Thursday, November 29, 2007

At the Crossroads with Eric Clapton and PBS

Here's a little departure from our usual fare. This is a shout out to any Flaming Nose fans who love a) Blues, b) Classic rock and roll, c) Eric Clapton d) PBS television (God bless it in all it's glory) or e) all of the above.

If you fit into any of these categories, please do yourself an enormous favor and seek out the incredible...absolutely glorious Great Performances feature of Eric Clapton's Crossroads 2007 tour video. Whether you catch it as a repeat on your local PBS station (in my case KCET-Los Angeles), make a donation to PBS and get the DVD (highly recommended), download it off of the Internet, watch it on your iPod....the pipeline is irrelevant, the content is everything. This is one of the best rock concert videos I have ever witnessed, and I've seen plenty. The good news: stars, contents, camera angles, all superb. The TV broadcast sound could have been better, but I'm hoping they will correct tracts and levels in the studio for the DVD release.

Bill Murray, Saturday Night Live alumni and all around comic genius, hosted this concert special which featured some of the most luminary, rock-out, transplendant guitar Gods still left alive on the planet. I watched it in HDTV and my head is still vibrating from: Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Los Lobos, John Mayer, Buddy Guy and...(older, heavier, but still for my money the sexiest and only Native American Mohawk guitar God on the planet, Robbie Robertson!) Dispersed among these seasoned blues-rock legends, were some amazing young talent. My hat is off to Dereck Trucks, relative of Butch Trucks from the one and only Allman Bros Band. This young guy (who bears a remarkable resemblance to Greg Allman, and similar slide guitar sound to the late Duane Allman) is an absolute wonder. Another don't miss prodigy was the young girl playing bass with Jeff Beck on two songs. New and old all rocked together magnificently. Not that anyone cares, I had a really crappy day today, toiling away on my real life Internet job. I have to admit, coming home to this PBS gem after a long hard day, really made my heart soar. Check out this amazing special, and yours will do the same.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Les Miserables in Miami

"Don't Get Caught!"

The tantalizing passion play continues and it's starting to feel like a chapter out of Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables. Our hero Dexter (Jean Valjean) dispatcher of evil doers and all around nice guy, pursued relentlessly by the obsessive cop Doakes (Javert) who won't rest until Dexter is brought low. It's a lovely, blood drenched, beautifully choreographed dance and guess what fellow Dexter-Stalkers?....we only have three more weeks of this tango before the season ends. I could weep.

In this week's episode, "There's Something About Harry", Dexter the dragon slayer (avert your eyes spoiler haters) miraculously escapes discovery when the feds discover his stolen blood sample treasure box in Doake's car. Thus Doakes becomes the prime suspect before he can finger his nemesis and Dexter is appointed the chief forensic investigator of his own victim's blood splotches. It was a sweet twist, and I did not see it coming.

OK's time for the first ever Flaming Nose official Dexter Poll. Please select one of the following moments from this week's episode as your favorite. You may leave your vote in the comment section:
  1. The brief glimpse of Agent Lundy's pale, yet surprisingly firm middle aged butt.
  2. Doakes and the hand-cuffed Dexter thrashing about in the Everglades. Gator bait? Not in this episode. Darn.
  3. Lila's inappropriate (and yes Irish accented) goat joke.
  4. The teenager Dexter's field trip with Harry to see someone flash fried in old Smokey. (This is Florida, and yes they still do have "the chair")
  5. Other?
I do finally have one tiny complaint this week. Dexter's tangled love life is getting a little tedious. Why must he choose between sugary Cinderella Rita and her banana pancakes and Lila the whippet thin anti-Christ? Why can't he find a nice, quirky, somewhat damaged girl like his sister Deb? Not that I'm suggesting that he take up with his sister, that would be weird. How about someone a little off beat and edgy? Someone drop dead gorgeous with a corrected harelip, a large collection of sci-fi movies and a cat. Just a thought for next that we know (hip hip hooray!) that there will be a third season for our beloved Dexter and his merry band of Miami misfits.

Discover The Big Bang Theory

Please tell me I'm not the only one out there loving CBS' hilarious comedy The Big Bang Theory? I wrote about it a while back, and find that every episode is a complete delight. It's smart (or at least the jokes are smarty-pants funny and there's nothing funnier), and the cast is excellent. The two leads pictured to the left, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki, are incredibly talented and have a great sense of physical comedy as well as the ability to get all the many laughs out of the absurdly intricate dialogue. They are adorable together.

I'm also very impressed with Kaley Cuoco as their beautiful neighbor Penny. Unlike many ultra-attractive gals on TV and in life, this one has great comic timing and manages to effectively and affectionately delineate a character who often isn't even on the same wavelength as the brilliant physicist roommates. She's really quite good and you actually look forward to her interaction with the boys.

