The third annual New York Television Festival is now taking place in the Big Apple. As we did last year, we will review each of the pilots in competition there. This is the first of those reviews.
Last year I decided not to review any of the pilots from the New York Television Festival, but this year curiosity got the better of me and I said yes.
I decided to review one of the comedy DVDs. More specifically, the one featuring a pilot with puppets. You know what I learned, Mable? I learned that if your plot is lame and contrived, having puppets as half your cast doesn't improve things at all. Let's get into it (you can view the pilots at MSN):
UPDATE: The new season begins November 18. Also, the first season will be released on DVD this spring.
Back in April, I told you thirty new episodes of Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! had been ordered, and fans rejoiced. Now comes news from the boys themselves that the new season will kick off this November. They don't mention a specific date, but who cares, at least it's coming back.
I was a fan of Tim and Eric's work pre-Adult Swim, and loved Tom Goes to the Mayor, their first series for the network. Awesome Show, like Tom, samples from the same font of weirdness, but is also, like Tom, often much smarter than it seems. It is comedy dissected, turned inside out and gussied up in an oddball manner that makes some people fall in love with it and others hate it with a dark, unholy passion.
You'll note that I didn't call it a "Muppet short film," because there are no Muppets to be found in the eight-minute short below. It does, however, feature a young Jim Henson. The short, called Time Piece, was nominated for an Oscar in 1966.
Something tells me I would have appreciated this short more when I was in college. Back then I lived for surreal, nonsensical stuff like this: tearing it apart, trying to figure out what it all means. I'd borrow films like this and Un Chien Andalou from the college media center and revel in how different it all was.
Muppet fans know that some characters evolve while others just spring up from out of nowhere. Cookie Monster, for example, began life as somewhat more ferocious-looking monster (the row of sharp teeth helped) in several commercials before being toned down and brought to Sesame Street.
In the clip below, a pre-Sesame Street Cookie Monster devours a machine while the machine describes how it works and what its many functions are. Actually, it only has one main function, but you'll have to watch the clip for that.
Well, if you loved those icky little kids, you might also like a new series from Topps called Hollywood Zombies. The cards are probably a little too sick for some tastes, but they were designed by some truly amazing artists, including Jay Lynch, Mark Stutzman and many others.
A simple search on this site for the words "moral" and "orel" should provide you with all you need to know about my feelings for this Adult Swim series, but in a nutshell: I've been a fan since the first Christmas episode aired back in December of 2005.
As it turns out, "The Best Christmas Ever" was actually supposed to be the last episode of the first season, something that is discussed at length on the audio commentaries of this DVD set, which hits stores on April 24. Going back and watching the shows in order (the set contains all of season one and the first five episodes of season two), it's easier to see how the writing and animation improved as the creators became more and more comfortable with the town of Moralton and its citizens. The first ten episodes follow the same basic template of Orel trying to do good but ultimately having his intentions backfire, resulting in such chaos as attacks by Christian zombies who pray before they devour people, and a rash of pregnancies across town caused by Orel injecting his sperm into women while they sleep using a pastry bag.
Remember when I told y'all that Perfect Hair Forever was coming back, but that it would be online only? Well, that time has come, so click here and enjoy parts one and two of "Return to Balding Victory."
The last time we left our hero, he was on a quest to Tuna Mountain. Also, there was a hamburger necklace, and some dude and a talking giraffe in a hole. If you were wondering what all of that stuff meant, you can rest assured that absolutely none of that is explained in these new episodes. Why? Because as one character explains: it's all just a big anime mindf**k. So inject LSD directly into your eyeballs, sit back in your computer chair, and enjoy the ride.
I've said before I'm kind of an intermittent fan of the Andy Milonakis Show, but after seeing the season three premiere in which Andy first arrives in Los Angeles, I have to say that the show has improved greatly. If you hated Andy before, you'll probably still hate him, since his brand of humor isn't for everyone, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much more fully realized the show now seems. The first season had some very funny moments, but it seemed to lack focus, as if it wasn't sure what it was trying to be. I think both Andy and his show have finally found themselves, and Milonakis may have figured out a way to turn his penchant for oddball non sequiturs and general nonsense into real, honest to goodness comedy. Our little weirdo has finally become a butterfly, with peanut butter on his hands ("peanut butter slap")!
The six season three episodes are available on iTunes and will also be made available on MTV2.com and MTV.com.
