Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live, from New York!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have the tendency to obsess over things, which are usually television, theatre, film, or literature related. Lately, thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and VH1 reruns, I've watched more Saturday Night Live in the past month than I have my whole life.

As a writer who wants desperately to be funny, I've been trying to watch and study as much sketch comedy as possible. Sketch comedy is a wild and wonderful art in which the performer and the writer have only a few minutes to set up a scene and hit a punchline. That being said, I have only admiration of the highest degree for those who write and perform sketch comedy. I mean, comedy is hard. Seriously. The majority of people in this world are incredibly stingy with their laughter, and being able to make that laughter happen is no easy feat.

My current SNL obsession began innocently enough, receiving The Best of Amy Poehler in the mail from Netflix (which I still have yet to send back), and then discovering the wide range Netflix's instant play library, which includes lots of classic SNL, Best Ofs, etc.

I'll just work on ma stick work!

SNL's Best of Amy Poehler has got to be one of the best compilations of SNL sketches and Update bits that I have ever seen. It kicks off with Amy and Tina as Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and goes through a list of Amy's other great characters. Highlights (for me):

  • Bronx Beat with Betty Caruso and Jodi Dietz (“What are ya, ya Chippewa? Ya Sioux? Ya got Sioux in you?”)
  • Kaitlin! (“Chazz, one time I was on my trampoline with my roller skates on, and I tried the back flip and I flew up in the air and I thought I was a goner. And time stood still, and I made eye contact with a bird, and the bird was looking at me like "you have not mentally prepared enough for this back flip, I will guide you safely back to earth" And then I landed but I was still so scared and I ran inside and was like "take me to Taco Bell, Rick! I need a tostada to calm my nerves! I need to make a run for the border! Yo quiero Taco Bell!!" Remember that?! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick!”)
  • The Dakota Fanning Show! (“In my defense, when I read that script I saw it as a metaphor for ethnic violence in central Africa! But, apparently, it was about a cat in a hat!”)
  • Awesomeawesome Update montage! (“Hey, that seat is 50 Cent’s!” “I only have a dollar!” “Naw, naw, naw, that seat is 50 Cent’s!” “Do you have change?”)
  • I'm No Angel perfume ad (In which Amy is incredibly pregnant. And Will Forte plays the old, weird Greg Allman.)
  • One-Legged Amber - ("Yeah, I farted! JEALOUS?")
  • Weekend Update rehearsal bloopers and two rehearsal sketches

In conclusion to the most unorganized blog post in the history of my blog, I love comedy, I love writing, I love funny people. Also, this is a terrible post. I just needed to get something down to get out of my blog rut. Hopefully this fixes it.

In related news, I miss New York City so much today it makes my heart ache a little. Too much SNL and 30 Rock (gasp! no such thing!) make for a sad/awesome mood that is difficult to describe.

ALSO! Tina Fey recently received the Mark Twain Prize for Comedy! Further proof that she is the single most awesome lady on the planet.

EDIT: ALSO ALSO Happy birthday Lorne Michaels, creator of SNL and executive producer of 30 Rock!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why I love television

Some of my favorite television characters. Truth.

Sometimes when I talk to people about television, I feel like they don't really get why I'm so passionate about it. Most people see television as a temporary distraction from real life, a source of information, or (perish the thought!) white noise. Scripted television has been, until recently, seen as a lesser form of entertainment; serious actors go to film, or the stage, screenplays are more complex and sophisticated than teleplays, and cinematic geniuses certainly don't sully their resumes with television projects. In recent years, those opinions have largely disappeared, but a large chunk of the general population still sees television as the awkward younger sibling of film.

As a child I was a Sesame Street fiend, and watched episodes of Eureka's Castle and David the Gnome while I stayed home with mom, before I started school. They whetted my thirst for stories, which was something I wanted however I could come by it. I had always been a consummate player of pretend, acting out stories in fantasy lands like those I heard about in books or saw on television. By night our family would gather around the television to watch The Nanny and reruns of The Cosby Show, educating me in the sitcom. By the time I was in high school, I had probably watched more reruns of classic television shows than anyone I would graduate with. It wasn't until high school, however, that I really fell in love with with it.

My love of television very much stems from my love of stories, and the disappointment I remember feeling when I would finish the too-short novels I devoured not long after deciphering the English language. All of the stories had endings, but the lives of the characters I felt connected to kept going, at least in my imagination. I wanted to know all about these people, their futures, their dreams, their passions, before I even thought about any of those things in my own life. It was the same with movies; what happened to Thumbelina and Prince Cornelius after they lived happily ever after? Did they have adventures? Did they have eight children and grow to be three hundred years old? These are things I wanted to know.

Television allows viewers to learn more about a character than a 120 minute movie can. We get to know a character over the course of roughly twenty-two episodes each year, each running from 21-50 minutes. Character development is done over the course of years, rather than minutes, and the creators are able to keep telling stories. I think that's really what I wanted when I would finish Zilpha Keatley Snyder's novel The Egypt Game, or the animated classic Anastasia. More stories with these characters I'd grown fond of.

