Posts Tagged ‘Family Guy’

South Park’s on its final season

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

So many characters...so many memories.

If anyone has seen the latest episode (and mid-season finale) of South Park, chances are you’re feeling some emotions inside.

Back during season 4 of South Park, the creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were thinking of packing things up and ending South Park. Back in those days, the show was mainly surrounding talking Christmas poo and trash talk, but at the time it was a fresh voice to cartoons that we needed.

When they were picked up for another season, knowing how powerful their show had become, became more risque. Because their turnover for shows were six days, and not nine months like a Simpsons episode, they could base episodes on topical issues. Political statements were made (eg: Douche and a Giant Turd for presidential candidates), and social commentary adequately spoken (Barbra Streisand, Oprah, Snooki).

Now at season 15, the show has gotten at its peak of awesomeness. And that’s why after seeing the latest episode that I’ve come to this saddening revelation: This is their last season under contract. While I’m sure they could easily get another contract signed for more seasons, it feels right.

Now if only the makers of Happy Days understood this when one of their main characters were leaving, before the Fonz helped create the phrase ‘jumped the shark’.

"Let's fighting loooove. Let's fighting loooove."

I can’t remember when I watched the Simpsons started wearing thin. To be fair, that show and I grew up together. Until Family Guy there was no competition. And then when Futurama came out, I suddenly saw how repetitive The Simpsons really was. When the characters jokingly say “The Simpsons are going to Hawaii!”, you kow the writers are trying to give the hint that they’ve pretty much done everything they could. But it didn’t stop Fox from demanding more and more.

Even Family Guy, as amazing and boundary-pushing as that show has been as well, is starting to show its loose threads. Stewie just doesn’t want to kill Lois anymore – though an episode directed at that very issue tried to rectify it.

But my last sign of hope, the show that has been so powerfully outspoken in such a genius way has told its viewers that it’s getting ready. This isn’t a Doctor Who moment of regeneration, but given the amount of praise Matt and Trey have gotten from their first Broadway show ‘The Book of Mormons’, they’re probably hoping to keep going with other projects and let South Park end before they, too, jump the shark.

I can remember friends of mine getting absolutely angry with Lost coming to an end. There were tears of sadness. Those who were big followers were losing their shepherd. And that is how I’m feeling with South Park.

Whatever those guys decide to do, as heart-breaking as it is to say it, it’s a good move.


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Lost without it?

Monday, May 31st, 2010

No! Don't...leave us... *sob*

So, it’s finally over. After years of getting so many sub-plots thrown on the already overcrowded island that Oceanic flight 815 landed on, the TV show Lost has come to an end. It’s sad, really.

There were a dedicated bunch of fans of the show who were the first to admit their admiration for the show and how they remember the most amount of twists.

I remember watching a recap show called ‘Lost: Before, Now and After’, which summarised the seasons up to 5, telling those unaware of the show how to catch up on the recent events of Lost.

What they didn’t realise was they lost four seasons of purchase by me, who was in serious contemplation of buying them just so I could get in a word or two to the Lost fanatics, before crawling back into my hole of uncertainty like the rest of them.

But now that the final episode is out, I’m wondering whether to just watch it and be done with it, and finally finish the last season of Entourage, or whether watching the final episode will pull me into a Memento-style backwards tracking of the older episodes to fully understand it.

Shows that have such a huge history, and don’t have the accessibility for those who miss a single episode really shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak. Sure, being part of the fan base for the show is nice, and you get more out of it. But what if you’ve missed one little piece of story? Will every glance that one character makes to another be entirely different?

Back on the air this year, baby! WOO!

Then again, shows that spend half of their 26 minutes explaining what happened on the previous episode really have missed the plot on storytelling (or the story itself).

When a show ends though, it can feel like the end of a time in your life. When Futurama ended, it was if the TV executives found out what I actually liked, and enjoyed pulling the plug on it. It wasn’t for everybody, and I’m glad there was something for me. The same went for Family Guy when it was first cancelled.

