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Have you watched Leverage? You should. Or should have; it was cancelled (or at least officially ended) on Christmas Day (those bastards). So closed five seasons of one of the best con/heist shows on tv. Basically Robin Hooding as done by a smaller cast of Ocean's Eleven.

Tv shows come and go all the time, and they at least operated under the assumed fact that they would never get another season at almost every finale (this was altered if they knew before writing the last script of the season that they were continued).

This pisses me off, not just because it was my favorite show currently airing, but because it kinda killed a little of my want to go back to Portland. Not that I don't want to still, but Leverage being filmed there was a big push. Because, like a lot of writers, I too wished to sell a script for my favorite project.

Egotistical yes, but one I still kinda fume over. I had good ideas damn it, why didn't it wait for me?! Okay, that was much, but still.

So, being as they'd go to waste anyway, here were my ideas:

1) The P.O.V. Job
"The -blank- Job" was a title tik of the show. Bascially in every show, it was a five-act breakdown; intro and info on the con, beginning grift, hook and push of the mark, things go wrong, and the wrap up. Basic, but it was it was done that kept it from being boring.

My "great" idea, at least for this episode pitch, was screw all that to hell. While the fun of the show was seeing how these thieves con deserving people out of money/objects/companies they don't deserve, making it very much about the journey than the destination, I wanted to see things from the view of the person they were scamming. Hence the POV; the show, at least until the fifth act, would follow closely things from the mark's point of view. The five main cast would appear only in-character as whoever they were pretending to be.

High concept for a show that had a fairly well grooved formula, but something they may have needed; shake things up to keep the audience invested. Several things would need to be handled, by those fair more talented for the medium than I; making a con that put all five MCs to use, seeing as two were very much behind the scenes kinda of skill sets, and making sure they were used to a full extent. But that's what I kinda wanted, see these people as they make themselves; for a whole episode they appear only as these people they aren't, talking and acting as helpful, and then suddenly you're arrested and looking across the street at who you thought were on your side, only to see them silently gloating at your doom.

The basic con would have been a corrupt mega-church pastor, using the faith of his flock to scam them out of their savings/morgages/anything they could liquidate. Neil Patrick Harris was my first choice as the mark, that fun mix of smarmy, cartoony, and still threatening when serious. Zooey Deschaniel if the character needed to be female, or as a possible sister.

2) The Big Five-Part Finale: The Hitter Job, The Grifter Job, The Hacker Job, The Thief Job, The Mastermind Job
I wasn't stupid enough to believe the show would go forever. It had a finite shelf life before it would have to end; I just didn't think it was only five season. Now I'm sad again.

Anywho; my plan was to make sure, should the man from the mountain finally say it was, that the show ended as big as it could. Final. Epic. Grandious. And by that, give each character an episode to shine to the best of their abilities. Go by the show's tag line ("hitter, grifter, hacker, thief", the breakdown of the jobs of four of the cast; "mastermind" or "brains" was never part of the catchy quip), and work until it ended at "mastermind" the big conclusion that brought them all together, as they did in the pilot.

How? The hell if I knew, I'm big picture here, not details. It wasn't like I was counting on throwing out this idea to get me hired, I was gonna work "POV" up there for that. This was gonna be my addition to a writer's room pitch, work the seed for later when the inevidible happened. It Leverage was going to end, by god I was gonna have it go out as loud as it could!

...and then it ended. I knew a few days before the finale - I can actually say I know a guy and not have it be stretch - but luckily the press release had already gone out so he shouldn't be in any trouble. Also, thinking about it, they'd have known before that, so I was actually late to the game. Huh.

"The Long Goodbye Job" was the final episode, concluding both the season arc of secret-hush hush teasing and the five season "will they/won't they" romance of two of the main characters. I take that back; they very much "will", it was just taken to the next step. And there was the final seconds punt, throwing out a hail-mary pass to get a spin-off series; I'm told it didn't take. Sad.
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If there's one thing fans like more than whining about what they want, it's complaining about the things they get.

Normally I don't talk much about comics. I like them, and have a fairly decent collection that's not going to make me rich anytime soon, but when it comes to writing about it's been done many more times over by people with much more time on their hands to dedicate to it and stay more informed. My opinions usually only show themselves if I really like a subject or if I just happen to know a lot of useless fact (which some say is what being a comic nerd is anyway), so I usually stay out of the brew-ha-ha.

