HBO Says It’s Going to Start Selling on the Web Next Year. Maybe because Netflix now has more subscription revenue than HBO? But wait, is A la Carte the Worst Idea Anyone Has Ever Had?
?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots are interviewed by Marc Lamont Hill of HuffPost Live. Highlights include how Boyz II Men cheated in the high school talent show (glitter) and the pros and cons of signing on as the house band with Jimmy Fallon.
"Hey America, my name is Zach, I'm from Austin, TX. I think we met at Jeanine's party once and really hit it off, but I think we should get to know each other bit better ... I have a lot to say, but I don't know where I would fit, because I have something called cerebral palsy, which I believe is the sexiest of the palsies...." That's Zach Anner's audition for Oprah's Your OWN Show, a reality competition show, where Zach was one of the two winners. His show was called Rollin' Around the World with Zach Anner, which got shortened to Rollin' with Zach, and you can see many clips from that on OWN's YouTube channel. But the show didn't last, and instead Zach and friends turned back to the internet to get involved with a travel show about more realistic travel adventures, called Riding Shotgun (YouTube playlist). But that's not all ... [more inside]
Sifting through decades of publications, oral history and archival records, Michael Kmet sets the record straight on numerous aspects Star Trek: TOS production history lore. Was "Spock's Brain" originally conceived as a comedy episode? Did Roddenberry write the lyrics to the theme song as a cash grab? Which of the Mercury Seven did Roddenberry try to get as guest stars? [more inside]
Don Rickles roasts Jerry Lewis (and gets slapped in the face by Milton Berle) A few other roasts: Sammy Davis Jr. Ronald Reagan Barry Goldwater Red Foxx Jonathan Winters roasts Johnny Carson Jackie Gleason Jimmy Stewart [more inside]
There are various changes that come with the greying of the traditional television audience, including the kinds of ads being aired, as the median age of a broadcast or cable television viewer is increasing faster than the median age of the US population at large. Older people are treated to a litany of drug ads, filled with lists of horrifying side effects, thanks to the ability for drug companies to market directly to customers. The rise in such advertising is now the most prominent type of health communication that the public encounters, but it hasn't always been the case.
ER One Shot (YT): one long opening shot from the Quentin Tarantino-directed episode of the TV series ER. Blog post | less bloggy, more pagey, format. [more inside]
15 years after the pilot episode, Empire interviews Aaron Sorkin, the cast and the producers of The West Wing. Amazing sidebar pieces including Snuffy Walden on Scoring the West Wing, Allison Janney on The Jackal, and a 29-take Anatomy of a Walk and Talk.
Has your day been woefully free of potentially irritating nostalgic sitcom earworms? Worry no more, because they're all here, just waiting for you to press play. [more inside]
Homeland season 4 debuts this Sunday, Oct. 5 at 9:00 pm EST on Showtime. (Spoilers in the links following) After receiving heavy criticism for season 3 (previously), reviewers who have had the chance to view the season 4 opener seem cautiously optimistic. Slate: Homeland Is Good Again. The Daily Beast: A Stripped-Down and Surprisingly Badass Return to Form. Variety: Meet the new, improved Homeland. [more inside]
The Middleman might have only lasted 12 episodes (and one follow up comic) in 2008, but it has not been forgotten. The cast reunion and live reading of the new comic, Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation, is now online. [more inside]
293 Thoughts I Had While Watching “Gilmore Girls” For The First Time. Gilmore Girls begins streaming on Netflix tomorrow.
To kick-off its 26th season, The Simpsons handed the couch opening gag to cult animator Don Hertzfeldt (previously) who transformed Our Favorite Family into a surreal nightmare vision of the far future.
The true story behind the saddest scene in "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" history
Yesterday, the first season of "Transparent" went live on Amazon Prime, starring Jeffrey Tambor as a 70 year old transgender woman who is coming out to her family, and the world, for the first time. [more inside]
Stressed out? Does the fast-paced world of today have your head spinning? Sit back and relax with the Finnish educational TV show "Hello, Hello, Hello," and the terrifyingly slow adventures of Stan and Dud. Clip most likely to cause childhood trauma
: "I'm Cecil. She's Cissy."
Most likely to mark you as a Finn who learned English from watching this show: "The cat's in the moon." [more inside]
"One day I was hanging out with some SNL writers and cast members in the 17th-floor conference room. It was shortly after the writers had won an Emmy Award for the 1988-89 season. Phil Hartman, who had been a writer as well as a cast member for the winning season, marched in with an 8-by-10 photo of himself. It showed him cradling his Emmy Award in one arm and his newborn child in the other. He tossed the photo down in front of his good friend Jon Lovitz and said, "Check it out, Lovitz—two things you’ll never have." (SLSlate)
Dipdap is a children's BBC show for pre-schoolers. Completely wordless, it's a fairly delightful and surprisingly funny mixture of shape recognition, music and discovery (and lots of visual comedy), where "the line" draws a series of challenges and problems for Dipdap to solve. Here's every single episode of it.
