Don’t Blame the Writers, Blame the Buyers

…Which is to say the studios and production companies. What are we talking about? Glad you asked:

How awesome is Chris Rock? This awesome. Hi Chris! Hi Rihanna!

Chris Rock & Adult Movies – by Scott W. Smith (ScreenwritingFromIowa.Com)

“Most parts in comedy, they’re not written for men. They’re written for, like, boy-men. So it’s cool to play a man-man. They don’t make adult movies anymore. Go to a multiplex. If Sydney Pollack was around today, he’d be directing episodes of ‘True Blood.’”

Chris  Rock

New York Times

August 5, 2012

“Film 2 Days in New York”

Interview with Dave Itzkof
Oh.Those kinds of “adult movies.” Grown-up ones. Not…you know. Dang. Not that we disagree with anything Chris is saying here. He’s one of funniest, brightest, smartest doods in the showbiz galaxy. But we have to point out that this situation doesn’t exist because writers don’t want to write for adults. All the writers we know actually do want just that. No, the situation exists because it’s what the studios want. They simply aren’t buying many men-men vehicles these days.

Production Has Started on New Episodes of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

To be precise, it started yesterday, under the supervision of creator Mitch Hurwitz hisself, with the full original cast expected to participate in the Netflix produced/presented version of the Fox cult series. (Truly a cult fave. Not just words, those.)

Word is that Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, and Tony Hale are all expected to have their new moments in the sun thanks to a concept that calls for each new episode to track one member of the Bluth family, with multiple family members showing up in special episodes.

Look for 10 new eps to be available on Netflix in 2013. And while you’re at it, see if you can manifest a few more. We’re sure concentrating mightily.

Our fists are clenched so tightly that we’re bleeding all over the keyboard. (Aargh!)

The Latest DOCTOR WHO Gadget is a Total Must Have

Look at this thing. Perfect for when you want to give your spouse that special something (so you can really use it yourself):

Read with the Doctor

The Doctor always has a tool for every job. Usually, this tool is the sonic screwdriver. But let’s not ignore the most powerful tool at the Doctor’s disposal: the TARDIS herself. She’s one sexy girl and without her, the Doctor wouldn’t be able to travel through time and space.

We can’t get you a real TARDIS (at least not for a reasonable price), so we decided to get you this TARDIS Book Light instead. If you’re reading in bed and don’t want to disturb your partner or pet, just clip the TARDIS Book Light to your book and aim the TARDIS’ light exactly where you need it. The TARDIS Book Light also comes with a UV pen so you can write secret notes to The Doctor that can only be read by the light of the TARDIS Book Light. It’s perfect for people who hate to put visible marks on their books!

Read it all (and you can place your order too)

We’re going to get one and clip it to our yellow pad (sorry, LB) so we can write in the dark. Because what else is there to do, you know, in the dark?

Are Marvel’s Superhero Movies Really a Kind of Big Screen TV Series?

You betcha! And, taken that way they’re one hell of a lot of fun. Although the writer below doesn’t say it in so many words, it’s clear that she gets it:

Emily S. Whitten: Marvel Movies: Are They Going Too Far?

I suppose we could call this a follow-up or at least sister piece to last week’s column, in which I interviewed the fantastic Cleolinda Jones, author of Movies in Fifteen Minutes, about her experiences with comic book movies. Cleo noted that she tends to be more interested in Marvel characters because “Marvel has been so much more pro-active about getting movies made and characters out there;” which is true. Let’s look at some numbers for live action comic book movies, just for kicks.

Marvel Movies: 37 (33 + 4 from other Marvel imprints)
DC Movies: 33 (23 + 10 from other DC imprints)
Marvel Movies since 1998: 31 (28 + 3 from other Marvel imprints)
DC Movies since 1998: 18 (8 + 10 from other DC imprints)

Forthcoming Marvel Movies: 16 (8 announced – Iron Man 3; The Wolverine; Thor: The Dark World; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Avengers 2: Guardians of the Galaxy; Ant-man. 8 speculative – The Amazing Spider-man 3; Deadpool; Doctor Strange; Nick Fury; Runaways; The Hands of Shang-Chi; The Inhumans; Fantastic Four)
Forthcoming DC Movies:   9 (1 announced – Man of Steel. 8 speculative – Constantine 2; The Flash; Green Lantern 2; Justice League; Batman reboot (again); Wonder Woman (maybe?); Suicide Squad; Lobo)

Sources: Wikipedia’s Marvel and DC movie pages; IMDB; tooling around the Internets for all the announcement mentions I could find.

