I love a fair amount of crap of movies and/or TV shows (and MAYBE more) that were once considered great to legendary but have in their later days turned to…..well….crap. So, in this series I aim to pick through the turds of cinema and TV that I still can’t help but love and see if there’s any pieces of “gold in dem hills” (such as acting, writing, under rated characters, good action, good writing, music or quotes and more) or if all that’s left is a giant crater of crap. So join me, my fellow cynics as I delve deep into such decaying crumbling cinematic fossils and tumbling TV shows as: Dexter, Halloween, Supernatural (post season 5), The X Files, Friday the 13th, Roger Moore Bond films and much more. Join me on this adventure, as we both become Indiana Jones of The Junkyard. I hope you come along and don’t mind the smell. Prosit!
I adore this series so much, that I’ve forgotten the level that I loved this series. That is until i recently rewatched the show on Netflix. Let me elaborate; back in the 90’s and early 2,000’s, I was obsessed with this series, as it was the first book series that I truly fell in love with.
So, what the hell is this book about? At its core, it is about a group of teens (Jake, Marco, Rachel, Cassie and Tobias), who discover an alien (whose species is Andelite), from a crashed space ship named Elfangor. Elfangor, gives them the power to morph into any animal they touch to stop Visser 3 and his army of Yerks, Hork Bajir and Taxxons.
So, yeah, there’s a lot of exposition in the first book/episode of the show, but, I feel that that’s because the story’s scope IS that epic and intimate at the same time. While growing up, reading these books, I fell in love with them, for the same reason I fell in love with Spiderman comics. It was because, I grew up with the characters I could easily relate to their problems, or at least their real world and metaphorical problems.
For example, I really related to Tobias feeling like I was a neurotic social outcast. I also really fell for Rachel, growing up like Tobias did because she was willing to be with Tobias, even after he got himself stuck with the body of a hawk (by being morphed into one for more than two Earth hours).
I found that really romantic, in a modern Beauty and the Beast sort of way, with an interesting and original spin to it. That was probably the girliest thing I’ve said in a while……….moving on then.
I also really liked Jake and thought that he had one of the most mature, emotional journeys I have ever seen in literature. He had to go from being just a normal kid, to a bad ass fighter and commander in a war, with a seemingly invisible and infinite enemy.
There are SO many amazing characters and great things about the Animorphs book series, that I implore you to check them out. Hell, even the spin offs are incredible.
HOWEVER, I wish I could say the same thing about the show. It’s good, fun and decently acted (especially by Shawn Ashmore, Brooke Nevin, Paulo Costanzo, Joshua Peace, Boris Cabrera and Christopher Ralph), but, the actors who aren’t taking it seriously, REALLY ham it up. It also tries to get the massive scope of the books and is the most successful with episodes with the Ellimist, but even that is just ok.
It sadly falls too often into the, “monster of the week”, formula most 90’s shows seemed to be a slave to.
All in all though, if you want a great YA series to check out, I HIGHLY recommend Animorphs.
Movies and TV shows have seemingly always been an evolutionary creative medium but lately it seems it’s becoming more of a symbiotic one. Is this a good thing? I think that it is and that shows like Fargo and Hannibal prove that this is a very good idea for creating interesting and original ideas based off of original source material. So, what series do I feel could be the next Hannibal or Fargo or Buffy in terms of being the next big movie to TV adaptations? Read on and find out.
Harold and Kumar: The Animated Series:
Harold and Kumar would be an awesomely, immature animated series and Adult Swim or HBO would be the perfect venue for it. I think it could be like South Park or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia but with the odd Pendleton Ward style of Adventure Time.
Let’s face it, between Neil Patrick Harris seeing a unicorn while taking magic mushrooms and more, Harold and Kumar left the realm of plausibility a long time ago. Plus, given that Harold and Kumar movies feel few and far between in terms release dates, it would keep my Harold and Kumar munchies in check (weed puns yay).
