In 1980, we were all transfixed by the show COSMOS, hosted by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. Now Seth MacFarlane is producing a new COSMOS, headed by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and with strong ties and much respect for the original. We’ll tell you just what those are as Neil talks about his plans for the series, Plus DC decides it’s a look at the future for the next Big Event.
COSMOS premieres on NatGeo, Fox and several other outlets this Sunday (March 9th). See more at CosmosOnTV.Com
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.
If you’ve been following my columns this month here and here, you know I’m on a tirade. I don’t like it that women are still considered an afterthought in the comics industry, especially as our industry is represented at comics and pop culture conventions.
And so, I want to shine a spotlight on various shows, and discuss what they’re doing wrong, and what they’re doing right.
In my last column here, I wrote a lot about ReedPop, the folks who put on big shows in New York and Chicago, among other things. They only had women creators as about ten percent of their featured comics guests. Since then, several people have alerted me to the fact that C2E2 is highlighting their female guests in their advertising. This is a great thing. I commend them for it.
The alluring Vera Farmiga earned that Emmy nomination and much more with her portrayal of Norma Bates in A&E’s BATES MOTEL. Now the second season is set to start next Monday (10pm ET on A&E) and Vera shares a glimpse at just where we find Norman’s loving mama. Plus HEROES is back and Archie Comics invades the YA market.
Almost two decades ago, actress Jeri Ryan was a science fiction icon on STAR TREK:VOYAGER. Now she has returned to the genre with a new story arc on HELIX. Why did she leave SFTV, and what brought her back? We talk about her new role and where it’s headed on the intense SyFy drama. Plus Caliber Comics returns and New York gets a real comic book convention.
It’s a fairy tale, it’s a fantasy and it’s a romance. WINTER’S TALE covers a lot of territory as it makes the jump from novel to film. Director and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and star Colin Farrell talk about how the magic strings it all together. Plus Bryan Singer picks up a comic property and you can get set to binge watch STAR WARS CLONE WARS in just a few days.
Women’s Lib was perhaps the last great social movement of the 20th Century, a logical outgrowth of a changing society that finally brought equal rights to African-Americans and saw the last wave of Baby Boomers create an identity all their own. Women spoke up, beginning in the 1960s with Betty Freidan’s The Feminist Mystique, coupled with the arrival of birth control pills. By the end of the 1960s, women were increasing playing larger roles in the workplace, mirrored soon thereafter on television. They were competent at work and at home, able to stand on their own without benefit of a man. While CBS quailed at the notion that Mary Richards was happily divorced, they were fine to let her be a successful producer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a series that ushered in a new era for powerful women.
Dramatic prime time series followed suit, most notably with Angie Dickinson’s Police Woman. It was a no-brainer than to imagine that if one powerful woman would work, more would work better. Fred Silverman, then head of programming at ABC, commissioned Aaron Spelling to create a show about three tough but beautiful women. The successful producer conceived of three women working as private investigators for a mysterious employer in a series to be called The Alley Cats. ABC and Spelling first contacted Kate Jackson, who previously appeared on the network’s The Rookies to be a lead. She refused to audition, was cast anyway, then suggested Angles instead of Alley Cats and so Charlie’s Angels was born.
Today, the show is seen as the beginning of a trend of dumbing down prime time programing, ushering in “jiggle television” that emphasized their breasts over their brains. It’s also the launching pad for the pop culture phenom known as Farrah Fawcett-Majors, whose hair started a trend all its own and her bathing suit poster, with a hint of nipple protruding, made her the decade’s superstar. Initially, though, the series was merely an attempt to entertain at the 8 p.m. hour, appealing to all ages with some action some adventure, and three beautiful women to while away sixty minutes with.
It was never meant to be great television or even trend-setting television but it lucked out and became a ratings hit that transformed the cast, anchored by Jackson, but also featuring Fawdfcett0-Majors and model turned actress Jaclyn Smith into celebrities. Mill Creek Entertainment has been vacuuming up rights to some of the most important series across the decades and releasing them in affordable, no-frills season sets including the just out Charlie’s Angels Season 1. Just listening to the music and watching the title credits with those three silhouettes shows how often imitated became, even today.
John Forsythe got pressed into services to voice the never seen Charlie while their onsite handler John Bosley (David Doyle) is there to look serious and congratulate the girls on a job well done.
Spelling’s series rarely allowed his characters depth and this show is no exception despite the pedigree of the writing staff including john D.F. Black. Much of the tone was established by Spelling veteran Edward J. Lakso who wrote seven that season. Directors who helped clinch the look and feel include George McCowan (3) and Georg Stanford Brown (2), Bill Bixby, and Cliff Bole.
The first season (September 22, 1976 to May 4, 1977) has fairly routine plots including the obligatory “Angels in Chains” that not only put the Angels in a women’s jail, but wisely used the great Mary Woronov as the warden and a young Kim Basinger as a fellow inmate. Other noteworthy guest turns include Rene Auberjonois, Fernando Lamas, Ida Lupino, Frank Gorshin, Tom Selleck, and Tommy Lee Jones.
All 23 episodes are included here in standard definition DVD on four discs without any of the extras that appeared on previous collections.
Premiering next Monday (February 17th) on the CW, STAR CROSSED mixes a bit of X-Men with Romeo and Juliet into a new sci-fi/romance series. We talk to Aimee Teagarden, Matt Lanter and creator, Meredith Averill, on just what the series will be. Plus Batman leads the sales list in what turns out to be a slow start to 2014 for comic shops.
Taking a popular property from book to big screen is always risky. The bigger the characters are, the bigger the problems. We continue our look at VAMPIRE ACADEMY’s film debut as actors Lucy Fry, Zoey Deutch and Dominic Sherwood talk about how VA creator, Richelle Mead, reacted to the movie. Plus DC Comics’ newest original DVD feature, JUSTICE LEAGUE WAR is yet another set of familiar characters tweaked differently. How will fans react? Director Jay Olivia and others tell us just what to expect.