|Genre||Comedy, film, satire|
|Directed by||Eric Notarnicola|
|Opening theme||"Enjoy The Show" by Joseph M. Saba and Stewart J. Winter|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1 (podcast)|
10 & 1 limited event (video series)
|No. of episodes||47 & 14 specials (podcast)|
100 & 13 specials (video series)
|Production company(s)||Abso Lutely Productions|
|Original network||Podcast: Independent
Video series:Adult Swim.com (Thing X from '12–'13) & YouTube
|Original release||2011–2013 (podcast) |
2012–present (video series)
On Cinema (also called On Cinema at the Cinema for the video series) is an American comedic film review podcast and web series starring Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington. The duo appear as a pair of hapless movie reviewers (using their own names). The show started as an independently released podcast from 2011 to 2013, before being picked up as a professionally produced web video series by Thing X in 2012–13 for its first two seasons, and then moving to Adult Swim.com in 2013. It has aired 10 seasons, plus one special season titled "The Trial". In addition, On Cinema spawned a spinoff web series in its fifth season, Decker, a simultaneous spoof of political-thrillers and homebrew video intended for the web. It later became a TV series, and as of 2018, it has aired 6 seasons of episodes total on Adultswim.com and Adult Swim.
Heidecker and Turkington began making the podcast as a prank and a mockery of the "self-indulgence" of the podcasting community. Both Heidecker and Turkington have created an immersive universe through On Cinema and Decker. A live Oscar special is also done every year, streamed via YouTube, with interactive elements for fans, such as polling. Several seasons of On Cinema have discernible multi-episode plot arcs as Heidecker and Turkington explore the dynamic and characters they have created both in the series' episodes and, simultaneously, on social media, through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
The show has a dedicated cult following of fans who play along with the storylines via social media, often taking sides as "GreggHeads" or "TimHeads". Heidecker and Turkington also started Decker-Con, where they appear in character and interact with fans.
Early audio episodes of On Cinema were quite short, frequently no more than one or two minutes long. Heidecker and Turkington would "review" films on these podcasts without actually providing any meaningful information or critical insight. Nearly every film that has been discussed or mentioned on On Cinema since the podcast's inception has received a "5 bags of popcorn" rating on a scale of five from the two reviewers, regardless of its reception elsewhere in the press or with the viewing public.
With the series' growth into an online video series, episodes grew to an average length of eight to twelve minutes. Although reviewing films remains a central conceit, the focus of the series quickly shifted from a mockery of amateur podcasting to an extended character study of the two podcasters. Heidecker, in character on On Cinema, frequently uses his time on camera to discuss anything on his character's mind except film, especially his bizarre ailments, personal crises, and right-wing political views, or to simply berate and belittle Turkington. Turkington's character fancies himself a "film expert," his primary qualification being an enormous collection of forgotten and arguably forgettable mainstream films from the 1980s and 1990s on VHS. The series continues to provide reviews that purposely offer no real critical insight. Recent seasons as of 2018 have seen Tim lose interest in reviewing and start a band first named Dekkar then DKR .
Guest appearances have included Jordan Hoffman, Jimmy McNichol, Joe Estevez, Lawrence Turman, Sally Kellerman, Candy Clark, Mark Proksch, John Aprea, Peyton Reed, and Nicholas Meyer, some of whom also appear in the Decker series.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Podcast||47 (& 14 specials)||September 20, 2011||April 22, 2013|
|1||10 (& 1 special)||December 2, 2012||January 17, 2013|
|2||10 (& 4 specials)||February 7, 2013||April 25, 2013|
|3||10 (& 1 special)||July 7, 2013||December 18, 2013|
|4||10 (& 1 special)||January 8, 2014||March 12, 2014|
|5||10||July 2, 2014||September 3, 2014|
|6||10 (& 1 special)||February 4, 2015||April 8, 2015|
|7||10 (& 1 special)||September 9, 2015||November 11, 2015|
|8||10 (& 1 special)||March 2, 2016||November 11, 2016|
|9||10 (& 1 special)||February 26, 2017||May 15, 2017|
|The Trial||6||November 15, 2017||November 28, 2017|
|10||10 (& 2 specials)||January 16, 2018||May 25, 2018|
The On Cinema podcast was produced independently by Tim and Gregg. The podcast consists of Tim, along with Gregg as a "special guest" for every episode, covering movies poorly and with little insight, and often engaging in arguments. Gregg later developed a more pretentious "film buff" persona, and Tim took a turn to being obnoxiously political, sometimes devoting entire episodes to conspiracy theories, much to the chagrin of Gregg.
