Lookit him! All directorial and such!

Yes, it’s true!  After too long an absence, fan favorite and culinary wingman Martin Gero makes his return to this blog to field YOUR (and a couple of my) questions.  What the hell has he been up to since Stargate: Atlantis ended it’s run?  Find out!  Ask him about his time on Stargate, his HBO series Bored To Death, and his new show, The L.A. Complex, that was just picked up by the CW (and airs here in Canada on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on CTV and MuchMusic).  Or maybe ask him about the beard.  I’ve yet to receive a satisfactory response on that one.

Anyway, I’ll be collecting questions for him over the next few days so don’t delay!

Curious to know more about Marty G?  Check him out on “the twitter” here: martingero

Or his hopelessly outdated website here: http://martingero.com

And find out about his new show, The L.A. Complex, here (Watch The L.A. Complex Tuesdays @ 9ET), here (The L.A. Complex – Shows – CTV), and here (‘The L.A. Complex’ Director/Writer Martin Gero: This Is Not A …).

Okay, so I finally got around to watching the much-hyped fourth season finale of my new favorite show, Breaking Bad and…

S

P
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A
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I was surprised by the fact that for a show that surprised me consistently in the episodes leading up to this finale, it failed to surprise me with this last episode.  Also, for a show that’s been so expert in its ability to set up and pay off every dramatic turn, its finale felt oddly unfinished – and a little unsatisfying.  Specifically:

1. The bomb under the wheelchair seemed the obvious solution to the Gus problem from the moment Saul mentions Tio.  I was expecting that to be the plan but I was also expecting some sort of twist or complication given that, up to this point in the series, the writers have been so good at steering us in one direction and then blindsiding us with a surprise turn.  Not so this time.  It all went down pretty much as I’d imagined it would.  I know I’m being picky and on most every other television show (and pretty much any movie out there), it would have been fully satisfying – but Breaking Bad has proven itself so much more clever in the past that I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

2. How did Walter swap the cigarettes?  It was probably in Saul’s office when Jesse was getting frisked, but the moment happens too fast and, worse, Jesse resists so much that it’s hard to buy.  Hard but not impossible I suppose.

3. The bigger issue for me is how the heck Walt poisoned the kid.  I’m sure there are a 101 ways to poison a kid (many a book has been written on the subject) but the fact that we didn’t see it, or were even given a hint as to how he pulled it off, really felt like the show was asking the audience to look past a significant linchpin event – again, something that would be perfectly acceptable in many other shows but is uncharacteristic of Breaking Bad’s precise storytelling.

4. And another minor bump for me: In the second to last episode, why did Gus not get into the car?  Did he notice something amiss?  Was he tipped off?  Another fascinating development that wasn’t explained (or didn’t even receive a hint at an explanation).

These gripes aside, I do love the show.  I’m fascinated by our protagonist’s descent into darkness and how this is in sharp contrast to the attempted redemption of other characters in shows like The Sopranos and The Shield.  I don’t know about you, but I actually felt sorry for Gus in this episode.  He didn’t want to get into business with Walter.  It was Walter who forced the issue.  Walter (and his partner) who screwed up and jeopardized things.  Walter who threatened and murdered innocents (Brock, Gale).  Poor Gus was simply a victim of Gus’s greed.

Thoughts?  Agree?  Disagree?

Hey, one more reminder that we begin discussion on the January Book of the Month Club Selection: Batgirl Rising on Monday, so finish up, weigh in with your thoughts, and prepare your questions for writer Bryan Q. Miller!

And join our SuperMovie of the Week Club by sitting down and watching the 1966 Batman movie.  Cookie Monster, who weighed in with his review of Superman and the Mole-Men last week (January 9, 2012: The Superfilm of the Week Club! Superman and the Mole Men! Cookie Monster Review!) returns on Tuesday to offer his thoughts on Batman.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to post a comment over the last 24 hours (and a special thanks to the first-time posters as well).  Your kind words are much appreciated – and certainly food for thought.

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to PBMom and NarelleFromAus.

37 thoughts on “January 13, 2012: Golden Boy Martin Gero wants to hear from YOU!

  1. Hi Joe,

    I see you’ve been reading “The Belgariad.” I love (and miss) Eddings’ humor and characterization. You might give his “Elenium” series a try as well; similar dry wit, good plot twists and introspection of human strengths and frailties.

    Is that a tribble on Martin’s face? No wonder his Twitter pic is from the nose up!

