Efficiency, sarcasm, and natty fur!

This monkey and this robot once had a system: three blogs for three subjects. But it was complicated and vague and usually ended in feces throwing. So we have combined all three into a melange of media reviews and links and excessive blather, so as to reduce the burden on your short attention span.

In the right column, Monkey + Robot have compiled for you a compendium of sassy, savvy and in the know media reviews and tidbits, for your time-wasting pleasure. And lest you poke at us with sticks or cut off our power supply, the reviews are now selectable through those perky drop-down menus. Monkey + Robot Film and TV reviews, Wrongrobot's Comic Stash, and more.

Grab a chunk of melon and some Demoral, because in the left column, we have accumulated for you every snappy link we found amusing, entertaining, provocatively witty, or frankly, just colorful, with easy to understand small words so monkeybites can follow along. Such is Robotic Root!

Entertainment Media Ratings System:

Wrongrobot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clicks, more indicating a happier robot!

Monkeybites' Monkey Rating: 1-10 Ooks! More indicating a mouthful of rotting simian teeth and lips curled in monkey pleasure!

IronLung's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clanks! More indicating a red-eyed, slack-jawed, blissed-out, ride-pimped dizzy droid! [this is good]

Vicbot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Whirrs! More indicating data that computes well with others.

WWW http://monkey-plus-robot-reviews.blogspot.com
Wrongrobot's Fantasy Film Casting:
Casting Batman: Year One
Casting The Losers
Casting Richard Zach's Pirate Hunter


Film Reviews [M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks]

Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 8 Clicks
Aliens Vs. Predator: 1 Clank
Bad Santa: 9 Clicks
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever: 2 Clicks
Bend it Like Beckham: 8 Clicks
Bourne Supremacy: 10 Clicks
Bowling for Columbine: 8 Clicks
Bubba Ho-Tep: 8 Clanks
Cirque du Soleil- Allegria [stage]: 10 Clicks
Cold Mountain: 7 Clicks
Cutthroat Island: 2 Clicks
Elf: 8 Clicks
Equilibrium: 6 Clicks
Escape From Alcatraz: 7 Clicks
Finding Nemo: 10 Clicks
Girl With a Pearl Earring: 7 Clicks
The Graduate [stage]: 7 Clicks
Hero: 7 Clanks
House of 1000 Corpses: 5 Clanks
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 5 Clicks
Hudson Hawk: 6 Clanks
The Hulk: 7 Clicks
Identity: 3 Clicks
Igby Goes Down: 5 Clicks
Intolerable Cruelty: 6 Clicks
I, Robot [trailer commentary][IronLung]
I, Robot [trailer commentary][Wrongrobot]
Kill Bill Vol.1: 10 Clicks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [IronLung]: 9 Clanks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [Wrongrobot]: 10 Clicks
The Last Samurai: 8 Clicks
LotR: Return of the King: 7 Clicks
My Architect: 9 Clicks
Original Kings of Comedy: 7 Clicks
The Phantom: 1 Click
Pirates of the Caribbean: 9 Clicks
The Punisher: 5 Clanks
Secretary: 9 Clicks
Shanghai Knights: 4 Clicks
Spellbound: 7 Clicks
Spider-Man 2: 8 Clanks/ 8 Clicks
Starsky & Hutch: 8 Clicks
Star Trek- Nemesis: 6.5 Clicks
Terminator 3: 5 Clicks, 2 Ooks
The Thin Red Line: 7 Clicks
To Live and Die in LA: 10 Clicks
Troy: n/a
Van Helsing: 4 Clicks, 0 Clanks!
Whale Rider: 8 Clicks

Comic Film Adaptations News [Film and TV]:

