Links for the day, back tomorrow with the Fun Guide:
If I’m going to be sick of the Star Wars rumors for the next 2.5 years, then by golly, so are you. I wonder if I could manage to post some kind of Star Wars rumor every day until 2015? Hmmmm. That sounds like a challenge! Anyway, here’s your bit of Star Wars news for the day, that Carrie Fisher said she’d reprise her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars 7. Mind you, she said this while getting paparazzi-ed outside of some LA deli, and her last three non-voice roles were as a guest on Entourage (not as herself, a plus), Wright vs. Wrong (TV movie you’ve never heard of) and Sorority Row. So, yeah, she’s available, as if there was a question about her status. I think if she wants to come back to the series, she should have to wear the slave bikini. And no, I don’t want to see that very much, I just think it would be dementedly funny to make her wear the outfit she hated so much.
Trust me on this: You’re better off without Top Gun 2. We all are, really. I challenge anyone to tell me one good, Goose-less part of the original Top Gun. There isn’t one! What, Tom Cruise driving through the city? Or making some kind of late-night plan with Iceman? Top Gun would have been the biggest piece of crap without the lovely sidekick-iness of Goose. From what I understand, he can’t really be in Top Gun 2. Then why bother? So we can roll Val Kilmer’s old bones out of “retirement”? So we can see Tom Skerritt fly another fighter jet? There’s no upside to Top Gun 2, at all, in any way. Let it die with whatever dignity it has.
Check out Rotten Tomatoes right now. In the box office results, the top three movies are all 77 percent well-reviewed or better (Argo, 95%; Wreck-It-Ralph, 85%; Flight, 77%). The two major movies coming out this week, Skyfall and Lincoln, are both at 93%. I guess what I’m saying is, this is a pretty nice time to be a fan of movies. No excuse if you can’t find something good out there right now. OK, so next week we get hit with Twilight, but after that it’s Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi and a pretty good slate of December movies. Maybe it’s not going to live up to what it looks like, but right now, you can safely be excited for the next two months of movies. (Over/under on how many I’ll actually see in the theaters: 2.5, and I’m taking the under. The lesson here is don’t have kids if you want to see movies in the theater.)
Too bad I didn’t have this yesterday so I could have put it with my fall TV round-up, but it’s basically the same stuff I’ve been saying for years. The one thing that needs to be emphasized is the use of the cable model. No one is putting a gun to the network’s head to say “You must make 22 episodes a year of this show, without question.” Why not just make 13-episode seasons of at least some shows, and then play them for 13 weeks straight? No one complains that Justified is only 13 episodes, they love it! It’s quicker for today’s TV viewership, 13 straight weeks and you’re out, compared to about 36 weeks of the normal viewer trying to figure out whether their favorite show is going to be a repeat or not. AMC is currently in the process of drawing out the final 16 episodes of Breaking Bad through 14 months. 14 MONTHS!!! And not one viewer is complaining. Actually, they’re thirsty for more, and even the ones that are complaining will come back like sheep in July to see how it all plays out. If making 13-episode seasons of a show will improve the quality, then please, by all means, let’s go to 13-episode seasons. Or at least 13-hour seasons, because half-hour sitcoms probably shouldn’t fall in this same category.
I know I say this a good bit, but I’m surprised people can still watch Burn Notice. To me, it’s a never-ending cycle of the same idea just done over and over and over again. It was cool for a while, but man, it’s just as formulaic as any episode of Criminal Minds or NCIS. That doesn’t seem to bother USA, which is bringing the show back for a 13th season next year, and the speculation is already going around that it will be the last season. ‘Bout bloody time. Pretty sure I’ll be able to watch the series finale and be able to pick right up with whatever is going on. Oh, and the two-episode fall premiere is tonight.
Poor Nikita. It’s a decent show on the wrong network that could have been better on FX or Showtime, and somehow the CW realizes that and is trying to make up for it by keeping it on the air even though the ratings say it should have been gone, gone, gone. Now the CW is trying another gimmick, one that doesn’t include taking it off the Friday night death spot, so it doesn’t really matter. But starting Nov. 30, Nikita will move from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, a little switcheroo trick. Right now that’s where America’s Next Top Model airs, and even though ANTM isn’t what it used to be, it’s still a valuable property. The trick is when you move Nikita there, ANTM fans automatically tune in every week at 8 p.m. Fridays, so maybe they’ll do that for Nikita and give it a one-week ratings bump before people realize, “Wait a second, Tyra Banks isn’t Asian!”
Speaking of America’s Next Top Model, our local ESU student is still around, in the final four with only two episodes left! Nastasia Scott seemed like a really cool girl when I talked to her in August, I’m pulling for her. I didn’t meet her in person, but I can safely say the words “blown away” came out of photographer Melissa Evanko’s mouth talking about how incredibly gorgeous she is. She doesn’t throw around compliments like that too often, folks.
FX has two months to bombard us with commercials for its new 80s espionage thriller The Americans, and bombard it surely will, as per the usual. Not a Keri Russell fan, and I’m not sure how long it will take me to stop thinking of the guy as something other than Justin from Brothers and Sisters, but my normal policy applies. When FX or AMC makes a new show, I watch. At least for a while.