Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Week in TV #15

Not a lot this week, as I watched very little TV worth discussing between work, the run-up to Christmas and the onset of a cold.

Top Chef All-Stars: Advantage Chef

This episode showcased another fun and interesting challenge. By keeping the teams out of the loop, judging-wise, the resultant whoops and cheers from the winners telling their team they won were infectious, making things a lot of fun to watch. I was a little confused by the structure of the competition: the way it was edited, at least, it seemed like Spike's team was always in a position to respond to the other team's competitor and never had to designate their next player first, which, while Spike's team ultimately lost, seemed to give his team a distinct advantage.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #24: Christmas Eve

"To the most beautiful moment in life, better than a deed, better than a memory, the moment...of anticipation!"

--Jacques, Marge Simpson's would-be-lover in the season 1 episode "Life on the Fast Lane".

In much the same way that Friday is my favorite day of the week because the promise of what the weekend holds is usually better than what actually ends up happening, I've always enjoyed Christmas Eve far more than Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #23: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Without a doubt, A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite Christmas TV special, though it's difficult for me to explain exactly why. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

X-amining X-Men #66

"The Mutants and the Monster"
March 1970

In a Nutshell
The X-Men fight the Hulk. 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sam Grainger 
Letterer: Artie Simek

The X-Men gather around a comatose Professor X. After Iceman and Havok quarrel over Lorna's affections, Beast guesses Xavier might know how to cure himself, and uses the Professor's mind probe device to read Xavier's surface thoughts. All he gets is an image of Professor X urging the X-Men to find the Hulk. Then Marvel Girl telepathically probes Xavier's mind and similarly sees nothing but the Hulk. Deducing that Xavier is actually telling them to seek out the help of scientist Bruce Banner, the Hulk's alter ego, the X-Men depart, leaving Havok, Lorna and Iceman behind to guard Professor X.

Countdown to Christmas #22: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

If Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is the Rankin/Bass version of a modern comic book writer's pedantic origin story, than Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is their version of a batshit insane Silver Age DC comic.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #21: The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas movie, one I watch in whole or in part every year. The movie takes the standard story of A Christmas Carol and adds the Muppets (including Kermit as Bob Cratchett, Fozzie Bear as Fezziwig and Statler & Waldorff as the Marley Brothers), Michael Caine as Scrooge, original songs and fourth wall breaking narration from Gonzo (as Charles Dickens) and Rizzo the Rat.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Week in TV #14

Walking Dead: TS-19

Not a bad episode, but not quite what I was expecting. I'm curious at what part of the production process it was determined that episode six was the first season finale. When Rick and company arrived at the CDC at the end of the last episode, it seemed to be setting up the kind of status quo ending in which season finales traffic. I didn't expect them to spend the rest of the show hanging out there, but I thought maybe the next season would open with them there before something forced everyone to leave. Instead, it looks like the CDC was just one more step in the journey, and the status quo that ended was more thematic (now that they've realized the full extent of the zombiepoc, perhaps they'll look for salvation somewhere other than a pre-apocalypse institution of authority that maybe survived intact). 

Countdown to Christmas #20: Soundwave

Yes, Soundwave. Megatron's second-in-command (well, the second-in-command who wasn't also constantly trying to kill and/or usurp him). The monotone Transformer who turns into a tape player.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #19: Christmas Village

For whatever reason, I've always been fascinated by Christmas villages, those dioramas of buildings and figures you'll see in fancy Christmas stores. My grandpa always setup a small one on an end table in the living room, and I think my interest stems from that (as well as the fact that, as a kid, I never just played with my action figures but set them up in elaborate diaroma-esque scenarios first).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #17: Christmas Comic Books

Whether taking on A Christmas Carol or featuring Superman teaming up with Santa Claus to defeat Toyman, super hero comic books, like TV, have a long tradition of paying homage to the holiday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #16: Elf

The most recent of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf combines my love of Christmas with my love of Will Ferrel comedy into a fun little movie I watch in whole or in part every holiday season. Though the climax bugs me (specifically the shoehorning in of some pretty random action movie beats) there's plenty of good stuff to balance that out in this story of a man raised to be an elf trying to reconnect with long lost father.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

X-amining X-Men #65

"Before I'd be Slave..."
February 1970

In a Nutshell
Professor X returns and helps the X-Men repel an alien attack.

