Television

Sun
21
Dec

Peter Capaldi Brings the Insult of Innocent Honesty in Eighth Series of Doctor Who

Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series on DVD

If you're someone who likes their numbers in a nice, linear fashion, Doctor Who will give you headaches. The show in enjoying its fifty-first year. The latest season was "Series Eight."  Peter Capaldi plays the thirteenth regeneration of The Doctor, and yet is still referred to as the Twelfth Doctor. At least there's only one Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) -- unless you count that time she entered the center of the TARDIS and had her essence spread across time and space.

Fri
19
Dec

Branson Famous Reality Series with Musical Twist

Branon Famous cast from truTV series

It's billed as "The World's First Reality Musical." And at first blush, I immediately said, "No it's not." Not if I count GREASE: YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I WANT! (that gave us the spectacular Laura Osnes). And I'm pretty sure AMERICAN IDOL could lay some sort of claim to that title.

But after I gave BRANSON FAMOUS a watch, I get it. And, yes, it truly is the first reality musical.

Thu
18
Dec

Syfy's Christmas Icetastrophe One Dickens of a Disaster

Christmas Icetastrophe

As I write this, Christmas isn't quite the day after tomorrow... but CHRISTMAS ICETASTROPHE is.

The small town of Lennox, which is celebrating Christmas with artificial snow and a farewell to the small business of its downtown district in the wake of a buyout by mogul Ben Crooge (Mike Dopud), is ready for anything except a meteor strike. But this is no ordinary shooting star. It splits in two as it enters the atmosphere, and the part that lands on nearby Mount Dickens is cold. Really cold. So cold that it causes ice crystals to start spiking up through the ground, lacking only the cold voice of Jor-El to tell us how life used to be on Krypton. With each rumble of the ground comes a new wave of a flash freeze, turning several poor denizens to ice sculptures that sometimes break into pieces when you look at them.

Mon
08
Dec

DC's Crisis on Infinite Networks Expands to Earth-Syfy with KRYPTON

Krypton on Syfy

SUPERGIRL hasn't even made her appearance on CBS yet, and already there's another DC Entertainment project in the works for television. Now, in addition to ARROW and FLASH on CW, HELLBLAZER on NBC, GOTHAM on FOX and the aforementioned SUPERGIRL, Syfy and Warner have jointly announced their new project: KRYPTON, a one-hour drama series project which will reveal a chapter of the DC Comics universe that has rarely been told.

Years before the Superman legend we know, the House of El was shamed and ostracized. This series follows the Man of Steel's grandfather as he brings hope and equality to Krypton, turning a planet in disarray into one worthy of giving birth to the greatest super hero ever known. 

Thu
04
Dec

Life Issues Drive BBC Zombie Series “In the Flesh”

In The Flesh, Season Two

For those of you who, like me, were drawn into this different type of zombie series with season one, I’m pleased to season two does not lose any strides. Taking place roughly eighteen months after season one ends, IN THE FLESH continues to evolve into as good a main line drama series as I could want, with undead people in it.

Tue
25
Nov

Syfy's Ascension Transcends Traditional Science Fiction

Ascension, with Brian Van Holt as Captain William Denninger

In 1963, the U.S. took the lead in the space race with the launch of the Ascension -- a monstrous rocket propelled by nuclear blasts, carrying a crew of over 300 people in a self-sustaining environment not unlike a cruise ship. Their goal: to travel 100 years through deep space to Proxima Centauri. The crew would not survive the trip. Their children would likely not reach the destination. The grandchildren were the ones destined to be those who be the first humans from Earth to set foot on another planet.

Thu
20
Nov

Does Presumption of Innocence Matter? Bill Cosby's Not-So-Sudden Problem

Bill Cosby

Jell-O Pudding. Fat Albert. Rape allegations. One of these things is not like the other -- one of these things just doesn't belong.

It might seem that these last few weeks have seen an outpouring of allegations against America's favorite dad, Bill Cosby. It might seem that way, but in truth this has been a rumor that's been simmering for a long time.

