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August 26, 2015
[movies] How High Def Is Changing Your Brain—and Driving the Prop Master Crazy … a fascinating look at how High Definition video is changing the way TV and Movies are created … ‘In Cook’s phrase, the property master’s job is “to obtain acceptance for forgeries,” to give a sensation of reality within an illusion. That’s a bit different from mere fidelity to empirical reality. It’s a facsimile of reality plus a dimension of persuasion, reshaped over time by the progress of technology.’ [via As Above]
July 21, 2015
[movies] League of Gentlemen Vs. 2001‘Hello Dave!’

July 9, 2015
[tv] Deirdre Barlow: Coronation Street says goodbye to a legend‘As the Barlows excitedly squabble over plans for a surprise 60th birthday party to mark the return of the iconically put-upon Deirdre, they are greeted by Susie Blake’s Bev, a tragic, tear-stained character at the best of times. Deirdre’s sudden death by aneurysm, sat in a deckchair, comes cruelly and inevitably, after the premature passing of Anne Kirkbride in January. She was last seen hurling a trifle at the wall of No 1, melting down under the pressure of stepson Peter’s murder trial, shouting “jelly shouldn’t run, it should wobble”. An abrupt end to 42 years on the cobbles. If circumstances dictated that Deirdre would be denied an epic exit storyline, there’s something unintentionally perfect about that final sequence.’
July 2, 2015
[tv] The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote … the very specific formula to creating an episode of the long-running crime series …

JESSICA: Oh, it was quite simple, really. The moss. When I saw you at the funeral earlier, the camera focused weirdly on a piece of moss on your shoe. I happened to remember that this moss only grows in one place in the world, the crime scene, and it only sticks to murderers.

But I had to wait for someone to mention the word ‘moss’ in a different context before I made this trivial extra step as if it was a moment of serendipitous inspiration, which for some reason is how we want crimes to be solved.

SOMEONE’S WIFE, YOU FORGET WHOSE: I regret stepping in the murder moss.

July 1, 2015
[wisdom] Alain de Bottom … Alain, Rik and Ade – Together at Last!…

Paranoia

June 21, 2015
[tv] Watching the detectives: why the police procedural is more popular than ever … a look at the current line-up of Police dramas on TV … ‘The Wire was the anti-procedural; as Simon put it in his pitch for the show, it was “not so much [about] the dogged police pursuit of the bad guys but rather a Greek tragedy”. The Wire, however, did not kill the procedural. The procedural simply borrowed The Wire’s aesthetic. The detectives may trudge sombrely from one improbable homicide scene to another, week in, week out, as the blue lights circle bleakly, but we, the viewers, sink gleefully into our sofas ready to drink it in like cocoa. It’s a parlour game, a ritual. Our cosy lives are thankfully not this unremittingly tragic and grim, but it’s strangely cathartic to pretend that they are. Granted, this or that series will pill the sugar with a dose of realism here and there but with noble exceptions, the detective procedural is the very definition of fiction.’
June 20, 2015
[tv] Nic Pizzolatto, the Man Behind True Detective … amusingly over-cooked profile of the True Detective creator … ‘Dennis Potter was the true progenitor, Nic told me. “He did The Singing Detective and Pennies from Heaven and Lipstick on Your Collar and Karaoke and Cold Lazarus and Blackeyes, all this great stuff. That was your TV auteur right there, and there’s still never been any TV like it. The Singing Detective is not for everybody, but it’s still the best thing ever done on television. Before we had a notion of a show-runner, that’s the guy who wrote a different mini-series every couple years. That was somebody making art as ambitious as any art being done but using this popular fallen medium of TV.”’
June 3, 2015
[comics] How Vincent D’Onofrio Became the Best New Villain on TV … D’Onofrio discusses playing Kingpin in Netflix’s Daredevil … ‘Vincent D’Onofrio had a ritual he went through every time he needed to get into the mindset of Wilson Fisk, the all-powerful, ultra-evil mobster he plays on Netflix’s hit series Daredevil. The 55-year-old actor would go someplace quiet, pull out his smartphone and stare at paintings of the character from Marvel’s latter-day Daredevil comics. “The way they drew him . . . it wasn’t just that he was this imposing, kind of massive guy,” says D’Onofrio. “He looked broken. That was the key.”‘
May 18, 2015
[books] Favourite shelf of my fictional book collection…

Garth Marenghi Bookshelf

April 29, 2015
[politics] 15 Malcolm Tucker Quotes That Perfectly Explain The 2015 Election‘You Look Like You've Shat A Lego Garage.’

