Category: TV

A New Menace in Mackey’s Life

The Shield is so good that waiting for new episodes to start up is like waiting for Christmas to come when you’re a kid. Actually since The Shield doesn’t start up until January, it’s actually worse than waiting for Christmas!

The great news is that Forest Whitaker is joining the cast as “a new menace in Vic Mackey‘s life.” Whitaker will play an ambitious Internal Affairs agent “who is tasked with investigating rogue cop Mackey.”

Oh man, this should be good. Now if only January would get here.

Over There to be Seen Over There

The other day I posted that Over There is my favorite show of the summer. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Over There  will soon be seen in about 100 territories around the world.

The fact that Over There has been picked up in so many territories increases the odds that the series will be back next season. And that just makes my day.

A New Season of "Must See" TV

The new tv season is nearly upon us and so I thought it might be fun to take a look at the shows that have made my MUST SEE TV list:

Sunday has traditionally been one of the weakest nights of the week and the new season looks to be more of the same. The only show that I plan to watch is West Wing [NBC]. Although last season was one of the best for West Wing, the new night could spell trouble. Since the Bartlett‘s are on the way out, fans may decide that they should
be as well. I hope not.

Monday looks to have just the right mix of shows. At 8PM, I’ll check out Surface [NBC]. This show has a lot of potential – an “adventure-drama” about what happens when sea creatures [monsters?] are discovered all across the world’s oceans. At 9PM, I’ll switch over to FOX and check out Prison Break and at 10, it’ll be back to NBC for the highly under-rated Medium.
Tuesday belongs to 24 and The Shield, but since they won’t start up for a while I plan to give WB‘s Supernatural at 9PM a shot. Given the WB‘s track record with making my MUST SEE TV list, this could be bad, especially since my wife will want to watch The Amazing Race on CBS.

Wednesday is the greatly anticipated return of Lost at 9PM on ABC. I’ll also probably dvr E-Ring on NBC at the same time. At 10, I’ll keep it on ABC and check out Invasion. Seems that creepy is back in with Invasion, Supernatural and Surface all premiering this season. I wonder how many will last for two.

Thursday was for years THE night for tv. Not anymore. Survivor on CBS at 8PM will continue to be a family event. At 9PM, I’ll switch over to ABC and give the Night Stalker a shot. I remember watching Darrin McGavin in the original Night Stalker movie back in 1972. It was a fun movie… but I didn’t much care for the tv series that followed. Maybe this one will be better.

Friday is the second worst night of the week for tv [thank goodness for dvds]. I will give Threshold at 8PM on CBS a try since it has the same Invasion/Supernatural/Surface vibe.

Saturdays is the pits. I always hope that the SciFi Channel will have a halfway decent flick but that’s rarely the case… still I continue to tune in.

Before I bring this post to a close, I want to mention the shows that I’ve enjoyed this summer: Hell’s Kitchen hooked me and I wasn’t sure I’d care about it at all; So You Think You Can Dance is as much fun as American Idol; Hogan Knows Best shows a side of The Hulkster that makes you wish he was your neighbor; Celebrity Fitness Club had me watching celebrities that I didn’t even watch when they were famous [well, except for Gary Busey!]; Wanted has characters quirky enough to elevate it from the run of the mill cop show; The Ultimate Fighter is like The Contender on steroids; and my favorite summer show has turned out to be Over There.

Well, that’s what I’m looking forward to from the new season. Have I missed anything?

Bob Denver’s Legacy

Bob Denver, the clueless hero of “Gilligan’s Island” has died at the age of 70.

Denver, as Gilligan,. set sail on what should have been a three-hour tour but instead ended up being a 40 year adventure entertaining several generations of fans.

I was five years old when “Gilligan’s Island” premiered and I can remember watching each week. They castaways were funny. Especially Gulligan.

The show ran for only three seasons. The funny thing is it never died. Bob Denver has 25 credits listed in the Internet Movie Database. Eight of them have direct ties to Gulligan’s Island. Talk about creating an enduring and endearing character.

I didn’t care much for Gilligan’s Island once I was older. I remember watching Rescue from Gilligan’s Island and thinking how stupid it was. It wasn’t stupid though, it was silly. The kind of silly that little kids eat up… like I did when I used to watch Gilligan and the castways in their initial run.

Bob Denver‘s three hour tour will never end. He’ll continue to entertain generation after generation. Smiles and the sounds of laughter is a great legacy.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Denver.

You Won’t Believe a Man Can Fly

Yesterday, I said that I usually don’t buy tv series dvds for my collection. Then I talked up one. Any guess what I’m about to do today?

Yep, today I’m recommending the first season dvd of Superman.

If you’re anywhere near my age [46], then George Reeves WAS Superman. And sure, the effects were low budget [ok, no budget], but man, did we love the show.

I can’t wait to get the chance to love it again!

