The article was titled “WHY IS NO ONE SUSPICIOUS OF SIMON COWELL’S LATEST CREATION?”. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and was redirected to a New York Post piece by writer Maureen Callahan that seemed to question the authenticity of Susan Boyle’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent. You know Susan, that dowdy, 47-year old woman who wowed the show’s judges – not to mention some 30 million online viewers – with her stirring rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream”. Well, faster than you can say “click and play”, she was magically transformed from frumpy nobody to worldwide darling. But not so fast! The title of Callahan’s article suggests some sort of trickery. Have we all been had? Is the New York Post suggesting Susan Boyle is a sham?

Well, not exactly. There’s not denying that the frumpy Blackburn resident is legit. There’s no denying her impressive singing ability. What the article takes issue with is the perceived audience manipulation on the part of the Britain’s Got Talent producers, and Simon Cowell in particular. “There is the clip itself, suspiciously ready-made for online consumption,”writes Callahan. “A 7-minute movie, slick and pithy in its perfect execution of the underdog narrative.”

Yeah, what’s with THAT?! You’re going to tell me they just happened to have the cameras rolling when she walked on stage and started singing? And they just happen to have an orchestra on hand to play musical accompaniment? And, coincidentally, there were producers there who had access to a post-production facility that allowed them to edit together a 7-minute movie for “online consumption”. Hmmmmm. Seems mighty fishy to me. Next thing you’ll tell me is that Cloverfield wasn’t a documentary!

Like a thirty year old woman who has just discovered Santa Claus isn’t real, the writer makes her case:

“But the notion that Cowell was unaware of Boyle’s existence, let alone discordant looks and talent level, before she ever took the stage, is flatly ridiculous.”

and

“And the song Boyle chose – if she, in fact, chose it – so seamlessly provides the meta-narrative that it’s easy to miss how calculated it is.”

Er, um, so? This is “reality television” we’re talking about and, unless you’ve been living under a rock (without cable or satellite reception) for the past 10+ years, you’d know that the “reality” part of the term is a misnomer. In truth, reality programming full of genuine and occasionally surprising moments – all skillfully produced and slickly packaged for mass consumption. Does that make these moments any less “real”? Well, that’s arguable. Like I said, the possibility that the show’s producers may have tweaked the circumstances of Boyle’s performance by either playing up her stodgy image or steering her toward a more on-theme song choice is neither here nor there. Her performance was surprisingly good, it was a great story, and the production capitalized on the event.

That’s show business. I very much doubt that the writer of the piece isn’t aware of how it works. And that’s what annoyed me about her article. She is quick to criticize what she sees as audience manipulation and yet, at the same time, her piece is guilty of doing just that – first by hooking readers with a misleading title that hints at scandal, then offering up a list of painfully obvious insights which, in her mind (and no doubt in the mind of every other television viewer who believes the actors on that CSI show just show up on set and make up their dialogue as they go along), suggest a dark conspiracy.

Ho hum.

COMICS ROUNDUP

So every two or three years, I’ll drop by my local comic book store, pick up one of every title on the racks, bring them home and read them. If I like what I’m reading, I’ll purchase the follow-up issue. If I don’t, I move on. I repeat the process until I lose interest in that final title, drop it, and redirect my attention to alternate hobbies like reiki or learning to play King of the Road on the didgeridoo.

Well, over the past month or so I’ve discovered many, many titles. Most failed to impress. A few have, however, managed to spark my interest. Continuing with those books I’ve enjoyed…

Joker’s Asylum: Penguin – Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: Jason Pearson

 

penguin

This one came out almost a year ago and it’s a one-shot (meaning no follow-up) but I include it here because it was that damn good. I’m a big fan of villains and, while The Penguin has never topped my list of favorites, this particular tale humanizes the habitually cartoonish Oswald Cobblepot. Writer Jason Aaron offers us a glimpse of the vulnerable little boy behind the infamous persona in a story that is both touching and surprising. Frequent contributor to this blog Dasndanger recommended Aaron several weeks ago (in relation to his work on Wolverine). Well, after this book, I’m sold!

Wolverine: The Anniversary – Writer: William Harms, Artist: Jefte Palo.

wolverine-the-anniversary

Speaking of Wolverine, another one-shot finds our anti-hero returning to Japan to honor pay respect to his late love Mariko. Of course, trouble tends to follow him everywhere – in this case aboard a commercial airliner. It’s a fairly standard story but well-executed. And surprisingly visceral. Mutilations abound! Since when did comics become so violent?

