Posts tagged ‘TV Show’

November 3, 2015

Quite Interesting

stephen fry by andrew waugh

QI (‘Quite Interesting’) is a British television quiz show hosted by comedian Stephen Fry. There are four contestants in each show, of whom one is always stand-up comic Alan Davies. Most of the questions are extremely obscure, making it unlikely that the correct answer will be given. To compensate, points are awarded not only for right answers, but also for interesting ones, regardless of whether they are right or even relate to the original question.

QI has stated it follows a philosophy: everything in the world, even that which appears to be the most boring, is ‘quite interesting’ if looked at in the right way.

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February 13, 2015

Black Mirror

national anthem

brb

Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by English broadcaster Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Regarding the program’s content and structure, Brooker noted, ‘each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.’

He explained the series’ title to ‘The Guardian,’ noting: ‘If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side-effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where ‘Black Mirror,’ my new drama series, is set. The ‘black mirror’ of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.’ The first series has been acclaimed as being innovative and shocking with twists-in-the-tale reminiscent of ‘The Twilight Zone.’ ‘The Daily Telegraph’ described the first episode as ‘a shocking but ballsy, blackly comic study of the modern media. A reporter from ‘The Beijing News’ thought the show was ‘an apocalypse of modern world,’ ‘desperate but profound.’

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October 31, 2013

Yule Log

yule log

‘The Yule Log‘ is a TV program which is broadcast traditionally on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, originally by NYC television station WPIX but now by many other Tribune Company-owned television stations, including WGN America. A radio simulcast of the musical portion was broadcast by associated station WPIX-FM (now WFAN-FM) until 1988. The program, which has been two to four hours in duration (without commercial interruption), is a film loop of a yule log burning in a fireplace, with a traditional soundtrack of classic Christmas music.

The concept was created in 1966 by Fred M. Thrower, President and CEO of WPIX, Inc. Inspired by an animated Coca-Cola commercial a year earlier that showed Santa Claus at a fireplace, he envisioned this program as a televised Christmas gift to New Yorkers who lived in apartments and homes without fireplaces. This also provided time for employees of the television station to stay home with their families, instead of working for the usual morning news program.

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September 26, 2013

The Adventures of Pete & Pete

pete & pete

The Adventures of Pete & Pete‘ was an American children’s television series produced by Wellsville Pictures and broadcast by Nickelodeon than ran from 1993 to 1996. The show featured humorous and surreal elements in its narrative, and many recurring themes centered on two brothers both named Pete Wrigley, and their various interactions with family, friends, and enemies.

The show was created by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi and began as minute-long shorts in 1989 that aired in between regular programs. Owing to the popularity of the shorts, five half-hour specials were made, followed by a regular half-hour series.

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May 24, 2013

Yo Gabba Gabba!

yo gabba gabba by Brandon Bird

Yo Gabba Gabba! is an American children’s television show that airs on the Nick Jr. cable network. Created by Christian Jacobs (lead singer of the Aquabats) and Scott Schultz, the series premiered in 2007.

Popular artists appearing on the show include The Killers, Jimmy Eat World, Solange Knowles, Devo, Of Montreal, Chromeo, My Chemical Romance, Weezer, The Roots, MGMT, Jack Black, Tony Hawk, Elijah Wood, and The Ting Tings. Among the varied animation sequences during the show is ‘Super Martian Robot Girl,’ designed by indie cartoonists Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. The toy models of the characters that appear at the beginning and end of each show were made by designer toy firm Kidrobot.

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March 22, 2013

Xavier: Renegade Angel

Renegade Angel

Xavier: Renegade Angel‘ is a 2007 American CGI fantasy-comedy television series created by John Lee, Vernon Chatman, Jim Tozzi and Alyson Levy. Lee and Chatman are also the creators of ‘Wonder Showzen.’ The show was produced by PFFR, with animation by Cinematico. It premiered on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. ‘Xavier’ features a style characterized by a nonlinear, incoherent plot following the humorous musings of an itinerant humanoid pseudo-shaman and spiritual seeker named Xavier.

The show is known for its ubiquitous use of ideologically-critical black comedy, surrealist and absurdist humor presented through a psychedelic, New Age lens. The program is also normally rated TV-MA for intense, graphic, often bloody violence (V), as well as strong sexual content, use of racially/ethnically offensive language, grotesque depictions and content that is considered ‘too morbid and too incomprehensible for young viewers.’

