Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Happened To The Queens?

Anyone know what happened to The Queens on ICN?  The grandson of the evil bitch is finally in power and now the shows disappears?  Instead, I'm stuck watching Go West and not really liking it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gary Numan in DieHard Battery Ad

So what do Gary Numan and DieHard Batteries have in common?  Cars, of course!  In this very clever ad, DieHard asks Gary Numan to perform his song "Cars" using about a dozen real cars powered by DieHard battery.  The look on Numan's face is priceless (oh, that's another ad...).

This comes via Boing Boing:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friday Night Lights Emmy Snub

So the Emmy nominations were announced and Friday Night Lights wasn't included.  Again.  For the fourth time in a row.  Mike Hale of the NYT writes, "In the drama category, meanwhile, a terrible crime was committed, for the fourth season in a row. That’s the span during which “Friday Night Lights” has been, over all, the best drama on television, and has not drawn a single nomination for the best-drama award. Apparently the stigma of being a show about the relatively ordinary lives of Texans obsessed with high school football is still too much to overcome."

FNL is an unbelievably well-written, well-directed, well-acted show.  In the way it moves, FNL is more like a literary novel, little moments like marital fights so realistic, so uncompromising, so beautiful.  It really is hard to believe FNL is a TV show at all.  And apparently, the people behind the Emmy nominations don't see it as one either.

So what is getting nominated?  Dexter, True Blood, Mad Men, etc.  So I guess for FNL to get nominated they should (1) move to HBO, (2) turn Coach Taylor into a serial killer, (3) have Julie fall in love with a teen vampire, (4) hire Mad Men's costume designer Janie Bryant.  Whatever you do, FNL, don't touch the writing!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Queens

I've often wondered why Taiwanese dramas don't have the kind of following that Korean and Japanese dramas have. I suppose one problem is that very few of the Taiwanese dramas are translated into English — I usually have to go to sites like which stream in videos that have been translated by fans. These are great because the obsessive fans will even explain cultural contexts and puns. It's really too bad that TV production companies don't utilize their fans more. The production companies go so far as to see these fans as pests that need to be killed, when really, these fans are part of a huge network that make their products accessible worldwide and thus, even more popular. Yes, they're infringing on copyright, but thinking only of that is so stupid. These companies are petrified that they're losing money, but really, they aren't because none of us in the US would ever have known about these shows anyway. In reality, the production companies are losing money because of their closed-mindedness and sheer stupidity. What they really should be doing is advertising their complete boxed DVD sets on these sites, making it as easy as possible for us to buy these shows, either as DVDs or downloads.

Now what was I talking about? Oh, yes. Taiwanese dramas and my new favorite, The Queens, which is on ICN, evenings 7:30PM Pacific time. Hallelujah! It's subtitled! Not very well, but at least understandable (the person or program that did the subtitles has no understanding of the past or present tense).  I think The Queens is Taiwanese and that it was a huge deal in Taiwan.  "I think" because there's almost no info in English about these shows.  But with help from friends, I gather that the show is called 母儀天下, which roughly translates as "be the model mother of the nation".  Apparently, this is what you say to a Chinese empress, sort of like "God save the Queen".

The story is basically about a super nice girl who's thrown into a nest of vipers.  Will the super nice girl survive?  And if so, will she stay super nice?  The girl is Wang_Zhengjun and she's based an a real historical person, the Empress Wang_Zhengjun who ruled in the latter part of the Western Han dynasty.  But I think the name is about the only historically accurate part of the drama.  Like in the show, she's a maid, serving the royal concubines.  But she was more accurately a lady-in-waiting and not a maid, which makes her rise to empress a little bit more understandable.  But, you know, being a put-upon maid is so much more dramatic — like she can be unfairly tortured and have an implausible story about how her mom was wrongfully beheaded for killing a previous empress, etc.

The Queens isn't just about Zhengjun.  It's also about her five best friends and their relentless cat fights as they vie for the attention of the emperor.  Basically, this drama is chick flick with lots of vicious cat fights and gorgeous costumes with two hunky guys in the middle.  And there is something so sumptuous about this drama, in the lighting, the music, the language, the cinematography, the choreography — even a summer's stroll is exquisitely choreographed.  Watching this show is like being transported into a fairyland.