What Would I Have to Lose?

I usually don’t purchase tv series for my dvd collection.

I may make an exception though when Lost comes to dvd on September 6th.

Lost was on my “Must See TV” list from its premiere and it continued to gain momentum with each new episode. What was not to like? Great characters. A great mystery. And just enough info to REALLY wonder what the heck is going on.

The dvd extras and price [$38.99] also add to the appeal for making Lost a dvd addition to my collection.

Bruce Lee Lives!

On November 27th of this year, Bruce Lee would have been 65 years old. Amazing isn’t it?

It’s hard to imagine Bruce as ever being older than 32, since that’s how old he was when he died on July 20, 1973. Think about that for a second. Bruce Lee died 32 years ago. Bruce has been dead now for a longer period of time than he lived. And yet, you can say his name to almost anyone of any age and they know who Bruce Lee was.

My guess is that he’s more popular now than he was while alive. I say that because each year a new generation discovers Bruce Lee and his movies [and he only made a handful of kung fu movies before he died].

I’m old enough that my first memory of Bruce was as Kato on The Green Hornet. Man, Kato was cool! Of course, that was because of Bruce‘s charisma.

After The Green Hornet, Bruce‘s next onscreen performance was with James Garner in Marlowe. Bruce had a small role as a martial artist thug.

I also fondly remember my anticipation to see Bruce in the tv movieLongstreet.Lee played the part of a martial artist who trains a blind insurance investigator the art of self defense. When the movie spun off into a short lived tv series, Lee was brought back for four of the 23 episodes.

It wasn’t long after that Bruce Lee‘s Fist of Fury aka The Big Boss hit the US. It was quickly followed by The Chinese Connection and Return of the Dragon [with Chuck Norris fighting Bruce to the death]. Bruce Lee fever was growing, but it wasn’t until the release of Enter the Dragon that Bruce Lee mania really soared. Sadly, Bruce Lee died three weeks prior to it’s premiere in the USA.

As you probably know, Enter the Dragon is the classic Bruce Lee movie… it’s still the best kung fu movie ever made… and arguments can be made the best action movie as well.

After Bruce‘s death, producers sought every way possible to continue to make money from Bruce Lee. Green Hornet episodes were combined and released as features with Kato getting top billing! The Game of Death, the movie that Bruce was working on when he died was completed with a look-alike and bad effects and it was released. Several movies were released “based” on the life of Bruce Lee [but made to look like new Bruce Lee movies], equally as bad were the movies starring guys like Bruce Li or Bruce Le trying to pass as the original. The one excellent documentary that should be in every Bruce Lee fan’s collection is
Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey.

Earlier this year Bruce Lee was named “Chinese Film’s Bright Star of the Century.” This November, in honor of Bruce‘s 65th birthday and bigger than life bronze statue of Bruce will be errected in Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars. You can read the details HERE.

Yeah it’s true that Bruce Lee died 32 years ago… but it’s equally true that Bruce Lee will live forever!

“Marlowe” rates a C+
“Fists of Fury” rates a C
“Chinese Connection” rates a C
“Return of the Dragon” rates a B
“Enter the Dragon” rates an A+
“Game of Death” rates a C
“Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey” rates an A+

Twilight Zone Marathon

Long time ZONE readers know that one of my biggest pleasures as a kid was staying up late and watching scary movies and tv shows.

I still get a kick out ’em.

You can imagine how much I enjoy it when the Scifi channel runs it’s Twilight Zone marathon.

Starting at 11PM tomorrow night and running until 4AM on the 5th, you can tune in and watch the classic Twilight Zone episodes from the 60’s. While I doubt that many of us will last for all 29 hours, there are many episodes worth checking out, including two of my favorites.

The first, “Terror at 20,000 Feet” involves a man [played by William Shatner] who has just been released from a mental institution.

On a plane ride home he sees a creature on the wing of the plane trying to destroy the engine… but no one else sees it. He knows it’s out there, but everyone believes that he’s having another breakdown…

The second is called “To Serve Man.”

Aliens arrive on Earth and all indications are they came in peace… but do they really?

Even if you can’t watch them all [and who can?], maybe you can plan to tune in to see an old favorite or one you’ve never seen before.

I know that I will…

And for just a little while I’ll be a kid again, up on the couch hoping that someone else besides me and Bill Shatner sees the creature on the wing!

Aliens… Monsters…. UFOs and a Very Big Universe

When I was a little kid, I used to love movies and tv shows about aliens coming to Earth.

If we were lucky, they were friendly and intelligent like Michael Rennie in The Day that the Earth Stood Still. He even looked human.

Then again, so did the aliens in the 60’s tv show The Invaders. [I haven’t seen an episode in years, and wonder how it would hold up.]

Sometimes the aliens were simply monsters out to wipe us out, like in the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers or War of the Worlds. [And, yes, I’m really looking forward to the update by Spielberg and Cruise.]

