Saturday, May 17, 2014

OVERANALYZING GIANT MONSTER MOVIES: So, I saw Godzilla last night, and yes, it features all the giant monster destruction you could ever ask for, gorgeously photographed and staged, but a few plot questions (which are spoiler-y, and thus, after the break):

Friday, May 16, 2014

WHAT'S UP WITH THAT? As the transitional and--let's face it--lackluster season of SNL wraps up tomorrow night with the return of Ras Trent, Uproxx lays down the odds on which cast member Lorne is likely to axe this summer, with the biggest surprise being the 8-1 chance they give 11-year vet Keenan Thompson of having enough time on his schedule to finally make that Good Burger sequel we've been clamoring for.
WONDER TWINS, POWERS ACTIVATE!  Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz are collaborating on a book, to be published in Spring 2016, "that will examine various [tv] series while chronicling the six-decade history of the medium."  Alan explains:
The book (we are still figuring out a title) will be a series of essays on the best and most important American TV shows in the medium's history: "I Love Lucy" to "30 Rock," or "Playhouse 90" to "Breaking Bad." If you're a film buff, you can think of it as a TV take on "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film." If you're a sports nerd, it's us doing the TV take on "The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract" or Bill Simmons' "The Book of Basketball." 
It's going to be all-original writing (although, as with "The Revolution Was Televised," some of the opinions expressed will be ones you've read from one or both of us in the past). Some essays will be long, some short (my goal is to find the TV criticism equivalent of James' explanation of Don Mattingly: "100 percent ballplayer, zero percent bullshit."), some will be sweeping overviews of the series in question, while others will focus on one small aspect of them. (With "St. Elsewhere," for instance, I might just write about the Tommy Westphall/snow globe ending and the persistent phenomenon of creatively adventurous series somehow infuriating their audiences by remaining adventurous to the very end.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

SO LIKE YOUR CLIENT, THE FACTS OF THE CLAIM WON'T, QUITE, FLY:  SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein, as part of his day job, pens a nastygram in response to a threat to sue over an unusual injury.  HT: Ted.
SERGIO!  Oakland Athletics slugger Josh Reddick has new walk-up music.
WHAT WE'LL BE TALKING ABOUT FOR THE NEXT YEAR:  Now that all the networks have announced their schedules for the next season, time to talk.  This season, we have not one, but two, shows that seem to be aimed directly at the ALOTT5MA audience:

  • How To Get Away With Murder--From Executive Producer (and friend of ALOTT5MA) Shonda Rhimes comes a series about law students at an elite school in Philadelphia and their relationship with a criminal law professor (Viola Davis), who get tied up in a murder plot.  Also featuring Liza Weil from Gilmore Girls as a smart-ass TA, and sounds like The Paper Chase crossed with The Secret History.  (ABC, Thursdays at 10/9 Central)
  • Galavant--A musical fairytale parody with original songs from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (Tangled), from writer Dan Fogelman (Tangled, Crazy Stupid Love, and, less promisingly, The Neighbors), about a bold knight who lost the love of his life to the evil king, but who's now trying to reclaim his reputation.  Bonus points for Timothy Omundson (late of Psych) as the Evil King.  (ABC, Midseason, Sundays at 8/7 Central, filling between arcs of Once Upon A Time).
Anything else you're really excited about?  Anything you're ready to break up with now?  (I'm on the verge with Once Upon A Time, though interesting casting for the new character introduced in the final shot of the finale could save it from the axe.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MAKE THIS HAPPEN:  So if Neil Patrick Harris is interested in doing a network variety show, and Maya Rudolph is testing one out next week on NBC ... do we want them to collaborate, or to have each helm a separate show?

[The NPH article says that he was also asked by CBS brass if the Late Show was "was something I'd be interested in doing," and he wasn't.]
THREECHUM:  Beau Willimon answers some questions, and dodges others, regarding season two of House of Cards. This response is priceless:
Kevin Spacey tells a great story, and you have to imagine him doing this in Bill Clinton’s accent, which he mimics perfectly. He was talking to President Clinton about the show, and President Clinton professed to be a fan, and he said, [in a Bill Clinton impersonation] “You know, Kevin, 99 percent of House of Cards is accurate. The one percent that’s not accurate is that you can never pass an education bill that fast.”
HOMER, I HAVE TO GO OUT TO PICK UP SOMETHING FOR DINNER:  How to cook a steak indoors on a cast-iron skillet, and apparently I've been doing it wrong.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

AND SO YOU SHALL, YOU OLD-FASHIONED BOY: I've mentioned this anecdote before, but now there's video online of Dick Cavett recounting a story as only he can, of the night Chico Marx met Tallulah Bankhead.
WE NEED TO RESHOOT THAT. I GOT SHOT IN THE F---ING CHEST, AND THERE'S NO SCAR:  Fifteen years ago this month, NBC unveiled The West Wing during upfronts. Its creators and stars tell some stories to The Hollywood Reporter, some of which you know (Eugene Levy! CCH Pounder!) and some you may not:
JOSHUA MALINA (WILL BAILEY, DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR): I read that Rob Lowe was thinking about leaving, and I really needed a job. I sent [Aaron] an email, the contents of which basically were: "What about a less well-known, less good-looking actor who would work for less money?" It was shameless, but to my surprise, Aaron's response suggested that he had already talked to Schlamme about the idea. I drove to meet him at the Four Seasons for lunch, and he said, "Here's the character I'm thinking of for you."

Monday, May 12, 2014

THIS IS ABOUT TO BE A BLOG POSTING, AND THAT BLOG POSTING DEALS WITH THIS:  Jay Jackson, who you likely know better as Perd Hapley, talks about how he became television's favorite fake newscaster.
THAT RHYMES WITH P, AND THAT STANDS FOR POOL:  Apparently, at upfronts this morning, NBC announced that after Peter Pan: Live!, their next live musical will be The Music Man.  For once, NPH/Anne Hathaway is actually plausible, but let's try and be a little more innovative.  (Cristin Milioti as Marian, especially since she's got an NBC sitcom in the fall?)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

CHEWBACCALAUREATE:  A Mother's Day weekend tradition unlike any other, which we've covered since our beginning, the 2014 University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt concludes today. Here's the list of items and tasks, including:

  • Max Weber Grillz. [1 point]
  • It sucks that the Mummer's Parade is always getting canceled. Let's make it more durable by combining it with another Philadelphia tradition: the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Your `Fancy' Kinetic Sculpture Mummer ought to walk, not roll, but it need not be bipedal. Otherwise, it should adhere to the Derby's rules. Points for functionality and decoration. [175 points] 
  • An eggplant boat that can carry at least one vegetable passenger. It should be propelled by a mechanism (sails, engine, etc.) that uses at least one vegetal component. [6 points]
  • I've had the Scav of my life, and I owe it all to you. In particular, your ability to perform the Dirty Dancing lift. [3 points. 5 points if you put Baby in a corner and lift the Judge instead]