ABC Television Network
It's been a rough year for freshmen comedies. Despite critical raves, loyal-but-tiny fanbases, and heavily orchestrated Twitter campaigns, we lost a lot of potentially great series this year. Trophy Wife showed us a new kind of TV family, but may have been crippled by its ironic title from the start. Enlisted won the hearts of its few viewers and the support of the U.S. military, but couldn't overcome a weak timeslot and wonky scheduling. And despite an A-list star in Robin Williams, advertising comedy The Crazy Ones never found its audience. But while we've had to say our farewells to these shows, we don't have to wave goodbye forever to the comic talents they introduced us to. Here are a few of this season's breakout stars who we know have illustrious careers in their future.
Parker Young, Enlisted
We're always surprised to find that someone so chiseled can be as funny as Parker Young is in Enlisted's first and only season. As sweet and sincere baby brother Randy, Young tempered the swagger and sarcasm of older siblings Pete and Derrick and brought some serious heart to the show. Before booking the military comedy and a role on the slightly longer lasting but also canceled Suburgatory, the actor's credits consisted of guest spots here and there and — obviously — several modeling gigs. Now that the world knows he's not just a pretty face, we're hoping for big things from Parker.
Albert Tsai and Michaela Watkins, Trophy Wife
If Trophy Wife left us with one gift, it was that of little Albert Tsai, who has the timing aspiring comics would chop arms off for. Bert worked in conjunction with any and every other character on that show, but we're especially fond of his scenes with loopy mom Jackie. Michaela Watkins isn't exactly a Hollywood newbie, but Trophy Wife reintroduced her to some viewers who hadn't seen her regularly since her single season as a SNL cast member. Watkins got to deliver some of the show's finest one liners ("Wait. Robert Downey had a son?") and we're dying to see her back on our TVs soon.
James Wolk and Hamish Linklater, The Crazy Ones
Wolk is no stranger to Mad Men fans, who know him as the mysterious (and, as of late, heartbreaking) Bob Benson. And Linklater is a veteran stage actor who also played a significant role in The Newsroom's second season. But The Crazy Ones got us to fall in love with the two of them together, and we just can't let go. Zach Cropper and Andrew Keanelly — or Zandrew, if you will — had a bromance that, given time, would have rivaled that of even Turk and J.D. Wolk and Linklater are both skilled actors in their own right, but we can no longer imagine them apart. Thanks, CBS.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
"I developed it with James Watkins who directed The Woman In Black, and we call it the Fassbender test. If you're ever being asked to do anything, you just ask yourself a question: 'Would Michael Fassbender do it?' This referred to a moment when I was being asked to do something a bit more corporate than I'd ever done before, and it came down to the Fassbender test, and we thought he wouldn't do it. It's a pretty good test for a lot of young actors." Daniel Radcliffe uses fellow actor Michael Fassbender as a guide for his own career.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is lacing up his running shoes after signing on to play British Olympian Sebastian Coe in a new biopic. The young actor will portray Coe, now a Lord, in a film about the running man's track rivalry with fellow British athlete Steve Ovett.
Radcliffe will reteam with his Woman in Black director James Watkins for the project, titled Gold.
Producers are still casting the actor who will portray Ovett in the film, which is being adapted from Pat Butcher's book The Perfect Distance by Slumdog Millionaire Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy.
The filmmaker recently told the BBC he's thoroughly enjoying researching Coe and Ovett's rivalry: "I hadn't realised how good it was until you dig into their past. They were fantastically different athletes and different people. And they rarely met... apart from on the track."
Filming is scheduled to begin in the U.K. and Russia next spring (Apr13).
Get ready to see Harry Potter wearing a lot of short shorts. In a presumed attempt to further his distance from The Boy Who Lived, Daniel Radcliffe is set to play the Olympic athlete Sebastian Coe in the British sports drama Gold, according to Deadline.
The film will follow the rivalry between middle-distance runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett leading up to the 1980 Moscow games, where Coe and Ovett both took home gold for the race that the other was favorited to win. (Who else is super excited to see a whole lot of Radcliffe running for victory in tiny shorts while his hair flaps in the wind? Oh... just us then?).
Gold will reunite Radcliffe with James Watkins, who directed the actor in The Woman in Black. Simon Beaufoy (How to Train Your Dragon) will be penning the script that's based on Pat Butcher's book The Perfect Distance.
Filming is expected to begin in the UK and Russia in April 2014.
