|January 2004 Archives
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January 31 Permalink
Watched the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the TV Star". Brad Terry, the star of Crime Lab: SF is stalked by papparazzi outside his ex-wife's home. They see him with her on the front steps. He consents to a few questions when they hear her screams. He rushes inside, then comes out saying that his wife's been stabbed. The photographers rush inside.
Brad biggest fan is Marci, who has a petition to restore the show's theme song. She confesses to the murder, but Monk doesn't believe it.
Brad recorded his ex-wife's screams from her only movie and dubbed them onto her yoga tape. That was the scream the media heard. Brad ran inside to kill her in those few seconds afterwards.
Crime Lab: SF is obviously a take-off on CSI, complete with the TMI cam. However, this show's science leaves much to be desired. They claim that 100 episodes is the landmark for profitable syndication, but it's actually 65 episodes. Show 5 episodes in a week for thirteen weeks and you get to 65. That way the programs appear just four times a year.
Finally, Marci shows up at Monk's door and has become his biggest fan, complete with website and newsletter. She tells him that he ever gets a TV show, never change the theme song. The program ends with the original guitar theme, rather than the Randy Newman song.
January 30 Permalink
Watched the Angel episode "Damage". An escapee from a psychiatric hospital is Dana, a potential slayer. Andrew presents himself as a representative of the Watchers Council.
A psychotic killed Dana's family and tortured her. She imprisons Spike and tortures him, believing he is her tormenter, going as far as cutting off his hands. Wesley and the Wolfram and Hart SWAT team rescue him and take out Dana's body. Andrew appears, backed up by a dozen Slayers, none of whom dated Angel. He demands and gets Dana for the Slayers and Watchers.
Tom Lenk's performance was pretty good. Andrew has both changed, yet remained the same.
January 29 Permalink
Watched the Water Rats episode "Old Flame". Frank gets shot while off-duty, disrupting an armed robbery. One of Chief Inspector Webb's old flames Moira Randall has information on the robbers. Turns out she's married to the ringleader.
In the B-plot, Hawker investigates an old boating accident that killed a police officer that rammed a second boat. THe policeman's yacht has been raised, showing clearly that it was the boat that was rammed. Hawker finds the two guys on the other boat and gets one of them to roll over on the other.
January 28 Permalink
More weird spamnames: Batiks R. Idolater, While V. Microfilm, Fretting E. Falsely, Liquoring V. Conception, Powerboat F. Hair, Squalor J. Exuberant.
January 27 Permalink
A very weird dream involving Al Roker from a pregnant woman. Warning: Scene may be disturbing to some readers.
January 26 Permalink
Watched the Tru Calling "Reunion". Like every reunion, everyone wants to kill the Cordelia-like girl. Nothing really interesting here, except to note that Tru graduated in 1999, just like the Buffy gang. It was also the same year as Columbine I wish someone had said,"We were lucky to just graduate. Don't you remember? Columbine? And what about that school in California that blew up during graduation?"
January 25 Permalink
Watched the Angel episode "Harm's Way" begins with a film claiming that Wolfram and Hart has their fingers in companies including fictional ones from Buckaroo Banzai and Alien. Then we watch Harmony begin her day and then sees the remains of the decapitation of Eli from accounting by Angel.
Spike says goodbye. Harmony realizes he has no friends at work and goes out to a bar with Fred. She dumps science girl for a guy at the buy whose been eyeing her. The next morning he's in bed with her, dead with two holes in his neck. Harmony dumps the body in her apartment dumpster.
When she gets to work, Harmony discovers her dead companion was a demon mediator who was helping bring a truce between two clans. When she gets tested positive for having ingested human blood, she knocks out the test guy and dumps him in the closet. Lorne hears a moan coming from the closet and Harmony knocks him out and throws him in the closet as well. When Fred suspects Harmony, she also gets thrown in the closet.
It turns out Tamika, a vampire from the steno pool has been spiking Harmony's thermos to frame her. Their fight reaches the conference room of the demon confab. By the way, these demons look like natives of the Sahel with brightly colored face paint. They require a sacrifice in return for the death of the mediator. When Harmony stakes Tamika, they considere the debt paid.
Watched the Tru Calling episode "Murder in the Morgue". A bride is killed on her wedding day. The groom comes into the morgue to say goodbye, but he really wants to take out the bullet. When Tru and Davis try to stop him, he shoots them. The bride asks for help and Tru rewinds before the bullet hits her.
In the replay, Tru finds the groom was not the man in the morgue. It's Justin, a cop and the bride's ex. Tru gets him into the diner in the evening, but he's not carrying his gun. She rushes to the chapel and figures Justin's girlfriend shot the bride. Tru drags the bride into a car and into the morgue. Davis talks Tru through the surgery because he can't work on living people. Justin interrupts but Tru convinces him that they will save the bride to exonerate him.
