Monday, June 30, 2008

And the Devil Laughed (Summer 2008)

I have always had affinity for and attraction to--an obsession, really--little animals. Ever since I was a small child, I've chased them around and caught them and wanted to keep them as pets. My mother still swears I should've been a veterinarian (instead of a bum, which is what I am), and my fascination with wildlife, especially frogs, continues to this day.

I have a small menagerie that I feed and take care of, which I think I've mentioned before. Well, it was a very sunny day today outside, so I took my cold-blooded pets outside to let them enjoy the warmth of nature.

But warmth was probably an understatement. The searing heat of the day, is more accurate, and when I went to retrieve my container of beasties, I found they had baked in the sun, even though there was water in with them.

My salamander, which I caught in 2006, my frog which I caught in 2007, my toad (bought from a store last year), and one of my turtles were all casualties of the day.

I've had pets die on me many, many (many, many) times, so it shouldn't have come as such a shock, but it did. You don't know gross until you've seen a firebelly toad roasted to nearly black, or a salamander swollen up to twice its size.I am reminded of poor Michael Palin's character in A FISH CALLED WANDA, who so loves animals, and yet inadvertently causes their deaths throughout the film. It's funny in the film, but slightly less so when it keeps happening to animals in my care.

I will not be surprised if all my dead pets are in Hell right now, waiting for me to arrive.

What will be waiting for you?

Rish "Froglover" Outfield

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stupid Thing of the Week

So, my mother has become really devoted to this guy, Glenn Beck, who is a conservative political commentator with his own radio show and a gig on Headline News. The guy is outspoken on many topics, and though I am a fan of talk radio, he just isn't my bag.

My mother, however, has gotten into the bag completely. She listens to his programme on the radio any chance she gets and often repeats the things he said like a kid telling what he learned in school today. I could be wrong, but I think I saw her lighting a candle and worshiping a graven image of him in her basement the other day . . . but she may only have been ironing.

Anyway, he apparently thinks that WALL-E is bad, and has been talking about its message in his radio show. She began to recite his message when I told her I would be taking my niece to it, and I simply gave her the finger and walked away. Then, when my uncle came around, accompanied by his daughter, she warned him not to see it either because Glenn Beck has a problem with the film's politics.

Apparently, and I quote, WALL-E is a subversive attempt on behalf of treehungers and greeniacs to convince children that global warming actually exists, and that pollution and deforestation are harmful to the environment. Fear not, boys and girls, Glenn Beck doesn't completely hate robot WALL-E and his ladylove EVE, he's just disappointed they didn't "present the other side of the argument."

At this, I have to admit, I flew into something of a rage (a silent rage, thanks to Chuck Norris, but a rage nonetheless). Oh, god forbid any child consider the destructive, wasteful, selfish, and thoughtless lifestyle Americans lead might be anything but helpful to the environment, the seas, and Mother Gaea herself. They might start recycling, conserving energy, and listening to Sting . . . and then where would we be?

I'm glad Glenn Beck, and by extension, my mother his acolyte, are here to put a stop to it.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Beginning of Angel Season Four

So, tyranist told me I could choose what we watched on this visit. We could check out CONAN THE DESTROYER (which we both had bought for the occasion), we could watch more "Twin Peaks," we could start "Angel" Season Four, or we could continue with "Buffy."

After finally finishing the "Angel" recaps, I felt like it was time to check it out. So, we began "Angel" Season Four with "Deep Down," written by Steven S. DeKnight (in the interm, I saw an episode of "Smallville" written by DeKnight, and am happy to see he'll be a writer on "Dollhouse" as well).

Months have passed since the season finale, and everybody is sitting around the dinner table, having what looks like Thanksgiving dinner. Angel is at the head of the table, with Cordelia on one side and Connor on the other, and Lorne, Fred, Gunn (complete with a new beard), and even Wesley is there, though sitting in the shadows. Everyone is happy, passing the food, but Angel gets none. Turns out, he's still at the bottom of the ocean, dreaming while going mad from hunger and boredom, and really struggling with not going to the bathroom all this time.

We catch up with the others, who believe that Cordelia and Angel were both kidnapped (or killed), as they disappeared on the same night, three months ago. Fred and Gunn find out about a vampire named Marissa who lives near where Angel disappeared, and may have seen what happened. Connor is also part of the group, but is headstrong and difficult to work with. He's told them nothing about what he did to his father, and has been living in the hotel as one of the Angel Investigation team all this time.*

Angel continues to hallucinate, or dream, or imagine things, while he lies underwater. One of his visions is Cordelia meeting him on the beach like she was supposed to, although he imagines that he bites her and drinks her blood afterward. He later has a similar dream in which he kills Connor.

Gunn and Fred are trying hard to keep the business going, but without Angel or Cordelia or Wesley, they're really struggling. They're also acting as defacto parents to Connor, but the fact htat he's a wildman with the ability to turn into a CGI creation whenever he wishes makes it even more difficult.

We catch up with Wesley, who is still in cahoots with and having sex with evillawyerwoman Lilah Morgan (though I insisted to tyranist that she looked different somehow). They don't fully trust each other, it seems, as she presses him to tell her if he knows what happened to Angel, so her bosses at Wolfram & Hart will get off her back. He says he knows nothing, but as soon as she's gone, he goes to his closet, where he's got Justine the Vampire Hunter locked up. Apparently, every night, he takes her out on a boat and they look for Angel.

Justine has gotten heavier, but she's just as nasty, asking Wesley how he hopes to keep Angel from killing him if he does manage to find him. I'm not sure I like Justine all that much.

Fred, Gunn, and Connor go after Marissa, the vampire chick (hot) who knows what happened to Angel. Connor is as devious as his daddy, getting Marissa alone, staking her, and then cutting himself to explain that she was attacking him and he had to do it.

Nevertheless, they discover something metal in the water and find the coffin Angel is entombed in. Wesley hoists it up and gets it open. Immediately, Angel attacks him, but then collapses back into the coffin. Justine gets a lot of glee from this, but Wesley proceeds to feed Angel some blood and nurse him back to health.

Angel hallucinates Lorne and Connor there, and tells "Connor" off when it's really Wesley. Justine, glee, again. The blood Wesley gave him was from an animal, but it's not enough to revive him, so Wesley opens up his arm and gives Angel his own blood, which the vampire laps up.

