Fall TV Preview


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Time to set those DVR’s!  I sort through the new stuff so you don’t have to.

As usual, there are tons of new fall TV shows.  And, as usual, the mid series replacements (the ringers that will start in January when inevitably some of these fall TV shows fail) are the shows I’m really interested in.  But more on those later.  Here are the new shows that I’ll be trying out this fall:


Tuesday, September 13 – CW

Buffy (aka Sarah Michelle Gellar) returns to the CW network in Ringer.  She plays twin sisters who are complete opposites of each other.  Looks like it will be a dark action/thriller.  Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert – eyeliner guy) from LOST also stars.  Watch the preview.

Person of Interest
Thursday, September 22 – CBS

From the minds of J.J. Abrams (LOST) and Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, The Prestige), Person of Interest stars Jim Caviezel as a crime – preventer with a shady past, and Michael Emerson (Ben Linus from LOST) as the mysterious man who hires him and knows when and where a crime will be committed before it actually does.  Watch the preview.

Once Upon a Time
Sunday, October 23 – ABC

Fairy tale land mixes with reality in Once Upon a Time, from the executive producers of LOST. Watch the preview.

Terra Nova
Monday, September 26 – FOX

Earth is threatened with human extinction in the year 2149.  Scientists send groups back in time to the prehistoric era in an effort to save the human race.  Yes, there will be dinosaurs.  FOX spent a ton of money on the pilot episode, so at the very least the two hour opener will be entertaining.  Watch the preview.


New Girl
Tuesday, September 20 – FOX

Zooey Deschanel is too adorable to pass up.  I’m skeptical that her adorability quotient will be able to keep this show afloat for the long run, but I’m willing to give it a shot.  She plays Jess, a girl who has to find a new apartment because her live in boyfriend cheated.  Her new roommates are three guys who are sucked in because she mentions all her friends are models.  They try to help her get over her break up.  Watch the preview. 

Up All Night
Wednesday, September 14 – NBC

This looks like a sure thing, but of course now I’ve jinxed it.  But with Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, I’d say it has a better chance than most.  Especially if it can deliver a scene as hilarious in its pilot that clinched it for Modern Family.


Emmys: Results

Some surprises!  But pooh on the Emmys for shutting out LOST completely.  Not one speck of Emmy love.  Green if I called it, red if I missed it.

Here are the winners:

Best Series, Drama

Mad Men – no contest!

Best Series, Comedy

Modern Family – yay!  Secretly thrilled Glee didn’t snatch that up.

Best Actor, Drama

Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”

Best Actress, Drama

Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer” – HUGE surprise, but very happy she won finally.

Best Actor, Comedy

Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory“.  Who?

Best Actress, Comedy

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” – Another big surprise, especially for Falco, who claimed in her speech, “I’m not funny.”

Best Supporting Actor, Drama Series

Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” – I guess I need to start watching this…

Best Supporting Actress, Drama Series

Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife”

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family” – can’t wait til this comes back on in the Fall!!

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

Jane Lynch, “Glee”

6 out of 10!

Emmys: Predictions



The Emmy Awards are airing Sunday evening.  I wanted to do a predictions sheet, see how many I would get right. But I quickly discovered that who I thought would win and who I wanted to win are two completely different things (for the most part).   So here they are – who I think WILL win, and also who I WANT to win.

Best Series, Drama

‘Breaking Bad’


‘Lost’ – Want to win

‘Mad Men’ – Will win

‘The Good Wife’

‘True Blood’

Best Series, Comedy

‘Nurse Jackie’

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

’30 Rock’


‘The Office’

‘Modern Family’ – want to win and will win

Best Actor, Drama

Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’ – will win

Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’

Hugh Laurie, ‘House’

Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’

Matthew Fox, ‘Lost’ – want to win

Kyle Chandler, ‘Friday Night Lights’

Best Actress, Drama

Connie Britton, ‘Friday Night Lights’

Glenn Close, ‘Damages’

Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’

Kyra Sedgwick, ‘The Closer’

January Jones, ‘Mad Men’

Julianna Margulies, ‘The Good Wife’ – want to win and will win

Best Actor, Comedy

Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’ – want to win and will win

Tony Shalhoub, ‘Monk’

