Tuesday, May 01, 2007

He Was A Contenda

If you were a fan of the late Marlon Brando, then this is a good week for you.

Turner Classic Movies is airing a documentary entitled "Brando" in two parts tonight and Wednesday at 8 p.m. The network is also showing several Brando films this week, including "The Men" at 9:30 p.m.

Brando is the quintessential American actor, and his performances still serve as an inspiration to many performers today. Whether it's "Streetcar Named Desire," "On The Waterfront," "The Godfather" or "Apocalypse Now," everybody seems to have a favorite Brando moment. (Mine is "The Freshman," co-starring Matthew Broderick, in which Brando parodies his Godfather role).

People interested in acting as a craft or in the history of great cinema should check out the documentary.




OK, so how cool does "Heroes" continue to be? Last night's episode was a thrilling hour, full of the little twists and turns that has made this show so good since the beginning.

But perhaps what has made "Heroes" so special when similar genre shows like "Lost" have been struggling is that "Heroes" gives answers fairly quickly - but not too quickly - to the questions it raises.

Early on, the theme was "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World," but even after Claire was saved, we didn't understand why she was so significant. Now we know. With "Heroes," there is very little wasted time or action. The characters are constantly propelling the storyline forward.

Of course, you knew that last night's episode was just a possible future, showing Hiro and Ando what will happen should they fail in their mission. That doesn't mean the episode didn't rock, however. The dialogue of the two character, spoken in Japanese and presented as subtitles, continues to be one of the best things about the series.

Possibly more than any show on the air right now, "Heroes" is what I look forward to each week.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Huzzah! "Veronica Mars" (CW, 9 p.m.) returns for its final five episodes of the season, possibly forever. To be honest, it's been so long since the last "VM" episode, I can barely remember where the writers left the story. "VM" is about as on the bubble as you can get for renewal, and if it is renewed, it may not be back in the same form, since there is talk that next season might advance the show four years into the future, with Veronica (Kristin Bell) in the FBI. "VM" is preceded by a new "Gilmore Girls" at 8 p.m.

CBS may also have some changes in its Tuesday night lineup for next season. Rumors posted on TVGuide.com say "NCIS" (CBS, 8 p.m.) star Mark Harmon may walk after this year, reportedly because he is unhappy with producer Don Bellisario. While the loss of Harmon could be a bad thing, the show proved it was still able to be creative when Tony (Michael Weatherly) ran the team at the beginning of this season.

Also, "The Unit" (CBS, 9 p.m.) is kind of on the bubble for next year. For me, this was a series that had a lot of potential when it first started but never lived up to it.

One thing that won't be changing on Tuesday's next year is Fox's powerhouse combo of "American Idol" at 8 p.m., which features Jon Bon Jovi as its guest tonight, and "House" at 9 p.m., starring the inimitable Hugh Laurie.

ABC knocks off one pair of dancers on "Dancing With the Stars" at 9 p.m., followed by a new "Boston Legal." NBC airs new "Law & Orders" from 9-11 p.m.

Finally, as always, the pick for Tuesdays is "The Shield" (FX, 10 p.m.) in which Shane reveals the truth about Lem's death to someone close to him.


Jonathan said...

I was very leery of last night's "Heroes" episode, but those worries went away quickly after about ten minutes of the episode. While this might not be the best episode of the series so far, it was easily the most fun. It reminded me a lot of the Mirror/Mirror universe episodes that "Star Trek" messed around with on the original series and "DS9."

I still always have problems with shows like this that go in the future that everyone is still around all of the same people. Matt and Suresh are working for Nathan/Sylar; Peter's hooked up with Ali Larter, etc. But like you said it's one possible future, and it's a fictional story, so fine, just enjoy it, and I did.

"Heroes" has been one of those shows I have been waiting to dissapoint me, for whatever reason, and so far it hasn't. I thought it got off to a bit of a slow start in the second half of the season, but it picked up the pace quickly. And these last two episodes have been great; looking forward to see where they are going with all of this.

And we get a new "Veronica Mars" finally, should be a good week.

zodin2008 said...

Yes, I have found very little to complain about either with "Heroes" and I loved last night's episode as well. I thought it was interesting that Ando's death is what would change Hiro in the future.

As for Jonathan's point about the 'same characters being around though in different roles', they did the same thing on all the Trek shows. It's A) less expensive to use your cast and B) it's fun for the audience to see certain characters (like Matt Parkman or Hiro last night or Kira Nerys on DS9) acting so different.

The one time I can think where a scifi show went alternate universe and a key character who was not a castmember figured most prominently, has to have been the "Yesterday's Enterprise" episode of TNG.

In that episode (still easily my #1 favorite TNG episode of all time), we saw the return of Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar in the alternate universe, but they found a way to write her out again for continuity sake.

As for "Veronica Mars" tonight, I am happy it's back but I doubt we will get a 4th season. I would also be thrilled to see next year (if it does return) with Veronica at the FBI academy. Interesting time advancement.

Phillip Ramati said...

I thought the Sylar twist was terrific last night, and in a future where people with abilities are being tracked and hunted, I'd think you would see a lot of strange hookups and loyalties, since people would either have to go into hiding (like most of the group) or capitulate and work for the government (like Parkman).

My one minor complaint, and it's really not a complaint, is that we didn't see the Peter-Sylar battle royale go longer.

But for the longest time, I couldn't figure out why Claire was so critical to the future until last night's episode.

And both Jonathan and Zod forgot to mention one of the best alternate reality episodes, the one where Cordelia wishes Buffy never showed up in Sunnydale on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." That one was a lot of fun, especially the vampire forms of Xander and Willow.