munchman sees ‘The Mick’

by munchdaddy

…and yer friendly neighborhood munchlinio lurves it!

THE GOOD:

  • Kaitlin Olson
  • The outrageous depravity of Kaitlin Olson’s character, Mickey, AKA The Mick
  • The writing that gives Kailin Olson so much to work with while inhabiting Mickey, AKA The Mick
  • The writing that actually makes each episode of this series (okay, yeppers, I’ve only seen two, but I’m definitely coming back for more) not just Kaitlin Olson AKA Mickey AKA The Mick being funny but also makes each ep about something, in that way that old folks are always saying TV used to be (Was BONANZA ever “about” something? Really?)

THE BAD:

  • Kaitlin Olson’s character, Mickey, AKA The Mick isn’t exactly somebody we haven’t seen before. It is, in fact, very, very, very much like the character she plays on a little show called Always Sunny in Philadelphia (but who the hell cares? The more KO AKA M AKA TM the better, dammit!)

IN OTHER WORDS

Watch this show. Make your friends watch it. Make your family – you know, those phoney baloneys who always say they’re “disappointed” in what you and your generation create and enjoy – watch ittoo. Maybe they’ll learn something. Even if they don’t, maybe their eyeballs will get The Mick renewed. Again and again and again.

munchman: Better Days are Coming?

munchman’s TV Musings #11
by munchman

I was shocked – shocked, I say! – to look over TVWriter™’s Google Analytics this past weekend and discover that munchman’s TV Musings is far and away the least popular of all regular features on this site. Not just for this new year, oh no, but for all time. Even if you include my old Love & Money column, which held the title up till now.

So thank you, friends and neighbors, mates and exes, for you continued lack of support. I promise to continue bugging the shit out of you for many days, weeks, months, possibly even years to come!

Which brings us to:

  • Life in our oh-so Phil-Dickian Universe of black comedy and ennui (and who’d a-thunk those two concepts could co-exist so well?) continues to bring a simultaneously disgusted and bored smile to Yer Friendly Neighborhood Ubermuncher’s face. Case in point: Recent news that the Coen Brothers are going to write and direct their first TV series. It’s called The Ballad of Busty Scruggs, and guess what, ya illiterate bastids? Sucker that I am for anything that’s the ballad (or even ballade) of anything, I’m intrigued as hell and looking forward to what they end up giving us. Welcome to the Binge Watching Brigade, balladeers!
  • OTOH, recent news that Constantine, a successful comic book about a very successful and un-Doc Strange or even Harry Potter type wizard that has failed in all previous attempts to bring it to both film and TV is coming back as an animated series reaffirms my suspicion that my eternal depression is justified. Don’t get the munchadingus wrong. I lurve the comic book incarnation of everybody’s favorite bi-sexual magicker and would love to see it on my laptop, but this time around it’s appearing on the farm team’s farm team. By which I mean on the CWSeed website, which is where the morons-who-consider-themselves-ultrahip-geniuses show stuff that even they understand isn’t good enough for their grossly inadequate attempt at being a television network, the CW itself. I’m thinking, “Yikes!” and worrying that I’m being too optimistic.
  • Speaking of comics, BleedingCool has a list of the top selling comic books of 2016 that probably would tell me a lot if I bothered to analyze – that means think, if any Trumperfuckers are reading this – it. Turns out the numero uno seller of last year was Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 by Greg Pak and Daniel Bayliss, which beat not only Marvel’s Civil War #1 but D.C.’s first issue of Harley Quinn. A non-tentpole winner, guys ‘n’ gals! A property with no toys, no games, no recent successful film or TV series! Maybe there’s some hope in this world after all, yeah?
  • While we’re on the subject of hope, I noticed that Wil Wheaton – yeppers, that Wil Wheaton – last week posted a short, uh, post on his website about a subject that should be near and dear to our hearts. It’s called “Three books that helped make me a better writer,” and I’d say it’s a must-read except…sorry, Wil, I love you as a mid-range almost-threatening mildly-irritating evil boss in most if not all of your recent TV play acting, but this writing thing? Better writer than what? Any other almost famous in another area beginner? Keep hoping, pal. Dreams can come true!
  • Ooh, Drew Barrymore is coming to the TV series meatmarket next month with a series called Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. Methinks that’s cooler than shit but what’s this thing where she’s playing the MOM of the lead character? No way is she old enough for that. No way can I, Ms B’s absolutely biggest fan who thought she was fantastic in Guncrazy no matter what anybody sez, be that old either. Curse you, Phil Dick! Get yer universe outta here and go!
  • I’m gonna go now too, but first one last cooler than shit bit of showbiz newz. For reasons that my former significant other could never understand and to be honest I’m not so sure I do either, I’ve become a fan of a tumblr blog called Left,Write, LeftAnd as that selfsame ex can attest, when I’m a fan I’m as fanatic as they come. So not only am I recommending the blog, I’m also here to officially congratulate its writer, Adi Blotman (whose name, come to think of it, may be as real/unreal as munchman itself is or is not) for having what it takes to write a full length pilot script of some sort or other, as opposed to just thinking about it in bed at night and falling sleep while trying to decide what color hair the protagonist has. And, further, for entering it in the 2017 Launch Pad Pilot Competition. Hey, Adi, have you thought about entering this in the next PEOPLE’S PILOT as well? I know the head guy over there pretty well, and…

