The Vast Wasteland

Sheila's rantings, most likely of no interest, on TV, movies, books, music, etc.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

I live in Seattle, am married, have two cats (one is a genius, the other insane), and am a mild-mannered copy editor by day. I love horseback riding, coffee, reading, TV, movies, music, playing (too much) World of Warcraft, and lying on the couch. This isn't a personal blog, but rather a place for me to vent about movies, TV shows, books, music, etc. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Buffy Reunion on Veronica Mars

This interview with Jason Dohring (who plays Logan Ecchols on Veronica Mars) is from the Chicago Tribune's Mo Ryan. Linky here; highlight below:
---

So Alyson Hannigan has been back as your sister Trina Echolls, right?

"Yeah, we were all so happy this morning when we shot that scene -- it was great. Alyson is back; Charisma [Carpenter] was here as well. We had a scene with us [Trina, Logan and Veronica] and Teddy [who plays Duncan Kane]. It was great: My older sister is there, and I’m having this affair with Kendall; it makes for some intense tension. But it was great, so funny. We all had a great time; it was cool to see that they [Charisma and Alyson] still had that flow, that connection. They have an energy together. They have that history."

"There’s a huge twist for Trina in this [Nov. 23] episode -- it’s amazing. It’s not just a normal twist. It’s written so well, but I can’t explain it. You gotta and wait and watch it. It’s a great story line. They shot most of Alyson’s stuff today and yesterday. I really look forward to seeing [the episode].
---
Yep, that's right, in just a few weeks we'll see a scene between Willow (Trina) and Cordelia (Kendall). And a huge twist for Trina! Squeee!!! *bounces in seat*

I'll leave you on that note. DH and I have a guest this weekend so I'm not sure when the next update will be.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Shows That I Hear Are Good But I Don't Watch

1. Gray's Anatomy
2. Everwood
3. Smallville
4. Gilmore Girls
5. Arrested Development

What do you think, my kittens? Should I set my DVR?

Movie Review: Hatley High

(General review--no real spoilers)

A friend of mine lent me this DVD, saying it was about a high school where Chess is the main "sport" instead of football or basketball.

Hatley High is an adorable Canadian film where, indeed, Chess players are the cool kids in the school. Unlike most teen films where popularity or class is the main issue, this one does not focus on revenge or stereotypical characters. Everyone in the film grows and changes; everyone can make mistakes or make amends. It's well acted and intelligent (if a bit low key). I loved the students discussing and playing "Dragonslayer" (Dungeons and Dragons), and I enjoyed the talks between the main character's dad and the crazy (or maybe not? maybe he truly talks to God?) priest.

Sweet and authentic, this film is a great entry in the teen comedy genre, and worth looking up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

TV Review: Surface, or Sheila hearts Nimrod

(General review--mild spoilers about the episodes through 10/24/05)

I'm not sure why this show's on the air, and I'm not sure why they just extended it to a full season. It's slow paced, banal, and a bit murky about the sea creatures. (Are they aliens, or a new species? Should we be scared of them? Or should we even care at all? What exactly can they do, and what exactly is their habitat? It seems to change from episode to episode. And why does the government want to hide their existence?)

I mildly dislike most of the characters. (I can't even care enough to hate them.) Female scientist, redneck, parents--meh. The show has killed off the evil Russian scientist guy and maybe killed off the evil Indian scientist guy. The only "bad guy" left is the evil government asian guy, and he's not that scary. I'm unclear about his motives and intent, and there's no sense of impending doom or even any real tension.

However, I do love Nimrod. Yes, that's right, that little CGI lizard. I also like the boy who's trying to rescue him, and have so far managed to not gag at all the Spielbergian overtones. Nimrod reminds me of my kitten, Seamus--naughty but adorable. Nimrod and his owner are the only real human touches to the show, and I'll keep watching for that.

