Category Archives: TV

Little Evil — Official Trailer

All I know—all I need to know—is that Little Evil was written and directed by Eli Craig, who wrote and directed the delightful 2010 horror comedy movie, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, which had great and gory fun tweaking the old “inbred backwoodsmen terrorize innocent young adults” trope. Looks like here he’s taking on The Omen’s Damien, and the countless other Spawn of Satan urchins who followed in his path.

Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly star.

It’s coming to Netflix on 1 September 2017.

The Crown — Season 2 Teaser

A Christmas gift from Netflix to all of us Anglophiles: The Crown returns on 8 December 2017.

It looks like we’re jumping ahead to the early 1960s by the end of Season 2, which is good news, since Season 1 often felt like it was taking place in real-time.*

The new season will begin with the Suez Crisis in 1956 and end with the fallout from the Profumo affair of 1963. The teaser features a brief look at Michael C. Hall, aka “Dexter,” as President Kennedy.

The Crown, with its solid performances, was one of my favourite shows of 2016.


*Not that I minded. For me, the more detailed, the better, when it comes to getting my British fix. I was only worried that at the pace the first series was playing out, I’d be celebrating my 100th birthday long before The Crown made it to the Diana years.

Ready Player One — First Trailer

Ok, now about that other key trailer from Comic-Con: The trailer for Ready Player One.

Ernest Cline’s science-fiction novel, Ready Player One was the fanboy must-read book of 2011. It’s set in the unhappy and decaying United States of 2044, when a decades-long recession, a trashed environment, and the general collapse of civil society have driven many people to spend much of their time hooked into a virtual reality universe called the OASIS. When there’s a two-year waiting list for jobs at Burger King, escapism is a logical choice.

As our hero and narrator, Wade Watts, known in the OASIS as “Parzival,” points out:

“Now that I was eighteen, I could vote, in both the OASIS elections and the elections for U.S. government officials. I didn’t bother with the latter, because I didn’t see the point. The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.”

[Keep repeating, “It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie.”]

Anyhow, the now-dead creator of the OASIS was a man named James Halliday who, not unlike many of the readers of this book, was a 1980s obsessive. You know, the kind of person who goes nuts over spotting the 80s allusions in Stranger Things….

OASIS made Halliday very, very rich. When his will was read, it revealed that he’d hidden three “keys” in OASIS, and that the first person to find them, and solve the puzzles linked to them, would be the sole inheritor of OASIS and of Halliday’s massive fortune. All that would be required to solve the puzzles was an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s.

Enter Parzival.

I liked the book, but didn’t love it. It’s a fast, easy, enjoyable read, full of Easter eggs for those of us who have, well, “an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s,” but it was definitely light reading, without much depth or meaning. It’s a book that’s the perfect source for a big spring/summer movie.

Steven Spielberg (who else?) is directing. The film is scheduled to be released on 30 March 2018.

Stranger Things Season 2 — Comic-Con “Thriller” Trailer

The 2017 Comic-Con International ends today, and, as always, the event was packed with teasers, trailers, and sneak peaks. Among he most anticipated was this trailer for the second season of Stranger Things.

It doesn’t disappoint.

We’re back in the 80s again, a year after the action of last summer’s breakout hit.

Arcades! Dragon’s Lair! Reagan/Bush! Winona Ryder! Ghostbusters! Thriller! Shorts that were actually, you know, short.

It even has Memphis sheets!*

Sequels are always tricky. Can the Stranger Things recapture the charm and magic of the original?

We’ll find out on 27 October 2017, when Netflix will make the whole series available for streaming.


To Be Stuck Here Inside of Mobile, with These Memphis Sheets Again

*Well, sort of. The sheets you can see at the 3:03 mark are certainly reminiscent of the Memphis designs that were ubiquitous in the mid-80s, but I don’t think they’re the original item. This is just another subtle Stranger Things 80s homage.

You can see real Memphis sheets on Grady’s bed at the beginning of this scene from 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. (AKA the gay one.)

Memphis,” btw, doesn’t have anything to do with the city in Egypt. It was the name of a Milan design group, and had a style that heavily influenced New Wave graphics. Apparently, it’s making a comeback this year.

Being able to spread important, potentially life-changing information like this is what makes blogging so rewarding.

What to Eat While Watching Westeros Plunge into a Devastating War

Dragon Fruit, of course.

It’s fairly obvious how it got its name. Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico, but now grows everywhere from the Canary Islands to Southeast Asia. Here’s a look inside:

The internal appearance and texture resemble Kiwi Fruit, but to me, Dragon Fruit is more bland and less sweet.

Despite my preference for Kiwi Fruit, I’ll be eating Dragon Fruit tonight, because Game of Thrones  is all about the dragons.

Now, if one of the characters was named “Daenerys, Mother of Kiwis,” it would be a different matter altogether.


Can’t believe I never got around to posting the second trailer for this series of Game of Thrones. Better late, and all that….

L.A. 2017 — A Forecast about the Then-Distant Future, from 1971

In an age of online streaming and 1000-channel cable packages, even mediocre TV comedies can still attract an audience decades after their original broadcast. As you read this, someone, somewhere, is watching a 1953 episode of I Love Lucy. Probably quite a few people are, in fact. On the other hand, TV dramas more than few years old seem to have a very short shelf-life, unless they were created by someone named Roddenberry, Serling, or Hitchcock.

The Name of the Game was an innovative television series that ran from 1968-1971. It’s largely forgotten now, which is unfortunate. The show was centered on a Los Angeles magazine company called Howard Publications, and followed three of the people who worked there: Robert Stack, as the editor of Crime Magazine, Tony Franciosa, as the editor of People Magazine, and Gene Barry, who owned the company. The Name of the Game focused on a different lead actor each week, with continuity supplied by Susan St. James, who played an editorial assistant in all three story lines.

L.A. 2017 was a Gene Barry episode. While driving home from an environmental conference, his character is overcome by pollution and faints. When he’s revived, it’s 46 years later, and he’s in a very different Los Angeles.

The young director of this episode, btw, was 24-year-old Steven Spielberg.

Apologies for the video quality, which looks like a seventh generation copy of a videotape.
The Name of the Game has never been released on Blu-ray or DVD.


Spielberg may have gotten one or two minor details wrong, but his geriatric Rock ‘n Rollers are dead-on accurate.