This show is one of the gems out there and nobody's talking about it. All the attention goes to either its lead-in How I Met Your Mother or its lead-out Two and a Half Men. The real fun is being stuck in the middle with the geeky adorable boys of The Big Bang Theory. If you've missed episodes or never seen one at all, visit the show's CBS website and catch up with some online eps. I would hate to see this terrific series continue to labor under the radar. Now, who knows what the writers strike is doing to the episode pool, but there's no better time than the present to fall in love with the show and root for it.

P.S.: On a bit of a sidenote, The Big Bang Theory theme song is by the group The Barenaked Ladies, and founding bandmember Ed Robertson has a wonderful show on up here in Canada on the OLN network called Ed's Up, where he flies all over in his float plane and takes on various adventures. It's hilarious but doesn't seem to be on the Versus net in the U.S. which is what OLN is now called there. Maybe you can find some episodes someplace...I'll look around, too.

Awaiting Jane's Brilliant Weekly Dexter Post

At The Flaming Nose, we've sort of officially appointed Jane the chronicler of Dexter, setting us straight each week. Her posts are so good -- well worth waiting for! And it will be coming soon! (Pictured on the left, the treacherous Lila!)

In the meantime, I'll just offer up a few good things, such as a link to some nifty promo photos from the rest of the season's episodes. Take a look; though they're from the accurately-named Spoiler TV blog, I think you'll be merely titillated and piqued by what you see. Certainly they give away something, but I'm not sure what! I just know I can't wait to see those remaining episodes. You should also definitely take a look at the two long clips from next week's episode "There's Something About Harry" to give yourself a taste of what's coming up.

I tend to poke around the Dexter forums, and again, some consternation about the appearance of Special Agent Lundy's pale behind after that nice pillow talk with Debra. His ass was just fine, folks, and it was nice to see them relating with such ease and also a bit touching to see Deb in such awe of his mature romantic skillz. (Also amusing to see that he would like to fatten her up a bit.) I would venture to say that time spent with Lundy in the sack certainly beats hours on that treadmill at the gym, at least for now.

I won't say anymore until Jane sets us all straight with her post! Well, okay, one thing. Yes, I know Dexter acted like a fool with the out-of-control Lila (though I must give credit to her for telling that goat joke, in her excellent Irish dialect--had to love her for that!), but wow, Rita's damning "You slept with another woman" remark to him when he was on her lawn seemed awfully prissy to me. And Dexter's sincere "Yeah, and I'm sorry" wasn't enough for her. I think I liked her better when she was a little less harsh, but I'm sure nobody agrees with me on that. And now poor Angel's getting tangled in Lila's web. We all know he's lonely, but that's not going to go well!

Okay, enough. I await Jane's wisdom.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Old News is Good News Re: Dexter!

You may already know this, but this short article from Media Daily News says it all:

Showtime's 'Dexter' Highest-Rated Series For Net

Monday, Nov 26, 2007 7:45 AM ET

WHO SAYS CRIME DOESN'T PAY? The Showtime original series "Dexter" snagged its biggest audience ever last Sunday night, Nov. 18--1.23 million viewers, nearly 10% of the subscriber base--per Nielsen Media Research. It's not just the second-season series that is celebrating. These findings boast the biggest audience ever for a Showtime series. "Dexter" has just been renewed for a third season.

The Flaming Nose will hope and assume that last night's episode was met with similar viewing levels -- it was an amazing episode and we'll dissect it very soon! Of course, you also have to consider all the repeats of the episodes, which means many, many people are enjoying Dexter, certainly the best show that's out there this season!

Best news is that Dexter's been renewed for another season! A reason to live, certainly....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Showtime's Best: Another Episode of Dexter Up Tonight, Sunday!

To the left is Erik King, who plays the intense Sgt. Doakes, Dexter's dogged adversary. In last week's episode he discovered the cache of blood slides hidden inside the air conditioner in Dexter's apartment, and we know from the previews that those slides end up on Special Agent Lundy's desk this week. The Flaming Nose would venture to say that it's not going to go well for either Doakes or Dexter, but we will soon find out!

Erik King has been incredible as Doakes, fairly seething with dislike and distrust for Dexter, and as Dexter amazedly has himself noted, he's the only one in the department who in any way picked up on any weird vibes coming from the Miami PD's resident serial killer. Speculation is rampant in the Dexter fan world as to what's going to become of Doakes, his obsession already having led to his suspension and that's surely only the beginning of the trouble coming up for him. King is a standout in Dexter's superb cast and I'm sure none of us want anything too horrible to befall him; we want him around for many more episodes.

And what's going to become of Lila tonight? She's treading on some mighty thin ice, after going nose-to-nose (and not in a good sexy way) with Dexter last week. And what's up in the May-December romance department between Deb and Lundy? Please, we want more!

Do we even need to remind you to watch Dexter tonight on Showtime? The Flaming Nose Dexter Auxiliary will be glued to our TV sets all across this great land (and beyond) for what looks like a particularly gripping episode. Come back for reactions soon after the episode airs!

Join us in our Dexter obsession! You'll thank us....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our nostalgia files, here is the multi-talented Danny Kaye as a hapless Thanksgiving turkey on The Danny Kaye Show, his CBS variety show that ran from 1963 to 1967.

