Saturday, December 15, 2007


As 2007 winds down, I've been looking back at what happened in Toobworld over the past year in preparation for the annual announcement of the Toobit Awards. And there was one moment that could be considered ground-breaking: on August 17th, American daytime TV (i.e., soap operas) had its first kiss between two male characters on 'As The World Turns'.

The first gay kiss happened back in 2003 on 'All My Children', between Bianca and Lena. But this was between two guys and that's still considered more controversial. The participants were Luke Snyder, who came out last year in Oakdale, and Noah Mayer, who recently arrived in town.

I didn't get a chance to see the episode (although I saw the kiss today on YouTube), but learned of it through the blog of the Hartford Courant's TV columnist, Roger Catlin. (You'll find a link to "Roger Catlin, TV Eye" at left.) His report included info from GLAAD about how rare the sight of two men kissing is in the TV Universe:

1994 - 'Melrose Place' could have been the ground-breaker, but the scene was edited out of its episode.
2000 - 'Dawson's Creek' and 'Will & Grace' both had episodes which featured two men kissing each other on camera.

I suppose it was always implied that so much more happened between men in these shows as well as in many others - I remember an episode of 'The Rockford Files' ("Requiem For A Funny Box") in which Jason Evers played a mobster who came out to his Dad. But don't expect to see anything more than a lip-lock for some time - unless it's in a premium cable offering like 'Queer As Folk', 'Six Feet Under', etc.

I think GLAAD was only compiling data from American TV shows; I think male characters have been snogging - and shagging - each other on TV in Great Britain for quite awhile. A "kid's show", 'Doctor Who', had the Doctor getting kissed by Captain Jack Harkness back in 2005 with implications that Jack would be amenable to so much more. (In this new incarnation of the series, I don't find much about it that really is a "kid's show"; in fact, it's better than most of the crap that's touted as adult sci-fi being presented here in the U.S.!)

And of course, Jack has moved on to 'Torchwood' where he's getting action now from his co-worker Ianto (and had a brief fling with another Captain Jack Harkness back in the 1940s).

There's also a Catalan language soap opera produced and set in Barcelona, 'El Cor de la Ciutat' ('The Heart Of The City'?), which was heavily influenced by 'EastEnders'. In that daytime show, two teens named Enric and Max have explored their attraction to each other over the last season, which means that in the world-view of TV, it predates that of Noah and Luke. (When Enric finally confessed that all he thinks about is Max, he said that he couldn't even watch TV. So I KNOW that boy had it bad!)

This being Toobworld, of course, I can't just leave it be with this 'ATWT' scene as just being a pioneer in same-sex relations on American daytime TV. There's more to it than that within the "reality" of the TV Universe.

The facts are these:

Luke Snyder is currently being portrayed by Van Hansis, but two other actors have played the role in the past: Jake Weary and Christopher Tavani.
It could be - as with many TV characters who live in the soap opera towns - that Luke might have been replaced by quantum leapers from the future. These un-named characters have taken turns to come back to study Life in this era as an already existing participant rather than remaining as outside observers.

If I'm following the dates of involvement properly, Tavani was the first actor to play Luke. Therefore, in the quantum leaper scenario, he would be considered the true Luke Snyder. (If I'm wrong, I hope an 'ATWT' fan out there will correct me.) Jake Weary would be the first leaper to replace Tavani and now Hansis could be playing some future visitor inhabiting Luke's aura.

So it could be that the true Luke Snyder isn't gay, but instead the quantum leaper currently impersonating him is. And by making it look as though Luke came out, this researcher is studying the effects of that revelation on those surrounding him in Oakdale.

I realize that this might look as though I've set back the advancement made for the presence of gays in mainstream TV, but I also have to deal with the quirks of Toobworld, such as re-casting. Personally, I still see it as ground-breaking and way overdue.

There is another aspect that could have come into play which would combine the leaper theory with another soap opera tradition, and still make Luke's same-sex kiss with Noah be the real thing - SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome).

Christopher Tavani was the first actor to play Luke, and he just turned 14 this year. In 2005, the age of the character was amped up on the show, so Tavani was replaced by Jake Weary. That way, Luke could become involved with the more adult storylines in Oakdale. His new age is one of many soap opera examples of SORAS.

