Category Archives: Television

Deadliest Catch Season Six

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore” – Vincent van Goqh.  

Words that are particularly true for the men of The Deadliest Catch as they head out to sea to capture their fair share of fame and fortune. 

Blair Bunting/Getty Images/Discovery Channe

Season 6 of The Deadliest Catch is now upon us. a new season that is rifled with excitement, drama, new rivalries, additional crewmembers, and a sudden departure of an old, dear friend. 

We start our voyage in the Bering Sea on small, rocky island oasis – Dutch Harbor.  It is King Crab Season and the rush to strike “red oil” is in the air as the crews rush to put the final touches on preparations as they head out to sea.  All our favorite characters are here – Sig, Andy, Phil, Jonathan, and Keith, plus a new captain – Wild Bill, a former captain who is returning from his second carrier as fishing guide in Baja Mexico. 

I am not sure that I would give up the warm, clear waters of Mexico for ice, cold, and long days of hauling pots.  Wild Bill’s reintroduction into fleet and “the grid” of crab fishing will be work in progress.

So what does the sixth season offer  that the last five didn’t?  Great question!!!  To spice things up, the Northwestern and the Cornelia Marie performed a crew swap.  Jake Harris is transferred to the Northwestern and Jake Anderson to the Cornelia Marie. 

The goal is to teach these two “hotshot, know-it-alls” a taste of humility.  In the “real world” of fishing this type of crew swap is unheard of, but what the hell for TV.  Seeing these two Jacks try to survive crab season on new boats while being tested with continual torment from crews will be like Survivor meets Fear Factor.  Hell on the seas!

Not enough drama, yet?  We now have conflagrant (I don’t know what this word means) rivalry between two of our captains – Jonathan and Keith –over what is called crew poaching.  Part of the unwritten rules of crab fishing is that you do not approach another captain’s crew member with an offer of job with increased earnings while they are still employed on another boat. 

If this was the 18th century, this offense would be settled with pistols or sword in a duel to the death.  In the 21st century, we are bit more civilized…instead the captains slung around lots of profanity, threats, and eventually pushing.  

As the curtain closed over the Captain’s Barrel, the dispute between Keith and Jonathan is far from over…What will be in store from these two fierce rivals?  I am not sure, but I am betting this conflict will make for good theater as the season progresses.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

An old friend of the fleet will leaving us during Season 6.  If you have not heard by now, Captain Phil Harris suffered a lethal stroke toward during filming on January 29th of this year while in port at St. Paul Island.  The cameras went along for his final voyage as Phil left the St. Paul Island bound to Anchorage via Med Flight. 

Even in the final hours and days, Phil still had a story to tell and insisted on keeping the cameras rolling no matter what.  In a note to Producer Beers Phil wrote about whether to cease the cameras – ‘No, we need a great finish to this story’.   Phil wouldn’t have it any other way…

Season Six is surely setting up to be one the more enjoyable seasons.  Ratings from last week’s first show was the highest ever for the series!  So, let’s get fishing! 

Deadliest Catch is on Discovery every Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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Top 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows – EVER!

In the recently Wizard Magazine, there is an interesting article about the 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Ever.  The list was quite interesting and extensive with the likes of X-Files, BSG, Doctor Who, Angle, Buffy, and believe it or not V.  Most of their selections were quite logical and agreeable except for one. key_art_firefly

As I mentioned, the writers included V in the 25.  For me it wasn’t’ that V was on the list, which is debatable since it was a mini sires that they were referencing,  but the writers placed it in their top 10.  Frak!!!  So, it got me thinking, what would be my top 5, 10, 15, or 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Ever.

You guess it, I have a list and not too similar to Wizard’s, however I think mine is bit more logical.  If I have say, the correct one…okay all kidding aside, here it is.  My list is only the top 20.

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Battlestar Galactica (Ronald Moore)
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  4. Twilight Zone
  5. X-Files
  6. Star Trek
  7. Torchwood
  8. Jekyll
  9. Firefly
  10. Angel
  11. Supernatural
  12. Quantum Leap
  13. Lost
  14. Fringe
  15. Star Trek the Next Generation
  16. Primeval
  17. Dollhouse
  18. Dark Angle
  19. Smaillville
  20. Eureka
  21. Friday the 13th: The Series
  22. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  23. Deep Space Nine
  24. Get Smart
  25. The Big Bang Theory

Is Reaper heading to an end?