You Look Like You've Shat A Lego Garage

April 23, 2015
[election] UKIP Royston Vasey Local Election Leaflet … via their Twitter account‘We only accept local people in the local party.’

UKIP Royston Valley Election Leaflet

April 14, 2015
[tv] Matthew Weiner on Mad Men’s Origins, Peggy’s Baby, and Why There Will Never Be a Spinoff … interview with the Mad Men’s creator … ‘TV and film, in general… some of it is designed for escape, designed to satisfy the lack of justice that we feel in everyday life. We find heroes and we get to have the wish fulfillment of, for example, a woman who has it all, who talks tough and tells people where to go and, yeah, they fail sometimes. There’s not a lot of that on the show. I give the example of how we try to make it less abstract by making it more like real life: If a young man runs into a beautiful woman at a party on Mad Men and she gives him her phone number and he writes it on a piece of paper and then he loses his coat, he will, on a normal TV show, end up figuring out how to find her. On Mad Men, he will never see her again.’
April 7, 2015
[quotes] The Complete Quips of Mad Men’s Roger Sterling‘(To psychiatrist) “I’m just acknowledging that life, unlike this analysis, will eventually end, and someone else will get the bill.” (S6, E1)’
April 5, 2015
[tv] The Original Rainbow Cast Out of Costume … Go look at this rare cast photo from the fondly-remembered children’s TV programme.
March 26, 2015
[tv] Clarkson Agonistes … great analysis of the Jeremy Clarkson sacking by Tom Ewing … ‘So for Jeremy Clarkson, the man who plays this superhero, to be laid low by the dull grind of consequence, of taking responsibility for his actions, is a great betrayal. The carefree promise of no consequences – the heart of the Top Gear magic – has been broken. It’s not surprising – though still pathetic – that denial would be an easy reaction to this, a stamped-foot, fingers-in-ears assertion that the facts don’t matter, that breaktime hasn’t ended, that every logic and common sense fact of workplace relationships be suspended so that our hero can – yet again – jump free and rollick on to his next adventure.’
March 17, 2015
[tv] At 18, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Is Still Revolutionary … looking back at Buffy The Vampire Slayer … ‘In many ways, Buffy was a conventional television heroine, in that she was pretty and blonde and perky, and she talked a mile a minute about clothes and homework like a normal teenage girl (as opposed to the theatrical soliloquies delivered by characters in The WB’s next teen drama, Dawson’s Creek). But the show’s subversiveness was spelled out by creator Joss Whedon in the opening scene, as a nervous blonde girl and a cocky, older-looking guy in a leather jacket break into Sunnydale High School late at night. The girl seems scared and keeps hearing noises. “We’re just going to get in trouble,” she tells him. “You can count on it,” he replies, licking his lips. Finally, once she’s certain there’s no one else around, she reveals her distorted vampire features and sinks her teeth into his neck.’
February 16, 2015
[tv] Totally Mexico! How the Nathan Barley nightmare came true … a look back at Nathan Barley

“When he started out, Nathan wasn’t what we’d now call a Shoreditch hipster,” Brooker says. “I’d never even been to Shoreditch. It was more about moneyed young guys who claimed to be working in television when really they were living off their parents. He was more of a Made In Chelsea figure, and he kind of morphed into a Hoxton idiot for the TV show.”

Chris Morris, the creator of The Day Today and Brasseye, had written listings in secret for TVGoHome. Around 2000 he suggested that they try to develop a show around the Nathan character and east London’s increasingly absurd club/art scene. “We talked about the show for years before we made it,” says Brooker. “Chris was adamant very early on that there should be a tiny acorn of likability to Nathan, something irrepressible. He does terrible things but he has an endearing sort of rabbity enthusiasm to him. In the fake listings he really was a cunt, whereas in the TV show he’s a twat – and there is a difference.”

