|Dec 2016: Seasons Greetings|
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, a blessed Eid, a bibulous Yule, a peaceful Solstice, a delirious Kwanzaa, and a wonderful New Year!
And enjoy whatever else you'll celebrate these coming days.
A heartfelt Thank You to all those named and un-named who again helped me this year to keep this site the way it is.
Oh - and special thanks to Michael T. Weiss!
|12-1-2016: Countdown to Christmas and Hanukkah|
Today I started with a countdown to Christmas and Chanukah (Hanukkah) - for the first time ever, in 2016 both begin on Dec. 24th - over on Ask Dr. Mike's Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/AskDr.Mike - of course with a picture of Dr. Mike :) After all, this site is named after him! Enjoy a new / old / unknown / favorite photo of Michael T. Weiss every day. ~ EFi ~
|11-24-2016: Happy Thanksgiving|
I want to wish our American friends a happy, safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday! Enjoy time with friends and family and be thankful for love, even when it includes disagreement. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. ~ EFi ~
|10-10-2016: Technical updates on this site "Ask Dr. Mike"|
|10-5-2016: Tweets for the 20th Anniversary of "The Pretender"|
I was away on vacation while the 20th Anniversary of "The Pretender" happened, so only now a couple of tweets by creator Steven Long Mitchell, Andrea Parker (Miss Parker) and Jon Gries (Broots) from Sep 20 about that event:
- Steven Long Mitchell: 20 years ago something special premiered. Thank you @TheAndreaParker, MTW, PB & @jongries 4 changing my life. Source, with picture
- Andrea Parker replied on that tweet from Steven Long Mitchell: First of all, where's my bite & what are you drinking? Second, I will always treasure the memories we share! #MissP Source
- Steven Long Mitchell: The Pretender writing staff 20 yrs later. Thanks @brasstab (Juan Carlos Cota, one of the writers/producers of The Pretender) for making this reunion happen. Source, with picture
- Jon Gries: It was 20 years ago today. Sgt Pepper taught the band to play.....@stevemitchell @Theandreaparker @thepretender kisses Source
- Steven Long Mitchell: Wonder what the next 20 years will bring?????? Source, with picture
|10-1-2016: Remember "The Pretender"?|
Interesting new article about the show:
Does Anyone Else Remember The Pretender, the Weirdest Show of the Late '90s? by Katharine Trendacosta
Trying to describe The Pretender to people who's never seen it is nearly impossible. The premise is ridiculous and the twists unbelievable. It's a supremely strange show and I literally can't believe it lasted four seasons on NBC.
Here's a summary: A man named Jarod (no last name) escapes from the Centre (no descriptive name), where he has spent his entire childhood being used for his astonishing intellect to... run simulations of things so that... the people paying the Centre... could get the best plan possible...for whatever. He's pursued by Miss Parker (no first name), the daughter of the man in charge of the Centre; Sydney (OH MY GOD WHY DID NO ONE IN THIS SHOW HAVE FULL NAMES), the doctor who had essentially raised Jarod; and Broots, a computer nerd.
The formula of each episode was basically that Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) would show up somewhere in a brand new job - he could literally do anything, that's what “Pretender” means - to solve some sort of injustice. He'd do that, arrange for the bad guy to suffer some sort of ironic pain and arrest, and then leave again, usually just before Miss Parker (Andrea Parker) showed up to chase him.
And that part, where Jarod was basically a superhero, was weird enough. When you add in whatever the hell the Centre was, the show's mythology gets downright insane. Dredging up specific missions of Jarod's is hard, but the weird shit happening on the Centre end? Easy.
They have a “tribunal” system for interrogating employees about things going wrong. There are Cleaners, which are like a secret police, and Sweepers, which are security. Because why not have a big strange corporation with an impenetrable naming scheme.
