‘Roid Rage

• Following up on a couple of topics I’ve hit recently, my favourite still has to be Lost hard-ass Michelle Rodriguez. The pugilistic Rodriguez, who was arrested for drinking and driving last December, chose five days in the slammer over community service and has already served her time. When she was pulled over she yelled at the cops, at one point telling them” “Why don’t you just put a gun to my head and shoot me! You’ve already taken my freedom! You might as well take my life too!”

At her sentencing she blamed her behaviour on steroid injections she had been taking to treat allergies to dust and cockroach resin that made her manic. She also claimed to have learned all her driving skills at a car-racing school that she attended for a role. She must have impressed the casting director as much as the police as I don’t see anyone driving roles for her on IMDB. I wonder if she learnt her drunken belligerence for a role as well?

Anyway, word is Anna Lucia isn’t long for the island anyways, with rumours that her character’s grave has been spotted on the set.

• Sticking with Lost, creator J.J. Abrams has taken exception to rumours of his producing and directing the next Star Trek film, but didn’t really deny them.

"The whole thing was reported entirely without our cooperation," Abrams told Empire magazine. "People learned that I was producing a Star Trek film, that I had an option to direct it, they hear rumors of what the thing was going to be and ran with a story that is not entirely accurate." So will it be about a young Kirk and Spock? He wouldn’t say. With the kind of obsessive fans Lost has attracted and the legion of Trekkies in the world, how could Abrams not have expected the interest?

• Why is it that when US Weekly reports that Britney Spears is pregnant with her second child it is taken as truth, but when the multitude of gossip sites who had been speculating on her size for over a month claimed it, that was just a rumour? Just askin’.

Brangelina's Pay for Play

Correspondent Ann Curry and Angelina Jolie in Namibia - one of the approved journalists.A couple of days ago I was feeling sympathy for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. They had gone to Namibia to hole up in a luxury resort to get away from the paparazzi trying to snap some candids of them and their yet-to-be-born baby and were feeling under siege.

"As for the press, we kindly ask for privacy so that we can enjoy this beautiful country with our children,” the couple pleaded in a joint statement. The Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula defended them, saying they should be left alone.

"This lady is expecting. You guys are harassing her. Why don't you allow her some privacy? If a person says they don't want to be photographed then, of course, that person deserves protection."

I felt for them. Leave them alone, I thought, they aren’t playing the publicity game, they are just trying to have some privacy. Oh what a sucker I am. Seems they don’t mind a little coverage, as long as it is under their own terms.

On Wednesday's Today show, correspondent Ann Curry described her trip to Namibia, where she exclusively interviewed Jolie, as "wonderful." (Thanks to Celebrity Nation for the pic.) The segment will air on Thursday’s Today and Sunday’s Dateline, where Jolie will explain that the public's interest causes her to "giggle.” Ahh, ain’t that sweet.

Meanwhile Namibia’s Ministry of Information is requiring any journalist visiting to cover the Pitt-Jolie stay "will have to be accompanied by proof of consent that the couple had agreed to meet with them,” one photographer was pepper sprayed by a security guard and there is a no-fly-zone over the resort. As well there are reports that Jolie has sold exclusive rights for the first pictures of the baby to People, which would in turn donate $3.5 million to UNICEF.

And there goes my sympathy.

Rodriguez Does the Crime, Does the Time

Michelle Rodriguez arrest photoI can only hope that Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Lost tallie Ana Lucia, is taking character acting to a whole new level – because it’s hard to believe she could be such a cold-hearted diva.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to drunk driving today and was given a choice: pay a $500 fine and spend five days in jail or do 240 hours of community service. She chose to do the time.

Her attorney, Steve Barta, described choosing to be locked away instead of helping the community as a “personal choice.

"I would suspect that because she has a hard time even going out for a meal without being intruded upon for an autograph or photograph, it's really difficult for her to do community service," he said.

Fans approaching her because they like her work are more oppressive than some hard time? Wow, she really is full of herself, isn’t she?

So has the show had enough of her carousing ways? There was specualtion back in February that producers, sick of her attitude, were ready to write her out as soon as possible. But exec producer Damon Lindelof says it won't happen. "It's all huff and puff and speculation. Lost's story is the star and no actor would ever be killed off for any other reason than supporting the story.

