Star Trek: TOS … progressive and regressive … @

I’ve just added another post over at Geeks are Sexy, this one a discussion of Star Trek The Original Series, and how it is both progressive and regressive at the same time. Hope everyone enjoys the read … excerpt below …

The original version of Star Trek, the 3 season show from the late 60’s that introduced us not only to Spock, Kirk, and McCoy, but an entire universe made up of Kilngons and Romulans, Star Fleet and Warp drive, has been hailed by many TV historians as a ground-breaking series that shattered many taboos and stereotypes of 1960’s TV and America at large. And rightfully so … Star Trek was decades ahead of other programs in the area of racial integration and harmony as the first TV program to regularly include black actors (and, shock of shocks, a black woman no less) as integral parts of the cast. And even if the circumstances render the effect less powerful than it might have been, ST:TOS must also be hailed for the first ever inter-racial kiss on television, from the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.”

From Star Trek: TOS … progressive and regressive at


9.74 seconds …

I used to be a sprinter, of sorts. Back when I was a teenager, I was one of the top sprinters on my high-school track team in boarding school, but I struggled to run a sub-12 second 100m race. While I did quite well within my own school, and even within the Independent School Athletic Association in Ontario, it became very clear as I moved out into larger city-wide, or province-wide competitions, I was seriously out-classed even among my own age peers. While I was thrilled with a sub-12 second race, I was racing against peers at the provincial level who were expecting sub-11 second results, and even in my best race, the 200m, I struggled as a small fish in a very big, deep pond. Continue reading

Extending a story … A review of the Simpsons Movie

Simpsons ImageBack in 1989, when there was talk of the quirky, dysfunctional family from the Tracy Ullman Show short animations moving from their tiny 1 minute spots on Ullman to a full half-hour show of their own on the Fox Network, the main question everyone asked was whether Groening could sustain the Simpson’s story lines over a full show. One liners are far different from story telling, and there was legitimate concern that an idea that works extremely well as pithy, one minute clips would have trouble finding the range over a full 22 minutes of television. Of course, when the first season debuted in 1989, it was clear that Groening, and the Simpson’s themselves, were up to the challenge.

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Foley Loaded gets off both barrels

Steph from BackstageThe stage before showtimeWell, the show is over and done with, and I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all. Overall I think crowd response was excellent, and the Esplanade is really a great room to perform in. There’s quite a different feeling between a comedy club stage, and a place like the Esplanade (a feeling that must be greatly multiplied in even larger auditoriums or arenas) … I always feel a little closed-in, a little claustrophobic on the small stages in the small rooms at comedy clubs, though I hadn’t really realized how much. There’s so much more freedom, or at least it seems that way, and I’m sure the fact that the crowd is farther away and harder to see helps the feeling as well.

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CRTC says “Take off, eh” to the extra 2 minutes

Its more than a little ironic that the CRTC picked this week to announce changes to the advertising rules in Canadian television broadcasting. As of September 2007, Canadian broadcasters will no longer be restricted to 12 minutes of commercial programming per hour, with as much as 14 minutes at their disposal. By September 2008, 15 minutes of commercial time (25% if you’re counting) per hour will be allowed and in 2009, the limits on commercial minutes will be lifted completely by the CRTC.

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The black sheep of the Star Trek family – a series review of ST:TAS

Every family has its black sheep, the Phish-head brother who never calls or the “tarnished Pagan jewel in a Catholic family crown.” In a strange way, the “family” of Star Trek drama has a mirror to that family structure, the short-running, but critically acclaimed Star Trek: The Animated Series. Prior to the 40th Anniversary release of the DVD package for TAS, many markets hadn’t seen the animated series since 1974 when it aired on the NBC Saturday morning line-up for 22 episodes, in the process winning an Emmy for best children’s show.

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The Return of the Good Doctor

When the North American television industry celebrates longevity in a fictional, episodic series, shows like M*A*S*H at 11 seasons, or older ones like Red Skelton or Gunsmoke at 20 seasons end up at the top of the list, discounting “soap-opera” type daily dramas. But over in the UK, for 26 seasons from 1963-1989, Doctor Who ran continuously. Add to that a movie, and now a new 9th and 10th Doctor for at least couple of seasons starting in 2005, and you have perhaps the longest running fictional TV series that isn’t a daily-run soap opera.

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