Archive for April, 2009

Rick Springfield Cast on Californication!

Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield

This past weekend, when surfing local concert listings, I noticed that Rick Springfield, my absolute favourite actor/singer of the 80s, is doing a show at nearby Casino Rama.

On Tuesday, EW’s Michael Ausiello revealed that the man behind 80s anthem “Jessie’s Girl” and General Hospital’s Dr. Noah Drake has been cast on the upcoming season of Showtime’s Californication – as himself!

Apparently the role calls for some “tasteful nudity” and “simulated sex”. If you can’t wait to see Springfield’s tushie, may I suggest checking out his 1984 film Hard to Hold. I think it’s time for this gal to reconnect the VCR and break out my VHS copy!

Who else is excited to see Springfield on Californication?


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Has Geek Become Chic? Part 2

Wallace Langham & Liz Vassey of CSI

Wallace Langham & Liz Vassey of CSI

It seems like nearly every day, there’s news of another comic book or graphic novel getting the film treatment. Without a doubt, comics have never been hotter, and comic book conventions are must-attend events. The conventions don’t stop at comics – science fiction and fantasy are huge draws as well. With the ever increasing popularity of annual events like San Diego Comic Con, it was just a matter of time until con culture invaded prime time TV. And where, you may ask, did the con make its appearance on network TV? The crime procedural, particularly CSI and Bones.

I’d almost be as bold to say that this sudden interest in cons would be further proof that “geek” has become cool, but I thought I’d ask Steve Saylor of This Week in Geek what his thoughts were on the appeal for crime procedurals to set episodes at cons. Here’s what he had to say:

I think shows like CSI and Bones setting episodes at cons are just trying to cash in on the appeal of geeks to watch their show. If say, for instance, a show has a big geek icon, they’ll usually cast them in that kind of an episode. I think the only show that was able to pull this off really well was the episode of NUMB3RS where Wil Wheaton was cast as a comic book publisher and he was a complete tool. Wil obviously loved playing the part even if he isn’t a tool; and the episode was set at a comic book convention. Now maybe it was because Wil gave his geek seal of approval to the show because they did their research and did everything right, but they took what would normally be cliche, and made it something interesting and different.

Now, I’d already seen CSI’s “A Space Oddity” and Bones’ “The Princess and the Pear”, but I hadn’t seen the Numb3rs episode that Steve mentioned, so I did my homework and tracked down “Graphic”. Here are some of my thoughts on this genre’s forays into cons.

CSI’s “A Space Oddity” was timely. It aired about a month following the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, and just a few weeks before the release of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. In it, lab rat Hodges runs into co-worker Wendy at a con, and realizes they are both fans of AstroQuest, a revered sci-fi series that bears more than a striking resemblance to Star Trek. It’s only minutes until they discover the body of Jonathan Danson, the man behind a controversial re-imagining of AstroQuest. BSG’s Ronald D. Moore and Grace Park have cameos, and Kate Vernon has a guest-starring role. It was an entertaining episode, complete with Hodges’ daydream sequences of him and Wendy as AstroQuest characters, as well as references to red shirts and Trekkies … er, Questers. Interesting side note – Wallace Langham (Hodges) was on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, and Liz Vassey (Wendy) appeared in a Star Trek: TNG ep in 1992.

The Bones episode “Princess and the Pear” was definitely the weakest of this trio. The episode could have easily been set at a sports memorabilia convention with a rare baseball card as the coveted collectors’ item. It lacked the requisite passion of the fans, and the element of competition/rivalry that was represented in both CSI and Numb3rs. The crime solving team seemed too detached from the subject matter.

I have to agree with Steve that Numb3rs’ “Graphic” gave con culture the best treatment.

All three episodes shared some common threads. Most notable? Someone on the crime solving team is revealed as a “geek”. On Bones, Sweets is outed as a sci-fi fan, and Fisher admits to being a geek. On CSI, Hodges and Wendy end up at the same con, and realize they have something in common. Sinclair and Larry on Numb3rs are revealed as comic book aficionados. The Bones and Numb3rs episodes included a stolen items that ended up at auctions – a valuable prop sword, and a priceless comic book. CSI and Numb3rs also had some great casting choices for guest roles, namely BSG’s Kate Vernon and TNG’s Wil Wheaton.

So what do you think? Is the presence of con-centered episodes of crime procedural dramas just a way to capitalize on the loyalty of sci-fi/fantasy fans, or is this another prime-time win for the “geeks”? And if you’ve seen these three episodes, which did you think was best?

My next post in this series will focus on what is, in my opinion, the biggest “geek” success story on the tube at the moment – The Big Bang Theory. Come back soon for Part 3 of Has Geek Become Chic?


