"The channel's new name is intended to suggest something that pops, or stands out from the rest. 'It’s something that rises above the noise … a one-of-a-kind maverick,' Schwartz told The Times. 'We’re going for a new audience that we are calling ‘the modern grown-up’ … people in their mid-to-late 30s that have pushed off emotional maturity.'" TV Guide, the channel that was always there, will become Pop, a channel that is still there.
"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.
"[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."
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, [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
David Simon's The Wire, which is set to soon be re-broadcast in high definition, continues to be hailed, in some corners, as the greatest television show of all time. In an effort to elevate it to the level of high art, many critics (including Simon himself) have reached for comparisons with other, less lumpen forms, from Greek tragedy to Dickens—anything, in short, that isn't a television show. But Linda Williams, a professor of film studies and rhetoric at Berkeley, in her new book, On The Wire, thinks that the show's greatest accomplishment is its use of melodrama. I talked to Williams last month about melodrama and [...]
Would you believe it if I… theorized the web to understand that people tweeting about things on TV does not lead to more people watching those things on TV? How about this idea for cause and effect: What if "a show’s ratings are more likely to drive activity on social media rather than vice versa"? Well that's what NBC is deciding.
But but but! What about this amazing money quote from Twitter money-making honcho Adam Bain last year? “We often have thought about Twitter plus TV, but we are now thinking about Twitter times TV." Haha oops.
What if Twitter is the big beast that straight-up MySpaces in [...]
"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."
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The whole day had been hot and sticky, in the high 70s and low 80s, one of the first truly gross New York summer days of the year, and yet Laurel and Devyn, two finalists on this season of The Challenge (formerly Real World/Road Rules Challenge) smelled fantastic. My friend wouldn’t stop talking about it. I couldn’t think of more than two questions to ask them, so eventually we asked Devyn what perfume she’s wearing. “Marc Jacobs Daisy!” she said, briefly looking up from her phone, where she was live-tweeting the finale.
This was the 25th season of The Challenge, which has been pitting former cast members of The [...]
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?
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]