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The New Canon

Media Studies professor Anne Helen Petersen writes about the dominant role of Netflix in her students’ film and television consumption, and its effect on the lasting influence of works that are — or are not — available there:
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else…
[more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Oct 7, 2013 - 173 comments

Mr. Showmanship

"Behind the Candelabra" and the Queerness of Liberace
posted by Artw on May 29, 2013 - 70 comments

"It's more dramatic than our dramas."

Enlightened is TV’s best show right now—and it needs more viewers. Written by Mike White (School of Rock and Freaks and Geeks, among others) and starring Laura Dern (also the show's co-creator, Luke Wilson, Diane Ladd, and Timm Sharp (aka Marshall from Undeclared), the show has also seen an impressive line-up of guest directors, including Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), Phil Morrison (Junebug), James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords), and Todd Haynes (I'm Not There). The show's range is astonishing – it depicts its main character as cringeworthily oblivious, yet also lets her deliver monologues which are unusually sincere for a comedy; some of its characters are ridiculous and absurd, while others are capable of deep melancholy. Mike White talks to Interview Magazine about creating Enlightened before its premiere; a year later, he talks to Indiewire about why people have such a hard time sympathizing with Amy.
posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 27, 2013 - 43 comments

Delusional Downtown Divas

Lena Dunham shows her art-world roots in her 2009 web-series: Season 1 at Index Magazine, Season 2 at delusionaldowntowndivas.com. Meanwhile Season 2 of Dunham's HBO series "Girls" arrives Sunday night, expect online fireworks.
posted by Artw on Jan 9, 2013 - 51 comments

HBO's "In Treatment"

In Treatment was an HBO series that ran three seasons from 2008 through 2010. Adapated - often word-for-word - from the Israeli drama BeTipul, it depicted the weekly sessions of a psychologist (Emmy-nominated Gabriel Byrne) with his patients (including Debra Winger, Emmy-nominated Hope Davis, and, in her first American role, Mia Wasikowska) and with his own therapist (Emmy-winning Dianne Wiest). The filming of the series placed extraordinary demands on Byrne - which are well described in this interview with showrunner Warren Leight. (h/t: MCMikeNamara) You can watch its entire first episode here. (possible spoilers throughout)
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 15, 2012 - 24 comments

Make good programmes

Armando Iannucci's Bafta lecture 2012 - In which the creator of The Thick Of It argues that the BBC should be more aggressive, fight back against critics in the press and goverment, be more like HBO than committee-driven American network TV, and that if as James Murdoch says the only reliable, durable guarantor of independence is profit then the only guarantor of profit is independance.
posted by Artw on Sep 12, 2012 - 41 comments

A slice of Vice on HBO

Bringing VICE to HBO: To win over the cable network, the Vice team assembled a “best of” reel that included stories on North Korean labor camps, Liberia and the gun markets of Pakistan and later produced a pilot that included stories about Afghan suicide bombers and underground heroin clinics. [more inside]
posted by thisisdrew on Jul 3, 2012 - 22 comments

"I will lead the attack!"

"First of all, we almost had no battle at all. For budgetary reasons we came very, very close to having all the action take place off-screen, the way plays have handled battle scenes for a few thousand years." - How the epic battle at the heart of the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Blackwater, written by George R. R. Martin and directed by Neil Marshall, came to be. Mentor relationships in Game of Thrones (and Mad Men). The National's Lannister song. And, perhaps sriking closest of all to the central themes of the show, Jezebel plays Game of Thrones: Marry, Fuck, Kill.
posted by Artw on May 31, 2012 - 241 comments

Boardwalk Empire VFX Breakdowns

The company that creates digital effects for Boardwalk Empire has put together the before and after shots from Season Two.
posted by gman on Jan 19, 2012 - 48 comments

You can't take a picture of this; it's already gone.

The A.V. Club's T.V. Club has begun to reexamine Six Feet Under. The show, widely considered one of the finest television series of all time, turned 10 years old a little over a week ago. So far, the first three episodes have been reviewed.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jun 15, 2011 - 114 comments

What to watch when you've finished running through The Wire, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly on Netflix.

Why should you be watching HBO's Game of Thrones? In two words: Peter Dinklage. At 41 and expecting his first child, actor Peter Dinklage may finally be coming into his own. Though his breakout role in the indie movie Station Agent might not have made it onto your Netflix queue, Dinklage is winning accolades for his performance as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice. [more inside]
posted by misha on Jun 14, 2011 - 393 comments

Here Be Dragons

HBO's Game of Thrones, "Narnia populated by super-hard bastards", has been a ratings and critical success and has already been picked up for a second season. HBO have a secret weapon in bringing George R. R. Martin's fantasy epic to screen: An awesome title sequence that doubles as a painless infodump.
posted by Artw on May 5, 2011 - 300 comments

This spring: Winter is Coming

HBO has a free 15 minute preview up for their adaptation of George R. R. Martin's fantasy series A Game of thrones. The folks over at Westeros.org have seen rough copies of the first six episodes and report on them. In general, reviews are very positive so far. Previously on the Blue. Via this thread at hipinion. Bonus: Next Media Animation briefs you on the subject. All links contain minor-to-major spoilers.
posted by codacorolla on Apr 3, 2011 - 104 comments

let's roll with Joel Hodgson's TV Wheel

"The TV Wheel was a television experiment created by and starring Joel Hodgson, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. Cable network HBO ordered a pilot, but ultimately passed on picking up the show. The pilot episode eventually aired once on Comedy Central as a special presentation following the last new episode of MST3K to be broadcast on that network."*

The pilot, bookended by introduction segments, is right through this door: [more inside]
posted by item on Aug 11, 2010 - 41 comments

We are storytellers

The Neistat Brothers move from online to primetime on HBO. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 26, 2010 - 9 comments

The Wire: 4 seasons in 4 minutes

Q. Everyone tells me how great The Wire is, but I've missed the first four seasons. Should I bother with Season 5? A. Yes. Ultimately, you'll want to buy the DVD's, but until then we've got The Wire: four seasons in four minutes. (Single link U-tube)
posted by PeterMcDermott on Jan 10, 2008 - 61 comments

A history of television hijacking.

