This show is worse than getting a staple gun to the nuts.
However SIDESWIPE are awesome as fuck. Flipping dudes with a lame gangsta twist.
Also couldnt find any pictures of this dude but LEONID THE MAGNIFICENT - the 6' 9" Russian Queen who blanced swords on his face was pretty amazin.
¶ posted by Zazz at 10:45 AM
Ponchos and Lefty
We've got tickets to tonight's Sox-Mets game. There's a 60% chance of thunder showers, which'll blow; we paid way too much to just blow these off, so we'll have to invest in some ponchos, I suppose. I despite ponchos. I'd rather get soaked than stand around sheathed in cheap plastic. I doubt the wife agrees, though.
My head might explode at this game. Obviously I'll be rooting for the Sox over the Mets, even though I'm no longer that big of a Sox fan. But then Glavine's pitching for New York, and through it all I still like that guy a lot, and wish him well. I won't be able to root against him, or take any pleasure in his failings. Schilling's starting for Boston, and he's almost up there with Clemens and Jeter on the list of dudes I'd like to see eaten by wild boars. I could never cheer for that asshole. So I'll be rooting FOR the Sox and AGAINST the Mets, but FOR Glavine and AGAINST Schilling, while wearing a Braves hat the whole time.
¶ posted by darkness at 7:41 AM
Still hasn't scored yet this cup, but this is a pretty rad video. Looks real, but also I wonder if this is something like those Powerade commercials with Labrone and Vick. Dude is a beast so it very well could be real...
Kinda going out with a whimper, unfortunately. You gotta think JD Ryznar and Hunter Stair have been beset with offers from any number of basic cable networks.
¶ posted by darkness at 7:57 AM
we definitely like Veronica Mars
We finished up Veronica Mars in Georgia, on those nights in which we stayed at my in-laws' empty house. It does get better as it goes along. Even with my earlier misgivings, I already found myself wanting to watch it as much as possible during the first third. As the show progresses, and things start to fall into place, and this compulsion grows ever greater. The desire to see what happens became so overpowering that my wife watched the final eigth episodes without me, while I was down at my folks' place and she was alone in Calhoun. She then rewatched those episodes with me over the subsequent weekend. We's got hooked, for sure, which is especially surprising with the wife, since she was initially far more skeptical than I.
Anyway, it is a genuinely great show, eventually. There are those two or three outright bad episodes early on, but once they hit the homestretch they were nailing pretty much everything. And the resolutions to the various mysteries were all satisfying and well-done. They did a particularly good job with the Lilly Kane murder; the murderer wasn't one of the more obvious candidates, but it still wasn't entirely a surprise, and remained faithful to the character. And my greatest complaint from before is nullified, as Kristin Bell became less and less annoying as the show progressed. I don't know if I finally accepted her performance for what it was, or if she became more comfortable and thus believable over time, but my reservations about her character and performance eased away as we worked through the season. They seemed to cut back on the narration some after those first several episodes, and so that probably had something to do with it. But so, yes, overall, a great show, and we can't wait for season two to come out.
Oh, and to reevaluate previous comparisons: I can't really call it any worse than Gilmore Girls or Lost. I'll say this: when it comes to watching a random single episode of a show that's entertaining and features actors and characters I enjoy (and would like to meet both hypothetically and in the real world), Gilmore gets the nod. When it comes to a show with a highly engrossing central mystery and various surprising twists and turns, I'd take Lost. When it comes to combining the two, with an ever-so-slight drop-off in both aspects, I'd take Mars.
¶ posted by darkness at 7:50 AM
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Science to WUOG: "Up yours, numb nuts!"
Athens folks, 90.5 will apparently be off the air all day long the rest of the summer. Somehow an email from Scott Eustis found its way to me, and included was this quote from a WUOG dj-list message:
"Djs, I come to you with sad, sad news. The chemistry department has been running experiments involving radio, and our broadcast has been interfering. We've known about this problem for a while, and the chemistry people are ordering new equipment that will allow them to proceed without problem. However, until the equipment gets here and is installed, they're basically at a stand-still. They've asked us to go off-air daily from 7am-4pm, Monday through Friday. We've decided to comply with this request. So, starting Monday, no one needs to come in before 4pm. I want to emphasize that this is temporary - we will be going back on air, to our previously determined schedule, before summer is over."
