Storming the battlements, hoisting the petard and seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth, it’s the Open Thread!
The big news this week: TV executives on a rampage! Heroes got canceled after four seasons, meaning we’ll never know whether the time traveler and the amnesiac would hook up and produce a power-negating baby who’d save the past from the future (you know who I mean, right?). Law & Order was canceled after 20 years on the air, though you can still catch “Special Victims Unit,” “Criminal Intent,” “Los Angeles,” “Whale Watch,” “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” or the recently announced “Law & Order: Die Darkman Die” in syndication. And while Parks & Recreation hasn’t been canceled yet, it was bumped to mid-season 2011 – rarely a good sign. My advice? Have a young will-they-or-won’t-they couple consummate their passion. That always helps.
(P.S. Belinkie would kill me, and then be arrested by Zombie Jerry Orbach, if I didn’t remind you to check out his Law & Order Database)
Question: script a cross-over episode between any 2 of those 3 imperiled shows. Give your elevator pitch in the comments.
NBC wasn’t the only afflicted network. FlashForward (a favorite of our commenters) got the axe as well, prompting a thousand bloggers to rub their hands together and draft posts entitled, “DID YOU SEE THAT COMING?” Meanwhile, at CBS, “Cold Case” got moved to the cold case file, “Ghost Whisperer” received its eternal reward and “Numb3rs” could not boost its numbers, proving once and for all that even Overthinking It will reach for low-hanging puns if they can.
Question: make up your own punning title to head a blog post announcing the cancellation of one of these shows, because clearly Perich needs a hand.
Did a ghost inspire D.A. Sam Waterston to open a long-dead file on a park ranger who could see the future something-something numbers? Or is there any other pop culture news you want us to Overthink? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.
Also, SHARE YOUR MR. T PARTY EXPERIENCES!
Tweet to the hashtag #MrTParty!
Post to Facebook!
Gather with your friends!
OTI wasn’t successful getting big live events together ourselves, but you guys are the GRASS ROOTS!
YOU are the ones who make it all possible!
TAKE YOUR COUNTRY BACK, FOOLS!!!
@fenzel: Once I get off of work, I plan on watching Rocky III. I’ve also noticed a resurgance of the Mr. T Mohawk Grenade Commerical for World of Warcraft. Today being Mr. T’s birthday and The Mr. T Party, I wonder if it’s a coincidence? I think not.
On the video game front, we may have a debate brewing between Roger Ebert (film critic) and Samoa Joe (professional wrestler) about whether or not video games are art. Mr. Ebert has gone on record declaring that they are not. Samoa Joe has called him out on Twitter about his recent article proclaiming this. I hope Ebert responds as this could be an epic debate limited only by the edge of your seat and 140 characters. i don’t know about the over Overthinkers, but my money is on Samoa Joe.
About FF: My displeasure is amped by how V is still safe, even though it did worse. I have been watching both, but I enjoy (in a weird way, mind you) FF much more- and I’m watching FF while it’s on the air v. V (hah!) online, so I don’t know if ABC even picks up or counts the latter in its ratings determination process. I haven’t looked at many articles speculating as to why the decision was made, but I tinker with the idea of it having to do with this V’s basis on an older show.
I was expecting to hear about this:
Megan Fox quit _Transformers 3_! Oh my frikkin’ GOD, what the frak are we gonna do?!?! I don’t know who she’s kidding. I’d like to hope she doesn’t think she’s actually talented and doesn’t owe him anything, but I’m guessing she’s probably so stupid and naive that she is oblivious to the reality of the situation and has the notion she’s more than just a nice set of T&A. She reminds me a lot of Sarah Palin- either actually that dumb, or REALLY good at faking it. Maybe she can play her in the sweeping biopic in a few years- her lack of talent could pass as REAL talent there, given the subject matter. And Joe the Plumber could be played by Michael Chiklis.
Oh, and this: Lindsey Lohan is kuh-RAY-ZAAAAY!!
