Marty VanDriel

Missing the adventure

Television | The Dangerous Book for Boys is an epic disappointment
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 6/14/18, 02:59 pm

Get your head out of your phone, and get your hands dirty! The Dangerous Book for Boys, published in 2007, seems like a great starting point for a TV adaptation. Authors Conn and Hal Iggulden taught young men classic skills like building treehouses, skimming stones, and making paper airplanes, and gave brief history lessons on topics like the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. 

Amazon’s TV series of the same name is a squandered opportunity—a mushy mix of modern clichés and New Age spiritualism that pays brief attention to its supposed source material.

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Space family Robinson

Television | Despite recycled plotlines, Netflix’s Lost in Space is well-made and upholds noble virtues
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 5/24/18, 11:55 am

Do you ever wonder if there are any truly new TV or movie plots? Producers of the new Netflix series Lost in Space reused characters and plotlines from the 1960s series of the same name, which in turn was based loosely on the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson, written by a pastor, Johann David Wyss. Wyss was inspired by Daniel Defoe’s 1719 classic, Robinson Crusoe. That’s a lot of recycling!

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Emergency measures

Television | In the Fox series 9-1-1, the first responders need a rescuer, too
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 3/01/18, 03:30 pm

A firefighter muscles through smoke and confusion, then dives into rising water to save passengers stuck in an airliner downed in the Pacific. A police sergeant bursts out of the duct tape around her wrists, tackling a crazed killer. A group of wedding celebrants falls through two stories of a negligently built structure, and emergency personnel race in to rescue. Fox’s popular new TV drama 9-1-1 revels in mayhem, but the first responders’ own lives are equally chaotic.

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