The fuse to these flare-ups appears to trace back to stand-up comic, Hannibal Buress. Well, not directly, because he picked it up from your average Google search, but he does bring up the allegations in his stand-up routine when he attacks Cosby's "smug old man" attitude toward modern black society. From that point on, one alleged victim after another has begun popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain.

Tue
18
Nov

Afterlife Ends with More Questions Than Answers

Afterlife Season 2

The BBC series AFTERLIFE starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln comes to a full stop after only two seasons, leaving behind a number of questions that will never be answered -- which, for a series dealing with the eternal questions, is just how it ought to be. Maybe.

In this continuation of the story of medium Alison Mundy (Sharp) and the psychology professor Robert Bridge (Lincoln) who takes an interest in her -- first to debunk her then to help her come to terms with her own ghosts -- we are told right up front that things aren't going to go on forever for these two. Robert is diagnosed early on with an inoperable brain tumor, which he keeps secret from everyone, even his ex-wife as he attempts reconciliation with her. Meanwhile, Alison -- who briefly died at the end of the first season -- has brought back a haunter of her own: her mother.

Fri
14
Nov

Shalom Sesame

Every time an opportunity arises to review "Sesame Street" products, I jump at the chance. The Children's Television Workshop has been creating masterful programming for little ones my entire life. Now that I have a toddler, its a wonderful way to review material that I can watch with my son.

Time is of the essence these days, so working and enjoying family time is a treat. Children of the United States aren't the only ones who have a chance to spend Sunny Days on the Street. My little guy and I often watch the Latin American version "Plaza Sesamo". It's a wonderful way to expose him to the Spanish language and cultural diversity.

"Shalom Sesame" offers a similar window to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people of the world. Disparate cultures are dealt with in an inclusive way that is a boon to young ones in our global community.

 

Mon
10
Nov

BBC Teases 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special

Almost as regular a tradition as Charlie Brown now is the Doctor Who Christmas Special. And, bonus, it's always something new instead of a repeat!

The teaser for this year's Chrissy Pressy from the TARDIS looks almost nothing like Christmas, and a whole lot more like a Ridley Scott outer space thriller! But fear not -- as The Doctor so aptly puts it, "It's Christmas, at the North Pole! Who are you going to call?" Well, it's sure not Ghostbusters! (Can I squeeze a third Sigourney Weaver flick into this description? Probably not.)

So just enjoy the teaser below, and start counting down the days til the arrival of that magical man in the strange flying conveyance who can get around the world without even a second passing. (And I may or may not be talking about The Doctor!)

 

 

Thu
30
Oct

Syfy Release Trailer for Twelve Monkeys: The Series

12 Monkeys at Syfy

Syfy knows its audience. With so much fan support for CONTINUUM, it makes sense to bring in another time-travel story about someone from the future trying to prevent a catastrophe by going into the past. This time, the network looks to an established storyline, springboarding off the Bruce Willis film, 12 MONKEYS.

Sat
25
Oct

It Is What It Is: Mama June Can Deny, But The Pictures Redneckognize

L-R: Mark McDaniel, June Shannon, photographed house hunting together by TMZ. Image copyright 2014, TMZ.com.

She says she's not seeing him, and hasn't seen him for ten years, says "Mama" June Shannon in a video posted to the family's Facebook account. But ever since TMZ first broke the news that Shannon had been seen with convicted child molester, Mark McDaniel, the photographic evidence has been mounting up, and all of it seems to back up the fact that the two are definitely a couple, most recently seen "house hunting" together and smiling for the camera. (See picture, inset. Copyright 2014, TMZ.com.)

Fri
24
Oct

Bye-Bye, Boo Boo: Sex Offender Concerns Cause TLC Cancellation

Sometimes, very rarely, I have my faith restored in the humanity of reality television show producers.

TLC, which has brought us such "learning" opportunities as 19 Kids and Counting, The Little Couple, and Breaking Amish has cancelled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a spinoff of Toddlers and Tiaras, which focused on the family of child pageant contestant, Alana Thompson, and some over-the-top redneckery and gross-out moments, replete with farts, poop jokes, almost-vomits, and things that make you want to bleach your mind.

