So with the success of NBC musical Live! they have two in the works currently with Bye Bye Birdie coming out this December/Holiday season and they have announced that they are going to have Jesus Christ Superstar next Easter. Fox has also been pretty successful with their Grease: Live will be doing two as well with A Christmas Story, based on the movie around Christmas time and they are also going to be doing RENT this seems like something FOX would be able to do as the network skews younger. Not to be left out ABC is putting it’s hat in the ring with one of their own. ABC announced that it will air The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!, a two-hour special is set to premiere Oct. 3, and is based on the 1989 animated Disney film, blended with live musical performances. How this is going to be in anyone’s guess but it sounds like perhaps like a concert version of the musical. Hopefully there is some time between all these Live musical events. CBS is now the only major network without a live musical scheduled, perhaps next year.
All these TV musicals isn’t the strangest news that I read recently about musical but that there is going to be a King Kong musical which is coming to Broadway. It sounds like a difficult musical as you need a gigantic ape to show up at some time, The show which opened in Australia way back in 2013 had groups of on-stage and off-stage puppeteers work to manipulate the large-scale Ape puppet. It sounds interesting as Jason Robert Brown is working on it but the selling point is the puppet/animatronic/marionette Kong.
There two news items are on opposite sides of the spectrum, one was widely speculated and the other is a bit unexpected.
Fatima: As we’ve all sort of guessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the children of Fatima who died a long time ago will be Canonized by Pope Francis when he visits Fatima on May 13. I still sort of feel like we should all be expecting Lucia will be Beatified before the year is over as well, perhaps on October 13?
X-Files: On the other side of things Fox has decided to bring back Mulder and Scully for another ten episodes. The show which last aired the six episode “Event series” in early 2016 will air during the 2017-18 television season. Fans are clamoring for them to bring back the old team of writers with the likes of Vince Gilligan, want William to show up at some point, some redemption for characters and for Chris Carter not to write an episode. We will have to wait and see what all they can bring together but hopefully the 10 episode season will get the right balance of episode types.
There are a couple stories around about the NFL. The biggest one is that the Raiders are moving to Vegas in 2019 or whenever their new stadium is built. If you call this a story congratulations, “asshat owner moves team to get new stadium” is not a great story but it seems like the way the NFL works now as the Rams and Chargers also wanted new stadiums before the left for LA. Keep an eye open Jacksonville fans as you may be the next to move. If only they let the Raiders move back to LA and not the Chargers it would have made for a lot less headaches.
Another story is that Tony Romo, the former Dallas QB has retired and will be replacing Phil Simms in the CBS booth. Now Former Dallas QB will be the top guys on both FOX and CBS, unfortunately NBC and ESPN do not have former Dallas QB as color commentators. If we could only get rid of Joe Buck.
The third story is that Amazon will be streaming Thursday Night Football this upcoming season. Amazon payed $50 million for the right to stream these games, which will also be broadcast on the NFL Network, CBS and NBC. Amazon will have this as an “exclusive” to Prime subscribers. Hopefully at some point Thursday night game turn out to be good as the previous couple of years they have been lacking especially with those monochromatic Color Rush uniforms, if it were like a throwback uniform instead I believe that more people would enjoy the games.
CBS has released a video announcing the beginning of filming of Star Trek: Discovery. It’s a cool thing and hopefully CBS will realize that putting it only on their Watch CBS app might not be a smart idea. Air it on the network sometimes or place it on the CW, I for one is am not going to pay 6 dollars to watch a show. Now this show is going to have to do something to make people want to watch it as there hasn’t been a Star Trek television show since 2005 and that was Enterprise. Sure the rebooted film series has been a huge success but this is show is set a decade before the Original Series and isn’t connected with the film universe in any way as far as I know.
The other cool news is that the Han Solo movie has also begun production. This is that film about Han Solo that is being directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the minds behind Clone High, The Lego Movie and other such films. This movie will be about Han Solo and Lando hanging out, perhaps some Han being a smuggler (Kessel Run and Jabba) and will perhaps feature Han winning the Falcon off of Lando in a game of Sabacc. I like how this is the one thing that I really hope makes it into the Han Solo Movie. Perhaps this will lead to some set of cards coming out so I can own a deck.
