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April 18, 2014

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Why a MAD Magazine Show Could Work

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 27th 2010 12:05PM
Mad MagazineWhenever MAD Magazine crops up in a conversation with someone under the age of 20, their mind immediately jumps to 'MADtv.' That's when my mind blows a fuel cell and launches into a death spiral.

Back in the late '90s when the Fox sketch show hit the airwaves, my brain almost exploded at the thought of a MAD Magazine TV show. I read the magazine cover to cover and kept a stack of them in my bookcase until the covers withered away with time. I thumbed through each issue for my favorite writers and artists like Dick DeBartolo, Mort Drucker and Frank Jacobs. I didn't date much.

The final product left me very disappointed. Now, it has another chance to be something better. DC Comics has announced they are developing an animated sketch show for Cartoon Network that's centered around more than just the magazine's brand.

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'Smallville' - 'Charade' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 23rd 2010 11:33PM
(S09E18) With only four episodes remaining in the season, this felt like an episode that should have come a little earlier. But, it is what it is. I liked the non-linear storytelling aspect of it and almost wish they did an even less linear version of the story to keep it interesting. Now that it's very mature, 'Smallville' as a show is taking more chances.

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'Smallville' - 'Checkmate' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 10th 2010 1:03AM
Smallville(S09E15) I'm usually pretty critical of 'Smallville,' but tonight was a darn good episode. Pam Grier's character of Amanda Waller, taken straight from the comic books, showed the right amount of menace (albeit a bit comic book-y). The interaction between Tess, Oliver, Chloe and Clark kept my interest. There was even a new mystery relating to whomever Jonn is working for.

If there were any downsides to the episodes, they were minor and revolved around Tess. Her character seems all over the place and has had too many different roles in her history. First, she's Luthor's pawn, then she's a bad-ass corporate CEO, then she's in bed with Zod, then she's a Checkmate agent, and now she's a rogue agent with a price on her head. The writers need to decide who she is and be consistent about it. Or maybe the inconsistency is part of her character. But that gets a pass since the rest of the episode worked so well.

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'Human Target' - 'Victoria' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 8th 2010 12:45PM
human target victoria recap
(S01E11) "You a hot mess." - Winston to Guerrero.


Chance rubbed elbows with royalty on last night's 'Human Target.' But while Fox's pre-show introduction (starring a couple of 'Glee' kids) promised big thrills and explosions, "Victoria" failed to deliver any truly spectacular action sequences. At least we got to see the show sorta return to its original premise, with Chance posing as someone close to the client to protect her from the threat. It seems like he hasn't done that in quite a while.

Winston and Guerrero got themselves into a pretty tight spot during this ep. It's always fun to see these two paired up out in the field instead of stuck in a room staring at computer screens or talking on cell phones. Follow me after the jump to discuss last night's Crown conspiracy.

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'Smallville' - 'Escape' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 3rd 2010 1:34AM
Smallville(S09E15) 'Smallville' is back! For a tenth season, no less.

Six more episodes remain in this season, and tonight we got some advancement in the Lois/Clark relationship, plus some sort of relationship between Chloe and Oliver which remains vague. But then, if relationships on television weren't fluid, they'd be far more boring.

When we last left the show, Zod had obtained his Kryptonian powers from Clark's blood. Now, instead of one of the 'Saw' movies, the episode has become an 80's horror flick with Silver Banshee becoming the equivalent of Freddy or Jason (or perhaps one of the 'Leprechaun' movies, if you want to keep with the same Irish heritage as the Banshee).

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'Smallville' Producers Sue the WB and CW

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 29th 2010 9:21AM

SmallvilleHollywood in-fighting is nothing new, and it's usually pretty interesting. The latest example is that the current producers behind 'Smallville' are suing both Warner Brothers and the CW. The accusation is that the company is "short-selling" the show to the network and thereby cutting the producers out of potential profit.

Money has always seemed a problem for the show. While 'Smallville' does not have the worst special effects in history (that award goes to classic 'Doctor Who'), it does sometimes appear to be made on a shoestring budget. In this recessionary environment, it should be no surprise that everybody is fighting like wolves for a bigger piece of the pie. More's the pity since the show has gotten better in the last two or three years.

The curious thing is the long-term effect. Will the producers for the tenth season now be replaced? Will this be the final nail in the coffin to make the show's tenth season its last? What do you think?

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'Human Target' - 'Corner Man' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 25th 2010 5:03AM
human target corner man recap(S01E09) 'Human Target' jumped back to case-of-the-week mode after last week's back story-heavy hour, but I'm not complaining. Like 'Fringe,' this is one of those shows that constantly delivers solid stand-alone episodes.

This week, Chance entered an underground martial arts tournament to get a fighter off the hook with a dangerous gangster. I was hoping this ep would exploit the 'Enter the Dragon' fighting competition gimmick a little more. I was expecting brutal hand-to-hand combat scenes, tense build-ups to each fight, and opponents that got bigger and scarier as the episode went along.

Instead, the fights kinda seemed to happen in the background. Chance fought a few guys who pretty much looked the same and seemed to go down a little too easily. The real intrigue sprang from all the high-stakes gambling and backdoor deals surrounding the fights.

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'Human Target' - 'Salvage & Reclamation' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 11th 2010 5:05AM
human target salvange & reclamation review
(S01E07) 'Human Target' returned to the tube with a fun episode packed with big explosions, clever gags, an exotic locale, and some femme fatale hotness. The hotness came courtesy of guest star Leonor Varela, the latest in a string of babes we've seen pair up with Chance during the show's freshman season (according to star Mark Valley, she definitely won't be the last).