Friday, October 21, 2005

What Makes Good TV? Plus General TV Gab

Put Down That Book
I realized this week that, though there are many TV shows that I record and watch each week, there are only 6 that I actually look forward to. These are the shows that I think about during the week, remember when they're on, and usually actually watch live:
1. Lost
2. Veronica Mars
3. Medium
4. House (come on, Fox--we want new episodes!)
5. The Simpsons (ditto, Fox--stoopid baseball!)
6. America's Next Top Model *blush*

I always watch TV with a book nearby. (In fact, I do most things with a book nearby. I get nervous if I don't have a book readily available. Really.) The sign of a good show or movie is one where I don't get the urge to pick up the book. (For the record, I've never made it through a Sci-Fi channel original movie without reading--and I've "seen" a lot of them. Heh.) Another show that may make this list soon is Threshold. We'll see.

The First New Show of the Season to Be Dumped from My DVR's "Record" List:
The Ghost Whisperer.
Not even Sean Maher could stop me from fast-forwarding last week's episode.
Bland, smaltzey, bleh.

What Am I Currently Reading Anyway?
I'm trying to reread Gabaldon's The Fiery Cross before I start the new book in the series. It's a slow read, though. It's 1,443 small-print pages long!

I'm also reading Midnight Moon by Dorothy Lyons, which I just got from Abe Books after years of looking for an affordable copy. Speaking of which, I'll pay huge amounts of money to anyone who can find me a copy of Lyon's Silver Birch or Copper Khan. Well, not huge amounts--under $30. Yeah, I'm cheap, and I'm not gonna pay the Ebay going-rate for these books (over $120, usually). These are a series of novels about a girl and her horses from the '40s.

General TV Gab for This Week
Lost: Not much happened this week, but I was creeped. out. by. the. legs. in. the. jungle. Oh Lordy that was freaky. I thought it looked like one of the Others had a knife strapped to his/her foot, but then I read how they changed the camera filter for this shot, so maybe it was just a leaf that was reflected strangely? Did anyone else notice this?

And did anyone else think of the Lost Boys when they saw that person/child dragging the bedraggled teddy bear around? (Er, Peter Pan, I mean--not the '80s vampire movie.)

I really like Libby, and loved when she said, "We have...*pause*...trust issues." No, really? Oh, and Mr. Eko is my TV boyfriend. Er, and still Sayid too, of course. If I were on the island, I'd want to form a base camp with Sayid, Eko, Locke, and Sun. They're the useful ones. One funny comment from the TwoP forum: "Why did the tailaways think Jin could play hockey?" HAHAHA!

Veronica Mars: Oooh, Meg has a secret! And what's up with Weevil's story about the Irish mob!? Too funny.

ANTM: Yes, I do enjoy this show. It's so interesting to see the finished result from the photo shoots. The photos always look so dramatic and amazing. Anyway, isn't Jayla bitchy? Who knew--she was so sweet the first few episodes! And my dislike for Lisa has turned into pity. Poor old drunk. (Couldn't resist.) It was interesting that Coryn was relieved to go home. I'm glad she was eliminated since she wasn't happy to be there any more.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Concert Review--Dar Williams

Yes, my kittens, I actually got off the couch and out of the house. You know, with people. And went downtown to see a concert. Hey, it happens. Sometimes.

Anyway, Dar is as cute as a bug. She opened with a cover of "Comfortably Numb," and played bunches of songs from all her albums. The crowd was definitely more enthusiastic about her older songs. Hmmm. The best performance was "As Cool As I Am."

The opening band, Girlyman, was adorable and fun, too. Plus they're on the Daemon Records label, which is owned by Amy Ray (my music girlfriend).

Very tired today. Too old to stay out so late.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

TV Review: Supernatural (or, Sheila is confused by the pretty)

This puzzling show is on the WB, so keep that in mind. It's yet another show this season that's not quite bad, but it's definitely not good. However, there are things that keep me watching.

First, here are the good things about Supernatural:
1. The pretty. In high-def it's just gorgeous. They use amazing camera filters that make everything look silvery and detailed. Oh, and the brothers are hot.
2. Sibling interaction. I love when the brothers smack each other, call each other names, and generally act like morons. Very authentic.
3. I enjoy the urban legends and mythology of the show (in fact, I'm pretty much a sucker for anything supernatural, so they had me at hello). The writers did their research.

