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Junk TV Round-Up – RACE TO THE SCENE, THE EQUALIZER, VEGAS, REACT
Hey there, all you TV casualties with paint smears on everything you own. Until they put Prince Namor on the tube, here’s another junk TV round-up for you.
Dolph Lundgren, my girlfriend’s favorite actor (yes, clearly, she’s a bit of a weirdo), has got a new reality show in the works. I dunno about you, but put “Dolph Lundgren” and “unscripted series” together, and I smell a hit. That, or I need to take my garbage out. Ol’ Dolph is working with ReelzChannel for their first “non-scripted competition series” (y’know, like Hollywood Squares) entitled Race to the Scene. From that title, it sounds like a game-show for EMTs in training, but actually it’s a show wherein contestants run around to different actual movie locations and then compete in “challenges and stunts inspired by memorable movies.” Wow, does that sound thrilling. No word yet as to which movies and stunts will be featured, but I’m very much looking forward to the F-word challenge on the set of Glengarry Glen Ross and the “Who can bang more really obese women than Bill Paxton?” game from The Dark Backward. Good times, indeed.
Hey, remember The Equalizer? No? Well, remember the parodies of The Equalizer that were featured in both Mad and Cracked in the late ’80s? Because that’s all I remember too. The show ran on CBS from 1985 to ’89, and it starred Edward Woodward (from the original The Wicker Man) as an ex-intelligence officer who was kind of like a private-eye vigilante, “equalizing” wrongs done against the little people (y’know, the poor and powerless, not guys like Billy Barty). Now, in that grand Hollywood tradition, a film version is being cooked up by Sony Pictures, according to Deadline, with Denzel Washington to star. As tired as we all are of remakes, etc., this is actually the kinda remake I’d like to see more of. Like, I really, really enjoyed the movie version of 21 Jump Street, but why not go the other way a bit, take a kinda hokey old show and make it relevant for today’s world? Kinda like The Fugitive or something, y’know? Sure, maybe it’ll suck, but since I have no real vested interest in the original, I’m not too worried. Denzel does good stuff, after all (Man on Fire excluded).
Pretty lady Sarah Jones, hot off J.J. Abrams’ latest flop, Alcatraz, has just signed on as a regular for the upcoming Vegas, which hasn’t been extensively covered by us here at the Double C, but not for a lack of interest, certainly. You’ve got old-timey Las Vegas, you’ve got Dennis Quaid (not as crazily interesting as his brother, sure, but we’re all Innerspace fans around here), you’ve got Michael Chiklis, and you’ve got Carrie Ann Moss who will likely not be in a skintight leather suit (nothing against skintight leather, of course, it’s just that that look only works in full-scale reality simulations). Jones will play the sharp-as-a-tack daughter of a Chicago gangster who will work closely with Chiklis’ own Chi-town gangster character on getting the skim money back to the Midwest crime-bosses who built Las Vegas, while Quaid’s sheriff character tries to stop them while looking good in a cowboy hat. I dunno, for a CBS show, this thing has definitely got my attention.
And finally, Turner Network Television is apparently a big fan of last year’s film effort at gritty military realism, Act of Valor, which eschewed trained actors for trained Navy SEALs. Now TNT is working hand-in-hand with the producers of that film to bring a TV version of these black-ops to you, the American viewing public. They’ve enlisted, according to THR, Sean Jablonski, former showrunner of my boss’ favorite show, Suits, and Bones producer Barry Josephson to assist them in this regard. TNT has really been hitting the hard-core dramas pretty hard, what with Frank Darabont’s L.A. Noir likely hitting their airwaves soon, as well as projects in the works from guys like NYPD Blue‘s Steven Bochco. That’s all well and good, but I do still wish they’d bring back those three-hour blocks of Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons they used to run when I was in high school.
And with that, kids, this is Jimmy Callaway with slivers of steel stuck in his lungs, telling you: Go read a book.