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"We're gonna be a great TV star."

In the pilot episode... Welles goes beard to mustache with Burt Reynolds on the Constipation School of Acting, does magic tricks with Angie Dickinson and discusses the cosmic importance of puppetry with Jim Henson. It’s all coated with Welles’ eccentricities and indecipherable profundity. Once again, it’s impossible to know whether he’s genuinely bizarre or wholly self-aware of the display he’s putting on. My money is always on the latter.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, please enjoy the bizarre and wonderful never-aired 1979 pilot of The Orson Welles Show. (Via)
posted by Atom Eyes on May 6, 2015 - 0 comments

12 angry men discuss whether Amy is hot enough for TV

12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer Pitch-perfect reenactment of the Sidney Lumet classic. (SLYT - 21 minutes, and worth every one) [more inside]
posted by likeatoaster on May 6, 2015 - 45 comments

BBC 4 TV Goes Slow - fancy watching a 2 hour uninterrupted canal trip?

Inspired by a Norwegian channel that featured an uninterrupted 8-hour knitting session and a six day commentary free ferry journey through the fjords, the BBC has started a new season of 'deliberately unhurried programmes'. Enjoy a two hour, single shot drift down a canal without voiceover or interruption (which you won't have anyway, since the BBC doesn't have ads.) It's garnering rave reviews. .
posted by GallonOfAlan on May 4, 2015 - 41 comments

“Detroit turned out to be heaven, but it also turned out to be hell.”

1967 NBC News Special Report: "Summer of '67"[YouTube]
The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan. It began on a Saturday night in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount streets on the city's Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in United States history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot. [Wiki]

posted by Fizz on Apr 30, 2015 - 16 comments

Where No Freak or Geek Has Gone Before

Other Space: A sci-fi workplace comedy created by Paul Feig. Featuring Milana Vayntraub (a.k.a. the lady from the AT&T ad), Karan Soni (a.k.a. the dude from the AT&T ad), and Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu from MST3K.
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 25, 2015 - 26 comments

This time, we are the aliens.

Over a mere 22 episodes between 1994 and 1995, a rag tag group of adventurers, thrown together by a shadowy government conspiracy explored a strange new world, ruled by an underground government and populated with strange new creatures. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Apr 18, 2015 - 30 comments

I can testify that this applies to art history seminars as well as TV.

The Four Worst Types of TV Critics In all four cases—the Theorists, the Activists, the Purists, and the Partisans—we’re treating the inherently subjective fields of art and art criticism as things we can be objectively right about. We’re taking work that’s complex and capable of conveying multiple contradictory meanings and reducing it to a simple either/or, yes/no proposition. In other words, we’re fucking up.
posted by the phlegmatic king on Apr 18, 2015 - 18 comments

HBO's Static Intro

"Everybody kind of gravitated towards this idea of a TV turning on, and out of this static comes this resolved HBO logo that lifts itself out of normal television series.” (via Playboy) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 17, 2015 - 40 comments

Shot To Remember

Eight years after it aired, the finale of The Sopranos continues to be hotly debated. David Chase explains how he created the excruciating tension of the last scene. What he won't say is what happened at the end... "When it's over," Chase offers, "I think you're probably always blindsided by it. That's all I can say." [Previously. Previouslier.]
posted by chavenet on Apr 16, 2015 - 82 comments

"His mother was an ice-cold wind; his pa a fiery rock."

The Highwayman (1987-88) was a 60-minute sci-fi/action tv series from Glen A. Larson starring Sam J. Jones (1980's Flash Gordon). Jones played a federal marshall with a high-tech 18-wheeler "supertruck" that had advanced weaponry, the ability to turn invisible and a cab that turned into a helicopter. He patrolled America's highways and fought crime in the futuristic world of... 1992. A pilot movie, Terror on the Blacktop (starring Claudia Christian, G. Gordon Liddy, Jimmy Smits and Rowdy Roddy Piper) kicked off the series, which lasted nine episodes before driving off into the cancellation sunset. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 13, 2015 - 54 comments

Three people who've never been in my kitchen

This Tuesday through Thursday (April 14th to 16th) is the latest Jeopardy! online contestant test. Are you ready? [more inside]
posted by kagredon on Apr 13, 2015 - 49 comments

Is that Hulu with a hard U or a soft U?

