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The Tribe Has Spoken: Survivor is Reality TV's Finest Achievement

Is Survivor the only great reality TV show? The AV Club argues yes.
posted by The Gooch on Jul 2, 2012 - 127 comments

How can something so rapey be so good?

“Racist rape-culture Disneyland with Dragons” -- Laurie Penny on the popularity of George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire and the critically acclaimed HBO dramatization Game of Thrones. (Hint: Despite the obvious gender-racial-class problems, Miss Penny really likes the show.) [more inside]
posted by bardic on Jun 27, 2012 - 321 comments

STAR WOLF, or, he tried to kill me with a forklift!

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 - Two - Three - Four. (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 - 26 comments

And you know it

Sorkinisms - A Supercut (previously).
posted by googly on Jun 25, 2012 - 142 comments

Reading Rainbow 2.0 (& every single episode of Reading Rainbow available on YouTube)

Reading Rainbow is back (includes video interview with LeVar Burton, ~4.5 min.) - "rebooted as an app for tablet computers" (Android? yes, soon); reviews from Gizmodo & Engadget. Here's a recent convention Q&A with Burton where he announces the app (video, relevant part starts at 3:30). But if this announcement is simply making you nostalgic for the television show, all 155 episodes of Reading Rainbow are available here on YouTube (neatly sorted into playlists by season, or you can just start here for every single episode in order). (previously: LeVar Burton goes behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation in a Reading Rainbow episode - Reading Rainbow ends its 26-year run)
posted by flex on Jun 21, 2012 - 53 comments

I think I might be the voice of my generation. Or at least _a_ voice of _a_ generation.

"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 - 155 comments

RIP Эдуард Анатольевич Хиль

Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, aka Mr. Trololo, has died at the age of 77. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Jun 4, 2012 - 50 comments

Richard Dawson 1932-2012

Colin Lionel Emm, known to the world as Richard Dawson, has died. [more inside]
posted by evilcolonel on Jun 3, 2012 - 80 comments

"Villains used to always die in the end. Now the nightmare guy comes back."

Bad Guys: The GQ Villains Portfolio (Movies + TV) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 1, 2012 - 26 comments

"I will lead the attack!"

"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 - 241 comments

series highlight or jumping the shark?

Linda Holmes, NPR: "It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep." (spoilers in links) [more inside]
posted by flex on May 29, 2012 - 665 comments

Dumb, Drunk and Racist

Dumb, Drunk and Racist - Joe Hildebrand, writer for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, has a new TV show coming up on Australian TV, called "Dumb, Drunk and Racist", which was the phrase famously used during a training session in an Indian call centre about Australians. The show features four Indians from varying backgrounds visiting Australia - looks like very uncomfortable viewing (if you're Australian). (Slightly NSFW because of drunken boob-showing).
posted by awfurby on May 28, 2012 - 138 comments

And Guest Starring: Cameraman and Fly

One of the side effects of being a 5-day, live show was that the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows featured regular technical and acting flubs. Many, many, many flubs [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on May 19, 2012 - 25 comments

At least it was here

Dan Harmon out as showrunner of Community. He responds
posted by whitneyarner on May 19, 2012 - 275 comments

“I suppose the first thing I should do is apologize for the billions of dead.”

A famously reclusive writer, John Swartzwelder is responsible for many of The Simpson's iconic episodes. He stopped writing for the show in '04 and began to self-publish a series of increasingly absurd Sci-Fi Detective novels.
posted by The Whelk on May 16, 2012 - 47 comments

Television: chewy chicken for the eyes

Canadian food chain Swiss Chalet decided to buy an entire cable channel devoted to 24 hour coverage of rotisserie chicken. That's it. Oh and dancing dipping sauce containers.
posted by The Whelk on May 12, 2012 - 55 comments

Shadowplay

A Dark Shadows crash course
posted by Artw on May 10, 2012 - 49 comments

Whiz Kids

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 - 41 comments

Tie him up when he's fast asleep, send him on a pleasant cruise

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 - 41 comments

Women's lib... in space!

Star Maidens 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 - 13 comments

The One Where phoebe can't tell if it is even day or night because of all the crows that follow her everywhere

Friends Reimagined #theonewhere is a hashtag that is increasing in popularity and strangeness, used by twitizens to reminisce about Friends episodes which may or may not have actually happened.
posted by nímwunnan on May 3, 2012 - 45 comments

Whenever my life gets me so down, I know I can go down

A brief history of Nickelodeon's Roundhouse, that glorious early 90's sketch show with the guys doing backflips and the Dad in the motorized armchair.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Apr 30, 2012 - 43 comments

#liberalmediabias

Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (ft. President Obama) - Stafford Loan Interest Slow Jam
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 25, 2012 - 57 comments

Before we go on, someone in this room is not who they say they are....

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 - 55 comments

" the case may hinge on turning up some politically incorrect emails from the production process"

Is “The Bachelor” racist? [Salon.com] "A new lawsuit claims the show discriminates against African-Americans in its casting choices -- and, it's right. Yesterday, two African-Americans from Tennessee, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, announced that they are filing a class action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against the most sentimental of reality TV shows, ABC’s long-running ‘The Bachelor.” (Just scroll through this photo gallery of about five seasons’ worth of participants to get a sense of just how white “The Bachelor” is.)"
posted by Fizz on Apr 23, 2012 - 127 comments

"...information based in part on theory and conjecture."

