Hey!  It’s snowing!!!  Not outside but right here on this blog!  I am officially in the Christmas spirit.  Post your questions and I’ll answer them in tomorrow’s holiday mailbag.

From the “How did I miss this?” file comes my favorite new show I just happened to discover on DVD last week:

Actually, friends have been recommending this series for a while now but I only got around to checking it out recently because, well, I finally made the time for it.  And, boy, am I glad I did.  It’s brilliant and easily ranks up there with the likes of The Sopranos and The Shield.  Who else is watching?  And if you aren’t, why not?

Hey, you know what’s even more frustrating than learning a foreign language?  Educating someone on the fickle nature of English grammar.  I’m the last guy you should be asking about the intricacies of non-continuous verbs and dangling modifiers.  Apparently, while  “Because that’s the way it is.” may have worked for Walter Cronkite, it aint working for this guy, proving a rather unpopular response to the various questions Akemi has thrown my way.  Equally unpopular answers have have included: “It just sounds right/doesn’t sound right.”,  “It’s hard to explain…” and mumbling something incomprehensible before trailing off and feigning distraction by some mystery phone text.  I liked it better when my contribution to Akemi’s ongoing English-learning program consisted of reading and explaining old Far Side strips.

Some news of note:

7 Most Inappropriate Restaurant Names.  I’ll see your Mother Clucker’s and raise you a Chocolate Log: Food Network Humor » The Worst Restaurant Names In The World …

Hey, conspiracy theorists.  Check these out: 19 Famous Photographs Before The CIA Edited Them

Wait.  What?  You mean I shouldn’t have already blown all my savings on that fallout shelter and canned food?  Mayans never predicted world to end in 2012?

Since we’ve been talking comics of late, TopTenz.net offers up: Top Ten Worst Moments in Marvel Comics.  And, for you DC fans – Top 10 Worst Moments in DC Comics | Top 10 Lists | TopTenz.net.  Agree?  Disagree?

One of the many reasons celebrities shouldn’t be allowed to have children: The strange names celebs give their kids — like Sunny Bebop

32 thoughts on “December 2, 2011: Getting into the Christmas spirit! My new favorite show! Joe’s language school! News of note!

  1. Hey Joe,

    I think you should give Akemi Patrick Gilmore’s email. He has a degree in English Literature…of course you knew that…but could be fun to see HIS response to those language issues. *smiles*

    Can’t wait for your comic to come out. I am enjoying reading about your other comic ventures.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl ♥இ≻–‵

  2. Oh…I haven’t tried the series. Spent so many years working in LA Entertainment law…I worked on so many great TV shows but I put in 12 hour days with a 1.5 hour commute each way. Didn’t live far from the studios or law firms…but LA means you have to love your car.

    No time for TV or the Internet. What little I saw was on TV on Demand. I am just now trying to catch up on “The Big Bang Theory”…never could let clients know I wasn’t watching.

    I now…like you am trying to catch up. There are some great series I missed like “Rescue Me” that I end up ordering on Netflix. I stream other series because the picky side of me wants to see the episodes in order. I just completed “Tudors” and “The Walking Dead”…but “Fringe” was my favorite to watch from the beginning. I love that show. Has taken some if the sting of losing fresh Stargate episodes.

    I have pretty much given up on films and really am enjoying series TV. Films are now a few a year instead of two each weekend. When I worked at FOX in film…my life revolved around the medium.

    Like you…might take me awhile to catch up on all the TV I would like to see…but this holiday season I am with family…and spent hours watching “Tom and Jerry”…I think I had better patience with children’s programming with my children. Grandkids…oh my!

    Also..excuse mis-typing…I still can’t proof on my phone and I pick at the keyboard with one finger. Of course my phone talks and tries to correct my spelling all the time. *sigh* I am so NOT tech anything…and still figuring out being “on-line”!

  3. Oh, my, good timing! I’ve been watching Breaking Bad for a few weeks now (on Netflix streaming), after all the buzz I’d seen on line for the most recent season. I’m toward the end of Season 2.

    Honestly, it’s one of the most finely crafted shows I’ve ever watched, and I’m completely hooked. Everything about it is so carefully constructed, so internally consistent, and so very brave. When they go dark, they go humanity dark, not Hollywood dark. Every consequence plays out in tragic glory for as long as it takes. I love the setting in Albuquerque, the spare cinematography and music, the writing, and the amazing acting. Walt is an incredible character, isn’t he? On such an epically tragic path, too. I didn’t watch The Shield because the main character was such an a-hole from day 1, but Walt sucked me in. I can’t say I’m rooting for him, but I sure love watching his flaws play out episode after episode. And I can see this happening to someone in his position.

