Posts tagged ‘Television’
I’ve been very sick since January, spending a lot of time in bed. (In bed alone, I’m married.) And Netflix is mostly crap, but I tried out “Rules of Engagement.” I know it’s shit, but it makes me laugh. Often. And it’s written by Carol Liefer (who wrote for Sienfeld, among other shows).
There are actually some scenes that seem kind of insightful. Patrick Warburton is funny–he’s always funny. (Anyone else a fan of the live-action The Tick show, also available on Netflix?) And Megyn Price who plays Audrey, the wife, appears to be plain jane but she’s actually pretty damn hot. And the “dumb blonde” on the show is actually a himbo with black hair.
In fact, the only real weaknesses on the show are the hot young fiance (terrible actress) and David Spade (who isn’t awful, he’s just kind of dull).
Does liking Rules make me crazy? Is it a horrible show?
I don’t trust my own judgment on this.
Warner Premier, who handles DC’s direct-to-DVD movies like the brilliant Justice League New Frontiers and the better-than-the-movie Green Lantern feature, is being shut down. My hope is that his means they’ll be distributing these features through on demand TV or some other streaming format, rather than closing down completely. After all, they’ve produced some truly wonderful stuff over the past 5 years.
I’m hoping they’ll keep this production house alive, but I’m doubtful. At least they’ve promised to finish their animated take on Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Return.
Here’s what they’ve done, and whether you should invest in it, ranked from worst to best; note: I haven’t seen Justice League: Doom or Superman vs. The Elite yet.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. This is the only DC DVD I’d say really failed. The story didn’t work, the characters weren’t clearly drawn…It just missed for me. C.
Batman: Gotham Knight. A collection of short pieces in various styles. I liked the effort, but it just didn’t gel for me. B-.
Superman: Doomsday. My mediocre rating is largely due to the fact that I’m not a big “Doomsday” fan. Seems to me he was just a device created to sell comics to people who actually believed DC would kill Superman. B-.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Solid and enjoyable. B.
Green Lantern: First Flight; Wonder Woman. I’m not a big fan of either character—except for the new 52 version of Wonder Woman, which is one of the best thing DC is currently publishing–but these movies worked pretty well. The Green Lantern one was way, way better than the lame live-action movie. B+.
Batman: Under the Red Hood. Here’s one where I enjoyed the comic book but didn’t love it, but I really dug the movie. It rose above the source material. A-.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I tend to hate multiverse stories, except when they involve the JLA. Particularly because I love the evil alternate JLA known as The Crime Syndicate. It helps to have great source material, and Grant Morrison’s “JLA: Earth 2” graphic novel is one of the best. A.
Justice League: The New Frontier. Very true to the Darwyn Cooke source material, this is a JL movie unlike any other. It takes place in the “early days,” just like the critically acclaimed comic book did, and is well worth watching even if you haven’t read the comic. A.
All Star Superman. Like I said, the better the source material, the better the movie. This one was absolutely amazing. My wife, who hasn’t read the comic and could care less about superheroes in general, actually got choked up by the characterization of the relationships in this film. Stellar. All star. A+.
And if you like cartoons, check out this feature on the top 5 best least-known comic book cartoons!
I have been laid up for a week with barely enough energy to get up and change DVDs . . . So I finally found the time to watch my boxed set of the complete Larry Sanders Show. I’d forgotten how brilliant the show was. I think it’s the best sticom ever.
10. Timeless tackling of topical topics. Like the episode about O.J., which you can see a great clip from here.
9. Celebrities bringing their “real life” issues out on the show. I’m thinking mostly of Ellen Degeneris’ spot, in which she is so fed up with peoples’ speculation about her sexuality that she sleeps with Larry. Larry, guileless as ever, thinks this means she’s straight . . . Until he finds out that “lesbians can sleep with guys?!?” Or the one where Sean Penn talks to Larry about what a horrible actor Gary Shandling is.
