Saturday, May 31, 2008

Goodbye Harvey Korman

"Harvey Korman, an Emmy-winning comedic actor best known for playing the self-described "luminous second banana" for a decade on television's "The Carol Burnett Show" and for starring in such Mel Brooks films as "Blazing Saddles," has died. He was 81."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fans Say: Bring Back Bela

The Bela Talbot Movement

Please sign the petition to bring her back to Supernatural.

"he CW is a network that has some of the best television shows on today. One of their standout shows is Supernatural. Supernatural is about two brothers, Sam & Dean, who hunt demons, ghosts, vampires, etc.. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are of course the two main stars, but the show also has an awesome cast of recurring characters, some who have made a bigger impact then others. One of the characters that has made the most impact on the show is Bela Talbot (played by Lauren Cohan), who is a beautiful but menacing thief that always manages to screw over the two brothers for money or priceless artifacts. Just recently her character was killed off, but the show is called Supernatural so it is possible for her to be brought back. She needs to come back for another season because she has provided us with some of the most memorable moments on the show and she also has excellent on-screen chemistry with the boys (especially Jensen). The Bela Talbot Movement has begun. "BBB"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Women of Supernatural- Part II

"Which is ironic because I ignored Supernatural for ages for the sole reason that I'd read discussions of its problematic treatment of women, framed to suggest a conscious backlash against BtVS (Now BtVS, at its most basic level, was of course about subverting the horror movie cliché of the blonde girl victim, and sure enough Supernatural - in its very first episode - has not one but two blonde women meeting horrible ends in order to further the plot and motivate our two (male) protagonists). And - given that - it's doubly ironic my fannishness has reached critical mass now, when SPN fandom is currently exploding over the subject of misogyny in the series."

What do other fans think? Here's a comment from Kricka:

"I have just recently read some stuff that blames Kripke and the fans of being misogynisitic, and I think that is bunk! There are women on the show that are weak, ones that are bad, and ones that are very capable. Just like in real life. I take offense in the notion that all women must be portrayed as strong, brilliant and feisty, and only that. Because as humans, we come in all forms.

"There happens to be a lot of demons in the show who are women, but I think that is just because the main characters are men, and it works storywise to have a beautiful, alluring woman to try and trap a man. There are female characters who regularly take charge, and don't let those boys push them around.

"I suppose my only complaint would be the plethora of blondes (really, there are a ton of them), and that Ellen's character was supposedly dumped because the actress was too old. She was awesome! It would be nice to have more older characters on TV in general, but this is a negative that happens in ALL television, not just Supernatural."

Finally, a comment from TRoss:

"At first glance it might seem easy to pigeon-hole the ladies of Supernatural as either damsels in distress (how many grateful kisses have been bestowed upon those boys?) or whorish demons (ever notice how many of the actual demons are women?). But the truth is, Supernatch has done a bang up job of representing both genders equally. As it stands, there have been about 20 malicious male beings, and approximately 20 phantom femme fatales (yeah, I actually counted). And when it comes to representing the fairer sex, the ratio of damsels in distress versus smart & sassy ladies is just as equally represented. For every preacher's daughter or helpless mom, we've also seen a feisty art dealer, or an even more feisty barmaid. Or a Bela and a Ruby.

"But the real problem lies not in how female characters are represented on the show, but rather, why they don't stick around. Even their mother finds little screen time on the show. Show creator Kripke often speaks about how attuned he is to the opinions of the fans, and takes a lot of pride in listening to them. While that's really flattering for fans, that's the WORST thing you could do for your story. Negative fan reactions are responsible for the departure of at least two of the show's few recurring female characters - Jo (Dean's feisty love interest), and now Bela. Kripke's getting paid to create the story, not the fans, and this is not American Idol - fan input is NOT required. It's Kripke's damn story, and if he thought Bela's storyline had promise, he should have had the balls to see it through. A very wise, and very successful writer-producer by the name of Joss Whedon (anyone ever hear of a small little show called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?) had this to say when it came to fan opinions: "Don't give people what they WANT, give them what they NEED."

