"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.
It's part of the reason CBS paid $10.8 billion for 14 years worth of broadcast rights to the NCAA tournament.
Yes, having the rights to a really popular sporting events allows networks to sell ad time at a premium during said event, but it also gives them the opportunity to pimp their own programming. "Hey, now that we have several million people watching Tennessee play Michigan, why not tell them about that new comedy we're airing?" It doesn't take a particular genius to figure that out, but all of the networks do it and they've all [...]
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 [...]
With the stupid news that NY1, America's best local television station, is going to be renamed "Time Warner Cable News NY1," which of course is what we are ALL going to call it all the time, comes fear and anxiety. Are they going to make Pat Kiernan wear a Time Warner tie? Are they going to make a horrible new jingle in which they semi-rhyme Time Warner with "your corner" or, worse, "tenant farmer"?
My biggest concern, however, is: what's going to happen to the hot jogger guy? Hot Jogger Guy has been appearing in the transitional bumps on NY1 for a very, very long time. He now [...]
Oh my God, these queens are absolutely crushing it on the matters of color palette ramifications in "Mad Men." This report will change your life in how you watch the show.
Not long ago, MTV made an unusual appeal: It asked for help finding information about one of its own shows. The show was "Buzzkill," a hidden-camera program that ran in 1996. The plea came from MTV's Guy Code blog:If you try to find old clips online, they're nonexistent. Seems impossible, right? The web is where you can find the most obscure remnants of every era, the most disturbing videos the human mind can conjure. And yet it has seemingly been scrubbed clean of all "Buzzkill" details…. Internet, we need your help. We must uncover the truth of "Buzzkill." Send us your tips and clues. Better yet, if you [...]
Michael Magnes: When Sarah Marshall first told me about her hobby of watching old TV show themes on YouTube, I probably made fun of her, and then immediately told her about this early 90s Fox show called "Woops!" The exclamation point is part of the title. It was about last six humans on earth, survivors of a nuclear holocaust. They all found a farm somewhere in America and did things like fight giant spiders, have their aging process reversed, start their own currency, and find hallucinogenic berries. Later I'd find myself at parties trying to explain the show and no one believed me. They suggested I'd made it up, [...]
"There's this fear that you're missing out on something. You hear people raving about 'The Walking Dead,' or some other show, and you feel like you're not in the know. Even if you really love TV, you can't help but think that there's already too much of it and it's not going to stop. There's also the anxiety that comes with your bloated cable bill, or the cost of all the services you subscribe to, like Netflix or Hulu. My god, if Twitter starts making its own shows, I'll [...]
"'True Detective' reeks of the [macho nonsense]. The series, for all its good looks and its movie-star charisma, isn’t just using dorm-room deep talk as a come-on: it has fallen for its own sales pitch. To state the obvious: while the male detectives of “True Detective” are avenging women and children, and bro-bonding over 'crazy pussy,' every live woman they meet is paper-thin. Wives and sluts and daughters—none with any interior life."
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 [...]
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 [...]
As "Doctor Who" went into the crapper this season (barely redeemed by a pretty good season finale) and "Game of Thrones" marched boldly on into mayhem and… wow, that was terrible: so where was the nerd's heart to turn this spring?
For a rather tiny number of us, our lonely geek minds took to "Orphan Black," a BBC America show that had its first season finale this weekend. How tiny a number? Well, episode eight of the ten-episode season had 170,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo. (The population of Jackson, Mississippi or Fort Lauderdale, Florida!)
Our tiny loyal contingent is enough to bring the show back for [...]
FALSE REPORT>>> RT@thematthewkeys: Just in: Suspect 2 on the ground at gunpoint.
— Mike Hayes (@michaelhayes) April 19, 2013
…perhaps if I was in a real newsroom with access to my work email, instead of shut out a month ago, I wouldn't be working out of a bedroom
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 19, 2013
"The important thing, I think, is to—as soon as you know something that you sent out is incorrect, you correct the record. And it's OK, I think, to make mistakes in these circumstances. You—everyone will make mistakes, and it's kind of almost impossible to avoid them." —Slate's social [...]
Since 2002, Jason Ross (@jasonjross on Twitter) has been a writer for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," where his team has won a half-dozen Emmy Awards for outstanding writing and produced the best-selling America: The Book and Earth: The Book.
Jason Ross: Here I am.
Ken Layne: Hello, sir! I'm in the middle of the greatest consumer survey in human history.
Jason: That is a fairly low bar to clear.
Ken: Disneyland is building Star Wars Land. This will make Disneyland much more tolerable for me:
Which of the following Star Wars locations would you be especially interested in visiting at the Disneyland Resort? [...]
This one has been going around the last couple of days, but in case you missed it, here is "a tool… that tells you how much of your life you've spent watching TV." It's not in any way a full accounting, since it only works based on the number of seasons of specific shows you've seen, but if you have, say, watched the entire run of "Cheers" three times (to pick a totally random example that would not at all reflect the viewing patterns of a man of my demographic) you have spent around 27 of your days with the show, which makes the time [...]
In Time Warner's effort to "rebrand" NY1 to make it look just like other Time Warner local properties (WHY? We don't care about other properties!), they've redone the music and bumpers and titles and stuff. Fine. But there's a casualty of this change, as there always is.
— Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) December 16, 2013
That's right. Along the way, NY1 killed Hot Jogger Guy, who used to appear in the pre-weather montage thingey, whoever he is. RIP Hot Jogger Guy. We'll always have this screenshot of you.
"Next year, there will be a scripted drama called 'WILL.' It’s the story of Shakespeare as a Millennial, which is either the best idea on earth or the worst; either way, the concept has a brassy, shoot-the-moon quality and, presumably, a refreshing lack of criminal anti-heroes…. Pivot will air documentaries on youth-oriented topics, along with a nightly live interactive news show called 'TakePart Live'…. Meghan McCain has already been picked on by the right and the left alike, so it’s tempting to write some sort of contrarian defense of her new show, 'Raising McCain.' But, honestly, there’s only so much upspeak one critic can take. 'This is not your mama’s [...]
No one sets out to make bad art. If a producer approaches a young director and says, "Look here, Sonny Jim, The Hunger Games are a popular film franchise, make me one of those," the young director is going to do his best to make the film his and craft it well. Success is just a matter of being able to work with constraints. Constraints are everywhere. Picture the college writing exercises, where the directions are like, write a three-page play using the following elements: the color red, the number forty-three, have no actors on the stage, and have the play take place over three thousand years.
The problem [...]
Jane: Wow, so the third episode of Jane Campion's seven-part series, "Top of the Lake," aired last night and it wasn't until I started reading reviews that I realized how divisive Campion can be. Granted, this is her first television venture to be released in the U.S., and perhaps viewers are more used to Campion's lush aesthetic on big screen, but it's not like exaggerated dramatics are unknown quantities in TV-land either.
So I know we're both Campion enthusiasts (Bright Star, would other films be steadfast as thou art?!), and while I'm absolutely loving "Top of the Lake," there are definitely moments that leave me [...]