News Round-up

E: I know I’m the biggest American Idol fan of the three of us, but I can’t be the only one thinking about Paula Abdul. I am not pleased! Not only has she actually been making sense of late, she’s been making a lot more sense than anyone else. Even Simon. And she’s nice. And slightly crazy. You never know what she’ll wear or say. Even her seal clap is endearing. Plus, she’s Lebanese, so we’re practically required to love her.

And the very idea that they’d add a fourth judge to replace her? Yuck. Judging went on so long this season – so long that the contestants sang less often. And with Randy and Kara contributing the same nonsense every time (“For me, for you, dawg, it was just alright – for me” “You’re the perfect package artist – you made it your own”), and Simon coasting, Paula was the only bit of fresh air.

M: Ok, but for me Paula was the same every time.  “I just, I just love you.  You sparkle up there.  You come out and you’re like a shining star, you’re a star already, and you’re shining for us.”  The closest I have ever seen Paula get to critical is saying that she thought that someone was only mostly incredible that week, and that she was hoping for all incredible.  I like her and all, and think replacing her with Posh Spice is a big mistake, but does she have to fawn over every single contestant, even the Sanjaya’s of the world?  Please.

E: Topic #2, how did I miss any reference to District 9? That suddenly seems like THE popcorn movie of this very disappointing summer. I’m intrigued. Heck, they had me at Peter Jackson.

M: District 9 totally snuck up on me, too.  They’re releasing it in the graveyard of summer, August (It’s no January/February, but lets just say studios don’t look at scripts and say “hey, this looks awesome, lets release it in August!), and there isn’t a single recognizable name in it, at least that I could see.  In fact, it snuck up on me so much, that when I caught the commercials/trailer, I always missed the very beginning, so I amazingly didn’t even know it was produced by Peter Jackson until you mentioned it above!  And I’m not sure what to think of it yet, either.  Watching the trailer, it feels like cheering for the humans would be like cheering for the KKK, but I mean, can you cheer again humanity in a conflict with aliens?  I hope they have some redeemable human characters…

E: I’m also looking forward to a girls night out next week to see Julie and Julia.  Who doesn’t love a little Meryl Streep…  or a lot of Meryl Streep, for that matter.  I am amazed at how little movie viewing I’ve done this summer.  Admittedly, having four kids does slow that ability down (at least, during non-Oscar season), but the problem is there hasn’t been anything to see.  It’s been pretty much Star Trek and Harry potter, and that’s it.  Of course, it has left me more time for Doctor Who, and tormenting you all with posts about a certain dance show.  (Hooray Jeanine!)

Speaking of Jeanine and SYTYCD, you should check out this interview. I’m blown away to know that she managed to keep this bit of personal history private – it seems exactly like the sort of thing that would have got her major air time during the audition process – and frankly, I respect that a lot. I’m not the type to hate on Danny Gokey because of his dead wife, but I will say I think the show went overboard trying to build sympathy for him. I love that people liked Jeanine for her talent and for herself.

Hey M, did you notice the commercial for Flashforward during Defying Gravity? (This isn’t the exact one, but gives the same idea.) I thought it looked pretty intriguing. Very “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” doncha think? Joseph Fiennes is a good start, certainly, and wasn’t that Jack Davenport lounging about in a sheet? Nice to see Fiennes working; it’s been quite a while since Shakespeare in Love! And good to see Davenport even if I prefer him wearing a sword. A metal sword. And, erm, fancy dress. Seems like something we ought to check out when it airs.

C: I hadn’t seen or heard of that, E, but it looks like it could be good!  A combination of ideas that have been done before, sure, but seems really stylishly done.  Plus, not just Fiennes and Davenport, but John Cho and a woman who looks exactly like Elizabeth Mitchell (but she’s on Lost still, right? so it couldn’t have been?) and, according to an online rumor, possibly Dominic Monaghan!  I’ll be checking out the pilot for sure.

M: Ok, you are both GREATLY disappointing me, and C on multiple levels.  I first heard of Flash Forward probably about 6 months ago, and they did a very brief commercial for it during on of the final episodes of Lost this year.

C: You know I quit Lost some time ago…

M: Argh!  I have been ignoring that and waiting for you to come to your senses.  And catch up on Fringe.  Anyway, from what I understand, ABC picked it up, not just commissioned a pilot, but actually picked up a full season of it, based just on the pitch, which is completely unheard of.  They apparently feel that it is a perfect compliment to Lost, and will retain that audience when it (sadly) ends after this season.  And the concept (the entire world blacking out for 2+ minutes, and at first no one remembering anything that happened, then everyone gradually realizing they saw glimpses of the future during that time) is really, really intriguing.  It’s even a little reminiscent of a great Anime show, Big O, which was also very well and stylishly done, at least for the first season.

As for the cast, first to C‘s egregious error, that is not Elizabeth Mitchell (who is great on Lost and was fabulous in the highly underrated Frequency), but Sonya Walger, who plays Penny Widmore on Lost.  Despite your, um, sabbatical from watching it, you have to know Desmond and Penny.  Come on!

C: Dammit, that’s who I meant.  *grumblemutter*

M: Anyway, according to IMDb, the cast also includes Courtney B Vance, who is terrific, especially in an early role as Jonesy in The Hunt for Red October, Family Guy creator and tour-de-force Seth MacFarlane (at least for one episode), and a man whose parents apparently had no creativity what so ever, Brian O’Bryne.

E: A few fun links – The Watcher mentions that Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh to me and you) will guest star on Dollhouse this season.

C: Jamie Bamber is also guest starring in the season premiere; it’s a frakking BSG reunion!

E: Also, Television Without Pity (which used to be so fabulous before Bravo bought them) has a cute little wish list of good things for Kristen Bell. The girl certainly deserves good wishes! And superstardom, and a pet monkey, and a Veronica Mars movie…

C: She does indeed. Fingers crossed!

Before we wrap up, I want to comment on the recent news story I found much more affecting than the departure of Paula from Idol: the death of John Hughes.  There’s nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, but the man made fantastic, fresh movies that won’t be forgotten.  How do I know?  Well, I wasn’t a teenager when they came out.  But I when I became a teenager I watched them and loved them.  And this year I had teenagers in my class choose to write essays about his films.  They are quintessentially ’80s films, but the feelings and issues they’re about transcend decade.  Also, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off just ROCKS.


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