Tag Archives: Mockumentary

Talking about My Generation (on ABC)

Hello, fellow TV Watchers!  Welcome to Fall!  It’s a time for Back-to-School Sales, cooler temperatures, and multi-colored leaves that crunch beneath your feet while you walk.  But, more importantly, it’s time for the networks to bring back all the Good Ole’ Television Shows you became obsessed with last year  — thereby, preventing you from doing anything remotely productive between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m. (at least, until winter hiatus).

Fall is also a time when networks try to sneak new shows into their preexisting program lineups, in hopes that you will stick around, and watch them too.  More often than not, this “little scheme” fails miserably, resulting in a sizeable percentage of shows not making it past the Pilot stage, and a significantly larger percentage of new programs not surviving the first season.

Having been burned a few times by shows that were canceled, just as I was starting to warm up to them, I’ve become a bit more picky about which new Fall shows, if any, merit a coveted spot on my television viewing roster.  Yet, as luck would have it, the ONE new show I deemed worthy of an “audition,” just so happens to air opposite my absolute FAVORITE show, The Vampire Diaries.

Faces (and bodies) this beautiful simply MUST be viewed in “REAL TIME.”

Of course, I am “talking about My Generation,” the new hour-long mockumentary-style drama, which is set to air Thursday nights, at 8 p.m. on ABC.  (Just in case, you neglected to read the title of this post.)   The show is actually based on a successful Swedish television program, entitled God’s Highway, which had a similar format and premise.  For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, you can catch the latest promotional trailer for the show here:

As you might have noticed from watching the trailer, My Generation focuses on nine fictional characters, all of whom graduated from the same high school in Austin, Texas, during the year 2000.

Not surprisingly, all obligatory high school stereotypes will be showcased, in their two-dimensional glory.  Prepare to make snap judgments about the following archetypes:  the Brain, the Beauty Queen, the Jock, the Nerd, the Rich Kid, the Overachiever, and the Wallflower (Ummm . . . Wallflower?  Did anyone actually use this word in the year 2000?  Has anybody actually used this word since 1952?  Let’s just call her “Shy” and be done with it, OK?) 

In short, it is a cast of characters that would be at home in any John Hughes movie.

(R.I.P. Mr. Hughes.)

Using a compilation of interviews, photographs, and live-action shots, the show then chronicles the characters’ lives in present day.  Ten years after their high school graduation, these native Texans, now facing down their late 20’s, are forced to grapple with war, worldwide recession, and other unique challenges that characterize the 2010 American Experience.

In terms of the show’s cast, you will find a lot of suitably attractive, and vaguely familiar — if not immediately recognizable — actors and actresses.  Quite a few times, while I was watching the trailer, I found myself squinting at an actor I thought I recognized, only to look him up later and learn that he played “Guy at the Bar” in a movie I watched on HBO the week prior.  

However, in the actors I DEFINITELY recognized column, I would include Michael Stahl David . . .

. . .  who starred in J.J. Abrams Shaky Cam Extravaganza, Cloverfield.

Michael plays Steven Foster on the show.  Steven starts high school as “The Overachiever,” the kind of guy who, even at 17, wore a suit to school everyday, carried a briefcase, and owned a Blackberry LONG before everybody else did.

10 years later, he’s become Sam Merlotte from True Blood . . .

Oh, how the mighty hath fallen . . .

Learn more about Steven Foster here:

I also recognized Mehcad Brooks . . .

. . . he of the INSANE abdominal muscles.   You might remember Mehcad as the tragic Eggs Benedict (Yes, that was actually the character’s name.) from Season 2 of  True Blood.

Mehcad plays Rolly Marks, a high school jock, who enlists in the Army post 9/11, and ends up fighting on the front lines in Iraq.  You can learn more about Mehcad’s character here:

Additionally, I WAS VERY happy to see Julian Morris’ name on the cast list!

For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Julian played the adorable (and WAY  TOO SOON departed) cradle-robbing, sister-swapping British med student, on ABC Family’s summer smash hit, Pretty Little Liars.

That’s him with the magic fingers on the left.  As for the girl on the right?  Well, I like to pretend that’s me!

Julian plays Anders Holt, a “Rich Kid” who, from the looks of it, becomes a “Rich Adult.”  Listen to what Julian has to say about his character here:

Rounding out the rest of the main cast are:

Daniella Alonso,

Kelli Garner,

Jaime King,

Keir O’Donnell,

Anne Son,

and Sebastian Sozzi.

Refreshingly enough, age wise, all the show’s cast members are actually within three or four years, of the characters they are playing.  (Unlike we’ve seen in similar shows about 20-somethings, Grandmas and Teenagers  needed not apply for this casting call.)  As a twenty-something myself,  it is particularly nice to see a show — which is supposed to be about people I could have gone to high school with — where the characters are played by actors that I could have actually gone to high school with.  You see that so rarely nowadays!

