Saturday, December 03, 2011

Xmas: Cookie Monster's Letter to Santa

Mitefall

Well, if Batman: The Brave and the Bold had to go off the air, at least they did it in style.


This show has been a joy to me for the last couple of years, riffing on the fun Silver Age of comics, not concerning itself with continuity or cynicism, but just telling fun stories with great guest stars and lots of neat references to a different and, frankly, better time in comic books.

I don't know all of the ins and outs of the decision to pull Brave and the Bold off the air, but this finale episode--masterfully written by Paul Dini--reflects both the TV environment that makes such decisions inevitable, and the ever-fickle demands of fandom. This episode really takes meta to another level, seeing Bat-Mite as a fan craving something new, and who changes aspects of the show to get it canceled--including adding extreme sports elements, silly sidekicks (including a Scrappy Doo analogue), vehicles and costumes only added to be introduced to the toy line, and recasting Ted McGinley as Aquaman (who takes the time to remind that audience that his reputation as a show-killer is overstated: "People forget that Married...with Children was on for seven years after I joined the cast."). At one point, Batman literally jumps a shark.

In tribute to that defining event of narrative overreach, Henry Winkler even appears in the episode as Ambush Bug. And I can't tell you how pleased I am that Ambush Bug finally appeared on the series!

So I'm sorry to see Batman: The Brave and the Bold pulled after just two and a half seasons, but what a fantastic show it really was. Probably my favorite thing DC has done with its animation arm. And what an episode to say goodbye with; a reminder of how classy and smart this show really was.

See you in the next animated incarnation, Batman.

Katurday



gifs made by Fuck Yeah Kat Dennings Daily

Bonus for Jaquandor:

Friday, December 02, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Xmas: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

SamuraiFrog's Essential Christmas Songs #1: "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. Every time I make a Christmas playlist, this is the opener. Can't be helped.


(Yeah, I decided to do a Christmas Countdown this year, similar to my Halloween Countdown. And I love Christmas music, so this seemed the place to start.)

What's Up, Doc?

A former park ranger in New Zealand came across the largest insect ever recorded. It's a giant weta, but it's the biggest giant weta anyone's got pictures of. While all of the grown men on Tumblr are spazzing out over "Eek! Eek! A really big bug!" I think he's cute. He looks like a little cartoon bunny that someone redesigned into the overgrown child of Hoppity and Jiminy Cricket.

Star Trek: Voyager

Alright, so... on to the next Trek, then...


Well, it's not a home run on the first swing, but neither was Next Generation. Hell, neither was Deep Space Nine, which had a number of shitty episodes in the first season, and I ended up loving it. So, you know, it's a first season for a new show, and it unfortunately seems to feature a lot of the Trek writers and producers I'm not so crazy about. But I'm giving it a chance to work on me.

1. Caretaker (my rating: 2 out of 5)
There are potentially interesting aspects of this series, but they don't really grab me right from the beginning. For some reason, I had a difficult time following the plot on this pilot, maybe in part because I'm already sick of space crews far out in the future meeting up with folksy Americana. Now, I've only seen a couple of Voyager episodes in the past, and I've never liked most of the characters, so I'm starting over on them here. To my surprise, the character I expected to hate the most, Neelix, is actually my favorite part of the show--it's like typical Star Trek intoning and technobabble, and then Harlan Ellison wanders in and tells everyone to lighten up. So we have a good premise, a couple of characters I like or am interested in right off (Janeway, Neelix, Kes, the Doctor), and this Maquis business. I hope they don't play this Maquis stuff as badly as they did on every other Trek series...

2. Parallax (1/5)
Bad episode. It hinges on an obvious twist that borders on a science fiction cliche. The rest of it is all trying to cram down our throats how great a character B'Elanna Torres is supposed to be; frankly, the case isn't argued well. I find B'Elanna pretty whiny and unpleasant. I hope this isn't going to be like early Worf again...

3. Time and Again (1/5)
Another obvious, predictable episode. Some of the scripts at this point feel like rejected premises for old Twilight Zone episodes, or rejected TNG stuff. Also: Tom Paris is a putz.

