI “Random Acts of Violence” (2003) and “Working Stiffs” (2009) [different characters]
Bones “The Intern in the Incinerator” as Dr. Ted Reardon (2007)
Life “Let Her Go” as Fire Chief (2007)
Arrested Development “Queen for a Day” as Car Salesman (2005)
Even Stevens [series cast] as Steve Stevens (1999-2003)
JAG “All Ye Faithful” as Warrant Officer Scoggins (2002)
Firefly “Ariel” as Pompous Doctor (2002)
Star Trek Voyager [multiple episodes] as Lieutenant Walter Baxter (1995) and “Workforce Parts I & II” as Supervisor (2001)
Freaks and Geeks [multiple episodes] as Mr. Sampson/Mr. Simpson** (2000)

For me, Tom Virtue will always be the dad from Even Stevens before anything else. But the truth is, he has been in pretty much everything ever. Seriously. It is somewhat disturbing how many of his roles are called “doctor” or “voice on the phone” or whathaveyou as opposed to actual names. But let it not be said that he doesn’t stay busy. Generally, his characters tend toward the professional, the irate, the impatient, and occasionally the incompetent. He is almost always some form of comic relief.
*I do not watch this show so I am very confused by his being credited as “Reverend Stone” and “Minister” and “Jack’s Step Dad” all in multiple different episodes, intermixed
**Also have not seen F&G so I can’t say for sure whether or not this is an imdb flub or not

P.U. is an Unfortunate Set of Initials

Thankfully, it is not an apt descriptor. Persons Unknown, it turns out, is awesome.

For those of you who don’t know what it is about (and by that I actually mean “those of you who have not seen it yet” because honestly I don’t think anyone is quite sure what it’s about yet), Persons Unknown chronicles the experiences of a group of strangers who get kidnapped and wake up in a hotel in a deserted but fully functional town in the middle of nowhere. They keep trying to escape; weird stuff keeps happening.

Yes, yes. It does sound rather like it’s trying to be the new Lost, doesn’t it?

That was certainly my feeling for the first episode or two. I even had this whole chart worked out showing which characters from Persons Unknown corresponded to which characters from Lost – Janet = Kate/Claire, Joe = Jack*, Tori = Shannon and so on.

I was being very unfair, it turns out.

It is not true that Persons Unknown is a poor knock-off of Lost; it is too good to be just that. Bu t is definitely true that Persons Unknown comes from the same family line of shows as Lost, an ancestry with roots in The X-Files and even The Twilight Zone. This means that Persons Unknown has quite the legacy to uphold. And I think it could be capable of doing so, given half a chance.

As I’ve said, it’s tough to say exactly what sort of show Persons Unknown is or what it is about because it is just so mysterious. And very well done. The art of suspense has been somewhat lost since the dawn of high-quality CGI. Now that special effects are in their hey-day, show (and movie) producers have gotten lazy. They pile on the guts and gore and highly realistic computer images and decide that is enough to scare people. It is not. Name one show that started in the last decade that has been halfway as scary as some of those earlier, exceptionally creepy episodes of The X-Files. That show was done entirely via camera work and atmosphere, and Persons Unknown has taken a page out of its book.

Perhaps it’s because of a low budget, but the creep-factor of Persons Unknown is due almost entirely to the excellently mood-setting score (music is almost always in the background and so subtly effective you almost don’t notice) and the camera work/film editing. Everything is tinted in slightly corpse-like colors. And the observational cameras are about the scariest thing ever, especially since they are everywhere. The set is creepy too, but only because it is empty and any empty town is automatically really creepy – otherwise, it is pretty unremarkable (actually, it looks a lot like the town from Gilmore Girls). Long story short, Persons Unknown has suspense down to an art and that is probably my absolute favorite thing about it. I like it when things scare me to death without blood, guts, and bad masks jumping out of nowhere.

