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February 28, 2011

Web Series Trailer: Dragon Age: Redemption

I've never played the game on which this is based, and I always tend to forget to watch web series, but, hey, Felicia Day and dragons!

Posted by Kat at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

Castle Recap: "Setup" (at TheTelevixen)

Ready for the conclusion to last week's dramatic Castle tonight? Refresh your memory with my recap at TheTelevixen.

Beckett continues: "I just wish that I had someone who would be there for me and I could be there for him, and we could just dive into it together," and I start yelling at my TV: "OH MY GOD, Beckett, do you not see the incredible man sitting right there adoring you?" Castle, however, only gets out the word "I" before he's interrupted by the Hazmat specialist who's there to tell them that they can leave. (I think it was the word "I." Is that what you guys heard? What do you think he was going to say?)

Posted by Kat at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/28/11)

Ah, Monday, grumble grumble. I let myself sleep in a little because I was up late watching the Oscars, and then I had to shovel out my car before doing anything else, so you're getting the quick and dirty here.

The Oscar show was thoroughly weird, and I'm sure you'll be reading about that everywhere today. If I find any particularly good/interesting takes, I'll post them tomorrow. In the mean time, here are the winners.

Tonight's TV picks: The second part of that two-parter of Castle! Also: Chicago Code, Gossip Girl, HIMYM, Being Human, Pretty Little Liars, Mad Love.

The other big news last night: Andrew Sullivan and his team have left The Atlantic and are headed for the Daily Beast. Huh.

How The Social Network Saved Mark Zuckerberg

Your James Franco project of the day

Vampire Sound of Music? Must we?

Posted by Kat at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2011

Bradley Whitford Rallies Workers in WI

God, I love this man.

Posted by Kat at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

Sunday TV News!

In lieu of Morning Coffee today, please head over to TheTelevixen for my roundup of all the TV news of the week. And sheesh, there's a lot of it.

Posted by Kat at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2011

Unicorns! Rainbow laser beams! JAMES VAN DER BEEK!

Ke$ha's new video is really freaking epic:

Posted by Kat at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/26/11)

I don't have much for you today, because I'm still not feeling well and have been mostly sleeping and reading. And now I'm peering out at the snow that fell yesterday, thinking about how I have to shovel it within the next hour if I'm going to make it to the post office and library by noon. Don't wanna.

Also, Twitter is down and so I am completely disoriented. Hah.

This is also disorienting, but in a good way: 5 seconds of every number one hit. I listened to the whole thing and it's pretty amazing, and gave me a list of a LOT of songs I've been meaning to buy.

The Turing papers will stay in the UK after all.

If you'd like to listen to Glee's original songs, here they are. They're, um . . . I don't even know anymore.

Posted by Kat at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2011

Trailer: The Lincoln Lawyer

This mainly reminds me that I've been meaning to read more Michael Connelly.

Posted by Kat at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

It is something of a subgenre.

Posted by Kat at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/25/11)

Good morning. Sorry so late - I'm home sick and just managed to get up. But yay, Friday? Also, it's snowing again. Blah blah blah fishcakes.

Tonight's TV Picks: Uh, Blue Bloods? Yeah. And things I wish I weren't seasons behind on: Supernatural, Fringer, Spartacus.

More on Wisconsin: Why everyone cares about the Kochs and what the prank call proves.

Also: a look at life on the run for Democrats. Hee.

The leaked Palin emails are . . . something.

Confessions of Ted Kennedy's dog's ghostwriter.

How humanity survived for 8000 years on the most extreme islands on earth

Why is dystopian fiction so popular for teens but not adults?

Rafael Yglesias on Cliches for Aspiring Writers

Why isn't cricket popular in America?

Find your YA signature cocktail.

Posted by Kat at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2011

Trailer: Circo

I'm not a big circus fan or anything, but this documentary looks fascinating:

Posted by Kat at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/24/11)

And now it's . . . Thursday, I think? Yes. Okay, I just want to say that there are about five million big huge things going on in the world right now, and I know I'm not even mentioning most of them, and I promise, I'm aware. I just mostly tend to talk about things that I know something about or have a particularly interesting link for, and Libya, for example, is not something I know anything about. So. It's not like any of you are depending on me for real news, anyway. I just worry you'll think I'm oblivious to everything other than pretty boys on TV and the occasional Dave Weigel piece.

Speaking of! More Weigel on Wisconsin - this time, how the state Assembly fits in.

IMPORTANT: YA author Maureen Johnson is raising money for Shelterbox, because of all those aforementioned crazy things going on in the world right now. Donate! Win books! Read about her Last Little Shelter Box campaign here. I've been helping her tally up the donations, so I can confirm that in addition to the $6000 raised by 8 p.m. yesterday (enough for SIX shelters), we already have enough for a SEVENTH shelter as of this morning.

Tonight's TV picks: Vampire Diaries! Season finale (already?) of Royal Pains! Also, Community, Fairly Legal, Parks and Rec, The Mentalist. Yes, Bones is off this week.

This is huge: President Obama told the DOJ to stop defending DOMA in court.

A Battlestar Galactica roller coaster. One assumes it crashes and burns at the end of the ride.

7 Firefly Nods in Castle

Reagan endorses Barbour. 2012 is going to be SO MUCH FUN, you guys.

A new site you should be following: Lady Journos!

SyFy has a cooking show? I'm just . . . I don't even know.

Cornish pasty wins protected status from European commission. OH THANK GOODNESS.

Little Italy: much less Italian.

Lost Thomas Jefferson books found!

Posted by Kat at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2011

Morning Coffee (2/23/11)

Good morning! I'm working from home this morning while I wait for FedEx to bring my new BlackBerry. It's fuchsia. I'm leaning toward naming it Fiona. I think.

Tonight's TV picks: Mr. Sunshine and Justified! I may give Suspect Behavior one more try as well before I write my review.

I still don't entirely believe that this is real, but Matt Yglesias gives us the greatest memo of all time.

Another must-read from Dave Weigel on Wisconsin: The Cheddar Revolution. Related: Indiana Democrats are fleeing the state now too, and Mitch Daniels isn't sending the police after them. There are union-related protests in Ohio now, too.

Finally, the voice of reason: Nathan Fillion isn't going to bring back Firefly, so just stop people.

4 Things Aaron Sorkin Puts in Every Show Um, only four? I could probably think of ten more. Perhaps I'll make a post out of that.

I really wanted this story to be about mohair allergies or something, not subsidies. Oh well.

Castle fans: This is a really good article about the show, and what Marlowe says in the last paragraph entirely confirms my overarching theory, so I feel so vindicated.

Glee is doing original songs. Prepare as you see fit.

Vulture's always-amazing Gossip Girl recap

CBS and Netflix have signed an agreement that means more streaming shows for us! Amazon Prime members now get free streaming video too. Wheee.

Posted by Kat at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2011

Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "The Dinner Party"

This episode had THE MOST APPROPRIATE song ever, but we'll get to that at the end . . .

Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
While it's playing . . . Jeremy and Bonnie talk in the Grill, and Luka comes in.
What it says . . .

I've waited for a long time.
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger,
I reason with my cigarette,
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah.

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

How it fits . . . This one is less directly related than a lot of the songs are, but Jeremy is waiting for Bonnie to make up her mind about their relationship, and the bit about fire of course sounds like a Bonnie reference. And Luka, of course, had better run, far away from Bonnie and her powers, if not bullets.

Pet Lions - "When I Grow Old"
While it's playing . . . Alaric, Damon, and Andie talk at the Grill.
What it says . . .

When I grow old I'll still belong
I'll still belong here
When I grow old I'll still belong
I'll be waiting for you here
Drank all night with a stranger
But I found all you left me back home
How it fits . . . Sure, there's lots of other stuff going on, but right now, Damon is hanging out at the local bar with his girlfriend and his best friend, and for Damon, that's saying a lot. He never really planned to make a life in Mystic Falls again, but it happens, and he has acknowledged that he belongs whether he likes it or not. And it's easy to overlook the fact that Alaric, too, never planned to make a life there, but they've both put down roots and it's their home now. They started out as two strangers at a bar, but they've gotten to the point at which Alaric can openly criticize Damon's treatment of Andie, and a) not end up dead as well as b) manage to stay friends. Ah, personal growth.

The xx - "Islands"
While it's playing . . . The dinner party itself happens! And Elijah, of course, talks about witches.
What it says . . .

