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18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

Doctor Who No Longer Has Companions, According To Producer

Doctor Who will no longer have companions accompanying the Doctor, at least not in those terms. The long-running series of course centers on the titular time traveler, who goes on adventures and saves the universe in a time machine called the Tardis. The eleventh season of the show has now officially begun, with Jodie Whitaker as the first female incarnation of the Doctor.

Doctor Who has been around since 1963, and has become a staple of UK culture. The show was incredibly popular in its initial run, and lasted for 26 seasons on the BBC. Between 1963 and 1989, a total of eight actors played the Doctor, with even more actors and actresses playing their companions. In fact, the first person to travel with the Doctor, played by William Hartnell at the time, was actually the Doctor’s granddaughter. There have been many humans that have been companions of the Doctor, but there have also been several aliens and robots that accompanied him on his adventures. Even though the Doctor has had companions since the beginning of the series, the term didn’t become popular until the 2005 reboot launched. Now it appears that the eleventh season won’t use the term companion at all.

Related: Doctor Who Season 11: New Cast & Character Guide

According to Doctor Who executive producer Matt Strevens, the Doctor’s crew will no longer be referred to as companions, and will instead be called friends. The news broke at New York Comic Con, when Strevens was discussing the next season of the show. This was previously hinted at in the San Diego Comic-Con trailer, when Whitaker’s character asks, “So if I asked really, really nicely, would you be my new best friends?,” but the term has now officially been confirmed.

Doctor Who has become immensely popular not just in the UK, but all over the world. The show has found a new generation of fans, especially since the reboot, which kicked off with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor. Many talented actors and actress have played the Doctor’s companions since the reboot occurred, most notably Billie Piper, Karen Gillan, and Pearl Mackie. The Doctor Who season 11 friends will be played by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill.

Even though casting Whitaker as the Doctor received a lot of backlash – as has become the norm whenever a character is gender-swapped – early reviews for Doctor Who season 11 have praised the first female version of the iconic Time Lord. Since the character regenerates every few seasons, casting a woman as the Doctor never should have been out of the realm of possibility, but some fans just don’t like to see their favorite shows changed in a big way. That being said, referring to the Doctor’s companions as friends going forward shouldn’t receive as much hate, especially since the term wasn’t used often in the original series.

More: How To Watch Doctor Who Season 11: Air Time, Streaming Options

Season 11 of Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America and BBC One.



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2018-10-07 04:10:53 – Christopher Fiduccia

15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped)

There are many forms of entertainment, but television is one of the most popular. Watching TV has been a popular pastime ever since the television was created in 1927. Programs can often bring families together or can even give people an escape from reality while they binge-watch their new favorite show. People used to have to pay for cable to watch their favorite shows, but now, watching TV is easier than ever with the mass amount of streaming services that have become available, such as Hulu and Netflix.

Some of the best shows are even exclusive to streaming services such as these. Even YouTube has expanded to include TV shows that come in a variety of genres. Needless to say, there is now a seemingly endless amount of programming that will entertain anybody and everybody.

Much like movies, there are a wide variety of TV shows and genres to pick from. TV networks seem to come out with a variety of different shows each year including sitcoms. While a network might release a few different sitcoms each year, a lot of them seem to flop and be forever forgotten by viewers. Other sitcoms stick around for several years resulting in many seasons worth of laughs.

Some of these shows have stuck around longer than they probably should have, but others were so terrible that they were canceled after only one season.

 Here are the 15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped). 

30 Massive Hit: The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory may have not launched any of the main actors acting careers, but the show certainly boosted them into the spotlight. The Big Bang Theory came on the air in 2007 thanks to creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. The show centers around a group of geeky and socially awkward friends who hang out with a waitress named Penny.

The show has become incredibly popular during its twelve seasons on the air, with many celebrities making cameos on the show.

The Big Bang Theory became so popular that it even received a spinoff about a young Sheldon Cooper.

29 Flopped: Caveman

The Cavemen were a popular marketing image used by the auto insurance company GEICO starting in 2004. While people don’t see a lot of the Cavemen anymore, they used to be incredibly popular. ABC thought they were so popular that they should launch a sitcom featuring the GEICO Cavemen.

