• Category Archives Television
  • Orphan Black, or how I forgave Canadian TV for Primeval: New World.

    orphan-black-season-2-poster81 If you’re not watching Orphan Black, you should! It’s probably one of the best shows on TV right now. I’ve watched every single episode thus far, and I can’t get enough! I think the last Canadian TV series I’ve enjoyed this much was You Can’t Do That on Television or Kids in the Hall. I mean, sure Lost girl And Continuum are decent –– sure I’m a little jealous that we don’t have Hockey Night in America –– but as far as shows originating in Canada, none of them have quite done it for me recently until I started watching Orphan Black. In fact, Orphan Black might, just might, be enough of a good show, that I might… just might… forgive Canadian TV for the debacle that is/was Primeval: New World.

    Ok, let me back up. If you’ve never seen the original BBC series, “Primeval,” maybe you should just stop reading this right now and watch it now. You done? Good. See what I mean? It’s just that good! I took a trip to the coast with seasons 1 and 2 in tow. I watched every episode. Seriously – the show was so good, there were days I stayed in my hotel room longer than I should. The beautiful Oregon Coast on the mighty Pacific Ocean was just a few blocks away, but I preferred to stay in and watch Primeval. When I got back from the coast, I thoroughly made sure to watch the seasons 3-5. I’ve got to wonder if this is how crack addicts feel! I just wanted more! More! More!

    And then the dark times came.

    Like a crack addict, I was going through some serious withdrawals after I finished season 5. I would check the web to see about a possible season 6 – and nothing. Nada, zilch, nein…you get the picture – I just wanted more, but there was no more to be had! I seriously considered flying to England, and holding up a sign outside of the BBC offices, “Will work for new episodes of Primeval.” Finally, after months of desperation and withdrawal, a light from the North….a spin off series, Primeval: New World. Oh sure – I had my reservations. I mean, part of what made Primeval proper so good were the amazing characters. There was Conner and Abbey and the will they or won’t they relationship. There was Professor Nick Cutter and his witticisms (I said it was beautiful; I didn’t say it was friendly), there was Jenny (no, not the one from Rilo Kiley) Lewis, who’s secrets I won’t reveal….the entire ensemble was just remarkable! So…could they repeat, could the replicate this amazing cast in Vancouver? Well….maybe. They got Conner to sail on over to the new world, and that was a good start!

    Mmm, nom nom nom.....tastes like the lawyer from Jurasic Park!
    Seriously T-Rex, take a bite.
    So the wait was on….I heard it was playing in Canada but not available in the states, no matter what shady streaming methods I tried. I had to be patient until it came on American TV or Hulu. I tried to get a hold of the DVDs, but to no avail. I remember during that time emailing a friend of mine in Canada saying that if New World sucked, I would personally vote for any candidate that favored war with Canada. Long story short, I voted for Mitt Romney. Just kidding…I don’t think Mitt favored war with Canada, and it was after the election anyways -but back to how much New World sucked. Conner only appeared in two episodes and the characters of New World really just lacked that same charisma we found in the original series. I didn’t expect a repeat of the Original characters, but I did expect some depth to the characters and I did expect to actually care whether or not the characters lived and died. Honestly, by the end of the third episode, I was kind of hoping a T-Rex would hop on through an anomaly and rip the entire bunch to shreds. I have a major rule with fiction – make me care about the characters. If I hate the characters, I’m 99% of the time going to hate the book, TV series, film, or what have you. So yeah – I hated the characters in New World. But also, the New World was darker, and more adult. It just wasn’t as fun as the original! The original felt like a roller coaster at times, sure, but at the end you had a lot of fun riding the damned thing. New world, on the other hand got you from point A to point B, yeah, but it felt more like riding a crowded train at rush hour. The only surprises were unwanted ones much akin to the guy who hasn’t bathed, shoving himself into the empty seat next to yours. Primeval: New World felt like a military and/or police drama that just happened to deal with dinosaurs and the like. The long and short of it – I hated Primeval: New World! I felt like Canadian TV took a very beloved series of mine and used it as toilet paper. I didn’t even bother watching the entire series. I think I stopped 8 episodes in, and I’m the type who always finishes a series, even if I hate the series.

    I’ve ranted on and on about how bad New World was, when this is supposed to be an article about how good Orphan Black is. Oh, but I did this on purpose. I wanted you to know how much disdain I have for New World – because I’m saying that the sins of Canadian TV’s Primeval: New World just might be forgiven with the series Orphan Black. In fact, the crack addict feeling I got while waiting for new episodes of Primeval is one and the same with the feeling I’m getting right this very moment as I wait for a new episode of Orphan Black. I want more….and I want it now! And I want a full 26 episode season….none of this ten episode thing we got with season one! I NEED MY FIX!

