Monthly Archives: December 2011

Idle thoughts about casting…

For no reason whatsoever, occasionally thoughts will enter your head about TV shows and their casts…


Charlyne Yi as Dr park has been excellent. Her character, a neurotic mess, seems the perfect puppet for House’s games, but has transcended that simple role.

Terra Nova:

Stephen Lang, who plays Commander Taylor does a very good job. However, he was clearly born to be Captain Birdseye! Just me?


All change at the top? After William L. Peterson (Grissom) left and was replaced by Laurence Fishburne, who in turn was replaced by Ted Danson, it now seems Marg Helgenberger is off too… I can’t say I’m sorry to see the back of her nasty, bitter character, so could well be a boost. Elisabeth Shue is set to be the replacement. Now all they need do is get Liz Vassey back, so we can have the Langham/Vassey double act again…

Hart of Dixie:

Rachel Bilson as a surgeon? I don’t think so… Ridiculously unconvincing. So much so that I suspect that I could convince you I was an Ice Dancer before you’d allow her to operate on you. Actually, you’d probably let Charlie Chuck operate on you before her.

2 Broke Girls:

Kat Dennings has been in some good things and been ok. This is bad. She deserves better. I guess really, bringing this one up was just a chance to say how poor I think this show is and how much it irks me that it’s a hit.

Sci-fi and Fantasy TV update…


After a few posts about the state of TV Sci-fi and Fantasy shows, I thought I’d do a brief update on where they’re currently at…

This has had a relatively good start, with the first season showing some likeable characters and the usual dose of conspiracy and subterfuge thrown in.  It has come across as an ‘A-Team’ with powers, which hasn’t always worked, but has shown enough promise in these episodes to give it a chance. A grittier angle, if chosen could definitely help proceedings.

Once Upon a Time:
The first of the ‘fairy tale’ shows, this has proven to be solid in the ratings and will definitely see out a full season; this may be due to the overriding ‘frothiness’ of the show, which plays on charm and lightness, lacking any real menace or darkness in its scenarios. Robert Carlyle and Jennifer Morrison are as watchable as ever, but you do get the feeling that the actors are not being stretched, or allowed to express themselves as much as you’d like; Lana Parrilla, for instance,  is clearly better than currently represented.

Much darker than Once Upon a Time, Grimm is angled much more towards the bloody nature of fairy tales and throws in some conspiracy/politics for good measure. This will no doubt have more depth that OUaT in the long run, but needs to find its feet. The main characters have still to gel properly and how each character interacts with David Giuntoli’s main character Nick, has yet to be settled. In some cases it really doesn’t seem to be working, but in others, such as when paired with Silas Weir Mitchell (Eddy) it really does work well. More time is needed, but should come good.

Warehouse 13:
Still strong, this has retained its playful feel, but added in some more depth; unfortunately this comes in the form of the usual conspiracy angle, but it has been handled quite well. The charm of the main cast and ‘steampunk’ technology continues to be exploited well and so far they have avoided all the main hokum pitfalls that could have arisen. The traditional Syfy channel Christmas special was quite successful and had a good balance between fan ‘nods’ and story.

A very good season with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton guest starring for a large portion, this has been a bittersweet period, with the news that the next season will be the last. Still quite goofy in tone, but the almost Acme  style science still has its charm. The Christmas special was very hit and miss however, with much of it being animated, but the script and story was poor. While the animation worked well and allowed for various jokes, the underlying story was poorly constructed and had far too many ‘life lessons’ for key characters, which came over as saccharine,  preachy and forced.

They’ve managed to move this along quite well, while retaining the central core of the idea, and not forcibly maintaining a status quo; this has allowed the depth to come into the characters and it seems they are allowing it to naturally develop. Some slight hiccups in the season arc, with certain characters and plotlines not working 100%, with the writers putting themselves in a awkward place, which they then failed to get out of satisfactorily.

