Filtering by Category: TV
Hey folks,It's been an amazing couple of weeks over here at Hoarse and Buggy Central. First, was the near instantaneous sell out of the Tumor Ashcan at San Diego Comic-Con. Thank you all so much for coming out and supporting the book!
Secondly, through a strange twist of fate, a tv show I worked on briefly last year was nominated for an Emmy Award, and, yours truly was one of the credited writers, meaning I can now introduce myself as Emmy Award Nominee Joshua Hale Fialkov. I expect each of you to do the same.
Third, Tumor - Chapter One was a huge hit on Amazon! It made it all the way up to #6 out of all graphic novels on Amazon. Not just digital, ALL graphic novels. I think we were even beating DC's super huge Final Crisis for a while.
Which brings me to the last quick news, which is that you can now purchase Chapter Two of Tumor on Amazon for a measly dollar. It's available right now for your Kindle, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Every purchase is showing Amazon that we're a market that matters and that they need to actively serve with their devices, so, please, if not for me, then for the future of comics, go check out the book. You can do so here:
Again, thank you all for your continued support, and for helping to spread the word!
j. http://www.thefialkov.com http://www.tumorthecomic.com
And, in typical blogger fashion, I now apologize for more or less disappearing the past few weeks. The new job is going amazingly well, and should be outright announced in the coming days. I've got a podcast over on Word Balloon talking about it, and the huge stack of other projects in the immediate future. That should be posted anytime now. Otherwise, don't forget to preorder Cyblade #1 and #2 from Top Cow, The Cleaners #1 from Dark Horse, and to pick up the 1st volume of the Afro Samurai manga from Tor Books.
Been rewatching Six Feet Under with Christina (it's her first time) and reminded of just how powerful the show is, and, suprisingly, how much less depressing than I thought it was. We've got season one of Mad Men on tap next, and I'm psyched to get started on it, as the pilot was so damn good, and everybody else seems to shit babies they like the rest of it so much.
I'll try and post a 'what I'm listening to' later this week, as the day job has introduced me to some pretty cool new stuff that's right on the verge, yada yada.
Since getting rid of cable and becoming a shut in, I've been watching fewer and fewer New Releases of any kind. Here's a few things I've watched that are, ahem, new to me. Be Kind Rewind - I'm not sure what's wrong with everybody. The movie is fantastic. It's not as good as Eternal Sunshine, obviously, but, it's still a work of near genius. The big complaint seems to be how the movie is awkwardly put together. That's on purpose. The movie feels like a story that's been Sweded. It's fucking genius. It's got heart, soul, and is funny as fuck. I'm glad that Gondry is back from the self-indulgent nightmare of Science of Sleep.
Newhart - Season 1 - Ah Bob. No better sitcom comedian has ever graced tv. While not as organic as the 70's Bob Newhart Show, the 'new' Newhart is still fucking amazing. Of course, it'll be a season or two before the cast we all remember shows up, but, considering how long it took us to get the first four of TBNS, and this first season, it might be a while.
No Direction Home - I somehow managed to miss this doc when it aired on PBS. One of those "I'll watch it eventually" things. It's Scorsese Documentary excellence mixed with the longest interview Dylan's ever given. It's masterfully put together, and the archival stuff they found is simply amazing. Footage of Woody Guthrie playing, Dylan getting booed, and recordings of the early pre-star Dylan tapes... wow. If you have any interest in folk culture, Dylan, or the 60's, definitely worth watching.
Torchwood - What a difference a year makes. Last season (which is linked here) was... okay. The second half really managed to off set the mediocre first half. But, it still wasn't there. This season... they get it. The show is purposefully juvenille, filled with ridiculous and unrealistic sexuality that really manages to make the whole thing feel like everybody is being guided by the oversexed aura of Captain Jack. So, sure, they do weird illogical shit, but, dammit, Captain Jack is there. I'm REALLY looking forward to the new Season of Doctor Who, simply to see it all tie together.
Lost - What a difference a year makes. Last season was... okay. (Hey look at me. I'm reusing the above review!) Anyways, this season has been exactly what it needed to be. We're making huge progress in story and character, and the twists and revelations feel substantial. I'm glad I stuck around, and this season has made it fairly certain I'm not going anywhere.
