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Philip K Dick meets the more twisted stories of Isaac Asimov

Psycho-Pass is a fantastic anime written by Gen Urobuchi, the man who brought us 2011's brilliant Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Even if you are not an anime fan (I'm iffy on it myself), Psycho-Pass is worth checking out. Set in a "utopian" society where psychological profiles can be analyzed remotely, police carry guns that can only fire at would-be criminals, and aptitude tests determine how to provide "the greatest number of people with the greatest amount of happiness", Psycho-Pass asks intriguing, provocative questions about the relationships between humans and computers, criminals and society, and the responsibilities we owe society, versus the responsibilities said societies owe us in turn. There is also a good deal of people shooting each other, if you're into that sort of thing.

Psycho-Pass can be watched for free, either subbed or dubbed, at Hulu (as can Madoka if "lighthearted" "fantasy" is more your cup of tea).
posted by Rory Marinich on May 26, 2014 - 39 comments

“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

"All Good Things..." 20 Years Later

Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga discuss writing the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale. [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem on May 23, 2014 - 43 comments

Mr. Vice President, is there something you know that I don't know?

Seventeen People. A modest tribute to—and deconstruction of—my favorite hour of television.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 20, 2014 - 35 comments

I bet this FPP is even scarier inside!

"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever." "Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes" (previously). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
posted by Room 641-A on May 20, 2014 - 73 comments

"The best things happen just before the thread snaps."

Slings & Arrows (trailer) was an award-winning Canadian dramedy that enjoyed great critical reception on both sides of the border. It ran for three seasons from 2003 to 2006, produced by Rhombus Media with Niv Fichman as Executive Producer, and aired on Showcase, The Movie Network, and Movie Central. Co-written by Mark McKinney (of Kids in the Hall fame), Susan Coyne (a Canadian playwright, actor, novelist, Stratford veteran, and co-founder of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre), and Bob Martin (a comedian, creator of The Drowsy Chaperone, which won five Tony awards), the show starred Paul Gross (possibly most famous for his role on Due South, also a Stratfordian actor), Martha Burns (a major Canadian actor and another founding member of Soulpepper, another Stratfordian), and Stephen Ouimette (another major Canadian actor who, unsurprisingly, has also spent time onstage at Stratford), as well as Coyne and McKinney. The show takes place in the fictional town of New Burbage, which is a stand-in for a thinly-veiled Stratford Festival, which most of the actors and creative team have acted and/or directed in. The writers take great pains to note that they aren't mocking Stratford in the series, but there are obvious parallels. The entire run of the series was directed by Peter Wellington. (There are many spoilers inside, and in the critical reception links, for those who haven't yet watched the show). Much [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on May 19, 2014 - 56 comments

Smell Those Douglas Firs, Diane....

Finally, after 25 years, the conclusion to one TV's enduring mysteries is finally at hand... Finally, after 25 years, the conclusion to one TV's enduring mysteries is finally at hand with the Announcement of Twin Peaks - The Complete Mystery. [more inside]
posted by Mintyblonde on May 15, 2014 - 84 comments

There's no place like [home].

Hello, [insert tv market name]!! A collection of the ‘Hello News’ package produced by Gari Communications, sold to various TV networks, nationwide (and Australia.) Hello Bonus 1: Florence Warner sings “Hello Nashville” live, accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Hello Bonus 2: The Osmonds record a “Hello Utah” promo.
posted by Room 641-A on May 11, 2014 - 15 comments

There's No Crying In Pilots

Actual Network notes given to actual shows BONUS: What network notes say vs. what they mean.
posted by The Whelk on May 9, 2014 - 43 comments

The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead.

Todd VanDerWerff at the A.V. Club is in the process of reviewing the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Episodes reviewed so far: Currahee --- Day of Days --- Carentan --- Replacements --- Crossroads --- Bastogne.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on May 8, 2014 - 27 comments

#SixSeasonsAndAMovie

From AVClub's TV Club 10, Advanced Introduction To Community (in 10 [representative] episodes) [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms on May 7, 2014 - 43 comments

There's never been a major character like her on the small-screen.

