Category Archives: Mars Investigations

On the ‘Veronica Mars’ Kickstarter: Be Careful What You Wish For, Know What You’re Buying

Veronica Mars Car CameraWe spoke briefly yesterday about the already-record breaking Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter, but that post was mostly to express our unbridled enthusiasm, our uncontrollable excitement about the possibility and then certainty of a return to Neptune. However, it would be irresponsible of us to talk about this revival, and convey our joy, without considering the very real ramifications of this money-making endeavor. The Veronica Mars movie, having already surpassed its $2 million goal by $1.3 million, has completely changed the paradigm for what a Kickstarter can be, and, certainly, raises the question of what it should be.

The obvious issue with this fundraising format is that Veronica Mars fans – you, me, Steve, Tom – are essentially not only paying for the production of the movie, and not only paying for the production of the movie so Warner Bros. doesn’t have to, but we’re paying for the production of the movie so Warner Bros. doesn’t have to and handing them the profits. There’s no backend deal here, there’s no recouping on our initial investment. We will not be entitled to any portion of the net. Meanwhile, while we pour our millions of dollars, perhaps contributing a significant portion of our incomes, spending money we really don’t have, a giant movie studio will reap the benefits. It’s easy to think – and very pragmatic to do so – that they have hundreds of millions of dollars to sink into the Harry Potter franchise, and then they have hundreds of million dollars to extract from the Harry Potter franchise, and they can’t fork over a measly two million for this little passion project? That’s not necessarily a cynical, misguided outlook. But it also doesn’t paint an accurate picture.

More: Buyer Beware…

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Best Show You're Not Watching, Makes You Think, Mars Investigations, You Decide

Girls, Girls, Girls*

Well, if you still needed something to wash out the taste of misogyny and disrespect towards women after the Oscars, then a trio of announcements concerning female-centric projects might just finally cleanse your palate.  Basically, it’s Ladies Night and all the girls drink for free. To wit:

1. Comedy Central has, very wisely, picked up a ten-episode order of Broad Citya comedy based on the web series of the same name created by and starring the brilliant Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (full disclosure: they are close personal friends and two beautiful, strong, hilarious, independent women). Loosely based on their own lives, it’s the anti-Sex and the City that Girls** isn’t. Here is the Season 2 finale, a love letter to NYC that features Amy Poehler, who is executive producing the series (and is another beautiful, strong, hilarious, independent woman):

More: K. Bell and the future Belle of the Ball…

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Filed under Brilliance, Flashback!, Freak Out Control, Good News!, Mars Investigations, The Big Screen, Virulent, Yasmine Bleeth

Belated In Memorium: Donald J. Sobol AKA a Requiem for Encyclopedia Brown

We like to fancy ourself as an amateur detective.  If someone loses their keys, we’re on the case.  If someone is being evasive about whom they went to dinner with last Sunday night, we get to the bottom of it.  If there’s an email address to be found by scouring pages of Google results, we’re going to find it.  If we spend a week in Aruba, we fully believe that we’re going to solve a high-profile, lingering unsolved murder.  In many cases we’re successful, in some cases we’re not (the latter, in particular, which is still keeping us up nights).  But that inquisitive, investigator spirit stays with us, and it’s been with us since childhood.  If you asked us at eight-years-old what we wanted to be when we grew up we’d say “baseball player” or “movie writer.”  Definitely one of those two.  But “detective” would have won the bronze, which is why in 9th grade we did a future career report on “FBI Agent” and nearly began working part-time for a private investigator a few months after college (it occurs to us now that we would be especially unsuited for that role, our small bladder no doubt serving as a hinderance during long stakeouts).  It’s perhaps why we fell so in love with Veronica Mars (the show and the character), and spent so many hours as a child in our grandma’s basement using her office supplies and copy machine (or “photostat,” as she so adorably referred to it) to assemble fake case files, pretending that stamping a folder “PAID” was equivalent to “CASE CLOSED,” and  fabricating evidence out of Xerox copies of our tiny hands and face and randomly scribbling with mechanical pencils.  We were a junior Sam Spade, a soft-boiled detective, solving the case of the missing ping-pong paddle with a Bachman’s pretzel rod dangling casually from our lips instead of a lean Marlboro, a tumbler of Pepsi with crushed ice instead of a stiff whiskey on the rocks.

And what does any of this have to do with Encyclopedia Brown? Read on for the solution…

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Filed under In Memoriam, Literarally, Mars Investigations, Nostalgia Corner

The Return of ‘Community’: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hiatus

Tonight brings us the long-awaited return our beloved Community, the show that is, if you ask us, far and away the funniest, most innovative show on television (or off television, as the last couple months would have it).  While we still had Parks and Recreation, and welcomed back 30 Rock with open arms, Thursday nights just weren’t the same without the Greendale study group, just not as magical.

