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Monday Night's Good for TV Watching - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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September 26th, 2006


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12:26 am - Monday Night's Good for TV Watching
OMG SO MUCH TELEVISION TONIGHT TELEVISION HOW DO I LOVE THEEEEEEEEE.

First order of business is the Veronica Mars Telephone Press Conference with Rob Thomas and Tina Majorino. magnolia888 has a decent recap up, but the usual suspects called in and asked a lot of the usual questions (how many times can Rob say VM was never a high school show and therefore he's not worried about the transition to college before people get it?). But let's talk about me since this is my journal.

I took the line and first asked where each of them was because there was a lot of background noise. Rob was at the studio office, and Tina was at her home, and I have to say that Tina is just adorable, seriously. raelee and I wanted to hug her through the phone. Rob said he'd gotten my e-mail (I had e-mailed him about the new credits), and I asked him if he could respond to any of that here. He said he couldn't remember specific questions, just the general reaction stuff, so since I hadn't intended to follow-up on that here anyway, I said I would talk to Tina, since I'd never talked to Tina.

I do have to say that I really do get nervous about these things. Like, I was all shaking and sweaty after I put myself in the queue to talk to Tina Majorino. And maybe it was just as well that Rob engaged me because I felt comfortable with him, so that made it easier to just stay casual with Tina. I first asked her what book of Rob's she'd done a book report on. In a recent interview, she'd related an anecdote about e-mailing Rob when she was 13 because she was doing a book report, and they'd ended up meeting for lunch. Vowing to work together at that time, they fulfilled that vow five years later when Rob cast her in VM. Cutest story every!

The book was Rats Saw God, which, of course it was. I asked her if she'd gotten a good grade.

"I did," she said. "I got an A+. My teacher was very impressed that I'd gotten to talk to the author."

I then moved on to my Very Important Question. Back in the day, she had been in Andre, and she had worked with a seal. Now, she works with Kristen Bell. "Who's a better actor, and who's better at balancing a ball on their nose?"

"Kristen is a better actor," answered Tina, "and I think the seal is better at balancing a ball on its nose because I've never asked Kristen to balance a ball on her nose and I don't think I could." She ran everything together into one big CUTE sentence.

Rob said that Kristen would probably do it; she was a woman of many talents. And since we were back to Rob, I decided to ask him about the new credits anyway, about why they changed them and what decisions were made. He said the old credits were always so high school and teen and he never liked them. I told him that they'd won the Tubey Awards on TWoP two years in a row, and he said that was like when Adam Clayton kept winning awards not because people like Adam Clayton but because people liked U2. That was his theory, and I told him it was mine as well.

I'd also like to note that I was going to shut up for this conference, but as I said before, it seemed like the same people who had called in last time were calling in this time, and some of them were already going twice. I don't know how many people were on the line, but if it wasn't just us, like, seven people, then everyone else must have been just too shy to speak up, so I figured what the hell, LET'S ASK TINA MAJORINO TO COMPARE KRISTEN BELL WITH A SEAL. I tried to get in the queue again to ask her a real question for the VM4, but they ended the conference. Which was just as well, because I was itching to WATCH THE SEASON THREE PREMIERE OMG.

And I really liked it!! It was such a fun episode, and Veronica/Kristen cracked me up numerous times. The old characters get their moments to identify themselves to new viewers, and the new characters are actually pretty cool, mostly. The B plot, on the other hand, is baffling to a hardcore fan and will be even more confusing to a new viewer, but it provides a balance of mood. Expect a more detailed post next week after I see it on a big-screen TV. Oh! And the new credits grew on me pretty quickly.

I don't normally write about Prison Break, but watching this week's episode, I suddenly had the strange feeling that the show might actually be good. Like, not just escapist fluff. It's a really interesting examination of how people react in extreme circumstances, the choices people are forced to make. Just look at Michael, guys. All he wanted to do was break his innocent brother out of prison, and he ended up letting six other hardened criminals out into the world. The worst of all being T-Bag, of course, who is just mesmerizing in his complete ickiness. And Michael wants nothing to do with him, but he's a good person, deep down. He can't just kill him, and he won't let him kill anyone if he can help it. But he keeps being forced into these arrangements. Prison Break is a show about how people manipulate other people. C-Note makes this awesomely clear when he quite astutely states that Michael has no leg to stand on, no room to negotiate. He's a good man, but he's on the run. And he has to do what must be done to protect himself. Prison Break is a study in self-preservation. Also, how incredibly pretty Sarah Wayne Callies is.

I had already seen the Heroes screener, so I knew what I was in for: a plotless, meandering multicharacter study that builds to certain fantastic moments. My favorite character is Claire, the cheerleader so full of teenage angst she's actually emo about being invulnerable. I find that very interesting because it's not the sort of reaction you'd expect. I like that the show is so cinematic and goddamn epic. And, well, it pings my fondness for Identity Issues. That constant search to find out who you really are. It almost brought me to tears because I wish I were that goddamn special. That I were important, somehow. Who doesn't, really? I think the show taps into that desire to stand out, to truly be extraordinary in an ordinary world.

