Posts Tagged: TV
15

The 19 Best Failed TV Shows Of The 90s (As Judged By Their Openings)

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, [...]

2

I Like Watching The "Not-AOL Time One Warner York Turner Inc. New" TV Station

COMPANY THAT HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN DISASTROUS WITH NAMING UPSET THAT ITS TV STATION NY1 DOES NOT COMMUNICATE THAT TV STATION'S EXCLUSIVITY TO DOOMED CABLE PROVIDER TIME WARNER, PLANS TO RUIN STATION BY WAY OF REBRANDING.

Also, later, HBO will be renamed Home Bewkes Office.

11

The Before And After Of "Monty Python's Flying Circus"

When but a girl, I used to stay up quite late watching TV (exciting in itself!) trolling for Fred Astaire or Marx Brothers movies in a sea of horrific late-night jangling commercials like those featuring, in his white cowboy hat, the car dealer Cal Worthington "and his dog, Spot" (who turned out to be an elephant, often as not). Thus it was that one night I discovered "Monty Python's Flying Circus," a phenomenon that roared like a hurricane across the plain of my tender psyche, ending in an hoarse, explosive "It's!" How can I tell you what this meant to me? It was just a TV show, but "Monty Python" [...]

4

From Chart-Topping Highs To Unthinkable Lows: The 20 Best Lines Of Narration From "Behind The Music: TLC"

20. "Millions of dollars were pouring in, but in the middle of 1995 the girls shocked their fans by filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy."

19. "But although she agreed work on the new album, Lisa continued to look beyond music for her own personal salvation."

18. "Consumed by turmoil, trials and tragedy, was the music. Not a single new note was heard from TLC for nearly 5 years."

17. "On the way to the studio, Lisa saw a rainbow. It was a vision that inspired her to add a deeply personal touch to the song, 'Waterfalls.'"

This list is part of a series about our favorite [...]

7

"House of Cards," Episodes 9-13: The Ones Where Everything Goes Nuts

Carrie: How smart of Netflix to release its series a week before a historic blizzard hit the Northeast. I wonder how many people who had no intention of ever watching this show ended up reluctantly streaming it this weekend, because it was that or the 9th rewatch of All About Eve or Grizzly Man?

Jane: Now, I don't think one could ever watch Grizzly Man enough times, but beside the point! (If Netflix ever wants to release a 13-part Herzog meditation on chaos and murder, though…) Did all of Netflixing NYC spend the weekend colluding with Frank Underwood? Inversely, when hysterics about snowfall (along with attendant talk of "House of [...]

50

You, Me And "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

An obsession in five acts.

I. You're about nine, and you always watch tv with your dad. It's your thing—he's usually nursing a Coors Light, you're doing your best to hang upside down on the couch until your head starts pounding. Sometimes you watch golf and fall in love with Payne Stewart; sometimes you watch "MacGyver" and wish your dad had his hair. But then you start watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" at 5 p.m. on a Saturday, because obviously that is when the best show on television should be scheduled, and your routine becomes: 1.) watch "TNG" together 2.) Mom and Dad go out to some dinner [...]

16

"House of Cards," Episodes 1-3: Bloggers With Their Wine

Carrie Frye: Jane, so I was lazing around Saturday morning when I saw a series of ecstatic tweets from you about the amazingness of "House Of Cards." Up till then I'd only been paying dim attention to the show's release (basically, I knew it was a series released on Netflix about Washington politics that, disappointingly, did not seem to feature any secret vampires), but on your word, I tried an episode at lunch. And then, next thing I knew, "Portlandia" Battleship Galactica marathon style, it was dusk… and then it was 10 p.m. and I had no circulation left in my legs.

I'm now on episode 7 and view [...]

7

"Daily Show" Writer Jason Ross On Writing For Free and Breaking Into Comedy

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? [...]

25

A Fan's Notes On "Gilmore Girls"

Each television show will inevitably teach you something, but together they've all taught me one thing—that is, a television show will always teach you how to watch it. The education starts early: "Barney" or "Sesame Street," where learning to count is the same thing as learning how to learn to count. You might not realize it when you're eight and miming the clean-up dance on "Big Comfy Couch," but then the education continues. "Mad Men," that excellent serial drama, directs us to observe details, little gestures, big paintings—all meaningful subtext. Even shows fairly awful at teaching you how to watch them, like "Homeland" or "Smash," manage to convey something (don't [...]

23

Why We Need "Enlightened"

Michelle Dean: We have gathered here today because, and I think this is not an exaggerated term, we are devoted to "Enlightened," the struggling HBO show from Mike White that stars Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe, a woman who… is struggling to figure out life. That sounds kind of patronizing, but it's the only way to put it.

Recently I found myself actively worrying about the show's potential cancellation as I went about my day. And I keep tossing around different reasons of articulating why. One is of course that like David Haglund at Slate, I think it's the most interesting show on television right now, as well as [...]

