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Entries in TV (311)

Saturday
Apr182015

Tim's Toons: Star Wars - the Animated Misadventures

Tim here. A good cinephile would be able to look around the world and think about the whole range of possible movies in all their splendid variety. Me, I haven't been able to stop thinking about Star Wars ever since the new Episode VII trailer dropped yesterday. That's the poisonous fever bog of nostalgia for you.

So, as long as I'm not going to get my head right anyway, how about we take a little wander through the corridors of Star Wars and animation? Because, golly, talk about being gripped by a dubious affection for a brand name...

At some point, people subjected themselves to all of these things just to get a little tiny bit more of a Star Wars fix. And even if The Force Awakens can't live up to the awesome pileup of top-shelf fanservice in that trailer, there's not any chance in hell that it can be as bad as some of these:

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1979)
Two and a half years after the original film redefined what blockbuster box office could look like, the very first expansion of the universe came in the form of this legendarily wretched variety show that starts with ten damn minutes of people in terrible shaggy suits barking at each other in unsubtitled Wookiee-ese. After which it proceeds to get worse. The solitary highlight, and that's almost solely because of the lowlights surrounding it on all sides, is a short animated sequence by Nelvana in which Luke, Han Solo, and Chewbacca fall for the most transparent con job in the universe and future fan-favorite Boba Fett is introduced. He rides a dinosaur. [More...]

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Tuesday
Apr142015

Is the End Nigh for The Simpsons?

Sebastian here, reporting some non-news that could turn out to be big news for a staple of Sunday night television.

The Simpsons 9F02 Lisa the Beauty QueenWhat's on TV? Maybe not them.

The Simpsons has been on the air for over a quarter century, longer than any other U.S. primetime television series.* But every streak has to come to an end at some point, and it's possible that the end may come as soon as this fall.

As of right now, there has not been official word from Fox about a renewel of the show past the already ordered 22 episodes of the current production run. 15 of those will have aired by May 17, the end of The Simpsons' 26th broadcast season. That leaves seven episodes for a 27th season, and uncertainty after that.

How likely is cancellation? Website Dead Homer Society gives this analysis:

These negotiations have gone down to the wire several times over the (sigh) decades, and they always find a way to pull through because everyone involved keeps making money that way.  Yes, the ratings get lower every year, but that’s true for network teevee in general; and for all its many (many) problems, Zombie Simpsons is still strong among the youthful demographics that advertisers pay top dollar to reach.

But that was a week ago. Last night, Erika Isabel Verga, on The Simpsons' animation staff since 2006, tweeted:

Wether they get cancelled tomorrow or continue to run for another 30 years, The Simpsons have without a doubt earned their place in the pantheon of popular entertainment. For the sake of the many hard-working artists employed by the show, let's hope there will be certainty on this matter soon.

*) This post originally stated that "The Simpsons has been on the air longer than any other scripted television series in the history of the medium," which is not true.

Tuesday
Apr142015

Daredevil 5-7

Previously: Episodes 1 and 2 and 3 and 4...

In the next three episodes the tension really escalates as Fisk starts taking down his own accomplices and Matthew's life gets far more crowded with thorny alliances.

Great moments in set decoration. Check that anonymity pledge behind Daredevil's altar ego Matthew Murdock

1.5 "World on Fire"
An extremely busy and successful episode: Claire & Murdock get closer holed up in his apartment and then suddenly further apart. Fisk & Vanessa get closer on a second date. Daredevil realizes he's been framed for last episode's beheading. Nelson & Murdoch get a client asking them to fight their slum lord and Fisk moves against the Russians with things-go-boom devastation. 

Major Characters Introduced: Elena Cardenes (Judith Delgado) the client in question. Marci Stahl (Ami Rutberg) Foggy's ex and a rival lawyer.
Crimes: Suicide Bombings, Mass Murder, Accidental Murder, Slum Lord Intimidation and Neglect, Police Brutality
Body Count: 5 blind Asians? 100 or so Russians? Guessing.
Cameo: Fun shout-out to superhero tropes: 'are you one of those billionaire playboys I've heard about' 
More... 

