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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Entertainment Shakedown: AKA: I'm Back Baby!

First of all I want to apologize for the lack of updates recently, between Upfronts, family commitments, weddings and playoff hockey, let's go Devils, the month of May has been completely kicking my ass. But enough excuses, there is much to discuss. May brings all sorts of excitement to the entertainment world filled with renewals, cancellations and the announcements of the new shows to come.

I'm starting the news off with cancellations. Time to see how the "promising" shows of last year turned out.


The River - Ok, so it was pretty much a given that the little show brought to you by the guy who "brought us Paranormal Activity" was probably not getting a pick up. Which is sad because I really enjoyed it, and will even go so far as to say it may have been my favorite show of last season. While having a short season, only eight episodes, the show was a creepy, crazy ride that I am sad to see end. Although the show had a decent ending which could work as a season or series finale, I still wish that ABC had stuck with it. There was a rumor circulating a few months back that NETFLIX was interested in possibly picking the show up and producing new episodes, and since the first season was released on DVD, and available on Amazon, I am still holding out hope.

Pan Am - The show was cute, and had some really awesome guests, but it was mostly forgettable. I wouldn't have been upset if it was renewed but I can understand why it wasn't.


A Gifted Man - Let's be honest CBS rarely cancels shows, especially after only a season, but in order to make room for new shows something's got to go. It wasn't a terrible show, but it definitely wasn't helped by having a Friday night time slot.


The Ringer - It's sad that a show with such an awesome cast, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Nestor Carbonell would only last a season, but even I have to admit the show got a little too soapy/predictable for my taste.

The Secret Circle - Honestly, this show was pretty much presented on a silver platter, based on a book series by the same author and with the same creative team as its ridiculously successful lead in The Vampire Diaries, it looked like this show was almost a shoe in for success. But alas, it lacked whatever magic, no pun intended, that has kept The Vampire Diaries audience captivated.


The Finder - It was pretty much a given when FOX decided to move their Bones spinoff to Friday nights that it wasn't going to get a second season. The show itself was fine, awesome guest stars, but as seems to be the current trend in tv land lately of you're not a "hit" right off the bat, you get the axe.

- It seems with JJ Abrams, his shows either do ridiculously well, or the crash and burn. Alcatraz fell into the later category. The concept itself was pretty awesome, and having Hurley in it definitely added to the appeal, however the show itself sort of fell flat. While I watched the shoe, and enjoyed it, I didn't LOVE it. If I missed an episode I wasn't feening to watch it as soon as possible.

Terra Nova - I sometimes feel like Jason O'Mara on a show is like having a show written/directed by Joss Whedon. Both are quite talented and yet most of their shows barely last a season. Let's face it though, with the mega huge budget required to keep this show going, if it wasn't an automatic television phenomenon, it was destined to be canceled.


Awake - I will state again for the umpteenth time, I am still devastated to know that I live in a world where Awake was canceled and Whitney was renewed. The show itself was great, my only complaint was that it required A LOT of brain capacity for 10pm on a Thursday.

The Playboy Club - I know, I know it was canceled FOREVER ago, it only had three episodes air, but I still feel it is worth mentioning. Here we have another classic example of an NBC screw up. Instead of taking the controversy caused by the fact that the were airing a show called The Playboy Club to their advantage, they decided to stop airing the show after only three episodes despite having several more already filmed. Um, that just seems like a waste of money to me. Why not air the remaining episodes, in the hopes of picking up some new viewership? If it doesn't pick up then don't renew, but the money has already been spent to not air the remaining episodes and replace it with reruns of another failing show is just a waste. News flash NBC you are already in last place, the only place to go is up, take some risks. 

Other cancellations include:
Charlie's Angels
Work It

How to be a Gentleman
NYC 22


Allen Gregory
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Napoleon Dynamite

Are You There, Chelsea?
Best Friends Forever
Free agents
The Firm
Prime Suspect  
Next up...What's new for the fall/midseason line up.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avengers: AKA: Ready to Assemble!

Ok so I full on admit to being more of a DC gal. I have no problem with Marvel, I actually very much enjoy them, but I did grow up more with Batman, Superman, and the Justice League more so than any of the Marvel heroes. Sure I had X-Men and a little Spiderman but in general my expertise, if you could even call it that would be for the DC heroes.

However, while I may not have as much knowledge on the subject I absolutely adored The Avengers. first off, hello a superhero movie written and directed by one of the geekiest men in the industry? Not to mention the fact that being who he is and how he writes, you knew Joss Whedon was the perfect man to make Black Widow more than just a pretty face.

So you better believe that I was at the midnight showing, pumped and ready, sporting my semi Captain America themed ensemble. Yep, I'm that girl. I'd love to say the theatre was filled with people in costume, but I was at a small theatre in New Jersey, there wasn't even a line to get in. Still the theatre was  full by the time the movie began.

Before I continue, there will most likely be SPOILERS ahead. Go see the film, because it is BEYOND awesome, and then come back.

