Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No, Really, We're Okay Now!: TIC v. Heroes 4.8!

Cross-posted to Racialicious!

Note: Just want to invite everybody to check out the latest Roundtable thread covering 4.7 over at The R.

Are people's expectations really that low for this show anymore?

Going into this week's episode, the word seemed to be good from my friends: "Heroes ftw" one said on twitter; "we're on an upswing," another told me this morning. Really?

I didn't even mind that this was a placeholder episode; everybody needs those, I get that. But Sylar and Dudley DoWrong playing Law & Order: Superhuman Unit to track down a fugitive shapeshifter was by far the most effective plot in "Into Asylum," which in itself was nothing more than passable.

Not to say that our latest installment of As The Petrellis Turn didn't have bright spots: Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia each showed some more welcome shades of humanity in Angela and Peter, respectively; and best of all, no Mexicans were harmed in the filming of the Claire-Bear Goes To Mexico sequences.

In fact, Claire was downright clever in using her regenerative powers to swindle a spring-drunk American coed out of his drinking money. But the ensuing reconciliation between herself and Nathan just felt hollow, because if there's one thing we've learned about this family – and Angela herself copped to this in her confessional – it's that these folks are always gonna make the wrong choice.

Speaking of bad decision-making, the point of all those shots of Danko shaving and listening to oldies finally came through – the poor grunt is more EEEEEVIL than he is smart, and he finally came undone this week, not only teaming up with Sy but flat-out allowing him to get the power Sylar has been after since early on in the series. What's the over/under on Gabriel turning on the “Hunter” and taking his shape – and his spot? Two episodes?

Near the end of the episodes, we got what was meant to be a dramatic sequence featuring the Petrellis and Claire walking away from their latest crises of faith and haircare. The problem for the series has been, we've always gotten this sequence, or some variant of it, where the First Family suddenly decides to stop practicing cranial-rectal exploration and get down to business.

And by this point, all I can say, again, is, really? After all that's happened they still need to hit rock bottom? In his monologue at the church, Peter made a compelling case for him honestly wanting to do some good in the world. But heroism, as any comic fan can tell you, is about more than good intentions; it's as much a job as a calling – with the same demands when it comes to your choices and your skill-set. And if the smartest people you know are manipulators and outright killers, you need to step up twice as hard. Here's to hoping this latest family turn toward ... well, outright intelligence sticks.

The Racialicious Scorecard
There. Now you've seen more POC core characters than were featured this week. And, hey, it's one thing for the show to rotate featured cast from show-to-show; that's the nature of an ensemble.

But, setting aside for a minute the convenience of Nate and Claire being safer in Mexico Hiro was on his native soil, what struck me most was, for all the talk about making things right, nobody – not even Claire – thought to mention Micah, who has been the most consistent force for good throughout this volume. And consider that last week, not only did Micah stick his neck out for Tracy's sake, but Hiro and Ando willingly traveled cross-country to save a kid that doesn't belong to either of them, and Mohinder has sacrificed himself for Matt's sake a few weeks ago. When the time comes to pay off the "Fugitives" storyline, will the POC characters matter?

Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive

Title and Claire images courtesy of HeroesWiki
Angela/Peter image courtesy of Comic Book Resources
Hiro/Baby Matt image courtesy of Greg Beeman's Blog

Monday, March 30, 2009

TV Notes, happy and sad

* RIP, Andy Hallett.

* Dollhouse: Not as epic as last week's ep -- how could it be? -- but definitely a much stronger show as an ensemble piece rather than Echo's Weekly Adventures. Curious to see, however, that they might pull the trigger on an "awakening" so early in the run.

* Family Guy: All the hype over the TNG cast's appearance went up in smoke as soon as Peter said, "it's another Meg episode." Not as much because it was Meg as because the creative team seems to give less of a damn about her than even Peter. Too much dreck, not enough Trek.

* Better Off Ted: Glad to see Lem & Phil get their own episode so soon, and the bits of continuity -- Phil's recurring symptoms, the trickiness of the Office Affair clause -- are appreciated this early in the run. Will we get a backstory for Veronica?

Lastly, a look at Mr. Hallett as many of us probably remember him best.

Friday, March 27, 2009


A special jumbo-sized jukebox this week, dedicated to my friend Anissa.

