zustifer: (Beetlejuice: television static)
We've been watching ST:TNG episodes lately, and, since we broke through the first season and it started getting good, we've been inhaling a lot of them (it's been a while since I've seen some of these, especially in order). We just finished with the two first Locutus episodes, and they made me wonder a bit about a couple of things.

First, the creation of a 'speaker' by the Borg, as an intermediary between them and a soon-to-be-Borged race, makes vague sense on the surface. This wiki says that the role was (at least) retconned in an in-universe Shatner novel (shudder) to be for the purpose of 'less waste' in the assimilation. This is cute, but I don't really think we see any evidence of this from Locutus. He doesn't exactly appeal to the Enterprise on any particularly human basis; he pretty much just hits the 'resistance is futile' button. The most personal he gets is to name people, and to speak directly to Riker. So I'm not really seeing the benefit for the Borg here. Maybe they just have a really bad sense of what people need in order to feel convinced. Maybe Shatner is just not a very good writer.

Second, he has a name. Supposedly this is normal for a speaker (and there is a Romulan in Shatner's book who has the same role, but that means exactly nothing). The funny thing is, 'Locutus' is clearly Latin-derived. Did Picard name himself? He'd know enough Latin to do this, probably, whereas the Borg sure shouldn't. This is a cute idea, that he was their first speaker and therefore they took ideas about how this should be done from his brain. However, the Shatner-book ruins it again by mentioning that the Borg had made a speaker for the Romulan worlds, named 'Vox.' This is just annoying, because what do Romulans care for Latin? Unless the stupid progenitor-race that made all the Star Trek sentient species humanoid also seeded a latinate root-language, but, honestly, that's even too stupid for me to consider. So, again, I must conclude that Shatner ruins everything. But in a hilarious way.
zustifer: (Krell door)
Spatch especially, engage in some Dr. Who speculation with me.
Spoil...er? )

This episode was actually decent, probably due to lack of Monster. How pleasing.
zustifer: (comics: Griffy as Wolverine)
Okay, I have been working on this for probably ten or twelve hours now:

To the Monarchmobile! )
zustifer: (1 of 11)
Huh, the 3d Clone Wars thingy actually is somewhat stylish and has some nice-looking models. What do you want to bet it's animated like Jimmy Neutron?
zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Enter Lydia (with camera))
The PBS show 'History Detectives' is not uninteresting, although it's for some reason never actually gripping enough that I seek it out (I suspect the fictionalisation of a hunt for information, glossing over long hours in this or that library, the expert advice that feels flat and weirdly too-well-suited (no long rambling conversation in which important information emerges)).
Anyhow, I was flipping channels a little while ago and ran across an ad for it, which I stayed and paid attention to long enough to figure out what the advertised show was, and why they were using the opening (and titular line) of 'Watching the Detectives' as a soundtrack.
I am somewhat amused to imagine Elvis Costello amiably agreeing that it was fine for PBS to use the song (I know they can't have the budget to pay much for it), but I am also amused by the metadescriptive aspect of this song, delineating not the content of the show but the relation the viewer has with it. Yes, I guess I am watching the detectives. Thank you for making that so clear.
zustifer: (comics: Nivlem says See Here)
The cartoonbrew crowd and such are getting kind of goofy over this article, which is unfortunate, in part. Okay, the 'self-perpetuating middle-aged losers' concept is amusing, but what is this crap about referential humor ruining the source material? If you're unable to deal with two different versions of a scene, one amusing and one not, you have larger problems than laughing at the severed horse head in the Godfather (also, what a poor example! Jebediah Springfield's head is only contextually a stand-in for the horse head; if these putative idiot viewers are 1. still watching season one of the Simpsons, and 2. able to make the conceptual leap with really only atmospheric and timing cues for help, then they are probably decently well-educated in film/television and will appreciate the reference).