February 13, 2015
[curtis] Infinite Adam Curtis … go watch a perfectly done, never-ending Adam Curtis documentary … ‘Four hundred times a second, on the Moon, Condoleezza Rice tried to undermine Marilyn Monroe. A tipping point which would later be disastrous for those who study their careers…’
February 11, 2015
[tv] Sorkinisms II – The Sequel … another supercut of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue recycling on TV and movies. [thanks Feeling Listless]

January 20, 2015
[tv] Jon Ronson in Conversation with Adam Curtis … Curtis discusses his Bitter Lake – his new film … ‘I found a man in the [BBC Archives] who spends his time recording the bits in between the programmes when they are broadcast. He writes down in detail all the announcements and the trailers, plus all the bits where things go wrong. So far his log of this stuff has got to 7,500 pages. He’s convinced that we don’t really understand television. He says the idea that you can break television up into discrete programmes is wrong. He believes television is really one long construction of a giant story out of fragments of recorded reality from all over the world that is constantly added to every day, and has been going on for 70 years. But what really opened things up for me was the realisation that there was an even further forgotten source of images. Not in London, but hidden all over the world. A BBC news cameraman called Phil Goodwin came to me and told me that the BBC offices in major cities have kept all their recorded footage in cupboards and store rooms. There are hundreds of tapes of what are called rushes – the original, unedited material from which news reports are created. And they were just lying there…’
December 10, 2014
[tv] The Mystery of the Creepiest Television Hack … the true story of how a Pseudo-Max Headroom briefly hijacked Chicago TV broadcasting one evening in 1987 …

Then the camera cuts to Max from a slightly new angle, facing off screen and bent over. His mask dangles near the camera; his face is off screen and his buttocks are hanging out, front and center. “They’re coming to get me!” he screams. On the right side of the screen, a woman lazily spanks his ass with a flyswatter. “Come get me bitch!” he yells. The scream becomes a distorted, symphonic drone. And then just as quickly as his arrival, the signal cuts out, and Chicago was back to the eerie quiet of the regularly scheduled Dr. Who episode.

“As far as I can tell,” the Doctor observes at that very moment, “a massive electric shock. He must have died instantly.”

November 23, 2014
[tv] TV Binge Watching Recommendations: November, 2014‘1. House of Cards. 2. Game of Thrones. 3. Breaking Bad. 4.Tie: Sherlock, Homeland.’
October 15, 2014
[comics] Netflix unveils first look at new superhero series Marvel’s Daredevil‘Daredevil certainly feels like it has potential. Even though existing shows like Arrow and the recently launched Gotham have already staked out street-level superhero territory, there’s a richness to the character, who wrestles with Catholic guilt over his vigilantism, and a confidence to the execution that suggests Daredevil could cross over to non-comic fans looking for a stylish crime story.’
October 7, 2014
[movies] The League of Gentlemen Vs. 2001‘Dave, my wife tells me there is a block in your toilet!’
October 6, 2014
[buffy] Ayn Rand’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer

BUFFY: My shoulders are naked and I am drenched in the blood of my enemies. You are my physical and mental equal. I wish to express my respect for you in the physical embodiment of my ideals: the act of love. Let us have sex now.

ANGEL: Buffy, I can’t. You know that if I were to experience even a moment of perfect happiness I would lose my soul.

BUFFY: This sounds like a problem for you, not a problem for me.

ANGEL: I can’t –

BUFFY: We’ll just do me, then. Kneel.

October 3, 2014
[tv] If Malcolm Tucker’s Sweary Quotes Were Motivational Posters…

This Is Like The Shawshank Redemption...

