Chronicles, Litanies, and Fanboy Obsessions:

(Further) Egolf Chronicles.

Herein is the second run of the Gretchen Egolf Chronicles. (Meta-Version 2.0) This page is no longer source of new entries - please see this page for the more recent items. If you wish to see the recent updates to this page (fixing of dead links, the addition of the assumed autograph address, etc.), use your browser's "Find" feature - "Edit/Find in Page" or "Edit/Find on This Page" or "Edit/Find" - to look for the word "Update".

Recent updates are also kept on their own page, called "Recent Updates". Original, huh?

February 11, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V18.0)
Those aren't massive shoulder pads. It's the camera angle. Well, here we are. New page, new day (pretend it is), new image to enjoy. No reason for the image, I'm just in that kind of imagey mood.

Some part of me was hoping I could run the big page for a bit longer, so I'd have a whole year of fanboyisms there, but the PC was beginning to get a hernia just pulling it off my hard drive. Oh well, it's those 55 occurrences of the string "Gretchen Egolf" (I'm already building up here.:) that catapulted me to Google "I'm Feeling Lucky" status. (Whenever I hear that I get this weird and rather disturbing idea for a crass joke involving a certain leprechaun cereal mascot.)

Damn. I'm going to need to figure out Gretchen's middle name if I need to break the page up again....

I think I'm safe in assuming it doesn't have more than five different vowels, though.

Bad bunny? I like that. February 12, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V18.1)
Oh, and here's another new page for you to be jealous over. I actually got up the guts to scan my hard drive for every scattered image I could find. Including this rather interesting one that I don't have the full-sized version of. I like the sentiment. What I can make out of it, anyway.

February 12, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V18.2)
Okay, A&E watchers. How many of you, like me, had your backs turned when the commercials for The Magnificent Ambersons were first running? And how many of you, when they heard the name "Gretchen" spoken, spun around and focused on the TV just in time to hear the announcer say "Mol"?:)

February 16, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.06)
Someone out there likes me. I write something and a fortnight later a trip through a search engine turns up this link which - if you have juuuuuust the right version of Javascript - leads to the following text:

Gretchen Egolf joins the cast of Martial Law as police captain Amy Dylan, head of the major crimes unit. Her television credits include a guest starring role in Cosby, as well as a guest appearance on the one-hour drama Cracker. Her feature film credits include Quiz Show and Lancaster County 2020. She also appeared on Broadway in Ring Round the Moon and Jackie: An American Life.

This Lancaster County 2020 thing is rapidly convincing me there was a day when there was some really interesting, if completely and utterly wrong, Gretchen Egolf pages on the Internet. (Note to self: get TARDIS fixed, find old Internet cafe password from 1996.)

Oh, and is it just me, or are these the worst images of the four season two regulars you've ever seen? In order to get the backgrounds so subdued that they could slap their own skyline background in without the original showing, they had to jack the contrast through the roof. (Hint - TRY BITMAP EDITING! Jeez, some people take the lazy way out....)

If you can't get through to the site, don't worry. I've braved trauma and slapped all four images into one big (799x766) JPG. No, other than cut-and-paste and JPGizing, I have not altered these images in any way.

Sammo Hung just looks wrong. Sort of like he's got a bad head cold and was caught just before sneezing. Even his nose looks wrong, like he's about to sneeze.

Arsenio Hall looks like someone you do not want to meet in a dark alley. Or a bright one. Kind of like Mr. T. with a decent haircut instead of the mohawk.

Kelly Hu isn't there. Whatever woman that is in her place, it doesn't look like her! (When the editing is that bad....)

Gretchen Egolf.... I've never wondered what Gretchen would look like in kabuki makeup. Now I know why.

February 27, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V7.3OT)
I was visiting NBC to check out their Leap of Faith page. Seeing as the "episode guide" had just the pilot (0.html), I tried changing the URL to 1.html, to see if I could get a scoop on future episodes. Instead, I got the following less than encouraging message. Same message as 2.html, 3.html, etc.

Real faith in this program, huh? (Sick pun not intended. I'd never stoop that low. That'd be like digitally altering part of an image to obscure something personal. That's just dreadful. Whatever happened to the good ol' days?)

March 9, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, VX.Y: Leap of Faith Faithless Remix)
If the very idea of reading about Leap of Faith grates against your soul, well, too late. But the next entries will really get you. Click here to skip to something of slightly more relevance.

February 28, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V7.3999999999999999...OT)
Well, it's really March 1st, exactly seven months after I first mentioned Leap of Faith on my page.

In order to fill this page a bit, I'm going to crank up the Pet Shop Boys' Euroboy and tell you what I needed to go through to see the episode mentioned below. Or, skip right to the review with the less-than-convenient link just provided.

Last week.... Realized I get two CBSs and no NBC. Okay....

Also last week.... Realized that every family member I live within 20 miles of and am on good terms with also lacks NBC. This'll be exciting.

Earlier this week.... I ask a favor of someone: if I could head over to their place and watch it on Global, a local channel on a different cable service. I could. It'd be on at 8:30 PM according to the local TV paper. Worst case, if I was late, I could get the Boston NBC affiliate's 9:30 PM showing.

T-Minus 1:30:00.... 7:00 PM. I find out that some people I know have been invited and will be tagging along with me. Well, that's okay, they'll distract the family and I can watch in peace. Only I feel silly leading a legion of people through the frosty night.

T-Minus 0:33:00.... The moon always looks big this close to the horizon. Cold out.

T-Minus 0:27:00.... We arrive, and I'm shown how to use their VCR. (Yes, I taped it.)

T-Minus 0:20:00.... Funny, that ad just said Friends was on next. Must be a mistake.

T-Minus 0:10:00.... I decide to write this Chronicle. Start thinking of lame jokes.

T-Minus 0:01:00.... Here we go. Entertainment Tonight - funny, that wasn't scheduled tonight - is ending. Start VCR.

T-Minus 0:00:30.... Michael Jackson is such a freak.

T-Minus 0:00:10.... And here we go! Yeah!

T-Minus 0:00:00.... What? "Previously on Friends"? What? Chandler and Ross, you bastard sons of goat-blowing one-eyed whores, get off this television!

T-Plus 0:05:00.... So much for that. Explain to the house owner what's going on. She graciously allows me to stay the extra hour, despite it cutting into her sleeping - she's an early-to-bed type.

T-Plus 0:10:00.... Explain the same thing to entourage. They stay too. Though one doesn't seem to want to, he does. Good thing, he drove us there.

T-Plus 0:12:00.... Revise clock.

T-Minus 0:48:00.... Revising clock complete. That was easy.

T-Minus 0:45:00.... I write the following on my handy-dandy notepad. Globat - Stop crossing your "l"s, you moron! - pre-empts for part 2 of a Friends episode. Diff. ep. on CityTV at same time. Stop mixing block letters with cursive, you moron!

T-Minus 0:42:00.... Left alone in the TV room for next hour. Start figuring out the square root of 16,777,216 on my notepad. After a few false starts, I get 4,096. I multiply this back out. Get 16,779,216. 8+4+4+1 is NOT 9, you moron!

T-Minus 0:36:00.... Did 20 pushups. Got some old dirty scotch tape hiding in the carpet stuck to my hand. At least it wasn't a tack.

T-Minus 0:30:00.... Check Global again. Now the TV magazine is right: Survivor: Marquis-de-Sade or something comes on.

T-Minus 0:29:35.... Change to NBC Boston. That same episode of Friends is on.

T-Minus 0:28:00.... Think of how the Marquis de Sade wasn't really a marquis, just a count or something. Poser.

T-Minus 0:25:00.... Commercial for Watching Ellie makes it look like a blockbuster. Well, it did do very well for its time slot, and it blew Michael Richards' and Jason Alexander's sitcoms out of the water!

T-Minus 0:24:00.... Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Michael Richards. Jason Alexander. Was there a sale on first names that week, or something?

T-Minus 0:23:00.... 10 more pushups. Arms hurting.

T-Minus 0:21:00.... Leap of Faith promo. Not looking good. Paulson looks too young, even if she can act. Try to be neutral, Len....

T-Minus 0:20:30.... Hmmmm. In just the right light and from the right angle, Sarah Paulson looks faintly like Gretchen Egolf. No, wait, my arms are hurting and the painkilling endorphin response is kicking in, so I'm just getting that funny opiate-high feeling I get when I look at Gretchen. Mistaken hormonal identity, sorry.

T-Minus 0:16:00.... Realize that I'll need to guess at most of these times.

T-Minus 0:13:00.... 10 more pushups. I don't think I'll do that again.

T-Minus 0:11:00.... Len looks at his notepad jottings. Len realizes that he's never written the name "Gretchen Egolf" before scribbling out the 20:30 entry, even if he can type it in his sleep. It looks weird. He is weird.

T-Minus 0:07:00.... I wonder how big the TV is. Not having a ruler handy, I use my VHS tape box/sleeve. I need two, though, so I can hold them side-by-side. I hastily grab one of my host's VHS tapes and pull the sleeve off - don't want to expose the tape to the magnetic field of the TV - holding the two together. The TV's 2.5 VHS tape sleeves along the diagonal, whatever that is in inches.

T-Minus 0:06:30.... While re-boxing the host's VHS tape, she decides to check in on me. VHS tape refuses to get back into the box because of the tape-sticker-label paper, which is still in the box. I act as nonchalant as possible while caught red-handed. Host either doesn't notice it's her tape or has great tolerance for my snooping.

T-Minus 0:02:30.... Okay, let's try this again. Start VCR.

T-Minus 0:01:00.... Another promo! This is good.... (Also a good thing I started the VCR - half the entourage and family dragged me into a conversation and I missed most of the show.)

T-Minus 0:00:45.... Note to self on pad: Check NBC PR photos from their website vs. the promo shots here for any clothing differences. (In the end, I didn't bother. Not worth the time.) (Update, March 16, 2002 AD: Amazing what you will do to avoid an unpleasant task. I just checked. It is the same sweater. Red with what looks to be a large "F" on it, a block-type version of Laverne's (Laverne & Shirley) "L".)