Less-than-stellar aspects:
1. Jumbled plots. Last night's--about the skinwalker--was the most confusing so far.
2. There are too many "WB" moments--you know, where the brothers confess their innermost feelings and darkest fears. *yawn*
3. Plot points: where do they get their money, since neither has a job? (They buy gas, stay in hotels, even buy plane tickets.) How do they hear about these cases each week? Do they stop at libraries along the road to do research? How do they avoid having a criminal record, when almost every week one or both is arrested, accused of murder, beats up cops, etc.? And oh yeah--AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING FOR YOUR FATHER?

My DH thinks that the brothers look like every other male actor on the WB. We wonder if there's a WB lab somewhere, breeding them? (Requirements: artfully tousled hair. Brooding eyes. Strong chin. Dark past. Sensitive but always manly.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Huge Lost spoilage!

Ain't it Cool news has a huge Lost spoiler up on their Web site. I can't verify if it's true or not.

They tell us who's gonna die. (In November, apparently.)

You can see for yourself if you want.

(This news was kind of sad for me. Last season I would have been all for it--but this season I've grown a little more fond of this person. Why can't it be Jack? Or Kate? *sigh*)

Friday, October 14, 2005

General TV Speculations

Another general post because I'm busy this week.

First, my DH and I have been wondering where Monster and Backup are. (Monster is the dog on Threshold; Backup is the dog on Veronica Mars.) His theory is that they're off playing poker together. With Nimrod the lizard (from Surface). Heh. If that's true, I'd bet on Nimrod--he has magical powers, after all.


Veronica Mars Comments/Squeeing/Speculation
1. Much Wallace love! His pudding cups, "lunch buddies with privileges," and Colin Firth. Major fangirl squee!

2. Duncan "potato boy" actually had a funny comment: "She touched his glove." Heh. Much squeeing over Pride and Prejudice in general.

3. Logan and Duncan fight! Finally! And Logan shows some emotion. What a great actor--Logan's scary and snarky, yet you can't help but love him. (And neither can VM, I don't think--someone noticed on TwoP's forum that she's using some of his jokes from last season. I don't think she can let him go.)

4. "Haaron" (Harry Hamlin/Aaron Ecchols) might be a red herring (or "Haaring") at this point. Remember, we have a full season to go before we find out who sent the bus over the cliff. (And I didn't suspect Haaron last season until the "That's Amore" scene. *shudder*)

5. Big Dick is eeeeevil! His "Oh Son" comment was devastating. (Gotta love any businessman who has a helicopter waiting, just in case.) Poor Beaver. I'm worried he's becoming too sympathetic, which would mean he'd have to die. *sigh*

6. Much props for Charisma Carpenter for being snarky and bitchy, yet managing NOT to be Cordelia.

7. Did Beaver actually say "Ho-yay"? And Little Dick's shirt said "I have candy." I love this show.


Lost Comments
1. Interesting that Walt's face was on the milk carton that Hurley was drinking from...in his dream. Does this mean that Dream-Hurley knows about Walt being gone? Or what?

2. I really want to know what Walt was saying to Shannon in the jungle, when she was hallucinating. I've heard two theories: "DON'T push the button; the button is bad," or "PUSH the button; NO button is bad." Kinda makes a difference, considering how the Lostaways are now professional button pushers. Heh.


Night Stalker Comments
This week's episode was the best so far, though still not quite good. This show really, really, REALLY wants to be the X-Files. Right down to the music. Too bad I still don't like ST as Kolchak.


Threshold Comments
Wahoo, new episode tonight! This is old news, but...did you all know that ETHAN, the scary dude who kidnapped Claire on Lost, is on this show? And guess what...he plays a scary dude who's been genetically altered by the aliens, and who now has superpowers! AUGH! Ethan is scary!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

General TV Gab

Hullo readers--I'm busy this week, so this will be brief.

First--squeee! It's Wednesday! You know what that means: Veronica Mars! Lost!

Second, TV Guide's Ask Ausellio has some juicy gossip on a number of shows--including Lost and Threshold. Don't click if you don't want to know!

Third, TV Gal is echoing a lot of sentiments (including mine) about the deterioration of Desperate Housewives.

