Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday Night: Continued

Oh Heroes, it's so nice to have you back. Not "back" as in "back from a summer off" but "back" as in "back to the same crap that drove me nuts last season". Claire: still boring. Peter: Still dumb. New characters: still terrible. Sylar: Still awesome. He's even more awesome this season because they've decided that the best use of his talents is to attach him to the Anchor Known As Matt Parkman. Sylar is hitching a ride inside of AKAMP's head, and by episode 2 has already learned how to use Matt's powers to mess with him, causing him to beat the bejeepers out of a drug dealer and forcing him to use his Care Bear Stare to cover it all up. Let's find a way to have Sylar hitching a ride with ALL the Heroes characters, just for the fun of it. Hell, let's stick Sylar on every show. Jay Leno will jump at the chance. By the way, Jay, Chevy Chase is standing by with an October calendar and a bottle of champagne.

Claire and the World's Most Annoying Roommate (too annoying for an acronym) continues to be the fourth most interesting story in a three story plot this week. Gretchen ( knows about Claire's ability, and keeps bugging her about it. HRG starts to call in The Haitian, but Claire insists she can handle it. And handle it she does, by spilling every last bean to her new BFF. Hey Noah, send The Haitian my way, I want to forget how to turn my dial to NBC on Monday nights.

Peter the Heroic Paramedic lumbers on, first meeting a deaf chick (who looks a lot like Amy Sedaris, but not enough for me to look up whether she is, in fact, Amy Sedaris) who can see sounds as colors. Big deal, so can every third person at a Phish concert. Inky Circus Vaguely-Irish Guy (I'll try and remember his name for next week...maybe) messes with Peter's head, uses his wacky ink powers to give Peter one of those sweet moving compass tats, and drops Exposition Manor into a sinkhole. So does he have earth powers, ink powers, or is this special dirt-based ink? Or does Tim Kring even care anymore?

Almost forgot how much I hated the deaf chick character. First of all, I think we learned from Maya that any character with yellow subtitles is a bad character. Secondly, her power blows. Thirdly, her power blows. Fourthly, we didn't get a Hiro update so that we could be introduced to Dazzler 2009? Her scenes were subtle character moments in a series that wouldn't recognize the word subtle if you spotted them the "sub".

But hey, no Mohinder for a second week in a row. If they would promise no Mohinder for the whole season, I'd buy a DVR and Season Pass this bitch.

Thankfully, my sacrifice was rewarded with a new Castle. It must be some kind of unspoken code that every murder procedural has to do a "Strangers on a Train" episode, but leave it to the geniuses at Castle to actually make it an entertaining ride. A fun open shows the kind of wacky characters that get arrested in NYC on a full moon (it's pretty much any six episodes worth of Night Court extras), then leads to the Murrrrrrder of the Week. A second murder comes in, and Castle decides to place a wager with Dets. Ryan and Esposito. It's a minor bit of business that is still made entertaining and fun by a very talented cast, and leads back into the main story when the two cases intersect. It's nothing ground-breaking as far as the mystery goes, but it's just so much fun to WATCH. It literally is the journey, not the destination, and if Castle doesn't turn Nathan Fillion from "nerd icon" into "big damn star", then there is no justice in this world. The father-daughter dynamic between Castle and his daughter is one of the best written familial relationships on television in a long while, showing genuine affection between the two of them, and not reducing either one to a caricature for the sake of a joke. This show just radiates charm on all levels, and I still giggle to myself when I see Castle in his "WRITER" bulletproof vest. Seriously, now is the time to get into this show if you aren't already.

American Dad had a great season premiere too, and I'll be working on a compare/contrast piece eventually between Seth McFarlane's three shows (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show), as the trichotomy is really interesting to me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sorry Kids!

Took a few days of sick leave. I've got a backlog of shows to get through, but here are a few quick thoughts on what I was able to watch.

Dollhouse: Glad to see it back, but I wasn't blown away by the first episode of Season 2. They've set up a few things that should pay off sooner than later though, and the interplay between Topher and Saunders/Whiskey was nice...and will probably pay off later than sooner. But in a good way.

The Cleveland Show: Took a little long to set up the premise, and I'm not crazy about...well, most of the characters. It's not like I'm not watching the other 90 minutes though, so I'll stick with it.