Jim Parsons,’The Big Bang Theory’

Steve Carell, ‘The Office’

Larry David, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Matthew Morrison, ‘Glee’

Best Actress, Comedy

Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’ – want to win

Lea Michele, ‘Glee’ – will win

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ”The New Adventures of Old Christine’

Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’

Toni Collette,’United States of Tara’

Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’

Best Supporting Actor, Drama Series

Andre Braugher, ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Aaron Paul, ‘Breaking Bad’

Michael Emerson, ‘Lost’

John Slattery, ‘Mad Men’

Martin Short, ‘Damages’ – will win

Terry O’Quinn, ‘Lost’ – want to win

Best Supporting Actress, Drama Series

Rose Byrne, ‘Damages’

Christine Baranski, ‘The Good Wife’

Archie Panjabi, ‘The Good Wife’ – want to win and will win

Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’

Christina Hendricks ,’Mad Men’

Sharon Gless, ‘Burn Notice’

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

Eric Stonestreet, ‘Modern Family’ – want to win and will win

Neil Patrick Harris, ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Chris Colfer, ‘Glee’

Jon Cryer, ‘Two And A Half Men’

Ty Burrell, ‘Modern Family’

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, ‘Modern Family’

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

Jane Lynch, ‘Glee’ – will win

Kristen Wiig, ‘Saturday Night Live’

Sofia Vergara, ‘Modern Family’

Jane Krakowski, ’30 Rock’ – want to win

Holland Taylor, ‘Two and A Half Men’

Julie Bowen, ‘Modern Family’

What do you think?  Who have I got wrong?  Who do you want to win?  Think LOST has a tiny chance???

Crash Course Refresher for LOST Season 5



Episode 1: Because You Left

The Gist: Our Losties on the Island are jumping through time.   Off the Island, Ben is sobering Jack up, Kate is being threatened by lawyers, and Sayid is rescuing Hurley and teaching us never to leave knives sharp-side up in the dishwasher.

Key revelation: Our on-Island castaways are jumping through time, and according to Daniel, “Time is like a street, we can go forward and in reverse, but can’t create a new street. Whatever happened, happened.”

Best moment: Alpert visiting Locke as he’s time-jumping, complete with first-aid kit and some advice:  “the only way to save the Island is to get everyone back here.”  “How do I convince them?”, John asks.  “You’re gonna have to die, John.”

Episode 2: The Lie

The Gist: Jack “The Fixer” Shephard concocts a lie for our Oceanic 6. Hurley is the only one who wants to tell the truth (“the Island disappeared, Bloop!”).  He acquires a pretty cool shirt, sees Ana Lucia, tells his mom the truth and dumps an unconscious Pakistani on her couch, throws a hot pocket at Ben, and turns himself in to the police.   Frogurt gets nailed by a flaming arrow, and Sawyer acquires a pretty cool shirt.

Key Revelation: Hurley refuses to go along with Ben (“Never, dude”), Sawyer and Juliet are captured by the Others, only to be rescued by Locke.

Best Moment: Hurley throws his hot pocket at Ben.

Episode 3: Jughead 

The Gist: Desmond hunts for Faraday’s mum, Locke meets Alpert in 1954, Juliet reveals she took Others 101, Des and Penny have a baby (and name him Charlie!), and Dan’s teenaged mum takes him to the hydrogen bomb.

Key Revelation: Young man that captured Juliet and Sawyer is Charles Widmore.

Best Moment: Desmond’s snazzy shades and scarf.

Episode 4: The Little Prince

The Gist: People are getting nosebleeds like crazy, Sawyer watches Kate help Claire deliver Aaron, Locke wants to go back to the Orchid station to stop the time jumps.

Key Revelation: Jin is alive and rescued by Rousseau’s team.

Best Moment: We meet Ben’s lawyer.

Episode 5: This Place is Death

The Gist: We see what happened to Rousseau and her team (Montand loses his arm), the Temple makes an appearance, and so does Smokey. Ben manages to get two of the Oceanic 6 (Jack and Sun) to agree to meet Ms. Hawking and go back to the Island.  Charlotte dies.

Key Revelation: Locke goes down the well at the Orchid station, runs into Christian Shephard, who tells him to spin the frozen donkey wheel.  He does.

