Demi Lovato: Single-handedly ruining royalty

PRINCESS PROTECTION PROGRAM

Yes. Yes, I did. I did watch Disney Channel’s original movie Princess Protection Program. And I must say this: I don’t think Selena Gomez can be in anything where she is not adorable.

Of course, she was being compared to Demi Lovato, who was horrendous, so then again, maybe Selena wasn’t as stellar as you’d think. But anyway, I did want to give Selena Gomez props. Because the rest of this post might be painful.

I’ll admit this openly. I’ve seen–repeatedly–The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2. Demi Lovato is no Anne Hathaway. In fact, Demi Lovato plays royalty the same way Summer Glau played Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: as a robot. Of course, Summer Glau was supposed to be a robot.

You doubt me? Think about when she was bowling. She tossed the bowl down the lane, then stood there and watched with no expression as people cheered around her and the pins came down. Considering how interested she was in winning (she did ask, after all), you’d think she’d have some expression when the pins hit the floor.

Further, I felt like this was a very forced, yet stereotypical, way of playing a princess. Would you really imagine that today princesses don’t dress themselves? I mean, even Mia picked out her own clothes in The Princess Diaries 2, let alone put them on.

I must also say that the story itself was a bit weak. I mean, someone wants to take over the crown–a crown that a 16-year-old will take over in a month. Um, seriously? First, they’ll really  have her rule at 16? That’s a recipe for disaster, especially if she can’t even dress herself. Plus, once she flees, who’s to say that this guy wouldn’t just through a coup and take over? What’s the 16-year-old going to really do?

Moreover, the end. There wasn’t time to add five extra minutes to explain how Carter’s father knew to hop in that helicopter and save the day? And I certainly don’t want to analyze the real legal actions of claiming that he was being arrested internationally for kidnapping. She was willingly going with him, for one thing. Add in how complicated international relations are and the hows and whys and processes of actually arresting a visiting foreigner–yeah, it’s much more complicated than they showed.

A few other notes:

  • If you’re going to throw a sword at someone’s head, don’t miss. It’s much easier to hit the person in the head than to get it through the rings of a crown.
  • Why wouldn’t her mother just go with her? I guess that was to prevent the whole coup thing I mention above, but really, she ended up kidnapped and in prison anyway. What’s the difference?
  • Ok, so there’s a Princess Protection Program. Original premise for a movie, but really? There are that many princesses that need protection? Taking a quick glance at Yahoo Answers, it looks like there are only 28 monarchies left, so could a program really be run? Whether this is accurate or not, you’re really looking at the number of possible princesses that are in danger at one time. That can’t be all that high.
  • So they’re in Louisiana, right? I’m sorry, Disney. But Louisiana has an African American population of about 33.5%, and I think I saw one African American student at that school. Um, what?
  • Dear, Jamie Chung. I’m very sorry you had to go from Samurai Girl to this. And by the way, how old are you? You play 20-something a few years ago and 16 now? Wow.
  • Little red-headed squeaky girl: Sometimes your voice was high, annoying, and squeaky. Sometimes it wasn’t.
  • Did anyone else think that Rosie overreacted to the blackmail? I mean, she was going to hand over the crown (oh yeah, the pool scene made no sense), and then they would leave her alone about her secret. So why did she have to go back? That would helped nothing.

Overall, the movie was probably cute for a young audience. It did, overall, have a good, positive message. And I do ask that of the Disney Channel movies that I see. So that’s good.

But on a true level, it needed some work. And perhaps a better person than Demi Lovato. Disney, just because two people are best friends and they’re your new up-and-comer, that doesn’t mean you need to make them the poster child for any new project you do.

I thought you learned this with the failed TV show that is JONAS.

New Renewals and Poll Results

What a busy Friday night we had! First, of course, we heard that Dollhouse has been renewed, though the formal announcement won’t be until Monday. Joss Whedon has commented on the renewal, and it’s true! This was a really big long-shot here, and I’m very surprised that they said yes, but I’m happy!

