Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feed Your Netflix Queue: Going the Distance Is Worth a Shot

So it's a lazy Sunday and you're scanning your DVD shelf for the perfect R-rated comedy. While it's tempting to watch Knocked Up for the seven hundredth time, you ponder putting in Role Models, and promptly put it down thinking, it's now less of a film and more of a soundtrack after being embedded in your subconscious. Scanning Netflix suggestions is always tempting but occasionally, even their hypothetical queue seems tired and you wonder how “Pollyanna” snuck in there. Has your queue been jacked by a Haley Mills-loving friend again? You have to stop giving out your password or perhaps making it your first name. This is just how I found “Drew Barrymore at the premiere for He's Just N...Image via WikipediaGoing the Distance” at my local Blockbuster on sale in a bundle. This comedy, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, was predictably adorable but surprisingly funny, sweet and well written. In this far raunchier than advertised RomCom, two lovers are displaced when one of them moves across the country to San Francisco and the other stays behind in New York. Just as the heady title would suggest, they have to make the long distance relationship work despite professional pressures, sexual temptation and being too neurotic to have phone sex.

While this film fell well within the realm of the typical Barrymore RomCom genre, its crudity, realism and R-rating made it well worth the ride. Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day were perfectly cast as Garret's (Long's) posse, interjecting some much needed male gross out comedy and trash talk that is now regarded as an Apatow-ian art form. The movie definitely maintains the loveable emotion of an 80s classic mixed in a cocktail with those forgettable 90s movies that have become classics to the mid to late twenty-something sect. So if you're looking for a movie to suit a lazy Sunday hangover or the perfect male-driven chick flick to watch with a date, Going the Distance is a great option and unexpected crowd pleaser. Take control again - go ahead and feed your queue!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Budget Cuts Threatening Top-Rated Shows

by Mary Parker for TVStoreOnline.com

Last year was a big year for TV. Two of the reasons for this were The Walking Dead on AMC and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. AMC’s smash zombie program topped out at six million viewers, while HBO’s epic about prohibition-era mobsters scored audiences of over ten million. Both series were renewed by their respective networks, and fans have been waiting for newsPhoto of a young Steve Buscemi (American actor...Image via Wikipedia about their favorite shows. What they’ve been told, however, is not good.

It seems that both HBO and AMC are pushing budget cuts on the creative teams behind their high-rated shows.

During The Hollywood Reporter's annual Emmy roundtable, Walking Dead director Frank Darabont indicated that the adaptation of Robert Kirkman's zombie epic may be facing hard times thanks to the network's attempts to slash the budget. He said, “Creatively I have no complaints thus far, [b]ut I believe if they do move ahead with [the budget] they’re talking about, it will affect the show creatively ... in a negative way. Which just strikes me as odd. If you have an asset, why would you punish it?”

The Walking Dead is no stranger to pre-season dangers, as it lost almost its entire writing staff before the series even premiered.

As for Boardwalk Empire, which stars Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt, Terrence Winter noted: “I think in the idea of trying to contain the budget and contain the scope of the show, you have those suggestions, ‘can't we do many more interiors?’ Looking at some of the proposed cuts – the wish list for the budget, I had to remind people the show is called 'Boardwalk Empire' and we can’t afford a boardwalk or an empire for that price.” But Winter seemed not to be as hurt by the proposed cuts as Dabaront. “It's a blessing to work there,” said Winter. “I've been [at HBO] since 1999 and they've been tremendously creatively supportive.”

No news about the upcoming season of Boardwalk Empire has been released, but a first look at the second season of The Walking Dead made its round s around the internet last week, and all seems well – or, at least, well-decayed – on set.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Laurence Fishburne will be Leaving CSI

After a couple years on the long-running procedural drama on CBS, Laurence Fishburne will be stepping away and choosing not to renew his contract on the show CSI. Two and a half years ago he took over on CSI for William Peterson, who had been with the show from the start. After Peterson left in December 2008, the Emmy award winning actor Laurence Fishburne took over. Unfortunately, ratings since that moment have been in a steady decline. Whether or not they are due to declining interest in the show in general, or if interest waned because of the exit of WilliaCSI: Crime Scene InvestigationImage via Wikipediam Peterson, it’s clear changes are being made by CBS to try to keep the once dominating drama on the air.

In addition to Fishburne leaving the show, CSI will be moving from its usual Thursday night at 9 PM time slot to 10 PM on Wednesday nights. J.J. Abrams’s Person of Interest will replace CSI in the Thursday slot. The Thursday primetime slot has always been heavily contested by an array of solid comedies for multiple decades on NBC, and now an influx of popular reality shows on ABC as well. Also, with money becoming an issue more so than ever with every Television network, and Fishburne’s contract being one of the heftiest on TV, there’s another reason for a change.

