Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chill Factor

On Thursday, I received in the mail my order for what is unarguably the very most insanely cool anthology ever created (the Bible has now fallen from the Top Ten; sorry, God). For only forty bucks each, I bought 40 Years of X-Men and 44 Years of Fantastic Four on DVD-ROM, each of which contain basically exactly what they're titled. Oh, sure, some people might complain (*cough* kvl! *cough!*) that the X-Men disc contains only the Uncanny X-Men books (as opposed to X-Men, The Astonishing X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, X-Man, X-Games, X is for Xylophone, or any of the other spin-offs), and does not cover the other parts of crossovers (such as Inferno or The X-Tinction Agenda, both of which essentially require you buy four titles per month just to comprehend what the fuck's going on). I, on the other hand, am deliriously happy with the set, and I'll tell you why:

It's the entire goddamn comic book! This is not Classic X-Men (or X-Men Classic, as it was inexplicably later titled), where they're reprinting the story and then giving you just a couple of little extras. No, these comic books appear to have been scanned straight out of the archival copies in the Marvel vaults, which means what? Ads! Yes, it's got the original ads in every issue, and it boggles my mind how many bodybuilding and martial arts ads there were in the 1966 issues. And then there are these ads in virtually every issue asking young boys to sell GRIT, but I'll go into that in more detail another time.

The colors are generally vivid, and the scans hold up quite well under extreme magnification. Definitely archive-quality work, here. Each individual issue is saved as a PDF file, which reads without a watermark using Adobe Reader 6.0 or higher (included in the software, though version 7.0 is available from the Adobe website), but the digital watermark is readily apparent in Apple's Preview application, so it's very much worth downloading Reader. They are organized by decade, then by year of publication, and finally by issue in separate, linked PDF files, which makes flipping through them quite easy, as the only file you have to open is the Start file on the root-level of the DVD-ROM. After that, it just opens up a new window for every click.

I'm totally fascinated by this stuff, and so I'm probably going to spend a couple of posts yammering on about it, complete with screenshots of some of the ads. I don't think I'm going to go all Scott Tipton on you people, but in the event that I do, I'll probably establish a separate blog for that. However, there's a pretty good chance that these comic books are going to take up a fair bit of my time (no girlfriend this year, I guess), because Santa (better known as, which beat Amazon's price by ten bucks) will be delivering The Avengers to my door in February, The Amazing Spider-Man in March, and The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, and Captain America later on in the year.

Needless to say, I'm quite excited by the whole thing. While it's not as satisfying as having a girlfriend, these sets are less expensive and they don't complain if I want to forsake them for a few days to play Xbox. Now I'm off to finally answer the immortal question of which came first: The Mimic or the Super-Skrull?

AIM: therbmcc71

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why Aye Man

So tonight I picked up the $11.99 Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits 22-song best-of album, and it's really very good. Oh, sure, I could have just dropped four bucks on "Sultans of Swing," "Walk of Life," "Money for Nothing," and "Romeo and Juliet,"but then I figured...

Okay, I can't even keep typing this, because right now I'm listening to this audio stream by this guy named Gunther, and I can't tell whether or not this is a very elaborate joke, or whether this guy sucks worse than Peter Andre. So, anyway, if music's your thing, you've probably heard Gunther's "Ding Dong Song," which is that "You Touch My Tra La La" song. It's so fucking bad, I can't believe that anyone would seriously do this.

I mean, the whole thing is very reminiscent of the "Elektronik Supersonik" video I linked to a while back, and that was kind of a promotional thing for a Molvania tour guide that you can pick up in your local bookstore (and I recommend doing so, because it's fucking hysterical). No one could seriously make music this bad. So here's the story, from the Rhino Records site:

Gunther, the International Ambassador of champagne, glamour, sex, and respect is out to “Sexualize The World” with his bedroom beats, melodic machismo and Swedish charms.
Here it is from Gunther's official site:
Pleasureman Gunther is set to have the biggest smash-hit of the summer with his fantastic debut single 'Ding Dong Song'. Günther is a 29 years old gentleman style 2000 in his best years. Günther is a true European, his origin is Sweden but he sees himself as a global citizen.

Günther has always been in the entertainment industry and now he feels it is time to change the attitude of the world to do something better.

Günther wants to change the worlds look at the sexual way of thinking, so he have started a new trend to sexualise it more in the world. "A Günther trend".
He has only started his mission to go out in the world and spread the message of Love.

