Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lost and Found

LOST just blew my mind.

For the second post in a row I am writing immediately after having my ass completely kicked by an incredible TV viewing experience. Wow. Lost is back. It's been awhile but oh my God, that was an amazing episode. Now I'm usually more of a writing guy, I pay attention to dialogue and plotting and stuff like that. BUT - Holy crap, Terry O'Quinn has gotta be one of the greatest actors today. Okay, I knew he was good after his now-classic (well, cult classic at least) role as Peter Watts on Millenium. And the first Locke-centric ep of Lost stil stands as the show's best. But wow, here he took it to a whole new level, where though the plot's direction was not exactly shocking, it still gave me chills to see O'Quinn's incredible portrayal of John Locke - betrayed and used by a man he thought was his father, robbed of his health by the mysterious island, watching his friend Boone fall to his possible doom, and struggling to go on despite it all. Okay, give this man an Emmy or something. GREAT, CLASSIC episode of Lost. A+


I survived doing Ticket Box at work today! While it was still an EXTREMELY LONG and EXTREMELY TIRING day, I managed to pull through with but one void slip and not much else in the way of major problems, except for some incidents in which ppl didn't have ID's for the Tonight Show which was nothing I could control but resulted in some very angry customers. But overall not the nightmare that the first time was, but it still left me completely wiped out and thanking the lord that the work day was over at 5.

Yesterday I escorted supermodel Tyra Banks to her dressing room (well not really, she ran there since she arrived very late, like 5 minutes after the show had already started), and also Mr. former Mayor of NYC Rudy Guliani himself. I told Rudy G. I was a big admirer and brought him to his dressing room. But I did kind of tell a white lie with that one out of respect for the man, because in reality ...


Seriously, what an ass-kisser. I thought he was supposed to be this maverick independent who called it straight down the middle? Shyeah right. Come election time he was Bush flag-waiver numero uno, with nary a negative or even analytical comment to make about Dubya. During election season Guliani gave some of the most blatantly one-sided and propaganda-filled interviews I've heard, especially surprising coming from a man who had formerly been considered independent-minded. Now as mayor of NYC I give Rudy a lot of credit for helping turn that city around and providing good leadership in times of crisis. But his post-mayoral career has been built on a platform of 9-11, 9-11, and more 9-11, all with a blatant dose of "yes I just MAY be thinking of persuing a national political career down the line, so remember .....
9-11." Last I checked Guliani was MAYOR of a city with no actual foreign policy credentials, no actual national experience, and no actual qualifications to challenge less exposed but more experienced candidates on either side of the political spectrum. His lack of vision was painfully obvious in his repeated and desperate pleas for Americans to support Bush on the sole basis that Bush was the only candidate with the balls to crack down on terrorism, when in fact Bush and Kerry's plans for dealing with the issue barely differed in any discernable way. But Rudy's high-profile and over the top endorsement thrust him into the national political spotlight, and made this once universally respected leader a one-note footnote in the new neocon nation that solidly emerged post-November 2004. But hey, he gets to appear on LENO, so it's alllll good.

Oh, HEY:

Next week we got some good guests coming on the show, as the Sin City hype machine continues, and some high profile musical acts appear, including a little band called VELVET REVOLVER. Rockin'.


Eight hours of Dennis Miller. That's A LOT of cultural baggage for one day.


Things are shaping up pretty nicely for once. Friday = Sin City (the movie, not the city). Saturday = day o' fun with some of the NBC pages. Sunday = oh, so i a late-breaking development, on Sunday, just when it seemed like there was no way in hell of this actually happening, I am going to be headed to the Staples Center in LA to witness, live, a day of mayhem and staged violence that can only be known as WRESTLEMANIA. Awwwww yeah, thanks to fellow CT transplant Paul Lurie, who's job at the Late Late Show yielded a pair of tickets to the sold out show, hand-delivered by Stone Cold Steve Austin himself! Hell yeah!

In other nerd news : Sorry to see the BLUE BEETLE go. He was one of my faves, and hopefully he'll be back soon, resurrected and hatching schemes with Booster Gold like old times.

Another overly-discussed favorite show of mine, VERONICA MARS, finally returned Tuesday with a truly excellent episode which revealed A LOT about the show's ongoing mystery arc. What a great show, and congrats on it being voted the NUMBER ONE show that fans want to see renewed for next season. See, other people DO watch it (yes, I'm talking to YOU, non-true-believers).

Randomly ran into a former NBC page today who now works at FOX. He told me only that his name was Johnny D and that I should mention his name to my superiors. Intriguing.

How 'bout YAO MING with the coast-to-coast behind the back fake-out drive-n'-dunk tonight against the Blazers?

How 'bout the fact that I am COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED and better put and end to this rambling post NOW - put it out of its misery before I start ranting about how K-ROQ plays the same three songs over and over or how I must have explained to people how to get Tonight Show tickets about 87 BILLION times today.

And with that, I can only say ... goodnight.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jack Bauer Power Hour Brings It On Like Donkey Kong

Since my brother is asleep as I write this and so is probably everyone else who I might normally call to share my thoughts, permit me to use this forum to simply write:


In terms of sheer tension, excitement, and action this was one of the best episodes of the season. Let me put it this way: right before I started watching I was falling asleep, barely awake. Right now I'm wide awake and hyped up for next week's episode.


- Dammit Edgar, look at the freakin' CD-ROM!

- Come on, Beeehhhhhhroooooz, be a man.

- They HAVE those neck-implant tracking devices like the aliens used in The X-Files?

- Tony said his trademark "Yeah." about 50 times this episode.

- Damn, Marwan is like the most resourceful terrorist ever, he has like 37 contingency plans.

- Jack may be expendible but dammit all he'll kick some ass before he goes.

- This is about the only show ever where when they say there will be a "shocking twist" in the previews for next week, I durn well believe it. Bring it.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Show Me The Mony Mony

Billy Idol performed on the Tonight Show today! I was all upset that I wasn't going to be working the show today, but while I was doing tape and hold before the show (blocking off reserved seating), I witnessed Mr. Idol's dress rehearsal, and it rocked! Sure, it was a new song from his first album in 12 years, but Billy hasn't lost a beat. He was rocking the cradle of love and dancing with his own bad self like it was 1986, and his new song was a nice mix of old-school with a touch of the new. He had the ornate leather jacket, the spiky hair, and the fist was a-pumping like old times. Now that's what I'm talking about.