    So….dear Canadian TV people. You’ve got a really good thing going with Orphan Black. Don’t, for the love of all that is good and holy, mess this one up. We let you slide on Primeval: New World, so you kind of owe us already. Besides, you saw what we did to Iraq because of some fabled WMDS.
    Sincerely – your gun toting, war mongering neighbors to the south.babyorphan

  • If you don’t watch these Christmas shows, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    iinasnity wolfCHRISTMAS! FREAKING CHRISTMAS! And what good is Christmas without cool Christmas specials? So here’s some you should be watching. If you’re not watching them, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    1) A Christmas Story
    – Watch this. Watch it twice. Watch it three times! JUST FREAKING WATCH IT!!! Seriously – what is not to like about this movie? There are maybe five movies I can quote from memory, and this is one of them! You’ll shoot your eye out! So help me God he had yellow eyes!

    2) The Grinch that stole Christmas – No, no, no – not the one staring Jim Carrey – gosh! Are you even listening to me? Seriously! I mean, that one was ok – but by Golly Gee Whiz! WATCH THE ANIMATED VERSION THAT ACTUALLY QUOTES DR. SEUSS! Why? Because reasons! That’s why!!!

    3) Christmas Vacation – Of course this one would be on the list! I mean, seriously! I don’t have to explain why! YOU SHOULD KNOW WHY!!! Just watch it! And if you haven’t seen it, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    4) A Charlie Brown Christmas – Yes, of course this one is on the list. When I was a kid, I had a book and a record of it and every-time they rang a bell on the record you were supposed to turn the page. It never was a bad little tree!

    charlie_Linus5) Elf – THIS IS THE ONLY WILL FERREL MOVIE THAT MATTERS! Ok, maybe the Anchorman. And I may have enjoyed A Night at the Roxburry. And oh yeah, he’s got a lot of cool parts in other movies where he’s not the star, but other than that! WATCH ELF BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY WILL FERREL MOVIE THAT MATTERS!!! SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!!!

    6) Scooged – BILL MURRAY DID A CHRISTMAS MOVIE! That should be all you need to know! Because freaking Bill Murray is the bomb! In fact! I’m gonna watch it tonight!!! Bill Murray is a national hero!

    7) 8 Crazy Nights – Wait – what is this doing here, it’s not a Christmas movie! YES IT IS! JUST BECAUSE IT ALSO MENTIONS HANUKKAH!!!! Besides! Poopcicle! That’s a technical foul! NOW GIVE ME ALL YOUR PATCHES!!!


    Simpsons_Roasting9 A Muppet Christmas Carrol – HEY HEY, LIGHT THE LAMP, NOT THE RAT!!! I for one am sick of sticking to the Dickens version – I want puppets! Heck, they need to do a version of Oliver Twist with the muppets. And why stop there! Muppet Moby Dick! Muppet Atlas Shrugged! Muppet Scarlett Letter!

    10) Rudolph – BECAUSE RUDOLPH!!!

    11) Frosty – BECAUSE FROSTY!!!

    12) All the Doctor Who Christmas Specials
    – Seriously are you not paying attention! Doctor Who! BECAUSE FREAKING DOCTOR WHO!!!

    13) The Simpsons Christmas Special – This is THE FIRST episode of the Simpsons! Before this, the Simpsons were just a sketch on the Tracey Ullman show! Without this we wouldn’t have 25 hilarious years of the best family on TV!!!

    christmas-with-sctv-20051109041147414-00014) KISS saves Christmas – Why they stopped airing this every year, I’ll never know! But you should still watch it! Even if you can only find it in that episode of Family Guy, you should still watch it!!!

    15) It’s a wonderful life
    – Merry Christmas Movie House! I….wait! I don’t like this movie! I get bored by this movie! It’s only a classic because it fell into public domain! Why would you watch this c….Ladies and gentleman, due to being off his meds, Aaron J Edwards has been dismissed from the staff of aaronjedwards.com. Aaronjedwards.com would like to apologize for the ranting of Aaron J Edwards, and hopes that this article does not discourage you from further enjoying the diverse articles found on aaronjedwards.com. Furthermore, Aaronjedwards.com would like to acknowledge that all these Holiday specials are indeed special (including It’s a wonderful life), everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Please note – if you are not watching these, you are not doing anything wrong (although you just might be a scrooge).

    Happy holidays everyone!