I didn't notice too many major changes from the screener except that since it was shorter, the end scenes felt rushed and disconnected. And I really didn't like that they changed the ending. Dropping Milo is just a cheap cliffhanger; you know he's going to be okay, whatever. In the screener, I began to get chills all over with "We have to stop it," and I continued to be chilled as Milo fell, and suddenly there's a swooping shape out of nowhere, and oh my God, it's NATHAN, and he is totally baffled, but he just flew to save his brother from death, and they are both so confused in brotherly love and the ending is just BRILLIANTLY TRANSCENDENT. God. That's what you fucking end with, whores. That moment of epiphany. That ending rocked my socks, and you change it for the broadcast? What are you fuckers on? At least the previews make the show look awesome.

The previews make Studio 60 look awesome as well, but I'm not really feeling the awesomeness. I think I may be in the minority on this, but Jordan McDeere is my favorite character, and there wasn't a lot of her. I enjoy watching the behind-the-scenes antics and the corporate clashes, but I'm already tired of every single character telling us how awful Rick and wossname are and how UTTERLY BRILLIANT Matt and Harriet, etc. are. I want them to show me that these people are truly talented. Yes, Sorkin, you may have won me for another week by pulling the Gilbert and Sullivan card (and thank God, because as Matt became stuck on the word "model," that is totally where my mind went), but with Sports Night, I got the feeling that I would actually watch that show even though I don't care about sports. I got the feeling that those people knew a fuckload about sports and how to write about it and how to talk about it. I am not getting the feeling that any of these people really know what the hell they're doing, that they are truly the amazingly talented, driven professionals they say they are. Except Jordan McDeere, who continues to display how kickass she is. This is a show about a show, and I will not give a rat's ass about the people making the show if I don't believe that the show is worth anything. Yes, I get that the characters have troubled and complex interpersonal relationships and the Religious Right is OMG SO ANNOYING and sketch comedy is the SAVIOR OF ALL MANKIND or whatever, but stop fucking telling me everything and start fucking showing it to me.
Current Mood: irritatedirritated
Current Music: Joydrop - This Is Not Real

(64 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:cerulgalactus
Date:September 26th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)
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Dear Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas and cast;
Thank you for being awesome again.

Signed,
Me.

Dear Heroes,
Yep, you've won me over. I'll be watching.

Signed,
Me.

Dear Studio 60,
I'm with ya. Don't let daddy down.

Signed,
Me.

Dear Mr Sunil,
Do you know where some screencaps are for Welcome Wagon?

Signed,
Me.
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From:afrocurl
Date:September 26th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
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You constantly amaze me with the questions you'll ask publicly..good job!

I liked the episode, as well, but I'm sure that most people who've seen it have had something good to say (I think can think of one except on my flist.)

Maybe it was because I was multitasking with LJ, but I couldn't get into Heroes. The jumps in characters and the interconnectedness would work so much better in a movie, but in a serial TV show I might get lost (sure, VM does something similar, but you get a better idea of the mystery arc at the start of each season than I got from Heroes.)

I like Jordan as well, but I can't tell if she's my favorite on the show yet. Sorkin's much stronger at using the ensemble, and that's the few I'm taking of the episodes so far. Of course, the G&S reference won me over (if only because Sorkin has a need to include it in at his shows.)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 26th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)
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You constantly amaze me with the questions you'll ask publicly
Heh. Not that publicly, really. And I figure I might as well be memorable and fun in the midst of all the serious questions. Someone needs to ask the IMPORTANT stuff, you know?
From:hobviously
Date:September 26th, 2006 07:46 am (UTC)
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Did anyone ask Tina anything about Big Love? HOW ADORABLE WAS SHE, COW? HOW MUCH? I WANT A NUMBER, HERE.

Also,

Yes, I get that the characters have troubled and complex interpersonal relationships and the Religious Right is OMG SO ANNOYING and sketch comedy is the SAVIOR OF ALL MANKIND or whatever, but stop fucking telling me everything and start fucking showing it to me.

Yes.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 26th, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)
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Did anyone ask Tina anything about Big Love?
I was going to if I got in again, but alas. She did say she was going to be recurring on BL still, and she liked TV over movies because there was a greater selection of well-written, well-rounded female characters.

HOW ADORABLE WAS SHE, COW? HOW MUCH? I WANT A NUMBER, HERE.
Someone told her they loved one of her songs, and Tina said, "Oh, THANK YOU!" It was off-the-charts adorable, buttons. OFF THE CHARTS. Hugtastic.

Also, I think I freaked her out with my seal question. Like I freaked Enrico out with my poo question. I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO TALK TO ACTORS.
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From:aprilbegins
Date:September 26th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)
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I told him that they'd won the Tubey Awards on TWoP two years in a row, and he said that was like when Adam Clayton kept winning awards not because people like Adam Clayton but because people liked U2.

*cracks up*
From:wee_warrior
Date:September 26th, 2006 09:36 am (UTC)
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That's what you fucking end with, whores. That moment of epiphany. That ending rocked my socks, and you change it for the broadcast? What are you fuckers on?

