Recent Posts in TV

October 16, 2014

The Walking Dead

Couldn't make it in person to any of the PaleyFest events this week? You're in luck because they're all streaming live and archived online. The Wire cast reunion hits at 7:30pm EST tonight, and meanwhile you can already watch the ones with The Walking Dead, Bob's Burgers, Law & Order SVU, Archer, Modern Family and others.

October 14, 2014

Prince Rock

Says the press release:

Music icon Prince returns to the SNL stage on November 1st marking his third time as musical guest. The evening also marks former SNL cast member Chris Rock's return as host.

The November 1st performance promises to be one for the record books and will feature his band, 3RDEYEGIRL (Guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford Welton and bassist Ida Nielsen).

This is the first television performance from Prince since the release of his two chart-topping albums, ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM, on September 30th. ART OFFICIAL AGE, Prince's solo album, bowed in at #1 on Billboard's R&B Chart while PLECTRUMELECTRUM, featuring Prince's new band 3RDEYEGIRL, debuted at #1 on the Rock Chart, making Prince the first artist in over a decade to debut two albums in the Top 10 at the same time. The New York Times declared, "Prince at his best doesn't just collect and recreate genres; he smashes them together."
I do declare.

October 13, 2014

Chris C

Happy Columbus Day, to those who still believe in and celebrate the fake holiday.... that John Oliver hilariously dissected on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, as you can watch in the video below.

Meanwhile, Oliver has just announced he'll be performing at Beacon Theatre on January 30. Tickets go on sale Friday (10/17) at 9 AM with local and Chase cardmember presales starting Wednesday (10/15) at 10 AM.

Video below...

Continue reading "John Oliver wonders why Columbus Day is still a thing (watch), performing at Beacon Theatre in January"

photos by Chris La Putt

2014 New York Comic Con
2014 New York Comic Con
2014 New York Comic Con
2014 New York Comic Con

A record-breaking number of Spider-Men, Wonder Women and preteen titans crammed into the Javits Center for the four-day New York Comic Con -- many of them in their costumed finest.

Organizers expect the attendance to surpass 150,000 by the time the convention wraps up on Sunday.

"It's the worst day to wear body paint in the rain," Susan Li, 29, who was covered head-to-toe in pink as X-Men superhero Blink, said Saturday.

"But when you have some hardcore fan recognize you as your character, that makes the two hours of painting yourself worth it."

"It allows me to be who I am inside" Cici James, 30, who owns her own sci-fi bookstore, Singularity, in Brooklyn, said of the chance to dress up in her very form-fitting costume.

Queens resident Julian Keller, 22, spent more than 200 hours with his father to create the perfect General Zod costume, which would have made Superman do a double take. - [NY Daily News]

The 2014 NY Comic Con happened over the weekend, bringing record crowds (many of whom dressed for the occasion) to the event -- the NYC edition is finally starting to catch up to San Diego. (It's still got a long ways to go, attendance-wise. UPDATE: actually, nevermind) We've got a set of pictures from NYCC in this post, but even more and larger versions are up on BV's Facebook for those who really want to geek-out.

More (smaller ones) below...

Continue reading "pics from New York Comic Con 2014"

October 9, 2014

by Bill Pearis

Hooks (left) with fellow Sweeney sister, Nora Dunn
Jan Hooks

It's been a tough year for the comedy world. We just lost another talent: Jan Hooks, who died today at age 57 after "battling a serious illness." Hooks is best known as a Saturday Night Live castmember from 1986 - 1991. She was hired at the same time as Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, and Kevin Nealon, and the sketch show was just off of one of the most infamously bad seasons it's history (only Dennis Miller, Jon Lovitz and Nora Dunn survived the axe from that cast). That cast she was a part of would become known as one of the best SNL casts ever. She was best known for playing Tammy Faye Baker, Nancy Reagan, Sinead O'Connor... with Dunn, one half of lounge act The Sweeney Sisters. She Hartman had an especially good chemistry together. You can watch a few classic SNL sketches below (including the very touching "Love is a Dream" short with Hartman that may have you reaching for Kleenex).

