SciFi Weekend: D. Gibbons Is A Bad Man; Feelings from Dollhouse; Shiksa Goddesses; and The Prisoner


FlashForward remains the best new show of the season. Accidentally on Purpose didn’t deserve the second chance I said I would give it, but actually looks half way in comparison decent after watching an episode of Cougar Town. Modern Family is the only new comedy I plan to watch at this point. I’m still undecided about Glee, having caught up on four episodes but not having decided yet as to whether to watch last week’s episode. I was disappointed that the portrayal of high school life wasn’t more comparable to Friday Night Lights (with glee club instead of football team) or Fame (1980 move version–I never did watch the television sh0w or remake). Glee is disappointing when compared with these, but I might give the show another chance, partially due to a storyline in which the president of the Chastity Club (motto: tease, don’t please) becomes pregnant. I do wonder if her idiot football player boyfriend ever figures out that he could not really be the father just because he once ejaculated when she got him excited in a hot tub while they were both wearing bathing suits.

While I have my doubts about the other new shows which have premiered to date, I remain impressed with FlashForward after seeing the second episode. (First episode discussed here). We saw some progression with regards to figuring out what happened, along with new questions. Presumably one, if not both, of the D. Gibbons will be important, but why does Charlie know that he is a bad man? The flashes were quite brief to explain both why she knows this and along with her strong connection to Dylan.

One of my nitpicks about the pilot was partially answered. I found it strange to see that, after everyone on earth had blacked out, so many helicopters were in the air. I still find this strange as they had no way to know whether this would happen again, but at least we found that commercial air flights were grounded.


With its poor ratings, I fear Dollhouse will have a tough time surviving beyond the thirteen episodes which Fox has purchased. This would be a shame as the show is looking far better now that they are getting more into the mythology as opposed to a simple Echo adventure of the week. This week Echo revealed that she continues to have the feelings, if not actual memories,  from the identities she was programed with. There was also a return appearance by Madeline/November following the major development with Whiskey/Dr. Saunders last week. The previews suggest something which might lead into the future seen in Epitaph One. The preview has Topher saying he can not wipe someone remotely. Does this begin the development of the technology which leads to the conditions in Epitaph One?


Fringe is also developing is mythology slowly. It is clear that they guy in the bowling alley knows far more than he has told Olivia. The previews indicate that Olivia should be regaining some of her memories of the parallel world she traveled to in the next episode.


On Monday night it remains uncertain as to whether Heroes will recover. In some ways each volume can be seen as a movie. Volume one, taking place in the first season, was like the first movie in a series. The first volume was great as all the characters were new and there was a good story to use them in. The subsequent volumes are the sequels which are far inferior to the first movie as the writers are unable to come up with a story to compete with the original.

At least there is one genre show on Mondays which remains excellent–The Big Bang Theory. This week Penny and Leonard managed to get over their awkwardness in a moment at the end of the episode. Sheldon got in another great line at the expense of Texas:

Raj: “What happened?”
Sheldon: “Obviously another carnal fiasco with the ‘Shiksee’ goddess.”
Howard: “Shiksa. Shik-Sa.”
Sheldon: “Forgive me. Yiddish was not spoken in East Texas. And if it was, it wasn’t spoken for long.”

AMC has set the dates for their reboot of The Prisoner (trailer above). It will air for two hours a night for three consecutive nights starting on November 15. If anyone has not seen the original, I would highly recommend doing so.  The episodes are available on line here.

Chances For Public Option Improving As Bill Goes To Full Senate

The battle for health care reform in Congress is entering a new phase. The Senate Finance Committee tried for a bipartisan compromise and wound up with a bill which is unsatisfactory to those who desire reform while still not receiving any support from the Republican who have no policy other than to oppose everything. There is hope that a far better bill than the one coming out of the Finance Committee will be passed by the entire Senate.  Harry Reid has given mixed signals as to his position on the public option. It is hopeful that in a recent conference call he did say that “We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president’s desk.”

Another hopeful sign is that, while Barack Obama has indicated he would accept a health care reform plan lacking a public option rather than nothing at all, he is now pushing strongly for the public option behind the scenes:

Despite months of seeming ambivalence about creating a government health insurance plan, the Obama White House has launched an intensifying behind-the-scenes campaign to get divided Senate Democrats to take up some version of the idea in the weeks just ahead.

President Barack Obama has long advocated a so-called public option, while at the same time repeatedly expressing openness to other ways to offer consumers a potentially more affordable alternative to health plans sold by private insurers.

But now, senior administration officials are holding private meetings almost daily at the Capitol with senior Democratic staff to discuss ways to include a version of the public plan in the health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring to the Senate floor later this month, according to senior Democratic congressional aides.

Among those regularly in the meetings are Obama’s top health care adviser, Nancy-Ann DeParle, aides to Reid, and Senate finance and health committee staff, both of which developed health care bills.

At the same time, Obama has been reaching out personally to rank-and-file Senate Democrats, telephoning more than a dozen lawmakers in the last week to press the case for action.

Administration officials are also distributing talking points and employing other campaign-style devices to rally support for passing a bill this fall.

The White House initiative, unfolding largely out of public view, follows months in which the president appeared to defer to senior lawmakers on Capitol Hill as they labored to put together gargantuan health care bills.

It also marks a critical test of Obama’s command of the inside game in Washington in which deals are struck behind closed doors and wavering lawmakers are cajoled and pressured into supporting major legislation.

“The challenge is to go to the (Senate) floor, hold the deal,” said Steve Elmendorf, a lobbyist who was chief of staff to former House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt. But “they are more involved than people think. They have a plan and a strategy, and they know what they want to get and they work with people to get it.”

Obama has faced some criticism from the left that he was not pushing hard enough for the public option and that he was leaving too much of the process to Congress. This report is bound to please many of his critics, as well as increase the chances that a public option will be in any final bill.  The disappointing action in the Senate Finance Committee is now looking less significant, and the chances for a meaningful public option now look much better than they were a couple of weeks ago.