Finally, haven't the past two episodes of Medium been gooooood? Full review later when I have more time.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Book Review: The Immortals Quartet

(General review--no real spoilers)

There are four books in this series: Wild Magic, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, and The Realms of the Gods. The author is Tamora Pierce.

I was attracted to this series because I enjoyed Pierce's Alanna books, and because the first book in the series has a horse on the cover. (Hey, I'm an easy mark--if there's a horse or a cat on the cover, I'll buy it.)

The main character in this series, Daine, has the gift of wild magic, which allows her to talk to "the people," or animals. She uses this gift throughout the four books to save her country from the growing menace of the Immortals--supernatural creatures like unicorns, stormwings, and trolls, who are loosed in her world by an evil emperor.

These books are set in the same country (Tortall) as the Alanna books, and the Lioness herself even appears as a character. (Next, I'm going to start the "Protector of the Small" series, which is also set in the same world.) Although the books were enjoyable and quick, they lacked some of the depth of the Alanna books. Daine herself seemed like a shadow of Alanna. However, I liked the animal characters and information.

Movie Review: Wallace & Gromit--Curse of the Were-Rabbit

(General review--no spoilers)

Mmmm, cheese. After seeing this movie, I was inspired to have cheese and crackers for dinner.

This movie was adorable, and enjoyed by both the children and adults in the audience. The characters were funny, the pacing was fast, and the whole thing was so very, very British. I definitely like this best of all the W&G adventures I've seen. I especially enjoyed the priest and his cupboard and Helena Bonham Carter's voice talents. Oh, and the bunnies were simply precious.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Top-15 List: Horror Movies

Ah, October, the time for crappy horror movies to be dredged up from the vaults and played all month on TV. I love it! (A round-up can be found at TeeVee.org, here.) I usually find slasher movies boring, but I love a clever, moody, scary movie. In the spirit of the season, here's my random and incomplete list of horror movies that I like. These are in alphabetical order.

1. Blair Witch Project. This movie is often trashed, but the first time I saw it, I was unsettled all night--the sign of a good horror movie, in my opinion.
2. Candyman. Tony Todd: sexy in a scary way. Need I say more?
3. Donnie Darko. This may not qualify as horror, but it's spooky, at least. And it has
Jake Gyllenhaal in it. And lots of crazy fan speculation.
4. Edward Scissorhands. This probably isn't even remotely horror. But it's gothic and moody, and has great social commentary.
5. The Exorcist. The '70s psychology in this film (she's hysterical!) makes me smile, and love the fact that the Church doesn't win--it's kind of a draw.
6. Ghost Story. From Peter Straub's excellent novel. I love ghosts, and this is a nice little supernatural tale that actually makes sense. (A lot of ghost/horror movies don't.)
7. Ginger Snaps. I love the werewolf/menstral connection. Very Angela Carter.
8. The Lost Boys. Dated? Oh yes. But I'll always have a fondness for this favorite from my high school days.
9. The Others. Again, a great ghost story. I love the period costumes and furniture.
10. The Ring (U.S. version). This movie doesn't make a lick of sense, but the imagery is disturbing and strangely beautiful. I'll never forget the horse on the ferry. The original Japanese makes more sense, but isn't as stylish.
11. Scream. The impact of this has been lost by all the imitations, but when it first came out, Scream was very clever. And gory. A lot of very...creative deaths in this one.
12. The Sixth Sense. Has me sniffling every time.
13. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Another one that left me very unsettled. I've never heard so much screaming in my life.
14. The Wicker Man. Naked '70s people and Christopher Lee--a winning combination! (I'm scared of the remake that's in the works, though--let's just say that Nicholas Cage is not one of my favorite actors. In fact, I have an irrational hatred of him. But I digress.)
ETA:
15. The Kingdom. How could I forget this?! This was a Danish mini-series by Lars von Trier. Only the first 4 hours have been released in the U.S. (linky here). It's set in a haunted hospital, and it's scary, surreal, funny, and just downright strange.

I also enjoy some B horror movies: Pumpkinhead. Tremors. The Mummy (remake).

