Who Benefits from Charlie Sheen?

Just so everyone knows, coming Friday will be my annual primer for Scranton’s Parade Day, which has now become one of the biggest days in Northeast Pennsylvania. Judging by what I see every year, people still need a cheat sheet for how to go about the whole thing.

To the links:

what about me? i'm leaving my show too!

what about me? i'm leaving my show too!

Looking for someone who will benefit from Charlie Sheen’s crash, burn, burn, burn, and flame out from Two and a Half Men? How about whoever is the new boss on The Office? Since Steve Carrel said he would leave the show at the end of this year, the cast and producers have been bombarded with questions about who will be taking over Sabre’s Scranton branch. It had to be a pain in the neck for them by the time February rolled around. Now, they’ll get about one-quarter of the media requests they had been getting, allowing them to concentrate on the rest of the season. And in September, while Two and a Half Men will be getting all the scrutiny, The Office will probably just glide under the radar and carry on with business as usual. As long as Ted McGinley isn’t the replacement.

How long before Rob Lowe gets labeled a job jumper? Is he the Larry Brown of TV? He last appeared regularly on West Wing in 2003, and left to start his own series, Dr. Vegas (which didn’t make it to Halloween). The he latched on to Brothers and Sisters in a slight comeback role, left that show by getting killed in a car crash, jumped to Parks and Recreation in 2010 in a surprisingly funny role … and now he’s already being talked about as the Charlie Sheen replacement? That would be five shows in eight years. That’s not the way to build up your 401k. If anyone in the regular world did that and went looking for a sixth job, you better believe there would be dozens of employers who threw that resume away in a heartbeat. It seems like Lowe’s role in Parks and Rec may be diminished anyway since he’s in Indianapolis now and has broken up with … ANN PERKINS! … but they could have found something for him to do.

sorry scarlett. your servcies are no longer required.

sorry scarlett. your services are no longer required.

More evidence that the GI Joe franchise is pretty much lost: the sequel, which just got its 2012 release date, is supposedly cutting down on the number of characters. That would have been fine in the first one, since it was hard to tell some of the people (especially the women) apart. But in the second one? Bad idea. I was a freak for the GI Joe comic book and cartoon in the 80s. You know what I did every time an episode came out that I knew only had a couple characters? I turned the channel. Or went outside. Or if I heard on the news that Hell was about to freeze over, I did my homework. So cutting down on the number of characters in future movies probably isn’t the way to go. The one thing the franchise does know how to do, however, is market itself. Instead of waiting around for things like a script, a story or, you know, actors, the franchise snatched up an Aug. 10, 2012 release date. Thinking about Summer 2011 movies is sooooo 2010. Looking ahead to summer 2012, we’re at Avengers, Men In Black III, Madagascar 3, Star Trek 2, Spider-Man reboot, Ice Age 4, Batman 3 (or 7, whatever), Bourne 4 and GI Joe 2. It’s about time for studios to start looking elsewhere for tentpole real estate.

Pretty safe to say Dark Knight Rises won’t need any extra, 18-month-in-advance hype. But damned if Gary Oldman didn’t throw some outanyway when he said the story is the coolest thing ever put on paper and it takes Dark Knight behind the woodshed and kicks the living crap out of it. Then it calls over a couple of hard pipe-hitting, umm, guys to go medieval on its @ss. OK, so all he said is that it’s going to be “fantastic.” My way just sounds funnier.

In 1996, most of us wanted one thing from Jim Carrey — fart jokes. Or pulling his face in 17 different directions, one or the other. He was coming off what may have been the biggest year any post-1970s comedian has ever had on the big screen in 1994 (Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber) and we wanted more, more, more. Instead, we got The Cable Guy. At the time, it made no sense, none at all. How come he’s not talking out of his butt? How come he’s not peeing in a beer bottle and making a state trooper drink it? What we didn’t realize is that Carrey had bigger things in mind and thought Cable Guy would be his window into that world where he could make movies like Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine and I Love You Philip Morris. When Cable Guy bombed, it was back to the world of Liar Liar before he could make Truman Show and Man on the Moon and really start to establish himself as an actor instead of just a comedian. Knowing that makes it easier to look back on Cable Guy and watch it now — but it doesn’t change the fact that it just was the wrong vehicle at the wrong time for Carrey, no matter what Judd Apatow says.

right this way, sarah michelle gellar. you're in too.

right this way, sarah michelle gellar. you're in too.

This is kind of a spoiler-filled photo gallery — stars that are making pilots for the fall 2011 TV season. It’s spoiler-rific because if their pilots get picked up, that means they’ll have to be leaving their current shows. Looking over the list pretty quickly, that means Glee will have to do without Kurt’s dad and well, that’s it. OK, so it’s not very spoiler-filled. But it’s a pretty darn good list! too bad we can’t pick and choose who we want to be in shows. There are 171 actors there, why can’t we just find our favorites and send them right into production? I’d estimate that I recognize about 110 people on that list, enjoy the work of 60 of them, and would watch 30 of them. We can be like bouncers at an NYC club. What did you say your name was? Newman? Oh, right, sorry about that, Wayne Knight. Whatever your name is, you’re not on the list. Sorry. Oh, hello there, Michael Clarke Duncan. Sure, come on in! I didn’t see Minnie Driver behind you, right this way, ma’am.

Didn’t seem like anyone from V on that list, but maybe someone needs to get their resume ready. Actually, maybe they all should get their resumes ready since chances are pretty slim it will be coming back for season 3. I checked out this year pretty quickly and haven’t thought about that decision for a second.

Southland may be in a better position after its season finale last night. I choose Lights Out over Southland months ago, tried to keep up OnDemand, but failed miserably. Or maybe I just didn’t want to, I’m not even sure. Anyway, Southland sounds like a good bet to get another season on TNT.

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