1-20 of 29 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
"In the aftermath of 9/11," begins Scott Tobias at the Av Club, "the question arose of when it would be appropriate for popular art to address the events head-on. For a national tragedy of that magnitude, when would it not be 'too soon'? Yet Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, an appalling adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel, suggests that maybe that's the wrong question. The 2006 docudrama United 93, once the trial balloon for 'too soon,' dodged exploitation by focusing rigorously on the minutiae of a single flight. But it will always be 'too soon' for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which processes the immense grief of a city and a family through a conceit so nauseatingly precious that it's somehow both too literary and too sentimental, cloying yet aestheticized within an inch of its life."
"In truth, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close isn't about Sept 11," argues Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. »
As far as properties ripe for a reboot, the classic 1960s sitcom The Munsters has to rank pretty high – and with NBC finally going ahead with a script from the creator of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, the peacock network seems to think so as well.
Running on CBS from 1964-1966, The Munsters told the story of a clan of classic movie monsters (i.e. vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein’s monster) who, despite their outward appearance, were a normal, somewhat outgoing, middle-class family. The show was equal parts a send up of the spooky characters as it was other family sitcoms like Leave it to Beaver.
Though ratings were far from stellar during its two-year run, the show gained in popularity once it found its way to syndication – leaving future Pet Sematary star Fred ...
Click to continue reading NBC Readies Darker Reboot of ‘The Munsters’
- Kevin Yeoman
On your TV this Sunday: a tally of the tube’s top men, Mark Harmon cops a new role, AMC’s ambitious new train ride, and more. Here are 12 programs to keep on your radar. (P.S. Did you remember to set your clocks back, where applicable? I once forgot for almost an entire Sunday, could not for the life of me figure out why The West Wing wasn’t on.)
8 pm America in Primetime (PBS) | I was remiss last week in not pointing you to this four-part essay on how more groundbreaking TV shows are being created today than ever before. »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
Vagina is hot. Well, on TV. Well, the use of the word on TV. Well, wait, what were we talking about again? The venerable New York Times snatched upon this new trend and has even declared this “the season of the vagina.” So many “That’s what she said” jokes are running through my head right now I think my brain might explode.
Three new fall shows in particular have gotten in on this trend: CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, ABC’s Suburgatory and NBC’s Whitney. These are all broadcast network sitcoms and all female-fronted shows. Two of the shows (2 Broke Girls and Suburgatory) air at 8:30 p.m., within the so-called “family hour” of broadcast TV. As The Nyt puts it, “unbleeped references to anatomical parts being tossed around so freely, it is clearly a new era for network comedy, one that might have parents reaching for the remote, or at least for Google. »
- Dorothy Snarker
Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Emily’s constant worrying about constantly being murdered landed her in the hospital, which thwarted A’s plans to poison her to death, but gave A new ammo when Emily tested positive for Hgh. Hanna really wanted her parents to get back together, but Ashley finally came to her senses and realized she’s way too good to be anyone’s second choice the second time around. Spencer convinced Aria to break into the morgue with her, where they discovered that Ali was buried alive.
Whoa! Aria and Ezra are scissoring! Or whatever other lesbian sex thing! They are just going — wait a second! No, Aria is banging Jason! What time is it? What day is it? What life is it? Oh, Aria’s just having a mash-up sex dream, is what’s happening here. Her alarm clock jolts her into real life and her eyes go, »
- Heather Hogan
The production follows the success of Cinderella at the same theatre last Christmas. That pantomime featured Leave it to Beaver child star Jerry Mathers, Broadway sensation Jennifer Leigh Warren and Harry Potter actor Cormac McLaggen.
Harris helped producer Nigel Lythgoe pick Cinderella from open auditions last year. »
On Saturday at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Nurse Jackie creators Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius were present for a panel for the upcoming PBS documentary series America In Prime Time. The four-part series, which airs in October, looks at four different archetypes of television including "Man Of The House," "The Crusader," "The Misfit" and "The Independent Woman."
In the “Independent Woman” segment, Wallem and Brixius talk about how the television housewife has transformed from model housewives (think June Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver) to the complex and sometimes controversial women like Rosanne Barr in Roseanne, Candice Bergen in Murphy Brown and, of course, Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie.