Those TV streaming fools at Hulu have come up with a 21st Century Social Media way to promote their mostly-traditionally-sourced video content - a tumblr site called Hulu: The Perfect Gif which has assembled over 1700 gifs (so far) of moments from over 80 series ranging from I Love Lucy to Parks and Recreation, and including Agents of SHIELD, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Louie, Cheers, Spongebob Squarepants, Gotham, Twin Peaks, Webster, Xena, Doctor Who (mostly 11th doctor so far), Buffy, X-Files, Glee, Mary Tyler Moore, Ren & Stimpy, Arrested Development, Archer, Sons of Anarchy, Absolutely Fabulous (OMG!!!), RuPaul's Drag Race, Firefly, The Voice, Alf (WTF?!?), Star Trek Original Series and Next Generation, Bob's Burgers, The Brady Bunch, Key & Peele, Spaced (hmmm...), Once Upon a Time, Community, Scrubs, the last 10 years of Saturday Night Live, and many more*, all under 3 seconds, watermarked for attribution, with external hashtags but no captions, and un-hotlinkable but with plenty of social media buttons. Network TV at its best, regrettably. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Apr 10, 2015 - 36 comments

Live and Direct

The definitive oral history of Max Headroom
posted by figurant on Apr 2, 2015 - 55 comments

"We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents."

In the 80's and 90's, Robert Norman "Bob" Ross gave us The Joy of Painting. In each minimalist, 30-minute show, he would create an imaginary landscape using a wet-on-wet (or alla prima) oil painting technique while gently teaching viewers his methods. His signature, soothing comments described the "happy little clouds," "almighty mountains" and "happy little trees" that he was creating with his brush. Of the 31 seasons and 403 episodes that aired on PBS, the Internet Archive currently has the first 19 seasons (247 episodes) available for stream and download. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2015 - 71 comments

For days, the only thing on state TV was a continuous loop of Swan Lake.

Amelia Schonbek considers Swan Lake's place in Soviet politics for Hazlitt. [more inside]
posted by mynameisluka on Mar 30, 2015 - 6 comments

"Can I look at it?" "No, no - you've seen enough of that one..."

Les Paul's 1954 Custom: The One & Only Original by Michael Molenda, Guitar Player. More on Les Paul, and his partnership with Mary Ford, at Gibson.com. YouTube: How High The Moon (1951). [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 28, 2015 - 24 comments

13 Long Minutes

In 13-minute harrowing and graphic long take/oner, Quebec police drama 19-2 takes the viewer inside a school shooting. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Mar 25, 2015 - 23 comments

Reactions to 'The L Word' Ten Years On

The Emotional Stages Of Rewatching The L Word Ten Years Later
1. No. No. No. No. No no no. No. NO.
2. YES.
Listling Without Commentary: 22 Excerpts From Brutal Amazon Customer Reviews Of “The L Word”
16. I couldn’t bear having it in my room so I broke it and threw it in a huge garbage next to our house. Hope this review stops you from buying it, don’t repeat the mistake that I’ve done.
17. Turns out lesbians aren’t that interesting.
Also, the comments on the articles (both contain spoilers).
posted by moody cow on Mar 25, 2015 - 65 comments

The end of NFL blackouts

Last fall, the FCC voted unanimously to eliminate its own sports blackout rule. At this week's NFL annual meeting, the league approved a suspension of the rule. The blackout rule, which came into effect if a game was not sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, was enacted in the '70s in order to prevent cable companies from airing events broadcast on local stations. [more inside]
posted by everybody had matching towels on Mar 24, 2015 - 34 comments

We sure as shellac knew what the polar bear was doing on the island

Javier Grillo-Marxuach [prev: 1 2 3], a writer on the first two seasons of Lost [prev: 1 2 3 4], attempts to answer the question “Did we know what we were doing, or were we just making it up as we went along?” Much like the TV series itself, the answer turns out to be much more complicated than it seems. [A 17,000-word memoir].
posted by 1970s Antihero on Mar 24, 2015 - 94 comments

I try to be good hard-worker-man, but refrigemater so messy, so so messy

Todd VanDerWerff on why NewsRadio was the best sitcom of the 1990s.
posted by rewil on Mar 23, 2015 - 92 comments

Next up: More clones? Woodhouse's location? Still more Rush references?