  • Lost and Life

    Several weeks have passed since the Lost gave us it’s final farewell. Most fans of the series have formulated strong opinions of favor or disdain. Overall I have a favorable opinion of the last episode. One reason for my opinion is that the series finale did not pander to the audience by answering every unanswered question in the series. But while I see the unanswered questions as favorable, it is the very reason why many fans of the show were disappointed in the ending. This particular issue is probably the biggest hot button of the series finale. I’ve had many debates with a co-worker who keeps saying “when I read a book, I don’t want any loose ends at the end.” It is my argument, however, that this viewpoint totally misses the point of the finale! Of the entire series even! The questions left unanswered in Lost mimic not only life, but also religion.

    As a writer, I tend to hate the fact that every detail in a story has to mean something. Life is simply just not like that. Life is a chaotic spill of random events, which sometimes interlock, sometimes hold significant meaning, and sometimes mean absolutely nothing. Consider the following: You’re driving to work and you’re running late.  You look down and discover a mysterious rash on your arm. In real life, you might put some Cortizone on the rash, and think nothing of it. In a  work of fiction, this rash would probably have a meaning. This rash would later be revealed to be a deadly disease or a mark of greatness. Writer’s choose their details for a reason. Writers usually don’t insert random events just for the sake of inserting random events. Random events confuse people! But random events are all a part of life. Random events are in fact reality. Going back to Lost, the writers insert many random things that apparently have no meaning. Why were the numbers so prevalent and what do they mean? Why was Desmond able to see Charlie’s future? Why was Walt Special? Was it the island, or was it the smoke monster that healed John Locke’s legs? Why didn’t Kate grow any leg or armpit hair? OK, the last question was more about aesthetics and sex appeal, but the other questions will never be answered. They remain huge mysteries. Well, guess what? That’s life. We never find out what the rash on our arm is, and we don’t really care because the cream took it away. But Lost is a work of fiction, therefore it should wrap up into a tidy little package, shouldn’t it? Nope! Arguably, one of the key themes in Lost is life and death. What better way to emphasize this theme than to emulate something that happens in life? What better way to emulate life, than with random happenstances and unanswered questions?

    But the unanswered questions are not just about life. The unanswered questions go hand in hand with another prevalent theme in Lost: the theme of spirituality and religion. There’s a reason that mysticism is a synonym for spirituality, religion, and the like. Mysticism shares a root word with mystery and mythology. Mysticism indicates a sense of not knowing the whole story. And that is precisely the sense we get with Lost; we don’t know the whole story. We don’t know where the island came from, we don’t know what the island is capable of, and we don’t know why the island behaves the way it does. We know some things, just as in all myths we know the basic concepts. We know the island is a cork that keeps evil from flooding the Earth, just as we know in the book of Genesis that it was God who created the Earth. But just as we don’t exactly know how God created the Earth in Genesis, we don’t know why the island exists in the first place. We can speculate all we want to, but we are never going to have all the answers. This is the nature of religion; this is also why having some of the big questions remain unanswered works so well in Lost. These unanswered questions emulate mysticism, and thus adding to one of the major themes in Lost.

    I’ve been reading all kinds of comments online since Lost ended, indicating that JJ Abrams is a hack. Such comments state that JJ Abrums relied on MacGuffins; that he intentionally led the viewer on so the viewer would keep watching. Well, considering my stance on the intentional fallacy, I am not about to say that Abrums did anything of the sort intentionally. But even if Abrums was just being a jerk to the viewers, even if he was just trying to string us along for six years, in the case of Lost, it worked. In the case of Lost, MacGuffins served a purpose to illustrate it’s key points. Besides, said commentators also state that JJ Abrums does this in everything he touches. While that’s certainly an exaggeration (ahem, Star Trek had none), even if it were true, it doesn’t matter. If JJ Abrums did this in everything, then that would  cease to be a plot device used to hoodwink the audience, and start to be Abrum’s style and form.

  • Buffy vs Twilight in Buffy Season 8

    ©Jinx, Inc. Used without permission. Please don't sue me, Jinx! I love your t-shirts!!!!I’ll be honest: I cannot stand sparkly vampires. I have even considered buying a T-shirt depicting Buffy dusting Edward. I have even contemplated writing fan fiction along the same lines. But why should I write fan fiction, when Buffy goes toe to toe with the Twilight Vamps canonically? In the Buffy the Vampire: Season 8 graphic novels, we find an interesting subtext involving the evils of even the nicest and incompetent vampires. This evil, is not just limited to the Buffyverse: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 shows that even the sparkly vamps of the twilight universe are evil creatures, and should probably be disposed of, lest they win the hearts of the innocents.

