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Sweet Sugary Junk – Flight of the Conchords, Season 2 (Highlights)

Posted by television On January - 30 - 2009
Hiding said lumps: Bret McKenzie + Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords

Hiding said lumps: Bret McKenzie + Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords

Boys and girls with exquisite taste that includes freakishly huge lips and Kiwi accents, your quest is an end. Season Two of Flight of the Conchords is so on. If you haven’t yet taken the time, please turn your attention to something I think we can all appreciate, a song from Episode 2, Sugar Lumps:

Video courtesy of HBO via YouTube (2009)

Dick in a Box appropriately had its day, and Milkshake, while brilliantly produced, took itself too seriously. The only song that comes close (though unfortunately, not at all a parody) was Riskay’s 2007 track Smell Yo Dick.

This stark resemblance lies primarily in the sense that if these tracks were pounding in some godawful Richmond Street locale, the patrons wouldn’t notice the difference. They’d still bump and grind like Fergie herself was the MC.

I wonder if they get Fergie stand-ins at parties in the UK. You know, like they did with Paris Hilton? Understandably, careers are beset with highs and lows, but I think once an individual’s reached that point, it’s time to spare the common man and take up night school.

The Golden Globes: Stars Gone Wild

Posted by film On January - 16 - 2009

By Rachel West

The foreign press is in the house!

The foreign press is in the house!

Do the Golden Globes really matter?

That was the question that bobbed in and out of my consciousness as I sat back and watched the live telecast on January 11th. There were the stars themselves, so busy drinking and chatting with one another that presenter Ricky Gervais, beer in hand, felt moved to chastise them from stage, ”How rude are you lot? Just because you’re film stars? Shusssh!” So, let’s take a cue from the boisterous stars of film and television, and treat Globes as a party leading up to the more serious Academy Awards in February.

The evening provided a blending of film and TV stars who knocked back glasses of Moet champagne (recession, anyone?) through the three-hour ceremony with smiles plastered on their faces. As proved by countless DUI mug shots, stars and booze don’t always mix, which can be the only explanation for some of the night’s biggest flops and rambling speeches. In the end, while the Golden Globes may not much affect the outcome of the Academy Awards or bring as much heft as the Emmys do in the realm of television, they certainly can be entertaining.

With some tough competition in most categories, there was a good mix of predictable winners and genuine surprises.

The evening’s top highlights:

Slumdog Millionaire’s Four Category Sweep

Director Danny Boyle wants to be a millionaire.

Director Danny Boyle wants to be a millionaire!

Going 4 for 4 for the little picture that could is a true Hollywood rags to riches story in the film that almost became a direct-to-DVD release. It proved that Toronto audiences know a good thing when they see it, having voted Slumdog the People’s Choice Award winner at TIFF. Outshining big name contenders like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for Best Picture-Drama, winning Best Score and Best Screenplay, and with Danny Boyle taking home the gold for directing, Slumdog is heading for the Oscars full speed ahead.

Tracey Morgan is “The Face of Post-Racial America”

30 Rock was the big winner when it comes to TV, with stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin picking up the acting trophies, and the show winning top honours in the Musical or Comedy categories. But it was Tracey Morgan’s hilarious acceptance speech as part of the series win that provided another of the evening’s highlights. ”Tina Fey and I had an agreement that if Barack Obama won, I would speak for the show from now on,” Morgan declared, ”I’m the face of post-racial America. Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!” Cate Blanchett and the rest of us can definitely deal with it if the show continues to be that funny.

Kate Winslet’s Double Win

Winslet quashes rumours she neglected to shave her armpits.

Winslet quashes rumours she neglected to shave her armpits.

Sure, she’s one of the greatest actresses of our time and has the award nominations to prove it, but she faced stiff competition in the Supporting Actress category. Penelope Cruz looked like the clear rival to Winslet, as she has won much acclaim for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Winslet’s win was a nice reward as she appeared genuinely surprised and honoured to take home the gold. Her win in the Supporting category almost seemed to instantly open the door for Anne Hathaway or the formidable Meryl Streep to best her in the lead Actress-Drama category. Lo and behold, at the end of the night, Winslet emerged triumphant again as she emotionally accepted her second award. Perhaps she’s finally through with being the Oscars’ perennial bridesmaid.

Ricky Gervais – Are You Havin’ a Quaff?

Not only did he tell everyone to be quiet, he also did it with a half-consumed glass of beer in hand. It must have been some good beer since he helped himself to another gulp in the midst of his presentation for Best Film- Musical or Comedy nominee Happy-Go-Lucky. After cracking a few of the night’s funnier quips, he proved why it’s best to leave the jokes to the professionals.

Of course, you can’t have highlights without a few low points.

Unfunny Funny Guys

Both Seth Rogen and Sasha Baron Cohen took the stage as awards presenters and instead of delivering what could have been some top comedy, they both delivered cringe-worthy one-liners. Rogen’s attempt to make a joke at the expense of the night’s Best Actor- Drama winner Mickey Rourke received a forced smile from Rourke’s Wrestler co-star Marisa Tomei who looked like she’d rather be anywhere else. As for Cohen, an outdated Madonna joke pretty much fell flat, receiving only a few polite laughs from the crowd…with the exception of Drew Barrymore who could be seen laughing hysterically in the background.

Colin Farrell Fairly Incoherent

Either he's bored or he's nuts.

Either he's bored or he's nuts.

From his strange award presentation to his rambling acceptance speech for Best Actor- Musical or Comedy, Farrell made many bewildering comments. After sniffling through the presentation for Best Foreign Film, Farrell had the urge to share, “I still have a cold…It’s not the other thing it used to be…” Talk about too much information. Farrell was back onstage later to accept his acting trophy and was visibly shocked to have won for his role in the darkly comic In Bruges. Obviously unprepared for the win, he rambled aimlessly as the audience was left to follow him through his stream-of-conscious thought process where he mentioned everything from irregular vote counting in Florida to his Bono-inspired words of wisdom “‘Curiosity is love; it’s ignorance’s nemesis.” Next time a heartfelt “Thank You” will suffice.

David Duchovny Makes it a Little Awkward

It hasn’t been a good year for David Duchovny. After going through a much publicized stint in rehab for sex addiction and rumours of his and wife Tea Leoni’s infidelity running rampant in the tabloids, he then loses the Golden Globe for Best Actor- Musical or Comedy to Alec Baldwin. But he’s not mad. And he wants you to know that. He also wants you to know that he has a very happy and normal family life with his wife and children. Thoroughly making co-presenter Jane Krakowski uncomfortable with his awkward small talk, he pointedly informed viewers of a text message he received from his wife. With lame jokes this lame, it’s no wonder he lost the award.