I don't have to leave anymore
What I have is right here
Spend my nights and days before
Searching the world for what's right here

I am yours now
So now I don't ever have to leave

How it fits . . . Several ways! The "searching" theme of the song goes along with Elijah's quest (and Damon and Alaric's attempts to stop him, and John's . . . whatever John's doing), and the relationship stuff in the song could connect to Alaric and Jenna's issues as well. But we're basically back to Damon: both his feelings for Elena and the fact that he has a home again. As we saw this episode, last time, he was driven away by Katherine's actions and Stefan's behavior; now he has the chance to stay because he's found Elena, and Stefan is more or less back on his side. And again, like at the Grill, regardless of all the undercurrents and hidden agendas, Damon's doing something normal: The eldest Salvatore brother is hosting a dinner party for his friends at his mansion. Sniff. If he doesn't watch out, he's going to become a real boy.

The National - "Lemonworld"
While it's playing . . . The dinner party reaches its dessert course, and Andie starts asking Elijah questions.
What it says . . .

I gave my heart to the Army
The only sentimental thing I could think of
With cousins and colors and somewhere overseas
But it'll take a better war to kill a college man like me

You and your sister live in a Lemonworld
I want to sit in and die

How it fits . . . Er, I'll admit that this one has me slightly stumped. The army and war talk ties in to the flashback we saw with Stefan, and serves as a reminder that while Stefan saw the Civil War as a buffet, Damon actually fought in it, and became a conscientious objector. (Or just a deserter? Was that ever clarified?) And the talk of sisters with Jenna in the scene brings to mind Elena's mother Miranda - they're the only sisters we've heard of, right? It made me wonder how poor Jenna's doing, emotionally, with her sister's death. She seemed to enjoy some girl time with Andie at the party, at least.

Airborne Toxic Event - "Happiness Is Overrated"
While it's playing . . . Damon finds Katherine in his shower.
What it says . . .

And speaking of
Little Miss Catherine
I feel swell, oh well
Because losing you
Was something I always did so well

I guess I just can't tell anymore
And the feeling I get when I see your clothes
Spread out on my floor
Oh, I'm such a bore, I'm such a bore
I don't do anything anymore
I just count these ceiling tiles falling through my floor

Sorry, I really lost my head
I'm sorry, I really lost my head
But you know those words that you said
They get stuck here in my head
And this feeling I dread, it makes me wish I was dead
Or just alone instead, I'll be alone instead
I don't need anyone in my bed

How it fits . . . Is this not the most perfect song for a scene EVER? I'm actually wondering how long they kept it in reserve, waiting for the perfect Katherine scene; two other songs from this album were used in season one, so they certainly knew of it. The "And speaking of Little Miss Catherine" line plays as Katherine turns around, which makes for an amazing moment. The rest of the song describes Damon's conflicted feelings to a T, and anticipate an interesting dynamic to come now that Katherine is free and, presumably, around all the time. And really, losing Katherine and losing his head are two of Damon's talents.

Posted by Kat at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

New Falling Skies Trailer! With Steven Weber!

Look! Look! New Falling Skies trailer!

I want to say "No one told me Steven Weber was going to be in this!!!" but I suppose it's possible that I knew and forgot. But no, IMDb doesn't seem to know about it, so I probably didn't. It's also unclear whether he's in more than just the pilot. But! Still! This is looking . . . well, very War of the Worlds, I guess, but also worth a try. Other main discovery from this new promo: Noah Wyle's name has more syllables than I thought it did.

Posted by Kat at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/22/11)

Welcome to Tuesday. I'm tired. I know, you're shocked.

Tonight's TV Picks: White Collar, The Good Wife, and Lights Out are my top choices. Also: No Ordinary Family, Glee, Hellcats, Traffic Light, Parenthood.

Gossip Girl fans: don't miss Tierney's recap. Now I really need to watch The Philadelphia Story again.

President Obama moonlights as basketball coach. Awww.

Why We're Paying More for Coffee

Oooh! The Royal Wedding invitation!

The science behind ice cream headaches.

Did This American Life find the recipe for Coke?

Tim Gunn's new book actually sounds really interesting.

Are Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger wearing wedding rings? Even though she kind of once said she didn't want to get married again? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

They found lost Daphne Du Maurier stories!

An investigation of the LCD Soundsystem ticket conspiracy, or not.

Posted by Kat at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2011

Book 5: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young adult
Pages: 372
Grade: 94

When Anna's father sends her to boarding school in Paris, she's pretty unhappy - she has friends, and a job, and a boy she just started kissing, and she doesn't speak French. But then she starts making friends, including Etienne, who becomes her best friend and is basically perfect - except that he has a girlfriend. And Anna has that boy at home. Or does she? And what pain is Etienne hiding? And will Anna, a budding film critic, ever get confident enough to go to the movies in Paris alone?

This charming debut teen romance was a little slow to get going, but then I ended up staying up until 2 a.m. to finish it, so it's safe to say that I was thoroughly in its thrall by the end. One of my favorite things about it was that Anna had a big passion other than the romantic lead: she's obsessed with film and has a review site. So often, it seems YA heroines are either completely boy-crazy, or more or less blank slates so that readers can easily insert themselves in the story. In both cases, it makes the characters less interesting and doesn't exactly encourage girls to pursue things that are meaningful to them, so I was completely thrilled that Anna had her own Thing she kept pursuing through the ups and downs of the romance.

And the romance - wow. Etienne is definitely swoonworthy, but he's not perfect, which makes him a really good character. And the twists and turns were heightened for dramatic purposes, of course, but also realistic enough that I kept mentally yelling at Anna, "Don't do that! I've done that! It doesn't work! Bad idea!" Like romances, this one had a Big Misunderstanding that lead to many of the obstacles between the main couple, but the Big Misunderstanding was more believable than such plot devices usually are, so I was okay with it. If you're in the mood for a satisfying romance with a fun setting, give this one a try.

Posted by Kat at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

Pilot Review: Mad Love

During the first few minutes of Mad Love, I honestly started wondering whether it had started as a How I Met Your Mother spoof that someone had managed to get on the air. It has the "I'm going to tell you a story" voiceover, the New York setting, the same age and demographic . . . and the main character, Ben Parr, looks kind of like Ted Mosby and sounds exactly like him. Oh, yeah, and Sarah Chalke was actually on HIMYM. So . . . yes, this is totally derivative. And yet! And yet. By the end of the episode, I wanted to see more. I mean, it's not gripping or genre-bending or anything, and I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about it or talking about it when I'm not actually watching it, and . . . well, the fact that I couldn't remember any of the characters' names when I started writing this should tell you something, especially since one of them has my name. But the cast is likeable (I have a soft spot for Sarah Chalke), it's funny enough, and I really want to see how they're going to deal with the chemistry between the main characters' best friends, who supposedly hate each other. And you know what? After six seasons of waiting to see how Ted met the freaking mother, watching a show where the couple gets together in the first episode is pretty refreshing. You can watch the pilot of Mad Love for free on CBS.com, and the second episode tonight on CBS at 8:30/7:30c. (Right after HIMYM, of course.)

Posted by Kat at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)

Pilot Review: The Chicago Code

The Chicago Code started a few weeks ago, but I've been sort of putting off writing this because . . . I guess I don't have a lot to say. Don't get me wrong: I like it. A lot. It's one of the more promising new dramas I've seen recently. But "It's really good! You should watch it!" isn't a very interesting review. But it is really good, and you should watch it. I don't tend to be interested in run-of-the-mill cop shows, but this has enough interesting character stuff and political stuff to hook me. The cast is solid, and the characters have enough history and sparks between them that there are any number of directions in which things could go. Give it a try. You can watch the first two episodes on FOX.com and catch the third on FOX tonight at 9/8c.

Posted by Kat at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

Castle Recap: "The Final Nail" (at TheTelevixen)

Get ready for tonight's episode of Castle with my recap of "The Final Nail" over at TheTelevixen:

Nevertheless, Castle keeps repeating that Beckett is the finest detective in New York, and eventually apologizes for his behavior. Beckett tells him that the Westlake in his head is a character in a story he told himself, not a real person. She doesn't completely ignore Castle's opinion, though: at one point she tells Westlake that she is suspicious of him "But Richard Castle believes in you and I believe in him."

Posted by Kat at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/21/11)

Happy Monday, and, oh, Happy Presidents' Day! Not that I get the day off or anything. And now I'm wondering if this means the new BlackBerry I ordered yesterday will take longer to get here. Hmph.

I have recently become obsessed with GetGlue. Any of you use it? You can find my page here and add me as a friend.

Qaddafi's Son Warns of Civil War Have we decided for sure how we're spelling Qaddafi yet?

I've been saying for a while that Twitter is the way to keep people watching live TV.