September 11, 2014
[tv] Warren Ellis’s Heisenberg Theory … Warren Ellis On Walter White … ‘What keeps him alive is being a fictional supervillain. What kills him is being human.’
August 31, 2014
[lego] Lego Fawlty Towers Hotel Reception … go look at this loving recreation of the hotel reception set from the classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers.
August 14, 2014
[books] Against the Tide … Review of a book profiling the late Mary Whitehouse via her archive of letters … ‘Reading Mary Whitehouse’s letters is like digesting a scrambled Charlie Brooker. Dr Who is “teatime brutality for tots”. The World at War has too much genocide in it. Complaining of Chuck Berry’s performance of “My Ding-a-Ling” on Top of the Pops in 1972, she elicited the observation that the song began “with such a clear account of the contraption in question including bells”, that although the possibility of a double entendre was recognised, the BBC felt it was unlikely to “disturb or emotionally agitate its listeners”. But of course Whitehouse was permanently agitated. In editing this material from her archive, Ben Thompson not only works hard to salvage entertainment from some tedious cultural jeremiads, he also – and more interestingly – tries to make some sense of them…’
August 12, 2014
[tv] The 1979 “Rockford Files” Episode that Inspired “The Sopranos” … David Chase was trying out characters and situations used in the Sopranos twenty years prior to the start of the series … ‘In Just a Coupla Guys, Tony the mob boss (Antony Ponzini) is a doting father who also happens to be a killer. Anthony Jr. (Doug Tobey) is a good kid acting up to get his dad’s attention. Jean (Jennifer Rhodes) is the long-suffering mob wife, trapped in a suburban mansion. And Mr. Lombard (Gilbert Green), is an aging former boss who may or may not have lost his marbles. There’s even a Catholic priest (Arch Johnson), although he’s nowhere near as attractive as Father Phil, the clergyman who caught Carmela Soprano’s eye.’
August 10, 2014
[comics] The Complete 14 Batman Window Cameos‘A compilation of all 14 window cameos from the 1960s ABC TV series Batman. Almost fifty years later, some of these folks are still remembered today–Others, not so much.’

July 31, 2014
[life] Love in the Key of Partridge … trying to find love – using only the words of Alan Partridge.

Love in the Key of Partridge

June 25, 2014
[tv] Say Mrs Brown’s Boys Again…

Say Mrs Brown's Boys Again...