"Bela may not have been well-liked to begin with (god knows I didn't like her), but turning fan opinion around through a great reveal would have been highly rewarding for the audience. A prime example - Sawyer on Lost. He started out at the bottom of the opinion polls, but after a well-crafted reveal, he's become one of the most popular and beloved characters on the show. I'm not saying Bela would have reached that stature, but she had promise - a lot of promise based on the short reveal we were given before she was given the ax - and the actress who played her, Lauren Cohan, her was phenomenal.

"And then there's Jo - what a wasted opportunity that was. From the beginning we've been led to believe what Dean's character wants most in life, and believes he can never have, is a family and someone to love. Well there was Jo - Dean's equal in both feistiness and heart. How rewarding would it have been for the audience to witness Dean find his way to happiness with someone who was his equal, and brought out the best in him? Now that would have been character representing the women positively on the show - something besides the damsel or the whore. And a great character to fill the female void on the show, as well as in the boys' lives.

"As for Ruby, she seems to be as equally hated by fans as Bela was, and therefore probably not long for this world. But come on, Supernatural fans, we need some other characters with which the boys can interact - someone their characters can grow from through their interaction - because really, how many times can they kill off Dean?"

Thank you LisiBee, Kricka, and TRoss for your thoughts and insights. How do you feel, readers?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Women of Supernatural- Part I


I didn't become a fan of Supernatural until I'd watched an episode of Season 3. I actually watched two episodes then the finale. I was so hooked (thanks to LisiBee) that I bought the Season 1 and 2 DVD's. I began to notice something as I watched. If an episode had a female character I liked, she might never appear in another episode.

What most upset me was when Bela (Lauren Cohan) left the show. She and Jensen Ackles had such chemistry. Oh I know a lot of fans hated her but I thought she was a wonderful actress with lots of room to develop her character.

"I love Supernatural. I do. This is no secret. It's kind of dumb sometimes, but at least it's really, really fun dumb. Also really hot dumb, but never mind that.
These last two episodes have done things that strayed well out of "fun dumb" territory and into the land of just plain "dumb," and even as much as I love this show, I just kind of have to shake my head and ask... well, this slightly doctored picture of Bela pretty much covers it for me."

The blogger discusses the death of Bela, what happened to Ruby, and the cliffhanger.

I decided to ask three fans, who have been watching longer than I have, for their opinions.

"For whatever reason, I don't think they handle the female characters on SPN as well as the male characters", says LisiBee. "They either kill them off or they inexplicably phase them out. Some of them I have really enjoyed: Ellen and Jo were my favorites, and I liked Ava a lot. I didn't even dislike Bela and Ruby as much as most of the fans seemed to. I realize that the primary focus of the show is on the Winchester brothers, as it should be. But by continually introducing these female characters, then writing them out, you run the risk of communicating to your female viewers that women are just not important in the "Supernatural" universe. And that's a real shame, considering the following this show maintains among women.

"As for Bela and Ruby, I didn't hate them. I enjoyed Bela more than Ruby, mostly because she seemed like a good intellectual sparring partner for the boys. I don't like how her death was handled on the show; IMO, they waited far too long to make her sympathetic to the viewers. Had the reveal about the childhood molestation been made sooner, I think fan response to Bela would have been much more sympathetic. As for Ruby, I do hope she's not dead, since I would have liked to hear more about her backstory. But I've been a viewer of this show for three seasons, and I know by now not to get too attached to any female character--that way leads to frustration and disappointment."

Part II tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monster Interview: Lady Edna


(Edna specifically asked me to use this picture of her in her younger days.)

TheMonster is proud to present Miss Edna of the blogging team Margie and Edna. The ladies are sisters and the oldest residents of Jericho, Kansas but they have much more to talk about than Jericho these days.

Margie and Edna are now bloggers. Be sure to drop by their basement for a visit.