Update on Wisconsin protests

The MPAA is close to naming Chris Dodd its new chairman, and at first I assumed it was some other Chris Dodd, but no, it's that one.

Where did the giants go?

Posted by Kat at 06:26 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2011

This week's TV news . . .

Head over to TheTelevixen.com to read this week's roundup of TV news. TONS of pilot casting this week!

Posted by Kat at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/20/11)

Happy Sunday! If I get all my work done I might go see I Am Number Four. I know, I know, James Frey. But Timothy Olyphant and Alex Pettyfer!

The Importance of Wisconsin

Elena is better than Bella. No contest.

It's like a supergroup in baby form: Rufus Wainwright and Leonard Cohen's daughter have a child.

Community's Chevy Chase Problem

A Guide to Glee's Dropped Storylines

Posted by Kat at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2011

Trailer: Beastly

I have to admit that I'm kind of excited about this. Beauty and the Beast! NPH! Alex Pettyfer!

Posted by Kat at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

Book 4: The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre: Young adult
Pages: 448
Grade: 99

I have been putting off writing this post (and therefore letting other book reviews pile up) for OVER A MONTH, so now I'm just forcing myself to get on with it. There are two reasons why I was procrastinating: 1. THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD I can't even figure out what to say about it. And 2. There's basically nothing at all I can say about the plot that won't give away MAJOR twists in the first of the series, and I really really don't want to do that.

So! Let's just say that anything else will have a hard time knocking this out of the "best book I read this year" slot (although since book three is coming out in June, I guess that has a chance). It's virtually perfect. It's perhaps even better than the first book. If you have any interest at all in urban fantasy, you must read these immediately. NOW. I have a list of reasons to read The Demon's Lexicon here, and they all hold up for the second book as well. This one is from the point of view of a different character, which was slightly disconcerting at first, but I ended up loving her narration and the character herself. And the Ryves brothers are up there on my list of favorite fictional brothers, right at the top with the Salvatores and the Winchesters.

No, seriously. I know I'm not actually saying anything here, but I really don't want to ruin anything about the plot. Just. GO READ THESE BOOKS.

Posted by Kat at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/19/11)

Happy Saturday!

I love my iPad, but Swansburg's piece about how he hates his is a good read.

Can the Wisconsin Democrats really stop the vote by fleeing the state?

The NH GOP thinks college students shouldn't be allowed to vote because they'll vote liberal.

Do sports helmets help or hurt? You know, I get the argument about helmets encouraging more risk-taking, but God, when I'm watching a bunch of kids I care about - most notably my brother - tackle each other on a football field, I want them wearing as much protective gear as humanly possible.

The Daily Beast has Music's Top 10 Rising Stars, which sounds unnecessarily superlative, but has some stuff worth checking out.

Posted by Kat at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2011

Song of the Day: "Happiness Is Overrated"

I'm sure those of you who have names that are in songs can relate to this. I grew up with people singing that "K-K-K-Katy" song at me all the time, and now I hate that song with a FIERY BURNING PASSION. So, as though I did not love Vampire Diaries music supervisor Chris Mollere enough already, I was thrilled to find that he found a MUCH BETTER song with my name in it to use on the show last night. Behold:

Posted by Kat at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/18/11)

Oh, Friday, how nice to see you. For those who watched TVD last night: OMGWTFBBQ, huh? Best episode ever? For those who didn't: you're missing out.

Tonight's TV Picks: Blue Bloods! And if I were caught up on any of these, which I'm not: Supernatural, Fringe, Merlin, Spartacus.

The Wisconsin Democratic state senators have left the state to block a vote on a budget with big anti-union stuff. This is awesome.

Misleading TV headline of the day. At least I warned you.

This just in: Superman is pretty.

Oh yeah, there's supposed to be an F1 race in Bahrain soon.

A movie about Madame Tussaud? Fun!

On Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman: YAY ADRIANNE PALICKI. On the other hand, when brilliant casting happens to horrible scripts.

15 Worst TV Spinoffs Ever

I've never really noticed Vulture's Good Wife recaps before - maybe because I was way behind for a while - but this one is really good.

How to Attend a Funeral

Ryan Murphy doesn't want you to know what his new show is about. I don't CARE what his new show is about. I only care that he doesn't cast anyone I like, so I have no temptation to watch it.

I can't imagine that New Hampshire will have much patience for Haley Barbour.

Tweet of the Day. (When I maintained the Twitter account for my company, I lived in fear of doing something like that.)

Colbert creates his own version of HuffPo. I love him.

I don't have much interest in the tweeting Francos.

How House Democrats plan to take advantage of Republican overreach on abortion.

Posted by Kat at 07:24 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2011

Song of the Day: "Family Tree"

I know this was one of the songs in my TVD post last night, but I'm kind of obsessed, so I'm embedding it in hopes that more of you will listen. Heh.

Posted by Kat at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

Bones recap: "The Daredevil in the Mold" (at TheTelevixen)

Catch up before tonight's new Bones by reading my recap of last week's episode here.

I know Hannah had to go, but I wasn't thrilled with how it happened: I'm afraid it will be hard to make it look like Brennan is anything but a consolation prize at this point, and I wanted Booth to realize that his relationship with Hannah wouldn't work himself rather than being rejected. But the follow-up scene in the bar was amazing, so I can't complain too much.
What did you all think of the way things ended with Hannah?

Posted by Kat at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/17/11)

Happy Thursday! First, a note: I've discovered that Gmail has been sending comments to my spam folder again, so if yours never got approved, please don't take it personally. I'm trying to go back and fish them all out.

Tonight's TV Picks: Vampire Diaries! Community! Bones, Parks and Rec, Royal Pains, The Mentalist, Fairly Legal. Man, I love Thursdays.

Best story of the week. Or maybe ever. The real Rahm Emanuel is offering $2500 (for charity) if the person behind the @MayorEmanuel Twitter account comes forward.

I've never seen an episode of Survivor, but I was confused enough by discussions of the new rules to appreciate this.

We all knew it was coming, but it's still sad that Borders filed for bankruptcy. You can see a list of the stores that are closing here.

Nazis: surprisingly good at 3D.

Who at The Good Wife DOES hate Sorkin so much, anyway?

A handy timeline of when various presidential candidates say they will commit (or not).

Ecuadorean Villagers May Hold Secret to Longevity

Posted by Kat at 07:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2011

Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "Crying Wolf"

Sorry this is so late! I will be more prompt next week, I promise.

Free Energy - "All I Know"
While it's playing . . . Bonnie and Caroline talk at the Grill; Matt gives Caroline a dirty look but she's not sure why.
What it says . . .

And I know what a fake looks like
I saw him come out tonight
And that's hard, so hard

Well, I can't let go
That's all I know

How it fits . . . Caroline knows she's lying to Matt, and knows he knows, and she knows she should give him up for his own good, but she can't. And while it seems on paper like it would be better for him, I'm not actually convinced that it would be better for either of them to be apart at this point. Hmm.

Smith Westerns - "All Die Young"
While it's playing . . . Matt and Caroline talk about how Caroline's lying to him.
What it says . . .

It takes all my time to be in love with you
It takes all of my time, what do I do?

All die young
When love is love and when you are young

How it fits . . . Wow, the music is really angsty about Matt and Caroline this week, huh? Aside from the obvious connection to them, this show is all about people dying young: Caroline, Stefan, Damon, Mason, Anna, Vicki, Isobel, just to name a few. And the big question of the season is whether Elena, too, will die young (either as a sacrifice or by turning).

Ladyhawke - "Manipulating Woman"
While it's playing . . . Bonnie witch-roofies Luka at the Grill.
What it says . . .

Better not try to get inside my head, you'll find a nightmare waiting
You make it worse
Leave it to the ones who know me, playing that game will only hurt you
You make it worse and never better

Manipulating woman, you're making friends and using them all up
Manipulating woman, you must be used to the pain

How it fits . . . Well, obviously, Bonnie is literally manipulating Luka here. But really, this sounds like it could be Katherine's theme song. (Where is Katherine? I want her back! Someone get her out of that tomb.) And it presages the way Elena is currently manipulating the boys to some extent by not exactly making it clear that she knows that if she goes through with her deal with Elijah, she'll die.

Kyler England - "You Wait for Rain"
While it's playing . . . Stefan cooks and is cute with Elena, she gets nostalgic about her parents, they make out, he finds the secret room.
What it says . . .

