Breaking: There Is No News
A supercut of awkward silences in news reports.
What if New Who had Target Novelisations
just like the old Doctor Who
There are some TV shows that last for years and years, and when they finally go away, they're barely missed. And then there is the phenomenon of the TV show that dies quickly but leaves an indelible mark. Ten years ago, ABC fielded such a show: My So-Called Life
, produced by the thirtysomething team of Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, premiered on Thursday, August 25, 1994 -- and was quickly reduced to ratings rubble by another new 8 p.m. series, NBC's
Friends. But in 19 sublime episodes, Life left a lasting pop-culture legacy. Not only did it launch the careers of Claire Danes and Jared Leto, it defined the modern family drama -- and has influenced an entire generation of television writers. Says Greg Berlanti, the creator of The WB's Everwood and Jack & Bobby, ''It's the most painfully honest portrayal of adolescence ever on television.''
and X-Men like appeal
of the tv show Alphas
Diamanda Hagan is an obsessive Dr. Who fan in scary makeup. She posts extensive, entertaining, and exhaustively nerdy rants on some of the worst episodes of Nu Who. Behold! The Beast Below
, Voyage Of The Damned
, Victory Of The Daleks
, Fear Her
, The Next Doctor
, Planet Of The Dead
, The Doctor's Daughter
, and The End Of Time (The Whole Damn Thing)
The secret allure of the spoiler. Think you don’t want to know the ending? Think again
"Is there a greater cultural sin than a good story spoiled? The accepted modern posture is that knowing too much beforehand about the plot of a novel, a play, a movie, even a TV series, ruins the magic of experiencing it for the first time — renders it damaged goods, not worth one’s time or money.[..]
It’s a given: Everyone hates spoilers. Except when they don’t. Two researchers in the psychology department of the University of California at San Diego recently decided to test whether we really hate spoilers, or just like to say we do. What they found surprised them: The majority of people apparently like having a story spoiled for them. In fact, we may enjoy spoiled stories even more than the unspoiled versions. Is it true? Do we secretly crave predigested plots the way some foodies sneak Big Macs when no one’s looking?"
Pdf link to study. [more inside]
The Breaking Bad Art Project
is on exhibit at Gallery 1988
in Los Angeles through August 26. [more inside]
'textbook definition of surrealism'
In his epic new bio of James Brown, "The One
"--an account of not just the man's life and music, but a panoramic view of African-American, southern and American political and cultural history of the 20th Century--author R.J. Smith briefly discusses "Future Shock," a dance show that Brown hosted in the mid-1970s. It aired on a pioneering Atlanta station, WTCG, a Ted Turner-owned UHF station that would become a satellite channel by the end of 1976. Along with the pay-only HBO (started in '75 in select markets), WTCG paved the way for a cable TV revolution. Its name would be changed to WTBS
(otherwise known as Superstation WTBS) in 1979. [more inside]
John Daker is going to sing a song that's very popular nowadays, it's Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
, and he's going to do Amore too, okay? There is a subtitled and animated
A fascinating interview with Vince Gilligan, showrunner of Breaking Bad.
The questions are as excellent as the answers.
This points to that quality of improvisation with the work you’re doing. In a traditional crime show, like “CSI,” if it were a big band, it’s a big band working off charts. The arrangements are very tightly controlled. And what I sense with “Breaking Bad” is a sense of, I don’t know, “John Coltrane on acid.” You have this sense of improvisation where you go with things you know, where you tell the story the length it needs to be told. You’re inspired collectively by a moment and you decide to go deeper into that moment. You’re in essence leading a parallel life with your characters and letting those characters take you where they want to go — not necessarily where the dictates of commercial convention say they have to go.
Meanwhile, Alan Sepinwall asks actors Bryan Cranston (2)
and Aaron Paul
about some of their most iconic moments on the show. [more inside]
Sherman Alexander Hemsley died today at the age of 74.
Perphaps best known for his role as George Jefferson
on All in the Family
and its spin-off, The Jeffersons
, Hemsley's career spanned over four decades, including working on stage, in films, and of course, appearing (or starring in) in many
Viacom pulls free Daily Show and Colbert Report from the web
. The move comes after satellite broadcaster DirecTV stopped carrying Viacom's cable channels Tuesday night.
One of DirecTV's issues with Viacom is the amount of content the cable programmer puts online for free. DirecTV and other distributors fear that giving programs away online undermines the pay-TV business model.
As if sitting through hundreds of this
was not price enough to pay.
Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man
- "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
"None of us are gods, evil, good, or any other kind of god. We are mortal. If I am cut, I bleed. If you are cut, you bleed. We are all flesh and blood. We are born. We live. We die. The only thing that makes us different is that we are a new kind of human being , One day everyone in the world will be like us. We are Tomorrow People, Hsui Tai, and you are one of us!" [more inside]
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
and the gun markets of Pakistan
and later produced a pilot that included stories about Afghan suicide bombers and underground heroin clinics
. [more inside]
the only great reality TV show? The AV Club argues yes
“Racist rape-culture Disneyland with Dragons”
-- Laurie Penny on the popularity of George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire
and the critically acclaimed HBO dramatization Game of Thrones
. (Hint: Despite the obvious gender-racial-class problems, Miss Penny really likes the show.) [more inside]
スターウルフ, "Star Wolf
," was a half-hour sci-fi TV show produced and aired in Japan in 1978. (TV Tropes page
-- addiction warning) It had somewhat cheesy special effects, understandable being a TV series made just one year after Star Wars, but it made up for it with style, energy, and ACTION PACKED MUSIC
American viewers will know it best as the show ripped apart and reassembled into two Fugitive Alien movies by Sandy Frank Productions
, then shown on two memorable episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Episodes on YouTube: Fugitive Alien, its sequel.)
