Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Glee ~ Hairography Season 1 Episode 11

"I completely understand NBC's position, and look forward to seeing a Jay Leno float." ~ Glee Creator and Executive Producer Ryan Murphy's response to NBC forcing Macy's to rescind their invitation to the cast of Glee to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


On Thanksgiving, turkey is the bird traditionally served, but i have a feeling the peacock network exec who made the decision to bump the cast of Glee from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is going to be eating a big plate of crow. Sure Glee is on a competing network, but with few exceptions---30 Rock springs to mind, NBC is going begging for high ratings, and hardly in a position to snub any assist they can get.

Maybe the person who made that decision is unaware that Glee is "grabbing the highest percentage of upscale viewers among all four broadcast networks" i'm not a CFO, but what that translates to in my mind is that a lot of the folks who are gonna be up and at 'em on 'Black Friday' are also more likely than not, people who watch Glee. Sponsors have probably come to that same conclusion, and while i don't think the parade snub will deter shoppers from doing what comes naturally the day after [and in some cases the day of] Thanksgiving, it's not too smart in the current economy to risk offending people [read Glee fans with deep pockets] whom you're trying to woo.

The night before Thanksgiving, Fox airs Glee's 11th episode of season 1: Hairography. Guest star Eve plays Grace Hitchens, an instructor from a competing glee club at the Jane Adams Reform School. New Directions' Mr.Schu offers Ms.Hitchens' group rehearsal space at McKinley High. The Adams' glee club's performance of Bootylicious, leaves the McKinley kids and Mr.Schu wondering: is New Directions ready for this jelly?

Glee airs Wednesdays at 9:00pm on the Fox Network. Please check your local listings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Prisoner AMC 6 Part MiniSeries Remake: Part 1: Arrival

Ian McKellen As 2 Jim Caviezel As 6 AMC's The Prisoner 2009
AMC's The Prisoner ~ False Paradise

AMC's The Prisoner ~ Nightmare

AMC's The Prisoner ~ Arrival

The AMC channel is doing a mini-series re-make of the Patrick McGoohan 1967 British cult classic series, The Prisoner. And BONUS, for those who haven't seen the 1960s original, AMCTV.com has video of those episodes available for viewing online.

The 2009 AMC Prisoner 6 part mini-series re-do stars Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel. There are a few differences from the original, but the basic premise remains intact. McGoohan's protagonist was involved in international espionage. When he decides to resign from living the life of a spy, he awakens from a drugged state, and finds he has been relocated to a community known as "The Village". The residents of "The Village are under constant surveillance, interrogation and are frequently drugged. No one in "The Village" is addressed by name. They are instead referred to by number. No one knows how they arrived there, there does not appear to be any way to leave, and worse when someone gets close to making an escape they are enveloped by a mysterious billowing huge white ball. The supervisor of "The Village" is a passive/aggressive tyrant known as #2. In the original, the character remained the same, but the actor portraying #2 changed periodically, which added to "The Village" resident's fear, frustration, and confusion.

In the AMC mini-series, the actor portraying #2 remains a constant---the wonderfully wicked Ian McKellen. The actor in the protagonist role is Jim Caviezel. As in the original, he is referred to as #6. Different from the original, prior to becoming a resident of "The Village" #6 is not a secret agent. Instead he lives in NYC, and is a statistician for a global corporate entity. Rather than being a spy, he spies upon citizens as they go about their lives. Tracking pedestrian, vehicular, consumer, and various other patterns. The day comes when he tires of being a mini 'big brother'. When he resigns, he is drugged, and when he awakens, he is no longer living in NYC, but is instead the newest inhabitant of "The Village".

The location shots for the remake were done in the extremely picturesque coastal southern African town of Swakopmund, Namibia. It's almost as if the locale is a supporting cast member---it's beauty lending a strong contrast to the creepiness of the goings-on in "The Village". Imagine an entire town, no check that, an entire world in an incredibly beautiful setting, but it is filled with suspicion, paranoia, deception, torture, fear, and tyranny, and from that world, there is seemingly no escape.

Mr.Caviezel's performance has been negatively reviewed by some in comparison to Mr.McGoohan's. i feel that is an unfair assessment. imho, Mr.Caviezel gives a fine performance. No it is not identical to Mr.McGoohan's---let's face it, his was legendary, but that does not mean Mr.Caviezel can not make #6 his own. i am enjoying his interpretation. Regarding Mr.McKellen---there are not sufficient words of praise. This man has a tremendous gift. With simply a look, a gesture, a subtle tone of voice, he can convey so much emotion and invoke it in others. i must confess i did notice something about him that i hadn't before. When he is being charming or solicitous in that duplicitous way as only 2 can, he gets an innocent look that reminds me of Uncle Floyd's puppet side-kick Oogie. i know that sounds surreal, but then everything about The Prisoner is---which is what makes it so good.

AMC airs The Prisoner 6 part mini-series beginning Sunday November 15th 2009 through Tuesday November 17th 2009 with a re-airing on Sunday November 22nd 2009. Please check your local listings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ABC's V Pilot Episode 101 The Visitors Are Here, Don't Be Frightened We Mean You No Harm

ABC's V Pilot Episode 101 The Visitors Are Here "Don't Be Frightened, We Mean You No Harm"

The original V was a 1983 NBC mini-series. 1984 brought forth a 3 part sequel mini-series, which in turn produced a tv series that ran for 1 year. It's latest incarnation comes to us via the ABC network.

For me, sci-fi plots are always scariest when they incorporate references to historic events, turn a mirror toward modern societal topics, have flawed heroes and villains that aren't always easy to spot, and have a look that is futuristic, but at the same time familiar. Good job ABC. On your new V, you have check-marks for all of the above.

In the opening moments of V, it is early morning, massive UFOs hover above major US cities and around the world. There are a total of 29 ships [the 1984 version had 50]. The percussive effect from the ship's vibrations is so strong the entire world simultaneously experiences an earthquake. A graphic comes on the screen asking the viewer where were they when JFK was assassinated. Where were they on the morning of 9/11. As someone who lived through both those events, reading those questions produces a strong visceral reaction. i was hooked.

The Visitors are sentient beings who have [ostensibly] come to earth because our water contains minerals they need to sustain life. They propose their arrival can be mutually beneficial. As payment for the water, they will share their advanced technology, and other attributes. The Visitors are here to help, not to harm. As long as we humans do as we're told and don't piss them off. That's what makes the show so intriguing---it's perfect execution of the 'trojan horse' parable. But The Visitors' true nature is not immediately gleaned by most of us earthlings. They're pretty---extraordinarily so---we're talking model pretty. They have pretty bodies. They wear pretty clothes. They're friendly, greet everyone they meet with a friendly smile. They want to provide for us. What could be wrong? It doesn't occur to most of the humans that rarely can one get something for nothing. And if something appears to be too good to be true, it almost always is.

My favorite thing about the aliens, is that in their natural state, they look like reptiles. i like reptiles, i don't fear them. One of the most pleasurable tactile sensations i've experienced was petting a boa constrictor, and a monitor lizard [neither were mine]. It was like caressing an extremely smooth, fine quality leather. i realize not everyone has that reaction to reptiles, and so do The Visitors. They have cloaked themselves in a more appealing exterior. Also the animals i was petting were not planning to have me as their dinner.

Melding the current real life high alert status for terrorist activity, there are also sleeper cell V's, and some who genuinely want to help human resistance fighters who are aware of greater number of V's true intentions.

ABC's V airs Tuesday nights at 8:00pm, please check your local listings. V may also be seen online at ABC.com and Hulu