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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The Vols got back on the winning track tonight, defeating Georgia at home. Thank goodness for that.

And in other good news, Vandy lost. So maybe all the talk show hosts around here will shut up about the lack of respect Vandy is getting and they're not being ranked in the coach's poll.

Of course, Vandy lost to there's a downside to everything...


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/31/2007 08:57:00 PM | |

Will it snow, will it snow, will it snow?
Just did a recon mission to Kroger...they have milk and bread sitting on the shelves. Hurry, people and you might have some for the incoming snow!

As I was walking in (I needed a few things and not just to be ready for the snow), a Kroger employee was out by the carts, telling a woman he was pretty sure she'd be off work tomorrow. Sounds like everyone is starting to count on this ice and snow hitting us pretty hard.

Me? I am taking the wait and see attitude.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/31/2007 03:23:00 PM | |

TV Round-Up
24: Day Six, 11 a.m - 12 p.m.
Ummmmm, guys you do remember that small detail that a nuclear bomb just went off in an L.A. suburb, right? Because from what I've seen the last two weeks, with the exception of some shots of a dissapating mushroom cloud, we've not really dealt with this.

I've read in various places that 24 tends to break down the day into arcs. So, I wonder if this epiosde was about changing arcs. It really felt like we were moving characters into place for the next big 24 event to happen.

I will give 24 credit--it's calmed my fears of a shark-fin sighting a good deal this week. Having Graem reveal he's been playing both Jack and Daddy Bauer was a nice reveal. And 24 is just one of those shows that excels at giving you little details you wish they'd follow up on--like Graem's line of "Remember when you abandoned Dad, Jack?" I sat up, wanting to know more about this. I assume we'll find out about it later, but it's still pretty cool.

And I do wonder some things--is Graem more involved in the bringing the suitcase devices to th United States than just as the broker for the deal? And if he is, how long until Jack goes completely Bauer on him. You have to admit, these two know how to get under each other's skin with Graem taunting Jack about Terry's death. (Playing dirty any TV siblings get along?)

There were a few things about this episode I didn't buy. One is how easily Tom got Karen to resign. It didn't seem in character for her and while she's loyal to Bill, it's hard to believe she'd so easily step down, especially in the light of how wary she is of Tom's agenda. She just found out Tom has railroaded in extra secruity measures for those of Arab-descent and she quickly steps down. I felt like the scene when she went to talk to Wayne would be her revealing what had happned to Wayne and asking for help, not resigning. Did I miss something here?

I am glad the Waylid plotline is over. Talk about a complete blind alley. Was there any point to this other than to give the Palmer sister something to do? Could we please write her of the show yesterday? She's really getting on my last nerve and that plotline adds nothing to the show. Nada, zip, zilch, get the point.

And anyone else think that Milo giving Nadia his security clearance won't come back to bite him? Yeah, I didn't think so. Though I do get a weird Tony/Michelle type of romantic tension between these two. I guess an intense day like that will do that for you....

Heroes: The Fix
I hate NBC's marketing department. First of all, they leak out that George Takai will guest-start as Hiro's father, thus ruining all the intrigue of the Hiro plotline. Knowing that George Takai would be in the episode and who he was took all the mystery out of who was pursuing Hiro and Ando. It took what should have been a fun reveal and completely ruined it.

The second this is--I avoided the television promos for the show, having been burned by Friday Night Lights last week. But then, they advertise on the radio and give away that Claire finds her birth mother during my morning commute on Monday! Ugh! I hate you NBC marketing department.

That said, the episode itself was not a lot to write home about. It's another place holder, content to tread water as it attempts to set up some things for the next few weeks. I find it hard to believe that DL could slip into and out of prison at will to see Niki like he does here. And Micah's power is what we all suspected. And how long until the police show up to ask questions on that based on the security camera footage of the ATM he ripped off? You'd think the kid might have thought the plan to take the money through a bit more.

At least Christopher Eccleston is given a bit more to do. He's apparently going to be some kind of Obi-Wan to Peter's Luke. I did enjoy the nice homage to Doctor Who with Eccleston's "Fantatsic!" But again, this plotline stagnates until the last three minutes when suddenly it all revs up just in time to say "To Be Continued"

And along the way, it goes as predictably as possible. Matt and his wife are expecting now (umm, weren't they barely speaking two weeks ago? Is the kid actually his? Will they bring this up or just hope we forget?) and Micah's being a brat. Sylar escapes and HRG is up to no good. Yeah, anything new there? Not really.

So far, this whole "Who is on the list" question hasn't proved nearly as interesting as the "Save the cheerleader, save the world" plotline from the first 11 episodes. I can see that we're trying to expand the Heroes universe a bit, but so far I'm just not that interested.

Dresden Files: The Boone Identity
I found out this week that SciFi is airing these episodes out of order, which explains a lot. Seems that last week's episode wasn't intended to be a pilot--that will come in late February.

Frustrating, but not unexpected. They pulled the same stunt with Eureka. When will these networks ever learn?

This week's episode stumbled a bit. It was too derivative. I'm not sure what it is with genre shows and having the second episode be one about some entity jumping from person to person, but the pattern holds true here. Angel did it, Torchwood did it and now Dresden Files.

I think part of it was that every time they mentioned Anubis, I kept wondering where the Stargate team was. Were there no other ancient gods whose names we could have used?

I wanted to like the episode, but found it a bit lacking. It was predictable and I guessed early on what the game was. I also found myself having issues with the differences between the novels and the show (esp. Harry's use of black magic here). But that is more a personal thing and I try not to hold it against the show. (The show is different and changes must be made...but I don't have to like all of them) It felt like more of a way to pass time until Battlestar came on and the Baltar plotline just blew this out of the water.

The best part of the show was Bob. Terrance Mann steals every scene he's in as Bob. Let's hope we get more of him in the future.

Battlestar Galactica: Taking a Break From All Your Worries
I wrote about it for the 2 Guys Talking TV Blog. So, please check out what I said there.

Veronica Mars: Poughkeepsie, Tramps & Thieves
I wrote about it for the 2 Guys Talking TV Blog. So, please surf over and read my thoughts, if you're interested.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/31/2007 09:17:00 AM | |
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Wow...another podcast.
This time it's the Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Podcasters podcast that was recorded Saturday.
You can find links to it at ThisIsSmyrnaTN.


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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/30/2007 03:39:00 PM | |

Differences between the book and the show
I've watched the first two episodes of The Dresden Files and found them to be enjoyable enough, though this week's episode was highly derivative.

But as I watched, I knew there were some changes made from the books to the television screen. These things happen.

I found an article today that details some of the major differences between the show and the books. Very interesting.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/30/2007 11:28:00 AM | |

TV Round-Up: Episode 2
Jennifer Smith and yours truly are back for another week of discussing the latest and greatest happenings in the world of television.

Give us a download and a listen, please.

Oh and I am going to work on my overuse of the word "like" in our next podcast....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/30/2007 09:19:00 AM | |
Monday, January 29, 2007
Please, dear heavens no!
There's a rumor going around that Russell T. Davies, the producer of the new Doctor Who, wants Britney Spears to make a guest appearance on the show.

That sound you just heard was my head exploding....

Please, dear merciful heavens, let this only be a really, really bad rumor...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/29/2007 11:41:00 AM | |
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Star Trek Remastered is Driving Me Crazy..
So, I've been watching the remastered, new fangled digital effects version of classic Star Trek.