Although the Japanese show got at least two seasons (the second under the title Space Hero Star Wolf
), only the first four episodes appear to exist on the internet. Here they are: One
. (There are no subtitles, but you should be able to figure out what is going on if you've seen the MST episode.) [more inside]
Reading Rainbow is back (includes video interview with LeVar Burton, ~4.5 min.)
- "rebooted as an app for tablet computers" (Android? yes, soon)
; reviews from Gizmodo
. Here's a recent convention Q&A with Burton
where he announces the app (video, relevant part starts at 3:30)
. But if this announcement is simply making you nostalgic for the television show, all 155 episodes of Reading Rainbow
are available here on YouTube
(neatly sorted into playlists by season, or you can just start here for every single episode in order
). (previously: LeVar Burton goes behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation in a Reading Rainbow episode - Reading Rainbow ends its 26-year run)
"The world of entertainment still, all too often, values women only as objects of beauty to be placed on screen and ogled. [...] [T]he world is full of other women who have profound, intelligent, often hilarious things to say, and Dunham is very quietly making a space for those voices on TV, in a way that’s revolutionary both in terms of the show’s gender politics and in terms of its presentation.
- AVClub critic TodVanDerWerff on "how [the HBO show] Girls challenges the masculine expectations of 'good TV.'" [more inside]
Colin Lionel Emm, known to the world as Richard Dawson
, has died
. [more inside]
"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
Dumb, Drunk and Racist -
Joe Hildebrand, writer for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney
, has a new TV show coming up on Australian TV, called "Dumb, Drunk and Racist", which was the phrase famously used during a training session in an Indian call centre
about Australians. The show features four Indians from varying backgrounds visiting Australia - looks like very uncomfortable viewing (if you're Australian). (Slightly NSFW because of drunken boob-showing).
One of the side effects of being a 5-day, live show was that the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows
featured regular technical and acting flubs. Many
, many flubs [more inside]
A famously reclusive writer, John Swartzwelder
is responsible for many of The Simpson's iconic episodes. He stopped writing for the show in '04 and began to self-publish a series of increasingly absurd Sci-Fi Detective novels.
In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames
made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames
’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie
, and advised by a Gavilan SC
-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller
. Whiz Kids
lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
In the Warhol episode, Marion Ross (TV mom of Ron Howard in Happy Days) is a former Warhol superstar, married to stodgy Tom Bosley (TV dad of Ron Howard). Bosley doesn’t know about Ross’ past in underground film, and she’s afraid that they’ll run into Warhol, playing himself, aboard ship.
Andy Warhol takes a pleasant cruise on The Love Boat
was an obscure and pretty much forgotten British/German low budget (they borrowed sets from Space 1999
) science fiction televsion series from 1975... On the planet Medusa where the women (naturally all hot) rule over the men, two of the later inferior species escape (including Gareth 'Blake
' Thomas!) to the 'paradise' of Earth [more inside]
Friends Reimagined #theonewhere
is a hashtag that is increasing in popularity and strangeness
, used by twitizens to reminisce about Friends
episodes which may
or may not
have actually happened
A brief history of Nickelodeon's Roundhouse
, that glorious early 90's sketch show with the guys doing backflips and the Dad in the motorized armchair.
The Lap of Luxury
was a Big Brother
-style reality tv show filmed for Spike TV in 2003. The format is familiar: 9 contestants living in a house together, all trying to win immunity, prevent themselves from being voted out and vying to win a $100,000 prize while facing down a smarmy host. Except... only one of them, a guy named Matt Kennedy Gould, was really a contestant. The rest were actors, playing stereotypical reality show roles. The series was scripted, heavily improvised and entirely created around Matt -- his very own Truman Show
. Welcome to Joe Schmo
. [more inside]
Is “The Bachelor” racist? [Salon.com]
"A new lawsuit claims the show discriminates against African-Americans in its casting choices -- and, it's right. Yesterday, two African-Americans from Tennessee, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, announced that they are filing a class action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination
against the most sentimental of reality TV shows, ABC’s long-running ‘The Bachelor.” (Just scroll through this photo gallery of about five seasons’ worth of participants
to get a sense of just how white “The Bachelor” is.)"
In 1973 and 1975, two one-hour television documentaries aired in the US: In Search of Ancient Astronauts
) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries
). The same producers also put out The Outer Space Connection
) in 1975. All were narrated by Twilight Zone's Rod Serling
. In 1976 a series was developed. Since Serling had passed away in 1975, popular actor Leonard Nimoy was chosen as host. In Search of...
ran for six seasons, from 1976 - 1982, and was devoted to discussing unusual mysteries and phenomena. All 144 episodes can be seen on YouTube. Playlists: Seasons 1 and 2
. Seasons 3 and 4
. Seasons 5 and 6