Category Archives: Television

More On The Battlestar Galactica Auction: Cast & Crew Panels

Cylon Centurion by Jodi

I’m still in a state of mourning that Battlestar Galactica has ended as a series. Like many others, I watched the show reluctantly at first. It didn’t take long to get hooked, which made it even harder to say good-bye. Luckily for fans, there have been some events recently that allow the show to go on. Damn, it’s good to live in L.A.

Queequeg gave us a good look at the Battlestar Galactica props and costumes that were up for auction last weekend in Pasadena. The first sell-off this past January was awesome too, but of course it couldn’t feature any items from the last several episodes. This time I didn’t make it over to the convention center early enough on Preview Day to peruse as many items as before (or sit in a viper! How did Queequeg get so lucky?). However, I was able get there in time for a couple of entertaining and informative panels, one with some members of the cast and the other with various crew members. Personally, I could have listened to all of their stories for several more hours.

First up, we were treated to fun with four cast members. They recounted their time on the show, which was fun, challenging, and emotional. It was obvious that they all cherish their Battlestar Galactica experience.

bsg41
Grace Park (Sharon/Boomer/Etc.), Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh), Michael Trucco (Sam Anders), Luciana Carro (Kat)

Continue on after the jump for more on the panels, including a video of Michael Trucco, and an announcement about a cool BSG event happening in L.A. this summer.

Continue reading More On The Battlestar Galactica Auction: Cast & Crew Panels

Battlestar Galactica: The Last Frakkin’ Auction

cylon-raider2I got stuck on Battlestar Galactica right after the bar exam.  I was bumming around, de-barring, at a friend’s place when he pulled out the Season 1 DVD set and asked if I had ever seen it.  Being one of those people without cable (which isn’t as bad as being one of those people without a television), I had to shake my head no.  He popped it in, and that was it.  I was done for.  Less than a day after sitting 18 hours for the bar exam, I sat for 8 hours to watch the first half of the first season before I reluctantly realized that I really, really, really should sleep.

Converting other people to the show has not been as easy.  BSG fanatics are easily labeled as nerds – but when you have an entire United Nations event (oddly or not) dedicated to discussing how the show can be used as a tool to educate about the pressing issues of our time –  abortion, terrorism, torture, colonialism, imperialism, fear as a political weapon – well, we the devoted must be on to something.  The series ended a month ago, to much controversy (I for one hated it – I knew there was an implicit theme about imperalism, but I didn’t think it was that), but new and old fans can forget that the finale exists and instead fondly recall one of the best television shows in our time by bidding on an authentic piece of Battlestar this weekend at PropWorx’s Battlestar Galactica “Last of the Best” live auction at the Pasadena Convention Center.

A preview of the auction, including a nice bird, Baltar’s notes from when he actually did science-y things, and, yes, the red dress that wet dreams are made of, after the jump.

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica: The Last Frakkin’ Auction

The Dogs Take Charge of Dogtown

img_1427I engaged in an important Los Angeles rite of passage today: my first audition. Actually, the audition was for my “nephew” Spencer, a Golden Retriever/Lab mix. I took Spencer over to Venice Beach for the Long Island-based North Shore Animal League’s Tour For Life 2009, billed as “the world’s largest cooperative pet adoption event.”  As the name indicates, Tour For Life is a roving pet adoption event that hits many major cities around the U.S.  But at Venice Beach, we got the added attraction of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.”

Continue reading The Dogs Take Charge of Dogtown

Tavis Smiley fills in for Larry King tonight

tavisHow cool to see KCET’s Tavis Smiley hosting Larry King Live on CNN tonight. I first found Smiley years ago, when I lived in NYC, via his Los Angeles-based radio show that was broadcast on a local NPR affiliate. Smiley ultimately left the radio show, saying NPR was ineffective in reaching a more diverse audience. Now he hosts his own nightly TV show at 11 PM on KCET.

Tonight’s King show had some LA/CA relevance with Smiley doing a segment about medical marijuana dispensaries and the recent decision by the Obama administration Justice Dept. to not prosecute them if they are following state laws. (CA passed Prop 215 in ’96, legalizing pot for medical purposes, although federal law doesn’t allow it– yet.)

“The Millionaire Matchmaker” and My Love/Hate Relationship With Los Angeles

img_1415I did not move to Southern California to be part of the “scene,” whether that word is preceded by “entertainment industry,” “Hollywood,” “celebrity” or some other term.  It’s fine with me if others are immersed in that, but I prefer the serenity of beach town life.   Of course, due to our location, one can theoretically bounce between serenity and “scene” as one wishes.  And Hollywood is a mere 15 miles away.