The show was a massive failure with viewers and critics and was therefore canceled after one season. Thirteen episodes were created for the first season; however, only six of them aired in the U.S. Caveman was such a flop that it didn’t even get a DVD release to try and make some money back. 

28 Massive Hit: Friends

Friends was a massive win for NBC and ran for ten years from 1994 to 2004. The show just follows the lives of six friends living in Manhattan, but many people loved the idea of the show.

Friends was, and still is, adored by fans and critics. The show even landed the #24 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series. The sitcom did a lot for all of the actors involved in the series, but is often considered a turning point for Jennifer Aniston’s career. 

27 Flopped: Ferris Bueller

John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick was a hit back in 1986. Fans still love the movie to this day and even launched a “Ferris Fest” in Chicago to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie. While the film was successful, the TV series was not.

The show titled Ferris Bueller followed Ferris and his friends’ everyday life at high school. What made the first movie fun was that Ferris wasn’t in school, but NBC apparently didn’t get that since they picked up the series in the ‘90s. The show didn’t bring back any of the original cast members and ended after one season. 

26 Massive Hit: That ‘70s Show

When That ‘70s Show first came on the air, there was no guarantee that the show would succeed. The show starred primarily new young actors, with little to no acting experience. That ‘70s Show was even the very first acting job for Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Laura Prepon. Thankfully, the risk paid off for Fox and became a massive hit.

The series lasted for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. Besides, Kutcher, Grace, and Prepon, the show also starred Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, and Wilmer Valderrama. The cast did a phenomenal job for a total of 200 episodes, and then went on to have even more enriching careers in Hollywood. 

25 Flopped: That ‘80s Show

While That ‘70s Show was a massive hit, the success could not be repeated for That ‘80s Show. Even when Fox was still broadcasting new episodes of That ‘70s Show, they created a show about the ‘80s in 2002.

The show isn’t a direct sequel to the first show and the only way it connects to That ‘70s Show is that the main character, Corey Howard, is supposed to be Eric Forman’s cousin.

The show was created because of the popularity of That ‘70s Show, but people just weren’t interested in another show about a different decade. 

24 Massive Hit: The Office

The original The Office debuted on the BBC in 2001 and only stuck around for two seasons and a Christmas special. The concept for the show, however, was adapted eight different times for countries across the world.

One of the more popular versions of The Office came in 2005. The show starred Steve Carell as Michael Scott and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert. These two men have probably had the biggest career after the show ended, but the entire cast made a memorable group of characters that kept fans laughing for nine seasons. 

23 Flopped: George

George Foreman may be known for his impressive boxing career or even the famous George Foreman Grill, but he also got his own TV show in the ‘90s. The show ran for ten episodes, only nine of which actually ended up on the air. The show starred Foreman as a retired boxer who took care of troubled kids after school.

While Foreman’s show may have flopped, there is no doubt denying he was an impressive boxer especially since he won a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. 

22 Massive Hit: How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother was a romantic comedy that aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014. The show centered around Ted Mosby, who would narrate the adventures that led up to him meeting his wife.

Apart from Ted, played by Josh Radnor, the series had several other memorable characters played by Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan. While the majority of the series was met with critical acclaim, the final two seasons are often criticized for the way it wrapped up the show. A spinoff titled How I Met Your Dad or How I Met Your Father have been in development before, but the spinoff has had some trouble taking off. 

21 Flopped: 1600 Penn

NBC has had some hits over the years, but 1600 Penn was not one of them. The series was about a dysfunctional family who lived in the White House with their father.

Bill Pullman played the President of the United States starring alongside with Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman, and Martha MacIsaac. The show ultimately didn’t do well with critics who slammed the show for having too many sitcom stereotypes and being a failed parody attempt of The West Wing. The show was canceled after one season and people aren’t really begging NBC to bring it back. 

20 Massive Hit: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

There has always been an abundance of cop dramas on TV, but not as many cop sitcoms. Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars the singer of the comedy band The Lonely Island Andy Samberg, as well as Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, and Stephanie Beatriz.

In May, Fox decided to cancel the show, but the very next day, NBC picked it up and renewed it for a sixth season.

So far, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has won two Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and has been nominated for several other awards.

19 Flopped: Dads

The show Dads was created by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and premiered on Fox in 2013. Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi starred as two video game developers whose fathers move in with them. Not only was the show canceled after only one season, but it also got ripped apart by critics.

