4 items from 2016
There are bad movies, and then there are worse movies, and then there are full-bore misfires such as “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?” Loosely based on Aristophanes’ “Lysistrada” — the 2,000-year-old Greek play that previously has inspired everything from a Wild West movie musical (1955’s “The Second Greatest Sex”) to an undeservedly short-lived Broadway extravaganza (“Lysistrada Jones,” a.k.a “Give It Up!”) to a Spike Lee Joint (“Chi-Raq”) — writer-director Matt Cooper’s smutty, smarmy farrago plays like the sort of wink-wink, nudge-nudge B-movie flotsam that might have amused habitués of Deep South drive-ins during the 1970s.
The level of humor is established early on when the audience is informed that everything will unfold in a small Texas town where the population is 6,969. (No, really.) Cooper evidences a colossal amount of tastelessness in launching his plot by having a grade-schooler swiping a handgun from his father’s closet to impress a classmate, »
- Joe Leydon
Caitlin McGee and Eugene Cordero (Comedy Bang! Bang!) have booked series regular roles opposite Craig Ferguson and Andrea Anders in Crunch Time, NBC's hybrid game show/comedy pilot written by Betsy Thomas based on an original idea by veteran game show producer Phil Gurin (Weakest Link). Crunch Time, which intercuts between a real game show and the scripted workplace, centers on Emily (Anders), an up-and-coming producer trying to wrangle the volatile host, Toby (Ferguson)… »
Andrea Anders (Better Off Ted) is set as the female lead opposite Craig Ferguson in Crunch Time, NBC's hybrid game show/comedy pilot written by Betsy Thomas based on an original idea by veteran game show producer Phil Gurin (Weakest Link). Crunch Time, which intercuts between a real game show and the scripted workplace, centers on Emily (Anders), an up-and-coming producer trying to wrangle the volatile host, Toby (Ferguson). Driven, loyal and level-headed, Emily is… »
It’s often said in television that nobody knows what makes a hit. But that’s not entirely true. James Burrows has a test that has rarely failed him in his 40-plus years of directing multicamera comedy series.
When working on pilots, Burrows likes to bring in an audience to watch a bare-bones run-through after a few days of rehearsal. No amount of focus-group testing of the finished product can tell him more than the first impression of an impartial crowd.
“For most of my hits, those run-throughs have been through the roof,” Burrows says. “That’s how I gauge the show. I see if they like the characters and the actors they don’t know. That’s how you know what you have.”
- Cynthia Littleton
4 items from 2016
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