Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Black Lightning crashes Superman’s Funeral

Friday, April 21st, 2017

SNL did this skit back when Superman died fighting Doomsday

I interviewed Black Lightning’s creator about 15 years ago and he said that he’d kiss Sinbad for the job he did on this one.

you might need money on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

“It’s my money, Jake! If you want to bid at the auction, use your own money.”
“I’m Human, I don’t have any money.”
“It’s not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement.”
“Hey, watch it. There’s nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity.”
“What does that mean exactly?”
“It means… it means we don’t need money!”
“Well, if you don’t need money, then you certainly don’t need mine!”

The exchange between Nog and Jake Sisko from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Episode “In The Cards” provides an excellent example when scarcity is suddenly encountered just outside a so-called post-scarcity society.

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My First Time with Buffy

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
I’ve just started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a 19-year-old show I never saw before. I’m 8 episodes in and it’s already getting annoying how there is no accumulated history in that Smallville/Murder, She Wrote/X-Files way. The death toll for this small school is already catastrophic, the principal has been eaten, one girl had her mouth disappear due to witchcraft, but by the end of the episode no one has any trauma and next week it’s all forgotten. No funerals, no memorials, not even a follow-up about how those four hyena-infected kids feel about eating a human being. Class sizes and bell curves aren’t affected by the number of dead kids. No grieving families of these murdered teens are ever shown.
 
Like I pointed out above, it’s not unusual in episodic television, and it’s the kind of thing that probably looks far worse when binge-watching. What I don’t get is: WHO WRITES THIS STUFF AND WHY? Why does Joss Whedon write the show this way and not expect the audience to react as I do?
 
Of course, I found the sheer number of people who managed to visit Gilligan’s Island, escape the island and not get the castaways rescued annoying as well when I was six years old.

MLK told Nichelle Nichols “don’t you dare leave the show”

Monday, January 18th, 2016

UhuraEvery Martin Luther King Day a good Star Trek fan should listen to this story and know this story.  The most beautiful member of the original regular Star Trek cast, Nichelle Nichols, played the loveliest member of the crew.

I don’t have to tell anyone that Nichelle Nichols plays Uhura.

My title may spoil the story but the fact remains the original Star Trek very much features the very world envisioned by the Reverend King, a world of human equality.

The story is wonderful. Nichelle Nichols tells NPR:

If you want a different re-telling of the story, here is something from the Archive of American Television:

Patrick McNee is dead

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

john_steed__185410

Patrick McNee the actor famous to most of us for playing John Steed on the original Avengers television show, passed away today. From Variety:

Patrick Macnee, famous for his role on “The Avengers” British TV series, died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 93.

Macnee, who played John Steed in the spy-fi show, died with his family at his bedside.

“Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories,” a statement on the actor’s website read. “Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry. He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them.”

“The Avengers” initially focused on Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) and his assistant (Macnee), but Macnee’s famously bowler hat wearing, umbrella-wielding intelligence officer (he never used a gun) became the protagonist when Hendry exited the series. Macnee played the part alongside a succession of strong, female partners, including Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley. The show ran from 1961 and 1969 and was reprised in the 1970s.

Condolences to his family. I’m sure he will be missed.

I never watched the show myself, but it is on my list and I appreciate the actor’s contribution to our popular culture and our niche culture.

 

Doctor Who is on Disney XD?

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

This strikes me as extremely wrong but I cannot place my finger on exactly why.

Just based on the clips this appears to start in the second season of the Welsh series with David Tennant. Perhaps they are just promoting it that way.

 

Is Ares the Teen Idol in Question?

Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Lynda Carter

now why would they hire her to play Wonder Woman? I wonder…

I was skimming TitanTV.com for tonight’s broadcast television schedule and I clicked the episode for tonight’s Wonder Woman on MeTV. I found the title and the summary of the episode to be remarkably incongruous.

Wonder Woman
WSYMDT2 – 47.2Sat, 8/09, 8:00 PM 1 hr
“My Teenage Idol Is Missing”
9/22/1978, Action, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Family, Adventure
The Amazons crush the war god, Ares, and Zeus charges them to hold him prisoner as warriors on a secret island; centuries later, an U.S. Air Force pilot is lured to crash land on the island and the commotion allows Ares to escape.

I would never expect the title for a show about the war god Ares to be “My Teenage Idol is missing” although I suppose that fits overall with that particular series.

Pinky and the Brain at Dragon Con

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Pinky and the Brain

Here is a convention panel with Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen. I love to hear my favorite cartoon characters cuss.

