Thursday, August 21, 2014

BY THE DAWNZER LEE LIGHT:200 years ago this week, the British invaded Washington DC during the War of 1812, and NPR covered it with a unique spin today.
TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN:  The Wire ranks the currently available Blizzard menu at Dairy Queen.  (Also, did you know that Texas Dairy Queens have their own special menu, including such delicacies as a Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich, the Steak Finger Country Basket, and "Jalitos"--small strips of jalapeno pepper battered and deep fried?)
DO THE BART, MAN:  Welcome to the marathon. HitFix has Day 1 recommendations; Joe Reid has a long-term planning guide (as does Vulture), and Alyssa Rosenberg is watching for the first time: "I have been struck by many things about the show’s first season, from its smart, funny feminism to its deft introduction of a huge cast of characters. But most of all, I have been touched by how beautifully The Simpsons captures the many ways to be a child with great humanity and wit."
SADLY, IT DOES NOT INVOLVE MALFUNCTIONING LIVESTOCK: Today's "King of Disparate TV Things Mountain" vote over at Previously.TV features one of our favorite TAR moments ever.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ALOTT5MA FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO WEDNESDAY WELLFLEET DANGLING MODIFIER INTERLUDE:  I'd probably have rewritten this lede in today's Cape Cod Times:
Friends and co-workers remembered a North Eastham woman killed Tuesday in a three-vehicle crash on Route 6 for her laughter and generosity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TELL ME YOUR SECRETS AND ASK ME YOUR QUESTIONS:  The WSJ is reporting that Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay are the three finalists to play the Super Bowl halftime show, but there's a twist:
While notifying the artists' camps of their candidacy, league representatives also asked at least some of the acts if they would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution, in exchange for the halftime gig. 
The pay-to-play suggestion got a chilly reception from the candidates' representatives, these people said.... The NFL typically covers the halftime performers' travel and production expenses, which can run well into the millions.
ON A LEASH:  With new shows coming soon to our TV screens, and some previews already available (A to Z has two really likable leads, but needs more funny and a reality check about lawyer life--"she's a big firm lawyer, but only does pro bono!"), it's time to ask not just what we're looking forward to, but what are you giving a long leash to.  Yes, I'm already in for a full season of How To Get Away With Murder, the show custom-built for this blog to love (law students!  conspiracies!  Philadelphia!  Viola Davis!  Our Friend Shonda!), but the show that I'm probably giving the longest leash to is Selfie.  Yes, the premise (a social media Pygmalion) seems a bit trite, but my goodwill for Karen Gillan, John Cho, and creator Emily Kapnek (late of Suburgatory and Parks and Rec) means I'll be patient despite a pilot that's drawing (at best) mixed reviews means I'm in for a while.  (Though the leash would be even longer if Gillan got to speak in her native accent.)
TELL THEM WHAT WE'VE LOST:  Don Pardo, an NBC announcer for seventy years and the voice of SNL since its inception, has passed away at 96. First skit that came to mind? His work with Rev. Jesse Jackson on 1984's "The Question Is Moot."

Monday, August 18, 2014

BUT WHERE ARE THE CHOCOLATE SALTY BALLS:  The upcoming State Fair of Texas will introduce some new culinary delights, including Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato, Deep Fried "Breakfast For Dinner," Fried Sriracha Balls, and Funnel Cake Ale.
FFLEMERGENCY:  Our own Alex Gordon is unavailable tonight, and needs a co-owner to draft for him tonight (auction draft, 12 teams) at 9pm EDT.  First come, first served, and I'll email you the details.
LIFE DOESN'T GIVE YOU BUMPERS:  Good god, yes, you need to see Richard Linklater's Boyhood, a magical, audacious, humanist masterpiece unlike anything I've ever seen.

You know the basics by now, probably: it was filmed over a twelve-year period, starting before Linklater shot School of Rock, and we see a child become a young man while understanding so many of the things which affect his (and his family's) journey: being a child of (and parent in) divorce, the importance of work and discipline, the power of language and culture in shaping our lives, economic insecurity, Texas, everything.

It is powerful stuff; the acting (esp. Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane) is spot-on; the emotional moments (large and small) are well-earned. It's a special movie. See it.
BELIEVE IN DRAGONS:  The little league where my kids played teeball is now one game away from the U.S. Championship at the Little League World Series.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

EGOT WATCH:  Lin-Manuel Miranda did win Emmy tonight for co-writing the opening number to the 2013 Tony Awards. All he needs now is the O, and this Wesleyan grad is only 34 years old ...

Added: Also awarded last night were first Emmys to Bob Newhart (guest, BBT), Harry Shearer (voices, The Simpsons), Joe Morton (Papa Pope!) and Bill Simmons (exec producer, 30 for 30 shorts), as well as the award for Best Writing for a Comedy/Variety series (Colbert Report), which means no montage of nominated writers next Monday.  And yes, the Between Two Ferns with Barack Obama did win an Emmy, but since the award goes to the producers it means that POTUS is not, in fact, himself halfway to EGOT.

Friday, August 15, 2014

OR A BAD TITLE, EVEN?  THAT COULD KILL A SHOW PRETTY GOOD: Even though it grossed nearly $100 million domestically and got solid reviews, Edge of Tomorrow was viewed as an under-performer.  So, apparently, it's being retitled for home media as Live,  Die, Repeat  (which was the tagline used to promote the movie).  Unclear if this is just a packaging/promotional thing, or if the actual titles in the film are being changed as well.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

ON THE OTHER HAND, DANCING BABY GROOT:  Slate argues that the packaging of the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack as "Awesome Mix: Volume 1" is inconsistent with the film.  (And yes, Tuesday night, I did score 15/16 points on an "identify the title and artist of songs from the Awesome Mix from a short clip" round at trivia--missing only the title of the Bowie song.)
SEE, THE RAGGED TIGER IS A SYMBOL:  David Lynch directed a Duran Duran concert film, which will be a special event in movie theaters before a home media release this fall.