Sunday, September 30, 2007


I'm not 100% sold on this one. The first few minutes of the show grabbed me. I liked Nick George's unique relationship to the Darlings while growing up. It's also ironic that Nick would end up working for the family that usurped his father from him. The series bolstered by strong actors like Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh.

But once we started meeting the Darlings, my patience began to grow a wee thin. The show devolved into BROTHER & SISTERS on a bender. It also suffered a bit from quirkitis. Quirkitis began sometime in the 90s, infusing post-modern quirks on old standards. So, for example, it isn't enough that William Baldwin's character has a mistress. Add a little quirkitis and you get a trannie hooker(?) mistress. Likewise, Mick's chief rival among the Darlings is a selfish, hypocrite with at least one bastard child he refuses to acknowledge in public. Sprinkle a little quirkitis and hey, he's also a reverend! For good measure, let's have Mick and Rev. Darling wrestle like children during a swank dinner party.

The last 10 minutes saved the show, grounding it back to reality a bit. Even juicier, Mick learns that one of the brood may have murdered his father. That twist gives Mick good reason to stick around - and maybe me too! The series has potential as long as it doesn't get soap-silly.


Yup, I was a semi-fan of the original BIONIC WOMAN. It's not as cheesy-campy as people make it out to be. The most memorable episodes for me were the excellent Fembots/Dr. Franklin/Weather Control 3-parter AND any of the episodes with Jaime's evil double, Lisa, who used a drug to mimic bionics. And, Lindsay Wagner was charming as Jaime.

With one episode to judge, the new BIONIC WOMAN gets a cautious thumbs up for me. They certainly laid a lot of groundwork in the first episode. I like how each character has a specific role and I can't see any 'useless' characters that appear so often in pilots.

I'm a little unsure if the lead actress plays "tough" convincingly. Her line at the end of the episode and during the fight scenes... didn't quite sell it. She's pretty good overall (and easy on the eyes)... but can she carry the whole darn show? Linsday Wagner had a certain charm, a certain charisma... you instantly related to her. I do also think things were rushed, as far as Jaime's development. She goes from Sarah Conner (in TERMINATOR) to Sarah Conner (in TERNIMATOR II) in 14 minutes. Sarah Corvus should have handed Jaime her non-bionic ass on that rainy rooftop. And Jaime should have then gone to the government seeking help and reluctantly agreeing to "work" with them. Then the whole first season could have been her development into bionic ass-kickery extreme. The tough Jaime didn't work in the last 15 minutes; It didn't ring true.

The show took some hits for writing out the deaf sister and replacing her with a computer hacker sister... but honestly, the change will only ultimately help the show. The angry deaf sister, I believe, would ultimately be marginalized; less a 'character' and more a symbol of Jaime's good heart. The computer hacking aspect will undoubtedly get sis involved in plots. (Of course, deaf sis could have been a computer hacker too-- but she wasn't in the original pilot...)

Miguel Ferrer is a casting coup and lends suitable gravitas as "Oscar Goldman 2.0." I liked the backstory with his wife. The boyfriend serves dual role as scientist who gave Jaime bionics as well as love interest. Good call. Also, his dad on the evil side gives plenty for the character to do. The asian guy has intertwined backstory with Sarah Corvus, good move. The blond agent seems like a weak link for now, but it's way too early to tell. The actress seems capable and her scenes were good.

Katee Sackoff as Sarah Corvus lifted the whole pilot from "competent" to "above average." She's totally convincing as the complicated bionic psycho and gave a jolt to every scene she was in. "Without getting too dramatic... I'm the first Bionic Woman... tada." Sackoff takes that line and makes it her bitch. She was just great to watch.

Here's the thing tho. This show is brought to us by the same people that gave us BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. That's both good and bad. I'm a fan of BG and they've done some great episodes and some complex characters. They can tell a great story. That's the good. BUT, I feel BG got enveloped by its own story; It's become this convoluted space-soap where not even the Cylons know what their plan is anymore (and, apparently, the writers never truly did). I would hate to see BIONIC WOMAN fall into the same trap, of everything revolving around Sarah Corvus and Evil Science Dad's consortium. ALIAS fell into a similar trap with Sloan.

It's got potential. I like it so far. I'm probably sticking with this one for the season unless the wheels fall off the bionic cart.

