SciFi Weekend: Hot Vampire Sex; SciFi on 30 Rock and Other Shows; Dr. Who Interview; Summer Glau on Dollhouse

The second season of True Blood is approaching its finale. Help is needed to defeat Maryann and they turn to the Vampire Queen of Louisiana. Reportedly this means more hot vampire sex–in this case between Queen Sophie and Sookie’s cousin, Hadley Hale (Lindsey Haun). Ausiello has additional spoilers about the season finale.

True Blood has been a success due to excellent writing, interesting characters, a compelling plot, and a lot of nude scenes with Anna Paquin. She discussed this in an interview with Nylon:

Anna Paquin, on her Nude Scenes:
“I don’t think a naked body is particularly shocking or interesting… It’s not the culture I was raised in.  I was not brought up in the United States.  I don’t share the [attitude] that you can have graphic violence, but – God forbid – you see someone’s nipples.”

On Going Blonde for Sookie:
“I don’t look like a Barbie doll, and probably never will.  People are incredibly literal in how they view you.  You have dark hair and pale skin?  You must be brooding.  The second you dye your hair blonde and get a spray tan, people treat you as if you’re a bit stupider and happier.  Suddenly, it’s like you’re hot and sexy.”

On TV Acting:
“It never occurred to me that one form of acting was better than another.  I think if you approach your career like that you’re limiting yourself to a very boring path.  For me, it’s about the material.”

Epilogue:  Stephen Moyer, on Vampire Sex:
“The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that?  It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.”

Liz Lemon doesn’t do any nude scenes on 30 Rock, but she has frequently brought science fiction into the show. Io9 has put together a clip with the scifi scenes from the show. The post also includes scifi clips from other television shows including Veronica Mars, The Big Bang Theory, The Office and How I Met Your Mother.

IO9 Has also put out their list of The Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows of All Time. The original Star Trek tops the list. Doctor Who is runner up.

BoingBoing interviewed David Tennant and Russel T. Davies following the filming of their last episode of Doctor Who together–video above.

Stills are being released from the second season of Dollhouse, with an example above. As expected, now that Summer Glau is available, she will have a recurring role in the show, along with a couple of actors from Battlestar Galactica. From the press release:

Summer Glau (“Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) reunites with Joss Whedon when the actress joins the cast of DOLLHOUSE this fall in a recurring role as BENNETT, a Dollhouse employee who shares a past with ECHO (Eliza Dushku). The second season of DOLLHOUSE premieres Friday, Sept. 25 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Additional guest stars appearing throughout the upcoming second season include Alexis Denisof (“Angel”), Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”), Michael Hogan (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Keith Carradine (“Dexter”). DANIEL PERRIN (Denisof) is a U.S. senator leading a witch hunt to track down the underground organization. Mysterious, charismatic businessman MARTIN KLAR (Bamber) is Echo’s new husband. BRADLEY KARRENS (Hogan) comes to the Dollhouse hoping to stop a psychotic family member’s killing spree, while MATTHEW HARDING (Carradine), a nemesis of Dollhouse leader ADELLE DEWITT (Olivia Williams), stirs up trouble. Additionally, DR. CLAIRE SAUNDERS/WHISKEY (Amy Acker) and MADELINE/NOVEMBER (Miracle Laurie) return this season in multiple-episode arcs.

Conservative Hysteria and Ted Kennedy’s Legacy

It never ceases to amaze me how conservatives can get so worked up about nonsense while ignoring real problems (ranging from a president who lied the country into a war to the state of our health care system). Perhaps keeping their readers occupied with outrage over invented issues helps to keep them from considering the real issues. The latest is a bizarre outrage over Democrats, and now members of Kennedy’s family, calling on people to carry on with one of Kennedy’s greatest goals in life. It would seem to be a rather obvious way in which to honor Kennedy’s legacy.

Once they get over this they can get back to complaining about the type of mustard Obama uses, claiming Obama is a Muslim and not an American citizen, or warning about fluoride in the water.

