Special Edition Post: An Open Letter To The Ghostbusters Haters

Normally this blog is all about television, since I’m a TV junkie and that is ultimately where my heart lies. However, there’s been no escaping the constant barrage of hate for the new Ghostbusters film – and I just can’t take any more. So please enjoy this special edition post.

Dear Haters,

So you’re not into the new Ghostbusters, huh? Okay. I can get that. It’s a reboot of a beloved film franchise, that ultimately never needed to be made. But you know what? NO REBOOT EVER NEEDS TO BE MADE!  In the past half decade or more Hollywood has churned out numerous film and television projects based on old material. Fuller House, The X-Files, 21 Jump Street, blah blah blah and yet none of these updated versions garnered the level of negativity that Ghostbusters has. Why?

Now I don’t want to play the whole “you’re a misogynist who needs to grow the fuck up” card here but I’m going to explain why many people think that is the case…

1412807981313_Image_galleryImage_It_s_official_I_m_making_

As soon as director Paul Feig announced he was doing a Ghostbusters film starring all woman, portions of the internet banded together to christen it “the worst film ever made” – a vast majority being men. When the trailer was released on Youtube it was down voted so many times that it currently holds the title of most hated video on Youtube, again – a vast majority of these haters were men.  In fact any mention of the 2016 film brings out the worst in the internet, and a  lot of the the venom is coming from – say it with me!- men. So now can you see why people are saying this is more about gender than it is a reboot? I’m not going to lump everyone guy into the same category, because for the vast majority of you out there – I don’t believe this is the motivation behind the hate so let’s look at the other reasons, shall we?

The trailers haven’t been funny. Okay, that’s a fair claim and I will be the first to admit the trailers for Ghostbusters haven’t been the best but that isn’t the filmmakers’ fault – it’s Sony’s. This is also an issue that Feig has brought up in many, many interviews saying he’s been at odds with Sony for a while about the tone of each trailer that’s been released. Besides, we’ve been here before gang, he also had a similar problem in 2011 with the initial trailer for Bridesmaids – until Universal finally gave in to his complaints and gave him free cut of the trailer. And we all know how Bridesmaids turned out right? Yeah, nominations, and accolades galore AND it was hilarious. So while a film’s trailer is essentially it’s selling point, you can’t always dismiss a whole film based off it. Besides, I’ve seen far worse trailers out there – for starters Batman Vs Superman so get a grip.

It’s a reboot. Yeah it is, and trust me I get that argument. However, the biggest question I have for those spouting this is: Where was the similar backlash for Transformers? Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Neither of those films, also based off wonderful moments from our childhood, were subjected to the same level of hate and disgust as Ghostbusters. No one tried to dismiss these films before they were written, no one started boycotts, and no one sent hate Tweets en masse to the people involved.  Making matters worse though, is that both of those franchises were helmed by director/producer Michael Bay. The “legend” who brought us Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and something starring Vanilla Ice.  Seriously people? You’re okay with that guy in charge? Ugh. The humanity!!! As a true pop culture nut, I can honestly tell you I entrust my childhood more to Paul Feig and Katie Dippold than I do to Michael Fucking Bay! Once again, get a fucking grip because no one is out to ruin your childhood – but if you do want your childhood ruining please Google Scooby Doo Apocalypse.

Can you all stop hating on the Ghostbusters, and explain to me what this fuckery is?!?

Can you all stop hating on the Ghostbusters, and explain to me what this fuckery is?!?

All in all I’m not here to beg you to go see this film, if you don’t want to see – then don’t see it. What I am asking you to do is cool your fucking jets. Let the people who are excited about it be excited. There is nothing wrong with having opinions, hell this blog is full of mine, but there is a problem when your opinion becomes your obsession, becomes a platform for hate, or you think your personal opinion is anymore than just that… a PERSONAL OPINION. Just because you hate something, doesn’t mean the whole world has to hate it. If that were the case The Big Bang Theory would have been cancelled after the first episode.

So to all my fellow Ghostbusters fans – let’s go out there and have some fun because at the end of the day it’s just a film, and I ain’t afraid of no haters!

Sincerely,

A good portion of the world.

In Feig we trust!

In Feig we trust!

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Fuller House: A Review From A TGIF Fan

The Netflix reboot of Full House, cleverly named Fuller House, launched on Friday and has garnered some of the most scathing reviews in recent memory.

“The first four minutes of ‘Fuller House’ are four of the most excruciating TV minutes ever broadcast; shrill, garish, unfunny, and further poisoned by the live audience’s baffling apparent appetite to hear the catchphrases of the show repeated now, in modernity.”  – Margaret Lyons, Vulture

“There’s no reason for ‘Fuller House’ to exist, except to feed into the constant nostalgia loop in which we seem to be stuck.” – Molly Eichel, Philadelphia Enquirer

Those are just two of many, but as I read these reviews it occurred to me – these people probably weren’t fans of the original. They probably don’t understand the importance  TGIF comedies had to a generation of kids, basically making their opinions obsolete. I, on the other hand did watch and love Full House, and while I was never in favour of this reboot  I watched with an open mind.

So here it is, my honest review of Fuller House, from a  true TGIF kid.

The Fuller House pilot (can it be called a pilot? I don’t know.) entitled “Our Very First Show, Again” opens with the original theme, original credit sequence and then against the familiar San Francisco house the words  “29 years later……. ” fade in.

We find ourselves in an updated version of the Tanner family kitchen as the adult actors start making their entrances to thunderous applause from the studio audience. Within seconds we are greeted with catchphrases galore, Bugs Bunny pyjamas, and of course a  reference to where Michelle is. (Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen both declined to be apart of the series.) “She’s busy in New York running her fashion empire”. Cue every actor breaking the fourth wall,  turning to the audience,  and giving a “thanks for nothing, girls” look. And it is in that moment Fuller House becomes the worst thing I’ve ever watched.

The audience quickly learns that the gender roles have reversed and this time around it’s DJ who is the widow trying to raise three boys, Stephanie is the perpetual party girl, and Kimmy Gibbler still lives near by. Follow that up with the introductions of the new precocious tykes, an old boyfriend, and of course – the dog. A dog they named Comet Jr. ARE.YOU.KIDDING.ME!!?