As we can see from the numbers, Marvel consistently beats DC overall in live action movies and soundly whups DC’s behind in live action movies (released and upcoming) from 1998 forward, which I think of as the current/modern comic book movie era (it started with Blade and gained momentum thanks to X-Men and Spider-Man in 2000 and 2002). In the upcoming movies department, not only does Marvel have almost twice as many movies as DC, but at least eight of them are pretty definitely moving forward; as opposed to the one DC has in the can and ready to go. Although DC has announced or sort-of announced several more, they have been much less forceful in confirming their future line-up, and most are not yet locked in.

Read it all

As geeks who’ve dreamed about seeing all our favorite superheroes on TV since we were teeny geekettes (not as cute as it sounds), we’ve been thrilled by Marvel’s recent film output. For us, this era totally recaptures the joy we felt when we first discovered the Marvel Universe on the 4-color printed page. And although we love TV we think this is better than one or more weekly series because the budgets for this huge (the bigger the better!) tent pole films have made everything Marvel totally real and immersive to us.

If only THE GREEN LANTERN had been the father of a similar situation for D.C….

Dan Harmon Cops a Plea

We think. Well, actually, he’s bragging but phrasing it as a kind of mea culpa. Which proves Dan’s a helluva writer. (But his statement could have been funnier, you know?) Anyway:

‘Community’s’ Dan Harmon Opens Up about Being Fired, Being Lured and His Big Regret – by Lacey Rose

“I would have fired me.”

The statement was uttered Monday by Community creator Dan Harmon…Harmon appeared on a segment of KCRW’s The Business to voice his ongoing frustration with Sony, the studio that produces his little-watched critical darling, which will move to Fridays this season with new producers, David Guarascio and Moses Port, at the helm.

To hear Harmon tell it, he’s in a more enviable position now that he’s off the show. “All of the networks came a-calling. Everyone in basic cable, especially,” said Harmon of the courting process, with recent reports that he has multicamera projects in the works at both Fox and CBS. “Once you have a three-season show, it really doesn’t matter that there’s some rumor circulated out there by the people who made the strange decision to fire you — of course they’re going to create the idea that we were difficult to work with.”

When pressed, however, Harmon faults himself and his own “self-destructive” behavior for creating this perception that he was “difficult,” one he claims Sony latched onto. He argues that he hurt himself by starting speeches and blog posts with statements about how he isn’t very good at the job. Not that the studio was particularly pleased with his output. “Sony was always so bummed out about the way I wrote and thought, and they always fantasized about doing the show without me,” he told The Business’ producer Darby Maloney, adding that he recognized that the studio had little choice to do what they did once NBC moved his series to TV’s graveyard.

As Harmon sees it, the latter was the network sending a clear message to those involved with the show: “We’re going to smother it with a pillow very quietly,” he said, noting that the 13-episode order would bring the series to 88 total, which would allow those with an ownership stake to make a little bit of money and be done.

Read it all

In a nutshell, Danno is acknowledging what TVWriter™ pointed out the other day: “NBC did Dan a favor” by firing him. Stgrategically speaking, he got what every TV creator-showrunner craves: A better deal elsewhere while also being freed of the responsibility for his creation. It’s a win-win situation in that if COMMUNITY survives, Dan continues to reap the financial benefits. If it tanks, well, it won’t take much spin to pin that on NBC. The new showrunners will make out just as well. If the show is picked up they can step into the spotlight as saviours. If it doesn’t, “That Dan Harmon guy already had the show so deep in the toilet nobody could plunge it.”

That’s one of the wonderful things about TV: If you squint the right way you can put a positive light on…anything.