T-Minus 0:00:05.... Annnnnnnnddddd....

February 28, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V7.4)
Time for the Leap of Faith rundown. And boy, will I be running it down. Same format as you know and love(?) from my Martial Law synopses. But first, a quick note. To avoid typing out Sex and the City and Leap of Faith over and over again, they are henceforth abbreviated SatC and LoF. Usually. Sometimes I forget and type the whole thing. After that, backspacing and re-typing would be even more typing, right?

Of course, no one should judge a show on its pilot. It's wrong, but everyone does it anyway. But even if no one did it, I'm not going through this again. Nonetheless: Caveat lector. If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, just cut to the chase.

One sentence quickie rundown, not counting the footnote: It's not "I want to run my penis through a meat grinder." misanthropic SatC Eighth-Circle-of-Hell abysmal* I was expecting, but it's not actually good.

(* Anything with Tom Green and most of MTV is the Ninth Circle.)

Ripping off the show quickie rundown: SatC is the two-bit whore of sitcoms. To steal a quote from Faith about her opinion of her friend's... uh... whoriness, LoF is the "three or four bit, minimum" whore of sitcoms. (I might give it eight - a one-dollar whore - since I'm sure there's some real junk out there that I just have been lucky enough to avoid.)

Sex and the City quickie rundown: If you liked SatC, you'll probably like this. Similar plot, similar characters, etc.

Gretchen Egolf related quickie rundown: Bottom line, I wouldn't watch this if Gretchen was in it.

I wouldn't watch this if Gretchen was in it and spent every episode wearing nothing but a leather bustier and thigh-high boots.

Actually, if that was what was on the line, I'd watch it. But since the odds are somewhere between "no effing way" and "I'd sooner hump roadkill", I can afford to take the moral high ground.

Graziiiiiip! The generic sound effect of a record scratching (used in the pre-show promo) almost is the same as the generic sound effect for a zipper, no thanks to heavy digital editing. Get over it, people. (Paula Zahn - this means you.)

Rose ate a stone: (This entry is an update, written March 13, 2002 AD.)

I just realized how hard it is to tie the actors to the roles to the cheap insults I used to describe them. Here's a translation chart for you, which is precisely as accurate as the IMDb LoF entry is:

Actor Name      Character Name    What I Call Them
Sarah Paulson   Faith Wardwell    Faith
Lisa Edelstein  Patty             The Trampy Friend
Regina King     Cynthia           The Successful Friend
Ken Marino      Andy              The Male Friend
Jill Clayburgh  Cricket           Faith's Mom
Brad Rowe       Dan Murphy        (The) Actor-Guy
Tim Meadows     Lucas             Faith's Boss
Bradley White   David             The Fiancé


Does the producer control the production values? The production values were high, IMHO. Felt halfway between sitcom and movie, especially with the welcome lack of a laugh-track. Was nice. Now if they'd actually written a decent script....

Quoth the Swedish Chef: "Es turn der morg de furndy burndy flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip." The opening credits were good, even if "opening credits" is a misnomer.

It was sort of like a black-and-white flipbook used to simulate motion in the bad old days. Showed the main cast (the four leads), then some extra shots of Faith. No long drawn out opening. You know how most successful sitcoms (like Cheers or The Golden Girls) cut theirs down about the 3rd season, once that memorable ditty is burned into your soul forever? This one beat it to the punch.

Not even the names of the actors were shown until the action was underway, just "Leap of Faith" and "Created by Jenny Bicks" in red type. Thank God, I was fearing it would be an overwrought "Friends" style opening. That scares me.

What time is it? Thre-... Six PM. The early segues were stuff of the brand "someone asks a question at the end of one scene and the start of the next one contains the answer". Cute, but it put me a little too much in the mind that I was watching a show. I like to lose myself in it, not have these jarring shifts to remind me where I am. (Judging by the post-commercial scenes, the writer must have got sick of 'em about halfway through the episode, too.)

Nah, a gay guy friend would be too obvious. Let's make him too obviously straight: Dumbing things down for the morons in TV land. In stressing that the male friend is not gay, as some critics have predicted, they made the point PDQ. Less than four lines in. In fact, twice in the first scene and twice again at a bar later. (And if this is the "Clueless Andy who has given up dating" mentioned in the press release I ripped off, he's ditched everything save the "Andy" - he seems pretty eager to hook up with someone female.)

Suddenly, I'm proud to be a guy. Like Sex and the City, I don't like any of the women, physically. Paulson's somewhat cute but too juvenile, the trampy friend is just... ugh... and the successful friend is okay but not my cup of tea (but she looks much better on the show than in the PR shots). Faith's mom isn't bad, though. I loathe the character with a hatred nicely within my "throttle the bitch" intolerance level, but if I had to pick one female cast member to find myself face-down in the naked bosom of some morning, it'd be her! I know a show's in trouble with me when the cast is laden with my contemporaries, but the only hormonal twinge I get is from the actress who was apparently in diapers during World War II.

(Just so you know, that's "one female cast member to find myself face-down in the naked bosom of... some morning" and not "naked bosom of some morning" since mornings don't have naked bosoms. Shame, that.)

I can imagine the day he proposed. Two weeks after he booked the chapel. The fiancé was grating and condescending in his first (only) 3 appearances. Such as in planning Faith's half of their wedded future (including quitting work and multiple rounds of baby-making, ASAP) without really getting her input on it. How can he be so perfect when he obviously makes Faith so ill at ease, even before she doubted things? And when he doesn't know what Faith wants in life? Or did he hear her "married by 25, a baby by 27, I'm already seven years off" speech too?

She doesn't look far enough out of diapers to be wanting to change them! It wasn't Gretchen's age that knocked her out of the running. Faith is 32. She wanted to be married at 25, with a kid by 27. Sarah Paulson is apparently 26. Gretchen Egolf is about 28* and doesn't have the little-girl look** Paulson does.

(*Funny, I'd have sworn she was 29-nearing-30. I'm starting to believe my own jokes now.)

(**At least, not as often. We're back to the dread hair rants again.)

Join the club, sister. As her trampy friend teases, "Faith likes an actor!" If I didn't know where this was going from the pilot rundowns I've read, I'd have seen it coming. The handsome actor-guy is great, romantic, etc. etc. etc., the fiancé is stacked to be unlikeable. (Meanwhile, all the other characters are just naturally unlikeable. Except for Faith, who's kind of a pitiable mass of confusion. Much to their credit, though, Faith was played as confused but normal. I was fearing the setup necessitated she be a ditz - to get herself in so deep - but they made the roots of her problems external to herself. I was impressed with that.)

Frolicking through meadows of green. Or Meadows of Tim, even. Tim Meadows' character (Faith's boss) is petty and annoying. But the actor did very well with it. It was rather a high point, only beaten out by one Faith/Andy dialogue scene. I don't want to hurt him like I did when he was on Saturday Night Live. But that's endemic of SNL, really.

It's shorthand for a D&D cleric with lots of protection spells. Geddit? Geddit? I still love the name "Faith Wardwell". (I have a WAV of Paulson saying it, I love it that much.)

My coat is tongued: Faith's coat was the Big Symbol of the episode. One of her friends says it's a "single girl" coat, not a "married girl" coat. Fiancé later disapproves of it. Actor-guy (don't expect names) thinks it's cool. Faith's mother buys a new one (in somber black) for her bridal shower gift and insults the heritage of the old one (which is purplish) by calling it the "bastard child of a bathmat".

Skullawannatongue: That's what I thought actor-guy said. It was really "Scale of one to ten.", as a fourth consecutive play revealed. And I'm told I mumble my words.

Slow quickie: The Faith/actor-guy sex happened during the commercial break. Here's a thought. If that was timed on the same scale as the show so far (which has run through two days real-time in the last 11 minutes, obviously making up for Watching Ellie's "22 consecutive minutes of life" schtick) then they were doing the nasty for a full half a day. Sounds a lot like Faith's trampy friend's description of her nightlong liaison with the coffee guy. (He was "up all night", in both the clean and the crass sense, if the trampy friend is to be believed. Funny, he didn't look drunk.)

But then, I do believe that Faith mentioned later that the sex lasted "all afternoon". Hmmm. So she leaves work to go to the apartment of a guy she'd met only briefly before, doesn't come back for likely the rest of the day, and the people at work - like the trampy friend - neither care enough to check up on her* nor reprimand her for taking the whole day to perform a one-hour errand**?

(*Tim Meadows' character had access to the address and could have done this.)

(**Tim Meadows' character had the personality to do EXACTLY this. When I didn't see a scene in which he aimed a barb at her the next day, I was amazed. But by then the pilot-get-the-environment-all-set-up pretense was dropped to deal with Faith's burgeoning testosterone output.)

Hey, I just noticed. Gretchen's last role was in Nicolas, playing Laura Miller, who worked at an ad agency. Here, Faith works at an ad agency. Ooooh. Spooky. Sleep with the nightlight on tonight, kiddies. I know I will. (Really. I like my nightlight.)

Button, button, who's got the button? As she hastily leaves after getting her... uhh... need sexual euphemism... can't think of one... uhh... pick a phrase, italicize it to make it sound "dirty" and hope for the best.... As she hastily leaves after getting her clock cleaned (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), Faith buttons her blouse wrong (every button is one hole off). Around here, they call that "buttoned jealous".

Really don't expect names: Coffee guy? Faith's trampy friend is being bonked by him nightly and she still refers to him as "Coffee Guy"? The joke "His name really is Guy? Oh, the irony!" was not worth it. So much for a strong or respectable female character who understands the difference between being comfortable with casual sex and being a tramp.

Of course, "Coffee Guy" is in the best tradition of SatC's men, who are penises with psychological problems. Except this time the problem is in the woman's lack of sexual stamina, not in some mental disorder of the man's. This is a slight improvement, except that it insinuates that a 30-year-old's already getting decrepit.

It's not Sex and the City. It's Sex and the City Lite: It's got the sex*, it's got the same city**, it's got the same dock-whore vibe, but the writer (Jenny Bicks, whose last gig was apparently SatC) is sick of people making this point. No wonder, it's the first and pretty much only point you can make.