The series became known for depending on offensive gags to get laughs and having an array of unlikable characters. Along with Green and Ribisi, Brenda Song and Vanessa Lachey had recurring roles on the show.

18 Massive Hit: Modern Family

Modern Family is about three different families living in Los Angeles. Much like The Office, Modern Family was created as a mockumentary type sitcom. The series was created in 2009 and is still running on ABC. The show has won an impressive 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, which is partly because of the incredible cast.

Actors such as Ed O’Neil, Sofía Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet are some of the many talented people in the cast. While the series has been a massive hit so far, there are rumors that the show could be ending after season 10. 

17 Flopped: My Big Fat Greek Life

It isn’t every day that a romantic comedy will spawn its own TV show, but it certainly happens. My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out in 2002 and starred Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.

The movie revolved around the struggles that Vardalos’ character Toula had by marrying someone who wasn’t Greek. The TV series took place after the first film and starred Vardalos, but Corbett did not return. At first, the series had incredible ratings, but by the second episode, people had started to tune out, which led to CBS canceling the show. 

16 Massive Hit: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was created by Rob McElhenney in 2005 and is currently still running on FXX. The comedy is about five friends who run an Irish Bar in Philadelphia. McElhenney stars in the show alongside fellow comedians Charlie Day, Danny Devito, Kaitlin Olson, and Glenn Howerton. The show began with low ratings, which is why FX forced the show to add a big name actor.

Devito was added to the cast and they haven’t looked back since. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has received critical acclaim since the beginning, and now thirteen seasons later, it has become one of the longest-running live action comedies ever. 

15 Flopped: Joey

Many fans were disappointed to see Friends go off the air in 2004. While most of the cast moved on to other acting roles, one friend stuck around to try and get more laughs for NBC.

After Friends ended, Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani in the spinoff show titled Joey.

The show saw Joey move on with his life and try to make it big in Hollywood as an actor. The show couldn’t live up to the success that NBC saw with the first series and it was ultimately canceled after two seasons. 

14 Massive Hit: Arrested Development 

Arrested Development has been bringing on the laughs ever since the first episode aired in 2003. The show originally ran for three seasons on Fox but was then later picked up by Netflix. Netflix released season four in 2013 and the first half of season five this year.

The show truly has an ensemble cast, including actors Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and Will Arnett. Tony Hale and David Cross also have the fan-favorite roles of Buster Bluth and Tobias Fünke. The entire series can be found on Netflix. 

13 Flopped: Bad Judge

While shows like Judge Judy or The People’s Court may be hilarious already, NBC set out to make an actual sitcom about a judge in 2014.

Kate Walsh stars as Judge Rebecca Wright, who works at the Los Angeles County Circuit Court by day, but is a party animal by night. NBC canceled the show before the season had even gotten halfway through, although the rest of the series came on the air as planned. Most people gave the show negative reviews, mainly criticizing Walsh’s performance and the fact that the show just wasn’t funny. 

12 Massive Hit: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation, or simply Parks and Rec., was a massive hit for a couple different reasons. Not only was the show a sitcom, but it doubled as political satire and a mockumentary.

The show ran for a total of seven seasons, but for many people, that wasn’t enough. Parks and Rec. had an incredible cast and memorable characters that only got more hilarious as the series continued. This show most notably included Chris Pratt who has recently blown up in Hollywood, starring in many massive summer blockbusters. 

11 Flopped: Mulaney

John Mulaney is no doubt a funny guy. He is a stand-up comedian and even wrote on Saturday Night Live; however, the sitcom he created in 2014 couldn’t grab people’s attention. The show starred Mulaney himself as a comedian in New York. However, people were concerned about the show before it even came on the air.

The show had an obvious resemblance to Seinfeld and concerns were solidified when the show premiered. With Mulaney doing poorly with critics and with not a lot of people tuning in, the show was canceled after only one season.

10 Massive Hit: Community

Community’s premise centers on Jeff Winger, who is a lawyer who lied about having a bachelor’s degree and is forced to attend a community college. Community lasted for six seasons, five of which aired on NBC and the last on Yahoo! Screen.

The show became a massive hit not just because of the impressive writing team, but because of its cast.