Sydney was always doing some sort of weird experiment with twins. There was a creepy bald dude named Raines who had an oxygen tank. Miss Parker had a secret sociopathic twin who, I swear to god, lost a thumb at one point. Actually, everyone had secret relatives running around. Sydney had a secret twin in a coma. Miss Parker had a couple of brothers and an uncle. At one point there was a young clone of Jarod wandering around. There was a guy in the vents who has his own special mind powers. Oh, and Jarod cartesd around a case full of surveillance footage of his entire childhood.
Plus the name thing which is downright ridiculous. Mr. Parker doesn't ever use his daughter's name in order to preserve this conceit. So he calls her “Angel” instead. Her brother? Mr. Lyle. Is that his first name, his last name? NEITHER! It's an alias. At one point, Sydney is introduced as “Dr. Sydney” in order to avoid naming him properly. Are these people's names the anti-life equation? What's happening?!
All of that was weird as hell, but then the show got canceled... and somehow got weirder. There were two TV movies made after the show proper ended. Pretender 2001 basically dealt with the cliffhanger left by the season four finale and the series' cancellation. Island of the Haunted added a ton of backstory to the Parker family and introduced to all his insanity... a prophecy and magic. SURE. I GUESS.
And yet, somehow, I kind of love this show? Its early seasons were mostly fun little adventures. The later seasons went off the deep end in a serious way, and that makes it even more enjoyable somehow. The cast was engaging and everyone involved seemed to have a blast, which translated to the viewing experience. It's so campy and ridiculous and exactly the thing to watch in syndication while doing homework. Which is how I, and the one other person I ever met who watched it, encountered it.
I'm still annoyed by the name thing, though.
Source: IO9, Sep 27, 2016
|Sept 2016: 20th Anniversary of "The Pretender"|
I've created this collage for "Ask Dr. Mike" on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the US premiere of "The Pretender" on NBC on September 19, 1996.
The show made it to Europe the following year:
Sweden Jan 9, Germany March 26, France April 4, UK June 15, Estonia Sep 4, Portugal Sep 19, Finland Sep 26, Israel Oct 29, 1997 and Italy Aug 2, 1998.
|9-13-2016: Vacation note|
I'll be off on vacation in a few hours - and as always during that time, also off-line. So there will be no updates posted here or on the "Ask Dr. Mike" Facebook page until October. I'm very much looking forward to my holidays athough not to the 11-hour filght to get there ... In the mean time have fun celebrating The Pretender Anniversary! ~ EFi ~
|9-8-2016: Interview with Steven Long Mitchell and Richard Marcus at 'La loi des séries - Radio VL'|
I had asked the creators of "The Pretender" through their Facebook page if we can expect something special from them on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their show.
Source: The Pretender Creators @ Facebook, Sep 8, 2016
|9-1-2016: Interview with Steven Long Mitchell and Richard Marcus at 'La loi des séries - Radio VL'|
The interview with Steven Long Mitchell, one of the creators of "The Pretender" and Richard Marcus (Mr. Raines) was originally aired during the French radio show 'La loi des séries' on Radio VL on August 31 on the occasion of the upcoming 20th anniversary of "The Pretender" in September.
Pour sa rentrée, 'La loi des séries' frappe un grand coup en célébrant les 20 ans de la série Le Caméléon en compagnie du créateur de la série.
You can listen to the original French version here.
And here is the English version of yesterday's interview, which you can also download.
|8-18-2016: 20th Anniversary of "The Pretender" / "Le Caméléon" in September|
Steven Long Mitchell, one of the creators of "The Pretender" / "Le Caméléon" will be a guest at the French radio show 'La loi des séries' on Radio VL on August 31, 11h to 12h30, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of "The Pretender" in September.
For more information about this radio show, check out their website. The interview was recorded a few weeks ago, so they already have a bit from it up there.
From 'La loi des séries - Radio VL': A l'occasion des 20 ans de la série Le Caméléon, Steven Long Mitchell, créateur de la série, invité EXCEPTIONNEL du premier numéro de la 3ème saison de La loi des séries le mercredi 31 août!!!!! Bonus: Interview VO dans le billet du replay.