The remaining twenty minutes continue to harken back to days gone by, with old songs (“Forever”, Jessie and Becky’s wedding song),  routines (the fucking Woodchuck is back!), and culminating in Comet Jr having babies…. just like the original. All of this leads me to wonder how long it took Jeff Franklin (the creator of the original and who is overseeing this hell hash.) to “write” this episode. Five minutes? Ten? Cutting and pasting is hard work, so perhaps fifteen.

While there is nothing wrong with a show referencing moments from it’s past, there is something wrong with trying to pass off thinly veiled laziness as self referential nostalgia. Are we really supposed to believe that a nearly fourty year old Stephanie is still saying “How Rude!”, or that Joey is playing Vegas with that Goddamn Woodchuck!!!? (Seriously I hate that fucking Woodchuck!) Come on guys, we’re not this stupid. You, on the other hand, are this lazy. And that is the problem.

It can be easily said Full House itself was neither ground breaking nor original in it’s day, but the show’s intentions were authentic. It was a happy family sitcom, and you got what you expected. Fuller House though, is a bastardization of all things the original set out to be. It’s not cheesy, fun or endearing. The comfort food feeling you got with Full House is now replaced with cynical jokes about the size of Jodie Sweetin’s boobs, even more slights at Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and brilliant exchanges like below.

“Isn’t it kinda sad when they drag out the old cast for some lame reunion show?”

“Not when the show is adored by millions, and the stars are beloved cultural icons.”

Yup, that actually happens. Talk about meta overload, and trust me it doesn’t end there. Subsequent episodes are filled with such witty dialogue and horrible attempts to be clever, and with every “Have Mercy” uttered or terrible wink and nod to the camera a part of my childhood dies.  I don’t see Fuller House being the next chapter to a show loved by millions, but as a cash cow for has-beens desperately trying to stay relevant. And nothing is more sad.

Despite all the faults and depressing moments of despair, there is a shining spot of hope with Fuller House – the young actors. Michael Campion, who plays DJ’s eldest son Jackson, is a particular stand out. He has great comedic timing and his talent and ease in front of the camera is apparent from his first line. I only hope he can find a project that properly reflects his talents very soon.

But even Campion’s performance can’t rescue Fuller House from itself, which is a shame. Not for the makers of the show, but for the fans. The fans who rallied behind this idea when it was announced last year, the fans that watched and shared the teaser trailers, and the fans who are not going to get what they are expecting – half an hour of smaltzy Tanner née Fuller hugs and fun.

If the creators and actors wanted to treat us to Tanner 2.0 they would have been better off doing a one off special. An hour or two of them reminiscing about episodes and moments would have been a better tribute to a beloved show and it’s fan base than this absolute pile of Comet Jr dog shit.

Trust me guys, if you want to go back to San Francisco – order a pizza and watch Stephanie drive the car through the kitchen. You’ll enjoy that trip down memory lane much more.

This is what I’m going to do to Netflix Headquarters when I’m demanding my subscription money back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mid-Season 2016

300px-Homer_to_the_Max_pennant

JANUARY 1

“Sherlock: The Abominable Bride” (PBS/10)

JANUARY 2

“Doc Martin” Season 7 begins. (OPB/10)

JANUARY 3

“Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life”premieres. (Fox/12)

“Bordertown” premieres. (Fox/12)

“Galavant” Season 2 premieres. (ABC/2) “Giada Entertains” premieres. (Food Network)

“Downton Abbey” Season 6 – also the final season – premieres. (PBS/10)

“Million Dollar American Princesses” Season 2 premieres (Smithsonian Channel)

JANUARY 4

“Telenovela” gets its official premiere after an early preview. (NBC/8)

“Superstore” also officially premieres after a sneak peek. (NBC/8)

“The Biggest Loser: Temptation Nation” premieres. (NBC/8)

“The Bachelor” kicks off a new season. (ABC/2)

JANUARY 5

“Hollywood Game Night” begins Season 4. (NBC/8)

“New Girl” returns for Season 5. (Fox/12)

“Zoe Ever After” premieres. (BET)

“The Shannara Chronicles” premieres. (MTV)

“Finding Your Roots” returns for Season 3. (PBS/10)

“Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots” returns for Season 4. (OWN)

“Pitch Slapped” premieres. (Lifetime)

“Killing Fields” premieres. (Discovery)

“Dance Moms” returns for Season 6. (Lifetime)

JANUARY 6

“American Crime” returns with a new case, new story, but some familiar actors (Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Elvis Nolasco, Lili Taylor) for Season 2. (ABC/2)

“Mike & Molly” returns for its sixth, and likely final, season. (CBS/6)

“American Idol” begins Season 15, its last. (Fox/12)

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and this show will never die, as it begins Season 11. (FXX)

“Man Seeking Woman” returns for Season 2. (FXX)

“Restaurant Startup” begins Season 3. (CNBC)

People’s Choice Awards bestows more prizes on popular favorites. (NBC/8)

JANUARY 7

“Beyond the Tank” begins Season 2. (ABC/2)

“Angel from Hell” premieres. (CBS/6)

“Shades of Blue” premieres. (NBC/8)

“My Diet is Better than Yours” premieres. (ABC/2)

“Todd Margaret” returns for Season 3. (IFC)

“Lip Sync Battle” begins Season 2. (Spike)

“Growing Up Hip Hop” premieres. (WEtv)

JANUARY 8

“Love Thy Neighbor” returns for Season 5. (OWN)

JANUARY 9

“Mythbusters” returns for its fourteenth and final season. (Discovery)

JANUARY 10

73rd Golden Globe Awards. (NBC/8)

“Shameless” returns for Season 6. (Showtime)

“Live to Tell” premieres. (History)

 JANUARY 11

“Cake Wars” returns for Season 4. (Food Network)

JANUARY 12

“Shadowhunters” premieres on Freeform. (formerly ABC Family)

JANUARY 13

“Second Chance” premieres. (Fox/12)

“Younger” returns for Season 2. (TV Land)

“Duck Dynasty” begins Season 9. (A&E)

“Teachers” premieres. (TV Land)

“Face Off” returns for Season 10. (Syfy)

JANUARY 14

“Workaholics” returns for Season 6. (Comedy Central)

