Friday, October 31, 2008


As you read this, I'll be in the process of moving TIC World Headquarters ... a block down. But, it's a much quieter, much more affordable location. Which, hopefully, will buoy our productivity a little bit.

And I'm well aware what today is, and that everybody and their mother is probably doing something "Thriller"-related. But we choose to give you something a little funkier than the norm, so here's jazz chanteuse Marlena Shaw doing "California Soul," as remixed by Diplo last year. Party safe, rock your costumes, and we'll resume transmission sometime after the weekend.

Betting On The Next Doctor

In the wake of David Tennant's imminent departure from the series, speculation has indeed broken out in earnest as to who would take DT's place in the TARDIS. Gallifrey One posted this list of the top contenders and the odds, according to British betting house William Hill:

5/2 David Morrissey
3/1 Patterson Joseph
6/1 James McAvoy
7/1 James Nesbitt, Robert Carlyle
8/1 John Simm, Rhys Ifans
12/1 Anthony Head
14/1 Alan Davies, Jason Statham
16/1 Nigel Harman, Bill Nighy
25/1 Daniel Radcliffe, Burn Gorman
33/1 Stephen Fry, John Barrowman
20/1 Next Doctor To Be Female
50/1 Christopher Eccleston

BBC One also has a closer look at some of the people on the list, including David Morrissey, who will play "The Next Doctor" in this year's Christmas special. Somehow, I don't think the creative team will make things that obvious.

The most intriguing contender, though, is Patterson Joseph, who would be the first black Doctor. Anglophenia profiles him here. I loved Joseph's turns in Jekyll and Peep Show and I think we're in a good place when we could even have this discussion. Could a Doctor of Asian/Indian descent be in the cards in the future?

As a fan of incoming series head Steven Moffat, though, I'm a little disappointed none of the Coupling boys or girls are seemingly even in the running. How insane would Doctor Jeff be?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not Ready For Prime Time: TIC v. Chocolate News!

Cross-posted to Racialicious!

In mining the Daily Show and Colbert Report styles for new material, David Alan Grier is, unfortunately for him, showing his age more than his experience with Chocolate News.

Credit is due DAG, of course, for even having his own show right now: his nearly 30-year career spans stage, film, stand-up, sitcoms and, of course, sketch comedy. The problem is, instead of showcasing his range, he's relying on the same tropes and mannerisms that characterized his work on the dearly departed In Living Color. “Girth Of A Nation”? That's the ILC Black History sketches, retreaded more than remixed for this new generation of fans.

The show's other “reports” suffer from the same lack of relevancy. “Wigga Rehab”? John McCain's “Cleaner”? “Fat Black Mama Syndrome”? To borrow a phrase, Hated It! This stuff is more played out than the 3 Snaps Up, and shows a serious lack of juice. Dave Chappelle would have been able to put Tyler Perry into the FBM sketch.

The show does show promise when it shifts to a “newsroom” setting, highlighting monologues by Grier. This is where one hopes DAG really will take a page out of the Chappelle playbook: instead of trotting out the typical over-the-top “broadcast journalist” character, Grier is in a position to put together a real storyteller, who can point out real community issues with both humor and criticism. “The Death of Hip-Hop,” though not exactly a fresh topic either, hews closer to the kind of commentaries that would pull the show above the usual Comedy Central mundanities.

The show's other potential saving grace is its' ensemble work, when Grier interacts with his correspondents. Specifically, Ronnie Tucker needs to be harassed every episode. The guy plays a likable schmuck of a reporter. If the show can keep developing his character, along with Alan Boda's “clueless white guy” (cliché, but you gotta have one, I guess) and the straight-forward Alicia Sanders, the supporting players could really shine – and take the onus off of Grier, making his appearances fresher, too.

But maybe that's not the plan. Maybe DAG, a former Tony Award-nominated musical performer, is content to revel in the schtick that brought him to this dance, rather than trying a new tune. Which is a waste of this show's opportunity, not just in the marketplace – it's in the valuable slot between South Park and The Daily Show -- but artistically. Instead of breaking the news, DAG's breaking the record. And that's just a sad song waiting to happen.

Elsewhere in the news ...

... Even USA Today showed me some love. My costume is 2nd from the bottom.

I'm Special (Special!) ... So Special (Special!) ...

I can finally tell you, True Believers, that I am a bonafied TV columnist, as I will be covering television and trends as a Special Correspondent for Racialicious!

Obviously, this means more Heroes items -- and boy, is that show caught in a maelstrom as of late -- but a wider range of television posts. Next up: a review of David Alan Grier's Chocolate News, and a column tentatively titled, "I'm On A Mexican Radio" ...

In other news, if you'd have told me that Preacher would become a movie, I'd have slapped you -- well, slugged you on the shoulder -- and begged you not to give me false hopes. Well, ho-lee shit. Early stunt casting: Nathan Fillion as Jesse Custer and Elizabeth Banks as Tulip O'Hare?

At this rate, Jesse might be the only hero Christian Bale isn't interested in playing. The latest word is that besides his turns as Batman and John Connor, he's up for playing Dr. Strange, too. Is his agent playing Geek Bingo?