REAPER: "Pilot"

I was hoping I would like this one and I did. This was very enjoyable. Thumbs up! Good premise well executed.

I feared it might be over the top, but they thankfully kept the humor organic to the plot and fairly restrained all things considered. I also liked the black comedy and sly humor they employed throughout. Hell is the DMV. The devil helping Sam win the ham; "See? I'm a nice guy!" (as he follows his latest victim no doubt). Devil: "Yeah, overcrowding. We weren't expecting the influx, personally I blame myself."

I like the odd situation of the Devil becoming a sort of father figure to Sam. He actually encouraged him to succeed at something, whereas his own parents never pushed him.

Bret Harrison is great; I liked him in THE LOOP and he's great here too. Ray Wise is just perfect as the devil.

I also liked that the whole show wasn't a yuck-fest. The scene with Sam and his mother, where he spares her and she offers her own life -- that was sweet. Also, his relationship with the girl has started off well. I hope she eventually learns about Sam's part-time job, because that will keep things even more interesting!

My only slight reservation was Sock. He's the slob stoner best friend we've seen a ton of places before. Very Kevin Smith-ish, which could be both good and bad. He had a few funny lines in the pilot, so he's working ok so far. But they will need to give him some depth.

But so far, favorite new show!

CHUCK: "Pilot"

The premise looked intriguing. I thought this was going to one of the shows where I'm either instantly hooked or instantly turned off. Turns out, I'm neither. I felt a whole lot of "meh" during the pilot episode. The set-up is interesting, but they didn't do anything particularly entertaining with it. I didn't really laugh and I didn't really feel for Chuck. His friend sorta annoyed me.

I realize the show isn't meant to be realistic, and I'm willing to let it go "out there" from time to time. I mean, the whole premise of the "e-mail with secure info stored in images" is a lot to swallow. But I'm willing to go with it. The scene where the blond spy dances and throws knives around the club was a little much, even in the context of the show. No one in the club notices this? MUCH BETTER was the street chase, where blond chick hit the button that activated the road spikes. More of that, please.

The scene in the Home-Depot type store was odd, in that the store was completely empty except for vaguely-European-black-leather-jacket-assassin-ish dude (another in the long list of New Cliches) -- and then after Chuck has his "flash" and panics, he turns around and the store has TONS of people milling around. And this wasn't a dream sequence? I have no idea what they were going for in that scene.

I think that's the problem... The tone of this show is all over the place; It shifts from Emo break-up Chuck (awww) to "the wacky" to "we're serious about the danger now". It lacks that BUFFY-like balance of the serious, funny and dramatic. (yes, everything gets compared to BUFFY with me).

Then there's the whole idea of him continuing to work at Buy More. There's no way the government (especially Adam Baldwin's character) would let him run around freely and NOT extract him. I get it, it's a pseudo comedy — but the idea of Adam Baldwin working at Buy More, given his character, is perhaps more than I can take. I think I would enjoy the show more if he was given a 'cover' job (a la Sydney Bristow's bank job) and had to keep a secret identity from his sister and friend.

Given its premise, I'm not sure how many times we can see the same types of scenarios without it getting grating. We'll see. The show MAY find its footing. I'll give this one a couple of more episodes, but I think the over-reliance on shennanigans will eventually turn me off on this one.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

HEROES: "Four Months Later... "

The season premiere was OK, pretty much "more of the same." There is going to be an episode coming up called "four months ago" where we see events directly after the Kirby Plaza showdown, so it doesn't bother me that they glossed over some of the changes. That said, the series still falls short in certain spots, and there's gaps of logic in some of the plots. And there's annoying little ticks this show has that drive me nuts. The show has shown moments of brilliance, but more often than not, it sorta takes the cliched easy road.

First, Mohinder. Why are his "science classes" like high school poetry readings? Tis ridiculous. The actor that plays Mohinder is also terrible. He emphasizes strange syllables in every word he speaks. Or, sometimes he emphasizes every word in a sentence. And when he has to threaten somebody, I want to laugh in his 90 pound face. I mean, really.

