Saturday, October 15, 2005


'Threshold' - "Pulse"
October 14, 2005

As the signal from the Big Horn invades a Miami rave, the team investigates who have been infected, trying to prevent the signal from spreading to the population.
- thanks to

When the rave deejay became infected by the alien sub-harmonics, she used her super-strength to toss her abusive boyfriend out the window, and he landed on the hood of a sporty convertible. I figured him for dead.

But no - he showed up later in Miami Dade Hospital in traction and demanding that they find "the bitch" because she took his credit cards.

Maybe they needed him alive to supply that info so that they could track her down via her purchases with the card.
But then again, maybe they needed him to survive so that the audience - or at least the o'bsessives such as yours truly - wouldn't begin wondering how come the Miami CSI team wasn't showing up to process the crime scene.

I imagine even though he survived, his crash landing and the apartment from which he was tossed would still have merited their attention - at least until the Threshold
project started tossing around "Homeland Security" as an excuse and tossed Horatio Caine and crew out of there.

But I think 'Threshold' is the kind of show that CBS can't possibly cross over with any of their other dramas - for fear of compromising their sense of believability within their own one-hour spheres.

'Cold Case', 'Close To Home', ''Numb3rs', 'The Ghost Whisperer', and the other 'CSI' shows - all of them would be fun to tie into 'Threshold'. But once they open that door to the definite existence of extra-terrestrial life, they can't go back to their visions of "normality" ever again.

(Although I think there might as well be a crossover between 'The Ghost Whisperer' and 'Threshold' since the former does lead into the latter. If you're gonna buy the ghost angle, why not aliens?)

Still and all, we saw the Miami police being held at bay near the beginning of the episode, as they were kept away from the rave site where the alien signal was being used on the party-goers. I would have to imagine that Horatio and Calleigh and the Professor and Mary Ann - sorry! - were being kept out of the loop as well, even though the scene had all the requirements needed for them to do their job. We just never got to see them in any of the frames actually broadcast.

And for alls I know, Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs showed up as well, in full pastel regalia.

Well, a TV Universe guy can dream of more than just alien forests of glass, can't he?


Friday, October 14, 2005


During the second season of 'Rescue Me', we met more siblings for Tommy Gavin, both in and outside the nuclear family unit. He was shocked to find he had a half-brother who was a priest, and for a while Tommy thought Father Mickey's sister was also his sister as well. But as it turned out, Mariel wasn't related to him after all.

They might have acted upon their mutual reaction to each other, if it hadn't been for Tommy's renewed "fidelity" to his wife.

Also, his long-lost prodigal sister Margaret returned to the fold near the end of the season (but only because she thought Daddy Dearest was coming into a massive fortune). Add to all of these siblings Tommy's brother Johnny, who's a police detective and one thing is certain - the nut didn't fall from the tree. Just like Tommy, his Dad Mike Gavin couldn't keep it in his pants; probably busting his nut with more women we don't even know about yet.

So I'm thinking it's not too incendiary an idea that Tommy Gavin might have yet another half-brother, one who - with Tommy - could be considered twin sons of different mothers.

This would be Mike McNeil, a detective with the NYPD, as seen in the TV show 'The Job'.

Although he carried the last name of his mother, Mike McNeil was probably named after his biological father, Mike Gavin. I'm still working my way through the boxed set for the complete series of 'The Job', but so far as I can tell, his parents won't be showing up.

And even if they did, it doesn't negate this theory. Mrs. McNeil might have been having an affair with Mike Gavin.
It's theories like this that make Toobworld kin to the conecpt of the Wold Newton Universe as first proposed by writer Philip Jose Farmer.

For more information... information... information about the Wold Newton Universe, check out the listed link for Win Scott Eckert's website. And keep an eye out for his new book on the subject, MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE, which is available for pre-order from Amazon.



Time and again, 'Lost' challenges us as viewers with new looks at even the little moments and with our perceptions of the unresolved mysteries.

We got an example of both with the latest episode, "Everybody Hates Hugo". Last season, there was a cute subplot in which the bond between Charlie and Claire was deepened by his quest to find peanut butter for her. Eventually all he could produce was a jar of peanut butter of the mind, but Claire accepted the fantasy and by it she saw that special something in Charlie.

[Of course, her feelings may change if Charlie succumbs to the temptation within that statue of the Virgin Mary.]

The payoff for that scene came back tenfold last night when Hurley was able to help Charlie fulfill Claire's wish by presenting him with a jar of Dharma Initiative brand peanut butter.