Not only that, but Castle was renewed. Plus, Amy Acker’s new pilot Happy Town has been picked up. It’s been a very nice weekend for the Whedonverse.

The only downside to me is that Scrubs was also renewed. I really wanted this show to rest in peace after its fantastic finale. Others aren’t quite as disappointed as I am–at least it’s a funny show–but I just think such a great finale as only a season finale (especially since Sarah Chalke and Zach Braff will be around for six episodes) is just a waste, and I’m afraid that the following season will just bring it down from such a high note.

Anyway…at least people aren’t out of jobs.

So what about my poll? I figure I should post my results now, seeing as some of our “bubble shows” have just been renewed. Keep in mind, these aren’t very representative or true to life. Forcing people to choose only one show when so many people are worried about bubble shows makes one tend to vote for their favorite shows on the bubble. Plus, with grabbing only my readers, my readers on Twitter, and my personal friends on Facebook, you don’t get exactly a perfect sampling of the populate. But it was still fun.

So let’s look first at the complete list of shows suggested for coming back in the fall (click on each graph to see a larger version):

All Shows AnsweredAs you can see, Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles were the top two, followed by Chuck. I think that’s not a huge surprise–especially since so many people I’m connected to are in the Whedonverse.

What surprised me is that next up are some shows that have been long gone. I mean, multiple votes for All in the Family? Seriously? But it’s good to know that Castle and How I Met Your Mother are up there, too (again, shows from the ‘verse).

But let’s look at this more realistically. I’m going to take out the shows that have been long gone and cancelled. Here we go:

A Better LookSo, now you see that our Whedonverse shows really are on top. And then come some good favorites. Honestly, I’m surprised that Lost didn’t get more votes, but like I said, I think people were more worried about the bubble shows. I did get a lot of people saying that they chose one show to save but would choose How I Met Your Mother overall. That’s nice.

It’s good to see The Unusuals on there, too, but I’m disappointed that more people didn’t say Kings. Kings on Twitter are really trying as hard as they can to spread the word about renewal. I wish it was a little stronger!

Show TypesFinally, just to prove I’m not crazy, here’s how it breaks down with shows that were on the bubble at the time of the poll, shows that were safe or already renewed, and the long gone.

All that purple means that people really care about their bubble shows. But then again, there were a lot this year. I mean, even Bones was on the bubble (has that been renewed yet?Update: Just got renewed!).

Anyway, the poll was fun. Let me know if there are any other poll suggestions you have. Next year, this should be even more fun. Who knows what shows will be on the air then? And maybe more people will be on Twitter or reading this blog so I can get a better sampling!

And thanks to everyone who participated!

UPDATE: Just heard via Twitter that The Unusuals was not renewed. I’m heartbroken. :-( Why, ABC, why?

Friday night death slot? I think not.

[UPDATE: Felicia Day just tweeted that her episode (episode 13) of Dollhouse is not being aired. The season will end with episode 12. What this means for the series is still unknown. I found this out after writing this post, but please read on anyway, as my ultimate point is still valid.]

Ok, so I’m sure you all assume that by the name of this post, I’m going to be talking about Dollhouse because it’s in the “Friday night death slot,” but I’m not. Sure, Dollhouse is in a bit of trouble and it’s still uncertain whether it will be picked up for another season, but hey, at least it’s not as bad as Sarah Connor (sorry, fans).

But I’m here to argue that Friday night is not necessarily the slot of death. Instead, let’s turn our attention to Saturdays.

What’s on Saturdays? WWF and reruns? Well, last time I checked, that’s what was on. But then again, that was probably about four years ago. But reruns no more. It’s now the newest home to new shows…

…that are dying. If you haven’t heard, Kings was most recently moved to Saturday nights at 8:00. Apparently unable to kill in the ratings, NBC has decided to move it to another night. Now, reasonably, this could be all for the purpose of seeing how it’s doing on another night and possibly giving it time to grow and prosper. But it’s Saturday. Do you watch TV on Saturday?

Please comment below: Do you watch TV on Saturday, and if you do, what do you watch? I think I watched House Hunters once while I cooked dinner.

