The Televerse #8- Joan of Arcadia with Jim Bruce

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This week, on The Televerse, Simon and Kate talk manly men and fairytales, as we discuss the pilots of Man Up!, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time. We go through our week in TV, with looks at Ringer, Suburgatory, Modern Family, Happy Endings, South Park, Psych, Top Chef: Just Desserts, American Horror Story, The Big Bang Theory, It’s Always Sunny…, The League, Supernatural, Amazing Race, The Walking Dead, Enlightened, and HIMYM. Then we spotlight The Good Wife‘s latest, “Marthas and Caitlins”, as well as Homeland‘s, “Semper I”, and we close out the show by welcoming comedian Jim Bruce from The Paul Goebel Show on to the DVD Shelf to talk about Joan of Arcadia.

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  1. tmack says

    There is so much to watch these days, especially if you factor in the news, that I must be brutal about what I choose to allocate time to. But I changed cable companies and got a dvr with my new choice. I’ll record & time-shift a few that you rave about & give them 1 chance to hook me.

    So what do I watch? Loving Homeland. I’m still watching Dexter hoping it will re-discover its spirit. But I must confess, the only reason I’m hanging in is Mos Def though so far he is not soaring on this show. I like the creative competitions like Project Runway, and Bravo’s second season of Work of Art.

    I like shows that push boundaries, that offer original concepts with edgy points of view. I’m pretty picky but, please, jump up and down, beat me upside my head if there is something on TV that I absolutely must watch. I’m paying attention.

  2. Kate Kulzick says

    Keith- Thanks! Interesting. What shows do you watch that we don’t cover? Where do we overlap?

    Ken and Mario, I didn’t see your comments until after we recorded the latest Televerse. You’ll get a shoutout on the next ‘cast.

    Ken- lol, I completely get it. What’s a show more true to your geek experience? Oh, Highlander. I watched that all the time growing up. Though I wasn’t a fan of Higlander: The Raven. You gotta love any show that has Queen for their theme song.

    Mario- 5 judges, of which one is Emeril? Not looking forward to that. I like that they’re happy to change things up, but I’m not too sure about that. We’ll see.

    1. Ken from Chicago says

      Kate, good question, what show has the most realistic geek portrayal? I’m tempted to go with BABYLON 5 and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE since their rarely used technojargon, much less technobabble (the former you can kinda piece together from contextual clues and real science as opposed to the latter not to mention the latter is far more obnoxiously intrusive than the former, I’m looking at you Star Trek:TNG, where they were PROUD of having perfectly good scripts and then sending to someone merely to add technobabble, but I digress).

      But the show with the most realistic geek *character*, mmm, I leaning toward:
      –“Troy” from COMMUNITY: He started out as a jock buy “Abed” awakened his inner geek. Yet he has other interests besides geeky ones and knows not to overwhelm the nongeeks with excessively geekitude.
      –“Samantha Carter” from later seasons of STARGATE SG-1, where she had learned to quickly simplify the technojargon for the non scientific / techno-savvy members of the military and / or government. It’s like that moment in ARMAGEDDON, one of the few if not only good moments, when the president is being told about an asteroid of “huge” size but in measures he couldn’t imagine and Billy Bob Thorton steps and says it’s about half the size of Texas. That’s what Sam, and to extant Daniel Jackson (altho sometimes his earnestness kept him gushing a little longer than Sam would about some alien tech or culture).

      — Ken from Chicago

  3. Mario in Philly says

    Nice to hear a Top Chef shout out. I’ll be watching Padma kicking up her knee high boots in the season premiere in Texas. And there are 5 judges this season – for each episode? Not previously an Emeril fan but I do like Hugh Acheson’s pespective and his dry humorous delivery. The personality mix should be interesting with Padma, Tom and Gail. With 29 cheftestants starting, wondering if this episode will be super sized!

  4. Ken from Chicago says

    As one who skipped a grade in elementary, attended a magnet school, graduated with honors from college and loves space opera, SF, chess, math, RPGs, video games, comic books, animation, computers, astronomy, science, MMOs I DESPISED the stereotypical portrayal of JOAN OF ARCADIA’s kid brother as an alleged “geek”. If there is one thing us real life geeks know, and certainly learn by high school is this:

    TONE DOWN the frelling geekery among the mundanes!

