Category Archives: Television

Fantastic Boor

By Kevin McLaughlin

Last August Twentieth Century Fox released yet another rendition of Marvel Comics First Family, The Fantastic Four. And just like the previous two FF movies this one was bad.

“This reboot [of the film] manages to actually make the previous two FF movies seem better in hindsight.” -IGN Review of Fantastic Four

Now when I first saw the trailer, I was excited because I could tell that the movie had taken inspiration from the Ultimate Universe. Reed Richards is insanely smart, Sue Storm is equally smart, Johnny Storm is all about having fun and dating girls, and Ben Grimm is just there for the ride.

In the movie, like the comics, Reed is brought to the Baxter Building. Instead of being an apartment building, it’s actually a giant governmental think tank where fellow geniuses work to better the country and world. In the movie they get Reed because he was able to make an inter-dimensional transporter out of junk when he was in grade school. To sum up what the government wants with the transporter…they want to do what the humans in Avatar did, plunder a world for it’s resources to use on your own.

Once the team develops powers, the people that run the Baxter Building want to return to the dimension and make more super power soldiers.  What could go wrong?

The real problem with the movie wasn’t the story line.  The real problems were all of the conflicts that went on behind the scenes.

For instance, the director Josh Trank tweeted that he had a great version of the movie but we’d “probably never see it.” FOX thought that Trank’s version was too violent (yet Deadpool was rated R and used the F work 85 times) and forced the director to make reshoots. Another problem with this movie was that the filmmakers didn’t think it was necessary for the actors to read any of the comics  because the movie was an original story not based on the comics.  WRONG!

I could go on forever on how bad this movie was, but when you pull back all the layers, the only reason this movie was EVER made was so FOX could maintain the rights. If Fox wasn’t able to get this movie out by the end of 2015, Marvel would have gotten the rights back. Fox has been mum about the Fantastic Four’s sequel set for a June 2017 date…let’s just hope it’s better than this box office failure.


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The Hairy Issue of Realty TV

I don’t watch a lot of TV these days. I have a big old TV in my house that I use to watch VHS tapes and DVDs and play the occasional video game, but it isn’t hooked up to any kind of cable situation. So the TV I catch is either specifically sought out on the internet a la Netflix, or something I notice playing on a screen in a restaurant/bar. And this weekend, while out with a couple of friends, the venue happened to be playing a television program called “Naked and Afraid.”

This is how the show works: a man and a woman are dropped in some remote location where they must survive. Naked.

I like to imagine a bunch of television people sat down for a meeting somewhere in LA and some man said “hey, we should do another survivor/Bear Gryllis type show,” and one of the other men in the room said “nah, plain ol’ survival shows are lame,” so another guy suggested, “why don’t we make the participants naked?” BINGO!

And interesting it is–for the first few minutes. But both the participants and the viewers get over the nudity factor and, about 5 minutes into any given episode,  it’s no longer a big deal. If anything, it becomes a little bit annoying (OMG. SEX. WE GET IT.) and slightly confusing.

See here’s the thing–I know I should consume all reality television with a grain of salt. Nothing is ever going to be truly “real” with a camera crew following you around and ratings to be considered. But I really can’t get over the fact that, after 21 days, none of these women have hairy armpits. Are the shows producers really that opposed to showing hairy women on the screen as their male counter parts grow grungier and grungier? Do they allow these women to temporarily turn off “survival mode” so they can shave before going back in front of the camera?

One of the producers for Survivor was asked a similar question about hygiene and he claimed to have no idea, chalking it up to pre-show lazer hair removal or something.  And maybe that’s true for some, but all of the women? Really?

I accept the fact that reality TV is anything but real. But maybe it could be cool to see a less-than-perfect looking woman on reality TV. It’s not just hairiness–it’s also a lack of variety in body shape/size, race, gender identity and sexual orientation. Skinny, hairless white women are not the only ones capable of surviving nearly a month in a wild environment.

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My Morning Jacket Is Ready for Spring

On Tuesday, March 31st, Kentucky native jam band, My Morning Jacket, released their second single from their long awaited 7th studio album. Following their first single, released early this month, “Big Decisions“,  “Spring (Among the Living)” is a classic My Morning Jacket tune but with a hint of new and exciting psychedelic rock fusion. Uplifting, positive, spiritual lyrics accompanied by beautiful melodic guitar hums as the drums build and build. You can hear the colored layers of musical expression, from the bass,to the guitar riffs to the violins. My Morning Jacket has shaken winter off of their backs and have returned with a new blossom of pure indie rock.

Since 1999, My Morning Jacket have shared their musical styles of psychedelic indie rock within 6 studio albums and have been named one of the greatest live bands of our generation. To take their fandom to the next level, the band was featured on an episode of American Dad Featured image(My Morning Straight-Jacket).They played the band the main character was obsessed with. It featured songs from their 5th album “Evil Urges” and vocal appearances from the band – Jim James, Tom Blankenship, Patrick Hallahan, Bo Koster and Broemel as themselves.

Four years after the release of 2011 “Circuital“, debuted number 5 on the Billboard Top 200 it’s first week on-sale. My Morning Jacket is set to release their new album The Waterfall (May 4th) as well as a summer tour, stopping in Chicago for three performances at the Chicago Theater in June. The band has only released two singles, but from those singles “The Waterfall” will be a new My Morning Jacket experience that will surely change the jam band game.

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Jess Samson

Tune in to WCRX 88.1 FM every Thursday night 7-9pm Rebel Rock Radio with Jess Samson.