Weekly Roundup is a feature posted each weekend on I Wonder if You Wonder. 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.
Mad Men Returns: As I write this, the season four premiere of AMC’s Mad Men is less that two hours away, and I feel like today really should have been declared a statutory holiday. Tune in and enjoy.
Kazakhstan Greatest Country in the World (in Women’s Shooting): Hilarity out of Kuwait this week. After a Kazakh woman won an Olympic-style shooting event, the event organizers mistakenly played the fake Kazakhstan national anthem from the movie Borat instead of the real one. This is apparently what happens when you send someone scrambling at the last minute to find a national anthem on the interwebs. As international incidents go, this has to rank as one of the better ones of the last several decades.
I love that she kept her hand over her heart even as she realized what was going on.
SATC Prequel: This week, the first picture from the CW’s forthcoming Sex and the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries was released. Actually, it’s not technically a prequel – it’s a separate adaptation of a book about Carrie Bradshaw’s early years that was written by the same author (Candace Bushnell) as the original book that SATC was based on. Ties to the HBO series are incidental, but people are obviously going to consider it a prequel anyway. AnnaSophia Robb stars as Carrie.
Smash Renewed, But Showrunner Exits: For fans of Smash (like me), some bittersweet news this week: the show was picked up by NBC for a second season, but creator Theresa Rebeck will be stepping down from her role as showrunner (though she will remain with the series as an Executive Producer and may continue to write some scripts for the show). Rumor has it that NBC is unhappy with the show’s focus on the behind-the-scenes politics of Broadway productions instead of the simplistic one-on-one rivalry that dominated the show’s well-received pilot. For me, that type of criticism is total bunk – did people dislike The West Wing because it was too inside? Or Mad Men? Or even procedurals like CSI and Law and Order? Are people really less interested in the minutiae of musical theater than they are in the minutiae of forensic science?
The Hunger Games: Newsflash: The Hunger Games is pretty popular. The movie had the third-best three-day opening weekend in history, surpassing all of the Twilight movies and coming just short of The Dark Knight’s mark. The movie is getting pretty good reviews and great audience reception across the board, so kudos to Vancouver-born, L.A.-based mini-major Lionsgate. (They’re also the producers of Mad Men, so I’d say this is a pretty good weekend for them.)
Viewings & Reactions:
Awake: A bit of a backtrack here after my praise for Awake’s pilot. Since that time, the show has begun to focus far more on typical police procedural stuff, with its unique premise sliding to the back burner. Perhaps not surprisingly, this has led to a decrease in quality and sliding ratings, with the show now a big underdog to be picked up for a second season. NBC squandering a good thing… that’s never happened before, right?
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.)
- More Listmania (my list of the Top 10 Episodes of Community is forthcoming, but I might hold it back until the show is renewed for a fourth season, which seems more likely now than it did a few weeks ago).
- The debut of my “30 Days…” series. Log on next Sunday to find out which film I’ll be writing about every day for the month of April, with each day’s article focusing on a different aspect of the film.