Though early reviews of the show have been mixed,  for me, My Generation stands out, as one of the most promising new programs of the fall season.  The show has the potential to be a daring portrait of the trials and tribulations that face Generation Y (which is, after all, MY GENERATION).  And while I may not necessarily be watching it LIVE (see The Vampire Diaries comment above), I will still most certainly be watching it.

My Generation premieres Thursday, September 23rd on ABC.  Will YOU be watching?

[www.juliekushner.com]

5 Comments

Filed under My Generation, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks

Before They Were Vampires – My Slightly Smutty Tribute to Alexander Skarsgard

Hungry?

If you’ve ever stopped by this blog before, you know that I ADORE HBO’s scary and sexy summer series, True Blood, in general, and Alexander Skarsgard’s deliciously devilish Viking Vampire, Eric Northman, specifically.  Honestly, can you blame me?  How can you NOT love a man who looks like THIS . . .

And SOMETIMES this . . .

And OTHER TIMES this?

So, yes, he’s pretty to look at.  (DUH!)  But there’s more to it than that . . . much more.  Skarsgard’s Northman is smart and sardonic.  He also has a mean streak a mile long. 

It’s true.  Vampire Eric can be brutal, but he can also be charming and surprisingly sweet.  Eric Northman has the unique ability to make you go from laughter, to tears, and back to laughter again, with nothing more than a sharp one-liner, a withering look, and a (seemingly) sincere apology. 

Eric is strong and ambitious.  He has a take charge attitude about every aspect of his life (and undeath).  This attitude encompasses his work, as much as his play.  This Vampire is Pure Epicure.  He LOVES being undead.  And undeath loves him . . .

Did I mention he can make your DREAMS COME TRUE?

But, as much as it seems as though Alexander Skarsgard was BORN to play Eric Northman, there WAS life B.V., “BEFORE vampire”

It’s ALIVE!  Hallelujah!

As it turns out, Skarsgard’s been doing this whole “acting thing” for quite some time.  According to Wikipedia, his acting career began in 1984, when he was just 7-years old.  Back then, he starred in the Swedish film, Ake and His World, based on a children’s book by Bertil Malberg.  Here’s what he looked like back then . . .

How cute was HE?

But Alexander Skarsgard didn’t enter MY life until about 17 years later, in 2001.  That was when he appeared in THIS film . . .

Even those of you who SAW this movie, might not have caught this.  (I certainly didn’t, when I first saw it.)  But, in Zoolander, Skarsgard played Meekus, Derek’s model friend, who died tragically in a freak gasoline accident.

R.I.P. Meekus

OK.  Maybe some of you already knew that.  But did you know that Skarsgard also makes for a really pretty girl?

I always knew Alexander Skarsgard was better looking than I was.  But does he also have to be a better looking WOMAN?  NO FAIR!

In 2006, just five years after his small part in Zoolander, Skarsgard starred in the kidnapping and crime caper, Kill Your Darlings, as a disturbingly hot, and decidedly suicidal, transvestite, named Geert. 

 Here’s a clip from the film that I think you’ll really like . . . You’ll figure out why in just a few seconds . . .

So, by this time, Alexander Skarsgard was quite the A-list star in Sweden.  However, he hadn’t quite “made it” in the U.S. just yet.  (Tragic Zoolander death, notwithstanding).  That all changed in 2008, when he landed the role of Sergeant Brad “Iceman” Colbert in the HBO miniseries, Generation Kill.  The series, which was based on a book of the same name by Evan Wright, detailed the lives of a real-life Marine Corps battalion during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. 

Just like a certain vampire he would begin to play that same year, Iceman was a force with which to be reckoned — a calm, cool, and calculated soldier.  Though many lives were undoubtedly lost at the hands of both of these “killers,” both Eric and Iceman possessed, beneath the surface, a refreshing amount of humanity and heart. 

Now I know that a good film and television viewer can separate any character from the actor playing him.  And yet, I couldn’t keep myself from being reminded of Eric Northman when watching THIS scene . . .

No one does the deadpan delivery of a “biting” one-liner like Skarsgard!

Finally, this year, while on hiatus from filming True Blood, Skarsgard took the opportunity to flex his comedic chops in Beyond the Pole, a British mockumentary about a group of friends who head to the North Pole on a mission to save the world from the scourge of GLOBAL WARMING.

 

Here, Skarsgard plays Terje, a gay Norwegian athlete, with a tendency to get a little frisky (and dance-y) after a few drinks (and you all KNOW how I LOVE my stars getting dance-y).  Check THIS out . . .

I’m willing to bet that Sookie is wishing she was the guy in that video, RIGHT NOW .  . .

Aren’t you?

So, there you have it.  A brief, and slightly smutty, look into the wild and wonderful film and television career of Alexander Skarsgard.  But, before you go, I DO have one more Alexander Skarsgard image you might enjoy.  This one comes from a film he made in 2000, called Hundtricket or The Dog Trick.

WARNING:  You might  . . . (clears throat) . . . need a COLD shower, after viewing this . . .

 Sweet Dreams!

 [www.juliekushner.com]

21 Comments

Filed under Alexander Skarsgard, Generation Kill, Shirtless TV Stars, True Blood, Zoolander