NBC Universal Media
Television upfronts are upon us. Even though the fall TV season has just barely come to a close, with many shows not returning next year (poor Community), the networks have a new crop of shows ready to premiere later this year. NBC has recently announced its fall lineup, including an interesting mix of comedies and dramas. Here's a preview of NBC's upcoming primetime lineup
A to ZWhat It Is: Single-camera sitcom.What It's About: Andrew (Ben Feldman), a romantic at heart, tries to win the girl of his dreams, Zoey (Cristin Milioti).Who's in It: Ben Feldman, Cristin Milioti. What It Sounds Like: Exactly like How I Met Your Mother. It's so similar it's almost a little shameless. Check this: The male lead is a doe-eyed romantic; the female lead wants nothing to do with relationships; an unseen narrator who is also voiced by an actor best known from a '90s sitcom (Katey Sagal), is recounting the whole story; incredible romantic coincidences aplenty involving particularly colored items. It's madness. But at least they don't share a cast member... oh, wait...How Good It Will Be: It honestly looks like a tepid version of the CBS series, but without any of that show’s subversive charm or quirks.How Long It Will Last: It looks pleasant enough to last through the season, but who wants to watch another eight years of Ted and Robin doing will-they-won’t they.Premiere: Thursdays at 9:30 this fall.
Bad JudgeWhat It Is: Single-camera sitcom.What It's About: Rebecca Wright (Kate Walsh) is a wild party girl who also happens to be L.A.'s toughest criminal judge.Who's In It: Kate Walsh, John Ducey, Tone Bell, Theodore Barnes.What's It Sound Like: A reality show titled Judge Judy: Off the Bench.How Good It Will Be: Judging by the trailer, it seems like the main character’s antics will grow stale after a while. “She’s a high ranking official, yet she’s wildly inappropriate” can only be barely amusing for so long.How Long It Will Last: This looks dead on arrival.Premiere: Thurdays at 9:00 this fall.
The Mysteries of LauraWhat It Is: Cop dramedy. What It's About: Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) is a gifted detective who must balance the excitement of police work with managing her twin boys and a flippant ex-husband.Who's In It: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas.What's It Sound Like: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but with more family drama.How Good Will It Be: It’s hard to tell. The trailer is charming enough and is actually littered with a couple chuckles. How Long Will It Last: We can see this one going the distance.Premiere: Wednesdays at 8:00 this fall.
ConstantineWhat It Is: Supernatural drama.What It's About: Based on DC Comics’ classic series Hellblazer, demon hunter John Constantine travels the country to fight off the forces of hell while looking cool in a trench coat. Who's In It: Matt Ryan, Lucy Griffiths, Harrold Perrineau. What's It Sounds Like: Like Supernatural, with more Brits. How Good Will It Be: The trailer has some genuine creepy moments and looks like a far cry from the Keanu Reeves-centered, sun-drenched L.A. interperatation of the character from 2005’s Constantine. Matt Ryan is a dead ringer for the comic book version, down to the blond hair and british-accented quips. How Long Will It Last: This one has good chances. Even though it’s scheduled for Friday nights, which is usually the death nell for television, NBC’s other supernatural action series, Grimm has improbably managed to survive on the same night. Also, It’s connection to comics will certainly bring in viewers.Premiere: Fridays at 10:00 this fall.
State of AffairsWhat It Is: Drama. What It's About: CIA analyst Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) must decide which international crises need to be brought to the attention of the president. She’s also on a mission to find the people responsible for the murder of her fiancé, who was the president’s son.Who's In It: Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Adam Kaufman. What's It Sound Like: Like Scandal meets Homeland. How Good It Will Be: It looks like a soapy, glossy network version of Homeland, which could be fun, but could also be terrible. How Long It Will Last: NBC found a surprise hit with The Blacklist, and this show looks pretty similar in story. If it can pick up on that show’s audience it will definitely make it through the season.Premiere: November 17 at 10:00.
Marry MeWhat Is It: Single-camera sitcom. What It's About: After six perfect years together, Annie and Jake are ready to get married, but the universe seems to have other plans for them. Who's In It: Ken Marino, Casey Wilson, Sarah Wright, John Gemberling. What's It Sound Like: It’s basically looks like Happy Endings, which makes sense since it’s also from that show’s creator, David Caspe. How Good Will It Be: The cast has some great comedy chops, and the trailer has some goofy laughs here and there. If this show is even half as good as Happy Endings in it’s prime, we’ll be satisfied.How Long Will It Last: NBC is in dire need of some new comedies so we’re betting this one sticks around for a while. Premiere: Tuesday at 9:00 this fall.