Veteran comedian Chevy Chase stars in the show alongside actors like Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover. The show also succeeded by parodying several television and movie clichés. 

9 Flopped: Rob

Some actors have a certain time in the spotlight before they fall out of it completely. Fans have seen this happen with Adam Sandler, despite his attempt to stay relevant, and also with his friend and co-worker Rob Schneider.

Schneider attempted to make a sitcom back in 2012 simply titled Rob and CBS actually picked it up. The show focused on Rob, a former bachelor who works as a landscape architect with OCD and who recently got married. Rob was canceled after eight episodes once the show was flooded with horrible reviews pointing out the show’s use of Mexican stereotypes and the weak supporting cast. 

8 Massive Hit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Before Will Smith was a massive Hollywood star, he starred in a show on NBC called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show was a huge hit and spawned a total of six seasons and 148 episodes. Will Smith starred as a fictionalized version of himself who goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air after he gets into one little fight and his mom gets scared. We all know how the rest of the story goes.

Besides Smith, the show is known for the talented cast members, the unique story, and the wide range of celebrity cameos.

7 Flopped: AfterMASH

After the show M*A*S*H ended, CBS came out with AfterMASH. Adequately titled, AfterMASH centered around Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulch who end up in a veteran’s hospital after the Korean War ended.

While M*A*S*H did quite well for the eleven seasons it was on the air, AfterMASH only lasted two seasons before getting canceled. AfterMASH just couldn’t capture what made the first show great, but that didn’t stop CBS from trying again. The TV network would try again in 1984 with WALTER, but thankfully that show didn’t even get picked up. 

6 Massive Hit: The Middle

The Middle was just an average show about a lower middle-class family, yet it still became a massive hit. The series was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who previously worked on shows like Roseanne and Murphy Brown.

The show was praised for accurately capturing the lives of a middle-class family while still delivering a hilarious story and unique characters. The Middle lasted for nine seasons before going off the air this year. While the show might be over, a spinoff revolving around Eden Sher’s character Sue Heck is currently in the works. 

5 Flopped: Angel From Hell

Those who don’t remember the sitcom Angel From Hell will be forgiven since the show wasn’t really anything to write home about. In the show Angel From Hell, Jane Lynch stars as a guardian angel for a girl named Allison, who was played by Maggie Lawson.

The show came after Lynch starred in the massively popular Glee, yet Angel From Hell didn’t get as big of a fan base.

The show was canceled by CBS after only five episodes at the beginning of 2016. While CBS didn’t initially air the remaining eight episodes, the rest of the season was released starting in July 2016. 

4 Massive Hit: Two and a Half Men

Even though Two and a Half Men often got mixed reviews, it was still a massive hit for CBS. The show ran for twelve seasons before going off the air, but the show started with Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen, and a young Angus T. Jones.

There was a lot of drama surrounding the show, especially after Sheen’s crazed antics, but the show continued never the less. After a feud with show co-creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen was replaced on the show with Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher stayed on for the rest of the series until the show ended in 2015. 

3 Flopped: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Another one of Fox’s TV shows that flopped was called I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The show was about a pair of moms, played by Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran, who began to notice that their daughters were turning into the kind of teenagers who had bullied them in high school.

The show began its thirteen episode run in November 2011 and ended it in May 2012. After Fox decided to cancel the show, the remaining six episodes were never released in the U.S., but based on viewership, nobody was really watching anyway.

2 Massive Hit: Seinfeld

Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the show Seinfeld began in 1989 and lasted for nine seasons. The show was about a fictionalized version of Jerry Seinfeld who lived in New York and spent time with his friends. The show is often called one of the greatest sitcoms ever made and even landed the #2 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series.

Many shows have since tried to copy Seinfeld’s success, but none have been as original as this NBC hit. 

1 Flopped: My Mother the Car

As strange as it sounds, My Mother the Car was an actual sitcom back in the ‘60s. The show follows David Crabtree, who purchases a car that happens to be a reincarnation of his mother who passed away.

The show aired on NBC and starred Dick Van Dyke’s little brother Jerry, but even the Van Dyke gene couldn’t save the show. My Mother the Car was as strange as it was horrible, and not very many people cared for the show. NBC decided to cancel the program after just one season. 