(*Two of the female leads got rammed - one repeatedly - before the 12 minute mark.)

(**NYC, a fact which is beaten into the ground. Unless there's another city that has a Brooklyn and a Manhattan. And a Greenwich - but isn't that in Connecticut? And a Bedford. I didn't know about the Bedford, though.)

No, I'm not making any sick 'golden' jokes. If this is an emulation of a real bridal shower, I'm glad I'm not going to be a bride. The extras (well, their "characters") were committing the dual sin of being both synchronized and vacuous. Faith confesses to her relationship-destroying affair at the shower; however, the women are distracted and turned into a chorus of "Awwwww!"ers not a minute later by a reference to a Scotty dog from Faith's manipulative mom. (There's nothing wrong with saying "Awww." but no one says it in the middle of a marital crisis. No one worth knowing, anyway.)

Faith's mom and sister were both being petty and bitchy, though the mom's actions would, Real World, border on control-freak psychosis. I know some women act like that, but Faith's own family won't cut her slack? Yeeesh, I'd hate to be her growing up. No wonder she doesn't seem to mind admitting to details of her sex life - both premarital and extramarital - in front of her mom, sister, and a dozen generic people of different ages. How times have changed.

Speaking of pre-matrimonial shindigs: If someone tried to throw me a bachelor party - or take me to one - I'd quietly inform them of my dislike for parties of all sorts. If they did anything cute to trick me into going, someone would die.

And cut it now! No, not now, NOW! No, NOW! Argh! They cut to a different camera angle so often that they actually broke rhythm once. Successful friend and trampy friend share a mutual look of horror at the bridal-shower "Awwwww!" chorus and it's instantly cut to a shot of the trampy friend making a dismissive gesture and delivering her next line. Far too abrupt.

B&Aid: Band-Aid, she's wearing a Band-Aid? (Looks. Rewinds. Looks.) Damn, she's wearing a Band-Aid! They - the Band-Aid people or the makeup department - are making these things in Sarah-Paulson-flesh-tone now? All the ones I see are a kind of slight-jaundice flesh-tone.

Cuss count: You know, if I didn't mention the actual words, I'd be like the CAPAlert guy. But I'm a real bastard.:)

Slutty: 3
Whore: 3
Trollop: 3 (Is that bad?)
Bastard: 1 (But it was the valid "bastard child" use, so that's okay.)
Bitch: 1
General sex references: I lost count. Started in the first scene and just kept going.

Cuss count 2: For this review, not counting the cuss-count cusses.

Whore: 5 (Including a variant.)
Effing: 1 (Bit of a stretch, admittedly.)
Tramp(y): 9 (Here for repeat value.)
Bastard: 2
Bitch: 2
General sex references: I lost count. Started in the first bolded heading and just kept going.

Final Analysis: I did not like this. If it was a comedy, I didn't laugh. If it was a drama, I wasn't moved. It seemed like neither, and gets about that level of response from me. Just a sort of dull neutrality. Again, it wasn't turn-off-the-TV bad like its obvious progenitor Sex and the City, but it wasn't enjoyable. The cast was, to be honest, the only reason to keep watching. Most of them were capable. Of course, most of them filmed this pilot twice (once with Egolf, once with Paulson) so they'd better have an idea of how to do it.

I keep trying to imagine Gretchen in this role, and I can't, even if the afterglow scene would have been cheap entertainment. I just have too much... I don't know... appreciation for her to want to see her in something like this. Paulson's character - and Paulson herself, who's obviously capable as an actress but was saddled with this - was more pitiable than anything.

Was Sarah Paulson a good fit? I don't know. She reminds me too much of a little girl to be comfortable with a show where her sex life is the big thing. After all, in this one episode she's both shown dressing after a liaison with a stranger and in bed with her fiancé.

Would Gretchen Egolf be a better fit? No. I can see why they wanted her out. If the quality of her acting is as tied to the quality of the writing as I figure it is, then she must have been dreadful. There was nothing here to go on. The script is mean-spirited, weak, and misogynistic. Faith is the most likeable character only in that you pity her for having zero taste in a fiancé and zero luck in her family relations.

Indeed, if anything I actually fell back a level in fanboyishness thinking about Gretchen in the main role. I know she's got to work and everything - Lordy, do I understand that - but this would have been the first thing I'd ever seen of hers where I'd have to be bored in a bad way to watch it, and downright embarrassed to watch it in front of my mom. With Martial Law (either season) I never had that problem. Indeed, if my television wasn't in the mood to display TNN, I'd merrily show up at her door with a VHS tape and a pleading expression. With Leap of Faith I'd never do that. Never.

Leap of Faith? Fall into the depths, maybe.

March 7, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V7.41)
Oh, and if you wish to see your not-so-humble webmaster in action, watch him actually try to take a position and defend it on Usenet's group. If you don't care for Usenet but love Slashdot, I rigged up a QBasic kludge to turn my Usenet archive - or the Leap of Faith thread, at least, which I jumped into to provide my typically dissident opinion - into a Slashdottish page. It's here*. It's kind of rough, but so are my programming skills. It's also threaded, not sorted by date. If that's your style, try the flat text file.

*Yes, that's probably the worst 8.3 name I could have picked for the page.

You'll notice that I'm a little more relaxed in my criticism (if not my writing) on Usenet. That's mostly because on Usenet someone's likely to counter with a "prove it", and I don't want to get to a point where I have an opinion that can't be supported by pointing at a certain scene and saying "THERE!". I think I won a few points rather neatly.

(Promise: This'll be about the last you ever hear about Leap of Faith on this page. Okay, just one or two more after this. But they'll be short. They'll also all be V7.x rants, so that should give you some warning, at least.)

March 9, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V3.4)
Recently, I quoted a Chronicle on my Lack-of-Sleep Litanies page. Now, to turn the tables, I quote a Litany on this page.

March 9, 2002 AD (Len's Lack-of-Sleep Litanies 18.35)
Last night was fun. Gretchen Egolf in a bit of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Neal McDonough in far more of Murder Live!. Shame that I didn't like either movie.

Now, both actors can add to their resume: "Was sandwiched between softcore porn on Cinemax, censored hardcore porn on Playboy, and a rerun of Biography on A&E."

March 9, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V3.45)
I suppose I could rail against how Showtime Networks don't let non-Americans use their site, presumably because of some vague idea that Canadians and other foreigners are evil. Granted, most of the ones who would use the site would be stealing the signal, but there's also webmasters with international audiences who could use the site.

And then there's the brave men and women. The brave and daring individuals who refuse to kowtow to the vile CRTC's psychotic isolationism. The brave and daring people who have American satellite packages billed to American addresses. They shall prevail! WE SHALL TOPPLE THE PARANOID TYRANTS OF THE CRTC! WE WILL PREVAIL!

(Blinks.) Where was I? Oh, webmasters with international audiences. That's where I fit. Yep.

And then there's you. Maybe you wish to use their site to look up schedule information for The Talented Mr. Ripley. Maybe you're American. Maybe you're not. Maybe you have American friends with VCRs. Maybe you like PDFs. Maybe you know that they have a security hole in that they don't block their PDFs. Maybe you know a URL to this month's schedule PDF. Maybe you know a URL to next month's PDF. Maybe you don't mind a megabyte of downloading.

But what if you don't have PDF, you ask? Okay, this is the last time I'm doing this.... Airtimes for The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Sadly, the right side of her face has been JPGized into oblivion. Showtime:
March 24, 12:30 AM

Showtime Too:
March 20, 11:00 PM
March 30, 11:00 PM

SHO Next:
March 21, 11:35 PM
March 26, 1:00 AM
March 31, 12:00 AM

TMC Extra:
April 4, 9:00 PM (and later at 4:30 AM the morning)
April 9, 11:00 PM
April 14, 9:00 PM
April 17, 6:35 PM (and later at 2:35 AM the morning)
('appy birthday to me....)
April 26, 11:00 PM
April 29, 9:00 PM

Nothing for Quiz Show.

Oh, and regarding the image: It's there to fill the ugly black space left by the list. Don't be cute by interpreting it as some coded hint that Nicolas is going to be on Sundance next month. It isn't.

March 13, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.2)
According to the meta tag on a certain site, "The Juggernaut Theatre Company was formed in 1994 by a group of Juilliard Drama Division alumni interested in applying their classical training to experimental or conceptually adventurous pieces."

The "Photographing Women" page is even slightly more telling, though you might have seen it before. (Helluva bit of digital editing on that picture, no? Ick.) Warning: The "Arts Gymnasium" page crashes a full half of the web browsers on this machine.

But what gets me is the member list. Look for the word "Egolf", 'cause you sure aren't going to find "Gretchen". Thufferin' thuccotash!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist. If it bothered me that much, I'd have e-mailed 'em and asked them to fix it, right?:)

March 20, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V7.5LoF)
I'm feeling smug and oddly content. As I write this, I've culled the following things from the faboo Internet.

The next two weeks of Leap of Faith are looking truly banal. Next week's episode is supposed to be something about Faith volunteering to help care for premature babies at the local hospital and being so lousy at it that she is busted down to handing out porn in the fertility clinic. Pardon me for being a bastard, but doesn't that sound completely contrived? From maternity to fertility? Volunteer for something and get "demoted"? A woman handing out porn to men at a fertility clinic? (Don't ask how I know, but don't they usually just have a side room where all that stuff is kept? For some reason I can't see a guy being capable of arousal when there's a "porn librarian" checking out and in the visual aids before and after. Tell me you'd be able to look a strange woman in the eye knowing that she has presumed access to your medical records and the knowledge that you've masturbated in the past five minutes.)

Tomorrow's episode - dear Lord, I'm going to scream - is about... ah, bugger, I'll quote it. "When Andy (Ken Marino) gives Faith (Sarah Paulson) a hard time over not being spontaneous enough, she decides to go against the grain and check out a punk rock band at a dive bar downtown, but a little too much overindulgence leads to revealing pictures hanging in the men's bathroom - definitely not a part of the evening's plans." (There should be a law against using the cliché "plan something 'spontaneous' - a.k.a. stupid - to prove you're not dull and wind up regretting it" plot. With each iteration it gets trashier. One of TNN's Three's Company reruns yesterday had that same theme and they barely did it properly.)

