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January 31st, 2018 by Cherry

Get ready to be ‘Static Shock’ with the release of the complete third season of the beloved animated series. The two-disc package is available on wb.com/warnerarchive and online retailers. It’s a great series that I watched back in the 2000’s and perfect to revisit or introduce to new fans aka kids or new to the geek world before seeing Black Panther <grrr>

 

“In the third season, everything sort of got spruced up,” recalls LaMarr, known far and wide for his voice performances in Samurai Jack, Futurama and Family Guy, and his live-action roles for MADtv and Pulp Fiction. “The writing was just as good as ever, but they really raised the stakes. Static’s costume went from homemade to a legitimate super hero costume, Richie became his own super hero in Gear, and that meant there was less sitting back at headquarters – we started going on a lot more duo-action adventures.”

Static Shock – Toys in the Hood (S3 E9)

“Moreover, it was so great to finally have a black super hero who didn’t have ‘black’ in his name. I could relate to him. Here’s a kid who is smart, who’s trying to do the right thing, dealing with relatable problems whether it was family or school or friendships. Despite that fact that it was a cartoon that revolved around super heroes, it felt real to me.”

Phil LaMarr starred as Virgil Hawkins/Static for the entire series run and the release of the third season saw a major shift in the show with important guest appearances, upgrade to his tech and integration in the overall universe. Static got a new costume, Richie his BFF/partner-in-crime-fighting became the super hero Gear and the duo fought crime with some major baddies. All of this feels like a direct line to the upcoming Black Panther since Static ‘returned to Africa’ to find his roots, teamed up with the Justice League and Superman. LaMarr & Marsden worked together on the Disney animated series ‘The Weekenders’ which really made enriched their chemistry as friends IRL and animation!

Static Shock & Gear

“Static Shock provided a second opportunity to play partners and best friends – which was great because we were already good friends,” LaMarr says. “Our friendship on the show was authentic. And there’s nothing better than getting paid every week to work with your friend.”

LaMarr’s connection to Static appealed to him in so many ways as a fan and as someone who was once a black teenage boy. “As a comic book guy, Static was a dream come true – a character who really felt real to me,” LaMarr says. “I always thought Static would be what I would be if I got powers as a teenager. I loved Spidey and Bats, but I never wanted to be them. There are tortured souls, and everything they do is informed by that guilt. For Static, the worst problem was having to do his homework.

Static Shock: The Complete Third Season featured numerous guest performances from actors as acclaimed and diverse as four-time Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard (Miss Evers’ Boys, Desperate Housewives, Hill Street Blues), Emmy Award winner Roscoe Lee Browne (Logan’s Run, The Cowboys), Brock Peters (To Kill A Mockingbird, Soylent Green), Golden Globe winner Terence Stamp (Billy Budd, Superman), three-time Emmy Award winner Jean Smart (24, Garden State), Bud Court (Harold & Maude, M*A*S*H), Dennis Haysbert (24, Major League), Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite, The Dark Knight), T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (In Living Color, That’s So Raven), Danica McKeller (The Wonder Years), Phil Morris (Smallville), Charles Rocket (Moonlighting), Sean Patrick Thomas (The District), Kimberly Brooks (Mass Effect), Bumper Robinson (The Game), David Faustino (Married With Children), Nicolette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives), David Arquette (Cougar Town), Tia Texada (Third Watch) and rapper Romeo Miller.

Also performing guest roles during Static Shock: The Complete Third Season are the voices of Warner Bros. Animation’s core group of DC Super Heroes, including actors from Batman: The Animated Series (Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Arleen Sorkin, Robert Hastings) and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (George Newbern, Carl Lumbly, Maria Canals Barrera, Michael Rosenbaum), as well as Phil LaMarr himself as the voice of Green Lantern/John Stewart.

Static Shock, Gear & the Justice League

“The crossover episodes with the Justice League were so much fun for me – it was great to feel like Static Shock was part of the legacy of the super hero entertainment that I grew up watching and reading,” LaMarr says. “Associating Static with the Justice League sort of legitimized our little show, putting Static on the same level as supers like Batman, Green Lantern and all the rest. Plus getting to act again alongside my Justice League acting pals – Maria Canals Barrera, Susan Eisenberg, Carl Lumbly, Michael Rosenbaum, George Newbern, Kevin Conroy – was a blast, especially because now they were coming to MY house. It was actually a little weird because we were sitting in the same chairs as we always did when recording Justice League – but now I had more lines. Of course, I had two different characters – Static and Green Lantern John Stewart.”