And another thing: The new National Premiere Soccer League team from Buffalo held a contest wherein fans could vote among a few potential mascot names, and the winner was “Blitzers.” The victory has been attributed to Wolf Blitzer’s grassroots campaigning during his show on CNN for that name because he’s from Buffalo. While it’s not nearly as funny as Stephen Colbert getting the toilet on the space station named after him, I think it demonstrates how corrupt the media really is, and it’s only a matter of time before those liberal whack-jobs show their true colors and find a way to drop all neutrality in every election ever. In all seriousness, I do think it presents potential for contemplation about the effectiveness of different forms of media in and on grassroots organization. Imagine how big the Mr. T Party would be if it got the media attention those Teabaggers get.
Oh, by “him” in the Fox part, I meant Michael Bay. And I also meant Fox could play Palin. Sorry. Pronoun fail.
@RiderIron: Agreed. Samoa Joe is totally going to kick a** there. Metaphorically, of course.
And, uh, that kind of reminds me of something involving my favorite football player. Brian Urlacher is kind of going at it in the media against former and fellow Bear player Gale Sayers. Sayers kind of bashed the current team (understandably, since every year since they went to Superbowl XLI), Urlacher included, and Urlacher responded by pointing out Sayers’s lack of a championship ring and that he’s kind of betraying his own guys by doing so (understandably, since the Bears are getting bashed enough as it is).
And speaking of football, Bret Favre is basing his decision about playing another season on whether the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (baseball team from his alma matter) makes it to their championship or not.
(I realize I’m usually the only one caring about NFL news, but meh.)
Another mess-up: “…Superbowl XLI [has been a “rebuilding year”]”
@Gab: It was my understanding that the studio opted not to renew her contract for the 3rd film at the request of Michael Bay. After her behavior on the set of Transformers 2 and publicly calling Bay a “Nazi” being the catalyst for that decision. I frankly don’t blame Bay for wanting Fox gone. I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.
Stephen Colbert has had an eagle, a minor league hockey mascot and the treadmill on the Internation Space Station named after him. The last one is a minor victory as he originally was trying to get the entire module (which contains the treadmill) named after him. I still wish his Doritos sponsored Presidential bid would have went better but such is life.
And Gab, you Bears fans have it easy. Your team has at least won a Super Bowl. Try being a Cleveland fan.
@RiderIron: Hm, the article I read about Fox made it sound like she quit. It makes sense Bay would want her off the project, then. I stand by my theory about her being naive, though. She could have apologized.
And I was thinking about the Bears-bashing versus the bashing other teams like the Lions and, yes, sadly, your Browns get after posting. I make this analogy: Two guys, A and B say dickish things a lot. A has absolutely no social skills, let’s say he has Asperger’s, so he’s just being honest. B totally understands social norms and says stuff to be an asshole, knowing and understanding that what he says is hurtful. A gets excused a lot and people don’t take him (as) personally because he just doesn’t get it, he doesn’t mean any harm, etc.; B is judged negatively for what he says because his intent is to hurt people, and that’s not cool. The Lions and other teams similar to them (although they do take the cake for Worst Team Ever) are like A and the Bears are like B. It’s sad that the Browns lose a lot, but that’s kind of expected- any calls for wins are more encouraging and have a tone like, “C’mon, you’ve lost enough, you can do it!” They have a positive undertone. Whereas the Bears, as you point out (and your comment supports my theory, as such), have actually WON a Superbowl- “They should do better!” is the tone of the insults. It’s more accusatory, making less excuses and has more malice. The undertone is judgmental in a negative way.
Apparently Bret Michaels was hospitalized again, this time because of a “mini stroke” and then they found a small hole in his heart.
The guy can’t catch a break can he?
Has anyone actually watched the Apprentice this season? My family watched the first few episodes, only until Rob B. got kicked off and then we all cheered (we live in IL so we have a special kind of loathing for him)
And I’m actually glad that Heroes got cancelled, I stopped watching at the beginning of this season because it seemed to me that none of the characters had any kind of real growth; Syler was still homicidal (and wouldn’t die), Clarie was still whining, Pete was still emo, ect. I felt that they should have stopped after the first season because after that the whole ‘save the world’ plot-line felt kind of redundant.
@Megan: Oh, was *that* why Bret was on Oprah while I was watching Ellen? I couldn’t hear and assumed it was just him talking about what happened before. Yeah, I agree, poor fella.
