Pop culture addict and social commentator offering sarcasm and pointless musings on all things pop culture. From The Walking Dead to X-Men Comics and Vintage Action Figures it's all happening at Thepophub.com
For most people, living a life of lies and deceit isn’t a lasting one but for John Meehan, he turns it into a house on the waterfront, access to copious amounts of money and a lifestyle he could only have ever dreamed of.
Taking shockingly brutal and unbelievably incredible tales of true crime and turning them into binge-worthy documentaries really is the flavor of the moment. From Making a Murderer to The Keepers, The Staircase and Evil Genius there seems to be a story for everything. And it’s only been recently where those stories have been glossed over for scripted television and and sometimes it’s good (The People vs OJ Simpson) and sometimes it’s not so good (The Assassination of Gianni Versace – unpopular opinion I know)
The next ‘glossed over for TV’ story is Netflix’s Dirty John (via a full season run on America’s Bravo channel) based off the hugely popular L.A Times Podcast of the same name that follows well-off but unlucky in love interior designer Debra Newell (played by Connie Britton and her fabulous hair) who, with four failed marriages to her name, decides to get back on the online dating train and after a slew of disastrous dates, John Meehan (Eric Bana) with his cargo shorts, sweet demeanor and good looks arrive at the perfect moment in her dwindling love life to sweep her off her feet.
Though red flags begin to appear by the end of the first date, that doesn’t stop Deb and we watch as she dives very quickly into a new relationship with the mysterious John and it’s not long before the people in her life, including her children, start to realize he may not be the perfect man he is making himself out to be resulting in a devastating attack that threatens to destroy the lives of everyone Deb loves.
Netflix, in either a cruel joke (or delight for those who hate the day) are dropping the entire eight episodes of Dirty John for us to binge on Valentine’s Day aka February 14th. Check out the trailer below.
Mego Corp have been keeping very tight lipped about a major announcement they were to make, causing fans of the vintage toy company to ponder just what was in store. From international distribution news to possible new licenses that involved everything from Gilligan’s Island to Melrose Place, Bionic Woman to Star Wars, we were all wondering what it could be.
And while we were repeatedly informed it was NOT a deal with Marvel (as fans were hoping for) what we did not see coming was a deal with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. In an announcement made today via Mego Corps social media channels, the new licensing deal allows Mego Corp to delve into the secret vault of the late Stan Lee – an untapped reservoir of never-before-seen characters created by Lee and introduce these creations to fans in the form of either 8″ or 14″ collectible action figures.
From today’s press release, “With Stan’s vision, I always told him that I’d follow him anywhere,” says Marty Abrams, co-founder and CEO of Mego Corporation. “It’s with great responsibility that I can carry on his one-of-a-kind creations and reveal the characters that he had envisioned. I have tremendous pride in showcasing the work of a long-time friend. Our nostalgic action figures of Lee’s conceptions will now introduce new memories with more characters originated by Stan.”
The news however has had a very mixed reaction from Mego Corp fans from those excited to see new characters from the mind of Stan Lee to those confused as to why Mego would risk on such a license, just as they make their comeback, on characters that no one has heard of or have the backing of a cult following / fan base.
Mind you, this is not the first time Mego Corp have delved into left-of-the-middle licenses that left fans scratching their heads. Last month, among the announcements of new Star Trek, DC and Pop Culture Legends figures, they announced a new line of Impractical Jokers 8″ figures based on the hidden camera reality comedy series that airs on TruTV.
That said, new Mego, in whatever format is still welcome!
Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment is a multimedia company founded in 2001 by Stan with his friend and business partner Gill Champion, its president. The company has been and will continue to be the guardian of Stan Lee’s legacy, and is excited to roll out new projects and adventures Stan had been working on.
The toy company that ruled the toy isle in the late 70’s with their lines of 8″ Star Trek and DC superheroes action figures along with their iconic 12″ dolls of Farrah Fawcett and Cher is making their way back into Australian stores this year after almost four decades.
Mego was one of the hottest toy companies way back when to the point that in 1976, their first release Cher doll became the highest selling doll that year beating out Mattel’s powerhouse Barbie, but all the glory came crashing down when the company passed on an offer to nab the licence to (a then unknown) Star Wars and followed that up with a shift towards electronic and robotic toys that saw the company sadly file for chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1982.