Since we can't be right there beside you serving you turkey and dressing, this photo will have to do as a thank you to everyone who enjoys The Flaming Nose as much as we do!

Thanks for visiting and come back often!

-- The Entire Flaming Nose Gang

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PU-239 on HBO

Don't miss the amazing HBO original film PU-239 which premiered on Saturday 11.17.07, and will be repeated often. This is a tale of terrible times in modern, Post-Soviet Russia, where people scramble to make sense of their new fractured capitalist society while little things, (like maybe a vial of weapons grade pure plutonium) fall through its widening cracks. Irish actor Paddy Considine plays a very believable Russian nuclear engineer and an absolutely riveting Oscar Isaac is Shiv, the street gangster with a red leather jacket, and heart of gold for his young son and The Jackson Five. I thought this movie would be a straight forward political thriller, but it is more a pitch black Tarantino-esque satire than anything else. Definitely worth tuning in, check it out on the HBO website, or find it on your DVR menu and press record. Spaciba, HBO. We are reminded again, that the best movies around don't require a $30 trip to the Cineplex.

Dexter: Our (Oops, I Mean His) Days Are Numbered

Dear Readers,

Are you bored with our constant fawning and drooling over the magnificence of this program? Are you wondering when we will ever find something...ANYTHING... to complain about with the crazy Dexter show, to end our constant deification of this humble Showtime offering? Sorry, don't hold your breath. It's not going to happen here, not with this episode. Yes it is true; my fellow blogger Lisa and I remain, ever prostrate before the greatness of Dexter. We are Dexter stalkers now. It's probably not healthy. Thank God this latest episode shows signs of things coming to a terrifying end. It will probably be best for all of us.

So what did I love about this week's episode? What didn't I love? From Dexter's final Everglade's shack dispatch of the evil bastard who killed his mother (By the way...anybody notice the highway and surroundings while he drove there? Absolutely realistic, I've been on that road). To the confrontation with Lila the insane Pyromaniac witch..."If you ever come near Rita WILL see the monster..." Oh how we love it when the Dext gets rough!

The bitchy Debra--Lila cat fight comments were sublime. And finally, we have the absolutely horrifying moment, when Sgt Doakes removes the air conditioner in Dexter's apartment and finds (Oh No!) our hero's alphabetically organized collection of microscope slide blood splotches. The end is near.

And yes I continue to obsess about the Agent Lundy and sister Debra dance. It's a little creepy, because he is such a control freak. The spank was nice. I thought I might like to eat whatever fancy thing he was cooking. But here's something...and you heard it here first. I'm having a pre-cog about Agent Lundy. He might be a bad guy too. Extra bad.

Stay tuned fellow Dexter-stalkers! As they say in baseball and the finest horror ain't over till it's over!

30 Rock's Alec Baldwin on Turner Classic Movies Tonight

Fans of 30 Rock's wonderful Alec Baldwin might want to tune into Turner Classic Movies tonight (Tuesday 11/19) starting at 8pm eastern, for his turn in the TCM Guest Programmer seat, a festival that's been going on all this month.

He'll be presenting four interesting choices: the Vincente Minnelli-directed 1952 behind-the-scenes Hollywood drama The Bad and the Beautiful, starring (my favorite) Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner; director Stanley Kramer's mile-a-minute 1963 comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; 1962's fascinating biography of convict Robert Stroud who became The Birdman of Alcatraz (I had parakeets when I was a kid and bought a copy of Stroud's bird tome, and it had a photo of Stroud's portrayer Burt Lancaster on the cover!); and lastly the Barbara Stanwyck drive-you-crazy thriller Sorry, Wrong Number, directed by Anatole Litvak, from 1948.

This should be fascinating and it's a nice line-up of films. Baldwin is clearly an astute and intelligent actor and has excellent taste in movies, as you can see from his choices. It's good to see comedy mixed in with the serious stuff, isn't it?

Check out the TCM website for more information on the movies!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Darkon on IFC

You know how you can think you're catching everything good to watch, and then you find out you missed something great? Well, even though it premiered on IFC last week, the newish documentary Darkon will be playing several more times this week, and I know I'll be watching!

It's about people who play a real life version of something like Dungeons and Dragons in the fields near Baltimore, Maryland, the realm of Darkon. The tagline "Everybody Wants To Be A Hero" says it all. Part re-enactor-play, part Renaissance Faire, part action-adventure chase, the world of Darkon is generously celebrated (reportedly, I haven't seen it yet) in the documentary, and we get to meet some of the charming folks who take time from the grind of everyday life to live and die gloriously on this fanciful field of battle.

Naturally I'm totally sympathetic and envious of anybody who plays like this. Give me a guy with a fake sword and a battle helmet over some corporate lawyer with a tennis racket any day!

Check out the Darkon website on IFC and especially play around with their Ye Olde Name Generator which is silly and fun. Consult the schedule here for dates and times for Darkon and a behind-the-scenes special on the making of the film. Darkon plays this week on Thursday, Nov. 22nd, several times, so be sure to catch it!

