Tag Archives: Community

Arrested Development: 7 Years Later

At the point when FOX finally canceled Arrested Development, its ratings were pretty bad. In the Nielson cycle that sealed its fate, the doomedskate comedy lost out to long forgotten quality programs like Skating with Celebrities and Apprentice: Martha Stewart. There has never been a program quite like Arrested Development. It can be difficult explain the show’s multi-camera  mock-umentary style. The jokes are subtle just as often as they are completely overt. Arrested did the heavy lifting for several more successful shows that followed  30 Rock, Community, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have benefited from the game changer that no one watched.

Something interesting happened,  however, when Arrested Development was released on DVD; the infinitely rewatchable series developed a massive following. The new lovers of the show found each other online and created a community that brought relevance back to the dysfunctional Orange County family and their off color antics.

Arrested Development, the last four episodes of which FOX aired back to back on a Friday night in February, launched the careers of several cast members while rejuvenating those of others. So when Netflix agreed to produce 15 new episodes of the series ahead of a feature film due out next year, coordinating the schedules of Michael Cera, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman became pretty difficult.

Getting the nine actors who portray the main characters together in one location was often impossible. This posed quite a problem for writer/series’ creator Mitch Hurwitz. The solution was a combination of creative writing and modern technology. The episodes of the fourth season of this ensemble comedy  are written to focus on just one character. Green screen is utilized to bring some of the other main characters into subplots within them. Some of the actors only shared the screen in one episode yet appear together often throughout the run.

Despite losing seven years, Arrested Development has not lost a step. The unfolding serialized comedic scenarios that run through this entire season howardare just as uproarious as in previous seasons. The inside jokes are supplemented with new ones. Fantastic in this season is the role of actor/director/narrator Ron Howard. Though serving as narrator since the show began, Howard appears in several episodes and plays a hilarious parody of himself. Howard pokes fun at  his acting past, baldness and early projects (Fantastic Four anyone?)

The show has a good time with itself and its unsuccessful past. It’s a great way to blow 7.5 hours. Or 15 if you have already watched it twice… Like I have.

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Coming Soon to a Television Near You!

Community is finally almost back! The show returns to NBC on Feb. 7. That’s a week from today!

As you undoubtedly know, Joel McHale, one of Community‘s stars, is the host of The Soup on E!. Yesterday, this new trailer was released on The Soup‘s website:

There are a lot of great shows coming back soonish!

Smash returns on Tuesday (Don’t judge. I’m allowed to watch girl shows.), The Walking Dead on Feb. 10 (Don’t forget to read my recaps!) and Doctor Who on March 30 to name several.

Are you excited for Community? What other shows are you looking forward to?

Community2

Image taken from the trailer.

 

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The Pros & Cons of the Oncoming Storm Called Christmas

After working for almost 13 years in the retail business, I’ve grown quite disenchanted with the holiday season. But over the past few years, it has started to regain some of its magic. Some, but not all. This year looks to be a bit brighter than recent years thanks to my girlfriend and her little girl.

Something about the joy expressed from a children during Christmastime, that sparkle of wonder and splendor in their eyes at the sight of snow falling and presents under the tree, really brings a warmth to your heart. I look forward to reading Christmas stories to the new little girl in my life and watching her rip through the wrapping paper on all the great gifts I got her this year.

There are a few other holiday events that I’m looking forward to… and some that I’m not. I thought I might compile a list for you. I’ll start with the Cons of Christmas, so hopefully the Pros will rebuild your holiday cheer.

Cons of Christmas

OBEY. [source: greenlivingtemple.com]

  1. Marketing and Consumerism– It seems that, in the retail market, Thanksgiving is getting skipped over and we’re just jumping straight to Christmas. It’s still being celebrated, there’s still parades and everything, but Turkey-time has been getting the cold shoulder lately. (And I understand the irony of this statement, seeing as how I’m writing an article about Christmas before anyone from this site has written one about Thanksgiving. Not a care is had.) Nothing lessens my holiday cheer more than hearing Christmas tunes playing the day after Halloween. It has even come to the point where it looks like Halloween may soon be looked over as well. I noticed this year that Christmas decorations and paraphernalia went on sale before Halloween was over. Outrageous!That’s not the worst part. That “honor” goes to the After-Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales. Mobs of insane shoppers lining up and waiting for hours on end, all for ridiculous bargains on a lot of second-rate crap, I mean merchandise. Stores have even resorted to started the sales on the night of Thanksgiving, as an effort to reduce casualties during this time of madness. I don’t see it working. Nothing can quell the rage in an over-worked mother’s heart when she’s barreling through a pack of like-minded moms, in order to get to that prized toy or electronic device that her ungrateful, heathen child covets so.

    If I woke up to this, I wouldn’t leave the house.