Admittedly, Family Guy has taken this to an obnoxious extent, which the article does address (substituting 'recognition' for 'humor') in a nice way. I can't even watch Family Guy anymore, even though I used to sometimes watch it for the One Legitimately Funny Bit per episode. However, at least in the first twelve or thirteen seasons (can't vouch for later ones; stopped watching) of the Simpsons, referential humor is usually used as a layer over an already amusing concept. At the very least, it's an entertaining way of hitting a plot point, which is generally not Family Guy's way.

I would also like to point out the egregious 'THINK OF THE CHILDREN' stinger at the end of the article. You know you're reaching when you're bringing that up.


Mar. 28th, 2007 03:42 pm
zustifer: (Puutan)
One of my students the other day was looking up Mitch Hedberg performances, and one of the clips that came up was one of the Dr. Katz episodes I worked on. At about 03:35 on this one (this is just the Mitch Hedberg parts; definitely worth watching all the way through), that's my background (Wallet World was a real actual store my family and I saw once (it was scarring), and I also jammed in an ad for crab juice (Mountain Dew or crab juice?)). I can't tell what sort of fish is on the leftmost sign, and I completely can't remember what I put there. Yay, though, my handwriting is on youtube (Oh, low barrier to entry!). I probably animated that sequence, too, what there is of it. The next gag was mine too, with the pink hair, but I had originally drawn all new people who were really weird-looking, and my boss decided they were too weird. But the important cotton-candy-haired meaninglessness survived, at least. This next part of the episode, where Mitch is playing soccer and the Mitch-foosball-guys is mine. Probably the most animated sequence ever on Dr. Katz, which I'm proud of in a sick way.
This one, at 02:53 may have been mine too; I think I came up with the Pork Parade. Maybe not.
I'm disappointed to find no hits for the other Mitch Hedberg one, the Smacky the Frog one, which had a really cute bear-mauling by Young Rich. Or indeed any of the other episodes I worked on. Oh wells.

I was sort of constantly upset while I was working there, because the style was so anti-animation, but I did get to do a lot of weird things that got on television, so I expect it evened out.
zustifer: (Aquabats!)
Cartoon Brew is having that blogger-esque archive problem, so I can't link individual entries, but they say that:

1. The president of Cartoon Network is resigning over the mooninite flap. What the heck? I mean, bad marketing idea and all, but, seriously. You don't need to throw yourself on your sword, man. I assume.

2. Yo Gabba Gabba (Aquabat-flavored Nick Jr. show) is greenlit! Yay! And they have a sort of fawning production blog. With mufti MC Bat Commander, which still freaks me right out.
zustifer: (why can't monsters get along)
Another supercool Darmok post by the Tensor.
The only fault I can find with it is in the 'Dude, seriously—Shaka, when the literal walls literally fell' bit, where I would assume that the speaker would just choose a more appropriate phrase, perhaps one referring to something being broken or some sort of home repair thing. Maybe their culture has a television show about something like that (that would be an awesome way of transmitting new phrases).
Also, no mention of the on-the-fly modification of the dictionary, when Picard's new action is added to it? Are the poor suckers not present supposed to just pick up the meaning from context? Also also: Alien Leader did explain the Darmok & Jalad story to Picard in pidginy (Tamarese-A) statements, as I recall. I do not know why this only worked in that one instance.

I would like to mention how annoying it is when (commenting, in this case) people talk about 'turning off knowledge.' Sigh.
zustifer: (Puutan)
Police Squad on DVD!!
Oh, it's a happy day indeed.

* a title of a Police Squad sketch
zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Juno shh)
Russell T. Davies, or whoever his DP is, has earned a bit more of my respect by dropping a sweet visual reference (mostly camera angle and set formation, though there may have been some color temperature & blocking; I'd have to go back and check) in this most recent episode. It's even possible that they reused some or all of a set from last season (also possible that there's more referencing than I caught; it's been a while). Really cute, and, it turns out, appropriate.


zustifer: (Default)
Karla Z

February 2012

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