You know, I don't know if this was always the writers' intentions, or if they looked six years into the future, read my blog, and decided to make sure they redeemed both Angel and Wesley in the best way possible, because they really did a thorough job with all of this. If there's anyone left who still thinks Wesley did wrong, I would think at this point, even the kid Alexis Denisof kicked in the nuts in gym class could forgive him.

We also get more office machinations with Lilah and Gavin and Linwood, but those don't really interest me. None of them hold a candle to Holland Manners and the one-handed guy. Regardless, Linwood isn't pleased with Lilah's progress, or with her current bedmate, so Lilah has him beheaded and takes over his job. Man, I really miss L.A..

Fred goes to Connor's room and offers him a sandwich. She then tasers him and asks if that's what it felt when he zapped his father. Wesley has called and told her what happened in the season finale, and Fred is pretty damned disappointed in her foster son.**

Gunn ties Connor up and they yell at him, but Connor gives not a damn about it (see first footnote), reminding them that Angel is a thing and not his father. Wesley arrives, carrying Angel into the hotel lobby, then sets him down and leaves again.

Connor breaks free, kicking Gunn and zapping Fred with her own taser. He starts to make a run for it, but Angel bars his exit. He tells the boy to sit and explains that he had nothing to do with Holtz's death. A nice moment was when Angel tells Connor that three months under the sea wasn't so bad, since his girlfriend once sent him to Hell for a hundred years.

But the kid gloves will be off if Connor had anything to do with Cordelia's disappearance. Connor promises that he didn't, that he doesn't know what happened to her, and Angel believes him. He gives a pretty impressive speech about why people become champions--basically to make a really cruel world a better place to live--and that he loves him, then he tells Connor to get out.

As soon as he's gone, Angel stumbles, showing how weak he still is. Waaaaaay up in the sky, the angelic visage of Cordelia watches all this, upset at how boring her life has become. The end.

Good stuff, as I usually say, but this was good stuff. Oddly, the show no longer says "Executive Producers Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt," and by the next episode, Greenwalt's production company logo was gone. That seems unusual to me.

Next up was the episode "Ground State," written by Mere Smith. I'll be frank and admit I don't know what the title means, unless it's something to do with electricity.

We start with a flashback to 1985, where a couple of cold-seeming parents drop their little girl off at a private school and head for the hills. The little girl is bundled up like a certain X-men character because anyone she touches is electrocuted. We find this out when a little boy befriends her and has his lights shorted out in return. The girl's name is Gwen.

Cut back to the present (2002), where Fred and Gunn have packed up Cordelia's apartment--much to Dennis the Poltergeist's dismay--because they can't afford to keep paying her rent, and she's obviously not coming back. I gotta wonder just what was going on with Charisma Carpenter during this time period, because TV shows don't work like this, and it appears all her scenes for the first three episodes were shot on the same day.

Across town, we find that Wesley has his own team of monster-fighters (which is really cool, actually), and they are battling demons. Angel shows up (how he found him we're not supposed to care, although it wouldn't surprise me if Wyndham-Pryce Investigations has a very reliable secretary or communications system) and tells Wesley that, after what happened last episode, he considers things square between them. Wesley gives him a nod, but no eager words of "please take me back to the hotel and my friends." If I were Wesley, I'd only have one thing to say about my backstabbing friends, and it would end with "...and the horse you rode in on."

But I have issues.***

Wesley has been keeping a file on his investigation into Cordelia's disappearance, and he gives it to Angel, fairly sure that Cordy has gone to another dimension. This leads Angel to seek an artifact called the Axis of Pythia, which is held in a very secure auction house.

We catch up with Electric Gwen, now a shapely cleavage vendor, who has also been tasked with obtaining The Axis for some wealthy businessman. She goes to the building where it's being held the same night that Angel, Fred, and Gunn go. She is able to simply touch an electrical wall-panel and tell it what to do. She gets inside the vault before Angel does and gets the Axis. Pursued by Angel, she gets out of the building and runs into Gunn, who she promptly fries. Fred and Angel are aghast that Gunn is dead, but Gwen, feeling remorse for killing him, uses her powers to jumpstart his heart again, bringing him back to life. Unfortunately, his fillings now constantly pick up the nearest Mexican Ranchero station.

Not forgetting our bastard child subplot, we see that Connor is hanging with Los Angeles's homeless population ("We have the most eloquent bums in America!" I believe the billboards read), but Angel is aware of it and watching from a distance. Also watching is Evillawyerchick Lilah Morgan, who Angel catches and coerces into telling him who might be the buyer of the Axis of Pythia.

We also get a scene where Fred can't handle the pressure of keeping the company going, the search for Angel, the fight against evil, the care of Connor, and now nearly losing her boyfriend. The poor girl hasn't had time for a single meal since last season, and she cries. I like Fred.

Angel goes to where Electric Gwen is meeting her buyer and they do battle. She puts her hand on Angel's chest and does her thing, not realising that he's a vampire. Amazingly, his heart starts to beat. I don't know what that would mean for a vampire, but it causes him to look at her differently.

Suddenly, they find themselves trapped. The buyer was disappointed in the way she carried out the theft (I guess a lot of attention was attracted), so he has decided to kill her. This is also something typical of Los Angeles, though not advertised on billboards.

With Angel's help, she manages not only to survive, but to escape. She is tempted to kill the buyer, but Angel convinces her not to. She ultimately decides to give him the Axis of Pythia, since she knows its to contact someone he cares for, and Angel takes it back to the hotel.

We don't get to see how it is used (not sure why, really), but apparently, he got the impression that she is when she's supposed to be, and content there. In actuality, Cordelia is in her higher dimension, furious that he got that impression, and desperately wants to be returned to earth. The end.

I didn't particularly care for this episode, though it wasn't awful or anything. Gwen was a semi-interesting character, and I almost got the feeling we were setting up a second spin-off show here. It sure seemed like she'd be showing up again (no idea if she does or not), and I don't know how I feel about that.

Rish "Too Lazy To Finish His Blog This Week" Outfield

*And you know, that really says a lot about the kind of person this kid is, deep inside, don't it?

**I originally typed "pretty disappointed in the little shit," but I thought it was possible I might learn to like Connor after another dozen episodes or so (heck, it worked with his father), so I toned it down a bit.

***And don't I ever? I wonder if, in my own sick fantasy world, I fancy myself a noble Englishman like Wesley, proper, honourable, quick to contemplation and slow to wrath. A rogue demon fighter with an unhealthy paunch and a penchance for flatulence.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin R.I.P.

