In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia interviews Caseen Gaines for the second time (third time counting a blog interview) in honor of his newly released book We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy.
Back to the Future has become one of the most iconic and memorable movies of the 1980's and has led up to one of the most well regarded trilogies in cinema history alongside the Star Wars trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Dark Knight trilogy. This July will mark the first movie's 30th anniversary and a new book has been released to give you behind the scenes look into the films in the form of We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy by Caseen Gaines. We at Old School Lane have interviewed Caseen before. Click here to read our first interview. Click here to watch episode 31 of Casual Chats to listen to our second interview.
This marks his third book he's written behind Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse and A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, but the first one published by Penguin Publishing Company, the same company that published Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age by Mathew Klickstein. But no need to fret, for Gaines' narrative of weaving in over 500 hours of interviews with multiple people from the movies such as Bob Zemekis, Bob Gale, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, and many more hasn't been lost. It's just as intriguing and captivating as ever with each chapter telling a story ranging from the struggles of Bob Zemekis and Bob Gale getting started in their careers, the struggle of trying to make Eric Stolz work as Marty McFly before being replaced by Michael J. Fox, never before heard stories about the makings of the movies, and what happened afterwards. It even takes some time to discuss about the Back to the Future Ride at Universal Studios (which is still open in Japan. Lucky) and the more recent game made by TellTale Games.
Now unlike Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse, in which there was no book or information about the TV series outside of the behind the scenes features on the DVDs or A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic in which it had the behind the scenes features on the DVD as well as a TV Guide special, the Christmas Story museum. and a few documentaries, Back to the Future is very well documented with not only a ton of behind the scenes features on the DVDs and Blu-Ray releases, but there has also been a book about Back to the Future already. It may be a little bit hard to persuade the hardest of hardcore Back to the Future fans to check the new book out, but We Don't Need Roads has enough of new stories that seasoned veterans of the trilogy will learn about as well as a great start for people just getting into the trilogy for the first time and want to dive more into the lore of one of the greatest movies of all time. If you're interested in purchasing the book, you can purchase it at any retail book stores, online in Amazon, an eBook on Kindle, or as an audio book at Audible. I highly recommend that you check it out, especially if you're a movie buff or an 80's pop culture enthusiast.
If you want to know more about the book, check out our newest interview with Caseen Gaines on Casual Chats.
That's all for now. Tune in next time as the next episode of Casual Chats will be about the Back to the Future franchise in honor of its 30th anniversary. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.
Last week before E3 2015 started, Nintendo had the Nintendo World Championship and featured both new and old games for the competitors to play. One of the games that were featured was an brand new unreleased game under the title Blast Ball that featured 4 players shooting a ball into a goal in a sci-fi futuristic setting. When I first saw the game livestreamed on my computer, I posted these responses on Twitter.
A few days later when Nintendo did their E3 Press Conference, I finally learned the truth. Blast Ball was an actual Metroid Prime spinoff game with the new title Metroid Prime Federation Force.
When I first saw the trailer, I was confused and disappointed. It looked absolutely NOTHING like a Metroid game. There was no sign of Samus and had no other distinct characters or settings like Zebes, SR388, Tallon IV, Aether, etc.
But then after seeing the trailer and seeing all the complaints from Metroid fans, I thought to myself "Why are people so surprised about Metroid having a spinoff title trying to cater to other fans? Did they forget about the other spinoff titles like Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime Hunters? Nintendo has done this before to the Metroid series, so I didn't understand why people were so angry. But then I remembered when thinking back on Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime Hunters that they looked and felt like Metroid games. One of the great things about Nintendo is that they deliver great spinoff titles outside the main franchises to broaden out the demographic and, for the most part, they've been successful. The Mario series being the prime example having Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, the Mario RPG games, the Yoshi games, the Wario games, Luigi's Mansion, and even Super Smash Bros. The Kirby series is always doing new and different varieties of aesthetics and gameplay from having Kirby platforming, racing, an open world exploration game with 3 other Kirbys, a platformer with 10 Kirbys, Kirby made of yarn, Kirby made of clay, and much more.
While I'm still giving it the benefit of the doubt that the game will focus on the Galactic Federation instead of Samus. However, when I thought of a game that focused on the Galactic Federation, I wouldn't think of a sci-fi soccer game. It looks like a lot of fun, but I wouldn't really call it a Metroid game. I guess I kinda know how Banjo and Kazooie fans feel about Nuts and Bolts. On its own, it seems like a creative and colorful game with nice levels and endless possibilities of creating your own vehicle. But it has absolutely nothing to do with its predecessors which has been labeled as the black sheep of the series.So I will give Metroid Prime Federation Force a fair chance. Speaking of which...
