munchman sees BARELY FAMOUS

And even though it’s funny in that dry, unfunny way all new sitcoms are funny, I’m disappointed.

Can’t help but wonder why in this day and age something called BARELY FAMOUS isn’t, you know, a little more bare…?

What’s the matter, VH1? Never heard of truth in advertising?

Sheesh!

(Hey, it’s Sunday and I’m stuck working. Cut a guy some slack, OK?)

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munchman

 

Web Series: “Travel Boobs”

munchman is excited to let you all know that this is currently his favorite web series.

And, no, not just because of the name.

“It’s the metaphor that appeals to me,” munchman says. “Try it and see!”

Here’s a recent episode to try:

See more Travel Boobs on the show’s YouTube Channel

And don’t forget to check out its website

Tell ’em munchie sentcha! (Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Oops!)

LB Sees “The Get Down”

Not your usual review. But then, this isn't your usual TV series either.

Not your usual review. But then, this isn’t your usual TV series either.

by Larry Brody

What would Sisyphus do?

Your TV writing career gotcha down, bunky?

Feeling tired? Terrified? Downtrodden?

You write your butt off and nobody reads it. Finally somebody does read it and hates it.

Or, worse, won’t even talk about it to you.

Agents, managers, and executives ignore your emails, refuse your phone calls, and can’t see you as anything but that waitperson who keeps butting into their convos instead of serving and scramming.

Your parents are disgusted because you neither have nor want a respectable job.

Your significant other has that look that says your significance to him or her is waning.

FWIW, we here at TVWriter™ understand and often share those feelings. We get tired of sleeping in our studio apartment on a hand-me-down futon. We have all felt the heavy weight of true despair, the horrifying certainty that despite all the great song lyrics of oldour day just plain isn’t destined to come.

But here’s the thing. My mantra, something I’ve told myself over and over and will continue to tell myself until my last breath:

“Anything worth doing is harder than fuck. But you don’t stop till it’s finished. Whether it’s a project, a goal, a dream, you keep going till the end. Because otherwise how do you live with yourself? And how do you love and take pride in someone else if you can’t love and take pride in you?”

sisyphusTo put it another way, when it all seems like too much to take any longer, ask yourself, “What would Sisyphus do?” And remember, there isn’t a pic anywhere of the classic dude sitting on his butt. We know his story because he never stopped pushing.

Never.

Moving that rock be how he rollz.

Oh, and here’s the review part: If you need a quick refresher in self-believe, a blast of extra energy to chase the demons away and make waking up tomorrow morning a total delight, then do yourself a great big favor and check out Baz Luhrmann’s amazing new Netflix series The Get Down.

I don’t want to ruin anything by saying too much. But I will say this:

The Get Down, with its incredible music and dance numbers and the kind of vitality that nothing but pure creativity can bring, has the power to grab you and shake you and awaken your soul.

I know because watching the pilot one rocky night late weekend sure as hell did that for me.

munchman’s got a secret – and it’s a BLOODY one

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It’s WTF Wednesday, and yer friendly neighborhood munchman has just whatcha need to beat the heat while really, really, really feeling, “What the fuck?”

In the few months that I’ve been working with SouthEast Asia Animation (my el muncho toro spelling of the moniker, not theirs), I’ve become fascinated by the whole animation process, so today I thought I’d share a couple of nuggets – or is it nougats? – of info.

First up is a test animatic from a vamp western (as in vampires, m’friends) series SEAA and I’re working on called Sangre De Cristo, which yer munched one thinks means “The blood of Christ.” Of course, it really isn’t Christ’s blood – I mean that’s wine, isn’t it? Or pee or – oh, right – water, methinks I remember it now.

Anyway, the title’s mostly for atmosphere, although there’s the situation’s actually more complicated than that. And the blood is…well it’s human, kind of. At least it was human before it became vampire blood. Or maybe it’s the other way around?

As you can see, I’m not nearly as informed as I should be about what I’m doing cuz it’s TOP EFFIN’ SECRET GODDAMMIT. But what you’re about to see is Pretty Damn Cool for reals and I defy anybody anywhere to say it isn’t.

What’s that? Oh, yeah, some of you may not know what an animatic is. That I can tell you. It’s kind of an intermediate step between a storyboard and the finished animation. A format where storyboard images are cut to the various SFX, music, and dialog and do some primitive movement. Instead of showing all the in-between moves in a sequence, the animatic just shows the beginning and the end of each move. LB sez it’s animation done by artists called in-betweeners, but since artists called in-betweeners are long gone from the biz there’s no in between.

Dig it:

See? I was right, wasn’t I? You know I was.

