Monday, July 28, 2008

'Next Week On...'

Jeers to the Sci-Fi Channel.

In Friday's posting, I said that the cliffhanger on "Doctor Who" was one of the best I had ever seen.

I'll do the viewer who may not have seen it yet a service by saying skip down below the asterisks. Also, if you are watching Friday's episode on DVR, hit the stop button right when it says "To Be Continued..." on the screen.



Anyway, so watching the BBC airing through the miracle of the internet, we get the same ending of the Doctor starting to regenerate. With his face obscured by the light, you can't tell if there is a new actor about to step into the role. Then it goes to the "To Be Continued" screen, then the final credits rolled.

No next week's scenes.

On Sci-Fi, however, they fill it up with shots of David Tennant continuing in the role, totally ruining the cliffhanger viewing. All the sense of shock that the Doctor might be replaced by a new actor is completely dissolved after about five seconds.



After watching the BBC version, I was in such shock for not having any spoilers from next week's scenes that I checked around the Web for what the Brits were saying.

It's funny now having seen Part 2 already how wrong the speculation ended up being, but EVERYBODY was buzzing about it and coming up with all sorts of theories.

Which is what a good cliffhanger was supposed to do.

You don't need next week's previews to draw the viewer back; no one was going to not watch the finale after being left hanging like that.

Yet Sci-Fi felt compelled to cut together its own clips of next week's scenes, absolutely taking away any sense of shock from the viewers.

Trailers for TV and movies are kind of a necessary evil. It's fine to tease as to what is coming up with a few clips stitched together, and in the case of movies, give the viewer an idea of what it's all about.

But how many times do you watch a trailer and it's nothing like the movie it's advertising — and not in a good way. (**COUGH, 'Hancock'). Or you see a trailer for a comedy and, after leaving the movie, you say, "They used all the best lines in the trailer."

Look at the campaign for "The Dark Knight." It shows a few moments from a few of the action sequences and gives you some insight into the Joker (which is what everyone was going to be talking about anyway with the death of Heath Ledger). It's just enough to tease without giving anything away, plot-wise. And the movie has done pretty well so far.

Anyway, TV and movie promoters need to do a better job and use a little common sense in not giving away the big reveal, and trust that some people want a little surprise in their lives.

COMIC CON NEWS: Some tidbits gleaned from Comic Con (don't worry, no spoilers).

--On "Lost," it's not really a surprise to say we haven't seen the last of Locke or Jin, despite seeing them dead in last season's finale. And, there are rumors of some other dead characters who may yet be seen.

--On "Smallville," expect more Clark-Lois interaction (finally). Also, comics legend Geoff Johns is penning an episode involving the Legion of Super Heroes. Gee, wish I had thought of that; oh, wait, I did.

--On "Chuck," there are going to be a variety of guest stars, including Nicole Richie as an enemy agent. Also, we meet Capt. Awesome's parents.

--On "Pushing Daisies," creator Bryan Fuller is hoping to create a little bit of crossover by using characters from his previous series, "Wonderfalls." Of course, only six people watched that other series, so I don't really know how big that news is.

--Finally, you can catch some video of the panels from "The Office" and "Heroes" over at

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: New episodes of "The Closer" and "Saving Grace," beginning at 9 p.m. on TNT. Ditto for "The Middleman (ABC Family, 10 p.m.)

"The Mole" (ABC, 10 p.m.) also winds down with the final elimination before the season's end.

There's a documentary that looks kind of interesting called "The Recruiter" (HBO, 9 p.m.), about an Army recruiter who tries to bring in new recruits in Louisiana.

Finally, new installments as well from Showtime's "Weeds" and "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," beginning at 10 p.m.


zodin2008 said...

"Hancock" is arguably creeping up my list as one of the ten worst movies I've ever seen in my life. I despise movies that advertise one "type" of movie and then are something else, halfway through it.

I never used to have a problem with Charlize Theron - I mean, she's easy on the eyes and is generally considered a good actress. Her role, performance, complete lack of chemistry with Will Smith & Jason Bateman - she managed to singlehandedly ruin the movie, though a horrifying script would have done that anyway.

The fact that "Hancock" could be directed by Peter Berg, the same guy so involved with the amazing "Alias" and the creative force behind the film and TV version of "Friday Night Lights", not to mention 2007's solid film, "The Kingdom" (with Bateman and Jennifer Garner, among others) could associate his name w/ one of the most strocious films of my lifetime in "Hancock". I actually considred seeking out the theater's manager to beg for my $8 back.

As for the shows w/ some upcoming plot spoilers, anything related to Captain Awesome on "Chuck" gets a thumbs up from me. Talk about a bit character that was a total home run on that freshman season, I loved the character of Captain Awesome. He definitely needs his role increased.

As for "Pushing Daisies", I have a distinct feeling this is a show that would have worked better as a 1 season type of show and I have concerns as to how they can drag this premise out, week after week. I'll watch, but I watch with considerable skepticism.

Speaking of skepticism, a show that was good and started to fall down towards the end of its first season, and came back with an atrocious 2nd season, "Heroes", is on my death watch list of shows that better come out of the gate strong for me to stick with them.

illnevertell said...

I have it on nearly the highest authority that the Russeau we saw shot to death toward the end of last season was not actually Russeau, per se. Apparently, the real Russeau unintentionally time warped far into the future shortly after arriving on the island 16 years ago. There, she was cloned by a derivative of the Dharma Initiative, and a copy was sent back as a sort of sentry/guardian/spy on the other Others. Real Russeau will resurface right when you least expect it.

Phillip Ramati said...


um, OK.