When I first started watching Lost, the second semester of my freshman year of college, I was a woman obsessed. I watched multiple episodes a day, and was finally caught up to season four after a few months (which was not so good for my grades, but hey, awesome show, right??). I was enthralled by this group of castaways with the sordid pasts and the mysterious island that they were all somehow connected to. The characters made me want to keep watching as I became more invested, and the writers wove such fantastic stories with these characters that there was no way I could stop.

I never thought very much about how a television show is written until a couple of years ago. It simply never occurred to me that it was an actual career that I could have, taking my love of writing and meshing it with my love of television. There's nothing I would love more than to write amazing television like I've seen on Buffy, 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, and so many more fantastic shows that I love.

So here's hoping I have a seat at the 70th Annual Emmy Awards. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Did I fall asleep?

It's been over a month since my last post (yes, bad Emily!), but I have fairly good excuses. I started a play a the local community theatre, I've been working, and classes have started, so I haven't exactly been sitting on my rump for a month.

Since my last post, I have worked my way through season one of Joss Whedon's latest television project, Dollhouse. I mentioned Dollhouse in my awesome short-lived series post a while ago, but then I had only watched the first episode, which was cool, but not the amazing piece of television I expected from Joss. The key to Dollhouse is to keep going. The first few episodes, while good television, are not on par with his other projects, but as the season progresses it gets better and better.

By the time I finished the second DVD, I was in love with the show and couldn't wait for more. Eliza Dushku gets to show off her chops, playing a party girl out on the town, a hardened kidnapping negotiator, and the vacant-expressioned active Echo, all in one episode. The supporting cast, which includes Tahmoh Penikett, Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Olivia Williams, Amy Acker, and Fran Kranz, are equally fantastic, and are part of the reason I wanted to come back for more.

Favorite things:
  • Victor in his non-imprinted state. He's flippin' adorable.

  • Echo saving the day when the leader of a cult she has joined becomes really scary.

  • Topher and Adele under the influence of the drug in "Echoes".

  • "Oh, my God. I find lentils completely incomprehensible."

  • Topher imprinting Sierra to be his friend on his birthday in "Haunted".

  • Alpha's many personalities.

  • Victor and Sierra. D'awww.

  • "Epitaph One". Gahhhhhh.

  • "Remains" by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon. This song plays in "Epitaph One". I had already heard it, but was even more powerful in context. Fwahhhhh. Love it so much.

  • "Carrots! Medicinal carrots! Personal-use medicinal carrots that were here when I moved in and I'm holding it for a friend!"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Emily's Emmy picks!

The nominations are in, and awards season is a glint on the horizon. In a little over a month, we'll find out who (according to Emmy voters) in television is among the best of the best. Usually the voters in question have a slightly different opinion than I do as to who exactly is the best of the best, so here are my picks:

It occurs to me that the only drama I consistently follow is Lost, but now I don't even have that, making my picks for any of the drama categories slightly biased. The Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category has me torn between two of the best actors on Lost, in my opinion. Michael Emerson always made me cringe (in a good way, a good cringe) as the awesomely creepy Benjamin Linus, and Terry O'Quinn showed us a different side of John Locke at the end of the series as Anti-Locke. Lead Actor is going to have to go to Matthew Fox (even though I really, really do not like Jack. Okay, I hated him less at the beginning and the end.). The only Lead Actress nominee I've seen in action is Law and Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay, who has only snagged one Emmy out of her six nominations, which was back in 2006, so maybe she's due another. I'm going to root for Mad Men's Christina Hendricks for Supporting Actress, based solely on her performance in Firefly.

I follow far more comedies, which makes it a little easier to be balanced. Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series will most likely go to Jane Lynch as her hilariously awful Sue Sylvester in Glee, which I could support, though it would also be great for Kristen Wiig to finally get her due for SNL, or Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock, but if I were a betting woman, it would be Jane Lynch all the way. My Supporting Actor pick has not changed for the past few years, and after four noms, I want to see a win. I will root for Neil Patrick Harris as How I Met Your Mother's Barney Stinson until he finally gets the award he deserves. For Lead Actress, I'm torn between my undying love of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon and my relative new love for Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope. So I'd rather not go there, thankyouverymuch.

I now move on to another paragraph for the bloodbath that is the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. I feel like I need to first apologize to both Steve Carell and Alec Baldwin for this, but I have to go with Jim Parsons as everyone's favorite neurotic physicist Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. He's kind of how I picture myself, if I were male, lacked social skills, was good at science, and had a degree or two.

Outstanding Drama Series is kind of a given, considering my prior comments--I'm not even going to insult your intelligence by naming my choice for the award. For Outstanding Comedy, however, I'm a little bit torn. I have to go with 30 Rock. I love The Office and Glee, but 30 Rock has been able to consistently make me laugh more than any of the others nominated.