I have to say though, what is wrong with people? I mean you'd think being at a place like NBC I'd be surrounded by people in tune with cool. I'm not talking Abercrombie and Fitch cool, I mean geek-cool, like Ain't It Cool, like oh damn, Billy Idol is performing on the Tonight Show and oh hells yes this is gonna rock kinda cool. But no. Few others shared my excitement about an 80's rock icon performing at the show, yet all the buzz was about Nick and Jessica being on tommorow. Who freakin' cares about those no-talent posers? Dammit, I'm working in TV. When I make a reference to The State, any classic-era Simpsons episode, old-school SNL sketches, or The original, British version of The Office, I damn well expect people to know what I'm talking about. Oh wait, this is the network that now programs reality shows, crappy sitcoms, and about 537 variations of Law and Order. No wonder everybody here is so tuned out to the good stuff. Oh well, ska-rew that.

Things have been a bit rough at work lately. My schedule's been crazy this week and it's been way too busy, with tons of spring-breakers and just general pandemonium around NBC. As is probably the most sensible route to take with these blogs, I won't go into any detail about specific trouble spots at work, I will simply take the high road. But ... anyways, the good part of this week is that the new page class started this week, and they all seem very nice from what I've seen so far. Plus they are super excited to be starting at NBC, which is kinda cool so as to give us grizzled vets (or nearly-grizzled) some renewed energy and enthusiasm via osmosis.

Things have kind of stalled on the furnishing my apartment front. I will soon have dinnerware / silverware etc., but still need to get going on the couch / seating purchases. But overall it's starting to feel more and more like home, probably because all my random crap is starting to really accumulate.

On Tuesday, Frodo himself, Elijah Wood, was on Ellen. So I've now seen both Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee in person thanks to Ellen. Cool, huh? That Ellen was crazy though. There was a huge thunderstorm during the taping and Elijah got there a good hour later than he was supposed to. Also this one guy was maybe the funniest dancer I've ever seen. This flamboyant guy was just going nuts at the show and bumping and grinding with the middle aged women sitting next to him. Hilarious. Other celebs I've seen this week -- on Ellen: Lisa Marie Presley performing (with a surprisingly catchy country song), Florence Henderson (aka Mrs. Brady). On Leno: Kevin Bacon (I'm now separated from him by a mere one degree!), Kim Raver (aka Jack Bauer's girlfriend) of 24 (24!), Queen Latifah, Omarion and B2K (totally sucked), Tom Green (watched him rehearse for one of his usual segments on Leno), and the World's Oldest Sky Diver (that guy ruled ...).

Once again it's almost the weekend. Rock on.


Quick Reviews:

24: Good episode, in which we saw Beeeeeehrooooooooz left as an orphan. Surprised that thed's kill off Shoreh whatsername so soon, as she was such a hyped up / controversial character, who despite what was promised, never really repented or grew out of her manipulative ways. Interesting. Nice to see Chloe back - finally the actress who plays her is back where she belongs, she has really grown into the role and I would hate to see her talents wasted on that godawful The Sketch Show on FOX.

Brilliant Arrested Develpment on Sunday. Why, why must this show be on the brink of cancellation?

Malcolm in the Middle is perhaps the most underrated and unappreciated show on TV. Another great episode Sunday.

OC: Once again ... eh, okay episode. Ryan's brother coming back is a nice new dynamic, but they've established such a pattern of characters coming and going it's hard to get invested in any new cast additions.

Comics: Wow, Grant Morrison is having quite the year. In the last few days I have just read four recently released comics by the mad Scottish genious, and they all blew my mind. How can one man have so many insanely creative ideas? I urge anyone with a taste for the slightly weird to try out Vinamarama - a three issue mini series of which issue 2 was just released, about an Arab teen in England who unwittingly unleashes a magical army bent on destruction just as he is introduced to his prearranged bride to be. Really crazy but great stuff. Then there is Seven Soldiers, a truly epic multipart series that consists of two bookends and seven miniseries that comprise one yearlong, gigantic adventure. And Grant Morrison is writing it all. Wow. Well, Seven Soldiers #0, the first bookend, blew me away. This series, dark and complex, about a group of seven unique individuals unaware that they are connected and fighting the same powerful enemy, features both absolutely beatiful artwork thanks to JH Williams and also great characterization and a huge, unexpected twist ending that left me with my jaw hanging. The first of the miniseries to be released, Shining Knight and Guardian (one a postmodern Arthurian adventure, the other a Jack Kirby tribute with a new-age twist), were equally impressive despite being totally different in styles. Check 'em out, and realize the wonderful madness that is the mind of Grant Morrison.


Working at Ellen, I think I could write a whole thesis on why women like her so much. It really is a fascinating slice of sociology at work when you step back and think about why all these teacher-types and buttoned-up middle aged moms are coming out of the woodwork to see a show where they are encouraged to dance to early 90's techno-pop beats. Maybe someday soon I'll go into a little more detail. Think about it though.

"It's a nice day to ... start again."

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Wizard World LA: Full Report - Fantastic Four, Batman Begins, and Kevin Smith

WARNING / DISCLAIMER: This may be, overall, the single nerdiest post I've ever done. And that's saying something. If you're interested in genre movies, comics, etc. - or just want to read about my day at Wizard World LA, read on. Everyone else, proceed with caution. OR just pretend that the OC's Seth Cohen is writing this and then somehow it may seem cooler than it actually is.


Some more Buffer Space ...

Enough Already - Flame On!

It ain't easy being a geek. Because sometimes you just want to talk comics, sci-fi, or superhero movies and you feel like nobody else is on that same wavelength. Then you go to someplace like Wizardworld and it's like Halloween - you stuff yourself with geekiness and finally, you feel full, maybe even have a stomachache, after a long day of total sensory overload. Luckily, a few NBC pages and I were able to finagle free press passes to the event, and thus had VIP access to all the panels and screenings, including first looks at Fantastic Four, Batman Begins, and a talk with Jay and Silent Bob! Score! So let's get right to it. Here's a breakdown of the highlights:

Whole F'n Show! : Well, I met Mr. Monday Night himself, Rob Van Dam, and he signed a copy of his greatest hits DVD for me and we chatted a bit. He's on the injusred list for a while, but I proposed that next year he challenge Shawn Michaels to a ladder match at Wrestlemania, at which RVD got a gleam in his eye and said "yeah, I'd totally bust him open, dude." Nice. Also, Virgil / Vincent / Curly Joe was there, with few people in line to see him. Kind of comical. I talked to him for a few minutes and asked him if he was still wrestling, to which he said "Naw man, I'm using my brains to make a living now." Well, that and charging for autographs at conventions. But anyways, it was sweet to meet and greet the ECW legend, RVD himself. Some other notable people who were there signing stuff were The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferregno, who still looked immensely jacked even at age 50-something or whatever he is. Do they test superheroes for steriods? Also I was very disheartened to see a very, very old and aged-looking Elvira signing stuff. Sure, I knew she had to be getting up there in age, but come on, she's the Mistress of the Night, and she always looks the same when you see her on TV. Maybe it was her uncharacteristically light-colored hair that threw me off.

