I should be writing about our Christmas, etc. but before I get to it, I wanted to put out some links to some television related sites of interest.
Probably the best show produced these days is Battlestar Galactica. Slate has an article about the show's writers with links to four hours of writer's room conversations -- not commentaries, pre-production discussions -- of the episode "Scar." And then the official Battlestar Galactica site had that episode available online for a while.
Also on the Universal/NBC ticket is Friday Night Lights. Don't know why I like it so much, but it's pretty absorbing. The characters are pretty interesting and while occasional flipping through made the show seem somewhat trashy, by watching complete episodes online, I'm realizing that the characters do lash out wildly, but never without motivation that suits them. All the episodes are currently viewable online (with six 30-second commercials interspersed throughout).
Of interest to writers is Jane Espenson's site. She was a staff writer on Buffy and has written for Battlestar and various sitcoms. Her blog focuses on giving advice to aspiring television writers but is fascinating in just suggesting ways to write jokes, or telegraph character that transcends the genre. Plus, now I'm always curious about what she's eating for lunch.
Not a recommendation yet, but one of the writers of 24 has a blog on TVWeek.com. Might be more interesting as the season comes on.
Finally, set your TiVos! February 5th, PBS is airing "The Living Weapon," a terribly titled one hour documentary on the American biological weapons program. It's fascinating. Plants were churning out botulism (one ounce of botulinum toxin could kill everyone on earth) and other diseases and Secret Ops were testing distribution systems. In the New York subways. And off the coast of San Francisco. And in the neighborhoods of Savannah. And the Pentagon. (The trains in the tunnels quickly pushed the test bacteria all through the system, everyone in S.F. was exposed, thousands of the species of mosquitoes that carry Yellow Fever were spread throughout Savannah, and the Pentagon HVAC distributed the bacteria throughout the building.) The program ended when Nixon banned the test and production of bioweapons.
Really worth seeing. Soon, the website will be up at this URL, with previously classified DOD films, a map that shows where tests were done, and lots more. Eventually, the film itself will stream on the site, but not until a while after the airdate.