Steve Jobs, for better or worse, made us all Internet and technology junkies. We use them for everything, up to and including making 80-minute online movies with a script entirely based off of Wikipedia entries and Google searches.
iSteve, the first full-length feature from Funny or Die, features Justin Long as Jobs himself and Jorge Garcia as Steve Wozniak. But before you go thinking this is a precursor to the upcoming Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs movie jObs, fair warning: iSteve's writer and director Ryan Perez (Saturday Night Live) told FastCoCreate.com they he only used Internet sources ("We couldn’t buy a paperback version of [Walter Isaacson’s] book; it’s not in our budget") and that "Almost nothing that you see that’s based on a true story feels like a true story." He added, "This movie takes a lot of dramatic license, but does it take as much dramatic license as Liz and Dick on Lifetime with Lindsay Lohan? I honestly don't know."
That doesn't mean the stars don't take their roles seriously, no matter how silly or inaccurate the source material may be. ("A turtleneck would make Steve look like he's from the future!" is something one character cries and at one point Long comes face to face with an actor who is playing Justin Long in those memorable Apple commercials). Plus, if you do know the story of Jobs and the rise of the Apple empire, you'll likely find the movie funnier than most. iSteve debuted on Funny or Die on Tuesday, April 15 (Hollywood.com's Matt Patches will have a full review later), and you can watch the whole movie, — which also features James Urbaniak as Bill Gates and Michaela Watkins as Melinda Gates — here.
More: 'iSteve' Trailer: Is Funny or Die's Steve Jobs Movie More Than Just a Spoof? Ashton Kutcher Looks Mighty Creepy as Steve Jobs Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs: Why It Could Be Great
From Our Partners:Eva Longoria Bikinis on Spring Break (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
In the race to produce the first and/or best Steve Jobs biopic, the strangest incarnation has just revealed its first sneak peek. Funny or Die's iSteve, a full-length feature starring former Apple pitchman Justin Long that took three days to write, five to shoot, and amounts to almost 75 minutes in length, released its first teaser trailer online. Watch the footage below:
Though the actual footage of the film is minimal, the message of the trailer seems to fit in with the idea of Jobs himself (calling himself a legend, declaring "I am Apple!"). But is this movie merely a spoof, or something more substantial?
RELATED: Justin Long to Play Steve Jobs in Third Biopic
This is the third Jobs biopic in production at the moment: first came Aaron Sorkin's still-in-development hightly anticipated film, and then came the Ashton Kutcher-starring independent film jOBS. Check out a clip from jOBS to compare to the spoof iSteve:
Which Jobs biopic are you most excited to see? iSteve, also starring Lost's Jorge Garcia as Steve "Woz" Wozniak, and James Urbaniak and Michaela Watkins and Bill and Melinda Gates, will be released online at FunnyorDie.com on April 15.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Funny or Die]
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
We understand film studios grasping for the rights to the story of recently deceased, hotly discussed iconic figures — a category into which Steve Jobs fits quite neatly. So we weren't shocked when biopic projects about the Apple founder began to multiply: first, there was the sure-to-snag-a-trophy Aaron Sorkin picture, still in development. Then, Ashton Kutcher's independent starrer, which just lost its hold on an April release date (and has been delayed indefinitely). And now, the third and strangest incarnation: Funny or Die — you know, the website with the 5-year-old landlady and the Don Cheadle Captain Planet — is producing its own feature length film about Jobs titled iSteve, with Justin Long playing the lead role.
RELATED: Aaron Sorkin's Entire Steve Jobs Biopic Will Be "Just Three Scenes"
Entertainment Weekly reports that Long, whose Apple roots date back to that string of "I'm a Mac, I'm a P.C." commercials, will play Jobs in a film that took three days to write, five to shoot, and amounts to almost 75 minutes in length. So, you know, a sure-fire rival for Sorkin's piece.
RELATED: 'jOBS' Is Like an Adaptation of Apple's Wiki Page, But Kutcher Sells It
Alongside the star, we'll see Lost's Jorge Garcia taking the role of Steve "Woz" Wozniak, and James Urbaniak and Michaela Watkins and Bill and Melinda Gates. The film was written and directed, in the loosest definitions of the words, by Ryan Perez (Saturday Night Live), who admits to EW that the movie is "not based on very thorough research," calling it, "essentially a cursory look at the Steve Jobs Wikipedia page." So, you know, a sure-fire rival for Kutcher's movie.
iSteve will premiere online on Apr. 15.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeter
[Photo Credit: YouTube]
You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
We all have guilty pleasures. For some of us, it’s HGTV’s do-it-yourself home improvement shows. For others, it’s marathoning sitcoms like Arrested Development or Modern Family on online sites like Netflix from the comfort of our beds. And still for others, it’s the romantic entanglements found in old soap operas that keep us replaying them time after time. Well, earlier this year, Prospect Park’s The Online Network revealed that they would be rebooting two of our most loved soaps: All My Children and One Life to Live. And Wednesday, the network announced all of the cast members participating in both shows.
