All Along The Watchtower

films . videos . television

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Battlestar Podcasts coming

In his official blog over at, Ron Moore talks about the three upcoming podcasts for the best show on TV, Battlestar Galactica.

Three -- count'em -- three podcasts are winging their way to you this week from snowy Vancouver: "Hero," "Unfinished Business," and a discussion of the show with a group of the actors, myself and MrsRon sitting in our apartment and talking over various aspects of the show.

The "Roundtable Discussion" as we're calling it, is a freewheeling discussion, and there are definitely times when there's too much cross-talk and too much laughter on the recording to discern anything coherent (especially in the beginning) but tucked in amid the revelry are some interesting and fascinating tidbits which I hope you'll enjoy. Think of it as being a fly on the wall during a dinner party with a group of people delighted to be talking over the ins and outs of their favorite show. In addition to myself and the missus, we were joined by James Callis, Jamie Bamber, Tamoh Penikett, Mark Sheppard (an upcoming guest star with a major role in the finale) and Henry, a child-hood friend of Jamie's who happened to be in town that night.

The "Unfinished Business" podcast also features Tamoh and Grace Park.

If you are watching Battlestar and not listening to the podcasts, you are missing on a great insight into the show. And if you're not watching Battlestar Galactica, what the frak is wrong with you?!?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

50 Things Lost hasn't explained

As Heroes popularity continues to soar, let's not forget to give props to the show that created the new interest in serialized shows--Lost.

One big complaint lodged against Lost is that it never answers any questions. I can see that, but honestly I think if you're looking for some deeper, profound, earth-shaking answers from Lost, you're really missing the whole point of the show. It's not about the answers, it's about the journey.

But I will admit Lost does have some dangling plot threads. And the people over at IGN have been kind enough to come up with a list of 50 mysteries that Lost has brought up but has yet to resolve. It's interesting and it reminded me again of just how much I love Lost. So surf over, read and let the debate begin.

Monday, November 27, 2006

ABC Does It Again OR How 'Lost' Kills Everything Around It

Well, I should know better.

Repeat after me: I will not become interested in intelligent, well-written drama with good characters and story.

This weekend ABC announced that The Nine is disappearing from it's Wednesday night schedule.

That's such a shame, considering that of the new fall dramas, The Nine was the most consistantly well-written. Only Ugly Betty (which I consider to be more of a comedy) has a stronger script and cast.

ABC has complained about The Nine not holding the lead-in from Lost. Personally I blame that more on Lost. How many of us tune in consistantly to find out the new mystery, stay glued to the TV to those 'final five minutes YOU WON'T BELIEVE/EVERYONE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT/BEST LOST EVER!!!!!' only to turn off the TV in disgust at yet another weak non-answer?

Personally I've been TiVo'ing The Nine and watching it a couple of days later. I did the same thing last year with Invasion. Sadly, Lost has become so frustrating that it kills my interest in ABC's followup programming. I usually need a few days to get the taste of Jack out of my mouth.

Preview this year's Doctor Who Christmas special

Four minutes from the upcoming Christmas special epiosde of Doctor Who, "The Runaway Bride."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Christmas Specials

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

USA Today has a listing of some of the highlights of the Christmas special viewing season. Among them are:
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas, Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET/PT, ABC
  • Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Dec. 5, 8 p.m. ET/PT, ABC
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Dec. 8, 8 p.m. ET/PT, CBS
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Dec. 12, 8 p.m. ET/PT, ABC (This is the cartoon version, not the Jim Carey movie)
  • It's a Wonderful Life, Dec. 16, 8 p.m. ET/PT, NBC
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Dec. 17, 8 p.m. ET/PT, TBS (!)
  • A Christmas Story marathon, Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET/PT, TBS

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Harry Potter Order Of The Phoenix Sneak From HBO

You may have thought the teaser trailer was mack-daddy. But you haven't seen this yet.

Leaky has posted the HBO OnDemand sneak peak. Lots of goodies here.

Get Smart movie news

A Get Smart movie? Why am I only just now hearing about this?

Seems that Steve Carrell will be taking over the part made famous by Don Adams in the big-screen version of Get Smart. Variety reports that Anne Hathaway will take over the role of 99, as played by Barbara Feldon.

Now, I know the current rage in Hollywood is to make big-screen adaptations of beloved TV shows. And while I can see that Carrell could be good in the role of Maxwell Smart, I'm still not convinced that this movie will hold a candle to the original series.

So, will it be like The Fugitive or will it be another Beverly Hillbillies?

Battlestar moves to Sunday

Ain't It Cool News is reporting that when season three of Battlestar Galactcia resumes in January (after it's holiday break), the show will move to Sundays at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST.

Is this a good or bad move for SciFi?

I can see that it's a bit of both....

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Harry Potter teaser on-line

The teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is on-line for your viewing pleasure.

Right now, I can hear Kat Coble counting down the days....

Die, Fat Man, Die!