Call me conservative - you won't be the first - but I found just the thought that someone pitched two ideas so phenomenally distasteful* that I've decided to revoke any nice comment I may have had for show and replace them with a statement: the pilot looks like the best they're gonna do. And, with material like this, Jenny Bicks has absolutely no right to be disgusted with the comparisons to Sex and the City. She's sunk right back to its level.

Holy Leap of Faith! (* While reading them I was chanting a litany of curses just blasphemous enough to get me a gig writing the successor to the legendary - and thoroughly fictional - Mass of Saint Sécaire**.)

(**Black Mass. Black enough to make a normal Black Mass look grayish. Very bad Black Mass. Unholy things whose merest glimpse strikes good Catholics blind Black Mass.***)

(*** Did I mention it's fictional? You can sleep at night. Not real. I'd suspect it'd be great for freaking uptight evangelicals out, though.)

But why am I smug? Simple. I'm smug because I'm thinking of the fact that Gretchen Egolf isn't in the lead role. We're talking dartboard material here, folks.

(Raises a glass that's conveniently materialized out of thin air.) Here's to Gretchen dodging - even if only in my opinion - a bullet, and here's hoping that she lands something rather lucrative, generally tasteful, well-written, and damned entertaining.

April 1, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V19.0)
Interesting. Very interesting.

Anything to stay up late. It was 12:30 AM (it's 1:00 AM now). I was trying out assorted search engines after reading the Slashdot comment thread about a new one.

Guess my first search criteria. No, go on. I suspect you're right.

Guess my second. (That one's a bit trickier - it was a vanity search.)

Funny things: Teoma turned up more results for my name than for Gretchen's name. And I'm just a random Internet twit with an uncommon name.

Funnier things: I realized during this that I hadn't abused Webcrawler in a long time. So I took a look around. A lot of the same old same old, but I hit something interesting. Very interesting. A fan page for someone else in the acting profession. Ensconced therein was an item about a new pilot. And with it was a link to the original Variety article from March 14th, which contained a rather relevant tidbit:

Gretchen Egolf has been cast in ABC's untitled Larry Gelbart project as the daughter of John Larroquette's media baron character. Martin Landau, Patrick Dempsey, Balthazar Getty and Robert Sean Leonard already have been cast.

I suppose I should be mildly offended that Yahoo didn't provide links for the three actors whom I like the most. But no matter, since doing news searches is simple enough. At the risk of jinxing it (of course, I dissed Leap of Faith and look what happened there) I'm going to say something about the show....

This is interesting. Very interesting. A cast I like and (mostly) know. That's a very good sign - time to dig some more.

(Five minutes later.) Rumor has it that it's a soap. Not my favorite genre, certainly - I don't think I have a favorite genre, actually - but at least I probably won't attempt to gouge my eyeballs out like when I watch a "dramedy".

Wait.... Do I get ABC? I think I do. I remember watching Skeleton Warriors (no, that's not representative of my physical age) and I think it was on ABC. No, wait, that was on CBS. Damn! I watch too many cable channels. I'd better get ABC, or someone's gonna be tortured in an interesting way. A very interesting way.

(Am I overreacting? Hell, yeah. Sleep. Need sleep.)

(Later, after a few hours of unconsciousness. Followed by breakfast and game shows.) Dunno how accurate this item is, but it makes an intere... intriguing read. The comments at the bottom make an even more intriguing read, and contain some valid points. I do agree wholeheartedly on one thing: if I hear the word Moldavia, I'm going to scream and jump out a window.

But that character name! Shelby? (Presumably) Shelby Corsair? Not exactly the most consonant name out there. (This show is turning into the anti-Leap of Faith for me. Interesting. Very interesting.)

(Oh, you may wish to follow things at The Futon Critic. Major news will be reprinted here.)

April 1, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V19.01)
In other April search engine news - I should declare slow news months more often - I found a place selling an autographed Jackie: An American Life playbill. For $100. For that kind of money I'd expect Jackie O herself to have signed it. But anyway....

Squiggle. Among the various incomprehensible JPGized squiggles is a squiggle that looks like it has a capital G and a capital E. And the caption text claims that Gretchen was one of the ten autographers of this playbill. And none of the other cast has initials even close to "G.E." And the signature looks more like a woman's handwriting. (I've never seen a guy write a "G" like that.)

Well, if anyone here uses that autograph address I've mentioned above (when I feared this would be a slow news month) at least it provides a starting point. If the two signatures are vastly different squiggles, then you know someone's lying. Unless, of course, she has a "sign a dozen things in quick succession" squiggle autograph that differs from her "sign one thing" less-of-a-squiggle autograph which in turn differs from her genuine "pay the electric bill by check" signature.

To continue the train of thought, the Internet Broadway Database (here's hoping it's more accurate than the service it was named after) mentions on its Jackie page that Gretchen was the understudy for the title role. Offers some amount of vindication to the reviewer who would've lost coin on a bet (look for the phrase "lay money") had he really put money where his mouth was.:)

Squiggle being intruded upon by Linda M. Larson's squiggle. (April 2) To further continue the train of thought and bring things full circle, this page has a list of autographed playbills that the site maintainer has received. The one for Jackie has the following text attached: Evidently the lead was out when they signed it since the understudy for her signed it, but it is still nice.

Makes me wonder how many of this page's readers would trade the autograph of the lead (Margaret Colin) for the understudy's.:)

Oh, and in case you visit that site and decide to rail against the fact that he didn't upload scans for all the playbills... don't bother. They're uploaded, just not linked - as I found when taking a wild-assed URL guess in the hopes of just such an occurrence. (Ah, nothing feels better than a one-in-a-million shot that PAYS OFF!) The major word of the title is what was used for most of 'em.

And, in case Angelfire dislikes my linking to it.... Here's a local copy.

April 8, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V12.51: A Further Tristan Egolf Chronicle)
Well, some site which I've since lost the URL for linked to this: rtsp:// (copy the URL into Realplayer, it won't work any other way) with some vague claim that Tristan Egolf had something to do with it. I can't tell: it runs so slow over my 56K line that it makes Stick Figure Death Theater look like IMAX. Note: the language is - ahem - "rather unrefined". (As is the premise.)

In other news, I found out that the literary half of the bloodline had an entry in a certain anthology (which has several related - and more likely up - webpages).

And I do wish that a certain book site (That I will not link to - why offer them the publicity?) wouldn't try selling the book by insinuating that all of the authors were writing on homosexual lovers when they really aren't. Fake controversy won't get you anywhere.

April 10, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V18.01)
Due to the odd timing of their spidering and my updating, I'm not tops at Google anymore, and likely won't be until the next spidering. Oh, bitter irony.:)

Odd thing though... it still recognizes this as the main page, and gretchen.htm as a secondary one. Bright program they use.

April 12, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V3.41)
A relevant Random Thought:

April 3, 2002 AD
He was involved in the development of More Lies About Jerzy, which did not get good reviews (he thinks it is superb, however)....

I found that incredibly amusing.

April 21, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V20.0)
Oh, wow. A fan page for one of the other people in Nicolas has found a trailer (or something that looks like a trailer) for the film. I am amazed, and would hug this person if I could.

But, since I'm an unholy gutter-crawling cur, I'm going to offer the URLs so you don't need to dig through the site:

I'm only sitting to make you feel taller, shortass. No, I'm not linking directly to them. I don't want my site's referrals showing up on their server. I'm sure you know how to use cut-and-paste. Better than the APSLA site's JavaScript. 300k is three times as big with a big quality jump. Still sucks compared to a DivX of the same size, though. (Since I can get the video but not the sound, it implies they haven't improved the video codec since the V2 or V3 days!)

I'm not about to install Quicktime 5 just for this: Not only do I dislike Quicktime, I got about seven e-mails of the same general theme as "FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T DO IT!" when I told someone that I was considering installing it. Apparently, QT5 is evil and enjoys getting its tendrils into your system with an intrusiveness second only to Internet Explorer.

A suggestion, if you do play it: Wear headphones. Trust me on this one, if the sound's anything like the video, it's probably not something you want telegraphed too far. To wit....

Watching this video was a fun trip. First time I got about ten seconds in when the trailer got rather steamy. My hormones locked themselves into overdrive and I missed the rest of the trailer in a testosterone and endorphin blur. Second time I kept most of my faculties and, when the first of the steamier moments happened, my first reaction was "My God, her hair is awful." (It looks dreadful in all of her previous-life-flashback moments. i.e. if she's in bed with Marcus Graham, it's bad. In bed with Jason Connery, it's good. At least, 'til Marcus starts rending the veils of time and nipping into the present.)

How about a second-by-second breakdown, from my third viewing? (Surprise moments tend to be more like my first or second viewing reactions, of course.:) Images are (usually) from the area they're next to. Some images have also been edited judiciously to remove the logo in the corner.)

0:01 - Fire. There's a lot of it in this video.

0:05 - Gretchen. There's a lot of her in the video too.

0:09 - What a revelation. Bare neck, bare shoulders, bare chest-down-to-just-above-her-breasts-often-used-in-simulated-sex-scenes, and I love it the first time. Second, her lousy hair kills it for me. Third, I'm having an adverse reaction. I mean, she's starting to look ugly!

0:19 - Ugh. I can tell this is a Marcus Graham moment.

0:20 - What the hell is THAT? Oh, damn, it's paint on a palette. I thought we were getting magic-mushroom freaky here.

0:22 - Yep, there's Marcus. I can't believe it, he's actually cuter than Gretchen is at the moment.

0:25 - He's painting something. Finger painting. (Doesn't explain the brush at 0:21, though. Hackwork editing.)

0:26 - What the...? Whatever it is, it's supple and has curves... damn, the light level in this scene is so low I couldn't tell an ass from an elbow. Looks like it could be a woman's back.


We need light dammit! And a wider angle! 0:19 - Okay, she's on her back, so it's not her back.

