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 -
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 -
At first glance, the new inside-the-CIA Showtime series Homeland
looks like a cynical socio-political potboiler -- an attempt to exploit fears of a terrorist attack on American soil by Muslim extremists. In reality, the critically acclaimed
show, about an anti-terrorism agent (Claire Danes) tracking a U.S. Marine war hero (Damian Lewis) who may now be working for what's left of Al Qaeda, is thoughtful and emotionally complex despite its airplane-thriller trappings. That's why showrunners Howard Gordon and his buddy Alex Gansa gave an interview to Mother Jones
, a self-described "news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting." Reflecting on lessons they learned in the trenches of 24
, they talk about Homeland's self-aware approach to paranoia as entertainment, and how "dangerous and politically incendiary" a TV show can be
posted by Joey Bagels
on Nov 8, 2011 -
Death to the spoiler police! Salon
's Mary Elizabeth Williams takes a stand against people who insist on spoiler alerts: "[O]nce a work enters the pop culture vernacular, it is not society's responsibility to provide you with earmuffs until you finally get around to experiencing it. ... But for the love of God, if you really don't want to know about a book/movie/television show, do the rest of the world a favor and stop hanging out in the online discussion groups about it." Via Roger Ebert
posted by mcwetboy
on May 20, 2010 -
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain
" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87
. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog
, Tom and Jerry
and Diver Dan
, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody
. His nephew has posted a remembrance
on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight
." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 28, 2010 -
Where the insinuation of products in to entertainment reaches new levels of taste and decency. Flashbacks to 'The Truman Show
' are symptomatic of this phenomena. The cause, as judged by market research
, is the misuse and abuse of DVR
players to block advertising messages. However, there could be a new artform in this; some consumers
would like to see a new kind of advertising to augment Brand and Myths [more inside].
posted by gsb
on Sep 30, 2005 -
A Canadian Chinese Celebrity
- (LA Times - reg required) Use this
to get login.
"The lanky Ottawa native, a virtual unknown in Canada, is most renowned for his Chinese TV appearances as the quick-witted foreigner who does amusing skits and the first Westerner to perform the ancient Chinese art of xiangsheng, or comedic dialogue."
posted by blahblah
on Jun 21, 2004 -
Want to create your own TV Show?
So do some folks who aren't from the big lit up place we call Hollywood.... All you've got to do is click up on the site, sign up, pay $25 bucks, and you're in... Oh - and you have to have an idea, too. [thanks MSNBC
posted by djspicerack
on Jul 30, 2003 -
The toughest Chelonia to every grace the media.
Come on. Everyone had to love them at some point, with their pizzas and funny weapons. This
page has some interesting sketch art. This
one includes the complete cast of the cartoon and movies, with links to their career since said roles. This site
, my favorite, has the entire "Coming out of our Shells" tape for download. Remember the classic, Cowabunga?
posted by lazaruslong
on Dec 12, 2002 -
(NYT/reg. req) gets my vote for Stupidest Theory of the Day. Basically, he says that movies are more memorable and stay with us longer than TV shows. Huh?! He's kidding, right? (more inside).
posted by sassone
on Jun 3, 2002 -
Next gen TiVo announced
. Apparently "by holiday season 2002" we can look forward to broadband, photos, CD storage/playback, streaming audio, VOD, and something called "video party games" on our TiVos. But will my Wishlist ever learn to refresh in under 15 minutes?
posted by luser
on Jan 8, 2002 -
'Is media bias real?', part two:
Left-leaning media criticism folks FAIR
have produced a report detailing some examples of of publishers, advertisers, and government officials killing stories they don't like and placing stories they do. What about the Chinese Wall between the business of news and the actual newsgathering? To quote a CBS news producer on the distinction between entertainment and news, "That line was over a long, long time ago....That line is long gone."
posted by snarkout
on Feb 25, 2001 -
This has to be one of the coolest sites ever.
Can't remember of the details of the 1973 saturday morning schedule, the one that turned you into a media junkie. It's here! And now TV Party seems to have partnered with YesterdayLand
, "a new entertainment company that produces retro-themed entertainment and merchandise based on classic television, movies, music, toys, snack food, and fashion." What's up with that?
posted by tranquileye
on Feb 9, 2001 -
Last One Standing.
Now this is reality tv. Just came on at 8PST on USA. About 10 people have to keep a hand on a car in order to win it. After 3 days awake, they started losing their wits and begin to imagine that they're being plotted against. What Big Brother should
posted by owillis
on Aug 13, 2000 -
Is this a crock, or what?
Pseudotainment claims to be online tv, but DotComGuy
has better quality than this. The audio isn't as choppy as the video, but it's a sad state of affairs when the best we can do with all this technology can't even compete with local cable access programming.
posted by ZachsMind
on Jun 14, 2000 -
Today I was talking to a friend about how much I miss seeing Mr. Show on HBO. They haven't had a new episode in months, so I went to their official site
and they're talking about making a movie soon! I couldn't find mention of it anywhere else, not even at the IMDB
. I did find some interesting fan sites like this one
. I also noticed they're selling bowling shirts
among other goodies at the HBO store site.
posted by mathowie
on Dec 13, 1999 -