Television Archive

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Aesthetic Vs. Execution: On Andrew Jarecki and Robert Durst.

As of right now, we’re about to enter five days after the explosive finale of The Jinx, HBO’s documentary series reconstructing the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire who may […]

As of right now, we’re about to enter five days after the explosive finale of The Jinx, HBO’s documentary series reconstructing the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire who may or may not have killed at least three people in cold blood. And the ending is probably one of the most hauntingly powerful moments captured in film on the last two decades if not more so. It’s the product of careful and laborious craft, investigative work and sheer determination.

In many ways, I think that’s what’s so easily compelling about The Jinx. It’s a brilliant piece of manipulation on par with anything that Orson Welles would do by the end of his career in documentaries like F For Fake. However, the film has many problems, some of them are downright ethical while others are purely aesthetic. It is still, after all, the product of a filmmaker who gave us Capturing The Friedmans, a film that was willing to go the extra mile in order to craft a narrative (and that extra mile often involved the deliberate manipulation of information)

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Outside The Comfort Zone: Breaking Bad

There are five humans on Planet Earth who have not seen Breaking Bad. These humans were once selected by one Zordon to defend the Earth from Rita Repulsa’s conquering army. […]

There are five humans on Planet Earth who have not seen Breaking Bad. These humans were once selected by one Zordon to defend the Earth from Rita Repulsa’s conquering army. Once I learned that my dear friend Jerry was one of those five humans, I had to bring back Outside The Comfort Zone to make him watch Breaking Bad. We of course decided to not discuss Jerry’s experiences as a Power Ranger due to the fact that this is stuff he feels really uncomfortable revisiting.

Either way, we hope you enjoy this one! It was a really fun one to make and we hope to start bringing these back to this place sooner rather than later.

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Pawnee In The Rear View Mirror.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when evaluating a work of art. Especially when you are naturally passionate about art or the work itself. So you will […]

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when evaluating a work of art. Especially when you are naturally passionate about art or the work itself. So you will have to forgive the superlatives that will come out of my fingertips and which I will regret later in life as I re-evaluate everything I have ever written. But Parks and Recreation might just be the best comedy of the last 15 years so far. And its ending might just be one of the most powerful hours of Television crafted in the history of the medium.

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Me and John Stewart.

I’m seven years old. The year is 2001. The date is, well, you know what it is. I come home. At the time me and my parents were living in […]

I’m seven years old. The year is 2001. The date is, well, you know what it is.

I come home. At the time me and my parents were living in a dingy mid-town apartment in Barranquilla, Colombia. I just came back from school. I literally don’t remember anything else about that day. Other than my parents and my grandmother, huddled in front of the TV. They were watching two planes crash into two gigantic towers of steel. I thought this was a movie. I ignored it. I went to bed early, tired and didn’t ask any questions. The next day, I hear all about it and I feel mildly dumb for assuming it was a movie.

What you need to understand is that these events were incredibly unreal to me. Not even in my wildest dreams could I imagine the US being subject to such a destructive terrorist attack. To us, the US was the haven. The endgoal. The dream. You know that story. You’ve heard it thousands of times. We heard it millions.

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Galavant Aspires To Great Things But Does Not Achieve

Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin […]

Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin with, but movies like The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and of course Monty Python and The Holy Grail have been cult classics due to how they play with the formula, the latter going into outright absurdity. Galavant is the newest attempt to join that list with one added twist. It’s also a musical with new songs in every episode. Such an ambitious idea alone is worth taking note for the month it takes up Once Upon A Time’s time slot.

The story opens with a song about our hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and how he’s gone off to rescue his one true love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) from the clutches of the evil King Richard. (Timothy Omundson) Unfortunately, when he comes to interrupt the wedding, he’s found that Madalena actually rather likes the comfort and privilege of being a queen. A depressed Galavant leaves the castle and proceeds to drink himself into a blind stupor. Two years later, he’s approached by Princess Isabella (Karen David) who needs her help to save her kingdom. With his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) with them, they head off to adventure and hijinks.

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Saving Sleepy Hollow: The Things That Keep It From Regaining Its Former Glory.