This, however, is something I take note of because, a) it's also fashion related, which I like to keep a toe dipped in, b) it's about a TV show adaptation, which are always fun one end of the spectrum or another, and c) fans got what they wanted after stinking up a storm.

Wonder Woman, should you not be in the know, is getting a new live action TV show. This is met by both yays and boos on both sides of all fences, from it being nothing but slumber parties and the Ally McBeal of superheroines to it'll be a superhero game changer and last longer than a second pity-season.

Then the costume came out, and no one had anything good to say (beyond acknowledging they weren't sticking her in a one-piece bathing suit/leotard and did give her leggings). It had heals, it looked cheap, she looked unenthusied, vinyl, plastic, sexy Halloween costume, it didn't hit home with anyone. Even people who had no idea about Wonder Woman could see it was a tacky looking thing.

Well, fans complained loud enough (or at least mentioned that said tackiness was going to muddrag the show to an early cancellation, which will quicker get a higherup to take notice) and got their wish... sorta.

*note* Go see T&Lo for more productions shots

Good news; the pants look better in a darker and less cheap looking fabric, they broke up the color block of "blue" with the red boots, the boots are sensible and lack heels, she's not wearing any blowjob lipstick, and overall the costume does look fairly decent in action shots.

Bad news; still stuck with the shiny red top (which shows how much it really wasn't meant for a lot of movement), the pants now look like they were made of a (still cheap) stretch material, and the plastic pieces still don't quite sell "metal".

Personal observations; maybe it's the makeup and lighting, but is that the same woman? Cause Blue Boots has Zellwigger eyes and wave to her hair, whereas Red Boots has more open/intense eyes (something Zellwigger can never do properly) and slightly lighter and feathered hair; and I know there's a difference between moving and posing, but Blue Boots seems to have signifigantly more *cough* lift than Red does. I hope that girdle-bustier comes supported because ow.

Also, there still something bothering me about how much open upper chest there is, asthecically (moreso in the linked article pic). Seriously, give her a collared necklace or something, she looks like she's a website away from promoting her collarbone as ad-space.

In the end, Wonder Woman is still being made into a TV show, either you're behind that or you're not. Script issues aside (which haven't been confirmed, so until it airs...), woman have typically gotten the shaft (...wow, that's not misogonist imagery at all...) when it comes to air time. What they do get is usually "iconic" but not always "good" in the same sentence. And there's damn few of them, off the top of my head I can think of; Xena (natch), Alias, and Dark Angel. Oh, and Buffy, duh. The original Wonder Woman would be counted, except the new one negates it for this listing. I'd metion Dollhouse, but it's one of those that got a "pity season" it may not have actually deserved.

So even including the non-included, that's what, five shows? Out of how many over how long? Yeah, Shaft City, standing at the corner of Bend-Over and Oh-You're-Still-There?

As a comic fan, I have my own issues I'd like to see changed but no one is ever going to be totally happy unless they themselves have ABSOULTE CONTROL which is never gonna happen, but I still support the show... or at least the idea behind it. I'll give it the Four-Episode window; the pilot to sell me, the next three production episodes to really hook me into deciding to give it any more of my TV time. Until then, it's still up in the air. But at least for now (some of) the fans have been placated.

*Edit* Just for the record, this is what my vote would have gone to.

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I swear, this'll be the last (dedicated) post I do on My Little Pony. I'm sorry, it's just been on my mind since I saw it, and really I'm kind of excited about that. I haven't been this obessed with something in a while, so it's nice to know I still have my geek cred.

Anyway, our minds are strange things. Often, we want to know what we don't know. In that, when we're presented with something, often we want answers to that something. Once, maybe twice, we can just enjoy it without thinking deeply about it, letting it ride out and partaking of the entertainment. But then the ugly rational side rears back and says, "Hey! What about-" and then it's nothing but plot holes, nit picks and looking for answers to questions no one thought about because why would you think that?

As I have been rather My Little Pony focused of late, I've found several things that are of interest to me. Things that only occur to you when you've been thinking about it way too long. Things like:
  • Where are the parents?: Seriously, it's something that's really weird. Because we have siblings; we have grandparents; we have cousins; but where the hell are a pony's mom and dad? Are all ponies just non-commitial breeders, who come together only at the right ordained time to procreate? Such that ponies will only recognize siblings and grand parents, but whose parents bring shame because they're off studding for someone new this month?

