Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Monster

"I've looked into the eye of this Island.... and what I saw was beautiful." -- John Locke

"I've looked into the eye of the Maple Leafs net....and what I saw was HOLY MOSES WHAT A SAVE!!!!!" -- Me



Yeah, it's a preseason game. And yeah, it was a horribly lazy effort from the Wings forwards that should drive Gordie Howe to come out of retirement just so he could beat the hell out of them at practice. And yeah, it was just one save.

But we're all hoping that in 11 months time, that save is the centerpiece of the 'but things were taking a turn for the better...' segment to "The Wait Is Over: The 2009-2010 Toronto Maple Leafs Team Video." The ACC fans weren't just cheering a great save, they were cheering the fact that after five years of mediocrity*, the Maple Leafs look like they're going to be a team worth watching. Jonas Gustavsson, please be awesome. Please be the kind of rookie gem that other teams seem to dig up while the Leafs are busy signing Mike Peca to contracts. Please keep Vesa Toskala stapled to the end of the bench. Please just let us watch a bit of meaningful hockey in April this season, we beg of you. No pressure or anything.

* = I'm sure some clever and original people will argue that it's more like 42 years of mediocrity, but the Leafs were probably the best team from 1992 to 2003 that didn't actually win a Cup. You could argue the Senators, but.... (dismissive wanking motion)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'Dollhouse' Fans, Achtung



The second season of 'Dollhouse' premieres on Friday night, so this post should give you all plenty of time to rush off to the video store and pick up the first season DVD in order to get a look at 'Epitaph One.' Or, I guess, you could find it online, but I would never endorse such illicit actions. What would Lars Ullrich think?

'Epitaph One' is the special extra episode of Dollhouse's first season, created as a DVD set filler-outer since one of the 13 episodes originally contracted from Fox ended up being a re-shot pilot. Joss Whedon (not one to half-ass anything....well, except the last season of Buffy) decided to make 'Epitaph One' not just a throw-away, but rather an epic, series-altering episode that could've served as the series finale in case the series had been canceled. It's an absolutely must-see for any Dollhouse fan. I'm not even sure how you could comprehend what the second season is going to look like without seeing this episode. Imagine if you just started watching LOST, saw the first four episodes and then immediately jumped to the fifth season finale. You wouldn't know what the hell was going on. Similarly, 'Epitaph One' takes things in such a crazy direction that it almost feels like Whedon sent this episode back in time after Dollhouse had been on the air for, like, four years or something.

Apparently the main characters of 'Epitaph One' (Felicia Day and Zack Ward) will be occasionally popping up during Season Two, in little flash-forwards that advance Epitaph One's plot. It also wouldn't surprise me if we see 'Epitaph Two' as the next season finale, and the finales from here on in Dollhouse's run will examine the future timeline until the actual show catches up to the future. You may remember Ward from his immortal role as the bully who Ralphie beats to within an inch of his life in 'A Christmas Story,' while Day is best known for her role in Whedon's online writer's strike project, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. She is also immortalized by her hilarious reaction to this one off-colour question from some jackass at this year's Comic-Con.



So yeah, get out and watch 'Epitaph One' so you can be all up to speed by the time the season season premiere rolls around on Friday. Then again, I guess you could also just TiVo the premiere or find it online too in order to watch it at a later date, since who really stays in to watch TV on a Friday night? Even I'm going be out on Friday and my social calendar has more open dates than the product line at a stuffed date factory that just saw its workers go on strike in mid-shift. I think they're striking over health benefits. They have a point, since the factory's employee health plan is sadly out of 'date.'

Joke of the century.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cokerfall



When you were a kid, you probably fantasized about your dream house. Amusement park in the backyard, race cars taking you from room to room, and maybe a Willy Wonka-esque waterfall of liquid chocolate in the basement. Maybe not chocolate, depending on your taste, but some type of treat being distributed in waterfall form. A veritable Niagara of nourishment, if you will.

Sounds like a great idea when you're a kid. It's not so great in real life.

I was coming home from work a couple of weeks ago with two stories to write up before my deadline, and little time to waste. As I parked my car, however, I realized I was short on soda up in the fridge, so I took a 24-can case of Coca-Cola that's been in my trunk for the last two weeks. You see, when you have to walk up two flights of stairs to get to your apartment (and you're also world-class lazy like me), you learn to pick and choose how much you carry up at any given time. But on this day, though I was wearing a backpack, I figured what the hell, time to Coke it up. (That last sentence, by the way, was uttered 682,908 times by Wall Street executives between the years 1985 and 1987.)

