It had a good run, but Heroes is finally bowing out of prime time. The series certainly had some great moments and characters, but sadly, those highlights might ultimately be overshadowed by the incredible devotion and patience Heroes demanded from its viewers, as it weathered convoluted story lines and sloppy writing. Still, the series deserves a good deal of credit for bringing superheroes to a 21st century television audience. Now, not to slight the artistic merits of Wizards of Waverly Place, but there is still room for creative improvement when it comes to this genre.
ABC has stepped up to the plate, with No Ordinary Family, one of its new series being launched this fall. After a vacation helicopter accident (Beware of that phosphorescence!), Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz notice their entire family has developed superhuman abilities. The trailer does not give much of an indicator regarding the show’s feel or tone, but it’s good to see two fine television actors like Chiklis and Benz working together.
Ever wondered how a television really operates? Well, so has Björk (during Christmas some time in the ‘90s). Let her guide you through this informative yet fantastical educational video as she takes apart her TV set and explain why it is more like a megalopolis in there and why Icelandic poets are all liars.
Ah, Twin Peaks. What could’ve been an ever-obscure, early ‘90s throwback has held its cultural ground through DVD releases, intellectual discussions on sites like PopMatters, and fan-made YouTube videos like this one. That and the fact that David Lynch made it.
Considering how many plot threads the show had going on in its short, two-season run, its pretty amazing the man going by “MC Chris” managed to fit most of them in there. With all these characters and scenes referenced at such a breakneck pace, you kind of have to sit back and admire everything Twin Peaks had to offer. The lyrics are hilarious, and the beat set to the original theme is “damn fine”. Does anyone else think it sounds like Aziz Ansari on Autotune?
And now you are probably thinking: wow, is that guy for real?
Oh, he’s real. And we have footage.
I mean, I know.
There’s so much going on here one scarcely knows where to begin.
Like: who knew Jackie Gleason had a show? (I didn’t.)
And: Can you say “The White James Brown”? (or, as Wayne Cochran was drolly known, The White Knight of Soul). Seriously, every single move and mannerism is ripped wholesale from The O.G. (Original Godfather). What we have here is not an instance of someone using another artist and incorporating his own style or making it his own. This is complete and transparent larceny. And its shamelessness is what makes it tolerable. It even manages to make it, in a circus freakshow sort of way, irresistible.
I have to confess, I’ve gone my entire life without seeing Wayne Cochran in action. (That, of course, is what YouTube is for.) He was briefly—and amusingly—referred to in the classic “Maury Sline” sauna scene from The Blues Brothers.
Wait… I can’t believe you are actually reading this and not watching that video again.
Let’s briefly break it down.
Okay, so how about Jackie Gleason “spontaneously” lighting up his cig as the camera pans in? Suave.
And how about the (obviously paid and staged) people at the tables? At first, it’s not quite as obvious (if you’re like me, your initial impression was: well, they were prepped and implored to “get into the spirit of the thing!”), but about half-way through, it’s undeniable: look at them, dancing along and grooving. The only way white people can approximate this type of synchronized movement is if they’ve been paid, or drugged. In this instance, it’s quite likely both.
Oh, yes. There is a second video.
2. That is just epic late ‘60s shlock.
3. This choreographed, insanely over-the-top audience participation also reminds us that a bunch of wealthy, utterly out-of-touch, supremely dorky old white men were calling the shots in Hollywood back in the day. And let’s face it, not too much has changed. But don’t kid yourself: it could never get this bad—and by bad I mean bad and good, as only the late ‘60s and early ‘70s could ever be—again.