Nerds of the Round Table

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Category Archives: Rant

A Rant on the Latest Battlestar Galactica Reboot

In August 2009 I reported that Bryan Singer was looking to make a new movie about Battlestar Galactica and that this movie would serve as yet another reboot to the BSG mythos.  Needless to say I railed against this proposed movie two years ago.  My core belief is that it is far too soon to be rebooting BSG, especially since the critically acclaimed TV show has only been off the air a few years.  Then we got lucky and Singer accepted the task of making a new film and the BSG reboot was put on the back-burner.  Sadly, Singer’s current film has been shut down and he has expressed an interest in returning to the BSG universe.

Details are starting to come out about the newest reboot to BSG and now it’s looking like they might try to connect this movie with the rebooted TV show’s universe.  Don’t get too excited yet though.  It has been learned that John Orloff will be writing the script for Bryan Singer and in an interview yesterday he let some information out about the possible plot.  According to Orloff:

I’m a huge fan of the original series and of the second show, too. But I always thought the first show was a little too heavily reliant on Star Wars, you know? Whereas I think the second show was really original and really cool.

And I think I’ve come up with a way to write this movie that won’t [frick] any of that up. I’m not sure how much they want me to talk about it. Let’s just say it’s not what you expect. It will all work in the universe that exists. It will not conflict with anything Ron Moore has done. I don’t think you can compete with what he’s done.

So what does this truly mean?  Are they going to keep the story that has been established by Ron Moore’s show?  It sounds like they might… assuming the quote above is something that is stuck too.  Part of me almost thinks this was said to try to quell the fanboy rage over this BSG reboot.

They want to keep the continuity established in Ron Moore’s show yet make something new with the characters.  The only way I can think of to do this is to take something from JJ Abrams playbook.  By that I mean, copy what he did in Star Trek and create an alternate timeline that has all of the same characters.  That way you can do whatever you want and claim not be changing the history of BSG.

Now, I’m wasn’t really a fan of the way in which Star Trek was rebooted but I cannot deny that it worked.  They threw out years of history and established characters to make a movie that had the same characters as the original Star Trek, but it never really felt like Star Trek.  That’s what I’m afraid will happen with this reboot of BSG.  To be fair fans of the original BSG TV show were probably saying the same things when Ron Moore’s reboot was about to debut.  But, there had been years since the last BSG TV show had aired and BSG simply was not relevant in the public anymore.  Ron Moore changed that with his reboot and made BSG relevant outside of nerd culture.   The show won Peabody Awards and critical acclaim.  That was something that could hardly be said about the original.

Ron Moore assembled an incredible cast to tell a fantastic story in the modern BSG.  To reboot the series again smacks of sweeping all of this epic story under the rug.  This still rubs me the wrong way.  I’m sure many other fanboys feel the same way; there were many of us who truly loved Ron Moore’s series.  The simple fact of the matter is that its way too soon to be rebooting Battlestar Galactica.  With the BSG prequel set to debut soon on Syfy Channel the story is still continuing.  However, in closing, it’s not really BSG unless Edward James Olmos is in it!

Going Spoiler Free – The Spoiler Free Challenge

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve indulged in spoilers and luckily I’ve not been burned too badly by them.  But today I came to a realization.  Simply put, I realized if I wasn’t careful spoilers were going to ruin The Dark Knight Rises for me.  For those that haven’t seen it yet there were a ton of pictures taken by fans during filming for the movie in Pittsburgh.

Without going into detail these pictures gave a full on view of Bane in costume as he fought the Batman.  That doesn’t sound bad right?  But the problem is I rather hate the costume chosen for Bane.  Or at least I hate the costume I have seen so far, before any post production editing is done.  I’m sure Christopher Nolan will be tweaking things in post-production but instead I’m letting pictures taken by a fan with their cell phone influence my option.

