Last October, show runner Graham Linehan announced the cancellation of British geek-friendly comedy The I.T. Crowd after only four seasons (man, those Brits need to learn to milk their shows until they run themselves into the ground like we do). Although The I.T. Crowd was slated for a fifth season to start production this year, it seems that Linehan himself has opted to cease the show’s run, but promises an extended special in 2012. Continue reading
Those of us who grew up during the 90’s know what a powerful beast 90’s nostalgia can be. If it could be harnessed, the energy crisis would be over. If it could be monetized, we would cure the recession. If it could be weaponized, the United States would have achieved universal domination. What I’m trying to say is, we’re pretty darn nostalgic.
Children of the 90’s range from college-age adults to those in their 30’s who believe they grew up during the heyday of children’s programming. They (or should I say “we”) often don un-ironic cartoon graphic Tees and talk about Pogs. We may not have had fancy Avatar technology, but we were happy with the crappy graphics of Stick Stickly. And we get to a 3-beers level of excitement when we hear something like this:
Nickelodeon is responsible for a large portion of the 90’s madness, as it is widely acknowledged that this was the network’s golden years. Nickelodeon knows it too. Take a look at the “About” blurb on the 90’s Are All That web site:
Now, if that doesn’t hit the nail on the head, I don’t know what does. The blurb, practically translated, states something along the lines of:
“Hey young adults! We know you are most likely unemployed in this economy, and watching TV at midnight on a weekday. Either that, or you are under the influence of some legal or illegal substance. You are at that time in life where you have become disenchanted with the harsh reality of the real, adult world. Don’t you wish you could relive the simpler days? Just watch our shows and follow us on Twitter, and we’ll tell you everything is okay!”
And who could blame them? Kenan Thompson’s “Pierre Escargot” character on All That is better than anything he played on SNL. (Side note: I really hope this is a meme.)
Here’s a look at some of their programming:
Kenan & Kel
Clarissa Explains it All
And more. Plus, they’ve got a really hip Tumblr. (I swear, I’m not being paid by Nick, I just really like cartoons.) So if you’re up late at night, you don’t have to stare endlessly at this site as I’ve been doing. You can totally remember when “life didn’t suck.”
Do a quick search and you’ll find many articles about hit British television show, Doctor Who. And for good reason; this hugely popular sci-fi has recently found a passionate cult American audience. But what about Torchwood? This Doctor spin-off (no Spin Doctors pun intended) is nothing like the original show, except for the fact that it shares a central character and alien technology. So what is it about Torchwood that makes it worthy of the spotlight? Continue reading
There’s this old piece of advice in the film, television, and theatrical world: never work with children or animals. Despite this, some shows just can’t help but write pets into the cast. Now, we’re not talking about animals that happen to be a lead character (i.e. Scooby Doo, Wishbone) but full on pets that support their human companions, stand by their side in times of need, and provide much needed cute relief. Continue reading
Movie stars get all the credit. They’re right up there with rock stars and astronauts as far as dream jobs go. Last week I mentioned the shift of movie stars to the small screen, but what does that mean for TV stars? Are they going to get bumped down in the shuffle, or will they maintain their place in our hearts as our tried-and-true weekly personalities?
To honor the traditional TV star, I thought I’d take a look at one of the TV-iest of actors, Johnny Galecki. You may know Johnny Galecki as Leonard from The Big Bang Theory, with his squinty eyes, thick glasses, and scientific know-how.
But before he was the genius that could land the hot chick, Galecki played David Healy on the aforementioned Roseanne (the secret guilty pleasure of Whedon-ites, as this was one of Joss’s first writing gigs). Let’s take a look at where David’s come.
David was always a soft-spoken, intelligent type, unlike his rebellious older brother, Mark. It’s not a total stretch from that to Leonard, a bright theoretical physicist, but Leonard is obviously more left-brained. David certainly wasn’t as much of a goody two-shoe, particularly because of his troubled home life, so he’s smart but not as academic as his alternate character. Though to be fair, Leonard’s IQ might be related to his very different upbringing.
David was an artistic character who illustrated Darlene’s graphic novels, so naturally he was a comic book fan. There’s no sign that Leonard is artistic (I imagine he is anything but), but there’s plenty of evidence of his comic-book culture obsession. Even though Leonard scores lowest on the Big Bang Theory geek scale, he lives in a world where geek is chic. Thick glasses are ironically cool. Superhero T-shirts are worn by attractive women. There’s a comic book shop next to a Starbucks on every block. David comes from the 90’s, where nerds were properly ashamed.