Oops, I’m outta time and space for this week. (My ex sez I’m always outta time and space, but what the hell, I kinda like the dimension I’m in. Tune in next time to hear me quietly rage about Love, Money & The Industry…and the goddamn Philip K. Dick multiverse we’re fucking stuck in!


Yer Friendly Neighborhood munchman is the official TVWriter™ scapegoat and has been getting kicked around here since the very beginning of this site. He wants us all to know that he’s cooler than we are. And we think you’ll agree when we say to him, “Dood, we don’t effing care!” You can learn more about muncher (but not all that much, really) HERE

Munchman sees ‘One Day at a Time’

by Munchman

This mini review will be short – like the show, which is a half-hour Netflix presentation that reboots Norman Lear’s late ’70s-early ’80s sitcom, One Day at a Time – and probably sweeter than the crappy pilot I just watched.

Oh, damn, I gave it away. Shit.

Did I just say “shit?” Crap, I gave it away again.

I know, I’m running out of short time. Here’s the gist of my feelings:

ODAAT is getting great reviews. I certainly don’t see why. It’s a total throwback to old-time TV, including horrifically insulting stereotypes of Cubanos, the straight-line, straight-line, punchline joke delivery pattern, overacting that could only be justified if this was recorded at the Rose Bowl, idiotic solving of idiotic problems in an idiotically short time-frame, and a laugh track that only The Joker could abide.

Critics keep saying how amazing it is that Lear, who has been actively involved in this production, which was written and developed by Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce, can be so smart, hip, and aware at the age of 94. I have news for them. If they really believe that, then they don’t know a damn thing about intelligence, awareness, and (yeppers, I’m going for the gold now) what’s in, what’s out, what’s right, and what’s wrong about contemporary culture.

What a &%#! waste for everyone involved, especially the very talented Justina Machado and the still wonderful Rita Moreno, who should fire their agents ASAP for even showing them the script.

Ta!

Muncho

Munchman: So this is 2017…?

munchman’s TV Musings #10
by munchman

Happy start of 2017, m’luvs. Hope your year is going better than yer friendly neighborhood munchman’s. Yeppers, less than two weeks in and I’m already feeling dazed and confuzed like I got nuthin’ to luze.

What’s that? What I just said sounds like a political position of the unhealthiest kind? Nope, my state of mind has nada to do with the state of the U.S. union, kids. It’s the state of the Industry – yeppers, our sweet, innocent lil ole Entertainment Biz that has me so discombobulated.