One area, however, where “Hollywood” and my beach town come crashing together is in the countless films, television programs,  commercials, videos, and print ads that are shot near me in Marina del Rey, Venice, and Santa Monica.  I never realized how often this happens until I moved here.  Usually, I’m proud and excited to see my neighborhood pop up on television or the big screen.  But the television program containing more scenes filmed in my area than just about any other, “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” is also one of the most annoying, and represents some of what I dislike about Los Angeles.

Continue reading “The Millionaire Matchmaker” and My Love/Hate Relationship With Los Angeles

Time Warner Cable prices to increase

I am a valued customer to Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles, so they afforded me due respect today by notifying me, via mail, of their latest round of price increases starting in April.

But with the deluge of grim economic news lately, in their keen sensitivity to my feelings, TWC didn’t want me to think I am not valued, so they avoided the word, “increase,” replacing it with the much more respectful, valued-y term, “adjustment.”

I only have broadcast cable, so my bill is only increasing being adjusted by eleven cents, but my internet service will change by two dollars– guess which direction.

Other services are being adjusted from $3 to $5 per month.

Cathy schools Martha about Lily – March 11

Handmade flowers from Cathy of California
Handmade flowers from Cathy of California

Local craft goddess Cathy of California is slated to appear on Martha Stewart on Wednesday, March 11th.

She’ll be extolling the virtues of none other than Lily Pulitzer, in honor of Lily’s 50th anniversary.

Cathy will be wearing vintage Lily, and making some vintage inspired flowers on a flower loom as well as talking about 60s – 70s crafts.

Check your local listings on Martha.com!

2009 Paley Festival-Member Tickets Update

If you are trying to get tickets, go directly to TicketWeb as the Paley Center site is not handling the influx of hits. Passes, packages, and the Swingtown event are sold out, but it looks like there are still tickets for all of the other shows as of right now.

The 26th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival is coming to the Cinerama Dome at Arclight Hollywood April 10-24, 2009. Paley Fest is an event that celebrates current, past, and even future TV shows. Attendees are treated to an episode and/or clips viewing followed by a panel discussion with cast members and the creative forces behind their favorite programs. There are opportunities for the audience to ask questions and on certain nights even get autographs and photos with willing guests of honor.

Katee Sackhoff @ PaleyFest06 by Jodi
Katee Sackhoff @ PaleyFest06 by Jodi

Ticket packages and a premium pass are already on sale. Tomorrow morning, Thursday February 26th, individual tickets go on sale to members of the Paley Center for Media at 9am PT. Popular shows do often sell out to members. Otherwise, tickets go on sale to the general public on Sunday, March 1st at 9am PT.

The Oresteia has happened before. And will happen again.

ghostroad_600Long before Battlestar Galactica’s Cavil and Ellen Tigh entertained us with arguments over the vagaries of sentient existence and free will, humanity looked to the ancient Greek tragedians to divert our minds from daily ills. That is, if you consider tales of matricide, patricide, fratricide, filicide and the occasional act of forced cannibalism a diversion.

You see, this cat Aeschylus was a bad mother … (Shut your mouth!) … but I’m talkin’ about the father of tragedy! Aeschylus’s The Oresteia trilogy–Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides–still rattles nerves to this day. And Angelenos who like their nerves rattled have it good, because thanks in part to the Getty Villa’s theater program, an Aeschylus tragedy is never more than a few months away.

This Friday through Sunday, the Getty’s Villa Theater Lab is presenting Ghost Road Company’s Orestes, the third part of their Home, Siege, Home trilogy, the multimedia theater ensemble’s own unique take on The Oresteia. In this chapter, “Orestes is tormented by his memories of having killed his mother; the Furies seek revenge for their fallen leader; and the Gods Apollo and Athena struggle to exact some peace and justice from the rubble.”

Wait a second? Apollo? Athena? Where have I heard those names before?

Image: Ghost Road Company’s Orestes. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Conan O’Brien and Alec Baldwin Raise the N.Y.C. vs. L.A. Debate

That Conan O’Brien will soon relocate from New York City to Los Angeles to take over Jay Leno’s chair on The Tonight Show would, in itself, be an interesting subject for Los Angeles Metblogs.  But last night, Conan, with guest Alec Baldwin, also touched on a Metbloggy sore point subject by raising the N.Y.C. vs. L.A. comparison.  The discussion takes place in part 1 of the video (h/t to The Huffington Post).