The Bennet family's "witness protection" was a bit ludicrous. They all have the same names and a slightly different last name? No one has changed hair color or appearance? If "The Company" is so clever, they will track them down fairly easily, no? Also, aren't the mother and brother mind-wiped? Why do they seem to know they are 'in protection'? Also, who would ever marry bizarre dog lady that is Claire's mom? Beyond that, the bitchy-blond cheerleader is one of the oldest cliché's of the high-school movie/TV scene. I was disappointed at the laziness of relying on that.

Claire father's new job was similarly eye-rolling. Anyone else sick of the cliché of the loser-guy in menial-management job that takes it way too seriously? His boss was so over-the-top ridiculous. Can't they find a more interesting way to convey the ennui of Claire father's new life?

The Matt Parkman stuff was OK, for the most part. The scene with the teacher was a little silly, with her being extremely judgmental over a lot of not much. Weird drawing and the girl is having bad dreams. Lordy, Call child services! Also, the words that come out of lil' Molly's mouth vary wildly. Sometimes, she sounds like an adult, like when she challenges Matt about using his powers — then she morphs into 3-year old tantrum girl. Methinks no one has any nine year old kids on the writing staff.

The Nathan stuff was a little "typical." the drinking and the beard growth and wife leaving him. It's only been four months, I would think Nathan would be doing something more productive – but the plot 'needs him' to be depressed. The scene with his mother had all the sublety of a sledgehammer; She's musing over a photo of both of them. Boo hoo! It BREAKS, signifying their emotional breakdown, get it kids? Then we get terrible expository dialogue and Nathan even calls his mother evil. The line was something like, "You're evil, mom." And it was said without sarcasm. It was meant to be played for reals. This show is capable of BETTER than this clumsy scene.

The Dominican Wonder Twins look interesting. I wonder what their powers are?

The Hiro stuff was OK. Mostly set-up, but I'm interested how this will weave into the show's overall mythology.

The murder-older-"heroes" mystery had a good start. Although their warning method (marked photos) is a little silly.

I liked the semi-shock ending of discovered amnesia Peter.

FAMILY GUY: "Blue Harvest"

Something strange happened. Once upon a time, the SIMPSONS was the crown jewel of smart-funny animation. And FAMILY GUY was this bastard child only-sometimes-funny show. After one and a half seasons, FAMILY GUY found its own voice and figured out which jokes worked (mostly anyway), while SIMPSONS became safe and predictable.

So here we are. The SIMPSONS premiere is mildly OK-level entertainment, while FAMILY GUY gives us a laugh riot parody of STAR WARS. If you are a fan of the beloved space saga, you owe it to yourself to check out this very funny hour-long episode.

SIMPSONS: "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs"

On the heels of the marginally-funny SIMPSONS MOVIE, the 19th (!) season begins. There's a clever bit where the opening sequence shows the town still devastated by the events from the movie. That was kinda funny. In the first few moments, we get a joke about the iPhone being price-lowered to 20¢. Heh. So I'm starting to think maybe smart-topical SIMPSONS may rear its head again.

But once some of the fun scatalogical humor gives way to the actual "plot", we are back to SIMPSONS-lite, which is where the show has been for the past 4-or-so seasons. It's ok, but it's not the appointment TV it was for its first 12 seasons.

Death Of Bart Allen: Flash Backward

The big reveal everyone’s been talking about finally hits stands as Bart Allen, the latest Scarlet Speedster, heads for that big marathon in the skies in The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #13. Rest in Peace, Bart Allen. It was inevitable that you would succumb to Didio’s killstick of death.

Remember those innocent days in the 1990s? People like to wholesale-bash the 90s as the comic book era of mega-crossovers, holographic covers, all-style-no-substance comics. But that’s rubbish. Spider-clone sagas aside, the 1990s brought us the Death of Superman, a brand-new Superboy, a retooled Legion of Superheroes, the wonder of Ordway’s Power of Shazam, Conner Hawke, the Birds of Prey, Morrison’s JLA run, Kyle Rayner, the joy of Young Justice, Waid’s classic run on the Flash and – last but not least - the infectious exuberance of a certain young speedster named Impulse. Not bad for a much-maligned era in comics. But these days, anything in the 1990s seems disposable at DC Comics.

When Dan Didio took over DC, there was a dramatic shift in tone that started with Identity Crisis. The new DC seemed to be intent on telling darker stories, while – ironically – changing many characters back to their Pre-Crisis, Superfriends-era constructs. All the changes wrought in the 90s (both good and bad, mind you) were undone. It sorta reads like Challenge of the Superfriends with an NC-17 rating. So, naturally, the light breezy fun of Young Justice and Impulse would need to be replaced in this new order. Geoff Johns re-imaged the Young Justice characters in a new Teen Titans series, with Bart emerging as the new Kid Flash. In Didio’s new DCDark, it seemed something had to be done with a character using emoticon thought balloons. Geoff Johns – to his credit - smartly retained a lot of Bart’s core personality and set him on a new ‘hero’s journey’ to start growing up in a new heroic identity.

Then came Infinite Crisis.

I won’t get into a whole critique of the series here, but there seemed to be a great desire to evoke a lot of the story beats of the first Crisis. Now, homages are all well and good. And certainly, the first Crisis has become a milestone, with certain panels and sequences that have been burned into the brains of fanboys far and wide. But some some of the story choices didn’t seem to be completely thought out. Exhibit A: Bart Allen becomes the Flash.

Now, wisely, DC didn’t kill Wally West; They merely took him ‘offstage’ for awhile. Poor Bart, though, was hyper-aged and brought make to evoke Wally’s sequence in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, where he assumes the Flash mantle (a panel-by-panel recreation). The parallels are obvious. First Crisis: The 20-year old Wally West gives up his Kid Flash identity to assume the mantle of his fallen mentor, the Flash, and rockets into his ongoing (and successful) series. Infinite Crisis: The 20-year old Bart Allen gives up his Kid Flash identity to assume the mantle of his fallen mentor, the Flash, and rockets into his ongoing (and unsuccessful) series. Oops.

Flash: The Fastest Man Alive seemed like it had the success formula. Two Hollywood writers (comic book companies seem to hire anyone with a SAG card) and a ‘hot’ artist. Yet fans balked. Sure, sales were higher than the previous series, but that’s always the case with a new #1. The decline started immediately and that’s when it seems Bart was a marked man. But instead of trying to back-peddle and somehow restore the Bart fans liked to begin with... Well, death is the new order of the day at DCDark.

It’s a shame and a waste of a once-great character. Bart-as-Flash bore little resemblance to the Impulse character or even the Bart-as-Kid-Flash character in Teen Titans. By slowly stripping away his unique character traits, Bart became a DCDark character; The fun was sucked right out of him. And the sadder part is, as much as you may want to think it’s part of DC’s great master plan, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In Didio’s analysis of the Countdown preview image, he mentions: “And then we also did one other bit, which may have been too subtle for the picture, and that was Flash having one foot on the statue and one foot off the statue, which meant that particular Flash, at that moment, had one foot in the grave.” Except, when you look at the picture... Neither of Flash’s feet are on the ground. Both are on the statue, According to Didio’s logic, that should keep Flash safe.

Then there’s something else... In this oh-so-meticulously crafted preview image, Flash’s eyes are blue. Bart’s eyes are yellowish-brown (consistently colored as yellowish-brown in both Teen Titans and Flash: The Fastest Man Alive). He's in Barry's costume. Barry has blue eyes. I don't believe that was Bart in that image-- but his series wasn't successful enough and they decided to kill him. And then also this: "Dan Didio inadvertently answered that the Flash in the teaser image released several weeks ago is Barry Allen and Red Robin is Jason Todd.." Hmmm...

Bart didn’t truly die at the hands of the Rogues. His death was the result of DC’s “act first and figure it out later” current editorial regime. It was more important to echo a segment in the first Crisis than to serve a mainstay character for the next ten years. It’s like they barely thought Bart-as-Flash through, and then just arbitrarily discarded him once they were done changing him beyond recognition. There’s a lot of talk about creators merely being “keepers” of these characters while they are working on them. Looks like someone needs to call Nanny 911.

I thought things were supposed to be brighter after Infinite Crisis. But I guess we are still stuck with DCDark, where character death is equated with “powerful storytelling.” Where old stories have to be ret-conned as “dark thrillers” with rape, death and gore we didn’t see that happened in-between those too-innocent panels. Where once-fun characters have to be changed into brooding heroes with psychological issue to be taken seriously.

Hey, isn’t THAT what we REALLY didn’t like about the 1990s?