I’m sure people are thinking ‘Chris, you hypocrite! You crapped all over the new Spidey costume based on spoilers pictures.’  My response, I did and I was proven right the new Spider-Man costume is terrible; even in the finished state showcased in the trailer.  The difference is I trust Christopher Nolan to make Bane awesome despite the changes to the traditional costume.  I didn’t trust Marc Webb to do the same with Spidey.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman films have been fantastic and I trust him to bring his incredible vision of Batman to the big screen.  And I refuse to let spoilers ruin that for me.  Starting today I will be going spoiler free on The Dark Knight Rises.  I do not want stolen pictures or blurry cam shots to ruin this movie for me.  Starting today I am going spoiler free on everything related to The Dark Knight Rises.  I won’t read anything tagged with spoilers and I won’t post anything outside of my own speculation and any information released via Warner Brothers to promote the movie.

I really would encourage others to do the same.  If not for The Dark Knight Rises try it with another movie that you are waiting on pins and needles for.  Try and think of the last time you went and saw a comic book movie or SciFi epic without being even slightly spoiled.  I bet its hard to remember, I know I struggled to come up with a response.  The last one I can think of is Spider-Man 2; I knew nothing outside of the trailers going in and it was quite possibly the best comic book movie I have seen.  I tried to remain spoiler free for the Star Wars Episode III and 2 days before the movie one of my friends spoiled the crap out of me.  To this day I still regret caving and actually paying attention to the spoilers.

The internet is full of fanboys that are willing to crap all over something based on spoilers and blurry pictures taken on set.  I refuse to be one of those fanboys… for at least a few movies.  I can’t give it up completely!  Movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are ones I will no longer let myself be spoiled on.

To be honest I think not being spoiled will make the movie experience much better when I finally get to see it.  Am I crazy to go spoiler free for these blockbusters?  Better yet will I be able to stand by my pledge to remain spoiler free?  I certainly intend to do everything in my power to not be spoiled.  As for my readers I would encourage you to give it a try to go into a movie un-spoiled.  You might be surprised just how much more fun it is.  If you decide to try to go spoiler-free please let me know how it goes.  I might need a support group to keep my from caving and reading spoilers.

The Great Reboot of DC Comics

Hearing or seeing the word reboot when it comes to comics generally sends a cold chill down my spine.  Mostly because I’m old school and like to respect the past storylines that have been told.  That being said, sometimes a reboot can be a good thing for refreshing iconic characters.  DC recently announced that starting on August 31 they will be rebooting the entire line of DC Comics and going down to 52 series.  Additionally Jim Lee has redesigned and/or tweaked the costumes of about 50 major characters in the DC Universe.

Starting in August DC will release 50 first issues, their intent is to create “a more modern, diverse DC Universe.”   DC’s Senior Vice President-Sales Bob Wayne provided some more information about the reboot.  He stated there will be “some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend — but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.”

DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio was interviewed by USA Today and provided more information about the reboot and its intended effects on the DC Universe.  This is one of the interesting parts of the interview:

In September, an additional 51 first issues will make their debut, introducing stories that are grounded in each character’s specific legend but also reflect today’s real-world themes and events. Lee spearheaded the costumes’ redesign to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.
“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC with Lee. “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

It seems as though Flashpoint is the mechanism that will allow the bulk of these changes to take place.  The DC Universe has already been changed leading up to Flashpoint and my guess is that when Barry Allen tries to make things right it will cause the reboot of the DC Universe.  Everything will seem familiar but there will be minor changes, all as a result of Flashpoint.  It’s  a smart way to make the changes, I have to give them credit for that.

The question is what kind of things will be rebooted?  Are major plot points going to go away, and if so how will fans react?  An example of some of the defining moments of the DCU that could be changed are:

  1. The Death of Superman
  2. The Marriage of Superman and Lois Lane
  3. Bane breaking Batman’s back
  4. The inclusion of Robin in the Batman books.
  5. The crippling of Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl.
  6. All of the Crisis stories, specifically the death of Barry Allen
  7. Barry Allen’s subsequent resurrection
  8. Blackest Night
  9. The fall and eventual redemption of Hal Jordan

These are just some examples, but it seems like DC has made just about everything fair game for the reboot.  The question is, where do you draw the line?  How do you remove some moments of DC history that fans love but not others?

DC has provided a preview of the new Justice League and in the preview, pictured below, we can see some of the minor costume changes that have taken place.  Jim Lee was give free rein to make changes an on whole they look pretty good.  There are two costume redesigns that stand out to me.  First, Wonder Woman is keeping a costume very similar to the one Lee just created.  Next Superman’s costume has been tweaked some.  He now has a high collar and the S shield has been modified some.  Purists might not like it, but I can live with the change.