Miscellaneous Awesome -

Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics
How I Met Your Mother - "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" - Girls Vs. Suits - Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

Outstanding Music Direction for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
Lost - The End - Michael Giacchino, Composer

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Hamlet (Great Performances) -
Patrick Stewart as Ghost / Claudius

Outstanding Guest Actor In A
Comedy Series
Glee - Dream On -
Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan

Outstanding Guest Actress In A
Drama Series
Lost - The End -
Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke

Outstanding Reality Program

Outstanding Writing for a Drama
Lost - The End
Damon Lindelof, Writer
Carlton Cuse, Writer

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy
30 Rock - Anna Howard Shaw Day
Matt Hubbard, Writer

I'm sure you all have noticed that I seem to be slightly ignoring Glee's 19 Emmy nominations. I'm not ignoring them, by any stretch. I love Glee, I really do, but to me it's sort of like a cool new friend at school. You like hanging out with this person, and think he/she is interesting, but you still have a core group of close friends that you would drop everything for. Glee and I are still in the first stages of our relationship, and I would feel a little like I was betraying my other sitcoms if I chose Glee over them.

Something that frustrated me a little bit is the total snubbery toward one of NBC's best new shows, Community. I got in on Community a tad late in the game, (like, two weeks ago) and fell in love with it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Geronimo! (River wants to remind you about spoilers.)

I realized I hadn't done a proper Doctor Who post since David Tennant left and the new season began. Now that series five is over, I can do a no-holds-barred, spoiler-riddled, in-depth blog post, so beware! If you don't want to be spoiled, do not go any farther! I am putting this lovely picture of current Doctor Matt Smith and companion Amelia Pond, played by Karen Gillan, here to mark the divide. After the picture, spoilers. So don't keep going. Unless you are ready for spoilers. You cannot say I didn't warn you.

Aren't they precious? I mean, really.

I must admit I was a bit worried about Matt Smith. David Tennant was a fan favorite for four years, and I was afraid that he couldn't be properly replaced. I thought that Matt Smith was odd-looking, and I wasn't familiar with any of his past work.

Oh, how I was proven wrong. In action, Matt Smith's Doctor was every bit as charming, intense, sexy, and scary as David Tennant's, but with an even darker tone than any other, in my opinion. The feeling darkness is compounded by his youth; Smith is the youngest actor, at 27, to play the Doctor, Fourth Doctor Peter Davison being two years older when he began his run as the Doctor. The Eleventh Doctor is an interesting mix of contradictions, which is just how I like my Doctor.

Before I bore you all singing Matt Smith's praises, I'll move on.

There were a lot of really strong episodes this season, helped along by fantastic performances and amazing chemistry by the cast. Karen Gillan, as Amy Pond, is so much fun, and I absolutely love Arthur Darvill as her fiancé, Rory. While Amy's obvious attraction to the Doctor is something Rory obviously has a problem with, the two really do love each other very much, something we truly see when, after Rory is erased from history and Amy's memory is wiped of anything relating to him, Amy realizes that there is something missing from her life, something important.

We are also reintroduced to River Song, a character with an unknown relationship to the Doctor, first seen in series four's Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, two of the creepiest episodes. Ever. Seriously.

One of my favorites this season was Vincent and the Doctor, in which Amy and the Doctor visit Vincent Van Gogh in order to investigate something mysterious they see in one of his paintings. While the monster itself was really nothing special, it was one of the more poignant episodes I have seen on Who. The episode examines Van Gogh as a troubled man inevitably descending into madness. A scene near the end has the Doctor and Amy bringing Vincent to an exhibit of his artwork. I would be lying if I said I didn't cry during the whole scene, huddled in front of my computer. It may also be interesting to note that this episode was written by Richard Curtis, who wrote a movie I absolutely adore, Notting Hill.

Other standouts this season include the two-part The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone, which reintroduced the delightfully creepy weeping angels, and the fan-frickin'-tastic two-part season ender The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang.

The reason I'm not mentioning more as standouts is because it all pretty much rocked. I, personally, didn't feel that any of the episodes fell very flat, and I have to give a hand to Steven Moffat, the new showrunner. Steven Moffat had written on Who in previous seasons, and has taken over after the end of the Russell T. Davies era. Moffat's previous Doctor Who writing credits include Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, and The Girl in the Fireplace, all of which are episodes I have loved and watched over and over again.

So, go you, Steven Moffat! Here's to many more years of fantastic Who.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Of zombies and daisies

There are really only three things that I remember about my dream last night.

They are, in order:

  1. A used bookstore in NYC
  2. My being in a band
  3. Zombie apocalypse
I don't know what that means, but as long as it's not prophetic in any way (except maybe the first and second parts) I should be okay.