UPDATE: Apparently WUOG could be in violation of the FCC, which I believe would be the second time in a little over a year now. Our own Brian Crews (I think he used to sit in on the movie show up there, or something) followed up with this zinger:
"is this for real? WUOG is potentially violating their fcc license by going off the air and i'm positive that the chemistry dept interfering with an fcc licensed signal is a violation. most fcc licenses require stations to be on the air a minimum number of hours per week. if you aren't then you risk losing that license. While helping out in the name of science might be nice, this sounds like a decision with potentially serious reprecussions and frankly a bad idea."
My new iPod has but 800 songs on it. The little robot that controls the shuffle function apparently is a big Chrome fan, I guess.
Okay, first twenty today, offa shuffle:
Robert Wyatt - Little Red Robin Hood Hits The Road Chrome - Eyes In The Center Ashra - Slightly Delayed Prince - Raspberry Beret Chrome - Wings Born In The Night Bloc Party - Hello Mott the Hoople - Crash Street Kids Ween - Hippy Smell Mott the Hoople - (Do You Remember) Saturday Gigs (Alternate Version) The Rolling Stones - Monkey Man Henry Cow - Arcades James Luther Dickinson - Hungry Town Futureheads- Face Mice - When Tiffany Cries Country Teasers - Young Mums Up For Sex Camera Obscura - Hey Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken Harvey Danger - Save It For Later CCR - Run Through The Jungle Art Brut - Bad Weekend Foreigner - Juke Box Hero
¶ posted by darkness at 10:13 AM
The Futureheads were completely acceptable
Zieg and I have been having a fierce battle over this band since their first record came out over a year ago. I never got into their record after a weak listening and lumped them up with the shit like Franz and Bloc Party and other excited rock bands with angles. Last night Zieg and Ellie convinced me to go see them, luring me with a free ticket. The show was good. I liked it. They are a band worthy of lauds. Don't know that I will ever buy one of their records, but if someone burned it for me - I would throw it on the ol' stereo, swil a beer and enjoy my spirit.
Particular highlights of the show involved: Decent Days & Nights, A to B, Stupid and Shallow, Meantime, (the cover of)Hounds Of Love, & Back To The Sea. Also we ran into T-bay and this is how the conversation went with him, "hey whats up - this is my girlfirend - we worked at Bonnaroo transporting talent. We drove....(list of bands)
Particular low lights of the show involved: Midway through the set an overwhelming smell of human shit was cast in my direction. It was terrible - I swear I thought the guy in front of me took a break in his pants. The weird thing is Zieg and Ellie behind me couldn't smell it until they switched places with me. So I guess whomever it was had the power to shit their pants and keep the odor in check, at least to a small diameter.
¶ posted by Zazz at 9:05 AM
Monday, June 26, 2006
Catch the Pearl and Ride the Dragon's Wings: This Bullshit Job Sucks Shit, Part MMMCMX!
I've been staring at my belly button the last two hours, so you might want to skip this one, folks. This isn't a parody or satire, this is simply me living down to every horrible, embarrassing stereotype of the "blogger". Please permit this one indulgence.
I've spent over half my life making myself miserable over the fact that I can never be as young as I once was. It started when I was thirteen. When I should have been growing into adulthood, starting to figure out what sort of person I wanted to be, discovering how to relate to the world around me, I instead shut myself up and bemoaned the fact that I wasn't still six years old. Nothing in the world was scarier than becoming a teenager, because I realized that once that started there was no end. The future was nothing but encroaching responsibility and the subsequent annihilation of all fun. By the time I was sixteen or seventeen I was enjoying myself enough to mostly forget about all this, and college was pretty much a straight-up return to childhood, so my fear and sadness disappeared for a few years. Lately it's been catching up with me again.