0:26 - So, unless they're doing some wild cutting from different scenes - a possibility, I'd like to have words with whoever edited this trailer - this is a woman's stomach and that curvature I mistook for a propped-up person's back is actually the lower ribcage. (I mean, tell me this doesn't look like it could be a back....) Ignoring the near-zero-odds possibility of a stunt stomach, he's finger painting Gretchen's stomach and lower ribcage, as well as (judging from a motion just at the edge of camera range back at 0:19) slightly further north. Suddenly I envy him.

0:27 - I was just thinking about how naked women and paint are a combination that does nothing for me. Same with Kari Wuhrer in that film Cinemax seems to always be showing at midnight. Everything's great but then someone gets the idea to splatter paint all around and it all goes to hell for me. I guess I'm of the school that believes that a woman in some state of undress has only two ways to go - re-dressed or undressed. I don't care much about which way is chosen, but don't try thinking of a third choice. If I wanted to see women naked but for a thin layer of a synthetic polymer, I'd watch Baywatch.

WANTED: Cute alt tag jokes. Write to.... 0:30 - Cute hair. Jason Connery time. (Unlike the other images in this Chronicle, this particular shot isn't from 0:30 in the trailer. I just like it.)

0:31 - Is it just me, or (for all her cuteness) is Gretchen looking a bit... gaunt? Drawn?

0:34 - What hackwork. Do most trailers have scenes where people change position dramatically during one "scene" because the two different shots composing the scene aren't really next to each other in the film?

0:42 - Marcus in the here-and-now. For once, Gretchen trumps him in the "Who I would sooner look at." stakes.

0:48 - Marcus in the there-and-then. Lousy hair.

0:54 - That's the ugliest drawing of Marcus Graham I've ever seen. Only, but ugliest.

0:57 - John de Lancie!

Am I the only one who's weirded out? 0:59 - Gretchen's thin forearms still weird me out.

1:07 - Rose petals on the bed. Oooh. Must've cost more for the petals than the extras I've seen so far.

1:15 - John de Lancie! Or Gene Hackman. Or Colin Baker. (Man, this video codec sucks rocks.) Or Jasper Carrot. Yeah, maybe it's Jasper.

1:16 - (Cue announcer voice.) "The omnipotent Q throws the crew of the Enterprise into confusion by forgoing his godlike powers and instead hiring a human woman with ties to half the crew roster on tonight's Star Trek: 'Fa-Q'!"

1:17 - Seriously, notice all the ST:TNG and TNG-to-DS9 actors Gretchen's been on shows with? From Michael Dorn (Worf) and Armin Shimerman (Quark and other generic Ferengi) in Martial Law to John de Lancie (Q) here to working for executive producer Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. Will Riker) on Roswell. That's four and I'm not even thinking hard.

1:18 - If anyone, I don't care if she was as cute as Gretchen, tried to pitch an ad idea with that ugly a picture of Marcus, I'd never buy it.

1:33 - To Jason Connery: I heard you were great in Doctor Who episode "Vengeance on Varos". I have heard many other good things about you. This scene where you're trying to fight your way through phantasmal fire is not good. Your look is not a look of confusion and fear. It is the look of a painful case of indigestion.

(1:33 redux, October 1st, 2002 AD: Scratch the phantasmal, possibly.)

1:35 - This is the second time in the trailer Gretchen's vaulted forward as she woke up from a nightmare. Second most common source of motion in a bed for her character.

1:53 - Do successful single women keep teddy bears not as shelf-bound tokens of childhood, but as sitting-next-to-you-on-the-couch items? Just asking.

1:54 - Wait, is she wearing pants in this scene?

1:55 - Damn, she is. The video format just thinks beige and fleshtone are the same thing. Quicktime sucks.

Ooh. Emoting. 1:56 - Five unadulterated seconds of Gretchen emoting. Can't hear what she's saying but, boy, does she ever look good while saying it....

2:15 - Aww, cute widdle baby! Cute widdle doll, anyway.

2:22 - Medical drama time. Gretchen is flat on her back AND dressed. Wow, that's looking like a rarity for this movie.

2:27 - I assume from context that your character's car is on fire, Gretchen. Don't smile or even look a bit like you're smiling, it's bad form. Or more editing hackwork.

2:29 - I just realized that Gretchen was not shown standing next to anyone. Behind, in front of, hugging, but not right next to. Here I am trying to get a decent judging on her height and the only thing I can compare her to is a horse's ass.

2:33 - Tagline time: "Love is eternal". I much prefer the new Pet Shop Boys song, "Love is a Catastrophe".

2:46 - End.

Just judging by the trailer - a horrible thing to do but it's all I have to go by - this is (dare I say) not the greatest movie, from a critical standpoint. Not even a decent one.

From a fanboy standpoint, it looks like the blockbuster of the year (whatever year it comes out). I mean, she's the star of the film. You get to see Gretchen in business suits, sweaters, Victorian wear, halter tops, nighties, in her jammies with Jason Connery, out of her jammies with Marcus Graham (even if it's only the PG/PG-13 brand of nudity - this thing isn't MPAA rated so I don't know). Watch as cute guy #1 and cute guy #2 fight over her! Oooh. Women want to be her and men just want to be inside her. Great fun for all genders.

Which is, of course, a possible problem with the movie. It sounds like - to steal from the one and only (thanks Internet Archive) Nicolas review I found - "an earnest yet witless stab at romantic adventure". If you actually engage a brain cell or two, you might find it badly lacking.

April 22, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V10.999)
Even with the TV interference, she looks great. A new season of Nero Wolfe has started. In a flip-flop from the previous year, the two-hour premiere was great but the first one-hour episode was hampered by poor acting from several of the actors. For instance, just when I thought Maury Chaykin had Wolfe nailed down he fumbled somewhat. Nero Wolfe, while somewhat irascible, doesn't seem a man wont to raise his voice any higher than necessary (though I can see him yelling at Fritz during one of their many fights over the details of gourmet food). Chaykin is still a few decibels too high at times.

But anyway... at the end of each episode, during the credits, they hawk video copies of Nero Wolfe: The Doorbell Rang. At the very end of this ad, they run a few shots. Sometimes from The Doorbell Rang and sometimes from the current episode. Want to guess who shows up in a one-second shot when they run the Doorbell ones?:) A minimal Gretchen fix if you missed the whole episode, but better than nothing. At least you can see how she looked in that gorgeous green dress. (Update, May 5, 2002 AD: So I upload this and now they cut the Doorbell ad short so they can put in a plug for The View. That thing must be a show for lesbians, judging by the ad's excessive women-kissing-women and women-poking-women's-boobs shots.)

Or, you could just look at this picture which I nicked through a rather roundabout method: VCR to television to loaned digital camera to PC. Turned out pretty decently, all things considered. Only real problem is the bands of tint that run through it. Click on it for a larger copy. (Update, May 9, 2002 AD: For all future updates, it'll be a two-step process to get the larger ones. Since I like keeping things (relatively) standard, I'll link to the Image Magic page where the larger version will be available, in multiple gamma levels once I have a free moment.)

I took a few shots via this method from different shows she's done. You'll see more - trust me.

April 27, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V21.0)
Seems real, though I have my doubts (especially given the slapdash attempt at organization). Is the acting business really this lucrative? (Look for Gretchen's name.)

April 27, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V19.1)
While wishing that ABC picks up the new pilot of Gretchen's (oh, and those Landau and Larroquette guys) for the fall season, you may wish to search for "Rosebud, My Ass" (the title of the pilot, though not - I hope - the series).

May 1, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V22.0)
Early update time so as many of you as I can manage will get the following tidbit:

Quiz Show (1994, Dra.) ***1/2, John Turturro, Rob Morrow. A congressional investigator uncovers game show fraud. [2:00]

Lip-bite, overbite, all the same at this quality. WGN Chicago (C-Band: G5,07):
Fri, May 24, 8:00 PM
Sat, May 25, 1:00 PM

WPIX New York (C-Band: W3,09):
Sat, May 26, Midnight. (As in, it just turned from May 25th to the 26th.)

KTLA Los Angeles (C-Band: W3,15):
Sat, May 25, 11:00 PM
Sun, May 26, 8:00 PM

All times Eastern.

Looks like Quiz Show just hit the WB affiliate circuit.

Now, I'm going to make a couple of assumptions. Namely, I am assuming and hoping the WBvians won't commit the vile blasphemy of cutting the book party scene out. If they dare do that, I'll have to hurt them.

Two paragraph digression, run while you still can....

A second horrible crime that I fully expect is for them to alter the closing credits to put their own plugs in, removing Lyle Lovett's marvellous rendition of "(The Ballad of) Mack the Knife", which (so I'm told) uses some of the verses that were in the original (well, original translated) version of "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" from Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, but cut from the Bobby Darin version. It's a very dark song, far darker than the Darin version would indicate. Yes, there are crimes more vile than murder for money.

To improve your mood after listening to Lovett's version, you might want to listen to this one, which I find rather enjoyable - mostly because I can't understand it. I think it's being deliberately silly, but there should still be laws against rrrrolling that many rrrrrs. (Update, May 19th, 2002 AD: Seems to be down. Oh well, just imagine a guy with a funny accent singing in what might be German and rrrolling every rrrr for a good half second.)

But, anyway....

Our favorite then-student-of-Juilliard shows up at about the 10 minute mark (not counting commercials). A quick rundown:

The quiz show of the title, Twenty-One, comes on. They ask some questions about Paul Revere. Wait for the second one ("Who rode with Paul Revere?") to be answered. A split second after that there's a cut to a crowd shot of some people at a party. Look near the center of the screen. I missed this one on the first two viewings, and only caught it on the third because of the dress!

(Update, May 25, 2002 AD: They didn't cut the book party scene, they cut the Twenty-One scene, so my instructions are all wrong. Oh well, better than the book party scene getting cut. Though Gretchen missed the proverbial scissors by very little - about 4 lines of dialogue from the Van Dorens were cut from earlier in the scene. Oh, well, better them than her.:)

Wait through the next conversation for the line, "Sorry I'm late, it's impossible out there; you can't get a cab without a dragnet!" After that line is spoken, watch for Gretchen appearing from the right side of the screen.

