Archive for January, 2009

End of Angel

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Last week I finished watching Angel, the spin off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Overall I didn’t like the series nearly as much as Buffy. It was darker, and had more action. These are traits that made Star Trek Deep Space Nine such a nice change from Star Trek the Next Generation, but they did not work positively for Angel in my mind. Missing from Angel was the whit and humor present in Buffy.

Spoilers Follow
I’d been told that seasons 4 and 5 of angel (the final two) were the best. I completely disagree. The best season of Angel was season 2, especially the story arch at the end in the alternate, daemon dimension. In season 3 the show seemingly jumped the shark because Angel had a son and he grew up overnight, that was nothing. In season 4 they had Cordelia sleep with him, having held him in diapers a mere handful of episodes beforehand. They continued to burn up the capitol in Cordelia’s character throughout the rest of season 4, never actually explaining how everything was happening. They eventually claimed that everything that happened since season 1 was a setup for the evil that occurred in season 4. That is hogwash and I don’t buy it, the writers were just being lazy. Season five was just plain awful, they were constantly looking over their own shoulders and the finale was crap; they cut to credits right before the biggest battle that ever took place in the Buffyverse.

Angle did have some saving grave due to the fact that it had many surprising guest stars. Of course, Buffy, Willow, Spike, Faith, and Andrew? made appearances from time to time on the show. He’res my thoughts on some of the others:

  • Josh Holloway – The first vampire killed by Angel, Josh is better known as Sawyer from Lost.
  • Daniel Dae Kim – Also from lost, Jin, had a 12 episode stint as a lawyer for the evil lawfirm wolfram & heart before being turned into a zombie.
  • Adam Baldwin – Known as Jayne from Firefly, Showed up for 5 episodes at the end as strong-ass bad guy. He delivered what I consider to be the best line in the whole show. Angel sets him up, “people who don’t care about anything will never understand the people who do.” Marcus Hamilton responds, “Yeah, but we won’t care.” It is so straight out of firefly’s script, it was perfect. Also, it is in the middle of a fight sequence.
  • Gina TorresZoe, also from Firefly was the bad guy from the awful season four.
  • Sarah Thompson – Hasn’t been in anything of note since Angel, but before she was in the craptacular movie Cruel Intentions 2. But she totally wins the the hotly contested prize as the hottest girl in the show. Runners up include Alexa Davalos, who’s x-men’s rogue like character had no business being in the show at all and Stephanie Romanov, who’s character was a well rounded villain who died at the right time, before joining the good fight.
  • Amy Acker – Also a runner up on the hottest list, she’s slated to be in Dollhouse, the new Joss show everyone is salivating over. Of course, being in 70/111 episodes and the main title credits hardly counts as being a guest star so I’ll end the list here.

Anyways, now I have to choose my next show. I’m accepting input, the choices are:

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

The creators, Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 gave a talk at MIT on Saturday the 17th. I took it as an opportunity to go do something unique and convinced my friend Mary to come along. We started early, watching an episode she had on dvd to get in the mood and then headed down to see the talk. It was in 26-100, the same lecture hall in which many of the ROFLCon events took place. The hosts/moderators opened with a montage of their favorite MST3k clips. It was hilarious. The unexpected part is that it was hilarious even though it was entirely out of context, which I previously thought necessary for that kind of humor. Perhaps they slipped just enough context in under my nose to make the clips work.

There were some other interesting clips, mostly from before they made it big, on to comedy central. This included the first few minutes of the pilot, which they used to sell the local station in Minneapolis on the show. That is the station they were on before being on cable . They also showed the entirety of the “best of” clip reel from the 22 episodes they made there, which was used to sell comedy central on the show. I certainly learned a lot about the history of MST3k, of which I was previously not at all aware.

The creators, stand up comics by training, took every opportunity to make a joke, which made for a fun evening. After the talk we came back and watched another episode, which I think made for just enough MST3K for one night. I also learned that they have a new similar project called Cinematic Titanic, which is straight to dvd, includes the full original cast, and also includes a live tour. They will be at my favorite, the Somerville Theater on February 20th and 21st. Mary and I are totally going!

Department of Happiness

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Via Bostonist I ran across this interesting music video by Boston based band The Everyday Visuals. It is not so much about the music, which just fades into the background for me, as the world painted by the video. The rest contains spoilers…

I really like the idea of a large bureaucratic entity to which you detail your problems on a standard form, and then they subsequently mail you a collection of things which they think will help you on your way to solving your problems. It’s something about the cold, all business detachment of something that may know you better than yourself. It’s similar to the rare event when suggests that you might like something that you either already have and love, or that you’ve been wanting for ages.

Ice Skating

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

A warm cold night
Photo by rcolonna

I went ice skating on Thursday for the first time. Sparky, Mary, Whitney, some other folks, and I met at Frog Pond on Boston Common around 7pm and skated for roughly two hours. I was rather impressed with myself for my first time on ice skates. I didn’t fall down once; although, I did come close while trying to execute a little spin maneuver. Of course, not falling down doesn’t mean I ever came close to spinning. I do think that my technique could use a lot of work; I think I was expending more energy than the rest of the group.

Afterwards Sparky took us to a local coffee place on Charles street for some hot chocolate. This place interestingly had a collection of Massachusetts state law books on the windowsill. We all took one and briefly looked for some interesting laws, but none were found. The hot chocolate was good, but it came in difficult to manage cups.

As per usual I’d biked to Harvard Square to save time getting to the T. Boy was I tired biking back home after having biked in then and skated for nearly two hours and biked back. I was also really cold. I didn’t warm up once after leaving the coffee shop. Not on the walk back through the park, or the 20 minute T ride, or bike ride. The bike ride usually warms me up no matter how cold it is. But I was going slower than usual so I guess that’s why I wasn’t as warm. When I got back home I was starving due to all the exercise, luckily I had some leftover couscous for a quick warming snack. Anyways, it was a fun night.

Peterborough St. Fire

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

No, Peterborough St. is not near me. This time the fire worth blogging about was not as close to home as last time, or as close to my car as the time before that, but it is interesting none the less. Of course, whenever I say anything positive about a fire I feel obligated to point out that no one was hurt. This fire is notable because it burned down a restaurant that I have been to with my Wednesday Night Dinner group. I don’t know for sure, but I can’t think of any other restaurant I’ve ever been too that has since burned down. Of course, I’ve not been keeping close count of that statistic. We’ve been to so many though, which one was it?

This one, Sorento’s Italian Gourmet, which is near Fenway Park. Their website currently offers some pictures of the fire. Unfortunately there were about 5 more restaurants on the block, all of which were also destroyed by the fire and none of which Wednesday Night Dinner had ever gone to.

This restaurant is particularly notable because it was, by my calculations, the most well attended dinner of 2008 with 13 people, and it was a place that I chose. It was also the only dinner of the summer that I managed to convince my avid blog commenter Kelly to attend. So to all you readers, if you start commenting and then come visit me in Boston, you may be invited to a Wednesday Night Dinner, but I can’t promise that the place we go will burn to the ground a mere six months after we dine there.