a kate west reflection

Wolves never had it easy. Although Wolves are considered endangered and protected in most of America (at least in 48 states anyway), Gray Wolves (sometimes called Timber Wolves and the largest member of the Canine Family) are still hunted down in places like Alaska. There is some light at the end of the tunnel however, due to reintroduction strategies like bringing wolves back to Yellowstone Park.

The bad rap comes mostly from the rich folklore and mythology throughout the ages. Usually cast as the villain, the insatiably bloodthirsty wolf menaces little girls and defenceless women. In reality, however, wolves very rarely attack humans and in fact have a complex and strict social order to keep them in check. They are strongly loyal family members and are quite intelligent. True, they hunt in packs, which can seem fearfully intimidating, but it is this discipline which helps them survive and maintain order.

So instead of reviling them, we should show more respect and honor to these noble beasts. Any wild animal is dangerous, of course, so admire them from a distance please.

Visit Wolves:

Read More About It
In Barry Lopez's:

Of Wolves and Men Read more!

SF Giants

The San Francisco Giants
a kate west reflection

I became a real San Francisco Giants fan in about 1993. Before that, I became mildly interested in the sport itself after re-watching "Field of Dreams" (originally released in 1989). I asked my Dad why we had never played catch. Because I'm a girl? So I had to go out and buy a baseball and glove. And a Louisville Slugger bat, for good measure. One of the only times I visited a sporting goods store back then. (Before I tried hiking, rock climbing, martial arts, yoga and now marathon running, of course!)

Anyway, baseball to me now symbolizes old Americana, the simple perfection of a game played in a sacred circle. I love it. And home runs are spectacular, but not the heart of the game. It's really about strategy, inching your way around the circle with bunts, line drives, doubles and triples. Just don't ask me to explain the infield fly rule. Baseball is good when it's heroic, when a team member sacrifices himself for the good of the win, when fans cry their hearts out over losses and lose their minds in ecstasy when they win. Peanuts, popcorn and cracker jack, hot dogs and now burritos, nachos and gourmet coffee. Opening Day used to be as exciting as a theatrical Opening Night. It used to be that die hard loyal fans were rewarded with playoff tickets and maybe getting to see their team make it all the way to the World Series. Then you know you're really in the "Show" (the big leagues). In "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy" by W. P. Kinsella ("Shoeless Joe" a.k.a. "Field of Dreams" author) said that theoretically baseball could go on forever. You could just tie it up in extra innings and have the quintessential existential game. Theoretically. Now that's poetry.

Back then the Giants played in Candlestick Park. (I sound like New York old timers who lamented their team moving to the west coast decades ago.) It got so cold with the wind from the bay that you could earn a Croix de Candlestick pin for sticking out extra innings. I remember Will Clark, Robby Thompson, steadfast Matt Williams, J.T. Snow, Jeff Kent, Rod Beck, Willie McGee, John Burkett, Kirt Manwaring, Robb Nen and of course, Barry Bonds (pictured below). Remember Robby Thompson out with a busted cheekbone in '93? Wasn't that against the Padres? We saw our guys come so close and do battle against the hated Braves, Cardinals and most notoriously the stupid Los Angeles Dodgers. Sorry, but as a Giants fan, I'm practically obligated to hate the Blue Team.

Dusty Baker was my first manager - I saw him all the way to the Series against the Anaheim Angels in 2002. I was out of town camping during that time and left secure in the knowledge they had it wrapped up. I had no electricity (or water) for three days and on October 27 driving back home I innocently turned on the radio thinking I could catch the wrap up. Imagine my surprise when it was Game 7 and the Giants were (yikes!) losing. I think that was the beginning of the end for me. Not because of the loss, although that really hurt (not as disillusioning as my Dad's heartbreak over JFK, Bobby, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but still). No, it was mostly because from 1993 to 2007, the Giants ended up with a brand new ballpark, two new managers and a whole new team except for the ever-controversial Barry Bonds. I'm pretty loyal in general, but in this case whom am I really following anymore? It's not that I don't like baseball anymore; I will forever love the game (it can be so glorious), but I just can't get into following a team, getting my heart broken and then having to learn a whole new lineup.

