This video synchronizes every Rod Serling opening monologue from The Twilight Zone so that they converge upon him saying "The Twilight Zone." It's surprisingly weird and uncanny as the cacophony builds, only for the words to suddenly emerge at the end. Read the rest
As we make our way through the Lost In Space reboot on Netflix (or not), let's honor the late, great Jonathan Harris who stole the original series as the prissily menacing Dr. Zachary Smith.
"(Smith) was written as a deep-dyed, snarling villain, and he bored the shit out of me," Harris said.
When I'm not here pointing out dog videos, I spend the rest of my work day as a technology journalist. I decided that I wanted in on this line of work because I love gadgets. There was always something new coming out that I couldn't afford to buy. Now, as I get to play with new tech on an almost daily basis, I don't feel like I'm missing out on much of anything. My office is full of smartphones, computers, wearables and travel gear. It's loaned to me, I play with it and then, I send it back. It's such a privilege to have access to the sorts of swag that a lot of geeks like me drool over. I never get tired of playing with new products. But having done it for close to a decade has left me a bit jaded: what's new is seldom as spectacular as we want it to be.
Take this year's crop of flagship smartphones, for example. They're a little bit faster, a little bit glossier. Maybe the one you've been looking at has an edge-to-edge display. I get it: bezels on a handset are bullshit, so, you totally want one. I know I do. But I also know, having played with them, that the incremental differences between one year's model and the next is so moot, that they won't make a lick of difference in my day-to-day life. TVs are the same. Most of the folks I know just want the shows and movies that they watch to look their best. Read the rest
The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, leisure, and artistic pursuits, populated by AIs, city-sized space cruisers, spy networks, and weird bureaucracies. Read the rest
I have fond memories of watching ABC's early-1980s comedy The Greatest American Hero and was only mildly surprised to hear they are bringing it back (as a pilot, for now). What was surprising is that the "hero" will be a "heroine" in the reboot.
...Hannah Simone has been tapped for the title role in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Greatest American Hero, from the Fresh Off the Boat duo of Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan. In the reimagining with a gender switch of Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic, the unlikely (super)hero at the center, played by William Katt in the original, is being reconceived as an Indian-American woman.
Written by Fruchbom, The Greatest American Hero centers around Meera (Simone), a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family. An inexplicable event occurs that will change the course of Meera’s life forever: she is entrusted with a super suit to protect the planet. Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.
If you're a child of the seventies, you'll probably remember that while the sitcom Happy Days aired from 1974 to 1984, it was set in Milwaukee in the late fifties.
Ok, so in 1980, an animated spin-off series called The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang hit the Saturday morning cartoon circuit, lasting just two years. In those two seasons, they meet a "future chick" named Cupcake and are accidentally hurled through time and space in a janky spaceship with Mr. Cool, a talking dog. This quasi-educational show (which has Wolfman Jack as its narrator) chronicles their journey trying to get back to 1957, but first they jump to significant historical time and places, like the Salem Witch Trials.
So, it's a cartoon, made for early-eighties kids, of fifties youth bouncing around in time trying to get back to 1957. Sure... why not?.
If you're wondering, this cartoon happened two years after Robin Williams landed a small role as Mork on the live-action Happy Days (which eventually turned into the spin-off, Mork & Mindy) and just three years after the Fonz jumped the shark.
Ayyy... Can you dig it?
Usagi Yojimbo, my favorite ronin rabbit, is to star in his own TV series.
Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo takes place amidst a rich fantasy setting in 17th century Japan and features a diverse world of anthropomorphic characters. Miyamoto Usagi, otherwise known as Usagi Yojimbo, is a ronin warrior with the heart of a hero. A skilled swordsrabbit, and one-time bodyguard for a Japanese War Lord, he’s now masterless, and explores his world of immense castles and humble villages, encountering dinosaurs, Yokai (ghosts/monsters), cats, bats, bounty hunters, giant snakes, and even aliens, facing exciting adventures at every turn, always ready to help.
Usagi's turned up as an interdimensional guest star now and again on the Ninja Turtles, but it's high time Stan Sakai's world hit the screen in its own right. Read the rest
A year after Hunter S. Thompson published his pioneering gonzo journalism book "Hell's Angels," he appeared on the wonderful TV game show "To Tell The Truth." Bud Collyer hosted with a panel of actors/entertainers Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Barry Nelson, Kitty Carlisle.
On the show, three people claim to be a particularly interesting or notable person described by the host. One is really that person, the other two are imposters. The panelists must ask questions to identify who isn't lying.
In the early days of TV, it was routine to tape over the recording medium after the initial air-date, which means that no video record exists of many of the pioneering moments in television. Read the rest
Critics hate The Orville, Seth McFarlane's uncanny love letter to Star Trek and The Next Generation, but they love the gloomy, ultra-2017 Star Trek: Discovery. Viewers love The Orville, though, while remaining divided on and indifferent to the new official series.
The critics are mistaken; the viewers are right. I was surprised at how intimately Seth McFarlane -- Seth McFarlane! -- is tuned into Gene Roddenberry's sense of humanity's future potential and why it's OK to have a shipful of lovers. It's TNG with dick jokes! And, let's face it, the time is right for some happy technocommie utopian SF. Read the rest
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! I’ve watched a lot of British TV in my day, but never have I seen anything like Mrs. Brown’s Boys. I’ve about pissed me self laughin’! This award-winning situation comedy is about an Irish family and stars Brendan O’Carroll, a gent, cross-dressing as the rude and rowdy old lady Mrs. Agnes Brown. The show is noted for its unrelenting crude humor and is hugely popular in the United Kingdom. I’m not going to tell you anything else except to watch these clips (be prepared to laugh heartily, unless you’re a prude or burdened with good taste, in which case you should most definitely not watch them at all).