Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cookies/ Tin-Man/ Santa's Intolerant Voice

Here's an interview with Jim Parsons, who I knew once upon a time, and who is experiencing some much deserved success on the sitcom "Big Bang Theory".

A quick reminder, The League of Melbotis Holiday Heckstravaganza 2007 is scheduled for Saturday the 8th at 8:00 PM.

As global warming officially ruins the Holiday Season, it's going to be around 80 degrees on that day, so be prepared for a balmy Holiday party. Thanks, evil scientists.

To prepare for the party, we spent our Tuesday evening frosting cookies which Jamie had made from scratch. The frosting was also from scratch, so, seriously... these cookies are a whole bag of effort. If you do eat one, you'd best LOVE these frikkin' cookies. Like, bringing tears to your eyes love them. I counted this morning, and I frosted 22 cookies, each displaying less detail and attempt at cuteness than the one before it.

We also tried to watch the first part of Sci-Fi Channel's 6 hour Wizard of Oz re-mix called "Tin Man", and didn't make it past the first half-hour. One would assume that hiring Alan Cumming and a Deschanel sister would mean that the director would take some time to come up with a decent script that doesn't FORCE Kathleen Robertson into some awkward scenery chewing.

The weirdest thing about the movie was that the writer and directors sort of jumped right in and refused to find a point of view. Rather than gradually discovering the world through the eyes of DG (this is a re-mix. Dorothy Gale is replaced with "DG"), they just toss in scenes of events in The O.Z. (no longer Oz in our re-mix, it's The Outer Zone!) before Dorothy ever makes her way to the woods of Endor. Further, the writers spent no time getting the audience familiar with DG's world and why she's want to escape (other than that she lives on a farm and is artsy, which must be obvious to these writers that such circumstances necessarily make one unhappy).

The thing was pretty bad, with clunky dialog and what was beginning to look like a "chosen one" plot to explain DG's arrival in The OZ (as well as why her "parents" were hiding her in Kansas. So we turned it off. I really couldn't foresee spending another 5+ hours with the show.

I don't really get what went wrong, other than that the writers weren't terribly good and the director was more caught up in dreaming up creepier analogs to the familiar Oz characters and plot points than he was in pacing his story. One doesn't generally expect quality TV from Sci-Fi, but every minute of the show just felt like a missed opportunity. There was much to be learned from the BSG mini-series, and it seems that none of those lessons for creating an engaging series were applied. Build up your characters, build up the scenario. Give a clear point of view (even if its through several characters' eyes), and pace the thing. You've got six hours to fill. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

We wound up watching new Holiday perennial "Elf", which still has its good moments and a Deschanel sister, but has an ending steeped more in 3rd generation Hollywood interpretations of Christmas than in anything actually having to do with Christmas.

And then, because I do not own a copy of Miracle on 34th Street, we watched Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, a 70's era Henson production with music by none other than 70's TV music staple, Paul Williams.

And, of course, we watched part of Rudolph on CBS. I believe I've opined before upon the deeply unsettling undertones of the Rudolph special regarding the North Pole's insistence on conformity and intolerance. And I realized, all year round Jamie and I imitate Santa's voice when we're making fun of people we find to be jerks, both on TV and in life. There's a certain broadness and obviousness to Santa's intonation when he's condemning characters for having red-noses or being "a dentist", that you can apply to pretty much anything.

I need to bust out a copy of Miracle on 34th Street to get my Holiday Movie Mojo going again.


Steven said...

You have finally shown me the truth about the one thing Emmet Otter was always missing: A Deschanel sister.

The League said...

One downside of every director not tweaking their work a la Lucas, the inability to add a Deschanel sister into their work after the fact.

J.S. said...

I just want to say that I, for one, am looking forward to the Holiday Heckstravaganza!!! It's not every day that we get to see The League drunkenly staggering around in a Santa hat and angrily throwing door prizes at people while cursing under his breath. Oh wait. That DOES happen every day.

Anonymous said...

The Heckstravaganza!!! needs to be webcast.

The League said...

The revolution will not be televised.

Carla said...

I love Emmet Otter. I just might have to buy that for I mean me.

I also couldn't make it very far into the Tin Man show. The writing was so bad and the actors didn't even try to make it sound good. Plus I think the music was taken from Stargate Atlantis. God, I'm such a nerd.

Sorry we won't be able to make it to the Big Heckstravaganza. In-laws plus Xander's bday I think I'll be passed out at 6 pm.

But I promise to make it up to you and Jamie, somehow.

The League said...

We can loan it to you guys before you drop the money on the DVD. I am sure Jamie would be happy to know Emmet Otter was seeping into Xander's subconscious.