Decisions, Decisions

So, I ordered a “Sinceriously” t-shirt yesterday.  I’m not one to wear a celebrity’s face on my clothes (unless you count the time I ironed a small picture of Benjamin Bratt onto the wrong side of a white tee some years ago), but Stephen Amell’s charity supporting Stand for the Silent and Paws and Stripes is something I can get behind.  Besides, can one ever have too many tees?  I think not.

But I had a dilemma.  Should I order the crew neck tee in aqua Tahiti blue, or the v-neck tee in heather gray.  I really like the blue of Tahiti, and all my tees are crew necks.  But I also like heather gray and v-necks in general, but it’s $2.00 more.

So, what was my deciding factor?

Continue reading

Supernatural 200: Fan Fiction

[Note:  The CW reception was so broken and problematic last night, I missed a lot of The Flash and most of Supernatural.  So here’s a rundown of last week’s Supernatural.]

Dean works on the Impala.

Dean, Baby, and Gordon LIghtfoot: What a trio!

200th episodes are a Big Deal.  I was an avid Benjamin Bratt fan when Law & Order ran its 200th episode.  The fabulous Jerry Orbach was still alive to sell memorabilia on HSN (yes, I bought a couple items), and Julia Roberts guest starred, for wage.  (It was a deal Bratt struck with producer Dick Wolf to cancel his contract.)  But I digress.

Supernatural is great at making fun of itself, and many of my favorite episodes are the humorous ones.  The premise of Supernatural as a musical performed by an all-girls (of course!) high school sounded super cheesy, but the songs were actually good, the singing superb (Well done, casting directors!), and there was emotion behind the humor.

Continue reading

24: Four O’Clock p.m.’s a Bitch

Want a show where nothing goes right?  Welcome to 24: Live Another Day.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM was a veritable smorgasbord of how to fuck up a plan.  Any plan!  Let’s count ’em.

FU #1:  Last week, the CIA raid on the terrorist compound turned out to be a trap.  An armed U.S. drone, controlled by the terrorist, demolished the building, but we didn’t know if anyone survived.  The two series regulars, station chief Steve Navarro (played by my beloved Benjamin Bratt) and new agent Eric Ritter survive, but four “red shirts” don’t.  (FYI, Benjamin Bratt looks fabulous with his face all dirty—and bloody.)

Eric Ritter and Steve Navarro survive the drone attack.

Eric and Steve survive!

Continue reading

What to Do? What to Do?

Chloe O'Brien helps Jack Bauer on 24.

Chloe’s back! With a rad haircut and tons of eyeliner.

Its Monday evening and I don’t have anything to watch!  After a season of Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human, Intelligence, and Warehouse 13, not to mention my silly obsession with Charlie White Dancing with the Stars, my evening is free.

Well, there is 24: Live Another Day, complete with London and Benjamin Bratt.  I suppose it could pass for science fiction as much as Last Resort.  Like Last Resort, 24 takes place the real world (of fiction), with real problems.  But its premise and action are so bizarre, it goes beyond plain fiction.  Perhaps we could say Chloe’s mad computer skills tip the show into the science fiction realm.

Or, I could just watch last night’s Believe.


A week & a half later…

I bet you thought because I hadn’t posted in a while that I was disappointed in Modern Family‘s episode last week, titled “Up All Night.”  No way! It was awesome!  Awesome, I tell you!  And Benjamin Bratt was fantastic!

As with anything Ben Bratt-related, I’m always concerned about how the reviews will be, because there are a lot of people out there (Tom Shales, I’m looking at you) who don’t like him.  Well, if the reaction on the Television Without Pity forum is any indication, he was a smash hit.  The fans there loved the episode, many saying it was the best one to date.  And they loved Ben’s portrayal of Javier, Manny’s father and Gloria’s ex.  And so did I.  (Shocking, I know.)  And I loved him even more on repeat viewings.

Javier and the lobsters he bought with his bare hands

“Did you catch them with your bare hands?” “No. I bought them with my bare hands!”

Our impression of Javier to date has been, from Gloria’s descriptions, some kind of a larger-than-life super man; all negated by being Manny’s no-show dad.  And he truly was larger than life.  From his huge grin and open arms upon first appearing (with a [possibly stolen] speed boat in tow), to disarming and charming Jay, to throwing a few baseballs around Dodger Stadium at 2 a.m.  But we all knew what was coming as soon as he’d made plans for drinks with Jay.  (And I loved how Manny was the one to comfort Jay with the no-show.)

What a great role it was for Ben Bratt.  The actor himself is very charming himself, and a bit larger than life for us long-time fans.  He gave Javier some wonderful little moments; his wincing when Jay said he “used to,” and his glance down at Manny just before the stadium lights came on (which I’m sure came from being a devoted father himself).

I still have the episode on my DVR, where it will most likely stay until the it’s repeated this summer.

And can I just add that Mitchell and Cameron rock my world.

Tripping down memory lane

I blame Natalie for getting me hooked on Modern Family.  I started watching not because she told me it’s a great show, or combines the right amount of humor and sweetness, or has wonderfully goofy characters.  Those are reasons I continue to watch it.  Nope, I started watching when she told me Benjamin Bratt was going to appear as Manny’s (no good) dad.

