For those of you born in the 80s or later, this is what counted for primetime entertainment back in our day.
The award-winning Australian television series McLeod's Daughters aired from 2001 – 2009. A drama, the story begins by following the lives of half sisters Claire and Tess McLeod, reunited after they inherit a vast outback cattle farm (“Drover’s Run”), that has been handed down through the men in their family for generations. 224 episodes were produced, and all are available on YouTube. [more inside]
Filmmaker IQ offers an extensive variety of free online courses, articles and tutorial videos for aspiring filmmakers. Their image gallery is also fun to browse through. [more inside]
The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now. "How do you please Lorne Michaels? Twenty-two ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members – and one who came close – share tales of the audition that can make or break a career." Also, extended interviews with Kristin Wiig, Will Ferrel, Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Shannon, on what it took to get hired for 'SNL.' Check out audition tapes from: Phil Hartman, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Jimmy Fallon, Dana Carvey: 1 & 2, and Dan Aykroyd. [more inside]
The New Yorker's take on Dr Mehmet Oz.
This is a compilation of every headline (with screenshots) seen on "The Simpsons". These Simpsons headlines come primarily with the Springfield Shopper, Springfield's only major newspaper. The compilation includes such memorable headlines as "SQUIRREL RESEMBLING ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOUND", "AWFUL SCHOOL IS AWFUL RICH", and "PARADE TO DISTRACT JOYLESS CITIZENRY"
Angus Jones, better known as Jake on the show Two and a Half Men, has joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The young star has released a pair of videos urging people to stop watching the show.
Artist Dusty Abell has created a massive poster featuring "at least one, sometimes more, character, entity, starship or structure from every episode of [Star Trek: The Original] series." Via io9, who ask: How many characters can you name? Stumped? Here's a key of all 123! [more inside]
Winner of the first Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, winner of a Tony Award in 1959, a pioneer for women as writers and producers in radio and television, and the inventor of the situation comedy, Gertrude Berg is - in the words of her film biographer Aviva Kempner - "the most important woman in America you never heard of". [more inside]
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]
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]
It ran for 8 seasons, from 1975 to 1982. Took home three Emmys out of 32 nominations. The Captain's badge (#233451) is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Dennis Farina, who worked as a Chicago policeman before turning to acting, reportedly once called it the most realistic cop show ever seen on television. But unlike other cop shows, there were no car chases or shootouts, and the show rarely left the precinct. Out of the 170 episodes of Barney Miller that were produced, 68 from the first four seasons can be seen in their entirety on Crackle's YouTube channel*. Take a seat, have a brownie and check out some classic television. [more inside]
"From days of long ago... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!" [more inside]
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 .
Marvel.com now has many animated series (all episodes, in their entirety) available to view online at their website including The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Superheroes, X-Men, The Animated Series, X-Men Evolution, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, and Spider-Man (1967) (Full list inside) [more inside]
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.
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Jinni is a movie and TV recommendation service that has apparently developed an algorithm similar to Pandora's Music Genome Project. Their algorithm is cleverly titled The Movie Genome Project.
SOAPnet.com presents a weekly "Gossip Girl Finger Puppet Parody". Sadly, only season 2 is available.
Branded Entertainment. 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].
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."
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]
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?
This column (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).
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?
'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."
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?
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 have been.
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.
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.