    – Julie

    @Narelle –how are you doing, hon? Ease into that new kind of normal slowly, it takes time and tears and time and nostalgia and time… {{{hugs}}}

    @PBmom –news from the docs yet? You’ve been in my thoughts all day today, hoping for good results.

  2. @Joe: I’m sure you will be relieved to learn that my copy of Dark Matter has finally shipped. Or not. I appreciate the spoiler alert for Breaking Bad, since I just started watching season one.

    Please assure Mr. Cookie that I will be watching Batman this weekend (it just arrived from Netflix) and will be participating in the next discussion. I wouldn’t want to disappoint him again.

    @Akemi: Thanks for encouraging Joe to keep blogging!

    @Narelle: I’m glad so many people came to honor your mom and share their memories of her.

    @PBmom: Alien species, eh? Nice too see you haven’t lost your sense of humor! I’m glad there was no serious kidney disease found on the biopsy, but it must be frustrating not to have answers. I hope the blood work will give some clues and the specialist will be able to figure out more of what it going on.

    @das; Ah, yes. I remember the good old Days of Wraith. We were so young, so earnest. 😉 Nice song, by the way.

  3. As I was exulting over my purchase of ginormous fresh stalks of asparagus I thought of the blog; it has been a treat to discover great food here. I still remember your pics of that barbecue place with the huge platters of beautiful ribs and lovely fries, sigh! And I still haven’t been able to find that purple pasta shaped like flowers that you had at I think a Thai restaurant? So pretty.

    I have to confess again that I originally came to this blog after googling Jason Momoa; yep, behind the scenes pics of Conan’s dimples were what got me to your blog but I stayed for the funny observations – Cookie Monster’s description of the “feisty blond waitress dat tell off Count last Saturday night – reeeal hot and veeery angry” has to be the funniest.

    For dinner I had a huge salad with asparagus, mango and honey ginger dressing; so tasty. Thanks for all the food inspiration; my pantry thanks you Joe!! Hugs to Maximus and his furry cute friends.

    Whey you’re done with Breaking B I hope you’ll check out Misfits and Spy! on Hulu, and Portlandia too. Looking forward to seeing LA Complex!

  4. Oh, Ameki. You reminded me that I forgot to go pick up my copy of Dark Matter. I only have my bike while home and the weather hear is like Montreal of not worse. Glad to hear Joe is going to write on his blog for a while longer. But he is a writer, always seeking something fresh and new to write about.
    I would love to see Martins new show but I am unfamiliar with the Much. The series does look exciting.

  5. Quit the blog? But..but..your’re the BlogFather. 🙁

    Oh Joe, don’t go. Wasn’t able to post yesterday, but please don’t go anywhere–well, other than the pitch meeting and Japan. 🙂

    Where would you go the next time the garage door doesn’t work, or you need to decide which brand of new dishwasher to buy? Or need the science behind password encryption or to ponder Wraith philiosophy? What would you do without us?

    You’ve always been good at bringing the right people together for a project, and along the way, you brought the right group together in your blog community. Where would we be without you, or each other? While we’ve read about your life, our own lives have gotten better. In the past 3.5 years, I’ve made friends I’d never have met anywhere else. And found recipes I wouldn’t have found anywhere else.

    Realistically though, we remember what it was like when you were about to karoshi over Transporter. Some of us mentioned scaling back and doing some short, pithy entries like John Scalzi. Or photos and captions. Life–and enjoying it–does have to come first.

    But quitting? You heard what Akemi said if you did. No sushi, no chocolate… And remember those “mad ninja skills” of hers you talked about? Do you really want to take that risk? It’s *your* life. 😀

    If you decide to run away, can we come with you?

  6. Regarding Breaking Bad (SPOILERS):

    Walter starts out wanting to provide for his family, which is a motivation that we can all identify with, and other than his chosen solution, seems like a “normal” thing to attempt. By the time he uses the bomb to kill Gus, he apparently does not care about collateral deaths among the residents of the nursing home and he damn near killed Brock with poison. All innocents. He’s looking more like a sociopath and I question whether that kind of fundamental personality shift can really occur in an individual absent any earlier clues. Maybe letting Jessie’s girlfriend Jane die was a clue (but she was a direct threat).

    When he was trying to decide what to do with Crazy 8 in the first season, analyzing the pros and cons, was that a red herring as to his personality? I tend to think not, I believe he was very troubled by it, showing he has a working conscience. There were numerous other events that seem to show he is not sociopathic, which makes his later willingness to risk killing non-combatants to achieve his goal of eliminating Gus not ring true for me.