And don't blink. As Gretchen herself said: "If you go to get popcorn, you'll miss me."

And don't blink during the closing credits either. While Gretchen's name is nothing remarkable - for instance, it's spelled right - look about three credits down. Yep, Gretchen Egolf's "Student at Book Party" got credited above Calista Flockhart's "Barnard Girl", if only because of order of appearance.:)

If you can't see it for some reason, listen to this as you look at the picture, and imagine the wonders of moving pictooors. And try to forget that the only decent Quiz Show shot I have is one where she's doing a lip-biting grin that, with low picture quality, is easy to mistake for a nasty overbite.

(Oh, and I'll try to have an update on the 15th, as always. It will likely be uneventful, though.)

May 2, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V19.2)
Every time I say I'll be low on updates.... Here's some more soap stuff.

BIG DISCLAIMER: I am mad. "Pissed off" is probably the best description for how I act when I see perfectly innocent words being crucified. As such, I am going to insult everyone - and I mean everyone - who gets in my way for this next rant. Gretchen Egolf is in my way. I am in my own way. You may or may not be in my way, depending on your level of sensitivity. Larry Gelbart is in my way and has a bull's-eye painted on his ass. There will be a lot of opinionated ranting. Keep that in mind. To stress again: Your curiosity is your own downfall. If you don't wish to read such a text, click here and go on to something more fan-related.

BIG UPDATE, MAY 14, 2002 AD: This rant suddenly took on a new dimension. Rosebud (My Ass) has not been picked up for the fall season. Apparently, the curses I spout via my cursor have more power than I know. Full details below.

I've got to say this: It's gonna take an actor far, far better than Gretchen to turn a script this leaden into gold. And a far, far better actor wouldn't be doing something like this. But on to the major details of the page linked above.... From this point to the next asterisk bar, the quoted article is in plaintext and my comments are in italics.

* * *

(...) And yo-ho-ho, matey, quite the clan it is. Here's some promotional copy Mr. Gelbart has delivered to ABC to describe the series, should it be picked up for a full season's run:

In the next year,
one will get pregnant
one will get divorced,
one will find love
and one will lose their mind.

All will see their net worth
increase by two billion dollars . . .

... after taxes.

But Mr. Gelbart may have been trumped by this description of the show's cast and characters that ran on Baseline at earlier this month, one that very succinctly spells S-O-A-P.

For an incredibly good reason. That paragraph up above IS the description of a soap.

(Snip to an example of how Gelbart is a better writer than Aaron "West Wing" Sorkin.)

Willowy Billi Brand, 34 (sitting on the edge of the bed in a half-slip, (Going for good taste right off, I see.) putting her hose on, to someone off-camera): Doesn't anyone ever say no to [media magnate Brandon Corsair]?

Another Woman's voice: You don't say no to a tsunami.

(A different angle reveals that Billi is speaking to another woman dressing for the evening -- Shelby Corsair [daughter of Brandon Corsair])

I'm sure you all remember which of my one obsessions is playing Shelby Corsair. Yes, when I saw the thing about "dressing for the evening" my hormones hit overdrive, but for once my brains had the sense to tell my balls to go rot in Hell. I can focus when I need to.

Shelby (continuing): You don't ask an earthquake to give you a fair shake. (I'm a poet and my feet show it....) The chief perk of being a pope of communications is that you can excommunicate anyone you like. (And you get to sit around saying "Oh, Jesus." a lot.) You don't kiss the ring, he gives you the finger. (The great thing about me is that my ring is on my middle finger. It helps me beat the dead metaphorical horse a bit more, y'know?)

Billi: But damn, Shelby. Outing some poor . . . schmuck?

Shelby: I can't be late for this.

Billi: Put yourself in his place.

Shelby: I am in his place, Billi. I have a same-sex partner. My Mr. Right is Mrs. Right. (In his place, maybe. His position? Never! Not without some rather, ahem, "exotic" devices, at least.)

Amusing. Everyone (including me) screamed how butch she was early on in Martial Law, but it took three years for her to get around to playing one.

Billi: Then why is [Character X] fit for lynching and nobody ever comes after you with a rope?

From the number of heavy-handed metaphors and other abuses of English, I'm thinking I'll go buy a rope for scriptwriter Larry Gelbart.

Shelby: For starters, I have never spent so much as five minutes of my life cowering at the back of a closet. And what you and I do under the silken sanctity of our sheets is something an inordinate number of men have always fantasized taking part in. (I heard that.) Whatever [Character X] is supposed to have done with the man in the digital mask, (WTF is that supposed to mean? The blurring they use to censor people's faces?) no man would dare admit he'd like to find out what it might feel like being part of a hero sandwich. (That's one damn tortuous - and torturous - sentence.) I'm a publisher, Billi. Very few people have any damp dreams about a publisher in the nude -- let alone in flagrante. (I heard that, too.) But what -- or who -- a jock gets into when he peels off his own, that is another, much juicier story. Now, come on, babycakes, or I'll pour you into your dress yourself. ('Myself', I presume.)

(Okay, I'm going to replay that last line - Line? Try chapter! - with all of my wiseass comments removed. I want you to tell me that you don't get lost SOMEWHERE. It's so thick I have to put effort into reading it. Listening to it, I wouldn't get a second chance.)

Shelby: For starters, I have never spent so much as five minutes of my life cowering at the back of a closet. And what you and I do under the silken sanctity of our sheets is something an inordinate number of men have always fantasized taking part in. Whatever [Character X] is supposed to have done with the man in the digital mask, no man would dare admit he'd like to find out what it might feel like being part of a hero sandwich. I'm a publisher, Billi. Very few people have any damp dreams about a publisher in the nude -- let alone in flagrante. But what -- or who -- a jock gets into when he peels off his own, that is another, much juicier story. Now, come on, babycakes, or I'll pour you into your dress yourself.

Billi (donning her dress): I guess it spoils you, having a father who actually cared about your feelings.

Shelby: Results. That's what my father cares about. And you're looking at one. Wife barren? Dump her, marry your secretary and knock out an heir and a spare -- as well as the irresistible little girl that you go to bed with every night. ... Then recycle your first marriage and give your brood mare a gift certificate to the world, which she now circles endlessly, drinking gobs of terrible green goop and searching for her own personal Holy Grail -- a pair of perfect 7 1/2 double-As.

(I'm sorry, but that "Dump her" sentence couldn't survive a grade school grammar class. The pronoun switch from 'you' as in her father to 'you' as in her lover threw me into some very ugly thought territory for a few seconds while I sorted it out... Lord Almighty, I HOPE Gelbart meant for there to be a pronoun shift!)

(And what in the name of the Demiurge is going on with that other sentence: "Then recycle your first marriage and give your brood mare a gift certificate to the world, which she now circles endlessly, drinking gobs of terrible green goop and searching for her own personal Holy Grail -- a pair of perfect 7 1/2 double-As." It loops and spins and digresses and regresses almost criminally. No wonder Gelbart's last big things were M*A*S*H and Tootsie - he obviously hasn't done anything decent since!)

Update, June 13, 2002 AD: From Dan Patanella, on that "Recycle your first marriage" sentence: "Well if we had a Jim Morrison soundalike read those words in a baritone added swirly organ music behind it, we would almost have a Doors song. :D"

* * *

I tried. I really, really tried to be nice. I didn't want this to be another Leap of Faith. I hoped for something of quality. I almost prayed for it. And this is what I got. Something that might just be the one single solitary pilot that's worse than Leap of Faith.

The homosexuality I don't give a damn about; talk about homosexuality doesn't bother me. (When no one's listening, I sometimes sing the gay male role in the Pet Shop Boys' In Denial, for crying out loud.) It's gratuitous homosexuality that I take issue with, just like I take issue with gratuitous straight bedroom scenes. Does it have to be there? Is it really needed to show them getting dressed? Does the show have a T&A quota I should know about? Just once I'd like to see a homosexual character who isn't introduced in a state of undress with their partner, habitually prancing about, or a one-joke pony. Just like I'd like to see a strong black character who isn't a "homeboy". I want someone to make the minority aspect just another character trait that's only somewhat important, instead of the one thing that gets thrown in your face at the slightest opportunity. I want someone scripted like a REAL HUMAN BEING!

(Oh, great. I'm getting back to all the reasons I hated Sex and the City and Leap of Faith. Bah.)

For all I joke - and show - such things, I really think there's a time and place for them and this looks to be neither the time nor the place.

But I might be able to tolerate the gratuitous fleshiness everywhere if the writing were good. It isn't, not this scene, and that's why I'm mad. Anything but a careful and well-timed delivery is going to result in confusion from the audience. And unlike a webpage or a book, you usually can't go back and reread a TV show three times so you're sure you understand. (Gretchen must have had the giggles at some point. I can't see someone trying to read this and getting it right on first go. Either because of how hard it would be to memorize or because of how phenomenally awful it is.)

And, of course, Gretchen's Big Speech delivery is abysmal. She can't read lengthy overwritten and under-quality text without doing it dreadfully. Some of her Deep Meaningful Speeches on Martial Law were weak, and her Big Bad Gal moment on Roswell contrasted painfully with what were otherwise three episodes of her to-date best television work.

Sigh. I'm in an even worse mood now, if I write anything more it's going to be half-formed and pointless. Time to relax and turn things over to Rez for an opinion on the writing: "Overwritten, ponderous, and speechified: makes me think of a stage soliloquy delivered by a $20 hooker with overtones of lesbian-wannabe."

Works for me.

May 3, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.5)
(1:10 AM) Remember that Cosby episode? I found out which one it apparently is from here, after tripping over something in Alexa's search engine (which is really just Google in drag) and following up on it.

Actually, all this stuff is my mom's. "Mud".
Pauline unwittingly gives away a valuable plate. Cast: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Madeline Kahn, Doug E. Doug, T'Keyah Crystal Keymah, Joseph Siravo, Devere Artis, Gretchen Egolf, Ashley Remy, Theresa Merritt.

I'm amazed at my luck. The single page this item was on updates daily. The search engine spiders just happened to hit it at exactly the right time. What are the odds of that? Say, 1/150? (100 episodes, 5 shown a week - (100 / 5) x 7 plus a bit more for holidays and pre-empts.)

