15 items from 2013
Remember the days when popular prime-time TV shows would get Saturday-morning cartoon spinoffs, like The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang and Partridge Family 2200 A.D.? Those were truly the cultural salad days. So why not bring back that trend? There seems only one logical show to start with: Mad Men. Sure, the Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce employees and their significant others may be downers as adults, but give 'em the Muppet Babies treatment and they're adorable! Li'l Don, the Tom Sawyer of the group who can get anyone to do what he wants; Li'l Pete, the class kiss-ass who always ends up saying the wrong thing; and Li'l Peggy, always with her head buried in her toy typewriter! (In Hanna-Barbera tradition they should also have some sort of animal sidekick: Lucky the Pig? We'll market test that one.) Enjoy these pint-size ad tykes, courtesy of Jon Defreest; AMC and »
- Jon Defreest,Josh Wolk
In many viewers’ eyes, prequels are guilty until proved innocent. The Star Wars prequels satisfied few who’d gone through puberty, The Hobbit already looks to be an endless journey, and film history is littered with other excursions into fictional backstory that ultimately led nowhere. (Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, anyone?) TV has an equally poor track record: Star Trek: Enterprise; Ponderosa; the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica; and other series traded on well-known brands’ allure without capturing their magic and were so shackled by the need to maintain continuity with future time lines that their imaginations suffered. The most satisfying television prequel might have been the eighties kids’ cartoon series Muppet Babies. Like J. J. Abrams’s Star Trek and the CW’s Sex and the City prequel, Carrie Diaries—both of which have a goofy freshness—it seemed to be unfolding in an alternate universe, one in which »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
Trailer Ryan Lambie 11 Apr 2013 - 09:53
The 90s classic Flashback is being remade with lots of polygons and textures. Here's the first trailer...
For its time, Delphine Software's Flashback was properly cinematic. With its 2D platforming action overlaid with sumptuous rotoscoped animation, a theme tune which, at the time, sounded worthy of a Hollywood sci-fi flick, and a compelling storyline, it was about as close as the 16-bit generation got to its own Uncharted.
Perhaps we can forgive developer Vector Cell, then, for making hero Conrad B Hart look remarkably like Naughty Dog's hero Nathan Drake - Conrad was hanging from platforms and shooting bad guys while Nathan was still watching Muppet Babies, after all.
Besides, the newly announced Flashback HD remake has more than just nostalgia to link it back to the 1992 original. Designer Paul Cuisset, along with several other members of the Delphine team, reunited to create a Flashback for the current generation. »
A&E's Psycho prequel Bates Motel has been picked up for a second season. In his review, New York's Matt Zoller Seitz found himself "torn between condemning the series for piggybacking on a classic and promising an origin story it doesn’t really care to deliver, and praising it for avoiding the homicidal Muppet Babies formula and pulling a pretty brazen bait-and-switch." Now showrunners Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) will get at least another ten episodes to help Seitz and everyone else parse it out. »
- Zach Dionne
Three weeks ago, Vulture’s TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz wrote about his frustrations with the current season of Community: "It’s still a good show, but it doesn’t give me that anticipatory buzz that defines a really great series, that joyous anxiety born from being continually, often delightfully surprised." And after the first five episodes, the prevailing sense is that Seitz is very much correct — the show is not as good as it once was. However, what if this season's fundamental flaws have actually been part of the show’s DNA the entire time but we were too distracted to notice? Are we finally seeing problems that had been there all along?Each of this season’s five episodes has had a big conceptual hook. In order: Hunger Games/multi-cam sitcom/Muppet Babies parody; haunted house movie parody; fan convention parody; war movie parody; Shawshank Redemption parody. Yet »
- Jesse David Fox
Review Emma Matthews Feb 17, 2013
It's an out-of-season Halloween episode from Community this week, but how does it measure up to previous outings?
This review contains spoilers.
4.1 Paranormal Parentage
Our second foray into the Harmon-less wilds of Greendale turned up the now traditionally un-traditional Halloween Special. Yup. Halloween. Thanks to the much-delayed series start, in the Community-verse, it’s still October 2012; which is surely the only downfall of planning your show around an actual calendar – Networks are no respecter of format...
Anyhoo, the becostumed gang are drawn into Pierce’s specifically designed haunted house, to track down a racist ghost, bond, and generally reveal things about Pierce that no one ever needed to know, in true Community style... Well, almost. Whether it’s the jolt of watching a brand new Halloween episode in February, or the costumed reminder that the show’s uphill battle with NBC is a losing one, »
Review Emma Matthews Feb 11, 2013
October 19th finally arrived! Here's Emma's review of Community's season four opener...
This review contains spoilers.
4.1 History 101
After an extended sabbatical, our favourite dysfunctional study group finally walked back through the doors of America’s most dubious educational institution this week, allowing us to breathe a sigh of (almost) relief. Following a hiatus that saw the show’s creator Dan Harmon part ways with NBC, a precarious will they/won’t they be cancelled tug of love/disgust, where it looked as if Community would never again grace our screens, along with a display of diva behaviour from Chevy Chase that would make Joan Collins blush with embarrassment and frankly, the fact the premiere aired at all is nothing short of a miracle.