So does that mean Rob B. *and* his wife have been on? Because, if memory serves me correct (and I have never watched the show itself), he was scheduled to be on, and then the whole corruption thing happened, so he opted out to handle it and she took his place.
About Heroes: I never watched it myself, but I knew a massive amount of people that did the first season. The number dropped more and more each season, until this one- now nobody I know follows it. I usually forget the cheerleader’s name (Hayden Panettiere), but I’ll always remember her as the little girl from this movie (even though I’ve actually seen and heard quite a bit of her work, on the screen and behind the microphone):
Why all the talk of TV cancellations? There’s some good news afoot: Community got renewed for a second season. Castle and Fringe got renewed for their third seasons. And, perhaps most joyously and inexplicably, Chuck got renewed for its fourth! By the end of its run, Chuck might actually wind up having a respectable lifespan!
Anyone catch the Fringe season finale, by the way? What a downer! Like, Empire Strikes Back level of depressing.
This is the news about Community being given to the actors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LM4qCI0RTo
Sort of like Dollhouse — I was a fan — I keep waiting for Chuck to deliver on its promise. It only seems to get interesting around the end of a season.
I just started guzzling Community, and I’m really enjoying it (especially John Oliver, who is wonderful in all things), so I was glad to hear it got renewed, especially with the axe swinging so thoroughly.
FlashinthepanForward was almost instantly one of my favourite shows, and though I’ve not watched Law and Order, why can’t we just have Law and Order: Post-Human Squad where the police take over the work of The Company post the world revelation of the Heroes’ abilities at the end of Season 5.
Cancellation of Heroes is good news. Now maybe the actors can do better things.
I realize I have already said a lot on this thread, but really, watch this. It’s a comedy.
Yeah, I’m one of the ones who gave up on Heroes. Season 1 was just so freaking good that we knew it wouldn’t last, but for it to descend so quickly, and so badly was a rude shock.
I hung in there, though… until [REDACTED]. At that point, it occurred to me that I no longer understand any of the motivations of these characters, and worse, I didn’t care. So yeah, not sad to see it go.
Oops, that spoiler was supposed to be in white text, but apparently that html is not supported here. Could one of the proprietors of this fine establishment kindly redact my above comment?
Just read this review of “MacGruber” on the NYTimes. Which one of you is ghostwriting for A.O. Scott?
Yeah, I saw that review, and had the same thought. (Though, to be fair, he was doing it to be snotty and we do it for serious.)
Think I should offer that guy a position?
Oh, Ghost Whisperer. That show is insane. They must throw out any idea and then decide to run with it. My parents watch so it’s in the background while I’m working. The ghost twin who hangs around seems similar to that new Zac Effron movie. OK, not really. Nevermind.
@Jon Eric I love Nathan Fillion but how is Castle getting renewed a good thing? I’m sorry but that globs together a script without the slightest hint of subtlety. You could actually probably write it since you can guess what the “clever” lines will be before someone says them. I also have lots of other nitpicky issues like why is her hair even nicer than Mariska Hargitay’s. Good music though.
@Matthew Wrather Agreed (concerning Chuck). There are scattered high points throughout the season but the definite focus is the beginning and end of a season.
How can anyone not love Community?
I can’t say I’m really sad to see any show go. Even Law & Order. The old episodes are still the best. Ugly Betty was a show that I was really starting to like again despite its ups and downs but managed to pull it together for the series finale.
I never got into The Tudors but at least now I’ll have fewer DVDs to purchase.
Dr Who’s Vampire of Venice had great production design – kinda Dario Argento – but felt a bit weak
LOST is airing here on Wedensday, which means i’ll pretty much have to avoid the Internet to avoid spoilers. i’m not sure why it’s so unpopular… i’m working on an essay that i hope OT (or someone) will run. basically, it feels too intense
The NYT interview is funny, but I spot the difference you pointed out, Wrather. The guy is being a pretentious arsehole for the sake of being a pretentious arsehole- for example, his citing external motivators for the characters via their actors (like “because he was paid,”) isn’t quite the kind of thing y’all do normally (I’d rather he had postulated some totally fabricated backstory for the character, to continue with the example). But, bottom line, all he’s doing is spouting an opinion without any evidence to back it up- he’s just using reeeeeally big, jargony terminology.
