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(2016–2017)

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‘One Mississippi’, ‘I Love Dick’ & ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Canceled By Amazon

‘One Mississippi’, ‘I Love Dick’ & ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Canceled By Amazon
Amazon is doing more clearing the decks with the cancelation of three comedy series, Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi, Jill Soloway’s I Love Dick, and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

One Mississippi was canceled after two seasons, while I Love Dick and Jean-Claude Van Johnson were axed after one.

“This is part of a move towards bigger, wider-audience series,” an Amazon insider told Deadline. Notaro’s semi-autobiographical One Mississippi has garnered strong
See full article at Deadline TV »

Mo meta blues: why self-referential comedies are starting to grate

Louis Ck used his to hide in plain sight, while Jean-Claude Van Damme is back to play a version of himself for a third time – does the form need to be rejigged?

In Amazon’s Jean-Claude Van Johnson, washed-up film star Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a washed-up film star called Jean-Claude Van Damme. It isn’t a stretch, nor is it a novelty: performers have been playing lightly fictionalised versions of themselves for decades now, but it does act as a small note of concession.

The show allows Van Damme to comment on his fall from grace on his own terms, sending up what he chooses to send up – his churn of sub-par VOD movies, the pain of being an action star in his mid-50s – while ignoring more complex issues like his struggles with mental illness, allegations of spousal abuse and his once-prodigious cocaine use. It’s a confessional but a highly revisionary one.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘The Ranch’ Review: One Last Season with Danny Masterson is Too Many, So Here’s What Happens and What’s Next

‘The Ranch’ Review: One Last Season with Danny Masterson is Too Many, So Here’s What Happens and What’s Next
In case there’s any confusion over the matter, Danny Masterson is in every episode of “The Ranch” Season 4. Despite a highly-publicized controversy that ended in the series regular being fired from Netflix’s Emmy-winning sitcom, that decision took place after filming had been completed on “Part 4.” The new episodes that were released Friday, December 15 are just like the first three seasons: Masterson, as the older brother, Jameson “Rooster” Bennett, is heavily integrated into every half-hour installment.

So fans have a choice to make: Watch “The Ranch” and try to overcome the building rage of watching an alleged rapist goof around or skip 10 episodes and pick the show back up once Masterson is gone for real.

Read More:The Best TV Performances of 2017

For many, this isn’t much of a choice. With so many truly excellent TV shows out there, “The Ranch” isn’t exactly at the top of many Netflix subscribers’ must-see list.
See full article at Indiewire »

Jean-Claude Van Damme Kicks, Quips His Way Back into Spotlight (Exclusive)

Jean-Claude Van Damme Kicks, Quips His Way Back into Spotlight (Exclusive)
It’s hard to imagine the indefatigable Jean-Claude Van Damme ever tapping out, but after wrapping his new Amazon series, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, the actor needed time to recharge after a surprisingly emotional experience on what, on the surface, seemed like a lighthearted action-comedy show.

“I truly believed in every one of those characters, and it destroyed me -- physically, mentality. It ripped me up,” Van Damme recalls to Et. “At the end of the show, I was very tired, like, ‘Aaaahhh.’”

Most action stars of the ‘90s traded on a grim stoicism, dispatching enemies and saving nations with little more than a grunt. But Van Damme was different, using a light touch and a charming personality to go along with his spinning jump kicks to become an international superstar, one equally at ease with kicking a mascot in the face in Sudden Death and swapping jokes with the Friends gang.

“The thing that always
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

‘Gunpowder’ Review: Kit Harington Needs a Dragon’s Fire to Spark This Handsome Historical Yarn

‘Gunpowder’ Review: Kit Harington Needs a Dragon’s Fire to Spark This Handsome Historical Yarn
Gunpowder” invites a lot of comparisons to “Game of Thrones.” Much of the three-hour series is spent watching Kit Harington swing his sword around, sport period garb while walking through castles, deliver stirring motivational speeches, and recruit an army to defend his fellow men from persecution. Future generations can look at .gifs of a grimacing Harington and guess, “‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Gunpowder’?”

As fun as that sounds, the limited series deserves slightly more respect than such frivolity implies. It’s an earnestly made, well-told, true story about a group of 17th century Catholics who rebelled against a Protestant king that saw their faith as a threat and wanted them eliminated. Dragons do not belong here, nor should one wish for them to fly in and set the world ablaze.

But while “Gunpowder” tells its story clearly and respectably — previously unaware British viewers will see Guy Fawkes Day differently — its
See full article at Indiewire »

The Reinvention of Jean-Claude Van Damme

The Reinvention of Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme discusses how he learned not to take himself so seriously in the new Amazon series, 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson.' Graham Walzer/Redux

Jean-Claude Van Damme – the kickboxing King of the Splits, the street-fighting inspiration for the game Mortal Kombat, the fabled flexing "Muscles From Brussels" – can get seriously silly.