Major Threshold Spolier!

Spoiler ahoy, below in small font. Don't read on if you don't want to know!
This is from TV Guide's "Ask Ausiello."

--
A member of Threshold will be killed in the Oct. 21 episode, per Molly's orders.

--

Any bets on who it will be? My money is here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Lost Speculation!

Someone's Lost speculation, shamelessly stolen from here. (I think it's probably pretty valid, since the writers have said everything on the island will have a scientific, rather than supernatural, explanation.)

4Hz 8Hz 15Hz 16Hz 23Hz 42Hz

"6 frequencies combined to form an electromagtic wave repeated for the purpose of altering or controlling organisms - including animals (we form and function via electrical pulses). EMF can cause various symptoms, such as metamorphesis, hearing voices, and hallucinations, AND have healing effects at the low-end frequencies mentioned above (Locke). Each frequency has a different effect - or affects us in a different way. Entering the numbers in the computer is programming the frequencies of the wave that the conductor transmits (programming the desired types of effect). If the countdown reaches 0 the cycle will be broken and the subjects will at least temporarily be free of the effects contaminating the research data, ending the experiment. This explains the difficulties getting comm and why the French lady's transmission was never picked up by anyone. I think it will also end up as the cause for all these planes crashing there - it's like trying to use a compass while standing under power lines. It might also explain why the plane mysteriously broke in half."

---
Also, someone at TwoP predicted that this season's finale will probably be a shot of the counter reaching 0--cue theme music, cue credits. Heh.

Last Night's Shows--Spoilers Ahoy

Lost:
1. Was the sinister-looking man in the filmstrip (who was filmed from a distance through a window) Locke's dad? Or maybe the real Sawyer? (Hanso Foundation site here, by the way.)

2. Was the woman in the photo with Desmond someone we've met before?

3. Were the people with Ana Lucia the tailaways? (I think so.)

Very good episode! (Except, writers: we get it about the faith thing. Stop beatin' da dead horse, OK?) Loved the creepy filmstrip.

Veronica Mars:
1. Dawn Lamb! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

2. Logan and Veronica in the hall: Awkward! But great chemistry.

3. Much love for the Beav, and for Wallace's head tilt ("Watcha doin'?"). And Dick Sr. is a great creepy 09er dad.

4. Best line: Duncan's comment about V listening to too much Radiohead.

5. I. So. Want. A. Winged. Bus. Tshirt. Seriously. So, so tacky--yet so, so funny. Kevin Smith was awesome. *runs off to check Cafe press*

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My Vote is Ghost Whisperer

TeeVee's Dead Pool--which new show will be the first to go?

TV Review: Lost (or, Sheila enjoys the pretty)

(General review of seasons 1 and 2; CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Ahhh, Wednesday. The night my two favorite shows are on: Lost and Veronica Mars. (See previous post for VM love and squee-age.)

One thing about Lost that I don't understand is all the hate. If you read any Lost forum or blog, usually more than half the posts are very negative. If you don't like the show...then don't watch it! Yes, there are moments when it annoys me too (let's torture Sawyer! let's watch Kate be bland!), but I love all the theories and strange characters and mysterious happenings on the island (if it is an island). So, here's my list of reasons to love Lost:

1. Sayid. Is there a prettier piece of eye-candy on TV? Plus, he can build anything out of anything. And fix wounds with gun powder!
2. The numbers. Where did they come from? Why do they keep showing up?
3. Walt has magical powers! Hopefully we'll get to see more of what Walt can do this season.
4. Locke is my master. Although he'll always be Peter Watts to me, I love Terry O'Quinn's acting. Locke is the most intriguing, mysterious character on the show. And if I were a Lostaway, I'd follow him down the hatch.
5. Emilie de Ravin. Her luminous skin and eyes deserve an award.
6. Dude, polar bears.
7. The Others, Danielle, Ethan, drug smugglers, and Desmond. Uh, you guys aren't alone on the island. And the others on the island ain't right in the head.
8. The speculation. I love cruising the message boards on Thursdays to see what I missed, and chatting in the lunchroom with my coworkers. Sometimes the discussions are more fun that watching the episodes.
9. The scenery and people are so pretty in high-def.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

TV Review: Veronica Mars (or, Sheila gets all gushing and abuses the exclamation point!)

