Had ABC's new comedy pilot The Neighbors been really interesting, sweet, funny or even cute, I'd start comparing it to, say, 3rd Rock from the Sun, ALF, Aliens in the Family (other people watched that show, right?) or any of the many other network sitcoms about extraterrestrial beings hanging around Earth, but instead... it was mostly just kind of boring.
In news I never thought I'd hear but am irrationally excited about, Red Hot Chili Pepper's lead singer Anthony Kiedis is developing a series with HBO. It will be about his rock and roll childhood and misspent youth. Casting's going to be a bitch, but I bet it will be awesome. I have read a lot about Keidis (during my own mildly misspent youth), and based on my knowledge, it is likely to be a wild ride. Too bad that the title Californication is already being used.
No, HBO hasn't joined the ranks of USA and SciFi in broadcasting the weekly exploits of World Wrestling Entertainment superstars -- the wrestling they're gonna be showing is of the decidedly old-school variety. Their newest drama series, Everybody Hurts, will focus on a family that runs a professional wrestling organization in New York City in the 1970s, back when wrestling was a regional sport, and Andy Kaufman had to go to Memphis to fight Jerry Lawler. Think Hogan Knows Best meets Six Feet Under. It'll be written by The Riches scribe Aaron Blitzstein, who watched regional shows as a child in Baltimore and New York and later did marketing for World Championship Wrestling. (Hopefully, it will be better-written than most WCW storylines. Also, we hope it uses the REM song of the same name as its opening theme.)
Good news, fans of sexy vampire TV shows: True Blood got picked up for a second season after airing just two episodes. (Ep. 2 got a nice bump... likely because they didn't air it during a holiday weekend!) Either HBO's real desperate, or it knows that its got a slow-building culty hit on its hands. I'm hoping for the later, but I'm kind of a realist these days, so it is probably the former. Having read a bunch of the Sookie Stackhouse books (or the Southern Vampire novels as they are oft referred to) there's a lot of potential. Given that the first two episodes are mostly in keeping with the first novel (with a few additional and amalgam characters), but only tackle a few chapters, I presume that the first season will finish out the tale the unfurls in book one.
Those HBO people are a bunch of nerds! Apparently John Adams was just the tip of the historical non-fiction iceberg for the cabler, because David Simon and Tom Fontana, creators of The Wire and Oz, respectively, are teaming up to bring us the story of the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth following the assassination he carried out against that one guy to the small screen. The miniseries will be based on James L. Swanson's book, Manhunt, with Simon and Fontana serving as scriptwriters and executive producers, which -- and don't take this the wrong way, people who made John Adams -- is likely going to make John Adams look like a Wipeout marathon by comparison with that duo behind it. The project is still coming together and no launch date has been announced yet, but you know how HBO is. They don't keep things like that a secret. On a related note, I'd just like to put it out there that if Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller were to maybe make a miniseries about Squeaky Fromme, musical or otherwise, that I would really appreciate it. (And don't act like that wouldn't be hot!)
If you're a fan of non-superhero comic books and you're not particularly squeamish, you've probably read and enjoyed writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon's tour de force series, Preacher. Their tale of small-town preacher Jesse Custer, the love of his life Tulip and his vampire best friend Cassidy was less about Custer's super-ability to make anyone do what he says (the byproduct of being possessed by an angel/demon half-breed) and even less about his mission to track down an on-the-run God. It was more about the lengths two friends and two lovers will go to in order to protect each other... as well as about trying to come up with the nastiest visuals comicdom had ever seen, from the man who had sex with meat to the boy who had "a face like an arse." Sounds like it would have made a great HBO series, right? Apparently, wrong.
And absolutely nothing bad happened to these love birds ever again.
True Detective may be HBO's marquee January attraction, but Looking is easily its most enjoyable new series, a show that immediately establishes its own identity even though its marketing campaign and timeslot seem designed to make viewers think that it's a gay Girls.
The first two seasons of Girls were divisive ones among viewers, to say the least, and that's because it's an either-or show. You either chuckle or cringe at the self-absorbed antics of Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her pack of equally misguided twenty-something friends Adam, Marnie, Shoshanna, and Jessa (Adam Driver, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, and Jemima Kirke, respectively.) You either love and defend Girls (even when it makes you squirm), or you hate it and attempt to will it out of existence (especially when it makes you squirm.)
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