"I like to make voices with my kids," he says nonchalantly. "You see a cartoon and you do one." Then Van Damme asks, "Can you make a voice for me? Make a voice for me." After a few increasingly goofy back-and-forths,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

The Reinvention of Jean-Claude Van Damme

The Reinvention of Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme discusses how he learned not to take himself so seriously in the new Amazon series, 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson.' Graham Walzer/Redux

Jean-Claude Van Damme – the kickboxing King of the Splits, the street-fighting inspiration for the game Mortal Kombat, the fabled flexing "Muscles From Brussels" – can get seriously silly.

"I like to make voices with my kids," he says nonchalantly. "You see a cartoon and you do one." Then Van Damme asks, "Can you make a voice for me? Make a voice for me." After a few increasingly goofy back-and-forths,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Review: Muscles From Brussels Is Strong In Satire

When the pilot for Jean-Claude Van Johnson first popped up on Amazon in August of last year, I have to admit I liked the Dave Callaham-created project, but I really didn't think it could work as a series. Well, now that the six-episode first season of the series starring Jean-Claude Van Damme is set for a December 15 launch, it’s time for me to admit I was so wrong on that one. Funny, smart where you don't expect it, a bit shameless, framed literally and figuratively like…
See full article at Deadline TV »

'Jean-Claude Van Johnson': TV Review

Given its precariously high concept, delivering Jean-Claude Van Johnson as a five-minute comedy short would have been a respectable achievement.

Pulling off Jean-Claude Van Johnson as a half-hour pilot would have been impressive.

And executing Jean-Claude Van Johnson as a fully realized, ongoing TV series would have been nearly miraculous.

Unfortunately, as unexpectedly satisfying as its original pilot was, let's just say that Jean-Claude Van Johnson is not a series miracle for Amazon.

Created by Dave Callaham, the premise of the show remains enticing. Van Damme plays himself as a washed-up action star whose formerly successful career was built around...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Review: A Spinning and Kicking Good Time

Fans of Tropic Thunder will immediately feel a kinship towards Jean-Claude Van Johnson, a spoof of action movies and the bulky stars who lead them. The Amazon series reintroduces us to “the Muscles from Brussels,” Jean-Claude Van Damme, who we soon learn has been using his celebrity as a cover for covert operations that include taking down an international drug ring. Jean-Claude Van Johnson is one of Amazon’s 2016 pilots that was voted on to be made into a series, and its brief six-episode has the beats of the action movies it spoofs. In that …
See full article at Collider.com »

‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Review: An Ode to Jean-Claude Van Damme, His Movies, and Not Much Else

‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Review: An Ode to Jean-Claude Van Damme, His Movies, and Not Much Else
In 2017, there’s a show for everyone, and typically that’s a good thing. There’s so much demand for fresh content and so many content providers looking to stand out, fresh stories from distinct voices populate an ever-diversifying television landscape. In other words, this is a world that could easily have room for a show where Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Jean-Claude Van Damme, a movie star who’s also a highly trained international spy.

But for as nutty as “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” sounds, its execution feels too familiar to earn its spot. Though the story-building in the pilot is clever enough to provide ample opportunity for good old-fashioned fun, too many easy jokes and half-baked movie homages keep the six-episode first season from fulfilling its potential as the sharp meta successor to “Episodes,” “The Comedians,” or even Van Damme’s 2008 film, “Jcvd.”

For starters, “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” has nothing to say about the industry,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Den of Geek Christmas 2017 UK TV and radio guide

Louisa Mellor Dec 13, 2017

We’ve taken a highlighter to this year’s Christmas and New Year TV schedules and circled what we’ll be watching this festive season…

Amid the cosy repeats and cranberry-stuffed cookery shows on TV over the next few weeks are a few gems. There’s no Sherlock or Charlie Brooker’s TV Wipe this year, but there are plenty of treats, not least the return of The League Of Gentlemen for a three-part anniversary series and Peter Capaldi’s last hurrah in the Tardis in the Doctor Who Christmas episode.

See related 26 new TV shows to watch in 2017

Over on Netflix, six new episodes of Black Mirror are coming to usher in the New Year, two days into which we welcome the return of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s genius anthology Inside No. 9.

Not to gloss over a spooky M.R. James night on BBC Four,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Jean-Claude Van Damme on ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson,’ Playing Dual Characters, and Doing the Splits [Interview]

Jean-Claude Van Damme on ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson,’ Playing Dual Characters, and Doing the Splits [Interview]
Last year’s Amazon Pilot Season included Jean-Claude Van Johnson. Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in the self-referential comedy, where Van Damme movies are only the cover for his real mission: he is actually a super spy. The full first season premieres this month on Amazon Prime. Van Damme has already revealed some mild spoilers […]

The post Jean-Claude Van Damme on ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson,’ Playing Dual Characters, and Doing the Splits [Interview] appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Jean-Claude Van Johnson: action stars, silliness and off-screen toughness

Matt Edwards Dec 14, 2017

As action comedy thriller Jean-Claude Van Johnson arrives on Amazon Prime Video, Matt looks at the history of action movie star satire...