4. Phage (3/5)
Now this is interesting; the Vidiians are a fascinating race, ravaged by a disease called the Phage and harvesting organs from other species. Their weapon, which allows a body part to basically be transported out of someone's body, is scary and intriguing. Neelix suddenly dropping because he has no lungs is a teaser that really draws the viewer in. This is a really good episode for Neelix and Kes as characters, developing the closeness of their relationship, but the real standout for me in this one was Kate Mulgrew's performance as Captain Janeway. It's exciting that, through Janeway, we get a feminine viewpoint to a Starfleet captaincy. There's a maternal edge to the way she's protective of her crew, and also to the way she relates to them. What really got me here is how she's really able to feel for and understand the Vidiians, even though they've stolen Neelix's lungs. The way she can't bring herself to demand the lungs back, but can also order them to stay away or be destroyed, is very moving.

5. The Cloud (1/5)
And we're back. The Space Anomaly Turns Out to Be Alive episode. So thin that it's padded out with character scenes, almost none of which really work. I still don't know how I feel about Chakotay. He hasn't really been a character so far; in the pilot, he was doing action stuff and leading a Maquis crew, now he's kind of quiet and withdrawn. I think the writers don't know what they want to do with him yet, exactly, and I think they need to make a choice whether or not to play up the Native American aspect of his character. Probably they don't want to make him a stereotype, but at the same time they're playing it too subtly, coming close to a New Age caricaturing.

6. Eye of the Needle (3/5)
This is the first time we've seen the crew with a chance to get home; the way it unfolds is actually pretty nice, with the crew actually able to use the transporter beam to bring a Romulan from the Alpha Quadrant onto the ship. I also like the way the Romulan character is played here, only increasing my interest in finding out more about them.

7. Ex Post Facto (1/5)
If I could go lower than 1, I would. If Star Trek does anything worse than murder mysteries, it's noir murder mysteries. Also, I really don't care about Tom Paris. One of the worst episodes of any show ever.

8. Emanations (2/5)
Almost kind of interesting but not really. I think I kind of got lost in this one.

9. Prime Factors (3/5)
There are some interesting ideas in here; I like that the writers are really pushing here to come up with different technology that we haven't quite seen in Star Trek. The idea of the Trajector and the way it sort of folds space. I also find it interesting that Tuvok would simply disobey Janeway's orders; the way she talks to him about it is a great scene, but the explanation of why he did it doesn't really satisfy. The stuff going on in engineering with Lt. Carey, B'Elanna, and Seska is interesting, too; we're seeing the different lengths people are willing to go to in order to get home. It seems like they've dropped a lot of the Maquis silliness in order to get the crew of one mind: that this is about getting home, not ideology. The ideological differences with the Maquis were never explored well, to me, anyway; either too message-y or unfocused. Deep Space Nine went from people fighting for their homes to gleeful terrorists led by evil genius Michael Eddington. A potentially intriguing idea that was just never handled well.

10. State of Flux (3/5)
The Kazons seem more like warmed-over Klingons with crazy eyes than anything else. I hope they build these guys up a little better if they're going to keep bringing them back. What really gets me here is the character of Seska and the performance of Martha Hackett as the character. It makes sense that she would be a Cardassian, altered to look like a Bajoran in order to spy on the Maquis. It also puts her somewhat ruthless actions in the previous episode into an even more interesting context. I hope she comes back, because she's too good to let go. Even if she does end up coming back with Kazons.

11. Heroes and Demons (4/5)
How can it be possible that the first episode of Voyager I really, thoroughly enjoy is a Killer Holodeck episode? It focuses so thoroughly on the Doctor and the idea of what's real and what isn't when it comes to consciousness. Very well done, and Robert Picardo is more than game. Plus, they're doing Beowulf, which is just awesome. I'm sorry we won't get to see Marjorie Monaghan as Freya ever again; she's wonderful here, with great presence. I should also mention Kes. I'm just impressed with the way Jennifer Lien plays the character, when I'm sure there could easily be the temptation--a lazy one--to make the character some kind of whimsical pixie.

12. Cathexis (1/5)
Another space anomaly episode; these are going to get old. This one tries and fails to be a tense cat-and-mouse thriller, basically riffing heavily on The Thing, and the idea of Chakotay's free-floating consciousness is just ridiculous.

13. Faces (3/5)
So, if Klingons are immune to the Phage, does that mean humans aren't? Has that been mentioned, because a few crew members are exposed to it here. By splitting the half-human, half-Klingon B'Elanna in two, they make the fully Klingon version much more interesting than the fully human version. I would've liked to see these two separated for a while and for the show to have done something more with them. As it is, we've never gotten the sense before now that B'Elanna felt any conflict between the two sides. That might've given this episode more impact; they should've built that and done this in the second or third season. As is typical of Star Trek, everything just sort of goes back to normal at the end, anyway.

