stories, part 1
What's old is new again! Here's my new shot/take on covering what I collectively refer to as stories. As mentioned previously, I was simply finding keeping up to the approach I was taking before to be too tasking of my time, and considering that I wish to keep this site up and going strong once I'm back working as well, clearly I had to make maintaining this site match up with the time I would be able to commit to it down the road... ok, enough babbling, here we go...
Warning (that sounds too ominous a word, but nothing else is coming to me): This is gonna be competely from memory, and some of these could be in excess of a week old (although I think everything this time is within the week, my self set schedule for dolling these out), so bear with me if I don't use the complete title or some other such foolishness... and, pending on time, reviews near the first may be longer than those later on... just in case your wondering why I might have went so in-depth on a given comic that I seemed to be ho-hum about, but only gave a line or two to a TV show I'm in love with...
Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill #1 (Marvel) -- that's a long title, eh! Spinning out of 'Thor Dissassembled', aka 'What do we need to do to boost Thor sales you ask? -- well, kill everyone a la Ragnarok, and make it seem "final" this time, so that when the Asgardians do finally return, we'll have cart-blanche to completely ignore 40+ years of continuity if we so please'. Fortunately(or unfortunately, depending on where you stand), Beta Ray Bill (a Thor "clone" from back in the day) was saved from Ragnarok by Thor. Now we have BRB in his own limited run title, going back to his origins... interesting concept, although I wasn't overly drawn in. I prefer BRB interacting with the Asgardians than on his own. Nothing overly memorable.
Thor: Son of Asgard #12 (Marvel) -- last issue. A lot of splashy art to make up for a relatively week story. Story's from Thor's "childhood" are somewhat limited, especially when you have him interacting with no "new" characters... meaning you can't kill/maim/whatever someone, because it would mess with continuity. And I'm thankful they didn't do that. OK series... the writer, whom has been getting a lot of Marvel assignments of late, doesn't seem to go for shock and awe as much as tried and true. Didn't really work that well here, imho (although the splashy art was pretty).
X-23 #1 (Marvel) -- from the pages of NYX and Uncanny springs the young/female Wolverine (they're working towards having a young/female version of every popular super hero, it seems... see Arana, next week likely, for more). This is her "origin" story, something that used to be done over 4~5 pages but now they're going for 4~5 issues... but she's a young/female Wolverine, so the typical comic book demographic is gonna go bonkers for this and it'll sell like hotcakes, I predict -- at least the first few issues... it was an ok read.
Bullseye: Greatest Hits #5 (Marvel) -- loved it. I like this character more than I used to. Partly because I really liked Colin Farrell's version of him in the DD movie. This limited run(this was the final issue), really show-cased how awesome a character he can be. We all knew where that tooth was going once we saw it knocked lose, am I right?! -- I wanna see more (but only at this calibre).
Cable/Deadpool #11 (Marvel) -- focus on DP now after a while on Cable mostly. I like both characters, but I think funny DP is easier to do than interesting Cable now-a-day's. I'm sure FN is up to either task though. I wasn't a regular reader back when Agent X (or whoever that was on the last page) had his/her(it's?) own title, so I might need to read some back issues to get up to date... or I might just wing it ;-) -- this was basically run of the mill for a DP comic, which isn't a bad thing.
Daredevil #69 (ok, they're all Marvel unless I say otherwise) -- this is dragging on. Hurry up and get where your going BMB. This could have easily been done in two issues, three max, while setting up numerous future storylines in between scenes... but BMB can do no wrong I guess (tptb surely seem to think so) -- he's not long for this title, so I'll continue to read, hoping the next guy can at least get to the point quicker -- although the quality still needs to be there as well (something BMB usually brings, regardless of his style).
Exiles #58 -- nothing great. I know they're leading up to this big Time-Broker/Breaker storyline, but it seems like they're just throwing feces against the wall and hoping some of it sticks in the mean time... I say move past the parallel universe thing soon(or really shake it up some how, not that I have any great ideas on how to pull that off) or this will die a slow death (even great ideas need new twists -- see: Thunderbolts).
Madrox #5 -- loved it. PD rules (I'm not calling him PAD, cuz I don't know what the "A" stands for -- but I'm willing to bet it was just to differentiate him from another PD in some comic price guide back in the day). I hope they re-launch X-Factor as hinted in this issue's conclusion. I've heard mentioned the mysteries contained within this limited run weren't that great, and while I'm tempted to concur, I think folks are missing the point. The characterization is what rocked here. And they're some great characters who needed some PD back in their lives :-) -- I can look past the hokey "noir" thing they were pushing and the whole gay-twist, as long as the characterization of my fav's is spot on... which it was.
