Back to the old school

Hey, look, it’s Sergeant Odelle Ballard from NBC’s American Odyssey! In episode 7, she’s making a tape to prove she’s still alive!

Picture (c) NBC

Picture (c) NBC

The arrow points at the important bit: there’s an icon showing a SD card, so the camera is likely one of these cheap digital camcorders that are common now, as opposed to one that uses real tape, like a MiniDV cassette for example. From the display it’s pretty clear that we are talking about digital storage since the run time of tape cassettes used in handheld cameras don’t really exceed 90 minutes.

Begs the question why the resulting tape is shown to be stored on exactly that: a MiniDV cassette. Oops.

Image (c) NBC

Image (c) NBC

The bigger question is this, though: if it’s so damn important that the tape gets out, why not upload it straight to Youtube instead of calling a New York Times reporter to come out to Mali? I’m pretty sure they can manage to find an internet connection that works, and given that the video isn’t that long, the upload would only take a moment (at the very least it would be faster than to wait for the reporter to arrive). Once the video is on Youtube there’s little chance for anyone to get rid of it and news would spread like wildfire, so why take all these risks?

Bonus! Our two hackers are searching the internet for information about Amir Alamra, and they even find something:

Image (c) NBC

Image (c) NBC

That URL format sure is odd! It’s not an IP address, doesn’t bother to mention the protocol (http or https) and simply doesn’t look like an URL at all. For reference, here’s how the search results should be formatted on the search engine they used:
americanodyssey107-realbing

But how do I know what search engine they used? Well …

Image (c) NBC

Image (c) NBC

Oddly enough, the episode credits do not mention any “promotional consideration” by Microsoft – instead, it’s sponsored by Apple, but barely features any Apple material.

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They really, really, really, really like it (but I don’t)

So, it seems like Castle‘s eight season is a go, which is nice, although it’s still not clear if Stana Katic is going to return or not. I’m a bit late with posting this because I hurt my hand and couldn’t type, but I have something to say about episode 22, “Dead from New York”. It was a rather fantastic episode all around with one exception: the shameless and far too long plug of Carly Rae Jepsen’s current single “I really like you”. So Castle and Beckett are investigating the death of a TV host, which obviously leads them to the show’s studio more than once. Even after the host is dead, the show must go on, and before the episode’s furious finale they visit the studio once more.

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

There, they come across singer Carly Rae Jepsen and it turns out Castle is her biggest fan, because what else would he be? Before she has time to answer his questions, she’s called off to perform a song on the TV show. Her performance is announced to the audience …

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

… she starts to perform and we can see Castle and Beckett enjoying the show.

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

So far, so good. At this point, I expected the show to cut back to the actual plot, but unfortunately, over the following 1 minute and 13 seconds the focus shifts entirely to the Carly Rae Jepsen’s performance with Beckett and Castle even dancing happily to her tune. You could say they really, really, really like it. Ugh.

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

More than one minute of a song that’s only 3:25 long is more than disruptive to the show’s flow. What could have been a cute cameo became a nuisance and a shameless marketing stunt, and that’s something I really, really, really dislike.

To make matters even worse, when the dancing ends and Beckett and Castle stumble upon their prime suspect, the music in the background abruptly ends despite the protagonists standing at exactly the same spot as before.