Munch Makes the World Go ‘Round

Not munchman, Munch. John Munch, played by Richard Belzer. We thought he was just another TV cop. Turns out he’s the glue that holds the entire television world together. For reals:

From TVTropes.Org:

What we have here is a small, semi-just-for-fun page to the character with the single most appearances outside his own series this side of a Public Domain Character, making him the king of the Intercontinuity Crossover. In every appearance, Munch is portrayed by Richard Belzer, who outside of this role is better known as a stand-up comedian.

Shows to feature John Munch:

As a main character:

As a guest star:

  • The X-Files – As the Baltimore cop interrogating the future Lone Gunmen. There’s also a hilarious scene in SVU where a reporter refers to Munch and Novak as Mulder and Scully. So…
    • Not only that but in one episode of Homicide, Munch mentions that a character is probably watching The X-Files.
  • Law & Order
    • Munch’s appearance on the original Law and Order as part of a Homicide cross-over is partly what got him the job on SVU. Belzer originally pitched to Dick Wolf that Munch join Law and Order as Briscoe’s new partner. The role had been filled, so Wolf transplanted Munch to SVU instead.
  • The Beat
  • Law & Order: Trial by Jury
  • Arrested Development (credited as himself), as a “Professor of Scrapbooking
  • The Wire (ironically, former Baltimore Police Department detective Jay Landsman, the real-life inspiration for Munch, plays a recurring role).
    • It should also be pointed out that Landsman, playing Lieutenant Mello, was actually in the scene. As was Clark Johnson, formerly Munch’s fellow Homicide castmate.
      • If that’s not enough, The Wire has a character named Jay Landsman who was also inspired by the real Jay Landsman, and was played by yet a third actor. One rather suspects that David Simon was having a particularly Mind Screwy field day with this one.
  • Sesame Street (the skit, “Special Letters Unit“, a spoof of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, is the one time the character is not played by Richard Belzer.
    • This puppet returns in Elmopalooza as the ‘Richard Belzer stunt puppet’, accompanied by Belzer himself.
  • And then there’s the character’s appearance in the French version of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which is what tipped the character into a trope-on-his-own territory.
  • And he’s now gotten a subtle Shout Out in London police drama Luther — “Send the details to Detective Munch in Special Victims Unit, New York.” Munch might get a surprise if he met the eponymous British cop face to face though, since he’s the absolute spit of Stringer Bell from The Wire
  • In the book I Am Not A Cop, by Richard Belzer, Richard Belzer is mistaken for John Munch, and asked to help solve a case.
    • A joke book about stupid criminals recounted a story about a robber who stumbled into a taping of Homicide and surrendered to John Munch.
      • Which is actually true. I heard it from the horse’s mouth (well, in an interview with him on Youtube). However, the reports that he testified in court is just a rumour.
  • In an episode of 30 Rock, Belzer and Ice-T show up as their L&O:SVU characters for a joke. It’s more than just an incidental cameo because it’s clearly not a real episode of SVU.
  • Pete Munch, supposedly John’s father, is an astronaut who appears in the “Minions of the Moon” backup in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III, Century: 1969. Like John he is a conspiracy theorist but since this world of the League he’s actually probably right about most of his ramblings.

Not only are we in awe of the John Munch character, we’re astounded by the work put in by TV Tropes nameless minion(s?) who compiled the data above. At last we can use the word “awesome” correctly. So, all together now:

Awesome.

(Somebody get this site onto our links page! Quick!)

Fox Hires Andrew Miller to Adapt THE BEACH for TV

Nope, Leo’s not onboard for this version. Sorry.

Danny Boyle’s ‘The Beach’ Being Developed as a TV Drama at Fox – by Allison Willmore

The 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film “The Beach” may be considered one of the lesser entries in Danny Boyle’s filmography, but does it have the makings of a decent television show?

Fox seems to think so — Deadline is reporting that the network has signed on to develop a TV series based on the movie and the 1996 book written by Alex Garland from which it was adapted (Garland also scripted Boyle’s 2007 sci-fi drama “Sunshine”).

The TV adaptation of “The Beach” is being written by Andrew Miller, who developed, wrote the pilot for and co-ran the CW witch series “The Secret Circle.” According to Deadline, Miller describes the new project as “about a group of young people feeling disconnected and disenchanted from society who try to start over in paradise but discover that while creating the perfect world is hard, protecting it is even harder.”

Read it all

We’ve been trying to 2 days to think of something to add to this report. Good, bad, snarky, sweet – nothing comes to mind. Which could mean that the project is just innocuous to be a big television success. Or it cold mean – sob – that we’ve lost our touch.

Strangely, our appetites seem fine…

THAT BITCH is Having a Reunion

…A DAWSON’S CREEK reunion, to be precise:

‘Apartment 23’s’ ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Reunion: Who Else Should Join? – by Lesley Goldberg

ABC’s Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 will stage a Dawson’s Creek reunion in its second season premiere.

When the comedy co-starring James Van Der Beek returns in October, Cougar Town‘s Busy Philipps will cameo as TV JVDB attempts to reunite the Capeside gang, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

As first reported by TVGuide.com, Philipps — like Van Der Beek — will play herself on the ABC comedy. Philipps joined Dawson’s Creek late in its run as Joey’s (Katie Holmes) college roommate and Pacey’s (Joshua Jackson) eventual (troubled) girlfriend with rock star aspirations.

With Apartment 23 producers — and the cast! — both gung-ho to see Jackson, Holmes and Michelle Williams (Jen) guest star, here are five other former Dawson’s Creek stars who would be ripe for comedy.

Read it all

Once upon a time we would’ve gotten all up about this kind of casting. Ranted about it being a sign that the writers had no faith in the show, at worst, or no faith in this particular script, at best.

But we’re older now and wiser. Do we get upset when CASTLE references FIREFLY? Nuh-uh. How about when BONES refers to BUFFY? Okay, so BONES doesn’t refer to BUFFY, or even ANGEL, but, dammit, it should.

Because we recognize that TV is all about the actors and their chemistry and the love for them their televised pasts bring to every once and future role they play. We revel in the awareness that this season’s macho swellhead was last year’s nerd. And we love the current characterizations of old favorite stars because we see them as building upon, as well as tossing out, memorable elements of who they once were.

Besides, we’re DAWSON’s freaks. Always have been. The only bitch in this mix is having to wait till October to see this ep.

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!)