What to expect in this upcoming year, we’ve got a Trump Presidency, the UK beginning the process to leave the EU formally, a World Expo in the Summer. The Kennedy assassination document will be released to the public and placed in the US Archives.
In the World of sport 2017 will mark the 100th year of the NHL. We will get the Fourth World Baseball Classic, this is the biggest baseball tournament since the Olympics dropped Baseball and Softball, however with the reintroduction of the event in the 2020 games hopefully it will become like a World Cup for Baseball.
There are some really cool space things happening this upcoming year as it will be the first time since the Revolutionary War that a solar eclipse will have the track of totality only in the United States. Cassini will end its mission and crash into Saturn but we will be getting some wonderful information about the rings and other Saturn stuff.
Among the movies and television shows that are coming out we’ve got a mixed bag. Sure on TV we will get a new Star Trek show, which many have been waiting for. Netflix has been saying that they will double their original programing this year. We will have three installments from the Marvel Universe in Iron First, The Defenders and The Punisher; second seasons of Voltron, Love and Master of None. Bill Nye, MST3K and Twin Peaks are both coming back as well. Movie-wise there is the latest installment of Star Wars, Dunkirk which looks amazing, a third Wolverine movie, the Live action Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and a Blade Runner sequel. These are just the highlights of what’s to come as a bunch of Netflix programs haven’t been given release dates and we can only hope that the film will be released when they say they will
It seems like everyone of a certain age will know about “a Festivus for the rest of us.” This is a made up holiday that we all thought was from Seinfeld, but it actually began back in 1966 when Dan O’Keefe’s father, Daniel O’Keefe created the holiday to celebrate the anniversary of his first date with his future wife. It wasn’t until Dan O’Keefe co-wrote the Seinfeld episode “The Strike” which features this new idea of Festivus, this has become what people celebrate. According to the show George Costanza’s father, Frank created the holiday as an alternative holiday in response to the commercialization of Christmas and is celebrated on 23 December.
Festivus is celebrated by putting up a Festivus pole an ordinary aluminum pole with nothing on it, like tinsel. Everyone gathers together and eats a Festivus dinner at which the Airing of Grievances takes place. This is where everyone gathered lashes out at each other and the world for how they have disappointed the speaker, as Frank Costanza begins in the episode “I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!” The celebration isn’t over until the Feats of Strength which takes place right after the dinner. The feats of strength is the head of the household challenges someone to wrestle and when ever the head of the house is pinned Festivus is over.
Over the years some people have come to celebrate it as a real holiday but other do it ironically. Will it last over the next decade or so that really is the biggest question as it didn’t really grow into something until the turn about 2000 which was like three years after the episode aired. If you are celebrating have fun with it, I guess.
Jeopardy!: This is the story of the season as Cindy Stowell has been going on a tear on Jeopardy recently, but prior to her shows airing she passed away. Cindy had Stage 4 cancer and was a life long fan of Jeopardy and it was her dream to be on the show. She died 8 days before her first show aired, all her winning are being donated to some cancer charity as well so that is a great thing. This is the perfect time for this to be happening.
Election 2016: With the Electoral College having cast their final ballots electing Trump president the results of the popular vote have been certified and it’s pretty crazy. Clinton beat Trump by nearly 3 million votes but didn’t have enough electors to win the Presidency. They note that this is the second time in five elections that the Democrats won the Popular vote but lost. Now we’ve got a whole bunch of people who are clamoring for an end to the Electoral College. While this might be an idea the real thing that should be done is fix how election work, like make it a preferential vote where vote for lesser candidates make it back to the big name if they like don’t cross 20%, make it easier for voters to go vote and make election day a public holiday to increase involvement as roughly 54 % of the registered voting population voted in November, but I think most important the election campaign season build up need to be shorter as the most recent on was at least 600 days long however one could argue that Hillary was on the trail since she lost to Obama in 2008. If any of this changes it would be a wonderful step in the right direction for the United States.