Appleseed OAV 2004 6/18/04
Aeon Flux: 2/27/04
Akira Live-Action Film 9/29/04
Animated Batman 2004 9/2/04
Batman Begins: 2/12/04 2/19/04 2/24/04 3/02/04 3/03/04 3/04/04 3/08/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 3/19/04 3/31/04 TRDL Concept Illustration 4/3/04 4/5/04 4/12/04 TRDL Concept Illustration Part 2 4/12/04 4/21/04 4/22/04 4/23/04 4/23/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 Costume Critique 5/4/04 Script Excerpts 5/7/04 6/01/04 6/04/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/15/04 6/16/04 7/6/04 7/13/04 7/20/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 Trailer 7/29/04 7/31/04 8/2/04 8/3/04 8/4/04 8/5/04 8/8/04 8/10/04 8/12/04 8/17/04 8/20/04 8/24/04 8/30/04 10/19/04
Battle Angel Alita: 9/10/04
Black Widow 4/29/04
Blade 3: Trinity: 5/4/04 6/11/04
Catwoman: 2/18/04 5/21/04 Game Concept Art 5/21/04 6/11/04 Suckage! 7/29/04
Comic Adaptations 10/13/03
Constantine: 3/08/04 5/14/04
Dazzler?!? 7/7/04
Elektra: 2/19/04 3/29/04 4/23/04 5/14/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 6/10/04 6/18/04 7/1/04 7/2/04 7/6/04 7/29/04 9/20/04 10/13/04
Fantastic Four: 6/16/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 8/3/04 9/20/04
Ghost in the Shell 2: 9/18/04
Global Frequency: 6/15/04 7/16/04 8/17/04
Good Time For Comic Films! 5/14/04
Green Lantern?!?: 7/24/04 Koboshed 8/8/04
Hawaiian Dick: 4/21/04 Interview 4/22/04
He-Man: 10/11/04
Hellboy: 2/12/04 Interview: Del Toro 2/20/04
3/03/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 Personality Test 3/17/04 Figures Released 3/29/04 Toys Addendum 3/30/04 Choose the Next Figures! 4/21/04 Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04 Interview: Selma Blair 3/30/04
Interview: Spectral Motion 4/5/04 Caught On Film in '62! 4/21/04 Interview: Selma Blair, CafeFX 4/28/04 Hellboy Collaborator Medical Fund Auction! 5/4/04 DVDs 7/7/04 7/28/04 8/3/04 8/5/04 8/25/04 8/31/04 Hellboy 2: 3/29/04 4/8/04 6/03/04 8/27/04 9/1/04
Hulk 2? 5/4/04 9/7/04

Hulk Op-Ed 7/14/04
Iron Man: 3/03/04 4/23/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 9/14/04
8/2/04 8/10/04
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 9/8/04
Preacher FX 4/29/04
Sin City: 3/19/04 4/04/21 4/04/29 4/05/19 5/21/04 6/01/04 6/11/04 7/1/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 7/20/04 8/11/04 9/15/04
Spider-Man 2: 2/18/04 3/29/04
Spider-Man 3: 5/4/04 5/14/04 6/10/04 7/13/04 Spider-Man 2 Game Screenshots 6/8/04 Spider-Man 2 [trailer commentary]
Superman: 5/21/04 6/03/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 7/1/04 7/13/04 7/14/04 7/20/04 8/5/04 8/10/04 8/27/04 8/31/04 9/10/04 9/15/04 10/19/04 [2] 10/19/04
Transformers: 9/10/04
Wanted 3/03/04
Watchmen: 4/4/23 4/7/24 7/24/24 8/12/04 9/10/04
Wolverine: 10/13/04
X-Men 3: 7/20/04 5/4/04 6/18/04 7/7/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 7/20/04 8/27/04 Aborted Sentinel? 9/2/04 9/7/04 9/15/04

Film News, General:

A Scanner Darkly Film Adaptation
Akira: Kaneda's Bike in Production? 8/28/04
Aliens Vs. Predator: 6/2/04 Chess Set 5/26/04 6/8/04 Trailor 6/11/04 6/28/04 7/8/04 [trailer commentary] 8/5/04 8/8/04 7/15/04 8/12/04
Anchorman 7/13/04
Big Lebowski Day! 5/5/04
Bloodrayne 8/10/04
Bond? Who Bond? 8/3/04
Bourne Supremacy: 1/6/04 Trailer: 5/4/04 7/8/04
Cage Deserves Happiness 7/31/04
Clooney/ Tarantino in the News 10/15/03
Dodgeball 6/01/04
Domino 8/3/04
HEAT vs. R:HD: Dialog Analysis 10/22/03
Heat/ GTA III: Lawsuits Imitate Life 10/23/03
Incredibles 8/23/04
Jim White Documentary 3/23/04
Kill Bill 2 Poster 2/18/04
Kill Bill Interview: Uma Thurman 4/8/04
Kill Bill Vol. 3?! 4/12/04
The Life Aquatic 1/15/04
Matrix Explained? 8/31/04
National Treasure 8/4/04
Nowhere Man 7/26/04
Pierce is Bond No More 7/27/04
Sky Captain 7/15/04
Sky High 8/17/04
Soderberg Joins Che 4/5/04
Speed Racer: Vince Vaughn 6/25/04
Stealth 7/8/04
Summer 04 Films to Watch 4/22/04
Team America Puppet Porn 8/25/04
Transporter 2 6/16/04
Van Helsing: Van Helsing WHO? 3/16/04 Interview: ILM 5/5/04 Penny Arcade 5/18/04
Underworld 2 9/7/04
WB Kills ESC F/X 8/18/04
Will Smith Lexicon 5/18/04
Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman 6/25/04
No Mas James Bond
Miami Vice on the Big Screen