But a show that has been on air for so long becomes part of the TV schedule. Then it becomes habit, hobby and sometimes a hindrance if missed. Ever heard “Oh, can’t come out tonight. Desperate Housewives is on!” from a friend?

It's not 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

So when Seinfeld finished, and all four characters sat in the jail cell, we too felt a prisoner of this void that television put us in. What do we do now? Do we make ‘Bee Movie’, an average sitcom about a working woman or make racial slurs at a comedy club?

Did we really think that Friends could go on for another episode? Everyone had hooked up with everyone, and all the catch phrases thinned out. But as life passes us by, so does Everybody Loves Raymond, and M.A.S.H.

The Simpsons is still going, as amazing as it sounds. But what will your reaction be once it’s over? Will you be relived that they’ve finally cut the cord on a dying show, or will you remember the time that the cartoon family offered so much in its infancy that has now burned a huge influence on your humour and perceptions on life?

I miss Firefly…


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Sketchy, but worthy

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Monty Python's Flying Circus

The sketch show. Visual short stories where one-liners have a home, and small ideas become classic minutes of television. Sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss.

Sketch shows started on radio before becoming mainstream popular with the surrealist group from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

It was from these bunch of intellectual and educated creatives that people cite quotes almost dauly, whether it’s how a person walks to the nature of an untalkative parrot.

Most of the actors from Monty Python have had plenty of success since, which begs the question: Do sketch shows help an actor’s chances of success?

Sketch shows can often see actors dressed up in funny costumes, putting on silly voices and acting like a buffoon. It’s hard imagining House M.D. dressed as a woman in a British accent, but unless you haven’t seen A Bit of Fry and Laurie, it’s not hard to conjure that image.

It’s not just England who has created such continued talent. Saturday Night Live has spawned a plethora of actors who have become huge stars. It’s more or less a stepping stone for these actors who have become bigger (and most of the time better) from their time in this format.

What better way to celebrate this short but sweet format than a list of actors who have gone on to receive the most success from their stint at their sketch comedy debut?

Best of British/Australian Sketch Shows

Robert Webb (left) and David Mitchell

A Bit of Fry and Laurie
Stephen Fry (Black Adder, QI)
Hugh Laurie (Black Adder, Stuart Little, House)
Mitchell and Webb
David Mitchell and Robert Webb (The Mitchell and Webb Situation, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Peep Show)
Big Train
Simon Pegg (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead)
Catherine Tate -- (The Catherine Tate Show)
Not the Nine O’Clock News
Rowan Atkinson (Black Adder, Mr. Bean)
Full Frontal
Eric Bana (Troy, Star Trek, Funny People)

'Fire Marshall Bill'

Best of North American Sketch Shows

In Living Color
Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura, Horton Hears a Who, Yes Man)
MadTV
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
The Kids in the Hall
Dave Foley (A Bug’s Life)

Saturday Night Live [This List is long]

Wayne's World

Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers)
Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation)
Mike Myers (Wayne’s World, Shrek)
Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers)
Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Step Brothers)
Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock)
Eddie Murphy (Coming to America, Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor)
Chris Rock (The Chris Rock Show, Dogma)


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Spin one more tale for me

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

'The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner'

For all you fanatical Twilight fans, there are some good news heading your way.

Stephenie Meyer’s vampiric world of glitter skin and everlasting teenage love will be getting a spin-off. I know I’m not exactly the biggest advocate of the series, but I do know it’s still absolutely massive. I’m still seeing magazines with the ‘Love Triangles’ that seem to be happening with werewolf, vampire and human.

‘The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella’ is a telling of the newborn vampire from Eclipse that lived a short life after the transformation. Not exactly the fan to live up to the lifestyle of a vampire, she’s met with an end to her life. Consider Stephenie Meyer’s novella to be another glimpse of the Twilight series, but don’t expect too much Edward action.

It was supposed to be short story attached to the official guide to the Twilight world, but instead Meyer kept writing about it until the short story became a novella.

