With all the bad news going on in the world today, you can’t really blame people if they are a little pessimistic about the environment, the economy, politics and pretty much anything else. But you can blame networks that fuel the fears in the name of ratings. It’s not really a surprise, though; in times of crisis, movies and TV often reflect and play upon terrors of the time, whether it was the atomic monster flicks of the ’50s or the eco-horror films of the ’70s. Today is no different, and in the next few months a slate of specials and movies look to assure you that yes, it really is that bad out there:
Un-Broke: Everything You Need to Know About Money — ABC, May 29. The economy is certainly a big concern, and with the so-called experts powerless to foresee the crash or offer advice on how to weather the crisis, we now come down to looking to celebrities for guidance. In this special, Good Morning America financial contributor Mellody Hobson teams with Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Seth Green, the Jonas Brothers and the loathsome E*Trade Babies to rap with you about credit cards, your 401(k), the stock market, mortgages and ways to get out of your personal credit crisis. How about starting by not blowing any more cash on Jonas Brothers stuff?
Earth 2100 — ABC, June 2. Could this be the final century of our civilization? This news special is going to assume so, and with Lorenzo Lamas getting his own reality series, that might be evidence enough that they are right. Here, Bob Woodruff looks ahead to a world where cities are abandoned and our population is decimated, and talks to scientists who believe that the next 100 years will bring a perfect storm of population growth, resource depletion and climate change that could converge with catastrophic results. Viewers are also shown what can be done to avoid disaster. Canceling the upcoming Lamas Family would be a start.
Impact — ABC, June 21 & 28. This two-part movie offers the premise that while we have survived a catastrophic meteor storm, something has changed and the moon is looming larger in the sky — much larger than a big pizza pie. What was once the most familiar object in the night sky now threatens to destroy all life on Earth. Talk about a killing moon. Naturally, a small group of international astronauts, scientists and soldiers band together as our last hope. David James Elliott, Natasha Henstridge, Steven Culp and James Cromwell star.
Meteor — NBC, July 12 & 19. It’s sort of like 1998’s Deep Impact and Armageddon all over again as we get another “threat from outer space” less than a month after Impact. In this miniseries, two massive rocks collide in space, sending a meteor three times the size of Mt. Everest hurtling toward Earth. As a precursor to the main event, showers of smaller meteorites begin laying waste to major cities. A string of smaller subplots also pellet the miniseries, including a detective who must transfer a dangerous psychopath whom I assume is going to escape. Christopher Lloyd, Billy Campbell, Stacy Keach, Marla Sokoloff, Michael Rooker and Jason Alexander star.
Meteor: © NBC Universal, Inc.