The shows started out slowly, with episodes that were not as special effects intensive--mostly lost of fly-bys of the Enterprise or it orbiting a planet. I assume this was done under the walk before you run theory--let's do some "easier" episodes before we attack the stories that are more "effects driven."

This week, we got the remastering of the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before." Over there, you can see new, pretty pictures of the Enterprise in the galactic barrier at the edge of our galaxy. I'll give the effects team credit--most of the new shots were nicely done, though there was one at the start of the second act with the Enterprise limping back to Federation space that just didn't l0ok right.

But that's not what's driving me crazy about these newly done episodes of Star Trek. What is driving me insane is the cuts made to the stories. I know that we get more commerical time per hour today than they had back in the 60s when Star Trek first aired. It doesn't mean I have to like edits being made to one of my favorite shows.

I don't know who is making the decisions on these edits, but some of their choices are a bit mystifying. A few weeks ago, I caught "Mirror, Mirror" and they clipped out the classic scene with everyone joking how much more they liked Spock with a beard. Then, we get to this week's huge, gaping major cut.

They cut out a crucial scene from the briefing room. As Kirk and Spock debate what to do about the ship and Gary Mitchell, Spock points out that Kirk has to either abandon Mitchell on the deserted mining planet or kill him. At this point, Kirk asks Spock to pretend for one moment he's got a heart. In Star Trek lore, this is one of the crucial early Kirk/Spock scenes.

And yet it's gone. Yes, the cut is covered seamlessly but it's still there. (I went to the DVDs to check). So, those fans who are experiencing this episode for the first time are missing out on a great, crucial scene to the episode. It is the start of the decision process for Kirk to abandon Mitchell on Delta Vega.

Now, I'm sure many of you would say--oh you're just being nitpicky.

No, nitpicky would be getting upset that the opening credits for this one are changed to feature the famous opening "Space, the final frontier..." The original version of Where No Man Has Gone Before didn't feature this becuase Roddenberry hadn't written the opening yet. That came a few days before classic Trek went on the air.

But thankfully, I'm not so obsessed and nitpicky I'd notice those kinds of thing, much less point them out...


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/28/2007 02:04:00 PM | |

Just one question....
Where's all the snow?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/28/2007 07:48:00 AM | |
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Short (or long) TV Round-Up Thoughts
The Dresden Files: Birds of a Feather
Couple of reasons for my interest in this one. I've read the first few novels in this series and found them enjoyable and fun. Then, you add in the guy adapting the novels for TV is Robert Hewitt Wolfe who oversaw some of the best seasons of DS9 and you've got a pretty good combination.

So, the first episode--so far, so good. I'm not devoted enough to the original texts to point out everything that's been changed, but some things obviously have to be in order to make it work for television. I will admit that I do miss the first-person perspective we get in the novels, but I'm not sure having a Harry Dresden voice over would work as well here. The first episode of the show nicely establishes the situation, the tone and the on-going plotlines for the show, all while delivering a creepy, entertaining main mystery plot for Harry to solve. It has my interest and it's one of those shows I think could really grow into something, should SciFi give it a chance. I don't think SciFi did it any favors by having the first episode airing during the AFC Championship game. I hope that the potential audience won't tune it out, fearing they're lost and won't catch up. This one has potential.

Smallville: Labrynth
Seems that every sci-fi show worth its salt has one of those episodes were the hero or one of the heroes questions what is and isn't real. Is the reality Clark experience in the show just a fantasy he's made up to not deal with the fact that he's kind of crazy and in a mental hosptial. The success of episodes like this hinge on how the two realties feed each other and where the differences emerge. Seeing Lex in a wheelchair with no legs is a nice homage to the pilot. Thinking that Lana would wait around while Clark is the looney bin screams of adolescent fantasy to the n-th degree and, unfortuantely, revives the Clark loves Lana plotline that, dear heavens, I thought this show was done with. Plus notes go to the show for the introduction of Martian Manhunter, moving the Phantom Zone fugitives plotline forward and actually being better than I thought it'd be based on the preview. Show loses points for Clark being able to walk out of mental hospital just by putting on a baseball cap.

But just so you know--Buffy did it better.

Friday Night Lights: Little Girl, I Wanna Marry You
Curse the NBC promo department for giving us the last scene in the previews all week! Someone needs to be taken out and flogged--either that or made to watch endless repeats of My Mother the Car until they see the error of their ways.

That said, this show continues to get better. If you're not watching, make this appointment television immediately. Trust me, it's that good.

This week's episode comes from the pen of Jason Katsims who wrote for Roswell back in the day. I think he created it as well. He knows how to write for teens and not make it sound, well, like Dawson's Creek. (I actually watched Roswell for a season and a half or was entertaining and it was on after Buffy, so there you go. Plus any show with Sheri Appleby and Katerine can you go wrong?) Katsims also wrote the second episode where Friday went from good to great and hasn't looked back.

There were so many good scenes that this post could just be listing them all. But I won't. I've narrowed it down to three.
  • Jason goes to confront Buddy Garrity. Buddy sets Lilah up on a date to show her there are other guys and to maybe push her away from Jason. Jason shows up, demands to the truth and gets it. Buddy wants more for his daughter than the life of caretake of the crippled quarterback. Powerful, raw, real and intense.
  • Coach Taylor and his wife, Tami, disagree on whether she should work on the mayor's re-election campaign. The mayor, in case you missed it, is a gay woman and this makes Taylor a bit uncomfortable. The show could have gone PC, but it doesn't, making us disike Taylor in this plotline, but respecting him in the other one we see this week. His assertation that the mayor wants Tami's help because she wants the help of the coach's wife is the highlight of this.
  • Smash's use of steroids is found out. This leads to Taylor having to make a hard choice--keep quiet and risk forfeiting all the games that year, thus losing his job or report Smash, effectively ending Smash's hopes of escaping Dylan and providing any kind of good life for his family. The scenes between Smash and his mother about the steroid use are great and while they could be cliched, they ring true.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/27/2007 01:06:00 PM | |
Friday, January 26, 2007
Can I get a do-over?
Did you ever just have one of those days where you want to tear your hair out and scream profanities at the top of your lungs? I've been having that one today.

It started early this morning. I work at home for part of my day, using the Internet to complete the major function of my job. So, I'm kind of dependent on having fast, reliable Internet access. For this , I rely on ComCast.

Which the past two days ComCast's high speed service has had more ups and downs than a yo-yo. It was particularily bad this morning, especially as my morning deadline stared me in the face. I called ComCast's customer service line during the second outage. I swear I want to laugh every time they say, "Thank you for choosing ComCast." Yeah, like I have any choice in the matter. If I want cable in my area of middle Tennessee, I have to go with ComCast. And they probably know of my reservations with the Dish and Direct TV, so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. Competition cannot come in fast might make them actually give two figs about offering decent customer service. Seriously--when I've called in enough to know most of the tips your tech guys are going to tell me, something is wrong here.

So, after the frustration was over and I'd calmed down, I decided to take care of a few errand. One thing I've been wanting to do for a while now is get my car washed. I saw the automatic car wash was free and decided to take care of it. At least I'd feel like I'd accomplished something. I put in my money, selected my wash and pulled in. I got the undercarriage wash and pulled up until it said stop. I put the car in park and sat there, watching as the cycles jumped from six left to zero.

"You have to be kidding me," I said to myself. I waited, hoping maybe this was some cruel joke. I looked around for Alan Funt, but no camera crews emerged.

I drove out, drove around again and found the emergency contact numbers. I called the first answer. I let it ring twenty times, hoping at least for voice mail. Same thing with the second number. Finally, the third number, someone answers. I explain my issue and what had happened.