David and Leonard both have the on-again-off-again relationship curse. David and Roseanne’s on-show daughter, Darlene, had one of the most engaging off-beat romances in sitcom history. Leonard’s on-again-off-again relationship with resident hot girl Penny was also the main obligatory drama through Big Bang Theory’s earlier seasons. David might win this round though; he got Darlene pregnant and subsequently married her. Teen pregnancy isn’t ideal, but come on, Leonard would settle for that with his track record.
As for the loving David, he just can’t seem to stay away from Darlene, even when he and she are playing a different character.
Compare his first kiss with Leslie Winkle in Big Bang Theory with his other first kiss with actress Sara Gilbert, though, and you might start thinking some things don’t get better with age.
Is it the economy? Is it the fact that TV has stuck around long enough to be considered an art? Maybe it’s the shiny new period shows and dramas that lure them in, or maybe they just need a career save. Whatever the case, movie stars are making their way to the small screen. What’s going on? Shouldn’t they be creating their own fashion line or helping the planet (or both)? Instead, they’re invading our living rooms show after show. It’s an unspoken fact. Well, now spoken. Here are just a few at the forefront:
Anjelica Huston has been a movie star to me ever since The Witches. This very specialized actress is perhaps best known for her roles in The Addams Family and The Royal Tenenbaums, but has over 70 credits to her name. Just check out her IMDB page. Now, she’s a core cast member on NBC’s new baby, Smash. Smash officially premieres on Monday, February 6, so it’s hard to say what the future of this show will be, but the first episode has been released on NBC’s web site.
Ashton is no stranger to TV; he is arguably most well known for his role as Kelso on That 70’s Show. Even so, nobody could argue that Ashton has lived anything short of the movie star lifestyle. From Dude, Where’s My Car to The Butterfly Effect, we’re used to seeing his face blown up on large billboards (most recently for No Strings Attached and New Year’s Eve). But after the Charlie Sheen Fiasco, Ashton’s back in the sitcom world with 2 and a Half Men. Of course, they still pay him a celebrity’s wage.
Oh, adorkable Zooey. In 500 Days of Summer, she was heartbreaking. In Elf, she was charmingly cynical. In The Happening, she was… there. Zooey started dabbling in TV during her time on Weeds and the SyFy mini-series Tin Man, but now she’s really in the game with New Girl. She’s the face of this show and it looks like it’s sticking around.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Other big names in the movement include Dustin Hoffman of Rain Man fame (and another hefty IMDB page with over 70 acting credits) who stars in the HBO series Luck, the young Kat Dennings of Nick and Norah and Thor as the co-lead on 2 Broke Girls, and Christina Ricci who gave it a shot on the now cancelled Pan Am.
According to Deadline Hollywood, even more big names will join the list. Hybrid theatre-film-TV actor John Lequizamo has signed a pact with ABC to star in his own single-camera comedy. The actor we’re six degrees away from might be playing a serial killer. And looks like we’ll be seeing Anne Heche again. Who knows who might swing over next?
Super Bowl Sunday is rapidly approaching, the day when Americans all tune into the same channel at the same time with the same appetizers. It’s one of the few big live TV events we have left in a culture that Tivos, DVRs, Netflixes, Hulus, and downloads. As we’ve established, I am not into sports, but even us non-football fans still take a peek. However, it’s not like the other channels just black out and submit! They either try to lure us away with some counterprogramming during the halftime show, or they put their worst foot forward because nobody’s paying attention. If you want to flip away from some football this Sunday, here’s what you have to look forward to. Continue reading
I’m a huge animation enthusiast. I wake up early on Saturday mornings with sugary cereal. I have paid extra to get Disney XD. I saw Tangled in theatres with no kids in tow… in 3D. Maybe I’m just a child at heart. After all, I’d be infinitely more excited about spending my vacation here than at the Hilton. But you don’t have to be as big of a cartoon fan as I am (a.k.a., not an 8-year-old boy) to enjoy these 5 cartoons that “grown-ups” tend to praise. Continue reading
At first, I avoided New Girl as a matter of principle. I live in Los Angeles, and these terrible ads were everywhere. “Adorkable!” they would scream at me from every billboard, with a very unflattering picture of Zooey. “Zooey is not adorkable,” I would scream back in my head. “Zooey is not a dork. This is not why we like Zooey!” In fact, there are some very in-depth reasons behind why we like Zooey. Continue reading