Another element of Persons Unknown that I’m greatly enjoying is the cast of characters. It took me awhile to warm up to them – again, the initial Lost similarities – but now that they’ve been more fully established, I’m starting to really appreciate them. Female characters usually get the short end of the interesting-and-creative stick. I usually hate the lead female protagonist with a burning passion. But I’m actually sort of fond of Janet (Daisy Betts), because she’s not just the whiny mother type – she’s kind of a bad ass. The supporting females, Tori (Kate Lang Johnson) and Moira (Tina Holmes) are the typical mix of occasionally well-performed and written but mostly unwritten. Kat (Lola Glaudini),is delightfully bitchy and gets the best one-liners in the show** Janet’s mother (Lee Purcell) is approximately the most terrifying woman ever. And new addition Erica, is so terrifyingly well-performed I’ve had to re-evaluate my previously low opinion of Kandyse McClure.

The male characters are intriguing enough, I suppose. There was a definite casting-fail in terms of the two “sexy” males. Reporter Mark Renbe (Gerald Kyd) is totally unattractive and only got somewhat interesting three episodes in when we found out he was Such A Terrible Person. As for the aforementioned Joe (Jason Wiles)…well, actually, he’s a lot more intriguing now that it’s been revealed that he is in on the conspiracy(?) behind the kidnap of these people. He has a personality now! He has the potential to become rather awesome. We’ll see if he lives up to it. For now though, my favorite male character is McNair (Chadwick Boseman) because he is a) the character with useful skills and b) the hot one. Close second: the Night Manager (Andy Greenfield), a hilarious cross between Norman Bates from Psycho and Kenneth Parcell of 30 Rock.

What makes Persons Unknown stand out from not only Lost but from every other show on air is the fact that it is completely batshit. It is totally weird and absolutely unpredictable. It is awesome. The lack of storyline is a little frustrating when I get a moment to think about it. But I get continually distracted by all the insanity. My theory is that the writers just have a hat filled with random ideas (“dig an escape tunnel” “build a signal fire” “drop gas masks out of the sky” “give Character A a gun and tell them to kill Character B” “reveal that Character X killed his wife” “reveal that Character Y died prior to appearing in town”) and they draw out three or four of those per episode. Some of these ideas are stupider than others. Some of them are rather ingenious. Either way, Persons Unknown is worth watching just to see what the hell happens.

Don’t misunderstand, there is a plot to Persons Unknown. We don’t know much about it – I’m not even sure why the show is called Persons Unknown. But the story seems to have something to do with psychological experimentation, a training program for…something, survival of the fittest, and some sort of parent-driven conspiracy. Now that Tom ( ) has been given a name and some screen time, things seem to be progressing.

The ratings for Persons Unknown have been far from outstanding. Bad enough, in fact, that the show has now been moved to Saturdays at 8pm. But, supposedly it is intended as a 13-episode miniseries, so it just might make it all the way through and answer all the looming questions. In any case it’ll be released on DVD. Which is good. Because I want to see it all.

If you haven’t been watching Persons Unknown, I definitely suggest you start. Most of the episodes are still on Hulu (and I’m sure you can find the ones that aren’t without too much trouble). It is definitely worth your time if you’ve got any interest in a show with a suspense/conspiracy/mystery/possibly sci-fi edge.

*The Joe/Jack comparison was my favorite. I even wrote it out. And while I don’t believe it is true anymore (see my thoughts on Joe above), I do believe it is hilarious. So, here is that commentary for y’all to enjoy:

Joe. He’s all “My Name Is One Syllable Starting With J. I’m Handsome And Have Philosophical Ideas And Like To Be The Guy Everyone Turns To. I’m In A Potentially Life-Or-Death Situation And Should Probably Be Worried About All The Weird Shit Going Down Around Here But I’m Busy Having Awkward Fuzzy Feelings About The Lead Female, Whose Name Has The Prominent T And A Her Figure Lacks, And Am Destined To Walk Around With An Enormous Boner For Her For The Rest Of The Series.”
…this sounds awfully familiar. Why is that? Hmm…OH YEAH. That’s because up until a month ago his name was Jack (last name Shepard) and he was wordlessly appointed leader of a band of people stranded on a mysterious Island where weird shit happened all the time. Of course, back then he was actually definitely attractive instead of just vaguely so and he was a doctor and he had real leadership skills and he didn’t turn to anyone else (like the guy with military training who is much better suited for a leadership position but can’t have it because he is too young and too not white) for advice. BUT HEY. Had to make SOME changes. Wouldn’t want this show to be a COMPLETE copy of Lost or anything.

