Archive for September, 2006

Where “Lost” is Found

“Lost” show runner Damon Lindelof was quoted as saying he thought the 1986 graphic novel, “Watchmen” was the greatest piece of popular fiction ever written.

Which, of course, made me want to track it down.

Then another producer, whom I could name but then he would have to kill me, kept telling me the key to everything was in an episode titled “Special.”

That’s the episode in which Walt is reading a Spanish language comic book that shows a polar bear and a glass dome sitting over what looks like an arctic area.

On the “Lost” season ender, men sitting at an ice station record a disturbance on their tracking device. They say they missed it the first time (When Flight 815 went down?) but they think they have found “him.”

They call their employer, who happens to be the girlfriend of Desmond. The men tracking Desmond are in a polar region.

Where polar bears live.

So again we ask, “Does this explain the polar bear in the first

“Well, the Arctic is the only place where polar bears live,” producer Carleton Cuse said in our interview last July. “And polar bears will be back this season.”

Which brings us back to that season-one episode titled “Special.”

Before dad Michael tosses it into the fire, Walt’s turning the pages and we see a polar bear and, later, a dome-like structure with electro-magnetic symbols around it. The dome is surrounded by snow.

The illustration style bears an uncanny resemblance to the ones in the Hugo Award (Hugo. Get it? Hurley???) winning “Watchmen.”

There are scenes in “Watchmen” that involve sharks circling a raft much like a scene on “Lost,” the 1980s computer screens looking for input with the blinking cursor, and a bank of TV screens monitoring people’s movements.

In “Watchmen,” one of the main characters is Ozymandias. Think of
the stone foot in the “Lost” season finale and consider Shelley’s
poem “Ozymandias” and the poem’s description of “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone.”

The comic book character Ozymandias thinks he needs to change the world by whatever means necessary.

(The Others always refer to themselves as the good guys.)

Ozymandias believes he knows what’s best for the world. He’s willing to do experiments on people (think about the injections on “Lost” and what it has done to some people), or even commit murder (Oh, where do we start on “Lost’?), for the greater good.

Namaste that, baby.

He also happens to have a getaway in the Antarctic: a dome with a tropical world inside.

And the graphic novel centers on good and bad, belief in your own
potential and using psychic powers to achieve the ultimate goal (Think about Walt’s psychic powers and what The Others said when they let him go: They got more out of him than they could have ever imagined.)

There’s also a lot of talk in “Watchmen” about mankind destroying the world either by damaging the environment or through nuclear war.

Could this be what “Lost” has in store?

Ah, so many layers.

Or just a lot more chain yanking.

To read the entire article on “Lost,” check out Sunday’s centerpiece in the Oakland Tribune/BANG Newspapers Bay Area Living section.

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McSteamy rises on “Grey’s Anatomy”

The final moments on “Grey’s Anatomy” tonight may have been some of the sweetest ever.

After deciding he needed to come clean with wife Addison about his sizzling prom sex with Meredith, the rather smug Derek tracked Addison down to her hotel room.

He sat on the bed, telling the sensual Addison _ who was wearing nothing but a bathrobe _ that he wanted a divorce. And just when he was at the height of his condescending speech about the sadness of their relationship ending, out walks McSteamy wrapping a towel around his waist.

Yes, the magnificent Dr. Mark Sloan, played by San Francisco native Eric Dane, is back by popular demand.

We’re wondering what lies in store for McDreamy after Patrick Dempsey told TV critics during a set tour last summer that he thought the men on “Grey’s” were emasculated and needed to man up a bit.

We don’t think creator Shonda Rimes took kindly to those remarks.

In any case, there were campaigns to bring Eric’s character back as a love interest _ even if it was with Meredith.

OK, maybe it was just my campaign.

But Eric’s one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, and after his performance last season he certainly deserved more screen time on one of my favorite shows.

So tonight, when he walked half-naked out of a steaming bathroom, we knew it was game on time for McDreamy.

Who may just find himself McSingle.

Eric Dane, wife Rebecca Gayheart

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Where’s the Bay Area bonding????


So Yul (San Mateo) spearheaded the outster Cece (Oakland) tonight on “Survivor.”

What’s up with that Yul?
Yul Kwon

Cece was a great person, a real asset. Instead, you went with Becky??? Becky’s dead weight and no good in the challenges. And we’re all wondering if you would have reallygiven Becky your immunity if she had been voted off the island.