Dexter -- It's All Good

Can you stand the suspense? The heat is on Dexter, that's putting it mildly, and the speculation is rampant. How's he going to get out of this one? Sgt. Doakes has discovered Dexter's secret stash of his victims' blood sample slides. Uh oh.

Hey, and Debra and Lundy seem to have officially hooked up in a big way. Though I am totally for this May-December relationship, I was fearful what would happen once they were alone together. Please, I hoped, don't make it icky. And it wasn't, though I did get a tinge of maybe Lundy playing Deb to get close to Dexter, or maybe not? Certainly Debra is infatuated with Lundy, completely, but I'm not totally convinced it's mutual. Lundy seems to be sexually titillated by the frank yet awkward Debra, but again, I'm not beyond thinking he might be faking something to further his investigation. However, maybe he's just tickled by Deb's shameless profanity, her bravado, and her potential. Would he do something as potentially risky as fucking a much-younger co-worker just for fun? Or only in the line of duty? I guess we'll find out....

Lila (Jaime Murray, maddeningly brilliant!) is a complete nutcase, and Dexter's onto her. I loved the open hostility between Debra and Lila, mostly on Debra's side with some hilarious barbs coming out and also with the side-effect of Deb and Dexter having a bit of tension between them. Very interesting considering the mess that is undoubtedly coming up and the loyalties that will certainly be tested.

And can we give a shout out to the rest of the cast, especially David Zayas as Angel Batista, one of the team working on with Lundy? Zayas has been incredible since the beginning of Dexter, of course, and now has gone beyond even his previous great job to take Batista to another level. Batista's anger, dismay and hurt at the notion of the Bay Harbor Butcher being someone in the department is palpable. I also loved the development of his character as a voracious reader, a nice touch that brought Angel further to life. Zayas is tremendous.

This show is too much! What the hell are we going to do when this second season is over? I'm already feeling sad contemplating it.

I can't wait to see what Jane has to say about this week's episode.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Jewel in the Crown of the Peacock

30 Rock is an Emmy Award winning, breathtakingly hilarious, brilliantly written comedy that is chock full of mega stars. Can somebody please tell me why this program is not in the top ten ratings every week? I don't get it. Yeah, it's sometimes too "inside" about the wacky world of TV, but there are always enough broad stroke, even slap-sticky scenes to delight even the most clueless citizen from the fly-over parts of the country. If you don't believe me, paste this link in your browser and see for yourself. Better yet, visit the NBC website where you can watch over a dozen past episodes of 30 Rock for free. NBC has one of the friendliest, easiest websites for viewing streaming video of full episodes you might have missed. You have to watch one commercial or promo to see them, but it's worth it for such a quick and simple way to watch TV from your PC.

This week's episode was insane and divine, with comedy show producer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) convinced that her neighbors were Islamic terrorists and right wing network exec Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin appearing wonderfully against type) falling for a Democrat pol from Vermont, played fetchingly by Edie Falco. The "C" story followed innocent and goofy Kenneth the Page as he attempted to replace Jack's missing $2500 Tuxedo pants. Jack McBrayer plays Kenneth perfectly as a fish out of water Georgia peach in the big city. He is a modern day Gomer Pyle but more angelic than annoying.

For my money, Alex Baldwin is the funniest man on television, bar none. He reduced special guest star and NBC deity Jerry Seinfeld to playing the straight man in one episode. He brawled with Nathan Lane who played his drunken Irish brother. He once stopped mid scene and licked a poster of a steak in Liz Lemon's office. He is magnificently pompous and funny and sexy and horrible all at the same time. He struts around the Peacock's offices like a peacock, with his lips pursed in a prissy little pout that reminds me of Donald Trump. And Tiny Fey is brilliant as his foil...the girl who was always smarter and funnier than anybody else in the room but is still a couple of C cups short of confident with her femininity. She is like Rosemary from the Dick Van Dyke show if Rosemary had been really pretty and wore cool blue jeans.

30 Rock guest stars have included such comic luminaries and mega stars as Paul Reubens, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and Isabella Rosellini. I have not seen a single episode that wasn't utterly pitch perfect and satisfying from start to finish. It's a half hour comedy that has the power and wit and speed of a terrific viral 30 second spot. Why isn't the whole world watching?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This Week's NOVA on PBS: Judgment Day

Wow! Excellent special two-hour edition of PBS's NOVA this week! Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial details the 2004 fight, in Dover, Pennsylvania, over the inclusion of the "Intelligent Design"--Creationism by any other name--into the curriculum of science classes teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

This program had me alternately dumbfounded, angry, and appalled, but ultimately heartened yet still fearful for the future of science education in the United States. While the rest of us are concerned with everyday matters and reasonably sure we're truly in the 21st century, not back during the days of the Scopes Trial, there's an organization or two in the U.S. whose goal, clearly stated, is to return the U.S. to nothing less than faith-based education, and the fight in Dover, PA was just one of the battles along the way.

