Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Character Reference - Veronica Mars

Not since Magnum P.I. has a super sleuth been so appealing. In 2004 we were introduced to Veronica Mars, arguably the most underrated high school character ever seen in prime time television. She had the blonde cheerleader looks of a 90210er but enough wit and wisdom to go up against any Aaron Sorkin character.
As high school dramas go, Veronica was a bright spot in an otherwise superficial playing field. She said the things you wanted to say and did the things you wanted to do and managed to look like an actual high school student rather than a high priced call girl.
The 3 years of Veronica’s life we were given exposed us to the glamour and the seedy underbelly of fictional Neptune, California and left us thirsting for more. These were characters we could connect with and at the end of the day you’re still curious where Veronica and Logan ended up.

Monday, January 30, 2012

GGS EmCity 02 Straight Health B Checkers

In this podcast Susan, Amelia, and Chris conclude the discussion of OZ season one with Straight Life, To Your Health, Plan B, and A Game of Checkers.

Sorry, there were some problems with the audio starting around 28 minutes to the end, the result of which makes Susan seem like a mind reader.

***WIRE SPOILERS*** From 1:02:30 to 1:06:00 we start talking about another HBO show, The Wire. The conversation is quite spoilery if you haven't seen the series.

All written by Tom Fontana
Straight Life (directed by Leslie Libman & Larry Williams/ Theme: drugs)
The infiltration of drugs into Oz has reached unprecedented levels, and the undercover efforts of McManus and Glynn to find out who's smuggling the drugs in have backfired in a deadly way. Despite a lockdown in the Emerald City, drugs continue to trickle in--and the blame shifts from prisoners to corrupt officials.

To Your Health (directed by Alan Taylor/ Theme: health)
The prison's health service is kept busy by a variety of prisoner complaints: Beecher flips out after taking PCP and sends Schillinger to the hospital, mob boss Schibetta has stomach pains caused by ground glass intentionally mixed in with his food, and Muslim leader Kareem Said has a heart attack.

Plan B (directed by Darnell Martin/ Theme: unplanned events)
A recovered Said ostracizes Huseni Mershah for turning his back on him when he was dying. Impressed by Said's power, Groves decides to kill Glynn in his honor, but kills an officer by mistake. Condemned to death, Groves chooses death by firing squad. Schibetta is still being fed ground glass by O'Reilly and Adebisi, and Beecher finally gets revenge on Schillinger.

A Game of Checkers (directed by Jean de Segonzac/ Theme: revolution)
In the Season One finale, a riot breaks out and frustration, sexuality, hate, revenge and racism all rear their ugly heads, causing the violence to escalate. Finally, after several prison officers are taken hostage, tear gas is thrown into the Emerald City and the SORT Team arrives, guns blazing.

NEXT: S2 The Tip, Ancient Tribes, Great Men, Losing Your Appeal

Join us Wednesday nights for #TweetSoup and Follow us on Twitter @GeekGirlSoup
Continue the conversation in the Geek Girl Soup Facebook group
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Email your questions and comments to GeekGirlSoup@gmail.com
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 Stay geeky!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Character Reference: Detective Lydia Adams

One of the best characters on the TNT show SouthLAnd, is Detective Lydia Adams, played by Regina King. The show, which aired first on NBC, follows several police officers and detectives on the streets of Los Angeles. So far two episodes of the fourth season have aired and we see homicide detective Adams with a new partner who seems to be trying to teach her to see more of the gray areas, while she takes a more black and white approach. In a way she is a typical female tv detective. She's tough-as-nails (bad-ass!!), single (makes bad choices), and always does the right thing (seeing in black and white).

There was a scene in the first season of the show **SPOILER ALERT** that firmly established her toughness (and got me hooked on the show). Adams was protecting a teenaged murder witness in her home because there was no money in the budget to put her in witness protection. The bad guys found out where the girl was and came after her. Adams gave the girl a gun and told her to hide in the bathroom while she searched the house for the bad guys with a shotgun. In the end, the bad guys were dead, Adams and the witness were safe, and the viewers were having little heart attacks.

Season 4 episodes air Tuesday nights, and previous seasons are available on demand. If you remember Regina King from 227 or other roles she played as a child, you will have no doubt in your mind that she's all grown up, kicking ass, and taking names these days.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

GGS 006 Introduction to Gaming

In this podcast, Susan and Amelia discuss the Golden Globe awards and gaming with Guest Geek Kelly. This area is one in which our Geek Girls need help as they have not played many recent games. Our guest Kelly brings us out of the Dark Ages, and brings us more or less current with some of her favorite games, Final Fantasy X and Skyrim.

For the listeners of the Geek Girl Soup Podcast, Audible is offering a  free 14-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service.We have two recommendations this time, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Ready Player One. If you have seen the Swedish film, the US film, or both, you'll want to listen to the audiobook for the full story. Ready Player One, narrated by Wil Wheaton, takes place in 2044 and is filled with 80's nostalgia causing squee after squee for those of us who lived it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Character Reference: Roland Tembo

I watched "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" on New Year’s Eve during our Dead Man Watching Film Festival as a tribute to the passing of Pete Postlethwaite. He remains the best thing about this cynical cash-in sequel.

