Consequences, Choices, Children in Crisis, Challenges. HBO’s multi-part research documentary The Weight of the Nation examines obesity in America in four parts, marshaling leading doctors, epidemiologists, economists, researchers, and community leaders to understand and explain the individual costs and public solutions to a multi-faceted social and individual problem. The documentary both explores large picture statistics, while giving voice “to those that often too seek to be invisible: members of the nearly 70 percent of Americans currently diagnosed as overweight or obese. (AV Club Review)” [more inside]
Anti-piracy measures have made life difficult for those who actually pay for content, games, music, etc. DirecTV has blocked HBO (apparently at their request) over HDMI by use of HDCP. Suddenly, subscribers with older HD sets are not able to watch HBO and soon other premium channels. The solution? Use component cables or get a new TV.
With Season 2 of Game of Thrones to begin on Sunday, it's important to review the various life and parenting lessons we've learned from the show.
HBO Documentary: Child of Rage: (1989) "Story of Beth, a six-year-old child who had faced the loss of a mother, physical abuse, and sexual abuse all before the age of 19 months. Both Beth and her younger brother Jonathan were put up for adoption. They were adopted by a minister and his wife. This unsuspecting couple quickly learned that something was extremely wrong with Beth. This terrifying and disturbing documentary traces Beth as she goes through therapy in Colorado. The video explains that Beth suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder. [Via]."
A comparison of Sarah Palin's media appearances versus Julianne Moore's reenactment of them in the movie Game Change.
Grantland held a March Madness-type bracket this past week to determine the greatest character from HBO's 2002-2008 series "The Wire". The idea came from a conversation between Grantland's Editor-in-Chief, Bill Simmons, and President Obama. Voting took place via Grantland's Facebook page. Spoilers from the results and TV show are within. [more inside]
The company that creates digital effects for Boardwalk Empire has put together the before and after shots from Season Two.
HBO's Game of Thrones was a huge hit (with some controversy and rebuttals of same), securing a second season only two days after its debut. Filming of said season finished on December 11th and now the production crew is pulling all the pieces together for the April 2012 start of season 2. A few details have officially and unofficially come out, details after the jump: [more inside]
After the success of No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese has turned his documentary eye toward another 60s musician. On October 5 and 6, George Harrison: Living In The Material World will run on HBO in two parts. The film has already played some film festivals and gotten great reviews. [more inside]
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.
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]
The premise of HBO's hour-long special "Talking Funny" [Part 2, 3, 4] is simple: invite four top-ranked comedians — Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Louis C.K. — turn on the cameras, and let them talk shop for an hour. There are laughs, of course, but the most interesting parts focus on the technical craft of getting those laughs. Michael Bierut didn't tune in looking for lessons for designers, but he found seven. [more inside]
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.
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.
The A.V. Club sits down with W. Earle Brown -- Deadwood's Dan Dority -- in a fascinating and far-ranging interview about his experiences on the show, and what could have been.
Life Magazine: The Real Boardwalk Empire: Nucky Johnson's Old Atlantic City [more inside]
"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]
The pilot, bookended by introduction segments, is right through this door: [more inside]
Summer's here, which means a new season of everyone's favorite slashfic-friendly show, True Blood. But this season doesn't only bring us Louisianan vampires, it also includes a very special message from Snoop Dogg, who proves that he's no slouch at imagining new erotic developments for the characters.
In 2006, gas developers offered Josh Fox a hundred thousand dollars for the rights to seek natural gas below his land via the process of hydrolic fractioning. Curious as to what this entailed, he checked out what had happened in places where it had been practiced before. It caused him to make the documentary Gasland. He's been talking it up since then here and there. [more inside]
David Milch, creator of Deadwood, John From Cincinnati, and NYPD Blue reads from Luck, his Michael Mann-directed upcoming show for HBO. Following the reading there's a Q&A. (mp3)
The New Orleans blogosphere and twitterverse have been abuzz about HBO's Treme, which premieres tonight. Today's edition of the local paper features an open letter to New Orleanians from director David Simon. [more inside]
Nathan Avon "Bodie" Barksdale is a real life Baltimore gangster upon whom the character from "The Wire" was based. Now, Nathan Barksdale has a chance to tell his side of the story in this upcoming documentary. [more inside]
Merry Christmas From Juniper Creek's Prophet and sister-wives. Video and free album from the cast of HBO's Big Love.
Non-linear storytelling taken to a new level, HBO's Imagine website features film and audio clips combined with press clippings in a 3D space which you can navigate at your will. It also includes some "cube scenes" which play from multiple angles at once, revealing hidden events which require you to view the scene from all angles to get all the details. [warning - Flash-to-the-gills design] [more inside]
September 9, 2005 - Flight of the Conchords performed six songs and chatted with the audience as part of HBO's One Night Stand, not quite two years before the TV series would air. The show is online for your viewing pleasure (29 minute MySpace video, also available as a youtube playlist of 6 videos). [more inside]
The Alzheimer's Project. HBO is streaming online a four-part documentary on Alzheimer's Disease. The Memory Loss Tapes focuses on the experience of people who have the disease themselves, Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? tells the stories of children whose grandparents have the disease, Momentum in Science looks at the state of research into the disease and advances in treatment, and Caregivers follows the sacrifices and joys of those who care for people with Alzheimer's. [more inside]
Bill Moyers Journal, April 17, 2009 From crime beat reporter for the BALTIMORE SUN to award-winning screenwriter of HBO's critically-acclaimed The Wire, David Simon talks with Bill Moyers about inner-city crime and politics, storytelling and the future of journalism today. Sorry for the one link post.