Oh boy. When I saw this petition, I didn't know what to think of it. I understand that the Metroid fans are very angry that the next game in the Metroid series isn't a main title. After all, it's been 5 years since Metroid: Other M was released and people have been dying for a new game in the series. Especially, since Metroid: Other M was such a jarring experience that has alienated so many fans with the story, the portrayal of Samus, and the linear game play. Even I have a hatred for Metroid: Other M, but that's a story for another time. Getting back to the main topic, the petition is going a little bit out of hand. I understand that people are not looking forward to this game. I understand that people want a new Metroid game. Trust me, I want one too. I want a new Metroid game as much as the next person. The Metroid series means a lot to me. Super Metroid is my favorite game of all time. I was so stoked when Super Metroid was one of the games played on the Nintendo World Championship 2015. I even want to do a video in the future about that topic. But you have to understand that there are so many other Nintendo IPs that has gone on longer without other installments. Before the announcement of the upcoming Star Fox Zero, there wasn't a new Star Fox game in almost a decade ever since Star Fox Command for the Nintendo DS. There hasn't been a new F-Zero game in a decade since F-Zero: GP Legend for the Game Boy Advance. Before Kid Icarus: Uprising was released in the 3DS in 2012, there hasn't been a new Kid Icarus game since Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters for the Game Boy in 1991, over 20 years later. At least we're getting a Metroid game. It may not be the one we wanted, but at least the series is still somewhat relevant to Nintendo.
The Metroid series was never a lucrative series, even back then, in Japan. Metroid and Super Metroid were critically acclaimed, but it was always overshadowed by other critically acclaimed games such as The Legend of Zelda for the NES and Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. It gained a huge massive audience in the US and still has a huge place of gamers' hearts to this day as one of the most iconic female protagonists of all time. Trust me, if there's anything that I've seen in recent years, gaming companies and the creators know what the fans want and they'll give them what they want in due time. Mother fans are finally getting Earthbound Beginnings from the NES on the WiiU's Virtual Console. Shenmue fans are finally getting Shenmue III. Square Enix fans are finally getting the Final Fantasy VII remake. I know that Nintendo will give us the Metroid game that we deserve and I can't wait when it comes out. Hey, we had to wait 8 years for Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion and they turned out to be fantastic. Let's give it some time. I'm sure it'll be well worth it.
That's all for now. Let me know in the comments below on your thoughts of Metroid Prime Federation Force. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.
In this episode of Nick Jukebox, Patricia features more music based on Nickelodeon video games in honor of E3 2015. Expect songs from video games such as SpongeBob: Lights! Camera! Pants!, The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown, and Nicktoons Racing.
Click on the video down below to listen to last year's Nick Jukebox dedicated to Nickelodeon video games.
Hey guys, special announcement! The founders of Old School Lane, Patricia and Kevin, will be appearing as background characters for the animated web series TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise by Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi at the Season 2 finale coming this July.
If you haven't yet, go check out episode 42 of Casual Chats where we interviewed Chris a few months ago.
Also, while you're at it, go watch TOME to catch up on the episodes before the last episode of Season 2 airs.
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.
Recently, I've been seeing complaints online about how there are way too many comedic sitcoms on Nickelodeon nowadays such as The Thundermans, Henry Danger, Make it Pop, Every Witch Way, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, and more. They have stated that there is no more variety as compared to the shows that came out in the 90's and that they're not focusing enough on the Nicktoons. Yes, it seems that in recent years that Nickelodeon airs more live action shows as oppose to animated. But why? Well, I may not give a definitive answer, here's my personal opinion on why it seems to be the case.
Going into the 90's, the decade that most people look the mostly fond of when it comes to Nickelodeon, what were the most popular live action shows that aired? Salute Your Shorts, Clarissa Explains it All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, All That, Kenan & Kel, and The Amanda Show. While there was some variety mixed in such as Are You Afraid of the Dark? being an anthology horror show and the game shows such as Nick Arcade, What Would You Do?, Nickelodeon GUTS, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and Figure it Out!, for the most part, shows that were comedic took off and are still fondly remembered even today. The jokes were memorable, the actors portraying the characters were fun to watch, and the episodes that consisted of those said things reran numerous times and we would quote the jokes to all of our friends. Watching something humorous leaves a huge impact on people, especially if they are going through tough times on their lives as oppose to watching something dramatic or sad. Sure, we remember those moments just as fondly, but the comedic moments are more fun to bring up in casual conversations. Not to mention, the ones that get the most memes online.