Well, another JJ Abrams related show has changed it all up again, as he tends to do after every couple of seasons. (e.g. Alias etc..) this time however, it has worked quite well and Fringe continues to be one of the best shows on TV. Solid performances all round and an engaging storyline have kept this from going stale. The change this season has raised some new ideas and fresh perspective, so creatively much is possible. I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode after the Christmas hiatus!

Terra Nova:
Still far too much standard storytelling with this one and every episode I am reminded once more of Earth2. The setting is almost irrelevant and not enough is being made of either the sci-fi elements or the pre-historic landscape elements. So much more could be done with the resources of the show, let alone with the concept, that is disappointing that the scope has been so formulaic and standard fare. Must do better!

While this hasn’t been the strongest or most consistent season storywise so far, it has still been good quality and remains a good show. It has yet to be seen whether the introduction of the Leviathans will be seen as weak or not, but so far their overall arc seems to be too far in the background compared to the brother soap opera. The lack of Castiel has been a loss to this half of the season, so hopefully this will change in the second half. Potential for Sheriff Mills to be a bigger part is quite encouraging if they take that route.

Other stuff I couldn’t give a monkeys about:
Vampire Diaries (whatever…)
The Secret Circle (90210 with Witches)

Charlie the Drunk Guinea Pig

As a massive Youtube user and a lover of guinea pigs I was super excited when I came across the Charlie the Drunk Guinea Pig videos created by Charlie is a drunk and angry guinea pig who lives with Ian and Anthony and it’s about their adventures in the house they share and the run ins they have with their landlord. It features the cutest guinea pig ever and also a ridiculously catchy theme tune. They also have various other videos and another account under askcharlie which is Charlie answering questions sent in by fans. It’s very funny and an easy way to lose hours of your life on one website…. which I have done.

Heres the first episode for your viewing pleasure, enjoy!

The Great Space Dictator

Darth Vader + Charlie Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator + a load of scenes from Clone Wars = AWESOME.

We all know now that Vader wasn’t always the mechanical monster we all loved to hate. He was once a slave boy that fell in love, idealistic and bold. His fall from the light is actually rather tragic when you think about it. And this video makes it all that more poignant. At least,  it does for me, and probably will do so for other hopeless Star Wars fanatics out there.


“To fight the bug, we must re-make the bug”

So, they’re re-making Starship Troopers. I’m not sure how this makes me feel. I absolutely love the original. It was sharp, funny, and looked amazing. I re-watched it a few months back, and it still holds up well despite being released way back in 1997 (something which can’t be said for the awful sequels). I know that fans of the source material – the book Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein – often decry the film for being a terrible rip-off as it completely missed the tone of the book, and missed out several major elements, including the powered armour that the Mobile Infantry wear in the book, but is never mentioned in the film. But to my mind Paul Verhoeven’s goal was to make a film that was both fun to watch, accessible to all, and still hints at the deeper themes of the book without becoming bogged-down in them.

Unfortunately a lot of people seemed to miss the point, and the film was only a moderate success, and has since become something of a cult favourite. Odds are that this time around, we’re likely to see a much more serious iteration of the material, probably sticking much closer to the source (yes, even including the powered armour). I don’t think this is a bad thing necessarily. But is it worthwhile?

So far the only details available are that Neil Moritz (Fast and Furious) has been named as Producer, and Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men First Class) are on board to write it. I’m not a major fan of any of their work (although First Class was pretty good), which doesn’t help to allay my fears.

I can’t see any remake of this film being as much fun as the first (since Sony who are behind it will undoubtedly blame the Verhoeven versions humour as the reason it didn’t become a box office smash), and I worry that it will in fact be quite dull. I may be wrong – in fact, I hope I am wrong – but I don’t see this ending well.

Plus, the original had Denise Richards looking hot, and Neil Patrick Harris looking like a Nazi. Win.

What do we think Crowd? Is this remake worth it?

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