(Review of season 1 in general and season 2 pilot; contains MAJOR SPOILERS)

First, a big shout out to my DH for creating the links you can see on the left. Thanks babe!

Now, on with the squee-age. I love this show. I discovered it by accident last season--Tuesday night my DH had a class, and I was flipping through the channels and discovered Ms. Mars and Neptune. At first I was embarrassed to be watching a teen show--on UPN nonetheless! I'm 32! But now I'm a convert, and a missionary. Sheila has spoken: Watch This Show. You Won't Be Sorry. Trust Me. (Yes, I know it's on at the same time as Lost--another reason to get a DVR/TiVo. Also, they replay the episodes on Saturday, so you have no excuse.)

Kristen Bell is so cute! And Wallace is the best BFF a girl could ask! And daddy Mars is so sweet! Squeee! And Harry Hamlin is creeeeeeepy!

And the season 2 premier! OMG! The bus went over the cliff! Don't you think someone tried to kill VM? WAS IT LOGAN? He did say "I'm gonna miss you" when VM got on the bus! And don't you think the slightly sinister mayor candidate is up to something? And don't you think VM should dump potato boy (Duncan) because he's too bland? And who else thinks that Dick and Logan are going to get into Very Big Trouble this season (and drag poor Beaver along with them)? And speaking of Beaver, isn't "Cassidy Cassablancas" a hilarious name?

This is probably my favorite show of all time. It's better than Buffy, Angel, and the X-Files--my previous holy trinity. I think I love it more than I loved Head of the Class when I was in high school. (Anyone remember that show? I was obsessed. I totally wanted to be Simone, the red-headed shy poet. She was so pretty.) I even love it more than I loved Star Blazers when I was 9. (Remember the daily countdown?)

Squeeeeeeee!

Television Without Pity has a great VM forum, by the way, if you want to hear more squee-ing.

I hope I've convinced you, my children. Now go--and watch.

A General Guide to Things Sheila Likes

In books, movies, and TV shows, I generally like horror, science fiction, fantasy, and suspense. In music, I like folk, Celtic, trance, gothic, twee...and a bunch of other things. If you have any recommendations for me, I'd love to hear them! Here are some general lists of my favorites. (These aren't definitive by any means.)

BOOKS:
Time travel, dark fantasy, fairy tales, past lives, young adult, and ghosts are some my favorite subjects. I like horror, but generally find vampires boring (except Angel. Mmmm...Angel...but I digress.) I enjoy well-written suspense, but I think the market is oversaturated with serial-killer thrillers. I also like a lot of current women writers who fall under the "literary novel" category--Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, Kate Atkinson, Donna Tartt, A.S. Byatt, and Sarah Waters, to name a few. I might review some of these in more detail later, but here's the list for now:

1. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
2.The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
3. Affinity by Sarah Waters
4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
5. Hell House by Richard Matheson
6. Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
7. Green Darkness by Anya Seton
8. Possession by A.S. Byatt
9. Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels
10. Anna's Book by Barbara Vine
11. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
12. A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
13. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
14. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
15. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
16. The Gorgon and Other Beastly Tales by Tanith Lee
17. The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip
18. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
19. The Shape-Changer's Wife by Sharon Shinn
20. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
21. Sunshine by Robin McKinley

TV SHOWS:
Hurray for Lost, which did so well last year that we get lots of new supernatural shows this season! Most of these are still on the air, but I am going to mention a few oldies but goodies. I love my DVR, which lets me keep track of all these shows.

1. Veronica Mars
2. Lost
3. Medium
4. House
5. Buffy/Angel/Firefly
6. X-Files/Millennium
7. Monk
8. The Simpsons
9. Desperate Housewives
10. Sea of Souls (BBC)
11. Murder in Suburbia (BBC)
12. Invasion
13. Battlestar Galactica
14. Surface
15. America's Next Top Model *blush*
16. Invasion
17. The Daily Show
18. Reunion *blush*
19. The Night Stalker
20. Sex and the City

MOVIES:
I love Netflix! I'm having a hard time thinking of my favorite movies, though, so will fill this section out more later.