Steven Spielberg Drones on With Joy

The guy may have built a critically and commercially successful career for himself as a director, writer, and producer, but man, is he boring. Spielberg’s acceptance speech was like watching paint dry. Friend and fellow director Martin Scorsese presented the award to Spielberg, and you’d think that two cinematic geniuses could come up with something a little more interesting. At least they didn’t have E.T. present the award.

List of Winners:

Penelope Cruz glancing (sexy) back.

Penelope Cruz glancing (sexy) back.

MOTION PICTURES:

-Picture, Drama: Slumdog Millionaire
-Picture, Musical or Comedy: Vicky Christina Barcelona
-Actor, Drama: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
-Actress, Drama: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
-Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
-Actor, Musical or Comedy: Colin Farrell, In Bruges
-Actress, Musical or Comedy: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
-Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
-Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
-Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
-Animated Film: Wall-E
-Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
-Original Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
-Original Song: “The Wrestler” (performed by Bruce Springsteen, written by Bruce Springsteen), The Wrestler

TELEVISION:

-Series, Drama: Mad Men
-Actor, Drama: Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
-Actress, Drama: Anna Paquin, True Blood
-Series, Musical or Comedy: 30 Rock

Fey accepts the Everyone's Favourite Person award.

Fey accepts the Everyone's Favourite Person award.

-Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
-Actress, Musical or Comedy: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
-Miniseries or Movie: John Adams
-Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, John Adams
-Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Paul Giammatti, John Adams
-Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Dern, Recount
-Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Wilkinson, John Adams
-Cecil B. DeMille Award: Steven Spielberg.

MTV Awards Recap

Posted by film On June - 17 - 2008

By Shane McNeil

Did I miss the memo about them holding the MTV Movie Awards in lieu of the Teen Choice Awards?

Alright, so no one ever actually took the MTV flick awards seriously. The golden popcorn, the often ridiculous interludes, the outrageous PR stunts, the offbeat categories… it just can’t be expected to be legit.

But here’s the rub. At least, once upon a time, they were interesting. I found myself watching the broadcast on Sunday night for no other reason than a lack of options and it made me weep a little for humanity.

I realize that they skew young and that I am aging and so their relevance will inevitably fade, but is this what we’ve come to?

Under what circumstance is Transformers the best movie? In what universe is this movie’s quality applauded and rewarded?

PR has always been an element, but it seems like the stars are just phoning it in nowadays and dropping plugs whenever they possibly can. And they’re not the only ones.

Is this the same awards show that featured those ridiculously clever Max Fischer Players re-enactments years ago? Now it seems like they’ve resorted to just putting stars together and hoping it’ll somehow work. It’s making a stir fry by throwing noodles and soy sauce in a pan, and hoping for the best.

I have the strong feeling that MTV doesn’t give a bean what I, or anyone my age or older, thinks, but it’s just tragic to see an event that actually used to try very hard to be fresh and original start looking and sounding a lot like just about every other bogus, bloated plug-fest awards ceremony on the film circuit. (You can’t even give us an interesting musical performance apart from Adam Sandler serenading himself? Really?)

I guess they’ll never recapture the zeitgeist, like the time they were the only ones with the stones enough to say “Pulp Fiction was way better than Forrest Gump.” And they may never be as clever as they were when they gave Clint Howard a lifetime achievement award, but a little effort would be appreciated.

Were it not for Robert Downey Jr. being watchable in any possible circumstance (guy could get an Oscar nod for a Spic and Span commercial) and Johnny Depp looking better than he has since he packed up and sold his house on Jump Street (which still doesn’t explain him winning those awards), I don’t know what anyone would have realistically been able to take away from the show.

But this is also what happens when you expect a show to be able to keep it up for any extended period of time. Everyone jumps the shark eventually, and I have the feeling that had I been watching for the last five years or so I wouldn’t have been even remotely surprised.

Afterthought: Will Smith, please let your son have his own career. If you want to be the star in the movie of his life, there’s a little show called I Know My Kid’s a Star for that.

Favorite TV Moments of Fall ’07

Posted by television On December - 26 - 2007

Complete with clips to tide you over through the Christmas specials and season reruns.

By Alexander B. Huls

Though it was often a truncated season, and one that might be a long time returning after Christmas, here are some of the moments I most enjoyed from this year’s batch of shows, new and old.

Slapsgiving, How I Met Your Mother

Continuing what has become a running joke on the show, the creators of HIMYM took it to hilarious new heights. Not only does Marshall make Thanksgiving also Slapsgiving (i.e. a day where slappage occurs), after finally receiving the allowance of the Slap Bet Commissioner (i.e. Lily) to go ahead and take his pound of flesh from Barney, Marshall launches into a pre-composed song honoring the act. “The Slap Song” makes for another classic HIMYM moment, and to me, it is this year’s Robin Sparkles.

“I own you,” Dexter

After watching Dexter being harassed by Doakes, and secretly wishing Dexter would do something about it (as long as it didn’t endanger our hero), we finally got our moment. In hindsight, I still think it was an insanely stupid thing to do, but that’s about all I’ll say, because, frankly, this moment just needs to speak for itself.

“I’m Batman,” Supernatural

The funniest the show has produced so far, this episode (“Bad Day at Black Rock”) had numerous excellent moments – the “I lost my shoe” bit being a classic – but this for me was the best. As if Dean wasn’t bad enough with his bad-ass cockiness, throw in a temporary luck-bringing rabbit’s foot that can ensure his safety, and you’ve got yourself a funny situation, made even more so by a well placed, self-aggrandizing pop-culture reference.

The Kiss, Chuck

After months of watching Chuck long for Sarah quietly (and sometimes not so quietly), when both were faced with their imminent death it was a pleasant shock to see the two finally lock lips. Most surprising was the fact that Sarah kissed Chuck – instead of the other way around – as the latter sadly resigned himself to a casual “It was nice knowing you.” Of course, things wouldn’t be easy for Chuck and Sarah (as subsequent episodes proved), but we Chuck/Sarah relationshippers will always have this kiss to keep us going. Or at least to live up to. I mean, that was a hot kiss.