This is most likely a sign of the future demise of this once-popular series. The crime drama world has become severely watered down, which takes no TV expert to realize, and despite being sort of a pioneer for a certain style of crime drama, it’s most likely on the way out. The new spinoffs have become hipper and more energetic, and people are flocking to what’s new, even if it’s just a new location. The original always has to come to an end, and it’s not because people stopped liking the subject matter, it’s usually because a better copycat came along. In the case of CSI, with multiple changes of lead actors, and a switch in the time slot, it’s the perfect storm for a soon to come farewell season. Of course this is not a guarantee, and CBS may pull off a powerful casting move to bring the show back in the game, but without that happening I don’t see a way for the show to last much more than one or two seasons after this move.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hell Breaks Loose in Season 6 of Dexter

by Mary Parker for TVStoreOnline.com

According to the teaser Showtime recently released for the sixth season of its hit show Dexter, “nothing can prepare [us] for what comes next,” and that this season, “hell breaks loose.” The show, about a Miami PD bloodstain pattern analyst who moonlights as a serial killer, hDexter MorganImage via Wikipediaas gained an audience of over 5 million since it first debuted in 2006. So what can viewers expect from season 6?

According to Showtime’s president David Nevins, “Dexter this season will be in some ways a return to the Dexter that you’ve seen in the early seasons.” He revealed, “There will be a microscope on the Deb/Dexter relationship this season. Over time you’re going to see that relationship evolve and change, no questions about it.” However, the upcoming season will be like last year’s in one way: Dexter won’t be facing one nemesis, like the Ice Truck Killer or Trinity Killer. “It is not one big bad,” he confirmed. “There’s one interesting story that will move through the season, and it will be cast very interestingly, but it’s not exactly that one person.”

The scrutiny over Dexter’s relationship with his sister, Deb, should be interesting because Dexter, played by Michael C. Hall, and Deb, played by Jennifer Carpenter, recently separated after two years of marriage.

What else is new is season 6? The gap between seasons. According to reports, season 6 will take place about 3 years after the finale of season 5, which ended at Dexter’s son, Harrison’s, first birthday party. Season 6 will see him starting preschool.

There may also be a new love interest for the widower. The series is on the lookout for a gorgeous twenty-something Latina who will play a character named Jamie. Jamie is a student of Cuban decent who relocates to Miami to attend grad school. Her over-the-top, positive energy is just what Dexter needs. There will also be a healthy dose of male energy coming to the precinct in the form of “Chicago Mike,” a black homicide detective who is described as tough and stylish. He's not thrilled about having left Chicago for Miami, where his wife has found employment. And the lab will be welcoming a new thirtys-omething intern named Louis Greene, who buddies up to fan favorite Masuka (C.S. Lee). A genius on the computer, he doesn't have a problem showing off his intellect.

Also joining the cast is Colin Hanks of Orange County and King Kong fame, who will appear in all twelve episodes, portraying Travis, a highly intelligent young expert on ancient artifacts who gets linked to a series of grisly murders in Miami.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Star Wars the TV Show

Opening logo to the Star Wars filmsImage via WikipediaThe famed director known for creating the epic world of Star Wars and everything that followed, including the passionate (crazy) fans, has now admitted to having 50 hours worth of film shot for a new TV show based on the famous movie series. Originally George Lucas said the project was on hold, but there was no question that people wanted it to happen. According to Lucas, the show would take place chronologically within the current movie series between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. So what’s the hold up?

Apparently technology hasn’t advanced far enough for George Lucas’s liking. The man that seemed to be able to see deep into the future may have hit a threshold. Really what the technological problem entails has more to do with money than how to make light sabers look real. When Lucas spoke to the television network G4, he said the project was on hold because they were waiting for a new technology to become available to make it economically feasible to shoot the TV shows the way he wants to do it. As he went on, he made it clear that money was in fact the issue. He said that television has to be produced at a tenth of the cost of a movie, and the ability to really make the show without losing credibility and while staying true to the style of the highly scrutinized movie series does not exist yet at the proper cost. Without going into much detail, he said the development of the technology has been a difficult process. In related news, the cartoon made called The Clone Wars is going to be aired on cartoon network for its fourth season this fall.

