In one corner, we have the best lady android ever, R. Dorothy Wayneright. She is the sidekick of the Japanese Batman, who wears nice suits and pilots a giant robot, making him even more awesome than regular Batman.
In the other corner, we have Robin, who is the sidekick of regular Batman, who is actually pretty awesome, even if he doesn’t pilot a giant robot.
Who shall win? Let’s find out, why not.
Physicality. Robin is an athletic teenage boy or young man in his early 20s, depending on your source. I mean, sure, who doesn’t like athletic young men, amiright? R. Dorothy Wayneright is a robot designed to look like a young woman with a really cute pageboy. Winner? I’m a sucker for girls with cute pageboys. R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Is a fighting machine? Robin has been trained to be a fighting machine by Batman, the fightiest of all the fighting superheroes. On the other hand, R. Dorothy Wayneright is actually a machine. Winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Lives in a post-apocalyptic world, or possibly a Matrix-esque simulation? Robin lives in, like, our world, except physics is insane there, which must be nice, because people can fly and whatever. R. Dorothy Wayneright lives in Paradigm City, where everybody lost their memories 40 years ago, after some sort of apocalyptic scenario, or else everything is just a Matrix-esque simulation and life is only a fleeting dream. Winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Has a better code name? Dick Grayson’s code name is Robin, which is a pretty, pretty bird. R. Dorothy Wayneright’s code name is R. Dorothy Wayneright, because awesome lady androids don’t need code names, that why. Winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright.
This battle is seeming pretty lopsided. Yeah, I’m rewatching The Big O, and I remembered how much I love R. Dorothy Wayneright, and I never have liked Robin, but I haven’t had any good blog ideas lately, so I thought, hey! Why not?
So should we just call it then? Yes. Yes, we should.
Overall winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright, the best lady android ever!
Seriously, the longer I continue this blog, the harder it is to write good post titles, I swear.
Anyway, I missed the pilot of Extant, which would have told me that Halle Berry is an astronaut and managed to get pregnant on a solo mission to outer space. Also, I will assume that you’re all bright enough to know that Extant means “to exist.”
Ha, I’m just kidding. Obviously, I didn’t assume that, since I went and defined it, like, immediately.
So, episode 2 of Extant was “Extinct,” because CBS hates when I don’t mix up words all the time. Halle Berry plays an astronaut who got pregnant on a solo mission in outer space (see, I phrased it a bit differently this time, like when a news article says the bullets missed them by only inches and then two paragraphs later says they were missed by the bullets by mere inches, local newspaper). Also, Halle Berry looks AMAZING, like, girlfriend is pushing 50, but looks more like early 30s.
She’s married to Goran Visnjic, whose name I can pronounce but not spell —
— and they have a creepy android son, who I assume was actually built for the part, because that little boy is absolutely terrifyingly android-y.
Also, Camryn Manheim is in it, which is nice, and so is that guy who always plays a corrupt official and also the revenge sensei from Revenge.
Then there’s another astronaut who went into space and didn’t come back pregnant, because he’s a guy, and this show isn’t that science fiction-y, but there’s a truly creepy bit where he’s being followed around on the spaceship or space station or the Good Ship Bebop or whatever by his dead mother. She doesn’t do anything except say “Mother? No,” in this utterly affectless voice, and reach out to try to touch him, and it’s really quite terrifying.
But then he airlocks her like she’s yesterday’s Cylon model, so it’s okay.
Oh, also, he apparently faked his death and is possibly crazy now.
Except the corrupt official and the revenge sensei meet regarding the two astronauts and have a very cryptic meeting wherein the corrupt official says, “They’re coming,” and revenge sensei replies: “They’re already here.”
But seriously, folks, Extant had me intrigued almost the whole time, and was hardly ever ridiculously bad or boringly bad, and honestly, I’m not sure I couldn’t watch a show where Goran Visnjic is just so smiley and cute, dammit.
A lot of the reviews I’ve seen for Fox’s new sci-fi show Almost Human have headlines like “Almost Human is almost good.” And, as much as that seems like lazy headline writing, it’s actually … kinda true.
Now, I missed the two-hour premiere on Sunday because 1) I kept forgetting this was a new show, and thought it was Fox airing reruns of BEING Human (The Syfy version, not the BBC version, I assumed), and thus kind of forgot about it; and 2) have a family member who is addicted to The Amazing Race, so I couldn’t have gotten near the TV anyway.
But, like Sleepy Hollow before it, I did manage to watch the second episode. Unlike Sleepy Hollow (which I keep hearing is awesome and great and not anything like what I thought of it), I watched the entire episode, so I can tell you all about the second episode of ALMOST Human, which isn’t the same as BEING Human at all.