8. Larry’s agent on Extra interviews: “They never edit out the crying. It’s the cum shot!”
7. It even had great music! The show interwove musical spots and storyline brilliantly, and spotlighted worthy performers like Warren Zevon, Shawn Colvin, The Butthole Surfers, Paul Westerberg–and many, many others.
6. David Duchovny’s willingness to play Larry’s gay crush. The show repeatedly got its big-named guests to take risks and cut loose–a testament to their talent.
5. Jon Stewart. He was young, he looked ridiculous, but his repeated role was to Larry what Joan Rivers was to Johnny Carson. Only in this one, Joan wins.
4. “Wow! He looks so young!” Getting to see folks like Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Piven, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Sarah Silverman, and Bob Odenkirk back when their stars were just beginning to rise.
3. Artie. Rip Torn in his greatest role of all time, the foul-mouthed producer who always knows how to handle Larry’s neuroses.
2. “Hey now!” Hank Kingsley. The oblivious, foul-mouthed, egomaniac-with-an-inferiority-complex sidekick with the greatest catch phrase ever, who is always willing to go to war with someone.
1. Gary Shandling is fearless. The show is so clearly him, all his fears, all the things he hates, and the one he clearly hates the most: People stopping him to ask for favors every time he enters a room, exemplified in scenes/storylines like: Larry being unable to run the gauntlet from his desk to his bathroom without running into sycophants and wannabes; his girlfriend, who was in love with, dropping him for the network exec who is out to kill his show; and, to beat all, Larry’s own psychiatrist asking him to shop a script for him.
Howard Stern?! Really?! Yes! Hit the break! But in the meantime, check out this amazing cover for this year’s Marvel event, “Fear Itself.”
The best-titled awards show in the business nominated a bunch of head-scratchers this year, didn’t they? For best dramatic movie, there’s one that nobody will see because it’s impossible to tell what it’s about (Black Swan); the obligatory Anglophile entry, The King’s Speech, also that nobody will see; the “actor comeback” movie, The Fighter, that actually looks good but is it really the best of the year?; and then two movies that actually mattered this year: Inception and The Social Network. Look to Inception to win.
For best “musical or comedy” film, we’ve got RED competing against a bunch of crap. RED—which I loved—will never win because the prize will go to The Kids Are All Right or Alice in Wonderland. But can someone please explain how Burlesque even got a nom?
And how did Un Prophet not get nominated for Best Foreign Language Film? There’s a huge head scratcher.
It was nice to see The Walking Dead nominated for best TV Drama, but how did Dexter get in there? Talk about running on fumes, this year’s story was outlandish even by that show’s standards and, frankly, the quick wrap up didn’t even make sense. And nominating Hugh Laurie for best actor on House? Was there just nobody else to nominate this year? And speaking of running on fumes: 30 Rock? The Office? Come on. And why is Glee all over the place? That show is trite and stupid. I do agree with Laura Linney as Best Actress for The Big C, though—she is amazing.
Of course many of my favorites didn’t get picked for anything: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Community, Scott Pilgrim, The Regular Show, Caprica . . . But nobody likes what I like. Except, apparently, for The Walking Dead.
TOP 10 REASONS FOR COMIC BOOK FANS TO OWN T.V.s AND GO TO THE MOVIES 2010
10. Smallville. The show was on fumes last season, but it’s picked up. It’s getting annoying, though, waiting for Darkseid. And they better bring it. Because if they don’t, it’ll be the biggest cop out since Rise of the Silver Surfer, in which you never got see Galactus. I’m still pissed about that.
9. D.C. Showcase: Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam. Toss in the other two bonus features–12 minutes shorts about The Spectre and Green Arrow, and this is a keeper. Also check out this year’s Superman/Batman DVD, Apocalypse. Pretty damn good.
8. Iron Man 2. Nowhere near as good as the first, but still pretty damn good.
7. Young Justice. All we got was an hour teaser of the series to come, but it was almost as good as the best DC cartoon ever (Teen Titans Go!). The nods to Super Friends were much appreciated by the geeks in my house.