No idea when next it'll be on, or even if it's right, but here's a synopsis. Second season, originally aired March 2, 1998.

(9:25 AM) The cosmic dice have rolled in my favor again, adding another 1/100 chance to the stack. I turned on the 8:00 Cosby feed in order to figure out how long I'd need to wait for a shot at the correct episode. I was slack-jawed to find the right episode airing as I sat there. A quick grab for the VCR remote and I got most of Gretchen's stuff on tape. (It was just two scenes, but she had more to say than Quiz Show and The Talented Mr. Ripley combined - the MP3 below is only part of the first one.)

A couple of other things: I'm impressed by her ability to do a good phone conversation. (I don't think she's using a phone-with-a-real-earpiece sometimes used for actors who struggle with that kind of thing.) A lot of actors have a hard time talking into a dead telephone and acting like there's someone they know on the other end. Same with cut-between-the-people dialogue shots where all of one person's lines are filmed at once, followed by all the second person's lines.

First time I've seen her in something that could be called a genuine comedy. I know they say that there's little difference between acting comedy and acting drama, but something just seemed different. She seemed more... I don't know... animated. Even her voice seemed subtly different. (Oh, and click here to see how a cow could become a Buick.)

Loved the hair. Loved the style, loved the color, just loved it.

Wardrobe deserves a medal. An artist-type (running a pottery shop called "Club Mud" no less) wearing footwear that looked like hiking boots? Perfect!

So, tossing in a modest 1/5 for it being the one month I had access to a digital camera to grab some cheap screenshots, that's a one in 75,000 chance of this entry coming out like it did. Shame I don't believe in fate, as this would serve admirably as proof.:)

May 14, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V19.3)
Today at 4 PM (Eastern), ABC released the info on the fall season (big table-heavy page, take a nap while it downloads). Contained therein was a distinct lack of anything called "Rosebud" whatever or even "Larry Gelbart Project". Yet another pilot of Gretchen's sitting on a network shelf somewhere, though I can't say I'm all that heartbroken. (If you just got here from above, you know why.)

In slightly less relevant news, Leap of Faith has got the axe from NBC. So, no matter how that would've turned out, Gretchen would still be unemployed now....

However, if any of you work at ABC, please understand that I still don't advocate theft of network/studio property. And if you do happen to steal the Rosebud/The Corsairs pilot, I won't tell you a dropoff address for me. No siree, cough, cough, cough.

June 2, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V3.5)
I don't say it's a slow month and it turns into one. Then Tripod screws my cgi-bin and kills my logs for the last fortnight....

Ah well, not why you're here. After failing to find anything new on Gretchen Egolf, I decided to turn my attentions to the guy half of us are jealous of.

No, not David Conrad, though one does slightly envy the smooching in the course of acting opposite Gretchen's Vanessa Whitaker.

No, not Marcus Graham, though it's hard to shake the stomach-painting scene, especially when I keep linking to it.

You know, maybe writing this update while Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" runs on the MP3 player wasn't such a hot idea.

I can get away with wearing orange. I have the chest for it. Actually, I'm talking about Gretchen's legal and holy cuddle bunny since July 1999, Mason Phillips.

Searching for Mason via Google isn't as easy as it sounds, since "Mason Phillips" is a name about 100 times more common than, say, "Gretchen Egolf".

However, I found one webpage - I should've written down the criteria I used to filter most of the junk out and leave this - that mentioned that name in connection with character of bad guy monk Wyatt on the show Lexx.

Lexx, to be honest, is not my cup of tea. (It's made in Nova Scotia; by default I hate it.) However, some people like it enough to put up fan webpages with screencaps. And some people are even nice enough to mail me the screencaps they took, including three of Mason. (Well, I'm not counting a few shots, like the ones on the linked page tied to the paragraphs headed "He takes her to a dwelling." - he's the orange-red blob on the right - and "Back at the monastery," - his hands, apparently.)

(Two other people and I spent about five minutes discussing if this was actually the same Mason as in all the "real" pictures I have. After that we debated about the likelihood that all three pictures were Mason. Eventually we all shrugged and said "Okay, fine, it's him.")

I wrangled a review out of the webmaster mentioned above but he seems to have fallen off the face of the earth - either that or my last e-mail did - and I didn't get a reply to my permission to quote request. I'll take it on faith that he'd give it. (How convenient.) Anyway, here we go, edited slightly for punctuation:

It's a weapon. So what if it looks like a sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who? I thought he turned in a very decent performance. He had that smarmy edge (which is so essential to Lexx baddies) down quite well and actually had a perverse chemistry with Xev ;-))


As far as I know, the episode Lyekka vs. Japan actually was shot on location. I'm not sure of the precise environs, but do know the cast travelled to Japan to do the outdoor scenes at any rate. (Not sure about the indoor ones, and then of course there would have been green screen work, I imagine, where Lyekka is rampaging around Tokyo.)

Japan? First Gretchen in Canada for Nero Wolfe (I suppose, since that's where they film it), now Mason in Japan for Lexx. They can't sit still. (Where do they get the money for all this travel? Surely all of it can't be covered.)

Another thing I picked up on is that the webmaster noticed no accent on Mason. For someone who's referred to as Welsh or generic British whenever I hear about him, either Mason's great at accents or he's not as British as everyone says. (Of course, some faint and possibly false evidence implies that Gretchen could've claimed, by jus soli, to be a European of some sort. That doesn't change anything about her American upbringing. First person who busts my shaky Latin and shakier reasoning by pointing out that she's likely American by jus sanguinis gets their head beaten in.)

Could I speak to that wanker The Archon? Yes, I'll hold.... Though the fact that most Lexx filming is done in Halifax makes me wonder. Was Mason actually in town? Why didn't he track me down and beat me up? Doesn't he care enough to pick up the phone and say "I hate you, you bastard!"? I've lusted after and insulted his wife, I've belittled his social standing, I've made a mockery of his marriage! I've spent years working at this relationship so we'd have a deep and strong animosity, and he's ignoring me! How dare he, after all I've done for him! That's it, I'm going home to mother.

June 7, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.55)
I'm sorry, but with her hands like this, I can only think of cheap boob jokes. Those of you with a C-Band satellite dish might be waiting for the North American feed of Cosby on Telstar 5 (T5) Transponder 10. Well, rejoice, for I am here with information.

It's on Monday to Friday, at three times:
Strip feed at 2 AM Eastern.
Double strip feed at 7 AM Eastern.
Strip refeed at 10:30 AM Eastern.
Now, to collect a week's worth of info on the 11:30 feed....

June 14, 2002 AD: I didn't have the brains to check all three feeds this week, though I should have. The strip feed and refeed should be identical. I don't know for sure, but I checked this morning's and they matched. However, the double feed isn't and that didn't occur to me until yesterday morning.

Gretchen's episode is #219 - "Mud". Cross your fingers and hope, because they're jumping about randomly.

Here's what they've been running:
11:30 strip feed: 414 412 413 409 416 417.
7:00 AM double strip feed: 317 315.

In that order.

As to pattern, I have no idea. They're roaming about too much. If the 7 AM one is skipping every second episode, and going backwards(!) they'll be at 219 in 10 days. (As in, Friday the 28th.) This, however, is conjecture.

(Update, June 22, 2002 AD: Okay, I have enough info now. What they do is run 5 consecutive episodes each week, but not in order. They also sometimes slip in an episode they skipped last week. By this math, #219 will be around on the 11:30 strip feed early August. It'll be on the 7:00 AM double strip feed early September. Sorry, it's going to be a bit of a wait. Local cable schedules could be up to a month off, though. Caveat spectator*.)

(*Some Latin words - like spectator - have survived unchanged better than others, with only the pronunciation changing.)

My suggestion? Watch early, watch often. It gives the episode number and title before each episode. Combined with a page like this, you should figure it out. (If you get it on your local cable networks, you likely won't see the episode name/number. You'll just have to do a lot of synopsis reading, or guess at the title from the way the episode unfolds. Sorry, can't help you there. Your local paper might list the episode title.)

June 7, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V12.52)
O brother, where art thou? He's out getting his new book published! Nice to see Tristan's keeping busy.

You know, I could have sworn I saw Tristan on one of those political-pundits-screaming-at-each-other shows, though I didn't see why he'd be on tap to discuss such things. I found out a while later that it was a round table on the publishing industry. Could it have been him...? Nah.

June 7, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.11)
In a May update to a January item, I point out that sending fan mail to a studio is a very bad idea.

In an even older item, I point out that Gretchen isn't in Leap of Faith.

In a newer item, I point out that Leap of Faith isn't on NBC anymore.

That doesn't explain why "one of the oldest and largest authorities on autographs"* has a subpage** containing an address that flies in the face of all three items. It starts "Gretchen Egolf / c/o Leap of Faith / NBC Studios" and then the street address.

* As they call themselves!
** Which I'm not linking to - it's not in Google and obviously shouldn't be, judging by the inaccuracy.

Why do I mention it here? One good reason. So anyone who hasn't read my page before will know now: FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, DON'T SEND ANYTHING TO THAT ADDRESS! I'd also suggest you be careful of any of their stuff.

Update, June 9, 2002 AD: Now the other autograph page I've spoken of is reporting the Leap of Faith address as real. So much for believing that site, too!

June 12, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V20.1)
I channel-surfed through an episode of Star Trek: TNG and noticed a few faint similarities between the episode (or, as the linked reviewer claims, the source novels: Anne Rice's The Witching Hour and Lasher) and a certain independent film in which I've taken an interest....

(Henceforth called TNG and Indep so as not to actually say the name of the film. The director/writer of the film has some idea that this page exists - don't ask how I know, but I know - and I don't think he'd like what I'm about to say. Further disclaimer: I'm not making an accusation of plagiarism. It could be coincidental, or even homage.)

They both had (as best as I can tell):

A long line of relationships throughout the ages:
Indep: The same two people via reincarnation.
TNG: A nonhuman entity and the women of a certain family.

