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

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

PODCAST: Ted Lasso Roundup - Seasons 1 and 2! With MBell, Maxwell, MRSHL and yours truly






We gather our forces to take on the juggernaut that is a little TV show about American football coaches shipped to England to coach football/ soccer. It's an unlikely smash hit with a pile of Emmy's, and since we were going to talk on it, anyway - we figured we'd talk out loud and y'all can listen in.

Get ready for a long episode as we go deep on how the show is structured, how it builds themes, models ideas and makes for television that challenges expectations.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Elvira Watch: "Elvira - Mistress of the Dark" (1988) - part of "Elvira's 40th Anniversary Very Scary, Very Special Special"

Just in time for Halloween!



Watched:  09/28/2021
Format:  Shudder
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  James Signorelli

Well, it's now an annual thing that I watch Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988).  So, I won't belabor y'all with yet another pondering of the film. 

This year, Cassandra Peterson is marking 40 years in the dress as Elvira, originally a late-night horror hostess character that somehow has spun out into a cultural icon.  These days, Peterson does conventions, co-owns/ed a convention, does talk-shows, cooking shows, whatever it takes to pay the bills - including selling comics in which her character partakes in comedically spooky adventures (currently at Dynamite).  And! she's got fashion lines, shops and a bit of a merchandising empire.

She also just turned 70, and released a tell-all biography that is sitting on my coffee table.  Recently she's been a hit on talk shows making the rounds plugging the book as it contained the revelation she hasn't been single in 19 years (which I couldn't personally figure out) as she's partnered up with a lady friend.  It's all been very buzzy in a very positive way.  


One of those films - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.  So, yeah, it's a heavy serving of meta wrapped in a meta tortilla.   She's still every bit herself after a small stretch of time away from the divan (but not the internet), and so it's great to have her joining you for the movies.  

Honestly, I could never sort out why one of the streaming services didn't do this forever ago.  It just makes sense as a format.  And, if anything, Elvira is maybe more popular now with people willing to spend money on her than at any time in the past three decades.  She genuinely has generations of fans after 40 years.  I guess Shudder finally did the math on that.

Still, only four movies!  And who knows if Peterson will want to do it again.  She sounds very ready to not have to put on the outfit anymore, and I don't blame her.  So, maybe she'll go animated, try again to find a replacement, or figure something else out.  Whatever she wants to do, I'm good with it.

In the meantime, get the Shudder App.  There's a free week of trial, and you can probably blaze through her show in that time.  


Friday, September 17, 2021

Bye-Bye Brooklyn 99




Sometime before COVID, Jamie was watching that comedy cop show on Hulu that I think was on Fox.  I knew about it, and found it curious that it co-starred Andre Braugher, who I'd seen in several things, but had thought was a fine dramatic actor from his Homicide: Life on the Streets days (a show I did not watch religiously, but would tune into specifically for Braugher).  I liked Andy Samberg well enough, but I was mostly not checking out Fox sitcoms at the time.  

Well, as often happens when - in pre-COVID times, when I wasn't here all the time - Jamie was watching episodes on her own.  And she'd watch them if I was around and doing other things, and I'd I listen enough that I eventually I would stopped what ever else I was doing and watch a couple of episodes.  Anyway - I was into it.  

I planned to catch up after she went to bed, starting over myself on Hulu, but she offered to re-watch the show with me from the beginning, which is always a sign it's an okay show.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Ed Asner Merges With The Infinite




Actor and icon Ed Asner has passed at the age of 91.

Asner was a fixture of television - I remember him on reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show when I was a kid, just like everyone else.  But he was massively prolific.  In no way do I identify Asner with a specific role or era.  He simply was a fact of entertainment.  

The most surprising role I saw him take was as the voice of Granny Goodness on Superman: The Animated Series.  I still remember watching the cartoon when Jamie was in the hospital and her mom was reading a magazine, and she looked up at the TV and said "is that a guy voicing that woman?" and I said "that's Ed Asner" and she put down her magazine and took in some Fourth World mayhem.