If you love science and reason, if you are dismayed by superstition and supernaturalism working its way into classrooms under the guise of keeping an open mind, if you want to believe that sometimes you just have to risk being labeled "atheist" or worse, and threatened with death for wanting to keep religion out of science classes--well, you will love this special NOVA.

What it took to win at least this one victory, in addition to a Republican judge who surprisingly and commendably didn't slavishly tow the party line on the inclusion of the new Creationism (according to Pres. Bush, "ID" should be taught in schools), was relentless work and a committment from concerned parents not to have their children receive sub-standard education. And they learned another lesson: local entites like school boards are prime targets for "ID" proponents to infiltrate and influence educational standards, just because the elections are often below the radar and ignored by the average citizen. If you don't pay attention to who's running for these posts, you're going to get someone with their own agenda, as they found out in Dover.

NOVA Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial is must-viewing for anyone who wants a well-produced and fascinating look at this very important subject. Highly recommended!

Check out the PBS website for the program for excellent background materials, and check your local listings for the repeat date. The program premiered Tuesday the 13th in most areas.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Diving into the Dark Side of Dexter

(We have more Dexter here! Be sure to check out our latest posts! New visitors to The Flaming Nose who may have come here from the Showtime link-- and great to see you here! -- can find our whole Dexter collection by checking out our "Labels" area on the lower right hand side of the page and clicking on "Dexter." Be sure to check them all out and please leave comments! Thanks for visiting!)

The second season of Dexter has evolved in delightful ways that we never would have anticipated. The looming May-December love affair between Debra and Agent Lundy is mesmerizing, as Lisa has so eloquently described in her postings. The arrival and (thank God) recent banishment of Rita's overbearing mother has been odd and unpredictable. I vote for Mommy Dearest as the most evil person yet in a program where bad guys sprout like mushrooms in the night. This series is a burlap bag full of oddballs and sweaty psychopaths, and Episode 7, "That Night a Forest Grew", has revealed some of the most damp and twisted layers yet. Our boy Dexter is becoming quite the awful fellow. Last season he was such a sweet guy, a cuddly do-good boy scout with a really mean knife. Yeah, he had a thing for blood spatter and dismemberment, but hey...they were all bad guys, so it was fine. Wasn't it?

But lately Dexter has started to morph into a bad guy too. He lies and cheats on sugary, clueless Rita. He obsesses about saving his own skin, even to the point of implicating an innocent man in murder. He's into rough sex with Lila the nutcase artist. (By the way, best sex scenes ever in this latest episode...had to hit the TiVo reverse button many times. I highly recommend it in HDTV).

However the darkest side of Dexter yet was revealed quite suddenly this week when he head butted Sgt Doakes, causing the ex-Special Forces veteran to go utterly berserk and get fired. It happened so suddenly I actually felt sorry for the hapless Sergeant. He KNOWS that Dexter is guilty as sin, and for his conviction he's now headed for the unemployment line.

I love the tough new Dexter. He's creepier and sexier. He's less a victim now and anything could happen. Bravo to the writers too (wherever they are...probably on a picket line somewhere) for keeping the tension in the program in perfect balance. One minute we're watching crazy Lila burn down her cannibal sculptures and the next moment it's all about awkward love as Debra and Agent Lundy eat their one o'clock briefcase sandwiches by the Miami Bay.

Watching Dexter is all about love for me. Love for television at its absolute best.

Dexter -- Drilling Down into the Deb/Lundy thing

Okay, I admit it. I'm a teeny bit too much into Dexter.

However, that being said, if you're watching the show -- as all good Flaming Nose fans should be by now -- and judging by the reaction on Showtime's message boards, the budding relationship between Dexter's sister Debra and Agent Lundy is getting some heated reactions. Some Dexter viewers think it's just grand, others are on the verge of nausea. I don't understand why the notion that they could be attracted in some way to each other creeps some people out so much. Heck, it's a lot purer than some old guy with a lot of money buying a sexy girlfriend, which is a not-uncommon real life situation. This is one attraction with its basis in the brain, and maybe that's why it's so cool to watch.

I think they have an interesting and complex dynamic going on. Certainly Lundy realizes he's a bit of an old fogey, set in his ways and no kid anymore, and he's obviously responding to her brain, her youth, her brash idiosyncratic nature -- it's all fascinating, especially probably to somebody like Lundy, who is part button-down and part immersed in a psycho world that he obviously "gets" in a deep and disturbing way. Deb's a girl he can talk serial killers with, and that's gotta be a nice change.

Surely whatever transpires, it won't be forever. Lundy won't be there indefinitely, he lives someplace else, and they'll move on, but for now it's part of a growth thing for Deb and an unexpected and pleasant surprise for Lundy. We know he's particularly vulnerable and probably lonely now, with a dead wife and alone in a strange city, working on a creepy case, and to find someone like Deb with a unique background and obviously still forming her take on life, it's all good. Plus the cop in Lundy’s got to be totally into the fact that she loved a serial killer and lived to tell about it. As for Deb, who wouldn't like somebody knowledgeable to open their mind up to something beyond rock music and working out? She's not an idiot or a whore, she's just a tough gal who probably has never been exposed to a lot of things. She's hungry to learn, and that's a pretty sexy place to be in itself.