AllegianceWhat It Is: Spy drama. What It's About: Alex O’Connor is a young idealistic CIA analyst, but his life comes crashing down when he learns that his parents are deactivated KGB agents who have just been re-enlisted by the Kremlin to commit a terrorist attack against the U.S. Who's In It: Gavin Stenhouse, Scott Cohen, Hope Davis.What's It Sound Like: The Americans, but with fewer wigs and less '80s music. How Good It Will Be: It’ll be hard for this show to compete quality-wise with The Americans, which is probably the most underrated drama on television, since it is mining such similar territory. How Long It Will Last: You only have to look as far as NBC’s Hostages to see that dramas like this don’t tend to do well on the network. If the show is a critical success it good skate on its prestige like Hannibal, but we don’t see this as being terribly successful.Premiere: N/A
AquariusWhat It Is: Period police drama.What It's About: In 1967, L.A. police sergeant Sam Hodiak investigates a cult leader luring young women to his cause. Little does he know that that the guy he’s hunting turns out to be Charles Manson.Who's In It: David Duchovny. What's It Sound Like: Bates Motel, but replace Norman Bates with Charles Manson. How Good Will It Be: It looks like NBC is trying to mine the success (critical success at least) of Hannibal. If this show is even a tenth as good as that, it will be a home run.How Long Will It Last?: Knowing NBC and it’s audience, If this show does make it to the end of the season, it will be one of those shows that’s permanently on the bubble come renewal time.Premiere: N/A
Emerald CityWhat It Is: Fantasy drama.What It's About: A woman investigating the identity of her biological mother gets swept up into a tornado and transported to a twisted vision of magical world of Oz Who's In It: N/A What's It Sound Like: A dark and gritty version of The Wizard of Oz. How Good Will It Be: Judging from recent “Dark” versions of fairy tales (Hanzel and Gretal: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman), we don’t have high hopes. How Long Will It Last: NBC’s recet genre offerings haven’t fared to well, but ABC’s Once Upon a Time shows that there’s certainly an audience for fantasy on network TV.Premiere: N/A
Mission ControlWhat Is It: Single-camera sitcom.What's It About: Dr. Mary Kendricks is a brilliant Aerospace engineer that must survive the boys club of Astronauts in the 1960s. Who's In It: Krysten Ritter, Tommy Dewey, Malcolm Barrett, Johnathan Slavin, Julie Meyer.What's It Sound Like: Mad Men meets Anchorman with some Better Off Ted sprinkled in. How Good Will It Be: Mad Men has found a great amount of drama exploring the old-timey misogyny of the 1960s. A series that can explore the same themes from a comedic lens could be really great.How Long Will It Last: It’s hard to tell. This sounds pretty ambitious from NBC. It doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that people will immediately click with, so Mission Control might not last.Premiere: N/A
Mr. RobinsonWhat It Is: Single-camera sitcom.What's It About: Down on his luck musician Craig Robinson (Craig Robinson... hey, wait a minute...) teaches music to pay the bills, but works harder to inspire his students once he finds out that they’re only taking his class for the easy A.Who's In It: Craig Robinson, Jean Smart.What's It Sound Like: An updated version of Welcome Back Kotter.How Good Will It Be: Craig Robinson is a huge talent, and we’ve been waiting for him to get the chance to carry his own show. Fingers crossed, everybody. How Long Will It Last: Hopefully, old fans of The Office can rally behind this show and help it secure at least a couple of seasons.Premiere: N/A
OdysseyWhat It Is: Multi-camera sitcom. What It's About: A soldier, a corporate lawyer, and a political activist uncover a military-industrial conspiracy involving al Qaeda, the U.S. military, and a U.S. corporation funding the terrorist cell.Who's In It: Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli, Jake Robinson, Jim True-Frost. What's It Sound Like: Traffic with a heaping teaspoon of Homeland.How Good Will It Be: It sounds like an ambitious, international undertaking from NBC. It sounds good, but then again it’s from a director of Grey’s Anatomy. We guess we’ll have to see.How Long Will It Last: Not too long. This doesn’t look like NBC’s usual offerings so it’s hard to think it will last.Premiere: N/A
One Big Happy What Is It: Single-camera sitcom.What's It About: Best friends, Lizzy and Luke decide to start an unorthodox family, but things get crowded when Luke meets and marries the woman of his dreams, Prudence, a british expat scheduled to leave the country. Who's In It: Nick Zano, Elisha Cuthbert, Kelly Brook.What's It Sound Like: A zanier version of Modern Family. How Good Will It Be: It sounds like fun, and Elisha Cuthbert was fantastic in Happy Endings.Premiere: N/A
Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtWhat Is It: Single camera sitcom What’s It About: After 15 years of living in a cult, a woman decides to reinvent her life by moving to New York and taking on the city that never sleeps.Who's In It: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess.What’s It Sound Like: Ugly Betty meets The Office.How Good Will It Be: Ellie Kemper is perpetually delightful, and the idea of a woman readjusting to modern life after living in a cult could lead to some absurd situations. How Long Will It Last: Like Mr. Robinson, fans of the office might give this show a boost at least initially. Were thinking this one will at least finish out it’s season.Premiere: N/A
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Director Nick Stoller's newest flick, Neighbors, is infused with an unhinged, bacchanalian spirit. The film pits a couple just settling into the comforts of family life against an army of rowdy, boozy frat guys that have never met a homeowner association they couldn't piss off. Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, newcomer Jerrod Carmichael and Stoller dish about filming the insane party scenes, the surprising inspirations for the film, and why Rose Bryne's character is totally down to party with the frat bros.