A being who was out for his own best interests, to the detriment of his target:
Indep: Ghost of a dead guy rather ticked off that his woman is more corporeal than he is.
TNG: A nonhuman entity out for survival or attainment of a corporeal form.

Cheap pandering to the hormones in a scene with the main male and female:
Indep: The painting scene, again.
TNG: Gates McFadden writhing around with her invisible piece of 'anaphasic' tail. I didn't see it, but I'm told it was entertaining.

Flowers coming out of nowhere:
Indep: I think they came out of nowhere, anyway.
TNG: More flowers, I'm told. Bigger budget, I assume.

The word "gothic":
Indep: The phrase "Gothic Romance" has been bandied about.
TNG: C'mon, ripped off of Anne Rice?

June 29, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V22.1)
Early update time (again!) so as many of you as I can manage will get the following tidbit:

Quiz Show (1994, Dra.) ***1/2, John Turturro, Rob Morrow. A congressional investigator uncovers game show fraud. (AL) [PG-13, 2:10]

Cinemax East Coast (C-Band: G1,19):
Sat, July 13th, 7:30 AM
Tue, July 23rd, 1:15 PM

Cinemax West Coast (C-Band: G5,16):
Sat, July 13th, 10:30 AM
Tue, July 23rd, 4:15 PM

All times Eastern. It's also listed several more times on the Cinemax site schedule.

And this time, it's going to be the full 2 hours and 10 minutes, so there won't be as much of the movie cut out as last time, meaning my original instructions there should be more accurate. Enjoy! (And, as always, I'll still update the 15th or thereabouts.)

June 30, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V23.0)
This is, er... an interesting bit of rumor. Also the most amusing image of Gretchen I've had in a long time. (My hormones were still years from going online when Lynda Carter was kitted out as everyone's favorite Amazon, so I can't understand the allure there, but at least Carter looked "right" in the suit. With Gretchen, the thought was enough to make me burst out laughing.)

Of course, it's just a rumor. Fairly old as rumors go, too, as that Ian McKellen news item just below the Gretchen one is dated (on Ian's site) June 20th, 2002. Though it's not often you hear Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, and Gretchen Egolf all mentioned for the same role, huh? Thankfully, it's also not often you hear Gretchen Egolf and Chyna (formerly of the former WWF) mentioned for the same role!

(20 minutes later.) Another site mentions it, as well. (AOL search engine this time.) Eventually, the web of highly incestuous rumor sites all seem to point back to Dark Horizons. Take that as you will. (I, for one, don't believe it.)

July 7, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.6)
Remember, way back when, when I mentioned a play called Cardenio? Well, silly me, I didn't think to search the New York Times website for it.

A search for the phrase "Gretchen Egolf" (sans quotes) turns up a couple thousand entries, most written by a columnist with the first name Gretchen. Using advanced search to look for "Gretchen AND Egolf" turns up four, all good. They are reviews of Jackie, Ring Round the Moon, More Lies About Jerzy and Cardenio. (Not in that order.)

The actual Cardenio review focuses more on the fact that the producers billed it as a lost Shakespeare play when there's not much in the way of proof. The next two paragraphs (quoted right from Wilborn Hampton's article) make for a quick rundown of the plot - in every sense of the word "rundown". Since I'm sure you're curious, Gretchen was playing "The Lady".

As for the work itself, if Shakespeare did write any of it, he should be ashamed of himself. What is presented by the Palm Beach company is hardly a play at all, almost masquelike in its simplistic morality and emphasis on plot to the exclusion of character development and the absence of any real dramatic conflict. What passes for poetry is unimaginative and virtually devoid of imagery.

The source for "Cardenio" was presumed to be the tale of Cardenio and Lucinda in Cervantes's "Don Quixote." Unfortunately, there is no character in Mr. Hamilton's play named Cardenio. (Note from your humble webmaster: Something's up here, as two paragraphs later, the cast list includes "Mather Zickel (Cardenio)". There is no Lucinda, however.) What is presented here is an 80-minute playlet that tells of a Tyrant who is obsessed over a beautiful Lady and is determined to bed her at any cost. The Lady, who loves another, finally opts for death over the fate worse than. There is one subplot: a husband, doubting the fidelity of his wife, persuades his best friend to try to seduce her, with predictable results. Nearly everyone ends up dead. Cervantes tells it better.

The best thing the reviewer says about the play is that it's "extremely earnest", and even that seems meant as an insult. Also, despite being put on with the help of a group called Musical Theatre Works, it's not a musical. So, anyone expecting Gretchen to have belted out a tune may now take a moment to be disappointed.

July 9, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V16.56)
If you get Cosby on some channel, you might like this. Just punch "Cosby" - no quotes - into the search box and off you go. It's 2 days slower than the 11:30 feed on T5-10, which is a rough standard for feeds. As an example, the July 10th one listed here was on at 11:30 on T5-10 July 8th.

In similar news, I think I've started to see a pattern to the feeds. Does this mean I'm in the later stages of insanity? Probably. Does this mean I can give you a definitive answer on a date? No. My money still says somewhere in the week of August 5-9. Check the site above at the end of this month and you'll likely know before I do. I'll update on August 1st with whatever I know, either way. I'll also (hopefully) have a date on when it'll be on for the 8:00 AM T5-10 feed.

July 10, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, V3.6)
Behind a URL so long it should be blacklisted lies archives of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania newspaper articles on a certain actress. They're the same ones in Northern Light's database, though the truncating program here's been a bit kinder to them. (Of course, I could just pay for the suckers - and I might if the damn thing didn't keep telling me my JavaScript is off when it isn't - and then I'd be able to read the whole thing....)

About the best thing there some actual info on Mason Phillips, forming the paragraph immediately after Gretchen's in their wedding announcement. And I found this just two weeks before their anniversary too. You'd think I engineer these things. (Note to self: Read Lathe of Heaven.) Anyway, to quote: The groom is the son of Madeline and Colin Phillips, Portishead, England. He graduated from The Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, Wales, and is self-employed as an (...).

I'm not one to stake money on things, but I'd bet that missing last word is "actor".

A wider search and a URL that should be taken out and shot find a bunch of articles you can almost guess at the content of.

In other news, a search for "Lancaster County 2020" turns up all of one reference in Lancaster area papers from the past ten years. It begins, "Manheim Township residents may not agree with all the elements of a proposed cultural and recreational center that were presented to the public last Tuesday night. But the committee and township officials deserve credit for the vision involved in such a project."

The most nominal and incidental shred of proof that this could possibly on some hypercoincidental level involve Gretchen, despite her name not being mentioned, is that the Manheim township, the Lancaster township, and the East Hempfield (her high school was named Hempfield High) township are all wedged together outside the city of Lancaster. (Which some colonist had the sense to put smack dab in the middle of Lancaster County.)

However, I don't ply my fanboy trade with such assumptions. Unless and until I am actually told by someone who has a blood or legal tie to Gretchen herself, I'm assuming this whole "Lancaster County 2020" thing is one big error.

July 10, 2002 AD (The Egolf Chronicles, Version X)
No version, because you've reached the end of the second part of this trip 'round my hypothalamus. It continues on the current Egolf Chronicles page.

This is the point where I usually say something stupid. Moogie boogie woo woo.

Image links....

    Cute nose. And chin. And eyes, can't forget those. Ears, if we could see them. Neck, love to neck. Er, the neck. Love the neck. Neck, neck, neck. (Roswell episode "Skin and Bones", 2000ish)
    "Back to the family, a guaranteed emergency, the radical MC HP's got the melody." What, no Scooter fans in the audience? (Nicolas, mid/late 2000ish)
    Vindictive about Leap of Faith? Never! (Non-Gretchen cutesy image editing. Dartboard stolen from a Commodore 64 game, the rest from NBC.)
    With handwriting like this, she really should've become a doctor. (Jackie: An American Life Playbill autographs, late 1997/early 1998)
    I hate cobwebs. Disgusting dust-laden spider-infested clingy cobwebs. Hmm? Oh, of course I'm listening to you, honey. (Nicolas, mid/late 2000ish)
    There was a sudden leap in church attendance that week, with many praying that Nicolas was rated R and not PG-13. (Nicolas, mid/late 2000ish)
    Sorry, but the more I look at screencaps of her the more I think one of her eyes is a bit off even keel. (Nicolas, mid/late 2000ish)
    It might just the angle, but I can't help but see visions of the twigs kids use for snowman arms.... (Nicolas, mid/late 2000ish)
    Gretchen attempts to show the sort of thespian ass-kicking a Juilliard alumnus (well, "alumna" in this case) can do. (Nicolas, mid/late 2000ish)
    Just because you have an Oscar doesn't mean you can nail every scene, sparky. (Nero Wolfe: The Doorbell Rang, maybe Septemberish 2000)
    If your wife wasn't here, I'd SHOW you if it was the Hawthorne or the sin! (Quiz Show, 1994 - maybe '93. Click here if you missed the joke.)
    Forty dollars for a masterwork of abstract art? Foolish old man, your ignorance shall be your demise. (Cosby, 1997/1998)
    Yeah, I know the name "Xenia Seeberg" sounds German, but that doesn't mean you are. I have experience with German-named women, trust me. (Lexx, 2001/2002)
    It's a weapon. No, really. It won't tickle. No, it really is a weapon. Trust me. (Lexx, 2001/2002)
    Marty? I asked you for a TV gig and now I'm in Japan in an orange dress. What do you mean, "Trust me?" Marty? MARTY? (Lexx, 2001/2002)
    I know your girlfriend's right here, but come on, gimme a hug. (Cosby, 1997/1998)
Season One, Part One | Season One, Part Two | Midseries Metamorphosis | Season Two, Part One | Season Two, Part Two
The Index | The Annotated Index | The Progenitor Rant | The Original Page
Chronicles, Litanies, and Fanboy Obsessions: (Recent Updates)
The Egolf Chronicles: Current | May 2001 - February 2002 | February 2002 - July 2002
Image Magic | New Image Magic | ImaG.E. Listings
Len's Lack-of-Sleep Litanies | The (Previous) Litanies

Run along home.

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Oh, and if you use this stuff without my permission (except for the stuff I've taken from others without their permission...), I'll hurt you.
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