"I think I know what happened," the guys says. "I think you backed up in the car wash."

"No, I didn't do that," I said.

"You must have," he said. "If you do that, it makes the system think you're done."

"Which would be the case if I had backed up," I said. "I pulled up until it said stop and stopped."

"No, you must have backed up," he said. "Well, give me your address and I will send you a refund. And go ahead on back through. It should work this time."

"Are you sure you can't give me some kind of code to punch in on the keypad and save us both the time?" I asked.

"I don't know how to do that," he said.

At this point, I gave him my information and wondered if I'd ever see my eight bucks. I didn't go through the car wash again since fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I decided to go over to the Smith's Brothers car wash, but apparently I wasn't the only one with this great idea. The line was back to the street and I honestly didn't want to have my car hit waiting in line.

You know, at this point, I think I'd like a do-over for today.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/26/2007 12:47:00 PM | |
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Book Thoughts: Farnham's Freehold
One of the things about being a book geek is that, sometimes, you enjoy getting together with other book geeks and, well, geeking out about books. Part of this is that you it makes you feel better to know others enjoy reading a particular type of novel or genre as much as you do and that while most of your friends and family find your zealousness for said books frightening, there are others out there who understand. And another big part is that you get recommendations for new books you might not normally read.

Last night, I ventured out to my first meeting of the science-fiction/fantasy discussion group at the Linebaugh library in downtown Murfreesboro. I've known about the existance of the group for a while now, but hadn't been able to make a meeting. I'd read a few of the books they'd selected but somehow life always seemed to interfere with my good intentions of actually getting there.

This month's selection was the Robert A. Heinlein novel, Farnham's Freehold. Let me preface this by saying that as a science-fiction reader, I find Heinlein vastly overrated. He may have been great in his day, but I've found the large majority of his work to be vastly inferior to other contemporaries of his day such as Issac Asimov or Arthur C. Clark. I've read a fair number of his bigger works such as Stranger in a Strange Land, just becuase it seems you can't be a sci-fi geek without having plowed through the book. But apart from Starship Troopers and The Puppet Masters, there's not been a lot of Heinlein I've come away really enjoying or thinking I'd actually want to re-read it again someday.

Alas, Farnham's Freehold feel in the category of how I feel about the majority of Heinlein's work--vastly overrated.

The front cover states this is "science-fiction's most controversial novel." Maybe in 1964, it was but the story is really showing signs of age. The story centers on Hugh Farnham and his family. Hugh has built a nuclear bunker under his house, which comes in handy when the U.S. in nuked by the Russians. Hugh, his family, a friend and their servant all hide out in the bunker, emerging to find that the bombs have somehow shifted them forward in time. The book then becomes a survivalist type of story about forging their way in a new world, until it takes an abrupt left turn about 150 pages into the book. The group is discovered by the new rulers of this world, all of whom are African-American. In a role-reversal of the time it was written, all the white people are treated as slaves, with the men nuetered.

Now, all of this may have seemed edgy, contemporary and brilliant social satire in the mid-60s, but today it all seems dated. The story lacks focus and abruptly shifts in tone and focus too much as the story unfolds. Even though the book barely hits the 300 page mark, it feels too padded and long, with Heinlein spendng a lot of time on the initial days in the new world and only hinting at the better novel that could have been in the last two pages. This is a novel that could have been a better novella.

But the biggest thing is that in a story about the survival of humanity, there should be at least one person you want to survive. That's not the case here. It's hard to identify with any of them or really care if they make it or not.

That said, as much as I didn't enjoy the book, it was interesting to be part of a discussion with people who had different views. One person shared my view on the lack of enjoyment in the book but others did like it and were able to share why. It didn't change my overall feeling on the book, but it was interesting to think about.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/25/2007 11:12:00 AM | |
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
TV Round-Up
Monday night was the first big face-off between Heroes and 24. According to the ratings, 24 won but just barely.

Rating aside, which episode of these two TV juggernauts was better? I'll give you my thoughts on both, starting with....

Heroes: Godsend
What a disappointing way to come back after a month hiatus and all this buzz and momentum. For those of you just jump up on the rooftops, declaring how much better Heroes is than Lost becuase things actually seem to move forward every single week, well this episode proves that is not always the case. This one seemed more like a recap episode than anything--let's all recall where everyone is and who they all are, more than actually doing much to push the storylines forward too much.

I think part of it was I was really looking forward to seeing Christopher Eccleston in the show and he was woefully underused. We see hints of him in Peter's dreams (which I love the retro-continuity of putting him in the dreams now....come on, seriously!), but we don't meet the character until the last five minutes of the episode. So, all the promos the last month of meeting a new hero and his powers were a big mislead on NBC's part. They've really GOT to stop letting whoever does the promos for the show stop giving away the last five minutes of the show.

But it wasn't like the rest of the episode was that much better. Can anyone tell me why the guards didn't see DL putting his arm through the glass in the prison? I mean, we get the impression they are standing watch over Niki/Jessica since she's a threat but they miss the guy putting his hand through the glass to hold hands?!? And to beat the living stew out of her for wanting to hug her kid.....yeah, Micah's going to need years of therapy from that one.

As for Hiro and the sword--wow, how much of a downer was the realization of the Hiro appears to fight a dinosaur with a sword? Of course, I'd have been annoyed if we had a CGI dinosaur rampaging down the streets of New York as well, Let's face it--there was no good way out of that hint.

I have to say it--this episode was a severe disappointment. Hopefully we can get things moving next week.

24: Day Six, 10 - 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, over on FOX day six of 24 comes perilously close to jumping the shark.

I love 24 and I can generally accept a lot of the willing suspension of disbelief the show has made its trademark. That said, the whole idea that somehow Jack's brother is the one behind being taken prisoner by the Chinese....yeah, that really stretches credibility. I know the 24 writers often say they don't plot out every little twist and turn of the season and show and I can accept that. That said, I think we needed a better plan than the evil guy behind the plot last year turns out to be Jack's brother.

Also, I have a hard time believing that Jack would go from someone who was heistant to using his usual interrogation techniques a few hours ago to full-on torturing his own brother here. And that whole thing with the plastic bag over the head as the cliffhanger. Man, I can see why the Bauer family doesn't get together that often for family dinner.

One more thing before I move on past this. If it turns out that Greg's kid is really Jack's from an affair with Greg's wife (who apparently loved Jack but it didn't work out), I will go Jack Bauer on the show. That said, I have a bad feeling that is where this is all headed since the kid looked a lot more like Jack than Greg.

And did no one tell 24 that Rena Sofa is the female equivalent of having Ted McGinley on your show?

That said, 24 was still ten times more satisfying than Heroes. Seeing Jack rescue the guys from the helicopter was nice.

The reaction to the attacks was good--esp. in the Palmer camp. I had to laugh out loud at the scrolling text on the bottom of the FOX news report--that Palmer had already issued a statement and the press was running. Man, that White House press office is good. Or did they have a press release for in case the country got nuked by a suitcase bomb ready to go? I know--I make this complaint every year about how they forget that only a minute or two has passed between episodes. But you have to admit that was kind of amusing.

I did like how Wayne reacted and his wanting to appear presidential to the people. The debate over what to include in the speech and what the country needed to hear was superbly done. And as much as of a toad as the Peter McNichol character can be and was, it's at least nice to see why Wayne might have hired him to be on the staff. The scene between the two about not showing how scared he was but not being too confident or unconcerned about the attacks was great.