I read Persepolis last week. It's excellent. I almost started crying at the end, right there on the train, and not because of the horrors of war or the repression of the Islamic revolution, or anything like that. No, I almost cried because that cute little girl had to grow up. Which reminded me of the fact that I'm basically grown up, which made me all sad-faced and dejected. Serious geopolitical catastrophe effected me less than a kid going off to boarding school. It's not as odd as it sounds, as that moment is obviously the big emotional climax at the end of the book, but still, perspective forces us to realize the former is far more tragic than the latter. Yet those genuine tragedies don't resonate nearly as well, and I guess it's because I've never personally had to deal with anything remotely like that.
And then, just now, I was listening to Asia's brilliantly-worded "Heat of the Moment", a true classic of my generation's childhood. It's as perfect an encapsulation of personal failure and dissatisfaction as the Replacements' "Unsatisfied". The last line, before the chorus-to-fade-out, is "teenage ambitions you remember well". I was ambitious as a teenager. I still am, to a degree, but my laziness and lack of focus both overtook my ambition over a decade ago. I've always been kind of lazy, at least since the 7th or 8th grade. It was tactical laziness, though, and only impacted stuff I wasn't interested in. I did really well in the school subjects I liked, in part because both came easily to me, but also because I cared about them enough to do the necessary work. Science, math, any other subject? I didn't give a shit, and did just enough to get by. This carried over into my non-school life. Sometime in the 8th grade, while watching Get a Life and old Letterman reruns on A&E, I decided I wanted to be a television comedy writer. That was my teenage ambition, and I worked on that to the extent that I knew how. I got in the video productions class at high school, I wrote a few sketch-style shorts, I'd kill time with friends in various classes coming up with bad ideas that seemed funny at the time. It wasn't work, at all, but I was devoting some time, thought, and energy to it. Still, though, the laziness would creep in; I didn't really do much of anything in three-and-a-half years of video productions except for the two or three things I was genuinely interested in. I pursued that ambition, though, and eventually I went to college to study writing for film and television. I didn't want to write a play, or even a screenplay; I just wanted to write some comedy sketches, or maybe a sitcom script. My disinterest in other forms of writing brought forth my laziness, and so I basically tanked almost every assignment. I didn't get bad grades, I just wouldn't do the work until the last possible moment, and then not really put much thought or effort into it. It was math and science all over again, but this time it was completely inexcusable. After that one year I left, and I've partially regretted that ever since. My overall experiences at UGA were amazing enough to strongly dampen that regret, but occasionally it still pops up. And although I made a few stabs at that old ambition in Athens, and later in Atlanta, it's mostly been dormant for a decade now, obscured by other interests that never last long nor grasp me tightly enough to fully replace it. Fuckin' ASIA brought this all up in my head earlier today, but twice over. Not only did the lyrics make me think about my teenage goals, the memory of being a kid and hearing this song in my mom's old mini-van and seeing the video while my brothers watched Mtv brought up a small amount of the same sadness awakened last week by Persepolis. Nostalgia cripples me time and again.
¶ posted by darkness at 10:28 AM
"OFF DA DAYUM CHIZZAIN"
Hot 107.9 had their BIRTHDAY BASH 11 last week and we fuckin missed it. 6.5 hours long. Sold out at Phillips believe it or not. Crazy shit went down as well as an insane lineup that pretty much shows what a heavy hitter the station is in the hip hop community...
To list a few of the folks that played: T.I. & P$C, Young Joc, Snoop, Three 6 Mafia, Big Boi and the Purple Ribbon All Stars, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne & Bird Man, Chamillionaire, Rick Ross, Bubba Sparxx, Yola, Nelly, Too Short, Da Backwoodz, Andre 3000, David Banner, Young Dro, Pimp C, Goodie Mob,
Oh yeah and Jay-Z showed up to do "Go Crazy" with Jeezy then went on to play "Public Service Announcement".