    The kid had zero self-awareness to tone it down. Only one worse was his science teacher, who again, was some 1-dimensional stereotype of science teachers.

    As a believer, I enjoyed the JOAN OF ARCADIA as pure traditional contemporary fantasy, because while cops are real, the vast majority of Hollywood portrayal of cops is unreal–yet entertaining. Showtime’s HOMELAND’s Damien Lewis, previously of HBO’s BAND OF BROTHERS was also great in the short-lived NBC cop show, LIFE, as a falsely accused cop who wins a multi-millionaire lawsuit against L.A. for 9 years of false imprisonment but goes back to work for the LAPD was fantastically entertaining (btw, amusing since Lewis is British but keeps getting cast in high-profile American roles), yet hardly a realistic portrayal of cops.

    Yes, totally agree with Kate that, once again, network marketing totally ruins a big reveal on an tv series episode. In this case, CBS and THE GOOD WIFE’s reveal of Dylan Baker’s character. I still remember NBC marketing totally ruining the reveal of FRAISER’s Niles Crane showing up at a costume party as Jesus. Then again, the commercials for TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY totally ruined the surprise that the T-101 was back–for good (if you saw the movie after the original without any trailers, you can see how they set it up as a surprise for not only the characters but the audience that Ahnold was the good guy while Robert Patrick was the bad guy).

    And while I’m not watching ONCE UPON A TIME, or GRIMM for that matter (and why two contemporary fantasy shows are airing now is because the networks cancelled the THIRD CF show, PRECINCT 17, which was being pitched by BSG’s reimagineer, Ron Moore, and woulda starred like half of the BSG cast–all because imitation is the sincerest form of show business, but I digress), but I understand why the flashbscks: To provide context to the audience for the characters. They help to explain why the characters act a certain way in the present–and / or set up the characters to make a surprising twist from their past choices. That’s how it worked on LOST or HIGHLANDER or any number of shows or movies that feature flashbacks.

    — Ken from Chicago

    P.S. We have to flashback! We HAVE to flashback, Kate, to the Island-er, fairy tal-er, haunted hous-er, whatever.

  5. Keith Viverette says

    I never watched Joan of Arcadia…still don’t really have any interest in it. Not my type of show. Its amazing as many shows as I watch I think you guys only cover about 4 or five of them a show. Anyhow great podcast. Interesting listen. Looking forward to the next episode.

  6. Kate Kulzick says

    Dan- Thanks! If you check out Joan of Arcadia, let us know what you think. As for Once Upon a Time, I’m with ya- I don’t get the mega-negative reviews either, particularly a few I seem to recall that didn’t like the performances. *shrug* To each their own?

    Michael- It’s totally a Christian procedural. When it comes to The Amazing Race, in the beginning-middle part, the luck definitely evens out, but towards the end, where theoretically the weak teams are all eliminated, a lot comes down to luck, particularly taxis. When the first and second teams are only 10 minutes apart, as has happened a few times, having a slow or fast taxi makes all the difference. I think I actually preferred the original format, where the team who won was a solid day ahead of everyone else- having so many catch-up points (only a couple flights, building doesn’t open ’til 8am, etc.) is always a bit frustrating when it robs the team I’m rooting for of the lead they’ve built up. What do you think?

    Good Wife would make for a great OCP- go for it!

  7. Michael Ryan says

    I really liked Joan of Arcadia when it was on. Mind you that could be because I sort of thought of it as a Christian procedural.

    You don’t really believe that Amazing Race rewards the lucky do you? Sometimes you can have bad luck, but the winners are almost always really really good.

    Or to put it another way, the good teams survive bad luck, the bad teams never do.

    Sort of leaning towards doing The Good Wife as OCP#3. Whatdyathink?

  8. Dan Heaton says

    I didn’t watch much of Joan of Arcadia, but the discussion made me think it might be worth checking out. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed Once Upon a Time’s pilot. It was surprising to read the negative response from some TV critics. It’s also a go-to genre for me, so I may be biased, but I really liked the pilot. I do wonder if it will work long-term with the flashbacks, which seems a bit too Lost-like to me. However, there were a lot of things that I enjoyed. You can’t go wrong with Robert Carlyle, even in a supporting role. The premise is interesting enough to keep me watching for a while, so I hope they keep the momentum of the premiere going forward. Nice job with this week’s podcast.

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