But as E! Online says, we'll see.

Getting Lost

Lost blast door mapTV execs are worried and rightly so. More shows are being downloaded, legally and illegally and the digital video recorder is changing the way people are watching television.

The biggest way it is changing, especially for me, is how easy it is to skip commercials. We started watching Prison Break tonight about 15 minutes into the hour and were able to fast forward past all of the ads. This is what the execs worry about.

Then along comes Lost to help show them the way. Next month the show will launch a mystery game that will require fans to email each other, call phone numbers and to check out sites, billboards and TV commercials. Mmmm, can you smell the synergy?

The writers and producers are involved in the game, linking it to the twists and turns of the series and is not solely a marketing adventure. "We wanted to tell stories in a nontraditional way," said Lost writer and executive producer Carlton Cuse, "and there were certain stories that Damon [Lindeloff] and I were interested in telling that don't exactly fit into the television show."

"We purposely design the show with a big amount of ambiguity so people can theorize about what a certain scene means," Cuse said. "This allows the fans to participate in the process of discovery."

But just in case you think that this is being done just to add to the storyline, Cuse has one more hint to help you play the game: "Watch the May 3 episode very carefully. You can TiVo it, but don't skip the commercials.”

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Star Trek: So Very Tired

Boldly going where everyone has already gone before, a new Star Trek movie has been announced for 2008. The film, the 11th and the first since 2002’s lackluster Star Trek: Nemesis will center on the early days of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer-space mission, according to Daily Variety.

This is the only idea that studio executives understand these days: series reinvention. It started with last year’s Batman Begins, which took the franchise back to the beginning. The venerable James Bond series is currently in the process of stripping down 007 to his origins for the upcoming Casino Royale and the next Superman, while not returning to it’s roots, is ignoring some of the sequels.

It worked for Batman and I hope it serves Bond well, but I have great trepidation about revisiting characters that are so familiar. Setting a series at Starfleet could be interesting, but it could also easily become Star Trek: 90210. I remember the episode where Wesley Crusher was at Starfleet, and not at all fondly. And this area has been mined before, maybe not exactly, but the last series, Enterprise, looked back at Star Trek’s past.

I was hoping they would let it lie for a few more years before reviving the Trek universe. There were 18 years between the original Star Trek and the Next Generation. The following series aired back to back and occasionally simultaneously, not giving any chance for a creative breather – something the series and films are in need of.

But if there is any good news in this announcement it is in the choice of J.J. Abrams as producer and possible director. As the creator and producer of Alias and Lost, I’m impressed with his creative abilities. He’s also directed the upcoming Mission: Impossible 3 so we’ll soon see how he handles the big screen too.

For the sake of both Trek and Abrams, I hope he finds some undiscovered country.

Jack & Coke

When The White Stripes exploded on the scene there must have been whole departments full of Coke marketing executives falling over themselves trying to sign them for an ad. Decked out in red and white and the kids singing their praises, it must have seemed like a perfect fit.

But Jack and Meg weren’t to be had – selling their songs for corporate use wasn’t their thing. In 2001 Gap approached them for a commercial, but they were having none of it.

"The Gap wanted us to be in a commercial and we said 'no' and everyone said, 'why not'? It's almost as if, if people are willing to give you that much money, you are insulting everyone you know by turning it down," said White at the time to the New Music Express. "People's opinions about selling out seem to have changed over the years."

And change again it seems, as there is now a White Stripes-penned Coke ad hitting the airwaves. Of course Jack didn’t sell the sugar water conglomerate one of his songs, he wrote them a new one.

"I've been offered the opportunity to write a song in a way which interests me as a songwriter. I certainly wouldn't want a song that I'd already written to be used on a commercial. That seems strange,” said White.

"But to be asked to write something particular along one theme of love in a worldwide form that I'm not really used to appealed to me. I've written a song and I wrote it really quickly and it's an interesting commercial that's been made. I was inspired by the commercial."

He was also likely inspired by the staggering amount of money they must have been offered. Now I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand people have been “selling out” for years and it doesn’t really bother me. I just never expected it from Jack White, who went from turning down the Gap to directly shilling the product: "I think it's the greatest drink ever made by man - I used to have six a day," said the caffeine-adled frontman.

