Monday, June 30, 2008

Blindsided by a Song

Looks like this week's theme is going to be music.  I kept on thinking about how I was 'blindsided" by Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" song and became immediately obsessed with it.  It made me try to recall those songs from my musical history that also came out of nowhere.  There have been plenth of songs that I connected with on first listen, but I guess for the purposes of this classification, I'm trying to remember songs that upon hearing for the first time made me stop in my tracks and say "What the heck was THAT??"  Also, I had to not know who it was upon first hearing.

So far, the list is made up of only one other song:  "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince.  I remember clearly the first time I heard this song.  I had no idea it was Prince and I remember spending the next hour or so trying to get through to the radio station to find out who it was.  I was stunned to discover it was Prince.  At that point, I was not a Prince fan at all.  His most recent song at the time was "When Doves Cry", and I kinda hated that song.  So I was almost disappointed to discover it was Prince.  But if it was Prince that sang that amazing song, then so be it.  I had my parents take me to a record store (the old Bookworm's Apple) and in short order, that tape was the only thing I listened to for the next few weeks.  Ah, memories...

I'm sure there are others that came out of nowhere, but I can't think of them right now. 

Are there any songs that absolutely blindsided you and went from unknown to your all-time top ten from the very first time you heard it?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Viva La Vida!

Being that I'm now old, and a musical fuddy-duddy that complains about today's crappy music and longs for the wonderful old days of the 80's, it's a rare occurrence when some actual NEW music comes along and catches my fancy. It's rarer still when I get a little bit of that wonderful teenage ability to obsess over new music.

So a couple of weeks ago, I catch this commercial for the first time.

I'm not a big Coldplay fan (I can NAME two of their songs, and that's it). But something about it connected with me right away and not ten seconds later I was logging into iTunes to see if the song was available. It was, and (I love modern technology), within three minutes of seeing the commercial and hearing that sample for the first time, I was listening to the full version of the song.

The CD came out about a week later and I made a special trip to Wal-mart to get it. It was early enough that they didn't even have it out on the floor yet and had to go dig it out of the warehouse in the back.

And then I eagerly listened to the CD... and kind of shrugged. None of the other songs were as immediately fantastic as "Viva La Vida". But I gave it a couple of more listens in the background while I was doing other things and a couple of songs started planting roots in my brain.

But it wasn't until my son, who also was entranced by the Ipod commercial, started listening to the CD over and over and kind of listening to it through his ears and hearing which ones were his favorites helped me to listen in a different light.

So flash-forward to this past week when we went to Louisiana for work, and we listened to the CD all the way to and from Houston, and now, this is easily my favorite CD of the 2000's. And that first song that caught my attention, "Viva La Vida", has now been running on almost a constant loop today while I work, and I'm not only not tired of it, I can't get enough of it.

It's neat when you discover that something special like connecting with a song can still happen to you, years after you thought you were done with that sort of thing.

And watching that iPod commercial again after not having seen it since that first time, I marvel at how much the look and feel of that commercial totally captures and expresses the way the song feels. Excellent job. It has nothing to do with the song itself (the POV of the singer is that of a deposed king, likely Louis XVI or Charles X), but that commercial is the song. When they release this song as a single, they need to do the whole music video like this.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Gas Crisis Hits Home

So I'm driving home from my mother's house last night and suddenly my car starts sputtering. I'm out of gas. I haven't run out of gas in twenty years. My excuse is that I'm currently driving a rental car (thanks to a fun rear-ending accident I caused a couple of weeks ago), and while the gauge says I have a partial notch of gas left in the tank, apparently there's not actually any gas left in the tank.

However, this is one of those stories that has a fun ending. So my car starts sputtering, and I realize I'm out of gas. The power steering loses its power. It's 11:30pm. A recipe for disaster, usually, or at least a recipe for extreme inconvenience. But not tonight!

I was only a couple of blocks from my house, so I just let the car coast. Thankfully there was no traffic on the road. I coasted and slowly lost steam. Right at the corner of my street, it was really struggling. I had to really force the steering wheel to make the turn, but I managed it. I finally lost all momentum right in front of my house. The car came to a dead stop and I just got out and went in my house.

In spite of the stupidity of running out of gas, I'm actually quite amused how this turned out.

That's all. Nothing more interesting than I ran out of gas and coasted home. Move along, everyone... move along.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top Ten Summer Movies - Summer Solstice Progress Report

Here we are, close to midway through the summer movie season. Time to check in on how the movies are doing.

