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I love, love, love this show! I can't believe it slipped under my radar for so long before I discovered it late last Fall while my two teenage sons were hee-hawing in the next room, and I went to see what I was missing.
I've now scheduled my cable recorder to pick up every episode that airs, on 3 different channels, and I watch them before bed at night (effectively monopolizing all of the recording space...muhahahahaha).
What a great ensemble of actors, and what a really great way to slough off a hard day full of stress and serious stuff. My heartfelt thanks to the creators, writers, actors and everyone else who makes this incredibly funny show possible for me to enjoy...sometimes to the point of tears. Please keep those episodes coming!
Not Everything It Could Have Been
Nicole Kidman was delightful, and she and Will Ferrell have very good on-screen chemistry, but the story was weak, and the roles were written even weaker. I really expected to like this film no matter what the differences...and really, how do you live up to the likes of series' ensemble and quirky characters? While Shirley MacLaine was hands-down the best possible choice for Endora, they really let her and the audience both down - Shirley MacLaine is no wallflower, and neither are any of the characters she plays - this is why we love her after all, but the part was simply badly written, and she just wasn't given much opportunity to take the character anywhere or leave the dynamite impression we're accustomed to getting with this multi-talented actress.
Michael Cain was a great choice for Nigel Bigelow, but, like Shirley MacLaine, seemed to be on the very edge of a great moment, ready to pull out all of the stoppers, only to have the story move away from him again, leaving the previous moment rather bland. Shame on these writers for treating such terrific talents this way.
Some of Will Ferrell's physical comedy clearly harkened back to his Saturday Night days, something he needs to leave behind him at this stage in his career. He's clearly talented, and has a lot to offer, but the cheerleader jumps really need to be put to bed. He ultimately made a very charming Darren, and I did enjoy him in the part, but there seemed to be a good bit of distracting personality conflicts there too, as if the writers couldn't decide what picture to paint of this guy.
Some characters just shouldn't have been touched - if you can't create something entirely unique to draw the audience in, then please, please, don't put some otherwise talented actor up as shark bait in a role they can't possibly reach up to - I'm referring to Uncle Arthur, and poor Steve Carell's attempt to imitate the incomparable Paul Lynde. He needs to give his agent a swift kick for putting him in that position - it was really sad.
On a positive note though, the quick insert of the Kravitz's was well done and a welcome surprise...I didn't realize how much I'd missed them from the film until they popped onto the screen in good IL' Kravitz style.