Blog » Archive for February 2012

Remake Remakes

I’ve talked about TV show remakes in these here parts before. After all, remakes are as much a part of television as commercials that teach us women are all callous shrews and if two men accidentally touch hands it makes them male gays. As we hurl towards TV oblivious (future), remakes will begat remakes. It’s already happened. You can’t stop it. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, then, I don’t know, as a science fiction show about a race of mutant cats or something.

Let’s jump into the remake rabbit hole with “Charles’ Angels,” or, as it was known to its friends: Charlie’s Angels. The show was about three ladies who, after making it through the police academy, were relegated to menial work. So they quit and ended up working as private investigators for a shadowy figure named Charlie, who may or may not have been Charles Nelson Reilly. Let’s step past the irony of them leaving their demeaning police jobs to run around mostly in skimpy outfits. The show ran from 1976 to 1981, and launched the careers of Farrah Fawcett and… Shelley Hack?

Charlie’s Angels finally received the remake treatment last year. Evidently, the producers tried to make it gritty. They gave Minka Kelly a job – clearly, looks still mattered. Also, only one of them was a former cop, one was a street racer and one was a thief. They also gave the crew some racial diversity by hiring a black woman. No, they didn’t make her the thief or the street racer. Phew – accidental racial stereotype narrowly avoided. And, the show only lasted four episodes.

So, the remake of Charlie’s Angels was a major failure. However, I’m guessing that won’t keep the remake machine down for too long. Batman and Robin didn’t keep Batman Begins from being made. Secret of the Ooze didn’t keep us from receiving the gift of Turtles in Time.

The 2011 Charlie’s Angels remake purposefully tried to avoid being campy or retro in any way. The next Charlie’s Angels remake will take that lack of camp as a sign…to, of course, crank up the camp. I’m thinking the network will treat us to primetime soap version of Angels. Also, this time they’ll go back to making their racial minority Asian. Time for Lucy Liu to return to the fold? Now, the Angels are all former circus performers and Charlie has a mechanical arm like Dr. Claw. One of them is a fire-breather, one is an acrobat and the other is a strongwoman. Oh – and they’ll all wear bikinis all the time.

This show will be marginally more successful, but ultimately only last one season. The next next Charlie’s Angels remake will, instead of reverting to serious again, decide to ramp up the campiness and hire John Waters as the show runner. Now, one of the Angels is a fat man in drag and Charlie is clearly (finally!) modeled on Charles Nelson Reilly. It will have to move to Showtime to meet with Waters’ sensibilities. The remake remake will also only last a season but will be a cult classic.

After that John Waters’ remake remake, STARZ tries its hand at the ol’ Charlie’s Angels television franchise. To make it work in their traditional style, which is to say an almost antagonistic amount of nudity, the remake remake remake starts to resemble an off-Broadway interpretation of Hair. Most weeks, they won’t even bother solving cases anymore. It’ll last a few seasons, before people remember that porn is a thing that exists on the internet.

The next remake (Charlie’s Angels version 5) will go the reinvention route and be an ABC Family show trying to make teen aged girls feel good about themselves. All three ladies are Bryn Mawr graduates. The women will all look more like “real” women, at least that’s what the press interviews will mention. Bosley will start out a sexist, but he’ll learn that, in the end, a woman can do anything a man can. Then he’ll start romancing one of the ladies because, of course, every woman needs to be in a romantic relationship to feel whole. Plus, they are all, like, secretly witches or whatever the kids are into then.

In the next remake, one of the Angels is a Maori gentleman. Then, the remake all three Angels are men, including a Laplander and Bosley is a woman. The next remake goes beyond the whole three Angels thing. So stifling! They add two more, making it three men and three women when you include Bosley. After that, Charlie gives up running a Los Angeles private investigation company and moves to New York to run a coffee shop. All the Angels and Bosley follow him. The new show name is Bosley’s Angels. Angels number 9 has the whole gang staying in New York, but they drop the whole private investigator thing. They just, you know, hang out and bullshit and stuff. Just getting in relationships and trying to make it in the big city and such. Also, they are all white again. It just becomes a bunch of friends goofing around, hanging in Charlie’s coffee shop. It lasts a decade and is supremely popular.

That’s the story of the future of Charlie’s Angels remakes. Another story ends. It’s the story of an underemployed writer living in Los Angeles who was given the opportunity to write for a website featuring several podcasts he very much enjoyed. He was very appreciative of the opportunity, and grateful to the website for allowing him to showcase some of his comedy work online. He asked for people to check out his podcast and his Twitter account, and thanked them for reading his stuff. Then, he turned out the lights in the bar where he did his writing. There was a knock on the door. “Sorry, we’re closed,” the writer said. “You stole that from Cheers,” the knocker replied. “Fuck you,” the writer retorted. Then, he put on his jet pack and flew off to Myanmar where, at the very least, he wouldn’t have to learn the metric system.

Chris Morgan is a writer living in Los Angeles. You can follow him on Twitter (@CMorganExaminer) and/or listen to his podcast.

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TV Friends Forever Thanks To Spinoffs

Recently, there has been talk of a spinoff of The Office starring Rainn Wilson’s Dwight Schrute character and his beet-based farming life. Ah, spinoffs. They don’t seem to happen as often as they used to, Joey aside. Once upon a time, a Mary Tyler Moore Show could begat a Rhoda which could begat an animated series starring her never before seen doorman Carlton. That Carlton spinoff only lasted one episode. It won an Emmy.

