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Hyperion October 29, 2003
the Hyperion Chronicles
"My family doctor is Tyrannosaurus Rex Morgan, M.D."

#169 XXIV

Today was supposed to be a completely different column, but I got so excited watching 24 last night, and then I noticed that the next Potpourri would be the 24th one, so I decided to combine the two, with my review and some extra potpourri. Also, at the end I have listed the Hoody Award nominations one more time. The deadline is October 31, at midnight, if you want to vote.

24 FOX
In 2001 the nation was still reeling with the after-effects of 9/11, and watching it on the news every night. There was uncertainty whether a show about terrorists, assassination attempts, and other general mayhem would catch on. But it turned out that America was ready for some escapist action, and 24 became an underground hit.

The premise of the show was that each episode was done in "real time," an hour of the characters' lives during one frantic day. The first season ended with something incredible, that sort of set the bar for guts in programming, so that everyone had high expectations for Season 2, which didn't disappoint in its opener, including a jaw-dropping scene for the main character. The whole season ran pretty much that way.

Which brings us to Season 3, which debuted last night. The expectations were high, as 24 has become "Event Television." They even aired it as one long piece, without commercial interruption, like a movie. The show, if you managed to watch it, was slower than in years' past, but I could live with that okay, partly because I saw how many new characters and plot-lines were being established, and also because I'm a fan of the slow-building tension that just eats at your gut.

So I was happy watching with my family, calming my mother down who asked about every other thing happening, as if some how my dad and I were supposed to magically know what's going on. Then came the twist at the end.

Perhaps not as rawly visceral as last year, but still it felt like a mule kick in the head. People, if you never watch TV, shows like 24 are reason to start. This show in particular is a roller coaster ride if there ever was one. You never know who to trust, you never know what will happen, you never know who will die. It's not a show to believe in. It's a show to watch and enjoy. And on that level, it's as good as it gets. Tuesdays.

Potpourri Section


A Hoax is a hoax (of coax, of coax)
I've written about this before, but it keeps coming up, so I thought I'd mention it again. People: if you get something in your email warning you about needles, that's probably a hoax. Outrageous lawsuits? Probably a hoax. Seems crazy but has lots of specific details? You've been fish hooked.

I have no idea why hoax creators go to all the trouble. Maybe they just like fooling most of the people, all of the time. For my money, it's so easy; I don't know why they bother. The reason hoaxes work is A) people are gullible and B) people are lazy. They read something and pass it on without bothering to check the facts. And checking isn't that hard. There are entire websites (most notable dedicated to ferreting out the truth on these matters.

If you do happen to pass something along, and then find out the truth, THE ONLY HONORABLE THING TO DO IS TO EAT HUMBLE PIE, AND SEND OUT ANOTHER EMAIL MAKING IT RIGHT. If you're absolutely paralyzed, send it here, and I'll have one of the River Midgets check it out for you. They love doing that. But please, don't be part of the problem.

The Smart money hasn't changed

Recently I wrote in Hyperion X about the Elizabeth Smart movie on CBS, and how bad an idea it was since the story had so many holes yet to be filled. Well, several concerned readers wrote and told me I was being too suspicious of the Smart family, and to rethink my position. So, in an attempt to be conscientious, I poured over every piece of information I could find. What I got: it's much worse than I thought.

The CBS movie was just an attempt to preempt NBC, who has been running a weeklong series on the Smarts, with an interview. And ABC has been in the act too. All of this comes about because the Smarts themselves have written a book on their time. Personally, I find writing a book bizarre. I'd think after everything that happened, the family would want to fade from the spotlight as much as possible, not have the Network morning shows fight over them. But that's just me.

However, even if you allow that maybe they felt the need to get the story out there, something still ain't right. I read every interview with every Network. I read every excerpt from the book I could find. I even went back and read all the case coverage from a year ago leading up to Elizabeth Smart's return. And there is something fishy about the whole thing. Either the Smarts' story is off, the police are more incompetent than the old Keystone Kops, or something else entirely. This story just doesn't track. In my mind, I wonder if all this publicity is an attempt to cover some of that up. And history tells us it will backfire.


Is it better if he were gored by a bull or eaten by a bear?
You can now bet on if/when the military will catch Saddam Hussein. Called "Saddlates," each contract is purchased as a future's commodity, based on what time frame you think Saddam will be caught. Personally, I'm waiting until Donald Rumsfeld makes a bet.

Jane Fonda, eat your heart out
Carmen Electra has released an "Aerobic Striptease" DVD. According to the "actress" (and I finger-quote when I say actress), lap dances are quite the calorie burners. "Strippers have the best bodies; I mean, they dance all night," Electra explains. "If you take some of those moves, combine it with some fitness, you'll boost your self-confidence, feel sexy, and get an amazing workout." Let's hope Richard Simmons doesn't hear about this, although one does perversely wonder what that version of "Sweatin' to the Oldies" might look like. On second thought, maybe not.

Thought of the day (from an Email circular)
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

I hope there wasn't a pop quiz...
Finally, six London boys were rushed to an area hospital recently, after a prank gone awry. One of the boys brought his dad's Viagra and passed it around at lunch. According to one anonymous teacher, the prank was, "impossible to hide by afternoon classes." The boys were kept in the hospital for several hours under observation, and according to the principle, will be stiffly punished.