The reason why - within the "reality" of Toobworld - a character might be afflicted with SORAS can vary. With the Newman children in Genoa City, Wisconsin, (as seen on 'The Young & The Restless'), it's my contention that it was due to their being shipped off to boarding school in Switzerland. Although it wasn't addressed within the series, Nick and Victoria must have been subjected to bizarre experimentation at that school, which caused them to become adults before they returned to Genoa City. (I like to think it was probably an old Nazi scientist still tinkering away after making an appearance on some show like 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' or 'The Avengers'.)

In Luke Snyder's case, he was sent into the future to be replaced by the leaper played by Jake Weary. Unfortunately the time-shifting must have been askew, because even though he was only gone from this time period for less than a year, the true Luke spent more than three years in the future. And now he's back, about 18 years old, and played by Van Hansis. (Toobworld gives a pass when it comes to recasting for aging.)

So that would splain the recastaways and keep the integrity of the same-sex kiss between Luke and Noah intact.

You can visit "Noah and Luke" to see clips from their relationship.....

Toby OB

And for more information about SORAS, check out this Wikipedia article.

(It also has some very snarky and funny info on de-SORASing with regards to Susan Lucci's character of Erica Kane on 'All My Children'!)


"Who cares about the true meaning of Christmas?
It's about getting stuff and eating too much!
It's about getting drunk and hugging your cousin until your Mom says:

'Frank! Enough!'"
'30 Rock'

Friday, December 14, 2007



Since the AMPTP broke off "talks" last Friday, the writers' union keeps on picketing, despite bad weather, despite the hard-line tactics by the networks and studios, but still with the resolve to win their fight.

Here's the letter sent out by Michael Winship after last Friday's break-off:

Dear Fellow Members of the Writers Guild of America, East:

They lie.

And then they lie again.

And then they lie some more.

Because the AMPTP wants to create confusion, doubt, fear and dissension. They want to divide and conquer, to undercut our proven solidarity. They are spending a fortune -- money that better could be used to help cover the comparatively small amount we're asking for -- on newspapers ads, political spin doctors and crisis management consultants specializing in union busting.

The bottom line: Don't believe a word the AMPTP has to say.

If I hadn't seen and heard it with my own eyes, I might not have believed the extraordinary depths of their dissembling. Last week in Los Angeles, I sat in the caucus room as we waited for the studios and networks to come to the table and negotiate. And waited. And waited.

We were told that we would be receiving the second half of their so-called "New Economic Partnership," a proposal the first half of which seemed more Orwellian in its title than truly new or a generous partnership. Instead, we acted first, presenting in good faith a reasonable counterproposal to the first half of their "NEP," which had offered a puny amount of money -- $253 max -- for video streaming of television product.

Our counterproposal put forward a plan whereby for the first year, three percent of the applicable minimum would be paid, per quarter, for every 100,000 hits on the Internet. So if you wrote a one-hour episodic drama, you'd get $632.34 for the first 100,000 hits, then an additional $632.64 for the next 100,000 and the next 100,000 and so on -- quarterly, for the first year. After that, it would revert to 2.5% of distributor's gross. (There's further information on this and many other aspects of the negotiations on our website,

There was no immediate response. Instead, the AMPTP asked that we break off into smaller groups to discuss not only our proposals for the Internet and new media but all aspects of our contract demands.

We saw this as progress -- it wasn't negotiating as such but it did lead to the first frank and substantive talks with the AMPTP on new media and a range of our other issues, from original content for the Internet to enforcement and jurisdiction in reality, animation and basic cable. (By the way, it is apparently on the basis of that brief discussion of jurisdiction that the AMPTP has fueled ludicrous rumors and fabricated the fairy tale that negotiations broke down because of animation and reality -- another one of their gross distortions. DON'T you believe it.)

On Thursday, we waited all day for new proposals they said were forthcoming any minute. Didn't happen. (This led to another lie from the AMPTP. They said, accusingly, "When they are at the negotiating site, WGA organizers typically spend as much time speaking among themselves as they do at the negotiating table." Yes -- but only because we were waiting for the truant AMPTP to show up around the bargaining table at all!)

On Friday, members of the negotiating committee waited all day AGAIN, until the end of the day and week, 6 pm, when the AMPTP finally made a presentation. As our negotiating committee chairman John Bowman wrote you, "The AMPTP came back to us with a proposal that included a total rejection of our proposal on Internet streaming of December 3rd. They are holding to their offer of a $250 fixed residual for unlimited one year streaming after a six-week window of free use. They still insist on the DVD rate for Internet downloads. They refuse to cover original material made for new media.

