Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Trying to Catch Up

Yeah, I know I promised to post more often. Trust me, I want to post more often for myself, to help me get on something that vaguely resembles a schedule and to get over this incredible writer's block that I've come up against since January. However, between looking for a job and studying for the patent bar (which I still haven't started doing with any depth yet; it isn't like the exam isn't five weeks away or anything).

(1) I don't think I can make suggestions as to what to watch for the new season like I semi-promised. One show, Head Cases, has already been cancelled, so who knows what can happen between typing each "e" in "between." However, now that most shows have premiered, I can, at least, tell you what I have made an effort to watch:

Prison Break. To be honest, I don't care that much about the characters, the sub-plots, or the caper itself. However, I am curious to see how the show can continue after this season, so I hang around semi-watching it, so that I'll basically know who's who come the final episode.

Invasion. I was incredibly underwhelmed by the first episode; it had too much of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers feel for me to find it interesting. However, I'm hearing good things about the show, so I'll give the episode tonight a chance. If the sheriff telegraphs his alliance at any moment as he did in the first episode, I'm done.

Everyone Hates Chris. Enjoyable enough, but I just find it difficult to find a half hour for sitcoms.

I don't watch it, but I need to chime and spread the word that no one should watch Night Stalker. This has as little to do with the original Night Stalker as the Will Smith abomination Wild, Wild West had to do with Robert Conrad's The Wild, Wild West. Had ABC and the person it tapped to bring back Night Stalker actually thought about it, they would have seen that the best way to present this show to a modern audience, would have been to present a mystery that draws in the audience. Start the series off almost like a newspaper drama, with little suggestion of the supernatural. Like in the original movie, start the first episode off with the audience seeing the first victim being killed, but Kolchak doesn't know about that. Once a bigger name, Kolchak is now covering city council meetings and house fires, often without a by-line. He longs to be back on top again, but is his own worst enemy. Finally, the third or fourth episode, Kolchak notices that girls have been disappearing, girls have been dying, but no one sees a connection: In Las Vegas, women come and go and die. Finally, at about episode eleven, Kolchak admits that the killer may be a vampire and that leads into the second half of the season when Kolchak finds he is going to have to do some awful things to stop a monster no one else believes could exist.

For this to work, a truer Kolchak should have been cast. I've read suggestions of William H. Macy in the part and I can't disagree. You need someone haggard and kind of worn down by life, not someone who poses well. Avoid Night Stalker, though the first chance you get, rent the original The Night Stalker, turn off the lights, and be pleasantly surprised to find that you will be scared.

Threshold has not been treated kindly by the critics, though not as harshly as Surface. I kind of enjoy Threshold and I like the characters. In some ways, it is more like The Invaders than Invasion is and it is a lot more fun in its melodramatic way. Besides, where else can you get to see Roc, the mother for Spy Kids, and Data all in the same scene?

(2) The Muppets and Jim Henson have been in the news more than you may have realized. Jerry Juhl, head writer of many a Muppet project for twenty-six years, just died on Sept. 28. Jim Henson died fifteen years ago and over at the all-things-Disney-news-and-opinon site,, Chris Barry writes, in a two-part article, here and here about public memorial service for Jim Henson and the television retrospective that Henson Productions put together. I have always liked the Muppets, but I never liked the Muppets in the way that I like comic books or sloppy joes (or the way I used to like candy corn until the ten pounds of candy corn incident). However, I there are places in both articles that choke me up and I think that speaks to the love people did have for Jim Henson.

(3) More happily, 2005 is the fiftieth anniversary of the presentation of the Muppets to the world and as part of the celebration, the U.S. Post Office have issued a set of Muppet Stamps. Go by some today and make paying bills easier.