EDIT: We interrumpt this post to ask you a burning question -- Ever wanted to see reality show zombies get torn apart by actual zombies? Thank Britain forever for granting your wishes.

Finally, a rare meme, but one I can really identify with today:

What Your Love of M&M's Says About You

You are energetic and full of inspiration.

You never slow down, and you're constantly leaving people and ideas behind.

You are a true visionary. You are constantly thinking about the future.

You love living, and you stay flexible. You're open to going wherever life takes you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ART HISTORY: Fairytale of New York, Volume I

Some weeks feel like a fulcrum. You emerge from them a different person, eyes open just a little wider. Such was the case with my week spent in New York City. At the time I had just been laid off from my TV writing job and followed a friend's advice in applying for a job with him. I didn't get the job, but I got a better adventure out of it.
Originally published 15 December 2003

BACK IN SAN DIEGO -- A night after returning from New York, I'm finally up to describing the trip in richer detail. My apologies for the teases in between.

After doing some sketching, however, I've decided the only way to do justice to this tale is to use the most dreaded of journalistic formats: The Serial Narrative.

As defined by My old newspaper, a Serial Narrative is used by long-winded kiss-ass hack writers who may or may not be schtuping kiss-ass big-assed editors to write ridiculously long stories with no real news value after spending months researching them.

By comparison, this project should only take less than a week to complete, starting tonight. So we're already ahead of the game. Furthermore, there is a story behind all of this: New York City is as fun and exciting and intimidating as everyone says it is -- and for just those reasons, everyone on earth should try to spend at least a week of their lives there, if only to taste what you can and see if you can live up to it. Hopefully some of these tales will give you a little sense of what I experienced last week.

Part 1: The East Village People

TUESDAY NIGHT, DEC. 9 – I’m picking songs on a 22,000-song jukebox and grinning idiotically about it – more precisely, about doing it in New York Fucking City -- when Jerry approaches. We’re at Hi-Fi, a suitably indie-rock bar he recommended, a couple of blocks from his East Village apartment. With dark lighting and darker, disheveled haircuts, the place reminds me of my beloved Turf Club back home. Just with more expensive drinks.

Twenty minutes and 12 rum-and-coke filled dollars later, Jerry and I start toward his place. I have to turn my big blue suitcase awkwardly to avoid hitting a cute girl in a long pink jacket. It’s my first encounter with an honest-to-Giuliani New Yorker. (Okay, Jerry is, but we first became friends in Kansas.)

"Hi, where are you in from?" Her name, I believe, is Robin. She shakes my hand. "Enjoy your visit!" My first thought: Wow, she didn’t say fuck once that whole sentence.

The night is, predictably, much colder than anything San Diegans encounter: about 36 degrees or so, but there’s no wind-chill, not even snow. In short, a great night for a walk. So after dropping off my bags and meeting his roomies/co-workers, Ominous Tom and Andrew, Jerry and I head to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on 26th Street for an improv show by local troupes Filth & Dillinger. Because Jerry takes improv classes at the theater, he gets into shows for free, and slips me his student ID to sneak me into this one. So no complaints.

After the show, we return to the Village bars for drinks, catching-up and general promises of more of the same should I indeed win a job with Dow Jones Newswires -- the main reason for this trip. A few drinks in, however, I decide to let some people know I’m safely in town. I call my friend Victor with CCNMA.

"Dude, I’m in New York!" I yell over the din of the Blue and Gold bar, where the drinks are $3 and the women, suitably, too indie for me. Or maybe I’m not indie enough for them. The prettiest girl in the bar is wearing a makeshift headband saying I am a praying mantis for no discernible reason. Victor, of course, understands my enthusiasm about the trip – and is immediately pissed at me for being such a happy idiot about it.

"You fucking peckerhead!" He replies with a laugh. "That’s fucking cool! Let me know what happens!"

After hopping through five bars the whole evening, Jerry and I stumble up the five flights of stairs to his apartment. The building looks to predate any elevators, and was probably built to originally fit one person per space. Jerry's spot, which probably wasn't bigger than my one-bedroom space at RiverPark Plaza in Wichita, has been remade to fit three incredibly small bedrooms. It takes less than three steps to reach the bed in each. He suspects it used to be a crackhouse, citing crowbar marks on the door.

Oh, wait, one more stop: We walk an extra set of stairs to the roof of the building. The Empire State Building, red lights shining, stared at us from the distance.

"Better than RiverPark Plaza, isn’t it?" he says, less asking than seemingly reminding himself.

Barely five hours of sleep after the first night’s adventure, it was time to get down to business, and to the Dow Jones office in Jersey City.

Part 2: The Lay Of The Land

WEDNESDAY, DEC.10 – Like any prospective employee, I’m wearing my best suit and tie to the office. Jerry joins me in my bourgeois style, which as many of his co-workers later noted, was very much unlike him.

"Wow, I’m a New York commuter," I say upon reaching the 14th Street train station.