Anyway, for those of us with less optimistic minds, you probably see the move more like this: They moved Kings so that they could let it live out the rest of its season and then die a horrible, unfinished, untold death.

I’m a fan of Kings. I think that despite the move, people should still watch. So please do. I’m really disappointed about the move, but there’s not really anything I can do about it (except write the network and beg that they not cancel the show–and, yes, I’ve done that).

But NBC’s not the only home for Saturday deaths. ABC has taken the opportunity to breathe new life into our cancelled favorites–only to rip the oxygen away at the first chance. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

And finally, ABC rises Wednesday nights from the dead. Though this is at the very bottom of ABC’s press release it will likely lead most news stories covering the announcement. Daisies returns to the schedule as of Saturday, May 30, through Saturday, June 13, at 10:00 p.m.; Stone on Saturday, June 20, through Saturday, July 11, at 10:00 p.m.; and Money on Saturday, July 18, through Aug. 8 at 10:00 p.m.

Because it’s not enough just to cancel quality programming. We have to choose a night when no one’s watching so it won’t compete with the sucky program ABC chose to keep.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled they’re airing final episodes for Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, and of course Eli Stone. But Saturday night at 10:00? Good God!

So if you’re ever wondering what TV can do to shows that’s worse than Friday, take a look at Saturday. The best quality you never see.

It’s hot in here. Must be Summer.

BIG BANG THEORY: 2.17 “The Terminator Decoupling”

I wonder what celebrities act like when they meet in real like. Like, for some reason I just assume that all the Whedon alums just meet and talk about their Whedon experiences. “You were in Firefly? I was in Dr. Horrible!”

Of course, I’m sure this doesn’t really happen. It’s just the websites that mush them all together that makes me think this way. But after last night’s episode, I’m starting to wonder more and more. Specifically, how much of Howard, Leonard, and Raj’s interactions with Summer Glau were true to life.

I bet Leonard’s was. Unless he’s just a tool in real life. But I’d like to believe none of these people are.

Anyway, it was a fun episode. As soon as they hit the train, I knew Penny would be in the episode via telecommute–aka, a phone. I did appreciate that every time that Sheldon got mad, Leonard had to take the phone away to pacify (by the way, did anyone check what Leonard was reading? I’m curious what a nerdy physicist reads in his spare time).

The interactions with Summer Glau were great. Of course, Howard was going to be super geeky and creepy (I certainly wouldn’t want him hitting on me), but Raj was a pleasant surprise. I was hoping and hoping that Howard wouldn’t ruin his “M. Knight Charmalarmalon,” but of course, how could he resist? Summer’s face at Raj retreated with his tail between his legs was great.

The one downer note was how much Terminator was brought up. I know that the point was to plug it as much as possible (I think the two shows, while on different networks, are produced by the same company or something), but I was wishing for more Serenity and Firefly comments. I only heard one.

I know. I’m a Whedon nerd. And I rock it.

In other news, the pickup line (aka, my headline) was amazing. I wish I had a name like that, just so it could be used in such a great pickup line. If someone comes up with a great pickup line for Raked–yes, the name Raked–I’ll do some special callout to you or something. It’ll be something awesome. Try me.

Dollhouse Premiere: A Conversation

Raked and KT join forces to have a conversation about the hottest show premiering this February (possibly in 2009), Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. Because KT’s in a different time zone, she’s watching it an hour after Raked, which might explain some of the mis-matches of time.

JC joined the fun by watching, but he took this hour to watch Battlestar. You’ll notice he’s mentioned, though!