I’m not the only one who never expected to see them singing in perfect harmony with an advertiser.

“He's meant to be the posterboy for the alternative way of thinking,” Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher told the NME. “Coca-Cola man. Fucking hell. And OK, you want to spread your message of peace and love, but do us all a fucking favour. I'm just not having it. It's like doing a fucking gig for McDonald's."

But enough of me, watch the above ad (which admittedly looks cool) and judge for yourself.

A Tale of Two Toms

Tom vs. Tom Is any publicity really good publicity? We’ll soon find out.

Next month two of Hollywood’s biggest stars will both be hitting the big screens within a couple of weeks of each other, making the opening of blockbuster season.

Tom Cruise fires the first volley with Mission: Impossible III, his first film since last year’s War of the Worlds. Of course, he hasn’t been exactly out the public eye. Couch vaulting, capturing and impregnating Katie Holmes and expounding on his sci-fi based Scientology cult, it’s been hard to avoid him. So much so that when I saw the trailer I didn’t see Ethan Hunt, I saw crazy Tom. A public persona can take a while to wear away, but he’s done quite a job on his over the past 10 months.

By the way, the freaky pair has finally spawned, their TomKitten popping out Tuesday afternoon, a girl named Suri. I’d say that was a digression, but all of the articles do make mention of Cruise’s upcoming film. Moving on…

Next up is Tom Hanks with The Da Vinci Code, the cinematic version of one of the biggest selling books in years. In this case it’s been the source material in the public eye, with a recent trial finding that Dan Brown’s book wasn’t plagiarism. As Hanks lay low, publicity for the film was high. I saw that trailer the same night as MI3 and was intrigued.

Cruise always has (and continues to) garner more press than Hanks even though I would argue they are equals. Over his past six films Cruise’s average box office has been $148 million while Hanks average has been $132 million. Hanks has two Oscars and five nominations, while Cruise has received three nods, but no wins so far. Both command $25 million or more a picture.

So it’s time for the showdown – winner wears the crown of King of Hollywood. My money is on Hanks.

Get Yer Game On

Lara Croft - now there's a video game worth watchingFinally, what we’ve all been waiting for – professional video gaming on TV. All the fun of sitting on your couch watching somebody else play a game you’ve likely got in the cabinet below your set.

The programming is set to follow the pro circuit (there is one) of Major League Gaming and its hard core players. "This is the sign that pro gaming has finally arrived to the mass market," said Matthew Bromberg, MLG's president and chief operating officer. "It's like poker was two years ago, or NASCAR 15 years ago."

Ah, probably just like poker, another activity that once you aren’t playing yourself is tedious to watch. I like gaming and can easily spend hours playing, especially with a few friends over. But just watching when there are more people than controllers quickly becomes a real yawner.

But not to worry, it is apparently far more exciting than I think. "It is an extreme sport," said pro-player Tom “Tsquared” Taylor. "It's about quick reflexes and also outsmarting people."

A sport? Oh, come on. I’m all for trying to pass off activities in my rather sedentary lifestyle as exercise, but calling video gaming not just a sport, but an extreme sport? That’s even beyond my bravado. I’m not saying people don’t enjoy the games or that they aren’t hard, but anything that can be done successfully while high in your living room, doesn’t seem like a sport.

I’d never have thought I’d say it, but maybe there really are too many TV channels.

Lighten Up

Some of the Super Best Friends: Joseph Smith, Buddha, Jesus and MuhammadOn this Good Friday people reenacted the crucifixion of Christ by having themselves nailed to cross in the Philippines; Iran referred to Israel as a “Zionist threat;” a bomb went off in a Muslim temple in New Delhi and one worshipper was killed and two were wounded in knife attacks at two Greek Orthodox churches in Egypt.

It seems that people are missing the point. I’m not particularly religious but I’m fairly certain it’s not kill others as you would have them kill you.

Which, of course, leads me to South Park. On Wednesday Comedy Central censored the equal opportunity offenders during an episode about the fall out over cartoons of Muhammad that first appeared in a Danish newspaper. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote an allegory involving Family Guy and the Fox network that is explained in much better detail here.