** Some of my favorite Kat quotes to date:

“Leave the legitimate stories to the real journalists.” (BUUUURN.)
“You give me my transvestite first, then you can have your missing mom.”
“Rich bitch a which. That’s what I call a headline.”
“We’re just friends with benefits. You’re hardly a benefit.”
“None of that means dick if you don’t face up to the real issue, Mark.”

Emmy Noms! Go Glee!

So the Emmy nominations for this year are out.

And  you may or may not have heard this yet but, GLEE GOT THE MOST NOMINATIONS! NINETEEN! THAT’S MORE THAN MAD MEN! IT’S CRAZYAWESOME!

YEAH!

Anyway, here are the categories whose results I sort of care about:

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm
Tony Shaloub of Monk
Steve Carell of The Office
Matthew Morrison of Glee
Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock

I’d be really pleased if Alec Baldwin did not win and the award went to Jim Parsons or Matthew Morrison (although his best performing was not the comedic parts of Glee) instead. But I don’t expect that will happen.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Amy Poehler of Parks and Recreation
Edie Falco of Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus of The New Adventures of Old Christine
Lea Michele of Glee
Toni Collette of United States of Tara
Tina Fey of 30 Rock

I’ve pretty much only seen Lea Michele’s performance, so I can’t speak to the chances of anyone else beating out Tina Fey and/or this year’s Golden Globe winner Toni Collette.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jon Hamm of Mad Men
Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie of House
Michael C. Hall of Dexter
Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad
Matthew Fox of Lost

It’d be pretty cool if Matthew Fox won, but he’d have to beat out all these other heavy-hitters. This one could go in pretty much any direction (although the inclusion of Kyle Chandler is certainly interesting).

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
January Jones of Mad Men
Kyra Sedgwick of The Closer
Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU
Glenn Close of Damages
Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife
Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights

Again with the FNL inclusion. Huh. Anyway, I’m really hoping Julianna Margulies’ll beat out the cable ladies on this one.

Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
The Office
30 Rock
Nurse Jackie
Glee

GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE!! GLEEEEEEE!! Seriously. It needs to happen.

Drama Series
True Blood
Dexter
Mad Men
The Good Wife
Breaking Bad
Lost

Just not True Blood or Mad Men and I’ll be pleased enough.

Reality Series
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
The Amazing Race
Project Runway
Top Chef

I don’t actually care about this category. I just wanted the opportunity to mention that the fact that So You Think You Can Dance never gets nominated for this is CRAP.

Variety/Music/Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
Saturday Night Live
Real Time with Bill Maher

Does the world explode if The Daily Show doesn’t win? Because, well, what with the whole Conan nonsense this year, it could happen…maybe…

Casting for a Comedy Series
Glee
Nurse Jackie
Modern Family
30 Rock
United States of Tara

GLEEEEEEEE!

Casting for a Drama Series
Mad Men
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
True Blood
The Good Wife

Is FNL ending? Is that why it is suddenly showing up all over the place?

Outstanding Choreography
Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance) for “Gravity,” “Koop Island Blues,” and “One”
Chelsie Hightower and Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars) for “Paso Doble/Malaquena”
Adam Shankman for the Oscars
Stacey Tookey (So You Think You Can Dance) for “Fear”
Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars) for “Futuristic Paso Doble/Living on Video” and “Quickstep/Anything Goes”

I love these Mia Michaels routines so I want her to win. And I love Chelsie Hightower so I want her to win. And I love love love Adam Shankman so I really want him to win. But I saw that first Derek Hough routine (pretty much the only DwtS I’ve ever seen) and it was fucking brilliant. So…sorry Stacey Tookie? (Unless you win.)