For those unaware of what a novella is, it’s shorter than a novel, but longer than a novelette. It was taken from the Italian word “novella”, the female version of “novello” which means new.

See? And who says you don’t learn anything from me? And soon you’ll have learnt more about invincible vampires that glisten like a turkey dinner on Christmas Day.

The whole spin-off idea derives from a lesser-known character of a TV show or movie getting their own chance at the limelight. For the most part, television shows seem to be the most common source of spin-offs from the amount of characters used.

If one character seems to be running out of pizzaz, why not yank one of the lesser known characters and create an entire show around them?

"But...you're not as funny as me."

Some fly, some flop. I’ve created a mini-list of what each spin-off has done for the series.

Different types of spin-offs

Stretching out a franchise a little thin
Buffy – Angel
From ‘Butt jokes’ to ‘Bumpkin jokes’
Beavis and Butthead – King of the Hill
New characters, same mess
Beverly Hills – Melrose Place
Agonizing death of a character
Friends – Joey
Successful spin-off, beating the original
Cheers – Frasier
Making polar opposites out of friends
The Daily Show – The Colbert Report

Loud and random to slow and steady
Family Guy – The Cleveland Show
It’s a universe, we can get away with it
Battlestar Galactica – Razor & Caprica


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Who are we gonna call?

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Ivan Reitman has confirmed that he will direct the new Ghostbusters film.

This is pretty awesome news in my opinion. This is to top the news that Harold Ramis mentioned a few weeks ago that there were plans for a 2011 release for the script he and Dan Aykroyd have been working on since the video game sparked interest for an actual movie.

It comes as a risky venture when trying to rekindle the love people had for Ghostbusters, and falls into the paradox of the Old VS New argument.

It's...not the same.

If you can remember when you first saw Ghostbusters, and remember your age, you might notice that you were younger than you are now.

If you weren’t, that’s incredibly freaky, and I suggest you hand over your time travel device, or teach me how to look into the future.

Nostalgia has been coming up a lot recently with all of these remakes. You can’t just replace the actors with new ones.

Scrubs is in its ninth season, but most of the main characters aren’t there anymore. Avoiding the ‘Jumping the Shark’ issue with franchises is incredibly hard when you think about longevity.

"O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!"

Not many have survived such a problem.

South Park has gotten increasingly better ever since the 4th season, where fart jokes reigned supreme. Trey Parker and Matt Stone were going to retire the show, but fans (yours truly included) are glad they stuck with it, because now there’s an animation with a 7-day turnaround that can be more topical than the usual 9-month procedures that The Simpsons and Family Guy have to endure.

But not to worry, there’s still hope for Ghostbusters! The original cast have all said “Yes” to it, as long as the script is good enough. There’s even rumours that Rick Moranis, who has taken retirement from the entertainment industry, might come back from retirement for a little cameo.

And now, to announce the fourth round of nominees for the Wowwies Awards! And the nominees are:

P.R. Nightmares
Oprah KFC’s chicken coupon riots
Domino’s YouTube scandal
Low-flying planes over Manhattan
Balloon Boy

Best Erotic Novel
The Diary Of Cozette
Winter’s Desire
Sex Drive
The Moonlight Mistress

Worst T-Shirt Slogan
Christian Chicks – Praise the Lord
The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee
Don’t Mess With Texas
Not Tonight Ladies – I’m Just Here to Get Drunk ‘OR’ Sorry Ladies – The Shirt is Staying On


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Well I conveniently happen to have my guitar here…

Monday, December 7th, 2009

I watched one of the newest episodes of American Dad, and My Morning Jacket made a guest appearance.

My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket

It got me thinking about musical guest appearances in other cartoons. Whether it just be because the writers loved the band, or that it was conveniently planned to coincide with the release of an album, their presence has always broken the fourth wall as it were on cartoons.

