Archive for the 'TV' Category


George Lucas to bring laughter back into the lives of remaining Star Wars fans

A Star Wars sitcom? Yeeeeeeeeessssssssssssss!!!!!!!

Being a Star Wars fan over the last decade or so has become something of an ever-escalating exercise in masochism, and dear old Mr. Lucas is doling out the feel-bads on par with Ichi the Killer. In news that is both surprising for its inherent absurdity, and therefore not the least bit surprising at all, Lucasfilm is reportedly in talks to produce a Star Wars comedy series.

Evidently unhappy with the fact that people associated Star Wars with memorable characters and action/adventure after the original trilogy, Lucas is  endeavoring to add fart jokes and bad puns to the stilted dialogue, boring characters, nonsensical plot points, and overblown CGI spectacle that we now expect from a Star Wars project.

And really we have no one to blame but ourselves, clearly everyone’s been clamoring for fresh comedic content out of the Star Wars universe, Lucas is just giving us all what we so desperately craved. I mean, remember the Star Wars Christmas Special and how hilarious that was?! No. Of course you fucking don’t, because that shit was absolutely retarded.

The creator-fan dynamic here is beginning to feel very much akin to that episode of South Park where the cops break into George Lucas’ house and find him raping a Storm Trooper. And just so we’re all clear: in this scenario, you– the Star Wars fan and consumer– are the Storm Trooper, so good luck with that.

"You can plan this shit, George, but you can't put in on TV."

And for those of you holding out a hope that the show might somehow– by wink and by prayer– wind up being remotely good, I’m sorry, but you’re stupid and you’re wrong (but I love you!), because Lucasfilm is teaming with the ‘people’ (for lack of a better word, wait…’chuds?’) responsible for Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken for this project. That may come as great news to many (Robot Chicken does do well in the ratings; so does Two and a Half Men by the way), but it’s cringe-inducing news for those that still enjoy Star Wars and/or comedy, as this is the kind of jocund hi-jinks the Robot Chicken tandem have already inflicted on the Star Wars faithful:


As if the dry wit of the Robot Chicken gentlemen wasn’t enough, one of the writers from the exemplary Frank TV is also on board (sample this classic bit, remember it’s supposed to incite laughter, not murderous rage towards Frank Caliendo)! This idea couldn’t possibly get any better! Please tell us more, close-personal-friend-of-Wilmer-Valderama, Seth Green:

“The ‘Star Wars’ universe is so dense and rich; it’s crazy to think that there aren’t normal, mundane everyday problems in a world so well-defined. And it’s even crazier to think of what those problems might be, since it’s all set in a galaxy far, far away. What do these characters do when they’re not overthrowing Empires?”

Brilliant! Who the hell wants to see Han Solo frag Greedo in some seedy bar when you can watch them sip espressos together in a Death Star cafe and complain about their respective dates from the night before? I smell an Emmy! Exclamation Point!

For now let’s all just pray that this idea fizzles out in the development phase, or, barring that, that George Lucas doesn’t attain the rights to The Legend of Zelda and continue his quest to relieve himself all over my most cherished childhood memories.

There might be more at The Hollywood Reporter if you actually care about this shit. I’m gonna go put on my Millenium Falcon-themed onesy and weep gently into a tall glass of rye whiskey.


Freaknik: The Musical, a hip hop odyssey of awesomeness

T-Pain has in just a few short years become one of the most recognizable, and entertaining, stars on the planet. With a unique look (first motherfucker to properly rock a top hat since Honest Abe), a signature musical style (I think we all know what that is), a string of hit songs (including one of the best R&B songs, as well as one of the best hip hop songs of the past 3 years), and an impressive comedic turn (or perhaps just an earnest ode to boat occupancy), T-Pain has become something of a bejeweled, grilled, and dread-locked Renaissance man.