Director Nick Stoller and his cast discuss bringing the film's wild party scenes to life:
Stoller: "I had some practice shooting party stuff for Get Him to the Greek and so I took lessons I learned from that, both the things I liked that I did and the things I didn’t and brought them to this, and from the very beginning, I wanted the movie to feel like a party and to be cool. I am not cool and I don’t go to parties so I did a lot of research and Seth and Evan [Goldberg, the producer] pitched the idea of a black light party and a hothouse party, which were both cool visual ideas. Then I watched a lot of movies that are much cooler than the movies I make, like Enter the Void was a big visual reference for me. Then another movie that weirdly was a big influence - because there’s a dumb heist element to the movie - so I watched Ocean’s 11 and I took apart that movie to see how it was put togethter. There are certain things, like you put the camera low and it makes it feel epic, you hand out cameras to a lot of extras and that makes it feel more epic."
Jerrod Carmichael: "These party scenes had to be a monster to coordinate. It was like 250 extras along with us. You don’t forget all the smoke and these military grade lights we weren’t allowed to stare into. We had to wear protective goggles."
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: "I went to the hospital after we shot five days in the house with just a bunch of smoke. I was in the hospital for like, four hours. Just being a nerd."
The cast on Dave Franco's now-infamous Robert De Niro impersonation scene:
Dave Franco: "I was most anxious about that scene more than any other when I read the script. So from day one, I was trying to perfect the impersonation so I was looking up videos on YouTube and actually watching De Niro movies, and trying to figure out what he does with his face, and I just couldn’t get it. I’m not good with impressions, so literally the night before I just stood in front of the mirror and just physically pushed my face around and it just kinda took form, and then you throw on the mole and the pleated khakis and give me the cat and I’m just following through with it. It hurts, man, when you’re doing it for six hours. Try to do it for like five seconds."
Seth Rogen: "I couldn't stop laughing at Dave Franco... the De Niro face would collapse"Zac Efron: "It wasn't like he was breaking character or giving up, it was like he couldn't sustain it any longer."
The cast discuss how Rose Byrne's character transcends the nagging housewife stereotype:
Rose Byrne: "We wanted to not make her the usual stock female character. You know, the nagging wife in the corner. We tried to make her as irresponsible and irreverent as the rest of the cast."
Franco: "I just love how silly she is and she just goes toe to toe with Seth. She’s not the typical wife in the movie who’s naggy or just getting walked over by the husband. She crushes it."
Mintz-Plasse: "Rose was holding her own more than anybody. She was hilarious in this movie, probably my favorite character."
Nick Stoller chimes in on why there might not be a clear cut winner in the battle between Frat vs. Family.
Stoller: "I don’t like villains in the movies that I make, and I think all of us are on the same page. We didn’t want there to be any villains because it gets boring really quickly if you’re just like “that person’s bad,” then there’s no real lesson for them to learn. What is cool about the movie is that if you’re young, if you’re the age of the frat kids, you take the side of the frat, and if you’re closer to my age, you take the side of the family, so that was the goal. Those kids in the movie are doing what kids are supposed to do, which is party constantly."
Neighbors is in theaters now.
Peggy Carter, the plucky heroine of Marvel's short film Agent Carter, is getting her own series. Talk of a possible Agent Carter TV show has been rumbling around ever since the character's live-action debut in Captain America: The First Avenger and her subsequent solo adventure, but things were made official today with ABC picking up the property for a series order. The past couple of days have been huge for superheroes on television - this week alone saw pickups for Gotham, The Flash, and Agent Carter by different networks - so to help you decide which comic book crusader to catch on the small screen next year, we've outlined all of the upcoming superhero television series currently hurtling their way to your television sets.
