Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'M AN ALCOHOLIC. I DON'T HAVE ONE DRINK. I DON'T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE WHO HAVE ONE DRINK: NYMag ranks Aaron Sorkin's top 38 tv characters and, for once, it's not a slideshow, Isaac.

Friday, June 22, 2012

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It's a list. About books. I imagine the Thing Throwers have opinions.
The Library of Congress, the world’s largest repository of knowledge and information, began a multiyear “Celebration of the Book” with an exhibition on “Books That Shaped America.”

“This list is a starting point,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not.”
My initial reactions:
  • Why only one book after 1987?
  • Where is Dr. Atkins's diet book? Think of the influence that one diet book, originally published in the 1970s, had and still has about how America eats.
  • Where the [FLEETING EXPLETIVE] is Judy Blume?
If you feel venting in comments isn't satisfying your wrath at the GLARINGLY OBVIOUS omissions, the LoC has a survey.
WE MUST BEGIN THE JOURNEY: Kind of buried in Nikki Finke's blurb indicating that the remake of The Thin Man has been delayed is news that Rob Marshall, who was attached, is probably going to move on and go ahead with the long in-development Into The Woods, with a start date late this year, which, of course, resulted in several of us exchanging fantasy casting ideas on Twitter.  Because of the year-end start, will be tricky for those with network TV gigs to take large parts (so NPH as the Baker seems unlikely), but a few suggestions we came up with:
  • Jon Hamm and Matt Bomer as the Princes.
  • Kiernan Shipka (if she can sing), Anna Kendrick, or Amanda Seyfried as Red Riding Hood (depending on how young they want to go with that part). 
  • Sutton Foster as Cinderella (they're going to go with more recognizable names for The Witch and The Baker's Wife, you have to assume, with Streep probably leading the wishlist for The Witch, despite her dodgy vocals).
  • Allison Janney or Imelda Staunton as Jack's Mother.
Fear, of course, is that we wind up with Lea Michele as Red Riding Hood, and Matt Morrison as the Baker (with a new, rap-inspired, song for him).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

IMMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT THE LION HAS THE BEST ROAR OF ALL TIME:  Reports (of admittedly uncertain credibility) suggest that Kanye West may be releasing an album comprised substantially entirely of animal noises.
GROOVY:  If you enjoyed MLB's faux-future "Turn Ahead The Clock" jerseys from 1999, check out the Tampa Bay Rays' "1979 faux-back" uniforms they'll be wearing next Saturday.
NO LOUIE NOM IS A WAR CRIME. BUT NOT A SURPRISE:  Many of our favorite tv critics roundtable their Emmy nomination hopes and predictions. Nominating ballots are due next week; nominations announced on July 19.

You can see the list of performers who've submitted themselves for consideration here (and all the rest of the nominating ballots are here). New York magazine has compiled 25 surprising attempts to seek an Emmy nomination (Supah Ninjas for Best Writing - Comedy), but surely we've got thoughts of our own on all of this.  (I'm amused that Donald Glover is being submitted for best guest actor - comedy for his work as Young Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock, but, c'mon, Billy Baldwin needs that slot for his 30 Rock work.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

EXCITING, GROUNDBREAKING, AND COMPLETELY ORIGINAL:  CBS doesn't care for that new exhibitionist/surveillance reality series on ABC, and has issued a press release regarding its possibly retaliatory plans.
PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY HOW YOU SHOULD BE YOURSELF. LIKE YOURSELF IS THIS DEFINITE THING, LIKE A TOASTER OR SOMETHING. LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS, EVEN: Matt Zoller Seitz couldn't help but wonder which one-season tv series folks most wish had continued, and he and I (and many here, I imagine) will agree with his conclusion.
SEND A RAVEN TO WINTERFELL NOW AND TELL ROBB STARK TO GO BACK HOME:  Game of Thrones: the political attack ads.
LAMBS GO TO SLAUGHTER. A MAN, HE LEARNS WHEN TO WALK AWAY:  We learn some surprising things in "Port in a Storm," which ends season two of The Wire, and since some folks are still catching up, let's go below the fold.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

