In the wake of the spectacular rise and fall of the original Twin Peaks, its network ABC was keen to produce another offbeat series that might trigger the same kind of national water-cooler fervor. Along came Oliver Stone, at that time a creator in very high demand, with a suitably surreal idea based on a comic strip by Bruce Wagner. To eliminate the possibility of another Twin Peaks Season Two disaster, ABC insisted that Stone’s Wild Palms show had a complete story with a clear end up front, leading to the format of this five-episode miniseries. While the resulting project
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Futuristic miniseries throws in so many ideas that it never settles on one
The show has become TV comfort food, for good and for ill.
Written and directed by Trey Parker, the twenty-third season finds the citizens of South Park continue to deal with current events in their typical fashion as topical matters get taken to exaggerated extremes amidst gross-out humor and profanity. Fans get more of the same shenanigans and those that didn't take to the show before likely still won't this season. In the previous season, Randy Marsh moved the family out to the valley and opened up Tegridy Farms where he grows and sells marijuana. Sales are down and trying to increase them is storyline that works through the season. In "Mexican
Damon Lindeloff strikes gold with a seemingly impossible project.
If you come to HBO’s Watchmen limited series with a knowledge of the original comic book series and/or Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie, the most perplexing thing about the premiere episode is the heavy focus on racism, seemingly changing the entire nature of the original plot. In light of our current national turmoil, and on today's 99th anniversary of the actual Tulsa race massacre that serves as a starting point and touchstone for the series, it now stands as a more prescient creative choice than ever and a disturbing reminder of just how little has changed in the last century. While
Kino Lorber provides fans an opportunity to rewatch these cartoons and new audiences a chance to discover them.
From January 2018 to December 2019, Kino Lorber Animation released the entire run of 124 Pink Panther cartoons produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises on Blu-ray in six volumes, which are being collected as The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection, a six-disc set housed in a cardboard case, available May 19. Previously reviewed at this site are Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5. As mentioned in those aforementioned reviews, Friz Freleng was an instrumental figure in animation history because of his work on Warner Brothers' Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes. He and producer David H. DePatie went on
For fans that grew up with the show, it's nice to have the first season collected.
After the success of The Flintstones, Hanna Barbera returned to the family sitcom two years later with The Jetsons, doing a 180 on the idea of a Stone Age family and setting the show in the 21st century where people drive flying saucers and most things are automated. However, lightning didn't strike twice. The original series only lasted one season in primetime on ABC. The 24 episodes ran from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963. The Jetsons: The Complete Original Series is available on a three-disc Blu-ray set manufactured on demand from the Warner Archive Collection. For those that
Based on the work of John Green, this tale of teen love and loss engages its audience from start to finish.
Looking for Alaska brings the critically acclaimed work of author John Green to the screen in this eight-episode Hulu Original limited series available in a three-disc DVD collection. The series begins with Miles Halter (Charlie Plummer) transferring to Culver Creek Academy, a boarding high school in the Alabama wilderness. Miles is a young man who is obsessed by people’s last words and, uses the last words of poet Francois Rabelais, to justify his departure. He tell them that he too is in search of his “great perhaps” and Miles leaves his safe and suburban life behind to begin his search.
Despite the staggering subject matter, the new documentary lacks the punch.
The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery is a fly-on-the-wall documentary primarily chronicling the court trial of the murder of three eight-year-old boys in Robin Hood Hills, that shook America in the year 1993. This isn't the first piece of cinematic documentation based on the tragedy. Well, two tragedies to say. One in the woods, where three young boys were brutally murdered. The second one in the court, where three teenagers were wrongfully convicted. Over the years, there have been three films preceding this three-episode series. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations,
A comedic fantasy about the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) working together to save humanity from the war between Heaven and Hell.
Based on the 1990 novel by the late Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman, the latter of whom oversaw the television series as creator, co-executive producer, and sole writer, Good Omens tells a comedic story about the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) working together to stop Armageddon in order to save humanity from the war between Heaven and Hell. Narrated by God (Frances McDormand), Aziraphale and Crowley first meet in the Garden of Eden. Crowley, who went by “Crawly” then because he took the form of a snake, tempts Eve into eating the apple from the
Premiering on Netflix April 1, the limited documentary series is thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and profoundly informative.