  2. Snow and the Cold– I have grown to despise the cold and the snow. I used to love them when I was a kid but now I dread them both. I think my hatred started once I started driving. When you’re a kid, you don’t worry about breaking down during the winter and having to suffer through the frigid weather. You play in the snow then you go inside and get warm. When you get older and you start driving, there’s a very good chance you’re going to break down and have to sit and freeze your butt off while waiting for a tow truck. Or maybe even sleep in your car on a frosty night. I know I have. And let’s not forget about having to wake up earlier so you can warm up your car and scrape the ice off of your windshield. Once you get on the road, you have to worry about not hitting a patch of ice and careening into a snow drift. Add to that, the horrible drivers who already can’t drive under normal conditions are on the roads as well.Making sure your kids are kept warm so they don’t get sick and winterizing your home to keep your heating costs down; all stuff you have to worry about as an adult. Also, add to list that once snow has first fallen and it is untouched, it’s beautiful. After that, it’s nasty slush.

    Yup. These Guys. [source: teamjimmyjoe.com]

  3. Spending Time With the Ones You Loathe – You know those friends and members of family that you ignore and spend all year trying to avoid? Well since this is the season of togetherness and caring, you’re probably gonna have to interact with them. More than likely in a wonderful holiday visit where they can regale you with news of how awful or better their life is, so as to guilt or gloat, ask you for money, and/or tell you what you’re doing wrong with your life and how they don’t approve. And a lot of times, you’re going to get all of that and more once alcohol starts fueling the misery train. It may only be for one day of the year, but it’s gonna be the worst day, that’s for sure. Especially if they decide that they want to spend more time with you afterwards and try to keep in contact. Prepare yourselves for that nonsense.
  4. Holiday Sensory Overkill – Too much of a good thing is bad. Some people should heed these words wisely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hurt my eyes from looking at someone’s Christmas display that was just way too bright and gaudy. When your lights start to number in the hundreds of thousands, you might be overdoing it. And for some, tens of thousands is too much. It was funny when Clark Griswold did it, but you sir/madam, are no Clark Griswold. This also goes for the people who like to fill up their yards with tacky, plastic decorations to the point where no yard can be seen. You’re doing it wrong. I don’t know how many artificial versions of Santa and his eight tiny reindeer you think you need on your front lawn, but one is truly enough. I know common sense goes out they window once “Jingle Bells” starts playing, but how about we take a small step in re-establishing it by easing back on the outdoor (and indoor, for that matter) decor. And to the person who decided the giant bags of cinnamon-scented pine cones were a good idea…I hate you.

Pros of Christmas:

  1. Spending Time With the Ones You Love– For all the horrid people that you have to visit with this time of year, there are a bunch of really great people that make it all worth it, and you get to see them too. The ones who brighten your day, make you smile and laugh, truly warm your heart, and give you a reason to enjoy the holidays; those folks are gonna be around to share the season with you. So when you’re utterly disgusted and annoyed after talking with the ones you can’t stand; turn to the ones you love, smile, give them a big hug, and regain your joy. Remember, those negative jerks don’t matter. That’s why you avoid them all year long.

    If you haven’t seen it, watch it. [source: acartoonchristmas.com]

  2. Quality Holiday ProgrammingA Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas with The California Raisins, A Garfield Christmas Special, The Grinch (animated and live-action), The Santa Clause movies…I love Christmas movies! I could go on and on listing all my favorites, but I’ll probably do that in another article. Nothing makes me feel like a kid again quite like sitting in front of the television and watching all of my favorite holiday specials, even when shows like Community and Supernatural have Christmas-themed episodes. The joy they bring is insurmountable. This includes the parades. Don’t judge.
  3. Holiday Sensory Nirvana – I have said before that some people can overdue it with the decoration, but there are a few, a great few, who know how to decorate well. So well that you must stop whatever you’re doing and stand in awe at the greatness they have created. Not too over-the-top and not too underwhelming, just right smack-dab at the center of yuletide perfection. The lights are done right (and sometimes splendidly timed to music), the yard ornaments are tastefully placed and not overcrowding each other, and there maybe be one inflatable Santa but they are keeping him constantly inflated. No flaccid Santa’s here (snicker if you must). It’s a display so wonderful that you want to run up and knock on their front door and when they open, give them the most awesome high-five you’ve ever given in your life–A high-five so powerful that it acknowledges their greatness in decorating on into the new year.
  4. Michael Buble – As well as The Rat Pack, Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, and few other greats, but mostly Michael Buble.

Need I say more?

What are some of your Pros and Cons for Christmas?

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October 19 is a State of Mind for Community Fans

They look so happy! It was a happier, simpler time. Or maybe it was just because Chevy Chase wasn’t with them… Image courtesy of NBC.

NBC has postponed the fourth season of Community indefinitely.