TV Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

24 Season 3: 10/29/03: 8 Whirrs 11/5/03: 6 Whirrs 2/08/04: 7 Whirrs 2/12/04: 8 Whirrs 2/18/04: 8 Whirrs 2/24/04: 9 Whirrs 4/06/04: 7 Whirrs 4/26/04: 6 Whirrs 5/03/04: 3 Whirrs 5/11/04: 9 Whirrs 5/18/04: 8 Whirrs Finale 7/8/04: 3 Whirrs
Apprentice: Robin and Carolyn 4/16/04
ATHF and Space Ghost Links 2/25/04
ATHF: Revenge of the Trees 10/13/03: 8 Clicks The Shaving 10/27/03: 7 Clicks Super Trivia 9/22/03: 8 Clicks Battlestar Galactica 1/13/04: 3 Clicks
Carnivale: 9/22/03: 10 Clicks 9/30/03: 9 Clicks
Christopher Columbus: Secrets From the Grave: 3 Clicks
CSI: 8/11/03: 1 Ook 9/26/03: 5 Clicks CSI: Miami: 7/30/03: 1 Ook 7/31/03: 6 Clicks 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Deadwood 3/24/04: 8 Clicks
Dinner for Five: 9/26/03: 7 Clicks 9/30/03: 7 Clicks
Ed: 9/26/03: 3 Clicks Series Finale 2/12/04: 7 Clicks
Emmy Nominations 04 7/15/04: 7 Clicks
Enterprise 10/13/03: 6 Clicks
Everybody Loves Raymond 9/26/03: 6 Clicks
Friends 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Grammys: Outkast's Andre 3000 2/9/04: 10 Clicks
Law and Order Family: 9/30/03: 8 Clicks
Law and Order: 10/13/03
Law and Order: CI: 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Marvel Comics Guide to NYC: 10 Clicks
Method and Red: 9 Clicks
MI-5 10/28/03: 10 Clicks
Mix It Up 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Mr. Show: What to Think 9/10/03: 10 Clicks
Penn & Teller's Bullshit: 9 Clanks
Reno 911!: 9 Clicks 9/7/03
Space Ghost C2C: Baffler Meal: 11 Clicks! Flipmode 2/25/04:20 Clicks Survivor 7 9/19/03: 8 Clicks
Survivor All-Stars: 2/12/04: 8 Clicks 2/13/04: 7 Clicks Tour de France 2003 8/4/03: 8 Clicks
Will & Grace 9/26/03: 7 Clicks

TV News

24/Law and Order/CSI "That Guy" Character Actor Tracker
24: Comic Adaption 3/25/04 Season 4 Casting 8/9/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Cigarette Smoking Man Action Figure 5/26/04
CSI: CSI in Comedy Culture 6/24/04 CSI's Peterson 2/18/04 Sick outs Everywhere 7/27/04
CSI: Miami Drinking Game 2/27/04 No Mas Rory Cochrane 8/9/04
CSI:NY: 3/8/04 3/16/04 Drawn Together 8/20/04
HDTV ScreenCap Archive 8/25/04
Jessica Simpson 10/21/03
Mastershake Speaks 9/7/04
Nike's Lance Commercial: Magnet 8/18/04
Law and Order: Trial by Jury Casting 6/04/04
NBC Hijacks TiVo 1/15/04
Simpsons' Shearer Balks 8/12/04
Survivor All-Stars Cast 1/12/04
Survivor 9 8/18/04
Robbery: Homicide Division Music 9/30/03