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Dennis O'Neil
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Jean Izzo

The X-Men return to the mansion and find Havok and Lorna waiting to brief them. Havok tells the X-Men of the alien Z'Nox, a compassionless race of aliens who live to destroy and conquer other worlds. They have developed technology which enables them to move their planet through space, and the planet is heading towards Earth, following a scout ship that recently landed at the South Pole. When the X-Men question how Havok learned all of this, he reveals a very much alive Professor X. Jean bursts into tears, thankful that she longer has to pretend that Xavier is dead.

Countdown to Christmas #15: Candy

The candy most associate with Christmas is, of course, the candy cane, but I'm not a big fan. They make my hands sticky and get rather difficult to eat as one approaches the curve.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #14: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town!

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town!" is one of Rankin & Bass' Christmas stop motion specials (and is less well known than their Rudolph special, which will be covered in this series in due time). It first aired in 1970 and is essentially the origin of Santa Claus, but even better, it's the origin of Santa Claus as though a modern comic book writer wrote it for the most pedantic of comic book geeks, in which even the most minor of details are given a specific background story to explain it. This thing is like the "Superman: Birthright" or "Green Lantern: Secret Origin" of Christmas specials.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Last Week In TV #13

The Simpsons: Donnie Fatso
What started out as a rare New Years episode turned quickly into a fairly standard mobster/mafia movie parody. As a result, the best stuff was, as usual, in the first act (the New Years stuff, Homer's tickets, Moe on the set of Wicked) before the main plot kicked in and the story started hitting all the expected beats. For a moment, I wondered if the show was going to do one of its rare continuity changes by replacing Fat Tony with Fit Tony, but I did enjoy how they showed us the reset button by transforming Fit Tony into Fat Tony II instead of just bringing back Fat Tony in a later episode with no explanation.

Countdown to Christmas #13: Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics

"Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" is a Christmas album released in conjunction with the South Park episode of the same name. Like most of South Park, the songs (some original, some covers of classic Christmas songs) are crass, offensive and hilarious.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #12: Dominick the Donkey

Another thing I love about Christmas are those more regional and international traditions and characters that haven't made it into the Christmas zeitgeist yet.

Of those, my favorite is, without a doubt, Dominick the Italian Christmas donkey, who helps out Santa by climbing the mountains around Italy to deliver toys to children.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #11: Presents

Presents! Whether you like to give them, receive them, or (like most of us) both, there's no denying that the modern holiday season is centered around presents.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Dark Side of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has come to a theater near you! I have recently finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia in its entirety and I'm glad that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the Narnia installment that is coming out because it coincides with this post well since it marks when my opinion of the series started to change.

I knew going into reading The Chronicles of Narnia that the books would have a heavy dose of Christian symbolism. But that didn't really bother me. I might not buy everything C.S. Lewis is trying to sell, but I understand the fact that his stories are based off of his beliefs. However, I started getting some weird vibes in the last three (in-universe chronologically) books.

So, without further ado, here are five things I think are messed up about The Chronicles of Narnia *spoiler alert!*:

Countdown to Christmas #10: Ebenezer Scrooge

Ebenezer Scrooge is one of literature's great iconic characters, one of those characters (like Sherlock Holmes) that's become an archetype. Even if you've never read A Christmas Carol, you know who Scrooge is and what his deal is. His name has become an adjective synonymous with miserly and skinflinted and his use of the word humbug to describe Christmas has transformed that word's meaning to one who doesn't like Christmas or isn't cheered by the holiday season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #9: Snoopy's Christmas

"Snoopy's Christmas" is a Christmas song recorded by the Royal Guardsmen in 1967 as a follow-up to their hit "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron." The song chronicles a Christmastime aerial duel between the World War I Flying Ace and Germany's most notorious aviator and illustrates the power of Christmas to bring even the bitterest of enemies together, if only for a brief moment.

