Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lost - The Life & Death of Jeremy Benthem (5x07)

This episode only really provided a few surprises for me. For the most part, it filled in some blurry spots (but ones we could have guessed).

Here is what we kind of already knew:

1) There have been lots of suspicions that John Locke would be revived or resurrected when he returned the island. Not sure if this is because he is some sort of chosen one by the island, so it revives him. We have seen it happen, sort of, to Christian Shepherd. But we have also seen Locke healed numerous times, from being paralyzed to falling and cracking bones to a receiving a gun shot wound. It doesn't completely shock me to see him alive (especially after the promo last week for this episode).

2) Locke's visits to the O6 (give or take). Everyone is surprised to see him, but no one is really shocked. Sayid is just kind of "whatever" about it. Hurley is convinced he is crazy, again (he never has been crazy, right?). Kate is firm but over it. Jack is angry.

3) Walt does need to return to the island, like the rest. It was nice to see Walt, but we knew we would because Walt told Hurley last season that Jeremy Benthem had been to see him, too. However, something must have upset him that he would then fly to Santa Rosa visit Hurley. I am still really hoping that Walt was somehow on that flight in coach.

New things revealed:

1) Abbadon DOES work for Widmore. There has been speculation about that. I am so glad that Hurley yelled at Locke for trusting him. Locke recognizes him from the hospital and goes with him anyway. I find it quite creepy. I am glad that Abbadon acknowledged that Locke recognized him. What is also new is that Ben kills Abbadon, but I don't think that Ben was trying to kill Locke at that time.

2) Locke kept his promise to Jin and didn't visit Sun. Nor did he send Ben to do his dirty work. Ben came up with that on his own.

3) Widmore remembers Locke from 50 years previous, while it has been only 4 days for Locke. This was a fun meet-up. Widmore reveals that Ben is, of course, the bad guy. That Widmore was forced to leave the island by Ben and he has never gotten back. I can see why Locke would choose to believe Widmore over Ben, given their awful history. But I just wish Locke would step up and stop listening to anyone else. If he is truly the chosen one, he should manage to get the job done on his own.

4) There is a war coming. Widmore tells this to Locke. I found this to be interesting, and while not completely shocking, a kind of interesting revelation as Widmore told Locke that being on the Island would keep him out of the war. You would think being on the island would put one smack dab in the middle of such war.

5) Ben kills Locke, but only after talking him out of killing himself. Why bother? This was certainly a disturbing but not surprising turn of events. It was really actually quite sad. Watching Locke trying to kill himself (and about to succeed) was just really sad. But it was a huge (scary) step of faith he was willing to take. Locke is often compared to Jesus lately, so who does that make Ben?

Some questions:

1) Which island are the Ajira flight survivors on? What is the room/office where Cesar is set up?

2) Why did some of the O6 flash back to wherever Jin is and some crash in the plane. We know Lapidis crashed in the plane and another woman (probably Sun) because they took off.

3) Why did Ben decide to kill Locke himself only after Locke mentioned Eloise Hawking. What about this knowledge meant that Locke needed to be die. I have a theory but I am still wrapping my head around it and working it out.

4) Except for Juliet, the Others don't move with the flashes. So I can believe Ben wouldn't have. He was all beat up, but that may have been partially from the crash as he was beat up so bad when they took off. What is going to happen next?

5) Locke realized who Christian's son was on his own. It was this revelation that got Jack on a plane (the one before the bridge-jumping experience where he found the obit for Jeremy Benthem)

Other thoughts:

I am glad the writers didn't spend more than one episode on the Jeremy Benthem visits. It would have been too drawn out. I like how Locke is so completely truthful to this Ajira crash crew, and he is just so matter-of-fact about dying, wearing those clothes to be buried, being killed by Ben. His faith is confirmed so he isn't really afraid of anything.

The conversation between Kate and Locke was sad. He realized how he screwed up the one thing he loved in life: his relationship with Helen. And Kate was rather mean to him about it. But it turns out Helen is dead. Locke has a number of regrets about Helen and he shares them here. His obsession with his dad was NEVER worth that loss and he knows it now.

I had a dream about Lost last night. In it, the Losties all flash-jumped to the 40s and were fighting in the war. And Ben was a big ol' Nazi. Then they jumped again and they were in Star Wars. They were all wearing robes and fighting with light sabers. Do you think either of these have any merit as theories...?