And it was nice to see the terrorists scrambling from the attack. I like that this wasn't planned and it's set things back a bit. Hopefully this will give Jack a chance to get back on his trail and maybe we can forget this whole Jack's brother thing ever happened.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/24/2007 09:28:00 AM | |
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Picking apart 24
Interesting article over on RealClear Politics about the line between fantasy and reality that 24 hurtles over every week.... (some would say at mach four....but I think it's only mach two)

If you've not seen the first four hours of season four, it spoils them. You have been warned.

Of course, one factor I think the article doesn't take into consideration is, at this point, 24 is several years ahead of the current day. Just look at the time jumps made in between each season and you'll find the time jumps are pretty substantial. It could be the series is taking place in 2012 if we do the math right. (I'm assuming Palmer was elected in '04, dropped out in '08 and Wayne Palmer took over on '12).

Or am I just thinking too much again?

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/23/2007 11:48:00 AM | |

TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica
My thoughts on this week's episode of Battlestar Galactica are posted over at the 2Guys Talking Television blog.

Please surf over, read them and give me your thoughts and feedback.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/23/2007 09:43:00 AM | |
Monday, January 22, 2007
Thank you..and a plea
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who either left a comment or sent me an e-mail (or in some cases both), wishing me a happy birthday on Friday. It was yet another reminder of how blessed I am to have such great friends--many of you I've met in person, many of you I know only via e-mails, IMing and blogging.

I had a great birthday celebration Friday evening, including my neice and nephew giving me a "surprise" party. I'm not sure who enjoyed the surpring Uncle Michael part more--them or me.

And I've still got leftovers of lasgana and cake to work on this week.


I've also got a plea for everyone--I've not had a chance to see last night's Battlestar Galactica yet. With the Colts game going down the wire, I didn't get a chance to see it. And I'm too anal to jump in in the middle of the show (plus, this is Battlestar, which demands full attention and starting at the beginning). And with the time I have to get up for work (3 a.m.) I couldn't rewind and watch at 10 p.m. after it was over. (Note to self: get a DVR immediately...)

So, I've not seen it....yet. This is something I intend to correct early this afternoon. So, what I'm asking is, if you've seen it, please don't leave any SPOILER filled comments until after noon CST today. I appreciate it.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/22/2007 08:59:00 AM | |
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Let the hype begin
The Super Bowl is now set. And now begins the long waiting period for the big game in which every possible story angle will be run into the ground by Tuesday afternoon...

I fully expect a story on the geneology of every player on both teams to be done by late tomorrow afternoon...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:31:00 PM | |

Games not what I expected
I fully expected the Colts vs the Pats to be a blow-out and the Saints vs Bears to be a close game.

Looks like I got that mixed up, huh?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:21:00 PM | |

The Colts are going to the Super Bowl, baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To all of you who bash Peyton Manning, saying he can't win the big game....go **** yourselves. I think he just won a huge game and is going to an even bigger one.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:17:00 PM | |

Could we please shut about about Tom Brady's record in the 4th quarter and the comebacks...

You'd think he could walk on water too...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:14:00 PM | |

First lead of the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One minute left but the Pats have two time-outs...this is gonna be a long minute!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:11:00 PM | |

Not since ESPN's crappy coverage of the Outback Bowl have I seen this many shots of one coach--in this case Bill Belachick....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:10:00 PM | |

Less than two minutes in regulation....
Colts are driving....

Please, please, please let's get rid of Brady and company!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 09:06:00 PM | |

Like I said....whoever has the ball last wins this game.

Please let it be the Colts...I am sick of the Patriots and their coach that looks like the Unabomber...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 08:48:00 PM | |

I can't decide which commerical more lame--the Diet Pepsi commerial with players and coaches overdubbed with comments about the soda in question or the Coors Light fake press conference commercials.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 08:25:00 PM | |

It's tied...again!
Looks like this game is going to come down to whoever has the ball last...unless the Colts defense can somehow make a huge stop.

I have a feeling this game is going to encroach on the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 08:22:00 PM | |

Sorry New Orleans, but the luck ran out today.

Now, if only the Colts can make a comeback and win their game, my Super Bowl prediction will come to pass....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 08:15:00 PM | |

Big games today
As if I needed an excuse to enjoy two of the last three football games for a long while, Mother Nature is providing a good one. Today is supposed to be rainy and cold. A great day to watch some football. (Of course, every day is a great day to watch football).

So, who am I pulling for in the games, you ask.

Well, in the AFC it's all Colts. I'd love to see Peyton Manning get to the Super Bowl and I think they've got a good shot. Plus I hate the Pats--they're classless. Whole organization from Bill Bellachick down is a bunch of classless punks. I'm still annoyed at what they did to get Vinnie Testicle a record by running up the score on the Titans to end the regular season.

As for the NFC, I'm torn. The Saints are a good story, though I'm sick of hearing about how all of America loves the underdogs from New Orleans. The Saints are the flavor of the moment it seems and the popular pick. Which may be why I am leaning slightly toward pulling for Da Bears. Also, my good buddy Logtar loves the Bears and he'd be happy if they got the the Big Game.

As a football fan, I just hope the Saints vs Bears game features snow....I love any football game in the snow .


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2007 07:01:00 AM | |
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Vols win!
Thank goodness the losing streak is over.

Of course, the win could be costly since our best player got injured.

I mean, it was only South Carolina.

But, it's still a win....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/20/2007 08:02:00 PM | |

They might want to change that ad...
While getting the day rolling, I had the TV tuned to TV-Land. A commerical came on for ESPN's College Football GameDay package.

So either they're hoping for people who don't realize college football season is over or they're really early for next season...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/20/2007 08:13:00 AM | |

Vols among Elite Eight?
SI seems to think so. (I wonder if this article was written before our three-game losing streak?)

Of course, it didn't take Memphis fans long to start whining about it. All I have to say is--the Vols have surpassed you guys. They play in a better, stronger conference and have more quality wins which will be helpful come tournament time. So, get over it and go root for the Grizzlies. Oh wait, they stink too....

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/20/2007 06:18:00 AM | |
Friday, January 19, 2007
Another year older.
It really doesn't seem like it's been a year since my last birthday, but I guess it has. I will take credit for being another year older. As for another year wiser, I am going to wait and see.

Today, I officially turn 34. I'm officially in my mid-30's now.

But, then again, age is only a number. You're only as old as you feel, they say (who this "they" is I'm not quite sure). Some days (esp. those after I've pushed myself in spin class...something I've done all week so I can enjoy birthday cake guilt free tonight), I feel a bit older. Most days, I have a hard time believing I'm really past 30.

Looking back, I had a good run at 33. Some ups, some downs and a lot of pleasant time in the valleys between the peaks.

So, here's looking forward to 34 and seeing what will unfold.

Of course, it wouldn't be a birthday post if I didn't shamlessly fish for happy birthday wishes in the comments. (Too needy and obvious? Yes, but hey--it's my birthday!)


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/19/2007 04:36:00 AM | |
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Scrubs' Musical Episode
Buffy's "Once More With Feeling" was far.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/18/2007 08:54:00 PM | |

Lots of soup for me...
When I heard the weather forecast calling for cold days and even colder nights, my first thought was--this is great soup or chili weather.

So, over the weekend I whipped up a CrockPot of alphabet vegetable soup (the hardest part of it is finding the alphabet noodles...thank heavens for Publix!). That was Sunday.

I'm still eating the soup today. It will be my fifth dinner of alphabet vegetable soup this evening. And there's still quite a good bit of it to go.

