Mike Julianelle or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

Mike Julianelle

Mike lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two children, and increasing dependence on alcohol. Find him on dadandburied.com and its associated social channels (FB, IG, Twitter) and be ready for him to mock his kids, himself, and maybe even you.

Twitter Conjures up Titles for Make-Believe Marvel+ Channel

Make Believe Marvel Plus Titles
(Twitter/GailSimone/ShiungSpace)

If you’re reading this, I can only assume you haven’t subscribed to Disney+ yet. Or else you have and you’re waiting for it to stop buffering.

The new streaming platform debuted last week, launching with the first episode of the highly-anticipated Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian and a catalog containing nearly every single thing my young boys are interested in. From Star Wars and the MCU to Pixar and Puppy Dog Pals, my kids might never watch Netflix ever again.

There’s plenty for adults too, especially if you like, um, Star Wars and the MCU? Which you probably do. Every Star Wars and MCU movie is now available online, and more Star Wars TV shows will eventually join The Mandalorian, including one about Ben Kenobi, and one about Cassian, Diego Luna’s doomed character from Rogue One.

Marvel is getting some TV shows too, starring Wanda and The Vision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and more (these shows will factor into the movies as well!). It’s an embarrassment of riches. But some people want even more. Some people want shows that don’t even exist!

Comic book writer Gail Simone started a Twitter frenzy when she made up shows for an imaginary platform called Marvel+. She inserted Marvel comic book characters into the names of existing Disney TV shows and movies and they worked incredibly well.

So well, that people soon joined in the fun.

Which of those do you want to see?

Father Figures: A Little Bit of Validation

“We had Elliot’s first ever parent-teacher conference on Wednesday. I was mildly nervous about it even though I knew it would be fine. Elliot got absolutely glowing reviews. He’s ‘brilliant, kind, well-behaved, and the most hilarious student I’ve had in years.’

Even though I knew all of this, it’s so nice to hear this from someone else. A couple weeks ago at the Greek Festival a random guy complimented Elliot and Philip (age 3) on how well-behaved they were.

A lot of you out there with kids know that parenting takes a tremendous toll on your mental health. Even with the support of probably the Mother of the Century in my wife Amy, I’m constantly second-guessing myself. Did I handle that right? Was I too mean? Was I too lenient? Is he gonna need therapy? Did I just create a serial killer?

I’m kidding of course (kinda) but wondering if I’m doing the right thing is constantly in the back of my mind. I can only imagine that other parents live with this kind of constant anxiety and self-doubt. At the same time, I don’t want false feedback. If my kid is being a piece of shit, I want to know. It happens. Kids are self-absorbed people and they can’t help it. It’s my job to steer them the right way.

So for those of you out there that are involved in a child’s life in some way, even if you don’t necessarily have kids of your own, or even if you just see a randomly well-behaved kid at Costco, take a moment to praise the kid and his parents. Everybody is fighting a thousand little battles every day, and a little bit of validation that we’re doing the right thing goes a long way.”

– Michael Weir

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Plot Developments In Disney+ Shows Will Influence Marvel Movies

D23 Marvel Phase Four
(Twitter/sanjheev10)

Before they pulled it off, the idea of creating a whole expanded universe of content around an enormous collection of characters, each parceled out in individual installments before occasionally coalescing in small groups and ultimately uniting as one large crew, seemed insane and completely nonviable.

How would die-hard fans keep track? How would casual fans have any idea what was going on? Would anyone really watch all 20+ movies? Would it pay off?

Well, the MCU paid off BIGTIME, and now it’s on to the next phase. And this one may require even more from consumers. At the very least, it will require a Disney+ subscription.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige acknowledged that the MCU and the MSU (Marvel Streaming Universe?) will soon operate in harmony.

“I’m not sure we’ve actually acknowledged that before,” he says about Disney+’s storytelling factoring into the MCU. “But it does.”