Best Moment: Before spinning the wheel, Locke says, “Richard told me I was going to die.” Christian calmly replies, “I suppose that’s why they call it sacrifice.”

Episode 6:  316

The Gist: They make it back to the Island:  Jack has to touch a dead man’s feet and has to read his suicide note.   We haven’t seen the last of Frank Lapidus.  Kate is upset.   Hurley has a guitar.  Sayid is in handcuffs.

Key Revelation: Jin is already on the Island, sporting a Dharma jumpsuit and driving the Dharma van.

Best Moment: The opening moment – Jack’s open eye, in his suit, in the jungle – exactly how Season one episode one begins.

Episode 7:  The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

The Gist: We see what happened to Locke after he spun the wheel.

Key Revelation: Locke is on the Island in the ‘present’.

Best Moment: Locke’s struggle with attempt at hanging himself, talked down by Ben, only to be murdered by him a moment later.

Episode 8:  LaFleur

The Gist: We see what happens to our time-hoppers after Locke spun the wheel.

Key Revelation: Sawyer and Juliet are living it up in Dharmaville together, the Dharma Initiative and the Others have a truce.

Best Moment: We see the back of the entire four-toed statue.

Episode 9:  Namaste

The Gist: Sun and Lapidus are visited by Christian Shephard; he shows them that Jin is stuck in 1977 Dharmaville.

Key Revelation: Young Ben is there in Dharmaville.

Best Moment: We see Radzinsky building the model of the Swan Station, or ‘the hatch’.

Episode 10:  He’s Our You

The Gist: Mostly Sayid backstory – he does Ben’s bidding.

Key Revelation: Ben helps Sayid escape, Sayid says thank you with a bullet in the chest.

Best Moment: Sayid, answering Sawyer:  “A twelve year old Ben Linus just brought me a chicken salad sandwich.  How do you think I’m doing?”

Episode 11:  Whatever Happened, Happened

The Gist: Mostly Kate backstory – she’s mopey over Aaron and finds comfort with Cassidy (Sawyer’s ex).

Key Revelation: Alpert takes Ben to be healed.   He tells Kate and Sawyer that he won’t remember anything, and that his innocence will be lost.

Best Moment: We finally see Kate’s reasons for coming back to the Island, and they have nothing to do with Jack or Sawyer.

Episode 12:  Dead is Dead

The Gist: Ben gets judged by Smokey in the Temple.

Key Revelation: We see where Smokey ‘lives’ – and it screams Egypt.

Best Moment: Locke:  “I think we should talk about the elephant in the room.”    Ben:  “I assume you’re referring to the fact that I killed you.”

Episode 13:  Some Like it Hoth

The Gist: Mostly Miles backstory – he can talk to dead people.

Key Revelation: Dr. Chang is Miles’ dad.

Best Moment: Hurley:  “Small world, right Miles?  That’s your name, too.”  Plus Hurley witnessing the Numbers being etched into the Hatch door.

Episode 14:  The Variable

The Gist: Mostly Dan’s backstory – his mom has a heart of stone.

Key Revelation: Dan is shot and killed by his own mother.  Widmore is Dan’s father.  Desmond is ok.

Best Moment: Dan’s urgency to change time throughout the episode, culminating in his death.

Episode 15:  Follow the Leader

The Gist: Jack takes over Dan’s mission of detonating the nuke to reset time, Sawyer and Juliet try to leave the Island on the sub, Locke leads the Others to see Jacob.

Key Revelation: Locke reveals to Ben that he isn’t going to Jacob to reunite his people, but to kill him.

Best Moment: Locke instructs Alpert to visit the time-hopping Locke.  Ben:  “This must be quite the out of body experience”.

Episode 16 & 17:  The Incident

The Gist: Jacob visits and touches Sun, Jin, Hurley, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Sayid.  Ben kills Jacob.  Juliet detonates the bomb.

Key Revelation: We see Jacob for the first time, plus a mysterious man in black who wants to kill him.  Locke’s body is in Ilana’s crate.

Best Moment: Ben asks Jacob, “What about ME?”  Jacob responds, “What about you?”   Plus the fade to white.