I was into _Community_ at first, but kind of fell off of the bandwagon, actually. Was it really ever at risk of getting cancelled, though?
@Cat: All of your complaints about _Castle_ are legitimate, and I realize the show isn’t the best in the world, but I still enjoy it a lot and the weaknesses don’t bother me enough to make me dislike the show as a whole. I think the main reason _Castle_ works *for me* is because it’s absolutely, 100% self-aware. There are myriad internal, meta-references every episode, and it nods at its own cheese frequently enough that it’s easy to tell it doesn’t take itself all that seriously- it, and I, expect the cheese, anticipate it, look forward to it. Yeah, it has its moments of Uber Seriousness (steak, if you will), but those are rather few and far between- and, imo, when they actually do occur, they’re worked into the rest of the dish so seamlessly that for those brief moments, it’s easy to forget the cheese. This, to me, says the writers are actually *extremely* clever and talented, because they don’t just switch back and forth from cheese to steak or have them sitting next to each other or on different plates in a rather disjointed fashion (which anybody could do), they somehow melt them together on the same plate.
Hm, food analogies, and I haven’t watched _Top Chef Masters_ this week yet. On Demand.
@Brimstone: I agree 100% about Dr. Who. I thought the episode jumped around a lot. Granted, I watch the Americanized version on BBC America, but still, if they’re going to cut things out, they should at least cut out stuff that doesn’t give explanation for something later- if nothing else, the transitions suffered. But those costumes: Oh my GOSH. Absolutely fabulous. One detail I noticed (and it didn’t bother me, but I live with a costumer/seamstress, so it bothered her) was the corset that opened from the front- she was a noble, so it should have laced down the back. Ahem.
Re: “MacGruber,” it seems like the combination of bad critical reviews + people’s instinctual negative assumptions about the movie are causing it to bomb at the box office. But a scan of the buzz on /Film and Twitter suggests that the movie is actually getting good buzz from those who actually saw it.
Anybody out there see it?
I saw “Best Worst Movie” (the “Troll 2” documentary) instead, and also “Troll 2,” this weekend. Loved them both. Expect a podcast discussion, post, or both, coming soon.
Oh, and I also saw “Aliens” for the first time this weekend. It was like seeing “Avatar” and “Starship Troopers” again, except the quasi-fascist marines are the good guys. Seriously, though, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I hear bad things about the rest of the Alien movies (3, Resurrection). Should I just quit while I’m ahead?
@lee: Alien 3 didn’t live up to what it could have been, but on its own terms, it works pretty well and is quite underrated.
Resurrection was a money pit. Don’t bother.
@lee & @Jon Honestly, I liked Resurrection more than 3, but possibly because I’m a big fan of “Delicatessen,” so I was willing to give the directors the benefit of the doubt.
Heroes getting cancelled: THANK GOD. I feel sorry for the show, the first season was pretty excellent until the let-down finale and like Martin said, the actors can move on to better things (like playing Spock).
Megan Fox: As she alone sparked the Sexism in Action Movies debate and put a shame to the female population, I for one am celebrating this happy occasion. The way I heard it, she was kicked from the cast by Bay; didn’t hear about the “Nazi” comment, though, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Doctor Who: The Vampires in Venice episode I thought was pretty good. Shame the Doctor still couldn’t really save anyone (he appears to be a bit useless this season, doesn’t he?) I don’t quite know where they’re going with that; the Doctor seems very distant and in-human, especially when compared to Tennant’s Doctor.
I’ve been holding this rant in for a while, but since everyone is bringing it up, here goes.
I really don’t like this season of Doctor Who.
I’m trying to pinpoint a single reason why, but I find myself disappointed by almost everything. The season started off well. I like Matt Smith’s acting in general, and “The Eleventh Hour” established him as a different Doctor than Ten. I liked his stillness in the season premiere; as much as I loved Tennant, it was nice to see a Doctor who wasn’t as twitchy. I also found Amy charming and fascinating. Here was a character who appeared to have instant depth: independent but very alone, clearly screwed up by the Doctor at an early age, and feisty but not unrealistically so.