It seems to me there is a lot of potential for ‘fanboy rage’ to come out of this reboot.  I guarantee rage if they retcon Bane breaking Batman’s back.  It sounds intriguing to me, but if I were a big DC fan I would be scared.   However, this reboot does serve as a good jumping on point for me to read more DC books.  I’ll probably be checking out the Batman books to see how everything has changed.  Realistically, I’ll probably pick up some other books as well because I’m just too curious to see what is going to change with the entire DC Universe.  My hope is that DC is able to pull of this reboot much better than Marvel did with the Spider-Man books in One More Day/Brand New Day.  Those have turned into a mess and turned me off on a character I have loved since my childhood.  Good luck DC, I’ll be watching to see how this all turns out.

Smallville Finale: The Birth of Superman

I think its still a little hard to believe that after 10 years Smallville is over.  No longer will I tune in weekly to see Clark Kent’s metamorphosis into the legendary Man of Steel, Superman.  But at least there was a two hour farewell given to this show I have dedicated so much time to.

Was the Smallville Finale perfect?  No it wasn’t, but it was fun to watch and that’s the most important part.  I’m not a Smallville apologist, I’ll unload on something if I think its done poorly and I think I’ve proven that.  So if you want to think of the Smallville Finale with no criticism I encourage you to skip to the end of this article.  I am going to be critical of a few parts, but on whole I did enjoy the Finale.  If you feel I’m being unfair, I encourage you to leave a comment below and call me out.

My thoughts on the finale can basically be binned into three groups: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  As such, I have organized my thoughts like that below.

The Good

  1. The Final Scene – If the final scene of Smallville didn’t make you want to stand up and cheer I’m not sure what’s wrong with you.  The Lois and Clark of 2018 were almost exactly what you would expect from the comic book world.  Not only that but it brought the return of a couple of characters that are a big part of the Superman comic book mythos (more on that below).  Th other nice touch was the addition of Lex Luthor being the president-elect.  That had been foretold in past seasons and it was really cool to see it come to pass.  But by far the best part of this final scene involved Clark Kent.  Everyone who has watched Smallville was waiting for the scene where Clark goes to the save the day and rips open his shirt to reveal the Superman shield.  Couple that moment with John William’s Superman theme and it gave me chills.   
  2. The Kent Family – Smallville has always done a great job of showing that at its heart the show is about Clark Kent and his family.  It was great to see Martha and Jonathan back in the finale episode.  The Kents were responsible for shaping Clark into the man he became.  His sense of what is morally right is what makes Superman such a great hero.  It was fantastic to see Jor-El point out that Clark should always remember Smallville and the Kents.  I also have to admit that the Kent family hug in Clark’s loft was heartwarming.  It really took me back to the beginning of the show where there was a great deal of focus on the family aspect.
  3. Apokolips – I thought the appearance of Darkseid’s planet was done well and the special effects that went into its appearance were beautiful.  Apokolips appeared and it certainly amped up the tension in the episode.  It truly did feel like there was a chance everything could go badly.
  4. The Return of Lex Luthor – There’s a part of me that really wished Lex’s return was kept secret.  It would have made the return that much more powerful.  That being said, Lex’s return was great.  Michael Rosenbaum continues to prove that he is Lex Luthor.  The scene between Clark and Lex in the burned out Luthor mansion was very well done.  One of my favorite parts is when Clark tries to tell Lex he’s been given a second chance and that this time things can go differently and he can be good.  That’s classic Superman right there, believing that anyone can be redeemed even the man who has been your worst enemy.  The back and forth between Clark and Lex was well done and made me realize how much I had missed Lex as the overall villain of the story, especially when Lex referred to Clark as Kal-El showing that he remembered everything that had happened between the two.  I think my favorite part of the exchange is how Lex is one of the forces that drives Clark towards being a hero if only so that Lex can be the one that opposes him.
  5. Surprise Cameos – The return of Aaron Ashmore to the Smallville world was a welcome surprise.  This time instead of portraying the deceased Henry James Olson he was Henry’s little brother better known as Jimmy.  Not only that, he looked like what you expect from Jimmy in the comics with the bow tie and hat.  It was a great unexpected surprise to see Jimmy at the end.  Not only did Jimmy make an appearance but so did Perry White.  Appearance might be the wrong word but Michael McKean, who plays Perry, did provide the voice clips that were used in the finale.  Another great surprise from the writers! 
  6. The Redemption of Tess Mercer – Tess may have thought she would never find redemption but in the end she saved Clark one last time.  Since the character was first introduced as a the reluctant badguy she has been put on a course to try to redeem herself.  Throughout this season Tess has moved more towards the light by supporting the heroes and openly opposing the Luthors.  Honestly I thought she was done for when Lionel wanted to take her heart to complete Lex’s resurrection.  Ultimately she escaped and I thought that just maybe Tess would survive the finale.  I should have known better it seems.  What was so impressive was that with one last act she was able to preserve Clark’s secret identity even if it cost her life.  Its a shame the story jumped forward 7 years without talking about any of the fallout over Tess’ death.  It would have been quite interesting to see how Clark would react to her sacrifice and whether he would blame himself.
  7. Chloe Lives – I’ll be honest I expected them to kill of Chloe for a variety of reasons.  Mostly because in the comics she didn’t exist until recently and that Black Canary and Green Arrow are linked in the comics as well.  As soon as Chloe went off-screen I was expecting her to die.  Imagine my surprise when the show opened with her telling the story of Superman to what is presumably her son.

