Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two TV Things You Should Know About

I'm not one of these people who'll try and tell you that TV is "better than the movies" right now because whatever handful of HBO/FX/AMC shows is the big thing at the moment. Please do not spam the comments with stuff I *NEED!!!* to see. Yes, I've seen and like "Community," internet - thank you.

In any case, remember that "Alias/Jessica Jones" series that was supposed to lead Disney/Marvel into the live-action TV biz? Well, it's going ahead, and today it was confirmed that this particular series will be directly-connected to the continuity of the Marvel/Avengers movie universe.

One assumes the main "point" of this connection is allowing Iron Man etc. to turn up as ratings-grabbing cameo parts, but I'm curious if this means it'll have the same commitment to the comic aesthetic as the films generally have had. The series it's based around was a "street-level" view of a superhero-saturated Marvel universe, the lead character being a depowered heroine turned embittered private eye; and the "hook" was seeing her world bumping up against the colorful costumed-hero world in often dark/ironic ways. Also, Luke Cage - a topper on Marvel's "to-do" movie list - is a supporting character, so call this a potential "back door pilot" for him and a host of others. Carol Danvers - aka Ms. Marvel - has also been cast, wonder if they plan on skipping Mar-Vell altogether for her...

Meanwhile, from the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" file: NBC is bringing back "The Munsters." And, in what sounds too much like a satire of everything wrong with the reboot/remake mentality, the franchise - a cartoonish sitcom spoof about a nuclear family made up of a Frankenstein (dad) Vampire (mom and grandpa) and Werewolf (son) who have a pet dragon - is being reconstituted as (I shit you not) a "dark" hour-long drama that will explore the "origins" of the family. Really.

15 comments:

Ian T. Campbell said...

Isn't there also a new "Incredible Hulk" series in the works?

Bill said...

I've circled around that whole Munsters reboot premise a few times now and I still can't see how they would make it work.

I love the idea of taking these dark and unlikely situations and trying to make something substantial out of them, but this one just seems way too unlikely without a metric ton of camp thrown in.

Angry Panda said...

Strange enough I could see a darker remake of the Adams Family. They were after all murderers and sadists. I think a fully psychotic Wednesday just might conquer the internet...

biomechanical923 said...

On a personal level, I think the Big 3 networks are all still butthurt over "Mad Men", which is why they're trying to do shows like "Pan Am" etc...

I don't think "The Munsters" would work now. Dracula, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein('s monster) were still contemporary icons in the 1960's, due to so many people having grown up on Universal monster movies in previous decades.

I'm not saying that Universal monsters are outdated or irrelevant... but I am saying dressing somebody up like Dracula is about the same as dressing somebody up like Abe Lincoln or Queen Elizabeth. People will recognize it as a costume, not a contemporary, because our generation was never a part of the sociopolitical discussion that those movies were trying to address.

If you wanna make "The Munsters" work in 2012, I think you have two options:

1. Bring in more contemporary monsters and do another cash-in on 20-something nostalgia (Freddy, Jason, Beetlejuice, etc...)

2. Make it an ironic and self-aware criticism of the 1950's white-picket-fence Leave-it-to-Beaver bullshit ideals that are still floating around today.

Mildra: The RPG Monk said...

Alias/J.J.: color me "cautiously optimistic" so far, but I can't say anything further until I see some footage. Still, not complaining on the premise

Munsters: um...wut? seriously, did whoever come up with this idea even WATCH the original show? To be fair, i'm not someone who is quick to hate remakes/reboots, but you couldn't get any further from the actual deal. With that in mind, I got 50 bucks that says this thing never makes it past the pilot, any takers? (I kid).

Chris Cesarano said...

Y'know, I've had mixed feelings towards NBC for a while now. The first season of Heroes was fantastic, and the next year they added Chuck to the line-up. They had a few shows around that time that were good, but were all unfortunately canceled after a single season or so.

But now, I'm just not sure what to think. Ending Chuck is a good idea. It's a different show than as it started, which is both a point in its favor as well as against. They were able to fully tell a story without being short-changed like Joss Whedon has his last two TV projects. But then I see commercials for crap like Whitney, and there was the complete and utter mess of The Event, and I just have to wonder who they have approving these shows.

If they want the campy monster drama, they should just stick with Grimm (which I'm still uncertain how I feel about). I mean, if you wanted to try and revive The Munsters as a Scrubs or Community style Sitcom, it might work. Might. Making it a serious drama is disrespectful to the original creation, as well as desperately hoping you can figure out what the kids are really into these days.

As for Alias, man, I can't help but be skeptical for the simple reason that it is ABC. They seem to have a guidebook as to how to make shows for teen girls and their moms. I'm concerned over how they'd handle a Marvel property.

Danny said...

The Munsters is being brought back by Bryan Fuller, therefore it deserves the benefit of the doubt.

vamast said...

why make cartoons into live actions, is it because the west will always view cartoons as things only for children?

Kyle said...

In Jessica Jones article on the marvel universe - "as much as I can I'm going to pull everything in from there that I can use"

That's certainly the right attitude. Smallville certainly profited from that and that show was very successful.

AmzRigh said...

I can only hope that ABC also tries to jump on the bandwagon with another reboot of Dark Shadows.

AmzRigh said...

Oh man, why can't I edit my comments? I just discovered the upcoming Dark Shadows movie. I am filled with both glee and trepidation.

Smashmatt202 said...

The Munsters reboot I could care less about...

But that ALIAS series, is it on already? What time is it on?

Unknown said...

Just a quick correction, Bob. Jessica Jones isn't depowered(at least she wasn't in the Alias comic from MAX). She just gave up the superhero life(secret identity, costume, ect.) and became a private eye. She still has her powers though.

Thomas Cunningham said...

*Disclaimer* - This has nothing to do with this topic:

Bob, considering how vehemently you opposed the California Video Game censorship debacle I'm surprised you haven't posted anything about SOPA/PIPA.

Congress is deciding the fate of the internet right now.

From what I understand these bills would allow corporations to sue you or the escapist or both of you.

And that would really suck.

Dawn of Graham said...

If there's any concern about about The Munsters remake, you should look at Bryan Fuller's other work, namely Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me. If anyone can make The Munsters work as a "serious" drama, it's him. He's got this ability to maintain a serious tone with a sense of whimsy.

If nothing else it deserves a look.