Friday, December 4, 2015

A REASON TO REJOICE, YOU SEE:  Yes, The Wiz Live! was that good. The performances, Harvey Fierstein's script-doctoring, the new songs, all of it. Yes, it needed a studio audience.  Yes, we wanted more Toto.

But this musical showed what NBC needs to do going forward: find a contemporary-enough musical with a solid book and without a non-definitive film version. Cast for talent, not fame/stunts. Holy crap was Shanice Williams a find. (Okay, but I liked the idea I saw that Terry Crews should've had Common's role.)  Embrace that you're on a stage, not filming a movie. And keep moving forward.

Now, we'll see what Grease Live learned from all this.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

NOTHIN' BUT A G(OY) THANG:  It's the Dr. Dreidel.
WHEN YOU TRY YOUR BEST, BUT DON'T SUCCEED:  You get fucking Coldplay as your Super Bowl L halftime show. Bruno Mars and BeyoncĂ©, both of whom I'd rather see do this a second time, are slated to guest.

I accept that Taylor Swift's finally done the 1989 tour, and Adele ... isn't quite right for this. So, other than my standard suggestion of Prince four-out-of-five-years rotating with Morris Day and The Time, who? Drake/The Weeknd?
REMEMBER RECORDING SONGS OFF THE RADIO, ONTO A CASSETTE?  A nice reminder from a Redditor of how much the Internet changed everything:
When I was a little kid, and I asked my parents a non-obvious question about the human body or biology, their answer would be “Ask your uncle Paulo next time we see him. He’s a doctor”. Other questions about various topics would get “Let’s call up grandma and ask her; She’s a teacher”, or “Let’s see if the encyclopedia has anything about this”, or “Ask your teacher if, during recess, you can go ask the librarian at school”. 
What movies are playing? Let’s check the newspaper. 
How do we get there? Either they sent us directions, or we can open up a map and figure that out, then carry the map with us in case the roads have surprises such as closed exits or in case we make a wrong turn. (Intermediary stage between then and today: Let’s open up that newfangled Mapquest and print out custom directions!)...
Whatever happened to that guy I hung out with for a while when I was 14? Or that cousin-twice-removed that I met at that family gathering that one time, he seemed super cool and had some neat interests. Or that teacher I really liked? Back when I was young, if you didn’t interact with someone for a while, if they moved away, and don’t have friends/relatives in common, that person would effectively disappear. It would require phone-calls and letters to try to reconnect with them. Even once you did reconnect (if you really wanted to), it was unlikely that you would develop a meaningful long-distance relationship, more than a letter or quick phone call once every couple months. Seeing photos of each other’s projects and trips? Forget about it....

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

FROM NANU-NANU TO SHUZBOT:  The (sadly about to be integrated into Gizmodo) io9 has an excellent oral history behind the scenes of Mork and Mindy.
THE CASTING PROCESS WILL BE COMPLETED IN LESS THAN 12 PARSECS:  Among the many Star Wars projects in active development is a Young Han Solo prequel.  Delightfully, the casting search is code named "Red Cup," and they've seen over 2,500 actors for it.  Vulture has some of the names that have read, which range from Rami Malek (interesting, but might be too dour) to Miles Teller (whose off-screen antics hurt his chances).  Suggestions?  Thoughts?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

VORG (VALUE OVER REPLACEMENT GILMORE):  Vulture goes all 538 on Gilmore Girls' pop culture references.  ("Number of jobs held by Kirk" is less than "number of different maids Emily Gilmore has during the series.")
ORPHAN, BASTARD, SON OF A SITH AND A QUEEN DROPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF A FORGOTTEN PLANET:  In his spare time (between 6 and 7:30 on two-show days) Lin-Manuel Miranda co-wrote the cantina music cues for Star Wars: Episode VII with director J.J. Abrams.

Monday, November 30, 2015

THE MAN AND HIS DREAM:  As part of a pre-Kennedy Center Honors WaPo profile of George Lucas, he's being wrong wrong wrong again:
In the [1999] version, it is Greedo who shoots first, by a split second. Deeply offended fans saw it as sacrilege; Lucas will probably go to his grave defending it. When Han shot first, he says, it ran counter to “Star Wars’ ” principles. 
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ ” Lucas asks. “Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”