Family Guy: Great episode, as they abandon the pretense of being a 22-minute narrative and just turn it into animated sketch comedy. The Robot Chicken universe was genius "Hahahaha, those shows existed!", as was the extended Disney tribute. Poor poor Mort.

How I Met Your Mother: STRIPPER LILY!!! Nice episode, although the bf/gf tension between Barney and Robin kind of came out of nowhere, nor was it resolved by the end. Still, this episode has merit for the visual effects alone, showing 2009 Ted observing 2002 Ted on his first blind date (with the same girl). This show isn't afraid to take chances, and they pay off at a staggering rate. Also, STRIPPER LILY!!!

Tool Academy 2: I keep loving this show. Two of the girls get in a fight (over one of them being a stripper...gosh, didn't see that one coming), the Tools turn on one of their own for being just too Tooly, and next episode promises a Tool revolution. I have a longer post on Tool Academy coming, I swear.

Heroes and Castle are coming up next, as is FlashForward.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

Oooh, that sounds deep, doesn't it? It just refers to the two shows I watched last night: The season finale of Warehouse 13, and the season premiere of Heroes. Dessert before chores, so Warehouse 13 is first up.

Warehouse 13: MacPherson

What I've enjoyed about Warehouse 13 is the hints given to a greater history of the Warehouse, as well as the people involved. From the incredibly enigmatic Mrs. Fredericks (the greatness of CCH Pounder), to Artie's career as an agent and caretaker of the Warehouse, and then the character backgrounds of Pete and Myka. For the last few episodes, Roger Rees has come in as former Agent (turned eeeeeevil!!!) MacPherson, and shown himself to constantly be one step ahead of everybody else on the cast. Tonight, we find out how he's managed to stay one step ahead: he's got a mole on the inside. They managed to turn the old "frame character A and reveal it to really be Character B" trick on its ear thanks to some tricky Artifact action; framing Claudia (the incredibly adorable Allison Scagliotti @allisonscag on Twitter) with the help of Harriet Tubman's thimble (makes you look like another person), and revealed to be Leena, the bed and breakfast proprietor. Thanks to the next-to-nothing we know about Leena, the twist was pretty surprising, although I'm hoping for some more insight into why she done what she done when we get to Season 2.

So as the episode ends (on a dirty dirty cliffhanger), we have Artie possibly (but not really, obviously) blown up, Pete and Myka stranded in the Warehouse, Claudia framed, and Mrs. Fredericks still being awesome. I don't know when Season 2 is supposed to start, but I'm hooked. DAMN YOU SYYYYFYYYY!!!!

Heroes: Redemption/Fall, Jump, Push

Okay, so I was ready to rip Heroes a new one, and watch this Titanic of a show finally go down for good. Unfortunately, the premiere actually wasn't that bad. It was by no means perfect, and it still has many sins to atone for before winning me back, but this episode was a good start. With two hours of show to cover, I'm going to have to scoreboard this one:

The Good:

Peter not being whiny! He's got a job as a paramedic, saving lives with the powers that he's acquired. He helps Noah out on a quick mission, but turns down the offer of a partnership, and reveals that he just did it to gain access to a new power (so apparently he can store more than one again...). That power, super speed, was helpfully provided by:


Let me back up; there's a mysterious carnival, staffed by carnies with powers (which one can turn water into meth?), and Ray Park is a speedster with a penchant for knives. There's a chick who can tell the future, an old guy who can send people through time, and their leader, who can do crazy things with tattoo ink. There's also a plot with a compass that only works for people with powers, but that doesn't get explained. There's also a scene with the leader and Hiro, but poor Hiro isn't in this part of the review.


The Bad:

Claire. Claire is boring. I don't like her, or her character. Or her storylines. And Hayden Panetierre is so annoying, I want to go to Sea World and shiv a dolphin. Her storyline has her going to college in Virgina and having a really annoying roommate, who dies. Pushed from a window? Or jumped? Claire's equally (but differently) annoying new BFF wants to help her go all CSI on the case, but the only progress made by the end of the episode is Claire (who is retarded) jumping out a window and showing her powers to the only person watching...annoying bestie. Yes, that's right...the only two people awake at night on a college campus are those two. Sigh...welcome back Heroes.

