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Archive for August, 2008

Aug
28

Project Runway: Fashion that Drives You

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(S05E07) Wow, this season’s designers are an emotional little bunch, aren’t they? There’s a lot of whining, a lot of complaining, a lot of talking behind each others’ backs. These kids make me feel like I’m in high school all over again, except everyone is somehow even more poorly dressed and misinformed about aesthetics. The designers also seem increasingly insecure about their own work and this challenge did their fragile states no favors. Charged with the mission to grab materials from cars and make something wearable, you’d probably get a little grumpy too.

Season Three’s Laura Bennett stopped by to fill in for Nina Garcia. Yes, one week without Nina! The designers must have been relieved. Rachel Zoe also played guest judge. Follow along by checking out the designs on Bravo’s site.

Blayne: Will it ever end? I had my fingers crossed when I saw his model walk out in an outfit holding phantom boobies. Alas, he was a the top of the bottom three and he stayed. Damn. Also, was Heidi right about the broken mirror meaning seven years of no sex? I thought it just meant general bad luck. Perhaps Heidi’s idea of bad luck is just no sex.

Jerell: In this episode, Jerell threw out one of a rare quotable comment. “She’s got two faces and four patterns.” Boom! Burn! Sass! It’s lines like that and Terri’s out-of-nowhere “I ain’t got no babies, ain’t nobody sucking on my titties” from a few episodes ago that truly shine. Blayne and Suede’s desperate attempts to creating a new “fierce” just look extra-sad in comparison. Anyway, Jerell did a surprisingly good job. I think most of the effect was carried by his solid choices in make-up and hair styling, though.

Joe: Joe really lucked out by having immunity this week. He had the opportunity to get really crazy with such a difficult material, and I felt like he didn’t take advantage of this.

Keith: [AUF’D]
His outfit was pretty boring, but it didn’t deserve sending him home. I think he just sealed his fate by mouthing off on the runway, though. Has he learned nothing? There’s no point in mouthing off to the judges. They don’t care. When has a designer ever changed the minds of the judges by complaining? Doing so just wastes time that could have been spent pointing out the solid, well-considered parts of one’s garment. But I guess Keith was too caught up in his own frustration to think clearly. His clean-up farewell was a bit heartbreaking though, I’ll give him that.

Kenley:
I really don’t care for Kenley. At least she didn’t bust out her attitude this week. I applaud her for doing what most designers haven’t done, which is customize fabrics/materials with her own images, but the overall silhouette and design wasn’t so exciting. I hope that one day Project Runway will get a really amazing illustrator-type who will customize their own materials. Just think, like, James Jean’s Prada goods.

Korto:
This was a beautiful use of the seatbelt texture. Korto always delivers interesting work. Now, if only we could get her to stop looking like she’s about deliver a final death stare all the time, she’d be fine.

Leanne: [WINNER]
This was just an all-around great outfit. I can’t imagine anyone ever wearing it, but it was definitely a great visual piece and a beautiful use of materials. I especially liked the ruffly seatbelt bits along the top. It was also refreshing to see something without a crazy high collar from Leanne.

Stella: [ALMOST AUF’D]
Poor Stella suffered from the same situation as Keith. She tried to stray from her usual style and it almost cost her. I hope she doesn’t get discouraged, because blending a hard, metal look with soft femininity is a really tough thing to do. If she manages to pull that off, she’ll be an incredibly hot designer.

Suede: I heard him use “Suede” once. God, I we’re so close to him kicking that habit, I can feel it. Or maybe that’s just my desperation translating to optimism. His creation this week was okay. It was super-shiny, but pretty boring in terms of shape and originality.

Terri: This was pretty interesting. It carried the “hard” look of working with car parts, but it didn’t look like it had been ripped out of a Saturn.

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Aug
28

HBO chickens out; Preacher too much

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It looks like HBO is just TV after all. After airing such intense fare as The Sopranos and Carnivalé, the new head of production, Sue Naegle (or at least that’s my guess on who pulled the plug based on the quotes) is pulling the plug on the in development HBO adaptation of DC/Vertigo’s Preacher. The Garth Ennis-Steve Dillon comic book series was controversial for its intense violence and handling of religious subjects, but it was also a huge sales and critical hit.