O’Brien and Baldwin are the perfect pair to discuss the New York City/Los Angeles comparison.  While O’Brien is on his way from N.Y.C. to L.A., Baldwin, who grew up in New York and has spent much of his adult life making movies in Los Angeles, is now back in New York working on the “30 Rock” television program.

If you watch to the end of part 2, you’ll get another East Coast/West Coast bonus, straight from New Jersey.

Free Preview of Battlestar Galactica Auction

Want to own a piece of Battlestar Galactica? Geeks everywhere, including myself, are already mourning the fact that the series will be wrapping up for good very soon. A company called Propworx has teamed up with Universal Studios to auction off props, costumes, art and more from the show. You can bid online or check out some of the “less expensive” items on eBay. For those of you in the Los Angeles area, you can attend the event in Pasadena this weekend, January 17th and18th.

Personally, I don’t know many people who can afford to purchase the Arrow of Apollo or Six’s First MiniSeries Costume, but wouldn’t it be cool to at least get a close-up look at the items for sale? The exciting news is that there is a Preview Day on Friday, January 16th, which is free to the public and includes panel discussions with various production crew members.

Event details after the jump

Is now the time for a SAG strike?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQZwaog6j3A&eurl=http://www.savethebiz.org/video.php[/youtube]
Okay, look: We all know money’s tight, the economy’s halfway down the drain and layoffs are hitting every sector of society (including 3,000 LAUSD teachers – the subject of a future rant I don’t have space for here).

But we have to wonder – just a little bit – who’s really behind the please-SAG-don’t-strike site SaveTheBiz.org.

Veteran actor James Cromwell pleads in the video above for both parties in the ongoing contract haggling between the Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP to remember the gaffers, grips, craft-service drones and honey-wagon drivers – and don’t bring on a strike.

So – is this a non-partisan plea for parity, reason and good-faith bargaining?

Or is it a well-muscled push from the non-acting screen trades to dissuade actors from picketing if they’re faced with fuck-you terms from the AMPTP?

Discuss.

LA’s cultural stew in an email

Let’s see; Ellen Degeneris, Foreigner, Deepak Chopra, Marissa Tomei and hula hoops. I love when worlds collide in my inbox. Aside from the cultural references in play, it sounds like a pretty cool gig for Bryan Head, drummer about  town (and the country,) as well as holding down the rhythm section for LA’s Dead Rock West, the greatest band west of the Rockies. And who knows– if anyone can meditate while using a hula hoop, it would be Deepak. Tune in today and find out.

Hi everybody,

I’ll be on the Ellen Degeneres show Tomorrow, Tuesday the 6th with Foreigner. The show airs at 3 or 4 pm PST, depending on where you are. Also, Deepak Chopra and Marissa Tomei doing hula hoops (not with Deepak.)

Happy New Year!

Bryan

Next month, Head hits the road with Supertramp.

Overheard in L.A. – Menace II Society

I love overhearing those “oh-so L.A.” conversations people have in this town. If you don’t overhear the conversation yourself, the next best thing is reading about it in someone’s blog.

This one comes from my friend Ken, who says his daughter recounted the following conversation she overheard in her Japanese class at SaMo High:

“Where’d you go for Thanksgiving?”
“New Zealand.”
“Why’d ya go to New Zealand?”
“My dad’s a producer.”
“What’s he produce?”
“The Bachelor.”

(pause)

“Your Dad’s a menace to society.”
“I know.”

[original post]

WTF? Cable Operators to Eliminate PEG Access Facilities in L.A.?

I just stumbled upon this message from a couple of days ago by an organization called Full Disclosure.  As their written materials and accompanying video indicate, apparently, the Los Angeles City Council is set to vote tomorrow, November, 25, to ratify a plan that would eliminate most cable television Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) access facilities serving the city.  According to Full Disclosure, the principal cable operators in Los Angeles, which they name as Time Warner Cable and Cox, switched from a citywide franchise to a statewide franchise in 2006, which became effective last year.  Under the previous franchise agreement, which, says Full Disclosure, had been in effect for at least 20 years, the  City’s cable operators had been providing 14 PEG facilities, including studios and equipment, for the production of this local access programming.  Under the new plan, which Full Disclosure states was adopted by the City Council’s Committee on Information Technology Agency & General Services on November 11, the cable operators may eliminate all of their PEG facilities support by the end of this year, and the City would be left with only 4 PEG channels to finance and run itself, if it chooses to foot the bill. According to Full Disclosure’s video, Time Warner has already stated that it intends to eliminate all 14 of its PEG facilities.  Full Discloure states that, not only would Los Angeles residents lose valuable PEG facilities, but the remaining facilities would be fully controlled by the City, which would stifle local voices.

Update after the jump