I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug the other day. I had been disappointed with much of An Unexpected Journey, and after seeing the sequel, I now realize that there is an underlying problem with these two movies.

This problem has been highly detrimental to the success of The Hobbit films: Simply put, Peter Jackson is telling the wrong story.

I think this can be proven in the philosophy of the script. In the behind the scenes interviews for The Lord of the Rings, Philippa Boyens, one of the screenwriters, says that there was one simple thing that drove them in writing the script. This was that The Lord of the Rings is at its bare bones the story of Frodo carrying the Ring to Mordor, and hurling it into Mount Doom.

Because they had this simple goal in mind when they wrote the script, it helped them cut away things that didn’t aid to the plot. Perhaps more crucially, it stopped them from adding unnecessary original material to the movies. The Hobbit movies lack the necessary bare bones plot outline, which should really be quite simple: Bilbo goes on an adventure to help reclaim The Lonely Mountain, during which he discovers his true mettle.

That’s it. Done. We have points A and B. End of story. The book was called The Hobbit for a reason. Yet Peter Jackson wanted this to be so much more than The Hobbit. He wanted this series to be a prologue to The Lord of the Rings, which is never a healthy way to go about writing movies (cough *Star Wars episodes 1, 2, and 3.* Cough), and it created splintered plot lines which instead of stopping at B, mosey along to plot lines C, D, E, etc.

Because of this, much of what was added to the movie failed. Gandalf’s fight with the Necromancer/Sauron was particularly unforgivable as it really does not make sense if you are not familiar with The Lord of the Rings. The fight is not built up to at all, and relies upon cheap movie tropes to explain – Gandalf is super good and awesome, and Sauron is super bad and evil. So let’s have them duke it out, and it’ll be awesome! – Though perhaps what was most egregious was the oh so unsubtle “light vs. dark” visualization of the battle.

Another flawed addition to the movie was Tauriel the elf, a character who could have been really great, but was weakened by a silly love triangle. The filmmakers felt that it was important to add a strong female character since it is such a male driven movie, and they were completely right. What they got wrong however, was putting in a love story.

Let’s imagine Tauriel sans Legolas, and Kili. She’s a vicious fighter who’s not afraid of orcs, or (perhaps more impressively) Thranduil, and who is one of the few elves unwilling to sit by and let the world burn. Put back in Legolas and Kili, and what we get is a series of coy and shy glances, and a jumble of confusing motives. Is she chasing the orcs to kill them, or to save Kili? Not that they have to be mutually exclusive, but why can’t she simply want to save Kili because he doesn’t deserve to die, not because she has feelings for him?

The additions to the storyline that worked did so because they enhanced that bare-bones story and the characters. For instance, in the scene where Bilbo viciously attacks the spider, and then realizes that he did it for the Ring, he is horrified and rightly so. It is a wonderful wordless moment that shows much about his character. We also get a longer interrogation scene between Thranduil and Thorin than in the books. The dialogue and acting was great, and it exposed us more to Thranduil, who becomes very important during the Battle of the Five Armies.

Unfortunately, the effect (and cause) of this inconsistency of added material was an inherent marginalization of (what should have been) the movie’s basic plotline. Peter Jackson was essentially saying, “look, some stuff in here is pretty cool I guess, but you know what’s even cooler? THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Lets play with that some more!”

No Peter. I love The Lord of the Rings too, but Tolkien did not tell us the story of Sauron in The Hobbit because that story belongs in a different book. And even though yes, The Hobbit is technically a prelude to The Lord of the Rings, it is very much its own stand-alone entity, and deserves to be treated as such.

‘Galavant’ cast thank fans for #MoreGalavant campaign

"So just dance, dance, dance."

4:30 pm EDT, May 25, 2016

Galavant may have been axed over on ABC, but the fans refuse to stop the beat — and the cast are getting down to it!

There’s nothing worse than seeing your favorite show cut off in its prime, but if there’s one thing that fans do best in moments of crushing adversity, that’s come together and use their voices in a cacophony. And Galavant fans? They want a third season of their little show that could and are campaigning for it to return.

That campaign has not escaped the notice of the cast, who came together to thank the fans in a video that you can’t help but move your feet to — and the rest of your body.

“It warms the cockles of my heart to see everything you’re doing to save our beautiful little show,” Timothy Odmunson says, at the top of the video — right before it launches into Justin Timberlake’s newest hit, “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” and we’re treated to a montage of familiar and brand-new footage from Galavant’s stars.

#MoreGalavant "Can't Stop The Feeling" from #MoreGalavant on Vimeo.

Karen David (Princess Isabella), who has also been vocal on social media about the #MoreGalavant campaign, leads the charge — and has printed out everyone’s contributions so far. But don’t worry, she planted a tree to make up for all the paper that was used. Also shaking their tush is Genevieve Allenbury, who played the Queen of Valencia throughout Galavant’s two season run.

Other familiar faces from the cast include Robert Lindsay, Ben Presley, Mallory Jansen, Vinnie Jones, and Muzz Khan. Not to mention the titular hero, Joshua Sasse.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Galavant without some cameos — and this thank you video is no exception to that. Making their debut are Billy Boyd (of Lord of the Rings fame), holding a sign that proclaims, “You can’t eat this Hobbit!” and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, with his own “Galavanterrific” sign.

And, what better way to close out the video than with an appearance from Weird Al. “Well, that should definitely do it,” he proclaims. “I can’t imagine any network not picking up this show now that it’s a hashtag campaign. Feel the power of the hashtag!”

So, Galavant fans, get signing and start dancing. And here’s hoping Tad Cooper breathes fire again — be it on the stage, or screen.

This week’s twist on Game of Thrones was one for the show’s history books, and now the fans and creators are acting on their emotions.

Sunday’s Game of Thrones found Hodor dying (dammit Bran) as he held back the army of wights by holding the door. A significant death like this one naturally became a big topic of conversation online, with fans coming up with adorable yet depressing tributes to Hodor.

For example, viewers have been creating Hodor doorstoppers:





Interestingly, we couldn’t find any Hodor doorstoppers for sale on Etsy. Get on that, people!

Others have added Hodor to the ‘hold door’ button in their local elevator





On last night’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff ‘apologized’ for killing Hodor — but not for the reason you think:

Related: After Hodor, who will die next on ‘Thrones’?

Starz has decided that their original programming can compete with the other hot shows airing on Sunday nights.

Network CEO Chris Albrecht has told THR that they are planning on moving all of their original shows including Outlander, Ash Vs Evil Dead, and Black Sails — which currently air on Saturdays — to Sundays. The move will begin July 17 with the Starz series Power. Outlander will likely not move to Sundays until next season.

“Sundays are a prestige night and we feel our shows are definitely going to be very competitive, not just in viewership but in the attention-getting business on Sundays,” Albrecht said to THR, “So it made sense to move.”

Outlander and Starz’s other original series will be going up against tough competition, including AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones. Albrecht says part of the reason he wanted to move the shows was to make sure they were part of the watercooler talk on Monday mornings.

THR notes that Showtime’s original series typically get DVR’d, “growing 214 percent [in viewership] during the course of a week.” This would suggest that a lot of people aren’t sitting in front of a TV on Saturdays and want to watch the shows on a different day of the week. So, moving their programming to Sundays may not impact overall viewership numbers much.

Starz recently overtook Showtime as the second-most subscribed to cable channel. HBO still sits at number one, though all three are facing tough competition from Netflix.