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Showing posts from July, 2013

Destroy Build Destroy: The Power of On Demand

A while back, I stumbled upon a rerun of a kids’ reality show called “Destroy Build Destroy” on Caroon Network.  What drew my attention wasn’t the point of the show — two teams of kids destroy items, then use the wreckage they created to make machines that then destroy other things — but the host, Andrew W.K.  I’m a big fan of his music, so to see him hosting a show for kids was a little surprising, and watching his animated antics was pretty entertaining.  Actually, he was the most entertaining thing about the show. Don’t judge me. I was thinking about that show recently, and I began to see a parallel trending in modern television viewing: Destroy.  Build.  Destroy. The DVR, TiVo, Netflix streaming, Hulu, and other services of the like have absolutely changed the face of home entertainment.  First of all, it’s not strictly home entertainment anymore — we can take it out on the town with us, using our laptops, iPhones, Android devices, Kindles, and Nooks to consume what we had to wai…

Fanbase Turns Rabid, Needs Vaccinations

"Okay . . . See, my name is John Carter.  Virginia is where I'm from."

For those of you interested, no, I still haven't deleted "Sharknado" from my DVR.
This isn't exactly new news, but sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo have become a new standard for entertainment projects to be made.  Studios and publishers have a say, certainly, but in this day and age of technology and infinite choices at the touch of a button, not to mention the INSANE connectivity that artists now have with their fans, those who create have more power than ever. For instance, take into consideration the upcoming "Veronica Mars" movie project. The show had a pretty dedicated fan base, not unlike shows like "Firefly" and "Six Feet Under", but while "Firefly" was actually made in a major studio motion picture -- mostly due to fan rally -- "Veronica Mars" has taken a different tack.  A film project was created on Kickstarter, and by …

Racism In the Screen - How Television Can Spark Conversation

I've been trying to avoid all the talk about racism that has come over our airwaves in the last month, but stuff keeps happening.  I can't escape it.

Now to be fair, the place where the most of the flames are really being fanned is the internet, with all its various, gloriously self-appointed morality judges who often speak according to their own convictions, rather than to what their higher sense of belief guides them in.  Sounding off has become the norm in the Internet age, and whether you're a Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, or any other derivation thereof, you probably have a moral opinion shaped by something.

But since most of these items wouldn't have been given the light of day if television hadn't catapulted their subjects into national spotlights, I wanted to talk about racism and how it's handled by those handling our TV viewing experiences.

By the way, I'm not an expert.  Keep that in mind while you're reading.

The Paula Deen is…

Geek Goes Rogue reviews SHARKNADO!

Last Thursday, July 11th, I celebrated my 10th anniversary with my beautiful wife, Julie.  As that was happening, the rest of the interwebs celebrated the "Sharknado" phenomenon.  I may be late to the punch on this one, but only because there was no way I was going to watch "Sharknado" on my anniversary.

I DVR'ed it, though.  Oh yeah.

And since there was such a huge web presence talking about it last week, SyFy is showing an encore presentation of the movie this Thursday night.  Well, in case you haven't been indoctrinated yet, or if you haven't watched but are just as curious as the next person, I present to you my real-time review of the made-for-TV movie, "Sharknado".

Hold tight.  Spoilers, bad dialogue, and other stuff.  But really, you knew what was coming.


0:01:05 - Opening.  Countless fins in the ocean, a funnel cloud swirling over the surface of the water, and the Sharknado title just disintegrated from the force of the CGI winds.  Cou…

"Breaking Bad" Celebrated with Calendar, Exhibit, Hollywood Screening

"I'm sorry, Dave.  I can't do that."

"Breaking Bad" has become one of those television shows that influences the culture it was introduced to.  I've seen food products, clothing, stickers, room decor, and even bath salts that have been based on the characters in the program.

And it's no surprise.  Breaking Bad made waves when it was first picked up by AMC in 2007 as part of the network's push into scripted programming.  It, along with "Mad Men" and other similar programs, catapulted AMC into the high ranks of networks to watch out for.  Bryan Cranston promptly won 3 Emmy Awards in a row for his portrayal of Walter White, and he was joined by actor Aaron Paul with 2 Emmys for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman, Walter's partner in crime.  The show has won a few dozen other awards from various sources, including 4 AFI Awards for TV Program of the Year (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013).