The Amazing Spiderman #592: Writer: Mark Waid, Pencils: Mike McKone

spiderman-waid

And speaking of terrific writers “Welcome to Spiderman, Mr. Waid”. I picked up the preceding issues of this book and, while in no way offensive, they failed to impress. I was about to drop the title when I caught Waid’s name on the cover. He has been a favorite of mine (I ran into him in an elevator at Comic Con a couple of years ago and in my fan boyish delirium gifted him a bunch of Stargate swag) and his time on The Flash is among my favorite runs. Oh, and there was a little something called Kingdom Come he did a few years ago that makes my Top 5 Graphic Novels Of All Time list. As for this particular Spiderman story – well, Waid has a gift for storytelling, from the quick wit of his dialogue to the tightness of his plotting to the timing of his dramatic reveals, it all comes together perfectly. Hopefully, he’s sticking around. If not, I’m moving with him.

The Flash #244-247 – Writer: Alan Burnett, Pencillers: Various

flash-247

Hmmm. It all reads very young and I didn’t think I’d continue past the first issue, but there’s something about it that captured my interest and kept me hooked. After careful consideration, I’m thinking it’s the relationship between Wally and Linda that gives it the emotional resonance that allows it to transcend its more juvenile trappings. Though now, with Wally and Linda presumably out of the picture (Yes? No?), I wonder if I’ll be sticking it out.

X-Men: Magneto Testament: #1-3 (of 5) – Writer: Greg Pak, Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico

magneto-testament

And, on the opposite side of the spectrum is this very adult tale that delves into the backstory of arch-villain Magneto, tracing his humble beginnings as a young Jewish boy growing up in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. Gut-wrenching and powerful.

Well, that’s it.  Tomorrow, I’ll be hitting the long overdue mailbag so if you’ve been sitting on some questions, now is the time to post them.  Also, time permitting, I’ll be giving you a glimpse of the Icarus Base…

78 thoughts on “April 28, 2009: Is Susan Boyle For Real? What About Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? The New York Post is On the Case! Also – The Comics Roundup!

  1. The Flash looks all dejected. “My boots, what happened to my boots? Why are they not on my feet? OH BOOOOOOTS!” **drops to knees, fists clenched, heart wrenching sobs, looking to the sky for answers**

  2. There is a mention of SGA (indirectly) in the New York Post:
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04262009/tv/make_room_for_chelsea_166037.htm

    I remember seeing that interview the article referred to and it was funny/painful to watch. I don’t know if anyone else is interested.

    I would have thought Simon Cowell would have listened to a lot of the contestants before hand. To me, it doesn’t really matter. Ms. Boyle deserves some spot light.

    Thank you again for answering my question about SGU. I am more excited about seeing the show now. Everyone was comparing it to BSG. Reading your blog, it sounds like it will have a wider audience than BSG.

    Tam

  3. Aye aye Captain! Questions on deck!

    1. What is episode 10 of SGU now?

    2. Was “Space” moved because a). one of the episodes before it was expanded into a 2-parter or b). another episode (it could be a whole new one, or one that was later than Space, but was moved ahead of it) was added to the line up before “Space”? or c). none of the above?

    3. Has the episode “Justice” been renamed “Judgment” like you wanted, or was that just a typo?

    4. With Lawren being the script coordinator, does that mean that he will take over Alex’s duties on the SciFi Stargate blog as well?

    5. How is “Fire” fairing in the editing suite? Is it, as I alluded in Q2 above, gonna be made into 2 episodes?

    Thanks!

  4. So…Joe…why didn’t you tell us about this:

    http://mt-showblogs.scifi.com/stargate/index.php

    Another surprise, perhaps? 😉

    I don’t know how to feel abou this. Are they expecting you to be more “formal”? Because that would suck. I know I come here because it feels like you can say whatever the hell you want, within reason, since it’s your personal blog; but this makes it a lot more official. I hope they don’t try to censor you besides just muzzeling your SGU photo-posting.

    Come on Joe, rage against the machine!!

  5. Joe,

    Can you please tell us if Ben Browder is going to be in the third SG-1 movie? We’ve heard about everyone else already….hell, you’re even holding things up for Amanda Tapping. Ben won’t say anything whenever he’s asked, and I for one am thinking that he’s out just like Claudia Black. Please just tell us Scapers whether we’re SOL or not.

    Thanks,
    Elissa

    PS I’m loving your comic book blogs.

  6. Hi Joe!

    Craig at SciFi posted on Twitter your blog was on the Universe page at Sci-Fi. Is this always going to be lifted from your normal blog or will you be doing some SciFi.com special blogs? Just wondering if I should subscribe to the SciFi RSS feed also.

    Oh yeah regarding the Maureen Callahan article. I guess audience manipulation and sensationalism are okay if you trying to sell newspapers, not in “reality” TV.

    Have a good one!

  7. Hey Joe,
    Yeah a glimpse of the icarus base.!!! ok so here are the questions.

    Questions

    1. Will water’s events include young and Scott being stranded somewhere together?

    2. Will sgu still have the normal dose of stargate action?

    3. Will Martin Wood be directing universe anytime soon?

    4 Will there be any crossover races in universe?

    5. Have you read Fahrenheit 451 yet? If you did did you like it?

    6. Which SGU character are you most interested in so far?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  8. There’s a reason some reality shows are popular and Random People who Happen to Walk by the Grocery Parking Lot Security Camera isn’t.

