Archive for February, 2011
Monday, February 28th, 2011
Okay, so I’ve been lazy (and reading the Wheel of Time) over the past few weeks and I haven’t posted my standard Chuck “top moments,” but tonight I’m back on track. Tonight’s episode was pretty good, but it wasn’t exceptional.
Unfortunately, I feel like the episodes have been a bit lacking since Volkov was captured, Ellie had a bady, Chuck proposed to Sarah, and Jeffster performed all in one wicked episode. Understandably, that’s a bit much to top, but the episodes have been just a little on the bland side since then.
Nonetheless, I like the direction that the story is heading and I think we’re in store for some more good episodes before the season is out. If nothing else, Chuck consistently delivers with its finales so I’m sure we’ll get at least one truly awesome episode.
Well, with no further ado, here are my favorite moments from tonight’s episode:
4 – Star Wars pillowcases. I know that we’ve seen them before, but I love Morgan’s pillowcases. I wish I had a set for myself!
3 – Renaissance fair at the Buy More. Not as hilarious as some of Jeff and Lester’s previous hijinks, but still amusing.
2 – The bank heist. Even if it was just for distraction, it was pretty sweet. Chuck and Sarah had some amusing banter and I definitely enjoyed the Sarah’s Matrix moment.
1 – Vivian goes darkside. This was a little predictable, but we have been in need of a decent villain since Volkov was taken down. Lauren Cohan (Vivian Volkov) played a wily thief (I guess you might say) in season three of Supernatural so I’ve seen her is a somewhat villainous role before and I thought she did quite well. I really liked her character in that show and I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she is pretty darn sexy.
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
After discovering Buffy the Vampire Slayer and devouring all seven seasons on Netflix, I set my sights on the spinoff starring David Boreanz, Angel. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Angel wasn’t exactly my favorite character in the Buffyverse, but I had faith that Joss would deliver something good nonetheless.
I was right. Angel was a good show. After watching all five seasons, I think I have decided that I liked Buffy slightly better, but it’s really a pretty tough call. Buffy probably had better characters and better humor, but Angel was no slouch either.
As is typical with Whedon’s shows, the episodes tended to vary wildly–sometimes they were funny, sometimes thought-provoking, and sometimes depressing. Not all of the episodes were amazing, but most were good or better.
Favorite Season: Season 4
This is an insanely difficult choice for me. I like season 4 for a lot of reasons, but it wasn’t perfect. I really liked the story, because it had great villains and a lot of plot elements were tied together nicely. It also had a great cast of characters. The cast was really sparse early in the show, but it eventually expanded and each new character gave the show more depth and variety.
But there were some things I didn’t like, namely Conner. He was just such a terribly written character. Whenever the writers needed a scapegoat, it was Conner. And he was so damn annoying; the teenage angst was more than I could bear.
Least Favorite Season: Season 5
Let’s face it, season 5 came on the heals of one epic season that just could not be topped. Season 5 floundered with filler episodes and, in the end, didn’t get around to addressing the bigger picture until the last minute. The concept didn’t work from the start and the episodes just weren’t the same quality I had come to expect.
Perhaps the thing that annoyed me the most was that Fred was killed. It was a stupid stunt and it was petty. What made it worse was that we were reminded every following episode with the presence of Illyria. It didn’t improve the show at all, in fact I think it was only worse after that point.
Favorite Episode: Smile Time
Yes, there were great episodes in each season no doubt, but there were none so amazingly hilarious as “Smile Time.” The one bright spot in season 5 was the ridiculous episode where Angel is turned into a puppet.
Least Favorite Episode: Lullaby
This is the episode where Conner was born. By this time, I couldn’t have been more sick of Darla. She was way overused and I grew very tired of her character. I never cared for the concept of her being pregnant and watching an entire episode of her whining and moaning through labor didn’t win her any points in my book.
Runner up: “The Girl in Question.”
