What They Blogged For.

Love. Hate.

Before we say our final goodbye, I just wanted to leave you with a random sampling of posts from some of my favorite people on this blog:

Benjie’s Skyrim addiction.

Occam Razor on “The Seven Robots You Meet In Heaven.”

Benjie and I watching New Moon and The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2.

A Movie Script Ending.”

The MPDG vs. the Amazing Girl, Heroes vs. BSG, and Kirsten Dunst vs. Kate Hudson.

Peanut St. Cosmo saying goodbye to her Blackberry.

(And really, just anything by Peanut, cause there’s too many to list.)

Fuck Yeah Sayid!

Anytime we talked about Lost.

High Fidelity vs. 500 Days Of Summer.

Hey, Shitface, Get Off My Lawn!”

Benjie and August Bravo on internet hype, and meeting expectations, and also Super 8.

Independence Day 2?

The end of the Counterforce podcast, and the birth of Time Travel Murder Mystery.

J Fran Fran.

Jonathan Franzen and his “Strong Motion.”

Benjie on his favorite sequel ever.

Occam Razor on a post peak oil world, and big booty bitches.

Benjie on how to properly spend New Year’s Eve.

While my torrent gently downloads” by Benjamin Light.

This is by no means a complete list, not at all. It is, in fact, an extremely rushed list. And may actually be a really terrible retrospective, at least in terms of showing what we did best, when we did our best, but oh well.

It’s just a few of my favorites. I would invite you to explore further, if you get the chance.

The MPDG vs. the Amazing Girl, Heroes vs. BSG, and Kirsten Dunst vs. Kate Hudson.

You just know you want to read this. You just know it.

Continue reading

Studies in scarlet.

The week so far…

1. A possible Spiderman 4 (and most likely a 5 and 6 as well) featuring Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst? Nope. Fuck that. Sony has decided to take Spidey back to high school in a reboot.

2. NBC is tired of watching Leno lose at 10 PM, so they wanted to take him back to 11:35 PM or a half an hour and push Conan to 12:05. It’s kind of sad, but when the Peacock had to option of really backing either the Hair or the Chin…

…they took the Chin over the Hair, but Hair said no.

His statement:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours,

Conan

Conan’s manager says that the statement came from Conan’s heart and wasn’t about strategy or negotiating, but it smells like it was. Either way, everyone loves Conan, right? At least, everyone on the internet. But how many people on the internet commenting about what a raw deal he’s getting are actually watching his show or any late night TV? We live in a day and age where if something interesting happened on one of these shows, somebody we know saw it and can point us out to a good youtube or Hulu link.

Either way, people of Earth, these things tend to have a way of working themselves out. Or being great fodder for humor.

And now Sarah Palin is a Fox new commentator, which makes a kind of perfect sense. That’s a whole other story though.

That’s the ha ha, and the funny. Oh, the drama of the late night comedians. And the comedy of Sarah Palin. But also this week…

3. Massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Never a laughing matter.

Where you can help by donating.

And this is just the middle of the week.

Meanwhile…

Sounds like Heroes is still firing on all cylinders.

Google and China.

The Avatar blues.

The Pope says that gay marriage threatens creation. Ha ha.

The oceans are losing the ability to absorb greenhouse gas.

Christopher Nolan on Inception.

Masculinity for beginners.

The ass goblins of Auschwitz.

Youth anticipate early death.

No domestic terror attacks under Bush? Really?

Immortality is within our grasp.

“I’ll see you in another life, brotha!”

The innocent, seduced.

Its all sunshine up here.

More on last night’s episode of The Venture Bros. later, I imagine, but I’m still chuckling about last week’s involving the Batman/Superman analogue Captain Sunshine looking for a new teenage sidekick (to replace the one slayed by the Monarch) in the form of Hank Venture.

Bat innuendo?

The results were, predictably, hilarious and odd.

Comic books exposed!

Wertham would’ve probably loved it.

A good nights rest... together.

One of the things I always find fascinating about this show is that it rolls pretty hard with the nonstop pedophilia hints and jokes throughout the episode, both with Captain Sunshine (I love that his Justice League-type group was also the action news team, which is brilliant)  and Sgt. Hatred, but never really touches on the much darker thing going on: While in a slum, the Monarch killed a kid.

Doctors Venture and Mrs. The Monarch.

Personally I get tired of the Monarch and his crew easily (except for Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, of course), and found the most interesting and telling moment of his time on the show was way back when when he broke into the Venture compound – for the umpteenth time – and had sex with the robot with Dr. Venture’s face on it. I felt like it gave us a much more solid cause of his never ending hatred of the superscientist.

Say yes to Prog Rock.

As for superscience, as per last night’s episode, I knew the secret laid within the prog rock.

Brain... Head... there is a joke somewhere in this mess.