10

Christopher Dorner Crime Tourism: Big Bear, LA's Mountain Getaway

Unless he is actually the Terminator, alleged maniacal killer and ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner died yesterday in a burning vacation cabin near the Southern California mountain resort town of Big Bear. And for the first time in probably forever, Big Bear is at the top of the news. As often happens when little-known places make the headlines, cable news hosts struggled to understand the mysterious place—did it have access to television or the Internet?—and people on Twitter mocked the confusion of the cable news hosts, while Big Bear residents used Twitter to say things like, "I was literally looking at the house Chris Dorner was at from the [...]

5

"House of Cards," Episodes 4-8: Who's Making Themselves Available?

Carrie: Jane, remember when the world was new, you were dewy-eyed and I was not yet so haggard, and "House of Cards" had only just become available for streaming on Netflix? It seems like years ago, but it was only last Friday.

Jane: Now it's a week later, Spandau Ballet's "True" is playing in this cafe, and if we were sitting together, I'd probably be telling you not to Bogart the whiskey. We've passed binge-viewing, Carrie, to re-watching, to you using "House of Cards" characters as verbs ("how much will I Peter Russo myself in the morning if I do this?"), to me looking up which of the series' actors [...]

7

Evolution Has Voted Against TV-Watching Slobs

If you enjoyed the usual American male weekend of constant television viewing while sunk deep in the pizza-crush folds of your sofa, evolution has already decided it doesn't want your kind in the generations to come. That's why low-activity men who watch lots of television have dramatically lower sperm counts than those who get some exercise.

The subjects of the study were college-aged men in New York state, aged 18-22. The first group did 15 hours of "moderate to vigorous physical activity per week," about 2 hours daily. The second group just slobbed out in front of the flat screen for 20 or more hours weekly. Besides being incredibly [...]

11

The Last Lines, In Order, Of Every Major Character In The "30 Rock" Finale

16. Liz: She'll be like, "Whaaat?" (41:48)

15. Jack: Wait, you're Sam? (42:16)

14. Grizz: Wait, you're Sam? Don't even say it. (41:26)

13. Kenneth: So the whole show just takes place here at 30 Rockefeller Plaza—is that right, Ms. Lemon? [Yes sir...] I know, and I love it. (42:28)

12. Dot Com: Tracy is exactly where you think he is, Liz. It's the closest thing he has to hiding out in a church. (30:50)

2

Obama/Satan Lures "Bible Experience" To New York City

Oh look, there's a new attraction in Manhattan for the downtown art crowd:

The husband-and-wife pair stepped out alongside Morgado on Tuesday night for the opening-night gala for "The Bible Experience," an exhibit in downtown Manhattan featuring photography from the mini-series as well as biblical artifacts by way of the Vatican and a giant, two-ton crown of thorns hanging from the ceiling. A spooky Old World ambiance was enhanced by dim lighting, a fog machine and Hans Zimmer's musical score in the background as guests wandered through a cavernous space built to seem centuries-old with earthy walls and barely any heat circulating. "This is a gift to [...]

9

Let's Make the Sequester the SEA QUESTER!

So this fiscal cliff thing, whatever it is, seems pretty bad. Or maybe it's not that big a deal? Will it last forever? Is it "in the Constitution" or just a Politico scam? Is it Obama's fault, or are liberals to blame? The problem is that sequester is jargon garbage that means nothing to anyone outside of newsrooms and the U.S. Capitol, which should just have iron bars put in all the windows and doorways and be renamed Ronald Reagan Federal Penitentiary.

What's happening is nothing less than a partial-birth shutdown of the United States. It is the fault of Tea Party Kochbats in Congress who are, if I'm reading [...]

10

"Carnivàle" Broke My Heart

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 [...]

19

Three Handjobs Is A Trend

We are now deep into the season in which our cultural critics, like a gaggle of drunk uncles, kick off their shoes, retire to the den, and proceed to discuss, long past the point at which the rest of us would like to go to sleep, what it's all about.

You see, these shows we've been DVR-ing, these Oscar contenders we've been risking bedbugs for: they don't all just happen to have been released recently. No, they, like the birthmarks in Cloud Atlas, have messages for us; they link up. We're obsessed with the Civil War. We long for superheroes. We are, as ever, deeply confused about race.

To [...]

0

Even China's TV Extras Outperform Our Lazy American Workers

"Chinese TV extra Shi Zhongpeng, 26… appeared as a member of the Japanese forces more than 200 times last year, the Qianjiang Evening News reported, sometimes dying on set eight times in a single day."

4

UFOs Priced Out of Brooklyn and San Francisco: Now Hovering Over Detroit

In the nights before the promised Mayan Apocalypse, mysterious configurations of bright lights hovered over Brooklyn and San Francisco's Mission District. The first commenter here made the reasonable assumption that it was all some kind of viral marketing aimed at overpaid young urbanites.

But the product of such clever, vague and expensive advertising has yet to appear. And the silent, terrifying craft are now being seen over far less desirable urban areas including Detroit, Indianapolis and the Gulf Coast of Florida. What could it mean? Is Detroit poised for a comeback? And why are they also appearing in Poughkeepsie?