Hiro. Masi Oka, you deserve better. Hiro starts a "Dial a Hero" service, rescues a cat (well, Ando does the rescuing), "freezes", and then reveals that he's dying of some unknown disease. For his sake, I hope it's "refusing to renew his contract", and that the cure involved Masi Oka getting a part on The Big Bang Theory. Anyway, his big act this episode involves going back in time (involuntarily, as seems to be the case with selective time traveling abilities), meeting his younger self AGAIN, talking to creepy carnival leader guy, and changing the past to set up Ando with his sister. That's a pretty good Bro move, maybe Masi will go to How I Met Your Mother instead. Anywhere but Heroes, please.

Okay, one more thing. If I'm a person, and I see another person, and they have blue slushy all over them when I walk into a room...I'M SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Come on Heroes, we're not 8 years old.

Parkman has Sylar in his head (ala Bones in Search For Spock), Sylar has Nathan in his head, Angela Petrelli is as exciting as a boot to the head.

Tracy and Noah hook up (as a team/friends) by the end of the episode. Not that impressed. Noah has usually been one of the few bright spots every week, but he's been wearing thin, and Tracy will j ust drag him down like the anchor she is.

Honestly, I didn't hate this episode, but there are red flags shooting around all over the place. Some of these storylines feel like they could drag out over the course of months and months. However, some bits were interesting, and if they can quicken the pace (two volumes per season should help with that) then they might be able to pull this show out of the death spiral. If not, I'll be here to throw gas on the flames.

Top Chef tomorrow, FlashForward on Thursday, and I need to find a rerun of Bored to Death. TV is good!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TV is Awesome!

I had a great night of viewing, starting with House, then Castle, and then went back and watched How I Met Your Mother online. After all that goodness, I didn't want to spoil it with Heroes, so I'll go back and check that out in a day or two.

House: Great great great episode. House, who has been having Vicodin-induced hallucinations, checked himself into a psychiatric facility at the end of the last season. This season opens with a nicely shot detox montage, at the end of which House is ready to check himself out and go back to doctoring. However, the greatness of Andre Braugher refuses to recommend that House get his medical license back unless he agrees to more therapy. This gives us a good hour of "House meets crazy people", as well as "House tries his usual tricks to get his way", which Dr. Andre is having nothing to do with. The second hour is where we start the healing, and it slows down a little. I kept waiting for his annoying roommate to be another hallucination, but I suppose that was too obvious.

We got two great House moments though: The first where he sings "For He Is An Englishman" while faking a urine test (how long have the writers been holding that nugget of gold back?), and the second where he briefly transforms into Rappin' Greg during the psych ward talent show (talent show? really? REALLY?). House manages to grow as a person by the end of the two hours, but we'll see how much of that sticks when the season begins in earnest next week.

This episode did two things: 1) Made sure that Hugh Laurie will win a freaking Emmy a year from now, and 2) Made pretty much the entire supporting cast irrelevant. Sure, I like Cuddy, and whats-her-name, and I still miss Cutthroat Bitch, but you can drop House into any group of people and be entertained. If I was a character not named House, Wilson, or Cuddy, I'd start lowballing my salary demands when contract time came back up.

Castle: Man, I forgot how much fun this show is. As the second season picks up, Castle has finished his latest book, "Heat Wave", featuring his new character Nikki Heat, based on Detective Beckett (who grew her hair out a little and got a lot hotter). Beckett is still pissed at Castle for digging into her mother's murder, however, and she has to be forced to drag Castle along for the Murder of the Week this week.

This episode was everything I like about this show: Nathan Fillion is just a charming dude, the pace of the show is brisk, a lot of the jokes come from out of nowhere and actually make me laugh out loud while I'm watching. Tonight, a body is stolen, then found with its innards cut out of it. Castle makes a one liner about how "someone hated his guts", and then puts on his sunglasses....umm, I mean, then the other detectives react (as they should) with amazement at how corny that line was. The moment was played for subtlety, and it worked really well.

This is honestly a show that needs an audience, and is really easy to get into. It's all the meat of your average procedural, but with a new and exciting sauce that makes you want to come back for more. That sauce? Awesomesauce.

How I Met Your Mother: Tonight's season premiere was that odd mixture of entertaining and disappointing. I didn't have anything about the show that I didn't like, but it was just very light on substance. Most of the episode was based around assigning a definition to the Barney/Robin relationship, which is a little cliched for this show, but they still managed to sidestep the issue in true HIMYM fashion (Barney and Robin will just lie to the others about being a couple). The B story about Ted's first day as an architecture professor (or is it proffessor?) was very light on content, or even a moral. Marshall stakes out the C story, doing a whole lot of nothing (except messing around with a whip), but still being funny. Jason Segal is gold, and I hope the show doesn't lose him to films any time soon.

