Posts Tagged: Television
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What Do TV Shows Want To Be When They Grow Up?

Human reviewers have mostly been apologetic when measuring Fargo the TV show against Fargo the movie, because how can you compare a film to a series? An apple to an orange? And apple to… ten apples? But the machines, who do not apologize, have it settled: According to Metacritic, Fargo the series (Rating: 87% – ‎38 reviews) is better than the Coen brothers' movie (Rating: 85% – ‎24 reviews). We are meant to understand that these numbers don't really say what they seem to say, but could you really explain how? To an alien?

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How "Adventure Time" Came To Be

Adventure Time is a smash hit cartoon aimed primarily at kids age six to eleven. It’s also a deeply serious work of moral philosophy, a rip-roaring comic masterpiece, and a meditation on gender politics and love in the modern world. It is rich with moments of tenderness and confusion, and real terror and grief even; moments sometimes more resonant and elementally powerful than you experience in a good novel, though much of Adventure Time’s emotional force is visually evoked—conveyed through a language of seeing and feeling rather than words.

The heroes of Adventure Time—a boy in a white helmet named Finn, and his shape-shifting mutant dog/adopted brother, Jake—spend their [...]

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They're Going To Kill Everyone You Love (On TV)

Spoilers of all kinds throughout.

On March 17, 2014, a 17-year-old archer named Allison Argent was stabbed outside of a corrupt mental institution in California while battling demons at or near some hour seeming like midnight. She died minutes later. The obituaries went big. There was "Allison Argent was, for a few reasons, one of the most important TV characters in teen soap history," and "Why Allison Argent Matters Beyond 'Teen Wolf,'" and "Why Allison Had to Die."

"In order for Allison to truly exist as her own character, 'Teen Wolf' made it clear that there was far more to her than a [...]

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On "Dawson," on "Dexter," on "Damages": The Artists and Art of TV Shows

A couple months ago I was watching an episode of the second season of "Dawson’s Creek" when I saw an intriguing painting, "Winter’s Mist," by an artist called "Jarvis." "Winter’s Mist" looked vaguely familiar and the artist’s name was something I might’ve heard in college. Here is what the on-TV college lecturer had to say about it:

I’d like to close with this piece, "Winter Mist." It’s Jarvis’ most famous work. No one can deny after looking at this exquisitely tuned surface, the juxtaposition of color and shape, the intensity of his lines, that Jarvis was in complete control of his new technique. Sadly, three weeks after Jarvis completed [...]

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The Terror Of Euro Television

If you are ever in the spoiled, lucky position to watch television for a living, it would be wise to avoid tabulating the length and frequency in which you spend in front of the TV, your mouth agape, crumbs speckled along the edges of your shirt collar, your head pliable as a block of left out cheese. There is no accounting of this time without courting depression. Save those feelings of regret and inadequacy (I could have been doing so much more with my time! you lie to yourself) for when your cable bill—which is still $200, still a complete a shock after all these years—arrives in your inbox. But [...]

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This Was What America Looked Like Once

There are a whole number of reasons I feel disassociated from the generations that came after me but I think the biggest factor in the weird sense of distance I have from them is that whenever I try to explain what life was like in a world of three channels they cannot even fathom that level of existence. It is as if I were speaking a different language, which I suppose all explanations of the past are actually expressed in. Anyway, youngsters, watch the first minute of this clip here and try to imagine a time when this was the thing on Saturday night that your babysitter would let [...]

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Americans Prepare Themselves For The Coming Stuggle

"This Sunday is shaping up to be an embarrassment of riches for television viewers. And that's forcing [...]

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For Those Who Find TV Too Fast-Paced

"In a world where we have this many channels and every channel has a docu-soap about some outrageous personality who lives unapologetically and sort of yells at us, as television viewers… This was just the opposite. This one allows you to watch and just sit back and relax. Not in a boring way but in a really 'that’s different' sort of way. It allows you to breathe." Will "slow TV" catch on in America? Sure, why the hell not.

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Asses At Rest Tend To Stay At Rest: Study

"[M]ost of us don’t tweet or post at all while we’re plopped in front of the tube. When we do, half the time we’re talking about something other than TV. And social media conversation is far weaker than traditional factors, like TV commercials for new shows or our sheer laziness in changing channels, in prompting us to tune into each season’s new offerings."

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How To Bust Out Of Blogging Into The Magical World Of Television

People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, writer Cord Jefferson tells us more about his new job.

Here is some info: I'm leaving Gawker to work on a television show. Gawker is great and full of geniuses and I'm going to miss it a lot.