Outstanding Commercial

All you need to know is, the Old Spice Man has been nominated and HE NEEDS TO WIN.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jesse Tyler of Modern Family
Chris Colfer of Glee
Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men
Ty Burrell of Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother

OH. MY. GOD. CHRIS COLFER NEEDS TO WIN. NEEDS.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
John Slattery of Mad Men
Martin Short of Damages
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad
Terry O’Quinn of Lost
Michael Emerson of Lost
Andre Braugher of Men of a Certain Age

Obviously I’m supporting the Lost men – either/both of them – in this category.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Lynch of Glee
Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock
Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara of Modern Family
Julie Bowen of Modern Family
Holland Taylor of Two and a Half Men

JANE. LYNCH.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christina Hendricks of Mad Men
Rose Byrne of Damages
Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife
Sharon Gless of Burn Notice
Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men
Christine Baranski of The Good Wife

It would be awesome if Sharon Gless got this. She is hilarious on that show.

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Mike O’Malley (Burt Hummel) on Glee
Fred Willard (Frank Dunphy) on Modern Family
Eli Wallach (Bernard Zimberg) on Nurse Jackie
Jon Hamm (Dr. Drew Baird) on 30 Rock
Neil Patrick Harris (Bryan Ryan) on Glee
Will Arnett (Devin Banks) on 30 Rock

I am not going to go crazy with caps lock here. I am just going to say, Mike O’Malley earned the hell out of this Emmy nomination.

Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper) on Mad Men
Alan Cumming (Eli Gold) on The Good Wife
John Lithgow (Arthur Mitchell) on Dexter
Ted Danson (Arthur Frobisher) on Damages
Gregory Itzin (Presiden Charles Logan) on 24
Dylan Baker (Colin Sweeney) on The Good Wife
Beau Bridges (Detective George Andrews) on The Closer

I am definitely rooting for Gregory Itzin on this one because he is phenomenal in that role, but John Lithgow would also be an acceptable choice.

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth (April Rhodes) on Glee
Tina Fey (Host) on Saturday Night Live
Jane Lynch (Dr. Linda Freeman) on Two and a Half Men
Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey) on Desperate Housewives
Christine Baranski (Beverly Hofstadter) on The Big Bang Theory
Betty White (Host) on Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch (Colleen Donaghy) on 3o Rock

If either of the SNL ladies beats out Kristin Chenoweth, it had damn well better be Betty White because the episode Tina Fey hosted was terrible.

Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Mary Kay Place (Adaleen Grant) on Big Love
Lily Tomlin (Marilyn Tobin) on Damages
Sissy Spacek (Marilyn Densham) on Big Love
Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet Burke) on Lost
Ann-Margaret (Rita Wills) on Law & Order: SVU
Shirley Jones (Lola Zellman) on The Cleaner

Even if I had seen all these performances, I’m sure I’d still be unable to choose.

Writing for a Comedy Series
The Office
30 Rock
(two episodes)
Glee
Modern Family

Writing for a Drama Series
The Good Wife
Friday Night Lights
Lost
Mad Men
(two episodes)

The Lost episode nominated is “The End.” Like it or not, y’all have to admit it was brilliant.

ANYWAY, there are loads more categories (including all the production ones that I don’t know anything about but have opinions on anyway). Check out the nomination list yourself if you’re looking for something I haven’t included. 2010 requisite Emmy’s post part II coming after the show airs August 29th!

No Man is an Island

I am one of more than 12.3 million people* who tuned in to last night’s Lost finale. (I’m guessing  you are too.)

And…wow. Just wow.

I am so glad that all I can think of to say is “wow.”