On Aug 16 they added this to their Facebook page: there will be a version in english for the interview
|8-16-2016: About "The Pretender" - news from the past (late 2000)|
"The Pretender" was no longer deemed cost-effective after four seasons (1996-2000) by the NBC network and relegated to the huge video scrap heap in the sky littered with thousands of failed TV series.
It unleashed a fire storm of protest as 40,000 unhappy fans registered their unhappiness on the Internet by firing off extremely testy e-mail missives to the show's producers, NBC Studios and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Before Michael T. Weiss' tears dried on the cancellation notice, two two-hour "Pretender" telefilms were sealed, signed and delivered.
"I think the bottom line is that the audience wanted to see more 'Pretenders' and the network executives were simply out of touch," says Weiss, 38, the strapping 6-foot-2, heavily muscled 190-pound actor who stars as Jarod Russell - the genius impostor dedicated to helping those who cannot help themselves. "It's a perfect example of the Internet's purpose, which is to provide a direct link between the people and creative sources by cutting out the middleman."
Vox populi has yielded "The Pretender 2001" (Mon., Jan. 22, 8-10 p.m., TNT), the first of two movies designed to pick up where the original series ended with the additional twists of solving some long-standing questions and inviting more mysteries surrounding the show`s mythology. As usual, the Centre escapee will be chased by Miss Parker (Andrea Parker), Sydney (Patrick Bauchau) and Broots (Jon Gries).
Both TV movies were shot in Toronto, as was "The Pretender's" pilot, with other cast stalwarts including Mr. Lyle (Jamie Denton), Mr. Raines (Richard Marcus), Mr. Parker (Harve Presnell) and Ethan (Tyler Christopher).
"I wasn`t quite ready to put Jarod to sleep," says Weiss, "because it has been an incredibly creative process working with talented writers and a great tight cast."
The second "Pretender" film - which takes place in Scotland - is already in the can and scheduled for broadcast in March or April, according to Weiss.
"It deals with ancient secrets leading back to the Centre and has a very different tone from the current movie. Jarod will continue to grow up before the audience, but I can't reveal more than that. Beyond that, I have absolutely no idea about what is going to happen to the show as a series or movies."
Author: Eirik Knutzen, (c) Copley News Service
Excerpt from: South Jersey.com
|8-1-2016: "Sunset Park"|
The "Sunset Park" Movie has this byline on their latest picture from the mixing box: "Just trying to get everything right with the mix before the festivals!"
To which I've added this question: "Any festival dates already?"
This is their answer: "None yet - we will for sure keep everyone posted"
Source: Sunset Park Movie @ Facebook, July 29, 2016
|7-20-2016: Picture of Michael T. Weiss in "Sunset Park"|
"Sunset Park" has posted this behind-the-scenes picture of Michael T. Weiss, John Bianco, and writer/director Jason Sarrey on both their Instagram & Facebook accounts. Enjoy!
Byline: Taking a breather in between set ups. Discussing the next scene for the day! #SunsetParkMovie #Brooklyn #IndieMovie #NYC #MichaelTrevino #Boxing
|7-17-2016: "The Pornographer's Daughter"|
Update from Liberty Bradford Mitchell on her biographical one-woman-play "The Pornographer's Daughter", whose world premiere in San Francisco in January 2014 was directed by Michael T. Weiss:
"After an extended pause the wagons are circling again, and the next incarnation of The PD stage show is starting to come to life and we are shooting for a 2017 touring production. Meanwhile, this summer will be the soft launch of my website & podcast, "liberty speaking." Stay tuned!"
|5-11-2016: "Sunset Park"|
In April one of the producers of "Sunset Park" had contacted me if I had ideas how to get Michael T. Weiss' fans involved in promoting their movie, writing: "...What do you think are the best ways to engage Michael's fans? His social media isn't as strong as some of our other actors, but I know he has a large fan base! We are very excited about his role in our film Sunset Park. He really plays a great character, and we want to let as many fans of his know as possible. Thanks for any help..."