6. RED. Not as vicious as the comic, but lots of fun.
5. Kick Ass. Kicked ass.
4. The Regular Show, Mad TV, and Robotomy. Cartoon Network’s new “prime time” lineup is impressive as hell–Mad is 15-minutes that recall everything every pubescent boy ever loved about the magazine itself: Irreverent, juvenile, and flatulent. Just like me. The Regular Show, with it’s slacker stupidity and bizarre, cell-phone time travel tribute to Bill and Ted’s, is another favorite. And Robotomy is a random, bizarre mess of fun.
3. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Finally! A Marvel cartoon that’s better than X-Men!
2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Pure genius. The most fun I’ve had in the movies in years.
1. AMC’s The Walking Dead. Best new show on TV, and one of the greatest ever.
Honorable mentions: The Losers; Planet Hulk (DVD Animated Release).
I don’t know about you, but I think “No Ordinary Family” is pretty meh, and I have no idea when “Capes” is coming to broadcast TV. NBC’s “Heroes” has died a prolonged, choking death. So why is there so much talk about Marvel (especially) and D.C. (kinda) jumping into the serialized TV drama market? The news is exciting, with superstar David E. Kelley attached to a Wonder Woman project, a Blue Beetle series in production, Chew being looked at by AMC for a regular series, and the new animated Avengers series on Disney XD—probably the best new supercartoon I’ve seen since Teen Titans Go! And those are just the almost-guaranteed ones—last week Marvel dropped several bombshells/hints about where it’s headed. ABC has plans to develop a live-action Hulk show and another about Cloak and Dagger, with the latter being for ABC Family(!) The C&D comics are pretty gritty—it’s hard to imagine them as family programming. At the same time, Jeph Loeb (head of Marvel Studios TV) staked claims for shows about:
- Luke Cage/Hero for Hire—But no Iron Fist!
- The Eternals—Based on Jack Kirby’s vision of Gods posing as humans, not the Neil Gaiman reworking.
- Agents of Atlas
- A show called “Alter Ego” featuring Jessica Jones in her private eye role,
- investigating superhumans—sounds like X-Files.
- Moon Knight
- The Red Hood: The guy with the demon-cloak from Dark Reign, but it sounds like it would focus more on Brian K. Vaughan Marvel Max series.
- Ka-Zar Goes to New York
- Punisher—pitched as a more mature cable offering.
- Four anime series, reportedly already in development, about Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men and Blade.
- Daughters of the Dragon–Misty Knight and Colleen Wing
Clearly they can’t go ahead with all of these shows, but the interesting thing will be to see whether they continue to try to interrelate the universes, the way they do with their movies. The four anime series are definitely planned to overlap, but if they shop their characters to different networks—especially ones outside of the Disney/ABC family—I don’t see how they can tie them together. And will there be movie/TV continuity? Animated/live continuity?
It’s great that they’re exploring their options, but if it were up to me, we’d also be seeing plans for:
- A Justice League live-action spin-out of Smallville.
- A new Teen Titans cartoon.
- Punisher—yeah, that could definitely work well on cable.
- Luke Cage with Danny Rand, not without him.
- A “Sleeper” live action show.
- A “Sweet Tooth” TV animated movie, like the high-quality ones they did for
- Nextwave! The best anti-hero comic ever! Who doesn’t want to see an animated Wover-MODOK? I smell Adult Swim!
- Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius as a kids cartoon.
- A new Legion of Super-heroes ‘toon.
- A Daredevil regular drama—I think it would work better than a film.
- A ‘Mazing Man cartoon! Come on!
What would you all like to see on the small screen?
TV news–Rapid fire style!
- In 2011, G4 will be running a new Iron Man “anime” animated series, produced by anime studio MadHouse. It will take place in Japan.
- Other upcoming Marvel anime projects discussed by Jeph Loeb at Comicon International included Wolverine, X-Men, and Blade.
