Fun With Keywords: Newly Virus-Free Edition

Yikes. The back half of May and the front half of June kind of slipped away from me.

I spent far too much of that time battling a nasty, spiteful pair of dueling computer viruses. My awesome personal tech guru (i.e. my brilliant sister Ingrid) helped me hunt down and kill the first one, and some very kind and patient person at the Geeks to Go forums helped me with the second. Seriously, there’s nothing like a creative and vigorous malware attack to make the internet lose a lot of its appeal. I am Googling with much caution these days.

Time for a look at the keywords used to find this site:

i want to be neil from white collar
Excellent choice. Neal is awesome. He’s smart. Charming. Handsome. Snazzy dresser. Plays a mean game of chess. Probably smells like expensive cologne and good shampoo. Sure, he’s a convicted felon, but you could do worse than making Neal your own personal spiritual guru.

flashforward "worst agent”
While compelling arguments can be made that Demetri, Vreede, Stan, and even Janis were no great shakes as FBI agents, the “worst agent” honor belongs to Mark Benford. Incompetent and relentlessly unpleasant! Way to go, Mark!

white collar new episode summer 2010
July 13th is when the new season kicks off. I’ll be recapping it here, along with USA’s new show Covert Affairs, which premieres immediately after.

covert affairs jai wilcox
Sexy Sendhil Ramamurthy plays CIA agent Jai Wilcox.

talk soup peter delouise
No idea, but here’s my tangentially-related, SeaQuest DSV name-droppy anecdote: A few years ago, at a party thrown by one of my fellow Talk Soup producers, I somehow ended up engaged in a very deep conversation with Michael DeLuise, Peter’s younger brother, about the dashboard flowers in Volkswagen Beetles, while sipping a martini stirred by Ted Raimi. Yeah. That was a good party.

dealing with fluffy hair
Suave Kids Detangling Spray in Double Dutch Apple. Use it on wet or dry hair. It smells fabulous, and it’s super-cheap.

flash forward khamir doctor actor
Kahmir was played by a very cute Persian actor named Dominic Rains, who, per IMDB, used to be billed as Amin Nazemzadeh prior to 2006. He has an equally cute brother, Ethan Rains, who: a) is also an actor, and b) used to be billed as Iman Nazemzadeh. Fun fact: While they’re not twins, both Rains/Nazemzadeh brothers have played the same role on General Hospital at different times.

why do v and flashforward have to suck so bad
I don’t think they really have to suck (or, in the case of the now-cancelled FlashForward, had to suck), but in both cases, the scripts were sloppy, and thus neither show rose up to the potential of its concept. V, at least, has a second lease on life -- maybe it’ll pick up in its sophomore season.

post-discovery-of-nuclear-wasteland-earth, everybody-is-miserable episode of bsg.
Every BSG episode from “Sometimes a Great Notion” until the finale fits this description.

vinicius machado orlando bloom match
Judge for yourself. There’s a decent resemblance. They’re a couple of attractive lads with good bone structure and matching penchants for scraggly facial hair, that much is clear.

claire bennet is stupid for revealing her secret
Short answer: Yes. Somewhat more to the point, however, is that revealing her secret in the Heroes finale was just one more nonsensical and inexplicable action from this mess of a character on this mess of a show. Claire flip-flopped from episode to episode as to whether she wanted to be special or to lead a normal life. After starting the season by making a big fuss about wanting to be an ordinary college student, she ended it by deliberately revealing her super-power to the world in a big, showy manner. Yeah, it’s stupid, but it also doesn’t make sense. We saw nothing over the course of the season that could have led to such an about-face for this character.

claire bennet brat
Yes. Just consider that miserable scene where Claire and Gretchen pull icky faces and make snotty comments and spit food into napkins in the Indian restaurant, and it becomes pretty clear that Noah and Sandra Bennet raised themselves a foul little turnip.

