Before we get to movies and TV, who went to a bbq yesterday? Probably lots of you. Now for a question I’ve long wondered about – and perhaps the obvious answer is “because of the fireworks” but here goes: on official long weekends, why does everyone insist on throwing parties on the last day of the holiday? Again, I realize the question is better posed about Memorial Day and Labor Day, but still – if everyone’s so excited about staying up late and sleeping in and taking a breather from work, why do so many people have that big bbq on the final day off, which is technically a school night because you still have to be somewhere the next morning? Am I the only person who wonders this? When Labor Day falls on a Monday, why do people have Labor Day bbq’s on that Monday instead of Sunday when they can stay up? Pretty sure if there was some kind of tension-measuring instrument and you took the pulse of those who had a day off before they returned to work versus those who went and got pixilated and ate too much bad/good food the night before, you’d find greater anxiety among the latter. Just saying.
Okay. Who saw movies over the weekend? The really good news (if you happen to work for, say Paramount Motion Pictures) is that as of last night, the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon had brought in $379 million dollars and is expected – by the time you read this post — to exceed $400 million dollars. Worldwide. First of all, let’s congratulate the people who made the film. And believe me, it’s always a whole lot more than a studio and a director: it’s editors and camera people and sound people and gaffers and grips and production assistants and makeup and wardrobe and drivers and many many people you’ll never hear about or meet. Bravo to those other hardworking souls who made sure their picture would satisfy the millions of people who were looking for just the right Fourth of July fix. Which presumably, those moviegoers got. And then I guess they got it again. Or at least they told all their friends to go and get it. Which is how you earn $400 million dollars in six days, right? Now I can’t get all “What? $400 Million?? Can’t we feed several nations or at least eradicate their debt with that kinda cash” on you because even though Transformers baffles me I am, after all, one of those non-Tweens who loved Twilight and watched it several times. So I know what it means to be devoted to a blockbuster franchise that your friends find vaguely silly.
Now, to TV. With The Voice behind us it’s time to focus on some of this summer’s other newbies. Judging from yesterday’s poll, for example, you all seemed to be big fans of Saving Private Ryan. I was going to say that I didn’t know anybody who wasn’t, except for the fact that when Oscars were given out that year (1998) everyone was sure it would win Best Picture – only it was soundly trounced by Shakespeare in Love. Now, what, you ask, does Saving Private Ryan have to do with this summer’s TV? Well, it seems the guys behind that movie (Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Robert Rodat) have a new series called Falling Skies on right now on TNT. It stars Noah Wyle and it’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi number with creatures called Skitters that’s getting awesome buzz. Meanwhile, tomorrow marks episode 2 of another brand new series, USA’s Necessary Roughness, with Rescue Me’s Callie Thorne as a single mom and shrink who has to take on big name athletes and other public figures in her psychiatric practice. Plus, there’s a new show on FX called Wilfred where Hobbit Elijah Wood plays a young man whose best friend is a large dog whom only he can hear and see. Lifetime’s also got a new show out called The Protector starring Ally Walker (from The Profiler, so you’d be within your rights to mix up the titles). Here, Walker’s an LAPD homicide detective managing, well, LA homicides as well as her own family. That’s just a handful of the new summer shows; now tell us what you think looks good.
1) Falling Skies (TNT)
2) Necessary Roughness (USA)
3) The Protector (Lifetime)
4) Wilfred (FX)