It is one of the best Christmas songs ever.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

X-amining X-Men #64

"The Coming of Sunfire!"
January 1970

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Sunfire

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Don Heck 
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Artie Simek

In New York, the X-Men's mini Cerebro unit alerts them to the presence of a new, powerful mutant. At the United Nations, Japanese statesman Saburo Yoshida is unveiling a new peace monument when the gathering is attacked by the mutant Sunfire. The X-Men arrive and battle Sunfire, but he flees when the police arrive. Sunfire, the son of Saburo, meets with his uncle and expresses doubts about their mission to attack America. His uncle reminds him of Hiroshima and the vows he swore.

Countdown to Christmas #8: Snow

This one's for Joan!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #7: TV Christmas Episodes

It's darn near inevitable that, at some point in its run, a TV show will air a Christmas episode. Usually, these episodes come in one of four varieties: 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Last Week In TV #12

The Walking Dead: Vatos

Reviews of this episode have been fairly critical of it, especially the whole "gangsters turn out to be nice social workers" plot. While it certainly got ham-fisted at times, it didn't derail the entire episode, as there was plenty of other good stuff going on.

Countdown to Christmas #6: A Christmas Carol

I'm not a big Charles Dickens fan, but A Christmas Carol is the one exception. With it, Dickens manages to speak to the subject most important to him (the disenfranchised poor in Victorian England) but due to it's relative brevity compared to his other works, that subject doesn't overwhelm the story.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #5: Egg Nog

Marge: Homer, didn't you get any milk? All I see is egg nog. 
Homer: 'Tis the season, Marge! We only get thirty sweet noggy days. Then the government takes it away again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #4: Cookies

I'm not a big cookie guy. They fall behind pies and ice cream in the dessert pantheon (and just ahead of cakes). But I definitely enjoy me some Christmas cookies at this time of the year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #3: Christmas Trees

After Santa, the Christmas tree is perhaps the most recognizable secular symbol of Christmas. As a kid, I always got excited when the Christmas tree was setup because it was fun place to play with my GI Joes (Christmas tree lights make great lasers). As my brother and I got older, my mom got picky about what kind of ornaments went on the tree, so we each got a small three foot fake tree for our bedrooms, on which we could hang our handmade and fun ornaments.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #2: A Christmas Story

While I certainly wasn't a child circa 1940 (heck, that predates my dad's childhood) a heavy sense of nostalgia still fuels my love of this movie, largely because it's one of those movies I watched every year as a kid. It's always been a favorite of me and my dad (our favorite line: "Wow, yippee, a Zeppelin!" It still gets shouted every Christmas at least once as we open presents). We've always found the movie uproariously funny while my mom and not. Even though it takes place in an era with which I'm not personally familiar, I still feel nostalgic watching it (and let's be honest: nostalgia has a lot to do with my love of the holiday season).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Great Moments In Sports Tweeting

Twitter has become the next big thing. People's attention span are so short now that 140 characters of information is all we can handle in one sitting. Twitter has changed the way a lot people get their information and the way a lot of people give their information or idle thoughts or removal of all doubt of their status as a fool. However, almost nothing has felt Twitter's affect more than the sporting world.

X-amining X-Men #63

"War in the World Below!"
December 1969

In a nutshell
The X-Men and Ka-Zar fight Magneto in the Savage Land.

