Archive for television

Bionic Review: Dynamite Comic’s The Bionic Woman (2012)

Posted in comic books, TV shows with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

BW Comic

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus on the Bionic Reviews, but I’m back now and I have one to give you today and another to throw out end of this week or beginning of next.  So, let’s get started…

In 2011, Dynamite Comics started up a new Bionic Man comic featuring a story taken from an unproduced Kevin Smith movie script. The comic did well and eventually Dynamite decided to spin off the character of Jaime Sommers into her own comic, The Bionic Woman.

Bionic Woman 01

This comic is written by Paul Tobin and drawn first by Leno Carvalho and then followed in committee by Juan Ramirez and Daniel Leister.  As of this moment, it looks like issue 10 will be the final issue.  The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six has launched, the original Bionic Man title is done and so I assume this title is finished as well.  If SMDM Season Six does well, I assume we are going to see a The Bionic Woman Season 4.

Essential Plot: The Bionic Woman doesn’t start directly after Sommers’ appearance in The Bionic Man. Issue #1 jumps about 5 years into the future. Jaime is already bionic. Her accident happened many years ago.  Jaime was an OSI operative and something happened that caused her to quit OSI and essentially “go rogue”.  This same split happened with her and Austin with whom she previously had a relationship, but doesn’t anymore. The first issue picks up with Jaime on the run from an organization that is tracking and killing people with any sort of bionic enhancement. Most of these issues involve information gathering and Jaime tracking down man after man in order to discover who this shadowy organization is that is trying to kill her and take her bionics. Throughout the story she is accompanied by a friend named Nora and we get several cameos by Steve Austin.

Bionic Woman 03

Characters: This particular Jaime Sommers is characterized as a very accomplished covert agent, highly trained in hand-to-hand combat and very proficient in the use of her bionics. She is also very proactive in her search for the people trying to kill her. This is very different from the TV show and I have to say, I like the difference. It keeps the story moving forward and gives us lots of action on the way. The Nora character that tags along is sort of annoying. Jaime is constantly having to make sure she doesn’t die.

Story: I liked the idea of a shadowy group killing and stealing bionic implants for sale on the black market. I was not in love with the Nora character tagging along nor was I in love with the completely unnecessary cameos by Steve Austin. They seemed to serve no purpose. But the overall story is pretty solid, even if a lot of the page to page dialogue is groan inducing.

Differences from the TV show: Jaime is given full bionic implants in both legs and the right arm. She has the bionic ear, like in the TV show. It is also implied that Jaime may also have bionic eyes, which were not a part of the TV show.  Another very cool enhancement that this Jaime has that not even Austin gets is the ability to interface wirelessly with computers.  It’s an ability that may have been borrowed from the TV show, Jake 2.0, which was a spiritual grandchild of the original Six Million Dollar Man (Lee Majors even made an appearance).

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Nerd Lunch Episode 100 – 1: Expendables of Other Genres II

Posted in cartoons, movies, podcast, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on August 20, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Welcome to Nerd Lunch Episode 100 Eve. We are all so excited about reaching the century milestone that we completely and totally half ass this episode (unlike other episodes, am I right?). However, our guest, longtime show favorite, Jay from Sexy Armpit, brings his A-Game to bust the curve created by your lazy ass hosts. Case in point, the amazing Nerd Lunch rap that Jay drops in our laps at the beginning of the episode. This entire show has been worth it (all 99 episodes) if nothing else than we get that rap. We may as well stop recording now.

Jay is here this week after a long absence (which we apologize profusely for) to do a topic that has become a host favorite despite the fact we’ve only done it once before (Episode 22), Expendables of Other Genres. This time the genres we are discussing are Nerds/Hackers and Cartoon Voice Actors. However, in true Nerd Lunch fashion, the show turns into a Rick Moranis love fest in which we ponder whether the little seen actor is actually retired from acting, or just “not acting”.

Missing Rick Moranis

However, expect to hear several actors who have played classic nerd/hackers like Matthew Broderick (War Games), Val Kilmer (Real Genius), Curtis Anderson (Revenge of the Nerds) and Mr Eddie Deezen (every movie he’s ever been in EVER).  On the cartoon voice actor front expect the usual suspects with Peter Cullen, Frank Welker and Billy West but we throw in a lot of surprises you’re going to want to hear.  Expect me to bring up yet again the Teen Wolf cartoon.  Our Nerd-To-Dos become dominated by a Firehouse Subs discussion.

It’s epic podcasting at its most epic.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Nerd Lunch Episode 84: Summer Nerd To-Dos

Posted in podcast with tags , , , on May 7, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

It’s time for that most celebrated of events, the Three Way Dance!  This week the three of us discuss our Summer “to-do” lists.

