For the past couple of days, I've been trying to figure out if I liked "Razor" because it was a really cool two-hour episode of one of my favorite TV shows or if it's just that it's been so long since we had any new Galactica that you could have shown "Black Market" and I'd have loved every last second of it.
Honestly, I think it's a litle of both. Yes, "Razor" was pretty darn good, but I think the fact that it's the first new Galactica since March also played into it.
Watching "Razor," it's easy to see that was intended as a love-letter to the Galactica audience. If you're coming in as a new fan, you're probably not going to enjoy this one. I can see how SciFi might have wanted a two-hour movie event, ala Babylon Five's "In the Beginning" to help new viewers get a taste of what the show was about and why people love it so much. But "Razor" is no where near as new-fan friendly as "In the Beginning" was, though both do give away SPOILERS for events that happen later in the series.
"Razor" is fully intended for the Battlestar fan who is keeping up with things. I think a big part of it was to remind us that season four is coming and to whet our appetites for it.
In that case, mission accomplished.
"Razor" follows, for the most part, a couple of missions of the Battlestar Pegasus. One storyline follows it from the time of the Cylon attack on the colonies to its meeting with Galactica in season two. The other Pegasus-centered storyline follows one of Lee Adama's first mission as the commander of Pegasus, purusing a scientific expidition that's gone missing. Each story is tied together by the character of Kendra Shaw. The title refers to Shaw's going from a blunt rookie to a sharp, pointed officer who become an extension of the command style and leadership of Admiral Caine. The story also fills in some gaps, such as why the Gina Cylon sought out and killed Caine when released by Baltar as well as showing us the scene where Caine gunned down her XO for disobeying orders (we'd previously heard it referenced).
The character examination of Caine is meant to be a mirror held up to what Bill Adama could have been. Whereas Adama decided to lead the fleet on a mission to ensure the survival of humanity, Caine decides to lead her ship on a quest for revenge. Part of this is she's having a relationship with the Gina Cylon before the attacks. Adama admits in one of the late scenes that were it not for having Roslin and Lee around, he could easily have gone down the same path of obsessed revenge that Caine does. It also brings up the question of--does the end always justify the means, esp. in times of war? And what are the personal consequences to that. At one point, we see Shaw in a standoff with a civilian freighter of Caine's orders. Caine has decided what parts her ship will take and which personnel. She's leaving the rest to die, but doesn't care. It's Shaw who starts a riot by shooting part of the mob protesting these orders. This decision haunts her throughout the story and leads to her eventually sacrficing herself in an attempt at some kind of personal redemption.
But while it shines a new light on some familiar ground, "Razor" also drops hints for the fourth and final season of Battlestar. The oft-used "All that has happened before and will happen again" line comes up, but this time we get a new prophecy--that Kara "Starbuck" Thrace will lead humanity to its destruction. Of course, only we the audience know this, so it should be interesting to see if and how this plays out in season four.
There's also the interesting possibility that by having some old-school Cylons and Cylon ships in the show, that Ron Moore may be trying to tie the new Galatica to the old Galactica. The whole 'This has happened before and will again" could play into that. I've heard the old-school Cylons we saw here may be back for season four.
For now, "Razor" did what it needed to do--reminded me why I love Galactica and how season four can't get here soon enough.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/28/2007 01:14:00 PM |
| Saturday, November 24, 2007 Tennessee wins, Tennessee wins! Holy s***, Tennessee wins!
Four overtimes later, the longest winning streak in the country is still in tact. Tennessee finds a way to beat Kentucky in football, yet again. Thank goodness.
I feel as if I aged about 20 years during that game. Any more Tennessee games like this and I'll be ready to check into the retirement village.
That said, while I'm beside myself that we won, I still see some huge glaring errors. My biggest complaint this year has been the Vols not playing a complete game. And it happened, again, today. After dominating the first half, the Vols could only muster up seven points in the second. And that was a gift from Andre Woodson who fumbled it to us inside the Kentucky 30. We couldn't sustain a drive and allowed Kentucky to hang around and come back in the game. I just don't know what they're putting in the Gatoraid at halftime but maybe it's time to try a new flavor.
