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

Almost Human: Straw Man (113)

The cable guide said “Straw Man” was Almost Human’s season finale, but could it be the series finale?  It was one of the series’ better episodes, but in what really matters (the ratings), it was down.

“Straw Man” was surprising (somewhat), tight (by Almost Human standards), and satisfying (more or less).

Detective Paul goes undercover at a homeless shelter.

Detective Paul, back and undercover. Again.

Surprising:  Detective Paul returned, after a 2-3 episode absence, and wasn’t obnoxious.  In fact, while undercover, he was downright nice and considerate to a young homeless man.

Surprising:  A wheelchair-bound man named Glen who saved a homeless girl from unwanted advances, turned out to be not only ambulatory, but also the real Bad Guy.  Oh, and he was turning himself into a cyborg.  That was an unexpected turn, too.

The episode gave us our best view into the more vulnerable and human side of John Kennex.  A series of killings from 10 years earlier, which had been investigated and solved by Edward Kennex, John’s father, resurfaces.

Continue reading

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.