“Colony” premieres. (USA)

“Idiotsitter” premieres. (Comedy Central)

JANUARY 15

“Hell’s Kitchen” cooks up Season 15. (Fox/12)

“Degrassi: Next Class” premieres. (Netflix)

“Burgers, Brew & ‘Que” begins Season 2. (Food Network)

JANUARY 16

“Sesame Street” begins Season 46 in its new first-run home. (HBO)

JANUARY 17

“Angie Tribeca” premieres. (TBS)

“Mercy Street” premieres. (PBS/10)

“Billions” premieres. (Showtime)

“The Real Housewives of Potomac” premieres. (Bravo)

Critics Choice Movie Awards. (A&E/Lifetime/LMN)
 
JANUARY 18

“War and Peace” premieres. (Lifetime/A&E/History)

“Hit the Floor” begins Season 3. (VH1)
 
JANUARY 19

“Marvel’s Agent Carter” returns for Season 2. (ABC/2)

“Just Jillian” premieres.  (E!)

 JANUARY 21

“DC Legends of Tomorrow” premieres. (The CW/3)

“Dark Net” premieres. (Showtime)

“Portlandia” returns for Season 6. (IFC)

“Baskets” premieres. (FX)

“The 100” returns for Season 3. (The CW/3)

“Recipe for Deception” premieres. (Bravo)
 
JANUARY 22

“Mad Dogs” premieres. (Amazon)

JANUARY 23

“Chelsea Does” premieres. (Netflix)

“Beowulf” premieres. (Esquire)

“Black Sails” returns for Season 3. (Starz)

JANUARY 24

“The X-Files” begins its limited return. (Fox/12)

JANUARY 25

“Recovery Road” premieres. (Freeform)

“Lucifer” premieres. (Fox/12)

“The Magicians” premieres. (Syfy)
 
JANUARY 26

“Outsiders” premieres. (WGN America)

JANUARY 27

“Lucha Underground” begins Season 2. (El Rey Network)

“Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” returns for Season 3. (Travel Channel)

JANUARY 28

“You, Me and the Apocalypse” premieres. (NBC/8)
 
JANUARY 29

“Grimm” continues Season 5. (NBC/8)
 
JANUARY 30

22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards. (TNT/TBS)

JANUARY 31

“Grease Live” offers another live musical production for TV. (Fox/12)
 
FEBRUARY 2

“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” premieres. (FX)

FEBRUARY 3

“Madoff” premieres. (ABC/2)
FEBRUARY 5

“Animals” premieres. (HBO)

“Vice” returns for Season 4. (HBO)

FEBRUARY 7

“The Venture Bros.” returns for Season 6. (Adult Swim)

FEBRUARY 8

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” premieres, as the former “Daily Show” correspondent gets her own late-night talk show. (TBS)
 
FEBRUARY 9

“Not Safe with Nikki Glaser” premieres. (Comedy Central)

“Tosh.0” returns for Season 8. (Comedy Central)

FEBRUARY 11

“Grey’s Anatomy” returns to continue Season 12. (ABC/2)

“Scandal” also picks up where its Season 5 left off. (ABC/2)

“How to Get Away with Murder” likewise picks up Season 2. (ABC/2)

FEBRUARY 12

“The Amazing Race” begins Season 28. (CBS/6)
 
FEBRUARY 14

“Vinyl” premieres. (HBO)

“The Walking Dead” returns to continue Season 6. (AMC)

 FEBRUARY 15

“11.22.63” premieres. (Hulu)

58th Grammy Awards. (CBS/6)

“Better Call Saul” returns for Season 2. (AMC)

FEBRUARY 17

“Broad City” returns for Season 3. (Comedy Central)

“Survivor” begins Season 32. (CBS/6)
 
FEBRUARY 18

“Vikings” returns for Season 4. (History)

FEBRUARY 21

“Girls” begins Season 5. (HBO)

“Togetherness” returns for Season 2. (HBO)
 
FEBRUARY 26

“Fuller House” premieres. (Netflix)

FEBRUARY 28

88th Academy Awards. (ABC/2)

MARCH 2

“The Real O’Neals” premieres. (ABC/2)

“Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” premieres. (CBS/6)

MARCH 3

“The Family” premieres. (ABC/2)

MARCH 4

“House of Cards” returns for Season 4. (Netflix)

MARCH 8

“Of Kings & Prophets” premieres. (ABC/2)

MARCH 9

“Underground” premieres. (WGN America)

MARCH 21

“Dancing with the Stars” returns for Season 21. (ABC/2)

MARCH 24

“The Catch” premieres. (ABC/2)

MARCH 30

“The Path” premieres. (Hulu)
 
APRIL 1

“Banshee” returns for its fourth, and last season. (Cinemax)

APRIL 3

“Call the Midwife” returns for Season 5. (PBS/10)

APRIL 7

“The Odd Couple” returns for Season 2. (CBS/6)

APRIL 10

MTV Movie Awards. (MTV)

My 15 Thoughts for 2015

What kind of TV ranter-er would I be If I didn’t come up with a year in review post? Here’s my 15 thoughts for 2015. Things that made me happy, that pissed me off, and that I think are important for television.

So without further ado….

15. A La Carte Viewing Is On The Horizon, And It’s Network TV’s Best Friend

Many people have already started the act of cord cutting, cancelling cable or satellite subscriptions and opting for the vastly cheaper option of the internet. No, not the dreaded P word, but for the emerging on-line presence of networks and studios via apps, or paid services such as Hulu and ABC Go.

Earlier in the year analytics company Digitalsmiths conducted a poll asking consumers which networks they would, and would not, pay for should everything be unbundled and the results may surprise you. ** 
ALL of the big four placed within the top ten, and ABC topped the entire poll coming in at 1st place with 
CBS, NBC, and Fox placing  3rd, 4th and 7th respectively.

digitalsmiths-unbundling-survey

So I think we can stop with that the whole “Network Television is Dead” argument now.

** “These Are the TV Channels People Would Actually Pay For”

14. People Need To Cool Their PC Jets

Television is about leaving your problems at the door, so stop trying to cause more because YOU didn’t find something funny. Recently Tina Fey came under fire from the ‘internet’ because of so-called politically incorrect jokes in The UnBreakable Kimmy Schmidt – and dammit they wanted apologies. Tina though, flat out said she wasn’t apologizing for shit! And good on her. Why should she have to explain and defend her writing to people that only revel in tearing people down?

