I don't know how long it will be available for free on Hulu, but here it is, in its entirety! You do have to endure the two or three commercials however. Enjoy!
Dr. Horrible is Joss Whedon's latest effort, a direct to internet show starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day. It's a musical about a want to be supervillain and his nemesis, Captain Hammer.
Will Doctor Horrible prove himself worthy of admittance to the Evil League of Evil? Will he be able to finish his Freeze Ray and stop time? Will he win the heart of Penny?
You can only find out, true believers, by tuning into Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog this week only!
So I was just reading through my news feeds and saw this headline...
...and I'm racking my brain to name just one Mariah Carey song, chartbuster or not, and I can't think of one. I could name a score of Elvis Presley hits and I'm not even a big fan of his. I could name Beatles songs until the cows come home. But Mariah Carey?
So I'm either completely culturally out of touch or they don't make pop icons like they used to. I'm betting it's a combination of the two, but bigger than Elvis and the Beatles? Puh-leeeeeze.
So, I'll ask you. Can you name all of Mariah Carey's 18 chart toppers? 6? 1?
Torchwood is the grittier, sexier spinoff of Doctor Who that keeps the humor of the original series and all the great production quality. Whoever thought we'd be talking about great production quality and Doctor Who in the same sentence? Also, is it just me, or does the Torchwood theme song sound a lot like the title music from Pi?
Yeah, those guidelines are perfectly clear, understandable, and acceptable to me.
Megan Gogerty (playwright and self described wordsmith) wrote and recorded this nostalgic ode to her halcyon days with Buffy and posted it on her website as a free download.
I just really discovered Buffy last year and ran through the seven seasons in about nine months. I bought the series as my birthday present to myself and now I'm rewatching the series with my teenage (gasp) daughter.
Here are some great lines from the song for those too technologically challenged to click on the link or need some encouragement to do so:
A friend of mine met the guy who played Xander at a party and in real life she said he was kind of disappointing. I said, "Of course he's disappointing. This is real life and he's an actor. And in real life everyone's disappointing."
I want metaphorical mythology coupled with ontological authenticity. I really don't think that's too much to ask of a show.
I'm this close to reading fan fiction but writing this song is pathetic enough.
I feel your pain, Megan. I really do. Thanks for the laugh.
I just got accepted yesterday to be a beta tester for hulu.com. If it is successful it will really redefine how we think about television. Hulu has clips, episodes, and movies that are free to watch but have 30 second ad spots interspersed through the episode.
The picture definition is not great, so far. It's okay in the small screen format but when I try to open it up to full screen it gets all Monet on me.
The ads, though shorter than television ad breaks, are still pretty annoying as each episode has one sponsor so you tend to see the same freaking ad over and over again. Also hulu hasn't quite mastered hitting the ad on the break so it's often a second or two before or after the break which, again, is annoying.
But, this is all beta. They ain't ready for prime time yet.
The list they have so far is impressive. I can watch season one of Buffy and all of Firefly. They have recent episodes of the Simpsons and season two, thus far, of 30 Rock. They have Battlestar Galactica, both current and classic. They even have the A-Team.
So, if this embed works, you should be able to see the entire first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you want to sign up to be a beta tester like I did, just go to hulu.com. It took them about 3 weeks to get me on. Your results may vary.
I just finished watching season one of Heroes on DVD. I love the central message of the series... you effect large things by tending to the small things. One would suppose a cheerleader would be insignificant when one is considering possible nuclear catastrophe. I love that this series takes the lives of seemingly disassociated people from all over the world and weaves them together into a very satisfying narrative.
I think the most significant thing they did with this series is how they start every show with an image of planet Earth. That simple image tells much of what they are trying to say. It's about all of us. Nothing happens that doesn't impact something else. An office worker in Japan is connected to a politician in New York is connected to a policeman in California is connected to a cheerleader in Texas is connected to a biologist in India is connected to a webcam stripper in Nevada and so on and so on.
The opening season was very satisfying and brilliantly executed from beginning to end. I'm hopeful they can maintain this level of story telling in seasons to come.
So I just finished Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on my Netflix queue and I've come to appreciate how much has changed in teen culture in the last 8 years, specifically technologically. Nobody in Buffy has cell phones, let alone text messages, and boy would that have saved lives a few times.
"Oh no! Where's Willow?"Gee golly, you young whipersnappers! You better climb aboard your horse and buggy and ride out to see if something is amiss.