About four years ago, Anissa asked me to make her a mixtape. Then she asked for another. And so I found a way to fuel my mix-making and music-collecting hobby, and the Shiny Gold Mixtapes were born. Things reached the point where not only did she ask me to DJ her wedding, but three other couples have, as well. I've made mixes in fits of discovery and in the darkest of moods. It's easily, aside from writing, my favorite pastime, and I'm grateful to her for giving me an outlet for it.

So, below is the complete track listing from 'Nyssa's latest mix -- No. 30, excluding multi-part editions; those are another story. (Would that make this a MiXXX?) To make the list easier on the eyes, I've provided links to either the video or the artist for each track.

1. The Ting Tings -- That's Not My Name (Justin Kayes Remix)
2. 45 Grave -- Party Time NOTE: NSFW
3. Soulwax -- Any Minute Now
4. Burning Hearts -- I Lost My Colour Vision
5. Monareta -- Llama
6. The Detroit Cobras -- Village Of Love
7. AC Newman -- On The Table
8. Theresa Andersson -- Birds Fly Away
9. Camera Obscura -- My Maudlin Career
10. Hello Seahorse! -- Universo 2
11. Placebo -- I'll Be Yours
12. Razorlight -- Wire To Wire
13. Slushco -- Sad Songs and Lonely Places
14. My Dear Disco -- White Lies
15. The Vibrators -- Disco In Moscow
16. Adam Ant -- Desperate But Not Serious
17. Amazing Baby -- Bayonets
18. Black Eyed Peas -- Request Line
19. Asobi Seksu -- Familiar Light
20. DJ Earworm -- Funky Goes To Hollywood

So, True Believers, should I put up more mixtapes on FMJ?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Notes on Better Off Ted 1.1

* Not a bad pilot, but I get the feeling that the writers are trying too hard to make the show "quirky," instead of letting the interactions carry the story.

* Best part of the show by a country mile is Portia DeRossi, and not just based on aesthetics. So far, Veronica is at once devious and clueless, and DeRossi's timing in the episode was money.

* Worst part? The star. Jay Harrington's Ted goes beyond relatable to straight-up blandness. His daughter, Rose (Isabella Anders) went from adorable to annoying within two mini-monologues. But, the Office Affair clause and reveal were well-executed.

* Here's to hoping we get more bits with Lem and Phil; they definitely give me a Lenny & Carl vibe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Kid Is Alright: TIC v. Heroes 4.7!

Cross-posted to Racialicious!

My, my, Micah, how you've grown.

Even if it was the worst-kept secret on the show, the youngest Sanders' return to the fold was one of several nice touches this week, making "Cold Snap" a welcome turn for the better from the past couple of episodes.

Name-checking Che and eluding Angry Valjean and the Armies of Excess Security, Micah came out of hiding to help his not-mommy Tracy escape SEXY TORTURE, only for her to first lure him into a trap, then help him get out of it with an all-out display of her freezing powers. It's hard to figure a kid who's hip to Che "leading a revolution" would be so surprised Tracy is "a politician" (not technically, but you know). Still, it was good to see somebody on the show who didn't mix good intentions with angst – in other words, not Claire.

Speaking of angst, Mrs. Petrelli was going through some of her own – though for good reason. Without Nathan's protection, she's now just another target in the Metahuman Roundup, and Cristine Rose did a good job of conveying Angela's increasing desperation, not just in her restaurant conversation with an old friend, but in her quiet sadness and resignation about her capture. When Peter flies in for the save, her relief is palpable. And it should be noted that as more of the core characters goes on the lam, there's less people around in a position to take down Big Bad Danko. That'll bear watching as Volume 4 progresses.

But writer Bryan Fuller's best feat this week might have been to bring not just closure, but credibility to the not-romance between Big Matt and Daphne. Despite theirs being the least believable of the series' on-screen romances so far, Fuller's script not only let both characters address the flimsiness of their connection ("I took a Spirit ... Walk," Matt says, almost embarrassed) but gives them a graceful exit, as Matt mentally projects himself and the dying Daph into a romantic night in Paris.

Sentimentality aside, though, the series seems to be biding its' time before (hopefully) serving up a game-changing episode. That's par for the course, of course, but watching the show nowadays feels like just that: biding our time. And with the Rebel mystery solved and the Sylar/Samson duel a disappointment, there don't look to be many engaging storylines left to engage the viewer before whatever big resolution the writers say they have planned. Much like Tracy after her run-in with the feds, the show is treading water, but on thin ice.