Stan Lee: The line for him to sign stuff was way too long to wait in, but hey it was nice to see this comics legend still as exuberant as ever in his 80's. Excelsior!

Fantastic Four: Okay, I was VERY skeptical about this movie going in, Thought it would totally suck. But oh man, today's all new preview totally changed my mind as well as those of everyone in the room. Don't believe the negativity, this could seriously, seriously rule. I mean, they really knew their audience when putting together this reel. For the first time ever we saw: Johnny Storm plunging off a rooftop, plummeting towards the ground, yelling "Flame On!" and gloriously turning into the Human Torch and flying through the cityscape at night. Freakin' awesome! We saw a Julian McMahon in full Dr. Doom getup, looking straight out of the comic - metal mask, green cloak. Kickass. And then the kicker. Michael Chiklis as The Thing, taking o nan army of thugs. As they begin to get the better of him, he gathers his strength, yells "It's Clobberin' Time!" and punches a dude through a window with all his might. Stan Lee would be proud. This is in addition to some nice scenes of Sue Storm and Reed Richards using their powers, and a cool-looking battle between Sue and Dr. Doom. Afterwards, the crowd of jaded comic fans gave a rousing ovation that few would have expected moments earlier. "Play it again!" someone yelled. And they did. And it was even better the second time. After, Avi Arad of Marvel Entertainment and actor Chris Evans (Johnny Storm in the flick) answered questiosn and seemed very pumped for the movie. Not much other info was revealed about upcoming Marvel movies, but for this one, the Fantastic Four, expectations quickly soared through the roof.

Batman Begins: This was it - the one I've been looking forward to for sooo long. It was introduced simply as "the Batman movie you've all been waiting for." So true. But I had nagging concerns. So how was it? Well, for the first 5 or so minutes of the preview I had chills the entire time. Holy crap it was amazing. We see a young Bruce Wayne, innocent and naive, playing with a friend. He suddenly stumbles and falls into the dark caves below Wayne Manor, and for the first time, he knows true fear. Simply awesome. We see young Bruce go to the theater with his parents. Scared by what he sees, he asks to leave early. They exit, and suddenly the boy is changed forever. His parents are murdered before his eyes. Sure, we've seen this scene before, but here it was done amazingly. This was a new spin on Frank Miller's classic version of the origin from Batman:Year One. It was dark, stylish, and chilling. Then we see a young adult Bruce Wayne seeing his city fall into ruin. Then a number of scenes of Bruce training in some far away land, with Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard ruthlesly training him, until finally, Bruce becomes the more skilled of the two. Then we see him making the suit. Again, awesome, perfect, chilling. Finally, he is Batman. And this isn't stupid Joel Schumaker Batman. This Batman can fight, jump, swing, he is mobile and ready to kick some ass. Christian Bale is going to own this part. My reservations come with Ken Watanabe as Ra's Al Ghul. I just don't like the direction they are going with his character, seemingly making him a large part of Batman's origin story, and without one of the most compelling pieces of the character from the comics - his daughter Talia - who Batman loves but who is torn between the Dark Knight and her father. Then we saw the Scarecrow. Nice. Truly scary and grotesque looking. This Batman was dead-serious. Darker maybe than anything we have seen in the comics save Dark Knight Returns or Year One. There was some shakiness in the villains and training sequences. But what this movie did right in the preview, it absolutely nailed. The origin. The transformation into Batman. The whole look and sound and voice of Batman. The dark atmosphere. It's by no means certain, but this just might be what we've been waiting for.

War of the Worlds: We were then treated to a special preview of this film with an exclusive intro by Spielberg and Tom Cruise. Still didn't show any of the big-money f/x shots, or the aliens themselves. But hey, I'm sure this will rule.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Excellent preview / making of video shown. This should be really really good as well.

Me and the NBC crew gobbled down and some pizza to recharge, and then headed back, where we plunged headfirst into the View Askew-niverse when we sat down to listen to Jay and Silent Bob themselves ...

Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes: And now for something completely different. Vulgar, brash, and hilarious, Smith and Mewes did a Q and A that had the crowd in stitches from laughter. In terms of news not much was revealed (There will be a DVD only animated Clerks movie, Mewes is set to be in a movie with Paris Hilton, Smith had problems with the studio while trying to make Green Hornet, Smith actually liked the new Star Wars movies, he's optimistic about Superman, his comic projects are still on the way, etc.), but the sex jokes were plentiful and the verbal jabs between creator and his fans were pretty funny. I left a little early because I wanted to catc the end of the ...

DC Comics: So I actually saw Dan Didio and Joan Hilty who I interviewed with at DC Comics in the fall. They did kind of remember me, funnily enough - pretty odd that I'd bump into them now in LA. I also talked with Jeph Loeb, who in addition to writing comics is a producer on Smallville. He gave me some contact info for the show and told me to send in my resume! Sweet. I was kind of just staring because I was surrounded by some of my absolute favorite comic writers - people like Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, and Mark Waid. I wish I could have talked to all of them and gotten stuff signed and all that, but the crowds were too big and there just wasn't time. Oh well, still pretty cool. I actually wrote up some pitch ideas for DC but didn't really have the opportunity to show them to anyone. It's funny, at NBC I've met big movie stars who I don't care about but it was hard to not sound like a raving fanboy in front of people who's work I've been so inspired by like Jeph Loeb and Grant Morrison.

After this panel we kind of roamed the show floor for a bit. Saw some people dressed i ncrazy costumes. Tested out some upcoming videogames, including the incredible looking God of War for the PS2, and was handed out a bunch of free demo discs by a Sony rep -- free stuff = good. Talked with a bunch of indie comic publishers, asked them for advice on getting into comics and doing small press publishing -- many of these peeps were very nice and had lots of useful tips. Also spent some cash on comics of course, picked up a few discounted trade paperbacks, so I've got plenty of reading material for a long time to come. Funnily enough I randomly ran into Jason Sarlanis from BU as well while at the show. Pretty crazy.