"Yes, you’re a New York commuter," he repeats, with some amusement. During the commute, he seems surprised at the crush of people on the trains with us. "You’re getting the full commuter experience this morning." Sadly, we don't encounter any potentially murderous subway hobos, or even mildly rude natives.

The job itself is as close to a journalistic sweatshop as anything I’ve ever encountered. If I do become a Reporting Assistant, like Jerry, my life would entail sifting the news from the PR monkeycrap from various firms, and finding enough background, through research or calls to the PR monkeys, to construct an actual news story. The clips tend to be short but dry, and read like something edited by Detective Joe Friday -- Just The Facts, Man.

On a good day, one of your clips gets you a byline in The Wall Street Journal. Andy will later explain the trick is to get a story that’s too big to be insignificant, but not so big it draws the attention as one of the Journal's beat writers.

Because his bosses thought another writer was on vacation this week, Jerry isn't just my host. He's charged with tutoring and preparing me for Friday’s four-hour test, which will largely determine whether I join the company. This despite a Thursday-morning doctor’s appointment and a Friday/Saturday jaunt to Washington, D.C. for an internship reunion. It’s the latter engagement that relieves me a little bit. Otherwise Jerry may want to kill me by the end of the trip. Nothing against him; I just have that effect on people after prolonged exposure. Witness my mother.

Weeks before my arrival, Jerry had warned me about the greater peril of this: This wasn’t something to do for anyone looking to get out in the field. But it was a great job to have if one just wants to live in the City.

Our practice sessions are quick, but spirited. Jerry lays out the basics of each story, then let me have at them. By this point I’m surprised the previous night’s hijinks haven’t fogged my head. But Jer quickly reminds me the test will be much harder than anything we’re doing.

Jerry and I agreed to take things easy that night. But not before heading down Joey Ramone Way ...

Photo by Rob Boudon

Interlude: CBGB's

WEDNESDAY NIGHT – The American Heritage Dictionary says The Bowery, where CBGB's is
located, "has been notorious for its saloons, petty criminals and derelicts." Not two blocks from the bar, I realize why.

About 20 feet in front of us, some thuggish-looking guy shoves another hard into one of the many ad-plastered wooden walls. Jerry and I freeze and for a moment, I swear the assailant is looking at us. I start to turn to cross the street when I spot a group of preppies walking behind the thug, and realize we now have witnesses, and potential backup. We press on.

"I think they’re trying to figure out what to do, too." Jerry says. He hasn’t skipped a step this entire episode, and chalks it up to becoming a jaded New Yorker.

I stop to take the obligatory picture of the intersection of Joey Ramone Way and Bleeker Street and notice the 5-6 people standing outside the door. This place made its mark as The Punk Jerusalem. Standing in the cold in my long brown coat, black knit beanie and red turtleneck, I look anything but punk.

"Are you sure we won’t get killed here?" I ask Jerry. He points at the bunch of hipsters and asks, "Do they look dead?" Chastened, I take a deep breath and walk inside. Though just to be safe, I join him in having a beer rather than go for my usual Captain & Coke.

The bar is damn near empty; the teen pop-punk band onstage is playing before maybe 3-4 people sitting in front of the stage and maybe that much milling around the bar, besides Jerry and I. But they justifiably don’t care. They can now tell their friends at homeroom they’ve played the same stage where Blondie, The Talking Heads, and of course, Joey and The Ramones first made themselves famous. Their set is full of energy, without the predictable angst of their age, and they finish with a noisy flourish. Even without knowing their name, I feel great for these boys. Jerry, however, doesn't feel great about the bar.

"It’s so clean these days," he says, with visible disappointment. Turning my head, I see walls covered thick with flyers for countless bands and benefits, enough so that you could barely tell the walls themselves weren’t made of brightly-colored Kinko’s casualties. The tiny stage where the boys have just played looks like it was carved out of some cave wall.

"Yeah, they’re really let the place go," I say to Jerry, wondering if he can tell I'm joking.

To Be Continued

Upgrades. I Need Them.

The three questions I heard the most at tonight's San Diego Bloggers get-together:

* What is Racialicious?

I guess I never realized how srs bzns this can be for some people. And how far I still have to go to take this further beyond the realm of a glorified LJ. So, next year will be one of growth, in tech and in technique. And it could start soon: I've already gotten talked into both entering the Twitterverse and attending and speaking at a Barcamp. Already, where I've been feels a little smaller. I feel a whole other world opening up. I'm afraid, excited, but I know it's the place I want to reach.

For now, here's some of the URLs I collected tonight. Expect to see them on the blog listing soon:

* Edward O'Connor
* Erin O'Connor
* Sophistichate
* Six Figure Moms' Club
* Follow Up Success
* La Costa Mom
* Amy Miyamoto
* Photos By Rowell
* Discover SD

It's Latin For "Meh": TIC v. Heroes 3.7!

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Cross-posted to Racialicious!

"Heroes" is, at its heart, a family drama that deals with two main families in particular, the Bennet family and the Petrelli family. -- Series creator Tim Kring, as quoted in Entertainment Weekly.

