Ash Is Back, Baby
Starz is a network that gets looked over constantly, even when they’re producing some of the most exciting stuff on TV. They’re no HBO or Showtime for original programming, it’s true, but I thought Magic City was an underrated gem, Party Down was great, and every middle-aged woman I know swears by Outlander. Indeed it seems the low man on the premium channel totem pole is starting to come up.
Well, strap on your boomsticks and get ready for gore. Ash vs. The Evil Dead got its first teaser on the web over the weekend, and though it didn’t show much of the iconic hero (being played once again by the inimitable Bruce Campbell) it was just enough to get the juices flowing. Fans of the source material, Evil Dead 1 & 2 and Army of Darkness, like myself, remain cautiously ____imistic, and judgement will be reserved until the show premieres this fall.
Be Careful What You Wish for
See, this is what worries me about us always getting what we want now because of the evolving nature of TV production and content delivery: first it’s Arrested Development getting resurrected, then you have Veronica Mars, Evil Dead, Firefly, Boy Meets World, and of course, the most heinous affront to remakes of them all, Fuller House. Diminishing returns are setting in, it seems…
Bob Saget has now officially joined (or rather re-joined) the cast of the Netflix revival of the beloved and piss terrible 80s to 90s sitcom Full House, which introduced us to the following harbingers of the apocalypse: the Olsen Twins, Candace Cameron-Bure, and Dave Coulier. Some of you will be greeting this news with bemusement, while those of us with some more perspective and clarity are rending our clothes and shaking our fists at the heavens.
Wait, So Is Winter Finally Here?
Don’t ask me, I didn’t read the books. As you all well know at this point (spoiler alert for maybe seven people on the planet), last week on Game of Thrones, the zombie hordes we’ve been getting a drip feed of for four seasons finally made contact, hitting a wildling village with all the fury of the cast of 28 Days Later on an Adderall binge.
As someone who has frequently complained in the past that the show was boring me and that I was getting impatient for the White Walkers to start marauding, I now see the folly of my impatience. I got bored of an unsexy, slow-moving version of Lord of the Rings mixed with King Lear, and now I’ve got a slow-moving and unsexy version of Lord of the Rings mixed with The Walking Dead.
Rise of the Miniseries
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which premiered two weeks ago in England and will come stateside in July, is a glimpse of what is to come on TV in the states. The future is in tight miniseries adaptations of popular novels, rather than open-ended productions that attempt to artificially keep themselves alive or end based on the ratings.
Strange, based on the novel by Susannah Clarke, is an eight-part miniseries that will not see a second season no matter how gripping and fun it is. This is something US audiences tend to have a hard time with. Once we see something we like, we want more of it.
The problem is that as a show gets more and more successful, the budget inflates, as actors become more popular. Soon a show that could return mid- to upper-level ratings gets sunk under the weight of its own budget. This is to say nothing of the quality slowly deteriorating as certain elements lose their pop and fizzle.
What’s more, miniseries can be produced on smaller budgets by smaller production houses, and thus we get more content. Instead of 30 seasons of Castle, what about a single-season miniseries adaptation of a great crime novel? The future is here, boobtubers.
Enjoy, but learn to let go.
by Ygal Kaufman