Routine Check 11/9/12

– TV announcements are still flying right and left, though it’s impossible to gauge which ones you’ll ever hear about again. I’m certainly interested in this new comedy being developed at FX, a project from delightful weirdos Rob Schrab and Steve Agee, who previously worked together on The Sarah Silverman Program, along with producer Jack Black, based on Agee’s experience attending military school. For all the “…or we’ll send you to military school” jokes you hear in sitcoms and the like, I honestly can’t think of any movie or series actually set at one, and Rob Schrab is an amazing talent who I think still has a lot of tricks to show off, so that sounds like a good blueprint. Schrab’s frequent collaborator Dan Harmon also got a pickup at Adult Swim a few days back, but that’s pretty widely posted news at this point thanks to Harmon’s unlikely superstar status.

– A couple other quick notes on some upcoming series –FOX’s Axe Cop uploaded a preview clip that seemingly reveals the perfect casting of Nick Offerman as the voice of the cult web-comic hero, and Ain’t it Cool has a trailer and an interview on Adam Rifkin’s new Showtime series Reality Show, which looks like it could have a few good things going for it if it can overcome the fact that its premise is pretty blatantly siphoned from Real Life and The Truman Show.

– Ricky Gervais also wrote in to The Huffington Post to give an update on his various running projects, which is useful since his stuff can be a little hard to follow both from an American, one-ocean-removed standpoint and also just, wow, that guy puts out a lot of TV specials and podcasts and other hard-to-define media. The short version seems to be that HBO’s animated adaptation of The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, the Warwick Davis Britcom Life’s Too Short, and the Karl Pilkington travelogue An Idiot Abroad are all in the midst of wrapping up, with his new Stephen Merchant-free dramedy Derek forging ahead along with at least one new project. I think I already mentioned it here, but Merchant has his own solo single-camera comedy setting up at HBO, which might make or break his reputation as “the funnier, less annoying one.”

– Bob Odenkirk ran through a similar rundown of upcoming projects, which include a book of unproduced screenplays (and presumably other tidbits) co-written with David Cross, a possible stop-motion adaptation of one of said screenplays, a new sketch series developed with improv troupe The Birthday Boys for IFC, and the rumored Saul Goodman spinoff from Breaking Bad, which I can’t dig into any further as I’m about one hundred episodes behind.

– As a huge fan of Bong Joon-ho and Kim Ji-woon, I enjoyed scanning this article on South Korean directors making English-language debuts. There’s some sketchy details on some upcoming projects buried in there, but I mostly just enjoy seeing Bong rattle off a list of favorite American directors.

– Bleeding Cool has a year-and-a-half-early scoop on an upcoming 2014 animated feature worth keeping an eye on, The Canterville Ghost, based on the Oscar Wilde short story and set to feature the voice talents of a reunited Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, and most interesting of all with a score by Ennio Morricone, who has mostly spent the 2000s with a relatively low profile scoring low-budget Italian features. Looking through Morricone’s work, I could only find one other animated feature, which looks to be a forgotten fantasy from 2001, so this is somewhat new ground for the 83-year-old legend.

– The great Kate Beaton has been tweeting sketches of interesting moments from her experience in New York during and after Hurricane Sandy, which she’s compiled all together here. Those are neat both as a kind of personalized snapshot but also because even Beaton’s quickest doodles carry a knack for organizing minutia like a classy graphic novel.

– While I’m on comics, I highly recommend scanning the results of Comic Book Resources’ latest reader poll for the top 100 comic book runs. That website has a pretty large reach with comic readers so it seems to be a pretty accurate record of what are considered “the classics” of serialized issues at this point, which is less common nerd knowledge than the top graphic novels.

– Lastly, I’ve been enjoying the AV Club’s newish feature where they ask notable folks to program an imaginary 24-hour film festival. I think it’s an idea they’ve used a couple times in the past, but they seem to be heating it up lately with a really good list of eclectic horror films from Joe Dante and a really good list of “discomfort comedies” from Tim Heidecker. Surely it’s only a matter of time before they start actually holding the events with a host Q&A.

Today in streams and freebies: 1) If you’re a fan of comedian Kyle Kinane (and if you’re not, go listen to Death of the Party and instantly become one), you can watch his latest Comedy Central special on the press screening room that you’re not supposed to link to, and you can also watch a new online-only series he’s been hosting for the network called 30 Seconds Over Washington, which is a little like an MST3K for political ads, here. 2) It’s a little late for Halloween, but the day saw a plastic pumpkin-load of free horror comics, of both the legal and arguably less legal variety. Comics Alliance had a handful of promotional digital freebies and web-comics, while Tom Spurgeon at Comics Reporter had a seemingly infinite train of links to classic and rare scans. 3) One of my all-time favorite bands, Awesome New Republic a.k.a. ANR, put up a free Texas Chainsaw Massacre-inspired mixtape called Tobe Hooper, which contains an impressive docket of seasonal covers and originals that I’ve been looping nonstop. 4) Another of my favorites, weirdo rapper Busdriver, has a new EP up for free download here. 5) Norwegian producer Lindstrøm has his second full-length album of the year streaming here. 6) Brian Eno’s new full-length is streaming here. 7) The swanky synthpop throwbacks Chromatics are streaming a 35-minute bonus album from the sessions that produced this year’s popular Kill for Love here. 8) Trent Reznor’s husband-and-wife side project How to Destroy Angels, which Reznor does not want called a husband-and-wife side project or How to Destroy Angels (it’s meant to be typed ridiculously), has their sophomore EP streaming here. I’m listening to that one now and it’s not doing much for me, but my inner high schooler is excited to hear than Nine Inch Nails may be getting in the studio soon.


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