Secrets the Once Upon a Time Writers Spilled About The Show’s “Frozen” Newcomers

It was only a matter of time before ABC’s hit fantasy-fairy-tale series picked up on the popularity of Frozen, and because ABC is under the umbrella of the Walt Disney Company, they were only too willing to let the show tackle the extremely popular film and its equally popular characters. It was revealed in the season finale of season 3 that Elsa, at least, would be showing up in Storybrooke—but it was only recently that the show’s writers recently spilled some secrets about how Frozen will be incorporated into the show’s existing storyline.

The characters won’t be given a dark twist like Peter Pan and Neverland

Many fans wondered just how different the “Frozen” in Once Upon a Time would be from the original Frozen film. The show did, after all, give a very dark twist to the idea of Peter Pan and Neverland. Many fans believed that Elsa would be turned into a villain ala Peter Pan, due to the fact that she had been locked up by Rumpelstiltskin as dangerous in his secret vault.

However, the show’s creative team has revealed that they won’t be doing a dark twist with Frozen, and that the characters will be more or less in line with their counterparts from the film.

The story arc will be “fun”

Elizabeth Mitchell as the 'Snow Queen' in 'Once Upon A Time'
Elizabeth Mitchell as the ‘Snow Queen’ in ‘Once Upon A Time’

The show’s writers also revealed that the frozen storyline will be generally more fun and comedic than previous storylines, such as the very dark Neverland storyline and the revenge-based Wicked Witch storyline. The show’s creative team noted that they wanted to capture the spirit of the original film, which was fairly upbeat.

It takes place after the film

Georgina Haig as 'Elsa' in 'Once Upon A time'
Georgina Haig as ‘Elsa’ in ‘Once Upon A time’

The characters won’t be twisted to fit into the world of Once Upon a Time; instead, the “Frozen” storyline will take place after the events of the original film.

Olaf won’t make an appearance–but Sven will

Fans of Olaf may be disappointed, but Once Upon a Time won’t be incorporating the silly snowman into their show. The writers noted that, in addition to issues regarding how to best animate the character of Olaf, it was decided that his very comedic personality and nature would not mesh with the show or the storyline they had in mind. However, Sven the reindeer—and yes, the ‘actor’ had to audition—will be making an appearance.

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Five Shows Cancelled Before They Aired One Episode

It’s not unusual for new shows to be cancelled before they are given a second season. Many networks will cancel shows that they believe are underperforming in the ratings or are receiving exceptionally bad critical reviews; other factors that go into a show’s cancellation include creative issues, problems with casting or keeping up with actor’s salary, just to name a few.

But there are some shows that are cancelled before they have aired a single episode on TV. These shows are often greenlit for a pilot and entire season, before being unceremoniously yanked by the network. Let’s look at three shows which were cancelled before they ever aired one episode.

ITV’s Sherlock Holmes

TIV's 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Episode 2
TIV’s ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Episode 2

ITV announced that it would be producing a new Sherlock Holmes drama in 2004. The show was set to star Stephan Fry, a well-known fan of everything Holmes, as the titular detective; actor Hugh Laurie was cast as his assistant Watson. However, ITV never got a chance to produce a full season because of the unexpected success of Hugh Laurie in the American medical comedy-drama, House. Hugh Laurie’s success in the show meant that he was unavailable for the ITV production, and it was cancelled.

NBC’s Next Caller

Next Caller was a comedy written by Stephen Falk which was slated to premiere during the 2012 midseason. Next Caller was about a male shock jock that was forced by his radio network to team up with a professional women’s rights activist. The show had been given the greenlight for a 6-episode mini first season and four of those six episodes had already been filmed and fully produced. However, NBC decided to pull the plug on the show before it aired. NBC claimed that there were significant creative difference between comedian Dane Cook, who was to star in the show, and the writing and creative team behind the show at NBC; however, there have been rumors that the show’s premise was considered too controversial due to the frequency of controversial and potentially offensive jokes and punch lines in the show.

Hieroglyph

Hieroglyph was a historical drama set in Ancient Egypt that was originally give a full season order and was slated to premiere in the fall of 2014. Unfortunately, the show was suddenly cancelled by Fox; some believe the cancellation is related to Kevin Reilly, the entertainment chairman of the network, suddenly leaving his position.