Season 5 Refresher – 5 days left



A Note about Hurley, revisited

While telling his mom the truth about what happened to him, Hurley recaps all of LOST in a minute and a half.

From my recap post when The Lie first aired:

I love Hurley-centric episodes.  They always seem funnier, and a touch more light-hearted; even when he’s wanted for three murders.  Kudos to Hurley’s mom (Carmen) for believing his crazy story, even after his dad doesn’t believe him, and questions Hurley’s sanity.  I loved when he told his mom the story. It was in itself a very helpful recap, and was hilarious to hear it from his mother’s perspective. It does sound like a ridiculous could never-be-true story!

As for Hurley’s insanity:  I don’t think he’s crazy – even though he saw Ana Lucia, played chess with Mr. Eko, is committed to a mental institution, and has had nightly visits from Charlie.  Let’s not forget Kate has seen Claire when she couldn’t have been there, spoke to her dead father through Sawyer.  Jack has seen his dad countless times, and no one is questioning their sanity.  I think these dead people (think Christian Shepherd visiting Michael right before the freighter explodes saying “you can go now, Michael”) are manifestations of the Island, helping our Losties do its bidding.  As Hurley said to Locke about Jacob’s cabin: maybe the reason he and Locke can see it is because they are the craziest.  But maybe they aren’t crazy, just the most open to the Island communicating with them.

I hope Hugo makes it back to the Island, and soon.  He is so upset about the people they left behind, and he wanted to get back from the very beginning, didn’t even want to leave, and didn’t want to lie about what happened.  Maybe Hugo Reyes is the real hero of LOST.


Fall TV Follow Up: The Winners


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Before fall TV started, I listed my top 5 anticipated shows.  Here are the Fall TV winners.

Best New Drama that didn’t make the Anticipated Top 5:

The Good Wife. I am sure without Julianna Margulies, this show wouldn’t have been anywhere near my choice for best new drama.  But it is my favorite drama of the new stuff.  It wasn’t even on my radar – I didn’t expect a procedural court drama to be any different than the last million procedural court dramas.  But I keep coming back to The Good Wife, and the quiet, steely determination of Margulies.   Christopher Noth is excellent as the imprisoned cheater husband. Easy to hate, but occasionally drawn in by his charm, he is her perfect counterpoint.

Best Show to Meet and Wildly Exceed my Expectations:

Modern Family. Best new fall tv show.  The Lion King scene alone was all I needed.  And the most recent Thanksgiving episode?
Scorpions!  Crossbow!  Zip Line! Clown Fear!   Comb Sheaths!  What more could you ask for?

How about Manny: the Man of Action and Rule Follower!
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Honorable Mention (again):

V. While only a few episodes in, I think I’ll be pleased with this sci-fi alien invasion show.   The pilot episode was dizzingly fast-paced, but the tempo has slowed down and I’m ready for the battle.

What were your favorites?

Stay tuned for Fall’s Best Episodes!

Fall TV Follow Up: The Losers


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Before fall TV started, I gave a list of my top 5 most anticipated shows (plus one honorable mention).

Biggest Disappointment:

Cougar Town. Although, to be fair, I didn’t even make it to the opening credits of the pilot, and never gave it a chance.  Some reviews I read were positive, especially episodes following the pilot.  But now even the promos make me cringe.

Most Frustrating:

FlashForward. I dearly wanted this show to be great.  And the premise is intriguing.  But gee whiz it is slow!  I am starting to resent the way the show keeps reminding us what people saw in their flashes forward, as if we can forget so quickly.  I’ve watched every episode and will keep watching because it was my most anticipated show, and because I am curious to see where they go with it.  Plus, two of the last few episodes – when Al throws himself off the roof to stop other deaths, and the Believe episode – when we meet Bryce’s Japanese vision girl – both picked up the pace.  This gives me hope, though after the mid-season finale (airs this Thursday, December 3rd), we might be seeing a hiatus which could be bad for the show.  And for me.

Most Rejected by the DVR:

Glee. The humor was there, but the unreality of the group glancing at the sheet music and then perfectly performing a number really started to grate on me.  It lost out to Criminal Minds and Modern Family, which air at the same time as Glee.

What did I miss?  What were the most disappointing fall TV shows for you?

Check out Fall TV Follow Up:  The Winners – coming tomorrow!



