Michael Cassidy reflects on the first season of TBS’ “Men at Work”

Michael Cassidy recently co-starred as Tyler in TBS’ hit new comedy series “Men at Work”.  The show is already in production for it’s second season.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Michael about the first season and what he enjoyed most.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what you enjoyed most about playing Tyler in “Men at Work”?
Michael Cassidy: Getting to see some of Tyler’s specific preferences was really fun. When we did the pilot I didn’t know that he was going to have his own thing. The toilet episode was a lot of fun as were some of the more recent episodes. All the things that Tyler has going on are just so much fun to watch come out. Everyone on the show has enjoys making fun of me and the character.

MG: How was it working in front of a studio audience?
MC: That was definitely a favorite of mine as an actor. We have such great audiences and I don’t know if you can really have a bad audience in that type of set up. Things have been great. I did theater in the past so this was comfortable for me. It was familiar without being boring. To work on a show all week and then perform it in front of a live audience all the while not knowing how it will be received is very rewarding. It’s phenomenal.

MG: What has been a highlight for you from season 1?
MC: My two favorite episodes where the toilet episode, where Milo moves in with Tyler and also the last episode of the season. We shot so much for that last show in front of an audience. A

lot of times there are scenes that need to be pre-shot as they just can’t be done in front of a crowd. We were able to shoot so much in front of the audience on that last episode and it was all very well received. We were shocked how well the song title being played in front of the audience went over. The audience was dying on that stuff.

MG: In the episode “Decath-Lynn”, how did you not die laughing with the meeting song titles?
MC: We rehearse the scenes for about a week. By the time we are in front of the audience our professionalism takes over and we start wondering how the scene will play. Throwing something out and waiting for the audience to react is just so fun. Sometimes you do get new stuff that hasn’t been rehearsed. That stuff tends to go off like a grenade. We will hold it together while the audience laughs and then we just crack up. That’s really my favorite part of the whole deal.

MG: Were there any guest stars from this season that you were really excited to work with?
MC: I couldn’t wait to work with JK Simmons as I wanted to ask him about working with the Cohen brothers. I also loved working with Billy Baldwin. He had never done multi-camera stuff in front of an audience before so he was super stoked to be there. He was really great to talk with and once he got in front of the audience he just blew up.

MG: How does your work on this show compare to some of your previous work?
MC: This show is a different demographic. It’s definitely a male skewing show. I have never done a show like this. The other shows I have done were slightly more favoring women. I am sort of playing more of an adult on this show. I am a young professional. It’s nice playing a character that has a job. (Laughs)

MG: When does production start on season 2?
MC: We are currently in production already. We don’t know when it’s going to air but what we have heard is it will be sometime in 2013. For now I guess we will shoot a bunch of episodes and just wait and see.

Adam Busch talks about working on TBS’ hit show “Men at Work”

Adam Busch is currently co-star on TBS’ hit show “Men at Work”.  He co-stars along side Danny Masterson (“That ’70s Show”), James Lesure (“Las Vegas”) and Michael Cassidy (“The O.C.”).  “Men at Work” is one the best new shows on television right now and was already renewed for a second season next summer. Like myself Adam is also a Long Island, NY native who then moved to Orlando FL (also like myself) to pursue acting.  Media Mikes had a blast chatting with him about “Men at Work” and if you haven’t seen this show be sure to check it out on TBS.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to “Men at Work”?
Adam Busch: I have always wanted to do a sitcom. I started working for Nickelodeon on the show “The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo” and across the hall they were recording the sketch comedy “All That”. Our show was serious and we would hear this laughing and screaming next door whenever the stage door was opened. They were always having such fun and improving on the fly. I said myself that I wanted to do that.  Well, it took about 15 years later but I am finally making it happen. It was definitely as fun as I thought it would be.

MG: How do you prepare for the role of Neal?
AB: I like that it’s a place for Breckin (Meyer) and the writers to really explore relationship problems. You get heartache, you get serial monogamy and the pressure of a new dating system. Neal is the only chance to get the positives and negatives of being in a long-term relationships and the things that come up. I think it is a constant reminder to the other guys that things can be much better or much worse depending on the situation.

MG: The show is filmed in from of a live audience, does make it more difficult to shoot?
AB: That is the best part! If at all everything else is a challenge and that is where I feel the most comfortable and have the most fun. When you have been rehearsing a line all week long and right before you say it one of the writers or Breckin comes over and hand you a brand new fresh line that you haven’t had time to think about, you have no choice but just to commit to it. To hear the reactions from the crowd, that is so much fun. I love the studio audience. There is also a rhythm you can into like if the audience is laughing or Oooing and Ahhhing, you can tap into that and just go with it and make the audience happy.

