I came home this weekend to see my folks for Memorial Day (which coincidentally means that I've eaten an unhealthy amount of food and it's only Sunday afternoon) and we got into a pretty interesting conversation about TV. For starters, neither of them knew what "the upfronts" were and I suppose it makes sense. If I didn't follow television as much as I do, I probably wouldn't know what the upfronts were either. Moreover, I would most likely have had the same question my mother had: "Why do they call it the upfronts?" I'm not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with the fact that ad-space is being presented to advertisers "up front" and if they sit on it, they may not be able to get the spots they want at a later date.
But let's try to save it! Yeah, these petition things often don't make a difference, but there's no harm. Here's the Save Surface on NBC petition. Almost 12,000 signatures so far.
It's a shame if this doesn't see a second season. It's better than Invasion and Threshold.
I like a show that doesn't BS around with dull scenes in its season finale. Right off the bat we're given the scenario: Miles and his family are packing up to escape town before the tsunami hits, Caitlin's Vespa is stolen when she arrives too late to find Miles, and she's knocked out when the crook pushes her, and Laura steals a rental car from the airport and blows by a road block to find Rich, who has been locked in a room at the mysterious lab. (And what is Jackson's name and pic doing on the lab's computers? Section Chief?!?)
Here we go!
You know how sometimes they'll advertise an episode of a TV show as the "episode you must see" or "the episode that changes everything?" Usually it's just hype or wishful thinking. They didn't advertise episode 14 of Surface as an episode that changes everything or a must see. But they could have. Because, well, this is the episode that changes everything.
So we've already told you that Surface is the best new show of the season, and why you should be watching it. I recently talked with Carter Jenkins, who plays Miles, the shy, curious, lizard-loving teen who started the whole thing when he brought an egg he found in the water into his home and now might be turning into a lizard thing himself. He called from California, after wrapping up filming on the NBC show for the season.
Carter Jenkins: Bob!
Bob Sassone: Hey man, how's it going?
One of the things that I like about Surface (one of many things) is that I really don't know where it's going with its story. I had assumptions I made about where these creatures came from, and they turned out to be wrong. I made an assumption on how the story was going to play out between Laura, Rich, and Miles, and I was wrong on that too. So I'm not going to try to predict what's going to happen anymore. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the remaining episodes for this season.
Anyone who watches just one episode of Surface - say, tonight's episode, one of the best - and still says that Invasion is the best of the new sci-fi horror show, ought to have his head (and heart) examined.
Laura and Rich are on the run from the agents who broke into their hotel room, Miles' transformation is progressing (bad timing too, as a girl likes him), and the monsters are starting to attack and kill more and more...
My fellow blogger, David Chartier over at TUAW first spotted this this morning, when he noted that "Apple has added a ton of new shows to the iTMS from the likes of NBC, USA, SciFi and Disney. The Office, Monk, Battlestar Galactica (including the miniseries), The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Law & Order and Surface are among the newcomers. But wait! There's more: peep the vintage NBC shows like Knight Rider (no joke), Dragnet and even some Alfred Hitchcock." Launch iTunes now, navigate to the iTMS, and click on TV Shows now to check it all out for yourself.
The new Internet TV revolution has truly begun! Viva la revolution!
Is it just the fact that I love this show so much that I so thoroughly believe that Rich and Laura are really in the middle of the ocean, trapped in a life raft that has sprung a leak, being tossed around by rain, waves, and wind? These scenes were probably filmed in a large water tank down in North Carolina, but it doesn't matter. The special effects look great to me, and that's all I care about.
Someone somewhere, a reviewer I think, made the observation that Surface is very Spielbergian. And if that's true, then tonight it entered it's Jaws phase: fishermen being attacked, the monsters starting to come to the surface, fishermen thinking that the alligator they caught is the creature hurting people. It's still a story of people more than a story about monsters, but tonight it showed that this show can turn nasty and bloody any time it wants to.
I'll be blunt: Surface is not only the best of the new sci-fi/horror series, it's the best new show, period. I spoke with Jay R. Ferguson the other day. He plays Rich, who is haunted by the death of his brother and trying to help Laura (Lake Bell) find the monsters causing havoc around the globe. You might know Ferguson from his teen years, when he starred in the TV series The Outsiders, or when he played Burt Reynolds son on Evening Shade. Ferguson talks about what it's like to film in North Carolina, why Surface is the best set he's ever worked on, and why you should be careful about what pictures you have taken when you're young.
Talked with Jay Ferguson (Rich on Surface) today, and we'll have the interview on Thursday afternoon. If you know anyone who is a fan of the show or you know of any sites that might be interested in the interview, spread the word.
OK, I know that Laura and Rich want to find out who these monsters are and they want to go to the location of where the new species is going to migrate, but rebuilding an old dive bell on your own, using windows from an old boat and replacement hinges and testing it yourself? That sounds really tricky. I mean, maybe that's just me talking. The most I can do with my hands is change a light bulb and attach a printer to a computer, so maybe I can't see any way that they can do this.
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