Moving forward, events from new shows, such as Loki and WandaVision, will factor into future movies, citing Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness in particular. Which could mean that if you aren’t caught up on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 4, you likely won’t understand MCU Phase 5!

This isn’t exactly shocking. Not only is the new platform the exclusive home for all of the Avengers and MCU movies, not only will a wide variety of secondary characters from those movies be appearing in their own TV shows for the streaming service, it will also serve as the incubation station for a new collection of characters. And unlike previous efforts – I’m looking at you, Agents of SHIELD! – the characters on the Disney+ shows won’t be contained on television. And this includes the new characters.

According to what Kevin Feige told the Hollywood Reporter, characters like Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk and Moon Knight, who are all getting shows on Disney+, will eventually make their way from your TV screens and into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That’s a lot of Disney+ content to stay up on, but the House of the Mouse is counting on their streaming service being too good to pass up. For $6.99/ month, you can download every single piece of Marvel content (and more) on up to 10 devices; the obvious brainchild of someone who has traveled with a toddler and no WiFi. Plus, you can stream 4 different shows on 4 different devices at once, which is definitely the work of someone with multiple kids! And(!!) thank Odin: It’s all ad-free.

Disney+ is now available for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year>>

Let’s just hope it continues to deliver or some of those Disney+ subscriptions will be blipped out of existence right quick.

Twinkies Are a Cereal Now

Twinkies Cereal
(Hostess/Post)

The only cereal I enjoy eating is the kind that gives you cavities. I love the sugary stuff. The chocolate stuff, the marshmallowy stuff, the stuff I don’t let me kids eat.

But are some cereals that going too far?

A Twinkies cereal. A cereal full of Twinkies. Twinkies, in a bowl, with milk. For breakfast. According to Sgt. Powell, that’s everything a growing boy needs.

Cereals have been making headlines as of late. There’s a Baby Shark cereal, a Sour Patch Kids cereal, there’s even a beloved cereal from my childhood that’s just a bowl of cookies (shouts to Jerry Seinfeld). The cereal industry is not exactly a bastion of perfect nutrition. But these Hostess-themed cereals – that’s right, this is the third Hostess-themed cereal from Post, after Honey Buns and Donettes. And this one might take the cake.

“In developing a cereal version of the iconic Twinkies, our top priority was focused on delivering the great Twinkies flavor in each bite,” Josh Jans, brand manager of cereal partnerships at Post, said. “We conducted multiple consumer tests, and the new Twinkies Cereal delivered. We think fans will find that it not only tastes great with milk but also outside the bowl.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hostess. When I got married, my wife and I served Hostess cupcakes – you know, the chocolate ones with the swirl at the top? – in lieu of a wedding cake! I’ll eat a Hostess Snowball RIGHT NOW. I even like Twinkies! They got nothing on Chocodiles but they’re good. They’re strange and mysterious and not-out-of-place-alongside-the-various-supernatural-goings-on in Ghostbusters, but they’re good.

I just dunno that I need a bowl of them. Or a cereal that has a creamy inside.

Miniature Twinkies in a bowl of milk just seems strange to me. I’ll try them, don’t get me wrong – Hostess FTW!

They hit stores in December.

Netflix Makes Deal With Nickelodeon to Produce New Movies and Shows

Netflix and Nick
(Nickelodeon)

Begun, these streaming wars have.

Earlier this week, Disney+ launched, and with a collection of seemingly every major franchise on earth – Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars – the streaming platform immediately became a major player, and a major competitor, to Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and the new Apple TV. None of these new “channels” are laying down without a fight, but there’s one in particular that stands above the rest, and quickly made clear that it was ready for battle.

One day after Disney+ arrived, Netflix struck back. The OG streaming giant announced a new multi-year deal with Nickelodeon to produce original series based on new and existing characters in the Nickelodeon universe.

Variety shared a statement from Netflix vice president of original animation Melissa Cobb in which she expressed the rationale behind the decision.

