All posts filed under: TV

Brief Thoughts on Netflix & Other Streaming Services

In a recent interview with Vulture, Quentin Tarantino voiced his opposition to streaming on a small screen: “It’s just a generational thing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not depressed by it. The idea that somebody’s watching my movie on a phone, that’s very depressing to me.” Though I believe that nothing trumps absorbing a film in a dark theater with your loved ones sharing the experience with you, or even just alone, it seems that having the chance to watch at home has fortified our ever-evolving relationship with media. We can now watch movies or shows in bed, on a plane, or in a car. One could argue that this new way of watching has destroyed the experience a little (and the intentions of the medium itself), and maybe that’s true, but one could also assert that it has strengthened the relationship between the viewer and what they’re viewing. Accessibility and intimacy has revolutionized media. Our role as audience members is less formal, and in many ways more powerful. We consume in a manner that has muscled its way into our day-to-day life. Watching something …

Celebrating Stewart – The End of an Era

With Jon Stewart’s reign at The Daily Show coming to an end tonight, it’s time to celebrate the man whose cultural influence knows no bounds. After taking over The Daily Show in 1999 (previously hosted by Craig Kilborn), Stewart went on to create a new type of news series. The Daily Show may be a comedic weeknight show, but above all, it’s critical commentary. In filling the role of Daily Show host – a role seemingly created for Stewart – he made the news entertaining. The result was attainable social and political critique, which has changed the way millions of Americans will consume their news forever. Aside from his obvious comedic and journalistic influence, Stewart has launched the careers of countless comedians including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms, and Kristen Schaal, among others. As a result of their popularity on The Daily Show, three of his correspondents went on to host their own shows: Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, John Oliver of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Larry Wilmore of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Aside from Saturday Night Live, can you think of …

Countdown to ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Wet Hot American Summer. It was a wet, hot, Tucson summer, and my friends and I decided to check out this movie we had never heard of that was playing at a cult classics screening at The Loft Cinema, a southern Arizona staple. Earlier in the day I glanced at the film’s IMDb page (what a cast!) and watched the trailer, and in that moment, I knew I had found my newest comedic obsession. Needless to say, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. Now I try to watch WHAS at least once a year, and I’ve subsequently also fallen in love with David Wain/Michael Showalter’s newest gem, They Came Together. So when I heard WHAS was going to be made into a Netflix Original Series, I was BEYOND ECSTATIC. Anyhoo, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp premieres on Netflix tomorrow. I’m going to be out-of-town for the weekend, but as soon as I return, I’m diving right in. I don’t want to binge too hard, because I enjoy savoring a show, but we’ll see how my attempts …

My Favorite TV Intros of All Time

In no specific order, here are a few of my favorite TV intros of all time. Be sure to share some of your favorites in the comment section below! Freaks and Geeks If you haven’t seen Freaks and Geeks yet, I advise you do so, because it’s a spectacularly fun show. How the hell did it only last one season? Anyways, this intro is great because it succinctly introduces each of the main characters to the audience, and shares a little bit about them based on how they react to the experience. The music is awesome, the premise is great, and above all, James Franco’s moment is magical. Portlandia No TV show intro makes me happier than Portlandia‘s. Prior to watching Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s series I had been a fan of Washed Out for a while, so when I first watched the show and heard “Feel it All Around” as the featured theme, I was ecstatic. I’ve only spent a couple of days in Portland, but from what I remember, Portlandia‘s intro captures the essence of the city perfectly. House of Cards …

LA Film Fest ’15: Diversity Speaks

Last weekend I attended two of the Diversity Speaks panels the LA Film Fest. I made it to the second half of Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley‘s Q & A session, moderated by Elvis Mitchell, and was available for the entire Diversity in Primetime panel featuring Wendy Calhoun (writer/co-executive producer, Empire), Gail Lerner (writer/co-executive producer, Black-ish), Andrea Navedo (actor, Jane the Virgin), Randall Park (actor, Fresh Off the Boat), and Our Lady J (writer, Transparent). Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from the event: John Ridley was asked what it’s like to work in a biased industry that promotes racial stereotypes, and if he feels that by working in Hollywood he is somehow supporting the negative aspects of the industry. His response? Bias is everywhere, but it’s his duty to tell these stories. Since John Ridley wrote my favorite film of 2013 (12 Years a Slave), I definitely “fan-girled” a little bit in his presence, but luckily I was capable of internalizing those feelings. Listening to Ridley, it was impressive just how incredibly smart and well spoken he is. I really don’t think you …