Why Tina of Bob's Burgers Can't Be Ignored
"The eldest Belcher child is a unique character in the world of modern television. And this is a very good thing."
posted by davidstandaford on May 6, 2014 - 71 comments

The Silence of the Fannibals

NBC’s Hannibal is the subject of significant critical acclaim as its second season draws near to conclusion, with many describing it as the best show on TV. It’s been called better than True Detective, better than American Horror Story and The Walking Dead, and even better than The Silence of the Lambs. However, despite the confidence of the show's creator in a renewal, the show’s fate on NBC is in question due to low ratings. [more inside]
posted by dogheart on May 1, 2014 - 2098 comments

I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it

A tribute to Breaking Bad, or rather to WW's implosion, by Alexandre Gasulla, part of his Tribute Series
posted by growabrain on Apr 29, 2014 - 14 comments

Orson Wells' 1955 Podcast

The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 22, 2014 - 3 comments

Branding Nick at Nite

"Knowing we are watching something that doesn't fit in today's world and being completely self-conscious about our enjoyment of it is the essence of Nick-At-Nites's appeal." Fascinating memo from 1987 about Nick at Nite's brand and positioning. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Apr 15, 2014 - 51 comments

"Here's a tape of our little visit."

In 2000, Conan O'Brien taped a comedy segment at the NYC offices of Foote, Cone & Belding. The premise: take a chainsaw-wielding furniture huckster from Texas, and try to turn him into a star using a top-tier ad campaign. In the segment, Conan is introduced to a team of FCB copywriters, who dutifully come up with an appropriately ridiculous TV ad.
The segment went as planned; Just another remote for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Little did he know where it would lead. Conan and one of the on-camera copywriters took a shine to each other, and stayed in touch. Two years later, Conan O'Brien and Liza Powel were married. Today they live in Hollywood with their two kids.
In a 2012 interview, Conan told CNN's Piers Morgan: "Somewhere, in the vault at NBC, there's footage of me literally falling for my wife on camera."
Roll the tape.
posted by Silky Slim on Apr 10, 2014 - 46 comments

Madness is genius

The final season of Mad Men (which will take place over two half seasons, a la Breaking Bad) begins airing this Sunday. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 9, 2014 - 569 comments

you have to be venerated to be satirized

The Mike Judge HBO series Silicon Valley premiered last night. The AV club calls it "incisive satire" (while comparing it [favorably] to Entourage). Some people in the real Silicon Valley are not happy about it. Maybe Silicon Valley will have the last laugh: HBO has put the first full episode on youtube.com.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 7, 2014 - 115 comments

The Simpsons = 11 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes. D'oh!

# of seasons × # of episodes per season × runtime of episode = total for 1 TV show. Repeat for more TV shows = total time. Tiii.me lets you select the name of a tv show, the number of seasons you've watched, and tells you how much of your life you've spent watching that show. Add more shows and it will keep a running total for you. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 6, 2014 - 32 comments

"It’s easy to trip people up if that is your sole intention."

"So yeah, I (apparently) lost a game on Bill’s show that I didn’t know I was playing. The game was 'Gotcha!' And according to the Internet (and the number of misspelled and nigger filled — the word, not the people — tweets in my timeline), I got gotcha’ed!"

W. Kamau Bell writes about his recent appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Apr 3, 2014 - 128 comments

Rick Grimes is back

Th 4th season The Walking Dead ended last night and reviewers are weighing in on its shocking and brutal finale. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 31, 2014 - 219 comments

Takin' a break from all your worries sure would help a lot...

Interview with Cheers theme songwriter Gary Portnoy.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 28, 2014 - 25 comments

"Let's face it, comedy's a dead art form."