Are there any other sitcoms that should have made the list? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-07 04:10:06 – Christopher Fiduccia

7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

It’s been over twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s groundbreaking pilot hit TV screens and it remains one the most beloved and influential shows of all time. The series subverted expectations, in the process shattering illusions of what people thought television was capable of. It forever altered the pop culture landscape, introducing audiences to a feminist icon they could truly identify with. The show popularized serialized storytelling at a time when TV programs were largely episodic and even changed the way that viewers talked by introducing them to “Buffy speak.”

By taking the idea that high school is Hell quite literally, Joss Whedon was able to use werewolves, witches, and vampires to explore themes of desire, female empowerment, and addiction. The writers personified feelings such as isolation, alienation and humiliation, using them to ground fantastical situations in those very real emotions.

Buffy was praised for a great many things, from snappy dialogue to clever plotting. However, one of the most vital elements of Whedon’s magnum opus was undoubtedly the amazing characters with which he chose to populate this world. These players were as lovable as they were relatable and the series continues to resonate with viewers of all ages. However, not all characters introduced to the series could be as awesome as Buffy, Willow, or Xander. While certain new additions had an undeniably positive effect on the series as a whole, there were also a few that BtVS would’ve been better off without.

Here are 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved – Spike and Dru

Sunnydale got its very own Sid and Nancy when Spike and Drusilla showed up in season 2 episode “School Hard”, quickly establishing themselves as the new Big Bads in town. They were never meant to last as long as they did, but stellar performances from James Marsters and Juliet Landau gave both characters a stay of execution. These two didn’t just shake up Sunnydale, but the show’s entire mythology. They were living proof that vampires were capable of genuine emotion. Their intense bond and amazing chemistry made fans fall hard for the couple. 

Spike, of course, went on to play a much larger role in the series as a whole. Writers kept finding new ways to justify his continued existence and fans never complained, because no one wanted the vampire gone.

19 Hurt – Riley

Buffy needed to move on from Angel, but did she really have to take up with “Captain Cardboard”? Riley Finn (Mark Blucas) first appeared in the season 4 premiere, “The Freshman”, and went on to hurt the show in ways almost too numerous to list.

With him came the Initiative, which remains the storyline that most BtVS fans would rather forget.

Even after the organization was no longer part of the narrative, Riley continued to overstay his welcome. Viewers were forced to deal with his constant whining and eventually, his infidelity. These were all plot points that the show could’ve done without. It was sad when Riley helicoptered out of Buffy’s life, but only because we care about her feelings. Ultimately, no one really missed him.

18 Saved – Tara

Now this is how you create a new love interest. Oz and Willow had become one of the show’s most beloved couples and fans were as heartbroken as she was over his sudden departure. Replacing the werewolf was going to be just as difficult as finding a way for Buffy to get over Angel. However, the show chose to go in a new direction entirely with Tara Maclay, who debuted in season 4 episode “Hush”. Not only was she a woman, but she also complemented Willow in very different ways than Oz had.

Not all viewers embraced this storyline initially, but Amber Benson’s performance quickly won most of them over. Before long, fans became incredibly invested in Willow and Tara’s relationship. In many ways, they became the show’s central couple, as well as its emotional anchor.

17 Saved – Anya

Much like James Marsters, Emma Caulfield earned more time on the show through her impressive performance. Her arc wasn’t meant to last much past her first appearance in season 3 episode “The Wish”.  Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins went from human to vengeance demon and back again. She was over 1100 old, but had completely lost touch with her humanity before meeting the Scoobies.

It was more than Anya’s evolution that made her special, though. She was the character who posed the questions that most people want to ask but think that they shouldn’t. Whether ruminating on love, loss, or the simple cold truth of mortality, Anya always said exactly what she meant. Even her lack of tact was charming. The former demon brought a different perspective to the group, as well as some undeniable humor.

16 Hurt – Dawn

This is kind of a tough one, because the storyline surrounding Dawn’s existence was one of the show’s best. Her introduction in the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula”, was particularly genius. Dawn was dropped into the series as if she had always been there, leaving viewers wondering if they had missed earlier clues of Buffy having a sister.

Dawn herself was always little more than an annoyance to most fans.