The four main things in Günthers life are Champagne, Glamour, Sex and Respect!
Now, here's the kicker that throws me into the, "This can't possibly be real," section:


Anyway, if you want a laugh, or possibly make someone's ears bleed, or clear out a party after the kegs have run dry, Rhino's got an audio stream of Gunther's album on this page, in Real, Quicktime, and Windows Media formats. And Gunther's official site is pretty much just as ridiculous as his music.

Yeah, I was going to complain about women and the fact that they have all chosen this week to stop returning my calls and/or instant messages, but I'm just going to pick up my guitar and try and finally knock out "Romeo and Juliet," which is theoretically easy, but I'm just having timing issues and ... okay, I have to stop again, because the song "I Am Your Man (G.U.N.T.H.E.R)" just started, and it's taking all of my willpower just to keep from laughing so hard that I piss myself.

This is the greatest musical crime perpetrated against humanity since Uncle Kracker covered "Drift Away," which was the greatest musical crime since Eddie Murphy's girl wanted to "Party All the Time." However, if you're a musical masochist, check it out on iTunes. For $11.99, you get eleven tracks and the music video for "Ding Ding Dong Song."

So, yeah. This Gunther guy answers the question, "What the fuck does Sweden export?" The answer? TOTAL SHIT!!!

AIM: therbmcc71

Friday, January 20, 2006

Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You

About five minutes after uploading my last post (which has yet to be disputed by anyone whose answer isn't, "Dave Matthews makes my ears bleed"), I found the unfortunate news that Wilson Pickett died. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if this page isn't becoming a big obituary column. Regardless, here's a brief opinion piece:

Wilson Pickett was best known for the songs, "In the Midnight Hour" and "Mustang Sally," both of which I've been known to do on drunken karaoke nights. One of these days, I'll get around to doing "Land of 1,000 Dances," which is just an awesome song in its own right; notably during the closing credits to the Aykroyd/Candy movie The Great Outdoors. All three of these songs were covered by The Commitments, provided you get both discs of that (particularly awesome) soundtrack.

But I still have to say that my favorite Wilson Pickett song of all time has got to be "Hey Jude." It's one of those covers where the person or act doing the cover didn't just try to get it to sound just like the original; Pickett's version is unmistakably Pickett, through and through. It's like the Bobby Womack cover of "Fly Me to the Moon," which is virtually unrecognizable if you listen to it after Sinatra, or particularly the Bobby Darin version, which will make you question whether someone's slipped you a mickey.

But Pickett had this howl to his voice (which is quite prominent on "Hey Jude") that you just don't find in soul singers anymore. Granted, there are no soul singers anymore, now that Wilson Pickett is dead, Otis went down in that plane crash back in '67, Marvin Gaye was shot by his father, Lou Rawls died last week or the week before, James Brown went nuts, and Dobie Gray traded in what respectability he had when he let Uncle Kracker commit the crime against music that was his cover of Gray's "Drift Away."

Okay, they're not all dead, actually. Etta's still alive, Solomon's still alive, and Smokey's doing gospel (and selling gumbo). But, for me, the holy trinity of great 60's soul singers were Redding, Pickett, and Gaye. I highly recommend checking out the iTunes Essentials list of '60's Soul Hits (this link, of course, requires iTunes), and you'll start to understand what I'm talking about.

AIM: therbmcc71

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Girl with Crimson Nails, Jesus 'Round Her Neck

Okay, just a brief little post as I play World of Warcraft, and it entails a scientific discovery I made today:


The act of hearing the song "Crash into Me" by the Dave Matthews Band reminds everyone in the world of someone else. This is not, in and of itself surprising. The surprising fact lies in the discovery that the person that you think about is not your current significant other.
Another discovery from the Umgawa Scientific Institute for Discovery of Things You've Always Known But Could Not Quantify.

AIM: therbmcc71

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Deepest Blues Are Black

So, while I'm working on my thesis about the decline and fall of X-Men comic books, I've been watching Macross, which is the original Japanese series that the first third of Robotech was based on, and I can tell you honestly: I hate it.

I hate the show for a lot of little reasons, because it's, by and large, exactly the same show. The voices are all wrong, which I wouldn't even notice if I hadn't been watching the Americanized version of this show (Robotech) for the last twenty years; but it's especially true in the case of Captain Gloval (now Captain Global, which reminds me too much of Captain Planet), because he had such a distinct voice. And then there's the matter of the music, which is better in parts, but the main theme sucks ("Makurosu! Makurosu!").

