Dots & Slashes
What ARE "Dots" and "Slashes"...?
In the TV world there's "cheers and jeers." In the movie world there's "thumbs up" and "thumbs down." Well, here in cyberspace, there are (...) dots and (/) slashes. Such are the icons for this web site's own quickie "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" list, which is added to whenever the latest entertainment news requires it. What news bytes hit their mark, and which should be slashed? Here are the latest of them.
Some Earlier Lists:
Feel free to contribute. As always, review submissions are accepted!
DOT : To NBC ordering a full season of Life. The only downside to this is that Life is very much a drama whose best elements are serial, so if you jump into it at the middle of the second season, you might be a bit "lost" in the series' ongoing mystery: specifically, who framed a detective for murder and had him put away for "life"...? The detective is now free and solving crimes again, albeit with a new lease on "life," hence the series title. It's still a very cool show, and each episode has the typical one-episode-long mystery to solve that you can get the "gist" of right away, so if you're not watching I suggest you begin. You can catch up with other viewers as the series rolls along. In any case; I'm glad that one of the many shows that suffered due to the writer's strike is getting a "reprieve" of sorts, and did not only survive its first season; it's going to live a whole second season as well. Thanks, NBC.
Slash : To the media's seemingly unstoppable fascination with Jennifer Aniston and how boo-ho she lost Brad to Angelina. Look, kids; Jennifer didn't want a baby, Brad did, and things turned sour, the end. In fact, that was "the end"...three years ago. Jennifer seems to have gotten over it, so why can't the stupid paparazzi? Enough with the constant cover stories about how Jennifer is only now coming up with radical ways to seek "revenge" against Angelina. Not only are these stories total balderdash; they actually make Jennifer look like the lovelorn stalker at best, and a mentally handicapped fool at worst. Each successive story makes Jennifer look less like the "victim" and more like some diehard diva who refuses to get over herself. This is hardly the first time that a celebrity marriage split up and moved on; the most notable, IMO, being the split up of Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere. You'd think they'd be happily married with six kids by now, though no; they split and had families with other spouses, and to their credit; both "second marriages" are still going strong to this very day. Sometimes true love is not measured by how cute he is, or how successful her sitcom was. Enough with the "Jennifer is getting back at them" stories. End it now.
Slash : To Heroes' Current Mind Trick on Fans...specifically, the Hiro-killed-Ando moment. Kids watched the scene thinking "no way," insisting that Hiro went back in time and handed Ando a fake packet of blood so he could make believe he killed him. Adults watched in horror as the episode ended with no explanation of what just happened, as it looked like, yes, Hiro killed Ando. So the following week arrives and shockingly enough; the kids were right. Hiro went back in time and set up the whole "fake kill." While this pleased millions of kids, it's evident of the hackneyed storytelling this season, and its myopic attempt at suspense at the expense of adult fans. You can't have Luke Skywalker seemingly kill Princess Leia, only to wait until the next episode to show fans it was just an act. If Lucas had done that in the first movie, there wouldn't have even been an Empire Strikes Back! Heroes, comparatively, is down to nearly a third of the viewers they had two seasons ago...and with reason.
Slash : All the above being said: I have to add another Slash to this Heroes' seasons philosophical hogwash, where the heroes are now villains and the villains are now heroes and other similar crap. What is the difference between a hero and a villain? Simple: a Hero uses their powers for good, while a villain kills people for power and glory. Sorry, fanboys of Sylar, though he could pet a hundred newborn kittens this season and it doesn't take away the fact he ripped open skulls of people, throughout season one, just to steal their super powers. Conversely there are asinine plot threads like the one mentioned above, where Hiro wants to "fit in" with the villains so he can get his father's stolen formula back. Um...Hiro? Aside from this season's insipid "who's the real villain" theme, why are you not simply going back in time and replacing the formula with a fake one, and then you don't have to worry about it getting stolen? ...or is this "brilliant" solution reserved for November sweeps?
DOT : To the resurrection of another cult classic on DVD. Though notice of this DVD might be too late in the year by the time you read this: someone was able to unearth one of the hardest to find variety shows of the 1970's, starring that staple of sitcom TV, Paul Lynde. His so called "Paul Lynde Halloween Special" apparently aired only once in 1976 and, much like the Star Wars Christmas Special, never aired again. Yet unlike the latter, Paul Lynde is, well, Paul Lynde, and any fan of the original Hollywood Squares or Bewitched knows how cool a Halloween Special could be, if hosted by him. The general story of the special is that Paul is given three wishes by two witches; specifically, the witch from The Wizard of Oz, and "Witchie-poo" from H.R. Pufnstuff. Yeah it sounds bizarre though that's half its charm. What makes it even more amusing are Lynde's three wishes, which I will not spoil here. As an added trivia bonus; this special was also the debut TV appearance of KISS, which should amuse fans of that classic 1970's band. Adding to the fun are 1970's guest stars, including "Pinkie" from Happy Days (I guess the special originally aired on ABC, huh?). In short; another cult classic is available on DVD. I'd say we only need one more cult classic on DVD and everyone is set. So where is that Star Wars Christmas Special, anyway?
Slash : Though slightly off topic, I have to give a grievance on this column to all the juice bottles with caps that are seemingly applied with the strength of a professional wrestler...specifically, the juice bottles from Tropicana. True: larger bottles of juice are easily opened, usually with a plastic or foil cover that needs to be peeled off, just under the cap. Yet the smaller juice bottles, obviously intended for the smaller drinker, need to be forced open with a cap that is "perforated" like the cap of soda. Except for some reason the cap is hard to open even for a well-exercised adult. This is particularly annoying when I buy juice for the kids in my family, who need my help whenever a new juice bottle is opened. I've heard of childproof caps though this is a bottle of juice, and it's hard even for adults to open. The sad part is: with juice so hard to open, it's tempting for kids to simply open a bottle of soda, which is far easier to open. Enough of this. Fix your bottles, Tropicana.
DOT : To all the new programming over the summer, most of which was surprisingly good. While it's understandable that the best new shows are placed during the "real" fall season, many summer shows were offered which made the summer repeat season far more enjoyable. The Closer, Monk, Psych, and Burn Notice, among others, made summer almost seem like a mini fall season all its own. The only minor slash I'd give to these shows is that they are shows intended for the repeat-seasons of network TV, and are on hiatus until January. Darn.
Agree? Disagree? Send comments to Techtite Letters.