All in all, it would be the best thing to happen to Harold and Kumar AND Adult’s Swim since they started airing Rick and Morty (since god knows next to that there’s barely anything else worth watching on Adult’s Swim). Plus, it could also usher in an awesome trippy cartoon universe of whacky heroes like Tenacious D, Cheech and Chong, Bill and Ted and many more with massive crossover potential.
Dirty Harry: the TV series
Due to the success of The Americans, this would be a great choice for another period piece action drama. It can also be fairly open ended in terms of its longevity starting as a gritty 1970’s style period piece cop show and going all the way through the 1980’s (and maybe even beyond).
Each season could have a main overarching scumbag that taunts Harry and makes him question himself morally and ethically. Think of the show as a 1970’s era Justified, set in San Francisco with Harry, like Raylan being a cowboy gunslinger in a bureaucratic world.
Similar to The Americans, the Dirty Harry TV show could handle real world historic issues going on in the fictional universe. These events could maybe include; Harry investigating the murder or Harvey Milk or something dealing with the Watergate scandal going on in the background during some episodes. It’d also be super engrossing if they were able to use music from the 1970’s and 1980’s as perfectly as The Americans has.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: The Series
If it can somehow ignore the very ending, which kind of makes it sequel or continuation proof I think that if any movie could be an awesome TV show it would be Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It’s a simple, low budget but exceptionally written, directed and acted semi hidden gem of recent comedies. I think that much like the film that writing and casting the perfect duo would be key for this film. The two actors need to charismatically play humorous disdain for each other while playing polar opposites.
It also needs a witty writer, who understands the shallow nature of Hollywood, while writing exceptional action, comedy and profanity. As far as casting goes Aaron Eckhart could be a great straight man as “Gay” Perry Van Shirke, given that he’s usually great as straight arrow hero type.
Collin Farrell, would be a perfect Harry Lockhart, given his Robert Downey Jresque bad boy image and massively sarcastic characters he usually plays. All in all, it would be a great show for a network like FX or HBO who are great at doing cop shows and dark comedies or Showtime, because I think Showtime is great at making hit shows inexpensively.
Also, while I shamefully haven’t seen much of it, I feel that the dynamic duo of Downey and Kilmer seem to have a similar black comedy banter that Logue and Raymond-James excelled at in Terriers. I think that a buddy cop comedy bringing back that sense of humor and comradery would be great and something I feel TV is sorely missing.
A Nightmare on Elm Street:
Let me start by saying that A Nightmare on Elm Street is one film series I’m a major geek for, so I’ll admit I do have a slight bias here. However, A Nightmare on Elm Street still remains one of the best examples of not JUST horror, but urban fantasy as well.
Also, given that the recent remake REALLY botched up the mythos of the Elm Street franchise by ignoring the creative dynamite that the writers had with Freddy Krueger. Instead the reboot chose to just make a generic cookie cutter remake of the original. a show would really help to remedy this massive mistake.
How couldn’t they make an evil child killer with near omnipotent powers terrifying? Also, the mythos of The Dream Warriors and Dream Master could be great building blocks for not only making a horror series but a fantasy action one at the same time.
A Network like HBO or FX that’s not afraid of making ballsy shows but letting their writers have more control would be an IDEAL network for something like this show. A perfect pilot or first two episodes should be a True Detective style dark origin story for Freddy Krueger. I also would love for the show to develop the parent characters and grownups more than they were in the original movies.
It would also be remarkable if they threw the audience off by changing the orders of the kill count from that of the original or introduce new characters. Also, given the incredibly haunting and psychedelic visionary style of True Detective and Hannibal TV would be the perfect medium to make a vaster, more epic and terrifying dream world or build upon the fantasy mythology of “The Dream Warriors” (kids from Elm Street who learn how to use their nightmares to get super powers to beat down Freddy).
All in all, I feel that TV is the perfect medium for some of these movies to have their stories expanded upon. I find modern television to be largely a creative treasure trove for writers and their original ideas, and while I don’t think cinema is dead I do think that TV could help reinvigorate some of these stories. I hope you’ve enjoyed and feel free to comment and as always share the love.
How does one make a show that stands the test of time? Nay, how does one make a show good enough to stay on the air for over TEN YEARS and still continue to kick ass and take names? Now that truly requires finesse and a killer soundtrack. I am of course referring to Eric Kripke’s pride and joy, Supernatural, a show that I have loved passionately for a decade and oh my how time flies. So, what prey tell is this amazing spectacle of a show about? It starts out being about two estranged brothers who must team up to pick back up “The Family Business” and find their father when he goes missing from a “hunting” trip. What is the family business? Oh just hunting and eliminating “evil sons of b****s and raising a bit of hell”. Who prey tell are these “evil sons of bitches” as protagonist Dean Winchester so profanely asked? Well, just your garden variety ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves, shifters, wendigoes and all manner of evil paranormal beings looking to crap on someone’s day. This later goes on to include Angels and more who become major players in later seasons. So, why does this show kick so much ass? Firstly, the comradery between the two leads, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padelecki as Sam Winchester respectively play off each other exceptionally well. Their chemistry really feels like they’ve known each other for years, like real brothers. It also plays out exceptionally, like a supernatural buddy cop action comedy. The show is also incredibly metamorphic, like a caterpillar into a butterfly, starting out as a horror show, but becomes far more epic in scope. This happens when it brings an ambitious war between heaven and hell, which the boys are trapped in the middle of, making the show far more amazing and intense. Another massive plus to this show is its exceptional use of side characters, especially Castiel, Crowley, Bobby Singer, Rufus Turner and so many others I won’t even dare spoil here. Finally, this show is exceptionally Meta, knowing full well the tropes and clichés of its genre and itself and expertly satirizing itself, in a way that seems more of a tribute to fan culture then self-cannibalism. I literally could talk about Supernatural all damn day, I love it so damn much, but I’ll spare you my geek out. However, I feel that I’ve more than adequately discussed all of the pros to this show and why it’s must watch genre TV. However, the few cons are that season one on Netflix didn’t get the rights to the show’s epic soundtrack, but instead plays generic rock songs and season one and seven are a bit disjointed. However, like I said besides those two small flaws this show is truly exceptional in all of the best ways possible. So, as always I’m Lawrence Gaines from Lord of The Reels, inventing you to like, comment, and of course share the love.
Oh Supernatural what a topsy turvey show you are. From the highest highs like seasons 2-5 (which I consider the greatest TV arch or all time) to a ho hum sixth season, terrible seventh and not to shabby eighth season. Suffice to say though season nine had a lot to live up to now that the show was back to being almost as good as it was with Kripke as a main guy on it.
So did this season fulfill what it was seemingly promising? Like much of Supernatural after Kripke it does and doesn’t. While we were promised an epic Angels VS Demons VS humans WAR what we got was interesting but FAR less grandiose and instead we get ANOTHER addiction story which season four did WAY better and more Sam and Dean whining.
ON THE OTHER HAND it did really spend time fleshing out the non Sam and Dean characters like Crowley, Metatron and Castiel (however as bad ass as she was I felt Abandon was a bit under developed) and ending an arch that I felt had gone on FAR too long. So let’s discuss how it all ended shall we?
Without giving away anything I loved the ending plot twist and how they resolved both the heaven sub plot as well as the brilliant way that Castiel out thought Metatron. I also loved the conclusion of Dean’s story line of the season and thought that they PERFECTLY left an amazing cliff hanger. As it obviously should be given the paramount nature of season finales it’s difficult to discuss it without giving away any spoilers HOWEVER I do highly recommend this finale if you’re sticking with the season you’ll be more then rewarded for a hohum season.