Category Archives: TELEVISION

Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) Recieves Half-Gallon of Szechuan Sauce

It happened, Morty! We got the sauce! That delicious Mulan Szechuan chicken sauce!

You're seeing this right. McDonald's sent Rick and Morty co-creator, Justin Roiland, a half a gallon of their Szechuan sauce. It came in a very hazardous looking container with the label "Dimension C-1998M".

The label on the bottle says:

"For use only in McDonald's restaurants (C-1998M) during limited promotional window, and then maybe again twenty years later. DO NOT SERVE to mad scientists traveling with their teenage grandson; potential non-scientist versions of mad scientists from alternate dimensions; and/or Jerry."

McDonald's also included this letter address to Roiland himself:

Rick & Morty season 3 premieres at 11:30PM ET on July 30th 2017.

The Leftovers – Questions Answered Unanswered

 

 

 

 

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The Leftovers, a tour-de-force of emotion that has graced HBO over the last three years, has finally come to an end. Evolved by Damon Lindelof (remember Lost?) from the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, we have seen growth from the source material into a modern hymn for the grieving and the hopeful. Not discounting Perrotta’s original work, The Leftovers has become something more than a mere adaptation. Never has a television show taught me more about myself and others, than I have learned here. Jumping off the premise that 2% of the world disappeared without explanation, we are plunged into a murky cold sea of confusion, tension and as we follow the lives of a select few, we find ourselves clawing for the surface in tandem. Though the world of The Leftovers is rife with doubt and darkness, it allows for the comforting discomfort of less approached themes in most modern television. There is no singular answer to the very real question posed again and again, here, and in life: How do we grieve? What does it take to move on?

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Three seasons, a short collection of twenty-eight episodes, and three major location changes is rare for any television show, let alone such a short lived project. The juxtaposition of expanse and brevity has served very well. Starting in the invented town of Mapleton NY, we watch as a single family is ripped apart by the silent and profound change the Sudden Departure (October 14th, 2011) has wrought without much incident. From something as common as divorce, to the world-bending aim to eliminate all dogs (They’re not ours anymore), we see the Garvey family and others cling to what is real in the unreal, coping in a myriad of ways. Reverend Jamison takes to the streets with a vicious smear campaign in order to correct the seemingly random removal of the 2%, adhering it to the Christian idea of the Rapture, come to remove the damned. Nora Durst collapses inward, seeking comfort in a bullet-proof vests and sharp-eyed prostitutes. Further still, Laurie Garvey joins the Guilty Remnant, a silent, cigarette smoking cult, dead set on being a constant reminder of what was lost.

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Season 2 opens with a beautifully tragic account of a prehistoric woman giving birth and making every effort to protect her newborn in the chaos of the world in a more natural state. Earthquakes, axis mundis, the world moves on, the world remains the same. Introduced to the Murphy family, residents of Miracle, formerly Jarden Texas, a town where not one person departed on the 14th of October. This turn from the Garvey family opens the world of the Sudden Departure, shifting perspective toward relief from the ultimate unknowable tragedy just before something changes for the worse. From the point of the disappearance of Evie Murphy, we see a facing off between the Murphys and the Garveys that reaches far beyond the scope of simple neighborly woes. Meanwhile, Kevin begins losing his grip upon reality sinking further and further into depression. Rife with suicidal tendencies and the consistent plague of a most powerful adversary who has returned in a seemingly divine manner, Kevin finds himself questioning what is real, and how exactly to proceed. As we arrive at the culmination of this season, Lindelof, Perrotta and company take what we know television to be and turn it on it’s head yet again in what should go down as one of the best episodes of television in it’s history.

In this second season, we see the injection of further strangeness, as well as some much needed, though still grave levity. The micro has been blown out and we see the further unravelling of how we relate not only to our immediate circle, but those around us, suffering as well, but in wholly different ways. The drive of this season is Kevin’s journey and the grand Grieve Off between the two families, culminating in a striking and powerful exchange between Carrie Coon’s Nora Durst and Regina King’s Erika Murphy. This is the height of tension and at its apex a release of rage and quiet desperation between the two that has to be experienced first hand. The Leftovers often cuts to the quick and allows the initial sting to remain long after the incident has ended.