MG: You find that their is a lot of room for improv?
AB: Well, yeah there is room for it and it certainly does happy sometimes. The really exciting thing is that it gives room for Breckin and the writers to come up with lines on the fly.

MG: Breckin Meyer seems like he is always there on set, huh?
AB: He is always there. Every day, after we rehearse with the director, we do a run through for him to hear it and see it. He is the one giving notes on our performance or walking around making sure everyone is cool or has questions before the shoot. It is a really lucky situation having a young actor as your boss. Also everything is ripped right from his life, so he has all the answers.

MG: The chemistry between you and the guys are great, you find it hard to stay serious while shooting?
AB: Yeah, I do…I do. But that is what is great about doing a show about four friends. Very often if I am laughing at something James (Lesure) is saying during the shooting, there it is right in the show. We are friends and he makes me laugh and that is it. I don’t have to remain serious. We enjoy the way we all interact. Our dynamic of us hanging out is actually a lot different than our dynamic on the show. In the show everyone makes fun of Neal but outside we all make fun of (Michael) Cassidy. He is so freaking pretty and you can’t resist [laughs].

MG: What has been your favorite episode so far this season?
AB: I don’t know if I have a favorite episode. But I certainly have a favorite scene, like when I smack Cassidy back into reality. That was really fun and it changed so much throughout the week. First it was him smacking me, then it was me smacking him and it ended with us both smacking each other. We decided we were just gonna do it, no blocking with camera to fake it. I said I gonna smack you and your gonna smack me and that’s it. I also loved meeting J.K. Simmons and working with him. It was really wonderful.

CD Review “Men in Black 3”

Composer: Danny Elfman
Label: Sony Masterworks
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Tracks: 22
Running Time: 54 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Danny Elfman is one of my favorite composers of all-time. He has such a unique sound and when you hear his scores you know right away it is his work. It is only right that Danny Elfman composed the score for this film, especially since he scored the two previous “Men In Black” movies. In his third time around it this franchise, he is still able to deliver an entertaining score and even packs a bit of heart.

One of my favorites tracks on the album has to be the relaxing yet comforting “Under the Bridge”.  Believe it or not I was not a fan of “Men in Black 3 – Main Titles”.  I love the theme to “Men in Black” but the added electric guitars on these main titles did not sit right with me and left me wanting to skip to the next track.  I feel that Danny Elfman has really matured though over on this score and after two films he really understands what to deliver for “Men in Black”.

Like in most of Eflman’s work he continues to blend orchestral and electronic sounds.  The album is itself runs just shy of 60 minutes and really sums up the whole film from the moment it starts.  If you are a fan of the “Men in Black” series and Elfman’s past scores you will not be disappointed with this release.  Also if you haven’t seen this film it really kicks you in the mood to watch it for sure.

Track List:
1. Men in Black 3 – Main Titles
2. Spiky Bulba
3. The Set-Up
4. Headquarters
5. Regret
6. Wrong
7. Not Funny
8. Big Trouble
9. Out on a Limb
10. Time Jump
11. Bad Fortune
12. Forget Me Not
13. Into the Past
14. Griffin Steps Up
15. True Story
16. The Prize-Monocycles
17. Boris Meets Boris
18. Under the Bridge
19. The Mission Begins
20. Mission Accomplished
21. A Close One
22. Men in Black 3 – Main Title Revisited

James Lesure talks about new TBS comedy series “Men at Work”

James Lesure appears in TBS’s new comedy series “Men at Work”.  The series was created by Breckin Meyer and James co-stars along with Danny Masterson, Michael Cassidy and Adam Busch.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with James about what we can expect from this new show.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the TBS’ new series “Men at Work”?
James Lesure: The script, written by Breckin Meyer. Once I got the pilot, I responded and said I wanted to be apart of it. I have known Breckin for years but really only athletically. We played basketball together for years. I had know idea he could write so well. I am a big fan of his work as an actor and now also as a writer.

JL: What do you like most about it, Mike?
MG: Honestly, I like the dynamic between the guys. You guys all play off each other. This show really works well with that.

MG: You’ve worked on many TV series like “Las Vegas” and “Mr. Sunshine”, how does a show like this compare?
JL: Right now, I would have to say the speed we do it. Currently we are filming in front of a live audience, so its like we are putting on a play each week. We get the script and then get about three days to put it down. So that is a bit of an adjustment for me.