As an aside, Neil Patrick Harris killed it at the Emmys this weekend. Track down some of his clips on YouTube, especially the opening show number and his bit after Jon Cryer beat him out for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. The man is greatness.

The plan is to bask in this TV goodness for a while longer, then I'll get out of my nice warm bed of quality and step on the cold linoleum floor of Heroes...I do it for you. <3

Monday, September 21, 2009

Looking over the edge...

Tonight represents a metric crap-ton of new shows:

Two hours of House
Two hours of Heroes
New Castle
New How I Met Your Mother

and I still need to watch Bored to Death. Truly my cup runneth over...and yet, I really want to discuss Tool Academy.

Expect lots of posts this week.

Also, congrats to Dr. Horrible for scoring an Emmy! Also, NPH, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, and Simon Helberg had a great bit during last night's telecast:

Friday, September 18, 2009

The New Fall Season Starts...NOW

School can't stop me from bringing you the new hotness, and last night was the premiere of Community.

This show really hit it off with me. I already like Joel McHale from The Soup, and he plays his character with the right amount of smarm. He plays a lawyer with a less than legitimate college degree, so he goes to a community college to get a degree and keep from being disbarred. The Daily Show's Jon Oliver is great here as a professor at the community college, but he was billed as a guest star, which makes me think he won't be coming back (or not for every episode, anyway). The rest of the cast was introduced, and it may take a couple more episodes for them to grow on me. The extended Breakfast Club reference was great, and I think this show will find an audience soon. It just remains to be seen whether they can keep the premise going, since realistically, he should be done with college within four years. Hey, if The Office can have a documentary crew for six years, why can't Joel McHale stay in college for that long?

Couple of quick hits, before I forget:

Top Chef: Ashley is growing on me, and it was nice to see her in the top group tonight. Gail called her a dark horse, and that may be the best she can hope for. There's just so much talent in the top half of the people remaining, and I just don't think Ashley will be able to compete with them long enough to make it to the final six or so. She can keep off the block with some of the spares still in it, but at some point, her run will end. Shame too, since this week's performance should give her the confidence boost she needs to string a few more good weeks together.

Web Soup: Consistently funny, and Chris Hardwick is a great host for this kind of web snark. Its spiritual cousin Tosh.0 delves deeper into some of their clips, going so far as to track down some of the stars of some of the great Fail videos of the intertubes, but Web Soup keeps it to the basics: Here's a video, here's a joke...moving on. The show lives and dies on Chris Hardwick, and he knocks it out of the park every show. Give that man some more money.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What I Watched Last Night: Leverage/Top Chef

Leverage: The Lost Heir Job

Leverage opened this week with a nice scene between Nate and Sophie, and a well done concealment of Gina Bellman's pregnancy (Chinese robe with very long sleeves), followed by an introduction to the Client, a woman who's charity is getting screwed out of an inheritance by an evil lawyer. I love any time Nate is the face of the con, and I triple love when Parker gets roped into being on the public end too; this time as the "long lost daughter" of the millionaire whose will is being called into question. Nate introduces her as a meth addict ("Oh yeah, I love meth"), but the real daughter turns out to be the client, which comes a little out of left field, but is hinted at throughout the episode (with helpful flashbacks during the big reveal). Oh yeah, spoiler alert. Anyway, the real gem is the guest appearance by Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine, Shark) as the client's lawyer...and that's all I'm going to say. Seriously, watch this episode; it's a series of well done cons, including the Lost Heir, which is a classic.

Top Chef: Vivre Las Vegas

I loves my Food Porn, and I really love Competence Porn (thanks to John Rogers for that term), and Top Chef combines both of those into one terrific hour of television. Kevin is waaaaay out in the lead, and I'd be surprised if he didn't win the whole thing, but he'll definitely stick around until the final three for sure. I was a little sad to see Jesse go in the Quickfire, as she seems to have the talent, just has caught some bad breaks. Even not knowing who many of these French chefs were, the cheftestants sure did, and their excitement was palpable as they cooked their takes on some classic French proteins and sauces. From what I saw, I expected someone from the Ron and Robin pairing to go home, but it was Hector's inability to cut and slice meat that sent him packing his knives. Ashley's grown on me, so I was glad to see her stick around, although I agreed with the judges that she shouldn't have just let the French guy take the lead.