This is also my reaction to people telling me what is funny.

Now I know what you’re thinking – I’m defending Tina, because it’s Tina. No. I’m not defending her as a fan, I’m defending her as a writer, a comedian, and someone who likes having choices on television. There’s plenty of things I hate on air but I don’t demand the creators/writers/stars/craft services  apologize for making such drivel now do I? NO! You know what I do? I change the fucking channel! Yeah. It’s that easy.

This “I don’t agree with that, so I’m going to complain” mentality has gotten completely out of hand these days, and as a writer who likes quirky/weird and offbeat comedy I fear for my future. I want to be able to write a show the way I want without having to second guess every line, character choice or behavior because of possible mass internet hysteria.

Anyone can find a reason to be offended if they look hard enough but a few jokes you took the wrong way does not warrant an apology. Besides, this show premiered in March, it’s taken you that long to process things?

Move along fives, a ten is talking!

13. The Mighty Are Beginning To Fall

Bye, Felicia!

My foe CBS didn’t do quite as well as they thought they would buying the rights to Thursday Night Football, and many of their most popular shows are starting to lose their lustre.

What. A. Shame.

Just recently Mike & Molly was given it’s walking papers and, with the exception of The Big Bang Theory, their other comedies have taken dramatic drops in ratings and while CBS can still boast about being the most watched network on television, this is the second year in a row they’ve lost the Key Demo crown to NBC!

Excuse me while I laugh maniacally for a moment… There. I’m done now.

Are CBS in dire straits? No, of course not. They still have some of the top shows on the air, but everything is swings and roundabouts. For every NCIS that crushes the competition there’s a Supergirl losing to FOX’s Gotham, and mid-season is shaping up to see Two Broke Girls and Mike & Molly go up against ABC’s Wednesday juggernaut of comedy!

This is not going to end well CBS, so I’ll just sit back and let it play itself out.

12. There Is Such A Thing As Too Much TV (Shows)

I hear ya bro, I hear ya.

At this year’s TCA presentations FX president John Landgraf  said “There is simply too much television,” and you know what? He’s right on the money. 409 scripted comedies and dramas aired on cable, broadcast, and streaming outlets in 2015. 409!!!!! That’s a shit load. I did the math and if half of the shows in the 409 were 30 minutes long it would still take you 25.5 MONTHS to watch ONE episode of every show! And that’s if you never slept. Sweet God… make it all stop.

The major factor in this? There’s too many television channels now a days- most of which are owned by Disney/ABC and Universal/NBC.

To put it into perspective Disney/ABC own the following networks: A&E, Lifetime, Crime & Investigation, History, and all the ESPN and Disney Family networks, while Universal/NBC are responsible for USA Network, SyFy Channel, Bravo, Telemundo, and E! among many others. Yes, I know – a lot of these networks don’t air scripted shows, but sports/reality/documentary style shows – but it doesn’t matter. The market is still over saturated.

Throw into the mix the mix ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, HBO, Netflix, Comedy Central, FX, AMC, Amazon and Yahoo and you can easily see where the 25.5 months tally comes from. More airtime to fill means more programs that need to be made, but do we really need a world with thousands of channels? No, we don’t. I don’t know a single person that utilizes all those channels. Most viewers don’t stray far from the big four, and a spattering of speciality cable channels.

Perhaps 2016 can be the year we start to trim the fat, removing a lot of the superfluous channels – or at least their offshoots,  and make it not only easier for people to find your shows but to make time for them. The average viewer spends 4 hours a day watching television, which does seem like quite a lot, but let me just ask you – how many times have you just chosen a show to watch simply because you’ve gotten bored scrolling through channels?

11. The Television Academy Need To Up The Ante

Emmy trophy

Okay, they set a bench mark for what constitutes a comedy, a drama, a mini series, blah blah blah and I do commend them for their efforts – but that’s only the start…

In 2011 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscar people) upped the Best Picture nominee list from 5 to 11. So Emmys, what’s taking you so long? As I stated above, there were 409 shows on the air in 2015, and while the vast majority of them are horrendous, I can easily say there’s more than 5 or 6 worthy nominees for each category.

Get it together guys.

10. It’s Still Not A Comedy

comedydrama

Transparent is the new Orange. Now please don’t bombard me with your hate mail, much like Orange is the New Black I also like Transparent. But it’s not a comedy. My arguments** still stand, that if it doesn’t make you laugh – or I guess try to make you laugh – then it’s not a comedy. At best Transparent is a social drama with comedic tendencies…. but laugh out loud it is not!

** Drama In The Comedy Categories

9. Big And Live, Is In

I already want to ReTweet my ReTweets of this

While the norm now a days is to DVR or stream last night’s episode of (insert show name here), event viewing brings people together. Many will say things such as the Oscars, or Golden Globes fill this hole in TV land, but I beg to differ. Award shows are predictable, we all know that apart from a possible F-bomb nothing out of the norm is going to happen.

Live event shows on the other hand…. hell anything could happen, and that’s exciting!

NBC kicked off this trend with it’s live production of The Sound of Music in 2013, and yes I’ll be the first to say I scoffed at the idea – but you know what? It worked. It worked very, very well! It garnered great reviews, great ratings and something more networks need to think about – great interactions. The live broadcast blew up on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, and brought more attention to the show than NBC’s marketing department could ever have hoped for! Any publicity is good publicity, right?

FOX clearly listened since they are the second network to jump aboard the live train,  airing Grease Live on January 31st and yes, I’ll be watching!

While I hope that networks will use the Live Events sparingly – we don’t need a musical every month guys –  I do believe there’s a lot that can be done to utilize the new(ish) genre with their regular roster of shows. In the past, live episodes of 30 Rock, ER, and The Drew Carey Show have brought in more viewers than normal, many of whom tune in out of curiosity.

I’ll leave you with that possible Sweeps Month food for thought.

8. The Reality Scene Is Dying

in late 2014 AMC pledged they would not be going forward with any more reality shows, instead choosing to concentrate on great story telling and in 2015 they kept that promise. Every original show on the network was a scripted series. BRAVO!