Henry Dances, Ugly Betty

Of all the clips to choose from, this may be an odd choice. The thing is, I’ve adored Henry (and sure, his “will they or won’t they” relationship with Betty) since his first appearance. So, to see the adorable accountant break out of his comfortable self and show off his moves (spanning everything from Russian to John Travolta), in a wife-beater no less? Bliss.

Saran Wrap Kiss, Pushing Daisies

Watching this clip completely out of context, it’s a marvel that one doesn’t overdose on the sugar-sweet cuteness essentially injected into your heart. But like most good and addictive drugs, you inevitably develop a stronger immunity to its effects, while simultaneously desiring and loving it more. After so many episodes, I now expect Pushing Daisies to supply me with the adorable Ned and Chuck moments I so desperately crave. This addiction can be traced back most significantly to their first (on-screen) kiss. If nothing else, this clip earns its place here for making saran wrap unnaturally romantic.

The Six Most Useless Smurfs

Posted by television On December - 18 - 2007

Because sometimes you gotta take one for the blue-ified pseudo-communist-commune / Amish-collective team

By Matt Blair

Smurf Village was probably the closest thing to a utopia that’s ever been seen on Saturday morning television, and the reason it functioned so well was because everybody did their part. From Farmer Smurf to Handy Smurf to Chef Smurf, everyone in town was defined by the roles they played. But even in this near-perfect society, there were some who contributed next to nothing — and since the only real threat to this society was an evil sorcerer who needed six Smurfs in order to make gold, it frankly blows my mind that those few Smurfs were never handed over.

Now, I’d hate to suggest that the Smurfs should sacrifice six of their own for the greater good. But great leaders like Papa Smurf often have to make difficult decisions, and should that grim day ever come then I think the following Smurfs should be the ones to lay their heads on the smurfing block.

Lazy Smurf

As the name implies, Lazy Smurf isn’t exactly known for his work ethic. While Tailor Smurf and Reporter Smurf are busy hemming cuffs and exposing corporate corruption, Lazy Smurf can probably be found sleeping under a mushroom somewhere. He leads a life of selfish leisure, sleeping the day away while contributing nothing to society, and setting a bad example for the other Smurfs. In a well-ordered and productive society such as theirs, there can be no patience for those whose claim to fame is the fact that they can fall asleep anywhere they want. Sending Lazy Smurf off to take that great and final dirt nap would not only serve the greater good, but it would also teach the others what happens to Smurfs who don’t pull their weight. Indeed, just the threat of such a fate might be enough to keep Lazy Smurf up at night.

Brainy Smurf

You might remember Brainy Smurf as the annoying little pissant who kept getting thrown out of the village after saying something smug. He considers himself the resident expert on everything, and the fact that much of what he claims to know is false, his plans and designs are often flawed, and none of the other Smurfs seem to like him all that much doesnÕt stop the self-centered asshole from lecturing the others at every opportunity. He does take a beating like nobody’s business, and admittedly, I guess it’s good that the Smurfs have someone to take out all of their aggression on. But you’ve got to wonder how much aggression would be left if the nagging, lecturing town jackass would be put on the one-way train to Gargamel Station.

Grouchy Smurf

Many of you may not know this, but there was a time when Grouchy Smurf wasn’t the antisocial jerk the other Smurfs know and avoid today. According to Smurf lore, he began his life as a regular nameless Smurf, and it was only after being stung by a mysterious insect in the very first Smurf comic book that he became grouchy. Ever since that day, he’s done nothing but complain about the world around him without ever lifting a finger to try and better it in the process.

Life for Grouchy Smurf is a vicious cycle. If you spend enough time complaining and bringing everyone down, then people are bound to stop inviting you to parties and start crossing the street when they see you coming, which is the sort of thing that’ll make you complain even more. And although I’m sure that he would hate being killed and made into gold, he probably wouldn’t hate it any more than he hates sunshine and birthdays.

Jokey Smurf

The only thing Jokey Smurf does all day is play practical jokes on the other Smurfs. You’ll never see him helping Farmer Smurf out in the field, or driving Freelance Consultant Smurf to the airport. All he ever does is distract the other Smurfs from their duties by playing cruel jokes at their expense. He’s what Ashton Kutcher would be if Punk’d had been the only thing he’d ever done with his life, except at least Ashton knew how to switch it up a little. Jokey Smurf’s been doing the same damned “firecracker in a box” gag for so long that the only one who consistently still falls for it is Brainy Smurf, and if they’re already getting rid of him, then they might as well put Jokey Smurf out of his misery. After all, if there’s one thing that Punk’d taught us, it’s the importance of pulling the plug before you run out of steam. Maybe that’s why Demi Moore would rather hang out with Ashton than the guy who just stared in the fourth Die Hard movie.

Weakling Smurf

This guy is easily the most pathetic of the Smurfs. Being a weakling is one thing, and it’s not necessarily anything to be ashamed of. But Weakling Smurf is so crippled by low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness that it’s a wonder that anybody can stand to be around him. I’m not saying that I don’t feel for him, but nobody wants to watch a Smurf spend hours in his bedroom cutting himself and listening to My Chemical Romance. From time to time, the other Smurfs have tried to cheer him up and make him feel good about himself. They’ve checked out his band, they’ve read his awful poetry, and they’ve visited his MySpace page, but nothing seems to work. Singling him out for sacrifice might be the best thing for him, since he’d get to help out the other Smurfs and end his own wretched life in the process. If it’s the only way to get him to stop moping around and bumming everybody out, then surely it’s worth a try.

Reflection Smurf

Finally, we come to a Smurf whose very existence doesn’t make any sense. In the first season of the Smurfs cartoon, lightning struck Vanity SmurfÕs mirror while he was admiring his own reflection. That reflection came to life as a result and Reflection Smurf was born. He would go on to do the exact opposite of everything that Vanity Smurf did, because that’s whatÉ Wait, that’s not really what reflections do at all.

There’s nothing about Reflection Smurf that stands up to scrutiny, and there’s nothing he does that contributes to Smurf society. Think about it: how useful is a Smurf who does the opposite of someone who stares in a mirror all day? Is “avoiding mirrors” really that marketable a skill in Smurf Village? Because I’m sure that’s the only thing on Reflection Smurf’s resume, other than “being a bastard creation of a God that has long since abandoned me.” Isn’t it better that he be remembered as the guy who laid down his life to help save Smurf Village, instead of just the guy who cancelled out all of Vanity Smurf’s votes?