    Let’s begin with issue 21: “Harmonic Divergence.” Harmony, the ditsy cheerleader turned Vampire Princess, is spotted in California drinking blood from the neck of an unnamed celebrity. Through a course of events, she gets her own reality show on MTV, and a worldwide interest in, and love for, vampires emerges. But Harmony as evil as ever, even more so. Not only does she heartlessly kills a slayer on live television, she also endorses a line of what is later revealed to be demon controlled toy vampires! Of course, after an attack by a would be slayer (who is slaughtered mercilessly), and after Buffy’s gang destroys the toys, Harmony plays the victim, and of course, the public fall for this. Hmmm, Vampires gaining immense popularity, to the point of immense fandom and said fans claiming said vampires are not evil. Quite an interesting resemblance to the fans of Twilight, as well as the other sparkly Vamps that have emerged because of the immense Twilight Vamps. Harmony appears nice enough, she’s not out to kill anyone – at least not publicly. But when the doors are closed, she’s just as bloodthirsty, heartless, and evil as ever. And perhaps, so are the Twilight Vamps. Perhaps.

    Or perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions. Perhaps the similarity of Harmony’s popularity and Twilight’s popularity is simply just a coincidence and not an allegory showing that all Vampires are evil creatures  (even though issue 21 came out a mere two months after the release of the first Twilight movies). Well, even if this IS a coincidence, there are other damning factors against Twilight in season 8. For one thing, the Big Bad of season 8 is named, (ahem) TWILIGHT! Yes, how coincidental is that? How is it that the head evil creature is actually named Twilight? There’s no denying the fact that Season 8 shows the evils of the Twilight, when the main villain is actually named TWILIGHT!!! That’s would be like if CS Lewis had named Aslan “Jesus.” That would be like if George Orwell had called the pigs in Animal Farm “Communists.” That would be like if Herman Melville named the Whale – well whatever the heck the whale means, that one’s still up for debate. But my point is simple: Word association is a powerful tool. Its pretty unimaginable that Joss Whedon would happen to overlook the fact that his main villain in season 8 just happens to share the name of a series of books and movies which depicts good and caring vampires. When the name is different, any similarities, however blaring they might be, could be dismissed as merely coincidence. The very fact that the main villain is named “Twilight,” is a big blaring sign saying “HEY! LOOK! TWILIGHT! WE REALLY MEAN TWILIGHT!!!!”

    Oh, but wait! What about Angel? What about Spike? They’re both Vampires and they’re both good!Or are they? If I remember correctly, Spike only became “good” because he had a chip implanted in his head causing him not to kill humans. Despite anything he did after that, if it had not been for that chip, Spike would have gone on killing anyone and everyone he felt the urge to kill. Spike was pretty much tamed like a circus animal – take out his metaphorical teeth and he’s harmless. Ok, ok, Spike is evil, but what about Angel? Well, Angel just happens to be the best piece of evidence to my thesis. Angel was probably one of the most evil Vampires in the Buffyverse before his, for lack of a better word, anti-curse. And after he slept with Buffy, he lost his soul and became evil once more. Angel is no (ahem) Angel; he’s a demon who is only good because people were so sick of his terror, that they decided to put a spell on him. But never mind that. an interesting fact was revealed about Angel recently. The writers of Buffy Season 8 has revealed that Angel, who has not previously been portrayed in season 8, has been in the background of Season 8 this entire time. Angel has been wearing a mask—the same mask that Twilight wears. Angel is Twilight! The kindest, most gentle, and dare I say Edward-like vampire in the Buffyverse turns out to be the Big Bad that’s trying to kill Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies! Case closed! Never mind the neon sign, we now have a blaring horn bleating out that even the sparkliest of vampires is evil and vile and will kill you if you give it a chance. And yes,I said  it! They are not people! They are evil THINGS that need to be disposed of properly and by all means necessary.

    Oh the path we weave when we decide evil is good, and good is evil. Oh the twisted, sick perversions, oh the death and destruction – but I digress. In all seriousness, I really don’t believe Vampires exist, despite my enthusiasm in this article. Vampires are a great literary device to describe all that is evil and dark in this world. A little Vlad the Impaler, a little Black Plague, a little dark magic, and voila! Dracula – one of the most formidable literary villains of all time – is born. But even Dracula has his good side, right? He helped Buffy and the Scoobies in Tokyo, right? Well, yes….but only because that served his best interest. Mark my words, in any other circumstance, Dracula meeting Buffy would have meant a reenactment of Season 5’s first episode – only this time the end might depict a role reversal – IE Dracula standing over Buffy’s grave. Every vamp is something to be weary of. Like I said, I don’t believe in vampires – but if I ever meet one – I’m running the other way as fast as I possibly can. And you should as well. Now. Don’t stop. Just freaking run already!