Fringe, Awake, Alcatraz, Futurama, and more: the week that was and the week that will be.
So, that was Alcatraz. We got answers, questions, and a major cliffhanger. The J.J. Abrams-produced series is unlikely to get a second season (sniff) so now is a good time to contemplate the show that was and ask what kept it from being a hit in the ratings. First of all, the cast is excellent, and I cannot for one second believe that Sarah Jones, Sam Niell, or Jorge Garcia held this show back. In part, the problem is surely the lack of character development. There was some, but not enough to capture a big audience. More on Alcatraz later this week.
For all of my fellow Futurama nerds, it was a long time coming but the Comedy Network has finally been showing the new, Comedy Central seasons, a mere two years late! Oh how I hate the complexities of Canadian broadcasting. Much to my delight, the new seasons have been as good, possibly better at some points, than the original series that aired on Fox. How much of that has to do with Comedy Central giving its shows more rope (consider South Park, which aired an entire season uncensored), I don’t know. But for anyone who missed it the first time around, the first episode of season 6 airs on Comedy this coming Sunday. It is aptly entitled “Rebirth” and, believe it or not, it spoils nothing when I tell you that everyone basically dies right at the beginning of the episode.
Speaking of Futurama: bad news everybody! Fringe hit a series low in its return this past Friday from a month break. Blame a combination of poor publicity and March Madness, coupled with the sometimes frustrating season arc this year. Regardless, the episode did clear up a number of issues and seems to set the stage for a nice return to Fringe as it ought to be, playing off of all the work they’ve done over the past four seasons. However, if you’re like me, then you want very little on this earth more than another season of Fringe. So, once again, I’m asking you to watch it live. Even if you’re not really watching it, tune your cable box to Fox next Friday night while you do something else. You’ll be helping to make a nerd very happy when Fox renews it for a fifth and final season (I hope I hope I hope...).
The premise of Awake really did not get me excited. However, within the first half hour I knew that it had me. Really, a cop drama with Fez from That 70s Show. Never saw it coming. Of course, Awake is much more than a cop show. In fact, the procedural elements are really secondary, as they all serve to advance the main story line about Jason Isaacs’ character Michael Britten, the car “accident”, and which of the two realities is, in fact, real. For those of you who still think that he’s already dead or in a coma or experiencing some kind of simulation or living in somebody else’s dream, forget it. They basically told us that one of the two realities is in fact the real one when Britten’s Captain, played by Laura Innes from The Event, sits on a park bench with a sinister man and they discuss staging the accident. Since they are talking about something which took place outside of Britten’s split reality, the world in which that conversation took place must clearly be the real one.
Coming up this week
South Park continues its new season this Wednesday with a look at the GOP presidential race. With all the material these candidates are supplying, I’m almost surprised that South Park didn’t come back sooner just to get in all the jokes they could. Last week’s episode was fair and paled in comparison to the Comedy Network’s other Wednesday night animated comedy, Ugly Americans. If you like animated comedy and have not seen this show, watch it. No excuses, just watch it. However, this week is really all about Sunday, when Game of Thrones and The Killing return and the new season of Mad Men continues. The season premiere of Mad Men set a new series record, but still paled in comparison to the numbers AMC drew with the season finale of The Walking Dead. And wow, what a zombie-filled ride that was! Only another eight months until we get to see more...
He’s running for what?
Rupert Boneham of Survivor is running for Governor of Indiana. Seriously. Would not make this up. I must admit that I am not a fan of the show and hence am unfamiliar with his work. Regardless, it has gotten the Indiana Libertarian party some crazy amounts of free press, so good work I guess. At the same time, this has gotten me thinking about my personal dream celebrity political throwdown: Alec Baldwin vs. Donald Trump for mayor of New York. I mean really, how awesome would that be?