For a program like Fox's new version of the classic Carl Sagan science series Cosmos, images are worth billions and billions of words. Behold!
Premiering tonight at 9pm on the Fox broadcast network along with a slew of other Fox-affiliated cable networks ganged together for a huge simulcast event, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is an update of Sagan's seminal scientific series Cosmos: A Personal Journey which electrified PBS viewers over thirty years ago. Sagan's widow Ann Druyan is one of the forces behind this re-do, as is animation dynamo Seth McFarlane, and they've picked the very best guy out there to carry on in Sagan's footsteps as our guide to the Universe. Astrophysicist, Hayden Planetarium director and frequent science media personality Neil
Follow him on Twitter here, and listen to a great recent interview on NPR here.
At a time when Science is frequently under assault by a certain vociferous slice of the population (especially in America, where sadly it's not merely a philosophical debate but one often framed by money and self-interest), Cosmos could play an important part in re-igniting the wonder that makes us appreciate our precarious and precious place in Space. Indeed, the planet is groaning under the collective weight of intellectual apathy and outmoded superstitions. Bring it on, Cosmos!
Predictably postive reviews out there already for the show, including this one from Maureen Ryan at Huffington Post which includes a charming paragraph about the reactions her young son had; this from USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. Many more out there, of course.
The 13-part Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey airs tonight at 9pm on the combined Fox networks and then only on Fox proper for the rest of the episodes, with extra-footage encores appearing on the National Geographic Channel at 10pm Monday nights and also 10pm Fridays.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Netflix released all 13 episodes of "House of Cards" on 2-14-2014. Warning to the 12 regular readers of The Flaming Nose: I binge watched them all in three days and will be spoiling a few memorable moments in this post. So go away and come back after you've ruined your own life by watching a baker's dozen of the darkest, greyest, gloomiest, AND most irresistible TV series since Breaking Bad rode off into the sunset. Actually BB was a laugh riot compared to House of Cards. At least the meth fest had "better call Sol" the lawyer for comic relief. There are zero laughs in HOC unless you think it's hilarious that a pale puppy looking secret service agent would have a three way tryst with the Vice President and his wife on their Georgetown kitchen table.
Season 2 starts out with a bang, so if you only have time to watch an episode here or there, the first one is deeply satisfying and will haunt your dreams for a while. It's shocking (bye bye Zoe the annoying political blogger), and it jumps into the deep end of Francis Underwood's first term as Vice President. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are mesmerizing as the perfectly matched monsters who will claw their way to the top of D.C.'s power chain without getting so much as a drop of blood on their designer couture. But Frank is starting to crack in Season 2. He has uncontrollable hissy fits and is beginning to break things. He also symbolically buries his Citadel class ring, and stays up late painting miniature models of Civil War soldiers. Frank has become irredeemable in Season 2, even throwing his one regular friend (Freddy, the down home BBQ ribs dude) under the bus. He lies, he kills, he twists he squirms yet by the end of the season, the silky voiced southerner is ready to assume the most powerful job in the world.
- Frank's triumphant double knuckle rap every time he thinks he's pulled another fast one.
- Frank's birthday cuff links (his initials, braying a brash F.U. to the world).
- Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) the "Edward Snowden" anti government high tech hacker.
- Cashew, Gavin's adorable giant guinea pig who thank God does not meet a horrible fate.
- Dan Lanagin (Gil Birmingham), the casino owner. Yeah he's rotten and greedy too, but it's so rare to see a Native American character as powerful overlord instead of victim, I'll take it.
- Politicians do horrible things in House of Cards. But they don't ever do silly things, and I for one could use a bit of comic relief in Season 3. HOC producers, take a cue from Weiner's real life underwear tweets and give us some slap-stick misbehavior next time around. It's un-American to be so relentlessly dour.
Posted by Jane at 3:17 PM