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Monday, January 15th, 2007

The Following Takes Place Between… oh never mind

For the past three seasons, I’ve done a weekly commentary on each episode of 24. Why? I’ve really no idea. Just something to do, I guess. And even when the show got ridiculous, I stuck it out because, well, I’m compulsive like that. But every season, I wonder if I’m going to start it up again – it’d really make my life easier if I just stopped… and yet, here I am again. Damn you, Jack Bauer! Damn you! So here we go again, in SpoilerVision:

Random observations from the first two hours – Is it me or is this the first time they’ve come right out and called the terrorists “Muslims”, and not the slightly vaguer and less inflammatory “Arabs”? Hmm. We’ve also got Chloe in a suit with quite the neckline for a day at the office. I get the impression that the President paid a high price for Jack’s release. Just a hunch. And man, Jack’s looking all “Passion of the Bauer”. Though apparently he only grew that beard for one scene. What a waste. Somehow the idea of Bill and Karen bumping uglies just… unsettles me. But not as much as the fact that Jack buttoned his shirt up to the top button. Man, what’d the Chinese do to him? It’s kind of nice to see Kal Penn isn’t being typecast as “Indian guy”. He can do all types of “brown-skinned guy”. And “evil henchman”. I have to think that telling Jack “You will die for nothing” is probably the wrong thing to say… and he’s going to regret not cutting off his shootin’ finger when he had the chance. And that new sneak-vampire attack thing has to go down as Jack’s most gruesome kill in the past five/six years. For now anyways.

I found the second hour kind of settled into a standard 24 routine – Jack working against the government, scheming government toadie undermining the President, Jack teaming up with an unlikely ally, the drama unfolding in the suburbs. Honestly, the thing that struck me the most was on the subway – is that really how the LA Metro checks tickets? Seems really inefficient. Also, the bomber boarded from the middle of the platform and yet he and Jack were on the last car… hmm. I do like the fact that as all this going down, that terror attacks are happening all over the US. Definitely adds some tension and pressure right out of the gate, and really – why should LA have all the fun? I’m definitely curious to see what the huge twist that they’ve got planned for tonight is. It’s going to have to be something pretty spectacular to shock your typically jaded veteran 24 watcher. But I’ll be watching.

So how about that Friends In Bellwoods CD release show on Friday? Really, how was it? I had no idea that there were advance tickets available at Soundscapes so as a result I, along with a lineup of people stretched around the block from the Tranzac (a small block, but still) were shut out of the festivities when they announced that the show was completely sold out. Disappointing, sure, but at least it undoubtedly succeeded as a fundraiser for the Daily Bread Food Bank. I did pick up a copy of the CD on Saturday and it’s a really fine collection. Radio Free Canuckistan has an interview with Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija.

And also softening the blow is the fact that Ohbijou has been added to the bill with Under Byen and Frida Hyvonen at the Mod Club on March 8. There’s really no way this can’t be an amazing show.

And one to file under “wha?”, The Pipettes – surely one of the buzzier things out of the UK last year – are going to make their Toronto debut on March 10… at the tiny Rivoli which holds around 100 people. Though they’re not the last band on the bill – that’d be fellow Anglos The Smoke Fairies – the midnight slot tends the be the choicest one so I think it’d be fair to call that the Pipettes’ show. But what’s with the venue? Anyway, most of the CMW schedule is now up, save for some of the big venues/shows like at Lee’s, the ‘Shoe, etc. Via For The Records

British Sea Power fans would do well to head over to the band’s MySpace page as they’ve got a cover of Pavement’s “We Dance” a-streaming. Nice. They’ve just returned to Montreal to mix the new record which should be due out in late Spring/early Summer. Via The Tripwire.

This is Simon. He is my new cat. Today is his seven month birthday. Say happy birthday to Simon.

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Thierry says:

    The 24 premiere made the hair at the back of my neck stand up at the end of both hours last night. That’s all I could ask for, really.

    By the way, what’s going on with Studio 60? I know that the next episode is scheduled for January 22 in the U.S., but CTV doesn’t have a date for the next episode here: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/A

    I’m worried. Very worried.

  2. Frank says:

    zap2it’s TV listings show that CTV is showing the new Studio 60 on Sunday. Fret not. You will have your Matthew Perry fix.

  3. Carly says:

    What a gorgeous kitty! Where did you end up getting him?

  4. Andrew says:

    Kiefer’s record label, IronWorks, just released the new Ron Sexsmith album "Time Being."

    The man is a badass with great taste in songwriting.