How to Fix a Drug Scandal is the dictionary definition of infotainment. It's thrilling, suspenseful, entertaining, and profoundly informative. I might just use my new-found knowledge in dinner-table conversations with my family to sound intellectual. It's such a meticulously researched tale that deeply explores the subject matter. Directed and produced by Erin Lee Carr (Thought Crimes: The Case of Cannibal Cop and Mommy Dead and Dearest), the limited series is on the same lines of Netflix’s earlier releases - The Devil Next Door, The Confession Killer, and The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez - which revolve around one particular incident subsequently
Swamp Thing (2019): The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: What Is and What (Unfortunately) Will Never Be
The complete first and only season of DC Universe’s Swamp Thing shows what could have potentially been a great series.
It was doomed from the beginning. Before making its debut on the DC Universe streaming service, Swamp Thing had its initial 13-episode first season cut to 10 episodes. Then, once it finally premiered, the show was cancelled after the airing of the pilot episode. The series was able to play out the remaining nine episodes, as the show aired weekly and didn’t release all at once. But the fate of the series was already determined, and those who stuck with it to the end, hoping to get at least some kind of closure, were left gravely disappointed. It’s a pity,
Fans of variety shows and of this era of television should enjoy these episodes.
Sonny & Cher started as a singing duo and had their first big #1 hit in 1965 with “I Got You Babe” off their debut album, Look at Us. They never reached the same heights of success and failed with a couple of attempts at making a movie. They headed to nightclubs where they added comedy to their act with Sonny the butt of Cher's jokes and put-downs. After successful guest appearances and a TV special, CBS head of programming Fred Silverman hired them for a summer-replacement series that debuted in the summer of 1971 and ran for six episodes.
A U.S. anime hit returns with a pair of mediocre sequel series that totally misunderstand the original's appeal.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this article. The opinions shared are his own. FLCL (pronounced Furry Kurry or Fooly Cooly, dependent on one's mood) looked like it was the beginning of something. It was a direct-to-video anime series released in 2000-2001, which at the time in Japan generally meant a series that a production company was given a larger budget to produce higher quality animation, without the restrictions that were placed on anime television so the content was directed by the vision of the creator. And FLCL, written by
In his new series, Game of Thrones' Kristofer Hivju gets to play not just one larger-than-life character, but twin brothers who couldn't be more dissimilar - or more at odds with one another.
Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju is probably best-known to most avid television viewers as the ginger-haired, love-lorn Tormund Giantsbane from HBO's Game of Thrones. Hivju made an indelible impression as the Wildling with a huge personality who would defend his BFF Jon Snow to the death against dragons, Lannisters, and whatever else stood in their way. In his new series Twin, Hivju gets to play not just one larger-than-life character, but twin brothers who couldn't be more dissimilar - or more at odds with one another. Adam and Erik (Hivju) haven't spoken to one another for fifteen years. Erik has been
A barely effective war drama that never finds it foot.
The Forgotten Army has its creator's signature all over it. And that doesn't quite work in its favor. Kabir Khan brings on his documentary heritage to all of his feature films. Beginning with his debut, Kabul Express, followed by New York, Ek Tha Tiger, Bhajrangi Bhaijaan, Phantom, and his last release Tube light, all the films have war, and travel in common. Characters travelling in pursuit of something has been a key narrative tool. And The Forgotten Army is no different, and that's where things go haywire. The Forgotten Army just feels like yet another Bollywood movie minus the dance
The crossover ends with at least some permanent changes to the CW Universe.
A pair of Sentries are teaming up to take on the five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. If you would like to start with previous episodes, please read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Arrow Gordon S. Miller As the miniseries continues, The Paragons, seven heroes (well, six since Lex Luthor replaced Superman), remain trapped outside time and space. Viewers learn that 10,000 years ago on the planet Maltus, the Monitor attempted to travel back to the Dawn of Time, but the experiment caused a breach between universes, unleashing the Anti-monitor. Oliver, now in his role as the
The best of shows that came across my TV screen and the little movies called advertisements.
