Initial Thoughts on FlashForward

So I finished watching Baccano! and started watching FlashForward on Hulu. I’ll probably have a review on Baccano! later. FlashForward looks like a pretty good TV series so far.

FlashForward Banner

Here’s a quick description of the premise:

On this particular day at the exact same time, everyone (global) has a blackout for 2 mins 17 secs. During this time, they have a flashforward (contrary to a flashback) of some time 6 months into the future. The funny thing is everyone has a flashforward for that exact same moment in the future. The TV show revolves on figuring out what happened.

Note: Since flashback is 1-word, I’m keeping flashforward as 1-word in my posts also.

Here’s my thoughts so far:


My initial thoughts on why Agent Demetri Noh (John Cho) didn’t have a blackout, even before they had explained, was that he’s probably dead by the flashforward date. However, as I continued watching the first episode, it got me thinking maybe he has a reason for not revealing his flashforward. I think he’s one of the bad guys who didn’t have a blackout, but just claims to be so he doesn’t stick out. He’s the rat/the mole to delay the FBI’s investigation or whatever his purpose is.

That would explain several other key points I picked up in the 1st episode. Agent Noh was gone and nowhere near when Agent Benford woke up from the blackout. I was also surprised that given Agent Noh had waken up before Agent Benford, Agent Noh didn’t try to wake up Agent Benford or even pull him out of the car wreck.

There were also supposed to be 3 people in the car they were chasing. When they came around, the driver was dead, the woman was apprehended, and we’re still missing one person. My guess was Agent Noh was hiding him somewhere in that time.


That’s all for now. I’m just starting to watch episode 2 and if they’ve already revealed something that contradicts my predictions, then oh well.

Dexter vs Death Note

Wow! Another blog post! I’m on a roll!

For those following my tweets, you may have realized I’ve become a big fan of Dexter lately.

I’ve read the Death Note manga during college, watched the anime series shortly after (it’s now streaming from Hulu), and recently rented the 1st part of the Live Action movie from Netflix. When it mentioned the god-complex, it triggered a memory from a Dexter episode I recently saw and then I started noticing similarities.

Of course, they’re far from being the same story, but here’s a very few similar points:

  • Both kill evil criminals and believes the world would become a better place.
  • Both are part of the task force who are investigating the serial killer.
  • Both Dexter’s and Light’s father were good policemen, though they played very different roles.

Of course there’s a lot of differences. Since I haven’t seen Season 3 yet and the series hasn’t officially ended, I can’t really say where it’s going. But Season 2 of Dexter moved away from the formulaic of 1 new kill per episode and more onto the focus of the investigation and capturing of the serial killer, which is what Death Note was all about.

Searching online, I found this article (from April 2007): ‘Dexter’ and ‘Death Note’: Pop-culture cousins? which basically mentions the same thing I have above. And the author says and I quote:

However, I’d like to point out the obvious: If you’ve been digging Dex as much as I have this season, there’s a good chance you’ll devour all volumes of Death Note, and vice versa. The series is available in most major bookstores.

Argggh, after watching the movie, I realized Netflix sent me part 2 inside a sleeve of part 1. I was wondering why the movie skipped a whole bunch at the beginning and what they were planning to do with part 2 after this ending. Then I looked at the DVD and it showed Death Note II: The Last Name

A lot of things have changed between the manga/anime and the live action movie. I guess it was inevitable since they’re compacting such a long series into 2 separate 2-hour movies.


  • It’s a battle between L and Light all the way to the end. Near and Mello were never introduced.
  • They merged 2 plot-lines together: the syndicate that was imitating Kira and the newscaster that idolized Kira
  • Swapping with a fake Death Note was switched to a different character
  • + a lot more


All in all, the movie was still very fun to watch. Like those who have read Harry Potter books and then watched the Harry Potter movies, seeing how the movie was altered from the original works was a bit disappointing. But if I had never read the manga, I probably would’ve enjoyed it greatly.

Next 24?


