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Dancing With the Stars Scales Back at 17

September 17, 2013

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The heat has broken, hoodies and cardigans are getting pulled from closets, and Brooke Burke Charvet only needed 15 minutes in the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars to remind us that she too was once a contestant of the show – fall is here!  We’ve been anxiously awaiting the new season of returning favorites (including Scandal, Parenthood, American Horror Story) and maybe take a chance on falling in love with something new (that doesn’t get canned halfway through). My old standby DWTS showed up first to welcome me to autumn and now I pass this sentiment onto you. Let’s get to the recap.

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Expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously: A Star Trek Clip Show

September 10, 2013

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Today marks the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the polarizing Star Trek: Into Darkness (it’s been available on iTunes for a week or so) I saw the film the day it opened and I really enjoyed it. I’ll admit to loving the previous release, though probably a bit more than the sequel. For me, if it’s Star Trek then I’m game. Okay, maybe not Enterprise… In any event, I’ve spent the last couple of days revisiting some of the films and livetweeting the hell out of them. Here are some of the highlights: Read more…

Johnny-Come-Lately in the Golden Age of Television

August 26, 2013
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Illustration by Kiersten Essenpreis

It started with Buffy. No, it started with X-Files. No wait, it started with Star Trek: The Next Generation. It happened with LOST and Battlestar Galactica, probably half a dozen others, and now I’m doing it with Breaking Bad. With all these series, I was late to start watching, and though the reason always varied slightly it mostly boiled down to me finding the premise either underwhelming or unsure it would sustain itself beyond one season. But then a tipping point is reached – enough friends talking about staying up late with marathons, enough seasons get under the show’s belt with steady growing ratings, enough critics are writing about it.  Though sometimes it’s as simple as catching one episode on my own by accident and getting sucked in enough to watch more.

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CSI:NY – The Sela Years*

August 23, 2013

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With limited mobility because my foot is in a big plastic boot, plus a dead laptop, I’ve been unable to contribute to the internet in a meaningful way for the past 10 days. Luckily I’ve been able to wrangle my sanity with the help of Sela Ward by marathoning CSI:NY.

When the New York branch of the TV franchise first opened in 2004, I gave it a chance but faded away after season two – they killed off one of the more dynamic characters (Aiden/Vanessa Ferlito) and the story arc involving Stella Bonasera and her creepy boyfriend that she had to kill that ended in her sobbing over it during an awkward scene set to a Regina Spektor song left a bad taste in my mouth. Most characters on the show were ok individually, but the ensemble in general just seemed so dour.

I'm pretty sure this is the scene where she's accidentally pulling a gun on her teenage daughter.

I’m pretty sure this is the scene where she’s accidentally pulling a gun on her teenage daughter.

Fast-forward to season 7, after a contract dispute with Melina Kanakaredes they wrote her character Stella off (I suppose a promotion to New Orleans is better than death…and hey, why not lay some groundwork for a possible new franchise!), the show needed a new second-in-command for Gary Sinise’s Mac Taylor and in walks Sela Ward as Jo Danville.   Read more…

Who is That (Bl)Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor

August 15, 2013

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    “But these are the realities of the artistic idealism and the stock, the commercial/financial realism, and, so, somehow sometimes it is going to work in your favor and sometimes against, and that’s all part and parcel of it.”

- Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor might not have the profile of Idris (no last name needed) or the boyish charms of Adrian Lester or the gravitas of David Harewood, make no mistake he is a UK blactor worth knowing. Ejiofor is my pick for next James Bond (sorry Idris) and if you’ve spied his work in Children of Men, Inside Man or American Gangster you know exactly what I’m talking about. Read more…

You should be watching The Fall.

August 9, 2013

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David Duchovny’s birthday was Wednesday and today it’s the natal celebration of Gillian Anderson. Will some gossip astrologist look into this TV-star-crossed pairing?  The former Agent Scully has luckily having a bit of a TV renaissance, with her guest appearances in the NBC show Hannibal but also starring in an amazing BBC series you should be watching: The Fall.

Anderson plays Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, who’s brought in to Belfast to investigate a stalled murder investigation. Read more…

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