Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

WWE Aficionados Decry ‘Lack of Spontaneity’ During Writers’ Strike

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Ok quick, change to the 'grab nuts' sign!

The current strike by the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) is hurting more forms of entertainment than just late-night talk shows.

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is professional wrestling’s largest stage, and after the organizations top writers walked off the job two weeks ago, many dedicated fans are less than thrilled with the results in the ring after CEO Vince McMahon decided to continue with scheduled events.

“Instead of being thrilling and obviously choreographed, the shows are now just obviously choreographed,” reports WWE blogger Steve Blaustin. “In a recent match with The Undertaker, Triple H was heard spontaneously making up the action as the fight went along, and the audience clearly overhead the resulting dialogue.”

In the match Blaustin is referring to, the transcript of what was said includes:

Triple H: OK, OK… nowwww punch me, and I’ll throw my head back like you’re really clocking me… and thennnn, I’ll start doing that Hulk thing where I scowl and start pumping my arms while you’re pummeling me, just to show that your blows aren’t denting my resolve to win, and then I’ll block one of your punches, and you’ll look really really shocked, like you’ve just uncaged a rabid tiger, and then I’ll start punching your head (fakely of course), and you’ll hit the canvass.

Undertaker: What the hell, why don’t I get to do the giddy counter punch thing? I’ve got a better idea, how about I get you in a figure 4 leg lock, while the hot chick that accompanied me to the ring will grab a tin folding chair and smash it on your face? That would kick ass.

Triple H: Nah, I’ve got two broken cheekbones from last week, I veto that idea. Ok, how about you start complaining to the ref about something in a really animated fashion while I’m down on the mat, forcing him to completely focus on you… then I’ll recover unbeknown to either of you, then I’ll climb to the top turn buckle, jump off, and crash into both of you, knocking us all unconscious. Cool right?

Undertaker: Seriously guy, that was in Royal Rumble 5… no wonder you don’t write any of your own stuff, it’s utterly derivative!

As the WWE relies on its writers to compose nearly all of the in-match wrestling sequences and the dramatic sequences outside of the ring, the all-improvised shows have been beset by logistical and continuity problems.

One of the guys who fights under his own name — obvious fodder to lose every match — died during an entrance from the ceiling, well before he was intended to take his fatal plunge. “We can only actually kill someone every 7 years or so, and this guy totally blew it, he jumped 20 minutes before the show even started. There was only a handful of people in the stands that could smash two beers together over their heads and ingest the sudsy-results,” says McMahon.

Wrestling fans were also confused when, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, 70s wrestling superstar Superfly Jimmy Snuka assumed he was part of the contemporary plot, and interrupted four different matches in one night with his incredible leaping ability.

Fueding 80s superstars Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage also lost their grip on reality. Reports suggested that without their explicit script instructions that they were retired men who leave each other alone and can fully differentiate between themselves and their former ring personas, the men have begun invading each other’s places of work and residence to spontaneously brawl over the honour of Miss Elizabeth.

“Damn Hogan, and his designs on my beautiful bride — I’m gonna CRUSH you Hogan, come tomorrow morning when you cut your lawn! Grass clippings aren’t the only thing municipal sanitary collectors will be taking to the dump — I wonder if I need to put your body parts in clear bags by city bylaw? Oooo Yeeeeeahhhhh!” Savage was quoted as saying to Mean Gene Okerlund.

Popularity: 97% [?]

‘Harry Potter’ TV Spin-off Announced In Buddy Cop Subgenre

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, cast a spell on you! Cast a spell on you when they come for you!

Only one day after announcing an illustrated book offshoot in the Harry Potter universe, author/deity J.K. Rowling today announced that a ‘buddy cop’ TV spin-off is in development featuring Harry and the incorrigible Professor Flitwick.

“I think a lot of readers really enjoyed the chemistry between Harry and the Professor during the series,” suggested Rowling, “so we wanted to grant the fans an opportunity to witness the personal interplay between these two characters in a more gritty, down-to-earth environment.”

Rowling also disclosed that discussions have been ongoing for some time regarding a franchised ‘Potter’ cop drama, but earlier incarnations hadn’t met her high standard of quality.

“We were hoping to contrast Harry’s by-the-book no-nonsense white officer with a young streetwise black cop who likes to bend the rules — but I felt that formula was perhaps pushing the creative envelope a bit too far. I didn’t think the audience was ready for that tandem. So that’s when we started playing around with the idea of another internal character to pair him with.”

The new series will be set on the mean streets of Detroit, where Harry and Flitwick will routinely deal with drug crime, organized street gangs, and transgendered prostitutes. Reports suggest that he will be stripped of his magical power after a Pilates-related catastrophe.

“Harry’s trading in his wand for a magnum,” says pointless TV pundit Greasy Monkerson. “We’ve heard that he’ll be growing some stubble and spewing some street euphemisms like biznatch, mofo, and penisbreath. Also, he’ll take the loss of his powers quite hard — scenes will routinely depict him smoking a crackpipe while crying, and practicing self-mutilation. Harry, you’re a big kid now!!”

Professor Flitwick, meanwhile, will turn into the father figure many fans already thought of him as. “Flitwick will assume the role of grizzled veteran, who acts as a mentor to Harry. There are plans for groundbreaking scenes where Harry’s precociousness will cause Flitwick to say sarcastic one-liners like ‘I didn’t sign up for this’ or ‘I’m only three years to retirement and I have to deal with this shit?’. It’s groundbreaking in its genius…”

The series will run on Mondays opposite Two and a Half Men.

Popularity: 30% [?]

ABC Wins With ‘Welcome Back, Magna Carta’

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Heyyyy Mista Carta!

It looks like ABC has another smash-hit on their hands! For the week ending October 6th, ABC had the runaway ratings winner with “Welcome Back, Magna Carta”, a light-hearted revival of their 70s cultural staple “Welcome Back, Kotter”. Derided by some media pundits as being out-of-touch with contemporary television, Carta has connected with audiences looking for strong characters, early Middle English dialects, and arcane legal definitions.

Leading heartthrob King John of England spoke to our John Tesh on the set at Runnymede:

Tesh: So, King John — how does it feel to finally have a starring role in your own sitcom?

King John: His honnore of Engelond in mine corages, O Holy blissful Martir…

Tesh: Seriously though, signing the Magna Carta must make you pretty popular with the ladies!!

King John: Thoughst fowle swyne! Ney bathed euery veyne in swich licour.

Tesh: Up high JohnnyBoy!

Perhaps one of the most endearing aspects of the series is that it treats its audience as intellectual peers. The episode that established the legacy of Habeas Corpus has been particularly well-received by audiences, who overwhelmingly sympathized with Baron Blackwell’s ripped abs.

Cultural leader Bill Twirp has his own opinions on the series however: “What the hell am I supposed to take away from a group of British aristocrats meeting 800 years ago in a field? It’s the same shit every week — and am I the only one who doesn’t understand a word of dialog? It’s like I’m listening to Gretta Van Susteren after she had her tongue cut off.”

Show runners are mum about the direction for the series, but it’s widely speculated that Magna Carta’s character may find a love interest in the new year. “We’re playing around with some concepts,” says Executive Producer Colonel Anus, “maybe bringing in the Declaration of Independence, or the original lyric sheet for The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’, or the pilot script from Family Ties… we certainly have a lot of options, but we have to be careful not to lose our audience in a romantic subplot. The two should just have natural chemistry.”

Popularity: 19% [?]