“A Pack of Vultures At the Feast: Knives Out, Beaks Bloody.”

Thanksgiving is a weird holiday, a stressful mix of good food, family dysfunction, and bullshit historical narratives. (Football and parades, too, if that’s your jam. FWIW, today also happens to be my birthday, and as you read this, I may very well be eating birthday cake instead of pumpkin pie. The sacrilege of it all.) Now when it comes to holiday movies, Thanksgiving obviously isn’t big business, not like Christmas. Still, there are a few films that might work well for annual viewings. You’re Next. Addams Family Values. Ready or Not, maybe. And . . . okay, that might be all I got.

. . . or all I had, anyway. Until now.

Comrades, collaborators, potential enemies: may I present to you Knives Out.

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Which Show Would You Actually Want To Revisit?

I recently read that Prison Break is the latest TV show to potentially get the ‘Let’s Revisit This With a Possibly Limited Series’ deal. Other shows with this deal: The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Heroes, and — of course — Coach. Because nothing makes more sense than a revisitation of Coach.

So far, I haven’t been wildly excited about any of these show returns, mostly because the majority of them had pretty decent runs, and if you’re going to bring something back from the dead, why not start with an awesome show that was cancelled ahead of its time? (Also, some of these shows deserve to stay dead. Prison Break was a fun guilty pleasure for a while, but went off the rails pretty fast — SO many resurrections — and don’t even get me started on the giant clusterfuck that was Heroes.)

With that in mind, I’ve decided to come up with a new Monday Morning Blasphemous Poll. On Wednesday.

I’m going to provide some trailers and descriptions of seven shows. None of them lasted longer than three seasons, so you may have missed them. Based on your own experiences (if you have them) and these descriptions, which show would you MOST liked to see come back to television?

1. Carnivale

IMDb’s description: During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

No. of Seasons: Two

Starring Clancy Brown, Nick Stahl, Tim DeKay, Michael J. Anderson, Clea DuVall, Amy Madigan, Adrienne Barbeau

This show is a whirlwind of magic, religion, circuses, and weird imagery. I really feel that if it had come out ten years later, it would’ve been much more successful. Every bit of pure WTF kept you needing to watch more, and this is a show that desperately needs actual resolution. Gorgeous, creepy stuff.

2. Pushing Daisies

IMDb Summary: A pie-maker, with the power to bring dead people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress.

No of Seasons: 2

Cast: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Ellen Green, Swoosie Kurtz, Kristin Chenoweth

The Facts Are These:

Cheerful, colorful, charming, and very weird — this was something I’d never seen anything like before, and I loved it. There has never been a better mix of pie, romance, and death.

Also, I apologize for the quality of the trailer. It’s the only one I could find for the first season — youtube is not being very helpful today. And I should confess I never watched the second season, though I’ve been meaning to correct that. By the time I finished first season, the show had been cancelled and I was hugely disappointed and didn’t feel up to it. Still, I’d watch the hell out of it if it came back.

3. Harper’s Island

IMDB Summary: Harper’s Island was once the scene of a gruesome series of murders. Now, seven years later, family and friends gather on the island for a wedding, but one by one they begin to die.

No. of Seasons: One

Cast: Elaine Cassidy, Christopher Gorham, Katie Cassidy, Matt Barr, Jim Beaver, Adam Campbell, Callum Keith Rennie, Harry Hamlin

This, my friends. This is the definition of guilty pleasure TV, and I loved it. Admittedly, it got off to a pretty slow start. I was never a fan of the main protagonist, and the creepy child was just stupid. But once it got going, Harper’s Island was unbelievably fun. Giant murder mystery! Overelaborate booby traps! One person dead per episode! At least! (Plus, by the end, some of the deaths went from ridiculous and funny to surprisingly moving and well-done. Don’t worry, though. Not too many. Harper’s Island knew what kind of show it was.)

Obviously, the majority of the characters were dead by the end of the first season, but had Harper’s Island continued, it would have done so American Horror Story style, with a new setting and a new cast (or at least new characters) every season. And people? I’d be all over that premise.

4. The Unusuals

IMDb summary: Darkly comedic drama focusing on the dysfunctional cops and staff of an infamous NYPD precinct.

No. of Seasons: One

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Amber Tamblyn, Harold Perrineau, Adam Goldberg, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Terry Kinney, Joshua Close

Okay, this trailer kills me a little. Please, you absolutely HAVE to ignore the corny announcer guy trying to make this sound like a Very Dramatic Show and focus on the actual scenes. Sure, serious stuff definitely happens, but let’s be clear about tone: this is quirky/dark/wacky/funny, not Generic Cop Bullshit. When you hear Dispatch say, “Be on the lookout for a ninja, or a ninja-like figure,” that’s more of what to expect from The Unusuals. Awesome show, super funny.

5. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr

IMDb Summary: A bounty hunter rides the Old West, fighting bad guys, many with futuristic-type gadgets.

No. of Seasons: One

Cast: Bruce Campbell Jr., Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson, Comet the Horse

C’mon. You know there aren’t enough campy westerns on TV with bounty hunters, SF gadgets, and mystical orbs. It was steampunk before steampunk got huge, and I bet it could look pretty awesome with more modern effects. (Or anyway, not 90’s effects.) Plus, Bruce Campbell! Who doesn’t want more Bruce Campbell?

