Tag Archive: Newhart

First there was Gort, then there was Harry Vanderspeigle.  Or at least the alien who took over Harry Vanderspeigle on Resident Alien, streaming now on Peacock.  That’s really all you need to know, other than the times have changed a bit since director Robert Wise premiered his landmark alien visitor movie The Day the Earth Stood Still on New Year’s Day 70 years ago.  Actually maybe the times haven’t changed at all.  For Alan Tudyk’s visiting resident alien and his town of newfound friends the stakes just keeping bigger and we need the laughs more than ever, as we learned at the midseason break this past March.

A new trailer reveals even more sci-fi comedy antics are coming for the residents of Patience this summer.  Check it out:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

We knew Steve Martin was funny from his stand-up comedy, comedy LPs, and Saturday Night Live before his long career as comedic actor.  But he stands apart for that unique physical comedy that made films like The Jerk, Roxanne, and Housesitter comedy hits.  Why bring up Steve Martin?  Because nobody has done that kind of humor as well until Alan Tudyk found his role of a lifetime as the title character in Resident Alien Tudyk may have acquired his sci-fi street cred by co-starring in fan favorite mega-hits like Firefly and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but Resident Alien is really his first starring role, and his first chance to truly shine.

But it’s not just Tudyk that makes Resident Alien a series that’s here to stay.

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Still aren’t in the Christmas spirit yet?  With no Christmas day episode of Doctor Who this year, Netflix is filling in the gap with an episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina called “A Midwinter’s Tale,” another solid episode of the series taking the story forward where the first season left off, and delving into some classic tropes of American and Victorian Christmas lore.  It’s all with the twist of the darker, horror-infused world of the show, but as Miranda Otto’s character Aunt Zelda says, “Christmas is the best time for ghost stories.”  See A Christmas Carol, as an example.

Plenty of Christmas episodes of past genre television series are available right now, most via services you may already subscribe to, others for a few dollars (and some you may find free to watch on YouTube).  How about starting with the unofficial sequel to Die Hard and Die Hard 2 starring Reginald VelJohnson (Ghostbusters, Tron: Uprising) in his third appearance as Sgt. Al Powell?  He’s one of several actors guest starring in a trilogy of Christmas episodes of Chuck, available on Amazon Prime.  First is “Chuck vs. the Crown Vic,” then VelJohnson and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) in “Chuck vs. Santa Claus,” rounded out with Brandon Routh (Superman Returns, Arrow) and Stan Lee in an early cameo as himself in “Chuck vs. the Santa Suit.”  But be careful, you may end up getting sucked into the rest of the series, starring Zachary Levi (Shazam!, Psych the Movie, Thor: Ragnarok), Yvonne Strahovski (The Predator, The Handmaid’s Tale), and Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Leverage, Castle).

In the same vein as Sabrina, check out Grimm with Christmas episodes “Twelve Days of Krampus” and “The Grimm Who Stole Christmas,” both available on Amazon Prime.  “Twelve Days of Krampus” provides one of the best illustrations of Krampus, the folkloric character who has been a subject of this time of year for more than 2,000 years.  Ever get coal in your stocking?  Learn more here.  And you’ll find some familiarity with the critters in “The Grimm Who Stole Christmas” as the new Sabrina episode.  Each of these Grimm episodes is among the best of Christmas episodes, and overall great episodes of the series.  And if paranormal shows are your thing, don’t forget the Supernatural episode, “A Very Supernatural Christmas.”  Catch it on Netflix.  The Winchester Brothers pursue some pagan gods at Christmastime, revisit their own Christmas past, and try to share a Christmas together as only they could.

That brings us to six classic Christmas episodes.  How about six more?

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Funny is in the eye of the beholder.  How often do you ever agree with anyone as to what comedy is truly funny?  We each only know what makes us laugh out loud and what doesn’t.  TBS nailed it with its new series Angie Tribeca last year.  TBS’s next half-hour comedy also could be laugh-out-loud funny.  It’s The Guest Book, and on paper it sounds like Newhart, only without Bob, and focused on the guests instead.  Replacing Bob is Night Court co-star and funnyman Charles Robinson, which could be just as fun.  The Guest Book sprouts from Emmy winner and series creator Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl) and his habit of writing fictitious stories in the guest books of various rental cabins while on vacation, in an effort to “freak out” the next vacationers.

Each week we meet new guests, but the townies will be the same, including Robinson as the cabin owner.  The Guest Book is notable for getting Kellie Martin out of the normal roles she’s played (always brilliantly) on the Hallmark Channel, straight arrow roles like those she’s done on Mystery Woman and Hailey Dean Mystery (why hasn’t Hollywood tapped her for film roles?).  Here she will be the local sheriff.  Regulars also include Carly Jibson as Vivian, and Frank, played by Lou Wilson.  Other cast members from the town include everyone’s favorite guest villain Garret Dillahunt (Burn Notice, White Collar, Life, The X-Files), plus Laura Bell Bundy (Angie Tribeca, How I Met Your Mother, Veronica Mars, Guiding Light), Margo Martindale (New Girl, Orphan, The Riches, Medium, The Firm), John Ortiz (Medium, Law & Order), and Jenna Fischer (The Office). 

As with Angie Tribeca, it will be an opportunity each week to focus on guest stars, so it could be a great platform to meet old friends in an anthology environment.  These include fan favorite Danny Pudi (Community, Powerless), Stockard Channing (Batman Beyond, Grease, Sesame Street), Michael Rapaport (Chuck, The 6th Day, Cop Land), Jaime Pressly (My Name is Earl, The Twilight Zone, Charmed), Lauren Lapkus (Adventure Time, Jurassic World), and Michaela Watkins (Angie Tribeca, New Girl, Saturday Night Live, Medium, Without a Trace, Charmed).

Check out these previews for The Guest Book:

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