April 2, 2009: Waiting for the Other Vengeful Shoe to Drop, Peter DeLuise Wants to Hear From You

Carl and Ashleigh
Carl and Ashleigh

 

Alan McCullough, formerly of Stargate, presently of Sanctuary.
Alan McCullough, formerly of Stargate, presently of Sanctuary.

Lawren.  Or is it Alfie?
Lawren. Or is it Alfie?

I walked into work today, fully expecting some sort of payback for my April Fools coup (see last issue, editor). To my surprise, things were quiet. Too quiet. I just knew my co-workers are scheming. Apparently, after I left the office last night, the wheels had begun to turn.

“How can I get Joe back?”Brad asked aloud.

“Fire him!”Carl helpfully suggested.

Thankfully, Brad decided to file that one away as Plan B. As for Plan A…

“Boy,”I said today at lunch, “I can’t imagine how you’re going to exact your revenge on April Fools Day next year.”

Ashleigh threw me a pointed look and assured me: “Oh, you won’t have to wait that long.”

“Are you sure?” I felt the need to point out the bad sportsmanship in pulling an April Fool’s prank, revenge-motivated or otherwise, on a day other than April 1st. Ashleigh made it perfectly clear that she had no problem whatsoever being labeled a poor sport.

Hmmm. It’s possible that she’ll eventually forget.

Nope. I don’t think so either.

Today, we screened Ivon Bartok’s directorial debut. The first batch of kino scenes were a lot fun, featuring Eli and Chloe, Spencer and Brody, Scott, Young, and a peeved James (played by the lovely Julia Anderson. What a sweetheart!).

As for the actual episodes: Ernest Dickerson continues to do a bang-up job directing Earth, Peter DeLuise is in the editing room working on Fire, and Andy Mikita is putting the finishing touches on Air I, II, and III, promising us a cut by late tomorrow.

Oh, speaking of Peter DeLuise – if you have questions for the walking Stargate omnipedia, start posting. He’s agreed to come by and do a Q&A. Once he’s completed his director’s cut of course.

Today’s pics: Last night’s dinner at Modern Burger. They had to kick us out.

March 24, 2009: Back in the Office, Another Book of the Month Club Addition, and What Are You Watching?

the-unblemished1

Back in the office today. I got in this morning and popped my head into Director Ernest Dickerson’s office to say hello and welcome him to the show. Ultra talented and a super nice guy to boot, it turns out we share an affinity for things Japanese – anime food, and film in particular. We talked Tekkonkinkreet, Takashi Miike, and Minister Faust before I was called into the writer’s room to help spin a new story on another freelance script, this one a wonderful exploration of the Rush character. By lunch, we had the story broken and I headed back to my office to read Carl’s first draft of Life. Another Binder original. How does he do it?!

I’d like to make one late addition to May’s (yes, you have plenty of time to read it!) Book of the Month Club selections.

In the horror category, we’ll be reading:

The Unblemished, by Conrad Williams

From Publisher’s Weekly: “Playing on humanity’s deepest fears and taboos, Williams plunges the reader deep into a hellish near-future where creatures banished five centuries ago rise again to lay eggs in the few people they don’t consume alive, turning London into a cross between hive and abattoir. Caught up in the grisly madness are photographer Bo Mulvey, who goes looking for excitement and gets more than he bargained for; Sarah Hickman and her beautiful, disturbed daughter, Claire, on the run from a hit man with an amputation fetish; and Gyorsi Salavaria, a cannibalistic child killer determined to become the mate of the invaders’ new queen. Williams (Use Once, Then Destroy) is so good at what he does that he probably shouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore, for the sake of everyone’s sanity.”

Says Keithe Brooke, The Guardian: “The Unblemished, winner of the International Horror Guild’s Best Novel award, is cleverly constructed, building relentlessly from intense, intimate terror to something on another scale altogether.”

Says Peter Straub: “This is horror literature unabashed and entire, at full imaginative stretch, beautiful and blazing.”

Says Nick Ryan, Sunday Express: “- top-notch writing skills, poetic vision and beautiful prose raise this way above your Hammer House of Horror… an unusual – as well as highly accomplished – terror.”

Discussion begins the week of June 1st when we’ll be joined by author Conrad Williams.

If you’d like to learn a little more about the author, head on over to his website here (http://www.conradwilliams.net/) and enter to win one of two competitions (deadline – April 2nd, 2009)!

So, what is everyone out there watching (besides the SGU promo, over and over)? My somewhat modest viewing line-up includes:

Flight of the Conchords: Was the last episode the series-ender? If so, it was a brilliant conclusion to a brilliant series.

House: I’m sure some will disagree, but I like the new team. A lot! The Cuddy-baby storyline, on the other hand, I’m not too crazy about. Surprised?

The Gordon Ramsay trifecta of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (UK version)/The F Word/Hell’s Kitchen: The F Word is the best of the bunch. The installments featuring Ramsay at home with his family do a nice job of counter-balancing his screaming-blue-murder in-kitchen persona. Funny, informative, and, above all, entertaining, the show offers up a variety of terrific little food segments and a wonderfully engaging occasional hostess in the colorful Janet Street-Porter. Hell’s Kitchen, on the other hand, admittedly suffers from being over-produced (Ever notice how the challenges always come down to the final dish? And, please, please, spare me the forced hilarity of Maitre D’ Jean-Philippe having to deal with that over-the-top cake-dropping party-planner.), but the trial-by-fire service segments are thrilled. This year’s stand-out, so far as I’m concerned, is contestant Robert Hesse who can give Chef Ramsay’s potty mouth a run for its money. The guy should have his own show.

The Office/30 Rock: Great comedy hour.

Friday Night Lights: Following season two’s missteps (The What-show-am-I-watching-again? murder storyline, and the sexy single neighbor with the annoyingly precocious son arc), season three has bounced back bigtime.

My reality-show guilty pleasures Survivor and The Amazing Race: Sadly, both have under whelmed this season. And, is it just me or are the hearing-impaired kid and his mother a couple of major league assholes? Seriously.