For All My Children, the following stars have been announced as members of the cast: Sal Stowers as Cassandra Foster, Eric Nelson as AJ Chandler, Denyse Tontz as Miranda Montgomery, Jordan Lane Price as Celia Fitzgerald, Ryan Bittle as JR Chandler, Eden Riegel as Bianca Montgomery, Cady McClain as Dixie Cooney, Ray MacDonnell as Dr. Joe Martin, David Canary as Adam Chandler, Heather Roop as Jane McIntyre, and Francesca James as Evelyn Johnson. Previously announced members include Darnell Williams as Jesse Hubbard, Debbi Morgan as Dr. Angela Hubbard, Vincent Irizarry as Dr. David Hayward, Lindsay Hartley as Cara Martin, Jordi Vilasuso as Griffin Castillo, Jill Larson as Opal Cortlandt, and Thorsten Kaye as Zach Slater.
RELATED: F**k You, Time Warner And Your DVRs That Don't Work
And this is who you can expect to see on One Life to Live: Robert Gorrie as Matthew Buchanan and Laura Harrier as Destiny Evans. These stars join the previously announced members (Erika Slezak as Victoria Lord Buchanan, Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord, Tuc Watkins as David Vickers, Robert S. Woods as Bo Buchanan, Kassie DePaiva as Blair Cramer, Jerry verDorn as Clint Buchanan, Florencia Lozano as Tea Delgado, Melissa Archer as Natalie Buchanan Banks, Hillary B. Smith as Nora Buchanan, Kelley Missal as Danielle Manning, Josh Kelly as Cutter Wentworth, and Andrew Trischitta as Jack Manning). Recurring actors include: Sean Ringgold as Shaun Evans, Shenaz Treasury as Rama Patel, and Nick Choksi as Vimal Patel.
New 30-minute episodes of both series will be launching each day of the week on Hulu.com, where content generally can be viewed for free. The episodes will also be available on iTunes.
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: ABC]
From Our Partners:25 Most Scandalous Celeb Twitpics (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Anchored by the fact that the demise of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes has provided the most consistent source of sadness for me over the course of the past decade, I approach the developing TLC movie with apprehension. The VH1 film has sat dormant in the works for quite some time, first gracing the pop culture conscious in 2011 — three years after remaining members Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins revived the R&B band as a two-man operation. Vulture announces now that the music television network is picking up speed, casting a musician and two musician-actresses to play the iconic 1990s trio: Lil Mama, Keke Palmer, and Step Up star Drew Sidora.
RELATED: Paul Dano to Star in Brian Wilson Biopic
It might raise concerns that Lil Mama — while perhaps the biggest name on the cast list, is also the only of the three without any acting credits to her name — has been handed the role of Left Eye, who will ostensibly play the focal point of the movie's narration. Having lost her life tragically in a car accident at the age of 30, the drama and sorrow of Left Eye's story is likely to command the most attention from VH1's writing staff. As such, music artist and America's best Dance Crew judge Lil Mama, born Naitia Kirkland, will be exhibiting a brand new form of artistic express in this film, and in large doses.
Palmer, on the other hand, has been tested duly in the cinematic. Owning the title role in Akeelah and the Bee, recurring in Tyler Perry's madea franchise, and headlining the sitcom True Jackson, we'll be investing a tad more confidence in the actress' capabilities in handling singer Chilli. The lesser known Sidora also has a slew of big and small screen roles to her name, most notably on That's So Raven and in films like Step Up and Wild Hogs.
RELATED: Mick Jagger, Brian Grazer Producing James Brown Biopic
Call us cynical, but this is a few rungs shy of an dream cast. While we must keep in mind that a VH1 movie is likely to split its time evenly between acting and singing, we'd still like a big screen-caliber production when handling the story of TLC. This isn't just any nostalgic pop band we're talking about — people love the hell out of TLC. Nobody born before 1993 has managed to get through life without being part of a highway sing-along to "No Scrubs." Nobody can resist a slow, rhythmic head-bob and soulful pantomime when "Waterfalls" hits the radio waves. And nobody can think about the dynamic trio without sighing wistfully, at least a bit.
Still, we have hope. This might not be gearing up to be the musical biopic of the decade, but we're excited to see what the impassioned forces at work have in store for our beloved TLC.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.
[Photo Credit: Wenn]
From Our Partners:Bradley Cooper Dancing Is Surprisingly Awkward, Sweaty (Vh1)Kate Upton Bares All in Nothing But Body Paint: Video (Celebuzz)