David Lynch is Returning to ‘Twin Peaks’ & I’m Nerding Out

As a somewhat recent Twin Peaks fan, I feel as though I shouldn’t be as attached to the story and characters as I am, but alas, I cannot control my feelings. The show hooked me and I love it. I had a feeling that Lynch would return after Showtime saw the uproar caused by his decision to leave. The fans have spoken, and presumably Showtime is offering up a bigger budget for the show. Dear Twitter Friends, the rumors are not what they seem ….. It is !!!Happening again. #TwinPeaks returns on @SHO_Network — David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) May 16, 2015 But whatever it was that caused Lynch to return, I’m thrilled. In many ways, I feel like a “Twin Peaks” reboot wouldn’t be right without weird twists and turns in the process of getting it made. David Lynch’s work is so much about the experience of feeling a specific mood and tone, and without him at the helm of the show, it just wouldn’t be the same. YAY 2016. I can’t wait to see where the wonderful and strange story will lead us to …

David Lynch is Leaving the ‘Twin Peaks’ Reboot

When I heard yesterday’s news that David Lynch is leaving the Twin Peaks reboot, I was devastated. That may sound extreme, but I was seriously looking forward to seeing where he would take the story in this new season. As you may recall from my previous post, ‘Twin Peaks’ is Returning, I watched Twin Peaks for the first time this past year and fell absolutely in love with the story and characters. The ending to the second season was so very incomplete (due to ABC pulling the plug after the second season finale, removing the chance of having a proper series finale) and like many other fans, I wanted to know what happened to everyone within the story world! Fire Walk with Me just wasn’t enough to satisfy my appetite for more. How is it that TV can feel this important to one’s personal life? Lynch shared on Twitter that the reason he left the project was because not enough money was offered to do the script the way he wanted it to be done, and I don’t blame him. …

Exploring Gender & Race On-Screen

When I graduated in 2013 and started this blog, I began to watch films more critically and evaluate them with a strict sense of what a film is meant to do. Some films are meant to make us laugh – others make us think – most make us feel. But what I believe all films should do is reflect our world accurately. A futuristic sci-fi should not feature a cast of one race. Romantic comedies should not only be about women fighting for the love of a man. Period pieces should not soften facts to appease the masses. No matter how fantastical the story is, I believe the filmmaker – as a cultural influencer – has the duty of doing their best to accurately reflect our culture in some way or another. Most directly, this means making diverse casting choices and writing scripts to support these roles. According to the New York Film Academy, women make up only 30.8% of speaking roles in films to this day, which is absolutely not reflective of the world’s female population. This past year, …

Standout Performances of the Year

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite performances of the year based on what films and television shows I watched in 2014. What performances stood out to you this year? Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up) → Although Get on Up had its flaws, Chadwick Boseman’s performance as James Brown was practically flawless. I believe he deserves an Oscar nomination, but unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) → Ralph Fiennes is delightful as Mr. Gustave H. I could watch The Grand Budapest Hotel an infinite amount of times and never get tired of his dapper and charming character. Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) → Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey, so he’s basically amazing in anything and everything, but there’s something special about his role as Frank Underwood. When he breaks the fourth wall and talks to you in that smooth southern accent, it’s awfully scary and spectacular. Reese Witherspoon (Wild) → Reese Witherspoon is a great actress and truly takes the audience somewhere deep and personal in Wild. Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective”) → Rust Cohle is possibly the most dark …

‘Twin Peaks’ Is Returning

Twin Peaks first premiered on ABC in 1990, just a year before I was born. Nearly two decades later, during film school, one of my professors gave a lecture on the series and how it impacted network TV. I was intrigued. Once it became available on Netflix I decided to take the plunge and what I discovered was both wildly strange and completely magical. David Lynch and Mark Frost’s creation was unique, fascinating, and ahead of its time. For me, Twin Peaks embodied the oddness of life with its own bizarre Lynchian twist. Much like Blue Velvet, the series presented a small town that looked quaint and perfect on the outside, but once its facade was peeled back its dark and menacing interior was exposed. Last night I finished season two of Twin Peaks and was immediately disappointed that there wasn’t more. Because the season finale wasn’t written to be a series finale (it was unexpectedly cancelled prior to season 3), so many questions were left unanswered, and goodness I wanted more. But in an unusual turn of events, I woke up this morning to see …