14. Jetrel (5/5)
Yes; more of these, please. This is an excellent character episode for Neelix, giving him the depth that saves him from being basically the joke of the series, and Ethan Phillips is up for it, turning in a great and moving performance. He's met equally by James Sloyan, who is always great in his various Star Trek roles, here as a Haakonian doctor who created a weapon that killed over 300,000 of Neelix's people, including his family. Just watching them act together, in this passionate debate on the ethics of war, is electric. And I'm glad the episode touches on themes of forgiveness and culpability, which are important themes to me. Just an excellent show, one which gives me hope for more like this.

15. Learning Curve (2/5)
Another mediocre episode, this one with Tuvok training the Maquis to act more like Starfleet crew members. It's okay, but I still think Tuvok is a lame character (not Tom Paris lame, but lame), and the attempted humor of a disease being caused by Neelix's cheese is just... silly. Silly and mediocre.

And I'm not going to pull punches here; it's a silly and mediocre first season filled with moments of interest, but only one (arguably two) episodes that really lit a fire for me. I plan to see this out to the end, but right now, it's really just hanging on some of the actors (and I really can't wait to see more and more how Kate Mulgrew develops Janeway) and my inherent love for Star Trek. So I'll roll into the second season now and hope for better. These shows are always better in their second seasons.

UPDATE 12/2: I should point out, too, that a lot of the cheaper episodes that were set on the ship with space anomalies were a result of budget problems; apparently due to recasting and needed reshoots for the pilot, they blew most of their budget on the premiere and couldn't afford to do a lot of what they wanted. So I get why there are so many less-than-stellar episodes in the first season; it's not like I'm calling the producers out for being lazy here. That would be unfair. What I really want to see is what they end up doing when they do have the money to do what they want.

It's the Nose Crinkle That Makes It

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cherie!

My guardian angel, Cherie Currie, was born 52 years ago today (as was her beautiful twin sister, Marie). Happy everything, Cherie. You deserve everything you ever want.

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.


THE AMERICAN (2010)
Excellent and engrossing European style thriller with George Clooney as some kind of gun operative hiding out in Italy. It's a quiet movie about a man longing for connection, but in a position that makes connection dangerous, for himself and others. I like the meaty contemplative quality of this film; it feels very much like it could have been made in 1962. The emotional restraint here adds a depth to everything that happens. **** stars.

CYRUS (2010)
Interesting attempt to take a comedy set-up with comic actors (John C. Reilly as a divorced loser who falls in love with Marisa Tomei and winds up in a battle of wills with her possessive son, Jonah Hill) and take it seriously and play it realistically. I don't think it's a total success, but it's really nice to see someone trying to make something with some realism. John C. Reilly is excellent in this movie. *** stars.

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (2010)
Cute movie, but not as hilarious as the people who were claiming that this movie would do damage to a much-adapted literary classic that fewer and fewer people bother to read (which is a shame, because it really is brilliant). If you don't like Jack Black, I imagine this is pure hell. But it's kind of genuine, aimed purposely at kids, and like I said, cute. Good cast of British comedy actors in here, plus Jason Segel. **1/2 stars.

DUE DATE (2010)
It has its moments, but I am incredibly sick of Robert Downey Jr. playing this character. Not tired of Zack Galifianakis yet, though. It's okay once, but I don't feel like I'll ever need to see it again. **1/2 stars.

UNKNOWN (2011)
Almost-decent Bourne Identity rip-off with Liam Neeson and a lot of pretty German scenery. I always adore Diane Kruger, and I always despise January Jones. ** stars.

THE CAPTAINS (2011)
Surprisingly interesting piece made by William Shatner, in which he sits down with the other actors who have played Starfleet captains--Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew and Scott Bakula--and in doing so seems to resolve a lot of his mixed feelings about being part of the Star Trek legacy. Shatner's subject here really isn't the captaincy so much as it's himself and the way other actors have approached their roles and why they took them. It has some fascinatingly genuine moments as he gets the others to reveal themselves at times; it's a really nice, intimate, personal movie, and I'm glad Shatner could explore this and that everyone participated. Beautiful music by Avery Brooks, who I really wanted to spend a lot more time with. ***1/2 stars.

