The hugely successful concept Marvel created has Hollywood scared. Until they realized, they could do the same thing. Now franchises have been rebooted and touched up to try out the connected universe for themselves.
One of the more well-known franchises is the DC superhero movies. As long as there has been a Detective Comics and Marvel Comics there has been a battle between the two. They have fought inch by inch to gain a niche in entertainment. Last year, DC announced its next 10 years in film. Starting with next year’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, more importantly including the first female-led superhero movie with 2017’s Wonder Woman. This announcement followed Marvel’s film slate. It should be noted that while DC had cornered the marked on television, Marvel is breaking apart that sector with so many projects in the near future.
Another franchise coming back to life is the reboot of Ghostbusters. Ever since the sequel of the original film, there have been rumors of a third film in the works. This was confirmed last year when it was announced that an all-female Ghostbusters movie was planned. The film is headlined by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. Of course, there needs to be a male led movie as well, with Channing Tatum leading. These films will likely have connections if they do well. In this way, the shared universe can provide audiences with more diversity.
Sigourney Weaver is coming back to the Alien franchise for a sequel to James’s Cameron’s Aliens, completely ignoring the original sequels. The new Alien film will likely have a connection to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and its upcoming sequel. The shared universe will allow more exploration of the themes discussed in the films.
All in all, the over-arching plots should at least make for great entertainment. At the most, the competition for ratings and ticket sales will drive more innovative entertainment tactics.
Something a little different. This month is very exciting for television viewers like me. HBO favorites come back and new shows debut all while my final exams and final papers become due. Here are the shows best suited to get viewer’s attention and keep it for more than a season.
Lip Sync Battle from Spike
When I first heard about Jimmy Fallon’s segment from the tonight show being turned into an actual program I wasn’t too excited. I think I might have groaned. However, the two episodes that have aired were really entertaining. The program keeps the spirit of Fallon’s show and the caliber of the guests as well. The show is co-hosted by L.L. Cool J and Chrissy Teigen. As long as the show keeps booking guests like The Rock and John Legend who bring humor and talent, the show will be good. Also seeing the preview for the next episode, it looks like it will be just fine.
Marvel’s Daredevil from Netflix
Daredevil is my most anticipated show this month. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe belonging to blockbuster hits like The Avengers and Iron Man, Marvel is looking to corner another medium: Netflix. The series is set in New York as the blind lawyer-turned-vigilante Daredevil, played by Charlie Cox. Joining Cox is True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll and big-screen actress Rosario Dawson. Daredevil is the first of five Netflix series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Daredevil is A.k.a Jessica Jones with Krysten Ritter. I’m certain Daredevil will be renewed before it even premieres just like other Netflix hits, after all, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has already given it a score of 100%.
Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, and Mad Men
There is not much to say about Game of Thrones that hasn’t been said so far. Viewers should expect more twists, more death, and maybe some more awkward incest. Game of Thrones is also the reason HBO made a deal with Apple for direct streaming services. Orphan Black’s return seems to be highly anticipated. Audiences love the multiple award winning Tatiana Maslany as 16 different clones and counting. Mad Men starts its last part of its last season. The program has had a remarkable run, even if Jon Hamm never won a prime time Emmy.
These shows have the most promise this month. Also stay away from Syfy’s Olympus. It was a poorly executed attempt to steal some Game of Thrones audience and got a flat “F” from the AV Club.
Grace Helbig, Youtuber with a popular Youtube channel called “It’s Grace”, had her show’s pilot this past Friday night on E!. The show was not what you typically see on your TV screens.
It’s a big chance the network took. Grace is a quirky Youtuber, as are most of the internet people, so the fact that this major network decided to put her on their lineup shows how much sway the internet really has.
It seems like more and more people are ditching their TV and going for their fix via their computer or tablet or smartphone. TV networks are finding it hard to compete when Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime are around.
So to remain relevant and fresh, it’s no wonder E! went out on a limb and got a hugely internet famous, maybe not “real life” famous, star to host a show.
The show probably lent itself better to the internet because it was true-to-form Grace’s quirky style. Hopefully it’ll get more episodes because the show was unique and original and it’ll be interesting where Grace takes it. Her point of view is one that is only occasionally broadcasted because it is so self-aware and largely uncensored.
So here’s to Team Internet. May they continue to spread and keep doing weird things.
It blew my mind when I first heard the news that much of the audience of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe was in their 20s. This came out when network higher-ups were planning on canceling the show. The real question is however, what attracts college-aged people to kids’ cartoons. One short answer: Children’s’ television is becoming much more complex than past generations and reflects that complexity from society.
Take Steven Universe. Superficially, nothing is much different from the rest of the cartoon line-up. The show was created by Adventure Time writer and composer Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey. The creators use Steven Universe, like all animators, as a medium to explain the world around them.
I started watching an episode, just to see the hype. The show seemed normal with colorful backgrounds and energetic characters. Then I watched another episode. And another.
Not long I realized that this isn’t like any other cartoon.
Steven Universe is a cartoon about a team of alien heroes, the crystal gems, and their youngest and newest member Steven. Steven’s mother was also a crystal gem, but died when Steven was born. So the Crystal gems raised Steven. Parental loss is just one of the issues Steven goes through and creator Sugar explores.
Recruited to help explore complicated issues is a highly talented voice cast. The Crystal gems are made up of a cast of Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet. Amethyst is voiced by Michaela Dietz. Pearl is voiced by Deedee Mango Hall, formerly seen on Broadway shows like Wicked. Probably best known however is Garnet’s actor, English rapper, Estelle. The best tactic Sugar uses in gaining emotional connections with the issues she explores is using the voice actors as singers in the show.
The most important thing that Steven Universe explores is that there is no pure form of family. In today’s age, the nuclear family isn’t the only type of family. There needs to be media that reflects that. I haven’t seen characters that have such a strong connection as in Steven Universe, and as long as the show is airing, an example of the new normal is in good hands.