All of the hooplah surrounding Arrested Development Season 4’s debut on Netflix last weekend got me waxing nostalgic for another beloved series that was all too short-lived: Paul Feig‘s Freaks and Geeks. When you consider its impressive shelf life, it’s hard to believe the series only aired on NBC for one season and consists of merely 18 episodes. For the sake of comparison, ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager will air its series finale this Monday and will finish with five seasons and 121 episodes in hand. Continuing down that path, Freaks and Geeks averaged just above 6.5 million weekly viewers during its run while Secret Life‘s most watched episode to date (the Season 2 premiere) garnered a little over 4.5 million viewers. In addition to the frustration I feel for having 103 more Secret Life episodes to never watch than Freaks and Geeks episodes to cherish, this also provides an interesting example of the ratings expectations/requirements of a network series in comparison to that of a cable series.
I could go on and on doing my best Brendan Bettinger: Stats Genius impersonation but the real reason I’m here is to present this week’s Top 5. In this installment you have at your disposal our visit to the set of Man of Steel, Allison watching the Indiana Jones movies for the first time, After Earth interviews with Will and Jaden Smith, another set visit for The Wolverine, and Matt’s review of the aforementioned fourth season of Arrested Development. As you’ve grown to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above makes its home after the jump.
1. MAN OF STEEL Set Visit
Steve is my boss, someone I owe a lot to, and someone I respect a ton. Now, after checking out his Man of Steel set visit recap, you can add “someone I’m considerably envious of” to that list as well. While the recap is chock full of good info, Steve’s assurance that Supes is “not going to be a stalker” (see Superman Returns for said stalker tendencies) is probably my favorite bit. As is customary, in addition to the visit recap you can also dive into some set visit interviews with Henry Cavill, Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer, and producer Charles Roven.
2. Allison Watches All Four INDIANA JONES Films for the First Time
As she did so entertainingly with Star Wars, over the past week our own Allison Keene has filled in one of her movie watching gaps and brought all of us along for the ride with her series Confessions of an Indiana Jones Virgin. Whether you’ve never watched an Indy film in your life or you’re a devoted fan of the franchise, her foray into the world of Indiana Jones is both fun and endearing. Without further ado, here’s her Intro/Explanation piece and reviews of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
3. AFTER EARTH Interviews with Will Smith, Jaden Smith, and More
Let’s face the facts: After Earth is getting raked over the coals critically (read Matt’s review here), it’s in danger of earning less at the box office this weekend than another opening movie that was made for roughly $55 million less, and Will Smith recently referred to himself as a physicist at heart in this interview for the film. And yet, Smith is such a likeable guy that this video interview he did with Steve is still worth watching if for nothing else than to hear the two discuss the beautiful backdrop of the Virgin Galactic Spaceport where the junket was held. If you’re a fan of that, you can also watch our interview with Jaden Smith and/or read Steve’s talk with screenwriter Gary Whitta who discusses his draft of the live-action Akira movie.
4. THE WOLVERINE Set Visit
I want to have high hopes for The Wolverine. I want to be excited for its release and eventually enjoy the heck out of it. While the film’s trailers have yet to show me anything that erases the stink of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there’s nothing that can get your expectations on an upward swing quite like a good set visit recap complete with on-set interviews with Hugh Jackman, director James Mangold, producer Hutch Parker, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Rila Fukushima, and Tao Okamoto.
5. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: Season 4 Review & Interviews
In the spirit of Allison bravely admitting that she had never watched any of the Indiana Jones movies prior to this past week, I feel compelled to confess that I’ve only watched a handful of Arrested Development episodes ever. And I found them only mildly entertaining. Now that I’ve forfeited any of the small amount of television credibility I may have previously had, I urge you to forget my mild indifference towards Development, embrace the excitement surrounding the long-awaited fourth season, and check out Matt’s season 4 review along with Christina’s interviews with series creator Mitch Hurwitz and Maeby herself, Alia Shawkat.