See, we started this cool “TVWriter™ Writing & Showbiz News Feed” last week, and the more I go to it (the thing updates every couple of hours so I look at it a lot), the more bewildered I get. To put it another way:

  1. The current TV critical darling, about which news sources keep spewing (as in vomiting) out articles, is a series called This is Us, created and run by Bekah Brunstetter. The show demonstrates that Ms. Brunstetter is a My-T-Fine writer indeed. But she’s also a writer who works very hard to mislead her audience and turn what would have been a fascinating almost-really-real viewing experience about and for adults into an adolescent wheels-within-wheels puzzle for gamers whose attention spans have atrophied like my neutered dog’s ball sack. As my least-favorite-person-who-I-don’t-know would tweet: “So sad.”
  2. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “455 original series aired in 2016” including those on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, et al but not including the tons of web series that have appeared as well, a remarkably high percentage of which this munchlehead believes have been outstanding. We need a new definition of “TV,” people! One that accounts for everything electronically available to our millennial – and pre and post M as well – selves!
  3. And we also need to stop complaining about how there’s too much TV (whatever that is; see above) and how the market is going to self-destruct from over-abundance. Seriously, amigos, can there ever be too much art? Yeah, I called it “art.” Color me crazy, what the hell.
  4. Have you seen BBC’s The Real Housewives of Isis? Tasteless as a motherfucker, sure, and probably something most folks would throw in the trash and stomp on because attacking satire is always easier than trying to come to grips with the Real Evils of the World. But why all the fuss about one mediocre sketch? Does it really make sense to demand that “heads will roll?” over a joke in which, let’s face it, no actual heads actually rolled? Alas, poor fiction, I knew it well.
  5. The Disney Channel, which foolishly developed a sequel to the classic series Boy Meets World has now cancelled Girl Meets World because it didn’t get the ratings the network wanted. A show-ful of talented and hardworking cast, crew, and office staff workers is now out on its ass while the idiots who got the ball rolling close their eyes and continue walking on – in circles – just as before.
  6.  Speaking of idiot ideas intended to attract viewer eyeballs, Netflix has picked up a South Korean series called Love Alarm. It’s an animated series about a love app, of course, and in xenophobic America love and foreigners don’t seem to me to be an ideal match. Maybe Netflix thinks the show will do well in China maybe? You remember China, right? A country that hates foreigners even more than, oh, what’s that orange-faced moron’s name?
  7. Chicago P.D. is repopulating its cast for the coming season. Basically, the show is jettisoning (melikes the way that word fails to roll off the tongue…try and say it fast: “Jett-is-on-ing”) its most popular cast members for supposedly creative reasons. Would that be “creative” as in “creative differences?” I.e., as in frustratingly higher and higher actor salary demands causing Dick Wolf to once again go to the wall to prove that it’s the scripts audiences tune in for and not the stars? Yeppers, munchiloons knows that strategy worked on Law & Order, but maybe this time around the writers will realize how much they’re getting screwed with paychecks way lower than the hundreds of G’s a week the leading faces on TV get and start some frustrating negotiations of their own? In fact, aren’t WGA negotiations coming up fairly (or unfairly) soon?

Oops, we’re outta space for this week. Tune in next time when yer smilin’ muncheroo will talk about the things he likes, Industrywise, so far this year. There’s gotta be something positive out there, in the Land of Love and Moneyh, right, peeps?

Munchman: Love This Post or I’ll Shoot My Dog

Munchman’s TV Musings #9
by Munchman

Well, m’luvs, it’s that time of year again. You know, the time when TVWriter™ visitors start writing nasty emails to their fave site (um, that’d be this one in case you forgot) about their un-fave writer – moi.

Yeppers, it’s taken 8 weeks, but we’re back to where we were a coupla years ago when Yer Friendly Neighborhood Munchman did that “Love and Money” column about new TV series in development and hordes of interweb critics complained about my “attitude.” That last time around I was young and full of spunk and – truth! – was one of the stars of a hit TV show under my supposedly real name (actually an agent-assisted stage name (but that’s another story) so I didn’t care what anybody thought about anything and pressed on until I was simply too busy.

Now, though, I’m unemployed, my latest true love has left me, my agent only calls to yell at me to stop calling her, and all I have is this teeny spot on the interweb to use as a way of keeping my dreams of life and professional success alive, so munchamaniac clearly has to not simply respond to the criticism but bow down before it.