In other hot news, which I’m a few days late in joining the party on sharing, I’ve got bad news for you, August: They’re getting closer to ending Heroes. Well, actually, that’s great news, of course. It’s a rumor for now, but a nice one as NBC, suffering from a bad year in television, especially the troubles wrought by the ratings fiasco that has been Jay Leno at 10 PM, have asked the producers of Heroes to start “winding things down.” I guess not everything can be saved by lesbian make outs?

And it wasnt even sweeps yes. That smacks of desperation.

Of course, I don’t really want to believe that, not ever.

The cheerleader is saving the world her own way.

Eternities of darkness.

Conrad Noir sent me this link, told me it was “the most ridiculously happiest and cheesy thing I have ever seen.”

Global warming, increased sea levels, and “ghost states.”

Brain scan reveals what you’ve seen?

Hitler’s skull” actually belonged to a woman.

Sex inspires women to do chores.

Woman gets pregnant while already pregnant!

Dennis Hopper and James Dean’s cock.

Oktoberfest etiquette.

Cosmic rays hit a new high.

The Australian dust storm.

The 10 most puzzling ancient artifacts.

There are two kinds of light.

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”

God is our space pilot.

Capitalism, baby!

Can we survive an asteroid attack?

What we really need now is more pictures of Marilyn Monroe reading.

Music collabs are crazy out of control these days.

“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

-Vladimir Nabokov

Heroes is crashing and burning, at least ratings-wise.

Earthquakes and invisibility cloaks.

The occult and hip hop.

Forgetting in a digital age.

The Get Up Kids apologize for having wrought emo, Fall Out Boy.

Sarah Silverman/Jimmy Kimmel sex tape? Eww.

Stop asking for permission.

“Maybe I’m late because I was spending time with my family reading the bible.”

From unexpected visitors to camera obscuras to “fender benders,” starting in media res and not letting up until someone’s soul was signed away (for three years) last night was another great episode of Mad Men. And August and Marco want to talk with you, from their fainting couches, of course, about “Seven Twenty Three” and…

August Bravo: A thousand reasons why I’m so great. Confessions of a Mad Man!

Marco Sparks: You’ll have to excuse August here, ladies and gentlemen. He’s been staring at the sun. That, and he’s both an Ogilvy fan and a Duck Phillips fan.

August: What a great beginning. Where did he wake up? Who cares. All that matters is that Don knows how to clean up.

Marco: Everything about that beginning was so great, from how short each little intro was to the way it effortlessly let us flashback into the main thrust of the story. But there was just something hypnotically perfect about the way Peggy’s arm falls down to the bed, right?

In fact, and it’s fitting that this episode airs (and this is by no means a defense of the man or his crimes, just his films) right as Polanski’s getting arrested, but this episode’s beginning captured a certain sense of dread that’s been missing from the cinema, I feel, since Polanski’s early days (especially in a movie like The Tenant), and is all too rarely ever attempted on television.

August: “Maybe I’m not on time because I was with my family reading the bible.”  The greatest quote of the season? I don’t know, but I think so.

Marco: I think you’re right. “I’m Peggy Olson and I want to smoke some marijuana has faded in my memory, and Don talking to Connie was perfect. I like how Don’s primary mode of respect/getting long with the previous generation involves smart ass remarks. The Draper charm!

August: I’ve never laughed out loud during a scene, not until Don said that to Hilton. I loved that Hilton took the desk and assumed the power in the office, something he proably felt Don took from him in their meeting last week. And what’s with the clapping after Connie leaves? The guys know who he is, but don’t know what’s going on.

Marco: They just know he’s Don Fucking Draper and if Conrad Hilton is stopping by to wish him a good morning and tell him about his weird urges and desires and have him pass some kind of bizarre moral test, well, then they better give him a standing ovation. Whatever happened in that office, you just know it was good. As for what’s going on…

August: I’m not sure Don knows either, especially when it comes to Connie. Why the sudden rush to him? What makes his eye wander?

Marco: Good question. Is it the curse of powerful men with unsatisfiable appetites? Or is it a comment about the Hiltons in general?

August: Uh oh. Contract time for Don. Something he’s not too fond of. Especially talking about it with his family. And why would he? It’s none of their business.

Marco: He’s managed to avoid it before but now they’re closing in on him. But for Roger here, do you think that he called Betty at home out of a dastardly sense of business or was he just trying to stick it to Don in their ongoing hostilities this year? Or both?

August: Definitely business. I don’t think he’s got something against Don. I think he thinks he’s still this young guy, compared to him, who’s going to learn the ropes of the business one of these days.

Marco: I’d say that Roger is certainly hurt and confused by Don’s dislike of him. I don’t think Roger is capable of understanding what it could be that’s caused the rift between them, and these aren’t the most “cards on the table” of men. I love this exchange:

Roger: “I watched the sun rise this morning.”

Don: “How was it?”