So I walk up the two flights to my apartment, with my backpack slung over my back and the case in my arms. This was an old-school case too --- cardboard base, 24 cans, plastic over the top. Classic. Coke Classic, if you will. My apartment's main stairwell goes straight up with no curves, with one landing for the second floor apartment and then up to ours. There's no real area to put anything down, unless you count the tiny edge of the hand-railing at the top of our landing.

Of course, I decided that this sliver of metal was enough room to brace the Coke while I turned to get my keys and unlock the door. Theoretically, there was no problem --- except that my keys were in my left pocket, the same side that I was bracing the Coke with. So I clumsily reached into my pocket while trying to hold the case at the same time, and...well, 'clumsily' is really the main description of this whole story. My arm slipped and down. Went. The Coke.

The case exploded into fizzy madness. The case itself retained about half the cans and just flopped there upside down on the top step, with cola leaking everywhere. The other 12 cans cascaded downward, with a few making it all the way to the very bottom of the stairwell and exploding into a giant puddle of pop.

My roommate popped his head out the front door, perhaps alerted by either the massive crash or the stream of Ozzie Guillen-esque obscenities flowing from my mouth. His quote: "Wow, you dropped that in exactly the wrong place." He was right. Twenty-four cans, dropped directly on the edge of the landing and the top step. Had it just landed a few inches inside, entirely on the landing, it would've been fine. But the fates weren't smiling on me on this day.

So, on a day when I had things to do, I had to spend about a half-hour cleaning up broken cans and giving my stairwell a thorough mopping. God bless the man who invented the Swiffer Sweeper....I presume his name is, like, Tom Swiffer or something. Not a single can could be salvaged for drinking purposes, but frankly, even if any had, the memory would have stopped me before I even took a single sip. I already have to live with the reminder thanks to the fact that the stairs are still sticky as hell. Every time I, my roommate or my neighbours walk up the steps, our shoes make this weird crackly velcro sound. So, in a way, I was providing building security. Now a psychopath can't break in and sneak into our apartments in the middle of the night. My coked-up stairwell is like a cheaper version of Alarmforce, albeit without a catchy jingle.

The moral of the story is, don't drop a case of Coke down a stairwell.

Friday, September 18, 2009

U2 Under The Stars



U2. They outdid themselves again during Thursday night's concert, putting on the best rock spectacle I've ever seen. Note I said 'spectacle' --- their 2001 show in Hamilton is still the best concert I've ever seen, but U2's 360 show is such an overwhelming experience visually that the music is almost a second course. My pal Matt loves to rip on U2 for "selling out" with their BlackBerry sponsorship for the tour, but since that cash went towards funding the terrific sound system, awesome Claw stage and monster HD screens, all I can say is well done, BlackBerry. Jim Balsillie can do no wrong! Go, Hamilton Coyotes!

It was the first time I'd seen U2 in a stadium setting, and the pig known as the Rogers Centre put on its best lipstick for the evening. Kudos, kudos, kudos to the person who decided to leave the roof open for the night. It led to a great atmosphere and (on a more practical level) kept the place from being sweltering with over 50,000 fans in attendance. It also led to cool moments like Bono pointing out the condos next to the stadium and asking anyone watching the show from their apartment to flick their lights on and off in response. My roommate's girlfriend, also at the show and sitting up in the 500 level, said that it got pretty cold the higher up you got, but down on the floor, the temperature was just right.

Oh yeah, that's right, DOWN ON THE FLOOR. I finally bit the bullet and got general admission tickets for a U2 concert, helped nicely by the fact that they only went for about $65 a pop. Increased seating in stadiums + BlackBerry sponsorship = better savings for fans. We were situated in shallow right field, site of many a Vernon Wells pop-up, roughly at the four o'clock side of the stage. The only downside to general admission is that we had to stand/dance for four hours on the unforgiving Rogers Centre turf. I will never again roll my eyes at ballplayers who complain about playing on an artificial surface --- my knees and lower back were sore as hell just from standing there for an evening. I couldn't imagine playing games and training on that stuff on a regular basis. Fortunately, I talked to my team trainer and I won't be in danger of missing the playoffs. Uh, the blogging playoffs.