Nightcrawler #5 -- meh. Cancel this, please -- whatever good was here can easily be slipped into Uncanny.
Rogue #7 -- see above, though slightly better. New creative blood may make this title readable, as the first storyline (all 6, long, issues of it) were pure crap -- a step below that horrible Austen Nightcrawler story from a year back or so (you know, the one where his Daddy winds up being some Devil...) -- leave the mystery in characters alone unless your gonna do it justice (and the bigger the mystery, the harder that is -- see: Wolverine)
X-Men #166 -- PM comes aboard. Nothing ground-shaking here. A new mystery, roughly the same team as under the last writer... but I'm quite willing to give the dude time (though I wasn't a big X-Statix fan -- that's this dude, right?)
The New Invaders #6 -- based on sales, this title should be cancelled. It's not that great a read either, though better than some other stuff that sells much better (that's something you're used to hearing from the Indy scene more than from within Marvel's line-up, but it's still true, if maybe to a lesser extent). Wolverine tie-in will likely give it a bump, but that won't last. I'm a USAgent fan, but I don't think he's being used to his best here. I like the Ghost Rider look-a-like character... the rest I could really care less about.
Wolverine #24 -- MM continues his Wolverine:Assassin story... I'm entertained, even if Wolverine is relegated to co-star in his own title. So, an X-Man is supposedly biting the dust next issue... and MM says it's a big name... and that's gonna be followed with Wolverine:Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- like I said, I'm entertained, but these are not very creative ideas MM -- what's next, Wolverine:Sentiel Of Liberty? -- or maybe Wolverine:The Death Of Gwen Stacy!?
Teen Titans #20 (DC) -- IC tie-in. DC is pulling they're continuity in tight, and it's making me a bigger fan than ever before. Robin deal's with his Dad's death here, and it's handled excellently. I'm only read a few issues of this title, and a L.E.G.I.O.N. team-up One-Shot, so I'm still getting to know the characters (some of whom, like Superman, I'm seeing elsewhere also) -- I might back issue this down the road and read it from #1 through...
What If ... "Spider-Man" -- all these "what if" titles spin out of the core of Marvel -- rather than write out the detailed titles, I'm just pointing you to the particular corner of the MU they're coming from (they're all #1's as well... like there's gonna be #2's or something?!). This one was nothing much. Kind of a "even if you change something big, everything can eventually get back to the same place, roughly" story. Meh. I've seen better (much better) "what if" tales in my time.
What If ... "Fantastic Four" -- the Hulk twist was kinda neat... other than that, very routine.
What If ... "Hulk" -- I liked this one more than the rest... and surprise, surprise -- it was the worst seller of the bunch. PD penned this one, and his talent shows. If I had to recommend one of these, here it is.
What If ... "Avengers" -- so, apparently the watcher can now shape-shift, but only into the form of BMB, and he's not so shy anymore -- in fact, he'll blab to anyone who's within ear shot and will listen -- seriously, if this dude's ego gets stroked much more... well something fucked up will happen, mark my words :-) -- anyway, I don't know the whole Jessica Jones background (Alias -- maybe I'll back issue it... who knows), but this was pretty ridiculous -- she gets offered a uber-high security clearance job because she's a has-been superhero turned super-villian pawn that the Avengers pound on and feel sorry for that winds up saving the Avengers from the recent Scarlet Witch melt-down and marries Cap -- wtf? -- I give BMB credit for taking the idea of "what if" to it's extreme, but this is down-right laughable as well... anyone who thought 'Disassembled' was awkward, well now you see where he could have taken us... see, now Disassembled doesn't seem so bad, does it!
What If ... "Daredevil" -- this was a better outing by BMB (though BMB-Watcher is back, ugh) -- rather than going back to the DD origin like the Spm, FF, Hulk and X "what if" books did, they went to one of the great DD moments -- Kevin Smith's "Death of Karen Page" classic. Yeah, this was pretty decent now that I look back on it -- just a step below the Hulk "what if".