And then there's the matter of the names, which just irk the hell out of me. Rick Hunter is now (and technically was originally) Hikaru Ichijo, I have to get used to a whole new spelling for Minmay (which still looks totally wrong to me), Lisa Hayes is now Misa Hayase... it's a nightmare. About the only saving grace to all of this is that Roy Fokker is now Roy Focker, and watching it just gets hysterical at times, like when Hikaru says, "Don't lump me in the same category as you, Focker!" I giggle every time someone calls him Focker.

Oh, and one of the girls on the bridge is named Pocky.

I'm sure that there are a lot of people who say it's a good thing that Minmay is voiced by the original Japanese actress who did the voice of Minmay, but it gets really distracting sometimes, because she speaks "passable English," which gives you the feeling that she could go Zero Wing at any moment. At the same time, though, her voice isn't as grating as Minnmei was in Robotech, but I still hate her. I will always hate Minnmei, and no one can convince me to do otherwise.

Ooh, I just found that Harmony Gold is allowing people to download free episode of Gatchaman, which is just very cool. For those of you who don't recognize the name, Gatchaman came to the States and became Battle of the Planets. It's one of those classic Japanese series, like Space Battleship Yamato (a.k.a. Star Blazers) or Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Anyway, Harmony Gold has versions for Quicktime or optimized for the video iPod right here. It's free, so watch it and then buy the box-sets for a better reason than because Alex Ross painted the covers. Regardless, I think that every company should do this, because you can usually get a pretty good idea as to whether or not you want to see the rest of a series from the first episode.

So, why is it, then, that since I bought the first volume of Macross, I'm not buying the other two original series that Robotech is based on? Well, first of all as cool as the giant transforming robots are in Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross, I've never found the love story between Bowie Grant and Musica very convincing. And then there's Genesis Climber Mospeada, which was the third series of Robotech, and ... well, I'll just get right to the best reason for not buying either of them: They weren't supervised by Matt Greenfield. That's the only reason. Now, there might be some people who are even geekier about this shit than me who would say that he's not so great, but I don't personally speak Japanese, and so I like to have a nice dub from time to time, rather than reading three lines of subtitles every ten seconds.

As I mentioned a month or two back, though, I'm sure that ADV's going to find some way to screw me over on extras or something, when they'll inevitably release a better box-set for Macross at a third of the price, with some very nifty extras. They did it to me on Evangelion, they did it to me on Robotech, and I just keep on accepting it. I feel like a battered spouse.

I still hate that goddamn Minmay.

AIM: therbmcc71

Friday, January 13, 2006

No One Lives Forever

Oingo Boingo always seems to have a good and fitting title for a blog post; fitting today because my favorite Second City teacher, Jim Zulevic, died on Monday at the age of 40. If you live in the Chicago area, you might recognize him as the red-shirted guy who did the promos between episodes of The Simpsons and Seinfeld. And now he's dead. Seems to be a lot of that going around.

Anyway, I managed to probably gross out a large number... well, no, certainly not a large number, because I only get like twenty hits a day, but I probably managed to freak out a couple of people with my coverage of the AVN Awards, and I haven't managed to get a single comment since the fourth of January, which I don't even count because it's my brother commenting.

And you RSS reader people ought to break out a fucking browser once in a while, because you're not tripping my counters, and are therefore injuring my ego by not announcing yourselves. I swear to god, one of these days I'm just going to drop the whole RSS feed from this site, because you people just enjoy being stealthy.

Which gets me back to a point I made during the Deep Purple post about two weeks back: Artists need validation, and without validation they won't continue with their art, or they won't want to share it with others. It's like I said in my away message: I got better things to do than write for people who aren't even going to fucking read it.

AIM: therbmcc71

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Parental Advisory: The following post contains explicit content that may be unsuitable for readers under the age of 18, anyone from Utah, and the majority of Republicans. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I love news stories focusing on the general retardation of callow religious folk:
A movie theater owned by Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller abruptly changed its screening plans and decided not to show the film "Brokeback Mountain." The film, an R-rated Western gay romance story, was supposed to open Friday at the Megaplex at Jordan Commons in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Instead it was pulled from the schedule. A message posted at the ticket window read: "There has been a change in booking and we will not be showing 'Brokeback Mountain.' We apologize for any inconvenience."