Fall TV: New Shows


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Fire up the DVR!  Fall TV is about to begin!

There doesn’t seem to be as many new shows this fall compared to last fall; or at least not as many that I am interested in.  Then I previewed 5 shows; and of those only my number one interest lived to see a season 2.   Did I jinx them?  Maybe I should steer clear of endorsing 5 more?  Eh, well.  You’ll notice 4 of the 5 are comedies – this is out of the ordinary for me, but all the new dramas feel like rehashes (medical dramas, lawyer dramas, vampire dramas) and the comedies at least seem partially fresh.  Here they are, my top 5 most anticipated new fall tv shows:

#5.  Community, on NBC.  Premiere: Thursday, September 16, 8:30 p.m.community_cast_gallery_primary

Chevy Chase.  The guy from E Soup.  Great recipe so far.  Community refers to a Community college where a failed lawyer starts his own study group to get closer to a girl.  The characters seem quirky enough, I hope the dialogue holds up to the quirk of the characters, and gives those actors some meat to work with.  The featurette below has some funny moments, but I am afraid it is one of those cases of showing the only funny moments in the show’s pilot.   I’m definitely giving it a shot, if only because of Clark Griswold.

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#4. Cougar Town, on ABC. Premiere: Wednesday, September 22, 8:30 p.m.cougartown

A divorcee, single mother trying to date post-40 and post-divorce.  I’m giving it a shot because it stars Courtney Cox Arquette, and the double pun of the title is clever and makes me laugh.   Plus the executive producer is the guy that created Scrubs.

#3. Glee, on FOX. Premiere: Wednesday, September 8, 8:00 p.m.glee

The pilot episode of this comedy musical aired in the spring, you can watch it at FOX. Glee follows a Spanish teacher who’s dream it is to revive the failing Glee Club (aka show choir).  Set in high school, of course, there are LOTS of characters, both adults and students. The first 15 minutes were hilarious.  The next 25 minutes were spent developing the characters and establishing the plot of the show, as pilots usually do.  The last 5 minutes were touching, bordering on cheese … okay, cheesy gushiness definitely took place.  But I could get sucked right in, and I think (sorry, Glee if I’m jinxing you!)  that this one will most assuredly see a season 2.  One cast member describes Glee as “High School Musical getting punched in the stomach and it’s lunch money stolen”.    I hope to see from the future episodes what I saw in the first 15 minutes and the last 5.

#2.  Modern Family, on ABC. Premiere: Wednesday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m.modern_family_abc

This looks absolutely hysterical.  All the promos I watched were great (one below for your approval).  Mostly actors unknown to me, Modern Family follows 3 parts of a larger family that are each different – the mom, dad, and three kids; the gay couple who adopt; and the older father who remarried a much younger latina woman.  Not sure if it will be documentary style, a la The Office, but the promos make it appear that way.  Watch and laugh!

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And the number one most-anticipated-by-Mary-new-fall-tv-show is…

#1. FlashForward, on ABC. Premiere: Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. Flash Forward ABC TV show image (4)

There is one simple reason this is my number one.  It is my desperate hope that FlashForward will be my LOST replacement.  I try not to think about a LOST-less universe.  But it will happen.  There are only 17 episodes left.   In contemplating a tv world without LOST (after my palms stop sweating), I can trust that my obsessive nature will turn to another show.  Will there be one that has a shot?  FlashForward has promise.  Here’s why:

There are fake websites dedicated to it.
The viral advertising reminds me of LOST and the way I get excited about it.
It has lots of mystery and character connections.
And it has Penelope and Charlie.

The premise is intriguing; see for yourself:

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Honorable Mention:   V, ABC.  Premiere: early November.

This also looks intriguing, but doesn’t air until November.  I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it, but it got attention via LOST news because it stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet).  V is sci fi – Aliens, or Visitors come to the planet and make friendly contact.  Mitchell is an FBI agent who is suspicious of the seemingly friendly aliens.  Looks to be a remake of a 1984 series of the same name.  The promo makes it look exciting, of course.

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I’ve got great hope for these shows (especially my LOST replacement -don’t let me down, ABC!), but not getting my hopes too high – TV can be cruel – I loved Kath and Kim, and thought My Own Worst Enemy had great promise; but they were snatched away from me.