  • Naming for the future: Consider this; a pony's name makes them easily identifible. You know their name, you know essentailly the kind of personality you're going to be dealing with. That's a lot of power. What you name the young pony is essentially labeling what they are to become later in life. Because think about it; when you name a young girl Fluttershy, what do you see her becoming? A goth-metal starlet? Rose? What, she'll becoming a taxidermist? What is chosen at birth seems cute, but really, you can decide how and who they'll grow up. And what if there's a popular naming trend that year? What if one year there's a lot of "milk" related names? Are there just going to be a lot of cereal enthusists joing the job market in later years?

  • Cutie marks: Ignoring the cutisee naming convention, why do they seem surprised by what they get? Everyone in Applejack's family has apple marks of some kind; granted some are baked goods, but still, apple related. Apple Bloom is worried and ever-questing to discover something to gain her mark; but her name is Apple Bloom, what you get is probably going to corrilate with apples. And going back to the naming ability, what are you setting yourself up for when you name your kid things like "Diamond Tiara" or "Silver Spoon"? Why would you name them these things, you're almost guranteeing yourself a couple of brats. And their marks are exactly what their name is, so how does work? They have passions for silver spoons and diamond tiaras? Maybe they grow up to be jewelists, I can see what their crafts would be, but still, bratty, bratty names!

  • It's good to be male: It's like wandering into your greatest Amazon fantasy; almost nothing but females. You are a stud; perhaps literally. Given the ratio of female to male, how does this work out exactly? Because you'd figure there's gonna be some fights growing up over rights to go after the guys. Monogamy doesn't seem practical, when by chosing one you abandon another 15 or so others to spinsterhood. This is why I wonder about parents, or the lack there of; if coitus is only for procreation, with the raising of children left to grown silbings of similar pairings or the older and feeble, then that means there are no pony relationships, beyond the magic of friendship and the magic of friendship "with benefits".

  • Pony/world symbosis: The ponies are responible for every aspect of the world they live in; pegasi bring or take the weather away, depending on what is needed or wanted, earth ponies takes care of the animal's needs like homes and food, magic may or may not be used in these applications, so here's what I'm left wondering; if the ponies were to suddenly have to vacate their homes, what would happen? Would the animals die out, having relied on the ponies for so long to bring them their meals, or tell them when it was time to migrate? Would the weather forever be whatever the last thing it was left as, flooded by unrelenting rain or dried bare in a cloudless sky's unmerciful sun? Is the world there to give home and cause to the ponies, or do the ponies make the land what is only by their presense?

  • Purpose in life: So, should there be alcohol or an intoxicant of some kind, does that mean there's a designated town drunk?

  • Never gonna grow up: Princess. Why Princess? A thousand year rule, don't you think she'd be Queen by now? She has the power to raise and lower the sun each day, she is the life bringer to the world. But think further; if she is just a Princess, who is above her? A Queen? A King? Is she the Jesus-Pony, brood of some higher power, brought or left on this earth to teach the mortal ponies the divine ways?

  • Not enough jobs: Okay, every pony has a purpose or passion in life, that they are whimsily named to and given a branding for. While I can understand the need for many farmers, exactly how many dress makers are needed in any one area? How many party planners or mayors? With so many ponies in one area, what happens with the over lap? Because there's a lot of ponies, but it's not exactly a large population area; I doubt the need for a lot of redundant job openings. But then what happens when one finally passes on? Is there a young pony who dreamed of their big break to fill this one position on the outside chance they'd one day be able to prove their stuff, or is there just an empty space left until someone fills it? Like, the world keeping turning (by the power of pony) but there's this little emptyness there that's left until someone grows up with the passion to fill that job?

So yeah, that's what's been on my (immediate) mind. Hopefully I'll find something to take it's place. I've been watching the new G.I. Joe: Renegades show, maybe I'll review that next.
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A full(er) review.

Let's do this.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is the latest animation rendition of the long running Hasbro toyline, My Little Pony. Centering around six individual ponies, the show is focused around teaching it's watchers, an aimed demographic of 4-8 year-old girls, about friendship and honesty and how to basically be a good person, despite faults, misgivings or fears. Developed for televsion by Lauren Faust, produced by Canadian studio, Studio B Productions, it's (as of this writing) currently a little over halfway through its first 26 episode season.