— Cord Jefferson (@cordjefferson) February 4, 2014

Cord! So what happened here? In mid-January I got a call saying that a guy had reached out to my literary agent to ask if I’d be interested in writing for television. That person turned out to be Mike O’Malley, [...]

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What America Needs Now Is A Successful Television Heist Show

Television loves conventions. That's why we have a million police procedurals, law procedurals, medical procedurals, murder mysteries, spy shows. And yet there's never been a successful, straightforward heist show. BUT THERE SHOULD BE.

When I say "a straightforward heist show," here's what I mean:

The planner/planners has/have an idea for a theft. A group of collaborators is assembled. A plan is formulated. We learn about the security, the problems to be overcome during the theft. We do not necessarily have to learn (in fact, we usually don't learn) exactly how the theft will be done, but we're given clues that will make the theft's intricacies make sense after it's [...]

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Why The Ideal Creative Workplace Looks A Lot Like "Fraggle Rock"

Karen Prell performing Red Fraggle at Comic-Con. Photo by krysaia.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of "Fraggle Rock"'s first airing on January 10, 1983. In the spring, the cast and crew got together for a reunion in Toronto, where the show was taped. They gave toasts, performed songs, and ate well into the night. There was a Marjory-the-Trash-Heap cake topped with intricate sugar-paste Fraggles and Doozers that fed over a hundred people.

While most of the participants were getting on in years, two guests had not been old enough to work on "Fraggle Rock." Mark Bishop, the CEO of Marvel Media, and Matt Wexler, [...]

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Customers Who Didn't Buy The "Breaking Bad" Finale Also Didn't Buy…

1. Birth: Anticlimactic. Suspense building for nine months, and for what? A dark, messy and not all that joyful resolution. And who really believes that the "Husband" would suddenly shift from indifferent, absent spouse to soothing, expectant dad? The introduction of the epidural minimized dramatic impact, and lowered the stakes significantly. From that point forward, I was disengaged. The emergency C-section twist held promise, but it was at once too gory and too detached. How is that even possible? The only thing that redeemed this train wreck was the baby (me!) who gave a heroic performance. Tough to pull that off when you're covered in white gunk.

2. First [...]

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Molested By The Maytag Man

Were you old enough to catch the Very Special "Diff'rent Strokes" when it originally aired?

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Let's Drag Bears Down To Our Level!

"After her companion was moved away, Sijia the panda became lonely and depressed so zoo staff have provided her with her own TV. When Sijia's companion, Meixi, was moved away from their zoo in China last week, the zoo keepers noticed her becoming depressed and not eating properly. So on Monday, worried staff at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park moved in some new company for the lonely panda – a new television."

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Fake Hawaii: Your American Jungle

Remember when Alec Baldwin quit public life? While others were dissecting the tone and psyche behind his alleged farewell, I got hung up in the piece’s intro, where he talked about phoning a gay-rights group in Hawaii and learning about their torment at growing up in "traditional Hawaiian families"—"Macho fathers. Religious mothers." Others wouldn't have stumbled there, but I was born and raised in Hawaii, and this is the kind of stuff that I notice.

Not to single out Alec, because nearly everyone makes this mistake, but a Hawaiian is a native Hawaiian, a descendant of the Polynesian people who first inhabited the Pacific island chain; generalizing all [...]

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Spoilers for the New Season of "House of Cards"

- Frank dies.

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Top Chef Seasons, In Order Of Quality

I am still watching Top Chef! I watch it despite the egregious product placement ("Boy, these Toyota Rav4s have so much trunk space!" "I've got an idea! Let's fill it up with the Glad® family of products."), despite the reliance on reality show tropes, despite the fact that probably every other season is actually terrible television. I love it, even the terrible seasons. I think about the show after it airs. I like putting on old episodes in the background while I cook. I have Thoughts on which contestants went home too early, which challenges were the best and which were the most offensive, culinarily speaking (that'd be season [...]

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'The Day After' Was A Scary Thing That Happened 30 Years Ago Today

This was the day back in 1983 where if you were, say, an impressionable ten-year-old boy, you came home from school and watched "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" and did your spelling homework had dinner with your family and then got ready for the broadcast of a TV movie people had been talking about for weeks, the warnings about how disturbing it was going to be only fueling your ten-year-old boy interest in what there had actually been discussions in school over whether or not it should be avoided. Then you sat down and watched what would happen to America if there were a nuclear holocaust. Even [...]

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Ultimately Unsatisfactory Series Finales, In Order

"Fuckin endings, man, they weren't as easy as they looked." —Elmore Leonard

13. 'Breaking Bad'

12. 'Lost'

11. 'The Shield'

10. 'The Wire'

9. 'The Sopranos'

8. 'Six Feet Under'