French Connection Made for TV


Wrongrobot's Comics Stash- Comics and Sequential Art Reviews

Comic Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

Comics Reviews Intro
100 Bullets: 48: 7 Clicks
52, 53: 8 Clicks
9-11, Artists Respond Collections
Alias: 24-25: 10 Clicks 26-27: 10 Clicks 28: 9 Clicks
Astonishing X-Men: 2: 8 Clicks 3,4: 9,10 Clicks
Avengers: 500: 8 Clicks 502: 7 Clicks
Batgirl Year One TPB: 10 Clicks
Batman: 620: 5 Clicks 621: 7 Clicks
Batman: Long Halloween: 7 Clanks
Bloodstream 1: 1 Click
BPRD One Shots: 9/7 Clicks
Cla$$War: 4: 8 Clicks 5: 10 Clicks
Daredevil: 50-52: 9/3/5 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56: 9 Clicks 57: 7 Clicks
65: 6 Clicks
Domino:Perfect Weapon: 8 Clicks
Exiles: 30-33: 6/4/4 Clicks 36-37: 3/6 Clicks
Ex Machina: 2, 3: 7 Clicks
Global Frequency 11: 10 Clicks
Gotham Central: 10-11: 9 Clicks 13: 9 Clicks 16-18: 9 Clicks
Hellhounds 1-3: 7 Clicks
Human Target: 4: 9 Clicks 5-6: 8 Clicks 7: 8 Clicks
12, 13: 9 Clicks
Iron Man: 73-75: 8 Clicks 76: 2 Clicks 77: 5 Clicks 86: 9 Clicks
JSA: 51-52: 7/8 Clicks 53: 8 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56-57: 7 Clicks 58: 3 Clicks
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2: 3 Clanks, 8 Clicks
The Losers: Ante Up TPB: 9 Clanks 6: 10 Clicks 10-11: 8/10 Clicks
16: 10 Clicks
New Invaders 0: 3 Clicks
New X-Men: 144-146: 5 Clicks 149: 3 Clicks 151-152: 2 Clicks 153: 3 Clicks
[Renamed X-Men] 159-162: 4 Clicks
Paradise X: A: 9 Clicks
Planetary: TPBs (1-12): 8 Clicks 16: 5 Clicks : 8 Clicks 18: 9 Clicks
Powers: 33: 8 Clicks 36: 9 Clicks 37: 10 Clicks V2, 1: 10 Clicks
2-4: 10 Clicks
Pulse: 5: 7 Clicks
Queen and Country: 20: 10 Clicks 21: 10 Clicks 25: 8 Clicks
The Ride 1: 9 Clicks
Secret War 1: 8 Clicks
Sleeper: 8: 10 Clicks 11: 10 Clicks 12: 10 Clicks Sleeper Season Two: 1: 10 Clicks
Supreme Power: 1-2: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 7: 10 Clicks 8: 9 Clicks 11: 8 Clicks
Tokyo Storm Warning TPB: 5 Clicks
Ultimates: 12: 10 Clicks 13: 10 Clicks
Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-2: 7 Clicks 3: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Nightmare: 1: 10 Clicks
2: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Six: 1: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 6: 9 Clicks Ultimate X-Men: 36-37: 2 Clicks
Ultra: 2: 9 Clicks
Uncanny X-Men: 429-431: 4 Clicks 433: 2 Clicks 437-441: 1 Click 444-445: 5 Clicks 446: 6 Clicks
Wanted 2: 10 Clicks
We3: 1: 10 Clicks
Wildcats 3.0: 13: 7 Clicks 16: 7 Clicks 18: 7 Clicks
X-Statix : 2: 4 Clicks 13-15: 6 Clicks 18: 4 Clicks 19: 3 Clicks

Friends of Robot: Artists:

FoR: 36Oh.net FofR: Enrico Casarosa
FoR: Terra Major's Horns of Hattin
FoR: Losstarot
FoR: Prometheus
FoR: Studio Kosen

Comic News:

Check the Film News section for updates on comic-related film adaptations! 100 Bullets FPS Game 4/2/04
Ale Garza on Batgirl 8/5/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Apparat Line: Warren Ellis 8/25/04
The Atomic Revolution Comic 3/23/04
Authority: Nguyen Interview 5/14/04
Authority OGN 7/20/04
Avengers 500 Preview 7/1/04
Brent Anderson on Pulse, Astro City 3/25/04
Batman Begins Costume Illustration [Wrongrobot]4/3/04
Batman: War on Crime 8/31/04
Bullseye Origin Series 6/28/04
Comics For Intellectuals 9/1/04
Decompression and Pacing 9/23/03
Dillon on Bullseye 9/7/04
Doc Frankenstein by Burlyman 9/2/04
Doc Ock Year One 6/16/04
Earth's Mightiest Mini 9/3/04
Ellis and Granov on Iron Man 5/25/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Iron Man 7/31/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Explodo 8/2/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Bad Kids 8/27/04
Fox Sued over LoEG Script 9/26/03
Hawaiian Dick Bk 2 8/23/04
Hack/Slash book 2 6/18/04
Hal Jordon and Copyrights 8/20/04
Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04
IDW's 24 Comic 3/25/04
Iron Man Facelift 9/12/03
Iron Man 87 Outtakes 8/27/04
Joss Whedon Interview: Astonishing X-Men 8/10/04
JSA vs. JSA 8/12/04
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 6/1/04
Marvel Vs. DC 8/31/04
Masamune Shirow 10/15/03
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs 4/6/04
Morrison on JLA: Hyperclan and Superman 6/1/04
Morrison's WE3 9/1/04
New Avengers 8/18/04
Nguyen Confirmed on Authority Vol.3 5/14/04
Nouvelle Manga Manifesto 6/11/03
Ocean 8/9/04
Orson Welles as Batman? 9/26/03
Phoenix Mini-Series 8/20/04
Poorly Drawn Animals 8/2/04
Remains: Niles/Dwyer Interview 3/12/04
Scurvy Dog: Yount Interview 1/15/04
SD Comicon Visual Oddities 7/31/04
Space Ghost 7/31/04
Spandex vs Leather 4/6/04
Steven Grant on 'Literature of Ethics'
The Losers: Diggle/Jock Interview 3/11/04
The Picture of Everything 1/15/04
The Question: Rick Veitch 9/1/04
The Question: Tommy Lee Edwards 9/2/04
Teddy Roosevelt From Mars 8/20/04
Tom Coker: Batman in Monolith 8/30/04
Tony Harris Pages from new Iron Man Arc
Ultimates: Bryan Hitch Interview 9/12/03
Ultra 8/18/04
Watchmen Remembered 8/12/04
WizardWorld LA Promo Art 3/22/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 8/13/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 2 8/17/04
WonderCon 2004 Dance-Off 8/18/04
Worlds Finest Film 7/26/04
World's Finest Interview 8/4/04
Young Avengers 8/20/04
Identity Crisis Covers
Honey Moon, The Ride, Rex Steele, Shirow, Megacity909
Comic Preview: Intimates, Iron Man
TSR Illustrator Terminally ill
Twinkie Comics, Avengers Dissembled Toy-style
Interview: Mark Millar of Ultimates
Interview: Cliff Chiang of Human Target
Star Trek Manga Anthology from Tokyopop
Pop Mahn to TokyoPop
Granov Iron Man Preview Pages
Image Comics Moves to Berkeley

