Friday, March 30, 2012

Morning Coffee (3/30/12)

Happy Friday! I'm seeing The Hunger Games tonight. Whee.

My new favorite motivational poster

WEBS is expanding! Congratulations!

Are White Heat and Inside Men going to be our new British drama obsessions? Probably.

I'm pretty intrigued by the Game of Thrones cookbook.

Oooh: The Best of the Best Reading Challenge

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

TV Recommendation: Bent

NBC's Bent premiered last week, and if you missed it, you should absolutely watch last week's episodes online and tune in tonight at 9 for episodes three and four. Five and six air next week, and . . . honestly, that's probably all there will be. But I have no idea why NBC is burning it off like this, because Bent is charming and funny and delightful. Leads Amanda Peet and David Walton have great, easy chemistry, and Joey King plays the best sitcom kid since Travis on Cougar Town. There's nothing wildly ground-breaking or game-changing going on here, but sometimes, an hour of thoroughly enjoyable comedy that's sweet without being saccharine is exactly what you need.

Glee Promo with Matt Bomer

I gave up on Glee a while back, but will I watch the episode that Matt Bomer's in? OF COURSE I WILL. You win this round, Glee.

Morning Coffee (3/28/12)

Sorry this is late... I'm home sick today and feeling pretty miserable. I hope your morning is going better than mine!

Important: New season of Whitechapel starts on BBC America tonight! Whee!

Awww: Richard Castle's bucket list.

Speaking of adorable, we've got a double shot of cute Windsor news: A couple sent the Queen a wedding invitation and she showed up! And Prince Harry is moving in next door to the Cambridges. This should be a sitcom.

Oh my gosh, it's a Samoa bundt cake.

This six-year-old is better at spelling than you are.

Here's a fascinating look inside China.

Watch the pilot of Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trailer: The Host

Here's the first trailer for the movie based on Stephenie Meyer's non-Twilight sci-fi novel, The Host. I'll be very curious to see how much of her fan base crosses over, and I suppose I should finally get around to reading the novel so I can be an informed participant in the inevitable debate over whether it's Ruining The Children or whatever.

Morning Coffee (3/27/12)

How is it only Tuesday? How?

Alert: It's World Whisky Day. Please plan your day accordingly.

The Harry Potter books are now available as ebooks for the first time.

Awesome: L.L. Bean has a photographer recreating classic covers for their catalogs this year.

Book removed from Arizona school's curriculum because it contains a Mexican-American character. This is not The Onion.

"Astronaut is not a title one carries for life."

Here's your first look at Matt Bomer in Glee.

People are awful, the Hunger Games edition.

Another argument against recapping. (I have complicated mixed feelings about this whole issue, personally.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Morning Coffee (3/26/12)

Ugh, Monday.

Jennifer Lawrence is NOT too "big" to play Katniss. Why are people the worst?

Remember that cookbook ghostwriter story? Here's the next development. Isn't "Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachael Ray Team Up" an alarming headline?

10 Great American Gangster Movies How is it possible that the only one I've seen is Goodfellas?

Dragon Tattoo DVD: Not actually bootlegged. Hah.

Anthony Head is now in the next Percy Jackson movie too, which means I really have to start watching these movies.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games Link Roundup

I know Hunger Games stuff is overwhelming and EVERYWHERE, so I thought I'd pick out a few links I thought were actually worth a look.

The Obligatory Drinking Game

Melissa Anelli, who knows from book adaptations, says this movie is how we should adapt books.

But be careful: If you're female, your opinion may not actually count.

How Hunger Games Built Up Must-See Fever

I don't agree with all of this, but it's hilarious: Kill/Boff/Marry with Peeta and Gale

Morning Coffee (3/23/12)

Happy Friday! I had a dream about ordering a really exciting omelet, and then woke up and had no omelet, so I am sad.

Italian town outlaws death. Ha. Speaking of "adorable European laws," there's something going on in England with a pasty tax, and for all I know it could be a really serious issue, but the concept is cracking me up.

More adorable British people: Stephen Fry and Ian McKellan (who are both in the Hobbit movie) are paying the licensing fee so an old pub called The Hobbit can keep its name.

Is TV paying too much attention to fans?

Would you like to see Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean? Of course you would.

I really need to read The Secret History.

YA Rebecca retelling set at a boarding school? Yes, PLEASE.

