Munchman’s Latest TV Musings

Munchman’s TV Musings #5

  1. Here’s something Yer Friendly Neighborhood Muncher can definitely get behind. The winners of this year’s Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards have been announced, and I’m sure we’re all happy as can be to know that the first prize winner is Eric Mallory Morgan for his screenplay Tonya. Second place winners are Burnett Fisher for Damascus and Nicholas Adams for Falling. Yeppers, a tie. Third prize goes to Dominic Abeyta for 100 Degrees, and Honorable Mention belongs to Meedo Taha for the script Other People. Put your hands together for these fine writers, whose chances of becoming rich, sort of famous, and maybe even happy have just leapfrogged high and far over yours and mine!
  2. Balancing the good stuff is recent research that shows that in spite of all the progress the TV biz seems to have made in the area of diversity, behind the scenes diversity is still, you know, considerably less diverse than it should be…and also less diverse than onscreen. This according to Darnell Hunt, Director of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. In the Center’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report he says that “Even on so-called diverse shows, you’re still going to see a showrunner who’s a white man for the most part….” He also has a lot more to say on the subject, as do many other experts. Why is it so hard to get more inclusion of minorities in the Industry? I’m thinking it has to do with a single sad fact of life: for every bright-eyed, brilliant minority individual who gets a TV gig at last, there’s bound to be the corresponding loss of a job for, yeppers, you guessed it, some white guy. And the white guys who do the hiring haven’t exactly gotten where they are by fighting the status quo, so…. (Right, you get the sorryass idea, yeah?)
  3. Der Munchhausen (das ist me) just read an article about how Supergirl “is the best superhero show on the CW,” which tells me quite clearly that I sure as %@$# don’t want to even try watching Arrow, The Flash, or Legends of Tomorrow. FTR, it isn’t the sunniness of Supergirl’s disposition that bugs me about her show. It isn’t even the writing, which when you get down to it perfectly captures the DC comic book universe as it existed right around the time when I was born (as long afternoons spent in my local comic book shop snapping up affordable back issues have shown me) because I kinda like that whole ethos. No, what drives me batshit about Supergirl is how totally cheesy it is visually. Bad sfx, dumb camera angles, ridiculous cuts…and the music, yikes! Munchareeni here doesn’t see anything even remotely resembling respect for comics on Supergirl. Just mockery and dis-fucking-dain.
  4. Meanwhile, back in the Positive Zone, Fox TV says it’s developing a pilot for a series based on Dwayne Johnson’s wrestling career. It will be a comedy, natch, and the writer, Brian Gewirtz, has what most likely is the best possible qualification for the gig: He used to be head writer for the WWE. Seems like a natural, and I’ve unselfishly texted me old buddy Bri to tell him how happy I am for him. And, of course, included with it are a couple of selfies of me working out at the closest Gold’s. That’s right, wrestling fans, Muncho’s abs are every bit as good as me writin’, but it’s the pecs that I’m thinking will make the lead in the series mine!
  5. Dontcha luv how showbizzies have finally learned how to at least pay lip service to the writers they’ve been exploiting and denigrating for years? The most recent example is an announcement by the Female Spike Lee, Issa Rae, who just sold a new series to, um, somebody who reckons they’ll be able to get it out somewhere peeps like us can see it. “I’m so proud of the writing team behind Minimum Wage,” she said.  “It is the beautiful product of collaboration, creativity and inclusion. We’re so happy to have partnered with Project Greenlight Digital Studios to find, out of over 2,000 submissions, these dynamic women writers.” I’m guessing that Issa’s executive team is hella lot more enlightened than the executives I mentioned above. Hats off to them and, more importantly, to Rebecca Hu, Arpita Kumar, and Maya Houston, the writers whose lives, I hope, I hope, I hope, are about to bloom!
  6. Quick shout out to Jordanna Fraiberg on her new job as head of development for Insurrection Media. Congrats, you, and whatever else happens, please, please, please don’t let this executive turn change ya. Be true to your school…and the fans of your YA novels, who will be counting on you bringing that same inventiveness to the new TV gig. At least, yer munchikins will.

That’s enough positivity from me for this week. Seeya soonish with more TV musings!