Oh, and it's freaking awesome.

The hard part is explaining exactly why, considering especially that (at least based on Youtube commentary) it has considerable appeal to the 20-something college male. Unironically. Let's see what there's to be.

You know what, screw it. This show is awesome, and you are less awesome for not watching it. OBEY THE CUTENESS! )
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*holds head*

Okay, confession time. When I was a kid, I had a VHS tape that had two cartoons on it; My Little Pony: The Movie and The Chipmunk Adventure. As I loved cartoons, I didn't think much of it, I just watched 'em. And to my credit, the Smooze is a pretty cool non-dangerous villain for kids (and a irritatingly catchy song). But over time I started watching mainly only the Chipmunk half, and even then it was mainly for the songs (okay, one song). And I was pissed when I lost that tape, because it was part of my childhood. Not just the movies, but the tape itself, having those two movie back to back was just what I'd always known of them; I'd never seen either movie on it's own, or ever one television, so I was not happy.

Now, skip ahead to today. I still love cartoons, and I've previously admitted to liking shows I should have no right enjoying because I am so far outside the intended range of what they're aiming for.

But I can't help it.

It's just...


It's just.




I am part of no man society, because my card would be revoked before I even got it )
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Observations, applying mainly to competition shows.

  • You are not "too good" for this show; you did sign up after all
  • Don't argue with the judges, you're there for a reason
  • By all means, however, do stand up for yourself
  • Don't be a douchebag; you're on national television
  • Yes, you're here to win; you and everyone else
  • Always be ready for a twist; always expect there to be a catch at any point
  • Editing; the show will make you appear to be whoever they want you to be, but just remember you gave them the footage to work with
  • Stand behind your work, you put it out there
  • Don't say "This isn't what I do/I'm not a [specific profession title]" you knew what you were getting into
  • Just because you won, doesn't mean you won't go home tomorrow
  • Just because you were on the bottom doesn't mean you can't win tomorrow
  • It doesn't matter what awards you've won, what big name you've worked for, or really anything outside what happens on this show; all that matters is the next thing in front of the judges
  • A team challenge means you work as a team; make your presence known, but don't be dead weight or a dictator (aka, don't be a dick)
  • You weren't just randomly picked off the street, so stop acting so surprised when a curveball is thrown
  • Realize what the show is about and come prepared; have more than one flexible idea waiting in the wings
  • Know that it's going to get stressful pretty quickly; take a deep breath and get over it
  • Don't harp on the hardships of your life; it may endear you to the audience, but you're not going to get the pity vote for it
  • You're not going to win every challenge, so don't even say that
  • Make what you want and like and can be proud of, but know that you can't be the only one who thinks so
  • Don't be boring; that's worse than being bad
  • If a group decision gets you sent to the bottom, don't whine about it, they don't care; survive, and come back next time with something they can't deny
  • You may well have to work with or for children at some point; make peace with that
  • You may well have to make something to the demands of an irritating client; don't let yourself get steamrolled, but think about which side of the bitch-card you want to be on
  • Be honest; if you make a mistake, own up to it
  • Saying "It's a game/competition" doesn't excuse you from being an asshole
  • Be cool; lend a helping hand if you can (especially if they helped you first), but don't be so nice that it's a detractment to your own work
  • One really great thing is better than two okay things
  • Know that it can be to your advantage to make multiple offerings, when making only one will be seen as playing it safe
  • When possible, do play up to the judges; just don't be obvious or repeatative
  • If you leave, and your exit interview has you saying you "still had tricks up your sleeve", that's why you're going home; don't hold back any tricks if you have them (and are able to use them)
  • A gimmick or quirk can only be used so many times before it's boring and/or annoying
  • Plan for everything; expect nothing
  • If you have immunity on a team challenge, let someone else take point; you aren't going anywhere, let others take the reins when you have nothing to lose (however, don't slack or be silent)
  • Don't be so egotistical to think your tastes are above/more refined than that of your judges; if you were really that good, you wouldn't be on the bottom
  • If your strengths are only to a specific narrow niche, why did you think you could compete in this varied commerical setting?
  • Realize taking a risk can be good, but it has to pay off to be worth anything
  • If the guest judge is Wylie Dufrense, make an egg dish
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Crap on a stick. I think I disappointed someone I'd have rather not have; they're good sports about it, but I still don't like not living up to my word when I make it. So I figured I'd drown my self-induced sorrow in television.