I have a prediction for next season’s 24. (Show)

Similarly for House M.D., is there going to be… (Show)


Both series are available in HD on the iTunes Store: 24, Season 7 and House, Season 5

Looks like TV is going to suck for the next few months. Good thing I have a pile of anime and Netflix to keep my entertained. 🙂

Kutner’s Death

Just watched this past week’s episode of House, M.D. and couldn’t figure out why they killed of Kutner (played by Kal Penn). They even ended the episode pointing to some memorial page they have up for Kutner: In Loving Memory of Lawrence Kutner on House and an NAMI ad with a suicide hotline number. Thinking that Kal Penn might’ve actually committed suicide, I went to look up his IMDb biography and saw:

In April 2009, Penn told Entertainment Weekly Magazine that the writers killed off his character on “House M.D.” (2004) because he had asked to be allowed to leave the show to go work for the Barack Obama Administration as the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Accepted a position as the associate director in the White House’s Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs [April 7, 2009].

So now we know why they had to kill off Kutner’s character. We still don’t know why Kutner killed himself (storyline-wise).

Update: I apologize to those who I’ve unfortunately spoiled this for. Future discussions of things I’ve watched would clearly be marked as ** SPOILERS **.

Heroes and 2012

I know it’s been awhile, but here’s some food for thought. I first saw the 2012 trailer during the previews of Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond 007 film. The HD trailer was released and I started reading up on it. If you didn’t know, 2012 is the Gregorian year where the Mayan calendar ends. Many have predicted that it’ll be the end of the world.

Anyway while reading it up on Wikipedia, I came upon the following passage:

2012 is claimed by some with New age beliefs to be a great year of spiritual transformation (or alternatively an apocalypse). There is disagreement among believers as to whether 2012 will see an end of civilization, or humanity will be elevated to a higher level.

Many esoteric sources interpret the completion of the thirteenth B’ak’tun cycle in the Long Count of the Maya calendar (which occurs on December 21 by the most widely held correlation) to mean there will be a major change in world order.

Astrologer John Jenkins has determined that on this date, there will be “an extremely close conjunction of the northern hemisphere winter solstice sun with the crossing point of the Galactic equator and the ecliptic“, an event that will not be repeated for thousands of years.

According to Wikipedia, an ecliptic is the apparent path that the Sun traces out in the sky during the year. … The name ecliptic is derived from being the place where eclipses occur.

I don’t think the passage above predicts an eclipse is going to occur, but I’m not exactly sure what it means to have the Galactic equator crossing the ecliptic, but for some reason it reminds me of Heroes. If you’ve been following the recent Heroeos, you’d know that some eclipse happened a long time back which gave them their super powers, and another eclipse is going to come and take their powers away and somehow the earth ends up being blown to smithereens.

Update: During dinner, Xyon and I were discussing Monday’s episode of Heroes and the topic of solar eclipses came up. It seems that the closest 2012 total solar eclipse to this “dooms day” is on November 13. So maybe my theory is a bit off, or maybe the solar eclipse happens on 11/13 and the earth blows up on 12/21.

Fringe Opening Theme

Fringe Poster So I’ve been watching a new TV series called: Fringe. Pretty good series so far. As someone mentioned, it was like a mix between X-Files, House M.D., and Heroes. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as all 3 combined, but it’s been entertaining.

Anyway after watching the first episode, the opening theme music / soundtrack / song has been gnawing at my head. It sounds so familiar as if it was on the tip of my tongue, but I just couldn’t place my finger on it.

So weeks later, after watching my 4th or 5th episode, it finally pops into my head. It reminds me of the Music from The Inner Life of a Cell. You watch the clip here: BioVisions.

Not exactly as close as I had expected, but my mind somehow linked these 2 musical pieces together. And the theme of the accompanying video and 3d animation are pretty darn similar too!

House, M.D.

Ohfuee had introduced me to House, M.D. a long time back, but I was never really a fan of hospital shows like ER or Grey’s Anatomy, so I never really bothered looking into it. However Xyon convinced me to give it shot and it has turned out quite interesting.. The fact that Xyon owns both season 1 and season 2 on DVDs gave me another incentive to watch. It meant I didn’t have to go “procure” them some other way.