Hee. I love it when you calmly dissect something like this.

Nonetheless, having seen the screener Pilot as well I feel obliged to ride to the producers' rescue: I think the whole Will-he-fall-anyway situation was beginning to happen at the end of the Screener as well, at least that's how I interpreted the fact that the two of them were getting slightly hysterical just before the screen cut to black. And I think they wanted to make sure the audience would actually get that Nathan was distraught at the thought of Peter falling (which... yeah, might be overdoing it, since him flying should be proof enough in my book, but there were other instances where they over-emphasized what they had hinted at before, like Simone's overly co-dependent "I LOVE you" to Isaac.)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 26th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)
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I think the whole Will-he-fall-anyway situation was beginning to happen at the end of the Screener as well
Oh, sure, I don't really care. Peter could totally fall in the beginning of the next episode. But the cut of the ending in the screener worked much better for me. I didn't care whether Peter was going to fall. I cared that HOLY HELL NATHAN COULD FLY.
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From:loopychew
Date:September 26th, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
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And the new credits grew on me pretty quickly.

Having been a Dandy Warhols fan since about the time Thirteen Tales came out, and thinking that We Used to Be Friends was probably their awesomest song ever, I'm having trouble adapting to the new mix. I was also really a big fan of the S1/S2 loose-leaf opening, so this feels really wierd.

On the other hand, the mix is more inline with the show, since I think it's pretty obvious that the show's original score composer is the one responsible for the backing track. And I can't picture the original mix with the new credit sequence. Augh!

Episode was awesome. They didn't have any licensed music in there, did they? That might change the tone of things during the actual broadcast of the show...
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 26th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
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I do like Hiro as well. He's pretty amusing.

I hear Heroes continues to be slow, though. But maybe in a good way?
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From:soleta_nf
Date:September 26th, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
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I missed this week's Studio 60 (yay, internet!), but I do agree that we need to see the actual show (within a show) soon, or the show (about a show) will be pointless.
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From:soundingsea
Date:September 26th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
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I then moved on to my Very Important Question. Back in the day, she had been in Andre, and she had worked with a seal. Now, she works with Kristen Bell. "Who's a better actor, and who's better at balancing a ball on their nose?"

"Kristen is a better actor," answered Tina, "and I think the seal is better at balancing a ball on its nose because I've never asked Kristen to balance a ball on her nose and I don't think I could."


You ask the best questions! :)

And I cannot believe they would change the end from the Heroes screener. LAMENESS.
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From:magnolia888
Date:September 26th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
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Well, I didn't ask a question because I wanted to let people have a chance who hadn't participated before (and I knew there would be some). But when the same people were asking questions over and over, I thought maybe they hadn't invited all that many people.

I did enjoy the Adam Clayton analogy, but I didn't include it in my recap because I figured P-C would want to recap the response to his credits question. And of course, the Very Important Kristen v. seal question. Heh. (I think Tina was quite amused by that, P-C.)
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From:jadelynx
Date:September 26th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
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Okay, with you definitely on the whole second falling of Milo. Perhaps for people who don't know who the actor is, it might have fooled them into believing it's possible he'd die?

What I find is that most of network tv feels like they have to spell out everything for you. It's one of the reasons I have adored Gilmore Girls for so long, because the Paladinos have said that they want to assume their audience is smart. (Let's hope that continues with their absence.)

The same appears to be true with Studio 60 (though my stupid TiVo thought I wanted to watch CSI: Emo, er Miami last night so I missed that episode) from what you are saying. They feel they have to clearly define everything that is happening and say it several times, to be sure the audience is caught up before they proceed. Honestly, if I feel I've missed something, I either rewind to catch it again or wait to see if they play it out to a logical conclusion. Sometimes the fun of these things is to not know everything.

Wow, I wrote you a book, sorry. :D
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From:silentsiren47
Date:September 26th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
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I still haven't gotten back into my TV groove enough to remember what nights things are on, so I missed Heroes. Whoops.

My favorite character on S60 is Jordan, too, and I think it's because to me, Amanda Peet seemed like the only actor who wasn't just reciting dialogue. She actually made it her own, which I liked.

Prison Break definitely has its moments of pure brilliance, as long as you're capable of ignoring things like travel time limitations. :) I think a good example is LJ, who was a punk kid until his comfortable life was suddenly gone.
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From:horsefacehannah
Date:September 26th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
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Heroes is pretty damn awful, I have to say. Except for Hiro, who's awesome. "We're not special! We're Japanese!"

As for Studio 60, I loved the Gilbert & Sullivan, but I wish it was another song. That scene just didn't work for me, and it kind of undermined the whole premise of the show. I guess Aaron Sorkin just isn't sketch humor.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:September 26th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
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NEW CREDITS?? Where have I been?

*goes and watches*

Oh. Those are...interesting. Well, on the bright side, I won't feel compelled to stay in the room for the credits anymore. I'll have a few more seconds to do stuff in another room before the show comes back from commercials.
From:harriettheelf
Date:September 26th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
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Um, the hell? I thought the premiere was next week??? How did I miss that?!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 26th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
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