- D.C./Warner Bros. Animation announced a November 9 DVD release of animated “shorts” (10-20 minute stories) featuring Superman, Captain Marvel, The Spectre, Green Arrow and Jonah Hex.
- Also from D.C. on November 9 will be the Secret Origin: The Story of D.C. Comics DVD release. It’s a doc narrated by Ryan “Green Lantern” Reynolds about the history of the publishing company. But it’s also produced by the publisher, so don’t expect unbiased poop. Sounds more like promotional material in advance of the GL movie.
- And Smallville is definitely ending this season. And it’s about time.
- The AMC official bloggers are working overtime on news about The Walking Dead. Now, the artist of the comic, Charlie Adlard, is confirmed as a zombie extra. I hope he plays one that dances like Michael Jackson.
- Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the new Spider-Man will be a complete reboot based on Brian Michael Bendis’ incredible Ultimate Spider-Man series for Disney XD. Now, they’re talking Ultimate Cartoon as well, with the involvement of Eisner/Emmy winner Paul “Batman TAS” Dini (and Bendis, of course). They’ve said there will be lots of team-ups (a la Batman: Brave and the Bold). I don’t think there’s even the remotest possibility that this could be bad.
- One last thing: I happened to come upon the pilot episode for The Amazing Screw-On Head (a 22-minute cartoon based on the Mike Mignola/Dark Horse comic from 2002). It’s brilliant. Really. It’s available on DVD and all of you should see it. Animation for grown ups.
-I lied–one more last thing: The Avengers!
You may already know some of this, but it’s worth repeating if you do . . .
1. THE DEXTER COMIC. Bill Sienkiewicz—of Moon Knight, Elektra: Assassin and Stray Toasters, and one of the best comic book artists of the last century—will be doing a web-based motion comic about the earlier years of Dexter Morgan, with voicework by series star Michael C. Hall.
2. JOSS AVENGERS. It’s confirmed: Joss “Buffy” Whedon will direct the Avengers movie. Boo-ya.
3. AND SPEAKING OF VAMPIRE SLAYERS . . . Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins plan to release the sequel to their terrific indie book Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer in time for Halloween. Hooray!
4. NEW MARVEL SERIES. At San Diego Comi-Con, Marvel let the world know that wants no money left on the table when the Captain America movie comes out next year. In addition to the character’s appearances in Secret Avengers and his own book, as well as Steve Rogers’ presence in Avengers, Marvel will release “Captain America and the Korvac Saga,” “Captain America: Hail Hydra,” “Captain America: Fighting Avenger,” and “Captain America: Man Out of Time.” That last one will be by Mark Waid, one of the best writers in comics right now, and will take place right after Cap got thawed. Sounds like the most interesting of the bunch, although the Korvac retcon has potential. Oh, and Jeph Loeb said Captain America: White will finally be finished. Too bad. If it was being released years ago, before Jeph Loeb ate the suckification fruit, I would have been excited. They also announced “Rocket Raccoon and Groo,” which I was excited about until I realized it was really “Rocket Raccoon and Groot.” Now, not so much.
5. WOLVERINE BEST THERE IS. Charlie Huston, who had an impressive run on Moon Knight a few years ago, will launch another Wolverine series, but this one actually sounds interesting. It will have nothing to do with Wolverine’s past, and will pit him against The Unkillables: a new supervillain team consisting of several esoteric Marvel villains including Madcap. (I remember when he fought Captain America back in the 1980s, and God, was he lame.) The main villain will be a new character, Contagion, who is not susceptible to Wolverine’s form of slice-and-dice justice. This one definitely has potential. The art will be by Juan Jose Ryp, who has done some projects with Warren Ellis; Robocop with Frank Miller; and (get this) a graphic novel about the Vivid Girls.
6. BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND BOLD WII GAME. I like the TV show. It’ll be a fighting game, like Mortal Kombat, only funny. Playable characters will include Robin, Guy Gardner or Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, Blue Beetle, and Bat Mite! For the Wii it’ll be a 1- or 2-player game, but there will be a 1-player DS version.