It didn’t help that Michelle Trachtenberg played the character as younger than she was. This wasn’t all her fault, as Dawn was initially meant to be portrayed by a younger actress. The main problem wasn’t season 5 Dawn anyway. In later years, writers clearly weren’t sure what to do with her, giving Buffy’s sister one ludicrous plot line after another: “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

15 Saved – Glory/Ben

Glory is one of the greatest Big Bads ever to appear on BtVS. Debuting in season 5 installment “There’s No Place Like Home”, she brought the season-long threat to a whole new level. Glory wasn’t just another demon. She was a literal god, just trying to get back to her home sweet Hell. However, it was more than just sheer power that made Glory such a great villain. Clare Kramer’s manic performance is what really set her apart.

Introduced an episode before Glory, Ben (Charlie Weber) was serviceable enough.

What really brought depth to the kind doctor was the revelation that he and Glorificus were sharing a body.

This was one of the show’s most successful twists. Seriously, no one saw it coming.

14 Saved – Wesley

While it can be argued that the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was utilized far better on Angel, there’s no denying that the stuffy new Watcher was another great addition to the cast of BtVS. Debuting in season 3 installment “Bad Girls”, Alexis Denisof imbued Wesley with undeniable heart and humor, despite the character’s uptight personality.

Aside from Wesley himself, it was the dynamic between him and Giles that helped to elevate the series during season 3. We got to explore a whole new side Buffy’s Watcher. It was one thing to know about his “Ripper” past, but it was the juxtaposition of Rupert and Wesley that truly proved how awesome Giles actually was – not that we didn’t love him already.

13 Hurt – Warren

The Trio is kind of everyone’s least favorite Big Bad. However, while Jonathan and Andrew were both worthy additions to the series, Warren never had any redeeming qualities. He first appeared in season 5 episode “I Was Made to Love You” and proved himself a total creep immediately.

Although Warren started out as a punchline, he turned out to be a misogynistic monster.

Adam Busch did an excellent job of making the character incredibly unlikable, but it was Warren’s cruelty that brought season 6 to the lowest of places. “Dead Things” was one of the most brutal episodes of BtVS, and not in a good way. Plus, no Buffy fan will ever forgive him for firing the gun that took Tara’s life. Warren did a lot of damage and his character was never compelling or likable enough to outweigh that fact.

12 Saved – Oz

Fans fell in love with Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) around the same time that Willow did. From the moment he appeared in season 2 episode “Inca Mummy Girl”, he was pretty much smitten with her – even in her Hallowe’en costume. Unlike Xander, Oz actually realized how awesome Willow was and fans were overjoyed to see her finally properly appreciated.

Oz was so beloved, in fact, that even though he left under truly awful circumstances, many viewers were still torn when he came back for Willow. A lesser character could never have remained in fans’ hearts after such indiscretions. In the end, the writers found someone even better for Willow, but it speaks volumes that so many viewers were willing to forgive Oz after he locked himself in a cage with Veruca.

11 Hurt – Veruca

Veruca (Paige Moss) made her first appearance in season 4 episode “Living Conditions”. Oz may have thought that she was pretty cool, but viewers noticed that something was off about her.

Most Buffy fans are pretty protective of Willow and no one liked seeing her relationship with Oz threatened.

It’s not that it makes no sense that something would break up Willow and Oz. They dated in high school and many such relationships do not survive the transition to college. The main issue was the werewolf herself. Veruca was kind of over the top, from her musical performances to her evil machinations. Perhaps she was meant to be a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain. Regardless, no one mourned Veruca after Oz ended her life.

10 Saved – Mayor Wilkins

Fans were introduced to Mayor Richard Wilkins in season 3 episode “Homecoming”. Sure, he was a major Big Bad whose ascension plans would’ve left the world in ruins, but he was also incredibly polite. BtVS has often excelled at creating villains that fans still kind of rooted for. The Mayor was one of the best, and not just because he was such a formidable opponent.

Richard’s relationship with Faith gave his character real depth. Much like the love that Spike and Dru shared with one another, the Mayor’s affections for his protégée made him much more human, which in turn made viewers care more about him. Plus, Harry Groener’s pitch-perfect performance made it impossible not to enjoy Mayor Wilkins.

9 Hurt – Kennedy

Kennedy was as much of an epic fail as Riley. The writers proved that they could craft more than one great love interest for Willow, so what happened with her? Introduced in season 7 episode “Bring on the Night”, Kennedy (Iyari Limon) was spoiled, argumentative and honestly, kind of bland. The key to a great TV relationship is making both characters compelling in their own right.

