The trailer for Summer's new web series Jeff 1000
is out - as well as an interview
- and we thought it would be fun (and hopefully informative) to go through it frame by frame and unveil all the details you may have missed.
The trailer opens with a narrative voice telling how Hollywood has described robots in movies as "bad guys" for decades, illustrated with film clips.
Did you recognize at first sight all the movies the images of robots are from? Well, I've got you covered. Here are screen captures and the movie it is from (or simply hover the mouse over the thumbnail).
1) Klaatu is a fictional humanoid alien in the 1951 science fiction film 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'. Technically not a robot though, unlike Klaatu's companion named Gort.
2) The Enforcement Droid, Series 209, or ED-209, are a fully-automated series of peacekeeping machines created by Omni Consumer Products, shown in the 1987 American cyberpunk action film Robocop, directed by Paul Verhoeven.
3) Giant robots lay waste to Montevideo in 'Panic Attack!', a 2009 Uruguayan science fiction short film, directed by independent filmmaker Fede Álvarez.
4) The Cyber Research Systems Series 850 Terminator, or T-850, is a variant of the Series 800 Terminator mass-produced by Skynet. The T-850 unit is an upgrade to the T-800, Skynet's main battle force.
5) Gort is a powerful 8-foot tall robot who accompanies the humanoid alien Klaatu in the 1951 science fiction film 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'.
6) The Starscream / Orbital Assault Carrier are Decepticon ships in Michael Bay's science fiction action film Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011).
7) Shockwave is a massive Decepticon in the Transformers: Dark of the Moon film, and is mostly seen alongside his 'pet', the Driller.
8) Robot like beings from the planet Venus invades Earth in the 1954 science fiction film 'Target Earth' (thanks to The1Russter for finding the information).
Then the producer of the series, Michael Karnow, takes a stance opposite to that expressed by the previous narrator, saying that robots "are actually pretty nice", which is a way of introducing the series own robot character, Jeff 1000.
As an aside, Karnow is one of the creators of Alphas, where he worked as a co-executive producer and writer, including on episodes guest starring Summer. She even said in an interview to IGN that they are friends; no wonder Karnow thought about Summer for the role in Jeff 1000.
Summer also knows Jeff 1000's director Nick Copus (at the center in the photo below), who worked on Alphas, Arrow and The 4400. Is this who I think it is on the left of the screen cap, with the white t-shirt?
Jeff 1000 introduce himself and tells us a bit more about his story, at the same time providing us with the synopsis of the series. Jeff 1000 also introduces his best friend Summer Glau who plays herself (Robots + Summer Glau = Awesomeness!).
The screencap below, taken at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, reminds us that the robot (a cleverly designed suit with a real man inside that employs animatronics to give the illusion of a lurching heavy mech) was created especially for Comic-Con by Wired magazine in conjunction with Conde Nast Entertainment, Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects.
It looks like its creators were like, "well, we built a giant robot mech, what can we do with it now? And someone said: Why not make a series around the robot, in which he would play an aspiring actor? Cool, and we should have former Terminator Summer Glau to play his best friend!"
In the following scene, it looks like Summer, wearing a leather jacket and with dirt on her face, and Jeff 1000 are rehearsing for a scene in a Terminator movie. I bet there will be at least one Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles reference snuck in there somewhere. A picture of a Terminator was at the beginning of the trailer and the name of the robot itself, Jeff 1000, reminds of the T-1000+ from the Terminator movies. And don't forget that Alphas episodes guest starring Summer were filled with references to TSCC.
Did they really add fake laughs like in sitcoms in the scene with the clapper board and the pet? I wonder if they will use them for real in the episodes.
There's something I don't get. Summer and Jeff 1000 are introduced as being best friends and in the next sequence Summer says she doesn't see him as a robot and that he is special to her. Not to mention she let out a sight, which suggest Summer's friendship with Jeff sort of mirrors that of Briareos and Deunan in Appleseed (as mentioned by MattM). Even for a Jameron shipper like me, I'd prefer if Summer and Jeff 1000 are good friends only but don't develop romantic feelings of some sort. We'll see.
Surprisingly, the description under the video says "Starring: Summer Glau , David Arquette", but David Arquette can be seen only briefly in the trailer, which makes me wonder if he is Summer's boyfriend. Remember that the first time we heard about this web series was when a photo of Summer, David and the giant robot surfaced online
Summer Glau is wearing her own clothes in the trailer, which confirms she's appearing as herself and not as a fictional character (think her guest appearance in The Big Bang Theory)...and maybe that they have not budgeted for clothing.
Take a look at photos of Summer from Dallas Comic Con 2014 (on the left) and screen caps from the trailer; in both pictures Summer is wearing the same khaki jacket, the same orange t-shirt, the same boots and probably the same pair of jeans.
Is it bad if I think Karnow's comments are more fun than Jeff 1000's jokes? I am very well aware Jeff 1000 is a tongue-in-cheek, goofy series. Though I have the feeling the thing I will appreciate the most about it is that Summer is playing a normal girl (whose best friend is a 9.5-foot-tall speaking robot, ok), that Jeff 1000 is a comedy and that we will see her smile a lot. Because every time I see Summer Glau on screen, it didn't feel like a performance, it just feels like she really got into the role, I feel myself engaged.
Jeff 1000 might not be as hilarious as Io9's Charlie Jane Anders seem to think and it might be silly at times but for the reasons mentioned above, I will definitely watch it and I'm going to have fun with it.
It’s been a lot of fun writing this post, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the reading as much as I’ve enjoyed the analysing and speculating.
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