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Fun With FOTC in Toronto!

Flight of the Conchords concluded 2 nights at Massey Hall in Toronto, and I was very excited to be in the audience for the April 21st show, and it was a blast!

They performed quite a few tunes from the second season of their hit HBO series, from “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor” to “Sugalumps”, and some old favourites, including “Foux de Fafa”, “Albi the Racist Dragon”, “Motha’uckas” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room”.

Here are some of my pics from the evening:

Bret on Keys

Bret on Keys

Bret & Jemaine with the "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra"

Bret and Jemaine with the "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra"

Jemaine Singing

Jemaine Singing

Bret & Jemaine show off their Sugalumps

Bret & Jemaine show off their Sugalumps

Bret & Jemaine

Bret & Jemaine

Has anyone else seen FOTC on this tour? Share your stories by commenting below!


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Captivated by Caprica!

Caprica's Morales, Malcomson and Stoltz

Caprica's Morales, Malcomson and Stoltz

I had the chance to see Caprica, and colour me impressed!

Just a warning, there may be some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, read at your own risk.

First and foremost, I have to say Caprica IS NOT Battlestar Galactica, and I’m good with that. It’s a completely different feel, a fresh perspective. No spaceships, no epic battles, no FTL drives, and no drunken Viper pilots.

Set in Caprica City nearly six decades before the Cylons nuked the colonies, we meet two families, The Adamas and The Graystones, who are both united and divided when they lose loved ones in a terrorist attack.

There’s the world of virtual reality (a precursor to Cylon projection perhaps?), the age-old religion versus science debate, and the conflict between polytheist and monotheist beliefs. The imagery was great, it really sticks with you, even days after watching. And how excited was I to witness the “birth” of the Cylon.

The casting couldn’t be more perfect in my opinion. Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone is compelling as scientist, businessman, father and husband. Esai Morales really is the embodiment of how I always envisioned the patriarch of the Adama family, trying to achieve the balance between what is just and what is right. And I can’t wait to see more of Polly Walker as Sister Clarice Willow, and learn more about this headmistress of The Athena Academy, an elite school where young minds are being shaped – or corrupted, depending how you look at it.

This might be the next crossover hit, appealing to fans of sci-fi and dramatic serials alike. At its heart, Caprica is a gripping drama centered on 2 families, how each deal with loss, and how they choose to move on with their lives.

After such a tantalizing tease like this, 2010 can’t come fast enough!


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Has Geek Become Chic? Part 1

Adam Brody as The OC's Seth Cohen

Adam Brody as The OC's Seth Cohen

Everywhere you look on TV, even big network television, you’re sure to find a geek. Whether it’s the geek-centric comedy of The Big Bang Theory to crime procedurals setting episodes at sci-fi/fantasy cons, there’s been an increased geek presence in coveted prime time slots.

This got the hamster wheel in my head going, and has led to my first blog series – Has Geek Become Chic?

In Part One, I’ve decided to explore just how geeks invaded prime time TV, and chatted with FancyFembot herself, Cat of Sci Fi Party Line, and Steve “Snowball” Saylor of This Week in Geek. Topic of conversation? What they would consider the defining moment in geek making its mark on prime time.

Cat and I seem to be on the same page that Lost has been an important step in the emergence of science fiction and “geek” culture on prime time television. That was the defining moment for me; Lost is the show that really sparked my interest in sci-fi, and I think it was what introduced the genre to those who were previously unreceptive.

Cat shared:

I think “geeks” made (their mark) prime time with Lost. Before Lost aired, I remember a big write up for it in SciFi Magazine. They heavily promoted it to the “geeks” when it first aired. After a season, the writers or whoever was talking to the media started back tracking and telling people not to put Lost in the science fiction genre. With this latest season, with time travel, time shifts, disappearing islands, etc, no one can deny that this show is science fiction. Lost is one of the hottest shows and sort of tricked everyone into watching quantum mechanics every week. I think it’s awesome!”

Steve actually places the injection of geek into prime time TV a bit earlier than Lost, and you might be surprised by his choice:

As far as specifics, for me personally when I started to see the change was on The O.C. It was a prime time hit and one of the main characters, Seth Cohen, was a geek who turned out to be a character everyone loved. Even my brother and sister who are far from being geeks themselves love The O.C. and love the character of Seth Cohen because he was funny, quirky, and also a geek.

He also observed:

The ones who grew up being geeks like us are now in control of prime time and are now able to tell the stories they wanted to tell, and it just took a lot of people in the right places for that.

