The Great British Bake Off disaster: why the BBC got burned - thought with Mel and Sue leaving the show Channel 4 may have "just bought a tent."
Following the success of previous BBC Four 'slow TV' programmes, including All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride & Canal Trip, and Slow Week, BBC4 is inviting viewers aboard for a very special journey through one of the most spectacular and beautiful bus routes in Britain. The 'Northern Dalesman', as the bus on the route is called, has been rigged with specialist cameras as it travels on its journey, snaking across the iconic landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. Filmed in real time, the cameras capture the road unfurling, the passing scenery and the occasional chatter of local passengers. Two hours of scenery and quiet, no ads, no idiot voice-over ... all television should be this way. (Previously)
Season six of American Horror Story premieres in the US on September 14th. Unlike previous seasons of the anthology, however, FX is keeping this season's theme under wraps, teasing the audience with no fewer than 19 promos, each depicting a different potential show (which themselves reference different horror movies.) [more inside]
"Delay of audience gratification has been a staple of episodic storytelling for a long time, but no show advanced the practice more than the grandfather of plotblocking, Lost. No matter how well-written the various flashbacks often were, the writers knew that what kept us hooked was the mystery of the island — and that storyline was illiberally meted out like capfuls of water to a thirsty man. Just enough to keep us alive. I’ve actually found that the shows that are the most “binge-worthy” are the most narratively stingy. You start each new episode almost out of frustration, hoping it will deliver a morsel of satisfaction, an inch of forward progress." Writer-director Andrew Matthews on Stranger Things and his idea of "plotblocking".
"If you watch a lot of television and you don't know what could happen to lesbians if they don't die, this is a show about that. I promise you, no lesbians die in this show." Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito play a lightly fictionalized version of themselves -- a married couple who co-host a standup comedy show in Los Angeles -- in their new sitcom, Take My Wife. [more inside]
Lindsay Ellis' (previously) new video series 'Loose Canon' (Previously) takes a look at the different media takes on the same cultural character or property. She takes on the longest and most detailed one yet with the media reaction to and portrayal of the 2001 9/11 attacks. Part 1 (21:21) Part 2 (27:37) (Warning for photos and video of attacks)
In the days before widespread cable TV with electronic menus, people relied on print guides to know what to watch and when to watch it. The regional New York paper Newsday had its resident staff artist Gary Viskupic provide illustrations for the movies, specials, and day-to-day programs. Nostalgia blog don't parade on my rain has a collection of scans showing Viskupic's trippy, macabre line art, giving a certain amount of panache to the rather pedestrian world of TV Scheduling. Part 1 (including: Kubrick's 2001, NBC Reports: But is this Progress?, Hellstrom Chronicle) and Part 2 (including: Rosemary's Baby, The Marx Bro's Coconauts, Bunny of the Year Pageant). [more inside]
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a role model for the modern feminist "After more than a decade of reading Buffy academia, to which Patricia Pender’s I’m Buffy and You’re History is a very laudable addition, I’m starting to know why this show continues to inspire sincere and thoughtful devotion among intellectual people who need to talk about gender and about what it means to be a woman in our world." ~ Naomi Alderman, The Spectator [more inside]
David Huddleston, who portrayed the Big Lebowski as well as the mayor in Blazing Saddles and countless other character parts in movies and tv, passed away Tuesday in his Santa Fe home at 85. [more inside]
In the midst of today's choas and confusion, I bring you an uniting cultural landmark - What's Happening Season Two Episode 16 featuring the Doobie Brothers. For the uninitianted- What's Happening, a TV show inspired by Cooley High. And the Doobie Brothers a band from California, that staretd out playing biker country rock who via personell changes morphed into a blue eyed soul outfit, whose lead vocalist had a solo hit that provided the basis for a hip-hop classic. In any event, the episode is a great late 70's period piece.
Over the past year, the Archie series of comics has been receiving acclaim for efforts to rethink its classic characters. This fall, that continues onto the television screen, with the forthcoming series: Riverdale [Facebook Link]. Early reports about the show claim, "More Twin Peaks than Dawson's Creek", and that the show will focus on a darker side of the iconic characters, "As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom — and nothing feels the same." As bizarre (and, perhaps, terrible) as this may sound, the pilot episode is reviewing well.
