retirement

This post has been a long time coming. After about of month of thinking about it, I have come to an important decision regarding the future of this blog.

I’ve decided that the time has come to officially retire Blurred Productions – for good.

This was not an easy choice for me to make but it is one that is very much bowing to the reality of the situation. The blog has been virtually dead since fall/winter 2010 (in a proud BP tradition, there was even some intra-contributor snark about this situation). We (pretty much, I) long ago surrendered our small voice within the comic book blogosphere. Quite wisely, several of the key contributors have set up their own personal corners of the internet. About two years ago my life (thanks to Graduate School) got very busy and I let my posting here slag and slag and eventually fade away. My attempts to spark some life back into this blog have fizzled. Several times over recent months, I’ve started writing a post but allowed it to sit in WordPress’s “drafts” folder. The dead weight of this blog’s long past and my guilt over my key role in its gradual demise were huge stumbling blocks to getting this place lively again.

It was not easy to come to the decision to retire this blog for good. Blurred Productions has been a part of my life since I was fourteen. As pretty much anyone reading this by this point well knows, BP began as a virtual way for me to distribute my (terrible) fiction to my friends and acquaintances. Later that website grew into a way for me to keep in touch with my high school (even later, undergraduate) friends. For about a year, Blurred Productions went down because of a falling out with our webhost. Then, a little over five years ago, I relaunched BP as a blog.

I stand by what we published here during Blurred Productions: The Blog Years. Tito and Psycholarry both published some truly great things (that perennially continue to bring traffic here). Doctor Brown and The Kaiser always brought sharp analysis to the table with  the great pieces they contributed here. I even stand by nearly everything I wrote here – especially about comics (even with the countless spelling/grammar errors & typos). We had a good run as part of the (often acrimonious) debates over gender in comics and other issues that continue to plague the comics industry today. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had on the blog were during those heady days. All and all, this blog was central to my intellectual and cultural development.

Because of this I will not be removing the archives or deactivating Blurred Productions’ history in anyway. While there will (likely) never be new content here again, the old content will remain here for good.

I’d like to thank the good folks of Progressive Ruin, Ragnell, Randy LanderWhen Fangirls Attack, and Kalinara for bringing us much needed traffic and links.

But have no fear, if you truly love reading the analysis, snark, and opinion of the contributors here, you aren’t out of luck. Many of us moved on to bigger (and much better) things and have set up new homes in fresher, smarter corners of the internets. For as they say: the king is dead, long live the king.

New Homes of all of your Blurred Productions favorites:

I will update that list as other contributors create their own blogs and websites.

In the end, I want to thank, you, our readers for consuming our content and putting up with our frequent absences. It was a real pleasure to serve as editor & chief of this blog for five years and of Blurred Productions, more generally, for much longer. Sadly, all good things most end and Blurred Productions lasted longer than most.

[A quick note, I reserve the right to tweak this page so that in always stays at the top of the blog – even if other contributors post their own good-byes or other things]
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Summer movie terribleness…

I have probably seen more movies this summer than I have for a good while – at least since 2008. I am likely to see even more as the season drags on – what with the final Potter flick and Captain America still on the horizon. What is sort of strange, though unsurprising, is just how underwhelming so many of these films have been.

[SPOILERS & ALL] Read the rest of this entry »


Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on…

the return
Come back on 5/27/2011 for another attempt to resuscitate this blog.


“You’re the Jackie O. of our time.”

Just thinking about this episode while I was preparing to write this made me giggle. That’s how good this episode was. Which is not very surprising.

The entire cast was on in this episode. I especially liked Alec Baldwin’s attempt at gay seduction. And hey! There were no jokes about how fat and/or ugly Tina Fey is. The best part of the episode was how well they were able to massage the fact that Matt Damon needs to go off and be a movie star. They managed to write him out in a way that doesn’t forclose future plot lines. Because really, who doesn’t want Liz Lemon to be happy? Only heartless bastards, I am sure.

I really don’t have much to say about this episode. It was almost too good to review and my love for this show has been stated again and again. So, there’s not much more to say.

Except that I’m not sure the whole Pete and his wife joke worked. It was kind of awful. It may have crossed a line? (It did cross a line…)

[An index of our Fall TV 2o1o coverage can be found here]


old friends…

I may be the last relatively unrepentant fan of The Office. Reading much of the discourse about this show, one would think it has committed a great crime against humanity (or least humor). But in a world where Two and a Half Men is the top sitcom, The Office still ranks as a very good show. Oh, sure has the show gotten worse since its heights of the second and third season? Absolutely and certainly season six was the worst season yet. However, that does not mean that is show is a piece of shit. Take on its own terms, the show provides plenty of entertainment.

