Since J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, hit it big with LOST, the pressure has been on to get new genre shows on the air. Sometimes they’ve been successful and other times, they just fall flat. Notably, however, the successes seem to always be linked to Abrams, Bad Robot, or former LOST producers striking out on their own. These shows often spend more time on character development than the other LOST clones out there, but is it too much of a good thing?

One of the staples of Abrams’ post-LOST work, including Revolution and Person of Interest, is the use of flashbacks. For those in the know, LOST was full of flashbacks. Sometimes these trips to the characters’ past were well done, but sometimes if you weren’t paying enough attention, you lost track of where they were in the time stream. Both of Abrams’ subsequent shows have doled out information on the main characters in pieces over time. Person of Interest is a prime example of how dishing out the history of your characters slowly over time creates a deeper connection between the character and the viewer. Also, it has the handy device of the Machine to keep you fully aware of what you’re seeing, and where it falls in the overall timeline. Since Revolution is currently in its infancy, it hasn’t built up quite as much connection. However, it does appear that they are slowly dispensing backstory to build well-rounded characters.

Another thing Bad Robot shows have done well since leaving the Island is creating intriguing mystery. Once again, Person of Interest seems to exemplify the use of a season-long (or in its case seasons-long) arc. To the writers’ credit, it’s not as silly as putting the plug in the hole in the glowing cave at the middle of the Island. The Machine’s existence and purpose is revealed piece by piece. But you don’t have to wait six seasons to find out what’s really going on. This time, the creative team has been giving answers along the way and then posing new questions. To an extent, this move of answering questions in a semi-dystopian setting is paying off on Revolution as well. The writers answered the “what caused the blackout” question mid-way through season 1. Again, they are learning to keep the viewers engaged while still creating a drama that makes people want to keep tuning in.

While the productions of Bad Robot and its former writers have largely sustained genre television as a commercially viable enterprise, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There are certain notes that all of these shows seem to hit, and that can lead to burnout. Sometimes the LOST nods are obvious and somewhat amusing…the first few times they happen. Oceanic or Ajira flights on Fringe or Once Upon a Time are rather minimally intrusive shout outs. Apollo candy bars have also been known to appear on Once Upon a Time. The number of LOST nods on Once Upon a Time is especially interesting, considering it is not a Bad Robot produced show. Showrunners and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were long-time LOST writers and producers, however, so this goes to show how the LOST/J.J. Abrams influence has spread beyond the Bad Robot brand.

It’s one thing when these shows include small nods to their common roots or have a similar feel now and then (they all seem to involve a lot of wandering around). It’s another when they adopt some of the worst aspects of their roots wholesale. Again, Once Upon a Time is the prime example. Early in the second season, several of the characters found themselves in the present day Enchanted Forest. All of the Enchanted Forest has been affected by a curse except for a Safe Haven. Safe Haven was forcibly reminiscent of the Temple, which figured prominently in the early sixth season of LOST. The Temple story arc was not one of LOST’s shining moments, and neither was the Safe Haven arc.

It’s clear that J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot have had a lasting effect on the genre television landscape. In some ways, this is a good thing, as it means that genre shows often feature an interesting, non-linear story structure and a decent attempt at character development. It becomes more problematic, however, when the shows start to all have a similar feel and start embracing each other’s worst elements. Has pop culture reached the Bad Robot saturation point? Considering that Abrams and company are now in control of both Star Trek and Star Wars, the answer is, apparently, no. For more opinions and recaps on your favorite shows, check us out at more-tv-please.com.

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

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The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

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Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

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Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?