Varela did a fine job playing Maria, one of Chance's old flames – an old flame who could've turned out to be "the one" for Chance, if only he would've stuck around to find out. But, as our boy explained midway through this ep, he left her because everyone he's ever gotten close to "has been taken away."

Was Chance making a reference to Katherine Walters here, the woman we found out about a few episodes ago? The woman he was in love with? The woman whose death he might be responsible for?

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'Smallville' Is Coming Back Next Season

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 4th 2010 9:45PM
SmallvilleIn a move that surprises very few, The CW has decided that 'Smallville' will get a tenth season next year. God willing, it's the last one and Clark finally wears the tights and cape at the end of it.

Truthfully, the show's quality has improved in the last two years. The teen angst factor has gone down in favor of the geek factor. The increased ratings reflect this improvement, added to the change of the broadcast night (because Friday night is geek night on television).

To The CW: here is some free, unsolicited advice. Ten years is a good number, but the tenth year should be the show's last. If it continues, then have Clark don the costume at the end of the season and either spin-off a 'Superman' movie series or create a sequel television series called 'Metropolis.' Don't call it 'Superman' if it's a television series. That's the kiss of death.

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'Smallville' - 'Conspiracy' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 27th 2010 1:18AM
Smallville(S01E15) Tonight's episode started with a callback to last week's destruction of the solar towers by Clark. Then it turned into your average 80's horror flick combined with one of the 'Saw' movies.

One of the rules of casting for this show must be that every male character must be able to look good without a shirt. Both Oliver and Zod did just that in this episode. Zod looked good for a soldier that has been in battle and taken shrapnel while leading his army of American Apparel models. Krypton must have a great H.M.O.

Who else predicted the ending other than me? More on that after the jump.

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'Smallville' - 'Persuasion' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 20th 2010 2:05AM
Smallville(S09E14) There goes that possible future. Actually, the destruction of the solar tower was probably a good thing. Since we already saw where that would lead in that "future" storyline, we now have no idea where the season will go. Obviously, there will be some sort of Clark/Zod confrontation down the line, but the context remains a complete blank.

Here's hoping the writers think of something good and it doesn't become one of those 30-second final confrontations with the season's Big Bad in order to save on the special effects budget (so much for 'Doomsday').

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'Smallville' - 'Warrior' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 13th 2010 1:23AM
Smallville(S09E12) Tonight's episode provided a reason towards why Clark eventually puts on the costume. Ironically, it revolves around George Lucas. Apparently, despite having superheroes, the 'Smallville' universe has the Metropolis Comic Con (to go along with such ones as the San Diego Comic Con and the New York Comic Con). The episode takes the opposing opinion of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from their 'Watchmen' comic that a universe populated with actual heroes would lose interest in heroic comic books.

When one thinks about it, the 'Star Wars' references make sense. It was the success of the first 'Star Wars' movie that led to Hollywood's interest in science fiction and fantasy that led to the first 'Superman' movie. Irony of ironies.

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Review: 'Smallville' - 'Absolute Justice'

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 6th 2010 1:55AM
Smallville(S09E11) Technically this episode is a combination of episodes 11 and 12 from the season (originally titled 'Society' and 'Legends' respectively). Also, this is a first for the series, as the episode title actually has two words and not just one, although likely that will change back in syndication.

Tonight's story was chock-full-o-comic-book-references. From the very beginning with the appearance of Radu's to the end mention of the Suicide Squad. It was enough to make any loyal fanboy's brain explode.

Admittedly, the episode was kind of light on story and ended up having major plot-holes, the least of which being how exactly Hawkman's helmet stayed on. The beginning of the episode was extremely reminiscent of the 'Watchmen' movie, particularly with the newsreel-style clips of the Justice Society. If you imagine a parallel 'Watchmen' universe in which Rorschach was actually correct with his "mask killer" theory, then you have tonight's 'Smallville' episode.

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DC's Justice Society gets animated

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 29th 2009 5:02PM
JSA Batman Brave BoldSmallville's Clark Kent isn't the only one getting a visit from DC Comics' Justice Society in 2010. A month before the classic crime fighters show up for Smallville's "Absolute Justice" event, airing Feb. 5, they'll drop by the Batcave for an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

An animated version of the 1940s superhero team will make its debut January 15 on Cartoon Network's great and goofy Batman show. We'll get to see how The Flash (the original one with the silly hat), Hourman, Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite and Wildcat influenced Batman's bad guy-beating skills. We'll also see them in action against a villain named Per Degaton. The ep, titled "The Golden Age of Justice," will also feature Bats teaming up with Green Arrow's main squeeze, Black Canary.

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Review: Smallville - Pandora

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 21st 2009 1:34AM
Smallville(S09E08) The whole alternate timeline or alternate future concept has been around sci fi for ... well, I don't know how long. The most famous example I can think of is the classic Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror," though I'm sure there are many more. We've already had alternate timeline stories in Smallville (such as Lana's "death" in the 100th episode), and now we have an alternate future story.

Although it used an old television and sci fi concept, this particular story served a dual purpose: it let the viewer know what happened to Lois between the 8th and 9th seasons and also let us know the stakes of a potential Zod victory (although we probably could have figured that one out on our own).

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