Doux News: April 26, 2015

This week: The Martian again -- When is a plot twist too much? (Yes, I'm talking about Grey's Anatomy) -- This week in casts -- Miscellaneous entertainment news -- This week in Monty Python, Going Clear and Cats

Last March (2014), I was moving from one side of the United States to the other and wound up reading a terrific novel while stuck in motel rooms: The Martian, by Andy Weir. (Here is my enthusiastic, non-spoilery review of the book.) So they're making a movie, of course, and some lucky people at Fox CinemaCon 2015 got to see some footage -- and they're raving about it. If the movie is as good as the book ... no, that never happens. But wouldn't it be nice?

Is anyone still watching Grey's Anatomy? If you are, what was your reaction to this week's big plot twist? I was into Grey's Anatomy once upon a time, and stopped watching after a specific character death. There was something so stupid and over the top about the way that they killed off that character, and here, I'll put the character's name in white, even though it was over five years ago, highlight to read (George, played by T.R. Knight) that just pissed me off to the point where I knew I was done with the show forever. Sounds like it just happened again this week. Fans are livid. I just read a couple of comment threads and the fan reaction was maybe 95% negative.

Twists like this one can be a slap in the viewer's face. They can make you decide that, yeah, I might have stuck it out for many seasons, but this is a bridge too far and I'm going to jump ship. I don't want to pick on the brilliant Shonda Rhimes, but is this just something she in particular tends to do with her shows? I'm still watching Scandal, but I've already emotionally disconnected because it went too far for me. And I'll be specific about why. Huck, Quinn, and teeth. Seriously?

This week in casts, a bit longer than usual because I didn't do Doux News last week

-- Franz Drameh has been added to the cast of still unnamed Arrow/Flash spinoff, which some are now calling Flarrow.

-- Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Adina Porter (True Blood) has been cast in WGN's new series Underground. Other recent casting notices for this show have included Reed Diamond (Dollhouse and pretty much everything), Mykelti Williamson (Justified), Chris Meloni, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Aldis Hodge.

-- The Agents of SHIELD spinoff will apparently star the battling ex-married characters Bobbi and Hunter, played by Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood.

-- Mitch Pileggi is on board for the new X-Files. He'd better be.

-- Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark on Agent Carter) has landed the lead in the AMC pilot Preacher. Elizabeth Perkins has also been cast.

-- Ryan Gosling will play the lead in the new Blade Runner movie. Harrison Ford will also appear as Deckard, the character he played in the original, which is my favorite science fiction movie. I'm not sure I'm happy with this, but we shall see.

-- Cush Jumbo (what a great name) has been cast in a recurring role in the next season of The Good Wife, possibly replacing Archie Panjabi. As if anyone could.

Miscellaneous entertainment news

-- Jon Stewart's last day on The Daily Show will be August 6.

-- There will be a Galaxy Quest series, based on the movie, which is a parody of a television series. I know a lot of people love Galaxy Quest, but I'm not one of them. Thoughts?

-- If you've ever wondered why we never hear the word 'zombie' on The Walking Dead, and I have indeed wondered, it turns out that the producers made a decision way back when that zombie movies and the word 'zombie' don't exist in the Walking Dead universe. No wisecracks about Night of the Living Dead, no references to iZombie to break the tension. Smart decision.

Monty Python, Going Clear and Cats

Do you love Monty Python? Some don't, but I always have. Yes, sometimes they went too far into the weird and were occasionally offensive and let's not talk about the sexism, but the fish slapping dance? The Spanish Inquisition? Martial arts with a banana? Spam?

The surviving members of Monty Python -- John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin -- reunited in New York this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. When interviewed, Eric Idle claimed that they were funnier than Scientology.

(And, just a segue here, if you haven't seen Going Clear, the amazing HBO documentary on Scientology, it's alarming, fascinating, and in my opinion well worth your time. Seriously, I thought I knew the badness of Scientology, but it's so much worse than I suspected.)

In honor of the Monty Python reunion -- and to include our weekly cat content -- here is the Monty Python Confuse-a-Cat sketch.