"This is a project I've worked on for around 14 months! It contains just about every character that appears in Futurama." The cast of Futurama. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 27, 2014 - 24 comments

The big lesson here? Beware!

On April 4th, DailyCandy and Television Without Pity will be shuttered by NBCUniversal. TWOP's forums will remain until May 31st.
posted by griphus on Mar 27, 2014 - 225 comments

Racism, Sexism, and Hannibal: Eat the Rude

Hettienne Park writes a thoughtful response to recent events in Brian Fuller's Hannibal (link to Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast), specifically the most recent episode, Takiawase (link to AV Club Review). Spoilers ahoy in all links.
posted by PussKillian on Mar 25, 2014 - 620 comments

The Corrrect Answer is "All of Season One"

Ars Technica Picks Their Least Favourite ST:TNG Episodes
posted by modernnomad on Mar 25, 2014 - 189 comments

Graphing the Shark

Graph TV uses IMDb data to visualize jumping the shark, among other things. Arrested Development. Breaking Bad. 30 Rock. Gilmore Girls. The Shield. [Via.] [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Mar 24, 2014 - 101 comments

Did'ja hear what I'm saying to you, or have you gone deaf with the soup?

Delivering ten-minute chunks of surreal Irish humor, Soupy Norman may be the best series you've never seen. [more inside]
posted by Itaxpica on Mar 15, 2014 - 15 comments

The 7 Most Annoying People To Watch TV With

The 7 Most Annoying People To Watch TV With, in comic form.
posted by bongo_x on Mar 14, 2014 - 137 comments

This shot, and one more.

The legendary TV production manager and inspiration for the film set term "Abby Singer Shot" has passed away at 96. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Mar 13, 2014 - 21 comments

A HUNDRED SEASONS AND A MOVIE, WW FOREVER RICK AND MORTY DOT COM

Are you a fan of inventive, black-humored sci-fi/fantasy animation? Desperate to fill the Futurama-shaped hole in your heart? Look no further than Rick and Morty, the superb new Adult Swim series from animator Justin "Lemongrab" Roiland and Community darling Dan Harmon. Inspired by a (terrible and very NSFW) Back To The Future knock-off, the show pairs a naïve young teen (Morty) with his cynical, alcoholic, mad scientist grandfather (Rick), each episode exploring a trope -- dreams, aliens, innerspace, parallel universes, virtual reality -- and turning it inside-out with intricate plotting, eye-catching art, and dark, whipsmart humor (with plenty of improvisation along the way). A ratings hit already secured for a second season, the show returns from an Olympics-induced hiatus tomorrow -- in the meantime, why not sample the six episodes aired so far: Pilot - Lawnmower Dog - Anatomy Park - M. Night Shaym-Aliens! - Meeseeks and Destroy - Rick Potion #9. Want more? Promo/highlight reel - AV Club reviews - TVTropes - Reddit - Rick & Morty ComicCon panel - Storyboard Test - Soundtrack samples - Play the "Rushed Licensed Adventure" point-and-click game
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 9, 2014 - 84 comments

What a fucking opening! What a fucking opening!

Behind the scenes of Cuba Gooding's 1996 Oscar acceptance speech As the director calls the shots from inside the TV truck, Cuba corpses. Cue music. And then...
posted by sweet mister on Mar 9, 2014 - 59 comments

How making 'Veronica Mars' changed the movie business.

Ever since Rob Thomas’s beloved TV show Veronica Mars got canceled, he’s wanted to make it into a movie. Turns out all he needed was the help of 91,585 of his biggest fans. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2014 - 142 comments

mashed potato ice-cream cone with corn sprinkles

Fake Chef Pranks 5 Shows Into Making Disgusting Dishes (SLHuffPo with video)
posted by capnsue on Mar 3, 2014 - 33 comments

It's nice to have an old friend for dinner.