  9. On Twitter Craigatscifi says you will be doing a blog for the Universe site on ScyFy?
    Is it a separate blog from this one that is specific to SGU? Or will they just be posting your entries here from day to day?

  10. Hi Joe,

    “Sitting on some questions”??? If you only knew….(although you could probably guess….)

    *sigh*

    However, I’ll throw caution to the wind tonight and toss this one out there: we know RDA is making a guest appearance on SGU…and we know AT is also making a guest appearance on SGU. Is there any chance that they might actually be appearing in the same episode, or would that be entirely too much to hope for?

    Just wondering….

    Thanks!

    SBS

  11. RE: Susan Boyle & The NY Post – I couldn’t agree with you more. I found Boyle’s performance uplifting, much in the same way I found the end of Pirates of the Caribbean uplifting. ‘Reality’ tv or not, it’s all still just entertainment – it’s supposed to move us in some way, and if they have to do a bit of manipulation to get the desired effect, so be it.

    And the fact that 30 million people have flocked to that video tells me that a lot of people in this world are in need of uplifting, and it really irks me when some ‘journalist’ comes along with smug little fingers and tries to bust their bubble.

    “Dasndanger recommended Aaron several weeks ago (in relation to his work on Wolverine). Well, after this book, I’m sold!”

    Ha. My work here is done. 😀

    As far as violence in comics, well…Wolverine comics have progressively become more graphic. Sometimes I mind it, too…especially if I feel character development is sacrificed just to make a big, bloody splash. For as much as I love the book, I feel this may happen to X-Force. Page after page of action laced with graphic violence starts to exhaust me after a bit. In the last issue, I had almost reached my limit, when Kyle & Yost brought it down a notch, and gave me some breathing room with a nice bit of character interaction, starting with Warpath telling Wolverine what a terrible leader he is. 🙂

    I enjoyed Wolverine: The Anniversary. As you said, it was a standard story, but well-executed. Most Wolverine stories tend to follow a formula, so it does boil down to how well the writer can tell that story, and whether or not they can add a new layer to it. A perfect example of this is what Aaron did with his first Wolverine story…he told what otherwise would have been a standard tale, but put such a great twist on it that it stands out as one of the single best issues in Wolverine’s current volume.

    Glad you finally found something redeeming in Amazing Spider-Man! What I like about this book is the overall story. I had saved up issues for months (at 3 issues a month, I was behind about 30 issues), and when I was sick this winter I read them all in just a couple of days. Though there may have been a weak issue here or there, the on-going story was quite entertaining and enjoyable. I loved this last issue, especially the ending! 😆

    Now I regret not picking up Magneto Testament – perhaps I’ll snatch that one up in trade.

    I do have some questions (besides the chocolate party ones)…I’ll have to get my thoughts together before I can post them.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    Oh, and…my surprise present for Mr. Das came today – I made him his very own muppet from FAO Schwartz: http://www.fao.com/catalog/boutique.jsp?parentCategoryId=98&categoryId=793

    I can’t wait until he gets home! He loves doing voices and stuff, so he should have fun entertaining our friends’ kids with this. His muppet kinda looks like a cross between the Count, and Fonzie. 😛 Will post a pic as soon as I can!

    das

  12. Dear Joe,

    That was a fantastic chocolate party… I hope someday to emulate this feat…. boy!! you really went all out on this one…had my mouth watering and all.

    A quick question if I may:

    1. After the events of Enemy at the gates, all three earth ships were diabled after the battle with the super hive…. however we don’t know what happened to the Sun tzu…. will it be salvaged or written off like the Korolev?
    2. Joe, out of all the planets in the Pegasus galaxy with a stargate or mentioned in the Ancient Atlantis database… what would you say the percentage of them visitied by the team through the five seasons? I remember the hologram from Rising part 1 mentioning 1000 worlds total.

    Thanks buddy and can you please dedicate the blog for me because I FINALLY GRADUATED

    Thanks

  13. What updates do you have for the Atlantis movie? Any tidbits you’d like to share like…

    1. How much time has passed since Enemy at the Gate?

    2. Why is the team split up?

    3. Any good scenes with Sheppard and Todd or Ronon and Todd?

    4. Will our favorite supporting characters (Lorne and Zelenka) be featured?

    5. Any Shep whump? (Come on! We’re dying here!)

    6. Will any SG-1 or SGU characters be involved?

    7. Any details on when production might start?

    Thanks!!