During the 70s and 80s a new phenomenon appeared. Television Hijacking. It started in 1977 when a man in England hijacked the sound broadcast of a newscast. In 1986, a hijacker known as Captain Midnight hijacked HBO in response to their scrambling of television signals. The year after (20 years ago as of today), a character disguised as Max Headroom (a television character) infiltrated two Chicago television studios in one night. First the man infiltrated Channel 9 (WGN) for a few seconds with no sound, and then moved on to attack another Chicago station, this time with sound. After the Max Headroom incident, television hacking incidents were rare in the United States except for this one in Wyoming.
posted by ooklala on Nov 22, 2007 - 38 comments

The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.

Thirty years of George Carlin specials. (Yep, NSFW. Duh.) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Nov 12, 2007 - 49 comments

Pathetic little fat man, noones bloody laughing

"See his pug-nose face." David Bowie, from Extras second season, which premieres tomorrow in USA. Stephen Merchant (from today's RADAR) and Ricky Gervais have been mentioned here before, but I think the David Bowie clip is worth it.
posted by headless on Jan 13, 2007 - 35 comments

Deadwood is back.

Deadwood is back.
posted by JPowers on Jun 10, 2006 - 91 comments

How did Adriana's top end up as a skirt?

Melfi's office is one of the few places where one always sees the characters' feet. An interesting behind-the-scenes look at dressing the Sopranos by Emmy-winning costume designer Juliet Polcsa.
posted by kirkaracha on Dec 15, 2004 - 14 comments

HBO wants to know what you think about Carnivale.

HBO wants feedback about Carnivàle. The first season of HBO's Carnivàle concluded last Sunday (making way for Angels in America to occupy the next two Sunday evenings). Although a second season is likely, according to its creator, HBO is now asking viewers what they think about the show, asking them to rate each character and say whether or not they'd watch a second season. [survey link via TV Barn Ticker; background info inside.]
posted by realityblurred on Dec 5, 2003 - 21 comments

Bill Maher back on cable?

Bill Maher back on cable? AP is reporting that Bill Maher will host a late-night talk show on HBO starting Feb. 21. The hour-long news and comedy program, which has yet to be titled, will air once a week for 20 episodes. I personally think ABC were a bunch of pussies for cancelling him, and I think the new show will rock. What do you think?
posted by RylandDotNet on Nov 21, 2002 - 26 comments

Are you 25-29? Like to travel? Wish you could influence global politics? Look good in front of the camera? Maybe you should be President.
posted by sandor on Jan 31, 2002 - 8 comments

Sopranos spoilers! (sorta)

Sopranos spoilers! (sorta) Now that the season finale has aired, I guess it's safe to post this site. The writer actively researches rumors about the plots of upcoming Sopranos episodes, without much luck (in hindsight, he batted about .500).

My thoughts upon reading this:

1) Why would a true fan work so hard to ruin the show's surprises for himself and everyone else?

2) How could he work so hard on this and still be so wrong? The poor guy really needs some better sources.
posted by Dirjy on May 20, 2001 - 1 comment

Tomorrow night - Sopranos Finale

Tomorrow night - Sopranos Finale - Will Jackie Jr. get a pass? Will Paulie or Christopher get whacked? Where the Hell did that Russian go? Will we ever see Gloria again? I don't often get wrapped up in a TV series, but damn, I am hooked into this one.
posted by kokogiak on May 19, 2001 - 15 comments

Do not turn them in to the cops!

Do not turn them in to the cops! Should you see any of these peope (pictures), do not turn them in! You could find yourself in trouble from one or more sources.
posted by Postroad on May 3, 2001 - 3 comments

Livia Let Die.

Livia Let Die. Learn how The Sopranos brought Livia Soprano (played by actress Nancy Marchand) back to life for one more encounter with Tony Soprano. Warning! Some minor Season3/Episode1 Spoilers. (via Slate)
posted by stew560 on Mar 3, 2001 - 5 comments

Sports Night No Go on HBO.

Sports Night No Go on HBO. Despite the fact that Aaron Sorkin (the creator) had already made plans on an HBO-ized show, ABC and HBO have called off talks due to "financial issues which couldn't be resolved." If you were a fan of Sorkin (Sports Night), you may enjoy "The West Wing." I do.
posted by chrish on Jun 22, 2000 - 2 comments

Today I was talking to a friend about how much I miss seeing Mr. Show on HBO. They haven't had a new episode in months, so I went to their official site and they're talking about making a movie soon! I couldn't find mention of it anywhere else, not even at the IMDB. I did find some interesting fan sites like this one. I also noticed they're selling bowling shirts among other goodies at the HBO store site.
posted by mathowie on Dec 13, 1999 - 0 comments

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