Showing posts with label television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label television. Show all posts

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Happy Birthday, Lois Lane

According to long-lived Superman site The Superman Homepage (it's old enough to still be called a Homepage!), it's the birthday of everyone's favorite comic-book intrepid reporter, Lois Lane!



Lois is having a pretty good year.  She's been key to the entirety of the Rebirth efforts around Superman as the comics squared the Superman/ Lois romance/ marriage once again, and gave them a son in Jon Kent.  Since Bendis came on the Super-books, he's put Lois back at the fore, first as someone Superman missed as she left for space, and then as a source of consternation as she's deposited herself in Chicago rather than Metropolis.

There's no question Lois's storyline is just getting bigger, and it sure doesn't hurt that she's starring in the super-books, deeply involved in Event Leviathan and currently has her own 12-issue maxi-series by Greg Rucka (a great fit for Lois) that I'm actually really enjoying.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Super Satire Watch: The Boys (Amazon Prime)



I haven't actually read Garth Ennis's The Boys series.  I read the first trade and always intended to follow up to see where it went from the set-up, but never quite got there.  I'll make up for it now, but it's gonna take some purchasing power, I guess.

Flat out, Garth Ennis is one the three or four best writers in comics, and, on some days, I think he's just "the best".  Some of us stumbled upon him due to his bizarre ability to make gore and violence absolutely hilarious (in the right context) but stayed for the amazing characterization, astounding turns to genuine sympathy for unsympathetic characters, and his ability to grasp humanity and the tragedy and comedy of his characters enough that they feel can feel three-dimensional.  All while existing in profane, graphically violent, sexually frank or ridiculous situations that seems like it would send many-a-comics-twitterer running for some pearls to clutch.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Apollo 11 - 50th Anniversary and PBS's "American Experience: Chasing the Moon"



The past couple of weeks marked the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, thanks to the crew of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.  Plus, the might of NASA, contractors to NASA, government bureaucrats, politicians and, us, the voting and tax-paying public.

From July 16th to July 24th, 1969, three brave people hurled through the void of space, two walked the face of an alien landscape, and then all returned, safely, to Earth.  All of this just sixty-six years after the Kitty Hawk Flyer took to the sky and 27 years after the first V2 rocket.  The scope of progress and achievement during this window was unprecedented in human history as two nations threw down the gauntlet to see who could place a boot onto lunar soil. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Netflix Watch: Stranger Things Season 3



In some ways I'm amazed I haven't totally turned on this show.  It can be twee, it's a lot too precious in some scenes, and the "look, we're doing the 1980's!" while getting a lot of details wrong should have pushed me over the ledge.*

Sometimes I wish they'd just turn to David Harbour and Winona Ryder and ask "is this actually right?  As someone who was a young person in 1985, is this accurate?"  Because it works *better* for those of us who were around this age when the show is on.  And it is on *a lot*.  But when it's off, it takes you right out.

The horror was more or less abstracted to a general horror-movie sort of problem this season, giving the characters less specific rules-sorting to do, which I support.   At times the visual and filmic references to other things was so heavy handed, though, the show almost folded in on itself.

Still, somehow, the show works.  I still really enjoyed it, and I know why.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Stewart the Corgi Merges with The Infinite


2019 was the year I finally started watching Brooklyn 99, and like everyone else who watched the show, I became a big fan of Cheddar, the pet Corgi of Captain Raymond Holt and the lynchpin of more than one episode.

Sadly, a pup doesn't live forever, and Cheddar performer, Stewart, has merged with the Infinite.

Pouring one out for you, buddy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Of Course No One is Going to the Movies to See a Comedy



In what will now be a series of "how are you allowed to cover this business?  Do you know any actual humans?" responses to THR bone-picking articles and their "protect the industry!" take on news...  I guess I'm gonna talk about why no one is going to see comedies in the theater.

THR is confused as to why people are not going to see comedies at the movies, and talks about the theories being floated in Hollywood in what's turning out to be a dreadful summer if you aren't Ant-Man or a talking raccoon.

Let me help:

It's because there's no reason to see a comedy on the big screen.  It will be available via streaming within a couple of months, maybe for free.

There.  Very simple.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

TV Watch: Doom Patrol - Season 1


I really didn't know what to expect when DC announced their second show in their DC Universe app exclusive line-up would be Doom Patrol From the pictures shared, the comics would be roughly based on the late 1980's/ early-90's-era Grant Morrison-penned (with art by Richard Case, Doug Braithwaite, Scott Hanna, John Nyberg, Carlos Garzon) comics.  But with a slightly different line-up, what with Rita Farr there front and center.