COOL RANCH FOREVER: The NYT Food Section devotes an entire review to Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco, concluding that "for what it is, the Doritos Locos taco is pretty good," and noting that the taco does not present the orange dust problem so common with Doritos.
THIS IS CRAZY:  How Carly Rae Jepsen explains the Euro crisis. (HT: Marsha.)
DANCE IT OUT: Amy Sherman-Palladino gets a lot of praise for her dialogue (and rightly so), so something I found fascinating about last night's second episode of Bunheads was that there were three substantially dialogue-free sequences that carried much of the heavy emotional lifting in the episode--a pre-credits sequence with Michelle looking through Hubbell's possessions in grief, a sequence about midway through the episode where Michelle dances alone, and the closing memorial ballet sequence with the girls scored to Tom Waits--and all of it pretty much works (though the opening sequence winds up relying on strummy strummy la-la score cues that seemed directly lifted from Gilmore Girls).  Ratings for the premiere were less than spectacular, likely because the ABC Family audience (directed toward younger women) might not be so interested in a show where the primary figures (thus far) are in their 30s and 60s, rather than teenagers, but I'm hoping this finds an audience.
I CAN'T BELIEVE MY GRANDMOTHER ACTUALLY FELT ME UP:  Well, it's it's a Tuesday night in June, so we're all set for the American Film Institute to take over CBS once again for a three-hour countdown of something like the Top 100 Heroes & Villains in film history, or Top 100 Inspiring Films, Top 100 QuotesTop 100 Songs, a revised Top 100 Films of all time or its genre-specific Ten Top Tens.

Except we're not, because the AFI and CBS stopped doing these things in 2008, and it's an NCIS/NCIS:LA/48 Hours Mystery block instead today.

I'm not the only person who misses the annual broadcasts, and, really, was the advertising revenue that poor? Did the American Film Institute lose the desire to promote itself?  Did they run out of themes for a Top 100?

Well, if it's the last one, I can help: why not an AFI's Top 100 Youth Films?  Define the genre as "movies about featuring characters of school age, often dealing with issues of maturity and identity" and okay there may be some definitional issues, but why not have a night for Back to the Future, Animal House, Rebel Without A Cause, and The Last Picture Show to duke it out, where we can complain about Dead Poets Society being overrated compared to Dazed and Confused and School Daze? Television, make this happen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

18.0 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 25 K:  Thirty-seven year old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, a career .500 pitcher, has now thrown complete game one-hitters in two consecutive starts. He is the first pitcher since Dave Stieb in September 1988 to do so. What a great baseball story.
WHAT'S CHANNEL 9 IF IT DOESN'T HAVE ARSENIO? File under "Things That Make You Go ... Him?" In fall 2013, Arsenio Hall will once again have a late night talk show. Is he likable? Sure. Is late night tv too white? Yes. But is it 2012, and not 1989?  I think so.
ALOTT5MA FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO - BONUS MONDAY SHELBY FOOTE EDITION: I know things are different across the pond, but it still doesn't scan correctly for me to see a Guardian headline which states "Euro 2012: Holland are sent home by Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo."

[As long as we're talking Euro 2012, which I guess we are: I suppose Friday's Germany v. Greece quarterfinal might be something of a grudge match?]

added: Via Rick, NPR's On the Media talks to Deadspin editor Tom Scocca about the grammatical difficulties of a Heat-Thunder series.
INSTEAD OF BROADCAST NEWS, IT'S LIKE A SANCTIMONIOUS ZELIG: The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum did not care for The Newsroom. Among other barbs not dealing with the show's mishandling of diversity, she concludes: "The series turns Will McAvoy into the equivalent of the character Karen Cartwright, on 'Smash,' the performer who the show keeps insisting is God’s gift to Broadway. Can you blame me for rooting for McAvoy’s enemies, all those flyover morons, venal bean-counters, sorority girls, and gun-toting bimbos?"

I can't help but wonder, then: what are you watching, or looking forward to watching, this summer?
FLAPPY-HEADED CONTROVERSY:  Our Neighbours to the North now (politely) insist that they won the War of 1812.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

HUNGARY'S TEAM LOOKS LIKE IT SURVIVED AN ANTI-FUR PROTEST:  Buzzfeed collects 12 ridiculous Olympic opening ceremony outfits across history. France's 1976 garb is so Beauxbatons it's scary, but I'm not sure how 2008's Dutch blazers or the 2010 Azerbaijan slacks got a pass.