Radiation by Fiona Rae

99

Lost on Internet Island

Next week, the internet will not be safe. Not unless your favourite auntie who lives in America has taped the final of Lost on a compatible format and posted it to you after it screens in the US on May 23 and before it screens here on May 29. If you don’t want to know that the island is really a spaceship, or that it was all an illusion manufactured by machines so they can harvest human bodies for energy, don’t go near the internets, because that shit is going to be totally up in our grills.

Lost is looking like a balance of good and evil, don’t you think? Jack Shepherd – well, his name is Shepherd – is going to take over from Jacob, the balance will be restored and we can all go home. They set up the Jack versus Locke thing a while ago, with that whole “Man of Science, Man of Faith” episode, except that Locke was the man of faith. Now Jack seems to have found Island religion and doesn’t want to leave.

In other news, if you were wondering what happened to Damages on TV1 on a Sunday night, it was taken off due to low ratings. However, TV1 says it will return on June 27 at 10.30pm. I must say, this second season is a bit of a hard watch – Rose Byrne looks alarmingly thin for a start – and it’s going back and forth in time with gay abandon. However, it does feature Timothy Olyphant, my new favourite screen god. He was awesome in Deadwood and he is really awesome in Justified.

Who’s loving The Good Wife? I feel quite grown up when I watch it. Possibly it's the novelty of no gimmicks. No blokes who can read minds, who pretend to read minds, or know when you're lying. Nobody with a scalpel, latex gloves or DNA swabs. Hardly any murdered women.

I like that Alicia Florrick is a mother of two who uses her acquired wisdom; I like that Julianna Margulies plays her with quiet dignity, but not without emotion; I like that I really want to see where it is going. Also, Archie Panjabi is cool.

Lastly, True Blood minisodes! Squee!

195

Big bang theory

Hello! Gosh. Long time no blog, I know. It's been so long – since June last year, in fact, that I hardly know where to begin. So much water under the bridge, so much television into the ether. How was the rest of your 2009? Mine ended with a bang and a whimper. But more of that later.

I like the fact that we can say "twenty-ten" now, instead of that annoying "and" in "2000-and-nine". But what have we got to look forward to in 20-10? Singing and vampires, that's what. Oh, and werewolves. True Blood season three spoilers here, if you can stand it. The show doesn't air until June in the US, but at least fans can enjoy a tasty beverage while they're waiting. You may already know that Wolf is going to play a wolf again.

Prime is the home of vampires, werewolves and ghosts: season one of Being Human screens this year; season two is under way in the UK right now.

As for the singing, Glee doesn't start again in the US until April, but there's a Joss Whedon episode to look forward to with, apparently, Neil Patrick Harris. Glee is just what America needs, according to Vanity Fair's James Walcott. Here's some more fun Glee spoilers!

Looking forward to The Good Wife. Also, Modern Family, which starts tonight (Sunday) on TV3.

Here's what happens when you break your achilles tendon: a) there is a low snapping thud behind you; b) you fall to the ground clutching your ankle; c) certain words are spoken; d) you end up in a succession of casts for eight weeks; e) you sit around in bed with your foot raised so it doesn't swell up and go purple; f) you write a blog. 20-10 so far? Quite shit, although the people are nice. On the upside, new MySky record: 70% free!

16

It was all a dream

I really hope that Lost doesn’t turn out to be the collective fantasy of a bunch of hippies on spiked Kool-Aid, because after the Life on Mars hibernation-sleep ending, and House’s Vicodin hallucinations, I don’t think I could take it. Admittedly, House’s fifth-season ending was the logical end to his drug-fuelled self-loathing, but Life on Mars? After the initial surprise wore off, I was kinda annoyed. It’s like Dallas – if it all turns out to be a dream, it risks rendering everything that came before meaningless. Plus, Gretchen Mol’s hair was really annoying. When does the commander of a mission to Mars get time to fiddle about with her hair like that? Bah.

Hallucinations are totally the ending du jour this year – Booth seeing Stewie on Bones rounds out the set. What’s the bet that if Bones and Booth get together in the final on Sunday, it’ll be all in someone’s head as well?

Honourable mention for services to hallucinations must go to Shortland Street, however, for having Ethan Pierce pop back up in Maia’s padded room. Nicely done. I know, that was so two weeks ago, and it’s true, there’s been some Shortland Street slippage. Episodes are stacking up on the PVR like stacky things. I blame reruns of Gilmore Girls on Vibe. It’s the crack or, for New Zealand viewers, the P, of comedy-drama and Amy Sherman-Palladino is my dealer. Sweet, sweet zinger lines that give you a little bump of serotonin. Lorelai to Rory: “Did you have a bad dream again? The one where you meet Christiane Amanpour and she’s really stupid?” Zing! Lorelai on the phone to Luke: “Where are you now?” Luke (in his truck): “Oh, about 10 minutes from If I Lived Here I’d Blow My Brains Out.” Zang! Paris to Rory: “People like you. You’re quiet. You say ‘excuse me’. You look like little birds help you get dressed in the morning.” Zong! At least 10 pop culture and/or literary references per episode. Kapow!