  14. Hi Joe! Re Susan Boyle, it’s amazing how there’s always somebody trying to muck up a good time, hey? Speaking of music, I just bought the CD/DVD set of “Playing for Change”, check it out if you’re interested, it’s good stuff! I sent Das the link to ordering the CD/DVD set, then found out (by reading the email…yep, I’m a genius) that they’re selling it at Starbucks. Anywho, no Stargate questions come to mind tonight, just hurry up with the show and the movies already! No, wait, where’s my Delicious Daniel pics? Chocolate, my ass, who needs that when I can look at him? 🙂 Be well, have a peaceful night. D

  15. Does the writer of that article think Boyle is mentally challenged? What woman wouldn’t get a “do-over” after that that performance? Just because she was confident enough to come out as she did doesn’t mean she has no fashion sense at all. The woman splurged a little, for goodness sake. As for the setup angle, well, how many people audition? Why wouldn’t they film all of those contestants? isn’t that the whole point of such shows? to cull through hundreds of man hours of videos for such treasures as the Susan Boyle tape? Just let her do an album already and make it available on both sides of the pond.
    The comics look delicious, but I’m resisting for now. After going to the comic store a couple of weeks ago, I was nearly brought to tears by how many bloody titles have come out, and how so many of the old familiar comics have been made over, redone, or completely redone. But I vow that when I win the megazillion dollar lottery tonight I will head to the store and promptly play catch up for the last 15 years.

  16. Re Susan Boyle,
    If people think that reality shows show reality, then they are living in some alternate reality themselves…
    She still has an amazing voice, that is hard to deny. I cried when I first saw the vid, it was kind of a Revenge of the Nerds type moment.

  17. Das – Thanks for posting the link. You’ve just given me a gift idea for my friend’s bub that arrived last night. Hope Mr Das likes it!

    Still on the topic of migraines… well my brain is anyway…

    Susan Boyle, she’s great. I Dreamed A Dream is an amazing song. HOWEVER! For 6 years, each time I got a migraine a song from Les Miserables would get stuck in my head (could be Master of the House (my migraine’s personal favourite), I Dreamed A Dream, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables) and it repeated and repeated and repeated until I was crying for someone to just shoot me or play Crunchy Granola Suite, Cat Stevens, ANYTHING!

    Then about 5 years ago the Les Mis repeating songs stopped happening.

    For a week after I saw Susan Boyle I had I Dreamed A Dream stuck in my head (and isn’t it just the most chipper song?) and was expecting a migraine. At night I’d turn on a radio station to try and get it out of my head. It helped a bit. Then the radio station thought at 2am it would play Susan Boyle’s performance. Argh! Then reprise it at 3am. Noooooooooooo! The only way to escape it was to stay clear of You Tube, keep the TV and radio turned off, avoid the news headlines.

    I’ve now been I Dreamed A Dream free for almost week now. Feels good.
    Oh oh, I think it’s back…

  18. I heard once before that a paper will lay still for anything to be written on it. (in the case of the Callahan article) –and Simon, thats a whole nother story,, and I don’t bother to watch reality(NOT) TV. it holds no interest for me. I would rather stand on my head in a corner.
    — How is the short story coming? ready for proofreading yet? Have you heard back from the astronomer fellows on the Q&A? maybe I missed it..
    –Have a great evening!!

  19. I don’t waste my time reading sad people like that paranoid NY Post writer. And by the way, Susan Boyle’s performance has topped more than 100 million hits in 2 weeks (between all the different time length versions). Now, excuse me, but I’ve got to go watch it, yet again…

  20. Thanks for the comic recs. I’ll have to try to get some of those.

    Would you ever want to do a “canon” Stargate comic, like Joss Whedon has done with Buffy? I think it would be a great way to continue on with the various characters we love, as written by the people who created them. Also, a good way to explore side issues/characters that may not have warranted being the focus of an episode, as well as to do things that, for practical or budgetary reasons, would have been unfeasible with the show. I know I for one would totally buy those comics.

  21. Like you, every couple of years I get the urge to get back into the comic book scene. I’m beginning to think that my interest is starting to wane again, but there are a few that I think I may stick with. “Incognito” by Ed Brubaker has been one that I’ve been enjoying with it’s twist on the super hero/villian story type. I think it’s just a mini series but I’d recommend it. Marvel is also doing some adaptions of several authors, “Ender’s Game” and “Ender’s Shadow” among them. I always find it interesting to see if a visual (comic, TV, or movie) adaption matches what I saw when reading the book. So far, I’d say that the comics are living up to my vision. On a totally different note, I was surprised to see you mention Payard in your chocolate party. I didn’t know that they made candy. When my aunt and uncle used to visit from New York City, they would often bring with them pastries from Payard. Quite simply, they make some of the best desserts I’ve ever had. They even put out a cookbook if you want to try to make your own. I’ve tried a couple of things, but never quite matching the real thing. One last thing before I forget…Wizard Magazine just put out a list for the 25 best sci fi shows of all time. Stargate didn’t make the list, but did get an honorable mention. I disagree about it not being on the list, but I guess I have have my own magazine to publish my favorites.