But enough about the atmosphere, let's get to the music. The band was sounding as tight as ever, though the general consensus was that Bono's voice was maybe a B, B+ at best on the evening. Too much partying at TIFF, no doubt. I was pretty pleased with the setlist, especially the inclusion of personal favourite 'Mysterious Ways,' which the band played only sporadically on the European leg of the tour. Apparently the ultra-rare 'Your Blue Room' was played for just the second time ever on the previous night, but hey, you can't win 'em all. As fun as it was to hear the classics, I was actually more fired up to hear the new songs than anything, and they largely lived up to expectations. My buddy Trev, my cohort for all four U2 concerts, was again bitterly disappointed that the band again omitted 'All I Want Is You,' his favourite U2 song. He was so angry that he didn't mention it at all during or after the show. I'll presume he was just internalizing the pain.


*Breathe --- I still feel this is an odd choice for an opener. Something like 'Magnificent' would be so much better-suited to building on the crowd energy when the band takes the stage and then just exploding into a crescendo. That said, I'm not sure where else 'Breathe' would fit into a setlist otherwise.

*No Line On The Horizon

*Get On Your Boots --- Probably the biggest improvement from record-to-live show of any song on the NLOTH record. This one sounded fierce, with Edge's guitar just carving out the main riff.

*Magnificent --- A bit underwhelming, unfortunately. It's arguably my favourite song off the new album and other performances I've heard from other concerts sounded amazing. Might have been hurt a bit by a general lack of crowd enthusiasm, possibly a 'get to the hits' reaction.

*Mysterious Ways --- Sure enough, once MW started up, the crowd exploded. Damn you, fickle Toronto concert-goers!

*Beautiful Day

*Elevation

*I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

*Unknown Caller --- U2 want to make this the sing-along anthem it sounded like on the record, and to that end posted the lyrics of the spiritual cell phone (it makes more sense within the context of the song) up on the video screens to aid the audience's chanting.

*New Year's Day --- Adam Clayton takes a long walk around the stage, basically showcasing the fact that this is *his* song due to the legendary bassline.

*Stuck In A Moment --- Acoustic version with just Bono and Edge. Sounded amazing.

*Unforgettable Fire --- This tour's "chestnut the band brought out of mothballs for the first time in 20+ years." Still sounded terrific, and I was glad I got a chance to hear it live

*City Of Blinding Lights --- Bono took a kid up on stage for the song and gave him his sunglasses in a move reminiscent of Bret "The Hitman" Hart.

*Vertigo --- Might have gotten the biggest crowd response of the night, in an upset. I'll take this space to send a shout out to my pal Eric, who was supposed to attend the concert but had to bow out due to a broken leg. At Eric's first U2 concert in 2005, his instantly-legendary quote in regards to 'Vertigo' after the show was, "Wow, I really liked that song with all of the circles in the stage design. Is that one of their big hits?" Music fail.

*I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight --- U2 threw everyone a curveball by turning what was a decent, mid-tempo rocker on the album (and staple of the 'BlackBerry Loves U2' ads) into a beat-heavy dance track in concert. Somewhere, 'Discotheque' sheds a tear as it sees its best-possible arrangement given over to a newer song.

*Sunday Bloody Sunday

*MLK

*Walk On --- The song is preceded by a video package and short Bono speech about Burmese prime minister and activist Aung San Suu Kyi, and in the final moments, fans with Suu Kyi masks get up on the outer rim of the stage and look out at the crowd. Rats, I only brought a Lech Walesa mask. Boy, did I ever miss out.

*One/Amazing Grace

*Where The Streets Have No Name --- Best live song ever? By any band? Quite possibly.

*Ultraviolet --- For the encore, Bono busts out a jacket with red lights and a similarly-lit hanging microphone falls from the ceiling like Bono is an old-timey boxing ring announcer introducing a fighter at Madison Square Garden. UV is a nice addition to the setlist; it's an underrated album track from 'Achtung Baby' that hasn't been played live in about 16 years. It's also one of my pal Kyle's favourite U2 songs, which would've given him quite the thrill if....uh, he'd been at the show. Hmm. That was a bit awkward.