DOLLHOUSE: 1.01 “Ghost”

KT: Are you loving it? :D
Raked: Hi there, I did love it.
KT: Yay!! Terminator just ended here.
Raked: I’m rewatching along with you. :-) Yay Tivo.
KT: “You ever try to clean an actual slate?” I like it.  :)
Raked: Ah, you’ve started now?
KT: :D
Raked: I caught up with you.
KT: I didn’t expect to get a scene with Echo entering into her contract. This is a neat touch. I figured it would start more in medias res.
KT: …Like this bit with the motorcycles!
Raked: Totally, and it really makes you wonder what brought her here. Doesn’t sounds like her choice at all.
Raked: Which is definitely intriguing.
KT: Or like it was something she saw as a last resort. One she didn’t really want to take. But yeah, I’m sure Joss will go back to that sooner or later.
Raked: Don’t deserve? Trying to help? Definitely killer lines.
KT: Absolutely. So were there really a lot fewer commercials than a regular show?
Raked: There are commercial breaks, just only one that’s longer than 90 seconds.
KT: Very nice.
Raked: Agreed. Very Fringe.
KT: I’m watching Echo react to being given a necklace. I almost expected her to say she wasn’t allowed to accept it.
Raked: But she doesn’t know, silly.
KT: True. But that could have been part of her treatment. Like how she knew to go to the black van.
KT: Wow, that is a really short skirt. Hey, kimono girl.
Raked: It was her shirt. She was wearing it as a shirt when she was motorcycle girl.
KT: Ohhh.
KT: That was cute how she was dishing with the Dollhouse handlers.
KT: Ooh, the Dollhouse set is gorgeous. I’d like a resort that looked like that.
Raked: I know, it reminds me a wee bit of Wolfram and Hart a little. Let me know when you get to the theme, I’m curious of your take.
KT: Totally does.
KT: They’re kidnapping the cute little girl right now. Here’s the theme.
Raked: I wonder what show they were talking about.
KT: Me too!
KT: Interesting theme. A mix of serene and haunting, sort of. And the show name at the end, the way it gradually focused, kind of looked like a horror movie font.

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I just got goosebumps

Guest stars of guest stars. Well, not really, but it’s still awesome.

What’s the word? The big news?

Summer Glau will be guesting on The Big Bang Theory.

See, the thing is, that one line alone doesn’t really get me all angsty. It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it’s kinda like awesome news that you are like, that’ll be great, don’t wanna miss that.

But there’s more.

The reason I’m so superjazzed over this is this wee bit of info:

The Sarah Connor Chronicles siren will play herself in the March 9 episode, the set-up of which already has me ROFWLing: A train trip to San  Francisco takes a major detour when Leonard, Sheldon, Wolowitz, and Raj discover that their favorite sci-fi actress in all the land is on board. But the fanboy frenzy quickly gives way to a heated mass debate (tee-hee) when they realize one of them will have to approach her — but who?

Now, the only thing that could diminish the excitement of this episode is if the guys are fans of her because of Sarah Connor and not because of her (literally) kick-ass performances in Firefly and, most of all, Serenity. Because really, that is what made her badass.

Of course, since they’re both Warner Bros, I suppose the point is to promote Sarah Connor, but say there are Serenity and Whedon references in this episode, please please please?

Not sure yet when this wonderful episode will air, but I’ll keep you posted when I know. This is very shiny.

What do you think of the Dollhouse ads?

So other than the fact that there haven’t been enough of the Dollhouse ads, I haven’t really had a problem with them. I’ve heard rumor of people calling them boring or uninteresting, but I get pretty excited when I see them. In fact, a schoolgirl squeal generally leaps out of my throat at the mere site.

Until this one. This one was actually aired on Sci Fi during Battlestar Galactica (kudos on the network ads–especially on Sci Fi), but I can’t say I loved it. It almost seemed mocking.

Now, from what I can tell, this is supposed to be in the vein of Grindhouse. I really was never a fan of those ads either, but what can you do? I guess I would prefer if these ads were being aired after Dollhouse got a little bit of footing. It almost seems a mockery of the show, and it definitely doesn’t give the cool nature.

However, Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku both look kickass. And I’m all for Whedon women with kickass qualities.

Maybe I’m too critical. Maybe people love it. I guess I’m just still wanting FOX to really step up and convince people to watch. Wait for the fun ads for when people are definitely watching. Make sure people know what the show’s about first!

