Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It is sort of hard to believe but I have been watching Jon Stewart and his merry band of pranksters for eight (8!) years now...I remember flipping around and catching a brief moment of Mo Rocco interviewing McCain at a press conference in the New Hampshire primary and thinking, "Hmm, joke newsmen attending real news events and getting press credentials? Fake news reports? I am SO. IN."
It's been non-stop fun and adventure ever since. Stephen Colbert getting his own show was just icing on the giant cupcake.
And look at our boys now.
Also worth posting here, Colbert from Tuesday night, doing what he does best: covering the Free Markets.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
...[MAD MEN showrunner Matt] Weiner says that AMC has asked producing studio Lionsgate for a third season but that he doesn't have a contract. He says he has every intention of staying with the show.
Though he has no specific series end date in mind, Weiner sees the show moving forward through the tumultuous '60s. "I definitely want to see, if no one else, Don and (wife) Betty in 1972," he says.
I am so, so looking forward to that, hoping it comes to pass. And also, Joan and Peggy in 1972. I bet there will be a bit of bra-burning...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
David Simon (THE WIRE) and Tom Fontana (OZ) are collaborating on the script for an HBO miniseries on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth, told from a new perspective.
There is a show called WHATEVER MARTHA that premieres tonight. It is exec-produced by Martha Stewart herself and co-stars her daughter Alexis. And it looks...pretty hilarious.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Every time this show seems to have topped off, as far as how great, subtle, sad, gorgeous, intense, or feminist it can be, it always pulls another new scene out of the box and wows me.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
LIVE IN CONCERT FROM ALL SONGS CONSIDERED
Free full-length concert podcast downloads...I just downloaded The Frames, Radiohead, Fleet Foxes, Belle & Sebastian, Wilco and Bon Iver.
Other recent artists include: Arctic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Martha Wainwright, Neko Case, Mogwai, The Walkmen, Fiery Furnaces, Sleater Kinney, Jenny Lewis, The Black Angels, Cat Power, Bjork, Peter Bjorn and John, Death Cab for Cutie, Gogol Bordello, Richard Thompson, Travis, The Polyphonic Spree, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Spiritualized, The Ting Tings, Orchestra Baobab, Shearwater, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), The Raconteurs, DeVotchKa, The Black Keys, Lou Reed, Nada Surf, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, My Morning Jacket, Yo La Tengo, The Whigs, Vampire Weekend, AA Bondy, Jens Lekman, Shout Out Louds, Johnathan Rice, Summerbirds in the Cellar, Paper Cranes, Dead Confederate and MORE, if you can believe it....
AWESOME LEGAL FREE MUSIC STUFF
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Just watched the first of four episodes of this mini series on ITV in the UK, LOST IN AUSTEN. A light, sweet, puff-pastry of a show...a silly fantasy earnestly in love with the world of Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Unabashedly so, like so many of Austen's ardent fans in the modern world. After you swallow the central conceit -- that a modern woman gets thrown into this imaginary place -- LOST adds a delicious new layer to a proto-feminist genre that feels important and timeless, while also stuck in a deep rut. The cast is not as star-filled as we Americans have become used to seeing -- but the lead Jemima Rooper (above photo, center) is spunky and wonderful, and I was happily surprised to see Alex Kingston (ER) playing matriarch Mrs. Bennett.
As far as I can see, there is no deal in place yet to air this show in the USA, but there's no doubt that American Austen fans will heartily enjoy it when it makes it way over the pond. Hope you can get your hands on it, one way or another.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I saw FRINGE episode 101 back when it leaked in June, and watched again last night. Really fun, and stylishly shot and edited. Great casting. Nice conspiracy-building. Lots of creepy details that are fun for Twilight Zone/X Files fans. And from a very tech-geek standpoint, much better sound mix (did you notice the great sound effects whenever the camera pans through the floating location graphic?)...The only major difference I noticed between this final cut and the leaked one, was the end shot - which neatly segued into a commercial for MASSIVE DYNAMICS, of course.
That JJ Abrams considers THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ALTERED STATES, and the films of David Cronenberg to be this show's main inspirations is a very good sign.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Well my fall season kicked off with a bang this weekend. Not only is TRUE BLOOD finally up and running, but the 2nd ep leaked onto the web early...AND IT IS FANTASTIC. If you are on the fence about this show, definitely check out 102 before you make any rash decisions. This is a tricky balance...the vamp 'verse they are delineating for TRUE BLOOD takes some time to unravel. Believe me, it's worth sticking around a bit. There's such a striking, and admirable, attention to detail on this show. And anyone who has questions about the chemistry between the two leads (Sookie and Bill) should tell me again how they feel after seeing ep #2.
A nice TRUE BLOOD trailer
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES is back, yes! I'm a happy bot-loving camper. Looks like Josh "I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing" Friedman will be feeding us podcasts the day after as well; here's the first one...and here's a quick note Freidman left on the blog about the show. I was wondering if Shirley Manson sung that opening number, and sure enough she did (arranged by Bear McCreary). The reveal at the end of the show's first T-1000 was pretty amazing. It also explains that character seeming a bit, well, STIFF in all their prior scenes, heh heh. I miss the old opening credits, and I miss Sarah's voiceover commentaries...are they gone for good in favor of this less serialized, mas-macho second season which will let John Connor man up? We shall see. Anyhow, a great start to the season.