The Media and Misinformation on Health Care Reform

Earlier today Steve Benen noted that the Republicans faced what would seem an impossible task in defending the status quo in health care, concluding:

They’ve pulled it off, so far, by telling almost comically-ridiculous lies, and managing to get scared, gullible people to believe them. It’s no small feat. Indeed, it’s almost impressive. Conservatives have managed to create a debate out of nothing but partisanship, paranoia, and greed.

A little later, even if this wasn’t his intent, he provided one answer as to how they are pulling this off by quoting the ombudsman from The Washington Post:

The Post publishes health-care reform stories almost every day as it tracks the twists and turns of the epic debate. So it’s surprising to hear from so many readers who ask: Why hasn’t The Post explained what this is all about?

“Your paper’s coverage continues in the ‘horse race’ mode,” complained Bill Byrd of Falls Church. “Who’s up, who’s down . . . political spin, personal political attacks…

However, readers say that too many other stories have been about process or politics. That’s coverage The Post must own, of course. Washington is filled with policy wonks and decision-makers.

But readers seem to be saying: What about the rest of us? Over the past month, dozens have called or e-mailed to urge more explanatory journalism.

Many have said that Post stories routinely assume a foundation of knowledge that they simply don’t have. Some said that they don’t understand basic terms like “public option” or “single payer.” They want primers, not prognostications. And they’re craving stories on what it means for ordinary folks and their families.

In my examination of roughly 80 A-section stories on health-care reform since July 1, all but about a dozen focused on political maneuvering or protests. The Pew Foundation’s Project for Excellence in Journalism had a similar finding. Its recent month-long review of Post front pages found 72 percent of health-care stories were about politics, process or protests.

“The politics has been covered, but all of this is flying totally over the heads of people,” said Trudy Lieberman, a contributing editor to Columbia Journalism Review, who has been tracking coverage by The Post and other news organizations. “They have not known from Day One what this was about.”

When people do not understand the basic terminology used in discussing health care reform, and are unclear as to what is in the actual legislation, it makes it far easier for right wingers to spread their distortions. Instead of reading about the details of the legislation in the newspapers, they are hearing lies from a crazy lady writing on Facebook in Alaska and other right wingers.

Matthew Yglesias added:

This is, of course, the media’s characteristic flaw. The bulk of reporters and editors at major political media institutions have almost no understanding of substantive public policy issues. And they conjoin to their ignorance a kind of contempt for people who do understand them. Consequently, people who are interested in such matters tend to be driven out of the institutions in questions. Instead, you get a self-replicating cadre of self-congratulatory and shallow people who enjoy doing this kind of coverage while sneering at people who care about substance.

The bias toward process stories is not ideological in its intent, but it’s strongly ideological in its impact. Creating public confusion and ignorance while obscuring what’s really happening tends to favor elites versus people of modest means, it favors the status quo over change, it favors insiders over outsiders, and it favors narrow interests over the public interest.

This isn’t to say that there is no coverage of the facts of health care reform in the media. It is there if you look for it, and the actual legislation can be read on line. Unfortunately the facts are getting drowned out by the right wing noise machine. Perhaps if a larger percentage of news stories dealt with the facts of health care reform as opposed to process stories, often spending much of the time reporting without comment on the false claims of the right, newspaper readers would  be better informed as to the actual facts.

Latest Fact Checks on Conservative Lies About Health Care Reform

Conservatives have responded to the health care debate by putting out an endless stream of distortions, keeping the fact checkers quite busy. I’ve already linked to several and a couple new reports are out. has reviewed twenty-six lies in a e-mail being circulated about the House health care reform bill. They also found that the Health Care Bill of Rights for Seniors from the Republican Party includes many false and misleading claims. They had previously responded to conservative scare tactics about Medicare here.

It sort of makes one think that they don’t have any real arguments if they are forced to rely on so many distortions in all their attacks.