I love Sleepy Hollow. I love the time-displaced Ichabod, I love Abbie and her loose-canon sister Jenny, and I love the imaginative monsters it’s given us week after week. I […]

I love Sleepy Hollow. I love the time-displaced Ichabod, I love Abbie and her loose-canon sister Jenny, and I love the imaginative monsters it’s given us week after week. I love it even now, after a series of grave mis-steps, including new characters that haven’t worked out as well as had been desired, pacing issues, and just a general loss of focus moved the show from something I was frequently excited to see to something a lot more lukewarm. The mid-season finale -a thing that TV is apparently doing now- featured a pretty big shift for the show, so I had hoped for a more positive shift. However, the addition of an archangel as a villain seems to imply that rather than restructuring what worked and made the show unique the show is moving in a more generic, safe direction.

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Heavy Weight Champions of 2014: True Detective

The season-anthology format pioneered by American Horror Story is probably one of the most refreshing injections of energy into Television in the last few years. Sadly, while Murphy decided to […]

The season-anthology format pioneered by American Horror Story is probably one of the most refreshing injections of energy into Television in the last few years. Sadly, while Murphy decided to turn AHS into a playground for his extremely unique talent for disjointed storytelling filled with over the top “Oh shit, that happened on a TV show?”-ness not many other options flourished after its immediate announcement. Of course, it could just be because producers everywhere were holding their breath to see if Asylum turned out to be economically unsuccessful. And even if I’m not his biggest fan, I will say, major kudos to Murphy in crafting what is easily the most insane, utterly out of control TV show in recent memory. It’s a shame that that anarchic energy does not translate into entertainment for me, for reasons not worth getting into.

However, what did entertain me during 2014 was seeing how many other shows took the idea of “One season, one story” and ran with it. Especially January’s first big surprise: Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective. Told as a sequence of flashbacks framed by a police interrogation of two former police detectives, True Detective is the story of Rustin “Rust” Cohle and Martin “Marty” Hart, the detectives in charge of the “King In Yellow” case, as their case is being revised by the Missouri police because they believe they have found a new victim and a new lead.

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Outside The Comfort Zone 3: Transformers

Welcome to another Outside The Comfort Zone. For this one we have our senior Moonologist, Anne, reveal her true colors as a Starscream apologist/Autoboctor as we discuss three iterations of […]

Welcome to another Outside The Comfort Zone. For this one we have our senior Moonologist, Anne, reveal her true colors as a Starscream apologist/Autoboctor as we discuss three iterations of Hasbro’s Transformers (Generation 1, Prime and Animated) as well as surrounding weirdness like the Transformers’ shojo manga and Bayformers.

I will say, Jerry and Anne grabbed me and converted me into a person who would be interested in watching more Transformers. So they win. This time.

After this, we will return to discuss G.I Joe’s nuttiness and after that, we will handle Jem. Hopefully you enjoy this and discover the Power of Human Relations.

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You Should (Not) Be Watching: Doctor Who Season 8

Welcome back the other Brain On Airwaves feature podcast as we get (a little bit late) into Doctor Who’s season 8 and we discuss mostly the past of the show and what we […]

Welcome back the other Brain On Airwaves feature podcast as we get (a little bit late) into Doctor Who’s season 8 and we discuss mostly the past of the show and what we can expect based on the season premiere Deep Breath from this season which is shaping up to be better than the mess that we have obtained during the last two years.

You Should (Not) Be Watching will become You Should (Not) Be Playing for our next episode, which will also be a bit of a late doozy as we re-examine our assessment (heard here) of The Walking Dead Video Game’s Season 2 and it turns out that any hope that this game somehow pulled a quality turnaround was misplaced, to say the least.

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Outside Of The Comfort Zone 2: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It’s Episode 2 of Outside The Comfort Zone. Jerry forced me to watch various instances of the TMNT franchises in honor of the Michael Bay-released reboot and as part of our start […]

It’s Episode 2 of Outside The Comfort Zone. Jerry forced me to watch various instances of the TMNT franchises in honor of the Michael Bay-released reboot and as part of our start of a month-based project to examine certain 80s franchise remnants. Join us as we discuss the 2012 cartoon, the 2003 cartoon and the IDW comic and we consider the value of the Eastman and Laird-created franchise. Hopefully you’ll learn to cowabunga, dude or whatever the hell is Mikey even on about.

During the month of September, we will be examining Transformers and G.I Joe alongside fellow Nerdstocker Anne. It should be fun and you will finally get to hear both Jerry’s 20 page thesis on why Cobra Commander is actually the greatest character of all time and Anne’s novelette on the Megatron/Starscream dichotomy that defines man.

Check it out here via download or streaming.

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