By the time it came time to show Muhammad, the screen went black with the message: "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Muhammad on their network.” Even though they already did in a previous episode almost five years ago. So even a satiric cartoon like South Park is not immune to the fear of religious extremism. One of their characters sums it up best:
“Freedom of speech is at stake here, don't you all see? If anything, we should all make cartoons of Muhammad and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want.”
I think everyone in the world could follow South Park’s example, laugh a little and not take themselves so seriously.

TV’s Blog Fiction

While watching a repeat of the bodysnatcheresque show Invasion, a character named Dave was recording his thoughts about an apparent alien takeover of a small Florida town, making notes for his blog. He spent part of another episode ensconsed in an internet café, typing in his conspiracy theories.

Just an example of TV reflecting a current trend, right? Except the blog actually exists. Dave’s Diatribes follows the story line in character, expounding on what happened during previous episodes and even responding to comments.

Dave, or in this case ABC, is not alone as character blogs are part of several shows this season. Paper salesman Dwight Schrute from The Office not only blogs at Schrute-Space, but it is written by actor Rainn Wilson during the filming of episodes.

"On our show, the actors spend so much time at their computers for all those background shots, and I figured I needed something to do," Wilson told the Contra Costa Times. "So if you're watching and you see a scene with me hammering away at the keyboard, I just might be blogging."

Joe, the bartender from Grey’s Anatomy, rants on The Emerald City Bar; Neil Patrick Harris’ character Barney from How I Met Your Mother passes along dubious dating advice on Barney's Blog.

So is this just sophisticated brand marketing or a legitimate extension of the shows in question, or both? I suppose it depends on their quality. Will the characters respond to comments and engage their readers? What will happen if a character veers off the show’s plotline?

I hope they get the writers involved and these blogs last. If they work it will feel like you are part of the show in some small way, helping you immerse yourself further into the illusion of reality that is being created – as if Pinocchio was a real boy after all.

Other character blogs:

Robin's Daily Dose - General Hospital

Dr. Nigel Townsend - Crossing Jordan

Joe's Dream Diary - Medium

Jess & Tess - One Life to Live

Page Six Six Six

Britney Spears: Not a big Page Six fan.If you pay any attention to celebrities, you know of the New York Post’s Page Six. The powerful gossip page is so ubiquitous that even if you’ve never read it, you’ve seen pieces its reporters have written repeated all over the media.

Page Six is a fixture in the modern day obsession with the rich and famous, holding it’s own against glossy magazines and the rise of the gossip blogs. Celebrities are lauded and (more often) pillaged, where they were and with whom splashed across acres of newsprint. Those who indulge in the salacious articles enter a world of beautiful people they can only dream about and smirk at when they fall.

The Globe and Mail’s Simon Houpt refers to gossip journalism as “a sort of contemporary mythology using celebrities in the place of ancient gods, a series of morality plays that get to the deeper truth of our society.” The Greek gods were always very human even as they lived upon high on Olympus. They could be jealous, stupid and petty, but they were always, to use a modern term, glamorous. The gods reflected the best and worst of those that created them, the same role that is now performed by celebs.

And now it appears that one of our modern myth-makers was more interested in myth than truth. Page Six staffer Jared Paul Stern has been accused of trying to shake down billionaire investor Ron Burkle for $220,000 in return for a year's "protection" against false items in the gossip page. “In two secretly videotaped face-to-face meetings with Burkle last month, Stern outlined how ‘levels of Protection’ for subjects of Page Six coverage could be bought,” reported the Daily News.

The revelations have opened up a window into how gossip columnists operate. Publicists trying to get clients some ink and dishing the dirt to keep others out of the spotlight. Subjects became sources, all but guaranteeing themselves, if not favourable, at least lighter treatment. Freebies abound, from trips and hotels and other gifts, but in asking for money (and being filmed doing so) Stern went too far.

In true gossip fashion, Stern, who has been suspended, claims that he was set up and that Burkle approached him about payment for positive press. Who knows where the truth lies and it may not matter – it rarely does on the gossip pages.