MG: You seem to have natural comedic timing, how do you prepare for the role?
JL: Mike, listen keep the compliments coming because I appreciate them [laughs]. I have to give a lot of credit to the writers. When I get the scripts, they just make me laugh and that is a good sign. It is up to us then to just take the words make it deeper and better. So, that is my goal.

MG: Any room for improv throughout shooting?
JL: They let us fly off, here and there, with an ad lib and I appreciate that. The producers are open for us to be collaberative. It is a special kind of work environment we have. I just hope we can do some great things with it and do it for a while.

MG: What has been your highlight on the show so far this season?
JL:  It’s been working with this cast, Adam Busch, Danny Masterson and Michael Cassidy. They make me laugh on and off the set. It’s kind of nice to have that geniue chemistry and respect. I respect them and really enjoy what they are doing. I also have to give a shout out to TBS and Sony because they have been treating us very well. Thus far the whole experience has been very great.

MG: What else can we expect from season one?
JL: I know we got an episode about a special toliet [laughs]. They are blending together right now. But let me just tell you that everytime I read a new script, I’ve been laughing so hopefully that will carry over to the viewers.

Film Review “Men in Black III”

Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin
Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 47 mins
Columbia Pictures

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s been 10 years since Agent’s “J” and “K” have made our world safe from aliens. A lot of things have changed since then. A lot hasn’t. But when the fate of the world depends on things changing 40 years in the past, who you gonna call? No, not the Ghostbusters!

The original “Men in Black” was the second of three summer films that established Will Smith as a bonafide box office star (and a sure bet to open a film over the 4th of July). His young buck agent “J” played perfectly off of Tommy Lee Jones’ gruff agent “K.” “MIB 3” finds them just as we remember them. But MIB itself has changed. The new head of the agency is the lovely “O” (Emma Thompson). She and “K” appear to have a bit of a past but if that’s true she’s not saying. When a galactic menace named Boris the Animal ( played by “Flight of the Conchords” Jemaine Clement) escapes his lunar prison, intending to settle a long time score with “K”, “J” must travel back in time to 1969, where he again encounters “K” (a brilliant Josh Brolin). While there doors are unlocked and questions are answered.

A resounding return to the magic that made the original “Men in Black” so successful, “MIB 3” is what a summer movie should be: FUN! Well written and featuring some of the best effects on screen this year (my apologies, “Avengers”), the film also features some fine performances. Smith easily slips back into the wise cracking “J” while Jones has mastered the crusty old mentor role. The standout here is Brolin, who nails Jones’ mannerisms and vocal tics. Every time he calls Smith “slick,” hondo” or “sport” you almost expect to see Jones standing behind him. Clement is also solid in a role I never would have considered him for. His Boris the Animal (“it’s JUST Boris,” he hisses when addressed by his full moniker) is truly evil and much more suited to take over the world then Johnny Knoxville’s head in “MIB 2.” The visual effects are just as sharp, with 12 time Oscar nominee (and 7 time winner, including for the original “Men in Black”) Rick Baker and staff outdoing themselves.

Director Sonnenfeld keeps the pace moving smoothly while the script by, among others, Etan Coen (“Tropic Thunder”) and David Koepp (“Jurassic Park,” “Spider-man”) delivers the humor as well as an unexpected emotional payoff. As in the other films in the series, the production values are top notch with special credit going to cinematographer Bill Pope (the “Matrix” films, “Spider-Man 2 and 3”), whose lens seemingly captured a post card of New York City, circa 1969. Credit as well to long time Sonnenfeld production designer Bo Welch, whose attention to the detail of the late 1960s is outstanding.

Blu-ray Review “Men in Black II”

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Rip Torn, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Running Time: 88 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

To celebrate the upcoming release of “Men in Black III”, we get a chance to experience this great sequel for the first time in high-definition Blu-ray. Even though this film doesn’t exceed the first film, as most sequels don’t, this is still a fun movie and looks great on Blu-ray. This release also includes a sneak preview and $10 voucher to go see “Men in Black III” and also a playable demo for the upcoming PlayStation 3 game.

This Blu-ray packs a very solid and sharp 1080p high-def transfer, with its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The audio packs a fantastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Danny Elfman’s score works great again on this Blu-ray. Like the recent new “Men in Black” Blu-ray release, I would have like to seen Sony give this film a 7.1 track but the one included is still solid. Lastly, a real draw for this release is a streaming Ultraviolet digital copy. I love that most if not all Sony releases are following this path.

