levar burton

Watch LeVar Burton Teach Kids About Twitter in ‘Tweeting Rainbow’

Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton (ie, everyone’s favorite person ever) appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday night to read… Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: “Geothermal Escapism”

There are two types of episodes that Community does particularly well, though they seem direct contradictions of each other. The first is tightly focused, character-and-dialogue driven stories—bottle episodes, a bit of television terminology that the show itself made common knowledge in season two’s “Collective Calligraphy.” For all their narrative complexity, “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” and “Paradigms of Human Memory” would also fall into that category, as would last week’s excellent “Cooperative Polygraphy.” And at the other end of the spectrum are the big, high concept, gimmick episodes, wherein character and emotion are smuggled in underneath spoofs of genre tropes. The multiple paintball episodes are the most obvious examples; the Ken Burns-influenced “Pillows and Blankets” and Law & Order-styled “Basic Lupine Urology” also leap to mind. But no stunt episode had as heavy an emotional burden as last night’s farewell to Troy Barnes, “Geothermal Escapism,” which makes the show’s dual success as comedy and drama all the more remarkable. … Read More

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Video of the Day: ‘Reading Rainbow’ Remixed

We’ve already professed our overwhelming love for LeVar Burton to you guys before, so you can only imagine how excited we were to see that the Reading Rainbow host is the latest PBS personality to get the “Icons Remixed” treatment courtesy of John D. Boswell (aka melodysheep). Click through to watch the fantastic video, and let us know how you think it compares to the previous installments of the series. Personally, we wish that he’d found a way to work in the original theme song. Sure the lyrics were a bit nonsensical (“Butterfly in the sky / I can go twice as high / Take a look / It’s in a book / A Reading Rainbow”), but that tune still gets stuck in our head for days. … Read More

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Video of the Day: If ‘Reading Rainbow’ Did ‘Naked Lunch’

If we had one complaint about LeVar Burton’s wonderful Reading Rainbow, it would be that the show never took full advantage of its potentially tripped-out rainbow motif. Well, except in that one episode where Burton, apparently on some substance or another, chases butterflies, teaches us about insects, and introduces the kiddies to the weird world of William S. Burroughs’ heroin opus Naked Lunch. OK, so it’s not a real Reading Rainbow episode — but it is a rather clever mash-up of the show and David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaptation of the novel. Watch Andre Perkowski’s video below, and never hear the words “I can go twice as high” the same way again. … Read More

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LeVar Burton in Pop Culture: A Retrospective

Happy birthday, Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr.! Whether you know him as Geordi La Forge from Star Trek, as Kunta Kinte from Roots, or as the Reading Rainbow host who kick-started your childhood book binge, you’re probably as thrilled as we are whenever LeVar Burton pops up in your pop culture sphere. Really, who couldn’t relate to Donald Glover’s Community panic attack upon his starstruck introduction to Mr. Burton? Needless to say, he is a master at the art of TV cameos, and to honor his 55th birthday, we’ve gathered a collection of excellent LeVar Burton pop culture appearances after the jump. Oh, and feel free to leave your birthday wishes in the comments. He might not read them, but we will. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we met the unluckiest person ever. We took a look at presidents and their cars. We watched the highest shallow dive. We saw the world through the eyes of a hula hoop. We learned how scientists reconstruct speech from brain activity. We… Read More

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The End of the (Reading) Rainbow

Reading Rainbow, the book-centric PBS children’s series, has reached the end of its 26-year run, NPR reports. We remember it best as the show various babysitters parked us in front of during our formative years, but we do love to read, so maybe its message sank in. We weep for host LeVar Burton and his legion of fans, even though we have to admit that we didn’t know the show was still on the air. Blame it on the recession…oh yeah, and George W. Bush’s education policy. Because the show stresses why kids should love reading rather than how to read, it’s not in line with the Bush administration’s focus on phonics and spelling. So basically, George W. Bush killed Reading Rainbow. After the jump, a guided tour through some timeless Reading Rainbow… Read More

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