And the play of the game--the 4th and 3 that we went from in the 4th quarter. We punt and pin them deep, they don't have time to drive down and score three times to tie it. A horrible play call by Fulmer and I don't understand it. You've got Colquitt, one of the best punters in the country and a great weapon but you don't use him. I don't get it. I can see it that if you go for it and get it, you bury Kentucky and win the game. You look like a genius. Instead you don't make it and allow them to kick open the door with momentum and get the crowd back in it. I think on the road it's an even riskier call. At home, I can maybe, maybe see doing it, but not on the road in a game with so much on the line.
Oh well, the good thing is we won. And the losers in all of this--well, again Kentucky fans, Georgia fans and anyone who thought they'd see any of the Florida vs Florida State game. As the overtimes piled up, that one went to being over with Florida up by three scores.
And now, as I listen to the UGA vs Georgia Tech game, ABC is inflicting the worst college play by play guy in the world on us--Larry Munsen. He's worse than Bob Kesling and that's saying a lot. Just because Munsen has called games since Georgia achieved statehood doesn't make him good. It just makes old and overrated.
Speaking of bad calls, could CBS have sent a shittier crew to call the game? They couldn't recall which team was on offense and which was on defense. Many times Woodson was being rushed by his own defense. And they had a complete UK bias as the second half went along. They could barely get out of each other's way to kiss Woodson's posterior. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Not as horrible as Larry Munsen, mind you. But still bad.
Oh well...let me recall the important thing. Tennessee won. And we're headed to Atlanta to face LSU for the SEC Championship next week.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/24/2007 05:19:00 PM |
| Monday, November 19, 2007 Doctor Who: Time Crash
This year's Children in Need special brings together two Doctors for eight minutes of nostalgia and fun. Written by the new series' best writer, Stephen Moffatt, it strikes the right balance. And it better explains how the Titanic can crash into the TARDIS....
Let the whining continue...
The "little brother" complex that a lot of Vandy fans seem to have is rearing its ugly head this week.
This morning's example was during the Wake-Up Zone on 104.5 the Zone. Kevin "I love Vandy more than life" Ingram and other Vandy fans called in with the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" thing and implied that UT fans can't and shouldn't enjoy our victory on Saturday. Why? Well, because Vandy should have won that game!
And then, according to this logic, we shouldn't enjoy the season we're having because we should have lost to South Carolina, too. And we all know Vandy beat them, so once again Vandy must be better than UT.
But the kicker--and this just made me almost drive off the road with laughter--is how those calling in and behind the microphone were talking about how while Vandy still found a way to lose, it wasn't as bad as it used to be. So, from what I hear, Vandy is getting better at losing. In years past they were simply pulling inept plays out of their posterior and now, well, they're finding ways to rack up quality losses. And almost winning...almost, but not quite. And, of course, they're all quick to bring up that--hey, we won two years ago. Yes, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.
Following this logic, the Redskins should have won the game yesterday against the Cowboys. If we could take back that interception that Jason Campbell threw on third and ten, then we'd have gone on, got a touchdown and won the game by two points. Also, the Titans should be undefeated or at least only have one loss because they should have made that field goal against the Bucs and we should've had that catch against the Colts to get us in field goal range, where we would definitely have kicked one and won the game.
But those things didn't happen and my teams lost the games. But the difference is that while I'm disappointed with the reality of the situation, I accept that it happened and I'm also counting down to when the Cowboys come to FedEx and take on the Redskins on our home turf. I have a feeling that will be a heck of a game and have a very different ending. Our fans will be into it and the Redskins are a team on the rise. We may not make it this year having dug a big hole for ourselves, but I think what we're building will carry over to next year. Also, to NBC, please stop flex scheduling the Patriots onto the Sunday night game. The Redskins vs Cowboys yesterday was a far more compelling and competitive game than showing us the Pats roll over the pathetic Bills.