Agent CarterPremiere Date: There's no official word, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the series will likely be used as a "bridge" during the second season hiatus of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That would put the premiere date around Spring/Summer 2015.What It's About: Based on the Agent Carter one shot, the series will focus on Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as she begins her legendary career as a spy and works to form the intelligence agency, S.H.I.E.L.D.Will it Be Good? The original one shot was an incredibly fun romp, and the upcoming series already has an impressive cast forming (Atwell is confirmed to star, and Dominic Cooper will possibly reprise his role as Howard Stark). Agent Carter will also likely be able to side step the pitfalls of its sister program, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., since it doesn't have to align as slavishly to the continuity of Marvel's cinematic output. Plus, the show will be run by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, who have proven themselves capable of delivering fun, episodic television from their work on the wonderful, yet sadly short-lived Reaper. We do have some doubts, given ABC's handling of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but Agent Carter looks to be in good shape.
The FlashPremiere Date: Fall 2014What It's About: A spin-off of the CW's wildly sucessful Arrow, The Flash will focus on Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a costumed crimefighter who gains super-speed after being caught in a chemical explosion at S.T.A.R. labs.Will It Be Good? The CW has proven themselves to be quite adept at creating compelling superhero TV. After some early missteps, Arrow has blossomed into a fun, rollicking hour of television with the right mix of action and melodrama. Given that it's a spin-off, the series already has an established universe to take plots, the scarlet speedster should be in capable hands.
GothamPremiere Date: Fall 2014What It's About: Gotham will serve as an origin story for the entire Batman universe. The series will center on a young Det. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) during his first couple of years on the Gotham police force, while also exploring the humble beginnings of several classic Batman characters, including Penguin, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, the Riddler and of course, a young Bruce Wayne.Will It Be Good? Creating a series centered on Batman's city sans Batman is decidedly risky, but there's a lot to like in what we've seen of the series so far. Gotham's first trailer is decidedly moody and the actual depiction of Gotham City - a dark and sprawling metropolis with a ton of secrets hidden in every alleyway - looks just about right, but all the child versions of Batman's iconic rogues gallery does give us pause. It might also suffer from the same problems that have plagued Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's rocky first season, namely being set in a comic book universe without all the cool comic book characters. If the series can weave a compelling and original narrative with the Batman mythos, then we won't miss the caped crusader all that much.
The Netflix Series: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The DefendersPremiere Dates: Sometime in 2015, beginning with Daredevil.What It's About: Netflix is strengthening its original programming output with four original series based on Marvel comics properties. They'll focus on Daredevil, a blind crimefighter with heightened senses; Jessica Jones, a super-powered private investigator; Luke Cage, a super-powered and near-invulnerable hero for hire and Iron Fist, a martial artist endowed with mystical abilities. Finally, all four heroes will come together in The Defenders, an epic mini-series event.Will It Be Good? Much of Netflix's original programming thus far has been pretty great, so it would seem that the streaming service is dedicated to delivering quality material. Also, writer Drew Goddard will serve as showrunner on Daredevil. Goddard has quite an impressive resume, with writing credits on Cloverfield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, Angel, and World War Z, not to mention his work directing Cabin in the Woods. Things are looking good for Marvel and Netflix.
If thinking about NBC's lackluster coverage of the last two Olympics fills you with a deep churning rage, you might as well get used to it because things aren't going to change for a long long while. The network just inked a deal with the International Olympic Committee for coverage of the game through, get this, 2032.
2032! That's a crazy future date! By 2032, Facebook will become self aware, San Francisco will lose its long-standing battle with the San Andreas fault, and the ghost of Steve Jobs will unveil the iPod 47S, which is only marginally better than the iPod 47. In general, things will be very different, which is why it's so surprising that NBC will still be providing their wildly incompetent coverage of the Olympics 18 years from now. Who knows if TV will still be a thing in 2032? NBC will probably be beaming curling and old episodes of Law and Order: SVU right into our brain folds by then.
So when can we actually expect a competently presented Olympics not presented by NBC, one that isn't full of tape delayed events, truncated closing ceremonies, and chatty presenters taking pot shots at other countries? Well, all these things have to happen first.
2015: Marty McFly travels back to the future in Back to the Future Part II. So we're definitely getting those Nikes and hoverboards next year, right?
2016: The world is supposed to end on February 16th of this year according to that one crazy lady in Ghostbusters.