What I found interesting about this story was the fact that the man has already managed to shoot 50 hours of footage for the show. I wonder how he managed to convince all the other people involved that this was a worthwhile venture without any guarantee of moving forward. I suppose the pull of George Lucas is something comparable to the gravity of a death star, but I still wonder where the original funding came from for the first 50 hours if it’s apparently not possible to shoot at cost until new technology exists. Very strange, but at least it seems hopeful that we will someday see this curious TV show version on the air.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Saying Goodbye to TV Theme Songs

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, theme songs were as much a part of our television landscape as the characters in the shows themselves. For most people in the Gen X & Y generations, the mere mention of The Brady Bunch immediately triggers memories of the theme song, “Here’s the story of a lovely lady…”
Piano sheet music Theme from Let It Be, A song...Image via Wikipedia

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season oneImage via WikipediaThe same probably applies to Growing Pains with “Show me that smile again…” and Diff’rent Strokes, “Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum…” (co-sung by Mr. Alan “Jason Seaver” Thicke himself). I bet I can name a few others – Cheers, Facts of Life, Saved by the Bell, Golden Girls, Full House – and you are immediately transported back to when those shows served as a fundamental backdrop of the times. While Mrs. Garrett, Blair, Tootie, Joe, Natalie, The Seavers and The Drummonds are all iconic characters on their own, the lyrics to these theme songs have become so embedded in our brains that catching a few bars of any of them induces waves of nostalgia.

Looking at the television lineups from the last ten years though, the art of the television sitcom theme song has certainly changed. Sure, some shows have easily recognizable 15-30 second instrumental samples like The Office, Modern Family, 30 Rock or How I Met Your Mother. But full-scale lyrical introductions are few, far and in between. Of course, there are some exceptions, particularly on the CBS lineup with Two and a Half Men’s “Men, Men, Men” repetition and The Big Bang Theory’s Barenaked Ladies intro. But overall, television themes been reduced to simply one cord (Lost) or familiar chart toppers (The Who tracks are used for every CSI franchise), a few bars of music that don’t seem to have the timeless portability factor. Montages that give a visual overview of the show, its setting and characters with a catchy tune are rarely found. The Cosby Show didn’t have actual words in their theme song but coupling the orchestration with the choreography of the entire cast was such a production, that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who can’t hum the theme song or recall waiting to see what the next season’s production would bring.

There are a few reasons that jump to mind for why theme songs are becoming a thing of the past. Shorter intros provide more available time for advertiser dollars. The immediacy of information these days and need for instant gratification makes audiences less likely to sit through the opening – we want the program to start and we want it now. DVR capabilities empower audiences to forward through any unwanted time so perhaps the effort required to create an intro doesn’t seem worth it. I wonder what it will mean for the next 10 years - whether current television theme songs will evoke certain times in our lives or fond memories of our youth. Chances are slim that music used as a vehicle for rolling credits will have the same power.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Johnny Depp to Step into the Shadows

by Mary Parker for TVStoreOnline.com

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have had a long, fruitful relationship. The latest cinematic venture of this duo is the now-shooting Dark Shadows, based off the popular 1960’s supernatural soap opera. Warner Bros. recently released a full plot synopsis to commemorate the beginning of filming:
Johnny Depp during the Paris premiere of Publi...Image via Wikipedia

In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.

Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote).

It seems that the film will focus primarily on the character of Barnabas, which may upset fans of the original soap who want to see the drama and a love triangle subplot that dominated the series. This isn’t surprising, though, because, well – it’s Johnny Depp, the man audiences are paying to see.

Depp and Burton have talked about making this movie for years, and for fans of the partnership, news that cameras are rolling is good. But fans will still be holding their breath to see if, in this world of Twilight, vampires that don’t sparkle will find as big an audience as those that do.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Peril Of Comic Book Movies

The comic book movie trend is far from over. Comic fans have felt the highest highs, and the lowest lows when their favorite books hit the screen. While comic book movies have been around for some time, it is only in the last decade or so that they have grown immensely in mainstream acceptance. Movies like Batman, The X-men and Spider-man have brought comic book
The Amazing Spider-Man (comic book)Image via Wikipedia
culture into mainstream notoriety.

When the comic book movie trend first began, fans were eager to see their favorite comic books brought to the big screen. However, several disappointing films quickly gave the fans a bitter taste in their mouth. It’s hard to predict what will make or break a comic book movie. One very common complaint is that the movies stray too far from the stories presented in the comic books.

Comic book movies have the options of pulling from existing story material or creating something new with the existing characters. When the movie pulls from an existing storyline, die hard fans are very quick to point out when changes are made to the plot. This dissatisfaction has done little to change the fate of comic book movies though. Considering that millions of movie goers have not read the books and are not aware of existing plots, the movie is completely new and original to them.

Another option for comic book movies is the reboot. A filmmaker can restart a particular comic book hero’s story any way they like. And since it is a new beginning to the tale, none of the existing plots apply. While it may seem much more extreme than simply changing part of the plot, rebooting a franchise in general seems to be more accepted than changing a story. Perhaps this is because reboots happen in the comic world from time to time as well.