And in terms of Deb bedding too many guys, as some viewers have complained, she's got a unique and understandably almost masculine bravado about lots of things, like screwing and cussing and whatever. So she kids around like a guy and talks about sex without squirming...she's hilarious and delightful. She's a cop's kid, what do you expect? She's heard and seen things all her life that have taken the romantic blush off any human behavior. Maybe she needs some of that romance put back on, and she may see it in Lundy's courtly integrity and intelligence. Plus older men frequently just ARE attractive, for tons of reasons. She's not nuts for having a crush on him, not at all.

I say Go, Girl! And I don't think that either doing it or not doing it with Lundy will ruin either of their lives, but I hope it happens because it might be sweet and a nice contrast to the evil that Lila's inflicting on Dexter as they fuck their way into a hellish place together.

Jennifer Carpenter, along with the writers of course, have made Debra into a real flesh-and-blood character and one of the most unique women on TV. I think she's terrific, absolutely outstanding! Keith Carradine as Agent Lundy is beyond wonderful.

Here's the only thing I'm afraid of: Lundy is no kid, and since we know Deb is one passionate gal in bed (self-confessed), she might kill him while they're doing it. Remember that plaque in his arteries....

Gosh, I hope that doesn't happen, though!

(I wonder if men vs. women feel differently as a group about the Deb/Lundy thing? Possibly not...maybe it's just an individual gut reaction to the situation. But I'm still thinking women might see the erotic appeal of Lundy more than a guy would.)

Jane has promised a Dexter post very soon, and I'm really looking forward to that one!

Dexter repeats many times during the week and also is available on Showtime VOD! Go, Watch, Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Watching Disaster

Hope that you all will be watching The History Channel tonight for a trio of end-of-the-world specials which sound yummy. First up, starting at 7pm, is Last Days on Earth Part 1, with the conclusion at 8pm. It's a rundown of the seven ways that the Earth could meet a sudden end, including perennial favorites like a super volcano, asteroid collision and other delights.

Following this at 9pm is A Global Warning? which is a two-hour look at the worst climate disasters that befell Earth in the past and what might lie in store in the future. Looks like it will have lots of scientists, scary images and dire predictions. Just my kind of stuff....

The only challenge is trying to juggle watching these great calamitous hours and getting our dose of The Flaming Nose's official Favorite Show Dexter on Showtime tonight.

When in doubt, Dexter must be served!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Star Trek News

Okay, I think this deserves a mention here. It won't mean much to folks who aren't Trek fans, but those of you who are, what's your opinion of Winona Ryder being cast as Amanda, Spock's human mother in the J.J. upcoming Star Trek theatrical movie? As all good Trekkers recall, in ST:TOS Amanda was played by the classy Jane Wyatt, in the episode "Journey to Babel" when Spock's father Sarek and his mother came on board on the way to an intergalactic conference. (Pictured, Mark Lenard as Sarek and Jane Wyatt as Amanda).

I think she's probably as fine a choice as any, and it will be good to see her joining an interesting cast, which also now includes Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood in the role of Captain Christopher Pike, the first captain of the Enterprise. The character of Pike (played by the late Jeffrey Hunter) was introduced in the very first Trek pilot called "The Cage," footage of which was included in the two-part episode "The Menagerie" in the first season.

For a Trekker, this new movie looms large on the horizon and it will be exciting (if perhaps a bit sad, too) to have different actors and actresses portraying the characters we've known and love for over forty years. As I said, not exciting for non-Trek fans, but thrilling for the rest of us!

The Boosh is Back!

Okay, I may have been a little hasty with my BBC America rant the other day. It happens that they have been running some episodes of The Mighty Boosh, but strangely enough, they don't give TMB its own page in the list of programs they air. They used to have a page for it, and it's a shame that it's gone. The only way to you could find it is to scan the listings which is asking a lot from viewers. In any case, looks like Boosh has a Friday night at 1am airtime, but I don't know if that's Eastern or Pacific or what. You'll have to figure that out for yourself....

But may I recommend The Mighty Boosh to you? If you hate insane British comedy, say -- like if you detest Monty Python and wouldn't watch it if your life depended on it -- then skip this one, too. You'd hate it. But if you think you could enjoy the comedy adventures of sort of a post-modern Hope and Crosby duo, a couple of best friends who (at least in Season One) work in a run-down zoo, then The Mighty Boosh is for you!

I discovered it several years and just love it. The creation of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding, who formally introduced their world of The Mighty Boosh at the famed Edinburgh Festival in the late ‘90s, TMB has since seen life as a BBC Radio series, two seasons on BBC TV, a touring stage show in the UK, and rumors are there may be a movie in the future.