  22. HEY Narelle – this is for you:

    I dreamed a dream in time gone by
    When hope was high and life worth living
    I dreamed that love would never die
    I dreamed that God would be forgiving

    Then I was young and unafraid
    When dreams were made and used and wasted
    There was no ransom to be paid
    No song unsung no wine untasted

    But the tigers come at night
    With their voices soft as thunder
    As they tear your hopes apart
    As they turn your dreams to shame

    And still I dream he’ll come to me
    And we will live our lives together
    But there are dreams that cannot be
    And there are storms we cannot weather

    I had a dream my life would be
    So different from this hell I’m living
    So different now from what it seems
    Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

    Okay I’m just kidding with you. But this song can’t cause your migraines. People like me might, but not this song. Take care! I think I’ll go drop Maureen a line…

  23. Along with those pictures of Icuras Base. Will we see the long overdue pictures of Mr. Shanks as well???

  24. Mailbag Questions:

    1. Did you get my letter?

    2. Some time ago, you mentioned a very slight possibility that Major Anne Teldy and team would be in the movie. Will I they be?

    Anne Teldy

  25. about Susan Boyle. i figure he knew she was coming. to get on that show, just like american idol, someone listens to you and if you are good or interestingly bad they pass you on. and i would figure that someone gives him some idea of which way the person is going to go so he can choose what questions to ask the singer. he asked an adult woman, over 25 her age, which most people wouldnt do. he didnt ask her what she did for a living, what training she had had, or what experience. he let people make assumptions based on the questions he asked and didnt ask and that set her up for that wonderful moment. i have seen the video myself 4x times. personally i think one of the best parts is where simon cowell is caught gazing at her, smiling, and then he sees the camera watching and he seems for a moment embarrassed and then he just keeps watching. whatever he knew or didnt know about her, i dont think it quite prepare him for reality of her voice. there is another video of her, altho its really audio of her singing a song that was put out on a cd some years earlier. i think it was for a charity. her voice is incredible there too.

    oh-
    and my question
    ummm, who gets the leftover chocolate?

    because i could just send you my address.

  26. Because I’ve gotten into photography, I have to ask: what kind of camera do you have? How much do you do manually, and how much do you let the camera do automatically? How long do you take setting up a shot? Do you bring your camera with you everywhere you go? Do you have trouble focusing in macro? Thanks!

  27. Hello Mr. M,
    Glad the mail bag is up… Will you be doing any more WFPoTD and what ever happened to the tasting of the weird alcohols you and Carl and Ivon were going spend a weekend demonstrating for the amusement of your faithful blog readers?

    Cheers

  28. Hey ANNE great to see ya back, how are things? Still cold in ind? Hope you are doing well, we miss ya, i would love to see you namesake back in film!!! deni b., it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all….. How’s the pup, better i hope,,….. and joe, hi ya, yea, i would also like to know about the sg1 movie and Mr. Browder!, thanks, sheryl

  29. Hey Joe,

    Couple Questions:

    How much has Mr.Scalzi been contributing the Universe progress? Has he stopped back in Vancouver since he was there originally? (I asked you this earlier, but that was at the very start of production).

    I’m sure someone else has probably asked this… BUT

    If your script “Space” is now No.11, then what script is No.10?

    How can I get an invite to that chocolate party!? (hahaha)

  30. Hey Joe… I ended up sending you an email regarding experience. Just a friendly reminder 😀

    A sneak peak at the Isarus base!! Bring it on!!

    Dan

  31. Ponytail – Aaaaaaaaaargh!!!
    And I see you’ve posted the abridged version.
    My subconscious sends the conscious part of my brain little clues that a migraine is coming along. A craving for junk food, too much energy, difficulty with speech and it likes to put particular songs in my head. My guess for the issue with Les Miserables songs is I spent 12 months immersed in it during my performing life.

    Deni B – You can’t leave Disneyland without being scarred by that song.
    PS: Sorry to hear Flannery isn’t well.

  32. Hey, Joe. I’ve had a few things that I’m sure I’ve seen you answer before in the past, but I can’t recall it for the life of me- I hope you’re not sick of hearing something like this.

    I’ve been toying around with a story for sometime in my head, and my friend suggested that he thought it would work best as a screenplay. After making several attempts to start writing it, I think I’ve come the agreement that he may be right.

    However, the problem is- I’ve never really done anything like this. I have something in mind- kind of a vision, and though I’ll probably go through people for dialogue and character details, but I’d like to get this out on paper while I can.

    What sort of areas would you direct someone to look to for starting to write their first screenplay? I’ve picked up a few books and read a few sites, but I figure that if I could- I should try to ask someone who does this for a living. *laughs*

    What kind of advice would you give for someone who’s never really done this sort of thing, but suddenly wants to give it a shot?

    (Sorry for being so wordy!)

  33. I laughed really hard the first time I saw the comment that the Susan Boyle clip was too well done to be real. There was also a clip of a young boy, who wrecked his first song so he was allowed to sing a second. Of course, it’s not a live show, so they edited out the part where they had to find the new song. This person, however, thought that it seemed fishy that the new song was ready in seconds.

    It all reminds me of a story my dad tells from a film class he once took. Apparently one student thought that there were no cuts made in movies or television. He thought that the cameraman simply spun in place to see all parts of whatever action was taking place.

