Tag Archive: Joel McHale


Review by C.J. Bunce

Isn’t this a great time for a new superhero series to begin?  If you agree then you’re in luck, because tonight’s premiere episode of Stargirl might be DC Comics’ best TV pilot yet.  Prepare to meet the next superheroes from the corners of 30 years of DC Comics.  Courtney Whitmore’s relationship with her new stepdad is like you’d expect at first–awkward.  But it’s doubly awkward when he’s an over-eager good guy named Patrick played by Luke Wilson (known best for his roles in Wes Anderson movies and an unforgettable spot on The X-Files).  Courtney (seen above sporting a rather timely mask) discovers there is more than meets the eye with Pat, and the series opener will propel viewers further ahead into his secrets and past–sooner than you might expect.  The result is incredibly promising, a pilot mixing well-done special effects with a great story, a coming of age tale targeted at kids, a fun cast of familiar faces and a new young actress hitting the ground running (or soaring), a cool car and a 1950s vibe, and throwbacks for viewers who keep their eyes open.  And the entire first season is now available on digital.

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When my wife bought me the six seasons of Community I secretly wondered if she was trying to kill me–because I’d laughed so hard watching episodes of the show before I frequently thought I was going to pass out.  I hadn’t seen an episode when I watched their big panel at Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012, but since became a fan.  “Six seasons and a movie” was their mantra, and they almost made it.  We’ve seen no sign of a movie yet, especially with the success of Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Spider-Man: Homecoming), and ongoing rise in the careers and clashing schedules of Alison Brie (GLOW, BoJack Horseman), Ken Jeong (Magnum, PI, Scoob!), Jim Rash (The Descendants, Harley Quinn), Yvette Nicole Brown (Avengers: Endgame, Mom), Joel McHale (The X-Files, Stargirl), Gillian Jacobs (Love, Come Play), and Danny Pudi (Powerless, The Argument).  But then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and now many of our favorite creators and performers are bringing a full-on assault against isolation via podcasts and other online videos.  And it’s not a movie, but it is a welcome surprise: A table read of a classic episode of Community with the main cast is coming your way–with The Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal, as a guest.

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Welcome news for fans of Psych is a new trailer (below) for the second movie sequel in what is expected to be a series of movies we first discussed here at borg a whole strange month ago.  The movie has the quite apt and humorous title, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, and it’s expected to arrive with the general release of the free Peacock streaming service app coming your way on or shortly after July 15 (Peacock will also have a pay “premium content” version).  The movie, the second of six sequels that creator/showrunner Steve Franks said he plans to make, will focus on Timothy Omundson′s character Lassiter aka Lassie.  Omundson suffered a stroke in 2017 (watch a great interview with him below) and the story will in part mirror his real-life comeback.

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McHale stargirl

What’s more fun than the idea of Joel McHale as a DC Comics superhero, and Luke Wilson as his sidekick?  Unfortunately that’s not the focus of the CW’s next series of the Arrowverse, but it’s close, and if the volley of trailers are any indication, fans of the DC universe will see these two in recurring backstory in Stargirl, coming next month.  The other famous league of extraordinary superpeople, the Justice Society of America meets its demise, but that’s the starting point, as a young woman named Courtney Whitmore, played by 20-year-old actress Brec Bassinger (School of Rock), learns her stepdad is a superhero sidekick.

Make that “was” a superhero sidekick.   Luke Wilson, known best for his roles in Wes Anderson movies and an unforgettable spot on The X-Files, was once S.T.R.I.P.E, a mechanic in a powered armor supersuit, and sidekick to Sylvester Pemberton, aka Starman, played by Community, Ted, and The Soup’s Joel McHale (in the comics the Star-Spangled Kid from the 1940s aka Skyman).  Members of Seven Soldiers of Victory, the All-Star Squadron, and the Justice Society of America, these guys got around.  In the new series Courtney takes on Starman’s mantle, a cosmic staff that chooses her, and she’ll begin to assemble the next generation of superheroes.

Justice Society

Appearing at first blush a lot like DC’s Doom Patrol, the pantheon of superheroes includes Anjelika Washington and Henry Thomas as versions of Doctor Mid-Nite, Yvette Monreal and Brian Stapf as Wildcat, and Cameron Gellman and Lou Ferrigno, Jr. as Hourman, taking on Christopher James Baker as Brainwave, Joy Osmanski as Tigress, Neil Hopkins as Sportsmaster, Nelson Lee as Dragon King, and Neil Jackson as Icicle.