What If ... "X-Men" -- hated it. CC needs to move on imho. He was, and probably always will be, the best writer in the history of the X-titles, but his style doesn't have the same impact today... if anything, it seems like he's trying too hard. This is anything but original (not saying any of these tales were, but this one gave me major feelings of deja-vu -- can anyone pinpoint the source? -- probably from one of the previous "What If" incarnations...), and almost seemed like they were trying to leave it open for sequels... I hope not.
JLA #110 (DC) -- so, this alternate(opposite?) universe has evil versions of the JLA called the CSA(Crime Syndikate of Amerika -- did I get that right) -- it's fun, it feels like a throw-back to yesteryear but with enough of a modern slant to it to work... pretty art... like Wolverine, the JLA seem like co-stars, at best, in their own title, but that's acceptable in the short term if it works for the story...
X-23 #2 -- more of the same. At least the first issue progressed quite a bit as you read... this started and ended with very little progress other than explaining some surgical aspects... I'm still interested in where they're going, but not so much how they get there anymore...
Action Comics #823 (DC -- as are many that follow... now assume they're all DC until I say otherwise -- that'll screw with those skimming...) -- I think this is the one with some dude showing up at the Kent family homestead and causing some trouble, with the Preus storyline and something to do with Doomsday being built on around that... still being relatively new to the title, I'm finding myself asking questions that are not gonna be answered unless I go back-issuing (copywrite, me, 2005), but there's some cool stuff going on at least (I never knew Manhunter was that strong, which makes what's going on here with him that more shocking).
Adventures of Superman #636 -- so, maybe what I just said about Action Comics actually happened here, but I don't think so -- I think this one is about Lex Luthor funding some really "dirty pool" shit being flung at Supes... up until this issue I found this title fairly boring, but now it seems to be going places... I read the whole Luthor storyline from the first arc in Superman/Batman, and am guessing this is his first appearance since (for some reason, I'm doubting what I'm typing here -- again, a bit confused over what stories I read in what titles, especially when it comes to DC) -- how popular is Lex to DC fans? -- will this boost sales on this title significantly? -- enquiring minds(well, at least mind) want to know :-)
Batman #636 -- Batman is to DC what X-Men(or maybe more specifically, Wolverine) is to Marvel ... he's everywhere! -- Here, we got the original Robin, now Nightwing (member of the Outsiders -- see, i'm piecing it all together, if somewhat slowly) working with Bats to take down a drugs/arms shipment or something like that... big box of weapons from the Batman villians gallery is what they find... but there's something bigger going on -- funny thing is, I can't remember what -- I know it all has something to do with new figures in the Gotham crime-world scene (or new figures at the top of that scene, at least), and some "is he a hero or isn't he" sort... it's all somewhat foggy... maybe I was tired when I read this one...
Detective Comics #802 -- so this happens before recent continuity according to the cover... ok, I can handle that. Story is less superhero-y (i'd copywrite that, but it's pretty shitty, so I'm leaving it wide open to y'all -- go for it) than most DC stuff I'm reading -- Penguin shows up, but out of costume(actually, in bed) with a bunch of hotties (paid for, I'm presuming) -- a bit of a mystery story going on here, and it's entertaining so I'll keep reading -- now DC has 2 titles in the 800+ issue range -- I'm wondering if at any point these were re-starting, re-numbered, cancelled, etc.? -- because Marvel's got nothing close to this when you take all those stunts into consideration...
Wonder Woman #212 -- loved this issue. Basic, simple concept that really delivered. Showcases Wonder Woman's amazing skill level. Back up stories involving DC's alternative to the Asgardians(roughly speaking) are a bit confusing as I don't know all the characters that well... this title does extremely poorly considering Wonder Woman is considered part of the "big 3" -- get Jim Lee over here, stat!
JSA #69 -- I'm digging this title. I know almost none of the characters (those I am familar with are more due to their more famous incarnations, i.e. those connected with Green Lantern, for example) -- but the writing is superb, so much in fact that my lack of knowledge slips from the foreground of my thoughts to somewhere in the back (right next to the list of shoulda/woulda/coulda crap that comics are a great escape from) -- this issue wasn't quite as good as the last, but it was still lots of fun and I have confidence GJ is gonna make this into an instant classic (don't do me wrong, GJ :-)).