    The stupidity/ignorance of people never ceases to amaze me.

  34. Re: Susan Boyle – for anyone, frumpy or fabulous, life is about living your dreams. Susan Boyle simply got her chance, as she had hope for. People can interpret it anyway they want, but the only reality that matters is Susan’s.

    I have a question that’s been asked before, but I’m still hoping that one of these days you could suggest a movie to review. I don’t have much time to read, and I’m a slow reader anyway. I don’t know if anyone else is in the same situation, but even just one movie would be fun.

  35. I was invited to the taping of an episode of New Zealand’s Got Talent with some coworkers last year.

    A lot of the audience reactions are completely contrived. Before we even saw any of the acts, they had filmed “reaction shots.” Ok now everyone- look surprised! Now- standing ovation! This time, start cheering on the count of 3! When it was on tv, they used these shots a lot. There were a few things we could sway as an audience, a standing ovation for an elderly man singing “how great thou art” forced the judges to let him through, but mostly the audience was manipulated.

    I wasn’t surprised though, it’s just how “reality” tv works. It’s a show.

    …and posting on your blog just reminded me that I have a lemon sorbet chocolate in my bag. I may have to nom it when I have finished my Tokyo Lime green tea.

  36. Guh, it tastes more like sweetened condensed milk than lemon. Always a risk with white “chocolate.”

    That’s it. Tomorrow I’m off to schoc, where the real chocolate is at.

  37. Hmm… I always ask questions when they occur to me, so I’ve none at the moment. Perhaps tomorrow. (Wow…I always say that don’t I?)

    I really need to work on the whole sleeping thing. The biggest problem I’ve been having is that the birds in Cleveland seem think that they need to start chirping at midnight… and they keep going ALL NIGHT LONG. Gorram birds!!! It’s so hard to sleep when they’re chirping right outside my window!!!

  38. Joe, you hit the nail on the head. Doesn’t this newspaper writer ever watch American Idol? There are producers that set these things up to happen. The story is intriguing. Come on, lady. Get with the program. Those producers of Britain’s Got Talent knew she could sing. Why else would she be up there, unless they were going to make fun, which they do quite often on AI.

    Hey, Britain’s Got Talent is a lot more exciting this year than AI is.

    Any more progress on the SGA movie? That new show must be getting in the way. It must be hard to switch back and forth between the two.

  39. Hello Joe!

    The Vancouver Set Tour 2009 included a visit to the set of the U.S.S. General Hammond, does that mean it’ll make an appearance in Stargate Universe?

    There are rumors that Colonel Carter gets to captain the ship.

    Thanks and greetings from the far away Hungary!

  40. Heya Joe!

    I was wondering if you could tell me where ZPMs come from – how the ancients made them etc, why can’t McKay just copy the process? (could it be detailed on the Atlantis database? Did the writers discuss this issue?

    Thanks,

    Light

  41. Susan Boyle was an amazing find!

    Of course it’s staged, they have a pre-audtion with TV producers before any of them hit the stage. The best one is Stavros Flatley from that episode…

    Trust me… You tube that one and you’ll be chuckling away for days!

    Long time lurker posting his first comment! Ooooh yeah!

  42. To be honest, Joe, I don’t think most people realize reality TV is fake (you have no idea how many people I know think “The Hills” is real). Especially when it comes to the talent shows. It scares me a bit, really.

  43. Just like to point out Susan Boyle is from Scotland and not blackburn in England how ever unfortunate it may be.

    And I believe the piece was hyped up and made bigger shock than what it really was. This was also partly down to susan boyle who wanted to cheer up the nation an apparently she want to appear a bit of a nutter before she appeared on stage to make it all a bigger shock. A friend had also told me that she was not actually that good when she performed before the producers before the main show, which apparently was a bit of a disaster but it just what I have been hearing from friends who work at ITV.
    And that poor girl who was caught roling her eyes in the audience, talk about putting up a lamb for the slaughter.

    But the music at the end was tiny bit over dramatic in it style but that what the marketing department wanted and that what the editors put in.

    Overall she was a good news story in what is usally boring, dull and overfilled newspapers with bad stories who sole aim is to make bad stories sound even worst than they really hard and so now they are all like a bunch hyenas trying to rip her to pieces just for cheering up the nation a bit and the world.
    There nothing scandalous in this piece and it nothing more than a good news story and made the nation happier for a week and yet the press seemed determine to get there revenge on her for creating a good happy cheerful story which is just not allowed. So far through the people seem to be standing together against the Hyenas an certainly it seem the audience is against reporters crictising her, some of the comments on these reporters sites have been less than supportive of the journolist and there news report (made up story )

    Also the views is closer to a hundred million on the internet and last time I check still growing and ITV did not sign a advertising deal with google and they wonder why they are in so much trouble.

    Well I am going to watch it for the fifth time as it cheers me up.

