Operation B.L.O.G.

Three things today. Two of them looking forward and one looking back…

1. This…

…is hilarious to me. Art by a fella named Murray Groat mashing up TinTin with the Lovecraft mythos. Something about Hergé’s ligne claire style of art mixed with that lovable scamp Cthulhu is just perfect to me. I’m looking forward to Spielberg’s upcoming TinTin movie mostly because it seems like it’s Spielberg just geeking out and that seems fascinating to me since even when he’s at his zaniest, he’s still very controlled, very measured, never what I think you could call “excessive.” How great would it be to see that little French kid taking all tentacled Old Ones from beyond the stars that inspire madness at their very mention? That’s a recipe for box office success, yo.

2. Rumor: Matthew Goode as Superman in the Zack Snyder reboot? That’s bullshit.

I guess that’s better than Gerard Butler, Patrick Wilson, or Billy Crudup though. But, that said, if you’re worried that I’m going to complain about every little bit of news that pops up about Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, then… well, I have nothing to suggest otherwise. There’s a very good thing that I may do just that.

And, yes, also bullshit: That they’re still trying to push forward with the big screen Buffy The Vampire Slayer reboot. We’ll see if it actually makes it to movie theaters. But you should read the always classy Joss Whedon’s reaction to the latest news of the matter.

from here.

3. ast night’s season finale of The Venture Bros. was nothing short of amazing and more than made up for what was not so much a bad season but an unspectacular one. There’s just too much to talk about with the episode but I think the show found a niche that I’d like to see it explore more in the future (if it has a future): a one hour running time, which both allows the plotlines to breathe and run on but doesn’t ever stifle their growth. And, Jesus, they managed to wrap up like 15 storylines there too.

If this was the last episode of the show ever (a very sad but quite possible outcome), it was a worthy one. The show went back to it’s well: Balls to the wall failure and immaturity. Hank and Dean got a home school prom. All of the manly men struck out, dreams weren’t just crushed but stomped into the ground, and women are more than a whole other genre to the males of the show, they’re a whole other monstrous species. At first I was amazed at how long the “Rusty Venture” sex act gag went on and then it reached a point of equilibrium where I never wanted it to end. Al and Shore Leave were some of my least favorite characters (mostly because they, like Sgt. Hatred, were an incredibly funny idea that was literally beat into the ground over and over), but I kind of like that they’re the only ones that found happiness.

Is it sad that I not only loved the montage that ended the episode but almost found it as poignant as the final very musical moments of Lost from earlier this year. And, as if showrunners Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer didn’t have enough geek cred, I adored that the montage was set to Pulp’s “Like A Friend,” a song about how relationships are hard and that it’s easy to be yourself if you suck…

I Got You Babe.

There’s no such thing as fresh starts because lives are always going on, or is there? Or are they? I don’t know, but I do know that you can always go home again, as long as your ex-wife hasn’t sold it, because it’s where the heart is (and perhaps where the head is not). That and maybe more as we talk about last night’s “Tomorrowland,” the season finale of Mad Men

August Bravo: No matter what we thought, well, maybe a little, or what we thought the writers might have thought, this episode, and season for that matter, was about Don Draper, or as some know him, Dick. Lives, businesses, relationships, friendships, and all those other ships we thought were sinking, didn’t. Like Marco told me earlier, this finale wasn’t as upbeat as last season’s. It showed slim promise and some possibilities, but didn’t leave you thinking, “What the fuck is going to happen next?”

Marco: Well, I’d definitely say it leaves you wondering what happens next, but more so than usual, I think you can guess what’s going to happen next and you’re worried that it may not be so great for the characters. Don, especially.

August: Don’s somewhat “redemption” was almost completely omitted from this episode making everyone believe that crises was averted or that it may play a role in his probably inevitable divorce with Megan. Is it Megan?

Marco: “Megan… out there?” as Roger puts it so perfectly. As Joan says, Don’s grinning like an idiot, as if he’s the first schmuck on Madison Avenue/in professional New York/the world to marry his secretary, but having Roger be surprised adds a very special symmetry, especially since Don’s pulling a Roger there, and it’s kind of weird.

Can you imagine the Don Draper version of Sterling’s Gold?