Tru also sends Harrison on a series of tasks to convince him her powers really exist. He think it's all an elaborate practical joke until it starts snowing out of nowhere.
Finished off with the Angel episode "Soul Purpose". Spike is out on his own and Lindsey presents himself as "Doyle", a being with visions of people in trouble that Spike can save. As Blondie does Angel's old job, he stakes two vampires simultaneously, just like in the opening credits.
Meanwhile, Angel goes through a fever dream induced by a parasite Eve planted on him. Among the intersting moments was Fred extracting various parts from inside Angel's body, including his soul which looks like a goldfish. She hands off the pieces to a bear.
January 24 Permalink
Watched the Monk episode "Monk and the Three Pies". As the Northern California town of Tewksbury celebrates its 100th birthday, Pat Van Ranken, played by Holt McCallany, who was Detective Hagen on CSI: Miami buys a bunch of raffle tickets in order to win a cherry pie. He loses, but kills the old lady who won it.
We meet Monk's brother Ambrose who lives alone in his parents' old house, writing appliance manuals, saving newspapers and mail for the father who abandoned them. He hasn't left the house in 32 years, but suspects his next-door neighbor Van Ranken has killed his wife.
We know Van Ranken wants something in the pies and manages to win the last two. I can't figure why he bothers to actually win them rather than buying them at exorbitant pricers from the winners. It's the last shell from when he shot his wife. But the last shell ended up in the bag of flour Ambrose now has. Van Ranken sets the Monk homestead on fire, but the police arrive and Monk rescues Ambrose.
Watched the Tru Calling episode "Closure". A soldier tries to escape from the VA hospital, but is killed by an MP with an itchy trigger finger. The second time around, he temporarily holds her hostage while he makes his escape.
He's looking for his sweetheart who never answered his lettesr from the front. When Tru finds her, she says he never answered her letters, including the one that says she was pregnant. Turns out the girl's father had intercepted the letters.
The girl goes takes her son to meet his father in the hospital. The soldier dies anyway from complications from his wounds.
January 23 Permalink
Watched the first episode of the new season of Monk entitled "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy". Monk's paperboy is killed on his step by someone who keeps stealing Monk's paper. Adrian is convinced that the killer is keeping information from Monk that would get him caught. Searching through the paper, Monk solves a hit-and-run by determining that the driver purposely got into other accidents to disguise the damage that would be done to the car when hitting a person. Monk's genius reaches a new level of absurdity when he solves a murder in Paris, just by reading the paper. The inspector in France is duly impressed.
Along the way, we meet Monk's upstairs neighbor, a computer programmer whose been spending the last few days boinking his new girlfriend, the clerk at the nearby convenience store. Soon the prominence of the lottery numbers above the masthead of the paper starts to get our attention. The manager of the convenience store is found dead while making his night deposit. Both the manager and the clerk had figured out that that their regular customer had won the big jackpot. The manager stole the newspapers and killed the paperboy to keep the programmer from finding out he'd won. The clerk killed the manager so she could keep the money for herself. She marries the programmer and drugs him, leaving semi-conscious in his car on railroad tracks. Monk and Sharona come to the rescue.
I couldn't figure out why the manager had to resort to killing the paperboy, when he could have waited for him to move on before stealing the papers.
Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Hurricane Anthony". A couple evacutes from their house way too late and a man blown by the wind lands on their car. The victim was a surfer who'd been transported by the wind several miles to their car. He was also an accountant who disappeared several years earlier after embezzling a large sum of money from the mob.
In a seemingly unrelated case, Horatio finds a man impaled on a fence. Stupidly, he does not immediately call for help and watches the man die. Am I the only who shocked by this turn of events? It turns out that while boarding up his windows, a neighbor, the man had a surfer fall on his car, had fight with him for his ladder. In the scuffle, the neighbor ended up a shish-kabob.
In the third case, Calleigh and Detective Tripp find someone carrying stereos out of house in an apparent act of looting. He claims to live in the house, but his wife is found dead inside. They are divorced and the wife has a temporary restraining order to keep him away. She'd been regularly shooting in her backyard and keeping the shells neatly in a bucket outside. In the hurricane, the wind picked one up and hurled it at 300 miles per hour through the window and killed her. They still get the husband for burglary because it wasn't his house.
January 22 Permalink
Watched the Water Rats episode "Pay-Back". Internal Affairs suspects that Marty Miller may have known that Miranda Latham was a witness in the previous episode "Eyewitness" because of a leak in the department. Suspicion immediately falls on Helen as the intelligence officer. She denies being the leak, but it is revealed that she used the database for personal reasons to check on her domestic partner Anne. Distraught by the distrust, Anne leaves her.