I survived my first iPod death this weekend. It flatly refused to accept any Christopher Cross, and promptly crapped itself out. My fixin' skills don't apply to iPods (or, really, anything other than sandwiches, and even then only the crackers and Easy-Cheese kind), so yesterday we headed to the Apple store. I had to log in and wait an hour, but once they could see me they had me out in fifteen minutes. Dude just plugged it in to a laptop, saw it was fucked, and gave me a brand new one on the spot. Now I can listen to Arthur's theme all damned day, if I want. Thanks, Mr. Apple Store Genius, may your light shine for decades to come.
¶ posted by darkness at 7:52 AM
Friday, June 23, 2006
comics are better than money
I haven't gone by the store in weeks now, so no telling how much is there. Hopefully I won't have to cash in my 401(k).
FABLES: LEGENDS IN EXILE
SA and I had to take care of some business between Coke's wedding and reception. Between the returned and the freshly borrowed we both walked away with ten or so trade paperbacks. Within the new (to me) pile were the first three or four Fables trades. People have been recommending this to me for years now, starting with the middle-aged dude who owns the Fantasy Factory in Dalton. His opinion doesn't hold as much weight with me as Thorn's and SA's, though, so I had no interest until the latter two also hyped it up. Even then, I was leary, 'cuz I'd never heard of Bill Willingham, and outside of a few creators most Vertigo books really kinda suck. Vertigo has a rep among its detractors for producing arty pretentious bullshit, and outside of Morrison, Milligan, Matt Wagner's old Sandman Mystery Theater, Y the Last Man, and some Garth Ennis, this is mostly true, I think. Not that I've actually read much Vertigo these past 12 years, but none of the current line-up even remotely interests me, and had two close friends not recommended it, I never would've given Fables a chance.
I gotta say, though, Legends in Exile disappointed me. I'd been told not to expect much from the first trade, but even with lowered expectations I wasn't very impressed. Willingham's ideas are fine but his dialogue is lackluster. Nobody talks like a real person, which shouldn't be a problem, since they're, you know, fairy tale characters. Since the whole point is that these fictional people now reside in the "real" world, though, and since Willingham obviously tries to have them speak like contemporary real-life yahoos like you and me, the fact that everybody sounds as if they're in some bad movie-of-the-week thriller (but with curses 'cuz it's Vertigo) is kinda disconcerting. Everybody talks too much, and too much information is revealed through dialogue. It doesn't make sense for Bigby to explain the "general amnesty" to Bluebeard, or Jack or whoever, because everybody in the fable community should already know what that is. Willingham is trying to introduce these background ideas naturally and without interrupting the flow of the story, but within the reality of the book such explanatory dialogue should be unnecessary. Cole's speech at the Remembrance Day celebration is a good way to introduce all this to the reader in a straight-forward, common-sensical fashion. Instead he was only repeating what we already knew due to previous unnatural dialogue.
It's partially the awkward dialogue that makes the characters unlikable. I didn't get into any of them until about three-quarters of the way through the book, once you realize that Bigby isn't necessarily an idiot and/or awful detective. Until that Remembrance Day event not a single character is likable or interesting, includin the talking pig on a bender. It takes colossal mediocrity to make a talking pig on a bender boring. The central relationship is a rehash of Moonlighting or Cheers but without any of the humor and charisma of David Addison or Sam Malone. Things do perk up at that celebration. Pinnocho's complaint is the only truly funny moment of the book. Also Bigby starts to become an interesting, well-written character once we get to Remembrance Day. But for most of this first trade he's a dull, sour, incompetent bore. You have to wonder whose lack of imagination led to him looking like a stereotypical grizzled tv detective, the Wolf's, the wizard who worked up the glamour, or Willingham's.
In Legends in Exile Willingham lays out several interesting ideas that could form the foundation of a good comic. He squanders much of the potential, though, in the process producing a mediocre book. I still have hope for the series, and everybody seems to agree that it gets much better after these first five issues. I plan on starting the second trade today, so I suppose I'll see if that's true.
THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT
So every superlative you've ever heard about Eisner and the Spirit is pretty much true, it seems. The stories collected herein are short (they're all only seven pages), but contain as much depth and information as any random issue of THE NEW AVENGERS. Like the best of the Golden Age, THE SPIRIT can simultaneously be as gritty as anything made today and as goofy as prime Silver Age DC. Like a streamlined, minimalist Dick Tracy, THE SPIRIT is less about the titular hero and more about the thugs and criminals that he confronts; the Spirit is basically a cipher, appearing occasionally to throw a few punches but generally sticking to the background of the story. As great as the writing is, though, THE SPIRIT's main claim to fame is Eisner's exceptional artwork. Amazing design work abounds throughout these stories, and not just in the beautiful, ground-breaking splash pages. It's kind of shocking to look at Eisner's use of panels, shading, and perspective and realize that this was all done back in the '40's and early '50's. Some of these techniques seemed revolutionary to me when they'd pop up in DC's more out-there titles back in the early '90's, and yet they'd been around for half a century at that point. I won't read a poorly written comic just because it has great art, but even if the stories sucked I'd probably still really like THE SPIRIT. Yeah, there's a little bit of racism involved, but it doesn't detract from Eisner's technical brilliance. Anybody who likes comic books or strips should definitely take a look at this stuff.
ESSENTIAL THOR Vol. 1
And from complete brilliance to impenetrable schlock. Okay, it's not as bad as that, at least not eventually, but the first half of this book is almost unreadable. Between the bad art, the horrible stories, and the lack of any definied paramaters for Thor's powers, the first ten or so issues collected within are almost incomprehensible. It's truly early Marvel at it's worst. It gets a bit better once Stan Lee reclaims both scripting and plotting duties, and finally hits its stride shortly after Jack Kirby resumes the art chores. Kirby's return coincides with the debut of the "Tales of Asgard" back-up feature, which is a nifty little Classics Illustrated take on Norse mythology, but of course Marvelized down a bit. Shortly after that Jack takes over the art of the main story, and everything becomes consistently good. I don't know if this was Kirby's first foray into muscled space-dudes with big goofy helmets, but it definitely foreshadows his work on the Fourth World books and the Eternals. Despite the marked improvement, though, the series is still plagued by the presence of Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's lame alter-ego. And I mean both crippled and shitty when I say lame. I don't see why the damn Thunder God and Scion of Odin needs a stupid secret identity, and I especially don't understand why every single storyline and supervillain attack needs to somehow be based around Thor's forbidden love for Blake's nuse Jane Foster. I know Marvel's all about real-life heroes with real-life problems, but Jesus shit, Thor's a god-damn GOD, you can't get less real-life than that. Still, though, between Kirby's excellent art, Lee's awesomely over-the-top writing, and the great "Tales of Asgard" feature, the second-half of this book is almost great. I definitely recommend it to Kirby fans and anybody who digs Thor or early Marvel.
¶ posted by darkness at 9:57 AM
Thursday, June 22, 2006
2-1 loss puts us out of the cup. We need a legit striker and a new coach who doesn't hold back his players, stat. 1 point earned, 2 goals scored (one of which was an own goal scored by Italy). Even in the "Group Of DEATH" - Lame.
a tale of two weddings, and all the shit that happened in-between
We're back in Boston, although it still feels like Georgia. It was 94 yesterday, which is much worse in Boston than elsewhere, as the newest buildings up here were constructed in 1700, and thus lack central air conditioning. Air circulation in our building was initially controlled by a then-sophisticated system of cogs and gears powered, at the time, by the anguished writhings of tortured witches. Today we just use lots and lots of fans.
Georgia was splendid, if maybe too Georgian. Meaning that it was as hot and muggy as Surtur's jock strap, and that part of us is still stuck in traffic somewhere. It was less a vacation and more a trip back to 2002, when I was living with my folks and the wife was up in Dalton. Actually it was like we were on tour, but with only two stops, Marietta and Calhoun, with us going back and forth between the two almost every day. Throw in a quick detour to my folks' lake house in South Carolina (in order to do yardwork) and you have the least relaxing vacation since Ulysses took the boys for a sail.
