too early for christmas movies? christmas movie, christmas movie, christmas movie …

Huh. That title sounded a lot funnier in my head when I was doing the “cheeseburger, cheeseburger cheeseburger” thing from Saturday Night Live.

Oh well. Not everything sticks. On to the links:

who wants to see a christmas movie when they can wear shorts outside?

who wants to see a christmas movie when they can wear shorts outside?

The holiday movie season kicked off with an … eh. Can you blame people for not going nuts about seeing A Christmas Carol on Nov. 6? On a weekend that ended up in the 70s through most of the East and Midwest? No fear for Disney, the only reason they did it was to squeeze every last cent out of this movie they could. It will still be in theaters over Thanksgiving and Christmas, when people actually will want to see it. Releasing it now is nothing more than Disney blatantly saying, “We know it’s not Christmas, but we can make some extra money so guess what America, here’s a Christmas movie about three weeks too early! Suck it!” This is always the first weekend of the unofficial holiday movie season, but it’s not usually a weekend for actual Christmas movies. Actually, Disney should be pretty happy with this weekend since the last two Christmas movies released on this weekend — Fred Claus in 2007 ($18.5 million opening weekend) and Santa Clause 3 in 2006 ($19 million) — the results were disappointing and neither movie ended up making $100 million. Looks like Christmas Carol should get to about $150 million.

It doesn’t seem like it’s going to get much better. Looming over the release schedule for November and December, the Oscar watch looks pretty desolate and the blockbusters look pretty boring. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

The most interesting thing about the holiday movie season can be described in one word — Avatar. Even though it may cost Fox $500 million, there is an argument that it’s going to make money no matter what happens. Good for Fox, since I’ve seen both trailers, read about it and just don’t see why it’s different than any other 3-D movie. Then again, James Cameron had to put up with this talk before Titanic was released. It was behind schedule, way over budget and the stars were complaining about the shoot. It came out over Christmas 1997 instead of summer 1997, but it looks like that all worked out, no?

Since movies suck right now, might as well go back to the well and drag out the old classics. But if you’re going to do it, you probably should do it with great movies this generation never got to see on the big screen and barely would even get to see on cable — that makes Evil Dead a perfect choice. Randomly seeing Evil Dead 2 as an 12-year-old on HBO during a sleepover at like 1:30 in the morning remains one of my favorite movie finds ever, even though we were just looking for gratuitous nudity at the time.

Mad Men is the best show on TV. Period, end of story, stop the fight. When Friday Night Lights ended its NBC season in April, the challenge was given for Mad Men to top it. I didn’t know if it was possible, but dang if Mad Men didn’t do it. Sunday’s finale was everything a season finale should be. Fast-paced, funny, brilliantly written and it wrapped up loose ends while still untying some others to make sure you want to watch next year. I’ve said this before — season finales for serialized shows like Mad Men should be a reward for the viewer for watching all year. That could easily sum it last night’s finale — it was a reward. Even if not everyone thought the season was as brilliant as everyone else did.

Still haven’t seen Ghost Rider all the way through even though it’s on FX about three time a week and it’s in the regular Encore rotation. Now that David Goyer is involved in making the next one — and doesn’t really seem to have a handle on what he’ll be doing with the property — I’m pretty sure I can manage to avoid the franchise completely.

Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t the first time a pay-cable show came to regular TV, but it has the potential to be the most successful. Watching The Sopranos on A&E is a joke, it might as well be on Nickelodeon. It’s that much of a difference. Dexter on CBS during the writers strike became comedic by the end of the season as they tried to figure out new ways to edit Doakes and Deb to the point where they were going so far as to use Die Hard with a Vengeance’s “melon farmers.” OK, no one would go that far, but still. Entourage is coming to Spike next year which in theory sounds like a great idea — the ultimate guys’ show on the station that is trying to bill itself as the ultimate guys’ network. But how can you really get the true Ari flavor on regular TV? Actually, forget about that — how is Spike going to be able to use more than three lines per show from Ari without censoring them? It’s impossible. But Curb is the one show that doesn’t rely too heavily on swearing to make a joke, so it might be able to sneak right in and turn into a great second-viewing show on basic cable. Maybe watching it then will finally get me in on the joke.

offensive for its laziness

offensive for its laziness

Have you ever been watching a TV show or a movie, laughed at a questionable joke and then thought, “Uh oh, this isn’t the last time we’ll be hearing about this.” That was me watching the Halloween episode of The Officewhen Michael made fun of suicide, all while dressed as D!ck in a Box Justin Timberlake. I thought it was funny and personally had no problem with it, but that’s because I don’t ever get upset with comedy and really believe that nothing is off limits. But my PC alarm was buzzing off the charts. The American Federation of Suicide Prevention was a little late, but they’re on the record now. The organization made the wrong argument though. The joke was a throw-away, a quick gag that had no bearing on the plot of the episode and could easily have been cut or reworked. There is no way the people involved with the scene said, “Everyone will love this! Emmy here we come!.” But they were lazy, couldn’t think of another joke and just left it in. Or they knew this is the kind of backlash that would ensue and decided to keep it in for extra publicity. So don’t argue against the joke, call the writers and producers out for either being lazy or publicity whores.

If you’re into Showtime shows and you’re waiting for United States of Tara to come back, bad news. It’s not coming back until March. But if you’re waiting for Nurse Jackie to come back, then there’s great news, it’s coming back in March! Such is the scheduling on cable stations. They’ve completely dropped the model of networks and just bring shows back whenever they feel like it — or can afford it.

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