Meanwhile, it turns out Thong, the late cleaner, was the leak. His family notices large amounts of money going into the bank account and he had large gambling debts. A homeless man delivers the latest payment and they bring him into the station to identify Miller as the man who gave him the money. He can't, but when the witness is in the hall he yells,"That's him!" The audience knows he pointing at Miller's attorney, but Miller panics and takes Cassidy hostage. He runs off with her in a foot chase, beats up her up a little and abandons her. Frank eventually finds Miller on a boat and shoots him.
Watched the Enterprise episode "Proving Ground". The crew has found the Aberdeen where the Xindi are testing their superweapon. Shran and the Andorians offer to help. However, the Andorian government wants to take the weapon for themselves, much to Schran's reluctance. Enterprise blows up the weapon, but not before Schran has secretly sent the humans detailed scans of the device.
January 21 Permalink
A Roman Coliseum version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from Chris Brooke
Take me to the arena / Take me out with the crowd / Buy me some dormice in honeycomb / I don't care if I never go home / So let's root, root, root for the lions / Not the humans they maim / Munching two, three more body parts / at our Caesar's game!
January 20 Permalink
A popular parlor game between Whitlock and myself is to rate the Star Trek captains as bosses. We both would put Picard #1. After that Whitlock, wouldn't want to work for Sisko, unless she was sure he really liked her, otherwise she can't trust him. On the other hand, while I could handle Sisko, Kirk's personality would grate on me. We would also agree that in a front-line battle situation, or an intense non-military environment analogous to war, Kirk would probably be first on the list. So our lists would look like this:
Which brings us to Archer. In a calm, crisis-free bureaucratic situation where he'd never have to fight for you, Archer would be fine. Otherwise, he falls embarassingly short of the other four.
Look at his relationship with his senior officers. T'Pol is the person with the pooper scooper who really runs an operation. She has a kind, though condescending, attitude towards the human race and Archer just happens to be the one currently in charge. Tripp is an old buddy of Archer who's developed a long friendship no one can match. Malcolm has recorded criticism of Archer's style. Phlox also has a condescending, but friendly attitude. Hoshi and Mayweather are too far down the chain of command - Archer is the commander whose orders must be followed and his personality is irrelevant.
One wonders how much of Archer is written in or an inability on Bakula's part to transcend the show bible description. Interestingly, one can see parallels between Archer and a shallow Hollywood caricature of a current political leader. We see a nice, not-too-intelligent leader with an emotional thirst for revenge. His father was more highly accomplished and certainly more of a shadow than the fathers of the other captains. Sisko's Dad was just a better cook. Stretch it a little further to find T'Pol as the much older second-in-command, albeit with a better functioning heart.
January 19 Permalink
Watched the CSI episode "Butterflied". A nurse who looks a lot like Sara is found dead and clothed in her shower. She's had many surgeon lovers and one of them is missing. He's found in several pieces in her dumpster.
The murderer was obviously one of her former lovers. The audience is convinced it's Kyle Secor. When he was brought in for interrogation I almost thought he'd break out in,"You guys are such amateurs. I had a partner who would've had me confessing to the Jack the Ripper murders by now."
Not much happens and no one is caught. It's mostly about Grissom considering his feelings for Sara.
January 18 Permalink
Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Witness to Murder". A diamond broker gets into a fender bender that is actually a prelude to a his murder and robbery. A learning-disabled man named Eugene saw it all.
Horatio, in his most sympathetic episode, does some actual lab work and forms a bond with Eugene. When the police have a prime suspect to at least half the crime, Eugene is severely beaten and eventually dies. The triggerman is also the guy who beat up Eugene.
In a major continuity goof, when Suspect 1 is getting bailed out, Horatio grabs his cellphone and supposedly calls the triggerman, but it's never followed up. Whitlock also wondered why the triggerman, of a lower social class and less to lose, would plea bargain rather than the other guy who had a job at the very least.
The B-plot involved a teenage girl's body found near the Broward County line. Several hours later, the body still hasn't turned up on Alexx's table. Turns out the body hauler gave the body to someone who had offered him cash.
The body turns up in the wine cellar of the girl's father. As I suspected, in another example of family love gone bad, the father had been having an affair with his wife's sister. The daughter found out and the sister killed her by pushing her down the stairs. Now if the sister had dumped the body without the father's knowledge, then father bought it back, it makes sense. However, he dumped the body, then bought it back.
Watched the Enterprise episode "Chosen Realm". The crew run into a race called the Triannon who hold the spheres in the Expanse sacred. The Triannon commandeer Enterprise with organic bombs inside their own bodies.
The Triannon want to use Enterprise to defeat their heretic enemies. Archer chooses himself to be executed for descration of the spheres. The crew pull one over by submitting the transporter as an execution device.
