Tag: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

20 Years Later – Still One Damn Fine Series

In a town like Twin Peaks, no one is innocent.

Belated anniversary premiere date wishes to what still ranks as this TV addict’s number one favorite series of all time – Twin Peaks. On April 8th, 1990 I was introduced to the quirky, creepy and always off-kilter world of Twin Peaks, Washington its diverse denizens and the stranger in a strange land G-man sent in to investigate the tragic death of the sleepy little hamlet’s prom queen. And as the haunting music over the opening credits suggests, not to mention having David Lynch as the mastermind creator, the layers of mystery that were about to unfold promised a beautifully, mesmerizing trip. 

Perhaps a little too adult for a still-developing youngster to be exposed to, looking back I can’t even remember why I was drawn to Lynch’s small screen masterpiece. Up until then I couldn’t think of anything better than ABC’s TGIF family comedy line-up – who could compete with the TannersWinslows, Balki and the hijinks in a family of 10 – so how did this one-hour drama filled to the brim with allegory and allusion that could keep not only film but art, history and social science classes talking for years beguile such an innocent mind? I’d like to attribute it to an unconscious knowledge that at any age someone can recognize and appreciate, even if they can’t fully understand, well-made television.

While I’ll never deny my indulgence in guilty TV pleasures both past (oh the sweet, original 90210 days of Brenda and Dylan) and present (those Desperate Housewives on Wisteria Lane, coincidentally the current residence of former Twin Peaks FBI agent Kyle MacLachlan) there’s also no denying that even 20 years later the cult series that spawned the whole cult series craze (you’re welcome X-Files and Buffy) and one that barely lasted two years remains the epitome for any serialized show that crosses my viewing path, particularly those of the mystery genre (another great but always placing silver, Lost), and frankly the hour-long television format altogether.

Happy 20th Anniversary Twin Peaks, now off to celebrate with a damn fine cup of coffee and a slice of cherry pie.

The entire series, including the hard-to-find original pilot, is now available to own or  watch online.

Glee Just Upped Its Awesome Quotient

Geeks and Gleeks, prick up your ears: before this 2009/2010 season ends TV mastermind, and personal hero, Joss Whedon will lay his genius on phenom frosh series Glee. Whedonites, be not afraid, this does not mean he’s jumping his current ship Dollhouse (even though there are rumblings of said ship to be on the verge of sinking) he will merely be moonlighting as director for one episode of his fellow FOX show.

Those in the know, including Glee helmer Ryan Murphy, have already seen the Buffy creator exquisitely execute a musical slant to the Slayer series’ with its season six (“All singing! All talking!”) episode “Once More With Feeling,” which he directed and wrote both music and lyrics. Murphy gushed, “Joss directed one of the great musical episodes in the history of television on Buffy, so this is a great, if unexpected, fit. I’m thrilled he’ll be loaning us his fantastic groundbreaking talent.” Most recently, the benevolent Whedon bestowed upon the world the online musical sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which garnered him a win this year in the Emmy’s newest category, Short-Form Live-Action Entertainment Program.

Joss is also no stranger to guest-directing hit shows. He ably helmed The Office episode “Business School” in its third season and says the man himself, “A television director’s job is, on some level, to be anonymous; to find the most compelling way to present a story without calling attention to himself. I had a wonderful time doing just that on The Office, and hope to again. A guest director can bring a huge amount to the party (we’ve had CRAZY talent on Dollhouse), but the party isn’t his. I just want to work with good people on a show that I like enough to have watched every episode several times.”

Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff on stage in Spring AwakeningIn other Glee guest talent news, lead Lea Michele will soon be reunited with her “Spring Awakening” co-star Jonathan Groff. The Broadway star will reportedly be on the show for about five or six episodes as the lead male singer of rival show choir Vocal Adrenaline, the group seen in the pilot episode performing “Rehab,” and will serve as a potential love interest for Michele’s glee club queen Rachel Berry. Creator Murphy describes the character as, “A male diva…a miva.”

Murphy also revealed that the cast of Glee will be going on tour next summer, not surprising given that the series’ music has exploded on iTunes with a full soundtrack set to drop November 3rd (full track listing).

In Whedon We Trust

DollhouseDollhouse is showing  more geek-love today with an official announcement that another from the Joss Whedon staple of actors will be joining his Fox show for its second season. Summer Glau, recently seen on Fox’s now-cancelled series The Sarah Connor Chronicles and most well-known for Whedon’s Firefly series and its film sequel Serenity, will have a recurring role opposite lead and Whedon darling Eliza Dushku for an as-yet unknown number of episodes. This news follows on the heels of other geekified additions in Jamie Bamber and Michael Hogan (teaming up with their old Battlestar Galactica co-star Tahmoh Pennikett) as well as Joss alum Alexis Denisof.

Being a staunch supporter of all Whedon works, I championed Dollhouse from the beginning even though it took a few episodes to completely hook me, but the show really started to find its voice midway through and provided an excellent payoff with its season finale which was one of the best hours of television this year, and if Fox had seen fit to air what was originally penned as the last episode of the season, “Epitaph One,” then I would be so bold to proclaim it one of the best season finales ever.

Referred to as the “lost” episode, I was one of the lucky attendees at Comic-Con to attend a screening of “Epitaph One” before its wide release with the season 1 DVD set last month (which has since hit number one on iTunes) and am now imploring all to move it up their viewing queue. Very much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first season had its share of hit-or-miss episodes but ended on a stellar note and, when folding in “EO” as a part of that end, provided an amazing amount of plot possibilities for its season(s?) to come.

Dollhouse Season 2 premieres Friday, September 25th 9pm eastern/8pm central on Fox. Season 1 DVD now available.

Joss & his Dollhouse leads