February 28, 2010

goodbye vancouver

Though I haven't written about the Olympics over the last two weeks, that doesn't mean I wasn't glued to every second. Every Cris Collinsworth emotional back story, every unlikely (and otherwise unimportant) rivalry, every victory and every devastating loss that I suddenly found myself caring about.

The Olympics are great. If for no other reason than to remind us of the ridiculous talent on this planet. So, here are a few closing thoughts on Vancouver 2010:

Vancouver 2010 was the year of pretty athletes. Between Vonn, Mancuso, Lysacek, Rochette, Virtue, Moir, Ohno, Miller, and just about every bobsled brakeman I could see, it was just a ridiculous pile of pretty.

There's a lot of Lycra involved in just about every winter Olympic sport. Hey, it keeps them warm.

I could do without Mary Carillo's "learn about Canada" segments. More Collinsworth.

He's absolutely amazing, but I'm worried Shawn White isn't as nice anymore.

What are the chances Apolo Ohno has Bob Costas' job in 2010? (first, lose the soul patch)

The US athletes were not only the most decorated, but the best dressed in the games. Although, I'm not sure if I approve of the faux-denim snow boarding pants.

Favorite NBC commentators: Scott Hamilton (figure skating), Dick Button (figure skating), Jonny Moseley (skiing), Ted Robinson and Andy Gabel (short track), Dan Jansen (speed skating). Obviously, I'm a fan of the former athletes.

Question: Are you supposed to put your hand over your heart during the US National Anthem? Or is that just the pledge of allegiance? Someone needs to make a ruling and share it with all future Olympic gold medalists.

Least favorite commentators: Sandra Bezic (figure skating) who's always bitchy, and whichever bobsled commentator kept using the phrase "cat fight" to describe a disagreement between a female German bobsled driver and her former brakeman.

Favorite couple: You gotta love the Olympic love stories. My favorite this year was the Chinese couple that took gold in pair skating - Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.

Best gold medal presentation: Ice dancing couple Virtue and Moir. They looked like they were having so much fun up there busting out "Oh Cananda"!

The closing ceremonies were such a hoot! I always think of them as so boring and somber. What a fun way to close it out by displaying all that is funny and talented about Canada. Gotta love any country that will make fun of itself on an international stage.

February 26, 2010

lost connections: the substitute and lighthouse

Work, travel, and an Olympics trance has left this blog shamefully neglected through the month of February. This is unacceptable, I know. But, I will make up for it in these last days of the month, I promise.

First, a BIG blog on Lost. The last two episodes - "The Substitute" and "Lighthouse" - have been all about revealing connections between the Lost cast of characters. All of this coming together to (hopefully) start bringing us some answers as the conclusion quickly approaches. I still haven't come to terms with that. Let's look at some of those connections...

Starting with connections we see in the "The Substitute":

In new LA, Locke comes home to his lovely Helen, who's planning their wedding! How amazing does Katey Segal look? Just when I thought Locke's new life looked quite nice, he's fired from his grim cubicle job. Back in new LA, Locke runs into Hugo, who coincidentally owns Locke's former company. Always lovable, Hurley offers him a job through the temp agency he also owns. And that brings us to Rose! She's running the temp agency, and she's just as awesome off island. The interaction among all three of them is all about what the island took away from them - Locke's situation due to his disability, Hurley's fortune due to his luck, and Rose's outlook on life due to her cancer.

Most importantly, Locke has another connection in new LA. In his a new job as a substitute health teacher he meets NONE OTHER THAN WHINY, NERDY BEN LINUS, EUROPEAN HISTORY. How perfect is the character of new LA Ben Linus? It's exactly what I would imagine non-island Ben to be doing when he grew up.

We learn about the connection among "the candidates" as described by Smoke Monster Locke. After he recruits Sawyer for his mission to the cave, we discover the names of the candidates written all over the wall. We are to believe that the uncrossed names are the remaining candidates: Shephard, Reyes, Jarrah, Kwon, Locke, Ford. What about Kate?

Of course, this is all linked to the connection between Jacob and the man in black (now Smoke Monster Locke). In the cave, they find a balance - made equal by one black rock and one white rock. I think the symbolism is fairly obvious. Jacob and the man in black (now Smoke Monster Locke) where maintaining some sort of equilibrium on the island. By killing Jacob (and throwing the white rock into the ocean), the man in black has tipped the scale in his favor.

