'Hush' is the best 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' episode

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was wonderful. Far and away my favorite episode, however, was Hush.

Overnight, skeletal ghouls with metal grins and MIB style steal the voices of Sunnydale's townspeople. How the Scooby gang handles some of the evilest characters the series has seen, during a communication breakdown, is wonderful.

Nowadays public schools in California teach Powerpoint.

This super creepy episode was just fantastic. I am going to re-watch more Buffy. Read the rest

Ava DuVernay is directing an HBO adaptation based on Brian Wood's DMZ

DMZ, an outstanding post-apocalyptic comic written by Brian Wood which came to its satsifying conclusion in 2012, and has been subsequently collected in beautiful deluxe editions (which also reprint my introduction to the series' third volume) is being adapted as a pilot for HBO by Ava DeVernay, the afrofuturist filmmaker whose work includes A Wrinkle in Time and Selma. Read the rest

Dick and Stewart: a new, delightfully dark and twisted animated series from Scarfolk's Richard Littler

[[You may know Richard Littler from the astounding dystopian alternate fiction/bleak humour series Scarfolk (previously). He's been working on an on-again/off-again animated series that is, at long last, on. I was honoured to be offered the opportunity to launch the series here today!]]

Dick and Stewart is a series of short animations set in either Britain’s dismal past or the Britain that’s soon to come. It's hard to tell nowadays, isn't it? Either way, just imagine what it would be like if children's TV programmes were written by George Orwell or Franz Kafka. Or the government itself. Read the rest

Mario says "Fuck you!" to Luigi on "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" (1989)

My 13-year-old son showed me this and we couldn't stop laughing. How dare Mario be so rude to his brother!

The 1989 TV series "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" starred wrestler Lou Albano as Mario, Danny Wells of "The Jeffersons" as Luigi, and Jeannie Elias as the voice of Princess Toadstool.

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Gaze upon the disturbing Zuckerberg and Trump puppets from the new incarnation of 80's series Spitting Image

Children of the 80's will remember the disturbing puppets from satirical puppet show Spitting Image and the video for Genesis' Land of Confusion.  Co-creator Roger Law has confirmed that a pilot has been filmed, with hopes of a new series focusing on major celebrities like Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg.

Jeff Westbrook, a writer on The Simpsons and Futurama, is serving as show-runner, and caricaturist Adrian Teal is working on the puppets.  You can get a glimpse of the Trump puppet in action in this clip:

(Images via Avalon and The Guardian.) Read the rest

Watch this Coleco Adam home computer commercial starring Lori Loughlin (1984)

In this 1984 TV commercial for Coleco's failed Adam home computer, Lori Laughlin observes a young fellow able to power through his school assignment thanks to the magic of word processing. Laughlin asks, "Is that legal?" Ahem.

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Gilligan's Island's S.S. Minnow was named as an insult to the chair of the FCC

Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz named the ill-fated S.S. Minnow after the then-chair of the FCC who Schwartz said "ruined television." Read the rest

'The Boondocks' is back! Coming to HBO Max in Fall 2020

The WarnerMedia streaming platform HBO Max has ordered two "reimagined" seasons of the cult favorite 'The Boondocks,' so we're getting 24 episodes of a new Boondocks show.

This is real. Read the rest

1977 Woolworth TV commercial for Halloween masks, candy, and a record of spooky sounds

If you're of a certain age, the nostalgia will be thick for this Woolworth/Woolco television ad from 1977 for "your Halloween needs."

Complete costumes from $1.83 to $3.99?

"Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman... Superheroes: Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and a new favorite for girls, Holly Hobbie..."

Yes, please.

"Wrapped candies of every kind"? I need, I need!

"Sounds to Make You Shiver"? Oh yes. [P.S. There are loads of these records on eBay. They cost a bit more than the original $1.89 though.]

image via cousinsgold2011 Read the rest

Theme from Friends as a depressing, minor-key ballad

From "The One With the Theme That's Depressing As Hell."

