Michael J. Fox

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Best known for his role on the sitcom Family Ties where he played Alex Keaton, Fox has achieved a great amount of success as both a television and film actor. With appearances in hit films like Back to the Future, and countless TV productions like Spin City, Fox has proven his success as a versatile actor both on the big screen and TV screens around the world.

Fox was born in 1961 in Canada, and he soon became known as Alex Keaton with his first big break on the series Family Ties. It was in 1999 that Fox made the public announcement to admit he was battling Parkinson’s disease. The following year, he left the popular series Spin City and launched his own foundation that supported Parkinson’s research. He focused on his family during this time, but soon came back to television when he guest starred on shows like Boston Legal and Scrubs.

Born in Alberta, Canada, when Fox decided to pursue acting, he adding the “J” to his name in order to avoid confusion with another actor by the same name. While his middle name was actually Andrew, Michael has since said that he didn’t like the play on words that Michael A Fox could lead to, so he chose J instead. While Fox himself never said, many believe his choice for J was also a tribute to Michael J. Pollard, a great American actor.

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The youngest with four older siblings, Fox spent most of his childhood in Canada. With his parents Bill and Phyllis, he was said to have struggled in school, and he was picked on for his size. At only 5’4” today, he was unable to play ice hockey, his favorite sport. Since he was too small to compete in sporting activities, he soon found his second home at the drama club in the mid-70s. When he was fifteen, Fox made his professional debut on CBS, with the series Leo and Me. On the show, he played a ten year old, and he soon got another part on the movie Letters from Frank, another CBS production filmed in Canada.

Experiencing early success with his pursuit, he dropped out of high school and decided to drive to LA with his father. It was there that Fox got a part on the series Palmerstown, U.S.A., and he soon got his big break in the 80s when he was cast as Alex on the hit show Family Ties. His charm and comedy would soon build him a huge fan base, and audiences’ love for the show and Fox only grew for the following seven years.

During the 80s, Michael got another big break. While still participating on Family Ties, Michael was cast on the cult classic Back to the Future. The franchise led Michael to a huge jolt of success in his career. During the 80s, he also made appearances on a variety of other films like Teen Wolf and The Secret of My Success. After his run of comedy films, Fox decided he wanted to show off his flexibility. He took some dramatic turns during his career when he took roles on movies like Light of Day, Bright Lights, Big City, and Casualties of War. Despite his huge change from comedic to dramatic and serious, Fox managed to pull it off and received critical acclaim for the majority of his attempts.

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With Back to the Future making two sequels during 1989 and 1990, Fox effortlessly reprised the role and gained the franchise even more attention. In the 90s, Fox met with more success with movies like The American President. But, despite his big-screen success it wasn’t until his return to television in 1996 that Fox’s career truly took another leap forward. When he got a role on the ABC show Spin City, the series quickly took off, and fans felt that Fox was finally back where he belonged.

Fox enjoyed his part on the series, later saying it gave him more time to spend with his family. Fans loved the show, too, and the sitcom became an almost instant hit. In 2002, Fox got a much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1999, Fox made the announcement that startled his fans. After revealing that he had been battling with Parkinson’s disease since the beginning of the 90s, it was found that he had underwent brain surgery in order to alleviate tremors that were caused by his condition. It was 2000 when Fox announced he would be leaving Spin City. After dozens of awards and nominations, he admitted he wanted to spend more time with his family.

While fans were sad to see him go, Fox still makes regular TV appearances and has even made his way back on to the big-screen with some film parts.

4 Reasons to Watch Brooklyn Nine Nine

 

Brooklyn Nine Nine is a comedy action series created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur which airs on the Fox network. The show follows a fictional police precinct in Brooklyn and stars Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews and more. The show premiered in 2012 to great critical praise; it earned two Golden Globe awards for its premiere season and as renewed for a season, which premiered in the fall of 2014. If you aren’t yet watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, you should be! Let’s look at 4 reasons why you should be watching this great action comedy series.

It’s a great ensemble show                           

Some viewers may have been worried that the series would turn into “The Andy Samberg show,” but Samberg is just one part of a great ensemble cast. Rather than focus exclusively on the SNL star, the show manages to have a great balance between Andy and the rest of the show’s actors. Samberg is one of the more primary focuses, but the story never lingers on him too long.

The show has great flashbacks

Flashbacks are a common feature for modern comedies–they’ve been used in everything from 30 Rock to Scrubs–and Brooklyn Nine Nine has the best of both worlds. The flashbacks in the show combine the hilarity of comedic flashbacks (like those on Scrubs) with added depth that makes the show more complex, like the flashbacks shown on 30 Rock.

Chelsea Peretti is hilarious

Chelsea Peretti has been sorely missing from television, and her role as Gina Linetti in the show is an absolute testament as to why this actress should always be on the air! Her comedic timing in the role is only amplified by the character’s quirkiness that never crosses the line into annoying “wacky girl” territory.

