Call it a win for those of us who had to listen to friends self-righteously claim to “not own a TV” for years, knowing all this time that what they really meant is that they were watching on their laptops. Read More
Sure, you need to start binge-watching House of Cards so you can spend the entire weekend just going to fucking town on season two, and it’s always a good time to catch up on Quality Programming, but as we all stumble through this snowy Hellmouth together, let’s just take a moment and consider our options. Maybe this stuff isn’t a good idea after all.
The Year Observed
There is this place Times Scare, on 42nd Street, that bills itself as an all-year haunted house. As if that’s a good thing! You know what we normally give houses that are haunted 365 days a year? No, not cash. An exorcism. We give those houses an exorcism.
Anyway, Times Scare is the worst place to walk by on, say, a cold January evening, because occasionally these horrible clown creatures with Rob Zombie makeup will just pop out of nowhere and start laughing maniacally in your face. And, again, this is in the middle of Times Square at five p.m. on a Monday, so there is no reason why a normal human reaction wouldn’t be to mace these people in their goddamn stupid clown faces. No jury in the world would convict you.
This is all to say that I hate, I HATE, I HATE getting scare-pranked. It’s so fucking dumb. It has its time in place in October, when its appropriate to be water-boarded for spooks and giggles, but the rest of the year, leave me alone. To that end, I am boycotting the rest of this season’s The Walking Dead, which had some recent “viral” promotion where it dressed people as zombies and hid them under New York City grates.
Even as we’re living in an extended Golden Age of television, 2013 marked a banner year. Comedies were funnier, dramas were better written and acted, and production values soared, as competition for viewership forced networks (and new players like Netflix) to up the content ante. So how did programs stand out from the crowded field this year? By having explosive, balls-to-the-wall, Keyser Soze-level plot twists, of course. Here (spoiler alert!) are the episodes that sent us—and so many others—scurrying to Twitter, armed with an opinion and our favorite shows’ hashtags.
As Seen On TV
Zombie killers, warriors, carjackers and puzzle solvers gathered last week for the ultimate nerd summit: the 2nd Annual New York Videogame Critics Circle Awards.
The event, held at the Pfizer Auditorium at the NYU Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, was well attended by bald men in thick-framed glasses and suit jackets, plus serious male and Read More
Celebrities give back
On Sunday night, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were making history as the first two women to successfully elbow out a male host for the Golden Globes, audiences took in an unprecedented display of girl power. With Lena Dunham winning for Best Actress in a Comedy, Girls taking Best Comedy, and Julianne Moore winning for Game Change, we trumpeted a new era … one in which women could not only captivate an audience but do so with an unlikable protagonist. (Hannah Horvath is no Tony Soprano, but she can be plenty unappealing at times.)
Many of the night’s other nominees, including the stars of Veep and Nashville, fit into the same category, as did the un-nominated (but still there in spirit) Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie, Laura Linney in The Big C and Laura Dern in the criminally under-watched Enlightened, which premiered its second season this week. This last is perhaps the best example of these hard-to-watch heroines, with Ms. Dern playing the most delusional, self-righteous and self-martyring female antihero ever to traipse through premium cable.
It was a great night for rude, crude, progressive women. Unfortunately, it was an even better night for Bad Men.
As Seen On TV
If you still haven’t picked out the perfect stocking stuffer for the guy (or gal!) who has everything, mosey over to CharityBuzz.com, an auction site that is currently offering a holiday-themed assortment of goodies. Its celebrity auctions are particularly spectacular. Who wouldn’t want David Lynch reading their screenplay, or Jennifer Egan to Skype into their book club? (Don’t even get us started on the two-hour date with Academy Award nominee James Cromwell.)
Have you noticed that in the last several years, most of the “brilliant” TV shows on AMC, Showtime and HBO star these dangerous, psychopathic anti-heroes? From Dexter to Don Draper, Nick Brody to Rick Grimes, Walter White to the ultimate don, Tony Soprano, one gets the sense that while the rest of American culture is taking one step forward on progressive women’s rights issues, our beloved TV shows are moving us two steps back.
And what’s weird is how we love these horrible men. “I’m such a Carrie” no longer refers to the ultimate Bradshaw, but the bipolar Claire Danes on Homeland … the kind of gal who falls in love with a terrorist, despite the fact that he ends up subjecting her to electro-shock therapy treatments after they have sex. And they are still in love, or something! How sexy is that, ladies?
But wait, it gets worse…
Oh happy days! After months of Dish subscribers having to go without their favorite programming from AMC, IFC, and the Sundance Channel, viewers were able to finally tune in right in time to catch the second episode of the former Cablevision subsidiary’s hit zombie show, The Walking Dead.
Which begs the question: Why now?
If you hear Comic-Con and think “Ain’t It Cool talkbacker,” then it might be time to recalibrate that air of superiority. The ‘Con — as some nerds call it; ahem — has become a mid-summer Mecca for all things pop culture. Put it this way: James Cameron screened 25 minutes of Avatar there last summer Read More