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Cool Spies Don’t Look at Explosions

By on Aug 10, 2009 in In Production | 0 comments

One highlight of this May’s MTV Movie Awards was the music video starring Andy Samberg and “Neil Diamond,” with a special keyboard solo by J.J. Abrams. The video was an ode to the cinematic cliché in which the hero or villain walks away from a blast without so much as a backward glance. In case you haven’t seen it, check it out here: And keyboardist J.J. Abrams should know: on multiple occasions, characters in his brainchild Alias (my favorite show, incidentally) don’t look at explosions. Take this scene, in which free-agent Anna Espinosa, disguised as Sydney herself, brazenly doesn’t watch as Sydney’s truck explodes behind her… …or this scene, in which Peyton takes a bazooka to Sydney, Jack, and Irina’s only means of escape and then strides away with full badassery… …or this scene, in which Sydney runs away from an explosion in a Taiwanese lab. (Okay, she has a reason to not look:...

Follow That Sound

By on Aug 1, 2009 in In Production | 0 comments

The following post was originally published on my old blog on June 28, 2009. Lately, the trend regarding opening titles has been to make them as short as possible. Gone are the days of ones lasting a minute-and-a-half. And rapidly going are the days of ones lasting thirty seconds. For example, both Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives once had excellent sequences—a satirical look of the representation of women in art, and a clever montage of love lives and professional lives intermingling. But both sequences have been replaced by mere title cards lasting five seconds, tops. That’s why I was so pleased to see that A&E bucked the trend starting with the second-season premiere of The Cleaner. This was a show that used to display a simple title card. But now, it has been granted a luxuriously long—and damn good-looking—title sequence, which you can view here (so long as...

Busting a Recap

By on Jul 31, 2009 in In Production | 0 comments

The following post was originally published on my old blog on January 24, 2009. I wasn’t going to watch the hour-long recap before the season premiere of Lost Wednesday night, but my mom wanted the refresher course. (And actually, I probably needed it, too.) I have to say, I was impressed. Not only did the recap distill four seasons of Lost into one hour, but it did so comprehensively and smoothly—with natural progressions and seamless segues, no less. And I realized why it was so successful: it didn’t burden the viewer with synopses of storylines and profiles of characters that don’t play a part in the upcoming season. It just gave viewers the essential info for the characters that are still around and the storylines that are up in the air. With a show as plot-heavy as Lost is, the recap was essential. And, luckily for us, it did the show...

The Woes of Standard Definition

By on Jul 29, 2009 in In Production | 0 comments

The following post was originally published on my old blog on January 21, 2009. First a pipe burst in my parents’ house. Then the insurance company compensated them generously. Then my parents upgraded my old bedroom to a media center with a beautiful LCD TV. And then, on the next vacation I had from school, I was utterly spoiled. Spoiled not because I could set the DVR to wake me up to Discovery’s Sunrise Earth (one of the most pastoral, minimalistic hymns to the beauty of nature available on basic cable), but because high-definition television is life-changing. Once you go HD, you never go back. So, why, I beg of you, why do networks insist on slumming it by broadcasting shows in standard definition? My mom, lover of dancing shows that she is, recently checked out NBC’s Superstars of Dance. Host Michael Flatley proclaims that it is the “greatest dance competition show on Earth.” Oh,...