The Penn Cinema Studies program is sponsoring a “Trailer Mashup” contest, in which you create a trailer that parodies a well-known film. Examples include “Brokeback to the Future,” “The Shining (as a romantic comedy),” “Scary Mary (Mary Poppins as a horror movie),” etc.

I just had an evil idea: Battlestar Potemkin.

Ha! Ko read this post, then came into my room and hit me over the head with this. She said she didn’t have any two-by-fours, but I guess a two-by-a millimeter works. :D

She couldn’t explain why she wrote Harry/?, as she is a known Harry/Susan shipper. I wonder if she is beginning to see the appeal of the undeniably sexy Harry/Question Mark. (The Question Mark: Curves where it counts, but watch out, it always has a period?)

Anyway, for those unfamiliar, “Lo/Ve” is Logan/Veronica on Veronica Mars (which I don’t ship), Tavi/Kitai and Amara/Berard are from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series (which I ship like mad), Harry/Question Mark refers to Harry of The Dresden Files, and Harry/Hermione I don’t ship either, but it’s better than Hermione/Ron. *waves Harry/Luna flag*

Heroes. “Fantastic,” Doctor Scruffy? Fantastic indeed!

And Studio 60, “special guest Masi Oka” does not mean “Masi Oka is in this episode for three seconds, just repeating the same line.” He’d better be in the second half of the episode, or I will have Words with your promo department. HEY, that wasn’t a perfect analogy to one of the plot threads for last night’s episode, was it? Because then I’d have to laugh, then punch Aaron Sorkin in the face. :D

Keith: I’ll teach you and Renata how to make Living Legend Eggs when we’re camping. We just need eggs, milk (I use almond milk, but I was taught with skim), salt, and pepper. Yummy!

Chungy: No, I was just being silly. No boys ate my Living Legend Eggs today. But if there had been boys nearby, they would have been brought to the yard, and they would have found them delicious! Maybe the next time we see each other, I’ll have to teach you how to make my famous peach ginger pie, which I am suddenly craving. I wonder if they have all the necessary ingredients at Fro Gro…

Renata: Dresden books from the Murphy library? I am so amused.

Keith again: Reeeeead theeeeeem.

Brenna: All the books for my Sci-Fi class cost $179.52. Ouch. Fortunately, the entirety will be covered by the reselling of three of last semester’s books on for $192.17! This is actually my only class this semester that’s costing anything outside of tuition. I already had all the necessary materials for my Senior Project/Digital Figure Modeling class, the Psych textbook is entirely online as the professor is in the middle of revising it and wants us to have the latest edition as he writes it, and there are no required texts for my Computer Modeling and Animation Applications class! Score!

Rebecca: TANSTAAFL? Or is this a reference I’ll get when I read the book?

Keith again: Even if I thought your hair was terrible, I wouldn’t say so. *glomps*

Yes. That’s the episode Dresden should have started with. Much better than the other! It’s far from “great,” but at least it wasn’t actively bad. Good snark, good perviness from Bob, and significantly less deus ex machina-esque (yet still annoyingly contrived) weapon for Harry. We actually saw Harry doing some magic, which was nice, and the most galling break from canon was the notion of Harry actually eating vegetables on purpose. The writers still have quite a ways to go (Lesson One: The audience is not stupid. A toddler could solve these mysteries), but for now, I approve.

Plus: holy shamoley, Batman! They were laying on the Harry/Murphy shippage like icing on an expensive cake! On a scale of one to “Something Borrowed,” it was at least an 8.7, and that was from the Russian judge. No wonder Valerie was comparing their dynamic to “Moonlighting.” Now let’s back off a bit, yes? While I love me some Harry/Murphy shippiness, I don’t love two-by-fours to the cranium etched with “THIS IS WHO YOU SHOULD BE SHIPPING, KTHXBAI.”

No episode next week because of the Superbowl, but the week after: BUTTERS! Complete with “I *heart* Polka” shirt under his labcoat! Gotta love those tiny details where the creative team reassures the audience that yes, they’ve read the books, and yes, they adore Butters as much as we do.

P.S. Did people see MiniMurphy’s crayon drawings hanging in Murphy’s desk? That was adorableness squared. And the batty evidence cop was hilarious! I hope we hear from her again later this the season.