Speaking of, Sarah Rees Brennan's got another hilarious Gothic retelling.

An adult Tom and Huck with a supernatural element? Um . . . wait, WHAT?

If I were casting a character based on Bill Clinton, Ciaran Hinds would not be my first thought, but I'm still really excited about this.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Heights Are Wuthering Very Slowly

Would you like to hear Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" slowed down so much that it lasts for over half an hour? I mean, who wouldn't, right? Here you go! (via Vulture)

"I think that the reason it's taken off so much is that it's good."

Watch (my boss) Maureen Johnson discuss YA fiction at the Guardian. And... they have no embed code. Sigh. But seriously, go watch. She's saying some good, important things.

Morning Coffee (3/22/12)

Update: Still weirdly hot out.

Oh my gosh, look! CROCHETED STARKS. They're so adorable! Look at the little direwolf puppies!

How a Mythical Fertility Goddess Could Help Steer Armenia's National Election

Bury St Edmunds: Police probe mystery of figurines Oh, England, never change.

Here's an interesting look at the economics of D&D.

I'm surprised this didn't exist until now: "One Week" as a calendar.

The Islamic World's Culture War, Played Out on TV Soap Operas

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Morning Coffee (3/21/12)

It has ALREADY been a very long day. And I'm writing this at 8 a.m.

Breaking: The Doctor's new companion is Jenna-Louise Coleman. I'm slightly amazed they found a British actress I've never seen in anything, but we'll all be able to judge see her in just a few weeks in the Titanic miniseries.

NBC's Bent starts tonight and I want you all to watch it because I adore Amanda Peet. Here's Sepinwall's review.

New evidence in the Lizzie Borden case! No, really.

The Secret Lives of Cookbook Ghostwriters

What went wrong with the marketing of John Carter?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Music Break: "Back of Your Neck" by Howler

Trailer: Hemingway & Gellhorn

Ooh, a premiere date: May 28! Whee! I'm sure it will surprise absolutely none of you to hear that I will be ALL OVER this one. (via Alyssa Rosenberg)

Morning Coffee (3/20/12)

Happy First Day of Spring! It's ridiculously warm here.

Today in "the BBC must be creating their shows literally from my dreams:" British procedural. Historical drama. Jack the Ripper. Matthew Macfadyen. All in one show. I'm beside myself.

James Fallows has interesting and important things to say about The Sad and Infuriating Mike Daisey Case.

10 Years Later: The Tragedy of Andrea Yates

Alarming story of the day: Gadhafi’s Son Built a Ship With Deadly Shark Tank Inside

Round 2 of TV Showrunner Madness has many fewer difficult decisions.

Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch

I'm sure the better-informed have many more feelings than I do about the first image from Arrow.

Idris Elba as Imhotep and an astronomer in the future? Awesome.

Interesting: the ubiquity of QWERTY keyboards is changing the meaning of words.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Morning Coffee (3/19/12)

Happy Monday! Sorry for the lack of a Morning Coffee post on Friday, by the way. I had a bunch of other stuff due that morning and something had to go.

Someone has finally just gone for it and made Nathan Fillion a god.

Great one from my dad: An academic sentence generator.

Malinda Lo's new sci-fi novel, Adaptation, looks interesting. See the cover and enter to win an ARC at her blog.

Fun history scandal of the day: RutherfordGate.

I won't say I've ever been particularly interested in the Home Alone movies, but I stand by my pledge to watch whatever Aaron Ginsburg and Wade MacIntyre write.

Fascinating and a little creepy: The invisible mother in early child photography.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Book Thoughts: Unspoken & The Thief

Over at my book blog this weekend I have two not-quite-reviews. I ended up loving Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief, but my review is truncated because I don't want to risk ruining the magic of the plot for anyone. And I completely adored Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken, but my actual review will be posted closer to the release date in the fall. In the meantime, here are my first, excited thoughts.

Sunday morning TV news!

...okay, it's technically afternoon. CLOSE ENOUGH.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Giveaway: Mend It Better

My good friend Caitlin Andrews has a project in the awesome-looking new book Mend It Better, which will be of interest to all you crafty and DIY types out there. And even better: Caitlin's having a giveaway of the book at her blog, Stevens Handmade. Just comment on the post by Sunday night at 8 ET to be entered to win a free copy! Head right this way to enter.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pilot Thoughts: Missing

ABC's new show Missing, which premieres tonight at 8, sounds like the sort of thing I should be all over - it's about a retired CIA agent (played by Ashley Judd) running around Europe looking for her missing college-aged son. Unfortunately, the first 15 minutes of the pilot went back and forth between being utterly boring and completely preposterous that I almost turned it off. (And it's not like I demand a lot of action or realism from my spy stories - I'm a fan of both Rubicon and Burn Notice, after all.) Luckily - for the show, maybe not for me - it improved a bit after that, at least enough that I'll give it another episode or two to hook me.