Favorite TV Moments 06/07: Part Two

Posted by television On June - 4 - 2007

A selection of the most poignant, touching, open and honest character moments on TV — and a few massive plot twists.

By Alexander B. Huls

MINOR SPOILER WARNINGS FOR: Entourage and Lost
HUGE SPOILER WARNINGS FOR: The Office, Battlestar Galactica, and Dexter

The super-huge spoilers, i.e. season-finale major twists, are all at the very bottom of the article for your own safety. If you are not up to date with these shows, don’t read below. Seriously!

Entourage: Ari gets his groove back

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the Entourage creators’ effort to humanize Ari after getting fired by Vince. I enjoyed the emotional poignancy in his desperation to remain friends with Vince, his rescuing Llyod from an indecent proposal, and his spiraling self-doubt. But in a lot of ways it was like watching a lion that had been taken from the savannah, declawed, and stuck in a cage. You know it’s not the lion’s natural state, and so you feel kind of bad, and part of you wishes it could get out of its cage and wreak some havoc. Thankfully, Ari did. Watching the sheer childish and energetic delight he takes in rediscovering himself, as well as the glee with which he fires an employee he took pity on earlier, was just bliss to watch (largely due to the always phenomenal Jeremy Piven). Because the thing is, as much as Ari is enjoying himself, we’re enjoying it even more because the Ari we have come to know and love has finally come back to us.

Lost: Charlie’s #1 Greatest Hit

Charlie has long been a difficult and even controversial character on Lost, most notably in Season 2 where he … well… started acting like a creepy, irritating idiot. In Season 3, however, the Lost creators began the long process of making Charlie a likeable character again. They achieved that goal in the episode “Greatest Hits.” Charlie’s brave acceptance of his death as the necessary sacrifice to get his fellow survivors off the island was heart-breaking enough (I personally got a bit misty-eyed during his conversation with Desmond in the boat). But when Charlie got to the end of his list of his life’s greatest hits that he was writing during the episode and it turns out the greatest moment of his life was meeting Claire the first night on the island? Well, even though it was a little bit corny, my heart still swelled three sizes bigger, before breaking completely apart in utter despair. I found myself desperately hoping Charlie would live. His #1 Greatest Hit was both a joyous and sad reminder that for some characters, crashing on the island was the best thing that ever happened to them and that beauty can always emerge from tragedy.

Scrubs: Kelso reenacts An Officer and a Gentleman

I’m not sure why I loved this more than any other sequences on Scrubs. Perhaps it was the combination of being reminded of how super cheesy the ending is to that movie, how super cheesy that song is, and seeing Dr. Kelso (of all people) imaging himself in this situation. Then again, it might just be because I find Navy uniforms funny.

Ugly Betty: Marc Comes out to his Mom

There are so many potential great moments to choose from in Ugly Betty, both humorous (any scene between Marc and Amanda), and heart-warming (any scene between Betty and Henry). However, my personal favorite moment was undoubtedly the moment when Marc came out to his mother, as well as the conversation he was with Betty outside on her doorsteps later on. What initially began as a slap-stick scenario out of a sitcom (Betty having to pretend to be Marc’s girlfriend to hide from his mother that he’s gay), slowly began to turn into another poignant display of one of the show’s central themes: true beauty is being comfortable with who you are, and true to yourself, regardless of what others think.

Supernatural: Dean sees his mother again

It’s a moment that should have struck a chord with any Supernatural fan: adult Dean meeting his mother for the first time. Granted, it was revealed to be a twisted alternate reality, but that by no means removes the powerful emotion from the scene when Dean comes face to face his mother. While his initial reaction on the doorstep, his desperately crushing hugs, and his admiration of her beauty were all great tender moments, the one that struck me the most was when Dean first demands proof she is who she says she is. To me that moment reflected the sad state of Dean’s life. When faced with the presence of his mother, his first thought is that she’s a demon. Most heart-breaking of all, it turns out by the end of the episode that his first instinct was right: it was all too good to be true.

Gilmore Girls: The Girls’ last meal

Say what you will about the last few seasons of Gilmore Gils (especially the last), they at least managed to give our beloved girls the send-off they so rightfully deserved. The show lovingly ended full circle with Lorelei and Rory right where we would expect them to be: sitting in Luke’s dinner, ordering food, and talking. Except this time as the camera pulled away, and the audio of their conversation slowly began to fade way, it began to dawn on us that after seven years together, this would be the last time we would ever see or hear our beloved girls, and from now on they would go on with their lives without us. That’s the moment when some tears might have escaped our eyes, and made their way slowly down our face. And by we, I absolutely don’t mean me.

Supernatural: Dean asks “Why?”

Being a true hero often means sacrifice. No one understands that more than Dean Winchester. His entire life has been spent hunting demons, and he has never known anything else. While Dean is aware of this, he has never verbalized it as openly and despairingly as he does here by the grave of his father. Like any real hero, Dean suffers a moment of crisis and wonders why his destiny is to be a demon hunter, sacrificing everything – most of all happiness – for the greater good. The most powerful moment of all, though, comes when in mid-rant Dean suddenly stops, remains silent, wipes away the tears from his face, and walks away, because he knows all the complaining in the world will not change anything. Dean is a hero who cannot let innocent people die, even at the expense of his own happiness. I have always wondered throughout the show which brother’s life was the greater tragedy. Sam who had a normal life and lost it, or Dean who never knew what a normal life was? In this moment and episode, I got my answer.

The Office: Jim asks out Pam

Watch clip

For those of you who have loyally stuck with The Office since the beginning, this entry should be pretty self-explanatory. Yet, I will say this: the beauty of the moment was its simplicity. Pam “It’s all going to be okay” speech, Jim’s casual asking of The Question, Pam’s almost immediate and succinct response. Then we were treated to watching her face go from deer-in-headlights-what-the-hell-just-happened, to gradual realization, to barely containable happiness, to tears of joy, and then that smile. Oh lordy, that smile. Even friends who liked Karen told me after that in that moment they realized how much they wanted Jim and Pam together, because they were so happy it was finally happening.