This was the first time I'd ever seen Postlethwaite. Sharp cheekbones that look like they’d cut you in a head butt. Big bass voice like a seasoned theater actor making sure you heard him in the cheap seats. This guy was freaking looking for the T-Rex! How mad is that?

I was sure he was going to end up as lizard chow. That’s how these movies work. They are cautionary tales where the bully gets eaten and the meek inherit the earth, right? Rubbish! Tembo is a predator of the first order. He marched on-screen and stole the spotlight from all the pretty people. Apparently there was a deleted scene where we meet him off the island doing more bad-ass stuff. My guess is Spielberg realized this guy was TOO GOOD and was showing up his wimpy “Heroes”.

This “Big Game Hunter” character was written in the same one-note method as the rest cast. Pete made Roland ooze with a gravity and weight that could not be ignored. With a limited amount of screen time, this skinny bald guy in shorts with knobby knees became the largest guy on-screen. He made a big entrance, kicked ass, and got the hell out of the movie before it had time to really stink up the place.

I wish we had more Roland Tembo movies. He rules!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lit Quotes 103

"Lately I've become morbidly aware of my penis. Once a remote region accessed indifferently for businesslike micturition, it has developed - seemingly overnight - into a gaudy Las Vegas of the body, complete with pulsing neon, star-studded floor shows, exotic animal acts, and throngs of drunken conventioneers perpetually on the prowl for depraved thrills."

Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp
by C.D. Payne

Sunday, January 15, 2012

GGS Em City 01 Routine Conjugal Chillin' P

In today’s podcast Susan, Amelia, and Chris discuss the first four episodes of season 1 of HBO’s first hour-long drama, OZ.

The Routine (directed by Darnell Martin/written by Tom Fontana Theme: Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary)
In the 'Emerald City' experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, we meet some of the diverse inmates who exist in a pecking order of Gangbangers, Latinos, Muslims, Westies, Aryans and Wiseguys. No clear-cut leader emerges--with the possible exception of Kareem Said, a Muslim author who preaches non-violence and abstinence.

Visits, Conjugal & Otherwise (directed by Nick Gomez/written by Tom Fontana Theme: Sex)
With Schibetta and the prison brass in a race to uncover Ortolani's killer (for very different reasons), we see how inmates react to visits both from their wives and (in one case) family members who are also in prison.

God’s Chillin’ (directed by Jean de Segonzac/written by Tom Fontana Theme: religion)
Friction is growing in the wake of two deaths--first Ortoloni and now Johnny Post--so Said, Wiseguy leader Schibetta and Gangbanger Jefferson Keane are brought together by Warden Glynn, who tells them to keep their boys quiet or else he'll lock the prison down. The tension increases after a visit from Governor Devlin. Meanwhile, Keane has found God.

Capital P (directed by Darnell Martin/written by Tom Fontana Theme: Capital Punushment)
Governor Devlin has reinstated capital punishment in the state; and the first Oz prisoner scheduled to die is Jefferson Keane, who killed a Latino in a skirmish set up by the CO's. Before he's executed, Keane donates a kidney to his ailing sister. After Keane's death, Richard L'Italien--slaughterer of women--is executed after he makes a startling admission.

Post-episode research revealed that James Woods was the actor Chris was thinking of - I had trouble seeing Woods as anything other than the creepy-ass killer he played so effectively in The Onion Field. When he went on to play good guys like in Oliver Stone's Salvador, it didn't seem right in my head.
The other intense actor he was thinking of, but couldn't name was Samuel L. Jackson.

Join us Wednesday nights for #TweetSoup and Follow us on Twitter @GeekGirlSoup
Continue the conversation in the Geek Girl Soup Facebook group
Read more on the blog at geekgirlsoup.blogspot.com
Email your questions and comments to GeekGirlSoup@gmail.com
Call or text your questions and comments to 503–GGSOUP-1 that’s 503-447-6871

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We Resolve to Record the Em City Podcast

Over the weekend Susan, Amelia, and Chris recorded a podcast. It was not the first Em City Podcast covering the first four episodes of OZ. Unfortunately, due to miscommunication and work schedules, not all of us had watched all of the episodes, so we decided to do a New Year’s Resolution podcast instead. These aren’t your standard eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight resolutions. These are geek resolutions.
Already, one has been broken because of technical difficulties this time. The audio file sounded like a worn cassette tape – who remembers cassettes? 

In lieu of an audio podcast, we hope you enjoy our Geek Resolutions blog post – imagine our voices and lots of laughter as you read the abridged summary of our conversation. Along with the discussion of resolutions, many TV shows and movies were spoiled. Some of you might be upset with us about that, so those references have been deleted along with some things Amelia's mother should never hear her say.

