It might be public knowledge that I am a Canadaphile, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t ever bear repeating. I’m not just talking about liking certain bands or television shows that have gained release in America or Internationally though, a lot of people like the music of Neil Young, the acting of Michael J. Fox and David Cronenberg films. My love goes as far as not just Degrassi, but all Canadian teenage shows that have appeared on Disney, Teen Nick, The N, ABC Family, etc and more so the ones that only aired on Canadian Family, CBC and other Canadian Networks (and in cases the UK and Australia), but never made it to the US airwaves.
All this is to preface my excitement when I heard about the new iPhone/iPad app Totally Amp’d, a Canadian produced “web series” with similarities to shows such as Instant Star and 2Gether, both Canadian produced shows about discovering and promoting young talent. Produced by Smokebomb Entertainment, a Division of Shaftesbury, the show was created with Smokebomb’s three creative heads Jarrett Sherman, Daniel Dales and Jay Bennett who all have quality resumes. The program and app features music written by C.E.O. of Jingle Punks Music, Jared Gutstadt and features all kinds of genres, giving it a something for everyone feel in the sound department. On the writing team is Karen McCellan, previously of Being Erica and on three out of 10 episodes, Christin Simms who was a major part of Jimmy Two-Shoes, Clone High and Dino Dan.
What is most exciting aboutTotally Amp’d though is the amazing cast. The big pull on the series in terms of who they are marketing to mostly would be Cristine Prosperi. Cristine is currently a major player on Degrassi, coming in on season 11 as a new foil character attracted to the very popular Eli played the extremely popular Munro Chambers. Cristine gained a following immediately like most Degrassi cast members, but it is a deserving one as she is both gorgeous and talented. For the slightly older fan though there’s a major draw too in Ashley Leggat who became famous on “Life With Derek” which ran from 2005-2009, there she garnered a fan base in Canada and America and has made appearances in popular Shaftesbury shows such as Murdoch Mysteries and Aaron Stone, including an appearance on Cartoon Network’s Unnatural History. The third known commodity on the show is Demetrius Joyette, best known from the Canadian Teencom “Wingin’ It” which has unfortunately never aired in the U.S. Rounding out the cast are newcomers to television Amanda Thomson and Brock Morgan, as well the very experienced yet youngest member of the cast Camden Angelis (who has even done an episode of Scare Tactics). The show also features the talents of James A. Woods (no relation to the other actor of the same name) who has a expansive resume.
There are two other talents not in the initial marketing of the show to make note of. Shemar Williams, a very popular and talented dancer who actually had a dancing training segment for kids on TV and Dewshane Williams who had major roles in Baxter and Being Erica.
All the promotional hype out of the way, how is the actual final product? Excellent. The songs are fantastic, actually the main shining light more than anything. The characters are awesome too. It should be noted that while there are 10 appisodes, each appisode isn’t more than 6 minutes each, creating an about one hour short film. It’s a perfect length for the iPhone though where this show is made to live. Although it also fits the new professionally made web series format.
What makes the app part special are the unlockable karaoke format songs, the editable music videos and the highly entertaining dress em up. There are seven songs that you can record your own vocals for and then input them into a remix which you can pick and choose the elements including original vocals, drums, guitars, bass and percussion. There are five videos which you can choose the angle shots to create your own version. Both the kraoke and video edtiors are simplistic in nature and would be exciting to have a more fleshed out ability, but this isn’t a music app or video app, it’s an all around concept in which on top of a full length professionally created show exclusive to the iPhone you get some really fun extras. Then there’s the design studio which is the bread and butter of the app segment, something app developer XMG has truly excelled at. It’s truly a total package at $5 for the full season (free to try and test with the first episode) and truly worth it.
I’m hoping for a second season and that with it hopefully a longer story and more expanded applications, but this first part of Totally Amp’d is highly recommended for anyone with an iOS device running 4.3 and above. For those without an iPhone, the album is also available on iTunes and the Youtube channel has a lot of great stuff.
I didn’t have anything NOT miss till 5 PM, so I used today as a chance to further walk the floor and try and accomplish what I could through exploring Artist’s Alley, the rest of the floor and more. Time permitting and length of lines determined a lot.
The place was an utter madhouse.
I had at one point considering trying to get into Speed Dating, but when I saw the extreme line gathered just an hour before, I decided if I’m going to find the love of my life or even just some good, funny, cute dates who likes geekdom and pop-culture it’ll be through everyday life.
It was nice to be able to see some old friends and make some new on this day though. I could be mishmashing days here, but it was great to see folks like Paigey Pumphrey, Laura Lee Gulledge, Reilly Brown, Kathleen David and Peter David, Jamar Nichols, Tim Piotrowski, Jennifer Hayden and many more who I am probably, if not most definitely forgetting but not on purpose.
I helped Peter and Kathleen recreate a scene from X-Men First Class, with an excellent Wolverine cosplayer and Kathleen’s amazing Xavier and Erik puppets.
I also was able to make it over to myplasticheart in The Cult Yard to say hello to my street art buddy Matt Siren and was able to see a few other good friends while there. So that helped the day immensely.