Even more exciting is that the 2015-2016 season counted it’s lowest numbers of reality shows on air for the first time in nearly a decade!

So why is this happening? Aren’t reality shows a cheap way to fill time? Yes, of course they are but if they don’t draw in viewers, a low budget is still a wasted budget. Perhaps it’s the fall out effect of the Honey Boo Boo and Duggar scandals, and networks are scared of entrusting their money and reputations to potential catastrophic human beings, or maybe viewers are tired of vapid fame whores. Either way, reality shows are slowly losing their stranglehold on the market…

With that being said though………………………….

7. The Kardashians Still Draw Them In

I refuse to have those jag-holes on my blog, so here’s some penguins in sweaters.

Earlier this year the family that won’t die signed a new 100 million dollar contract with E!, further frittering away precious television space with their smug faces. *sigh*

Why are these people so fascinating? Why? Someone fucking answer me that!!  I demand all the answers.

6. TV People Are Genre Snobs

The people involved in the  television industry rarely watch television, and it continuously shows at such events as The Emmys, and SAG awards. What isn’t deemed hip, cutting edge, or ground breaking generally gets over looked for some of the top honors in the television world. I wrote about the Family Sitcom Effect earlier in the year **, and that still stands up now with just a handful of examples breaking through the veil of snobbery. Black-ish managed to walk away with several nods at this year’s Emmy Awards, and dominated the Critic’s Choice Awards nominations earlier this month, but it’s still not enough. The Middle has been consistantly funny for it’s entire run, and has yet it still fails to get a mention at any of the major award shows.

TV Academy voters wish they were this cool.

The same narrow-minded attitude has taken its toll on the super hero world too. I defy you to find a more kick ass broad than Hayley Attwell’s Agent Carter, or a more deviously charming bad guy than Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswalt Copplepot on Gotham and yet both are absent on nomination ballots. The Netflix original series Daredevil has made it to many critic’s Top Ten lists recently, but failed to get a single nomination from the Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice or SAGs.

It should be pointed out that Krysten Ritter did nab a Critic’s Choice nom for Jessica Jones – so I guess people in the industry are not only snobs, but very forgetful. If it hasn’t aired in the last month, it never existed.

Basically what I’m saying is – do your fucking jobs! You’re working in TELEVISION! I’d kill to be in your place, so stop letting your genre bias stop you from enjoying some of the best television to hit us in the past decade. Either that or leave important voting to people who know what they’re talking about…. like me. I’ll expect my Emmy ballot to be in the mail in 2016.

**Why Did The Goldbergs Get Snubbed?

5. Majority Mob (Parents ) Rules

We all know I loved this incarnation of The Muppets**, but I seem to be in the minority. People whined from day one about everything from the tone of the show, to the new pig that Kermit was dating and, of course, those that shout the loudest get heard.

Even Fozzie and Kermit need a drink to get over your stupid bullshit.

In September the Parent’s Television Council took aim at my beloved felt heroes claiming that the show was not appropriate for their little darlings to watch. This battle continued on for several months,  culminating in showrunner Bob Kushell exiting the series in early November and ABC announcing a reboot of the series during its  Spring return.

Let me tell you something – I watched a lot of shows as a kid I probably shouldn’t have, and my parents let me. Yup, The Simpsons was a staple in my childhood, Saturday Night Live, Three’s Company reruns, and the most dreaded of all.. Married with Children. Yes. I was a Bundy fan at the tender age of seven. I used to quote that shit, and despite it all I turned out just fine. You know why? Because I was a kid. There were many jokes in Married With Children I didn’t get, because I wansn’t meant to! I laughed at the characters, the silliness – all things that still shine in the 2015 version of The Muppets.

It’s entertainment folks, not a babysitter so please remember no one is obligated to make a show that your over sheltered little shits can watch.

** The Muppets; A Defence Of All Things Wocka Wocka Wocka!

4. We’ll reboot anything

Seriously. Any-thing!

I know what you’re thinking – they rebooted The Muppets and you loved it. This is true. Now let me make myself clear here, I’m not AGAINST reboots/prequels/remakes I just don’t think we should be rebooting everything for the sake of nostalgia. Networks and production companies don’t give a damn about bringing back your childhood, they’re just fresh out of ideas and are scrapping the bottom of the barrel, turning it upside down and then beating it into a pile of mulch.

There were many planned reboots announced in 2015 such as The X-Files, Coach (!!!?!??), Twin Peaks, Heroes, Bachelor Party, Xena Warrior Princess………. and of course Full House.

Who’s been looking after the dog for the past 30 years?

Although it’ll probably make the Parent’s Council happy, let it just sink in that we’re rebooting Full House. FULL fucking HOUSE! Why? That show in no way warrants a reboot. And you know what? Neither did Boy Meets World. There I said it! Call me a traitor to my generation if you want, I don’t care. These shows had their moments, and to be honest guys if you re-watch them now – they’re terrible.

Fuller House, as it’s being called, is a carbon copy of the original – right down to the cast, set and premise. Yes, this time it’s DJ who gets to be the widow with three kids who needs the help of younger sister Stephanie and BFF Kimmy to raise them….. Really guys? REALLY!? This show was in development for three years before finally getting green lit by Netflix, and this was the BEST premise you could come up with!!?!? How much bad luck can one family have? What are they the fucking Kennedys??!

I’m holding out for the Small Wonder reboot.

3. NBC does NOT Peacock Comedy.

Remember this? Me too. That was a good day.

Sweet Lord, Greenblatt – what are you doing?

You disassembled the Thursday night institution that was Must See TV for a night of dramas. It didn’t go so well.  You cancelled critically acclaimed, yet low rated, shows Marry Me and About A Boy for what? The Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. Sure, it made it a full season but then you’ve cancelled it earlier this month!

I don’t know why you can’t make the funny happen NBC, or more importantly what you have against making the funny happen but let’s just call it quits and stay in your own dramatic lane.

2. These People STILL Have Emmys

4 Times!!

Fucks’ sake….

  1. These People STILL Do Not..
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Not even a fucking nomination!!!

Been nominated 8 times, lost 8 times.