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March 18, 2013

Kung Faux

Assemblage

Kung Faux is a 2003 critically acclaimed action comedy television series and audio visual art assemblage created by postmodern revisionist Michael ‘Mic’ Neumann that remixes classic kung fu movies with popular music, comic book style editing with video game style special effects, and new storylines with voice-overs dubbed by contemporary art stars, hip hop personalities, and pop culture icons. ‘Revisionist Mic Neumann has an offering worthy of the Postmodernism canon, alongside Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Weekend’ and Luis Bunuel’s ‘Chien Andalou,” reported Steve Johnston of ‘The Film Cynics.’

Notable visuals, music and voice-over work was performed by the likes of hip-hop artists De La Soul, Guru, Masta Ace, and Queen Latifah, while other ‘Kung Faux’ artists and performers range from underground to legendary, and contemporary, including Dave Kinsey, KAWS, Steve Powers, break dancer Crazy Legs, Elephant Man, Afrika Bambaataa, Biz Markie, Jean Grae, Roc Raida, Sadat X, Ron van Clief and Harold Hunter.

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March 7, 2013

The Trap

Adam Curtis

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom’ is a 2007 BBC documentary series by English filmmaker Adam Curtis, well known for other documentaries including ‘The Century of the Self’ and ‘The Power of Nightmares.’

The series consists of three one-hour programs which explore the concept and definition of freedom, specifically, ‘how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today’s idea of freedom.’

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November 28, 2012

Recess

Joe Ansolabehere

Recess is an American animated television series created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere (credited as ‘Paul and Joe’) and produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. The series focuses on six elementary school students and their interaction with other classmates and teachers.

The title refers to the period of time during the school day in which children are not in lessons and are outside in the schoolyard, in North American society. One of the main features of the series is how the children form their own society, complete with government and a class structure, set against the backdrop of a regular school.

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August 22, 2012

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Mama June

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is an American reality series that debuted on TLC in 2012. It is a spinoff of ‘Toddlers & Tiaras,’ based around T&T contestant Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson and her family, who reside in rural McIntyre, Georgia. The series follows the Thompsons, focusing on the daily interactions between the family members and mother June’s attempts to enter Alana into beauty pageants. Other focal points in the series are the teen pregnancy of eldest daughter Anna, Jessica’s attempts to lose weight, as well as visits to the Redneck Games and auctions.

The ‘A.V. Club’ called the first episodes a ‘horror story posing as a reality television program,’ with others worrying about potential child exploitation. A reviewer for ‘Forbes’ criticized TLC as trying to ‘portray Alana’s family as a horde of lice-picking, lard-eating, nose-thumbing hooligans south of the Mason-Dixon line,’ stating that ‘it falls flat, because there’s no true dysfunction here, save for the beauty pageant stuff.’ ‘The Guardian’ also criticized the attempt to portray the Thompsons as something to ‘point and snicker at,’ saying, ‘none of the women or girls who participate in the show seems to hate themselves for their poverty, their weight, their less-than-urbane lifestyle, or the ways in which they diverge from the socially-acceptable beauty standard.’

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August 3, 2012

Dennō Coil

Mitsuo Iso

Dennō Coil (literally ‘Electric Brain Coil’) is a Japanese anime television series depicting a near future where semi-immersive augmented reality (AR) technology has just begun to enter the mainstream. The series takes place in the fictional city of Daikoku, a hotbed of AR development with an emerging city-wide virtual infrastructure.

It follows a group of children as they use AR glasses to unravel the mysteries of the half real, half Internet city, using a variety of illegal software tools, techniques, and virtual pets to manipulate the digital landscape. The show was in development for over a decade, and was the directorial debut of Japanese animator Mitsuo Iso. It premiered on NHK Educational TV in 2007.

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July 4, 2012

The Show with No Name

Ephemera

The Show With No Name was a long-running and highly popular Public-access television cable TV show in Austin, Texas, hosted by Charlie Sotelo and the mysterious ‘Cinco.’ Each show featured clips of TV, film and music ephemera along with commentary by the hosts and calls from a predictably unruly Public-access television audience.

The clips were usually video snippets that captured a crazy moment of ephemeral history, such as Ed McMahon drunk on ‘The Tonight Show,’ an early live TV appearance by Frank Zappa playing the bicycle and other found instruments, or the famously disastrous Andy Kaufman appearance on ‘Fridays’ (ABC’s weekly late-night live comedy show). Often they were obscure cult favorites only circulated underground, such as ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot,’ the profane bloopers of an actor in a Winnebago sales video, or Corey Haim’s ‘Me, Myself, and I.’ Many other clips simply presented a zeitgeist gone by: a trailer for an Akira Kurosawa or Sam Peckinpah film, a Bill Hicks comedy set, or Bob Dylan appearing on the Johnny Cash show.

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