"i hate emo sylar"
Lordy. Me too. I have no use for Sylar post-Season Two. When the writers tried to pass him off as a sensitive, damaged soul instead of the cunning and narcissistic rat bastard serial killer we’d all grown to love, I nearly threw things at the television. Just one terrible misstep out of many for this troubled, doomed show.

skulky the turtle wonder shot dimitri
skulky the turtle wonder fbi mole
skulky the turtle wonder what was his flashforward
should flashforward have a talking kangaroo a la skulky
skulky the wonder turtle eats visitors
Are you having fun, Dan?

skulky and sylar
Are you having fun, stranger from Indianapolis?

gary numan fringe
Are ‘Friends’ Electric,” which is one of those awesome songs you’ve probably always known, even if you didn’t know the title.

is hating olivia from flashfoward reasonable?
“Hating” is a little strong. Olivia had many good qualities, and I like Sonya Walger as an actress. But Olivia -- like the rest of the Benford family, and like pretty much the rest of the characters on FlashForward -- could be weirdly self-absorbed and unsympathetic (remember how unwilling she was to help Vreede investigate a lead that might help save her husband’s partner’s life?), which made it difficult to feel much of anything for her.

what was the name of the song in hardy boys last kiss of summer
“If” by Bread. Think carefully before listening -- it's a proven earworm.

blue alcohol in slammin salmon
Blue Curacao. Tastes kind of like pickled orange pith. It’s an acquired taste, but the color sure is pretty.

everything sylar says has sexual overtones
I wish, but no.

flashforward chess scene ridiculous
That Morse-code-through-chess-moves business? Yeah, monstrously ridiculous.

what happen to vogel on flashforward
Not much, which is a shame -- Vogel, played by Michael Ealy, managed to lift the quality of the show in pretty much every scene he was in. For the second half of the season, Ealy and Dominic Monaghan were pretty much carrying the show.

what episode of psych did steven weber play in
Weber played Shawn’s flashy ne’er-do-well Uncle Jack in the aptly-named Season Three episode “The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable.”

the weakest, most annoying storyline in flashforward is the olivia-mark-loyd triangle

slammin salmon nuts alter ego
Zongo. Jay Chadrasekhar's gleeful and cheerily bonkers portrayal of Nuts/Zongo has made me a fan. Enough to forgive him for the Dukes of Hazard movie, even.

prepeis of the apocolips
With that search term, Google worked overtime to find the right site.

flashforward set till 2016?
Nope. It’s gone. Break out the funny hats and noisemakers.

what show is gee buttersnaps from
“Ghee Buttersnaps” is one of Gus’s many Shawn-granted aliases on Psych.


Dan said…
Are you having fun, Dan?


I don't actually remember the 'eating Visitors' one. But it does sound like the kind of question I'd ask, so it was probably me.
Morgan Richter said…
Well, I don't mean to point fingers, Dan, but "skulky the wonder turtle eats visitors" was Googled by a visitor from Sydney... Poor Skulky. According to internet scuttlebutt, he was tied down to his Heroes contract through all of that dismal last season, even though they didn't use him, and thus was unable to attach himself to a new show during pilot season. He'll be making a multi-episode arc on V as the Resistance's powerful new turticular weapon against the Visitors, but I don't think he's going to be a permanent character.
Lou said…
Ahh how I love hearing about keywords.

I'm intrigued who the skulky searcher from Indianapolis is. Dan did you take a sneaky vacation?

I can never hear enough of Ghee Buttersnaps. Best name ever.
Dan said…
Dan did you take a sneaky vacation?

Not that I'm aware of. Perhaps that other Sydney Skulky-searcher wandered over to Indianapolis at some point
Morgan Richter said…
"Ghee Buttersnaps" always cracks me up. I think it's the combination of "ghee" with "butter" that really sells it.