2018: Forget soccer! Rollerball becomes the world's most popular sport.
2019: Richard Deckard battles replicants in Blade Runner.
2020: Christian Bale and a bald Matthew McConaughey fight for humanity in the middle of a dragon apocalypse in Reign of Fire.
2022: We turn poor people into yummy bite-size crackers in Soylent Green.
2025: Humanity uses giant Jaegers to fight against Kaiju in Pacific Rim.
2029: The T-1000 is sent into the past to kill Sarah Connor in Terminator.
2030: Ted tells his kids how he me their mother. The story takes a while.
2032: Sgt. John Spartan ponders the mystery of the three sea shells in Demolition Man.
ABC Television Network
Mission BriefingCoulson's team has been sent off the grid, but they're not out for the count yet. The team decides to track down Garrett and Ward through Cybertek, a technology company that has repeadedly appeared in the team's dealings with The Clairvoyant and HYDRA. Meanwhile, we get flashbacks to Ward's past, detailing his history with Garrett and his initation into HYDRA.
Mission FalloutAfter a drug kingpin with known ties to HYDRA is murdered by Deathlok, the team wonders what the connection is to Garrett and HYDRA. Coulson discovers that all of their run-ins with Deathlok, Ian Quinn, John Garrett, and the Centipede project all route back to one central point: Cybertek, the tech company that built Deathlok. Luckily, Cybertek has a public office in sunny Palo Alto, so the team decides to infiltrate the office posing as former S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists on a job interview. Tripp unveils an old suitcase full of vintage WWII-era spy gear that the team can use on their mission.
The present day action is intercut with flashbacks to Ward's past with Garrett. Fifteen years ago, Ward was a troubled teenager serving a stint in juvie for burning down his old house and nearly killing his older brother, which may or may not have been his intention. A younger agent Garrett shows up and offers him an ultimatum: train and become an agent of a secret organization, or spend the rest of his life in jail. Ward takes Garrett up on his offer, and the two break out of the facility. Garrett takes Ward to a secluded forest and leaves him there, seeing if Ward has the mettle to become an agent of Hydra.
Back in the present, May and Coulson go undercover inside Cybertek. They manage to sneak into Cybertek's mainframe, but discover that the company only uses hard copies of files. Coulson and May find files on the Deathlok project, which reveal that Garrett was the original Deathlok. His body was partially rebuilt after an explosion fatally injures him. Coulson jettisons the files out of a window, and the team escapes the facility. The file reveals that Garrett needs the GH-325 serum to repair his body since it's starting to reject the aging cybernetic implants, and help bolster his centipede soldiers.
On the captured bus, Raina begins synthesizing a new batch of GH-235 from the information stolen off of Skye's hard drive. Garrett suddenly becomes ill, and reveals that he only he only has a month left to live unless Raina can successfully recreate the serum. The team manages to track down Garrett and Ward in Cuba, and specifically, to a barber shop that has quite a suspicious amount of electronic activity radiating from its basement. Elsewhere, Fitz and Simmons track down the bus but are captured by Ward. Once on the plane, Fitz gravely injures Garrett with one of Tripp's gadgets, and Garrett tells Ward to kill the two agents before he dies. Ward finds Fitz and Simmons, who have locked themselves into a containment room on the plane. Fitz pleads with Ward to help them, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Ward jettisons the containment room out of the plane and into the ocean. There's no turning back for Ward now. In a last ditch effort to save Garrett, Rayna injects Garrett with an early version of the GH-235 serum, which appears to heal him. While scoping out the basement of the barbershop, Coulson and the other agents run into centipede soldiers armed with stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry.
Most Valuable Agent AwardThis weeks MVA award goes to Tripplet for dusting off all of his Grandad's Howling Commando stuff. It all sure came in handy during the mission, but it also gave Coulson a chance to let his geek flag fly.
Mission Highlights- "Get ready for a large file transfer."- "I want my plane back."- Ward: "Give me one reason not to blow your head off." / Garrett: "I brought Tacos?" - Next week is the long-awaited season finale. Hopefully, we finally get some answers about Skye's parentage.
Billy Eichner, the incurably loud host of Billy on the Street, is starring in his own scripted comedy on the USA network (via The Hollywood Reporter). The show, titled Difficult People (produced by Amy Peohler), will star Eichner and longtime writing partner Julie Klausner as two frustrated comedians living in New York who come to hate everything around them, except each other.