Image result for static shock green lantern season 3 LaMarr said the dual role – which put him in the unusual position of recording two characters talking to each other – was the first time he encountered that situation in his career.

 “I thought the writers wrote those scenes as a challenge for me,” LaMarr recalls. “At least they didn’t have them singing harmony or something crazy like that!”

 Static Shock: The Complete Third Season features an all-star lineup of writers behind the scripts: Paul Dini, Dwayne McDuffie, Len Uhley, Ernie Altbacker, John Semper, Courtney Lilly and Adam Beechen. For the Static-Superman team-up episode entitled “Toys in the Hood,” Semper crafted a story that was written by Academy Award winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave).

 An episode entitled “Static in Africa” saw the Hawkins family on vacation in Ghana, where Static teams with a legendary African folk hero to combat a group of bandits. The episode was particularly important to LaMarr.

 

Static in Africa

“Static in Africa was a blast for so many reasons,” LaMarr recalls. “It was a thrill to work for the first time with Michael Jai White and Roscoe Lee Browne, as well as my Justice League castmate Carl Lumbly. Carl and Roscoe are guys whose work I’d seen growing up, and to share a studio with them was fantastic.

 

 “Moreover, it was really cool to be able to explore our roots in a Saturday morning cartoon. I had never seen contemporary Africa on Saturday morning – an Africa that was not unlike our own world. We have super heroes, they have super heroes. Africa wasn’t showed as exotica – it was a world where people like us live. And to me, that was a great part of Static Shock. It wasn’t about that Static was black; but he was black. His life, his world – those were real. And that kind of normalization is what’s key to true diversity.”

 

The Static Shock: The Complete Third Season two-disc set includes the following animated episodes:

 

Disc One

Hard As Nails

Gear

Static in Africa

Shebang

The Usual Suspect

A League Of Their Own, Part 1

A League Of Their Own, Part 2

Showtime

Romeo in the Mix

 

Disc Two

Toys In The Hood

The Parent Trap

Flashback

Blast From The Past

 

Disc Two also includes the Superman: The Animated Series episode entitled “Obsession” (Season 3, Episode 4), which ultimately served as a prequel to the Static Shock episode, “Toys in the Hood” and spotlighted the first meeting of Superman and Static, featuring the voices of Tim Daly (Superman), Nancy Travis (Darci Mason), Bud Cort (The Toyman) and Joely Fisher (Lana Lang).

 

Warner Archive Collection (WAC) continues to serve as host to some of the most beloved films, television series and animated entertainment in history – and many are now available on Blu-ray. WAC’s canon runs the gamut from restored and remastered Blu-ray classics such as The Americanization of Emily, The Big Sleep, The Great Race, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Victor/Victoria and Yankee Doodle Dandy to adored TV offerings such as Longmire (on Blu-ray), Alice and Family Matters (on DVD) to feature-length animated films, including the recent Blu-ray release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, to animated TV series headed by recent Blu-ray releases such as Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice, as well as a wealth of classic animated series on DVD including dozens of Hanna-Barbera classics. WAC offerings can be found via wb.com/warnerarchive and your favorite online retailer.

 

I was a HUGE fan of this series and am so happy it will now be available for me to fangirl as well as introduce to my young relatives. Leave a comment below on your favorite episode and whom you plan to introduce to Static!

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February 2nd, 2017 by Cherry

Paley Center NY & LA are celebrating Black History Month with events for kids and adults! Visitors will be able to enjoy archived screening with Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Diahann Carroll, Lee Daniels, Cicely Tyson, and others share personal stories as they introduce historic TV moments from Julia, Soul Train, Roots, In Living Color, Scandal, Empire and many more programs. You’ll be able to see portraits of iconic talents and walk the red carpet with favorite stars! Attendees can share pictures on social with #PaleyTribute.

In Los Angeles, the monitors are on the second floor with the portraits. In New York, you can watch the full tributes in the Spielberg Gallery or go to the Library on the fourth floor to watch individual Tribute segments.