On the beach, a new pack has emerged: Ben, Frank, Sun, and Ilana. I imagine we'll start to see more about the significance of their connection. They bury Locke's body and head to the temple where Ilana promises Sun she will find Jin if he's alive. Ben's eulogy for Locke was very touching. Sorry I murdered him. Beautiful words

And now the connections in this week's "Lighthouse":

This time, we see Jack's life in new LA, and this story mostly revolves around the connection with his surprise son David. Throughout our time with Jack, we've seen the theme of paternity. A constant struggle with his feelings of responsibility over the fellow survivors. Most obviously, his reason for being on Oceanic in the first place - bringing his father's body home. These feelings are what eventually bring him back to the island. The connection between Jack and his young son is obviously strained until Jack is able to convince him that he could never fail in his eyes, and he just wanted to be part of his life - words he never heard from his own father. But what if Christian's treatment of Jack was preparing him for the island all along? When we will know the true history behind Christian's connection to that island?

David brings us to perhaps the most surprising connection of the episode - Jack running into Togan at the piano concert. A fellow father with similar worries for his young son - both men are leaders on the island with the well-being of their followers resting on their soldiers. There is definitely a kinship between the two men - now we see this on and off the island.

We also have a brief connection to Claire when she is mentioned in Christian's will. I expect we'll see more of Jack getting to the bottom of this mystery in new LA.

The first connection we see on the island this week is the psychic one between Hurley and the seemingly dead Jacob, who needs Hurley to help "someone find this island". We later learn this was all about helping Jack better understand his place on the island. As a way of convincing Jack to join this journey, Jacob instructs Hurley to tell him: You have what it takes. Something Jack never heard from his father. During their way, Jacks says: "I came back here because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think that this place could fix me." What if it's his job to fix the island?

During Jack and Hurley's journey, we have small connections to the other survivors coming across Shannon's abandoned inhaler and Kate herself. The obvious rift between Jack and Kate at this point is tough to watch - it's obvious Kate agreeing to follow Jack's plan to detonate the bomb was her last time following him (at least for now). She has her own mission now - to connect with Claire.

When Jack and Hurley arrive at their destination - a never-before-seen lighthouse, we see the connection between the candidates presented in a different way - as degrees on a compass. It seems Jacob used this as some sort of tool for find and tracking the candidates.

Back in the jungle, Claire has been scrapping around surviving for the past three years. Looking very Rousseau-like indeed. She has been disconnected from the rest of the survivors all these years - namely Aaron - until she finds Jin. She helps free him from an animal trap. But apparently, she's built up quite the reputation among the temple people. And she claims that Christian (her father) and her "friend" told her that the temple people have her baby. Jin tries telling Claire the truth about Aaron - that Kate was caring for him for the past three years - but after she kills another one of the temple people, he decides it's best to lie for now and try to get them back to the temple.

  • What's the ultimate purpose of the candidates? Are they supposed to keep going until only one is left? Is the last one Jacob's successor?
  • Did Smoke Monster Locke choose Sawyer or was coming upon him in Dharmaville a coincidence?
  • Who was the young boy that Smoke Monster Locke chased into the jungle? Was he one of the kids at the temple? We know Richard couldn't see him, but Sawyer could. He has blood on his hands, but we assume it isn't his.
  • Will Ilana collecting some of Jacob's ashes have any significance?
  • By leaving the island, is Smoke Monster Locke trying to use Sawyer as some kind of vessel to return to the real world? What will they find when they get there?
  • Which Kwon is a candidate? Should we assume Jin since Sun didn't time travel with the others? But Kate did, why isn't Kate a candidate? Or Rose or Bernard?
  • What about Jack discovering a scar that he doesn't seem to remember having? Will we start seeing more clues of island life among those in new LA?

February 9, 2010

lost: what kate does

After only just recovering from last week, we have another episode of Lost to grapple with...