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Hiro & Ando: Literally miles away from the action, Team Yamagato sets out to protect little ElianMatt Jr., who, it turns out has already begun manifesting his ability. "Toddler Touch-And-Go" subsequently triggers a re-awakening of Hiro's time-stopping power. Along the way, though, we're subjected to yet another One To Grow On moment with Hiro, as he comes to terms with his mother's passing. For what they're going through, I can only hope for some sort of payoff for the boys. But I'm not very optimistic anymore. By the way, how many sick days do you think they have left at work?

Mohinder: I'm of two minds about Suresh's involvement this week: while the shot of him silently consoling Matt as Daphne lay dying made me hope for the best from their friendship, on another level, Mo was there to enhance other people's storylines: he bore witness to yet another reminder of Danko's EEEEEVIL fiscal responsibility; and didn't figure much into the Parkman/Daphne struggle other than tell the viewers she was dying. It was tough for me to reconcile this discrepancy.

Micah: Now that he's officially Rebel, Micah's character is entering his own tough spot. On the one hand, he's savvy enough to hack government servers and get people together across state lines. On the other, he was still naïve enough to believe Tracy really did care about public service. And I can't help but be disappointed not to see any involvement from Nana Dawson. But, if Micah continues to be featured, in both of his identities, he might give the show a sorely-needed person to rally around.

Next Week: Claire & Nathan on spring break – it's Benetrelli Beach Blanket Bingo!
Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive

Suresh image courtesy of Comic Book Resources
Micah image courtesy of StarPulse
All other images courtesy of HeroesWiki

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doctor Who: This Is Your (Tenth) Life?

More and more, the Tenth Doctor's farewell tour is taking on a Greatest Hits flavor.


Peter Pixie and I discussed this story last night on our podcast: basically, the band could be getting back together for another go-round with The Master. (If these episodes are set on Mars, as another rumor says, then so much the cleverer.) Peter speculated that instead of a full-on team-up, the three Companions may instead appear in a manner reminiscent of Tom Baker's making way for Peter Davison, as shown below (and, uh, sorry for the music):

And now, consider this item from Planet Gallifrey -- not only will Jessica Hynes be coming back to the show, but her new character, Verity Newman (inside joke), might be related/connected to Joan Redfern from the Human Nature/Family Of Blood two-parter. Looks like RTD wants to get in as much fan-service as possible before the Great Transition over to Matt Smith.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Tonight, on Hour 42!

* We talk BSG -- what was the big frakkin' deal?
* Clone Wars chat
* Mr. Pixie's latest convention adventure
* Doctor Who rumours
* We pick the comics we'd like to see on the small screen
* Plus your calls and comments at 646.716.4799

So join us at 11pm EST, 8 PST!

Quick Thoughts On Dollhouse 1.6


Well, that was as good as advertised, wasn't it?

* Thank goodness, no Plot o' The Week, aside from Patton Oswalt staring down Helo.
* Helo needs a partner, or another ally. Not only because he's "suspended," but because him shaking off a tazer, knocking off four or five security guys and still holding his own against a combat-imprinted Echo got ridiculous. I don't suppose the Slayers are guys in this version of L.A.?
* Solid outing for Ms. DeWitt -- "There are three flowers in a vase" and Mellie's "waking up" made me sit straight up. Well friggin' played. Was Echo's message to Ballard also an idea of hers, or was it legit?
* The "news segments," unless they have some sort of payoff later in the year, will just be an annoyance.
* Next week's ep also looks solid -- I mean, even Dominic might get a moment to shine, going by the preview.

Image courtesy of Watching DollHouse.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm already concerned ...

... about the upcoming American bastardizadaptation of No Heroics.

Surprisingly, it's not the news that Freddie Prinze Jr. has been cast as Ultimatum, the Excelsor equivalent. Prinze is enough of a fanboy that I'm confident he can take on that kind of role. It's other members of the cast that have me feeling leery.

See Arielle Kebbel there? Not that Claire Keelan and Rebekah Staton aren't pretty, but they looked like people you could see on the street that just happened to have superpowers. That, after all, was the whole point. Kebbel? Too "Hollywood pretty." I realize it's probably fan service, but ... well, I dunno. Am I being paranoid here?