I have no idea who the Indianapolis Skulky searcher might be. The Skulky legend is growing...
Anonymous said…
I am jealou, btw. All I ever get for my blog is "mohinder suresh", "shirtlessness", "zachary quinto boyfriend" and variations thereof. :(

.... and "boobies yay" a few days ago. o_o
Morgan Richter said…
Anna, the vast majority of the search terms that show up in my statistics are pretty mundane, and there's a lot of repetition. Here's the top ten most popular search phrases for this site for the past month:

1. Morgan Richter
2. Preppies of the Apocalypse
3. Preppies Heroes
4. "Mary Faulkner" "a bright new day"
5. Glee mpreg
6. Preppies Morgan
7. Manchester figure of speech
8. Ghee Buttersnaps
9. Glee dialogue
10. Orlando Bloom FlashForward

(Never underestimate the "Glee mpreg" lobby. "Puck/Finn mpreg" is almost always in the Top 20.)

Pretty much every actor I've ever mentioned on this site, followed by "shirtless", shows up at least once. I get "Tony Dow shirtless" with startling regularity.
Anonymous said…
Glee mpreg... Wow, thanks for THAT mental image! XD

And I know, I know, I shouldn't complain or be surprised that shirtless actors is what primarily concerns the world... :)
Anonymous said…
My notebook caught a terrible virus. The tech guy had to wipe out everything so I could start from scratch. Thank goodness the most important files I had were saved on a flash drive. But ever since I've been really nervous about what sites I visit...which is a tad problematic because I don't know if "Covert Affairs" will be airing in Canada (the way "White Collar" airs on Bravo here a few days after it airs in the States) and I was hoping to watch it online.

I hate emo Sylar too...and you reminded me how much I hated Claire and Gretchen with the Indian food. Grow the fuck up. Indian food isn't some gross, colourful mess. I'd rather one of them not being up for the food because it upset their stomach than what we got.

Glee mpreg? Excuse
Morgan Richter said…
Shirtless actors are a huge driving force behind the internet.

I have no further comment on Glee mpreg.

Viruses suck. I spent almost a month feeling really dumb for: a) contracting it, and b) not being able to get rid of it. By the way, I got infected when I clicked on Google News search result while browsing for It's a Wonderful Afterlife reviews. Thus, I'm calling it the Sendhil Virus.

LevitateThis, I hope you get Covert Affairs on Canadian television in a timely manner. It looks like it could be fun.
Anonymous said…
I'm still not quite sure how my notebook caught a virus, although I have my suspicions. With that said, I might risk it if a Canadian broadcaster doesn't pick up "Covert Affairs". I refuse to miss this show.

The Sendhil Virus, eh? At least you were doing something understandable and productive at the time :-)
Morgan Richter said…
At least you were doing something understandable and productive at the time :-)

Ugh, I know. It made it much worse, because it felt like the virus had deliberately exploited one of my well-documented weaknesses (i.e. smoking-hot actors) to plan a sneak attack. I got torpedoed by my own hormones.

Speaking of hormones, the official Covert Affairs Twitter feed just tweeted this. I'm hoping this "honey trap" business plays a key role in Sendhil's plotline.
Anonymous said…
Morgan - well I have to say based on the description of Sendhil's character that at least the "Covert Affairs" crowd is aware that the man is very attractive. Unlike "Heroes" which seemed to not see him in that light at all...which never made much sense. I'm not saying Mohinder had to be sexed up all the time, but it was strange how little reaction people had to him. Across the board he's attractive. As long as "Covert Affairs" provides a multilayered character beneath obvious looks, I'm cool. Depth always wins out in the end.
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah, Sendhil's character description on the show's official site makes me grin: He has dated everyone from Congressional staffers to other CIA workers to a flight attendant he met while flying to a buddy's bachelor party in Reykjavik. Ah, so he'll be playing a slutty spy, then. Excellent.

(As always, I use "slutty" in a non-pejorative sense.)

If Covert Affairs can come up with a multilayered and consistent character for him, they'll already be leaps and bounds ahead of Heroes.