I didn't receive the next disc of Wonderfalls today. Netflix had it in his head that I would be getting it Tuesday, but it is now Wednesday, and my poor little disappointed self can only take so much. I'll be putting my account on hold shortly after, anyway. Money's tight. :(

I've been on a Bryan Fuller kick lately, rewatching Pushing Daisies with a friend of mine who had never seen it and rewatching some of Dead Like Me by myself. I've said this before, but I feel it merits repeating: Bryan Fuller is brilliant. His style is so imaginative and awesome. I want more than two seasons of him at one go!

He's apparently working on a Pushing Daisies comic to follow-up the series, which is way way awesome! Can't wait for that. And, he's purportedly working on pilots for NEW shows, including one for NBC called Sellevision, based on Augusten Burrough's novel of the same name about a Home Shopping Network-type television company. He also has another NBC script in the works, a comedy about an animal shelter, entitled No Kill.

I would really love to work with Bryan Fuller someday. The idea of making beautiful television like his makes me a little bit giddy.

"Can't we say "alive again"? Doesn't that sound nice?" - Ned the Piemaker

ALSO! It's Joss Whedon's birthday! I totally would have done an all Whedon post in his honor if I hadn't just now remembered. But there we are. I suck as a fangirl. I am appropriately ashamed. Happy birthday, Joss. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is it Tuesday again?

Because it's Tuesday, I feel a strange compulsion to blog. Does this mean that I have (GASP!) developed a routine that involves blogging? Can I possibly have committed to a weekly blog updated....weekly?! Am I becoming, one small step at a time....RESPONSIBLE?!? I don't know what's gotten into me. This is the third week in a row I've posted on this blog and I don't know what to think of it. It's wigging me out a bit. But, it's possible this is just another neurosis that I've developed. But at least this is a helpful one.

Before I talk about television, the main reason for this blog, I feel the need to recount another one of Emily's Adventures with Balance, which today guest-starred the steps outside the office in which I work and God.

I was listening to NPR on my way to work this morning and getting bummed. There is so much crap going on in the world, and I found myself feeling utterly helpless. I have no power. There is absolutely nothing I can do to make this world any less screwed up than it is. And then it hit me. I'm a writer! Okay, maybe a sub-par amateur writer, who when sleep-deprived lacks her usually impeccable spelling capabilities, but a writer nonetheless. A writer can move mountains with the stroke of her pen! Make enemies fall in a sentence! And then I thought: The kind of writing that does that is really not fun. Maybe there's a way I could spin things as funny.

As soon as I thought that slightly inappropriate thought I stumbled on the concrete steps, taking a chunk out of my hand. I couldn't help but feel like I was receiving a karmic slap on the wrist. Sometimes God has a weird sense of humor. Grumbleowgrumble.

On to television!
The first disc of Wonderfalls arrived yesterday, and I've watched two and a half episodes already (I'll probably finish the rest today, actually, since I only work half a day). I really like it! It's just neat. It's similar in feel to Bryan Fuller's other work, but not quite so. I really like the protagonist, Jae. She's cynical and negative, yet has an endearing quality that I can't quite put my finger on. She reminds me a tiny bit of myself, were I more cynical and negative, I suppose. It's a shame that there are only fourteen episodes of this show, but it really is awesome.

It's definitely one of those shows that isn't for everyone, but I don't really get why. Why are viewers (and, as a result, networks) so afraid of the fantastic and imaginative? It seems to me that somewhere in the growing up process a majority of adults get the impression that nothing like that matters anymore, or that it's somehow bad to care about it.

The real world is cool and all, but there's no way it's cooler than fantasy world.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What's an addict to do?

Summer is here, and for television, that means reruns, bad reality shows, and the occasional miniseries. It can be hugely depressing for a TV addict. I mean, we need a constant stream of thought-provoking narrative and witty dialogue or we just can't go on. So to remedy this, I am filling up my Netflix queue with television that I somehow never got around to watching.

I'm starting off with the short-lived Bryan Fuller co-created (Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me) series Wonderfalls (2004). I was going to include it in my last post, but I didn't know enough about it to blog about, hence my summer viewing. The premise seems really cool, and Lee Pace is in it (my beloved Pushing Daisies piemaker), so I'm looking forward to it. (I was just struck with the notion of Bryan Fuller and Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams all working on a project together. I must place myself in the position to make that meeting happen.)

After that I'm going to finish Dead Like Me. I was over halfway through the second season, but for some reason never finished it. I was watching it on Hulu originally, and it's also on Netflix streaming, but my computer just can't handle it. It's rather sad, really. If anyone wants to send me the money for a new laptop, feel free. :]

After that it will be either Dollhouse, Studio 60, or The 4400. The 4400 because I remember thinking it looked really cool when it was on, but never saw it. That was before I discovered my voracious need for stories in television form. (And Summer Glau is in eight episodes, which is cool.) (Also, what channel did it even come on?)

In current TV news, I wanted to watch the NBC summer television event thing Persons Unknown last night, but wasn't able to. It seems like a pretty interesting premise, but not something to ask too much of. Considering I don't get channels with great summer TV like USA or SyFy, I'm having to make do with what is available.What are you watching this summer?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gone, but not forgotten; or, why are so many awesome shows cancelled?