On the other hand, if this version can get away with anything close to the original Timebomb's antics, I'm prepared to be forgiving.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Notes From OB

As I said on Twitter yesterday, my dream of live-blogging/twitting the NCAA goofiness from Ocean Beach was an epic FAIL. But even though my laptop turned into the world's biggest coaster, I had a hell of a time. Highlights:

* My buddy Steve on President Obama's tournament picks for ESPN: "That bracket was more conservative than Michael Savage!"

* We spent most of the day at the refurbished Arizona Cafe, something nobody would do years ago unless a) they lost a bet; b) were out on a Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas-style binge. The Arizona wasn't just a dump years ago, it was the dump in OB: no windows, one door, one bathroom and the only lights in the place hung over the lopsided pool tables. You couldn't see what you were ordering, but you knew it'd be cheap, and you knew you'd be bumping elbows (and just that, if you were lucky) with surly winos all night long. Naturally, cheap smart-mouthed bastards like my college buddies and I loved the place.

* Needless to say, the Arizona's new look -- windows! carpeting! two bathrooms! -- stunned us all when we returned yesterday morning. But they didn't mind us hogging the bar and we were drinking since the morning, so it all evened out.

* On picking the longshots:
DC -- "Have you ever nailed a 14 seed beating a 3?"
Me -- "Before you said seed, that question was going nowhere good."

* I'd been worried about my health going into Thursday's get-together. Nothing major, but you know: have I been going out too much lately? am I cooking enough at home so I'm not eating out? But I can now tell you, after watching two of us attempt to race against each other on 30-something year-old legs and flip-flops, I feel a whole lot better.

* Unspoken moral of the Less-Than-Amazing Race: If you've consumed three Bloody Marys, a Tom Collins and parts of three pitchers of beer before lunch, it's not a good idea to race anybody, lest the finish line be the nearest toilet.

* Arizona bartender, upon seeing the winner of the race slumped over at his stool, post-vomit: "Hang in there, buddy! Just one more round!" Showing our increase in maturity since our college days, the rest of us didn't break down laughing until after our buddy stumbled off to puke again.

* How's my bracket doing? Put it this way: I think I understand how my sick buddy feels.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Just fyi, I probably won't be at the keyboard much over the next few days -- and for good reason.

Yup, it's Tournament time. The first day of the NCAAs is my favorite non-holiday holiday of the year, rivaled only by the first day of Comic-Con. Even though much of the week leading up to tip-off is mired in little more than gossip -- who got snubbed? who's going to be Cinderella? how much do I feel like losing in the office pool? -- it fades away that first Thursday morning, and everybody just plays.

The beauty of it is, for all the talk, you never really know what's going to happen. So, tomorrow, a few college newspaper buddies and I are going to gather at a bar and just watch all the games. I'll post a live-blog of our ridiculousness over the weekend, but I imagine at least one of us is going to reminisce about us sitting in our office when this happened:

Working or not, I try my damndest to watch as much of the opening-round games, even if it means taking a break from hitting on an Irish waitress on St. Patty's day in a Minneapolis airport bar, just to watch this:

Even if we don't know how the tournament ends exactly, I know how the ending will feel -- happy for some, decidedly not for many others. But everybody knows how the last number in the Big Dance goes:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quick Thoughts on Dollhouse 1.5

* Another uneven episode; the show just can't generate an all-killer ep yet.
* However, the explanation behind Evil Agency Guy's dislike of Echo was welcome, even if it was overdue. But a better way to establish that would have been for Echo to manifest traits of her past implants during this week's assignment, rather than just randomly generating Kick-Ass Girl traits.
* The whole Man-Reaction thing also made sense, but you'd think Topher or somebody would have thought about that before putting all these young hottie Dolls (seriously, no full-figured Actives?) in co-ed showers.
* Starting with next week's episode, supposedly, TEH JOSS finally got to write "in his own voice." If that's true, and we start getting to the meat of things, that might be enough to boost the show not only creatively, but ratings-wise. As of this past Friday, the show looks to be holding steady, but one can never be too sure with Fox.

Listen to us tonight!

Just wanna invite everyone to my Sunday night ritual with Peter Pixie, as we talk Smallville and other fun stuff on Hour 42! Hope you catch us there.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Today we're spotlighting Israel's own Kutiman, in the wake of Thru-You.com, which I got tipped off to by my friend Leah in Alabama. Basically, Kuti has created original tracks from samples taken from ordinary folks playing on YouTube. The results, simply, speak for themselves. As a mixtape, it's well worth your time.

Just to whet your appetite, though, try this on for size:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Blonde

Some stories, you just have to get off your chest. So forgive me while I indulge my inner Bond villain for a bit and spin you a yarn ...

The First Night
I'm watching @soulcamp and his band last Wednesday night, going through their second set at the Ruby Room, sitting alongside my friend Em and her fiancee. I'm wearing a black blazer, jeans and shoes with a royal blue dress shirt -- natty enough, no? Three drinks in, Emily's fiancee taps me on the shoulder and motions toward a short-haired short blonde with dark glasses and a white top: "She knows your name, dude."

Even after saying hello, though, neither she nor I know where we would recognize each other from. But she's undaunted: "I have psychic powers," she says. Within ten minutes, we're dancing. Within fifteen, we find a spot of our own near the bar.

She likes the Beasties, Boingo, Bogie and the Cubbies. She's been to Paris four times. A former flame of hers is still in her life, mostly by necessity; like myself, she's a recession casualty as of a few months ago and also like myself, she's only now picked up some regular work. She preferred 'Iron Man' to 'The Dark Knight,' but is willing to listen to my argument to the contrary. She doesn't pull away when I touch her arm. She doesn't flinch when I name-drop Howard Roark in the conversation. And she listens when I tell her the story about my car accident nearly four years ago, when my Brothers went to pick me up at the hospital – after ordering a pizza (I'll tell you about that some other time). She writes down her number on a flyer, along with movies she recommends. The only one I recognize is "The African Queen." And there's moments where we smile at each other, notice each other, then look away, smiling.

As the bar starts winding down, we get one more dance in; the song doesn't matter, of course -- it's just she and I and all at once I realize I want to see her again and I don't question myself for thinking so. More than $50 in bar tabs later, the conversation takes us through a bus stop, a cab ride and a dinner on me (metaphorically, alas). Because of how things are with her, I walk her part of the way home, stopping two nondescript blocks from her pad. I walk home buzzing from more than alcohol. Because I'm an idiot.

People mean well. They see a guy like me, they want to help him be less alone. They've told me to be aggressive, and to not try so hard; that I'm too nice a guy, and come off as arrogant; to be the a-hole, and to be myself; to let it happen, and to make it happen. But the worst counsel I ever got was from a belly dancer, who couldn't just let us make out on my car, outside her Oklahoma City apartment, who just had to tell me, "You think too much." I drove off that moment.

See, I like thinking things out, sussing the angles, the patterns, etc. Little wonder some of my friends like to use me as a sounding board, work through stuff aloud. I don't mind. As it relates to romance, I've taught myself to recognize a woman's lack of interest as soon as I can -- not to look for it, just to see it if it's there. It's not self-pity; it's self-preservation, fueled by my own peculiar history. I've been blown off by women online and off, at the bar and after dinner, in open daylight and in private. I've been rejected by more body types than bone marrow.

So, when it's about "affairs of the heart," I let my brain do the driving -- the one up top, thanks. It's when I slip up that I tend to slip up big. If I'm not getting shined off by the gym teacher without a gag reflex, I'm finding myself in a woman's apartment while she and her dude friend tell me how they like to "cuddle." If a woman's head isn't dropping in disappointment when I ask her on a date, her eyes are bugging out in near-terror if I tell her I like her. People mean well. Just not always the best for me.

The Days After
For me to figure with confidence that this girl dug me is no mean feat. But it's a welcome change of pace. Which means I don't sweat it when I get her voicemail on my Thursday afternoon call. (Three days? This isn't the '90s, kids.) I leave her a joking message reminding her it's her turn to spring, if she'd like to get some coffee that night. When I go to voicemail again Friday, though, even after asking if she'd like to check out MC Flow, I take notice. I skip the show and don't get a "Hey you son of a bitch, where are you?" call from her.

And even though I can spot the disappointment in a girl's eyes from 30 paces, this blindsides me. It's the worst thing you can do to a guy who loves thinking everything through: make him think everything through. Is she okay? Is it something I did? Did she reconcile with this other dude? (Something, by the way, which happened to me at least three times in the '90s.) Even fortune cookies are f-ing with me, saying, "Happiness can be achieved by using your patience." By Monday, I'm answering the question, "How are you?" with "I feel like I'm in a Hitchcock movie," and I've determined one of three scenarios has played out:

1)I was punked out for $70 in drinks, cab fare and dinner
2) Some SVU-style ish is going/went down between her and her former flame
3) She's just not that into me

I make myself a deal: call her Wednesday. It lends itself to closure: a full week since we met; the potential third "strike" if I get to voicemail again. It's my attempt to gain control of the situation, once and for all, to give my fortune cookie a good shot. But I'm already second-guessing myself: I'm relying on goddamn fortune cookies now? Why don't I just go holler at a sooth-sayer?

Still, having a plan boosts my mood enough to join @soulcamp on a night of wandering. "Looking for trouble on a Monday night," I announce to the brunette barkeep at Gilly's, our usual karaoke joint. "We're mad, bad and dangerous to know." Her eyes drop dismissively, right on cue. We bail quickly, though, to go catch Lady Dottie & The Diamonds at another bar. We arrive as a sea of hipsters is faux-swing dancing, skinny jeans, striped shirts and push-up bras clustering together in a giant lack of rhythm. And my mood suddenly sinks. In the middle of a crowded bar, I freeze, overcome by memories of a dance floor I got to share with someone just a few nights earlier. @Soulcamp is nice enough to help me get out of there.

One Wednesday Later
I wake up with an aching head, an empty stomach, and a cotton mouth, having survived a return to the Ruby Room with @soulcamp and our friend Brad. I'm hurting but happy; returning to the scene of the crime didn't faze me too much. Now I just need to bite the real bullet.

In the mini-movie my imagination has conjured up leading to the last phone call, she picks up and apologizes, offering explanations wacky or emotional, depending on my mood. It's more about a start than an end, about figuring out what to do next ...

... Straight to voicemail. I decide to be honest.

"Hi, I was just calling because I wanted to see if you were okay. It may be silly, but there it is. Even if you don't want to hang out with me anymore, I'd at least appreciate that. Thanks." And with that, Vin Scully's voice rings in my ears: The saddest words of tongue and pen are these: What might have been. My head and heart aren't arguing -- back to watching out for No. 1. But I still make room for a little faith. If she does pop up in my life again, you never read any of this. Deal?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Inglorious Bastards: TIC v. Heroes 4.6!


There was a lot of bad to go around in "Shades of Gray" -- too bad only some of it was intentional.

Like a reject from Volume 3, this episode was a mess "anchored" by a bunch of bad personalities. Topping your sh-t parade was the much-ballyhooed reunion between Sylar and his father Samson, finally revealed as being played by Smallville escapee John Glover.

Unlike Lionel Luthor, though, Samson is holed up in a van down by the river in the remains of a trailer, hammering home hunting metaphors when not wheezing his way through cancer (while still smoking, of course, to remind us he is A Very Bad Person).

After teasing both a reconciliation and a fight between the two metas, in the end Sylar just ... uh, walks out. We're supposed to believe Gabe gleaned some insight from his dad turning on him, but it amounts to, "Well, I'll just keep on being EEEEVIL." And I know that letting the sickness take his father slowly was supposed to be ironic or whatnot, but the Sylar we've known wouldn't care about making a statement; he'd just take the righteous kill -- and the bunny.

Speaking of righteous kills, both we and the Bennet family thought we'd seen the last of Doyle last year ... only he pops up in their kitchen looking for help from Clairiet TubBennet, referred by the mysterious Rebel.

Hemming and hawing ensues, as Claire-Bear, after spending weeks wanting to take a more active role as a hero, is disturbed by the thought of helping Doyle. Again, the material was designed to create an emotional response here, but Claire's character has become so unsympathetic over the past couple of volumes it was hard to empathize with her. And this was before the utterly pathetic scene at Sam's Comic Book Shop.

See, in order to forge a "secret identity," Claire takes a job at the shop. Which is fine. But when the manager decided to frame his interview around asking "What Type Of Hero Are You?" and the group of male customers were presented as little more than leering shut-ins -- which the manager encourages -- I actually cursed at my screen. Writer Oliver Grigsby may not have realized that it's the fan community that still gives two craps about this series, despite its' critical and commercial downward spiral and continuing shoving-aside of characters who aren't white or named Benetrelli. The joke is old, people. And in this particular instance, creepy as Doyle.


The only bright spot in this episode was the graduate-school session in evil-cool given by Mrs. Petrelli, as she brushes off Danko The Gnome Of Doom without giving up any intel -- or skipping a bite of her dessert. The Hunter does get the last word in, however, as he outs Nathan as a metahuman just after Sen. Petrelli (DK-NY) gets Danko fired. Unfortunately, we're spared a scene where President Worf strips Danko of his rank for bringing dishonor to Homeland Security. And how does POTUS not even have a name? Never mind.

Speaking of never mind ...

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Hiro & Ando: Hey boys! Good to see you back in action ... uh, how did you get to L.A. from India? Wait, how'd you get to India in the first place? Have you checked in with the rest of the Soggy Bottom Boys? How did you two get stuck babysitting Little Parkman instead of, oh, his actual father? Will we get answers to any of these questions?

Mohinder: Suresh was better heard than seen, I guess, this week, as we got the return of his "deep" voice-overs. But here's the thing: did we really need to spend so much SEXY TORTURE TIME with Tracy without even a mention that he was still being held prisoner?

Next Week: Sylar and Danko's First Date? Anything has to be better than this mess of a week.
Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive
Images & Character Bios courtesy Of HeroesWiki

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quick Thoughts on Dollhouse 1.5

* Finally, the Plot o' The Week wasn't disposeable; the Remote Wiping was a welcome way to get Echo into trouble yet again. I think her chances of winning Active of the Month are starting to fade.
* Good to see Dichen Lachman get to try out the Taffy persona -- she's a capable enough actress that she wore it better than Eliza D.
* The insistence that Alpha was behind the remote wipe was so over-the-top I want to believe there's somebody else pulling the strings.
* Topher: long-lost brother of Warren?
* Comely Lab Assistant Ivy didn't seem to serve much purpose besides giving us Asian eye candy, something which, to be honest, Joss might have issues with. That said, O HAI Liza Lapira!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Nobody listens to techno!
-- Eminem, "Without Me"

For a long time, that statement applied to me, too. Then I watched It's All Gone Pete Tong and turned myself around. I wouldn't call myself an expert on techno, electronica, whatever you wanna call it ... but at least I've learned to enjoy the music a bit more. Here's a few of my favorite songs in the genre to liven up your day.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It Could've Been Worse

Tomorrow I join the teeming masses in flocking to see Watchmen. I can't imagine it'll be as good or as bad as people are already screaming. But one thing's for sure: at least it won't be like this video Brother LBJ posted:

Thursday Afternoon URGH

Well, that hangover was well-earned. More on that later ... I hope.

Spent most of the day sleeping it off, so now I just have a bit of the hungries left to clear up. Carne Asada sounds really good right now ... For now, enjoy this trailer for Big Man Japan, which I definitely plan on seeing when it hits the states in May.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mother's Day: TIC v. Heroes 4.5!

For the second straight week, a strong character showing from the Bennet clan buoyed the episode. But go fig, it wasn't Noah.

Cross-posted to Racialicious!

After spending the whole of the series as little more than a doormat for her husband and her daughter, Mama Sandra stepped out and stepped up in "Exposed," helping Claire get Aqualad Alex away from the feds (including webisode graduate Rachel Mills). We also got to hear waaay too much about her affinity for Def Leppard, but it was worth it to see Ashley Crow finally get to play a fully-realized character on this show. Hopefully we'll see more of Sondra's newfound strength during Claire's confrontation with Doyle.

Elsewhere, off the beaten path, we got a glimpse of Sylar's biological mother, as a roadside diner stirs memories of the day young Gabriel's dad literally took the money and ran. Little Gabe runs after him just in time to see the elder Gray telekinetically slice his mom's forehead open. In other words, HE LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!

At this point I'd like to bring in our fearless Racialicious Roundtable. Though we haven't been able to get the gang together the past couple of weeks -- hey, they've got lives, too -- they did chime in on last week's lame-ass "reveal" of Matt as the latest Exploding Man. Here's a bit of what they had to say:

Mahsino: When a show gets to the point where they're ripping themselves off, they really need to re-evaulate the direction they're going in.
Hexy: I groaned, audibly. Then thought "Well, at least it's not Peter being painted destroying shit this season."
Erica: Maybe for the next big twist they can hijack a plane. (Again.)

Surprisingly, writers Adam Arnus and Kay Foster gave us a good payoff for the vision of Matt as a pipe bomber: he's actually been set up by the EEEEVIL Danko so as to justify the government's superhuman roundup, after Parkman and Peter leaked security-cam footage to the media. So The Hunter dropped a doped-up Matt in the nation's capital, thus "fulfilling" the vision, and sped off as Parkman collapsed, seemingly seconds before his predicted explosion.

We also got a bit of follow-up on last week's meeting between Noah and Angela, as they seem to be pulling the increasingly wobbly Nate into whatever plan they're concocting behind Danko's back. Primatech 2.0, anyone?

Next Week: Sy and his eyebrows are seriously on the hunt now -- will his family reunion be One To Grow On?

The Racialicious Scorecard
Okay, while this episode was well-executed, the utter absence of any characters of color (unless we're counting "TV-US" reporter Andrea Charles) was more glaring here, for me, than in different instances. In fact, when Peter negotiated with his brother, he only asked for Matt and Daphne to be returned in exchange for the stolen camera footage. Dude, Mohinder was part of your team! Was he not eligible for the "One life at a time" policy?

Now, it's reasonable to expect, I suppose, that Hiro and Ando were still in transit back from their Indian adventure; and The Haitian has yet to reappear. But, again, in the wake of Tim Kring's declaration that this show is all about the Benetrellis, the shuffling off-stage of the few POCs left in the cast makes me leery about their future on this program.

To close out on a positive note, however, here's a suggestion from Erica on how we might better navigate the weeks ahead:

We need to start a drinking game. If Hiro learns a lesson, take a sip. If Tracy is tortured while wearing a skimpy shirt, take a sip. If Claire rebels against her father then hugs him within five minutes, take two sips. If somebody has a gun to Sylar's head and says something instead of just pulling the f-cking trigger, drain your glass. If a POC is killed, swig from the bottle while yelling at the television. (Actually, not that last one -- we'll die of alcohol poisoning.)

Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive
Images courtesy of HeroesWiki.

New At The R

The column I worked on over the weekend is now up at Racialicious, covering a recent survey of diversity on reality shows, and how it relates to From G's To Gents. Check it out!

FURTHER thoughts on Dollhouse

The more I thought about her tonight, the more something about the 'pop diva' character bugged me.

Not her being demanding with her dancers, disillusioned with fame (that is, up until she revealed she wanted her stalker to kill her). No, the worst bit was this: her manager -- her older male manager -- SLAPPED HER ACROSS THE DAMN FACE and got away with it. Neither Echo nor Rayna hit him back, and we never learn if he faced any repercussions. Um, that's beyond "thought-provoking sci-fi" -- that's just disturbing.

Image courtesy of Watching Dollhouse

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quick Thoughts on Dollhouse 1.3


* Much of the bad in this episode, especially the scenes involving the would-be-tortured pop starlet. I got the concept, but the character was off.
* Fortunately, more of the good. I'm digging both the evolution of Boyd as our POV character and the in-character attention to Echo's emerging ability to think "outside the pieces [Dollhouse] gives her."
* The Echo/Sierra friendship -- and their apparent recognition that they should lie about it -- hints toward something bigger for the remaining Dolls. Was this why Alpha spared Echo?
* The reveal of the "newest" Doll was done pretty well, both in story (it confirms a statement by DeWitt) and in execution. Made for a nice plot beat to liven up the middle of the episode.

What can I say? I'm still kinda hopeful.

Monday Notes

Been pressed for time and fighting sinus failure the past couple of days, so I'm woefully behind on stuff, but I expect to have Dollhouse thoughts up soon ... or I may just skip it until the sixth episode, which is allegedly the new "This is when it gets good" marker.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to note that the podcast I host with Peter Pixie is coming along pretty well. Yesterday we got into a good discussion about Superman and DC's jerking around with not only his origin, but his future, as well as the upcoming Green Lantern movie (with tip of the hat to my unnamed source on said flick.) We're really finding our groove and we've started attracting some steady listeners, so I invite you all to check out last week's episode and join us Sunday at 8pm PST, as we become the 1,000,000th fanboys to give our take on Watchmen, and possibly only the 750,000th to discuss the new Wonder Woman animated flick.

In the meantime, here's a little NSFW goodness from our friends at ONN and the mighty Scott Keith. If you don't mind a little strong language, I think many of us can relate to this story. Or maybe we can because of the strong language.

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work