In the years between, prices for vintage Mego items have soared with collectors forking out huge bucks to fill in the gaps of their Mego collection. Vintage boxed dolls of Charlie’s Angels star Jaclyn Smith can rise as high as $400aud while those 8″ DC Heroes, in mint boxed condition, can see prices rise into the high thousands.
But, jump forward to 2018 and Mego Corporation is alive and well with Marty Abrams back at the helm announcing an exclusive deal with Target US that would see Mego figures back on the shelves for the first time since the late 70’s with licences for classic pop culture favorites including an I Dream of Jeanie double pack, Charlie’s Angels, Charmed, Cheers, a Full House Stephanie and DJ Tanner double pack and various original series Star Trek characters along with releases of classic monsters such as Frankenstein and Dracula. Add to this a brand new 14″ line with DC hero action figures for Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman and Mego Corp are well and truly back in the market leaving fans of classic pop culture wanting more!
With the Target/Mego deal ending this year, it allows for Mego Corporation to begin looking for worldwide distributors with Mego confirming that they are in fact hammering out a deal with an Australian distributor meaning we will finally see Mego in Australia in 2019.
Their recently announced fourth wave of figures includes an 8″ ‘legends’ series that sees Muhammad Ali, Farrah Fawcett and Marilyn Monroe (among others) immortalized in plastic along with a retooling of their 14″ DC superheroes which will see Wonder Woman and Batman in alternate costumes.
There’s no official word of yet as to whom will be stocking Mego, when we will see them or the price point but watch this space as Mego hinted at a huge announcement coming Wednesday (Thursday our time) that may reveal more. Watch this space!
The next installment of the long running (and ever popular) Mortal Kombat series saw a new game play trailer released today for the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 and it is gorier and more brutal than ever before.
The blood soaked trailer offers glimpses of returning characters such as Sonya Blade (voiced by Ronda Rousey and even has some of Rousey’s signature moves including a rolling armbar with soaked in Motal Kombat gore ), Baraka, Sub-Zero, Raiden and Scorpion along with MK9 DLC fighter Skarlet, as well as new entrant to the series, a character named Geras.
Character Customization returns to the series with players able to collect numerous alternate skins for their characters but no word yet on the ability to create custom characters and play them in the game.
Check out the trailer below.
Mortal Kombat fans won’t have too long to wait to get their hands on this game as MK11 drops April 23rd on all platforms while those who have pre-ordered will get beta access in March.
Netflix is starting the year off with a bang (literally) with the release of their new gawky teen sex comedy series Sex Education that brings in elements of Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek and Porky’s to create one of the year’s brightest and funniest series that shows regardless of sexual experience, sex is never the cut and paste answer to any problem that may arise.
Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) is living a semi-complicated life. At 16, he’s found himself in the middle of a sexual awakening but it’s just not his…which is partly in fault thanks to his mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) who’s profession as a sex therapist muddles itself between what’s appropriate to talk about at work and home causing Otis to be more sexually repressed than his school friends. Though, being the son of a sex therapist does have it’s own rewards when school outcast Maeve (Emma Mackey), looking to make a quick buck, talks Otis into giving out the advice he has learnt at home to the sexually active and confused students at his school. The beauty here is the diversity within the students at the school and the problems they are needing help with. A popular girl with a touchy gag reflex to a lesbian couple having trouble with sex to a shy and awkward teen with an almost stalkerish crush on a girl all find themselves in the presence of Otis who doles out sage advice all the while knowing full well, he’s still yet to experience anything of the like.
Along with Otis and Maeve, there’s Otis’ best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) who doesn’t struggle with his sexuality but with how difficult it is to find someone when there’s only one other openly gay student at the school. He’s also become the target of the school bully Adam (Connor Swindells) who spends most of the season making Eric’s life a living hell – and being a major disappointment to his father, the head master of the school and as the season progresses, there’s little snippets into Adam’s life that reveal why he does what he does.
