Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The Debut of Little Britain USA

September 29, 2008

Little Britain USA, based on the series Little Britain but set in America and with some new characters, made its debut last night. It was on HBO, thankfully, which means the show could push buttons as hard as they wanted, and carry out jokes to extremes. How did it go?

Here’s what I thought in long form, but in short form I can tell you that the show was crude, very funny, very offensive, and a bit shaky. It’s tough to introduce established characters like Daffyd and Carol Beer to a new audience (and the show’s use of a laugh track really sticks out on HBO), but I’m hoping it sticks around for more than its initial six-episode order.

The Venture Brothers: By Geeks, For Geeks

September 24, 2008

The best way I could describe The Venture Brothers for the newest Cultelevision article was that it was a show by geeks, for geeks. I mean, the show crams in more references to comic books, music, sci-fi, television, 80’s culture, and pop culture than I could possibly list in 10,000 words. Instead of even trying, I’ll just post a video detailing Hank Venture’s obsession with Batman.

This is why I love that show. It’s insane in the best way possible. I AM the Bat!

Fear Itself: Stuart Gordon Or Darren Lynn Bousman

July 21, 2008

I don’t know what my deal was last week when I did my reviews of Fear Itself episodes 5, Eater, and 6, New Years Day, but I was in exceptionally fine form when it comes to my particular brand of mocking comedy. Especially episode six, the brainchild of Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and Darren Lynn Bousman (Saws II-IV). If that’s not a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.

As I said in the comments over at Den of Geek: you could give Darren Bousman the script to Citizen Kane, and he’d figure out a way to make it a mess. But hey, at least Episode Five was pretty good thanks to Stuart Gordon’s directorial prowess.

Fear Itself 1.04 – The Forbidden Review Too Hot For DoG!

June 27, 2008

Here’s the official Fear Itself review for Den of Geek. Well, actually, it’s an explanation of why there is no review of this week’s Fear Itself at DoG, not a review itself. My original review, which you’ll find below, was a bit too… virulent, I suppose, for publication. I don’t blame them for not really itching to put it out there, as not only is it a little too controversial for what they’re trying to accomplish, it’s also completely disorganized.

That said, controversial and disorganized sounds like a blog entry anyway, so I figure I’d throw my 15 readers a treat. Instead of promotion something I wrote for Den of Geek here, I’ll give you something I wrote for Den of Geek that they thought best not to use. I don’t blame them; they have enough trolls over there without me adding to it by bringing up pedophilia and child abuse. I had my doubts as I was writing it as to whether or not it would end up publishable, and I figure they made the right call.

Disclaimer: It goes without saying that the views expressed below are my own (and those of the state of California). They don’t reflect back on anywhere I write at, nor do they reflect the views of any organization, past, present, or future, that may employ me and blah blah blah, covering my ass. Furthermore, nobody do anything fucking stupid and blame me for it. Further furthermore, don’t fuck little kids and tape it.


Why Aren’t You Watching Fear Itself?

June 23, 2008

Sure Fear Itself had a rocky first episode, but if you stuck with it like I did, well… you’ve been rewarded. Episode 2 was excellent (and I forgot to link myself here last week when the review went up), and Episode 3, from the pen of Daniel Knauf (creator of Carnivale) was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV this year. If you’re not checking this show out, you should. It’s free online, so there’s no excuse not to. It’s turning into a great show.

If you’re not checking out the show, at least go read my reviews, so I can feel important and/or special. Thank you for your support. /Bartles & Jaymes

I kind of fear Fear Itself

June 6, 2008

Like those few folks that watched it, I got burned by Masters of Horror. Badly, I might add, as I tried to defend the show after it was past the point of all reasonable defense and just ended up sounding like a moron. “Hey!” I’d pout. “Dance of the Dead was still pretty good if you compare it to Homecoming! Dreams of the Witch House had some nice tits in it, too!” Eventually, as the crap continued to flow, Dario Argento got censored on pay TV, and Takeshi Miike was banned by fucking Showtime, I gave up.

When the second season started up, I tried to watch The Damned Thing (because I like Tobe Hooper and Boondock Saint Sean Patrick Flannery and thought it might be an improvement), but after that awful mess I simply gave up on the whole concept. Ditto Masters of Science Fiction, as if they couldn’t get Paul Verheoeven or Ridley Scott or James Cameron or Dan O’Bannon then it was hardly Masters of Anything, no matter how many Harlan Ellison stories you buy up.