There was talk of adapting the series with each episode comprising exactly one comic issue. Dialogue was lifted almost exactly from the book with the comic art used as the storyboard. Fans were incredibly enthusiastic about it, but “the new head of HBO felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial,” according to Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil, Ghost Rider). Naegle loves In Treatment, Big Love and Tell Me You Love Me, so that tells you where here tastes lie. These aren’t bad shows but they’re also not going to jump out and grab headlines, and headlines are exactly what HBO needs for its original series.

Fear not, though, faithful Preacher fans. While the project is apparently dead at HBO, it may yet live on. “I’ve heard someone is in the process of getting the rights to turn it into a feature film,” said Johnson. “I hope that happens. But I hope it happens as a series of movies as one movie couldn’t do it justice. I really love that story and I dedicated a lot of my time to honor Garth’s work. But it wasn’t meant to be.” Johnson is right that it would be a complete disaster to try and compact the saga of Preacher into just one film.

But you know, as good as a series of films could be I don’t think it would be as good as a HBO level series production. The added time and pacing that a weekly series allows would let the story unfold in much the same way it did as a comic book. We wouldn’t have to sacrifice any of those important character moments that made the series such an intense and personal experience. As much fun as the plots themselves were, it was those moments between Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy that really made it such a success.

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Aug
28

Spoilers Anonymous

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This is Spoilers Anonymous, a weekly column here at TV Squad where we’ll supply you with the dirt on some of the more popular shows on the air. We’ll never put spoilers up here on the main page in order to help the reformed stay unspoiled. If you have anything to add to the group, feel free to step up and let yourself be heard, either with our
tips form or by emailing us at tvsquad at

This week we have: Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, One Tree Hill, Smallville and The Office. (SPOILERS FOLLOW!)

Desperate Housewives

  • Susan may be living with Jackson but she and Mike are still married. McCluskey thinks that someone is trying to kill her. [Source: Watch with Kristin]
  • Tom’s life will be put in grave danger when he is electrocuted while working on the restaurant’s electric panel. [Source: TV Squad]

Gossip Girl

  • Vanessa will hook up with an older man. Nate will get a loan from a new friend. Chuck will swap spit with an Upper East Site lady. [Source: Watch with Kristin]
  • Serena will get a new love interest that is loosely based on Gossip Girl books’ character Aaron Rose. [Source: Ausiello Files]
  • New recurring character Poppy, to be introduced around episode 5, befriends Serena and tells her to stop living for Blair. [Source: TV Squad]

Heroes

  • The mother of Sylar’s 4-year-old son Noah is alive. Nathan and Peter will find out they have two other relatives they didn’t know about. [Source: Watch with Kristin]

How I Met Your Mother

  • In episode four, Stella’s sister Nora is set to wed. But when her fiancé leaves her at the altar, Ted and Stella use Nora’s wedding arrangements to carry off their own nuptials. [Source: Watch with Kristin]

One Tree Hill

  • Quentin gets in trouble early on this season. Hailey, Skills and Lucas try to help him out, which will lead to Lucas being suspended. Nathan tries to get back in the game and is offered a surprising job. Jamie is bullied. Gigi resurfaces. Hailey and Brooke try to help new teen on the block Samantha. Skills and Deb will kiss. Someone will die early on the season. [Source: TV Squad]

Saving Grace

  • Grace tries to get inside the killer’s head when she is handed her first serial killer’s case. [Source: TV Squad]

Smallville

  • There will definitely be a Chloe-Jimmy wedding, but that it does not go according to plan. Clark will seek out trouble instead of reacting to trouble when it happens. When Jimmy starts connecting some dots, Clark will think about having a secret identity. Clark will finally get past his relationship with Lana. Clark will be seduced by intergalactic Goddess Maxima. Lex will not show up at all this season. The Legion of Superheroes will show up for an episode in which future Superman sends Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad back in the past to help make things right. [Source: Watch with Kristin]
  • At some point within the first seven episodes, Lana will confess her love for Clark. [Source: Ausiello Files]

The Office

  • In the beginning of the season, Pam is away at art schoo, she’s living in New York, and there is a whole new world opening up for her. It’s a three-month program at the school, and Pam’s really loving living in New York. It is unknown if she’ll return at Dunder Mifflin once she completed her studies. Jim and Pam have a lot of phone time. [Source: Watch with Kristin]
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Why do college students get all the breaks? It looks like Fox will be offering the premieres of both Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and J.J. Abrams’ Fringe at fox.com
for those with a .edu e-mail address. They will also offer some behind-the-scenes footage, music videos and interviews.