  44. G’day Joe

    Fantastic choccie party. I think I would hurl, even though I can put away some chocolate and desserts, my record is 8.

    I am dying to find out if Caldwell, and therefore the divine Mitch, is going to be in the Atlantis movie.

    Haveagoodday!!
    Janet.

  45. Its funny how of all of Britain’s got Talent contestants, Susan Boyle is the one that the whole world is talking about. As a fellow scot, I applaud her for going up and doing her best, giving us some good entertainment. I don’t think shes as good as all that though, maybe I’d give her performance an 8 out of 10. She was clearly not as good as year 1’s winner Paul Potts, or last year’s string quartet, Escala. Of course these shows are about manipulating the public. This is why the program editors twice edited a part of last year’s winner George Sampson’s dance routine where he spun and fell flat on his back. If the tv audience saw that, would he still have won? And what’s he done since? Not heard from him since he won. Actually, this year there have been a couple of street dance acts that have pleasantly surprised me as well, check out Flawless and Diversity. Not usually into this type of thing, but they really impressed me.

  46. Of course Susan Boyle isn’t really ‘real’ – but that doesn’t mean she can’t sing well, though. I’m more curious as to how the ‘conspiracy’ began – was it just ‘wow, she can sing quite good, let’s do it again but now with an amazed audience/jury and an orchestra et all’, or was she part of the conspiracy all along?

    And a couple of burning questions:

    – Regarding the SGA movie: is there any chance the Genii and Ladon Radim might pop up? They haven’t been on lately, and although their arc got resurrected in ‘Inquisition’, I fear that they won’t show up since there are so many more important unresolved plots left.

    – Space is now ep#11… Does that mean a new story is being written in a previous slot, or is Brad’s Fire now a 2-parter, to not have a rushed episode à la Enemy at the Gate? (which should’ve been a 2-parter, imo)

    – How much backstory do the Universe characters have? We got glimpses of Sheppard’s backstory in SGA, but it could’ve been much more (although it added up to the ‘mystery’ of Sheppard) – I’m quite interested in seeing how the characters are the way they are, where they come from, their past, etc.

  47. Waaaaaait a minute. Reality tv isn’t always *real*? OMG. Don’t tell me that Heidi and Lauren aren’t really in a spat because Spencer’s like such a jerk! I know that’s all so like, real. And I so totally thought those housewives in the OC were being like totally honest about their lives and junk. Oh and the ones in Atlanta. Um, and New York. New Jersey seems to be fake, though. Wouldn’t it be like so totally awesome if they did a Real Housewives of Vancouver? Maybe Fondy could be on the show!

    🙄

    Aaaaanyway… How are the doggies doing? Has Brie been visiting more? She’s an adorable puppy!

    @PG15: Ah. Gotcha. Probably better to stick with your plan. I was going to use the 20 bucks to get you something really nice. Now I’ll just have to use the things I’ve got in my house. 😀

    Trish

  48. See, I thought the entire performance was done with smoke & mirrors…how naive am I?

    Seriously…as soon as everyone I know said, “You have to YouTube Susan Boyle”, I actually lost any interest in seeing it.

    I don’t do Idol or any of those shows.

    They bug me.

    I do, on the other hand, need to run to the comic store & pick up a couple of those titles.

  49. I cant believe that someone like Susan Boyle got famous. what message are we sending to our kids? that being ugly looking gets you places? that looks dont matter anymore? its times like this that i lose faith in humanity.

    speaking of which, you guys should stop telling us about what SGU is because the more we know the less exciting it becomes. i want to reserve judgment when it airs. the documentary style is like the total opposite of stargate, and focusing on characters by turning into soap is nothing new. so please make it feel like ‘stargate’ for us please. unlike others, i actually like the premise and i guess i like the idea that it might interest my friends so we can have something to talk about.

  50. Coucou =)

    ça va joseph? Moi super,dommage que la pluie viennent tout gaché.

    Je suis impatiente d’être au week end de 3 joursd=), le 1er Mai est t’il un jour férier au Canada?

    Questions:

    1)Dans SGU vera t’on des Jumpers?
    2)Dans SGU vera t”on des méchants de sga ou sg1?
    3) Pensez vous que les macarons de Ladurée son les meilleurs du monde?

    Bonne journée! =) Bisou!

  51. It’s been said SG-U is going to be filmed like a sort of documentary. (Cloverfield style)

    My question is, Does that mean we’ll get lots of shaking and out of focus camera shots like what was done in the Cloverfield movie?

    I hope not. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Cloverfield was an amazing movie. But I’m not sure this same shooting style would work well on a television show.

    I’ll give it a shot though, Anything Stargate is good with me.
    But I realy hope you guys will keep some of the old way of shooting scenes alive.

