Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
"Stuart: A Life Backwards"
AS PLAYED BY:
Alexander Masters is an author, screenwriter and worker with the homeless. He lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Masters was educated at Bedales School, and took a first in physics from King's College London. He then went St Edmund's College, Cambridge for a further degree in maths, and then the beginnings of a PhD in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. He was studying for an MSc degree in mathematics with the Open University, and working as an assistant at a hostel for the homeless in Cambridge.
He is the writer and illustrator of "Stuart: A Life Backwards", the biography of Stuart Shorter. It explores how a young boy, somewhat disabled from birth, became mentally unstable, criminal and violent, living homeless on the streets of Cambridge. As the title suggests, the book starts from Shorter's adult life, tracing it back in time through his troubled childhood, examining the effects his family, schooling and disability had on his eventual state.
Alexander Masters won an Arts Council Writers' Award for this, his first book, and went on to win the Guardian First Book Award and the Hawthornden Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Whitbread Book-of-the-Year Award in 2005 in the biography category, the Samuel Johnson Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States.
He also wrote a screenplay adaptation, filmed in 2006 for the BBC and HBO, and broadcast in September 2007. It won the Royal Television Society Award in the Single Drama category and the Reims International Television award for the Best TV Screenplay.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
AS PLAYED BY:
Very big thanks go out to Alan Sepinwall, TV critic and columnist for the Star-Ledger! (The link to his blog "What's Alan Watching?" is to the left.....) He did all the heavy lifting for today's entry in the "As Seen On TV" showcase.
Don Draper met Hilton at a Long Island country club in May or June of 1963, where both men escaped to the deserted bar in order to avoid their obligations at their respective functions. Both men introduced themselves as Don and Connie, but the hotel magnate was able to track Don down so that he could pick the ad man's brains about a proposed advertising campaign which Hilton had come up with himself.
Their second meeting took place July 3rd, 1963, and Conrad Hilton had the mock-up to the Time magazine cover that would be hitting the stands the following week. Thanks again to Alan for doing the leg-work in tracking down the actual cover for me: Even though Hilton never identified himself as anything more than "Connie" when he first met with Don, many of Alan Sepinwall's readers easily guessed who he was - especially after he mentioned his birthplace of San Antonio, New Mexico.....
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Meet Jonathan Ames: writer, romantic, unlicensed private detective. Moonlighting from his job as a novelist and writer for a New York magazine, Jonathan is looking to jettison some heavy emotional baggage (his girlfriend just dumped him, okay?) through an unusual second career of cracking cases of missing persons, espionage and infidelity in the Big Apple.
Here's the thing.....
'Bored To Death' has been created by the author of several books, one of which is a graphic novel called "The Alcoholic". And that author's name is Jonathan Ames as well.
So in the TV Universe, Jonathan Ames doesn't look like himself, and even though he's also a writer, he's also trying to solve crimes on the side.
It makes me think that somebody should help Kinky Friedman develop his mystery novels for television!'
Bored To Death' premiered Sunday night on HBO starring Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ames......
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Inner Toob is not going on hiatus. But as you'll see for the next few weeks, we'll only be publishing the daily "As Seen On TV" showcase. We've done this a few times in the past year, but that was because we went on vacation. This time, it's because we're once again going to wade into the manuscript morass known as the Toobworld novel.
The biggest problem with the story was that it was left open-ended, with the idea that maybe I'd write a follow-up. (Being about Toobworld, it would be either a sequel or a spin-off.) High-falutin' delusions had me thinking even in terms of a trilogy a la Tolkien.
But now I just want to complete the story of Thom and Toob Cooper in the TV Universe and be done with it. And that means I have to create a whole new ending and find a way to incorporate certain elements which I wanted to use later. (This includes the theme to a serial killer's work and a kitchen battle with animated objects.)
After that, I would focus more on a "factual" work about the way the TV Universe works, with "splainins" as to why certain things happened in the TV world and not in the real world.
I've wanted to do this for months, but I kept getting tangled up in the blog. I'd get online, look for news stories, pictures, videos, whatever I could use for posting; and the next thing I know, it's time to go back to bed before work! Add in all the TV shows I need to watch to keep up to date with Toobworld pozz'bilities - not to mention in order to keep my DVR queue back-up low! - and there's just not enough time in the world (no matter which dimension we're talking about!)
So have no fear that the output will be down to the bare minimum. Hey, with 4300 posts in five years, I think I've provided more output than a lot of blogs out there!
But I will still be keeping notes about the various TV shows that are premiering and returning this new season. And eventually those stories and flights of fancy will find their way into Inner Toob - no way that's ever going to head into the Big Hiatus. They may not be timely, but they'll still be prime-timely.
Oh! And I will be still doing the weekly inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame; can't let that slide!