I wondered to my husband last night if maybe current Ben is responsible for 50-years-ago Widmore leaving the island. He might have trusted him back then, because Ben would have been a long-time resident of the island and we know he is quite the manipulator. The age difference makes one wonder when a younger Ben would have eliminated Widmore from the island, otherwise.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Someone please explain this to me

A.R. Rahman wrote an amazing score, as well as some perfect stand-alone songs for Slumdog Millionaire. He deservedly took home the Oscar for Best Song for Jai Ho (although I prefer O...Saya, also nominated).

Now here it the part I don't understand: Why, the very day after it earned this prestigious award, did we sully it with a remix. Okay, so Rahman wants a more commercialized release, so he agrees to do a remix with an American singer. Understandable. With the level of attention this film is getting, there are some pretty amazing singers he could get to sing in his remix.

But instead, we get Nichole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. Maybe I am being mean, but I just don't like PCD and don't think this remix adds anything to an already-great song. Check it out here:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DWTS: Not again!

Once again, this season I decided not to watch Dancing with the Stars. It just can't compare to So You Think You Can Dance, both on levels of talent (the pros are great, but the stars are not so great) and entertainment value. And once again, the season has sucked me. More and more this is due to the pros being snatched up from the SYTYCD alumni. Previously, Lacey Schwimmer (season 3 of SYTYCD) was brought on to dance with Lance Bass and this season is set to dance with Steve-O (who I am actually interested to see now that he has cleaned himself up).

This season, two new SYTYCDancers ahve been added:

Dmitry Chaplin, (season 2), who will be dancing with singer Jewel. I wonder if he will rip open his shirt much??

Chelsie Hightower, season 4, who will be dancing with rodeo star Ty Murray (who also happens to be Jewel's fiance)

Looks like I am sucked back in!

LOST: 316

Just a warning: I expect this post to be very scatter-brained, and it probably won't make a lot of sense.

I managed to watch about 30 seconds of this episode before I forced myself to turn it off and wait for my husband. He would never forgive me for watching it without him. But, needless to say, I was freaking out after seeing Jack wake up in a jungle. So I was so upset when Sean got off work late, didn't get home till late, and then we had technical problems and had to wait till 11 pm to get it watched. But it was well worth the wait.

Here are some of my thoughts and questions from this episode. (I watched it twice so I could be sure I didn't miss anything, but I am sure I did, nonetheless)

- We already know that Sayid and Hurley have no interest in being involved with Ben in this attempt to return to the island (although, I think both of them might feel somewhat compelled to return without his help). So who (or what) got to them to make them get there? I am guessing the same person got to Kate because I can't imagine anything that would make her give up Aaron (which seems to be the case??) and follow Jack to the island. And, let's face it: It isn't Ben. He was too busy taking care of his "promise" to deal with getting them all on board. And there is also the fact that Hurley didn't know he would be there.

- Did anyone else find the sudden rekindling of the Jack/Kate romance quite desperate. Both for the two of them, and for the story? I didn't think it fit.

- Two questions about Hurley. Why the guitar (It clearly has some meaning regarding Charlie, but I don't know what it is. Oh wait! Maybe Charlie visited him and that is what made him rush to the airport?)? The second question is about the seats he bought up. The flight is quite packed back in coach, so I am just guessing that he bought up all the remaining seats on the flight, so no more people would be allowed on. I was just a little confused on that. I love that he wanted to keep those people from getting on the plane.

- Speaking of Ben's promise was this him fulfilling (or trying to fulfill) his promise to kill Penny? He was at a marina. But who beat the crap out of him? I am hoping it was Desmond or maybe Penny herself. Did you notice not one person was curious about his beaten state when he got on the plane, not even his new best friend Jack?

- And as for Jack & Ben, I think their relationship is funny. Why would Jack as Ben, of all people, if he was responsible for Locke's death? And why does Ben tell him what he wants to hear (kind of fatherly, actually)? Also, I was amused that Ben seems quite jealous of the one-on-one time that Jack had with Mrs. Hawking.

- Of course, then Jack opens this suicide note and it is a letter of blame to Jack. Come on, Locke. That was just mean! But I am guessing Locke either killed himself because he knew he had to, or he had a hand in it... Did John even write that letter to Jack? Or is this something Ben is involved in. He has his hand in everything else.