Here is the new trailer, and some recent trailers, for DC’s Stargirl:

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Psych series

If you’re looking for a show to pep up your day as you go about all your activities, we have the perfect series with a good level of humor, smart writing, and some great actors.  It’s Psych Play it all day, every day in your house, as something to sit down to solve a whodunnit, or check in as you walk past your TV set, or just have the good music and characters bantering about as your own background soundtrack as you get things done, work or play.  And play find-the-pineapple–yep, there is a pineapple hidden in every episode (we found all but one).  All 120 episodes are now streaming on Amazon Prime, the series airs weekdays on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel, and USA Network just announced a marathon beginning this week, easy to catch for anyone with basic cable or the network app.

Billed as the Super-sized Psychtacular Binge-a-thon or as Shawn calls it, the Suck It COVID-19 Binge-a-Thon, the marathon on USA Network is the biggest Psych marathon in the network’s history.  All eight seasons will air weekly this month, starting this coming Wednesday, April 8, at 9 p.m. Central.  Airing from 2006 to 2014, the series starred James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a fake psychic detective who runs a psychic detective agency with his pal Burton “Gus” Guster, played by Dulé Hill.  The duo is brought in by the Santa Barbara police department after Shawn convinces Chief Vick (played by Kirsten Nelson) and two key detectives, Juliet (played by Maggie Lawson) and Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (played by Tim Omundson), that he has psychic powers.  He actually doesn’t have psychic powers, but his uncanny, Sherlock Holmesian powers of perception may as well be psychic.  And to top it off, the cast is rounded out by Corbin Bernsen as Shawn’s ex-cop dad–who knew Bernsen could be the perfect comedic straight man for a series?

Psych banner

Will we hear more about the second Psych movie in production, titled Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, with new face Joel McHale and Jimmi Simpson back from the grave as Mary, and Kurt Fuller as fun-loving coroner Woody?  It’s expected to premiere as the first film on a new NBC streaming service later this year–something to look forward to!  Every fan of the series will be happy to hear updates from Omundson, who took a break from acting due to a stroke.  He’ll join Roday, Hill, Lawson, Nelson, and Bernsen in the new movie, and all month long, sharing their favorite Psych moments and memories as part of the marathon.

Here’s a new video update from currently sheltering-at-home Shawn and Gus:

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x-files-a     X-files smokin

Finally, fourteen years later The X-Files returns to Fox, with a two-day event this coming Sunday, January 24, and Monday, January 25.  Fox has released several new previews, including the opening scene of Episode 1, and six posters–one for each episode of this limited run series.  The last we saw David Duchovny’s Mulder and Gillian Anderson’s Skully was in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the second movie in the series back in 2008.

x-files d     x-files f

So what have they been up to, and who is returning?  Of course, Mitch Pileggi is back as Skinner, and William B. Davis as The Cigarette Smoking Man, plus Annabeth Gish as Reyes–even the Lone Gunmen are back.  Newcomers Robbie Amell (The Flash), Lauren Ambrose (Coma), and Joel McHale (The Soup, Community) will have appearances on the show, too.

x-files c     x-files e

Fortunately Mulder, Skully, and Skinner will take center stage, with the subordinate characters only appearing in a few episodes.

Want to see more?  Check out these four previews from Fox:

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Community cast

It may be a sign that fans of much-loved TV series are finally having a say in determining what stays on TV.  With fans voting with their wallets last month to bring Veronica Mars to the silver screen via an unprecedented Kickstarter campaign, someone savvy at NBC programming must have realized the loyal fan following of Community was worth keeping by saving the half-hour comedy series.   Last night NBC announced Community will be back for a fifth season, moving it ever closer to the series not-so secret mantra “six seasons and a movie”.

The roars of thousands of series fans who chanted along with the montage of key scenes from the past three seasons at Comic-Con last summer said it all.  And it didn’t matter that Chevy Chase wasn’t returning to the series or the much liked show creator Dan Harmon was cast away, as show regulars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover continued to provide all the fans want and more over the past 84 episodes.