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

As Angel flies off to battle the X-Men, Magneto enjoys the irony before informing his followers that soon his ultimate mutant creation will be complete. Angel meets up with the X-Men and Ka-Zar, but Ka-Zar simply bats him aside and continues towards the Creator's headquarters. Magneto's Mutates and the Swamp Men emerge, engaging the X-Men in battle. Angel, realizing he's been duped, flies back to Magneto and overhears him gloating about creating the Mutates. Magneto explains to Angel how he survived their last encounter just as his latest creation emerges.

Countdown to Christmas #1: Santa Claus

Let's start with the big guy : Santa Claus. Saint Nicholaus. Sinterklaas. Sandy Claws. As Bart Simpson once reminded us, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Santa.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Week In TV #11

The Simpsons: The Fool Monty
The first act, in which the media conspires to create a new panic to drive up viewership and the ensuing fervor over housecat flu, was fantastic stuff. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, as the episode settled in to a fairly standard "Mr. Burns realizes he's a monster, etc." episode. The best bit from the final two thirds of the episode was the amnesiac Mr. Burns referring to himself as Oatmeal, a delightfully random little bit, but otherwise, the episode simply meandered from one thing to another (an extended ET parody, then a moral debate, then scenes in which the town takes their revenge on Mr. Burns) until everything was back to normal, with little to laugh at along the way.

Monday, November 29, 2010


First of all, my next Last Week in TV post should be up sometime tomorrow. Due to the new Harry Potter movie, the Thanksgiving holiday, and my desperately futile attempts to keep my head above NaNo's waters last week, I didn't watch much TV and had even less time to write about it, so the post'll be delayed until tomorrow.

And then, on Wednesday, in addition to another X-aminations post, I'll be starting something that will probably quicken my descent into madness: daily content.

They're dogs...and they're playing poker!!

Starting December 1st and running until Christmas, I will countdown (in no particular order) 25 (mostly secular) things I love about Christmas and the holiday season, everything from movies to songs to TV episodes to traditions. Every day, in addition to whatever other craziness is happening on the blog, there will a Countdown to Christmas post. I hope you enjoy them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

X-amining X-Men #62

"Strangers in a Savage Land"
November 1969

In a nutshell
The X-Men hang out in the Savage Land

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Angel is stunned while battling pteranodons underground, and falling, recalls shaking off the effects of Sauron's hypnotism and following the X-Men to Tierra Del Fuego, where Tanya Anderssen told him the X-Men went down a chasm to find Lyko's body. Angel falls out of the cavern into a warm valley, unconscious. He is shortly found by the frog man Amphibius and the gray-haired Creator. Meanwhile, the other X-Men encounter Ka-Zar while battling dinosaurs, confirming their suspicions that they've reached the Savage Land. Ka-Zar separates from the X-Men and sees a group of Swamp Men transporting a captive member of the Water People. Ka-Zar tries to free the prisoner but his brought low by Equilibrius, a mutated Swamp Man who causes vertigo. The X-Men come to his rescue.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11 Things For Which Teebore Is Thankful

The bacob club chalupa, Frankenberry cereal, and Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist. 
In a perfect world, I'd be able to get all three year round.

The new Avengers cartoon, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last Week In TV #10

Thoughts on what I watched on TV last week. 

How I Met Your Mother: Glitter

This episode underlined the fact that Lily has become far too one-note of late, as there is currently nothing more to her character than wanting a baby. I mean, Marshall wants one too, but he manages to do other things on the show besides talking about it constantly. I'm hoping that by making Lily's baby-mania the catechist for this episode's emotional moments, the writers are acknowledging that they've made this Lily's one character beat of late, and that moving forward, she'll be given more to do (or maybe I'm giving the writers too much credit).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

X-amining X-Men #61

"Monsters Also Weep"
October 1969

In a nutshell
The X-Men fight Sauron (the pterodactyl man, not the Lord of the Rings villain).

