We rented Forgetting Sarah Marshall over the weekend. I don’t usually get too excited for Judd Apatow movies, but this one was written by and starred Jason Segal of How I Met Your Mother, and I was interested to see how it turned out. The verdict: Hilarious. Definitely worth renting. Highlights: Mila Kunis and Russell Brand. Lowlight: Jason Segal’s private parts in full-frontal HD. I’m going to have nightmares for weeks.
Other than the movie, we spent the bulk of the weekend raking and mulching several tons of wet leaves from our back yard. Note to future homeowners: A big yard is not necessarily a good thing. I learn this the hard way year after year after year.
I’m thisclose to buying a new computer, partly because my laptop is giving me hints that its days are numbered and partly because that same laptop won’t run any of the new adventure games I want to play (e.g., A Vampyre Story, Chronicles of Mystery: The Scorpio Ritual, Sinking Island, and The Abbey).
The only problem is that I hate and fear Windows Vista, because it won’t let me play any of my favorite old adventure games that I’ve spent entire weekends getting to run on XP. Sigh.
The good news: I’m currently 900 words ahead of my desired writing pace for the month. The bad news: I’ve offically reached the end of the outline I’ve been working from for the past few months. Everything between now and the end of the novel is basically a 50,000-word black hole. I literally do not know what happens next. Exciting but scary.
LOST will return in January. Just 70 days to go! I wish I could get excited for it, but I just can’t muster the enthusiasm yet.
This has been a great week for Boston sports, and tomorrow it gets better with Thursday night football at Foxborro! Something to look forward to.
HBO has greenlighted (greenlit?) a pilot for a TV version of George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy novels. If done right, this could reach Lord of the Rings levels of awesomeness.
It’s ironic that How I Met Your Mother is finally getting good ratings just as its quality seems to be taking a nosedive.
Driving home from work yesterday I discovered that two radio stations in the metro Boston area have already gone all-Christmas. I can’t take two months of “Little Saint Nick.”
Speaking of Christmas, Amazon now has a nifty feature that allows you to add stuff from any other website to your Amazon wish list. Penny came up with that idea like three years ago. If only we knew the right people, we coulda been rich!
I have fallen asleep on the couch watching each of the last four episodes of Fringe. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?
Fox is moving Terminator and Dollhouse to Friday nights this winter. Bye bye, Terminator and Dollhouse. We hardly knew ye.
Is it just me, or is How I Met Your Mother not very funny this season? Even the return of Sarah Chalke as Stella has done nothing to stem the tide. The first two episodes of the season, but especially this last one with Regis Philbin, barely registered on my laugh meter. It’s sad, since pre-strike it was one my favorite shows. Thankfully The Office is still strong, even if it is being pre-empted this week for the equally awkward pseudo comedy of the Vice Presidential Debate.
Returning shows I’ll be watching this fall:
- The Amazing Race. Always entertaining, often exhilerating, it’s head and shoulders better than any other reality TV show.
- Bones. The funniest crime drama on television! (Joss Whedon alumni show # 1)
- Chuck. This one really picked up steam near the end of its strike-shortened freshman season. Season two already has a full 22-episode order, and I’m expecting good things. (Joss Whedon alumni show # 2)
- Dirty Sexy Money. Frivolous rainy day DVR stuff. Love it.
- Eli Stone. One of the quirkiest, character-driven legal dramas I’ve ever seen. An absolute joy.
- How I Met Your Mother. The season opener was a little weaker than past episodes, but I still have faith. (Joss Whedon alumni show # 3)
- The Office. The most perfect, painfully hilarious show on television.
- Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Just keeps getting better. (Joss Whedon alumni show # 4)
New shows I’ll give a shot:
- Worst Week. Reviews are good. We’ll see.
- Fringe. Three episodes in, I like it, though it’s the least awesome J.J. Abrams show so far.
- Crusoe. This show gets exactly one episode to convince me it won’t be terrible.
- Dollhouse. Joss Whedon alumni show # 5!
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Jeff Goldblum on a police procedural. Could be interesting.
- LOST. Will probably DVR the whole season and watch all at once.
This never happens: All but one of my favorite TV shows has been renewed for the fall season! While Bones, Lost, and The Office were never in any real danger, Terminator, Chuck, Reaper, How I Met Your Mother, Til Death, and Eli Stone were all on the bubble. I figured at least half of them were goners. I’m even strangely relieved that New Amsterdam and Back To You were cancelled, since I—like the rest of America, apparently—had already given up on them. It’s a good day.
It seems like forever ago that I gave my first impressions of the new fall TV shows. Then a little something called the writer’s strike happened (solidarity!) and screwed up my whole plan to give midterm and final grades for the new and returning shows alike. Turns out that plan was probably more ambitious than I actually am, anyway. But nevertheless, I’m back at it with a quick rundown of the “Best In Show” of the fall 2007/spring 2008 television season. *
BEST NEW SHOW: Reaper
I gave Reaper a B+ when it debuted in October, calling it “surprisingly not terrible.” Nearly a full season later, I’m in love with it, and it just keeps getting better every week. And that can only mean one thing: It’s on the bubble for renewal. (Runners up: Eli Stone, Chuck)
BEST SITCOM: The Office
It’s both the most excruciating 30 minutes of my week (that’s what she said!) and, often, a spot-on representation of the American workplace. This is my favorite show to talk about (and quote) the next day. Can’t-miss TV. (Runner up: How I Met Your Mother)
BEST DRAMA: Lost
By the middle of last season, I just wasn’t that into Lost anymore. I still watched it, but it wasn’t grabbing me like it did in the early days. But this season has been great, and I’m happy to put it back in its rightful place as the best 60-minute show around. (Runner up: Jericho)
BEST SHOW NOBODY WATCHED: Jericho
Jericho came back from the dead and gave us seven powerful episodes about my favorite post-apocalyptic Kansas town. A third season would have taken a miracle, but this abbreviated season left me wanting more. I’m sorry to see it go. (Runner up: Reaper)
BEST CONCEPT GONE HORRIBLY WRONG: Bionic Woman
How did they manage to screw this one up? Secret identities, government conspiracies, and super-powered heroines are a recipe for geek success, but Bionic Woman never knew what it wanted to be. I wasn’t at all sad to see it go. (Runner up: New Amsterdam)
BEST NEWS EVER: Joss Whedon is returning to television!
(Runner up: He’s bringing Eliza Dushku with him!)
* – I watch Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who, two perennial geek favorites, on DVD, so I’m a few seasons behind on both. But man, that David Tennant makes a great Doctor!
I can’t believe this is real.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog will be a series of three 10-minute webisodes about “a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he’s too shy to talk to,” Joss Whedon revealed on Whedonesque, his fansite. Neil Patrick Harris will play Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion will play Captain Hammer, and Felicia Day will play Penny. Plus “a cast of dozens!”
Awesome. Can’t wait. Thanks for the link, Eric.