However, clearly this talk of an Office spinoff means spinoffs are back. You already have characters people like and know. You move them to a swanky new town, give them a love interest and a friend who is a minority. Good to go. It is a license to print money, provided your show takes place in the U.S. Mint. Anyway, more spinoffs are on the way. Here is just a smattering of possible series:

  • 30 Rock spinoff where Kenneth goes back to his hometown and works on his family’s farm with an eccentric cast of characters. Maybe it’s a beet farm. Maybe NBC is just hedging their bets.
  • Crossover spinoff with the Raising Hope baby and the Modern Family toddler as adults. They solve crimes. Their mentors? Rizzoli and Isles.
  • 2 Broke Girls spinoff filled to the brim with nothing but crude stereotypes and horrendous pun based gags. Maybe with the horse?
  • Ringers spinoff featuring the long lost triplet of the twins played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. She’s a CPA and her life is fairly dull but, you know, Sarah Michelle Gellar!
  • Some of the people from Terra Nova go through another time thing and end up on a still cooling Earth. It’s going to be a pretty short run for that show.
  • Wacky comedy spun off from Breaking Bad starring Skinny Pete and Badger. A real “laff riot.”
  • One of the sexy, sexy vampires from True Blood leaves the town True Blood takes place in. (Blood Falls? I’m going to go with Blood Falls) The sexy vampire runs a haberdashery in Wichita, Kansas. It loses a lot of the supernatural element, but there is still plenty of nudity and, somehow, quite a bit of gore.
  • Episodes spinoff of about remaking the show Episodes, with Matt Leblanc replaced by David Schwimmer. Very meta.
  • Mad Men keeps moving into the future, but what if they started moving into the past? In the spinoff, the whole gang gets in a time machine to, like, the 1860s or something. Don Draper and company in The Civil War. Think about it. Maybe they solve crimes. This is probably just a remake.
  • A spinoff of New Girl starring Winston. The plot is doesn’t matter. It’s really all part of a plan to repeatedly replace the black roommate with another black roommate.
  • A spinoff of Last Man Standing where Tim Allen wakes in a world where he truly is the last man standing. It’s like I Am Legend, but only with jokes about how this is all because dudes moisturized or whatever.

There you have it. Get ready for these spinoffs in the future. Also, TV networks, I’m available to run any of these shows. Like a good spinoff character, we can get to know each other first. Then we can solve crimes together.

Chris Morgan is a writer living in Los Angeles. You can follow him on Twitter (@CMorganExaminer) and/or listen to his podcast.

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Professor Blastoff Afterthoughts: Magic

My grandpa’s favorite magic trick was the “got your nose” gag. I never understood why he thought my nose looked like his thumb. I just thought he was going senile and didn’t want to make him feel crazy, so I played along. I feel like theme parks and haunted houses have taken the place of my grandpa’s silly gag. Just as with my grandpa’s trick, these places’ have good intentions but sometimes come off a bit over the top. Things causing me the most wonderment are usually executed with subtlety and confidence, like chess matches or nature. As a kid, I almost wish I had never seen so many animals at the zoo, so I could have my mind blown more as an adult. I love nature because it is glorious but doesn’t seem to call attention to itself, yet it overwhelms the senses.

Most magic tricks seem to use the art of miss direction. The best ones go a step beyond subtlety by guiding our attention and letting the magic take place in the background. Life is nature’s ultimate miss direction. The daily grind always seems to have our focus, until we decide to pause and allow ourselves to see what has been developing in the background. A magical noose otter kid perhaps?
He made his noose disappear in an earlier trick.

For the most part it is fun to be tricked. Most of us laugh when it happens. But it is a little jarring at the same time. You think you have life pretty much figured out until some guy comes along and successfully picks your card. There has been a lot of research into the brain and how it tricks us by filling in gaps in motion. This is why if you start a throwing motion but hold the object in your hand, you can trick someone into thinking you threw it. I did this to my dog while playing fetch all the time, until she bit my hand once she caught on to my deception.

Knowing that our eye’s can be deceived like that is an unsettling thought. Maybe in the future we will all walk around recording what we see so that we can play it back in slow motion when we get home, maybe then we can catch the subtle movements that our stupid brains missed.


Our guest, Derek Hughes, has done just that, although I still don’t know how to play clips in slow motion on YouTube. He has recoded a magic trick that will blow your mind. It uses 3 ropes, probably taken from the above otter’s missing noose.


Feel free to share any of your afterthoughts about this episode of Professor Blastoff. Or if there is anything that we left out that could go into a future episode leave a comment here or a tweet @airburple. Also check out our guest’s website at

If you haven’t yet listened to it, listen here to episode #41 Magic!

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Weeksidoodle: February 6

Hey bros! Let’s gos!

Comedy Bang! Bang! is PRETTY star-studded this week: We have “Weird Al” Yankovic, we have Todd Glass and we have Broadway’s favorite daughter, Liza Minnelli!

Do you sense it? Do you sense the magic in the air? It’s probably because we have a magical episode of Professor Blastoff coming your way all about, well, magic.

This week we have a mini-sode for you on How Did This Get Made? If that isn’t enough, well you should head on over to Largo at the Coronet where Paul, June, Jason, and special guests like the aforementioned “Weird Al” will be presenting their hilarious thoughts on Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Be there!

Jake Fogelnest is this week’s Who Charted? guest. I’m not even going to feign neutrality about this. This is going to be great. Fogelnest is a gosh-darned delight and I’m super looking forward to it. If only we could get his cat Egon on the show too…

This week’s improv4humans features three of my absolute favorite improvisers: Jill Donnelly, Charlie Sanders and the ever delightful Ben Schwartz! People wait in line for hours to see these people perform. You can listen to them wearing pajamas and eating cereal. You are very lucky.

I’m super excited that Sue Galloway is going to be on Totally Laime! I saw her one-person show, Pose,  last week and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. It was a delight. This is going to be great. What a week!

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