Jackets Time!

Another Rick Nash goal. Another Steve Mason shutout. It looks like the last-minute acquisition was a smart one, and Torres, The Umbergler, et al are playing like men on a mission. The Jackets have been winning like a playoff team, that’s for sure.

For the first three months of the season, some dude from the ticket office was calling me twice a week trying to talk me into a bundle of tickets… bet they’re not so desperate for sales any more! It’s great to have a young team putting things together so very, very well, and I hope it translates into more widespread, long-term support for our team. (Side rant: lower bowl tickets for less than the price of two dinners and three movies would also mean more dedicated fans. Call me crazy, but selling out the bottom deck of Nationwide at ~$40 for the non-box, non-club tickets seems like it’d be better than leaving half the $56 seats empty! Maybe it’s a moot point now that the guys are taking names and kicking the corresponding asses.)

This brief entry is meant entirely to shame Coffing into writing a regular feature about the Blue Jackets.

“Castle” Pilot in 30 Seconds

The premiere of ABC’s Castle was tonight, and as a huge fan of every member of the cast of Firefly and Serenity I had no choice but to watch. I was not optimistic, since Nathan “Captain Tightpants” Fillion seems to only be cast in peripheral parts or shows doomed to early cancellation (or spectacular online mini-series). I also remembered hearing Castle described as some sort of cop drama, which isn’t exactly an underserved market.

After an episode, I plan to keep watching – mostly because of Fillion. Like Adam Baldwin, he’s an unfairly pigeonholed actor who manages to make genuine, lovable characters out of the roles he’s given. The series is already too predictable… Fillion as the egotistical mass-market author, leading lady Stana Katic as Miss Hard-boiled Detective with no use for love. Nonetheless, among the groan-inducing cheesiness were some very funny lines and an interesting plot.

What does it take for a show in the 10:00 slot to survive past the third week? Does a network launch a series in that timeslot with the intent of moving it up if more than a few hundred people watch, or was this at best a 10-episode run from the start?

Since I mentioned Adam Baldwin in passing, I should note my enjoyment of this week’s Chuck. I’d hate to think of anyone skipping good episodes because I complained about a lame one, and I know that my influence reaches both far and wide. Rest easy, NBC executives and Chuck producers! The readership of thathero.com hasn’t given up on you yet!

Next time we’ll talk about how President Obama has enlisted me to stop the rise of the oceans and teach the world’s imams “Kumbaya” in Arabic.

Cancel My Favorite Shows, Part 2

Let’s not forget my other, newer NBC favorite, Chuck… far as I can tell it hasn’t been renewed for a third season yet. I hope it’s not, which is to say it almost certainly will be. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the cast and the writers. Once you get past the ideas of a supercomputer being stored in a guy’s head and 85% of beautiful women being spies, the dialogue and performances make for an extremely fun and believable-enough action comedy. But for how long?

The first season gave us excellent introductions to the characters, while entertaining with some novel and some standby plot lines. Overall, the second season has continued this trend, with Levy and Strahovski perfecting the longing glances, almost -but not quite!- saying exactly how in love they are with each other, and generally drawing out the will-they-won’t-they in un-annoying ways. But in tonight’s episode, that single driving force behind “the magic” shows signs of overextension (spoilers follow, if you missed it).

Chuck decides again that he can’t handle their cover relationship, and tells Sarah in a scene identical to the one from the first season. Sarah, teary-eyed, accepts with no complaint this business decision… again. Sarah is attracted to a super-spy, and Chuck’s feelings could be summed up as: I’ve made a huge mistake. Again. Chuck kicks in a door to get to Sarah, then reverts from semi-seasoned doofus spy to pilot episode doofus. Sarah, having denied her feelings for Chuck for months, is a heartbeat away from eloping with a jerk-bag she met at the start of the episode. Next week’s preview lets us know that Agent Jerkbag will naturally return for another episode filled with swooning from Sarah and jealousy from Chuck. Oh, and it would seem Chuck and Sarah have to move in together. Again.

In a word: tiresome. It would have been a downright bad episode without the usual Adam Baldwin awesome-sauce and helpings of funny supporting cast. I wanted to see the show concluded happily at the end of its second season because I feared the writers couldn’t wring three seasons of consistency out of Chuck that both did the characters justice and kept the story interesting. Now I’m concerned they’ll be unable to make it until May without jumping the shark.

Please Cancel My Favorite Shows

To no one’s surprise, The Office was renewed… awhile ago. It’s as if NBC Universal is indifferent to my guidance, despite my slowly increasing holdings in GE as their bond ratings hover on the edge of AAA and their stock price plummets! They didn’t even fly me out for a meeting with the producers!

Extremely light spoilers follow, if you’re waiting for the DVD or something. What they’ve been doing in this season of The Office is what’s had me hoping for cancellation: storylines are starting to run thin, continuity doesn’t feel as effortlessly tied together anymore, every other episode teases about a Pam & Jim falling out. What happened to Ryan in/after Bangkok? Why’d they bring Toby back after the fuss over his departure? Funny one-offs and simple plot progression in cameraman one-on-ones have been lacking. The Angela-Dwight-Andy chaos has hardly been touched after the great Duel episode.

It doesn’t help that a somewhat slow hour-long episode was split in two by NBC a couple weeks back. Plus, I don’t know why they’d renew a show and then skip two episodes of the season in progress. It’s just… annoying, and whether the writers are getting lazy or the best ones have moved on, I find myself hardly interested in what has been a favorite these past few seasons.

Updates and In Dependence

I recently made some changes to the site’s template, thinking, “once these are done I’ll post an update on the front page” …and then I promptly forgot the update. To be honest, this post is more for my reference than anything. Months from now when I’m asking myself what the heck happened to such-and-such, I’ll check the archives page for the site updates category.

Classy segue! I added an archives page, which you’ll see now in the top navigation. This is something I meant to do a long time ago when the archives in the right-hand sidebar started stretching towards Antarctica and I cut them at 12 months. Basically, you can find what you’re looking for based on tags under the Topics heading at the right, based on publish date under the Archives heading at the right, or with the Seek box on the left. But if you’re wondering, “what were these guys up to in April of 2006,” or “what are all the different post categories,” the archives page is the place to be.

This may be useful to the handful of new subscribers I’ve seen registering on the site lately, assuming any of you are not spam-bots. Which reminds me – welcome, non-spam-bot subscribers!! The other changes you’d notice if you glanced at Before and After versions of the site are the result of overdue housecleaning. I removed the music and movies links from the top stripe and dropped them under the posterior section, to reflect the fact that they’re dated content we’re unlikely to mess with in the future. Last but not least, I added a book link, which points at the book I wrote in college and recently moved into WordPress.

Yes, when I was at Miami I tried to write a book. Overall I’d say it was a great exercise in wasted time and failed self-promotion, but I still hope the thing’s a worthwhile read for any random high school juniors or seniors – or even college freshmen – who stumble across it here. Details on the In Dependence page.