I saw my first bus bench advertisement for Covert Affairs in Beverly Hills this morning. It made me happy. I'm on the lookout for billboards and/or bus shelter posters.
Anonymous said…
There is a first (?) review of the Covert Affairs pilot. Sure, it doesn't tell us anything about Sendhil's character, but it's good to know that it looks like he's going to appear in a good show.

My impression from articles and interviews might be wrong, or seen through a particular filter, but it sounds almost as if Covert Affairs is going to be about a bunch of promiscuous CIA agents who are all very young and sexy and single. That could certainly be fun!
Morgan Richter said…
Anna, that review makes the show sound very promising. Thanks for the link. At the very least, it seems like it's going to be slick and glossy, and it's certainly got an attractive young cast. It could turn out to be no damn good, of course, and there's no guarantee Sendhil's character will have an interesting plot or get any quality exposure, but the early indications make me optimistic.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, I am trying not to get too excited (which is hard because I love being excited) mostly because I've been disappointed too much by TV in the past... but I have not heard anything about Covert Affairs that is actually bad or making it sound flawed or meh.
With Jai's father appearing in an episode, there's opportunity to flesh the character out, and while it could all turn out to be pulled off badly, at least it's happening at all. The worst would be a one-dimensional character reduced to his function of standing around in the bureau and provide exposition when needed, or something to this effect. With a family established, there is less risk of that happening.
Morgan Richter said…
I'm happy they'll be exploring Sendhil's character's family history, too. At this early stage, it's hard to know what rumors are really going to pan out, but Entertainment Weekly has described Gregory Itzin's appearance as Jai's father as a multi-episode arc, which sounds promising for Jai. Also from EW, though I don't have a link handy, there was a vague reference to finding out more about Jai's mother (this was in answer to a reader question about why Jai's father is played by a white dude). The deeper they work Jai into the mythology of the series, the better the chance of him being an integral part of things.
Anonymous said…
Unrelated, anybody else notice that Tim Kring has written a book?

I'm just asking because the description says it's "much-anticipated".
Morgan Richter said…
Oh, ugh. First I've heard of it. With luck, that'll be the last I hear of it, too. All mentions of Kring these days tend to ignite this snide, bitter fire in me. I don't like being snide and bitter, so it's best if I just keep a wide berth.

His co-author, Dale Peck, seems to have authored a significant number of books on his own. Kinda sucks that he gets his name in such teensy, tiny print on the cover.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, kind of sucks for him, especially because the cover reads like "Tim Kring, creator of Heroes and Dale Peck" like Dale Peck is another one of his masterpieces. ;)

I'm sorry for throwing more wood on that bitter fire. I am beginning to think that Tim Kring himself is a Hollywood injoke.
Anonymous said…
"much anticipated"

Heh. What a joke.

The pretty positive review for "Covert Affairs" has me excited and insistent on hunting down the episode online when it's available. I'm bummed no Canadian network seems to have picked it up yet. That's also why I've yet to see more than a handful of episodes of "Burn Notice". With Bravo airing "White Collar" here I was really hoping "Covert Affairs" and "Burn Notice" might join their programming schedule.
Morgan Richter said…
At this point, I hope NBC is taking meetings with Kring -- both about his prospective new series and about the prospective Heroes wrap-up miniseries -- just for giggles. I finally got around to reading Kring's thoughts on the Heroes wrap-up, and may I just say that the sentence "Claire, who desperately wanted a normal life, will become a reluctant spokesperson for the abnormals" neatly sums up why the show lost two-thirds of its viewers over the course of its run? In the finale, Claire SUMMONED THE MEDIA AND JUMPED OFF A FERRIS WHEEL, just to show the world how she's very, very special. "Desperately wanted a normal life"? "Reluctant spokesperson"? Really?

Pro tip: If you want to establish that a character just wants a normal life and is publicity-shy, don't write a scene where she calls a press conference to reveal her super-powers to the world on live television.
Anonymous said…
Morgan, the first time I read that article, I was wondering if it was in fact a joke. Actually, I wondered the same when inspecting the Amazon page of this ~much-anticipated~ novel - the first in a trilogy!
Watch out, Stephenie Meyer!