So now I enjoy my baseball in cinematic tributes and in enjoying countless retellings of people's first times. The green ballpark, the crack of the bat, the call of the vendors, endless renditions of our national anthem and of course, "Take Me Out To The Ballgame". I once made a bet with my brother that baseball was probably the sport most recreated on film. He named all the football movies he could think of and I named all the baseball films. I won. I could be wrong, but it was a pretty casual bet. And there are a lot of baseball movies. And novels. Small wonder - it's a great sport and so suprisingly lyrical, if you know where to look. All is well now with my brother, by the way, as he did take me to Cooperstown, Yankee Stadium AND the 2005 All Star Game. So I won't give up going to a game once in a while, I just need a little break. Or maybe some time in the Minors (as long as I still get to sit behind home plate).

Total Baseball, Completely Revised and Updated: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia (Total Baseball)

The Baseball Encyclopedia: The Complete and Definitive Record of Major League Baseball (Baseball Encyclopedia)

Great Baseball Films:
Field of Dreams (Widescreen Two-Disc Anniversary Edition)

The Natural (Director's Cut)

A League of Their Own (Special Edition)

Bull Durham

The Rookie (Widescreen Edition)


The Bad News Bears

Famous Red Sox Fan:
Read more!


a kate west reflection

I haven't tried it yet, but I've been meaning to. Talk about a Zen activity, a sport from before the middle ages, one still wildly competitive and streamlike sleek and cool. Something warriors do. I'm sure it'll be my next target. Get it?

Learning It:
Zen in the Art of Archery Read more!


a kate west review
book by Eric Idle; music & lyrics by John DuPrez & Eric Idle
directed by Mike Nichols
at the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
contact (212) 239-6200 or (800) 545-2559 OR Telecharge.com
running through October 2007

It won the Tony for Best Musical in 2005 and it's still running. A must-see for Monty Python fanatics (of the well-loved BBC series), "Spamalot" is also quite the hoot for the tourist crowds. Created by Eric Idle of Python fame, it adds new music to the stage adaptation of the Python hit movie "The Holy Grail".

Jonathan Hadary ("Sex and the City") takes over the Tim Curry (a more inspired choice) role as King Arthur on a quest to find the holy grail and to get to know the Britons. Surrounded by his loyal knights, he embarks on a very silly journey in parodying his own legend. Sir Robin (Martin Moran), Sir Lancelot (Rick Holmes) and Sir Galahad (Lewis Cleale) help him in this endeavor. Also key is Marin Mazzie as the Lady of the Lake in her own fine take on the former Sara Ramirez role.

We know we're not in Kansas anymore when an Historian (Tom Deckman) chides the chorus for singing about Finland instead England ("Fisch Schlapping Song"). The comedic spoofs escalate from there. Generally following the "Holy Grail" storyline, King Arthur and his Knights roam the countryside, encountering Laker Girls, Camelot, the taunting evil French ("Run Away"), a Black Knight, the notorious Knights of Ni, a Killer Rabbit and even God (voiced by John Cleese). Each scene is sillier than the next. Ultimately, King Arthur decides his true goal, the real holy grail, is to find his way to Broadway.

The numbers are well directed by Mike Nichols but include a few "un-PC" scenes, such as "You Won't Succeed on Broadway" without Jews, which showcases menorahs and dreidels, as well as "His Name is Lancelot" where Lancelot discovers he is fashionably gay. Other than that, the songs are fun and entertaining and you are free to laugh as loud as you want. By the way, there is some gentle audience participation for whoever is lucky enough to sit in the middle right orchestra and a joyous chorus of "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" for everyone at the curtain call, followed by confetti.

As previously stated, Jonathan Hadary is all right as King Arthur, but not as much fun as Tim Curry. The rest of the cast is strong, including the new Lady of the Lake (Marin Mazzie) who is amusingly frustrated at the smallness of her role ("The Diva's Lament"). "The Song That Goes Like This" pokes fun at Broadway manipulation and showcases her quite well. Most of the ensemble plays multiple roles, sharing spotlights and zaniness and are very adept at jumping in and out of characters and well-paced scene changes. Tim Hatley designed fun, authentic costumes and sets so that you might think you're watching an old Python skit. No doubt Eric Idle made sure everyone stayed true to Python esthetics.