It couldn’t happen to a more talented, insane and original duo. Barratt and Fielding’s comedic vision must be seen to be appreciated, and probably seen more than once; there’s a lot to absorb, and the show’s pace takes no prisoners, but it’s worth the effort. Barratt plays Howard Moon, jazz-lover, frustrated thespian, and zookeeper at the rundown animal park Zoo-Niverse; his partner-in-comedy is Fielding, as Vince Noir, fellow zoo employee, a Cockney clotheshorse who never has a bad hair day, a music-loving boy-toy, and a self-described “Mowgli in flares” for his uncanny ability to communicate with the animals. Together with their boss, the definitely nuts Bob Fossil, who knows nothing about running a zoo -- not even what the animals are called -- and who only has eyes for the Zoo-Niverse’s owner, the dashing and pompous explorer/mad scientist Dixon Bainbridge, and with a little help from Naboo the hip shaman, Howard and Vince embark upon fantastical adventures, meet weird characters, and sing catchy original pop ditties.

It’s not a sketch show, like Little Britain, that other Brit import that’s caught on big over here, and parts of it are a bit of a throwback (in a really good way) -- you’ll find Vince and Howard (at least during the first season of the show) introing the show in front of a curtain –- though it certainly doesn’t quite fit into any one category. The tone has been likened to Monty Python, but aside from the obvious absurdist similarities, The Mighty Boosh is a totally unique and essentially obsessed comic animal, and so will no doubt confuse as many folks as it charms. It’s definitely charmed me and I hope you’ll fall for it, too.

Visit the Official Boosh Website here, and here's Wikipedia's quick overview of the show. There are lots of great Boosh clips and entire shows on YouTube, including this promo for their brand new eagerly awaited Season Three which starts next week on the BBC. Check 'em out!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dexter -- Our Weekly Love Letter

(As a courtesy to new visitors to The Flaming Nose who may have come here from the Showtime link-- and great to see you here! -- we'll list our other Dexter posts here so you don't miss them: Original Post, Jane's amazing Second Post, Third Post -- the one you've you're about to read is our Fourth -- and a new Fifth Post. Jane's latest Post, our Sixth! More coming soon! Enjoy!)

We haven't posted our weekly paean to Dexter yet -- what's wrong with us, anyway?

The show continues to amaze, and if you are following the excitement, you know that it looks as though Agent Lundy, the FBI guy, might have serious suspicions about Dexter, or at least Dexter thinks so. And of course Sgt. Doakes is convinced -- still -- that Dexter is up to something. Pictured are Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and Lt. LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), who managed to manipulate her way back into her position as division boss by essentially driving her office rival crazy jealous by secretly sleeping with her boyfriend. It was a fascinating reveal when it happened and a thoroughly reprehensible tactic, but you have to admit LaGuerta is really good at her job.

And speaking of Agent Lundy, is he requesting Dexter's forensic services because he really is disgusted with the pervy Masuka, or he is studying Dexter like a bug? It's pretty obvious now that Debra, Dexter's sister, has a crush on Lundy (and rightfully so, say Jane and I!), but is it reciprocated or is he just playing her to get more insight on her brother?

Just doing some math, Jennifer Carpenter who plays Debra was born in 1979, and Keith Carradine, who's Lundy, in 1949. Yeah, it's a thirty year difference, but such is the way of the world that it's perfectly plausible that they might hook up. (It's only kinda weird when you realize that Carradine's real-life daughter, actress Martha Plimpton, is nine years older than Carpenter.) It's hardly Lolita time, though....

So much for May-December crushes. Whether or not this one goes any further (I vote yes), on another sexual front Dexter himself has gotten entangled with his loopy Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Lila, putting his ongoing relationship with Rita on the skids. On the Showtime Dexter forums, the character of Lila is pretty much universally pegged as a bad thing for Dexter, and I guess we'll see whether she survives her liaison with our favorite serial killer.

I don't mean to make this show sound like a soap opera, which it certainly isn't. It's deeply intricate drama with fascinating characters, brilliantly executed. Watch it! Listen to it, too -- there's a soundtrack album out and on the Showtime website you can listen to it all. Here's my favorite bit from the score, the Blood theme.

To remind you again, Dexter airs on Showtime Sundays at 9pm.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Torchwood, Anyone?

Does anybody around here watch Torchwood on BBC America? I've been intrigued by the show for a while and have watched parts of several episodes, and am sure that I'd love it if I stuck with it, but haven't so far, not quite. If you're like me, you probably have shows that you're pretty certain that you would like, or are inclined to like merely from the description, but maybe haven't gotten around to yet. Torchwood is one of those for me.

It's from the folks who bring you Doctor Who, and I'd also put the new DW into the "intend to watch but haven't quite gotten there yet" category, too. I've watched several of the recent episodes and have liked them a lot, but haven't quite gotten into the groove of watching regularly. This obviously says more about my intermittent viewing patterns than anything about the show, which has received uniformly positive feedback and deservedly so.