And to think that Cece’s mom said nice things about you. I thought maybe we would see a like connection.

Ba-bye Cece. You didn’t deserve to have your torch snuffed out so soon.

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Tyra Stale?

What’s up with America’s Next Top Model?

There has always been criticism about the the models being, well, not quite high fashion quality. But this season seems particularly weak in the selection.

I thought the teen twins choice was just a lark, but when Tyra started raving about how great they were, you just had to wonder.

And Tyra’s big drama scene where she acts like a diva went on for twice as long as it should have. We get it. Go model.

This first episode was in the can before the writer’s strike, and written by Oakland’s Kai Bowe. We’ll have to see how the season progresses once the shows start airing without the writers at the helm.

“ANTM” debuted on the new CW network, which rose from the ashes of the old WB and UPN networks. Tyra and the girls delivered big numbers for the new network, which is great. Despite its flaws as a place to find real modeling talent, it’s still a nice little reality wallow.

Jay Manuel

In July, I saw Jay Manuel up close, and he is taller than any model on the show, and much better looking. In fact, he may be one of the most beautiful men on TV.

And a good sport.

When I mocked the horse-prancing step of the models and ask just WHAT that was about, he laughed.

“You have to make yourself stand out,” Jay says.

Just can’t imagine what the next step might be then.

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Anatomy of Grey’s

My husband claims my mind is a junkyard of information, so welcome to my lot.

During a set visit in July to “Grey’s Anatomy,” Kate Walsh, who plays McDreamy’s wife Addison, said that the triangle will be resolved quickly this season.

Does that mean that we’ll get to see more of McSteamy (Eric Dane), Derek’s best friend who got caught in bed with Addison? We can only dream.

Also during the set visit Patrick “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey was grousing a bit about how the men are, well, a little emasculated on the show. He said something about wanting the characters to man up a little. These aren’t direct quotes, but you get the point.

We don’t really see that happening.

When researching a story I wrote about “Grey’s Anatomy,” there were so many wonderful quotes from the show that just made me realize how much I love it. One source was Grey’s Anatomy Insider.

But for word straight from the source, check out Shonda Rhimes blog

Shonda talks about Thursday’s season premiere and what we can expect. Including the fact that she wants us to take a look at the first episode (come on, all true fans have the DVD set) and see the payoffs for those who have been paying attention in the third season premiere.

It’s all good.

And even though Denny is dead, the actor who played him Jeffrey Dean Morgan is alive and kicking _ and set to play a major role in Rhimes’ new series about journalists.

And if you want to read the article, check out our online TV page.

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Amazing Racers should have heeded warning

When I saw Erwin and Godwin Cho break out the squirt guns at the Seattle airport at the beginning of Sunday’s “Amazing Race,” it was deja vu all over again.

Obviously, the boys hadn’t read my August column when I’d been put on the terrorist list for trying to bring water guns on a Southwest flight.

We reprint it here for the health and safety of all:

Burbank airport is kind of a throwback, a place where you still walk up ladders to board the planes both front and rear. I don’t think it has changed decor since the 1960s. The baggage claim area is on the outside of the building, where anyone could grab your luggage.

Who knew this would be the place where I was destined to become America’s Most Wanted?

But let’s start at the beginning.

Years ago, networks used to shower TV critics with promotional items, like “Murder She Wrote” jackets and “Everybody Loves Raymond” silver-engraved toasters. A few years ago, though, the “no tchotckes rule” was instituted.

Networks were restricted from giving out everything except support items, things like books, DVDs and, for some reason, anything edible.

Of course, a few goodies sneak through, like a stuffed penguin (Hallmark Channel is promoting the network airing of “March of the Penguins”) or a “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson” mug placed with the other coffee mugs in the back of the room.

Hey, if you take it, you take it.

For NBC’s party, the theme was a Texas barbecue, tying into the new series “Friday Night Lights” and football games on Sunday night. At the party, you could grab a hat and a bandana filled with items like a small football, a squirt gun and so on.

It was the “so on” I forgot to check out.

I was so busy working the party, it was only after it was over and I was leaving that someone handed me the hat with a blue bandana filled with goodies and tied with twine. With so many leftovers, a red one was thrown in as well.

I carried them up to the hotel room, tossed them in a corner and promptly forgot about them.