“Eris Quod Sum,” the series' first episode since that unfortunate statement by Kring was published, inched things along for members of both families, but really, the episode just moved sideways. Is the show banking on another big finale to save its' season? How are we to feel about the series' other Heroes? More on that later.

This week's best development was the prospect of a double-cross contest between the increasingly “good” Sylar/Gabriel and Mr. Petrelli. While breaking the de-powered Peter out of the Pinehearst facility at the urging of their mother, Gabe is detained by Arthur for a father-long-lost-son heart-to-heart, during which, we're told, he revealed Mrs. Petrelli's Deep Dark Secret.

When Peter later urges his new bro to “just kick his ass,” however, Sylar demurs, standing right by Papa P. and hurling Pete out of a seventh-story window. How does the mundane Peter stay alive? Looks like Sylar protected him, freeing his brother while he went undercover with Team Pinehearst. Hopefully this leads to a Lionel/Lex Luthor-like duel of wills between the newest Petrelli and the oldest. Hell, the show's cribbed enough from the X-Men; why not throw some Smallville in? And can we get a side order of Buffy with that? What's Principal Wood up to these days?

After landing, Peter is taken to safety by Claire and the returning Elle, fresh off a highly-implausible cross-country trip (last-minute plane tickets? Rental cars for people under 25? Could Elle at least have flashed her Primatech ID to explain this?!). While Elle's excited by the prospect of getting her powers removed, Claire wisely turns to biological dad Nathan, yet unwisely does not turn to Mr. Bennet, who presumably would have more of an idea about how to deal with a superpowered cadre. Nathan, meanwhile, teases an actual working brain cell (he lies, promising Peter he'll call the Justice Department on Pinehearst) before stomping off with Tracy in tow to “bust a few doors down.” Yeah, 'cause guys who can fly and do nothing else are soooo scary.

Elsewhere in Pinehearst's tentacles, Daphne further ingratiates herself with hubby-maybe-to-be Parkman, who actually does reveal a working brain cell, by suggesting they go to Primatech for help; Suresh joins Mr. Petrelli's cause in exchange for a cure for Maya, losing her in the process. But on the bright side, he got to give Sylar a righteous beatdown; and alleged covert op Hiro lands himself into a trance after tasting some of The Artist Who We Should Have Been Introduced To As Usutu's family recipe for Spirit-Walk Sauce, and much like the episode, flops to the floor.

You'll note the limited involvement of anybody who's not a part of Kring's aforementioned Big Broods. In earlier years, you could explain these things as being part of the season's natural rotation of characters in and out of primary storylines. And in earlier years, standout moments did involve the Petrellis and the Bennets (Company Man and the first-season finale come to mind), but they felt like natural responses to the bigger story. Kring's statement suddenly makes one question how seriously the creators originally took breakout characters like Hiro and Mohinder, and Parkman, and now Daphne and Elle, who are not related to the main families.

Hiro was the heart of the makeshift team in the first year, the character we could believe in the easiest before he was refocused into cutesy comedy relief, and Mohinder was the audience surrogate, learning about the complex web of possibilities metahumanity presented, who is now, literally, slinging webs. Are we supposed to invest our emotions in characters, in people, who are just there to prop up the series' squabbling families? Are we to wait for the next few weeks for this volume's finale to rekindle the series' spark? Does the steep decline in viewership – a mind-boggling 50 percent in just two seasons – afford Kring and company the luxury of waiting for everyone to “catch up”? Earlier this year we asked, Is the worst over? What started with the promise of a generation's learning to take its' next step genetically and philosophically has degenerated into just another set of family squabbles. Heroes brought us in by showing us the best we could be. Now it wants us to stay by showing us the worst parts of ourselves in the mightiest among us. The signs are not good.

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Suresh: A strong episode for the character, as he sides with Pinehearst and, despite losing Maya, retains some humanity: both his anxiousness in questioning Peter about his future and his fury in beating Sylar down (referencing Chandra's murder) shone through well. Of course, this is the second year in a row he's blindly joined a Company, but you can't ask everything of a guy.

Usutu: Ramblings about choosing fate, “Dark Sun” risings, family potions dating back “thousands of years,” and no name to speak of ... man, Jesse Alexander was playing Mystical Minority Bingo when he wrote this one, wasn't he? And does going from “Africa” to “Somewhere In Africa” on the locator cards count as movin' on up in this universe?

Hiro & Ando: Usutu's newest trainees went on the back-burner this week amid bickering over whether Hiro should go back in time and figure out how to beat the Villains (as opposed to, say, using the resources of a corporation which Hiro now controls). But Hiro's latest foray into temporal tempests should place him in the thick of the action in the next episode.

Knox: His “tracker profile” (seen at left) lists his power control index as 75 percent mental, and it's been mentioned during our weekly roundtable discussions that he has a college degree. Yet once again, he's suckered. This time, Parkman fools him via Mind Mojo into thinking he and Daphne are killed by the power of his incredible flaring nostrils. Makes you wonder, if somebody gets really scared around him, is Knox going to yell, KAMEKAMEHA! before taking that person out?

