The ladies from the FX Animated series ARCHER provide it all. Beauty, brains and belly laughs. Aisha Tyler, Amber Nash, Judy Greer and Jessica Walter talk about the show, their best lines and how different (or similar) they are to the characters they play. Plus Amazon saves RIPPER STREET and METAL HURLANT hits The U.S.
When I watched the recent season finale of Homeland, I was left speechless. If you’re not caught up on this Showtime thriller about the CIA and terrorism, don’t worry; I won’t give anything away. Confining myself to spoiler-free praise, I’ll just say it struck me as pitch perfect and was satisfying to a degree that television shows achieve rarely, if ever. I loved it so much, in fact, that as the credits rolled I found myself hoping the show would get canceled before any more episodes air.
It’s almost impossible for a TV show to stay great from pilot to series finale. I know, I know, Breaking Bad proved it can be done, but Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece is the exception that underscores the rule. There are just too many things to ruin great shows, and an executive hitting the cancellation button even isn’t first on the list. Simply being left on the air too long is more than enough to take the wind out of the sails of something once lovable, whether it’s because the show starts stretching into weird new territory like on Fringe, or because intended end points keep being passed by in the hopes of squeezing out another lucrative ratings year, like with Dexter. And of course there’s the plot and punchline recycling that can occur when a show’s left lingering, making episode formulas uncomfortably obvious (*cough cough* Simpsons).
Outside circumstances rearing their heads can be damaging too. With many shows, a featured actor leaving would minimally rock the boat, and some end up capsizing altogether rather than recovering. Just hearing that Topher Grace was leaving That ’70s Show was enough to make me tune out, and leave me completely unsurprised when I heard the first Eric Foreman-less season was also the show’s last. The 2007 Writer’s Guild strike took down its fair share of TV, from amazing shows immediately unable to sustain themselves through it like The Riches, to shows that pushed through but hobbled on forever changed, like Heroes.
But while there have been plenty of shows that have gone downhill in front of my eyes, there are of course many others cancelled before their time. If you’ve never seen the 2008 BBC show Survivors, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s an amazing yet little known sci-fi drama that follows a small group of people who lived through a widespread virus wiping out most of the population, and it’s the best treatment I’ve ever seen of the “band of survivors must start anew” premise. The caveat that comes along with this recommendation is the fact that the second season finale ends on a cliffhanger so amazing that I was literally yelling at my television when I realized the show hadn’t been renewed for a third series. Then again, maybe letting sleeping dogs lie is best; Arrested Development‘s fourth season didn’t live up to the first three by even the most generous standards.
Yet even on the rare occasion that a show manages to go out gracefully under the pall of cancellation, I still can’t help being sad for it. The writers for the criminally under-appreciated Terriers knew there was a strong possibility they’d never see a second season, and deftly handled their finale in such a way that viewers could interpret the episode as teeing up another major story arc if renewal did come through, or as a beautiful farewell if the hammer fell, which it sadly did. Going out so skillfully even though they hadn’t gotten their narrative due was impressive, but oxymoronically reinforced that they should’ve been given another season to find a bigger audience.
So if it’s so hard for shows on TV to stay great and for great shows to stay on TV, why do I want one of my favorites off the air? Because, intentionally or not, the writers served up a season finale to Homeland this year that put the perfect cap on the show. Yes, there are some signs about what season four will entail, and yes, the writers of this particular show have proven time and again that they’re capable of taking the story and characters into increasingly compelling territory even when it seems they’ve already struck a narrative critical mass. But the way this finale wrapped up a major story arc (again, no spoilers!) left me with the rarest of my potential reactions to a TV show: content. I could walk away from these characters now and be happy to leave them because I know they’re all right where they should be.
Of course, I realize I could preserve this feeling of contentment by choosing not to watch the fourth season of Homeland when it debuts. But I’d be lying to myself if I pretended to have the willpower for that. I mean, did you see how amazing the third season finale was?!