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Monday
Apr132015

Mad Men @ the Movies: Ali + Brigitte = Megan?

Julia Ormond returns to her Emmy-nominated role as Megan's motherLynn Lee, back again to discuss Mad Men at the Movies.  

The title of this week’s episode was “New Business,” which may or may not be meant ironically. The episode felt contrived to strike certain thematic chords at the expense of developing the characters believably.  Diana the waitress feels more like a construct than a person, designed to appeal to Don’s hang-ups (the lover to be saved, the mother who abandoned her child); even their awkward elevator encounter with Sylvia Rosen just reminded me of how bored I was with that affair.  Megan does a 180 from the regretful wife bidding Don a tearful goodbye to the bitter ex-wife who accuses him of stealing her youth.  And her bickering French Canadian family shows up for no discernible purpose other than to bring back Julia Ormond and leave Don with a literally empty home.

That said, it’s Megan who brings Mad Men as close to the movies as it can get in an episode without any specific movie mentions. Megan’s film career has stalled, to the point that she’s subsisting on handouts from Don while their lawyers fight about divorce terms. She’s apparently desperate enough to seek help from Harry Crane, of all people - Harry, the noob who's been lusting after her since her show-stopping performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou.”

After seeking permission (sort of) from Don, Harry meets Megan for lunch and loses no time buttering her up.  He can’t believe she hasn’t gotten bigger parts!  He compares her to movie stars, both foreign and domestic...

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Friday
Apr102015

In the Link Room

A very quick roundup to begin a Netflixy day (Daredevil anyone). Speaking of... Hi, Sissy!

Sissy Spacek photographed by Christian McDonald

Interview Todd Field (In the Bedroom) interviews Sissy Spacek on Bloodline etc...
NPR talks to Brad Bird on Tomorrowland. And yes, he is finally working on Incredibles 2 (very early writing stages) for which we will eschew our normal eye rolls at animated sequel news and instead cheer wildly.
Tracking Board Logans Run remake still a slight possibility. This time with female lead?
i09 posits that Practical Magic w/ Bullock & Kidman as witch sisters is a perfect movie 
Antagony & Ecstasy film criticism for a good cause: Tim takes on the daunting task of reviewing Vertigo aka "the greatest movie ever made" as part of his cancer charity drive -- he's raised over $2000 already!
Vanity Fair on Ryan Gosling as a director
Pajiba says "eff it... reboot everything" including Cybill. Hee!
Pajiba should you grow a Mad Men moustache? A handy guide 

Today's Watch ICYMI
It gives a whole new meaning to "instant watch"

 

Thursday
Apr092015

Mad Men @ The Movies "Hey, Mildred Pierce!"

Please welcome new member of Team Experience, Lynn Lee (who you may remember from the Reader Spotlight and Furlough Guest Blog) here to continue our unofficial Joan Crawford week - Editor 

Lynn here, filling in for Nathaniel as Mad Men – and with it, Mad Men at the Movies – returns for the final seven episodes.  The show has had a good run but from a filmgoing perspective I'm sorry we won't get to see what Don would make of the weird and wonderful cornucopia of movies in the ’70s, from gritty crime sagas to paranoid conspiracy thrillers to, well, “Star Wars.” 

Curiously, the only obvious movie reference that popped up in tonight’s episode was to a movie from decades earlier – Mildred Pierce (1945), the half-soap, half-noir blockbuster that revived Joan Crawford’s flagging career and won her the only Oscar of her career.  Fittingly, the shout-out comes from Roger Sterling, our most senior character now that Bert Cooper is gone.  Even more fittingly, it’s delivered as slightly derisive banter wrapped around an order to an underling: Roger’s in a diner with Don and three ladies, all decked out in evening wear, and he wants the waitress to bring him the bill.

Hey, Mildred Pierce, can I get the check?”

It's not exactly a flattering sobriquet...

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