THE MUPPETS (2011)
Wonderful. Better than I expected. I like how the film acknowledges how the Muppets have receded from the fore of entertainment; it's a nostalgia trip, but not just a nostalgia trip. It's also a concerted--and I would say successful--effort to restore the Muppets to their place in the world of comedy. What we have in guys like Jason Segel is talented people who grew up on the Muppets and who consider them, rightfully, an important comedy influence, not just family entertainment. But there's no boundary-stretching here, which is also nice; this is wholesome in a good way, something that just wants to be a damn good time in a cynical, hardened entertainment environment. It was a good antidote to the materialism-fueled violence of Black Friday, to be sure. This film was really made by Muppet fans, but not just for Muppet fans; it's like saying hello all over again to old friends, and so many references thrown in for people who have totally immersed themselves in the world of the Muppets. And the cameos! Not just the actor cameos, but the Muppet cameos! Wayne and Wanda? Nigel? Marvin Suggs? Characters I never expected to see in a Muppet production again. What a satisfying experience; the best time I've had at the movies in years, I think. **** stars.

Liv

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New, Kat-Centric Holiday Banner

Thanks to Becca for making this for me!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season Seven

Alas, the final season of a fantastic series. I've never been more excited about watching a Star Trek series, and though I was eager to have seen it all, I was not eager to have it end. I really loved this show. And continue to love it.


1. Image in the Sand (my rating: 4 out of 5)
I like how this season opens more quietly, more thoughtfully than previous seasons. It's nice to be a little contemplative going into the final season. And, as always, I love the Sisko family. I love how protective Ben's father and son are of him, how patient they are as he mourns the loss of Jadzia and tries to rediscover his place.

2. Shadows and Symbols (4/5)
What a surprise to see Benny Russell back! There's so much happening in this episode, and all of it works. I liked the tension of the Klingon plot, with Worf attempting to win a victory in Jadzia's name. I also liked the truth of Sisko's parentage, which finally explains why the Prophets keep saying he is "of Bajor." And then we have Ezri, the new Dax. I like Nicole de Boer in the role. She's so different from Terry Farrell, which is a nice choice. The writers made a good choice having her involved in Sisko's storyline; he, of course, accepts her right away as the Dax he's known in, now, three different incarnations, and their friendship resumes. So if Sisko accepts her right off, her place on the show doesn't seem so jarring.

3. Afterimage (4/5)
I think they try a little too hard in this episode to make Ezri Dax somewhat quirky. It's a little too cute for its own good, but it elevates itself by putting some focus on Worf's reaction to her, and by Andrew Robinson's excellent performance as Garak in this episode. It's hard to single out his always-excellent performances on this show and say one or another is the best, but this one was very impressive.

4. Take Me Out to the Holosuite (5/5)
Well, if you're going to do a fluffy episode, make it a damn fun one. This is fantastic, with the crew taking on a Vulcan crew at baseball, and Sisko getting far too carried away. It's nice because it's not just filler; besides examining just how the crew's loyalty to Captain Sisko can be tested, it also fully integrates Ezri into the camaraderie and gives us the opportunity for a lot of silly humor (and for Rom to be the hero). Just fun as heck.

5. Chrysalis (2/5)
Oy, another Star Trek love story. Thin and very predictable.

6. Treachery, Faith and the Great River (4/5)
A very interesting idea, taking a Weyoun clone and having him switch his loyalties from one Founder (the Female Changeling) to Odo. Jeffrey Combs is superb here, finding a way to play Weyoun with more honesty than usual. I also liked the B story, which reminded me of a M*A*S*H episode, with Nog scheming to make things move faster for Chief O'Brien. I like that Nog can be true to his Ferengi upbringing as well as his Starfleet oath.

7. Once More Unto the Breach (5/5)
I'm glad to see Kor get a noble death; this episode does so much more for the character than that terrible "Sword of Kahless" episode. I also like the exploration in this episode of Martok's prejudices; his holding a grudge against Kor for decades is believable, and watching him ridicule Kor later is painful. It's a mark of the writing and of JG Hertzler's performance that we can see a tolerant and strong Klingon do something petty without destroying my opinion of the character. It adds a more realistic layer to Martok that he could feel something like that. We all have our weaknesses.

8. The Siege of AR-558 (5/5)
An excellent episode, but a very tough one. So much bleakness here that I actually wept for a moment. The episode really brings its anti-war message home by injuring Nog so that he loses his leg. And Quark's speech about human beings and how quickly they can turn on you when their needs aren't met is a beautiful, and very true, piece of dialogue. The cruelty of the Jem'Hadar mines is chilling.

9. Covenant (4/5)
Wow. Gul Dukat having devoted himself to the Pah-wraiths, complete with a camp of Bajoran followers is an indicator of Dukat's real problem: that he demands to be loved by people over whom he has power. It's his tragic flaw, and here he has a group of worshipers that he wants to worship him. I wonder if he's really devoted to the Pah-wraiths or if he just sees them as a stepping stone to greater power (and, by extension, adoration). He basically hopes to become the Emissary of the Pah-wraiths, or an Anti-Sisko. It's amazing how far off the deep end he's willing to go to fulfill this.