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Hypnotized by Sauron, Angel believes that three monsters are attacking him.He quickly realizes they are illusions, and proceeds after Sauron. The X-Men arrive and join in the fight. As the X-Men and Sauron battle, back in Dr. Lyko's office Alex is stirred awake by a ringing phone. Sauron begins transforming back to Lykos and quickly hypnotizes Angel into flying him back to his office. There, he discovers Tanya waiting, who has disobeyed her father to be with him. The X-Men, in their civilian identities, arrive at the office to pickup Alex and enter the office just as Tanya's father arrives and angrily denounces her relationship with Lykos.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top 5 Problems With The Wizard

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago. The Wizard was on TV. It's a movie I watched a few times in my youth and is basically a 90 minute advertisement for how could I not watch the entire thing? However, after rewatching it, a few parts of the movie bothered me a little bit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last Week In TV #9

Thoughts on what I watched on TV last week. 

The Walking Dead: Guts  

A lot of people were down on this episode, and while it wasn't quite as good as the first, I didn't think it was that bad, either (maybe all the negative buzz beforehand lowered my expectations).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

X-amining X-Men #60

"In the Shadow of...Sauron!"
September 1969

In a nutshell
Sauron appears for the first time

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

The X-Men depart the Sentinels' base with the injured Alex, leaving Judge Chalmers to wipe Trask's memories via his medallion and to free the remaining prisoners. Scott and Jean take Alex to see Dr. Lykos, an old associate of Professor X. He tells them that Alex will be fine, but he needs to look after him in private, asking them to return later in the evening. Scott and Jean return to the mansion, and join the others training in the Danger Room.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Last Week In TV #8

Thoughts on what I watched last week. Halloween was last week, and Mrs. Teebore and I saved up a bunch of Halloween episodes to watch that day, so that's why this entry is so Halloween-heavy (and also, because Fox is lame).  

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXI

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

X-amining X-Men #59

"Do or Die, Baby!"
August 1969

In a nutshell
Cyclops uses logic to defeat the Sentinels. 

Editor: Stan Lee
Scripter: Roy Thomas
Artist: Neal Adams
Embellisher: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Beast approach the Sentinel's base by air. They are shot down, but survive, and continue on to the base. Inside, Judge Chalmers explains to Larry that after his mutant power of clairvoyance manifested itself, his father created a medallion that would block his power, and, eventually fearing other mutants would discover his secret, created the Sentinels to hunt them down. The Sentinels insist on following the last order they received from Larry when he was human: kill all mutants. In the meantime, they place Larry alongside the other mutant captives. Meanwhile, the X-Men enter the base and discover a just-arrived and captured Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Toad. The X-Men switch places with the three, allowing them to surprise the Sentinels who prepare to counter Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch's and Toad's powers rather than the X-Men's.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last Week In TV #7

The Venture Bros.: Assisted Suicide

Another Venture episode I wished was longer, as I could have spent hours watching Dr. Orpheus fight his way through Dr. Venture's psyche alongside Billy and Pete/Eros and Thanatos. And the end tag was another surprisingly Venture moment that managed to be touching without losing the show's biting edge. Rusty can be an ass, but moments like that point out how hard it must be for him NOT to be an ass all the time. I love this show for its humor and zany characters (amongst other things) but I also appreciate these small moments of character development.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

May your pumpkin patches be found the most sincere, and may TV and beer be plentiful enough to keep you from going insane.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Horror at Hannah's

My good buddy Hannah has been spending the month of October celebrating all things horror on her blog, Musings of a Palindrome (so named because her name is a palindrome, not because she thinks she can see Russia from her house). As part of that celebration, she hosted a short story contest (less than 1,000 words) in which she asked for stories in the horror/suspense genre designed to freak her out.

And I won! Wahoo!

Go here to check out my story. I'm totally surprised, as this is probably the first horror story I've ever written (I don't read a lot of horror/suspense, and thus I get very few story ideas in that vein). I was just trying to freak Hannah out, so I'm glad I accomplished that.

And now the new Stephen King book (amongst other goodies) is winging its way to me! Thanks Hannah!