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


ChrisB said...

Great post, Billie. So much to comment on...

I stopped watching Grey's exactly when you did. I debated about whether to watch this episode, then decided against it. It will only upset me.

I used to be a big fan of Shonda Rhimes, but have decided that I am no longer. I get the feeling that she has bought into her own hype -- never a good thing. What she does brilliantly is create worlds with interesting, complex people. But then, she feels the need to fill every episode with a crazy, OMG twist or moment. After a while, it becomes all too much. I have given up on all her shows and, I'm afraid to say, I don't miss them.

Mitch Pileggi is on board for the new X-Files. He'd better be. It wouldn't be the same without him.

Going Clear has been sitting on my DVR for ever. I'm going to have to watch it now.

I love Monty Python! It's a family thing as you will see from an excerpt of an email my brother sent me not long ago about my niece, who is nine:

"Yesterday evening, while researching famous events that occurred on her birthday, Isabelle learned that on her birthday in 1526 Pope Clemens VII formed the Inquisition. Overjoyed by this news, Isabelle informed everyone in the Middletown Diner repeatedly that "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

garyb said...

I made it at bit past xxxxxxx's death. I gave up on this and all of Shondra's productions when she had almost all of the relationships break up during the course of one episode of Gray's.

I guess the writers though that everyone was too happy, and needed more drama.

mazephoenix said...

Yay for Howard Stark on Preacher..also Ruth Negga(Raina from agents of..) is in there as well as Joseph Gilgun(Misfits) as wisecracking vamp Cassidy. Best casting ever and I say that as a fan of the comic.

Jess Lynde said...

I read The Martian this past February and really, really loved it. I can't remember the last time I read a book that fast. It was impossible for me to put down, and completely thrilling and emotionally engaging. It should make for a fantastic movie, in the vein of Apollo 13. I hadn't heard about any of the casting news for it, until reading the article you linked to, but I'm now super psyched to see it! Can't wait!

Lamounier said...

Interesting question about a twist being too much (or not well handled).

The twist on the second to last episode of Dollhouse was terrible (and the show was having a very good second season up to that point), but since there was only one episode left for the series, there was no reason to drop there.

A character death has made me fall out of love with a series once. It was The Vampire Diaries. The character died on the second to last episode of season two, and not only the death felt wrong, I *hated* how they handled it on the following episode: the episode was not about someone close to Elena dying, it was all about Elena and Damon. Teen romance over some necessary grief? No, thanks. I stopped there and never came back, and reading on the internet that Delena has been sucking the life out of the show for a couple of seasons now, I don’t regret my decision.

Juliette said...

I love Galaxy Quest to bits, it's one of my favourite movies. I'm not sure it would work as a long-running show though, or how they'd deal with the plot of the movie, which is sort of a one-off, whether they give us the fictional show or a show about the show or... my head's spinning!

TheShadowKnows said...

Dear Hollywood,

PLEASE no more reboots, sequels, prequels, TV shows turned into movies, movies turned into TV shows, or anything involving comic books!

Thank you,
The Shadow Knows

P.S. Making a sequel to a classic like Blade Runner is a literally ungodly idea. Holy water will boil and walls will bleed if the person responsible enters a church. Bad producer, no wafer!

TJ said...

About Grey's

I completely agree with others here. Shonda Rhimes has gone totally overboard with the overly dramatizing when it comes to an actor leaving. Because that was all this was about. One actor didn't want to continue and Shonda wrote him out in a way that fans would only consider rude. I saw the episode. Sad episodes makes me cry, I didn't cry in this one...

Oh, and ChrisB? Are you going to make these new show reviews this year? I loved them last year, and couldn't have lived without them...:) They were such good guidelines!

ChrisB said...

TJ -- thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed reading them. Unfortunately, real life has gotten in the way and I just don't have the time to do it any more. I wish I did. It was always a fun part of my week.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I read The Martian this past weekend, and it is one of the best books I've ever read.

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, you made me smile. I thought it was, too.