This, my friends, is one of the perils of living the single life. If you follow most recipes and are just cooking for yourself, you'd better really be in the mood for whatever you're cooking. Either than or have plenty of Tupperware and freezer space for the leftovers. Or both.

Don't get me wrong--I love leftovers. They are divine and I love a good, homecooked meal that you can easily and quickly heat-up after a long day at the office. (On a side note, what did we do before microwaves?). But there are times you get into the later stages of the leftovers where it's just not quite as exciting as it was on the first day.

I still have enough left for a couple of good bowls. I am definitely going to have to freeze whatever is uneaten after dinner tonight because tomorrow is my birthday and my mom is making her homemade lasagana. So, I'll be with the family, dining on lasagana, celebrating my birthday tomorrow evening.

Which means only one thing--tomorrow I will post my yearly, obligatory, "Hey, it's my birthday, show me some love in the comments" post. I'm just warning all of you in advance so you can have the birthday hilarity and wishes ready to go.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/18/2007 09:08:00 AM | |
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
TV Round-Up Podcast Episode 1
Here it is! The first official episode of the TV Round-Up podcast featuring yours truely and Jennifer Smith.

This week's discussion ranges all across the board and includes:
  • Gilmore Girls
  • 24
  • The Office
  • Friday Night Lights
  • My Name is Earl
  • Scrubs
  • Smallville
  • Golden Globe Reactions

And much, much more!

Big time SPOILERS for everything we've seen. Download, listen, enjoy.

You can also subcribe here.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/17/2007 03:19:00 PM | |

Book Thoughts: Empire by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is probably best-known for his Hugo-award-winning Ender's series of novels. The series combines hard-core military strategy with moral and ethical dilemmas that make for not only good science-fiction, but good literature. I'd heartily recommend most of the Ender's series to anyone who wants to see just how good science-fiction can be when done well.

Card's other novels have been hit or miss for me. I loved Enchantment, but could barely force myself through his last novel, Magic Street. That said, there are more Card stories I've read I've enjoyed than those I haven't and I'd even go so far as to consider him one of my favorite authors. He's also one that when I hear a new novel is coming out, I will immediately go and put it on reserve.

Even as his worst, Card combines big-ideas with realistic characters. And as I said before, he's shown a good ability to make military sci-fi relatable and interesting.

Which is why going into his latest novel, Empire, I had high hopes. The novel is a depature from the typical Card story (not there really is such a thing). It's the near-future (from details in the novel I'd say after the elections of '08 or '12). Al Quieda attacks the United States, wiping out the president, vice president and several other senior officials in one fell swoop. In the chaos that enuses, the Speaker of the Senate is made president, something certain sects within the military don't like. Before long the military has broken off, declaring themselves the legitimate government of the United States and fighting to preserve and restore the Constitution. The country falls into civil war, pretty much divided along the red states vs blue states lines.

Card's near-future thriller, at times, reads like a Tom Clancy techo-thriller. A battle across the streets of New York against mechancial killing machines, designed to target authority figures feels like vintage-Clancy

The problem is that while Clancy can pull of the high-tech mystery thriller believably, Card fails to do so here. The plot takes absurd twist after absurd twist. The hero of our story, Major Ruben "Rube" Malek is one part Jack Bauer, one part Fox Mulder. He wrote up a briefing on how terrorists could attack and cripple the United States, only to see it used in the course of the novel. He become paranoid in the extreme, feeling he's being set-up by every side and that he can "trust no one" as he tries to make sense of the attacks and who is behind them. (There are hints the proposal was leaked by high-ranking governemental officials to create hysteria and put them into postions of power).

Rube is a conservative, married to a liberal who used to work for the (now) President and many such political debates ensue. In the Ender's novels, the debates from both sides of the aisle worked well but here it just seems like pages of political rhetoric thrown-in with no real impact on the overall story or the plot development.

As for the plot itself, there are some major loopholes that too glaring to make the book truly enjoyable. For one thing, it's hard to fathom that the United States would be attacked so by Al Quida and then forget about it. It seems as if Card wanted to find a way to bring about his civil war and did so using the threat of terrorism. You would think America might feel a bit outraged at such an attack, no matter who is in the Oval Office or his or her popularity, but that thread is barely given more than lip-service here. Perhaps that will be a thread of later novels (the ending does leave it open for more novels to come, should Card choose to do so), but it comes across as too obvious an exclusion here.

The biggest problem with Empire is that it's got some good pieces but those pieces don't come together to form a complete novel. The first half is good but the last half of the story which features bizarre plot-twist after bizarre plot-twist quickly loses steam. Which is a shame. This had the potential to be great and could have been the start to a great new series of novels for Card. As it is, it's just a mess and a disappointment.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/17/2007 09:08:00 AM | |
Monday, January 15, 2007
TV Round-Up: 24
Day Six, 8 -10 a.m.
Last week, I read Stephen King's EW column where he raved about the fourth hour of 24. In it, he promised there would be two events in the fourth hour of the day that would have us all buzzing.

Of course, this made my mind race a bit, wondering just what these twists could be. Would it turn out Jack had an implanted spy-personality given to him by the Chinese? Or would George return, alive and well, presumed dead all these years but really alive and not so happy about it? Or would we find out that Kim and the cougar from season two had patched up their big misunderstanding and were now good friends?

OK, so most of those are a bit silly. But this is how my mind works.

That said, the two twists in the final few minutes of the fourth hour were as promised--great twists to the story.

One thing about 24--you're not quite sure where the twists may go. I like that even though it can and does fall into a pattern, there's still enough of a question in your mind about how people will react to things. In this case, as Jack drew his gun on Curtis and Dr. Bashir, while I knew one of them would die, I wasn't sure which one it would be for a long time. How interseting would it have been for Jack to kill off his source and lead to the terrorist plot instead of having something else do it? It might have put a great spin on the rest of the day and seeing Jack have to find a way to create new leads, but then again, we've been down that road before. Instead, Jack is forced to short and kill Curtis in order to save their source.

This twist leads to Jack's breakdown, saying he just can't do this anymore and that he's done. I almost get the feeling during the first four hours of day six that the writers want to a)show us why Kiefer Sutherland got an Emmy last year and b)earn him another one this year. Seeing how tortured Jack has become has added new layers to our super hero. Of course, we all knew there would have to be something that would draw Jack back in. That said, I didn't see it coming. The last time we set off a nuclear bomb on 24, it was out in the desert with one major casualty--the previously mentioned George Mason. This time, it's in L.A. and if that's not enough of a punch to the gut, we find out there are four more bombs in play.

And with that, I'm officially hooked in for day six. No way am I not watching this unfold now.

Which I have to admit, the last 10 or so minutes of the fourth hour being this great was the kind of hook the show needed. Because I was really getting tired of the melodrama of the family being held hostage with wounded Kumar. The whole family of terrorists next door was done more effectively back in season four. Thankfully, this section of the plot seems to have come to an end now. It was starting to remind me of the season three plot where the kid snuck off to Mexico and brought the virus back with him. In other words--lame.

I was also a bit not so into the pissing contest between Milo and Chloe's boyfriend at CTU. It does bring up one thought to me--what is it about Chloe everyone finds so hot? I'm just not seeing it. And I haven't seen since she was introduced. Maybe it's just me.

I just hope this plotline doesn't continue to drag itself out. We've got four suitcase nukes running around. Surely we can put aside the personal drama and focus on our jobs. Oh wait...I forgot..this is CTU.

And I think the whole Palmer-sister plotline has almost lost my interest entirely. But it could take a turn for the better....I hope.

