Star Trek and TV Connections/New Shows

The networks have been announcing their television show lineups for 2013-2014.  Many shows sound interesting like “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” and “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” on ABC.

It is nice to see some Asian faces cast whether that be John Cho in Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow,” Kenneth Choi in NBC’s “Ironside,” Kelly Hu in CW’s “The Hundred”, Aaron Yoo in CW’s “The Tomorrow People,” Jamie Chung in NBC’s “Believe,” and Ming-Na Wen in ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” to name a few.

John Cho can be recognized by many to be the character Sulu in Star Trek movies.  The latest “Star Trek Into Darkness” can be now seen in theaters.

For fans of the Star Trek series, it may be interesting to know many of the shows for 2013-2014 has a Star Trek connection.  For instance, “Sleepy Hollow” not only has John Cho but is from the writers and executive producers of Star Trek.  John Billingsley from “Star Trek: Enterprise” is in CBS’s show titled “Intelligence,” Karl Urban known as Bones in Star Trek stars in Fox’s show titled “Almost Human.”

“Star Trek Into Darkness” director J.J. Abrams is the Executive Producer behind NBC’s mid-season “Believe” along with Bryan Burke who serves as a producer on Star Trek.  J.J. Abrams is also the Executive Producer behind Fox’s “Almost Human.”  The Executive Producer behind the new show “Intelligence” is Rene Echevarria known for the involvement in the Star Trek television series.

The connections between these mentioned new series are indicative of the type of stories, tone and audience that the new television shows will attract.  Therefore, if you are a Star Trek fan you might just like “Almost Human,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Believe,” or “Intelligence.”  The show descriptions lead me to put them in the drama, sci-fi, action, fantasy, thriller, good vs evil category which can relate to Star Trek.

Descriptions below are taken directly from buddytv.com

Almost Human: Premise: In 2048, cops are partnered with humanoid robots. This futuristic buddy cop show centers on an out-of-control human and his slightly crazy robot partner.   (Late Fall on Fox, Mondays at 8pm)

Sleepy Hollow: Premise: Retelling of the classic tale with Ichabod Crane transported 250 years to the future to prevent the destruction of the world by solving a mystery that goes back to the Founding Fathers.   (Fox, Mondays at 9pm)

Believe: Premise: A little girl with special powers is protected by an ex-con from people who would use her abilities for evil.    (NBC, Sundays at 9pm mid-season)

Intelligence: Premise: A federal agent has a microchip implanted in his head that allows him to access phone records, the Internet and all electronic frequencies to fight crime.   (CBS Mondays at 10pm mid-season)

“24” fans might be thrilled knowing that the series is being brought back for 12 episodes airing in May 2014.  Brannon Braga (creator of “Star Trek: Enterprise”) and Manny Coto (“Star Trek: First Contact”) wrote many episodes of “24.”

For people in the industry castingabout.com has a nice list of the network up-fronts. Get deadline’s TV grid with the new shows in red-here.

In the meantime, while you are waiting to see the new television shows, check out “Star Trek Into Darkness”  in theaters officially opening tomorrow.

“Dancing With the Stars” Premiere

Dancing With the Stars” is back tonight with a brand new set of celebrities paired with pros competing for the mirror-ball trophy on abc at 8 p.m..

I am excited to see a new crop of dance hopefuls enter the ballroom.  It will be fun to look for the new partnering dynamics, the improvement over the season and how each celebrity enjoys the process.

The professional dancers that draw me in are the ones that move with purpose, power and precision.

Purpose: Knowing what story your body is meant to tell in response to moving with a partner and music.

Power: Controlled power and fluidity to create resistance in extensions which can turn a simple walk into a defining movement.

Precision: Hitting or accenting certain moves to create lovely pictures from the relaxed hand to the pointed toe.

Every professional is brilliant with Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Peta Murgatroyd being standouts for me.  This season I am looking for new pro, Lindsay Arnold and a new troop member, Whitney Carson from “So You Think You Can Dance.”

However, having purpose, power and precision isn’t everything.  The rehearsal footage and interviews show celebrities as real people.  I am looking for passion, personality, and persistence.

Passion: Someone who is willing to invest emotions into dance and is willing to be vulnerable.

Personality: Bringing playfulness to the dance floor with a carefree abandonment that is unique to them.

Persistence: Striving to continue to take constructive criticism and be open to growth.

I am looking out for Zendaya, Dorothy Hamill, Kelli Pickler, Jacoby Jones, and Aly Raisman.

In addition there are the evolving partnerships where I look for physicality, patience, and the process.

Physicality: How two bodies move as one and relate to each other.

Patience: Needed from both pro and celebrity as they grow as a team and in ability.

Process: The journey the two people go on during rehearsal and on taping nights.

Acting can be like ballroom dancing where your “scene partner” is your fellow dancer.  I love to respond off what my fellow actor is giving me in that moment.  The focus is not on you but on the relationship and trust needed to move forward even if it is in an unexpected direction.

Overall, it can be the emotion, the fun, the chemistry and willingness to learn and entertain that people respond to the most.  I think the show excels at showcasing entertainment which trumps technical ability or dance knowledge.

DWTS certainly has created the right formula for magic with professionals moving with power, people (judges and hosts included) with panache and partnerships primed for playful performances.  I am looking forward to all of that tonight.

For great information and videos check out the website Pure dwts. To watch the performances immediately (sometimes even before the show airs California time) check out Rickey.org.

Other things to watch out for this season: The new added dance styles such as contemporary, the costumes, choreography, the theme nights and the results shows performances.

Silence is Golden-“Switched at Birth”

Image: ABC Family

I have heard many times that actors need to listen.  It is something that can be simple but can get over complicated.

ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” television show proves that you don’t listen just with your ears but with your eyes.  Several characters communicate using sign language and make listening fascinating.

When I watch the show I am compelled to stop multitasking and to focus on watching the relationships and signing on screen.  In some scenes there is no background music to mask the absence of vocalization.
Nevertheless, the show goes beyond being known for having deaf and hearing characters.  The concept of the show having two babies being switched at birth  brings up identity, family nature verses nurture issues.

I have so much respect for the show and actors  who rise to the challenge of playing deaf characters or opposite them.  In many of the episodes actors are communicating with two languages at the same  time.  Katie Leclerc’s deaf accent and how the show is consistent in watching lips to understand are only some highlights to look for.

Last week,  the episode “Uprising” was entirely in ASL with an exception of a few moments at the beginning and end.  Tomorrow, is the mid-season finale on ABC Family 8 p.m..

Overall, in life and on screen the moments where verbally nothing is said can be the most revealing.  It is what not said that can be interesting.  Silence is golden and can reveal beautiful vulnerability.

Marlee Matlin’s character says it is not about hearing loss but hearing gain.  What will you gain by truly listening in your relationships-silence included?

Image: ABC Family

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Proverbs 18:13 ESV