The Island
  • Sayid came back to life only to be electrocuted by the scary Asian man (who I think we learn is named Togan?). Sayid doesn't understand why he's being tortured when he doesn't have any secrets. Well Sayid, not all torture is about secrets. And apparently, he failed the test.
  • Grieving Sawyer left the temple people and his friends. Why did the temple hippie call him "Ford"? How does he know his real last name?
  • We're obviously seeing parallels in Kate's story - she's escaping and running in both "universes."
  • I'm glad Togan got Jack to admit that people were injured and killed helping him - although it's clear her lives with that burden every day. Maybe now he will show some grief over Juliet's death. I thought it was very strange that we didn't see that from his last week, given how close they were before he left the island.
  • At the same time, Sayid's unwavering trust in Jack is pretty incredible considering it's Sayid.
  • Jin challenges Kate "Once you catch up with Sawyer, then what?" and Kate responds "I guess we'll figure that out together." From the beginning, this has been Kate's struggle, stay and work out the situation with Jack or run and be free to handle things on her own with Sawyer.
  • Kate going back to Dharmaville gives us a little insight into the time period. Looks like they definitely are back to present day. Seeing Sawyer in that moment of grief was definitely a wake up call - this is not the same guy who jumped off the helicopter for her.
  • Pretty heartbreaking to watch Sawyer's grief and regret for asking Juliet to stay on the island, so he wasn't alone. He's never thought he deserved to be happy. Did we know he was planning to propose?
  • Togan turns out to be a real sweetheart. After a semi-friendly conversation with Jack, he knees him in the balls and tell him Sayid's pill is poison. Did I miss when Jack swallowed it?
  • We learn that Sayid's body has been "claimed" meaning he will soon be overtaken. How do they know? Because it happened to Jack's sister! Claire!
  • Meanwhile, poor Jin got beat up when trying to make it back to the temple like a good boy. And who saves him? Claire! But we don't yet know who "claimed" her. She definitely has a Rousseau looks about her, but that's unlikely. Christian? That would be messed up. Eloise Hawking?
Los Angeles Re-do
  • Kate being so mean to Claire was hard to watch after everything they did for each other on the island, but Kate made up for it. Interesting that she's looking for Claire in new Los Angeles, just like she's trying to do on the island.
  • Should I recognize the house where the almost-adoptive mother lives? I feel like I should.
  • Pretty amazing that Kate ends up helping Claire have her baby, just as she did on the island. It will be interesting to see if they keep going with these parallels during major moments in their lives.
  • Ethan! Notice they call him Dr. Goodspeed? Does that mean Horace was he daddy in the off-island world as well? I guess we don't really know how/if the Dharma Initiative took place in the new reality.
  • Looks like that may be it for Kate and Claire's relationship in new Los Angeles, but I think Kate accomplished her goal - she made sure Aaron is with his mother.
Memorable quotes:

Kate: Let me go, I will bring him back. And I can make him stay.
Translation: Sawyer loves freckles.
Jack: Kate, you sure you want to go out there alone with this people?
Translation: Don't let Sawyer touch those freckles.

Hurley: You're not a zombie, right?
Sayid: No, I'm not a zombie.

Hurley: Yea, see private talks kinda freak me out because they usually lead to me having to do something I don't understand.
Miles: We'll be in the food court if you need us.

Kate: I'm sorry, I never should have followed you.
Sawyer: Which time?

I think Kate played Jack, right? She made it seem like she was going to "take care" of Sawyer and bring him back to the group, while Jack should stay and take care of Sayid. They had a little moment, but she was really going to escape to go find Claire. She totally played him.

February 8, 2010

some fun casting news

A few fun casting announcements that I've noticed recently...

Ausiello Files is reporting that Sheryl Crow will join the cast of Cougar Town in a major recurring role playing Grayson's new girlfriend. I've never seen Sheryl act, but I sort of love this. Hoping she has some chops. Grayson's character is becoming one of my favorites on this surprisingly fun and entertaining show.

Ausiello also spilled the news that Henry Winkler has been cast as Hank and Evan's estranged dad on Royal Pains, set to return this summer. This was a fun little show for me last summer, and I'm glad it's coming back. Also glad they cast someone with comedy skills because the humor between Hank and Evan's characters is what keeps this show from becoming too hero-sweet. Winkler is signed on for a recurring role, but not sure how many episodes. Ready for summer yet?

One more from Ausiello, who seems to be my Scoop Master today, Christopher Lloyd has been cast in a guest spot on Chuck. I can absolutely see him fitting in with this quirky cast. Lloyd will play Chuck's therapist in the 16th episode. I love it already. Anyone see last night's episode?? Steamy! The fans seem to be up-in-arms about Chuck and Sarah finding new crushes, but I don't mind. Gotta mix things up a little.