AMC is counting down the days until the final episodes begin …

2 Beautiful Beheadings in 15 Minutes: The Allure of "Game of Thrones"

"All right, you primitive screwheads, listen up."

There are certain television shows that I stumble upon as they premier, and I enjoy way more than anyone else -- "FlashForward" was a prime example.  Then there are those series that I just can't get into.  I saw a few episodes of "Lost", but it didn't take.  I saw the first episode of "Glee", said "I get it," yet immediately knew I would never have to watch another episode.  Then there are other series that I discover after everyone else.  For instance, I never saw the reboot of "Battlestar Galactica" until earlier this year (for the record, it was one of the best series ever broadcast in the history of television, science fiction or not).  And I actually saw Serenity before I ever watched a single episode of "Firefly".

I didn't have cable until a few years ago.  I don't subscribe to HBO or Showtime.  I don't have a subscription to Hulu Plus, Net…

2 of TV's Sherlock Holmes Actors star in "Frankenstein"

"Lock the door."
"And hope they don't have blasters."
Now that the rest of the world knows who Benedict Cumberbatch is, we can get back to the real reason the man exists -- to play great characters.  The star of BBC's outstandingly powerful "Sherlock", Great Britain's take on the Sherlock Holmes character, Cumberbatch has co-starred with Johnny Lee Miller, star of the CBS drama "Elementary", USA's desperate attempt to create a Shelock Holmes series that doesn't look like a CSI knockoff, in a stage production of "Frankenstein".
The play, adapted by Nick Dear and directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle, premiered in 2011 at the National Theater in London, and a live broadcast is showing in encore performances in theaters throughout the UK and in select U.S. cities on October 31st, 2013.
The production is unique in that both leads played Victor Frankenstein and The Creature.  Which lead played which role depended on the pr…

"Under The Dome" Premiers to Good Ratings, Reviews

Article published on Geek Goes Rogue on Wednesday, July 3rd.  Find the original entry here.

I'll admit that several weeks ago, when I first saw the ads for CBS' new series "Under The Dome," I laughed a little bit.  The idea immediately brought a few questions to mind.  Apparently, according to users on IMDB.com, they were thinking the same thing...


Particularly, I immediately thought of The Simpsons Movie ("Trappucino").  And now, it appeared, we had a real life example.

I didn't know at the time that it was based on a Stephen King story.  So when I was researching new shows premiering, I came across the details for "Under The Dome" and thought, Okay, I have to watch the pilot.

I wasn't disappointed.  To a degree.

Apparently, plenty of others are thinking the same thing.  IndieWire has reported that the show has the feel of an episode of "The Twilight Zone."  The New York Times stated that the writers' lack of stereotype use h…

Warner Bros. Bringing 17 TV shows to Comic-Con

Article published on Geek Goes Rogue on Wednesday, July 3rd.  Find the entry here.

One thing I've always wanted to check out was the International Comic-Con in San Diego.  Many consider the SDCC the Mecca of geek pop culture, mostly due to its close proximity to movie and television studios, so it's not surprising to hear that Warner Bros. is charging into Comic-Con this July with 17 of its television shows.

Many of the studio's successful shows are returning, including "The Big Bang Theory," "The Following," "Revolution," and "The Vampire Diaries."

WB is also showcasing several of its new shows slated for fall premiers, airing the pilot episodes of some, including the new J.J. Abrams- produced, futuristic cop show "Almost Human" with Karl Urban, post-apocalyptic young person fodder "The 100," and young-hot-people-with-special-powers drama "The Tomorrow People".  Frankly, they sound worth checking out, …

The Chemistry of Breaking Bad

Article published on Geek Goes Rogue on Monday, July 1st, 2013.  Find the entry here.
I'm sitting in front of my television, where I have taken many a late-night mini-vacation while my wife sleeps.  Our tastes in entertainment are somewhat different.  For instance, she's not a Star Trek fan, so she thought Star Trek Into Darkness was "really, really good".  And we geeks understand why that's frustrating.
Because I want to talk about "Breaking Bad."  When was the last time the science of a show hooked you, even though it was merely a cursory part of the plot?  Chemistry, as Bryan Cranston's Walter White explains in the series pilot, is the study of matter, but he prefers to see it as the study of change.
Foreshadowing much?
As I sit watching the show's pilot for the 5th time, I can't help but consider how similar this episode is to a superhero origin story.  There's a vulnerability and ruthlessness about Walter that is just as compelling …