Battlestar Galactica: The Road to a Cylon Revelation

While the revelation itself was obviously jaw-dropping, one of my favorite moments this year was not the revelation itself, but the pulse-quickening moments leading up to it. It was the build-up: the dramatic use of music, and editing. The moment’s greatness came from watching them walk slowly and tensely towards their fate, and as an audience member starting to jump ahead (along with the characters) to the inevitable conclusion, yet still in total disbelief. All I could think of in my shock was “No way. It can’t be!” (especially given who some of the Cylons were) but knowing it had to be true. Sometimes the greatest twists are not the ones that are spoon-fed to you, but the ones that you’re allowed to piece together on your own before it’s confirmed. I have rarely seen that more effectively pulled off than here.

Dexter: Dexter makes a startling discovery

When it was “revealed” that Rudy, the boyfriend of Dexter’s sister, Debra, was in fact the Ice Truck Killer, I had seen that coming the moment his character was introduced. After all, in such a self-contained world of characters, the introduction of a new one could really only mean one thing. Considering how fresh, original and twisted the show was, I was a little disappointed that the creators had so carelessly shown their hand. Shame on me for doubting them! In a head-spinning convergence of sub-plots at the end of the season, the greatest – and most unexpected shocker – was when Rudy was revealed to be Dexter’s brother. Since the beginning of the show Dexter had struggled with his loneliness as a result of hiding who he really is, and Rudy’s revelation inspired a stunningly dramatic conflict. Does Dexter join his brother and abandon his father’s code and the life he has known, or does he uphold it and damn himself to loneliness forever?

Favorite TV Moments 06/07: Part One

Posted by television On May - 28 - 2007

Serial killers, gaydars, nuclear holocausts, tropical sex, musical poo, pop stars in Canada, grand auto destruction, and illegal immigrants. Now that’s a party!

By Alexander B. Huls

SPOILER WARNINGS!

In honour of the end of the TV season, I thought I would turn my gaze backward and recall some of my favourite moments that have been absorbed by these humble eyeballs of mine. Keep in mind that these are my favourites, but not necessarily what I think were the best, though the two need not be always mutually exclusive.

For the first half of this two-part article, I focused solely on my favorite moments from the earlier parts of the shows’ season. So stay tuned, because next week I’ll dive into the seasons’ latter half, including some shocking twists and endings!

Dexter: “No blood.”

It ultimately amounts to a simple moment in the greater context of the show, but it was Dexter’s narrated admiration of the work on the first victim of the Ice Truck Killer that made me realize the show I was watching was something entirely new and different: so many cops and CSIers react to bodies with horror or cold professionalism. It was a completely new experience to hear a character say: “Why hadn’t I thought of that? No blood. What a beautiful idea.” With those words, the best TV show of the year had arrived.

The Office: Dwight doesn’t pass the Gaydar

It’s almost impossible to pick just one great Office moment but this was, without a doubt, the hardest I’ve laughed all year. While it certainly wasn’t the most elaborate prank Jim has pulled on Dwight, it still ranks up there as one of the best. It’s such a brilliantly played and perfectly developed piece of comedy. It was watching the mischievous joy of Dwight receiving the supposed “Gaydar” machine turn to smug satisfaction when he tries it out on Oscar and the Gaydar (really a metal detector) “works,” only to turn into wide-eyed horror as the machine beeps as it falls upon him shortly after. I was laughing so hard I only barely heard Dwight murmur in utter fear: “Oh no.” Five minutes later, I was still laughing.

Jericho: Robert Hawkins marks the map

After a nuclear bomb goes off in nearby Denver, the inhabitants of Jericho, as well as the shows viewers, are left wondering who set it off and for what reason. Viewers didn’t (initially) get answers to those questions, but instead they got something more shocking. In the second episode entitled “Black Jack,” Robert Hawkins places push pins in a map of the United States to indicate where the bomb went off. He starts with Denver. Then he places another, and another, until we’ve seen him put pins in five major cities. We see him pick up three more pins, but don’t see where he places them. The shock of the moment comes both from realizing how bad things are in the world of Jericho, but also the size of the cajones of the show’s creators in a post 9/11 world to create a fictional setting in which eight major American cities have been destroyed by nuclear bombs. Clearly these guys were serious, unlike certain other shows (cough, 24, cough).

Lost: Sawyer and Kate get it on

You know how when two people have such undeniable sexual tension, but never act on it, it sometimes it makes you just want to yell: “Get a room and get it over with already!” No? Just me? Doesn’t matter, it seems like Sawyer and Kate apparently heard me. (Except that they did it in a cage. Naughty.) After almost three seasons of the Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle, and enough sexual tension to make even Liberace blush, the deadlock was finally broken. While one can squabble over who Kate should be with, it was refreshing to at least see her finally make a decision. Granted, it was revealed that she really only had sex with Sawyer because she thought he was going to die, so now we are back to having a triangle. But on a show where audiences are perpetually left frustrated and tense as to what the heck is going on, it was great to finally get some cathartic release in seeing at least something happen. In this case, it was the cathartic release of enjoying Kate and Sawyer bumping uglies. And the fact that both of them are damn sexy doesn’t hurt either.

Scrubs: “Everything Comes Down to Poo”

Was it perfect? Certainly not. It definitely wasn’t of Buffy’s “Once More, With Feeling” caliber, but it is still infectiously adorable and just plain fun, which is exactly what you would expect if Scrubs did a musical episode. After all, they are no strangers to hilariously amazing musical interludes. Even though there a lot of great moments in the episode, I think the musical number that most wins my heart (with “Guy Love” a VERY close second) is “Everything Comes Down to Poo.” Now generally I find toilet humor infantile and moronic, but there is just something about the way Zach Braff and Donald Faison sing a fantastically rhymed song about fecal matter with such joyous zeal and abandon that makes it hard not to love it. Unfortunately, I found the song incredibly catchy. Word of advice: unconsciously singing a poo song in the middle of a first date will not get you a second one.

How I Met Your Mother: Robin Sparkles

The Robin Sparkles affair in How I Met Your Mother was further proof of why the show is not just your average sitcom, and why it is definitely one of the better ones currently on the air. Having Robin turn out to be a former 90’s pop star in Canada (in the mold of Tiffany and Debbie Gibson), instead of the porn star that her friend suspected, was a hilarious twist. Taking things one step further and creating an actual over-the-top 80’s video parody featuring robots, sequin jackets, bad acting, a cameo by Trudeau, and humorous jabs at Canada (“the 80s didn’t come to Canada till like ‘93″)? Comic gold!


