Webisodes: A Brief Reprieve from Summer TV Boredom (updated: Heroes, The Office, Rescue Me)

If you are as bored with summer television programming as I am, you have probably also been seeking other mediums for entertainment.

A Wii Fit, perhaps? Hello, no. Don’t you know me?

I’m referring to the fun little web episodes of Heroes and The Office, and the ‘minisodes’ of Rescue Me. For the uninitiated, be forewarned that even the online versions of Tommy and the boys are quite foul-mouthed and dirty minded.

Other than that, here is my current weekly TiVO lineup:

  • The Next Food Network Star
  • Weeds
  • The Middleman
  • Burn Notice
  • Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List

Kind of sad.

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Do You Hulu?

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about Hulu. More than 50 content providers have partnered to deliver popular television shows and films free of charge online.

I haven’t had time to explore the site, but it looks impressive and quite simple to navigate. Now that the Writers Strike is over and they will be receiving compensation whenever someone watches their work on Hulu, I will definitely bookmark this site and visit often.

Among other, the following networks and studios are offering movies and television series’ on Hulu:

  • Bravo
  • E!
  • FOX
  • Lionsgate
  • MGM
  • NBC Universal
  • Sci Fi
  • Sony Pictures Television
  • Sundance Channel
  • TV Guide
  • USA Network
  • Warner Bros.

Have any of you tried it yet? What do you think?

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I’ve had a MySpace page for almost two years now, and I’ve made some great virtual acquaintances who primarily share my interests in television, film, music and general pop culture. Like most people, I find MySpace to be fairly addictive; I constantly update my profile, subscribe to and read numerous blogs, and scroll through my friends’ pages. But here are the two main reasons I really enjoy MySpace: 1) a wider audience for my blog; I am able to post my entries there, and have added a large number of Lost fans to my distribution list as a result, and 2) many writers and actors from my favorite shows maintain their own pages and blogs, and that kind of accessibility is quite a treat for true fans.

Recently, my 17 year old niece suggested that I also create a Facebook page (thanks, Mags!).  I was initially hesitant because, in all honesty, I thought I was too old. However, after perusing various pages and noticing that far more of my college friends are on Facebook than MySpace, I decided to take the plunge. Besides, I love discovering fellow Lost friends from all corners, and Facebook provides me with new opportunities to do so.

Right now my Facebook page is under construction, and I’m not a fan of the layout and format just yet (at least compared to MySpace).  But I would love to add new friends to both Facebook and MySpace. If you’re a member of either and enjoy this blog and/or Lost, add me as a friend! I open every invite to see what we have in common, and only deny those that are obvious spam, porn or from a band/musician that isn’t up my alley (i.e. hair metal).


If you’re not on either social network or you’d like to be added to my Lost distribution list (to receive weekly Lost theories & thoughts following each episode, beginning with next week’s Season 4 premiere), simply send me an email to jo@jopinionated.com with the word LOST in the subject line.

I am curious to find out which of you have pages on either Facebook or MySpace, so don’t be shy. Go find and befriend me. I would also love to hear which you prefer, and why…

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I know I’m not the only one who geeks out whenever the new LOST promos air on TV. And I also know that there are thousands out there who are also counting down the days until Season 4 premieres on January 31.

So here are a few ways to entertain yourselves in the meantime…

Start by watching the video on Fly Oceanic Air. Then go to the interactive Find 815 site, where you watch another video and then follow the clues and story.

Apparently, there are actual Oceanic Air billboards up in Portland right now. That is an expensive marketing campaign, my friends. I am impressed.

Oh, and Oceanic Airlines put out a fake press release last week, announcing their return to service. The most interesting part of it is the list of new destinations (many of which are related to LOST survivors and flashbacks, and some of which probably tie into the new season): 

Los Angeles, CA
Tustin, CA
Ames, IA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Portland, OR
Knoxville, TN
Seoul, South Korea
Sydney, Australia

In other LOST news, you can watch an 8 minute, 15 second review of the entire series so far on ABC.com, as well as every single episode of the first 3 seasons, now streaming in HD for free. But remember – the writers of those episodes do not receive ANY compensation for their work when it airs online (support the writer’s strike; boycott online viewing until it settles!).

Ok then, what are you waiting for?

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It is just over 100 degrees outside, and the power went out at work this afternoon, so they sent us home. It’s sad – I dIdn’t know what to do with myself. I was thinking about going to rent 300 but…

Because I’ve been making an effort to be more ‘green,’ as is the trend right now, I felt guilty about sitting inside with the TV system and air conditioner on. And I didn’t want to pollute the air further by driving any more than I already have today.

I could sit and read a book, but that won’t happen. I’m the kind of person that reads right before bed or on vacation only.

And I certainly do not want to start packing for my upcoming vacation to Alaska; the idea of handling wool or fleece in this weather is not very appealing. 

Somehow my guilt dissipates when I’m on the computer. Yes, it takes up energy, but I justify it because I am productive.

So for lack of any other original ideas, here is quick look inside my brain at the moment:

Ugh. My team is not good this year. Ok, they’re average, but I’ve been spoiled by playoff runs for the past several years and this has been a trying season for loyal fans. And now, the fire sale. Loiaza to the Dodgers? COME ON. Next thing you know, Piazza will grow out the mullet and rejoin the evil blue empire as well.