It seems that as soon as I blogged the praises of the mystery drama Happy Town, with Amy Acker and Abraham Benrubi, among others, they were destroyed with the kind of heartless indifference that every TV fanatic is quite familiar with. (Sure, the first episode wasn't perfect, but it was just compelling enough for me to look forward to the next episode. I had hope!)
While this isn't nearly of the same caliber of other quickly cancelled shows, it got me thinking about great television that can't seem to make it. Here's a list of six great television shows that only had two seasons or fewer:

Firefly-- 1 season, 14 episodes

Those who know me probably saw this one coming, but there's no way this could not be on the list. Joss Whedon's Firefly was a show unlike any other (I mean, it was awesome. A group of misfits on a spaceship, and sometimes they steal things, oh and there was cowboy stuff too and guns and kung fu and horses), and developed a cult following. The following was so great that on its cancellation, the fans rallied, and a movie was eventually produced to give us a(n almost) satisfactory ending. The show also helped along the careers of the fantastic cast. The amazing Nathan Fillion now stars in his own ABC drama Castle (and it's awesome), Summer Glau and Alan Tudyk both had recurring roles in Whedon's most recent series Dollhouse, and Morena Baccarin stars in ABC's V (see my previous post).

Freaks and Geeks-- 1 season, 18 episodes
Freaks and Geeks was a true-to-life portrayal of high school life in the 1980s amongst those who kept to the fringe of society. I don't really get why it was killed so quickly, personally, but it helped launch the careers of most of its main cast, most notably James Franco, movie star (and now General Hospital regular, apparently), Seth Rogen, movie star, and Jason Segel, who co-stars on one of my favorite shows currently on, How I Met Your Mother. Oh, and John Francis Daley, who plays kid brother Sam, is now a regular on awesome crime drama Bones.

Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip-- 1 season, 22 episodes

Before I sing the praises of this awesome show about the goings-on behind the scenes of an SNL-esque sketch comedy show, I must first make a confession. I have only seen three episodes of West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin's acclaimed Studio 60. I know, I know. "But it's a television show about television! It would only stand to reason that you, as a television addict, would love it!" Yes, dear readers, it would. And yet. But it is on my list. There are so many television shows and only so many hours in the day. Aside from that, what I did see was great, and I highly recommend it. And, to all of my Sorkiphile friends, I will watch it, don't worry. :)

Pushing Daisies-- 2 seasons, 22 episodes

Pushing Daisies was a show that, even before the first episode aired, I knew would be unlike anything I had ever seen.
  1. It's simply gorgeous. The colors are vibrant and in-your-face.
  2. The plot is completely original.
  3. The characters are over-the-top and so much fun.
  4. Oh, and it had Kristin Chenoweth, my musical theatre hero. :]
I absolutely loathe the term "dramedy" (for really no reason I can discern), but I can't really think of anywhere else to put it. It really deserves its own genre of super-awesome fantasy/drama/comedy/musical. It's also a show that I kind of new was doomed to fail. As soon as I saw how amazing the story of a piemaker who could bring the dead back to life was, I was incredibly afraid of getting attached. Lucky for me, since it landed in the middle of the writer's strike, it was given a second chance and a second season. Never mind that they aired the last few episodes when it was all but impossible for anyone to actually see them. (Sound familiar, Browncoats?)

Dollhouse-- 2 seasons, 27 episodes

When I first learned of Joss Whedon's new show Dollhouse, I have to admit I was a little giddy. I had just finished Buffy and Firefly, and the prospect of more Joss was just what I needed. The plot, just like all of his other projects, was completely original, an illegal group that imprinted various personalities on "actives". It starred Buffy's Eliza Dushku as Echo, one of the actives. This show somehow made it through one season and was given another, but was given the boot soon after. Bringing me to another edition of

Open Letters to Television (Creators)

Dear Joss,

I hope that now you have learned your lesson. Firefly aired on FOX and it was never treated well. The episodes were aired all out of order, and never regularly. The network simply didn't seem to care. Then comes Dollhouse, with a great premise and a great cast (thanks for bringing in Amy Acker and Summer Glau, by the way!). It might have lasted longer on a cable network (I'm sure that SyFy would love to have you), but instead you went with FOX. Again. I'm so sorry. I really hope that someday you will bring us another show that is as successful as Buffy. Have you considered teaming with JJ Abrams, another television hero of mine?
Dead Like Me-- 2 seasons, 29 episodes

Yet another show that is (am I totally boring you yet?) completely unlike anything else on television. Dead Like Me (created by Bryan Fuller, creator of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, two also very short-lived series)is about a group of grim reapers who go to people when they are about to die to preserve the person's soul so they can move on in peace. The show was another example of too fantastic for TV, like Fuller's other shows. Not only did it have interesting (and eccentric) characters and situations, it dealt with death in a way unlike anything else on television. It had Rebecca Gayheart for a little while (the original choice for Inara on Firefly, minterestingly enough, but she apparently had no chemistry with the rest of the cast.), and also starred Mandy Patinkin, best known (by me) for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride and as Georges Seurat in the original cast of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Emily's super-awesome Lost post (with spoilers!)

