Saturday, November 10, 2001

TV round-up time: first, a brief comment about the premiere of The Tick. For once, Tim and I are of one mind on an entertainment subject, so I'll simply second his summation and add this observation: every time I look at David Burke, the actor playing The Tick's loyal sidekick Arthur, I feel like I'm looking at Mark Hamill's younger brother.

Now, onto "Once More, With Feeling", the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which also aired this week. I've been a big fan of Buffy and the gang since my friend Jennie hooked me on the show back in '99. I've been doing musical theater for going onto fourteen years. So when I heard showrunner Joss Whedon wanted to send his Slayer on a little stroll down Tin Pan Alley, I knew this would be an episode to remember.

I hoped Joss could pull it off. He's always been successful at bucking convention and winning on long shot bets in the past. In fact, he's provided more real twists and satisfying turns than all the "surprises" ER has ever tried to deliver. Still, we're talking musical theater on prime-time TV here. The potential for a disaster of Cop Rock proportions loomed large.

So what do I have to say after finally watching the TiVo-ed episode tonight?

Just this: when am I going to learn that Joss always, but always pulls off the big gambles.

The entire production, from the good-as-any-Disney-heroine's plaintive beginning number to the devastating ambiguity of the finale, "Where Do We Go From Here?", was superlative. I was especially enamored of Spike's unrequited love song to Buffy, "Rest In Peace" and Giles' self-revelatory power ballad, "Standing In The Way."

It's pretty clear why the ep worked. Joss understands the vital thing that makes for a great musical: the songs must reveal the characters' inner feelings and advance the story at the same time. Too many actual Broadway shows of late can't seem to grasp that simple truth.

Here's a measure of how wonderful "Once More, With Feeling" was for me. If I can get my hands on a recording of the soundtrack, I might be able to fend off my powerful urge to start listening to Christmas music for a couple more weeks, at which time it'll be more acceptable to those around me.
10:53 PM  < To return to this entry, save this link

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Those who've been acquainted with me for any length of time know that two of my biggest obsessions are Hawaiian shirts and Christmas. For years, I've been trying to bring these passions together by finding the perfect yuletide aloha shirt. I've run across a few candidates in the past, but the patterns have always skewed too much toward the tropical (i.e. Santa on a surfboard) and not enough toward a traditional holiday look for my liking. In fact, I was becoming convinced that I'd have to find the appropriate fabric myself and have a shirt made from it.

Yesterday, all my years of searching paid off. Behold this early Christmas miracle.

Now I've just got to find someplace to wear it.
3:54 PM  < To return to this entry, save this link

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

My math skills are a little rusty, so could somebody check to make sure I've worked out this little word problem correctly?

The cancellation of Bob Patterson + Nathan Lane's throat polyp = a new star for The Producers

1:02 AM  < To return to this entry, save this link

Monday, November 05, 2001

Mr. Peabody would be so proud: the Internet Archive Wayback Machine is just about the coolest thing I've seen on the Net all year. Plug a url into the search box at the top and it returns snapshots of that site going back as far as five years.

See Web stalwarts in their infancy. Check out pre-portalized search engines. Discover what places you visit regularly were doing before you found them. Pick over the bones of the dead. You'll find it quite addictive.

The Wayback Machine is new, but it's already getting slammed by heavy traffic. That means getting through can take a little while. It's working about half the time for me. If you don't want to deal with that hassle, wait for off-hours before you give it a whirl.
10:10 AM  < To return to this entry, save this link

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

main    archives    acknowledgements    rooms

Jack Scheer's House of Cheer [] © 2001-2002 Jack Scheer.
Unless otherwise noted, images and text are by Jack Scheer and may not be reproduced or distributed,
in part or in whole, without the the author's permission.