MIA: The Haitian

In Two Weeks: Hiro goes back to the creative well, errr, back in time, as it's time to play the Secret Origins game!

Racialicious Heroes Archive

Images courtesy of HeroesWiki

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The weeks after vacations are the worst for my productivity. Hence, the one-week hiatus. But, the pics from the trip are up here. A mini-update before we discuss the video above:

* One week 'til the move and things are still shaping up nicely. The Mortician and I might even be able to start moving stuff in early.

* I'll be working at a local voting precinct during the 4 Nov. election and am looking forward to that, as well. The local registrar of voters is expecting a record turnout, so it'll be Katie-bar-the-door time. I just hope the damn touchscreens work.

* TIC on the airwaves? It could happen next year ... Stay tuned, True Believers.

Today's song is the extended version of "A Tu Lado," taken from a show by Duncan Dhu. I first became aware of them thanks to their classic "En Algún Lugar," but this track also holds up. Perfect for CoupleSkate. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Come To Daddy: TIC v. Heroes 3.6!

(Cross-posted to Racialicious)

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

“Dying Of The Light” was downright Shakespearean: all sound and fury, signifying nothing, dialing back the tension from last week and mostly focusing on the ever-shifting alliances in the roster of Heroes and Villains.

Newly-minted Big Bad Mr. Petrelli was again this episode's mover and shaker: his herald, Daphne, literally criss-crossed the country rounding up and recruiting people for the Pinehearst team (Knox, Flint, Maury Parkman and a slightly reluctant Daphne); and he showed off his ability to steal others' superpowers by not only draining an incredulous Peter, but going all Dorian Gray on last season's antagonist, Adam Monroe.

Aside from Arthur's antics, the other notable development was the apparent solidifying of the double-turn between Peter and Sylar. Sy – how long 'til he asks to be called Gabriel? -- not only refused an offer to join Pinehearst, but urged Peter to help him save the comatose Mrs. Petrelli. However, when Sy refers to Angela as “our mother,” the increasingly unhinged and “hungry” Pete beats him down for the second time in three seasons (remember Kirby Plaza?) taunting, “I'm the most special!” And, as we're seemingly always forced to do with Peter, we must step back.

The driving force behind Peter and Sylar's switching places seems to be what everybody's calling the Hunger: the uncontrollable urge to rip people's powers off. During their encounter last week, Peter has allegedly “absorbed” the Hunger from his new brother. But, why now? The two have had multiple encounters (remember Kirby Plaza?) across several timelines; and Sylar's bloodlust has only recently been cited as being fueled by addiction. Furthermore, everybody's blind acceptance of Sylar into the Petrelli family tree is getting to be a distraction. Are the writers setting up another plot twist? Are they just hand-waving their way toward a heroic run for Sylar? Can we get Mr. Petrelli to absorb Gabriel's eyebrows?

Ok, back to the Petrellis: unaware as to his brothers' and mother's condition, Nathan and Tracy get into their own share of trouble with another Pinehearst recruit, Mohinder. Mo slips the new couple a Spider-roofie and binds them for reasons inadequately explained but probably involving their metahuman blood. For a second, Tracy appears to get through to Mohinder's humanity (“It all got out of control,” he admits. “I am a monster.”) but she chooses to double-cross him instead, and we leave the trio in the midst of a showdown.

Yet another recruit, Hiro, is revealed to have pulled some chronological slight-of-hand to save Ando – hey, whoever called “ketchup packets” last week got it right! -- in order to earn his first assignment for the company: he and Ando are dispatched to “Africa” to take the still-unnamed Usutu off the board. In the most sensible use of abilities so far this season, Usutu uses his precognitive powers to get the jump on Hiro twice within a minute. Later on, Hiro and Ando do manage to approach Usutu, who assuages them with vaguely inspirational words about “choosing their own path.”

Finally, we come to the series' other favorite family: the Bennets. This time, Claire finally gets to play the heroine, saving both Meredith and her adopted mother from the creepy-as-hell Eric Doyle, and earning more respect from papa Noah – who then turns around and asks Meredith to be his new partner. Oooh, there's one person who's not gonna like that ...

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Suresh: We got to see some balance in Mohinder this week, as he's clearly rattled by Daphne's discovery of his wall of victims (“You're just as bad as the rest of them,” she sniffs), enough to briefly trust Tracy. But her subsequent betrayal put him back on the dark path, as we wait for his showdown with Tracy and Nathan to pick up next week.

The Haitian: Speaking of betrayals, how is he going to react when he finds out Noah is getting chummy with Meredith? Will this lead to him ditching Primatech and joining Team Pinehearst?

Hiro & Ando: Hiro's timely time-traveling saved not only Ando, but the team's relationship – for now. Their subsequent journey to “Africa” (it's a big place, you know) leads to an out-of-character remark about white people (“They all look alike to me”) by Ando and some, shall we say, Mystical advice from ...

Usutu: He still doesn't have a name, but at least he's making his way up the character food chain, going from mentoring Parkman to outsmarting Hiro and Ando to giving them nuggets like, “When you started thinking of yourself, that's when you found me ... Now you are ready?” Ready to what, ask what country they're actually in?