Summer

We talk about movies we are looking forward to seeing, TV shows we want to watch and Jeeg asks us trivia about Summer movies and TV shows.   It’s a summer themed extravaganza.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online here.

Nerd Lunch Episode 67: Nerdstradamus 2013

Posted in podcast, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

I predict that you will listen to the 67th episode of the Nerd Lunch podcast and nearly crap yourself when you hear us talk about pop culture predictions. That’s right, in this episode, for the new year, we are making predictions. Predictions about movies, TV shows, fast food and soda. We even try to predict who’s going to die.

Nostradamus

To help us with these predictions we are joined again by Doug Frye from the Schlock Treatment podcast.  So download the episode to your listening device and hear us make completely unfounded predictions about pop culture.  And fully expect that at the end of 2013, we will revisit this topic to see how we did.  Right now, I can tell you that one of my predictions is already untrue.  That’s just how this whole game is played.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online here.

Bionic Review: The Six Million Dollar Man TV movie (1973)

Posted in pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by Paxton

Bionic Review

SMDM Book

Steve Austin first appeared on TV in the made-for-television movie The Six Million Dollar Man which was broadcast in March 1973.  It appeared as the ABC Wednesday Movie of the Week. Here’s an item from the TV section of a 1973 newspaper announcing the airing of the movie. SMDM newspaper ad You can see Lee Majors’ picture in the upper left and the mention of the movie is in the upper right. Majors is sporting a pretty hardcore 70s mustache in that picture which he does NOT have in the movie.

Unlike the other bionic TV movies (and TV show), there really is no “title sequence” per se in this special. This particular movie starts with a computer screen telling the viewer the definition of the word cyborg and then cuts directly to a desert airfield and the movie title over Lee Majors walking towards camera.smdm_pilot1 The very first scene is the airplane crash that will create the future bionic man.  We then get all the setup with the OSO, or Office of Special Operations (changed to OSI, Office of Scientific Investigation, in the subsequent movies and TV show).  A man named Oliver Spencer, Oscar Goldman won’t appear until the second movie, is petitioning for money to create a “cyborg” for use in special ops.  Oliver Spencer is played very cold and calculating by Darren McGavin who would famously play the Old Man in A Christmas Story.  Spencer approaches Dr Rudy Wells, played by Martin Balsam, to convince Steve to volunteer to become their cyborg.

Most of the TV movie follows the original book, Cyborg, fairly closely. The movie focuses on Steve coming to grips with his bionic limbs and being trained to go out on missions. Majors plays Austin as very reluctant to accept the limbs and even when he does accept them, he still has a lot of problems understanding why they would want to do that to him and what is eventually going to be the cost to him. After all of the psychological drama, Spencer sends Austin on his first mission and we find out that it’s essentially a suicide mission.  One that Spencer wants to see if Austin can complete.  He remarks to Rudy that they can always build another bionic man.  Totally cold and hardcore, that Spencer.

This was a pretty good beginning.  It wasn’t great, but it was good.  A little slow in parts, but overall, I enjoyed it.  It should be noted that the bionic sound effect most identified with the show is not present here.  It had yet to become a staple in these early adventures.  It’s honestly weird to see Austin perform bionic feats and not have the bionic sound.  It just doesn’t sound “right”.  Other than that, I like Lee in this role and I look forward to the two other TV movies.

It’s interesting to note, though, that years later this TV movie was subsequently re-edited for syndication as a two-part episode called The Moon and the Desert.  This newer edit puts a later season intro on the episodes which is confusing considering the episodes’ content.  Also, Martin Balsam returned to do some voice over work to help bridge some of the disjointed scenes.  That in and of itself is off putting since Balsam never played Rudy Wells on the TV show, it was Allen Oppenheimer.  Also, since this syndicated cut was created after the show had gone off the air, there were several other scenes that were added from later season Six Million Dollar Man and even Bionic Woman episodes.  It’s a pretty crazy and baffling amalgamation of footage.  Surprisingly, the syndicated “Moon and Desert” episodes are included as a bonus feature on the complete series box set.  However, they are really only good to watch as a curiosity and not very entertaining.

9 days left to support Strange Kids Comix Magazine #3

Posted in magazine, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by Paxton

Issue #3 of the Strange Kids Club Comix Magazine has 9 days left on Kickstarter and less than $200 left to be fully funded.

There is a lot of content packed into this issue of the anthology by a lot of really awesome contributors.

Here again is the amazing cover by Jason Edmiston:

SKC Comix #3

Also packed into this issue are creators like Brent Engstrom, Jon David Guerra and John Rozum. There is also written content by such blogging luminaries as Brian Adams (Cool and Collected), Shawn Robare (Branded in the 80s) and myself (here).

You will not want to miss this.  Plus, each level of contribution has tons of extra swag you can grab.  But those contribution levels are slowly becoming sold out.  So get over there while you can.

Now head over to this issue’s Kickstarter page, show your support for this most awesome collection of art and content.  You will not be disappointed.

A Review of the 1974 TV Guide Fall Preview issue

Posted in fall tv premier, nostalgia, pop culture, TV, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by Paxton

TV Guide Fall Preview reviews Today is my birthday and I wanted to do something on my birthday for the blog.  I had this idea that I wanted to review something from the year I was born. I thought about it and remembered that I absolutely LOVE Shawn Robare’s 80s TV Guide Fall Preview reviews. It’s a great series and really fun to read. And he covers nearly all of the 80s Fall Preview issues. So, I thought it would be fun to review the TV Guide Fall Preview issue from the year I was born; 1974.

So, yes, I’m totally stealing this topic from Shawn.  But before you go running to Branded in the 80s and narc-ing on me, I showed up at the Branded offices “Godfather-style” and asked permission to use the idea.  Shawn granted me his permission, so we are all square and legal in that respect.   That and my next child will be a masculine child (Shawn deemed it so).

My plan is that this will be an ongoing feature.  I plan to look at a bunch of the 70s Fall Preview issues as well as some of the 90s.  However, this will be an irregular, ongoing feature as it takes time to scan the issues and I have the Oz books read through I’m in the middle of and I’m also gearing up for a Bionic Review feature that will review the Six Million Dollar Man franchise.   So, I’ll squeeze this in as I have time.

Anyway, today, on the day of my birth, I am going to take a look at the 1974 TV Guide Fall Preview issue.

1974 TV Guide Fall Preview issue cover Honestly, I have to say, right off the bat, that is one boring ass cover. WTF, TV Guide?! You couldn’t spruce this up with a ninja or robotic dinosaur? I get a dead tree. Thanks. Happy birthday to me.

So let’s move on from that horrible cover and take a look at the contents of this issue.  I’m going to group these scans into three sections.  First I’ll look at the Fall premier section and talk about all the new shows for the 1974-1975 season.  Next I’ll look at a few house ads for existing and new shows.  Lastly I’ll show you some of the more awesome vintage product advertising.  It should be fun, so let’s get this TV Guide party started.

You can click any of the below images to see them BIGGER.

New Fall TV Show Previews

Friends & Lovers/Nakia
First, on the left, we have the preview for Friends and Lovers starring Paul Sand as well as Penny Marshall. The show was actually ranked 25th but was pulled later in the year and replaced by The Jeffersons in January 1975. On the right we have the show Nakia starring Robert Forster as a Navajo deputy sheriff in New Mexico. It also would be cancelled before the end of the year.

The New Land Sonny Comedy Revue
TV Guide describes the show on the left, The New Land, as a “Swedish Waltons” as if that will lure viewers to watch the show in droves. It does star a very young Kurt Russell, an impossibly young Bonnie Bedelia and Todd Lookinland, the brother of Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady).  On the right is The Sonny Comedy Revue, which is the evolution of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Cher and Sonny separated and each started their own variety shows in 1974-1975. However, both of those shows would cease when they decided to start performing together again in late 1975 on the new Sonny & Cher Show.

Born Free/Rhoda
The TV show Born Free was based on a 1966 movie. It starred Gary Collins about a couple who live in Kenya raising a lioness and protecting the local animal population from danger. It was cancelled before the end of the year.
However, the show Rhoda, which was a spinoff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, starred Valerie Harper as her character from the previous show who moved back to New York from Minneapolis. It would air for 5 seasons and beat it’s parent show in the ratings.

Petrocelli/Get Christie Love!
On the left, Petrocelli began life as a movie called The Lawyer starring Barry Newman. Newman would reprise his role as a Harvard educated, enthusiastic lawyer who moves out of the hustle and bustle of the city to the American Southwest. The show would last for 2 seasons.
Like Petrocelli, Get Christie Love! began as a film, only not a feature but a made-for-TV film. It starred Teresa Graves who was one of the regular performers on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. The TV movie became very popular and spawned this TV show. Unfortunately, budget concerns and rewrites due to Graves becoming Jehovah’s Witness and refusing to do anything too racy would kill the show after 21 episodes.

Little House 1 Little House 2
On the left is the preview page for Little House on the Prairie. Little House would become an extremely popular show and run for 9 seasons. Little House would run on Monday nights for it’s first two seasons then move to Friday nights for the last seven seasons. It starred Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert. It’s strange seeing this early picture of the cast as I am currently watching Melissa Gilbert on Dancing with the Stars and she’s like a cougar now. Weird. Anyway, on the right is one of TV Guide’s house ads for the premier of Little House on NBC.

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