Wednesday links, and tomorrow brings us the blockbuster edition of the holiday movie preview, fyi:
One of the biggest ratings battles coming in to this year was destined to be Tuesday nights between 9 and 10, when Fox, ABC and NBC were all airing sitcoms that not only were good, but were all pretty much alike. Sure, the trained eye can tell the difference between Happy Endings and Go On, but can the average viewer? It’s the guy from Friends against a show that is the evolution of Friends (Happy Endings). Which is pretty much what New Girl is too. With the limited viewership there is for live events anymore, you had the feeling one of the networks was going to get trounced and have to move the shows to another night when offbeat comedy isn’t so crammed in to the schedule (Mondays?). Right now, that network is ABC, as both the season premieres of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 got rip-roaring hammered in Tuesday’s ratings battle, and not in the good “I can’t feel my nose” way. If the ratings go down any further, ABC is seriously going to have to consider moving them to another night and extending Dancing with the Stars two two hours or something else even more drastic. Incidentally, here is my ranking of the Tuesday comedies, all of which I like:
1. New Girl. As much as I like and laugh at this show, at least as much as any other sitcom, I’m pretty sure I’ll leave in a heartbeat as soon as Nick and Jess get together.
2. Happy Endings. It’s almost 1A. I’ll never understand why more people don’t watch this show. It’s the Friday Night Lights of comedy.
3. Don’t Trust the B—-. My only complaint is that people who watch this show are either all 18 or just dumb TV-wise because they got “Zach Morris” trending on Twitter last night (I’ve been trying to live Tweet shows lately, feel free to join in the fun). It’s “Zack Morris” ya jabronis.The next time Mark-Paul Gosselaar goes all meta on a sitcom and you want to tweet about his Saved by the Bell days, just remember The Zack Attack, which makes much more sense than The Zach Attack.
4. Go On. Didn’t think I’d like this at all, but it’s the one I look to OnDemand more than any of the others.
5. Raising Hope. Seems to be losing some steam, not coincidentally, at the same point My Name is Earl started to lose steam.
6. The New Normal. Surprisingly more one-note-jokish than I thought/hoped it would be.
7. The Mindy Project.
8. Ben and Kate. Disappointed I don’t get to this more often, because I like it. That’s just how things fall when you’ve got six hours of good shows (with Sons of Anarchy and Parenthood) on Tuesday nights. You’re not going to get to everything.
Go ahead and feel free to watch Elementary and Vegas on CBS for the rest of the year, the network announced it gave the two freshman shows full-season pick-ups. That doesn’t mean it will be back next year, just that it will be on through May. These days, that’s all you can hope for, especially from CBS. The network is awash in viewers, so the second a new show’s ratings aren’t performing, it gets the ax quick-like. Vegas was on CBS’s early bubble, though it would be a hit on any other network, but now it’s around for the rest of the year. I’ve gotten through the first two episodes, and it’s pretty “meh” for me. Good premise, professionally done, great cast, but seems to lack that “something.” Not even sure what it is, but it seems like the same “something” that every CBS show is missing. Maybe it’s my CBS bias — I’d officially describe Vegas as a CBS-i-fied cops and robbers/mob show — but I just don’t see it as very inventive or interesting. And maybe it’s time to start thinking of Michael Chiklis as a one-role guy. He hasn’t been good in anything since The Shield. I haven’t seen one second of Elementary and don’t plan on it. Something tells me I can review it now though and hit it right on the mark.
Normally when there is a revival movie event, it’s not in my chosen field of interest. There are some exceptions — like when the Pocono Community Theater did Die Hard and then will do Rocky on Nov. 4, or when Cinemark did Godfather and Godfather II earlier this year. Those almost got me off my couch. But usually, it’s stuff that is a little too old for me to get in to. Unless it was made in 1984 or later, I’m usually not interested. But I’m getting old enough now where the stuff from the late 80s and 90s — what I like to refer to as “my wheelhouse” — is considered “classic” so it’s starting to get the revival treatment too. Which brings us to the just-announced Tarantino XX two-night revival, where theaters — including Cinemark Stroud Mall — will be screening Reservoir Dogs on Dec. 4 and Pulp Fiction on Dec. 6. I’m not sure if I could go to see Pulp Fiction in the theater again. The first time I saw it in the theater on opening afternoon still ranks as my greatest theater experience ever, and the second time I saw it in the theater is by far my most enjoyable instance of seeing a movie twice in the theaters. Reservoir Dogs, maybe. Although I’ve been watching it on Flix a bunch lately, and that’s kinda curing my craving. It’s amazing how well that movie holds up today for something shot for a couple grand.To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Reservoir Dogs, I see an upcoming blog post ranking Quentin’s greatest achievements.
Well thank God. I’ve been in some long and boring movies where I thought I would have to have my butt surgically removed from the seat, but nothing felt like three hours quite like Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Part of it was how ridiculously hobbit-erotic the last half hour of the movie was, part of it was that it wasn’t as good as the other two and the biggest part of it was that it was three freakin’ hours and 15 stinkin’ minutes long. Who does that? My personal rule of thumb is that if a movie is longer than 2 hours and 15 minutes, the director better have a damn good reason for it. If a fan or a member of the press asks you about it, the director better be ready to defend their decision to extend the movie. At 3:15, there was no way Peter Jackson could have defended it. At 2:40, I’ll listen to his reasoning. That was the length of both Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, and I was OK with those, Avengers more than DKR though.
My buddy Stan sent this to me the other day, and needless to say, it’s at the very least a little jarring. It’s Colleen Camp, the little sex kitten in the maid’s outfit from Clue — one of my favorite comedies ever — and also had some pretty good other roles in Die Hard with a Vengeance, two Police Academy movies and the underrated 1987 Howie Mandel vehicle Walk Like a Man. Now she looks like she ate Colleen Camp. I mean, she’s going to turn 60 next year, and she hasn’t exactly been getting steady work. I guess it’s not the most surprising thing. It’s just surprising because I’m still living in 1985 and digging the French accent.
I can’t help it, I love bombs. I love it when delusional idiots spend tens of millions of dollars on the most ridiculous passion projects of a movie, then go about the whole production process like a gaggle of drunken, lobotomized monkeys. I submit to you what may be the craziest example of movie money gone wild EVER — Empires of the Deep. You’ve never heard of it, and that’s fine, you probably shouldn’t have. I’ve only been following it a little bit, but let’s just say if there’s ever a book written about this movie, I’ll be first in line. Or at least I’ll read it on my wife’s Kindle after she finishes it. That’s big for me! I think I want to see this movie more than any other right now, kinda like the way I have Oogieloves in my queue all ready to go the second it comes out on DVD. I kinda have a feeling this is going to be my favorite Internet hang out for a couple months when more people start latching on to this thing. Here’s the trailer, and the answer is no — my 15-month-old daughter did not have anything to do creatively with the CGI in this trailer. But the other answer is yes — if it ever gets a release date (Shocker! It doesn’t have one yet), I’ll be there opening weekend.