Which means it’s time for this week’s list of recent TV biz happenings that I’m musing about…but without the musings in the hope that your lurve for me will be rekindled and I’ll be able to hang onto this underpaid and even more under-privileged gig until my next ship finally comes in and takes me to join King Arthur and the other saviours of empire on the isle of Avalon.

Here ya go (ya bastards!):

  1. Hot off the presses come the highly upsetting if not downright disgusting news that Jimmy Kimmel, the absolutely least like Oscar show host has in fact been announced as that very thing by ABC, which seems not to mind that Kimmel has never in his short, dull life had anything whatsoever to do with a successful or highly regarded film. Or, methinks, any film at all. Oh well, at least he isn’t Jimmy Fallon (who’s going to do the not-so-Golden Globes. Damn!).
  2. Speaking of saviours, Netflix, long regarded by many, including meself, as the potential Great and Welcome Redeemer of All That is Wise, Witty, and Wonderful about electronic entertainment, has announced that it in addition to the praiseworthy fact that it has 30 new scripted shows in development it will also be releasing 20 new unscripted series in the coming year. That’s unscripted as in “crap TV,” boyz and girlz. Or, to put it another way, instead of continuing to realize its potential as an intellectual and relevant entertainment oasis, Netflix is hedging its bets by going completely batshit regressive, and there’s nothing any of us can do to stop them except, of  course, refuse to watch shows like Ultimate Beastmaster, whatever the effing eff that is.
  3. Here’s one muncharello can’t wait to tell yez about: Lifetime, the absolutely dullest pseudo network on TV, except maybe for House & Garden, has announced a new showrunner for season three of its hit series (as in it’s one the critics haven’t slaughtered) UnReal. And that new showrunner is – drumroll – Stacy Rukeyser, who has been an executive producer of the show for a year already, and since she’s younger and energetic enough to tweet a bit now and then has probably been secretly doing the showrunner’s job anyway for several months now. So all us fans will never even notice the diff! If that ain’t one of the glories of Hollywood production, I don’t know what is!
  4. Now that we’re talking about the good side of life I’m happy to report that the U.K.’s Northern Writers’ Awards competition, sponsored by New Writing North is walking the “helping new writers” walk that so many U.S. orgz are just talking. The contest, which is oopen to new writers of fiction, non-fiction, children’s, Young Adult and even graphic novels, plus sholrt stories and poetry, offers £40,000 worth of prizes and is open till February 2nd of the coming year. Not a huge amount, but not exactly the proverbial chopped liver either…and the judges promise not to give any entrant any notes! More info on this route to a genuinely literary future is HERE.
  5. Last but not least, the munchamatic one wants to recommend a website to loyal genre TV, film, gaming, and even – gulp – book and short story fans everywhere. It’s called AllTimelines.Com and has lists and lists putting all episodes, books, stories, whatever of just about every established franchise known to the human race into timelines making it possible for fans who don’t know how to do their own research (ah! the joy of learnin’!) to experience all their faves in the right order. Cuz the Almighty forbid seeing Series 18 of, say, DOCTOR WHO before Series 3, right? These folks clearly have worked their ganootchkies off, and I’m as impressed as can be and so desperate for your approval and love that I recommend without reservation that ya getcherselves over to THIS SITE ASAP.  Don’t bother telling them who sent you. They never heard of me anyway.

That’s it for this week. The facts and nothing but the facts, unvarnished by the usual, and mucho unloved Muncher stain. Did it work for yez, huh? (Whaddaya mean, I editorialized? Did not, did not did not! At least not by munchical standards.) Seeya soonish with more musings about Love, Money, and the dirty job of writing for TV!

Munchman: Who Will Stop The Current TV Madness?

Munchman’s TV Musings #8
by Munchman

Last week, Yer Friendly Neighborhood Munchman got all ranted up about the need for TV to come up with something new. On actual Old Media television, I mean. Web series are something else. Or at least they should be…as in original.

