One- Shot Wednesday: Heil, Honey, I’m Home

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One-Shot Wednesday tackles a show that was canceled after one season, with many of the featured shows being canceled after one episode.  Some had hints of greatness.  Some, as you will read, did not.

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It’s a domestic sitcom.  But with Hitler.

I expected any number of things from this show, canceled after only one episode.  I expected it to be offensive, subversive, maybe clever.  What I didn’t expect was boring.  The 25 minute program barely held my attention, with me drifting off to pack another box twice.  It literally ends in a conga line involving Neville Chamberlain.

Upon its 1990 release, the show was incredibly controversial, and the outcry caused its early cancellation.  I love controversial and banned entertainment, and I’m not easily offended.  I had to bite.  Expectations were high for this legendary flop.

The plotline is a sitcom standby- Neighbor A (in this case Hitler and Eva Braun) tries to conceal an important dinner guest (Neville Chamberlain) from Neighbor B (the Jewish Goldensteins.)  Obviously, the Goldensteins find out because Braun slips up and tells them, and attend the dinner, and Hitler needs to make them leave before Chamberlain turns up.  Also, Rosa Goldenstein wants to set Chamberlain up with her niece, Ruth.  None of this is done tastefully or creatively, or even all that well.

For instance, none of the characters make any sense.  Hitler and Braun are pretty much the standard “sitcom” couple, with her being a loudmouth with no discretion, and him being a bumbling idiot.  The Goldensteins don’t fare much better, with Rosa feeling like a dollar-store-brand Ethel Mertz, and Arny not being memorable at all.  Instead of placing a slightly more realistic but still cartoonish version of real people into these mundane events, they just slapped a moustache on a random actor and got to it.

Heil, Honey, I’m Home! fails on every conceivable level.  Mel Brooks did Nazi satire earlier and better in the Springtime for Hitler sequence of The Producers.  Sitcom parodies have been done to death, most recently with Adult Swim’s deeply unsettling Too Many Cooks. It doesn’t even succeed in being shocking or offensive, because it’s not smart enough to be either of those things.

When researching the show, I found that the producers intended the show to come off silly and corny, as it was supposed to be a send-up of the American sitcom and of German appeasement.  What results is a nearly unwatchable mess.  I have seen some of the worst films of all time.   I would rather watch Movie 43 again than watch this garbage.

If you hate yourself, the video is available in its entirety on YouTube.  Don’t watch it.  It’s 25 minutes of your life you can’t get back.

The Supergirl TV Show: What do we know?

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Marvel may rule the roost when it comes to the cinema, but DC Comics is taking over your living room couch.  Following established hit Arrow, the already-renewed Flash, and breakout hit Gotham is going to be the first female-centered show of the DC Universe class: Supergirl.

In an interesting move, CBS has chosen to move forward with Supergirl on their own, instead of throwing it to sister network the CW (where Flash and Arrow currently draw fairly good ratings for the second-tier network.)  All three shows share producer Greg Berlanti.  Today, CBS entertainment chair Nina Tassler talked a little bit about the show at a Television Critics Association press conference.

So what do we know?

1) Supergirl will be a crime procedural mixed with character arcs.   Tassler compared the new show with CBS’s existing female-driven hits, stating that “The beauty of it is now with shows like Good Wife and Madam Secretary, you can have serialized story elements woven into a case of the week. She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy.”   Will the show adopt the established Gotham/ Agents of SHIELD/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer format of monster-of-the-week until the story gets enough momentum to hold up on its own?

2) She’s not going to have a Wonder Woman style character derailment.  One of the biggest criticisms of NBC’s failed Wonder Woman pilot was the transition between the strong but kind heroine we know and love to a woman who would savagely beat a man to interrogate him, then go home and eat ice cream.  So relatable, right?   Tassler has us convinced Kara is going to stay Kara, promising that ” We’re big feminists. It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts. It’s all of those elements. It’s not just her strength, which she does have.”  Kara is not going to suddenly become stupid or weak.  Tassler’s assurance that they are feminists is comforting in a time when people are suddenly afraid of the term.

Tassler also stated that “It’s a wonderful amalgamation of the mythology of the character with a coming of age tale.  She’s a very strong, independent young woman and she’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. And it’s a female-empowerment story, which if you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonate to that.”

3) Kara hasn’t been cast yet.

4) Because of the different networks,  Supergirl will probably not cross over with Flash and Arrow right away.  This may not happen initially, but we’re also not ruling it out, ever.  Time and space are nothing compared to the red tape involved with the legal departments.

5)There is a good chance there will be romantic elements.  Tonally, Supergirl has been stated to be more in line with Flash than Arrow, which implies a lighter, funnier take on superheroes than the dark-edgy-gritty phenomenon of too many superhero works currently.

6) The producer totally gets what fans want.  In September, Greg Berlanti told Variety ” I’ve gotten a number of messages from friends and former coworkers who write me about their daughters wearing superhero outfits instead of princess outfits and how they’re grateful that people are working on it. I definitely think there’s a need.  I think people are more interested in quality than they are necessarily just going to watch something because it’s about a man or a woman… There are just as many women who love the action of [Arrow] as there are men who love the romance. I think it’s [about] recognizing that audiences are sophisticated and varied.”

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.