If the ingenious and epic nature of Lost was at all in question, I think “The End” was more that sufficient to prove and solidify it to everyone.

Series finales are incredibly difficult. I can’t even imagine the challenge, nevermind the pressure, behind putting together a conclusion to something as monumental as Lost. Even the best of the best can falter at series finales – see: BSG. So I didn’t get my hopes up for Lost‘s finale and was ready to accept whatever came.

Now I wish I’d let myself have enormous expectations. Because they still would have been totally blown away.

“The End” did what series finale ought to do: bookending, reflecting back on the whole series, complementing echoing – and all with what is definitely the best script all season. It answered major questions, but it didn’t attempt to wrap everything up in a neat little box with a horrific little happy-ending bow (see: epilogue chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). It ended the series, but not the story, assuring that Lost, though technically over, will never be at an end.

And, well, it was a happy ending, and who doesn’t like that?

…me, actually. But I can make an exception for this take on a happy ending. Because it isn’t a happily-ever-after happy ending. It is a mix of truesweet and bittersweet, and the emotionality is absolutely heartfelt. There is a part of me that wanted to be cynical about the happy reunion crap a la Claire and Aaron and Charlie finally together in the Sideways…but I was too busy tearing up. Those three in particular have always been my undoing, but especially in those moments.

There are only three things about “The End” I am honestly unsatisfied/displeased with. The first two are minor: One, What about the children?! I can’t contain my worries about Jin and Sun’s poor orphaned daughter, and I don’t like how Jack’s son in the Sideways (Dylan Minnette, who I became quite fond of) is just sort of…dropped out of sight. But I guess I’ll have to get over that. And two, it’s just depressing that Lapidus never has any function other than “pilot.”

The third is less minor. “Locke” aka the Man in Black was killed by a GUN. A gun fired by KATE. This is a PROBLEM for me. SO MANY people have gotten shot on Lost and pretty much NONE OF THEM have died from it. Ever. So how does it follow that what is arguably THE major death of the series comes via gunshot, and not at the hands of the person who should rightfully be the killer? Sure, you could argue that having Kate do it in order to save Jack is actually a great piece of emotional poetic justice.  Sure, you could argue that the gunshot was just the final nail for the putting out of the light at the Heart of the Island, or that it could well have been the fall that actually killed him. But you’d need an autopsy to confirm that and dammit, I’m just peeved about the whole thing.

…and by “the whole thing” I just mean the shooting…and maybe the fact that Kate did it. But definitely not the Western-style showdown between “Locke” and Jack. That was fucking EPIC – and I don’t just mean Jack’s starting 300-style jump-punch. The stunt team deserves such an insane amount of congratulations for putting it all together. Tough location + multiple camera angles + rain + that much pressure to be amazing = a lot to handle. And oh boy did they.

Speaking of Jack, I think it is important to note that “The End” is the first time where I’ve truly appreciated what an extraordinarily well-crafted character he is. I feel like I finally understand all the work that the writers and Matthew Fox have put in over these six years. Jack always seemed a little off to me. I can’t say how. I mean, he was certainly admirable and I did like him, but there was always some lack of, I don’t know, humanness, that set him apart from everyone else. After “The End,” I’ve reached a stage of enlightenment about the character Jack Shephard. I get it now, how he is important not just as a person, but as a tour-de-force of concepts. He really does personify the heart of the story. So yes, “Locke,” he is “the obvious choice” for Jacob’s successor. And now I feel that I understand why – at least, I think I do.

But back from the land of tangents, as far as closing the story and answering that question of “What/where is the Island?” (and also “What/where is the Sideways?”), “The End” was just about perfect. Despite this growing black/white Man in Black/Jacob biblical imagery, the finals answers were not any sort of Heaven/Hell answer. Not in my opinion. Instead, it was just a beautiful conclusion to what has been the main theme of Lost over the course of six seasons.