But, back to my original point....accept the reality, Vandy. You lost. You found a way to choke the game away. And sure, maybe it was, in your eyes, a quality loss and when you look at film, you'll think you should have won the game. But the reality is, you didn't. The Vols won and while it wasn't an impressive, dominating win like the week before, when it all shakes out, we won and you didn't.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/19/2007 04:54:00 AM |
| Saturday, November 17, 2007 Vols 25, Vandy 24
Watching UT's win over Vanderbilt this afternoon was a microcosm of our season. Some moments where everything worked and we looked like world-beaters, some moments were we couldn't get out of our own way fast enough. And there was the bad pattern of not playing a complete game--instead only playing one good half. Thankfully, this good half came in the first quarter and then the final quarter and a half when Vandy remembered they're Vandy and self-destructed.
It's only fair, really, that our usually reliable kicker would miss a field-goal early the game and that Vandy would miss one late.
As for the end of the game, I don't understand why Bobby Johnson was calling time-outs when his team had clearly lost. Was he hoping to postpone the inevitable? Or was he just being a poor loser? Or was he savoring his last few moments as a college coach? I guess we'll never know.
It's not like there weren't some coaching moves I wasn't questioning on our sideline. For example, the first two drives Arian Foster is a machine running the ball...and then we go to a five-wide out set and pass 14 times in a row. Why did we abandon the run? I heard the explanation giving by the coaching staff was they thought this was a weakness they could exploit and went with this formation. But, you're dominating by running the ball, so why don't you keep "dancing with the one that brought you"? And looking at the game, our passing game was far more effective when it fed off the play-action.
But, hey...the big-point is that UT won the game. A win is a win is a win. We've still got a big task next week to punch a ticket to Atlanta. And if we play like we did today, it could be a long day.
But I won't worry about that for now. Instead, I'll savor that for the next 366 days we have bragging rights for football here in the state of Tennessee.
And on that note, let me kick Vandy while they're down. Ummmmmmmmmm, you guys couldn't bring your band three hours east for the game? That seemed a little strange to me. And don't get me started mocking your inflatable mascot guy....can't you afford a real mascot and not one that doubles as an air-mattress?!? I swear, it looked like bobble-head Commodore man. I kept waiting for a good gust of wind to knock him over.
College football wish
I wish ESPN would accept what everyone else knows--Ohio State vs Michigan is an overrated game from an overrated conference. Please, stop hyping it so much.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/17/2007 08:00:00 AM |
| Wednesday, November 14, 2007 One chapter
A couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite cousins called me, asking me if I wanted to take advantage of his extra ticket to the UT/South Carolina game. Over the course of our brief phone conversation, my cousin joked that if you called my voice mail, you'd definitely know where my loyalty in college football was and if that weren't enough, my blog title was a big clue. Well, at least he assumed it was my blog after reading a few entries. Either that or there was someone else out there scarily similar to me.
Friends and family Googling me and finding my blog is something happening more and more these days. I've never really gone out of my way to hide my true identity from the on-line world, though I will admit I'm more transparent about some things in my life on-line that others. (For the record, I am probably more annoying about my undying love for all things Big Orange in person than I am on-line...)
I enjoy hearing from friends and family members that they've found my blog. Or those rare occasions when I'm able to reconnect with an old friend either because they left a comment or they dropped an e-mail. I also understand there's another side to being transparent in my on-line identity--the fact that people from my past who aren't fond of me could find the blog and read up on me. That hasn't really bothered me that much, except for the idea that if you dislike me that much, why are you wasting your time reading the blog?
That said, someone with an ax to grind found my blog earlier this week and decided to be clever and leave a spiteful comment. It was a comment in response to Tish's meme about getting to know the real me and it took the chance to dredge up some incidents from my past I'm not proud of. Specifically, the commenter went into details about the final days of my crumbling marriage and some of the circumstances surrounding my divorce.