There we have folks. It’s been a roller coaster of a year in TV, and I can only assume 2016 won’t be much different. So let’s sit back, and eagerly await mid-season to start!

THE MUPPETS; A Defence of All Things Wocka Wocka Wocka!

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This fall ABC premiered a brand new Muppet show aptly titled – “The Muppets”, and I LOVE IT….but I seem to be in the minority with this opinion and I can’t understand why. So after weeks of hearing people bash the show, and try to tell me why it’s not that great I’m coming at you with my rebuttal.

Let’s take a  look at what seems to be the three biggest gripes with this show:

It’s too adult.

Firstly, what do you mean by “too adult”? We’re not watching Muppets throw out double innuendos or sleazy come on lines, so already your argument doesn’t hold water. Secondly, and I’ll break this to you gently, Kermit was born in 1955. Face it, the Muppets are adults.

This version of the Muppets is kind of like going back to your home town to discover everyone has gotten married, had kids and just generally got their shit together. The situations may have changed, but the people haven’t. I’ll argue that in The Muppet Show we were watching the carefree college years, while in The Muppets we’re watching the thirtysomething years.  I  think seeing the ‘grown up’ Muppets gives them even more dimension and in my opinion – relatability. We’ve grown up, they’ve grown up.  Is it really that bad to see Fozzie and Kermit sharing a post work beer? I don’t think so because – news alert! Muppets are people too!  Wait.. no, they’re not… but I dare say they enjoy a good drink after a hard days work.

Muppets, they’re just like us!

So what else did you say you hated? Oh right…

It’s shot mockumentary style.

So? Seriously how does that effect anything? Yes, you could say this style has been done to death recently and normally I would agree with you – just not this time. The Muppets, essentially, is a work place sitcom and the mockumentary style lends itself well to this genre, and apart from a few camera facing interviews it’s just another single camera comedy. Get over it.

Another thing I like about this shooting style is that it helps heighten one of my favorite elements of any Muppet related project, something I affectionately call Muppeting the background. NOTHING makes me laugh more than seeing Bobo the Bear wander aimlessly in the background of a scene with a clipboard,  headset, or a cup of coffee. Or seeing Sweetums ride up to the sound stage on his bike. Don’t you find that hilarious? Because it’s absolute BLISS for me! Half the fun of this show is re-watching an episode and trying to keep up with everything that’s going on in the background. Try it, I guarantee you’ll be entertained.

There’s a lot going on here, and it’s all hilarious!

Now let’s get to the big one. The problem that seems to be at the center of all this:

It’s not like the original.

No, it’s not. But here’s a question for you – why would you want it to be? I love all things Muppets, and especially The Muppet Show. It’s complete and utter brilliance.  But if I want to watch The Muppet Show, then I’ll watch The Muppet Show – and I suggest you do the same. It’s out on DVD y’know? Head to Amazon, order it, and party down!

Now, in case you’re not aware of how this show came about, I’ll inform you. The creators, Bill Prady and Bob Kushell, shot a hand-held video pitch, showed it to ABC – who greenlit it immediately, and a new era of Muppeting was born.  I must emphasize that at no point  did ANYONE say they were”remaking The Muppet Show”, they simply said they were “making a Muppet show”. We can sit and argue semantics as much as you want, but you’re still going to be wrong every time. This show was pitched as a BRAND NEW Muppet show, so let’s stop pretending that all the execs, writers, creators and Muppets themselves lied to us. They didn’t. You just jumped to assumptions.

On the flip side though, I can point out The Muppets has a lot in common with the beloved original. Both take place behind the scenes of a show – in the 70’s it was a Vaudeville style stage show, and in 2015 it’s a late night talk show. I love the idea of a Muppet talk show! I want to work on a Muppet talk show! Finally we can celebrate the fact that a WOMAN is representing in late night. Rock on, Miss Piggy!

You know what else they have in common? The characters. Yup. Gonzo, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Pepe – they’re all here, and The Electric Mayhem are still the resident house band so, again,  I don’t see what the problem is. I could understand the uproar if the creators had pushed our childhoods aside to bring in all new and improved Muppets – but they didn’t. Remember what I said earlier about situations changing, not necessarily the people? Still valid because every character is still the same as I remember them. Still fun, still endearing, and still hilarious.

Muppets then.

Muppets now.

So with all that in mind I do hope people give this show a chance because let me tell you, if my dreams ever do come true and I get to run a network – I’m going to Muppet the shit out of TV. Oh yes. You heard it here first. There will be a dozen people, and hundreds of Muppets, working in my Hollywood, and all I can say is – you’re welcome world.

Wocka Wocka Wocka!

Legend.

 

We Need To Talk…

An open letter to the networks RE: 2015-2016 New Fall Shows

Let’s just get to it shall we? I’ve brought you all to this blog for one reason. To ask  – is this it? These. Really? You watched these shows during pilot season and said “Let’s make this! The world will love it!”???

*sigh*

Okay, don’t get me wrong, there are a  few I actually really enjoy – The Muppets – keep that funny shit coming, Quantico – It so far HAS lived up to the trailer and my expectations, and……. *looks down at notes* Nope, that’s it. So let’s all give it up to ABC for making the new season not a total waste.

Go on, give them some applause people – I’ll wait.

Done? Good. Now,  putting those shows aside… We have problems. All of you have problems.

FOX, let’s look at what you’ve put out into the wild – Minority Report, Scream Queens, Rosewood, Grandfathered and The Grinder.

Minority Report Let me break this down for you –  just because it made money at the box office THIRTEEN YEARS AGO doesn’t mean it should be on TV. In fact, it wasn’t even a great film then, let alone going to make for entertaining television now. Stop pulling from your stock pile of ideas that worked in the past and GET NEW IDEAS! There’s plenty of writers out there, myself included, who have binders full of stuff we’d like to see on TV. Will they all be great? Hell no, but at least they’ll be more original than this..

Scream Queens I REALLY REALLY wanted to love this show; it was one of the few I couldn’t wait to premiere and you know what? It wasn’t worth the wait. This show is not what I was hoping it would be. It isn’t scary, or edgy, or funny or any other adjective ending in y other than crummy. Ryan Murphy is a great writer but someone needs to lead him back onto the trail because he’s wandering in the woods of mediocrity headed straight for Blandsville, population: Him. To say you guys had the upper hand on the MTV adaption of Scream in terms of audience anticipation and critical word of mouth, you could learn a lot about the execution of a teen horror show from the MTV gang.