Another running joke that was carried over to the video series is Gregg's refusal to believe that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is really "Star Trek II," instead often believing stubbornly that Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the real Star Trek II.
Starting this season, the show is now in video format via Thing X.com, as well as having its name changed to On Cinema at the Cinema. The series is similar to the podcast, but this time episodes always take place on a set meant to look like a movie theatre. Gregg is still never acknowledged as more than a guest each episode, and starts his weekly segments "Popcorn Classics" and "On Cinema On Location" where he brings in obscure, forgotten VHS movies to showcase and travels to filming locations of obscure movies, respectively. Tim begins using "60 second soap box" to talk about current political issues with a conservative narrative, much to the continued annoyance of Gregg. With the start of the web series, Tim uses a rating scale of "bags of popcorn" ranging from 0–5, and while Gregg uses five as a max, Tim often goes overboard giving scores of "6 bags" or even more, creating tension and confusion throughout the season. Most of the films reviewed get a score of at least "5 bags" from both reviewers.
Tim reveals he has blood clotting in his brain but does not want to get surgery because of "side effects, the whole medical industry, and Obamacare" while Gregg pushes for him to get surgery. In episode 208, Tim introduces the first special guest, Ayaka, a foreign exchange student from Japan staying with Tim's family.
The first Live On Cinema Oscar Special airs, where Tim and Gregg live stream during the Oscars and drink alcohol. Tim gets very drunk and throws up on some of Gregg's VHS tapes which causes Gregg to walk off the set.
Season 3 moved the series from Thing X to Adultswim.com. The season begins with Tim in a head bandage and clearly in physical pain as he went through with surgery for his blood clots. As a result of him going through the surgery, Tim's wife divorces him and this is the last time his family is referred to throughout the series. Gregg begins his goal of making the Guinness Book of World Records by becoming the first person in history to watch 500 movies in 500 days. Tim kicks Gregg off the show after Gregg drives all the way from Hollywood to San Francisco to make a video alleging the location of a Star Trek filming location, after he and Tim had disagreed on it before. John Aprea and Ayaka are guests on the next episode, where Tim reveals he is dating Ayaka and says he loves her for the first time. In the season finale, Gregg returns to the show as Ayaka was deported back to Japan.
Tim begins season four with many health problems and introduces his personal doctor, Dr. San (played by Zac Holtzman), an alternative medical doctor treating Tim with acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and other "natural" medicines. Dr. San begins coming onto the set with Tim, despite Gregg's objections. However, Tim's face becomes infected from the acupuncture and he denounces Dr. San.
Ayaka sends a letter to Tim on the show saying she is pregnant with Tim's child.
Tim announces that Ayaka has had an abortion, despite remaining pro-life on the topic, saying "when you are in that situation, choices have to be on the table." However, Gregg brings Ayaka onto On Cinema via Skype from Japan, revealing she did go through with the pregnancy and naming the boy Tom Cruise Heidecker Junior, after the actor Tom Cruise. Ayaka moves back to America with Tom Cruise Junior and into Gregg's apartment. This upsets Tim and he moves permanently to Jackson Hole. He makes Gregg host of the show and hands off all responsibilities to him in the season finale.
Gregg begins his first season as host, but after he is unable to find a guest, he records himself having conversations with himself and plays VHS video of his conversation during the episode.
Tim returns as host in episode 602 after he realized his new friends in Jackson Hole were white supremacists. He rekindles his relationship with Ayaka and moves into Gregg's apartment with her and Tom Cruise Junior. In the season finale, Tim proposes to Ayaka and she accepts.
The third Live Oscar Special airs, while Tim and Gregg get drunk and Tim, once again, gets much drunker than Gregg and becomes belligerent. Peyton Reed comes on the Special to promote his new film Ant-Man and announces that Gregg has been cast as a minor character in the movie, which upsets Tim. In the finale segment, Gregg introduces James Dean, the former actor who was believed to be dead since 1955. After reading on a message board about how Dean faked his own death and wrote a memoir called "I'm Alive: How I Faked my own Death" he brings Dean on set as his return to the public. Tim does not believe this is the real James Dean, leading to him verbally and physically threatening Dean before trashing the set.
Gregg moves to Victorville, California and opens the Victorville Film Archives in a storage locker, where he also lives.
Tim gives Ant-Man a rare one-bag of popcorn which upsets Gregg, leading to him accusing Tim of paying $15,000 to have a minor role in the new Fantastic Four movie, which Tim denies.
After meeting a man at Guitar Center named Axiom, Tim starts a rock band named "Dekkar" with him. Their debut single Empty Bottle is released on the show, which upsets Gregg as it is not movie related and was played instead of his Popcorn Classic segment.