"This offer was accompanied by an ultimatum: the AMPTP demands we give up several of our proposals, including Fair Market Value (our protection against vertical integration and self-dealing), animation, reality, and, most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor's gross as a basis for residuals. This would require us to concede most of our Internet proposal as a precondition for continued bargaining. The AMPTP insists we let them do to the Internet what they did to home video."

At this point, the talks broke down and it became crystal clear that this had been the AMPTP's intention all along -- a press release went out from them so headspinningly fast that it clearly had been prepared long in advance.

They refuse to negotiate until we accept their ultimatum. We refuse to bow to such supercilious, bullheaded intransigence, designed solely to destroy us. Yet we remain reasonable women and men willing to talk, bargain and negotiate anytime, anywhere.

At the same time, we must keep confronting their shortsighted obstinacy by continuing to bring our cause to the streets with our signs and our shouts, taking our story to the public, which maintains its staunch support of our cause. They recognize that, as SEIU President Andy Stern told Friday's Los Angeles Times, "This really is the first significant 21st century strike. It's raising the issues, as work changes, about how prosperity is going to be shared."

Seventy years ago, back in the fledgling days of the Writers Guild, its president, Dudley Nichols -- who wrote such classic movies as "The Informer," "Stagecoach" and "Bringing Up Baby" -- was asked why we were unionizing. He replied, "Because writers happen to be people who think."

We are smarter, more committed and more united. That is our strength. That is our power. That is why we will win.

Onward, in solidarity,
Michael Winship
Writers Guild of America, East


"There's no end to the decorations you can make with a little imagination.
And whoopee! You'll have that tree trimmed in no time!"
Phineas J. Whoopee
'Tennesee Tuxedo'

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Along with the new KITT, the cast of the latest incarnation of 'Knight Rider' was unveiled the other day:

Pictured: Deanna Russo (playing Mike Tracer's long lost love & daughter of KITT's creator), Justin Bruening (playing Mike Tracer, Michael Knight's son), Bruce Davison (playing KITT's creator) and Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Sydney's Poitier's daughter in real life).

For 'Knight Rider' fans and Toobworld purists (which has to be an oxymoron), seeing Bruce Davison listed as KITT's creator must be galling. But as it turns out, Davison is playing Charles Graiman, who invented the latest version of KITT. That keeps the legacy of Wilton Knight and the memory of Richard Basehart intact.

Will Arnett will be the new voice of KITT in this new vehicle. I can hear his voice from 'Arrested Development' and I wonder if he'll tweak it or use his regular speaking voice.

I'm not too keen on the idea of his casting. Not that I wanted William Daniels to come back, but I could buy into his voice as having been artificially created. We'll have to see how Arnett does as a disembodied voice.

Toby OB


In looking for an appropriate picture to run with the story about Charmin's commercial tribute to "Mr. Whipple", I found a YouTube clip of the news story about Dick Wilson's passing from ABC's "World News Now", which featured an interview with him back in 1983. That tribute also featured a Charmin blipvert clip which teamed Mr. Whipple with another icon, Robbie The Robot (a future TV Crossover Hall of Famer).

The appearance of Robbie in the ad bolsters my contention that George Whipple was related to the Whipple family who ran a factory in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'. In "The Brain Center At Whipple's", a Robbie the Robot clone was able to run the entire company without any assistance from humans.

It could be that George Whipple was able to secure the services of that robot, or a similar one from its original manufacturer, to handle squeeze control at his supermarket, thanks to his family connections.

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble as Mushrat would say.

Toby OB


Proctor & Gamble is running a commercial tribute to the late Dick Wilson, who served as the company's spokesman, Mr. George Whipple, in their Charmin bathroom tissue ads. His most famous line, said in every blipvert, was "Please don't squeeze the Charmin."

The ad will run through at least this week and it contains clips from several of his appearances in the commercials, which numbered about 500 in all.

A spokesman for the company said, "Dick Wilson meant a lot to the Charmin brand. He's a big part of the reason Charmin is the country's best-selling bathroom tissue. So it was always in our minds that we'd do this tribute."

The picture at the top of this post is of three frames from the commercial tribute, as is the picture of Mr. Whipple.....
Toby OB


"Dear Santa,

I'd like to be taller, but if not, please reconsider my application for elf."