“Nickelodeon has generated scores of characters that kids love, and we look forward to telling wholly original stories that re-imagine and expand on the worlds they inhabit. We’re thrilled to continue collaborating with Brian Robbins, Ramsey Naito, and the creative team at Nickelodeon in new ways as we look to find fresh voices and bring bold stories to our global audience on Netflix.”

The elephant in the room is Disney+, which brings scores of children’s programming and beloved characters, and has a seemingly endless well of assets. Netflix’s numbers show that 60% of their subscribers watch kids shows and movies, and thus shoring up their own collection of kid’s TV is a good idea. Especially via Nickelodeon, which is synonymous with children’s programming.

It’s a good move for both companies.

“Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal,” said Brian Robbins, president of Nickelodeon. “The Nickelodeon Animation Studio is home to the world-class artists and storytellers behind some of the most iconic characters and shows ever made, and our head of Animation, Ramsey Naito, has been building on that legacy over the past year by ramping up development and production exponentially. The ideas and work at our Studio are flowing, and we can’t wait to work with Melissa and the Netflix team on a premium slate of original animated content for kids and families around the world.”

The deal will bring new animated movies and shows to Netflix, including some based on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “The Loud House.”

Meanwhile, viewers are holding out hope that all of Nick’s shows will soon be on Netflix as well, though the network will not license their catalog, which includes “SpongeBob” and “Dora the Explorer,” to the streaming platform.

Father Figures: Without a Second Thought

“My husband stepped up without a second thought.

He became a dad when he didn’t have to, and loved this little boy instantly. He’s been there for all the sleepless nights, sick doctor visits, and all the milestones our little one has hit.

He’s done more than just love and support him. He’s helped him grow every step up of the way and helped mold him into the little boy he is now.

He’s blessed to have our son and we’re even more blessed to have him. Step-parent adoption is an amazing thing and I’m so happy my son gets the father he needs and deserves.”

– Sasha Boiteau

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Netflix is Bringing Back Eddie Murphy for Beverly Hills Cop 4

Eddie is Coming Back for Beverly Hills Cop 4
(Getty/David Livingston)

I’m not going to lie to you: Beverly Hills Cop 3 is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

I saw it in the theater, but thankfully it was free, because I was working there at the time. Like everyone else who grew up in the 80s, I loved Eddie Murphy and the first two Beverly Hills Cop movies, and I was excited for the third. I was wrong to be excited.

I don’t remember much of it (cut me some slack, the first and only time I saw it was in the summer of 1994!), but I remember it was amateurish and not funny and just plain terrible. Since then Murphy has mostly focused on kids movies, give or take Bowfinger and Dreamgirls, and the edgy, virtuosic stand-up he’d once been receded into the rearview with a string of Pluto Nashes and Norbits.

Rumors are afoot that the Murphy we knew and loved back in the day was resurfacing. He’s hosting Saturday Night Live this winter, he’s pledged a return to stand-up comedy, and his Netflix movie about Rudy Ray Moore’s Dolemite is entertaining, funny, and has been well-received. In another sign that Murphy is going back to his roots, Coming To America 2 is on its way. This comeback may actually stick! Unless Beverly Hills Cop 4 sucks too.

That’s right, Murphy is going back to the scene of the cinematic crime and resurrecting Axel Foley one more time, this time for his new friends at Netflix.

“Yeah, that’s what we’re doing after Coming to America, we’re doing Beverly Hills Cop and then, then the plan is to get back on stage and do stand up and then kind of that’s what I’ll be doing mostly is stand up and Beverly Hills Cop,” Murphy told Collider.

The idea has been around for a while. They even tried to reboot the series with a TV show a few years ago, but that never made it to air. Netflix has made it easier for movies like this to find a home, and to remain insulated from the fallout from a potential bomb, since they don’t release their numbers and thus don’t need to fear the shame of performing like Dr. Sleep or Tron some other sequel to a beloved movie from our childhoods.

There are no details at this time, other than the fact that Jerry Bruckheimer is coming back to produce the series he helped launch, and that there’s an option for a sequel.

