If you’re interested in a half-assed review of Friday’s Fringe finale, head to the bottom. If not, enjoy some links:
You can’t convince me any right-thinking studio person had any kind of expectations about the Schwarzenegger movie The Last Stand. Even though it B-O-M-B-E-D BOMBED this weekend to the tune of a putrid $6 million, is anyone really losing their job over this? Why would anyone go to see Schwarzenegger in any movie right now? He just spent 10 years playing out the funniest, most ridiculous movie he’s ever done! Public arguments, ridicule, political intrigue, a cool nickname, a sordid affair … how can a movie co-starring Johnny Knoxville that’s being dumped off in January even come close to topping that? His box office pedigree since 1993 is surprisingly mediocre too. His top 10 opening weekend movies in that time barely have anything watchable. How does he get another big job after this?
I think I’m excited for The Following tonight, but I’m worried that part of that excitement stems from the utter lack of anything that really excites me in TV over the last year. The core of really good shows out there are getting quite long in the tooth (see the Fringe review at the bottom), two of the 50 best comedies of all time are ending in the next couple of months and nothing is coming along to take their places. We need a good TV show to come along and sweep us off our feet. Maybe that show is The Following, we’ll see tonight.
For a while there, I thought I was the only one that noticed the cast for Movie 43 just might be the best cast ever assembled for a movie. No one else seems to know anything about it, it’s premiere trailer dropped about a month before the movie is supposed to come out and no one is doing promotion for it. Otherwise, the movie is in great shape! I finally see where it’s going — a Kentucky Fried Movie for this generation — and now I think it might actually be OK. But not OK enough for me to see in the theaters, that’s for sure.
It wouldn’t the first time a cable channel has split its empire to give viewers what they actually want. How many channels does ESPN now have? Five? Forty? I don’t even know anymore, and it’s already been joked about a million times, like the World Dodgeball Championships being broadcast on The Ocho. And MTV at some point realized it had completely abandoned music videos, so it spun off MTV2, only to come to the conclusion it was right the first time around, that people actually don’t want to watch videos. Now MTV2 is a steady diet of Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World reruns — not that I’m complaining. Can you imagine if every channel did this, a place where it could just throw stuff away that nobody wanted to see?:
AMC Kills: A channel dedicated to all the frustrating AMC programming that makes you want to second guess your commitment to the network, like The Killing and Small Town Security.
TNT & Order: A place where TNT could just show Law & Order repeats 24-7. If it’s successful, it could spawn The TBS Theory, where Big Bang Theory reruns are shown all day. Until then …
TPS: Spun off from TBS, the Tyler Perry Sitcom Channel, a place where it could put all those shows together and just run them 24 hours a day, since they’re all kind of the same anyway.
Adult Swim: OK, this one is serious. Cartoon Network just keeps its cartoons on 24 hours a day and puts its Adult Swim content on another channel. How has this not happened yet?
Failed Pilot: A joint venture between ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox where it could air all of the pilots that didn’t make it to a series order. Admit it. You’ve been wishing there was a place you could see the failed Wonder Woman pilot, haven’t you?
USAme: This is my favorite idea. As in “USA Same,” a place where it could play reruns of its shows, call them “new” and see how long it would be before anyone realizes. I’d say it would be about nine months. “Hey, didn’t Michael Westen already blow up that boat before? I think so, but I can’t be sure. Meh, maybe it’s new.” Like George wondering about how the coffee shop makes its ginger ale.
Remember when cruise ships were for old fogies who wanted to hear Sinatra impersonators, play penny slots, eat their dinner at 4 p.m. and be asleep by 9? Well, there are two possibilities on the future going forward when you see this cruise trip: 1. That everyone now loves cruises, and anyone can sell one of those floating concert ships. This is the one I like, because it doesn’t make me feel like I should start looking into Viagra. 2. That the mid-90s were actually 15 years ago even though it seems like yesterday, it’s music has long been forgotten and only people taking Metamucil will be on that cruise ship in October. I’m leaning toward option 2.
I shouldn’t even be allowed to judge the Fringe finale. I’ve only seen about half of this final season because I’ve been so frustrated by it’s appalling lack of direction, its willingness to just trash the first four years of the show’s mythology and basically just make this final season a stand-alone season of one Bad Idea Jeans ad after another. “You know I always like the character of Peter Bishop, so I think we should make him an Observer for a couple weeks, kinda like Hogan turning heel in the NWO.” So I didn’t even bother with the first hour of the two-hour finale Friday, I just went to check out the last hour and unsurprisingly got very little from it. It was pretty obvious from about season 3 that Walter wasn’t making it to the end of the show, that Peter and Olivia would live happily ever after and that we wouldn’t care enough about anyone else to know or care how they turned out. I got one big joy out of the finale, when Walter said Astrid is a “beautiful name” after screwing it up for five years. Other than that? I felt next to nothing. This season has been so discombobulated and almost intentionally confusing that I feel something I didn’t think I’d feel a year ago — relief it’s gone. FINALE GRADE: Incomplete. SEASON GRADE: D.