Weekly Roundup is a feature posted each weekend on I Wonder if You Wonder (unless I’m a couple of days late, like this week… whoops!). It gives me a chance to react to the week’s industry news and to provide some quick thoughts about the films and TV shows I’ve been watching. (Plus it’ll give you some idea of the sheer amount of stuff I watch!) Let’s dive right in.
First off, apologies for being late with this with week’s Roundup. Not a whole lot of news this week, but a couple of the nuggets below are downright cray-cray.
SXSW: This year’s edition of South by Southwest is currently taking place in its home of Austin, Texas. The festival celebrates a wide range of media, including music, movies, and interactive technology. As is usually the case, this year’s SXSW film slate focuses on emerging artists rather than the established auteurs that dominate many of the other major festivals. The festival is also well-known for its documentary competition. Visit the SXSW website for a list of this year’s films, and keep an eye out for them later in the year.
Community Trailer: Because it wouldn’t be an edition of Weekly Roundup without some news about my favorite TV show, here’s a trailer that was released last week promoting Community’s return to NBC on March 15. It’s glorious.
Bates Motel: This is a weird story. A&E, which has recently expanded its efforts in scripted TV series with Breakout Kings, is working on a show titled Bates Motel that would serve as a miniseries-type prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. They’ve hired former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse to spearhead the project. I’m generally of the opinion that Hitchcock just shouldn’t be messed with, but at least they’ve got a capable writer running the show.
Eastwood & Company: This news broke literally minutes before I posted this article, and I had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April Fools Fay. Apparently E! has lined up Clint Eastwood’s family to be the subject of its latest reality show, in the mold of MTV’s The Osbournes and E!’s endless shows about the Kardashians. The show will focus on Clint’s wife Dina, their daughters, and a group of South African vocalists that Dina manages. This is just too weird to contemplate. Read more about it here.
Viewings & Reactions:
The Walking Dead: This season continues to amaze, as over the past two episodes The Walking Dead has managed to navigate some tricky plot twists and character developments with its usual skill and creativity. I won’t say much more so as to not run the risk of spoiling the major events that have gone down, but MASSIVE kudos to the show’s writers, producers, actors, and crew, who had to deal with a major shake-up right before the season started shooting when Executive Producer Frank Darabont left his role as showrunner after creative and financial differences with AMC.
The Big Bang Theory: This is really more of a tease of a future article than anything else, but I thought last week’s episode of Big Bang featured some really weird gender stereotypes that were surprising and mildly disturbing. Check back later this week for my complete thoughts on the subject.
90210: A while ago I told a friend that I thought the only thing driving this season’s storylines on 90210 was a desire to get Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) into as many different skimpy outfits as possible. There was a sorority prank that led to her parading around campus in her underwear, a feud with a sorority sister (Megalyn Echikunwoke) that culminated in a bikini-clad, American Gladiators-style jousting match, a fashion show that ended with Naomi getting caught making out with a guy on the catwalk, etc, etc. Last week’s episode, though, set a new record for the most narrative hoops the show had to jump through in order to get Naomi into a sexy costume, in this case a black latex catsuit. It may not have been good TV, but it’s worth checking out the episode anyway just for its creativity and unintentional hilarity. AnnaLynne McCord deserves better. (Though let’s be honest… she does look good in a catsuit.)
GCB: With two episodes in the books, I’m enjoying this new ABC series more than I expected. Darren Star executive produces, and he clearly draws from his experiences on other successful shows, including his prime-time soap operas (Melrose Place, Beverly Hills, 90210) and another show that had a mostly female cast (Sex and the City). Leslie Bibb is a likeable lead character, and Kristen Chenoweth is at her outlandish best. There’s room for growth, but I think it’s better than a lot of critics are giving it credit for.
SNL: A decent SNL this week, highlighted by Bill Hader’s appearance on Weekend Update as Stefon, undoubtedly my favorite recurring character from the show over the past few years. The Stefon segment this week featured the second-best Roomba-related joke I’ve ever heard (check it out on Hulu if you’re in the U.S.), falling just shy of this gem from Parks and Recreation a couple of years ago:
This makes me want a Roomba SO BAD.
Previewing features and articles I’m working on for I Wonder if You Wonder, some of which will be posted this week, some in weeks ahead, and others that’ll be abandoned due to laziness or frustration. (Hey, at least I’m up front about it.)
- A look at the vaguely disturbing gender politics of last week’s Big Bang Theory
- Listmania: The 10 Best Episodes of Community (in honor of its return to primetime this Thursday)