Community McHale

Why do fans like the show?  The humor?  The characters?  The actors?  All of the above?  Watch the series cast talk about the show last year at Comic-Con:

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By C.J. Bunce

You can spend your weekend at Comic-Con wandering the exhibit floor looking for mass market collectibles, talking with dealers of original art, talking with writers and artists of current and classic comic books, attend panels and see comic and other creators, TV and movie stars and get the low-down on coming projects, go offsite for parties and studio and publisher events–the biggest problem is doing all you want when there is nowhere close to enough time to do it in.  If you’re in for only a few days, you really have to pick up your pace and narrow down what you want to see.  Since I spent a whole day in panels and did not stay for the entire weekend, any encounters I had with creators and studio celebrities were pretty much based on happenstance this year.  Many creators are now friends, others I gawk at like everyone else from afar.  So who did I see?

First of all, in panels I saw the cast of Community, Firefly, and the new series Arrow, including guys I’d love to talk in person someday–Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel from Bones, and the guy you may know as Bud from Married with Children, David Faustino, who is doing voice work now for Nickelodeon, and he voiced the character Mako as part of the Legends of Korra panel.  As I mentioned earlier in the week, waiting in line allowed me to meet and get a photo with Joss Whedon.

The Soup host Joel McHale, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, former Angel star David Boreanaz and Korra’s David Faustino really stood out as funny guys in these panels–surprisingly quick-witted people who got the crowd cheering with everything they said.

I saw the main cast of the Syfy Channel series Haven during their signing session.  They really looked like they were having a good time–like they really get along with each other.  Also signing in the Sails Pavilion were Richard Anderson, who was the classic character Oscar Goldman from one of borg.com’s favorite borg shows: The Six Million Dollar Man, and Cindy Morgan from the original Tron and Caddyshack.  I hoped to run into Bruce Boxleitner, JK Woodward and Scott and David Tipton but my panel schedule caused me to miss meeting them.

On the exhibit floor I watched Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) talk with fans and sign autographs.

Arnold Schwartzenegger was coming into the hall and I staked out a photo op location but his handlers moved him out of the hall so I missed seeing him.

As a Star Trek fan, I was very happy to finally meet and have a nice conversation with Brent Spiner.  He was a great guy who was as nice in person as you’d hope him to be from years of watching his lovable character Data.  I also had a brief chat at day’s end with Levar Burton, also a friendly guy, signing photos of Geordi LaForge for fans.  I’d met Marina Sirtis before so I didn’t chat with her this round, but she was also signing Counselor Deanna Troi photos in the hall.

Earlier this year I reviewed Table Top, a new, fun Web series hosted by Wil Wheaton with the Geek and Sundry creators.  I met him near a Starbucks and shared my feedback with him on his show.  We talked about some of the games and he graciously introduced me to his wife and friends.

Wheaton is truly “one of us” and a really personable guy.  Of everyone at the Con, he is probably my first pick of someone you’d like to wander the Con halls and chat with.  Another show host, Blair Butler was attending the Con from the popular genre cable channel G4.

Of the comic book realm, I met Cat Skaggs, a well-known comic book artist who was signing cover prints to Smallville Season 11 #1 and she sketched a great Green Arrow bust for me.

I also met Neal Adams–a comic book legend who created the look of the Silver Age Green Arrow and I finally was able to add one of his sketches to my folio.  Neal was sketching non-stop for fans just like the newer, younger artists in Artist Alley–a real “working artist” even after all these years.

I ran into my friend Freddie Williams II also, and he also was busy sketching for fans throughout the Con and selling original art from his various DC Comics series.

David Petersen, known best for his Mouse Guard work, was working on commissions for attendees and selling shirts and art at his booth in Artist Alley.  I also lucked into getting a sketch from him and enjoyed talking with his wife, who manned the booth when he was doing signings elsewhere.

I ran into Frank Cho again this year and he said he is still expecting to get Guns & Dinos out soon.  He was selling a great pin-up calendar featuring Brandy and the Liberty Meadows gang.  More on that in future posts.  A nominee for the Eisner in two categories this year, Rachel Rising creator Terry Moore was busy talking with fans.

As with last year, Jim Lee could be found at several panels and signing throughout Comic-Con.

As with Freddie Williams, I met up with several folks from back in the Midwest.  I ran into artist Ande Parks and met his wife, while hanging with Sean and William from Elite Comics and Chris Jackson who runs Planet Comicon.  Parks was chatting with his frequent cover artist Francesco Francavilla, this year’s Eisner cover artist of the year winner, and someone we have talked about here at borg.com all year long for his great cover art.  I ran into Star Trek author Kevin Dilmore twice on the exhibit floor–my third year seeing Kevin at the Con.  It’s crazy how you can be in your hometown and never run into anyone, and then fly to San Diego and see so many people from back home.