Gregg tells Tim that Dr. San, who Tim has been looking for since he infected Tim's face with dirty needles in acupuncture in season four, is Ayaka's boss at her job. Tim walks off the set angry that he had not realized this. However, the next episode is "The Doctor San Forgiveness Special" where both Tim and Dr. San forgive each other. Dr. San takes over as Tom Cruise Junior's new pediatric doctor.
By the season seven finale, Tim announces that Tom Cruise Junior has died. He plays a musical tribute to his son with Axiom and Dr. San.
The fourth Live Oscar Special is the biggest one yet, with periodic musical performances by Dekkar (much to the annoyance of Gregg), the "Oscar Olympics" featuring three games, officiated by Joe Estevez, and a DNA test by Dr. San of James Dean, which proves that he is in fact, James Dean. Tim hides the fact he has been drinking alcohol during the Special while no one else is, and he becomes angered by the DNA results. He proceeds to kick Dr. San off the set. An animated rendering of Tom Cruise Junior as a young adult comes on stage, in which Tim and the animated Tom Cruise Junior come out against vaccination.
Season eight moves the show to Victorville, where Tim has now moved into the storage unit with Gregg. They both buy an abandoned movie theater and open it as the "Victorville Film Center" where instead of playing new releases, a nightly showing from Gregg's VHS collection of Popcorn Classics is played. Attendance is minimal because of the obscurity of the films. Mark Proksch is hired as a concessions cashier.
Dr. San prescribes Tim a "nutritional vape system" in which Tim replaces all meals and food with an electronic cigarette full of supposed nutrients. However, Tim's physical condition worsens as the season progresses, as he comes to the set sweating, bruised, hallucinating, and unfocused. Despite this, he continues to use his nutritional vape system. After he cannot take the physical pain and symptoms of the vape system, Tim goes to an actual doctor who informs him the vape and his blood is full of Lsd, cocaine, and multiple other drugs – both legal and illegal. Tim quits the vape system and swears off Dr. San once again. Tim announces that Ayaka is pregnant with their second child. After Tim tries to get Ayaka to get an abortion, she leaves him and moves back to Japan. Tim begins a romantic relationship with Axiom's sister, Juliana.
A fire is started in the storage unit after Tim's vape pen overheats one night, burning the entire facility down including the Victorville Film Archive. Tim suffers third degree burns on all of his body, including his face and hands. After insurance will not cover the cost of the fire, he returns to the show in bandages so he can keep working to pay for the damages and lawsuits, which exceed $1,000,000 according to Gregg.
However, in Tim's return to On Cinema, he is surprised by an intervention by Gregg, Joe Estevez, John Aprea, Mark Proksch, Ayaka, Ayaka's father, and Axiom. They encourage Tim to live a healthier life, which upsets Tim. He yells and kicks everyone but Axiom out, and announces plans to start an electronic music version of Dekkar, now called "DKR".
The season finale ends with a remixed, electronic version of Empty Bottle and Tim announcing that Juliana is now pregnant with his child while Ayaka will go through with her pregnancy too.
Season nine begins with Gregg informing the audience that the Victorville Film Center has burnt down while he speculates Tim may have done it to collect insurance money.
After Gregg and Tim move back to Hollywood, Tim opens up "Six Bag Cinemas", a new movie theater concept with recliner chairs and a waiter (who is Mark) that brings food to customers during the movie. Gregg constantly criticizes the theater and food.
After Tim stops using the facial cream for the burns on his face, his skin dies and he needs a skin transplant. After a selection process in which Tim volunteers most of the potential donors himself, Manuel from DKR is chosen and donates skin off of his lower back and buttocks to Tim.
Tim and Dr. San are arrested and jailed on murder and manslaughter charges. At Tim's "Electric Sun Desert Music Festival" in Apple Valley, California, Dr. San allegedly gave out free samples of his nutritional vape system, the same one Tim uses, resulting in 20 deaths. Gregg takes over as host with Mark as his co-host, and the two spend an entire episode blaming Tim instead of reviewing movies.
Tim returns on bail, and finishes the last three episodes of the season with Turkington. Together with his lawyer, Doug Lyman, Tim has decided to pin the 20 deaths on Dr. San and the Apple Valley authorities who did not respond in time. In the season finale, it is revealed that Dr. San has committed suicide in jail, and that the relatives of the 20 who died are now primarily blaming Tim for the deaths. At the end of the final episode, Tim reveals to Gregg that he will never forget what Gregg said about him on the show, no matter what happens to him.
