However, every once in awhile, a series will create a monster believable enough to actually scare us. We may not jump or cry while watching the show, but the memory of it sticks with us. It's unsettling when you're alone at night or lost in the woods. In honor of Halloween, here are the scariest TV monsters of all time.
It's good to report some TV news involving a canceled show that's actually good. Last June we gave you the news that 'Primeval,' the show where a team of scientists battles monsters coming through some sort of portal, wasn't going to be renewed for another season. Well, forget about all that because the show is coming back in 2011.
The web site for the show says that the show will be able to come back for 13 new episodes next year because of a "unique international collaboration." Which I'm guessing means that various companies from various countries are putting some money behind the series.
I like how the official site not only says that the show is coming back but that they're still going to have great special effects. So the monsters won't be hand puppets or people in suits a la Godzilla.
Here's a clip from tonight's episode "Good God, Y'All." I don't think Paula Deen makes an appearance.
This season is the last season for The CW's Supernatural. But it might not be the last season of The CW's Supernatural.
Creator Eric Kripke wants the show to continue, only not the same way it is now. He wants to get two new leads for the show and make it more of a light, music-oriented show, sort of High School Musical meets Rocky Horror Picture Show. OK, I made all of that up. But he does want to change the way the show is, so it can be renewed but be different, the way The X-Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer changed their shows. He says that this upcoming season (season five in a long-planned five season arc) will "end with a bang."
Looks like even a successful show can be canceled after a few years. ITV's Primeval (shown on BBC America on Saturday nights and on The Sci-Fi Channel) has been canceled after three seasons. The show was actually successful and well-liked and there's going to be a big-screen version too (and probably a U.S. version), but it was too expensive to produce.
Are you going to miss this show, or was three seasons enough?
Most of those Sesame Street monsters scared the holy hell out of me when I was little. When a monster came on that I didn't like, I'd high-tail it into the kitchen where I would listen for the sketch to conclude. Then, I could resume my Sesame Street watching with friendly characters like Bert and Ernie and Big Bird.
Although, I was not an equal opportunity monster-hater. For instance, I adored Cookie Monster. He was and still is my favorite Muppet. I was also cool with Telly, Grover, and Oscar the Grouch. Here are the monsters that scared me the most when I was little:
Not too long ago I mentioned that some new series would soon be popping up on Comedy Central's Motherload site. A couple of these series have already debuted, and I have to say, I'm not exactly floored by what I've seen so far. Granted, it's hard to justify spending too much money and energy on a Web-only series that might not be seen by that many people, but Motherload still managed to provide some really smart and funny shows, like "I Love the '30s," "All Access: Middle Ages" and Jon Glaser's "Tiny Hands."
One of the newest series to hit the broadband player is "Guacamole," from comedians Michael Blieden and Matt Price. I don't think anyone has ever created a show about a tub of guacamole and a can of minestone soup, but to be honest, I'm a little torn about this one. I like both the comedians involved, and there are some funny bits, but the premise of inanimate objects talking and living like normal people doesn't seem all that original. I'm either going to get bored with watching food "talking", or it's totally going to win me over.
The Jim Henson Company has acquired the rights to John Chandler's The Skrumps. The company plans to create projects for both the Web and television with the quirky little monsters, including an animated program for television that will utilize the Henson Digital Performance Studio that allows puppeteers to manipulate CG characters in real-time.
The company has also added some new characters to the mix, such as Wishbone, lead singer of the band Grumblebelly, and Raisins, his adoring fan. You can see a music video featuring the characters on Yahoo Kids, as well as some video blogs. The new project is executive produced by Brian Henson, Lisa Henson, John Chandler and Craig Bartlett, creator of Hey, Arnold! Bartlett will also be a writer for the new project.
Based on the videos, I think little kids will probably love The Skrumps if they don't already know about the line of toys and books. The "real-time" animation technique is also interesting, if not somewhat limiting when compared to traditional animation.
Yesterday I mentioned that Comedy Central's Motherload site was gearing up for more new Web-only programming, and now I actually have a full list of all the show's slated for the site.
The one that caught my eye was "Stephen and Steven," an animated series from Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Tom Goes to the Mayor and the upcoming Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. The series will focus on Siamese twins who are attached at the groin and love online dating. Yeah, that pretty much sounds like Tim and Eric.
(S01E02) Nightmares are an interesting phenomenon. What can seem terrifying while it's playing out in your subconscious loses much of its power once you wake up and try to explain it to someone. In that regard, Nightmares and Dreamscapes was a perfectly apt title for Stephen King's 1993 short story collection. When King is at his best, he's able to make even the most absurd situations seem real and horrific. When those same ideas are fleshed out into a visual medium, however, they become diluted without King etching the images into your mind himself.
This is why so many of King's works suffer when they're translated to the movie or television screen, and why "Crouch End" the second offering of the new series Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (click here for Keith's review of the premiere episode "Battleground," based on a short story from the Night Shift collection) was more tiresome than terrifying. Also, out of all the short stories the man has written, this wasn't his best one.
(S01E01) The new Adult Swim series from SpongeBob SquarePants writer and storyboard artist Aaron Springer, Korgoth of Barbaria, which also features the talents of Bill Wray (Ren and Stimpy, Mad Magazine) and Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack) does not officially debut until September, but last night a sneak peek was shown. Actually, I don't think this is the first time the pilot has been shown, but it was the first time I saw it, and I have to say I thought it was pretty good, especially if you like creative violence.
But let's try to save it! Yeah, these petition things often don't make a difference, but there's no harm. Here's the Save Surface on NBC petition. Almost 12,000 signatures so far.
It's a shame if this doesn't see a second season. It's better than Invasion and Threshold.
This could actually be great. Can you imagine the people showing up for auditions? People dressed like Elvira and Dracula and Frankenstein and superheroes and zombies. People who scare you, and you're not quite sure what they'll do. Actually, it sounds a lot like the American Idol auditions.
While it's no small feat to create an animated series kids will love, or one adults will love, it's especially amazing when someone is able to create something that both kids and adults can get a kick out of. SpongeBob SquarePants is a perfect example, and so is pretty much everything Craig McCracken has had a hand in, from Dexter's Laboratory (which he didn't create, but did work on) to The Powerpuff Girls to Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, which, by the way, will kick of its fifth season later this month (April 28 at 7 p.m. EST on Cartoon Network to be exact). I've praised Foster's plenty of times already, but I'll say again that if you like cartoons and haven't checked this one out yet, you should. The unique creatures and design of the show give it a kind of "storybook" feel, and there's plenty of subtle jokes for adults and slightly older kids. I loved the episode when a sculpture of Grandma Foster is broken, causing Bloo to point out in one scene that "a bust this big needs ample support." What makes McCracken's work so admirable is that he's able to combine elements that are both jokey and heartwarming. The result is a show both myself and my three-year-old niece can enjoy. As "simplistic" as the show may seem, that's actually quite an accomplishment.
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