Category Archives: tv

Underdog

Underdog ~ When I first heard about this flick, a live-action version of General Mills’ animated “Underdog” with Jason Lee in the title role… I have to admit I was more than little turned off. Recently however I was checking out the movies of Peter Dinkage from HBO’s fabulous “Game of Thrones” and I saw that he was in it. Then after seeing a pic of him in the role of Underdog arch-villain Simon Barsinister, along with “Seinfeld” supporting cast member Patrick Warburton as his henchman Cad – I was sold. I had to see it, if for nothing else, the inspired casting.

The opening credit sequence showed clips from the cartoons, I had a little more hope but still wasn’t sure. We had to sit through the mandatory origin story, which was interesting as we had never seen it before. I was a little disappointed the hero was linked to the villain as happens so often in movie versions of superhero origins. Although as the movie went on, even with Jason Lee’s annoying voice and voiceovers, there were more and more things that made me smile. It’s not perfect, but they tried real hard.

I would recommend this version of Underdog for the kids on one condition. When it’s over, sit your kids down with the real “Underdog” cartoons, so they know what’s what.

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Pushing Daisies Returns, Briefly

My favorite show and one of the more original TV series in quite some time, “Pushing Daisies,” returns at the end of May, although not for long.

ABC plans to broadcast the final three episodes on May 30th, June 6th and June 13th before pulling the plug on it for good.

Creator Bryan Fuller has dropped hints here and there that the saga may continue on in comic books, but time will tell. Hopefully most of our questions will be answered in these episodes.

Dexter’s Second Coming

It’s a pretty trick for a writer to pull off a hero out of a villain, even more so when it’s a serial killer. And thus it is with Showtime’s “Dexter.”

Michael C. Hall, late of HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” plays Dexter Morgan a blood specialist for the police who is also a serial killer. Taught during childhood by his adopted policeman father to channel his darker urges toward other more deserving serial killers, Dexter easily makes that villain-to-hero leap. It is disconcerting when Dex does do his own serial killer thang, that you suddenly realize you’re rooting for him.

The core of the lesser (or is it better) of two evils comes from the book(s) by Jeff Lindsey – “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” and its sequel “Dexter in the Dark” which I heartily recommend. He’s a complex character who is surrounded by just as intriguing back-up and played by just as talented cast. If you don’t already have Showtime, this is worth getting it for. The second season has just begun, and it trumps the first in just two episodes so far. See it!

Heroes? Not So Much…

People who know I’m into comic books but aren’t into comics themselves will inevitably bring up the TV show “Heroes” to me. They all think I’ll like it, and I do.

Last season “Heroes” was the darling of the the new TV series hitting the air. The premiere jumped out and grabbed and held us tight in its grip for the entire season. This season? Not so much.

The beauty of “Heroes” has been how accessible it’s made the superhero concept to the mainstream. There’s no spandex, there is no mention of the word ‘superhero’ but it has all the things that make the comic book genre what they are today. Like I said, the key word is accessible. I would guess that if an average “Heroes” viewer not into comics could get over the idea of codenames and spandex, they would be addicted to comics.

The show is good, despite stealing many ideas from the best (and worst) comics of recent years, it has remained one of the best series of the past year. Monday’s season premiere was only just all right in my opinion. No big surprises, no big shocks, no real cliffhangers. It was just a continuation of what went before. Even “ER” starts with a bang after a decade on television. Why couldn’t Tim Kring and the folks behind “Heroes” give us just a bit of fireworks?

Oh well, maybe next week…

Simpsons on Screen


The Simpsons Movie ~ This was probably the most anticipated film of the summer, at least in mainstream circles that is. And that anticipation has resulted unfortunately in pre-saturation before the movie is even out.

Other than kids kicking the back of my seat, idiots with cellphones morons who brought their crying infants to the theatre, this was my major complaint. All those cool lines you’ve seen in the previews and commercials? Those are some of the best and spoiled before you even get to the flick.

The bad stuff out of the way, this is a good flick, much better than any big screen adaptation of a TV series should be. It’s much more than just an extended episode – Marge curses, Homer gives the finger and we get to see Bart’s nether regions (and really, haven’t we all been waiting for that?). The plot is a bit weak, Lisa’s love interest subplot goes nowhere and guest star Albert Brooks (listed as ‘A. Brooks’ in the credits) is pretty much wasted in my mind – but after all that I really liked this. If anything it felt too short.

Spider-Pig, the character and the song, absolutely steals the movie. And while I wish that Disco Stu had more to say and do, The Simpsons Movie is still a summer must-see.