Munchman’s Latest TV Musings

Munchman’s TV Musings #4

  1. Marti Noxon, an incredibly overrated writer for the even more incredibly overrated series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is turning Dietland, a novel by Sarai Walker, into a series for AMC because the world definitely needs more “coming-of-age” “revenge fantasy” storylines that mock fashion, fat, and, yeppers, skinniness too. Yer Fantastic Flying Munchman knows what this book’s all about, munchacolytes because he’s actually read the damn thing. And near broke me Kindle in the agonizing process.
  2. OTOH, there is a God after all, and the fact that Jennifer Lopez is going to star in a live version of Bye Bye Birdie on NBC in the deliriously welcome year of 2017 (cuz it absolutely has to be better than 2016, yeah?). What’s that? You never heard of Bye Bye Birdie? Well, it was a ’60s Broadway (and beyond, just like the bath store) musical based on how stupid small towns, teenagers, their parents, and Elvis Presley the Thin at That Time all were. It ain’t much of a show, truth be told, but holy crappoly! it has fucking Jennifer fucking Lopez playing Rosie, who captured a thousand and one ’60s geeks hearts by being mature, sexy as all hell and having only one wonderful goal in life – “to be an English teacher’s wife.” Yeah, baby!
  3. Moving back to derivative dark-sidedness, Netflix is unleashing a series called 3% on us even as munchola types this. This vileness masquerading as social satire is a reboot of a 2011 web series that itself was remarkably similar to a certain film franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence as a combination of a blond Raquel Welch (or maybe Jennifer Lopez) and Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. I absolutely guarantee that the show’s going to be a mess. Instead of being “in like Flynn” (a historical reference definitely worth checking out), 3% is more out like, oh, how about gout (a medical reference you can ask your grandfather about)?
  4. Then there’s the semi-annual Knight Rider reboot, brought to us this time around by Justin Lin and NBC/Universal Brand Development. The name of the production entity pretty much tells us how the creators visualize it – as another vehicle (get it?) for merchandising more crap to “a new generation of fans.” Oh well, it’s bound to be better than the Team Knight Rider sequel series, right? What? Ya never heard of that one? Proves my point!
  5. Have you heard the joke about fan fave Bryan Fuller “stepping down” as showrunner of the upcoming Star Trek Beyond? The funny thing about this situation is that CBS is merrily reassuring all and sundry that Fuller’s departure won’t diminish the new series in anyway while simultaneously announcing that his duties will be picked up by Alex Kurtzman, whose perspective, taste, and talent totally eviscerated the ST film franchise. Wham! Bam! “No deep thoughts or ideas, please, we’re too busy keeping things moving, moving, moving.” In the words of Mel Brooks, who would be a better showrunner than Kurtzman or just about anybody else, “Oy vay!”

That’s it for this week. I’ve got a terrible, tasteless, but shockingly popular web series to get back to work on, but I promise – I’ll seeya next time with more TV joy!