It's a fun show and a tourist delight. If you're a true Python fan, you'll love quoting the original film , chuckling at inside jokes and watching new fans revel in good old-fashioned slapstick puns.

Monty Python's Spamalot (2005 Original Broadway Cast)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Extraordinarily Deluxe Three-Disc Edition)

More Sublime Python:
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset

Fawlty Towers - The Complete Series Read more!

Planet Unicorn

a kate west favorite

"In the year 2117, an 8 year old gay boy named Shannon found a magic lamp. He was granted three wishes. The first, a fur jacket. The second, a flying car. The third, a planet full of unicorns. This is the story of that planet." [spoken] "A gay boy wished for a planet full of unicorns, planet unicorn, unicorn planet. Give it up for Feathers, oooh Cadillac, and Tom Cruise. Ohhh, planet unicorn, heyyy!" [sung]

So begins the hottest new video site online, featured on both NPR and in August's issue of TIME OUT, "Planet Unicorn". As the song above says, it's all about a planet full of unicorns (dig those crazy names too), wished into existence by an 8-year-old gay boy named Shannon. The fact that it appeals to children and adult alike is testament to the cleverness of its creators Mike Rose and Tyler Spiers, talented young comedic actors in Los Angeles. Now internationally known, the website has well over a million hits and has become a pop culture phenomenon. Thank you, You Tube!

It's pink, quirky, harmless fun, with childlike animation and simple dialogue. And it all works really well. Check it out now, and you too can be cooler than My Space.

Creators: Mike Rose and Tyler Spiers

Shannon: Mike Rose
Feathers: Drew Droege
Cadillac: Mike Rose
Tom Cruise: Tyler Spiers

Animation: Craig Morris and Robert Potter

Theme Song/Vocals: Mike Rose

Original Music: Ryan Elder


Shannon is an 8-year-old gay boy. He found a magic lamp and wished for a planet full of unicorns.
He has a vivid imagination and likes to have fun.


Feathers has a southern accent and a cowboy hat.
He's sassy and no-nonsense. He likes to have fun.


Cadillac is Hispanic and wears his mane in a pompadour.
He likes having the last word and he likes to have fun.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise likes to travel and is always up for a new adventure.
He likes to have fun.


Congratulations on your NewNowNext Award!!!
Read more!

Sunflowers, Cacti and Camping, from Van Gogh to Joshua Tree

Sunflower and Cactus
a kate west reflection

I can't explain it but I'm fascinated by sunflowers. I think because they really are sunny and open and obvious. So maybe I can explain it. And I don't remember where it may have started but I have a great picture of me in front of a huge field of sunflowers somewhere in Austria, which I suppose I'll have to scan onto here at some point. My aunt is a really good amateur painter so I gave her the photo to recreate but she ended up painting me out of it. Boo. Nice looking sunflowers though. They just make me happy when I look at them, more than any other kind of flower.

Van Gogh loved sunflowers. His "Sunflowers" (left) are an abstract version of the real thing and really bring out that yellow intensity. But then again, everything about him was strong and intense, so they're the perfect flower study for him. It's a little cliché to be into Van Gogh, but there's no denying he was a colorful tradition-defying artist and did everything bigger than life, making it all that much more real. To simplify a point.

Van Gogh Images:
Van Gogh's Van Goghs

And apparently I'm also into cactus. Or cacti. I never liked the desert before, but have developed quite an affinity for it the past couple of years. And I definitely do know where that started - my three day camping trip in Joshua Tree (see below). I have one cactus (which I named Harris) I received as a housewarming plant years ago and it's one of the only plants I haven't killed off, so I've greatly admired his hardiness.

Then I started thinking about the design of cacti and how they're able to survive in such harsh conditions and my appreciation grew. I have a second cactus now, a smaller one, called Walter and have dreams of cultivating my own beautiful cactus garden someday. Maybe when I have my own house with a huge backyard, big dog and maybe even a hammock. Sigh.