- Arnold Horschack
'Welcome Back, Kotter'


I'm reprinting this in its entirety from the United Hollywood blog:

Statement from Chief Negotiator David Young and the WGA Negotiating Committee.

We have attempted to negotiate with the AMPTP companies since July. First they ignored our opening proposals. Then they told us we had to choose between their two horrible proposals. Then we removed DVDs from the table. Their response was to walk out of negotiations and tell the press that we were the ones who walked. Last week they presented us with another set of ultimatums. They didn’t even wait for a reply but broke off negotiations and walked out again.

There is a strategy at work here.

In any negotiation there are bottom line goals and “fringe” goals. The AMPTP wants to make the WGA reduce our demands to the bottom line so we’ll negotiate down from an acceptable deal to a bad deal. If we do this, as we did with DVDs, you can be sure they would not hand us the deal we want. They would simply try to further wear us down.

If the AMPTP was serious they would make us a good offer on the “real” issues and the strike would end pretty damn fast. There’d be no choice. But that’s not what they want. They are still trying to create division within our ranks so they can force us to take a cheap deal.

We know this. We expect it. It’s business.

Our only weapons against these tactics are to increase our pressure on the companies and remain united and resolved. The negotiating committee is not crazy. The guild is not scared or divided over the principles of this strike. We are simply insisting that the AMPTP start real negotiations. Until then we must stand together. The stronger we are, the faster this will end. It’s that simple and it’s that hard.

Don’t be confused by the rhetoric. We all know what this negotiation is about. It’s about new media and our future. We have issues on the table that are negotiable, just like the AMPTP does. The difference is that we don’t issue ultimatums.

These are difficult times but we know that our membership has the resolve to see this through.

In the meantime, we are making sure that the advertisers, the investors, the fans, FCC regulators, political leaders and the Hollywood community understand that the other side walked out and we remain willing to negotiate. We are confident that there are individual companies willing to make a fair deal with us. The WGA West Board and Negotiating Committee members will be on all the picket lines tomorrow [Thursday] to answer your questions and hear directly from you.


It's not even 2008 yet, but we may already have a Toobits award winner for Best Character Return for next December!

It's been announced by the BBC that Todd Carty will be returning to the role that first made him famous back when he was fourteen years old in 1978 - that of Tucker Jenkins in 'Grange Hill'.

There's going to be a one-time special episode of the show probably airing in February when the 30th anniversary of the show is celebrated.

Now 44 years old, Todd Carty told the "Mirror": "It's been hugely nostalgic and quite emotional. I was sitting having lunch in the canteen with all the kids and getting a little misty-eyed.

"I was one of them 30 years ago. I'd wake up every morning excited about going to the studio. That was the best time of my life. Kids could really identify with 'Grange Hill' and each generation since has grown up with the characters from their era - Tucker or Zammo or Gonch or Robbie."

'Grange Hill' has provided the backdrop for storylines including rape and heroin addiction, making it sound to this outsider from the US as though it was the forerunner for 'DeGrassi High'.

Toby OB

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The second season of 'Life On Mars' finally showed up on BBC-America last night, minus about fifteen minutes of material from each of the first two episodes aired. Because a major character in the second hour was excised from the first hour, it was easy enough to figure out where that story was heading. Had we seen this person in the season premiere as we were meant to, it may have led to second thoughts and doubts about what might happen.

At any rate, between the two episodes there were enough Zonks to go around, but I don't plan on dreaming up any splainins for them just yet. That's because we (at least those of us who've never seen these episodes before either in the UK or in bit torrents) don't know how this story will wind up.

Is Sam Tyler, a Manchester cop from 2006, actually trapped back in 1973 due to a car accident? Or is he lying in a coma in hospital - screw it with going with atmosphere! - Or is he lying in a coma in THE hospital? Or is he mad?

Until we know the answers to that, there's no reason to work up a sweat over why the following TV shows were mentioned within 'Life On Mars' when they should all be sharing the same TV Universe:

1] Annie Cartwright employed a technique to handle evidence which she learned from watching Richard Bradford in an episode of 'Man In A Suitcase'.

2] Gene Hunt called two guys (who looked quite similar to each other) "Bill and Ben". More than likely this was an allusion to 'The Flowerpot Men', puppets who were also identical to each other.

3] When Chris Skelton mentioned David Janssen as 'The Fugitive', Sam Tyler countered with Harrison Ford who appeared in the movie "The Fugitive".