August: The somewhat reference that the rest of the cast ACTUALLY exists was finding out, which we thought we knew, but thought it might be too obvious, but I guess wasn’t, was that…

…Joan is in fact still pregnant.

Marco: I love that Mad Men is such a unique show that amongst it’s many other wonderful qualities, still has it’s own rhythms and ways of going about the rules of storytelling, counter to other popular ideas about narrative. There is a certain pattern you can expect from each season, we’ve finally learned, isn’t there?

It’s usually: The season starts with some intriguing signs of where the characters have landed since the previous season. Intriguing ideas and/or questions are brought up. Should they actually answer those questions, it’ll be in a relatively vague though still meaningful way. That question, which literally started off this season was: Who the fuck is Don Draper? We’ve gotten a multi-faceted answer to that, certainly.

From there, certain problems and dramatic conflicts will arise around mid-season. They’ll seem massive – Oh no, the government is about to discover that Don Draper is a liar and a deserter! – but will fizzle quickly, leaving you curious as to their placement at all. Certain things will pop up, which will make you suspect where the story is going – did Joan actually not get that abortion? – but you’ll think, “No, that’s far too obvious. They won’t go there.” They will, friends. Then, whatever the endgame of the season is, it won’t appear until the last two or three episodes and it will be an all consuming fire.

August: Except for Megan. That carrot was dangled in front of us and we’ve just been waiting for Don to take bite after bite after bite.

Marco: True. It’s funny how we believe certain things from this show. When Dr. Faye said to Don that he’s the kind of guy that would be married again within the year, I think we all believed that.

Though, of course, I don’t think I stand alone when I say that we hoped that it would be Dr. Faye that we hoped Don would end up with, or that she’d be the kind of partner he’d strive to find happiness with. The fact that she’s a feminist and someone who has pushed Don to accept himself, and possibly integrate his two personas as it were, didn’t hurt. She’s helped his business, helped his mind, and helped his soul, as it were, yet there’s certain things she couldn’t provide Don that seemed to really make him look elsewhere.

August: She couldn’t be a caregiver to his children while he was off doing whatever he wanted to. She’s the anti-Betty.

Marco: That and she couldn’t worship him the way Megan seemingly can. Plus, I think that as much as Don wants to be able to stop hiding and stop running from the spectre of Dick Whitman, a part of him enjoys the lies that come with the running and hiding. Don Draper is the greatest product he’s ever advertised, and with Megan, he can find a fresh start at that.

August: But Henry Francis says there are no fresh starts!

Marco: I can’t believe that Henry Francis has lingered this whole season.

Sadly, we’ve really dropped the ball this season, August and I, because there’s so much we could say about this episode, so much that needs to be said, but it all ties into this past season and that’s a dialogue that I’m incredibly sad that we haven’t had here at Counterforce. On behalf of us and directed at the three people who actually reads these Mad Men posts from us, I apologize. I had some shit going on and August didn’t have cable. And refused to buy the episodes on itunes. And couldn’t figure out megavideo.

from here.

August: You just knew where it was all going once Stephanie handed Don that engagement ring from the real Don Draper.

Marco: Oh, seriously. Chekhov might as well have come out to California with Don and the kids and fired that ring out of a gun right at Megan.

It’s funny that I posted this picture from Videogum the other day…

…and sadly it came so true, in a lot of ways, since we’re speaking of Megan and Dr. Faye and Sally and… Well, have we mentioned Sally yet? Cause if we haven’t, we should be talking about Sally this season, right?

August: We haven’t mentioned her yet.

from here.

Marco: Sally! I believe I kept mentioning in our conversations about the show last year how much I liked Sally’s character, how interesting I thought her storylines were, and I feel like that’s only been compounded on more wonderfully this season. Bobby’s still kind of useless, but I’m glad that Sally has really stepped forward and is becoming a real person, even at such a young age, though, again, it’ll be interesting to watch her grow into herself and who she’s going to be while still being the child of Don and Betty Draper.

