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Entries in TV (242)

Wednesday
Oct222014

Threads - New Series!

In order to indulge more of TFE's fetish for costume design, in this new Wednesday series "Threads" we'll discuss (briefly) whichever single costume we're most obsessed with that week, from anywhere in time and any filmed medium. Let's begin with a look from Outlander, currently airing on Starz.

I know this will be very shocking and quite impossible to believe if you haven't yet seen the show, but THIS bandage fetish wear on fantasy-man Jamie (Sam Heughan) is not the best costume on display however enticing it may be...

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Friday
Oct172014

How To Get Away With Turning Your Procedural TV Into Gay Porn.

I was going to quit How To Get Away With Murder with this fourth episode but I may have to keep watching from the sheer ridiculousness as well as the fascinating case study of Anything Goes in contemporary television. If you replace all the female characters on this show with gay men (as you could well do with only 1% of your imagination since all the characters are so broadly drawn) this would be the gayest show that ever existed. Sorry Queer as Folk, Sex & The City and Looking.

ABC had promised jaw-dropping with their promos for last night's episode once you heard 'Viola Davis's last nine words'. Those last nine words included the word "penis". Hey, they're the ones who said "jaw-dropping" not me! Naughty naughty. (For the record my jaw did not drop but it did open wide for a long chortle. It's either really terrible writing or A+ lurid paperback but either way it amounts to the same thing) Viola's quotable send-off turned out to be so gay and so trashy that it exemplifies the young series better than I could ever hope to.

The last nine-words were...

 

Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?

The most important word in that sentence is penis because How To Get Away With Murder is obsessed with them. Let's recap their communal cock collection after the jump...

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Thursday
Oct162014

AHS: Freakshow "Massacres & Matinees"

The freaks come out at night. The freaks come out at night. Well, except when there's a curfew in which case they'll do matinees. In Freakshow's second episode, the police have locked down the town at night. Apparently there's no CSI people around to explain to them that that murderous clown, played by the Zodiac killer John Carroll Lynch, has mostly been killing in broad daylight. Much scarier time for murders, I think we can all agree. Meanwhile more freaks arrive at Elsa's tent seeking employment (Hi, Angela and Angela's boobs... and I do mean plural), Bette and Dot's rivalry increases  - they share the same body but not the same brain or talents, and Dandy and his mother Gloria meet Twisty the Clown to upsetting results. Neither of them are remotely scared of him which makes the scenes a strange mix of genuinely terrifying and hilarious.

More after the jump including Sarah Paulson dueting with Sarah Paulson on Fiona Apple's "Criminal"

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Wednesday
Oct152014

Link Link Link Went the Bloggie

A veritable cavalcade? avalanche? orgy? of links this morning from news stories we haven't covered through interesting film tidbits and showbiz articles we wanted to point out for various reasons.

bigscreen
Vanity Fair looks back at the making of now 20 year old Pulp Fiction
Fox Searchlight Birdman gets an incredible series of city-specific movie posters. Hopefully various movie theaters around the country will latch on to this. Such a fun idea.
The Spy in the Sandwich looks at Oscar's resistance to Asian cinema in the Foreign Language Film category and The Phillipines in particular
Variety Jason Reitman doing another "Live Read" of American Beauty on Thursday in LA, this time with his Men Women and Children cast 


The Wire on where Jason Reitman (Labor Day, Men Women and Children) went wrong
Awards Daily Meryl Streep on the set of Ricky and the Flash
NonFics 10 essential documentaries on sex and sexuality. I've only seen one of these, the experimental and memorable Zoo (2007) but it's not for the sensitive but it's brilliant
In Contention can Paramount toss a lifeboat to Noah for awards traction?
MNPP manages the internet's only 100% appropriate response to news that Javier Bardem might do the next Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Johnny Depp
Boy Culture 'Nick the Gardener' is going to be in Magic Mike XXL
The Wrap Benedict Cumberbatch gets political on tour for The Imitation Game. He's had it with religious fundamentalism. (Haven't we all?)
Variety looks at the new efficient micro-targeting for ethnic audiences from this past weekend's Addicted through last year's Hispanic hit Instructions Not Included

Why am I not linking to any Marvel Universe news that has been dominating the web for the past 48 hours (yet more Doctor Strange and Avengers rumors)? It's like this: Avengers: The Age of Ultron isn't out for another seven months and we haven't even seen a trailer and people are already speculating endlessly about the sequel after its next sequel. This madness has to stop. The balance is way way off and I wish other far more powerful movie sites would realize this. It's fun to speculate and look ahead, sure. But Jesus. Can we stick to the next year's worth of stuff? Rather than the stuff the unseen still unknown content of that stuff might lead to?

