Author Topic: The Critic  (Read 6965 times)

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Derek237

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The Critic
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2004, 08:01:00 PM »
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I bought the DVD a few days ago. Great stuff. It includes all 23 episodes, and as a bonus it has the webisodes, too. Which is good to have. It has commentary on 8 episodes, but I haven't listened to it yet. Halarious show. And as the episodes progressed it felt like it was just starting to get really good, too. Sucks it was cancelled. Fans should buy the set. Not a bad price, I got mine for $44.99.

godardian

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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2004, 07:28:48 PM »
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I'm definitely buying this soon. I looooooved this show! Possibly the best show for film buffs ever, ever, ever.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Banky

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The Critic
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2004, 08:38:57 PM »
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yeah it is good and it was sold out at many places i tried to find it.  Got mine for 44.99

Henry Hill

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The Critic
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2004, 05:08:31 PM »
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Sounds like you guys are enjoying your Critic DVD's. Unfortunately I have no money so I have to wait.    :(

ono

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The Critic
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2004, 05:34:38 PM »
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One of my favorite quotes from recent memory:

Jay sits in his chair on the set of his show, with a HUGE stack of videocassettes behind him.
JAY: Finally, tonight we will review the latest documentary from Ken Burns, who brought us "The Civil War" and "Baseball."  It's a new twenty-nine hour epic entitled "Electric Football."  Here's a clip from episode seventeen: "This Game Sucks."
MAN: If you ask me, electric football is a metaphor for America: always shaking, always noisy, never really knowing where it's going -- heh-heh!  Hey, wait a minute!  Electric football's nothing like America!  It's just a stupid game that doesn't even work!  Get that camera off me!  You heard me!  (stands, cocks shotgun, aims at cameraman)  Get your documentary-making butt outta here!

Funny thing is, the metaphor kinda works, if you think about it.  :-D

Saw this at Borders for $41.99, but Amazon.com has it cheaper, so I'll probably order it from there when I get a chance.

Sleuth

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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2004, 06:16:00 PM »
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I never really cared much for the show.  I think it'd work better if it were live action
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godardian

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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2004, 12:40:12 AM »
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Quote from: Slorg
I never really cared much for the show.  I think it'd work better if it were live action


Starring Roger Ebert, perhaps?  :lol:
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Pubrick

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The Critic
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2004, 03:25:45 AM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: Slorg
I never really cared much for the show.  I think it'd work better if it were live action


Starring Roger Ebert, perhaps?  :lol:

jon lovitz would be fine.
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godardian

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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2004, 10:51:55 AM »
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Quote from: P
Quote from: godardian
Quote from: Slorg
I never really cared much for the show.  I think it'd work better if it were live action


Starring Roger Ebert, perhaps?  :lol:

jon lovitz would be fine.


That could actually be really good, probably, with that casting.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Pwaybloe

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The Critic
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2004, 10:53:17 AM »
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Totally.  What's even cooler is that he actually sounds like Jon Lovitz.

godardian

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« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2004, 10:57:34 AM »
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Quote from: Pawbloe
Totally.  What's even cooler is that he actually sounds like Jon Lovitz.


Yes, but it would be really Warholian and mess with our heads in a good way to have "the voice" of the character then go on to actually be that character...
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

MacGuffin

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The Critic
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2004, 12:39:35 AM »
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Interview with Mike Reiss on "The Critic" DVD

DVDFanatic.com: Are you excited that fans have the ability to see every episode of “The Critic” on DVD?

Mike Reiss: I absolutely am. The show got very kicked around, it was a brutal couple of years on the air and we weren’t that appreciated but it’s been a nice run ever since. It’s been running for nine years on Comedy Central; there are only 23 episodes and they show it and show it and show it. Now that it’s out on DVD, it’s already selling like crazy and the response has been so very sweet that it’s enormously heartening. I’m glad any time people really like something they can buy it and own it, rather than staying up till 1am to watch it on Comedy Central.

