Munchman’s TV Musings #7
When I was a wee lad in Dublin, my parents’ generation had a saying. “Old wine in new bottles” was their oh-so-intellectual way of saying that a recent film or play or book or short story, whatever, wasn’t exactly as new as it claimed. It had been done before, usually by somebody else, but its essence, for better or for worse, was repackaged and put out before the public.
In other words, yeppers, kids, this was the polite way of saying, “Jeezus, dude, can’t you fucking come up with anything new?!” Yer Friendly Neighborhood Munchman brings this up becuz guess what? Today’s column is filled with old wine, new bottles, and – but oui, oui, monsieur, pinheaded intellectuals using bullshit phrases to hide from the truth. Cases in point:
- M.Night Shyamalan, everybody’s favorite failed writer, known for his one-note, no-longer-shocking-or-surprising storytelling, is presiding over a new series on TNT. Or maybe it’s TBS. Hard to tell, because equally failed former Fox exec Kevin Reilly is busy screwing up both those networks now, and damned if I can make myself listen to the man long enough to remember what he’s saying. At any rate, Shyamalannadingdong, as his former schoolmates so fondly remember him, says he’ll be doing a new version of Tales from the Crypt, a series based not on the older series of the same name – oh noo, that would be too easy – but on the EC comic book title that other series was based on. He also says he’ll be using many of the stories from the comic series, and while that should be something to cheer about because those stories are just plain funny, scary, and all-around great, poor Munchamatic here is feeling nothing but dismay. Third generation re-do? M.Night Shyamalan? Every time I close my eyes I see the original writers and artists from the comic pushing their way up and out of their graves and trudging, slithering, and stomping their way to Nighty-Night’s abode to drag him into the nearest swamp.
- More old wine is being poured into another new(ish) bottle by CBS, that warm and wonderful network headed by the Great Satan Himself, Les Moonves (who really should be called “Least Moonves” to memorialize his success in giving his viewers the absolute very least in every show CBS presents). This particular outrage is mostly a technical one: Colorized episode of the beloved old Dick Van Dyke Show coming to our local mini and maxi web and TV screens next month as a CBS special called The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color! As me sainted Jewish Uncle from Riga used to say, “Oy! Acholer!” Nope, sorry, yer Munchamigo is clueless about what that means (let along how I should’ve spelt it), but believen sie mir when I tells ya that when Uncle Abe said that little phrase it definitely sounded obscene.
- What? You say you’ve had enough? Well, so have I, but let’s talk about more wine about to be made into vinegar. Syfy, home of Sharknado and its even worse descendants, has announced that along with 6 or 7 or maybe it’s 8 Paramount and NBC Universal Cable Entertainment producers Syfy is proudly developing Robert E. Heinlein’s classic novel, Stranger in a Strange Land as a series. Although I, Muncherovsky, don’t think the book, about a human raised by Martians who returns to earth complete with superpowers and super sophomoric philosophy and super sexiness is nearly as good as most people say, it’s certainly stayed popular forever. Will it survive Syfy? Or will it go right down the same shitter as the rest of that channel’s failed adaptations? Oh, well, the good news is that when it fails I won’t have to defend my unpopular position on the subject anymore.
- Do I sound mad to you all? Is my ranting bugging you? Then probably you should click away from TVWriter™ now becuz the re-do that’s upsetting me most is now up at bat. I’m talking about the news that the Herman Miller company has totally revised its famed – and fantastical and comfy as a big fuzzy bunny sleeping bag – Aeron chair, beloved by rich corporate executives and not quite as rich literary agents and even less rich than that TV writer kingpins. According to the announcement, “When Aeron debuted in 1994, it was a chair unlike any the world had ever seen. It didn’t just change how peoplesat, but what they thought a chair could be. But a lot has changed since then, so it made sense that Aeron should change too.” Um, made sense to whom, pray tell? To idiot believers in false equivalencies? In other words (and this will be the last thing my wildly Munchalating heart will let me say) the times they are a’changing. Witnesseth:
That’s it for this week. Seeya soonish with more musings about Love, Money, and tushie breaking metallic monsters for writers of TV!