- It is interesting that John's body will substitute for Christian's on the plane. It seems that Jack is trying desperately to embrace all the crazy talk (and not be a Doubting Thomas, which as an interesting analogy that Ben used for Jack not believing)

- Sayid has a police escort. What happened here and how did he manage to board this particular flight? And why did Sayid where another one of those low-cut black tank top/undershirts to the island? To recreate his first trip? I think the island would have found him anyway...

- The Losties returning to the island didn't crash this time, but flashed. Right into the time period where Jin is. This seems a little too lucky, so I am guessing that they are subject to the same time-jumps as those that are left on the island.

- But where are the other people from the plane? Sayid? Sun? Frank? The new guy and girl that were in first class? What happened there?

My favorite quotes:

Ben: "Who cares?", when Jack asks what will happen to all the other passengers on the plane

Jack: "How can you read?"
Ben: "My mother taught me."

Frank: "We're not going to Guam, are we?"

And now, next week, when all I want is to see what happens next, we get the Locke episode. You know, the one we have been waiting for. The one that explains everything he did after he left the island. The highly anticipated explanation. But all I want is to see what is happening on the island now that the O6 are back...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Run by Leona Lewis

I am trying to figure out how I feel about Leona Lewis' version of the song Run. You must understand that I adore the original by Snow Patrol, and it is one of my favorite (if not number one) songs on their albums. Leona is certainly talented, and more mainstream than Snow Patrol. But she kind of divas up the song. The video is pretty, as is Leona. I don't think I have made up my mind. I definitely prefer the SP version, but I guess her version is pretty enough. What do you say?

Watch the Leona Lewis version here.

Run by Snow Patrol

By the way, I do realize that Lewis did not just release this song and it has been out for a while. But as of late I have seen the video a lot and it just spurred me on to post.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Scripted TV Show on Hulu - Thoughts?

For the past several months, I have been on a panel over at The Hulu Review that has the task and privilege of choosing the top shows on Hulu, spread over a number of categories. While I intended to post about it sooner, I have yet to write anything on my blog about it. This week, we vote for Best Television Show. Keep in mind this is not Best Television Show Ever, but just the best of the series that are on Hulu. Of course, Hulu carries some of the best, so it is a tough decision this week. Keep in mind that the panelists are given freedom to choose the "best" using any method they choose. It is completely up to the panelists. Here are my opinions on the final 6 nominees for Best Television Show.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - I am not knocking ol' Hitchcock, but he just ain't my TV cup of tea. The other five shows are ones I like a LOT more.

Arrested Development - This is one of my all-time favorite shows. And it literally never gets old. I can watch it regularly and when I finish season 3, I just pop season 1 back in the DVD player. It is unlike anything else I have seen on TV; the writing and acting are beyond amazing. And it is just hilarious. I probably quote Arrested Development more than any other show this is or ever was on. I would say it is too bad that it didn't last longer, but I like a show that can go out on a high note. And we can always be left wanting a little more.

Battlestar Galactica - Battlestar Galactica is a prime example of a genre that people are scared of (sci-fi)only to discover that it deals with very human, prevalent issues and relationships. Yes, there are giant robots and the human population lives in space, but what makes this show is the people. Their stories. How the interact. Of course, I really enjoy the space/robots part of it, too. But I think people are missing out on one of the best shows around. One can hope that it gains popularity on DVD after the series finishes in the coming months. *tear*

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I hopped on the Buffy bandwagon a little late. I think it was during Season 6 when I started watching reruns from the beginning in syndication. I caught all the way up and then finished out the series on UPN. I truly think Joss Whedon is a genius, but I can see why Buffy doesn't have as universal appeal as some other shows, especially ones that are considered to be "sci-fi."

Chuck - I am huge Chuck fan (you can read about my days working on set here). I love the geek-spy combo. Zach Levi is perfect in the role (if you can accept how geeky he is really supposed to be). I think it reaches a wider audience and has a broader appeal than the other shows on the list. But I don't think I can name it my top. Yes, it is can't miss for me, but other shows on this list always will beat it out.

Friday Night Lights - Emily turned me on to FNL after Season 1. I had not been interested, even though I had heard the critical chatter, because it didn't appear to be doing all that well, in any time slot. The summer before the second season, I caught all the way up. I have even gotten my husband addicted. Fans rejoiced at getting a third season, which has been as amazing as the first. I literally cry every single episode, and after watching always find myself exclaiming how amazing the acting is, and how well the characters are portrayed by the actors.

My decision really comes down to Arrested Development, Battlestar Galactica, and Friday Night Lights, three shows that could not be more different (except for excellent writing, great execution, and the lack of the audience they deserve). Decision still being made...

