The Olympics are OVER!!! That means I won't actually watch NBC with any regularity until the next one.
- A Archer / Bob’s Burgers crossover is coming. Soon all cartoons (owned by FOX) will be part of the same universe and they shall have their own Cartoon (FOX) Avengers!!!
- Not a week goes by where I don’t plug some sort of Arrow news. This time IGN interviews the shows producers going over who can and will be in the show, who might be in the show, and who won’t be in the show
- Dr. Dre is producing a crime drama for FX that “explores present-day Los Angeles through the lenses of the music business and the crime business”... Shouldn’t he be releasing Detox instead?
- Jason Batemen is continuing the lie that Arrested Development is really coming back by circulating this photo. Also created a thread with more pictures. It is all LIES I say!!!
- H+ is a new webseries from Bryan Singer and it looks pretty good. Society has moved past simple cell phones and laptops, now constantly connected with the H+ chip. Than, of course, something goes wrong. Discover went went wrong with some non-linear storytelling. H+ begins “airing” Aug 8 and every Wednesday after on it’s YouTube channel..
- While I’m plugging web series, Tom Hanks lent his voice and created an animated show called Electric City. He voices a hit man, who lives in a city that isn’t as orderly and civilized as it seems. The episodes run about 10 minutes and all 20 of them are up now.
Go On S1 Ep01 “Pilot”
The Olympics aren’t just for semi-obscure sports you become aware of, and then promptly forget. Like handball. The Olympics are also that one time every 2 years that people actually watch NBC (and its other networks not called USA). Taking full advantage of this was a special commercial free preview of Go On. The comedy that marks the return of Matthew Perry to NBC after Mr. Sunshine at ABC failed, and Studio 60 failed and Friends rode off into the sunset.
The trailer gave off a bit of a Community vibe, a good sign. Comparisons to the much loved but under watched show aren’t that hard. A sarcastic Matthew Perry plays Ryan King, a sports talk show host, who is forced to enter into group therapy sessions in order to return to work. King is sarcastic and a bit self absorbed, generally ambivalent to any kind of personal growth with these sessions. Like Jeffrey Tobias Winger he uses that as armor, protecting himself from any real self improvement, or those painful feels that come up when your wife dies from texting and driving. But, with the help of a group of eccentric cartoonish group mates maybe they all will grow a little.
The one thing that is missing from the Go On-Community comparison is laughs and charm. The funny is clearly in the Community camp of this venn diagram. Go On is dry and sarcastic trying to be witty. The Study Group is indeed a cast of characters but importantly THEY ARE characters not a group of eccentric traits. By the end of the Community pilot I knew the other group members names and what stereotype they were. By the end of Go On I have some shorthand names for them: Owen, Blind Guy, Angry Lesbian, Creepy Guy, Spanish Lady, and Fat Melissa Joan Hart. This is too big and bland for a half-hour comedy. Add in Perry, the therapist and her assistant and that’s a lot of people to write for.
The trailer had me when Owen suggested they call their impromptu sadness tournament “March Sadness”. The idea seemed prime for comedy gold, why hasn’t anyone done something like this before? Unfortunately all of March Sadness is in the trailer and probably the single funniest moment in the show. The rest of the comedy is sarcastic one liners from Perry who does a good job in delivery. Advertised as a comedy the show is more like a comedy-drama. The conceit of this show, self help tragedy group, is why the comedy seems to fail. At one moment you’re supposed to feel sad for Angry Lesbian but then laugh at her because she is that? Trying to make light of tragedy is hard thing even if it isn’t the main focus of the comedy.
Having watched a lot of Friends on Nickelodeon recently I know Perry can be funny. The rest of the cast isn’t that funny right now. This is only one episode of a series, set to premiere on September 11, and you can’t really judge a show off of one episode. So maybe it gets better? Pilot wasn’t the best first impression the show could make.
D Good thing there weren’t commercials or I would've just turned the channel.
Dallas S1 Ep10 "Revelations" SEASON FINALE
Season finales need to be a good mix of story wrap up and set up for next season. In that field Dallas did well. Vicente Cano and Harris Ryland are firmly shutdown, for now at least. Seeing Ann finally stand up and turn the tables on Ryland was more satisfying than expected. The “Don’t Fuck with the Ewing’ speech to Vicente was less than satisfying. It was over theatric and gloating. Perhaps the writers thought the audience would smugly bro fist as the Ewing stand strong. Bobbys threat about using the cloud drive on J.R. if he tries anything like this again doesn't make sense since he was granted immunity for the fraud documented on it.
