Category Archives: Just My Opinion

From Silver Screens to Small Ones: Is the Film to TV Series Still King?

When a film hits the big screen, there is always a TV producer looking on with interest. They will be analysing about whether there is the potential for a successful TV spin-off that will gain high ratings, often off the back of the successful film or film franchise.

Kurt Russell by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It is surprising how many television shows start out in life as a movie and then later are adapted for television. Some of the better-known examples include Shaft, which was a successful film of 1971 that was later adapted for TV and produced a number of TV movies that ran on the new CBS channel in America. In all, there were seven Shaft episodes shown on TV during 1973 and 1974.

Another successful crossover was that of the movie Stargate, which hit the big screens in 1994 and had star names like Kurt Russell and James Spader playing the key roles. This was then adapted for TV in the form of the series Stargate SG-1, which hit television screens in 1997 and ran for 214 episodes. It was the longest-running sci-fi series on TV until it was surpassed by Smallville in 2011, which itself was adapted from the Superman movie franchise.

This theme has continued and will likely carry on for the foreseeable future. Even the BBC are producing series such as Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch that originally were films adapted from the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The TV series has been one of the BBC’s flagship programmes over the last few years and has already produced four series each containing three episodes. At its peak, the show had around 11.6 million views per episode and has received a number of accolades.

So where can the next big TV hit come from? There is a lot of potential and certainly plenty of different themes and genres that can still be explored and adapted from the current stock of successful movies.

Jump with me to read more and to find out a couple of ideas… Continue reading

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My Latest Must-Watch: Hulu’s Future Man

I have not been a huge fan of Hulu in recent years. They used to be a go-to platform for me when they had a bunch of my favorite shows, morning after they aired, on major network comedies & Bones. Then they started wanting to charge me money at the same time they provided LESS new content. So I strayed from the site. But this past week, two things have brought me back ready to rave about their content: Marvel’s Runaways with it’s hawt debut episodes, and the best comedy sci-fi since Red Dwarf, (huge statement there if ya didn’t know) is clearly Future Man. They dropped it like a Netfilx show, all thirteen episodes at once. I started last Friday and finished Sunday afternoon. Two minutes in and I was hooked.

The story revolves around Joosh Future Man (né Josh Futterman), young adult, in the year 2017 working with Tiger and Wolf, two deadly warriors from the year 2143, naive to the ways of the distant past they have come to. They seek to employ Josh’s help in toppling the “evil” plans of scientist Dr. Kronish. We learn that Kronish really just wants to cure herpes, but the way his cure effects the deep future is a bit insane. The show has an all-star cast featuring Ed Begley Jr. and the recently departed Glenne Headly as Josh’s parents and Haley Joel Fucking Osment (6th Sense) as a bumbling but important-in-some-moments-of-history scientist Dr. Stu Camillo.

Jump with me to read more. Continue reading

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My Thoughts on Rick & Morty Season 3

Way back when in 2013, Dan Harmon was still fighting tooth and nail to find the right avenue to finish his #6SeasonsandaMovie baby Community. His name was hot. His show was hilarious and weird, no matter how well the ratings were doing. So Cartoon Networks’ Adult Swim block offered him a Sunday-night comedy cartoon slot. Harmon recruited then relatively unknown cartoonist Justin Roiland and schlippity-schlop, gloobity-glop: Rick & Morty was born in a test tube of Apathetic-to-Mildly-Annoyed Scientist glee! Similar to Abed on Community, Harmon imbued lead character Rick Sanchez with the knowledge he was on a cartoon and the 4th wall jokes fired at us at a rapid pace. By the summer of ’14, all the kids were screaming, “Pluto is a fucking planet!” and looking forward to Rick and Morty forever a hundred times!

Then two years later, we finally got season two. And it was…okay. Episodes that brought us Mr. Poopy Butthole & Tiny Rick were immediate classics. But they were weighed against episodes in which the “Summer stuck in the car” B story was so much funnier than the Colbert guesting main story that I only need a 2-minute YouTube summary for the replay worth of that one. So when season three finally premiered last April Fool’s Day alongside Harmon’s teases of a 14-episode season for a change, I was interested if not confident. If I had the will to sustain interest in a show and its’ characters over 2.5-year-long hiatuses, then I guess I’d still care about The Venture Bros, right?

And if season two’s overall essence could be summarized as mediocre or adequate, then season three in hindsight was “meh” or “blerg,” at best. We suffered through a Gerry/Rick episode, two anthology episodes, a Beth episode that felt like filler, and an overall lower percent of funny this time around. And furthermore, Harmon let that rumor of 14 episodes linger right up until the season finale dropped last week. Amidst his efforts to scrub the show’s fandom of toxic masculinity that has the angry little MRAs doxxing R & M’s newer female writers and the failing quality of the writing, I have to wonder if it’s even coming back for season four.

And so I gotta ask. Why, Rick? Why are we even doing this anymore? You forced the Mr. Poopy Butthole season closer joke… You let Beth start breaking the 4th wall… It’s clear your concept itself is funnier than the writers you put in place to keep the show as weird and shocking as it was once funny. Now just being dark for the sake of it without context is the S3 motif, I guess? Maybe you need to babysit your writing bullpen a bit better, Dan. ’Cause I show up for the Harmon meta humor, not the Roiland ball-lick jokes. A lot of us do.