That said, I like how we've introduced the threat of day six. Having an on-going terrorist campaign already in place was nice. I love how tortured it seems to have made Wayne Palmer. And then to see it escalate when he tries to do all the right things, only to see every decision go horribly wrong, is nice. It won't be long before he's as jaded and bitter as Jack. And that journey could prove interesting to watch unfold as the rest of day six unfolds.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/15/2007 09:37:00 PM | |
Sunday, January 14, 2007
TV Round-Up: 24
Day Six: 6 - 8 a.m.
The sixth worst day of Jack Bauer's life begins, though you've got to imagine the 18 or so months full of days leading up to this one weren't so hot either.

I like that day six is starting out with the threat (for now) already in motion. For the past eleven week, the United States has been under attack from terrorists. There's a sense of panic, unrest and worry as the day begins along with a clutching at straws kind of feeling. To the point that now-president Wayne Palmer is willing to sacrifice one person in an attempt to make the attacks stop. That person is, of course, our hero Jack Bauer.

It was no secret Jack would have a long beard and even longer hair. The scars on his body from the torture are an outward manifestation of the inward scarring Jack now has--to the point that he wonders if he can still do the job. When we first see Jack, we can tell something has changed. He's more subdued, more resigned, almost as if the world has finally broken his spirit. (Look ath furtive glances he gives his Chinese captors when Bill tells him to go with Curtis, almost as if asking for permission). I guess 18 months in a Chinese prison will do that to you. In some ways, it appears Jack has lost the edge he had in the early seasons, especially when it comes to the do whatever it takes to stop the bad guys. We see him here quickly believe the subject of interrogation won't give up anymore information because he "sees it in his eyes." Of course, we also see a more animal-like Jack in his escape, biting the neck of his captor to get the keys and escape. It was that moment that made me go--yep, Bauer is still in there.

He just may be a bit more buried than usual. And it makes me wonder if we'll see him come across Kim and Audrey this year and how that will go. Has Jack finally been beaten down so far that he won't be able to connect on a human level with his daughter and Audrey? I guess we'll wait and see if that plotline comes up.

Jack is merely one pawn in a game being played between fundamentalist. One wants him dead, the other now needs him to clear his name and stay alive. I had to admit, so far this plotline is working for me as well as the clear issues president Wayne Palmer is having with doing what needs to be done. Maybe it's just the five previous seasons talking but Peter MacNichol's character has to be up to something more. That said, I like the character. I don't necessarily agree with what he says, but his pragmatic stance is interesting. I wonder how many episodes he'll last.

On a side note, I wonder what exactly the price was Wayne paid to get Jack out of prison. And will that come back into play later in the day? It also makes me curious as to why it took so long to negotiate for Jack's release. Did they know Jack was in prison all this time and try to get him out? Or were they willing to let Jack rot in prison in the interest of the diplomatic relations with China? Until they need him, that is...

And I have a feeling that before day's end, they're going to need him even more. Even take out the personal connection Jack has to this particular terrorist and I have to wonder if, at some point, Jack will take out his years of captivity out on someone else--presumbly a potential suspect who is under Jack's interrogation.

And we've got the usual updates on CTU things. Bill and Karen are married now, though given the track record of CTU relationships, don't bet they make it to the end of the day unscathed. (Man, the couples counselling guy on the CTU insurance plan must get paid a ton of overtime). Chloe is with her ex-husband and still Chloe. Milo is back from season one (it took me a minute or two to place him) and we've got a new woman in middle-management. What exactly her role will be--beyond a plot device to keep Chloe from helping Jack--I'm not sure yet. That said, she's not unpleasing on the eyes.

But for all those good things, there are still some things that didn't thrill me. The whole plotline of the Arab family with a sleeper agent. It was done so much better two years ago, at least so far. And the son being the agent while the FBI came for his dad. If the FBI and other authorities of the world of 24 are so into the profiling, it doesn't make sense they don't take both into custody. Also, I find it a bit absurd that the neighbors are waiting around at 6 a.m. to kick the crap out of everyone and then come back over at 7 a.m. I guess it's a Saturday or Sunday since no one seems in any big hurry to head off to their jobs.

Oh wait, I'm thinking too much again. I've got to stop doing that.

Then we've got the Palmer sister, who shreds documents that I'm sure will later prove to be vital to the day. I guess that's why we have Chloe around. A mouse clicks and those files will be restored just in time for a plot twist.

Please don't get me wrong--it's not that I don't love 24 . I do. It's just that these two plotlines are a bit transparent and cliched by 24 standards. One thing that worked so well last year was the show didn't rest much on its laurels and fought (for the most part) the tempation to become too predicatble, too much of the been there, done that syndrome that can easily overtake a show this late in it's run.

And don't think I'm going to give up on 24. As with all good shows, the good in it more than outweighs the bad--at least so far. Plus it's still one of the most entertaining shows out there. I'm glad it's back and I'm interested to see where the next two hours take us.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/14/2007 07:41:00 PM | |
Friday, January 12, 2007
Book thoughts
I've read more than my fair share of Pocket Book's Star Trek novels over the years. They're not great literature, but they're not intended to be. They're a nice way to revisit the universe of Trek and enjoy a new adventure of whatever crew is featured in the novel I've picked up.

Last year, the granddaddy of them all, classic Star Trek celebrated its 40th anniversary. Without any series on tv and no prospect for a feature film, for the first time in 20 years we had no on-screen celebration of all things Star Trek. Instead, this honor was turned over to the line of novels.

The centerpiece of the celebration was a new trilogy of novels, focused on the big three from the original series: Kirk, Spock and McCoy. The first novel in the series focused on McCoy and was one of the best Star Trek novels I've read in years.

One of the great things author David R. George III has done is he's made these novel focus only on continuity established in adventures we've seen on-screen. I love the Star Trek novels but of late they've become too self-referencing and intertwined at times to the point I feel as though I'm missing some of the party becuase I haven't made detailed notes of the minor character for the novels who appeared three years ago and we're just not bringing back to center stage. George makes a good choice making these books more accessible to the more casual Star Trek fan and maybe even the impulsive buy reader who just wants to revisit the Trek universe.

The novels all feature a crucial crosspoint in the lives of our heroes--the classic episode "City on the Edge of Forever." The first two novels in the series focused on the characters lives leading up to the events portrayed there and then how it affected them across the rest of their life's journey. McCoy's story was compelling because George chose to follow two time-lines and parallel how McCoy's life went following the events of "City." With Spock's story, it all takes place in one central timeline, but two eras of Spock's life--the events leading up and including
the death of Edith Keeler in "City" and the later movie-era Spock who has to deal with the consequences of the choices he made there, as well as other choices he's made involving traveling in time and altering history.

Which brings me to the part of the novel that frustrated me most--George falls into the trap of assuming we've never seen "City on the Edge of Forever" and so for the first two-thirds of the book, we're stuck with flashbacks that are a re-telling of this pivotal story. He does fill in a few things and expand the storyline a bit, but it feels like so much filler as wait for the revelation of just what it is that is bothering Spock so much. The first two-thirds or so of the book set up the events of what happened and how it changed Spock, maybe not for the better. It's also the hardest part of the book to get through because you keep waiting for something to happen and it just never does.