"I'll call her house... no one's answering! It rang so that means she's not on her computer."
It really seems like I'm watching something from an entirely different era, and it was only 8 years ago!
Which got me to thinking how technology influences the process of writing and telling stories. Technology gives a sense of place, gives familiar landmarks, and creates handy plot devices for the writers to use. I'm interested to see how the series will progress from this point of view and how the writers will incorporate the completely changing communications landscape into their stories.
For those of you who haven't yet read the seventh Harry Potter book, some mild spoilers follow.
For those of you who haven't read any Harry Potter books, this will still make some sense. It revolves around Draco Malfoy, a bully and sometimes antagonist to Harry. Draco spends the seven books either bullying the weak with his posse of dim-witted heavies or kissing up to those he estimates are powerful.
In the the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the series, Draco, in spite of his worst intentions and best efforts to reclaim favor with Voldemort (the chief bad guy), is spared his life many times through the actions of others, often at great peril to themselves. He is often oblivious to this or, if he has some inkling of sacrifices that have been made for him, he is ungrateful.
In short, he is a sycophantic, self-centered, power-hungry brat who has an overdeveloped sense of his own entitlement. I shake my head at Draco and wonder if he has any idea what people have sacrificed for him, and yet he shows no gratitude, no remorse.
And, wondering this, I realize that I have more in common with Draco than I'd like to think. Oh, I wouldn't describe myself as a bully, but am I really aware of the sacrifices that have been made for me through the years, directly or indirectly? Am I grateful enough for the happy circumstances that surround my existence? Do I treat those around me according to the grace I have been given?
Some may be disturbed that Malfoy doesn't get more of a comeuppance at the end of Deathly Hallows, that he has received unmerited grace over and over again. And yet we live too in that grace. Over and over again we have received benefits which we do not deserve, forgiveness that we do not merit, sustenance for which we did not toil.
So I end the series with some chagrin, recognizing the Draco within, and vowing to be more grateful, more humble, and more joyful for the life I have.
Well, I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and my official review is - wow.
I just thought I'd put up a thread for my initial impressions.
I won't put any spoliers here on the front page, but "continue reading" for specifics.
To any who haven't read it yet let me say that it is a most satisfying read especially if you have read the other six books carefully because Rowling does an excellent job of wrapping up all the loose threads. I really need to go back and reread The Half-Blood Prince but she refers to all of the previous six books. Having read Deathly Hallows it is very clear that the whole series was carefully plotted out. She was not making it up as she went along.
Spoilers follow - you have been warned.
Charlie Brown gone manga? There's a genre-bender for you. Found this on a gallery by the artist, gNAW. What would Charles Schultz think?
I just watched WarGames with my kids for probably the first time since I saw it back when I was a teenager in the early 80s. I distinctly remember watching it over and over again at our local cinema in my hometown.
While I had to explain some of the Cold War references in the film the three of us were amazed at how well the film stood up 24 years later. The message is still timely.
Emma wasn't mortally offended by the fashions, though she thought the computers in the war room looked more like washing machines. Simon guffawed at the floppy disks but he was excited to see someone actually playing the arcade version of Galaga in the same way a car enthusiast gets giddy over seeing Model T Ford in working condition.
I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my kids this afternoon. It was a good film and a very decent adaptation of the book with several stand out performances and a jolly good fight scene to cap it off in the end.
That said something happens in the opening scene that could make my blood boil, or nearly so. The opening shot is of suburbia not too far from Number 4 Privet Lane and a voiceover of a British announcer with the weather, letting the audience know it's a hot hot summer with temperatures in the 90s and may even hit 100. Really? In Britain? 100 degrees is way past hot, it's boiling... literally. The British, as well as nearly the rest of the world, has been using Celsius for temperature readings for over 30 years. So why is this opening voiceover using Fahrenheit? It would be like Harry going into a shop and pulling dollar bills out of his pocket instead of pounds.
I expect the answer is that this is the U.S. version of the film and that people in the States are, apparently, too dumb to understand that the rest of the world uses Celsius, or at least the film industry thinks so. This kind of pandering is just infuriating to me. It perpetuates the idea that the world will conform to our point of view and simultaneously dumbs down the American audience by refusing to rock their boat.
Frankly, our boat needs rocking.
Okay, end rant.
I remember first seeing this film while attending a summer session at Harvard and was floored by it as a teenager. I think I need to see it again.