Peg + Cat is an Emmy award-winning cartoon from PBS, featuring the adventures of a young girl and her feline friend, using the power of math to solve Really Big Problems. The show, created by kid TV and Broadway veterans Jen Oxley & Billy Aronson, not only gives preschoolers an introduction to practical mathematics, it's also surprisingly entertaining for adults.
Grantland writer Rembert Browne journeys into the "dark heart" of 90s nostalgia via Central Perk, the museum / tourist trap / coffee dispensary dedicated to the popular television show Friends. The modestly popular show premiered 20 years ago today, and had a number of memorable moments which are fondly remembered by its small, but dedicated group of fans. Friends previously and previously on Metafilter.
The Atlantic pulls back the partition on Hollywood, Health, and Society, a CDC-funded clearinghouse for popular media to better understand modern medicine - and modern medical legislation like the Affordable Care Act.
Ten years ago today, LOST premiered on ABC. EOnline posts an interview with Damon Lindelof, about the show's legacy. [more inside]
Go Bayside is a podcast wherein comedian April Richardson and a weekly guest watch every Saved By the Bell episode and discuss/critique them. She's almost done with the over 80 episodes (not including the larval form Good Morning, Miss Bliss or the College Years sequel), but you should probably start from the beginning. [more inside]
BoJack Horseman Is the Funniest Show About Depression Ever
BoJack Horseman is a weird cartoon about a washed-up sitcom star (who's a horse), a snappy social criticism of the entertainment industry, and the kind of in-jokey cartoon designed to tickle the internet. It's also one of the most aggressive portraits of depression I think I've ever seen. Look past the anthropomorphic animal characters and the satire of toxic celebrity culture: This show is radically sad. I love it.Netflix Original's animated series BoJack Horseman stars Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie. It co-stars Aaron Paul and Paul F. Tompkins and has a long and impressive list of guest stars. [more inside]
Every competitive cooking show in America, ranked by the A.V. Club
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture (SLNYTimes Magazine), by A.O. Scott: Comic-book movies, family-friendly animated adventures, tales of adolescent heroism and comedies of arrested development do not only make up the commercial center of 21st-century Hollywood. They are its artistic heart.
"And yes, I get that sexuality is fluid and all of that, but honestly, can't they just do it and get it over with? Either that, or shut up about it." Are Sherlock and Watson Gonna Bone, or What? [more inside]
"I was able to create these shots by waiting for the camera to pan and then I stitched the separate shots together. The result is pretty epic. It reminds me of the classic science fiction movies of the 50’s and 60’s. Suddenly the show has a 'Forbidden Planet' vibe." [via]
The Tick is a big, blue, nigh-invulnerable, possibly brain-damaged super-hero created by Ben Edlund in 1986. He has appeared in comic books (1988), animated TV (1994), and live action TV (2001). According to The Wrap, Patrick Warburton has worked out a deal with Sony to create a new Tick pilot for Amazon.
The Fast Show summary from Wikipedia:
The Fast Show, known as Brilliant in the US, was a BBC comedy sketch show programme that ran from 1994 to 1997, with a special in 2000 and 2014. It was one of the most popular sketch shows of the 1990s in the UK. The show's central performers were Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Caroline Aherne. Other significant cast members included Paul Shearer, Rhys Thomas, Jeff Harding, Maria McErlane, Eryl Maynard, Colin McFarlane and Donna Ewin.[more inside]
It was loosely structured and relied on character sketches, recurring running gags, and many catchphrases. Its fast-paced "blackout" style set it apart from traditional sketch series because of the number and relative brevity of its sketches; a typical half-hour TV sketch comedy of the period might have consisted of nine or ten major items, with contrived situations and extended setups, whereas the premiere episode of The Fast Show featured twenty-seven sketches in thirty minutes, with some items lasting less than ten seconds and none running longer than three minutes. Its innovative style and presentation influenced many later series such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.
Big list of Games – "An unfiltered list of games featuring a leading lady, because such a list should exist."
Have a suggestion for a game?
Leading Ladies in Media – "Highlighting female protagonists in Film, TV, Comics, and Books."
Bonus link: hardcore gaming – Fuck Yeah 1990s
Have a suggestion for a game?
Leading Ladies in Media – "Highlighting female protagonists in Film, TV, Comics, and Books."
Bonus link: hardcore gaming – Fuck Yeah 1990s
Some pretty big names are wading into the Amazon waters with a group of new instant video pilots debuting today. Marc Forster ("World War Z") directed Hand of God, "a psychological drama about a morally corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice"; David Gordon Green ("George Washington," "Pineapple Express") helmed Red Oaks, "a coming-of-age comedy set in the 'go-go' 80s about a college student enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end--and the future begins"; Whit Stillman ("Metropolitan") turns in The Cosmopolitans, "a dramatic comedy about a group of young American expats in Paris searching for love and friendship and an ocean of distance from their past"; and Jay Chandrasekhar ("Super Troopers") is responsible for Really, "a funny, honest, behind-the-curtain look at the psychological and emotional complexities of marriage and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends grasping on to what's left of their youth." There's also Otto Bathurst's Hysteria, "an investigative thriller about a haunted young doctor who is summoned back to her hometown to investigate an epidemic that may be linked to social media - and her own tragic past." User reviews determine which pilots get picked up for series.