After 18 sleep-deprived days, I packed to go home. All the clothes in the suitcase and my few tchotckes in a PBS “Frontline” duffle bag with the PBS kid’s luggage tag. Inside was thechocolate bar from “Gold Rush,” some Loretta’s authentic pralines from two Hurricane Katrina sessions, a CW bright green T-shirt saying “Free to be Critical,” a small bottle of the blue liqueur Hpnotiq from the “Rock Star: Supernova” party and some assorted DVDs.

And, OK, my picture with Curious George. I mean, please, you need something to amp up your image with the kids.

Oh, and the hat and two bandanas. One red. One blue.

Later, as I walked toward the screening station in the airport, I dutifully took off my shoes, removed my laptop from the case and placed my “Frontline” bag on the conveyor belt.

The blond woman next to me with the toddler and I chatted as the belt came to an abrupt halt. Soon, every Transportation Security Administration cop was at the scanner, surveying the bag.

I turned to the woman and said, “Could it be the liqueur?”

“I hope not,” she said with a bit of a worried look. “I’ve got a bottle of wine in mine.”

Within seconds, the cops were swarming, the lane was shut down and the woman and her child were escorted away — from me.

“Ma’am, you have breeched security,” said the TSA guy.

Still unsure of the offense, I stammered, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Are these your bandanas?” he said, looking like Jack Bauer right before he takes out a guy on “24.”

“Sort of,” I said, ready to give up NBC in a heartbeat. “I got them as a party favor at an NBC party.”

At this point, I put on my sweet, middle-aged woman smile hoping it would serve me as well with the Feds as it does with unsuspecting network executives.

Well, he says, you are transporting contraband, which is punishable under Federal Law. You are subject to up to five years in jail and more than $250,000 in fines.

“I’m going to arrest you,” he said flatly, impervious to my middle-aged chunky woman charm.

Thank god, at that point a petite LAPD officer showed up and told me that inside the bandanas were a plastic water gun and a cap gun (“I swear officer, I thought it was candy.”)

She said she understands it was an honest mistake and that next time I really need to exercise common sense.

Actually, I added the common sense remark. She said to be careful about what I bring on board a plane. But I knew what she meant. My crime was being stupid and careless.

But that wasn’t enough for TSA guy, who took his Homeland Security quite seriously. He made me move over to another area, took my driver’s license and my contraband.

“Just because that cop doesn’t want to take the time to arrest you doesn’t mean you are out of trouble,” he said with all the intensity of Mackey taking down a perp on “The Shield.”

Then I did what any strong woman would do. I started tearing up. Please, officer, don’t throw me into jail. I’ve seen “Oz.” It isn’t pretty.

He held up the blue and red bandanas and said, “Where are you traveling to?”

“Oakland,” I reply.

You could almost see the wheels turning as he pondered if I was providing the guns to gangs.

“I’m putting you on the list,” he said.

It isn’t the one you got on when your parents caught you sneaking out at night as a teen. No. He decided to put me on the terrorist watch list. Or at least that’s what he told me he was doing as he put down my vitals for his report.

“You will now be marked,” he said, almost growling the words.

Oh, and by the way, would you like me to put these items in baggage for you so you can pick them up in Oakland?

It turns out if I had just put them in the old suitcase I checked, things would have been fine.

“I never want to see those things again,” I said, bolting as soon as I got my driver’s license back.

My husband is happy beyond words. Now he’s off the hook for that trip to Hawaii. I, on the other hand, feel like this is just the pilot episode of “The Fugitive.”

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Yul Rules Survivor

I’m sorry, but I have to say that my favorite after the first episode has to be Yul. And it’s not just cheering on the local San Mateo/Walnut Creek guy.

And I think he’s got some backers in the other tribes.

After Yul jumped into the water to save his chicken (this isn’t a metaphor, people, watch the damn show), he arrived on the island with his Asian-American tribe cluckless.

Turns out Jonathan, one of the guys from the white tribe swiped his chicken!

But that’s OK. Steal a chicken, be the first to go to Exile Island. The members of the African-American tribe decided they didn’t like the way Jonathan plays the game and chose him as the first exile of the game.

What they didn’t know that the white tribe had already lost not one, but both, chickens they snagged. Teammate Jessica decided to lift up the up-ended box they were trapped in.

And, being brighter than this Survivor, took the opportunity to escape.

Go figure, Jessica. You’ve already been outwitted by chickens.