Either way, clear out the DVRs and bring on the new fall tv.  Good luck fave 5!

Star Trek review


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Star Trek review:  Newbie vs. PuristStar-Trek-Trailer-Image-28

Mary: The Newbie

I’m a newbie when it comes to Star Trek (for the most part).  I’ve seen Trouble with Tribbles – the episode with the fuzzy ball-like creatures that procreate rapidly, and I saw Wrath of Kahn so long ago that the only part I recall is the worm-ear thing.  Must have been an effective scene.   So when I saw J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, I’d say my mind was pretty open, a blank slate.

Steven: The Purist

Star Trek.  My favorite television show!  I have to admit that I went into my first viewing of Star Trek with a mixture of emotions, excitement about a new movie with some fear and worry about how things could have been screwed up.  Would the characters act like the characters I know?  Would the history of Star Trek be completely changed from what I know?  Needless to say, all this tainted my first viewing of the movie and I left the theater not really sure how I felt about the film.  I thought about it for a while, discussed it with Mary and went for a second viewing.  After the second time, I have decided that it is a great addition to the Star Trek Universe.  Why?  It is a great story that creates an alternate reality that allows for new adventures of classic characters without contradicting anything of the previous series or movies.

As a fan, I was kept happy by the inside jokes such as hearing Scotty telling Kirk, “I’m given ya all she’s got!” and McCoy’s “My God, man!  I’m a doctor, not a physicist!”  Another nod to fans was when the away team was space jumping to the drilling platform, one member was wearing red and, sure enough, he was the one that was killed.  (In case you are unaware of the red shirt joke, crew members wearing red shirts were usually the first ones to die.)  You never wanted to wear a red shirt on Star Trek.  Only Uhura and Scotty could wear red and not be killed.  I also enjoyed hearing sound effects from the The Original Series (TOS) as they helped to tie it all together with other Star Trek episodes/movies.

The Big Picture (Mary, Newbie):

Great, great, great! Special effects were amazing, of course, and the young actors were surprisingly good.  I enjoyed Zachary Quinto’s Spock the best, bottling those emotions admirably, and letting them fly equally as admirably.  There was more humor than I expected, which sometimes can be a risk in a movie such as this, but I feel it only added to the big picture.  Of course, I had no idea which were inside jokes, and which was brand new. For example, when Kirk asks Sulu what his hand to hand combat training was (as they are about to be ejected onto a tiny platform suspended miles above the Vulcan surface), Sulu responds, “fencing”.  A mildly funny line to me, but according to my fellow movie audience, this line had much more hilarity attached than a newbie like me would have grasped.  Other examples were McCoy’s ‘My God man!” utterances that Steven referenced earlier.  The physicist one in particular startled me when I was thinking, ‘good point’, while my fellow movie audience broke into raucous guffawing.   Either way, it worked.

The Nitpicks (Steven, Purist):

Ok, time to nitpick and surprisingly, there was little to nitpick about.  My biggest nitpick is the Spock/Uhura relationship. I’m not objecting to the relationship, but the public display of affection when Spock kissed Uhura on the transporter pad.  It was so out of character for Spock.  My next nitpick is one that I like, but also dislike.  It is how the Engine Room on the Enterprise actually looked like an Engine Room.  You could see the systems that comprised the Enterprise.  The dislike I have with it is that Scotty sometimes seemed to be working in a factory or warehouse rather than the Engine Room.  And where was the Warp Core!?!  Another one of my nitpicks is how out of proportion the internal areas of the ship seemed to the exterior.  Now, I know the Enterprise is a big ship, but it’s not that big.  When Kirk and Scotty are running through the Engine Room to avoid security, the room they are in was cavernous and seemed to expand in all directions without end.  Also inconsistent with the size of the ships was the number of crew on the U.S.S. Kelvin.  Captain Pike tells Kirk that his father saved 800 lives by sacrificing himself and the ship.  How could Kelvin have had 800 crew members when on TOS, the Enterprise had a crew of 400?  Okay, that does it for the nitpicking.  Very little when you consider all the series and movies that have come before this movie.

