Red Dwarf, legendary UK sci-fi sitcom, becomes auto-rescue ad

I loved Red Dwarf as a kid, sensed I should "stop immediately" upon seeing the previews for season 7 (or maybe 8?), and had relegated the whole thing to the palace of nostalgia by the end of the last century. But this ad is so charming it makes me think I should check out the recent series. Should I? I will blame you if this is a mistake. Read the rest

The nine rules of "Freddish": the positive, inclusive empathic language of Mr Rogers

From an excerpt from last year's The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, the rules of "Freddish" -- as Mr Rogers' crewmembers jokingly referred to the rigorous rules that Rogers used to revise his scripts to make them appropriate and useful for the preschoolers in his audience. Read the rest

Crowdfunding season four of JourneyQuest: a CC-licensed fantasy-comedy show that treats its fans with respect

Ben writes, "First featured on Boing Boing in 2010, the fan-supported TV series JourneyQuest has continued for nine years(!) and is now Kickstarting a fourth season. It's an open world with a copyleft license, proving that encouraging sharing, remixing, allowing commercial derivatives, and not treating fans like criminals can still lead to success." Read the rest

UK comedy legend Blackadder to return for long-awaited fifth season

Blackadder is the ultimate UK black comedy: a killer team of comic actors, well-couched in historical and contemporary culture, accessible to children and adults in different ways, intellectually sharp yet emotionally honest, and excruciatingly dense: there are only four six-episode seasons and a handful of specials to go around. You could binge it in a day and still get eight hours' sleep.

Thirty years after Blackadder went fourth, a fifth season is reportedly on its way.

Speaking in a recent newspaper interview, co-writer Richard Curtis said: "The thing about Blackadder was, it was a young man's show criticising older people, saying how stupid those in authority were. So I did once think, 'If we ever did anything again, it should be Blackadder as a teacher in a university, about how much we hate young people'."

The Sun's source commented: "It will be in the modern day. Blackadder will be a lot older, of course, so they've come up with the ageing university lecturer idea. Curtis and Atkinson have discussed guest appearances from stars such as Tom Hardy and Russell Brand."

Blackadder started in 1983, with the critically acclaimed fourth series airing in 1989. The one-off special Blackadder Back & Forth was made in 2000. Richard Curtis has been working on the film Yesterday, whilst co-writer Ben Elton has been working on a return to stand-up, and writing BBC sitcom Upstart Crow.

The conceit of Blackadder is that each season/special features a descendant of the original, in progressively straightened circumstances (Prince, Lord, Knight, Royal Butler, Shopkeeper, Officer), so having reached modern times, the idea of Blackadder V became one of the most infamous glittering mirages of UK pop culture. Read the rest

Good Omens is amazing

I was already a Terry Pratchett fan and a Neil Gaiman fan in 1990, when their comedic novel Good Omens showed up in the bookstore I worked at, and I dibsed it, took it home over the weekend, read it in huge gulps, and wrote an enthusiastic review on a 3x5 card that I tacked to the bookshelf next to it on the new release rack at the front of the store; I hand-sold hundreds of copies, and have read it dozens of times since. Read the rest

Chernobyl documentary footage vs. scenes from the show

HBO's Chernobyl was widely praised for its realistic depiction of the disaster and of the late Soviet Union itself: so meticulous that its mistakes and simplifications stood out in uncanny relief to those who were there.

In this video, Thomas Flight compares footage from the show with the documentary footage it was based upon.

I'm curious about why the text on the scene below, derived from Soviet TV broadcast announcing the disaster, differs from the original. Did HBO use a different source, or did they change it themselves some reason? НОВОСТИ (Novosti) means "NEWS" and was then (and now) the name of the official news agency, while ВРЕМЯ (Vremya) means "TIME" and is apparently the name of the evening news show.

Read the rest

Watch: Adam Savage ('MYTHBUSTERS') back on TV in 'SAVAGE BUILDS'

Is there anything Adam Savage can't build?

His new Discovery TV show attempts to answer the riddle. Read the rest

Bill Hader meets his and our god, Keith Morrison

Bill Hader's impersonation of Dateline's Keith Morrison has all but replaced the real Keith Morrison in my personal appreciation of Keith Morrison-ness: a folksy, overeager narrative of tragedy made perversely explicit. So it's a delight to see them in the same room.

