Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fleeting members, Graysons, Sonic, and Pushing Daisies

My thoughts on assorted news from this week in the entertainment industry:

I am not a fan of reality shows. Correction--I have an intense distaste for reality shows on principle. Some of them, such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, do great things, but I still think they exploit people's misfortunes and emotions. And I actually watched about half of one season of Beauty and the Geek because Dave the Larper and Jasmine the Babysitter were really adorable. But all other seasons of that show and every other reality show are pretty trashy TV. So the fact that Survivor: Gabon (Survivor is still on??) has experienced an unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction" and has gotten CBS into a little trouble does not particularly concern me. But I do give the show and this wardrobe situation credit for inspiring the following quote, brought to you by the Parents Television Council: "The number of 'fleeting' penises we expect to see on broadcast television is zero." (IMDb)

The CW has picked up a new DC-based series to be called "The Graysons" about the young Dick Grayson (and presumably his family) before he became the first of Batman's sidekicks known as Robin (Variety). It's basically supposed to be for Robin what Smallville is for Superman. My only question is, well... Clark Kent is (basically) the last of an alien race living on Earth with superpowers that he uses when he must to fight baddies without arousing suspicion. So while Smallville is about how Clark copes with life as a teenager/young adult with these secret abilities, The Graysons will be about Dick Grayson coping with life as... a normal kid? Or, at best, a kid growing up in the circus. A show about a kid in an acrobat family could work, but the point here is to make a show about Robin. The executive producers say they've come up with an original take on the character, so we'll see what they put together.
> Update 11/7/08: The CW has apparently scrapped plans for The Graysons (Variety)

I have just learned about the new Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Nintendo DS (Variety). It caught my attention because it's a BioWare game, and as I have made known through previous posts, most of my favorite games are by BioWare. But as for this Sonic game... I think I must be getting old. Firstly, I'm not going to play this game because I don't have a Nintendo DS and I don't expect ever to get one. I don't know what the deal is with that touch screen--why should any game need more than one screen? Does a person have two separate fields of vision? No. Secondly, hearing the phrase "Sonic on the Nintendo...", I just have to shake my head; it triggers in me almost the same reaction I would have seeing Iron Man in the Justice League (*shudders*). Back in the day, Sega was a top competitor of Nintendo--the day of the Genesis vs. the Super Nintendo. My family was in the Genesis party, and we had a lot of fun with it, but as later generations of consoles came out, the Saturn and Dreamcast disappeared under the N64 and PlayStation's success, thus leading to Sega's demise as a console-maker. But in the height of my console days, Sonic was for Sega and Mario was for Nintendo, and Sonic had not one but two TV shows. That sassy Sonic with his love for chili-dogs has been reduced to an adopted Nintendo tag-along makes me a little wistful. At least he's getting some BioWare respect.

Now here's the good news: Fringe has received a full season order from Fox (Variety). It had me worried after its not-weak-but-not-strong premiere, but when the following week it had ratings-champ House as a lead-in, its audience increased significantly and it has now been receiving fairly strong ratings, particularly compared to other new shows which have overall failed to impress audiences. Fringe can be a little icky (and I can put up with a lot of ick), but I'm looking forward to seeing where they take the show. The bad news: Pushing Daisies's season premiere on Wednesday ranked fourth in its hour with less than half the audience that tuned in for the series premiere last year, getting a sad 4.3/7 with 2.0/6 in the demo (Variety, IMDb). This was the show whose return I had been most anticipating, especially since there haven't been any new episodes since the winter because of the writers' strike. I guess for other people, the long hiatus just weaned them of the show. *Sniffle.* This is a wonderful, delightful, whimsical, quirky, hilarious, lovable show. Help save Pushing Daisies! Watch the show! ABC Wednesdays at 8/7c.

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