Mad Men to Seinfeld: TV's most criminally overrated shows — The Guardian's reviewers unburden themselves. [more inside]
Marvel and Netflix releases a Luke Cage trailer at SDCC Plus: Iron Fist teaser. Plus: Defenders teaser. Also: Daredevil season 3 confirmed. More from the Luke Cage panel.
In 1998, cult horror author Thomas Ligotti and coworker Brandon Trenz wrote a script for an episode of The X-Files which draws more on Ligotti's style and sentiment than on Kolchalk and flying saucers. The episode, "Crampton", was never produced, but the text is online.
"The most amazing gift about Matt's physical appearance is that he can walk into the hair-and-makeup trailer looking like someone who slept directly on his face for seven hours and emerge a bona fide movie star. He has a great makeup artist." GQ rounds up friends and co-workers for an oral history of the most likable man in Hollywood, Matt Damon.
Star Cops [YT playlist]: A "blast from the past" that is "paranoid in the way only Cold War eighties drama can be." The ISPF's commander "finds himself stonewalled ... while investigating old crimes with new sci-fi spins ... Throughout the series he picks up a motley collection of 'waifs and strays' ... Some of the plots seem eerily prescient today ... The show is both optimistic that we'll get 'out there' tinged with a realisation that we'll take the worst aspects of humanity on the journey. It's flawed brilliance." [more inside]
"I don't know why it's so hard for you to believe I could be happy." The official trailer for season three of Bojack Horseman is out now, following the release of the teaser trailer in May. Bojack Horseman previously: 1, 2, 3 and in FanFare.
The Game of Thrones Graveyard [Slate] [Spoilers] If you watch Game of Thrones, chances are you’ve watched the show kill off a character who mattered to you: a lord, a sellsword, a queen, a knight; someone you loved, or someone you loved to hate. It’s so hard to say goodbye, even when the deceased are fictional. That’s why we’re opening the Game of Thrones Graveyard, where the show’s most well-known characters rest for eternity. Buried in this sacred ground are brave souls who George R.R. Martin took from us too soon, likely by beheading them, filling them with crossbow bolts, slitting their throats, or all of the above. Others lasted far too long and died far too easily considering their depravity. But good or evil, they all touched our lives in some way. Leave a flower for a fallen character.
"I have found a new way to watch TV, and it changes everything" — Jeff Guo of Wonkblog discusses how his new habit of fast-forwarding TV relates to the history of reading, and considers the role of the content creator in an age of hackable content. (non-WaPo link)
Polka Spotlight is the 20-year-old TV show where the party never ends. Yes, a couple of full episodes are available, with 100% genuine community access TV graphics!
An interview with Q's Shad, on telling the story of facing midlife, as a woman (CBC) Kim Cattrall discusses working through her own questions around mortality through her remake of the BBC series Sensitive Skin.
The Chris Gethard Show started at UCB, moved to public access (previously), and can now be seen on Fusion TV and online. It's a talk show, a call-in show, a Skype-in show, a comedy show, an audience-participation show, and a grand, weird, and delightful tv experiment that also isn't afraid to explore mental health issues (previously - cw: suicide.) Season 1 full episodes (22:00 ea.). Season 2 full episodes (44:00 ea.). Wikipedia List of show regulars, characters, and celeb guests. [more inside]
Your long wait is over. Public service announcement: as of Tuesday, you can finally own Cop Rock on a triple DVD box. NYT: Sometimes “worst” is a misnomer for “ahead of its time.” On Tuesday Shout! Factory releases “Cop Rock: The Complete Series,” a three-disc package that provides a chance to revisit this TV curiosity. Watching the 11 episodes — the original 16-episode order was truncated when the show didn’t generate ratings — is fascinating, and not always in a train wreck way. When “Cop Rock” worked, though that was only intermittently, it worked quite well. Previously.
NY Times obituary. On May 11, he retired from 60 Minutes after 46 years. "His Canadian sensibility grounded his work," said fellow journalists. 1998 profile: "He never played it safe." He famously reported on the horrors of Vietnam in Cam Ne: When President Lyndon Baines Johnson was outraged, he wanted to know if Safer was a Communist. "When he was told that Morley was 'not a communist, but just a Canadian', LBJ apparently said `Oh well, I knew he wasn’t an American'."
