Direct Beam Comms #41
Son of Zorn – Grade: C
Fox premiered their new Son of Zorn series last Sunday a few weeks early to coincide with the start of football. I wasn’t too excited about this one and was still underwhelmed after the first episode.
In Son of Zorn, Jason Sudeikis stars as the voice of He-Man-like cartoon character Zorn. But instead of being a kid’s TV series, Zorn comes from a real place where he occasionally visits his flesh and blood ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines) and their son Alan (Johnny Pemberton) in LA. Since Zorn’s been off fighting and killing these animated fantastical beasts on his island, he and his son have grown apart but Zorn wants to reconnect which means getting a job and moving to LA full-time.
I really hope there’s more to Son of Zorn than just deadbeat dad Zorn trying to make up with his son since not a lot of the universe the series takes place in makes much sense. Like, Zorn’s animated and everyone else is flesh and blood, yet no one ever makes mention of it. Which is all right, except as far as I can tell Zorn is the only animated being to live alongside us.
And Zorn was married to a real-woman and they had a kid, so that seems possible. Yet it’s never discussed how odd that is even though there’s never any other animated people around.
So are there other animated characters that live alongside people other than Zorn or is he unique? And if he’s unique wouldn’t that make him somewhat of a celebrity rather than someone who can only land a phone sales job because he meets their “diversity” quota?
Which could be overlooked if the series were trying to comment on something or, at the very least, made me chuckle once or twice. Except here there’s a one-note joke that Zorn is this fish out of water manly-man who can’t quite transition from his world to our own that’s played over and over and over again.
Son of Zorn feels a bit like the TV series Greg the Bunny that had puppets ala The Muppets rather than an 2D animated character. Except that while Greg the Bunny was actually funny and interesting, after one episode Son of Zorn so far is not.
Documentary Now season 2 – Grade: B+
The hilarious IFC series Documentary Now starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader returned for a second season last week and is great as ever. Each episode of the series is a parody of different, acclaimed real documentaries. The first episode of the second season was about two political strategists stealing the 1992 Ohio gubernatorial election in the style of the real 1992 documentary The War Room.
I love Documentary Now and even the few episodes that don’t quite work still can be very interesting. I honestly hope Armisen and Hader keep making new episodes of their series for years and years to come.
American Horror Story season 3 – Grade: B
The sixth season of the FX series American Horror Story debuted last week with “Roanoke.” I really enjoyed the first season of the show and liked the second one, but I thought the third was pretty dull and gave up on the show sometime in the fourth.
I think American Horror Story works best when it’s telling an gripping, twisting season long horror story with an unexpected ending. Which is exactly what the first season of the show did. But after that I think the filmmakers started concentrating more on trying to top themselves in terms of sex, gore and violence rather than trying something different from what they’d done before.
Which is why the sixth season of American Horror Story is so interesting looking — after one episode it seems like it’s different from what’s come before.
This time the show’s focus is on a married interracial couple Shelby and Matt played by Lily Rabe and André Holland who move to the woods of North Carolina looking for a simpler life after they were attacked on the streets of LA. But in true American Horror Story fashion, in North Carolina they find unwelcoming locals, a storm that rains teeth and some weird creature that stalks around their house at night leaving things like eviscerated pigs on their doorstep.
But the difference in the sixth season of the show compared to previous ones comes in just how the story’s being told.
Rather than telling a straight up story like in previous seasons, the sixth season is presented like some Discovery Channel horror show. Where the “real” Shelby and Matt give interviews documentary style in a studio while actors (Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr.) playing Shelby and Matt reenact the stories they tell on screen in the studio.
I think the only problem I have with how these reenactments play out in the “Roanoke” show-within-a-show is that it appears as if they actually were filmed with some sort of budget, not the no-budged-no-frills-slightly-cheesy how most reenactment series end up looking these days. 😉
Star Wars Rebels season 3 TV spot
Out now in a massive 504 page trade paperback is Punisher War Journal by Carl Potts & Jim Lee. This edition collects the first 19 issues of the Punisher War Journal classic series that defined a comics movement of the 1980s and 1990s.
Frank Castle doubles down on his war on crime courtesy of two of the finest creators ever to take on the character. If you’re a mob boss, hitman or hired goon, one day you’re gonna end up in Punisher’s War Journal. And it won’t be long before he crosses you off . As Frank continues his relentless mission, he’ll lock horns with old foe Daredevil, team up with Spider-Man, and meet a feisty new sparring partner – get ready for Punisher vs. Wolverine as only Jim Lee could draw it! “Acts of Vengeance” sees Frank take on new foe Bushwacker as Doctor Doom and Kingpin machinate behind the scenes. COLLECTING: PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL (1988) #1–19, MATERIAL FROM PUNISHER ANNUAL #2.
The Reading & Watch List
- Short-Lived and Easily Forgotten 1980s TV Series
- The Design of the Doc Savage Logo
- Turner scores major ‘Star Wars’ deal to televise 11 movies
This week in pop-culture history
- 1928: Adam West, Batman, is born
- 1947: Stephen King is born
- 1962: The TV series The Jetsons debuts
- 1989: The TV series Alien Nation premiers
- 1995: The TV series Space: Above and Beyond premiers
- 2002: The TV series Firefly debuts
- 2004: Shaun of the Dead opens in theaters
- 2004: The TV series Lost premiers