Despite this, when NBC crowed about launching a new horror anthology, I was there. Even once I found out it was just basically a third series of Masters of Horror, just with less Masters and less Horror. At least now there’s the excuse of network standards and practices if the episodes turn out sub par. Fortunately, last night’s episode was actually pretty good for a spam in a cabin vampire tale. If nothing else, it entertained me unlike a whole lot of the Masters of Horror episodes, and it featured some very blonde Eastern European girls, which I can only assume has to be the result of generations of inbreeding, as every Soviette I’ve ever known has been brunette.

All that talk about how Masters of Horror was a horror-able disappointment has depressed me. Think when I get home I’ll cheer myself up by watching Snatch.

A Reaper Review Eulogy

April 24, 2008

It’s strange. Sometimes I’ll send stuff off to Den of Geek for publication, and then when it finally gets published, I won’t actually notice it’s been done. That’s why I may have a piece published on the 22nd, but I’ll only get around to shamelessly whoring the link on the 24th. Such is the case with my article about why I gave up on Reaper.

The show had a great pilot, and I gave it the old college try for another couple of episodes after the pilot, thinking the kinks would work themselves out. Then the wheels came off and not even the brilliant Sam Wise or my dedication to the Den of Geek project was enough to make me finish out the whole season. Of course, I’ve fallen behind on my Terminator reviews, too, but that’s just because I’m incredibly lazy, not because the show is bad.

In Reaper’s case, the show got bad in a hurry.

The Porn Oscars

April 2, 2008

It’s a world of glitz and glamour. Large round tables are set up and drinks are flowing freely inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center. A massive stage dominates, with big video screens, a podium, and a live 12-piece band. Everything is slick and clean, but not austere. It’s a very classy, attractive setup in a venue normally associated with championship boxing events. But, I wonder as I flip through channels at 3 AM, what is it all for?

In a gross parody of everything Hollywood, the first presenters approached the stage, accompanied by the live band playing some upbeat, pop-rock number with glossy horns. Imagine my shock when I find out it’s not some obscure Hollywood media organ honoring the greatest in cable television, but Adult Video News honoring the greatest in all-girl scenes and outstanding male performances. This lovely setup and expensive venue was packed in with over 6,000 of the adult film industry’s stars, financiers, and most devoted fans.

There was no way I could turn away from this.

Catching something like the AVN Awards on Showtime at 3 AM is the only benefit to sleeping difficulty.

And Summer Glau as the Termina-Teen

February 8, 2008

So, have you guys been watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? I’ll be honest; it’s been pretty awesome. It’s had a few rough patches, but what show doesn’t? Week after week, it’s been the best new sci-fi series on TV this year, and I’d go so far as to say the best sci-fi TV series on network TV right now. I’m looking at you, Bionic Woman, and I’m very disappointed.

For you edutainment, I’ve been writing up episode reviews of the show over at Den of Geek, yet due to my typical forgetfulness, I’ve actually NOT spammed my blog with links to my episode recaps. Stunning, isn’t it? Well, be stunned no more, because Dr. Self Promotion, M.D., is back, and he’s got 3CCs of Linko Biloba to inject into your TV-staring backside.

Episode 1 – Pilot

Episode 2 – Gnothi Seauton & Episode 3 – The Turk

Episode 4 – Heavy Metal

Enjoy it while it lasts, kids. It’s been a great show so far, and it’s been getting damn good ratings, but we all know how Fox gets when they have a sci-fi show that’s turning out successful (X-Files). After all, why would you want to actually spend money on scripted TV when you can have a televised karaoke contest that costs approximately 75 cents per episode scheduled 18 times a week? Exactly.

TV’s Warm, Glowing, Warming Glow.

January 14, 2008

I spent a lot of time over the holiday season watching television. Actually, I spent a lot of time watching television period, especially this year, but the holiday season is always a time in which lots of television is watched because when you don’t have to get up for work the next day and you can’t go out because you’re handcuffed to your family, there’s not much else to do. Sure, you could talk to your relatives, but after about half an hour of that you remember why you only see those people a few times a year.

Regardless of where you are, television always changes for the holiday season. Whether it’s a Doctor Who holiday special, the annual showing of It’s A Wonderful Life, or the omnipresent special sporting events that fill the televised landscape between Halloween and New Years Day, you never really know what to expect when you turn on that box full of pictures and noise to distract your relatives from the fact that you’re still not married, have a crap job, and live in your parents’ basement.

One of the big time killers is the marathon. If you own the rights to a lot of something, then the holiday season is the time to force it on your viewers whether they want to watch it or not. It gives those hard-working programmers a much needed break, allows you to avoid competing with Santa Claus and company, and gives Grinches like myself something to fall asleep while watching in the midst of a holiday drunk.

Check out my five favorite holiday-time TV marathons.