    I expected him to bomb Gus’s car in the parking lot at the nursing home. He had gone to such lengths to do it the first time at the hospital, it seemed the logical course and would have been more in keeping with his previous actions and would not have put others at risk.

    Anyway, the show is awesome and I can’t wait for the final season.
    I hope they redeem Walter somehow before he kills everyone around him.

  7. @Narelle — Prayers continue. Was thinking of you and how the services went. Thank you for telling us. Isn’t it amazing what one person can add to so many lives? How wonderful that that lady was your very own Mum.

    PBMom — Though nothing like what you’ve gone through, I’ve had wacky pain or test results that would stump the doctors. ‘Tweren’t according to textbook. But in the end, it didn’t turn out to be the big thing they were afraid of. I’ll take a-typical and annoying any day! Praying the same is true for you.

  8. @ JeffW – Good thing I didn’t mention the tambourine! 😀

    @ Sparrowhawk – – I get so melancholy thinking about the Days of Wraith. Good times! I miss those guys soooo much! There was still so much to tell, so much to discover. Kenny brushing the knots out of Todd’s hair, Shawn the Wraith showing up at Woolsey’s annual chocolate party, Sheppard seeing Todd’s tramp stamp for the very first time …ahhh! the possibilities were endless! Until, ya know…it all ended. 🙁

    @ Joe – Still no Dark Matter for me. If it doesn’t come tomorrow (well, today), I might run up to the comic shop and pick up a copy, or two. The anticipation is killing me! Well…not really killing me, but most definitely making me a bit antsy.

    @ Marty Gero – Have you let Joey touch your beard yet? Has he even asked to do so? I’m pretty sure that no man is under obligation to explain his beard to another man unless the touching happens first. 🙂

    das

  9. PPS @ Marty – If I can’t touch your beard, can you at least don a kasket cap and sing If I Were a Rich Man for me, complete with a little Topolesque ‘yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum’ shimmy? 🙂

    das

  10. Hey Joe,

    I can’t help but smile when you bring up Martin. I first came across Martin in June 2009 when I joined Twitter. I was thrilled to find so many people associated with Stargate. I was still working in Hollywood at the time. Martin’s avatar was a picture of part of his face showing wearing sunglasses with blue water behind him. My first real peek at the real Martin was here on your blog. I had fun giving him a hard time…he is generous with his fans and very funny.

    Questions for Martin:
    When you look at Stargate…do you see something and go “That was my idea and/or character!” What is your favorite Stargate contribution? Do you enjoy writing, producing or directing the most? What is your favorite TV show that is currently still being produced?

    Breaking Bad:
    I will be the first to admit that since my cancer treatment put me into total organ failure…along with bleeding out…when I awoke..I had to learn to even speak again. I have short term memory issues and some memory loss. This has become a failure when discussing TV or a movie. I lose details…they say ignorance is bliss…but there are constant reminders that I cannot be what I use to be. Having said all that…I watched all of Breaking Bad over a week. Yep…and your thoughts about the show are interesting.

    I totally did not see/or the emplying part of Walt poisoning the boy. I am playing the last episode again to see what I missed.

    The car for me was simple…why would a huge drug dealer go in a car that had been left unattended. I’m am sure the pause in the garage was the realization of that.

    Are you kidding about the bomb!!! Gus walking out of the room straightening his tie was classic. He looked like he was straight out of terminator.

    Mike has become a very likable character. I knew there was another season so I wasn’t expecting as many conclusions as they gave us.

    The highlight for me was when Walt’s wife told him he had given their money to her lover. Walt’s reaction was priceless.

    Best to you Joe…and your sweet little family,
    Always,
    Cheryl

  11. I didn’t know you were friends with Paul Giamatti. I’ll check out the new show, mostly because of Jewel Staite.

    You make a lot of good points about Breaking Bad.

    #1 When the bomb went off, I felt Gus’s time was truly up. That wasn’t Walt’s first assassination attempt either. It was his third or fourth on Gus. At that point, well, a twist would have felt overkill.

    #2 & #3 I’m a bit sceptic about that too. But I don’t think they’ll explore how it was done any further, they’ll just focus on the ramifications when Jesse finds out.

    #4. I chalk it up to Gus being real good at reading situations and making the most of them by carefully and meticulously moving his chess pieces. Maybe he felt he was being watched (drug lords are crazy and paranoid like that). Or maybe his spider-sense told him to take a walk and get some cardio done.