We see now, friends, the end of an era. After six seasons, the show that is destined to be oft imitated, but never successfully so, is now over.

I know, right? It's hard to believe, Jack. Never again will we hear Sawyer give everyone snarky nicknames. You will never again cry just as we're starting to like new, tougher Jack. We will never again smile quietly to ourselves at the sweetness of Jin and Sun. Those of us who have been fans from the beginning (okay, so I jumped on a little late. But I still started from the beginning and watched them in order!) now find ourselves in a period of mourning. This is one of the few shows that I have seen through to the end. (The other is Stargate SG-1, but I missed a lot of the last season, due to football games in high school. I was in marching band.)

The end of the episode was, to me, surprisingly satisfying. I found myself totally buying it, because it just reiterated what I've believed to be the point of the show all along--the characters. The mythology surrounding the island was amazing, and there are few alive that love time-travel, monsters, and crazy French people more than I do, but I knew from the beginning that the real story was the relationships between members of a group that would have never come together otherwise.

Some favorite moments:

  • Jin and Sun waking up and being able to speak English. Also, their amusement at Cop Sawyer. (Not gonna lie, I find it amusing myself. Who votes for a Miles/Sawyer buddy-cop action flick?)
  • Desmond in jail. The ridiculous grin he flashed Kate and Sayid was so priceless.
  • The reunion of Juliet and Sawyer. Nearly lost it. They were great together, and it was quite gratifying after watching her die earlier in the season.
  • Rose and Bernard. I love them so much, and I'm so so glad we got to see them again on the island. They're adorable.
  • Claire and Charlie, together again at last. One of my favorite Lost couples since the pretend peanut butter jar scene in Confidence Man. Possibly because I'm a bit of a peanut butter fanatic myself.
  • Vincent laying down with Jack. Cue ridiculous amounts of sobbing from THIS girl. It was a beautiful picture
  • Hurley and Ben as the new big noise(s) on the island. Comics by nedroid have gotten me itching for an animated series entitled Ben 'N Hurley's Island Adventures, or something.
Ben and  Hurley #2.  An Amazing Discovery #lostcomics on Twitpic

In conclusion, it was awesome. I couldn't have asked for a better end to an amazing series.

In other sci-fi TV news, FlashForward has been canceled (shocker) and V has been picked for another season (d'oh). This brings me to a new segment I like to call:

Open Letters to Television

Dear V,
I really, really wanted to like you. You had so much potential. You had so many amazing casting choices going for you. You had Elizabeth Mitchell as a cool renegade cop, Morena Baccarin as a hot but possibly evil alien, and even Alan Tudyk for a while. But I just couldn't. A story that could have been compelling just fell flat for me. I'm sorry, but I don't think this is going to work. I just...I can't.

In conclusion, my five favorite Belle & Sebastian songs, in no particular order.
I might have to amend that to "five of my favorite Belle & Sebastian songs".

  1. Lazy Line Painter Jane
  2. Piazza, New York Catcher
  3. Waiting for the Moon to Rise
  4. Legal Man
  5. If You Find Yourself Caught in Love

Monday, May 10, 2010

I wear the cheese, it does not wear me.

Another school year has ended (somehow) and I wonder (yet again) how on earth I am going to make it through life with all of my marbles. It becomes increasingly more difficult to imagine a life wherein my mommy isn't helping me out with every detail of my life. However, things seem to be coming together, which is fantastic. An apartment is opening up and will be ready to move into VERY soon, and I start back to work for the summer tomorrow. The Lost series finale is coming soon, which kind of freaks me out. So much is happening. I just hope I can handle it.

So, in the tradition of my not finishing anything I start, I didn't finish my spec for Script Frenzy. April is too crazy for me as it is, that I soon found that it was just not worth it. I figure that I've at least started it, and I can finish it when I actually have time. All I need are two good scripts, and then maybe I'll actually make it. The ABC-Disney TV Writing Fellowship thing is accepting submissions, so I may try to finish my script in time to apply for that.

This is a mostly personal-update-here's-what-I-haven't-been-blogging-about-for-the-past-month post. Grades are coming out, which I'm semi-freaked about. I think if I can pass French, I can do anything, but we'll see.

Oh! I watched the first episode of Happy Town, with Amy Acker. Very, very cool. Can't wait to see more!

And, for good measure, Spike, being awesome:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Diving headfirst into adulthood.

