19 items from 2014
Okay, cards on the table: I was not a huge fan of ABC's Selfie when it premiered earlier this fall. In fact, here's what I wrote about the show in EW's Oct. 3 issue: This spin on Pygmalion centers on Eliza Dooley (onetime Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan), a social-media-obsessed sales rep whose self-absorption masks a kind heart. Likewise, it seems that there could be a decent show trapped within Selfie; Gillan and her haughty Henry Higgins, John Cho, have nice chemistry, and creator Emily Kapnek boasts an enviable comedy résumé (Parks and Recreation, Suburgatory). Too bad the show's cruel sense »
- Hillary Busis
It's been a while since I've done a comedy round-up post, but I happened to see tonight's episodes of "Selfie," "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" in advance, and this seems a good opportunity for a quick check-in on each, coming up just as soon as I put you on a waterslide between two obese people... I really didn't like the "Selfie" pilot, and the next few episodes didn't seem like an enormous improvement. Karen Gillan got more comfortable delivering jokes with the American accent, and Charmonique's son was an unexpected goldmine, but the show as a whole felt wildly imbalanced and clumsy, despite my inherent like of both Gillan and John Cho. But tonight's episodes — airing as a double-feature after "Manhattan Love Story" went where all awful, low-rated sitcoms go(*) — felt like a much better use of all the resources available to Emily Kapnek and company. Gillan continued to »
- Alan Sepinwall
Judd Apatow and Paul Feig‘s “Freaks And Geeks” may have been unceremoniously cancelled after one season, but it still fulfilled one of the staples of network television: the holiday episode. So there's no better day than October 31st to take another look at the series’ Halloween-set entry, "Tricks And Treats." Anchored by strong performances all around, the episode is concerned less with the holiday than what it represents in the eyes of each of the Weir family members and how at odds their competing visions are. Sam (John Francis Daley) wants to hang on to to being a kid for just a bit longer, and ropes in Neil (Samm Levine) and Bill (Martin Starr) to go trick and treating. Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) is still trying to assert her independence while hanging out with Daniel (James Franco), Nick (Jason Segel), and Kim (Busy Philipps). Meanwhile, Jean (Becky Ann Baker, the »
- Cain Rodriguez
If you’re a fan of one of the best TV shows of all time, Freaks and Geeks, then you should take notice of this mini reunion planned for next year. We know that the upcoming Vacation reboot will include the original Griswolds Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, so that’s exciting. Now director John Francis Daley revealed that a Freaks and Geeks reunion is also in the works for the film, with Daley (Sam Weir), Samm Levine (Neal Schweiber), and if all goes to plan, »
- Graham McMorrow
While Freaks and Geeks was cancelled after only one season, it has gone onto amass a healthy cult following, with younger audiences discovering it every year as it continues to stream on Netflix. Vacation co-director John Francis Daley hopes that works to his advantage as he plans a mini Freaks and Geeks reunion for his upcoming comedy reboot.
John Francis Daley co-wrote and will co-direct Vacation with his partner Jonathan M. Goldstein. Talking to Vulture three weeks into the shoot, Francis Daley also confirms that he has a small cameo appearance that will reunite him with former Freaks and Geeks co-stars Samm Levine and Martin Starr.
