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TV Roundup: Reading Rainbow, DreamWorks Dragons and Community


There's a lot of cool things going down, TV-wise, so I thought I'd take a minute to talk about those. First up, is Reading Rainbow. I remember watching this program in elementary school and thinking how cool it was that La Forge from Star Trek: Generations is taking time out to talk books. I mean, he's on freaking Star Trek!!! Things just don't get much cooler than that! Recently LeVar Burton has been trying to re-launch Reading Rainbow to bring it back to schools. While a televised show as before doesn't seem like an option, he's looking to produce more episodes and go the way of the interwebs. The plan was to go the Kickstarter route (it's worked for Veronica Mars and Blue Mountain State) and the goal they were shooting for was $1 million. They hit that in one day. One day! With another month still left to take in donations, they're obviously going to be adjusting their goals. If this means producing more material for schools to get their hands on for FREE, then I'm totally down.

Next up is DreamWorks Dragons. While I loved HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, and anxiously await its sequel, I've never really devoted any time to its TV counterpart. That's going to become a little easier (for me, anyway), as they're producing new episodes exclusively for Netflix.

But don't take my word for it . . . here's what DreamWorks has to say:

Based on DreamWorks Animationís hit How to Train Your Dragon films, the new episodes bridge the gap between the first feature film and the much-anticipated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, hitting theaters this summer. Weaving a continuous storyline, the television series works in tandem with the feature films and DVD specials, allowing fans to delve deeper into dragon lore. From the origin of Hiccupís new flight suit and the secrets of his dragon blade to the young Vikingís budding romance with Astrid, DreamWorks Dragons on Netflix gives viewers rich details of the larger narrative with the introduction of new dragons, exotic places and worlds unknown.

I've only seen one episode of the show and while it seems like it was skewed for more younger audiences than the feature-film counterparts, I'm willing to check out this new series to see if they're now a little more conscious of that. DreamWorks Dragons episodes should appear on Netflix in Spring 2015.

Have you gotten your John Powell fix today?

Finally, this brings us to Community. I haven't peeped the show myself, (although I'm a fan of The Soup) but there was quite an outcry when NBC cancelled the show. It's possible Community may pull an Arrested Development and find life elsewhere, as rumors are swirling that Hulu is interesting in picking up further episodes. Creator Dan Harmon took to his blog to placate some of the fears/excitement of fans. You can check out his blog here, but I've put some highlights below.

In Harmon's words:

I will confess, however, that when Sony called me on Friday with the news, there was brief discussion at the end of the call about the concept of the show living elsewhere, and I was definitely in the ďehĒ column. For a million reasons, some selfish, some creative, one logistic, five sexual, three racist (in a good way) and, oddly, nine isometric. I wonít bore you with them. I mean, of course I will bore you with them. Boring you is my job, my hobby and my passion. But it doesnít matter right now WHY Iíd be lukewarm or if my reasons would be valid, what matters is, I wonít be lukewarm. Iíll heat up. I said ďehĒ on a Friday afternoon, I will change it to a ďsure, letís talkĒ on Monday morning and Sony can do their thing. Iím not going to be the guy that recancels cancelled Community.

Some lasting words, in case Community does NOT continue:

Iím sorry to anyone thatís really taking this cancellation hard. I know how I felt when these fuckers killed Max Headroom. But you sit back and treat yourself to some New Girl and Parks and Mindy and Brooklyn 99 and Eagleheart and Portlandia and have you seen Matt Berryís Toast of London? Itís awesome. Also not to be selfish but maybe check out Rick and Morty. And let TV be the needy clown that itís still very overpaid to be, and let the suits deal with the suits and see what possibilities exist. Thatís the best we can do for now. Ninety seven episodes. Over eighty pretty good ones. Mission accomplished. By the way, remember when you complained about that one episode? Bet itís not looking so bad now, huh ass face? Just kidding, I know it sucked. I was going for something cooler and - whatever, I donít need to explain myself to you. Marry softball if you love it so much. Iím gonna be special when I grow up!

While it may be too early to get excited for a sixth season, at least fans know that something is being done. And who knows? Maybe Kickstarter can pave the way for a movie if that's what everyone involved wants. Either way, we're bound to hear news soon in regards to a possible season or mini-series on Hulu.

Okay, maybe I need to devote some time to this show.



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