It seems that the day shall soon be upon us, sooner than any of us could have imagined. The end as we know it may very well be nigh. An end that leaves me feeling alone. To quote Buffy Summers, "The things that I thought I understood were gone."
But, lo! A light shines up ahead, a beacon for all to see! A new day dawns with the promise of new life!
I'm speaking, of course, of my upcoming move from my college dorm to an apartment near campus. A new experience, but one I quite look forward to. I have this vision of my friends on the couch, queuing up a DVD, while I finish cooking dinner, which is a dish so divine that it would put Julia Child to shame. The savory scent of whatever I'm preparing wafts through the apartment, putting everyone who smells it into a state of euphoria.

Moving on.

I'm (unfortunately) not very far into my Castle spec for Script Frenzy. Real life keeps becoming slightly more important, somehow. At this point I don't know that I'll finish all 100 pages, but, even so, I'll have started a spec script, something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I haven't started on my Office spec yet, but I'm filing away the ideas for that episode for future use.

Right now I'm watching Criminal Minds, a pretty cool show about a bunch of criminal profilers in the FBI. I'm immersing myself in crime shows this evening. :D I've already seen two episodes of Bones tonight. I started writing a scene in my spec when I realized I know very little about autopsies. Thankfully, I did find an awesome website with info on autopsies for writers.
I'm sure Stan Brakhage's film The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes will have been helpful, too.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm not dead yet!

The past month or so, computer-wise, have been kind of like electronic purgatory. My laptop was finally pronounced dead, so I've reclaimed my ancient desktop from home and am finally reconnected to the internet. So that explains the utter lack of posts, if anyone was wondering.

Sadly, all of my fun pictures are still on my laptop's hard drive, so I'll see if I can find something cool on this one. :D


My Hulu queue is backed up again, with 21 items. They are as follows:

  • Lost - 1
  • SNL - 1
  • Dead Like Me - 5
  • Caprica - 4
  • Psych - 4
  • Merlin - 2
  • V - 4
Merlin has actually already been through my queue once, but I didn't seem much of it again. I might give it another shot, though. I mean, Anthony Head plays Uther, so it's kind of worth it to see Giles, even if he's a very un-Giles-y jerk.
I'm really enjoying Caprica. I knew with Jane Espenson (have I talked about that time she replied to my tweet? It was amazing.) as showrunner it would be awesome, but I'm getting into the story more than I expected. Of course, I'm a little behind, but I should remedy that soon.
I'm a little disappointed with the way this season of The Office is going, but I think it has taken a turn for the better.

A friend of mine told me about a NaNoWriMo thing in April for scriptwriters called Script Frenzy that I've decided to do. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it's an awesome program for writers in November. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Script Frenzy is kind of the same thing, but the goal is for a 100-page script.

I have an idea for a spec for The Office, so I might work on that for Script Frenzy. :)
Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Let the sun shine in!

Today was a glorious day, weather-wise, which is why I'm going to ignore all of the other crap, and tell you all about the sunshine and the blue sky and the birds and the sunshine. It was beautiful. Still chilly, but with enough sunshine that the cold doesn't bother you, and is just nice and brisk. I walked to class in the afternoon sans coat and it was wonderful. :)

Enough about the weather.

I finally got my computer to boot today, which also helped the day be better. It's been trying to off itself for a while now, and I thought today it had succeeded. Didn't think it could get worse than this, did you?:

I'm currently writing this blog with Gilmore Girls in the background. My roommate has the first two seasons on DVD and I am so thankful for that. :)

I also finally got a frame for my Hair poster, which I have temporarily placed next to my lovely begonias that I purchased:

It's signed by much of the cast, but is unfortunately lacking the signatures of Bryce Ryness and Gavin Creel, two of my favorites. But this makes up for it:

Yeah, that's us on the green room couches of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Be extremely jealous.

I still need to watch this week's Lost, and get caught up on The Office.

Apparently this go-round of the ABC-Disney Television Writing Fellowship has started up, and has me thinking a lot about it. I really want to apply for it next time, which means I need to get writing. I've started thinking about shows to write spec scripts for, to have a few on hand. Any ideas?


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let the sapfest begin.

Happy Valentine's Day. To those of us who find ourselves alone this holiday, don't despair. A great way to pull oneself out of a slump is to ignore reality for a few hours. Immerse yourself in a world of fiction, and pretend that that world is the true reality.

Since I sort of like television, I thought I would whip up a nice list of some of my favorite love-themed episodes:

  • "Lovers Walk" - Buffy the Vampire Slayer 3x08 - One of my favorite Buffy episodes. Spike returns to Sunnydale after Drusilla leaves him, and has decided to use magic to get her back. Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel set out to stop him together, and Xander and Willow have to deal with their own hormones.
  • "Swarley" - How I Met Your Mother 2x07 - A HIMYM classic. Marshall goes on a date with another girl after he and Lily break up, and she's not as okay with it as she lets on.
  • "Valentine's Day" -The Office 2x16- The title really says it all. It's Valentine's Day at Dunder-Mifflin. Flowers are being recieved, cards sent, secrets revealed, and some people in the office are just not happy. I'm worried this list is making me seem like a downer.
  • "Crush" - Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5x14 - With seven seasons, I couldn't help but include another episode. In this episode, Spike sets out to prove his love for Buffy by killing Drusilla. Great quote: "Honey, did you somehow lead him on in any way? Send him signals?" "Well, I do beat him up a lot...for Spike that's like third base."
  • "St. Valentine's Day" - 30 Rock 3x11 - Liz has a strange first date with Drew, and Jack goes to church with Elisa. An awesome episode made even more awesome by Jon Hamm as Dr. Drew Baird.
EDIT: There are actually two more Buffy episodes that I thought of that belong in this list. They are:
  • "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" - 2x16 - After Cordelia breaks up with him on Valentine's Day, Xander casts a love spell that causes all of the women in Sunnydale to fal in love with him, with disastrous results.
  • "Him" -7x06 - Dawn falls head over heels over a boy at school, as does Buffy, Anya, and even Willow, as the result of some sort of spell.
This is by no means a definitive list. If I had all night, I would make it much longer and far more detailed. With a rating system. And possibly plot analyses.

(Other recommended viewing includes You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, Shakespeare in Love, Kate and Leopold, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, Moulin Rouge, and Paris, je t'aime)

I hope that can at least give you some ideas on how to make your Singles Awareness Day the best that it can be, given whatever circumstances may be involved. And to you couples, enjoy each other's company, and try to be respectful of those around you that are not walking on clouds.
Once again, Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Doctor, oh Doctor, I'm begging you please, to rid me of madness, and cure this disease

This is day one of "Emily's First Steps to Betterment Through A Healthy Routine".

Today I:

  • Went to the gym on campus and worked out
  • Did homework
  • Had a Doctor Who marathon
  • Got caught up on this season of NCIS
A good start to a better life. And now I'm blogging, which was also one of the things I planned to do today.

I'm already a little nostalgic about David Tennant as the Doctor, so I needed a little of that in my life at the moment. I am, however, really freaking excited about NEW Who in MARCH. MARCH!! I'm still devastated that he's gone. Le sigh.

I DID find an article that confirms Neil Gaiman's plans to write an episode of Doctor Who that will air in 2011, which is just, to quote Nine, fantastic. :)

My mother will be disappointed to find out that I'm an episode (after tonight, two) episode(s) behind on Castle, one of my loves. I have so much television to catch up on right now, it's a little bit ridiculous. I have 15 items in my Hulu queue. If you're interested, they are:
  • Caprica (1)
  • Fringe (2)
  • The Office (3)
  • 30 Rock (1)
  • Psych (2)
  • Castle (1)
  • V (4)
Did I just hear Mark Sheppard (Badger on Firefly) narrating a Man Vs. Wild commercial on Discovery Channel? Hmmmm. Interesting.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm a slayer, ask me how!

Blogging is just as difficult as I remember. As stated previously, the main purpose of this blog is to write. I find it harder and harder to just write like this these days, because I haven't in a long time. If I'm going to reach my goal, I need to keep writing. So I'm going to make this a part of my routine, along with brushing my teeth and doing my homework.

A few things:

1) LOST. asfghfssfg. The new season began on Tuesday, and my head is still in a tizzy over the premiere. It didn't answer very many questions, but it set us up for what I'm sure is going to be the trip of a lifetime. :) Can't wait to experience it.

2) Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This show ended in 2003, but I just discovered the awesomeness roughly 10 months ago. I have since purchased every season on DVD, read all of the Season 8 comics, and introduced my sister and three of my friends to it. It may very well be one of my favorite shows of all time, and that is not an exaggeration. It's an amazing blend of the supernatural, amazing characters, humor, and heart. All of this leads me to my next part of this post, which is

3) Joss Whedon. I love this man and his beautiful brain. He gave us Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, and most recently, Dollhouse, which just ended after Fox killed it. Joss, why do you continue to go to Fox? They're the people who killed the lovely Firefly after fourteen episodes. Ridiculous.

This concludes the written diarrhea portion of my blogging career. I guess before I can really get well into this, I need to get all of the blather out of my system. So bear with me, dear readers. if you exist. Except for my mother. Hey, mom. :D

Song of the day - All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Walking in (cyber)Space

As part of my grand aspiration to become a writer in TV land, I decided that I really need to write more and more often. I find it difficult most of the time to just write, so this is going to be a (fingers crossed) daily regimen to make myself a better writer and a better person.
I'm not going to do the stock intro post, because I've done that far, far too many times. This is roughly the fourth blog that I've begun in my lifetime, including my attempt at livejournaling. Hey, I was fifteen once.
I just returned (okay, I use the phrase "just returned", but it was a few weeks ago) from my first trip to New York City, which was absolutely phenomenal. I fell in love with the city, the people, the atmosphere, etc. Just amazing. I also found this place in the village that I didn't get to go in because it was closed:

Song of the day: Perfect for You - Next To Normal - Adam Chanler-Berat and Jennifer Damiano