[Yes, I am a Benjamin Bratt fan, but you probably figured that out from yesterday’s post.  He was the fuel that fired my  passion for web development.   Back in the olden days of the mid-90s, I started a fan site for him.  It was the only site for him, and very small, only a couple pages. But it grew, and I finally discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I don’t run the website anymore. My interests diverted and I just didn’t keep up with the Bratt news. The talented and fabulous Francesca took it over, and her dedication has made the site sing.  /background]

Not only is Benjamin going to be on a terrific show, he’s getting a lot of promotional air time.  ABC has really been hyping his guest stint, giving him “star” status.   This tickles me.  You see, we long-time fans remember the days when he flew so low under the radar, he could ride the NYC subway without being recognized.   For him to be given this level of attention—on his own—is new to us.

As for the character of Manny’s father Javier, we know he’s charming and impressive on the outside, but rotten and selfish as a father. I’m really looking forward to Benjamin’s performance. He plays both the good guy and the bad guy quite well.

As for tonight, I guess I’ll watch the Orange Bowl. My alma mater is playing. Woohoo!

Numbers can lie

I knew when I started the Great Supernatural Death Count that those who complained the show is racist and/or sexist would not be swayed. This is not a new phenomenon. I experienced something similar with the Law & Order fandom several years ago.

At that time, Lennie Briscoe, played by the legendary Jerry Orbach, had worked with three different young detectives, Mike Logan (Christopher Noth), Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) and Ed Green (Jessie L. Martin). There had been great consternation when Chris Noth was replaced by Benjamin Bratt, and in an effort to keep Mike Logan’s legacy alive, someone asked Jerry who Lennie’s favorite partner was. Jerry replied, “Benjamin Bratt.”  Chris Noth’s fans disagreed, saying that Lennie liked Mike better, even though the answer came straight from the actor himself.

The moral of this story is people will continue to believe what they want to believe. And that’s ok.

I think the “real” complaint, as pool and cali5 noted in comments on the Super Stats page [note:  this page is no longer published or available], is the treatment of recurring characters. In anticipation of this, I actually took a cursory look at the deaths among repeat performers. The numbers are indeed different, but statistical analysis indicated the differences were not significant. But then, the number of subjects was too small to give reliable results.  (I realize this is all a bunch of statistical mumbo jumbo no one probably cares about. It’s just that the researcher in me loves playing with statistics.)

Anyway, their comments actually got me thinking about other ways to look at the treatment of women and ethnics.  I’ll discuss it some other time.  Right now I need to go and watch some more season 4 episodes.

Recorder wars: TiVo vs. DVR

I have a queston for TiVo users.  Bear with me while I rant a little. I’ll get to the question in a bit.

I love my DVR.  Usually.  But it’s not smart enough to know when a show goes over its time limit.  Case in point, while the Rose Bowl finished in its allotted time, ABC “had” to show some of the post-game hoopla—for nearly 10 minutes.  Consequently, my recording of Better Off Ted (an episode I hadn’t seen before) started 10 minutes late.  So not only did I get only 20 minutes worth of entertainment (ok, more like 14.5, taking commercials into account—because you know the networks aren’t going to cut commercial time), I missed a huge chunk of the ending.  Fortunately, Better Off Ted is not “must see tv” for me, but still, I might have missed one those golden lines that Phil rambles off; although I can’t imagine anything funnier than “It’s like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if you massacred the chainsaws.”

This happens all the time on TNT, because they butt the shows right up against each other, going so far as to overlap the ending credits with the opening of the new show.  A week or so ago, they aired “Refuge, Part 2.”  It’s one of my favorite Law & Order episodes, and it’s Benjamin Bratt’s last appearance.  Even if we hadn’t had Rey Curtis doing all the things we fans loved (speaking Spanish, tackling bad guys) the last few minutes were gold.  Rey Curtis says a heart-felt goodbye to Lt. Van Buren and Lenny Briscoe, and walks out of the 2-7.

That scene depicted the real friendship between Benjamin and S. Epatha Merkerson and the legendary Jerrry Orbach.  In fact, they interviewed that the tears in their eyes were real.   I knew TNT would cut the show short, so I even recorded the following show.  But there’s a time blip between recordings, so missed the ending of Lennie & Rey’s exchange, Rey walking out the door, and the poignant look between Lennie and Anita.  I suppose I could have just set a manual recording for the time, but my success with that has been iffy.  I wouldn’t complain so much, but L&O season 9 isn’t out on DVD yet.  I do have it on video tape (somewhere), but geez!  Who watches those any more?

So, here’s the question.  I’ve heard claims that TiVo knows when a show has gone over schedule and adjusts its recording accordingly.  So, if you TiVo owners planned to record, say, the premiere of Glee last summer, did you get to the end of the show, or were you  unceremoniously cut off during “Don’t Stop Believing” because American Idol ran long?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Expanding interests are better than expanding waistlines

Ok.  I signed up for January’s NaBloPoMo.  Again.  I’m going to keep doing this until I get it right!  This time, though, I signed up SciFi Chicks.  I figure more people are interested in tv than me.

So, since this is a special month (and my television interests have expanded to beyond sci fi), I’m going to write about other, non-sci fi shows I really like. Like Modern Family. And Benjamin Bratt’s guest stint on Modern Family.  And… huh, I guess all the other non-sci fi shows I like are between seasons.  Maybe Better Off Ted, too.  I hear it needs a little love.

And who knows.  Maybe if I’m forced motivated to post every day, I’ll get my Legend of the Seeker season 2 and Stargate: Universe reviews written.

So, that’s what my new year will bring.  How about you?