The Time line (Newbie):

According to my guest writer and Star Trek expert, Spock’s mother did NOT die this way in the original series.  Of course, I didn’t know this until after the movie. By this time, I’ve realized what absolute geniuses these writers are.  First of all, imagine the pressure they must have been under!  Steven was so excited about this movie; anticipated it with the kind of hunger that you’d expect me to have about a LOST episode.   He watched the trailer ten times… maybe fifteen. And I’m sure there were lots of fans like Steven who couldn’t wait, but also couldn’t help feeling the trepidation that J.J. Abrams would disappoint them somehow.  Abrams had a huge undertaking, the potential to massively disappoint this audience.  The solution was logical, as Spock would say. Create an alternate reality, another time line!  Now the writers can do whatever they want to, and all the while protecting the original series and all the tiny story details that went along with it.  This way they can kill Spock’s mother (not to mention destroy his entire planet) in this new reboot without making inadvertant mistakes they would be bound to make and the Purists would be bound to notice.  Now the plots in the subsequent movies will be surprises to everyone, and not just rehashes of an old show.  The fans can rest easy because the Shatner Kirk and the Nimoy Spock are still hanging out in their own time line.

The characters (Purist):

The characters were all true to form:    Kirk changing the rules to save the day.  Spock keeping his emotions under control until something would break his discipline (i.e. – the loss of his mother and planet.)  McCoy calling Spock a “green-blooded hob goblin.”  (Though, I wish McCoy had said “green-blooded Vulcan” instead.)  Scotty performing engineering miracles that keeps the ship intact.  Uhura being a communications and linguistics expert.  Sulu expertly piloting the Enterprise to safety and using his “fencing” skills in combat.  Chekov navigating the Enterprise and providing some comic relief every once in a while.

Classic Lines:

Kirk – “I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.”

Spock – “Fascinating” & “Live long and Prosper.”

McCoy – “My God, man!  I’m a doctor, not a physicist!” & “Are you out of your Vulcan mind?”

Scotty – “I’m given ya all she’s got, Captain!”

While all the characters were played admirably, Zachary Quito’s portrayal of Spock was very accurate and by far the best!  I noticed it most when the ship is preparing to leave the spacedock, Spock is on a lower level making sure things are prepared, he signs a pad and hands it to a crew member in a way that was very similar to how Leonard Nimoy did when he played Spock on the TOS.  There were times when I thought I was watching a young Leonard Nimoy as Spock.  I don’t think a better person could have been cast to play Spock.

The Ship (Mary):

I couldn’t help but have a tiny thrill when the U.S.S. Enterprise first came into view on the screen.  I even peeked at Steven to see how he was taking it (he looked nervous).  The Captain’s chair was pretty cool – still looked boxy and retro, I imagine it was a pretty close match to the original.    The lighting on the ship was different – it made the Enterprise look all shiny and new and gleaming on its maiden voyage.

The Ship (Steven):

The Enterprise.  Part of my enjoyment of Star Trek stems from the ships and I can’t say whether I liked or disliked the new Enterprise.  It didn’t have the sleekness I’ve seen in other designs of the Enterprise, yet it was a good looking ship.  The interior sets, especially the bridge, looked amazing.  One can almost feel like the ship actually exists and isn’t simply a set on a soundstage.  I can only imagine if this is what Gene Roddenberry would have come up with had he had access to today’s special effects technology.

The Music (Mary):

For some reason, in the opening sequence, when Kirk’s father is saving the USS Kelvin, by sacrificing himself, I inexplicably got a mental image of a straggled bunch of plane crash survivors making a trek down a beach.  I realized the original music was by Michael Giacchino, also of LOST.  No wonder.  So, with the warning that my music review might be biased, I’ll just say:  very cool music.  The Romulan’s theme was super – it made the giant scary ship even scarier.

As for the final credits’ music:

Mary: “What is this?  Sounds like some crappy 60s elevator music!”
Steven:  “This is the original music from the original series.”
Mary:  “Oh. [silence]  I love it!”

So what about the sequels?

The reboot worked for me; my thrusters are on full.  A newbie turned Star Trek fan.  I’m ready to enlist in Star Fleet to see where the Enterprise will boldly go next.  And I bet next time Steven won’t even have to drag me to the theater.