(On a side note, for an even better spoof of an 80’s video, check this out)

Supernatural: Dean smashes his car

After spending an entire first season with Dean as the cool-headed guy who always laughed in the face of danger, enjoyed hunting demons, looked up to his father, and cared only about protecting his brother, season two began changing all that. The change was never clearer than after Dean and Sam’s father died (in exchange for Dean’s life), when Dean began spiraling out of control. He was lost without his father, and began doubting his purpose and life. Dean’s conflict built to a crescendo when, after having carefully restored his much-loved Chevy Impala after the first season’s crash finale, he suddenly looses it and begins hitting the car violently. To see a character we’ve always known to be the steady rock of the show not only lose his composure, but let it out on his most cherished possession, made for one of the most intense moments of the year.

Heroes: Hiro teleports to New York City

This was the moment where Heroes finally hooked me. When I first began watching the show, I felt it was too self-important and serious for its own good. Don’t even get me started on the opening monologues (now thankfully gone) that were saturated with imagined significance. Enter: Hiro. With all the other characters deeply entrenched in the melodrama of their own changing existence, in came Hiro with an almost child-like infectious and dogmatic belief and hope in the infinite possibility of his own destiny, originating from a very adult dissatisfaction with the current direction of his life. Who among us haven’t sometimes wished there was something greater in store for us? So when Hiro first teleports to New York City, his ecstatic cry of pleasure (“Hello, New York!”) at realizing he is in fact something greater, can’t help but make even the most cynical person’s heart swell a few sizes larger.

Confessions of a TV Editor

Posted by television On May - 21 - 2007

Making you feel better about your television viewing habits by allowing you to say: “Well, at least I’m not like THAT guy”

By Alexander B. Huls

Given that it’s TV month here at MONDO, I thought it might be a good time to confess how into/invested in TV we really are here in our TV section. By we, I of course mean, me. Here’s your chance to silently judge me and my viewing obsessions, while making yourself feel better about your own. Or even better, maybe you’ll feel the same way I do about TV, and know that at least you’re not alone. On that note, if you have any confessions of your own, please send them on to alexhuls [at] mondomagazine.net. Leave your name, whether real, made up, or anonymous, and I will publish them later in the month in addition to more of my own confessions.

So without further ado, here are some ways you (by which I mean me) can tell you’re too invested in TV.

Saying goodbye…

You know you’re too invested in TV when, come May, you feel a little sad after the season finales of your favorite shows air, because you feel as if you’ve said goodbye to a close friend who is going away for the summer. Sure, you know they’ll come back in a few months, and that’ll be okay without them in a few weeks, but for those first few days a tinge of melancholy and loneliness follows you as you feel like there’s just something missing from your life. You’ve grown used to them always being there, and the thought that they won’t be there next week for their regular visit leaves you wondering what you’re going to do instead.

I’m aware they can’t hear me…

You know you’re too invested in TV when while watching you actually are unable to contain yourself and have to shout things out at the television. Whether that be yelling out “Oh shit!” or “No way!” in disbelief at insane twists in shows like Battlestar Galactica and Lost. In fact, my roommate can pretty much gauge how compelling and twisty a show is by the amount of times he hears me yell out “Oh shit!” when watching something in the living room. He calls it the show’s “Oh shit” factor. There’s also the “what the hell is going on?!” which has really only emerged since I started watching Lost, and has become pretty prevalent especially during this season. There’s also the very popular “Yay!” and “Aw!” which is often elicited by will-they-or-won’t-they television couples having cutesy-intimate moments, or on that rare occasion, actually getting somewhere substantial in their relationship such as a kiss or declaration of love? I’m looking at you Jim and Pam, Sawyer/Jack and Kate, Betty and Henry. In the case of Luke and Lorelei finally getting together a few seasons back, the “Yay” actually became more specific and turned into a vehement declaration of “Luke and Lorelei!” And the rarest of the rare occurred when, in Season Two of Battlestar Galactica, Adama finally got his shit together and decided to stand up to the infuriating commander of the Pegasus. I will admit, there had been so much pent frustration building up in me that Adama had seemingly (and almost out of character) lost his backbone, that when he FINALLY gave the order do something about it (“Launch the vipers”), I may have shouted to the skies “F— YEAH!”

I still have a dynamic personality…

You know you’re too invested in TV when you start acting like the TV characters you not only relate to, but get overexposed too. When I watch too much Friends, I start acting like Chandler. When I watch too much The O.C., I became Seth Cohen. When I watch Buffy, I tend to behave like Xander. When I watch too much 24, I tend to start yelling “Damn it” and “Son-of-a-bitch” a lot and call out the name “Chloe” at random. This proves to be embarrassing in bed.

Putting the social life on hold…

You know you’re too into TV when you have, multiple times in your life, succeeded in watching an entire season of a show in three days. In my defense, it helps if the show is compelling enough to encourage that sort of behaviour. Also, you know you’re too into TV when you’re kinda proud of this accomplishment and have a competition with your roommate as to who can beat the record for quickest watched TV show.

What is Wrong with Fox?

Posted by television On May - 14 - 2007

The broadcasting company, not the character from X-files who was created by the broadcasting company.

By Alexander B. Huls

You’ve all been there, most of you more than once. You know what I’m talking about. The love that you cherished, that you connected with the moment you met. The love to which you were so attached — and looked forward to seeing every week. Things seemed good, and then before you knew what happened, somebody came and took your love away from you. Never to be seen again.

If you were ever a devoted watcher of one of the many cancelled Fox shows, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Amongst TV-lovers, Fox has developed a notorious reputation for being a network that often screws over some of its best shows. Their methods include insufficient promotion, changing a show’s time slot so often that nobody knows when it’s on, and a general impatience to let a show find its groove and/or audience. The end result? Fox either kills its children slowly and painfully (Arrested Development) or quickly and immediately (Wonderfalls). Want an idea of how bad Fox is? Allow Seth McFarlane — whose Family Guy was also once cancelled — to enlighten you.

With the recent news that Fox has yet again effectively killed another show before it even really got started (their most recent victim being Drive), I found myself wondering: what the heck is wrong with Fox?

Now, before I go further, I do think that credit should be given where it’s due. Whenever TV-aficionados discuss Fox, it’s usually through gritted teeth, holding back feelings of betrayal, disappointment, and melancholy, so objectivity is sometimes misplaced. As a result, I think something gets overlooked. Let’s be honest here, these shows would probably never have even made it on the air if it weren’t for Fox. Fox is one of the few networks outside of HBO and Showtime that actually takes creative chances and approves shows that aren’t just medical dramas or crime procedurals (though, of course, it has those too). Could you really see any other network approving a show about the daughter of Satan, about a living rabbit puppet, about a man dressed as a gigantic blue tick, about a young girl to whom novelty items speak to, or a space western? Even 24 before it hit the air was an unconventional risk with its real-time, split-screen gimmick. If for nothing else, we should at least acknowledge and be grateful that Fox even let these shows leave their creators’ brains or script pages.