This week, well, it’s looking like I’m going to have to dish up more of – choke! – the same. I’d apologize, but it seems to me that’s the broadcast and cable channels job, They’re the ones still pushing the same old TV dreck, right?

  1. The latest example of WTF Fuck TV comes from Vampira herself – Annie Rice. You remember Ms. Annie, don’tcha? She’s the one began the whole modern vampire genre with her book Interview with the Vampire back in 1976, then, in 2005 when she and critics alike realized the vampire scene had itself become a night of the living dead abandoned it in favor of a kind of Christian sleaze thing in which she gave good ole Jezuz a pop bio fix. Just a few years later she realized that the Anne Rice audience was not much interested in God and returned to her vamps, writing the same kind of crap as before except with much less energy. Now, deciding that it’s her bank account that needs reviving, the writer has decided to go all Game of Thrones on her unsuspecting faithful and turn her vampire oeuvre into a never-ending TV bloodbath, with her son acting as exec producer of whatever the hell she’s up to cuz…blood, you know?
  2. Baron Von Munchbatten here is pretty damn sure the Rice TV plunge will be iced by all but the more credulous of her fans, but here’s another rehash type show that probably will get more traction, probably because it’s based on something whose source is a tad more recent: The 2014 feature film Snowpiercer. As far as I could tell when my then girlfriend the hipster tied me into a chair, propped me eyelids open with barbs she’d removed from her old barbed wire emo costume and forced me to watch this meaningless drivel, the only thing interesting about Snowpiercer was the fact that it packed so much action into such a relatively short time and confined setting that its cult audience never had a chance to realize that absolutely nothing in the premise, backstory, or visible behavior of the characters made sense. Audiences being as, um, suggestible as they are, this same trick may indeed work in a TV version, where a lack of rational human behavior has become the norm for most of the series in the past decade. In other words, I’m predicting that the marching morons of the millennial will lap Snowpiercer up like my late lamented cocker spaniel scarfed down his own, eh, caca. Please, God, let me be as wrong as Anne Rice was about you!
  3. Have you watched TV Land’s new original series called Younger? What didja think? An astounding number of reviewers have loved this series about “a newly divorced, 40-year-old mom trying to re-enter the workplace,” but Munchikins has found it to be amazingly clueless about how genuine 40-year-olds, i.e. geriatric cases by TV executive standards, think and behave. The mindset of everybody in this fiasco is stuck in a vapid, empty, pre-teen slot. I’d call it a rut, but ruts are deeper. And it isn’t exactly a groove either, becuz grooves are cooler. It’s just…D-U-M-B.
  4. The goode ole U.S. of A. isn’t the only country where TV creativity definitely needs to be made great again. In the Hindustan Times recently Indian TV star Reena Kapoor has had this to say: “A lot needs to develop when it comes to television. I will say we have not progressed at all and have only gone backwards. People don’t make shows anymore, the way they were made earlier and I miss that.” Whoa! Coming from the star of Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki, that’s really harsh criticism, yeah?
  5. LB keeps saying that if I can’t write positive comments throughout this column I should at least end on an upbeat note, and I agree with him. So here’s a positive thought that I really mean: Chuck Lorre, a punching bag for so many critics who adore shows like Younger as well as a currently has-been actor named Charlie Sheen, is still alive and writing and producing comedies that never cease to make this Munchamaniac laugh. Dude has a studio full of talented writers who come up with new wackiness week after week on series after series, and I’m grateful as hell that he’s still in the network TV game. To be precise, I’m thrilled that Chuck is allowed to be in the game. He’s 64, y’know, and if he doesn’t start dyeing his beard to match the inky blackness of his hair somebody in the executive suite’s going to catch on and Chuck will be as dead in the biz as another once famous Lorre – Peter – is in real life.

That’s it for this week. Seeya soonish with more musings about Love, Money, and the dirty job of writing for TV!

