Tag Archives: Television

Fall TV Best Old Ideas

Nobody in Hollywood has an original thought anymore leading one to believe every idea in the Television business has been thought of and now they’ve been reduced to re-doing old TV or movies. Pretty much every new show in the fall lineup can trace it’s roots back to a TV show or some movie done previously.

Let’s start with the obvious…

Charlie’s Angels — (ABC, Sep 22)

In a rehash of the 70s action/rompy show “Charlie’s Angels” this blatant trip on Professor Peabody’s Way-back machine is a reboot of an old idea. It worked at the time because young men of that era were shallow and somewhat jerkish. Okay, it might work with today’s generation as well.

Let’s hope by mid-season the angel’s get real guns.

2 Broke Girls — (CBS, Sep 19)

Okay, here’s the premise. The series follows the lives of two waitresses in their twenties—Max (Kat Dennings), who comes from a poor working-class family, and Caroline (Beth Behrs), born rich but now down on her luck—working together at a Brooklyn eatery.

You could move these two to Milwaukee, put them to work in a brewery and you’d have Laverne and Shirley. (The uniforms remind me of Mel’s Diner)

Actually… wasn’t that funky chair in Laverne’s apartment?

Person of Interest — (CBS, Sep 22)

Think, Tom Cruise in Minority Report, without the flying backpacks and that very hot car. Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) has developed a computer program that predicts the identity of a person connected to a violent crime that will take place some time in the future. Unable to stop the crimes on his own, Finch hires Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA agent who is presumed to be dead, to intervene and stop the crime. It’s good to see Caviezel working again although this knock-off probably won’t live up to his talent.

Terra Nova – (Fox, Sep 26)

Although nothing like Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, other than the big dinosaurs trying to eat the stars, Fox’s Terra Nova is standing out as the most anticipated of the fall offerings.

In the year 2149 all life Earth is threatened with extinction. In an effort to save the human race, scientists develop a time machine allowing people to travel 85 million years back in time to prehistoric Earth.(Convenient that they invented a time machine just in the nick of time. I think I would’ve gone back to a period of time after the Dinosaur’s extinction. It harps of piss-poor-prior-planning.)

Jim Shannon, wife Elisabeth and children Josh, Maddy, and Zoe join a pilgrimage of settlers traveling back in time to resettle earth. They discover those pesky dinosaurs. Some of their fellow pilgrims get pretty pesky as well.

The only thing missing is Laura Dern’s short shorts and bony legs.

Rumours are CBS is planning a re-boot of the old Bewitched series. As if the movie version wasn’t bad enough.  (Click here for more.)

Show’s I’d like to see them reboot…

Babylon 5 – (Maybe Babylon 5.1)

Rawhide – (I’m ready for a good weekly western)

Marooned – (Seven tourists in a tiny space ship get marooned on a distant planet and have a series of goofy adventures as they try to find a way off the island… er planet)

Dragnet – Two L.A. Cops searching for just the facts. (Think Ackroyd and Hanks)

Flash Gordon – I think it’s worth another shot but with better music (and acting)

All in the Family – Except they live in new Jersey. Ed o’Neill (Married With Children) as Archie, Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain) as Edythe, Kirsten Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) as daughter Gloria, and Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) as Gloria’s husband Michael Stivic.

Take a shot at casting your version of the new “All in the Family”
in the comments below.  (For you young folks, Google Archie Bunker.)

“Being Human” on SyFy Network (Review)

What do a Vampire, a Werewolf, and a Ghost have in common? They share an apartment in Boston.

As jokes go, it’s not a very good one. The thing is, this is not a joke. It’s the premise of a new series on the SyFy Network called Being Human. Between Twilight, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries, you would think television is in vampire overload. But you know how the entertainment business is.  “If it works once, let’s see how many times and how many ways we can get it to work.”

Or, if it works in Great Britan, let’s copy it. Being Human launched its third season, January 23rd, on the BBC, and is the most watched program on BBC’s iPlayer. In my limited experience, the Brits make better vampires.

In the premier episode of the US version we are introduced to Aiden (the vampire) and Josh (the werewolf) getting ready for a days work as orderlies at some nondescript hospital. They are talking about how much they want to live like regular guys, eat pizza and watch sports on TV. They decide to move in together and just be human. Like that has a sharp fang’s chance of happening.

No sooner do they move into their new place, they are introduced to Sally (the ghost) who died in the building. (Her heartbroken fiancée is their landlord) Following me so far?  The boys find being human is a lot tougher than they thought, considering Josh’s full moon thing and Adian’s thirst for blood, and we won’t even begin to talk about Sally’s issues.

The series strays from standard vampire lore as Adian seems highly capable of walking the streets in daylight and checking out his reflection in the mirror. Maybe everything we know about vampires is wrong anyway.

I give Being Human a B+ for better than average chemistry between the cast.  The first part of the season premier started out a little slow. It took a while to introduce the characters and get the story rolling, but by the end of Part 1, the tension was high and death was knocking on a locked door. The cliffhanger was enough to bring me back for Part 2.

The real wild card (no pun intended) is Josh and his werewolf issue. I like what he said during the opening few minutes. “I thought the hell was going to be every full moon. The hell is every-thing in between.”

If you like good paranormal thrillers, this is worth a look.  I am intrigued enough to come back for episode 3. Parts 1 & 2 of the season premier, “There Goes the Neighborhood,” is available for streaming at Hulu.com.

Cast interview: TV Squad on AOL.

“Yeah. I did a 21-hour day for the werewolf transformation, then I had four hours of sleep and then I did a 19-hour day of the same thing.” ~Sam Huntington (When asked about the werewolf makeup)

Hazards of 3D Television

Major electronics manufacturers are betting the farm on 3D as the next big technology breakthrough for the future of television.  This despite study after study citing hazards such as severe eye strain, massive headaches, and queasiness to viewers.

This is the dirty little secret of 3D TV – or is it? (a secret, that is)

Thee following paragraphs is the “Warning Label” on the Samsung website, re: Watching 3D TV. (For full text click HERE.)

Some viewers may experience an epileptic seizure or stroke when exposed to certain flashing images or lights contained in certain television pictures or video games. If you or any of your family has a history of epilepsy or stroke, please consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately stop watching 3D pictures and consult a medical specialist: (1) altered vision; (2) lightheadedness; (3) dizziness; (4) involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching; (5) confusion; (6) nausea; (7) loss of awareness; (8) convulsions; (9) cramps; and/or (10) disorientation. Parents should monitor and ask their children about the above symptoms as children and teenagers may be more likely to experience these symptoms than adults.

Viewing in 3D mode may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the likelihood of these effects. If you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume until the symptoms have subsided.

Makes you wonder what the manufacturer isn’t telling you, doesn’t it?

Now I love gadgets as much as the next guy, but something else that can make me go blind is the last thing I need. I’m reminded of the ‘Opti-Grab,’ the fictional invention of Navin R. Johnson in Steve Martin’s The Jerk. After making millions off his invention, it is discovered to have caused users of the product to become cross-eyed, resulting in millions of lawsuits. Is 3D TV the next Opti-Grab?


Navin R. Johnson (The Jerk): And that’s the only thing I need is *this*. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray… And this paddle game. – The ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need… And this remote control. – The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need… And these matches. – The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball… And this lamp. – The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that’s all *I* need. And that’s *all* I need too. I don’t need one other thing, not one… I need this. – The paddle game and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches for sure. Well what are you looking at? What do you think I’m some kind of a jerk or something! –
And this. That’s all I need.
[walking outside]
The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair.
[outside now] And I don’t need one other thing, except my dog.
[dog growls at him] I don’t need my dog.