Fri
24
Oct

Second Season of Courage The Cowardly Dog Double Helping of Fun

Courage the Cowardly Dog, Season Two on DVD

John R. Dilworth's cowering canine, Courage, is the reluctant hero of this fun cartoon series that blends the styles of Schoolhouse Rock and John Kricfalusi. He's ostensibly a "cowardly dog," and yet he shows degrees of bravery all the time that exceed that of your average dog. He just shows it without any external bravado. He doesn't run around saving those he loves with a grow, but with a tiptoe and a whimper -- but he still does it, because it needs doing.

Thu
23
Oct

Constantine Apparates from Page to Screen

Matt Ryan is Constantine

This Friday night, DC Comics' John Constantine makes his first live action appearance in the NBC series, Constantine. So far, it appears that the writers are doing the series right this time, eschewing the "Hellblazer in name only" platform that was established with the Keanu Reeves vehicle.

Constantine is played by Matt Ryan, whose resume includes such titles as The Tudors and "Layer Cake." In Constantine, however, producers are relying on him to carry the series as the lead -- something he seems quite capable of handling, if the trailers are any indication.

Wed
22
Oct

Four Years of Buchanan High with Welcome Back Kotter Complete Series

Welcome Back Kotter, The Complete Series

A series doesn't have to be long-running to be long-remembered. For evidence of that, look to Welcome Back Kotter, the Gabe Kaplan comedy vehicle which starred Kaplan as Gabe Kotter, a high school remedial education teacher returning to his Brooklyn alma mater, Buchanan High, to educate and mentor a class of misfits who've named themselves The Sweathogs.

The series only ran for four years -- fitting, since that's how long high school should last -- but the Sweathogs, the irascible Mr. Woodman (John Sylvester White), the recipes of Julie Kotter (Marcia Strassman), and Kotter's endless supply of uncles who inspired so many stories, made an indelible impression on American audiences. Lunch boxes, comic books -- the usual marketing machine engines were fired up to feed the audience as much Kotter as they could handle.

Mon
20
Oct

truTV Unveils Captivating Artform in Fake Off

Fake Off Host Rob Hoffman

Next Monday, truTV debuts a new competition that could bill itself as "So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance?" Except that wouldn't truly cover all the bases of the art form known as "Faking." This demonstrates to me just how far off the Cool Meter I've fallen in my dotage, as I had never heard of such a thing before. Apparently, faking is "a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion." It's kind of like Cirque du Soleil, but more street.

Thu
16
Oct

American Dad! Repatriates to TBS

American Dad, "Blonde Ambition"

American Dad!, the irrverent comedy from Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman which follows the clueless patriotic CIA Agent, Stan Smith (MacFarlane), is leaving FOX and making the transition over to TBS. That means cable, which means things can get even more wild than they did before.

Wed
15
Oct

Chicks Dig Zombies

Walking Dead Preferred by Females over Males

Women prefer the walking dead at a rate of 62% over the 38% of males. Of course, we mean the AMC show The Walking Dead, not actual zombies (unless you're into the strong, silent type, who really is into you for your brains).

This statistic comes from the social analytics firm, StatSocial, which compiled the statistics based on Twitter data tracked from the week of October 7th through October 13th and a pool of 651,000 tweets. If you're a zombie on the prowl, look for a 25 to 34 year old woman in Texas (although New York City or Los Angeles would be your better bets).

For a breakdown on the numbers, check out the infographic below.

 

 

Tue
07
Oct

Ghost Hunters Reaches Milestone 200th Episode

Ghost Hunters 200

♪♫It’s the spook, spookiest time, of the year!♫♪

♫With kids that need scaring ♪

♪And candy that needs sharing♫♫

♪♪♫There’s nothing but FFFFFEEEEEEEAAAAAAARRRR!♫♫♪

♫♪♫It’s the spooooookkkk, spookiest tiiiiimmmmmeee of the YYEEEEAAAARRRR!♪♫

 

In case you didn’t know, fall is my favorite season. I like the cool fall weather. I like the smell of burning leaves, and the cheering crowds at the high school football game. I hate that every single thing has to be “pumpkin spice” flavored. I love wearing hooded sweaters and sitting in the driveway with my neighbors while we eat chili.

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