I'll admit, the comment bothered me, probably a lot more than it should have. And it wasn't that the comments bothered me that much because of what they said, but because of the cowardly way in which they were said. The commenter in question felt strongly enough to hammer me and post these comments about me, but yet didn't have the courage or the conviction to take credit for them.
In a lot of ways, the comments reminded me a lot of this whole "coaching hot seat" thing going on surrounding Phil Fulmer this year. We've got a lot of arm-chair experts out there who can and will call into radio call-in shows under an assumed identity and blast Fulmer and the coaching staff for their perceived sins.
But you have to ask yourself--do these so-called experts know the whole story?
But they think they do. And they have their own ideas and preconceptions about the circumstances and the people involved.
An episode of Babylon Five included the line, "There are three sides to every story. One side, the other side and then the truth which is somewhere in between." (I've butchered the quote horribly paraphrasing it, but you get what I'm trying to say). And that can be applied to the experience of my marriage and divorce.
Am I proud of that chapter in my life? No. Do I have regrets about it? Yes.
I'm not proud that I stood up before God, my family and my friends and made a covenant that I broke. I'm not proud of the fact that I wasn't the kind of husband and man my ex-wife needed me to be. I'm not proud of the fact that we allowed things to get so far gone that there was no hope of salvaging our life together.
But I don't regret loving her, being loved by her and the times we had when things were good or even great between us. I regret it ended not with our sitting on the front porch with our grandchildren, but instead in the stark coldness of signatures on legal documents.
And I know I caused a lot of pain and heartache. But I had my own pain and heartache as well. It wasn't something I woke up one morning and thought would be a fun thing to do.
That said, I knew when I started this blog that it'd be out there for people in my life--past, present and future--to find. And by opening up a thread where you can leave a comment about me, I suppose I opened up the door that this person went through. And yes, that is part of getting to know me, it's part of the overall tapestry that is my life. But I put more stock in the words of those who actually have the courage to stand up and identify themselves to me than someone who cruises in, leaves a comment and doesn't take credit for it. And that's why I deleted it. Not because I'm afraid of facing that part of my life--believe me, I've spent a lot of time doing that. But because I refuse to let it define who I am. I refuse to let just one chapter define the overall story of my life.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/14/2007 04:19:00 PM |
| Sunday, November 11, 2007 Titans game
So, we saw today what our defense would look like without Albert Haynesworth. I think it's time to open up the checkbook and keep the guy.
At some point, you knew our anemic offense would come back to bite us. That day was today. Watching the offense was just painful at times this afternoon. Vince Young's sophomore slump is getting more and more pronounced each week. Did he overachieve last year and has come back to earth this year? Or did we all just place too much hope on him to redeem this team in one year?
Of course, at some point the defense wasn't going to be able to bail us out every time. That day came today. Again, we see how without Hayneworth in the game, the defense goes from stellar to average. It's not quite the nightmare that was last year's but it was no where near the greatness levels it's been this year.
Disappointing....only way I can think to describe it. Not just the game but what the game means in the standings. We could be looking back at this game in late December and going, "That's why the Titans aren't in the playoffs."
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/11/2007 03:18:00 PM |
| Saturday, November 10, 2007 Tennessee 34, Arkansas 13
Maybe the win last week helped the Vols turn a corner. They certainly looked fantastic is just about every phase of the game today. My only two big criticisms are--I wish we could have punched it in for a couple of more early touchdowns in the first half and in the second half, we let Arkansas have hope that they might come back. Thank goodness for a huge defensive effort that, quite frankly, I didn't see coming.
Great game. Domination in every phase of the game. A signature win for this team and one step closer to Atlanta.
Bloggers tend to be very honest, spilling their deepest thoughts into the blogosphere without a moment’s hesitation. It is that openness that allows us to feel that we really know the people behind the blogs. But what if we could get to know them even better? You’ve read the bloggers’ words. Now read what the people closest to them have to say.
Please take a moment to tell my readers about the real me - the Tish that many of them know only from my own words. Do you have a memory to share? A story to tell? Thoughts to pass on? If so, please leave a comment.
