Welcome back to another edition of BCTV Sunday Slices, where I take a look back at the past week in Bleeding Cool's television coverage and select a few articles to highlight and offer some perspective. This week, we have a righteous amount of topics from all four corners of the pop culture landscape. From Saturday Nigth Live and GLOW to Stephen King and Swamp Thing… from The Boys, Dexter, and Leslie Jones to geek awards, a daring Discovery, and a not-so-Charmed matter, here's a look at what's been buzzing the wires this week (with a quick reminder that the opinions you're about to read are mine and don't necessarily reflect on Bleeding Cool).
A Love Letter To Hannibal: Bryan Fuller's Design Elevated Television: So let's kick things off with an opinion that I'm sure to get my opinionated ass kicked over: Hannibal was good, but not great. Visually stunning? Ground-breakingly so, and with some amazing performances. But it couldn't tell a coherent story if its flesh depended on it, and once Lecter started coming off as some kind of a psychotic cross between James Bond and Jason Bourne, they lost me.
GLOW Cast Looking for Movie Finale, Reunites for Important Cause: I miss the good old days of like 2010 when a show lived or died depending on just ratings, demos, and delayed viewing analytics. Now? Viewers can lost a show over who started a new streaming service this week, how bad COVID delays hit productions, and a whole host of other things that the average viewer would need an advanced degree in to understand. Just wait until Swamp Thing gets renewed and see how many brains explode over that show's rollercoaster ride.
Saturday Night Live: Celebrity Guests Undercut SNL Cast's Potential: This is how SNL has survived for nearly a half-century: adjusting to the times. Sketches get cut up and sent out on social media like clockwork, with the two biggest eyeball grabbers being the comedic music videos and the political sketches. So what better way to grow those eyeballs even more than having Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, and Maya Rudolph? It's not like each of them doesn't come with serious SNL street cred.
Critics Choice Super Awards Set for The CW, Honors Geek Pop Culture: It would be nice to see a geek/genre-specific awards system in place and grow in reputation and respect over time. Having The CW airing it is definitely a good thing: just like pro-wrestling, you don't mean a thing unless you got that TV deal swing.
Swamp Thing Season 1 Preview: Madame Xanadu, Woodrue Enter the Scene: As per my comment earlier? There's gonna be a whole lot of people laughing their asses off over there when the second season order comes down. Don't believe me? Check out its delayed cross-platform numbers.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Showrunners on Creating New Canon, Tech: The team behind Star Trek: Discovery took a bold step this season by choosing to pave the future path for the franchise this season. Extra points for the surprise news that the fourth season (not the surprise) would start filming next month (the surprise). Just like Lucifer and Riverdale, think we're going to be getting a lot more of these "multi-season" production shoots.
Stranger Things 4 Writers Share Ep Titles Because Someone Asked Nicely: Turns out those actually weren't the titles but actually little jokes. I'm going to refrain from offering any further commentary on how f***ing annoying that was because they still have a place in what BCTV calls a heart for "Video Store Fridays" (which we still miss over here).
Stephen King Updates The Outsider S02, Mr. Mercedes S04, The Stand: So I'm guessing that Stephen King confirming a second season of The Outsider is as good as an HBO press release, right? Also liked what I was hearing about a possible future for Mr. Merecedes– an unfortunate victim of a channel very few people actually knew about.
The Boys Look for "Payback" in Season 3 Opener; Filming Early 2021: Oh, and did I mention they also have a supes college-based spinoff on the way? Look, I'm as geek-greedy as the next person so this is great to hear, but f**k do these folks ever get a chance to sleep?!? I'm still holding out for our crew offering a little Compound V-fueled beatdown on some supes next season, and a Jeffrey Dean Morgan appearance.
Dexter: Michael C. Hall, Clyde Phillips, Showtime Set 2021 Reboot and Dexter Showrunner Clyde Phillips: Revival Isn't "Undoing Anything": It's simple, and you can consider it a gift from BCTV. The series "finale" was all Deb's fever dream from the infection, and then we pick up years later from the second-to-last episode (which in my mind will always be the real series finale) and rollout/update what really happened to everyone over about the past decade. Will accusations of "cheesiness" be thrown around? Yup, but that's a bullet you gotta bite. But offer up a return series that reflects on the best aspects of the series while still moving forward? Fans will more than forgive. Forget? Eh.
Watchmen: HBO Series Gets Some Canon Love from Tom King's "Rorschach": Sorry, comics world. You turned your backs stuck up your noses as Damon Lindelof when he first poured his heart out about why he wanted to do HBO's Watchmen. You don't get to play nice-nice in the sandbox now- go suffer in the misery that was Doomsday Clock.
AEW Dynamite – MJF Wants to Join the Inner Circle… Maybe: I smell MJF pulling a Kevin Owens, as Chris Jericho proves to us all yet again why "Le Champion" is a walking masterclass in jumping between "hated heel" and "beloved babyface."
WWE Owns Your Likeness Forever if You Sign Up for the Thunderdome: Am I missing something? Don't you pretty much give up your likeness with every app that lets you do anything with your camera? Not even just filters and all of that, but your actual selfie post? That's been going on for years- not sure I'm crucifying WWE for that one.
Trump, Biden Town Halls Beg the Question: How Do You Spell NBC? F-O-X: Funny thing: just wrote an editorial on this that you can check out here (then make sure to come back).
Conan O'Brien Casts Shade on NBC Trump Town Hall, Evokes Tonight Show: Just because he's not named Jimmy, Seth, Samantha, Stephen, or James doesn't mean Conan O'Brien is a second-ran when it comes to anyone- whether we're talking about late-night or comedy in general. Still, it was nice for O'Brien to drop a little reminder of why he's been able to do this for so long- and drop some Jay Leno shade in the process.
Tatiana Maslany: She-Hulk Casting News "Actually Isn't a Real Thing": BCTV is guessing this is either a contract negotiation thing or The Mouse is waiting for the right time for some huge casting announcement. Because otherwise? More than two scoops with of folks will have been fooled (we included)- but at least that would put us in the same company as Mark Ruffalo.
Charmed OG Star Shannen Doherty Expresses CW Series Support: It shouldn't have taken Shannen Doherty having to get into it for a righteously unnecessary social media war to be brought to an end. Here's hoping it stays that way.
Fear the Walking Dead S06E02 Opening Minutes Are Wonderfully Horrific: I'm throwing it onto the list because I haven't seen old-school zombie horror like that from the TWD franchise in a long time. What won me over was it showed how easily a situation that should be easily controllable can go so wrong, so fast. Watching the blood flow from under the door as we hear the sounds of the last surviving gunshots are the type of scene we've seen done in horror movies before but it doesn't matter when it's done so well.
WWE Smackdown – Roman Reigns Shows Jey Uso Tough Love: What hath become Braun Strowman? BCTV isn't saying he takes the title from Roman Reigns, but a steel chair beatdown like that this early in Reigns' run? Not getting the point, especially when we know he's going to beat the living crap out of Uso. So we're getting Reigns as a weekly Brock Lesnar and Strowman beginning to punch his ticket to mediocrity? More of that great WWE "long-term planning"…
Leslie Jones on Leaving Saturday Night Live: "I Don't Miss It. At All": Anyone taking issue with what Leslie Jones had to say about SNL and her leaving is just looking for something to be bothered about. She was a member of the cast for five season- that's a good chunk of time to spend in a large ensemble show before wanting to flex your creative muscles and have more of the spotlight. I look forward to her coming back to guest host at some point, and will always appreciate what she brought to the history of the long-running series.