Expect I don't have cable or satellite.

...okay, techinically I could indulge in what I can find on the internet (two seasons and eight episodes of Top Chef down, six more to go) but that would mean I don't post about the kinds of TV I like.

To the ever annoyance of my parents, I love television. Not to the point of all else, I do read and get out often, but sometimes all I want is to veg and marathon a show or two; the ability to buy whole seasons on DVD helps this, but some stuff isn't out yet... or ever. I'm neandering, the point is I watch more than they'd like me too, have since I was young. I blame the stories; I fall into the adventures and characters I see, becoming a fan of many shows until it seems I can't keep up with them all.

I've already many times over talked about how much I love animation, so I'm leaving that alone to talk about other things; scripted hour-long series, and a bit of competition shows.

One thing I've found about my viewing habits is that I tend to like shows where I think I'm learning something. Not being tricked into anything, but that says that if I watch this enough, and emulate what they do, I too could be a professional >whatever<. So shows that are hour long drama sitcoms (your Gilmores, your celebrity paperazzi) don't do it for me. Some can be interesting, but what they do is often more drawing that the characters they try to impress upon you.

What I'm really into right now; Burn Notice, Leverage, House, Law & Order, Top Chef, Chopped a few others I can't think of at the moment.

In a way, you really can learn a lot from watching the shows. I've watched so much L&O that I could fake the profession, and have often been asked by friends to go through legal options based on my television legal knowledge. The thing to remember about what you learn, however, is that you need to check what you know. Just because they say or do it in the show doesn't mean that it's real (or legal).

And that's been a real problem for people in the actual professions. Because of CSI, courtroom lawyers are dealing with more and more armchair technicians. They think that the high tech offices and labs they see on TV are how it really goes down, that tests can be done right then and there and results come in just after lunch and that the people who handle the evidence are the same who investigate the crimes. They want to see more physical evidence, more bloodwork and hair samples and fingerprints and more and more things that aren't that simple in real life. What people who don't think things through don't realize is that often labs are off-site, independent entities are that are so backed up by the time they get to running the labs the case could already be to trial, or even already over. There's a reason that trials are often months after a crime has actually been commited.

But that doesn't stop me from remembering as much as I can. And I constantly check things or watch real docu-shows that show the real thing, so that I don't fall for Hollywood magic. House? The vast majority of that show is wrong, from procedure (you do not shock a flatline!) to testing to diagonose to the illness itself. But taken with a grain of salt, and you can learn a bit of medical knowledge; just don't let it go to your head.

Some shows fake or fudge the real deal for legal or liability reasons. Burn Notice and Leverage deal with ex-spys and con-men, two professions whose vast majority of work is illegal or can't be talked about (or they will kill you). But stll, there is much to be gleaned. Disregard 90% of the how-to-build-this stuff in BN, and they show you a lot of good military tactics for episonage and warfare. Accept that people aren't going to behave the way they do on TV, and Leverage can tell you how to manipulate people a wee bit. Everything with a grain of salt though.

Competition shows are awesome because the people on them actually possess the skills (you know, to varying degrees) it takes to make whatever the show's topic is. A cooking show is going to have real cooks; or really bad cooks, as is the case of Worse Cooks in America. An art show is going to have real artists. Sometimes the people can't produce, but that's the name of the game, put up or shut up.

What I learn I apply to my writing. I may not be an expert in any single area, but enough general knowledge can get me by most of the time. Should I need more, I can research it or find someone who lives it and have them help. I'm not just making stuff up; all the time. I do, but I also make sure it has a basis in reality (expect for when it's not or can't be "real"). And what I make up I double check to see if it's even plausible. The DaVinci Code was hailed and marketed as being "real secrets" and real mysteries. Bull. Shit. Dan Brown made up 99% of the crap he wrote, and other 1% was lies. Almost every single Bible reference, location, name drop, profession title, logic was idiotacy.