What would you say was the moment or show that saw geek make a serious mark on prime time TV? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Next, I’ll be looking at the presence of Cons on prime time TV, particularly on crime procedurals like Bones and NUMB3RS, including a more detailed look at last week’s episode of CSI. Be sure to visit soon for Part 2 of Has Geek Become Chic?


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The BRoMance of HIMYM’s Barney and Robin

Well, we finally get another new episode of How I Met Your Mother this evening. Yay! So how did The Televixen treat her HIMYM withdrawal last week? With this fantastic Barney/Robin montage, entitled BRo Love:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

After watching that clip, are you one of the people who wants to see Barney give up his wanton ways and settle down with what is shaping up to be “The One”, or are you still hoping that Robin and Ted end up together again (even though we already know she’s not the mother)? I have to say I’m going to be cheering on the BRoMance 🙂


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Dates Set for Final Eli Stone Eps

eli-stone-cast

The Cast of Eli Stone

I’ve had to say goodbye to 2 series that I adored over the past two years because they were axed. First, it was Journeyman. Now, it’s Eli Stone.

For those of us who’ve been waiting for air dates on the final four Eli Stone episodes, EW’s Michael Ausiello reported yesterday that Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money’s final eps will be “burned off” by ABC on consecutive Saturdays, beginning May 30th. Eli Stone will air June 20th to July 11th.

And how much do I despise the phrase “burn off” when referring to remaining episodes of a canceled series? Immensely! It brings to mind medieval ways of dealing with the bodies of plague victims, rather than a series that was never given a fair chance by its network.


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The Countdown to Caprica

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Countdown to Caprica“, posted with vodpod

If you’re looking for something to help alleviate BSG withdrawal, here’s a little treat: a Countdown to Caprica widget! In addition to the countdown clock, the widget includes a trailer and a bonus clip.You can add the widget to your blog, website, or Facebook profile and count down the hours by visiting Discover Caprica. There are also some other fun extras on the site to pass the time until Caprica’s available on DVD and digital download.

April 21st is going to be a good day! So say we all!

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Who’s Next to Die on Fox?

Major spoiler info below if you’re not up to date on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or House!

Two shocking deaths on Fox within four days … what more can I say?

Brian Austin Green

Brian Austin Green

Now, I knew Brian Austin Green had been cast in The CW’s Body Politic, but I still gasped at his T:SCC character Derek Reese getting a bullet to the head early in Friday night’s stellar episode, “Adam Raised a Cain”. I was surprised, but not shocked. I figured they’d send him out in a big way before the season ended, but props to them for doing it in such a dramatic way!

Kal Penn

Kal Penn

I was stunned, however, by the death of Kal Penn’s Lawrence Kutner on House. His name hadn’t been mentioned in any casting news, TV or otherwise, so I was not expecting him to leave the show. Turns out he’s been cast in a new role – “associate director in the White House office of public liaison”. Fantastic reason to leave the show, and acting for that matter, but this Fox show didn’t candy coat his departure at all.

Does the Fox death toll end with Reese and Kutner this season? Or will some other major characters kick the bucket?

Any predictions on who you think might not make it out of this season alive on Fox? Share your predictions by commenting below!


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A New Look for The Televixen! And Thoughts on Friday’s T:SCC

televixen-logo

The Televixen's New Logo

Welcome to The Televixen’s 100th post, and I’m celebrating with a makeover! The blog now has a sharp new look created by myself and 742 Designs.

There was still much TV watching while working on the site design, and I have to say I was most impressed by Friday night’s fantastic episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. If you haven’t seen “Adam Raised a Cain” yet, don’t read any further, and don’t watch the below clip, but do yourself a favour and find this episode on Hulu or Fox’s website ASAP!

I’m going to come right out and say this may be my favourite T:SCC episode ever. Each scene with John Henry was intense, and this final scene with him and Savannah Weaver gave me goosebumps.

I was also completely floored by this exchange between Ellison and John Henry:

John Henry: . . . The human brain is an amazing computer. Its raw clock speed is 20 billion calculations per second. Its storage is functionally infinite. But it’s flawed.

Ellison: How is that?

John Henry: There’s nowhere to download it when you die.

Ellison: Not exactly, no.

John Henry: Your Bible solves this problem by using the concept of heaven.

Ellison: Yes

John Henry: Billions of souls with no bodies.

Ellison: Okay.

John Henry: Yet all this is required simply to process the unique entity you call John Henry.

Ellison: Yes.

John Henry: It’s possible heaven has a hardware problem.

Ellison: It’s not that simple.

There’s only one episode left this season, and I’m excited to see what happens next, but anxious not knowing the fate of the show. Here’s hoping the cancellation grumblings are wrong.


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