I challenge all of my readers to tackle this assignment. I would love to get to know you better. If you do choose to participate, please let me know, as I would love to leave my thoughts about you on your post!
UT vs Vandy
Well, it appears UT vs Vandy will be on pay-per-view next weekend, necessitating I either a)find a ticket or b)head to a local sports bar to watch.
Odds are due to my schedule, I'll be going with b. The game is listed on GoVols.com as being a pay-per-view game that starts at 1 p.m. CST. So, in all likelihood, I'll be sports-barring it next Saturday.
I'm sure a lot of fellow UT fans will be in the same boat, as will all three Vandy fans (I kid...they have four). So, if you want to get together, hang out with me in real life and watch the game, I'll be watching it at Sullivan's Sports Bar in Smyrna.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/08/2007 06:46:00 PM |
| Monday, November 05, 2007 TV Round-Up Heroes: The Line As I watched "The Line" I kept shaking my head in stark disbelief at all the bad choices this show is making. It's amost as if you said, "How can they make this show any worse?" and the producers decided to show us.
Basically, we've reverted back to season one's plotlines. Peter doesn't understand his powers, Sylar is evil and if we don't stop what's going on, the world will end. Or at least New York City
I could almost accept the re-treads if the characters didn't all do incredibly bone-headed things that made me want to throw things at the television. Let's start with Mohinder, whose intelligence and common-sense is on a sliding scale based on what the current scene needs. One second he's defying the Company and throwing a chair into the refrigerator that contains the virus (a bone-headed move if I've seen one since doesn't that release the virus?!?) and saying he's leaving, only to see him still there a scene or two later, talking about working for the greater good. It's a real headscratcher, that's for sure. Then, you've got Sylar who has a monologue on his evil nature to the non-English speaking half of the Wonder Twins. Which brings up the whole question of why does one half of the Wonder Twins speak English so well and the other doesn't. Oh wait..I forgot. It's called lazy writing. And then we've got Peter, who is re-treading his whole arc from last year and not very well.
It's enough to make you scream. Were it not for the hope of seeing Kristen Bell in the next epsiode, I'd honestly give up on this one. Though another part of me is curious to see how Hiro's story plays out. But I'm sure no matter what kind of big twist the producers thing they have in mind, it will be totally predictable, something we've seen before and ultimately disappointing.
Bionic Woman: The Education of Jamie Sommers I keep wanting to love this show. It teased me with the third episode, almost as if it were saying, "Ha, ha...look at how good we could be, if we wanted to." The thing is, the show does just enough to keep my interest up until we get to the big change at producer and bringing in the writers from Friday Night Lights. I believe that changeover happens soon, though I am discouraged that Glen Morgan's leaving might take Darren Morgan with him. Darren Morgan's X-Files episodes were all brilliant. I'd love to see him write an episode or two here.
But back to Bionic. One thing that bugs me is how easily the sister angle is shoved aside for the sake of the plot. The past four episodes, every time Jamie is given an assignment, she brings up her responsiblity to care for her sister. Here she's given the chance to go undercover and it's not mentioned ever. Instead, Jamie heads to campus and meets the hot T.A. who may or may not be the bad-guy. He turns out not to be, but we suspect him for a long time.
But in between those rather pedestrian moments, we have some better stuff to tease us. The show seems to be trying to embrace the whole Jamie struggles to reconcile her want for a normal life with the new-found powers and responsiblity she has. I could say this was all better done on Buffy, but I promised myself I wouldn't do that...oh wait. Anyway, the whole plot of Jamie going to college, having a normal life and proving she could succeed in the tract she wanted to pursue was a nice touch. Yes, it didn't till a lot of new ground but I still liked it and it was these scenes where the show worked best.