Those are going to be toughies, so I have no problem with the idea of holding off for awhile before I have to go and splain them away!

Toby OB

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


A couple more deliveries today for Toobworld Central. I'd say it's really stoking the Christmas Spirit around here, but I'd be lying. All of these items belong to ME!

The newest addition to the 31st Century Tooniverse which may lead to the return of 'Futurama' to Television. I'll be watching this tomorrow, perhaps in synch with my little buddy Sean and his kids so that we can discuss it afterwards.

'LOST' - Season 3 boxed set
I think once the strike is fully being felt on TV itself I'll start with Season 1 and go through the whole series again. Maybe I'll start even earlier in hopes of getting through it all before the return of the show in February.

Technically, this isn't Toobworld, although many of these characters have appeared in the TV Universe. This is the latest addition to the world of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen created by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. It looks like the series picks up now in the 1950s.....

Toby OB

Monday, December 10, 2007


It's been reported in the mainstream press that Harold Perrineau was returning to 'Lost' this coming season as Michael Dawson. He was last seen boating away from the island with his son Walt, after killing Ana Lucia and Libby during his release of Ben.

Well, we don't have to wait until February to see Michael, as he's already appearing in one of those two-minute webisodes that are unspooling at ABC's site, one per week.

In 'The Deal', Juliet visits Michael while he's still being held prisoner by "The Others". So it takes place before his return to the camp as the island's version of "The Manchurian Candidate". And it also adds another layer to Juliet's presence in the show's mythology so that she's not just seen as a Juliet-Come-Lately.

These "Missing Pieces" are fronted by commercial advertising. This is something to remember when the AMPTP claims that there's no financial future in the Internet. I'm not advocating that you should boycott seeing these webisodes - they were produced before the strike was called and I know how hard it is to kick the 'Lost' jones once it's in your blood.

But I just want to make sure everybody knows that Nick Counter and the AMPTP are a pack of lying weasels. And these webisodes prove it!

Toby OB


Another package just showed up at the door of Toobworld Central!

"Bite Me!" (The Unofficial Guide To 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer')
This is being touted as "The Chosen Edition" for covering seven seasons in one book.

And via Netflix, I'm now into the second disk of 'Odyssey 5' and enjoying it immensely. I'm thinking at the very least I have a Theory of Relateeveety which I can make between this show and 'The 4400'......

The Senator sure did get around, I reckon!

Toby OB


"The crisis is over. After all the deaths, including members of my own family, we as a movement find ourselves on new and uncharted land. We promised the world salvation. What we have is a revision of the world that once was. Seattle was consumed in a terrible catastrophe, and for those lost, I remain in mourning. But that nightmare has ended, and we find ourselves awakened to a new dawn. Promise City."
- from Kyle Baldwin's journal

It took a few months, but I've finally worked my way through the backlog of this season's episodes of 'The 4400'. And I found out that because of the Promycin shot taken by Danny Farrell, a Promycin epidemic spread through Seattle. 9000 people died, another 9000 developed "4400"-like abilities.

'The 4400' has always been a tricky show to handle when it comes to the greater "good" of Toobworld. So much has happened during the course of the show on a nearly seismic level that it probably should be tossed off into some alternate dimension where it can't Zonk the rest of Earth Prime-Time.

For instance, with all of these people developing abilities in Seattle, and with the return of the 4400 in the first place, how come nobody seems to mention it in other shows?

Well, here's a variation on that question - with the war in Iraq a part of Toobworld now, thanks to shows like 'Boston Legal', 'Brothers & Sisters', even 'Las Vegas' and especially 'Over There', why doesn't it get mentioned at all in other shows like many of the sitcoms? No matter if it's Toobworld or the real world, people have other concerns in Life which keeps them constantly focusing on even something as major as the Iraq crisis.

And the same would hold true with the Seattle quarantine. It's big news to be sure, and characters in other shows probably have seen it on the news and discussed it in details with their friends and family - just not while we're watching them on the air.

So even still I'm willing to keep 'The 4400' in the main TV Universe, but the consequences of this season finale must be addressed. If 9,000 citizens of Seattle have died, have we lost any TV characters of note?

Right off the bat, we have to assume the main characters in the following shows survived:

'Kyle XY'
'Grey's Anatomy'

The events of the Promycin plague began September 16th of this year (officially ending eight days later), which doesn't overlap with any of those Seattle shows that are still on the air. 'Grey's Anatomy' came back on September 27th; 'Kyle XY' had finished the first part of its second season on September 3rd; and 'Reaper' premiered on September 25th.