Post-panel, AfterEllen.com grabbed a few minutes with Wallem and Brixius to see if there was anything gay included in the documentary and, of course, if they had any »
- J. Halterman
NBCUniversal is making more episodes available from programs such as 30 Rock and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. But they don't include shows from the current season -- and NBCU can make similar deals with other online distributors. New York and Los Gatos, Calif., July 13, 2011 -- Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: Nflx) and NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution today announced a multi-year renewal of their licensing agreement expanding the selection of non-exclusive NBCU film and TV library titles available to watch instantly streaming from Netflix. Programming under the deal includes prior-season series across multiple NBCU networks, including NBC hits "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Parenthood." All future seasons of these shows will be available on Netflix on a one season delay basis. Under the deal, Netflix members will also be able to enjoy prior season episodes of "Law and Order: Svu" and "The Event." Also available to watch instantly streaming from Netflix will be shows »
- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
I hate that we have to meet under these circumstances, but I'm back to decry the business practices of Netflix, that company that mails you DVDs… well, that company that used to beg to mail you DVDs before it decided that providing its promised service isn't a good business model.
If you use Netflix, you probably recently received an email similar to the following:
We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.
Your current $14.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:
Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 2 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $11.99 a month
Your price for getting both of these plans will be $19.98 a month »
He may have managed to convince a con to turn himself in and stop running on "Scott Free," but he learned even the best laid plans are frought with difficulty and disaster, not the least of which was Sara's uncovering his Victor Moreau passport in the hollowed out wall behind a portrait.
The deeper we delve into this season, the more contradictions in Neal's rationality we uncover. He does well in convincing others that it's not worth it to run. Simultaneously, though, we watch as his and Mozzie's plans to escape become more sophisticated and deceitful.
Sara has already begun to put the pieces together, and Peter and the Feds are already on high alert for movement of the U-Boat treasure.
I have to say that Scott deciding to turn himself in was a little too Leave it to Beaver for me. Neal admitted that he would never do it, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Chandel Charles)
Imagine for a moment that you're a veteran Australian action movie star with a gravelly voice, a girl's name and a lengthy filmography of box office hits. In an ideal world you'd be held in high esteem for your excellent performances as wronged men desperately seeking revenge. You'd be admired for the unconventional, uncompromisingly savage epics you've directed and your dedication to filming in obscure, ancient tongues.
The world bows down, kisses your confident bare butt cheeks and proclaims you're a genius warrior hero in this idyllic vision. Except, you're not a movie messiah. In fact, you're a very naughty boy.
In reality, the world is shaking its collective head and deriding you as a crazed and aggressive alcohol-addled bigot. Your bad behaviour, violence and barmy remarks »
Pixar fans everywhere are revving their engines at the release of "Cars 2." And returning to the role of Mater, the dilapidated tow truck, is everyone's favorite redneck comic (no, not Jeff Foxworthy). We are talking, of course, about sleeveless sensation Larry the Cable Guy.
Poor cable guys of the world. Between Larry and Jim Carrey's character in the 1996 dark comedy "The Cable Guy," it seems as though they're all portrayed as either blue-collar slobs or homicidal maniacs (we have it on good authority that several are not). But since Larry the Cable Guy and Jim Carrey's Cable Guy are the two most prominent icons of that noble profession, they will now battle it out for the title of bestest cable guy of them all.
Get cable ready. Get TV set. Go!
- Ben Freiburger
After what seemed two clunky beginning issues, Cerebus hit its early stride with the introduction of Red Sophia, and it built from there. Over the course of the next ten issues, Sim’s ability to see to the heart of whatever subject he was skewering served him well. And it was a skewer, make no mistake; the Cerebus Syndrome trope had not been invented yet.
Hell, it was still the late 1970′s. A lot of things hadn’t been invented yet.
In my revisitation of these early issues (Cerebus issues 4 – 13) Sim gleefully assails various Conan storytelling devices, but also widens his net to include Michael Moorcock with the introduction of the Elric-meets-Foghorn Leghorn buffoon, Elrod of Melvinbone. For the most part the storytelling is rife with the usual Conan the Barbarian tropes, with iron-walled cities and dark temples ripe for plunder, evil wizards and overzealous priests to outfox, kings and duelists to outfight, »
- Tobias J McGuffin
Last week I did a piece on how early syndication of movies to TV provided a culturally unifying base for Baby Boomers. Most of us, however, probably think of syndication as being less about movies and more about recycling old TV shows. And, in time, so it became.
TV writer/producer/director Bill Persky remembers syndication being a movie-driven business in the medium’s early years since “…there weren’t that many series to syndicate…” By the 60s, however, TV production companies had amassed enough defunct TV shows to turn syndication into an increasingly profitable series-recycling business feeding a bottomless market. Independent stations filled their days with a patchwork quilt of old TV shows, old movies, local news and sports, and even network affiliates had hours to fill between blocks of network programming.