TV Reviews: Season Premiere Round-Up

Season Premiere Round-Up, Part One: Returning Shows

CSI: So this season started pretty much the way last season ended: in an effort to keep up the futile effort to up the ante in the Shocking! Plot! Twists! the writers seem to now be routinely hurtling murderdeathkills into the CSI machine three and four at a time in the hopes that while the stretched out Evidence-Collecting-With-Moody-Earnest-Expressions-To-Techno scenes may be getting old, four of them at once would, you know, 'mix things up!' as they say in Hollywood. More often than not, at least one of those supposed victims was a collateral accident, or a suicide, or maybe a runover dog, something like that, so it's rarely four different investigations in parallel. It would be more interesting to watch them push the boundaries of the conceit that there are five investigators (six now, perhaps, with Johnny on the Spot in the field for the first time) and a few lab techs managing the entire 'Crime Lab' for a city that simultaneously seems to have more murdered folk creating abstract art on the sidewalks than Oakland or DC. I'd like to see them push the idea that resources are limited, as they've flirted with a few times, with cases getting backed up because when the teams are clustered like band camp around a victim yapping and taking photos of random, arbitrary crime scene elements instead of delegating tasks for greater efficiency. Ok, anyway, we had a stripper in bed with a Massive Headwound Harry problem, and a john who claimed not to remember how it happened, a gunshot victim in a crowded nightclub, a fat guy taking a bath with his electric hot plate for company, and finally, a dead alien found out in Area 51 somewhere. Now, I'd have been happier if they had EIGHT crime scenes. The problem CSI is facing, that Law and Order has dodged, in my opinion, is that the premise of CSI is really boiled down to exaggerating and extrapolating mythical forensics processes in order to not only solve perplexing crimes, but to make both the castmembers, and the concept of police forensics, seem fascinating. Unfortunately, while the gimmick of lighting tricks and cool clothes and pretty people with furrowed brows and pursed lips shaking beakers or applying packing tape to the crotches of dead exotic dancers seemed amusing and fun in the first season, it's grown repetitive and tiresome as the series has dragged on. CSI, of it's now two franchise partners, has relied most on the character interaction to keep the stories interesting, occasionally stepping a little too far into melodrama territory with their personal life sub-plots that are frequently too obvious to be taken seriously (Kathryn is dating a sleazy club owner with a heart of gold! Grissom might shtup a younger staffmember! Grissom might go deaf!)but at least that interaction has grown from these actors having had enough time to develop personalities for their characters at all, but it remains to be seen if the other CSI shows will have that opportunity. Law and Order, on the other hand, is probably the most repetitive, formulaic show on network TV other than daytime trash talkshows, and yet it remains compelling viewing because they use that formula to great advantage, keeping personal details of characters to a teasing minimum, and focusing on the intricacies of investigation and indictment to introduce creativity and procedural interest show after show. Admittedly, you have to really like police procedurals to find L&O compelling over the long haul, but at least they know their audience. CSI is competing for a more mainstream, glitzy style-drama crowd, which is why the pseudo-science goes out the window, and clever camera angles and clinical cross-section FX have higher priority than subtle scriptwriting. So the CSI premiere was alarmingly consistent with the material of the previous season. Compared to it's first sibling, CSI:Miami, it's still maintaining a more cohesive language in the first episode, and the little tenuous strands of connective tissue holding the show together are still holding, for now.

