'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]
posted by raysmj
on Aug 14, 2012 -
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]
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jul 25, 2012 -
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.
posted by Danf
on Jul 11, 2012 -
"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]
posted by Mezentian
on Jul 6, 2012 -
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]
posted by JHarris
on Jun 27, 2012 -
"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]
posted by coraline
on Jun 20, 2012 -
"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 -
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]
posted by zarq
on May 8, 2012 -
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
posted by scody
on May 8, 2012 -
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]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on May 4, 2012 -
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]
posted by zarq
on Apr 24, 2012 -
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
posted by zarq
on Apr 23, 2012 -
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys
brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power
was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 1, 2012 -
Official Spoiler Etiquette.
The stars of your favorite TV shows (assuming your favorite TV shows include The Wire, Heroes, Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, or True Blood)
teach you how not to ruin them for your friends.
posted by lazaruslong
on Mar 14, 2012 -
As fans of Community
get ready for the show's return from hiatus tomorrow night, AV Club writer Todd VanDerWerff, who writes the weekly episode reviews
of the show, drew attention to something odd that happened while the show was off the air. The discussion in his review of the last episode before the break Regional Holiday Music
, didn't die down after people had put in their two cents about the episode and his review. People kept talking
, and not just about the show. The show's fans developed their own self-contained piece of the web. Last week, the post passed 30,000 comments (now at 35,000): [more inside]
posted by dry white toast
on Mar 14, 2012 -