January 15th, 2007


The TV Nerd Worships at the HBO Altar

At last, my Sunday night HBO fix has returned!

While I was waiting for Rome to come on at 9 PM, I decided to check out the season premiere of 24 to pass the time. Boy was that a mistake! I had to force myself to change the channel at 9 and miss the second hour of the premiere. I knew that show was addictive, but oh my God! I watch too much TV as it is - I must resist 24!

Rome was great, though it took me a while to remember who everyone was and where they stood in the grand scheme of things. And I'm not sure what exactly they're doing to Vorenus, what with getting rid of his entire family. Seems a bad plot idea to me, since his family was always his motivation to keep the status quo. I'm not happy with the idea of recasting Octavian with someone older either, but the story still has me hooked. I love the completely amoral world they live in, and I'm psyched to see Cleopatra will be returning this season. And of course Titus Pullo remains the best character on the show, even if he did kill his slave girl's boyfriend in a jealous rage and then ask her to marry him like it was no big deal. (And she accepts!)

Extras was brill, with Orlando Bloom constantly trying to get Maggie to admit he's "objectively really good looking." The pain on his face when he kisses Maggie and she still says he's not her cup of tea was hilarious. They need to cut Andy's lame sitcom though and get him back on the movie sets as an extra. That's much funnier.

Is there some kind of patch or lozenge to help people not watch 24?

Masters of Horror: The Fair-Haired Child

Now this is refreshing: an episode of Masters of Horror that not only didn't suck but was actually quite good. The story remained consistent throughout, unlike most of the episodes, and there was no dumbass final shock moment to undo everything that was good about it. It's even got a happy ending! Color me surprised that "The Fair-Haired Child" was directed by William Malone, the man who brought us Feardotcom and the remake of House on Haunted Hill, and written by the scribe behind Reign of Fire, Matt Greenberg.

That fucked up creature in the basement was AWESOME, even if Malone relied a little too much on the herky-jerky, sped-up camera movements that seem to have infected all of horror cinema after reaching its saturation point in the J-Horror movement. And it's always nice to see Lori Petty again. I'm also pleased to say that there was no time wasted with gratuitous boobage. Not that I'm against boobage, but it was so overdone in MoH that it was beginning to feel less like titillation and more like a visit to the gynecologist's office - "Oh look, more boobs. Whatev."

So I've ended my viewing of the first season on a high note. It's not quite high enough for me to forgive all the truly awful episodes, which far outnumber the good ones, but at least it took some of the bad taste out of my mouth.

Now that I've seen them all, I feel confident in saying Masters of Horror is an overstatement. Some of the directors may indeed hold that title for good reason, but the series was generally so lackluster that it could be retitled Trite Horror Cliche Theater...With Boobs. As I mentioned before, I'll probably skip the second season when it comes out on DVD, unless I hear it's good. And sadly, that ain't what I'm hearing.