But so, a quick rundown of the high points:
1. Cokey B was awesomely wedded, to the lovely Mrs. Cokey B. Most fun I've had at a wedding since my own. Probably more fun, since I was able to enjoy this one fully. Pretty much the ultimate high point, as I got to see a billion people I love and never ever see any more. Also I enjoy getting completely shit-faced for free. And I feel good in a tuxedo. When I was a kid and I'd dream about the future I was always wearing a tuxedo, so when I'm in a wedding I feel more than ever like I'm fully living in the future. The bartenders were pretty bad dudes; we all thought one was a male stripper / potential former American Gladiator, and the other was a 70-year-old Czech who mixed like 9 parts whiskey to 1 part coke. Good men all around. And the dj'ing skills of Dan and Amy have yet to atrophy. Hey DJ, how about renewing your vows next year, so's we can do it all again? Or maybe get this one annulled and re-up next season.
2. I lived my longest series of really long nights since that time I refused to sleep back in '99 or so. We were up 'til at least three am our first four nights back in town. The first night wasn't really fun, as the lateness was due to a delayed flight and our inability to find an open grocery store. Nights two through four, though, were entirely due to hanging out, a skill that we have allowed to rot up here in Boston. I guess we left Loco's relatively early that second night, at like 12:30, but we were still up for a couple hours after that. Hittin the Local after the rehearsal dinner was an excellent idea, and a fine flashback to the ER before it became amazingly shitty. After the wedding on Saturday a bunch of us headed straight to Roby's pool, where I sat around in my tux getting too drunk and talking to Chris Alender and Chris Thorn about high school shit and comic books. I think we left there around four, sat in a Krystal drive-thru for like twenty minutes, than dropped the Alenders off at their hotel. Anyway, unmatchable delights all around.
(aside: my iPod's shuffling like a godly genius right now. best mix ever.)
3. Families are beautiful things. I got to see all of mine, on both sides, multiple times. My eldest brother picked us up from the airport on Wednesday, and the next night we dined with he and his wife. That night I met my youngest nephew Wil for the first time. He has an impressive head. My parents were in Bermuda the first few days we were down, so I didn't catch sight of them until Sunday. But what a sight it was! No finer parents have ever existed, except perhaps for Mr. and Mrs. Moore, whose new house in Calhoun proffered both a refreshing pool, an adorable cat, and a handful of cold Bud Lights. They were in Myrtle Beach for part of the time, so other than lunch on the first Friday we didn't see them until the evening of the second Thursday. We still hung at their house for a bit. We sorta house and cat sat for them early in the week, making sure little Javy Lopez had access to the appropriate amounts of food and water. What a friendly beast. He even slept with us most nights! I had to yank four ticks off his neck, poor guy. We'd hang out with my family in Marietta during the day, then drive up to Calhoun and stay at the Moores at night. Tiring, but rewarding. Wednesday night both my brothers' families came over to my parents' for dinner, four married couples and three babies in all. Thursday the wife's parents and siblings returned from Myrtle Beach, and we were there in Calhoun to greet them. Friday was the second rehearsal dinner, for the wife's cousin's wedding, and there we saw everybody on her dad's side. We also met Larry the Cable Guy's Kentucky doppelganger, whose Dixie carhorn was very impressive. That wedding was the next day, Saturday the 17th, and afterward we drove back to Marietta to see my sister's family, who had driven in from Lexington, Kentucky. That's three more kids, for those keeping count. We spent the morning of Father's Day in Marietta, with everybody over, ten adults and six kids (the oldest one being six). Again, tiring, but rewarding. Later that afternoon we returned to Calhoun, for a second Father's Day lunch, this time featuring both the wife's immediate family and that of one of her aunts'. Good burgers, amazing brownies, more beer, and a still refreshing pool. The next morning we made the final leg of our journey, returning to Marietta, where we celebrated my mom's birthday with a fine feast of buffalo meat, courtesy of my favorite commencement speaker, Ted Turner. Families!