Tonight at 10/9c! The critically-acclaimed, criminally-underviewed NBC thriller Hannibal returns for a second season. There will no doubt be copious live-tweeting (not least from the showrunner himself) and much flailing from the intelligent, dedicated, and hilarious fanbase. [more inside]
posted by dogheart on Feb 28, 2014 - 953 comments

The Brie People

It's 1976 and CBS reports on NYC's hot new pickup spot: the department store Bloomingdale's
posted by The Whelk on Feb 27, 2014 - 29 comments

Normalizing torture

"Fringe is a modern reincarnation of the X-Files. . . However one major difference that jumps out when you compare them is the huge amount of torture that happens in Fringe compared to the X-Files . . . Everywhere you see it it promotes the lie that torture works."
posted by tippiedog on Feb 27, 2014 - 79 comments

Down with this sort of thing

The campaign against anti-homophobia
posted by EndsOfInvention on Feb 27, 2014 - 18 comments

The Yellow King

HBO's controversial new True Detective series has sparked a renewed interest in an unlikely subject: an 1895 book called The King In Yellow. Praised by H. P. Lovecraft, the book is a collection of short stories in which a play called The King In Yellow is somehow involved. A play, which, in an alternate world, "could not be judged by any known standard" but in which it was "acknowledged that the supreme note of art had been struck" leaves its readers changed, and perhaps insane. It's inspired other authors (and the occasional imitator) ever since, and you can read it for yourself in your browser or, still free, on your e-reader. True Detective's bleak world view and story of lives tinged with madness fits right in, whether the mythology eventually pans out in the series or not.
posted by tyllwin on Feb 26, 2014 - 498 comments

Fawlty Towers without the Fawltys

John Cleese: "I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, 'That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?'. They said, 'Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out'. And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur." The resulting effort was a 1983 ABC series called Amanda’s By the Sea which could charitably be described as a fiasco. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2014 - 68 comments

Noise for kids

My favorite new tumblr: Experimental Music On Children's TV.
posted by naju on Feb 23, 2014 - 22 comments

What the hell are you staring at?"

"I'm just one more duck detective who works with a pig and lives with the twin sister of his dead wife, three sons on two bodies and a comatose mother-in-law who's got so much gas she's a fire hazard."
~ Eric Tiberius Duckman [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2014 - 52 comments

‏@BarackObama Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please

On Valentine's Day, Netflix released the second season of House of Cards. 16 percent of Netflix users on one particular Internet service watched at least one episode of the show over the weekend, and shares of Netflix hit an all-time high of $439.49 on Thursday. But when, exactly, Does Watching a Lot of Netflix Become a 'Binge'?
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 18, 2014 - 112 comments

Goodnight, daddy

Ralph Waite has died, at the age of 85. You might know him for his Emmy-nominated performance as Slater in the mini-series "Roots," or from countless other stage and screen roles, or from his three unsuccessful attempts at a Congressional seat in California. But odds are you know him as John Walton, Sr. (the third-greatest television dad of all time, according to a 2004 TV Guide poll) on "The Waltons." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Feb 14, 2014 - 18 comments

Luckily most of these songs aren't dreck

The Music Scene is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 9, 2014 - 18 comments

Cigarette TV Commercials

On January 2, 1971, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act went into effect. In addition to adding a stronger health warning to cigarette packs, it banned cigarette advertising on radio and TV in the United States. (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by double block and bleed on Feb 6, 2014 - 47 comments

I used to be like you, then I grew a brain, a dick, and a heart.

Every episode of Brad Neely's China, Il is currently available at adultswim.com. Previously: 1,2,3. [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah on Feb 6, 2014 - 18 comments

oh, what a nice drug

"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2014 - 106 comments

The Prisoner's Dilemma For $100, Alex

Arthur Chu has won "Jeopardy" over the last few days by employing strategies rooted in game theory. This has caused consternation among some purists.
posted by reenum on Feb 4, 2014 - 99 comments

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