Why Alan Brennert Won’t Be Watching Fox’s “Gotham”

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Barbara Kean, from Detective Comics 500

Barbara Kean, from Detective Comics 500

WHY I WON’T BE WATCHING FOX’S “GOTHAM” THIS FALL:

Back in 1981, in a story called “To Kill a Legend” in DETECTIVE COMICS #500, artist Dick Giordano and I created a character named Barbara Kean, the fiancée of Lt. James Gordon.  (This was set on a parallel Earth where counterparts of the “real” Batman and his cast were twenty years younger.)  A Golden Age “Mrs. James Gordon” (no first or maiden name) had appeared in 1951, mother of a son named Tony, but my character, later picked up by talented writers like Frank Miller and Barbara Randall Kesel, was clearly the prototype (with the same first name) for the “Post-Crisis” first wife of Lt. James Gordon, and—as Barbara Kean Gordon—became a supporting player in Batman continuity, and even made two movie appearances in BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT.

And this fall on GOTHAM, Fox’s prequel to the Batman mythos, one of the supporting characters will be…Barbara Kean, fiancée of Lt. James Gordon.

Ironically enough, on the same day that DC’s online news site listed the results of a fan poll in which I was chosen one of “the 75 greatest Batman artists/writers,” an executive at DC Entertainment—let’s call him “Johnny DC”—dismissed my request for “equity” (a percentage of income received when a character you create is used in other media) in the character.  The justification?  Because I had given her the same name, profession, and appearance as her daughter (at the time, just a sly wink to the reader), she was “derivative” of her daughter Barbara (Batgirl) Gordon and equity “is not generally granted” in derivative characters like wives, husbands, daughters, sons, etc., of existing characters: “this is the criteria by which all equity requests are measured.”

I then pointed out to him that writer Mark Waid had been told by then-DC management that DC did, in fact, give equity in “derivative” characters, just a smaller percentage—and indeed Mark and artist/co-creator Mike Wieringo received equity in the “derivative” character of Bart Allen/Impulse (grandson of Barry Allen/Flash) and received payments when he was used on SMALLVILLE.  I suggested DC grant a similar reduced percentage on Barbara Kean, and I was willing to limit this to her appearances on GOTHAM and forget the movies.

How did Johnny DC respond to this?  Did he rebut my argument?  Nope.  When confronted with the, shall we say, lack of veracity of his statement, he simply stopped responding to my emails.

Classy, right?

Now, let me be clear:  I’ve since learned that the amount of money involved here can be as little as $45 an episode for a full equity character.  So clearly I’m not in this for the money, but the principle.  This is small change compared to the fact that the estate of Jack Kirby receives no share of the billions in dollars that Marvel/Disney makes from movies based on characters he co-created.  But I suspect DC counts on the fact that the money is low enough that hiring an attorney to pursue it would cost more than you’d ever receive in equity payments.  They also count on the fact that their freelancers depend on DC for work and thus will not publicly call them out.  (And sometimes these freelancers are the very ones for whom that little bit of extra money would mean a lot.)

But as a novelist I depend in no way on DC for my livelihood, and have no problem recounting the bad faith they have demonstrated to me.  But I take little satisfaction in it.  There was a time—under the management of Jenette Kahn, Paul Levitz, and Dick Giordano—when DC went to great lengths to credit and compensate creators. They felt it was money well spent, because it brought other creators to the company and everyone benefited.  I was actually proud to be associated with a comics company with a conscience.  I hope my experience with the “new” DC is not typical, and that they still have a conscience.  But I sure don’t see it from where I sit.

(If you’re a fan of my comics work, feel free to share.)

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the Olympic Adventures of Brisco County, Jr

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

If while watching NBC you hear the Adventures of Brisco County Jr come on it must be the Olymics

Stephen Graziano and Velton Ray Bunch composed original music for the series. Composed by Randy Edelman, the distinctive theme music gained recognition beyond the show’s following; in the mid-1990s, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) hired Edelman to provide music for its sports coverage, including National Football League games and the Olympics. The music samples Edelman sent NBC included the Brisco theme, and by 1996 it was being used during coverage of the Olympics. NBC used it again as the theme for their coverage of the 1997 World Series. Edelman said, “It was original, and it seemed to have the right spirit. It’s got a very flowing melody, it’s triumphant, and it has a certain warmth. And it has at the end of it, what all television things like this have, a ‘button,’ an ending flourish that works really well if they need to chop it down into a 15-second thing.”[44]

NBC continues using the theme in contemporary commercials for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. If you listen you’ll notice.