More contraband I came upon this weekend was the first ep of LOST IN AUSTEN (joy!), and the first two eps of CALIFORNICATION's second season. I'll let you know how those turn out. I did take a quick peek at a few moments of CALIFORNICATION already -- and it looks like Callum Keith Rennie is there right from the get-go. Yay!
Tonight is FRINGE...I saw the leaked pilot and really enjoyed it, but plan on rewatching the final tonight. There's always a reason to see the final final. io9 posted a great collection of links to FRINGE official viral marketing that's worth a look. Meanwhile, TV Week posted today that Fox is re-running FRINGE eps on Sundays, with a 4-minute preview of the next episode. Shiny.
My DVR did not tape Alton Brown's new Food Network show FEASTING ON WAVES, so I'll be catching that laters.
In other fall TV news...
-- STOP THE PRESSES, NBCU TV shows are back on iTunes! Go get your free episode of BATTLESTAR today (they're giving away ep 403)...here's the SD link; there's a separate page for the HD episodes.
-- The TV Addict made a great downloadable calendar PDF for the season.
-- Hulu has a special Fall TV section up. NBC is showing some fall shows on Hulu BEFORE they air on TV. Kewl. ETA: shows going online early will now also be on iTunes.
-- For those of you who still need a LOST fix: rewatch time on G4 and Sci Fi Channel.
So tell me: how is everyone else's first week of fall TV going?
And, for the cinephiles out there, this is a big month with Telluride, Venice and Toronto premieres unspooling right and left. Tons to keep an eye on...has anyone seen Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER? Jonathan Demme's RACHEL GETTING MARRIED? Richard Linklater's ME AND ORSON WELLES? Or the Telluride hit SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE? I'm looking forward to those.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
TRUE BLOOD - HBO
ENTOURAGE - HBO
FEASTING THE WAVES (with Alton Brown) - Food Network
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES - Fox
FRINGE - Fox
Saturday, September 6, 2008
But watching this trailer for Smith's new film ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO, you can really see the connection. Especially now that they are sharing Seth Rogan, who is a perfect funny-schlub star for both these filmmakers.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Folks, this is an issue close to my heart...it riles me up and gets under my skin every time.
Will any of you Joan/Christina/"voluptuous" fans reading this, kindly go over there and leave a comment. Be polite, but firm, please. Grrrrrrr.
I had crossed it off my list for this fall. No turning back...until I read this review.
...the first four episodes of the new season are more interesting -- and, on occasion, funnier -- than everything the show did last year combined. If nothing else, it finally gives Emmy winner Jeremy Piven -- who was stranded for most of last season in lame marital storylines -- something juicy to play as Vince's agent Ari, who reaches new levels of rage as he tries to bring his biggest client back from the dead. (Almost as good as watching Ari scramble: watching Ari engage a rival agent in a nasty prank war.)
So, alrighty Alan...I'll give it another chance. I do love me some Rage d'Ari. (HT TV Tattle)
Also -- trying to manage my expectations but -- TRUE BLOOD already ok'd by HBO to begin working on second season before a single episode gets on air? *hee*
One more thing I'm psyched about this week is the return of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. I just noticed (via the show's great season 2 production blog, written by either the writers or the writers' ghost writers, LOL) that the show's official site is very new and shiny. There's a terrific set of (un-embeddable, huh?) videos for season 2...including the one called "Comic-Con Trailer" and the one from a S2 photo shoot. Best SFF cast on teevee, y'all....and only days away now... *excited*
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Here's a bit on the 'verse of this book, from Stephenson himself. (More over at underwire)
ETA: a little bird just sent me the 'book trailer' for ANATHEM. Also, here's a recent piece on Stephenson from Wired, with tons more detail on the novel.
The World of Anathem
Ouch. Sounds like another bad ad campaign to me. See this is why I'm trying to ignore most political coverage. It pains my heart.
[Hat tip to Patrick D.]
ETA: Peggy Noonan responds...and other than clarifying her use of "It's OVER" she doesn't take back a thing...
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I wasn't going to post all the new MAD MEN clips each week, but this one was just too good. The clips are always available on the MAD MEN official blog just after the new ep runs on the East Coast -- one is a preview of next week, and one is Weiner and castmembers discussing the ep that just ended. Always worth a look. They are also publishing lots of great cast & crew interviews, and the 18 finalists are now posted for us to vote on the "You could be on MAD MEN" contest. Fun.
I'll be keeping an eye on this more closely now, for sure, cuz I miss y'alls!
The only good news here is, I do get an email when I reply back to you, and any other comments on that thread. So we can chat. :) I may write the LJ webmasters a note...
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sometimes I don't like people to see the man behind the curtain. I don't like them to know that something wasn't awesome before they saw it. You know, the things we had to tweak, the things we had to cut, that is inevitable. But now, I don't think it is just us. The whole world is so much about seeing behind the curtain and seeing how things are made and how they work and the extended cut, and what we could have done and what we didn't do and the alternate ending and you just, you kind of take it as part and parcel at the beginning...Because it's Eliza, and because it's me, we might suffer from it a little bit more. But those are high-class problems to have.