Here’s hoping it’s good enough to get one!

Keanu Reeves Tumbles Into Trailer For New SpongeBob Movie

Keanu's Head in SpongeBob
(YouTube/Paramount Pictures)

The year of Keanu continues! With John Wick 3, Toy Story 4, the news of the Matrix reboot, even a potential spot in the MCU, Keanu has been everywhere in 2019.

He’s not done, and this time, he’s getting weird.

Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t the only bizarre, animated nostalgia play in which an anthropomorphic creature interacts with actual human beings coming to a theater near you soon. Get ready for the next Spongebob Squarepants movie, which, if the new trailer is any indication, is going to give Sonic a run for his weirdness.

Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge on the Run, is the third Spongebob movie, but this time the titular sponge is made entirely of CGI. And he didn’t even require a total redesign! Spongebob has John Wick – or Ted Theodore Logan, or Johnny Utah, or Jack Traven, or Neo (chose your Keanu!) – in his back pocket. And you’ve never seen the beloved star like this.

And by this, I mean as a magical tumbleweed. Whoa indeed.

The movie follows SpongeBob as he heads to the Lost City of Atlantic City to find his beloved pet snail Gary, who has been snatched away (similar, but different from, the episode of the series in which he was lost). On his quest, SpongeBob encounters many a stranger, including Keanu’s aforementioned tumbleweed. Also in the cast are Reggie Watts, Snoop Dogg, and Awkwafina.

Check the trailer!

Friends Reunion Special Being Developed for HBO Max

Friends Reunion in the Works
(NBC / Instagram/jenniferaniston)

A Friends reunion special is on its way. Could you BE any more excited?

The beloved (if second best) 90s sitcom has had something of a resurgence over the past few years, as old die-hards revisited and younger generations discovered the show on Netflix, binged the entire thing, and promptly wrote Buzzfeed articles about it. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the show, and the internet can’t seem to get enough of it.

A reunion special makes sense, then, that in this era of reboots and remakes and sequels and prequels and re-imaginings, where every studio in the land is trying to cash in on existing properties (some are even cashing in on dead stars!).

The special is being developed over at HBO Max, HBO’s forthcoming streaming service that will run you $15 a month to access the entire Friends series (which leaves Netflix at the end of the year), as well as The West Wing, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and a bevy of in-development originals.

Details on the special are few and far between, other than that it will be unscripted – i.e., not an episode of the show – and that it is far from a done deal. But the Hollywood Reporter indicated that the entire cast – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – and the show’s creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman are open to being involved.

Aniston currently has the most high-profile gig as the headliner of Apple TV’s new The Morning Show, and while promoting it she recently told Ellen DeGeneres that she was not into any kind of reboot or relaunch of Friends. But she is willing to reunite with her old castmates, one way or another: “We would love for there to be something, but we don’t know what that something is. So we’re just trying. We’re working on something.”

That something, whatever it is, looks to end up on HBO Max.

And her very first post after recently joining Instagram is definitely something:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

And now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM 👋🏻

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston) on

Father Figures: Veterans Day

“My husband Jeffrey Del Donno was recently deployed overseas for 7.5 months. He always puts his family first in everything he does and that didn’t change while he was serving.

He would wake up at 3am every other day when he had internet access to talk to our girls, send videos of him reading books so our kids could have a book read by him before bed, arrange his schedule to be able to sing Happy Birthday to our girls as they blew out their candles, and always checked in on our well-being whenever he had the chance, to let us know he cared.

He fulfilled his duties on deployment, working hard to make a name for himself while always putting us first. He’s a great husband and an amazing father and I would love to embarrass him by recognizing him for Father Figure on Veterans Day.”

