I’m sure no one remembers this other than me, but last year a reader emailed me to let me know a local woman was on Letterman the night before and Dave joked with her for the entire show. I put out a call for someone, anyone, to let me know who this was so that I could do a story about it, but never heard back. Then last Friday, Cristina Correll of Stroud Township emailed me to let me know it was her, and that she was going back to the show. So it was a year late, but I thought it was a cool story.
Tobey Maguire had it rough when he was cast as Spider-Man the first time around. Mainstream movie fans knew him as the mousy guy from Cider House Rules that unfairly gets to do it with Charlize Theron, but not much else. He had to establish some trust with the audience to play one of America’s most beloved characters, but he didn’t have to overcome the image of someone else in the role. It’s not like he had to stomp out the memory of CD Barnes’ voice work from people’s memories. Poor Andrew Garfield must first make people forget his Golden Globe-nominated role in Social Network, hard enough by itself since it was his introduction to American audiences. Then he’s going to have to convince people that he is the real Spider-Man, not the one that starred in the first three movies that only grossed $2.6 billion around the world and have been on TV roughly a trillion times. Watching the new trailer seems like breaking up with someone because the relationship is going nowhere and you’re pretty sure you can do better. Even if you do better, you spend the lion’s share of each date with the new person comparing them to the old person. You might not necessarily be consciously trying to do it, but that’s where your mind wanders, like it or not. We’re on trailer #2 less than six months from opening weekend … and I’m not even over Eduardo Saverin, let alone comparing him to Tobey Maguire. On the bright side, everything else in the movie seems new. A fight with the cops, Gwen Stacy over Mary Jane and second-tier villain Lizard over Spider-Man’s other biggest foes … they’re all good ideas. It’s just that I can’t stop hearing Spider-Man screaming something about the Winkelvoss Twins or being shut out of Facebook. I’m hoping it fades, I really want to like the new version.
What, you think comic book movies are the only ones getting the reboot treatment? Actual comic books have been doing the reboot thing for years. That’s probably where Hollywood got the idea in the first place, heaven forbid a producer would come up with an original idea on his own. The latest is Fantastic Four, which will be re-imaged and sold in a new series this week. Then Marvel will do the same thing with X-Men, Spider-Man and Daredevil. No doubt, those are probably the company’s four most popular titles. But we should also mention that those four titles also either have been rebooted in the movie world or there are plans to reboot them. So instead of a Hollywood writer coming up with his own idea or interpretation of the character, he’s just waiting for a comic book writer to lay out the idea for him. Awesome.
More comic book news! The Wolverine movie is supposed to be coming in July 2013, a schedule that seems a little tight if it’s not going to start shooting until this fall. Hopefully it’s sticking with the same premise as originally planned, Wolverine in Japan, but that’s probably up in the air right now.
It just wouldn’t have been a good idea to leave Jessica Lange out of the next season, or additional seasons, of American Horror Story. She made that show, and now has a Golden Globe and SAG award to prove it. Leaving her out of the whole thing just because you want to hold firm on your “new season, new house, new family” assertion is asking for failure. Fans didn’t cling to Dylan McDermott or Tami Taylor as the lifeblood of that show, but they did cling to Lange. And that’s partly the fault of Ryan Murphy himself for making her such an integral part of the show. If he wanted to make the story about the family in the haunted house only, then don’t spend the last scene of the season finale giving Lange a three-minute, close-up monologue. At that point, you’re just teasing the fans and setting them up for disappointment. Murphy had no choice but to bring Lange back, and has mostly himself to blame if he didn’t really want to do it.
We’re never going to consistently see TV themes anymore. They’re out with HD-DVD, CDs and network TV. When we do see them, they’re going to be bland (think Mad Men, Justified or The Office) and about 10 seconds because that time you spend playing a show’s theme is time that could be spent on advertising. If 30 seconds of a TV commercial on a show brings in, say, $100,000, then over the course of a standard 24-episode year, playing a 30-second TV theme costs networks $2.4 million. Multiply that by the 20 or shows that air every week, and that’s a lot of lost money. We’re forced to the Internet if we want to see and hear the full TV themes for the really good but brief diddies — like for New Girl, which gets stuck in my head for a day after I watch it every week. Although I think the 10 second version on the show might be better than the full version. Community is another one that is only ever 10 seconds on the air, but gets stuck in my head. Listening to Community’s theme makes me feel sad wondering if I’m ever going to hear it on TV again.
Wedding Crashers is one of the 10 best comedies of the century so far. That makes me excited for Interns, which is going to re-team Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Not that it could/should look anything like Wedding Crashers in any kind of quasi-sequel way, it would be disappointing if it did, but those two obviously have great chemistry and there’s no reason they shouldn’t work together again. They’ve both worn out the comedy list of co-stars since then, without much success, so there’s no reason they can’t go back to working together. Even if the premise sounds like the Friends arc where Chandler quit his job and became an intern.
The last thing I’d want to do is to is cheer for a copycat reality show (The Voice) and a so-so copycat version of Glee (Smash) to succeed. But if it means a once-great network can stay viable for at least a couple more months, then sure, I’ll cheer for the two of those shows to be successful. I gots no skin in this game, Monday’s current TV configuration is pretty much a wasteland for me. I dropped out of Alcatraz after two episodes because I really didn’t find myself interested in the “track the undead killer of the week” concept and nothing else interests me. With Walking Dead coming back Sunday and Mad Men following up right after that, Monday will now be my day to catch up on one or more of Good Wife or Once Upon a Time, whichever I don’t catch on Sundays. So if NBC can finally claim a night of its own so that people actually remember the network still is on the air with uniforms and everything, then fine by me. There’s probably no chance NBC was ever close to just simply disappearing, but at least if it can claim Monday nights for the next couple weeks before Dancing with the Stars comes back, then it will at least be partly relevant.
Not sure there has ever been a day where a famous woman in a bikini hasn’t been in the top 10 on Google Trends. Congratulations, Maria Menounos. You’re up today.
Not a great start for The River. Very hyped, very well-reviewed, star talent behind the scenes, but it only managed a third-place finish for its start at 9 p.m., and it lost about 15 percent of its audience for the second episode at 10 p.m. ABC is of course is playing on the Sit N Spin, saying it was their highest ratings in that time slot in the last 11 weeks. Which, not coincidentally, is the last Tuesday night Dancing with the Stars aired. Since then, ABC has been airing Wife Swap.
No way the show was cracking into my Tuesday night viewing, although I plan on catching it OnDemand this week sometime.
I started out writing my Sunday column for this week about people who have never won Grammys. But as I started writing it, I got bored. And if I got bored, then you will get bored. Know why I got bored? Because Grammys mean NOTHING!!! I’ve written about it 20 times before, so I’m not going to go over it again, but there are a bajillion categories, 75 percent of which don’t have one recognizable person nominated. But while I was trolling around, I did find one pretty funny thing, a list of all-time Grammy snubs. The only one I really remember is Metallica, but only because they bitched about it in their Behind the Music special. I still get angry that Pulp Fiction didn’t win best picture in 1995 and that Andre Braugher didn’t win best drama actor for Homicide at the Emmys in 1996. But I can’t remember one thing that ever made me angry at the Grammys.