Amy Sherman-Palladino, where are you now? The Return of Jezebel James was a bust, but it seems she’s been adapting the Amy Cohen novel The Late Bloomer’s Revolution for HBO. Sarah Jessica Parker is in the cast, according to Variety. Lauren Graham, on the other hand, has been on Broadway.

Good news everybody.

Fringe is replacing Lost on July 1; also, the second series of The Big Bang Theory starts on the same day, as does Primeval, the series with logic holes so large, herds of T rexs could thunder through. Silly fun.

30

The death of television, again

I was working on getting Radiation down to the very bottom of the opening page of Public Address, but seeing as the blog at the bottom is ARD Fairburn from 2006, it’s not working out very well. “Yay! I’d be first at the wrong end!” I was thinking, but “Second at the wrong end” doesn’t sound nearly so cool. It’s no fair coming up against a dead guy anyway, as Robert Downey Jr discovered at the Golden Globes and will probably find out at the Oscars too.

Admittedly, there hasn’t been that much telly to write about, and my summer hols consisted of long, exhausted days recovering from the Listener’s Christmas deadlines, and more downloaded TV than the real thing.

Help is on the way – the networks’ new seasons are nearly complete, although they’re alarmingly like the old ones. Blame the writers’ strike for the dearth of really new shows. EW’s Jeff Jensen thinks it’s the end of the second golden age of TV, but I wonder if it’s because Hollywood’s creatives didn’t get a chance last year (not that I’m saying the writers shouldn’t have struck: of course they should). Who knows, there could be some kick-ass series in the wings that will get us all excited about television again – next year.

But until then, Dollhouse is only days away.

And Heroes has been slightly less sucky the past couple of episodes, particularly Seth Green and Breckin Meyer’s appearance as comic-book dudes, which included this geek-out bit of dialogue from Seth: “There’s a legend I heard from a guy at a convention who heard it from a dude who heard it from another dude that one more 9th Wonders! story exists.” Breckin Meyer’s character was called “Frack”. Heh. Further good news on the Heroes front is that Bryan Fuller, who wrote for the first season, is returning because Pushing Daisies has been cancelled. He explains what’s been going wrong with Heroes here. I especially like the “You have to save something with a face” comment. Damn straight. Those bits of paper with the formula on them suck. It’s the digital age, for gosh sake.

And there’s always the last 10 eps of Battlestar Galactica, which have so far been awesome, even if I do kinda miss the days when it was all “Look out! The Cylons are behind you!” Best new show that needs to be downloaded is, by far, Being Human.

19

Some light on Friday

How good is Friday Night Lights? Only one of the best things on US television, according to salon.com, which gave it a Buffy last year – that’s their award for an underappreciated TV show. I love it too, and it’s fun to contrast and compare Lights with Gossip Girl, which was screening at the same time (TV2 is moving Gossip Girl and the odious Make Me a Supermodel to later timeslots as of this Friday). One is a frothy, expensive confection of nothingness, but is so pretty we cannot turn away; the other is a complex, tightly-plotted evocation of small-town America, featuring teens that mumble like the real thing and where you’re left in no doubt what winning the game means. Salon’s Heather Havrilesky reviews it here.

The only thing slightly distracting about Lights is the close-up, hand-held camera, which is so close-up and hand-held that it’s a relief to get a wide shot. I get why they do it that way, it’s just really claustrophobic sometimes. There’s a good explanation here of how it’s done, which is basically on the fly.

I know that the set design of 3 News has to be the opposite of TV1’s, but the new glass-and-steel gymnasium look is a bit cold don’t you think? Also, there’s a very distracting vertical line on the world as it slowly spins around behind Hillary and Mike. What is it there for? And how about those climbing bars at the side of the set? John Campbell looks somewhat dazzled by his new, ultra-bright lighting set up as well. HD can be so cruel.

As always, my blog tardiness is related to my 9-5 job, which now includes a wee news snippet blog on The Listener website. Feel free to email, as it then become actual proper work that I can do at work, while working.

Lastly, the good old Letterman list:
September 23: Actor Seth Rogen; musical guests Fleet Foxes
September 24: Actor Robin Williams; actress Shannen Doherty; musical guest Duffy
September 25: Actor/comedian Chris Rock; author Bob Woodward; musical guests TV on the Radio
September 26: Actress Julianne Moore; comedians Tom Dreesen and Tim Reid; musical guests Kings of Leon
September 29: Republican Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain; Jamaican Olympic Track and Field gold medalist Usain Bolt
September 30: Reality television star Paris Hilton; musical guests Morningwood
October 1: Cycling legend Lance Armstrong; actress Kristen Wiig; musical guest Darius Rucker
October 2: Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus; actor Michael Cera; musical guest Pete Seeger
October 3: Actress Kate Walsh; Josette Sheeran, executive director of the UN World Food Programme; musical guests The Virgins
October 6: Actor Tim Robbins; actress Sarah Chalke
October 7: Actor/comedian Bill Hader; musical guest Lucinda Williams
October 8: Actress Anne Hathaway; director Barry Sonnenfeld