In summary? Get your shit together, Rick & Morty. Get it all together. And put it in a backpack. All your shit. So it’s together. And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere. You know, take it to the shit store and sell it or put it in a shit museum. I don’t care what you do; you just gotta get it together.

Get. Your. Shit. Together.

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5 Big Questions for the Final Season of Thrones

There’s just one season left now, folks – and a short one at that! It seems hard to believe we’re almost out of Thrones stories to talk about. That said, we have at least a year, probably, before the final season actually airs, which means there’s plenty of time for speculation and discussion in the meantime. I for one plan to make the most of that time, so here are my five big questions, at this early stage, for the final season.

Will We Get Cleganebowl?

I can’t believe that this has become the biggest question in Game of Thrones, but it might well be that. Indeed, leading up to the season seven finale, one article looking ahead to the end began with the simple title, “Game of Thrones Fans Are Convinced The Most Hyped Fight Ever Will Happen Tonight.” The interesting thing about that is that those same fans were the ones doing most of the hyping. Sure, there are all kinds of hints that the Hound will want to finish the Mountain off, and it’s a pretty obvious place for one or both of their storylines to end up. But for the most part, this is internet hype run amok. Someone came up with the phrase “Cleganebowl,” and the trendy name for the theory helped to blow it up. Now, it seems as if a final season without said Cleganebowl would be almost as disappointing to people as a final season without dragons, or one in which Jon, Tyrion, and Dany (probably the three most beloved characters) all meet their ends. The question of whether or not we get Cleganebowl has, somehow, become absolutely crucial for this show.

Did Anyone Live At The Wall?

There were two fairly significant characters who appeared to be on the Wall when the Night King and his shiny new ice dragon laid waste to it: Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion. The latter, at this point, feels somewhat expendable. Without Thoros by his side, and with plenty of season seven foreshadowing that he was about to die and stay dead for the first time, his end would be fitting. Tormund, however, has become something of a fan favorite. He seems to have a budding, if only semi-serious, love interest in Brienne (and who doesn’t want that to happen?). Fans would like to see him having somehow survived the fall of the Wall. But this question is actually pretty important beyond fan service. If no one survived at the Wall, no one can send a raven ahead to warn the miscellaneous good guys that the Night King resurrected Dany’s dragon. Given that ravens in Westeros seem to travel faster than text messages these days, Tormund could easily send word ahead, if he lived.

Will There Be A Baratheon Factor?

When you really think back on the series, there are four “main” houses: the Starks, the Lannisters, the Targaryens, and the Baratheons. That last house has taken a back seat, but it’s still a core part of the series. In the books, the first chapter narrated by a non-Stark, -Lannister, or -Targaryen figure is “Davos,” who at the time is a representation of Stannis Baratheon’s actions. One of the only lasting Game of Thrones video games, a slot real that stands as one of the game options on casino platforms online, also counts the houses equally. Using house symbolism and icons on a slot reel, it’s all about the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, and Baratheons. Indeed, the entire story even exists because three of these houses led a rebellion against the other. The “Game of Thrones” has always been between four competitors. It’ll be interesting, therefore, to see if there’s a Baratheon factor to the final series – which more specifically means wondering if Gendry will play a key role, as he is Robert Baratheon’s bastard heir and was brought back in season seven.

How Serious Was The Jaime-Cersei Breakup?

By the look of things in the finale, Jaime is finally done with his wicked, scheming sister. Much has been made of Tyrion’s occasional assertions that Cersei loves only her children. But if that’s true, she’s also only ever counted on the love of her brother. When he was allegedly the fiercest warrior in the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime gave her a sense of invincibility. Since then he’s still proven to be a loyal and reliable general – if not almost a servant at times. For the first time, she now seems unable to rely on Jaime’s affection or loyalty, however. She threatened him to his face, and he called her bluff and walked out on her. But how serious was it? Are they so done that he really will go to help Tyrion and Daenerys without Cersei’s blessing? Might she send someone after him in anger? Or will we wind up looking at a quick make-up, perhaps on the grounds that she really is pregnant? The answer to this question will do a lot to determine the dynamic in King’s Landing.

Are Direwolves Just Not Important?

Arya’s reunion with Nymeria was somewhat poetic. Nymeria basically chose to have nothing to do with her, and Arya recognized her own personality in the decision, breathing “that’s not you,” having once said “that’s not me” when facing the more traditional life of a lord’s daughter. But the lack of Ghost in season seven rubbed a lot of us the long way. Covering this topic and referring back to season six, one of the producers basically blamed the budget, saying Ghost is very expensive to bring to life. But when we get frequent shots of CGI dragons soaring around in the background, or see a five-minute scene featuring a zombie ice bear, can it really be all about the budget? My biggest question facing the final season is whether Direwolves just aren’t that important in this story, when for so long they seemed destined to play a vital role.
 
 
No date has been set yet for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. It will air on HBO in 2018, as far as we can tell. Until then, are there any other questions you’d love to get answers to? Let us know below so we can discuss!

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Guest Host on TV times Three Podcast

I was one of the two guest hosts on the latest TVx3 podcast, along with Jason (@theTVaholic) and guest host Ivey (@Dorv). We talked some TV renewals and then the series premieres of Colony, Second Chance, and Shadowhunters and the latest episodes of The Expanse and The Shannara Chronicles. Check it out below or head over to TVTimesThree.com to catch this and all the episodes of the fantastic podcast.

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