Gillian Anderson as Jean is just one of the standouts from this series but singling out her performance as the sexually open therapist is a must as this role feels so….un Gillian Anderson that it’s perfect. We’re used to seeing Anderson in constricted, quiet and closed in roles (X-Files, Bleak House, Hannibal) that it feels like a breath of fresh air watching her character smoke a joint and get high with one of her son’s classmates or don a red shag wig and grope and stroke an over sized phallic shaped eggplant.
At only eight episodes long, this first season does not feel rushed or have things swept under the rug to deal with later – though – no spoilers – there is a lot of stuff set up if (fingers crossed) the show comes back for a second outing.
Check out the trailer below:
At the heart of all this though are the three relationships that are either existing or formed throughout the season and how they stretch and break and mend with each passing day. Otis and his mother Jean. Otis and Maeve. Otis and Eric.
Sex Education Season One is now streaming on Netflix.
Another year, another mixed bag of television that saw everything from The Walking Dead and it’s spin-off Fear The Walking Dead kill off some of their main characters, a Bachelor walk away without choosing anyone to love, cooking show My Kitchen Rules run for almost half of the year, A former Olympian win Survivor, the return of classics Roseanne (now re-branded as The Conner‘s) and Murphy Brown in present day reboots, not a single episode of Game of Thrones air on our screens, and a handmaiden give birth solo in the snow.
Check out my list of the shows that I could not get enough of in 2018.
Fear The Walking Dead – FOXTEL
Time jump! Yay! Nick (Frank Dillane) and Madison (Kim Dickens) killed off! Boo! New survivors! Yay! The June (Jenna Elfman) and John Dorrie (Garret Dillahunt) budding romance! Yay! Morgan! Boo! A lot of ups and downs this year for Fear but this fourth season proved the be the one of the shows best to date.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse – FOXTEL
They literally shoved almost every past AHS season into this single season and yeah, the time jumping between pre and post apocalypse made things hard to follow but getting our witches back, including swamp witch Misty Day (Lily Rabe) AND Jessica Lange returning as Constance Langdon…ahh, it was a good season. Honorable mention goes to the haircuts Evan Peters (as Jeff Pfister) and Billy Eichner (as Mutt Nutter) sported.
Playing for Keeps – Network Ten
So yeah, the ratings for Network 10’s new AFL drama Playing for Keeps were a bit shit but that said, this little Aussie Footballers Wives-esque show was scandalously steamy enough to keep me coming back week after week. A dead football player, cheating, lies, scandals, paparazzi’s and closeted AFL player were just some of the juicy story-lines for Playing’s premiere season.
Sharp Objects – FOXTEL
There’s slow paced television and then there’s HBO’s dark and dreary Sharp Objects that REALLY pushed the limits of just how minimalist with information each episode could be as it propelled itself forward to its conclusion. Thankfully there was ridiculously strong performances from Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson to make the whole thing work
The X-Files – Network Ten
It took me a while to make my way through all ten episodes of The X-Files‘ eleventh season, not because it was a hard watch, but because there has been just too much to watch this year! That said, season eleven provided some of the best stand alone episodes the show has seen for some time with episodes like Plus One, Rm9sbG93ZXJz and Familiar which showcased the literal best of The X-Files and the unusual and frankly…oddball cases they investigate.
Greys Anatomy – 7Flix
Seriously, season fifteen has been all about Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) and his journey of self discovery that is leading him to a sweet romance with ortho doc Nico Kim (Alex Landi). The whole thing, including Borelli is just too cute. Plus, Levi’s sun sword speech in the fall finale was like the one single moment this year in television that caused me to bawl like a baby. Uber feels.
Bodyguard – Netflix
‘Edge of your seat’ is the ONLY way to this fantastic terror-drama that follows police officer David Budd (Richard Madden) as he finds himself delving deeper and deeper into a widening web of political drama where bomb threats and assassination attempts become daily fare. You’ll be hooked within the first ten minutes.
Big Mouth – Netflix
Season one was so wonderfully vulgar and downright crude it wasn’t possible for this very adult animated comedy to go any further, then season two dropped. It was just as brash and ridiculous and even more shockingly funny.