23 June 2008

My friend Jeff the Chemist absolutely loved George Carlin. He would quote him at length, trying to recite the seven dirty words as fast as Carlin did, and often repeating Carlin's rant about when society asks, "What about the children?" and he replies "FUCK the children!" It was entertaining, the first eight times.

Carlin hosted the very first "Saturday Night Live" episode, and went on to star as Ben Affleck's father in JERSEY GIRL. And now he's dead. He was 71.I wasn't the world's biggest George Carlin fan, having not grown up in the Seventies or seeing any of his stand-up until the end of the 20th Century. But he had an amazing way of reciting convoluted
descriptions and delivering angry rants in an almost intellectual way. Oh, and I did really enjoy his lists of People I Can Do Without ("A proctologist with poor depth perception. A funeral director who says he hopes to see you again real soon. A dentist with blood in his hair."), Things That Piss Me Off ("White people who play the blues. White people got no business playing the Blues. Ever. White people should understand: their job is to GIVE people the Blues, not to get them."), and People Who Ought To Be Killed ("Couples whose children's names all start with the same initials. People who send you a Christmas card with a family newsletter. Just what you need: news about people you can't hardly remember.").

I'm sure my pal Jeff is beside himself today. Poor guy.

Rish Outfield

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stupid Thing of the Week

19 June 2008

So, my uncle has been after me to rent EASTERN PROMISES for, I don't know, several weeks now. My uncle and I aren't very close, really, but I appreciate it when pretty much anybody wants to spend time with me, so I stuck PROMISES on my NetFlix queue and told him when it arrived.

Then a day passed. And another. And another.

After I'd had EASTERN PROMISES for a week without watching it, I felt I was wasting my money (what's worse, I had a second movie tyranist wanted to watch with me that I've also sat upon for way too long), and considered sending it back.

But tonight, I saw my uncle returning from driving his fiancee home and told him, "You, me, tonight, EASTERN PROMISES." He looked at the clock (it was one a.m.) and tried to get out of it, but finally broke down and I put it on.

It was an interesting and complex movie, made more complex by the intricacies of the Russian Mafia, and the abundant Russian dialogue spoken without subtitles. But about two-thirds of the way through the picture, during a baffling five minute scene spoken entirely in Russian, I got a chilling thought: what if this was not how we were meant to be watching it? I grabbed the DVD remote, flipped a switch . . . and suddenly, there were subtitles for everything that was being said.Eegah. We watched it through to the end, getting quite a bit out of the last half-hour, but I gotta wonder how much better the film would've been, had I not made the stupid mistake of not flipping on the subtitles. Dobra utra.

Rish "Mid-Western Promises" Outfield

P.S. You know, not all of this week's STOTW should go to me. In my view, the DVD should automatically include subtitles unless you tell it to leave them off. Not the other way around.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Arnold Top Five

Normally, I'd try to tailor my Top Five to whatever was noteworthy or coming out this week, but when I considered a Top Five Mike Myers Movies List, I shuddered at both the potential success of THE LOVE GURU, and the possibility that someone might list THE CAT IN THE HAT as one of their favourites. Sorry.

But, I went to tyranist's place and watched CONAN THE BARBARIAN for the second time ever over the weekend. And man, it was even better than it was the first time I saw it (also at tyranist's house, just a few years ago), and I was just awed by it. You've seen the movie, right? Well, I almost never have, and it just blew me away. The spectacle, the scope of it, the epic feel, the sense of class, the violence, the sex. They just don't make movies like that anymore, and a part of me wonders if they EVER made movies like that.*Watching it got me thinking about Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, and I figured that might be a good Top Five for this week. So, I asked for people's Top Five Schwarzenegger Films.

Mine would be:

But I gotta say, after number three, I had to look at a list, 'cause I'm not a big fan of most of the ones that came to mind. RED HEAT, anyone?

Tyranist was first to respond. His list went like this:
1. Conan the Barbarian
2. The Terminator
3. Terminator 2
4. True Lies
5. Conan the Destroyer

This may be fun.

Lawyer Boy Ian surprised me by being next to respond (I don't think he even answered the last one**). His list was:
1. Terminator 2
2. Terminator
3. Twins
4. Predator
5. Commando
(they don't make B movies like they used to)

Merrill sent me this one:
Terminator 2
Total Recall
Pumping Iron

Cousin Ryan couldn't really answer because he's only ever seen BATMAN & ROBIN and didn't want to have to list it (though he did see parts of PREDATOR once).

Prison Guard Johnny sent me the following, along with a Top Three Mike Myers movies too:
1.Terminator 2: Judgment Day
2.True Lies
5.Conan the Barbarian

Sex Doctor Jeff sent me his list, along with a lengthy explanation for each entry (which I'll omit this time). His list:
1) True Lies
2) Terminator
3) T2 - Judgement Day
4/5) (tie) Predator & Total Recall

A bit late, my high school buddy Rhett sent me:
1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
2. The Terminator
3. Predator
4. Conan The Barbarian
5. Conan The Destroyer

Even later, Beta Ray Charles sent me his list (as well as an apology). It went like:
5. True Lies
4. Total Recall
3. Predator
2. The Terminator
1. Terminator 2

So, adjusting for the new answers, I guess our winners are:

Rish "Black Plowman" Outfield

*For a capper to this mini-rant, I have to admit that I went out the next day and bought a copy of CONAN and CONAN 2, thinking the next time we got together, we'd watch the apparently-lousy sequel. But when I talked to tyranist, I found out he'd one-upped me: he'd not only bought CONAN THE DESTROYER, but he'd picked up RED SONJA as well. Grrr.

**Although, considering it was Top Five Harvey Keitel Nude Scenes, I can't really blame him.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stan Winston (1946-2008)

16 June 2008
Tyranist let me know that Stan Winston passed away today. His subject was "Sorry your hero is dead," which freaked me out, since only one or two names come to mind when I hear "your hero." Makeup and mechanical effects guru Winston died yesterday at age sixty-two.

I've been a fan for a long time, seeing his work in James Cameron's TERMINATOR films* and ALIENS (I often think of the feature on the DVD where we see the Queen Winston slapped together using wires and garbage bags, and marvel at how realistic even that was), the still-amazing dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK, and the designs for the Penguin in BATMAN RETURNS, still the best of the Bat-films.