Munchman’s Latest TV Musings

Munchman’s TV Musings #7
by Munchman

When I was a wee lad in Dublin, my parents’ generation had a saying. “Old wine in new bottles” was their oh-so-intellectual way of saying that a recent film or play or book or short story, whatever, wasn’t exactly as new as it claimed. It had been done before, usually by somebody else, but its essence, for better or for worse, was repackaged and put out before the public.

In other words, yeppers, kids, this was the polite way of saying, “Jeezus, dude, can’t you fucking come up with anything new?!” Yer Friendly Neighborhood Munchman brings this up becuz guess what? Today’s column is filled with old wine, new bottles, and – but oui, oui, monsieur, pinheaded intellectuals using bullshit phrases to hide from the truth. Cases in point:

  1. M.Night Shyamalan, everybody’s favorite failed writer, known for his one-note, no-longer-shocking-or-surprising storytelling,  is presiding over a new series on TNT. Or maybe it’s TBS. Hard to tell, because equally failed former Fox exec Kevin Reilly is busy screwing up both those networks now, and damned if I can make myself listen to the man long enough to remember what he’s saying. At any rate, Shyamalannadingdong, as his former schoolmates so fondly remember him, says he’ll be doing a new version of Tales from the Crypt, a series based not on the older series of the same name – oh noo, that would be too easy – but on the EC comic book title that other series was based on. He also says he’ll be using many of the stories from the comic series, and while that should be something to cheer about because those stories are just plain funny, scary, and all-around great, poor Munchamatic here is feeling nothing but dismay. Third generation re-do? M.Night Shyamalan? Every time I close my eyes I see the original writers and artists from the comic pushing their way up and out of their graves and trudging, slithering, and stomping their way to Nighty-Night’s abode to drag him into the nearest swamp.
  2. More old wine is being poured into another new(ish) bottle by CBS, that warm and wonderful network headed by the Great Satan Himself, Les Moonves (who really should be called “Least Moonves” to memorialize his success in giving his viewers the absolute very least in every show CBS presents). This particular outrage is mostly a technical one: Colorized episode of the beloved old Dick Van Dyke Show coming to our local mini and maxi web and TV screens next month as a CBS special called The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color! As me sainted Jewish Uncle from Riga used to say, “Oy! Acholer!” Nope, sorry, yer Munchamigo is clueless about what that means (let along how I should’ve spelt it), but believen sie mir when I tells ya that when Uncle Abe said that little phrase it definitely sounded obscene.
  3. What? You say you’ve had enough? Well, so have I, but let’s talk about more wine about to be made into vinegar. Syfy, home of Sharknado and its even worse descendants, has announced that along with 6 or 7 or maybe it’s 8 Paramount and NBC Universal Cable Entertainment producers Syfy is proudly developing Robert E. Heinlein’s classic novel, Stranger in a Strange Land as a series. Although I, Muncherovsky, don’t think the book, about a human raised by Martians who returns to earth complete with superpowers and super sophomoric philosophy and super sexiness is nearly as good as most people say, it’s certainly stayed popular forever. Will it survive Syfy? Or will it go right down the same shitter as the rest of that channel’s failed adaptations? Oh, well, the good news is that when it fails I won’t have to defend my unpopular position on the subject anymore.
  4. Do I sound mad to you all? Is my ranting bugging you? Then probably you should click away from TVWriter™ now becuz the re-do that’s upsetting me most is now up at bat. I’m talking about the news that the Herman Miller company has totally revised its famed – and fantastical and comfy as a big fuzzy bunny sleeping bag – Aeron chair, beloved by rich corporate executives and not quite as rich literary agents and even less rich than that TV writer kingpins. According to the announcement, “When Aeron debuted in 1994, it was a chair unlike any the world had ever seen. It didn’t just change how peoplesat, but what they thought a chair could be. But a lot has changed since then, so it made sense that Aeron should change too.” Um, made sense to whom, pray tell? To idiot believers in false equivalencies? In other words (and this will be the last thing my wildly Munchalating heart will let me say) the times they are a’changing. Witnesseth:

That’s it for this week. Seeya soonish with more musings about Love, Money, and tushie breaking metallic monsters for writers of TV!

munchmanavatarsm