You can blame House for my absence in posting blog entries for the past 2 weeks, but who besides Gregory House can make words like “me likee” and “thingies” sound cool.

I was also very intrigued by the intro music. Apparently the song is called Teardrop by Massive Attack. Once again it has that dramatic feeling that I like.

There was a funny thread going on at work. Someone had claimed they missed Monday’s episode of House. Someone replied saying he’d save him the time from watching it:

Someone was sick.
House tried to cure them but it was only 20 minutes into the show so the cure made them worse.
Then someone else tried to cure them, and House got mad. The second attempt was at 30 minutes so it didn’t work either.
Cuddy got mad, House made a pass at her and was rejected again.
The patient got worse and they couldn’t figure out why. Someone said it was an infection, someone else said it was a fungus, someone else said it was a tumor. None of them could prove it.
House came up with some great idea and everyone said it wouldn’t work but he did it anyway.
The patient got better and everyone was happy.
13 still doesn’t have a name.

Then there were these responses:

That must be a unique episode from the rest, neither MRI nor lumbar puncture was involved.

You forgot Lupus.

And of course someone shouted:

Spoiler space man!!!

I will admit that it does get repetitive, but then again, I watch Detective Conan religiously, which is 500+ episodes in and the theme is basically:

  • Someone gets murdered
  • Conan looks for clues
  • Conan figures out how the culprit did it
  • Conan tranquilizes Mouri Kogoro (Ran’s father)
  • Conan uses Sleeping Kogoro to explain the case (who would believe in a elementary boy?)

I sort of got screwed over watching Season 2. For some reason Media Center had listed them out of order (partly blamed by the My Movies plugin, partly blamed by the fact my file server doesn’t list files in alphabetical order). Apparently the 1st disc I watched was disc #5. When things started to not make sense like why *cough* needed an HIV test or how *cough* miraculously got cured with no explanation, I realized I wasn’t watching the DVDs for Season 2 in order. After resorting them, I was still wrong and actually ended up watching disc 2 out of 6 2nd to last.

I’m down to the final disc of season 2 and then I’ll have to decide if I want to continue watching House instead, or should I resume blogging. ;p

天龍八部 (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils)

tian long ba bu So I finally finished watching 天龍八部 (Tian Long Ba Bu), also known as Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. This is story written by 金庸 (Jin Yong) and adapted into TV series multiple times. The one I watched was the newest one adapted by China in 2003. It consisted of 40 episodes due to the fact the story is just that long. At first I wanted to watch it at 1.5x speed given that I was busy with work and wanted to complete the series quickly, however my Mandarin skill wasn’t good enough to comprehend it when they were speaking that quickly.

I honestly think this adaptation was poorly done. The acting was okay, but the directing was horrible. The storyline just didn’t flow that well and it felt like it was stitched together chapter by chapter. The ending was also really abrupt and left me with a feeling of incompleteness. If this story is like the other masterpieces that 金庸 (Jin Yong) has written, the only reason I can come up with for this being poorly done is the directing. The sceneries were really pretty and the fighting choreography was pretty good, but the acting and directing was just not that great.

Anyway, the story left several plot holes which I’m not sure if it ever got explained in the original novel.


慕容復 (Murong Fu) had 2 followers: 包不同 (Bao Butong) and 風波惡 (Feng Boe), and they are respectively 3rd brother and 4th brother. Assuming 慕容復 (Murong Fu) is the 1st brother, who was the 2nd? (Brothers in this context need not be blood-related)