4. Before the yardwork at my parents' lake house, we took the pontoon boat out for a spin. It was pretty great. Daddy even let me steer some, although I had to sit in his lap the whole time.
5. We also got to take a special private tour of the 99X studios, and see first-hand and up-close how a major commercial radio station operates. It was fascinating. I especially loved all the Disturbed and Nickelback platinum records hanging on the walls. I got to spin the Wheel of Tickets, which was awesome. I didn't even think it existed, but it does! It's just like a Price is Right game, but with AFI and Panic! at the Disco tickets instead of canned goods and detergent. Elliott also played our requests, which surprised me, since they were both Ray Stevens tunes.
6. I hit every restaurant on my "must eat" list. More on this later!
And as counter-point, the lowest light:
1. Lunch at the Georgia Aquarium cost $31, for two turkey sandwiches that were basically Budig meat on Wonderbread, two bags of chips, two sodas, and a brownie of some sort. That's enough to turn me off fish zoos for good.
Laura's mom was probably in a killing mood, as this came a good 10 or so minutes after the premises were supposed to be thoroughly vacated.
¶ posted by darkness at 7:34 AM
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
nintendo dork squad
I blew my birthday money on a DS. As soon as I figure out how to set up our gosh-dang wireless doo-hickey, I'll be entirely up for trans-continental backside-thrashings. I'm no Mario Kart fan, but if anybody's got that Metroid Hunters game, let's do it.
¶ posted by darkness at 2:02 PM
We're eight episodes into the first season of Veronica Mars, and it's fairly good thus far. There's much to like about this show, but also much to dislike.
1. There are two-and-a-half genuinely intriguing mysteries. They've got us hooked, wanting to find out who killed Lilly Kane and what the deal is with Veronica's mom. We wind up watching another episode immediately after one ends. The identity of Veronica's rapist could have been equally interesting if they ever actually discussed it again after the pilot. The question of her patronage started off as a potentially good aside when it was being handled with at least a bit of subtlety; that awful scene in the prison ruined it, though.
2. The writing is relatively smart and funny. Not nearly up to Buffy / Gilmore levels, but good enough for the time being. Like those two shows, all the characters behave believably and realistically within their patently unrealistic world. That might not seem like a hard thing to do, but even great shows like Lost have problems maintaining consistency on this point.
1. The narration is overbearing. I can see it maybe being necessary at times, especially in the pilot, in order to quickly introduce all the various characters and plot strands in only one episode. It's insistent, though, and annoying, and often as vacuous and embarrassing as the narration on Desperate Housewives. Two times out of three the narration is entirely superfluous. It doesn't wreck the show, but it does lessen my enjoyment of it.
2. The most important actor isn't pulling her weight. Kristen Bell isn't awful, but she is the worst actor among the regulars. She's especially bad with the narration, but even her non-voice-over work is often weak. She's less bad than inconsistent. I think they're just asking her to do too much, as she's often in almost every scene of an episode. She also looks like she's about thirty when she has that long hair in the flashbacks.
3. There've been a couple of outright bad episodes. That's a quarter of what I've seen. And both came back to back, I believe, episodes 7 and 8. Not a good sign moving on from here. The "class war" aspect of the student body election episode made me wince, whereas the episode about her missing neighbor was as cliche-ridden and melodramatic as any random hour of As the World Turns.
Overall, I am liking Veronica Mars, and will finish up this first season. In fact I can't wait to get home and watch two or three more episodes. Still, at this point, a little more than a third of the way through season one, it hasn't proven itself to be a great show. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch it on a weekly basis, but would probably tune in if I watched the lead-in program. If we can get caught up on this past season of Gilmore Girls before the fall, then perhaps we'd wind up watching Veronica Mars each week. At least we would until Scrubs came back on the air. Still, I think it's very obviously inferior to many of the shows it's compared and contrasted to, including Gilmore, Buffy, Lost, etc.