After SNL, she was a castmember of Designing Women, and made regular appearances on 3rd Rock from the Sun, Primetime Glick, and 30 Rock, among other shows. She was one of the great ones. Rest in peace, Jan. I hope you're dancing with Phil somewhere.

Videos below...

Continue reading "Jan Hooks (of SNL), RIP"

October 8, 2014

Nickelodeon

One of the big anticipated events at NY Super Week was "SLIMED: A Night of Nickelodeon Nostalgic Nonsense" at Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday (10/10) featuring a live taping of Pete & Pete stars Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna's podcast, a segment on the music of Doug (a live performance by show creators Fred Newman & Dan Sawyer), and a live performance by Pete & Pete theme song band, Polaris. But less than a day before the event was to take place, the event has been canceled. There is good news, though, see below.

The sudden cancellation could have something to do with the Flavorwire interview with  Matt Klickstein -- who was the host of the Super Week event and who wrote the SLIMED book about '90s Nickelodeon. You'd think it would be all fun and "remember when" interview, but it got into some thorny territory, including bashing of the current state of Nickelodeon, but also...race and sexism. An excerpt:

The reason Pete & Pete does so well is it's the best show from that era. It's the best show from that network! Hands down: the way it looked, the music, the fact that they got all these really interesting cameos... so the fact that it happens to take place in the suburbs of New Jersey, you know, it's a whitewashed area! There's nothing to be said about that. So too with Clarissa.

I think it's worse when they shove it in there. Sanjay and Craig is a really good example, which funnily enough is written in part by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi from Pete & Pete. That show is awkward because there's actually no reason for that character to be Indian -- except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity. Which is fine -- do what you're gotta do, and Dora [the Explorer] was certainly something of a success, but there's no reason for [Sanjay] to be Indian at all. No one working on that show is Indian. They're all white. It's all the white people from Bob's Burgers and Will and Chris.

And there's lots more:
I think that it does the culture a disservice. If I were Indian or Jewish, for example, and watched something where the characters are Jewish or supposed to be, and if it's not specific to that, then I start to wonder, "Why are they doing this?" It becomes blackface.

They're exploiting this, they're using this thing, they're taking advantage of it. They're doing it just for that reason: "Hey, here is the Jewish character" or "Hey, here's the Indian character" or "Hey, here's the token black," which I think South Park does so amazingly well. For example, I've worked very closely with people with disabilities, volunteering, sometimes paid, and I love what South Park does.

There's much more to this interview and you can read the whole thing here.Some people are sticking up for Klickstein, like Trevor Eyster who played "Sponge" on Salute Your Shorts. He wrote a lenghty post on Facebook, saying Klickstein was a victim of "corporate interest and censorship":
The decision to cancel the event was made by Comic-Con. And while they haven't released a statement, it would sure seem like this is a case of a corporate entity not wanting to be attached to the opinions of another that would seem controversial, or unclarified....

...I am standing by my friend, because that's what friends do. I am asking all of you to deepen your understanding of the TRUE narrative here. And the true narrative is: Nickelodeon once represented the spirit of the anti-corporate. Now, while Nickelodeon didn't curate, sponsor or endorse this event --- all of the interested parties, are fans of its 90's "products". In order to hold an event of this size, logistically, there was a need for a Comicon. Comicon yanked its support at the last minute, and that's who you need to be upset with...

...You can be upset with Matt for a badly worded interview all you want - but it's not only unproductive, it's misdirected. 

You oughta be PISSED OFF at the corporate heads of Comic-Con for pulling the plug from an old-paradigm fear-based profit-motive mentality. 

This is a bummer for '90s Nickelodeon fans -- many of whom were coming from out-of-town for this -- but there is a silver lining as the Super Week event is now, basically, happening as two smaller, separate events on Thursday. First is "Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age" at Treehouse Theatre (154 W 29th St, New York,) from 6 - 9 PM, featuring the music of Doug with a live performance by show creators Fred Newman & Dan Sawyer and hosted by Nick Arcade's Phil Moore. It's $8 at the door and Super Week ticketholders get priority entry. More info here.