Besides, each new season is like seeing old friends again.

The season seven premiere was very good. From the cold open (which managed to be funny and tell us a bit about each character) to it’s final moments, this episode brought some of what was missing from the previous season. First of all, it was nice to see Pam actually get a featured role. Outside of the baby arc, we got very little of her last season which was a shame. It was also nice to see Dwight with a fresh storyline. It often felt like Rainn Wilson was phoning it in last season, thus it was nice to see him bring his A (or at least A- game) in this episode.

But most of all, it seems that Steve Carrell leaving the show has brought a new energy to the show. Carrell’s performance was sharper (and spanking his nephew was weirdly hilarious), the writing was more focused, and the storyline seemed to have more weight. Carrell leaving could be the best thing that’s ever happened to this show. If they play it right. (Well, they are bringing Holly back…)

Of course, I’ve been fooled by this show’s season premiere’s before (I liked last season’s). So we will just have to see if they squander the great energy of this episode. I hope not.

[An index of our Fall TV 2o1o coverage can be found here]


too cool for school…

I’m going to have say, that the Community season 2 premiere left a bad taste in my mouth. Community has always been going through an identity crisis. The writers and producers seem to be trying to figure out if this show is one where you are actually supposed to care about the characters (i.e. The Office or HIMYM) or an more absurdist Family Guy show (i.e. Its Always Sunny)?  And because Community is a very meta show, this conflict takes places on a conscious level.

As of the premiere the producers seem to have decided to become a meta, network TV version of Its Always Sunny. Which is great. Always Sunny has a lot of fans (I am not among them). But really, did they have to be such a dick about it as they embraced the new direction?

At many moments the writer of this episode seemed to be laughing at the audience while chuckling, “How could you idiots become emotionally invested in these characters?” You know how, writer man? Because of storylines in your own damn show! The writers/producers are the ones who created the Britta/Jeff storyline in the previous season. They are the ones who asked the audience to become invested in their storylines. It was not some lonely person on the internet shipping away at two improbable characters but the actual writing on the show the created the connection between them. No reading between the lines required!

I have no problem with the direction Community has decided to go. They want to make more episodes like the Paintball one from last season? Great! I enjoyed that episode a lot. But they don’t need to be such a dick as they turn the page. Nothing bothers me more than when creators spit (especially so openly!) in the face of their fans.

My opinion of this episode wasn’t completely dour. I thought moments were pretty hilarious (especially the twitter account for Chevy Chase’s character or the excellent Twilight joke). But as I said in the beginning, the episode left a bad taste in my mouth.

[An index of our Fall TV 2o1o coverage can be found here]


pleasant and expected…

For all of its problems (as previously noted) you have to give the producers of Chuck credit: they are not afraid to shake up the status quo. Last season saw the death of Chuck’s dad and the end of the will-they-or-won’t-they shtick between Chuck and Sarah (spoiler: they are together now). Both were big (and smart) moves. Action/adventure shows like Chuck (I’m looking at you Stargate) get stale fast since they often just dish out more of the same season after season. Chuck has (pretty much) avoided that from the get-go. Which is quite an accomplishment.Chuck Season 4

As for the season premiere, there is really nothing unexpected here. The new status quo is established, (Chuck looking for his Mom/Sarah Connor), the obsession with Yvonne Strahovski’s body continues, and Zachary Levi remains as charming as ever. Basically if you are looking for some escapism, Chuck remains a good choice.

However, if there is one thing the producers need to learn is that the Buy More is played out. Constantly returning to that damn Best Buy knock off does not keep the show grounded, instead it keeps the show repetitive.  Besides as of this season the original shtick of the Buy More (i.e. will Chuck keep his job despite his spying?!?) is completely gone. What the producers should know by now is that it is not the “grounded”  nature of the show that makes Chuck work but Zachary Levi’s chemistry with the rest of the cast. Oh, and Adam Baldwin. (For a differing opinion, see Charlie Jane Anders’ review at io9)

But that aside, Chuck remains the same as ever. Which is (mostly) a good thing.

[An index of our Fall TV 2o1o coverage can be found here]