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Girl Meets World Covers Teen Addictions to Smart Phones

Like its predecessor Boy Meets World, the new Disney Channel show Girl Meets World intends to cover real-life issues, problems and situations that the younger generation faces. Boy Meets World covered many real issues, including topics such as racism, sexism, teenage drinking, teenage pregnancy, depression, and even cults. The creative team behind Girl Meets World—many of whom worked on boy Meets World as well—has released interviews and other statements indicating that they intend to continue the theme of covering real world issues with the new program.

The show is only two episodes in so far, but with the second episode we have our first glimpse of a real “modern problem” for the younger generation: smart phones. The second episode tackled the problem of young people being addicted to their smart phones, and viewing the world through their smart phones. The issues of having trouble communicating without texting, using Twitter or emailing came up; as did the idea of enjoying the company of people and the world around you without constantly feeling the need to tweet about it, text about it, or take pictures to share online.

Corey decides to confront this problem with a class assignment. He has all of his students turn in their phones and requires them to complete a project together without using modern technology; instead, the students must go to the public library and complete their work the old fashioned way.

In one scene, Farkle—the quirky Minkus substitute for the new series—and his class partner are discussing the topic they should cover for their project. Farkle mentions that, without his phone, he’s not even sure what’s going on outside; he could ordinarily just tap a few times and find out the weather or even what the moon and stars look like. In response, Riley—who has never had a smart phone, unlike all her friends—brings out a piece of paper and shows it to Farkle. The paper is a drawing she did of the moon and stars, and is a good way to bring together the theme of people disconnecting from reality via their phones. While Farkle wanted to google what the moon looked like, Riley had been outside and sketched the night sky while looking at it herself.

In the end, the characters learn that there is no substitute for real life.

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Modern Problems We Hope Girl Meets World Covers

Girl Meets World is the sequel series to the much beloved Boy Meets World, a family comedy-drama from the 1990s which was well praised for its ability to cover real-life issues without being overly preachy—most of the time. Boy Meets World handled issues such as teenage drinking, racism and prejudice, sexism and consent, and even more specific issues such as cults that prey on teenagers who feel isolated and afraid.

Girl Meets world Cast
Girl Meets world Cast

According to the team behind Girl Meets World, the show will also tackle its fair share of issues—although the show’s creative team has noted that they have to be cleverer than before due to more stringent regulations set by the Disney Channel, which is producing the show.

The show has already tackled one real life modern problem—smartphone addictions—but there are many more modern problems we would love Girl Meets World to handle. The following are some modern problems for the younger generation that we hope Girl Meets World handles.

Social media and internet privacy

Teenagers and pre-teens today are more connected to the internet than any previous generation. It is now uncommon for people in the younger generation to not have some type of social media connection—whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. But along with social media comes the concept of privacy or rather, the lack of privacy. Once something is posted on the internet, it is there forever, and one little mistake or slip can cause some definite consequences.

Girl Meets World could handle this issue by having a character upload an unflattering photo of another character online, causing them to be harassed in school; or they could even have a character post details about their personal life on social media, not realizing that everything they say is out there on the internet for anyone to read, including people they would not want to ever find their words.

Eating disorders and body image

This problem will be very tricky to handle, especially since the characters in the show are still rather young. But eating disorders and body image related disorders have been steadily climbing in the last two decades, and it is an important—and very relevant—issue for the show to discuss. The show could probably best handle this issue through the slightly older actress, Riley, who would be able to better handle portraying this issue.

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Some of TV’s Priciest TV Shows

Television has a reputation for being cheaper than those Big Hollywood Feature Films—but just because something is seen on TV doesn’t mean it’s cheap to produce. Television shows can be expensive, especially if they require elaborate sets, a significant amount of digital or CGI work, or feature actors who command some pretty hefty salaries per episode. Let’s look at some of the priciest TV shows to ever grace the airwaves!

Game of Thrones

It should be no surprise that Game of Thrones, the action fantasy show beloved by millions around the world, is also one of the most expensive in regards to production. The show’s production involves filming in international locations, building large sets, creating hundreds of costumes, as well as digital/CGI work done in post-production. Each episode of the show costs about $6 million to $10 million to produce, depending on exactly what needs to be done for each episode. Episodes with more digital work, for example, require additional money to pay the CG designers—episodes that require huge set pieces, such as castles or fortresses, also add up to a higher production cost.