  5. Frank says:

    I got him from the Toronto Cat Rescue. He was being fostered at the Pet Valu by High Park where I went for supplies. Can you believe he was there for two months with no takers? I got lucky. He’s super-friendly but also really really really frisky. It wears me out just watching him.

  6. Sam says:

    wow. Simon is CUTE! congrats on him.

    about 24: i saw all four episodes so i won’t say much for fear of spoiling tonight’s episodes (didn’t know i was missing the tension that much during the off-season), but they finally got their asses a bit off the fence this year, it seems. glad to see them at least attempt something new in the format. hopefully they can stick with it, though, as they’re pretty much teases about everything (Jack locked up in China!! nope. we’ll make it last for 20 minutes and come back to our regularly-scheduled program. sorry). hopefully they can find something new to do with the show instead of re-threading old storylines for no good reason.

    am i the only one who doesn’t like Kal Penn in this? (and i thought i would.)

  7. AW says:

    Good write-up on 24. I noticed the straight up "Muslim" enemy as a first for the show too. That and the ongoing nature of the attacks should kick the frisson factor up a notch.

    Also, I’ve always found 24 fascinating and entertaining from a technical point of view. This has to be the most extreme lighting they’ve ever used. On some of those white house scenes, Palmer was so heavily backlit that you couldn’d even make out his facial features.

  8. Frank says:

    okay! so it wasn’t just me or my television – it was excessively dark. Whew.

  9. Honey says:

    "Passion of the Bauer" Fucking Hilarious.

    It wasn’t very nice when he took out a chunk of that dude’s neck though…

    And as for Simon-he’s a cute poopie.

  10. AW says:

    no, it’s not you or your TV! 24, CSI (and West Wing leading the way before them) have been pushing the limit on lighting for years — imagine what it would be like to work at CTU, the white house, or the LVPD as portrayed in these shows? You’d be in near-total darkness, lit by thin slashes of yellow light falling dramatically somewhere in the corner of the room. I think last night’s 24 really reached new heights (lows?) in this respect.

    (this is also one of the reasons you get that "i can tell its Canadian" feeling in the first few seconds of a lot of tv drama produced here where budgets are comparatively minimal and almost everying has a floodlit look.)

  11. Jeff says:

    Hey Frank,

    You should have checked out the Tranzac’s door. I was close to it (and got in). The group at the front grew from 6 people when I got there to close to 20 (by the time doors opened).

  12. Frank says:

    I started out at the end of the walkway at the sidewalk before doors opened, and was just inside the club when they came out and announced "SOLD OUT". If only I hadn’t stopped at Second Spin to look for Creed CDs on my way there!

    No biggie. I got the CD, the food bank got hefty donations, everyone wins.

  13. Karl says:

    Happy birthday, Simon! He does seem cute. And it just occurred to me that I forgot to credit Frank for the cute Bambi-Thumper link. My apologies; I’ll fix it shortly.

    As for 24, I think the writers figured they could use the "M" word this time around because — so far — it looks like one of the main themes this season will be that not all Muslims are bad guys.

    BTW, Drudge had an enormous 24 spoiler regarding tonight’s segments. But proceed there at your own risk, as even the headline (still up at the moment) is a spoiler.

  14. Carrie says:

    I knew it…this is going to turn into a cat blog, isn’t it?! I just hope Simon has good taste in music.

  15. PG says:

    The D’ubervilles impressed me the most at the show…quite a lot moreso than mr grainger’s new material.

  16. David says:

    24:

    I’m surprised that no ones has mentioned how much more flawed and vulnerable Jack seems this time around. After his Chinese torture, he was incapable of fully interrogating Assad’s traitor. This is a new jack Bauer, which is exciting to see.

    Secondly, I’m not sure how many others noticed this, but in the scene where Jack and Assad are in downtown LA near Union Station, the street sign in the background reads Lebanon St. In most other shows, I would chalk this up to coincidence, but on a show as awesome as 24, it shows that they are still thinking of mise en scene and are really going to go after the Muslim angle [as well as commentary on civil liberties].

  17. Eugene says:

    I know this has nothing to do with 24, but what happend with rbally.net? frank – can you get the scoop and let us know? Maybe you have the inside info on the Cat Power nonsense?

  18. Jerad says:

    What is it about Ride-inspired blog titles and naming our cats "Simon"? Excellent name for him. My Simon is a 4-year-old orange attack cat.

  19. kelly says:

    aww! simon is adorable. i’m trying to decide if i want to adopt a kitty.