The Bad

  1. What Is Jonathan Kent – He was able to come back and make himself visible to Clark and seemingly Martha as well.  The fact that it was never explained how this came to be bothered me a little bit.  I was able to overlook it for the most part because I was quite happy to see John Schneider back on Smallville.
  2. More Wedding Nonsense – I was very frustrated that the first 40 minutes of the finale revolved around more wedding drama that came out of nowhere.  This hesitance to get married from Lois and Clark felt very forced when it was crammed in the series finale.
  3. Smallville Enemies are Push Overs – It seems anytime there is a ‘big bad’ introduced in the Smallville world they are immensely powerful and frightening at first but by the last episode of the season they go out like chumps.  Examples would be Major Zod and Doomsday and now Darkseid and his servants.  In Prophecy Granny Goodness is able destroy Orion’s bow in seconds, however Green Arrow is able to kill her and her two allies in seconds with simple arrows.  These characters have been built up to be dangerous and to go out so quickly just seems out-of-place.  Then there’s Darkseid.  Never did he assume a corporeal form, but instead possessed the body of the alternate universe Lionel.  It could have been really cool if only there had been an actual fight between Clark and Darkseid.  Instead Clark is thrown across the room and then flies through the possessed body.  This could have been a much better fight but I’m guessing the special effects budget go in the way.  But at least Lionel got to have that awesome beard… that makes up for the short battle right?

The Ugly

  1. Mindwiping Of Lex Luthor – It had to happen so I have no major criticism with that.  However it was an inelegant solution.  How does Lex become the villain we all know when he remembers nothing before killing Tess Mercer?  It stretches credibility to believe that in 7 years Lex could rebuild everything and then become president-elect.  Of course this is Smallville so that’s really a weak complaint.  I just wish there had been a better way a handling the mindwipe and then showing the fallout of Lex’s memory loss.
  2. Flashbacks – Did we really need a video montage of Clark’s past heroic activities let alone two?  The video montage that took place in the middle of the fight between Darkseid and Clark was unnecessary and just broke up the tension that had been built.  I imagine it was done on purpose as its a lot cheaper budget-wise to show a flashback than a long drawn out fight between two superpowered beings.
  3. CGI Superman – Smallville was built around the premise of seeing Clark Kent in the Superman costume one day.  You would think that in the end you would actually see Clark in costume.  For some reason we never got a direct shot of Clark wearing the iconic Superman costume.  Really this is my biggest gripe.  For ten years this show has been built around teasing you that one day Clark Kent will wear the famous costume.  You could have at least shown Clark in costume.  Instead we got headshots of Tom Welling with a CGI cape in the background and CGI shots of Superman with Tom Welling’s face pasted on.  Honestly I feel a little cheated that I never got to fully see Clark as Superman.  I understand that Smallville is the story of Clark’s journey to become Superman, but actually becoming Superman is the final step in the journey.