30 Things I Learned Watching Smallville

I wrote these up as they occurred to me watching SMALLVILLE:

1. Lying to your best friends is more noble than just trusting them with the truth.

2. Evil rich people like classical music.

3. Sixteen year old kids can run coffeeshops as a small business while attending high school.

4. Science labs and newsrooms have fantastic ambient lighting.

5. Evil rich people like to hammer a point with a historical metaphor.

6. Never use a simple phrase when a pop-culture metaphor can be used. Bonus points if you can utilize the word "pulled." "He pulled a Harry Houdini" vs. "He disappeared."

7. People often use computer passwords that are not only sentimental, but easily guessable.

8. Kids in high school and college have an uncanny knowledge of 1970s and 1980s pop culture. [Or, you know, their writers do.]

9. A lot of street thugs wear skull caps and brand-new leather jackets.

10. Teenagers have favorite classical authors and poets.

11. Male best friends talk an awful lot about their feelings for each other.

12. Police officers like toothpicks.

13. Major metropolitan newspapers allow teenagers to write headlines and articles.

14. If you have an incriminating object in your possession, you should regularly take it out of hiding and stare at it.

15. You can download architectual schematics of any building right off the internet, regardless of the year it was built.

16. Ancient alien technology is Mac/PC compatible.

17. If you are concealing a secret, dart your eyes wildly.

18. People who live in mansions have super-high-tech security, but tend to leave their front doors wide open.

19. When you see a farm from a distance, you will hear a cow moo. It reinforces you are looking at a farm.

20. Millionaires in huge mansions prefer to spend all their time in a single room.

21. Friends with money will always fly in the "best doctors" and "best lawyers" in the world - at a moment's notice - to help another friend in need.

22. High School and college students can afford a brand new car at least 3 times a school year.

23. It's surprisingly easy to sneak into restricted government and civic areas. Also, Crime scenes with police tape are unspoken invitations to disrupt evidence.

24. Small towns are surprisingly unalarmed by a high volume of mysterious deaths.

25. Life DOES have a reset button! If you find yourself in an impossible situation: find a cave with alien scrawls, wait for the flashing lights, and everything will be made right again. Repeat as necessary.

26. Saving a girl's life countless times will not gain you any "trust points."

27. Listening to doctors is highly optional. People like to leave hospitals without doctor's consent, and often enter rooms when they are told they are restricted.

28. Head trauma is not nearly as serious as I believed it to be.

29. Farming largely consists of moving bales of hay from one side of the barn to the other side of the barn.

30. Never trust Lana Lang to do anything important. It never ends well.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sopranos Final Thoughts

"Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on"
- Journey "Don't Stop Believin'"

Ok, even for David Chase, that was a strangely loose ending. Upon some reflection, I didn't mind it as much as most of America. It wasn't exactly satisfying, but it wasn't the "We Got Punk'd!" situation everyone is claiming it is. Actually, the more I think about the ending, the more I like it.

First, for any fans of the show, the ending shouldn't have been that much of a shock. David Chase has written a mob show as a character study. It was never meant to be the epic mob saga of "Godfather" or even "Goodfellas." It was more a pulling back of the curtain on mob life, without completely condemning it or glorifying it. The show has never been about pat resolutions, sorta like life. Y'know, sometimes things don't get resolved.

That's the way David Chase has written it since day one. I actually found the show rather frustrating until I realized that each episode was thematic, dealing with a particular issue. Oftentimes, the C-plot about gunrunning or Meadow's school problems actually would mirror the larger theme the other characters were dealing with. Example: Meadow complaining about the poor treatment of Arab-Americans while the Tony is arrested for a minor gun charge. Both instances, a group of people are being 'persecuted' because of their background. That's how this show operates.

This episode title was "Made in America." A.J. talks about how f'ed up everything is, where everything is a sham and you work hard but it's for nothing. The public is charmed into thinking everything is rosy with shiny new cars and a pro-America attitude. In truth, A.J. points out in a clumsy way: the America dream is B.S.

Tony's version of the "American Dream" is something he achieves in this episode... but it's actually a sham. He avoids death, eliminates Phil and makes peace with Phil's boys. His relationship with Carmella is solidified. Meadow's pursuit of law is actually a 'noble attempt' to fight persecution of Italian-Americans and others. A.J. finally comes out of his funk and gets a real job and direction. The episode ends with the happy family meal.