It's just about time for the Summer Blockbuster Season to roll around, so I'm starting to plan what I actually want to see. Usually I INTEND to see most of them, but wind up only seeing half or less. Unlike many recent summers, I'm actually really looking forward to quite a few films.

So without further ado, here's the list (and not necessarily in order of looking-forward-to-ness)

1) The Dark Knight - Doesn't come out for another month or so. Getting more excited about it, though.

2) Iron Man - 9/10 This movie was lots of fun. Perfect sort of superhero movie. He's not as well-established as most other superheroes that have had movies made of them, so it was easier for them to play around with the history and not have it come across as false. For 99% of the world, this will be THE Iron Man. Sequels galore are already in the works.

3) Narnia: Prince Caspian - 6.5/10 This movie left me a bit whelmed. It was good, but nothing really memorable. However, that said, I wish the first film had had this look and tone to it. Narnia is more like a real place this go-round, whereas the first movie was more like a fairy land.

4) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 4/10 I was RIGHT to dread this film. What a mess. What a miscalculation. It reeks of George Lucas's myopic vision. For a really good list of what's wrong with this film, check this out.

5) Speed Racer - 0/10 Well, that's not a totally fair rating, because I didn't see it. But the closer it got, the less interested I was in seeing it. However, while waiting for Indy IV to restart (glitch in framing of the film), I wandered over to Speed Racer to catch a couple of minutes of it, just to see. The five minutes I watched were excruciating. I don't know who this film was made for. What a wreck...

6) The Happening - n/a This also looked more and more like a disaster the closer it got, and reviews have been universally bad. As I was only kinda interested in seeing it, this made my decision easier. I'll catch it on cable one day... maybe.

7) The Incredible Hulk - 7.5/10 The closer this one came to release, the more optimistic the reviews became. While the Hulk's CGI never got any better over the course of the previews, the reports were that the story and presentation were right in line with the precedent that Iron Man set earlier in the summer. And those reports were right. This was a mostly fun film, firmly set in the Iron Man version of the Marvel universe. I look forward to the next Marvel Studios film.

8) Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Still waiting for this one to come out. Recent previews make this look really epic.

9) Wall*E - This comes out next week. Latest previews are even stronger. Hard to imagine this not being a great Pixar film.

10) Tropic Thunder - Still the film I have the highest hopes for. Should be fun.


10.5) Hancock - I'm still on the fence about this one...

11) Honorable mentions - The rest of these films I'm going to keep my eye on, but they all seem like DVD rentals at best.

Get Smart - It opened this weekend, but I'm less than interested in seeing it...
Love Guru - It also opened this weekend, and it looks like total dreck.
Wanted - Growing more meh about this by the day.
Kung Fu Panda - This got great reviews and is a huge hit, but I just can't bring myself to see it yet. Looks like a DVD rental for sure.
Meet Dave - Whatever interest I had in seeing this has evaporated.

And as always, there's going to be at least one film that comes out of nowhere to become a surprise hit. What will be this year's Knocked Up?

Time will tell.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

48 Hour Film Project 2008 - Final Thoughts

Okay... it's been a week since we turned in our film nine minutes late. I wish I could say I feel better about the whole experience, but I don't. And it doesn't have anything to do with turning the film in nine minutes late. I think if we'd have gotten it in on time I'd actually feel worse.

While our film is 'okay', by no means is it a good film. We did the best we could with the time we had. The fact that we even wound up with something that had a semi-coherent narrative was a miracle in itself. On THAT level, this year was a resounding success.

Here's a slightly altered version of the film (I'll post the official version that we turned into the festival in the next day or so.)

I'm still intending on doing the Director's Cut, and it will be a massively different take. I played around with it a bit last Friday and there are some entire scenes I've already removed. I think it might be able to be turned into a film I feel better about...eventually.

There were a variety of reasons why we didn't get the film in on time, notably audio problems and lack of a dedicated editor, but neither of those were reasons why the film didn't live up to my expectations.

For starters, unless all elements line up perfectly, producing a GOOD 48 Hour Film is a losing proposition. The weekend is filled with nothing but compromises and cutting corners and having to settle for whatever you happen to have at that moment. Not one of the decisions we made this year were good, outside of the selection of our acting talent. We were blessed with that this year, and if not for them, our film would have been much less successful.

