Friday, October 11, 2013

GOING YURCHENKO:  Given that every reality tv competition involving C-level celebrities learning a new physical skill has been a flop other than ballroom dancing (including diving, figure skating, military training, circus acts), why should we believe there's an audience for celebrity gymnastics?

Bring back Battle of the Network Stars already, and let Ty Burrell, Alyson Hannigan, Amy Poehler, and Andy Samberg captain for their respective networks. Much better.
THAT'S AGRI-TAINMENT!  A friendly reminder that the pumpkins at your local pick-your-own-pumpkin patch probably weren't grown there.  (There were still a handful on the vine at Johnson's Corner Farm last weekend, but the boxes of trucked-in pumpkins weren't even hidden in a barn we passed.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

[ASIDE TO CAMERA: "OBVIOUSLY, THIS IS A NEGOTIATING PLOY"]:  A House of Cards producer has suggested that its currently-filing second season will be its last, because “Kevin Spacey likes to do movies and Robin Wright likes to do movies.”
WORTHWHILE CANADIAN INITIATIVE:  Alice Munro has won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

added: Adam Sternbergh wonders whether Munro counts as the first Canadian to be so honored, given that Saul Bellow was born in Montreal and lived there until age 9.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE SECRET VOODOO HOUNFOUR?  Just as Marie Laveau comes back to public prominence (courtesy of an appearance in American Horror Story: Coven), they've announced that a remastered and slightly tweaked version of Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers, a consensus pick for one of the greatest computer graphic adventures of all time, will arrive next year for the game's 20th Anniversary.  If it sells well, more installments may follow.  (The third game was kind of a mess, but there's still a lot of story to be told.)
THE UNOFFICIAL HISTORIAN OF GREAT THINGS DONE BY WHITE MEN:  The Grantland team assembles their favorite Tom Hanks clips on YouTube.  (No Bosom Buddies? No Tom Hanks, Happy Days karate bully?)
BEAVIS' GRAMMAR RODEO:  Slate's new language correspondent Neil Whitman confronts the age-old question of what we actually mean when we're calling someone a dickhead, whether "someone whose entire being consists of the head of a dick OR someone who has a dick for a head."
LIKE, ROSIE FROM THE JETSONS?  Far be it from me to judge prematurely without the advantage of a script or a viewing of a pilot, but this upcoming NBC drama pilot about a fugitive robot in the near future being accused of murder** "who may hold the key to the future of human evolution, and the young female public defender forced to fight for his cause" may be about the dumbest f'n idea since Manimal.

** Not a 30 Rock spinoff.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

HOME OF TAX-FREE SHOPPING AND PUMPKIN CHUNKIN'  If each U.S. state were assigned an official sport, with no one version of a sport being employed twice, how would the map end up looking?

Monday, October 7, 2013

IT'S JUST LIKE RIDING A WIRE FENCE: Bryan Cranston will move on from playing an egotistical, lying schemer with complicated motives, whose hubris makes him responsible for unimaginable death and destruction (while reaping substantial financial rewards for his family through a series of convoluted plans in which his wife was often complicit), to playing Lyndon Johnson on Broadway.
"MIKE"? TRY "MR. WALLACE." WE WORK IN THE SAME CORPORATION; DOESN'T MEAN WE WORK IN THE SAME PROFESSION Christopher Plummer talks with the AV Club about his roles, including The Sound of Music: "[It's] become a great film. It’s just not my cup of tea. It was very difficult—very difficult—to play. To get rid of any hint of a sense of humor was hard stuff! We were walking on eggshells. But I do hope there was a twinkle sometimes."
NOT ONLY ON WEDNESDAYS:  Administrators at Vernon Center (CT) Middle School have banned students from quoting a certain GEICO ad, finding its current everpresence annoying and disruptive. Eugene Volokh to the rescue in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

BUT THE SPRINKLES CONTAIN POTASSIUM BENZOATE:  Fox's MLB playoffs coverage generally leaves the nation with two options: Treehouse of Horror almost a month before Halloween (2012-13) or the week after Halloween (2000-08, 2010). Am I alone in preferring the latter?

[Tonight: loved the Seuss, and the very last gag of the final act. Otherwise, meh.]