Check out Mrs. Brown's Boys

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).

And the whole series is available on DVD at amazon. Read the rest

John Oliver's season finale: analyzing Trump's year of attacks on truth, decency and America

John Oliver is on fire (naturally) in his season finale segment on the first year of Trumpism, a year so busy and scandal-plagued that it really needs to this kind of revisiting to bring its full ghastliness to light. Read the rest

A Stranger Things Eleven candle with a bleeding nose

Firebox's $36.69 Eleven candle-holder: insert one red candle, light, and wait for the blood to start dribbling from her nostril. Caution: telekinesis. (via Bonnie Burton) Read the rest

Dr. Phil with all the talking removed

Dr. Phil is to psychology as Judge Judy is to jurisprudence: a maliciously entertaining jobsworth who's spent so long stripmining their professional credibility it's hard to see where sincerity ends and irony begins. He's much better when he isn't talking, though, a fact exposed by this marvelous cut by Bill Smith.

Previously: Dune without words.

Update! He did the same thing for Judge Judy!

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Celebrate Stranger Things with an Eleven pie topped with waffles

Carbohydrate whisperer Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (AKA @thePieous) (previously), author of Pies Are Awesome Vol 1 "Pie-Modding": How to Epic-Up Store Bought Pies and Be the Hero of the Party" writes, "I Mucha'd up Eleven with waffles. In pie form. As ya do. I'm incredibly psyched for season 2 - Stranger Things is everything I love in pop culture wadded up, thrown in a blender, and poured out all over my TV set. But, you know, sophisticatedly. " Read the rest

TV commercial depicts giant nipple UFO squirting milk into children's mouths

This is a TV commercial from Japanese milk company Rakunoh Mother’s. What's the deal with this Uddered Flying Object (UFO)? For the cattle mutilation-inspired backstory, see the equally unusual TV spot below.

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There's a Black Mirror book coming, and I'm gonna help write it

This morning, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and Random Penguin announced that he's editing a series of anthologies of Black Mirror novellas; I'm writing one of the three stories for the first volume, along with Claire North, and Sylvain Neuvel. I'm pretty goddamned thrilled about this. Read the rest

Networks hide badly rated shows by misspelling their names in Nielsen submissions

When a network TV show performs badly, the networks deliberately introduce errors into the episodes' metadata before submitting it to the Nielsen ratings, so that the episode is counted as a separate show and doesn't bring the season's average rating down. Read the rest

Brief history of Britain's brilliant LARP television shows

To celebrate the return of The Crystal Maze, Richard Cobbett recaps Britain's odd history of LARP shows, which pioneered chroma-key and VR-based special effects when such things were strange and expensive—and not as strange and expensive as the sets they were superimposed upon.

All were brilliant but many were dreadful, and classics such as Knightmare seem to hover perpetually on the edge of being rebooted for a new generation. First up, though, is Richard Ayoade as the third host of Crystal Maze, previously helmed by Richard O'Brien (of Rocky Horror fame) and punk rocker and actor Edward Tudor-Pole.

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Game of Thrones season 7 trailer

♫ Enemies to the west of me, enemies to the east, here I am, stuck in the middle with you ♪

The seventh and final season of Game of Thrones starts July 16. Read the rest

Matt Ruff's "Lovecraft Country" adapted for TV by Jordan Peele and HBO

Well, this just made my day: Matt Ruff's outstanding anti-racist novel Lovecraft Country has been picked up for development into a TV show by Jordan "Get Out" Peele, JJ Abrams and HBO. Read the rest

Trailer for Stephen King's It (2017)

Pennywise and his real-world imitators may be thanked for putting an early end to the Pokemon Go fad last year, but the real fruit of It's labor is the forthcoming TV film version of Steven King's classic horror book. Here's the trailer.

There's a high bar to meet, but it's worth remembering that the original miniseries was pretty dull when Tim Curry wasn't on-screen. Read the rest

Wonderful 30-second Rube Goldberg videos from Japanese children's TV

NHK's children's show Pythagora Switch features fiendishly clever, astoundingly amusing interstitial segments with beautiful little Rube Goldberg machines, possessed of a Miyazakiesque whimsy and a Mujiesque minimalism. These are wonderful -- and at 30 seconds each, you can watch a whole ton of 'em. Read the rest

The BBC will air a docudrama on Terry Pratchett's life and his struggle with Alzheimer's

Paul Kaye plays Pratchett in Back in Black, based on Pratchett's unfinished autobiography; it will air on Saturday. Read the rest

Pre-order a festishistically detailed 1:26 replica of Seinfeld's apartment 5a set

It's $400 to pre-order these 1:26 replicas of the set from Sienfeld, created by the show's production designer Tho. E. Azzari and miniaturist Alan Wolfson (they're $500 retail). Read the rest

This 1958 TV western predicted Trump with a character named... Trump

A 1958 episode of the television western Trackdown features a con artist named Trump who wants to build a wall to protect a town from destruction. From the Classic TV Archive:

Walter Trump, a confidence man, puts on a long robe and holds a tent meeting in the town of Talpa. He tells the townspeople that a cosmic explosion will rain fire on the town and that he is the only one that can save them from death. Ranger Hoby Gilman attempts to prove Trump is a fraud.

And a bit of dialog from the episode:

Narrator: Hoby had checked the town. The people were ready to believe. Like sheep they ran to the slaughterhouse. And waiting for them was the high priest of fraud.

Trump: I am the only one. Trust me. I can build a wall around your homes that nothing can penetrate.

Townperson: What do we do? How can we save ourselves?

Trump: You ask how do you build that wall. You ask, and I'm here to tell you.

"Trackdown Shakedown" (Snopes, thanks David Steinberg!)

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Drive a nail through 2016 with Charlie "Black Mirror" Brooker's Screenwipe

Literally one of the most exciting moments I had in 2016 was the realization, well into the year, that Charlie Brooker -- creator of Black Mirror, Nathan Barley and TV Go Home -- was going to have to make sense of the entire annus horribilis in his annual Screenwipe special (previously). Read the rest

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