The second little tidbit for ya is this TOP EFFIN’ SECRET URL for the location of our equally primitive and not at all ready for primetime SEAA test website. Having this is a real special privilege, m’luvs, so keep it tight, okay? Don’t abuse it:

http://seaa.media/wp/

By the way, if you’re the Best Damn Web Designer in the Ever-Munching Universe and you’ll work for free or just a little above free or the chance to maybe get a personal email from el munchero here, we could really use your help. Just drop me a line HERE. Hells, kids, you don’t want to miss a chance to work in Bangkok, or at least talk to somebody who works in Bangkok, does ya?

Buh-bye 4 now,

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yer ever-lovin’ munchalito

munchman sees ROADIES & is Thrilled and Delighted…Oh, Yeah, and A-fucking-palled

roadiesby munchman

Am I the only human on the planet still giving Roadies a chance?

Why?

No, not “Why isn’t anybody else watching this sad attempt at music biz time travel?” I mean, “Why am I watching?”

Can’t be for the writing – it’s cliched beyondeth any understanding. Things happen, but no stories are told. Instead, each episode is a ridiculous slice of life fiction on the order of the bullshit, unreadable fiction The New Yorker magazine used to publish back when reading it could give a high school kid some serious intellectual cred.

(For all yer friendly neighborhood munchikins knows, that pompous, dreary, anti-humor mag may still be publishing those meandering exercises in long-winded nothingness, but I ain’t in high school anymore and have better things to be bored by. Like, oh fuck it, you know, Instagram and FB.

But continuing on the subject of the writing on ROADIES. Not only are there no plots, there aren’t any real characters either. Just cardboard strawmen representing various rock-loving tradespeople (AKA roadies) who, while well-acted, probably would come across as more interesting if they were engaged in some activity or conflict or self-reflectiveness that actually matters to people these days.

Did I say “these days?” Did I say “sad attempt at music biz time travel?” I did, and as a result you may be wondering just what the hell I’m talking about. So here’s a brief explanation: Cameron Crowe of Almost Famous infamy has given us a series ostensibly about a contemporary (as in here on this world and in this timeframe) tour by a major but fictional of course rock band in which every event, attitude, and musical sound reflects the here and now not one single bit but instead takes us back to Crowe’s glory days – the mid-seventies in which Almost Famous is set.

Cam, baby, you’ve been there and done that. So have we. Why the fuck haven’t you and Showtime moved the hell on?

Oh, right. It’s because today’s rock touring is duller than your toenails, that’s why. All business…and, right, not really rock at all. Just that strange generic “music” that owns our iPhone playlists. Nobody would even be tempted to tune in a TV series about 2016’s Wonderful World of Homogenized Harmonies Sung By Girl Singers Who All Sound Like Marni Nixon. (The late soprano who used to dub in the singing voices of all the non-tune carrying actresses in Hollywood back in the second half of the 20th Century.)

Talk about bland…

But hark, what light through yonder window breaks? There it is, the answer to my question: The reason I am, in fact watching Crowe’s sad exploration of what he can still remember of his past.

It’s the the love, kids.

For reals.

And the passion.

What keeps me coming back for more Roadies is seeing – and feeling because we’re talking about really fine acting here – the love every character feels for the music. The passion for life and art that music gives them, and that they return in kind. This could well be the most idealistic show on television right now. Maybe ever. It makes the Aaron Sorkin years of The West Wing (yes, there were non-Sorkin years but, fortunately, nobody watched them) look cynical.

Once upon a time, my fave video game was Sim Earth. I spent thousands of hours creating life and manipulating civilizations and learning, time and time again, as my societies waxed and waned and thrived and died out, that being a living, sentient being is – well, it’s fucking tough is what it is. Life is hard. The laws of physics and biology are merciless. There is no escape.

In Sim Earth, it was easy to make your people miserable, but bringing them happiness or at least contentment took a lot of thought and, I always liked to think, skill. Over time, I became the Master of Happy Civilizations by discovering one underlying truth: It’s art that makes life bearable. That allows beings like us to survive with at least an occasional smile.

So far in this, its freshman and probably only season, Roadies has demonstrated over and over and over again that art in the form of good ole rock ‘n’ roll is the true Second Coming. Bigger than Jesus! Out there waiting for us to find it and accept it so it can save our souls.

Thank you, Rock Jesus.

Thank you, Cameron Crowe.

Thank you, Showtime.

But don’t expect me to stick around and watch any more episodes of this execrable show. I’m taking action, kids.

It’s time for munchman to form his own band and hit the motherfucking road!


munchman is TVWriter™’s managing editor and scapegoat. Learn absolutely nothing more about him HERE

munchman: One-Sentence Reviews of July’s Premiering Series

dalek premiere

by munchman

Yer Friendly Neighborhood munchman promised LB he would review all the Summer 2016 shows – and then missed most of the June shows. (Or, rather, was sulking in my wi-fi challenged tent at a location I can’t divulge and didn’t get to see them. Don’t know how many I really “missed.”) But ole muncho is here now, so let’s get this over with started:

POWER

Power’s back and still nowhere near as enjoyable as the much more badly written Empire, proving that going over the top is always more fun.