Yul Kwon

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Project Runway: Auf’d and On

As our dear Heidi Klum repeats each week, in fashion, one day you’re in and the next, you’re out.

And then, apparently, you’re back in again.

In a really wretched twist, Holly Hobby, er, Angela and Vinny the Perv got a second chance. Luckily, they were even worse than before and got the boot. Along with our own Mr. Sparkle Kayne.

If anyone has seen the collections of Uli, Laura, Michael and Jeffrey from Fashion Week – and even if you haven’t – I’ve got a shameful secret.

I actually like Jeffrey’s collecton the best. Michael’s classey styles seem to only surface during the show’s challenges. The collection, from what I saw, was filled with hot pants, and not much else.

Let’s hope we see a better view next week.

Uli and Laura both go back to the well, doing the same stuff we’ve seen all season.

And then Tat Boy blows them out of the water with some really excellent pieces. Who knew he could design something more than just rock star togs?

It’s going to be an interesting finale, with our money split between our favorite, Michael, and the personality challenged Jeffrey.

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Jeffrey Klarik, you’ve got class

Time to pull up the big girl panties and admit that a few weeks ago I blogged a cranky little post about getting a postcard from CBS that seemed like a not-so-gentle reminder that the comedy “The Class” was created by both “Friends” creator David Crane (left, beside Jason Ritter) and his writing/life partner Jeffrey Klarik (right, by Crane).


Noting that Klarik did not create “Friends,” I said that few papers would waste space including Klarik when Crane would do.

At this point, I’d like to also mention that I received a lot of silly stuff that day from people hyping their shows, including an Apollo chocolate bar offered for sale by the Apollo Candy Co., a “subsidiary” of the Hanso conglomerate.

Inside the package was this long-winded story of some guy who created the chocolate delights and the fact that he’d been lost in a plane crash.

Ring that bell. It’s another “Lost” promotion.

Like it needs any promotion from me.

Anyway, I ate the candy bar and dashed off two blog items about the chocolate and the Klarik.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that a short time after I consumed the candy during a 16-hour writing frenzy, I discovered I could have sold it on eBay for upwards of 60 bucks.

Not that I would, of course. But just knowing I’d chowed down on a $60 bar made me believe that karma was biting me in the backside.

Then, I watched the freakin’ hilarious three episodes sent out by CBS for “The Class” and realized that anyone who can create something this funny should have his name attached to it.

So, Klarik, from now on I’m going to make sure you get equal credit for creating “The Class.”

Now, can you please tell you friends to get rid of the voodoo dolls with my name attached to them?

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CBS circumvents 9/11 blockage

In this growing threat of TV censorship, and fearful they would face a huge FCC fine, a few CBS affiliates refused to air the Peabody-award winning documentary “9/11” on CBS, set to air on Sunday.

In response, CBS goes to the Internet to stream “9/11” on the CBS website following the Sunday broadcast at 10 p.m. following the West Coast airing of the broadcast. In the Bay Area, KPIX-Channel 5 is owned and operated by CBS and will air the special.

The online version will remain available for one week.

To date, about 10 percent of the affiliates have chosen either to pre-empt or delay the airing of the special, mostly due to concerns over language used primarily by firefighters on September 11.

CBS has decided to air the award-winning presentation in the same manner it aired during its original network broadcasts on March 10, 2002 and September 11, 2002.

The broadcast will include several audience warnings in the presentation, and Robert De Niro, who will again serve as host, in a newly taped introduction to the program, will also alert viewers to the graphic language.

For this special program, filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet and James Hanlon updated the multiple-award winning feature with new interviews, including many of the firefighters who were featured in the original program discussing how their lives, families and the world have changed in the five years since the tragedy.

On Sept. 11, the Naudets and Hanlon were in lower Manhattan shooting a documentary on the Engine 7, Ladder 1 firefighters when Jules suddenly heard a roar from above and turned his camera upward.

In doing so, he captured the only known video of the first plane striking the World Trade Center. Camera still rolling, Jules followed the firefighters into the heart of what would soon be known as Ground Zero.

Gedeon also rushed to the scene with members of Ladder 1. Over the next several hours, the brothers captured extraordinary video unlike any broadcast since, including 75 minutes of footage from inside the North Tower as the rescue effort was underway and dramatic scenes of escape in the minutes before the building collapsed.

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