Maya: I'm pretty sure when a guy webs your mouth shut and sticks you to a wall, that you can probably consider yourself single again. It looks like she's alive, but otherwise she was in no position to do anything this week.

Knox: Firmly entrenched on Mr. Petrelli's team, and had no problem leading Adam to his doom. One can imagine how pissed he'll be when he discovers Hiro lied his way into his good graces.

Next Week: Peter gets grounded! Will he lose his angst privileges, too?

Racialicious Heroes archive

Character bios and photos courtesy of HeroesWiki.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Say Hello To The Bad Guy: TIC v. Heroes 3.5!

Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Character bios and pics courtesy of HeroesWiki.

Not much of the ha-ha this week: finally, Mrs. Petrelli has met her match. in "Angels and Monsters," the season's Big Bad stood (well, lay) revealed before us – her own husband.

Arthur Petrelli, thought dead before the series even began, is revealed as the man behind Linderman's “reappearance” to not only Nathan, but to Daphne, who serves as his chief recruiter for a different Company -- Pinehearst.

Pinehearst, it stands to reason, is behind another of the episode's reveals: that a number of familiar superhumans actually received their powers artificially, including Tracy and Nathan. From a hospital bed inside the facility, Papa Petrelli, thru Daphne and Maury Parkman, has begun assembling his own team. Knox has somehow entered the fold, capturing Adam Monroe and recruiting ... Hiro?!

The rest of the Petrelli family isn't doing so hot this week, either: Peter seemingly comes unhinged during a confrontation with Sylar (by now acknowledged as his brother, without even a blood test), nearly literally punching his head off and almost slicing his mother open for more information, forcing her to place him into an induced coma; Claire has to confront not only Noah's working with the man who almost killed her, but his willingness to kill an innocent man to protect her (again); and Nathan, faced with the news he was the family's genetic slowpoke, calls Mrs. Petrelli out and storms off to get help from the “harmless” Suresh ...

... Who definitely isn't harmless anymore. This week we see him verging ever closer to the dark side; not only has he been kidnapping and webbing up his neighbor, a local drug dealer and Maya for reasons unknown – a cure? A meal? -- but we see he's on the list of recruits for Pinehearst, as is the younger Parkman. And as Mr. Petrelli's plan begins to pick up steam, we see him enter his wife's mind, taunting her, “You won't even be able to move.” Strong episode overall, especially with the thought of an all-out meta-war now within reach.

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Hiro & Ando: From bad to worse to shocking. The Dynamic Duo gets conned by Adam at a bar and soon enter a confrontation with Daphne and Knox, declaring, “We are very badass!” Unfortunately for them, Knox calls their bluff by daring Hiro to stab his buddy. No way, we were thinking. Hiro will just figure something -- SHANK!
Oh, damn. This isn't going to help their trust issues.

Knox: We learn he's part of Mr. Petrelli's new team, though not how he was recruited. He takes the initiative with Hiro and Ando, surprising even Daphne with his cold-blooded demand, leading to Hiro's seeming betrayal. You can pretty much bet he's going to be a player from here on in.

Stephen Canfield: A completely new character, Stephen is another escapee from Level 5, one with a particularly sad story: apparently he's imprisoned after his ability to conjure portals – to where, we don't know – leads to the death of his neighbor, the utterly lonely Stephen (“I love my wife. I love my children.”) briefly befriends Claire before being forced by Mr. Bennet to choose between his freedom and killing another man – Sylar. Instead, Stephen, remorseful over the first death he caused, seems to take his own life with one of his own portals.

Mohinder & Maya: Too late, Maya discovers what her new boyfriend has been up to – hoarding people in his lab. “What have you done?” she demands. “You're a monster.” And for the first time, Suresh is unrepentant: “I wish you hadn't said that,” he answers. Next thing we know, she's on his wall of shame.

The Haitian, Usutu, Micah and Monica: All MIA this week, although Usutu may finally see some character development and action soon, as Daphne and Parkman's respective storyarcs start leading them toward one another.

Next Week: Suresh takes a shot at Nathan and Tracy! Bennet family Russian Roulette!

* Heroes 3.4
* Heroes 3.3
* Heroes 3.1 + 3.2
* Heroes Season Preview

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thank You, San Francisco!

Bad "absinthe" aside, I had a hell of a time in The City. Three weeks 'til the move and my batteries are recharged. Expect a full-on recap later this week, and don't forget, late Monday night is the weekly Heroes simulcast with Racialicious.

Also on the R, take a minute to check out the first Racialicious Roundtable, where we ask: is Peter Petrelli dumber than a rock, or dumber than a bag of rocks?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yeah, I know, AFK, whatever

SAN FRANCISCO -- The trip's been going really well up to this point. Stayed in a hostel, day-tripped in Berkeley, had drinks with Combustible Monkey and Alli last night at the venerable Vesuvio's in North Beach last night ... including my first taste of absinthe.

