Friday Round Up: Hollywood Doesn’t Get Female Heroes

So here we have the first trailer for the live action adaptation of 80s cartoon Jem. And… it’s not really recognizable as Jem. Sure, there’s Jerrica and she calls herself Jem when she performs on stage. But Jem the cartoon was about a lot more than just being a girl with stage fright. Jerrica owned her own record company and performed as Jem thanks to hologram technology her late father invented. She could project other holograms to get out of trouble. Because it was kind of an action show. People wanted to steal the technology or Jem and her band encountered terrorists. There were evil bands called the Misfits and the Stingers that were always out to get her. It was a lot more empowering and sci-fi. The director has said he doesn’t know how someone could keep a secret identity in the age of social media. I say to that: with HOLOGRAMS!

Read on to catch up on Simpsons news, Supergirl, Ninja Turtles, Game of Thrones, New Mutants and a lot more.

 

TV

harry shearer simpsons

So it’s come to this. The Simpsons will continue for at least two more seasons but without one of the six core cast members. According to the trades, he was offered the same deal as the rest of the cast and stood to take home $14 million for two years of work. Supposedly he wanted a smaller up-front payment and a small piece of the backend profits instead. Showrunner Al Jean said they’d recast his roles with other voice actors. That sounds like a terrible idea. Show co-creater James L. Brooks tweeted that they are actually still talking. So maybe the guy who voices Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Flanders, Kent Brockman, Lenny Leonard, Waylon Smithers, Rev. Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert and many more could still come back. It just seems wrong to continue a show without him.

Speaking of the Simpsons, yesterday Adult Swim posted the above Simpsons couch gag where their worlds collide with Rick and Morty. Violently. I am a huge fan of Rick and Morty and can’t wait for season 2 to start (July 26th).

The past week has been where the major networks announce their shows for next season/the Fall. One that looks better than I expected is ABC’s fake documentary take on The Muppets. Sure, sitcoms have worn out that gag (the original British version of The Office did it all the way back in 2001!) but they comment on it and the show has always been about the behind the scenes creation of a variety show, so it actually feels very appropriate.

Another new trailer was the above 6 minute plus one by CBS for their new Supergirl show. I don’t know what to make of it yet. At first it feels like it’s a parody of typical girl movies like, I dunno, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or something. Except they seem to be serious. Then, halfway through, it starts to feel like maybe Kara is just pretending to be a dork like Clark Kent used to? I really don’t know. It seems like a challenge to do a TV show where Superman absolutely exists but then not have him. Because if things get bad, why wouldn’t he show up at least SOMETIMES?

I was much more excited for CW’s trailer for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. It will be a midseason show (so half a season) but explicitly set in the Flash and Arrow world with characters from both like Atom, Sara Lance, Captain Cold, Firestorm and Heat Wave. And it reveals that Sara Lance will return from the dead via a Lazarus Pit and be known as White Canary. I like that a lot, personally. Caity Lotz was a lot of fun throughout season 2 of Arrow. The enemy that they are all assembling against is Vandal Savage, an immortal. And it’ll have time travel. Real sci-fi stuff. Looks like fun.

I can’t stand most TedTalks but the above one is pretty cool if you like either medieval history or Game of Thrones. It discusses not only the actual history of War of the Roses but specific instances where it influenced George RR Martin in his Song of Ice and Fire novels. Totally worth a watch.

TOYS

jon snow figure

High-end toy manufacturer ThreeZero announced their upcoming Jon Snow 1/6 scale figure, based on the HBO Game of Thrones. It’s an impressive sculpt but I’ve read the quality of it’s durability and paint job doesn’t compare to Hot Toys. Still, they’re the ones with the license and the price is also not quite what Hot Toys usually is. The Jon Snow single figure will be $160 and there will be an exclusive version through ThreeZero on their site that comes with Ghost for $190. I read that they will also increase the size of Ghost to make it more in line with what a full-grown Dire Wolf should be.

Gotta plug our friend Mark Englert real quick. He created the artwork for the new Barbasol cans that are tied in to Jurassic World. Great illustrations. Very cool that you can find this at stores everywhere. Mark creates gorgeous limited edition prints based on pop culture. They typically sell out within minutes, but take a look at his site to learn about his process and see what’s coming up.

original ninja turtle

If you’re a big Ninja Turtles fan (I am), you might want to get in on this pre-order for a figure Mondo is making. It’s based on the original sketch Kevin Eastman made for what a Ninja Turtle would be. You can order a limited edition figure here.

MOVIES

tmnt2 judith hoag

I’d love to not care about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II movie since I’m not a fan of their design (or the fact that they learned martial arts from a book). But then they hire guys like Will Arnett in the first one and Stephen Amell as Casey Jones for the second. They announce Bebop and Rocksteady will be in it with a new, “real” Shredder. And they have some sort of role for Judith Hoag, who played April O’Neil in the original live action movie. Gotta say, she’s looking great considering it’s been 25 years since that movie!

new mutants roster

20th Century Fox announced they will make a new movie set in their X-Men film universe: New Mutants. While I’d love for Fox to reboot and work with Marvel, they’ve also done a decent job with most of their X-Men movies (minus the dark times of X3 and Wolverine Origins). New Mutants was one of the first superhero comic books I read back in the mid-80s and I have always had a fondness for those characters and the concept. Students training at Professor X’s school. I loved Cannonball, Magik, Cypher and Sunspot. I’m sure it’ll completely bork the movie continuity some more but I also think a movie from a teen perspective could work well. It will apparently be directed by Josh Boone who previously adapted The Fault in Our Stars which both had teens and brought in massive box office. He’s set to direct an Interview with the Vampire movie and an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand before New Mutants so it’s a few years off.

VIRAL

Whenever possible, I like to leave you with a weird video. This was made in 1978 to promote wine. It is an OBVIOUS ripoff of Star Wars. But instead of being called C-3PO and R2-D2, it’s Metal Man and Shorty. And they love to dance to 70s disco. I love it.

Also rad? The Transformers popping up in some classic and popular movies. And there’s a point to all the destruction. It’s pretty hilarious.

  • Big Jim

    Something they don’t mention in the connection between The War of the Roses and Game of Thrones: Henry Tudor was Welsh, and the Welsh flag, which his army carried, has on it a dragon.

    There are a couple of good series on this subject. One is “The White Queen” from a few years ago. Only one season, 10 episodes, that spans the reigns of Edward IV and Richard III. About as graphic as Game of Thrones.

    Something more family-friendly (if you can track it down) is The Wars of the Roses, put on by the English Shakespeare Company back in the late ’80s. A series of Shakespear’s plays covering this period – Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, Henry VI Parts 1, 2, 3, and Richard III.

  • Chris Piers

    That sounds interesting. I’ll keep it in mind. Thanks Jim!