The shows that are the most obscure for Nickelodeon were, for the most part, shows that weren't either a comedy or a sitcom. Programs such as Fifteen, Nickelodeon's first and only attempt of a soap opera, Space Cases, a sci-fi series, The Secret World of Alex Mack, a sci-fi teen drama, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, a mystery series, and Animorphs, a sci-fi fantasy based on a book series, aren't as fondly remembered nor discussed ad nauseum as the others. The other shows that aren't as remembered were the mediocre sitcoms and comedies. Welcome Freshmen was the first sitcom that aired in 1991, but it started with being an unfunny sketch comedy show/sitcom before turning into a full blown sitcom similar to Saved by the Bell. My Brother and Me was the first sitcom in Nickelodeon that featured an African American cast. But watching it today, the show is so horribly dated with bad acting, cliched characters, and stock plots, it's hilarious. 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd is dull, boring, and redundant. Cousin Skeeter is also dull and boring mixed with mean spirited moments trying to be like Kenan & Kel without understanding what made that show worked.
I know that the second reason is going to get some people angry, but I partly blame Dan Schneider for the popularity of comedic sitcoms, especially around the 2000's. Nickelodeon tried to experiment with other shows to bring in variety such as Caitlin's Way and The Brothers Garcia, but what show became popular right away and is still regarded fondly even today? Drake & Josh, Schneider's first and overall best comedic sitcom. No other live action show compared to the huge ratings and views of Drake & Josh, even Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, another great comedic show. Each program that he's released became hugely popular and had gained a large amount of ratings, despite the mixed to negative results that his more recent shows such as Victorious, Sam & Cat, and Henry Danger has gotten. Afterwards, most of the people seemed to try to copy off of Dan Schneider's style doing everything from the laugh track, the "funny", unrealistic, and good looking characters, and ludicrous plots to get at least a chunk of his success. Back then when I saw a trailer of True Jackson V.P., I thought it was made by Dan Schneider. It turned out that he had nothing to do with it, but it felt a bit like iCarly. Nickelodeon had back themselves in a corner letting Dan Schneider constantly create show after show after show. Nowadays, he's clearly burned out, but the network cannot let him go just yet because his shows are the only ones that bring in decent ratings. Not to mention with being involved with some of the most popular Nickelodeon live action shows over the past 20 years has built a bit of history with us. Without Schneider, live action shows might as well be done, at least even more done than what they are now.
Another thing I partly blame of this is Hannah Montana bringing in the concept of pop stars as the main characters as a marketing ploy with releasing CDs, having concerts, and the huge amount of merchandise that was released of it. Then afterwards, there was the High School Musical movies, Camp Rock, and other sitcoms that followed in the same trend. But then eventually, they brought in the idea of young kids and teens who had to not only look good, but sing and dance as well. Being average and relatable was considered to be dull and uninteresting. Since then, Nickelodeon is walking towards the Disney route, the same route that they avoided becoming 20 years prior. As D.J. MacHale, the creator of Are You Afraid of the Dark? quoted in our interview with him 2 years ago, it has became so hard to distinguish the live action shows so bad, it might as well be called Disneylodeon.
Nickelodeon noticed over the years that the most well regarded shows that they've ever made were the comedic sitcoms and the shows that weren't that were quickly discarded and forgotten, so that put in their minds that that's what people want to see. It's not fully Nickelodeon's fault that they have this mindset. They're staying in their comfort zone because they assume that if they release anything that isn't a comedic sitcom, it won't become lucrative or popular. In a way, they're right. It's kinda our fault for leaning towards one style of genre as oppose to another. We've always leaned towards the comedic shows such as Kenan & Kel and we've forgotten about the more dramatic ones like Caitlin's Way. Trust me, viewership and recognition are everything when it comes to what gets a second season or gets quickly cancelled. While the other genres of live action shows such as the dramatic, sci-fi, or fantasy weren't as popular, they're still liked by people and are required to bring in variety in a time when today's live action shows have been one note, tired, stale, and not groundbreaking. Maybe not a lot of people, but a decent size nonetheless. If Nickelodeon ever starts releasing high quality shows that aren't comedic or a sitcom, let's give them a legit chance and watch them. We might discover a well written, well acted, and well presented show that gains a fanbase for reasons other than "it made me laugh".
That's all for now. Let me know in the comments below if you agree or disagree with my opinions. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon.
Patricia reflects on what Nickelodeon means to her discussing about fond memories on watching her favorite childhood shows, reviewing the shows for the Nickelodeon tribute, attending the Slimed! book event, and more.
To read the original article on what Nickelodeon means to Patricia, click here to read.