Best cactus garden around: www.huntington.org

Joshua Tree
a kate west reflection

So my trip to Joshua Tree a few years ago. It was a three day trek and climb, meaning camping out for two nights, hiking and rock climbing under the October stars. It was an incredible experience being out in the desert for three days. The cool thing about that environment is the silence. It's not just quiet, everything seems like it's under a big dome, a thudding kind of quiet. You feel really alive and realize that the desert itself is full of life, in spite of it's outer wear seeming the opposite. It is a truly beautiful place and I finally get why people go to commune there or have vision quests, though hell will freeze over before you catch me at the Burning Man Festival.
Read more!



a kate west reflection

I don't really like this show. I tried. I don't usually buy into hyped up shows but I love science-fiction so I thought I'd give it a shot.

First of all, I hate that there are no satisfying explanations for these random super powers. And as the series progressed, I hated all the allegiance switching and power stealing. If everyone ends up with everyone else's power, what is the point anymore? And finally, I just don't care enough about the characters so therefore cannot care who dies, who is undead, or care enough to keep track of future and past whos.

The longer the show runs, the more complicated the creators try to make the plot and the less interesting it is to follow. I like some of the actors (who doesn't enjoy Masi Oka's Hiro?), but Ali Larter's lame duo-identity crisis is irritating, for instance, and if I hear someone say, "save the cheerleader, save the world" one more time I will have to use my killer stare (my personal super power) to devastate the offender. What an incredibly transparent executive marketing line anyway - who falls for that? We were told this was a hit show before it actually became a hit show, so it rings false with me. I hate being force fed artificial hipness this way.

The show "4400" on the other hand, had the perfect explanation from the very first episode. 4400 people were abducted by extraterrestrials and eventually brought back to earth, with brand new special powers. The American government naturally created a special security department to deal with the brand new immigration problem. The political intricacies in this show make much more sense than in "Heroes". Sure it has its slower moments, but overall, its a coherent show. So I'd rather tune in to the more original show. But that's just me.

My pop culture two cents.

Previous review here:

Created by
Tim Kring


David Anders
Kristen Bell
Santiago Cabrera
Jack Coleman
Tawny Cypress
Dana Davis
Noah Gray-Cabey
Greg Grunberg
Ali Larter
James Kyson Lee
Masi Oka
Hayden Panettiere
Adrian Pasdar
Zachary Quinto
Sendhil Ramamurthy
Dania Ramirez
Leonard Roberts
Cristine Rose
Milo Ventimiglia
Read more!

House, M.D.

House - FOX
a kate west favorite

Four seasons into it, Dr. Gregory House is still a curmudgeonly misanthrope. Making his way through life with biting sarcasm, he successfully holds everyone at bay and no one can get in. Surprisingly un-nurturing for a an instructor in a teaching hospital, he has three minds to mold: surly Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps), sexy Aussie Dr. Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Barbie doll Dr. Cameron (Jennifer Morrison). Trying vainly to guide him and make him behave are his best friend Dr. Wilson (sweet Robert Sean Leonard) and his saucy nemesis Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). Hugh Laurie is really good in this role, and he's not even American in real life (he's British), go figure.

Every week it's the same plot: someone comes in with an inexplicable illness, they make it better, then the patient gets worse again until they figure out it's something else entirely. Then Dr. House steps in to save the day. He is always right and always brilliant and we never get tired of it. Wonder how long he'll be able to get away with the tortured genius routine.

House Cast and Crew:
Hugh Laurie - (Dr. Gregory House)
Lisa Edelstein - (Dr. Lisa Cuddy)
Omar Epps - (Dr. Taylor Foreman)
Robert Sean Leonard - (Dr. James Wilson)
Jennifer Morrison - (Dr. Allison Cameron)
Jesse Spencer - (Dr. Robert Chase)

Production Credits:
Amy Lippens (Casting)
Newton Thomas Sigel (Cinematographer)
Todd London (Co-producer)
Christopher Hoag (Composer Music Score)
David Shore (Director)
Elliot Graham (Editor)
Ray Daniels (Editor)
Daria Ellerman (Editor)
Katie Jacobs (Executive Producer)
Bryan Singer (Executive Producer)
David Shore (Executive Producer)
Paul Attanasio (Executive Producer)
Gerrit Van Der Meer (Producer)
Mark Hutman (Production Designer)
David Shore (Screenwriter)
David Shore (Singer)
Jim Lima (Visual Effects Supervisor)

First Season:
House, M.D. - Season One Read more!