How would you vote?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Bright" Outlook for NBC's Parks and Recreation

My interest was sparked in NBC's new comedy Parks and Recreation just because it is Amy Poehler. From the creators of The Office. And Rashida Jones is cool. But the news today that Chris Pratt, aka Bright Abbott from Everwood will be joining the cast solidifies its place on my viewing schedule! Loved him as Bright. Loved him as Che on The OC. He was such a creep in Wanted. Can. Not. Wait.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Some TV discussion: Lost, BSG, and Chuck

OK, so I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks. I think I should be forgiven as I have been adjusting after a move to a different continent. :) But I plan to try to catch back up! Let's do a small catch up now! SUPER SPOILER ALERT!!!

LOST, "The Little Prince" - I don't even know what to say about Lost. I realize that a lot of fans are confused this season. I won't say there aren't confusing parts, but I am all about being confused. I still have full faith in the writers that things will be explained at a later date. Last night's episode was so amazing to me. I loved it. Sawyer got to see Kate again. While it hadn't exactly been addressed, we knew the time traveling crew was bound to show up at the time the Losties were on the beach. Sean guessed as soon as he saw the light. Creepy! But I love where this is going with Sawyer, and more character development.

And then Jin. JIN JIN JIN JIN!! I knew he wasn't dead. I just knew it but I am glad to see he is alive and saved by a young pregnant Rousseau. While I guessed that Rousseau was in the boat as soon as I heard the french, I did not see it coming that Jin was on the floating piece of wood...

Jack & Kate are reunited. Ben has confessed to going after Aaron, but I am guessing it is just a ploy to get them back to the island. I had wondered if that blood sample stuff was Ben's doing. And then I suspected Sun. And then for a split second we thought it was Claire's mom. Jack almost spilled all the beans. Conveniently, all the O6, except Hurley, are sitting at the marina. I am really excited to see where this is going. Shew! This was a great episode, but more than that, I think it set us up for what this time travel stuff entails.

Battlestar Galactica - No matter what you might say about Battlestar Galactica, you can't say that they are afraid to go to dark places. The first two episodes of the season were probably the most depressing and hopeless of the series thus far. After discovering a destroyed and unlivable earth, the fleet is in chaos, chomping at the bit for new leadership and new hope. I have been frustrated with Gaeta, who still seems to be trying to make up for the fact that he worked for Baltar and the Cylons while on New Caprica. Yes, he was feeding information to the revolutionaries in the fleet, but still, he was working for them! And then he stabbed Balter with a pen. And, seriously, I think I prefer Baltar over Gaeta right now. I am sure he thinks he is doing the right thing, but I don't think aligning with Zarek and mutiny is the answer. In the meantime, we got down to business in the third episode, "The Oath." Our favorite Galactica crew is coming together to fight against the upheaval. I don't care if you are human or Cylon. You don't let someone kill Admiral Adama! And I love seeing Starbuck and Apollo in on the action. I am just WAITING for someone to break open that brig and then it is on. Gaeta and Zarek don't really have a chance. Looking forward to tomorrow's episode!

Chuck vs the Third Dimension - I didn't get to watch this with a pair of 3D glasses, but I found it enjoyable nonetheless. Plus, who isn't glad our favorite loveable nerd is back? It was too long of a break.

I have a special interest in this episode, as I worked as an extra in several of the scenes. It was only my second or third gig and I was SO pumped when I booked it. I worked it for two days and the second day I was there for like 13 hours and was completely exhausted and sweaty mess by the end, but it was so worth it! On top of that, I made some fun friends in the process.

When I got to set, I didn't know that Tony Hale (Emmett) or Dominic Monaghan (Tyler Martin) would be there. I had heard Hale had joined the cast but had forgotten, and at the time, he had not appeared in any televised episodes. I am a big Arrested Development fan, and it was fun to see Buster in person. And then I saw Dominic Monaghan and was ecstatic. I love him as Charlie in Lost (RIP) and it was a real hoot. In addition, I saw Chuck, Sarah, Casey, and most of the Buy More staff. As a HUGE Chuck fan, this was all a real treat.

Dom Monaghan was really hilarious in person, acting quite silly when in character and doing a small bit of ad-libbing each time. I think comedy suits him. There was also a perfectly timed rendition of "You All Everybody" by Zach Levi. Just love him all the more for being a LOST fan!

Well, those are the only shows I am all caught up with.