    You should check out Boardwalk Empire, but it does take a few episodes to get going and to get used to.

  12. Firstly @narellefromaus – may I offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your Mum. I haven’t been around so I didn’t know. *big hugs* …sounds like she was much loved by all..

    Chev

  13. Hi Joe,

    Can I ask Martin what was his favourite episode of SGA and why? Also the reverse would also be interesting…

    Thanks

  14. Hello Joe,
    Julie told me you were thinking about stopping the blog, so I thought I’d cut short my blog hiatus & come say hi.

    I’ve been a regular on here for years and have enjoyed your writing, rants and general sharing of your life. I’ve chatted to so many awesome people through this blog. Thanks Joe. I don’t know why you’re mad at me..it’s why I’ve stayed away these last few weeks…made me sad…anyhoo I’d love to see you keep blogging because I love hearing about your dogs, your writing projects, Akemi and of course I always like the photos you share, especially of Ivon. Has blogging become a chore? Could you blog less frequently? Would that ease the burden?

    Good luck with Dark Matter and the new feature..sounds intriguing. I’m not driving at the moment so I have to figure out where I can buy it.

    I’m back at work on Monday, first time since the start of November. Just got back from a week in Sydney with my sister and her kids. I’ve decided Sydney people don’t know how to walk along a footpath.They seem to spread out along the footpath instead of walking along the left hand side. Why is that?

    Chev

  15. Joe, I would miss the culinary delights you have presented to us over the years, as well as the insights behind some of my favorite programmes. I can only imagine, that blogging daily would be a strain on anybody, so thank you for doing it for as long as you have.
    I may not reply here regularly, I do however, read it as much as I can. It so much easier now they are emailed directly to me. I hope you would consider any alternatives so we can still enjoy your thoughts, maybe trim it back to once or twice a week?
    As I mentioned before I can only imagine how much time and effort you put in to these blogs. If you decide not to continue, I would like to wish you the best of luck in all your endevours.

  16. @PB Mom: When my husband’s Crohn’s was diagnosed when he ws much younger, it took the doctors a very very long time to get it right so I can understand your frustration. Hope they figure it out soon.

    Joe, glad you will stay around for awhile. Looking forward to getting Dark Matter today. Oh, and another reason for you to keep blogging–you encouraged me to start writing again–Nuff said, LOL.

    Have a great day!!!!!

  17. Questions for The Golden Boy:

    * I think you are cuter without the beard, but still cute with it. What image are you trying to project with the beard (look older, more serious, etc) or what are you trying to cover up?

    * What has been your favorite show to work on?

    * On Stargate, who was your favorite character to write for and why?

    * What part of the world would you most like to live and work in?

    * What would be your dream project or have you already accomplished that with Young People Doing The You-Know-What?

    * Follow up with your movie Young People… why didn’t you give it a title which would have given it a chance at a bigger audience? Are you that stubborn?

    * How did you get the nickname “Golden Boy”?

    * Lastly, don’t you love Joe’s blog and could you talk him out of quitting? Maybe you could guest write for him?

    Thanks Martin for your occasional visits to Joe’s blog. If it weren’t for Joe, I would not know you at all, except that you wrote and starred in the funniest short film “Road To A Dream” for the SGA DVD series, which has me rolling on the floor every time I watch it. It is classic comedy!

  18. Just finished reading my copy of Dark Matter. Absolutely fantastic!! It was so cool seeing the fruition of all of the sneak peeks I have seen over this past year. Can’t wait for the next issue.

  19. Question for Martin: As Ponytail noted above, you’ve done some stuff in front of the camera on the SGA DVD’s and come across as comfortable and naturally funny. Have you ever considered (or maybe have tried) to do more acting?

    Also, over the last few years, the beard seems to have become larger and ever more… encompassing. Have you considered that left unchecked that eventually it may become self-aware, sentient and ultimately threaten to consume us all? I say shave now.

  20. @Das, Todd is on Hell on Wheels. He’s not as white, much shorter hair and has a Swedish’ish accent.

    Really fun to see 2 Stargate alum on NCIS this week.

  21. Joey, good news!

    Just talked to my comic book guy (Jermaine @ http://www.acmecomics.com/ ) to check on my order, and he said that Dark Matter sold out of his store the first day! He was actually surprised, but said a lot of people expressed interest in it.