While John only has two lines in the movie, he will not reveal who he is playing just yet. He teases:
"I don't think I can even give away what my role is. I don't know if anyone even knows this yet, but Samm Levine, »
Back in 1999, John Francis Daley, Martin Starr and Samm Levine teamed up to become one of the greatest nerd trios in the history of the television medium when they starred together on the short-lived but beloved series Freaks & Geeks. Fifteen years later, it looks like the band is coming back together - but they're doing so in a rather unexpected way. Recently speaking with Vulture, John Francis Daley has revealed that he is going to be reuniting on screen with Martin Starr and Samm Levine in the upcoming Vacation reboot - which Daley is co-helming as his feature directorial debut. Asked if he would be making a cameo in the upcoming comedy, the actor-cum-director revealed that he is not only appearing in the movie, but that he is also working on a way to feature his Freaks & Geeks co-stars as well. The casting hasn't been 100% confirmed yet, but he clearly »
Fans of the short-lived cult comedy “Freaks and Geeks” will be thrilled to hear that a reunion is in the works. Star John Francis Daley, who played Sam Weir, is writing and directing a new chapter of the “National Lampoon's Vacation” movie franchise. He's asked two other “Freaks and Geeks” co-stars to join. “I don't know if anyone even knows this yet, but Samm Levine, and it's looking like Martin Starr, will also be in the film,” he told Vulture after also revealing that he will make a cameo in the movie. Also read: ‘National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation’ Cast Reunites for Old Navy. »
- Jethro Nededog
Gone too soon! Freaks and Geeks may have been cancelled after just 18 episodes, but the sitcom remains a fan-favorite for audiences. The show — which launched careers for stars like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Busy Philipps — celebrated its 15th anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 25. "15 years ago today Freaks & Geeks premiered on TV," Samm Levine, who played Neal Schweiber, tweeted. "Thanks to the dozens of you who watched it then, and the millions who've found it since!" Freaks and Geeks aired from 1999 [...] »
Freaks and Geeks, the little show that launched so many careers and is revered by countless, is 15 years old today. The 18-episode NBC series premiered on September 25, 1999. Hailing from Paul Feig, the man who would later give us Bridesmaids, the show starred Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Busy Philipps, Martin Starr, Samm Levine, John Francis Daley, Jason Segel, Becky Ann Baker and Joe Flaherty. Yes, Freaks and Geeks gave us the first tastes of all your favorite movie stars. The show launched a bevy of careers and even paved the way for…Veronica Mars. VMars creator Rob Thomas cites the series—and its subsequent cancellation—as a large-driving force in how his cult-hit series »
Several network series return this week, but the fall season starts in earnest next week. Before the premieres kick off, here are SoS TV Editor Kate Kulzick, SoS Managing TV Editor Deepayan Sengupta, and SoS lead TV critic Randy Dankievitch with their initial impressions on the networks’ new offerings.
Note: Our thoughts are based on pilots that are works in progress, so there may be changes to these episodes before they air.
Forever (10 pm Est, ABC)
Premieres Sept. 22nd and Sept 23rd , 2014
Among ABC’s new fall shows is Forever, a series set to focus on a medical examiner in New York who has a distinctive trait; unlike the rest of the population, he is immortal. Every time he dies, Dr. Henry Morgan finds himself waking up naked in a nearby body of water, and he teams up with Detective Martinez to help solve the city’s crimes.
Based on the pilot, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
They're talented, individual, but could, possibly, do with a bit of editorial guidance. Could these directors use a boss, we wonder?
In truth, we're a bit frightened about this one. Several times in pub/coffee shop/cider drinking in the park conversations, we've chatted about film directors who perhaps have got too powerful, that they seem to be able to get their own way without having someone to call bullshit on them - be it a good boss, or a very good friend that they trust and listen to.
This can be a very good thing. After all, we want film directors to be free to tell their stories. We don't want studio suits calling the shots. And some directors use their independence wondefully well, without losing what bought it to them in the first place (so, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis and such like).
AMC has ordered three reality series including All-Star Celebrity Bowling, which sounds ridiculous but could be a lot of fun with the right guests (the pilot features Jon Hamm and the cast of Mad Men playing against Chris Hardwick‘s Nerdist pals).
EW reports that Michael Malarkey will be a series regular on The Vampire Diaries next season. I’d be happier if Malakey weren’t so infuriatingly good at being such a hate-inspiring character, but he’s a great addition to the cast.
Oh, Enzo, why can’t you be pretty and bearable? You too, Damon.
Vulture argues that Grey’s Anatomy failed Cristina Yang. Her exit lacked the grandiose symbolism and narrative impact that Grey’s does well. As emotional as Cristina’s exit may have been, it failed to live up to the drama’s standards. What did you think, Grey’s watchers?
- Lyle Masaki
One of the breakout stars of the hit BBC series Doctor Who is Karen Gillan, who gained a large number of fans during her time on the show. Following appearances in tv shows such as Ntsf:sd:suv:: and movies such as Oculus, many where excited to learn that Gillan was planning to return to television, this time in a lead role. Titled Selfie, the show is created by Suburgatory‘s Emily Kapnek, and Gillan stars alongside John Cho, David Harewood, Samm Levine, and Brian Huskey. Along with the announcement that the show will be airing on Tuesdays in the fall, ABC has released the first trailers for the series. The trailers can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
What better way to reboot my dormant YouTube channel than by having a freewheeling chat with Doug Benson, host of Doug Loves Movies, and actor Samm Levine, the most prodigious player of Doug’s “Leonard Maltin Game?”We recorded this just before a session of Doug Loves Movies at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, where Doug’s guests were Samm, comedians Greg Proops and Rory Scovel, and filmmaker Joe Swanberg. I sat in the audience, but Doug and the guys kept calling out to me so I wound up participating, more or less, in the festivities. I’m sorry that, for a variety of reasons, I haven’t been able to keep up a steady flow...