Then later Thursday night (10:30 PM) at The Bell House it's a live taping of Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna's podcast, The Adventures of Danny & Mike, with a live performance by Polaris. Tickets to that show are $10 and on sale now. AND, update: Danny Tamberelli "just wanted to say that I was really looking forward to a night of nostalgia and to hang with the fans of all things 90s nick. Sometimes weird stuff happens that you can't control. Polaris and the podcast want to try to create something out of the ashes like a Phoenix. (also a ginger ironically)."

If you miss it, Polaris returns to the road in November for more shows including a BrooklynVegan-presented NYC show at Knitting Factory (though that one is sold out).

October 6, 2014

Twin Peaks

David Lynch has been dropping hints on Twitter, and now comes word that the filmmaker is returning to Twin Peaks, for new episodes of the acclaimed, awesomely weird show which originally ran for two seasons on ABC in 1990 and 1991. The new series will be on Showtime and will debut in 2016. Whoa!

Nine episodes -- all written by Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost and directed by Lynch -- will be made. Says Lynch and Frost, "The mysterious and special world of 'Twin Peaks' is pulling us back. We're very excited. May the forest be with you." Watch a teaser video below...

For folks in NYC who have never seen the show (or who want to watch it again with a roomful of fans), starting next week (10/15) at Videology in Williamsburg, they're bringing back Twin Peaks Bingo, showing two every Tuesday till they run out. It's free and a lot of fun.

Twin Peaks, the band from Chicago, will be here for CMJ.

Continue reading "David Lynch making more 'Twin Peaks' -- Showtime in 2016"

Better Call Saul

As we mentioned they would, AMC debuted the video for the Better Call Saul song last night (10/5). As sung by Junior Brown, it's a honky-tonk jingle that lays out the basic premise in a catchy way. Plus a couple quick looks at scenes from the show which premieres in February 2015. Watch it below.

The show's star, Bob Odenkirk, will be in NYC in November.

Continue reading "watch the 'Better Call Saul' music video w/ Junior Brown"

Omar comin'...Bunk too
The Wire

In the words of Senator Clay Davis, well sheeeiiiit! The cast and creators of The Wire are reuniting for a retrospective/Q&A for the 2014 Paleyfest on October 16 at The Paley Center for Media in NYC. In attendance will be creator David Simon, producer Nina Noble, and cast members Wendell Pierce (Bunk), Sonja Sohn (Greggs), Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar), Seth Gilliam (Carter), Jim True-Frost (Prez), John Doman (Rawls), Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (D'Angelo Barksdale), and Jamie Hector (Marlo). There will also be a special video introduction by Dominick West (McNulty) and the panel will be moderated by popular TV critic Alan Sepinwall. Tickets go on sale Tuesday (10/7) at 10 AM.

This year's Paleyfest goes from October 11 - 19 and also has panels with cast/creators of shows Hannibal (10/18), Law & Order SVU (10/13), The Walking Dead (10/11), Gotham (10/18), Archer (10/12), Bob's Burgers (10/15), and more. Tickets are on sale, and full 2015 Paleyfest lineup below...

Continue reading "cast/crew of 'The Wire' reuniting for Paleyfest which also has panels on 'Hannibal,' 'Bob's Burgers,' 'Walking Dead' & more"

September 18, 2014

Matt Groening

The Brooklyn Academy of Music has announced:

Bestsellers, trend-setters, celebrities, visual wizards, and story-tellers converge at BAM in three wide-ranging, one-night-only events in the winter of 2015. Filmmaker Miranda July discusses her debut novel with Lena Dunham; legendary cartoonists Matt Groening and Lynda Barry compare storyboard ideas; and authors Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler present a no-holds-barred evening of camaraderie.

Tickets go on sale September 29 (September 22 for Friends of BAM). For ticket information call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100 or visit www.BAM.org.

The exact schedule is listed below:

Continue reading "Lena Dunham, Matt Groening, Neil Gaiman & others having conversations at BAM"

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