One of the funnier and original concepts on TV today is the CW’s Reaper.  Reaper is the story about a slacker working at a home improvement warehouse (The Work Bench) whose parents sold his soul to the Devil who uses him as a bounty hunter who tracks down escaped souls from Hell – a reaper.  Reaper is a drama with a heave dose of comedy.reaper-tv-11

Unfortunately, Reaper could be heading to its own grave.  The show’s death is a combination of low ratings and the departure of creators/executive producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas who have just signed a two-year deal with 20th Century Fox TV according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Reaper is currently produced by ABC Studios which Fazekas and Butters were a part of.  With the departure of this dynamic duo, CW and ABC Studios will need to make a hard decision to keep production running under a new team or end the series.  If you look at the current “tea leaves” – the ratings, then one could easily speculate that Reaper will end after its current run.

However, there is a sliver of hope.  Smallville’s creates/executive producers – Al Gough and Miles Millar left the show after the 2008 season and the show was still picked up for two additional years.  Along with two -ear comment, the story has not missed a beat either.  

Let’s hope we don’t see a going out of business sign on the door of the Work Bench!

Is the voting on American Idol rigged????

An interesting piece of news caught my attention yesterday as I was trolling through TVGuide.comAmerican Idol Season 8’s final four has already been chosen.  Wow…as I watch Idol tonight I was reminded that we still have 11 contender in this year’s season.  So how do we know who the Top 4 will be? american-idol-top-24

Isn’t the voting still being solicited by Ryan each week?  I keep seeing numbers advertise each week at the end of the shows.  Maybe the producers have a time machine or TARDIS on loan from the Doctor Who and have accelerated into the future to get a low down on the Final Four?  Hmm that must be it.  The Producers have a time machine – that has to be the explanation.  Yeah, that is it!

The Producers wouldn’t rig the results…would they?   All the voting results after each show and especially the final four are certified by outside accounting firm like the Oscars and Grammy, right?  Oh yeah, they are not.  Hmm…now that makes me wonder; maybe the voting results are not as democratic and fair as the audience is led to believe.

So, I guess the talk by a female e Idol staffer who told the New York Daily News Gatecrasher column may have some legs to it.  In this column, the staffer stated that the final four has already been chosen – Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, and Adam Lamert – all of whom happen to also be current front runners this season.

The staffer alleged that not only have the four have been chosen as the final four, but that Rounds and Lambert have been ruled out as winner due to their similarity to past stars — Chris Daughtry and Fantasia.  Interesting.

If this is true, then the show that boasts itself as the path finder of new talent and a reality show is really just a fiction-based drama with pretty people with dynamic personalities who can sing — 21st Century version of Fame.  I wish the Producers and Fox were just honest with the audience about what American Idol truly is.

Battlestar Galactica – Ronald Moore spills secrets about the final season

Wow…It has taken me all weekend and most of the day to get my breath back after watching the BSG episode “Sometimes a Great Notion?”  I am not sure where to begin…

I guess I will have to say that if this opening scene is a glimpse of what is to come for the final act of this tragedy, then I am confident the audience will be treated to one grand piece of theater as we slowly climb to the climax at the end of these 10 episodes.battlestar_galactica_iso

Ronald Moore and company have once again in less than 60 minutes turned the BSG universe upside down.  This 180 began with the confirmation that the planet that was found at the end of Episode 12 is the prize they have been all searching for long and hard- Earth.  Now the fun begins with turning everything upside down once again.

Not only is this Earth, but this planet was destroyed more than 2000 years from their present time by a nuclear holocaust.  If that was not shocking enough…we learn that Earth was not only destroyed it is also…wait for it…wait for it – not only the home of the 13th Colony, but the 13th Colony is Cylon.  Yes, you read that correctly…Cylon.  These are not Cylons we have come accustom too aka Six and Sharon, but a new breed that all models are not identically the same and are even more “human” than previous thought.  Plus they had their own Centurions that look nothing like anything other model in the Cylon Empire. 

If that was not wasn’t enough; Tigh, Chief Tyrol, Tory, and Anders were on Earth when it was destroyed more 2000 years ago and have discovered memories of that tragic day when their civilization was wiped out in a single blow by a nuclear hammer.  Each of their memories are different, but are linked by not only this single event, but with each other.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Dualla “Dee,” who’s sea of hope and optimism represents all that is good about human race, committed suicide when it is reveled that the dream called Earth is nothing more than grey sky wasteland.  If Dee has lost hope, then you can image how the rest of the Fleet will react to the news about Earth.

Last but not least, Starbuck, on aquest to locate the Colonial beacon that lead this rag tag fleet to Earth, makes a startling discovery.  She finds the crashed Viper the included the pilot’s corpse.  Too my surprise and the rest of the viewers, the corpse is Starbuck!  Yes, Kara Thrace…I would say flesh and bones, but really more bones than anything else.  So, who is runnin,g looking, talking, and acting like Starbuck these past episodes?  Cylon copies, reincarnation of the original Starbuck or something supernatural…all good questions which I hope will be answered before the final episode airs.

So, a lot of questions have been raised since the discovery of Earth and even more after watching this episode.  Well, I could speculate like the rest of the BSG universe about answers to these questions or develop my own hypothesis, but I have chosen the easy way out. 