And then there's Now You See Her, Most Times You Don't Rose. She had complete faith in her husband Bernard's survival, even though he was in the back of the plane. Perhaps because of his name, I was picturing an actor like Jason Bernard in the role. Probably younger, but yes... I fell into preconceived notions and assumed he would be black.

I couldn't have been the only one.... Some fan played on that idea and listed Samuel L Jackson as "Bernard" on the as a hoax.

I should have known better; my friend Shirley is black and her husband Jeff is white. But that's not the model that took precedence in my mind when it came to thinking about Bernard and Rose.

So when we first saw Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (who will from now on be referred to as "Triple A") this season, my first inclination was that he was Bernard, even though his accent and attitude and that feral rage to his eyes didn't jibe with the image of the loving hubby whose fingers would swell while flying, who believed airplanes want to be in the air, and who (as we learned this week) had sweet teeth.

By the end of the episode, we met Bernard, and he was played by Sam Anderson who first came to my notice as an exasperated FBI agent in many episodes of 'Picket Fences'.

Bernard is only one of a handful of survivors from the back section of the plane. Originally there were 23 who survived, but now there were only ten "tailies" still alive at most.

Could it be that the sickness that overwhelmed the crew from Rousseau's boat affected the tailies as well? I'm hearing rumors that it's because of "The Others" that they've all died off.

So why might Bernard be still alive?

There's no doubt in my mind that there is some kind of gestalt power of the mind at work on this island, perhaps as a result of the experiments done by the Dharma Initiative. We've seen things happen that should not have otherwise taken place - Locke can walk; Charlie found his guitar; and although it may have taken a month, Claire got her peanut butter.

So with Rose's unshakable faith in her husband's survival, that could be what shielded Bernard from harm.

But like I said, I've been hearing rumors about the episode "The Other 48 Days"..... So until Abrams, Lindelof, and Company say otherwise, we'll just have to wait and see.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Having no clue regarding English geography, I don't know if Surbiton is anywhere near Doncaster. So I don't know if it would have been feasible for Richard Briers character of Tom Good from 'The Good Life' to make a crossover appearance in 'Open All Hours' which starred Briers' friend the late Ronnie Barker as Arkwright.

Currently I'm working my way through the boxed set of the complete series for 'The Good Life' (known in America as 'The Good Neighbors'). And the episode I watched at work last night (I love my job!) had another possibility for a missing link between shows starring Briers & Barker*.

In 'The Day Peace Broke Out', Tom ended up serving 28 days in prison for shooting a leek thief in the buttocks with an air pellet gun. It seemed that the characters did have a nickname for the place that seemed farily common to them, but I couldn't quite catch it. Something along the lines of 'Penitentville'.

But it got me thinking - what if the prison was the same place where Fletcher was incarcerated in 'Porridge'? If so, we didn't have to see Tom actually cross paths with Fletcher in the stir to consider them sharing the same TV universe.

Just an idea.......


* Briers & Barker..... sounds like the name for a new product: ice cream for dogs......


One of the bright spots in my summer viewing schedule was 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' on FX. This sitcom was created by three of its stars (Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day; Kaitlin Olson being the fourth) and the network suits were really impressed by the quality they delivered.

"We really like the cast and were blown away by the consistency of the show in terms of comedy, and Rob's ability to run it," said John Landgraf, the president of FX Network. "We really believe in him and his compatriots."

That's all well and good, but he's still a network suit and they should all be nibbled to death by ducks!

What I liked about the comedy was that it was obvious these guys studied at the altar of 'Seinfeld' and absorbed its teachings. But at the same time they didn't create a slavish copy of the original; instead setting off in their own direction. The show dealt with topics that would have been more at home in an NBC White Paper - abortion, underage drinking, gun control, child molestation - without getting preachy and most importantly, the scripts and performances were out and out FUNNY!

On the other side of the scale for FX is 'Starved' which did not get a pick-up for another go-round. To me, this is no big loss. There will never be forgiveness in my heart for the one image that burned itself into my brain - that of the show's star and creator, Eric Shaeffer, spinning about on all fours as his enema discharged from his ass like a garden fountain in Tuscany.

To me, that image summed up the entire series. I also thought it was the biggest ego trip on the part of a creator/star since Mike Binder and 'The Mind Of A Married Man', but at least I did find that show interesting most of the time.

How could Shaeffer think his character could ever attract the quality of women who seemed to naturally flock to him? And worst of all, how could he treat them so badly as if he knew there would always be another babe along at any moment?

Oh, that's right. He was writing this fantasy. They're always drop-dead gorgeous and dispensable in my onanistic reveries too, but at least I don't have to eat out of a garbage can during them as well.

And at least it provides the exercise needed to use the remote control when I need all possible speed in switching away from this kind of garbage.

