Entry for January 29, 2008: Genre update

Friends, I hope you've had a good week. On Saturday, 26 January 2008, Janice and I drove down to Norwood, Massachusetts, to take advantage of sales at Barnes & Noble and New England Comics and to use an Applebee's gift certificate.

Comics of note include darkly quirky Umbrella Academy, classic Mythos: Fantastic Four, and Star Trek: Year Four. The controversial retconning of Avengers: Illuminati, Countdown to Final Crisis, and Spider-Man: Brand-New Day has produced decent storylines, if not in the best way. Over the weekend, I also watched documentaries about Black Sabbath and Metallica, two of my favorite heavy metal bands.

We also enjoyed the latest misadventures of the sleuths on Psych, some episodes of the animated Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Batman that I had missed the first time they were on television, and the last two installments of Chuck made before the writers' strike. The espionage comedy was more predictable than, say, Reaper, but it was still amusing. Wikipedia has a good list of genre programs. What do I mean by "genre"? Anything that's not a mainstream modern drama or comedy, such as science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood returned to BBC America, only a week or so after Series 2 began in the U.K. I personally like the slightly lighter tone of the new season that is the result of the supernatural show moving to a more family-friendly BBC channel. For more adult fare, The Graham Norton Show is a guilty pleasure. I've got some Jane Austen adaptations on "Masterpiece" (formerly "Masterpiece Theater") and the latest Robin Hood to catch up on.

In my recent mixed review of Cloverfield, I didn't mention the movie previews that we saw. Of those, Iron Man still looks promising, but the brief teaser for Star Trek (XI) was interesting. On the one hand, I'm a fan of the long-running space-opera franchise, but on the other, I'm leery of yet another attempt to retcon Gene Roddenberry's humanist vision of the future, which is very different from the cyberpunky Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles or "reimagined" Battlestar Galactica. I hope that heroic optimism eventually returns to popularity. Unfortunately, the Justice League movie has been indefinitely postponed.

On a related note, Cinescape.com ran an amusing article about historical inaccuracies in cinema. As Janice has observed for certain adaptations of mystery novels and I tend to point out for weapons and armor in period epics, such things might go unnoticed by mainstream audiences but are distracting to people who know the source material.

Next time: "Death by Chocolate" and gaming updates!