Oh, hey, look, another project that attempts to bluntly, blindingly smash a preexisting entity with brand recognition but no narrative whatsoever into a coherent movie: Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Guinness Book of World Records movie. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has hired The Office's Danny Chun to turn the good book into an action-adventure kind of thing, and explains that there's actually a very close precedent here: "Paramount has tried more than once to turn Ripley’s Believe It Or Not into a big tent pole. The studio was weeks away from starting production in China on a $175 million film with Tim Burton directing Jim Carrey as columnist Robert Ripley before pulling the plug in 2007." That sounds like a terrible joke but is, as far as I can tell, not a terrible joke.
For as long as there have been rumors of a third installment of the Ghostbusters franchise, there have been rumors of Bill Murray hating the idea of a third installment of the Ghostbusters franchise. In interviews Murray is mostly coy about his feelings toward the project, stopping short of out-and-out animosity and settling instead into a nice, deep, indifferent groove. Well, there was that one time he knocked Year One, the previous movie from Ghostbusters 3 screenwriters Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg: "People who [saw it], including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives.” (Side note: I myself am not a Ghostbuster, but cannot disagree with their appraisal of Year One.) So with Dan Aykroyd both rewriting the script and talking up the thing every chance he gets, plus a legion of nostalgia-demanding consumers salivating at the mere prospect of more Ray Parker Jr. jams, the perceived battle lines in the war for GB3 have long been set: Aykroyd/humanity vs. Bill Murray.
Ben Stiller is doing an HBO comedy called All Talk, and he’s doing it with Jonathan Safran Foer. The novelist wrote the pilot and Stiller will direct, executive produce and star, possibly alongside Alan Alda, who is currently in talks to join. According to THR, “The project, which is being billed as 'politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually and sexually irreverent,' revolves around the daily and life-altering dramas of a Jewish family in Washington, DC.” Scott Rudin, fresh off producing every movie you've ever seen (more specifically, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, and The Social Network), will co-produce. (By the way, this is the second high-profile project from a famous novelist named Jonathan that HBO is now cooking up: Franzen’s The Corrections, also a Rudin production, is currently in the works).
There come times in life when a person must muster courage in the face of failure and shame, when a person must confront, for all the world to see, what he has wrought. Yesterday, at ABC’s TCA Panel, that time came for ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee. His cross to bear: Work It, ABC’s new sitcom about a couple of bros who dress as women in order to get jobs. “Jaw-droppingly horrendous!,” Grantland’s Andy Greenwald raved. “A retrograde shame-spiral of a series that hates women nearly as much as its viewers will hate themselves!” And the critics almost unanimously agreed. So what did Paul Lee have to say for himself?
For a time it seemed that Tolstoy’s famous admonition about the relative happiness of families might apply to television as well. But the truth is more depressing: There are many bad TV shows, but most of them are terrible in the same dispiriting ways. Few, of course, are as jaw-droppingly horrendous as Work It, a retrograde shame-spiral of a series that hates women nearly as much as its viewers will hate themselves. But this detestable disasterpiece doesn’t even have the courtesy to be interesting in its inanity; it’s merely the latest (and, hopefully, the last) in a head-scratching run of new network shows aimed at what is apparently America’s least served demographic: misogynists.