On Cinema at the Cinema: Season 6, Episode 1 (D-)
It’s worth noting that, at its peak, there’s no way a season of On Cinema at the Cinema would receive anything less than a perfect 10/10 or A+ rating. The show’s unique blend of film expertise and insightful conversation between host Tim Heidecker and recurring guest Gregg Turkington made it the logical heir to the classic Siskel & Ebert series about film criticism. With the sudden and recent departure of Heidecker at the end of last season however, On Cinema has been placed in a precarious position, as evident in its bizarre season six premiere.
When Heidecker announced he was leaving the show and Hollywood for Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the end of season five, he rather begrudgingly suggested that Turkington could take over as host and that, unfortunately, is what has come to pass. There’s no disputing Turkington’s effusiveness for contemporary cinema and, at the best of times, his unassailable enthusiasm for movies and joy for life is infectious. Having said that, his first turn as On Cinema host this past week was a veritable trainwreck.
For some reason, Turkington’s own guest expert was a videotaped version of himself, appearing on a crappy VCR/TV combo mounted on top of a cardboard box. Every time the real Turkington pressed play on a remote so that he could correspond with himself or prattle on about completing his disturbing #501moviesIn501days project, it made Heidecker’s absence that much more painful to bear. That coupled with both Turkingtons delivering five-bags-of-popcorn™ reviews of Jupiter Ascending and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and an odd new segment called “Golden Age Comedies with W.C. Fields” rendered this episode useless and a disappointment.
It might be a little early in the new host’s tenure for such criticism but, as fans of On Cinema can attest, the show is nothing without Tim Heidecker’s charisma and knowledge and, for the sake of this important show, it’d be best to have him return and rein Turkington in before it’s way too late. (Adult Swim)