My initial exposure to Doom Patrol as a team was via issue #1 of this series - Morrison had come on in the mid-30's - written by Paul Kupperberg.  Frankly, I'd been completely enamored with the first couple of issues (long since disappeared from my collection, even before The Purge).  It was so weird and dark and uncomfortable - starting at a point where people were assembling, talking about a team that had preceded them had died.  Badly.   Somehow it felt more adult and frank than the way X-Men never seemed to quite exit high school.

Friday, May 24, 2019

This Season - on "Supergirl"



At the end of last season, I'd kind of given up on the CW superhero shows.  Maybe there was some residual guilt - after all, I no longer have that mania for all things comics I once did, and whenever I realize I no longer care about something comics-related, it makes me... kind of sad?  That said - these days, there's so much superhero content out there, I long ago let go of watching *everything*, and now I'm lucky if I watch much of anything.*

I find a lot of network TV a chore - 22 episodes or so per year is a lot to watch in sheer time allotted.  But, more than that, unless you're talking 30 minute sitcom or a show that's more episodic in nature, keeping the thread over twenty-two 45-minute chapters is a lot of narrative to keep track of.  Frankly, it feels like it's too much for the writers a lot of the time on these shows, and by the time we'd get to the season finale, speaking especially of those CW superhero shows, it can feel like a tortured mess that you just want to see end more than you care about the events of the finale.

Anyway - after watching both The Flash and Supergirl for a few seasons, at the end of last year, Jamie and I decided to hang it up.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Luke Perry Merges With The Infinite



So, Luke Perry has passed and the internet is ablaze with remembrances.  And on the face of it, it seems odd so much ink is getting spilled over a guy who had his peak of popularity in about 1993, never really landed any major roles in zeitgeisty Hollywood movies and has been a workman actor in mid-tier TV shows for most of the past twenty years.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the state of shock you're seeing has less to do with a tremendous and still-massive Luke Perry fanbase as it has with two things:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Happy Birthday, George Reeves


Today marks the 105th birthday of George Reeves, the second man to play Superman on the screen, and star of the six-season series The Adventures of Superman.  Frankly, I think George is pretty great in the show - a kid's show in need of a an amiable Superman, pal to children and child-like folks like everyone's pal, Jimmy Olsen.

Go back and watch him sometime.  He makes being Superman look like some Grade-A fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Penny Marshall Merges With the Infinite


According to numerous press sources, director and actor Penny Marshall has passed.

Like everyone else my age, I grew up with Laverne & Shirley, where Marshall played a working class girl cohabitating with her best pal, Shirley, as they had weekly misadventures for years on network TV. 

She disappeared briefly, only to re-emerge as a director of a number of movies I saw and liked in formative years, including Jumping Jack Flash and Big.  Honestly, I've thought of her more as Director Penny Marshall for decades at this point, and it's a remarkable two-part career she was able to pull off.

Friday, December 14, 2018

PODCAST: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964) & "Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965) - Episode 3 of Holiday Cinema Series (w/ Jamie and Ryan)



Watched:  12/09/2018
Format:  DVR off network TV
Viewing:  Dozens.  Unknown.
Decade:  1960's

It's time to talk TV Christmas specials! Jamie brings us back to kid-hood with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964) and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965). We ponder these two perennial favorites for all ages, how they look now and what we still get out of them.




Music:

Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Burl Ives, Rudolph he Red-Nosed Reindeer OST
Hark! The Herald Angels Sings - Vince Guaraldi Trio and children's choir from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Silver and Gold - Burl Ives, Rudolph he Red-Nosed Reindeer OST
O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas


Holiday Cinema Series Playlist


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Today Marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of the "Star Wars Holiday Special"

If I'm reading the internet correctly, today marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of The Star Wars Holiday Special.


We look back now at the Star Wars Holiday Special as the trainwreck that it, indeed, is.  But I also think it's worth mentioning what a @#$%ing miracle Star Wars itself was when it was released, and that these same actors in the same wardrobe were totally capable of making something absolutely, insanely awful.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

PODCAST: Dead White Girls in the Water - "Twin Peaks: Pilot" (1990) and "The River's Edge" (1986) - High School Movies with Laura and Ryan



Twin Peaks: Pilot
Watched:  10/12/2018
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown.  5th or so.
Decade:  1990's

River's Edge
Watched:  10/24/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  5th or so
Decade:  1980's

Laura and Ryan's exploration of High School Movies takes a turn for the grim when they pick the topic of "Dead White Girls in the Water".  Join us as we talk the pilot to Twin Peaks (1990) and seminal 80's flick River's Edge (1986).  It's a look at two pieces of media where the death of a young woman means very different things, but maybe under the plastic, how and why they work means they have more in common than we think at first glance.