The crew take back the ship during a battle with the heretics. Since the heretics differ in that they believe the Delphic Expanse took one more day to create, I'm surprised they didn't just say,"Die infidel" and shoot down Enterprise. The home planet has been devasted by the war. I'm also surprised here that they didn't use this as an excuse to continue fighting. These heretics must pay for what they've done to the planet. I won't rest until every last one of them is dead.
January 17 Permalink
In rerun, we watched the MI-5 episode "Germ Warfare" or "I Spy Apocalypse". The office is locked down for an emergency drill where Tom is the emergency officer. A highly toxic nerve agent called VX has been released in Parliament Square.
After a while, they soon begin to believe it's real and it seems that Edinburgh has also been hit. Everybody cracks up at least a little bit, but in the end, it's just a drill.
Continued the accent theme by watching The Water Rats episode "Eyewitness". MHz is showing the old 1996 episodes. A man is killed when a speedboat runs into the back of another boat.
No one wants to step forward and testify against the prime suspect, a notorious criminal and former nemesis of Frank Holloway named Marty Miller. An old woman claims she saw everything from her balcony with her binoculars. She had been harassed by Miller's father when she was younger. Unfortunately, she really didn't witness the crime and ends up pushed from her balcony. Frank stakes-out Miller at his nightclub, has a fight, and ends up victorious.
In the B-plot, Sykes tries out for diver and fails. Rachel gets Frank's old partner Knocker Harrison into bed. Jeff takes up a collection for the funeral of Thong, the cleaning man who was habitually tardy and a gambler.
January 16 Permalink
There is a kernel of a nerd fantasy in Jason Allen Alexander, the brief husband of Britney Spears. For that pretty girl who said,"I want us to stay just friends," what if she were to add,"but let's get married and quickly annulled in Vegas so that you'll be a minor celebrity for the rest of your life!" No one I know has become Britney famous. The closest was someone I asked for a date once that has become a significant writer in some circles.
Watched the CSI episode "Eleven Angry Jurors". In a high profile murder case where a husband is on trial for killing his wife, all but the jury foreman favor conviction. When the jury return to the deliberation room after a break to begin lunch, the foreman and holdout is found dead.
One suspect with blood on his hands looks an awful lot like a Cal Ripken fan on a Comcast internet commercial. A stripper who came on to the victim seems to have worn slacks in one scene and a skirt an hour later.
The victim had several allergies and a hypodermic scar where someone could have stuck penicillin in him. However, he had an allerigic reaction when someone threw peanut shells at him and he stuck himself. One juror admitted to stuffing peanut butter in his chili, but Greg says there was not enough to cause death. Turned out a bee got into the room and stung him. Grissom mistakenly calls the bee "him".
In the B-plot, Stokes reopens a four-year-old missing persons case when someone fesses up as a witness. The new witness is the victim's sister who claims the victim's husband killed her when she discovered an affair with the witness sister. The story which includes burning of the body in gasoline, doesn't hold up and we discover a more screwed up family than we thought.
The guy married the oldest sister, had an affair with the middle sister, and is now engaged to the youngest sister. One guy could lust after all three, but do all three have to go along with it? Of course, the witness sister really did the killing. She just spoke up after all these years to frame the guy after leaving her for the younger sister.
It looks like the next show will be in New York. Yawn. I wish they had selected an Midwestern city other than Chicago or one of the Texas cities. They could have also chosen Seattle and shot in Vancouver.
January 15 Permalink
Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!
January 14 Permalink
Got this via Doug Pappas. John Dowd says Rose had a pretty good deal on the table.
Pete would have to reconfigure his life. He would have to stop betting. He would have to make a candid response to all of the hard evidence. He would have to explain his association with all of the characters in the betting operation. He would have to submit to, and complete, a full rehabilitation. During his rehabilitation, he would be removed from the game of baseball.
I had been advised by federal authorities that if Rose agreed to these terms, he would not be prosecuted for tax evasion but would have to pay all taxes, interest and penalties due. Upon successful completion of his rehabilitation, he would have been readmitted to the game of baseball and could receive all honors which come with achievement and good conduct. He would have been eligible, if chosen, for admission to the Hall of Fame.
I worked for a month with Pete's counsel. They tried but could not get Pete to admit the truth...
Pete's criminal counsel wanted the resolution we were working on but his agent would not budge. Bart, then-deputy commissioner Fay Vincent and I met with Pete's agent. He told us that Pete was a legend and would not admit to any of the allegations...
I then tried to find some friends of Pete's -- Reds teammates -- we could call upon to reach out and help him in his obvious time of need. I was told Pete had no friends in baseball.
It's pretty much what I had guessed at. Baseball wanted a face-saving way out, but Rose was even more of a fool than I had imagined. What I'm not clear about is why the IRS would be willing to drop the tax evasion charges. What did they get in return?