So that was it, we were drained from a full day of geektastic goodness. We retreated to the parking lot and ended our day with a visit to Downtown Disney. We played some games at the ESPN Zone there, grabbed dinner, and returned home, exhausted, satisfied, and filled with images of Human Torches, Batmen, and Jason Mewes making shadow puppets of various obscene sexual acts before a crowd of hundreds of fans. It was a good day. A good day indeed.

Tommorow I'm going to sleep really late.

Up up and away.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

"Try Xoo, It's New."

Like I said, I love sneak previews. So today despite a 7 am call time I was hyped to take part in a program development meeting the likes of which I had previously only read about in various BU COM classes. After ushering in a bunch of advertising industry fat-cats, I stood and watched as Jay Leno, Kevin Reilly, Jeff Zucker, and The Daily Show's Steve Carell spoke to the audience and previewed a number of new projects coming out between next month and next year. So here's the inside scoop:

Overall I was impressed with how NBC handled their less than stellar year so far. They used humor and humility to admit their mistakes while emphasizing the promising future and legendary past. Steve Carell was very funny and some skits involving Leno, Kevin Reilly, and Medium's Patricia Arquette seemed to go over well. As for the shows themselves? Here's some highlights and lowlights.

The Good:

The E-Ring: a new drama from Jerry Bruckheimer set at the Pentagon, this show has a seemingly great cast, including Dennis Hopper as the lead, and seems like a more intense version of The West Wing with some timely topics and a lot of potential. I think this one could be big.

Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To: I expected this to suck, but the clip shown was very funny in an old-school classic sitcom-y type of way, and this may establish itself as a show with humor in the vein of a Cheers or Just Shoot Me, though it focuses on the lives of married men who are basically fed up with their wives and kids. Sure, the title is a bit long, but this could be a hit if the show is actually as good as the clip they previewed.

Earl: Okay, this may not actually be good, since there were no clips shown, but it stars Jason Lee of Kevin Smith movie fame and also features Jamie Presley and that really big dude from Boy Meets World and The Butterfly Effect. The premise, about an asshole guy played by Lee who sets out to right all the wrongs he's done in his life, sounds kind of interesting, and Lee is usually good in a comedy setting. So I see potential.

Early Bird: The brief clips they showed from this show won over the crowd immediately, just because the premise is inherently pretty funny - basically a 20-something guy moves into a retirement home. I don't know if the initial hilarity of the premise can sustain a series, but it's something different and again, I am interested in its potential.

Notorious - Okay, by "good" with this one I mean that it may not be my cup of tea, but I can see this Curb Your Enthusiasm style show about Tori Spelling's life catching on if it turns out to actually be funny. It seems like it may turn out to actually be well done, but then agai, it might really, really suck. But I'm putting it under "good" because it has potential hit written all over it moreso than almost any other show NBC has coming up.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart: Again, no way in hell do I want to watch this but lots and lots of ppl are going to, and it's going to be huge, like top 10 huge.

Treasure Hunters: A reality show that actually sounds cool, with a nice high concept premise of people traveling around the world solving mysteries and puzzles based on actual folklore and history. I'm not sure exactly how this show will work, but any show about finding secret treasure gets my seal of approval.

The Office: By network TV comedy standards, this is going to be exceptional. Compared to the British TV classic (see yesterday's rant ...) it will be merely decent. But some of the clips they showed were indeed very very funny.

The Bad:

Fathom: This is the one I was most looking forward to seeing - a scifi show about an alien race that lives under water. So it turns out the aliens are ... sticky white goo? Um .... okay ... And this looks like a really bad X-Files wannabe that is a really bad knockoff of that show's black oil subplot, except here the black oil is the white and it's the whole freakin' premise of the show. Lame.

The Book of Daniel: Another strange concept that unless it is miraculously well-executed just seems totally absurd and pandering to the current religion craze in Hollywood. It's about, get this: a guy named Daniel who may or may not be crazy, who believes that one of his friends, who is only seen by him, is in fact an earthbound Jesus Christ, and Daniel turns to this is-he-real-or-not Jesus for advice and life guidance. Yeah ... I mean I guess this could be kind of cool if it's pulled off to perfection, but I don't have that much confidence in this show. More likely it will be a total debacle.

Inconceivable: Stupidest name ever. Why? Cuz this is a show centered entirely around a fertility clinic, and the moral issues that surround it. Sounds ... exciting.

World of Trouble: A team of bland FBI agents solves crimes. But not just any crimes -- INTERNATIONAL crimes. Whoop-de-doo.

Filmore Middle: A comedy about a "cool" English teacher who deals with his class of "text-messaging, video-gaming, short attention span students who refuse to crack open a book." Don't you hate these shows that feature kids but sound as if the creators have no idea what actual young people are like? Who knows, maybe this will be good, but I don't know if I can get away from my text-messaging and video-gaming long enough to find out.

Four Kings: Again, MAYBE this will be a good sitcom, but the premise is very boring. Four friends on "the cusp of adulthood" move in together in a NYC apartment. Yawn.

Dante: This sitcom about a star NFL player coping with his fame seems not only bad but just insulting and playing to every conceivable stereotype about pro athletes. This is one of those shows where, barring a miracle, it won't make it past a few episodes.

Confessions of a Dog: Comedy about an obnoxious thirty-something single guy who refuses to grow up and be an adult. Very original.

Blue Skies: The promos for this show focused entirely on how star Anna Faris was going to be the next big thing in Hollywood ... based on her performance in Scary Movie 3. Okay, now I believe it.

Thick and Thin: Another one that just sounds totally obnoxious and insulting based on its truly awful premise. Basically its a sitcom about a formerly fat woman who lost weight and now looks like every other TV actress, except the big question is ... how will she get along with her friends, who are (the horror!) STILL FAT? Ugh.

All In: A sitcom in which a single mom supports her kids by being a pro poker player. This one wouldn't be capitalizing on a fad or anything, would it? Newsflash: fads don't last, and neither will this show.

To be determined:

Revelations: This is a very hyped up mini series that will surely be a hige ratings-grabber. Sure, the whole apocalypse-is-coming, millenial end-times thing is SO 1999, but the heavy religious overtones (there was this ultra-cheesy line where some guy yells something like "Can't you scientists understand? This isn't about facts or numbers! It's about GOD!") are very of-the-moment. Plus it's got Bill Pullman (playing the most stereotypical "I am a scientist who only accepts facts, not faith" character ever). This will be big for NBC, but it is also a pretty safe bet that this is the TV equivalent of one of those Omega Code movies or the Left Behind books or something. The prophecies foretell that this will be apocalyptically cheesy and heavy-handed.