The Sopranos

The Sopranos - HBO
a kate west recommendation

In six seasons, Tony Soprano captured the imaginations and even the hearts of HBO (Home Box Office Cable television) viewers. He's a villain, an unscrupulous mafia boss, who orders the execution of anyone getting in the way of his business, including extended family members. It is a credit to the writers that he is made sympathetic and that we all root for him, in spite of that unseemly dark side. Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" saga revolutionized the depiction of La Cosa Nostra* in film and, in a much less grand scale, "The Sopranos" does it in television, bringing everyday modern mob life right to your living room.

The Sopranos are a normal suburban well-off American family to all outward appearances. They just happen to have their basement bugged by the F.B.I. and most of their photos posted up in police headquarters. Tony (James Gandolfini), his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and their two kids, Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) live, love, shop and eat all in the utopia of New Jersey. Right from the now well-known opening credits of Tony driving in from Manhattan with his big fat cigar to the tune of A3's "Woke Up This Morning", we get to know each of them intimately, especially Tony. For one thing, he's in therapy with Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) working through his emotions until she finally catches on that a sociopath will never live a real human life. Then there's his dealings with his family, from constantly cheating on his wife to trying to understand his troubled son. Not to mention his whole motely crew, doing his bidding, while sometimes covertly plotting against him. Is there honor among thieves?

The full experience can only come from watching the entire series. And in that amount of time, anyone you encounter may be capable of the most heinous acts - mothers, uncles, friends and fiances, alike. Please note - great characters abound, but don't get too attached, as they might not have the longest shelf life. Also, fans complained loudly about the series finale, but creator David Chase likes to keep it real, so, in ambiguity, he allows his characters a little life beyond. Theirs is not a tidy world.

Series Directed by
Timothy Van Patten
(20 episodes, 1999-2007)
John Patterson
(13 episodes, 1999-2004)
Allen Coulter
(12 episodes, 1999-2004)
Alan Taylor
(9 episodes, 1999-2007)
Henry Bronchtein
(4 episodes, 1999-2002)
Jack Bender
(4 episodes, 2001-2006)
Steve Buscemi
(4 episodes, 2001-2006)
Daniel Attias
(3 episodes, 1999-2002)
David Chase
(2 episodes, 1999-2007)

Series Writing credits
David Chase
(86 episodes, 1999-2007)
Terence Winter
(25 episodes, 2000-2007)
Mitchell Burgess
(22 episodes, 1999-2006)
Robin Green
(22 episodes, 1999-2006)
Matthew Weiner
(12 episodes, 2004-2007)
Frank Renzulli
(9 episodes, 1999-2001)
Michael Imperioli
(5 episodes, 2000-2004)
Todd A. Kessler
(4 episodes, 2000-2001)
Diane Frolov
(4 episodes, 2006-2007)
Andrew Schneider
(4 episodes, 2006-2007)
Jason Cahill
(3 episodes, 1999-2000)
Lawrence Konner
(3 episodes, 2001-2002)

James Gandolfini: Anthony Soprano
Lorraine Bracco: Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Edie Falco: Carmela Soprano
Michael Imperioli: Christopher Moltisanti
Nancy Marchand: Livia Soprano
Jamie-Lynn Sigler: Meadow Soprano
Dominic Chianese: Corrado `Uncle Junior' Soprano
Robert Iler: Anthony Soprano Jr.
Steven Van Zandt: Silvio Dante
Tony Sirico: Paulie `Walnuts' Gualtieri
John Ventimiglia: Artie Bucco
Vincent Curatola: Johnny `Johnny Sack' Sacramoni
Vincent Pastore: Salvatore `Big Pussy' Bonpensiero
Drea de Matteo: Adriana La Cerva
Joseph Badalucco Jr.: Jimmy Altieri
Aida Turturro: Janice Soprano
David Proval: Richie Aprile
Steven R. Schirripa: Bobby `Bacala' Baccalieri
Robert Patrick: David Scatino
Federico Castelluccio: Furio Giunta
Joe Pantoliano: Ralph Cifaretto
Steve Buscemi: Tony Blundetto
Robert Loggia: Michele `Feech' La Manna
Joe Gannascoli: Vito Spatafore
Jerry Adler: Herman `Hesh' Rabkin
Frank Vincent: Phil Leotardo
Julianna Margulies: Julianna Skiff
Sharon Angela: Rosalie Aprile
Kathrine Narducci: Charmaine Bucco
Maureen Van Zandt: Gabriella Dante
Max Casella: Benny Fazio
Tony Lip: Carmine Lupertazzi
Ray Abruzzo: Little Carmine Lupertazzi
Dan Grimaldi: Patsy Parisi
Peter Bogdanovich: Dr. Elliot Kupferberg