Rosewood I don’t hate this show, but I can’t say that it excites me a hell of a lot either. We have so many detective/cop/investigator/criminal science shows out there that this just gets lost in the jumble. Please keep in mind that just because every network has [insert generic show type here] on their schedule doesn’t mean you must have one too. Think outside the box. Go against the grain. Remember Empire? That was unlike everything else on TV and look what happened.

Grandfathered and The Grinder  I’m lumping these  two together because… well because I can. So, let’s get beloved sitcom stars to star as an older/more cynical version of his true life self. Good. Thanks for that. As I said with Rosewood, I don’t hate either of these shows – but I don’t love them either. They’re middle of the ground. That’s all. There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m sure they’ll find an audience just based off their stars – but will they keep that audience? Highly unlikely. There’s no reason for people to stick around, and dammit FOX you NEED people to stick around. Please try to get back to your glory days – Married With Children, In Living Color – hell even the recently departed Raising Hope. Those were all great comedies that strayed well away from the norm.

CBS? Step up fucker, you’re next.

Firstly, I have to thank you for not subjecting us to anything new that Chuck Lorre has shit out, or for tacking NCIS or CSI onto ANOTHER friggin city. I know it must have been difficult for you, and I’ll just say – admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Now let’s see what you have added to the lineup – Life In Pieces, Limitless, Code Black and the yet to premiere (but leaked months ago) Supergirl

Life In Pieces – funny-ish. Cute-ish. Modern Family-ish. Nothing wrong with any of that, but may not keep the network afloat once the big wigs start ending their runs. Not the worst thing on your network, but that doesn’t really say much.

Limitless For a film adaptation/remake/reboot whatever the hell you’re calling it these days, I didn’t hate this show. It was rather a fun watch, but so was Scorpion when it first premiered – and we all know how that’s gone….

Code Black  I’m going to tell you a little something you may or may not know about me – I’m a die hard ER fan. That show was groundbreaking, breathtaking and just fucking well done, and as a result I feel we should just retire the medical drama genre as a whole. (Sorry Grey’s fans – Abby and Luka forever!) Is Code Black terrible? Absolutely not. Am I being a little unfair comparing it to one of the greatest shows ever made? definitely. But you will ALWAYS get comparisons, and if you’re not willing to kick the shit out of the genre and try to make it better that it’s predecessors – then just don’t bother. This goes for cop/procedural shows too. Keep that in mind.

Supergirl I will not say that I watched this after it leaked, because that would be wrong 😉 What  I will say  though is that this is by far the best thing that could have happened to your network – the show, not the leak – and really hope you make more exciting decision like this in the future.

NBC, show your self.

What did you think we’d love this season – Blindspot, Heroes Reborn, The Player

Wow. You actually had less shows premiere this season than I thought. I guess that’s what happens when you pass on everything and let Netflix have it. Sorry, low blow…

Blindspot  Girl found naked in Times Square with tattoos on her body, and no idea where they came from or who she is. FBI agent’s name is one of said tattoos but has no idea who she is… I’m treading into Blacklist territory here. And not in a good way. This show sounded pretty thrilling on paper, and I really enjoyed the trailer – but you know where you lost me? The execution, no wait. It was the dialogue. Definitely the dialogue. HOW many times do we need to hear one FBI Agent turn to another and utter “Don’t you get tired of always being right?” Fuck. Me. Who saw that in the script and didn’t immediately scrabble for the red pain to strike it from the record? Try harder guys.

Heroes Reborn Heroes Stillborn more like. I get it. Everyone is trying to make amends for this show careening horribly off the cliff of amazing into the wasteland of “that could have been so good” but this was not the way to do it. You have/had a built-in audience for this show and you knew it, and you wasted it all on a terribly long, terribly bad pilot. It was two hours long. TWO. Why? If it was harkening back to the first season’s glory days then yes, by all means make it five hours I don’t care – but this was a waste of everyone’s time.

The Player Okay you took a chance on this show’s premise, so kudos I guess. Rich folk in Las Vegas doing criminal deeds. Sounds fun. And it should be…… but it isn’t. It’s not a terrible show, but as I’ve said so many times already in this post, an original idea is great but you need to have something to carry it along. People need a reason to come back every week. Blowing stuff up, helicopter chases, Wesley Snipes – none of these things constitute a reason to tune in again. Make interesting characters, make interesting choices. It’s simple.

And finally ABC. Step up to the plate.

You know what I love about you ABC? I mean other than the fact you air some of my favorite shows? You don’t half ass anything. You’re either all in, and make great shows worthy of viewers, or go to the complete opposite and slap any ol’ shit on the TV. Either great shows or horrible ones, no one can say you’re ever mediocre.

What’s your game this season – The Muppets, Blood & Oil, Quantico, DR Ken and the yet to premiere Wicked City.

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The Muppets and Quantico – See above, I love these shows. Keep up the great work people.

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Blood & Oil Right, I’m the first to admit the soapy dramas are not my bag. I’m not a devotee of Shondaland or ever really thought about becoming one. Saying that though, if you feel the need to go the soapma (I’m calling them that from now on, feel free to follow suit) route, then leave it to Shonda Rhimes. She clearly knows what she’s doing with that sort of thing, and people really do respond to it. This was actually the only show that’s premiered this year that I turned off half way through. And Heroes Reborn was two hours.. says a lot, right?

Dr Ken Sweet Jesus. Look, I know that Friday nights are a wasteland ABC, and I know you have time to fill but for the love of God don’t insult our intelligence, and the talents of people, with THIS. Much like Mulaney last year I can’t come up with a good thing to say about this show other than it was only 22 minutes. As I said to FOX, try to get back to your glory days here. The TGIF days. Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, whatever! Just make it fun to watch. And funny! I have Google Calendar alerts that made me laugh more than this show did. Step it up ABC, you’re on the map currently for having some of the best comedies on television – don’t let this kind of bad decision-making squander that.