Established in 1982, the [San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive] preserves 6000 hours of newsfilm, documentaries and other TV footage produced in the Bay Area and Northern California from the Twentieth Century. We are a part of the J. Paul Leonard Library’s Department of Special Collections and oversee material owned by local TV stations KPIX-TV, KRON-TV, KQED and KTVU. All 1,659 items in the collections can be streamed. A few notable inclusions within. [more inside]
Remaking 'Roots' In this version, accuracy is at the forefront, Mr. Wolper said one day last fall, in his production office in New Orleans, where the walls were covered with images of slave ships, plantation houses and African beads. “I’m not being modest here,” he said. “We have to make it better than the first ‘Roots.’ Otherwise, why bother?”
In 1980, Bea Arthur and Madame* sing "A Good Man is Hard to Find" after some banter about each other's respective styles and sexual innuendo about the puppet seducing Rock Hudson that has aged...let's just say....interestingly. [more inside]
"CBS says it brought in a new executive producer for “The Late Show” so Stephen Colbert could focus on hosting. Now the network has to give him room to do what he does best." [more inside]
TV's Dwindling Middle Class [SLNYT] Now on TV, no matter your actual job, almost everybody belongs to the same generic, vaguely upper-class class. [more inside]
How Lifetime Became One Of The Best Places In Hollywood For Women. Since Lifetime’s acquisition by A&E Networks in 2009, the channel has mounted a successful effort to legitimize itself — 12 Emmy nominations in 2013, and 17 in 2014. This new legitimacy has hinged on two strategies: Lifetime’s prioritizing the hiring of women to write and direct their stories, and its witty, postmodern self-awareness of its own tropes. [more inside]
Twenty-five years ago, Anita Hill stood before 20 million people and testified that then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her while she’d worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. [more inside]
How does a TV show go from an idea to something you can watch ? Caroline Framke spent six months following the production of an episode of FX's critically lauded spy drama 'The Americans' to find out.
Some say that we are currently in a new Golden Age of TV, where quality and popularity of shows are at an all time high. Some would also say that we're in an age of Peak TV, popularized by John Landgraf (FX Networks CEO) in 2015. It refers to the amount of quality television programming, which gives even TV critics pause. Backing this up, FX Networks researched and released list of all 1400 plus primetime shows in 2015, including all 409 original scripted series that aired in 2015 between 8 PM to 11 PM Eastern (direct download).
This self-referential scripted series by Brooklyn filmmaker Caveh Zahedi is about him trying to make a TV show. Co-starring Alex Karpovsky, Eleonore Hendricks, Dustin Defa, as well as his wife and children, the intensity of the series rapidly increases as his brutal honesty about the production causes tension with his staff and family, but the honesty continues.
Here is a trailer which sums up the show, and this is the first episode.
On another note, here is Will Oldham starring in Tripping With Caveh.
Here is a trailer which sums up the show, and this is the first episode.
On another note, here is Will Oldham starring in Tripping With Caveh.
We all know people don’t explode when exposed to space without protection. But science fiction has taken some ... liberties with vacuum exposure over the years. Here are 19 scenes of people being exposed to space, ranked from the least realistic to the most.
The Hair: Why nearly every woman on TV has the same hairstyle.
Ken Howard, best known as Coach Reeves on the late, lamented 1970's sports dramedy The White Shadow, and head of the Screen Actors Guild has passed on at age 71.
An Open Letter To Supergirl Stars Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh, From An Adoptive Mom: "But it’s our oldest daughter that has gained the most from Supergirl. She identifies strongly with Kara Danvers. Like Kara, our girl has long blonde hair; she wears glasses; she was adopted. And just as Kara does, our girl misses her first family, and she struggles with feeling alien at times." (Spoilers for season 1 of the CBS TV series Supergirl.) [more inside]
A live TV interview has left viewers puzzled after a woman standing in the background seemingly disappears into thin air.
NBC's upcoming Xena: Warrior Princess reboot will skip all of the homoerotic innuendo this time, but not for the reason you expect. This time around, Xena will simply be openly gay.
Prop Reuse in the Star Trek Universe I can upcycle this mad computer as a cloaking device! Just put a bird (of prey) on it!
From Television To '10 Cloverfield Lane', A Composer Plays With Surprise - "When a film starts, 'you have anywhere from two to 10 seconds to get the audience's attention', score writer Bear McCreary says. He gained this and other advice from his mentor [Elmer Bernstein: 1,2 (previously)], whom he met by chance." (previously: 1,2)
Ylva’s Steffi Achilles posted a piece asking that television stop killing our queer heriones and Autostraddle took the opportunity to enumerate All 90 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died. [more inside]