There is a level of boredom that induces sleep. I've only experienced it at three public performances. The first was after a day of drinking bourbon on the lake with my fraternity brothers, we went to the local cinema for a showing of the Vietnam War movie Hamburger Hill. I don't think the movie was the problem. Rather, it was the amount of anesthesia in my system.

The second time, or actually the first as I now remember this predated Hamburger Hill by a couple of years. This girl took me to a 'Til Tuesday concert. Once they played that one song that I knew, I was out like a light. Plus, my date was kind of a bitch. So, I figured I could get a few minutes of sleep before having to have another tedious verbal exchange. Later that night, we ran into some a group of friends at the old nightclub Limelight. I traded my date to a friend of mine whose assholish overbearing personality was a perfect match for my date. In exchange, I got my roomate, who had a trunk full of beer and a bag of very potent hash. Twenty years later, I'm still convinced that was the best trade of my life.

Yesterday, I fell asleep in a movie. Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause put me to sleep sometime in the second act. When I awoke, a short time later, it was like I missed nothing. My step-sons mostly keep me from going to movies that I actually like. They have the worst taste in movies. Ever. I should have known this when the first movie I went to see with them was Cheaper by the Dozen 2. They have a penchant for shitty sequels and shitty remakes.

The funniest part, for them, was the farting reindeer gag. They laughed the hardest at that particular highlight. As far as they were concerned, they would be happy to watch a farting reindeer movie every day of the year. Other than that, they weren't that impressed.

For me, the gag reel at the end was the funniest (and most welcome) part of this Disney cash-in.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 13%.

Pajiba said, "If you’re unlucky enough to get stuck in a theater showing The Santa Clause 3, it is at this point that you basically have two options: 1) You can bang your head on the seat in front of you and hope it knocks you unconscious, or 2) you can start to fantasize that the Jigsaw Murderer from Saw III, playing in the theater next door, finds his way into the film, plants a bear trap in Tim Allen’s mouth, and gives him 90 seconds to lay waste to his nine reindeer before the trap separates his jaw in two, delivering the necessary one-liner: “There’s your Christmas cheer, asshole!”

I spent my awake time wondering why Mrs. Claus looks so much hotter on Lost, and dreaming about sneaking out without raising suspicion. Last thing I wanted was the wife yanking me by the hair out of the showing of Casino Royale next door.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Veronica Mars gets full season order

Veronica Mars' third season will be a full season.

The CW picked up the show for the rest of the season, though there's a catch. The show is getting only a seven-episode order instead of the back-nine. That means season three will run 20 episodes instead of 22.

How this affects the second and third mystery arcs remains to be seen.

Veronica Mars airs in Nashville on the new CW, Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Friday Night Lights

NBC gave Friday Night Lights a full-season order yesterday.

This is cause for much rejoicing from me. This is easily the season's best new show and I'm glad to see NBC giving it a full-season run. It almost reminds you of the good ol' days when NBC showed some faith and patience with such classics as Seinfeld and Cheers.

Here's hoping Friday Night Lights has a long, successful run.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

celebrity jeopardy time

So, it's night 2 of Celebrity Jeopardy, which they are running for 2 weeks (I think) in honor of their 5,000th episode. I have to say, I've been looking forward to this for a long time. Now that I've seen it twice, I can't figure out why. I'm still eagerly tuning in each night, but while I watch it's mostly just cringey and generally uncomfortable.
In general celebrities are best scripted, or in the case of folks like pro-athletes, silent. Some may be quite knowledgeable about many things, but those that are just emphasize how, umm..., unskilled in Jeopardy-related activity everyone else is. And the questions are clearly dumbed down, and the judges let anything fly. Tonight they gave Doug Savant "Charlie tuna" for "Starkist." Com'on now.
Even still, I'll keep watching and wincing, enthusiastically.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jericho to run repeat free

Jericho is following the Lost model in its freshman season according to TV Guide On-Line.

The new CBS series will take a 10-week hiatus after its mid-season finale in late November. The show will return with episodes in February, including a flashback episode of what life was like before the bombs. (I bet it's just filled with all kinds of unresolved mysteries and bad foreshadowing).

Intersting to hear that Jericho is taking this route instead of attempting to bring in new fans via repeats. Of course, we know that some serialized shows don't repeat well (Lost) in terms of ratings. But with a freshman show like Jericho, you'd think CBS would try to find a way to build the audience and expand it, espeically since the juggernaut that is American Idol will be coming back. Or maybe that's why they're doing this--to keep Jericho from getting lost in the shadow of American Idol.

It will be interesting to see how the two, hit freshman serial dramas approach repeats. We've seen what Jericho is doing. Would Heroes go repeat free as well with a long hiatus? And how will Heroes do when it's repeated?

And is this just one more step toward block scheduling of shows and the end of the sweeps month model that has dominated TV for so long now?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Teaser from tonight's Veronica Mars

The first four minutes of tonight's all new Veronica Mars. I know I've not been blogging every Veronica epiosde this year, but I have to say I'm really enjoying season three.

Check out the first four minutes here and tune in tonight at 8 p.m. CST on the new CW.