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Rounding out the third season, we are slowly transported to Australia, nearing the seventh anniversary of the Sudden Departure. Seven being a number of biblical significance, there is a general consensus that something, possibly the end of the world itself will come on the anniversary, and the people the world over prepare in their own ways, for the worst. Others seem to think there will be a Sudden Return of sorts, making way for all those lost so many years ago (Gary Busey in particular). The patchwork family we have watched form and reform throughout the past two seasons are on one final push to the grand finale of the show and perhaps the world as they know it. Kevin has been exalted by some as a possible messianic figure, Nora has found solace in the promise of a machine that could return her to her Departed family, and the world tenses up for the coming crest of a seven year long wave in the making.

Without getting too into the finer details, The Leftovers makes it’s final feats expand even further to focus on an even smaller, oft overlooked important part of our lives. The stories we tell each other and ourselves, and how they weigh on our decisions as well as those around us. More than ever we see the blending of Science and Faith here at end of a modern fable, filled with holy men, scientific analysis and perhaps even a ghost or two. The show has become an axis mundi unto itself, finding the link between what we know and what we question, either in defiance or reverence. There is layer upon layer of the nature of our existence, how we process the world at large, and the ways in which the defined and the undefinable color our experiences.

As consumers of media, in particular what is now known as “Peak TV”, we are very familiar with the series finale as a concept. Often we find ourselves feverishly awaiting the final chapter, only to come away dissatisfied, vaguely content, or perhaps left in a lurch to question the entire body of work. Those that come to mind may seem obvious, ‘The Sopranos’ infamous smash cut, Lindelof’s own ‘Lost’ church gathering that divides fans to this very day, the mammoth ‘M*A*S*H’ send-off that still dominates ratings records, all remembered and revered for different aspects of what we search for when we look to television as an artistic medium.

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‘The Book of Nora’, our final entry into the world wrought forth by Lindelof, Perrotta and in just as many ways director Mimi Leder,  both drains the lake and refills it almost immediately. A shift in focus from where we leave everyone in the penultimate episode, there is a time jump and we are given exactly what we need, we are told stories, the stories we want to hear, and the ones we need. Lindelof and company leave the world of The Leftovers on a masterstroke of ambiguity that is also a perfectly recognizable finality. Both the question and answer are presented with such precision that neither is the point inherently, but rather whether or not one has their faith in check. “Do you believe what you’ve been told?” is a daring but effective and well earned note to finish on.

The Leftovers, for all it has given me, and so many others, deserves a bevy of recognition that it has not gotten in it’s short span. With any hope as years wear on, others will find it to be a haven for processing and even rejoicing in our darker recesses, relating to one another on a more human level and calling into question those fringe moments where the heavens and the earth seem to meet. A hymn worthy of eternal reprise, a true work of immense depth and beauty, The Leftovers will be hard to top, and even harder to let go.

Video: Twin Peaks Part 7 Review

Here’s my review and analysis of Twin Peaks: The Return part 7! We learned a little more about Diane played by the incomparable Laura Dern, and her sordid, dark history with Evil Cooper. Hawk talks about the missing pages from Laura Palmer’s diary. We learn a couple things about the decapitated corpse of (possibly) General Garland Briggs. Then we have the unnerving blackmail scene between Evil Cooper and the Warden. So much to discuss…always so much.

New Twin Peaks Funko Two-Pack Debuting At San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Coming to San Diego Comic-Con in 2017, Black Lodge Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer! This box set will go on sale at at Funko’s SDCC booth this year, but according to WelcomeToTwinPeaks.com, it’s likely the box set will be sold in stores as well after comic con. Hot Topic is an official retailer of Twin Peaks merchandise so it’s likely you’ll be able to find them there first.

Meanwhile…

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David Firth shows us the dangerous wonders of “Cream”

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Mixed-media artist David Firth (@DAVID_FIRTH) perhaps most well known for his bizarre, unsettling yet endearing “Salad Fingers” series is still at it and taking the strange to new, chilling heights. His latest released project, a short animated film entitled “Cream”.

The short is animated in a style that will be familiar to fans of Firth’s previous works, but it has taken on a starkly realistic quality, utilizing actual faces, natural textures and drab yet shocking color to truly drive home an atmosphere of strange normalcy. We are first introduced to a new miracle product, a cream, branded as Cream, that appears to be limitless in it’s uses. Cream cures acne, it can cure all ailments major and minor, it can regrow your lawn, it can even (when injected directly into the brain) increase your I.Q.

Our main character, Dr. Bellifer, has struck gold and watches as his invention soars in popularity and cosmic power. There is no stopping Cream. Cream becomes so much more than was originally intended, much to the chagrin of the good doctor. Go on and see for yourself what horrible wonders Cream can commit.