*The Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra) is a notorious Italian criminal secret society which first developed in the mid-19th century in Sicily. In North America, the Mafia often refers to Italian organized crime in general, rather than just traditional Sicilian organized crime.

The Original Classic Influence (and a Kate West Favorite):
The Godfather DVD Collection (The Godfather/ The Godfather - Part II/ The Godfather - Part III)

Sopranos First Season:

The Sopranos: The Complete First Season Read more!

The Inheritance

The Inheritance
a kate west favorite

"The Inheritance" is an odd little piece of artistry filmed on good old-fashioned Super 8. Silent, subtitled and with a dramatic Prokofiev score, it doesn't seem like the type of thing that would capture mainstream hearts, but it gets under your skin and won't leave. It's weirdly brilliant, darkly different and quite riveting. Ariel Gregory is the director, writer and creator and his sensitive perception of adventure and story is wonderfully stark and clear.

Basically, a Pirate Captain hands over a black inheritance to a hapless wench. The imagery in between all that is eerie and fantastic and well worth several viewings. A kind of bizarre insanity. In order not to give away any more, you'll just have to see for yourself. Don't worry, there'll be enough blood for everyone.

Directed by
Ariel Gregory

Written by
Josh Cutler
Britt Juchem
Ariel Gregory
Rachel Thorne

Pirate Captain - Ariel Gregory
Waitress - Cera Impala
Pumpkin King - Casey James

More info on the artist:
Ariel Gregory Graphic Design
latexladykiller@hotmail.com Read more!

Lea Antonio - Artist

Lea Antonio
a kate west recommendation

Lea Antonio grew up Los Angeles and has a degree in English at UCLA. As a single mom, following her creative muse can be daunting, but illustrating and painting are integral to expressing her thoughts. Subjects range from urban landscapes to figurative compositions, from vintage patterns to faux finishing. Painting primarily in acrylic, Lea works on a variety of surfaces including paper, stretched canvas, wood panels, walls, furniture and even children’s toys.

Artist's Reception
at Buster's
1006 Mission Street
South Pasadena 91030
Saturday, August 11
5-7 p.m.

View her paintings at:
lalalalea.blogspot.com Read more!

The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone -
USA Network Television

Anthony Michael Hall is Johnny Smith (pictured above), a psychic who awoke from a deep coma with abilities he never had before. Based on the Stephen King novel, "The Dead Zone" is in its sixth season. The basic story is the same: Johnny helps people by predicting and averting their dire futures. And he's better than a police lie detector at reading people's past alibis too, so he's pretty helpful to Sheriff Walt Bannerman (Chris Bruno), at least in the first few seasons.

Hall is likeable and strong as Smith, finally shedding his earlier adolescent typecasting (remember "Sixteen Candles" and "Weird Science"? And then remember him buffing up for "Edward Scissorhands"? Please don't say you're too young!) Unfortunately though, the overall show is a little boring. The dialogue gets too maudlin sometimes and it just doesn't grab the attention the way the original book does. To be fair, the novel is one straight story and the series has to stretch out several episodes in several seasons. Still, the writers don't quite make it interesting enough, in spite of placing Johnny and gang in different and sometimes dangerous situations every week.

So you're not really missing much, although it's not terrible. It's more of a show you'll watch if it's on, but will be fine if it gets preempted for some reason.