I come from feature film directing. And I, for quite some time as an audience member, really appreciated the long form of serialized [television]... so, eight, twenty hours, whatever it is. Because I started to find the basic three act movie a little bit contrived and unsatisfying. It was just a lot of fun to watch twenty, thirty hours of one show like The Sopranos, like you were reading a book. And when we got into Battlestar Galactica there was a discussion about... obviously the network would have preferred more episodic shows, more stand alone shows. And Ron was very firm about that and resisted doing that. And when we did experiment with that, we failed. No one, the audience, really didn't seem to respond to those stories. They were more interested in the bigger arcs. They were impatient, so it doesn't matter how good a job I did at directing some of those sort of "bottle shows" as we call them. It was interesting to see how no one cared, (laughs) because they were so interested in the big story. I think the best shows we did, and maybe this is true about the best writing on television is when you get it all going at once, where you somehow manage to tell a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Yet keep the larger story moving. That's, I guess, the ultimate goal of television writing. And I think we sometimes did a good job, sometimes not such a good job.
...Essentially, television is about bringing people's faces in your living room. You come home, and who do you want to spend time with? Do you want to spend time with Bill Shatner and James Spader? Do you want to spend time with Eddie [Olmos] and Mary [McDonnell]? Do you want to spend time with Tony Soprano? It's sort of the last bastion of character. Look, I'm also very proud of the action and the visual effects, and I think Gary Hutzel and Mike Gibson are amazing. And when the shows are finished, by the time Bear [McCreary]'s done his music and the sound design is in, it's an amazing thing. It's a very exciting show. But if those little human gestures weren't there, that to me is what makes it. We are being inundated with comic book movies, waves and waves of them coming at us. And every time I see one, I am looking for that little human moment that's going to make me connect. Okay, it's a guy in a suit; but he is just like me in this moment. I get that. I don't have to save the world; but I get what he is going through with his friend, or that girl, or his boss, or whatever.
-- Michael Rymer on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
For me, it's a consummate creative experience...In many ways, the peeling away of the layers of this character is a revelation for me as well as for the audience, and I really have gotten into that. It's an amazing mind game...
I honestly think that with American television and shows like ours, and in some ways the paradigm was 'The Sopranos,' we are pioneering a true art form...It's like living a novel. When we went to Europe to do some publicity at the end of last year, from all over, they came up to us and said, 'The best writing on the screen now is coming out of American television.' It's kind of like a Golden Age.
-- Glenn Close on TV and DAMAGES
The cost of failure is the principal barrier to innovation...What the web has done, is it's just kicked the everloving crap out of the cost of organising people, so for example; we now make encyclopedias and operating systems the way that ants build hills. Imagine if you were going to erect a skyscraper, and the way that you were going to erect the skyscraper was by putting up a notice that said "I have this empty lot. If you happen to have any structural steel, architectural diagrams, furnishings, rivets or welding guns, and you'd like to come down and help me build a skyscraper there, I'd love to have you around, because we're going to build the skyscraper - it'll probably take about 10 years, and when we're done we'll all move into it." I imagine you wouldn't get much of a skyscraper out of it, but this is, in fact, more or less how we built both Wikipedia and Linux...when I hear people criticise Wikipedia, I often think that they're discussing a different Wikipedia than the one I access, which seems to be chock-full of incredibly useful facts, including the fact that sometimes people disagree very vehemently about what it is that has been presented... It's been a long time since I opened a newspaper and discovered a little sidebox next to the article that says "6 out of the 9 reporters in the bull-pen thought that this was garbage, but the Editor In Chief decided to run it anyway," but having worked for newspapers, I'm here to tell you that there's more than one article in today's edition of whatever newspaper you've just picked up that fits that very nicely."
"Life in the Information Economy" (July 22, 2008)
Want to save the world? Become a vegetarian! There are many reasons to change your diet – including increasing the availability of freshwater, sustainable land use, clean air, and more optimal use of energy...You can ignore the cruelty of slaughtering animals. You can ignore the devastating health impact of eating animals. You can ignore the great expense of buying meat products. Simply focusing on the devastating impact of meat production on the abundance of clean water, sustainable land use, and clean air should be enough reason for even the most ardent carnivore to reconsider their diet.
We sometimes make the conceptual mistake of thinking that the way the Earth’s ecosystem is today is the way it will forever be, that we’ve somehow reached an ecological end-state. But even in an eco-conscious world, or one devoid of humans entirely, natural processes from evolution to geophysical and solar cycles would continue. The Earth’s been at this for a long time, literally billions of years; from a planetary perspective, a quadrupling of atmospheric carbon lasting 10,000 years (for example) is little more than a passing blip.
The fact of the matter is that, no matter how much greenhouse gas we pump into the atmosphere or how many toxins we dump into the soil and oceans, given enough time the Earth — and its ecological systems — will recover.
But human civilization is far more fragile.
-- Jamais Cascio, Visions of Tomorrow