*With or Without You --- Bono asks the audience to hold their cellphones in the air to create a field of lights against the stadium's dark backdrop, and then the disco ball atop the huge claw tower starts to rotate, turning the Rogers Centre into the interior of your grade school gymnasium during a dance. All that was missing was all of the guys and girls getting to opposite sides of the field.

*Moment Of Surrender --- Fantastic closing track, great way to end off the show.


So aside from the dull throb in my knees from the fieldturf, it was a perfect evening. I'm glad my friends Talina and Aron got their U2 concert cherries popped; Aron is in a band himself, so I figure that he probably picked up a few staging tips for their next show. For instance, I'm sure at their next show, they'll have purchased a multi-million dollar video screen.

I'm glad the band is still throwing their fastball after over 30 years of touring and hell, I'm just glad. How could anyone not be happy after a concert like that? If U2 returns to Toronto for the next leg of their tour in 2010, I'm there. Hell, even if they go to Montreal or Detroit. That's just how big of a U2 fan I am...I'm willing to go to friggin' Detroit. That's sacrifice, right there.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Create A Story For This Random Picture #1



The Changs were quite surprised when the pool door slammed shut behind them and locked them inside the exhibit. Little did they know that they were the exhibit! Due to budget cutbacks, Marineland could no longer afford its usual array of exotic underwater creatures. Instead, they had to be more creative, and in this case, the Chang family was put on display since Mr. Chang used to serve in the Marines.

Unfortunate for Marineland, their human exhibit policy didn't last long. Mr. Chang was able to break out of the display because...well, he was a former Marine, after all. After threatening the park with a lawsuit, the Changs finally agreed to settle if little Jenny Chang was allowed to ride the killer whale. All would've been well in the world except, due to budget cutbacks, the killer whale had been replaced by a piano with a tarp over it.

In summation, amusement parks have been hit hard by the worldwide economic downturn.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

NFL Preview 2009



In past years, I've previewed the NFL both with straight-up picks and by enlisting some friends to give their take on it as well. What's this year's gimmick? Well, it's that the predictions aren't even on this blog. Check them out at my latest sideline job. Also, your one-stop source of information about the Arizona Cardinals! Ever wanted to know what Karlos Dansby's favourite colour is? I wouldn't! Who gives a damn?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The 92 Best Simpsons Episodes Of All Time




Last week marked the end of an era on the CBC. For the first time in over a decade, no Simpsons episode was shown at 5 PM since the network decided to not renew its syndication rights. Instead, the plan is to have a longer newscast and take on 'Ghost Whisperer' as its only new American import.

That's right. The f'in Ghost Whisperer.

Needless to say, it's a sad day for the CBC. But since now Canadian Simpsons fans have one less outlet through which to enjoy arguably the greatest show of all time, I'll try to fill the void by presenting my list of the 92 greatest episodes in Simpsons history. Why 92? Two reaons: I began watching the show in 1992 and because these were the 92 that I just felt couldn't be omitted from any list of my personal favourites. My original intent was to do a top 50 list, but hey, it's me --- of course I'm going to go overboard.

Here they are, the glorious ninety-two. Check out Wikipedia for a full description if you don't know an episode from its title alone.

Note: this was a very tough list to compile. Anything in the top, like, 30 had a legit shot at being #1, and it still might depending on my mood. Needless to say, if you're one of the few people on earth who has never seen the Simpsons (LORI), this list is, if nothing else, a decent reference point for where to start if you want to get into the series.

Stay tuned for my upcoming list of the 92 greatest Ghost Whisperer episodes! Due on September 31, 2087


92. Bart the Daredevil
91. Fraudcast News
90. Lisa On Ice
89. Gone Maggie Gone
88. The City Of New York vs. Homer Simpson
87. HOMR
86. Homie the Clown
85. Tales From The Public Domain
84. Homer's Phobia
83. Treehouse of Horror V
82. The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular
81. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
80. In The Name Of The Grandfather
79. Bart After Dark
78. Simpsons Tall Tales
77. The Way We Was
76. The Way We Weren't
75. Trash Of The Titans
74. Duffless
73. Flaming Moe's
72. And Maggie Makes Three
71. Bart's Comet

70. Homer's Enemy
69. The Blunder Years
68. Bart Gets Famous
67. Much Apu About Nothing
66. The Grift Of The Magi
65. King of the Hill
64. Homer The Great
63. Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious
62. Homer The Smithers
61. Homer To The Max
60. Lisa Gets An A
59. Who Shot Mr. Burns (Part One)
58. Beyond Blunderdome
57. Hunger Hungry Homer
56. Mountain of Madness
55. Bart Carny
54. I Love Lisa
53. Homer the Vigilante
52. Whacking Day
51. Bart Star

