Archive for the ‘TV’ category

“There are many other cop shows built around investigation, of course…”

June 28, 2011

. . . But where something like Bones or the Mentalist lets the knowing detective tie up the truth in a pretty bow at the end of (at least most) episodes, the Wire and Twin Peaks treat truth as an overwhelming excess, which expertise can provisionally master but not contain. The resulting tragedy is is in many ways the guarantor of the reality. The real does not have a happy ending.

The Hooded Utilitarian–home to the Victorian Wire piece from a few months back–has a new post up exploring some parallels between (of all shows) The Wire and Twin Peaks. Noah Berlatsky includes some provocative thoughts about the pervasive whiteness of Twin Peaks, as well as a strongly observed coda about the weirdo mundanity of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, but the genius of the piece is basically in putting the following clips back to back:


Friday Video: “Godstar” – Psychic TV

December 11, 2010

I don’t envy any ‘80s artist whose videos are being discovered by a new audience on YouTube right now, because there’ s like a one-in-three chance the video looks like a Tim and Eric segment to younger viewers, and those odds improve substantially if a band member looks just like Tim Heidecker.

Lost Time: It’s a Big Ol’ Link Post

November 9, 2010

At Sleeping with the Fishes, Hannah Waters has what I can only imagine is the first piece ever written about depicting the octopus in Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four.

Continuing last week’s British impressionist kick: a Michael-Caine-impression-off featuring Steve Coogan:

And more on the British humor track: the A.V. Club has a rare interview with Brass Eye mastermind and Four Lions director Chris Morris.

At Feministing, Maya Dusenbery posts notes on a recent comic about Internet sexism, which (the comic and commentary both) seem especially poignant following Kate Beaton-gate and its dumb dude backlash.

The Awl has info on how you can help make a movie about Malapropist faves the Mekons.

At The Comics Journal‘s GutterGeek blog, Alex Boney has a close reading of Grant Morrison’s Batman: Gothic, a good Bat-story that seemed to never get checked out of my public library when I was a kid but, as a discerning nine-year-old, I could tell at a glance I was not old enough for. That glance might have been the panel of a kid’s head in a trash can, though, so I probably could have read the whole thing and not emerged more unsettled than I was already.

Splitsider’s Mike Schuster looks back at the failed Conan O’Brien/Adam West venture Lookwell (full pilot embedded), which has maybe my favorite line from any TV show, ever, at the 8:28 mark.

At The New Yorker‘s Front Row blog, Richard Brody tackles the Godard-as-anti-Semite meme.

The There Will Be Blood mock-video game clip is way funnier than it deserves to be (via /Film).

Super There Will Be Blood from Tomfoolery Pictures on Vimeo.

Curt Purcell on the appeal of crap, at The Groovy Age of Horror (a post which reminded me of Umberto Eco’s essay on Casablanca, if you’re craving a Monday night Umberto Eco fix:

It seems commonsensical to think a text that poses no internal obstacles to the reward it offers will deliver the most rewarding experience–to think, for example, that something better than Twilight might deliver everything Twilight offers, only better. But we’re talking here about the operation of a system that will continue to pursue a reward as long as a text continues to provide it, just as flowers turn toward sunlight and roots grow toward water.  If the system encounters obstacles or threats to that reward within the text, it will continue to narrow its focus to exclude them. Thus, a poor writing style goes unnoticed, technical mistakes are ignored, awkward plot developments are accepted, embarrassment and self-consciousness aren’t provoked by one’s enjoyment of story elements that might otherwise seem silly or childish, etc.

Finally, normally this sort of thing is reserved for Fridays, but I am listening the fuck out of the Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed.” ON REPEAT.

Friday Video: A Crying Child

September 11, 2010

Because EMI would not allow me to embed Iggy Pop’s “Home.” (Tangential: that famous Simpsons clip of Sideshow Bob and the rakes is only available on YouTube in versions of terrible quality or versions of terrible quality in other languages. Also, lady, why would you even upload the above? Who is that for?)

Somebody’s Cranky: It’s a Link Post

September 6, 2010

At /Film, Adam Quigley notes the proliferation of meta-movies at the multiplex and asks, “Is Film Doomed to Become a Mockery of Itself?” The answer (mine, not his) is “No, relax, the meta-movie has been around for decades, whether your definition of meta-movie is narrow or very broad like Adam Quigley’s, and cinema has survived, even evolved in lots of interesting ways, and managed not to become a pit of meaningless self-reference.” Still, there’s a really good conversation to be had about Machete/Piranha 3D/Pineapple Express/Snakes On a Plane/etc., even if Quigley’s question reads a tad hysterical.

At NYC Graphic, an interview with comics’ top funnyperson Michael Kupperman, and at the L.A. Times website, a profile of George Herriman for some reason.

At the AV Club, Nathan Rabin takes on David Lynch’s Dune as part of his My Year of Flops column, in the appropriately titled “WTF Case File #170.”

At Rockaliser Baby, two posts about artists determined to make their work more difficult to enjoy: “Goddamnit Morrisey” and “Google Maps Is Not Art (Or, I Don’t Give A Fuck About My Childhood Home).”

Also, Mad Men‘s on tonight! And anyone following the show would do well to check out Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s Mad Men Unbuttoned, a site consistently full of astute Man Mannotations.

I Am Admiral William Adama, Having a Good Paint-Cry

August 27, 2010

My desktop is dying. I think. As of two days ago, one-fifth of its screen is distorted, vertical bands of different colors appearing instead of the right edge of the George Herriman drawing that makes up my background (although weirdly enough, it looks normal if I take a screen shot).

They took a chunk out of Coconino County

The practical implications of my computer’s slide into disrepair are 1) that a brief and undesired hiatus from blogging might be on the way and 2) that I’m most likely about to join the rest of the 18-to-34 demographic and get a laptop. You could be forgiven for wondering if owning a desktop computer was a sort of affectation, like listening to music on cassette. Mostly, though, it was what I was used to prior to starting college, and I didn’t think much about not getting one–other than probably once or twice imagining myself owning a MacBook, dropping it on the ground, and losing everything stored within. But in preparing to leave my desktop behind, as Bill Adama once did the Battlestar Galactica, I’m also preparing to leave behind a way of being while on the computer, one that feels slightly more like being in command of one’s own sea- or starship than does using a laptop, or at least gives one the option of feeling that way, if that’s a kind of thing one was into.

Friday Video: “Psychotic Reaction” – The Count Five

August 20, 2010

“Tobacco Road” kicking in at the end of Mad Men’s season four opener was pretty rad, but “Psychotic Reaction” is my dream pick for a Man Men closing credits song. Also it would be for an episode in which Harry Crane accidentally gets dosed.