Friday Night Lights: Backfire, Let's Get It On Meanwhile, I continue to love just about every last second of Friday Night Lights. Well, every last second that isn't somehow directly about Landry killing the man attacking Trya and the two covering it up. Those scenes just seem to bring the whole thing to screeching halt every week. And I find it interesting that this overly melodramatic plotline is the one that is highlighted in the previews every week. NBC, this may be the reason new fans aren't tuning in. I'm not sure how you highlight the other plots, but there's got to be some guy making a lot more money than I will in the promo department who could do it.
That said, I still like where the storyline has taken the characters (again when we're not obsessing about it and the details like the watch). Anything that gives Landry more screen time is good in my book and man, have they been making good use of it. This week's episode where Landry becomes the unlikely hero was nicely done. Seeing him soak in the adoration of the fans and his name being chanted by the crowd was nice. And in the midst of that, Trya dumps him so he can't even really savor the moment. (I loved how Landry's father goes to Trya and warns her away from his son. The statement of "Landry has never lied to me, but he did now" was great).
Meanwhile, Eric Taylor is trying to get things back in order in Dillon. I'm hoping the show doesn't go the same route as Voo-Doo last year with the terminated coach. When he shows up and points out he has a family too and that he'll see Eric again, I have to admit I liked the moment. And I also said, "Please let's not have them meet in the playoffs." Maybe if they met in a pivotal game that might work better. But I have a bad feeling we could repeat what we saw last year.
That said, seeing Eric try to get back in the swing of things was nicely done--both at home and as the head coach. The scene in the office talking about getting back in the saddle was hysterical and I love how both parties played it. It's scenes like that that make me love this show.
And we're seeing a different side to Matt Scarcen. He's growing up, becoming more assertive and a leader. I believe that is why he's clashed with Smash and I loved seeing him tell Julie he wouldn't go with her to the concert because he was too mad at her. I'm intrigued to see where all of this goes. The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XVIII Anyone remember when the segments on the annual Halloween episodes, oh I don't know, had something to do with Halloween?!? Of the three here, only one of them had anything remotely to do with Halloween. I'd love to hear why a Mr. and Mrs. Smith parody is thrown in as part of the Halloween episode. I guess whenever season 19 comes out on DVD, we'll hear that on the commentary. Other than that, I have to say this was a disappointing Treehouse of Horror.
posted byMichael Hickerson at 11/05/2007 03:11:00 PM |
| Sunday, November 04, 2007 Tennessee 59, LA-Lafeytte 7
A few minutes before game-time (and if you have to ask--for which game, please check out the name of this blog) I headed over to my local new favorite sports bar to take in the contest....only to get there and find out the geniuses at the pay-per-view provider decided to blackout the game to the state of Tennessee.
So, you cost yourself the chance to make a lot of money in-state but also cost a lot of sports bars and other such establishments some money during the middle of the afternoon by this bone-head decision. Stupid, stupid, stupid is all I can say.
So, I was forced to pretend I was living in the days before we had 1700 sports outlets and listen to the game on the radio. (I'll take it in Monday on the repeat on CSS). And you know, I'm sorry I couldn't see the Vols finally having a game where they just blew someone out. It sounded like a lot of fun for the offense as they just racked up yards and points in the game. Exactly the kind of game the Vols needed to get rid of the South Carolina hangover and to say, "LeMarcus Who?" And the defense played well, except for the first series of the second half. I'm not saying this fixes anything nor does it mean we'll run the table, but it's good to have a confidence building game like this. Oh yeah, and it's nice for the team to play in the second half.
That said, I hear there's a game this afternoon and the rest of the NFL is taking the day off....or they might as well be. Don't get me wrong--I'm intrigued by the Colts vs Patriots, but it'd be nice if ESPN pretended like other teams are playing this afternoon. That said, I hope the C0lts win as I hate the Patriots. Well, except Randy Moss who is on one of my fantasy teams. So, he can have a great day and the Colts can win...making it win-win for me.
Of course, I'm sure that we'll somehow get a game break to cover what the new manager of the Yankees had for lunch...because for some reason, the sports world thinks we all care about. I could care less who manages the Yankees. Please, stop forcing this non-story on us!