無崖子 (Wu Ya Zi), head of 逍遥派 (Xiaoyao Clan), apparently was married to 李秋水 (Li Qiushui), his younger disciple sister. However, it was later revealed that he was in love with the sister of 李秋水 (Li Qiushui). 李秋水 (Li Qiushui) and her sister look very similar. 無崖子 (Wu Ya Zi) kept a drawing of a lady by his sides at all time till his death. However since the drawing had a mole on the lady’s face, it was revealed that 無崖子 (Wu Ya Zi) was indeed in love with the sister of 李秋水 (Li Qiushui). Before 無崖子 (Wu Ya Zi) died, he had told 虛竹 (Xu Zhu), the next head of 逍遥派 (Xiaoyao Clan) to look for this lady and ask her to teach him martial arts. However, this lady never appeared in the story and that just felt weird…

There’s this monk in Shaolin Temple only known as the Sweeper Monk. The only thing we know about him is that he’s been hiding hiding in the Shaolin Temple for over 40 years (even longer than 蕭遠山/Xiao Yuanshan and 慕容博/Murong Bo) and has awesome martial arts skills. However, the back story of the sweeper monk was not revealed and my only guess is that it’s revealed in one of Jin Yong’s other stories.

Near the end of the story, 游坦之 (You Tanzhi) also known as the Iron Clown (鐵丑/Tie Chou) donates his eyes to 阿紫 (A Zi) to give her back sight. However, being childish and immature, 阿紫 (A Zi) doesn’t realize the sacrifice the Iron Clown has done and she runs away from him. 蕭峰 (Xiao Feng) tells her that she is now forever indebted to this young man and has the responsibility to take care of him. The story ends with 蕭峰 (Xiao Feng) committing suicide to prove his loyalty to the Liao Empire (Qidan people). 阿紫 (A Zi) decides to commit suicide with him, but before she does, she pulls her eyes back out and throws it to the Iron Clown and says she does not want to be indebted to him anymore and jumps off the cliff. The Iron Clown, unable to take this, commits suicide by bashing his head on the side of the cliff. The story ends with everyone crying… WHAT!?!?! WHAT THE HECK!?!?! HOW CAN YOU END THE STORY LIKE THIS!?!?!? I would’ve been mildly fine with the story ending with 蕭峰 (Xiao Feng)’s suicide, but how can you end the story like this?

Another thing I didn’t get was at the beginning where a bunch of high level martial artists had to hide their identity. I understand they were tricked by 慕容博 (Murong Bo), where he hopes by creating a conflict between the Song and Liao empire, it would make taking a chunk of the Song empire and rebuilding his Yan Empire easier. I also understand those high level martial artists were tricked into believing that a high level martial artist 蕭遠山 (Xiao Yuanshan) from Liao empire was going to sneak into Shaolin Temple and steal all their martial art manuscripts. However, what I don’t understand is, why did they have to hide their identity? Why did they have to dress up in all black and cover their faces (like ninjas). What they were doing wasn’t something sneaky… And worst of all, you’d think as a high level monk, you wouldn’t attack a defenseless mother carrying a baby, while the others have occupied the father from protecting them.


Some New Toys

It’s been awhile since my last post, but this post is going to be short and probably only a summary. I’ve recently obtained some rather new cool toys to play with.

First of all, I finally took the plunge and purchased an HDHR (HDHomeRun). For those who don’t know what this thing is, it’s a dual external QAM/ATSC tuner for your PC and is the easiest way to get QAM channels on your Media Center. I’ve had Media Center for awhile now, but I’ve really ever used it to watch videos and stuff. I finally wanted to play with the TV settings and like I said, took the plunge. I got it for a $160 shipped (deal is still available, inquire if you’re interested), only to find out a few days later a rumor of an employee discount. I’ll probably talk more about this later.

The next toy I got is my new Lenovo Thinkpad X61 Tablet. I had actually ordered this back in mid-December, but due to a UPS fiasco and them delivering my package to some other address, Lenovo to build another one and that’s why it took so long for it to arrive. Then there was the fact I was no longer in Monterey Park, and had to change the shipping which was more complicated than I originally thought. Anyway, I had been holding out for a portable laptop for some time since my IBM Thinkpad X31. I really wanted a X-series Thinkpad with a better screen. They decided to put a better screen on the Tablet, but not the regular X-series, so I finally made up my mind to get it. I was also contemplating on waiting for Apple to release the MacBook Slim (or what I had called it), but finally gave up on waiting for it. When the MacBook Air was announced a few days ago, I justified to myself that most 1st generation Apple products have a lot of problems.