The reboot allows movie makers to take an existing hero and place them in more modern situations. One very successful example of this was the Iron Man movie adaptation. Iron Man’s origin story remains almost exactly the same as the comic origin with the exception that instead of taking place in Vietnam, the movie origin takes place in Afghanistan. The core origin story is the same, but it is made more relatable and modern by updating it slightly.

At first, comic book movies depended upon their base of loyal fans to spread excitement. However, once they achieved mainstream success many fans felt as though they were ignored. Hollywood rushed to crank out as many comic book movies as possible as quickly as possible and the quality suffered. Fans complained on comic book forums across the globe but the poor adaptations kept coming.

Comic book fans feel betrayed by the industry they helped make. Now that comic book movies have gained mainstream acceptance, filmmakers don’t have to worry if they upset a few comic book nerds. The peril of comic book movies is that they have sold their soul to be one of the cool kids.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Killing – Not Your Standard Crime Drama

AMC has added another show to its already unique repertoire of programming, including Breaking Bad and Mad Men (on hiatus until 2012). Widely known as taking a page out of Twin Peaks, sans the quirks and cherry pie, The Killing centers around the murder of Rosie Larson, a 17 year old girl who we are introduced to in the pilot’s opening sequence being chased through the woods at night. With its eerie score and dreary Seattle backdrop, the show chronicles the discovery, aftermath and investigation into what happened to the girl, with the promos asking, “Who Killed Rosie Larson?”

There are more than a few elements which sets this show apart from other prime time crime dramas. First, the investigation is not neatly wrapped up in within the hour nor are we bombarded with fancy stylized forensic recreations and gruesome fatal wounds (a la the CSI franchise). The gritty, somber backdrop (does it really rain THAT much in Seattle?) provides an almost muted environment where the focus becomes the raw emotions felt by the family and the ripple effect the crime has on everyone involved – from the investigators to the suspects (and their families) to politics. This episodical drama is not something that can be casually tuned into – there is a commitment level needed that is not like your standard Bones, Criminal Minds, CSI, etc..

The structure also doesn’t adopt the typical investigator-centric approach that most other procedural shows do, like Law & Order. While we aren’t deeply introduced to Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), the lead investigator or sketchy sidekick Stephen (Joel Kinnaman), there are enough hints of dysfunctional behavior and history that keep the audience guessing and wanting to know more. When will Sarah move to California to her awaiting fiancĂ©? Who does Stephen keep giving money to? As an audience, we get a purview into how the repercussions of Rosie’s murder are felt throughout the fabric of the entire town. From the implosion felt within her family dynamic – the polarization of Mitch and Stan Larson’s relationship (Rosie’s parents), the demons of Stan’s past brewing back up to the surface and the remaining siblings who are left to fend for themselves. The political arena also plays a pivotal role in exploring how the murder of a young girl (in a Chappaquiddick-like set up) plays out during a mayoral election , using crime as a campaign strategy which is further used when a suspect is tied to programs promoted by candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell).

The show provides an impression that every reference, every prop, every character has some role. Mitch’s sister, the odd, wealthy entrepreneur, Stan’s coworker… You get the impression that they all have secrets. They all play a role. And we want to know what that role is.

And while the show job the script does at giving each stakeholder a voice, the midseason is hitting a bit of a slump. The nuances that hooked me in the beginning are becoming convenient and plotlines are (seemingly) getting quite predictive and reminiscent of something you’d find in a Lifetime movie. Despite this, I’m still hanging on as a dedicated viewer and hoping that it’s all part of the strategy and that we are blown away by the culmination of this case in Dexter-like fashion. With 4 episodes left, there are a lot of questions still to be answered, lots of references to become clear. And I can’t wait.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Only Way to Enjoy 'Friday Night Lights' is to Own it on DVD

By HAWKE FRACASSA for TVStoreOnline.com

The plug has been pulled on the great "Friday Night Lights" TV drama that portrays in documentary style the travails of two fictional Texas high schools, their football teams and dreams, their players and their parents.
Tim RigginsImage via Wikipedia

NBC, in making one of the dumbest decisions ever made in the history of man, has fumbled the ball by kicking "Friday Night Lights" to the curb. The show's shelf life could have gone on for years with fresh faces.

"Friday Night Lights," which survived for a half-decade on merit despite a lousy time slot, a writers strike and a whimsical network that didn't know what to do with it, is not alone in being thrown away. Thirty other programs that air in prime time on American television also have been killed. But ... um ... all of those shows, except for the critically acclaimed "Brothers & Sisters" and "Detroit 1-8-7" on ABC, and "Outsourced" of NBC, deserved to be shown the door.

