Skip to main content


"True Blood" to Remain True to Books, Says Alan Ball

Don't expect any blue light, contact lenses, or opera music in the upcoming HBO vampire drama series True Blood . So says creator Alan Ball ( Six Feet Under ) who won't be using any of the familiar vampire cliches in his new series, based on Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire novels. (For my advance look at the first two episodes of True Blood , click here .) What Ball does want is to appropriate Charlaine Harris' use of the supernatural as utterly mundane and accepted by the general population, now that vampires have "come out of the coffin," as it were. While he'll be hewing closely to the plotline of Harris first novel, "Dead Until Dark," which introduced telepathic waitress Sookie Sackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her vampire paramour Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), Ball plans to open up the novel's focus to include the world of the other characters while still remaining true to the spirit of Harris' original creation. (Ball himself stumbled

Suede Happy, Satin Sad: Life in the Third Person on "Project Runway"

Okay, here's the deal: just a few quick words about last night's episode of Project Runway ("Grass is Always Greener") because then I literally have to dash out the door to start the drive down to San Diego for Comic-Con. (If you never thought you'd see the words Project Runway and Comic-Con in the same sentence, it's a day of miracles.) This week, the designers had a pretty tough challenge, designing a cocktail dress using only "green" fabrics, considering the narrow timeframe involved and a Project Runway first that had the designers' models actually buying the fabrics and trims. While these ladies might look lovely, they didn't seem to know the first thing about fashion, many of them picking out fabrics that wouldn't really work as a cocktail dress; no less than three of them picked the same awful brown satin that gave me the heebee-jeebees just looking at it. Ick. Some designers are already starting to irritate me to the point that

What's Going on with Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse"?

Whither Dollhouse ? That seems to be the big question today following news that television auteur Joss Whedon would be retooling the pilot for his midseason action drama Dollhouse , starring Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Amy Acker, Harry Lennix, Olivia Williams, Fran Kranz, Reed Diamond, and a host of others. (You can read my early review of the pilot script for Dollhouse here .) Early reports seemed to indicate that Whedon had made the decision to scrap the pilot in favor of reshooting an introductory episode that was less noir and had more of the "visceral pop" that was promised in the pilot script and that the decision was not one handed down to him from FOX. According to Whedon in a post on Whedonesque : "The fact is, I’m very proud of the ep we shot and the series is making me crazy with the excitement. But I tend to come at things sideways, and there were a few clarity issues for some viewers. There were also some slight issues with tone – I was in a dark, noir k

It's Chris Keslar's Turn to Be "Flipping Out"

Just a few quick thoughts about last night's episode of Flipping Out ("Looks Like New"). While the action surrounding Jenni and the dissolution of her marriage to former trash guy-turned-house manager Chris Elwood seem to have subsided this week, the real drama this week was surrounding Jeff Lewis' new house assistant Chris Keslar. (Fun fact about Chris: he's the brother of Project Runway 3 contestant Angela Keslar.) Chris has been upfront about his interest in the real estate business since Jeff first hired him and has made his dissatisfaction at the details of his current position clear to all. This is a guy who would like to be shopping for tile and finishings for Jeff's homes... rather than cleaning up after the dogs at Commonwealth. And this week, things went from bad to worse as Jeff pulled a power play and decided to put Chris in his place, first telling him that he'd have to take the bus back after dropping off his car to be serviced (which, yes,

TV on DVD: "Spaced: The Complete Series"

Today's the day. What's that, you're asking? The day for what exactly? After waiting and moaning and waiting some more, today is the day that loyal US viewers of the supremely hysterical and witty UK series Spaced --written by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson) and directed by Edgar Wright--finally is released on DVD in the States. For those of us who know and love Spaced with a zeal that knows no bounds, the DVD of Spaced: The Complete Series --which is released today with a suggested retail price of $59.99-- has been a long time coming. We've hoped, prayed, and made Faustian bargains to get those music rights cleared for use so that we can hold that box set in our hands. (Thanks to the good folks at BBC Video, I got mine early and have spent the last few days in Spaced heaven.) If you aren't familiar with Spaced , I feel for you, I really do. Spaced is the ultimate geek pleasure, a series so laden with pop culture riffs, comic book allusi

Comic-Con 2008: Who's In?

As we near the kick-off of the 2008 San Diego International Comic-Con (or just Comic-Con to its loyal attendees), I'm curious to know who among us is planning on attending this year. I'll be attending once again this year, frantically running from panel to panel and trying to keep a burgeoning schedule of television-related events straight in my head. It will especially difficult this year, with a jam-packed schedule of events that seems to include nearly every single television series remotely connected to the genre ( Dollhouse, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Doctor Who, Torchwood ), a few dramas that have used the con to reach out to fans in the past ( 24 ), and many, many series that are making their first stop at the convention ( Bones, The Office , etc.) Yes, it's officially television overload at Comic-Con this year, with many TV panels scheduled at the same time, leading to all sorts of scheduling conflicts for the TV-centric among us. I am curious: which pane

Noble Fur: Donna Makes Left Turn on "Doctor Who"

I love parallel Earth stories, especially when they are handled with such grit and determination as in this week's episode of Doctor Who ("Turn Left"), written by outbound head writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies. It's a testament to the strength of Doctor Who 's talented cast that an entire episode of Doctor Who can fly by without the audience realizing that the Doctor has barely appeared on screen. (For another example of this fascinating trend, take a look at Season Three's superb episode "Blink," in which the Doctor and Martha Jones appear in less than 10% of the on-screen action.) In this week's episode, it was up to the phenomenal Catherine Tate to carry the series on her shoulders and she doesn't disappoint. Exploring the distant planet Shan Shen with the Doctor, Donna encounters a fortune-teller who wishes to tell Donna her future, claiming that redheads get the full treatment for free; after refusing three times, Donna fina