On Jan 17th Ronald Moore provide a pretty insightful interview with Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune.  In this interview, Moore discloses several answers to the burning questions that came out of “Sometimes a Great Notion.”

  • Ellen is indeed the fifth Cylon.  As the season progress the viewers will be shown who else knew this secret and there is a strong possibility that Ellen may return.
  • The Earth that is found is really Earth – the 13th Colony.
  • The Human Cylons we see in the flashback that Tyrol had on Earth incorporates more than 12 models we know of.
  • Starbuck’s existence is still in question…Moore is quite coy on providing an answer to this burning question.

That is it so far.  First episode is now in the books…nine more to go and with many more twists and turns before this series wraps up.

24 is Back…but still needs some work.

9_tv_show_24

After 15 long months, Jack is back!!!  24 is back from its sabbatical with a new day for Jack Bauer to save us from disaster.  This time the show has shifted from the often devastated Los Angles metro-plex (after six season of disaster, I am amazed anyone would still call it home) to our nation’s capital Washington D.C., which is quite a treat for me since it is in my own backyard.

This season starts off with a story ripped from today’s headlines – is extreme interrogation techniques ethical, legal, and necessary as a tool for intelligence gathering?  A hotly debatable subject that has been elevated to heights in the American conscience as political “change” has swept through our country on the eve of the inauguration of a new administration.    If you think that was the only morality question that 24 is raising, then you are wrong. 

The other question 24 is asking the audience – is it permissible to use military intervention into a sovereign country as diplomatic tool for humanitarian purposes without the backing of the world body or he United Nations?  Neither of these questions are easily answered by one word.  And both issues come with consequences that might not be felt by this country until years later. 

24 is one of the few shows on TV today willing to explore these types of moral arguments each season while providing riveting excitement, intrigue, and suspense.  Who would’ve known you could do so much in one day without a chance to eat, sleep, change your clothes, and even take the opportunity to use the bathroom while guiding the viewer through minefields of morality.

With all the plusses this show has going for it, it still has quite a few flaws that sometimes are just too obvious to ignore.  These flaws are mostly in the details of the story.  To my disappointment, this season (7) – in just the first two hours – made me question what the writers have been up to during these last 15 months.  Simply put the writing is sloppy.

One of the first mistakes I found was when the stewardess on the flight from

Washington, DC to JFK announced the flight would be departing from Reagan National in just a few minutes.  Afterwards the viewer is shifted to Air Traffic Control where they hear radio chatter stating the flight is ready to taxi for the departure from Dulles to JFK.  Note – Dulles and Reagan Nation are both located in Northern Virginia serving the Washington D.C. metro-plex; however, they are 29 miles apart from each other.

The second issue I found disappointing is when Special Agent Larry Moss (Jeffrey Nordling) informs Janis Gold (Janeane Garofalo) that three people had been shot dead at Gabriel Schecter’s flat.  The truth is that only two people had been shot dead at the flat by a sniper – Gabriel Schecter and his muscle in an earlier scene.

The last item occurred when the Northeast 3 Air Traffic Control was in communication with the FBI – Larry Moss was informing the Air Traffic Control about a possible hack by a home grown terrorist group into the FAA radar and communications.  Throughout these scenes, it was never mentioned who the actual terrorist is behind this attack.However, the audience had learned earlier that it was former CTU agent turned rouge — Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard).  As the excitement heightens when Tony impersonates a FAA controller to issue instructions to an unsuspecting flight, his radio transmission is captured by a FAA operator.  As the operator turns to his supervisor to inform him of his discovery of this false transmission from the terrorist, he exclaims that it is Almeida on the recording.  Up to this point, Tony’s identity has yet to be disclosed to either the FBI or the FAA.  How did this operator know who he was?  Hmmm…interesting.

These are just minor items that most of the public might not have picked up.  Having 15 months to tighten your script and the options to reshoot scenes, I would have expected these types of errors to be caught and corrected.  Isn’t that why proofreaders and editors are on staff?  Any way…

Even though I found these errors, they do not take away from another rousing season of the most adrenalin packed show on TV today.  I just hope these are the last of these types of errors for the course of “this” day in our nation’s capital.  Let’s hope Jack saves the day again…my money is on him.  He will come through no matter what!

24 airs each Monday night on Fox 9pm Eastern

Season 4 Battlestar Galactica promo – Finial Chapter

It is here!!!  The new promo for the last chapter is this harrowing journey from Caprica to Earth in Battlestar Galactica.  As the series wraps up the finial details to this tragic opera, the viewers are still seeking answers to a few cliffhanging questions – did they find the real Earth, who is the final 5 Cylon, and what happens next?

Hopefully these answers will all be solved as the season kicks off in January 2009!