Schitt’s Creek – Netlix
It’s virtually impossible to pick one single standout thing from this years season of the hilariously funny creation from stars Eugene and Dan Levy. From Patrick (Noah Reid) serenading David (Dan Levy) with an acoustic version of Simply the Best to Alexis (Annie Francis) reuniting with former bae Ted (Dustin Mulligan) to the weekly hi-jinks Moira (Catherine O’Hara), Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Stevie (Emily Hampshire) would get get into there is always something to laugh at, feel for and literally love.
Killing Eve – SBS
A beautiful, soulless assassin who travels the globe while being hunted down by Sandra Oh?! Count me in! Killing Eve‘s classic cat and mouse tale re-imagined with female leads offered up powerhouse performances from both Sandra Oh as MI5 security agent Eve Polastri and Jodie Comer as restless assassin Villanelle. While Eve slowed a bit in the middle episodes of the season, the tension between Eve and Villanelle is just too good to look past.
Survivor : Champions Vs Contenders (Network Ten) and David Vs Goliath 9GO!
Our very own version of Survivor pitted every day Aussies against a bunch of *mostly* well known Australians which created another great season of the show that was never short of shocks. Survivor Benji however takes the cake for creating two of the most gasp worthy moments – his blindside of Sharn, convincing her to play her idol for herself, resulting in big player Matt Dyson’s exit and, well I only need to say one word – NACHOS.
Meanwhile American Survivor (currently airing as of writing) has brought forth some unlikely big players such as socially awkward robotics scientist Christian and Kentucky based public defender Nick though it was the tribal council that involved publishing CEO Natalie Cole’s exit that has provided one of the most iconic low-key exists in recent Survivor history. “Natalie….can I have your jacket?”
Black Mirror: Netflix
Technically, Black Mirror’s fourth season dropped in 2017 but like two days prior to the new year so i’m placing it in this 2018 list. And once again, the anthology series put forth a selection of mind bending and truly intriguing episodes including the very very very excellent USS Callister, the highly terrifying Metalhead and this season’s answer to the ultimate episode Black Mirror episode San Junipero – Hang The DJ
The Handmaids Tale (SBS), Insatiable (Netflix), How to Get Away with Murder (7Flix), 911 (Channel 7), Wentworth (Foxtel)
Can Roseanne survive without Roseanne? That’s the one big question on everyone’s tongues when it comes to the Roseanne rehash titled The Conners. When Roseanne returned to screens earlier this year, it did so with a major political vengeance and brought in millions of viewers. That version of the show retained its original biting humor and comedic look at working class living and offered a touching nod to the original.
Then Roseanne went on a ambien induced twitter tirade that saw her make offence and racist comments about former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett and suddenly ABC cancelled the show and cut all ties with its namesake thus leaving an entire staff of cast and crew suddenly out of a job.
The news also meant that here in Australia, Channel Ten pulled any unaired episodes off its schedule.
So as it goes, that didn’t last very long and show made a quick return to our screens, now titled ‘The Conners’ and did so without Roseanne allowing instead the series to land safely on the shoulders of John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert. Yes, Roseanne is gone and without adding spoilers, how she goes and the ripples it causes, continue throughout the first four episodes. But don’t assume that’s the new tone of the show. Roseanne’s absence causes the first episode to go to some dark places as Dan comes to terms with just what happened, how it happened and who was responsible but the overall tone remains the same blue collar family comedy, just with less political/pro trump propaganda that littered Roseanne’s reboot season.
As noted, Goodman, Metcalf and Gilbert come front and centre to take charge while Lecy Goranson (Becky) continues to improve with each and every episode. It’s just a shame that Michael Fishman’s DJ Connor is kind of tossed to the side like an unwanted salad that came with your parma. As a staple from the original series, he kind of had to be there but aside from his war veteran wife and daughter, Fishman retains the least amount of scenes of the core cast per episode.
So long story short….The Conners works incredibly well without Roseanne. There is an absence though you’re not distracted by it. No beat was missed from Roseanne to The Conners and it’s a testament to the entire returning cast and crew who became unemployed off the back of one single cast member.
Premieres Thursday, 22 November From 7.30pm with a Double Episode on Network TEN
The current batch of Grey’s Anatomy interns have been around for a while now but we’re finally getting to know a little more about them in a Grey’s spin-off series!
