Blog Archives

Wednesday Update

Tina Fey is returning to host the season finale of ‘Saturday Night Live.’

No need to bury the lead here. Nor would it be a good idea to bury the creative promo video for the aforementioned comedic writer, actress, and former fake, funny news host (before “fake news” became its own thing not related to comedy).

Like the host herself, the promo seen above is equally informative, entertaining and clever.

On a completely unrelated note, it will be interesting to see what society will be like 20 years down the road. Why this seemingly random observation? While flat-screen tablets and flat digital tabletops exist, when will paper products become flexible touch screens? I ask because the animated promo in the video above is displayed on a horizontal piece of paper by way of a skilled graphics designer. With flexible, roll-up TVs slowly evolving as a consumer product of the future, the natural next step would be other items that roll up…

like a newspaper.

Just look around your house and–like Jim Gaffigan–imagine the initial pitch meeting for these products. Go ahead and laugh out loud. I’ll wait.

Some of our possessions must have been wild to consider and imagine at first. Outside-the-box thinking requires seeing something that would be crazy today, yet normal tomorrow.

Or, in the case of the creative team at ‘Saturday Night Live,’ maybe the secret is thinking animating inside the box rectangle.

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Leaving No Stone Unturned in Yellowstone

Is Yellowstone–the new original TV show from the new Paramount Network–a modern-day version of Dallas with grit, realism, and Kevin Costner?

Sure seems like it.

And that’s ok because, based on the writer, the show will work through and suffer through and eventually settle into something truly memorable and honest.

While it’s impossible to achieve the rating bonanza that Dallas struck during its original run in the ’70s and ’80s, Kevin Costner portraying a rancher in Yellowstone earns comparable marks for casting…thus far. Add in Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham, Luke Grimes and rising star Kelsey Chow for a solid cast.

Time will tell, likely well beyond the first season, as to whether the show lives up to its hype. The gifted writer of acclaimed films with similar dynamics, a cast that supports the star (and then some), plus a part of the country serving as a wide-open setting for wide-open storylines is building up to something wild, yet somehow contained by the skin of everyone’s teeth with that beaten-down, albeit sturdy perimeter fence.

Will Yellowstone ever reach the level of brilliance and relevance of the cinematic western masterpiece Unforgiven? No.

But it can be forgiven for that.

P.S. An unforgettable trip to the perfectly picturesque, snow-covered Yellowstone National Park around 17 years ago sparked immediate intrigue in this show for me, which included snowmobiling around that park. There are wild stakes in that wild country. If the show is anything like my vacation with my dad, his best friend from college and his son, then this should be one hell of a great ride. 

Happy Monday!

It’s not a photo of the first script read-through, as was the case for the 2015 cinematic blockbuster The Force Awakens…

(see below)

star_wars_cast The Force Awakens

(Walt Disney Studios)

but Stranger Things just may be the television-equivalent for science-fiction fans these days regarding its popular ’80s nostalgic experience, which may validate its video release of their first table read for the highly-anticipated third season.

(see below)

The first table reads for The Force Awakens and the forthcoming third season of the Netflix phenomenon was photographed in black and white…three years apart…with no connection between the two aside from shared cultural popularity. Hmm?

Well, that’s a strange thing to see.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

Michael Crichton’s Other Chaos Theory Returns

As Chris Webber would say this time of year: Timeout!

With my tickets safely guarded for tomorrow night’s primetime showing of Ready Player One, a new trailer dropped for one of the best shows on television. With that being said, he’s a brief deviation from this week’s Ready Player One-themed blog posts.

HBO’s Westworld has been adapted by superstar screenwriting husband and wife Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy from the 1973 film written and directed by the late Michael Crichton. The show’s themes, characters, writing, sets–and virtually everything found in this imaginatively pleasing, yet tragically gritty and violently-designed world–enlightens, entertains and challenges its viewers with delightfully surgical precision. And it’s this complex dynamic that is refreshing in the ever-evolving television medium. Add into this the support from the groundbreaking creative services at HBO and saying they’ve got a winner would be a dramatic understatement.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for–in a word–chaos.

(Warning: This is not a PG-rated trailer or show)

Westworld returns to HBO on Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. ET.

In a few more words, season 2 of Westworld looks primed to surpass the revised welcome to Michael Crichton’s other park defined by his other chaos theory in this show’s debut season.

Dr. Ian Malcolm would have a field day…and a shot of whiskey in the saloon with a beautiful host while wearing a black hat.