"Friday Night Lights" still has legs. What started out as a book in 1990 and a 2004 Universal Pictures movie about the rabid love for football in the rural Texas town of Odessa turned into a compelling TV series in fictional "Dillon," Texas, that has won respect and applause from critics, intense loyalty from fans and apathy from the ostriches at NBC who have undervalued how good of a franchise "Friday Night Lights" could have been to the network had it been promoted and showcased properly instead of being used as an afterthought filler on a bad schedule.

The show aired exclusively for its first two seasons on NBC, and for its next three seasons toiled in the obscurity of DirecTV's 101 Network (no wonder NBC says nobody watched) before being rebroadcast on NBC when the network felt the whim. There have been 76 episodes, all of them great.

"Friday Night Lights" was filmed entirely in Austin and Pflugerville, Texas. It has a cult-like following because of its commitment to authenticity. True fans can't wait to watch to see what the cast is going to do next. The problem isn't finding people to watch "Friday Night Lights." The problem has been finding when the show is actually on. Reruns have been on Bravo and ABC Family, but has anyone actually seen them?

People value the show when they are privileged enough to find it on because the actors are relatable and the storylines, believable, without being maudlin or overdramatic. It's always a full hour of quality entertainment.

There is angst of black players mixing with white players, boy vs. girl troubles and parents and principals wheedling information out of their kids. There is conflict on and off the field, inside and outside of the classroom and the home, episodes that build and question loyalty and the impact of what happens when loyalty is betrayed.

Much is made during "Friday Night Lights" of a popular but outspoken head coach being put in his place. Then, when he is displaced in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? situation, the coach responds by going crosstown from the mighty Panthers to the rag-tag Lions, an under-funded start-up team from the poor side of town with no following and no boosters.

"Friday Night Lights" from go has been about more than high school football in "Dillon." It is about interaction of everyday people and families exploring the human condition, from unexpected pregnancy and what to do about it, to competitive spirit, petty politics and how scary it is to be on the short end of the stick in life.

There are ethnical dilemmas, like whether to rob and steal to pay for a mother's psychiatric care, and whether to accept a brother's request to make boatloads of cash by fencing stolen car parts and disposing of them, because economic times are tough. Sometimes the decisions are right, sometimes they're wrong. "Friday Night Lights" is poignant in its telling of real-world truths. It allows us to revel in the joys of triumph and forces us to experience the foibles and flaws of people who are easy to like and hard to be mad at. Besides that, the show has been an engaging primer on how to be a good parent, bad parent, good son, good daughter.

The actors have always been amazing. They aren't the reason for the demise of "Friday Night Lights," whose fifth-season finale aired in February on DirecTV. The last few episodes started being replayed on NBC in April. Kyle Chandler, the "Early Edition" star who plays fiery Coach Eric Taylor on "Lights," is forging ahead as a movie star. Former Abercrombie & Fitch model Taylor Kitsch performs his role of drunken hunk Tim Riggins with acumen. Tim Riggins, who goes by "Tim Riggins" to everyone instead of "Tim" or "Riggins," is a charismatic football star who usually uses a wrong moral compass, but is likable anyway. Life after football is one punch to the face after the other.

My favorite character is Julie Taylor, the coach's sweet little daughter, played by Aimee Teegarden of "Scream 4" and other film credits. She is cute as a button and just plain nice as the star quarterback's girlfriend. Her passion in the role is infectious. The point is that "Friday Night Lights" is cast well and makes viewers care about the people and the hurdles they face. Every episode is incredibly interesting.

Sadly, the only way we as fans are going to be able to watch "Friday Night Lights" whenever we want, with any consistency, is to get each season for our own personal DVD collections from places like TVStoreOnline.com. If you love the show, that's the road to take if you want to experience and enjoy it when it's convenient for you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Sperminator

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged details of an embarrassing past screw…up. I know what you’re thinking, it has nothing to do with the movie Junior. Actually, it very much does. This time in a bizarre twist it’s not big Arnold who’s bearing the child, it’s apparently a former member of his household staff. In other words, a maid. The former governor admitted that he impregnated someone from his household staff over a decade ago. So somewhere there’s a really strong kid who is likely good at cleaning the house. Either Arnold started to feel somModified version of Image:Arnold Schwarznegger...Image via Wikipediae guilt and was able to spew such a story to his wife Maria Shriver because his term as governor is up and he won’t have to worry about a scandal along with a failing economy…or he wanted to challenge his kid to a weight lifting competition.