Then everything fell apart. Now Eleven annoys me by constantly telling me how clever he is, even though he failed to solve every episode except for “The Eleventh Hour” and “Vampires” (where he only solved the episode by flipping a switch — something anyone could have done). Amy’s character went from “potentially complex” to two-dimensional. (Her dimensions? Snarky Sexpot and Dumb Wide-Eyed Ingenue.) All of the characters this season are cartoons (Liz 10, anyone?), but Amy seems more inhuman to me than even the Doctor.
The plots, for the most part, are incoherent. (Oh, lordy, “The Beast Below.” “Flesh and Stone” wasn’t much better– sorry, Angel lovers.) As silly as some of RTD’s plots were, they made sense in a nonsensical sort of way, and most were about themes that spoke to me. This season, on the other hand, seems desperate to squeeze as many unrelated ideas as possible into each episode, all to get across the excellent moral of “Women need men to ‘sort them out’ and get them married off or the Universe will literally fall apart.”
I realize I’m in the minority here. The Internet tells me that Moffat is Clearly Better than RTD…but I just don’t see it. As I said in this week’s Lost podcast, when the 10th Doctor regenerated, I cried for hours. (Really. Hours.) At this point, if Amy or 11 died, I’d probably just shrug. Then again, this isn’t the first time I’ve been at odds with Doctor Who fans. Last week, I finally got around to watching the Torchwood: CoE miniseries, and I thought it was excellent, one of the most thought-provoking television series I’ve ever seen. Then the Internet tells me I’m wrong; it sucked because it had an unhappy ending. Whoops! Shows what I know!
I’m still holding out hope for this season. But, at this point, I’d rather watch Donna and 10 hang out at a spa or watch the Fourth Doctor go shopping (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55lfbMr8gqo) than watch Amy and 11 save space-time. Let the flame wars begin!
@mlawski – Agree for the most part actually. I like Matt Smith – no Tennant but still good. I love that the ‘Crack in the Universe’ is more a “Buffy Big Bad” then a tack on for the last 2 episodes like most of Seasons 2, 3 and 4. But that is it.
The stories are pretty bad thusfar. Part one of the Angels was good, but it went bad in the second part. Amy is hot, but too . . . dare I say horney? I like my female companions like Moneypenny – dripping with sexuality but not mentioning it. This last episode, ‘Vampires in Venice’ was horrible. The ‘Vampires’ themselves seemed like something out of a 1960’s The Outer Limit, which means we have 50 years of better acting, directing and storytelling to improve on. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t stop watching as the Serialized story seems worth it, but I too am disappointed.
@Bob: Just so I can continue to paint myself as a black hole of negativity… I don’t like the Crack in the Universe plot either. What bothers me is that the Doctor was aware of it in the first episode of the season, yet he went off gallivanting with his hot Scottish Companion anyway. Dude, you’re the DOCTOR. GO AND FIX IT. Don’t wait for the season finale! Fix it! Fix it now! (I guess you could make the same argument about the “bees disappearing” plot of season 4, but, meh, bees. Chalk it up to global warming and call it a day. Who could have known that it was Davros’s fault?)
Mlawski: C’mon, you didn’t think River Song was awesome, even if she *was* in two badly-written episodes this season? I’m not one to follow rumor mills and the like, so all I can say is I *really* hope she comes back. At least both times she has shown up thus far, it has been for two-parters.
And about the angels: I thought they were scarier the first time they showed up, when it was still Davit Tennant. Seeing them actually moving took a lot away from the terror and suspense. I had *very* similar feelings there as I did when the animatronic shark finally showed up in _Jaws_. The radio thing was creepy, but I feel like the overall mystery and danger kind of got killed when the statues were CGI-d and SHOWN getting around.
So does this mean you aren’t going to do an Overthinking Dr. Who series for us? Sad your avatar.
@Gab: I’m sure River Song will make an appearance in the season finale. While I liked her back in Silence in the Library, as I watched the Angels two-parter I began to understand why people hate her so much. It’s the smugness. She doesn’t come off as a person anymore (if she ever did); she comes off as a mouthpiece for the writers so they can say, “Nyah nyah, we know something you don’t know!” Highly annoying.