But as with all miracles, you’d be forgiven for approaching season four’s opener with extreme caution. Until its removal from our schedules, »
“Change is always scary. But then I thought of you guys and I wasn’t so scared. Abed, when you brought the group together, you changed our lives. But then we changed each other, and we’re gonna keep changing in unexpected ways. (…) Even if we go somewhere, we’re not going anywhere. ”
Okay, Human Beings, I need everyone to take a deep breath.
Although yesterday’s calendar read February 7th, those of us crowded around our televisions beginning at 8:00 likely knew it to be October 19th. The question isn’t where, but when, yes?
After all it’s been through it its relatively short time with an audience, fans of the show Community were anxiously awaiting the premiere of season 4. After dealing with a mid-season hiatus in December 2011 with a return in March 2012, the Dan Harmon/Chevy Chase debacle, the ultimate removal of Dan Harmon from the show’s reins, »
- Jamie Hoover
This has been a long time coming. As a fanbase, we’ve had to jump over several hurdles in order to arrive at this moment: our October 19. With all the drama that has surrounded Community since the end of last season – Dan Harmon’s firing, Chevy Chase leaving the show, the reduced episode count and subsequent schedule shuffling – it’s hard not to go into this premiere waiting for the bomb to go off. It almost seemed like all signs were pointing toward disaster. How could the new showrunners possibly recreate what was so clearly a man’s love and passion? Dan Harmon poured his soul into this series, gave it life and was terminated because he loved his creation so much that he became impossible for NBC to deal with. I know a lot of viewers will be looking at “History 101” with a magnifying glass, scrutinizing every detail to »
- Brody Gibson
I really hate that I'm writing this review. I've been waiting and waiting for "Community" Season 4 like any good fan out there, and all I wanted to do was sing the show's praises upon its return.
It's just that I can't. This isn't the "Community" we used to know. What we have now is not creator Dan Harmon's darkly funny "Community," but a reflection of that show, filtered through the brighter and happier perceptions of others.
And that's the problem -- "Community" is not a light-filled show. Every joke and every parody had an underlying darkness that gave meaning to what might have been nothing but silly gags.
Without Harmon at the reins, the darkness disappears.
Of course, "Community" is still funny. I'd even go so far to say that this show remains one of the silliest, cleverest and weirdest comedies on television. And the Season 4 premiere »
After what was arguably the longest summer break in television history, Greendale Community College reopened on Thursday night. But did Community‘s first post-Dan Harmon offering leave you feeling cool, cool, cool, Human Beings? Or perhaps a little cold?
We’re eager to hear your thoughts on the cult fave’s comeback, but first, here’s the deal, Jessica Biel (thanks, Britta):
A majority of the season opener consists of a show-within-a-show — a multi-cam comedy called Abed’s Happy Community College Show, to be exact. Some quality (?) therapizing from Britta prompts Danny Pudi’s alter ego to retreat »
- Megan Masters
ABC Family has given series orders to a pair of its most recently ordered drama pilots, picking up "The Fosters" and "Twisted." Both dramas will begin production this spring and will premiere on ABC Family this summer. "The Fosters" comes from executive producer Jennifer Lopez and creators Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige. The story of a multi-ethnic family of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms stars Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Jake T. Austin, Hayden Byerly, David Lambert, Maia Mitchell, Danny Nucci and Cierra Ramirez. Kind of a Muppet Babies version of "Dexter," "Twisted" (formerly titled »
- Daniel Fienberg
Everyone knows that Kelly Kapoor and Ryan Howard belong together — even if their story seemingly ended when Kelly left Scranton to be with handsome doctor Ravi at the beginning of The Office’s ninth season.
So it’s a good thing that the actors behind Ryan and Kelly will get one more shot at happiness on The Mindy Project. B.J. Novak — an executive producer of the Fox comedy’s pilot, as well as a consulting producer throughout its first season — is guest-starring tonight and next Tuesday as Jaime, a Latin professor Novak calls “the man version of what [Mindy Kaling's character] dated on The Office. »
- Hillary Busis
Welcome to "Where on the Shelf Is..." In this column, I look at great TV shows and movies that have never been on DVD and/or Blu-ray. For your pleasure and out of all of our frustrations, this column examines the Where, When and, of course, Why?! of these non-releases. Up this week is...Muppet Babies What Is It?: Jim Henson's Muppets have been a marketable and profitable brand since 1976, when The Muppet Show first aired. Kermit and the gang have drawn such a humungous »
- Mathew Plale
Luke Owen takes in a Muppet movie marathon...
Where 3 guys (this time joined by girlfriends and children) watch franchise movies one after the others. This marathon is sponsored by pizza.
(This was back in December, so I’m a bit late on the report – sorry!)
It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to get things started on the Muppet Movie Marathon (it sort of fits the theme).
The last five marathon meetings have been a bit morbid in tone. Four of them have been about teenagers avoiding death and the other was centred around the human race losing out to apes. With that in mind (and it being a festive season), we decided to go with something a bit lighter in tone – The Muppets.
Since I was a kind, I loved The Muppets and have always said that they can »
15 items from 2013
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