Munchman’s Latest TV Musings

Munchman’s TV Musings #3

  1. OMG, kids, Yer Friendly Neighborhood Munchman actually saw a TV show I lurve. A series that reflects the reality of my munched-up life and, methinks, the lives of other members of my reviled Millennial generation. I’m talking about the absolutely best series ever to appear on The CW (yeah, that isn’t saying much but still…), My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I won’t say much about it other than it’s a genuinely witty musical comedy (?!) and every damn thing I saw while bingeing Season 1 was true to all the feelings that I and my various recent Significant Others – AKA crazy ex-girlfriends) have felt. Watch this one!
  2. Continuing on an unaccustomed positive note, el Munchero also has spent some time watching the first couple of episodes of YouTube’s new series, Chance, starring Dr. Gregory House – excuse moi, I mean Hugh Laurie – as a doctor who gets way too involved in the problems of one of his non-patients. (Watch the opening ep and you’ll know what I mean.) It’s slow but filled with pseudo-noir goodness. That steamy old Kathleen Turner film Body Heat with a psychiatric twist. It’s a story we’ve all seen before, but it’s done impeccably. Gotta love a world where every single damn character is insane and most of them don’t know it.
  3. Moving on to the more normal Muncharoni disdain, CBS has canceled the worst show created by major showrunners in years, BrainDead. God, what a disappointing piece of Big Eye Network foolery. With any luck this will be the last we see of the highly overrated team of Robert and Michelle King. Don’t start commenting on how I put the man’s name first, ‘kay? That’s how the outdated, untalented brains behind one of the worst successes in TV AKA The Good Wife bill themselves. Buy-bye, Michelle and Bobby, please let the swinging door whack ya in your asses on the way out.
  4. Have I communicated my feelings of dismay over Charlie Kaufman’s film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind being turned into a TV series? Well, I’m munching the news into teeny weeny pieces right now. The creative team in charge consists of all kinds of people who are in tight with production company Universal Cable Productions, and Charlie himself isn’t one of them. Yeppers, Charlie Kaufman, the brilliant wacko scriptor behind not only ESOTSM but also Adaptation (executive produced by our Beloved Leader LB’s brilliant son Jeb Brody), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and Adaptations, among others, has absolutely no say about this series. For that matter, he has never had a say about any series because TV execs are terrified of the dood. As they should be cuz Charlie knows things, ya hear what Munchie’s muttering?
  5. Munchabello here was going to write another angry paragraph about how totally patronizing and contemptible the recent announcement by Netflix that it’s authorized a new series by Mexican filmmaker Manolo Caro was, but shit’s happening at the Bangkok studio where my amazingly cool and wonderful and in every way perfect (if you have my mentality, that of a brilliant 12 year old kid) web series The Fantastic Friends is being made, so tootles for now, y’all. (And don’t forget to watch FF so you can see where I’m coming from and totally discount anything I say about…well, anything, I suppose.)

That’s it for this week. I’ve got a terrible, tasteless, but amazingly popular web series to get back to work on, but I promise – I’ll seeya next time with more TV joy!

Munchman Bitches Again!

What we do for luv – and money!

Munchman’s TV Musings #2

  1. Okay, kiddies. Yer Friendly Neighborhood Chowdowner has tried twice this season to watch Supergirl. Based on its reviews, I should be slurping it down madly and begging for more. But that first Superman-Supergirl team-up? Holy steaming crap! The script was okay – if you like things that are okay – but the tone in general, the camera angles and movement, the sfx – shameful and insulting. And now you expect me to munch on Legends of Tomorrow featuring The Justice Society of America? What the flaming hell is wrong with you, CW parasites? What?!
  2. Meanwhile, MTV is developing a War of the Worlds series, and all munchderio here can say is…what happened to the good old days when D-boyz and girlz just up and stole the classics and pretended the originals didn’t exist? Cuz speaking of insulting, calling this new show by the same title as H.G. Wells’ classic definitely is heaping big brown spots all over the Wells literary estate – and because the copyright is long expired, nobody even has to pay for the “privilege.”
  3. Okay, my munchiness is feeling a tad calmer now. A post in Flavorwire about fictional writers who’ve appeared on TV had a strangely soothing affect on moi. For my money, the most accurately present writer on television right now is Jimmy Shive-Overly of You’re the Worst. The only glaring inaccuracy is that Jimmy drinks more than he drugs, which isn’t how things be going for m-m-my g-g-generation. And he gets laid a hell of a lot more. No, just kidding! Nobody could possibly be having more sex than yrs trly. Really! I am so a stud!
  4. OMG! I’ve been bingeing on Goliath! I’ve always been a sucker for Billy Bob Thornton, ever since he kicked Angelina out. (What? You heard it was the other way around? Nope. No way!) Bottom line: Billy Bob makes even David E. Kelly’s dated dialog and attitude come alive, creating a character who’s warm without being fuzzy, and who almost makes me wish I’d been born a redneck too.
  5. Speaking of old, fading star showrunners, Steven Bochko’s Murder in the First has been cancelled by TNT. Hey, they got three seasons out of it, so all was not lost. Should it have stayed? Did it overstay? Muncho can’t really say. I never could make myself watch it. Tried and tried, but there was all that drinking and drugging and sexing and writing to do, and y’know how time just slips, slips, slips into the future…

That’s it for this week. I’ve got a terrible, tasteless, but amazingly popular web series to get back to work on, but I promise – I’ll seeya next time with more TV joy!