If we had seen Clark in costume and not a CGI image I would probably be ecstatic and overlook the other concerns I had.  But I honestly do feel cheated that we never got the iconic shot of Tom Welling as Superman.  Perhaps I had too much invested in the show and had I been a casual fan I wouldn’t feel cheated.

There’s a part of me that’s quite sad to realize this is the last time I will be writing about Smallville on the site.  I’m sure it will come up in other topics but with no new episodes or stories about Smallville means the well is dry.  Contrary to how it appears I truly did enjoy the finale.  The way everything was wrapped up it made me want more of Smallville and that’s a good thing.  There are too many shows where you are happy they are finally over because you no longer have to invest the time in watching them or because they were falling apart.  If a show can end and you want more it’s a sign that it was a good finale despite any fanboys nitpicks that might come up.  Smallville, I’m going to miss you.  It was one hell of a run.

Clark is Finally Superman

After 10 years... we finally get Superman

Shame On You Sony

If you’re a Playstation 3 owner you might have noticed that the Playstation Network has been offline for nearly a week.  Periodic downtimes are to be expected so no one was too upset when PSN went down at first.  But when a few hours of down time turned into a couple of days of downtime the internet caught on fire due to fanboy rage.  As I write this PSN has been down for nearly a week.  If it was a matter of PSN being down I wouldn’t be bothered.

The longer PSN was down the less Sony was willing to say to their users.  At first a generic message was placed online stating that PSN was down for maintenance.  Okay, no big deal that shouldn’t take too long to handle.  Wrong!  As the service stayed offline Sony then disclosed that PSN had in fact been hacked and was shutdown temporarily so that it could be rebuilt from the ground up.  I don’t know about anyone else, but this set off some alarm bells in my head.  If the PSN service had been compromised so badly that it would have to be rebuilt there was definitely a problem.  In an effort to be proactive I figured it was smart to cancel my credit card attached to my PSN account.  Ironically enough, it was the Playstation credit card I had used to purchase my PS3 about 3 years ago.

Turns out it was pretty smart of me to cancel that credit card.  Today, after nearly 6 days of downtime and barely any comments from Sony, it was announced that PSN user information was compromised by that hacker.  Let me repeat myself, nearly 6 days after PSN was hacked Sony told their customers that personal information had been stolen by the hackers.  Does anyone else have a problem with Sony not telling their customers that their credit card information has been stolen?  There’s been a 6 day window where my credit card could have been used to buy god only knows what.  Luckily when I cancelled my card it had a zero balance so I feel safer.  However, it doesn’t make me feel better that other information such as my e-mail address, PSN account name, PSN account password, birthdate, and address are in someone’s hands.  It makes it a lot easier to steal someone’s identity if you have all of this information.

All in all, this is an epic failure on Sony’s part.  Their PSN system was hacked, user information stolen, and then shutdown.  There is no win in this for Sony.  From a public relations standpoint they fail even worse though.  It took nearly 6 days for their customers to be informed that their personal information had been stolen.  That delay is completely unacceptable and it never should have taken that long to inform their users/customers.  This is not the level of customer service that keeps your customers with you.  My advice to anyone that was compromised is to watch your credit cards closely for any bogus charges and if they show up dispute them.  Better yet contact your credit card company and ask them to issue you a new credit card, or if all else fails cancel the card.  I would also make sure you keep an eye on your e-mail, specifically don’t respond to any social engineering e-mails and make sure your spam filters are working.

I own both a PS3 and Xbox 360.  To be honest, I bought my PS3 to play Blu-rays and a couple of Sony-specific games.  My Xbox has always been my primary gaming system and a lot of that is because the bulk of my friends own Xbox’s and I can play online with them on Xbox Live.  I have never been worried about XBL crashing and exposing my private/biographical information to a malicious hacker.  I’d say this shutdown of PSN counts as a win for XBL.  This is mostly because the Microsoft online gaming service is robust and much more fleshed out than PSN.  People may complain about the cost of Xbox Live compared to PSN, but it looks like the old saying is true, you get what you pay for.  Congratulations Microsoft, due to Sony’s epic fail I won’t be jumping on their next-gen console.

