Sunday, February 26, 2006

Everybody get in line

So the big event of my weekend, other than the end of my "Sopranos" death march, was going to be hitting the first major comic book convention in New York in about 15 years. (Say it with me: Alan's a big fat dork.) Long story short, I stood for an hour on the first of a series of three epic-length lines to get in, then gave up when my back and feet started barking. (Say it with me: Alan's getting olllllllld.) So I bailed, and I clearly made the right call.

Then, to make the day odder, as I was walking back to the train station, someone handed me a ticket to see a preview screening of "She's the Man." On the one hand, I didn't particularly need to see "Just One of The Guys" remade. (Yeah, I know it's based on "Twelfth Night," but so what? "JOoTG" had Zabka, the horny kid brother and Joyce Hyser flashing the world. Top that, Shakespeare!) On the other, I felt like I ought to get something out of my trip into the city, so I briefly poked my head into the theater, only to run screaming when I saw it was full of 12-14 year-old girls, which would have been A)irritatingly noisy, and B)creepy for me as one of three adult men in the room.

So instead, I hightailed it home and caught up on some of the TV I'd been forsaking in favor of watching "The Amazing Adventures of Artie Bucco & Assemblyman Zellman." Let's take 'em in chronological order:

"Survivor: Exile Island" is turning out to be some Bizarro World version of Palau, where you have one team filled with all the nice people and led by a superhuman middle aged guy, while the other has all the idiots who can't get along with each other -- only the bad guys are winning. Interesting that they showed Terry finding the mini-idol, which means one of two things: 1)He manages to get so far into the game without having to use it that the producers felt they needed to give viewers some kind of pay-off to the twist, or 2)He uses it in a big damn hurry and then we don't get to see who finds it next.

I know I promised last week that I would give an intricate conspiracy analysis of the latest "Battlestar Galactica," but those marvelous, fiendish, wonderful people at Sci-Fi Channel publicity sent me the two-part season finale, and I'm so amped about it that it's hard to focus on anything that came before. (Let's just say that Ron Moore puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to willingness to fuck with the status quo big-time.)

But a few quick thoughts: Are the phantom Baltar and Six just hallucinations, or something more? I know Moore refers to them as such in the podcasts, but phantom Six has told Baltar a whole lot of things he never would have known or been able to predict on his own, and phantom Baltar was way ahead of the plot from Six. (For a minute, I actually wondered if Baltar had really died in the nuclear detonation and been replaced with a Cylon body that had Six's personality, but that's too bizarre even for this show.) Regardless, amazing performances by Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, James Callis and honorary TV critic Lucy Lawless, and I really can't say much more without letting what I know about the next two weeks color it.

"Grey's Anatomy," meanwhile, managed to avoid making Meredith look like an absolute monster by making George into such a petulant baby for most of the hour that the whole sex fiasco became a stalemate. Still, I'm glad Shonda Rhimes decided to pull a Sam Weir/Cindy Sanders and have George get over his crush in a hurry -- especially since it means the arrival of the unspeakably awesome Sara Ramirez (aka The Lady in the Lake from "Spamalot") as George's new love interest. (And way to have him move from stick-figure Meredith to a woman with actual curves who won't vanish when she turns sideways.) The poison oak story was funny (and Marian cringed for almost all of it, as I'm sure I would've if the genders were reversed), and I like the way the writers are letting Izzie be the bad guy in that relationship for once.

And then there was hey-it's-that-guy Mark Harelik, or, as I call him, Poor Mark Harelik, because he always winds up playing the sad sack loser (Milos the incompetent tennis instructor on "Seinfeld," the lawn boy's dad on "Desperate Housewives," etc.). Once again, he fulfilled his nickname, as my second-favorite Cusack sister dumped his ass on the verge of surgery. Nice. If I ever see Harelik get and keep the girl for long, I may have to crack open a bottle of champagne or something. But I'm weird that way.

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