It's not a coincidence that I started liking the show better when some supporting characters - especially Cliff Curtis's CIA station chief - appeared, because Judd and her character were most of what made the beginning near unwatchable. Judd's performance is laughably melodramatic and grating, but to be fair, she's not given much to work with. I didn't know it was possible to make a woman looking for her missing son seem so unsympathetic. The character is written as so self-absorbed and difficult to deal with that I'm having a hard time imagining how she could have been such a successful undercover agent. And she seems happy to kill people at the drop of a hat, which a) doesn't make her more likeable and b) doesn't actually serve her ends. They're not going to tell you where your son is if they're dead, lady.

Look, I'm all in favor of more badass women on TV and more female leads in action stuff, but I'm just not convinced that showing a hysterical, irrational woman who only cares about her child - but happens to be running around breaking into places and killing people - is actually progress. (And that's another thing - she has supposedly been out of the CIA for ten years and just going to PTA meetings and jogging, basically, and I'm not thrilled with the implication that the only valid reason to act spy-like again is if her child is in danger.) I'd respect the show more if I thought they were actually trying to show us a woman unraveling and becoming perhaps criminally insane because of the loss of her child, but it seems like the show wants us to think her behavior is laudable.

And . . . I know this basically all sounds negative, but it's a pilot. Sometimes things improve. Many characters I've wound up liking on other shows were awful in their pilots. Hurry up and improve, Missing.

Morning Coffee (3/15/12)

Happy Thursday! Vampire Diaries and Community come back tonight. In Plain Sight and Fairly Legal return tomorrow. It's a good week.

Tumblr of the day: Least Helpful Reviews

If you need some outrage in your day, read this comment thread about whether women need to act like "ladies."

L.L. Bean ice cream? YES PLEASE.

Your creepy news story for the day.

Calvino's list of types of books found in bookstores is a classic.

10 Women Who Took Titles Normally Reserved for Men

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Casting News and Spoilers...

It happened with The Vampire Diaries last night. It's happened with Justified twice in the past few weeks. Co-stars or recurring guest stars on current shows book new pilots. It's what they do! Actors want bigger roles and steady jobs! This is totally fine. And then outlets like Deadine report the casting, because, again, it's what they do! And then some fans read the news and get upset that the current show has been "spoiled" by the knowledge of this other show's casting. And . . . honestly, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down.*

First of all, knowing that someone's role will be reduced or eliminated does not actually spoil the plot. (And casting notices like these almost always claim that the actor will be available to return to his old show as a guest star, regardless of whether that actually happens.) It doesn't necessarily mean the character will die. He might move away. It might be something else entirely. "XYZ character will die in a car crash" is a spoiler. "XYZ actor may be leaving the show" is not. (Note: That was not a real spoiler, about anyone. I know nothing!) Sure, it may make you watch the rest of the season a little differently, but any show worth watching should be giving you plenty of reasons to stay engaged other than the future of one particular character, anyway.

But more importantly, we need to get past this idea that anyone has a right or a reasonable expectation to participate in public discussions of TV (or books or movies) while remaining in a spoiler-free bubble for whatever that person's definition of "spoiler" happens to be. If you're going to be upset by seeing Deadline headlines on Twitter, don't follow people who will retweet Deadline headlines. More to the point, if you want to talk about a show without hearing absolutely anything about the future, don't talk about it on Twitter or large, general fansites. Email your friends. Start your own forum with strict rules. There are options.

And this goes doubly for things that have already aired. Personally, I try not to tweet spoilers for a day or so (or at least until the West Coast has seen an episode) as a courtesy, but I don't actually think that anyone owes anyone this. If you know you haven't seen this week's episode of your favorite show yet and you really care deeply about not hearing about it, just don't go on Twitter or wherever else you know people will be discussing it until you see it. The people you follow don't magically know your viewing schedule, and frankly, it's not their responsibility to care. And for God's sake, don't throw a fit if someone mentions a plot point that aired months or years ago. (I refuse to even call it a "spoiler" at that point.) He won the basketball game without turning into a wolf. 27 years ago. If you haven't seen it yet, you can't care that much.

