So… I Actually Wrote Something!

Yes, it’s true. Jeff James, continually procrastinating writer, has actually produced new work! Specifically, Episode #9 of The Leet World.

To be completely honest, I actually finished the script about a month ago, but I haven’t talked about it for a few reasons. First off, I wanted to wait until the episode was actually released. However, that happened on February 1st, and here it’s two weeks later and I’m just now writing about it. Can’t really explain that part, except that I did kind of want to wait a little while to see what people thought of the results. Most people seem to think I did a good job, so I guess it’s about time I talk about it.

In any case, I’d like to share the episode and talk a little bit about the writing process. If you’re completely new to the show, however, I’d recommend watching one or two of the previous episodes since the first part of my episode resolves a cliffhanger from the first half of the season.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the show, go ahead and check out the episode:

The final version you see there is about 85%-90% stuff that I wrote. The Player/hat love story (which is *great*, by the way) is the biggest addition they made, and is a joke I couldn’t even have come up with in the first place since I had no idea there was a freakin’ snow man on the map. There are also a few line tweaks and improvs here and there.

If you’d like to know more about the episode and my writing process, continue reading… Continue reading “So… I Actually Wrote Something!”

Found Kitten

Found Kitten

In other news, a kitten came to my door last night while I was watching TV. She is wearing a collar, so she definitely belongs to someone out there. I’m sincerely hoping I can track down the owner sometime soon, because I sure can’t keep the cute little bugger. Two cats is enough for me (and is the limit allowed by my complex). Not to mention the fact that she hisses and growls at Jackson and Appollonia at pretty much first sight.

EDIT: Mini-cat, as I took to calling her, didn’t stay with me for too long. The girl I spoke to in the office of my apartment complex left me a voicemail the next Monday night saying that the owner had come in, so I packed Mini-cat up and dropped her off at the office the next day. She sure was cute, but she was a little terror… once she got used to being at my place, she spent all of her time out of the bathroom chasing Jackson and Appollonia around the apartment. My poor kitties were getting all intimidated! It was just as well… two cats and a person is crowded enough for this place.

NBC Finally Figured Out My Definition of Must See TV

So, as you, my faithful reader(s) know, I watch a lot of TV. A _lot_. I’m at a point where I couldn’t get by without my trusty DVR… in fact, I think it’s safe to say my social life would disappear without the thing.

That might sound strange, but think about it… what would i be doing on Friday nights when Battlestar Galactica is on? Sitting home and watching it. Wednesday night? Sorry, no, can’t go to a bar… _I have to watch Lost tonight_. What’s that you say? Use a VCR? What are you… a caveman?!?!? (Seriously, though… my VCR apparently chooses to ignore all programmed recordings, so *there*.)

But… I digress. On to the subject of my post. NBC has finally put together what I’d consider a truly great night of TV… and it’s on Thursday night, also known as The Place Where Must See TV Once Lived. And it is as follows:

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“My Name Is Earl” (8-8:30 p.m. ET)

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“The Office” (8:30-9 p.m. ET)

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“Scrubs” (9-9:30 p.m. ET)

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“30 Rock” (9:30-10 p.m. ET)

This all goes into effect on November 30th, so… set your DVRs! As for the shows themselves…

My Name is Earl was one of my new favorites last year, and this season so far has been pretty awesome. They’ve actually been changing up the formula some and not focusing on the list so much… they’ve also dialed down a bit of the Earl’s preachiness about karma, and the last few episodes have proven that he’s still a flawed guy.

I’ve just recently gotten into The Office, but it’s absolutely worth the effort, especially for those of you who may have been big fans of the BBC version and were turned off by the adaptation. The show has come into its own and done so gracefully.

Scrubs is actually finishing up this year, unfortunately. Apparently Zach Braff has some kind of movie career to pursue or something… Anyways, it has an amazing ability to cheer me up, without fail, every time I watch it. Even though I’ve seen most of the episodes two or three times by now, I can still watch them at the drop of the hat… those DVDs are next up to buy, let me tell you.

30 Rock is, of course, brand new, and might not make it (although, really, everything on NBC is doing terribly right now, so 30 Rock is doing about the same). It started off… just okay, but this week’s episode was absolutely hilarious, and I’m completely on board now. Even though I haven’t watched the last two episodes of Studio 60, if I had to choose for one of the two shows to live, I think I’d pick 30 Rock, simply because it seems to have a better sense of focus and direction, and for the most part it’s figured out that we don’t need to see bad sketch comedy when the characters are more interesting.

p(edit). EDIT: Okay, I finally watched the most recent two episodes of Studio 60, and my opinion about the show hasn’t necessarily changed. It’s good, but it still isn’t quite hitting its marks. I might renege on my choice of 30 Rock over Studio 60, if and only if Studio 60 gets a little sharper or has another truly great episodes – a handful of truly great episodes would be even better. I’m sure we’ll get to see all of the episodes play, so maybe the later eps will be a little sharper once they get into a writing groove. And for god’s sake, can we get some Matt and Danny interaction? Like, at all? Of course, it would be even _better_ if Studio 60 started hitting its marks _and_ 30 Rock continued to be sharp _and_ stick around, because then I’d have two more excellent shows to add to my stable of “need to watch”. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It’s kind of amazing that it took NBC this long to put together such a perfect line-up of shows, with not a dud in the group – all of them are single-camera and laugh-track free, both of which are developments in sitcom TV that I find waaaaay overdue.