I first met Stan Winston in Hollywood, at the awesome Arclight/Cineramadome Theater on Sunset Boulevard. I was standing in line to get my parking validated, and he got in line after me. He struck me as a friendly and jovial fellow, eager to talk to fans of his work, and excited about his various projects. He later signed my ALIENS poster, which is what this is supposed to be a picture of:I don't know if sixty-two is old, or if he was able to accomplish all he wanted to (doubtful, huh?). But I hope wherever Stan Winston is today, there are no Terminators or Alien Queens or T-Rexes or Predators around. Maybe just an Edward Scissorhands and a Pumpkinhead or two.

Rish "Analog Domain" Outfield

**I remember, when I was in school, a special effects technician came to talk, and he mentioned that he had one of the robotic arms used in TERMINATOR 2. I told my friend Ian, "If he had brought that robot arm, I would get down on the ground and worship it." Ian found this a combination of amusing and disturbing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Return of Buffy Wednesday

At last.

12 June 2008

It's with mixed feelings that I type this here. First off, I have yet to finish blogging all the "Angel"s from last week, and I have continued to feel a mixture of animosity, affection, and apathy toward the show. Secondly, starting "Buffy" Season Seven is both sad and daunting to me, because I know there's no more episodes coming.* I don't want it to end, and I have been known (whether this admission makes me look romantic or pathetic) to drive slower at the end of a date to keep it going a little longer.

But thirdly, it's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and I've so anticipated the show that I feel like one of the die-hard fans, coming back to the season premiere after a tense and lengthy summer break.

So, we have "Lessons," which was written by Joss Whedon. A good start.

It begins with an attractive girl running through the streets of Istanbul. She is being chased by men in black cloaks, and they eventually catch up with her, stabbing her with a dagger.

Then we're back in Sunnydale. Buffy is training Dawn in the cemetery, showing her combat moves. A vampire comes out of the ground and his dusting is part of the training.

Across the pond in England, Willow has been staying with Giles. The coven that gave him their power last season has been teaching her how to control her magical abilities, but she's still not quite herself.

The crux of this first episode is the opening of a new Sunnydale High School, on the ruins of the old one. Xander is part of the construction crew, trying to finish it up as classes are beginning. Buffy, Xander, and Dawn go to school together in the morning, sort of like a family. And to my surprise, Buffy gives Dawn a cellphone so they can stay in communication.Buffy is still overprotective of Dawn, and worried about the high school. She meets Robin Wood, the new principal. He's a young, bald-headed smooth-looking black dude with an earring, and immediately I wondered, "Is he evil? And if not, is he a new potential love interest for Buffy?"

Buffy goes into the Ladies Room, and finds a strange object, sort of Indian-like. Immediately after, a couple of dead people show up, berating Buffy for not having saved them.

We also catch up with Anya, who is still split with Xander, and still hip-deep in the vengeance demon business. She sees Halfrek socially,

Buffy rushes into Dawn's classroom, but only manages to humiliate her. A moment later, Dawn has a vision of a dead student attacking her, and goes to the bathroom to calm herself. She finds a goth girl in there, also afraid of a dead person that tormented her. A moment later, the floor collapses, dropping Dawn and Goth Girl into the basement. Down there is a third student, Latino Kid, and Dawn shows some leadership skills in banding them together to get out of there.

Dawn calls Buffy on her cellphone, telling her where she is. Buffy goes down there, but finds Spike instead. Spike looks way different, with lots of grown-out curly brown hair, and is stark raving mad, talking to himself and making no sense. Spike does say a bit about a talisman, and Buffy remembers the object she saw in the bathroom. Buffy calls Xander and tells him what's happening and to find the talisman in the Girls' bathroom and destroy it. Perhaps due to their last encounter, Buffy leaves Spike to his ravings him and goes looking for her sister.

Three dead people attack Dawn, Goth Girl, and Mexi-kid, and they hold their own until Buffy arrives and fights the beings. Xander finds the talisman, breaks it, and the living corpses disappear. Buffy accompanies the trio of high schoolers upstairs and sends them back to class. Principal Wood notices this and compliments her, noticing she has a way with students. He asks if she wouldn't consider a job as a part-time counselor, and she accepts. I'm sure Dawn will be thrilled to have Buffy around at school too.

Finally, Spike is still down in the basement, talking to himself. But, we see, he's not talking to himself. He's talking to Warren, who morphs into Glory, who morphs into Adam, who morphs into the Mayor . . . the major villains of each of the previous seasons. They're telling Spike how weak he is and how strong they are, offering torment in the guise of comfort as it becomes Drusilla, and then the Master, and finally Buffy herself. Both tyranist and I recognised this shape-shifting creature as The First Evil, which tormented Angel in Season Three's "Amends." Chilling stuff. The end.

Good stuff, kids. This season looks to be a good one.

Immediately after, we watched "Beneath You," written by Douglas Petrie.

It starts with a familiar scene, this time in Germany. An athletic young woman is on the run from cloaked evildoers. She tries to defend herself, but is also stabbed to death. As she dies, she says, "From beneath you, it devours."

Buffy wakes up, having seen what just happened in her dream. It makes me wonder if she saw last week's too. Buffy goes to the high school, where she gets a little cubicle of her own (I had a job once where they called them "pods," which never failed to disturb me).

A young dark-haired woman is walking her dog at night, when a hole opens up in the ground and pulls her dog in. She runs away, and bumps into Xander, who's out for a walk or something. She tells him what happened and he takes her to Buffy's house (I don't know if it was closer, or if he thought Buffy could do something about it). The woman's name is Nancy, and she tells Buffy and Dawn her tale of woe. Before Buffy can decide what to do, Spike shows up, with his hair short and white again. He offers to help them track down the beastie, and while Dawn and Xander still give him the cold shoulder, Buffy agrees.

Back in England, it's time for Willow to go back home. Giles reassures her that she's needed there (but, unfortunately, it looks like he isn't), though her friends may not welcome her back at first.

Buffy and Spike go to where the dog disappeared. There's nothing there now. Buffy is jumpy around Spike, after their encounter last season, and Spike says he has changed since that night. He doesn't explain that he got a soul, though.

Xander takes Nancy to her house, and there's a nice moment of tension when she asks him if he wants to go out sometime. As much as I have liked Anya in the past, I was more than willing to accept Nancy as a new love interest for Xander. It will be interesting to see if I'm as welcoming to other new characters coming into the gang's life. Then, the ground begins to shake, and a gigantic worm bursts through the floor, trying to get at Nancy.