November is almost upon us, which means it's time once again for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, or "NaNo", to the kids) challenge: write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.

Last year, I finished a novel, but it came up short at around 48,000 words. I'll be trying again this year, with a more densely plotted novel (read about it here) that I hope will put me in the winner's circle (the prize? Pride...). If you'll similarly be handing over your November days and nights to the crafting of a novel, be sure to buddy me on NaNo's page (I'm Teebore, natch).

Blog-wise, I'm not planning on disappearing entirely, and plan to keep at least the "Last Week in TV" and "X-amination" posts on their regular schedules, but don't be surprised if there's one less post each week (most likely the Friday post) or more phoned-in posts (like this one) on occasion. Once November has come and gone, the holiday season will be upon us, and I've got something in mind for the blog that I hope will be fun. Stay tuned for more on that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

X-amining X-Men #58

"Mission: Murder!"
July 1969

In a nutshell
The X-Men fight the Sentinels. 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Lettering: Sam Rosen

Beast and Iceman are attacked by a Sentinel at Cyclops' apartment. Beast retrieves Cyclops' portable television transmitter and Iceman sacrifices himself to allow Beast to escape. Beast alerts Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Angel to the return of the Sentinels. Angel flies ahead while Cyclops and Marvel Girl board a plane for New York. Iceman is taken to Larry Trask's Sentinel base in the Adirondack Mountains, where he is reunited with Alex and a captive Lorna. Trask has given Alex a suit which monitors his power, and Alex seems to be cooperating with Trask. He assures Iceman this is simply in order to keep Lorna safe, but when a Sentinel comes to take her away, Alex sees that Trask can't be trusted, and blasts it. Trask activates the control device in Alex's costume, causing him repel cosmic rays instead of absorb them. In Egypt, the Pharaoh feels himself turning into the Living Monolith, but a Sentinel arrives and captures him.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Last Week In TV #6

More thoughts on what I watched on TV last week. 

The Venture Bros: Bright Lights, Dean's City

A quasi-sequel to last week's episode, according to the pre-show bumper, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer started their respective episodes at the same time, and Hammer finished first, so Hank's episode aired first. His episodes tend to be more emotional and concerned with fleshing out the characters (along with the funny) while Publick's are more pop culture-y and filled with rapid fire jokes, and that was true of this duology, as Hank's episode moved his character forward significantly while in this episode, Dean was largely just witness to a lot of crazy, funny stuff.   

Friday, October 22, 2010

Retro Review: Homer Alone

Or the One Where
Marge goes on a vacation by herself to Rancho Relaxo and leaves Homer alone with Maggie

The Setup
An overworked and under-appreciated Marge snaps, leading her to take a vacation away from the family to relax.

Notable Notes
The title of this episode is a reference to the movie Home Alone, which featured actor Daniel Stern. Daniel's brother David wrote this episode.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

X-amining X-Men #57

"The Sentinels Live!"
June 1969

In a nutshell
The Sentinels return. 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

In Manhattan, Lorna Dane is abducted from her apartment by Sentinels. In Egypt, Iceman arrives with the authorities, who recognize the Pharaoh as noted archaeologist Professor Abdol. The Pharaoh claims Alex is a dangerous criminal while Cyclops tries to tell them the truth. When the authorities decide to arrest the X-Men, Alex, worried that he'll hurt someone with his overcharged powers, runs off into the desert, followed by the X-Men, who quickly dispatch the Egyptian police. Hiding inside a cave, Alex is captured by a Sentinel. Thinking of using Cerebro to try and find him, Cyclops attempts to contact Lorna to set it up for remote access, but finds only her empty, destroyed apartment. Worried about what happened to her, Iceman and Beast head back to America to investigate, leaving Cyclops, Angel and Marvel Girl to continue the search for Alex.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last Week in TV #5

Thoughts on what I watched on TV last week (sorry for the delay; blame it on computer problems...). 