Well, good riddance to 'Starved'. When it comes to shows about losing weight, this is the one that proved to be 'The Biggest Loser'.

Congrats to 'It's Always Sunny' though.......


Monday, October 10, 2005


In the same week which saw Chris Noth return to playing his first major Toobworld character, Detective Mike Logan, on a regular basis (although now on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'), NBC also had the top crossover for the second week in a row. Their team-up between their Sunday night Boston forensics drama 'Crossing Jordan' and their action series 'Las Vegas' which airs on Mondays proved to be successful enough last season to warrant a second go-round.

Here's how described both episodes:

Season 5 Episode 5005

10/9pm 10/02/05


The multi-city mystery begins when a Las Vegas showgirl shows up at the Boston morgue, sets a corpse ablaze and then hurls herself out the window. She leaves behind one clue: an employee ID card from the Montecito Casino in Las Vegas. Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh calls on Danny McCoy, an acquaintance and Director of Montecito Surveillance and Security, to help solve the mystery. Together Jordan, Woody and Danny follow clues that reveal a crime with international repercussions is in the works in Boston.

When Woody realizes that the strings are all being pulled by a mobster in Las Vegas, he's on the next plane out. Woody works with the Montecito Casino host Sam Jane Marquez in Vegas while Jordan and Danny remain on the case in Boston. As the clues are revealed, so are the mutual attractions between the crime-solving duos.

"Double Down, Triple Threat"

(episode #50)
Originally aired: Monday October 3, 2005 on NBC

Danny is with blackjack player Gabe Labrador who's wearing a wig and counting cards. The man doesn't want to stop playing and claims he must win big to pay off the men who kidnapped his daughter.

Ed, Mike, Danny and a cop from Metro work on the case even though they aren't sure Gabe is telling the truth. Mary seems to still be helping Danny taking care of his dad's stuff. Sam and Woody (from "Crossing Jordan") are getting very well acquainted... Jordan from "Crossing Jordan" is also in this episode.

I've got some advice for the Peacock Network - don't go back to the well a third time.

When 'Law & Order' (set in New York) kept teaming up with the Baltimore cops in 'Homicide: Life On The Street', it was easy to accept since we came to relate - as far as NBC shows go - all crimes to be investigated by the same cops each week. No matter the boundaries of the 27th Precinct, Detectives Briscoe, Curtis, and Logan worked the entire island. And the same held true in Baltimore for their homicide detectives under Lt. Giardelli's watch.

But for crimes linking Beantown with Vegas over and over again involving the same casino every time?

Besides, the network should consider spreading the wealth from the benefits of crossovers to their other dramas. Let the family of that 'Medium' spend their vacation in 'Las Vegas'. Perhaps the coroners of 'Crossing Jordan' can get involved with the oceanographer played by Lake Bell to discover what's lurking beneath the 'Surface' of Boston Harbor. Bring 'ER' into the scheme and have them get involved with a case involving the officers of the Pentagon's 'E-Ring'.

And there's always the three shows in the 'Law & Order' franchise who could be utilized with any of those other series for crossovers. They've got the experience and it's about time for Munch to expand his hold on the most TV series crossover appearances.

And 'Surface' and 'Medium' are both good candidates for a Munchkin crossover.

Just a suggestion for the network Suits. (May they be nibbled to death by ducks!)


Sunday, October 9, 2005


MTV greenlit a third season of its drama/reality (or “dramality”) hybrid 'Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County'. Dramality.... This sounds like the kind of cross-breeding that leads to horrible diseases like avian flu. But hey.... a spin-off is a spin-off and both shows sounds like the type that might one day crossover with some vacuous comedy on UPN.

'Laguna Beach' is now going to have its own spin-off in much the same way the 'Queer Eye' franchise spun off 'Straight Gal' from 'Straight Guy'. (That led to an implosion in which the show left standing was now just known as 'Queer Eye'.

In this latest example, MTV has tapped a new show about aspiring models, '8th & Ocean', from 'Laguna' creator Liz Gateley. Technically, I think it may end up being more of a crossover than a spin-off. 'Laguna Beach' takes place in California, and '8th & Ocean' will be in Florida. And that's only if the models from the former show up on the latter to kick it off.

In a way, it's reminscent of the situation with '77 Sunset Strip' and 'Surfside Six', only 'Laguna Beach' is about models and '77 Sunset Strip' was actually good TV.



There will be spoilers......

So we finally find out not only what's down in the hatch, but we've come a long way in splaining why. And I have to figure everybody who had sworn allegiance to any one particular theory had to have been mightily disappointed.