He had some kind of relationship with comics and sci-fi, because he also voiced Daggett on Batman: The Animated Series, as well as voices on Spider-Man, Freakazoid and certainly Disney's Gargoyles.  The last thing I saw him in was in Season 2 of Doom Patrol.  

But the man played everything, up to and including Santa Claus in holiday staple Elf.  Just one of those actors that when he showed up, we'd be pointing at the TV and saying "is that Ed Asner!?"  Always good, always spot on in whatever he did, and seemed like a delight of a man.

I'm very sorry to see him go.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Superman & Lois Season 1 - That Went Okay




Well, that went better than expected.  

If you watched, I invite you to jump into the comments.

It's hard to wrap up talking about an entire season of a television show, but I can say without reservation that it was considerably better than I figured we'd get.  I've done some due diligence - I watched *most* of Smallville, all of Supergirl to date, several seasons of The Flash, about 2.5 seasons of Legends of Tomorrow, and plenty of crossovers between the shows.   The CW DC shows are great to watch on the elliptical when there's a shortage of O2 headed to your skull, but none of it's working on the level of Watchmen or name-your-prestige-show.  

At this point, I've seen some remarkable comics adaptations on TV as well as the movies.  I'm still reeling from what Marvel has delivered on Disney+.

I didn't mind that DC and CW were afraid to take on a Superman show.  After all, Superman should be a movie-level property, even if Superman has traditionally employed serial and multi-episodic formats in radio, cartoons, television and more.   I mean, the Fleischers were so certain of this notion, they asked for a ridiculous budget to make Superman cartoons, and someone gave them that money.  And, 80 years later, those cartoons still look insanely good.  Superman: The Movie was massively expensive and, man, it's a singularly beautiful movie.  You can see how the character fell from grace as sequels worked with lower budgets, limping through Superman 4.  

But, as rocker David St. Hubbins observed:  It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

PODCAST: "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" and "Loki" (2021) - Marvel Television PodCast w/ Jamie and Ryan



Format:  Disney+
Decade:  2020's
Director(s):  Kari Skogland  and Kate Herron



Jamie and Ryan catch up on two Marvel shows that made their way to Disney+, looking forward from the Infinity Saga, and maybe... sideways from the Infinity Saga? It's a far-ranging discussion of Marvel's efforts to bring their characters to living rooms everywhere, one week at a time. Maybe too much discussion for one podcast, but you get what you pay for.




Music:
Louisiana HeroHenry Jackman, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier OST
TVA Natalie Holt, Loki OST


Marvel at Signal Watch:


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Watching the 2020 Olympics in 2021




So, our house is one of those that every few years shuts down whatever else we're doing - watching movies, watching baseball, etc...  and we watch the Olympics, both Summer and Winter.  This started when Jamie and I were dating, so you're talking going back to, like, 1996 (Atlanta).  

I've had my beefs over the years with the Olympic sports themselves, but mostly the coverage of the Olympics by NBC.  Now, NBC has multiple networks going, so you have about 3-4 options 24 hours per day, plus the Peacock app where you can watch events after the fact.

Full stop, my favorite things in the Olympics are:
  • Women's Beach Volleyball
  • Women's Soccer
  • anything during Track and Field
Look, I showed up for Beach Volleyball about 2004 for less than wholesome reasons, but that's long since in the rearview mirror.  And, yes, my favorite squad has transferred from Walsh-Jennings/ May-Trainor to Ross and Klineman.  I mean - Ross/Klineman kick ass.   

Sunday, July 25, 2021

TV Watch: Ted Lasso (for the folks who haven't seen it, and maybe those who have)




The pandemic has caused some major shifts to my television viewing.  I was not a binge watcher, and basically didn't follow all that much television until I was locked in my house for the better part of two years.  

I've recently watched the 10 episodes of Ted Lasso's first season three times through.  Kind of... all in a row.  This is not a thing I do.  You're lucky if I don't bail on a show after three episodes.  Season 2 has debuted on Friday, July 23rd.  I'm making my recommendation, so take it or leave it.  Also, the show was just nominated for a boat-load of Emmy's, so.  Someone other than me thought this was done well.

