Last week, the other NOCs convened a Roundtable to hash out their feelings about the cancellation of Almost Human. I did not join in because I wanted some time to sit with my thoughts about the show and contemplate what Fox was attempting to do this television season.
Best as I can figure, Fox was clearly fishing in somewhat uncharted waters. On one hand, sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Dads showed the network’s commitment to a tried-and-true comedy formula peripheral to the nerd media diaspora. In the case of the former, it worked like a charm. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, having won the Golden Globe for best comedy in its rookie season, will likely be a staple in Fox’s weeknight lineup for several seasons. I expect the latter — Dads — will end up on the chopping block soon enough (despite rumors it might survive to a second season).
As for Almost Human, I feel like it and another oft-discussed show on our beloved forum — Sleepy Hollow — represented much riskier forays in new TV content.
So, the one big thing I will say about Captain America: The Winter Soldier is actually about the first end-credits tease. And I admit to being torn on whether I thought it was a good or a bad thing. Referencing a conversation I had earlier this week (ironically, prior to seeing The Winter Soldier late Thursday night), one major contention I’ve always had with big budget studios mucking around with Marvel properties is the legal hurdles of uniting certain character groups in the cinema, considering the way they are linked in the comics themselves.
In a few short weeks — February 12, to be exact — MGM, Columbia Pictures, and Strike Entertainment will be releasing the reboot of RoboCop in theaters. While I’m by no means completely juiced into the tapestry of sci-fi movie fandom, I feel as though the film’s preliminary buzz at this point is best described as lukewarm. Still, I’ve found my own curiosity growing increasingly as the release date nears given some personal observations gleaned from many subsequent viewings of the original 1987 film. How much will the 2014 version model the 1987 edition? Could it actually, dare I say, meet or surpass the original in cult following? So far, the immediate changes between the 2014 and the 1987 versions appear largely cosmetic (i.e., new guns, sleek motorcycle vs. clunky police cruiser, new armor with not-so-subtle Iron Man/techno Snake-Eyes stylings).
But, I wonder if RoboCop 2014 will tap into the underlying theme that I’ve found paramount among ingredients that made the original 1987 feature so iconic.
Never read the book, can barely watch more than 30 minutes of the mini-series, and have no intentions to expand my exposure any further. Granted, I have no personal beef with Alex Haley, and who doesn’t love LeVar (Geordi!) Burton? In fact, I offer a respectful nod to the effort it took to even get it slotted on to major network programming (apparently, SOMEBODY called in a few favors that year). But nonetheless, unapologetically, I’ll pass.
Because in a way, I’ve already read the book. Already seen the movie before. I’ve been exposed to this kind of content, and it pretty much hits me like cold oatmeal (that is, I’m willing to accept it if nothing else is around, but damned if there aren’t better options for my palate). The tale is just all too familiar: noble Black man/woman/child protagonist (sometimes a combination of the three) courageously trudges through the muck and mire of unspeakably cruel acts, spurred by bigotry and ignorance affixed to various unsavory points in human history. Somehow this person (usually) manages to overcome at least some of these atrocities en route to some point of affirmation that he/she/they are worthy of more than the inhumanity they’ve endured from myriad social forces conspiring against their very existence, and ultimately we the audience are asked/expected to walk away with some kernel of insight into, or at least a basic acceptance of the relevance of Blackness (be it in this country or abroad) to our existence, and why we should “never, ever forget…”
In all sincerity, I actually attempted to construct this in a more conventional narrative form, with the initial phase being the following series of roughly dated bullets. Upon completion, I realized the bullets actually covered my “nerdom coming-of-age” origin tale better than any formal composition.
So yeah, in all it’s abstract glory, here you go:
1980s… My Saturday Morning line-up for a decade was (in no particular order): Spidey and his Amazing Friends, Captain N: The Game Master, The Get-Along Gang, Pole Position, Fraggle Rock, The Gummi Bears, Danger Mouse, Inspector Gadget, Mighty Mouse (The New Adventures), Garfield and Friends, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, ReBoot…