While fans came to love both Oz and Tara rather quickly, you’d be hard pressed to find many Kennedy fans out there.

There was nothing about Willow’s new girlfriend to even distinguish her from the other Potential Slayers, save her bad attitude. Willow deserved better and so did fans.

8 Saved – Faith

Shaking up things from the moment she arrived in season 3 installment “Faith, Hope and Trick”, Faith Lehane was Buffy’s dark reflection. The Slayers were incredibly different from one another and yet, undeniably two sides of the same coin. Eliza Dushku’s magnetic performance brought so much passion and energy to the role, and she had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the cast.

Faith provided new depth not only for the slayer line, but also to the idea of what it actually means to be Slayer. Before Faith’s arrival, fans had never seen a Slayer go rogue. However, it didn’t matter how far Faith went. Viewers were always hoping that she could somehow redeem herself. Thanks to her time on Angel, she was given that chance.

7 Saved – Robin

Robin Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) debut in season 7 premiere “Lessons” initially painted the new school principal as another villain lurking in the shadows. However, much like the rest of the characters on BtVS, appearances are often deceiving. Not only was Robin one of the good guys, but he was also the son of New York-based slayer, Nikki. The series teased this out slowly until fans realized the truth shortly before it was revealed.

It was a pretty genius move.

Although it’s easy to hate on Robin for his sneak attack on Spike, the vampire did off his mother, so his frustration can be understood. In the end, Robin turned out to be a great addition to the Scoobies, bringing both new perspective and an actual bag of tricks to the mix.

6 Hurt – Adam

Buffy almost always managed to deliver the goods when it came to the season-long Big Bad: compelling characters, with humor and even a bit of heart. The series excelled in that moral grey area, making viewers sympathize with villainous even as they committed unforgivable acts. Sadly, Adam (George Hertzberg) was a giant exception to this success.

The ersatz Frankenstein’s monster – or Walsh’s monster, as the case may have been – first appeared in season 4 episode “A New Man”. The only cool thing he ever really did was skewer his creator, Maggie, who was also not a great addition to the series. All in all, Adam was very powerful, but a boring villain. Defeating him required a major deus ex machina, which would’ve been fine if he had been a better character in the first place.

5 Saved – Andrew

Andrew Wells, aka Tucker’s brother, initially seemed as irredeemable as Warren Mears. When we met him in season 6 episode “Flooded”, he was a whiny coward with nothing even resembling a moral compass. After Andrew returned the following year, the first thing he did was take his best friend’s life.

Most fans weren’t happy to see him again, but somewhere over the course of season 7, this changed.

Like BtVS has done with the best of its characters – most of whom, let’s be real, have done some terrible things – the show found a way to endear him to viewers. Andrew may not have exactly been instrumental in Buffy’s battle with the First, but the former villain definitely brought some levity to a fairly dark season. He also provided an excellent example of the power of compassion.

4 Saved – Kendra

Interestingly, Bianca Lawson was originally cast in the role of Cordelia Chase. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the actress was forced to take a smaller part in BtVSIf we can all just put aside her painfully awful accent, everyone can probably admit that Kendra herself was a pretty cool addition to the series.

Fans were introduced to the other slayer in season 2 installment “What’s My Line Part 1”. She appeared initially to be another enemy, but instead proved vital in saving Angel’s life. Kendra’s existence answered important questions about the slayers and it was this new line, beginning with her, that later allowed for the introduction of Faith. The juxtaposition of Kendra and Buffy was also quite interesting, as they each approached their calling so differently. She also helped Buffy see that slaying was more than just a job.

3 Hurt – Forrest

Another irritating and useless season 4 addition, Forrest Gates (Leonard Roberts) was introduced in “The Initiative”.

He was little more than a foil for Riley and Buffy’s relationship.

Forrest’s feelings for his fellow soldier bordered on obsession and there was nothing interesting about him in his own right.Riley’s other pal Graham may have been boring, but at least he wasn’t so annoying. Forrest was self-righteous and obviously had very little going on in the way of an actual life. No one mourned him after he his passing. The worst part about Forrest’s demise was that it wasn’t even the last we saw of him, because Adam chose to reanimate his husk. Even then, he was still a total drag.