First off: Almost Human is set a few decades in the future, where androids are a total thing because, in the future, no remembers the life lessons of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (the life lessons are ANDROIDS WILL KILL US ALL, AND ARE HOT). Karl Urban, aka another guy from Evil Sherlock Holmes in Space: The Movie, stars as Detective Boring White Guy With a Fake Leg. Michael Ealy is His Partner, A ROBOT , and Lili Taylor is Their Captain With Bad Hair.
Minka Kelly is also in it, but her character is completely unremarkable so far, and then there’s a crazy scientist guy that I don’t know the actor’s name, but is way more interesting than our lead, Bland White Detective.
Anyhow, from what I can gather from reviews of the first episode, Det. White Dude was betrayed by his girlfriend, couldn’t save his partner, lost his leg and for some reason blames this all on robots. But cops in the future are required to have robot partners, because the future is awesome, who doesn’t want to hang out with robots all the time?, so he teams up with Detective Robot With Feelings, Michael Ealy, and his pretty, pretty eyes.
So, Episode No. 2: Features a plotline where human ladies are being used to provide skin for sexbots, because human skin feels better than whatever the heck they’ve been using instead. Deerhide, maybe? Anyway, this process is illegal, because 1) robots aren’t allowed to have human DNA; and 2) it kills the human ladies.
Anyway, it’s actually kind of boring and I didn’t care whether any of the human ladies were going to live or die, but there was one particularly intense scene where Det. So White It Hurts is interviewing the beautiful sexbot while his partner looks on, asking her repeatedly: “Who owns you?” The reason this scene is so intense, and possibly it’s on purpose, is because there’s only one white person in the room, and he’s not a robot. So possibly some sort of commentary on race relations? I hesitate to proclaim that for certain, because the rest of the episode really is very overt about everything else, and this was a bit more subtle (read as: possibly accidental).
The award for best line of the night goes to: “Don’t scan my testicles,” which I guess is a reason not everybody wants to hang out with robots all the time, what with all their testicle-scanning. There’s also a fun sequence where Det. Awesome Robot shows some kids his glowing face circuitry (it shows up through his skin) and is one-upped by Det. White Guy, who stabs himself in the fake leg and sends the kids running off, screaming.
So, yeah: Almost Human is almost good, like everybody says. But remember: Fringe started slow too. So there’s hope. There’s hope.
Dear R. Dorothy Wayneright,
I think that you are probably my favorite lady android.
You live in a land populated by giant robot monsters that may or may not be a Matrix-like computer simulation and that doesn’t phase you one bit. Why, R. Dorothy Wayneright?
Because you’re wonderful.
There are many things I love about you, like how cute you are in your little housemaid outfit and how you bonded with that cat that was actually a transformed little boy (that was a weird episode, amiright, R. Dorothy Wayneright?) and how you play the piano perfectly and how you make jokes without changing your inflection at all.
But the best thing about you, R. Dorothy Wayneright, is that you are one kick-ass fighting machine. Like remember the time when you got shot with an arrow bomb (that was a weird episode too, amiright, R. Dorothy Wayneright?), but before the bomb exploded, you leaped onto a car and directed into the path off an oncoming semi, severing the arrow in twain (in twain, R. Dorothy Wayneright!), saving yourself and also (probably) the drivers of both vehicles. That’s not really a fight, I guess, R. Dorothy Wayneright, unless you count it as a fight to save your life, but it was so awesome I had to mention it. Basically, R. Dorothy Wayneright, you are here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, except you didn’t bring any bubblegum because why would an android chew bubblegum?
I love you, R. Dorothy Wayneright. If things don’t work out with the Japanese Batman, I’ll pick you up on the rebound so hard you just don’t even know.
Two cocky space rogues enter a bar.
One shoots first.
But seriously, folks, please enjoy this battle between Star Wars’ Han “Han Solo” Solo and Battlestar Galactica’s Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, two of the best interstellar pilots you’re likely to run into in science fiction.
Who shall come out ahead?
Let the battle commence!
Physicality. Now there’s no arguing that Katee Sackhoff is a beautiful woman who cleans up good and has the body of an Olympic athlete, but she’s going up against a young Harrison Ford here.
A young Harrison Ford doing Han Solo cosplay. Apologies to the lovely Ms. Sackhoff, but nobody can come back from that. Winner? Han Solo.
More likely to murder a space-robot? Now if there’s one think Kara “Starbuck” Thrace hates, it’s Cylons. Which is robots, for those of you less nerdy than I. And if there’s one thing she enjoys, it’s murdering Cylons. It’s hard to blame her, since Cylons blowed up her home planet and keep bothering her about her special destiny and generally ruining her life and universe.