I included 'Frasier' in there because even though the show is off the air, there's always the possibility that it may return for a reunion special years down the line. And unless the actors involved have passed away, the Crane family and their friends will probably turn up alive. (But it's doubtful that we will ever see the survivors display their 4400 powers.)

With 'Grey's Anatomy', it's likely that the crisis affected Seattle Grace Hospital in that they all had to work through the crisis, tending to the fallen. But by the time the show came back from its summer hiatus, the threat had been neutralized. (Whether any of the doctors on the series - as well as in any of the Seattle-based shows - have since developed abilities, we'll never know. Just because we don't see them using them, that doesn't mean they don't have them.)

But there are plenty of shows situated in Seattle that are no longer on the air and we can pretty much count on them never coming back:

'Almost Home'
'Ball Four'
'The Boys'
'Domestic Life'
'Glory Days' [Glory Lake near Seattle]
'Good And Evil'
'Harry & the Hendersons'
'Hope Island' [Hope Island (pop. 1,997) just outside Seattle]
'John Doe'
'Medicine Ball'
'One Big Family'
'Under One Roof'
'University Hospital'
'Wolf Lake' [Wolf Lake near Seattle]
'A Year in a Life'

I don't see any way these shows will ever be coming back, no matter how strong their fan base can be. So in effect we could consider all of the characters from these shows, plus all of the characters they encountered in each episode, to have died in the plague and still not make much of a dent in the total of 9,000. (All but one character, that is - I don't think Harry the Sasquatch would have been affected by the viral Promycin as he is of a different species.)

Until we reach the years circa 2020 AD and learn otherwise, the futures depicted in 'Dark Angel' and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' (with its Sanctuary Sections) are the way to go for Toobworld. And that world of Seattle as seen in 'Dark Angel' may have grown out of the results of this plague. (Once we reach that point in time - well, hopefully "we" - a splainin may have to be made as to why the real world and the world seen in current shows do not reflect that of 'Dark Angel'.)

Only one thing is certain in the long run: the characters we knew from 'Here Come the Brides' are definitely dead by now!
Toby OB

[Thanks to TV Acres for the info about Seattle shows.]


Coming to ION (formerly the PAX network) on December 16th, "Flood" is a disaster mini-series from the UK. It's about the consequences suffered by London when it's flooded by a rogue hurricane.

And by disaster I only mean that it follows in the grand tradition of epic movies like 'Earthquake', "Deep Impact", and 'The Day After Tomorrow" - the personal lives of several characters (many of them inter-connected) are played out against the backdrop of a natural disaster... in this case, a massive flood that might dwarf the after-effects of Katrina for devastation.

As it was made originally for a British audience, O'Bviously London was chosen as the focal point - and for this American viewer, it served as a welcome relief from the usual locations like New York City. All but one of the main characters is British; and while there are many famous names among the cast (and several excellent actors of note), they soon become one with their roles and make us care about their fates.

The locations may have been novel, but American tradition holds true with the lives of these people. They're a bit cliche - the estranged father and son, the former couple brought back together because of the disaster, one who makes the noble sacrifice and another who falls on his sword, a couple of workmen just this side of R2D2 and 3PO, the government funtionary not used to the limelight but who rises to the challenge of command and the police emergencies strategist who has to make decisions that could cost lives - all the while as her own children are caught in the maelstrom. You've probably seen their stories plenty of times before, but these are actors who make it work: David Suchet, Robert Carlysle, Tom Courtenay, Joanne Whalley, Tom Hardy, and Jessalyn Gilsig.

This mini-series also marks the last screen performance of Moira Lister, of whom I only learned two weeks ago with news of her passing. From what I read, she was well-liked in her TV roles, so I can see why she was cast - for the impact of her role at the beginning of the film.

(Back in the eighties, I was a big fan of 'The Young Ones' so when I saw that Nigel Planer was in the cast, I was excited for the chance to see how Neil had fared over these years. Had to remind myself that while Time was frozen in the show, it marched on for the rest of us - it had to be over half an hour of watching him before I realized which one was Planer!)

And the special effects are pretty good, all thanks to the computer, I'm thinking. All they needed to show the after-effects of the flooding were overhead shots of recognizable districts in London and then the computer was able to fill in the flooding.