From 2005 through 2012, I pretty consistently wrote my Sunday Morning Tuneage blog. It continued inconsistently through 2013 before being abandoned. Each year was punctuated with a series of best-of lists. While the blog still remains retired, I'm revived it last year for a Best of 2017 and 2018. The feedback was enough for me to compile it again this year. BEST OF TV / STREAMING 2019 We live in a very high quality TV-show era now. Maybe the top end isn't as strong as a decade ago but the number of very good shows is amazing. It's hard to
This release showcases some of the medium's great talkers.
The Dick Cavett Show was a talk show that aired on different TV channels, broadcast and cable, from 1968 to 1996. S'More Entertainment is releasing The Dick Cavett Show on DVD, gathering episodes together under themes. New York Radio Pioneers showcases some of the medium's great talkers. Although the two disc's labels list all four men, they don't appear on both discs. Disc 1 presents two episodes featuring the comedy team Bob (Elliot) & Ray (Goulding). The June 1, 1972 show aired on ABC and the fellas do a routine where Bob interviews Ray, playing a government official. They were
What did you think of the Crisis cliffhanger? Do you agree with Gordon and Shawn?
A pair of Sentries are teaming up to take on the five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. If you would like to start with previous episodes, please read Part 1 and Part 2. Gordon S. Miller I have been disappointed that Black Lightning hadn't taken part in previous crossovers. Even though it was a DC Comics character in a show airing on the CW, the series set itself apart from the Arrowverse. Thankfully, that changed this year although Black Lightning wouldn't be one of the five shows presenting “Crisis.” However, similar to a comic book that is apart from
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: One of the Most Beloved Sitcoms Comes to a Beautiful Conclusion
As difficult as it is to believe how long the show ran, it's even more difficult to accept that it won't be returning.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this article. The opinions shared are his own. It’s hard to believe that it was 12 years ago that the two loveable nerds, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), first walked into Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) life and into television history. Over that time, the show was nominated for 46 Primetime Emmy Awards and holds the record of most episodes for a multi-camera sitcom at 279. The premise was fairly simple. You take two socially awkward physicists and put them next to
"Finding Paragons is a boring side quest. And I don't really get the purpose as it relates to the story." Shawn Bourdo
A pair of Sentries are teaming up to take on the five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. If you would like to start at the beginning, please read Part 1. Gordon S. Miller This was my first Batwoman episode so I have no idea about any of the storylines other than what I may have heard in Supergirl. There seems to be some serious family battles and intrigue taking place with Kate, but a few hours removed, I'm not sure how I would do on a pop quiz. It is very odd for “CoIE Part 1” to have contained
"Am really curious where the story goes from here and to see some of the things already leaked to the press." Gordon S. Miller
A pair of Sentries are teaming up to take on the five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. Gordon S. Miller Based on the epic 12-part miniseries “that rocked the comics community, tragically dooming some of DC's most beloved characters and drastically altering others,” as stated on the trade paperback; hinted at in the previous CW/DC crossover “Elseworlds”; and referred to frequently during this season of The Flash (the only Arrowverse series I watch regularly); “Crisis on Infinite Earths” begins with a cool introduction. The writers gives the audience a few Easter eggs as characters from parallel universes, such as
Watching this cast perform together is a lesson in acting.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. From producer Chuck Lorre and Netflix via Warner Brothers, Michael Douglas stars in this interesting series as Sandy Kminisky, an aging acting teacher known more for his coaching than his acting career. Represented by successful agent and best friend Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin), this not quite odd couple take on the challenges of getting old and surviving in youthful Hollywood. Though the two don’t cover a lot of new ground in the first eight episodes
What began as a series of emails for Greg Newkirk has become so much more than he or the rest of the team ever expected.