For more info check out Sony’s official announcement on their blog.

SGU is Syfy’s Latest Victim and Why It Should be Saved

Last week it was announced Stargate Universe was being cancelled.  After moving to Tuesday, and being paired with the recently cancelled Caprica, its rating were in rough shape.  Notice that the show was being cancelled was not sent out via a press release or notice on Syfy’s web-site, instead the news was sent out via Twitter.  This was the first anyone had heard that the show was being cancelled.  This includes the cast of Stargate Universe.  Needless to say this news took a lot of people by surprise, but mostly the cast and crew of Stargate Universe.

The fact that this was the only notice the show was being cancelled was fairly disrespectful to the cast, crew and fan.  Stargate fans are vocal to say the least.  They would have fought to keep the show on the air but the cancellation was done in a way that fans could easily be ignored.  After all how hard is it to ignore messages on Twitter?

My concern for SGU is, will they be able to finish the storyline that has been started.  SGU just took its midseason break and the next 1/2 season, which has already been filmed, will serve as the finale for the show.  Since they had not been given notice the show was being cancelled I doubt the storyline has been finished.  We, the loyal fans, are probably going to be left with no resolution to the storyline of Stargate Universe.

So, how do we resolve the story of SGU if there are no more episodes to be filmed.  It would be ideal if Syfy would give the show an extra few episodes or a TV movie to wrap up the storyline.  Do I think thats likely to happen?  No, I don’t.  Remember Syfy promised there would be additional Stargate Atlantis movies that would continue the story and presumably get Atlantis back to the Pegasus Galaxy.  Even if Syfy promised an SGU movie to wrap things up I’m not sure I would believe it based on the track record.

The cancellation of both Caprica and SGU can probably be linked to one thing.  The, now, Syfy channel is moving away from its core fan-base.  It wasn’t too long ago when there was a SciFi Friday with a solid block of shows.  That was back in the day when Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica were on the air.  On Friday nights there was a 3 hour block of awesome SciFi shows.  Now what’s on Friday nights?  Anyone want to take a guess?  Syfy’s Friday night lineup consists of WWE Smackdown?  How does this appeal to your core fan-base that made your channel a success?  Simply put, it doesn’t.

Needless to say I’m a little miffed with Syfy Channel right now.  Back in its heyday the channel had lots of shows that I wanted to watch, and reruns of shows I had never seen before.  SciFi Channel introduced me to Firefly, a show I had mistakenly missed out on when it first aired.  Now the channel cancels quality SciFi shows to make room for professional wrestling and terrible B-Movies.

There’s really nothing I watch on Syfy now except for the occasional rerun of Stargate and new episodes of Stargate Universe.  I plan to watch the final episodes of Caprica and Stargate Universe but then I’m going to be taking a break.  I have great hope for the upcoming BSG mini-series Blood and Chrome.  I really want to watch it and hope that its successful and turns into another series.  However, if it becomes a series and struggles I don’t have faith in Syfy giving it a chance to recover.  Their history shows it.  Personally I think that Syfy got spoiled by the success and critical acclaim that came with Battlestar Galactica.  It’s very tough for shows to live in the shadow of such a successful show and so far nothing has lived up to the success of BSG.

Hopefully I’m wrong and BSG: Blood and Chrome succeeds.  I really hope  I’m also wrong and Syfy gives the fans a chance to see how Stargate Universe should truly end.  The fans don’t deserve to be left hanging.  There’s only so much abuse the fans will be willing to take when it comes to unresolved stories.  Caprica is going to be left unresolved and more than likely Stargate Universe will be too.  Eventually fans of the Science Fiction genre will stop coming back to Syfy and in order for the channel to succeed they will have to move further away from its fan-base in turn losing them.  Its my fear that in the end Syfy channel will turn into a poor man’s SpikeTV loaded with pro-wrestling and Ghost Hunters.  That’s not a channel I want to watch and I’m sure there are many fans with me.

Smallville Costume Evolution

I’ll be the first to admit that since this is Smallville’s last season I have been paying the show a good deal more attention. In fact, most of the recent blog posts probably reflect my renewed/heightened interest in the show. In all honesty, season 10 has already exceeded my expectations. It’s been fun and continued to grow Clark Kent into the man he will be when he dons the Superman suit. Life changing events, i.e. Homecoming, have started this shift and so has the costume change we saw in Shield (10×02).