Last, but certainly not least...this one's been out for a while. West Wing darling Allison Janey has been cast in Matthew Perry's new comedy pilot Mr. Sunshine. Perry plays the manager of an aging San Diego stadium facing a mid-life crisis, and Janney will play his boss, who runs the stadium. I love the idea of these two in a comedy together. Mr. Sunshine is based on an idea by Perry, who wrote the script with Alex Barnow and Marc Firek. Let's hope we don't lose this one to the pilot graveyard in the sky.

February 6, 2010

new to me: supernatural

Lately, I've been really into discovering older shows that are new to me. On my schedule recently has been the cult-classic Firefly and Gossip Girl, which (gasp) I had never seen before, via Netflix. I'll write about them soon. Thanks to syndication on TNT, a little show called Supernatural just came into my life as well. At the beginning of January, TNT started airing Supernatural weekdays at 10:00am ET from the beginning. I've been DVRing and catching up when I have time. I just finished season one. I'm in love.

Supernatural is one of those shows that I always knew I should be watching. I like the actors from their previous projects, great endorsements from my favorite bloggers and writers, a CW show with science-fiction/mythical tendencies. They basically had me at hello. But it took me a while to get on the train because I always wanted to start from the beginning, but never seemed to get it to the top of the Netflix queue. So, thanks TNT for airing the repeats in order.

Right now, the show is in its fifth season on CW, and going strong from what I hear. Although I did read a rumor that Eric Kripke (show runner) intended for the show to run for five seasons. Not sure where that stands.

After the first season, I'm hooked. For those who haven't seen it, the basic premise is two brothers who hunt supernatural bad guys. As young boys, they lost their mother to a nasty demon and spent the rest of their childhood following their dad's quest to hunt and kill all demons, vampires, evil spirits, reapers, and the like. At first, I was afraid hunting supernatural monsters wouldn't be my cup of tea. I suffer from a combination of the inability to suspend my disbelief for television and complete 'fraidy cat syndrome.

But I got over that pretty quickly thanks to the great writing. Their ability to bring humor to each weekly hunt while also drawing in mythical stories and legends from various cultures throughout history, almost has me believing.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

Sam Winchester. The younger brother played by Jared Padalecki, who the enlightened among you will recognize as Dean from Gilmore Girls. I was worried that I would have a hard time seeing Jared in a different role, but this is exactly what he needed as an actor. He's been able to do brilliant things with this role that we never got to see on GG. Sam is considered the "rebellious" child, abandoning the life of hunting in favor of going to college and living a normal life. But after the mysterious death of his girlfriend at the hands of a demon and disappearance of his father, Sam is convinced by his brother to rejoin the hunt. Often, he acts more from a place of personal revenge, then fighting evil, which has him butting heads with his brother and father.

Dean Winchester.
It's official, I have a new television crush, and his name is Dean Winchester. Jensen Ackles' brooding good looks could have lead this character into melodramatic cheese territory, but instead, he's pretty hilarious and fun to watch. As the older brother, Dean is loyal to his father and protective of his brother - sometimes to a fault. Although he's older, Dean is definitely the more vulnerable of the two brothers - hidden behind a tough persona and what often seems like a stronger instinct for hunting (Sam relies more on books and evidence). He is motivated by the mission to destroy evil - programmed into him by his dad.

Dad Winchester. Having only seen the first season, which has an unfortunate ending for John Winchester, I'm not sure how big of a role the boys' dad plays in the rest of the series. As usual, Jeffrey Dean Morgan was a great cast for this role. Dad Winchester provides the inspiration and direction for most the Winchester hunts, as the boys carry on their father's tradition. Episodes with all three of them are great examples of how well-written the men are in this show. The father-son moments are realistic (to the extent you can say that when the characters are chasing demons) without going over-the-top. His clashes with Sam are some of the best scenes in season one.

Music. It's obvious Erik Kripke puts a lot of thought into the soundtrack of this show and possibly projects his love of good rock onto Dean? And the Impala doesn't hurt.