So help me, I think I'm going to have to catch another episode of Tool Academy over the weekend.


Question for my readers: How do we feel about spoilers? I'm shooting for a turnaround time of "within 24 hours" for most of these posts, so people who like to DVR or watch shows online may not have seen the episode by the time I get my review up. On the other hand, dancing around the plot points/ending is a pain (like what I tried to do with my W13 review). If I talk about Top Chef, I want to have an opinion on the elimination, obviously.

So as of now, I'm planning on posting spoilers in my reviews. We'll call this post "fair warning", and see how it goes.

I'd also like to welcome Halo ( to the Wall O' Links over to the right side of the page. I may be contributing some content over there as well, we'll just have to see.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rounding Out The Final Five: For Reals This Time

Okay, so after much deliberation, I've decided on the fifth show I'll be reviewing for the upcoming Fall season.

TOOL ACADEMY 2!!!!!!!!

Okay, not really...but that show is some serious greatness. Seeing a bunch of faux-hawked jackanapes trying to look serious at an elimination while shirtless and wearing a sport coat that they Bedazzled themselves is some quality television. 12 guys, all of whom admit cheating on their girlfriends (and by the way, where do they find these women? These girls are Stockholm Wives!) and other acts of douchebaggery. It's like a trip to the zoo, but with more commercials for I Love The 1840's!

Anyway, the real final show that I'll be reviewing is:

The Cable Show: Bored to Death

HBO puts out some good television (and Entourage), but they are far from flawless (Sex and the City), which makes Bored to Death an intriguing coinflip. I like Jason Schwartzman from movies like Rushmore and I <3 Huckabees, and the concept might have legs. Schwartzman plays a writer who goes into business for himself as a private detective with no training and no license. With Ted Danson, Zack Galifianakis, and Patton Oswalt involved, it's definitely worth a shot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall Schedule: Rounding out the Five

Previously on Gleaming the Tube, I announced How I Met Your Mother and Flashforward would be among the shows I'll be reviewing here. After a long weekend of quiet reflection and meditation, I've determined two more shows that I'll be writing about here. I'm still contemplating a fifth show, plus I'll be doing shorter posts about everything else I watch (or at least, anything notable that comes up). I'm not ruling anything out, not even Tool Academy 2.

The One I Dread: Heroes

I have reached the point where I just straight up hate this show. HATE. I like Zachary Quinto, and I like the concept of Masi Oka, but the rest of the show has me ready to start burning down comic book stores. However, if Heroes goes down in flames, then there will NEVER be another superhero-based show in prime time again. Granted, that might not be a terrible thing at this point...but I'm still going to cling to the insane hope that the writers can pull this show out of the screaming death spiral that it is currently on.

The Pleasant Surprise: Castle

When I started watching this show, it was solely because I am a Nathan Fillion fan. He was the first celebrity I followed on Twitter, he's a member of the Man Crush Hall of Fame, and he played two of the Top Five Captains of all time (Reynolds and Hammer). On the surface, it looks like yet another cop show: interview the suspects, follow a couple of false conclusions, wrap it all up at the end, yadda yadda yadda. However, this show has two secret weapons: smart, clever writing and Nathan Fillion.

Okay, short (I hope) synopsis. Fillion plays Richard Castle, a best-selling novelist who is rich and famous from his series of mystery novels. As he kills off his cash cow main character, the police ask him to consult on a series of murders that are based on some of the murders in his books. He enjoys solving crimes, he's intrigued by the tough/sexy lady detective running the investigation, end of story. Except it's not. Castle is a rich manchild; used to getting his way, but just responsible enough to raise a daughter with a good head on her shoulders. There are usually at least a couple of laugh-out-loud lines in each episode, and they tend to sneak up on you too. One of my favorite moments was when the police are preparing for a possible shootout, so they all put on their bulletproof vests with "POLICE" printed on them. Castle opens his trunk and pulls out a vest he bought himself with "WRITER" printed on it. The cast is great, the writing is sharp, and the "mystery of the week" isn't too predictable. I'm expecting good things out of Season 2, and I'm hoping the show finds a larger audience.