The X-Files - So, this is going to be a bit ridiculous. I never made it through the X-Files before. I watched Season One when it aired, and my punk rocky teenage self had no use for it. Consequently, aside from the assorted episodes here and there, I just never got through the whole show. While working on The Cleaners, and a few other procedural horror type things, I decided it was time. So, I started from the beginning. I'm about halfway through the second season, and holy shit... really fantastic. It's a little campy, and the stand alone episodes feel like they get in the way of the continuing plot (which unlike most people, I'm actually really into, thus far.) So, yeah. Go pick up that giant box set.
So hopefully, I'll get to see the Oscar movies shortly. Until then, that's all I got.
30 Rock is much better than I gave it credit for. I watched the first few episodes as they aired, but, the quality goes through the roof not to long after where I quit. I also had missed the pilot, which I think is infinitely better than the three or four that come afterwards. Veronica Mars Season 2, while not as good as Season 1, is equally as addicting. The mini-mysteries from episode to episode really sing, and it's a big help. Add a big helping of Ken "I Wanna Dip My Balls in It" Marino makes it that much better. It really was one of the best shows of the decade, wasn't it?
Progresso's Wedding Soup is the shit.
The Blackberry is perfect for those unable to move ones arms and sit up straight.
I'm considerably more resilient than I was a few years ago. I blew my back out five years ago, and I feel like it took a week or more before I was moving around. This time, I'm already walking and sitting up within the first day.
And finally, my wife is amazing. I've never had anyone be so attentive, caring, and ready to help.
I'm sick. And consequently will wear my robe and slippers while doing relaxing things. Here's a list with comments. Hulu.com - Been playing with the Beta of NBC's streaming service. The one that doesn't generate any revenue for the studios. Cause those commercials they show are clearly Public Service announcements. Like the one for razors. Anyways, that aside, the service is pretty great, especially compared to how shitty the actual NBC.com streaming things are. The commercials are remarkably unobtrusive... there's only one 15 or 30 second spot per commercial break, and they actually have it integrated, so, unlike on NBC.com the commercial comes and goes without interupting the show. Been catching up on everything I haven't seen what with the removal of cable from the house.
Myspace.com/pilotseason - It's launching this week, and I guess each of the writers are writing little pieces explaining why you should vote for us. On a side note, vote for me.
Watch my Netflix - I've had a bunch of Orson Welles Netflix movies sitting on my shelf for three months. I just never get around to watching them. I desperately wanted to do a book about Welles, but, well, everyone thinks I'm insane when I explain what I want to do.
Mario 64 - I've decided that before I buy Mario Galaxies, I'll go through Mario 64 from start to finish. I'm planning on getting frustrated sometime around the 30th or so star, and going to buy Galaxies. At that point, I will play it until it gets slightly harder than I can easily handle, at which point it'll end up sitting on the shelf until the next Mario comes out. And so it is.
Finish Sartre's The Flies and start The Orestia - Which are both the same thing, only, y'know, one's by Aeschylus and the other's by Sartre. They're research for the book with Guillory, and lots of fun.
Cancel my Vonage - I'm just plain sick of it. The quality's gotten progressively worse and worse, and despite the replacement modem they sent me last month, it's just... well... shitty. I'd rather just put the 30 bucks towards my cell service and not have to worry about it.
And that's what my day will look like.
Well, is watching, actually, but that doesn't fit the song as well. I'm on the fourth episode right now. The show's an interesting little drama thus far. I'm really impressed with how quickly and thoroughly they fleshed out all of the characters. The drama has a tendency to fall closer to melodrama, but, due to the high stakes of the world of the show, I think it actually works. There's also a knack for final images. Some really haunting and delicate images tend to fill the final seconds of every episodes, and really manages to draw you back in to see what's going to happen next. The acting is solid enough, with Skeet Ulrich not quite reaching his Miracle level of awesome, but, he's still much better than he usually get credit for.
From what I've read there's a big change 2/3rds of the way through the season, so I'm looking forward to that. iTunes has the pilot up for free online. I'd recommend checking it out.
Taking today off, which means, I've been doing my TV catch up. I figured, I'd manage to make it all worthwhile, and give my TV roundup. 24 - It's certainly the best it's been since the first half of season one, but, it's always so close to exploding in a cloud of illogic that it hurts. If you remove Kiefer Sutherland's performance from the show, it would be at best JAG like in quality. And, now that most of the original cast is gone, it's filled up with some of the worst acting this side of tech guy Edgar. Jebus.