It's more than a crack in the wall
It's a whole lot bigger than we thought
A hammer and nail won't fix it this time
So bring on the wrecking ball

It's like we've been drifting along
Pretending like nothing's wrong
We play the game, keep up the charade

How it fits . . . During this trip, Elena finally brought up the elephant in the room: the possibilities for a future with Stefan. They didn't really confront it, but at least it's out there now, so the "charade" is a little less complete. I suppose it's unfair to accuse them of "drifting along" when they've been dealing with all of these life-or-death situations, but I'm glad this issue is out in the open. Also, Stefan may have taken the "bring on the wrecking ball" line too literally, as he immediately starts ripping the house apart.

Matthew West - "Family Tree"
While it's playing . . . Bonnie and Jeremy finally kiss, and Tyler takes his leave of his family and friends.
What it says . . . Sorry, quoting a lot here, because it's SO APPROPRIATE.

You didn't ask for this
Nobody ever would
Caught in the middle of this dysfunction
It's your sad reality
It's your messed up family tree
And all you're left with all these questions

Are you gonna be like your father was and his father was?
Do you have to carry what they've handed down?

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

I have a dream for you
It's better than where you've been
It's bigger than your imagination
You're gonna find real love
And you're gonna hold your kids
You'll change the course of generations

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You're bringing new life to your family tree now

How it fits . . . Oh, gosh, how doesn't it fit? The theme of dysfunctional families and legacies could apply to literally every character on the show in one way or another, and they're all trying to break out of the established patterns and figure out what's actually right. The first verse plays during Bonnie and Jeremy's kiss, which is perfect, because they're both caught up by their families in events they can't control but care about too much to not get involved. The bit about finding real love and holding your kids played when Matt was on screen, which almost made me cry, because Matt is one of the few characters who still has any chance of having a normal life, and yet we know he probably won't, because of his love for Caroline. "You'll change the course of generations" sounds like a reference to breaking the curse (or not), and made me think about how much pressure there is on Elena from every direction, including her own conscience. (If she goes through with the sacrifice, sure, it will save the people she loves, but it will also turn vampires lose on the world, and most of them aren't as nice as Stefan or even Damon.) And the ending about seasons changing and bringing new life to the family tree played as Tyler left with Jules to figure himself out. Come back soon, Ty!

Posted by Kat at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

Dear Ron Moore,

I grumbled at the end of BSG. Okay, a lot of us did. Maybe I did more than grumble. There might have been some yelling at the TV involved. Because it made no sense. And I'm not just talking about the last episode. The whole last season was frustrating. Maybe two seasons. Maybe most of the show. Why are they hearing Hendrix in their heads? What happened to all the corners of everything? If your tagline is "They have a plan," shouldn't you, I don't know, HAVE A PLAN? So many questions. Enough that I more or less swore off watching more of your shows, if you were going to mess with your audience like this.

And I successfully resisted Caprica! But now . . . now you have a new show. With detectives. And magic. "Harry Potter for grown-ups" is being thrown around a lot. I love detectives, and magic. And then you had to go and cast Stockard Channing, as if I could resist her! And then! And then! Frakking Jamie Bamber! Fine, Ron Moore. FINE. I will watch your show.

No love, Begrudgingly yours,

Posted by Kat at 07:31 AM | Comments (2)

Modern Cowboy (at TheTelevixen)

I took part in a Q&A with Justified star and producer Timothy Olyphant, and wrote it up for TheTelevixen. Yes, he's every bit as charming over the phone as you'd hope.

Posted by Kat at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/16/11)

Happy Wednesday. Grumble grumble. I was a good girl and went to bed early, and then couldn't sleep. Totally unfair. So I'm less than completely cheery this morning.

Today is the birthday of author Maureen Johnson. Happy birthday, MJ! Go tell her Happy Birthday on Twitter.

Tonight's TV picks: Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior is premiering, and I've heard mixed things, but I'll give it a try if only for Richard Schiff's appearance as the FBI director. (That's Toby from The West Wing. Also, I noticed while looking that up that he's going to be on White Collar soon. Wheeee.)

Also tonight: I am unreservedly excited about new episodes of Mr. Sunshine and Justified.

That Jeopardy Computer Is Totally Cheating at Jeopardy (Actually, that's a funny-but-not-untrue take, and I'm working on an actual post about this soon. Spoiler: The computer is acting exactly like a computer.)

"Sneaky excellence" is a really good way to describe The Good Wife.

25 Great TV "I Love You"s

This week's Gossip Girl Reality Index: "Wait, Dan and Blair hide together behind the arras? That's so Shakespearean. So them! Plus 3."

Jensen Ackles: Gentleman.

Best and Worst YA Movie Adaptations

Related: When I realized that Timothy Olyphant was in I Am Number Four, I basically gave up my moral scruples and admitted that I'll go see it. Do we think it's worth The IMAX Experience, or just a regular theater?

Posted by Kat at 07:04 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2011

Pilot Review: Traffic Light

FOX's Traffic Light is another of the ubiquitous new relationship/group of friends sitcoms, and the pilot was . . . okay. I didn't hate any of the characters at first sight, and I didn't turn it off from boredom or annoyance, and for me and sitcoms, that's actually saying a lot. On the other hand, I don't really remember much about any of the characters, and the one I'm most interested in learning more about is dead, which might explain why he seems interesting in the first place. I can't remember any particularly funny lines. I expected the car phone (car phone??) gimmick to be intolerable, but it was . . . not that bad. I know, I know, damning with faint praise here. But really, the non-awfulness made me think it might have potential, and I'll give it another episode or two. If you're only in the market for one new sitcom, I certainly would not pick this up over Mr. Sunshine, but really, you could do worse.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (1)

Castle Recap: "Lucky Stiff" (at TheTelevixen)

Sorry I didn't manage to post this before last night's episode, but head over to TheTelevixen for my take on last week's "Lucky Stiff:"

When Martha says the word "legacy" (while discussing her inheritance - more on that in a moment), Castle realizes what Beckett would do - and I realize that he's been trying to figure it out partially in order to know her better, but also so he can actually give her what she wants. (Castle falling in love with you: like winning the lottery. The sexy, sexy lottery. Why are you still with your invisible boyfriend, again, Beckett?)

Posted by Kat at 07:10 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/15/11)

It's only Tuesday? Really?

Tonight's TV picks: No White Collar. Boo. I'm excited about The Good Wife and Lights Out. Also: Glee, No Ordinary Family, Traffic Light, Parenthood.

Pacino as Matisse? Huh.

I don't agree with everything in this piece on Sepinwall and TV criticism, but it's an interesting read.

William and Kate: the graphic novel.

Just stop, kids.

Glenn Beck continues his habit of not really listening to the lyrics of the music he espouses and then getting all upset after the fact.

Eva Gabrielsson's side of the story should be interesting.

Jared Padalecki's evolving hair. (It was a hard choice, but I picked season three.)

The Great Gatsby: The Nintendo game.

A few belated Valentine-themed links:
THE CUTEST THING EVER, at least for Taylor Swift fans. (Explanation here.)
Pros and Cons of TV's Most Eligible Singles
Who's your TV valentine? (Rick Castle all the way. Or, okay, if I'm being super honest, Chuck Bartowski. Not too shabby either way.)
TV's Best Love Triangles
And last but certainly not least: a demonic valentine from Sarah Rees Brennan.

Posted by Kat at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2011

Morning Coffee (2/14/11)

Good morning and Happy Valentine's Day! The window just randomly refreshed itself and I lost everything, so this will be quick. Grrr.

TV premiere tonight: yet another relationship sitcom, Mad Love, on CBS at 8:30.

Tonight's TV picks: Castle, Gossip Girl, HIMYM, The Chicago Code, Being Human, Pretty Little Liars

The President's budget will be posted here at 10:30.

Lots of awards last night: Grammy winners. BAFTA winners.

The royal wedding party has been announced, and it sounds adorable.

Yale is returning Machu Picchu artifacts.

Posted by Kat at 07:42 AM | Comments (2)

February 13, 2011

Sunday Morning TV News at TheTelevixen

My Morning Coffee: TV News Edition has moved over to TheTelevixen. Head on over for this week's news on renewals, cancellations, casting, and the million new shows in development.

Posted by Kat at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2011

Morning Coffee (2/12/11)

Happy Saturday! Last night I had a dream about yogurt, which I think means I need to watch Burn Notice today, and one about registering for college classes. And the classes were really awesome and now I'm upset I can't actually take them.

The CPAC straw poll is today! You know, for whatever that's worth. Which is not much.

Is the GOP really messing with PBS and NPR? Slate says probably not.

Which couples from different shows might be meant for each other?