* Note: I am in no way saying people shouldn't get upset about a character or actor they like leaving a show. That's perfectly fine. I'm just saying they shouldn't get mad at other fans for talking about it.

Morning Coffee (3/14/12)

This weather! It's so exciting! We had a thunderstorm last night! Whee!

Look! The beautiful cover of Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken!

Jeremy Irons is playing Uncle Macon in Beautiful Creatures. The casting of this movie has been incredible so far.

This article about fake chicken is surprisingly interesting, but I have to admit that realistic fake chicken freaks me out.

Some of these spin-off ideas are quite fun, especially Some Like It Hot.

Dear Smash, no means no.

Why have Oreos stayed so popular for 100 years? Because they're awesome. Or, you know, all this.

Drew Goddard's SXSW diary is fun, especially the bit about Bradley Whitford kissing Goddard's mom.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What is The Mentalist DOING this season?

The Mentalist has never been one of my favorite shows, but it's always been a dependably enjoyable procedural - until recently. Is it just me, or does the show seem to have lost its way this season? It has made a lot of decisions - even besides inexplicably showing an episode on a Friday - that just don't seem to make sense. (Spoilers through current episodes! Nothing about future episodes.)

1. If I ever cared about Red John, I certainly don't anymore. It was a fine catalyst for Jane's involvement with the CBI, but I really didn't expect the mystery to last four seasons, and at this point it's so scattered and convoluted that I barely bother to try following it. (I mean, they brought in Bradley Whitford and I still barely cared. That's saying something.) I was just trying to determine whether I care about Red John more or less than I care about How He Met Their Mother, but I got too bored thinking about it to actually decide.

2. From the beginning, I really thought the point of the show was not about Red John, but rather about Jane learning to care about people and be part of a family again. The first few seasons did a lot with that, but now that progress has stalled to the point that I'm wondering if Jane IS just a sociopath, and/or Red John himself. Except that's probably just wishful thinking because it would make the show more interesting.

3. Also stalled: Any sort of will they/won't they between Jane and Lisbon. On the one hand, I'd actually respect a procedural that consciously decided not to do that with its leads. On the other, it seems like they were doing that and just dropped it. (Remember that time Jane saved Lisbon even though it meant losing the chance for Red John info? That was a Big Moment. I thought.)

4. I cared about the relationship between Rigsby and Van Pelt more than Jane/Lisbon, and that has gotten ridiculous too. I respected Van Pelt's decision to break things off and thought her whole secret killer fiance storyline was well done, but this Rigsby/girlfriend/baby thing is a bridge too far. I read that they wrote in the pregnancy because the actress was actually pregnant, but I feel like they've written themselves into a corner now by making it obvious that Rigsby still loves Van Pelt, but ensuring that the only way they could be together would be if he left the mother of his child. (Or she left him, of course.) Rigsby has always seemed like a really decent guy. Is he going to be stuck with "decent but miserable" forever now? (Note: I may forgive all if we get lots of shots of Rigsby holding the baby. I'm not proud of this. Just self-aware.)

5. And I love Cho, and get why they want to give him a personal life, but his current storyline just seems clumsy and somewhat out of character. I think it's supposed to be referencing his past, but we don't know enough about that - and haven't heard about it recently enough - to make it really convincing. And any character who pulls the "I turned off your alarm even though I knew you'd be really upset and get in trouble for being late to your important job" trick instantly earns my hatred forever. (Fine, go ahead and point out a character I loved on some other show who did that. It probably happened.)

So . . . I don't know. The cases of the week are fine. The Mentalist will remain firmly in my "relatively mindless procedural to watch while exhausted or multitasking" rotation. But I just don't care anymore, and I miss that.

Morning Coffee (3/13/12)

I really don't like how dark it is in the mornings now. Sigh.

Oh, look, my TV news column from Sunday. I forgot to link it before. Sorry. Summary: Everyone in the universe has booked pilots.

Good news! Sarah Rees Brennan's forthcoming Gothic, Unspoken, has had its publication date moved up to September 11. Go preorder it right now. I'm in the middle of reading it and it's amazing. Trust me. You want this book.