Anyway, so that once picture: Sally telling Dr. Faye that she’s fired. Ha ha, funny. But kind of eerily prescient in a way, considering that episode, “The Beautiful Girls,” when I know that a lot of people read that one scene there, Benjamin Light included, as Sally kind of picking Megan out of the rest of the “beautiful girls” that surround her father. And maybe Don picked up on that.

I mean, we knew Don wanted to fuck Megan. That notion was exploding louder than bombs for a handful of episodes before it happened, but this picture from Videogum

…is kind of funny for how very accurate it had become.

August: I can’t write too much about this episode because in my head I’m still processing how to feel about it all. The bit I particularly enjoyed the most was Don telling Peggy that Megan(??) looked up to her, and had the same sort of spark, and Peggy being completely jealous. Maybe Peggy will be wife number 3 (or is it number 4??) Her childlike jealousy really made this episode. To see Don slowly turning into Roger (maaaaybe), or to see the evolution of Betty, and I guess Peggy’s, unhappiness/jealousy, or maybe Megan’s (yes, it is Megan) slow transition into the life of being Mrs. Draper/Whitman will be the most interesting thing to watch next season.

Marco: I don’t trust Megan. Well, no, that’s not true. But she’s very manipulative. And Jessica Paré is, I think, very good at playing that so subtly. Megan’s incredibly smart, but dumb and silly in all those ways that a 25 year old would seem or should see to a 40 year old man who should know better – though Don has two addictions in his life: women and the sauce – but it’s not hard to see the way she’s worked the situation with Don to her advantage.

That’s not particularly insidious because all stabs at romance are some form of manipulation, if you think about it, no matter how well intentioned and wholesome they seem. But she’s told Don exactly what he needs or wants to hear, especially that she doesn’t care about his past, just who he is now. For a man who’s finally started to accept that he has all his life ahead of him, what he really wants to do is live in the now. Especially with a girl like Megan, who seems to adore him, but I think will be much better at getting what she wants or deserves than Betty was.

Maybe this really will be “happily ever after” for Don, but I doubt it. But really, it’s not the happily ever after I would’ve picked for this character. I suspect that he’s traded in one “lost weekend” phase for perhaps another? But let’s face it, Don’s not a guy who will get a classical happily ever after, is he? He’s too prone to a life of solemn remorse.

That said, I would disagree with your take on Peggy. Jealousy? Maybe. But I think that was a very, very small part of that look she gave Don. I think if we could’ve heard her thoughts or seen them in a comic book word bubble floating over her head, they would’ve read as: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? HER?! HUH? WHAT?

But Peggy’s defined her life by Don to a lot of degrees. She has, in her own small way, just saved the agency by finally signing some new business, no matter how small, and here’s Don, her mentor, running around like an idiot. And his comment to Peggy about how Megan reminds him a lot of her is the ultimate slap in the face for a great many reasons. For a season that contained the show’s best episode, “The Suitcase,” in which Don and Peggy finally bond in kind of a real way, it was kind of hard to watch their interaction this year end like this.

But, that scene with Joan and Peggy immediately after was perfect. A Joan/Peggy show? I’d watch that. I hope that next season shows those two really claiming some of the power around SCDP (or will it just be SDP?) that they more than rightfully deserve.

August: I think this season had a lot of ups and downs, but mostly ups. Overwhelmingly ups. Like I said, the storyline I’m most interested in for the next year is the stuff with Don and Megan, should Don and Megan really work out. They didn’t leave us with a lot of answers this season, but we maybe that’s because we were all asking too many questions.

Marco: I think you’re right about that. The status quo’s been changed, some things and people are gone, and some are still with us, just amplified. We think we’re ready for what tomorrow will bring, but we have no idea. Just like Don there, we’re laying awake in the dark with a near stranger sleeping beside us as stare out at the night.

The patient labyrinth.

Mad linkage:

Are “masters of the universe” born or bred?

Weezer offered $10 million to split up.

Natalie Portman to offer “gratuitous nudity” in what is not but certainly sounds like it would be a sequel to Pineapple Express.

(But that still doesn’t tell us who she’s fucking these days, does it?)

The musical farewell to Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.

from here.

Angelina Jolie’s Bosnian rape romance.

The 17 differences between the East Coast and West Coast versions of the live 30 Rock episode.

Making sense of The Shallows.