50. A Streetcar Named Marge
49. Lisa The Beauty Queen
48. Lisa's Rival
47. Lisa's Wedding
46. Bart On The Road
45. Colonel Homer
44. Radioactive Man
43. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind
42. Behind The Laughter
41. Homer's Barbershop Quartet
40. Two Bad Neighbors
39. Summer of 4 Ft. 2
38. Bart vs. Australia
37. Deep Space Homer
36. Bart Gets An Elephant
35. Boy Scoutz 'N The Hood
34. 22 Short Films About Springfield
33. Treehouse of Horror VI
32. Last Exit To Springfield
31. The Joy Of Sect

30. Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie
29. The Front
28. The Springfield Files
27. Lisa The Vegetarian
26. Radio Bart
25. The PTA Disbands
24. Rosebud
23. Homer At The Bat
22. Cape Feare
21. Bart Sells His Soul
20. Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment
19. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
18. A Fish Called Selma
17. Mr. Plow
16. A Star Is Burns
15. A Milhouse Divided
14. Lemon Of Troy
13. Sideshow Bob Roberts
12. You Only Move Twice
11. Krusty Gets Kancelled

10. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily
9. Homer: Bad Man
8. Lisa's First Word
7. The Boy Who Knew Too Much
6. Brother From The Same Planet
5. Homer Goes To College
4. Marge vs. the Monorail
3. Burns' Heir
2. $pringfield
1. Homer And Apu

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fun With Subway Stations

So I'm at the Bloor-Yonge station yesterday. There were about 50-60 Western Union ads lining the walls, all of which featured a smiling man and a big 'Yes!' headline. Ok, seems simple enough....the guy is happy about Western Union. Good for him. But like I said, there were several dozen of these ads up, so I couldn't help but take a closer look at one as I walked through the station. In the lower right corner of each ad, it notes the pitchman's name, and what a name. Turns out I was way off base in assuming it was just some generic ad model...no sir, Western Union had spared no expense, and instead had hired the services of Filipino celebrity Cesar Montano!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I kid you not, he was actually billed as 'Filipino Celebrity' Cesar Montano. Looking at the man's resume, indeed he is a big wheel in the Filipino movie world, so Western Union wasn't lying. But the concept of putting his name on the ad fascinates me. Presumably the ads are targeted at Toronto's Filipino population, who would see them and say, "Hey, if Western Union is good enough for Cesar Montano, then it's good enough for me!" much in the same way that I react to Telus ads. ("Ha ha, a jumping goat! I'll buy ten phones!") But since Filipino people know who Montano is anyway, why bother with adding his name to the posters? Seems a bit redundant to me. Nike didn't add a big arrow with a LOOK, IT'S MICHAEL JORDAN caption to any of their iconic MJ ads.* Did Western Union want to brag about their big-time endorser to Toronto's non-Filipinos? They even had his signature on the ads, in case we thought it was a Cesar Montano impersonator.

Spooky footnote to the story: I actually wanted to write down Montano's name and the general details of the ad, since I felt I'd end up posting about it. So I found a slip of paper and took out one of the pens I had on me...and it was a Western Union pen. Zoinks! Montano's influence is so great that it had affected me before I had even seen the ad. Now that's a true celebrity. A Filipino celebrity, at that!

* = Though my friend Lori might have preferred if they did. We were once having dinner at a sports bar under a huge poster of Jordan dunking over some schlub. Lori asks who the poster is, and I almost fell off my chair. Now, obviously she knows who Michael Jordan is and what he looks like, but here was her excuse: "Oh, I didn't recognize him with his tongue out." Amazing. That's like seeing Paul McCartney but not recognizing him since he wasn't carrying a guitar.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The artwork and decoration that went into the Museum subway stop is very cool, and something that other stations around Toronto should emulate. Let's face it --- subways are drab. Not even the smiling face of Cesar Montano could brighten up Bloor-Yonge. But as Museum has shown, every station should have some kind of theme design based around the general traits of its neighbourhood. Shrubberies should be growing from the walls of High Park Station, and clovers from the walls of St. Patrick Station. Dalton McGuinty should be personally greeting passengers as they exit the train at Queen's Park. (This has the bonus of keeping McGuinty out of trouble.) Castle Frank should just feature huge posters of the Punisher as far as the eye can see. Jane Station can take that motif a step further and actually shoot you as soon as you get off the train. Finch Station, likewise. Kennedy Station, likewise.