The recycling of old TV shows had the same impact on Boomers recycling old movies did; it »
- Bill Mesce
Director: Terrence Malick Writer: Terrence Malick Starring: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan I am still attempting to digest The Tree of Life a week after seeing the press screening, making some sense of it all and figuring out exactly what writer-director Terrence Malick is trying to communicate (or maybe I am just having a difficult time getting beyond the CGI dinosaurs). When it comes down to it, The Tree of Life‘s cup runneth over with metaphoric imagery and references to Judeo-Christian scriptures (primarily the Book of Job) and I am desperately trying to wrap my head around it all. There are essentially three distinct yet intertwined segments of The Tree of Life that play like movements in a symphony: The O’Brien family in the 1950s; Jack O’Brien, the eldest son, 30 years later; and what I loosely refer to as “dawn of time” imagery. »
- Don Simpson
Show. Don’t tell. That’s the overarching guideline most storytellers, whether they’re novelists or screenwriters, adhere to. On the screen, unless you’re a dialogue artist like Aaron Sorkin, it’s always best to let the viewers see an action or emotion as it unfolds, rather than have the characters talk about it.
Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is the captivating realization of the “show, don’t tell” credo. Instead of belaboring viewers with dialogue, Malick presents life through a very complex waterfall of imagery. Brad Pitt stars as Mr. O’Brien, the father of three sons. However, the story focuses primarily on the eldest son Jack, played by Hunter McCracken as adolescent and Sean Penn as his future self. Jessica Chastain stars as Jack’s mom.
The film starts off with an abstract collage of images of three brothers playing in the street, set against a 1950s setting. »
- Bags H.
Oh hello. I hope you recovered from the long weekend, because here’s another recap of Setup Squad. Sit down — this one is a doozy.
First is Arthur, a 25-year old gay dude who has diarrhea of the mouth. This is apparent because he admitted he is from Staten Island in the first three seconds of his intro reel. (Ok, just kidding. Don‘t shoot me, or worse yet, defriend me on Facebook, Staten Islanders. Respect.) He also attempts to meet other gay men at lesbian bars. This is like going to a soup kitchen hoping to find an heir to the Rockefeller estate. Fail. Meredith is assigned to Arthur, because he loves the lesbians, and Meredith is a lesbian, so it’s a beautiful Greenwich Village love story.
Next is Suzanne, a straight female who pretty much gives guys the lethal injection without a trial. This tactic is un-American, »
- Grace Chu
Memorial Day 2011 is here and while we should all take time to thank a veteran and active servicemen and women, it also means for us TVphiles - lots of good programming. So either settle in with some popcorn or make sure your DVR is ready to go.
There are movie marathons. Syfy is busting out its greatest hits in the giant monster oeuvre on Friday, followed by "Star Trek" movies all weekend. TCM and AMC are showing nothing but military movies, including classics like "All Quiet on the Western Front," "From Here to Eternity" and "Patton."
If marathons are your thing, you've got everything from "Firefly" and "Doctor Who" to "House Hunters" and "How It's Made." And if you're a sports fan, while the NBA playoffs are on hiatus, you can still watch a ton of baseball, the 2011 French Open or the annual Memorial Day race the Indianapolis 500.
Leave it to beaver to save a man’s life, take him out of his chronic depression, and help him reunite with his family. This is the compelling story of Walter Black, portrayed flawlessly by Mel Gibson, who hits absolute rock bottom, finds a beaver hand puppet and starts speaking to everyone through the puppet, with a comedic cockney accent. Essentially, the puppet becomes an outlet, allowing a confident Walter to emerge temporarily from his deep pain and reconnect with life. Brilliantly directed by Jody Foster, who also plays his supportive wife, The Beaver showcases her extraordinary ability to transform an otherwise dark movie, into a emotional drama, which everyone can empathize with. Furthermore commendable, are the outstanding performances by Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence, both specifically chosen by Foster for their parts. The Academy Award winning actress, is clearly passionate about her craft. Well-respected among her peers, Foster is »
In honor of Mother's Day, we've compiled a list of our top 10 favorite fictional TV moms. When we watched them, we knew they were fictional ... yet that didn't stop us from wishing they were our own moms -- or vowing to follow in their mom-footsteps someday.
Did your favorite TV mom make the list?
Most Memorable TV MomsJune Cleaver in "Leave It to Beaver" (1957 - 1963)
Barbara Billingsley's role as a loving wife and mother in the feel-good sitcom wasn't full of risk or realism. June Cleaver, however, always looked polished and amazing, and certainly loved her husband and children. You may be surprised to learn that ...
... June's trademark strand of pearls was Billingsley's idea (they covered a scar on her neck).
Carol Brady in "The Brady Bunch" (1969 - 1974)
Florence Henderson was America's first (rarely mentioned) stepmom! We watched her hip hairstyles and hemlines change with the times, »
1-20 of 29 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »