June 11th, 2005

Life online

Magic 8-Ball Says, 'Outlook Hazy'

So, funny story. My first week or so on LiveJournal, I'm hanging out in the journal of one cleolinda, and I see this hot icon. It's this girl peering provocatively over her spectacles. Like, lookit:

And since the entire purpose of LiveJournal icons is to attract people to your own journal, I succumbed and clicked over to the info of one grammargirl. And she was in Ann Arbor. Freaky! But no, there was something even freakier.

She liked Lorrie Moore. Only my literary idol whose style I emulated in my best story. I had a cow when I discovered nortylak was a fan, when I met her. How bizarre to run across this person so randomly (of course, meeting nortylak was a story just as, if not even more, random). Maybe all the girls I run into online who happen to be in Ann Arbor also like Lorrie Moore. The universe is random and freaktastic to me.

I commented-and-ran, but after some time, I went ahead and friended her. This was when my flist was about a third the size it is now, so I could afford to add people all willy-nilly. She reciprocated and stopped by, and the freakiness increased.

Because she had been at the Terry Pratchett and Neal Stephenson Borders signings too. And a week later, we both ended up seeing They Might Be Giants at Borders...without running into each other.

But she became an LJ friend, and I commented frequently and promptly. Recently, she got a teaching gig in New York, so she's up and leaving this town for the big city. It was my last chance to meet her, just for the hell of it. She was having a going-away gathering at the 8-Ball, underneath the Blind Pig. It was to begin at ten, but I figured I'd be fashionably late and show up around 10:45 or so.

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Dinosaur betrayal

You Are on the Global Frequency

Some of you in the know may have been following the path of Global Frequency, the television series based on a comic book by Warren Ellis, of Transmetropolitan and Planetary fame. I know glumpishLStrega was particularly interested in its hitting the tube so she could recap it. There were a lot of Angel writers (I think Ben Edlund was on the team at one point; he's now with The Inside) in the mix, which made it even more worth anticipating.

I don't know all the details of the ups and downs and sidewayses, but there was a change in network presidents to which I think the show's downfall is attributed. It wasn't picked up.

Now, go read this blog post. Skip the paragraph with the big bold HAPPY, as it kind of spoils the end of the pilot. The gist of the paragraph is that the show is not, in fact, happy. But read everything else. And tell me you're not itching to watch the pilot after reading it.

Well, you can.

There are rumors of a conspiracy called the Global Frequency.

A group of spies, experts, and ordinary people...

They save us from the threats that no one else sees or understands.

The Global Frequency is real.

The premise of Global Frequency is that there is a network of people all around the world (it's global!) who can be reached at the ring of a phone (on a frequency!) to do things, know things, tell things, throw things, sell things, make things. Any old person may just be able to save the world.

The pilot uses the old standby of having an ordinary person being thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so they get the same exposition that the audience requires. At first, it seemed like the exposition came a little too easily (I mean, isn't this supposed to be a covert organization?), but I let it go. And the main character seems a little too willing to go along with all this, but hey, he has to, it's his show. But damn, once the episode gets going (and this happens in, you know, the first sixty seconds or so), it never fucking stops. Aleph, the girl on the end of the line, is cute and funny, and Miranda Zero is dry and authoritative. And there's an obvious 'ship a-brewing for people who like that sort of thing.

A lot of the technology and speed with which they can find things out on their computers seemed a little far-fetched, but hey, it's what we've come to expect from the genre. There's even an incredibly Matrix-y sequence, and even though the episode's not completely free of clichés, I didn't mind so much. Clichés are overused for a reason: because they work.

The episode is exciting and cool from start to finish, with the interesting camera angle here and there to spice things up. Plus, any television episode that uses music from Run Lola Run is a winner in my book. And the climactic scene almost made me tear up.

This would have been a series about making the tough choices. About a disparate group of people working together for the common good, even without knowing the first thing about each other. About each person's ability to make a difference, to be needed, to be worth something. This would have been a series not about one man saving the world, but about the world saving the world. And it would have been a damn cool ride to boot.

We mourn the premature deaths of shows like Firefly and Wonderfalls, but for every one of those, there are dozens of series that don't even get the luxury of being broadcast in the first place.

So here's a chance to see what you're missing, people. The torrent is out.

The Global Frequency is real.