Tabz (aka Tabitha Grace Smith) is a omnivorous geek with a special love of television. She's a writer, social media strategist, and teacher. In her spare time she blogs over at Doctor Her (a Doctor Who blog) and runs Between the Lines Studios.
Not many people remember the short-lived TV series Vengeance Unlimited. It ran in 1998 to 1999 for one season and only had 16 episodes, having succumb to the overwhelming power of it’s rival for the time slot – Friends.
Michael Madsen plays the lead character, Mr. Chapel. You may know Madsen better from his tough guy roles in various films including his memorable character, “Mr. Blonde” in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. He brings the same flavor of tough guy, slightly crazy acting to his role as the mysterious Mr. Chapel and his performance in the role is one of the highlights of the series.
The show’s premise is Mr. Chapel’s line of work – Vengeance. Much like the A-Team if you have a problem and need help you can hire Mr. Chapel to exact revenge on those who have wronged you. Dishing out his special brand of justice isn’t for free of course: clients either pay $1 million dollars or promise to do Mr. Chapel a favor in the future. The favor of course can be anytime, anywhere, doing whatever Mr. Chapel requires. Sometimes this favor borders on the illegal and unethical and sometimes it’s the mundane. One of the longstanding jokes of the series is when Mr. Chapel cashes in the favor and it’s been paid he tells them they’re off the hook and the former client response “thank God!”
The folks of Diggnation recently did an episode at the MSNBC digital cafe and guess who was there to make them breakfast drinks? The ever lovely and talented Rachel Maddow. Of course, she couldn’t just make drinks.
If twisted, gothic-style storytelling is your cup of tea (or if you enjoy stories like “A Series of Unfortunate Events” for the bad things that happen or Sweeny Todd for the killing rampage), you may enjoy the webseries: Penny Dreadfuls. Now, for those of you not up on the 18th century lingo, which I’m all to pieces over, penny dreadfuls was a term applied to cheap, sensational stories that came out as serials once a week. Along the same vein is this webseries, which is extremely twisted. Don’t get me wrong when I say they are – twisted. At the time of writing this review there are two episodes, both which left me with the desire to take a long hot shower and clean off the ick.
Despite their short length, the episodes tell amazingly rich stories (especially episode 1 “Feeding”). The actors are also a treat to watch, compared to other shows that just cast “pretty young things”. Produced, Directed and edited by James Arnall, the stories have amazing visuals and James seems to be able to use “unspoken” moments to get story ideas out. The second episode (“Sleeping Beauty”) features Michele Boyd, who you may know from Season 2 of the Guild.
I can’t wait to see more stories in the Penny Dreadfuls series. Especially since they’re so self-contained the stories can continue on for awhile without much effort (you know, beyond… actually making them). So the potential to horrify me via my computer screen is still huge.
Hankering to get a taste of the behind-the-scenes of the CMT Music Awards? Nationwide Insurance is giving you a sneak-peek – Social Media style. Through Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, Nationwide will be showing fans tomorrow a view from behind the red curtain. If you’re interested in following all the action live head over to nationwide.com/cmtawards
Here’s the details from their press release: When: Nationwide’s live behind–the-scenes coverage will begin Tuesday morning, June 16 and stretch through post-event celebrations.
The 2009 CMT Music Awards will air on CMT on Tuesday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Who: The top stars in country music. Where: Visit nationwide.com/cmtawards to begin following the action from your home computer or mobile device. Why: Nationwide is a proud sponsor of the CMT Music Awards. Tune into the show to see which up-and-coming artist will win a special Nationwide On Your Side® Award, based on fan voting at CMT.com. Nominated artists will perform on the Nationwide Insurance Performance Stage during the awards.
From May and September 2009, fans of popular cult television and film writer/director Joss Whedon, will gather worldwide to raise money for Equality Now, a charity dedicated to promoting the human rights of beleaguered women and girls.