We now know why his wife Maria Shriver decided to separate with Arnold, and probably move towards terminating her marriage with the terminator. It’s a wonder that a secret like this can last for this long. Arnold obviously kept it a secret throughout his tumultuous reign as governor of California, and for good reason I suppose. However, I don’t think it makes a difference now. Maybe he expected Shriver to suddenly be fine with the admittance since he was now out of the office, or since it had been so long. Either way, I’m sure it became one of those lies that just goes on so long that it finally eats away at your soul. Although the timing of admission I’m sure had little to do with a change in the level of guilt over the years, and more to do with his recent departure from politics. He waited a few months, I guess so it didn’t look so obvious that he waited until the governorship was over, but it’s still quite obvious.

Arnold did apologize to everyone, including fans, friends, and family. I guess we can chalk this up with all the others. Although maybe not as surprising as Tiger Woods’ admissions over the last couple years, but still it comes equally as disappointing. Many of us only care to know of Arnold as The Terminator, and have refused to believe that he was politician, because it took away from the great and powerful characters he once played. However, now it’s been solidified – he truly is a politician first, and an action hero second. He may always now be known as… The Sperminator.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Reboot to the Modern Stone Age Family? Seth MacFarlane to Revamp The Flinstones

In what will surely trigger a slew of “Yabba Dabba Do’s and Don’ts debates (and cringing puns – apologies for that), Seth MacFarlane has been given the green light to revamp The Flinstones, Fox TV has announced. The classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon, one of the earliest forerunners of the fat-guy, skinny wife theme, centered on a husky, arrogant Fred Flinstone, his more attractive, red-headed slender wife, Wilma and the comedic adventures shared with neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble. Originally airing from 1960-1966, the series also sparked severFilm poster for The Flintstones in Viva Rock VegasImage via Wikipediaal spinoffs, animated specials, toys, games and a plethora of other merchandise opportunities.

"The very first cartoon character I drew at age 2 was Fred Flintstone," MacFarlane said in a statement. "So it's appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise.”
MacFarlane is no stranger to animated comedies. The Flinstones is his 4th project on Fox, with Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show already under his belt. Family Guy itself has already paid homage to Stone Age duo Fred and Barney in various episode clips, with an “I got an Erocktion!” sexual innuendo and a World’s Wildest Police Videos quip among the pile of them. And while it’s been said that the refashioned Flinstones will stay true to some elements of the original, there will of course be some creative license applied.

The Flinstones’ haven’t been immune to reinterpretation. John Goodman & Rosie O’Donnell starred in the 1994 remake and the live-action prequel, 'The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas’ (with 30 Rock star Jane Krakowski), made its underwhelming mark in 2000.

The verdict is still out on how far MacFarlane’s comedic approach to offend, and offend often, will go in the iconic town of Bedrock. While we sit back and eat up the scenes brimming with raunchiness and laden with pop-culture references, both old and new, in MacFarlane’s current animated repertoire, it’s to be seen how forgiving we’ll be when it’s applied to a full-length program based on an old classic.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clark Kent Ends A Ten Year Long Journey On Smallville

May 13 of the year 2011 will be remembered as the day that Smallville ended. The series, which has spent a decade on air, has come down to two final hours, and those final hours will take Clark Kent, the boy from Smallville and the son of Jonathan and Martha Kent, to Superman. For the last ten years, fans have tuned in to watch Clark grow up. The story of Superman has been told many times over the years, and it will be told again on the big screen with a new man taking on the character, but fans are already missing this creation. Clark Kent (Smallville)Image via Wikipedia

Smallville began ten years ago on The WB, and it was one of the series that was picked up to continue when The WB disappeared and CW took its place. A change to Friday nights a couple of years ago worried fans, but the series remained strong, and the cast and crew fought to keep it on the air. The star of the series, Tom Welling, took a more active role in the behind the scenes of the series, and he has directed several episodes in recent years. He grew up as a person and an artist over the time he spent in the shoes of Clark Kent.

Smallville tried to do something different when it came to Superman and his story. It tried to tell the story of the boy that becomes the hero. Before the tights, before the cape, before he even met Lois Lane. The series had its issues over the years, but it grew up over the time it spent on air. Smallville had plenty of growing pains, and now it is complete. Clark Kent is ready to take his final steps to destiny.

The series wanted to finish out on its own terms, and many cast favorites have returned in these final episodes, and even more will return in the finale. The most anticipated return is of Lex Luthor. Michael Rosenbaum took his sweet time to return to Smallville, but he finally decided to do so earlier this year. Now Clark and Lex will face off one final time. The series had its moments over the years, and now fans will be faced with what to do now that the series is complete. Tom Welling will also be faced the question of 'what's next?' for him. He is connected to Clark Kent now, and that is not always a good thing.

