Category Archives: TV
Yesterday afternoon, I had just finished my workout. It’s January, so I’m still doing that. I had some work to do because January also happens to be the busiest time of year for me. That’s when I got a message from Daffy Stardust. I have a big red phone under a glass cloche like Batman for just this sort of thing. When the Duck Phone rings, you drop everything and pick it up. He wanted to know if there was anything in the Movieline archives that would tie into today’s bracket game. He said his write-ups were focusing on supporting actors because he does that sort of thing instead of just looking at Box Office Mojo and Rotten Tomatoes like I generally do. He also let me know that I got the year wrong in yesterday’s weekly recap not once but twice. Towards the end of January, I am running on fumes. As it turns out, Movieline hadn’t talked to most of the people Daffy wanted to spotlight. But they did have this interview with Steve Zahn from April of 2010.
Notice I didn’t say it was from the April issue of 2010. That’s because by this point, the publisher had pulled the plug on the print magazine. A new owner attempted to relaunch Movieline as a website, but it didn’t last. Later, they switched to a YouTube channel which also failed. This interview with Steve Zahn comes at the beginning of Movieline’s brief second life as a website while the actor was appearing on the HBO series, Treme.
One of the highlights of 2017 for me was Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks this summer. Not everyone who tuned in enjoyed the show as much as I did. Given complete creative control, a sizable budget and 18 hours to fill director David Lynch followed his creative impulses with little concern for the show’s eager fans. Many viewers, myself among them, had waited over twenty-five years for the resolution to the cliffhanger that ended the original series. Technically, Lynch closed the loop on that story-line but in doing so he raised dozens of new questions which are unlikely to ever be answered on television. Fan of Lynch should be used to that treatment but many viewers were understandably frustrated by the glacial pace of The Return and how dissimilar it was from the show they loved. If the end of Twin Peaks left you wanting more (specifically more answers), Mark Frost’s new book, The Final Dossier, fills in some of the blanks.
We’re one week away from the release of Justice League. As a fan of DC Comics, I am approaching this movie with a mixture of curiosity and dread. Let’s face it, Justice League is probably going to be awful. Only this summer’s Wonder Woman gives us any reason to hope otherwise. But even if the movies fail us, at least we can turn to the small screen for some superhero adventures. As I brace myself for almost certain disappointment, I have ranked all of the DC superhero TV shows from Worst to First.
Kevthewriter wonders whatever happened to Amanda Bynes.
Fear the Walking Dead is getting the band back together. “La Serpiente” continues the reunion that started with the midseason premiere. Come hell or high water, Madison is going to cross paths with Victor and Daniel because apparently the plot demands it. Last week, Madison discovered that the range was critically low on water. She and Walker went to bargain for H20, but ended up buying Strand’s freedom after bumping into him by coincidence. Better still, Strand knew where they could find plenty of water because he had been to the dam Daniel took over in the first half of the season.
Kevthewriter kicks off his look at movies you can watch on Netflix with a review of The Ridiculous Six.
Fear the Walking Dead is back and dumber than ever! Having spent the summer basking in the weirdness of Twin Peaks, I didn’t recap much of the first half of the show’s third season, so let’s quickly get up to speed. Madison and her family were taken prisoner by a military psychopath who was killing people for “science”, but mostly for fun. They joined forces with the little lunatic at his daddy’s survivalist ranch. Surprise, surprise, daddy was a casually racist gun not of the Cliven Bundy variety.
Twin Peaks has ended again. When the original series came to a close over a quarter of a century ago, many fans – myself included – were upset by the show’s dark, uncertain non-conclusion. This revival – rare even in a pop culture landscape dominated by reboots, prequels, sequels and all other manner of recycled ideas – offered David Lynch and the audience the chance to go back and retroactively fix the past. Or so it seemed. On some level, that’s what a lot of us wanted. That’s part of what I know I wanted. Lynch knew I wanted it too, so offered it up as a possibility in the show’s second-to-last hour before smashing it to pieces and blowing the whole thing up with another ending that refuses to bring closure. “Is it future or is it the past?” I have no idea, but Twin Peaks: The Return was as frustrating and fascinating as ever.
This is the episode we have been waiting for. The penultimate episode of Twin Peaks: The Return moves all the pieces in place for next week’s two-hour finale. The most important piece of all, Agent Dale Cooper, is finally back! Despite the fact I have been waiting for more than fifteen hours for this to happen, the reveal was surprisingly rewarding. The wait, which tested the patience of many a viewer, made the return which was promised in the season’s title that much sweeter.
As much as it saddens me to say it, we’re reaching the final hours of Twin Peaks: The Return. This episode begins the difficult process of wrapping up a story that began more than twenty-five years ago. Part 15 moved a few pieces in place for the final act, but it also offered some very satisfying conclusions. The hour started off with a rare, unabashed happy ending for two characters who have waited a very long time for their happily ever after.
In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.
I want to start off this installment in the series by admitting up front that our host Lebeau probably has a stronger and more personally informed take on this particular piece of pop culture. I fully expect he will share some of that in the comments section. Although I did grow up with reruns of the Adam West Batman television show running repeatedly on a variety of stations, I ended up both a Marvel guy and someone who took superhero stories just a little more seriously than this version of the “Caped Crusader” ever did. At the same time, if you ever want to participate in a fully tiresome example of “old man yells at cloud,” you might consider engaging me in a discussion on the merits of the “edgy” tone comic books have taken on in the intervening years. The long term reaction of the art form to what it perceived as its undeserved goofy and childish reputation appears to have resulted in a swing way too far in the other direction. The 1960s television Batman is often cited by those who resent the dismissive attitudes many people held toward sequential art.
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With only five hours left to go (four remaining after this installment), Twin Peaks: The Return has entered its endgame. The pace is picking up as Lynch begins paying off plot lines that were set up in the early episodes. This hour was filled with more head-scratching “did I just see what I think I saw” moments than most. As Lynch got down to the business of ending his story, this was an episode about story-telling.
For much of the 1990’s, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a TV star. The child actor even threatened to make the jump to movies for a bit, but his big screen efforts were less successful. Eventually Thomas left Home Improvement to focus on his education. Ever since, he has remained mostly out of the Hollywood spotlight. This profile from the August 1997 issue of Movieline took place when Thomas still seemed like he might be a movie star. But even at fifteen, Thomas seemed like he was ready to enjoy some privacy.