Top 5 posts for August 2008

by Paul William Tenny

It's been a while since I've done a Top 5 post so here's what I've got as the best posts for the month of August, 2008. Before I start rolling though, I've got some early previews coming up over the next couple of days as the screeners start coming in. CBS dropped five in my lap a day or two ago: Cold Case (6x01 and 6x03), The Unit, Criminal Minds, The Amazing Race, CSI Miami, and Ghost Whisperer.

Now I've never seen any of these shows before and from what I understand, several of them are returning from cliffhangers, so I'm looking forward to seeing these shows for the first time and trying to write something meaningful when I don't know the first thing about any of them.

Fox originally told me that I don't get enough traffic to justify getting screeners in bulk, but that I could request them individually and presumably request them all one-at-a-time anyway. I had no idea what a pain in the butt this would turn out to be because in my experience, it takes anywhere from 2-4 emails and up to a week just to get someone over there to respond. The only screener I've managed to get from them was Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles -- a show I've criticized heavily -- and ironically I've been mailed that once twice now.

Printed on each DVD is the following excerpted message:

WARNING: This screener is digitally wartermarked to identify you.

Couple of things here, first off, I think this is a reasonable precaution against piracy and I don't begrudge them for it specifically. Second, it's not going to help at all. Third, I found it somewhat surprising and I was actually pretty upset that Fox would violate my privacy like this without giving me any warning. I find it a gross violation that this DVD is tied to my identity somehow since I had no say in the matter, and had I known this was going to happen, I might have chosen to spend my time reviewing shows from one of the other three networks that don't treat privacy like garbage.

Considering how long it takes Fox PR people to get back to you and how flippant they are with privacy, I'm not terribly inclined to give them any slack of their shows end up sucking. In all likelihood I'm going to rip each and every one of these DVDs and store them on my DVR for later review, so it'll be interesting to see just how their watermarking technology plans to survive being transcoded from MPEG2 to AVC-1.

Anyway, on with the show.

Q&A with Atlantis showrunner Joe Mallozzi (442 views)
A short interview I did with Stargate Atlantis co-showrunner Joe Mallozzi about a week after The SCI FI Channel announced it wouldn't pickup SGA for a sixth season.

Scifi cancels Atlantis; needs lobotomy (269 views)
Reporting on the aforementioned event, along with an excessive amount of whining on my part about how SCI FI is ironically named since there's hardly any actual science fiction on it anymore.

Unanswered questions with sinking of Atlantis (169 views)
In what has turned out to be a very Stargate'ish month, this was a feature story I wrote after series creator and franchise guardian Brad Wright did an interview with GateWorld on the cancellation of Atlantis and his somewhat controversial plans for the next series, Stargate Universe. Check out the comments for an enlightening afterthought from a GateWorld writer.

List of top paid TV actors is nauseating (96 views)
These things come out every year in magazines that obsess over the lives and careers -- but mostly personal lives -- of celebrities. These are always fun to mock because invariably you've got exceptionally talented people making very little money (relative to the industry) while others are getting filthy rich not necessarily as a reflection of actual talent. For example, Oprah made $285 million last year, what about you?

A Distinctly Screenerless Existence (39 views)
I'm new to getting screeners -- DVDs containing the season premier episode of a given TV show for press preview -- so I don't have much to complain about here, but even I thought it was odd that they were going out so late this year. I wasn't alone. Variety wrote a story featuring some pretty pissed writers who are going to have less than two weeks to do season-sized previews and I just got my first batch of these things on Thursday.

Screeners, Watchmen, Stargate and actual jobs (39 views)
Tied for 5th, this was mostly an "excuse me for not posting at all I know I suck" post, talking about the screeners I hadn't gotten yet, some news that Fox is pointing its legal guns at Warner Brothers over the Watchmen movie which Fox believes it still owns exclusive rights to.

A note about these views, these numbers are taken from Google Analytics which is extremely unreliable. I've often found that GA under reports views by as much as 41%, meaning my top post probably got closer to 623 views. Additionally, I get a lot more traffic to older "long tail" posts via search engine referrals than I do for new content. My top viewed post for August that wasn't written in August was about tabloid journalism and Miley Cyrus, which got 1,552 views (2,188 roughly adjusted) all by itself. The Q&A with Joe Mallozzi was only 6th overall.

But I think it was the best. Which of these posts was your favorite?
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