Category Archives: Television

How do I set my DVR to record 48 straight hours of television?

I’m guessing about 90% of my favorite episodes will fall in the first two days of this twelve-day marathon: This summer, the FXX network will launch “The Simpsons” in style with a 12 day marathon, showing all 552 episodes consecutively. … Continue reading

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Canola Oil, Maybe?

How genuine do we want our folk music? That’s the question posed in Jeff Tweedy’s guest appearance on the most recent episode of Portlandia, with some pretty hilarious results:

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The Original Simpsons

Everyone except for Marge, that is: Fans of The Simpsons will enjoy “The Story,” a sweet short film made by Homer Groening in 1969. With a young Matt Groening and co-starring his sister Lisa, in “The Story,” a bedtime tale … Continue reading

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Music Detective

I’ve started watching True Detective on HBO. I’m not convinced it deserves all the praise* it’s gotten, but it’s certainly entertaining. One of the best aspects of the show, to me at least, is its effective use of music (chosen … Continue reading

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The First (and most misunderstood) Amendment

The First Amendment protects against government interference in the exercise of free speech. The First Amendment does not govern how a private media company makes intenral programming decisions. The Governor of Louisiana does not appear to understand the distinction: Louisiana … Continue reading

Posted in Media analysis, Television | 13 Comments

Looking Past the T&A

Writing in The New York Review of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn convincingly argues that Game of Thrones, for all its raunchy sex scenes and seemingly exploitative female nudity, is essentially a feminist epic: The two girls represent two paths—one traditional, one … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Television | 5 Comments

The Past Is Another Country

Here is a list of the videos MTV aired on its first day, on this date in 1981. There’s plenty to comment on in that list. One thing: it’s strange how British the playlist is. I wouldn’t have expected to … Continue reading

Posted in History, Music, Pop Culture, Television | 3 Comments

Lousy SMarch Weather

The Vulture’s “Best Sitcom of the Past 30 Years” competition has come to an end, with The Simpsons beating out Cheers in the finals.  I don’t know that I would have put either show in the finals even though I … Continue reading

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I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones and the Hold Steady but never thought I’d see them together.  (h/t BK) The Hold Steady will record a new song for the upcoming third season of Game of  Thrones, featuring lyrics … Continue reading

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Boy, That Escalated Quickly

This happened, apparently: RT @randballsstu: MT @gavinpurcell Will Ferrell made Old Mil ad aired in Superbowl but only in small town MT, OK & — James Fallows (@JamesFallows) February 4, 2013

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Two of My Favorite Things

Hockey and the Muppets, together at last: The Rangers are off to an 0-2 start in this strike-shortened season.  Hopefully they’ll get their act together soon.

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Dostoevsky on Television

(via the Daily Dish) Over at First Things, Helen Rittelmeyer posits that the characters on the television show Arrested Development were modeled after, or at least inspired by, the characters in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.  Here’s an excerpt where she compares G.O.B. to Dmitri … Continue reading

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CALMing news

For those of you who, like me, hate it when you’re watching tv and commercials come on at much higher volumes than the broadcast, I’ve got some good news: Beginning Thursday, television stations and cable providers are required to keep  … Continue reading

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Speaking truth to dumb

[UPDATE: HBO put the whole pilot episode up on youtube. Give it a shot.] I watched the pilot of The Newsroom last night, and I enjoyed it. There’s still a lot of quirks to it that will be ironed out; … Continue reading

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They Estevezed the wrong son

I’ve never watched more than 10 minutes of Two and a Half Men, mostly because, after five attempts at going more than two minutes, I realized I’d seen everything I needed to. There were entire scenes, chock full of laugh … Continue reading

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He laughed, he cried, he barked

Perhaps motivated in part by data showing significant declines in the number of people watching television, the industry is reaching out to a new (and truly “captive”) audience: Plenty of things will grab a dog’s attention: squirrels, tennis balls, funny … Continue reading

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Actually, Billy Idol stole HIS look

Since I haven’t nerded this blog up in a while, and as DE is off trying to burn effigies of Senators (hockey, not pork barrel), and someone else is probably still in a non-extradition honeymoon location… I’ve been trying to … Continue reading

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Steve Holt!

I consider myself a pretty big Arrested Development fan, but I’ve got nothing on some of the fans of the tv show, which is returning from cancellation in 2013: Fans of “Arrested Development” are rallying in support of one of … Continue reading

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