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Monday, September 22, 2008

Geek Week in Review

Good week in the geek world, or at least on TV: two season premieres and two continuing episodes since Tuesday.

The summer series Eureka continues in its third season, unfortunately with the unwelcome addition of the Degree "product integration." More persistent and more obnoxious than its predecessor, the product placement, NPR's Morning Edition told me this morning that product integration is the new big thing for advertisers. They focus on more subtle advertising within a program -- although I would beg to differ in the case of Eureka. Not only is the commercial in the script, but there are now "podbusters" (commercials in which the spokesperson is an actual character from the show). These are designed to mimic what you're actually watching and keep you from turning down the volume, changing the channel, or, in the case of TiVo, fast-forwarding -- the last of which is supposedly to blame for this new method of perpetuating capitalism.

But I digress. This week's episode, although driving home the Degree commercial more than ever, was also one of the better episodes this season due to the character development of (and therefore, plot development around) the mysterious Eva. That, and not only is Henry Deacon back, he has been newly written in as the mayor elect of Eureka.

Fast-forward to Thursday: the season premiere of Smallville! Not only did I get my Justin Hartley fix, but they brought back Arthur Curry/Aquaman and Dinah Lance/Black Canary (with her canary cry!) with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow as part of the primitive Justice League. Wooo! Hot celebrity crushes and personal geekdom aside, it was apparent (but not painfully so) that the new writers are rebuilding a little from the suckfest that was Season 7, sadly without Lex Luthor, but thankfully without Lana Lang. That said, it was quite an enjoyable episode, and one of my favorite in awhile, despite the recurring tendency to tie up all the ends at the close of each episode in a manner reminiscent of a Shakespearean comedy. I like that to some extent, but they tend to hit their viewers over the head with it a bit on Smallville. One of these ends, though, led to a great sexual tension between Clark Kent and Lois Lane and set Clark up in his future role as Daily Planet reporter.

This evening the CBS sit com Big Bang Theory continued in its second season. Although in many ways it is a typical sit com, I do want to mention it because it's very light, a nice, nerdy appetizer to Heroes later in the evening. And it is funny for your average sit com viewer; it's only enhanced by knowledge of intellectual subjects, especially higher math and science, that some of those viewers possess. Leonard finally scores an awkward relationship with his cute, perky neighbor Penny only to find out that she lied about not even finishing community college (whereas he has a PhD in physics). She feared his condescension, and rightfully so, it turns out.

I am really new to the Heroes bandwagon -- I started watching it because my husband got into it, but I didn't start watching until last season, and then, not all of it. I still have a lot of questions, but I'm slowly catching up. I'm enjoying it, not as much as Smallville as far as superheroes and supervillains go, but that may be because the Heroes characters are new to me, as opposed to Superman and the comfortable DC universe. I'll most likely be posting more about it as the third season unfolds, but I'm just about hooked already -- further augmented by the two-hour premiere tonight. It was two separate hour-long episodes, but they were both shown tonight, so I'll go ahead and classify that as a double-header.

On a completely unrelated (but still geektastic in its own way) note, happy first day of fall! Today, September 22, was the Autumnal Eqinox. Bring on the sweater weather, changing leaves, and numerous holidays!


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