Television

Fri
24
Oct

Second Season of Courage The Cowardly Dog Double Helping of Fun

Courage the Cowardly Dog, Season Two on DVD

John R. Dilworth's cowering canine, Courage, is the reluctant hero of this fun cartoon series that blends the styles of Schoolhouse Rock and John Kricfalusi. He's ostensibly a "cowardly dog," and yet he shows degrees of bravery all the time that exceed that of your average dog. He just shows it without any external bravado. He doesn't run around saving those he loves with a grow, but with a tiptoe and a whimper -- but he still does it, because it needs doing.

Thu
23
Oct

Constantine Apparates from Page to Screen

Matt Ryan is Constantine

This Friday night, DC Comics' John Constantine makes his first live action appearance in the NBC series, Constantine. So far, it appears that the writers are doing the series right this time, eschewing the "Hellblazer in name only" platform that was established with the Keanu Reeves vehicle.

Constantine is played by Matt Ryan, whose resume includes such titles as The Tudors and "Layer Cake." In Constantine, however, producers are relying on him to carry the series as the lead -- something he seems quite capable of handling, if the trailers are any indication.

Wed
22
Oct

Four Years of Buchanan High with Welcome Back Kotter Complete Series

Welcome Back Kotter, The Complete Series

A series doesn't have to be long-running to be long-remembered. For evidence of that, look to Welcome Back Kotter, the Gabe Kaplan comedy vehicle which starred Kaplan as Gabe Kotter, a high school remedial education teacher returning to his Brooklyn alma mater, Buchanan High, to educate and mentor a class of misfits who've named themselves The Sweathogs.

The series only ran for four years -- fitting, since that's how long high school should last -- but the Sweathogs, the irascible Mr. Woodman (John Sylvester White), the recipes of Julie Kotter (Marcia Strassman), and Kotter's endless supply of uncles who inspired so many stories, made an indelible impression on American audiences. Lunch boxes, comic books -- the usual marketing machine engines were fired up to feed the audience as much Kotter as they could handle.

Mon
20
Oct

truTV Unveils Captivating Artform in Fake Off

Fake Off Host Rob Hoffman

Next Monday, truTV debuts a new competition that could bill itself as "So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance?" Except that wouldn't truly cover all the bases of the art form known as "Faking." This demonstrates to me just how far off the Cool Meter I've fallen in my dotage, as I had never heard of such a thing before. Apparently, faking is "a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion." It's kind of like Cirque du Soleil, but more street.

Thu
16
Oct

American Dad! Repatriates to TBS

American Dad, "Blonde Ambition"

American Dad!, the irrverent comedy from Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman which follows the clueless patriotic CIA Agent, Stan Smith (MacFarlane), is leaving FOX and making the transition over to TBS. That means cable, which means things can get even more wild than they did before.

Wed
15
Oct

Chicks Dig Zombies

Walking Dead Preferred by Females over Males

Women prefer the walking dead at a rate of 62% over the 38% of males. Of course, we mean the AMC show The Walking Dead, not actual zombies (unless you're into the strong, silent type, who really is into you for your brains).

This statistic comes from the social analytics firm, StatSocial, which compiled the statistics based on Twitter data tracked from the week of October 7th through October 13th and a pool of 651,000 tweets. If you're a zombie on the prowl, look for a 25 to 34 year old woman in Texas (although New York City or Los Angeles would be your better bets).

For a breakdown on the numbers, check out the infographic below.

 

 

Tue
07
Oct

Ghost Hunters Reaches Milestone 200th Episode

Ghost Hunters 200

♪♫It’s the spook, spookiest time, of the year!♫♪

♫With kids that need scaring ♪

♪And candy that needs sharing♫♫

♪♪♫There’s nothing but FFFFFEEEEEEEAAAAAAARRRR!♫♫♪

♫♪♫It’s the spooooookkkk, spookiest tiiiiimmmmmeee of the YYEEEEAAAARRRR!♪♫

 

In case you didn’t know, fall is my favorite season. I like the cool fall weather. I like the smell of burning leaves, and the cheering crowds at the high school football game. I hate that every single thing has to be “pumpkin spice” flavored. I love wearing hooded sweaters and sitting in the driveway with my neighbors while we eat chili.

