Welcome back to the 12 Days of Judd Apatow where we count the ways we love our Patron Saint of Programming and Humorous Content. We’ve already looked at his brilliant work in IFC favorites Freak and Geeks and Undeclared as well as in soon-to-be favorites The Larry Sanders Show and The Ben Stiller Show (January, y’all!). Today we are looking at a show that is not on IFC, but is wildly awesome nonetheless (well, a little less): “The Critic” on which Judd Apatow was a consulting producer from 1994-1995.
“The Critic” was an animated series about Jay Sherman, a New York film critic who spends his days reviewing films he doesn’t like. It’s a living. It’s also scorchingly funny. It starred Jon Lovitz as Jay along with Nancy Cartwright (of “The Simpsons” fame) as his very patient sister, Margot. Many stars appeared on the show as themselves, happily skewering their own celebrity. There were many film critics on the show, including Gene Shalit and Rex Reed. Other stars who were animated for the series included Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bob Costas. However it was most noted for its cinematic parodies so ineptly named they almost give porn titles a run for the money. Movies like “Abe Lincoln: Pet Detective” and “Howard Stern’s End” were all subject to Jay’s withering standard review: “It stinks!” The show only lasted two seasons, but lives on in comedy history forever.
Here are a few of our favorite clips from the show:
Film critics Siskel and Ebert stopped by “The Critic”:
Orson Welles was fair game, too:
Admit it, you would totally watch a Francis Ford Coppola musical called “Apocalypse Wow”:
Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.
Posted by Emmy Potter on Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection
Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all. Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.
1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series
The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes! Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?
2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.
Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.
3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series
The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.
4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man
After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.
5. Molly/Sam, Ghost
When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.
When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.
6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black
It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.
Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.
7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings
On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.
Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?
8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood
True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).
In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.
9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series
There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.
Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!
10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who
Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.
But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.
From 1993 to1998, Our Patron Saint, Judd Apatow, was a writer and producer on The Larry Sanders Show. For those of you not blessed with skills in the math arena and/or the calendar challenged, this was before Freaks and Geeks and, thus, before Undeclared. The Larry Sanders Show starred Garry Shandling as the vain and neurotic talk show host Larry Sanders, Jeffrey Tambor as his sidekick and Rip Torn as Artie the producer with the mostest. The show offered a behind-the-scenes and satirical look at the making of a talk show including interactions between host and sidekick, host and guests, host and producer, producer and sidekick, producer and guests, sidekick and guests, and everyone else caught in the crossfire. The show set the bar for celebrity self-effacement with numerous stars stopping by to make fun of themselves. The show was very well received and won three Emmy® awards and received 56 Emmy® nominations. It was included in Time magazine’s list of the “100 Best TV Shows of All Time.” sitcom. It premieres on IFC Monday, January 3 at 11 pm E.T.
Here are a few of our favorite clips to help you appreciate the genius of Judd Apatow and to get you in the mood for The Larry Sanders Show:
Welcome to Day 3 of the 12 Days of Judd Apatow. It’s like Christmas, but funnier and with fewer annoying relations. Or Hanukkah without nearly as many latkes. You can see more of the brilliant products of Apatow’s mind here and eventually here and here and here, too.
One of the most notable things about Apatow is his ability to find young talent. Would James Franco be sawing his own arm off in 127 Days without first playing Daniel in Freaks and Geeks? Would Jason Segel have found fame on both the big and small screens without his parts in Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared? And look at Busy Phillips. Her role on “Cougartown” is brilliant and, if we do say so ourselves, kind of like a grown up Kim Kelly. His roster of discoveries include Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam (you should really watch him in “Sons of Anarchy” on DVD), Jay Baruchel, Linda Cardellini, John Daly (“Bones”), Carla Gallo, and, of course, Martin Starr.
To celebrate Day 3, here are a few of our favorite clips from Undeclared:
Undeclared airs Fridays at 11 p.m. ET, more often if you’re lucky