But the show needs to be good itself, not just telling you something. I said I may give it a chance if I like the background enough, but if even that is fubared then there's little reason to keep watching. American Chopper, when it first started, was a good show about a father and son building motorcycles. I learned quite a bit about automotive works, machine shops and the business behind it; and the bikes they made were often exciting and dramatic. But more and more as the series went on it became about the drama of the people, the fights, and the bikes were just what spun in the center. I lost interest because I don't like personal drama being the grounds of having your own show.

I don't know that I could do better though. Everyone, well most everyone, usually says they have a great idea for a tv show, if only they had the money or knew the right people. I have my own ideas of different shows, but I also know that a lot goes into even getting a test pilot going. And even then, how hard it is to gage what will be the next hit.

For now, I'm hoping to save money (eventually) and buy the series I like. Until then I watch what I can, learn what I can, and apply it to what I want to write.
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I have a love/hate relationship with reality television. In that I both love and hate it. There are a wide margin of the things that I just can't stand, most them being the ones that do absolutely nothing. It just a show following someone(s) who somebody said was famous enough to have their own show. Big Brother, the Housewife series, really anything on the E! network, it's so pointless. The dating ones are crap as well, forcing twenty people together to fight over one person is hardly love. And while you want to, can you really trust the emotions and acts a person does when a camera is in their face?

But then I love stuff like Project Runway, Top Chef, Work of Art (all on (or started on) Bravo oddly enough), American Chopper (in it's early years); they actually accomplish something. There is an overall goal, and an end product. Actual skill is involved, beyond looking good on camera. Yes, I totally realize that the entire event is a production, it is a tv show after all, but there is still talent needed to be there. The show needs "characters" but to even be considered a character you have to put up to make it that far.

Project Runway I think was one of, if not the, first competition shows of its kind. I loved it from the first season. Take 12 designers, hope they can sew, and put them through a three month relay race of fashion. Awesome. Bitchy egos, stress induced arguements, and the trainwreck that follows. Over times it's gotten more and more produced and staged, the producers trying harder each season to match the raw discovery of the first season, when they didn't know what they were doing and everything was more real. When models didn't show up on time, or didn't at all and forced the skinny gay designer to model instead. When the challenges were more than design something pretty. When the show went to Lifetime, I thought it would die. And when the season finale was made up of three young beautiful women in their twenties, Lifetime's goal demographic, I thought it lost all crediblity. Lucky the next seasons made up for it (somewhat), so that seasons strangeness was blamed instead on being in LA.

Top Chef, the show I really want to talk about right now, has consistantly rocked every season it's been on. The first paved the way, based heavily on the PR show model, but changed enough to really keep it fresh. It had two challenges instead of one, with the first affecting the second, in both theme and varibles. The people are almost more talented and egotistic than anyone on PR. And the challenges, despite aways being food based, continue to be fresh and interesting.

Speaking of challenges, TC is the only show I know that has certain challenges return every season. Two challenges, such fan favorites that since their introduction are the goal to reach, and the most feared, of the chefs involved; the mise an place relay race, introduced in Season 3, and the dreaded Restuarant Wars, in place since Season 1.

Right now I'm watching Season 7 on Dailymotion, because I missed it not having cable, and Season 8, also on Daily, as it happens.

S8 is the first All Star season, returning past seasons second-place contestants as well as fan favorites and those who just stir the drama pot. Today's post title was in relation to Wylie Dufresne, an award winning and envelope pushing chef. He is well known, now, for loving eggs; his first appearance on the show was during an egg themed Quickfire challenge. So when one of the chefs purposely cooked an egg dish for Wylie, he knew what he was doing. But hearing "notorious egg slut" be said out loud, and knowing it aired on national television is just hilarious.

One thing people don't think about show like this, any show that has a presenter, is how hard that job really is. It's hard to feel sorry for somebody who really does nothing in relation to the show aside of stand there, usually look pretty, and talk about what the actual talent is going to do be doing that day, but it's a vital part of a show's survivibility. Think of American Idol; Ryan Seacrest is a douchebag and talking is his only talent (if even want to call it that), but there must be some reason he makes so much money to host the show. So is the same with shows like TC and PR. PR has had Heidi Klum since it's beginning, and lucked out with her. She a model, and kinda sadly shows that fact often, but she has a very good personality and energy that translates well to hosting. That her total time on screen amounts to maybe four minutes total doesn't take away from her presence.