In a word, YUCK. It's everything I remember Milk of Magnesia being, and less. Luckily, the effects weren't the same. And I didn't even get a green fairy. But, that's my only disappointment thus far, so I'd say I'm still coming out ahead.

Today: more tripping around the City, and tonight, karaoke!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


We're posting this early on account of, I will be away from any and all keyboards for most of the weekend. This afternoon I leave for a mini-holiday in San Francisco. Included in the tentative itinerary: daytripping in Berkeley; visits to City Lights and Vesuvio's; and karaoke in Daly City for a goodbye party. This is probably going to be my last roadtrip for awhile, my last big expenditure before the move at the end of the month, and my first real solo roadtrip in years. I think it's going to be good for me -- if not my wallet.

So in honor of the City, we're going with "Lights," by Journey. Sweet little song, and one that's perpetually underrated compared to "Faithfully" or, most obnoxiously, "Don't Stop Believing." Everybody have a good weekend, and we'll be back in time for the next Heroes recap.

Oh crap, how could I not mention this yet? Happy Birthday, Slackmistress!

Dream Theatre

Had a pretty fun dream this morning: I was in a musical. I'll try to recount as much as possible.

The story concerned a group of Irish men and women settling in a steel town in America. My role could be considered a featured supporting player -- third or fourth lead, I guess. I don't remember specifics of the songs, other than I sang in the opening number; in the Act I closer, a eulogy for one of the settlers; and in the climactic sequence -- a football ('soccer') game. I remember the opening night crowd giving us a standing ovation.

And I remember giving an interview after the show where I admitted, "I knew I had a dodgy Irish accent, but it was too late to back out when I found out about it." I've had a run of active dreams lately -- definitely not nightmares, just dreams where I'm in action of some sort. It's a welcome development.

More to come today, including a special Thursday Morning Jukebox!

Monday, October 6, 2008

No Future For You: TIC v. Heroes 3.4!

WARNING: Here There Be Spoilers

“Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
-- Dark Helmet

... Four years later, “I Am Become Death” shows us yet another future scarier than a Palin re-election: Metahumans everywhere! A super army being activated! Presidential fratricide! Costa Verde detonated! Dogs and cats, living together! ...

Sorry, got carried away there. Anyway, this episode expects us to feel bad for doe-eyed, dunder-headed Peter Petrelli. No matter what he does, it seems, the future gets f'd up. The episode's primary plot flings him into the future, where, for the second time in two seasons, things are jacked – despite his preventing Nathan's outing the metas to the world earlier this year.

In the re-revised timeline, everyday schmucks are super-schmucks, thanks to the Suresh serum, while Suresh himself has apparently devolved into a spider-entity, warning our Peter, “I got the formula wrong.” In a nice touch, present-day Mohinder is discovering much the same thing, telling his trusty voice-recorder, “I cannot reverse the process ... It's a part of me now.”

In an odder touch, Peter's new timeline matches the one Parkman beholds in a vision while “in Africa.” In this latest timeline, Future Pete is considered a terrorist, hunted down by the team of Knox, Daphne (revealed as Matt's latest baby-mama), The Haitian and Evil Sexy Claire Bear. ESCB out-and-out shoots and kills Re-Pete, to the delight of recappers who won't have to differentiate between the two of them anymore. The murder of his future self sends our One True Peter on his usual stumble-bum quest to put the pieces together.

A tip from Spider-Suresh leads Peter to the former Bennet residence, now inhabited by a rehabilitated Syl-uh, Gabriel Grey. Now a doting father to a son named Noah (awww), Gabriel confesses to Peter his belief that they're siblings. Peter, unfortunately, doesn't respond to Gabriel's news with, “Who told you that, my mom? News flash, Spock – she's a dirty liar.

Peter does, however, learn to ape Gabe's tinkering ability, just in time for a catastrophic run-in with Evil Claire in company, leading to Sylar's finally going nuclear and destroying all of Costa Verde. Pete wakes up in the custody of the presumed new Company, where now-President Nathan reveals his plans for a superhuman army doing “God's work.” Naturally, Peter decides it best to slice his brother's dome open like a can of cat food before retreating back to the present and attacking our Sylar in Level 5. And here's where we should step back a bit.

Imagine you're Peter Petrelli. Your Facebook contact list, at this point, should presumably include the following: a politically-connected brother; a super-spy; a brilliant (if stupid) scientist; and a guy who can travel through freaking time. How do you not call or message any of these people at the slightest hint of trouble? Wouldn't a simple e-mail solve anything at this point?

Hey, Noah, long time no hear. You still slinging copy toner?

I kid. Listen, I think my mom's screwing with us and The Future Of All Mankind again. And Nathan's acting all “Praise the Lord and pass me the Niki Sanders lookalike.” We should talk. I cc'ed Hiro and Mo on this. Wanna do lunch at the mall? Best to C-Bear.


Speaking of Mrs. Petrelli, we wrap up the episode with her latest manipulation, as she convinces the still-bickering Hiro and Ando that they hold “the key” to the whole mystery, leading them to, naturally, dig up Adam Monroe, who only wanted to destroy the world just days ago. Maybe Hiro shouldn't be cc'ed on that e-mail.