Actor Tony Hale comes by to talk about his NBC webseries, CTRL, but what what we want to know is when we’ll see an ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT film. He gives us the latest, plus can Zac Effron really be Spidey and can you guess what the #1 movie was over the weekend?
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Monsters vs. Aliens, slated to open March 27, 2009, reinvents the classic 50s monster movie into an irreverent modern day action comedy.
The cast of Monsters vs. Aliens includes: Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Rendition) as Susan Murphy, a.k.a. Ginormica; Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (TV’s House, Stuart Little) as Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.; Will Arnett (TV’s Arrested Development, Blades of Glory) as The Missing Link; Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Superbad) as B.O.B.; Rainn Wilson (Juno, TV’s The Office) as Gallaxhar; Emmy winner Stephen Colbert (TV’s The Colbert Report, Bewitched) as The President of the United States; Golden Globe winner Kiefer Sutherland (TV’s 24, Phone Booth) as General W.R. Monger; and Paul Rudd (Knocked Up, Night at the Museum) as Susan’s boyfriend, Derek.
Directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2), produced by Lisa Stewart (I Think I Love My Wife) and co-produced by Jill Hopper and Latifa Ouaou, the film marks the theatrical debut of DreamWorks Animation’s Ultimate 3-D.
When California girl Susan Murphy is unexpectedly clobbered by a meteor full of outer space gunk, she mysteriously grows to 49-feet-11-inches tall and is instantly labeled a “monster” named Ginormica. The military jumps into action, and she is captured and held in a secret government compound. The world learns that the military has been quietly rounding up other monsters over the years. This ragtag group consists of the brilliant but insect-headed Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.; the macho half-ape, half-fish The Missing Link; the gelatinous and indestructible B.O.B.; and the 350-foot grub called Insectosaurus. Their confinement time is cut short however, when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and begins storming the country.
As a last resort, under the guidance of General W.R. Monger (on a desperate order from The President), the motley crew of Monsters is called into action to combat the aliens and save the world from imminent destruction.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox’s upcoming sitcom Boldly Going Nowhere has added two new actors to its growing cast. Lennon Parham will play the female lead alongside newcomer Chad L. Coleman. The two join Ben Koldyke, previously cast as the lead character Captain Ron Teague, and Tony Hale of Arrested Development as the ship’s robot.
Boldly Going Nowhere is produced by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. The show focuses on the day-to-day events of an intergalactic spaceship. McElhenny, Day and Howerton do not consider the series as a science fiction, but rather a unique twist on the workplace sitcom. Wayne McClammy (I’m F–king Matt Damon) directs the pilot.
Parham, a newcomer from the Upright Citizens Brigade, plays Joyce, the ship’s by-the-book pilot. McElhenney describes her as "a diamond in the rough," found only due to the recommendation of co-star Tony Hale.
Coleman (pictured), meanwhile, plays self-absorbed Cobalt, the intimidating head of security. The actor appeared in 26 episodes of HBO’s The Wire, which McElhenney admits isn’t something you’d say "in the same sentence with a broadcast comedy, but we’ve been going for fresh faces and strong actors."
The trio behind Boldly have said the same about newcomer Ben Koldyke.
"We love the idea of finding talented people out there," they said of his casting. "The fact that Ben is unknown is great but irrelevant. We wanted the best guy for the lead and he was it."
It’s certainly a refreshing approach for an industry dominated by name recognition.
Speaking of familiar names, THR is also reporting that Courtney Cox is coming back to television after her last series, Dirt, got buried in the ratings. ABC has given the go-ahead to Cougar Town featuiring Cox as a MILF with a 17-year-old son. The series was created by Bill Lawrence, whose Scrubs moves to the Alphabet network later this season.
"Forty-year-old women on TV are so beautiful and perfect and wrinkle-free," Lawrence told the trade. "People don’t do the reality of it, and there is a real comedy area about a woman who is talking about Botox, about having sex with the lights on and how her body is changing."