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »
- Leonard Maltin
What better way to reboot my dormant YouTube channel than by having a freewheeling chat with Doug Benson, host of Doug Loves Movies, and actor Samm Levine, the most prodigious player of Doug’s “Leonard Maltin Game?” We recorded this just before a session of Doug Loves Movies at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, where Doug’s guests were Samm, comedians Greg Proops and Rory Scovel, and filmmaker Joe Swanberg. I sat in the audience, but Doug and the guys kept calling out to me so I wound up participating, more or less, in the festivities. I’m sorry that, for a variety of reasons, I haven’t been able to keep up a steady flow of YouTube videos, and hope to...
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »
- Leonard Maltin
This week on the couch we have James Roday and Jimmi Simpson watching The Cat o' Nine Tails. James is best known as Shawn Spencer on Psych, which recently wrapped up its eight-year run. He just finished his feature directorial debut, a horror-comedy called Gravy. Jimmi is best known as "that guy who you've seen in everything." Some of his recent projects include House of Cards, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Knights of Badassdom. The Cat o' Nine Tails was only the second film directed by horror auteur Dario Argento. A rather straightforward crime thriller starring Karl Malden as a blind journalist, Cat o' Nine Tails is considered a giallo film, a sort of stylized Italian mystery film that takes its name from the cheap pulp mystery novels of the first half of the 20th century. "Giallo" is Italian for "yellow," and pulp paperbacks originally used cheap, yellow covers. »
- Alyse Wax
Are you ready for another unlikely pairing for the latest feature on our Fearnet web series here known as 'The Vault?' Of course you are! This week, we've got actors Samm Levine ('Inglourious Basterds') and Amber Benson ('Buffy The Vampire Slayer') providing commentary for William Lustig's "slasher" cult classic 'Maniac,' starring the late, great Joe Spinell.
You may be familiar with the recent remake starring Elijah Wood (currently streaming over on Netflix Instant), but check out the film that not only inspired that film, but that kicked off a slew of "slasher"imitators in the early 80's! This is the first official directing credit for Bill Lustig who would go on to give us the 'Maniac Cop' and 'Relentless' franchises and it stars character actor Joe Spinell ('The Godfather,' 'Rocky') in a genre defining role as the sympatheitc and troubled Frank Zito, »
- Rob Galluzzo
If Sundance gave an award for the most emotionally debilitating film of the festival, then Life Itself, a documentary from Hoop Dreams director Steve James about the life of Roger Ebert, would win it anew every screening. Two days removed from its devastating premiere, it’s increasingly the talk of every “So, what have you seen that’s good?” conversation. “Not a dry eye in the house is what I’ve heard,” said actor Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks, Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show) when I mentioned the film at a party last night. “My roommate saw it this morning,” said another partygoer, “and when he came back to the house it was written all over his face. He was like, ‘Uh, yeah, so that was a tear-jerker.’ And he’s a big alpha male dude.”The audiences at Sundance are probably the most sympathetic ones this film will ever get. »
- Jada Yuan
With Hr defeated, it seems as though The Activity, not Vigilance, might be the most present danger for Finch & Co on "Person of Interest." The Jan. 14 episode "4C" features the involvement of the Intelligence Support Activity in a big way.
The Reese-centric episode has Samm Levine guest star as Owen, the creator of a bitcoin website called Black Market Bazaar who goes by the alter ego The Sphinx. The Machine sets Reese on Owen defense when the relevant number becomes a threat to national security. The Activity made a deal with Owen, and now wants to take him down -- on a plane, no less -- to protect their own backs.
Finch sets Shaw after her former employer (her drugging Hersh is pretty hilarious) as Reese tries to get to the bottom of the situation on the plane. It all gets resolved well and everyone is safe thanks to Finch and Reese. »
19 items from 2014
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