Last year, Season 1 of Hellier debuted on YouTube and quickly won over fans and critics alike. The ten episodes of Hellier: Season 2 will premiere this Friday, November 29th on Amazon Prime. And after watching Season 2 of Hellier, I am telling you will want to scrap your Black Friday shopping plans and experience a different kind of madness. Don't worry, I will not be posting any spoilers. You will need to watch for yourself, but Hellier: Season 2 begins with reconnecting the audience to the investigation team and the key points from Season 1. We are reintroduced to
Perhaps the best of the run of Stephen King TV movies, Storm is atmospheric, creepy, and slow, slow, slow.
TV made sense as its own thing until about 20 years ago. Nowadays, what constitutes TV is so sprawling and broken up that it's not really one thing anymore. Twenty years ago, cable was not king, and there weren't that many networks (though, to understand the zeitgeist of TV criticism, one should note Bruce Springsteen could chart a single in 1992 called "57 Channels and Nothin' On") and so the big TV networks competed in splashy ways to get eyes-on, especially in sweeps weeks. Sweeps were the few times during the year, one a quarter, when the Nielsen Company processed
The Doctor, Leela, and K-9 lead the people against their oppressors, a frequent Who story trope.
Doctor Who is a long-running British science-fiction television series featuring the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey whose adventures see him travel through time and space. Over the years, different actors have starred in the role, and to compensate for the realities of the television business Time Lords were given the ingenious ability to regenerate their bodies when they die. The Sun Makers is the 95th story of the Doctor (Tom Baker). It debuted in four weekly parts beginning November 26, 1977 on BBC 1. Humanity has moved to the planet Pluto, which is supported by artificial suns.
Having to compile a greatest hits for a 50-year-old show is a daunting task and the makers of this collection do a great job considering there are thousands of episodes to choose and the number of viewers the show has had.
Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting, available on DVD and as a digital download, celebrates the most successful children's entertainment television program of all time. Although in recent years, there have been dramatic changes due to children's changing viewing habits and economics of producing the show. Sesame Street has been shortened from an hour to 30 minutes and episodes air first on HBO before running on PBS stations and its affiliated websites nine months later. Yet, it still continues its core mission of educating children in entertaining ways. I was born in 1967 and grew up with the show, which
Having them all in one set is too much to pass up.
As my friends and family can attest, Christmas is my favorite time of year. Not only do I decorate the inside and outside of my home and throw my own party, but on Christmas Eve, I have created my own special tradition. I make hot chocolate, open a box of See’s Candies, and watch all my favorite holiday movies. Most of those end up being various half-hour animated specials. Several of those I watch every year are on this new collection and there are a few that I had never seen before. Trolls Holiday is a lot more musical than
A pleasant stroll through your childhood toy box.
Ever have that experience of pulling a box out of the closet and finding a bunch of your old toys? It’s hard not to sit down and start examining each one up close. Do the wheels still roll? Are all the pieces still there? Does everything still work? You start to remember the fun you had playing with those toys. Specific memories pop into your head like the time you threw the toy and hit your sister in the face? Ok, that one might just be me? The Netflix Docu-series The Toys that Made Us is a trip down memory
A collection that Williams fans will return to time and time again.
Time Life, in conjunction with the estate of Robin Williams, has released Robin Williams: Comic Genius as a 5-disc DVD collection. This set, which chronicles his career as a stand-up, features over 15 hours of comedic performances, behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes, interviews, and material that has previously never been seen by the public. This collection arrives five years after Williams’ suicide. A loss that is still being felt by his family, friends, and fans alike. This collection is for both the fan and the superfan. Although some of the content can be a little repetitive, the overall collection is strong. And
In a culture that seems more homogenized every day, it's wonderful to see something completely different, which makes this well worth the watching.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this article. The opinions shared are his own. For years now, our popular culture has been swimming in comic book stories. We are positively drowning in the stuff. Marvel releases two or three films a year that not only dominate the box office but consume our cultural conversations. While DC hasn’t been nearly as successful, their films still make money and have developed large fandoms. Beyond the movies, there are lots of television series and actual comic books. You cannot escape the power of