Season 6 of Archer has been sprinkled with clues, and an imgur user has been following the trail — the highlights of which so far have been a Flickr account and Algersoft.net (Login: Krieger Password: guest).
posted by rewil on Mar 19, 2015 - 65 comments

The televised will not be a revolution

The changing — and unchanging — structure of TV. A discussion of the television industry, its pieces and parts; how the money flows and the dependencies bind; how it changed with the rise of cable and again with the advent of streaming; and how Apple's rumored web TV service won't save consumers or make Apple much money.
posted by alms on Mar 18, 2015 - 33 comments

How 'Mad Men' Came To Be

"Don Draper lived on hard drives for half a decade before anybody paid him any notice. In 1999, Matthew Weiner, then an unfulfilled writer on CBS' Ted Danson sitcom Becker, spent his every off-hour doing research on the 1960s: what people wore, how they decorated their offices, what they ate and drank -" The story of how Mad Men went from a risky pitch to an unknown network to one of the most popular and celebrated dramas of the decade. (Hollywood Reporter) Bonus: Ten Mad Men Characters we need to see again. (Vulture)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 14, 2015 - 39 comments

"Math and science do prove useful." (Having a Swiss Army Knife helps.)

#16: Used a magnifying glass made of a hairpin and wine to read names of spies from a watch.
A list of all the problems solved by MacGyver [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 12, 2015 - 43 comments

Blank Page

"Blank Page" Taylor Swift meets "Game of Thrones."
posted by ColdChef on Mar 6, 2015 - 27 comments

Who better to host a nature show about animals than a Dogg?

Last year Jimmy Kimmel teamed up with Snoop Dogg to produce the nature series, Plizzanet Earth. In the latest episode, Snoop Dogg tackles Otters vs. Crocs. (Mostly bleeped but probably NSFW for a few people.) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 6, 2015 - 9 comments

"I'm here to get what's mine." - Fox's 'Empire'

​​Empire is a Monster That Is Eating Network Television - Buzzfeed​, Feb. 26, 2015:​
"When it comes to ratings, Fox’s Empire is on a trajectory that’s unprecedented in broadcast television’s recent history, which has mostly been marked by — to appropriate a phrase from Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray) — drip drops, if not just​​ plain old slaughter. As of last week, it is the No. 1 show on network television in the 18 to 49 demographic advertisers seek. And once again, the show built on its ratings this week."​
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 1, 2015 - 56 comments

One Last Ride

How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley​ (Laura Hudson at Wired): ​
"​Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episo​​de revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.

​"​If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting ​​sold to new owners."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 25, 2015 - 37 comments

I Watched Every Episode

Two and Half Men hit a new low every season and then continued to sink even further underground. During this last season, the show went off the rails in terms of absurdity and offensiveness. After a death scare, Walden decides that he wants to adopt a child and, since he’d have more luck if he were married, he and Alan decide to wed and adopt the child together. What follows are a plethora of obvious jokes, mostly at Alan’s expense — no one is surprised that he married a man; they all assumed he was gay already — as he girlishly demands a fancy wedding, fawns over his new husband, and brags about Walden’s attractiveness to everyone he can. Isn’t that funny, these two straight men playing gay for a roaring laugh track? It’s as low as the show can go but then, again, it goes lower. (SL Grantland)
posted by josher71 on Feb 23, 2015 - 94 comments

The Starlost

It could have been the greatest television show ever. Conceived by Harlan Ellison. Ben Bova acting as technical advisor. Special effects genius Douglas Trumbull was on board. Scripts and storylines had been contracted from Phillip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Alexei Panshin and A.E. van Vogt. Keir Dullea starred. (Dave from 2001: A Space Odyssey). Guest stars: John "Baltar" Colicos (Battlestar Galactica), Walter Koenig (Star Trek) and Barry Morse (Space:1999). And then it all fell apart. In all, 16 deliciously terrible episodes of The Starlost were made. Was it the worst science fiction series ever? Watch and decide for yourself! [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 19, 2015 - 119 comments

"...safe, somewhat organic, and guaranteed to improve your life."

Icelandic Ultrablue (nsfw) [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Feb 14, 2015 - 18 comments

Well weapon

Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris’s 2005 TV series was a comedy about a ludicrous ‘self-facilitating media node’ in east London. But 10 years on, it looks more like a documentary about the future How the Nathan Barley nightmare came true
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 10, 2015 - 35 comments

Fiction influences reality: Quincy M.E.'s role in the Orphan Drug Act

How Quincy M.E. Changed American Law and Saved Lives discusses the serendipitous way that a young man's need for medication for Tourette's syndrome came to the attention of a family member of actor Jack Klugman and resulted in the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. (main article by MeFi's own Garius) [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 8, 2015 - 16 comments

Free MST3K: New Shout Factory Streaming Service

Today sees the launch of Shout Factory TV offering up free (ad supported) MST3K and much more content from their DVD catalog. [more inside]
posted by Otis on Feb 5, 2015 - 40 comments