At least not until the last third of the book when George's premise kicks in and the book takes a turn for the better. We learn how his actions in "City" and other time travel episodes and stories (the animated series story "Yesteryear" is essential to this story) lead Spock to an crisis of his personal ethics and conscience. When we get to this part of the story, the book hums along and I feel as though George is finally tilling some new soil in the Star Trek universe. The last third of this book rescues the story from being just a rather pedestrian Star Trek novel and puts it almost on-par with the McCoy segment as one of the better Trek novels in recent memory.

One of the interesting things between both novels is the way Kirk is presented as an engima, even to his cloest friends. He's distant and while they are close, you get the feeling that neither McCoy or Spock really understand Kirk and at times feel distant and as if they don't really know the captain. It should make the final segment of this trilogy, which focuses on Kirk that much more interesting when it comes out next month.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/12/2007 10:29:00 AM | |
Thursday, January 11, 2007
TV Round-Up: The Podcast Episode 0.5
You might have heard the rumors that there was a new TV Round-Up Podcast coming.

Or maybe you didn't.....because we didn't really have much time to promote it.

Bascially, Jennifer Smith and I have both been writing about various shows for 2 Guys Talking TV Blog. Over the holidays, we thought it'd be cool to take a stab at doing our own regular podcast devoted to the watching of television.

Before you can say "GarageBand," we'd recorded and published our first episode. Actually, not so much our first episode but episode point five. It's an introduction to the podcast and we discuss just about every show currently airing today.

So, surf over, give us a listen and tell us what you think.

The first episode runs about fifty-five minutes simply because we wanted to hit every show currently on TV. We are hoping shows from this point will be shorter.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/11/2007 11:32:00 AM | |
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Just looking for new ways to be offended?
Saw this in the latest Nashville Scene and I've got to admit it's kind of head-scratcher....

The Nashville Branch of the American Society for Film Correctness (ASFC) plans a “retroactive picket” of the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles. The event is scheduled for next Saturday in the back parking lot of 100 Oaks Mall, the former site of the Martin Twin Theater, which screened the movie when it was first released in 1974.

“Make no mistake: this is a deeply offensive film,” explains Cornell Richter, head of the local branch of ASFC. “Our organization seeks to call attention to offensive content that may have been overlooked when a film was originally in theaters.”

Richter, who says he saw Blazing Saddles for the first time recently on DVD, points out that the film contains a great deal of racially insensitive language that probably wouldn’t be used in a comedy today.

I guess I could understand if they were showing a screening of Blazing Saddles and they went to protest it, but from what I gather there is no showing of this classic comedy scheduled.

Also, do they not realize that the movie is a comedy and satire? Or that it's a product of it's era and should be viewed that way?

Seems to me that some people are just looking for a way to be offended....

Heaven only knows what will happen if Mel Brooks should make this into a Broadway production like he did with The Producers. Oh dear heavens, they may make a movie version of that and then all hell would break loose...

In keeping with the movie theme of this post, I'm glad Doc Brown doesn't exist and didn't really turn a DeLorean into a time-machine. Heaven only knows this group would be packed into the car, flux-capicator fluxing and finding someway to get up to 88 MPH and get back in time.

UPDATE: Thanks to Sarcastro for pointing out where in the paper this story was and that it was a joke. That's what I get for blogging while sleepy....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/10/2007 09:01:00 PM | |

My Battlestar Galactica IQ

You scored 80 Cylon Points!
You know quite a bit, but you still have a ways to go. Hopefully the imaginary friend who is distracting you is as hot as Number Six!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Cylon Points
Link: The New Battlestar Galactica Fan Test written by tinuviel681 on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/10/2007 11:35:00 AM | |

TV Round-Up: House
Words and Deeds
With “Words and Deeds” we see everything that is great about House and everything that is not so great about House all in one episode.

The biggest problem with House lies in it’s a procedural drama, but instead of solving crimes, House is diagnosising illnesses. The formula is pretty standard with House and company coming up with a bevy of wrong hypthothesises in the first three acts only to find the ultimate solution the final act. Along the way, we may get some character background or development, but it’s never anything that is supposed to change things so that if you miss an episode or two you’ll be lost.

But every once in a while, House tries to have some kind of nod to continuity–and it is pretty much hit or miss. The thing with all of these continuity and on-going soap-opera style backstories is they start out strong but end with a thud becuase they don’t really have any long term impact. At the end of the day, House is still acerbic, rude and drug-addict. Not much changes the status quo.

The latest evidence in this is the Tritter arc. Ever since season one, House has tried to come up with a nemesis for House that could go toe to toe with him. The problem with this is inherintely the same one Star Trek faced back when they first created the Borg–create the nemesis too powerful and strong and there’s no good way to resolve the arc without making the opponent come off as weak and ineffectual. And just like the “sleep” command from Best of Both Worlds, Part 2, so did the writers of House find a pretty lame way to get out of the Tritter arc.

Tritter was shown as unrelented, uncaring and obsessed with bringing down House. His motto was the same as House’s: Everybody lies. Tritter went after House as surgically as House goes after the diseases and conditions he fights every week. And while we did see the noose tighten week after week, I think we all knew deep down that it wouldn’t end with House in jail. Instead the writers took the only way out–having Cuddy lie for House and forge documents that he had received a placebo instead of the drugs he stole in the last episode. Now, I can see why Cuddy did this as a hospital administrator and a friend to House, but it still rang of desparate writing.

Add to it that the show teased us, making us think House had turned a corner. He checks himself into rehab and is actually taking to the program. I should have known that House regained his faculties too quickly as a major clue he had a trick up his sleeve, but yet I was still fooled by his apology to Wilson and his appareance as having turned a corner. In the end, we learn House is bogarting drugs through the program, having his nurse replace them with Vicadin. I have to ask myself–just how much of a charmer is House when he wants his fix? He must be pretty good to get everyone he comes into contact with to bend the rules for him.

And that may be why Tritter was doomed. He wouldn’t bend the rules for House but in the end, everyone else would–including the legal system. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a show if House were in jail for the next season or so.

Meanwhile, this week’s case of the week is a firefighter who is admitted for feeling cold. A variety of diagnosises are brought up and then disproven before we find out it’s some kind of tumor that is keeping blood from flowing to his brain properly. The tragedy of this our heroes only figure this out AFTER they’ve done a risky procedure to erase the guy’s memory. Seems the firefighter had feelings for his co-worker but had made the false memory of her being with brother. Ooops…not true. And so he loses his life. Tragic, really.

But not quite as tragic as how poorly the whole Tritter arc wraped up.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/10/2007 07:28:00 AM | |
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Hard to say, but it must be said.
It pains me to say this but...

Congratulations to the Florida Gators for their big national championship win last night. And let me add another level of congratulations for being the only school in history to hold the college basketball and football championships in the same calendar year.

It just goes to show the superiority of the SEC in all things sports-related.

And now, having said all that, I have to go and shower. I feel so dirty....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/09/2007 10:26:00 AM | |
Monday, January 08, 2007
Big game dilemma
The BCS national championship game is tonight and I can't get behind either team...

This cartoon from the News-Sentinel sums it all up for me.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/08/2007 02:17:00 PM | |
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Any day the Cowboys lose is a good day
The week after Thanksgiving, the pundits couldn't praise Tony Romo enough as the second coming of Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Joe Namath combined. I have to admit I got sick of hearing about it.

Which is why I'm so gleeful about the news that not only did the Dallas Cowboys bumble their way out of the playoffs but it was pretty much Tony Romo's fault.

I love it!

Now, let's see who stays in Dallas--the Big Tuna or T.O.

My money is they run T.O. out of town....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/07/2007 07:08:00 AM | |
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Congrats to the Lady Vols
Just like beating Florida or Alabama in football, there's a certain satisfaction in the Lady Vols beating U-Conn.