That being said, this is precisely what is so damn frustrating about Fox. They differentiate themselves from other networks by giving quirky, fresh, and solid shows a chance, only to smother their new babies when they feel that they aren’t walking soon enough. What’s the point of believing in a show enough to make it, only to lose faith as soon as it hits the air? Frankly, this also doesn’t make sense financially. Why bother spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on a show that you’ll end up pulling your support for by either marketing it improperly or not picking a good or consistent time slot? Obviously, the network likes these shows on some level, otherwise they wouldn’t approve them for production — yet why is Fox so willing to throw the towel in as soon as it appears that these shows aren’t out-of-the-gate hits?

Part of it might be the state of the industry. While Fox is the worst example of this, there seems to be a general hesitance to let a new show find its sea-legs. Everyone wants a hit right out of the flood gates, a la Lost, Heroes, Ugly Betty, and Desperate Housewives. With specialty cable networks leading to increasingly compartmentalized audiences, networks want the big hits more than the small ones. Having a show in the Top 20 is where the real advertising money can be found. Not in the bottom 20. TV is, ultimately, a business, and as much as a show may be great, if it isn’t making money, then it just doesn’t make financial sense. Sucks for us though.

There are, however, multiple exceptions, and the above statement is by no means meant to be taken as a generalization. Criminal Minds and even the original CSI took some time to develop the audiences they hold now. Grey’s Anatomy didn’t start out as the ratings juggernaut it is now. ABC has recently announced that they are renewing critical darling Friday Night Lights, despite its poor ratings, so there is hope out there. Hell, as much as we all adored Arrested Development, if it came down to ratings, it should have been cancelled long before it did. Fox thankfully valued the critical love for the show and kept it going.

Arrested Development, however, is a perfect example of exactly what is wrong with Fox. In the end, I can’t fully fault a business enterprise for making the decision to axe a show that is losing money. My problem with Fox is how they go about doing it. In the last season of Arrested Development, Fox not only mid-season announced that the show wouldn’t get a full 22 episodes, but failed to promote the show properly, as well as failed to give the episodes consistent airing dates. The worst part of it was that the final four episodes were not only aired all together, but were put up against the opening of the Olympic Games that summer (which is pretty much the kiss of death for any show). Wonderfalls got a similarly bad hand. When the show wasn’t working on Friday, when did they move it to for a “better” chance? Thursdays: the most competitive night of the week. To make matters worse, they aired the final episodes of out of sequence. Now it’s rumored that Drive will be getting the same treatment, as apparently Fox is planning to air the final episodes on July 4th, the least-watched TV day in North America.

So what is wrong with Fox? Is there some sort of psychological explanation for their behavior? It’s hard to say, especially given that when a show gets cancelled nobody from the network is very forthcoming about why, or if they are, it’s doubtful they are being fully honest. Fox is, after all, old hat at this. While all networks cancel shows, it seems Fox is the only one who does so in this unfathomable way. If I had to postulate a theory, I might argue it has to do with Fox’s age. After all, compared to the big three (CBS, ABC, NBC), Fox is relatively young and in accordance to that has often been considered the “hip” alternative to the other three networks. Early hits like The Simpsons, 90210, and Melrose Place cemented that image. However, while that “hip” factor is still noticeable in the types of shows that Fox initially approves for production, it is almost as if the network is an adolescent being forced to grow up, but desperately clinging on to its youthful inclinations. At the same time, its youth means it has something to prove. It has to prove it can wrangle with the adults. The only problem? It is not the unique shows that are catching on, but the safe bets: House, Bones, 24, and American Idol. So if one of their shows doesn’t impress right away, it’s like a pre-teen desperately hiding their Pokémon cards so that the older kids don’t think he’s a little child. Then again, given that this is the network that brought us such fantastic shows like When Animals Attack, The Simple Life and Joe Millionare, maybe it does come down to the simple fact that Fox is as shallow as it appears and really does only care about ratings and nothing else, and thereby justifies its “sink or swim” approach to programming.

Obviously, this is all conjecture. We can postulate till the cows come home, because will this ultimately make you feel better about the fact that Fox screwed over that show that you loved, sending it to the television graveyard? Not really. Take comfort in at least knowing that, in time, your wounds will heal. Just don’t expect the bitterness to go away. That will probably take a while.

Numb3rs: Double Take

Posted by television On March - 26 - 2007

Proving modesty is something to aspire too

By Rebecca Harrison

A preface to this article: I love David Krumholtz. Not just in an “I really admire and respect his work” way, but in a “marry me and let me have your babies” way. So, believe me, writing this article hurts, since he takes criticism of his show about as well as he punctuates a sentence.

Three years ago, I was home for some reason, chilling and watching TV with my mom, and she was insistent that I watch her new favourite show, Numb3rs. Now, I was leery because 1) I don’t like shows with 3’s in their titles and 2) my Mom loves Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye.

So, in typical only-child fashion, I began bitching and whining in an attempt to get my way, but then something shut me up — David Krumholtz. He appeared on the screen and I decided that maybe I’d give this show a try because I am exceedingly shallow.

I soon realized the Friday night CBS drama starred not only Krumholtz’s curls, but also Rob Morrow (from my beloved Northern Exposure), Peter MacNicol (from my loathed Ally McBeal) and Judd Hirsch (from my never-seen Taxi).

From that night on, for thirteen episodes, I was enamoured by this strongly acted show with an interesting concept, but no clear direction. Was it a procedural (yes, please!), a family drama, or a show forewarning us of the predicted 2010 drop in employment rates for mathematicians? No — it was a pastiche of all three, but I held out hope that the show would grow into itself. It had such potential, even if the creators mistook numbers for letters. The family and friendship bonds forming between the characters were intriguing, mostly because of the strength of the cast, but the crimes remained weak, as it headed in to a second season.