– Monica Del Donno

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Sonic the Hedgehog Is Totally Redesigned in New Trailer

Sonic Trailer Redesign
(YouTube/IGN)

Earlier this year, the trailer dropped for a Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

This is a movie about a video game, from a console that no longer exists, that features a fast rodent that runs around and collects golden rings. The movie stars Jim Carrey hamming it up as the nefarious Dr. Robotnik and sporting a thick-ass mustache. Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise was featured in the first trailer. As was, as you might expect, Sonic himself.

But that first trailer focused a lot more on the humans in the film, which includes Carrey and James Marsden, and relegated Sonic to the background. Perhaps because of the way he looked…

Sonic is an entirely digital creation, voiced by Parks and Rec’s beloved Jean-Ralphio himself, Ben Schwartz. But you may recall that when the first trailer dropped in the spring, people were, shall we say, OUTRAGED. They didn’t like the way their beloved Sonic was rendered. The fur, the eyes, the TEETH. They hated it. And they were vocal about hating it because 2019 and because social media.

So what did the studio do? They actually listened! They went back and totally redesigned the titular hedgehog! And today they unveiled Sonic’s decidedly more cartoonish, more video-game faithful, less disturbing design in the new trailer. And they seem a lot more confident this time around, at least when you judge by how much more central Sonic’s character seems in this version.

The consensus is that Sonic’s appearance is much improved, as summed up succinctly by YouTube commenter Happy Mic: “This movie actually seems like a fun time now that he doesn’t look like a monster.”

There’s a great side-by-side comparison here:

Whether or not the movie is actually good remains to be seen. As does the possibility of the studio going back and totally redoing their movie to appease angry fans coming back to bite Hollywood. Either way, it’s fairly remarkable that it happened, and it does seem like it changed things for the better. But does this mean that if the next Game of Thrones show has a disappointing ending, HBO might actually go back and change it?

Probably not unless Bran’s teeth are super fucked up.

Pixar’s “Soul” Goes Deep, and Weird, With Life’s Big Questions

Pixar SOUL Trailer
(YouTube/Pixar)

A few weeks ago, we shared the trailer for Onward, a strange new Pixar movie featuring brothers who use magic to accidentally resurrect the bottom half of their late father. In typical Pixar fashion, it looked funny and heartwarming, with a dash of WTF.

Well the animation studio is back with another new movie that has a totally different feel, but it’s still unmistakeably Pixar.

Featuring the voice of Jamie Foxx as a middle-school music teacher who’s still chasing a fading dream of being a jazz musician. He gets one last shot but suffers a little mishap before he can take it and is suddenly forced to decide what he wants to be remembered for.

Here’s the IMDB synopsis:

A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

In the trailer, Joe Gardner is a teacher whose true passion is jazz, but on his way to an audition that could allow him to realize his dream, he… falls down a manhole? And maybe dies? And then his soul meets another soul, played by Tina Fey? And she’s a kid soul or something? I guess Onward isn’t the only Pixar flick with a healthy dash of WTF!

According to Kemp Powers, who co-directed with Pete Doctor, the movie is an existential journey.

“He’s increasingly feeling like his lifelong dream of being a jazz musician is not going to pan out and he’s asking himself ‘Why am I here? What am I meant to be doing?’ Joe personifies those questions.”

Maybe not literally personifies, although, in Inside Out, anger, sadness, and joy were literally personified, so who even knows anymore. At this point, Pixar can pretty do whatever they want, even if that means tackle death and the meaning of life in an animated movie that’s ostensibly for kids. After all, Up and Coco were great.

They know what they’re doing, and I’m more than happy to take my kids along and let a cartoon do the heavy lifting about life’s big questions. And maybe even give me some answers along the way.

Check out the trailer:

Father Figures: Daddy’s Girl

“My daughter came down with pneumonia about a week ago, and a possible return trip to the doctor was in the future. She had to overcome that illness and asthma to be with me that morning.

She told she had a surprise for me and asked that I wait in her room.

Two minutes later, she called for me to come to the living room. When I arrived, she set up a princess tea party for me.

Needless to say, she is Daddy’s girl.”

– Stephen Reyes

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.