Bonus points for the continuing relationship between Law and Order, CSI and 24, as previously mentioned here on Monkey + Robot numerous times... Reiko Aylesworth as Chandra Moore, Greg's new DNA Lab replacement. Unfortunately, she's initially portrayed as a young hottie, then devolved, or evolved, depending, into a stressed-out, manic lab type who loses it by the end of the episode over not that much stress at all. One hopes this is a ruse and they'll bring her back next ep, because we could all use a little more Reiko in our lives, now that she was unceremoniously canned from 24, and wearing even shorter professional attire. I hate myself for saying that, honestly.

6/10 Clicks


CSI: Miami: First, Rory checks out, and is blamed for it, retro-actively, then they tread water for a few episodes as if it never happened, then they solemnly take on a fresh-scrubbed replacement that looks like kin to CSI Mothership's Greg... all par for the course in the myopic world of CSI:Miami. CSI: Myopic. I like it.

Rory Cochrane made it pretty clear he was unhappy, and it was leaked to the web that he was off the show virtually as soon as the network was informed, thanks to several CSI-related fansites with insider members. The production actually filmed the first episode of the new season in early Summer, only a few weeks after the finale aired, as soon as possible after Cochrane asked to be let go during the post-finale weeks when most actors negotiate their contracts for more cash based on send-of-the-season ratings. What's unfortunate about the way the writers handled his exit isn't the wishy-washy blame-the-character plot device, as Cochrane complains, but rather that the production couldn't keep timeline and continuity straight enough to even allow the characters in the finished episode to even remotely appear affected by his death. A scene or two after Khandi is working up an autopsy on their fallen comrade "Oh baby, what did you do to yourself?" [blame the character, right] the rest of the team is off solving the primary crime mystery as if Speedle is just, you know, off camera somewhere. Then they pull it together for an impassioned, bitter condescending scene where Callie confirms Speedle's gun wasn't clean, and Horatio frowns, takes off his sunglasses, looks pained, melodramatically indicates she should leave that off the record so his poor little Auntie can get a pension payout, then glares, puts the glasses on, gives a few awkward hugs, etc, all to blame the death on the character's incompetence. I actually like the fact that they used his established character flaw as the way to eliminate him, especially after the forshadowing comment on the way into the bank, about having time for this and that later on (90% of the audience, internet users, have had the surprise spoiled, so it merely makes them stop sawing their leathery chicken fried steak long enough to watch Speed cowboy around in the lobby for a few minutes, irrationally, until being popped and gurgling his way to the floor.)Unfortunately, they move on as if it never happened, clearly shot out of sequence, perhaps while the writers tried to decide ultimately how to kill off the character, until the ned, when they give us this elaborate, out-of-scale Presidential-style motorcade and dramatic melancholic Bruckheimer-style funeral for the guy that had been villified all episode long. It was uneven and gauche, but somehow, it's all good. It's such a tacky show that it was fairly consistent with the way things have been going. This season, Horatio has been delivering lines in dangerous tones to everyone from his own staff, to victims, to corpses, to lawn furniture, like a fire-and-forget weapon of drama. And hell, we alreadyhave a thawing romantic tension thing happening with Callie and New Guy, and they never even 'splained what happened to meaty detective boyfriend guy. So, you know, I guess the editing wasn't that out of context after all.

Oh, and hey, anyone notice the color schemes for eachof the CSI's? I did. So did these dudes. Wow, so CSI is art, huh. Huh.


Law and Order: I thought I was going to have some issues with Dennis Farina joining the cast this season. Not because I have any problem with Farina, but because it seemed kind of lame to replace the geezer with a geezer, so to speak. I mean, that's fine for ADAs (well, hottie assistant for hottie assistant) but come ON. However, they did something very interesting and very L&O in the introduction for this new character: they gave us all kinds of sneak peaks at his personal life without telling us anything. This is L&O's strong point: giving us teasers as to the character's private lives, but staying on point with the plot. Farina's character is no substitute-Briscoe, and he doesn't play it anything like Orbach did. This guy transfered in under mysterious, political circumstances, has a strong chip on his shoulder, is smooth as grease, and causes a few eyebrows on entry. The Cap said it best: "Is that guy a detective, or...?" Greene: "... a wiseguy? Tell me about it." It's a great angle: Farina is trollin' around in thousand dollar suits, carries a massive wad of twenties in his money clip, drives a Mercedes SLK convertible, and shows a casual penchant for lying to every suspect and victim alike. And he's not an unlikeable guy. But he does beg the question: WTF! It's already shaping up to be a refreshingly interesting season for the show.