Smallville had a good run, and now it is time to say good-bye to Superman. That is until Henry Cavill brings him back to the big screen. Superman will never die. He'll be reborn again and again for new generations to enjoy. For now, it is the end of one journey and the wait for the next.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

'The Office' Continues to Search for a New Boss

By HAWKE FRACASSA for TVStoreOnline.com
The melodrama continues unabated on "The Office" heading into the season's final episode, with Michael Scott's short-lived successors all stumbling badly as replacement bosses. Will Ferrell at Walk Hard premiereImage via Wikipedia

Deangelo (Will Ferrell) Vickers was in and out as regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Sabre's branch in Scranton, Pa., in the blink of an eye. He was as good-ole-boys old school as they come. And as an actor, Ferrell had pedigree but was a bad fit for this cast. His humor was just too lowbrow for a show this traditionally funny.

Jim Halpert was next up, lasting a whole one-minute phone call in which he feigned to be flattered, then declined the job because he felt the office was running best without a boss. How naive. It wasn't his call to make. That poor decision made his life miserable.

Dwight K. Schrute came next, and he was in power for three months as acting manager before his Machiavellian self-destruction choked the life out of his opportunity. Dwight made his obedient but plotting minions jump through hoops and was so desperate to keep the job that he was blackmailed into kneading Kevin's fat bare back to keep him from finking on him for accidentally firing a gun at work.

Now Creed has moved into the big chair, by virtue of being with the company the longest. It made me laugh to see him promoted, for a few reasons. Creed is resourceful but phony. Very Eddie Haskell, meaning he is good at being two-faced. Creed lacks scruples. He collects money from co-workers for a worthy cause, then keeps it and throws away the card. When he screws up, instead of owning the mistake he finds a scapegoat and gets away with it. When it looked like the company was weeding out older employees, Creed dyed his hair jet black to portray himself as a cool twentysomething.

Creed also has no boundaries. When children come to the office, he shows them his "four toes." He consistently objectifies women. And Creed admits to the camera that he will do "anything to survive" at work, "just like I did when I was a homeless person."

Creed is supposed to be just an interim appointment as a search committee of Gabe, Jim and Toby sort through boss candidates who will include spastic Jim Carrey and the ever-droll James Spader --- two of the few actors who could actually come in and pull this off. Celebrity Web sites speculate that Ricky Gervais, boss of the far-less-funny Brit version of "The Office," also is a candidate to be boss in Scranton, but that sad ship ought to sail.

Darryl could step up, especially since the company is investing in him by paying for college since his promotion from the warehouse. He has the stuff, but does he have the seasoning?

The most compelling choice from where I sit would be to bring back Charles, who took over day-to-day operations of "The Office" when Michael left in a huff to start the Michael Scott Paper Co.

If you recall, when sales plummeted under Charles due to Michael's aggressive price points, Michael was brought back in triumph, clapping and screaming, to replace Charles, along with Ryan and Pam.

Storylines with Charles learning how to be a better boss now that he has been deposed and brought back would make for some interesting episodes. It also would be interesting to promote Darryl to assistant manager so he can have a capable African-American role model to learn from in Charles. This would give Darryl time to develop as a manager under Charles' tutelage.

It was smart to write Will Ferrell out of the show. Deangelo, had he lasted longer than a few episodes, would have been like the replacement Darrin on "Bewitched": Unaccepted.

I don't see Andy, Oscar, Stanley, Ryan or Kevin becoming the boss.

Andy is too unsure of himself. Oscar is smart but lacks cunning and thinks it's more important to have a job than a career. He won't say risky things to corporate. Stanley just wants to do his crossword puzzle, not take on the headaches that the challenges of leadership bring.

Ryan had his shot when he worked for corporate and messed up. He's only got a job at all because Michael made them take him back.

Kevin doesn't stand up for himself enough. How can he expect to be taken seriously?

What the producers have overlooked, at least so far, is what "The Office" would look like with a woman in charge.

Kelly Kapoor is a solid candidate. She is already in the company's management program and has the enthusiasm and acumen to be successful. She has shown eagerness to grow and has the best attitude of anybody on the staff. Her only liability is her devotion to Ryan, who has her wrapped around his little finger.

Does Pam have the stuff to make things happen? Kinda. She is a person who is intelligent and grounded. But her inability to sell and her marriage to Jim make her a liability because fairness issues are often brought into play because of that and she handles the challenges poorly. Pam might walk over hot coals to help the company and can be as glib as Jim, but her lack of confidence makes her a bad candidate to manage at this time.