There were three episodes left in the entire series and the writers had the audacity to show a filler episode where Angel and Spike travel to Rome and bicker over Buffy. They didn’t even cast Sarah Michelle Gellar in the episode. It was just dumb.
Favorite Character: Fred
I think it was the smile that sold me. Fred was exactly what the show needed after a couple of pretty bleak early seasons. I also really liked Wesley and Gunn. Their chemistry, especially in season 2, was a surprise and I thought it worked really well. Cordelia also ended up being a much better character than I ever would have guessed.
Least Favorite Character: Conner
Considering how much I have already ranted about him, I’ll move on.
Favorite Villain: Jasmine
Angel never really had the same caliber of villains that Buffy had, but Jasmine was pretty solid. If nothing else, I respect the casting choice.
Least Favorite Villain: Darla
She was only a semi, partial villain, but I simply grew tired of her.
I’m a little disappointed that this post seems to have turned out a bit on the negative side, but when you really love something, the parts that you don’t love can really stand out. I think that is what happened here.
If you didn’t see it previously, I also reflected on Buffy back in December. I think I’ll tackle Dollhouse next and save the best (Firefly) for last!
Monday, February 21st, 2011
So I haven’t posted in awhile and rather than make an excuse like being too busy or simply admit that I’ve been too lazy or perhaps even some combination of the two, I’ll take the high road and put the blame on another man’s shoulders, namely Robert Jordan.
If you have even dabbled in reading the fantasy genre, then you have heard of one of the great epic series, the Wheel of Time. The series was started back in 1990. At the time, I was 6 years old and my favorite pastime was watching G.I. Joe and Transformers cartoons. Today, the 13th volume of the series has been published with the 14th and final novel is on the horizon.
The series was originally conceived as a 12 novel series, but Jordan became ill and passed away while still working on the final novel. Apparently Jordan did not want to see the series left unfinished (and I’m betting the publishers didn’t either) and fantasy “newcomer” Brandon Sanderson was selected to pen the final novel from Jordan’s notes.
Brandon Sanderson is best known for his Mistborn trilogy, but also considers the Wheel of Time series as one of his major inspirations. I recently read the first installment and it really was very good. When he came to the table and began looking through Jordan’s note, he realized that there was no way he could cram all of the remaining story into one novel so he turned the final novel into a trilogy, resulting in a 14 novel series.
Well, a few years ago when I was gearing up for a long flight to Alaska, I picked up The Eye of the World for the trip. To Jordan’s credit, though there were some pretty obvious allusions to Tolkien’s work, it was pretty awesome.
Since then, I’ve been gradually making my way through the series. Around Christmas, I started up the fourth novel, The Shadow Rising. After several weeks of making little progress, I decided that in order to finish the 980 page paperback in any reasonable amount of time, that I would need to really devote myself to it. And that’s what I did. I read during lunch, I read at the gym, I read before bed. I neglected my computer and my oh-so-wonderful blog and now you see why I blame Robert Jordan.
Admittedly, it was pretty good, but it was also really long and somewhere around page 600, I was ready for something new. I struggled to stay interested at times, but I kept at it and I’m glad I did. Like I said, it was good, I just wish it was a couple hundred pages shorter.
Will I read volume 5? Hell yeah. Not only do I feel compelled to because I own it or because I have devoted so much time already, but I genuinely want to know what happens next. However, the wiki page for the series has some interesting statics for the series that might make me think again. Check this:
- Total pages: 11,308
- Total words: 4,062,312
- Audio playback: 17d 11h 30m
That means if I keep reading at my current pace, which is about one a year, I won’t finish until 2021. I’ll be 37. Wow.
Now given, these numbers aren’t exactly accurate because they had to estimate the length of the upcoming 14th novel, but holy crap…over 17 straight days to listen to the series. That’s insane and I’ve committed to reading the rest of the series. Well, I suppose it’s good to have perspective.