When the worm leaves them alone, Nancy tells Xander how this is so typical of her life. She lost her dog, and she recently lost her piece-of-crap boyfriend. He was abusive, she tells him, and Xander asks her if she might have, I don't know, sort of, wished that something would happen to him . . . like, become a worm or something.

Xander tells Buffy the situation, and they go to the Bronze, where Anya's been hanging out, getting women to make horrible wishes. Sure enough, Anya turned Nancy's boyfriend into a Sluggoth demon, which are a cross between a worm and Rosie O'Donnell. When Anya looks at Spike, she realises he's changed, and asks how he got "it." I guess he doesn't want Buffy to know what he's done, because he attacks Anya, and Buffy jumps between them and starts pounding on Spike. He eggs her on, apparently feeling he deserves the beating for what he (almost) did to her.

Nancy is freaked out by all this and heads out the door. In the alley behind the Bronze, the worm demon shows up again, going after her. Xander demands that Anya stop the worm, canceling her wish, changing him back to a dude again. I told tyranist, "Find Anya's pendant and smash it!" but I don't think she had one on her.

In the alley, the worm tries to eat Nancy, but Buffy (and Spike) attack it and keep it away from her. Spike grabs a pipe and swings it at the worm just as it turns back into a confused, naked ex-boyfriend. Spike stabs the guy with it (not fatally, it seems), and writhes in pain as the chip in his head does what it does so well.

Anya tells Xander she will pay for undoing the wish, while they get the ex-boyfriend to the hospital. Spike starts acting insane again, and runs into a church. Buffy goes after him. From his ravings, she learns that he was only pretending to be the same old Spike, and that he went to find the missing piece so that she would accept him. She doesn't understand (because he really is talking a lot of nonsense, responding to voices from the past that are reminding him of what he's done. Finally, Buffy understands that he got his soul back. He goes to the big cross at the end of the church and embraces it. His skin sizzles at its touch, and Buffy is horrified by the sight. Or by the knowledge of what Spike has become? The end.

I really don't know a lot about Buffy's seventh season. Most of what I know came from my cousin and the internet, but I honestly have no idea if Buffy and Spike will get together again, if Anya and Xander will too, if that Nancy girl is a love interest for Xander, or if Giles is gone for good. I look forward to finding out the answers to these--and many more--questions in the coming months. I only hope they aren't over too soon.

Rish "The Last Season" Outfield

*Well, there's twenty more coming, but you know what I mean. And yes, there's technically the gorram comic book, but again, you know what I mean.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

M. Night Top Five

So, THE HAPPENING opens this weekend (possibly last weekend by the time I get this posted*), and I don't know if I'll rush out and see it, or wait for reviews, or not see it at all. But in honour of that opening, I asked the usual suspects to give me their Top Five M. Night Shyamalan movies. My list is easy, since I've only seen five (but all in the theatre):

Cousin Ryan was the first to respond, but his list was easier than most:
1. The Sixth Sense was the only...I mean, the best one I've seen.
Tyranist gave me this rather-unpredictable list:
1. Unbreakable
2. The Sixth Sense
3. Lady in the Water
4. The Village
5. Signs

Jeff the Sex Doctor sent me his:
1 - 6th Sense
2 - Unbreakable
3 - Signs

He also said, "I thought Signs was pretty bad... and then all indications were that Village was bad, and that Lady was even worse, so I saved myself $50-$60 (tix plus snacks)."Then Merrill the Village Idiot sent me this--very familiar--list:
1. sixth sense
2. unbreakable
3. signs

He also said, "That's all I've seen of shamalamadingdong's movies, so I'll stop there."

Prison Guard Johnny sent off:
1. Signs (2002)
2. The Sixth Sense (1999)
3. The Village (2004)
4. Unbreakable (2000)
5. Lady In the Water (2006)
He included this comment, "I wish now that I had seen Wide Awake. It may have ranked higher than Lady in the Water."

My buddy Rhett simply amazed me when he sent me this list:
1. The Lady In The Water
2. The Village
3. Signs
4. The Sixth Sense
5. Unbreakable

He's apparently such a fan he's tried to track down a copy of PRAYING WITH ANGER.

Lastly, Beta Ray Charles sent me his list, having only seen four:
1. Unbreakable
2. The Sixth Sense
3. Signs
4. The Village

And that's pretty much that. Our winners are:

No telling whether THE HAPPENING would affect any of these lists, but starring both John Leguizamo and Marky Mark, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't make mine.

Rish Night Outfield

*Not really an exaggeration; I had a Top Five Adam Sandler Movies list in mind for last week's opening of DON'T FRIG WITH THE ZOHAN, and that one came and went before I even sent it out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The End of Angel Season Three

I'm going to zoom through these, 'cause, frankly, I got "Buffy"s to blog. So, our next episode of "Angel" was entitled "Benediction," which I always thought meant a prayer that brings something to a close.

It was written by Tim Minear, and picks up a little while after the last one. Angel goes back to the hotel and tells the others how he let Connor go. He's not sure if it was the right move, but to his surprise, Connor arrives immediately after, apparently willing to give the whole father-son thing a try.

We know, however, that he is still Holtz's boy, and that Holtz has told him to get in close with Angel as part of a plan we're not privy to. Old Holtz also tracks down Justine, his vampire slayer protege. He tells her that hate drove him to do what he did, but he's moved past that now . . . and that love is even stronger a motivator. She too looks at him like a father, and his encouraging words only make her more loyal to him

And speaking of loyalty, the Groosalugg notices how much attention Cordelia pays to Angel, and how she runs to him time and time again, when she should be running to her boyfriend. He's jealous, but continues to act honourably and hide his pain.

And Wesley continues to spend time with Evillawyerwoman Lilah Morgan, who constantly reminds him of how smart and useful he is, and how much of a waste his life is right now. She takes him out to a nightclub, where there "just happens to be" a bunch of vampires about to do some damage, and where Angel Investigations "just happens to have been" tipped off about the encounter. From the shadows, Wesley watches Angel arrive . . . with his teenage son, and do battle with the vampires.

Kicking a little undead butt seems to bring Connor closer to Angel, but a bit later, Connor goes to his REAL father and Holtz tells him it's time to kill Angel. The boy does seem torn, though, as he has seen his biological father in action and probably senses that he's been told a certain version of the truth, if not outright lies.