Welcome to TheMonster, Miss Edna. This is quite an honor. May I say your sister, Margie, declined to join us. She mentioned cleaning her basement.

My first question is about your blog, Margie and Edna's Basement. What is the purpose of your blog?

Edna: First off, let me just say that I’m not surprised that Margie didn’t want to be interviewed with me. She never was any good at sharing the spotlight.

Now, on to your question. The purpose of our blog is to share our wit, wisdom, and insight with everyone on the Interwebs. I swan, I never saw so many people in need of guidance in all my born days. I think if more people read our blog, the world would be a much better place.

I understand that you and Margie are quite interesting sisters. For example, I've heard that Margie locks men in her basement and that her next conquest is going to be Jensen Ackles of Supernatural. How do you feel about that, Miss Edna?

Edna: Well, I’m an interesting person, I don’t know if you can say the same about my sister. She tells some interesting stories, I suppose. As for that poor Jensen Ackles, all I can say is that someone had better warn his Mama to keep an eye on him. When my sister sets her sights on some poor man, the best he can do is run and hide.

You sisters invented Special Tea. I hear that's powerful stuff. Do you and your sister imbibe?

Edna: Margie is the one who came up with that recipe, I have to give her some credit. However, we do not “imbibe,” as you put it. We do, however, take spirits for medicinal purposes. And some days need more medicine than others, that’s all I’m going to say.

I don't mean to put you on the spot, Miss Edna, but is it true you have a gentleman friend named Sawyer? Is he in the basement too?

Edna: My lands, I would never keep any of my gentlemen friends in the basement like my deranged sister does! As for Sawyer, well…right now he’s on an island in the Pacific. That’s the only place he’s safe from my sister—he’s better off tangling with polar bears and smoke monsters than he is trying to deal with her.

Just a moment. I was just handed a note from your sister. It says,"Edna is a lying liar. She's a dimwit who shouldn't be allowed out in public. Nobody will read your old blog if you interview her.

My goodness, Miss Edna, may I have a closing comment from you about this?

Edna: She’s just jealous because no matter what she does or says, I will always be younger than she is. It’s hard to get over that kind of defeat.
Let me just say that it has been a thrill to be interviewed for your blog. I wish you well in your blogging dear, you have done quite a good job so far. Keep up the good work!

Many thanks to the delightful Miss Edna for being our guest. I'm sure Margie will have plenty to say about it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nielsen Nonsense

"The burning question left hanging in the air after the cancellation of Jericho is the following: how does a show that can attract an estimated six million viewers to sit down in front of their TV sets, top the numbers on iTunes, and launch a number of unbelievably disciplined and organized fan campaigns, not get picked up for a third season.

Nielsen ratings.

Edward James Olmos summed it up nicely last year at a Battlestar Galactica convention. “Nielsen needs a hole in the head,” he said, explaining that the current ratings system excludes too many viewers to be reliable. In light of the current global business trends, that really would be the no-nonsense way of putting it.

TV networks and advertisers, however, are not quite there yet.

The main one? Networks don’t have a clue to whom they are delivering their programming anymore.

As the Accenture consumer study shows, consumers take in 70.6 hours of media per week. The catch? A traditional TV device is involved only 23 percent of the time.

Another thing that should come as no surprise is that 64 percent of viewers named commercials as their pet peeve when it comes to watching ‘live’ television."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Witchblade: The DVD

One of the best shows ever to hit TV yet it lasted only 2 seasons. No, it isn't Jericho. I've been waiting 6 years for this DVD.

Witchblade- The Complete Series- coming to DVD.

Will be released on July 29, 2008.

"Witchblade: The Complete Series stars Yancy Butler (As the World Turns), John Hensley (Nip/Tuck), and David Chokachi (Baywatch) and features guest star Roger Daltrey (The Who). This seven-disc collector's set includes all 23 episodes from seasons 1 and 2, the original made-for-TV movie and never-before-seen bonus features."


Yancy Butler

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