Mon
06
Oct

Star Wars Rebels to Deliver A New Hope to Fans

Star Wars Rebels

After the credits rolled on 2005's Revenge of the Sith, many fans of the original trilogy were left unsatisfied. The newer trilogy seemed to focus on updated special effects and intense choreographed fight scenes.

The overall story, however, seemed to sputter like the Falcon's hyperdrive.

Enter the ultimate in ironic acquisitions: Disney, a real Empire seeking to expand it's reach, purchased Lucasfilm and the rights to everything Star Wars.

Moving quickly they began to develop the next motion picture installment with Episode VIII. To ensure they remained in touch with the original audience, veteran actors such as: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were all brought in to pass the torch to a new generation of heroes.

Wed
01
Oct

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series [Blu-ray]

From Dusk Til Dawn

I have fantastic memories from seeing From Dusk Till Dawn in the theater back in 1996.  Goodness, it's so hard to believe that was nearly twenty years ago! Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino had only made a few films up to that point. More so, George Clooney was really just the dude from "ER" and a host of failed series. Now, Tarantino's films are always Oscar worthy, Clooney has been Best Actor, and Robert Rodriguez owns the El Rey Network. They are a power trio in modern Hollywood, but back then they were just making a horror flick.

The idea of remaking a well loved horror film as a television series that essentially follows the map of the original, well that takes balls! To be honest, it all pays off quite well. Considering the film was packed with stars or soon-to-be stars, the series pulls off recasting so well, that you mostly don't even miss the original players.

Wed
24
Sep

Big Brother -- or Big Bother? Who's Paying Attention to the Final Three?

Less than halfway through this season of CBS and Endemol's Big Brother, I found myself asking myself, "Self, why are you still watching this show? This year isn't nearly as good as what we've had in the past."

But why did I think that? This season was replete with likeable characters (Donny), and it had its cute little romances (Nicole and Hayden). It had its built-in villain (Zach), and it even had the player we loved to hate and hated to love (Frankie). There were confrontations, there were blow-ups and dust-ups and OMG moments.

To top things off, this year I even began watching the Big Brother After Dark -- since I no longer had to subscribe to Showtime for it and could watch it for free on TVGN (soon to be renamed Pop).

Tue
23
Sep

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One on DVD/Blu-ray

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Season One on DVD

It just goes to show, you can't always trust the critics. I hadn't watched any of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because I'd heard from some corners -- comic-fan corners, mind you! -- that the show was not just underwhelming, it was actually bad.

Now that I've got the entire first season to review, I think that the critics were wrong -- mostly. And, yes, I get the inherent irony of my saying that -- I'm completely up on the Epimenides paradox. So with the second season debuting tonight, you've got a few hours to go pick this up and cram like mad to get up to speed.

Sat
20
Sep

Blast to the Past with "The Midnight Special" on DVD

For those of us old enough to remember, there was a time when there were no music videos and there was no MTV (not that MTV plays any videos anymore) and the only way you go to see your favorite performers were to see them in concert.

Ten in 1973 it all changed…on August 19th 1972 the pilot for Midnight Special aired and it was so good!

Finally we got a chance each week to see the hottest musicians perform one or more of their hit songs live…that’s live as in not pre taped and not lip synced.

It meant staying up late to be able to see it considering I was only 12 when the show first started, but because I was very familiar with the music and musicians of those days thanks to my 8 years senior older brother’s extensive record collection I begged and pleaded to stay up each week (until I was old enough to stay up without having to ask for permission) each week to see the performers whose music I was listening to every day.

Sat
20
Sep

Start Your Christmas Lists Now: Sherlock, Merlin, Doctor Who Giftsets From BBC

BBC Gift Sets

It's only September, but anyone knows that if you want to get the really cool stuff for Christmas, you have to start making your list early. Any later than Halloween, and you're likely to get stuck with whatever your friends and family could pick up at the local Walgreens. And you want cool, right? Like, bowtie cool?

Well look no further, friend! The BBC has put together some gift set releases of their best and brightest shows. Let's tear off a corner of the wrapping paper for a little peek, shall we?

DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE MATT SMITH YEARS LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY GIFT SET

Fri
19
Sep

CBS Greenlights Supergirl Series, Sparking DC's Crisis On Infinite Networks

Supergirl artwork by Michael Turner

It's a good time to be a DC fan.

No, let me amend that. It's a great time to be a DC fan -- especially if you enjoy your comics characters brought to live action. Arrow is entering a third successful season, The Flash is preparing to launch in early October, Gotham is preparing to tell the story of a pre-Batman era James Gordon, and CBS has just announced that it's going into production of Supergirl.

The problem? Arrow and The Flash are on the CW, Gotham is on FOX, and Supergirl -- a one hour drama -- will be on CBS.

Fri
19
Sep

CW's "The Flash" Can't Get Here Fast Enough!

CW's Flash

Rocketing out of CW's Arrow comes another DC Universe super hero. His name is Barry Allen. He is the fastest man alive.

The CW pilot for The Flash does an exemplary job at setting the stage for all the events to come: telling an origin, providing a reason for the hero, and putting into play the long game (and the even longer game, but that would be spoiling things), all in the space of a one-hour episode. Hints have been dropped in Arrow for some time now about the Central City Particle Accelerator, and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has already made his guest appearance in that series. And while it won't be long before fans are finally rewarded with these hints culminating in a much-anticipated spin-off series, one thing is certain upon reviewing this pilot: CW's The Flash can't get here fast enough!

Thu
18
Sep

Ben 10 Omniverse: Galactic Monsters Just In Time for Halloween

Ben 10 Omniverse: Galactic Monsters

I admit, I'm not completely up to speed on the Ben 10 phenomenon. I know that Ben's a kid with a special wristwatch (like Johnny Sokko) that allows him to turn into one of any variety of aliens so that he can go into battle against other aliens (like Ultraman). And, that's about it.

Thu
18
Sep

Waiting to Exhale: Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who, "Deep Breath"

For those of us who live without BBC America on our tellies, the Blu-ray/DVD releases are an event. Yes, we're behind the curve of all the other Whovians, but we just pretend we're time-traveling to the day of the broadcast premiere. It adds to the overall gestalt of following The Doctor.

Sun
01
Dec

Vicki Lawrence: America's Favorite Mama

Long before Tyler Perry made himself up to look like an old woman, the young Vicki Lawrence was putting on the padding and powder to make herself into Thelma Harper for The Carol Burnett Show. The character was too big to be held to sketch comedy, however, and insisted on having her own show, giving rise to six seasons of the fan favorite situation comedy, Mama’s Family.

As Time Life presents the complete series on DVD, and Vicki tours the country with her “two woman show” of herself and Mama Harper (see VickiLawrence.com for details and schedules), we were privileged to steal a few moments to look back at the roots of Mama’s Family.

Can you recall your feelings, and the audience reaction, the very first time you walked out on a stage in the persona of Mama?

Wed
29
May

Alison Arngrim: Original Prairie Bitch

Alison Arngrim Little House Prairie

If you had a television at all in the 1970s and 1980s, you can't help but be intimately familiar with Little House on the Prairie -- and thus, you probably grew up hating one of the original "mean girls" of media, Nellie Oleson.

"Nellie" -- Alison Arngrim to citizens of the real world -- is all grown up now, and while she's still true to her Little House fans, she's moved on to other facets of entertainment... and some extremely important work as well, turning personal tragedy into an impetus for rescuing children in trouble. Despite working in some disturbing corners of the world, Alison remains full of energy, spirit, and good humor. I hope that comes through in this transcription as much as it was evident in our actual conversation.

We've met up on Twitter, where you're very active.

I tweet. I twat. I'm all over it.

Sun
21
Oct

TLC, What Are We Supposed To Be Learning?

TLC

Step right up, folks, step right up! Don't be shy. Step behind the curtain and see the world's largest family! Marvel at the tiniest married couple in all the Earth. Be amazed at the messages from beyond the dead, just for you! Recoil in terror from medical mishaps and cruel tricks of biology!

By now you may have conjured to mind an image of the carnival barker and the traveling freak show. And you wouldn't be too far wrong. But the circus and sawdust isn't set up in some field outside of town. You don't have to go any farther than your television, and you can find it all on one channel. Ironically, it's a network that dubs itself "The Learning Channel."

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Television