NFL on TV: According to Engadget watching NFL RedZone saves fans 35 hours of commercials a season. This is sort of ridiculous as to how many commercials are being aired during an average game. The ads account for a third of what is being broadcast during a game, this added to the fact that football contains according to the Wall Street Journal, about 11 minutes of action. There is some talk about the NFL considering fewer ads but in the age of instant streaming through the likes of Netflix or Hulu where there are no or only a couple of ads per show. I have found myself watching more of the NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Live which is basically RedZone or not even watching another football game on Sunday. The NFL has got to see this dip in people watching football and try to figure out how to make a better experience for people watching at home.
Stranger in a Strange Land: Syfy is working on adapting this book into a new series. Would it be a great show, that really is the main question but it is nice to see Syfy going into the Science Fiction catalogue and finding another book to adapt for the screen as they are already working on adapting Brave New World into a series. If this works it would be a wonderful change for the network which as of late has rested on face off, ghost shows and shows from Canada. Sure Heinlein’s book is a great work but it seem like the one that has the most problems with it, the whole religion and sex aspect might cause some problems with some audiences.
Pope Francis: Four Cardinals have asked Francis to clarify Amoris Laetitia for them specifically Chapter 8. It is interesting to see that even after eight months there are people who are not sure what all was said in this Apostolic Exhortation. Now let us remember that an Exhortation isn’t a doctrinal document and is used to encourage a community to do something. In Amoris Laetita, the focus is on the family as the Synod on the Family had wrapped up and this is the document which summarizes and coalesces the ideas in one place.
With the new television show coming out this fall the Atlantic has an interesting article about it and Catholic Literature as well. It notes that in the 70s when the book and film were released Catholicism had a place in the world as opposed to today where skepticism about religion seems to reign. Currently attendance at Mass on Sunday is down and it seems that after Confirmation many young people leave the Church until perhaps they get married and have kids but that might not even happen as it’s more of a cultural Catholicism that exist.
William Blatty considered his book to be “an argument for God … an apostolic work, to help people in their faith” will this be explored in the new series or will it just be a horror show with superficial elements of Catholicism tossed in now and then. Sure it seems likely that the show will be closer to the latter but there are more stories to be told about Catholicism. It is more than just The Story about Jesus and what’s in the Bible. Sure most of the religion we get on TV and in the movies in some basic Christianity, but never goes that far into explaining what type. We’ve got like two great examples of Catholicism on television currently that of the sunny Jane Villanueva on Jane the Virgin and the darker Matt Murdock on Daredevil, lets hope if they go for more of a Daredevil and questions of faith/catholic guilt route in the show.
This is one of the problems that currently exists in the world of television and literature sure there are bound to be several Catholics behind shows and books but where are those days of a Flannery O’Connor who is well regarded as a masterful writer, I can’t name any modern writers who are Catholic that don’t write books that are about faith or saints. We could also take a look at Catholic celebrities and that’s a short list off the top of my head Stephen Colbert, Mark Walburgh, Martin Sheen, and Jim Gaffigan. Would it be good to see more celebrities make a deal about what they believe sure especially with how much the average person can follow their favorite celebs. This might bring about a more robust revival of Catholic characters on television, films and book that are deemed Catholic literature
I read an interesting story about Netflix. It focuses on how there are plans to make half of their content original stuff. Now this is pretty cool news as most of the original Netflix programming is top notch and think about the all the new content that they have coming up (a rumored fifth season of Arrested Development, more Black Mirror, more Marvel shows, The Crown, that Bill Nye show, Lost in Space, MST3K, as well as many others) not to mention all of the movies that they are making and releasing as well. This however might not be the greatest thing as marketwatch points out that this might mean that Netflix will be dropping old TV shows that they have to pay licensing fees on as well as movies. Netflix invented binge watching old television shows are wonderful for this, I’ve watched several shows this way Quantum Leap, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks and best of all it’s got all types of Star Trek, even the animated series, that I can work my way through. This is the greatest thing about Netflix and hopefully they won’t be dropping some major television shows, but will be adding more of both the original content as well as leased things.