First of all, thanks to everyone for the kind words in regards to my West BABY Ever?! post. We’re all excited at West HQ, and we’ve got a lot to do between now and March. I know some of you out there are also moms and dads, so I’ll take any advice that you might have to offer!
In television, the week started with the premiere of Mulaney, the Fox sitcom starring standup comic/former SNL writer John Mulaney. I had high hopes for this show, but none of the clips I’d seen made me feel good about it. Once the show premiered, my hopes were further dashed. At its best, Mulaney is a pale imitation of Seinfeld. It starts out with Mulaney doing standup for the audience, a la early Seinfeld, and Nasim Pedrad is doing her best Elaine Benes. There’s even a quirky annoying neighbor named Andre who fills the Kramer slot. At its worst, it’s just a dreadfully unfunny sitcom, made even more unbearable by Martin Short hamming it up. I’ve never been a Short fan, and I feel like he just makes a bad show worse in this case. One of my major gripes whenever comedians get shows is that they write episodes based on their act. While it’s new to those unfamiliar with the comedian, if you’ve already heard the jokes, then it just feels tired. Mulaney’s pilot is based off a joke in his act where he describes how he went to the doctor to get a Xanax prescription, but goes too far in describing his ailments, and ends up getting a prostate exam. It’s actually the combination of two separate Mulaney bits, but they’re much funnier as jokes than as a sitcom subplot. The rest of the episode involved Mulaney trying to prove himself to the eccentric Short, who has hired him as a writer. I LOVE Mulaney’s standup, and if you’ve never experienced it, check out New In Town or The Top Part. This show, however, is not the best showcase for his talents. Ratings were pretty poor, so it’s probably not long for this world, which is a shame. It had so much potential, but I can see why NBC passed on it.
Next, minds were blown when it was announced that Twin Peaks is returning to television in 2016, as a limited series on Showtime. I’ve never experienced the show, but I love the theme song, as it was on the first volume of Pure Moods. I figure now’s as good a time as any to get acquainted with the show, so I know I’ll catch up somehow before 2016 rolls around. I’ve got time.
Then, shit got crazy as it turned out that the LAPD is investigating 7th Heaven‘s Stephen Collins on possible child molestation charges. This sent ripples through Hollywood, and resulted in Collins being fired from Ted 2, as well as a guest spot on Scandal. He seems to be laying low for the time being, but I see this situation getting worse before it gets better. What I’m curious about, however, is how the news got out. Apparently, Collins admitted past incidents during a therapy session that was recorded. Now, I thought things said in those environments were confidential, but I guess it’s different if they were scared he’d strike again.
Black-ish received a full-season order from ABC yesterday, which is great news for the show. I, however, am on the fence as to whether I like it or not. My biggest problem stems from the fact that every episode seems to involve Anthony Anderson trying to figure a way to “black up” his son. In Anderson’s eyes, Andre just isn’t black enough. I have problems with the idea that something makes someone more black than someone else. Maybe this is something that hits close to home for me, but I tire of watching Anderson try and fail to make his son live up to some standard of blackness that he holds. I’d love for an episode to end with Anderson realizing that Andre is OK just how he is. We kinda got that ending this week, but the show will be back next week, and I’m sure Anderson will be back at it again. I enjoyed this week’s topic about the Black Guy Head Nod, but in educating the public, I almost feel like the show is giving away our cultural secrets. Whatever. I’m just talking out of my butt and it’s late. All I know is that no one should have to live up to someone else‘s standard of blackness. That’s just ignorant.
In movie news, there are rumors that Marvel and Sony are in talks for Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On top of this, there are also rumors that the Spider-Man franchise may be rebooted AGAIN with the planned Sinister Six movie. It’s being reported that whether or not Spidey appears in something like Avengers 3 will hinge on the box office success of the Sinister Six film. I think we all knew that it would be rebooted eventually, but I think we were just getting used to Andrew Garfield. Anyway, we should get used to stunts like this as Sony will stop at nothing to keep those rights from reverting back to Marvel. Sure, they may share Spidey, but they’re not gonna just give him up. I don’t care what they do as long as I don’t have to sit through another origin. I already know his origin story. Everyone knows his origin story. Let’s just start the next iteration in media res.
In comic news, Batman was about to become the first monthly $4.99 comic, but writer Scott Snyder came on the scene and said that he would talk to DC about lowering the price back to $3.99. Earlier this week, he announced that next month the book would be back to the $3.99 price. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’m cynical or what, but I refuse to believe that DC lowered the price because a writer asked them to do so. Comic companies don’t care that much about the talent, and they certainly don’t consult them on business decisions, such as pricing. Maybe retailer outcry did it or maybe fan outcry did it, but I refuse to thank Scott Snyder for something that I really don’t think he had a hand in changing. It certainly makes him look good to the fans, however.
While we’re on the topic of comics, something really grinds my gears in Marvel books lately. I’ve noticed a lot of guest spots with Tony Stark showing him drinking. Now, if you know anything about Stark, it’s that he’s an alcoholic. The movies don’t really get into it, but the comics have certainly dealt with it. Now, I forgot that he fell off the wagon during the Fear Itself event. They made it seem like he “magically gave up his sobriety”, but that’s a fanciful way of saying he fell off the wagon. And I guess he never got back on, as he’s still being depicted drinking. I think that’s kinda irresponsible coming from the company that refuses to show anyone smoking anymore just because Joe Quesada’s dad died of lung cancer. It seems like they’re picking and choosing their high horse, and it just seems sort of wrong to me. They’re saying that smoking’s bad, but drinking’s whatever. I, personally, don’t have an issue with either, but I feel like if you’re gonna hitch your moral wagon to lung cancer, you could also do so for alcoholism. I feel stupid for even getting upset about this, but this is the sort of problem you run into when comic companies want to apply real world politics to their books.
Weeabos lost their minds when Hatsune Miku performed on Letterman this week. If you’ve never heard of Miku, that’s because “she” is not real – it’s a hologram. Yeah, I don’t really understand it, but here’s some video:
My pal Keith submitted this for West Week Ever, and it almost won. In high school, they used to call me Carlton and, yes, I can do the dance. That’s why this clip from Dancing With The Stars made me smile:
This week, we experienced the premiere of yet another comic book television show. Unlike Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., however, this one hit all the right notes. The Flash premiered on The CW, giving the network its highest ratings in five years. Those viewers were deserved, too, as the show is superb. It’s an optimistic show, with colorful heroes – a nice departure from the current stuff that seems to be ashamed that it’s adapted from a comic book. I just can’t get into Gotham, but I loved every second of the Flash when I first saw the “leaked” pilot over the summer. Grant Gustin makes me care about Barry Allen – something I never thought was possible, and I love the entire cast, from Jesse L. Martin to Tom Cavanagh. And that final scene?! I will definitely be back next week, and without a doubt, The Flash had the West Week Ever.