Cal Gunderson, manager of the Jordan Commons Megaplex, declined to comment. The movie's distributor, Focus Features, said that hours before opening, the theater management "reneged on their licensing agreement," and refused to open the film.

Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum, said not showing the film set an example for the people of Utah. "I just think (pulling the show) tells the young people especially that maybe there is something wrong with this show," she said.
See, part of me says that it's fine for a company to not exhibit a movie that the company finds objectionable. I mean, hey, it's their movie screen, they can do with it what they want. But then there's the fact that they published the showtimes, and now they're really screwing their customers. But hey, that's fine, too. The point is, they were apparently willing at one point to let people see this movie, and then they went, "Y'know... we'd really prefer to shelter people from this sort of thing, because the less they know, the better off they are."

And that's totally counter to how the world really works. It's like teaching a course on the history of African-American music while skipping the last fifteen years, because you're afraid the kids might go out and spontaneously begin slapping women around, amongst other things. Logic dictates that a single piece of art doesn't incite otherwise "normal" citizens to violence, anti-social behavior, homosexuality, or anything else that people in Utah might deem to be "deviant behavior." They're probably still clutching on to their old editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that claim homosexuality is a mental illness, because that's the only way they can explain it.

I love the fucking retards in this country. Seriously. They make such good news stories with their idiocy. The fact is, the only way to combat idiocy is to inform people in the most straightforward possible manner, which would be to show them the movie, in this case. I almost think they prefer to have the gatekeeper, though; that they are content in their collective ignorance.

Or maybe I'm just striking out against Utah because they turned down my application to be their Porn Czar; a position for which I am most definitely qualified. Yes, they actually have a Porn Czar in Utah. The one person in the whole state who actually gets to freely peruse smut, and then he gets to say, "No! None of you shall read this! This is my smut! Mine, mine, mine!!!"

Umgawa begins talking like Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby.

If I were appointed to the position of Porn Czar, I would give a free nudie magazine to every man, woman, and child in the state. I would paper the walls of our crumbling schools with the nudie magazines my predecessors have banned. I promise a car in every garage, a chicken in every pot, and a nudie magazine in every sock drawer. Vote Umgawa for Porn Czar.

Anyway, I clearly got distracted from my talking about censorship in the media and what-not, and that's probably a good thing, because the Porn Czar section was far more entertaining.

And, while still speaking of porn, and getting back to real news...

Disclaimer: By the way, while you will not see any boobies on this site, that will not prevent me from talking about otherwise related topics.

The AVN Awards!

That's right, the Adult Video News (AVN) Awards took place on Saturday, and let's do a quick run-down of the notable winners, because it's really a lot of fun to type this stuff up. Actually, half of this stuff I can't even type up, because I'm laughing so hard, so here's a quote from the official run-down:
Gonzo king Jules Jordan won for Best Gonzo Release (Slut Puppies), Best Ethnic-Themed Video, Asian (Invasian! 2), and Best Anal-Themed Feature (Ass Worship 7), but his Evil Angel labelmate Joey Silvera took home Best Gonzo Series for his long-running Service Animals.
Now, I actually have no idea what 'gonzo' means in this case, but I don't think it has anything to do with Muppets or Hunter S. Thompson.

In all honesty, I was really hoping that Camp Cuddly Pines Power Tool Massacre would win the Best DVD award. Not that I've seen it, I just like the name. It won a bunch of the other awards, but that's like getting Best Cinematography and Best Editing, but not Best Picture. Actually, I have no idea what it's like, because at this point I'm equating the Oscars to hardcore porn. It's actually not that far off, I don't think, given that it's only a matter of time before every Hollywood celebrity has had a sex-tape "accidentally" released to the public.