(I am actually very painfully reminded of that nice middle-aged woman in the spiderweb dress who suddenly blocked our path last year at Leipzig Book Fair, with the now-scary words "I've written a book!!", handed us colourful flyers of her self-published opus, and talked enthusiastically about its greatness, until we managed to escape.)
Morgan Richter said…
Anna, it does seem vaguely unreal, doesn't it? "Sylar (Zachary Quinto) will again struggle with his dark side. And Adrian Pasdar will likely return, though not as Nathan, who died." Seriously? Heroes already pulled the kill-off-character-then-bring-actor-back-as-new-character shtick once, and that was more than enough. And Sylar flipping back and forth between good and evil is almost as unbelievable as Claire flipping back and forth between wanting a normal life and wanting everyone to know about her powers. It's inconsistent. It's sloppy. It's tedious. It's bad writing.

(Okay, yeah, you know that "snide and bitter" thing I was talking about re: my reaction to Kring? This'd be it. I'm going to look at photos of kittens for a while.)
Anonymous said…
(Kittens is a good idea! I'll look at sexy shirtless football players. Has the same soothing effect.)
Anonymous said…
I shouldn't have clicked on the link about what would have happened on "Heroes". Ugh. Yet again it's all WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. How can someone be so delusional about their own creation and how it's played out? It's bizarre. I don't want a wrap up for this show because I doubt it will do anything but remind me what a shell of its former self the show became.
Morgan Richter said…
Yes, sexy shirtless football players would definitely work, too. Good idea!

Yet again it's all WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Indeed. I take comfort from the knowledge that it's very unlikely this wrap-up miniseries will ever come about, since none of the actors are under contract anymore. It's already gone from this on June 1st: Kring is confident he can lure back his entire cast if he gets a green light. (NBC refused to comment.)"I've spoken with everyone," says Kring. "They're all eager to participate."

...To this on June 22nd:
While it's typically next-to-impossible to reconvene actors and rebuild sets once a cancellation has been made, "Heroes" was different from most series in some key ways that Kring believes could very well pave the way for more to come. For one thing, there can be enough select members of "Heroes'" ensemble cast, all of whom didn't necessarily appear in each and every episode, to move forward even if everyone can't be brought back.

...Which sorta sounds like some cast members have already nixed the idea. As well they should. This is a losing proposition.
Anonymous said…
This was also the impression I got from this interview:
No decision has been made. But the Heroes brand is an extremely broad premise. It was a premise about ordinary people, an undisclosed number of people all over the world, who were waking up to these extraordinary abilities. Any number of stories could happen around that. We never posited a single ending or a single premise. It wasn’t about getting off of an island or stopping something from happening. We told stories in volumes that had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Those volumes could go on and on and on with many different characters. As a result, that Heroes universe is something that can be tapped into again in many ways. Certainly, a movie is a way to do that and clearly, there is an entire world and a number of platforms that this property could live in. Movies sometimes need a little distance from the television show.

Sounds very much like he's toying with the idea of branching off with new characters and just whoever he can get to sign up out of the old cast.
This is all logical on the one hand, but defeats the purpose of a wrap-up movie. Not that I think the idea could ever have worked out.

I assume he'll end up producing something similar to the webisodes, in two-hour length, featuring Doyle, who seems to be a favourite of the writers.
A while ago I was watching a Youtube video of a "Save FlashForward" event, and Doyle's actor popped up at the end and talked about Heroes and that he is working with one of the producers on a new project, I believe, so he is probably the likeliest candidate to appear in a Heroes movie at this point.
(I hear there had been plans to make him a series regular for Season 5, too.)
Morgan Richter said…
Sounds very much like he's toying with the idea of branching off with new characters and just whoever he can get to sign up out of the old cast. This is all logical on the one hand, but defeats the purpose of a wrap-up movie.

