Posts Tagged ‘television’

The John Barrowman Theory

February 6th, 2015

Image credit: Phoenix Comicon

What if the television shows Doctor Who, Desperate Housewives, and Arrow are all part of the same universe? Crazy, you say? Well sure. But let me explain The John Barrowman Theory to you anyway.

After the events in Doctor Who and Torchwood, the enigmatic man who calls himself Captain Jack travels forward in time and discovers Earth is destroyed by an environmental disaster. Rather than work with Torchwood he decides to take matters into his own hands. He travels back in time and assumes the name Patrick Logan to conceal his identity from Torchwood.

As Patrick, he becomes an eco-terrorist to stop the impending doom. To escape his crimes, Patrick fakes his own death in an explosion (an easy feat because he’s immortal) then changes his name to Malcolm Merlyn. In the face of tragedy Malcolm decides to become even more of a badass and trains with Ra’s al Ghul’s assassins. When things take an ugly turn, what does Malcolm do? He fakes his own death again, that’s what.

See? There’s a pattern here — morally ambiguous, vengeful, mortality-challenged. Jack, Patrick, and Malcolm could easily be the same character in the same universe. And that’s the John Barrowman Theory.

Mind = blown.

Ugly building in “Silicon Valley” show

April 16th, 2014

Mike Judge’s new show “Silicon Valley” satirizes Bay Area tech culture. From Peter Thiel paying kids not to attend college to unconventional social norms to strange business practices, the show has some pretty easy targets to mock.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is the unusual architecture it highlights on the Peninsula. From the Google-inspired “Hooli” campus to the incubator housed in an Eichler, the Bay Area’s architecture has the same experimental quality as everything else here.

Not all experiments are successful. One particularly notable example of bad Peninsula architecture is highlighted in this scene: (click for larger version)

It’s an unusually ugly building on an unusually ugly stretch of El Camino in Palo Alto. Here’s what it looks like on Google Maps:

According to LoopNet this building was constructed in 1961. One can only imagine that drugs were a factor in the decision to attach those garish metal panels to the upper floor of what would otherwise be a tolerably bland building.

But it may not have long for this world — plans are afoot to replace it with a larger office building (PDF warning.)

Journeyman’s San Fauxisco

September 24th, 2013

Did you ever see the 2007 TV series Journeyman? No? Neither did anyone else. The short-lived series is about a newspaper journalist in San Francisco who accidentally travels through time to hang out with his ex-fiancee.

And if that wasn’t strange enough, this man lives in a bay area mansion on a journalist’s salary.

The show is set in San Francisco, yet filmed mostly in San Fauxisco, a strange and magical land where it’s cheaper to film.

But audiences are stupid and require frequent reminders about a show’s setting. Rather than limit themselves to the 100 seconds of footage actually shot on location, Hollywood prefers cheap set pieces and inexpensive effects.

Here’s two examples from the very first episode. Our time-traveling hero Dan wakes up in Golden Gate Park. Which, of course, has an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge:

Later, Dan’s wife Katie walks down a suburban street, which obviously needs a Bart/Muni subway stop:

Click any of the images to enlarge.

The iPhone with the untraceable manufacturer

January 20th, 2013

“The tech inside is military grade, I can’t even trace the manufacturer.”
– Arrow season 1 episode 10

Come on, your average Best Buy employee could “trace the manufacturer” of an iPhone 4. I’m starting to think this town only needs Archer McRockabs because of their incompetent police force.

Arrow hooks you with action and drama, but you’ll stay for the facepalm-worthy moments.

The Treats of San Francisco

June 5th, 2011

The Treats of San Francisco

A Quinn-Martin production!

Wait… what? This is some kind of cheesy Muni ad for buying a Muni Passport and visiting Ghirardelli Square. It has nothing to do with Karl Malden and/or Michael Douglas.

Straight Eye for the Closeted Guy

September 15th, 2010

I want to pitch an idea for a TV show I had*. It’s like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but in reverse; a group of straight men have to help a gay man stay in the closet.

The straight guys help the closeted guy act straight. He needs help to dress poorly, get his home sufficiently messy, and drink cheap beer. Of course he also has to develop, for example, a pony tail. And he MUST learn to talk about sports, cars, and electronics.

Finally at the end of the episode, his beard arrives and they go on a date. Will she suspect he’s actually a homo in disguise? Oooh, the suspense!

* (Okay, I know I live in a city where everyone says “I don’t own a TV” but somehow is able to post about the latest Mad Men episode on Twitter. So let’s cut the shit and stop pretending for a moment: you watch TV, get over yourself.)