The Monkees: Image -vs- Reality

March 7, 2012 Brad Markowitz

But then again, maybe there’s another way to view The Monkees phenomenon — as a clever, self-referential parody that may have been as much of a road map to “Spinal Tap” and Sascha Baron Cohen as “A Hard Day’s Night” was to The Monkees. After all, it wasn’t just a show about a rock band. It was a show about a rock band trying to make it as a rock band. If you look closely enough, you can see little, veiled digs at the music industry’s shallowness, the glam world of Hollywood, and the hypocrisy of society — all artfully buried in the silly, comedic plots. […]

Dark Skies vs. Dark Skies

March 1, 2012 Bryce Zabel

Our “Dark Skies” has established itself in the minds of a significant number of science fiction fans as a gripping piece of conspiracy drama set in the world of UFOs and abductions. It anchored NBC’s Saturday night “Thrillogy” concept in the 1996 season premiere and starred Eric Close (“Nashville”) and the late film character actor J.T. Walsh (“Sling Blade”). Its main title design won the Emmy award and its pilot screenplay received a Writers Guild nomination. The Syfy Channel aired the entire series multiple times. Since 2010 there’s been a Facebook page where thousands of fans from many different countries push Sony for a TV revival. […]

Smacked Around Emmys

September 20, 2011 Bryce Zabel

An awards show is really the ultimate Smackdown, I guess, given that there are clearly established winners and losers. Except that it’s not politically correct to use those words anymore. Notice that the when the envelope is opened the phrase is “And the Emmy goes to…” and not “The winner is…” Oh, presenters still slip from time-to-time and admit the truth but they are discouraged from this, believe me.

As the former Chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (including the 9/11 Emmy postponements of 2001), my wife Jackie and I go to the Emmys every year. I could certainly “cover” them or “review” them like the hundreds of other news organizations but, really, I’m just a guy with a camera standing on the Red Carpet and if you put me up against the massive armies deployed by Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, The Insider, CNN, People, and everyone else, that’s not even a Smackdown, that’s a wipeout. […]

TV’s Last Suppers: Locke, Cylon Six & Tony

January 4, 2010 Bryce Zabel

We just couldn’t pass up this visual Smack on one of TV’s new trends, publicity stills that use the theme of “The Last Supper.” The latest to try this is ABC, promoting its final season of “Lost” but we’ve also seen Sci-Fi (SyFy) try it with the last pass at “Battlestar Galactica” and HBO in its first season (we think) with “The Sopranos.” If you click on the montage below, you can look at it in much fuller resolution. […]

Me and Orson Welles (2009) -vs- My Favorite Year (1982)

November 30, 2009 Bryce Zabel

Given the long odds against success, everybody in show biz could use a mentor, somebody to teach them the ropes and send them on their way. In a perfect world those lessons are delivered with loving care and remembered fondly for a lifetime.

In the real world, they tend to be delivered in a way that leaves the mentee as dazed and confused by his/her collision with the mentor as you can imagine.

Either way, you learn, and we have two coming-of-age stories to drive the point home: 2009′s “Me and Orson Welles” versus 1982′s “My Favorite Year.”
[…]