Roger: “Average.”

August: I like the recurring return to Betty on the couch. Something happened to everyone in this episode, that’s the point of the beginning and the flashbacks, but it was very clearly something else for her. What’s she thinking about?

Marco: Fucking that guy from the Governor’s office.

August: Yeah, her exchange with him just reeked of an extramarital affair in the making from the get go.

Marco: He doesn’t care about her fucking water tank, but he will stop her from staring into the sun. Like an idiot.

August: Yeah, that really won her over. She wanted him like I want to watch new episodes of Heroes.

Marco: I don’t know what that means.

August: But she won’t get with him, I don’t think. At least not yet. But, seriously, who the fuck is that guy?

Marco: Some Republican asshole who goes around caressing pregnant women’s stomachs at parties and happened to squeeze himself in at a time when her father was dead and her husband was a little too honest about how self centered she is. Just remember: “It’s not adorable to pretend like you’re not adorable.”

August: Something’s definitely always on her mind these days. It makes her a much more interesting character this season. Finally speaking up and expression her opinions.

Marco: Especially when Don explains his thining on the contract situation with her. “They can’t have me,” so of course that makes them want him more. Which is exactly how he’s always treated her.

August: She’s very un-lady-like this season. But in a good way.

Marco: But I think the fainting couch almost screams too loudly as a metaphor at he end of the couch, not just for the wandering eye/mind/spirit of the clearly upset and confused Betty – remember, the fainting sofa, a perfect thing for Betty, was introduced to her by her potential new suitor – but for what she’s bringing into the Draper family home, and what she thinks of it. “That’s your hearth, darling,” the interior decorator tells her. “That’s the soul of your home.” And rather than have it filled with love, Betty’s going to put a tacky couch there, so she can faint and not deal with the world.

But, then again, Betty’s potential suitor is only slightly less interesting than Sally’s teacher, who has locked her sights on Don, and has accepted that relationship with Don is just going to happen. Because, like Peggy pointed out before, he’s got more and is obviously bored.

August: Don’s verbal bitch slap to Peggy was so awesome, so eye opening.

Marco: “You were my secretary.”

August: “You’re good. Get better. Close the door.”

Marco: And the most devastating, in Don’s rage, of telling her that she’s brought him nothing that he couldn’t live without.

August: It does get annoying to see Peggy keep asking and asking for things. Just because you can move up quick doesn’t mean you should keep moving up the ladder that fast.

Marco: I will admit that while Peggy is clearly talented, her rise is unprecedent, obviously, and possibly undeserved. She’s probably very unprepared for a lot of what she’s inherited. But then again, this is advertising, and that’s the nature of that particular game.

And this is why she’ll always be tied to Pete, because in a lot of ways, they are the same. Where she’s good, he’s devious and insidious. When he’s vulnerable and heartfelt, she’s clumsy or scheming. Their individual failings nicely fit the other’s virtues. And so I think it’s interesting that Pete essentially asked for the gig with Hilton earlier the same as Don assumed Peggy was doing when she caught him when he was upset from dealing with the contract stuff.

August: And then there’s Duck…

You are Don’s girl, aren’t you?

Marco: Uncle Herman!

August: Duck should maybe keep his fantasies to himself.  Who just wants to see Peggy everyday?

Marco: I can’t believe that line worked.

August: It’s all about the teeth line.

Marco: Duck is a hungry man. And he was going to give her a go around like she’d never gotten before. Suck it, Pete. Though, comparitively, Duck is very much a man, if a failed one, compared to Pete. And it seems like Peggy really gets amorous and vulnerable to the physical desires afer Don chews her out.

And then it starts all over again and we come back to the end.

August: And the end is the beginning. Don was mugged by a couple of “young lovers.”

Marco: To me, that felt very similar to the California storyline from season 2. Don likes to flirt with crossing the boundaries, both his own and society’s. Especially when his freedom and the persona he’s worked so hard on are threatened.

And don’t forget Archie Whitman, telling Don in a hallucination (on reds!), that he’s a grower of bullshit.

August: And Peggy slept with Duck. And he apparently rocked her world. And Betty… well, who knows what’s really going on in Betty’s mind?

Marco: She’s looking for a little something she can have control over. Something all the characters in this episode seem to have lost a little grasp on. Certainly within themselves.

You mentioned the loss of the sitting behind the desk, hence the power in the room, which makes me glad that Cooper was there at the end, the real fatherly figure to Don. The man who can call Conrad Hilton “eccentric” completely without irony in his tone. The man who can say, “Would you say I knw something about you, Don?”

August: “After all, when it comes down to it, who’s really signing this contract anyway?”

Marco: Good question.

Kill the cheerleader, kill the show?

An image from one of the episodes in the upcoming season of Heroes:

I choose to see this as a meta comment on this show entirely. What do you think? Heroes‘ last season?