It’s always interesting to hear how scores evolve over the course of a film franchise, how they adapt to changes in the continuing saga while retaining some flourishes of the original themes. The “Jaws,” Indiana Jones, and James Bond franchises come to mind as highlights, and though dramatically flawed at points (though I believe “Casino Royale” to be a triumph), they’ve left their mark with unforgettable scores. Waiting for the scene where that tell-tale tune plays and listening for how it’s changed with each release is part of the fun.
It helps to have a great beginning and the Potter series certainly had that with John Williams starting it all off with the score for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001. He continued to score the two subsequent films (Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban) until “The Goblet of Fire” when Patrick Doyle (“Henry V,” “Gosford Park”) took over.
Then with director David Yates and the last film, “Order of the Phoenix,” came composer Nicholas Hooper. He doesn’t have a hell of a lot of titles or project names I can drop, outside of some work for the “Nature” series, but then I’m not much of a TV guy. It’s clear he worked with Yates, who also comes mainly from TV, on some of his first feature work in the early 90’s and they make a good team.
Williams’ original work was brilliant. His main theme is a twinkly warm feeling that blooms like Macrocarpaea apparata, sprouting from your really comfortable theater chair, tickling you in the dark. Hooper carries the feeling on admirably, even skillfully darkening the tones for the decidedly darker turns taken by the story as the characters age and the plot thickens.
Check out these snippets – the first is the original Williams theme. The second is a composition of Hooper’s from the latest release, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” that has some of that original melody woven in (after about 15 sec of this clip).
We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.
The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.
Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:
Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.
Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:
The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…
Willards Mill Is Evil
Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.
Demons Really Want To Kill Stan
The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.
They Also Want To Kill Evie
Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.
Stan and Evie Must Work Together
Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!
Beware of Goats
It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.
Season 2 Is Lurking
Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.
Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.
Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.
IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?
Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.
IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”
IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?
Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!
Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture.
IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?
Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.
Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places.
IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?
Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.
IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?
Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.
Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.