Jon Cassar
James A. Contner

Joel Metzger (writer)
Katie Wech (staff writer) (2007)

Primary Cast:
Anthony Michael Hall ... Johnny Smith (75 episodes, 2002-2007)
Chris Bruno ... Sheriff Walt Bannerman (58 episodes, 2002-2007)
John L. Adams ... Bruce Lewis (53 episodes, 2002-2007)
Nicole de Boer ... Sarah Bracknell Bannerman (50 episodes, 2002-2007)
David Ogden Stiers ... Rev. Gene Purdy (37 episodes, 2002-2007)
Bill Mondy ... Deputy Roscoe (31 episodes, 2002-2006)

Read the original Stephen King book:
The Dead Zone (Signet) Read more!

Slings and Arrows

Slings and Arrows
a kate west favorite

For those of you who consider a good time is reciting Shakespeare to each other, consider renting the Canadian homage to the Bard, "Slings and Arrows". Actually, whether or not you're a passionate actor, if you've ever cringed through bad productions of Shakespeare, you will love the exploits of this Canadian troupe of classic actors. The creators really do understand Shakespeare. Now on DVD, this popular television series (which only had a three season run) is once again a hit with audiences.

Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) becomes the Artistic Director of the fictional New Burbage when the previous AD Oliver Welles (Stephen Ouimette) dies unexpectedly. He then has to maintain order amidst gigantic actor egos, financial nightmares and his own pending breakdown. Not to mention dealing with pesky ghost of Oliver. One true-to-life scene is when (slightly) over-the-hill leading lady Ellen Fanshaw (Martha Burns) is audited and becomes infuriated with a bureaucracy she can't understand. She is an actress after all, and shouldn't have to deal with numbers, for God's Sake.

The glimpses of productions of "Hamlet", "Macbeth", "King Lear" and "Romeo and Juliet" are really inspirational, since this company is supposedly expert at Bard productions. It's a much-needed quality show, with all the comedic angst and subterfuge of a regular sitcom, just a little classier. And it's very nice to see good Shakespeare for a change. Don't miss it.

Series Directed by:
Peter Wellington (18 episodes, 2003-2006)

Series Writing Credits:
Susan Coyne (18 episodes, 2003-2006)
Tecca Crosby (18 episodes, 2003-2006)
Bob Martin (18 episodes, 2003-2006)
Mark McKinney (18 episodes, 2003-2006)
Sean Reycraft (6 episodes, 2006)

Series Cast:
Martha Burns ... Ellen Fanshaw
Paul Gross ... Geoffrey Tennant
Don McKellar ... Darren Nichols
Mark McKinney ... Richard Smith-Jones
Oliver Dennis ... Jerry
Susan Coyne ... Anna Conroy
Stephen Ouimette ... Oliver Welles
Graham Harley ... Cyril
Michael Polley ... Frank
Catherine Fitch ... Maria
Leon Pownall ... Brian
Sean Cullen ... Basil
Matt Fitzgerald ... Sloan
Rachel McAdams ... Kate McNab
Luke Kirby ... Jack Crew
Jennifer Irwin ... Holly Day
Sabrina Grdevich ... Claire Donner
Marcia Bennett ... May Silverstone
Rothaford Gray ... Nahum
Aaron Abrams ... Paul
Joanne Kelly ... Sarah
Janet Bailey ... Barabra
William Hutt ... Charles
David Alpay ... Patrick
Colm Feore ... Sanjay
Grace Lynn Kung ... Emily Lu
Geraint Wyn Davies ... Henry Breedlove
Melanie Merkosky ... Megan
Sarah Polley ... Sophie
Jonathan Crombie ... Lionel Train
Joanne Boland ... Margaret
Chris Leavins ... Andrew McTeague
Brendan Murray ... Horatio
John Stead ... John
Jefferson Brown ... Chris Norton
Bob Martin ... Terry
Damir Andrei ... Polonius
Jeff Berg ... Luke
Caroline Gillis ... Cheryl
Billy MacLellan ... Laertes
Martin Roach ... Horatio
Clyde Whitham ... Alan

The First Season:
Slings & Arrows - Season 1 Read more!