I really need to read that “Crafty TV Writing”:http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0805080287/ book now, don’t I?

Oh, to hell with it! I’m gonna have a party!

Oh, 2005… you’re on your last legs, with only three more hours to go. You were kind of an odd mis-shapen year, weren’t you?

You and I spent our first few months together entering into spiraling credit-card debt thanks to my impulsive (but never regretted) unemployment. Then I found employment, and honestly, it seems like the rest of the year has been a blur.

2005 was the year that I effectively sold my soul to the chemical comforts of TV shows on DVD and the insidious call of the DVR.

I managed to watch four seasons of Farscape, seven of Buffy, and five of Angel over the course of the year, along with any number of other shows and movies that I can’t even begin to count.

According to the program I used to track my reading habits, I read 41 books in 2005.

Six of those were audio books listened to on my iPod.

Twelve were graphic novels, although two of the ones I count (Black Hole and McSweeney’s issue 13) were longer works.

Two of the books I read (Jennifer Government and Faust Among Equals) were _awful_.

One book (The Stars My Destination) was perhaps the best book I’ve read in years, with the final Dark Tower book coming equally close for sheer emotional power.

Song of the year? “Blankest Year” by Nada Surf.

…And now it’s time for me to get my stuff together so I can head out to a party at my friends’ house. Hopefully it’ll be a good time. I need to start filling myself with resolve for the coming of 2006.

i’m really close tonight

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I went and saw the new Harry Potter movie at a midnight showing this week. i was originally planning on going to see My Morning Jacket that evening, but I hadn’t actually realized that the tickets were $25, and honestly, Harry Potter sounded like more fun once I weighed the options. (I also began to imagine that the MMJ show might be like when I went and saw Built to Spill live. They’ve made some damn good albums, but the reality of them live wasn’t that exciting to me.)

HP4 was good, but not, in my opinion, the Best Harry Potter Movie Yet, as some critics have dubbed it. It was well-made and nicely dark. They cut out all of the fat in the storyline (how else could they fit a 700 page book in two and a half hours?), and it was definitely better than the first two movies, but it didn’t really break any new ground, in my honest opinion. I know that it wasn’t as good as Prison of Azkabana because when I left the theatre after _that_ one, I was ecstatic, completely jazzed about the movie I had just seen. After this one, I was just… well… I thought it was good, but it didn’t leap from the screen like the third movie did.

Other than that, I’ve got a week off from work! This little vacation has come just in time, too… So far I’ve just done my normal weekend things, i.e. watched some TV, caught up on sleep, and spent an afternoon reading. My plans for the rest of the week are pretty wide open, other than a trip to San Antonio for Thanksgiving.

i can relate

Today’s Player vs. Player is me in a nutshell. I’ve been starting to feel like a TV critic because I’m keeping track of so damn many shows. Currently these are on my must-see list:

Nip/Tuck, Lost, Alias, The OC, Prison Break, Arrested Development, Kitchen Confidential, My Name is Earl, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Rescue Me

(luckily, BSG and SG-1 are on winter hiatus and Rescue Me recently had a season finale.)

Also recording:

The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Bones, Invasion, Threshold, The Office, Supernatural, Reunion

No Going Back Now!

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In preparation for the coming of “The Chosen Collection”:http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=4018 (sorry, couldn’t resist), I’ve decided to go ahead and sell my currently owned box sets of Buffy seasons 5 thru 7. I listed them all around 8 o’clock tonight… and Season 7 is already sold. (It makes me feel better that I made back almost what it cost me, although somehow I still feel guilty for selling the sets… it feels like _treason_!)

The best offer Half Price Books could have given me was *$9* per season, which is just absolutely offensive. At least on Amazon, I can set my own price and keep most of the money.

The way I’ve got it figured, if I can get back at least $20 a pop for 5, 6, and 7 each, they’ve paid for their part of the complete box set. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a little more than $20 a pop and they’ll pay for a bit of the rest of the set – the ideal situation is me coming away between $25 and $30 for each set.

2005 has definitely been the year of my TV obsession. First I got inexorably caught up in watching the entire runs of two great sci-fi TV shows, pretty much back-to-back (Farscape, then Buffy), and then the whole thing snowballed, and I found myself juggling any number of shows at the same time. At the moment it feels like I’m following as many shows on DVD as there are currently on-air, but it’s more likely that the on-air shows are starting to tip the balance – especially when I watch enough DVD to catch up to the currently airing episodes, like I’ve done with The O.C.