But all that happiness is actually a sham. A fleeting moment that can be undone in a moment. The underlining theme of the episode is dark and foreboding: "Enjoy the present, because your future is uncertain."

We have a few subplots this episode, the biggest being A.J.'s turnaround. Remember, everything on this show is thematic. A.J. condemns the "American Dream" and the war and our dependence on oil. After Tony offers him the "path of least resistance" job, he's quickly living the sham he just condemned, driving his Beemer, rationalizing it's "good on gas." Another one is Uncle Junior, once a high-level mob guy, now in a state-run facility and he can't remember his own name. In Uncle Junior, Tony sees his own possible [dark] future, which is the opposite of what he hopes for.

A.J. Introduces the issue of America’s dependence on oil. Then we get several bits with car throughout the episode. Think of the metaphor of Phil's head being crushed by the SUV. The SUV, which has become the symbol for the modern suburban American Dream. Nothing with David Chase is random. Also consider that A.J.’s epiphany occurs when Tony’s car goes up in smoke. Tony’s “dream” going up in smoke? Also, A.J.’s Beemer (more on that in a moment).

There's more 'shams' in this episode. Like the Fed who isn't all he seems, not exactly serving his country as he should. And David Chase is specific about the little things: "We are now in Little Italy. Once this neighborhood spanned 40 blocks, but is now relegated to this one strip of shops and restaurants." The mob, like Little Italy, isn't what it used to be. The Dream Tony had... it no longer exists... much like Little Italy has been reduced to one street. It’s gone up in smoke, much like his car.

Tony's happiness, his achievement of the "American Dream" (or, in his case, The “Italian-American-Mafioso Dream”)is a thin veneer. He was unable to resolve any of his issues with Dr. Melfi. At any moment, his relationship with Carmella can fall apart. A.J. can tire of his job and be back in his depression (he will forever be without direction or conviction). Meadow, who started with pre-med, could easily change her mind again about law... or about Patrick (we never even learned why she broke up with Finn, who she was engaged to). The Feds could arrest Tony and throw him in jail (a threat always over his head). Someone could put a hit on him. Or maybe some wronged gangbangers might kill him out of revenge or impulse.

That's Tony's "Dream." That's the last 5 minutes.

We actually live Tony's "Dream" with him in those last moments of this episode. For the moment, he's happy. But the threat of jail looms. The threat of a hit looms. His family can be torn apart again. The camera lingering on the mysterious bathroom-guy and the gangbangers show you how Tony views everyone around him -- with suspicion and apprehension. Even the odd choices like Meadow's parallel parking... every moment, every deed... everything is apprehension to Tony (as David Chase creates for the viewer). The black screen is Tony's uncertainty about his own life, at every waking moment. Remember what Tony said about getting whacked in the first episode this season: You never see it coming.

The message: "Some dream."

So, even with understanding the ending and Chase's intention... it was too oblique. I think Chase purposely subverted viewers expectations by letting them draw their own ending. Did the bathroom guy shoot Tony? Do the gangbangers off him? Does the family die or just Tony? Doe Meadow witness her father's execution and escape? Or does the family just enjoy a pleasant meal and a slice of happiness for once? You decide!

But the very-deliberate camera choices and blacked-out screen seem like a complete refusal to say much of anything. What was the show about? What is it trying to say? Chase is very deliberate in everything he does. But it seems like sometimes the writer keeps his secrets, not allowing the viewer to actually experience his writer intention. The last scene is an odd choice (if perhaps a brave one). But Chase’s pretensions sometimes get in the way of his themes and messages. Chase's 'message', such as it is, is as baffling as A.J.'s rant about America.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Welcome to Snarkytainment

Greetings three people that are reading this.

Bill Walko here. I'm an artist, graphic designer, copywriter and pop-culture afficiando. I've been writing and posting my various mini-rants on TV, movies, comic books and entertainment at various places over the web. And the more I posted, the more people would tell me, "you should post this stuff somewhere."

Welcome to "somewhere."

Expect a sly sarcastic eye on all things media-related. So sit back and enjoy a slightly snarky look on entertainment. That's snarkytainment.