While I feel like I'm done with this contest (and other time-limited filmmaking contests), there's still a hint of a groundswell among other team members that we give this one more try. While I'm not going to push for it, if someone else steps up and takes on most of the back end stuff, I'm not opposed to participating again, with some major changes in how we operate.

For one, the need for a dedicated editor is a top priority. We need someone capturing footage and piecing together scenes BEFORE Sunday morning rolls around. Not just for getting the film in on time, but for really putting together the best film we can, with the least amount of scrambling as possible. We had a dedicated editor this year, but he bailed out at the last moment, leaving us in a bind that we never really recovered from. If we can't get a dedicated editor next year, and if we can't get a real commitment from him/her, then I won't even consider participating.

Secondly, the creative team/writing team has to be limited to two, maybe three people, including me. For three years now, we've had a writing team of five or six or more, and while everyone on that team is very creative and had great ideas, they all ultimately didn't mesh. Too many disparate ideas and visions that had no chance of coming together in one whole. The first two years we managed to work through it, mostly because the initial idea we came up with had fewer directions it could go, but this year, the idea we had was so cerebral and so open-ended that all the various ideas we had pulled this film in too many directions. At the first call, we didn't even have a full script, just a couple of scenes that kind of could be turned into something later (we were assuming we'd come up with a script for the rest of the film throughout the day, which we kind of did... kind of).

It's a testament to everyone there that we actually managed to salvage it this year, as we had almost nothing as late as noon on Saturday.

But back to the scripting- For good or ill, the writing team has to be no more than three people. The problem is, there are way more than three people that want to be on the creative team. How do you pick? Who do you tell, "Thanks, but we won't need your help on the writing team this year" ? I have to be on it, because one, for a project like this, I trust my own instincts, and two, I know what I can shoot and edit in a two day span.

Something else that probably won't sill well with some people is that I have no interest in attempting a 'serious' film again, or one with a 'message'. Not for this contest, anyway. It just doesn't work. People want to laugh. People want the film to be straightforward and to make clear sense every step of the way. Message films are great, and I'm totally in favor of making them, but to do them right, they need to be really massaged and refined every step of the way. Slamming together a message film just creates a mess.

In all honesty, the person I feel would be most helpful in the writing room on Friday night would be my brother, Guy. He's not a filmmaker or a writer, but he and I bounce ideas off of each other better than anyone else I know. Collaboration is such a delicate, fragile thing, especially when time is of the essence. With some people, on commercials and other projects, I work fantastically with them, but when it comes to something like a film, it's a total clash of sensibilities. I can't put a value on collaborating with someone that shares your mindset. I've been fortunate enough to work with many people over the years who fit that description, but only a couple where the collaboration turns into something magical or inspired.

It's not an easy thing to balance.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've joked with some people that the 48 Hour Film needs to be run like a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy. These things need one singular vision to work right. That singular vision can come from one or two or three people, but it has to be rock solid. We didn't have that this year by ANY stretch of the imagination. Everyone, myself included, had a different vision of what this film was going to be.

This becomes more pronounced when I compare our films (this year's, and the previous two) to the one I think is the best this year. In fact, I think it's the most successful 48 Hour Film I've seen, period, any city, any year. It's called "Rushin'" and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Take a gander here.

This film had a very clear vision, and everything in the film contributed to that vision. As far as I'm concerned, this film didn't make one false step.

What's interesting (to me) is the conversations I had with them after the film, and the answers they gave during the post-screening Q&A. They talked a lot about problems they faced previous years, such as too many cooks/writers, attempting to do something serious, attempting to deliver a message, attempting too many locations, etc. In fact, based on their previous films, I wouldn't have thought they had this film in them. Having spoken with them, I see that their previous films had failed for the same reasons I think our films have failed. But this year, they went into it with a totally different plan. Everything they talked about is exactly what I wanted to do this year, but let it get away from me again, and their success only underscores how the 'Reduce and Simplify' plan is the best one.

And while my ideas may very well turn out to be crap, at least the failure will be one that I can own. It really just doesn't sit well with me that this film I directed has no connection to something I would have wanted to do if I had done this entirely on my own. I know it sounds arrogant, but I know that if I had done it all by myself (writing and directing, that is), the film would have had a beginning, middle and ending, and would have had a cohesive and filmable story.

