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Brilliant But Cancelled

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Hey There, There Goes the Spider-Man: The Enduring Appeal of Spider-Man '67

Few superheroes have had as many animated incarnations as Spider-Man. Since his first solo series -- appropriately titled Spider-Man -- in 1967, he's headlined seven TV cartoons, some good (the mid '90s Spider-Man, the recently concluded, wildly underrated The Spectacular Spider-Man), some mediocre (the cheesy but fun '80s team-up Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends) and some terrible (MTV's unwatchable CGI version).

Hey There, There Goes the Spider-Man: The Enduring Appeal of Spider-Man ’67

Few superheroes have had as many animated incarnations as Spider-Man. Since his first solo series -- appropriately titled Spider-Man -- in 1967, he's headlined seven TV cartoons, some good (the mid '90s Spider-Man, the recently concluded, wildly underrated The Spectacular Spider-Man), some mediocre (the cheesy but fun '80s team-up Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends) and some terrible (MTV's unwatchable CGI version).

If You Like Smash, You'll Love Slings & Arrows

I like Smash. I like its energy, I like the ensemble, I like the musical numbers and I like the way the show's writers have concocted a version of Broadway that feels rooted in a recognizable reality, while also allowing for the dramatic conveniences (and contrivances) that come with the territory of primetime network soaps. I also like that the show seems to have found a modest, but decent-sized audience. The premiere attracted 11.8 million viewers and if that number holds or increases in subsequent weeks (and here's hoping it does increase, because the show improves greatly in the coming episodes we've screened), Smash should be with us for a while and could turn on a whole new audience to the pleasure of an evening out at the theater, be it the Great White Way or your local repertory company. If you were one of the 12 million folks that tuned in and liked what you saw, I'd encourage you to check out an even better show about all the blood, sweat and tears (and laughs... don't forget laughs) that go into mounting a theatrical production: Slings & Arrows.

If You Like Smash, You’ll Love Slings & Arrows

I like Smash. I like its energy, I like the ensemble, I like the musical numbers and I like the way the show's writers have concocted a version of Broadway that feels rooted in a recognizable reality, while also allowing for the dramatic conveniences (and contrivances) that come with the territory of primetime network soaps. I also like that the show seems to have found a modest, but decent-sized audience. The premiere attracted 11.8 million viewers and if that number holds or increases in subsequent weeks (and here's hoping it does increase, because the show improves greatly in the coming episodes we've screened), Smash should be with us for a while and could turn on a whole new audience to the pleasure of an evening out at the theater, be it the Great White Way or your local repertory company. If you were one of the 12 million folks that tuned in and liked what you saw, I'd encourage you to check out an even better show about all the blood, sweat and tears (and laughs... don't forget laughs) that go into mounting a theatrical production: Slings & Arrows.

Before Alcatraz, There Was… The 4400

by admin January 17, 2012 5:25 pm
Before Alcatraz, There Was… The 4400

A reported 10 million viewers tuned into the premiere of Fox's new paranormal procedural Alcatraz, which finds a San Francisco homicide detective (Sarah Jones) teaming up with an Alcatraz expert (Jorge Garcia) and an FBI agent (Sam Neill) to investigate the bizarre reappearance of a group of prisoners who disappeared from The Rock some 50 years ago under mysterious circumstances. It's a great hook for a show... as anyone who watched The 4400 during its four season run in the mid-aughties knows.

Eerie, Indiana: A Look Back At a Wicked Little Town

Sometimes you watch a promo for an upcoming series and think it's been created just for you. That's how I felt in the fall of 1991 when I saw a teaser for NBC's Eerie, Indiana, a family-friendly, comedy-laced horror show about an ordinary kid Marshall Teller (Omri Katz), who moves with his family from New Jersey to a distinctly unordinary small town -- Eerie, Indiana, population 16,661. Like Marshall, I had recently been uprooted as well, leaving downtown Toronto for suburban Virginia. And while the community my 13-year-old self had moved to wasn't home to a still-alive Elvis Presley or an orthodontist who designed retainers that allowed their wearers to read the canine mind, it still seemed pretty strange and alien to me. When Marshall described Eerie as "the center of weirdness for the entire planet" in the show's great credits sequence, he basically summed up how I felt about my new home.

Ghostwriter: The World’s Most Wholesome Supernatural Series

Speaking as a kid who grew up without cable in the '90s, PBS is underrated. Obviously, everyone loves Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. And the Internet (and cosplayers) will never let anyone forget about The Magic School Bus, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, The Big Comfy Couch or Bill Nye the Science Guy. You can't bring up classic '90s PBS without talking about Wishbone or Lamb Chop's Play-Along, nor should you. Still-thriving Arthur remains underpraised, despite being the longest-running children's animated series in the U.S. (and the second longest-running American animated series behind The Simpsons)... and I have more than once on TWoP snuck in the fact that I am basically committed to watching Marc Brown's aardvark-helmed series through to its bitter end. But, in my humble opinion, the two most overlooked series of all time are The Puzzle Place -- a show that I was up until recently convinced only existed in my head, because to this day I cannot find a fellow fan in the flesh (even its forum hasn't been touched in years) -- and the one I'm writing about today in the spirit of Halloween: Ghostwriter.

Ghostwriter: The World's Most Wholesome Supernatural Series

Speaking as a kid who grew up without cable in the '90s, PBS is underrated. Obviously, everyone loves Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. And the Internet (and cosplayers) will never let anyone forget about The Magic School Bus, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, The Big Comfy Couch or Bill Nye the Science Guy. You can't bring up classic '90s PBS without talking about Wishbone or Lamb Chop's Play-Along, nor should you. Still-thriving Arthur remains underpraised, despite being the longest-running children's animated series in the U.S. (and the second longest-running American animated series behind The Simpsons)... and I have more than once on TWoP snuck in the fact that I am basically committed to watching Marc Brown's aardvark-helmed series through to its bitter end. But, in my humble opinion, the two most overlooked series of all time are The Puzzle Place -- a show that I was up until recently convinced only existed in my head, because to this day I cannot find a fellow fan in the flesh (even its forum hasn't been touched in years) -- and the one I'm writing about today in the spirit of Halloween: Ghostwriter.

Veronica Mars: A Return to the Scene of the Crime

Confession time: When I decided to watch and then write a piece about the first season of Veronica Mars as part of my internship at TWoP, I told the editors that I had never before seen the show. But I had -- just once.

The A-Team: Was It the A-Game for the Show's Cast and Creators?

With a new movie adaptation arriving in theaters this week, more attention is being paid to the classic 1980s TV series The A-Team than ever; there's even a new DVD set coming out in the shape of the show's famous van. But while the A-Team itself was widely regarded as being the best of the best, was the show the best it could be? We took a look at the resum├ęs of the cast and creators of the show to suss out if The A-Team represented their "A" game, or if there were bigger and better things in their work histories that made The A-Team look more like the "B" list.

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