For a limited time at PBS.org, you can watch the full-length version of "Reportero," an incredible documentary film about Jesús Blancornelas and Héctor Félix Miranda's long-running Mexican newsweekly, Zeta. The environment in Baja California is so hostile -- it is certainly one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters -- that the paper is printed across the border in Southern California to ensure its survival, and that of the people who run it.
In the LA Times, an interesting piece on the dangerous nature of working in reality television. As shows compete against each other to present the grossest, riskiest, and most outlandish spectacles, the men and women who labor on these productions are exposed to greater risk for injury and illness. — Xeni
I've recently been enjoying old episodes of 1980s classic cop show Miami Vice on Netflix. Miami Vice had quite a remarkable impact on TV drama, from style to soundtrack to cinematography. This short documentary reveals a bit about the thought that went into every shot, and every unconstructed sportcoat.
Andrew DeGraff created a series of excellent story maps for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. Above, "Paths of Hope." The work is currently hanging at Gallery1988: Melrose in Los Angeles and viewable online and available for purchase (originals and limited prints). "Gallery1988: Andrew DeGraff & Bennett Slater"
(Video link) Considering how long we've known about Martin Freeman starring in both The Hobbit and The Office, I'm a little surprised I didn't see this sooner. However, I am not at all surprised that Gareth was cast as Gollum. I hope there are three parts to this! By Eager Beaver Productions. (via Slate)
Co-creator of The Venture Bros. Jackson Publick was kind enough to update everyone on the status of the upcoming fifth season of the show. And while we'll be waiting a little longer than expected for the premiere -- March or May, due to the production of the first hour-long episode last -- we were treated to some preview screen shots and a list of special guest stars!
One of Community's most notable and popular writers, Megan Ganz, has announced in a Reddit post that she's taken a position at ABC's Modern Family. While it's sad to see her go, it's hard to blame her for leaving when there is constantly a question about Community's future. But at least we'll get to see two more episodes in Season 4 that were written by Ganz, and she'll be staying on to oversee the editing of those two episodes ("Paranormal Parentage" and the season finale, "Advanced Introduction to Finality"). Said the scribe:
We filmed the bottle episode in chronological order so this was the first line that we shot and I remember sitting at the monitors at 7am on the first day thinking, "If they call action and no one runs in here screaming 'stop the TV-equivalent of presses,' then I will have written a line that will appear on a television show. I'll be a television writer." And the director did call action–as they do–and so I was. Just like that. ...
This isn't the end of me and Greendale. Community was my world for four seasons and my job for three, and has hold of my whole heart like a bad-news high school boyfriend. I'll never really get away. The chemistry is too perfect and the writing room couches aren't really that uncomfortable to sleep on and I just can't stop writing for Britta. Plus I still have to do my editing pass on the finale. I think I left a box in my office, too. Bobrow probably misses me. Better stop by on my way home.
Ganz's voice on Community will definitely be missed, but I prefer to see her gainfully employed rather than suddenly silenced or underutilized. I will probably also really, truly have to start watching Modern Family now.
The incredibly fun-sounding new animated series from IFC, Out There, has assembled a heck of a great cast to voice its characters. In addition to series creator Ryan Quincy, who is providing the voice of the lead role of Chad Stevens, here is who else has come on board and who they'll be playing (via press release):
Out There chronicles the coming-of-age misadventures of socially awkward Chad (Ryan Quincy), his little brother Jay (Kate Micucci) and his best friend, Chris (Justin Roiland). Living in the small town of Holford, the boys wander its surreal, bleak landscape waiting out their last few years of adolescence. Along the way, viewers meet Chad’s conservative parents, Wayne (John DiMaggio) and Rose (Megan Mullally), as well as Chris’s single mother, Joanie (Pamela Adlon) and her disastrous boyfriend, Terry (Fred Armisen). They also meet the object of Chad’s affection, Sharla (Linda Cardellini).
I don't know about you, but where John DiMaggio and Pamela Adlon go, I'll follow, to say nothing of Armisen, Micucci, and Mullally. Here's to a brand new year of more silly, weird cartoons! Out There premieres on Friday, February 22 on IFC.
Anthony Bourdain has some hard-hitting questions about the characters on Nickelodeon's tween favorite iCarly, and he asked them on Twitter last night. Among his inquiries: "Does Spencer have a job? Besides hanging out with underage girls?" and "[W]hat's Marvin Marvin's story?" Perfectly valid things for a renowned traveler/chef/middle-aged man to wonder in front of an audience of millions. I think he should consider live-tweeting an entire day of programming on The Hub, but that's just me. (via Warming Glow)
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried experimenting with electronic voting this year, to disastrous results (e.g., getting logged out if your password isn't strong enough, then waiting for the mail to deliver a new one -- after a phone call to customer service). Considering how the Oscars can barely get its act together to find out who they want to nominate (let alone win), just imagine how effective e-voting would be for a political election, a national one, that determined who runs the country. Hint: Not at all effective. In any way. At all. Let's never speak of this again. (via Moviefone) — Jamie
(Video link) If you've caught any of the commercials for Portlandia's upcoming third season premiere (this Friday, January 4 at 10:00 PM EST on IFC), then SPOILER ALERT: you may have already seen parts of this new preview clip, entitled "Spoiler Alert," which means you've already been spoiled. SPOILER ALERT: It contains spoilers. (via IFC)
We all know about the time-honored tradition of Syfy's Twilight Zone New Year's marathon. But in case you're not into a 24-hour trip into another dimension and still want to watch a buttload of TV today and tomorrow, here is a short list of other TV marathons that might interest you!
A debunked rumor is not the most fun way to start out a year of heavily-anticipated entertainment, but at least we know it's on its way! (I'd still count on a May premiere. Seems like it would make a lot of sense -- just as all the network shows are ending, the Bluths swoop in and save us all from summer programming.)