As writer/creator/masterminds Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof noted in the pre-show “Lost: The Final Journey,” Lost is “a character study.” It is a story about people, and the idea that people, however isolated they feel, always have and need each other. No man is an island.** And so, the final destination for all the characters, whenever they die, is this place “[they] have all made together” (Christian Shephard). It is not a “here” or a “now,” but it very truly is.

I am absolutely in love with that idea and that ending. Because the concept is so moving on its own. And also because it leaves us with the thought that we haven’t seen everything – Hurley and Ben did spend real time protecting the Island, those on the plane leaving the Island with Lapidus got to live their lives, Desmond got off the Island and back to Penny.

That’s how I’m choosing to interpret it, anyway. I think it is a thought that has merit, but I’m sure there are other arguments that are just as persuasive. The ubiquity is the masterpiece as much as anything. Nothing is cut and dry – there are hints of what the minds behind Lost are thinking or intend, but there is also room to leave the conclusion and messages up to interpretation. The ubiquity, as well as the depth, are what make Lost such a monumental work of fiction. The show is truly an epic. Serial television can be literature***, and this is the proof.

Lost is over. And there is a definite void. In the world of network television, and also just in the world. There is nothing to replace it, not in terms of scope or in ability to capture the imagination. And I’m really going to miss it. In terms of post-partum, I think I get off easy. My emotional- and time-committment hasn’t been anywhere near six years – not even one year. But I like to think that I’m not totally unaffected in comparison to the diehards who’ve hung on fanatically since S01E01. I was touched by Lost. Dorkeriffic as it is to say, it is true, and I don’t think that another five years would change that.

So, RIP Lost. Or, rather, thanks for the memories.

And thank you for being so absolutely beyond-words extraordinary.

APPENDIX 1:

Sleeping instead of staying up to watch Jimmy Kimmel was definitely the right choice. But, if you haven’t, you should watch the three alternative endings. Or at least the first one; I could take or leave the other two – most the second. (Please note: not actually alternative endings.)

APPENDIX 2:

My 10 Favorite Moments of the Finale

10. Appearance by John Pyper-Ferguson.
For those not already in the know, he is one of my very favorites. Even with a sketchy ponytail.
9. Miles and the duct tape.
I love Miles. I love duct tape. I feel this is pretty self-explanatory.
8. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
Hurley’s/the writers’ homage to Star Wars. Classic.
7. Hurley being made Jack’s successor.
Jack being Jacob’s successor was pretty obvious. “Locke” had a point there. But this is almost as obvious, and even more poetic. If I’d bothered to think, I might have seen it coming, but the slight surprise is so much sweeter. And the choice is just so right. Jack says “Now you’re like me,” but Hurley isn’t…and that’s always been the point.
6. Jack’s bloody neck in the Sideways.
It was a perfect moment of clarity/sci-fi weirdness.
5. Claire and Charlie having their Awakening/Reunion Moment.
As previously mentioned, they make me happy-cry like no other.
4. Juliet and Sawyer having their Awakening/Reunion Moment.
The only thing that makes me happy-cry more than Claire and Charlie.
3. The Jack vs. “Locke” showdown.
Fucking epic. End of story.
2. Hurley to Ben: “You were a great Number 2.”
I love this, because it solidifies the idea of “There is no ‘now'” and the idea that what we see is not the whole story – the Island goes on, and Hurley and Ben protect it, but differently.
1. Christian Shephard’s empty coffin.
I definitely responded to that reveal with “Sonofabitch” at high volume, much to the entertainment of the rest of the room. But that was the major turning point, as far as I’m concerned. One of the defining moments of not only “The End,” but of the series.

Bonus: Jack and Sawyer HUGGING
I mean REALLY. That was just so…SO

APPENDIX 3:

Favorite Quotes:

  • (from “Lost: The Final Journey”) “[Ben Linus is] the most beaten character in the history of television.” – Michael Emerson (“Ben”)
  • “Maybe a kind of eggheaded fun, but that’s me.” – Michael Emerson (“Ben”)
  • ” ‘Christian Shephard’? Seriously?”**** – Kate
  • “I don’t believe in a lot of things. But I do believe in duct tape.” – Miles

*Current Nielsen estimate; does not count DVR numbers or headcounts of Lost-viewing parties. So, really, it’s probs MANY more.