Here, I'm not even going to list all of the winners, but here are the ones that made me laugh, because I can't believe that these are actual awards. I mean, this goes to show you how fucked up some people can be that there's a large enough percentage of people interested in some of this stuff that movies are actually made to cater to them. Not only that, but there are enough of these movies released every year that they get awards for being the best-in-show. I mean, to each his own and all, but Jesus:

  • Transsexual Performer of the Year
    • Gia Darling
  • Best Specialty Release - Squirting
    • Flower's Squirt Shower 2
  • Best Specialty Release - MILF
    • MILF Seeker
  • Best Specialty Release - Fem-Dom Strap-On
    • His Ass is Mine
  • Best Specialty Release - BDSM
    • Jenna Loves Pain
  • Best Specialty Release - Big Bust
    • Faster Pussycat! Fuck! Fuck!
  • Best Specialty Release - Spanking
    • A Submissive Mind
  • Best Specialty Release - Other Genre
    • Chunky Housecall Nurses 2
  • Best Specialty Release - Foot Fetish
    • Coxxx & Soxxx 4
  • Best Oral-Themed Feature
    • Blow Me Sandwich 7
  • Best Oral-Themed Series
    • Glazed and Confused
That last one's my favorite. Seriously, if you want the most entertaining reading of the day, check out the award winners, or better yet, the complete nominees list, and then later in the week, I'll have to see what my web-counter says for my referrals, because I'm willing to bet that they're going to get really funny.

AIM: therbmcc71

Friday, January 06, 2006


As a preface to this hopefully-short post, I'm just going to say that the version of "Cryin'" that I'm listening to is indeed Roy Orbison. You can't substitute on Roy, and if you think the Van Halen version of "Oh, Pretty Woman" is better than the Roy Orbison original, you should check yourself into a mental-health center immediately.

Anyway, we're going to talk about cover songs for a second, because I'm bopping around on iTunes right now, digging up covers to well-known songs, and some of them are good, but some of them are notoriously, tremendously, awfully bad.

Take for example the Lemonheads version of "Frank Mills," originally from the Hair soundtrack, is a good cover. You can recognize that it's supposed to be the song "Frank Mills" immediately, even though Evan Dando is singing a song that is clearly meant for a woman. That the original version is, in my opinion, far superior is beside the point. The point is, Evan Dando decided to do the song, and managed to essentially stay true to the original while also putting his own spin on things. Ben Folds' cover of "Bitches Ain't Shit" or even The Carpenters' version of "Desperado" fall into this category. I'm still quite happy with the Nada Surf cover of OMD's "If You Leave" that I downloaded quite some time ago.

And then you've got the abomination that is the Frou Frou version of "Holdin' Out for a Hero." This is clearly a musical crime that has been perpetrated against humanity with malice aforethought. At first examination, it's not even obvious what song it's supposed to be, and you're just sitting there going, "Oh, god, what is this crap? Bjork?" And then it dawns on you that you're listening to a song that was once popular on the radio and now is a guilty pleasure to play on your guitar, and you realize that you've been personally assaulted by a poor man's Bjork, and that you'll never think of the movie Footloose again without raising your middle finger to the Dreamworks company for releasing this discordant monstrosity to the public with the soundtrack to Shrek 2.

Anyway, I'm going to bed now. Magic Eight-Ball, will I listen to Cake's Fashion Nugget album tomorrow?
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.

AIM: therbmcc71

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jimmy Olsen's Blues

Yeah, so I'm watching Smallville, right? And it's such a phenomenally bad episode (Season 4, Episode 8) that Mark Snow's background music often goes so far over the top that it's the musical equivalent to Tom Cruise's portrayal of Lestat, or Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince of Thieves, but without the award nominations. But then again, the music's just trying to keep up with the actors, who are most certainly not Tom Cruise or Alan Rickman.

I am, of course, talking about the episode where Lana (ugh, her again) gets possessed by her ancestor from France, who happened to be a witch, yada-yada-yada, and she gets Lois and Chloe in on the witchly action, which provides the two of them with fairly skanky outfits that are definitely the highlight of the episode. Beyond that, it's easily the worst episode that I have seen up to this point, and I can't really theorize how they could make it any worse. Clearly, I have reached the point where they start running the aforementioned "filler episodes."

Now, the thing that really gets my goat about this particular episode is the way that it's been built up since the first episode of the season. Now, any plot involving Lana tends to be garbage, and any plot involving the Kryptonian symbols tends to be totally overblown because the writers start out with a really good setup and then somehow manage to fuck it all up. In this case, they fucked it up by giving the plot to Lana, which is like The Dukes of Hazzard without Bo and Luke. Yeah, that's right, nobody wants to remember the show after Bo and Luke left, showing that it's not really about the car at all.