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David Firth is a master of his craft, distorting reality with enough finesse to disturb yet equally draw one into his underlying message. Though the meaning may seem as clear as the blemish on one’s face (there’s a Cream for that.), we are privy to a multi-layered commentary on consumption, medicine, advertising, the ever present menace that can be the media and even our own personal connection to the world outside. Whether intended or not, Firth has command of imagery and dialogue, that when married together generates the reflective surface we so often forget to peer into when making purchases, large and small decisions and most importantly what we put our trust and faith into. Who can we truly say has our best interest at heart?

There is much to be gleaned from this twelve minute meditation on the human condition and how each of us can be manipulated into any reaction given the right circumstance, only to be led back into the fold for another go around.

I can only hope we will see more from Mr. Firth in the very near future, as he continues to terrify, sicken and delight me in good measure.

You can watch ‘Cream’ and many of his other polarizing projects on David’s YouTube Channel here: http://bit.ly/2rVrnRQ

Marvel’s The Defenders: A Good Defense Is A Great Offense

Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). This foursome is out to save New York City from the evils of Sigourney Weaver. As their lives cross intersect thanks in part to Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). They realize with a good amount of persuading that they just might be stronger when teamed up together.

When watching the trailer I have got to say my grin was from ear to ear. Daredevil pops in interrupting Misty Knight’s interrogation of Jessica and tells Jessica to “stop talking”. Good luck with that Matt.

Then we transition to Luke Cage trying to figure out what a hero really means with good ole Clair guiding him along the way. He then meets up with Iron Fist who tries to smack Luke down with some fancy kungfu (which I hope is a little better in this show then the Iron Fists own). Then we see the glowing hand of the Iron Fist pop Luke Cage’s top right off. In the end Luke doesn’t understand what being an Immortal Iron Fist means and neither do I really.

Then we’re introduced to the big bad Sigourney Weaver, who with the few lines she has seems to steal the show away for me as the main villain. We get to see an, “unhatched” back from the dead, Elektra (Elodie Yung) fighting with Daredevil, which is going to be fun to watch.

Finally cut to one of my favorite scenes, and a fight which takes place in a hallway. These guys sure do seem to love to fight in hallways. But watching all four of them work with their own unique skills of ass-kickery makes it for some amazing Netflix TV.

I’m excited guys. I want this show to be amazing, especially after all the negatives from Iron Fist. Fortunately, I see a lot of good humor and a great chance for this show to ramp up the danger to our heroes. I’m happy to see these guys together, and see all the chemistry at work. I hope Iron Fist gets some good lines in, but only time will tell if it’s just the writing or maybe Finn Jones just wasn’t the best call. Prove me wrong Defenders, prove me wrong.

Marvel’s The Defenders is a Netflix original series which will launch globally on August 18, 2017.

Did Iron Fist let you down? Are you disappointed it’ll only be an 8 episode run for the series? Let us know what you think of the series in the comments below.

Roseanne Was One Of The Best Family Shows Of All Time

Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and Sara Gilbert are ready to go with the revival of the popular sitcom Roseanne. It may or may not end up on either broadcast networks or streaming services, they’re currently shopping around. I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix or Amazon snatch it up. The original Roseanne ran for nine seasons on ABC, so another possible home is it coming back to where it all started.

The show was widely praised for shining a light on the working class American families of the time.

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The series saw the Conner family try to eek out a living in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. You might know one of the cast member since they’re on the popular TV show Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki who played David on Roseanne. Sara Chalke also starred in an immensely popular comedy sitcom by the name of Scrubs. The show and cast received numerous awards ranging from Emmys to Golden Globes. Roseanne herself won a Golden Globe and an Emmy from this long running sitcom.

The trend of reviving old shows is on the rise. We’ve had Prison Break start airing on Fox in April. Last year Netflix debuted the continuation of Gilmore Girls to give the fans some closure, with more episodes possibly on the way. X-Files, Fuller House, and Twin Peaks are all on the way to either starting or continuing on with more episodes. And if you’re interested in Twin Peaks, we have some new set photos up!

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I for one am excited for Roseanne to be back in some form. The family dynamic was one of the most real-to-life adaptations in my book. I just miss Dan and Roseanne most of all.

What was your favorite sitcom of the 90’s? Do you think this trend in revivals is a good thing, or a bad one? Let me know in the comments below!