¶ posted by darkness at 12:33 PM
Friday, June 02, 2006
MESMERIZATION ECLIPSE on the RDIO today from 3 to 5 pm, WZBBC 90.3 FM in the Boston area.
I'm gonna play a song from the new Comets on Fire record, as well as stuff by Splash Conception and the ghost of Genghis Khan.
¶ posted by darkness at 2:00 PM
I went to see X-Men 3 last night. Outside the theater there were a couple of dudes in suits asking people if they were interested in attending a free sneak preview of an upcoming film. I asked them what the movie was called, and all they would tell me is that it starred Kelly Preston; like probably 90% of the people they talk to I slowly backed away at that point and said no thanks. When I got home I checked IMDB to see what Kelly Preston movies were coming out this fall, and god damn if I don't regret my decision now. The only thing she's got listed over there is Broken Bridges, which was filmed in Georgia, and just so happens to be the major motion picture debut of Mr. Toby fuckin' Keith. But it ain't just that awesome (and angry) American that makes this film look unstoppable; also appearing are Willie Nelson and Burt Reynolds, the A-list celebrity I most closely associate with my father. I'm really pissed that I missed this sure-fire classic in order to see that sorta sucky X-Men sequel. Why the hell would the suits call it a Kelly Preston flick, anyway? She hasn't had a memorable role since her turn as the wife of a monstrous talking snow-man in Jack Frost. Calling Broken Bridges a Kelly Preston film would be like calling X-Men 3 a Vinnie Jones film, or saying ET is a movie about candy. All they had to say to get me in that theater was "Toby Keith", but instead they had to make shit hard on themselves, and deprive me of a doubtlessly magical cinematic experience.
¶ posted by darkness at 11:27 AM
The Lady Who Smoketh Meth On Memorial Day
Hey, its Memorial Day. So what better way to celebrate than to have a cookout at a pool with a bunch of crazy ass hillbilly meth heads? Jammin tight spirals at Bobby and Carly's pool, enjoying some jams (which this lady tried to take over), chompin some brats, sluggin some cool brews...shit was upper crust hammjamm. Well this group of necks were the only others at the pool that day and they were fun to be around, splashing, hootin & hollerin', talkin' racin'. Well as Icy B, Thorny, and I were discussing the finer things in life in the shallow end - Ice noticed they had all gravitated towards the hidden corner of the pool and were enjoying a laid back smoke break. Ice had to investigate. "Since when does weed smell like melting plastic?" Yo dogg, i dont know.
So they essentially smoked Meth in the corner of the pool for close to an hour and then the fun began. This lady was straight fucked. At one point YACHT ROCK 1 playlist had finished on the Ipod and I was going to put on YACHT ROCK 2 when she said... (at this point laying on some inflatable raft by herself head dangling to one side) "Honey, put our song on. Put on that music song. That song...gurrrrgggllee." Her friends who had retreated to what we thought was the METH DEN came back to get her to take her to what we imagined as a spaghetti dinner. She almost fell into the pool twice, hugged two of us and said she loved us so much, and then almost fell off a wall. This lady ruled.
Once gone, we did some further detective work and actually found the meth tube they were using which we tossed in the woods for the chipmunks to use. An hour passes and she returns (this picture) and is locked out of the pool area - WITH HER MOTORCYCLE HELMET ON! She was yelling gibberish with that damn helmet on and we couldnt hear a word she was saying but damn did it give us a chuckle. I let her in and she at that point wondered around talking to herself. Her husb-friend came after her saying she was looking for some "glasses" (which they did find) but we were just hoping they didnt see alvin, simon, and theodore getting high as the moon (skipping on the moon).
Today we unveil our new regular feature THE TRUTH ABOUT…, wherein we discuss some little known facts about your favorite public personages. Today we start with Roger Clemens, the legendary baseball pitcher who some people believe may be the greatest pitcher and asshole of all time. We hope you acknowledge our brilliance.
¶ posted by darkness at 7:00 AM