Also in honor of Valentine's Day, watch a montage of TV's best kisses. I was all ready to be upset about . . . someone . . . not being in there, but they were pretty thorough! Okay, how about Gus and Felicity? It doesn't get any better than "Better'n kissin' my dog."

Would you like some new music from Paul Simon? Of course you would. It's, you know, Paul Simony.

They found the ship of the captain who inspired Moby Dick!

The Hunt for Mubarak's Billions

What do William and Kate's advisors do?

Posted by Kat at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2011

Trailer: X-Men: First Class

This looks awesome. Also: Kennedy!

Posted by Kat at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/11/11)

Good morning! Happy Friday! Finally! Yay!

Yesterday it looked like Mubarak was going to resign, but then he didn't. The army is now backing him.

Inside the Secret Service

Emma Watson and Logan Lerman have been cast in the movie adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Tea Party didn't derail the Patriot Act extension - Democrats did.

How a commercial is totally messing up the expression "It takes two to tango."

Posted by Kat at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2011

Pilot Review: Mr. Sunshine

Let me start by saying, again, that I'm not that much of a sitcom fan. Honestly, I'm not sure whether that means that the fact that I liked Mr. Sunshine means it's really good for the genre, or whether it means genre fans won't like it. But anyway, yes, I liked it. Going in, I was hoping for lots of Matthew Perry using sarcasm to veil his vulnerability while walking quickly down hallways, and that's exactly what I got. There are other good points to the show, and I'll get to a few of those in a moment, but basically, if you like Matthew Perry doing his Matthew Perry thing, you'll like this show, and if you don't, you won't. His character so far isn't particularly different from Chandler Bing or Matt Albie in speech and mannerism, although he does have a self-centeredness and resistance to relationships that those characters didn't necessarily have.

Allison Janney, as always, was wonderful. I'm usually not a fan of such over-the-top comedy, but the writing and her acting were good enough that her character worked for me. She has an aptitude for physical comedy - think of the falling in the pool scene on The West Wing, for example - and I'm glad she's getting a chance to show that in this show. The rest of the supporting cast was fine, and I'm sure I'll care more about them as the season progresses.

I was afraid I was just seeing things I wanted to see when I decided the show felt like a Sorkin show, but Troy Patterson agrees: "The timing and pace recall the work of Aaron Sorkin, which is the point." It helps that the episode was directed by frequent Sorkin collaborator Thomas Schlamme, and I'll be curious to see how much of that feeling is retained in future episodes with other directors.

The show isn't perfect, of course - I was more interested in the characters and dialogue than the plot itself, and some of the relationship set-up was pretty clumsy. But I definitely liked it enough to keep watching. You can watch the pilot here, and the next episode on Wednesday at 9:30 on ABC.

Posted by Kat at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

Tiffani Thiessen Interview Highlights (at TheTelevixen)

Last week, I had the chance to take part in a Q&A with actress Tiffani Thiessen (Elizabeth on White Collar), and you can read the highlights at TheTelevixen. Ms. Thiessen was delightful to talk to, and I'm really loving White Collar, so I highly recommend giving it a try.

Posted by Kat at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Restaurant Review: Mr. Mac's in Manchester, NH

Mr. Mac's, 497 Hooksett Road, Manchester, NH

I was ridiculously excited to discover that an all-macaroni-and-cheese restaurant had come to Manchester, since I love a) macaroni and cheese, b) restaurants with unusual concepts, and c) restaurants with a variety of vegetarian options. From the online menu, you can see that there might not be as many vegetarian options as you'd expect, actually, but the "create your own" section basically takes care of this, at least for me. I had a "create your own" with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes, and it was delicious. (My dining companion liked his Chicken Bacon Ranch as well.) The service was fine and the restaurant itself was pleasant enough, if not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I'd like them to have a few more options for sauces - salsa would be good, for example. And their take-out packaging could use some more thought. But overall, I was quite pleased with the visit, and I'll definitely be going back. I'd be even more thrilled if I lived in their delivery area, because isn't the prospect of custom-made mac and cheese delivered to your door at the end of a long day basically the best thing ever?

Posted by Kat at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

Vampire Diaries Recap Roundup: "Daddy Issues"

My favorite recaps this week, with quotes...

Thomas Galvin: "Damon Salvatore: Stupid Stefan in his stupid boxers getting the stupid fangirls all lathered up with his stupid abs. You want to see squee? Fine, I'll show you squee. Look at this, ladies. I'm taking a shower. A hot, steamy, naked shower. And I'm all alone, and sad, and vulnerable. So what now?"

Forever Young Adult: "At the Bronze, Aunt Jenna introduces her news-lady friend to Damon, and Elena watches, jealous. But Damon blows her off. Elena pretends not to be, but she is secretly pleased. Damon is awesome. *Drink!*"

TheTelevixen: "Every Day should be Salvatore Banter Day. Who do we have to talk with to make this happen? Somebody should get on that."

TWoP: "Mossy Manse: Damon takes a shower. The camera pans up his torso, as the water drips down it. I think. Let me rewind that, just to be sure.
Three hours later...
Yep. Damon. Shower. Camera. Up. Water Down."

Vampire-Diaries.net: "How is it possible that Nina looks awesome with hair up or down, curly or straight, present day or 1860s styles?"

TV.com: "I hadn't noticed the enormous flat-screen TV in his bedroom the day before, when Rose was vomiting blood everywhere, but then again I'm probably the only one who noticed the flat-screen TV in this scene at all. There is a flat-screen TV in Damon's room now, you guys. Trust me."

Show Tracker: "After Tyler confronts Caroline about lying to him, she sends Stefan a 911 text. (FYI, if someone in Mystic Falls texts or calls you, just assume it is an emergency and feel free to panic.)"

Iphignia939: "3) Dear Kevin and Julie: if you want to keep having Damon deal with his manpain by showering, I have no problem with that.
4) There's something really cheering about Jenna's total and absolute hate for John Gilbert. It's not a long story! Just hates him! Can we get her in on the phone tree now?"

EW.com: "Curiously missing from these 60 minutes was the abundance of hot Henleys that usually clothe the men of Mystic Falls. I hope my recurring commentary hasn't made the costume department self-conscious about its fashion choices."

Zap2it: "Hey, slutty Andie Star. I don't want to, but I kind of like this woman. In a show where all the kids are forced to act like grown-ups and all the grown-ups are insanely childish, it's really nice to see a grown up making grown up decisions. Like heading on over to the Salvatore house for some casual bathtub sex, for example.
I love when she calls Damon tall, dark, and handsome, and he says "I'm not that tall." It's true. He's not.
It's amazing that this scene is between Damon and another naked woman, and meanwhile, it's entirely a Damon/Elena scene."

Off-Color TV: "And speaking of horrified? Matt catching her lying. Sigh. Guys, I am still SO Team Matt. Yeah, I said Team Matt. Do I need to call them Maroline, or Catt? Because I will. I will do it. Don't push me to that edge. But yeah, I keep thinking she's going to tell him everything and then shit keeps coming up (NOT NOW, DANA!)."

My Entertainment OCD: "Though Damon is not the Salvatore I wanted to see in the shower, if I'd accidentally walked in on him I wouldn't turn and run away. Just to be honest."

Posted by Kat at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/10/11)

Good morning! Happy Thursday!

Tonight's TV picks: Vampire Diaries, Community, and Bones! Also Royal Pains, Fairly Legal, The Mentalist, and Parks and Rec. Oh, Thursdays, how busy you are.

Those rumors about L.J. Smith being fired? True, it seems.

FYA continues their series with a review of Anne of the Island.

Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover. I cannot wait for this movie.

Webb won't seek reelection.

A Thirteen Reasons Why movie with Selena Gomez? Intriguing.

Yglesias on why Bittman and Pollan aren't quite as straightforward as they seem.

The most important thing you'll read about those Planned Parenthood videos.

Can we make Playmobil videos a thing, please?

Posted by Kat at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2011

Why You Should Be Watching Justified

Season two of Justified premieres tonight on FX, and here are some reasons why you should be watching, but first, a trailer for the new season to give you a taste:

1. It feels different from anything else on TV. They've done a great job of creating this world that's fascinating and terrifying and yet somehow life-affirming, all at once.

2. You can catch up quickly. I really would recommend seeing season one first, but there are only thirteen episodes, and the DVDs aren't that expensive (and Netflix has them). It's worth it, I promise.

3. Raylan Givens is one of the most complex characters on TV, and I love me a complex character. Especially one who's so pretty and so awesome, all at once.

4. I was on a Q&A call with star Timothy Olyphant yesterday, and he's seriously the most charming, self-effacing guy imaginable. If his face and his voice hadn't already made me want to watch everything he's ever done, his attitude certainly would have.