Renata, Keith, and I chatted briefly this evening about the Sappy Lincoln Narratives roadtrip! I’ve cut some of the non-relevant lines of dialogue. Sme people should not be let into academia.

Renata: anyway, priscilla, i think keith and i keep talking about the trip at times when you’re not around?
Priscilla: I KNEW IT
Priscilla: You’re cheating on me!
Renata: and i can’t remember what i’ve like blogged about and stuff
Renata: so
Renata: are you aware that the trip is now an extended animorphs larp?
Renata: and also that it’s a disability studies concerns animorphs book club?
Priscilla: Keith told me. This is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Renata: also we can morph plants
Renata: also there’s no backdoor to heaven
Renata: i think that’s about it
Keith: lol
Priscilla: But I don’t know what I can bring to the table! I’m only good at analyzing fairy tales and saying that things are vaginal symbols and stuff, but I don’t think there’s much of that in Animorphs. Still, I can try!
Renata: as a fake gender/women’s studies major, there are vaginas EVERYWHERE
Priscilla: Ok. Like when Jake fell into the Yeerk pool and became a controller? That’s totally a rape scene.
Renata: definitely
Priscilla: And Jake goes into a period of latency, like in Bettleheim’s Freudian interpretation of “Sleeping Beauty.”
Priscilla: The physical/sexual trauma causes him to withdraw and become passive until circumstances arise that he can safely emerge once again.
Keith: oh, you’re good.
Keith: this trip will be so awesome in a “fucking up the memories of our teenage reading” sort of way
Keith: I’ll probably talk about the moral implications of the animorphs killing yeerk hosts. What would Kant say to that!? Porbably something really technical and annoying
Renata: i’d like to discuss what it means that in order for the narrative to function
Renata: rachel must take on masculine tropes
Renata: and eventually be sacrificed
Priscilla: Yet Cassie, the female most associated with the feminine, and with beauty and healing survives? Doesn’t she remain on Earth?
Renata: i’m not sure
Renata: although! it is complex, because cassie is not exactly associated with beauty
Renata: that is rachel
Priscilla: her morphing style is
Renata: it is a madonna/whore complex

Mmmm, Living Legend Eggs for breakfast! My culinary skills bring all the boys to the yard.

Here’s a great interview with John Hodgman. I especially like what he has to say about satire, kicking people, and being attacked by wolves.

And speaking of my fake newsmen, here’s Stephen Colbert’s uproariously funny followup to his interviews with Bill O’Reilly, and the announcement of the results of another highly amusing bet. *adds Stephen Colbert Day to list of Fannish Dates*

Okay, Dresden premiere. I ended up watching it twice, the first as it aired then again the following afternoon. The first time, I thought it was awful awful awful, with the only redeeming aspect being Valerie Cruz’s surprisingly spot-on Murphy. But between viewings, I talked with fellow fans and we worked out what changes bothered us and helped each other get over them. When I saw it the second time, I felt less frustrated and much more confident about the direction the series was taking the characters, though I still felt the writing itself was weak. Also, the magic. It is not Dresdenverse magic. This is ranted about discussed definitely ranted about later in the post.


  • Murphy. SQUEE. Going into the show, Murphy was the character I was most wary of. They’d had to change her name for legal reasons (apparently there actually is a Karyn Murphy at the Chicago PD, so “Karrin” became “Connie”), and then there was the whole casting switchup, where the actresses they found to play Murphy and Susan ended up being better-suited for the other’s role, then the bomb Valerie dropped a week before the premiere, mentioning that TV-Murphy had a daughter, whereas book-Murphy divorced her second husband largely because she didn’t want kids. But then the actress was awesome, so Priscilla is happy. In spite of all the changes, she came across as most like her book counterpart! I loved her annoyed banter with Harry, and I love that she called him out when he wasn’t behaving. I look forward to her slamming Harry into the hood of a car for hanging up on her, because he kind of deserves it. :D
  • The Ravens sitting around and watching the kid eat an ice cream sundae, with the dramatic music preceding the offering of the whipped cream. Pure book-style humor. Loved it. My friends and I have named the lead Raven “Quoth,” with the option title of “Lord Quoth of the Cream that is Whippèd.”
  • Terrance Mann. I had many issues with Bob, but they’re all script-related. Terrance Mann himself is great, and I certainly would not mind Bob belting 16th Century showtunes, thought I’d rather hear him sing “Where’s the Girl?” from The Scarlet Pimpernel, because it makes me think bad thoughts. On second thought, though, I should just stick to my CD. Thinking bad thoughts about Bob is icky.