DVDFanatic.com: When did you finally decide to put this show on DVD and how was that process?

Mike: Whenever you do something you always think that maybe it will be retained. As soon as there were DVDs, I wondered, gee, wouldn’t it be nice if “The Critic” came out on DVD? I really didn’t think that we made that cut. I didn’t think that we were that much of a cult show but then it kept turning up on fan lists when there were petitions to see which show you’d like to see on DVD. “The Critic” kept popping up there so I think the idea came from outside basically and then of course when “Family Guy” sold through the roof and became the number one selling DVD a few years ago, they said “hey, what other flop cartoons do they have lying around?” So then they came up with “The Critic” and they came to us and of course we were very eager to do it and part of what you see is actually a rush job, the quality is there but once they committed to putting it on DVD, they could not wait to get it out. The one flaw on the DVD is that it contains so much bonus material and it’s nowhere mentioned on the box. They were such in a hurry to get it out there.

DVDFanatic.com: When you created this show, where did the idea come from and can you talk about getting Jon Lovitz involved?

Mike: Al Jean and I were running “The Simpsons” and Jim Brooks came to us and said that he wanted to develop a new show that was going to be a live action sitcom. His idea was to do a show set at the Today Show involving the make-up woman working on the Today show. The idea didn’t really appeal to us but this was James L. Brooks so we said let’s give it a shot and as Al and I were kicking around the Today Show, the one character who really appealed to us was Gene Shalit, the film critic. That’s what really got to us and then while we were doing that, Jim had just seen a screening of “A League of their Own” and he said, “Do you like Jon Lovitz?” And we said, “Oh, we love him.” We were always fans of his on SNL and we actually had used him on “The Simpsons” a few times so we came up with the idea, “Why don’t you do a show about Jon Lovitz as the film critic on the Today Show and we wrote this whole pilot for Lovitz and nobody but Lovitz, it had to be him. We went to Jon and said, “Would you like to do this?” and he said, “No, I’m a movie star! I’m not going to do a TV show.” So, the very last idea we had on the show was to make it animated. That was our last decision. It was going to be live action up until that point just to work around Jon’s schedule we had to do it as a cartoon. I don’t think any other cartoon show was conceived in that way. I think the show was much better for being animated.

DVDFanatic.com: The style of this show is very different from the other cartoon shows out there, how did you go about developing that?

Mike: There are a couple things. Al and I, when we were doing it, said that we want to make this very very different from “The Simpsons.” We just didn’t want to look…we were the first “Simpsons” alumni to go off and create our own show and we didn’t want to look derivative so basically everything “The Simpsons” was, we tried to do different. Instead of suburban, it was urban, instead of middle class it was upper class, instead of a family, this was going to be a single man. So stylistically we said, “well let’s break reality more.” It was a trend that I think we were always standing towards on “The Simpsons.” When Al and I took over the show, suddenly “The Simpsons” were watching a lot more T.V. and we would open half of our episodes with movie parodies and it’s the kind of thing we like to write, very short sketches…satire. The show just got very silly very quickly. The father character on the show, Franklin, we wanted him to be just a quirky eccentric and by episode three he’s running around in a diaper. We hired a very fun staff and this is the angle they really enjoyed. It took off in its own direction.

DVDFanatic.com: First the show came out on ABC and then was switched to FOX but didn’t have a long life there. Why do you think that audiences weren’t prepared for a show like this back when it first came out?