Here's the classic parody:

I'd very much like to see the Hader-Morrison deepfake.

Read the rest

Footage of Chernobyl liquidators

Chernobyl, the five-part HBO/Sky dramatization of the 1986 nuclear disaster, is filled with more dread, tension and horror than any Hollywood movie I've seen in years. The most unsettling part of it is knowing that it adheres closely to the truth, right down to the details. Yet I'm still startled to see just how exacting the production design is, as demonstrated by this footage from one of the plant roofs where "liquidators" struggled to remove irradiated debris by hurling it back into the open core of the reactor. Jump to about 7:45 for the roof work.

Compare to the "roof" scene from the show, which integrates the true footage so cleverly you wouldn't know it if you hadn't seen it for yourself:

If you still need convincing that you should check out this amazing show, here's the scene from Ep. 1 where three young plant workers inspect the reactor hall after the explosion. They know what they're afraid of finding, but they don't know that it's going to be... well, you watch it and see for yourself.

Embedded below, a hapless engineer is ordered onto the roof so that managers can debunk claims that the reactor is exposed to the open air. He knows he's dead as soon as he sees the satanic cloud of smoke billowing from the ruin. He knows the guard escorting him up there is dead, too—and that guy doesn't even have to go up to the edge and look down into it. The guard doesn't have to go back to the managers and get yelled at again, either. Read the rest

Watch: New 'BATWOMAN' trailer starring Ruby Rose

#Batwoman is coming Sundays this Fall to The CW.

The creators of The Office explain how they made the show

The creators, producers, writers, and showrunner of The Office talk about how they came up with the stories for one of the greatest comedy series in TV history. It was especially interesting to hear about how the personality of Michael Scott was changed from a thoroughly unlikable person to a sympathetic character early in the series, and why it was a smart move.

[via Doobybrain] Read the rest

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy cast in the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm!

Genius musician Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo fame has been cast in the forthcoming season of Larry David's comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm!" This will be the show's 10th season. No word on whether Tweedy will play himself or someone else entirely, but no matter because I'm sure hilarity will ensue. From Variety:

Tweedy is said to be good friends with Jeff Garlin, who stars on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as Jeff Greene in addition to executive producing.

This will not be Tweedy’s first acting role, as he previously appeared in the role of Scott Tanner in multiple episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He also portrayed himself in two episodes of “Portlandia” and in the feature film “Hearts Beat Loud.”

Also, don't miss Tweedy's new and much-loved memoir "Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back)." Read the rest

Funny 'Game of Thrones' premiere recap [S8 E1]

Here is a wonderful tl;dw meme recap of the premiere episode of the 8th season of Game of Thrones, by chrysreviews. There are 260 frames here. A work of genius by a fan, don't sue please.

Spoilers below. Read the rest

MTV announces first ever reality TV convention

MTV has announced RealityCon, a reality TV fan convention to take place next summer. No word yet on whether they will also launch a RealityCon reality show about what happens when people stop being polite and start producing a real convention about reality shows. If only Lance Loud was alive to keynote. From Rolling Stone:

Even though it is hosted by MTV — who created the genre with The Real World in 1992 — the event will be an expansive look at reality television’s history and feature the people behind and stars of shows like The Bachelor, The Real Housewives, Duck Dynasty, Big Brother, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Survivor alongside MTV staples like Jersey Shore and The Hills.

Read the rest

Watch: the premiere of Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot

"The Comedian" is the first episode of Jordan Peele's long awaited, hotly anticipated reboot of "The Twilight Zone." Peele's reboot is perfect, absolutely faithful to Rod Serling's love of complexity, comeuppance, and ambiguity. Love this. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Watch the new Stranger Things 3 trailer

They had me at the opening reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Read the rest

Omniverse CEO rejects piracy accusations, claims that he has a legit, "mind-blowing" 100-year license to stream TV on the internet

Mitch Wagner writes, "Omniverse CEO Jason DeMeo says a piracy lawsuit against his streaming TV service is full of crap. Omniverse faces piracy litigation from an alliance of content companies. But DeMeo says his company has a mind-blowing 100-year deal that allows it to stream TV channels over the Internet. Looks like somebody more than 25 years ago may have traded the crown jewels for a handful of beans, and Omniverse is enjoying the benefit today." Read the rest

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