So for those keeping track, my list so far is:

How I Met Your Mother (Mondays)
Castle (Mondays)
Heroes (Mondays)
Flashforward (Thursdays)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

GtT Fall Season: The Rookies

I'm spoiling you with all this content, aren't I? Don't worry, once school ramps up, I'll be throwing out half-assed posts and "I swear, I'll update soon" like every other blogger. Until then though, enjoy the second installment of the Gleaming the Tube Fall Schedule.

Show I'll Be Reviewing: Flash Forward

This was a request from Joan, but I've also heard some buzz about it from San Diego Comic-Con. I've stayed away from too much talk about it, so I'm hoping to go in fairly blind. From memory, it has to do with a global event where everyone sees a glimpse of what their life will be like six months from now (well, from the event), and what happens from there. As evidenced by my love of How I Met Your Mother, I'm all about time as a character in television (and yes, I'll be doing LOST in the winter), so this concept has legs. LOST has helped indoctrinate audiences into acceptance of science fiction elements in their dramas, so this could find an audience early. Will I like it? Time (PUN!) will tell.

Show I Won't Be Reviewing: Glee

I like "Don't Stop Believing" as much as anyone else, but I'm not that much of a fan of high school based shows. The hype for this show seems too high, and I'm just not all that interested. Also, it's Fox, so even if it's good, it might get canceled or shuffled around if it doesn't find an immediate audience.

Honorable Mention: Community

I loves me some Joel McHale, and I'll be watching it anyway since it's nestled in the nurturing bosom of 30 Rock and The Office. Still, I hated Parks and Recreation, and was pretty much done with My Name Is Earl a year or two before NBC was, so it'll be iffy for me. The ace in the hole is one of the executive producers/writers; Dan Harmon. Harmon is one of the mad geniuses behind Channel 101 (, where he made some amazing creations on a five minute clock and minimal budgets. Go watch "Laser Fart" and then come see me. His presence could make the show a hit, or he could overindulge some of his lesser instincts and throw the whole thing off the rails. But hey, who doesn't love to watch a good trainwreck?

GtT Fall Schedule: Revealed!!!

I'm slowly finalizing what shows I want to watch/review for the blog. I don't have the complete list, but I figure I can start listing them now, as well as shows that I won't be reviewing (for various reasons) and eventually build up a list. Let's start with some comedy.

Show I'll Be Reviewing: How I Met Your Mother

Entering its fifth season, this is a show that still flies under most people's radars, although it is finally getting some respect, including a Best Comedy nomination at the Emmy's, as well as a Best Supporting Actor nom for Neil Patrick F'ing Harris. (Man Crush Hall of Fame inductee)

Although the ensemble cast is great, the 6th character is Time, and the writers use it to full effect to set up some of the best gags and storylines I've seen in a sitcom in a long time. We (meaning me and some Denton Rocky nerds) are doing a series marathon soon leading up to the season premiere on September 19th.

Show I Won't Be Reviewing: 30 Rock

This show is great, but it gets tons of press on its own. I'll still be watching, and I may even sprinkle in some quick comments (I'm actually thinking of just doing a weekly "Everything Else I Watched" roundup with short thoughts on various shows) on it, but I would be treading too-familiar ground if I tried to cover it in depth. The Onion TV Club ( does a great job covering it (and HIMYM, but they can't take all my shows!), so I won't be doing full reviews.

Honorable Mention: The Big Bang Theory

This is a show that I eventually want to get into, but from the beginning (send me DVD's?), so this would be more of an off-season project. I've heard many many good things though, so I'll be hoping to dive into this sooner than later.

That makes How I Met Your Mother the first official member of the Gleaming the Tube Class of Fall 2009! Exploding high five!

I love you, Zachary Quinto...

The only reason I'm giving Heroes another shot this season. If someone made a "nothing but Sylar" edited version of Heroes, I'd just watch that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One More Thing

Leverage. You should be watching it. New episode airs tonight on TNT. Last week's episode had Wil Wheaton. Wil. Wheaton.

Watch this show.

What I Watched Last Night: Warehouse 13

Okay, so I'm still working on what I'll be watching this fall, although I'm hoping to get the list up soon. Until then, here's a little something to get my feet wet in the old tv reviewing swimmin' hole.