  • The Story. First off, this episode was clearly never written to be a first episode, and I’m wondering what on Earth possessed the higher-ups that they needed to ditch the two-hour pilot. Okay, so they replaced a bunch of the actors in the interim (Bob, Justin, and Ancient Mai–which it turns out is pronounced like the month and not like the possessive pronoun, but I digress), so they had a lot of reshooting, but bah. They should have started filming earlier!

    Anyway, back to this episode. The flashback structure of the episode was totally wrong for a premiere. They would have done better in, say, the third episode of the series. And what do you know, the episode number is 1×03? Also, regarding Bob, I wish his character could have been better-established before we learned of his DUBIOUS MORALITY and DARK PAST. This was like “Dead Beat” Bob. Except how his personality bears no resemblance to book-Bob, whom I miss terribly.

  • Harry. Paul Blackthorne acted the part quite well and there were only a couple tiny moments where his accent twigged me, but I didn’t like the way he was written. Not nearly enough snark, and a bit too much jerk and preoccupation with money. Sure, he has plenty of curmudgeon-y moments in the book series, but we get the full range of his personality over the course of the book, whereas we only got one sliver in this episode. Feh.

    Also, wee!Harry’s threat to the thing that killed his mother scared the heck out of me. I guess in the TV-verse, Maggie didn’t die in childbirth, even though that’s what SciFi has been saying in the press pack series synopsis. Or rather, I guess that in this world, Harry and Colm know early on that it wasn’t the act of childbirth that killed her, rather than Harry finding out in the fifth book of the series. Boooo, unnecessary canon changes!

  • I’m lukewarm about Malcolm Dresden, or “Colm” Dresden as he’s called here. It completely turns book canon on its ear for him to know about magic, which I wouldn’t mind normally, but to have him warn Harry to always stay below the magical radar and not let others find out about his powers seems reeeeeaaally hypocritical for Harry when he grows up and advertises his wizarding abilities in the phone book. Poor decision, writing team.
  • Uh, is this Harry even capable of defending himself? I would have liked to see Harry *start* to do something to protect himself before he gets his rear end kicked by the skinwalker.
  • The Skinwalker. Yawn. Actually, not yawn. ZZZZZZZZ is more like it. They kept talking about how scary she was, and I can see how she would be, but I just didn’t feel it. And Harry’s wards were a joke.
  • Melissa. Awkwardly written, and ultimately I couldn’t care less about her death. Bob’s suggestion to consult her reminded me of Serenity‘s equally poorly-transitioned “We should talk to Mr. Universe!” I miss the Archive.


  • Bob’s Deus Ex Gamecube of Doom. Not endearing the writing team to me by any stretch of the imagination. Apparently “doom box” was supposed to be a pun on “boom box,” but THEY DIDN’T HAVE BOOM BOXES IN THE 16TH CENTURY WHEN BOB WOULD HAVE WRITTEN HIS FIRST GRIMOIRE. Also, in today’s society, you’re just not allowed to use the word “doom” any more in a non-ironic way. Robert [Wolfe, one of the producers] has said on the boards that the episode ran long and they had to trim bits that would have made it less plot-devicey and appalling, but meh. It doesn’t change the fact that it was lamer than a duck with no legs.
  • The Magic. It’s just is not Dresdenverse magic. One of the things I love most about the magic of the book series is that it makes sense. It’s all about physical and mental connections and associations. There’s also a fair share of blasting monsters with fire or wind, but there’s no hocus-pocus, wandwaving, “aha, I have transfigured this badger into a teacup and levitated this pouch of Snausages” kind of magic. It’s more a matter of manipulating forces and focusing energies. If Harry makes something move, it’s more along the lines of Storm rather than Jean Grey. He doesn’t defy gravity, he manipulates the air currents into moving the object. I could go into Dresdenverse spellcasting the differences between evocation and thaumaturgy, but this post is already long enough.