For the fourth year in a row, thousands of people around the world will participate in “Can’t Stop the Serenity” fund-raising events to benefit Says Amanda Sullivan, director of Equality Now: “Amazing as it is, we are heading into our fourth season of CSTS global screenings! It is a difficult time for us and a difficult time for everyone right now. So it’s especially important for all of you to know how grateful all of us at Equality Now are, and will always be, for the commitment to gender equality the Browncoats have demonstrated through their hard work and generosity.” Browncoats, like many other television fans, are dedicated to their fandom. The story of Firefly and Serenity is an interesting case in popular culture. Firefly premiered on the Fox Network experiencing a short run from September to December of 2002, before being cancelled mid-season due to low ratings and artistic disagreements with its creator, Joss Whedon. Many fans believe the show was a victim of poor promotion coupled with a bad time slot. Not content with the show’s release on DVD in 2004, the Browncoats grew in number, thriving on any content related to Firefly and bolstering DVD sales enough to merit creation of a movie epilogue to the series in 2005: Serenity.
Most fan stories usually end there, but inspired by Whedon’s fiery post on Whedonesque.com in response to the senseless “honor killing” of young Du’a Khalil, his fans continue to go above and beyond to focus their enthusiasm and community into a force for good. He says, “…All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones…”
My good friend, podcasting and social media innovator and cheery ball of sunshine – J.C. Hutchins has just launched his latest psychological thriller/awesome novel – Personal Effects: Dark Art. Now, if you haven’t already heard J.C. Hutchins’ amazing podcast novel trilogy – 7th Son and have been living under a rock the past couple years, you may not know why YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. So I, as one of those people you can trust to tell you why you should always make the right decision (like switching from your PC to a Mac), will give you the top ten reasons you should buy Personal Effects: Dark Art.
#10. J.C. Hutchins loves baby bunnies.
Despite the nail-biting, page turning, grip you by the throat and drag you off into the darkest parts of the human mind story that IS Personal Effects: Dark Art, J.C. Hutchins is a lovable, fluffy, sweet soul of a man who gives freely of his time, energy and creative spirit. Even though his characters may do terrible, horrible, unspeakable things – J.C. Hutchins is a man who bathes daily in the sweet aroma of life itself. He tried being evil once, but then he was awesome instead. True story.
I love Project Runway, it’s one of the few reality shows that I will admit to being a fan of (seriously). As most Runway fans know the show is switching from Bravo to Lifetime (after much drama). It’s been quite a wait for fans, so I’m very excited about it coming back to my TV.
If you’re a superfan and would like to appear in a Project Runway commercial Lifetime is opening up casting to fans!
From Lifetime’s website:
Project Runway Fan Commercial Casting Call
Are you a Project Runway Superfan? Are you counting the days until Heidi and Tim are finally back? Well, now you’ve got your chance to make it work – and show us whether you’re in or out. Be a part of the hype and show your stuff in the new Project Runway Superfan Commercial on Lifetime. For more details email your name and why you think you are a super-fan and would be perfect for the commercial. Feel free to send photos or links to video of yourself as well
File this under the things Tabz salivates over: wireless internet for your car. According to an article on MSNBC: “By 2016, consumers will consider such Internet connectivity as important as traditional features such as safety and fuel economy”, said Thilo Koslowski, vice president of the Automotive Manufacturing Industry Advisory Service at market researcher Gartner, Inc.
Currently the wireless router for your car is a bit pricey ($499), but it is an option on some Chrysler and Cadillac cars, and it can be installed on cars after being bought.
Now, this may seem like a bad idea for folks who are invisioning Tabz driving in a car and using her laptop. But you forget the ONE crutial fact. Tabz doesn’t drive.
If you are concerned about folks using the internet and driving, it really is a boon for listening to internet streaming radio stations or stopping for Google map directions. I can think of a hundred times I wish I could just park somewhere and open my laptop and solve a work problem. Or comparision shop on something I just saw in the store. It’s all fine and good to do that on your iPhone or Crackberry, but having a full keyboard and mouse is nice too.