TV Showrunner Madness is obviously trying to kill me by making me pick between Matt Nix and Jeff Eastin. (Yes, that's the only one I really had to think about, though Aaron Sorkin vs. Michelle and Robert King made me sigh a little.) Although: Dear world, haven't we seen what happens when Ryan Murphy gets carte blanche? Why is he winning this poll?

Fascinating photo essay: Women's Work (WWII Style)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Morning Coffee (3/12/12)

Ah, Monday. I couldn't fall asleep, and then I overslept. Because of the springing forward? Maybe. Hm. But it's supposed to be warm all week and I have my windows open already, so that's exciting.

New music from Beach House. It . . . sounds like Beach House.

Amazing: Downton Abbey-themed Magic cards.

Mark Wahlberg is making a reality show about a union? Awesome.

Best use of Pinterest ever: The official CW account has a board called The Shirtless Guys of the CW.

I am all in favor of more cable-sized short series on the networks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Music Break: "Call Me Maybe"

It is Friday afternoon (finally!), and if there were ever a song more perfect for Friday afternoon, I don't know what it was. And this video is so utterly charming with its "Millionaire pop stars! They're just like normal kids, dancing around with fake mustaches!" thing that is totally taking me in even as I'm writing about it.

Morning Coffee (3/9/12)

HAPPY FRIDAY. This week actually went pretty quickly, except then yesterday was awful for basically everyone I know. So I think we're all ready for a weekend.

First, a word on "freedom of speech," since I've seen this come up in several places recently: It's about the government not restricting speech. The Constitution ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT CARE about your supposed right to say nasty things with immunity on someone else's privately-owned Web site. "Freedom of speech" ALSO doesn't mean that you can say whatever you want but no one else is allowed to say that what you said was dumb or mean or wrong. Thank you. Carry on.

The Muppets + The Hunger Games = AWESOME

You must read David Plotz on Mo Willems.

I love when shows make it easy to figure out what music they've used. Cougar Town fans, here you go.

I don't usually post about fanvids, but it's Friday and I've got nothing, so I'm going to suggest you watch this nicely-done Downton Abbey video set to Taylor Swift's "Safe and Sound."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Must Watch: The Daly Superheroes

Nathan Fillion and Tim Daly. Playing superheroes. (With Tim Daly's son and Michael Rosenbaum.) The Internet has reached its apex. We might as well all go home.

(Via The Mary Sue.)

Keep Calm & Carry On: A History

Here's a delightful little history of the Keep Calm & Carry On poster, originally found at Barter Books.

(Via The Atlantic.)

New Trailer: The Cabin in the Woods

We have a new trailer, and we still don't see Bradley Whitford's face, but we definitely hear his voice, and maybe see his hand and/or some of his back. Progress?

I have to go see this movie - Joss Whedon and Bradley Whitford! - but it's going to scare me so much.

Morning Coffee (3/8/12)

Happy Thursday! The weather is ridiculously nice today. I'm going out in a 3/4 sleeve sweater! And no jacket!

This Pinterest board is the best thing I've ever seen. (Rodgers & Hammerstein fans, you'll want to click.)

For a balanced look at the "Kony 2012" thing, read this.

I always want to like Fiona Apple's music, but then she does this sort of thing and I just can't get past the self-important nonsense.

10 Non-Costumed, Non-Powered Female Heroines

Here's a nice article about how The West Wing inspired a generation to go into politics.

The cast of Get a Job looks amazing - Alison Brie! Bryan Cranston! Anna Kendrick! Miles Teller! - and while the first three times I read the story I thought it was about someone casting a pilot, it's actually a movie, which makes much more sense.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Music Break: "You're Sixteen"

Composer Robert Sherman has died, and while everyone is talking about his Disney work, I've always loved this one:

Or, of course:

I love some of the Disney songs too, though, so maybe we'll have a few more Sherman songs this week.

Morning Coffee (3/6/12)

Good morning. I am unhappy with my cereal. I thought you'd want to know. Also, a lot of shows are off this week, so I've been catching up on Cougar Town, and boy, is it amazing. Ignore the title! It's really good! Give it a try!

A bunch of celebrities (including Matt Bomer) did a reading of the play 8 (about Proposition 8 and marriage equality) over the weekend. Head to Alyssa Rosenberg's blog to see what she has to say about it and watch it for yourself. (I haven't had a chance to watch yet, but am planning to do so ASAP.)