24 - FOX Network

Kiefer Sutherland is Jack Bauer (pictured above). Approaching Season Seven of the popular television action hit series "24", one can only wonder how long the character can sustain the non-stop 24/7 action. Is Jack really going to save the world one more time? Probably. It's still a good show, suspension of disbelief notwithstanding. Jack has lost family members, been tortured, forced to kill and torture others, yet he still fights on tirelessly to make our country safe for democracy. What more can we ask for?

Bauer works for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit), forever in a power struggle with National Homeland Security. Each season a new terrorist threat rears its ugly head to challenge Bauer and his loyal CTU crew. His toughness is what sustains him when all hope is lost, even through all the betrayals and lost friendships. Yes, main characters are sometimes killed off and/or seduced by the dark side. But don't worry; Jack's stubbornly spunky assistant Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) will be there to talk us through it. I feel safer already.

Series Directed by

Jon Cassar (51 episodes, 2002-2007)
Brad Turner (26 episodes, 2004-2007)

Bryan Spicer (12 episodes, 2001-2007)

Stephen Hopkins (12 episodes, 2001-2002)

Ian Toynton (10 episodes, 2003-2004)
Frederick King Keller (6 episodes, 2002-2004)

James Whitmore Jr. (6 episodes, 2002-2003)
Tim Iacofano (5 episodes, 2005-2007)

Kevin Hooks (4 episodes, 2004-2005)
Rodney Charters (3 episodes, 2003-2005)
Winrich Kolbe (2 episodes, 2001)
Davis Guggenheim (2 episodes, 2002)

Paul Shapiro (2 episodes, 2002)

Ken Girotti (2 episodes, 2005)
Dwight H. Little (2 episodes, 2006)

Milan Cheylov (2 episodes, 2007)

Series Writing credits
Robert Cochran (147 episodes, 2001-2007)
Joel Surnow (146 episodes, 2001-2007)

Howard Gordon (42 episodes, 2001-2007)

Michael Loceff (39 episodes, 2001-2007)
Evan Katz (30 episodes, 2003-2007)

Stephen Kronish (11 episodes, 2003-2005)

Manny Coto (11 episodes, 2006-2007)
David Fury (10 episodes, 2006-2007)
Duppy Demetrius (5 episodes, 2003-2006)

Matt Michnovetz (5 episodes, 2005-2007)

Virgil Williams (4 episodes, 2002-2004)

Gil Grant (4 episodes, 2002-2003)

Sam Montgomery (4 episodes, 2005-2006)

Maurice Hurley (2 episodes, 2002-2003)
Michael S. Chernuchin (2 episodes, 2002)

Andrea Newman (2 episodes, 2002)

David Ehrman (2 episodes, 2003-2006)

Nicole Ranadive (2 episodes, 2006-2007)

Kiefer Sutherland - Jack Bauer
Leslie Hope - Teri Bauer
Sarah Clarke - Nina Myers
Elisha Cuthbert - Kim Bauer
Dennis Haysbert - Senator / President David Palmer
Sarah Wynter - Kate Warner
Xander Berkeley - George Mason
Penny Johnson - Jerald Sherry Palmer
Carlos Bernard - Tony Almeida
Reiko Aylesworth - Michelle Dessler
James Badge Dale - Chase Edmunds
Kim Raver - Audrey Raines
Alberta Watson - Erin Driscoll
William Devane - Secretary of Defense James Heller
Lana Parrilla - Sarah Gavin
Roger Cross - Curtis Manning
Mary Lynn Rajskub - Chloe O'Brian
James Morrison - Bill Buchanan
Gregory Itzin - President Charles Logan
Louis Lombardi - Edgar Stiles
Jean Smart - First Lady Martha Logan
D.B. Woodside - President Wayne Palmer
Peter MacNicol - Tom Lennox
Jayne Atkinson - Karen Hayes
Eric Balfour - Milo Pressman
Carlo Rota - Morris O'Brian
Marisol Nichols - Nadia Yassir
Regina King - Sandra Palmer
Cherry Jones - President Allison Taylor
Colm Feore - First Husband Henry Taylor
Janeane Garofalo - Janis Gold

Check out:
24 - Season One
Read more!