In the new Amazon series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, action star Jean-Claude Van Damme attempts to relaunch his career by playing a fictionalised version of himself. In the show, Jean-Claude goes to Bulgaria to star in a movie which has been set-up to allow him to undertake covert missions for the agency as his alter-ego name Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

See related The Oa: 10 questions (sort of) answered The Oa: Netflix renews for season 2 Netflix's The Oa: spoiler-free review

This might all seem a bit familiar, for a couple of reasons. Of course, it’s not the first time that hyper-flexible jaw-punter Van Damme has relaunched his career by playing a fictionalised version of himself. 2008's excellent Jcvd, where he plays a down-on-his-luck version of himself who
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’: Season One (Amazon Prime Review)

Jean Claude Van Johnson review: The Muscles From Brussels lead the cast of this self-parody in a new six-part series coming to Amazon Prime Video.

Jean Claude Van Johnson review by Andrew Gaudion.

Jean Claude Van Johnson review

You may have caught sight of the pilot episode of Jean-Claude Van Johnson last year during Amazon Prime’s Originals audience poll. A few original Amazon shows aired a pilot on the streaming service, and his public opinion was enthusiastic enough, that series would be commissioned to a full order. It is the reason why The Tick returned to our screens, and it also why we now have a full series of Jena-Claude Van Johnson. Did Prime members get it right? Have we got a high kicking success or a flop that can barely do the splits? Well, it’s a bit of both.

The show stars Jean-Claude Van Damme playing a fictionalised version of himself,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Best Movies and TV to Stream in December: Sci-Fi Cops, Dave Chappelle and More

Best Movies and TV to Stream in December: Sci-Fi Cops, Dave Chappelle and More
When historians look back at the cosmic coincidences that made up the annus miserablis that was 2017, they will likely skip over the fact Netflix released a movie named Bright and a German horror series titled Dark within mere days of one another. We, however, are happy to celebrate such a glorious irony right here and now. The streaming service is also dropping a pair of stand-up specials from heavyweight talents (and supposedly the new season of Black Mirror, which is scheduled for "late 2017" ... so, um, soon?). Meanwhile Amazon is keeping
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Jean-Claude Van Damme is The Bouncer

Variety is reporting that Jean-Claude Van Damme is set to headline the new action thriller The Bouncer from director Julien Leclercq (The Assault).

According to the site, the $10 million-budgeted film is described as “in the vein of Taken” and will see the Muscles from Brussels as Lukas, “a nightclub bouncer in his fifties who’s taken punches, literally and figuratively, and struggles to raise his 8-year-old daughter. One day, Lukas loses control during an altercation with a client and ends up in jail, while his daughter gets placed under the care of social services. But things take an unexpected turn when Interpol recruits Lukas to bring down a Dutch ringleader operating from Belgium in exchange for his daughter’s custody.”

Filming on The Bouncer is set to get underway in January. Van Damme meanwhile will next be seen in the Amazon comedy series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, which premieres on December 15th.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

JCVD is Back With Amazon Series “Jean-Claude Van Johnson”

JCVD is Back With Amazon Series “Jean-Claude Van Johnson”
He’s back? I’m kind of under the impression that he should have found a different way to come back really, something that would stretch his acting talent the way he stretches while doing a full split. You know, something that looked cool in the 90’s and really impressed people. JCVD is apparently trying to mount a comeback and is coming back as what looks like a spy crossed with an actor crossed with, who knows. The main point of the show seems to be that JCVD is coming back to act as a spy for someone that needs to figure

JCVD is Back With Amazon Series “Jean-Claude Van Johnson
See full article at TVovermind.com »

TV Talk: ‘Mindhunter’ Full Series Review

On this episode of Collider TV Talk (October 20th, 2017), Josh Macuga, Grace Hancock and Sinead de Vries discuss: The new Jean-Claude Van Johnson trailer Arrow review Mindhunter full series review De Vries Style - We’ve Got Time Twitter Questions Pick of the Day - If you could pick a candy to write a sitcom about, what candy would you pick? [caption id="attachment_670235" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image via The CW/caption]…
See full article at Collider.com »

Amazon releases new trailer for Jean-Claude Van Johnson

A new trailer has arrived online for Amazon Studios upcoming comedy series Jean-Claude Van Johnson which sees Jean-Claude Van Damme leading a cast that includes Phylicia Rashad, Kat Foster, and Moises Arias; watch it below…

Jean-Claude Van Johnson stars global martial arts & film sensation Jean-Claude Van Damme playing “Jean-Claude Van Damme”, a global martial arts & film sensation, also operating under the simple alias of “Johnson” as the world’s best undercover private contractor. Retired for years, a chance encounter with a lost love brings him back to the game. This time, he’ll be deadlier than ever. Probably.

Jean-Claude Van Johnson is set to arrive on Amazon Prime on December 15th.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »
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