I guess we'll see if I'm right when I attempt to produce "Zombie Wrangler" later this summer. That will be a script I write and direct entirely on my own. If I have any idea what I'm doing, I guess we'll find out then.

So I apologize if you're still reading all the way to here. I know I've drifted over into ranting, but I kind of have to in order to put this experience to bed. It's just been a very frustrating and enlightening experience. Creative democracies just don't work on films. One vision, and everyone else can help round out that vision as much as the visioneer allows them. But in the end, it has to be one person's vision. That's how it has to work.

Okay... I'm still a bit burned out, but I think I'm about ready to get back to full creative steam.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Zeroes - The Auditions

Turns out this was all part of an NBC promo guy's marketing plan. One that he came up with on his own. Check out this interview.

Anyway, great job. We close out the week with an audition video for Zeroes. It's not as funny as the other videos, but it allows you to have gotten the FULL Zeroes experience.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Zeroes - The Trailer

They put together a little trailer for the first four episodes of Zeroes. Some funny stuff still to be mined from this concept. Especially the guy that can do the stomach thing.

12 Hours away from 48 Hour (Film Project)

I should be sleeping right now. In fact, I was. I got to bed at about 2:30, after finally arriving home after a long long long day marked by TV commercial production, 48 Hour Film preparation, trips to Louisiana and back, and a session with a friend on how to use the Firestore with the HVX 200 (that's 100% video geekspeak...don't attempt to figure out what that means unless you KNOW what it means.) Oh yeah, I even managed to squeeze a funeral in.

But today's going to be a long day, too. So why am I not sleeping???

Because I woke up about thirty minutes ago with something I ate last night not setting well with me. I'm not nauseous. It's more like a stomach cramp. I took some Pepto, and while I wait for it to work its magic, I'm sitting here typing.

This year is shaping up to be both more organized and prepared AND more chaotic. I think we have our best team yet, both in front of and behind the camera. For once, I won't be the only editing option, as we have a skilled, dedicated editor assigned. He should be able to start editing while we are still shooting. That should make Sunday's final edit session a thousand times easier. Plus, there will be at least two others of us (me and Chris) who will be able to either spell him, or work on segments or special effects on separate computers. We also have a dedicated composer for our film's music (but we still have Digital Juice on hand as backup).

The more chaotic part comes in the form that we aren't nearly as set on good locations as we were in previous years. We've got my office secured, a few outdoor areas, and I've got paperwork in for using our office building's interior (which has some cool elevators and a wide open atrium). Also this year, we don't have ONE perfect staging area. We'll be meeting at one location for the giant group gathering, a different location for the script-writing session, and a third location for editing. If not for the fact that my office building turns off the A/C on weekends, we could do everything there. As it is, we can probably meet for SOME of the time on Saturday (especially if we are doing any shooting there). But for Sunday, if we want to use my edit systems, we'll have to suffer through horrible stuffy heat (or else bring a couple of dozen fans. Our other option is to set up the edit system at someone's house. We WERE going to set up at the dedicated editor's house, but within the past week or so, he has moved, so all of his stuff is in boxes. We still haven't got this one figured out yet.

But I'm most excited about our cast. We have a rather large pool of talent this year, just about all of which have prior acting experience (either in REAL films, or else have been on our team in years past). My only concern is our coming up with a concept and a script that manages to give everyone a solid part. Because of the talent level this year, I'm more confident about our writing a looser script and allowing the actors to improvise more. This will make it easier at the script stage, but a bit tougher during the edit. We'll see.

As we do every year, we try to anticipate potential story ideas based on the potential genres we might pull. If our film ends up with a zoo murder in it, or a jury deliberation room, or a kidnapped newscaster, or extensive funny subtitles, then you'll know we managed to use one of those ideas. However, as also happens every year, we will almost certainly come up with something brand new that really integrates the required elements. I'm confident in our ability to come up with something really good, either way.

It's always an incredibly fun weekend, but amazingly exhausting. The last two years, our goal was to WIN this event, which we didn't do (although we did win bunches of individual awards/smiley face stickers). THIS year, our goal isn't to win, but to produce an amazing short film. Winning would be a nice byproduct obviously, but at the end of the day, we're more concerned with ending up with something we're very proud of.

Irony Coast Productions should be up to the task.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Zeroes - Episode 4

It's too bad this one just sort of ends. Except for an audition video (coming Saturday!) it doesn't appear they've produced any more videos in this series, which is a shame. I've laughed out loud consistently at these videos.