However, Han Solo runs around space with one of the most annoying robots ever made: C3PO, that robot with a hyphen in there somewhere that I can never remember (nor care) where it is. Not murderizing that robot takes the patience of Job. Or possibly Lot. Whichever one of those guys was more patient and also hung out with more robots. (Robots is in the Old Testament, right?) In conclusion, this one’s a tossup, folks. Winner? It’s a tie.
Has a cooler spaceship? I love me some Vipers, I do, but c’mon! The Millennium Falcon. The Millennium Falcon! The Millennium Falcon!! Spaceships don’t get cooler than the Millennium Falcon. It is scientifically impossible. Winner? Han Solo.
Has a hotter significant other? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace enjoys playing the field, but deep down, she’s deeply in love with Lee “Apollo” Adama. Except for those times when she’s deeply in love with her husband, Samuel “I’m actually a Cylon” Anders. Han Solo’s significant other is Princess Leia, an interstellar space princess (what do you mean the “interstellar” implies the “space” bit? This is my fictional character battle, and it sounds good that way, so shut up, you!) of such magnificent hotness she had to have her breasts bound by duct tape so as to not further overexcite the males of Star Wars. On the other hand, though, have you seen Apollo and Anders? Winner? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, because of simple math: Two hot guys > one hot princess.
Fights overwhelming odds and comes out on top? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is constantly fighting overwhelming odds and coming out on top, except for that time she died, which was really sad. But then she came back! Which was kind of weird. And then she disappeared when they got to earth, because everyone was dreaming her all along. (Ha, no, seriously, I have no idea what was up with that. That part sucked.) Han Solo also fights overwhelming odds and comes out on top, except for that time he got frozen in carbonite, which was really sad, but makes for a cool Lego set. Also, he got rescued and then got to hook up with a hot princess. Winner? Han Solo.
Tries to have Gaeta executed for no reason other than sheer meanness? Luckily for Alessandro Juliani, he wasn’t old enough to be in the Star Wars movies, because he’d have probably shown up for two seconds and died. That seems to be a thing for him lately. Unfortunately for Felix Gaeta, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is the queen of grudge-holding and is none too smart, so doesn’t realize that he was actually their mole on the inside and nearly gets my boy Gaeta thrown out an airlock, through sheer stubborn assholery. In case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t forgiven her for that and, no, I never will. Winner? Go to hell, Kara. You’re a Gaeta-attempted-murdering jerk.
Has a cooler weapon? Han Solo has a laser gun. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace has a regular gun. Also, their spaceships can shoot, I don’t know, also lasers? Winner? The guy with the laser gun always wins. Han Solo.
Has a cooler boss? Han Solo is subordinate to no man. Hell, even when he joins the resistance, he becomes a general, like, instantaneously. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, however, works for Cmdr. William Adama, a man so awesome he’s even better than Darth Vader. Winner? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace.
Either doomed or saved humanity? At various points in the Battlestar Galactica (re-imagined) saga, it is claimed that Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is either humanity’s savior or its doom. And then she dies. But she comes back, like Jesus! Except imagine Jesus is a bit of a jerk and a drunk. Also a lady. (Oh, crap, I just accidentally encouraged someone to re-imagine the life story of Jesus Christ, didn’t I?)
And then they find Earth and humanity is either doomed or saved! Han Solo helps battle the evil empire, with the help of his friends the rebels, and thus saves humanity! (Or possibly dooms it, because how are all those people going to get healthcare without the government to help them, evil dictatorship or no?) Winner? Nobody!
Has a better sidekick? You’d think a guy with a name like Solo wouldn’t have a sidekick, because he’d feel compelled to live up to the solitary implications of his last name. Also, George Lucas is none too subtle at naming characters, so you’d doubly expect him to not have a sidekick. But you’d be wrong, because a sidekick he does possess! One of the most awesome sidekicks in the history of sidekickery: Chewbacca the Wookiee. I never know how many vowels that has, I swear. Does Kara “Starbuck” Thrace have a sidekick? No. No, she does not. Probably because everybody’s mad at her for trying to kill Gaeta. Winner? Han Solo.
Overall winner? In a sound trouncing, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace loses this battle against Han “Young Harrison Ford” Solo.
At work, we recently got a new printer/copier/fax machine. As I was admiring the futuristic-ness of its design, the technician overheard me.
“It’s a Cylon printer,” he said.
“Quick, destroy it before it enslaves us all!” I replied.
“What are you two on about?” said my coworkers.
