Do we have a show? You bet your britches we have a show. We talk Big Kahuna and Movie Club, Carrie and The Descent, Oblivion and Gravity, Agents of SHIELD and TV, rep cinemas and the future of exhibition, and maybe some other things too. Mamo is like Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop.
This photo, alone, is one of my five or six favourite moments in all of Six Feet Under.
If there’s a better show for an early-October binge-watch than The Walking Dead, I don’t know about it. When we last left our heroes, it was the end of Season One and the series had its highlights and was otherwise sorta settling into a comfortable “meh” area of my relationship with this television renaissance of ours. (It made me want a Y: The Last Man series. That’s about all.) Much of Season Two seemed more of the same, as everyone hung around Hershel’s farm, shooting the shit – and then around three or four episodes from the end of that year, shit got real. I watched four principal characters die in the space of an afternoon or so, which - aside from depressing the holy fuck out of me - had the added value of tying up some plot lines that had long since grown stale (I’m looking at you, Shane)… and then the big one happened, and holy moly, I could not be more bought into this show if it came giftwrapped with a Matt Brown sticker on the top. Spoilers follow.Read more
In which I enter the ring on the Breaking Bad finale conversation, which seems slightly perfunctory. Read more
The study of change.
Great read from the New York Times. Netflix is basically saying that content creators should not necessarily view piracy in oppositional terms. There’s a lot to be learned from those who steal content, especially which content they’re pirating. - ZU
You would think that Netflix, HBO and the like don’t think too highly of video piracy Web sites. After all, two of the biggest hits on Netflix — Orange Is the New Black, a show about a women locked up in prison, and House of Cards, about a conniving politician — are among the most pirated content online. HBO’s Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012.
But last week, a senior Netflix executive said the company itself used pirating Web sites — to determine the genre of new shows viewers might be interested in, and the type of content Netflix produces or licenses.
“With the purchase of a series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Kelly Merryman, vice president of content acquisitionat Netflix, told the Web site Tweakers, a Netherlands-based news outlet. “Prison Break” is exceptionally popular on piracy sites,” Ms. Merryman said, while noting that this was part of the reason Netflix decided to license the show.
While piracy proponents have been arguing that companies should embrace illegal downloads for some time, it seems that companies like Netflix are finally agreeing.
From Content Creators Use Piracy to Gauge Consumer Interest, by Nick Bilton
1. We’re not gonna put periods between all the letters of SHIELD any more. On a related note, the title is terrible. It should just be SHIELD.
2. The primary casting is awful. I literally can’t tell the four main characters apart - or at least, I can’t tell the two boys apart, or the two girls apart. I know we’re on network TV here, but this must be one of the most egregious examples of casting a supermodel-ish Life Model Decoy where a regular human being would have been better, like, ever.
3. And the look is awful. Alias, back in 2002, had a more dynamic visual style than this, from both a photographic and design perspective. This is piss-poor in the extreme, and in the post-LOST world, doesn’t pass muster. Firefly was gorgeous to look at. Dollhouse, less so. SHIELD, even less so yet.
4. And other than those 3 things, I was happy as a pig in slop watching this. A lot of this was due to things, though, that I expect to be peripheral to the show - I loved J. August Richards, was a little bit too excited when Ron Glass showed up, want a Cobie Smulders / Maria Hill action figure so bad, and could watch Ming-Na Wen kick the shit out of HYDRA agents (because come on!) for a good three or four seasons. I also like the Scottish guy’s accent, and thought J’s final monologue was terrific. I could take or leave the flying car.
I don’t envy any TV series that had to run during these last few episodes of Breaking Bad, let alone on the same night and time; to say nothing of the damping effect upon the entire media that the BB coverage inevitably creates, it must also be discouraging to know that the “best show” honours are irrevocably spoken for, and that nothing you can do will make a dent.
So a funny thing happened a few weeks ago, which is that The Newsroom - Sorkin’s endlessly troubled, and troubling, vanity project for HBO - got really, really, really fucking good.Read more