As much as the Cat Grant character annoys me (which I realize she is meant to do) she was right about one thing. How are people supposed to trust these heroes that hide in the dark and cloak themselves in the shadows? One of the reasons Superman is so beloved is that he stands out and is recognizable. The mask-less costume and the bright colors that comprise his uniform make him very visible to the public. Meanwhile, the Blur is the exact opposite. The Blur kept to the shadows and prevented himself from being seen at nearly all times. Needless to say, this does not allow him to be viewed a friendly to the public. At the end of Shield, Clark has taken another step towards becoming Superman by creating a suit that allows him to stand out and not be as hidden from the people of Metropolis.

I’ll be honest I didn’t like the Matrixy Neo-like costume that Clark was wearing in season 9.  Or rather I didn’t like it at first.  Once I came to the realization that this was Clark’s first step as a costumed vigilante the costume grew on me.  Clark’s only exposure to the world of heroes has been people who hide in the shadows and aren’t easily viewable, so it only makes sense that his first costume would reflect this mindset.  If you don’t believe me look at Green Arrow.  He hides to the shadows and changes his voice so as not to be recognized.

I’m really hoping that the new costume grows on me like the black suit did.  Right now, I can honestly say that I am not a big fan of the new suit.  I do like the fact that Clark has finally begun adopting the traditional Superman colors.  However, the all red embossed leather jacket just doesn’t do it for me.  I think part of my dislike is that is a solid color and the House of El crest doesn’t stand out.  One of the things I liked about the black suit from the very beginning was that the silver House of El crest was easily viewable on the black t-shirt.

If a few changes were made to the new costume it would be much more palatable to me, and probably other fans.  I really think that something should be in place to break up all the red of the jacket, or maybe even make the jacket blue.  If the House of El crest were a different color and some color were added to the shoulders of the jacket.  When I was surfing the web the other night I found that some others had the same thought as I did and had posted some of their ideas online.  The concept below is what I think would be awesome for the current costume.  I’m going to dig through my history and try to find where I found it so I can credit the designer.

Honestly, I’m probably just nit-picking when it comes to the new costume.  It’s a step forward and continues to build Clark Kent up as the man who will be Superman.  The costume is changing, heck even Clark’s hair while in costume is starting to look like the traditional Superman hair style from the comics and movies.

Hopefully, this is the final costume evolution before Clark dons the costume everyone wants to see…

TV Ratings System

I was visiting my friend Mendie’s site and she had an interesting article about how TV ratings were killing her viewing buzz.  Her post caused me to have some thoughts of my own regarding how the ratings system is damaging TV as we know it.  So be warned, by rant is below!

The problem with television as a whole is that it is too focused on immediate ratings. We are just now getting to the point where DVR numbers are also included. And in the cases of many shows (Chuck, Heroes, Caprica) the DVR numbers make a huge difference.

The other problem is that ratings might be able to account for live viewing and DVR viewing but tracking hits on the web is different. Most of the TV industry has no idea how to properly utilize the web to make TV shows successful. They put shows on their own sites or places like Hulu, but its never really advertised. Having these shows on demand is huge and you would think they’d advertise the heck out of it.

The shows that have been successful (in my opinion at least) have learned to use the internet. Season 1 of Heroes was fantastic and grew by word of mouth. They used the internet to tell parts of the story that were woven into what was shown on the broadcast. The made the shows available online for people to watch and catch up with. Missing one episode of a serialized drama like Heroes could get you lost so having the episodes available online was huge to getting people hooked. The scary thing is that the web might be what saves Heroes now. Many people overseas watch and pirate this show meaning a lot more people watch than the Nielson ratings of 4.0ish at the end would indicate.

The internet also saved Chuck which was on the verge of cancellation. And the makers of BSG and Caprica have made huge use of the web for promoting their shows and making it viewable after airing. BSG had webisodes that aired between seasons to continue the story and the Caprica mini-series movie was available to watch on SciFi’s web-site for about a month before the series premiered on cable. Just think of all those lost ratings because the system cannot properly gauge the use of the web to watch TV.

