Posts tagged "TV"
The Messy Truth of the Axe Effect

The Messy Truth of the Axe Effect

Before the early 2000’s, the mention of the word “axe” conjured up visions of heavily bearded, weapon wielding men; men who were cloaked in bright red, pre-hipsterdom flannel, the kind of flannel that a man could wear while walking through a forest of ten foot tall thorn bushes and come out unscathed. Maybe hearing the word would even force out an occasional banshee like “TIMBER!” scream. But now, the word axe, attacks a different sense. It brings back the toxic smells of an overly fumigated high school boy’s locker room. Or, if you are a girl, the scent of that…

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Doctor Who, Vincent van Gogh, and the Limits of Future Hope

Doctor Who, Vincent van Gogh, and the Limits of Future Hope

With the recent wave of BBC programs appearing on PBS (Downton Abbey, The Hour, Mr. Bean) it’s somewhat surprising that the 49 year old mainstay Doctor Who hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity. With time travel, aliens, and revisiting historical events, what’s not to like? Either way, this is a major oversight.

But I digress… a quick summary of the show’s premise and plot. The Doctor is a time traveler who has made it his mission to protect Earth from the multitude of extraterrestrials who threaten humanity, both in the past and future. Helping him in this quest is his the adventurous…

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The Beautiful Ugliness of HBO: A Conference Breakout

The Beautiful Ugliness of HBO: A Conference Breakout

I don’t wanna just survive. It’s says in these movie writing books that every character has an arc. Understand?…Everybody starts out somewheres. And they do something, something gets done to them and it changes their life. That’s called an arc. Where’s my arc? 

-Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos

HBO’s wild success in premium television belies an underlying sophistication in everything from writing, to editing, to photography. Perhaps the network’s most striking accomplishment is how down-to-earth its characters and plotting tend to be, while still retaining their series’ impressively novelistic scale. HBO seems to understand how deep the human obsession with “arced” narratives of…

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God Is My Co-Pilot

Give Up, Charlie Sheen!

Give Up, Charlie Sheen!

But alas, the exhortation to “give up” does not engender the ability, nor the desire, to “give up.”

We’ve posted bits and pieces on Charlie Sheen’s very public, very unfortunate meltdown before, but one might argue that Thursday the “bottoming out process” began. CBS has halted production on Sheen’s successful TV show, Two-and-a-Half-Men, in response to Sheen’s recent disastrous radio interview. Sheen attacked, among other things, the show’s producer, Alcoholics Anonymous, and, of course, Thomas Jefferson? As Sheen publicly tailspins, he becomes a public example of the bound will we all wrestle with day-in and day-out. Some moments…

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Graham Schuyler and Churches for the Sake of Others

The convergence of two of our favorite things: Friday Night Lights… and Graham Schuyler:

Sweet Emotion on American Idol?

Sweet Emotion on American Idol?

Not being a huge American Idol person, or post-Rocks Aerosmith fan, everything in Jon Caramanica’s article in this past Sunday’s NY Times, “Steven Tyler Escapes From Idolatry,” was news to me. Those of you who’ve seen the episode in question can tell us whether it was indeed a lightning-striking instance of grace on TV or a carefully played media-moment (or both, as the article suggests). But there’s an unmistakeable note of Nazareth here – in regards to Mr. Tyler, that is – of folks being caught seriously off guard by his charisma/character/kindness, of their preconceptions being exposed for what they…

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Control: A Conference Primer

Control: A Conference Primer

“Mother, I tried, please believe meI’m doing the best I can,I’m ashamed of the things I’ve been put through,I’m ashamed of the person I am.Isolation, Isolation, Isolation.”

When Sam Riley, as Joy Division’s tragic lead singer Ian Curtis, drones out these lyrics in Corbijn’s 2007 film, Control, he’s sequestered to a recording room padded off from his bandmates. The movie audience can only hear a muffled shadow of the band’s music—it really just sounds like he’s singing by himself—and it sort of feels like he feels that way, too. In a film entitled Control, which seems to appropriately converse with the…

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My Mom Lied to Me

You probably heard it when you were a kid, too: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Our moms said this so that the merciless taunts might be forgotten. Though well-meaning, it’s just not true. A good friend, and frequent contributor to this blog, once amended the platitude: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will [expletive] up my life forever.”