Angel is told that Holtz is alive and where he's hanging out, so he asks Gunn and Fred to take Connor out that night and show him a good time. By "show him a good time," I mean, take him out to get ice cream and see the ocean and look at the pretty girls at the Santa Monica Pier, not . . . well, the other good time. They do, and Angel takes his opportunity to go out and deal with Holtz.

But Holtz doesn't seem to be in a fighting mood. First of all, he's old-aged-make-upped, and second, he seems content that he took Angel's son away from him, as Angelus took his own children away, and actually got a loving relationship out of it. In the end, Angel can't kill him, as much as he'd like to, and he leaves Holtz alone again. Except he's not alone.

At the tideline, Gunn and Fred whisper to each other about why they're there, and Connor overhears. He immediately begins running in the direction of Holtz's hideout.

But he'll arrive too late. You see, Holtz has asked Justine to do one more favour for him, and that is to take his life. She stabs him in the neck, putting two puncture wounds there, and leaves him to die in an alleyway. Connor arrives, sees the body, the blood, the "bitemarks," and puts two and two together. The end.

Sadly, I wrote a great deal on here that is not here now. I guess it didn't save as I blogged through the next episode and my feelings about this one (though one of the reasons I like this program is that it saves as you go), so when I opened it to finish this sucker up today, I found a lot more work to do than I wanted to commit to.

The last episode of Season Three was called "Tomorrow," written and directed by show runner David Greenwalt. I found it interesting that neither of the vampire shows had their season finales written by Joss this year, as he was too busy working on his ill-fated space western at the time. Of course, I likely wouldn't be here blogging about "Angel" if it weren't for said space western, so I'm glad he did, even if the older shows suffered because of it.

Briefly, Connor and Justine take Holtz's body out into the woods somewhere and bury Holtz. Connor insists they cut his head off to prevent him from returning as a vampire, which bothers Justine, but ah well. Then Connor goes back to Angel's side, pretending to be a loyal, happy son.

Angel isn't aware of Holtz's death, and wants some bonding time with Connor, so he takes the youth to a drive-in Action movie. Also there is Lilah Morgan's boss at Wolfram & Hart, Linwood. He wants to capture Connor to study him and kill Angel for terrorising him earlier. But Angel and son are more than a match for Linwood and his thugs, and the duo bond over some butt-kicking.

We do get our requisite Wesley scene, and see that Lilah has bedded him, eager to pound whatever morality he once had out of him. Pity Emperor Palpatine didn't use this same scheme to get Luke Skywalker to join the Dark Side of the Force.

Also, Lorne packs up his things and leaves, claiming he'll do better in Las Vegas than constantly rebuilding and losing his karaoke bar. He does tell Cordelia, before he goes, that Angel feels the same way about her that she does about him, and that she ought to do something about it.

The Groosalugg is long gone by this point, but I can't remember if I covered that or not, and if I did, if it was part of the wiped ut portion. Regardless, he was tired of playing second banana to Angel, and realised that's where Cordelia wanted to be all the time. Poor weird-eyed chap.

So, the end of the episode comes, with Angel planning to meet Cordelia on the beach to talk about their feelings. She's driving there, but a traffic jam slows her down. Also, Skip, her demonic pal, shows up and tells her that the time has come for her to move on to the next stage in her development. It's something all glowy and floaty and magical and powerful, and though she wants to be with Angel, it's hard to argue with the Powers That Be. So, she leaves her car there on the freeway, and floats up into the air . . . never to return?

Angel gets to the beach, but instead of Cordelia, he finds Connor and Justine. They fight him and taser him and toss his cellphone away. Then, they take him out on a boat and, sealed in a metal coffin, they dump him over the side, where he sinks down into darkness. The end.

I quite enjoyed the cliffhangeresque ending of this episode. The fact that Angel and other vampires don't need to breathe is seldom if ever touched on--especially since the actors playing them obviously need to--but sentencing him to a living death for God knows how long is a really cruel, but also unique, way to go. Assuming that Season Four will pick up three months later, in what condition will Angel be, having been at the bottom of the Pacific for all that time? How can he be found?

Through magic? Some kind of tracking device? A vision from Cordelia? A fisherman? Wesley? A misplaced scuba diver? A change of heart by Connor himself?

Someday, I suppose, I'll find out the answers, and I sure hope I like them more than I liked some of the plot twists we were given these past few episodes. I know a lot of people balked at "Buffy" Season Six, but I wonder if there were others like me who had a lot more difficulty with "Angel" around the same time.

Guess I'll never know.

Rish "Typing All This A Second Time" Outfield

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Angel Wednesday (yeah, "Angel")

So, I vowed not to return to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt's "Buffy" spin-off, and I stayed pretty true to my word . . . at least for a while. But tyranist gave me a couple of weeks to mourn, and then he started nudging me toward watching "Angel" again. First it was subtle, like he started stocking his shelves with Angel Soft bathroom tissue, asking me if I'd ever seen that show where the girl was the high school student by night and hooker by day and what was it called, if I had an action figure of the X-men whose real name was Warren Worthington,
and referring to Jessica Alba as "that girl from Dark ANGEL." It was around the time he asked me who played Kelly LeBrock in the TV version of "Weird Science" that I caught on, and soon he started getting really overt.

Finally, he invited me over and after we'd watched our requisite "Twin Peaks" episode (this was the one where Laura's mother sees Bob crouching beside the couch at the end), he simply put "Angel" into the DVD player. I had pretty much given in by that point, even though my heart wasn't really into it.

So, I'll be brief, if I can. First up was "Double or Nothing," written by David Goodman. Basically, Angel sits around in Connor's room, staring at the empty cradle, while everyone else tries to make things work at Angel Investigations without Wesley. Cordelia and the Groosalugg return, and are apprised of what happened while they were off Com-Shukking.

The episode was, in many ways, about Gunn, with a demon loan shark trying to collect on a debt Gunn incurred years before. We actually get a flashback--complete with "Gangsta's Paradise"--of a younger Gunn going to a demon casino and meeting with a dude named Jenof, trading in his soul for something he wanted desperately. Well, Jenof in the present has learned that Gunn is getting ready to give his soul to someone new, Marge Simpson, and that--er, to Fred, and he wants to collect before that can happen.

There's also a subplot where an old demon couple hire A.I. to clear a squatter out of their lair. Said squatter is a demon that spews rivers of phlegm in all directions. Gunn kills it, then goes to see Jenof at the casino.