Now, Jesse's Greene is the detective in charge, and it suits the character well. So in-charge, I guess, that he can even tame that wild lusty beast that is Mariska Hargitay on L&O: SVU... And the prospect of Elizabeth Rohm's impending exit makes each episode all the more tantalizing because this one just might be the one where she gets offed/fired/transgendered/whatever in L&O fashion... and for the record, this robot grew to tolerate her performances... but just barely. Here's hoping they do something interesting with her exit. Perhaps take a page out of CSI's book for a change, and blame it on her! Bad chinese food or something.

9/10 Clicks


Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: This season has begun so quietly that you'd never know it was a new arc for the show. The tone, characters, performances, plots are all the same. This is how L&O runs clean, like an endurance cyclist- input and output in equillibrium. Now, so far the first few wpisodes have been interesting, and the new ADA from last season appears to be lip-pursing and attitude-slinging a little bit less, so it seems off to a good start. I've got no complaints: it's tpyical of the show to be this nondescript. Go watch CSI: Baghdad if you need shocking! dramatic! thrills!

8/10 Clicks


Law and Order: Criminal Intent: Criminal Intent, on the other hand, seems to be creeping into gun-on-the-mantle territory. They've slowly been insinuating that Detective Goren (sp) is brilliant but unstable, and throughout last season we saw greater glimpses of this from his difficulty adapting to his susbsitute partner (the walking door that replaced Eames for half the season) to his near-dissembly at the hands of his weird arch-nemesis, Olivia d'Abo. This season we see even more hints of something brewing: he's too defensive on the side of Neil Patrick Harris' Dahmer-esque character with a conscience, and he sends off d'Abo with a double-tap to the chest in an episode, and arc, finale that seems to be begging for an Internal Affairs investigation. His captain, the DA, and even Detective Eames have been giving him distancing looks. Maybe we're going to see full throttle D'Onofrio later this season. In the meantime, however, some of the first few eps have been chilling stuff, by far the most riveting of the franchise.

10/10 Clicks!


Survivor 9: Having trouble this time. I hate to say it, but after season upon season of detractors crying out that same ole same ole was wearing thin, I'm finally starting to wonder. The routine of the show is growing ollllle (rhymes with Goldmember's "Gollllllllle!") and while I don't particularly mind the consistency of the challenges, island 'hardships' and psychobabble alliance posturing, what I DO mind is the fact that, apparently in the misguided interest of appearing to take itself seriously, the casting directors have chosen an entire batch of uninteresting castaways. Let's be honest: we don't necessarily need Hot Adultery Beach Nights or whatever that rip-off show was called, but we do need a combination of eye candy and extreme oddballs to maintain our interest. I don't care how capable some of these latest contestants are (and I'm not seeing it so far,) we've got nothing to see. Castaway standouts, I suppose, are the now-booted Brady (johnny FBI who is apparently being gagged by the gov now that he's off the show, so no hope for post-game sizzlechest interviews, kids,)

and I suppose Ami, the I'm-not-as-dumb-as-my-slackjaw-suggests-but-look-at-my-teats-in-the-meantime Barista/model.

I liked Dolly and Mia initially, but only because Dolly

wore pigtails in a slightly sexy way, and was a goatbutcher or something (but turned out to be a weak-stomached namby) and Mia

reminded me of Ani Difranco (but turned out to be 12 years old and snide.) I'm bored! My only hope: a surprising plot-twist third tribe in the final days, comprised of supposed island natives (which all have Nikes and Sony Wegas at home I'm sure) to kick their asses five-different ways like our man Da just did in the latest ep.

4/10 Clicks


Apprentice 2: On the other hand, this season of Apprentice is offt o a good start, because the cast is full of those love-to-hate-em types. In fact there are several people, a number of them actually physically clustering together, that I'd like to set on fire as representatives of archtypes that have agitated me my entire life. The challenges have greater brand identity and greater stakes, more celebrity stunts, and ever more obviously straightforward tasks that the teams perplexingly decimate each week. Unbelievable. And boy, I'm just LOVING the new Carolyne.

"If you thought she was a frigid beeetch last season, just watch the ice queen this season!" should be the tagline, the way the editors are portraying her. I've seen interviews with her, and she seems very pleasant. I'm glad to see everyone knows the roles they are to play. That said, cast standouts for each team so far are Raj

for the men, as a misleadingly quirky personality that belies a strong business sense and good education (hope he keeps it under the radar a little longer,) and Ivana,

because, well, she may not be generating ideas or handling stress well, but she moans in the boardroom and knows how to dress to her aesthetic benefit. The rest, burn em alive.