And if you think I’M bitter, check out Athletics Nation.

For baseball’s version of TMZ or Perez Hilton, visit On the DL. It is a guilty pleasure.

Last weekend I finally went to see The Bourne Ultimatum. Now THAT is what I call a sequel.  I wish other studios and filmmakers would take the same approach: more action and less dialogue (memo to Michael Bay). This movie was an intense ride, and the best one I’ve taken all summer. Matt Damon is ten times the actor that Affleck ever was or will be. I’ve always felt that Damon is a tad underrated. The Talented Mr. Ripley? Crazy creepy good. Bonus points for putting Jude Law out of his onscreen misery.

I would rather play Eve’s ‘Tambourine’ than hold Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella.’

As much as I love my Mulder, Duchovny’s latest small screen venture isn’t working for me. Are any of you hooked on Californication?

Is it sad that I was very excited to hear that the cast and crew of Lost are back to work, filming the first few episodes of Season 4? I am rewatching Season 2 right now, which is fascinating because of what we learned in Season 3. Before the new season begins, I will address lingering/annoying questions in a lengthy blog.

If you aren’t already hooked, I really think you should go out and buy the first season of Friday Night Lights for only $20. It is not a football show, I promise. Yes, there are pigskin scenes, but relationships and angst are the focal points. Jump on the bandwagon now, before Season 2 begins next month.

Even though the show has been canceled, there is going to be a Dead Like Me movie. Am I the only one who watched and loved that series?

I love Top Chef, but reading the blogs after each episode is almost better.

Damages is the BEST show on television right now. If you haven’t watched it yet, FX will be airing a five episode marathon of the series beginning at 3pm PST on Labor Day – this Monday!

Have you checked out Michael Cera’s site yet? Hysterical.

Over at The House Next Door, Matt Zoller Seitz has written the best article I’ve seen yet about Owen Wilson.

I read A LOT of other people’s blogs, and I tend to leave comments when they cover topics that I’m passionate about. So I appreciate when readers do the same here, and would like to recommend two sites by two new friends: Cinematically Correct & Ex-Everything.


And screw it. I’m off to rent 300 and Blades of Glory. You can’t get any more random than that.

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Tomorrow marks the 2 year anniversary of this blog.  The timing is perfect; last week was the most amazing and surreal experience in the two year history of my site.

It has been estimated that there are more than 70 million blogs in existence. And most of the major pop culture sites receive millions of hits per month. Which kind of gives this site an inferiority complex. But last Wednesday, after actor Jim Beaver responded to my letter to David Milch, my page views shot through the roof.  And there are a few people that deserve a shout-out for playing a major role.

Mr. Jim Beaver is a class act and a refreshing voice in an otherwise disingenuous industry. He doesn’t know me and wasn’t trying to do me any favors. He just took the time to write an honest response to disagree with one fan’s strong opinion. It took me by surprise but I am grateful that he not only set the record straight about Milch’s role in the cancellation of Deadwood and creation of John From Cincinnati, he agreed that the fans of both shows deserved to hear his perspective.

If you haven’t done so already, you need to bookmark Whitney Matheson’s Pop Candy blog for USA Today. It is a daily must-read. As a shot in the dark, aiming high and hoping for the best, I sent her the link to Jim’s response, because I know she’s covered Deadwood, JFC and Milch in previous posts. She not only wrote a little blurb providing back story, she linked
directly to my site! This resulted in at least 3,000 new hits and
introduced me to several new friends with similar entertainment sites
and interests. Keep in mind that before last week, I was averaging
75-100 hits per day. So thank you, Whitney!

If you’re a true Deadwood fan, you must visit Save Deadwood. It is the best source for updates about the status of the cast and series.  I totally appreciate that they posted a link back to Jim’s response on this site as well! I also enjoy visiting and then listening to The Real Deadwood Podcast with Paul Dennis. 

Apparently there are links to my story on HBO’s Deadwood and JFC community boards, as well as on the message boards of Joss Whedon fan site Whedonesque. This saga continues to amuse and overwhelm me at the same time.

Overall, the response to Jim’s email has been 100% positive. And hey, I emerged from this mini-storm relatively unscathed; only one person expressed true umbrage with my letter to Milch. As the dust settles and this becomes tomorrow’s news, I hope to simply retain some new readers. The ride was inadvertent, but worth the journey.

Thank you to everyone who visited and also to those who left comments. I hope you’ll add this site to your list of pop culture perspectives, and return in the near future.


Here is an entirely trivial glance at the last two years of my life as a blogger. To some, these numbers would be a joke. But I am proud of my readership and what I have been able to create and share, especially considering that I have a regular day job.

August 2005 – August 2007
Number of entries posted: 225 (I will increase the frequency, I promise)
Number of subscribers: 10 (small but dedicated, like Mel on The Flight of the Conchords)
Most popular entry: Really Early Oscar Predictions – The Best New Releases of 2006 (no idea why)
Top 3 topics covered: Television, Film, Lost
Number of overall hits: No idea (I was too cheap to purchase a counter)

Now what will I do to celebrate the silly little anniversary of this site? I’m glad you asked! I will be obtaining Season 1 of both Friday Night Lights and Heroes on DVD as soon as possible, and then starting to research new laptop options.  Four years later, my baby is out of style; the technology is sadly archaic and the performance increasingly sluggish. Any suggestions?

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