thoughts on pop culture

Blinded with the science of Fringe?

Thanks to Popular Mechanics for answering the biggest question I had after the Fringe premiere.

“All airliners have autopilots and almost all are capable of following a programmed path to the destination airport,” says Alison Duquette, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration. “But the plane will fly over the airport and then go on by, straight ahead, until it runs out of gas.” While many large airline jets can land themselves after the pilot selects the right frequencies and manually engages the wheels and wing flaps within 10 miles of the airport, no current commercial autopilot will go from the en route phase to the landing phase without some human input. 

Still, the flight technologies experts at the FAA aren’t ruling out that possibility altogether. Completely automatic flights and landings are performed by the military all the time with their UAVs, Duquette notes. For a commercial airliner, however, extensive software updates and changes in the landing gear would be necessary to make a pilot obsolete—something that’s not in the interest of public safety. 

You can read the full article here.


September 12, 2008 Posted by | Premiere, Science, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , , | Comments Off on Blinded with the science of Fringe?

Chef Ramsay Fans Rejoice!

Another Fox press release:

“FOX has sealed a new deal with world-renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay. The arrangement will keep Ramsay at the network for several more years and includes an agreement to produce two more installments of the sizzling series HELL’S KITCHEN, another season of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, a yet-to-be determined special and another series.”

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Reality, Television | , , , | Comments Off on Chef Ramsay Fans Rejoice!

24: Redemption

Fox has announced that a preview of the upcoming 24 Season 7 prequel will air this Sunday after an encore presentation of the Fringe premiere.

From the press release:

“Filmed on location in South Africa and Los Angeles, 24: REDEMPTION airing Sunday, Nov. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, stars Emmy Award winner Kiefer Sutherland along with new series cast members Cherry Jones, Robert Carlyle, Gil Bellows and Academy Award winner Jon Voight. The two-hour event finds Jack Bauer battling an international crisis, while here at home the nation prepares for a new president on inauguration day. Taking place just a few months before the new day dawns, 24: REDEMPTION will set the stage and raise the stakes for Season Seven, which will debut in January 2009.”

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Drama, Movies, Premiere, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No plot summaries here

There are countless places on the web to get the detailed information about the shows you’re interested in.  Personally, I recommend FutonCritic,, IMDB, and of course Wikipedia.  That said, I didn’t start this blog to provide comprehensive information on plots, casts, or other minutia.  The goal here is to share my quick opinions about the shows I watch, and ideally to start some conversations via the comments.

If you have any other great tv resources online, I’d love to hear about them.

UPDATE 4/10/2009: Here I am seven months later, and I have made a definite turn away from quick opinions and toward more in-depth recap and analysis.  Ultimately, this fulfills my original goal, which was to have a blog that allows me to write about things I’m passionate about.  I’ll still be writing short posts when it feels appropriate, but for shows like Lost, I want to provide a thorough recap in order to frame my thoughts, analysis, and speculation.

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Television | | Comments Off on No plot summaries here

Fringe Episode 1: Pilot

So it seems that being disappointed in the series premiere of Fringe is the popular thing to do this week if you write about television.  Perhaps it’s because I didn’t watch the leaked video several weeks ago, or maybe it’s just that I try not to get overly excited about any new show, but I thought it was a decent first episode.  It’s always going to be difficult to introduce a cast of characters and make us care about them, even when the network gives you twice as long (95 minutes with limited commercials) to do it.

I think the cast has a decent chemistry, and I was pleasantly surprised by Joshua Jackson’s performance as Peter.  My only real complaint about the show so far is that the score seems to have been pulled directly from an episode of Lost.  Michael Giacchino is the composer for both shows, but it seems silly that he couldn’t come up with something more unique for the tense moments than the exact same strings that Losties are so familiar with.

September 12, 2008 Posted by | New Series, Premiere, Science, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fringe Episode 1: Pilot