If there's a dead body in your room. Who ya gonna call? No seriously, who do you call? Rebecca knew who to call, and quickly poor o’ll Tommy was in a dirty clothes hamper never to be seen again. In an earlier review, during the great Hagmann drought, I commented that they seemed to be setting up Cliff Barnes as the next big bad in season 2. This appears to be right since with the revelation that Rebecca Sutter/Ewing is really Rebecca Barnes. It is a bit weird though for her to call Ken Kercheval “Daddy” when he looks like GranDaddy Barnes. This at least makes me finally a bit interested in the character of Rebecca Sutter/Ewing/Barnes. Hopefully this mean more of ‘Smiling’ Frank played by Faran Tahir.
Of all the new generation the character of John Ross has been the only interesting one. His newfound want to be the good guy after trying to steal Southfork and not be like his father had possibilities. It looked like he would be on the light side for at least a little bit going into season 2. Looked and is are, are two different things, and Ross is clearly on the dark side scheming with J.R. to steal Ewing Energies from Christopher and Elena. Ross is like the titular Outcast of Redwall trying to battle nature versus nurture, even though that wasn’t too good either. Josh Henderson has grown on me over these 10 episodes and now feels far more at home in the world of Dallas than Jesse Metcalfe and Jordana Brewster.
Christopher and Elena are finally together, no longer burdened by relationships and they can just be happy together. How boring is that? That whole arc has been boring and stereotypical for the genre. Besides now that they are together what will they do? Become the power couple of the show and fight John Ross’s attempts at stealing the company?
I started watching Dallas partly out of curiosity, but mostly out of a need for some sort of serialized scripted drama. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do now 10 weeks ago. Is this show great drama, up there with Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or Walking Dead? Nope but it is able to play within the genre well enough and is not be too swervy for the sake of swerves. Putting Dallas in the summer slot was a smart move by TNT, earning them plenty of ratings and a decent amount of critical buzz. Season 2 is set to start in January, a overall more competitive time of the year. It should hold its own in the cable ratings department but won’t be must watch viewing likely.
B+ It isn’t perfect but still watchable and entertaining
Newsroom S1 Ep08 “The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn”
It’s hot in New York City, and the NewsNight2.0 team has to report on the Casey Anthony Trial! This marks the beginning of the two part Blackout episode. Like most openings of a two part story plenty of ground must be covered and the enemy must seem dominant. This adds up to lots of bitching and moaning hat they are not properly being used. Overall “Tragedy Porn” was a watchable mess.
News Night lost half of its audience to Nancy Grace and the Casey Anthony trial coverage. That isn’t really news and News Night is about the facts and real news...and actual news. Will needs these people, without them Leona Lansing can just fire Will.They also want to do a Republican debate where they change the game on those Republicans and thus change the game FOREVER. So throwing away their modus operandi and not tell the public to “eat their vegetables” for a couple weeks. So the crew begins to slum it by covering the Casey Anthony trial along with the Weiner picture scandal over Twitter. Pushing the “real” news like Sloan and her story about the debt ceiling votes to the periphery. Will begins the episode by smoking a cigarette reminiscent of a mob boss he ends it with one looking like a dirty porn producer.
Making matters slightly worse, Will is doing a trial run with MacKenzie’s ex-boyfriend, who might be writing a feature on Will and News Night. Just a tad awkward when it just so happens he is also the guy that Mac used to cheat on Will. Because they can’t go an episode without reminding us of this fact.
All the self loathing and hatred for covering the Anthony trial and the whole circus that goes along with that type of story was grating after a while. All the self loathing and complaining just killed what felt like 20 minutes, turning it into an angry circle jerk. They did use the Anthony and Weiner stories in the way I’ve prefered Newsroom use real life events. As background and context not actual reporting.
Charlie is out of the office for once, proving he doesn't just drink and live in the tower. Charlie is on the hunt for the identity of ‘Late for Dinner’. Turns out he is a high level NSA guy and wants to blow the whistle on warrantless wiretapping that they, and ACN are doing. Skinner seemed to be at a loss with these revelations. A nice reference to The Dark Knight didn’t help matters. Using the News of the World hacking scandal and making that happen in the show is a nice change from the normal reporting on real events. This gives them something to fight against other than the ethical dilemmas of reporting the good news.
As everyone’s rage begins to boil over we are left in darkness as the titular blackout occurs. Part 1 just kind of happened for a while not really going anywhere. The movement in the hacking plot was interesting and the inclusion of Mackenzie's ex might actually bring closure to that hate-love relationship.
C Being Watchable isn’t a terrible thing and this episode was that.
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- I continue to watch Movies based on Video Games with Tekken: Blood Vengeance. This week I'll be looking at the final of the three Tekken films, the 2010 film Tekken.