Dick Van Patten, "Eight Is Enough" dad, RIP

Dick Van Patten who famously played Tom Bradford on TV's "Eight Is Enough" (1977-1981) and also appeared in several Mel Brooks movies, Westworld, Soylent Green, I Remember Mama, and many other movies and TV shows died today at 86. Read the rest

American Gods will be a TV series

Starz has greenlit a TV series based on Neil Gaiman's outstanding contemporary fantasy novel American Gods, in which all the gods of antiquity must find their way in America, coping with modernity and new ways of believing. Read the rest

How Alec Mapa used Kickstarter to joke about gay adoption

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The star and producer of a timely new series have words of wisdom for those who want to create social change through the media.

25 of the most potent TV commercial earworms ever, all in one video

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Listen at your own peril.

UK bigotry party hates Time Lords, too

UK Independence Party Nigel Farage is an equal-opportunity bigot, hating Gallifreyans just as much as he hates Bulgarians and Romanians. Read the rest

Better Call Saul: The Rise of Mike The Cleaner and The Fall of the McGill Brothers in "Pimento"

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In which we review the penultimate episode of Better Call Saul’s debut season. Spoilers ahead.

Dull man inherits magical workshop in 'What Lives Inside,' his mind is blown

The story is of a less-than-imaginative man who inherits the workshop of his puppeteer grandfather, and finds himself transported into a magical world of wonders where he will have experiences that blow his little mind.

Better Call Saul: Jimmy and Chuck unite for seniors' rights in "RICO"

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Remember when the idea for Better Call Saul first floated around in television production gossip, and it was conceived as a half-hour comedy? There has been a lot of controversy over the new rules for category eligibility at the Emmys, with Shameless making it into Comedy despite its hour-long runtime and decidedly serious worldview, and Orange Is The New Black finally shifting over to compete in its rightful category as a Drama. I had a screenwriting professor who worked in Los Angeles throughout the 90s and 00s, and was still livid that Ally McBeal got to compete as a comedy when it was an hour-long dramedy that had no business going up against sitcoms.

Those are all semantic arguments about categorizing shows when there’s a lot of mutability. But imagining a world where Better Call Saul isn’t 45 minutes of deliberate, enthralling dramatic irony, holding a hopeful carrot out in front of Jimmy when the audience knows there’s a banana peel waiting to catch his foot, makes me shudder with would’ve been lost.

The cold open to “RICO” is one of my favorites so far this season, because it succinctly encapsulates the futile tragedy of James McGill. Better Call Saul eluded to the fact that Jimmy worked in the HHM mailroom, but here it’s on full display, as he cheerfully delivers mail to everyone around the office, with the added bonus that he knows pretty much everyone’s name. But the reason the show ventures to this moment in McGill history is because it’s the day Jimmy believed his life would change: when he passes the bar and becomes a lawyer in the state of New Mexico. Read the rest

Better Call Saul giveth and taketh away from Jimmy in "Bingo"

In order for Better Call Saul to inch closer to the timeline it’s trying to meet, James McGill’s difficult life has to fester into bitterness. He’ll do anything to escape it.

Better Call Saul reveals the tortured origin of Mike Ehrmantraut

One of Breaking Bad's finest characters gets an episode in the spotlight

The midpoint of Better Call Saul's first season hinges on scenes without Jimmy

The latest episode of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped for your further entertainment.

“Better Call Saul” shows Jimmy can wear many masks in "Hero"

Episode four of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped.

The best moments from the two-night premiere of Better Call Saul

The task set before Better Call Saul is impossibly daunting. Can it join Breaking Bad in the pantheon of great TV?

Nathan Barley: old comedy turned out to be a documentary about our future

When Charlie "Black Mirror" Brooker came up with his trustafarian new media parody Nathan Barley for TV Go Home, no one suspected the character would last this long -- or be so relevant. Read the rest

HOAX: TV show tricks chronic catcallers into harassing their own mothers

Update: These are staged -- it's an ad for Everlast, and not a TV show as I had believed. Read the rest

WATCH: Trailer for Haphead, crowdfunded indie cyberpunk series about pro gamers

In one week, Toronto's Postopian Pictures -- the people who brought us Ghosts With Shit Jobs and many other delights -- will premiere their crowdfunded cyberpunk series Haphead (previously): Read the rest

To Serve Man: it's a notebook!

Thinkgeek's $13 To Serve Man notebook is a replica of the prop used in Damon Knight's classic 1962 Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man.

Damon was one of my Clarion instructors in 1992 and I had the immense pleasure of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode that sent up his script, on the big TV in the common-room. Damon laughed his ass off, I'm pleased to report.

To Serve Man Read the rest

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