FREDDY REBOOTED FOR HALLOWEEN
An animated piss-take of US President Donald Trump is even more ridiculous than he is in real life, writes Matthew Vice
Ilove October for one main reason: Halloween. People from all over the world get into the spirit of it, even if it isn’t celebrated in their country, and you can be damn certain that in at least a few places in the world, on some TV channels, Jamie Lee Curtis is being menaced by a knife-wielding maniac. It’s also the perfect excuse for me to hunt down movies and shows that speak to my affinity for all things dark and oppressive.
THE HORROR, THE HORROR
Studio Universal (channel 112) seems to be getting into the swing of things with a selection of horror movies this month. My pick from this channel might be a bit polarising, A Nightmare on Elm Street, the 2010 reboot, which you can catch on Friday at 10.05pm. What can I say? I just really liked Jackie Earle Haley’s rendition of Freddy Krueger, the nightmare-dwelling, revenge-driven, knife-handed monster who kills the children of Elm Street.
For a while, I really liked the new direction the movie was going in, hinting that Freddy was created when a group of Elm Street residents lynched an innocent man by burning him alive, creating a ghost who then proceeds to murder their children in revenge. The film sets this up very well — but then it seems either the writer’s or the producer’s balls fell off at some point and they thought, no, we can’t have that happen. We’d better make him as despicable as possible. This doesn’t flow with the evidence the characters were uncovering up to that point and it smacks of an eleventh-hour rewrite.
Personally, I think the innocent Freddy idea was way more interesting and you can tell they wanted to go in that direction. Still, the movie has all the classic Elm Street elements: kids trying desperately to stay awake for weeks at a time for fear of being killed in their dreams by Freddy; and a protagonist figuring out how to kill him this time. As I’ve already mentioned, Jackie Earle Haley’s version of Freddy is great too, far darker and less cheesy than Robert Englund’s classic portrayal.
THE TRUMP CARD
I actually expected to find more quality Halloween offerings than this. There’s some on offer on various channels, but nothing else worth mentioning, disappointingly.
So, moving on from horror to the next closest subject — American politics. If you like a bit of political satire, you might try Our Cartoon President on M-Net, channel 101, Friday at 11.10pm.
It’s an animated piss-take show about the daily life of US President Donald Trump, and if you’re wondering how it could possibly be portrayed in a more ridiculous light than it is in reality, well, it comes to us from Stephen Colbert, who voices CNN political anchor Wolf Blitzer and God in the show. I think Colbert is up to the task for sure. Comedian Jeff Bergman voices Trump. I checked out some clips and it’s pretty amusing. Politics isn’t exactly my wheelhouse, but I got most of the jokes. I loved the line where Trump asked Margaret Talev if she was an incoming or outgoing cabinet member, and the clip where, in a meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin tries to get Trump to divulge political secrets, but comes to realise the orange gibbon is not only too dumb to pick up on cues but even too dumb to be fooled.
THAT GEEKY GUY AGAIN
There’s got to be one more thing I can put in here. Ah, there’s another new show on M-Net (channel 101) this week, Saturday at 6.30pm. It’s called Alex, Inc., a sitcom based on the documented experiences of former US radio person Alex Blumberg’s endeavour to found a podcast company. Blumberg seems to have managed it, and the types of shows the company produces range from business talk to radio drama to kids stories.
Alex, Inc. stars Zach Braff, who I always refer to as the geeky guy from Scrubs, as Alex Schuman, a former radio person who leaves his well-paying job to start a podcast company called Startup, much to the chagrin of his wife Rooni (Tiya Sircar) and his kids, pictured. Unfortunately the show didn’t do as well as the actual endeavour that inspired it, so this 10-episode season is all it got – and I can kind of see why.
The trailer I watched left me kind of lukewarm about it, with its boilerplate humour and undercurrents of feely family drama. Perhaps the producers were under the impression that everyone wants to rally behind the idea of a small company given that they named it “startup”, a word that seems to embody a belief that’s taken hold in the last decade that anyone can strike out on their own and be successful in the digital age. Well, we don’t. People starting up their own small companies are annoying because it consumes their every thought and is all they can talk about.