I can see two better ways to approach writing this character. Approach 1: Make her a more obvious bad guy, a la Ben Linus. Then she’d be withholding information for a (manipulative) reason. For instance, she could say at the beginning of an episode, “I have information that you need, Doctor, but I won’t reveal it until you help me do X.” Then, at the end of the episode, she’d reveal some vague info, but you’d never really be sure if she was lying or not. The smugness would then work for her, because smug bad guys are much easier to take than smug good guys.
Approach 2: Make her more obviously likeable. When she withholds information, instead of having her say, “Spoilers! Spoilers! Ha ha, I won’t tell you,” have her say, “Look, Doctor, I’d really love to give you this information, but I simply can’t. In my past, and your future, your future self told me that I can’t give you this information outright, because it’ll mess up the timeline. But I can give you these hints because I love you, because screw what your future self has to say.” That would be far more interesting to me than the “I know something you don’t know!” River we’re getting now.
I’m not yet sure if the Overthinking Who series is going to happen or not. I’ll keep you posted.
@Mlawski: I think underlying her smugness is the notion/insinuation that it comes from something like your second option. To me, it has always felt understood that she’s withholding the information for his own good or something along those lines, and her cheekiness and arrogance are akin to the Doctor’s- which may be why they have whatever connection in his future. Further, I didn’t mind the teasing of the Doctor, since he withholds information all the bloody time, so it’s kind of refreshing to watch *him* squirm instead of making others do it. The role-reversal is interesting and sadistically fun to watch.
But I will admit, now that you say it, I suppose she *does* seem kind of like a meta-tease; but I hadn’t really thought of her that way, myself, beforehand. And since I don’t really read the internet buzz stuff, I had no idea “everyone hated her so much.” That makes me feel kind of stupid.
But, then again, if YOU enjoy RTD’s stories more than Moffat’s, you’re allowed to, and everybody can eff themselves. Likewise, I’ll go on thinking River Song is awesome, even if the internet wants to tell me otherwise. It’s one thing to back down because a claim is dis-proven by fact, but one should never change their opinion just because they differ from others (at least, not over pop culture- I mean, if a person is of the “opinion” that genocide is good, there’s a problem, obviously).
This is literally the only place I’ve looked up Doctor Who other than IMDB. I didn’t know people hated River. I liked her and never thought she was trying to fool the Doctor.
@mlawski – I infered that the Doctor thought the crack in Amy’s room was made because of the prisoner escape, hence why he thought nothing of it. Just my opinion.
@Bob: Ah, sorry, I was referring to that moment at the very end of the first episode when the Doctor sees the Crack on his instruments in the TARDIS. If you watch that scene again, you’ll see that the Doctor definitely noticed it…and yet the next episode he essentially shrugs his shoulders and takes Amy on vacation.
There are two explanations for this behavior that I might accept. Explanation 1: By taking Amy on vacation in the second and third episodes, the Doctor WAS dealing with the Crack problem in some mysterious way. Maybe at the end of the first episode he thought, “Hmm, this Crack is weird, and I bet it has something to do with this Amy character. Let’s go somewhere out in the middle of nowhere and see if the Crack follows her.” But if this is actually the case, I wish the show would acknowledge it already. This new Doctor is a little too inscrutable for me.
Explanation 2: This new Doctor is actively trying to avoid any responsibility for anything as a reaction against his major screw-ups/god complex at the end of his run as 10. In this case, the act of ignoring and running away from the Cracks in the Universe is character development, not bad writing. But, again, if this is actually the case, I wish the show would acknowledge it already. (As interesting as this explanation would be, I personally don’t think this is what Moffat & co. are going for, because it’s not like the Doctor ran away from the Daleks or the Angels earlier this season. If the Doctor really is doing a Peter Parker-esque “I don’t wanna be Spider-Man anymore! I quit!” why is he still taking Companions on adventures as usual?)
Oh, wait, I thought of a third explanation that also might be cool: The Doctor isn’t fixing the Cracks because he has an inkling that he himself in the future made them because he wants everyone in the Universe to forget all of the crap he put them through over the past few seasons. So everyone in England forgets that they were attacked by Daleks; the giant cyberman from The Next Doctor is erased from 19th century history; maybe even Rose and Martha and all the rest of the Companions are made to forget about the Doctor himself. You know what? I like this explanation. If this is how the season ends, I might retroactively like it again.