What lingers with me are the cityscapes and the music by Vangelis. I remember the mishmash of humanity where cultures collide and merge in a way that seems startling familiar. Of course, the whole philosophical question of "What does it mean to be human?" is at the core of the movie, and it gives no easy answers. Does Roy truly die? Did he live? Does he feel or have simply a simulation of feeling? Is there a difference?
So much to ponder. So much to relish.
Dalek: We have your associate. You will obey or she will be exterminated.
The Doctor: No.
Dalek: Explain yourself.
The Doctor: I said "No."
Dalek: What is the meaning of this negative?
The Doctor: It means "No."
Dalek: But she will be destroyed.
The Doctor: No, because this is what I'm going to do, I'm going to rescue her. I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky.
Dalek: But you have no weapons, no defenses, no plan.
The Doctor: Yeah, and doesn't that scare you to death?
This is more than just bravado. This sums up for me the essential spirituality of Doctor Who - Resistance Is NOT Futile. In the face of false dichotomies and overwhelming odds there are always choices, and accepting the ones offered to you is often just plain stupid. Life is seldom "either or."
Further, the powers that be will always threaten to take away the things you love if you fail to obey. Don't believe them. They can't take what they can't comprehend.
This is in response to a discussion that developed in Pop Culture Update.
Three of my favorite comic books are probably not well known to the average person on the street. Usagi Yojimbo, Akiko, and Bone are, in my opinion, three of the smartest written comics on the market that are appropriate for younger and older readers alike.
All three of these comics are probably set apart, first, in that they were all originally printed in black and white, though they have gone over to color makeovers of some of their original work.
I got a Netflix account a few weeks ago and I've been using it to catch up on pop culture I've missed over the last few years. Presently I'm watching the first seasons of "Lost," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and the revamped "Doctor Who." I haven't really watched television in about 10 years, so I have a lot of catching up to do.
People I love keep talking about Buffy in rapturous tones and it was made by Joss Whedon of "Firefly" fame, so I needed to give that a shot. Yes, I know most people know him the other way around, but I always was contrary. Buffy is great so far. Smart writing and fun characters. I'm loving it.
"Lost" was also a show that seems to be widely loved by people, so I'm trying that out. So far it feels like "Northern Exposure" meets "The Prisoner" and I'm liking it all right. There are some very smartly written characters.
My kids and I are especially enjoying "Doctor Who" which they have never seen before in any incarnation, but it has become part of their lore about their mother and me and our college friends.
"So you guys used to stay up until midnight on Sundays to watch this?"
"Yep, on WTTW. Though it wasn't as cool as this. The effects were bad. The writing was often ludicrous. And the sets looked like they were about to fall down. We loved every minute of it. And we'd get liter pops from Brad's Bagels and sometimes a Warm 'n' Sticky."
"A 'Warm 'n' Sticky?'"
"Yep, that's a cream cheese brownie with ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. That makes just about anything bearable."
Ah yes, those were the days.
So, that's what's on my summer pop culture watch list. What are you watching?
Since the site is in Russian I'm not sure on the details of the exhibit, but the pictures speak for themselves.
Since this is the dawning of the year of 007 I thought I'd make some New Year Resolutions to match. So, with James Bond as my role model, I do resolve:
Every so often one writes a script that you know you will want to share with your great grand children some day. Something that will stand the test of time. Something that, when you finish it, you feel as if you actually transcended your own ability as an artist and have gone to another plane, another level.
This is not one of those scripts.
My prompts for today's script were:
Who: Victoria’s Secret Salesperson
What: A Dripping Faucet
Where: A Glass House
Opening Line: “Watch out!”
and I was writing for two women.
So naturally I wrote a script about World of Warcraft.
Part of this script was inspired by a game my daughter and I do in which we take a sentence or phrase and repeat it over and over with as many different interpretations as possible.
Q: How can you tell that men still dominate the candy industry?
A: They call a 2 inch candy bar "fun size."
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
Any guess who said this?
Friday I got the boxed DVD set of Flambards and I've been immersed in Edwardian England ever since. If you've never seen the 1978 British production that was all the rage on PBS stations in the early 80s, then you missed horses, aeroplanes, romance, war, a plucky heiress, suffragettes, and oh so much more. Watching it again (I'm 9 episodes through the 13) I was amazed at how it holds up almost 30 years later. Yes, it's sappy and often cheesy, but the performances are still moving. The thing is, I really care about these people, even the ones I hate.