So I enjoyed it. My plan was to watch the screener over two nights at work during the long slow hours in the middle of the night. (Might as well get paid to watch it as well as get the screener!) So I watched the first disc on a Friday night and left the set there at work to watch Part Two the next night. And all day long Saturday I wished I had it so that I could watch it at home. So yeah, I guess that means I did like it.

"Flood" has already aired in the UK back in August, so it's already a part of Toobworld, but where exactly? It's definitely not the main Toobworld, as we saw the Prime Minister as an elderly man - so it's neither Blair or Gordon Brown. Yet the events take place two years after Katrina struck. Therefore, an alternate TV dimension.

I'd say that it should share the same Toobworld in which we'd find the TV movies "Category 6: Eve Of Destruction" and "Category 7: The End Of The World". Combined, the "trilogy" makes a more convincing lead-up for Doomsday than was presented in the limited time-frame of "The Day After Tomorrow".

So "Flood" didn't happen on Earth Prime-Time, but it lays out a very convincing argument that it could happen. And that was the most gripping aspect of the production.

Check it out for yourself when "Flood" airs December 16th on ION starting at 7 pm EST (6 pm Central). Best part of all for you - this is a mini-series that runs straight through the evening, heightening the urgency of their '24'ish timeline.

Toby OB

Sunday, December 9, 2007


This is turning out to be a very fruitful year for Christmas commercial additions to Toobworld!

AT&T may not have realized it, but they provided a crossover with a holiday special, which crossed over itself from a different medium.

In their new blipvert for the "Go Phone", a gingerbread man and his son (voiced by Steve Buscemi and Norm MacDonald) bond over the new device. Meanwhile a human rips the roof off the house to expose Mrs. Gingerbread Man who's in the bath.

She's probably not long for this world.......

Of course, this follows along the same lines as "Shrek The Halls", in which one of the main characters is Gingy, the Gingerbread Man. (And Gingy has the best subplot flashback in the whole special!)

One sticking point - Shrek & Company exist in the Tooniverse. Although the Gingerbread people are animated in the AT&T ad, that human hand means that they are in Toobworld proper. However, we've seen Donkey and Shrek crossover, as have other Tooniversers in the past, into Blipverts.

And we can accept the wild notion of living Gingerbread people in Toobworld. It's been well-documented that food is alive in the TV Universe. Remember that sandwich in the refrigerator who urged its maker to opt for orange juice instead? Or how about the dancing and singing raisins in a bowl of Post Raisin Bran? Or the Big Fig Newton? The pickle who looked like Arte Johnson?

How these foods become alive, I have no idea. But having seen humanoid Whoppers, Pop Tarts, strawberries, scallions, as well as the above-mentioned raisins, pickle and Big Fig Newton, I have to wonder if some kind of genetic mix-n-match is going on in the labs......

As for the Gingerbread people, they're probably alive due to magic. After all, don't witches live in gingerbread houses.....?

If you haven't seen the AT&T blipvert yet, you can check it out at this
Steve Buscemi fan worship site.

Perhaps you think it strange that a grown man spends so much time analyzing a commercial about living gingerbread men. At least it keeps me off the streets, inconveniencing the passersby......

Toby OB


I think it's time to get on the phone again......

From the United Hollywood blog:

Has anyone noticed a pattern in the last couple weeks' worth of negotiations?Monday is energetic and everyone's buoyed by the residual anger from the way last week ended. Tuesday there's a sense that they're "really talking." But by Wednesday, there's a creeping sense that nothing good is actually happening.

And on Thursday, the companies do the AMPTP Mindf*ck™.

First, it was the New Economic Partnership. This week it's "we're going to take our marbles and go home. Which means you can't play because we own all the marbles."

The author of that piece wants to be known only as "Red Sox Fan". (Could his initials be SM?)

At Toobworld, it would be known as a "Mindbleep"....

By late Friday, the AMPTP packed it in and took off, claiming that the WGA was catering to special interests groups within the Guild. But as noted here earlier, the signs were there that they were going to bolt the talks, after they issued a list of impossible demands on the union.

So it's all broken down now and who knows when they may start up again. The AMPTP is probably hoping the bad weather in NYC will break the spirit of the WGAE and spur them to force the rest of the union to accept the AMPTP's terms.

Heartless bastids at the AMPTP! Give 'em a call at those numbers listed here, and let them know you support the WGA and that the AMPTP should take back their unreasonable demands!

Toby OB