But hey, at least FOX is trying. I really do think putting these two shows together–Dollhouse and Sarah Connor–will make a pretty awesome action night. I don’t actually watch Sarah Connor (and sorry, Summer, but I probably won’t start), but I think it’s going to be a great lead-in, and even if people don’t watch it, they can easily flip over at 9:00.

Anyway, ads ads ads. Now, let’s get to premiere night!

Dollhouse already dead? Fans think so.

To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of the negative attitude toward Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku’s Dollhouse, which starts this February. The weird part is that the negative attitude is not about the show itself but about the whirlwind of articles around it.

Let me explain. Today, I came across this article. What does it discuss? Seven trouble signs for Dollhouse. From the production halts to Friday night placement, the show goes reason by reason why the show won’t make it and why it will get canceled.

Now, let’s go back: I’m trying to see the circumstances around the show–especially Friday night–as half full. See? Eliza Dushku seems to have a positive attitude about it. See? And Joss even supplies some sort of explanation.

I’m as skeptical about FOX as anyone else with their quick trigger fingers, but I just think Friday might be the best thing for the show. Monday night would kill it. We have more episodes to see before the word “cancellation” enters the room.

The problem is, Whedon fans are so intrigued and interested in this show that they’re hyperaware of what is going on with the show. I can’t imagine that other successful shows haven’t had to rewrite scripts or take breaks now and then. True, put everything together and it looks bad, but why focus on all that?

We’re giving Dollhouse so much bad press right now. Even I’m to blame. I heard a rumor about a fall premiere date, and I started quite a rumbling in the ‘verse. Everyone is complaining and overreacting that I’m honestly getting a wee bit tired of hearing about it.

So what about Friday nights? It’s done. It will be on Friday. If you’re concerned, WATCH THE SHOW. Watch it on Friday nights. If you DVR it, watch it. Don’t just wait for weeks on end to watch it. Watch it immediately and then get on websites and talk about it. Show FOX that you’re watching.

So what about pilots and pauses? The show is happening, people. It’s going to be here. Make the best of it. Critique it AFTER you watch it, but don’t assume the worst.

Stop with the “Save Dollhouse Campaigns.” The first I’d heard of this was in the article I linked to above, and it nearly knocked me out of my chair. Guess what: FOX knows this is a big show. Why do you think they moved Sarah Connor–a female-lead TV show featuring a Whedon alum–to the same night as Dollhouse? Show, don’t tell. Watch the show.

The sad part is, popularity doesn’t save shows. Ratings do. If you’re worried, watch it. Have Dollhouse parties. Make it part of your social routine. They do track DVRs now, so you will be noticed if you save it, but make a presence, too. Let them know you’re watching.

Don’t react yet. It’s not on yet. Just wait and be HAPPY. Do you think Joss wants to see us sad? He hasn’t even killed off a character yet.

Eliza Dushku supports Dollhouse AND Friday nights

If you haven’t read it already (and if any of you are also reading Whedon blogs, I’m sure you have), Eliza Dushku has spoken on Dollhouse and it’s Friday night timeslot. Perhaps this means we can put the whole thing to bed.

Not the show, but whining attitudes about the Friday night slot. Ok, ok, ok, so it’s not the dream night, but I still contend that if it were on Mondays, the show would be canceled in a heartbeat. (You can read my entire treatise–aka, post–on this here.) Anyway, Eliza thinks it will work out fine: “We’re in the age of DVR.” It’s true. Plus, with the Sarah Connor lead-in, Eliza says, “it’s going to be a female-empowerment night.” And trust me, she knows all about female empowerment. Buffy, anyone?

Not only that, but she spills the beans on possible characters that Echo is assigned to portray. They’re not really spoilers, per say, as it doesn’t give any indication of episode plot, but what I find especially interesting is that she’s not just being implemented with thoughts and mindsets of the requested “doll” by the customer. It goes much more into body as well.

For example, one that particularly is of interest to me is this: In one episode they surgically implant cameras into Echo’s eyes. Talk about some crazy sci-fi madness. To be honest, I was a little worried with such a premise. I mean, how many times can they have her be a sex kitten or an assassin without running out of storylines. Knowing it goes beyond the mind is completely intriguing to me.