5. They made a "Han Shot First" commercial. I mean, REALLY.

6. There's a love triangle with two girls after the same guy, and it's kind of refreshing, because I feel like we always see two guys after the same girl. Also, the characters all more or less act like the adults they are.

7. This interview with the showrunner should get you interested, too.

8. It's based on the works of the great Elmore Leonard, and you can read "Fire in the Hole," the short story that formed the basis for the pilot, here for free.

9. There's lots of shooting. That's not something I'm in favor of in actuality, of course, but watching it is a nice way to unwind after a long day.

10. Did I mention that Timothy Olyphant is hot? I know, I did, but really, it's worth pointing out again. He also wears a cowboy hat most of the time, which manages to be awesome rather than dorky, somehow.

Posted by Kat at 07:27 AM | Comments (0)

Premieres Tonight: Mr. Sunshine

It's a happy, happy day, because Matthew Perry and Allison Janney are both back on my TV! Mr. Sunshine premieres on ABC tonight, with Perry as sports arena manager Ben Donovan, a self-centered playboy who decides to make some changes when he turns forty. Honestly, the premise doesn't sound all that mind-blowing, but Matthew Perry and Allison Janney. I'll take my Sorkin alums wherever I can get them, and it can't possibly be as bad as Past Life. A few more Sorkin connections: Studio 60's Nate Torrence is also a regular, and Tommy Schlamme is an executive producer and directed tonight's pilot, which I hope means we'll start the episode following Perry as he walks quickly through the arena's offices and end with a swirling shot rising upward from the arena itself. And can a Christine Lahti cameo be far away? I certainly hope not.

Posted by Kat at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/9/11)

Good morning! I'm so much more chipper when I get up before six. I just need to REMEMBER this when the alarm goes off.

New feature: Tonight's TV picks: There's a new Blue Bloods, and don't you dare miss the series premiere of Mr. Sunshine or season premiere of Justified. (More on both of those in a bit.)

Lots of shows have been filming in Canada recently, and now they're even recreating specific cities on what sounds like an ongoing basis (rather than just using a street scene for a show or two). That's kind of nifty.

Cobie Smulders will be in The Avengers! Yay.

Your James Franco Project of the Day

10 Shows That Should Do Real-Time Episodes. I particularly like the Community idea.

Top 10 Best-Dressed First Ladies

FYA reviews another old favorite: Madeleine L'Engle's And Both Were Young

The Times reviewer really, really didn't like the new Spider-Man musical.

Vulture's Gossip Girl Reality Index for the week

3-D Royal Wedding Ruled Out By Palace. Thank you, Your Majesty.

Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator

Haley Barbour: the closest a 2012 candidate will get to actually being endorsed by Ronald Reagan.

Want to learn more about Doctor Who? Here's a handy infographic.

10 Bizarre Love Triangles in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Michael Oher's book actually sounds pretty interesting.

Whoa: The Invisible American Welfare State

Posted by Kat at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2011

See, this is why I love Castle . . .

They do things like make music videos to go with episodes where Castle and Beckett go to clubs.

Posted by Kat at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

TV Trailer: Terra Nova

I remain, er, skeptical, but FOX has at least succeeded in making this a big enough deal that I'll tune in for an episode or two to see what they do with it.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

Bones recap: "The Sin in the Sisterhood" (at TheTelevixen)

Read my recap of last week's polygamy episode of Bones over at TheTelevixen.

From the beginning of the episode, Booth and Brennan clash over whether polygamy is ever understandable, and Brennan points out that Booth can’t take some parts of the Bible literally and not others. Booth is still hearing none of it: “You pick a wife and go with it.” Hmm. After they solve the case, Brennan asks Booth if he believes that Ed Samuel loved his wives equally, and Booth insists that he loved the first one the most. What does this mean?

Posted by Kat at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/8/11)

Good morning! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday - I was having some technical difficulties and then the morning just got away from me.

Olbermann will announce his new gig today, but it's pretty much leaked that he's going to Current TV, which . . . I know that's the Al Gore thing, but is it also a real station that people actually get? I don't, but my cable is shockingly unfancy.

The Today show will be doing a whole royal wedding special. That's a relief.

It's Jules Verne's birthday, and make sure you look at Google.

Alex Pettyfer may or may not be doing every teen movie ever.

If I knew about this Nathan Fillion Green Lantern thing, I had forgotten. Awesome.

This is the sort of link I should probably just send my dad, but: It's a really good and important read about cannibalism and comparing genocides. I swear.

I haven't had a chance to read that whole big New Yorker Scientology article yet, but Vulture has some highlights.

Brian Jacques has died. Sad.

As I'm sure you've heard by now, AOL bought HuffPo. Read the Awl's take here.

Get well soon, Robert Kubica!

Robert Pattinson will sing in Breaking Dawn. Which . . . doesn't he have a band? Why is this such a big deal?

Your James Franco project of the day.

Posted by Kat at 07:06 AM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2011

Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "Daddy Issues"

I've been wanting to write some sort of Vampire Diaries recaps, but there are so many great ones out there that I felt like most of the ground had been covered. But I realized that none of them focus on the lyrics to the many wonderful songs used on the show, so I thought I'd try that out. For each song in the episode, I'll give you a link to where you can hear it, a little context, some particularly meaningful quotes from the lyrics, and a few thoughts on how the song fits in with what's going on in those scenes and/or the themes of the show in general.

Adele - "Don't You Remember"
While it's playing . . . Alaric and Jenna talk in the Grille; John joins them; Damon and Elena arrive and have their first "Be the better man" conversation; Damon starts to talk to John.
What it says . . .

But I know I have a fickle heart and bitterness
And a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head.

But don't you remember, don't you remember?
The reason you loved me before,
Baby please remember me once more.

I gave you the space so you could breathe,
I kept my distance so you would be free,
I hope that you find the missing piece
To bring you back to me.

How it fits . . . Some of this - "fickle heart and bitterness / And a wandering eye" - sounds like John acknowledging his mistakes, and hoping that his daughter/niece and his ex-girlfriend/sister-in-law can find room for him in the family eventually. Isobel is discussed in these scenes, and "Don't you remember / The reason you loved me before . . . I hope that you find the missing piece / To bring you back to me" could echo Alaric or John's thoughts about her. And, of course, all of this reflects Damon's feelings for and about Elena as he struggles to "be the better man" for her - and realizes that part of that is giving her space and letting her be free to be with Stefan without (as many) complications.

Alex Band - "Only One"
While it's playing . . . John and Damon talk in the Grille; Caroline talks to Matt.
What it says . . .

My eyes are painted red
The canvas of my soul,
Slowly breaking down, again

One life to live
One love to give
One chance to keep from falling
One heart to break
One soul to take us

You say you want it all
But whose side you fighting for?
I sit and wonder why

How it fits . . . Anything about red eyes recently must, of course, bring Damon to mind, and the "Whose side you fighting for?" question is one I would very much like John to answer. But this song in general is so, so Caroline and Matt and their possibly doomed love. Oh, the poor things. I just want them to be happy.

Hurts - "Stay"
While it's playing . . . Damon meets and blows off Andie; Damon tells Elena he's steering clear of all women and gives her various Meaningful Looks; Stefan calls Elena.
What it says . . .

All right, everything is all right
Since you came along
And before you
I had nowhere to run to
Nothing to hold on to
I came so close to giving it up.
And I wonder if you know
How it feels to let you go?
How it fits . . . Actually, both Salvatores see Elena this way: she gave them both a reason to literally stay in Mystic Falls and also to build lives and try to keep themselves under varying levels of control. In this scene, of course, it shows how Elena is the reason why Damon has sworn off women, at least for the next twenty minutes. Damon sees Elena as the only one who can see his humanity, and his only option for someone to hold on to if he tries to be "good."

Natasha Bedingfield - "Strip Me"
While it's playing . . . John stops Elena from leaving the restaurant; she tells him she'll never be his daughter.
What it says . . .

Every day I fight for all my future somethings
A thousand little wars I have to choose between

Take what you want
Steal my pride
Build me up
Or cut me down to size
Shut me out
But I'll just scream
I'm only one voice in a million
But you ain't taking that from me

How it fits . . . Elena spends most of her time trying to protect all the various people she loves, while most of them seem convinced that they know what's best for her and try to deprive her of her agency in the name of protection. In this scene, John is joining the list of people telling Elena what she can and can't do without really thinking about how much credit she deserves for what she's accomplished already.