Occasionally, there would be just one alien. And boy, were we lucky that there was only one if the alien ended up being like The Blob or The Thing.

Growing up, I not only liked movies and tv shows about aliens, but I also read and watched programs about UFOs.

I still do.

Think how cool it would be if we could find definitive proof of intelligent life in outer space. Uh… as long as they weren’t out to wipe us out.

As I get older, I stil retain that sense of wonder about life in outer space. Most likely it’s out there. It’s just that the universe is such a huge place.

Don’t believe me? Click HERE and see.

Michelle Rodriguez Gets LOST

Did you see the final episode of LOST?

If you did, especially if you’re a regular LOST viewer, you saw one of the all-time best cliffhanger endings ever!  And now with months to go until the new season, word is starting to leak out about what we can expect.

The great news is that Michelle Rodriguez is going to join the cast as a regular. Rodriguez appeared in the last episode [in a flashback]. I’m a big fan so adding her to one of my “Must See TV” shows is simply a bonus.

One Last Bullet for 2004

I hope that everyone made it to this side of 2005 with a minimum of damage. 2004 was a good year and I’m hoping for even better things in 2005. But before we leave ’04 completely, I thought I’d give a brief rundown of some of the highlights entertainment-wise [at least for me]…

Movies: I loved the Dawn of the Dead re-make and The Passion of the Christ. [Kinda strange that they were both about people who rose from the dead.]

Collateral was very good and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Chronicles of Riddick were fun rides.

Several of the best movies that I saw in 2004 were older movies that I discovered on DVD or cable. The original Metropolis was stunning even 77 years after it was made. And you know I love the whole tough guy – noir genre, so seeing movies like On Dangerous Ground, Brute Force and The Big Heat made my day.

TV: The Shield, 24, Survivor and West Wing continue to make my “Must See TV” list. And although Alias still hung in there, ER fell from the ranks. Lost soared to the top of the list and I enjoyed Boston Legal when I caught it.

Novels: The best were Portrait of a Murderer: The Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Patricia Cornwall, Double Play by Robert Parker, Sensei by John Donohue, and Rain Storm by Barry Eischer.

Comics: My favorite comic of the year was Grave Digger: The Scavengers by Christopher Mills and Rick Burchett. The writing and art meshed perfectly to create a comic that’s impossible not to enjoy. If we don’t get more Grave Digger stories from Mills and Burchett, then there’s no justice.

My favorite graphic novel of the year was The Wicked West by Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell and artist, Neil Vokes. Anyone who is a fan of westerns, horror or simply great graphic novels would love The Wicked West.

My favorite on-going series were The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard [which just keeps getting better and better] and 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.

Blogs: Mark Evanier’s News from ME is required reading daily. He’s funny, informative and blogs don’t get any better. Jeff Parker’s Mystifying Oracle and Mike Wieringo’s blog don’t appear daily but when they do, they’re worth a read.

Breakfast: Was a three hour marathon session [and NO, we weren’t eating the whole time] with my ole pal Jim Ivey last week. Jim will soon be 80 and we hadn’t been able to get together in quite a while. Christmas Break seemed like the right time to clear my schedule and make a trip over to see “Jimbo” and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. Jim seemed to enjoy it too. ; )

Now… on to 2005!

Here Come the Holiday Specials

One sure way to tell that Christmas is upon us is that the networks start airing holiday specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

As kids, we always looked forward to the Christmas specials. They were sort of an appetizer to the coming holiday. And doesn’t it seem like everyone has seen A Charlie Brown Christmas at one time or another.

Don’t believe me? Ask your friends. It may be their favorite holiday special, but I’ll bet they’ve seen it.

I remember seeing A Charlie Brown Christmas when it premiered in 1965 and the next day in school, it was THE topic of discussion. [Now you have to remember that I was in first grade at the time.] Seems everyone saw it and everyone loved it. Surprisingly though, it almost didn’t get made! “Television executives hated it from the start… It was criticized as being too religious…for featuring contemporary jazz… for not having a laugh track…” and for even using the voices of real children instead of actors. Despite all of these concerns, A Charlie Brown Christmas was an instant hit.

You can read more interesting facts about A Charlie Brown Christmas by clicking HERE. Then I’d love to hear which special is your favorite.

Lost Secrets

Man, if you’re not watching LOST at 8PM on Wednesday nights, you should be.

It is without a doubt my
favorite new show. My entire family is loving it. And the cool thing is none of us is really sure what it’s all about.

If you don’t watch it, then you’re probably wondering how the heck we can enjoy the show so much and NOT KNOW WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. Well… that’s part of the beauty of the show.

If you want to know more, check out THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE… if you want to know even more, check out THIS DARK HORIZONS INTERVIEW with one of the writers… and if you really want to know what I’m talking about then tune in for an episode!