E.R.


E.R. was the beginning of the modern medical drama. The show focused heavily on the doctors, nurses and other staff rather on the patients themselves—a huge shift from other medical dramas at the time. The show also featured realistic hospital settings and medical procedures, a large ensemble cast, and frequent guest star roles for very prominent film and television actors. Naturally, this means that the budget for the show was not exactly cheap. When the show first started, it cost a whopping $2 million per episode for its first full three seasons. Seasons four through six cost $13 million per episode, although this “dropped down” to $8 million for seasons 7 through 15.

Boardwalk Empire

'Boardwalk Empire' Still
‘Boardwalk Empire’ Still

This slick period crime drama seems built for a hefty price tag: the director of the show’s pilot was the famously expensive Martin Scorsese, the show featured several high profile actors that come with high profile salaries, and the show’s iconic boardwalk set cost $5 million just to build. The pilot episode of the show was one of the priciest in history: $18 million dollars! Each episode of the show past the pilot has cost $5 million to produce, and the show is just now entering its fifth (and final!) season.

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3 Characters We’d Like to See in Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful’s first season is over, and although the second season isn’t slated to premiere until 2015, fans are already speculating and posting their hopes for the gothic-horror show’s next season. The first season of the show featured several (public domain, of course) literary characters who were given a “Victorian gothic” makeover for the show. But there are plenty of other literary characters who, given the right treatment by the show’s creative team, would make a great addition to Penny Dreadful. Let’s take a look at three characters we would love to see on the next season of Penny Dreadful.

Tom Sawyer

'Vanessa and Dorian' in 'Penny Dreadful'
‘Vanessa and Dorian’ in ‘Penny Dreadful’

 

It sounds strange at first, but Tom Sawyer from Mark Twain’s novels would make an intriguing addition to the show for several reasons. An updated Sawyer would be older, perhaps slightly young but seasoned adventurer looking for adventure in overseas London. Giving him an All-American, charismatic, adventure-like attitude would make a great contrast to the show’s more embittered characters and put him at odds with the show’s dark and terrible version of 19th century London.

Elizabeth Bathory

Meet the cast of 'Penny Dreadful'
Meet the cast of ‘Penny Dreadful’

A character based on the real-life Elizabeth Bathory would add a touch of elegant darkness to the show—and could provide a counterpoint to the implications of Dracula in the first season. Bathory was a countess who was accused of murdering dozens to hundreds of young girls and bathing in their blood to retain her youth and beauty. Although the accusations may not have been true—everything we know about her was handed down through her enemies, who resented the fact that she had a significant amount of power despite her female lineage—they make for a dark and creepy story that is perfect for a show like Penny Dreadful.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde seems almost tailored for the show—not only are the characters from the same time period, the story itself is a type of gothic horror that surely inspired the basis of the show. It would be interesting to see how a character like Jekyll/Hyde would play out on the show, especially if they played around with the traditional portrayals of the characters—for example, having Hyde be physically attractive and charming on the outside with his deranged psychopathy kept underneath, while Jekyll is physically unattractive and socially awkward but otherwise a good and caring person.

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Questions We have about Once Upon a Time’s ‘Elsa’

The creative team behind the hit ABC series Once Upon a Time has finally cast Elsa—but there are still plenty of questions and rumors surrounding the character’s appearance in the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time. The show is well known for taking beloved fairy tale and classic literature characters under its wing, but this is the first time that something exclusively from a Disney property will be showing up in the story. The following are some questions many fans still have about Elsa in Once Upon a Time—questions that the writers will hopefully answer to fan’s satisfaction!

Will she be evil?

Georgina Haig as 'Elsa' in 'Once Upon A Time'
Georgina Haig as ‘Elsa’ in ‘Once Upon A Time’

The question of just how Elsa fits into the story is a big one. Will she be a villain? Will she be a heroine? The show has semi-touted her as the next ‘big bad’ after the defeat of Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, but there is no confirmation as of yet about just how bad (or good!) Elsa is going to be in the show. One factor to take into consideration is that she is from an incredibly popular Disney film with plenty of younger fans, and Disney may not want Elsa to veer too hard into the villain category for fear of alienating parents or younger viewers who love the Frozen film and the character of Elsa. While they made a total villain out of Peter Pan, it seems more likely that Elsa will be—like her film counterpart—misunderstood rather than evil.