Not the blowout I thought it would be with ten minutes to go, but a big win on the road as the Lady Vols begin SEC play.

I will also admit that Rebecca Lobo's calling of the game on CBS wasn't nearly as one-sided as it could have been. She did a good job of staying pretty fair and objective about calling the game. She gave Tennessee credit and spoke well of us when we did well and was ready to be critical of both sides in the game. Oh sure, a few times the fact that she played for U-Conn slipped through but after the disaster that was Monday's coverage by Todd Blackledge, it seemed tame.

Now, if Peyton and the Colts offense could get it together and finish off the Chiefs, I'd be happy.

Labels: ,

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/06/2007 05:00:00 PM | |

Dear CBS
As a Lady Vols fan, I appreciate you giving the afternoon over to showcase not only one of the great rivallries in women's college basketball but all of sports with the Lady Vols vs UConn.

That said, you are no better in your lack of bias than ESPN. Having Rebecca Lobo, a former UConn player as a color announcer is unacceptable unless you are willing to have a former Lady Vol in there as well.

Is it too much to ask the national media maybe, just maybe show some professionalism and objectivity?

Based on what I've seen the last week, I guess it is....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/06/2007 03:23:00 PM | |
Thursday, January 04, 2007
The Not So Fighting Irish
Now that LSU has finished pummelling Notre Dame, maybe the football world will wake up and realize what I've known for years--Notre Dame is overrated. Every time they had a big game this year, they got hammered (Michigan, USC, LSU). Add to it the fact that they can't a bowl game and you've got one of the more overrated teams out there. The only other team that can come as close to living off their past glories is Alabama.

That said, I think they need to drop Notre Dame's exemptions to be an automatic BCS bowl bid. The Irish have shown nothing on the field to merit it and it only keeps a more deserving team out of the BCS mix.

Sorry Irish fans--your glory days are long behind you. And from what I see, they ain't comin' back any time soon.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/04/2007 09:50:00 AM | |
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Bama finally has a coach...maybe
As a Tennessee fan, I've enjoyed the soap opera that is the Alabama football head coach vacancy.

To see Bama turned down by all of their top candidates and then have to throw everything and the kitchen sink at Saban to get him to leave the Dolphins. In a word: hilarious.

I love how Bama fans are so deluded to think that this is some great coaching job and yet no one seemed to want it until they backed up the dump trucks full of cash to Saban's house. Let's face it Bama faithful, the Vols, Auburn, Florida and Georgia have all passed you by as the elite jobs of the SEC.

That said, for four million bucks Saban better be the second-coming of the Bear and win right away or else...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/03/2007 11:26:00 AM | |

Am I hip or not?
The Washington Post has a list of what's in and what's out.

Seems that I'm (yet again) unhip. I still love watching re-runs of Seinfeld.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to be unhip and watch a few episodes on DVD.

UPDATED: Seems I missed an item. They say Battlestar Galactica has been replaced by Heroes. Ummmmmmmmmm, no. Not so much. Heroes is good but it doesn't hold a candle to how great Galactica is.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/03/2007 09:25:00 AM | |

Heard the news that a short video showing the hanging of Sadaam Hussain is making its way around the Internet. From what I read, it was taken on a camera phone by someone at the execution of the former Iraqi dictator last week.

Last week when the coverage of Sadaam's impending death was the big news, I wondered how the various news outlets would handle the coverage--would they show us the final moment?

I was glad to see that didn't occur. Call me old-fashioned but I just didn't have any desire to see it, much less brought to me in high definition picture with 5.1 surround sound.

But I guess I'm not surprised that this video has leaked out and it making its rounds. But the question I have is--why would you want to see it? I don't doubt that Sadaam is dead and I guess I'm not morbidly curious enough to see the man's final moments on this planet.

Maybe I'm in the minority. Or maybe there's just one person out there hitting refresh a lot...

UPDATE: I didn't know that some of the various cable outlets broadcast the edited video--well, all except FOX News which apparently showed the whole thing.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/03/2007 09:15:00 AM | |
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I know what some people's resolution is...
Pulled into the Y tonight only to find the parking lot fuller than usual and the facilities hopping.

Oh yeah, I thought to myself, it's the first of the year. It means only one thing--resolutions.

A plethora of new people, making good on their resolution for the new year. It's good to see and while there is now extra competition for the machines, I hope these resolutions stick.

That said, I'm cynical about how many people will stick with it.

Experience shows me that come Valentine's Day many of these resolutions will be long forgotten.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/02/2007 08:22:00 PM | |

No logic
There are times when I question the thinking process of whoever schedules the end of season college bowl games.

Last night's Fiesta Bowl is a case in point. Here in Middle Tennessee, the game started around 7:40 or so CST. That's about 8:40 in the eastern time zone. And as we all know, these things can be long affairs. Add to it the game went into overtime and I wonder how many college football fans in a majority of the country got to see the end of the game.

I know I didn't. I have a job that requires I get up early and so I can't justify staying up until midnight or later for a football game on a work night. Now on a weekend I can when I can sleep in the next day or not be a zombie at the office.

I understand the BCS wants to stagger the bowls out to deliver the ratings and garner the attention each game deserves. But was there anything really wrong with the old system of having a bunch of games all on New Years afternoon or games competiting on various stations for our attention? I can't imagine the ratings were huge for a game between two lower-tiered teams with automatic tie-ins that went until after midnight on the east coast.

And don't even get me started on the stupidity of waiting a week after New Years to play the national championship game....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/02/2007 08:57:00 AM | |
Monday, January 01, 2007

As disguisted as I am with the Vols for losing to an inferior Penn State team today, I'm even more disguisted by ESPN's coverage of the game.

Every damn thing was all Penn State...we got little snippets with their players, talk about their year next season and a reaction shot of Joe Paterno on every play. But never once did we get any coverage or focus on Tennessee....

This is beyond biased and totally unprofessional of ESPN. I'm sickened by it.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/01/2007 03:08:00 PM | |

Take that Penn State!

But this bias toward Penn State continues. Tennessee makes a great play but all we hear is how the fraking Penn State player didn't make a play. Sorry, but it was a spectacular Tennessee play and it's about time you gave us some credit ESPN!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/01/2007 11:26:00 AM | |

ESPN: You suck!
Dear ESPN,

Your coverage of the Outback Bowl couldn't be any LESS biased. First of all, I'm sick and damn tired of seeing Joe Pa in the press box. No one gives a crap about the old man...and unless he's had a heart attack and died, I just don't care.

And to have Todd Blackledge on the coverage is beyond wrong. First of all, Todd went to Penn State so of course he's biased. Second of all, Todd never has a kind word to say about the Vols and this is obvious to anyone who has ever heard him call a game. So why he was assigned to this game is beyond me. He should NOT be calling this game!!!!

Show some damn profesionalism for a chance ESPN!

Also, no one gives a shit about Bob Knight and the going after the record. Sorry but he's not the winningest coach in the NCAA...that record belongs to Patt Head Summit, the coach of the Lady Vols. Stop cutting away to show us Bob Knight eating breakfast, Bob Knight arriving for the game, Bob Knight coming on the court, Bob Knight yawning as the game one CARES! Again, he's not getting the record for all-time wins because that belongs to someone else. So maybe, just maybe you could act like a professional, unbiased network and stop loving on Penn State and Bob Knight.

Oh wait--you're ESPN.

Never mind...

Big Orange Michael

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/01/2007 11:11:00 AM | |

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