What if Star Trek was a half-hour sitcom focusing on the “lower decks” characters? That is apparently the premise for Boldly Going Nowhere, a new series from Fox. The Hollywood Reporter says newcomer Ben Koldyke has been approved as the lead, the starship’s rogue captain. The series will also feature Tony Hale (Arrested Development) as the robot who has concluded he is superior to the ship’s human inhabitants.
The series was created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton, best known for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Koldyke had an unusual path to the center seat. He was a fan of McElhenney’s work and saw the producer regularly breakfast at Venice’s Rose Café. Impulsively, he paid the man’s check and had the waiter deliver a note that said, "Hey, man, I think your show is fantastic".
Days later, a Rose waiter pointed Koldyke out to the producer and they struck up a friendship. Ever since, Koldyke tried to find work as a writer, director or actor and was about to give up and return to the Midwest to resume his teaching career. Instead, he wound up meeting with the producers about joining them as a writer/director for the new sitcom. As they discussed the show, it occurred to trio that Koldyke could actually be the lead. He screen tested and passed network muster so received his commission.
"He came in and nailed it," McElhenney told the trade. "From Day 1, he was the guy to beat.
"We love the idea of finding talented people out there. The fact that Ben is unknown is great but irrelevant. We wanted the best guy for the lead and he was it."
Despite poor ratings and widely disparaging reviews, NBC’s Knight Rider reboot has gained a full season pickup. Nine additional episodes have been ordered by NBC, reports Entertainment Weekly, paving the way for a full season of the ’80s inspired series.
Knight Rider originally existed in the ’80s as a David Hasselhoff television series focusing on a nearly murdered police detective who turns into a high tech crime fighting vigilante. In the original series, William Daniels voiced a talking automobile named KITT, standing for Knight Industries Two Thousand. Daniels is most popularly known as Mr. Feeney on Boy Meets World.
In February 2008, a Knight Rider television movie was released to serve as a backdoor pilot for a relaunch of the series. The reboot focuses on Mike Traceur, the son of David Hasselhoff’s character from the original. Val Kilmer provides the voice for KITT, even though Will Arnett was initially cast as the loudmouthed vehicle. The Arrested Development star ultimately pulled out due to a conflicting interest with General Motors.
Is anyone watching the new Knight Rider? Is it any good? Does it deserve the full season pickup, or should it be offered up to that old junkyard in the sky? You tell us.
The CW, meantime, has ordered two more scripts for its drama Privileged which is good news for the show which is hampered by the limp 90210 reamke as a lead in.
James Lipton, host of Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio, ever more closely resembles the caricature Will Ferrell once played of Lipton. After self-aggrandizing turns on Arrested Development and in a Geico commercial, Lipton’s now turned up in a comic movie promo.
Check out the below ad for the quickly approaching Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, featuring an interview with Ron Perlman in full Hellboy gear. "Boo yah," indeed.
Hidden within his massive, mind-numbingly comprehensive roundup of information about the looming San Diego Comic-Con International convention (which I intend to spotlight in at least one other post here on ComicMix), Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter included a link to something semi-related to CCI but very interesting to me — and possibly quite a few other readers.
Shown here is one of a dozen sketches Zack Smith commissioned from comic book artists at the 2004 Wizard World Chicago convention. The sketches depict characters from the over-far-too-soon television series Arrested Development, which also happens to be one of my favorite series of the last 5-10 years.
Scott Pilgrim is an awkward nerd who spends most of his days rocking out, making video game references and battling his new girlfriend’s evil ex-boyfriends.
What better to play Pilgrim than Michael Cera, who has made his name playing awkard nerds in Arrested Development,Superbad and Juno?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cera is in final negotiations with Universal Studios to play the titular character in Scott Pilgrim’s Little Life.
The film is being written and directed by Edgar Wright, the director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, who is also attached to Marvel’s Ant Man movie. The film is based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s popular series of Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, published by Oni Press.