Freema Agyeman was cast in the CW's Sex and the City prequel, and I cannot settle on an opinion about this. More Freema on my TV! Yay! But will this show be awful? Probably. Will I watch it anyway? Yes. Does this mean bad things for either Law & Order: UK as a whole or her role on it? Unknown. Do I support the CW hiring real adults who can actually act? Absolutely. Will I watch the whole thing while screeching "Martha/Alesha, what are you doing?" Possibly. See? It's a complex issue.

In other Doctor Who-adjacent casting news that will interest many of you, John Barrowman has been cast in one of the starring roles on Gilded Lilys, an ABC pilot about a family running a luxury hotel in New York City in 1895. This pilot also stars Matt Lauria and may in fact be God's way of convincing me that He does actually exist.

Justified has been renewed for a fourth season, and the A.V. Club says it best:
Considering that Raylan Givens has only shot more and more people with each passing year, expect the next season to just be Olyphant making laconic wisecracks from atop a heap of pill-strewn corpses. Note to FX: We would still watch that.
So say we all.

Take a gander at the cover of Beautiful Redemption, the upcoming fourth book in the YA Southern Gothic series you should be reading.

And finally, two new (or at least new-to-me) Tumblrs for your amusement: The West Men, "the most Emmy-winning TV mashup blog of all time," and the inevitable Hey Girl, Matt Bomer edition.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Has the CW found a reality show I'll watch?

I got a press release from the CW yesterday detailing the four - FOUR - reality shows they're airing this summer, which . . . yeah. Three of them sound so dumb I can't be bothered to finish reading the descriptions, never mind tell you about them, but one - perhaps by virtue of the monkeys-with-keyboards rule - actually sounds interesting:
BREAKING POINTE goes behind the stage curtain for an intense, unfiltered look at one of the most competitive ballet companies in the country, Ballet West, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Beneath the beauty and glamour of the dance and costumes is a gritty dog-eat-dog world of extreme athleticism, focus, dedication, passion, pressure and, of course, the hunt for the unattainable…perfection. Kate Shepherd (“Big Brother: According to Russell Brand”) and Bill Langworthy (“The City”) are executive producers. Izzie Pick Ashcroft and Jane Tranter are executive producers for BBC Worldwide Productions. BREAKING POINTE is from BBC Worldwide Productions.
Ballet! Whee! This is the sort of reality show that actually makes sense to me - the people involved have a specific skill or talent, and are going about their careers, and the "show" part is just that we get a window into an already-existing world we don't normally get to see. That's way more interesting than most "reality" shows, which put people into carefully constructed situations that are in no way real..

On the other hand . . . this is the CW, and while I love some of their dramas, their reality shows are generally awful. (Though this one seems to have been made by the BBC, so, again - hope!) I guess I'm saying that I'm more or less expecting to be disappointed and give up two episodes in, but for the moment, I'm enjoying the idea of what this show could be.

Pilot Thoughts: GCB

I'm kind of torn about GCB so far. I think this is one of those very rare cases in which I don't like the premise of a show, but do sort of like the execution. The opposite issue is much, much more common: There are so many shows that sound great on paper but just don't work. But here, well, the fact that this is about a bunch of adults whose lives revolve around high school doesn't interest me at all, and in fact turns me off. But if I manage to forget that high school is the supposed source of the conflict that leads to the show's hijinks, those hijinks themselves are enjoyable enough to watch. I mean, I wouldn't call it great TV, or even encourage the uninterested to watch it, but there's a definite place in my life for soapy fun with underlying interesting family dynamics (that remind me of Gilmore Girls). And there's always a place in my life for Kristin Chenoweth. (I'm so glad that they found a way to work her singing into the show, and in fact I like the church service framing device/anchor rather a lot in general here.) I can't imagine getting really into this show - though, hey, it's welcome to prove me wrong - but for mindless relaxing fluff on Sunday nights, I'll stick around awhile.

Morning Coffee (3/6/12)

Oh, hi, Tuesday.

In Plain Sight comes back in ten days. Not that I'm eager or anything. Also, I noticed while looking at the calendar this morning that we're springing ahead this weekend. Thought you might like the warning.

FOX's Breaking In returns for its unlikely second season tonight, and while the presence of Christian Slater kind of just makes me miss The Forgotten, I recommend that you watch it anyway. If you'd like to catch up, you can download the whole first season for $10.99 on Amazon.