TC, on the other hand, faltered at the gate on that aspect. Katie Lee Joel was best known for being married to Billy Joel. Supposedly she really had a food career, but it was so miniscule that it couldn't have factored in. And she was dull and monotone, something you can't be when trying to convey tension or excitment to the cheftesants, and by proxy the viewers. She was let go after one season and replaced with Padma Lakshmi, who despite being a blip on the food circuit as much as Lee, at least had legitimate shows on Food Network and Discory Channel, and couple awards to back her up. That she was warm and personable helped as well. Almost to illustrate the point, Katie Lee was brought back as a guest judge in S8. Side by side with Padma, it's easy to see why they lost her. She was drowned out by Padma's presence, let alone Tom Colicchio's (who is awesome), was still dull to listen to, and almost looked annoyed to be there. Maybe that part was a bit of resentment, but still.

By the time Work of Art came out, Bravo had the formula down pat as to how to put together a well produced and interesting reality game show. Set number of contestants, all of varying degrees of competience and skill, at least two who are dellusional, half of whom are egomaniacs, and close working and living quarters. Four judges, one whom is also the host, of varied personalities, and one guest judge. One mentor, also possibly a judge, who has a charming accent of some kind, and who tries to help stear the contestants towards something not embarrassing without telling htem exactly what to do. Challenges that test the hamster runners, hopefully making at least one of them say "this isn't what I do" and another say "I've got this in the bag", that are also interesting enough to keep them guessing.

And for the most part they got it. The first season was much more polished than any pervious reality competition show they've presented so far, and did produce gallery worthy pieces; sometimes, about 90% was good but you'd have a hard time finding someone interested in the rest. There were some quality issues, in both the judging and those playing, but that's the nature of these kinds of things. They let the obvious shit kickers stick around long enough to mess with everyone, but got rid of them as soon as it was apparent they weren't going to produce to do anything worth while beyond kick shit. They got three good finalists, one of whom deservedly was shown he's not that hot, and the guy I wanted to win from episode one took it home.

What kinda pissed me off, and it shouldn't have, was that I found out I missed the casting call for the next season. I've wanted to at least try one of these things, just for S&Gs, but know that I'm way behind on even thinking about attempting it. One, I have no portfolio to show, and no current work anyway. Two, I'd need to desperately raise my skill levels to even try. Three, I'd have to think about whether or not I even want to subject myself to reality television.

But it's fun to think about.
ravenswept: (Default)
If there's one thing I can definitely ramble on about for a while, it's comic. Well, and movies. And cartoons. And comic movies. But still, comics this time. And rambling I shall do.

Young Justice is a new animated series on Cartoon Network, created by Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, Weisman the creator of Gargoyles and producer of Spectacular Spider-Man, so that's a well endorsed resume, and frankly the show looks to kick. ASS.

I have a history with the comic YJ. It was the first series I seriously followed, having previously only watched cartoons based on comics and collected various titles sporadically. But with YJ, I read and bought as many back and current issues as I could, because I just loved it.

It's times like this I wish I had a webcam to do this stuff.

Quick rundown of what Young Justice was and DC animated shows to this point )

My thoughts and breakdown of Young Justice: the Series )

Wrapping it up )

Young Justice: the Series
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
ravenswept: (Default)
I've never tried to hide it, I love animation. Movies, TV shows, shorts on the internet, traditional, CGI, stop-motion, anime, love 'em all. While not big, my DVD collection is probably at least half animated features, and smaller portion is animated TV shows.

I don't know why, exactly, but something about them seems more "real" to me in some ways. I love how there are no constrants in terms of what can be done, except by the skill of the or limitations of the animator. While it's always nice to see great special effects in live action films, too often they're held back by their budget in what they can do. Other times, when the film could easily go so much further, it holds itself back for practical or budget reasons. Animation, however, can defy reality ten times over and give us stories and images that might've only been seen in our heads. And style; there are no doubt styles in live action, due to lighting, staging, angles, so on and such. But animation wraps that again and again in it's presentation.

I will now proceed to ramble and get pretty wordy )

Good god, I've become the old man on the porch who starts everything he says with "Back in my day..." But it's true, you little bastards! My cartoons were better! Nyah!


ravenswept: (Default)

January 2013

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