Friday, February 27, 2009

At least the title isn't disturbing...

An interesting article on Dollhouse. Read!

Happy Sci-Friday. Fingers crossed.

Updatey-ness and Excuses

So I disappeared there for a few months. Wasn't the first time, probably won't be the last. And I wish I could say that Jul and I got super busy with paid work or had a death in the family or something equally time consuming that isn't that, because that would really, really suck...

But the simple truth is that every time I thought about posting, I just couldn't work up the desire to actually do it. Basically: I got bored, kids. And while you might think this would lead me to post more, apparently you're wrong. So there.

However, since I titled this thing "update," how's about I actually do that, hmm?

First off, things are moving forward quite nicely on the animated feature my bosses are writing and (mostly, now) directing. We've got just about everything recorded, all of the sequences have at least been launched into layout, and maybe at this point even animation, and things are motoring right along. Last I checked, close to 20 percent of the movie was completely animated and ready to go (sans score), and trust me kids when I say this thing's looking good. (In fact, we should all have a big party on September 18th and go see it to help with that all-important opening weekend. No, really.)

In terms of our writing, it's been quite productive and interesting lately. We finished the webscript that I may or may not have mentioned and turned it in to the producers, so now it's just wait and see. Will they like it? Will they actually get funding to pay us? Out of our hands at this point. While that fun was going on, my bosses read our Pushing Daisies and Chuck specs (well, both read Daisies, one read Chuck) and gave us some great feedback that we're trying to implement. I say trying because at the same time we've been revising an Earl spec we did a few years ago to turn in to Nickelodeon (due this Saturday), continuing to work out the second act blues in our animated feature because it keeps feeling like we're thisclose, outlining (and very soon writing) a new comedic action pilot for an Extension class, and starting to develop another pilot idea that just came to me and we want to write as soon as we finish the current pilot.

Also, I was sick for two weeks, during which I beat both Shining Force and Phantasy Star IV, and we've been watching a lot of West Wing lately, so that's, you know, time consuming.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Bitch Because I Love

And I also want to be fair (impartial's too much to ask for, sorry), so when I ream a show or three for crapulence, I want to make sure I laud them when they're good.

Such was the case with last week's episodes of Battlestar and Dollhouse. I'm not calling either episode the pinnacle of the show's run (okay, actually for Dollhouse it IS the pinnacle of the show's run, but then there's only the fake-pilot to compare it with), but both were marked improvements over what we've been given recently.

In Battlestar they actually managed to tie the mythology into the dramatic action of the episode! I was also perhaps a little too gleeful watching Ellen fall off her pedestal and start acting like (for lack of a better comparison) a catty, petty human again. Perhaps even better: Baltar is back, baby! His plotline last night was an overdue reminder of how much the show misses his levity and questionable moral compass when he fades into the background for any length of time. Yes, there were annoying plot contrivances (why exactly does Tyrol vote to leave after volunteering to fix the Galactica last episode? oh, right, because Ellen needed to be the tie-breaking vote) and a bit of dead-horse-beating with the whole repetition of the Cylon-babies-are-only-made-from-love/baby-as-proof-of-love thing, but overall I liked much more than I disliked about this episode.

Which is a good starting point for talking about Dollhouse. Liking more than I disliked. Yes, the plot was just one of a thousand riffs on "The Most Dangerous Game." Yes, I still think there are inherent problems with the premise that have yet to be resolved. Yes, I wants me some more Whedon-y funny that I don't think I'm going to get. But... Explain to me why this wasn't the pilot again? And yes, I know I'm the millionth person to say that, but please just put my free giftbag by my desk and I'll grab it later. So much better than last week's "pilot." Starting with: I now feel like I have someone to root for. Actually, more than that -- two people. Showing how Boyd started to work at the Dollhouse and his evolving view of Echo made me care about both him and her. Almost amusing that in an episode featuring quite a bit of Echo remembering "herselves" (which would seemingly allow for connection with the character because you can see there's someone lurking beneath the program), the thing that made me feel most like she's a person worth caring about is something programmed: her connection to Boyd that transcends the imprints. What a great idea. It was there before, but never really explained, and for a show where the ostensible lead (I'm not convinced it shouldn't be Harry Lennix's Boyd) becomes someone new every episode, someone we don't know and may or may not care about, having this connection that resonates and continues regardless of who she becomes... Suffice it to say I liked it.

Ron has four episodes left to make the last four-ish years worth my while. Fingers crossed.

Joss has... hopefully more than four episodes left.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sci-Friday Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

I love me some genre shows, and when it was announced a few months ago that Terminator and Dollhouse would air back-to-back on Friday nights -- already the night for Battlestar -- I was fairly giddy with excitement.

Man, how times have changed. (This is the part where I bitch and moan.)

Battlestar kicked things off pretty nicely with its returning episode, but since then has been stuck in what I consider a morass of "really, this again?" political intrigue and last week's Ellen/Sam-centric episode brought to you by Exposition. Seriously, guys? You really couldn't think of a better way to get the Cylon backstory out than having characters flat out recite it to us?

And then there was the double whammy of last week's Dollhouse and Terminator episodes, one a big mess and the other just ... boring. And having Boy Band Kyle Reese grow out his splotchy facial hair does NOT make him look more like Michael Biehn. I normally just try to ignore stuff like this (because, really, who cares?), but this was just so distracting.

If I sound like a cranky ass, it's only out of love. No, scratch that. For Dollhouse and Terminator it's love, because those shows (hopefully) have time to make changes and improve things. For Battlestar, sadly, it's just out of disappointment. Unless they can re-cut their way to better shows, at this point what we get is what we get.

Still, like the optimistic masochist I am (is that even a possible combination?), I will continue to watch and hope, and even pimp for these shows that I so want to be great. Or in Battlestar's case, great again.

Terminator and Dollhouse air on FOX tonight at 8 and 9, respectively.
Battlestar airs at 10pm on Sci-Fi.

Remember, people, as much as I might complain, these shows are only going to get better if enough people watch to keep them on air to give the creatives time to make them better.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Because Jul and I Will Actually Be There

TV Writers Meet-Up

Date:Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time:8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Repeat:This event repeats every month on the third Wednesday.
Type:Club Event
Reminder:There is a reminder set for 2 days before this event.
Location:The Falcon, 7213 W Sunset Blvd

A chance to hang out with other people who are as passionate about TV as you are. Come alone, bring friends, whatever, just come.

Johnny Five

Because, you know, he's alive. And so am I.

So to answer your question, Blogette: Yes.

I'll have excuses for my absence shortly. Or not. We'll see.