Sadly, Julius Carry died in 2008, so we couldn’t have Lord Bowler. (Or we’d have to recast him, but I’d prefer just to create a whole new character.) But I’d absolutely watch this again in the seriously unlikely event it ever came back. Feel the camp. FEEL IT.

6. Dark Angel

IMDb Summary: A group of genetically-enhanced children escape from a lab project. Years later we meet Max, one of the escapees who now works for a messenger service in the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest.

No. of Seasons: Two

Cast: Jessica Alba, Michael Weatherly, Jensen Ackles, Valarie Rae Miller, Kevin Durand, J.C. MacKenzie

Oh, that trailer. Oh, I’m dying. They actually used Meredith Brook’s song, “Bitch.” DYING.

Okay, so this is one of those shows that I still get bummed out about when I think about its early cancellation. Yeah, second season was a little rough, even if it did give us Jensen Ackles. But this future SF show about kick-ass transgenics sure knew how to change the game when season finales came around, and we left off with a pretty exciting setup for Season Three — transgenics exposed to the world, a huge standoff between our good guys and the cops, Freak Nation built — a season we never got the chance to see. Damn it.

Point of interest, this is probably the last thing I really enjoyed Jessica Alba in.

7. Veronica Mars

IMDb Summary: After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as county sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.

No. of Seasons: Three (and a movie — it’s NOT CHEATING, Mekaela!)

Cast: Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino, Percy Daggs III

Yes, this show did get an enjoyable (if mildly disappointing) movie followup. But said movie followup left us with a perfect setup for the show to come back — Veronica Mars, back to what she does best: being spunky and snooping into other people’s business. The dialogue is witty, the mysteries are fun, and the actors all have such wonderful chemistry with one another. I still could watch Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni spar back and forth all day.

All right, everyone that’s it. Leave your votes in the Comments section. And yes, I left Firefly out deliberately. You cannot pick Firefly for the purposes of this poll, or any other write-in (though I’d love to hear other shows you’d like to see revisited – they just won’t be valid nominees).

Poll is open until Monday night. Results should be up next Tuesday.

“Oh, You Wouldn’t Know Them, Darling. They’re Respectable.”

Mek and I liked The Thin Man so much, we decided to watch the sequel. The second of five sequels, actually: After the Thin Man.

This is a Baby Review, and be forewarned: there will be SPOILERS throughout.

1. The world is sexist, even for dogs. Why else does Asta accompany Nick and Nora everywhere, while Mrs. Asta has to stay at home with the puppies all the time? Mrs. Asta doesn’t even get to sleep indoors like her shaggy husband. If I were Mrs. Asta, I would be having an affair with the other neighborhood dogs too.

2. Also, why is it that almost every woman from the 1920’s or 30’s sounds like either Judy Garland or Lina Lamont from Singin’ in the Rain? (Yes, yes, Singin’ in the Rain was made in the 50’s, but it takes place in the 20’s.) I wonder if people in 2080 will think all of the actresses today sound like Drew Barrymore or Paris Hilton.

3. After The Thin Man was actually Mek’s pick, so I was especially delighted at her misery when James Stewart showed up in it.

James Stewart is only 28 years old in this movie, which is such a trip to see. Also, he plays the bad guy. I have seen Jimmy Stewart play an asshole before, but I have never seen him play a bad guy. It was kind of awesome, actually.

And yeah. Mek and I totally called it.

4. You might be curious about who takes down Jimmy Stewart. Well, maybe you’re not, but I’ll tell you anyway: Oddjob.

Okay, it’s not Oddjob. It’s Lum Kee (William Law) who–and I shit you not–disarms and knocks down Stewart by tossing his hat at him.

It is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve ever seen on film.

5. Selma (Elissa Landi) might be going on the list of Most Useless Cinematic Females ever.

Also, I’m amused at how a-okay she is at the end of the film, considering that her terrible, adulterous husband was murdered by the ex-boyfriend who was pretending to love her but had actually tried to frame her for the whole thing. But, you know, whatevs. Let’s just get another drink and have a good chuckle on the train.

6. At the very end of the movie, we find out that Nick and Nora are going to have a baby. I’m curious: you think that baby will bottle-feed or just drink baby-sized martinis?

CONCLUSIONS:

Enjoyable sequel, although I didn’t like it quite as much as the first one. Bit of a slower start, I think.

MVP:

Um. Let’s go with Jimmy Stewart. Just cause it was fun seeing him as a bad guy.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B+

MORAL:

Well, if I’m going by Selma’s example . . . don’t trust men? I mean, Jesus.

“The Murderer is Right in This Room, Sitting at This Table. You May Serve the Fish.”

I love writing my excessively wordy reviews, but sometimes they are a bit draining because — unfortunately — I’m not a particularly fast writer, and 3,000 words of snarky analysis actually does take me a while. So I think I might make the Baby Review a real thing on this blog because, hey. Some movies don’t take much more than a thousand.  For instance . . .

Poster - Thin Man, The_02

If you like mystery comedies, well, this is a big’un.

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