We 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…
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 City, a 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…
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…
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
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!
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
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.
Don’t. Just don’t.
Unbelievably, we’re about to enter our third calendar year in existence. It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to put together our best of the decade lists (which makes sense, because we didn’t actually post one of those until this week). In 2011 we hope to be even more timely, on-point and just plain better. Until then, let’s try to end 2010 on a high note with our not-at-all anticipated Best Shows of the Year:
1. Community: This was an absolute no-brainer. Far and away Community was the most original, ambitious, rewarding, warm, funny, creative, fearless show of 2010. It was just a little over a year ago when the show delivered its holiday episode, “Comparative Religion” (featuring mustachio’d Anthony Michael Hall), and we began to feel then that the show was truly building towards something special. When Community returned in January of this year it began what should be considered one of the greatest runs of any comedy series in television history, playing “can you top that?” with itself from week to week. Solid episodes like “Investigative Journalism” with Jack Black, “Physical Education” with a nearly naked Joel McHale, and the truly superb Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry” culminated in the single best episode of 2010 across the board, the paintball-splattered, action movie homage masterpiece “Modern Warfare” (we know that we’ve already proclaimed the greatness of this episode, but it’s worth doing over and over again).
Keep reading: More on why Community is the best show of 2010. And 9 other good ones…
With the snow keeping us indoors we thought it might be a good time to go through our drafts and let some of these long-languishing, somewhat unfinished posts see the light of day. First up, our best shows of the 2000s, which we held off publishing until we could embed some video evidence. But, at this point, we’ll put that responsibility in your hands.
My belated best TV shows of the 2000s! (in a semi-particular order)
1. LOST: For the reasons I outline here.
2. The Sopranos: The Godfather of dark, fearless cable shows with flawed central characters. Might be responsible for killing network TV.
3. Arrested Development: Simply the smartest sitcom of all time. It was probably to clever for its own good. It was basically teaching a master class in comedy while throwing out an impossible amount of sight gags, call backs and cutaways. We should just be thankful that we got 3 seasons of this masterpiece.
4. Veronica Mars: Could have put it below Freaks and Geeks, but I give it the edge for somehow making it to season three (even if that was a neutered, watered-down version of VM). I’d put the first season up against any season from the last decade.
5. Freaks and Geeks: The most gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of high school ever. 18 episodes of achingly beautiful growing pains [editor’s note: just watched much of IFC’s Freaks and Geeks Holiday Marathon, and if we revised this list today we’d be tempted to put this show at the top of this list. It’s that fucking good].
More: 6 – 10 and Honorable Mention
Filed under Best Show You're Not Watching, Bob Loblaw, Dillon Panthers, Discos and Dragons, Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam, Flashback!, Lists, LOST, Mars Investigations, Mr. Gaeta, Prepare for Jump, The Roaring 10s!, The State