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Knox: Solid outing for Knox, as we see him in the thick of the latest dystopian future, leading Daphne and Claire into battle against Gabriel and Peter. In a pervertedly smart move, Knox feeds off the fear he instills in the younger Gray and gains an early advantage – until Gabe beats him up for inadvertently causing the kid's death.

The Haitian: We see him as part of Knox's team in the future, but otherwise he only appears in the present-day to deliver Hiro and Ando to Mrs. Petrelli.

Hiro + Ando: Their imprisonment in Level 2 leads to a reconciliation, for now, as Hiro promises to renew his trust in his sidekick. As Mrs. P attempts to pin the blame on them for losing the formula, Ando sticks up for Hiro. We last see them working together again to dig up Adam.

D.L: Still ... oh, I give up.

Mohinder + Maya: Maya appears briefly, attempting to convince Mo to either go out on a date or break her off another Arachni-piece. But Suresh, increasingly desperate to find a cure for his condition, brushes her off. Mohinder does find time, however, to save a white neighbor from being beaten – and, perhaps, to devour her husband. Ew.

Usutu: Still playing window dressing for Parkman's “vision quest.” We don't find out what was in his Discman to make Matt see the future, but he does get one good moment: when Parkman asks if his advice – find his “totem” -- is “mystical African mojo,” Usutu calmly tells him it's actually Jungian theory, before asking, “You don't read much, do you?” Zing! Now, if the writers would actually give him a character ...

Next week: Who could ever surprise Mrs. Petrelli?

* Heroes 3.3
* Heroes 3.1 + 3.2
* Heroes Season Preview

Friday, October 3, 2008


Apologies; I've had a White Rabbit kind of morning -- running perpetually late. I blame this on watching Eagle Eye last night and requiring three Captain & Cokes to wash the stupid out of my brain. Seriously, I won't even dignify that piece of trash film with a link. But, it does give me a review idea ...

Anyway, let me make it up to you with something a little up-tempo: "Lights Go Out," by Client. I discovered the group through Internet radio -- where I've found roughly 75 percent of the music I've discovered over the past three years; I recommend you try any iteration of it -- and they've been growing on me steadily.

This weekend's plan: secure the new apartment, possible bonfire, and prepping for something big next week ...

Thursday, October 2, 2008


No, not sites -- apartments. Today I secured a new pad for myself and roomie-to-be, my friend and fellow JLD alum, The Mortician. We're giving our new landlord $200 to hold our spot and setting up shop Halloween day.

I'm most glad that the process took literally three days between spotting the apartment and getting approved today. No fuss, no muss, no stressing out the last two weeks of the month. I'll share more with you as the month goes on.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Memo to WB: Lay off the Dick -- reach for the Star!

Comic By Comic mentioned today that Warner Brothers is putting together The Graysons, focusing on Dick -- excuse me, "DJ" -- Grayson's life before becoming the ward of a certain rich do-gooder in Gotham.

Needless to say, cutting off the series at that point would preclude the chance of seeing Dick mature and become Nightwing. (Although, that role has allegedly sparked the interest of another 'Hero.') But, given that the Smallville people are helming The Graysons, you can bet we'll get enough continuity in-jokes and fan service to keep people interested. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Gar Logan surface as a sideshow act in the Graysons' circus.

In talking about the new series with my friend Combustible Monkey this morning, though, we noted that it reflects yet another example of the disconnect between using super-properties on TV and the big screen. Remember, the 'Ville's big thing is, No Spandex. Same with Heroes. The no-spandex rule sticks out even further in the latter; is there any doubt that if Heroes were a comic, the first series would have ended with the ensemble banding together and going after the Company? Instead, the last 'proper' superhero show on network TV was Birds Of Prey. How sad is that?

Warner Brothers, which controls DC's properties, is particularly myopic when it comes to TV, especially when you consider the critical and commercial success of its' animated shows; Batman: TAS saved animation for me in the '90s and the Justice League programs displayed the kind of ensemble work Heroes still wishes it could pull off. As Monkey points out, WB would be best served easing up on its Batman/Superman obsession and developing one of its' lower-tier characters, like The Question, Dr. Fate, The Spectre, or ...

That's right, Starman. If you think about it, Jack Knight could give a network the kind of Supernatural- type hero it should be salivating over: young enough to be relatable to teens and twentysomething; a hipster fashion sense, which could lead to profitable music and clothing tie-ins; a built-in legacy and Yoda character in his father; marketable supporting characters in The Shade and the newest Mist; and storyarcs that draw from enough disparate sources -- sci-fi, space opera, horror, and even cop show tropes with the O'Dares -- to keep any given season lively, with competent writing. There's even the potential here to tie in any of the JLA characters showing up on Smallville, or maybe even Clark Kent or Dick Grayson, if those franchises stay afloat.

Ironically, I've come to learn that the reason we don't already have a Starman series is precisely because the BOP series flopped so badly. Which makes that even sadder. And that's probably why the WB feels it has to keep spinning on the Bat/Superaxis to make a character "viable."