The Venture Bros.: Everybody Comes to Hank's

Being a sucker for film noir (my senior thesis in college was about how to read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" as a detective novel), this episode was squarely in my wheelhouse, and I loved it, especially Hank's noir-speak and the fact that whenever he removed his hat color returned. I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed the Alchemist, a character that's never done much for me before. It's a testament to the strength and breadth of Venture Bros.' supporting cast that they can still come up with new and intriguing pairings of characters that bring different elements of those characters to light. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Teebore's Tidbits

In which I cover things worth discussing but which don't merit their own posts. 

Parks and Recreation Season One

Mrs. Teebore and I started watching Parks and Rec midway through its second season, after we found ourselves thoroughly enjoying the first few minutes of every episode that we watched thanks to the DVR runover from Community. It's been said that the first season of the show was much rougher than the second, much less sure of itself and its portrayal of the main character, the hilariously earnest government employee Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

X-amining X-Men #56

"What is...the Power?"
May 1969

In a nutshell
The Pharaoh transforms into the Living Monolith and battles the X-Men.

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams, Werner Roth (2nd Story)
Inker: Tom Palmer, Sam Grainger (2nd Story) 
Letterer: Herb Cooper

The X-Men, with a captive Living Pharaoh in tow, spot an archaeological dig and land, hoping to find local authorities to whom they can turn over the Pharaoh. Instead, they are attacked by the Pharaoh's cultists, and the Pharaoh is released, escaping with Alex. Angel follows the Pharaoh and his men back to their temple base, telepathically alerting Marvel Girl to his whereabouts. At the base, the Pharaoh explains that he and Alex both draw their power from cosmic rays, but that the more Alex uses his power the weaker the Pharaoh becomes. He locks Alex instead a sarcophagus designed to stop him from absorbing cosmic rays and kill him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last Week In TV #4

Thoughts on what I watched last week. 

The Simpsons: Loan-a-Lisa

My favorite bits were the talking goat in the Microloan commercial ("I am just a goat, but even I know that a peasant in an emerging economy can't catch a break...and now, apparently, I am a girl!") and Skinner and Chalmers excitement over Nelson paying $11 an hour, but I also enjoyed Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook updates ("Mark Zuckerberg is happy to meet new friends") and this exchange:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Retro Review: Lisa the Greek

Or the One Where
Lisa helps Homer gamble on football.

The Setup
Upset that Homer never gets involved in her interests, Lisa is counseled by Marge to try getting involved in Homer's interests, after which Homer quickly discovers Lisa's gift for picking winning football teams.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

X-amining X-Men #55

"The Living Pharaoh!"
April 1969

In a nutshell
The X-Men follow the Living Pharaoh to Egypt and Alex discovers he's a mutant. 

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Layouts: Don Heck
Penciller: Werner Roth
Inker: Vince Colleta
Lettering: Jean Izzo

In the tunnels beneath the Pharaoh's lair, Cyclops battles the villain while both the police and the X-Men search for him above ground. Telepathically sensing his thoughts, Marvel Girl and the X-Men close in on Cyclops but he's knocked out by the Pharaoh before they arrive and carried away, along with his brother Alex, by the Pharaoh's henchmen. The Pharaoh and his entourage board a chartered plane bound for Egypt. Cyclops awakens, his head covered in a hood to contain his power. With Cyclops conscious again, Marvel Girl telepathically senses him once more. The X-Men attack the Pharaoh's plane in midair, but are defeated.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last Week in TV #3

Thoughts on some of what I watched on TV last week.

The Simpsons: Elementary School Musical (season premiere)

Lisa's portion of the episode, in which she attends performing arts class and struggles with the role of art in society, was infinitely better than the story involving Homer and Bart witnessing Krusty's trial at the Hague (though I did enjoy the Dutch clown attacking Krusty for stealing his act). The much-hyped appearance of the three Glee kids amounted to little more than a weak parody of Good Vibrations, but Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords were great.