A special event, titled "The Trial", began on November 15, 2017, streaming on Adult Swim's website with the trial of Tim Heidecker for the death of the "Electric Sun 20". Tim was found not guilty of the death of one of the 20, as that victim died of a heroin overdose. A mistrial was called for the remaining 19, due to a hung jury with 11 guilty and 1 not guilty verdicts. Gregg accused Tim of bribing the juror who voted not guilty.
Director and writer Nicholas Meyer appears as one of the testifiers in an ongoing joke alluding to a long-standing disagreement between Tim and Gregg as to whether or not San Francisco is the setting for the film "Star Trek II." 
During the Fifth Oscar Special, Mark got locked tight into a standard diving dress while doing an impression of Richard Dreyfuss character in the Jaws movie and had to be hospitalized for asphyxiation.
Tim returns from the trial free from prison but facing a civil suit from one of the families of the Electric Sun 19. His assets, including On Cinema and Decker, are being seized and he claims he might soon be facing bankruptcy. After threatening to commit suicide and with help from his attorney (Mark Dwyer), Tim manages to convince the Delgado family to let him try to earn money for them with his various assets. The Delgado's and Tim's Attorney like the show after Episode 7, and hire Gregg as the managing editor of the newly incorporated Delgado Media Holding company, effectively giving him creative control on On Cinema.
The intro and production set have been upgraded, and the show now has a sponsor by name of Rio Jenesis, a protein shake company that creates a "germ shield", of which Tim is now consuming. Gregg begins writing letters to Tim Burton, questioning why he didn't work with Johnny Depp in Sherlock Gnomes. He also announces that he has resurrected his film archives, which appears to be several bins full of VHS tapes (later revealed to be stocked in Mark Proksch hospital room) and is now collecting and wearing movie promotional hats to Tim's vocal displeasure. Episodes 4 through 6 were filmed in 360-degree video.
As of Episode 7, the show has returned to form with a stronger focus on movies than it had previously had in the last several seasons. However, this is in the context of Tim needing to turn the show around, with him openly discussing the possibility of suicide if it doesn't become more successful. The next three episodes, 8–10, saw Gregg's role on the show increasingly become that of the host, while Tim's role was diminished, allowing for more of Gregg's segments, including Popcorn Classics, to become larger segments in each episode. These changes coincided with Gregg's new role as the managing editor in On Cinema's parent company. In episode 10, the season finale, Tim threw a fit of rage and insulted the Delgados while announcing his wish to campaign for the post of district attorney of the San Bernardino County.
Heidecker has stated that On Cinema was started out of a desire to mock the podcasting community. The first episode was recorded on the set of The Comedy, where Heidecker and Turkington were working together, after Heidecker proposed the idea between takes. In April 2017, On Cinema initiated a Patreon page for funding, most of it going to the Oscar specials, with some of the higher options including receiving producer credits, walk-on roles for the Oscar specials, or live custom Skype reviews from Gregg Turkington.
The show has a dedicated cult following of fans who interact with the storylines via social media, often taking sides as "GreggHeads" or "TimHeads" in the frequent personal conflicts between the hosts which are often only tangentially, if at all, related to films or cinema. During the annual live Oscar special, Tim and Gregg both frequently provide interactive elements via online polls for fans to vote on. This cult following is especially found on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the latter through Gregg and Tim's respective profiles, of which Gregg has completely devoted to the persona of his alter-ego. Heidecker and Turkington have also appeared in character on the podcasts Kreative Kontrol and Best Show in 2015 and 2017.
Heidecker and Turkington also started Decker-Con, where new episodes of Decker are shown to fans and the cast appears as their "On Cinema" characters to field questions.
In 2013 the On Cinema Film Guide app was released, featuring the voices of Turkington and Heidecker reviewing over 17,000 films.
For "The Trial", Heidecker and Turkington upended the traditional review aspect of the series, and staged an elaborate mock event where Tim's character was "on trial for murder" that lasted over a week. It received acclaim from observers, some of whom called it "brilliant" and "ambitious."
In 2018, Heidecker and Turkington initiated a nationwide On Cinema Live! tour with special guests from the On Cinema/Decker universe such as Joe Estevez, the band Dekkar and special content created only for the tour, such as a live reviewing of all mid-2018 major release films: Superfly, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Sicario 2: Soldado, Ant Man & The Wasp.
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- Evans, Bradford (2014-02-25). "Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington Are Doing a Live Oscars Special". Splitsider. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
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- On Cinema Patreon
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- "Adult Swim Is Broadcasting a Multi-Day Fake Murder Trial for Tim Heidecker". Spin Magazine. November 16, 2017.