Not Cool Cool Cool Cool, NBC

Not cool cool cool cool at all. 

TV actors live under the constant threat of their livelihoods being ripped away by some faceless executive. Which I suppose is better than having their faces ripped away by some lifeless executive. It has to be an unbelievable shock going from a professionally unemployed actor to making 10’s of thousands of dollars a week to wondering how you’re going to afford your pool boy’s Lexus payment when essentially not of the decisions that affect those major life changes are in your control. Hollywood is basically a glorified temp service broadcast to the world.

I’m a big Community fan, and it’s a shame to see NBC shelve their second best show (sorry Abed-heads, but 30 Rock is perfect) because not a wide enough swath of middle America can relate to its deep pop culture references, bizarre concept episodes and general geekiness. It’s one of the only shows actually pushing the boundries of what can be done with a comedy on network TV. I guess the problem is if you keep pushing boundaries, you eventually hit a wall. I hope the show rebounds and comes back stronger than ever, but it might just be too quirky, smart and genuinely funny to survive. At least we still have Whitney, right? What do you bring to your Whitney viewing parties? Chocolate? Red wine? A bullet?

COMMENTERS: Lament the seemingly inevitable demise of Community, or dare to proclaim why you won’t miss it once it’s gone (is it because you had your human heart replaced with a can of powdered turnips?). Feel free to post links to your Inspector Spacetime fanfic in the comments as well.

Causality And FX

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Alternate Title: Tera Novella

Before you jump up my ass, YES I know they wrote off the possibility of a paradox in the pilot of Terra Nova by saying the past they travel to is in an “alternate time stream.” More on why I think that’s bullshit later.

Ok, so I gave the Terra Nova pilot a shot. The short version is that it’s Jurassic Park meets Avatar with a little bit of Lost thrown in for good measure. There’s dinosaurs and humans juxtaposed, there’s escaping a dystopian Earth in favor of a hostile but majestic jungle environment and there’s “no matter what you were, you get a second chance on the island in the past” to round out the premise. There are even a group of  “others” to add a little mayhem and mystery.

Let’s start with the shitty future humanity traps itself in. Fans of sci-fi will find nothing new about the present day future of Terra Nova. It’s all well trodden ground. Humanity destroys itself with greed, overpopulation and environmental devastation. The air sucks, the living quarters are tiny and only the most wealthy and connected don’t live on the brink of extinction. Through a coincidence, seemingly caused by parking two supercolliders next to each other, scientists discover a “fracture” to 85 million years in the past. A probe is sent through, assuming it will automatically show up somewhere in the present. When it doesn’t they determine this past is in a different time line, so it’s ripe for exploring, and settling and butterfly stepping on without fear of paradox… IN OUR UNIVERSE. What about the present of the parallel Earth whose past they are invading? Maybe they didn’t fuck up their planet. Maybe the first person who goes through that portal commits planetary genocide. Why is that not a concern?

Anyway, they decide the only future for humanity lies 85 million years in the past so they start sending settlers through the portal to establish a new colony. It isn’t explicitly stated, but I assume the idea is “Our Earth is fucked. Everyone on it is going to die. Screw those guys. The people in the past and their descendants are going to be the only humans to survive long term.” Seems a bit short-sighted. Why didn’t they just invest all that future know-how into a more advanced space program and work on terraforming and colonizing Mars? Oh… right. Because then they wouldn’t have a show where people get chased by dinosaurs.

The dinosaur effects are passable, but shockingly NOT up to snuff with the original Jurassic Park. How does that film keep aging so well? All in all, the 2 part pilot was rather enjoyable but rife with confusing, nit-picky plot holes and story difficulties that could prove too big to overcome without alienating the hardcore sci-fi fan (again, the “alternate time stream = go nuts, do whatever we want” thing will never stop bothering me). I will say the characters and the pacing are a DRASTIC improvement over Spielberg’s last genre TV outing Falling Skies. There was a decent dose of family drama, but it didn’t weigh the whole show down like it did on Falli… 7th Heaven + Aliens.

I will probably give Terra Nova at least a good 4-5 eps to show me what it’s got, though I find it nearly impossible to concentrate on the plot with all the Jurassic Park jokes I keep making while watching it. Every time General Avatar showed Main Character Cop/Dad a new area of the compound (especially his living quarters which looked suspiciously like a page out of the IKEA catalog), I couldn’t stop myself from blurting out “Spared no expense!”

COMMENTERS: Did you see Terra Nova? Any thoughts? [posting mine in a few minutes, check back and refresh]

Regional Nomenclature

TEAM EDWARD [James Olmos]

THERE IS A NEW HE PODCAST!!! EPISODE 82 – C2E2 2011 Webcomics Rountable featuring: Joel Watson of HijiNKS ENSUE, Kris Wilson and Rob DenBleyker of Cyanide and Happiness, Ryan Sohmer of Least I Could Do, and Danielle Corsetto from Girls With Slingshots.

If you preordered HE Book 2, please read the updated shipping times on THIS PAGE.

Fringe, the best serious scifi show on television (prove me wrong, I dare you. I DARE YOU!) was picked up by Fox for a fourth season. Ever since I heard the news via Twitter I have been consulting the scrolls, casting the bones and reading the Alphabits in a vain attempt to figure out how this occurance fits into the Fox’s grand scheme of ultimate geek sadness.

Most of you already know that Fox’s Doom Engine is fueled by the tears of geeks and nerds, and NOT just any tears. No. Only the tears of ultimate suffering. Their Hate Furnace won’t move one inch when filled with tears born of physical pain. It requires a propellant created from equal parts lost hope and broken dreams and wilted spirits. Some are theorizing that putting Fringe in the Friday Night Death Slot, only to renew it against all conceivable Foxlogic is just a ploy to make its eventual termination all the more bitter and the ensuing tear-fuel all the more potent. Perhaps there are darker machinations at play. Perhaps we will explore these in next week’s HE comics. Perhaps. [spolers: we will]


Maybe In A Walternate Dimension


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NEW HE PODCAST [episode 79] IS HERE! Hours of extra podcast (including a Post Show where I sing autotuned 80’s pop hits) are HERE for Vault Subscribers.

    COMMENTERS: What other “fringe science bonding experiences” could I share with Grandpa Walter? Any other mad scientists that would make great grandpas or creepy uncles?

    The Bad News Bearer


    HijiNKS ENSUE British Knights Shirt at Topatoco

    NEW HE PODCAST [episode 79] IS HERE! Hours of extra podcast (including a Post Show where I sing autotuned 80’s pop hits) are HERE for Vault Subscribers.

    COMMENTERS: Firefly will be airing in HD on The Science Channel. Seems like an odd fit, but I’m not complaining. Do you think this will win over more Browncoats, or is it just a deep cable channel looking at it’s audience, seeing a bunch of geeks and trying to give them something they already love to keep them from changing the channel? What other news might enrage the Evil Fox Exec to the point of employee “cancellation”?