But I digress. This is one of the worst hours of television that I have ever seen, and serves to do nothing for the overall plot of the season, except perhaps to show how Lex Luthor's little miniature-tapestry-thing disappeared from his giant home-office. This episode was the sort of thing that writers only turn in as a means of fulfilling a contract. Awful. This is a (consults thesaurus) dreadful, abominable, execrable (I like this word, I'm going to start using it more often), just downright fucking bad episode, and I recommend anyone who ever buys the DVD set not watch this episode. If it's on television, watch an infomercial or public-access programming, because it'll be a far better use of your time.

This was even worse than the previous episode, which featured Mr. Mxyzptlk as a teenage bookie from someplace in the ass-crack of Bulgaria. Or maybe I didn't care for that episode because the guy who played Mxyzptlk is the same guy who played the frog that almost got Zoe killed on The West Wing. It was actually a good episode until they brought in that shit about locusts. Somehow, the writers of this show tend to put together really good episodes almost every time, but then it all falls apart in the third act for one of two reasons:
  • They have to figure out some method for Clark Kent to save the day without just using his heat-vision or super speed/strength/whatever, otherwise it's predictable and over too quickly, like if Inigo Montoya were to fence right-handed. The down-side to this is they generally make it involve Kryptonite, which prevents Clark Kent from using his powers, but makes you think that the green, glowing rocks are the most plentiful substance on earth.
  • If Clark Kent does use his powers, they always have to make some contrived excuse as to why no one saw him use his powers, or some method of them forgetting having seen him use his powers. This gets totally retarded after you see it happen enough times. It's like Superman kissing Lois Lane at the end of Superman II, and she just forgets everything about Superman and Clark Kent being the same person. How the hell that was supposed to work, I don't know, but the unfortunate side-effect is that it turned Margot Kidder into a fucking lunatic.
Anyway, time for one more episode before bed, and I'm hoping that it's better than the last. Logic dictates that it would have to be, but perhaps there is an explanation for all of this, like a writers' strike, causing Warner Bros. to actually have to field-test the "thousand monkeys, thousand typewriters" theory. This is the only way to realistically explain the horrific television event that was the "Spell" episode of Smallville, season 4.

AIM: therbmcc71

Monday, January 02, 2006

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Last night, as soon as midnight struck, people in my neighborhood started lighting off fireworks. Tons of them. I'm not sure what the reasoning for this is, except for perhaps as a sort of celebration that the year 2005 ended without George Bush causing a global nuclear exchange.

Today, Doug Flutie hit the first drop-kick that the NFL has seen since 1941. I didn't even know anything about this until two years ago at a Cubs game, when my uncle Justin about the changes that football and other sports have gone through over the years. Most of the football stories were about the sheer brutality of it all, but the part about dropping the ball on the ground and then kicking it through the uprights just seemed totally odd to me. What was even more odd was the fact that you could do it ahead of the line of scrimmage at one time. As I recall, the drop-kick wasn't even necessarily exclusively limited to the extra-point after a touchdown; that you could conceivably receive the ball, drop it to the ground and kick it through the uprights and get a point. Something like that, anyway. It's not something that's spelled out anywhere that I've ever seen. Hopefully there will be some clarification on this during tomorrow's newscasts.

Completely different subject: I know that I've often said that I am morally opposed to the addition of Lois Lane to the series Smallville, I think the show really picked up when she was added to the cast. First off, Erica Durance is hot, and I'll definitely pick up the next season of the show when it hits DVD, probably later this year. Second, the fourth season of the show, which I'm working my way through right now, is far and away better than the third season. I'm six episodes in, and there have been some good episodes, and some really funny parts, as opposed to the third season which... blah, blah, blah, Jor-El, blah, blah, blah, Lana. If they would just write those two parts out of the series, I'd be a lot happier. Leave everything else, just get rid of the Jor-El crap (and why the hell is Terrence Stamp the voice of Jor-El?), and kill off Lana Lang. I have no idea why it is that the series writers seem to have not yet figured out that the intelligent viewers hate her.

Anyway, I'm going to bed, because I have to open in the morning, and have to be out the door in six hours, and I've got another episode of Smallville to watch before I call it a night. I haven't enjoyed a season of television on DVD this much since I got the third season of Buffy and watched the entire thing in under twenty-four hours. I'm sure they'll probably throw some "filler episodes" in toward mid-season, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it right now, with the exception of the fact that I just watched a "body-switching" episode, which is what writers pull out of their asses when they're feeling particularly uninspired.

AIM: therbmcc71