Site ColumnsBy Michelle
May 6, 2005 - 7:55 PM
The penultimate weeks of the television season are often a disappointment to me. As shows that I've enjoyed over the course of the year build to their climaxes, a lot of them start showing signs of fumbling the ball while heading into cliffhangers, explosive revelations or whatever else the producers decide will generate enough interest in the off-season to keep the shows going in the fall. Veronica Mars, for instance, started unraveling this week as it began an earnest effort to answer the questions that have formed the season's three biggest mysteries: who killed Lily, who raped Veronica and what's the deal with Veronica's parents. Meanwhile Smallville is back on its annual "let's make one more pathetic attempt to get Clark and Lana together even though they're boring together, lack chemistry and even the dialogue is the same from year to year." Thus far Desperate Housewives is bucking the trend - I'm still quite fascinated with the larger arcs, the question of what happened to Mary Alice and the dynamics between the women on the show, even though I don't actually like any of the characters. I think that's what makes that show entertaining for me: unlike with Veronica Mars, where I care about the main character and don't want her to behave like a complete idiot, I don't really care what the housewives do, so long as the wit and style remain sharp.
In order to stave off entertainment ennui, I decided to have an Alan Rickman fest, as I do every six months or so. It started with Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie ever made, which I finally saw with the commentary on. I came away impressed with the director and cinematographer who were deliberately trying to invoke A Clockwork Orange, and also with the subtitle format for comments because unlike voiceover commentary, you can really watch the movie -- the sound isn't muted, you're feeling everything that's going on as you're getting the reactions of the people involved in making the film. I've always found with Lord of the Rings for instance that as entertaining as it is to listen to the voices and reactions of the actors and crew to the film, it's not really possible to feel the film as such while listening to the commentaries, and in some cases what's being said aloud actually undercuts the dominant emotion onscreen. I didn't have that with the subtitle commentary at all.
After Die Hard I watched An Awfully Big Adventure which is finally out on DVD, thus justifying the way I kept postponing getting it on videotape for months. I knew from various comments and from the Peter Pan allusion in the title that it was not the romantic comedy which for some unfathomable reason its marketing pretends it is, but what actually happened was nothing I expected and for once I am glad I wasn't spoiled - the visceral shock value was fantastic. Plus my whole family saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Marvin is my hero. So that was last weekend's entertainment; this weekend it's going to be Kingdom of Heaven, which I figure may be shallow, Western-centric and overly reminiscent of Gladiator but hey, it's got Orlando Bloom, David Thewlis, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Marton Csokas and Alexander Siddig...how can I possibly not enjoy myself?
Trek BBS Today
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Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from May 2003:
- Berman, Bakula Talk 'Enterprise' Evolution
Enterprise executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga revealed details about the planned changes to the show in the third season, promising that the hour would end on a chilling threat of more devastation to come. Scott Bakula said he welcomed the changes and hoped they would lead to good storytelling: "For two seasons, we've been this naive, open-eyed, awestruck crew...now there is urgency and purpose and desperation."
- Klingon Translator Sought For Oregon County
The Multnomah County, Oregon Department of Human Services put out a call for a Klingon interpreter in case patients arrived at an emergency room speaking that language. Because the county is obligated to provide information in all languages, the office that treats approximately 60,000 mentally ill individuals wanted to be prepared in case a Klingon speaker arrived. Officials decided to include Klingon among 55 languages, which include rarely-spoken tongues such as Dari and Tongan.
- Superman To Take On 'Enterprise'
The WB announced that with Dawson's Creek going off the air, its genre hit Smallville would move into the Wednesday 8 p.m. timeslot, putting the Superman-based series in direct competition for viewers with Enterprise.
More news can be found in the archives.
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Please vote in our new poll after you have seen "Demons" and rate the episode!
Today's Television Listings
Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, UPN will show a new Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Demons". Here is a synopsis of the episode:
On Earth for a historic Starfleet conference to ratify the coalition of planets, Archer and the crew uncover a plot by a radical xenophobic group of humans called Terra Prime, led by Paxton, who want to put an end to the increasing number and influence of aliens on Earth. Meanwhile, although TíPol contends she has never been pregnant, she and Trip learn that Terra Prime has information about their child. Later, a female reporter from Travis' past pursues him for a story.