NY-70: This cop drama set in the 1970's, starring Donnie Wahlberg, seems like it will be very high quality. But I think it's premise, which features the same characters from the movie "The French Connection" is going to be too complex to attract viewers and get an audience. I mean do we really need another cop show, even if this one is kind of F/X-like in its maturity-level and is set in the 70's? I think not.

9-11: So this was the really big announcement. A miniseries about 9-11, produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer featuring an as of yet unnamed A-list cast. I'm sure it will end up being well done, but personally I think this is in poor taste and way too soon to be made into such a big dramatic "event" miniseries. You could tell by the jaded reaction from the crowd that people were pretty much thinking "well you knew the networks would do this sooner or later" rather than oohing and aahing i nawed reverence at the bravery and guts it must have took to make this, as the NBC brass assuredly wanted them to. Who knows, maybe this will be the second coming of "Roots" or something. But Roots was over a hundred years removed from its subject matter, this is four. It's kind of sad that NBC's best hope for achieving huge ratings lies in an all too recent tragedy.

So that's it. I'm tired, exhausted even from today's early start time. But there's the inside info for you. Pretty cool, right? Personally I'll be checking out The Office but few if any of these other shows seem like must-sees to me at this point. But that's okay, I've got way too many other good shows to watch anyway (remains to be seen if Arrested Development and Veronica Mars will be brought back ...).

Tonight's OC: Another just-kind-of OK episode. I really enjoyed the Alex-Ryan stuff, but now of course it appears that they are gonna get rid of Alex just as she's getting pretty interesting. This Julie as pornstar subplot is boring, and Seth and Summer have nothing to do.

This weekend: Wizard World LA!

At work:

During my three hours in the ticket office at NBC today, myself and another page were looking at the ugly door in that room and decided to put something on it as others have occasionally done in the past. So I was suddenly in this total third-grade-teacher mode, after seeing all the drama and ugliness that seems to go on between pages in that room on a daily basis. So though it has to be just about the cheesiest thing ever, we put up a banner over the door with a sign saying "Somthing Nice That Someone Did For Me Was ...", inviting pages to write nice things that others had done for them for all to see. I know, I know, corniest thing ever. But as soon as we put up this banner it felt like a very good, positive thing to have done. There is often so much mean-spirited joking, gossiping, and antagonism between the pages that I'm curious to see if that simple banner can have any kind of positive influence, despite the fact that I'm sure some smartass pages will be tempted to write sarcastic answers. Even if they do, oh well, we tried. But hey, a bunch of 20-somethings have a lot of emotional similarities to third graders, from my observations, so maybe it will actually work.

Happy St. Patrick's Day ( nobody really cares aboot it in LA like they do in Boston, not that I really mind).

Happy weekend.

Later, dudes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Are You The Creator of Hi and Lois? Because You Are Making Me Laugh.

Tommorow should be kind of cool. Let me just say first that I am sucker for sneak previews. I love them. From the moment in The Wizard where we suddenly saw the glorious Super Mario Bros 3 for the very first time to free screenings of yet to be released movies, I love seeing new stuff before anyone else. So tommorow I and some other pages will be working at NBC's Program Development Conference, where NBC will try to wine and dine bigtime advertising execs and wow them with sneak previews of next year's crop of upcoming primetime shows, in a blatant attempt to get them to fork over their sweet sweet cash for advertisements on new shows. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing, probably just helping to seat people or something ... but still, it's going to be pretty cool, even if it does start at the ungodly time of 7 am. (sidenote: the old-school 90's techno Mortal Kombat themesong just came on my Winamp!) Anyways, it's a safe bet that all the top NBC brass will be in the house, so it should be cool. But the real cool part will be if we get to sneak a peak at new upcoming shows, the ones you'll be reading about in the magazines next week. Two shows I am interested in analyzing the reception that they will receive are Fathom, a crazy-sounding serial drama about aliens who live underwater, and The Office - a remake of the British show which in my humble opinion is one of the all time greatest things ever to be on TV. Now NBC recently had a huge bomb on its hands with their remake of Coupling, but that show was nowhere near as beloved as The Office, so it wasn't THAT big a deal. Plus NBC BADLY needs a new hit comedy, as they are currently really really struggling in that area.


WHY do they even need to remake The Office? We HAVE THE ORIGINAL - it's on DVD at any major store, and it is amazing. Americans can accept it. Sure there are British accents, but James Bond, Obi wan Kenobi, and Monty Python do as well, and we sure like THEM. Yes, there are some pop culture references that many might not get, but the same is true in any episode of The Simpsons, Family Guy, or I Love the 80's. I was reading the review of the new Office in EW, and it was kinda what I expected. Overall a lot of positives - funny, quirky, different from the usual sitcom. A good cast featuring Steve Carell. BUT ... there is NO WAY that you're going to recreate the layers of comedy upon tragedy upon comedy in the British version. There's only one Ricky Gervais, and the thing that he did that Carell will not is that he was incredibly crazy, goofy, and awkward yet he was truly, poignantly SAD and TRAGIC, which in turn made his comedic performance all the more legitimately funny. The only other show to really ever combine such insane, inspired comedy with genuine emotion and heart was probably the classic era Simpsons episodes, and The Office, in its own starkly realistic way, is the best ever depiction of life's mundane, crazy, nonsensical tragi-comedy. It's just a true shame that from now on when someone says "The Office" they will have to distinguish between the two versions. "The Office" should refer to THE Office. So in a way I am happy that NBC is doing the show, because, well, Ricky Gervais himself (not sure about cocreator Stephen Merchant) was instrumental in its creation, and it finally gives NBC a primetime show that I as an employee of NBC can say "hey, now that is a funny show." Funny, yes. But great? Nope, I've got the DVD's that will show you what great is. So do yourself a favor, don't let your first exposure to The Office be a pretty funny show that is a remake of a better show. Check out the original and see why NBC is going to such lengths to try to recreate the original's magic. Only this is network TV, so don't worry, they may come close, but, sadly, you can only expect so much.


