Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #98



TV

Loudermilk & Hit the Road

Hit the Road

Hit the Road

Two new series premiered on DirecTV last week — Loudermilk and Hit the Road. Both of these shows are decent, but I don’t think I’ll be watching any more than the first episode of each. Loudermilk stars Ron Livingston as the title character who’s an ex-alcoholic moonlighting as a counselor and “tells it like it is.” Hit the Road stars Jason Alexander as the head of a family band who tours the country. The band plays the loving family who has it all together onstage but are completely dysfunctional off.

Each of these shows are mostly regular sitcom series but with a bit of moderate nudity and cursing thrown in. Loudermilk is that sitcom character popular these days who has no filter while the family of Hit the Road have problems from lying to drugs — but in a sitcom family kind’a way.

In many ways Loudermilk and Hit the Road reminded me of British comedies that have a bit of an edge to them where neither nudity nor swearing is frowned upon. Except many of those comedies, especially the ones that air here in the US, have somewhat of an edge to them. Of which is totally lacking in these two shows.

Harsh Realm (1999) – Gone too soon

A few weeks ago I read an interesting post where writer Ken Levine talked about some TV series he liked that were cancelled too soon. Never afraid to steal a good idea I decided to pick up that mantle and write about some of my favorite series that I thought were cancelled too quickly.

The cast of Harsh Realm

The cast of Harsh Realm

Harsh Realm was the second series created by Chris Carter to follow his extremely popular show The X-Files. Sort’a a cross between that series and The Matrix, Harsh Realm takes place in a military computer simulation that’s “one mistake away” from our reality. This simulation is an exact duplicate to our reality except for one thing — here, New York was nuked throwing it into a lawless chaos.

A lawless chaos where real soldiers can plug in and go on realistic training missions without the possibility of being hurt. Except one of those soldiers, General Santiago (Terry O’Quinn) went in, took over and formed a dictatorship and now rules the realm. Enter Tom Hobbes (Scott Bairstow) who’s sent in to kill Santiago and end his rule. Inside this simulation Hobbes meets other people like Mike Pinocchio (D. B. Sweeney) who prefers life inside the game to outside where he’s disabled and simulated people like Florence (Rachel Hayward) who can manipulate the code of the system for her benefit.

I remember when Harsh Realm premiered in 1999 it was hyped like crazy by FOX. They already had a massive hit on their hands with The X-Files and while Carter’s follow-up series Millennium wasn’t as big of a hit as that series was, it was solid enough to last three seasons. And at the time I was a mega-fan of The X-Files with that series being my favorite show on TV so I couldn’t have been more excited about Harsh Realm.

Terry O'Quinn

Terry O’Quinn

The first episode was … interesting. It’s got a lot going for it from the post-apocalyptic look and feel to the idea that everything’s taking place inside a computer. Well, most everything. Part of the first episode of Harsh Realm also dealt with Hobbes’ wife played by Samantha Mathis trying to find out what the military did with her husband while dealing with a shadowy governmental agency trying to cover things up. I always thought this part of the show seemed tacked-on in order to have some element of The X-Files DNA in Harsh Realm.

Regardless, I liked the series enough and was excited to see where the first season lead when Harsh Realm was abruptly cancelled after just three episodes. The series premiered in October and didn’t make it to November. In fact, it wasn’t until years later when the show aired again on FX that I was able to watch the remaining six episodes. But even then there wasn’t much resolution as the series ended with just nine episodes of what I’m assuming was meant to be a 24 episode season.

Now, Harsh Realm is an oddity. Since there wasn’t a whole season the streaming services won’t touch it. And since there’s no resolution means that only dedicated fans of the genera or people who saw the series when it originally aired in 1999 are going to seek it out, making this one a series few have heard about and fewer still have watched.

Harsh Realm is available on DVD and episodes can also be streamed on YouTube as well.

Godless TV spot

Comics

Marvel Horror: The Magazine Collection Paperback

From Marvel:

Marvel’s supernatural superstars star in lavishly illustrated tales of horror! And many of these bizarre adventures from the age of the black-and-white magazine are collected here for the very first time! Blade hunts, Dracula stalks and the Zombie shambles! Meanwhile, night brings the daughter of the diabolical Satana! You’ll meet Gabriel, Devil Hunter! Discover the magic of Lady Daemon! Fear the Death-Dealing Mannikin! And brave the Haunt of Horror and the Vault of Evil! They’re rarely seen creepy classics filled with werewolves, vampires and monsters unleashed – read them if you dare!

Movies

Black Panther trailer

The Reading List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1943: Michael Crichton, creator of Jurassic Park, Twister and the TV series ER is born
  • 1959: Sam Raimi, director of The Evil Dead and Spider-Man franchises is born
  • 1984: The TV series V premiers
  • 1984: Terminator opens in theaters
  • 1994: Stargate opens in theaters
  • 1996: The TV series Millennium premiers
  • 1997: Gattaca premiers
  • 1998: Soldier opens