Wicked City I like serial killers but not in the –  I’m writing a love letter to San Quentin right after this post – kind of way, I just find them interesting. I also like LA and very much in the – I would sell any body part I have to live there – kind of way. Put the two together, and we could have a great show on our hands. The trailer looks promising, and you seem to have some fans on social media already so hey – the only way is up! I hope.

My parting thoughts to you my beloved Television world is this – Networks, you ARE TV. You were the ones that laid the groundwork for great television, and while many will argue you can’t compete with cable I believe you can. So go balls to the wall, make the bold choices, and make the shows YOU want to watch. Don’t view pilot season as a last-minute supermarket sweep before the shops close on Christmas Eve, because you’ve been doing that for years and it’s not that kind of world now. Remember there isn’t just four channels anymore,  we can change the channel, and a lot of people  already are….

 

9021-Oh This Was Great!

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Lifetime recently aired The unauthorised Beverly Hills 90210 Story, and I had a chance to watch it last night – and you know what? I liked it.
Lifetime are infamous for their behind the scenes/gossip drama/made for TV movies, and usually they’re nothing more than hilarious fodder. This one was very much that in some respect, but it was also quite informative and as much as I hate to say it – far more entertaining than most of the new fall offerings.

Yes, you read that correctly. I enjoyed the made for TV Shannon Doherty trash fest more than ACTUAL shows that are meant to engage me. You yourself have to admit it, this season has been pretty dull; hence why I’ve not bothered to write anything about the new season thus far. (It’s coming though, don’t worry.)

Anyway getting back to the Hills, if you were ever a fan of this show you should definitely check this little diddy out because I dare say there will be something in it you didn’t know.

Some of my takeaways:

Tori Spelling was almost single-handedly responsible for the show and most of it’s top casting. She recommended Jason Priestly AND Shannon Dorherty for starters.

The FOX network, and possibly TV networks in general at the time, had an “above the waist, below the breast” rule for any on-screen shenanigans.

Shannon really was a brat, and apparently really had it in for poor Jennie Garth.

Van Nuys, California is the porn capital of the state and possibly the world, and 90210 filmed right next door to all that action.

Ian Ziering really doesn’t like it when you pronounce his name E-on. It’s eye-on, dammit!

Gabrielle Carteris lied about her age when she auditioned. Good for her!

FOX junior execs were knobs. Or perhaps that was just a little creative licencing.

The people of Lifetime have a great sense of humor when writing the “where are they now” blurbs.

There’s plenty more in the film, but a lot I did know – like Tori Spelling auditioned with a different name (It didn’t fool anyone, because I mean look at her. She’s the spitting image of her father.), and it was the giant gamble of airing new shows during the summer that made 90210 the monster hit it became.

All in all though, this was a fun way to pass two hours or so, and I have to give credit to the pretty fantastic casting in this. Usually Lifetime opts for “meh that’ll do” when it comes to casting these things, but they actually seemed to make an effort this time. Check out the Jennie Garth actress, she even SOUNDS like her! Well done.

Let me know what you all thought, and if you’ll be watching this week’s Melrose Place Story – I will! Even though I never watched that show when it was on so I’ll just go with the gossip.

This season’s tally:
Lifetime 1 Networks 0

Thanks Jon.

Tonight marks the final episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. After 16 years of reporting on, and in many cases mocking, the news of the world, Jon Stewart is retiring. It’s well deserved, but still incredibly sad. He’s been on my television for half my life – and his spot in my TV world will not be easily filled. (No offence Trevor.)

I can only pray for the kids that will never have Jon’s commentary on current events, intelligent humor, and common sense to open their eyes to the world around them; for it has not gone unnoticed in my generation.

Thanks for helping shape my world view, increasing my awareness of politics, and for being a pretty fucking swell guy Jon!

Enjoy retirement, but please don’t be a stranger…. We miss you already.

Jon-Stewart

Let’s take one last trip to Bullshit Mountain….

Muppets, Muppets, everywhere!!

ABC announced in May that they were brining back The Muppets, and suddenly the world seemed a little less dark and sad.

Just recently they released four key art posters featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo and they perfectly reflect the tone of the latest incarnation…

And if that wasn’t enough the pilot presentation that was shown to eager fans at this year’s San Diego Comic Con is now online for all us Muppet lovers to see!

As a life long Muppet fan, I’m so excited for their return to Prime Time and couldn’t think of a better platform/genre than the mockumentary. The Muppets have always been at their best when they’re toeing the line of kid humor and adult humor – so this is a match made in heaven.

We’re still several weeks away from the premiere on September 22nd, but the upcoming TCA panel will probably bode enough sneak peeks, tidbits and fun to keep us all going.

Why Did The Goldbergs Get Snubbed?

So yesterday’s Emmy nominations once again brought heartache to millions of Goldnerds around the world. Our beloved show was overlooked in every category possible, and the big question on everyone’s minds is – Why?

Well, that’s actually a rather simple question to answer,  so please indulge me.

The Goldbergs, much like The Middle, is laden down with the moniker “Family Sitcom”.  Now don’t get me wrong, the problem isn’t in being a family sitcom,  the problem is the perception of a family sitcom. Academy voters, have often deemed themselves too cool for school in their viewing habits, and would probably describe their comedy wants to be “edgy”, or “loud out loud hilarious” or whatever bullshit adjective is being tossed about today and trust me – I get that! There’s nothing wrong with having prerequisites for your comedy shows, I know I certainly have them, but dismissing something based off a generic genre falls completely into the realm of – get over yourself!

A show based around a family doesn’t automatically make it Full House style fluff. Just watch Malcolm in the Middle for example, that show was  smart, funny, and edgy – and dammit you loved it Academy!

You also celebrated Everybody Loves Raymond for years, which was very much a family sitcom, and what about your current darling, Modern Family? Sorry to break it to you guys, but in the genre category – that too is classed as a family sitcom.  Just because it airs at the 9 o’clock hour doesn’t make it any more deserving of your kudos. All you need to do is sit down and watch these shows, even just once, before you put it into a neatly packaged box. I know you can do it guys!

At the end of the day though, I know The Goldbergs isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do know that given half a chance many voters would see what us fans have seen from the very beginning – that it’s one damn funny show! And really isn’t that what Outstanding Comedy Series should be all about?