2 Saved – Jonathan

Jonathan Levinson (Danny Strong) had a continuing presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years after his first appearance in season 2 installment “Inca Mummy Girl”. He was always on the periphery, being picked on, rescued or taken advantage of. Prior to joining the Trio, Jonathan was at the center of season 3 episode “Earshot” and season 4 installment “Superstar”. The former was incredibly poignant and the latter, a hilarious change of pace.

Many fans were surprised to see Jonathan pulled by the dark side, but he never fully committed like his cohorts did. Less obviously evil than Warren and not as easily manipulated as Andrew, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Sadly, by the time Jonathan made an effort to redeem himself, it was too late. That opportunity was stolen from him by his best friend.

1 Saved – Angelus

None of Buffy’s greatest Big Bads were quite as personal or painful to witness as Angelus. Aside from the unfortunate implications of essentially punishing Buffy for being intimate with her boyfriend, there is no denying that the second half of season 2 was the show at its best. This was due in large part to David Boreanaz’s villainous turn.

Two people who were so in love destroying each other was utterly brutal and completely gut-wrenching. It also led to some of BtVS’s most empowering moments. Buffy was just a teenage girl shouldering the weight of the entire world. Feeling as though she had lost everything led to the epiphany that she still possessed what mattered most. Much of the series is about surviving life on life’s terms. More than just enduring this pain, Buffy managed to recover from it.

What new characters do you feel hurt or saved Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-06 04:10:54 – Jamie Gerber

A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater

Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Reveal Praised By Batman Comic Writer

Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker movie finally showed Joaquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Crime in full clown makeup, and comic book writer Scott Snyder is ultimately praising the reveal. Joker will help to launch DC’s new banner and, as such, will not be a part of the ongoing DC movie universe that follows the Justice League characters.

Although rumors of the film were circulating for a while, it has recently come together rather quickly, with a release date set for next October. Phoenix will play Arthur Fleck, which is Joker’s real name in the movie. Robert De Niro is portraying a talk show host and Marc Maron will act as his producer. Brett Cullen has been cast in the part of Thomas Wayne, a role that was originally given to Alec Baldwin. Rounding out the cast are Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy. Recently, the movie’s potential logo surfaced, as well as some test footage of Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime.

Related: Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Reveal Is Incredible (& So Much Better Than Leto’s)

Batman writer Scott Snyder took to Twitter to praise this potentially “visionary” take on the classic Batman villain. As with any such reveal, the image has spawned debate among fans, but Snyder is completely on board. In the wake of the New 52, DC’s radical 2011 relaunch of its entire comic line, Snyder has become one of the most beloved and important Batman scribes, shaping the Caped Crusader for a new generation of readers. His name is now often mentioned in the same breadth as Frank Miller, Jeph Loeb, and Grant Morrison, all of whom have crafted character defining arcs for the Dark Knight.

With no less than six potential Joker films currently in the works, many questioned whether or not this Joker movie was actually necessary. The character has already been defined by the performances of several incredible actors. When Heath Ledger was cast in the role, many balked, feeling that he could never compete with Jack Nicholson’s iconic performance. By this point, though, it’s difficult to remember a time when Ledger’s take wasn’t revered as the character’s best live-action adaptation. Although Jared Leto is an undeniably talented actor, his portrayal of the Joker was divisive, to say the least. However, the actor did make the role his own. Snyder is dead on that “playing it safe” is never the right approach for this character. If this footage is any indication, Phoenix’s Joker is shaping up to be different than everything that audiences have seen before.

The talent already on board this project, both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera, has peaked the interest of many viewers. A lot of the hype comes down to Phoenix himself. The actor has demonstrated his impressive skills in films such as Walk the Line, The Master, and Her. Fans may question the need of another Joker movie, but there is also irrefutable excitement over Phoenix’s casting, as well there should be. More than just his new look (which itself may not be final), the test footage teased Arthur’s descent into madness. Phoenix gets this across with precious little screen time. Viewers have only seen a tiny glimpse of Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime, but it’s enough to show that Joker is on the right track.

More: Joker Set Photos Reveal A Killing Joke Connection

Source: Scott Snyder





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2018-09-22 02:09:05 – Jamie Gerber