April 13 can't arrive fast enough. I'm so thrilled about the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters the first thing I did after seeing the new trailer was call my mother to tell her the good news:
Adam: Mom! Did you see it?
Mom: Adam, it's 3:00 a.m.
Adam: I know, isn't it awesome? I just wonder how they're going to stretch an eleven minute TV show into a full feature.
Mom: I have to get up for work in three hours.
While you're in the process of preparing yourself both physically and mentally for the release of The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters on April 13, make sure you snatch up the soundtrack, which comes out on April 10. I haven't purchased the soundtrack for an animated movie since The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, but I may have to get my greasy hands on this one. It'll feature a brand new version of the ATHF theme from Schooly D, not to mention tracks by The Hold Steady, Mastodon, Killer Mike, and Nine Pound Hammer (the band behind the 12 Oz Mouse theme). The CD will also feature sound bites from the movie and skits.
While this is Adult Swim and Williams Street first foray into animated movies, they've been collaborating with underground musicians for some time now. Check out this page for a bunch of downloadable audio goodness.
Dear David Koechner,
They say the only thing more romantic than love at first sight is love at third or fourth sight -- at least I think they say that, but whatever, it's true. What I'm trying to say, David Koechner, is that I've grown to admire you over the years. It's not a romantic or a sexual love, more like the love a man has for a tall frosty mug of beer, or the tasty flesh of a small calf cooked over the flaming remains of its own mother. It's a manly love I feel for you, D.K.I'll admit I didn't quite understand you at first. When you were on Saturday Night Live I thought you were just another comedian who considered nonsensical ranting and facial contortions a viable substitute for comedy. I was wrong, David Koechner, and I should have realized that by your participation in those "Bill Brasky" sketches, which are among some of my favorite SNL sketches of all time (video clip after the jump).
We were so ready to greet Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad on the big screen come March 23, but now we have to wait until April 13.
However, that's not such a terrible thing, because Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters is also getting a much wider release, opening in almost 2,000 theaters. Rumors have it that the new wide release is to cash in on increased awareness of the oddball series brought on by the recent marketing misfire in Boston. So yeah, it sucks that we have to wait, but at least now more people will have a chance to see it. I'm lucky enough to live in a major city, so I was pretty much guaranteed to see it anyway, but I feel for those who live places where limited release movies are harder to come by. I think the small town where I grew up just recently got the first Beethoven movie. Sad, really.
I posted it before, but here's the trailer again. It's hysterical. Enjoy:
(S01E01) Well, I figured since I gave my opinion on Adult Swim's other new live-action series I should probably do the same for Saul of the Molemen, lest all of you suffer through life not knowing how I feel about it. Like I said in my review of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, don't expect me to review this one every week. Well, maybe I will.
Saul takes its look from Sid and Marty Krofft's series, especially Land of the Lost. The mixture of horrible but self-aware visual effects and props also reminds me of the inspired Mystery Science Theater 3000. When Saul spies on two Molepeople making love (which involves tentacles coming out of their torsos and a floating pineapple), he pushes the spongy red foliage out of the way using a squeegee, which I guess we're to assume is some kind of space age device.
(S01E01) I have no plans to review this new series from Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker every week as I did their last series for Adult Swim, Tom Goes to the Mayor, mostly because this new series is so random and eclectic it'd be almost impossible to write a coherent review every week.
I became a fan of Tim and Eric a couple years before Tom Goes to the Mayor was developed for Adult Swim, having stumbled upon the various shorts on their Web site. What immediately struck me was not just that these men were funny, but that their humor was constructed within an entirely different paradigm. I imagine it's somewhat how American audiences first responded to Monty Python, which at the time must have been so different from what people were used to that many were simply turned off by it. I'm not making a direct comparison between Monty Python and Awesome Show, but I am saying there's a difference between comedy that works because it's been done before countless times, and comedy that really dares to be different.
If I had any doubts about whether or not the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie would be absolutely brilliant and hysterical (and I didn't), those doubts I never had in the first place were laid to rest when I saw the new trailer for the upcoming film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. If I laughed my kneecaps off at the trailer alone, I can only imagine how many other body parts will fall off when I actually see the movie. I predicted I'll be nothing more than a bloody, limbless mass of skin and organs they'll have to scrape from the floor of the theater with a snow shovel.
If the idea of a flaming chicken doesn't make you want to see this film, then perhaps the fact that it's coming to you from the "1st Assistant Director of the 2nd Unit of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" will change your mind. Watch the trailer here, The movie releases March 23.
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