smallscreen & other randomness
Salon smart fascinating piece on Twin Peaks' influence over the television landscape spurred on by the announcement that the show will return. I'm confused why I didn't post about that as it's easily among my four immortal TV loves (if you must know the others are: Buffy, Mad Men, and My So Called Life)
AV Club Agents of SHIELD finally gets a near-great episode with double the Ming-Na Wen. She's so good on this show and it's just now realizing it in the second season.
THR Awesome director Steve McQueen is ALSO going to TV (argh) with a series about a gifted young African American testing the limits of social mobility for HBO called Codes of Conduct
Popwatch a beautiful piece on the mother/daughter relationship at the heart of Gilmore Girls and how revolutionary it was for television. A truth: I had never seen this show before, apart from I think one random episode, so I've been watching it on Netflix and it is adorable and everyone was right about it all along and why didn't I watch at the time?
Dangerous Minds just how beautiful was Karen Carpenter's voice?  
Empire First reveals of Netflix Daredevil series poster and stills 
Sound on Sight Closure is important on television
The Daily Beast the great animated series Archer drops the name of their spy org "ISIS" - now what to do with all that merchandise from a name that was once funny and is no longer 

It's All GONE GIRL All The Time round the web
On the post-production...

New Yorker "What Gone Girl is really about"
New Yorker "Marriage is an abduction"
iTunes you can now buy the "Amazing Amy" books as featured in the film/book 
Antagony & Ecstasy Tim Brayton's review...  

And for all that it's perfect, I find that Gone Girl suffers from that most amorphous and indescribable and subjective of artistic flaws: I just didn't like it. 

 

The Sweeney SistersBELATED RIP 
I am terribly sorry that I forgot to acknowledge the passing of Jan Hooks, who died way too young at 57, this past Thursday. But please know that she was easily among my favorite SNL players of all time - definite top 10 material of their 141ish cast members to date were I ever to make a list. I adored the Sweeney Sisters (her lounge lizard duets with Nora Dunn) and of course her off-SNL stint as a tour guide at the Alamo in Pee Wee's Big Adventure is immortal. It may well be the single movie scene I've seen more than any other as people I hung out with in high school and then a different set of friends I lived with during college all loved that movie and had that scene memorized and somehow it was frequently thrown in the VHS or DVD players for insta-laughs. What's your favorite Jan Hooks contribution to TV or film? Saturday Night Live honored her with a clip reel tribute.

Friday
Oct102014

HTGAWM: "Smile, Or Go To Jail"

We're three episodes in to How To Get Away With Murder and three episodes is where I draw the line if a show isn't working for me. Time is too precious: one season of a network series is time enough for ten or eleven movies, you know? You could basically catch up with the entire Best Picture lineup from 1939 in that time, something surely all of America is eager to do if someone would only suggest it to them as an alternative to watching another season of CSI: Wherever*. For love of Viola Davis I'm giving this series one more episode to win me over instead. Also because ABC has promised that my jaw will drop with "the last nine words" from Viola's mouth on episode 4. If their prophesy is true, we'll see. But I shall state it simply: after three episodes I can safely say that I think the show is bad. Trashy fun? Eh, Kind of. But more like Trash that thinks it Hot Shit.

On episode three we begin again with that hyper-caffeinated bonfire / murder coverup in the future so basically you never know which episode you're watching until like 5 minutes in. But even after that opening five, deja vu prevails since the show is so formulaic: 1. Annalise takes a case; 2. Her students help solve it with interstitials of them doing sneaky things; 3. The legalese is explained with cutaways to Viola's lectures in class; 4. We learn the client is guilty; 5. Viola wins, or, minor derivation in episode three: Viola doesn't lose; 6. Roll Promo for next episode!

Biggest Pet Peeve Runner Up: Professor Annalise Keating only ever calls on the 5 students who have series regular gigs despite hundreds of hands going up in her lecture hall. Come on showrunners, be good samaritans - give one of those extras their SAG card with a line, you know? This is highly unrealistic classroom behavior. I absolutely cannot buy that her classrooms arebig draws (we hear that she brings in the students for the university big time) when she doesn't remotely seem interested in teaching or involving her students unless they work for her for free when they leave the classroom like indentured servants and drop all their other coursework and abstain from social lives except when it comes to sex scenes which can be used to prevent people from grabbing remotes and switching channels.