Sounds like it. Which is fine, but as you point out, it totally goes against the idea of providing closure for the series.

Then again, as I've argued before, the writers and producers haven't seemed terribly interested in providing closure. Beginning in January of this year, the ratings for the show were much too low to support renewal, and, excepting the possibility of some last-minute weird decision-making from NBC (which, to be fair, was a possibility -- NBC has been all over the place in the past months with their programming decisions), cancellation was all but guaranteed. And yet, instead of taking the opportunity to wrap up the series gracefully, they deliberately wrote a cliffhanger ending (Claire's blasted press conference), most likely in a last-ditch attempt to put pressure on NBC to renew it. Again, that's fine. It was a tactical decision, but one that showed that giving the audience a satisfying ending was never a priority, since everyone involved with writing the finale knew renewal was unlikely.

I think with this talk of a final movie or miniseries, Kring simply doesn't want to say goodbye to the Heroes universe. That's totally fair and totally understandable. However, here's what he's missing: In that great first season, viewers bonded with the characters, not with the Heroes universe as a whole. When the characters started being written in ways that were entirely at odds with how they were conceived (Sylar and Claire are huge examples of this, though certainly this applies to Mohinder, Angela, HRG, etcetera), viewers stopped watching. (Again, Heroes hemorrhaged two-thirds of its viewers over the course of its run). Some might tune into a Heroes movie without those characters for the novelty factor, but not enough viewers are still emotionally invested in the show at this point.
Anonymous said…
I agree, "the Heroes universe" does not seem consistent enough for me to want it explored more. With all the changes and retcons that have happened, a viewer tuning in to a Heroes movie won't know what awaits him at all. Is it the Heroes universe where a solar eclipse gave people powers? Are cockroach mutants within the realm of possibility?
Heroes just doesn't have a strong mythology that the audience would want to learn more about. They had the chance in the first two seasons, when science and the Company still played an important role, but it's too late now.

I wonder what Kring himself finds so fascinating about this world. You'd think if he actually cared, he'd have thought about it some more and made it make sense. If NBC has the rights, Kring's options to continue the franchise may be limited, but if he wants to write books, Heroes novels wouldn't be a bad option. You wouldn't even need the actors!
Maybe Kring really trusts that a movie would bring him more money, maybe he's in it to save his reputation by proving that Heroes is still alive and well and remains apopular franchise that could revive any time... I wish I was half as cheeky and good at self marketing.
Morgan Richter said…
Heroes just doesn't have a strong mythology that the audience would want to learn more about.

Very true, and that's a real shame. The first season did a decent job of erecting at least a skeletal framework of some mythology, but it was abandoned pretty quickly. The Heroes universe became wildly inconsistent. The eclipse nonsense is a perfect example: They couldn't even provide a consistent explanation for why some people had powers. Were powers caused by mutated DNA? Adrenaline? Something in the brain? Something in the blood? Were they randomly granted/removed by eclipses? All of those explanations were variously adopted, contradicted, and discarded without further explanation. Considering that special abilities were the central conceit of the series, that's inexcusable.

The success of any show like Heroes hinges upon the ability to create an interesting and internally-consistent universe and to populate it with interesting and consistent characters. Heroes failed at this, and viewers lost interest.

If NBC has the rights, Kring's options to continue the franchise may be limited, but if he wants to write books, Heroes novels wouldn't be a bad option

That's the best solution I can see, actually. It wouldn't waste NBC's resources on something not many people are interested in anymore, and yet it would still be a way of continuing on the Heroes universe, if that's what Kring really wants. Graphic novels would be another solid option.
Anonymous said…
There's nothing I could add to your comment. XD Gee, sorry for bringing the conversation back to that tired old topic.
I am sure any attempt to keep Heroes alive in a different medium would eventually fail just like the other attempts have failed, it's probably not financially attractive to anybody involved...

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