CBS could not give a fart

Want to hear Martellus Bennett's thoughts about fonts, including bold? Curious to see an impression of Regis Philbin doing an impression of Nicholas Cage eating too hot soup in Bangkok Dangerous? Ever wanted to find out what would happen when Adam "Not A Great Fit For Guest Host of the Late Late Show" Pally acted as guest host of the Late Late Show? During a snow storm? In front of no studio audience? With no laugh track but the muffled responses of the crew, who apparently hate him? With his trusted companion, Ben Schwartz, at his side, Adam Pally made a nearly unimaginable, nearly incomprehensible, at least partially unintentionally brilliant and absurd hour-long mockery of the late show format. Watch it all. [more inside]
posted by meese on Feb 4, 2015 - 29 comments

10 PRINT "THE SIMPSONS"

Last night's Simpsons intro in all its pixelated 8-bit chiptune glory was a sight to behold and not to be missed
posted by mathowie on Feb 2, 2015 - 37 comments

A modern war story

FLAG is a unique anime series: a fictional war documentary told entirely through a camera lens. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 30, 2015 - 9 comments

Remember these classic themes?

Youtube user dotflist has a playlist collecting classic TV themes and openings ....except something seems to be slightly off
posted by The Whelk on Jan 28, 2015 - 30 comments

Iranian 1979 revolution: Rare footage from French television

A French institute has collected a series of rarely seen videos on the 1979 Iranian revolution, among other things on almost any topic. [more inside]
posted by hoder on Jan 28, 2015 - 18 comments

Better Call Jimmy McGill

The Last Hurrah of Difficult Men, commentary on a tv show, a book and an essay in Esquire. "I'll just say it: The first few episodes that I saw are better than Breaking Bad. They are smarter. They are sharper. I have never seen a prequel handled so cleverly." [more inside]
posted by maggieb on Jan 21, 2015 - 23 comments

An Innocuous Everyday Phrase Imbued With Sinister Meaning Due To Context

Next On “Black Mirror”
posted by Artw on Jan 20, 2015 - 184 comments

In Praise of Sweet Dee

"I think a lot of men are scared to act opposite a woman who is as funny as they are, and who will give them a run for their money for being the funniest person in that project,” he says. “And I think a lot of times she doesn’t get cast in things because she’s so funny, and I think that’s fucked up.”
Kaitlin Olson And The Perils Of Being A (Funny) Woman In Hollywood [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on Jan 18, 2015 - 35 comments

Bea A Day

Mike Denison made Bea Arthur art every day for a year. He is now working on #BettyADay, art inspired by Betty White
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 16, 2015 - 1 comment

Broad Fucking City

“I think what we are doing differently is we never try to force emotional turns or aim to shock anyone. If you feel for Abbi and Ilana, it’s because they remind you of people you know.” - Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk about Broad City, which returns tonight with a new season.
posted by Artw on Jan 14, 2015 - 51 comments

"Of Course!"

An hour of Murder She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher having Epiphanies by Isaac Royffe (actual epiphanies begin at 2:37)
posted by The Whelk on Jan 14, 2015 - 31 comments

Why do the Cylons come every thirty-three minutes?

'Battlestar Galactica': A close look at the near-perfect pilot episode, 10 years later
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 14, 2015 - 159 comments

Millions, trillions, and biiiiiiiiii​iiiiiiiii​llllllllll​llllllllll​iiiions

Supercut of all the times Carl Sagan said "millions, billions, and trillions" on Cosmos. [SLYT]

Carl Sagan saying "billions" just once, but stretched out to an hour. [SLSOUNDCLOUD]
posted by Room 641-A on Jan 9, 2015 - 13 comments

Save that dance

Who Is Agent Carter? A brief history of the starring character of Marvel's latest TV show - and now also a comic.
posted by Artw on Jan 6, 2015 - 76 comments

A TV drama that puts gay characters centre-stage is still a novelty

"What was striking about the recent film The Imitation Game wasn't just the incredible story of Alan Turing, the man who helped the Allies win the Second World War by cracking Germany's Enigma code, only to find himself chemically castrated for being gay. It was the epilogue that informed us that the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, criminalising homosexual activity, led to 49,000 gay men being convicted of gross indecency in the UK. If you subtract Turing and Oscar Wilde from that total, that’s 48,998 stories that still haven't been told." Why is television still ignoring gay lives? – Matt Cain for The Independent. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 4, 2015 - 56 comments

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