12 items from 2015
"Inside Out" is Pixar's dynamic exploration of a young girl named Riley's maturity. We're treated to five physicalized emotions -- Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger -- who dictate her state of mind from a control center. Anger, voiced by "Daily Show" alum and caustic standup comic Lewis Black, is the grumpiest but maybe most lovable denizen of Riley's brain. We caught up with Black to discuss playing the (fitting) character, what he learned from Woody Allen on the set of his first movie "Hannah and her Sisters," and his feelings about "alternative" comedy. You play a character named Anger, which strikes me as a good fit. Did you have methods of making sure he didn't seem one-dimensional? The attack on the line is important. You break it down like notes almost. You do it three times or so, but then they'll say, "Why don't we try it...?" You're really doing it in a vacuum. »
- Louis Virtel
The Simpsons scored two more seasons from Fox last week with Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria all signing deals to continue voicing their characters , but it looks like one key cast member isn’t returning, Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Smithers, Seymour Skinner, Otto and more. Here are the tweets Shearer shared quoting a letter he received from executive producer James L. Brooks’ lawyer: from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2) — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2) — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 Shortly after retweeting Shearer’s tweets, showrunner Al Jean posted the following: .@thesimpsons #everysimpsonsever The show will go on, made by people who love it »
- Perri Nemiroff
"The Simpsons" is about to lose the voices of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and many of its other most memorable supporting characters. But it's not going to be losing those characters. Last night, original castmember Harry Shearer posted a trio of tweets suggesting he wouldn't be continuing with the show, which Fox recently renewed for two more seasons. from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2) — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2) — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support. — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 This morning, longtime "Simpsons" showrunner Al Jean confirmed Shearer's exit to me, saying, "Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted and passed. We »
- Alan Sepinwall
One of the most inspired ideas in late-middle Woody Allen pictures comes in Deconstructing Harry, a movie about how Allen loves Bergman, hates Philip Roth, and isn't quite clear on what “deconstruction” means. Allen stages passages from fiction written by the protagonist, a novelist named Harry; one features Robin Williams as a screen actor who, in his real life, has gone out of focus. He's no use on set, as the camera can't film him, and at home his wife, played by Julie Kavner, can only suggest he go lie down.
Sometimes, in other movies, when Williams himself dialed back and attempted to portray some likable everyman, he, too, seemed to blur a bit, radiating vague sincerity and niceness but not always suggesting an actual human being. Now, in The D »
"...police 'Chief Wiggum' is mistakenly delivered a military jet pack, which he gleefully accepts and uses in order to fight crime.
"But when the jet pack crashes into the church, the congregation, led by 'Marge' must resort to gambling and counting cards in order to collect money to repair the damage done..."
Voice cast includes Dan Castellaneta as 'Homer Simpson', Julie Kavner as 'Marge Simpson', Nancy Cartwright as 'Bart Simpson' and 'Nelson', Yeardley Smith as 'Lisa Simpson', Hank Azaria as 'Moe', Harry Shearer as 'Skinner', Tress MacNeille as 'Dolph' and Pamela Hayden as 'Milhouse'.
- Michael Stevens
Streaming video is a godsend if you want to catch up with recent seasons of TV series. But what's a TV fan to do who wants to stream older shows? Netflix has very little from before the millennium, and Amazon Prime has very little from before 1990.
That's not a knock; the big streaming services know their market. Still, it's worth remembering that Amazon's initial appeal as a bookseller was it's long-tail catalog, the notion that comprehensiveness was worthwhile because somebody somewhere would want that obscure or ancient title, that the markets for all those titles were collectively significant and worth catering to, and that the Internet had at last made it easier to connect those customers with what they wanted.
But until the big streaming services step into the long-tail breach, Shout Factory TV (at shoutfactorytv.com) is ready to make a home there. The boutique streaming service, which is free and requires no subscription, »
- Gary Susman
Sneak Peek "The Simpsons" episode "Walking Big & Tall", airing February 8, 2015 on Fox...
...with guest voice Pharrell Williams:
"...when 'Lisa' learns the 'Springfield' anthem was stolen from another town...
"...she writes a replacement.
"Meanwhile, Homer learns the meaning of 'Wide Pride'..."
Regular voice cast includes Dan Castellaneta as 'Homer Simpson', Julie Kavner as 'Marge Simpson', Nancy Cartwright as 'Bart Simpson' and 'Nelson', Yeardley Smith as 'Lisa Simpson', Hank Azaria as 'Moe', Harry Shearer as 'Skinner', Tress MacNeille as 'Dolph' and Pamela Hayden as 'Milhouse'.
Click the images to enlarge »
- Michael Stevens
Twenty-five years ago, the first episode of The Simpsons aired in the Sunday, 8 p.m., time slot that the show still occupies today and has for most of its quarter-century run. In the past 25 years, the show has generated laughs, riffed on countless pop culture sources, and even introduced whole words to our language. However, The Simpsons has also had more tender, human moments than one might expect from a show starring cartoons with massive overbites. Check out 25 moments when the show reminded us that there's some genuine heart beneath all that yellow. 1. 'And Maggie Makes Three'In a flashback, Homer »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
Woody Allen is coming back to television, signing a deal to create a series for Amazon Studios, where he will write and direct every episode. Amazon's press release didn't have much more info on what's for now referred to as "Untitled Woody Allen Project," save that the series will, of course, premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime in the Us, UK and Germany. “Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all-time, and it’s an honor to be working with him on his first television series,” Amazon Studios vice-president Roy Price said in a statement. “From 'Annie Hall' to 'Blue Jasmine,' Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn’t be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year.” "I don’t know how I got into this," Allen added in the statement. »
- Alan Sepinwall
"...'Bart' has a new accomplice and best friend when 'Homer' is hypnotized at the circus and believes he is a young boy again..."
Voice cast includes Dan Castellaneta as 'Homer Simpson', Julie Kavner as 'Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as 'Bart Simpson' and 'Nelson', Yeardley Smith as 'Lisa Simpson', Hank Azaria as 'Moe', Harry Shearer as 'Skinner', Tress MacNeille as 'Dolph' and Pamela Hayden as 'Milhouse'.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Simpsons: Bart's New Friend"...
- Michael Stevens
On Sunday, Fox will air an episode of The Simpsons scripted by Judd Apatow, which just so happened to be penned back in 1990 when the Knocked Up filmmaker’s career was in its infancy and the classic animated sitcom was still in its first season. Speaking to TV Guide, Apatow has discussed ‘Bart’s New Friend’, and how it finally became a reality after all these years:
“I was 22, a huge fan of The Simpsons, and hoping for a TV writing career,” states Apatow. “At the time I was a fledgling standup comic and people said, ‘If you want to write for sitcoms, you need to do spec scripts.’ Only six episodes of The Simpsons had aired at that point but I tried to copy the style and did a spec script where Homer gets hypnotized and thinks he’s a 10-year-old. He has such a great time being Bart »
- Gary Collinson
It's hard to imagine that The Simpsons will ever be cancelled. Despite a decline in the ratings last season, it remained one of Fox's top-rated shows. Will the numbers go up this year or continue to sag? We'll see.
On The Simpsons, the yellow family that never gets older continues to wreak their own kind of havoc on the strange town of Springfield. The voice cast includes Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer.
The ratings are typically the best indication of a show's likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available -- typically the following morning, around 11:30am Est/8:30am Pst. Refresh to see the latest. (more…) »
12 items from 2015
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