How long will she stick around?

Another question yet to be answered by the show’s team is just how long Elsa will stick around. It is confirmed that the characters of Anna and Kristoff will show up for a few episodes in the upcoming storyline, but no word yet on how long Elsa is expected to appear. She may be, like Peter Pan and the Wicked Witch of the West, a “half season” character—unless the show’s writers decide to expand her story for an entire season to capitalize on the film’s success. Her appearance also raises questions for other characters in the show that have recently been pushed into the background, such as Princess Aurora and Mulan—will Elsa’s appearance push them even further from the limelight? Only time—and the next episodes of Once Upon a Time—will tell.

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'Masterchef' Judges

Should Masterchef Have Sent Its Latest Contestant Home?

'Masterchef' Judges

The latest elimination on Masterchef proved to be a shocker for both the judges, the contestants, and the viewers at home.

The elimination test involved contestants cooking either a recreation of pancetta-wrapped veal or a delicate panna cotta dish. The contestants who had to make the panna cotta needed to put their base panna cotta into the show’s giant fridge in order for them to seat. During the course of the elimination test, one contestant–Jamie–noticed that her third ramekin of panna cotta was missing. She had made three ramekins as a failsafe, but unfortunately her first two did not set up correctly and her dish was not up to Masterchef standards.

The shocker came when Tyler, another contestant, presented his dish before the judges. Before even lifting up his fork, Gordon Ramsay made a starling announcement: that, for the first time in the history of other show, someone had presented a dish in front of the judges that they did not cook. While Tyler stood by, dumbfounded, Gordon Ramsay went back into the Masterchef pantry and came out with a tray of panna cotta ramekins. It was revealed that the tray was Tyler’s, and that he had grabbed one of Jamie’s ramekins instead of his own. In other words: the dish he presented before the judges was made of Jamie’s panna cotta and his garnishes.

The judges then decided whether or not they should even judge Tyler’s entry, because it was technically not his own. Although Ramsay noted that he didn’t believe Tyler did it on purpose, the judges decided that it would not be fair to Jamie—or the other contestants—to judge his dish. And because his dish could not be judged, he was the contestant who was eliminated.

The decision immediately caused a reaction with Masterchef fans on social media. Did the judges make the right decision? Should they have given Tyler another chance?

. Whether Tyler intentionally took the panna cotta or make a mistake in the chaos of the competition, in the end, he gave the judges a dish that he did not cook. If the judges allowed him extra time to re cook using his own panna cotta, or gave him a second chance, it would not have been fair to the rest of the show’s contestants because they stuck to the show’s rules.

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its-a-wonderful-life

AFI’s Top Ten Lists- Fantasy I

its-a-wonderful-life

Overall, the fantasy genre is my #1 favorite of them all. Unfortunately on film, this genre has not been well represented over the years and the qualification for its attributes is often misconstrued. What does fantasy mean? A lot of people get confused and with AFI’s Top Ten Best Fantasy Films of all time, they get confused too.

As a fantasy novelist, this irks me to no end.

Out of their Top Ten Fantasy Films, there are only two that I or anyone else for that matter should consider fantasy films. I’m gonna be a total fantasy snob/geek for a while here so get over it. Half of this is in jest but half of it is not. It also irks me that Fantasy and Science Fiction are slubbed together on the bookshelves too. Nonsense. These are completely different, separate genres and deserve their own sections. Sure, it’s technically a subset of fiction as a whole but this is different.

The problem lies in the very definition of Fantasy as a genre.

Betty White surprises Morgan Freeman at the 39th AFI awards
Betty White surprises Morgan Freeman at the 39th AFI awards

According to AFI, fantasy is a genre in which “live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world.” Oh, screw off. That’s not Fantasy. It’s fantastical, sure, but not a well defined stratum for the Fantasy Genre. Do you see the way I switch around the CAPS for this word? Yes, it confuses me too. Don’t worry, I’ll stop changing it around.

So AFI has as its #1 Fantasy film The Wizard of Oz.