June 20, 2014
[tv] Cooking with Hannibal: The Supercut … … all the scenes of Hannibal cooking from the TV Series edited together.
June 17, 2014
[tv] Hannibal, slasher TV for the chattering classes … The Guardian On Hannibal … ‘When Hannibal – or CSI: Whitby Goth Weekend as I like to call it – aired in America earlier this year the cascade of acclaim spewing over its beauty and poetic themes was pretty spectacular. As an intellectual myself, I can only agree. Clearly, us highbrow types can’t get enough of juddery flashback scenes set to sinister circus music, or martinis made from children’s tears, or frosty psychopaths muttering weird jokes as his guests tuck into lung sushi. A body turns up, scooped out like a kiwi and filled with poisonous flowers. A thousand clever viewers politely applaud the artistry of it all.’
May 17, 2014
[tv] Down with dark: why screen drama needs to lighten up‘Then there is The Good Wife, an ongoing example of fine, female-led drama (see also the much underrated Nurse Jackie) providing an antidote to the overwhelmingly morbid maleness of longform drama (that said, lead character Alicia Florrick has been compared to Walter White). There’s a great scene in the series, as yet unbroadcast in the UK – an ongoing joke about an intense cable drama Alicia occasionally watches. It features a soliloquising male, naked torso lit only by a flickering strobe, about to enjoy some action with a scantily clad female but existentially disdainful of it. “Sex… is a chimera,” he intones. “I saw a crack whore eat her own arm. I saw a baby drown like a cat. Sex… keeps us occupied because reality can’t be endured. Even this will end in smoke.” There is Dark in a nutshell, in all its ball-aching, sexist prattishness.’
April 22, 2014
[tv] Danny Trejo: I always just kinda say “Yeah, but did your head crawl across the desert on a tortoise?”
March 20, 2014
[tv] 27 Reasons Why You’re Still Watching “The West Wing”‘R.I.P Dolores Landringham. You were just the best.’
March 10, 2014
[columbo] The Case For Making Columbo America’s Doctor Who … a reminder of how great Columbo was … ‘Columbo says things like “Watch my hand, it’s full of grease. This is my dinner. Would you like a piece of chicken?” to suspects. He is deliberate. He moves at the pace of justice. Unflagging, unwearying, unrelenting; he is the Anton Chigurh of goodness. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards Columbo. It is his fundamental goodness, as much as his native intelligence, that make him a good detective. He is not a remote genius; he is not a refined gentleman; he is a good man, and it is this that makes him not just a good detective but my detective. He is America’s detective. A good and a quiet man who brings his own lunch and will not go away until order is restored.’
March 6, 2014
[tv] TV palate-cleansers: after Breaking Bad, viewers need Cake Boss‘There is only so much of, say, Borgen that one can take before it all gets too much. You find yourself either shuffling around with your brow furrowed as you wrestle with the weighty thematic issues of whatever you’re binge-watching, or trapped in a desperate cycle of increasingly hyperbolic praise for a show that you only really like because a broadsheet newspaper said you should. When this happens, you need crap. You need a palate-cleanser. You know the sort of shows I’m talking about. Cake Boss, for example, is the perfect antidote to Game of Thrones. Sometimes, when you’ve watched 350 different but identically named characters from 200 barely distinguishable regions shout frilly exposition at each other for four straight hours, you just want to watch a man make a cake. Possibly a cake shaped like a Transformer. Possibly while doing all he can to push the limits of New Jersey’s workplace harassment laws.’
February 25, 2014
[tv] Twin Peaks: How Laura Palmer’s death marked the rebirth of TV drama … Looking back at Twin Peaks after twenty years … ‘It would be wrong to attribute all that’s since taken place to the creative impact of Twin Peaks but Lynch’s legacy can nonetheless be seen in dramas in a whole range of recent TV shows. For a start, Lynch helped make television attractive to film stars. Kyle MacLachlan, who played the other-worldly Special Agent Dale Cooper, had been the lead in Blue Velvet. The message was that television was no longer a Hollywood ghetto. Without Agent Cooper perhaps there would have been no Jack Bauer. Similarly, it’s hard to imagine that JJ Abrams’s high-concept genre-mashing with Lost would have happened if Lynch hadn’t pioneered the way. And in David Chase’s casting in The Sopranos it’s possible to see the influence of Lynch, who used almost forgotten character actors like Richard Beymer.’
February 22, 2014
[tv] What happens at Netflix when House of Cards goes live‘Edberg said the last time House of Cards launched, the engineers figured out that the entire season was about 13 hours. “And we looked to [see] if anybody was finishing in that amount of time,” Edberg said. “And there was one person who finished with just three minutes longer than there is content. So basically, three total minutes of break in roughly 13 hours.”‘
February 1, 2014
[stories] Periodic Table of Storytelling … an attempt at distilling TV Tropes down into a table of classic story elements.
January 24, 2014
[tv] How should Homeland ‘reset’ for season four? … Stuart Heritage’s ideas for Season four of Homeland … ‘The absolute worst thing that Homeland could do this year is keep Dana around to snarl up a third of every episode by accidentally running over a nun on a Segway or Snapchatting a picture of her pubes to the Queen or whatever.’
January 9, 2014
[tv] 14 Ways Nathan Barley Predicted The Future‘1. Camera phones with MP3 decks.’
January 5, 2014
[tv] Homeland – box set review… Why you should be watching Homeland … ‘Season one, aired in 2011, hinges on the question: has Gulf war hero Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), held in an Afghan hole for eight years, been “turned” by al-Qaida? Lewis won an Emmy for his portrayal of the traumatised marine; Danes won two for her role – hunter to Brody’s hunted. As a bipolar intelligence agent Carrie joins a clutch of intense, idiosyncratic female leads in current TV drama (Spiral, The Killing, The Bridge, The Fall). Her judgments are brilliantly unhinged: her CIA mentor, Saul Berenson, calls her “the smartest and the dumbest fucking person I’ve ever known”.’
December 23, 2013
[tv] Has the internet killed Have I Got News For You? … Stuart Heritage on the long, slow death of HIGNFY … ‘Back in the show’s heyday, you could rely on it to deliver the definitive satirical reaction to the news. But now it’s competing with The Daily Show, humour sites such as The Poke and millions of would-be wags on Twitter who fall over themselves to mine every last microLOL from every single news story a nanosecond after it breaks in a rabid bid for retweets. By the time Friday night rolls around, all Have I Got News For You has left to work with is the chaff.’
December 16, 2013
[funny] 55 Sensational TV Screenshots … … ‘Man With Bizarre Name Arrested: Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop.’
October 21, 2013
[tv] Breaking Bad accuracy: The show’s biggest errors and mistakes, from “blue meth” and Spanish accents to Osama bin Laden.‘5. Hydrofluoric acid would not eat through a bathtub.’
October 7, 2013
[comics] Quincy, M.E. … great spoof comic cover by Michael Kupperman

Quincy M.E. Comic Cover


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