I used to watch a great deal more BBC America than I do these days. There's so much more reality programming than there used to be, which for me is not a positive. BBCA used to program a LOT more British comedy, and that's a real loss for us. They still show Coupling, which is an entertaining show, especially the seasons with Richard Coyne as Jeff. When an episode revolved around him, the show was golden -- insanely hilarious. BBCA still runs Little Britain, thank goodness, and the original The Office, but we're not seeing a lot of the great stuff we used to see. Where's The Mighty Boosh anymore, or Red Dwarf, or other old favorites or especially new cutting edge programs that we're missing over here? My gosh, the channel used to play fascinating stuff like the Dennis Pennis series (savage celebrity punking), Black Books, and other wonderful comedies. I really miss them.

No doubt they're playing it safe by taking the easy way out with middle-of-the-road crowd pleasers like cooking shows, antique shows, home makeover and personal makeover shows -- just like a lot of other cable networks. At least the personalities are Brits, which gives them a leg up in my book, but it's more of the same, isn't it? And also no doubt probably the ratings are up for the network. Any of us who know how TV works understand what you've got to do to attract viewers, but as viewers, some of us long for something a little different, and we're not quite getting it anymore from BBC America, not like we used to.

Am I an old crab? I'm grumbling too much, aren't I? Sorry about that....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Open Channel D!

Sorry for the late notice, but for any readers of The Flaming Nose who still thrill to the 1960s adventures of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, Turner Classic Movies is running a day of the compilation movies made from episodes of the iconic TV spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. all day today.

I count myself in as a still-loyal U.N.C.L.E. agent after all these years. When I was a kid--and the show came on when I was eleven--this was IT, I mean, I LOVED this show. Cool, action-packed, intelligent, jazzy, funny, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. had everything. I was a Kuryakin gal, preferring the icy blond intellect of David McCallum's character over the more James Bond-ish Solo of Robert Vaughn, but as a pair they were unbeatable.
I used to program U.N.C.L.E. when I was at TNT, and it has recently been airing on the American Life TV channel but seems to be off the regular schedule now. The good news is that it seems to be coming out on DVD soon, which is great news for U.N.C.L.E.-starved baby boomers!

There is a wonderful website The Fans from U.N.C.L.E. which you should check out, and another fan named Lisa has a site full of great screen captures here. It's also worth mentioning that U.N.C.L.E. had some of the greatest music scores ever heard on a TV series, with the work of such noted composers as Jerry Goldsmith (who wrote the unforgettable theme), Lalo Schifrin, Nelson Riddle, Morton Stevens, Gerald Fried and other names who will be familiar to you if you're an aficionado of classic TV music. Much of the music has been re-released on CD and here a link to a page with loads of terrific sound samples.

Hope you catch some of the movies on TCM today! I'm off to the Del Floria Tailor Shop for my latest mission. (True U.N.C.L.E. fans will understand...!).

Friday, November 2, 2007

Mr. TV's Fall TV Update

For those of you who are interested in a detailed and interesting assessment of the current TV season, I highly recommend that you watch Mr. TV's Fall TV update webcast, which took place live yesterday but can be viewed here. "Mr. TV" Mark Berman, who writes for MediaWeek magazine, presents a detailed and fascinating night-by-night survey of the status of all the broadcast networks, with the latest ratings and survival odds.

It's a great presentation with a gallery of slides (which can be downloaded and saved for further perusal). A lot of you may already receive Mark's Programming Insider enewsletter in your mailboxes each morning, but if not, go to MediaWeek's website and subscribe. It's insightful stuff!

Curb Your Enthusiasm -- This Sunday

The next-to-last of the latest batch of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm is on this coming Sunday, and I just found out (courtesy of a great article in The New Yorker) that Steve Coogan, one of my favorite British comedians, is making a guest appearance as a psychiatrist.

Now, unfortunately, though a lot of The New Yorker is available online, whenever I want to recommend something, it's never one of the articles that is, including the one in the Nov. 5th issue about Steve Coogan. So, sorry about that! (If you're terribly interested, let me know and I'll scan it for you, or you could buy it, of course. The free flow of information is what I'm all about.)

Anyway, you may already be familiar with Steve Coogan from his movie appearances -- mainstream like his turn with Jackie Chan in Disney's Around the World in 80 Days from a few years ago, or otherwise like A Cock and Bull Story or 24 Hour Party People and others. More likely is that you've seen his comedy series playing on BBC America, including his several starring Coogan as the character of hapless media personality Alan Partridge and the current Saxondale. I think he's amazing, and you might like to check out some of his stuff on YouTube, including this hilarious clip where Partridge interviews an outraged farmer or this one where he meets up with an old enemy with a microwaved apple pie as his only weapon. As The New Yorker article by John Lahr points out, Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge is in the same broad comedy vein as Larry David's character on CYE, only even more extreme. Only the British seem to be able to dive headlong into absurdity with such relish; I love it.

Coogan, who's beyond a household name in Britain yet fairly under-celebrated here, should be incredible in this episode so I highly recommend it! Even without Steve Coogan, Curb Your Enthusiasm is a prickly delight and always to be enjoyed!