From my experience, Michael himself unfortunately isn't into social media at all - or at least not publicly. It's hard to promote someone that doesn't want to be promoted, not even back in the days of "The Pretender".
But if you have ideas, post them at Sunset Park Movie @ Facebook and tell them 'Ask Dr. Mike' had sent you over.
|4-27-2016: First clip with Michael T. Weiss in "Sunset Park"|
Yesterday "Sunset Park" has finally released the first moving images of Michael T. Weiss as Duane!
I LOVE Michael's voice, even if his look reminds me of Larry in "Freeway" from 1996, with Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Amanda Plummer and Brooke Shields.
|4-22-2016: Earth Day 2016|
#EarthDay #EarthDay2016 Today is Earth Day!
This year's theme: Trees for the Earth. Let's get planting. #treesforearth More
Every April 22, Earth Day celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. The day is dedicated to environmental concerns, and peace.
To keep the global spotlight on climate change and build on the strong political momentum resulting from the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on Dec 12, 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited representatives of all countries to sign the Paris Climate Agreement, a worldwide effort to tackle the problems of greenhouse gas emissions, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York today. It is expected to be signed by over 120 countries. #Sign4Climate More
Also, Google celebrates this year's Earth Day with five Doodles that showcase five biomes from around the world: See them here and try to find the logos.
|4-7-2016: Picture of Michael T. Weiss in "Sunset Park"|
|4-5-2016: Update on "Sunset Park"|
"Sunset Park" has posted this first sneak peek of the movie on their facebook page today, showing Michael Trevino as Gino Sarcione in the boxing ring: Video clip (no Michael T. Weiss though)
Byline: Are you ready? #SunsetParkMovie starring - #MichaelTrevino coming 2017! #SunsetPark #Brooklyn #NewYork #NYC #Movie
Sunset Park on Facebook ; Sunset Park on Twitter
Also, they have a new Instagram account, which apparently will be updated regularily: Sunset Park on Instagram, header: When the gloves come off, fight for what you believe in. Sunset Park starring Michael Trevino - Coming 2017
|3-25-2016: Happy Easter Days!|
|2-22-2016: Filming pick ups for "Sunset Park"|
Over the weekend many from original crew returned to various locations in Brooklyn for pick ups for the upcoming feature film "Sunset Park", written and directed by Jason Sarrey.
Michael T. Weiss (Duane) sits in a make-up chair in the Bootleg Bar on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn.
Another picture shows lead actor Michael Trevino in the boxing ring.
Source: josellopez_hmua_spfx @ Instagram, Feb 21, 2016
|2-8-2016: The Pornographer's Daughter|
Over the weekend, Liberty Bradford Mitchell, the woman behind this play sent birthday greetings to Chuck Sperry, the designer of its poster, and added this note: "Hopeful we'll be updating the poster with new dates later this year!"
|2-3-2016: Birthday Greetings from Andrea Parker|
Source: Andrea Parker @ Twitter, Feb 3, 2016
|2-2-2016: Happy Birthday Michael!|
Happy 54th Birthday to Michael T. Weiss!
Cheers to many happy years more!
EFi on behalf of "Ask Dr. Mike"
|1-25-2016: Michael T. Weiss voicing Dormammu in two video games about Marvel's Dr. Strange|
I was looking for news about the upcoming (Oct/Nov 2016) Marvel movie "Dr. Strange" starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen. Much to my surprise and enjoyment I found a sound bite of Michael T. Weiss voicing Dormammu, one of the characters in two video games from 2011 "Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3" and "Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds" for the franchise: Sound bite of Dormammu
|1-18-2016: Birthday Wishes to Michael T. Weiss|
Michael T. Weiss will have his 54th birthday on February 2.
Maybe this year we can send him postcards from where we live, from vacation or abroad. So he can see where his fans come from and it might be more fun to read than the ususal 'Happy Birthday' cards ... What do you think?
Michael T. Weiss
c/o Pop Art Management
PO Box 55363
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413