I figured I should make this type of public announcement so that I'd have to commit myself. And yes, I know I should be committed.....
For "Two for Tuesday", we're giving Ludwig Von Beethoven the spotlight. And not just any tele-version of the composer, but as he was seen in Skitlandia, where one's physiognomy can change radically (due to many different actors playing the role over time).
This clip is an interview with Beethoven, courtesy of Danny Kaye's variety show back in the early 60's......
And of course, that made me think of this classic, hoppin', sketch from the original incarnation of 'Saturday Night Live':
What I say now!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Have you ever wondered where the Sterling Cooper offices were actually located, not just "Madison Avenue" but the actual address? Well, this screen grab of Roger in his office reveals that they were located just across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.
The only place this view is of the Cathedral and the GE Building (Rockafeller Center) is possible is on Madison Avenue's east side between 50th and 51st Streets. The problem is that the famous Villard Masion is located there and has been since 1882.
At only 6 stories tall it is impossible that this is where the Sterling Cooper offices were located (the building is supposed to have a 23rd floor as per dialogue).
So even if there is no real building where Sterling Cooper could have resided, it is kind of cool knowing that it was roughly 455 Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets.
As with all other mentions of fictional geography from Toobworld, we always have to remember that this isn't the real world.....
The remake of 'Battlestar Galactica' was pretty insular, without much of a chance to interact with other TV shows to be found on Earth Prime-Time. It may or may not have found itself near the very beginning of the Toobworld Timeline by the end of the series, but otherwise?
However, I may have found an episode of the last remake of 'The Twilight Zone' which can be considered a spin-off of 'Battlestar Galactica' and probably as a sequel to 'Caprica'.
Here's the plot description for the episode "Hunted":
A genetically altered creature, of a species thought exterminated long ago, has returned to menace society in the near future. After four hikers are killed, a group of soldiers is dispatched to hunt down the creature but soon it becomes unclear who is hunting whom.
Okay, here comes the big bad spoiler:
It turns out that the "monster" known as a "Creeder" is actually a human. And the soldiers, the hikers, and the lead character's wife and baby, are all androids. "Creeder" is a corruption of the word "Creator": at some point in the past humans created the androids, only to be hunted down and destroyed by the "living" machines.
So here's the Toobworld premise: why can't we instead claim that "Hunted" took place on one of the 12 planets abandoned by the remnants of the human population? The story happened at least fifty years after the battlestar Galactica led the ragtag fleet in search of the lost colony of "Earth"..... What we saw was the aftermath of the Cylon slaughter of those humans who were left behind, with the Cylons as the established residents.
The second half of the episode is up on YouTube, but the embedding capability has been disabled. So here's the link. It's basically all you need to get the gist of the story. And as you can see, it could be taking place on any Class M planet in the TV Universe. So why not on Caprica or Gemenon or Leonis or any of the other Twelve Colonies of Kobol?
Frak! Works for me!
"The Audrey Hepburn Story"
AS PLAYED BY:
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Sunday, September 20, 2009
By the way, this post is the 4300th of Inner Toob since August of 2004! There's plenty more to come in our exploration of Toobworld, so fasten your seat belts and get ready for a trip into a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. So long as you pay your cable bill.....When I said, "fasten your seatbelts", I meant it. I really wish you TV characters would pay attention!
When we saw him, my little Toobworld heart skipped a beat! For a second I held out hope that 'Fringe' was going to make a disguised crossover with 'Torchwood' - could it be that the super-soldier was a weevil come through a different Rift?
But alas, it was not to be. And it taught me not to be greedy: the episode was already providing some good arguments to connect 'Fringe' with 'The X-Files' already....
Then again, maybe the super-soldier was the child of a mixed breed experiment between Man and Weevil.......
Because when we saw that Selectric 251, and what it could do (communicate with the other dimension via a looking glass), you gotta know there would be others out there attempting to get hold of it - 'Warehouse 13', "The Library" (from the 'Librarian' TV movies), and 'Torchwood'.
Now wouldn't that make for a great crossover! Selectric boogaloo, baby!
As of May 12 of this year:
1] The stock market had been closed for 21 days.
2] Former President John F. Kennedy was still alive, never assassinated. And he was going to address the United Nations - perhaps as part of the celebration of his upcoming 92nd birthday. (He was born May 29, 1917.)
3] Len Bias was the NBA's MVP. (Bias died of a cocaine overdose right after being selected by the Celtics in the 1986 draft.)
4] And in the cover story, the White House had been destroyed at some point in the recent past, but the Obamas were about to move into the new one. (This means that we can't claim this alternate reality to be that from 'The West Wing' or 'Commander-In-Chief' or from the Movie Of The Week dimension.)