T-Pain as Freaknik, with Kelis as Tyra

And his legend will only grow with the premiere of Freaknik: The Musical, the best and funniest original content that Adult Swim has produced this year, and the greatest hip hop musical ever made (yeah, suck it, Carmen: A Hip Hop Hopera!). Featuring a legendary cast, an amazing soundtrack, a healthy knowledge of hip hop culture, and some very funny jabs at a number of “celebrities,” Freaknik: The Musical is the Citizen Kane of one-hour animated hip hop musical comedy television specials. And it’s the goddamn Holy Grail for animated comedy nerds who happen to love hip hop (Huzzah for me!).

Freaknik: The Musical is the Citizen Kane of one-hour animated hip hop musical comedy television specials

The plot is relatively simple, but absolutely inspired in its execution. When the ghost of fun-loving, positive message-spreading Freaknik is summoned back to Earth (by an elderly, wheel-chair bound Lil Jon no less), he sets up a rap battle which catches the attention of a young crew, the Sweet Tea Mobsters (featuring Rick Ross and Cee-Lo among others) who decide to take part. Their journey becomes an odyssey of sorts across hip hop’s legendary “dirty south,” with a stop in New Orleans and culminating in the mecca of southern hip hop, Atlanta. There’s also a few clever Odyssey references, including a group of sirens (AKA “lovely bitches”), lotus eaters (in the form of homoerotic frat boys, one played by Andy Samberg, with lots of alcohol), the crew is faced with a number of trials seemingly sent from on high (“It’s like God himself don’t want us to make it”), and the crew’s leader is named Big Virg, presumably short for Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid, a sort of Roman  version of The Odyssey (I’m stretching the conceit razor thin so you know I’m serious about this shit). Freaknik is also challenged by a group called the Boule, controlled by a megalomaniacal Oprah.

Lil Wayne as Trap Jesus

Here’s a few of the show’s highlights:

-Lil Wayne as “Trap Jesus”
-Charlie Murphy as Al Sharpton, who later is reborn as the Perminator, and fights a Godzilla-style mega battle with Freaknik
-The Perminator asleep on his bed with a half-eaten sandwich on his chest
-Rev. Jesse Jackson obsessed with cutting nuts off (ala this)
-Forbidden Planet soundtrack music at one point during a Boule council scene
-The “Ghetto Commandments”
-A Lil Jon “What? ” peppered throughout the show at various moments
-A reference to Mariah Carey in The Prince of Egypt
-An Asian skydiving Malcolm X impersonator
-An in-movie Squidbillies commercial
-Bootsy Collins and George Clinton as freaky space aliens from the Mothership
-Doela Man: “You pull over. I’ve seen this on The Wire, buddy.”

I stop Freakniks fa fun. Perminator out. Crash!

I do have to say, though, I am a bit disappointed that a show featuring voice work from Lil Wayne, Big Boi, and Cee-Lo would fail to use any of them in a song, considering they’re all legendary hip hop stars and this is a hip hop musical. It’s also rather mind-boggling to me that the premiere wasn’t accompanied by a full soundtrack. With such a huge collection of musical talent, and such a great assortment of songs, you’d think Adult Swim would want to capitalize on the investment as much as possible. Seems like a hugely wasted opportunity. “(I’ll) Save Ya” and “Freaknik is Back” are two of the catchiest hip hop songs of the year, and if just the six songs off the program were released it would be one of the best hip hop albums put out thus far this year (that says something about the sorry state of hip hop at the moment but that’s a topic for another time). And yet the goddamn songs aren’t even on iTunes. I can’t even download them illegally. And that’s my god-given right as a cheap, lazy internet nerd. It’s goddamn un-American! Or perhaps Trap Jesus was right about divine intervention: “He’s testing your faith, your loyalty to the game.” Well played, hip hop Zeus. Well played.

The Ghetto Commandments

Freaknik: the Musical will be out 4/6 on DVD via Warner Home Video. You should buy it. Or visit the beautiful Wisconsin Dells.

Pop Zeitgeist: A blog about Music, Movies, and other Geekery


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