Mythbusters

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

Just a quick one about the latest episode (1×10) of The Whispers (ABC) in which a scientist named Theo (pictured above) tries to explain to Wes why “his alien” – the entity called Drill – is “literally” becoming less powerful:

Theo: Maybe it’s different where he’s from.
But in this planet, in this atmosphere,
he’s basically chewing celery.

Wes: I don’t understand.

Neither do I, but go on …

Theo: It takes more energy to chew celery
than the celery can provide, so a human being
eating nothing but celery…

Wes: … will starve to death.

Err … that doesn’t sound quite right, my dear. Let’s hear what Uncle Wikipedia has to say about celery and nutrition:

Celery is used in weight-loss diets, where it provides low-calorie dietary fibre bulk. Celery is often incorrectly thought to be a “negative-calorie food,” the digestion of which burns more calories than the body can obtain. In fact, eating celery provides positive net calories, with digestion only consuming a small proportion of the calories taken in.

Huh. And that guy calls himself a scientist? Well, it’s probably the glasses, they could fool anyone.

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

Later in that episode, the kid of a government employee who has the codes to the DSN in his home safe (!) is convinced by Drill to steal said codes. Apparently, these codes change daily, but they still put them in a neat little binder so they can be put in a safe in someone’s home.

Fortunately, the code to that safe is right up there on the wall for everyone to see:

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

They seriously want to make us believe the keys to America’s satellite network are locked in somebody’s cheap consumer-grade safe with the combination right next to them? What if the combination needs to be changed? Is he going to buy three new baseball jerseys? Shouldn’t the combination on such important safe be changed rather frequently anyway?

Unfortunately, we’re not done yet.

When they trap Drill inside an abandoned school – abandoned for three years no less, but all windows and light bulbs seem to be intact – the weather’s really acting up:

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

It’s clearly not raining anymore and there are hardly a few drops on their clothes (let alone the hair) but the ambience sounds like its raining cats and dogs. As soon as the camera angle shifts, there’s heavy rainfall visible in the lower right corner, but the actress stays dry. And no, they aren’t standing under a pavillon, because as you can see above, they are standing right in front of one instead.

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

At least that way the entertainment value stays high enough for me to care, because frankly, that show is not even cheesy enough to be good.

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Child’s play

A new mystery drama series on ABC called The Whispers? This will either be ridiculously bad or … I don’t know, another LOST maybe? Given the mediocre acting and the predictable plot of the pilot episode, I’d say it’s more likely to be cancelled right out of the gate, but sign me up anyway!

So this show is about kids who have an imaginary friend called Drill who’s telling them to kill their parents (or mothers, at least). Lovely. But it’s really all fun and games as this beautiful picture … uh, depicts:

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

What the fuck are they grinning at like morons? Some silly Nintendo game maybe? It is a Wii U Pro controller, after all. The way he’s holding the thing looks like he’s never played a video game before – he can barely reach the triggers, let alone the buttons above them. So … Mario Kart, right?

(c) ABC

(c) ABC

Reality check, y’all: the kid’s training how to be a killing machine while granny is smiling like she’s in a really bad video game advertisement. He’s playing … wait, what is he playing? Looks like some kind of Halo game, but the HUD looks off and the gun is usually associated with Splinter Cell games. Even after some in-depth research I couldn’t make out which game this is supposed to be. Huh. Did they really decide to blow their FX budget on a few frames of a Halo clone?

Given how mediocre the rest of the episode was, I’d not be entirely surprised.

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.

Do it, but do it well

Although it might look like ABC’s drama soap Revenge is set in the Hamptons and New York City, it’s actually filmed nowhere near the Big Apple – instead, all the city scenes are produced in downtown Los Angeles. Usually, this isn’t a big problem, since most of the show is filmed in a studio environment anyway and the outdoor scenes could be located more or less anywhere. If in doubt, just add some NYC cabs and drop the name of some hipster deli and you’re good to go.

Or so I thought. In episode 17 of the current fourth season of the show, there’s a scene with Margeaux and EmilyAmanda set in a busy NYC street. Margeaux is entering the scene through a door that looks like it could lead to a subway station – in this case, Fulton Street, which is located close to Wall Street. Makes perfect sense for Margeaux to be there, since it’s only logical her company’s office is located in that area. There’s a NYC cab waiting outside as well. Looks perfectly innocent, right?

Picture (c) ABC

Picture (c) ABC

Would I not already know that Revenge isn’t filmed in NYC, this could perhaps fooled me, but the picture above is just the end of a sweeping shot establishing the locale. This is the rest:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

More NYC taxis, but also a storefront called Caravan Book Store. If you search for it on Google, you’ll quickly find out that it’s a real store and that it’s located on 550 S Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Google Streetview is just one click away:

Image (c) Google

Image (c) Google

This is where the scene was shot – the door Margeaux emerges from is really the door to the Water Grill restaurant. They went through some trouble to transform the restaurant’s sign and the sign next to the door to establish location just to blow it all by not covering up the damn bookstore? Seriously, guys, that’s basically the definition of “half-assed” …

Bonus continuity error! In the same scene, Margeaux stands with her back towards the street while talking to EmilyAmanda. First, a suburban passes by in the background …

Image (c) ABC

… followed by two smaller cars …

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

… and the same suburban again. Oops.

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

These guys are everywhere

This is from the latest episode of Castle (season 7, episode 11). Please take note of the guy marked with a red arrow:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

He’s standing there, holding his super-sized coffee to go, staring intensely at past the camera. I wonder if he’s got anything to do with production?

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

Hm. Now he’s on the other side of the road, trying to look harmless. Wonder how he got there, but no matter! Instead, focus your gaze intensely on the guy with the bright yellow backpack, helpfully marked with yet another red arrow. Also, observe this harmless young man wearing a scarf. He’s looking down, because he’s not involved with production in any way.

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

Now would you look at that … the guy with the backpack, in an entirely different scene, over 20 minutes later! But that’s not all …

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

.. here’s the guy with the coffee again, and who is he talking to? The young man with the scarf! It’s a small world …

Picture (c) ABC

Picture (c) ABC

… really small:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

I found that one later, but the scene is actually at the beginning of the episode, when Beckett and Esposito first visit the school. For comparison purposes, I’ve added a blowup of the backpack wearing guy in the third picture – they are identical in every way. It’s really okay to reuse background extras, but if you do, at least have them wear stuff that doesn’t make it so easy to identify them.

Talking about easy to identify – everyone knows Castle isn’t actually filmed in New York. While they try to cover it up by putting NYC taxis and signage up, sometimes they just can’t help themselves:

Image (c) ABC

Image (c) ABC

One quick Google search reveals that the historic Haas Building is at 219 W 7th Street, Los Angeles. Would have been easy to avoid that one by just shooting a bit down the road or having Castle’s head covering the background …

Picture (c) ABC

Picture (c) ABC

… and waiting for the bus to pass before rolling the scene would have been a good idea too.