Gilmore Girls - Well, it's not the same without the Palladinos. It's not as good, but, for what was one of the most engaging, consistent show on all of TV, that doesn't mean it's bad. I think a lot of people jumped off when it seemed like the show was being contradictory with the whole 'money buys happiness' thing, but, well, where the last new episode left off, it still comes down to the core message of the show, as long as they have each other...
LOST - Hey, most improved show of the year, I'd say. Last season was a mess of threads with some compelling concepts mixed in. This year, is lean and tight, with a smart laser eye focus on moving the story forward. I credit Brian K. Vaughan. But that's only because I know him, and like to build my friends up to mythic proportions. (Gary Dauberman can move mountains with his mind.)
VERONICA MARS - Poor Veronica Mars. The best mystery show on TV got saddled with a bizarre split season plot format that goes against the whole gimmick of the show thus far. and it suffers for it. It's still great, but, I fear that if the rumors of next years format changes are true, the show's going to keep stepping further and further away from what made the first season so amazing.
SCRUBS - Of everything on TV, I'd say I watch the most episodes of Scrubs. I watch the reruns all day long while I'm writing. And, no matter how many times I see them (Comedy Central seems to play the same 10 episodes on a constant fucking repeat), I'm always drawn in and thoroughly entertained. Except for the current season. Last week's episode was the closest in form to the true greatness of the show, but, it's becoming even worse than a parody of itself... it's become typical sitcom trash. For shame.
STUDIO 60 - I had a long conversation with Christopher Long and Jonah Weiland about Studio 60. I think the big downside to the show was that the first three or four episodes were so far above just about anything else on TV. I've never been a huge Sorkin fan, but Studio 60 hooked me right away. It captures what it's like to work in TV pretty damn accurately, and managed to make Matthew Perry into a tolerable (even impressive) character actor instantly. And then, it started softening up... the politics went from compelling to whiney, the drama leaned towards melodrama, and unfortunately, became more maudlin than entertaining. It's still pretty good though, I don't know what all the hate is about.
The Office - Yeah. It's still amazing. Even that re-edited hour version of those two reruns that aired this week was fantastic. It's really a joy to watch, and a pleasure to share with friends and family.
Andy Barker, P.I. - It's a fucking blast. I'm a big fan, and recommend it. That is all.
How It's Made - The best show on TV. It's footage of Factories making random objects with a soothing voice over explaining what's going on. It's so god damn outstanding. Hooray for Discovery HD!
Ah, Danger Man. This set is up on Amazon for a measely $99 bucks right now. It's everything including both the original B+W half hour show, and then the color ones that were on CBS back in the day. This is first part of the Prisoner. Really, it is. If you like the Prisoner, you'll like this. It's much less weird, but very much in the same world, and really the set up for what happens there.
John Drake is Number 6 and vice versa.
In any event, I don't know that there's ever been a better spy show on TV, and that includes 24. Go, watch.
"And you were masturbating in front of a police officer who was LaToya Jackson!" God Bless America.
Homicide: Life on the Street - The Complete Series - with Law & Order Crossovers! For anyone who doesn't follow this blog, or talk to me, Homicide is my favorite TV show of all time. It's the very definition of what's great about the one hour drama as a format, and a high water mark for what Network TV is capable of.
From Homicide sprang the HBO Dramas (literally in the case of Oz and The Wire, and spiritually for all the rest.) A Cop Show that's about cops rather than case of the week, about character rather then sensationalism, and populated with some of the best actors to have share the small screen. It's a masterclass in dialogue, pacing, and directing.
Every aspect of the show is breathtaking, even the season 2 guest-star-a-ramas are pretty excellent.
Plus it has what are the best episodes of Law & Order ever made, thanks to finally including the crossover episodes. You realize that holy shit, Jerry Orbach has a character! Benjamin Bratt actually CAN act. These guys aren't just one line of dialogue about their personal life per episode, they actually have characters. What's funny is that as you watch L&O episodes that follow the Homicide crossover episodes, the acting from the leads is that much better because they've been given a chance to develop their characters.
Anyways, buy the fucking thin, it's worth every penny.
It's nice to sit down after a long day of work and watch a show that's considerably more obscene than all of my comics combined.