At one point, we do check in with Wesley, who is still in the hospital. Fred goes to visit him, having packed up his belongings from the office. She tells him she read his writings and knows why he took Connor away, but that he should've trusted his friends with it instead of going to Holtz. She tells him the prophesy was a lie, it was all for nothing and not to ever come back to the hotel. A rough scene, and for the first time, I wished they had just killed Wesley instead of thoroughly humiliating him.

Not for the last, though.

Gunn is told he has one day to get his affairs in order and pay up, or Jenoff will send his goons after Fred as well. So he trudges back to the hotel, where Cordelia sees that he's glum and tells him to take the next day off, to go out with Fred and have the bestest day ever. He takes her up on it and treats Fred to a packed schedule of sightseeing and eating and merriment (no mention of long hours sans clothes, though).

Fred finally realises there's something wrong, and instead of telling her the truth, he insults her, breaking up with her, and saying hurtful things to drive her away. Maybe not the way I would've gone about it, but seeing Gunn rocking in fetal position for twenty-four hours might not have been so dramatic.

Wesley is released from the hospital and has no one to pick him up or greet him at home.

Cordelia tries to cheer Angel up too, but he is just too miserable to notice. Fred goes to her and tells her something made Gunn talk to her that way. Angel believes her and is determined not to lose "another family member." Groosalugg, who has been standing around trying to look busy this episode, mentions the loan shark that came looking for Gunn earlier. He even left a business card, leading the gang to the demon casino.

Gunn arrives, walks up to Jenoff, and tells him to do his worst. It's much tougher than I would've been (see earlier fetal position comment and add defecation to it), but before Jenoff can collect, Angel and the others bust in and start pounding bad guys. And the occasional waitress.

Jenoff explains the legal contract he has with Gunn, and Angel gives him a counter-offer. Angel will wager his own soul on a card game, but if he wins, Gunn gets his back. Jenoff agrees and they draw cards . . . but Angel loses. Regardless, Cordelia stabs Jenoff and Angel cuts his head off. That doesn't kill the demon, however, so Angel tries another tactic: he suggests all those in the casino who owe debts to Jenoff help him kill him, and the crowd goes wild.

Now safe and free, Gunn and Fred reconcile. She asks him about the girl he traded his soul for and Gunn reveals that it was actually for his truck. Tyranist had called that earlier, so I gotta give him credit for that one. The end.

This wasn't bad, but then, I don't dislike Gunn, or even his relationship with Fred. You know what I don't like.

Which reminds me. I was hesitant to return to "Angel," and was pretty much only willing to watch the one episode. But since I survived that, we were naturally going to go on to the next one. I made a wager with tyranist, a high card draw inspired by "Double or Nothing," that if I won, we'd only watch one more episode. If he won, we'd finish out the disc.

Tyranist agreed with no hesitation (which should've been a warning). We drew cards, and he won. After we watched it, he revealed to me that there was only one more episode left on the disc anyway.

The next episode was probably a very good one, but my recap certainly won't be. First of all, we watched so many bloody episodes that I find it difficult to separate them (was it this one or the last one where Wesley was released from the hospital?). Also, I gotta admit that I slept through some of it, and had to have tyranist explain what was going on, as I thought we were watching "Homeboyz From Outer Space" and had to be put straight.

This episode was called "The Price" and was written by David "They Got the Mustard Out" Fury. It begins with Angel dismantling what was Connor's room, trying to move on with his life. Down in the lobby, a potential customer arrives, but finds no one there to greet him. Instead, he finds a see-through slug-creature that jumps inside him. He goes to a nearby health drink store and demands liquid refreshment, getting more hostile and thirsty the more he drinks.

Lorne hears about the commotion and Angel goes over and takes the man, whose face is starting to flake and crack, back to Angel Investigations, where he promptly disintegrates, all of his fluids dried up. The parasite that infected him wriggles from the remains, and Angel tells everyone to lock up the doors and windows and try and track it down.

Apparently, this parasite was created when Angel cast his dark magic spell to turn the Scarface demon into flesh and blood. It's something called Thaumogenesis, and it's something Willow learned well after bringing Buffy back from the dead: there is a price for such magicks.

Or maybe it was created when Angel cast the spell to open up a door to the demon dimension where Holtz took his son, I don't know (I think it's the other one, since the latter spell failed). What I do know is that it's not just one see-through parasite, but many, scurrying around the hotel looking for people to infect.Over at the evillawfirm, evillawyerchick Lilah Morgan gets word about the occurrence at Angel Investigations, and recalls her part in casting that spell. She decides to help Angel get rid of the parasites, but then Linwood, her boss, tells her that he wants Angel to die for the time he kidnapped him and slapped him around. No telling if Lilah would've joined the side of the angels (pun intended) had he not interfered.

Well, Gunn, Fred, Cordelia, Groosalugg, and Angel discover that there are hundreds of those slug-critters roaming about, and poor Fred finds out the hard way, when one of them slorpps into her mouth.* Gunn tries to get her out of there to get medical attention, but Angel says no one can leave, for fear of the parasites spreading all over town.

Soon, the parasites begin chasing after our heroes, and they hide in the hotel's big kitchen (which we've never seen before, but ah well). Gunn takes this opportunity to slip away and leave the hotel alone. He goes to Wesley's to ask him for help. Wesley is--in my estimation--understandably unfriendly toward Gunn, and tells him to sod off, but when Gunn lets him know that Fred has been infected, he grabs a bottle of whiskey and tells Gunn to give it to her. As Gunn leaves, Wesley tells him not to ever come to him again.

Apparently (I was sleeping at this point), Fred begins speaking for the parasites, telling them that something called The Destroyer is on its way, having followed them from their world to ours. She begins to dry up, despite the water they give her, and Gunn arrives with the alcohol. They give it to her to drink, and it dehydrates her so much that the parasite leaps out of her. Groo slays it with his sword, but there are zillions more coming toward them.

Suddenly, the now part-demon Cordelia begins to glow with a white light, and she uses this power to destroy all the parasites. "Why didn't you tell me she had one of those things?" the Joker asks Bob, then shoots him with his own gun.

Before any answers can be given, a big portal appears in the hotel lobby, and a giant demon comes out of it. Looks to be quite a battle, but then a teenage kid pops out of the portal and promptly kills the demon. The kid looks at Angel and says, "Hi, Dad." The end.