Most of my dvd purchases as of late have been TV box sets, as well… the three Buffy sets, then The Office, Firefly, The OC, Nip/Tuck Season Two, Lost… (I got an awesome deal on Lost, which is on sale at Target.) Man… I can already see what my new year’s resolution for 2006 should be – watch/buy less TV!

I’m singin bout the wreck of the Old 97

so i think it’s official that i watch every TV show generally considered “only watched by teenage girls”, including the aformentioned Buffy and a good bit of The OC this week (only three more eps of season one to go!) hell, even someone i know who loves Buffy to death was just like “The OC? You’re watching _The OC_? I thought only teenage girls watched that!”

don’t worry, Doug, et al… i defended your honor. i am, after all, the last one of pretty much everyone i know from back home to get into the show. even though i originally rated it 4 out of 5 on netflix, as the season went on i was forced to give it the full 5 stars. it’s _just that good_.

the second season comes out on dvd next week… i kind of want to buy it, but if i’m going to do that, i’ll have to wait until i’m all paid up on bills and have room to breathe again. on top of that, nip/tuck season two comes out a week later. quandary!

in other news, one of my friends at work used her employee discount to buy me a “mighty mouse”:http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/ and a new keyboard (after Jackson spilled glasses cleaner on my old one *twice*, it didn’t quite work so well anymore…) the mouse takes a little bit of getting used to, but i like it so far, and the keyboard is a definite improvement, now that i can use the right arrow and all.

i probably should have/could have waited on this purchase, however, because it turns out that the utilities deposit that i was expecting to pay sometime next month is actually due this month. moving into my new place has been so ridiculously expensive – i’ll have spent at least $1000 above and beyond rent just to pay off deposits and get myself moved and set up here. after this next month, though, things should settle down and i’ll have cashflow again.

it also helps that i’ve got some freelance web design work i’ll be doing. one job for a friend at work, one for an actual company trying to start a website. the one for my friend at work should be quick and simple. the one for the business will take much more work because they’re asking for something kind of complicated. either way, though, the money i’ll get will help.

i’m _planning_ to cancel netflix after this month, since i spent so much on cable and all… we’ll see how that goes. if i could either convince myself to only rent from netflix or cancel it and rent from vulcan video on wednesday nights (rent one get free every week), i’d have a solution. occasionally doing both, however, is ridiculous.

in other news… i’m not sure who actually reads this site anymore (i know my parents do, and i’m reasonably sure doug still does), but i apparently also get the occasional visitor who stumbles upon the site. i’ve actually removed some of my recent entries because i was starting to get contacted by people who knew the person in question (i’m making a point to not write her name, but i’m referring to the friend of mine that died last month.)

not that i was getting negative responses, mind you, but i didn’t really like having those particular personal reflections coming up so readily in google. i’m generally good about not writing anything particularly personal in here, but every once in a while i need to vent or talk about what is going on, and last month was definitely one of those times.

i’m sort of toying with starting over fresh with a new journal, but we’ll see how that goes. for the moment, though, i’m going to putter around for a while and then go to bed.

Roald Dahl

bq. “(Robert) Altman’s long-held desire to adapt some of Dahl’s macabre adult short stories into a TV series is edging closer to fruition. The project was put into turnaround at HBO, but is now sparking interest among British broadcasters, the trade paper reported. Altman will produce all six episodes and is apparently keen to direct three himself. Dahl’s stories were previously made for ITV in the late 1970s as Tales of the Unexpected, the trade paper reported.” (“Read More”:http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?2004-11/22/10.00.film)

White Noise

Beau and I had a discussion about how people these days tend to feel completely alienated from their jobs. You do work on one end but never see any concrete reason why you should have done that work. Most people consider their jobs something they “have to do”, something separate from their lives. The thought of such a thing frightens me… why devote 75% of my life to something that means nothing to me just so I can make enough money to have a roof over my head and food to eat?

…Speaking of alienation, there was recently an episode of Malcolm in the Middle on TV that was kind of similar to the last part I read of White Noise… three years ago, was it now? And on top of that, Vince and I watched Office Space on Friday, and it was a better movie to me now because I finally can relate to some of the stuff that happens… These things are random, but it seems like that’s the state of my life right now. Alienated.

Sigh.

Sleepless Night

After I got home from work, I fell asleep until midnight. Accordingly, I have been awake ever since. To fill up my time, I watched the first three episodes of Nip/Tuck, which was fucking great. I really enjoy watching television shows on DVD, especially the really good ones. If you find yourself a well-made TV show on DVD, it’s like watching the coolest, most involving movie, simply because you have so much time to get caught up in the characters and the evolving plotlines…