I, myself, had heard about Ted Lasso coming to Apple TV+ here and there, and then saw people yelling "I love Ted Lasso!" on social media, but, let's be honest.  People go nuts for shows all the time that are... not good.  None of us are to be trusted when recommending shows, especially unsolicited.  Hell, in the geek-o-sphere, I think we double-down on terrible shows, but that's a post for another day.  

Monday, March 8, 2021

PODCAST: "WandaVision" (2021) - Marvel Television w/ Jamie and Ryan


Watched:  03/05/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director: Various
Creator:  Jac Schaeffer



Jamie and Ryan talk the first of the Marvel DIsney+ programs - a nine episode story that turns the spotlight on everyone's favorite Sakovian and her robot buddy. It's been a social media hot topic for months, so we're going to put it into re-runs and get nostalgic for two terrific Avengers.
A Newlywed Couple - Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, WandaVision OST
Agatha All Along - Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, WandaVision OST

Playlist - Avengers/ Marvel:

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Second Episode of "Superman and Lois"



In the afternoon, before Episode 2 of the new CW show Superman and Lois even aired (on 03/02/2021), the CW renewed the program for a second season.  Those numbers on the pilot must have been really something, because that show cannot be cheap to make, and they didn't even bother to see how the show did Tuesday night when viewers would vote with their feet based on what they'd seen.  My guess is that streaming numbers were very good, indeed - and, I think it was shown on WB owned TV channels TNT and TBS to catch any cable-bound stragglers.

The notion of *why* the show was working for me kind of kicked in during episode 2. And it's both totally obvious based on the premise, but for me - as someone who has thousands of Superman comics, has seen countless hours of TV and movies, read multiple histories of Superman...  it somehow didn't quite resonate til it did.

Superman got to move on.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

So, that "Superman and Lois" pilot on the CW




So, yeah.  After 2 serials, 6 seasons of Adventures of Superman, 4 Christopher Reeve films, 1 Helen Slater film, 4 seasons of Superboy, 4 seasons of Lois & Clark, 10 years of Smallville, 1 Superman Returns, a handful of Henry Cavill movies (3?), and 6 seasons of Supergirl, it's time for one more go at live-action Superman.  

Tuesday February 23rd saw the debut of Superman and Lois, a show about Superman/ Clark Kent and Lois Lane, now well into their lives, married and with two 14 year-old teenage sons (fraternal twins).  

Monday, February 1, 2021

Television - some stuff I've watched



I'd originally started this post at the end of last year in order to relay what all we'd been watching.  At this point, it's kind of hard to remember through the haze that was 2020 and the endless hours in my spot on the sofa what I put my eyeballs on.  As you may know, I mostly watched movies, and baseball came back in July.  I even gave a go of becoming a fan of Korean baseball, but kinda failed at that.

In general, I don't binge TV shows (and quietly judge people on twitter complaining when shows come out once per week), but this year has been a year unlike others.  And I did plow right through some shows that I might otherwise have ignored.  

For example - I watched all of something called The Great Flower Fight, which I can't say I even liked, but at the start of the pandemic, it was the right show at the right time.  As was Love is Blind.

Frankly - I do not get how TV is funded in this era of a million channels and streaming services.  What constitutes a win versus a cancel.  It's all just a big mystery to me.  There's so much stuff out there, and while the same percentage of it is watchable, with the sheer volume, there's a lot of decent TV in existence at this point.  But, yikes, there's a lot of stuff on, and somebody is watching it.  

None of these shows are recommendations, but the list is what I've watched over the past 12 months or so between baseball and movies.  Some of it's pretty bad - but I somehow stuck it out. 

I'm also not looking for recommendations - and I know you all have them.  Good!  Say them very quietly inside your head and give a knowing smile to yourself.  Ahhh....  there's that familiar glow of a recommendation.