    I wish I could chime in that passionately about all the comic books you’re reviewing, but somehow it’s not a medium that has ever grabbed me on an emotional level. I’m sure Dark Matter will be the exception. 🙂

  4. “The strange names celebs give their kids”

    After you sadisticly decided to let us name Trevor’s baby, you should not be talking.

  5. I guess those strangely named kids can console themselves later with the fact that their parents are absolutely loaded…..

  6. ~ Mailbag Questions ~

    1. Is the Stargate Christmas Reunion for a project? Will you be officially filming anything? Will principal actors of SGU, Atlantis, or SG-1 be there?

    2. Is this the same project in the works that Stargate actors have referred to? We’d rather hear it from you than Twitter!

    3. Still have birthday Christmas prezzies for you and Akemi. May we use the address for your agent in Vancouver?

  7. hey i actually did recommend you Breaking Bad in last September 😉

    And if you didn’t see season 4 yet, just wait to see Giancarlo Esposito’s performance as GUS. No spoiler, i just would like to say that this actor will probably win an Emmy from playing that character in season 4.
    Yes, he is that insanely good.
    And finally, I didn’t enjoy a TV show like Breaking Bad since Stargate Universe.
    Yup, it gives you an idea of the quality of your show from a different POV. SGU was as good and as surprising to me as Breaking Bad.

    I still hope to have the opportunity to shake your hand in person if you come around Montreal for Xmas. It would be like meeting Roddenberry or Asimov 😉
    take care

  8. I’ve bought the dvds for my father to watch Breaking Bad, but I’ve yet to sit down and watch myself. The show was highly recommended by coworkers and I plan to eventually see for myself.
    Working a 48 this weekend, so hope to start doing the decorating at work. Last year I didn’t do it, and naturally no one else bothered. Find out soon enough if that gets me in the spirit.
    If it wouldn’t confuse Akemi even more, you could always attribute quirks of the English language to various historical events in England and Germany, whence came our current language. Throw a little Chacer at her, or just blame Shakespeare for everything. As for questions, well, how about your ultimate favorite Christmas and/or New Year’s dinner menu snacks, and beverages, perhaps with recipes? If I don’t feel too grinchy this year, I think I’d like to actually cook a meal for myself(as opposed to my deliveries of chrstmas hams to the local emergency rooms for the nurses and docs).
    Thanks for the post, and looking forward to the mailbag.

  9. @ Zed of Earth – Quickie! My bad, the Lewis ep that has some fun at Hathaway’s expense is The Gift of Promise.

    @ Joe – I gotta run (going out of town). Hopefully I’ll get back in time to ask a question, and check out those links. Have a good one, sir!


  10. Hey, Joe!

    I don’t know if you get the History Channel there or not, but one show you would probably like is “Brad Meltzer’s DECODED” by best-selling fiction author Brad Meltzer.

    He and his team dive into uncovering the facts of various mysteries and/or expose the truths behind various moments in history. A good percentage of the shows deal with US history (like the real meaning behind the Statue of Liberty, or is there really gold still at Fort Knox, the assassination of Lincoln, the truth behind the legend of Billy the Kid, the missing secret corner stone at the White House, mystery behind the death of Gen. Patton, etc.) so I don’t know how much those episodes would interest you. But other episodes deal with other topic matters (Hitler & the spear of destiny, world leaders and Secret Societies, who is the real D.B. Cooper, the various 2012 doomsday prophecies, the facts behind UFO’s what’s true what’s not, etc.). Some of their upcoming episodes deal with Houdini, Da Vinci, and the Alaska Triangle.

    It’s an interesting show because they weigh both sides of arguments while searching for the truth between the recorded facts and fiction (not just what the history books say happened). Also with Meltzer’s connections they are able to get into top level security areas and talk to various individuals that other people wouldn’t have access to.

    If you’re a factual history buff then you’d definitely like the show. The 1st season is on dvd and the 2nd season currently airs on Wed. nights, but they show reruns on the History channel all the time. Don’t know if it’s your thing or not, but if you do like that sort of thing then you might like the show.

    Have a great weekend!

  11. Breaking Bad is a gem of a show. Stellar writing and performances from the cast. I’ve also really enjoyed “Homeland” and “Boardwalk Empire”. “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story” are a lot of fun as well. Some of my friends like Fringe, but the lack of profanity, sex, violence, drugs, grittiness and it’s procedural setup makes it non-important viewing for me.