Mike: It’s a two part story. It just didn’t belong on ABC. ABC was very gracious to let us on the air, they gave us a great time slot before “Home Improvement” but ABC was this family-friendly kind of therapy network at the time and it just didn’t work there. When we were not working, ABC said to us, “Where should we put you on our schedule?” And we said, “There’s nowhere on your schedule we fit in.” So then we took the show to FOX and this woman who was president of FOX, bought the show and she got behind it and said, “We’ll put you on after ‘The Simpsons’.” And between the time she bought the show and we debuted, FOX had a regime change and this new president came in who absolutely hated the show. He hated it and he was very vocal about it. Week after week we would send him the episodes and he would call and say, “I hated this one. I hated this one.” So, we debuted after “The Simpsons” and for three weeks in a row, we had record breaking ratings, this was the highest any show had done after “The Simpsons” and then the guy just pulled us off the air. He replaced us with one of his very own projects that was a show called, “House of Buggin”, which is not coming out on DVD. We had a lucky break to get a second chance on FOX and we just had a very unlucky break that this man was President of FOX for six months and just hated our show with a passion for no good reason. He would rather fail with his own projects than succeed with one of his predecessors.

DVDFanatic.com: There are a lot of quirky Hollywood characters on this show. Were any of them based on anyone in particular?

Mike: I don’t think we knew any of the people. I mean it’s very obvious, you know, certainly we have the Mel Gibson, Paul Hogan movie star and the Ted Turner, head of the network. The parents on the show, we wanted a couple of very waspy, straight-laced types and Jim Brooks said to us, “being in your Harvard year books.” Al and I were roommates at Harvard and we just went through the year book and found a photo of a professor and his wife in the book that we just took directly and made into parents on the show. They are direct drawings of the two including the professor in the year book had a drink in his hand so the father always has a cocktail in his hand.

DVDFanatic.com: What is your favorite episode?

Mike: My favorite episode is the Siskel and Ebert episode. They were sort of the inspiration for the whole show so, I loved their show, and they were such good sports to come on and do the show. They did everything we asked them to. They sang on the episode and I thought they had real comic presence. I really enjoyed having them on the show. I thought that one came out extra good, extra funny and sort of grounded the show in the real world to see these guys come on. What was interesting is that we had a lot of film critics on the show playing themselves. We didn’t have much luck getting guest stars except getting film critics who are all shameless hams that would do anything we told them to.

DVDFanatic.com: “The Family Guy” seems to be along the same lines of humor as was “The Critic” and recently they’ve announced they are bringing back “The Family Guy.” If you brought “The Critic” back nowadays, do you think you’d survive?

Mike: It has come up a lot especially since the DVD is selling so well. I should just be gung ho that “The Critic” could come back but it’s been cancelled on two networks, we did all these internet shorts that we worked really hard on and then nobody saw them. Al and I knocked ourselves out. We would write them from ten to midnight on odd days and produce these things and not even the biggest “Critic” fan knew these things were on the net. So, I get a little scared committing any more time and money to “The Critic.” If somebody else wants to come along and do it, I’m all for it because there are people who want to see “The Critic” but it just might not be me.

DVDFanatic.com: What was the reasoning behind making the internet shorts?

Mike: You just have to remember the year 2000 when everyone in Hollywood was getting involved in the internet and Steven Spielberg had an internet company and it was going to be a big thing. Everbody signed these internet deals and nobody did anything. Steven Spielberg had this company called POP and so Jim Brooks got a very big deal to develop a lot of internet series and he signed a lot of people to do it including “The Critic.” It was his idea to do “The Critic” on the internet and we could do what we wanted to with the series, which is a movie would be in a theater one week and a parody would be on the next week. Our turnaround was that quick and we could do it that rapidly. When these things aired, they were right on top of the movies but what happened was that everybody had these big plans, Al and I did the work and nobody else in Hollywood did. Nothing else got made but these 12 internet shorts and so that was it. They were lost in the great void of the internet.

DVDFanatic.com: What are some of your favorite DVDs and why?

Mike: Mr. Show and Ben Stiller. I like the shows that are like “The Critic.” Some of these forgotten gems. I saw this weird movie, “Interstate 60” by Bob Gale. It was this weird type of project of love. It was sort of interesting and it was sort of weird and it made for a perfect DVD because you’re watching it going, “how did this happen?” and you listen to the commentary and you say, “Oh, that’s how it happened!” I thought that was a great DVD experience.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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