Anyway - here's my best possible stab at a list

  • Doom Patrol
  • Filthy Rich
  • The Righteous Gemstones
  • Supergirl
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (select episodes)
  • Star Trek:  Picard
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks
  • Star Trek:  Discovery (Season 3)
  • Fargo Season 4
  • The Great Flower Fight
  • The Vow (the NXIVM  doc)
  • The Mandalorian
  • Imagineering Doc
  • One Day at Disney
  • One Day at a Time
  • Disney Galleries - Mandalorian
  • Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2
  • DuckTales
  • On Pointe
  • The Expanse
  • The Good Place
  • Lego Masters
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Love is Blind
  • WandaVision
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Schitt's Creek
  • The Amber Ruffin Show
  • Reruns of The Nanny
  • Reruns of Seinfeld
  • a whole lotta KXAN News @ Noon


I'm just listing things here that I watched enough of to say I enjoyed it by finishing the series or season.  Unlike, apparently, a lot of you, I don't generally watch shows for a few seasons to see if they get good.  

So, yeah, I also tried a lot of shows, watched a few episodes and stopped.  For whatever reason, they just didn't settle with me.  Of the best items - probably Fargo Season 4, which was goddamn art, people.  So, there you go.

I want to go back and try a few shows now that I'm numb to COVID times.  It was not the best time to be watching Tales from the Loop, for example.  I avoided catching up with Chernobyl altogether.  I couldn't even muster the willpower for Lovecraft Country, which I may pick up soon.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Watch Party Watch: The Running Man (1987)




Watched:  01/08/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Paul Michael Glaser

The Running Man (1987) - for being a kinda goofy movie about a gameshow where the contestants are framed-up convincts and convicts with crimes like "not teaching the curriculum to school kids", this movie has some uncomfortably prescient stuff baked in as our janus-faced gameshow host plays to his base of folks who *won* in a prior civil conflict, and are joyfully taking part as people are killing each other for our entertainment.  Not surprisingly, such a dynamic show has cross-demographic appeal, and it's not just the folks who came out on top economically, it's also the folks on the streets who can't look away as desperate men run for their lives.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dawn Wells Merges With The Infinite

 



In an era of very few channels and endless repeats of syndicated shows 20 years old, Wells' portrayal of Mary Ann loomed so large in the minds of multiple generations that any  reference to "Mary Ann" was immediately understood (and continues so today with people born before a certain year).  

Godspeed, Ms. Wells.  


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Today is the 100th Birthday of Noel Neill

Today is the 100th birthday of the late Noel Neill, the original live-action Lois Lane.  

Neill mostly famously played Lois Lane for five seasons of The Adventures of Superman alongside actor George Reeves.


Neill was active on the convention circuits and became a fixture at the Metropolis, Illinois Superman Celebration each summer until her very last years.  

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Alex Trebek Merges With the Infinite


I can't remember any version of Jeopardy! that didn't feature Alex Trebek.  I know that by 1987-ish and the time I was in 6th grade, we all had our Alex Trebek impersonations, or at least knew how to imitate his cadence when delivering an answer/ clue.  

While I was a Wheel Watcher and had an odd affinity for "Sale of the Century", Jeopardy! was clearly the thinking-person's gameshow - because it was one of the last surviving quiz shows on TV.  And, it was hosted by the thinking-person's gameshow host.  Trebek ran a tight ship - foolishness was not creeping into the world of Jeopardy!.  Demographic-pleasing plebes were not going to find their way onto the contestant's stand - he needed people who could answer a medley of trivia questions, and not lose their cool.  

Trebek grounded the show with a cool, dry, breeziness that was polite, maybe a tad formal, and was unimpressed with credentials even when touting those of his guests.  He was far more impressed if you made a run on the board.  And, his giddiness (which amounted to a small smile at the best of times) shown through during returning champions weeks where he could count on a battle royale instead of watching middle school librarians fall by the wayside early in the game.

Most game show hosts you kind of just shrug at - goofy entertainers with a gift for hucksterism.  But Trebek outsurvived almost all of them (Sajak is still doing his thing, along with Vanna).  And he did it with a certain poise and sincerity about the show that gave gravitas to 30 minutes daily of people being asked random-ass questions for money.  That could have been dumb, y'all.