This is a clever marketing ploy by Fox. The demographic for those shows definitely leans towards the young, and since college students are more exposed to computers than anybody I know who doesn’t work in the industry (and are probably more used to watching stuff online rather than on the television), the idea has definite appeal.

Mind you, such systems can be fooled, particularly if you have a friend or relative with a .edu address (or so I’ve heard). With that in mind, I don’t understand why Fox wouldn’t just offer this to everybody. I can only guess that it’s a way for Fox to control illegal downloading of these highly anticipated shows.

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Aug
28

More America’s Got Talent coming our way

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In one of the most unsurprising news of the day, NBC announces that it is renewing America’s Got Talent for a fourth season. The “greatest show in the world,” as host Jerry Springer says, is the most-watched summer show so it’s no wonder the network wants to continue the adventure and make more money in the process.

Even if millions of viewers watch America’s Got Talent weekly, it doesn’t mean they are not tired of of some aspects of the show. Some changes are needed if the producers and the network want to score the same ratings next season and maybe bring on new viewers. Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Change the host. Jerry Springer reads the teleprompter way too much. Also, his interactions with the contestants are sometimes painful to watch because Springer doesn’t know what to tell them or how to act around them.
  • Change at least one of the judges or add a fourth one. The show already changed one of the judges in the past so we know they can do it. Adding a fourth judge wouldn’t be original since American Idol is doing it next season. However, both options offer some needed freshness to the judges panel. Aren’t you tired of hearing the same comments over and over again?
  • Stop having the acts you (aka the producers) want us to vote for perform last. We get it, they have touching stories and amazing voices but can’t you let us come to the conclusion that they should move on further in the competition on our own?
  • Cut down the number of audition episodes. I, for one, love the audition process. It’s the only part of shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance I watch. But there were way too many episodes spent on auditions this summer. If producers want to have the same number of episodes, how about showing us a little bit more of Vegas Week?
  • Live shows are not your friends unless you actually know how to produce a live show. The last two live shows were painful to watch because of the poor editing/lighting/audio and cuts between the shots, just to name a few flaws. If producers can’t find the proper staff to produce live shows, maybe it’s time to turn to pre-recorder “live” shows. We will still watch AGT and vote even if the performance shows are taped the day before (or earlier the morning the episodes air).

Do you agree with my suggestions to improve the show? If you were one of AGT‘s producers, what would you do to improve the show and ensure that it stays the “greatest show in the world”? Let your voice be heard in comments below.

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The third most important story in the Entertainment section of my news page this morning is this: which stars are going to present awards at this year’s Emmy Awards ceremony (September 21 on ABC). And to that I say a big … who cares?

Every year, in the weeks leading up to the Emmys, we hear about which stars are going to present awards. I’ve always found it odd because the people they say are going to present are, you know, TV stars. Seriously, this is the Emmy Awards, and like the Oscars or the Grammys, I expect the people who have something to do with television (maybe the people who actually star on the shows!) to either present awards, introduce segments of the show, or even host. Yeah, it’s mildly interesting that William Petersen and Laurence Fishburne will present an award together, since Fishburne is taking over for Petersen on CSI, but it’s not that big of a deal. And it’s certainly not a big deal that America Fererra and Vanessa Williams are going to present an award or that Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Hugh Laurie are going to present awards – separately. I would assume that these current TV stars will be involved in some way, but even if they aren’t, why is it news?

I mean, someone has to present the awards. If John McCain or Barack Obama present awards, I guess that will be news. If Kate & Allie stars Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James are going to present an award together and announce a reunion movie, that would be news. Or if Abbott & Costello rise from the grave to give a lifetime achievement award to someone else who is dead, maybe Rod Serling, then that would be news. But if Tina Fey is going to be there, I already know that and it’s not news.

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