Flash #217~218 -- two issues at once here... the first issue rocked! Straight out of IC, a great scene with Batman, what I'd call a great "jumping on" point for new readers (like me), the villian funeral thing was cool (I'm digging the "villian society" concept that exists at DC -- lately I've gotten the feeling Marvel is trying to emulate it somewhat, with titles like MK:Spider-Man and, to a lesser extent, Identity Disc) -- all in all, good comic -- next issue, not so great -- I guess this is something that's been going on in Flash for a while now, these "Flash's Rogue Gallery" issues, highlighting specific characters who are gonna be part of the on-going/up-coming stories... more detail than necessary imho
Outsiders #18~19 -- again, two issues -- and my first 2 of this title (I'd finally caught up on my missed reading from earlier this month) -- another title, like Teen Titans, where I'm gonna wanna back-issue it at some point -- few enough that it can be done without too much expenditure(unlike many DC titles) -- did John Walsh sign-off on his cameo here? I would think he'd be proud of the storyline, as it was a heavy one that relates strongly to his world, and it was done quite well... they really make you feel for the dude on the team who's daughter gets snatched... scary shit when you realize this happens in the real world all too frequently... Nightwing is next on my "new DC titles" list i think... now that i've seen him here, in Batman and in IC, I wanna know more (I've got issue #100 up on his title, just haven't settled down to read 'em yet)
Young Guns Sketchbook (Marvel) -- I downloaded this -- yes, I know downloading is evil, it's killing the industry, yadda, yadda, yadda (do ya feel my heart breaking -- I didn't think so :-))... but in this case, I'm quite glad I did, because anyone who paid for it should ask for they're money back imho. It was pure and utter crap.
"Resident Evil: Apocalypse" -- Starring Milla Jovovich, this is the sequel to "Resident Evil" and both are based on the 'Resident Evil' series of video games (my fav? -- Resident Evil: Codename Veronica X) -- anyway, this takes off where the first movie ended (I was a fan of the first movie, FYI) with our star waking up, buck naked (always a good thing when dealing with Milla :-)), alone in a hospital inside the confines of the zombie-ridden Raccoon City. She's "super-powered" now(I'm not gonna get into all the details... watch it if ya wanna know that badly) -- and she teams up with some other stragglers to try and escape/survive. Some cool additions from the games that weren't in the first movie show up, and the dogs are back, but somehow the whole thing doesn't work as well for me. Maybe I need to go back and re-watch the first one, but I left that with a sense of "yeah, I wanna see what happens next", while this time it was more like "ok, they've set it up for another sequel obviously"... you know what I mean? It had it's moments, but most movies with any amount of CGI in 'em have those... I guess the storyline and acting were just a step down from last time (again, as best I can remember) -- if these kind of movies are your thing, I think you'll at least have some fun with it (you gotta laugh at the cheese factors, not dis 'em) -- it's somewhat slow getting started but it picks up and the ending has more twists and turns than a back-road in Nova Scotia -- something tells me if I had have seen it in the theatre I might have had even more appreciation for some of the action sequences...
"Elektra" -- Starring Jennifer Garner, she of the TV show "Alias" fame (not to mention Felicity, because we don't do that). Obviously being the comic book junkie I am, I wasn't gonna miss this (I still kick myself for not seeing Hulk or Punisher in the theatres, even though they're considered amongst the "duds" in terms of recent Marvel movies...) -- unfortunately, Elektra will almost assuredly be falling into this "dud" category -- not that it didn't have it's moments, cause it did, but like someone else said out there in internet-land(poorly paraphrased), it was a weak story with a few Mortal Kombat sequences thrown in... I actually didn't see the big twist coming, even though I knew from the previews that Stick would wind up training the little girl and Elektra would say "you'll be better than me soon", or something to that effect -- I still kind of expected her to start from scratch with her training, not come to Elektra's defence with her crazy spinning chain thing there (eerily similar to the hot/young Japanese chick with the ball 'n' chain weapon from Kill Bill, Vol. 1) -- and there were other moments as well that came up on me pretty fast... I also liked that they included some other "Marvel" characters here, like Typhoid Mary -- and was it just coincidence that Garner's romantic lead (if you can call him that, played by the stud-dude from ER) was named Mark Millar (as in, he who is currently writing Elektra's adventures in Wolverine, and for all I know has written other Elektra work in the past) -- if it was, that's some coincidence...
