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The last 2 episodes (number 5 & 6 ) of Drive will air on July 4 at 8/7c.

After a lull of a year or so, I’ve started watching Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends again. (If you don’t know about it… a strangely sweet cartoon by the creator of The Powerpuff Girls about an orphanage for imaginary friends whose creators/kids have grown up on the Cartoon Network. It’s not an adult cartoon, but a really well done instant-classic children’s cartoon for the offspring of generation x.) This show remains lovely, hilarious, and really a perfect children’s cartoon that won’t make adults was to kill themselves. — The humor is alot like the “storylines” on Sesame Street, but without the obvious educational element. The last few episodes have been surprisingly original, while remaining true to the individual personalities of the main characters. (For a while the episodes were of the monster/imaginary-friend-of-the-week variety, while the new ones have explored ideas based on the major characters, in really funny ways.)

So… it was more than a month ago… and I will post a full article on keeping up with May Sweeps Month in Sweden even though Lost runs 3 weeks behind there. BUT… I do have to mention the joy of the Eurovision Song Contest. (One of the few shows with Swedish commentary.) It’s bigger than any version of … Idol (there are 30 some odd versions of Pop Idol/ American Idol, worldwide.) Most bars were advertising viewing parties for it. For the week we were in Stockholm… articles on the Eurovision Song Contest were on the front page every day. (Usually accompanied by “… wouldn’t know talent if it bit them in the …” owing to Sweden’s loss.) The Eurovision Song Contest is the craziest, most insane, contest type thing I’ve ever seen. Imagine all the weird costumes and dancing of the Olympic opening ceremony, then cross it with Dancing with the Stars, the MTV music awards, and maybe a Gay pride parade and you’ll have a good impression of only one country’s performance. Then… multiply it by the 24 competing countries and add commercials in another language — or even better — commercials that use both English and Swedish. During my first trip to Europe… I got to experience only a little of the World Cup (no TV in my hotel rooms). Maybe not as big as watching the World Cup… but definitely as big as the Superbowl or American Idol finale. One of those great unplanned, European experiences.

Oh… and the rest of non-cable Swedish TV was mostly familiar. CSI, Lost, My Name is Earl, Law and Order, Dr. Who… and a few shows already canceled (like Blind Justice?… I just looked it up only 12 episodes in 2005.) Another of my favorite TV moments was getting to watch “D.O.C.” an episode of Lost (all the flashbacks are in Korean) with Thor’s aunt and uncle after the cousins had gone to bed. The entire episode was subtitled in Swedish, including the Korean. Since I had seen it a few weeks before, it didn’t keep me from understanding the story, but it was just such a nice normal family thing to do. Familiar, but with unfamiliar… yet fewer commercials! I’ve been very vocal about how good American TV is right now… but I didn’t realize how much other countries agreed! (I know, I know… Dr. Who is British…. but I already knew that the Swedish showed a lot of British TV.)

I’ll be writing soon about how much the world of TV watching has changed very soon. And I may even start reviewing summer shows (since they’re finally starting after 2-3 strange weeks with nothing to watch.)

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According to TV guide Drive has been canceled.

I want to say I’m surprised, but I’m not. I just hoped for better.

One question: Why does Fox even bother to buy a show created by someone when they’ve canceled or given up on every other show he’s done for them within a few weeks? Heck… save yourself some money and only buy 4 episodes. (Tim Minear shows canceled prematurely by Fox: Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Inside and Drive)

I just discovered today that you can now watch episodes of Heros with video commentary. The video portion is kind of overkill… we don’t need to see the exec producer assistants… and the picture size is the usual small stream, BUT it is freaking awesome to get this kind of content without having to buy the DVD.

To me, Heroes has been this year’s big TV success, and NBC has handled “growing the brand” surprisingly well.

In addition, if you survived the 3rd season Lost exodus (or even if you didn’t,) you really should be listening to the Official Lost Podcast. It’s not the synchronized commentary you get from Heros or Battlestar Galactica, but a rather irreverent conversation and question/answer session from the show runners (executive producer/writers) and short interviews with the actors. Although they rarely answer big questions, they do add some clarity, make promises, and keep me from taking the “mysteries” so seriously. It’s clear that they do have a clue where it is all going and are having far too much fun keeping it a secret.

Drive has cars going fast. In the first three episodes, they are supposedly to be going fast from the Florida Keys to Georgia. It’s pretty obvious it’s Southern California since the flora and fauna is of the “dirt with a few scrubby bushy things” rather than “crazed kudzu swampland with a baby alligator in the puddles” variety. The landscape isn’t important. Does anyone worry about the reality of the location filming in Cannonball Run? No, and you don’t mind here. I just wanted to get that point out of the way.

Even while it does lack Dom DeLuise, there are many element in Drive that are sadly missing in Cannonball Run like; good dialog, complex character development, the extensive use of Google Earth, an engrossing storyline which although enigmatic is logical, and sober actors acting. (more…)

If we were a Neilson Family this week… we would be contributing to the popularity of American Idol.

Thor says that it was Anya’s choice, but as spoiled as she is… I rarely let her choose her tv programs.

So, we are watching American Idol. There are so many good shows I have taped (from 6 episodes of the Office to the Masterpiece Theater Dracula) and we are watching American Idol.

It’s all Anya’s fault.

I meant to write something about this the day it happened, but then I told myself I had to go back and write reviews of all the episodes this season. That didn’t happen, so I waited this long to say anything.

For the most part I only write about shows I really love or are noteworthy. (Especially because I have this procrastination problem.) On one of the first episodes of House, House said, “I don’t have to watch the OC, but it makes me happy.” I have to agree. It just makes me happy.

I’ll miss the music, the clothes, the location (not really what I think of when I think of Orange County),but most of all, I’ll miss the writing. The OC is great, because it’s funny. I’ll miss that.

Now I can only hope that Josh Schwartz’s next show, which is supposed to be about priveledged people from the eyes of an unknown blogger, is as good as I’m imagining.

This episode aired in December. I watched it in January. You could take that as a sign that I really didn’t want to watch the show. Maybe I want to give it the respect that it deserves, maybe I was just too tired, maybe I knew deep down that I really couldn’t deal with the month long break and just knowing that I had an unwatched episode would make it all better.

When I finally watched it, I was glad I hadn’t watched it earlier… because it ended with “To Be Continued.”

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