Actually a really cool DM show yesterday. Tori Amos gave a great interview which succeeded in totally hypnotizing both the audience and Miller himself. She talked in such a fascinating, intelligent, artistic way that even a comment somwhat bashing Republicans drew nary a response from staunch conservative Miller, who seemed entranced by the ethereal figure before him. Cool. And she deserved a standing ovation for her pull-no-punches comments about the music industry. One great line she had was something like "You know, I made my way in this industry by pressing my mouth against a microphone. A lot of these young pop starlets are getting noticed by pressing their mouths against something, but that something isn't quite a microphone if you know what I mean." Classic. Also Jeff Probst from Survivor was on, and I really like that guy ... he really loves his show and had a lot of interesting comments about the way the show works. Also, there was a panel of NAACP Image Award Winners on the show, including the new writer of the Black Panther comic from Marvel. Sweet.

Speaking of nerdiness, me and some other pages today confirmed that we have indeed scored free press passes to Wizard World LA this weekend! Yes! I always wanted to go to one of those things. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

Checked out the new Project Greenlight yesterday. Interesting choice with that very eccentric movie-nerd guy as director of the horror flick. This guy was right out of an Aint It Cool News Talkback forum or something (Man In Suit!), but hey he may just have talent. Also nice to see that they went with what they admitted was the worst script they had just because the studio thought it could make more money than the others (sarcasm). IBA: The Movie will be money, I'm telling you right now (definitely NOT sarcasm).

Still need: dishes, silverware, couch, barstools.

My NBC thought of the day: put 30 early-20's ppl in the same work environment and you get WAY too much drama and not enough professionalism.

Mmmm ... girl scout cookies.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Won't You Take Me To ... Funkytown?

Damn - I just wrote a huge post and deleted it accidentally. So now I'm going to write an encapsulated form of it since it's getting late. Funky.


My apartment: I'm out of the old, into the new. I still need a couch, bar stools for the kitchen, plates/silverware, and a few other assorted items. But I'm pretty much moved in and settled, and it's starting to shape up. My parking space is still too narrow and my smoke alarm goes off loudly whenever I take a shower ... but otherwise, well, it's going well and I can concentrate on other stuff finally, like ...

My job: Friday sucked. I did ticketbox for the first time and it was an insanely busy day and I had people coming at me from all sides wanting to buy merchandise and sign up for tours and get Tonight Show tix and did I mention it sucked and also I was reprimanded by my supervisor a bunch of times and and I don't like operating cash registers. By noon Friday I was ready to explode from overload. Got a little better in the afternoon but man, too much stress and I was thrown to the wolves after a mere 2 count 'em 2 hours of training the DAY BEFORE. And again I had NEVER before used a cash register. I'll stick to giving tours to German people who barely speack English please (happened today). Ellen today was heaven by comparison. One observation: never have I seen so many lesbians in one place as in today's Ellen audience. Maybe partly due to musical gust being Tori Amos? New pages already coming in next week - and we have to train 'em. God I barely know what I'm doing at this point. And by we I mean those of us newbies who are left. Friday was fond farewell to Tracy, who's going to work at FOX ... on some little movies called FANTASTIC FOUR and X-MEN 3!!! (N. Dynamite voice on:) "Lucky!" (off). Plus two others may soon be headed for assignments. Ahhhh. Craziness. Luckily no ticket box this week. Dennis Miller tommorow. Wow that sounded like a James Joyce paragraph, um, kinda.

By the way, congrats to fellow BU grad and ace reporter Christine T on her engagement (!) .


Two movies I'm getting super-hyped for:
1.) Sin City -- Those commercials on TV have been ruling it, this movie is going to totally kick some ass. Frank Miller credited as director ... nice! If you don't know Miller redefined comics in the 80's, ushered in an age of adult, pull-no-punches graphic novels / comics like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, Ronin, and Daredevil: Man Without Fear. And the Sin City movie is nearly a shot for shot adaptation of the comic. This is gonna be good, kids.

2.) Star Wars Ep. III -- That trailer after the OC was great! I'm hyped ... I mean you have to be after seeing the Emperor in full original trilogy, lightning-shooting mode, with that evil, evil voice of his saying evil stuff like only he can. Wookies! Jedis vs. the Emperor! Yoda hurt, Obi Wan vs. Anakin, lots of spaceships flying around. Sweeeet. Sure, I and II were huge letdowns, but for this one, well, it may just surprise us all and, dare I say it (yes, yes I do) kick some ass old-school style.

24 -- This week it's Escape from LA 24 style. John Carpenter and Snake Plisken would have been proud of this action-oriented ep. The Tony-Michelle plot, pretty much the only plot in this ep, was very nice, and the action scenews had that apocalyptic, balls to the wall vibe that the producers do so well on this show and perfected in their earlier, awesome but underrated action espionage drama, the late great La Femme Nikita. Few TV shows have ever had movie-quality action scenes, but 24 is up there with the best big screen films in that area. Decent, kind of standalone episode here with things looking to take a major turn next week. Maybe an appearance from former President Palmer is in the books? Because it looks like the current prez on 24 is due for some bigtime trouble.

OC - Ehhhhh ... getting lamer, losing interest ... Come on, Kirsten would NOT cheat on Sandy with that guy, if that's where they are headed. And Ryan and Marissa again? No thanks. Why is this show seemingly back to square one after only one and a half seasons? Aside from Alex they've gotten rid of every other character. Time for the seemingly monthly re-stocking of new characters to shake things up ... but son't worry they'll die, move to Chicago, or disappear into Parts Unknown soon enough.

FOX Sunday: King of the Hill, Malcolm, Simpsons, all decent, with the Simpsons actually being slightly above average while KOTH and MITM were slightly below par. Arrested Development -- GREAT ep, definitely the night's highlight. Please FOX, don't cancel this, especially for crap like ... The Sketch Show -- total crap show with a ridiculously fast-paced style that does not work in the show's favor ... makes one long for FOX's sketch comedy glory days of the 90's when In Living Color was hilarious and groundbreaking and starmaking. Seriously, FOX, keep Arrested D around.

Well, Phase 2 has begun.

Time to focus on the job, contacts, writing, and other stuff besides apartment hunting and furnishing.

Now if I could just manage to AVOID having my smoke alarm pierce my eardrums each morning when I get out of the shower. So annoying.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Live from the New Apartment

Good news: Internet connection is on.
Bad news: Computer is on floor - desk, TV stand and coffe table yet to be assembled. Fridge still doesn't fit into alcove and might have to return it.