It has its serious side

The key to a successful action comedy is the right balance between comedy and seriousness; and Brooklynn Nine Nine manages to include just the right amount of seriousness into its cop show to make it distinct from parody shows like Reno 911. The show even tackles serious issues, such as the struggles of the show’s gay police chief who has dealt with discrimination in his rise to his position in the precinct. Despite this serious side, the show never gets too melodramatic—the writers clearly have a great grasp on just how much seriousness is too much.

3 Mistakes Made by the Creators of Family Guy

The production team behind Family Guy has made a lot of mistakes with the show—according to fans as well as critics. These mistakes include odd storylines and poor casting choices, just to name a few. The following are just some of many mistakes the show has made so far in its multi-season run.

Brian is a Jerk
In the original seasons, Brian was written as an intelligent dog that was typically the voice of reason in the family. This was an interesting gimmick—the dog being the smartest thing in the room. He was also in love with Lois, which made for some interesting and even loveable interactions between the two. Over time, however, Brian has devolved into a hypocritical, stereotypically “over the top liberal,” rude, slightly misogynistic failed writer who thinks only about himself. And instead of being actually intelligent, he often fakes intelligence before being called out by Stewie.

Too Much Time Travel
Time travel is a story device that should be used very sparingly—advice that was obviously never heard by the Family Guy writers. Stewie (or more correctly, Stewie and Brian) have gone back in time so much that the concept is now completely overused and boring. Mind Over Murder, Road to Germany, Big Bang Theory, Back to the Pilot, Chap Stewie, Christmas Guy–these are just a few of the episodes where Stewie and Brian go back into the past. It’s time for something new with these two!

Recasting the voice of Death
The character of Death, who first appeared in the show during the episode “Death Is A B—” was originally voiced by comedian Norm MacDonald, who was slated as a guest voice role. Initially, the character of Death was only meant to appear once; however, the character’s popularity made the writers decide to bring back the character for another appearance. Unfortunately, Norm MacDonald was currently working with his own show at the time, the short lived A Minute with Stan Hooper. Due to this unavailability, the producers hired Adam Carolla to voice the role for their newly written episode. But despite the fact that MacDonald’s show was quickly cancelled, they never attempted to get him back and return Death to his originally voice—while Carolla doesn’t do a terrible job, he doesn’t have the same fun wit as MacDonald had in the role.

Things you didn’t Know About American Dad

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Fans of the comedy animated series American Dad were stunned when FOX announced that they were canceling the show in 2014—they were then pleasantly surprised when TBS quickly announced that they had picked up the series, and would be airing a new season in late 2014. American Dad is one of the best animated shows currently on television; but did you know the following things about the show?

Klaus was meant to be French

Klaus, a former Nazi who was put into the body of fish by the American CIA, was originally written as a saucy French fish named Francois. However, when actor Dee Bradley Baker auditioned for the part, he revealed that while his French accent was pretty terrible, he was adept at German accents–and could even speak in German well. He was allowed to adapt his audition to suit his skills in German accents and sounds; the creative team loved his performance so much that they cast him, and then actually rewrote the character of Klaus in order to suit Baker’s voice talents.

The show finishes episodes long before they air

Unlike South Park, which completes episodes on a weekly basis and is able to remain topical and up to date throughout every episode in a season, most animated television shows are completed well in advance of their broadcast date. American Dad is no exception to this common rule. The creative team behind the show typically has anywhere from 20 to 40 episodes already finished and on deck, ready to air for the show’s next seasons. This does require the show’s writers to think hard about any contemporary references they might decide to put into the show, because by the time the show airs these references could be outdated or seem ridiculous.

The first episode had over 15 million viewers.

The very first episode of American Dad premiered on February 6th, 2005. It aired after the Super Bowl, which is a highly coveted time slot–especially for new shows just trying to gain interesting with new viewers. American Dad’s premiere episode had 15.1 million viewers, and is the hghest rated episode in the show’s entire history. Despite these high ratings for the premiere, the ratings dropped to 9.47 million by the show’s second episode–namely because the second episode aired three months after the first, losing viewers in the process.

Why Gotham Works

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Gotham is one of the most surprising well-received shows of the new TV season. Many wondered if Gotham, like many attempts at superhero shows in recent years (the popular ‘Arrow’ series notwithstanding) would flop hard before it even had a chance to get out of the water. But Gotham has not only been receiving very good ratings, especially for a show on the Fox network, it has also been earning generally positive reviews from critics and a very positive reception from fans. In other words: Gotham works. But why does the show work? Let’s take a closer look.