Ryan Star - "Losing Your Memory"
While it's playing . . . Stefan delivers a slumber party to Caroline; Damon and Andie take a bloody bubble bath.
What it says . . .

Call all your friends
And tell them you're never coming back
Cause this is the end
Pretend that you want it
Don't react
The damage is done

You're losing your memory now

How it fits . . . Caroline is still dealing with the fact that her life as she knows it is over, and she, Bonnie, and Elena all have to let go of their previous lives in order to move on and become friends again. Andie, of course, is literally losing her memory and being forced not to react to what's going on, and while Damon doesn't actually kill her, yet, a point of no return is passed when he confides in her and drinks from her. Damon himself isn't literally losing his memory, but is using Andie to seek a sort of hopeless oblivion.

Posted by Kat at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)

February 06, 2011

A few thoughts on the L.J. Smith rumors . . .

Overnight, a rumor cropped up that L.J. Smith, author of the Vampire Diaries novels, had been fired from writing the remaining novels. At the time of this writing, this has not been confirmed by the publisher. The always wondering Red and Vee from Vampire-Diaries.net have a good summary of the issue, and you can see a few of the alleged emails to fans here and here. A few quick thoughts:

1. I've only read the first four books so far, but from what's I've heard (and some of her other posts and short stories I've read), the new trilogy is kind of nuts, and IF Smith really isn't writing more, that's something of a relief.

2. If Smith really wrote those emails, I must admit I'm a bit distressed by her grammar issues. I realize that's not the point, but still.

3. To those saying the publisher has "no right" to fire her: This is blatantly untrue. Smith signed away all rights to The Vampire Diaries decades ago. You may not like this, but that's how it is.

4. Smith claims not to have realized she was giving up her rights, but honestly, I have very little sympathy for someone who signs a contract and then pleads ignorance of its contents.

5. It seems odd to me that the publisher would care who dates whom in the books - unless, of course, Smith was specifically hired to write a book with a particular ending and then refused to produce that book.

6. To me - and I have no inside knowledge here or anything - it seems more likely that Smith was fired for other reasons and is spinning it, rather brilliantly, by making it about 'shipping.

7. Regardless of what's actually true, the best course of action is to BE NICE, people. Don't blame other groups of fans. Don't tweet awful things at HarperCollins. I promise they won't reach people who have anything to do with the decision. And don't harass Red and Vee or other fan site administrators. That really won't help anything.

Deep breaths! They're books! No one died! Perspective!

Update: Please read The Televixen's comment below for another really good point. In short: BE NICE.

Posted by Kat at 11:08 AM | Comments (4)

Morning Coffee (2/6/11) - TV News Edition

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm going to start compiling TV development news into a weekly post, and Sundays seem like a good day for that since there's less news on weekends anyway.

Taylor Kinney has been cast as a hot hairdresser in A Mann's World. Heee. That same link has some other casting I don't care so much about.

A few items of note here: De Niro is producing a cop show called Rookies, presumably not to be confused with Rookie Blue; ABC has a "dysfunctional family drama set in the world of professional dance;" Rob Thomas's Little League show got a director.

Kevin Williamson (of Vampire Diaries) has joined The Secret Circle. Wheee. (This is based on another trilogy by the same author, this one about witches.)

Comedies that I'd probably watch once and never again: here, here, here (okay, the one about a family of doctors sounds vaguely interesting), here, here.

Krysten Ritter has joined Dreama Walker in Don't Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23, and that combination makes this a must-see for me.

ABC Family picks up a comedy and two dramas. To series, not pilot. I'm sure you're amazed that I'm excited about the dramas but not the comedy. (The Nine Lives of Chloe King is supernatural and has my favorite actress from The Gates, and Switched at Birth is what it sounds like but has Vanessa Marano from Gilmore Girls!)

David O. Russell is developing an FX drama for Connie Britton. No premise has been released yet, but honestly, with Russell, FX, and Britton in one sentence, I'm not that concerned.

Starz has an upcoming political drama starring Kelsey Grammar as . . . President Bartlet, basically? Except mayor of Chicago? Hm.

Dan Savage may be doing an MTV advice show.

The Walking Dead will have a writing staff after all.

Amber Heard as a Playboy club bunny in the 1960s? Hmm.

Jesse McCartney has joined Locke and Key.

An NYPD detective who remembers everything? Count me in. And wait, A&E has a Boston detective with hyper-acute senses. Trend?

NBC orders pilots for an American Prime Suspect and a post-Civil War historical drama. I am cautiously intrigued by both.

Kyle Killen of the late lamented Lone Star is doing an Inception-style drama? Huh. Okay.

My inexplicable enthusiasm for 7th Heaven alums continues: Barry Watson has been cast in a pilot! About cola! Whee!

Ethan Hawke on TV? In a high-octane CIA procedural? Okay.

ABC picks up four pilots and two pilot presentations, all of which sound varying levels of promising.

Honestly, none of these CW pilots sound that great, but it's the CW, so I'll try whatever makes it to air. Seriously, though, CW, play to your strengths: More pretty teenagers; fewer lawyers.

CBS has a supernatural medical drama that sounds like it should be on that CW list.

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2011

Morning Coffee (2/5/11)

Happy Saturday!

Over at The Atlantic, Alyssa Rosenberg and Hampton Stevens have a series about female sports fans.

Voting is open for TV Guide's Fan Favorites Awards, and when people saw the favorite actor category, half my Twitter timeline erupted into "This is like my own personal Sophie's Choice!" Luckily, you can vote more than once.

David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman script sounds awful.

Unpublished Dashiell Hammett stories were found in Texas.

Oscar Best Song performers! Yes, Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore are included. That's all I care about.

Aaron Ginsburg is one of the nicest guys in television, and I'm glad people are noticing.

CW Debuts Mobile Social Virtual Stores for Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries. Hint: When a store is mobile, social, and virtual, it probably means that what you are buying is pretend.

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2011

Trailer: The Kennedys

I'm actually really excited about this, even though I'm not at all sure I get the Reelz Channel. But playing on TV means it's more likely to make it to DVD, right?

The Kennedys | Barry Pepper | Greg Kinnear | Katie Holmes | Tom Wilkinson | Movie Trailer | Review

Posted by Kat at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/4/11)

Good morning and happy Friday! This is going to be a quick one because I have to go try to shovel out my mailbox before work so that my Burn Notice disc from Netflix will be delivered. (Priorities!)

In Plain Sight is coming back May 1! And here's a picture of Bradley Whitford on the set. When he and Fred Weller are actually on my TV at the same time, I will be beside myself.

Congratulations to Colin Hanks and Samantha Bryant (and grandfather Tom Hanks) on the birth of Olivia Jane!

10 Reasons the Star Trek 2 Screenplay Still Isn't Done

Here's a clip of Matt Bomer singing on White Collar! And yes, I have no trouble believing that it will be the best musical moment on TV all month, including Glee.

You know, sometimes I feel like these posts should actually be titled "Some stuff attractive guys are doing," and today is one of those days.

Would you like to listen to the final album by The Streets? Here you go.

Posted by Kat at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2011

Vampire Diaries Recap Roundup: "The Descent"

To help you prepare for the new episode tonight, here are some of my favorite recaps of last week. (Starting this week, I'm going to try my own twist on a recap - we'll see how it goes.) And hey, let's have some quotes.

(Bonus: a transcription of the recording from "Isobel's" number.)