America's Most Hated

• Everyone’s a critic. First Brokeback Mountain isn’t good enough for the Oscars, now it’s the Massachusetts Department of Correction. A prison official has been disciplined for showing the multiple-award winning gay cowboy film to the state’s largest prison after it was determined the movie contained content inappropriate for a prison setting. "It was not the subject matter. It was the graphic nature of sexually explicit scenes," said spokeswoman David Wiffin. Umm, sure. Next week they will be airing season one of The Sopranos and than catching the inmates up with Prison Break.

• Kevin Federline is managing to piss off more people, which is quite a feat as most people are already annoyed with him. In his ill-fated attempt to rap his way out of being known as Mr. Britney Spears, K-Fed is continuing to record and release singles on his MySpace site. On "America's Most Hated” he sampled Mobb Deep's "Got It Twisted," who had sampled Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science.” Deep got a license, K-Fed didn’t and Dolby was not amused and forced him to take it down. "You can't just take a very well-known piece of music and add your own vitriolic rap over the top of it and get away with it," said Dolby "It's like what Vanilla Ice did with 'Ice, Ice Baby,' although I think Vanilla Ice is a superstar compared to this guy."

The Real Da Vinci Code Conspiracy

A British judge has ruled that a lawsuit claiming that Dan Brown plagiarized parts of The Da Vinci Code from the authors of The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail was virtually devoid of merit.

Both books suggest that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene and the bloodline continues to this day. Two of The Holy Blood authors alleged Brown had taken his ideas from their work – a claim that was dismissed out of hand. "Why," asked High Court Justice Peter Smith, "did the claimants" even bring their suit when even they lack "any genuine belief" in its merits?

Why indeed? Since launching the lawsuit the long-awaited paperback of The Da Vinci Code was released with a 5 million copy; Michael Baigent, one of the authors suing Brown, has launched his latest book, The Jesus Papers; sales for both of The Da Vinci Code and The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail – both published by Random House – have increased; every report about the lawsuit has noted that the book has been turned into a Hollywood film starring Tom Hanks, coming to a theatre near you this May, dontcha know?

What would the legal costs be when compared to the increase in sales and the extraordinary amount of free publicity given to both books and the upcoming film? Just a drop in a modern day marketing budget’s bucket.

Confessions of a Blogging Mind

• Has American Idol taken over all of Hollywood? In two weeks time comes the release of American Dreamz, a film about a singing contest that has more voters than presidential election participants. Gee, imagine that. Now there is a rumour that Prince, who once called himself a slave to his record label, may appear on the show because his new label saw how Barry Manilow’s sales jumped after his appearance. The New York Post says there is just one hitch: “Prince apparently hates the show and has never even watched it." I wonder if the label is just showing him who’s boss.

• Someone ought to keep their eyes on The Clash – they are sounding a little seditious. A man was pulled off a London-bound flight after a cabbie found his choice of music suspicious. Harraj Mann was able to play his own music on a cab’s stereo on his way to airport, some of which raised the cabbies suspicions. Lines like "War is declared and battle come down" from The Clash’s London Calling and “The hammer of the gods will rive our ship to new lands, to fight the horde" from Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song gave his cabbie the idea he might be a terrorist, so he called the police. While I agree the Zeppelin lyrics are criminal, I think the police might need to listen to some decent music and realize that a little angry punk does not a bomber make.

• What is the best way to increase the circulation of a magazine that has fallen out of favour with younger readers? Create some controversy. And lo, there was Playboy with the Top Ten Party Schools. Montreal’s McGill got picked as No. 10 and the Canadian media followed. The free publicity should help the pick-up rate (and the naked university girls shouldn’t hurt either.) Of course blogging about this could be seen as an underhanded way to drive up a person’s search engine hits, but I couldn’t imagine anyone that cynical. And the above photo is only for illustrative purposes. Honest.

Thumbs Down For Critics

Do movie critics really matter? The studios obviously believe they do, but by keeping them away from their movies they have a funny way of showing it.

Critics have not had advance screenings for 11 films so far this year, a practice often used to sneak stinkers into theatres. The most recent is the upcoming Benchwarmers, which stars both Rob Schnieder and David Spade, so the theory will likely hold. Reviewers were also denied an early look at Doogal before its release, a film that Jon Stewart (the voice of one of the main characters) couldn’t describe to critic Roger Ebert without laughing in embarrassment.

I don’t know why the studios bother. Most people know the no-review-equals-bad equation, but the majority of the embargoed films are review proof, i.e. attended by people who don’t read reviews or see a poor review as a badge of honour.

Says Ebert himself: "The target audience didn't care that we hated those movies because they just expected us to hate them. If we reviewed them and showed clips and said they're stupid and awful and violent, that's a selling review for that audience."

So are critics relevant? I don’t tend to read reviews of films that I know I am going to see, but I do like comparing my thoughts afterwards. I also have learned to understand individual critics tastes, finding one in particular whose negative reviews almost guaranteed that I would enjoy the movie in question.

What it exposes (again) is the role of reviewers as a studio marketing tools instead of cultural critics and tastemakers.

Just the Facts?

Celebrity culture is driving me crazy -- more specifically, the media’s treatment of celebs. Bear with me here as I appear to bite the blog that feeds me.

What is driving me crazy is how “facts” are repeated down the chain, with very little or no verification. I’ll give you an example. I read a copy of Metro today (a daily Toronto commuter paper) and came across a story about Lindsay Lohan dating Leonardo DiCaprio, according to Ananova.com, which was reporting a story in New! Magazine.

I also found out that a pregnant Gwyneth Paltrow may have eaten raw fish, reported by imdb.com, again picked up by Metro. Now I can admit to reading celeb gossip, but I hate seeing it passed along second and third hand in newspapers and magazines. I’m not picking on Metro, everyone does it.

Before I continue on my rant, I have to come clean. I have written pieces like the ones that I am complaining about, I’ve been paid for them and will likely do it again. I’m a hypocrite, but it doesn’t mean I like it.

So what’s my point? People want to read about the stars and they are going to be written about, but I’m tired of seeing the same things being repeated ad nauseum, especially all over the web. I saw today that Tom Cruise is putting off his wedding to Katie Holmes until the summer. I saw it over 200 times on Google News and I’m fairly certain there wasn’t a press conference.

Maybe if we stuck with original source reporting/gossiping it would help keep celebrity obsession in check, or at least improve the discourse a little. Mind you, I don't mind it when bloggers pass along this info

Which brings me to Gawker Stalker. The media/celebrity/gossip site has begun mapping readers celebrity sightings on a Google map of New York in real time. So there we have it, celebrity reporting straight from the mouths and eyes of fans. Of course it’s also more than a little bit obsessive.

George Clooney agrees and is trying to foil the site by flooding it with fake sightings.
"There is a simple way to render these guys useless. Flood their Web site with bogus sightings. Get your clients to get 10 friends to text in fake sightings of any number of stars. A couple hundred conflicting sightings and this Web site is worthless. No need to try to create new laws to restrict free speech. Just make them useless. That's the fun of it. And then sit back and enjoy the ride."
Oddly enough, Clooney is the most reasonable sounding one – and he is the one subjected to all the coverage. Bizarre. I suppose I just don’t understand the interest in celebrities, but I’ll keep trying.

Big Screen Envy

Why do TV shows have such inferiority complexes? It seems when shows are cancelled fans are soon placated with talk of a movie, as if that makes up for the loss of the show.

When it was reported this week that Arrested Development’s creator Mitch Hurwitz was quitting – putting the final nail in the coffin of the cult comedy – a future feature film was hinted at.

Same goes with Futurama, which was also negotiating a comeback. There was some hope a week ago that the Matt Groening space satire could return for 26 episodes, but that news was dashed. Again, hope was held out for a movie.

Speaking of Groening, the long-rumoured Simpson movie will be coming to theaters on July 27, 2007 and a teaser trailer has been playing this weekend in front of Ice Age: The Meltdown (ah, another sequel).

I love all of these shows, but I have no desire to see them on the big screen or in long form. Take Arrested Development – each episode was tied together over the entire season whereas even a two-hour movie would only encompass five episodes worth of material. It was a great show. Let’s venerate it for what is was and let it go.

The Simpsons is in a different category and will have aired 18 seasons by the time the movie hits theatres. What more could possibly be covered? What would a larger budget achieve for a show that has already gone to foreign locales and outer space for the same cost of filming in Bart’s treehouse?

These shows have excelled in their medium and have nothing to prove by being shown in 35mm. But if seats can be filled and popcorn sold, I suppose it doesn’t really matter.