I love the movie to death but it’s a goddamn musical, not a pure Fantasy. Sure, it’s a Fantasy Adventure somewhat like a Dungeons & Dragons quest where you have a group of travelers journeying for some object or seeking out a person or whatever. But Wizard is a musical that happens to have some Fantasy elements.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is #2 and this is one of the two only on this list that counts. It’s pure Fantasy in every single way possible. Tolkien is the man that helped define and create the genre of Fantasy in the first place so go ahead and watch this movie if you wanna know what Fantasy is, okay? Take a gander at the monsters and magic and swords and everything else that make this genre what it is.

It’s a Wonderful Life is #3.

Again, love the film but are you freaking kidding me? It’s a Christmas drama. If you wanna say it’s fantastical, fine but there are so many great films they left off it makes me mad they felt they had to include this. They need to change their definition.

Mine? A Fantasy films takes place completely outside the normal world and is not contemporary.

So out of this world, out of this time period. Oh, and no science fiction elements, no technology past a certain point. Yes, that’s convoluted, sure but it’s a step in the right direction.

#4 is King Kong and this one I halfway get but really, it’s an adventure film, not pure fantasy.

It’s like they just couldn’t think up enough “great” films so they slid these in to fill up the numbers for the list. Going on a journey to a jungle, that to me is automatically an adventure. Thus, Indiana Jones is action/adventure. He goes on a journey. Is this Fantasy? Raiders fits their definition of Fantasy according to them. Look at the second part of their definition of transcending the rules of the natural world. Could the Ark of the Covenant open up and melt faces in the real world? I don’t think so.
We are less than halfway done and I’m more than halfway pissed off. So buckle up and let’s plow through the rest of these awful choices of the best “fantasy” films by AFI.

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James Bond

How Long Can James Bond Go On?

James Bond

When the James Bond franchise celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2012, many fans around the world rejoiced, myself included. Wow, has it really been that long, a full half a century, since Sean Connery first wore the tux and strutted his stuff on screen for the first time? Shocking, positively shocking.

It feels like a few months ago, this 2012.


When Skyfall came out in November, it absolutely crushed all expectations, making over a billion dollars at the box office and charming both critics and audiences alike. All references to past glories aside, Skyfall is a great film in and of itself. The little touches it added for long time fans were subtle and downplayed by an incredible story, high production values and another fantastic turn in the role by Daniel Craig, who has really made it his own even more. Hell, he made it his own from the first scene in his debut Bond film, Casino Royale.

So the franchise is in great hands as it chases its next fifty years.

In fact, things have never looked better for the most successful, most lauded film franchise in movie history. More than half the people on the planet has seen a James Bond film. It’s James Bond. There’s nothing else to say about it.

But what happens next?

If you look at all the original Fleming material not filmed, the pickings are a bit slim. With Craig’s run, that has not been a problem but it’s been a problem in the past for the series. By the time Pierce Brosnan took over in 1995, they had filmed all of Fleming original novels at least in name and most of his short stories. There are still some original titles left over but not much content.

Cubby Broccoli, one of the two original producers for Bond, said many times before he died that whenever they were doubt to go back to Fleming. When the well has run dry, what’s left to turn to?

Cubby’s daughter Barbara is still young but she won’t live forever and sorry but it’s doubtful she or anyone associated with the series now will still be involved with it in anther fifty years’ time. Will they just keep handing it down to younger family members as time goes by? I suppose it could work but there is no guarantee there will be anyone within the family that will care as much as Barbara and Cubby’s stepson Michael Wilson do. Most of their kids work for EON Productions so things are in play for them to continue but that might not be enough.

The audiences have something to say about it and thus far, audiences are on board with it.

The Bond series have survived and thrived for so long because it has adapted well with the times while still maintaining what makes it recognizable. So it appeals to hardcore fans and brings in new fans film after film. They stay true to their roots but are also able to freshen things up from time to time as well.
But fifty more years? It seems inconceivable to me.

My goal in life is to live enough to see my son become a grandfather.

James Bond 'Spectre'
James Bond ‘Spectre’

And thus make me a great grandfather and since that will take around 60 more years I should still be around long enough to see Bond make it that long. Right now there are six actors to have played the character, that’s less than the number of human beings that have walked on the moon!

Though they have slowed down the output of films compared to the beginning-

There were 16 films the first 25 years and only 7 the next 25- we might get another 15 films and maybe four more actors if they make it to a full century in film. No matter what, it’s a pretty impressive run.

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