The special features are also impressive like the Blu-ray presentation though none of them are in high-definition. There is an audio commentary with director Barry Sonnenfeld, which is fun but lacking compared to the great MST3K track from the first “Men in Black”. There is an alternate ending and blooper reel included, which I enjoyed. There are a bunch of featurettes including “MIB: ADR”, “Design in Motion: The Look of MIB II”, “Rick Baker: Alien Maker”, “Squish, Splat, Sploosh: The Stellar Sounds of MIB II” and “Cosmic Symphonies: Elfman in Space” and “Barry Sonnenfeld’s Intergalactic Guide to Comedy”. All of these are decent length and worth checking out.

There are a few short but sweet featurettes on this films creatures including Frank the Pug, Scrad/Charlie, The Worms, Serleena, Alien Esoterica, Jeebs, Jarra, and Jeff the Worm. There is a very short Animatic Sequence on the creation of Serleena. There are five scenes with a “Multi-Angle Scene Deconstructions” including “Opening Sequence: Alternate Version”, “Jay and Jeff”, “Car Chase”, “Jarra Fight Scen, Part 1 & 2. Lastly there is an music video with Will Smith for “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)”.

Blu-ray Review “Men in Black”

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Running Time: 98 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s funny going back and watching this film and realizing how young Will Smith looks. “Men in Black” is still one hell of a fun movie though. It reminds me of a live-action comic book. The visual effects are also still amazing especially for a film that is 15 years old. I can’t believe it is that old but here we are approaching the third film this summer. This film is a great collection of comedy, action and science fiction. This release also includes a sneak preview and $10 voucher to go see “Men in Black III”.

This Blu-ray packs a very solid and sharp 1080p high-def transfer, with its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. I feel that this release even trumps the first “MIB” Blu-ray release in 2008. The audio is also different than the prior release boasting a very clear DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track compared to the last release Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Danny Elfman’s score really sounds fantastic through this audio track. I would have like to seen Sony give this film a 7.1 track but the one included is still solid. Lastly, a real draw for this release is a streaming Ultraviolet digital copy. I love that most if not all Sony releases are following this path.

There is definitely no shortage of special features on this disc, but not really anything new from the 2008 release and more are in standard definition not high-def. There are a few silly extras that are Blu-ray exclusive. Like “Ask Frank the Pug!”, which is like an interactive magic 8-ball. “Intergalactic Pursuit: The Men In Black Trivia Game” is a interactive game which you can play in a single-player mode or online with multi-players. Lastly there is an alien subtitle track, which is cool.

There are two commentary tracks included on this release. There is an enhanced telestrator commentary with director Barry Sonnenfeld and actor Tommy Lee Jones and feels like an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The second one is the more focus on production with director Barry Sonnenfeld, makeup effects artist Rick Baker and the Industrial Light and Magic team. There are five extended and alternate scenes but only in in standard definition. “Metamorphosis of Men in Black” is an impressive behind-the-scenes feature, though also in SD.

“Visual Effects Scene Deconstruction” focus on two scenes: “Tunnel Scene” and “Edgar Bug Fight Scene.”. “Character Animation Studies” is similiar to the last but focuses on the film’s character like Mikey, Jeebs, or Worm Guys. Next, we can enter the “Scene Editing Workshop”, which allow to create you own scenes. Of course, there is also the music Video for “Men in Black” included with Will Smith and Mikey. Lastly, there are a few photo galleries consisting of “Storyboard Gallery,” “Conceptual Art,” and “Production Photos.”

Her Universe Expands to Syfy Original Movies and Features Men Shirts!

Sharktopus killed the competition in Syfy’s Monster Madness battle! Now you can show your love for the ultimate hybrid horror from the deep with these vintage his and hers fitted tees! Comes in charcoal grey and are slim fit. Her Universe is releasing these great shirts below for not her HER but also HIM.  Hey guys, make sure to add this shirt to your Christmas list this year!If you are not familiar with Her Universe…are you living under a rock?  Her Universe is the vision of Ashley Eckstein, actress and voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Together with her partner, The Araca Group, they founded this new company to create merchandise for female sci-fi fans. Her Universe is a place for fangirls to step into the spotlight and be heard, recognized and rewarded. Female sci-fi fans are growing in numbers and have largely gone unnoticed until now. Hoping to change the perception that science fiction and fantasy is not just for the boys, Her Universe, has joined forces with Lucasfilm and Syfy to create merchandise exclusively for female fans. Starting out with apparel, accessories and cosmetics, Her Universe will make fangirls “geek chic” from head to toe!

Also make sure to check out Her Universe site on cyber Monday, November 28th for new holiday products including new Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse-13 and Eureka products debuting the website just in time for the holidays!  Also don’t miss out on free shipping on orders over $40 dollars.