That new batch of doe-eyed wannabe doctors that we first met back at the beginning of Grey’s fourteenth season are finally getting their own back story in the form of mini-webisodes titled Grey’s Anatomy: B-Team, created to bridge the span between the show’s fourteenth and fifteenth seasons where our interns become a stronger fixture with the established doctors.
The six, two and bit minute long episodes take us back to their very first day at Grey/Sloan Memorial with each episode taking point from the view of different interns, helped along the way by familiar faces including Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and Miranda Bailey (Chanda Wilson) who almost recreates her very first meeting with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) in the pilot of Grey’s Anatomy with this new batch of interns.
While we’ve already gotten to know Sam (Jeanine Mason) via her romantic past with DeLuca (Giacomo Gianiotti) and Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) who was given the nickname “glasses” after his glasses fell into an open patient mid-surgery, the rest of the interns (Sophia Taylor Ali as Dahlia, Alex Blue Davis as Casey, Jaicy Elliot as Taryn and Rushi Kota as Vik) are given some screen time even though it’s in a limited format.
It’s just a shame that this spin-off (directed by Grey’s own Sarah Drew AKA April Kepner) is offered in such small doses. Two and a half-odd minutes is not long enough to really get our Greys juices flowing and we’re left wanting more.
No word as yet on when Season fifteen begins on our screens.
To kick this review off, I’ll just start off my saying Great News is…well…GREAT! Low-ball comedy here from me but Great News comes to us from trusted stock in the form of Tracey Wigfield, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock – all familiar names to those who knew and loved (and still love) 30 Rock.
The pedigree of those behind the scenes shines through in the cutting yet hilarious take on life behind the camera on The Breakdown, a nightly news program broadcast from New Jersey where executive producer Greg (Adam Campbell) has to deal with egotistical and old-school co-anchor Chuck Pierce (John-Michael Higgins) and his millenial co-host Portia (Nicole Richie) while news producer and lead character Katie Wendleson (Briga Heelan) is trying to vie for meatier stories to work on all the while dealing with her helicopter mom Carol (Andrea Martin) who has just been hired as an intern.
But don’t think that the mother-daughter relationship that plays between Katie who is dying to earn more respect and responsibilities at work and her overbearing mother Carol who has found her way into Katie’s work life as an intern is your usual sit-com fare as the snappy and quick witted script pushes this work place comedy into territory seen in Arrested Development (and of course 30 Rock) and the gone-too-soon Ground Floor and Cougar Town.
Martin’s Andrea, who has been out of the workforce for decades has been hired (out of spite by Greg) to be Chuck Pierce’s intern who, in similar age to Andrea, is struggling to keep relevant in a fast moving, technological era where news stories are delivered via Snap Chat and Facebook and becomes increasingly worried his age and lack of ability to keep up will be the end of his reporting career. And I quote “Like, who is Snapchat and is he one of the Minions? And are they all Pokémen?”
The biggest shame surrounding Great News is the fact it only survived two seasons before being cancelled by NBC only to find a new life in the world of on-demand television on Netflix.
Check out the trailer below:
Great News season one is now streaming on Netflix Australia
In some exciting news released out of the Bandai Namco camp regarding their upcoming Soul Calibur VI game, custom character creation is back, not only for arcade and versus modes but also along with a new single player game mode called Libra of Souls.
Being touted as an updated Chronicles of the Sword from Soul Calibur III (which has easily been the best mode ever to come out of the Soul Calibur series) that will see your custom created character (made from a selection of sixteen races including mummies, skeletons and automatons) go on a quest to stop “a new evil mastermind” from gathering the Soul Edge shards. Characters from the main storyline, Chronicle of Souls, as well as other players’ custom fighters will appear throughout Libra of Souls.
Matches in this mode will also have their own specific rules that Bandai Namco says will let players shape their own path.
Custom fighters from Libra of Souls can also be used in online casual and ranked matches.
Check out the reveal trailer below which also offers a look at some of the customization that will be available.
Also announced is fan favorite Tira, who will be making a return as a standalone DLC purchase or free for those who have pre-ordered the season pass.