It’s pretty obvious that they’re trying to make this great little show go the way of the dodo bird, and that really cheeses me off. But, the cast seems to be taking it rather well…at least in front of the camera.

Take a look at this video they posted today:

“Troy and Abed airing someday.”

*sniffle*

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When Are My Shows Back?

I think I probably watch too much television. It’s kinda hard not to, though. With so many good and promising new shows on TV these days (even on the networks, shockingly enough), it’s difficult not to pay attention…or, at least not to pack up the old DVR like a fat kid at a cake buffet.

(What? They don’t have cake buffets? Cake buffets totally need to be a thing.)

Some of my favorite shows are already back for the fall season. Doctor Who is back on BBC America at 9 p.m. on Saturdays. I love me some Doctor, and we have a great recapper/reviewer here on The Cool Ship, so make sure you check him out (both the Doctor and the writer!). His articles are here, here, and here.

Alphas and Warehouse 13 on SyFy premiered weeks ago, and I’m already dreading when they go on hiatus. They’re on Mondays at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively. SyFy has branded the block “Powerful Mondays,” a moniker I’m not convinced is the best. I’m a fan of alliteration, though. Meh.

ABC’s Revenge is definitely on my list. Because Emily will get them all. SHE WILL GET THEM ALL! Image courtesy of ABC.

NBC is really pumped about Revolution. It premiered last Monday, and you can’t hope to miss the advertising for it if you happen on the Peacock for 60 seconds or less. But, other than the annoyance of over-saturation, I must say that I’m still interested. I caught the premiere and saw enough that made me want to come around for another view. It’s on after The Voice, which is usually 10 p.m.

Then, there’s a whole slew of returning comedies I pay attention to (Whether I watch them or not is a different story.):

NBC

Up All Night – Already premiered. Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

The Office – Already premiered. Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Parks and Recreation – Already premiered. Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.

30 Rock – Oct. 4 (Thursday) at 8 p.m.

Community – Oct. 19 (Friday) at 8:30 p.m.

CBS (Step up your game, CBS. You don’t interest me much.)

How I Met Your Mother – Monday (Sept. 24) at 8 p.m.

FOX

Glee – Already premiered. Thursdays at 9 p.m.

New Girl – Tuesday (Sept. 25) at 8 p.m. Looks like there’s another new show at 9 p.m. that night, too, which is when I’m guessing it’ll live since…

Raising Hope – Oct. 2 (Tuesday) at 8 p.m.

ABC

The Middle – Wednesday (Sept. 26) at 8 p.m.

Modern Family – Wednesday (Sept. 26) at 9 p.m.

Happy Endings – Oct. 23 (Tuesday) at 9 p.m.

Last Man Standing – Nov. 2 (Friday) at 8 p.m.

Okay, let’s talk dramas. I have to say that I’m eternally grateful for my DVR. Not so much because there are so many, but more because a lot of them start at 10 p.m. or are on days that just aren’t convenient for me. I’m old; I like to go to bed at a reasonable time. Jon Stewart be darned!

NBC

Parenthood –  Already premiered. Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Grimm – Already premiered, but already on hiatus. Returns Sept. 28 (Friday) at 9 p.m.

Smash – There’s no posted return date. This worries me.

ABC

Castle – Monday (Sept. 24) at 10 p.m.

Once Upon a Time – Sept. 30 (Sunday) at 8 p.m.

Revenge – Sept. 30 (Sunday) at 9 p.m.

I’m not even going to talk about new shows on the networks, because there are lots. Lots seem to be bad ideas (I’m looking at you, The Neighbors), and lots look too melodramatic.

Not that I can talk about melodrama…I mean, look at my choices! REEEEEEVENGE!

I know, I’m a walking contradiction, and I’m proud of it!

And cable? Gosh. Too much. My DVR would explode.

What shows are you looking forward to this fall season?

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Movie & Music New Releases [08-14-12]

Is this the last new release list?

Possibly…

DVD/Blu-ray New Releases for August 14th, 2012

  1. The Hunger Games. [Available August 18th] Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. Trailer
  2. Community: Season Three. [Editor’s Choice] Starring Joel McHale, Donald Glover, and Chevy Chase. Trailer
  3. Dexter: Season Six. [Editor’s Choice] Starring Michael C. Hall and Colin Hanks. Trailer
  4. Glee: Season Three. Starring Jane Lynch, Lea Michelle, and Matthew Morrison. Trailer
  5. The Raid: Redemption. Starring Iko Uwais and Ananda George. Trailer
  6. Juan of the Dead. Starring Jorge Molina and Alexis Diaz De Villegas. Trailer
  7. Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Teabagging in the UK. Starring Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. Trailer

Also available on Blu-ray this week – Jaws (Universal 100th Anniversary Edition), New Jack City, and Shaft.

image source: amazon.com

Music New Releases for August 14th, 2012

  1. Yellowcard. Southern Air.
  2. In This Moment. Blood.
  3. Steve Vai. Story of Light.
  4. Dead Can Dance. Anastasis.
  5. Blackberry Smoke. Whippoorwill.
  6. The Prog Collective. The Prog Collective.
  7. Insane Clown Posse. Mighty Death Pop.
  8. Loverboy. Rock N Roll Revival.
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NBC Keeps on Failing

From Wikimedia Commons

NBC keeps failing.