And that's life in the Monkey Barn,

October 29, 2003

Thanks to Koz for Editing and ideas

Saddam Futures:

Motto Explanation
A combination of the famous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex and the popular comic Rex Morgan, M.D., although, if you didn't know that just from looking at it, I don't see how my repeating it would help

Hoody Nominations
Comedy Crime-based Drama
Everybody Loves Raymond Law & Order
Friends C.S.I.
The Simpsons Boomtown
Will and Grace NYPD Blue
Sex and the City Without a Trace
Scrubs Law & Order C.I.
Curb Your Own Enthusiasm The Shield
That '70s Show C.S.I. Miami
My Wife and Kids Law & Order S.V.U.

Traditional Drama "Other"
West Wing American Idol
Six Feet Under Survivor
Twenty-Four Trading Spaces
Judging Amy Iron Chef
The Sopranos Amazing Race
The Practice Sesame Street
Angel Sports Center
Alias Cops
E.R. The Daily Show

Current All-Time
Alias M*A*S*H
Friends Mary Tyler Moore Show
C.S.I. The A-Team
West Wing Hill Street Blues
Everybody Loves Raymond Gunsmoke
Will and Grace E.R.
Twenty-Four Mission Impossible

Stars Hollow, Connecticut (Gilmore Girls)
Cicely, Alaska (Northern Exposure)
Springfield, U.S.A. (The Simpsons)
Love Boat (Love Boat)
The Bar (Cheers)
Sesame Street (Sesame Street)
Sunnydale (Buffy)
Hawaii (Magnum P.I.)
Miami (Golden Girls)
Las Vegas (C.S.I.)

BEST STORIES (Week in, week out)
C.S.I. Law & Order
West Wing Even Stevens
Roseanne Friends
The Cosby Show Alias
Buffy My So Called Life

BEST SPIN-OFF (vote for two)
Laverne and Shirley Frasier
Lou Grant The Jeffersons
The Simpsons Law & Order C.I.
Angel Rhoda
C.S.I. Miami A Different World
Gomer Pyle Benson
Melrose Place Knots Landing

BEST THEME SONG (Pick one of each)
Actual Song Theme Music
Happy Days Hill Street Blues
Cheers Airwolf
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air M*A*S*H
Facts of Life West Wing
The Dukes of Hazzard I Dream of Jeannie
Gilligan's Island Bonanza
The Muppet Show The X-Files
Different Strokes The Andy Griffith Show
Saved By the Bell The Addams Family
Green Acres E.R.

Josh & Donna (West Wing) Sam & Diane (Cheers)
Rob & Laura (Dick Van Dyke) Lucy & Ricky (I Love Lucy)
Entire cast of Friends Hawkeye & Margaret (M*A*S*H)
Bones & Spock (Star Trek) Buffy & Spike (Buffy)
Sydney & Vaughn (Alias) Archie & Edith (All in the Family)
Mulder & Scully (X-Files) Lorelai & Rory (Gilmore Girls)
Remington & Laura (Rem. Steele) Heathcliff & Clair (The Cosby Show)
Miss Kitty and Marshall Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke)

Best Worst
Cheers (Rebecca & Woody) Roseanne (2nd Becky)
Bewitched (Darrin) Bewitched (Darrin)
Spin City (Amanda) Three's Company (blondes & Furley)
Law & Order (numerous) 90210 (Bringing Dylan back)
M*A*S*H (BJ, et al) M*A*S*H (BJ et al)
E.R. (numerous) Dukes of Hazzard (the good ol' boys)

WHEN GOOD SHOWS GO BAD (They should have quit a year or two earlier)
E.R. The X-Files
Roseanne Seinfeld
Will and Grace Dawson's Creek
Friends Ally McBeal
Andy Griffith Saved by the Bell
Happy Days Frasier

GUILTY PLEASURES (You know they are bad but you love them anyway)
Ally McBeal Three's Company
7th Heaven 90210
Charmed Saved By the Bell
A.L.F. Golden Girls
Love Boat The Brady Bunch
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Gilligan's Island

BEST CHARACTERS (Pick three. If you want, you can pick two and write in one I missed)
Hawkeye (M*A*S*H) Festus (Gunsmoke)
Norm (Cheers) Klinger (M*A*S*H)
Cliff (Cheers) Niles (Frasier)
Barney Fife (Andy Griffith) Ted Baxter (MTM)
Fred Mertz (Lucy) Kramer (Seinfeld)
Buddy Sorrel (Dick Van Dyke) Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street)
George Costanza (Seinfeld) Frasier (Cheers and Frasier)
Archie Bunker (All in the Family) Sally Rogers (Dick Van Dyke)
Homer (The Simpsons) Eric Cartman (South Park)
Bull (Night Court) Rerun (What's Happening)
Laverne (Laverne and Shirley) Murdock (The A-Team)
Sophia (Golden Girls) ______________________

Sloane (Alias) Spike (Buffy)
Nina (24) J.R. Ewing (Dallas)
Mr. Burns (The Simpsons) Destro (G.I. Joe)
Lt. Decker (The A-Team) Louie (Taxi)
Gary (Cheers) The Olson Twins (anything)

Write in your own. I'll pick the three with the most votes________________

Remember, that deadline is October 31. Good luck!


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