Honestly, I think NBC Universal is getting the closest to figuring out how to harness the internet, which is kind of ironic considering how slammed they are getting lately in the ratings. Maybe that’s just more proof the system is broken and needs to be modified. However, there is some hope that maybe, just maybe, networks are starting to see the value in using the web to their advantage to hype their shows and make them viewable outside a set time slot. I for one am tired of my shows getting canceled or nearly being cancelled because of their perceived lack of ratings in what could be considered to be a broken system.

The Fundamental Flaw Of Dollhouse

So as you all probably know by now Dollhouse has officially been canceled by the geniuses over at Fox.  Not even Summer Glau was enough to save it!  That makes a second television show by Joss Whedon that has come to a premature end on Fox.  The first of course was Firefly.  Don’t get me wrong, Dollhouse is no Firefly, but its still certainly entertaining.

I can’t complain too much, at least Fox gave Dollhouse a chance by renewing it unlike Firefly which got screwed over numerous ways.  The problem was that Dollhouse never seemed to catch on with people, it seemed to be missing something that other Whedon shows had.  Other sites seems to have it pegged and I have to agree with them.  If you look at Joss Whedon’s other shows like Buffy, Angel, and Firefly there was a ‘family’ that everything tied together with.  Buffy had the Scoobies, Angel had the Fang Gang, and Captain Mal had the crew of Serenity.  The family always made for an interesting dynamic and you don’t get that with Dollhouse.  The family to all of these shows makes it easier for viewers to grow attached to the characters and become invested in the show even if its not one of their normal types of shows they watch.

Dollhouse never had the family that viewers could grow attached to.  I really enjoyed Dollhouse and I’m pretty sure that I’ll miss it when its gone.  Then again, I’m not a normal television watcher.  I’ve always enjoyed odd SciFi shows that are thought provoking.  I really think that its really difficult to make a Friday night show take off and be successful.  Friday has notoriously been the graveyard where Fox places shows to do.  It happened to the Sarah Conner Chronicles and now Dollhouse.  Hopefully Joss Whedon can get his show on a different network next time, but of course I was shocked he went back to Dollhouse.  Dollhouse we’ll miss you when you leave, but we’re sure as hell going to enjoy the final run of episodes we get.

EDIT: We added a copy of the live stream discussing Dollhouse below.  Just our part of continually updating the Round Table.

Disney Buys Marvel – My Take


I’m going on record with this right now. If Marvel ever pulls a lame crossover with Marvel and Disney properties, I’m done. By that I mean for example Spidey and Hannah Montana in a team up book. That shenanigans would not stand with me. (The only exception might be a Kingdom Hearts style game with Marvel Ultimate Alliance characters and Disney characters. Kingdom Hearts was cool.)

That being said, this has the potential to be a good deal for Marvel. Disney provides some big money to back the comics and the films. Now with Disney on board it would be incredible if they could acquire the rights of Spider-Man from Sony and the X-Men from Fox. Imagine, eventually, bringing those properties into the current Marvel comic’verse. Disney might have the cash to bring all the Marvel properties under the Marvel Studios/Disney banner.

I’m not worried about Disney keeping the Marvel Studio intact. They’ve already proven they can leave other entities alone. Point in case is Pixar and Disney’s dirty little secret Miramax. I bet we can expect to see more Marvel movie promotion on both ABC and ESPN now though since they are also owned by Disney. All things being equal I’m tentatively excited by this news. If it doesn’t get screwed up its good for both Disney and Marvel. If it does get screwed up, expect Marvel to get royally screwed over.

Joe Quesada came out on Twitter and said the following:

“If you’re familiar with the Disney/Pixar relationship, then you’ll understand why this is a new dawn for Marvel and the comics industry.”

This comforts me to an extent.  I’m not big fan of Quesada’s because of a few choices like ending Peter and MJ’s marriage, and the abolishment of Wovlerine smoking a cigar, but I do take some comfort from this Twitter post.  IF this is how things actually pan out I can live with it.  Disney let Pixar basically run their own show, so maybe Marvel will get to do the same.

The following news items have been released based on a conference call Disney put on following news breaking on this subject.  These items are after the jump for those that are interested.

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