Meredith, the female version of Creed, would be hilarious but at the same time, a joke as the boss, based on her track record. She gave discounts to a client she was having sex with, came to work not wearing panties on a casual Friday and got her hair caught on fire while dancing drunk at a company function. Other than those indiscretions, she's fantastic.

A darkhorse candidate to be the boss is Phyllis, a gossipy conservative newlywed (married to the obnoxious Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration) with a biting and sometimes vicious personality.

Don't let Phyllis' soft, grandmotherly demeanor lull you. She is so eager to make a client happy she will redo her hairstyle before she goes to a meeting. She can be snarky and rude to co-workers who cross her. Her willingness to say what needs to be said, regardless of the consequences, gives Phyllis potential to be a boss.

Angela would be successful as a boss because she is deceptive and manipulative. She likes men to fight to be with her. She is a calculating, no-nonsense bean counter for the branch and makes the trains run on time. Her only Achilles heel is Dwight, who can manipulate her. Storylines that could develop if she became the new boss could center around Dwight trying to get her to do his bidding.

If I were emperor of "The Office," I would write the script to make Erin Hannon the boss. She is the bubbly receptionist. I just love her!!! Doesn't everybody? She's sweet, she's nice, she's fun. What's not to like?

People will go through a wall for a good person like Erin. Right? The biggest surprise to me is that the actress, Ellie Kemper, is 31. She looks 22 and has a friendly face with a smile planted on it that is a mile wide. As a result, people want to do things for her.

That said, It's time to promote from within. If Erin doesn't get the job, corporate will be making a big mistake.

Unless ... they want to bring back Steve Carell as Michael Scott.

We miss him already.

Doesn't everybody?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sheen Axed from Two And A Half Men … Kutcher to Replace Him

We’ve all heard about the news with regards to Mr. Charlie Sheen; his debacle with the producers of “Two And A Half Men,” and his crazy off screen antics that have him soaking up the limelight of America’s interest as he touts his two “goddesses” around and flaunts them for every paparazzo known to man. Then there’s his former show, the big time CBS and Warner Bros. Television primetime blockbuster smash hit, Two And A Half Men.
Moore and Kutcher in September 2008Image via Wikipedia

It’s no news to anyone that Sheen was the mainstay and staple behind the show’s comedic prowess. His smooth delivery, his sleek ambience and his onscreen bravado has defined the ethos of this show. However, as we all know far too well, it’s his off screen behavior that has seen him canned from a show that he was reportedly earning more than seven figures per episode to act on (which is somehow every reminiscent of another popular come and gone sitcom, “Friends” – where the actors made seven figures per episode – or even “Seinfeld”). (Relive Seinfeld with our awesome Seinfeld Festivus T-shirt or reignite your love of Friends with our Friends Central Perk Indigo Blue Adult T-Shirt.)

Now, the news is working its way along the major networks, and they are all reporting that CBS has finally made two very important decisions. The first, which many fans of the show were eager to hear, was that they are planning on keeping the show around for another season. The second, which was an equally as anticipated decision, was that the producers had finally found a replacement for Sheen, and one that hopefully would save them from embarrassment when composing himself offstage.

The new main star of the show is: Ashton Kutcher.

Best known for his role on “That 70’s Show,” Kutcher has won a large fan base over the years due to his comedic onscreen endeavors, and notably, his marriage to A-lister Demi Moore. But Kutcher also brings his own fanfare to the show, which may answer the question on whether the show will tank or not without Sheen around anymore.

For instance, Kutcher’s Twitter account has nearly 7 million followers, and his Facebook (9 million friends) both share similar numbers, which tells us that millions of prospective viewers will be encouraged to at least see if Kutcher is a good fit for the show.

Some experts in the industry happen to think Kutcher is the right man for the job, too.

TV Guide’s LA Bureau Chief, Michael Schneider told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column that, “Ashton was a wise casting choice, they managed to keep a still-successful and major money-making show alive by casting a well-known talent who knows his way around a sitcom stage.”

Sheen, however, tends to differ with a more bitter and somber opinion of his replacement on his throne as King of Comedy on Primetime. “Enjoy planet Chuck, Ashton,” Sheen told TMZ.com, talking about his nemesis and the creator of the show, Chuck Lorre. “There is no air, laughter, loyalty, or love there,” he said.

Kutcher has some words of his own to say to fans: “I can’t replace Charlie Sheen but I’m going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people,” he said in a statement to the press.

Question of the day: Do you think that Two And A Half Men will make it with Kutcher? Or more importantly: Do you think that the show will bomb without Sheen?

Let us know on our Facebook Page by leaving a comment.