Attendees in both New York and Los Angeles will have the opportunity to watch classic and significant programs from the Paley Archive that celebrate and examine the African-American experience (see schedule below)

NY & LA: 
February 5 and February 12

12:15 pm
The Proud Family: “Party” (2002)
Penny Proud parties down in this episode of the popular animated family sitcom. (23 minutes)

12:39 pm
The Muppet Show: Lena Horne (1976)
Legendary vocalist Lena Horne drops by for a visit with Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang. (24 minutes)

1:04 pm
Bernie Mac Show: “The Night of Terror” (2005)
Zombies, played for laughs, because that’s what happens when you combine comedian Bernie Mac and kids. (30 minutes)

1:27 pm
Julia: “Am I, Pardon the Expression, Blacklisted?” (1968)
Groundbreaking sitcom about widowed nurse Julia Baker (Diahann Carroll) and her young son, Corey. (25 minutes)

1:51 pm
The Richard Pryor Show: Robin Williams, Charles Fletcher (1977)
Controversial in its time, this comedy-variety show hosted by comedian Richard Pryor lasted just four episodes, due to disagreements over content with the network (NBC). (51 minutes)

2:43 pm
In Living Color (1990)
Homey D. Clown clowns around in this installment of the influential sketch comedy show created by Keenen Ivory Wayans and Damon Wayans. (23 minutes)

3:07 pm
ABC Novel for Television: Roots (1977)
Premiere episode of iconic miniseries (celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year), based on Alex Haley’s book, focuses on Kunta Kinte, an African warrior who is captured by slave traders and brought to America. (37 minutes)

NY & LA:
February 19 and February 26

12:15 pm
Sesame Street: “Big Birds Pen Pal” (2002)
Sweep the clouds away with this diversity-themed episode of the great American children’s series, still running strong in its forty-eighth year.

1:16 pm
Justice League: “Legends Part 1” (2002)
Superhero superteam battles supervillains in alternate dimension. (22 minutes)

1:39 pm
Justice League: “Legends Part 2” (2002)
Superheroes vs. supervillains, part two. (22 minutes)

2:02 pm
Teen Titans: “Car Trouble” (2003)
Cyborg’s new supercar starts with T, and that stands for trouble. (22 minutes)

2:24 pm
The Oprah Winfrey Show: “Malcolm X” (1992)
Oprah chats with director Spike Lee about his film Malcolm X, plus Malcolm’s widow and daughter. (44 minutes)

3:09 pm

Paris: “Dead Men Don’t Kill” (1979)
Paris (James Earl Jones) tries to save a possibly innocent man on death row in this stark episode of the criminally underappreciated cop drama. (50 minutes)

 

 

4:00 pm
Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Piano Lesson (1995)
TV adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a family in 1930s Pittsburgh and the conflict over an antique piano, a family heirloom with great symbolic value; starring Charles Dutton, Alfre Woodard, and Courtney B. Vance. (1 hour 40 minutes)

In New York and Los Angeles, families are welcome to enjoy family screenings and craft activities that celebrate African-American history and pop culture. 

 

Also in New York, the Paley Center’s Education department will present two workshops:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017; 2:00 pm
Screening and Discussion: CBS Reports: Who Speaks for Birmingham (1961)
Come see this rarely seen one hour in-depth news report which sought to let Birmingham residents, both black and white, speak on behalf of their community, then the center of international attention due to racial violence and strife.
Recommended for children ages 14 and older.

Thursday, February 23, 2017; 2:00 pm
Workshop: The Civil Rights Movement and Television
In the years between 1954 and 1965, more legislation was passed, more court decisions were rendered, and more social change was effected in the name of civil rights than ever before. The rise of the Civil Rights Movement paralleled the growing use of television in the United States. In 1950 television was still in its infancy, but by 1960, televisions were present in 90 percent of American homes. Television provided the American public with a means to witness the struggle for civil rights nearly in real time and led a more informed society to enact social change.  In this workshop participants view and discuss important television clips from the Paley Center’s civil rights archive.
Recommended for children ages 13 and older. 

Email eduny@paleycenter.org to make reservations.

Exhibits, Screenings, & Family Activities

February 2017, in Los Angeles & New York
Wednesdays to Sundays
12:00 to 5:00 pm (LA)
12:00 to 6:00 pm; Thursdays until 8:00 pm (NY)
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

 

The Paley Center for Media in LA
465 N. Beverly Drive,
at S. Santa Monica Blvd.
More info about visiting.

The Paley Center for Media in NY
25 West 52 Street
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
More info about visiting.

Posted in free, Los Angeles, Made in America, museum, Race in America Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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