    As for my order, I’m on a two week shipping cycle unless I tell them otherwise, and I forgot to tell them otherwise. 😛 But my copy is safe and sound and will be going out next week (if I can get up the road I will still grab another copy because I am eager to read this!).

    das

  22. Hi Joe,

    I bought “Dark Matter” last night at my local comics shop, and that left only 1 copy on the shelf! Let’s hope that trend holds everywhere. I read it today and really enjoyed it, even not being a comics person. The artwork is amazing, and the premise and set-up are very cool. Looking forward to the sequels, and it sure seems like great TV material. Congrats to all!

    Now onto the “Breaking Bad” finale, since I know I’m one of the ones who hyped it.

    *** Breaking Bad Spoilers!! ***

    What helped me overlook the problems you saw were 1) Gus’s final scene — did you notice the back of his empty eye socket moves??! O.M.G. And 2) that last shot of the poisonous flower. Because I just didn’t believe Walt would sink to that level, and he was so convincing when Jesse confronted him in the house. I re-watched to see the part where Walt gets the idea — when he’s spinning the pistol and it points at the plant. But I sure didn’t pick up on what it meant the first time. So what amazed me was the depth of the chess match Walt is playing. Or maybe his game of craps. He takes HUGE risks — Jesse could have killed him if his ruse had failed. But somehow his bets pay off every time. He just has way bigger cajones than anyone I know. He needs a new car, though.

    I think your complaints come from actually being a writer. 🙂 I didn’t realize the bomb would be on the wheelchair. I thought it would be on the car. I agree with your 2 and 3. All we got as explanation were Jesse’s accusations. I re-watched the frisking scene — the dude didn’t have time. So yeah, those were uncharacteristically weak plot points. But…empty, moving eye socket!!

    Regarding your 4, have you watched the little featurettes that came with the iTunes eps? Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Gus, says that Gus has his spidey sense fire off because he didn’t actually poison the kid — he is surprised to hear of it and that sets off his suspicions of something bigger going on. I agree it’s a stretch.

    I also felt sorry for Gus and didn’t want him to go. He should have trusted his instincts, but the ‘blue’ was just too tempting. Sure he’s a sociopath, but at this point so is Walt, aside from his feelings for his family. I think Giancarlo is an amazing actor. You should watch a featurette just to see what a different/happy guy he is in real life.

  23. Joe,
    I am having a hard time actually finding a copy of Dark Matter. My only nearby comic book shop had their order screwed up and had only enough for their reserved copies, and apparently Barnes and Noble doesn’t carry Dark Horse comics.
    There is another comic book shop sort of near my office so I’ll try at lunch one day next week.

    Hey, can you just send me one? And advanced copies of the rest? And season 2 of Stargate Universe? And some braised short ribs?

    Thanks.

  24. @ Dave Clark – There are plenty of places you can order the comic on-line (not sure how the prices will vary with shipping, etc). Midtown Comics out of NYC is a good bet, as well as Lonestar Comics: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=22578167&mingr=0 .

    There’s also a discount retailer – DCBS – but not sure if you have to have a regular account there, or not. I know a lot of people use it, but I prefer to support brick and motar stores like Acme Comics (in my last post), and Midtown (which has good discounts).

    @ Bilo&Bella – Yeah, I keep forgetting about that. Chris would not be happy with me…some fan I am. 😛 I find myself less and less interested in tv these days, and only keep up with what I’m already committed to. I dunno…nothing seems to thrill me these days.

    Also, I have to be careful with watching intense shows, especially before bed, because they can give me really bad nightmares. I haven’t had this problem in a long while, but it’s started up again since we had to put Marbles (our cat) to sleep. I think I know why: for the last two years she has woken… waked… woke… awakened… she’s disturbed my sleep about every two hours with mewing and purring and all sorts of attention grabbing antics. It was like having a baby in the house. I think I wasn’t getting enough REM sleep. Well, now I’m sleeping better, but having – and remembering – very intense dreams (before I would only remember the ones just before I woke up in the morning…and for some reason those often involved Joe, and food… 😛 ). I feel better during the day – lots more energy and focus – but man…the dreams can be emotionally draining! TV makes it worse. I really should get back to reading before bed because I think that helps.

    Long, unnecessary explanation why I haven’t seen Chris in the new show. 😛

    das

  25. I regret that I have missed this, if it was ever published, but what ever happened to blog regular Anne Teldy?

  26. Breaking Bad is a great show. One of my friends hounded me to watch it, so three seasons in I decided to give it a chance since it was available for streaming off of Netflix. I haven’t seen season 4 yet, so I appreciate the spoiler alert.

    A new year already… I hope this year doesn’t go quite as fast as the last..

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