Monday, April 6, 2015

Welcome To Morning Glory Academy; Hope Your TV Survives The Experience

By Mr. J’s Comic Review

In this day and age it seems like every network is the race to have a show based on a comic book. The CW has The Flash, Arrow, IZombie, and soon The Flash/Arrow spinoff show. Even comics published by independent companies like Image are getting shows. The most famous of these comics would have to be Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. In this article I’m going to talk about a series from Image Comics that has quickly become one of my favorites, and a series that I believe would make an amazing TV Show for a network like ABC Family. What is this series you might ask? It’s none other than Morning Glories from the amazing creative team of Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma

I’ve been good friends with ComicUno for a few years now and Morning Glories was the first series that she recommended that I check out. Well it took me two and a half years but I finally listened to her. Oh man do I regret not listening to her earlier. The series is fantastic. The mystery grabs you and doesn’t let you go and you fall in love with each and every character for a multitude of reasons. Now I’m going to break down a spoiler free premise for the series/possible show, and why I think it will work.

The Premise

Morning Glories follows a group of six students from different walks of life that just got accepted into Morning Glory Academy, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. However these six learn quickly that not all is right at the academy. There is something strange about the faculty, the students, and even the school itself. It’s up to these students to figure out this mystery and put a stop to it. This may sound simple but trust me it’s much more complex than that I just can’t go into more detail without giving away major spoilers for the series. I’ll go into more detail in a second when I talk about why it would make a good show.

Why Would it Make a Good Show?

The easiest way for me to explain this is through an analogy. Morning Glories as a TV show would be like Lost if Lost didn’t lose its direction and instead of being set on an island it takes place in a boarding school and stars a group of teenagers. If you’re a fan of mysteries this would be the perfect show for you. It has a mystery that will reel you in and have you hooked the entire time. As the story progresses some questions are answered while even more pop up, so it could really keep viewers on their toes. Morning Glories also has an interesting Sci-Fi element that is really cool but not overly complicated.  Another great element in Morning Glories that I feel would translate well to TV is the characters. The main six students are so diverse and complex that I feel like with the right actors behind them everyone could find a character that they could relate to.

Fan Casting

I just talked about how if the right actors were cast that everyone could find a character to relate to, so I thought it would be done to do a little fan casting. I’m going to list the six main students and the three main teachers along with a short description of the character and why I think this actor/actress would do a great job playing that role. Let’s get started with the students.

The Students

Ashley Benson As Casey Blevins

Casey Blevins is the defacto leader of this group of students. Her father is a former soldier who taught his daughter to be strong and take care of herself. Ashley Benson is probably best known for her role as Hannah on ABC Family’s hit drama Pretty Little Liars. I think she has the perfect look for it, and I also think she has the right amount of charm, spunk, and charisma to play the fearless blonde bombshell Casey Blevins.

Shay Mitchel As Zoe

She’s so cool she doesn’t need a last name. On the surface Zoe seems like your typical mean girl. She’s extremely pretty with an attitude so bitchy that she could lower Rachel Macadams’ self-esteem. If you didn’t get that reference do yourself a favor and watch Mean Girls. From that description you’d think that Zoe is an extremely unlikable character, and she is to a certain degree but once you find out her backstory you understand why she acts the way she does and then you actually start to sympathize with her. Shay is best known for paying Emily on Pretty Little Liars. Now fans of the show may be asking why cast sweet innocent Emily as a mean girl? The answer is simple. Shay has the range to pull it off, not to mention the drop dead good looks.

Emma Roberts As Jade Ellsworth

Jade is the emo chick of the group. After the death of her mother Jade battles a severe case of depression that she is still recovering from. She’s the heart of the group. Jade gives off this girl next door vibe, and I think Emma Roberts is the perfect actress to pull off Jade as a compelling character and not just an annoying winey emo girl.

Dylan O’Brian As Hunter

Hunter is the brains of the group. He is also the most relatable character out of the six main students. He’s a big comic book and movie fan. He always drops movie references and jokes to lighten the mood. What can I say you can call this type casting if you want but Dylan knows how to play the lovable awkwardly charming geek. There’s no doubt in my mind at all that Dylan would do a great job as Hunter.

Ryan Potter As Jun

Jun is the muscle of the group. He also has a mysterious past that I can’t explain without spoiling anything. I picked Ryan because he has martial arts training and I like him as an actor. I think he could really pull off the stunts as well as Jun’s mysterious aloof personality.

Jack Gleeson as Ike
Fans of HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones will recognize Jack Gleeson as the actor who played the infamous King Joffery Baratheon. This was a character who was so hated that the show’s fandom collectively celebrated his death. Ike is a very similar character. Ike is the person everyone will love to hate and I mean hate. He is a rich, entitled, spoiled, douchebag that one likes unless he pays them to like him. I don’t know about you guys but that sounds like Joffery except for the fact that Ike wasn’t born from incest. Game of Thrones fans will get the joke.

The Faculty

I’ve cast the students. Now it’s time to cast the villains of the show. The faculty of Morning Glory Academy. There are a few more minor faculty members, but for the purpose of this article I’m only covering the main three teachers we see in the comic book series.

Lana Parrilla as Ms. Georgina Daramount

Lana Parrilla is known for playing Greta on Lost and more recently the evil queen Regina on Once Upon A Time. I couldn’t do a fan casting for Morning Glories and not cast a Lost alum, but the biggest reason I casted Lana to play Ms. Daramount is because she really knows how to play a villain. Ms. Daramount is cold, evil, and manipulative. She’s shown all these qualities at full force on Once Upon A Time, and she has this seductive look to her that just screams evil hot teacher. I think she’d be the perfect actress to play Ms. Daramount.

Christina Hendricks as Ms. Lara Hodge

Christina Hendricks is best known for her role on AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Her character on that show has proven that she knows how to play a role in order to get what she wants and that’s why I think if she was casted as Ms. Hodge that she would make the perfect counter balance to Lana Parrilla as Ms. Darmount. Without giving away too much Ms. Hodge is the group’s woman on the inside. She is also the younger half-sister of Ms. Daramount so their dynamic would be really interesting. Ms. Hodge uses her position in the school to manipulate other faculty members while helping our main six students. 

Nolan North as Mr. Reginald Gribbs

Mr. Gribbs is the muscle out of the main three faculty members. Where Ms. Daramount and Ms. Hodge prefer to use manipulation Mr. Gribbs uses intimidation. In terms of live action Nolan North is most recently best known for his recurring role as Peter Hastings on Pretty Little Liars. Comic fans may also recognize Nolan North as the voice of both Superboy and Superman on Cartoon Network’s hit superhero animated series Young Justice. Mr. Gribbs is all about being intimidating, and who is more intimidating than Superman?

Now that I’ve explained the premise, the characters, and given you my fan cast. Tell me in the comments if you’d like to see Morning Glories become the latest show based on a comic book to grace the small screen. 

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  1. Great article Jay! Love the casting. Can't wait to talk more Morning Glories on a future podcast!

  2. Omg yes, Emma Roberts & Christina Hendricks. I would totally watch this on ABC