And so it was, that one night after yet another episode where I correctly picked out the unsub (aka “bad guy”) the moment they walked on to the screen, I found myself on the Television Without Pity message boards. The Numb3rs forum was jumping and I began skimming the thread, when a particular message drew me in — it was a post from creator/writer Cheryl Heuton (aka CHeuton). She had begun writing regularly on the boards and it is because of her that I now vehemently disparage Numb3rs whenever I have the chance. With one post read on a message board, Numb3rs went from secret favourite show to most loathed show. How is this possible?

She made me defend CSI: Miami.

From her December 7, 2005 post on the TWoP message boards:
“I mean, come on — I watched a little of [CSI: Miami] the other night. The first five minutes of the first act consisted of characters walking up to a crime scene in slow motion. The lead character just happened to be in the confession booth when a mass shooting breaks out at a funeral going on just outside. Maybe mass shootings at funerals are common, everyday events in Miami — making it less of a ludicrous contrivance. I don’t know. You tell me.”

Now, I kinda despise CSI: Miami. I spend my Monday nights at home saying the same damned things Heuton said, to my Mom. But seriously, you’re Numb3rs — you have a mathematician telling experienced FBI agents how to negotiate, and tacked-on moral messages about why we should sign organ donor cards. Granted, Heuton has admitted that Numb3rs isn’t exactly great literature, but she also defended her writing by comparing it to Austen and Dostoevsky.

And so Numb3rs lost me. The show has the potential to be strong, were it to use the mathematically-solved crimes as a backdrop for the familial issues that must arise from having a brother/son who is a genius or brother/son who is an FBI agent and stay away from using math to solve crimes from the Holocaust.

So, now with this very article David Krumholtz hates me. Don’t believe me? Here’s his response on the Numb3rs.org forum on December 17, 2005 to a critique that the show seemed too right-wing:
“It’s a friggin’ t.v. show!!!!! Get a life, and next time, don’t post nasty thoughts here…there are plenty of other sites dedicated to our show you can post on, our show is just so popular…there it is, my nasty scathing opinionated post, a well deserved response, your “climax” if you will. Did it feel good? Now, clean yourself up and go to bed.”

Sigh. Forgive me, David! I loved you in Serenity!

Why is no one watching Supernatural?

Posted by television On February - 4 - 2007

Why you should be watching Supernatural, and thoughts on why you might not be.

By Alexander B. Huls

If you’re reading this and wondering: “What the heck is Supernatural?”, then you”ve come to the right place and also broken my heart.

Supernatural revolves around two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who are nomadic demon hunters that ride from town to town in order to investigate and vanquish supernatural evil. And who doesn’t love nomadic demon hunters? In each episode the brothers grapple with a monster-of-the-week (much like early The X-Files), often inspired by urban legends and folk tales. Not content to settle for a tired formula, Supernatural introduces a greater dramatic mythology dealing with a Winchester-hating über-demon with a very nefarious plan for both the brothers and the world. And who doesn’t love nefarious plans?

While Supernatural is a spiritual successor to The X-Files, unlike that show, it succeeds in fusing its horror-movie-a-week concept with its compelling and well-developed mythology and larger dramatic arcs. The writers of The X-Files had no idea where they were going, but Supernatural not only seems to have a clear narrative direction, it finds the proper balance between teasing you enough that you’re still intrigued, but also telling you enough so that you don’t get frustrated. Unlike Lost.

The chemistry between the Winchester boys is one of the highlights of the show, as it draws rich dramatic conflict from Sam and Dean’s different personalities and perspectives. In fact, the show is overall very accomplished dramatically, finding ways to intersect its various elements (horror, family drama, etc.) so that they work well together. For example, sometimes the monsters with which the Winchester boys deal with one week are really a backdrop in which a greater personal conflict is explored. Finally, the show has a distinct and dark sense of humor that is able to both mock itself and the conventions it adheres to, while providing the appropriate sardonic wit and comic relief to prevent the show from becoming too serious, and keep it fun.

By all accounts, Supernatural should be a success, since it features elements that should appeal to multiple demographics. It’s got two young hunky stars that would appeal to teeny-boppers and middle-aged women. It’s got fraternal male bonding, manly action, a sweet ride and wicked classic rock tones that would please any guy’s guy.

With the incredible resurgence of horror films, you would think the show’s horror premise would draw the interest of those who flock to see The Ring VII. The show also features fantastic guest appearances by actors from other popular and cult shows: Julie Benz (Buffy/Angel/Dexter), Amy Acker (Angel), Amber Benson (Buffy), Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Katharine Isabella (Ginger Snaps), and Nicki Aycox (Veronica Mars), just to name a few. Which brings me to my next point: these are all hot women, clearly appealing to any man with a pulse. So why is no one watching Supernatural? It’s on the CW, which has to be a big hurdle. This is a network whose nightly average ranges from anywhere between 1.5 million to 4 million, depending on the night. The CW also unfortunately chooses to air Supernatural on Thursdays opposite rating juggernauts CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Grey’s Anatomy, which each average about 20 million viewers. Supernatural’s draw? Only 3 million.

Another problem is that dark supernatural shows generally don’t do well. Apparently audiences are only willing to accept soft takes on the supernatural, like Ghost Whisperer and Medium. The last darkly themed supernatural show that did well was, yup, you guessed it: The X-Files. Shows that are too witty, too dark, or too challenging (or all of the above) generally fall by the wayside. Think: Joan of Arcadia, Point Pleasant, Wonderfalls, Millennium, Harsh Realms, The Twilight Zone. Even critical and fan favorites like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel never really lit up the Nielsen Charts. Somehow peoples’ interest in the supernatural (or science-fiction, for that matter) does not seem to transfer from film to the television screen. Maybe TV really is only the land of crime procedurals and medical dramas, with no room for anything else. People have become accustomed to expecting only these genres from television, and as a result, are only interested in those genres.

As you might have realized by now, I don’t have any definite answers to my own question. All I have is a pressing desire, and hope, that more will watch Supernatural, because they are missing one of the best and most fun TV shows on the air. If I get even just one million more people watching this show because of this article, I will be pleased as punch. So start making me some punch. Supernatural punch.

Sources:
AgtSpooky’s Hangout
The Programming Insider

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MONDO is a non-profit, weekly, Toronto-based, online magazine that focuses on arts, culture, and humour. We’re interested in art of all kinds (music, theatre, visual art, film, comics, and video games) and the pop culture that we inhabit.The copyright on all MONDO magazine content belongs to the author. If you would like to pay them for more content, please do. To contact MONDO please email us at editor@mondomagazine.net

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