Friday, September 27, 2013

LES JEUNES!  In advance of tomorrow's Tina Fey-hosted SNL season opener, Tara Ariano reboots the Sketch PredictatronSplitsider remembers the eight biggest transitional seasons in show history, and Vulture lists fifteen recurring characters they'd like to see again.
HE'S GUILTY!  HE'S GUILTY!  As we launch into a new TV season with a lot of shows that are bad or mediocre in an uninteresting way, it's time for Slate to look back at one of TV's most fascinating disasters--I speak, of course, of Cop Rock.  FWIW, Cop Rock averaged a 7.4 Neilsen rating for its truncated first season (about 6.8 million viewers)--double what Parks & Rec delivered last night.
THIS CAN'T ALL BE FOR NOTHING:  Linda Holmes would like you to claim your cockamamie theory for how Breaking Bad will end, and we encourage you to do so here, there, or anywhere Stevia is available.
THOROUGHLY MODERN SITCOMS:  Some more sitcom math based on watching pilots over the past few days:
  • Trophy WifeModern Family (as it was in season one) - Mitchell & Cameron + Bradley Whitford=Yes, I will be watching.
  • The Goldbergs:  Modern Family (as it is now) + 80s references + EVEN MORE YELLING - Gloria=No, I probably will not be watching, despite Patton Oswalt in the Daniel Stern voiceover role.
  • The Michael J. Fox ShowModern Family (as it was in season one) -Jay/Gloria and Mitch/Cameron + "wacky sister" + Parkinson's Jokes replacing "funny accent" jokes =Yes, I will be watching.
  • DadsModern Family (as it is now) + additional racism and sexism + multicam and laugh track=No, I didn't even bother watching.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

EXIT SANDMAN:  After recording the final two outs of the eighth inning and then the first two of the ninth, this happened at Yankee Stadium tonight.

We will surely talk about Mariano Rivera's remarkable career over the next few days, but for now, just watch.
YOU ARE A KINGPIN: There is a lot of Breaking Bad-related riffing in the interwebs this week, obviously, so take a look at Breaking Bad plots as Choose Your Own Adventure novels, or a video with every bad thing that's happened to Jesse Pinkman scored to "Everybody Hurts" (or a compilation of humor on the show), or MZS's or Grantland's favorite episodes, or a LTE that didn't quite get it, or ...
IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE BELATEDLY TRYING TO EXPRESS REGRET:  Bill Gates now wishes he hadn't required ctrl-alt-delete for logging into Windows, as opposed to a single, convenient button.
TRICK THEM INTO THINKING THEY AREN'T LEARNING, AND THEY DO: A local professor at Beaver College Arcadia University is using season four of The Wire to teach a class on challenges in education.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

YOU NEVER SEEN A GUY WHO SLEPT WITH A FISH BEFORE?  In a week when many are contemplating Ron Howard's directorial legacy, Joe Reid brings a lot of smart people together to vote on and rank his films, 1-to-19, and the top nine are all perfectly cromulent.
A HULL OF A GOOD TIME:  With the America's Cup race locked up at 8-8 with the dramatic finale set for this afternoon, you are invited to share with us your favorite sailing songs, or something we should hate about our New Zealand rivals. Or both.  (Of course, our Canadian readers are allowed to remain neutral regarding those kiwi-eating moa killers.)
YOU AND I AND MARILYN VOS SAVANT CAN STILL APPLY FOR THE WILE E. COYOTE FOUNDATION'S "SUPER GENIUS" GRANTS: But we are not among the 2013 MacArthur Foundation fellows, though I'd really like to learn more about winner Penn's Angela Duckworth and her research on the role of "grit" and self-control in life success.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Mom, CBS.  The pitch:  A recovering alcoholic tries to repair her relationship with her wayward teen daughter by making amends with her recovering addict mother.  They won't be offended by the underaged-sex jokes because a woman is saying them.  From the mind of money-printing machine Chuck Lorre. 

Dads, Fox.  The pitch:  Two actors fart on critics and minorities, and there is a baby or maybe two.  From the mind of money-printing machine Seth MacFarland. 

Brothers, ABC.  The pitch:  In this remake of Diff'rent Strokes, African-American parents adopt a troubled white teen and his precocious brother.  Catch phrase:  "Kindly elaborate, Willis!"  From the mind of money-printing machine Steve Levitan. 

Les Cousins Dangereaux, Netflix.  The pitch:  He is American, she is French.  They love, but the love, it is forbidden.  It makes other cousins uncomfortable in their trousers.  From the mind of money-printing machine Darren Starr from a concept by Mitch Hurwitz. 

$ecret Grandfather, Fox. The pitch: Scripted reality where grandparents go undercover to see if their grandchildren are good people. If they are, the show will give them an "inheritance." If they're not, the audience will root for them to fail. From the mind of whatever money-printing machine brought you Undercover Boss and Wife Swap.

Say Uncle, Fox.  The pitch:  Hulk Hogan goes back to middle school, where he is in the same grade as his nephew.  It turns out that the nephew and his friends are the bullies, and Hulk is befriended by the nerds.  From the mind of money-printing machine Gerry Marshall. 

Aunt Sister, CW.  The pitch: Two stepsisters feud when one marries the other one's wealthy uncle.  Everybody revenges each other backstabbingly.  From the mind of money-printing machine Mike or David E. Kelley. 
ITLL BE CONTROVERSIAL, ID THINK:  Just in time for todays National Punctuation Day, James Harbeck thinks its time to kill the nations use of the apostrophe, though I believe well just be more confused as a result.

Monday, September 23, 2013

GETTIN' FUNKY'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT: As part of his continuing quest to claim the title of King of Pop, Justin Timberlake covered "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground" for the BBC.
HA, I KILL ME!  The producers of the Smurfs movies have signed a deal with the folks who own the rights to 80s sitcom ALF, and plan to make a live-action/CGI movie based on the property. 
THIS IS AN ACTUAL BUSINESS?  I THOUGHT VACUUM CLEANER WAS A TERM OF ART:  There's so much good analysis of Breaking Bad out there, I won't try do add much.  Except: the shot of Walter White hacking out a lung in the dark next to a fluffy pink bit of insulation -- what I think is more or less the color of a healthy lung -- was really inspired.  A couple of other thoughts in the comments.  Spoilers for certain.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

WHERE'S THE MUSICAL NUMBER? We're not covering the Emmys live tonight, but I figure folks may want to comment.  Here's a thread.