    Also, there’s no “If I combine three eyes of newt with burba weed picked three days before the full moon by virgins and stir counterclockwise, I will make a fabulous tonic similar in effect to Nair.” Whereas in the Dresdenverse, “Potions are all made pretty much the same way. First you need a base to form the essential liquid content; then something to engage each of the senses, and then something for the mind and something else for the spirit. Eight ingredients, all in all, and they’re different for each and every potion, and for each person who makes them.” It’s all very deliberate and logical. When I read Harry Potter, I ask myself who on Earth could have come up with these potions and spells? One slightly wrong move and you nearly kill Neville’s toad. When I read the Dresden Files, I think “of course. That’s how magic works.” In short, book!kid!Harry could not levitate a metal ring from across the room.

  • So the TV magic loses everything that distinguished the magic of the books. Well, it’s about to go further. I read a post from Robert on the boards today that “It was decided not to use “magic words” since it felt too reminiscent of Harry Potter. There will definitely still be spells, including flying staffs and fire blasts and such. Just not with the words.”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. It’s not like Potter is the first wizard to use spellwords. It’s times like these that make me almost wish the PTB *had* changed Harry’s name to Eric for the TV show, so people would be less inclined to make comparisons between the two series. (Re: Erik, Harry Dresden was named by his stage-magician father for Harry Houdini, but in the wake of Pottermania, the PTB considered changing his name to Eric to discourage comparisons, as Houdini was born Erich Weiss) Maybe if they kept the distinctiveness of Dresden’s magic and didn’t turn it into the common Potter-style magic swill, people wouldn’t be inclined to make that connection! And no matter how clever the etymology, no Potter spell could compare with Harry’s spell for lighting candles: “Flickum bicus.” Of course, it took me several months to get the joke, but that just made it funnier.

And this post totally devolved into Reasons Why The Dresden Files Book Series Is Awesome (and why I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted with Harry Potter), but I don’t care.

I use this icon in righteous indignation. For those with weak vision and/or high-resolution displays, it reads “Unleash Nerd Fury.” Oh, the Colbert Report! You wouldn’t wreak havoc with one of my favourite book series and turn it into badly written, near-unrecognizable sludge! And I think I need to talk with my friends again about not getting worked up over the changes they made from the books to the show…

And the sad thing is? At least for the time being, I’m going to keep watching.

I never got around to posting my thoughts on last Monday’s Heroes Season-Returnything, so I do so now! First off: Yay, it’s Doctor Scruffy! Then Hiro and the museum? SO MUCH LOVE. Did anyone notice that Hiro’s hero had a striking resemblance to future!Hiro? Well, in the sense that they had the same facial hair, at least. :D Also, Hiro and Nathan were hilarious together. Basically, as always, every scene with Hiro was wonderful!

I look forward to seeing Masi on this week’s Studio 60. I’m sure it’ll just be a brief cameo, but any Masi is good Masi! I just have to figure out what’s going wrong with my DVR, and why it’s recording the wrong channels some times and not others. It started recording the wrong channel for Veronica Mars as well, though it faithfully records The Daily Show and The Colbert Report every day. Go figure. I’ll poke the guys at Radio Shack about it tomorrow.

And now, to the tune of “The Candyman Can”…

Who’s convinced that Isaac’s
Visions all are true?
Buys up all his paintings for a pretty penny, too.
The Linderman!
The Linderman can!
The Linderman can ’cause his pockets are so deep
He now owns half the cast…

Who extorts Petrelli,
D.L. and Nikki, too?
Double-crosses left and right, next he’ll come after you!
The Linderman!
The Linderman can!
The Linderman can ’cause his pockets are so deep
He now owns half the cast…

The Linderman schemes
Nasty evil dreams,
No hero will be neglected.
Talk about well-connected!
(Until he gets vivisected?)

Who’s got the katana
When Hiro fights with Sue?
Makes the poor boy take it back and makes him feel so blue.
The Linderman!
The Linderman can, the Linderman can…
The Linderman can ’cause his pockets are so deep
He now owns half the cast…
He now owns half the cast,
But watch out for that blast!

Sweeeeeeeeeeeet! Today, Blogger was finally ready for me to move my just-shy-of-6-thousand-posts blog to their new system. I’d like to apologize in advance to all those who read my blog by RSS feed, as they’re probably going to get spammed like nobody’s business today. Don’t worry, it’s just a one-time thing!