Exhibit A consists of the many wounds we all still carry from all the times we’ve been derided, scorned, excluded, and shunned. Witness Exhibit B:

That was…

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Mindfulness Therapy and The Quicksand of Internal Judgment

Mindfulness Therapy and The Quicksand of Internal Judgment

Fantastic article in today’s Wall Street Journal about the new “wave” of cognitive-behavioral therapy known as mindfulness. Its understanding of the counterproductive power of (internal) judgment is pretty darn eerie. Not only that, but as a school of thought, it appears to recognize the futility of information as a change agent, as well as the essentially passive nature of true self-improvement. In fact, if you can get beyond the slight New Age can-do bent in the language, mindfulness might well represent the next step in a Law/Gospel approach to psychotherapy. But don’t take my word for it (ht WDR):

Even people…

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JAZ’s Faves of 2010

JAZ’s Faves of 2010

A quick wracking of the brain brings these picks to mind (in alphabetical order):

Films:

The Book of Eli. On the bible: “Don’t you see? It’s not a book, it’s a weapon!”Get Low. Love Robert Duvall! Deep, moving, forgiveness and the lack of it, telling the whole story once again. Plus, Bill Murray is so funny in this one.Inception. Thought it was awesome until I saw the south park episode about it.  I just hope the director had a correct answer to the end in mind.The Kids are Alright. Hilarious, thought-provoking, phenomenal acting.The Social Network. Eerie, smart, made me feel bad for…

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Some Favorite Christmas Entertainments

Some Favorite Christmas Entertainments

Some things I eagerly anticipate every Christmas:

Die HardNever was I happier than last year, Christmas 2009, when I came home from doing our final Christmas Eve service (probably around 11:45pm) to find my family wrapping presents and just starting Die Hard in my living room. Nothing puts me in the mood more than hearing Run-DMC starting “Christmas in Hollis” as De’voreaux White exclaims, “This IS Christmas music!” And then, of course, brilliance ensues. Villains are villainous, heroes are heroic, and the Nakatomi building is saved. Just the way Jesus would do it.

“The Night of the Meek”…

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No Laughing Allowed

No Laughing Allowed

OK, to be honest, I am a movie/TV nerd, and everything I know about football comes from watching Friday Night Lights. If you actually threw a football at me I’d be more likely to duck than catch it.

But I ran into this story over the weekend and would really love to hear what you folks at MB think about it. I walked away feeling so much for this guy, who is quarterback Derek Anderson for the Arizona Cardinals.

This is what happened, as far as I can tell. The Cardinals were getting hammered, it was the fourth quarter, they were down…

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Another Week Ends: Cyber Bullies, eBay, Glenn Beck, FUNdamentals, Madonna, TV roundup

Another Week Ends: Cyber Bullies, eBay, Glenn Beck, FUNdamentals, Madonna, TV roundup

1. A quick study in opposites: In an NPR story about the rise of cyber-bullying and public humiliation, “It’s Not the Web, It’s Us” sociologist C.J. Pascoe wisely states, ‘we shouldn’t place all the blame for [cyber-bully] actions on new technology. ‘I think the problem starts pre-technology, which is, what are the motivations we have in humiliating another person, and humiliating them sexually?’ she says. ‘That’s the issue we need to deal with, and then follow up with concerns about new media.’”.

The good people at ebay might beg to differ:

2. The NY Times Magazine ran a cover…

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Must-See TV, The Fourth Wall and Narcissism

Must-See TV, The Fourth Wall and Narcissism

From Mockingbird behind-the-scenes guru Jeff Dean:

It’s official: the fourth wall no longer exists in NBC’s Thursday night’s “must-see” line-up. The returning shows are the most flagrant examples. On Community, Abed constantly references what it means to be a sitcom. Thursday he critiqued the episode as a season premiere. 30 Rock is already a TV show about a TV show, and Thursday’s episode started with Tina Fey welcoming us to the fifth season. The Officeis filmed like a documentary. The first episode this season takes this even further when the already-aware-of-the-camera team decides to make a Lip Dub video for…

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