Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week

Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week

Gen X’s having kind of a shit week. The death of our generation’s quintessential teen crush, Luke Perry, was just too much, too soon. And even though that alone was all it took to break my heart, on The Facebook and in conversations with my way-too-young-and-hip-to-be-in-their-forties friends, I realized the dawning of our mortality was closing in from other angles as well.

Somehow in an attempt to block out an Academy Awards I wasn’t invested in, I missed the whole Selma Blair chronic illness reveal in her gorgeous Ralph & Russo gown and custom monogrammed cane. Now that I’m caught up, I see she announced her MS diagnosis back in October and in doing so told a very familiar story of doctors explaining away her 2011 flair up as exhaustion and typical postpartum / mommy / women-y problems. I have been hearing tales such as these over the past couple-few years from friends and colleagues (all female, strangely enough, hmmmmm….) who have been lugging their undiagnosed and routinely belittled illnesses in and out of doctor’s offices. Treated as if their aches, pains, and debilitating fatigue was more emotional baggage than medical reality, they are slowly driven mad questioning their ability to effectively communicate what is happening to them. If they are lucky, the gaslighting stops once they get a diagnosis that makes their once vague symptoms finally seen for what they actually are.

But as members of Generation X, we’re a cynical lot, and so it’s not surprising that the actress who won an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss in 2000 (with Sarah Michelle Gellar for Cruel Intentions — I’ll wait while you rewatch that) had to air her medical woes on GMA to highlight this disturbing issue of middle-aged properly-insured women having to go into battle over their health care.

So, now America knows, but still we can’t help being pissy — and skeptical that things are going to change — but at least we’re starting to be heard.  Maybe.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week”

Beat JENeration #027: Get Well Luke Perry

Beat JENeration #027: Get Well Luke Perry

As I write this (around 1:30 am Pacific Standard Time, Friday), I don’t know the status of Luke Perry. I’ve been thinking about him all day — even though I had plenty of pressing IRL stuff to deal with.

This isn’t to say that this isn’t serious real life business for Luke Perry or his actual friends and family. And while it feels a little silly when I write it — it actually feels bizarrely real life to me personally.

For those living under a rock without wifi, let me catch you up. Luke Perry, 52, who skyrocketed to fame Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210 and has had quite the resurgence in recent years as Fred Andrews on Riverdale, has been in the hospital “under observation” after reportedly suffering a massive stroke. He was responsive when the paramedics arrived, but then his condition quickly deteriorated.   

Entertainment media has been rather dickish about the whole thing using it as a vehicle to drop the news that Fox had just announced their 90210 limited summer series — of which the door was being left open for Perry and Shannen Doherty (the show’s real stars) to still join the line-up. And then there were also quite a few stories about what the other 90210 “stars” were tweeting, etc.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but did the fine folks in Fox PR will this happen — if not actually slip something in the man’s drink? Timing’s…odd. Riverdale was just renewed, as well. I hate that this is the way my mind works. I process emotional distress with diversion — usually humor, but sometimes with outlandish plots to explain the irony.

Tragedy befalling one of my TV boyfriends hits me hard. I am willing to not only admit this, but also refuse to apologize for it. For a lot of us, TV is intimate because it’s in our home, sometimes actually next to us in our beds. It’s what we turn to when we are alone, when we are sad, when we need to escape. It never judges us for eating the whole pint of Cherry Garcia between Hulu commercial breaks.

We know the people on TV are not real, but sometimes they can feel a little real in the moment. And I have found that one of the best methods of bonding with other humans has come from talking about the storylines on our shows and our TV crushes.

And it’s just not the same with movie characters or in books. In my experience only the nerdiest among us seem to translate the same emotions with literary boyfriends — and when I’ve found a kindred book geek that actually reads all the same things I do, we usually end up talking endlessly about the female characters.

Now, Luke Perry/Dylan McKay isn’t my top ranking pretend TV boyfriend, but he held that title through most of the 90’s (sometimes flip-flopping around the top 3 with Kyle MacLaughlin/Agent Dale Cooper and David Duchovny/Agent Fox Mulder — meaning he was the ranking non-FBI character for at least a decade). Currently, he’s still in the Top 10, thanks to being in slobbering distance from me in a Comic-Con press room during the Riverdale launch. He looked in my direction (PCS boss lady Adriane was there too, but I want to pretend he was really just looking at me alone) and said, “Hi Ladies” or something like that (it was kind of a blur) and then he gave the Dylan look — right there in person, into my eyes. He knew his target audience in that room. Just thinking about it now my stomach is infested with butterflies. I know I giggled and blushed in the moment, but it’s a miracle that I was able to stay standing and take pictures.

This is the power of Luke Perry.

Plus if you read the #LukePerry bits of Twitter you will find out that he’s a helluva a nice dude. (And you’ll also see lots of doctors pointing out that strokes happen to lots of people under 60, so you need to be aware of the signs).

And this just makes me more angry that the media has been focusing on the 90210 series announcement. And not been giving more updates.

Get well Luke Perry. Please get well.

Working Title #017: Watching Miracle Workers

Miracle Workers, is a limited series from TBS, airs Tuesdays at 10PM EST.

SPOILER ALERT: I reveal some of the plot and a few jokes in the show so far. Read at your own risk.

So – in the second episode, Miracle Workers kill Bill Maher by blowing up his penis.

Now that’s comedy.

The show is set in a heaven that’s a corporate entity. Steve Buscemi plays God with longish lank gray hair, puttering around in a bathrobe, drinking beer, and more interested in Lazy Susans than the planet Earth. Bill Maher annoys him (hell, he sometimes annoys me) so God orders that Maher be killed off. The method devised is to blow up his penis which pleases God.

Also, because God has been challenged to exert himself and do something about the terrible state of Earth, announces that he is going to blow it up in two weeks.

You see? Wacky.  Continue reading “Working Title #017: Watching Miracle Workers”

Beat JENeration #026: Dating Around is Schadenfreude-tastic

Beat JENeration #026: Dating Around is Schadenfreude-tastic

Well, of course I spent Valentines Weekend watching Dating Around on Netflix.  Duh.

I have loved hate-watch competitive dating since the dark days when it was relegated strictly to game shows. Knowing reruns of The Dating Game or Love Connection were waiting for me after school, I didn’t dilly-dally on the walk home. And one day, maybe, I will tell you about my borderline obsession with MTV’s Singled Out. Curiously, however, this did not translate into much enthusiasm for The Bachelor. I like to think I only made it through one season because I evolved into a better person, but between you and me, there just wasn’t enough of a romance to cringe ratio.

Those wanna-be-bridezillas lining up to fight over some rando dude bro they just met is all cringe. Plus I could never suspend belief enough to buy into an attractive and normal-ish enough guy resorting to on-camera courtship in order to snag a spouse. Premise, is everything. Which is why something like Joe Millionaire actually worked for me. It’s completely plausible that 20 gold-diggers would scratch, claw, and scheme over a wealthy hottie and that a construction worker/underwear model would sign up for the paycheck and an IMDb credit. 

Which takes me to the premise of Netflix’s Dating Around.

Six singles in New York City are followed on a series of blind dates. There’s no prize at the end, just a final shot of that show’s star single and the person they have selected to go out with a second time. As a game show, it sucks, but in my opinion, it is the new pinnacle in competition dating reality.

Continue reading “Beat JENeration #026: Dating Around is Schadenfreude-tastic”

Brainiac On Banjo #026: The Doom Patrol – For Misfits Who Rock

Brainiac On Banjo #026: The Doom Patrol – For Misfits Who Rock

“Embargo.” That sounds like an old person’s muscular issue.

It’s also a word imposed upon us overwrought critics that means “here’s something really cool but you can’t tell anybody about it for a couple weeks.” Most of the people who have access to this stuff want to shout to all those within reading distance, particularly if the material either really impresses us or really pisses us off. But a deal is a deal. The embargo on coverage of the new Doom Patrol series premiering later this week on DC Universe was lifted at 9 AM Pacific this morning, so it’s off to the races for those of us who had been professionally tongue-tied.

I appreciated one of the first lines uttered in the first episode: “More teevee superheroes. Just what the world needs.” I can dig it. But the Doom Patrol wasn’t a typical superhero comic book in any of its various incarnations since its launch by DC Comics in the spring of 1963. And several of its more recent incarnations raised the bar on weird. The question is, how to you port all of that over to the small screen?

Perhaps a better question is “since the DC Universe service really upped the ante with Robin screaming ‘Fuck Batman!’ in the first episode of their Titans series, does The Doom Patrol continue this trend?”

Yup. It sure does. Nudity ­– slightly more than that which Janet Jackson offered us some time ago that blinded hordes of small children forevermore – enters the show a mere five minutes into the first episode. The first fuck (I’m referring to the word used in dialog and not the act) comes in around the 15-minute mark. The tone for the show is set rather dark and very weird.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #026: The Doom Patrol – For Misfits Who Rock”

CAKE AND ATOMIC TOYBOX ENTERTAINMENT PARTNER TO GIVE CAPTAIN ACTION HIS FIRST TV SERIES

CAKE AND ATOMIC TOYBOX ENTERTAINMENT PARTNER TO GIVE CAPTAIN ACTION HIS FIRST TV SERIES

Looks like the beloved action figure brand will be (finally) be getting the tv series treatment! In what sounds like a fun take on the character, the show will involve live action and CGI. Following the adventures of a boy named Kyle who discovers the 12 inch action figure in his attic. Meant to be an action comedy, we’ll get a bit of fish-out-of-water meets the reluctant hero as Captain Action is still stuck in the 60s and Kyle may not be so keen on operative training.

From the press release:

Leading kids’ entertainment specialist CAKE has announced its partnership with LA-based Atomic Toybox Entertainment headed by four-time Emmy nominee Michael Polis, on the new forthcoming Captain Action series.

Based on the successful 1960’s action figure brand, the new series will bring Captain Action, his arch nemesis Dr Evil and other extraordinary characters to the screen for the first time in an action comedy series aimed at 6-11 year olds. The 11 minute episodes will be shot with children in a live action world and Captain Action and other action figures in CG and effects.

CAKE and Atomic Toybox have brought on board John Derevlany (Legends of Chima, Nexo Knights, Endangered Species) as lead writer and are in discussions with potential toy partners as well as studios. New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures, who have a first look agreement with Atomic Toybox on properties for kids’ television, are cited as the front runner on the studio side. The intention is to produce 52 episodes.

In the new series, Captain Action is reactivated after almost 50 years when a young boy discovers him packed away in his attic. At only 12-inches tall and still stuck in the analogue world of the 1960’s, our impassioned duty-bound operative is intent on training a reluctant Kyle to become the next generation of action hero in this coming-of-age tale of small heroes and big adventures.

Captain Action first burst onto the scene in the 1960’s making his mark as the world’s first superhero ‘Action Figure’, created by Stan Weston (G.I. Joe). Spawning numerous successful lines of action figures, Captain Action quickly expanded beyond toy shelves, conquering the world of comics, collectibles and related merchandise and has enjoyed a recent resurgence with further entertainment and licensing initiatives planned across multiple media platforms.

Brainiac On Banjo #025: Is It Over Yet? By Mike Gold

Brainiac On Banjo #025: Is It Over Yet? By Mike Gold

I see The CW picked up all its comic book-based teevee shows for their 2019 – 2020 season, and they’re shooting the pilot for their new Batwoman series. This means we’ll be watching them on broadcast channels at least until the next presidential debates.

That’s amusing. The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has yet to air its 2018 – 2019 season. Then again, ABC renewed Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for 2019 – 2020 season without having broadcast this year’s output either. In business terms, those are genuine acts of faith.

Captain Marvel opens in a theater near you in one short month. Yes, this is February and this is a short month. The Brie Larson flick already has broken all advance ticket sales records. Shazam! opens one month later, followed by Hellboy one week after that. The Avengers: Endgame starts pushing popcorn three weeks after that, X-Men Dark Phoenix follows a month after that, Spider-Man Far From Home a couple weeks after, the New Mutants opens the beginning of August (assuming they ever finish the reshoots), and The Joker comes forth Bat-less the beginning of October. 2020’s schedule appears to be just as overloaded. As Lenny Kravitz sang, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Why is this still happening? Shouldn’t it be over by now?  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #025: Is It Over Yet? By Mike Gold”

Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb

Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb

I spend an inordinate amount of time out in the world calculating when I can go home, get in my pajamas, and sit in bed watching Netflix.

I am not proud of this, but I’m also not un-proud of it either. Take me as I am – a gal who envies anyone who can decadently put on a sweatshirt and decade-old soft yoga pants, then hop under the covers with a book or an iPad, especially during the weekday daylight hours. Living THE DREAM!

But, why Netflix and not another video streaming platform? Because its queue is the easiest. The watchlist on Prime has to be shared amongst the whole family, going to individual network sites is bothersome, and Hulu’s commercial model is ridiculous (don’t even get me started on their new ad concept when you press pause), so Netflix wins my loyalty by default. Not exactly the highest praise, but they locked me in enough to consider their monthly content changes some of the most important news/click-bait in my social media feed.

Here are February’s in-coming titles (and my reaction).  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb”

Empire’s Jussie Smollett hospitalized after a racist, homophobic attack [Vox]

Empire’s Jussie Smollett hospitalized after a racist, homophobic attack [Vox]

Police are investigating the assault and battery, which occurred early Tuesday morning.

Source: Empire’s Jussie Smollett hospitalized after a racist, homophobic attack – Vox  

Last night in Chicago an African American man was assaulted. Homophobic and racial slurs were hurled at him by his MAGA-supporter attackers. They poured bleach on him. THEY TIED A ROPE AROUND HIS NECK.

That this horrific attack was against the actor/singer Jussie Smollett shouldn’t be the only reason this story is newsworthy. Smollett is best known for his role of Jamal Lyon on FOX’s Empire. The idea that a gay man or a black man or a gay, black man cannot safely leave a restaurant and walk down the street in a major US city should enrage us all.

Smollett also recently received a death threat in the mail from self-described MAGA-supporters. The imagery included a poorly done drawing in red marker of a a gun firing at a frowning stick figure that has a noose around its neck. The words “You will die black fag” were cut from magazines like a tv-show ransom note.

Jussie has been a social activist since before gaining stardom on Empire and has used his capital to continue his activism.

CW Pilot Orders include The Lost Boys! Plus Riverdale & Jane Spinnoffs! And Nancy Drew [Deadline]

CW Pilot Orders include The Lost Boys! Plus Riverdale & Jane Spinnoffs! And Nancy Drew [Deadline]

As usual, the CW made the bulk of its pilot pickups in one fell swoop, and the network is betting heavily on IP this year. It greenlighted four pilots tonight — all based on well known titles — two spinoffs of existing CW series, Riverdale and Jane the Virgin, a Nancy Drew drama and The Lost Boys reboot. The join the recently greenlighted Batwoman pilot starring Ruby Rose.  

 

So much awesomeness could be coming to CW. While I’m not sure what The Lost Boys is without the Coreys and Kiefer Sutherland leading the fang-gang, but as someone who literally watched The Lost Boys everyday after middle school until the tape broke, I’m here for it. Especially since Rob Thomas is involved.

Add that to the excitement for a musical driven Katy Keene spinoff from Riverdale AND a new Nancy Drew series, I think I just had kittens!