All of that was from the front page as seen in the episode "There's More Than One Of Everything". However, TV critics and columnists who attended the "Death March With Cocktails" (as Tim Goodman dubbed it) received a copy of that newspaper and it had plenty more details on the differences between Earth Prime-Time and Earth Prime-Time/alt.Fringe (for want of a better name). Here's a list of some of those differences, supplied by the good folks at CliqueClague TV:
Kennedy is talking to the UN regarding the legal status of ex-deceased citizens.
A possibly silicate-based life form has been discovered on the bottom of the sea.
New Orleans is the “fastest growing city in the South.”
The National Weather Service can take “corrective action” in response to the weather.
Something called Zero Point Energy may be supplanting natural energy sources.
After nine years of construction, the new White House is nearing completion.
The FDA approves facial landscaping, a revolutionary new plastic surgery.
The Beatles are all alive.
Guns ‘N Roses Chinese Democracy came out ten years ago, and the band is still one of the biggest acts in the world.
The Terminator is an opera (and Schwarzenegger is a Senator).
You can order genetically customized pets, including fluorescent skin!
And in a special nod to Leonard Nimoy (William Bell), Star Trek was #1 at the box office this week, earning nearly $50 million more than Wolverine, in second place.
Agent Dunham is back in the "real world" of the main Toobworld now, with no hard recollection of where she had been. But hopefully we'll learn more about that alternate reality "As Time Goes By".....
"When our sense of reality is challenged,
you know, really challenged,
it can take some time to regain our footing."
"Traveling to an alternate reality has its consequences."
Here's a good example - thanks to 'The Larry Sanders Show', Peter Falk is known to be an actor in the same dimension as Lt. Columbo, Daniel J. O'Brien, Max the Christmas Angel, and Ramos Clemente, the late, unlamented Latin American dictator - among many other roles given life by Falk.
But just because an actor plays characters on TV, that doesn't mean his TV twin is an actor as well. And the season premiere of 'Fringe' helps prove that point.
Neil Schell appeared on the Senate sub-committee as the one senator who wanted to support Special Agent Broyles (but found it difficult to do so, given the lack of results).
And the name of that senator? He was also Neil Schell.
Therefore, even though Neil Schell is an actor in our world, he's a United States senator in Toobworld!
He was seen in the 'Pilot' episode as being in Blevins' office when Scully is given her marching orders to team up with Mulder. (The second man in that office with Blevins and "The Third Man" is the "Cigarette Smoking Man".)
Later, throughout the series, he was then seen on a recurring basis as a character only identified as "Senior Agent #2".
So, since 'Fringe' hints that the "X Division" actually existed, why couldn't Camroux's character be one and the same in both shows? Couldn't it be pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Kenneth Taylor left the intelligence community and ran for election to the US Senate? (Probably with some covert help by his old buddies!)
I don't think the background of Senator Taylor is the kind of topic that will be delved into too deeply on 'Fringe', so we won't have to worry too much about this suggestion getting Zonked......
Now watch them do just that to thwart me!
The new season for 'Fringe', its sophomore showing, displays a lot of promise in just one outing so far. There's a sense of clarity, a focus in purpose, in the tone of the series, perhaps because its overall mythology arc has been defined. Instead of aliens from outer space (which was the arc for the show's predecessor, 'The X-Files'), 'Fringe' looks to be concerned with the threat of invasion by super-soldiers from another dimension.
Comparisons to 'The X-Files' are apt, considering what happened during the second season debut. In the apartment where a body was found, the TV was on and we saw Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in a scene from 'The X-Files' (apparently from "Dreamland", which was appropriate since it was about exchanged identities).
For me, this is a clear reference to 'The X-Files' which - within the reality of Toobworld - had been around for fifty years. So although unofficial, Toobworld Central will consider it a link to the original series.
As for the apparent Zonk incurred by the 'X-Files' clip, as far as Toobworld's inner reality is concerned, it was just a clip of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in some other production - perhaps some fictional movie or TV show seen only in the TV Universe.
Or maybe they were FBI agents Mulder and Scully seen on some pirated CCTV video footage....
Given the revelation in 'Fringe' that in an alternate reality John F. Kennedy not only survived the Dallas assassination attempt, but was still alive (as of May, 2009), who could have played him in that alternate Toobworld at the age of 92? William Devane and Martin Sheen have both played JFK on TV - Devane in "The MIssiles Of October" and Sheen in the 'Kennedy' mini-series. Both of them are now too old to play the real Kennedy; but with well-designed old age make-up, either one of them could look like they were in their 90's. (Devane is 70 this year, Sheen 69, so it's not like they're too far off the mark to be convincing....)
Let me know what you think. Who knows? Maybe we'll see JFK appear in an episode of 'Fringe' this year.....