After we discovered that we couldn’t do the OZ/Em City podcast, we decided to talk about our resolutions for 2012. Susan started it by saying this would be the year she finally learned how to back up/copy her DVDs. Chris tried to teach her how to do this in 2007, but the lessons didn’t take.

Amelia resolved to watch more stuff. One of the shows Amelia admits she hasn’t seen is 30 Rock (which she can watch streaming on Netflix). The season 30 Rock started, Amelia was watching Studio 60 & chose it over 30 Rock, but is not opposed to watching 30 Rock. She would also like to watch the Christopher Eccleston years of Doctor Who along with all of the David Tennant seasons. Have no fear, we have all seen Firefly. Amelia and Susan have seen most of American Horror Story’s (AHS) first season. Chris has seen the entire season and thinks it’s awesome. Amelia posited that the scenes of crying masturbation was what Susan didn’t like. She had only seen one of those scenes. When Amelia had to choose between AHS and Psych, AHS lost.

Chris resolved to clean his Man Cave and spend more time there. He says it’s full of games (board games). His car is also full of games which he takes to multiple locations to play. He has a backlog of games that have been purchased, but not played, one being Skyrim. He then showed a video of a guy punching his way through the game - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhBiNx749Zw  He’s a Badass Viking with epic gauntlets!!

Amelia resolved to “do more geeky type stuff.” She’s planning to start small and attend ComicPalooza and SXSW this year. Susan resolved to join her at both events and attend a few special events at the Alamo Drafthouse. ComicPalooza is Houston’s annual comic book convention. Geek Girl Soup attended an event at the Alamo Drafthouse last November, a showing of The Walking Dead. and we will do it again this year. Chris suggested we attend the Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin. It’s more likely that we’ll attend special showings of our favorite movie quote-a-thons or sing-alongs at our local Alamo Drafthouse.

Susan resolved to unwrap and watch a stack of new DVDs in her collection. Some of the unwatched shows include Life, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Pushing Daisies, Moral Orel, and Everwood. Should Susan be embarrassed that she owns Beastmaster on DVD? Should Chris be embarrassed about his love for the movie Speed Racer? It was made just for him. 

After that we started talking about other shows that we watched this season – Alphas, Sons of Anarchy, Homeland, Dave’s Old Porn, Game of Thrones, and Happy Endings. Chris told us about some shows that came out before their time, American Gothic and Profit. Amelia proved that she knows her Cassidys and told the story of how she found Douglas Adams’ grave in London. Chris suggested that anyone going on a vacation to Hawaii should go diving because it’s awesome! There’s an idea for another podcast – geek vacations… There are possibilities for many other podcasts in this one. But first, we must get started on the Em City Podcast.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Character Reference: Ed Stevens

He's a lawyer. He owns a bowling alley. Two separate things.

Somewhere between Northern Exposures Alaskan quirkiness and the barrage of eccentric characters that filled the lives of the Gilmore Girls was Stuckeyville, the fictional Ohio hometown of one Edward J. Stevens. Ed is a New York City lawyer who loses his job and finds his wife cheating on him thus setting forth a series of events that returns him to the place he grew up. He reconnects with his past and finds a future he didn't necessarily count on.

True, Ed is the kind of charming that may only exist in Hollywood, but it's difficult to not hold out hope that he actually exists. Ed is the guy who is willing to make a complete ass out of himself for a girl or to cheer up his friends. And who can resist a good $10 bet?

Lit Quotes 102

"Mankind, I suppose, is designed to run on - be motivated by - temptation. If progress is a virtue then this is our greatest gift. (For what is curiosity if not intellectual temptation? And what progress is there without curiosity?)"

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
by Christopher Moore

Monday, January 2, 2012

Character Reference: Tobias Beecher

Since we are beginning the Em City Podcast, a rewatch of the HBO drama OZ, we are beginning the series with a look at one of its main characters, played by Lee Tergsen pictured below.

Tobias Beecher is prisoner number 97B412, Convicted July 5, 1997 of driving while intoxicated & vehicular manslaughter, sentenced to 15 years, up for parole in four. Episode 1 of OZ (The Routine) opens with Beecher coming to the Oswald State Correctional Facility after his conviction and former life as a corporate attorney, husband, and father.Unfortunately for Beecher, this was his third conviction for drunk driving, and the judge wanted to make an example of him, so she gave him the harshest possible punishment.

Beecher begins prison life as a mild mannered and timid target for other inmates. The show's 56 episodes document his personal transformation and experiences along with the effect his imprisonment has on his family. While in prison, he makes friends and enemies, battles his alcohol addiction, and "became the man he always was and never knew."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lit Quotes 101

"Rich, relative to my background, meant buying my own food and clothing and being able to pay the rent. Fame, to me then, meant something as basic as not having to constantly explain myself, earning a reputation and, along with that, room in which to pursue my interests. I didn't want anyone to kiss my ass, I just wanted to get to a place where they couldn't kick it."

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox