Published 12 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.
This week’s question: What’s your favorite anthology series of all time? Why?Marisa Roffman @marisaroffman, Give Me My Remote
I have to go with the original “Twilight Zone,” because it is astonishing what the show was able to do. One of the beautiful things about television is following characters on an extended journey, but most of the best episodes of “Twilight” were wrapped up in under 30 minutes. That’s a plot/character/world introduction, story, and a twist/resolution in about half the length of a 2019 premium drama episode.
It also remains the only show I’m content to watch out of order a normal no-no for me, and the only series I try to not seek out via streaming services. I tend to get sucked into the holiday Syfy marathons, and it’s always a delight when a new to me episode pops up.
Also, even if you’ve never seen an episode of any version of “Twilight Zone,” if you consume pop culture, there’s virtually no way you’ve missed something inspired by it.April Neale @aprilmac, Monsters & Critics
Currently “The Terror: Infamy” on AMC is living up to the excellence from last summer’s premiere season with Ciaran Hinds and Jared Harris, the captains of two doomed British ships locked in Arctic ice floes. This season’s focus on the Japanese-American internment camps and having George Takei he walked that fire as a five-year-old as a consultant and actor portraying an elder with a big fish tale was brilliant and timing spot-on for obvious reasons. Incorporating Japanese horror elements layered onto the real-life crimes against humanity just gives us viewers the massive chills when we need it these relentless dog days of August.
My past pick is purely sentimental, as spending every Friday night with my two sons watching HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” all together is a treasured memory. This anthology series ran from 1989 to 1996 with the cackling Crypt-Keeper John Kassir voiced him and from the opening music to the end credits was brilliant, stuffed with a great array of actors and A-lister creatives behind the scenes. Popcorn, blankets to hide under during the scarier bits…I still miss it.
Ed Araquel/AMCAlan Sepinwall @sepinwall, Rolling Stone
How are we defining “anthology,” exactly? A show that tells a new story with new characters each season? In that case, it’s probably “Fargo,” even though I had issues with the third season. A show that tells a new story with new characters every episode? That’s almost certainly the original “Twilight Zone.” I’m going to stretch the definition, though, and go with “Quantum Leap.” Yes, that show had ongoing characters in time traveler Sam and his holographic advisor Al, and an ongoing story arc of sorts in Sam’s desire to return home. Mainly, though, it was a steh anthology, with a new set of characters each week &mdash one of them just happened to always be played by Scott Bakula as Sam, inhabiting the body of a black chauffeur or a beauty queen or a NASA chimp &mdash and a new genre. It could do hard-boiled detective fiction, domestic comedy, musical theater, and more. And because it always had Bakula and Dean Stockwell there, it got to pull the audience along from week to week, no matter their interest in this particular setting, genre, or group of new people. The best of all possible TV worlds.Emily VanDerWerff @tvoti, Vox
The answer, of course, is “The Twilight Zone,” but that feels too easy, which is why I’m going to talk a little about “Playhouse 90.” It’s a show I haven’t seen that much of &mdash a lot of it has never been commercially available, due to the poor image quality of too much early TV stuff &mdash but the handful of installments I’ve seen from its four seasons which ran from 1956 to 1960 are wonderfully eclectic, ranging from stories for kids to searing social dramas to gloriously funny comedies. The idea of the show as expressed in its title was that every episode was 90 minutes long, a daunting prospect even in those days of more theatrically inclined TV productions. But boy would I love to see some enterprising broadcast network revive this show, at least in spirit. A new, stage-like story every week, all across 90-minute timeslots? It would be wonderful.
FXAlec Bojalad @alecbojalad, Den of Geek
I'm tempted to go with Netflix's dubiously named “The Haunting of&hellip“ series even though it sits at only one installment so far. But for as much as I loved “Hill House,” I still need to see how “Bly Manor” and other future installments pan out. “Black Mirror” seems like a good candidate as well though I don't know how I feel about its “anthology“ status – it's more of a series of sci-fi films if anything.
That leaves Noah Hawley's “Fargo” as my ultimate answer. “Fargo's” three seasons have varied a bit in quality but in some sense that just makes an even better example of an anthology done right. Within the anthology format, some seasons will be better like Season 2 and some will be worse Season 3. What's important, however, is that each installment be united both narratively and thematically. Though the time periods and criminal schemes in every season of “Fargo” may change, each installment exists within a consistent world and is ultimately about how “normal people“ deal with forces beyond their control and understanding. Those forces might come in the form of a seemingly unstoppable hitman, a UFO, or even just humanity's maddening inability to communicate.
Hawley's ability to take the Coen Brothers' original format, find the soul of what made it unique, and adapt it to television has helped make the medium a more anthology-friendly place.Clint Worthington @clintworthing, Consequence of Sound, The Spool
Call me basic, but I just don’t think anything will ever live up to the dynamism, craft, and social bite of Rod Serling’s original “Twilight Zone.” Independent of their objective quality which I’ll get to in a minute, they’re one of the shows that shaped not just my childhood, but my lifelong love of speculative fiction. Plus, the intermittent New Year’s marathons of old “Twilight Zone” episodes give me ample opportunity to tap back into that sense of childhood wonder.
There’s something intangible about their budget-friendly nature as modest teleplays, their ideas explored not by state-of-the-art visual effects but the power of scriptwriting and suggestion. It hearkens back to the imagination-heavy Golden Age of science fiction, a time when we finally understood the power of science but still needed to explore its implications. Serling’s stories were didactic in the best way, modern fables told through the language of the atomic era, and notably progressive for their time. Imitators like “Black Mirror” and I’ll say it Peele’s CBS reboot of “Twilight Zone” itself will never be able to match the timeless potency of images like Burgess Meredith breaking his glasses, or the pig-faces from “Eye of the Beholder.”
Moviestore/REX/ShutterstockDamian Holbrook @damianholbrook, TV Guide Magazine
OK, I had to look this one up to make sure my pre-teen mind wasn’t messing with me, and it turns out that it wasn’t! In 1979, there was a show called “Cliffhangers!” that was anthology-ish, except it wasn’t a different story every season, it was three different serials and every episode featured 20-minute installments of each storyline that ended with, yes a cliffhanger, before a commercial break. When the show came back from commercials, the next serial’s chapter would air and you’d have to wait until the next week to see how each one resumed.
I remember being fascinated by a show that was three distinctly different shows instead of currently being annoyed by one particular series that becomes like four different shows over eight episodes and also being confused. The stories were such opposites! “Stop Susan Williams” starred Susan Anton as a female Indiana Jones, “The Secret Empire” was a Western with aliens and “The Curse of Dracula” was more of a romance than horror. Still, it was so different from anything I had seen in my 10 years of life at that point and a young Michael Nouri as a San Francisco vampire was all that little gay kid needed to be hooked. I don’t remember how it all tied up and according to Wikipedia, it never actually finished airing all of the parts. But it left its mark and is probably why I keep giving “American Horror Story” another chance. Even after that garbage “Hotel” season.Joyce Eng @joyceeng61, GoldDerby
Can I say Harper’s Island even though it was, cruelly, unjustly canceled after one season? I know I kinda, sorta just name-checked in an answer last month, but it deserved better, OK? But I’ll go to my first true anthology love that lasted more than one season and is also in the horror/mystery vein: “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” That scared me sh–less when I was a kid, and I absolutely loved it. It went there with some truly disturbing stuff that you hardly ever see in children’s shows then or now. Hell, I still think about “The Tale of the Dollmaker” or “The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle” and shudder.
NickelodeonEric Deggans @deggans, NPR
I feel this answer has to be divvied up into two eras, because the anthology series of yesteryear are a lot different than the anthologies today's TV talents are rolling out. So, in the category of historic anthology series, I'd have to go with Rod Serling's “The Twilight Zone.“ Created by Serling, a radio and TV writer eager to develop programs addressing deeper social issues, “The Twilight Zone“ aired for five seasons starting in 1959, featuring stand-alone stories every episode, often with a science fiction or fantastical theme and often with a telling twist at the end. Some classic “Twilight Zone” episodes included Billy Mumy “Lost in Space” as a super powered six year old who isolated a small town and ruled it with an iron fist Cloris Leachman played his mother William Shatner as a man recovering from a nervous breakdown who sees a gremlin on the wing of a passenger plane and Burgess Meredith as a henpecked, bookish bank teller who thinks he's in paradise when a nuclear war kills everyone but him, leaving him free to read all the books he wants the twist ending: his glasses fall off his face and shatter, leaving him unable to read. The series was so groundbreaking, it inspired three revival series, a movie, a radio series and even the Tower of Terror ride at W Disney theme parks. Most importantly, “Twilight Zone“ aired at a time when network TV was still largely escapist, avoiding direct mention of controversial events in the real world. Serling used the science fiction and fantastical settings of his episodes to talk about social issues like racism, war and poverty in ways the network executives and sponsors could accept.
Modern-day anthology series often avoid the heavy lifting of creating a new story every episode. Instead, they craft a new story every season, stretching the narrative over eight, ten or thirteen episodes. In this class, I'd name FX's “American Crime Story,“ mostly for the power of its first entry, “People v. O.J. Simpson.“ It was the first of two Simpson-oriented TV projects that year &ndash including ESPN's “O.J.: Made in America“ &ndash and the only scripted recreation of the murder trial which managed to tell viewers loads of new things about the most media-drenched prosecution in history, while also speaking to our current concerns about criminal justice, race and policing.
Daniel Fienberg @TheFienPrint, The Hollywood Reporter
Is there some trick answer that I’m missing here? Otherwise, it’s going to be an entire poll of people saying “The Twilight Zone,” plus Ben saying, “I’ve cheated and looked at everybody’s answers, so let me do something else. Is ‘Leftovers’ an anthology series?” I mean, I love “Fargo,” all three seasons. Yes. Even the third. But it’s only worthy of being a bonus answer here, because the real answer HAS to be “The Twilight Zone.” Classic flavor. Rod Serling. You know the one.Diane Gordon @thesurfreport, Freelance
I know I’m cheating a bit but I’m going with “The Wire” for my favorite anthology series. Yes, I know it has characters that carry over from season to season thanks to Hanh for the reminder that both current series “AHS” and “Fargo” do this too but I’m choosing it anyway because when you look at the totality of the five seasons, it’s an anthology about the past and present of Bimore.
“The Wire” had a major impact on my storytelling brain as it incorporated Bimore civic history with larger themes about the problems American institutions cause and attempt to alleviate. Whether it was illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, or the print news media, David Simon and the series writers told stories on a granular level and the detail added to the charged emotional impact of each season. Because the same unit of officers and politicians recurred over the show’s five seasons, there was a sense of the need for change while also showing that progress is slow and often seems impossible.
Even though season four aired in 2006, I still haven’t forgotten how emotional the season about the Bimore school system made me feel. The outlook for some of the children was so bleak, and even when the writers offered a glimmer of hope, it was usually dashed by a part of the city bureaucracy.
It was often hard to reconcile my feelings about the show as it was such extraordinary, expansive storytelling and it was done so well, but watching it usually left me sad and wondering if any solutions were even possible. To this day, I marvel at “The Wire” for its outstanding casting, writing, vision and civic-minded soul.
Ben Travers @BenTTravers, IndieWire
All right, I really think “The Leftovers” could qualify as an anthology event of some kind, given the dramatic scenery and tonal shift seen between Seasons 1 and 2, as well as a series finale that functions beautifully as a standalone feature film, but I’ll relent to traditional thinking and choose something else. Inspired by my ever-inclusive colleague Dan “Mr. President” Fienberg, let me shout-out “Room 104,” “The Missing,” “Fargo,” and “The Twilight Zone,” before ultimately going with “True Detective” &mdash that all right with everyone? No? Well, even with the disastrous second season’s overreaching machoism, Nic Pizzolatto is two-for-three with his star-studded HBO anthology. My love for Season 1 is as endless as a flat circle, and Season 3’s ambitious structure and return to character-centric storytelling made for excellent TV. Plus, there’s Matt and Mahershala. Always Matt and Mahershala. All right, all right, all right.
Q: What is the best show currently on TV?*A: “Succession” four votes
Other contenders: “Lodge 49” two votes, “The Boys,” “David Makes Man,” “GLOW,” “Hypnotize Me,” “Pose,” “The Terror: Infamy” one vote each
*In the case of streaming services that release full seasons at once, only include shows that have premiered in the last month.
Published 12 hour ago on 20 Aug 1919
[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers from “The Terror: Infamy” Episode 2, “All the Demons Are Still in Hell.”]
Jordan Peele’s groundbreaking 2017 film “Get Out” uses horror tropes to highlight the real-life gruesomeness of racism in America. And hough “The Terror: Infamy” wasn’t directly inspired by that film, showrunner Alexander Woo acknowledges that viewers might deem the projects similar.
“I think it’s not an unfair comparison. ‘Get Out’ is a terrific movie… I think it does make you feel &mdash if you are not &mdash like someone who is a black person surrounded by a bunch of white people,” said Woo. “For only two hours, you get a sense of the isolation and the alienation you might feel.”
AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” is a period drama that tells the WWII story of Japanese American internment through the lens of Japanese horror, specifically, the Japanese ghost stories known as kaidan.
“We’re hopefully trying to accomplish something very similar: that you’re inside the shoes or inside the skin of the people who lived 70, 75 years ago. We’re telling the story of a very underserved piece of American history using the vocabulary of the Japanese-style horror as an analog for the terror of the actual historical event,” said Woo.
“I don’t want the audience to feel removed from the events that are happening on screen. What a horror movie or horror series does is it makes you feel viscerally in the shoes of the person whose trapped in the house or the person who’s running away from the monster or whatever it is,” he continued. “So we’re using that style, that language, to make you really feel how terrifying the experience of the Japanese Americans who lived through this terrible experience &mdash how it really was.”
The kaidan, sometimes transliterated as kwaidan, is a specific type of old-fashioned Japanese ghost story with folktale elements. The stories often revolve around karma or vengeance.
American audiences may recognize some kaidan films already, ranging from Hideo Nakata’s “Ringu” and “Dark Water” to 2002’s “Ju-On: The Grudge” or the horror-comedy “Hausu.” In researching kaidan films, Woo also turned to Masaki Kobayashi’s 1965 anthology film “Kwaidan,” which features four separate tales from Lafcadio Hearn’s collections of Japanese folk tales. This older film is a good indicator of the pervasive sense of anxiety, married with gorgeous visuals, that “The Terror: Infamy” aims to evoke.
“We lean much more toward the style of Japanese horror that is psychological creepiness as opposed to the really gory slice and dice [such as ‘Audition,’] which is extremely, extremely scary. But we’re not getting into the sort of gross-out style of movie and more toward the creepy, ghosty type. You have that feeling of real, constant atmospheric dread,” said Woo. “I think we want to keep the scare inside the brain as much as possible.”
In the series &mdash and the trailer below &mdash “The Terror: Infamy” introduces a few basic terms essential to understanding kaidan:
The yurei is a spirit, somewhat similar to the Western ghost, that is kept from the peaceful afterlife for any number of reasons, ranging from the deceased being denied a proper burial ceremony to death by murder or suicide. An obake is a shapeshifter that is a type of yurei, a deceased person who has taken on another form. A bakemono, however, is a shapeshifter whose original form was not human, such as a fox kitsune, a plant, or an inanimate object.
In Episode 2, Yamato-san George Takei suspects the youthful Nick Okada of being a bakemono since various men have disappeared without a trace when he’s been around. It’s revealed that Nick is actually an informant for the Department of Justice providing the names of innocent Japanese American men, whom were then taken by the government. Although Nick is just a human after all, Yamato-san’s instincts were right about the young man’s untrustworthy nature. Real-life horror has been interpreted through the language of kaidan.
The yurei known as Yuko Kiki Sukezane is introduced when she appears first to Chester Nakayama Derek Mio and other people in his circle of family friends, mainly those who attended the funeral. Although her interactions with Chester and Toshiro Alex Shimizu were confined to conversations, she was somehow responsible for blinding Mr. Furuya Eiji Inoue and getting Mr. Yoshida James Saito shot by guards. Whoever Yuko comes into contact with feels a combination of fear, confusion, or helplessness. Why have they been singled out to be haunted? Why is she doing this? These are similar to the emotions of the Americans who’ve suddenly been labeled as enemies and ejected from their homes.
An essential part of any kaidan film is to understand the yurei. By giving the spirit peace &mdash by performing burial rituals, fulfilling its desire, or carrying out revenge &mdash it’s hoped that the yurei will then be able to move on from the material world. “The Terror: Infamy” will ramp up the horror of Yuko, but then start to reveal why she’s acting out against the Terminal Islanders.
“In a horror movie, where it’s one emotional experience and you have two hours, generally speaking, the monster’s the monster. The yurei crawls out of the television set. That’s all you’re going to get,” said Woo.
“Here, we have a longer time period &mdash in screen time, 10 hours, in story time, several years &mdash to do something a little bit different. Unlike, for instance, [Season 1 spirit creature] the Tuunbaq, which has always been a monster, always been a creature, a non-human, a yurei has at some point been human. There is some real trauma, some pain there and at least to motivation for this vengeance, this hunger, that consumes her.”
On a related note, Obon or Japan’s Bon Festival celebrates the spirits of one’s ancestors and is thought to even release the spirits from suffering if they still haven’t achieved their permanent resting place. This year, Obon just happened to occur in conjunction with the premiere of “The Terror: Infamy” in mid-August, which might be an auspicious omen for Yuko and who she’s haunting.
“The Terror: Infamy” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Published 12 hour ago on 14 Aug 1919
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.
This week’s question: What’s is the best current basic cable network? Why?Clint Worthington @clintworthing, Consequence of Sound, The Spool
Can there be any other answer than FX? “Pose,” “American Crime Story,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Atlanta” &mdash show after show manages to be a gorgeously filmed, genre-twisting masterpiece that carves out a special place in an increasingly balkanized pop culture conversation. Even when some series’ reach exceeds their grasp &mdash “Legion”, anyone? &mdash at least their greatest pitfall is an overabundance of ambition. It may not make sense, but it doesn’t feel like any show you’ve ever seen before. As a rule, FX shows are allergic to playing it safe, which makes even their most flawed shows that much more fascinating. There’s a network-wide feeling of invention and innovation over there, something in the secret sauce I just have to sample each and every time.
It’s not all prestige dramas, either, which is incredible and refreshing most cable networks, premium or basic, lean hard on their dramas for critical and cultural clout. But this is the network of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Archer,” edgy, provocative, and formally interesting comedies in their own right, with “Shadows” now joining their number as some of the best sitcoms on air right now. It’s the home of “Fargo” and “The Americans,” too, which alone places it on the top tier of TV networks taking chances and pushing the medium to crazy places. There are other basic cable networks doing some lovely work I almost picked Freeform just for how vibrant and just plain new they feel, but beat for beat, the winner’s gotta be FX.
Ed Araquel/AMCTim Surette @timsurette, TV.com
After suffering through a few years of a wicked “Breaking Bad”/”Mad Men” hangover, AMC has rebounded quite nicely, hasn’t it? “Better Call Saul” is consistently one of the best shows on television, and the network hosts two premium Tim content shows in “The Terror” and “Lodge 49.” I guess all it takes these days to be great is three really good shows. FX is right there, but until “Atlanta” and “Fargo” return, it’s still a step behind AMC. I also like what truTV has done in recent years with its shift towards -comedy “I’m Sorry,” “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” and “Jon Glaser Loves Gear” are all good. But if given the choice, I’d watch MLB Network all day and all night.Daniel Fienberg @TheFienPrint, The Hollywood Reporter
Hmmm. Basic cable? For original scripted programming, it pretty much has to be FX, doesn’t it? They have comedies and dramas that I love, plus a steady stream of limited series and, as you might have heard, FX has the movies the movies, FX has the movies! But if you gave me the choice between FX and ESPN? Well, FX sends me screeners. ESPN, for reasons I don’t fully understand, doesn’t send me advance screeners for live sporting events. So if you’re asking me for “best,” it’s still probably FX. But if you’re asking for “most essential” or something like that, it’s probably ESPN.
April Neale @aprilmac, Monsters & Critics
FX hands down for scripted storytelling. The incredible library of greats like “Justified,” “Rescue Me,” “The Americans”, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Baskets”, and “Taboo” which are some of my favorite TV series ever plus “Pose,” “Mr. Inbetween,” “American Horror Story,” “Atlanta”, “Fargo” and on and on. They freaking kill it for excellence in that realm and always have something going I have to watch.
Now, if you ask me for best overall variety of content I do have to tip my hat to Discovery for the wide swath of programming they offer, from Food Network to their core Discovery network, plus true crime destination Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, OWN, HGTV, TLC and Cooking Channel to name a few. I do watch these networks and would be bereft if they disappeared from the basic cable lineup.Emily VanDerWerff @tvoti, Vox
The answer, of course, is FX, but I’m going to assume that 500 other people have gotten there first and, thus, go with one of my other favorite networks &mdash Syfy. Yes, the network has a ridiculous name. Yes, it let wonderful shows like “The Expanse” and “Channel Zero” go. But as a genre fan &mdash and as someone who thinks “The Magicians” is one of the best things going &mdash I tend to like Syfy’s stuff more often than I don’t. They still have their duds, but this is a network that will stack the wonderful “Killjoys” up against some classic sci-fi TV reruns. Cable networks are all about cultivating brands now. There was a time when Syfy seemed like it had thrown its brand away. But it’s come back in a big way in the last few years, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
Eric Milner/SyfyKaitlin Thomas @thekaitling, TVGuide.com
I’m sure most of us are saying FX, and while that may have been true a few years ago, the truth is that FX’s drama slate, which produced some of the best TV of the last decade, has been on the decline over the last several years. The network has focused more heavily on anthologies and comedies of late, a decision that has resulted in Emmys success and a comedy lineup that is truly unrivaled. But while that is all well and good, and hough I still love FX, until the network’s dramas are back up to snuff, I’m going to have to throw my love in the complete opposite direction: The Food Network and its sister network The Cooking Channel.
Offering everything from ego-stroking competition series like “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Iron Chef America,” culinary educational programs like “Good Eats” and “Food: Fact or Fiction,” and deep-fried-and-covered-in-sugar road shows like “Carnival Eats,” these food-centric networks offer up so much variety in their programming that there’s certainly something for everyone. Want a show about cooking with fire? Might I introduce you to “Man Fire Food”? Want to see one man try to eat his weight in food? There’s “Man v. Food” for that. Want to watch people make ridiculously cool cakes? There are multiple shows about it at this point though I still love “Ace of Cakes” best. Want to visit Flavortown? Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” is still pumping out new episodes even though they all start to blur together after a bit. And this isn’t even counting your more familiar how-to cooking shows like “The Pioneer Woman,” “Trisha’s Southern Cooking,” “Dinner at Tiffani’s,” “Girl Meets Farm,” or any of the others. There are so many food-centric shows right now that I can’t even list them all, but food TV is finally having its moment, and I can’t get enough of it.
Also, did you know Haylie Duff once had a cooking show? Now you do.
Food NetworkAlec Bojalad @alecbojalad, Den of Geek
The best current basic cable network is FX because of “Pose,” the just-ended “Legion” and the best series: “Baskets.” “Baskets,” for all of its run but particularly in its last season, has a way of making the aggressively normal seem weird and vice versa. It's clear that the Baskets family is a kind of archetypical American family that really exists – they're just ened and the end result is a fascinating mashup of comedy and drama.Ben Travers @BenTTravers, IndieWire
In lieu of redundancy &mdash all the FX praise above is well-earned, and it’s the clear, deserving winner here &mdash I’ll throw a few bones to two otherwise unacknowledged basic cable networks: Comedy Central and SundanceTV. While neither can compare in quantity of quality to FX which has roughly 10 ongoing series that are very good, compared to seven-ish at Comedy Central and four or so at SundanceTV, they both release consistently strong shows and consistently creative ones. Comedy Central’s biggest slight is its lack of accessibility, which has been flagged as a problem by young-skewing audiences and knowledgeable creators alike, while SundanceTV simply doesn’t have the budget to compete with modern TV’s big boys. What the latter is able to produce despite its limitations makes it an even more standout aspect of AMC Networks’ lineup. If I could only get one basic cable station to get some Disney dollars thrown its way, I’d still pick FX &mdash but hopefully Comedy Central and SundanceTV can find their way to a wider audience, as well.
Q: What is the best show currently on TV?*A: TIE: “Lodge 49” and “Succession” three votes each
Other contenders: “GLOW,” “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” one vote
*In the case of streaming services that release full seasons at once, only include shows that have premiered in the last month.
Published 12 hour ago on 26 Jul 1919
Tony Bancroft co-directed the original Mulan and he is not impressed with The Lion King remake. The remake received some backlash when the first trailer was released late last year after it looked like it was going to be a shot-for-shot copy of the original. The backlash continued over the "live-action" description. With that being said, the movie is currently number one at the box office with over $700 million globally, so none of the perceived backlash had any effect on The Lion King remake.
One common thread in all of the Disney remakes has been how incredibly divisive they are. Some fans love them and champion the technological advances, while others aren't into them at all. The same can be said about The Lion King, even as it sits at number one. Mulan co-director and Pumbaa creator Tony Bancroft recently made it to the theater to see the remake and says, "I just saw The Lion King. It's the 'meh' heard around the world." He then used the hashtags, "sorry" and "not sorry."
This isn't the first time Tony Bancroft has thrown some shade at The Lion King remake. Earlier in the month he shared a comparison video between the original and the remake. He said, "I'm not laughing, you're laughing," in his caption. It's not clear if any of the original animators, designers, or writers ended up getting any money from the remake. However, before the movie hit theaters, it was believed that they were not going to get in on any profits, even though they helped to create the original. Bancroft may be understandably a little angry if that's the case.
Related: Will The Lion King Win the Throne as Summer's Biggest Box Office Hit?
Tony Bancroft not only created Pumbaa, but he was a supervising animator on The Lion King. He had previously worked on Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin as an animator and an assistant animator on The Rescuers Down Under. He then went on to work on The Hunchback of Notre Dame and then co-directed Mulan in 1998. As for the Mulan remake, Bancroft seems to be okay with it so far. We'll have to wait and see what happens when it's released.
The Lion King remake may have some critics, but it is conquering the box office. The movie did $191.7 million domestically in its opening weekend alone, earning the record for highest opening in July, beating out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 $169.1 million. The remake should be able to make it to $1 billion if it keeps going how it has been going so far. Regardless, some Disney fans aren't into it and they aren't into the other remakes either. You can't please everybody, even the people who work for Disney. You can check out Tony Bancroft's Twitter review of The Lion King remake below.
Published 12 hour ago on 21 May 1919
This weekend, Aladdin joins Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, and Dumbo as Disney animated classics to get a live-action remake. The Mouse House isn’t stopping there, either, with The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Pinocchio, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Little Mermaid. There’s one post-Renaissance movie which started with Mermaid that certified Disney Legend Alan Menken thinks won’t ever get a reimagining, however.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to do Pocahontas, I think that story is going to be difficult. With modern sensibilities, it’d be hard – you’re going to offend somebody – so I don’t know,” the nine-time Oscar winning composer, including for “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, told Digital Spy. “But I’m happy to come back to these films and continue to add to them.” Menken is right to call a live-action Pocahontas movie more difficult than, say, remaking the movie where two mice travel to the Australian Outback, but to not consider it because “you’re going to offend somebody” is a peculiar defense. We’re not talking Song of the South here.
Menken also discussed the revised lyrics in the new Aladdin:
“It is no longer ‘Sunday salaam.’ It’s ‘Friday salaam.’ Things got corrected, certain things got removed. Like, we used to have [in the lyrics to ‘Arabian Nights’], ‘The heat is intense/It’s barbaric/But hey, it’s home.’ But originally, what Howard [Ashman, Menken’s late collaborator] and I wrote actually was, ‘Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face/It’s barbaric/But hey, it’s home.’ That went fast. We thought it was funny. But I don’t think Arabic people thought it was all that funny, so that got changed. Then the word ‘barbaric’ came out. It’s a filter, you have to look at what’s happening today. Values go upside-down in a blink. It’s inevitable, you have got to take that really seriously.” Via
If Will Smith doesn’t sing-rap the lyrics to “Arabian Nights,” what’s the point.
Aladdin opens this Thursday night, May 23.
Via Digital Spy