Aaron Sorkin responds to a blog commenter about The Social Network‘s misogyny.

Best Coast and Deerhoof to guest on the new Go! Team album.

Who is the biggest drunk on Mad Men?

Look at this fucking article about hipsters.

“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”

-Jorge Luis Borges, from Dreamtigers.

The Soviets’ secret, failed moon program.

Those lovable scamps in ICP are actually hardcore Christians. Whatever.

Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy.

Remember the Singularity? Shocking news: It may not be coming after all.

You have the right to go topless.

Don’t forget that Mad Men‘s season finale is tomorrow night!

from here.

The power of the babe.

A reminder that those World Of Warcraft nerds are still fucking perverts.

One-way mirrors and social media “stalking.”

Of course one of the 33 Chilean miners was having an affair!

A Mars Supreme!

Hollywood needs to turn towards Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison.

The ballad of Mick and Keith.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

So, a very, very, very long time ago, there was this massive explosion. It’s just a cosmological theory, but it’s also been accepted as fact. Our universe was so incredibly hot and dense for a finite time, and it just exploded and expanded and it was bigger than anything ever, because it is everything and it’s always expanding and cooling…

…and it happened. How do we know? Because you’re sitting there, right there, right now, in your comfy chair, or on your couch, or perhaps laying in bed, or wherever or however you read your friendly neighborhood Counterforce. Well, or so we think. It sounds nice. Exploding into being, from essence to existence by way of KA-BOOM! That sounds good, right? But this thing, which we can call “Event One,” it happened, and because of it, the universe as we know it was created.

And then something happened. A serious of events that lead to the total and utter collapse of the universe and all reality. Well, they didn’t just collapse, but they began a severe process of collapsing. But the universe is big and vast and this took a little bit of time. How long? Well, roughly 2,000 years in theoretical time, but in subjective time, about 45 minutes or so.

And all of that happened, and then happened again in tonight’s season finale of Doctor Who’s fifth series, “The Big Bang.” Following last week’s ridiculously intense episode, the universe collapsed, or rather, began the process of collapsing until there was a second big bang, and everything was re-created again.

Continue reading

Save the cheerleader, save the show??

Let me sum up the finale to Heroes in one sentence:

WHAT THE FUCK?

Seriously. This entire fucking season was just a constant letdown. One of the main things that keeps me watching this show is Zachary Quinto. How cool of a fucking character is Sylar? Rhetorical question. But even his character the entire season had mommy and daddy issues which permitted him from being the total badass he is. Now as I know, all of you are nodding your heads in agreement as you think this show is a ridiculous waste of time. While I still enjoy the plot line, the writers definitely need to come up with a more enticing way to end, or even run, a series.

How can I incorporate one of the characters smelling like straight up mayonnaise?

How can I incorporate one of the characters smelling like straight up mayonnaise?

Basically, the last episode consisted of a battle between Sylar, Nathan, and Peter. Nathan, flying man is virtually useless in this fight.

This is the kind of thing that marrying a Dixie Chick leads you to.

This is the kind of thing that marrying a Dixie Chick leads you to.

Sylar, being the pseudo badass he is, kills the motherfucker. Sweet. Finally we get some real action. It’s then just Peter and Sylar, which isn’t really a fight at all. Basically Sylar bounces only to later get conned into meeting the president. Peter, disguised as a black president, injects him with what I’m assuming is something to pass out. Although, plot hole, he shouldn’t pass out because he’s got the same powers the cheerleader has and shouldn’t be left incapacitated, but of course, he does. Whatever.

I cant die, but you can knock me out.

I can't die, but you can knock me out.

In one of the biggest fucking bitch moves, the writers make Matt Parkman, with the ability to read people’s minds and make them think whatever he wants, convinces Sylar, who is unconscious, that he is Nathan Petrelli. What does this do? Besides completely believing he is Nathan, who is now dead, he shape shifts, which he can do, into Nathan. Why? To convince the world, and the cheerleader, that he is still alive. WTF?

The only glimpse of hope lies in the remaining minute where Nathan, Sylar, notices one of the clocks in his office running too fast. Sylar, formerly Gabriel Grey, was a watchmaker before he was a psycho killer.