So here's the sitch, Thor's brother Loki is still pissed over being denied the throne, and essentially kicked out of Asgard. Naturally he does what every power hungry demi-god would, he raises an army and heads to earth. His first stop is to reclaim the Tesseract from S.H.I.L.D. in the process he uses his creepy glowing staff to take over the minds of several S.H.I.L.D. personal, including Professor Erik Selvig and Agent Clint Barrow, AKA Hawkeye whom he uses to aid him in his escape. So Fury calls together "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" retrieve the Tesseract and save the earth. Sounds simple enough, but let's face it, these people really shouldn't be in the same room together, let along coming together as a team. Let's break them down:

The Team

Agent Clint Barton AKA: Hawkeye: we caught a brief glimpse of Hawkeye in Thor. He is a master with a bow and arrow. In fact he has a tricked out quiver which allows him to have all sorts of arrows, such as ones that explode or turn into grappling hooks. He is beyond skilled, able to hit targets without even looking out them. Top it off with the fact that his relationship with Black Widow is just adorable.

Agent Natasha Romanov AKA: Black Widow: Finally a female super hero that is worth routing for. Words can not express how overjoyed I am by this. I so often find myself disappointed by the female characters in superhero films. More often than not the female characters end up being more of a plot devise than any type of real hero. Growing up I LOVED Rogue from X-Men, she was strong sassy and could totally hold her own in a fight, in the first of the 1990's trilogy, she was simply a plot point and ended up being useless in the next to films. Black Widow is anything but, she kicks major ass, but is written so she never unbelievably so. The fact of the mater is Black Widow is human. While she can kick ass with the best of them, she's not gonna win in a hand to hand fight with the Hulk, but she she can definitely kick major human ass. They managed to make her a realistic character despite the completely unrealistic circumstances.

Thor: Oh, Thor. The man is a demigod and while I wasn't really happy with the lack of explanation of how he got to Earth, aside from a passing comment thrown out by Loki, as the bridge was destroyed at the end of Thor, I was more than happy to see him appear. Once again Chris Helmsworth manage to play Thor with just the right mix of arrogance and charm.

Tony Stark AKA Iron Man: speaking of blending arrogance and charm to perfection, it is impossible not mention Robert Downy Jr's Iron Man. Let's face it, his kind of an ass, but you've got to love him. This is the kind of character that thrives on Joss Whedon's snarky dialogue. Plus as the character that movie audiences have become most familiar with, through both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, he is the one we, the viewer get to see grow the most.

Dr. Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk: I think perhaps the most interesting part about this role in this particular film was how little we saw of the actual Hulk. For a majority of the film we deal with the brilliant Dr. as opposed to his "Smash" hungry alter ego. Not only does this give us more inside into the character, but allows him to establish and form relationships with the rest of the team.

Captain Steve Rogers AKA Captain America: After much internal debate I have come to the conclusion that the Captain is by far my favorite Avenger. It is generally assumed that he is the most naive/idealistic of the group, seeing as he has been thrust into our world from a simpler time. I actually think that makes him the most jaded. When he was frozen we were in WWII a bloody, dark time in our history, a time that is still very fresh in his mind, and now he wakes up to present time and the current mess society has made of itself and you have to imagine he wonders if it was really worth it. He is strong, focused and a natural leader. He calls women "Ma'am" unironically, seriously, he may be the only man on (fictional or actual) Earth I would allow to address me as such. In the interest of full disclosure the fact that I have a bit of a crush on Chris Evans, may also contribute.

Nick Fury: Samuel L. Jackson being a bad ass. I mean seriously do I need to say anymore? First off let's take a moment to take in account that the actual comic character is designed based on Samuel L. Jackson himself, so clearly the role suits him perfectly.

Random Thoughts and Theories

1) All the characters were treated realistically - Well, as realistically as one can be in a superhero world. In fact they even managed to make the heroes more evenly matched for this movie, as best evidenced in the fight between Thor and Iron Man.

2) I have a random weird love for Agent Phil Coulson. I think mostly because he fanboys over the Captain and let's be honest that would probably be what would be going on in my head. Plus he is a genuinely good guy, brave and loyal. I mean let's face it there aren't many who would take on a Demi-god on their own. I think that may have been what made his death so heartbreaking. I remember during the scene my mind thinking in rapid fire, "no, they wouldn't.…they couldn't…but it's Joss…he would…and he will". Remember kids, guns don't kill people, Joss Whedon kills people, but never without good reason. In his dying breath Coulson explains that it's okay, his death is necessary to bring the team together. He will die so others can live.

Its not so much that this was a bad thing. On the contrary, it was an amazing catalyst to further the plot. I neither deny this, nor wish to change it, however as I've mentioned before I'm a sucker for happy endings, and it makes me sad to know Agent Phil Coulson never got to see his.

All and all it was a great movie, action pact but still full of heart. It isn't perfect, no movie is, but over all I found it to be exactly what it should be. An big action packed summer movie. My one question now is that now that Joss Whedon has proved he can not only hold his own writing/directing a super hero summer block buster, but can CRUSH records while doing it, can we please let him do that Wonder Woman movie he was working on? Because lets be honest he would totally KILL that.