Now normally the theme for the Olympics is this:

It was even noted on the commentary track for the very first episode the Brisco County DVD set that the theme music ultimately outlived the series and very few of the people that hear it these days would know its origin. But if you listen and you hear this,

then it is fairly obvious. It is sad that this extremely underrated and completely perfect series ended before its time (likely because it was ahead of its time) but at least parts live on. Just not the parts I want.

Man of Steel Animated Series

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

What’s the one thing everyone is going to remember about Man of Steel in five years?*SNAP!*

House of Cards is probably not getting canceled

Monday, October 14th, 2013

 

The Huffington Post, the crapass internet rag that it is, pretended to be something of journalism and posted something that does not resemble actual journalism and was not true but pretended to be true.  This lazy notion was that the wonderful television show House of Cards was being cancelled after the second season based on speculation casually thrown about by some low-level writer.  In fact the plotlines for seasons three and four have been written for Mr Spacey and he has not announced a parting of the ways.

 

The show is not being cancelled.  May those that wrote and published that story as truth be ejected from their chosen profession and be forced to toil unhappily in order to make a decent living.

Jack Kirby interview from 1982

Monday, August 26th, 2013

This interview aired on Entertainment Tonight on October 28, 1982.

From my perspective the words are amazing, as are the pictures, but his Brooklyn accent, like all Brooklyn accents, sounds like a speech impediment. It is fantastic.

To be fair I have never heard Jack Kirby speak. I like the cut of his jib.

DS9 Season 7 Extras – Nog

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

DS9 Season 7 extras – Vic Fontane

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

DS9 Season 7 Extras – Benjamin Sisko

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

 

Interviews with Avery Brooks, Ira Behr, Penny Johnson

Addiction Will Cost You

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Addiction can cost you everything.

Robin Lisa Kelly died recently at 43 years old.

Here is the late actress in 1992 on Married With Children, acting opposite Christina Applegate.  Make no mistake.  She was 21 years old on Fox’s flagship sitcom.  She had make-up and extreme youth on her side but it still is enough to make the point.

This is a promotional image for That 70s Show.  Who is going to deny the use of make-up, photoshop, airbrushing, whatever?  But it still requires some amount of material to work with.  I am unsure of the origin of the rest of the images.

Lisa Robin Kelly as her That 70s Show character Laurie Foreman, with the helpful assist of make-up, and photo touch-ups

Lisa Robin Kelly as her That 70s Show character Laurie Foreman, with the helpful assist of make-up, and photo touch-ups

Lisa Robin Kelly with youth and make-up

Lisa Robin Kelly with youth and make-up

Lisa Robin Kelly, in a bikini.  That sort of draws attention away from any question of "does she need make-up to be pretty"

Lisa Robin Kelly, in a bikini. That sort of draws attention away from any question of “does she need make-up to be pretty”

Now purportedly the reason Miss Kelly’s character was written off the show and why the actress left the series at all is because she was fired for her alcoholism.

Here is a mug shot from 2011.lisarobinkellyformerly70showpledguiltyb9rypjjcw39l

 

Purportedly the bail for this misadventure cost her $50,000, her savings up to that point.

Here is  2012 mug shot.Lisa Robin Kelly fala sobre sua prisão 2

Now she is dead.  She passed away August 14th.

I also wish to see Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on the blu-ray format

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

 

How do the physicists afford the apartment?

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

From the Facebook page of ComicsPriceGuide.comWaitress Physicist

While the two physicists are smart enough to pay all of their bills on time and not with credit cards, Penny clearly has problems with money and does not pay her bills with the same regularity as Sheldon and Leonard. Her apartment, while in the same building, is not the same at all. It is a single bedroom apartment with one bath, a closet and a living room and kitchen combo. The boys’ apartment is a two bedroom, one bath apartment with at least three closets and a significantly larger living area/kitchen combo. These differences would make Penny’s apartment slightly cheaper then Leonard and Sheldon’s. This coupled with the fact that she clearly can just barely pay for the apartment does lend a fair amount of realism to the idea that they could be neighbors.

David Wagner

James Tucker replaces Bruce Timm as WB Animation Overlord

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Comic Book Resources reports the story.  It does not mention the cause.  The article chronicles the start and finish of the DC Animated Universe, from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited.  The article also does not fail to credit the other co-architects of that Batman cartoon.  Timm’s last work in his former role was the second chapter THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.  Bruce Timm is being replaced by James Tucker, another DCAU creative.

My enthusiasm for all of these projects is less than my joy every minute of Justice League Unlimited, with its own continuity and well-built world.