10. It's Only a Paper Moon (5/5)
I love Vic Fontaine. This episode is so much deeper than the average holodeck episode, with Vic Fontaine being the one who helps Nog through his convalescence, his readjustment after losing his leg, and his post-combat fear of returning to work. Aron Eisenberg's performance in this episode is really touching and special, and James Darren is perfect as ever as Vic.

11. Prodigal Daughter (2/5)
Not much about this episode really does anything for me. I just don't care about the Orion Syndicate, and it's too late to do much with the thread now. This episode tries to tie in Ezri's family with the Syndicate, but it never really meshes. I understand they want to do more with Ezri, since she's such a late introduction, but ultimately I just wasn't moved by her rich, whiny family. I also still don't understand the point of an undercover CPO, but I'm no expert.

12. The Emperor's New Cloak (4/5)
As much as I hate the Mirror Universe now, this one saved itself by also being a Ferengi episode and putting Quark, Rom, and Grand Nagus Zek into the whole situation. Also, increased screen time for Mirror Universe Worf is pretty awesome. I'm pretty beyond sick of the Intendent, but I love the Ferengi, so it's just a bunch of fun.

13. Field of Fire (1/5)
Easily my least favorite episode of the final season is this pointless riff on Silence of the Lambs. The murder mystery episodes tend to be pretty lame, and bringing the murderer Joran in to guide Ezri is pretty silly. The final reveal is all kinds of ridiculous.

14. Chimera (4/5)
I'm glad they gave us an episode with another Changeling who isn't actually a Founder, letting Odo experience someone who had experiences similar to his own. JG Hertzler is very interesting as Laas, another of the 100 Changelings sent out into the universe to explore. I think this is where we really see Odo's decision to rejoin the Founders taking shape. And I love how he shares the link experience with Kira at the end.

15. Badda-Bing Badda-Bang (3/5)
Kind of a filler episode, but a very well-produced one. And any chance to see Vic Fontaine is a nice one. Still, doing the whole Ocean's 11 thing is always a bit predictable. A bit too cute.

16. Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges (4/5)
I'm glad to see that the show brought back Sloan and the whole concept of Section 31. Seeing the Romulan intrigue play out here is really interesting; I love what they've been doing with the Romulans on this show, and it deepens them a bit more from their previous position as "stock Nazi stand-ins" as they were often played on TNG. I hope that, whenever it comes time to do the Next Next Generation, the Romulans are on more cordial terms with the Federation, because I find them fascinating. And Adrienne Barbeau is really good here as Cretak.

17. Penumbra (5/5)
Here we go: the road to the finale. I like the way the relationship with Worf and Ezri plays out in this one; yeah, sex will certainly work out your aggression towards each other... With the Prophets warning Sisko not to marry, and the Female Changeling's illness developing more rapidly, and Dukat surgically altering himself to look Bajoran, it really feels like all the pieces are moving into place. And interesting to see the Breen again. I'm very interested in what the Breen are all about.

18. 'Til Death Do Us Part (5/5)
I love that Sisko decides that his devotion to the Prophets does not preclude his getting married to Kasidy. Seeing the Breen ally themselves with the Dominion is a great addition to the tension, but what really gets me in this episode is the development of the relationship between Kai Winn and Dukat. He really knows which buttons to press, because there are a number of ways in which they're alike, especially in their overweening savior complexes. They both want to be adored by people who don't like them, which is a big part of Winn's jealousy towards the Emissary. It's amazing how this episode makes it feel that their teaming together--even with him manipulating her and her not knowing he's really Dukat--was inevitable.

19. Strange Bedfellows (5/5)
The single best moment on this episode is when Worf kills Weyoun--suddenly, and very focused, and futilely, as another Weyoun clone will then be activated--but damn it, it's satisfying. I think what Damar is going through as leader of the Cardassian people is very interesting; obviously the Dominion needs the Breen because the Cardassians are proving to be too weak an ally overall, but it also feels like Weyoun is taking out his disappointment on them, letting the Eleventh Order get wiped out by the Klingons.

