Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BSG, Wicked, Iron Man, and Vote Pushing Daisies!

Well, the weather is finally starting to act like fall where I am; I broke out the fleece jacket this morning. The wind and chill only heighten already high tensions, with the roller coaster stock market, impending election, and the World Series delayed by the rain! Really, I couldn't care less about the World Series, but it is in my interest to make sure the folks at FOX are happy rather than worried about how the delayed games could potentially disrupt their schedule, since stressed executives could make rash decisions they'll later regret to ax weak sci-fi performers off their Monday schedules... Anyway, here are my thoughts on a number of entertainment-related news items.

Big news first: We have a date.
10 pm on Friday, January 16, 2009
The second half of the final season of Battlestar Galactica will finally premiere, with the series finale likely falling on March 20 (Ausiello files). They sure know how to make a cliff hanger at BSG, more than basically any other show I know (The island moved? So what?), so I cannot wait for it to come back. Seriously, though, this show kind of stresses me out, so while I love it dearly and will be devastated when it comes to a close, I think in some ways it'll be a relief when the final episode is over. If you're not watching it, you should be (Catch up with the DVDs--you have two and a half months. Go!). It doesn't matter if you hate spaceships on principle (well, it does matter to me... I'm not sure we can be friends... What's wrong with space travel?), since I can personally confirm that there are people who are not sci-fi fans who still love this show. Battlestar Galactica is simply one of the most, if not the most, intense, harrowing, personal, and profound dramas on TV. Yeah, it's that good.

I'd like to give a shout out to Wicked, one of my absolute favorite musicals. Universal recently reported that Wicked's worldwide grosses have reached $1.2 billion, putting it in the ranks of top-grossing feature films, a practically unheard of feat for a stage show (Variety). I was lucky enough to see Wicked on Broadway when Tony winner Idina Menzel was still playing the (not really so) Wicked Witch of the West, though sadly Kristin Chenoweth had already left. (As a side note, Tom Cruise was in the audience with us, and as much as I'd like to think I'm a practical person who understands that famous people are still just humans, I was totally excited, particularly because this was before his summer of couch-jumping and anti-depressant-bashing bad publicity and subsequent popularity drop). Wicked is a great show, with humor, spectacular scenes and scenery, a wonderful score, quirky characters, and a touching story. It lost the best musical Tony, though, to Avenue Q, which really did deserve it just as much. I maintain that if Wicked had only come out the following year, it would have easily trumped Spamalot for the Tony (sorry Monty Python, but Wicked was just better). I wonder if they'll ever try to make a movie version of Wicked (making it perhaps the first movie based on a musical based on a book based on a movie based on a book). I'm not sure it would be a great idea; movie adaptations of stage musicals have had some great successes (Hairspray) but also some notable disappointments (The Producers). But if they are going to do it, they'd better get a move on it, or as Kristin Chenoweth said, she'll be playing Madame Morrible. I mean, original Broadway cast members returning 10 years later to movie roles that they are now really too old for? Idina Menzel's been there, done that (see: Rent). But anyway, Wicked's worldwide success makes me very happy.

The wildly popular Jonas Brothers have signed on to star in a 20th Century Fox feature entitled
"Walter the Farting Dog"
(Variety) Need I say more? Probably not, but I'll keep talking anyway. I don't really understand the appeal of the Jonas Brothers. Maybe if I were ten years younger I would, though it's unlikely, since I never was one to obsess over singers or bands. But still, I thought these guys were successful and wholesome. I would not have expected them to attach themselves to a movie about a farting dog. I wouldn't have expected there to be a movie about a farting dog at all (though the rumor that the Farrelly brothers may direct surprises me less). Maybe this movie will somehow turn out to be a clever, humorous, deep, and heart-warming story for the whole family, but... no, I don't think so. Talk about people being put off by the word "porno" in upcoming Zack and Miri Make a Porno--I am disgusted by the idea that "farting" would be important enough to a storyline to feature it in the title. But maybe I'm just becoming an old fart.

Some exciting new news: Robert Downey Jr. has signed on with Marvel to star in Iron Man 3 as well as Iron Man 2 (for which director Jon Favreau has been confirmed as well), and also in The Avengers (Variety). The Avengers is expected to be released in July 2011 and will feature Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk along with Iron Man. I loved the Iron Man movie, particularly Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Iron Man was overshadowed by the success of The Dark Knight, but it was very different--brighter, shinier, funnier, and Marveler--and holds its own in the world of superhero movies. I'm looking forward to future Iron Man features, as long as they are careful not to go the way of Spider-Man 3.

And lastly, I'd like to discuss an issue of actual, real-world importance. Very soon, citizens across America will have to make a choice between Obama and... Pushing Daisies! Three of the four major networks--CBS, NBC, and FOX--will be airing a half hour Obama special on Wednesday (10/29) night at 8. ABC, on the other hand, will be airing its regular new episode of Pushing Daisies (Variety). Hopefully this will give my favorite ratings-challenged show a boost as the only major network non-infomercial at that time. So don't watch Obama. You don't need to. Are any of the candidates really going to say anything new at this point? And who hasn't made up their minds already? Seriously. After all, the biggest danger facing our country right now is the very real possibility of Pushing Daisies getting canceled. It doesn't matter who wins the election if Pushing Daisies is gone (*wipes tear of fervor*). So on Wednesday,
Vote Daisies!

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