So I suppose our only concern left is that of the start date of the show. February is so late compared some most of our other returning favorites, which start in January. It does scare me a wee bit to think that people might return to their old routines before the show even starts on February 13. I guess we all just need to mark it in our calendars and push out some of the other dates we need to recall.

Who needs to remember Valentine’s Day anyway? We’ve got Dollhouse.

Worried about Dollhouse on Friday nights?

So I’ve been reading a lot about how people are angry, worried, or confused about the move from Monday to Friday for FOX’s Dollhouse. Perhaps it’s because I’m a glass-half-full person when it comes to TV shows when they’re about to air (a reason why I sat through the horrible The Secret Life of the American Teenager premiere and beginning episodes), but I didn’t find this switch to be devastating. I thought that just maybe it was a good idea.

Fire up those torches and sharpen those pitchforks, but I do. Monday night is a killer night. I’m sure shows strive to be on it (and others, like The New Adventures of Old Christine might be aching to get back on it, though I don’t know how the ratings for that show are going). So hearing that Dollhouse might get a Monday night spot was just fantastic for a show that’s new.

But the problem is, shows fail. And it’s not based on whether it’s good or not. If that were true, I would like to ask people again how Secret Life is still a popular favorite. It’s based on who’s watching. And the big problem is that Monday nights, people tend to have booked.

As much as people claim it’s failing, Heroes is picking up steam again. It’s got a cult following for sure, so people just won’t give it up. The CBS Monday night lineup is HUGE with comedy, so certainly people might not pass that by once they’re home from work. The CW is stealing teenagers all over the place with Gossip Girl, and One Tree Hill is even growing. Basically, stealing viewers would be hard!

So moving it to Friday sounds pretty nice. At 9:00, it’s open for business. CBS just recently canceled The Ex List at that time slot, so clearly there are people out there looking for something to watch. But people think Friday is a dead zone. Who watches TV on a Friday?

That is an issue as of late. Sure, people still watch Ghost Whisperer and Numb3ers, but Moonlight couldn’t handle it, right? Different network, same issue. But Friday night used to be huge. TGIF was ABC’s Friday night for a long time. FOX was famous for The X-Files on Friday night. So why can’t we bring it back?

But this isn’t all just from me. FOX has some great words on the issue (and their entire schedule) here. The hows and whys are explained, and instead of screwing Dollhouse, they’re actually giving it a chance (along with Sarah Connor). Take a look at this excerpt:

Having all but abandoned scripted programming on Friday nights of late, Fox is jumping back onto the night in a very big (and expensive) way. Starting in February, the network will pair Joss Whedon’s lush new drama “Dollhouse” with the network’s big-budget action hour “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

While “Dollhouse” has been plagued by production shutdowns and rumors that Fox executives are uncertain about its commercial appeal, Mr. Beckman said scheduling the show on Friday is simply a byproduct of trying to design the strongest possible schedule for the network.

Mr. Beckman doesn’t pretend that “Dollhouse” and “Terminator” have an easy path ahead of them. But, particularly in the case of “Dollhouse,” Mr. Beckman thinks the less competitive Friday night will give the show a better chance to build an audience than a more high-profile night.

“If we put it on Monday and it didn’t do well, we might have to yank it,” he said. But because Fox’s winter lineup should be solid on Saturday through Thursday nights, “We can afford to let these shows run their course. We can give them 12 or 13 weeks to find an audience.”

Overall, Mr. Beckman said his goal coming out of the 2008-09 season is “to have four tentpoles for next year, and if we surprise ourselves, a Friday night,” he said. “If these moves work, it sets us up nicely for next fall. And with a little luck from our development, I think that for the first time we can put together a schedule that could actually let us be No. 1 in the fall.”

Anyway, I’d say give it a chance. When shows like Drive have been canceled in only four episodes (or even Tru Calling‘s second season in six episodes), 12-13 sounds pretty good.