(Note: I'll be playing around with formats too, so if you like or hate something, let me know in the comments)

(Note: The above is just a sneaky way to make sure I get comments)

Warehouse 13
Season 1, Episode 9: "Regrets"

So, even with the terrible name change, low budget movies, and Scare Tactics, SyFy still puts out some interesting shows. I've been a fan of Eureka for a while, and I've been enjoying Warehouse 13 over the last two months.

If you haven't seen it, it's got elements of Friday the 13th: The Series (minus the occult) and The X-Files (minus the ratings). Two Secret Service agents (played by Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly) are retasked into working for Artie (Saul Rubinek), the caretaker of Warehouse 13, a storage facilty for "artifacts" that all have various powers/abilities. Most artifacts seem to be linked to famous people/places, and have abilities related to their former owners. For instance, Lewis Carroll's mirror that creates a duplicate of the person standing in front of it, or Volta's lab coat, which makes the wearer magnetic.

The episodes are your basic "[blank] of the week" format; Agents Lattimer and Bering go out to investigate a strange occurence, an object is involved, Artie helps out from the Warehouse, there's usually some kind of subplot involving Artie and/or the Warehouse, problem solved in 40 minutes. Sprinkle in some arcing plots and some backstory, and viola: a series. Don't get me wrong, it's a good show, but it's not breaking any new ground. Still, there's a reason formulas have worked for so long, and W13 has enough charm to take it a few seasons. They also added hyper-cute Allison Scagliotti as young she-nerd Claudia, although her dialogue is a little too quirky...about .3 Junos.

So tonight's episode: Regrets. Sculder and Mully go to a prison to investigate a series of inmate suicides (Don't do it), while a tropical storm looms in the background. I'm sure that won't factor into the plot AT ALL, so I'll just ignore it.

Meanwhile, back at the Warehouse, Claudia is using Alessandro Volta's lab coat to magnetically climb up a metal support beam in order to change a 108 year old light bulb.

Aside: One of the charming things about this show are the bits of "secret tech" that the government has repurposed from well known scientist/inventors. For instance, they communicate with two-way video devices invented by Philo Farnsworth, and they pack a "taser gun" invented by Nicolas Tesla. It's like steampunk James Bond, and it adds a lot of atmosphere to the mythology of the show.

Tonight's episode isn't the best starting point for new watchers, but it does wrap up a lot of the backstory of the two Agents. Lattimer gets "vibes", kind of a low-grade premonition, and he had a vibe on the day that his dad died fighting a fire. Bering's partner died while on duty, and she blames herself. These regrets (TITLE!) from their past have cropped up several times in the last eight episodes, and they finally get some closure in this episode. The B story is more fun, with Claudia getting herself magnetically stuck to the support, and becoming more and more magnetic. Claudia and Artie have a well written relationship that works on a mentor/pupil level, and as scientific equals.

Episodes are available on, and it's definitely worth taking a look at. There are three more episodes remaining in this season, and I'm hoping it gets picked up for a second season.

Feedback goes in the comments section, Fall schedule should be ready in another day or two.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So this is my blog: Gleaming the Tube. I'll be using this mainly to talk about my first love, mas...television. Sorry, force of habit.

My goal is to do reviews of various shows during this upcoming Fall television season, as well talk about older shows, various opinion pieces about the current (or past [or future]) state of television. Even with as much TV as I've watched in my lifetime, there are several shows that I've completely missed, good ones too (Mad Men, The Wire, Dexter, The Big Bang Theory), and I'll be attempting to watch and review those in big chunks (preferably by season, but who knows what will happen).

I'll be revising my mission statement in the days to come (since there's a little breathing room before the Fall season kicks into gear), but first I'd like to share a little bit of background about myself.

My name is Jason, I'm 32, and I'm a senior at the University of North Texas (Go Fightin' Whatever Our Mascot Is!). I'm majoring in Radio/Televsion/Film (RTVF, for short), and I'd like to write for television when I graduate, although I haven't ruled out radio as a field either.

I was an intern for Sportsradio 1310: The Ticket for almost two years, where I gained an incredibly minimal amount of fame as the "Stinky Intern", and a fair amount of infamy for my interview of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. It was my first (and to date, my last) interview, and it was a huge trainwreck. I have it on MP3, and best believe I'll be posting a link to that here soon enough. Mmmm...awkwardness.

My next post should go over my particular likes and dislikes, have a partial list of what shows I hope to cover this season, and maybe include my famous meatloaf recipe. Mmmm...loaf...

Until next time...