Good job!

Coming tomorrow, the Trailer for this show that has some additional Zeroes in it that haven't been featured in the show yet.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Zeroes - Episode 3

The guy with the art powers has become my favorite character. His drawings are brilliant and the way it parodies the real Heroes is fantastic.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Zeroes - Episode 2

I wish I could claim credit for these videos. They're everything a good viral video series should be. Short, concise, witty, and very well-made. I love the small touches.

Penguins 4 - Red Wings 3 (Red Wings lead series 3-2)

Wow. If ever there was a game the Penguins didn't deserve to win, that was it. I missed the first two periods (fortunately, there were another four still to come), so I can't vouch for how they played then, but over the third period and almost the entire overtime, they were terrified, tentative, and sloppy. No one seemed to want the puck. Any time the puck was on a Penguins stick, they couldn't wait to get rid of it to let someone else have the dread responsibility of somehow salvaging this game. I lost count of the number of weak passes they made and the number of times they found themselves horribly out of position. It seemed like there were seven Red Wings on the ice at all times.

But... the Hockey gods were with them tonight. They live to fight another day. Perhaps it's win this thing after all.

Actually, the only reason the Penguins are playing Wednesday night is because Marc-Andre Fleury played the most amazing game of his career. There was at least a dozen times the series should have been over, but Fleury's heroic goaltending kept the Penguins in the game. 55 saves. And most of them during that stretch when the rest of the Pens weren't providing any help at all.

Game six is Wednesday night, and I'll be plopped in front of the TV for that entire game, adorned with my Penguins jersey. If they can pull THAT off, then I'll have a dilemma. Gave seven will be Saturday evening. This year's 48 Hour Film Project will be in full swing on Saturday and if it's anything like it was the last two years, I'll still be deep in the shooting of it when the game starts... grrr... Now, in addition to all the other required elements of the contest, I have an additional required element of getting done in time to see at least some of the game.

Anyway, thanks Pens, for extending this amazing season at least ONE more game.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Venture Bros.- Season 3 - Episode 1 - "Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny"

Yay! Venture Bros. is/are back! It kind of sneaked up on me. Actually, I knew it was going to be returning near the beginning of June, it's just that the whole month of June kind of sneaked up on me. In any event, its return comes not a moment too soon, what with the season finale of Lost and the series derailment of Battlestar Galactica.

This episode had nary a glimpse of Hank or Dean, and only a couple of moments of Dr. Venture and Brock. But that's okay. The Venture Bros isn't a show about the characters themselves, it's about the whole Venture-Bros-iverse. As long as they bring the funny, and this week, they did.

Basically what we had was a sort of origin story for the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend as they apply for membership into the League of Calamitous Intent. Lots of fun moments, too many to recount. Nothing gut-busting, but all of it good. What I'm sure will become a fun quest is figuring out who the shadowy members of the Council of Thirteen are. I haven't done any Googling to see if any of them have been identified, but the only one I think I've figured out is that the main one that was speaking is Wile E. Coyote. (okay... now I'm going to go Googling... nope... so far only Wile E. Coyote).

One of my favorite things about this show is the codifying of Supervillainry that they've done. My favorite of these is the term "arching", which is what you do when you have an arch-enemy (which I have!)

Anyway, Venture Bros. is always more about the sum of the whole, rather than the individual parts. This was another solid episode in what looks to be a great season. Can't wait to see more of Manotaur and his Malevolent Murder Maze. And I want to see more of Truckules.

Because it's going to be such a long long time before anything good returns to the airwaves, it might be a good time to revisit The Venture Bros. from the beginning.

Zeroes - Episode 1

Stumbled upon this a few days ago and was highly impressed. Nice production values, decent acting, funny ideas, all extremely well executed.

I laugh every time the black guy uses his power. Great stuff.

Join me here every day this week for a new episode, and an amusing trailer at the end of the week.

Are you a fan of Heroes (or a former fan, like myself)?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Battlestar Galactica - "Sine Qua Non"

There was a time not that long ago where I had the whole Battlestar Galactica storyline down cold. I could name ships and characters and knew what all the mystical stuff meant.

But not anymore.

BSG has completely lost me. It hit me a couple of episodes ago when in the midst of the shows latest string of visions and prophecies and dreams, I suddenly realized I didn't have a clue what was going on anymore. I had no clue how any of it tied together.