Anyway, this morning I was having some sort of dream. I can’t remember what exactly the dream was but it involved a doorbell ringing. Doorbell ringing?!?! I jumped out of bed, ran to the window and saw the UPS truck. I ran down the 2 flights of stairs as a kid would do on Christmas morning to greet my UPS guy and signed for my package. I’ve played with it for awhile really nice. I’m still not that accustomed to the tablet features, but it’ll probably come bit by bit. It comes with Vista Business and definitely needs more RAM. Fortunately, a 2GB stick is on its way. I’d go into the specs later with its official post.

Yep, life is good. 🙂

I Thought Europe Was A Country

I saw this video a few days ago from Digg: Is Europe a country?

Funny video about a quiz show, where the question is about an obscure country called Hungary.

It’s a clip from the show, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? and to be honest, I think this was staged, but if it isn’t, it’s yet another example of how the American education system has failed.

SueOn had asked me if the contestant was someone famous and at that time, I didn’t know. Looking at the comments on YouTube, it appears the contestant is Kellie Pickler, apparently someone in American Idol. Then again, I’ve never watched American Idol, so I probably would’ve never figured it out.

Here’s the transcript (I’ve bolded the funny parts):

Jeff: You ready? The 3rd grade world geography question is: “Budapest is the capital of what European Country?” Budapest is the capital of what European Country? Nathan has already locked in.

Kellie: This might be a stupid question.

Jeff: I’m guessing it’s probably going to be.

Kellie: Okay. Like… I thought Europe was a country. Let’s see. Budest… Budapest! I’ve never even heard of that.

Jeff: Alright, here… here’s your options. I mean you could drop out with $10,000. But…

Kellie: Like I know they speak French there, don’t they? Like I wanna say is France a country. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Jeff: You know what, let’s talk about your options.

Kellie: Can I just like… Okay.

Jeff: Kell, focus.

Kellie: I am… Like I’m listening to what you’re saying, but I only hear what I want to.

Jeff: That’s just called being a woman.

Kellie: Oh… Boooooooo! Well, we could just call this show “Are You Smarter Than A Man?” I’d win that one.

Jeff: Women don’t really want to hear a man’s opinion. They just want to hear their opinion in a deeper voice. That’s what they want when they talk to us. Let’s talk about this. I really want you to get the $25,000 because no matter what happens after that, you’re walking out of here with $25,000.

Kellie: Yes. It’s all about the charity, so I got to think what’s best for them. Let’s see. I am just going to … copy.

Jeff: Copy.

Kellie: Come on Nathan.

Jeff: If you had to guess… if you had to guess… do you have a guess?

Kellie: I don’t think France is a country, but would’ve said that. I dunno… I don’t know. I’m just going to say France. I dunno.

Jeff: France is a country, I will tell you that.

Kellie: It is?

Jeff: If you had said France, you would’ve gone home with nothing.

Kellie: Whew…

Jeff: That’s not the right answer. The right answer is Hungary.

Kellie: Is what?

Jeff: Hungary.

Kellie: Hungry?

Jeff: Like I’m hungry.

Kellie: That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey, but… Hungary, never heard of it.

Jeff: But the answer is Hungary. So if Nathan said Hungary, your charity’s got $25,000. If he didn’t, you walk away with nothing.

Kellie: You’re not smiling, Nathan. You’re not smiling. Awwwwww.

Jeff: Kellie, look at the board. For $25,000, your 5th grade classmate Nathan said… Hungary!

Kellie: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Great! You’re the best! Thank you! Yeah! You tried to trick me. He tricked me.

Jeff: He tricked you?

Kellie: I was looking at his face and he looked like uh ummmmmm messed it up. I failed. But you got it right, yay.