Welcome to the first Open Thread of 2012, our farthest year into the future ever!
I wish I had some more for you, but it’s been a slow week in the world of pop. Portlandia and Downton Abbey are coming back, for those of you with cable. Etta James is out of the hospital at last. Van Halen reunited. And Benedict Cumberbatch was announced as the villain for Star Trek 2. All of it interesting, sure, but none of it groundbreaking.
Anything we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.
Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek 2? The only thing left they need is Anna Kendrick.
In other news, Community is no longer having-ever-been-potentially-canceled?
I don’t know. This from Bob Greenblatt sounds awfully wishy-washy to me:
Isn’t that a whole lot of nothing?
If we can count on one thing, it’s that one of NBC’s comedies will underperform. Knowing the networks, they probably have a specific number in mind, and a single dip below it will be enough to bring Community back.
In these economic doldrums, a lot of people have had success with scaling things back. People making coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks, people going to the library instead of the bookstore, people pirating DVDs instead of buying them. Obviously, critically successful TV shows with small but rabid fanbases have become an economic liability for some networks. Perhaps those will be scaled back as well? Some actors (notably Felicia Day) have become internet-famous for starring in a popular web series. Although Community itself could never afford the actors’ salaries on a web budget, I think that type of show could become fairly popular as a web series.
If NBC ever does decide to drop Community, I have no doubt that one of the cable channels will snatch it up – they would kill for Community-sized numbers.
I watched Vicky Christina Barcelona tonight. I remember that a lot of critics were calling it Woody Allen’s best film in decades, and lavishing it with praise. But it seemed incomplete to me. It was just sort of a story, a couple months out of a life. By the end, everyone was back where they were when it started, without really taking anything away from the events besides memories. I’m not saying I wanted everything to be neatly tied up at the end, like a typical romcom fantasy, where everyone gets exactly what they want. But I sorta feel like Woody set up a typical romcom, and then didn’t follow through. And if it had ended with typical Woody Allen optimistic nihilism (“I’m doomed to be alone – and that’s okay”), that would have been fine. But it didn’t. So I’m confused what about this movie had people thinking that Woody Allen was “back”.
I’m not exactly a Woody Allen aficionado, but I really liked Midnight in Paris. It hit the right beats for me, Ernest Hemingway is perfect, and I liked that it didn’t get bogged down in details. The only real misstep is how Rachel McAdams’ character, IMO. I haven’t seen the classic Woody Allen movies like Annie Hall or Purple Rose of Cairo, or even Vicky Christina Barcelona, so I don’t know how it compares, but I thought it was quite good on its own.
Hey guys, much as I am loathe to self-promote (and also to telling the truth), I thought you guys here on the Open Thread might be interested in a limited podcast series I pitched to and managed to get on the Geek Syndicate network. They’re an amazing group of podcasts who have interviewed anyone who is anyone in British geek circles, so to get a show on their network is thrilling – the first episode is finally up here http://geeksyndicate.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/tim-and-max-solve-all-the-problems-with-popular-culture-episode-1-fear-of-change/ and I’m sure Overthinkers will have some interesting thoughts and perspectives on it.
Beyonce had her baby over the weekend, with the attendent diva behavior if the tabloids are to be believed (and really, when have they ever been wrong). I look forward to the kid’s inability to excel in her own career without latching onto her famous parents’ collective bank accounts and perhaps ending up on Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab: 2036 Edition.