1. Moulin Rouge
2. Willow
3. The Last Unicorn
4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
5. The Wicker Man
6. Napoleon Dynamite
7. Love Actually
8. Dog Show
9. Beauty and the Beast
10. The Sixth Sense
11. Donnie Darko
12. The Kingdom (why won't seasons 2 through 4 come to the US???)
13. The Princess Bride
14. The Mists of Avalon (technically a mini-series)

MUSIC:
Really, there's so much music that I love--this is only what I listen to most. I have a 40GB (I think?) iPod that stores my music. I connect it to speakers and it's lovely.

1. Indigo Girls/Amy Ray
2. Belle & Sebastian
3. Dar Williams
4. Damien Rice
5. Interpol
6. The Cure
7. Placebo
8. PJ Harvey
9. Loreena McKennitt
10. The Decemberists
11. Sleater-Kinney
12. Bright Eyes
13. Luna
14. Beth Orton
15. James
16. Delerium
17. Poe
18. Heather Nova
19. Morrissey/The Smiths


Book Review: The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray

(General review--no real spoilers)

The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray is an underrated young-adult novel by British author Chris Wooding. This book has an awful title (who can pronounce that name on first glance?) and horrible cover (murky with no visual interest)--but it deserves some love.

First, a warning: this is a bloody and scary book. It borrows a lot from other sources (reviews mention Bosch, Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
Indiana Jones, Tolkien, and Pullman), yet manages to feel fresh.

The plot involves
Thaniel Fox, a young "wych-kin" hunter in an alternative Victorian London. It's creepy and violent--Thaniel faces monsters both supernatural and very human (a Jack-the-Ripper-type serial killer and a cult called the Fraternity). The ending falls apart a bit, but overall this had a strong, action-heavy plot that would lend itself well to a graphic novel or movie. However, it's the characters that are the real treasure--you really root for Thaniel, Alaizabel, Cathaline, and their allies to overcome the dark forces threatening them.

Check it out and tell me what you think!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Top-Seven List: My Favorite TV Theme Songs/Opening Credits

1. Veronica Mars: "We Used To Be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols. (Note: This is the first of many fangirl ravings about this show. You've been warned.) The song is perfect--fits the theme and mood of the show.
2. Angel: theme by Darling Violetta. Haunting and moody.
3. Millennium: theme by Mark Snow. Another moody one. Made better by the words in the credits: "Wait. Worry. Who cares?"
4. Medium: theme song. Sounds like the opening of a Hitchcock film.
5. The 4400: "A Place In Time" by Amanda Abizaid. Love the song, love the imagery that goes with it.
6. Monk: "It's A Jungle Out There" by Randy Newman. Yes, I know about the controversy--some fans want the original opening theme back. I like Randy Newman's, though. It's so perfect.
7. Battlestar Galactica: Theme from season 2 (2005). Great music and great text: "The Cylons were created by Man. They Evolved. They Rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a Plan."

(Hopefully I'll expand this into a top-ten list.)

TV Review: The Night Stalker (or, Stuart Townsend has thin lips)

(Review of the pilot episode; no spoilers)

I really, really wanted to love this show. I was hoping it would fill the X-Files-shaped hole in my heart. Alas.

The plot? Jumbled at best. The monsters? Not really scary. Stuart Townsend as Kolchak? Weak chin, thin lips, and way too young and pretty. DH and I would like to see Lance Henriksen, Tony Todd, or even Nathan Fillion in this role. Someone older, more grizzled, more moody.

And how can a reporter afford that house, anyway?

Introduction

Hullo and welcome to my reviews!

I'm not comfortable revealing a lot of personal information on the internet. However, I am going to subject you to my rantings, most likely of no interest, on TV, movies, books, music, etc.

Many thanks to my dear husband for the title of this blog, and the quote it's taken from:
"When television is good, nothing--not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers--nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit-and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you--and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland." (From the Wasteland Speech, given by FCC chairman Newton N. Minow on May 9, 1961.)

/body>