(Chase Holfelder)

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Japanese fabric softener commercial from 1988 is kawaii AF

In 1988, I worked in a toy store and quickly became annoyed by all the requests for the Snuggle bear. But this I can tolerate. For a moment anyway. Read the rest

'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek: chemo for pancreatic cancer 'over,' now 'on the mend' filming new season

The host of 'Jeopardy,' Alex Trebek, says he has completed chemotherapy treatment for cancer, and is 'on the mend' as he films a new season of the long-running and popular TV game show. Read the rest

Viral black and white Roku'd TV now available as glow-in-the-dark enamel pin

Remember the guy who rigged up his first-gen Roku to an old black-and-white TV to watch The Twilight Zone? Well, that "guy" is my artist pal Josh Ellingson and he's taking his viral moment to the next level. He's created glow-in-the-dark enamel pins of his Roku-enabled 1975 General Electric model 12XB9104V TV. That's cool on its own but he's also made a pack of stick-on screen decals that make it look like a vintage show or movie is playing. The pin shown in the photo above depicts the Moon landing but there are others, like the Nosferatu below. He's made the pins available on Indiegogo for $10 each, or two for $18, which includes the sticker pack. As of this writing, the campaign is 931% funded.

(RED) Read the rest

Watch the wonderful Adventure Time "pilot" short from 2007

One of the greatest cartoon series of recent years, Adventure Time ran for ten seasons on Cartoon Network. Created by Pendleton Ward, the original short above was produced for Frederator Studios' Random! Cartoons show and aired on the Nicktoons network on January 11, 2007. Finn was named Pen.

More at the Adventure Time Wiki.

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New cartoon about Elvis as a government spy

Agent King is an adult animated series about Elvis Presley as a government spy. Priscilla Presley and rock singer John Eddie created the show for Sony and Netflix with Archer's Mike Arnold as writer and showrunner. John Varvatos is designing Elvis's animated outfits. From Spin:

Agent King... imagines Elvis Presley trading his white jumpsuit for a jet pack as he’s inducted into a secret government spy program to help battle dark forces that threaten the country he loves — all while holding down his day job as the most famous rock ‘n’ roll star on the planet...

“From the time Elvis was a young boy he always dreamed of being the superhero fighting crime and saving the world!” said Priscilla Presley, who was married to Elvis from 1967-73.

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Trailer out for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Here's the first full trailer for the forthcoming Netflix The Dark Crystal series, which features oldschool puppetry and an amazing cast: Taron Egerton, Lena Headey, Mark Hamill, Sigourney Weaver, Simon Pegg, and several Game of Thrones alums.

Light the fires of resistance! Join Deet, Rian and Brea on an epic quest to find hope in darkness, save Thra, and reveal their destiny. Nothing will ever be the same.

A Netflix Original Series from the Jim Henson Company and visionary director Louis Leterrier, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance premieres August 30.

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Meet HBO's sex scene coach

Alicia Rodis is HBO's "lead intimacy coordinator." This means that she choreographs and coaches actors in sex scenes. In The Atlantic, Kate Julian profiles Rodis and shares the, er, intimate details of the work. Here's a description from the set of The Deuce:

Ahead of the shoot, the episode’s director, Steph Green, explained her vision of the scene to Rodis, who called the actors to run through a proposed plan. Afterward, Rodis made sure that each actor’s contract had a rider stipulating that (Ryan) Farrell would touch (Emily) Meade’s clothed breasts, and Meade would grab Farrell’s crotch through his pants, under which he’d be wearing a prosthetic penis. The day of filming, Green, Rodis, and both actors met in private to prepare. (Green has long run trust- and chemistry-building exercises before intimacy scenes.) Before rehearsing the scene, she and Rodis asked the actors to hold each other’s gaze for a long interval. The actors also took turns inviting each other to touch agreed-upon body parts: hand, knee, thigh, and so on.

When it was time to shoot, the aforementioned prosthetic was produced. “It was an actual fake penis that they use in some of the scenes,” Farrell said. “I was like, ‘That’s pretty extreme!’ ” He put it in his pants. “Emily got to actually feel it when it was on top of me,” he said, “and when things like that start happening, it’s an icebreaker, and everybody loosens up a bit.”

Farrell and Meade got in the back of the limo, together with a cameraperson, while Rodis and Green watched the scene via monitor.

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