Terra Nova is dead (unless another network buys it, which seems unlikely). I'm hoping this means that Fringe and/or The Finder have slightly better chances. And please, someone, cast Jason O'Mara in something I actually want to watch forthwith. "Slightly rogue cop" looked awfully good on him in One for the Money. I'm just saying.

The MLA now has a citation standard for tweets. That makes me very happy.

Everyone should read author Lauren McLaughlin's feminist manifesto.

Here's my rather long TV news column from Sunday.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Morning Coffee (3/5/12)

Happy Monday! Waking up at my parents' house on a weekday is weird, let me tell you. And also means I have a 3-4 hour commute ahead of me. Onward!

Because I've been traveling, I haven't had a chance to watch the GCB pilot yet (tonight!), but Alyssa Rosenberg's review is worth a read.

Her Majesty's new Diamond Jubilee portrait, um . . . kind of looks like an ad for Ringer.

Emmy Rossum as Ridley in Beautiful Creatures? PERFECT.

Cat Naps on Router; ISP Provides Decoy Router in Exchange for Cat Pictures

The Vanity Fair Oscar party photo booth always produces some great stuff, but the Revenge cast is particularly delightful. (And that is an SEO-friendly URL if I ever saw one.)

The AV Club has a characteristically hilarious write-up of the Game of Thrones video game news.

Friday, March 2, 2012

TV Trailer: Veep

HBO's Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Vice President, starts on April 22, and if this trailer is anything to go by, I am so in.

It would be awesome if it took place in the same universe as HBO's Newsroom, which premieres two months later, but I guess that would probably be too difficult.

Morning Coffee (3/2/12)

It's FINALLY Friday. Everyone I know seems agreed that this was the longest week ever, for some reason.

Andrew Breitbart has died.

Firefly fans, get excited: Adam Baldwin will reunite with his captain by guest-starring on Castle!

In other interesting casting news, John de Lancie will be on The Secret Circle, and actually, if either Q OR Al Kiefer showed up in Chance Harbor, the show would immediately be way more interesting. Alas, he will be playing neither of those characters.

I discovered while writing that that John de Lancie did a voice in a few episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I just thought you'd want to know.

I read about a lot of book deals and don't often mention them, but OMG Claire Legrand is doing a YA retelling of The Nutcracker and I am so excited!

Some people he didn't know got into a fight kind of near Colin Firth. In other words, it was a very slow news day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pilot Thoughts: Awake

Kyle Killen's last drama about a man leading a double life, Lone Star, was critically beloved. It had one of the most perfect pilots I've ever seen. But then nobody watched it, and it was cancelled almost immediately. And, frankly, some of us (including myself) still aren't over it. This history undoubtedly informs some of the critical buzz and heavy marketing push behind Killen's new drama about a man leading a double life, but when I finally watched the Awake pilot last night, I was delighted and relieved to discover that it's worth the attention on its own merits as well.

Awake, if you've somehow managed to escape the ubiquitous ads, is about a police detective who loses his wife and/or son in a car accident. After the accident, he finds himself living in two different realities: one in which his wife survived, and one in which his son did. Every time he wakes up, his world switches. And he doesn't know which is real. People in both worlds try to convince him to accept that the other is a dream, but he doesn't want to lose either his wife or his son permanently, so he struggles to maintain his personal and professional relationships - and his sanity - in both lives.

I'll admit I have some concerns about the concept's long-term viability - it seems like it might have worked better as a movie or miniseries - but other than that, I'm all in. The premise is intriguing and the writing is strong. Jason Isaacs is, of course, wonderful as the main character, and the rest of the cast seems fine so far. The big question of the show - What's going on? Is either reality real? - is one that I'm spending a fair amount of energy thinking and theorizing about after just one episode. So please, watch this show so that it sticks around long enough to give us some answers.

Awake premieres on NBC tonight at 10/9c.

Morning Coffee (3/1/12)

Happy March! And hey look, it's the first big snowstorm since October. This winter is very confused.

We bloggers over at are nominated for a NewNowNext award. It's very exciting! Please vote for us!

Ravelry now has TWO MILLION members. I am so very proud of them, and also kind of astonished that so many people even exist who want to talk about knitting online.

If you haven't seen the spoof trailer for Jimmy Kimmel's Movie: The Movie, you should go watch it immediately.

RIP Davy Jones.