Jane Austen + Supernatural Creatures = Heaven
July 16, 2009

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thing without zombies must be in want of zombies.  I firmly believe that.  For you see, I love zombies.  I pray daily that the Zombie Apocalypse will occur in my liftime; hopefully, when I still possess the majestic biceps that will enable me to wield a chainsaw with surgical precision.  Just ask Benji, with whom I spent many a lovely evening viewing such cinematic classics as Dead Alive and Dawn of the Dead.  They left many fond memories, and led to many a pithy a comment by Benji, though I must admit I was most amused by his reaction to 28 Days Later:  “Oh FUCK THIS! I did not sign on for fast zombies!!!”  While my love of zombies perhaps does not quite equal my love for Daniel Cudmore, it runs firmly and deep–just as a deep as my adoration for a certain Ms. Austen.

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The Virtuality Catastrophe: A Failure to Launch
July 2, 2009

A post by Shmathan…

It is a matter of public record that I have a frightening obsession with deep affection for Battlestar Galactica.  The word “frak” entered my vocabulary with such regularity that my exasperated friends had to forbid its use.  I approached every situation by asking myself, “What would Starbuck do?”  I prayed every so fervently to the Lords of Kobol that I would be revealed as the Final Cylon.  When group plans are made, I always end with “So say we all.”  Consequently, my anticipation for Ron Moore’s next creative project, Virtuality, was understandably great…and he did not disappoint.

Virtuality was intended to be the pilot episode of a full series, following the lives of 12 crewmen on Earth’s first starship, the Phaeton.  The ship is on scientific mission of exploration to that takes on epic importance when it became known that Earth faces an imminent ecological disaster; suddenly, the ship’s mission to explore a new solar system offers the only hope finding a new home for humanity.  The show’s title is derived from two interesting aspects.  The first is the presence of a sophisticated virtual reality system, controlled by an 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque AI, meant to give the crew some relief from their ten-year incarceration in a rotating tin-can.  The second is the fact that the entire journey is being broadcast back to Earth as a reality tv show (complete with confessionals!).  As the show opens, we are introduced to the cast-crew of the Phaeton.  As it progresses, we watch things go terribly wrong as the moment nears in which they must choose to “Go, or no go”; to launch themselves into the void, or return home.   As a pilot it was engaging and compelling, with moments of sheer awesomeness (of near Battlestar proportions) as it offered the most tantalizing glimpses into a far-out space odyssey/psychological thriller that would have challenged the very notions of reality and perception.  Unfortunately, it is all for naught, as Fox failed to pick it up as a series; yet another example of the network’s failure to appreciate and support quality science fiction.

Spoilers, and a rant against the Fox network’s horrid priorities, ahead! (more…)

Someone Call PETA: Vampires Are The Latest Endangered Species!
June 24, 2009

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you the following public service announcement

Now, while I really do not want to be shanked by a Twihard, I must admit that I am a man of simple tastes. I like my beers cold, my Abercrombie models shirtless… and my Vampires to be seductive monsters whose dusty deaths by the hand of a perky heroine teach us valuable lessons about female empowerment. I have personally had enough of waifish pretty-boy Vampires strolling in the sunlight and waxing idiotic as they brood over the torturous nature of their violent and immortal existence.  And don’t get me started on the sparkling. It’s times like this, indeed, that I not only have no commitment to Sparkle Motion, I actively defy it. Consequently, I feel I must voice my alarm at the announcement that the CW, though it has brought us such guilty pleasures as Gossip Girl and Supernatural, is making its own sad bid to perpetuate and profit from the madness wrought by Stephanie Meyer . Obviously hoping to capitalize on the enthusiasm surrounding Twilight, the CW has announced that it has greenlit production on “Th Vampire Diaries,” which is apparently a small-screen adaptation of a lesser-known young adult romance series by the same name. The announcement caused a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Twihards cried out in joy—and then were suddenly silenced as they rushed to a sale on body glitter at Hot Topic.

The plot, as described on the CW’s website, is what you would expect. Beautiful girl meets mysterious brooding boy, only to find out he’s a centuries old-Vampire burdened by his impossible existence. Ladies and gentleman, this is a catastrophe. Remember the days when Vampires were actually cool? The mythic personification of all our darkest fears? Symbols of the dangers of repressed sexuality given form? Literary representations of parasitic nobility feeding off the lifeblood of the common man? And now, today, reduced to mere objects of impossible love to cater to tweens and menopausal housewives. The fact that these books are warping an entire generation of girls with their ridiculous depiction of socio-sexual relationships aside, books like Twilight and Diaries are guilty of the more serious crime of making Vampires, well, lame.

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