Chuck is a North-American TV show about Chuck Bartowski, a young man whose mediocre life changed when he opened an e-mail containing encrypted content composed of a huge number of highly classified information called the Intersect. Once read and in the subconscious of brain, the person with this information becomes a supercomputer of sorts, able to do things like ID an international criminal, or identify a weapon or document of upmost importance, though involuntarily. And that’s just the first season! Due to his skills behind a computer and overall unorthodox ways in handling situations in relation to governmental bureaus, Chuck reluctantly becomes part of a secret anti-terrorist team effort until a way is found to remove the Intersect from his head. His cover? His mundane life. In the meantime, serious questions appear: What makes a spy: the equipment or the individual? Can one be a spy and have a normal, happy life? Can one be a spy without sacrificing one’s values and integrity?
Here’s a short Carspotters’ Video Challenge for ya. Haven’t done one in a while.
This is an easy one, because the guy recording this is giving away some of the answers, but not all of them. If you think that what you see at the beginning is interesting, just wait until you reach the end.
How many can you get in a row before needing to re-watch?
Thanks to Back To The Future Day, I was able to use on of Scott Park’s BTTF-themed works in one of our Carspotters’ Challenges. Inspired by the rest of his portfolio, I decided to showcase more of his automotive-pop culture-themed artwork.
The featured works are Star Cars and Star Cars Vol. 2, respectively, a series which showcases a vast array of pop-culture vehicles from movies and TV, as well as comic books and videogames throughout the years. Ya like? Get ‘em here and here, respectively. My only quip is that the artist used the 2008 movie version of the Speed Racer Mach 5 instead of the original, but that's about it.
So… how strong is the pop-culture with you?
If I were to put this year's Nashville British Car Club Show description into a few words, they would be...
"Quality, not Quantity."
For the last few years ( 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 to be exact), I've had the pleasure to try to showcase the magnificent automotive examples presented at the Nashville British Car Club Shows. But sadly, 2014's event was washed out by heavy rain. There was a make-up show in November, but yours truly never heard about it until this year's show. And from what I heard, not many folks were able to reschedule their cars for that show as well.
So Saturday, October 10, was this year's date. And the day before we also had some rain, which is why I suppose few drove the distance (Cars have been here from Ontario) to attend this show. The ground was still a big mushy, and there was straw in a few areas to cover the mud. But overall it was a very pleasant day, and the lesser number of displayed vehicles gave time to enjoy what was there, rather than being rushed to take them all in at one viewing. Oh by the way, there were many nice cars in the show that weren't featured here, mainly because I've shown them in posts of yore. So let's get started!
Because I’m still pumped over Back To The Future Day, I decided to continue celebrating just a little while longer…
During the world-wide countdown to October 21st, Jalopnik featured the image above. It was done by Scott Park of Scott Park Illustration, a talented artist who’s not unfamiliar to the vehicles of pop-culture. This piece is titled 88 MILES PER HOUR (referencing the time machine’s speed it needs to be traveling in order to time travel), featuring 88 cars from the trilogy (I’m sure there are more that don’t repeat themselves, but the artist did outdid himself. Besides, the BTTF 88mph reference works here).
The script at the bottom is the answer sheet. How many can you make out without cheating—er, double-checking your answers? Can you point out any that appear in the trilogy that’s not included here?
If you really like this poster enough to buy it, you can get it here, among other wonderful artwork from not only the same artist, but others as well.
Ah, the T-top. Like the opera window a classic from (mostly) the 1970s. This semi-convertible feature was designed to give you the open-top experience of a convertible while getting rid of flimsy and leak-prone rag-tops, giving the driver a coupe-like quiet inside and maintaining some semblance of structural rigidity. Pop the panels off, stow 'em in the trunk (or garage if the rain chance is low), and you can cruise around admiring the sky and feeling the wind in your hair.
That was the idea anyway. What many ended up with was a leak-prone roof that didn't make much appreciable difference in what was considered 'handling' back then. Whether installed at the factory as part of the options package or put in later, T-tops seemed like such a great idea but never really worked as well as their billing suggested. They've made an appearance off and on since their heyday in the 1970s, but for the most part they've been supplanted by traditional convertible tops (that actually work well), single-piece removable tops (ala, the modern Thunderbird), or more modern retractable hardtops.
I've often thought that the T-top was a great idea -- a happy medium between the true convertible and the coupe -- that manufacturers would find some way to bring them back, make them work well, and give us nostalgia-seekers a little feeling of semi-convertiblism in our modern, comfortable, and well-performing automobiles. It's been 30+ years, the time must be ripe. . . .right?
Probably not, sadly.
Any series that uses Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling for the opening can’t be bad at all!
Taking place during the 1980s chapter of the Cold War, Deutschland 83 (‘Deutschland’ is German for ‘Germany’, ‘83’ for 1983) is about a young East Germany soldier that went from confiscating illegal literature to becoming a spy in the offices of high-ranking West German military personnel so he can gather information on what was going on with the nuclear weaponry. Naturally, anything involving nuclear warfare quickly gets complicated, on both sides of the Berlin Wall, on a military level as well as on a personal level.
The series was wonderfully crafted. There was no glaring stand outs of anything that didn’t belong there, everything from the wardrobe, to the furnishings, to the music (oh, that sweet, sweet music!) was spot-on. There are well-funded movies that mess this up (*coughs* Dallas Buyers Club *coughs*). But let’s be realistic here, there will be anachronisms. As the series gets airtime in Germany (it aired first in the U.S. market), they’ll begin to pop and be pointed out. A greater learning experience, in my eyes.
Yes, there will be the inevitable comparison to The Americans, but this series has another thing going for it: It’s German. This must certainly help the period portrayal of both sides of The Berlin Wall as well as a fresh perspective to the Cold War that isn’t North American, not to mention a fresh portrayal of life in Germany in the 1980s; things that I was curious about when the series was first announced on Sundance TV. Oh, and it’s in German, the first series to be aired that way on North-American television. Get used to reading subtitles.
While I found that the ending had a bitter-sweet (more on the bitter side, IMO) open-ish ending, I still want more of it. Let’s hope that the rumors of two more seasons (said to be called Deutschland 86 and Deutschland 89) become real.