Desperate Housewives (ABC) -- As I'm sure I've stated at least once before (although not necessarily here), this show is very, very good. It deserves it's high-ratings, even though it didn't necessarily earn them like CSI did back in the day. This show was marketed perfectly, and it's just the icing on the cake that it lives up to the hype. Marcia Cross gets better with each passing episode. For every mystery solved, 2 more are introduced. Off set, I think the overwhelming success is starting to go to people's heads, but that's nothing new (I point you in the direction of Friends, West Wing and the afore-mentioned CSI). No new episode tonight, which sucks... but is also the sign of a good show (that being, you hate to go a week without).
Boston Legal (ABC) -- not the ratings darling that it's lead-in is, but also an excellent addition to ABC's line-up (spun out of 'The Practice', of course). This show continually improves, building interest in all the core characters while introducing new blood and pushing out what isn't working without loosing a beat. The actual cases don't matter as much as how these lawyers interact and respond to the situations presented to them -- that's why this works where, in later years, 'The Practice' wasn't -- it became all about the shocking twist court case, rather than the unique/fun approaches to handling said cases.
Numb3rs (CBS) -- premiere. Notice the "special" spelling. Yeah, it's cheesy, but we don't judge a show on that, do we? A strong cast ("Northern Exposure" + Sliders/"Sports Night" + Taxi + "Ally McBeal" + "Lyon's Den" -- yeah, I know "Lyon's Den" might not belong on that list, but it's where I know the math genius from...) and a great pilot choice for this different concept -- applying mathematics to the 'procedural drama' formula... let's see how it works out over time...
Las Vegas (NBC) -- I saw 2 episodes of this over the last week, but can't remember which came first... one was about Danny being charged with sexual assault I belive, and I'm gonna go with it being numero uno... typical 'Ed to the rescue' type of episode... this show is pure eye candy for me, as it probably is to most folks (men and women, young and old alike) -- be honest with yourselves folks :-)
Degrassi: The Next Generation (CTV) -- like most kids of my generation, I'm a die-hard Degrassi fan from back in the day. I watch this show primarily out of loyalty to the original characters, but as the actors have aged I've started to dig this crew as their own entity as well. In particular I'm a fan of Manny, Spinner and J.T. -- I could do without Joey's "adopted" son, but that was a plot device to tie Jeremiah into the storylines, so we over-look it... I'm tired of the non-stop gay storylines too, just because there seems to be a non-stop deluge of gay-themed television of late... not that there's anything wrong with that! 3 episodes left in the season, 2 next week as Silent Bob makes his long-awaited (by both myself and Kevin Smith) appearance in the Degrassi universe.
24 (Fox) -- so our first CTU traitor of the season is revealed... these no longer have the shock value of earlier seasons -- we all know the writing is meant to make it feasible for any one of a large group of characters to wind up playing for the other side, so it becomes more of a guessing game than anything else. I look forward to the young Turk taking out his parents... c'mon, they obviously deserve it, and having their son take 'em out would be great TV! 6 hours in, catastrophe A averted, catostrophe B (= A*X in terms of wow factor, where X is likely a big number) under way... but no matter what I say to the contrary, 24 still rocks!
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) -- as per usual, going for the ultra-creep factor with the molester and the ball caps, and the recurring theme of the molested becoming the molester... I prefer the episodes where the crime is more recent/on-going then these "Cold Case" type of episodes...
This Is Wonderland (CBC) -- season premiere. Love this show... it's quirky, it's set in downtown T.O., an area I know quite well -- it's Canadian, but doesn't suck -- this show has it going on! Alice (yes, the main character's name is Alice) is still gorgeous -- and last season's cliff-hanger of sorts (the forming of the new firm) is developing nicely... Corner Gas fans will recognize one of the judges here (as will Street Legal fans from back in the day) -- I hope this show can survive (CBC doesn't have the best track record in supporting any of their shows).
The Amazing Race (CBS) -- ding, dong the bitch(and his wife) are ... well, not dead, but the next best thing :-) -- oh, wait -- that was last week... I'm still just soooo happy they're gone! This week, due to a mistake shortly before the pit-stop spelled doom for the wrestlers ... I'll miss Bolo, but not his wife -- he may not be on the 'roids (ok, he probably is), but she almost definitely is -- 'roids + PMS = scary. I'm still cheering on the cute, long-distance dating couple over the actors, the models and Hellboy and his "I'm too cool/mature/fill-in-the-blank-this-week" girlfriend... Boston Rawb and his money-bags fiance, Amber, are signed up for the next TAR -- lets hope they last longer than Alison (from Big Brother: The X Factor) and her boy-toy did :-)
Scrubs (NBC) -- snip, snip, snip -- how they made that funny, i'll never understand. Comic genius. Colin Farrell was great here... this dude can be very touch and miss, but he's clearly enjoying himself along the way... who am I to judge. Back to the show: I love how this show incorporates JD's dramatic monologues (not the goofy ones -- although they're great too, but the "moral of the story" ones) into an otherwise clearly comedic program with such ease... can you imagine them trying to do something like that on Friends or, even worse, Joey...