Quick surreal moment of the day: I admitted Mel Gibson himself today into the Tonight Show - Steve O from MTV's Jackass was on as well. I see Mel go outside to smoke a cigarette (what? would Jesus approve?), where he joins Steve O for a smoke. So Mr. Passion himself and a dude who staples his own sensitive areas together are outside smoking, with Steve O showing Mel his many tattoos. Meanwhile, Carrottop himself was roaming around backstage, as was easy-listening king Joe Cocker. Weeeeeeeeeird.

I did trade verbal barbs with Carrottop himself on my tour today though! So on my tour I see him walking out of his dressing room and (to paraphrase) ...

ME: Hey folks, it's Carrottop!
CROWD: Ooooh, aaah.
CARROTTOP: Hey guys. Hey, you all take Jay [Leno]'s car for a test drive?
ME: Jay's car? What? I told them that that was MY car!
CARROTTOP: Oh, you kidder.

Seriously, it happened about that way.

By the way, Carrottop is freakin' jacked, he looks like he could maybe kick The Rock's ass (ok wouldn't go THAT far). On this same tour we also ran into Leno himself who was working on his car outside. Pretty loaded tour, it was.

Dammit, this refrigerator stuff is annoying. But, I am ALMOST moved into the new place.

Something to look forward to: In two weeks it is confirmed ... BILLY IDOL will be performing on the Tonight Show!

Something I missed: VERONICA MARS (obligatory Veronica Mars reference HERE) herself, Kristen Bell, was on Ellen today, and I was stuck admitting The Road Warrior and a man who willingly sat in a pool and forced a crocodile to bite his ass. Seriously, the show is called Jackass but in my opinion these guys are full of it and are NOT entertaining in any way, shape or form.

Farewell to Dan Rather. I feel the criticism directed his way is a bit much and it's a shame to see such a tenured broadcaster retire in such a bitter, negatively-publicized way. But my family was always an NBC / Tom Brokaw family anyways so it was much sadder for me when he stepped down. Plus Tom Brokaw just rules.

Alright, long day, very tired. Cya.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Last Post from 2611 West Olive Ave.

- Haven't posted in a while. What can I say, it's been crazy. My move into the new apartment is coming along, though there have been some bumps. I ended up making a semi-painful return trip to Ikea and came away with a desk and coffee table that have yet to be assembled. I got a TV at Best Buy, TV stand at Circuit City, a desk chair at Staples, a fridge at Lowes, a microwave and assorted other random stuff at Target, and sheets, pillows, etc. at Linens N' Things. So, I'm on my way to having a fully operational apartment. The main things I need to do are get a couch of some kind, fix my fridge problem (the fridge needs to have its height adjusted as its currently like a millimeter too tall to fit in the alcove space in my kitchen), move all the rest of my clothes and other stuff into the new apt, and yes, assemble those darn Ikea products. Cable and internet should be on the way Wednesday, though I may temporarily have to like assemble my computer on the floor or something since my desk may not be ready by then ... Oh, I already hate my parking space in the new place ... it is very narrow and has these big poles dividing each space, which are just begging to scrape against the side of your car, especially since the street itself is very narrow as well and doesn't allow for much in the way of maneuverability. Damn those narrow poles. Otherwise, things are shaping up pretty well. But I've just been running around nonstop trying to get all this stuff done, and breaking my back carrying stuff back and forth and up and down stairs. So that's why I've been more MIA than usual lately. This weekend the transition will be complete and it will be the end of my time here at the 'ol Butbank Extended Stay Inn (a stay which turned out to be quite extended indeed ...). Coming Soon: the first post from the new apartment. Exciting, I know.

- Work has been good, a little more laid back the last few days. Man, I am really starting to see Jay Leno as a somewhat weak comedian, his monologues are just sooo repetitive and obvious, and his interviews are either just plain boring or awkwardly perverted or totally irrelevent and weird. All hail Conan O'Brien, the savior of the Tonight Show circa 2009. I will say though that the other day I had a tour of high school kids where the teacher had a connection to Leno, so he came out and talked to the group for a good half hour or so. It was pretty interesting to hear him answer the questions, though he did have that same awkwardness and blankness that I've seen on the show. Still, I was making mental notes of his answers (except the prerequisite porn industry jokes directed at the poor females in the group) and it was pretty cool to see him up close and personal like that.

- Was CB for the Tonight Show the other day and admitted Darrell Hammond (SNL), Marishka Hartigay (Law and Order: SVU), and Bradd Garett (Everybody Loves Raymond). Didn't really get to talk to any of them. Bradd Garett seemed really nice though and his wife and daughter who were there seemed great as well and seemed to be a very down to earth family.

- This week we have to learn how to work the ticket box and sell tix and merchandise and stuff. Aaaaaah, this sucks. I don't want to do it, never worked a cash register before in my life, am bad with math, and if you're assigned ticket box you must arrive at work at 7:30 am! Muy malo.

Quick TV Roundup:

Smallville: Eh, okay ep last week. Actually pretty bad in retrospect and shows why it was probably a good idea to keep Tom Welling and Smallville away from the big screen Superman movie.

Lost: Excellent episode featuring the long awaited secret origin of Hurley. Very X-Files-lite-ish in tone and an interesting new twist on the plane crash scenario, what with the cursed numbers and all. Gotta love Hurley, probably one of the best and most original characters on TV right now. Dude ...

- Pretty mediocre Simpsons following a string of surprisingly good eps. Malcolm and King of the Hill were in rare form on Sunday though, and Arrested Development ruled it with a double dose of hilarity featuring guest star Julia Louis Dreyfuss, and showed why it MUST NOT BE CANCELLED.

- 24: Tonight's ep was ... interesting. Last week it's threat of nuclear meltdown, this week it's ... evil corporations using EMP bombs! Yeah ... Nice ending with the LONG-AWAITED return of Michelle to the show, but, um, aside from that what exactly is going on now? Are they really going to spend a whole new storyarc on Jack Bauer vs. the Corrupt Corporation? Let's hope big things are about to happen. Not the best episode of the year, but, still, when it comes down to it ... Best. Show. On TV.

Alrighty then ...