BALLERS

Friends tell me I’d love this, but I’ve never been able to even give it a try cuz…Ballers?

VICE PRINCIPALS

Vice Principals tries like hell to give its characters all the energy, stupidity, and bad judgement of 8 year-olds and, unfortunately, succeeds.

DIFFICULT PEOPLE

Sorry, but I stopped watching this show halfway through the first season because it seems to me that if people are going to put on a show about my life I oughta get to at least star in it – or get paid…something!

SUITS

Suits is my ex’s favorite show, so ’nuff said, right?

MR. ROBOT

More of the same greatness we got last year featuring a protagonist I consider a kindred spirit except I smile less.

TYRANT

OMG!, it’s another series I just can’t get started on because I already deal with way too many tyrants for reals, kids, and definitely don’t need to put up with that shit when it’s just me, my VPN, and my iPad.

MARCO POLO

In the words of the Talking Heads, “same as it ever was,” even duller, dumber, and more historically inaccurate than DaVinci’s Demons (except I lurves DaVinci because…demons – and, hey, sex too).

DARK MATTER

Luvin’ on how well Dark Matter hides its low budget, but it screws up now and then by actually giving a character a positive worldview, for a few minutes anyway.

KILLJOYS

Killjoys is the same show as Dark Matter (I’ll bet there’s a point where we discover they share the same universe as well as the same night on Syfy), but it sometimes shows a genuine sense of humor that appeals to my smirkier side. (I said I don’t smile much, a few shows up. Didn’t say I don’t smirk.)

BOJACK HORSEMAN

This show is possibly my favorite TV series of all time because not only does it portray Hollywood perfectly, its hero has what really counts in showbiz – a genuine horse cock (even though we never get to see it). Oh, and because it’s my fave, I’m giving it a second sentence. Actually, this is for my ex to read but as long as you’re here, I’m cool with you sticking around: Sweetie, I’m sorry you hated my favorite show, but do you have to keep telling all your friends I’m just like Bojack except a whole lot – erm – smaller?

More to come in August – mehopes!

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munchalito

LA Must-See: “Forgotten Baggage” by Robin Walsh

One of these objects isn't an object at all - it's our wonderful subject: Robin Walsh!

One of these objects isn’t an object at all – it’s our wonderful subject: Robin Walsh!

by munchman

Robin Walsh, longtime TVWriter™ friend and puppeteer genius behind The Devil You Say and It’s a SpongeBob Christmas has a new must-see show for us at the Hollywood Fringe, but not with SpongeBob or Satan this time. This year’s she’s showing a work-in-progress version of her new show: Forgotten Baggage: Stories from the Willard Suitcases.

The true backstory:

In 1995, workers cleaning out the Willard Psychiatric Center in upstate New York discovered hundreds of suitcases from former patients packed away, their owners buried and forgotten. The objects within were time capsules of lives disrupted and interrupted, simultaneously rich with details about their owner’s past yet devoid of answers to how or why.  The suitcases were unfinished stories trapped in time.

Here’s where fiction comes in:

Forgotten Baggage is an evening told with Object Theatre, intimate and simple. Each scene is based on items from one suitcase, giving the objects inside a chance to live out their lives, if only for a brief moment. Essentially a work of fiction inspired by remnants of actual people, the tales have been gleaned from the objects themselves. Told both with and without words, the stories go from comedic, to fantastical, to tragic.

Together they weave a fractured yet cohesive evening, (echoing, perhaps, the mental states of the original patients). This Fringe production is a work in progress production, featuring 2-3 “Suitcase Stories.”

Currently in an early stage of development, this show is the recipient of a 2016 Henson Foundation Workshop Grant and is based on the photographic work of the actual suitcases by Jon Crispin.  For more information, please visit www.willardsuitcases.com.

Also be sure to see the Crispin’s wonderful photos at www.joncrispin.com.

After receiving the Henson Foundation Workshop Grant, Robin decided to bring a small piece of the show to the Fringe this year and get feedback to help develop the concept further. We at TVWriter™ think that’s a great idea and suggest you grab a friend and come on down to see what’s she’s been up to and help make it even better!

Tickets are free, or pay what you can. At the new Sacred Fools space, in the Studio Theatre (the old Asylum theatre space), at 1078 Lillian Way, off of Santa Monica.

Preview is this Friday, June 3 at 7 pm. And just 2 shows – June 17 at 8 pm and June 24 at 11:30 pm.  It’s a small theatre – so get your tickets now!

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3411

Hope to see you there!!! (Think you’ll be able to spot me?)

munchman

munchman