I was pretty disappointed with this ending, but what can I do? I’m a professed fan of this sometimes faltering show. Will I watch the show next season? Of course. Will I be happy about it? Probably not.

Were afraid so.

We're afraid so.

Chuck me.

Hey, what are you watching?

"Hey, what are you watching?"

Season finales. I love them. They’re the show’s last chance before the network decides whether or not they’re going to ax it. In the case of Chuck, that’s exactly what they were going for. Their last hurrah of sorts. While I only started watching this show just recently, it’s become apparent for nerds, like me, to watch it. It tells a gripping tale of the protagonist, Chuck, who had an intersect downloaded into his head. Basically, it’s just a computer containing all the government’s secrets. Two spies are sent to keep a constant eye on him. One is a tough guy named Casey who is sent to work with him. The other is a sultry princess with looks that are beyond any actual person named Sarah.

I would do dirty, dirty things to/for this woman. Like her laundry!

I would do dirty, dirty things to this woman.

Chuck and Sarah stage a fictional relationship for this to seem normal. Aside from all the danger and chaos they get into, it has got its sappy moments as well. One of the best things about this show is that it has the same producer as the O.C. (Which you all secretly love, except you Benjamin. We all know you love it.), so the music is guaranteed to be awesome. At least until the third season when Marissa dies.

Whooops.

Whooops. Did I spoil this?

So the second season starts to wrap up with Chuck finding out more about his sometimes non-existent father. It turns out that it’s his father, who he hardly knew, that built the intersect. And, something that pleased Chuck very much, his father that got the intersect out of his head. Chuck never really saw himself as a spy, mainly because he has a body type that resembles mine. And it’s not like I’m a moonlight spy. Or am I???? No, I’m actually not. The last episode consists of Chuck’s sister finally getting married. It was a huge thing for their dad to be there, so it was Chuck who brought them together. Behind the scenes, there was another intersect being created throughout the series. An even better one. It was supposed to get implanted in the head of Chuck’s pseudo best friend who sent him the intersect in the first place. With an awesome cameo by Chevy Chase.

Not actually that awesome.

Not actually that awesome.

Crazier things start to happen. Chevy wants the intersect for some reason, the CIA wants Chuck’s friend to have it, it gets a little weird, but I’m totally into it. Basically, the wedding gets ruined by these two idiots.

Youve got a drunk and an indian lesbian.

You've got a drunk and an indian lesbian.

But Chevy is actually to blame as they had to stall for Chuck. I’d like to tell you the end, but the last 5 minutes are really the pivotal part of the series. The reason why NBC shouldn’t ax this fucking awesomely monumental show. I guess you’ll just have to watch it yourself. But seriously, is this isn’t reason enough to watch it?

Every nerd herds fantasy

Every nerd herd's fantasy

Next up, Heroes!

They call it a medium because it’s neither rare nor well done.

Season finale week continues!

Last week along, if you don’t watch TV or work n Monday nights like myself (or just plain don’t give a shit), you missed the season finales of shows like The Big Bang Theory, Little People, Big World, House, and Castle. But, to be honest, those shows kind of put me in the Who gives a shit? category.

House can be fun at times, but it’s not a show I’d recommend watching week after week for a lot of reasons. Just enjoy it on rainy day reruns. I’ve never seen Castle, which looks cartoonishly ridiculous, but I do fully support Nathan Fillion being allowed to do what he does for a payceck regularly.

As for the midgets… Yeah, I’ve watched the show, but again, not regularly. That’s a late night oddity, something you check out for the bizarreness of it all, and something I’d watch time and again before I would ever get into something like Jon and Kate Plus 8. Unless the show becomes all about their affairs. Then I’m cool with it.

Here’s a schedule of this month’s season finales.

And some previews for this week’s finales.

Speaking of previews for this week’s finales, here’s a list of things that people from Entertainment Weekly want to see happen in upcoming finales, and in particular, Lost‘s finale tomorrow night.

And speaking of season finales and cliffhangers and shock endings, this week’s Lost finale seemingy has not one but two shock endings. Nice.

“One of television’s great contributions is that it brought murder back into the home, where it belongs.”

-Alfred Hitchcock