20. The Changing Face of Evil (5/5)
The action here is breathtaking. The Breen are scary as hell, managing to do what the Cardassians and the Dominion couldn't and carrying out attacks directly on Earth. And their weapon, which disables all the energy in the drive and weapons systems of starships, is really something else. So late in the story, and the Breen seem unstoppable. It's sad to see the Defiant go down in the line of duty. And the twist at the end, with Damar encouraging the Cardassians to revolt against the Dominion, is excellent. (I had to watch the final nine episodes all on the same day because I was too wrapped up in this.)

21. When It Rains... (5/5)
The truth of the illness infecting the Founders is revealed: Section 31 used Odo as a carrier in order to commit genocide on the Founders. That's the other shoe, then; we see that Section 31 is willing to wipe out an entire race in order to protect the Federation. I'm consistently fascinated by how this series has been willing to really examine what kind of darkness must come with maintaining a utopia. I also like the development that Gowron may purposely be trying to get Martok killed to eliminate a potential political rival.

22. Tacking Into the Wind (5/5)
Until Martok took his place for me, Gowron was my favorite Klingon ever. But Worf killing him in a duel was surprisingly satisfying. With everything going on, I'm pleased that Deep Space Nine also took the time to give us some resolution on the corrupt leadership of the Klingon Empire. It was so great for Ezri, having experienced close ties to the Klingons as both Curzon and Jadzia, to come out and call the Klingons out on not being able to confront that their ideals of honor are in conflict with the kind of corruption that honorable men like Martok and Worf are willing to accept.

23. Extreme Measures (5/5)
Wow, Bashir has a real ruthless streak; we've seen him develop now from playing with spy programs to becoming the real thing. For an episode swinging on such a potentially hokey premise as entering someone's mind, there's some real tension here that makes it work (and all of the deep bromance stuff going on between Julian and Miles weaves in some good character stuff).

24. The Dogs of War (5/5)
With all of the stuff going on here (Kasidy's pregnancy, the new Defiant, the Cardassian uprising), I'm so glad that we get one last farewell to the Ferengi, complete with an appearance by Liquidator Brunt and Quark mistakenly thinking he's going to become Grand Nagus. And Rom becoming Nagus is such a fantastic twist; I'm so happy for the way Rom's story has come to a conclusion. It's with this episode that I really get the sense of ending. We've got Rom safely made Grand Nagus of a new, equal Ferenginar, and Quark firmly ensconced in his bar... things are coming to a close.

25. What You Leave Behind (5/5)
Beautiful. What grand closure. I'm so glad for some of the breathing space we get here, where the battle takes place and the war ends--I like, by the way, how the Dominion War ends on a note of understanding, with Odo healing the Female Changeling--and we get some time to decompress before the final conflict between Sisko and Dukat among the Pah-wraiths. It's interesting how this episode ends, too, with so many goodbyes: Odo rejoining the Link in order to heal his people and hopefully change their minds about the solids, Worf being made the Federation's ambassador to the Klingon Empire, and O'Brien returning to Earth to become a teacher. Every major relationship on this show is severed, but not in a way that is painful or cheap. Even Sisko having to join the Prophets instead of being allowed to settle on Bajor and raise a family is somehow optimistic and hopeful, and that last shot--with Jake looking out towards the wormhole and waiting for his father to return--is a magical coda to this amazing series.

I would like to be able to see this universe in the future; as I half-joked earlier, the Next Next Generation. It's still too soon, but I don't want Star Trek: Nemesis to be as far as we go in the world of Star Trek. In the future, I'd like to see the repercussions of the Dominion War and our alliance with the Romulan Star Empire, and see how it all develops. One day, that would be nice.

But for now, and maybe for always, Deep Space Nine is the high point of Star Trek for me.

For now, I've already started Voyager. I'm not enthusiastic with it so far, but it's only a first season, and I want to give it a chance.

But maybe six, seven years in the future, I may have to sit down and watch Deep Space Nine all over again...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ken Russell 1927-2011

Sad to hear.

I Saw The Muppets

I thought for sure we wouldn't be able to go, but my Mom came up and took us as a Thanksgiving treat. I loved the movie; I would probably have loved it even if it sucked, and to be honest I was bracing myself just in case, but this movie exceeded my expectations. I'll talk more about it during Film Week on Wednesday, but I really enjoyed it, and of course it made me cry. What a lovely movie. So glad I got to go! I saw four movies in the cinema in 2011 (as opposed to none in 2010), and I loved each of them. Not bad.

Kristen Bell Mondays

4 weeks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Song of the Week: "The Muppet Show Theme Song"

Because you knew this was going to be somehow Muppet-related this week, right?

Sunday Hottie 356

IDRIS ELBA