  52. *waves*

    You know me, I always have an opinion on things, today is no exception on the Susan Boyle thing. What I find is that when someone finds a song, that kinda fits their own circumstances it makes them sing with more emotion. They tend to put all their heart and soul into it. If you look at her history, she’s dreamed this for a while, and hasn’t found that person to spend her life with, either by choice or circumstances. She’s been trying to realise her dream for well over ten years, and so for her, maybe this song has special meaning. As such when you find a song like that it moves you and consequently moves the audience. Was the overlay of the music meant to entice the online viewers? Oh most definately, but it’s not just done with Susan Boyle, that’s been Britain’s Got Talent’s theme from the very start, so nothing new there.

    There will always be critics no matter where you go, or how good you are. She’s just an average woman, with an above average voice that has finally got a break that she’s been waiting for all her life. Good for her!

    Too often this world we live in relies on looks instead of talent, and I don’t think even with Susan’s success things will change. Shame really.

    *hugs*

    *slinks away*

  53. Hi Joe!

    Agreed and Indeed about Susan Boyle. She’s a delight and the Britain’s Got Talent people played up everything for “dramatic effect.” I have two opinions about Simon Cowell’s reactions to her singing, when he was smiling, head in hands. One – he was pleased to hear someone with a great singing voice. Two – he knew Susan Boyle just jumped the show’s ratings by millions.

    Either way, we got to see and hear Susan. And that is cool. 🙂

    Can’t wait for Icarus Base pics! (Still a bit uneasy about a base named after a (literally) fallen Greek character.)

    Your photos from the chocolate dinner were stupendous. Man, do you guys only hire and work with incredibly handsome people?! And the food! And the chocolate! Amazing! 🙂

    eddy

    P.S. “Santa ClausE” Really? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  54. After the end of JMS’s run on Spider-Man, I kept reading for a while, and it felt as if they were reiterating stories from the 1980s. But I started picking it up again, and I’m curious to see where they’re headed as they approach issue #600.

    X-Men Magneto: Testament is a story that has needed to be told for a long time. I was glad to see that they did a lot of research and consulted with the Wiesenthal Center to get the details right.

  55. Has Ashleigh had to change her plans for her trip to Mexico? The US government has warned its citizens to make no unnecessary trips to Mexico. (Not like we ever really listen to them or anything…)

  56. Joe, please tell us Ashleigh is not going to Mexico…make her stay put, please! Tell her I said so.

  57. @ amac251 – I was wondering the same thing. Poor Ashleigh, first Joe…now Swine Flu and a possible trip cancellation. If her trip was cancelled, I think Joe should make it up to her in some way, don’t you?

    @ Joe – Besides my chocolate party questions yesterday, I just have one Stargate-related one that’s been on my mind: In the SGA movie, will we learn anything new about Wraith (biology, culture, etc…)?

    Thankies in advance!

    das

  58. The Swine Flu… just another reason to buy hand sanitizer in bulk.

    And FYI, shopping carts are the germiest of germy things… more so than the inside of a bathroom at a Chuck E. Cheese. *shudder*

  59. @maddog1995

    Look me up on GW. I’d like to discuss the topic of adaptation and visual mediums with you. I have a novel approach (no pun intended).

  60. I just saw the teaser about the Icarus base. I had to suppress a “yippee” and it came out as a nerd squeak.

    Joe, If I post one more time tonight, ban me for eternity because I’m supposed to be doing something else.

  61. Wow, it looks like the US may be considering closing its borders to Mexico. That may or may not happen. If the level is raised to pandemic proportions, then Canada may ban flights as well. Did Ashleigh have a back up plan if she cannot fly home?

  62. Well after listening to susan Boyle, I only fifth time today honest, I have got a couple of questions for you.

    (1)Is there anything at all that you can say about the destiny ship, like official size, type or number of engines, the ship colour, the smallest of info would be great full.

    (2)Have all the season episodes been filled.

    (3)One thing that annoyed me about Star trek voyager was that the background characters extras kept on changing. Just wondering if anyone keeping a list of extras for the show so that random actors do not just appear out of know where.

    (4)Will the Destiny have drones as it only weapons system or will the be other weapons onboard.
    (5) Will destiny be able to repair her self.
    (6) How many alien races are we going to see in the first season.

  63. This is gonna be one hellava mailbag…

    Maybe I should have asked a Todd question…like…will he get his spiffy leather coat back in the movie, or will he be forced to walk around dressed up like a reject from Richard Petty’s old pit crew for the rest of his life?

    das

  64. And speaking of that jumpsuit…back in Enemy at the Gate, was Todd allowed to change in private, or did Sheppard watch?? 😈

    das

  65. @Sheryl: The pup’s not doing as well as I’d hoped, we’ll see what the next week brings 🙁 Thanks for your concern, though, it’s nice you all are here for me! Deni

  66. Joe-

    I’m loving the comic updates, magneto is just awesome.

    So the other day i was watching Merlins Apprentice on Scyfy and couldn’t help but notice that his ‘library’ and the surrounding village looked a lot like the set from Camelot. Just wondering if they used the sg1 set or if sg1 used theirs.

    Thanks always,

    -ZPB

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