Hello, Whovians! The eighth series of Doctor Who begins tomorrow with a brand new Doctor, and more than a few of us at the Recorder are excited for its return. Karen and Chris sat down to talk about the upcoming series and what they hope (or dread) to see.
Agent Cooper fans rejoice! The entire series of Twin Peaks is available on Blu-ray at long last. Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery encompasses both the show’s 30-episode run as well as the film prequel, Fire Walk With Me. Special features include a documentary containing cast and crew interviews, 90 minutes of deleted scenes from the film, and episode introductions narrated by the Log Lady.
Robin Williams passed away earlier today at his Tiburon, CA home at the age of 63. The Marin County authorities have ruled his death an apparent suicide by asphyxiation. We’re as saddened by this news as everyone else here at The Addison Recorder, so a tribute to the man and his work is in order. A few of us will share our thoughts and memories. Feel free to leave your own in the comments.
Over the past year it’s been increasingly common to see Comedy Central’s programming pointed to as among the best on cable. Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Kroll Show, Review, @Midnight, Nathan for You, and Broad City are all relatively young shows that push at the boundaries of what TV comedies can do, while still being gut-bustlingly hilarious. Throw in those venerable stalwarts The Daily Show and the soon-to-be-departed Colbert Report, and it’s not hard to look at Comedy Central’s lineup and say it’s the equal of HBO, Showtime, or FX.
Drunk History is not as ground-breaking as some of its sibling shows, but it might be the most purely enjoyable show in Comedy Central’s lineup. It’s a sketch show where host Derek Waters gets comedians blitheringly drunk and has them tell stories from American history. Waters and a wonderful cadre of guest actors then act out the stories in full costume using the drunken soundtrack recording as both dialogue and narration. It’s a goofy concept, and doesn’t always hit, but when it does the show just soars. The slurred speech and wild excitement of the speakers (especially Drunk History all-star Paget Brewster) lend the action a pleasantly loony atmosphere. The real fun, though is seeing actors like Jordan Peele, Retta, Weird Al (as Hitler!) and Charlie Day perform the loopy action described by the narrators. Nothing on TV right now is funnier than the moments where a skilled actor mouths along to a drunken digression that utterly shatters the fourth wall.
Alex and his wife Becky watch a lot of TV. Probably too much. But that means that they sort of know what they’re talking about when the annual Emmy nominations come out. For reference’s sake, Becky has seen 24 of the programs we talk about here. Alex has seen 12. He may be talking out of his ass a lot more.
Should Win: Uh…we really, really like Louie and Orange is the New Black, but it’s a stretch to call this past season of the former a comedy and the latter is a drama through-and-through. Of the nominees, we vote for Louie, but the consensus choice for us this year was Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Will Win: Modern Family has won four in a row, which is apparently the cap on a series winning consecutive awards at the Emmys. Plus, it’s remained pretty damn mediocre since…season one. Another win would be awful. So we think that Orange is the New Black will prevail. Huge buzz and fandom, groundbreaking gender and sexuality politics, and new blood in a stale category.
WTF?: Why is Silicon Valley here? Alex watched the pilot and Becky watched one other episode, but it seemed like…not much. Maybe we missed out, but this feels like it got nominated solely for being on HBO.
This should not have worked. FX’s Fargo — a limited-run series “original adaptation” of the Coen Brothers’ seminal 1996 film, which had its season finale last night — should not have been good. Carrying over many character types, plot tropes, and thematic ideas from the movie, it should have been a lazy cash-in or a failed experiment, ala the TV adaptations of Crash and Traffic after their Oscar-winning successes. But that was not the case. Just the opposite. In stunning fashion, Fargo was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV this year.
Give me honorable enemies rather than ambitious ones, and I’ll sleep more easily by night.
– Jaime Lannister, A Game of Thrones
Every Sunday night, we gather round the television. Animated discussion cuts to tense whispers as the fizzle of HBO’s signature static fades to black. The theme bursts to life! DUN-dun da-da-DUN-dun da-da-DUN-dun da-da-DUN-dun… The audience sings along, made-up lyrics and all, trying to stave off the inevitable horrors and wonders that await us on the other side of the credits.
So begins my weekly Game of Thrones viewing, a ritual that I am not alone in keeping. The world loves the marriage of high fantasy and premium cable! Whether people are coming back for the delightfully gory violence, the gorgeous design, impeccable dialogue, superb acting, or, hey, even the boobs, viewership continues to grow. Show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — as George R.R. Martin did with the books before them — lure us all with promises of dragons and heroes, aging kings and cruel queens, new threats and ancient evils. All the makings of D&D campaign! But Thrones transcends those cliches. We don’t watch because we want to see pretty dresses. We watch to see familiar struggles.
Who has not done something stupid in the name of love, like a certain blonde swordsman-you-love-to-hate? Who has not manipulated tiny events in their favor, like Littlefinger or Varys or now even mini-Baelish Sansa?Who has not had — ahem — ill-advised romantic entanglements, a la Dany and her newfound dalliance? Fortunately for us, most of our personal dramas play out on a very small scale. In Martin’s world, though, “you win or you die” on an epic scale. Your triumphs and failures are on parade for all the world to see.
Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black” comes back with a brand new season Friday, which means if you just maybe don’t go to work tomorrow, there’s still time to watch the 13 magnificent episodes that made up season one. Please note also that this show has an almost all-female cast, which is a rarity I’d like to support and encourage the popularity of.
Give it ’til episode three. I almost guarantee you’ll want to keep watching after that one. Here are some reasons this show is awesome.
Summer is my least favorite season. Monstrous humidity, bland movies, and no school. Combine all these and the Bean-mind atrophies. But I admit that summer is full of possibilities. Some say those should include outdoor recreation, camping, or taking vacations. I disagree. Why get even sweatier when summer offers great and unexpected things you can find on your computer or TV screen? Somewhere Michelle Obama and the Surgeon General are screaming out loud and don’t know why. Oh well. To the suggestions!
The Milwaukee Brewers had an April for the ages. Just ask Hank the Dog:
Not only do they have something that resembles a playoff-caliber starting rotation, not only have they knocked together the best record in baseball, but they’ve put put together the best opening month in franchise history. As the Recorder’s resident Rollie Fingers (and Brewers fan), I set out to ascertain how my favorite team achieved this improbable early-season success. [Read more…]