We've long hoped that the impeccably talented Billy Eichner would get his own starring role. Some might say that his Billy Eichner is a one trick pony, but that would be denying his incredible talents. As you should already know, Eichner is the Sir Laurence Olivier of accosting strangers on busy Manhattan avenues. Call it street theater if you will, with the packed grids of New York City serving as his stage. The actor has an incredible amount of range and depth in his work. He's a master class of subtlety, grace, and screaming. We've collected several clips that show Eichner in his element, finding and exploiting the finest nuances of acting, and blowing out the tri-state area's collective eardrum.
Here, Eichner displays subtle feelings of despair when bellowing about Disney's mistreatment of Ratatouille:
Here, Eichner accesses his deep vulnerability when screaming at New Yorkers about Paul Rudd:
Here, Eichner channels the quiet intensity of Robert Redford as he yells why Barry's speed drawing looks like "Noodle Hitler":
This clip featuring Amy Poehler exhibits Eichner's debilitating fears about the commercialization of Christmas:
Here, Billy intellectually ruminates on race relations in America by demanding that people name three white women:
Finally, Bill Eichner show strength and perseverance while screaming about the evils of Rachael Ray:
See? We're gearing up for some quality TV.
Initially, we were excited to see a live-action Gotham show that plunged into the backstory of a young Jim Gordon the way so many classic Batman storylines have done in the comics. One that profiled the once great city before it descended into a horrific cavalcade of carnival freaks and madmen, where regular police work wasn't enough to keep the new breed of super-criminals at bay. Really, a Gotham series works on paper as an intriguing police procedural with just a smidgen of comic book camp... but actually seeing the show in action gives us pause. While there's a lot to love in the first trailer for Gotham — the city itself looks great, like a mix of modern buildings and rusted-out architecture that's seen better days — there's also a lot that has us skeptical. Namely, the focus on all of the kid villains.
It makes sense for Gotham to tell a long-form origin story of Jim Gordon, a career policeman at the very start of his duties at the detective desk, but do we need to see child versions of all of Batman's foes. It seems like the show just couldn't resist crowbarring in Batman and his rogue's gallery where they really don't belong, as if the audience wouldn't be interested in the show otherwise. Here, we're getting, ridiculous looking versions of The Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy, not to mention Bruce Wayne himself. Frankly, it just looks silly.
Gotham's version of Selina Kyle looks to be about 13, and she's already traipsing between buildings, a budding master thief. Did she just come back from a heist called "The Great Juice-Box Caper?" Of course the one shot of Poison Ivy in the trailer shows a disheveled girl watering plants... and obviously we have to show the future Penguin touting an umbrella. It all seems so contrived, so painfully on the nose, like the show just can't stop winking at us to see if you got all the hints. What's next? Is the Joker going to show up as a unhinged 10-year-old who devotedly follows the Insane Clown Posse?
Obviously, a two-minute trailer is a very poor indication of how Gotham will eventually take form this fall, but it looks like the show might be trying too hard to inter-connect all of these child versions of the villains in a way that might seriously strain our ability to suspend disbelief. We're not saying Gotham shouldn't feature popular characters from the comics, to weave its own history out of our favorite characters, but ridiculous, grade school versions of the characters isn't the way to do it.
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20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Nearly 10 years after meeting on the set of 2005's romantic spy thriller Mr. and Ms. Smith, Hollywood's foremost power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are set to team up once again. The duo is set to appear in a film written by Jolie herself, though it is still unkown whether she will also be directing the project. Jolie has written the war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, and recently helmmed the WWII drama Unbroken, which is scheduled to be released this year.
While Brangelina is still the most prolific coupling in Hollywood, there's steady competition ready to take their crown. Other married Hollywood couples have proved to be just a successful over the years. So which romantic duo has had the most post-nuptial success, and which couples should have steered clear from the altar for the sake of their careers?
Brad Pitt and Angelina JolieTogether Since: 2005Post-Marriage Success: While they were successful apart, the union of these two Hollywood heavyweights has bolstered both of their careers. Since getting together with Jolie, Pitt silenced doubters with staring roles in Inglorious Basterds, The Assassination of Jesse James, Moneyball and the zombie blockbuster World War Z, and capped off the casino caper trilogy Ocean's Thirteen. Additionally, he has produced the Academy Award winner 12 Years a Slave. Jolie has also had a prosperous career since marriage, starring in films like Salt, Changeling, Kung Fu Panda, and the upcoming Maleficent.