------------------------------------------------------------------

The work on College Station can start immediately, since they need to move ASAP to get that bizarre mural of the Montreal Canadiens off the walls. WTF, College Station? Is this some kind of sick joke? Was I hallucinating? Why does a Toronto subway station have a mural devoted to the Maple Leafs' most hated rivals? Even worse, College Station is the subway stop closest to old Maple Leaf Gardens. Conn Smythe is rolling over in his grave.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Werner Herzog Is The Only Man Cool Enough To Direct A Movie About His Own Life

One of the most fascinating filmmakers of our time, and also an impossible bad-ass. Check out this clip of Herzog calmly continuing a TV interview after being randomly shot by an air rifle. "It's not an everyday thing, but it doesn't surprise me to be shot at." GOOD LORD

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Nowhere

Here's an interesting curiosity....the original pilot script for LOST. When I say original, I mean very original....this was the first product of then-ABC president Lloyd Braun's vague notion that his network should do "a show like Cast Away." This script was written by Jeffrey Lieber well before J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof or Carlton Cuse ever got involved in the project. As you might expect, then, the product is far different from the show we've actually been watching for the last five years, though there are still a few similarities:

* General Frank White = Sayid or the faux-general air that Locke had about him in the first few episodes. Heck, Locke's first-ever flashback scene is him on the phone apparently involved in some kind of battle strategy before it's revealed that he's at his desk at the paper company playing a war RPG.

* General White's death = the shock death planned for Jack's character in the Abrams/Lindelof pilot. I know I've told this anecdote before, but the original plan for 'Jack Shepherd' was to establish him as the leader in the first half of the pilot and then have him be the one (rather than the pilot) who ends up killed by the Monster. This version of Jack would've been played by Michael Keaton, and thus the audience would've been even more shocked to see the ostensible star of the show killed off in the first episode.

* Xander the Aussie convict = combination of Kate and Sawyer

* Pregnant Sarah looking for her husband = combination of Claire and Rose

* Jed needs pills to stay sane = Charlie's need for heroin, sort of

* "Together we survive, apart we don't" is a much less poetic version of 'Live together, die alone.'

* Piper the hot, materialistic blond chick = Shannon

* Zach = Boone, aside from being related to Shannon

* Nell the doctor = Jack, though she's kind of inverse of Jack in that Nell seems to a good leader and not much of an actual doctor, whereas Jack is a great doctor but a crappy leader

* German kid who doesn't speak English = the seeds of Jin or even Walt

* The Sykes children = Walt, and hints of Zack and Emma, the two kids taken from the tail section by the Others.

* Truman in Australia to collect his father's remains = Jack in Australia to get Christian Shepherd's body


So some of the seeds of LOST are there, which is probably why Lieber got a co-creator credit. But the biggest difference is, of course, that 'Nowhere' is a straight-forward deserted island survival show. There are no polar bears, or Monster, or Dharma Initiative, or visions of dead people, or any hints of the larger mythology that LOST incorporated into even its first episode. The other major difference is that the LOST pilot was awesome and immediately hooked you into the concept, whereas this script was more than a little cliched in more than a few places and immediately seemed to put the survivors in dire straits too quickly. (Granted, they didn't have the benefit of an Island that could heal people.) I like the idea of the episode ending on the last day of General White's 'grace period' time of a week, but still, a concept like this would be better suited to a limited-run, shorter series on cable, rather than a big network show with an initially open-ended episode commitment.

Since we're still five months away from the premiere episode of LOST's sixth season, this script is a decent little appetizer to whet your whistles until the big day. But I dunno, overall I'm far more fired up by things like the title of S6's first episode (LA X --- yes, the space between the letters was intentional), the fact that Kenny Powers' brother is joining the cast and the awesomely intriguing promotional poster. This is the clearest version I can find, but it's basically every main character from all five seasons standing in a row facing the viewer. The one exception is Locke, who's standing in the middle with his back turned. (i.e. a nod to Jacob's enemy.)

January 2010 can't come soon enough.