Tyranist and I went downstairs to get a bag of chips (a fairly large part of every Buffy Wednesday), discussing whether the demon or Connor was The Destroyer Fred warned us about. I had just assumed it was the monster, but thought it being Angel's son was a heck of a lot cleverer.**

After that, came "A New World," written by Jeffrey Bell. It picks up immediately after, with Teen Connor attacking Angel, first with a sort of stake gun, then with fists and acrobatics. I don't know if he inherited vampire strength (or how, if he did), but he can handle both Gunn and the Groosalugg. Angel, however, is a bit tougher, and is able to beat the boy back. He's pulling his punches, I think, and the boy makes a hasty retreat out of the hotel. It's daytime outside, so Angel can't follow. The rest of the guys do, though.

In the streets, Teen Connor moves like a rabbit (or a CGI person), jumping onto a bus and away from his pursuers. He makes his way to one of those great T2 irrigation canals, where he sees the world's hottest junkie trying to buy drugs from a dealer. The junkie, name of Sunny, has no money, so the drug dealer decides to take his own form of payment . . . and Connor interrupts him with a bit of happy violence. The drug dealer has friends, and they gang up on Connor, but he and Sunny manage to get away, and he takes one of the drug dealer's ears as a souvenier.

Back in the hotel, the portal is still a'crackling, and Angel tells Cordelia and Der Groosalugg to watch it, in case something else emerges. Then he takes off toward the bus's destination, via the sewers. Groo and Cordelia are knocked out by a surge of power from the portal, and when the others arrive, everybody's worried something slipped through while they were sleeping. Lorne brings a mystic to close the portal, but she warns that something did come through.

So, Sunny the hot junkie takes Connor to a burned out hotel room (which is roughly what I paid eight hundred dollars a month for in Los Angeles), and tells him about the world. She also kisses him, gives him some chocolate, does some drugs, and kills herself.*** For some reason, this struck me as extremely lame, and I can't really put my finger on why.

We also have our prerequisite Wesley scene (which, I guess is being paralleled by our prerequisite Spike scenes on the last "Buffy"s), where evillawyerwoman Lilah Morgan comes to his apartment, presenting him with a book (Dante's Inferno) and asking him if he remembered who was in the lowest circle of Hell. Of course, that was reserved for traitors, and chiefly for Judas Iscariot, who she compares Wesley to. Oh, and she offers him a job with Wolfram & Hart.

Using Professor Xavier's Cerebro device, Angel tracks Connor down at the hotel room and tries to explain why Sunny the junkie is dead. Connor wants to kill the people who did this to her, but Angel just wants to talk to him. They fight a little bit, and Connor insists his name is Steven, which is what Holtz called him. He considers Holtz his father and tells Angel what he was taught about vampires and Angel in particular.

Having used William Stryer's Cerebro device, the one-eared drug dealer and his cronies track down Connor for a little revenge. They fight also, which the boy is good at.

Having used Magneto's Cerebro device, the cops track Connor down at the motel, and storm the building, opening fire like, well, the L.A.P.D., I guess. Angel takes a bullet meant for his son, and they both slip out the window together.

Once safely away, the boy refuses to go with Angel, but Angel tells him he can always come to the hotel if he needs help or a home. Not long after, Connor is reunited with Holtz, who did come through the portal, but got a severe case of old age makeup as a side effect. Connor--Steven to Holtz--greets him as his true father. The end.

Like I said, we had closed out the disc, and we only had a couple more episodes to go to be caught up with "Buffy." Tyranist nearly always calls the shots as to how long we'll stay up (my hint that we'll be calling it a night is usually when he says, "I'm going to kick you out of my house now"), and on this particular night, he suggested we soldier on to the end of the season. So we did.

There's no telling how late I'll be on that post too, so I'll stop here for now.


*No, it's NOT a word.

**No, also not a word. Sue me.

***See, in my romantic experience, I'd actually characterise this as a successful date.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Will Laura Palmer's Killer Please Rise?

So, we only watched one "Twin Peaks" episode to start with. It's the two hour (or ninety minute, as we saw it) pilot movie.So, as I said in my previous post, I saw "Twin Peaks" when it was still new (though the first season I saw in reruns leading up to the second season premiere), and considered myself a fan. But I was reintroduced to the show a few years ago at college, when an acquaintance of mine (I don't know if I dare call him "friend," since we don't keep in touch, but he came pretty close to being a friend) made a suggestion that anyone who was interested come to his apartment every Monday night and watch "Twin Peaks" as a group. I remembered the show with fondness, so I came every week, even dragging my would-be girlfriend a couple of times.

Matt, our weekly host, had something better than the VHS tapes of the show (or even the non-existent DVDs, at that time). No, he had the ORIGINAL AIRINGS of the show, taped off of ABC television, with, get this, the original commercials still intact. And week after week, we'd watch the show, and delight in the dated car and beer commercials, the previews for long-forgotten movies, soft drinks that have gone away, and ad for other ABC shows, including the promos for "Cop Rock," which had us all laughing.

I got more pleasure than should be possible from watching these commercials that were vaguely--or vividly--familiar. And nearly every week we'd see one of those classic ABC anti-drug commercials (the most famous being "this is your brain on drugs" and "parents who use drugs have children who use drugs"), and we'd chant in unison, "You, alright! I learned it by watching you!"

Matt had a written-out schedule of how we'd get through them all before graduation, including watching the "Saturday Night Live" parody when it was appropriate. We tried to stick to the schedule, but due to holidays and conflicts, we never did get through the series. Unless I stopped coming, and they continued without me.

Now there's an upsetting thought.

Tyranist and I watched the pilot, shot on location, and with a slightly different look than the regular series. The body of beauty queen and town's favourite daughter, Laura Palmer, is found wrapped in plastic on the shore, and we meet a cavalcade of colourful Twin Peaks residents. Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives to investigate, and the weirdness commences. But it's a very welcoming weirdness, at least to me.Oh, I do have to mention one complaint tyranist had. The sign at the outskirts of town says Twin Peaks has a population of over fifty thousand, yet it seems like a town the size he grew up in, which had WAAAAY less people than that. I told him there was a large indigenous population that we never see, but he was right: Twin Peaks seems to be one of those towns where everybody knows everybody else (and is sleeping with them), with only three or four streets.

But to be fair, Sunnydale, California, has an airport, a dock, a train station, a college, a beach, a mall, and a makeout spot with a Satanic temple underneath it. But with only one main street with, say, seven businesses on it. So ah well.

Tyranist and I plan on watching at least one episode a week until death separates us. We'll see how things actually work out soon.

Rish "Wrapped-In-Plastic" Outfield