8/10 Clicks


Everybody Loves Raymond: The show is losing serious steam. It's not that the writing or the acting is really changing, but there's a lack of enthusiasm in the cast, which, combined with the well-publicized contract negotiations and the definite commitment to this being the final season, there's an air of finality and I suppose futility to it. I like the scenario in the first few eps this season, though, of Marie and Frank moving to a retirement community in Florida, selling their house to Robert and his wife, and then returning, having been kicked out, and just waltzing in and demanding the house back. Actually not even demanding, just marching in, criticizing the changes as if it was never sold, and looking to bring the furniture back. The sheer space madness of that moment, and Robert almost blowing a valve over it, was the best moment the show has had in several eps. We'll probably tune in when convenient this season, but I've lost the momentum.

5/10 Clicks


Gilmore Girls: Well, they bell tolled in the finale of last season's Gilmore Girls, the figurative death knell for any show based primarily on romantic tension: Lorelai and Luke hooked up. It was sweet, honest, heartfelt and awkward, and the sincerity and weird calm on Luke's part, and the startled, delighted and maybe a little shell-shocked awkwardness on Lorelai's part made it kind of interesting. Here's a woman who won't shut up, no more or less stunned into silence, and a man who speaks in three and four word sentences (unless unleashing cynical rants) suddenly expressing himself fluidly in a shyness/confidence smoothie. Meanwhile, Rory made the most teenage, realistic fuck-up decision yet, and slept with the married ex, Dean, and when she admitted it, after being caught in full flush by Mom, was stymied and outraged that Lorelai, the single parent and wounded dove, would be apalled by the choice. Rory's an idiot... finally. All this among the backdrop of the new Dragonfly Inn's grand-opening, and the elder Gilmore's separation. The premiere began exactly where the finale left off, but with some additional details: Lorelai and Luke seem more mature in their initial handling of their blossoming romance, Rory seems even more enslaved to her raging teenage emotions (understandably) and more defensive than ever, and most interestingly, we see a dark side to pretty boy Dean, now that, at least for now, the official bad boy Jess has left the picture for his aborted spin-off only to return briefly as the catalyst for Rory's hook-up with Dean in the finale. It's interesting to watch. I never trusted that guy because you can't see his damn eyes, and now they're finally writing him dodgy. Sure, it's a plot twist, but I like it: he's the bad apple in his young marriage, rageful and resentful of his union with Girl B, who now is being portrayed as Mandy Moore or something. Plus, we see him lurking around listening to Rory getting an ass-chewing by Mom, and see him scheme to hook up again. Bad news, bears! This controversy, and the simultaneous collapse of the elder's marriage, make a welcome contrast to the slow, steady new romance for Lorelai, and the balance of these, and their ultimate effect on Rory's and Lorelai's relationship, will drive the plots this season. Since the show has always been about the Gilmore Girls, I think it's possible they can maintain interest in the show despite the Luking of Lorelai. However, they need to bring mother and daughter back together soon, as that quirky best-friendship is the core of the show.

8/10 Clicks


Enterprise: The war with the Xindi *may* be over, but things are shaking up for the crew of the NX Class Enterprise, as the season begins with a classic Start Trek conceit: time travel to Earth's past for some fun costumes and matte painting opportunities. Archer appears to have been disintegrated by the Star Wars rip-off destruction of the Xindi super-weapon, and the ship has shunted back in time to WWII-era Earth, but wait, there's more: a mystery mean bad nastie species is collaborating with the Nazis...in Brooklyn! This was one of the better arcs of it's kind in the franchise's history, for me personally. I love seeing the ship enter atmosphere, and to have Spitfire's shooting at shuttle craft, pulse turrets popping up out of the Lower East Side somewhere and punching holes in the saucer section, and frankly, just a bunch of alien Nazis running around and glaring, it's all good stuff to me. As usual, the human contingent is weeeaak through and through, but the implications on the storyline are interesting. A little later this season, we see the crew return home in the battered Enterprise, receive a warm welcome in a floating arena in the Bay, get treated to lots of future Earth imagery, and watch Archer get politically hamstrung by his own military debrief council.

We also see some interesting sparks between T'Pol and Tripp (I don't remember this happening last season... I remember the wonky clone thing going on, but ehhh... maybe I slept through it) and suddenly, here's T'Pol's mama, a little more refined than her pill-popping, ovary-shedding, porno-living character on Six Feet Under, and a questionable arranged marriage on Vulcan, and we even see some more xenophobic hostility back on Earth, as Archer re-opens romantic entanglements with the only captain of another warp vessel. Things are very curious back home, and these details are what I love most in Star Trek: continuity links, politics, technology evolution, new characters and personal choices that actually have an impact, unlike the usual tidied-up-in-one-episode disease the series tends to suffer from most often.

Oh, and for added pep, check out this site, which explores T'Pol's softer side for Season Three...

8/10 Clicks

Stay tuned for part 2, a round-up of new shoes we're trying out this season...

So says...Wrongrobot!


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