Biggest Pet Peeve Winner (by which I mean we all lose)
For a show aiming to showcase Viola Davis she's often crowded out what with all the subplots and her students doing basically everything for her.

Gay Guy vs. Prom Queen shared a penis: pass it on.

This particular episode? If I must. Viola defends Ugly Betty's sister who went politically radical decades ago and bombed a building. Ugly Betty's sister skips bail so Viola's courtroom time abruptly ends. Meanwhile: Wes convinces Annalise to defend his neighbor across the hall instead of the quarterback that the university has asked her to defend in the murder mystery that the first season is built on. Who Killed Lila WhatsHerFace? Who cares! On the sex scene front, Viola is again rebuffed by her muscle stud cop boyfriend (who lies to her about her husband's alibi bur dor what reason? Surely to cause unmotivated hysterical drama later in the season) so Prom Queen gets this episode's big sex scene with her heretofore unseen fiancee who, as it turns out, once slept with Gay Guy Not Matt Not Wes when he was 16 at boarding school. Prom Queen absolutely freaks out because no straight guy in the history of the universe has ever fooled around with another student at an all male boarding school when he was a horny teenager. Say it with me: "SCANDAL!"

* Please do not tell me this is not true in the comments, he says weeping.

Wednesday
Oct082014

AHS: Freakshow "Monsters Among Us"

The shadows that had sheltered me were banished by the blinding light of scrutiny. I knew I was about to enter the gates of hell but like the inescapable pull of gravity there was nothing I could do about it.

Sarah Paulson's opening monologue to the fourth season of American Horror Story: Freakshow is rather how I feel about AHS itself. It's hellish, purposefully, and I feel a gravitational pull to watch even though I never love it. Grande Dame Guignol (also known as Hag Horror), a wonderfully stylized actressy subgenre of horror, was dead until Ryan Murphy revived it but his take on it is way too fused with the Slasher, the grossest and most obvious subgenre of horror that refuses to die. 

This first episode of Season 4 begins promisingly enough with a patient average shot length and plentiful mood, though did we have to lift the Under the Skin score wholesale for what appears to be Elsa's (Jessica Lange) actual theme music this season? (I know the world is in love with Jessica Lange right now but Scarlett's ___ might well devour her whole.) Elsa recruits Siamese Sisters (Sarah Paulson as Dot & Bette) who murdered their mother. Meanwhile a scary clown with Leatherface like add-ons to his face (g-ross) in what appears to be a costume that hasn't been washed in years starts stabbing people gruesomely. He doesn't seem to belong to the actual Freakshow. We meet a wide cast of characters but Angela Bassett and her three breasts, Michael Chiklis as the Strong Man and Denis O'Hare as someone are as yet unseen. [More...]

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Saturday
Oct042014

How To Get Away With Murder - Two Episodes

How to Procrastinate Film Blogging? Live-blog a tv show.

Since The Film Experience has been in Viola Davis's corner for a dozen years now -- I gave her one of her first film prizes even if she didn't know it: a gold medal for best cameo in Antwone Fisher (2002) -- I felt obligated to watch her new headlining gig for at least a couple of episodes. I'm not remotely a procedural kind of person or a Shondaland person. Grey's Anatomy, her career-maker, had too much whining and Scandal is too hysterical and (worse) wildly uneven in its acting. Nevertheless I thought I'd live blog the first two episodes and see if it's fun enough to stay with (?) and largely to see if you are watching, too.

How To Express Your Feelings? Comment on said blog.

1.1 Pilot
00.01 Opening sequence is like those 'we're changing scenes and denoting the passage of time!' interstitials on Scandal but for like a whole interminable two minutes. Average Shot Length of .0001 seconds is not my speed. Some college kids are shouting about what to do with a dead body. Is it mine? Having died from seizures from the editing.

01.48 Tall cute black guy (who has the longest neck I've ever seen on TV) says that "tossing a coin" is OUR ONLY CHOICE. Thank god for coins because decision making, man. Tall cute black guy looks super familiar but I can't figure out why*.

03.03 MATT MCGORRY! (love him on Orange is the New Black. And his sense of humor as a celebrity)

03.33 Giggling that Wes (that's the tall guy's name) is told there's a seating chart in his class. He looks at it for less than .002 seconds while simultaneously swivelling his head around with that crazy neck of his to talk to all the other main characters (everyone with a line will surely be important)...and yet he knows EXACTLY where to sit. Psychic. 

03.39 VIOLA ENTERS... 

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