Television Without Pity:

When Jessica again begs him not to kill her, Damon de-thralls her. So she runs to her car. Damon turns to watch her go, and then Stealth-Salvatores up behind her and sinks his fangs into her throat. NOOOoooooooooooo. Okay, actually? YES! I love a good redemption story, but a good one isn't a smooth one. I don't want Damon to be a woobie. If he's going to end up a real boy, I want him to get there the hard way.
Forever Young Adult (with drinking game and bonus recipe!):
Then a girl is driving down the road, and there's a guy lying in the middle of it. And it's Damon! And he's really having a bad day, what with all of his feelings.
George: (imitating girl) why can't I move? (as Damon) Because I'm so handsome.
Tyler kissed Caroline! "Everyone just needs to stop kissing me!" I WANT THAT ON A SHIRT RIGHT NOW, CW. (Also, while I like Matt, I am totes on Team Tyler/Caroline. I would pay real money if they lasted like a billion years and had awesome adopted kids who knew not to go in the basement when Daddy's a wolf and understand about Mommy's dietary eccentricities.)
Like Tyler, Matt trusts Caroline but he sees that there's something she isn't telling him, the something that's keeping them apart. (Besides Dana.)
There are good scenes, there are great scenes, and then there are scenes that are so unforgettable they'll be recalled by fandom for seasons to come and seasons after the show has passed. Damon's "This Is My Secret" scene in "The Descent" is one of those scenes. There is something equally eerie and excellent that happens when Ian Somerhalder slips into the true guise of Damon Salvatore. Not the cheeky one-liner, sexy smartass Damon Salvatore, but the tortured blood-lusting bad boy antihero lost between the man and the monster, desperate to be saved but knowing he can never be. That is the Damon Salvatore who made me his diehard defender. That is the Damon Salvatore that, without question, stole the show.
Heroine TV:
Yes, being evil "hurt" Rose. This earned some eye-rolling from me. I imagine that it hurt the people that she killed even more. Help! I'm a vampire and I don’t like it! This makes a lot of sense for a new vampire, but after five hundred years? Seems like sometime in half a millennium one should either get comfortable in one's skin, or move on. How did she even survive for so long? And if she hated being evil so much, why didn't she change her ways? Try to help people? Or just end things by stake or sun?
It's so telling that he lets her go and then attacks her anyway. He genuinely can't decide who he's supposed to be in this moment. I know that a lot of people are going to be upset that Damon seems to be regressing back to his old ways, but I think there's a clear difference between then and now. Then, he was flippant and cold and cruel because it was easy. Now, he's going to be flippant and cold and cruel despite the fact that it's difficult. He's fighting for his life, essentially.
I bet when Macy's asked him what threadcount he wanted, he just said "TONS." . . .
He was so pathetic and in need of confessing that he compelled the poor woman to stand in place and listen to his existentialist ramblings. It was a sad, scary scene - the guy really seemed to be struggling with his identity, like for centuries he's been perfectly fine as a murderous jerk, but now he's not so sure that's how he is. Why didn't he just tell her that he's reading Gone With the Wind?
Show Tracker:
(Somerhalder filmed this episode while sick. Really? Maybe he should be sick for every episode.)

Posted by Kat at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

Trailer: Ironclad

One of my best friends recently emailed me demanding more movies about Plantagenets, and then the next day I found this trailer. So now I'm trying to figure out what else she should make happen with the power of her brain.

To watch more, visit www.t5m.com

Wheee! It'll probably be "so bad it's good," not actually good, but I'm excited regardless.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

Bones recap: "The Bullet in the Brain" (at TheTelevixen)

Get ready for tonight's episode of Bones by reading my recap of last week's pivotal episode.

The Mystery of the Week first looks like an epilogue rather than a beginning: Heather Taffet, the Gravedigger, is headed to the courthouse for her final appeal. Sweets is with her, because she requested counseling, and Booth and Caroline Julian are outside with an angry crowd of protesters as the van pulls up to the front of the courthouse - because the parking garage gate is unexpectedly closed. Coincidence? Booth, scanning the crowd for anything out of the ordinary, sees someone filming the scene - and then Taffet gets out of the van and immediately has her head shot off. Silently. And graphically. (Seriously, there are a lot of shots of the headless corpse.) Sweets, who was standing behind her, is splattered with blood, and the crowd runs away - except for the guy with the camera, who just keeps filming.

Posted by Kat at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/3/11)

Happy Thursday. I have to shovel out this morning. I am not looking forward to it. You know, I've been posting a lot of TV development news recently - pilot pickups, casting, etc. - and I think rather than having it clog up this post ever day, I'm gong to start compiling it into one post one weekends. Sound good?

Start your morning off right: Tom Hardy in a Batman T-Shirt. In related news, it looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt may also be in the movie, and at some point we're all going to pass out from the hotness they're concentrating here.

The White Stripes have broken up, surprising all of us who thought that happened years ago.

F1 testing started, and Sebastian Vettel was quickest.

I'm not sure this Aaron Sorkin article actually has new information about his show, but I'm going to be giving you every scrap of information I can find on this, so get used to it.

Oh, Borders...

If you're into Stephen King, you should be following my friend's new Tower Junkie site.

This is no good: Apple Moves to Tighten Control of App Store

Friday Night Lights final season NBC premiere: April 15. I swear I'll catch up by then.

The current Gossip Girl Reality Index

Your James Franco Project of the Day

When Did Elegant Women Become Villains? (And I agree that I love the stepmother on Fairly Legal.)

The Community cast pretends to make out.

The Duchess of Cornwall will be on The Archers. Hee.

Not that I need more TV to watch, but this makes Korean dramas sound really fascinating.

I'll admit that the participants in the Celebrity Beach Bowl have me almost ready to go drop in on my parents, who have DirectTV: Matthew Morrison, Chace Crawford, Matt Bomer, Josh Duhamel...

Someone we've never heard of has been cast as Kate Middleton in that Lifetime movie. Wait, I take that back. She was a Jane Doe on The Forgotten. Man, I miss that show.

This is the sort of thing I actually think about: 4 Tips for Buying Great Cheese on a Budget

Hey, I think about this sort of thing too: Are your various notes and lists coherent enough to help someone solve your murder?

This is the only theory about Jon Huntsman I've read that actually makes any sense.

Really, Connecticut? Really?

Forever YA continues their Montgomery-fest with Anne of Avonlea.

Posted by Kat at 07:06 AM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2011

Castle Recap: "Knockdown" (at TheTelevixen)

Sorry, I forgot to post this when it went up over the weekend . . . The last episode of Castle was probably the best ever, and you can read my recap here:

One of my favorite things about this show is the constant but gradual character development, and the sum of their interactions in this episode illustrates the way that Castle and Beckett have subtly but firmly slipped into new roles in relation to each other. Their devotion to each other is unconditional, and they’re barely bothering to hide it from each other or the people around them.

Posted by Kat at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (2/2/11)

Don't even talk to me about this groundhog nonsense. We're in the middle of a snowstorm, and there's never not at least six more weeks of winter, anyway. Snowstorm does mean I get to work at home, so that's something. I mean, work is the same, but I can do it in my pajamas and it's more convenient to make tea. And I can take a lunch break to watch The Good Wife later.

The Cory Booker vs. Rahm Emanuel shovel-off is worth watching.

ABC picked up a DC drama from Josh Schwartz (of Gossip Girl). This pilot season is really shaping up nicely.

Ricky Gervais: invited to host the Globes again. Oh boy!

I don't care about reality TV, but this story about Survivor leaks is fascinating.

Robert Pattinson in a wedding ring. You know, for a movie.

I guess this is a Politico self-spoof? Or something? Hilarious, anyway.

This paragraph was the funniest thing I read all day yesterday:

Can a show be too dreamy? I ask because I'm unable to watch White Collar on a regular basis, mainly because Matthew Bomer is just too damn dashing and his eyes are just too easy to get lost in. Before I know it, it's 2 a.m. and I've missed Conan. So what will happen to America now that Paul Blackthorne is regularly appearing on the show? Will entire segments of the population simply stop going to work? Will there be swooning outbreaks in suburban neighborhoods nationwide? Could Bomer-Blackthorne Syndrome grind our country to a halt?
It's a totally valid concern!

A post-apocalyptic Persuasion retelling? I'm . . . guardedly interested.

If you aren't reading Alex Balk's daily weather reports, you're missing out.

2012 DNC: Charlotte.

5 Ways to Keep Track While Measuring Ingredients

Tyler Perry will play Alex Cross, which . . . I feel like I should have more opinions about than I do, because really, I tend to just roll my eyes in Patterson's general direction.

The Bachelor as Science Fiction

The Internet has been won: Jacob recaps Gossip Girl in the style of Jay McInerney.

Posted by Kat at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2011

Morning Coffee (2/1/11)

It's February! Huh! And, of course, we're supposed to be buried in snow again. It hasn't quite started, so I'm headed to work, but I'm already more or less planning to work from home tomorrow.

Bradley Whitford's going to be in a new movie! And . . . well, just look at that cast list. They're all good, of course, but isn't it a bizarre combination of people?

Did you watch that epic Gossip Girl last night? Your two must-reads of the morning: Tierney's Zap2it recap and . . . oh, I typed that before actually checking that NYMag's Reality Index was up already, and it's not. Tomorrow!

Kristen Bell will be in a Showtime pilot. Please, Kristen, come back to TV and we'll forget When In Rome ever happened.

The Stand may become a movie, which reminds me that I've never seen the Rob Lowe version. Oh, and speaking of Stephen King adaptations, read my friend Sharmin on Javier Bardem and The Dark Tower.

Listen to the new Bright Eyes album at NPR First Listen.

There are rumors of some sort of free video streaming for Amazon Prime members. Color me intrigued.

Posted by Kat at 07:22 AM | Comments (0)

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