In 1973 and 1975, two one-hour television documentaries aired in the US: In Search of Ancient Astronauts (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The same producers also put out The Outer Space Connection (Parts 1 and 2) 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 - 51 comments

Season 1: Episode 1

Girls is being compared to Louie.
posted by kliuless on Apr 17, 2012 - 235 comments

Paul Feig Walks Us Through Freaks and Geeks

In the first of a five-part series, Paul Feig walks through the origins of and provides an episode-by-episode analysis of Freaks and Geeks
posted by The Gooch on Apr 9, 2012 - 42 comments

“Digitize Her!”

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 - 28 comments

A Game of Lessons

With Season 2 of Game of Thrones to begin on Sunday, it's important to review the various life and parenting lessons we've learned from the show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 31, 2012 - 278 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

I Don't Know

So You Think You Can't Do That On Television? Interview with Geoffrey Darby, inventor of green slime and co-creator of a show that many 80's kids will remember.
posted by rodmandirect on Mar 27, 2012 - 19 comments

Corridor running

Exploring Cardiff's Roath Lock studios, home of Doctor Who, Casualty, Upstairs Downstairs and the Welsh language Pobol y Cwm. Oh yeah, and there's a trailer for Doctor Who series 7, in which Farscape fans will catch a glimpse of Ben Browder.
posted by Artw on Mar 26, 2012 - 25 comments

That's how a turkey created TV

The IMDB says of the Canadian-produced, early 90s Nickelodeon show Turkey Television: A series comprised entirely of short (several per episode) comedy sketches. Unfortunately practically nothing of the show survives on the internet today, other than two clips: the theme songs from the two formats of the show and a commercial showing off some archive clips. Page on the Classic Nick Wiki - Everything2 node [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 22, 2012 - 25 comments

The Strange Art of Picking a TV Title

How TV show titles are picked, aka why "Friends" wasn't named "Across The Hall".
posted by reenum on Mar 19, 2012 - 74 comments

Your wife's pregnant!

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 - 141 comments

Stop being meta!!

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 - 63 comments

Weak Interactions

Weak Interactions is a blog that looks at the science in Breaking Bad and the non-science in Fringe.
posted by reenum on Mar 12, 2012 - 59 comments

"Bet he forgets the aluminum. Guarantee. Guarantee he forgets."

"If you strung all of the opening scenes from the various seasons [of Breaking Bad] together in chronological order, would the show's basic narrative make sense?" [more inside]
posted by invitapriore on Mar 12, 2012 - 49 comments

March Madness Drama Derby

Vulture is running a March Madness Drama Derby to determine the greatest TV Drama of the past 25 years. [more inside]
posted by dustyasymptotes on Mar 10, 2012 - 36 comments

Personality crisis, you got it while it was hot

The New York Dolls play 6 songs live on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert TV show in 1975. [more inside]
posted by BoringPostcards on Mar 6, 2012 - 19 comments

"They just remove all awkwardness from the teen experience. It’s an awkward time. You’re not this sexual dynamo."

"The thing that is unique about [Britta Perry] is that she is never the subject of slut shaming. Like, she’s one of the only female characters that doesn’t ever get punished for having an active sex life." The Daily Beast interviews the female stars of Community (and one of its female writers).
posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 29, 2012 - 42 comments

The Victorian Kitchen Garden & a metric butt-ton of historical reconstruction series

The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex on Feb 26, 2012 - 29 comments

Kermit?

In 1975, a half-hour variety show titled The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence piloted on ABC television but it was going after an older audience.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 23, 2012 - 18 comments

Super Best Friends Forever

My Little Pony’s Lauren Faust on how Super Best Friends Forever will make you love Batgirl and Supergirl all over again. The short animations will be part of Cartoon Networks DC Nation block, alongside Beware The Batman, the replacement for the late lamented Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
posted by Artw on Feb 21, 2012 - 28 comments

I've decided to bring in a few ringers, professional baseballers

The Making of "Homer At The Bat"
posted by holdkris99 on Feb 20, 2012 - 84 comments

Kibble for nothing, get your bones for free

DogTV, a cable network for dogs, launched in San Diego this past Monday aimed at stay-at-home canines and their workaday owners who want to feel better about time apart. [more inside]
posted by ga4ry on Feb 19, 2012 - 34 comments

A bunch of guys standing around trying to sound like a Kevin Smith movie but failing because they're not as clever

Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2012 - 112 comments

Pocoyo!

Pocoyó is a charming little animated children's show from Spain. Many episodes are available online in English (narrated by Stephen Fry), in the original Spanish, and in a few other languages. You can make your own Pocoyo-style avatar and read the Pocoyo blog at the show's website. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 28, 2012 - 22 comments

Knope we can!

Election year politics may be cruel, cynical and disheartening, but nerdy rapper Adam Warrock's new EP reminds us that there is one candidate whose message of positivity never wavers, even while it might be at odds with her name. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 comments

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