Jennifer Garner and Ben AffleckTogether Since: 2005Post-Marriage Success: After about a decade of jeering due to a string of failures like Gigli and Daredevil, Ben Affleck has had nothing short of a career renaissance, showing his true skills lay in directing. Affleck directed a trio of well-received thrillers, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo, that won heaps of critical praise, netting the director his first Oscar for directing. Jennifer Garner, on the other hand, has cooled off career-wise since her marriage to Ben, starring in forgettable fodder like Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past, The Invention of Lying, and Arthur. She did have a prominent role in Dallas Buyers Club that won her critical praise and very mild awards buzz.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake LivelyTogether Since: 2012Post-Marriage Success: Despite his charm and leading man looks, Ryan's career struggles have followed him into married life. The actor has floundered in gargantuan summertime flops like The Change-up and Green Lantern, with last year's R.I.P.D. being his latest blockbuster misfire. Blake Lively has been mostly quiet since getting hitched. She starred in the forgettable crime-film, Savages and her star-making television show, Gossip Girl, wrapped up it's run.
Javier Bardem and Penelope CruzTogether Since: 2010Post-Marriage Success: Post-marriage and post No Country for Old Men, life has been good for Bardem. The actor won raves for his role in Biutiful, and played the best Bond villain in recent memory in Skyfall. Penelope Cruz has been no slouch either. The actress reunited with Woody Allen in To Rome with Love, and co-starred with her husband in The Counselor, though were still not sure what to think of Ridley Scott's latest.
Daniel Craig and Rachel WeiszTogether Since: 2011Post-Marriage Success: Craig's star power is as strong as ever. The actor's brutish and vulnerable version of Agent 007 continues to give the Bond saga a renewed sense of urgency. Beyond spying, Craig also put in great work into David Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Rachel Weisz on the other hand, has had a mixed couple of years since 2011. she starred in the acclaimed spy mini-series Page Eight, but also in the largely forgettable Borne quasi-reboot, The Borne Legacy. She was also in Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful, a film that failed to capture the magic of the original.
Chris Pratt and Anna FarisTogether Since: 2009Post-Marriage Success: It's hard to think of anyone in Hollywood that's had a more diverse couple of years than Chris Pratt. The actor went from playing schlubby goof ball Andy Dwyer on NBC's Parks and Recreation to playing a fit baseball player in Moneyball and a gung-ho Navy Seal in Zero Dark Thirty. He also appeared in Spike Jonze's fantastic Her and had the starring role in The Lego Movie. Finally, the actor is set to star in the upcoming blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. Wife, Anna Faris hasn't enjoyed the same insane career trajectory, but who can blame her. Since 2009, she has stared in The Dictator, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-SmithTogether Since: 1997Post-Marriage Success: Smith's reign as the king of summer was still in full effect in back in 1997. The actor closed out the 90's with films like Men in Black, Enemy of the State, and Wild Wild West, all Box-office hits. Since then however, the actor has been pretty hit or miss. For every Bad Boys II or Hitch, we'd get a Seven Pounds or Hancock. As strange as it is to say, Jada arguably had a better 2000's than her husband. She starred in the two Matrix sequels, the Madagascar films, and the Tom Cruise actioner, Collateral. Recently however, both seem more interested in creating careers for their children, rather than improving the state of their own careers.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Throughout his career, James Cameron has explored the verdant valleys of Pandora and the post-apocalyptic streets of Los Angeles, but his next adventure might take place somewhere that's a little more familiar. Cameron has commissioned scribe David S. Goyer to write a treatment for a remake of the 1966 classic, Fantastic Voyage. In the original film, a group of scientists miniaturize themselves and enter the body of a fellow scientist to remove a blood clot from his brain, but they only have an hour to do so before the process reverses itself and un-shrinnks them. If you've spent a single Saturday morning watching cartoons over the past 30 years, that plot should sound terribly familiar. Every cartoon worth its salt had done at least one Fantastic Voyage parody episode (some have done several, in fact). It's almost a rite of passage. Flinging through the leaky canals of the body and dodging over-eager immune systems is material that's just begging to be animated. We've decided to collect some of our favorite Fantastic Voyage cartoon parodies from over the years.
The Magic School BusEpisode: "For Lunch," "Inside Ralphie," "Goes Cellular," "Works Out," and "Makes a Stink."Ms. Frizzle has taken her class on many field trips spelunking through the human body. Arnold, Ralphie, Janet, and even Ms. Frizzle herself have turned into the subject of a field trip in various episodes.
Captain Planet and the PlaneteersEpisode: "An Inside Job"The planeteers shrink themselves in order to battle microbes inside Kwame.
The SimpsonsEpisode: "Treehouse of Horror XV"The Simpsons clan go after Maggie after she is accidentally ingested by Mr. Burns.
FuturamaEpisode: "Parasites Lost"After Fry eats a disgustingly old egg salad sandwich, Professor Farnsworth make miniature robotic version of themselves to ward off an infestation of super smart parasites.