Like their sons (er, spoiler alert, I guess) before them, it’s time for these two to face off in battle. A fictional character battle.
Darth Vader is …. You know what? If you don’t know who Darth Vader is, I’d like to welcome you to the future and find out more about the time machine you built in Victorian England. If you haven’t got a time machine from the Victorian era, then you know who Darth Vader is.
Cmdr. William Adam is actually Admiral (I don’t know the abbreviation for that, how silly of me, right?) William Adama, but I totally got used to calling him Cmdr. Adama after the first season and a half of Battlestar Galactica, so Cmdr. Adama it is. Anyway, Cmdr. Adam is in Battlestar Galactica, and is far superior to his son, Lee “Apollo” Adama, in every way that counts except for the glory of his chest.
Anyway, on to the battle!
Physicality. Darth Vader is a hideously disfigured monster who goes around in one of the most iconic bad guy suits of all bad guy suits. Cmdr. Adama isn’t really hideously disfigured, but he has got that craggy face, soooo…. Winner? Let’s go with “tossup” on this one.
Sounds like James Earl Jones? Darth Vader sounds a lot like James Earl Jones. As we all wish we did! Winner? Darth Vadar.
Sounds like Edward James Olmos? Cmdr. Adama not only sounds like Edward James Olmos, he looks like him too! Winner? Cmdr. Adama.
Commands an awesome interstellar battlestar of some kind? Cmdr. Adama, coincidently enough, is called such because he commands an interstellar battlestar known as the Galactica. So, yes, he definitely commands an awesome interstellar battlestar of some kind. Darth Vader is often seen on some kind of a space station known as a “death star,” which is even scarier sounding than battlestar, even though they’d both wreck your shit up but good. Also, he kind of second-in-commands it, but I think that’s close enough. Winner? It’s a tie.
Has the power to kill you with his mind? Darth Vader harnasses the power of the dark side of the force, being an evil Sith lord and all, and totally kills people with his mind, like, for pointing out he left his evil zipper down or something. Cmdr. Adama is very intimidating and probably causes people to wet themselves in sheer terror, but he doesn’t actually kill anybody with his mind. Winner? Darth Vader.
Has a lightsaber? Darth Vader has a lightsaber. Winner? Darth Vader.
Has a scarier boss? Darth Vader’s boss is The Emperor, a guy who has the power to shoot lightning bolts from his fingers and look really, really ugly despite not being thrown in a volcano. He’s pretty scary. But Cmdr. Adama’s boss is Admiral Helena Cain, commander of the Battlestar Pegasus, one of the scariest ladies in the whole 13 colonies. She’s seriously scary! She makes President Roslin look like a cuddly little bunny rabbit, I swear. Scary! Anyway, thank God she’s dead. Winner? Cmdr. Adama.
Once leapt a Battlestar into a planet’s atmosphere, just to create an ominous portent of doom? OK, and also to rescue the survivors of humanity who had been captured by the Cylons. Winner? Obviously, it’s Cmdr. William “Bad. Ass.” Adama.
Speaking of Cylons, faced two generations of Cylons and won? Man, these last two categories aren’t even fair to poor old Vader. On the other hand, there’s no lightsabers in BSG, so whatever. On the other other hand, I wouldn’t call what happened at the end of Battlestar Galactica winning, per se, so…. Winner? Ha! I’m just kidding. Of course it’s Cmdr. Adama.
Has a tragic love? Before Darth Vader became Darth Vader, he was Anakin Skywalker, a character that I never knew would bore me until I saw the prequels. And during that (incredibly boring) time, he met and fell in love with Natalie Portman, because, really, who wouldn’t? She died giving birth to their twins or something, in the prequel that I managed not to watch, leaving some of my fond childhood memories of Star Wars mostly intact. So that’s pretty tragic. But! Cmdr. Adama falls in love with President Laura Roslin, who is dying of cancer and also most of humanity has been killed. Tragic to the utmost! Also, they have a theme song that’s really, really beautiful. Winner? Cmdr. Adama.
Has a hotter son? I’m sorry, Mark Hamill, but have you seen Apollo? Winner? Cmdr. Adama.
Overall winner? Wow! It looks like it’s Cmdr. William Adama in a stunning upset. I mean, I really thought Darth Vader would take this through sheer nostalgia alone. Really! I had no idea that I secretly liked Commander William Adama much better.
As I re-watch Battlestar Galactica, I realize that a thing I had forgotten is how much I enjoy watching Tricia Helfer beat the living daylights out of Katee Sackhoff.
OK, I don’t really say “A-TRAH-you,” because everybody has seen The Neverending Story, and knows how to pronounce the hero’s name.