That was the risk the show's Creators were taking - once they locked into the path they chose, there would be people left just as unhappy as they would have been if no answers were ever provided.

So here's what I'm thinking about the Dharma Initiative and the Hanso Foundation*.........

The 1970 grad students from the University of Michigan who had originally conceived this project probably had the best of goals in mind. They were probably thinking in terms of creating some kind of utopia.

But in trying to bring their vision into reality, the couple (the DeGroots?) succumbed to temptation and accepted funding from Alvar Hanso, allowing themselves to be subsidized by the Hanso Foundation.

And in doing so, they allowed their project to be subverted to Hanso's goals for achievement.

The title of this post, "Dharma & Walt", wasn't a reference to the son of Michael on the island, who's been kidnapped by the Others. I was referring to Walt Disney and that hoary old rumor that he was cryogenically frozen and kept alive under Sleeping Beauty's Castle in DisneyWorld.

I think Hanso saw the work done by the DeGroots and realized that their experiment could tie in nicely with what he had in mind: keeping himself alive via cryogenics technology. The human lab rats who would be inhabiting the island would provide a cheap labor source for maintaining the equipment without ever having to know what they were involved with.

There were six stages to the Dharma Initiative project, and where the "Lostaways" are located is supposed to be Number 3 of 6. There's a list of projects on the Hanso Foundation's web site in the active link; one of them is for research into electro-magnetism. I think that's what Jack discovered as he first explored the hatch. And a foul-up in that experiment 44 days before caused the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.

Why was it important for the two human guinea pigs to remain in the bunker/hatch and press the button every 108 minutes? The man in the "Orientation" film said that there had been an incident. I'm thinking that incident involved some sort of technical failure with the cryogenics equipment. I think Alvar Hanso had already been frozen by then (He looked pretty old already in that footage from the early 1970s.), and now there was a danger of his stasis being corrupted unless somebody pushed the button every 108 minutes.

And in order to insure that the hatch inhabitants continued to do so, they would be fed propaganda that to do so insured their continued existence rather than Hanso's. Skip a paycheck to these guys and they might just say "Bleep it" and chuck the whole gig; leaving Hanso to melt into a small puddle of brown liquid goo.

The show seems to put a lot of stock into names. So I looked up "Alvar" and it means elf army. Who knows? Maybe a regiment of the Fair Folk might be involved; perhaps this is the realm of the Faerie Queene. Why not? The cast already includes a Hobbit......

Also, "Hanso" could be derived from "Hans" which is an alternate form for "John". We've already got a John in the cast, as well as a Jack which is a diminutive of the name. And there's a corruption in a way with the name of "Jin". Who knows?

Anyways, just a few thoughts off the top o' me noggin after only one viewing. Like Dennis Miller used to say, that's my opinion. I could be wrong.....

But I do know this - the University of Michigan is going to have a field day in promoting their connection to this plotline when it comes to their promotional enrollment brochures next fall!


*"Orientation" was the first episode after which I never visited any of the fan forums for "Lost". I wanted to keep my ideas free of any outside influence.


Considering the damage "Thunderfoot" has done to my ceilings over the years, it was ironic to see my upstairs neighbor playing a Gulf War double amputee vet on 'Without A Trace'.

I thought he did a pretty good job. It's just a shame that the role relied on the easy cliches of the embittered, cynical, buzzed-up veteran. It was only a short scene and his character had to be quickly sketched in, but why take the easy way out?

Just askin' is all......



I'm glad I decided to tape the second half hour of 'Commander In Chief' this past Tuesday. Seeing that it was supposed to be repeated last night, I figured it would be a good time to check out 'My Name Is Earl' again (having missed the second episode while I taped the 'C-In-C' debut).

As it turned out, all three episodes of 'My Name Is Earl' were repeated on NBC Saturday while ABC ditched their sked at the last minute to show 'Desperate Housewives' instead of 'Commander In Chief'.

It doesn't make sense. 'Housewives' is comfortable in its ratings on a Sunday. And just about every network has given up on chasing the numbers on Saturday. Instead, most of them are using that hour to push their fledgling shows. ABC led the way in this regard last season, when they used Saturday nights to build the buzz for both 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives', and both of them flourished.

The Alphabet should keep that repeat hour for 'Commander-In-Chief'. I'm sure it's going to be a hit, but it can use the nurturing for now.

Here's what I think happened - ABC is afraid that 'Invasion' will lose steam with flagging viewer interest. So they buttressed its repeat with 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' as its bookends, instead of surrounding it with 'C-In-C' and 'The Night Stalker', let's say.

I just wish they had been so considerate to 'Eyes'!