Must go to sleep. Tommorow it's the day I've been dreading ... because I gotta lug my computer to the new place. So the digital domain will be digitally disconnected for a short while, but things should be back up and running soon. Now it's off to dream of EMP bombs and hacking into corporate mainframes. Damn you, 24.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Rock and Roll All Night (Sleep) and Party Every Day (Work)

- Yesterday I'm sitting i nthe artist's entrance to Ellen, acting as CB, waiting for the guests to arrive. I just got there, didn't even have the list yet for who was going to be on that day. All of a sudden, a towering figure strides past the crowd of people in the hall using the restroom. Holy crap, it was Gene Simmons of KISS!!! Well, meeting a member of KISS in person is about the closet you're going to get in real life to meeting a comic book hero. I am a big fan and have been for a while now - my brother and I saw KISS in concert last summer with Aerosmith and it was great, it really converted me - their show was arena rock at it's best, and truly larger than life. So yeah, I completely freaked out. I panicked and couldn't remember the phone number to call up to the office to have someone come down to pick up the guest. I told the Demon himself to hold on one second, and I ran to the nearest page and asked what the number was. But by the time I got back to Gene, the head of guest relations for Ellen had already come out to escort him to his dressing room, so I had no chance to tell him how I was a big fan, etc. I did glimpse Paul Stanley and exchanged greetings while he was exiting the building after the show, but otherwise didn't get to see any of the other band members.

The reason that KISS was on the show was pretty kickass too. See, it was a big surprise for this kid on the show, like 9 or 10 years old, who miraculously recovered from a terminal form of cancer. While he was sick his biggest wish was to meet his favorite band, KISS. So they came to sing him Happy Birthday and present him with a signed guitar ... how cool is that? That kid must have flipped out. I met his family too and they seemed extremely nice (they've also been on the Today Show and a few others), so congrats to him. But yeah, I mean forget about pop-stars of the moments and reality TV stars and even the latest modern rock emo fad band ... these guys are honest to God, larger than life, arena-rocking, anthem-shouting ROCK STARS and it was a big thrill to see 'em in person, even if I only encountered the legendary Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley for a few brief moments. Rock N' Roll.

Some other guests on Ellen that day: Vince Vaughn (didn't talk to him but talked to his makeup artist for like 10 minutes), Missy Elliot (had a posse of like 50 people with her and arrived like 2 hours late), and Adrian Brody and Faye Dunaway (didn't meet them). All that dancing and girl power on Ellen though can really drive a guy like me insane after a while though. Far removed from her sapphic stylings though is the dry humor and pop-cultural wit of Dennis Miller, where I spent all day today. As I've said, though I disagree with many of his politics, I still really enjoy Dennis Miller's humor and like working on his show - it's very laid back and the people are pretty cool there. And unlike Leno, he is an inventivel, genuinely original comedian who brings his own personality to the show and gets creative with his humor, even if some of his metaphors go right over 90 percent of the population's heads. It's also a nice change of pace to see a show where they actually talk politics in a somewhat insightful way, with an intelligent edge to the humor. Today was pretty cool because they had the woman who plays Kirsten Cohen on the OC (which Miller initially mistakenly referred to as "The Ock" while reading off the teleprompter, pretty damn funny). They also had the actor from Joan of Arcadia who does the voice of Fat Tony on the Simpsons, and who also played Ricky Roma (Al Pacino's chaacter) from the original theatrical production of Glengary Glenross (one of my all time favorite movies). Sweet. Now it's back to the "oh my god, stand in the wrong place and it's the end of all civilization" atmosphere of the Tonight Show for the rest of the week. No guests I'm really excited aboot either. Oh well.

The main thing I'm focused on now is the new apartment. Gotta furnish it so I can do basic things like sit, eat, and sleep.


- Why is Veronica Mars not on tonight? Dammit UPN, I don't care about America's Next Top Model.

- Did watch Gilmore Girls tonight. Good episode and though I was surprised at the ending it was all heartwarming and stuff (yep I'm just a big softie - and yes I was happy to see Luke and Lorelai back together). You can always count on this show for a mixture of the fastest spoken and most multi-layered dialogue on TV with simple, character based stories that are easy and fun to follow.

- 24: Last night's episode was another good one, though where do they go from here? They are at the point now where the entire focus of the plot is about to change. But seeing as how Jack and co. just stopped nuclear catastrophe, what is left for them to do? It had better be good. Curtis really whupped some ass in this episode. I echo the sentiments of those who want to see a hit squad of Jack, Tony, Curtis, Palmer, and maybe Michelle just go out on a team mission and whup unprecedented levels of terrorist keyster. And they are finally done with the crazy daughter storyline ... which was basically a long convoluted way to remove Madeline from LA Femme Nikita from power and reinstate Tony. It's funny how one lame subplot doesn't seem too bad since in past seasons they would have simultaneous lameness occur between Kim's deathrap of the week escapades, Palmer's wife's evil plan of the week, and the various other plot threads, from Chase's baby, to Jack's wife's amnesia, and so on. 24 = still the best show on TV? Yep.

- Goodbye NYPD Blue. I never really watched it regularly, but I remember watching the pilot in a class at BU last year and thinking "wow, that was really, really good." Definitely a ground-breaking show that pushed the limits of what could be done on network TV.

- Rumor has it that the WB is seriously reconsidering newcomer Brandon Routh as Superman, even though shooting is just two weeks from starting! The possible replacement? Smallville's Tom Welling. I say that they should have gone with the cast from Smallville all the way or not at all. Having Welling as Superman and not Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor is just going to be annoying and confusing to fans. I think the producers of Smallville really could have established their show as the basis for a new Superman movie franchise if they had maintained a higher quality and also better ratings over the last few years. But Welling IS Clark Kent from Smallville, and you can't just disassociate him from that universe for a new film franchise that won't include any other aspects of the show's continuity. The funny thing is that Welling may really look the part, but the reason he's been ablr to flourish is because he's surrounded by great talents -- the actors who portray Lex, Lionel, Chloe, Johnathan and Martha Kent have really helped carry Welling and the show owes its success in large part to its strong supporting cast. To bring Welling into a movie series without them seems a bit besides the point. If Routh can play the part then keep him, but I think WB has to sit down and rethink its plan for this movie. For instance, why associate it with the old movies as they've been stating - saying that the new one will be entrenched in the continuity of the Christopher Reeve films? That makes no sense. While I have some trepidations about Batman Begins, at least they are being smart and wiping the slate clean and starting over. If the WB wanted, they could make an awesome movie with the smallville cast that could please fans of the show and also bring in a hige new audience. Or they could start anew and just file Smallville away as a fun show that was good for what it was but wasn't box-office material. But to take a middle road, either by casting Welling alone from Smallville or by using Routh but tying into 20-year-old movies just seems confusing and misguided. Just hire ME and I promise I will do WB and Superman good. It'd be money.