I’ve gathered up a little list of musicians who made an appearance on a cartoon and performed one of their songs:

Top Bands That Have Performed on a Cartoon

Korn

5. Korn (South Park) – It was a nice way to give exclusive right to play their newest single ‘Falling Away from Me‘, but the Hannah Barbera-style episode of Korn solving a mystery in a Scooby-Doo fashion gave the episode a better class of homage to music guest appearances.

4. Spinal Tap (The Simpsons) – Sure, they’ve also had Paul McCartney, Metallica, Green Day, Sting, The White Stripes and any other band I forgot to mention, but Spinal Tap was a fake band put into a ficticious world, making it more of a ‘Christopher Guest’ appearance than any other to add maximum mocking effect. Plus Harry Shearer being a voice artist on the show anyway, it was a nice touch.

3. Frank Sinatra Jr. (Family Guy) – It was Frank Sinatra Jr., singing with Seth MacFarlane as Brian and Stewie in a number of tunes. There wasn’t any hidden character to disguise his true form. If you’ve got Sinatra Jr., draw him up immediately and throw him in!

Head of Beck (left) with Bender

Head of Beck (left) with Bender

2. Beck (Futurama) – Both Beck and the Beastie Boys deserve a shout out for appearing as heads in jars, and I’m glad that these two groups were preserved for the year 3000 to enjoy, but Beck is the winner here. He parodied himself on several occasions, revealed to the world that there was a Becktionary, and performed alongside Bender  in a new song ‘My Broken Friend’.

Guest appearances can sometimes cause a show to feel like it’s ‘jumped the shark’. Some actually benefit from their cameos. In the end, it’s not who visits the show, it’s the show itself.

So what’s the best guest appearance by a musician/band?

1. The Ramones (The Simpsons) - Theys sang at Mr. Burns’ birthday and told Springfield “Up yours”, before rocking up Ramones-style for the ancient birthday song.

The Ramones

“Have the Rolling Stones killed.” – Mr. Burns


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Giggit…..rrrrrr…..

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Freaken sweet.

Family Guy Season 8 DVD

Family Guy - Season 8

The 8th season of Family Guy’s out soon. I always love grabbing the box sets of TV shows, because chances are things have been cut out, and Family Guy usually has something.

It’s got commentaries on every episode (so we’re hoping for more Seth MacFarlane goodness), some deleted scenes, plus the ‘lost episode’ about OJ Simpson that Fox couldn’t air at the time of completion because OJ was sent to prison.

He should’ve stuck to football…

There’s also a collection of seasons 1-8 coming out at the same time too, if you haven’t started collecting the series yet.

How’s everyone doing out there? How was your drivetime commute to work? Or maybe you’ve just gotten out of bed. I remember taking a nap October of last year after having a dream of living in a post-apocalyptic world. The door bell rings and three kids with melted faces come asking for food. Co-incidence, or bad time for a nap on All Hallows Eve? Either way, those kids got a big bite out of my door. What’re you trying to do, actually scare the people you’re begging food off of?

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360

Left 4 Dead 2 is coming out on Xbox and the PC in the middle of November. Zombie invasions are always fun when you’re armed, so it’s reassuring that this one doesn’t make you play the helpless victim. It might be pushing it hoping to have a playable Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), complete with chainsaw and boomstick.

For most of the world, expect more of the same awesome game you remember from the first, with new characters, weapons and Infected. For you Australians out there, you’ll have to fight your blood-thirsty zombies with kind words and hugs with the censored version. The lack of an R18+ rating means Australia’s getting a toned down version. Terrible for Aussie sales, since most will be importing it for that reason. Fighting a hungry croc’s fine, but a hungry zombie? Nooo…

We’ve also got our Christmas store open at CD WOW!, so if you’re thinking about doing some early planning before the mega Christmas rush approaches, have a browse around. We’ve even sorted out by specific family member if needed. Very handy when you have that blank moment in time when you say to yourself: “What does my dad like again?”

What’s new on your shelf? Found anything that’s worth talking about? I’m looking for some good ol’ rock tunes to get myself back into it. The soundtrack from Brutal Legend was a great start. Any suggestions?