Family GuyEpisode: "Emission Impossible"Stewie infiltrates Peter's body in order to stop his parents from having another child.
Dexter’s LaboratoryEpisode:"Fantastic Boyage"Dexter tries to enter Dee Dee's body to find the cure of the common cold, but he ends up inside the dog by mistake.
Phineas and FerbEpisode: "Journey to the Center of Candace"In a reverse of the Dexter's Laboratory plot, Phineas and Ferb try to enter the body of a dog, but accidentally end up in the body of their sister.
Pinky and the BrainEpisode: "Brainwashed Part 1: Brain, Brain Go Away"Pinky and the Brain shrink themselves in order to foil an evil plot, but get eaten by the wrong guy.
Batman: The Brave and the BoldEpisode: "Journey to the Center of the Bat"After Batman is struck down with a mysterious disease, the Atom and Aquaman shrink themselves to combat the illness.
Rick and MortyEpisode: "Anatomy Park"Morty creates a Jurassic Park-style amusement park inside the body of the homeless man. He shrinks Morty and himself to save his creation once the homeless man starts to die.
The Fairly Odd ParentsEpisode: "Tiny Timmy"Wanda and Cosmo shrink Timmy so they can explore the body of his evil babysitter, Vicky. Vicky's body soon starts attacking the foreign invaders.
Spongebob SquarepantsEpisode: "Squidtastic Voyage"With the help of Sandy, Patrick and Spongebob use a shrinking submarine to enter Squidward's body and retrieve a clarinet reed.
Regular ShowEpisode: "Cool Cubed"Mordecai and Rigby travel inside Thomas to thaw his brain out after a slushie gives him a vicious brain-freeze.
ArthurEpisode: "Buster's Breathless"Buster gives his friends a tour of his body so they can learn about asthma.
RugratsEpisode: "The Inside Story"The babies travel inside Chucky after he swallows a watermelon seed, thinking a watermelon will grow inside the toddlers stomach.
Osmosis JonesThis film is basically one long Fantastic Voyage parody. White blood cell/detective Osmosis Jones and his cold pill partner Drix battle a malicious virus inside the moist caverns of Bill Murray. The film also spawned a spin-off television series.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
For a second there, Better Call Saul was looking like a big excuse for a Breaking Bad reunion.
The upcoming spin-off to the smash television drama has done well to fill its ranks with already familiar faces, but we had yet to see what Better Call Saul has to offer in terms of original characters. Both Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks are set to reprise their roles for the show, and even Aaron Paul has announced he was in serious talks with creator Vince Gilligan about returning for a guest appearance.
While another season of Breaking Bad wouldn’t be entirely unwelcome, we were eager to see some new faces fill out the free spaces in Saul Goodman’s skeezy legal drama. Thankfully, actor Michael McKean has just been tapped to add some new blood to the cast. The actor, famous for playing David St. Hubbins in the classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, and a role on the classic sitcom Laverne and Shirley, is set to co-star as Dr. Thurber, a talented lawyer who is hampered by a debilitating medical condition.
If McKean’s role gives you a faint sense of déjà vu, you’re not alone. Dr. Thurber’s story, from the scant few details we know about the character, sounds suspiciously similar to a certain meth kingpin's. Thurber is a gifted lawyer who becomes sick with a strange ailment, while Breaking Bad's Walter White is a gifted chemist who learns that he has lung cancer. Both stories are about smart men whose lives are permanently altered by disease, and in the same way that Walt’s lung cancer sparked a desperate need for recognition inside Walt, whatever affliction is affecting Thurber will likely spark similar feelings of desperation.
There’s narrative power in desperation. It’s a strong, base, human desire, and it fueled some of Breaking Bad’s best stories. You could even make the case that desperation was the most resonant theme in the entire series. Walt’s burgeoning career as a drug dealer started in a desperate attempt to provide for his family before the cancer withered him away, a feat he couldn't possibly manage with the humble earnings of a high school chemistry teacher. Even when Walt's motives changed, and creating meth stopped being a sacrificial act for his family and twisted itself something more prideful, greedy, selfish, and ugly, he was a man still driven by desperation. Walt became a man with a desperate need to be the best, to eliminate his competition, and to create the best product the world had ever seen. He not only wanted fame, but infamy. He was desperate to be somebody after an eternity of feeling like the world's most gifted doormat.
Since McKean's character will likely have similar circumstances surrounding his character, we hope that Vince Gilligan is able to mine the same amounts of depth from this new character of his. November can't come soon enough.