At a certain point my good friend Trish called me and we played phone tag for about a half hour if not more till I found her and fellow buds, the very talented MF Grimm and Infinit Evol. I basically spent the rest of the day with them taking photos of cosplay, chilling, and mainly relaxing.
At 5 PM I rushed over to the panels room to catch the “The Heart, She Holler” panel. This would be the only panel I would make all show, but knowing I had press hours after with the cast and being pretty blind to the show, I had to check it out.
They showed the entire first 12 minute episode which premieres November 6th on Adult Swim and it was one of the funniest things ever. The panel had excellence because of bards back and forth between moderator David Cross and show star Patton Oswalt, but as usual, fan questions were quite silly and didn’t help provide any insight, but they did provide guffaws. John Lee, one of the main dudes at PFFR really handled the fans in a wonderful sardonic style.
I headed over to the press room after wards and despite their obvious exhaustion it was great talking to Kristen Schall, Heather Lawless, John Lee, Patton Oswalt, et. al.
I had decided I wanted to make it to at least one after party. I actually wanted to go into Brooklyn to see Wrona, but I knew if I did that, I’d never make it into the show Sunday and I had a scheduled interview I looked forward to.
Instead I went down to a bar in Alphabet City where there was a street art “battle”, essentially some of the best street artists and toy customizers out there drawing on sheets of paper and then being judged for no actual prize.
Sketchbot, Shiro, Emi Boz, ChrisRWK, El Toro, Josh and more were involved and it was a great way to end my Saturday night, even if it ended way later than I planned.
No Reality Shows for this overview, and many of these new shows might not last than one episode based on how I enjoy them. Also returning shows that I like more will topple any new show. Also Cable Television has done some upfronts but haven’t really shown off what they have coming in the Fall. I know White Collar and Royal Pains will have their returns and I know TNT will have something as will ABC Family and who knows what else? Maybe Comedy Central will start something something. Here’s those Network shows debuting in the Fall and Winter that have enough stuff on the internet to get a judge of something I even want to bother checking out. I’m basing my reactions on the marketing/trailers the networks have provided, not on the actual casts, writing teams, etc. As it’s been proved, good actors are in bad things and good creators sometimes fail… so yeah… anyways, Away We GO!
Extra Note: With the ones I care I’ll just be pointing out why I want to watch and just assume I liked the trailers. With the one I don’t care about I got snarky as all let out.
CARE Comedies NBC
Free Agents: Hank Azaria
Up All Night: Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph
How to Be a Gentleman: Kevin Dillon!
Apartment 23: Krysten Ritter, James Van Der Beek
Suburgatory: Jeremy Sisto, Rex Lee, Cheryl Hines
Last Man Standing: The entire cast!
New Girl: Zooey Deschannel!
Terra Nova: Looks like a great sci fi series.
Alcatraz: Prison Break meets LOST with some other weirdness thrown in
The Finder: Abnormal Procedural show, spin-off of BONES, Michael Clarke Duncan
Unforgettable: Unusual cop show
Person of Interest: Twist on the crime show, created by Jonathan Nolan, stars Michael Emmerson
Prime Suspect: Maria Bello
The Playboy Club: Amber Heard, David Krumholtz, something different
Grimm: With this and Once Upon A Time on the air, with FABLES now in production as well, it might be too much Fairy Tale stuff, but the trailer for this had awesome effects
Awake: This doesn’t debut for awhile, but it looks like the most compelling show in forever. This is the show B.D. Wong walked away from SVU to be involved in. I actually have not been as excited for a show this much since the never picked up Pretty/Handsome. This was created by the guy who gave us the awesome but short-lived Lonestar
Smash: Katherine McPhee, Meg Hilty, Angelica Huston, Megan Hilty and Marc Shaiman music!
Pan Am: Christina Ricci and just something different.
Once Upon a Time: See above about Grimm, but this also has Ginner Goodwinn
Hart of Dixie: Rachel Bilson and it reminds me of Doc Hollywood, but with a girl.
2 Broke Girls: Kill Me!
Work It: Kill me now!
Good Christian Belles: Bring me back to life and then kill me again.
Man Up!: Ad nauseum!
Allen Gregory: This might be the worse cartoon made in forever. Jonah Hill as the lead voice… horrible characters. It’s a shame the animation is fantastic.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter: I almost ripped my eyes out and I love Jamie Pressly.
Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea: I’m sad that the trailer for this is so bad, as I love Laura Prepon with an intensity.
Best Friends Forever: Don’t know either of them… and ugh!
Bent: The same can be said here… absolutely love the cast, but… just fell flat.
Whitney: I actually dont like her.
Charlie’s Angels: Why?!?!?
Revenge: Just didn’t grab me…
The River: Same here… documentary style horror as TV show? pass…
A Gifted Man: Not compelled by the plot here.
Ringer: I can see where this might be good, especially with Sarah Michelle Gellear in the role, but something just doesn’t call to me.
The Secret Circle: If you love The Vampire Fiaries, then you’d love this, I’m just not the target.