And the worst part? I didn't care anymore.

BSG is at the point where I know enough about the behind-the-scenes development of this show that I know they're really making this all up as they go along. I know that any ideas or plot threads that they might have had in season one or two have been completely rebuilt from the ground up and ret-conned into submission. And for me, that totally ruins the experience. Unlike the Cylons, the creative team does NOT have a plan.

And that in itself is a joke. I defy ANYone to tell me in less than a thousand words what the Cylon's plan is. Better yet, tell me what it was at each stage of this show. Wipe out all the humans? Wipe out all of them except for a few? Find Earth? Not find Earth? Have there been prophecies all along? Where do they get their spiritual info from? Where's the Cylon Bible?

It's all so convoluted and contradictory that I doubt the writing staff of this show could explain it to you.

In spite of the ret-con plot integrity betrayal last season with the reveal of four of the Final Five Cylons, I was giving this season a chance to tie it all together and hit a home run. But that hasn't happened.

"Sine Qua Non" was easily one of the weakest episodes of the entire season. Battlestar Galactica works best when it's just telling its story in a straightforward way. The first few episodes of each season, this one included, usually start out that way. Just the presentation of the events in a serialized, connected way. It's only when the show hits the middle parts of the season when we start to get the stand-alone episodes. These eps usually have some sort of stupid 'theme' or style or homage they are paying. This week on BSG, we had the crazy/damaged consultant that sees dead cats. It was as silly as that sentence made it sound.

Which is sad, because there were several momentous events that took place that were completely diluted by the 'main' story. Adama declares his love for Roslin, Lee becomes President, and Tigh & Six conceive the first Cylon-Cylon baby (inconceivable!). While its true the President Lee Adama storyline was actually the main plot, it felt like a side element to the 'search for the candidate' that dominated much of the episode (and gave us the silly, showy, Romo Lampkin mental breakdown plot. My favorite comment on Romo Lampkin comes from Alan Sepinwall's blog,

"The entire story with Lee and Romo Lampkin was particularly annoying. I think the "Galactica" writers like Romo a lot more than the guy deserves, as he's less a character than a collection of colorful tics."

Sepinwall has a great, far more thorough, review on his blog as well, check it out.

And the contradictions continue to mount. It's bad enough that the show contradicts itself from episode to episode, but when it does it within the same episode, it makes me wonder who's in charge of this show. Case in point, in the middle of the episode, it's revealed to Admiral Adama that Tigh has been canoodling with prisoner Six, so much so that she's pregnant. Adama is suitably infuriated by this which leads to a knock-down fight between the two. That was okay. But not five minutes later, Adama decides to leave on a quest to find the missing Laura Roslin, and leaves "the only person he can trust," Tigh, in command of the entire fleet. WHAT? This guy just proved he can't be trusted and that he's consorting with the enemy. And a second example comes at the end of the ep when recently off-her-rocker Starbuck is now apparently the unquestioned CAG. First off, she was crazy just a couple of episodes ago, and she also her miraculous resurrection still hasn't been adequately explained. To me, that's someone that shouldn't be allowed near a command. And finally, there's the continuing trust of Athena. She's a CYLON. Regardless of how much she may want to fight her programming, she's still a Cylon, and ultimately can't and shouldn't be trusted. Adama's giving daughter Hera back to Athena after his justified berating of her simply smacked of "Let's just get this episode over and make sure we have all our pieces in place for the next episode."

In fact, the whole series feels that way. Regardless of how much sense it might or might not make, they make sure everything is set up for the next episode.

But right now... I just don't care. I imagine I'll keep watching just to see what happens, but I'm no longer invested in this show, and that's just sad. After the One Year Later jump, and the first five episodes of the next season, I was ready to declare BSG one of the all-time great shows. And then the wheels totally fell of the wagon. It's been a mess ever since.

And I'm sure I'll make this declaration way too many times in the coming weeks and months and years, but "The Wire" has totally ruined regular TV for me. After seeing what TV can look like when someone REALLY puts their effort into it and reaches for something when I see half-hearted, "good enough" TV, it just infuriates me. I'm so tired of lazy TV. I just pray that "The Wire" isn't the last of its kind that we'll see...

Oh well.

If it's any consolation, at least it looks like next week's BSG actually has stuff that happens in it.

What's you're take? Do you still care? Do you have a clue what's going on?