However, even though we dearly missed the show, and do worry about its chronically low-ratings and tenuous chances of renewal, we were not in panic-mode like some others were over its benching.  First off, the show was not canceled, and even though there was no definitive return date when the hiatus was announced, there was never a doubt that it would return this season.  Even if the show pulls in dismal ratings (which it unfortunately does), it wouldn’t make much financial sense for NBC to produce a full season and then never air the back half.  It’s not like Community will fare much worse than any of their other comedies, save for The Office.  So the hiatus was not a punishment, or a really even a threat.  Just a business decision, one that NBC scheduling has now applied to Parks  and Rec, as that equally wonderful show takes a break til late April.

Keep reading: Why the hiatus was good for Community and good for us

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Filed under Analysis, Bob Loblaw, Brilliance, Discos and Dragons, Good Humor, Greendale Human, Mars Investigations, Must See TV

‘Saved by the Bell’ THE FINAL SEASON

This is it, folks.  We estimated it would take us about two days to get to this point.  Instead it’s taken 3 weeks.  But, nevertheless, we’ve arrived.  And the end.  Well, the beginning of the end.


6:14pm, Season 5, Disc 1, Episode 1: ” The Fight”

00:10: Well, right out of the gate we have to compliment the DVD menus for this season.  MUCH improved.

01:49: My school never had the “pool on the roof” gag.  I kind of regret that.  Feel like I didn’t have a proper high school experience.

02:32: Fun Fact: Elizabeth Berkley turned 44 during this season.

Read on: More fun facts, THE FIGHT, a big season from Big Pete, the curious case of Tori Scott, drinking, gambling, kissing, Punky Brewster, time travel and graduation day! And MORE!

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Filed under Buffy & Hildegarde, Count Bleh, Crucial Taunt, Fashion Show at Lunch, LOST, Mars Investigations, Masochism, Rip-off, Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell Project, Yasmine Bleeth

Good News! The Man Who Brought Us ‘Veronica Mars’ is Bringing His Latest Show to the Network that Brought Us ‘Arrested Development’

Veronica Mars and Party Down might be just memories now, but it appears that the genius of Rob Thomas will live on.  Previously, Thomas, along with Party Down co-creators, John Enbom and Dan Etheridge, received a pilot order from NBC for their workplace comedy Temp.  Keeping the ball rolling, Thomas has now been granted a pilot from Fox for his latest project, Little in Common, which has been described as  “three families whose lives have become intertwined through youth sports,” which sorta sounds like Modern Family, but with unrelated clans.  Or Perfect Couples with kids.  But if Thomas can do with families what he did with a sassy teenage detective and hopeless Hollywood caterers, then Fox may have its best sitcom since Arrested Development.  And if we can get three seasons out of this one, we’ll be happy.

Now we imagine “youth sports” will include activities like soccer, baseball, basketball, maybe dance or ice skating.  But may we recommend kickball?  We already know that Thomas has that one down cold.

via Splitsider

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Filed under Bob Loblaw, Freak Out Control, Good News!, Mars Investigations

Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: Dairy Show

It was just yesterday that we were thinking that our late 2009 blog post Dairy Burn (How ’30 Rock’ Taught Us That Stone Mountain & Long Island Are Not That Different) was one of our better works, if not for its convincing parallels between northeast yuppie suburbanites and southern redneck bumpkins, then purely for its impressive investigative journalism, tracking down the Long Island Dairy Barn that served as Fatty Fat’s Sandwich Ranch in a Season Four episode of 30 Rock. While not our crowning achievement, it’s certainly something to be proud of.  So what luck when we saw among today’s top search terms “dairy barn long island,” giving us the perfect opportunity to link to that original piece.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST (AND THEN TELL US IF WE HAVE A FUTURE IN DETECTIVE WORK)

And, for something new, here’s what our hometown Dairy Barn looks like.  First person to pinpoint the location of this branch wins an amazing* prize.

[It’s interesting to note that in that original post we implied that 30 Rock was the second funniest show on television, trailing only The Office.  Now, a little over a year later, we’d easily rank both of those shows behind their two Thursday night companions, Community and Parks and Recreation.  Even more, we’d have to admit that 30 Rock would now be slotted ahead The Office, but more for the latter’s decline in quality than improvement by the former.]

*”Amazing” is a relative term

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Filed under Flashback!, Gratuitous Search Term Bait, Local Flavor, Mars Investigations, Must See TV, You Decide