Music
Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno
River's Edge Theme - J├╝rgen Knieper - River's Edge Original Soundtrack
Laura Palmer's Theme - Angela Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Original Soundtrack
On Some Faraway Beach - Brian Eno


For more from the Signal Watch PodCast, including playlists, where to listen, etc...  Click Here



High School Movies w/ Maxwell and Ryan Playlist



Friday, September 14, 2018

LOIS NEWS: We Have a New Lois Lane! (CW Superhero Shows News)



If you hang around these here parts, you know we're fans of the character Lois Lane in all her forms, be it comics, television, movies, what-have-you.  She's as big of a deal in our world, practically, as Big Blue himself.

Season 2 of the CW hour-long-drama Supergirl saw the arrival of Tyler Hoechlin as Superman, and while I wish his costume had a few tweaks, the man inside is really pretty great as Superman/ Clark Kent.  We saw him talking to Lois on the phone, and Season 1 featured Lois Lane's sister, Lucy, as a romantic rival for Jimmy Olsen (this is comics canon in a way, going back to the Silver Age, but it was nowhere near as goofy as anyone showing interest in Jimmy in the comics).

Season 4 of Supergirl started production a while back (and will begin airing in October?  Maybe?), and us Superman/ Lois fans were thrilled to hear that the CW was seeking a Lois Lane for their TV multiple TV series.

People - we have our Lois.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Television Watch: GLOW - Season 2


With Emmy nominations now announced (GLOW received a few, including Best Comedy) and a few weeks passed since the second season arrived, it feels fair to talk a bit - but in no way comprehensively - about the show.

So...  Every once in a while when I'm watching GLOW, the fictionalized show about a real women's wrestling show that aired in the 1980's, I think about the Coen Bros. film, Barton Fink.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

90's Watch: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)


Watched:  06/23/2018
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  I dunno.  4th?
Decade:  1990's

Huh.  So, the original Brady Bunch ran from 1969 - 1974 and then endlessly in reruns.

Here's the math:

  • End of show to release of the movie - 21 years
  • Release of the movie to now - 23 years

Yeah, Gen-X'ers, I know.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ho, boy. We Should Talk About "Krypton" on SyFy

The most exciting thing in this show is a piece of fabric


Ignore Jamie's guffaws to the contrary, but I quite like being proven wrong about (some) things.  Example:  I started watching Supergirl because I like Kara Zor-El quite a bit as a comics character (and mad props to Helen Slater for being better than her bad movie).  I found the first couple of episodes of Supergirl hilariously bad, and then the show start playing against expectations and I found myself enjoying Supergirl in a sort of "this is okay TV and pretty fun" sort of way.  It's not exactly The Americans, and it can't sustain 22 episodes per year and I wish they'd cut it to 13, but it's in my TV rotation.

So despite the David S. Goyer association and SyFy channel "we're doing serious Sci-Fi now" and some pretty boring adverts for the show (which, weirdly, ran incessantly during the Winter Olympics on NBC), I wanted to give Krypton a try.  Sure, it looked plodding and joyless in the vein of Goyer's Man of Steel work, selling that "but this is seeerious, Mom" vibe that one can only get when everything is gray and poorly lit like a nightclub that will have a brief but forgettable existence.

Krypton has an uphill battle no matter what.  It's not a mistake that DC Comics has only explored Superman's home planet in bursts via single issue appearances and the occasional brief mini-series.  If the stories don't arc toward Superman - you're more or less looking at a planet knowing "oh, you guys are boned".  After all - the point of Krypton (the planet, not the show) is to be either a near Utopia that made some critically bad choices about getting out of Dodge, or to exist as a highly advanced planet that should have been named "Hubris".

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Action Comics Hits #1000 and 80 Years of Superman



April 18 marks both the 80th Anniversary of the release of Action Comics #1 and the release of Action Comics #1000.

Short a few documents written by fellows in wigs and waistcoats, there are few things in Western culture, Pop or otherwise, with so profound an impact or as wide a legacy as this simple, brief story by a couple of young men from Cleveland.

Superman's first appearance was just one of several of different genres appearing in Action Comics #1 (this link is currently good and includes the first Superman story)   To revisit the story, every time I read it I find it shocking how much of Superman springs to life there in those first few pages - an assemblage of parts of other characters and science fiction concepts forged into something entirely new and its own.

Doomed planet.  Locomotives and bullets.  Lois Lane as a tough girl reporter.  The cape, the boots, the forelock.   A newspaper setting.  The dual-identities of Clark Kent and Superman, Lois' failure to recognize her co-worker.  Superman/ Clark's immediate attraction to Lois.  Righting wrongs.

Superman.