"She knows how difficult it is to quit, even though—beginning at age 25—she had a sore throat that never went away. She says she quit when pregnant with her daughter, now 32, but then relapsed. She even smoked during her radiation treatments for oral cancer in 2001. It was only after the surgery to remove her voice box that she finally quit, cold turkey." —The new reason to avoid television is the new CDC campaign featuring ex-smokers who have lost various parts of their bodies to their habit, from legs to larynx. If you've already managed to quit, go ahead and give yourself a high five and hope that's [...]
In my opinion, this is the most beautiful sequence ever aired on television:
This essay is part of a series about our favorite TV shows past.
Previously: You, Me And "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
It's the opening scene for episode two of "Carnivàle." I've probably watched it 100 times. I know every motion, piece of furniture, item of clothing, dialogue snippet, and character backstory. I know the song playing is Ruth Etting's 1929 hit "Love Me or Leave Me."
And yet still, I have absolutely no idea what's going on.
That was kind of the experience of watching the show. Trying to [...]
The first in a series about our favorite TV shows past.
There are some things I know to be true that cannot be objectively or scientifically proven, what theologians call articles of faith. Corporate lawyers, for instance, are not simply bad people who made poor life choices. They actually work for demons, a kind of lesser god-monster from a parallel dimension porously paired with our own. Professional politics, a career nearly all attorneys aspire to, is itself a realm of slightly higher demons—higher in influence and power, not intellect or evolution. These professions, like those of talent agents and film producers and record-label executives and school principals, are natural [...]
Legendary maniac Larry King will emcee the third presidential debate. Think about this. Our grand 2012 debate season began with a confused shark-eyed zombie, moved up to a cool and serious lady for the Biden-Ryan thing, and then got all ethical and fact-checky with Candy Crowley. The only possible "big finish" is to bring in a hundred-year-old Vaudeville/CNN star from the Golden Age of Radio for the final debate. Will David Lynch direct? It will be the most historical moment in Larry King's career since he found something weird in his slipper this morning and also thought he heard the great Walter Matthau speaking through a poinsettia in [...]
Recently I've been rewatching "Battlestar Galactica." On a rewatch, I feel like it's a very long haul. And I've now seen a lot of people cruise through the first couple seasons then get bogged down in, say, season three. It's quite a bit of TV! For a non-fanboy or non-fangirl, it can get tedious. Reordering the Star Wars movies made so much sense; the so-called "machete order" for Star Wars (IV, V, II, III, VI, skipping "Episode One"!) is a work of genius. So I began to wonder, not so much about order, but: how can we chop down "Battlestar"? The answer: pretty easily. (DON'T KILL ME, FANS!)
“The flush toilet may have been the most civilized invention ever devised, but the remote control is the next most important. It’s almost as important as sex.” —Eugene Polley, who took great pride in the fact that he invented wireless television remote control for the Zenith in 1955, died Sunday in Downer's Grove, Illinois. At first thought, from a certain perspective, it might seem that a) Polley was right about the importance of his invention and that b) he could be the individual most responsible for civilization's downward slide into sloth, obesity, and soon, oblivion. As the Times' Margalit Fox points out, thanks to him, "For the first time, [...]