Jeopardy! existed before Trebek, and it will exist after Trebek.  But it will not be the same without him.  Nor will the television landscape as I've known it my entire life.  And, yes, I will be quietly very judgey of whomever tries to fill Trebek's podium.

Here's to a well deserved rest and may he never have to hear a response in the form of a question ever again.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Someone I Touched (1975)


 


Watched:  09/22/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Lou Antonio

Well, this falls squarely into "something I probably wouldn't have watched on my own".  A 1975 TV movie about syphilis and the people in Southern California who get it.  However, it does star Cloris Leachman making 1970's outfits actually work.  

It's easy to forget - we live in an era of media that's deeply scrubbed and sanitized.  Sure, sure, we've got gritty heroes and complex moral subplots, but a movie torn from the headlines about how sleeping around on your spouse isn't just naughty, it can give you a debilitating (but treatable) disease would be considered un-airable on network TV.  In an era where we had basically three networks and PBS, this was what a network decided would make for good all-purpose viewing.  

And, it's surprisingly good, helped along by Leachman turning in a rock solid performance and bringing some realism to a melodrama that includes infidelity and the impact beyond our immediate group of characters.  In fact, it starts far out from Leachman and works it's way back.  

I don't want to oversell the movie, but there's some willingness to deal with real-life unpleasantness and leave things a bit ambiguous that could exist in today's landscape, but it's hard not to imagine it getting glossed up and the audience missing the point and turning it into a game of "who do we blame here, because everything is about winning and losing?"


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Diana Rigg Merges With the Infinite


Diana Rigg, actor and icon, has passed at the age of 82.  

Rigg was a cult favorite in the U.S. and a bonafide star in the U.K., and would have been well remembered just from her work on the UK whack-a-doodle adventure show The Avengers as Emma Peel - which laid the foundation for about 10,000 imitators and arguably indirectly to the most popular iterations of Black Widow in the Marvel Universe.  She also has the most solid of Bond-girl credits as Traci, the woman who Bond would marry in On her Majesty's Secret Service (and a favorite of the PodCast).  Most recently she'd been on Game of Thrones (which I didn't watch, but I know she's a fan favorite).  

She, of course, did so much more and was just one of those actors it seems everyone could agree upon.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Regis Philbin Merges with The Infinite



How odd.  I always thought of Regis Philbin as.. a permanent fixture.  He'd seemed sort of ageless all his years on TV. 

But he seems to have passed

For the kids - Regis was a sort of gadfly of the media industry who had his greatest success with "Regis and Kathie Lee" back in the 90's, a softball morning show where he drank coffee and met celebrities and clearly had no idea who they were or what they were pitching.  He was a great default guest for late-night talk shows (I always suspected he was on speed dial when they had a cancellation) because he'd been a sort of Jiminy Glick for so long that he had tons of crazy stories. 

Anyway, he was someone I always found pretty funny.  He had a certain joie de vivre that made him a kick to have on.  And, when he hosted the game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, our own Nathan Cone got to meet him as a contestant. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Grant Imahara Merges With the Infinite



Last night the news hit that Grant Imahara, one of the main cast members of Mythbusters, had passed at the age of 49.

This one shook me.

The Mythbusters cast never came across as celebrities - they came across as people you might know who someone had bestowed a budget and granted time to answer all sorts of questions you might think about but never be able to pursue.  To this day, I can't tell you how many times per month I still say "I think Mythbusters covered that" when we're pondering a question.  And those questions are not just whether and to what degree something might explode.

Imahara was the purist engineer of the crew, and seemed genuinely more interested in the process and data than being on TV.  He made a great third side of the triangle for "the build team", ensuring engineering and data driven practices were part of what they were up to.  And he did it with a joyfulness that was positively inspiring. We should all strive to have Grant's excitement about opportunity and discovery.

The cast seemed to be roughly of my generation, and so of course it's a shock when someone your own age suddenly goes.  We aren't really there yet.  But especially someone who had become famous somewhat by accident, who never became a jerk or let it go to his head, and never seemed to lose his curiosity.  We *liked* Grant.

I can't imagine what his family and friends are going through.  It seems incredibly unfair.