This weekend marks the U.S. premiere of the new HBO film Grey Gardens (starring Drew Barrymore as Little Edie and Jessica Lange as Big Edie) -- promo [video | 02:01] || 'Inside Grey Garden' [video | 03:33]. The film is based on the 1975 documentary filmed by the Maysles brothers, depicting the "true story of Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis....[who] live[d] in a world of their own behind the towering privets that surround[ed] their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as 'Grey Gardens.'" [more inside]
"So I found out yesterday that the soundstage for "The Wire" still existed. I wasted no time in visiting it and was there almost less than 24 hours [sic]. It's one of my favorite TV shows ever and I had to see this before everyone ruined it. The building is also scheduled for demolition and they are going to build a super market on it." NOTE: LINK CONTAINS SPOILERS [more inside]
The first episode of the new season of Flight of the Conchords is available to watch free online (US only, sorry). "Formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo," their first season was chock full of hilarious moments and musical interludes, including some drawn from their live performances. Previously on Metafilter.
No "Preacher" for you. Many of you did not think a "Preacher" miniseries would end well. Would fans prefer to be disappointed by the aborted attempt at an adaptation than disappointed at its not meeting viewers' expectations?
About twenty years ago, HBO aired The Mondo Beyondo Show, a sort-of send-up of avant-garde performance shows like Alive From Off Center and Night Flight. Hosted by Bette Midler (as the character Mondo Beyondo), it showcased artists that covered the broad spectrum between performance art, dance, and absurdist comedy. Strap on your Eighties Goggles; here's the meat of the show: Bill Irwin | La La La Human Steps | The Kipper Kids | Yes/No People | Paul Zaloom | David Cale | and the Divine Miss M as Eudora P. Quickly [more inside]
Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are back on HBO with a new comedy, with Cross playing himself and Odenkirk directing. The pilot's being filmed in May in Los Angeles, and apparently they'll be needing "150 audiencers" (and here's Cracked's Five of the Funniest Mr. Show sketches to masterfully pad out the post).
If you had HBO in the 80's, you saw this every night at 8pm. HBO put together a brief behind-the-scenes featurette showing everything from the construction of the models to the composition of the music.
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)
Prior to his critically acclaimed program The Wire, creator Edward Burns wrote the HBO miniseries The Corner, which also focused on the drug trade in Baltimore. Charles S. Dutton, an African-American Baltimore native and former convict probably best known to most as TV's "Roc," was chosen to direct the miniseries. Who Gets To Tell a Black Story?, part of a Pulitzer-prize winning NYT series on race in America, examines Dutton's take on how to make a TV program which portrays a mostly African-American cast of characters, the struggles and differing perspectives of Dutton and Burns, and how race is portrayed in Hollywood. [more inside]
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.
BBC/HBO to film all 37 of Shakespeare's plays Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes will produce the entire canon over 12 years.
HBO: Flight of the Conchords follows the trials and tribulations of a two man, digi-folk band from New Zealand as they try to make a name for themselves in their adopted home of New York City. The band is made up of Bret McKenzie on guitar and vocals, and Jemaine Clement on guitar and vocals. Episode 1 is available free online. [flash video]
"Oh, someday, when I am Miss America, I'll tell the world to make things start when you're young. And what fun, it's gonna be, when Regis sings his song to me." In 2001, the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Living Dolls captured child beauty pageants of the South in a post-Jon Benet world. Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 [Update inside.]
"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.
The comic "Preacher" is finally being adapted for TV. Rumors have circulated about a possible adaptation for some time, but they have now been verified by HBO. The bad news is that the director/writer behind "Daredevil" and "Ghost Rider" is writing the pilot.
Last Best Chance is a docudrama that shows the threat posed by vulnerable nuclear weapons and materials around the world and underscores what the stakes are. The plot: al Qaeda terrorists steal nuclear material to make bombs, and then sneak them into the US. The 47 minute film airs tonight on HBO, and is also available as a free DVD. More interesting are the powerful figures behind the film. It was produced by The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to reduce the global threats from WMDs. NTI's board is co-chaired by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn (D-GA). The hope is that appealing directly to the public will force politicians to act. The film and its creators were profiled yesterday on CBS News Sunday Morning.
(And to help our discussion here, they've even provided a discussion guide.)
(And to help our discussion here, they've even provided a discussion guide.)
The making of a D-Day tradition... I immediately get goosebumps when I hear the score of Band of Brothers...I'm not sure why, maybe it was my local connections (Dick Winters, Bill Guanere, Albert Blithe, Babe Heffron, Thomas Meehan, Ralph Spina, Harry Welsh, and Robert Strayer are all from Philadelphia), the surrounding suburbs, or Pennsylvania), or maybe it was because the original airings took place in the shadow of 9/11 (the premiere was September 9th, 2001, with the D-Day drop occuring in the second episode, Day of Days, on 9/16/2001), but this series will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. Everything is done so beautifully, from the special effects, to the sound, the music, to the dutiful translation from Stephen Ambrose book to the screen. It's certainly worthy of the 9.5 out of 10 that IMDB readers had given it. Every year now since, either HBO (On Demand - you have to subscribe to HBO plus have digital cable) or the History Channel has played Tom Hanks' and Steven Spielberg's masterful WW2 epic. You can think of it as Saving Private Ryan, but 3 times as long. Even if war movies are not your thing, I can almost guarantee that they will see the human side of the soldier and becomely deeply invested in the characters. Follow the men of Easy Company from training and the running of Currahee, to the parachute jump on D-Day, through the liberation of Europe, the horror of a German concentration camp, and eventually to the end of the war, to Hitler's mountaintop retreat. I'm not the only one - check out the numerous fan sites to BoB (forum shorthand for Band of Brothers) here, here, and here, as well as entries on TVTome, Wikipedia, and Television without Pity. If you want to try before you commit to watching the whole thing, I'd recommend the episodes Day of Days, Crossroads, and the Breaking Point.