David Chase finally answers the question he wants fans to quit asking. (Agita warning: spoilers. Whaddya, nuts? ) [more inside]
What Happens When 'The Simpsons' Becomes Dad Humor? With a ratings-smashing marathon running on FXX and a streaming app due to launch in October, perhaps now is the time to ask an impertinent question: When will The Simpsons become passé? Culture has moved on from The Simpsons, despite the show’s unwillingness to pass into comedy Valhalla. In other words, Simpsons is becoming dad humor: structures so well trod that they can never again surprise, no matter how perfectly crafted. The aesthetic earmarks of this mid-90s humor juggernaut are becoming as antiquated as puns and pies-in-the-face.
A hypnotic video merging every actor who's played Doctor Who into one average face. [SLYT] (Laughing Squid via)
With a combination of humor and fearlessness, Last Week Tonight has done an unlikely thing: spurred action. John Oliver’s segment on net neutrality this past June perfectly summed up what his HBO show Last Week Tonight is so good at: transcending apathy. It’s an ingenious formula that’s making a difference in the real world. “Making a difference” isn’t hyperbole. The FCC’s website actually crashed from overwhelming web traffic the day after Oliver’s segment originally aired. The Atlantic looks at How John Oliver Beats Apathy.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, previously
- John Oliver on net neutrality, previously
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on FanFare
A Soviet take on Rambo (brief clip; Rutube) is "unique in its violence and anti-Americanism." A Russian point of view on James Bond remarks that "so widespread was the interest in Bond that an official Soviet spy serial ... was released." But the spy novel / miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring (somewhat digestible in 17 highlights with commentary: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17) is for interesting reasons not a Soviet counterpart to James Bond or Rambo. See also Seventeen Moments fanfic, two pages of jokes about its hero, and how he figures in the present. [more inside]
"This summer marks 20 years since Inside the Actors Studio debuted and so here are some of those appearances that both "won" and "lost" the show, those appearances which through the alchemical/semantic machinery of celebrity made their actors never less than or much too much."
"Surprisingly, Black Books has no affliction with the BBC whatsoever; created by Dylan Moran (who also plays the lead) and Graham Linehan, the show was filmed at Teddington Studios and broadcast on Channel 4. It centers around Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), the careless, grumpy, wine-inhaling owner of Black Books, his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) and his assistant shop keeper Manny (Bill Bailey). Specked with a few fun cameos by people not yet famous at the time, this show is a hilarious roller coaster ride that will make you laugh until you cry." Black Books: 4 Reasons the British Sitcom Remains a Classic [more inside]
British comedian and actor James Corden, probably best known as co-creator and co-star of the sitcom "Gavin & Stacey," is taking the seat vacated by Craig Ferguson on "The Late Late Show" at the end of this year. [more inside]
DA Hamilton Burger may be the best-known loser of early TV, but his portrayer William Talman's life (content excerpted from the Perry Mason TV show book) was far more interesting. At the height of his fame in 1960, Talman arrested at a nude pot party, and was fired and blacklisted as a result. It took Raymond Burr, the cast, and the fans to eventually get him his job back. At the end of his life, on the verge of dying, he made a powerful anti-smoking PSA (the PSA itself)
Going Deep with David Rees (yes, that David Rees) is a TV series about mundane things examined in a far from mundane manner. Episodes to date have explained how to tie one's shoes, how to make ice, and how to dig a hole, among other things. In an interview in The Atlantic, Rees explains his philosophy for the show: There are NO fake facts in our show. The humor comes from my interactions with the experts, who have all been incredibly good-natured and (sometimes) silly without compromising the integrity of the information they're sharing with me. That's important to us, because we really do want this show to be a celebration of everything that's right under our noses—and for that mission to succeed, we need to honor the topics by not bullshitting our way through them.
Imogene Coca was the hilarious counterpart to Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, the ground-breaking 1950s sketch comedy show. (Here they are in the classic Auto Smashup.) She won an Emmy and a Peabody for her work on the show, had a long career in television, and later made an impact as Aunt Edna in National Lampoon's Vacation, as Ms. Dipesto's mother in Moonlighting, and on the stage. [more inside]
Korean fashion and design is having a moment, but what is fueling it? It's complicated. Let's explore the K-wave. [more inside]
The success of “24” was just one innovation of the ‘00s that helped change the TV landscape into what we’re living with today. Another was the rise of the premium cable drama. “The Sopranos” wasn’t HBO’s first original series, but it was its first to draw comparisons to Shakespeare. Broadcast networks, seeing all that prestige flowing higher on the dial, started pushing the boundaries of what kind of language and imagery they could get away with in order for network series to be as dark and transgressive as premium-network fare. Or at least, I assume that’s how I came to see a human corpse turned into a cello on NBC’s “Hannibal” last year.Tara Ariano on Why Jack Bauer Is to Blame for ‘Bonkers TV’
(Article contains some SPOILERs for Game of Thrones, Salem, Scandal, and American Horror Story.)