But thinking about The Neverending Story lately (and, no, I’m not quite sure what precipitated it, but it’s been on my mind a lot), I started wondering, “Hey, what became of Atreyu? And more specifically, that actor who played him. Young whatsisname.” And then I googled his name, which is Noah Hathaway.
Read on for enlightenment!
Noah, like all good people, was born at a very young age. His birth year: 1971. His heritage: One-quarter Mohican on his father’s side, which is more Mohican than I am. (But less Ojibwe, so ha ha ha.) At the age of 3, he began appearing in commercials, which is way more than I did at age 3 (I like to call that “the year in which I almost mastered the spoon”), so I guess I’ll stop laughing at Mr. Hathaway now. His first non-commercial appearance was on the 1979 show Supertrain as “Kid.” After some research, I see “Supertrain” is not about the adventures of some sort of 1970s musical supergroup as I first believed, but rather a train in the future. I’m not sure which is better.
His role as “Kid” must have impressed the brass, because he moved on to bigger and better things: “Boxey” on Battlestar Galactica (Not The Reimagined One, Which Mostly (and rightfully) Excised Boxey). From 1978 to 1979, Noah Hathaway battled Cylons and (I assume) provided comic relief and adorable child moments.
After Battlestar Galactica (The Original) ended, Boxey moved on to a series of guest gigs that hit all the pop culture phenoms of ’70s American television: Mork & Mindy, Eight is Enough, Laverne & Shirley and CHiPs. He also had some roles on miniseries and stuff even I’m not old enough to have heard of.
Then, in 1984, he was cast as Atreyu in The Neverending Story, worming his way into the hearts of adolescent girls everywhere, and also some guys who have some sort of postmodern metal-core band or something. That’s some good work, there.
After The Neverending Story, it was on to the ’80s and guest spots on shows like Simon & Simon and Family Ties.
Later, he played Harry Potter (Jr.) in Troll. I don’t remember this movie at all, but I do remember this one episode of the Twilight Zone or Amazing Stories or some other TV anthology show where there was a troll and the construction workers tried to steal his gold or something, and then sunlight killed him.
Moving right along, Noah Hathaway had two more roles in 1986 and then disappeared until 1994, when he played “Phil” in To Die, To Sleep. He then re-disappeared, and then re-reappeared in three roles in movies that haven’t been released yet: “Fish” in Sushi Girl, “Roper” in The Critic and “Ruggero Margheriti” in Mondo Holocausto!, in which the exclamation point is not mine.
So what the hell has Noah Hathaway been doing in between then and 1994 and 1994 and now? In the late 1980s, he moved on to teaching advanced jazz and street dancing, until an injury forced an early retirement. So he moved into the much less injury-prone sport of Muay Thai boxing. So that takes care of his life up until 1994.
After 1994, he took up motorcycle racing (seriously, who told him this stuff was safer than advanced jazz dancing?) and holds black belts in Tang Soo Do and Shotokan, two martial arts disciplines which I am learning about for the first time. He also runs a motorcycle shop and a tattoo parlor with his wife.
So, there you have it. Busy, busy, busy.
Now, what is sure to be a completely unbiased review from me about my favorite living composer and the very excellent piano book he has arranged featuring music from one of my all-time favorite shows, Battlestar Galactica (Of Course it’s the Reimagined One, Duh).
First off, I would like to congratulate Mssr. McCreary on his recent (semi-recent, anyway) nuptials to the talented (and beautiful) Raya Yarbrough, and assure them both that my love is purely platonic in that I love McCreary for his music alone. Also his looks a bit, but that’s neither here or there.
Anyway, the Battlestar Galactica piano book. Thank you, Mr. McCreary, so godsdamned much, for making this happen. You have saved your less musically talented fans who were sitting around at the piano and trying to plink out the notes to “Roslin and Adama” and cursing their brothers who can hear a song once and then play it perfectly. “Why did I have to learn how to read music?” these (hypothetical) fans wailed. “Why couldn’t I have been naturally gifted like that jerk of a brother of mine?”
And lo! Like a beacon on the horizon, a veritable lighthouse in stormy weather: the Battlestar Galactica Piano Book. Chock full of some of the best music from the series (with the notable exception of Gaeta’s Lament, although who knows how it would play without the help of Alessandro Juliani’s killer voice), there’s even (I know! This is so great!!) simplified versions of my two favorite BSG pieces: “Roslin and Adama” and “Wander My Friends,” because Bear knows that some of us haven’t sat down at the piano for serious for several years now.
Gods bless that man. Gods bless him a whole bunch.