**I’m sorry but I just HAD to. I apologize for using it in both title and text.

***I use the word “literature” because that is the best way I can think of to describe a narrative with depth/symbolism/mythology/message – all those elements one looks for in text-based literature; if you have an alternative to offer, please do

****This is the only thing Kate has ever done or said that I have genuinely loved.

I Love Michael Ausiello

Why?

Because he knows things.

More specifically, he knows up-to-the-minute cancellation/renewal details.

Even better, he keeps this handy-dandy scorecard on EW.com, which saves me from surfing around to three million different websites in search of information about the future.

NBC, ABC, CBS, and the CW have all made their big decisions. Not everything is written in stone quite yet (because networks are like that with the finagling and the changing their minds) BUT, here’s a list of the outcomes I care about:

NBC

Chuck: renewed!!
Heroes: cancelled
Trauma: cancelled

I’ve written a whole post about my feelings on the Heroes cancellation (tragic acceptance) and went into my fears/expectations for Chuck about a week ago. The only thing I have left to say is, Trauma: everyone saw that coming.

ABC

Castle: renewed!!
FlashForward: cancelled
The Forgotten: cancelled!
Lost: ending
Scrubs: (FINALLY) cancelled
V: renewed

Scrubs is blessedly giving up on any new episodes and it is about damn time. FlashForward‘s loss is no shocker, nor is Castle‘s survival. But V…weird. Maybe because I haven’t been watching, but this one def surprises me. It must be better than I thought…or at least more popular…or something. And, THE FORGOTTEN FINALLY GOT CANCELLED! I have been awaiting this day for months.

CBS

CSI: NY: no official word yet
NCIS: no official word yet
NCIS: Los Angeles: renewed!!

NCIS: Los Angeles is maybe my favorite new show this season besides Glee, so it’s fantastic that it’s been renewed. I’m not worried about the other two…I mean really. It’s NCIS and a CSI iteration. They’ll never die. Yet.

FOX

24: cancelled
Bones: renewed
Fringe: renewed
Glee: renewed
House: renewed
Human Target: renewed!!!
Lie to Me: renewed

It was time for 24 to go, so that’s just fine. The big news here is that Fringe will be sticking around! I worry about how it’ll do next year with another J.J. Abrams series on air to compete with, but it’s definitely deserving of renewal. And Human Target! So excited!

the CW

The Vampire Diaries: renewed

That’s really the only CW show I care about right now. But I will add, Supernatural and Smallville were both also renewed. I could have sworn this past season was supposed to be Supernatural‘s last…not complaining, though, aside from the fact that I’ll have even MORE to catch up with. But Smallville? It just needs to die. That show has been on air for too long and the actors are too old to be running around as their same characters anymore. Please die?

These are just the shows that I’m at all concerned about. If you’re looking for news of something I haven’t listed, I definitely suggest you head over to the Renewal Scorecard at the Ausiello Files (linked above).

This Week 5/17 to 5/23

Wow. So it’s been a couple weeks since I last bothered posting a schedule. Ironically, those two weeks were probably the most consistent in terms of what I would schedule and what I actually watched. Funny stuff. Anyway, some finales have happened but there are MORE COMING and it is CRAZY.

Tonight:
8pm – Chuck on NBC
8pm – House on FOX (season finale!)
9pm – 24 on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC (season finale!)

I am about 3/4 of a season behind on House so I will not be watching, but I hope y’all who are enjoy it. As for the Castle finale AAAAAAAH. I do not want to lose this show for the summer!