A few things that bug me... the weekly damsel in distress. Whether she's the victim, the victim's sister, or just a townie, there is almost without fail a hottie involved with each case for Dean and/or Sam to charm. If not for the funny writing, this would get old quickly. Also, where is their luggage? They always seem to have different clothes, but the trunk if full of monster weapons and nothing appears to be in the back seat. Also, so many significant facial lacerations and no scars? Haha...these are all silly things, but they plague me.

Bottom line: glad I finally got around to watching this show and looking forward to catching up. Any closet Supernatural fans reading the blog? If so, post your thoughts in comments. I'm sure I haven't done the show much justice having only watched the first season.

February 2, 2010

LOST is back

I'm only nine minutes in, and I've already said "what the f*uck?" about seven times. WHAT IS THE FOOT DOING UNDER THE WATER?

I don't know if it was unflattering light, but Jack looked about 20 years older in that plane bathroom.

Kate is deaf in a tree.

Kate saw Sawyer and Jack lying on the ground, and she went to Jack first. Anyone else catch that?

Back on the plane, Hurley believes he's the luckiest guy alive. Bizarro world?

Back on post-bomb island, Sayid really made out worst in this situation. You get shot hoping a bomb will save you, and the bomb doesn't even do you the favor of a quick death?


Jacob? Oh right, Hurley sees dead people.

I forgot that pre-island Jin was an asshat.

Boone, Frogurt, Locke. Who wouldn't want to sit in that row?

Back on the beach, Sun is still stuck with those yahoos. Why doesn't she ever get to jump around through time?

And Ben trips over dead Locke. Poor Ben. Jokes on you again.

If they don't get Baby Juliet out of that well, I may shut off this television.

Lovely to have you back, Charlie. Even if your lips are blue.

Sawyer nickname #1: Flight Attendant called Earhart

The yahoos try their darndest to shoot New Locke. Guess what they get instead? SMOKE MONSTER!!!...and his name is NEW LOCKE.

Okay, killing Juliet like that was NOT COOL. Why didn't they just leave her in the hole? We said our goodbyes last season. That was just mean. And what the heck did she have to tell James?

They got Greg Grunberg to voice Caption Norris! Nice touch.

And they all get off the plane in LA. First hour down. Breathe.

Finally, all the post-bomb islanders wash the blood off their faces. As always. Kate's hair looks fabulous.

Trying to figure out how I would react if the airline lost the body of one of my family members. I'm a pretty patient traveler, but that crosses a line.

Everyone seems to be buying Hurley's belief in Jacob's instructions for saving Sayid. Doesn't seem the best idea when they are captured by yet another armed island group. This crew seems to have ties to the temple.

Is it bad that seeing Juliet in the promo for V makes me angry?

Good to see that Kate can hold her own off island. That cop went down like a piles of bricks...in the ladies bathroom no less.

And of course she gets a little help from pre-heartbreak, charming Sawyer. I miss him.

Imagine if they went through all of that only to have the temple people shoot them? Luckily, Hurley thought quickly and presented the elusive guitar case, which contains a message hidden in a wooden cross that appears to list their names and instructions to save Sayid. Or else.

Sun chooses not to help Jin get out of a sticky, shady situation at the airport and pretend she doesn't speak English. This is putting a damper on my anticipation of their reunion.

Sayid gets a temple baptism, but it doesn't save him. We say goodbye to another of the original Oceanic survivors. Sort of.

Kate really should have drop-kicked Frogurt for that cab.

With the news of Jacob's demise, the temple people are freaking out to protect themselves from New Locke/Smoke Monster. (P.S. How psyched is Terry O'Quinn that he's now playing the Smoke Monster instead of boring Locke?)

Of all the second-time-around fliers, the only two who made a real connection were Jack and Locke. Interesting.

New Locke beats up Richard and carries him off into the sunset. What will happen to him?

And Sayid is alive! Quick someone dunk Juliet in that temple pool!


  • If Juliet was right that "it worked" then does that mean there's currently two of all the Oceanic folks?
  • Did plane Jack notice something wasn't right? What about that blood on his collar? Is this something I'm not remembering from the first time?
  • Pretty sure that Rose is wearing a different color shirt on the new flight. What does this mean?
  • Who was the woman with the temple people who claimed to be on the "first flight" with them?
  • What year are they in?
  • Is Juliet really dead?
  • Why are the temple people dressed like hippies at King Richard's fair?
LOST is back!