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    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    TV: The Best TV Shows That Never Were

    Lee Goldberg did a bang-up job on this look at busted pilots. The network ought to go to series on it. There’s enough interest - and bad shows - to go around.

    Who knew there was an American version of RED DWARF with Jane Leeves and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT’S Craig Bierko? And I actually laughed – twice – at ACTING SHERIFF with Robert Goulet. He hasn’t been this funny since he guest starred on ALICE.

    Movie: Daredevil (2003)

    This movie seems to be running on one HBO network or another at all times. The real mystery is why I keep leaving it on. I’m not the only one who feels affection for it. Check out James Reasoner’s fine blog if you don’t believe me.

    The thing is, I know DAREDEVIL isn’t any good. Ben Affleck’s leatherette suit looks like it was made with upholstery stripped off the stools from a singles bar circa 1973. The plot is inconsequential. And the ending is a letdown in that all the characters essentially end up where they started.

    But still, I like the damn thing. Having Jennifer Garner in it helps enormously. So does Colin Farrell’s gleeful performance as Bullseye. Partly it’s personal; DAREDEVIL was my favorite comic book growing up, the only one I read on anything close to a regular basis.

    It’s obvious that writer/director Mark Steven Johnson feels that same enthusiasm for Matt Murdock. There’s a boy’s own adventure feel to this movie; yes, it draws heavily on Frank Miller’s dark stories about the character, but on the whole it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It may not be as perfectly balanced as SPIDER-MAN 2, but it’s nowhere near as ponderous as some other comic book adaptations.

    There are a few shots in the movie that echo the effect of graphic novels, conveying tremendous energy in a static frame. (A few of them are recreations of panels from DAREDEVIL books.) For all the hype about how Ang Lee was going to utilize comic art techniques in HULK, Johnson does a better job.

    Incidentally, one of the pilots featured in Lee Goldberg’s show was a version of DAREDEVIL starring, if I’m not mistaken, ‘80s heartthrob Rex Smith. And I thought Affleck’s get-up was bad ...

    TV: The Surreal Life

    I had no plans to watch the third season of this reality series, which has migrated from the WB to VH-1. Even when I heard that two of the has-beens who’d be living together this year would be Charo and FULL HOUSE’s Dave Coulier, I held fast.

    Then I stumbled onto a promo for the show. In which it is revealed that, for the first time, romance blooms in the house.

    Between former action Valkyrie Brigitte Nielsen and Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav.

    Four hours of my life, gone like that. Plus you have to factor in shower time, because I know I’m going to feel unclean when each episode is over.

    Miscellaneous: Links

    Jon Margolis on how, Michael Moore’s claims to the contrary, movies have never made much of an impact on elections. And New Line announces a new project: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash from the EVIL DEAD movies. Vegas already has Bruce Campbell as the prohibitive favorite.


    A movie that I thought had some great iconic comic book shots that looked just like they'd been borrowed from a panel on a page was DARKMAN. And it wasn't even based on a comic book.


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