Medium (NBC) -- the concept is becoming somewhat formulaic, as was to be expected, but what saves the show is ... family. Her kids, her husband, her family v. work dilemna's... it all works in and around the procedural drama aspects of this show. I know her husband from a show called "The Secret Lives Of Married Men", or something like that, where he played a very different kind of husband (trade in supportive and sweet for deceitful and immoral) -- he, along with the rest of the cast outside of our star, are relatively unknown, but seemed to be casted in roles that are perfect for them here.
West Wing (NBC) -- the season of change continues. Some will say the West Wing died with Sorkin and should be put to rest. I agree that the Sorkin years were amazing, and last year had it's problems, but I like what they're doing this year -- sure, it isn't typical West Wing, but maybe that's what West Wing needs... we're basically following a fictional presidential race through an entire season... y'all watched when it was Bush v. Kerry, why not Santos v. ? ... or whatever it winds up being...
Las Vegas (NBC) -- the second of two episodes -- guest-starring Jay Mohr! I love Jay -- Last Comic Standing rocked (well, until season 3 that is -- but that's not my boy Jay's fault, now is it NBC -- maybe this was them saying "we're sorry") -- anyway, I actually didn't clue into the connection between Jay and the assassination attempts... I took them as two totally seperate stories, so good on Las Vegas for pulling one over on me... I absolutely loved the Delinda v. Nessa stuff -- absolute gold!! (I sometimes wonder if this is how women's minds work in the real world -- then I tend to wake up :-))
Alias (ABC) -- Alias meets Desperate Housewives! I wonder if this was written with that correlation in mind, or if this was absolutely happenstance, but it was fun regardless. Weiss continues to work his charms on Sydney's sister... Jack continues to scare me... Alias rocks!
Smallville (WB, via ASN) -- finally, a new episode. Here we see the return of the chick who got Supes (well, they don't call him that yet...) into trouble in last season's finale and this year's premiere -- and guess what, she's at it again... typical red kryptonite story, with a whole sex-ed angle tossed in for good measure -- as stated quite eloquently (is that spelled right? -- I can't be bothered with spell-check...) on http://tomthedog.blogspot.com "Chloe lost her virginity? To Jimmy Olsen?! wtf?!?" (likely poorly paraphrased, as that was from memory... check out his site for more on this and lots of other cool shit). Bring on Lois Lane again (uber-hottie).
King Of Queens (CBS) -- I remember something about pillows... not much else -- new episodes are not as good as those past I'm afraid -- maybe time for this show to call it a night... with Kevin James hitting the big screen with Will Smith this year, he may be in for bigger(no pun intended) and better things -- not that KOQ wasn't good, I just don't see it getting any better...
The Apprentice (NBC) -- yeah, these contestants are getting pretty pathetic in comparison to season's past. The cursing is at an all time high. There is barely a handful of contestants left after two weeks that I would deem even slightly acceptable as the next member of Trump's staff. The black dude (I can't even remember which team he was on) seems decent -- as do one or two of the chicks... if a visable minority(I include women in that definition, even though it's not gramatically appropriate given that women make up approx. 52% of the population as I understand it) doesn't win this season, you can count me as surprised.
The O.C. (Fox) -- this was a different episode for me. Sure, it had angry Ryan, comic book Seth, boozing Melissa -- all the staples of an O.C. episode, but it also had something else that I'm not used to on this show... that being, scenes with no other redeeming value than to set up plots for future episodes. I've always found this show to be very episodic, despite the soap opera nature to it -- anything done as part of an on-going storyline would always fit very nicely into the tale of the day that was the primary function of the episode at hand. Not the case here. I'm hoping this doesn't become the new norm, becaue for me that was part of the appeal of the O.C. -- an episodic feel that kept drawing you back for more... on another note, Seth and Summer are so gonna end back up together.