As I watched the coverage of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, I couldn’t keep myself from yelling at Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira to just shut up and let the program happen. It wasn’t a freaking parade!

Then, I started to wonder why NBC keeps screwing up so royally on everything. I still don’t have a definitive answer, but I do miss the ’90s when they were running shows like Friends, Seinfeld, and Mad About You.

So what, that I can see, is NBC’s problem?

A lot of things.

Identity – NBC is struggling to figure out what kind of network they are. Remember how I mentioned the ’90s? NBC used to be a darling for acclaimed shows. Law & Order, Friends, Seinfeld, Frasier, etc. were all widely watched and critical hits. However, after the ’90s ended, cable channels began to rise in prominence, bringing the new critical favorites: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Weeds, and others. The list goes on and on.

Cable channels can do things that NBC can’t. Now, NBC is left trying to make poor copies of what cable is doing (The Playboy Club…really, NBC?).

As for Law & Order and its million spin-offs, it’s been replaced by CSI, NCIS, Person of Interest, Hawaii 5-0, and all their billion spin-offs.

What NBC is left with is… nothing.

The audience that NBC wants right now seems to be young, smart, media-savvy people, who like to have their media choices scheduled by corporations. (Pro-tip: I’m not sure that audience exists. Too bad for Community.)

The Writer’s Strike – Of the Big Four networks (CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC), NBC was hit the hardest by the 2007-2008 writer’s strike. None of the shows it put up to replace the scripted shows were a success, and ad-revenue and ratings dropped by around 10 percent. Making Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno return without a writing staff didn’t garner any good will from the Writer’s Guild, either (It should be noted that David Letterman managed to come to an interim agreement with the WGA).

The Writer’s Strike also managed to shorten the season of NBC’s most popular show at the time, Heroes. It’s my opinion that the show never recovered from the shortened season, and the quality of the show plummeted during season two.

The Tonight Show Controvesy – This debacle probably hurt NBC the most in terms of public relations, but it also hurt them  in the ratings.

When Jay Leno was moved to his prime time slot, and ultimately failed to get the ratings (affiliates were pretty upset), NBC was left with a hard decision. Rather than have a show fail in one time slot, though, it effectively failed in five. NBC had to find a way to fill five prime time slots, none of which went on to garner huge ratings (I believe that the only show from that time that is still airing is Parenthood, which I think is a great show, by the way).

The firing of Conan O’Brien really hurt the network in the PR department. Many celebrities and fans immediately rejected Leno as The Tonight Show host, and although Jay’s ratings have recovered, his image was permanently damaged.

The Today Show- NBC’s biggest moneymaker is the morning show staple, but even its ratings have been declining as of late. I’ve heard a lot of reasons given for this, but I’m going to focus on two.

1.) Matt Lauer is getting harder and harder to work with. Rumor is that the guy isn’t very nice to his co-workers and was basically behind Ann Curry being fired.

2.) It’s become waaaay too pop culture oriented. I don’t watch a whole lot of The Today Show, but what I see when I watch is coverage of popular YouTube videos, news sensationalism, and interviews with useless pseudo-celebs. If other channels are picking up the slack and covering real news, I can see why the ratings are slipping.

Asim Bharwani [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Streaming, Cable, YouTube, Video Games – NBC, like most of the networks, wasn’t ready for the Internet entertainment revolution. NBC also doesn’t seem to understand that the younger demographic they are targeting with shows like 30 Rock and Community aren’t going to watch a lot of TV when it initially airs. There are too many other entertainment choices out there. Plus, NBC hasn’t figured out a way to make a lot of money from Hulu, yet.

The Olympics -This is what got me thinking about the topic in the first place. I’m not sure how NBC could do the Olympics better, but they could start with not airing promos including who won the gold medal before they publicly air the event.

Also, could they air better events? I’m sick to death of gymnastics and swimming. Let’s see some fencing, boxing, judo, and other events where people fight. Those things are awesome.

Cris Colinsworth – I hate this guy with a passion, so I had to include him.

All-in-all, these are the reasons I think NBC is failing in the ratings game. Its biggest problem is that it just doesn’t know what it is anymore, especially since other cable networks are doing it better than they are.

Also, The Office has overstayed its welcome. Can we let it die already?

Also too, just give Alison Brie her own show.

[Featured Image: By ASTaylor [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

 

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