If you always secretly wished that The West Wing was a lot more soapy, then mark your calendars for Sunday night, when a new show called Political Animals premieres on USA. At the heart of this fun new series is the Hammond family, a political dynasty in the vein of the Kennedys, who are every bit as flawed and riddled by scandal. There’s also a clear homage to the Clintons happening here. Sigourney Weaver’s Elaine Barrish is basically Hillary Clinton with a much better stylist; meanwhile, Ciarán Hinds as two-term president and general good ol’ boy Bud Barrish is cut from the same cloth as Bill. As in real life, the on-screen relationship between this fictionalized version of the couple is hard to comprehend. Like Carla Gugino, who plays the family’s nemesis, journalist Susan Berg, we can’t help but wonder why a woman as strong as Elaine would put up with a cheating husband — but then, she’s far from the first TV character to let her heart rule over her head. Click through for a roundup of some of the most hopeless, angst-ridden romantics in recent television history. … Read More
Sex And The City
The gallerina is everywhere. Over the past several years, the female art gallery assistant has subtly slipped herself into a host of rom-coms, Candace Bushnell-esque chick lit, and sitcoms about independent women trying to make it in the big city. Now, the stock character is getting her own reality show. Bravo recently released the trailer for its new series Gallery Girls, which premieres August 13 and follows the lives of young women in the New York City art world.
So what about the female gallery assistant makes her such a popular female trope? In a hilarious excerpt from Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? that was featured in The New Yorker, Kaling deems the art gallery assistant a popular rom-com specimen because of her posh pedigree and vague, unthreatening career. The gallery girl also plays another important function in the realm of female-geared media, as a sort of balance to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl; while both are creative, the Gallerina is as focused and ambitious as the MPDG is whimsical and carefree. After the jump, we’ve rounded up our favorite gallerinas in pop culture as a quick study of this 21st-century archetype. … Read More
HBO has decided to license select series to Hulu… in Japan. While we won’t be seeing the newest eps of Game of Thrones or True Blood stateside, it could plant the seeds for future markets. (Please?!) Japan will have access to the online content starting today, featuring shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the… Read More
Ah, ’90s TV characters. They don’t make them quite like they used to, eh? Have you ever wondered what Daria might be like ca. 2012? Or Wilson from Home Improvement? After noticing a familiar Sex and the City-type plot line in a recent episode of Girls — or, more specifically, that Hannah is as addicted to Adam as Carrie was to Mr. Big — we were inspired to seek out other current counterparts to popular ’90s TV characters. Needless to say, it was a little tough and a lot of fun. After the jump, check out our modern matches for Rachel Green, Jerry Seinfeld, Jessie Spano, and more. … Read More
We all need idols, and considering how central books, film, and TV can be to our lives, it makes sense that so many of us count fictional characters among our role models. But not every charismatic protagonist is an Atticus Finch — or even a Leslie Knope. After the jump, we take a lighthearted look at some of the outsize personalities that never should have become cult heroes or objects of popular worship. These aren’t villains we relish for their cartoonish evil, but irreparably flawed (and sometimes downright sociopathic) characters people think are cool and/or strive to emulate, from a teenage rapist to pop culture’s ultimate kept woman. … Read More
When you’re as obsessed with pop culture as we are, you can’t help wondering what would happen if some of your favorite characters could break out of the confines of their individual universes and get to connect. Not that this doesn’t occasionally happen, but it’s not often enough to stop us predicting things like which TV characters would be friends in real life (or literary characters, for that matter). Our latest musing along these lines took us into more romantic territory, as we started to imagine which far-flung pop-culture characters were practically made for each other. In fact, some of them were so obvious, we’re amazed we didn’t make the (love) connection before. Join us as we play matchmaker for everyone from Harry Potter to Sookie Stackhouse, and then let us know what you think the chances are for these star-crossed couples in the comments. … Read More
Girls is a hyper-realistic comedy set in present-day New York. Game of Thrones, by contrast, takes place in a fantasy world of castles, dragons, and knights. But they both have one thing in common, aside from the fact that they both air Sunday nights on HBO: creepy sex. Their strange convergence got us thinking about how often we come away from an evening of high-quality premium cable feeling a bit scarred by all the bizarre sexual contact we’ve witnessed. To try and quantify the damage that’s been done to our impressionable minds, we’ve ranked ten of its best-known series to determine, once and for all, which HBO show has the creepiest sex scenes. Let us know if you agree. … Read More
AUSTIN, TX: When word started to circulate that Girls, the new HBO comedy series from writer/director/star Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) concerned a group of young single women living in New York, the lazy Sex and the City comparisons were immediate. We do not know if those musings were already out there when they shot their pilot episode, so it’s impossible to know whether the Sex and the City reference in it was reactive or preemptive. But this much is certain: a character’s obsession with the show (and whether she is “a Carrie” or “a Miranda” or whatever) is used to illustrate how insipid and insufferable she is. Well played, Dunham.
This is all good and well, because Girls is everything Sex and the City wasn’t: smart, honest, grounded, funny, and painful. Yes, it’s about four women in Gotham, and the sexuality is pay-cable graphic. And it is about women who are both sympathetic and kind of awful; the primary difference, of course, is that Girls actually knows that they’re kind of awful.
The first three episodes, which premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival Monday afternoon, are richly inventive and endlessly quotable; this is the most exciting and promising new comedy series since Community. It would be easy to shrug the show off as a TV continuation of Dunham’s breakthrough film, and to be sure, there are similarities; her character, Hannah, isn’t too far removed from Furniture’s Aura (or, seemingly, from Dunham herself), and her close yet dysfunctional relationships with men and lovers are similarly drawn. But it’s also a crisply executed, professional television comedy, thanks (presumably) to the guidance of executive producer Jenni Konner and her Undeclared colleague, Judd Apatow. … Read More
Everyone loves a good off-screen TV feud, eh? Even some of our favorite, friendliest sitcom stars have found themselves targets of a bitter costar’s angry words. Why? It’s usually a matter of jealousy, annoyance, or an extramarital affair with Sienna Miller, but more on that later. We get it — when you’re working with a small group of people as closely and consistently as a successful television show requires, you’re bound to get your feathers ruffled at some point or another, right? Check out a selection of nine noteworthy TV cast feuds after the jump, and hit the comments to pick a side. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we enjoyed Marco Kaye’s hilarious “What It’s Like Being President, Metaphorically Speaking” over on McSweeney’s. We geeked out over this circuit-board skull by Graham Rudge from the Yukon School of Visual Arts. We saw what Nicki Minaj looked like in music videos before she turned into… Read More