My brother loved Dr. Who when he was a teenager, and being 9 years his junior, I'd sit there figuring "Well, if my big brother likes it..." It never actually reverberated for me though. Not the way Hitchhiker's Guide or The Young Ones did. The new series, though, is just... wow. There's a few iffy episodes early on (the Dickens one and the Sun exploding ones aren't quite up to snuff to the stuff that follows), but the past three episodes have been some of the best Sci-Fi television this side of the Prisoner. I think it actually puts Lost to shame. The show gives resolution, a feeling of progress, and character development. Lost, while the character beats, and the plotting from episode to episode is interesting, just never delivers, and, well, most likely never will. It's the nature of the beast, and a core difference between the shows.
The Doctor is Batman. He's Superman. He's James Bond. Except, they even came up with a decent enough explanation for why he's always changing actors.
Anyways, my point is that I think a lot of people are like me and have less than fond memories of the original (which, as i've been watching some aren't actually quite as bad as I remembers, and some are actually quite good), this is a totally new, totally seperate beast, and some of the best Sci-Fi currently on the TV.
The Dwight Schrute Bobble Head Doll. Available for Pre-Order now.
Thank you NBC. You've made my dreams finally come true. And given me faith that The Office'll be around to wear out it's welcome, see Steve Carrell replaced by Ed Helms, and do a musical episode guest starring Barbara Streisand. Or whatever else they can do to ruin the show.
I've been MIA because this weeks been apeshit insane. I did a quick update over at Creator Direct about what all I'm working on currently, and I didn't add that I'm also powering through hours of day job, and contracty type stuff during most of the days. Oh, and the very specific bus line that Dina takes to work and school is on strike, so I get to spend a couple hours a day racing around town trying to get from here to there in order to get where I need to be and get her where she needs to be. And to top it all off, I had to suffer through American Idol positively butchering Queen. They deserve to be punished severely for their sins.
From getting back from San Fran on Sunday night, I was literally running non-stop from place to place. Gary and I were on a game show on Tuesday and squarely got our asses kicked. It was thoroughly embarassing. Been plugging away at both the day job, the writing assignments, and a bit of transcribing every day. I also finally settled down and watched the original BBC version of The Office. I don't know if it's a problem with my BBC America or DirecTV or what, but whenever I'd watch it on TV, I'd go nuts because I couldn't hear what the fuck they were saying, to the point of utter irritation. So, now, armed with the DVD's, I'm almost the whole way through and pretty well in love. I still prefer the American version (Steve Carrel is less irritating and considerably less 'mean' than Ricky Gervais's version of the character which goes a long way.)
The biggest pleasure of the show, which is also the highlight of the American version, is the relationship between Tim/Jim and Dawn/Pam. It's the most honest and natural thing about the show, and it helps smooth over the more forced stuff that surrounds it.
Aside from that, getting the last of the stuff ready to send out for World's End, which'll be going to publishers this week-ish, getting the business plan together on Punks, doing takes for two different properties (a tv show and a comic), and getting ready to pitch for a gig writing a low-budg feature. In other words... busy fucking week.
So, after much goading, I finally sat down and watched a few episodes of The Boondocks. It's pretty goddamn great. I think it's a bit more inventive than the comic strip, and the characters seem to really come alive when you see them in an extended dose. They really extended the basic feel of the characters, totally preserving what makes the strip work, and expounded upon it. They manage to be political, topical, and extremely fucking funny. There's something unsettling with the anime style art work, but, overall, I really think it works perfectly. It even has the creepy anime style pacing which makes it have this sort of distant feel that really drives the comedy home. It's almost a meta-theatrical style device commenting on the show being so African-American Centric, while being programmed around shows for white twenty-somethings.
Aside from all that, it's really just fantastcally done.
Sci-Fi's showing 48 episodes of Twilight Zone. 48 or so. That's forty eight half hours of THE best anthology sci-fi/horror show in the history of TV. That's forty eight half hours that have influenced virtually every piece of fiction since they first aired. The show that pioneered the twist ending. The show that pioneered Sci-Fi in our every day lives. The show that made just about every sci-fi show that came after it possible.
Buffy? Steals from the Twilight Zone. X-Files? Steals from the Twilight Zone. Star Trek? Steals from the Twilight Zone. Tales from the Crypt? Masters of Horror? You guessed it.
This is THE definitive show for Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy fans. It's a blueprint for how to tell these stories properly, concisely, and engagingly.
The best part? They aged REALLY well.
So, go, watch it. If you haven't watched it before, you're in for a treat. If you haven't watched it in a while, go, watch it, relive your past. If you're a junkie like me... then post your favorite episodes.
At the signpost up ahead, the next stop... Television Bliss.