It’s always bizarre to re-watch the pilot episode of a long-running television series, especially a situation comedy. Both ‘Friends’ and ‘ER’ are celebrating the 20th anniversaries of their debut over the next few days, but watching the ‘ER’ pilot almost feels like watching a movie. The pace of ‘ER’ came first and the characters were established later (we didn’t get to know too much about Noah Wyle’s John Carter, other than that he was new and that he was scared). ‘Friends’ didn’t have this luxury. The first scene of ‘Friends’ takes place in a coffee shop, so we really have no choice other than to meet these people. And the thing is, in this first episode, these people are kind of awful.
I'm deep in 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' country. 40 years ago, director Tobe Hooper, a skeleton crew and a ragtag cast of unknown actors made horror history in these parts. Cinema, and the great state of Texas, were never the same.
There was a post-”princess movie” moment where Disney chased the “boy demographic.” It didnt' work out so well; Films like 'Atlantis' and 'Treasure Planet' came and went. Under the current Disney brand, 'Big Hero 6' isn't as aggressively alternative — not with Marvel as an in-house entity — but but the competition raises questions of what the Mouse House can bring to the table. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was basically a cartoon. Guardians of the Galaxy's five-character team had two fully CG characters. The Transformers moves are basically the pixel equivalent of a Stan Brakhage film. And now there's 'Big Hero 6,' a fully animated feature competing with live-action bombast. How will it stand out from the crowd? The Walt Disney legacy, and the idiosyncratic creative process that comes with it.
This week marks the 75th anniversary of 'The Wizard of Oz,' the classic 1939 film that stands out in the minds of many as one of the greatest films in cinema history. But what you may have forgotten is Disney's often overlooked 1985 sequel, 'Return to Oz' -- the arguably more faithful but much darker and totally terrifying follow-up that eschewed the musical elements and the vibrant colors to embrace metaphors about childhood trauma and escapist fantasies ... you know, for kids.
'The Simpsons' marathon continues for its sixth straight day on FXX today amidst a growing chorus of complaints about the network’s decision to alter the format of every episode from the show’s first nineteen seasons. As detailed in Max O’Connell’s recent article on Indiewire, FXX has cropped and stretched pre-HD 'Simpsons' installments from their original 4:3 aspect ratio (the height and width of our old standard-definition TVs) to 16:9 (the dimensions of our new HD sets), apparently in order to make sure that no one suffers through old television episodes with black bars on the sides of the image.
20 years ago, 'My So-Called Life' thrashed and pouted its way onto television screens -- an antidote for the deadly case of the warm and fuzzies we were collectively suffering from all those family sitcoms and all those pleasant lessons they taught us in 30-minute spurts each week. It was a show for everyone: for the angst-ridden and misunderstood teens, for the tweens emerging into what we now call "all of the feels," and for the parents trying to reconcile their struggles with the struggles of their own children. It was the first series to portray teenage life with such brilliant, shaded honesty, that showed us that our youth wasn't disaffected, but deeply, terribly affected. 20 years later, 'My So-Called Life' still resonates; whether you're 28 or 15, you can see yourself painfully reflected in Angela Chase's insecurities and heartaches.
Back in April, David Letterman announced that he was retiring as host of ‘The Late Show.’ Almost immediately, the Internet flooded with speculative lists on Letterman’s possible replacement -- which eventually turned out to be Stephen Colbert – and retrospectives on Letterman’s career, with almost all of them focusing
It was recently announced that Jenna-Louise Coleman is leaving 'Doctor Who' later this year, following the annual Christmas Special. At that point, she'll have played the role of Clara Oswald (in some iteration) for 25 episodes, making her one of the longest-running companions of the eponymous Doctor. This position has traditionally been filled by a younger white woman, though the Doctor has occasionally taken on a male companion, but while the modern version of the series has seen some diversity, Clara's exit provides an opportunity for showrunner Steven Moffatt to once again pair the Doctor with a companion who subverts expectations.