Enterprise (UPN, via ASN) -- after two self-contained episode, we return to the new multi-episode arc format that Enterprise has successfully utilized twice before this season. This time around, the Tellerites take center stage, with the always welcome return of our favorite Andorian crew and the Romulans are thrown in for good measure. These are all core species from TOS -- even the title of this episode is an homage to the good old days (I believe it's the episode that first introduced us to Sarek and Amanda, also starring the Tellerites and Andorians -- not sure if the Romulans were there or not) -- I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I have most of this season of Enterprise -- I hope it survives the dreadful ratings/timeslot.
Numb3rs (CBS) -- now in it's regular time-slot on Friday nights (see Enterprise for what that can do for a show...) -- another strong episode, this time about a bank robbery and what happens when the math dude (I'm week on names as of yet) see's things not go exactly as planned and how he deals with that... whether this show becomes the next CSI or the next "The Handler" (both procedural drama's that began on Friday's, only one of 'em made it past through it's first season and is still around, usually garnering the #1 spot on the Neilsen rankings -- you figure out which is which) is totally up in the air at this point (although matching CSI's success might be a high standard -- they're likely looking for it to match or beat Medical Investigation on NBC).
Joan Of Arcadia (CBS) -- two episodes, with many more still on tape -- these are from sometime in the fall of 2004 I believe... shortly after the 'death of a friend' episode... characters are still dealing with that, as well as several other long-term plotlines... this show is clearly darker than last season, but still up-lifting at times (I think the main goal of the program is to make people tear up, not that I'd do that, being a man and all...) -- between the 2 episodes we have wheelchair dude going through relationship highs and lows with his former girlfriend, our star and her younger brother joining the diving team for what ends up being two very different reasons, a battle of wits over a game of rock, paper, scissors and, of course, God making his presence known numerous times, but mostly just to our dear Joan (Amber Tamblyn is an amazing actress). Someone said they think the new police chief is the devil in disguise... I suppose it's possible. This is not must see TV for me, more like I'd like to see what's happening with the Girardi's, so I'll tape it and get around to it, eventually, TV.
Third Watch (NBC) -- another show that I've been taping but not watching of late... working my way through a stack of Friday tapes still... little by little. This was the Sully Flashback episode, pretty much bringing the whole dirty IA cop story to a head -- it was fun, if slightly different for Third Watch, but it's where they've been heading for most of the season. Once this is tied up, I'd expect them to move the focus back to Bosco... although I get the feeling everything this season has been about tying up lose ends in preperation for the possibility of not returning next season -- anyone heard anything like this?? I recognize the alcoholic member of Sully's posse from somewhere, but can't pinpoint it...
Medical Investigation (NBC) -- another 2 episode shot from Friday nights... this show has a cast of actors all of whom I've loved in other roles (shows include Popular, Boomtown, The Handler, The Practice and for our lead, the movies Walking Tall and, of course, Star Trek: First Contact), but here they seem to be so... blah. Every other episode on of 'em gets to play the sympathetic card(more often than not the young doctor, but in the second episode of these 2 it was the babe from 'The Practice') -- about the best character on the show is the PR chick, but even her charm needs more characterization built under it... the lead dude seems so stoic and monotone here, I'd hardly know it was the same dude from Boomtown if it wasn't for the telltale hair. Similar to Law & Order (most of the time), you could probably watch every episode thus far in any order and it wouldn't really matter (there was a plot-line early on relating to the leads wife and son, but it was resolved somewhat and left behind ages ago... although his sleep issues have been hinted at a little here and there and that may be related to the family struggles... who knows, the show focuses so much on crime of the week they could have brought on a cast of entire unknowns and it wouldn't be much different -- although maybe no one would have tuned in at all, or at least beyond the first episode... I fully expect this season to be the only season for this program.
Well, here we are ... that took a while to do (approx. 4 hours give or take – with a few breaks for good measure), but it was fun... like I said, this is the approach I'm gonna take for now -- a weekly update, and if i gotta do it in 10 minutes or if I've got all the time in the world, I'm gonna try and stick with that as best I can. Malcolm In The Middle is coming on soon, followed by The Simpsons and I'm taping Cold Case and Law & Order: Criminal Intent -- that and all the usual suspects will be here in “part 2” just seven short(or long, it all depends on yer perspective) days away. My wrists hurt. Buh-bye.