It knows how to balance Gotham’s quirkiness with realism
The trouble with most attempts at producing a story set in the Batman universe is balance. At its heart, the Batman universe is full of villains who have gimmicks—and this can easily make something go from interesting to silly and ridiculous. Gotham, so far, knows how to balance the “gimmick” of Gotham with realism that makes it feel like a cop show set in a very strange city. A recent episode where a vigilante tied corrupt officials to weather balloons to kill him was a perfect example. The act was very strange and over the top—but the show depicted it in a way that made it realistic for the setting.

The actor for Oswald Cobblepot
It can be hard to portray a well-known character, especially the character of the Penguin, who most people associate with Danny DeVito in his performance in Batman Returns. But the “early bird” of Gotham is extremely well portrayed. He is portrayed as a somewhat nervous, high strung up-and-comer who wants to make a name for himself in Gotham’s crime elite. To do so, he must hide from his enemies—who think he is dead—while gaining enough information to put him in a position of power. His slow transformation into the “Penguin”—a nickname he currently hates—will be very interesting to see.

James Gordon is a more grounded character to follow
You can only follow the story of Bruce Wayne so many times before it becomes overdone and, truthfully, the ‘Gotham’ incarnation of future-commissioner James Gordon is more relatable and grounded than Bruce Wayne could ever be. Gordon wants to save the city through police work, and does his best to be an honest cop in the midst of constant corruption.

2 Unrealistic Aspects of Red Band Society For Your Inner Nitpicker

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Red Band Society is Fox’s new comedy-drama about teenagers who find themselves living in the pediatric ward of a hospital. The show, based on a Catalan TV series, has been receiving positive reviews but (like most of Fox’s shows) does not have stellar ratings. Although the show has an interesting touch of whimsy that makes it fun without being unbearably sad due to the setting, there are some aspects of “hospital life” that many viewers notice are unrealistic for a hospital setting. If you’re the type who loves to nitpick, read on!

Emma is seen eating on her own and keeping a food diary
Emma, unlike the other patients in the show who have physical diseases, has the mental disorder anorexia nervosa. Despite the fact that the hospital has a dedicated eating disorder ward—meaning that its staff would be trained in dealing with eating disorders—Emma seems to have free range to eat as little as she pleases on her own. She is frequently seen eating regular hospital meals by herself in the cafeteria while writing in a very obvious food diary. However, a minor patient in an eating disorder ward would not be given this much freedom—she would realistically be eating in a group with other patients, while being supervised by nurses. She would also be given special meals designed to give her better nutrition than a hefty sandwich and salty potato chips. And any type of food diary would be forbidden and confiscated if it was found, which it most certainly would be if she was writing in it so openly.

The children often leave the hospital unsupervised and without permission or staff knowledge
The show’s underage characters are frequently seen leaving the hospital without permission. In the show’s most recent episode, for example, Jordi and Dash rush off to the movies after Jordi’s mother gives them money—even though Jordi has just undergone chemotherapy treatment and is nowhere near stable enough to be leaving the hospital on his own. Despite this, there are no nurses or security who stop the underage patient from leaving with another underage patient who is not supposed to leave the building. Although some measure of freedom is necessary for the show to step outside the hospital bounds, too much freedom is unrealistic and makes viewers question the authenticity of the show.

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3 Things ‘Gotham’ Needs to Watch Out For

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Fox’s Gotham is promising to be one of the most unique, and potentially one of the best, comic book TV show adaptations in recent years. The show has gotten plenty right so far—from the nods to villains, to the atmosphere, and even choosing some great actors who know how to work with the material. But that doesn’t mean the show is perfect, and there are some pitfalls that Gotham needs to watch out for, unless it wants to end up in the same leagues as failed comic book adaptations that have come and gone before it. Let’s look at three things the show needs to avoid in order to stay at the top of its classy.

Too cheesy dialogue
It’s very easy for comic book adaptations to veer on the side of cheesy—the very nature of comic books makes them prone to over dramatic or over the top dialogue, especially in a franchise like Batman which has naturally gimmicky villains. It could be very easy for Gotham to veer into the cheesy side, especially if there are a few too many winks to Batman villains and other Batman media. Jokes and lighthearted nods are perfectly fine—and even welcome, especially in an age when comic book adaptations are often too dark and gritty—but they should be carefully written and not too abundant.

Focusing too much on Bruce
Gotham should be a prequel about—well, Gotham, and not just about Bruce Wayne. Although no franchise has actually covered his early childhood at great length, the show will do much better to tackle the history of Gotham as it descends instead of focusing solely on the young Bruce Wayne. Having James Gordon is the protagonist of the series was a stroke of genius, because it allows the show to explore different avenues of the early Gotham.

Being too literal with the canon
Gotham is, naturally, inspired by the many different adaptations of Batman. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a carbon copy and, in order for the show to succeed, it shouldn’t be afraid to branch out on its own and make its own twists on the Batman canon. Villains don’t have to be exactly the same as they are in the comics, or the animated series, or any of the live action films—and likewise, the fates of the characters should be fluid, too.