  12. I may be the odd man out but I don’t watch Breaking Bad. It was for the same reason that I could never get into BSG or Walking Dead. For me TV needs to be entertaining escapism. I can deal with angst but it has to be counterpointed with a fair dose of humor (though it can be the dark variety). Without it I find it hard to want to watch the next episode. If I find myself saying “Sweet Jesus your life sucks. I get it. Can we move on now?” I usually just stop watching.

    Coincidentally this is the very issue that has ruined the current season of Supernatural.

  13. I thought, as a chemistry teacher myself, that I would really enjoy Breaking Bad, but it was too dark for me. I couldn’t even make it through the first season. I do however agree that it is a well-done series.

  14. @dasndanger
    I can’t bear modern horror, either; again, it’s the gore and the callousness. And as for zombies, no way! For me, again, it’s the art of suggestion – what we imagine is scarier than anything we can be shown. I like the more suspenseful, eerie type of horror, something with a good story behind it and ideally a bit of the tragic protaganists about it. 🙂

    Ah, Ecclescakes…nothing odd about liking him or his Doctor! Shame he only did the one season. I thought both he and Matt Smith did an excellent job of combining the angsty Doctor with the wacky, zany Doctor, whereas David Tennant occasionally got on the train to Hamsville. When DT was good, though, he was very good.

    Enjoy your movie-fest!!!

  15. I’ve just watched all seasons of Breaking Bad in the last two weeks, you’re in for a very good treat.

  16. @ Ponytail – what’s wrong with the name Euphemia!? I thought we did a good job on that! 🙂

    Santa Joe, my sincere wish for my Christmas present is a third season of SGU to finish off the story. Can you make that happen? I’ve been (kind of) good all year!

    Oh, and a pony.

  17. I am certified to teach ESL, and spent years tutoring in Japan. Face it, you just can’t explain English comprehensively, it is an ever-changing mutt of a language. Worse, it isn’t consistent between English speaking nations, and our regional dialects get wonky.

    So, do you drink soda, pop, or coke?

    What is the overstuffed thing in your living room which seats three or four people? Heck, is it in your living room, lounge or … (shoot, salon? Parlor?)

    Do you allow people to smoke out on your porch/veranda/gallery?

  18. Breaking Bad? Thank you, I’ll check it out. I’ve been watching Rasing Hope these days on Netflix. Pretty funny and twisted.

    Ponytail: Spot on!

  19. I see that you are currently reading a Patricia Highsmith book, and I don’t remember seeing mysteries on your reading list before. Do you like mysteries as a genre? What mystery authors or books do you like?

  20. Hubby is reading a series by the author B. V. Larson. The Series includes Rebellion, Swarm, & Extinction. He downloaded them on his Kindle Fire and is rarely separated from the device now. (I’m starting to get jealous) He says they are on the “must read” list. You were looking for new authors, so I thought I would throw that in the pot.
    As for TV shows, Das was spot on with Dr Who. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen season six yet. Our selection of channels doesn’t include BBC. I have to wait for Netflix to catch up. 🙁

  21. hi,
    so we’ve made a fan animated series and would like to know if you could let the word out. (if possible to if you could also let us know any ideas you had on the story direction for the third season and anything else too 🙂 ). We realize you are really busy, but our site is http://www.sgutafs.com/ I don’t want to be a spammer, but if you could join the site too for support that’d be awesome!: http://sgutafs.com/forum/member.php?action=register&referrer=50 . Thanks,
    Tyler Grant

  22. Here are my mailbag questions. 🙂

    1. I know I’ve asked this before and I got a good answer from PBMom, but I wanted to know what you thought of this. Do you ask people before you put their picture up on your blog, or is it just universally known that if anyone is around you that they’re probably going to end up in your blog?

    2. Also, just for fun, do you have a favorite color?

  23. Arg! I forgot a question, sorry for posting twice 😛

    I don’t know if you would know this or not…but I’ll ask anyways. Right now I’m working on becoming a proffesional actress. My question is does Vancouver have a lot of acting auditions and oppertunities…and whatnot?

  24. Just started watching Breaking Bad and I like it more than I expected to. I had thought it would be too dark, but so far, so good.

  25. “That is just the way it is” and “there is not reason; sometimes you simply have to memorize it.” worked for my high school German teacher. I fell your pain, as I am on both sides of learning a language.

  26. @Shiny
    ‘our endless burying of my mom’s jewelry just so we could create maps that would lead us to the treasure and inching around the edges of the driveway clinging to the fence for fear of falling into quick sand; apparently our house was surrounded by tons of the stuff.’
    Gotta watch out for that quicksand!

    ‘Oh, and a pony.’


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