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
9pm – Lost on ABC
9pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – V on ABC (season finale!)
10pm – Justified on FX

Remember: This week on Glee, guest-star Neil Patrick Harris and director Joss Whedon!!! (And the depressingly inevitable revelation that Idina Menzel is Rachel’s bio-mom…no, that’s not an actual spoiler, but if it’s not true I’ll eat my left shoe).

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – The Good Guys on FOX (series pilot!)
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

I actually don’t know anything about The Good Guys. But I just might be bored enough of Wednesday to find out.

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
8pm – Bones on FOX (season finale!)
9pm – Fringe on FOX (season finale!)

Well, shoot. What am I going to do on Thursday night now? (Something productive? Don’t be silly.)

FRIDAY:
10pm – Miami Medical on CBS

SATURDAY:
Nothing new is airing tonight.

FYI, though, the pilot episode of Lost will be airing at 8pm on ABC. I think I’m going to watch it, just so it’s fresh in my mind as a point of comparison for the finale.

SUNDAY:
7pm – Lost: The Final Journey on ABC
9pm – Lost on ABC (SERIES FINALE!!!)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

That is all I have to say.

Except that this is going to be a very tense week and I feel like my life is going to deflate a little bit after Lost ends…hard to believe I only started watching it a few months ago. And now it’s OVER. End of an era, for serious.

PS: Read.

They’re dropping like flies

If you please, take moment of silence – each – for the three Lost characters we, well, lost on Tuesday’s “The Candidate.”

It’s been a bit hard to tell of late whether or not the series would actually wrap up in time, considering all the new elements being continually introduced. Here’s the indication it is. We’re losing them. Not one by one, either. Three of my favorite characters just kicked the bucket – all three of them more or less willingly, no less. And I am damn depressed.

Sayid’s death was…okay,  I guess, all things considered. I mean, the Real Sayid died at the beginning of the season – drowned, interestingly enough. So losing Zombie Sayid, while sad, is not totally a tragedy. Especially since, thanks to Desmond’s counsel, he also redeemed himself in the process and gave us all one last moment of Sayid-style badassery to hold on to.

I DO have some serious problems with Sun and Jin’s deaths. First of all, HOW FREAKING UNFAIR IS THAT. THEY JUST GOT REUNITED AND NOW THEY’RE DEAD? GRAAAAAH! (…I really needed to get that out of my system.) More importantly, I understand that they’re the tragic romance of the series and so their death had to be tragical and romantical and all that shit. BUT. Remember how they have a kid? Who is now an orphan? Am I the only one who has serious problems with this? And – more importantly in terms of the Lost-verse, now we’re never going to know which Kwon was actually a Candidate. And, frankly, I find that irritating. Lost writers, if you’re going to kill off central characters you could at least give us some answers in (admittedly unequal) exchange.

The most depressing outcome of this episode for me is, I may need to reconsider my unconditional love of submarines. Or maybe not. I haven’t quite decided whether the awesomeness of all the action sequences outweighs the dreadful end result.

There is one sort-of positive that comes out of all this: for all that I spent the first few episodes being horribly confused by and hating it, The Sideways is now my favorite thing. Why? Because it means that people are not completely dead. In the case of, say, Ilana, I couldn’t fucking care less (I do not understand why she’s credited as a regular, central character for the season and I probably never will). But it is good to know that the Kwons can still be happy, alive, and pregnant.

Plus, The Sideways is getting REAL interesting. Especially with that odd look Locke gave Jin when he saw him in the hospital. I expect a whole bunch of cool stuff is just around the corner…once we get Desmond out of that well. Speaking of which, it’s now been strongly implied that Jack is/will be Jacob’s successor. Are we surprised? No. But I guess that’s how it had to be.

Final thoughts:

  1. Is Lapidus alive?
  2. When are we going to see Ben, Richard, and Miles again? I’ve been anxiously awaiting that storyline for weeks now.
  3. I’d love to know how many shipping fangirls and fanboys cried when the opportunity for Sawyer-Jack mouth-to-mouth was not utilized.