It’s hard to remember now, but when the UK original version of The Office, starring co-creator and co-writer Ricky Gervais, first aired in 2001, it was a revelation — a wickedly funny, desperately sad mockumentary style look into the denizens of one paper-pushing company. It was the loneliness and desperation that burned through the screen, whether it was big boss David Brent’s (played by Gervais) attempts at fame and friendship or Tim’s (Martin Freeman’s) fight for something like love and sanity. It was a marvelous work, equal parts comedy and tragedy, certainly worthy of (high) placement in the all-time-best-show-ever pantheon. Gervais played the role of Brent so well that it felt like he was Brent, at times. The show felt lived in and accurate about the daily misery of the working man. It was not a show made by people who had no idea what it was like to be in an office job that could maybe become your life; rather, it was steeped in that existential terror. … Read More
In the early 2000s, TV went through a transformation to become a medium capable of artistic achievement on par with film. The power of television has not always been harnessed when it comes to music, but the change in TV coincided with its emergence as a platform as powerful as radio in breaking new artists to the masses. Today the game continues, with music supervisors being courted by labels as much, if not more, than tastemaking rock writers. The power of TV is such that it can both break new artists and reinvent old hits like “Baby Blue” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” for new generations. And so, we’ve put together a list of ten music moments on TV in the last ten years that were not only memorable, but that actually altered an artist’s… Read More
In all of my years reading about the television business, none of the fine writers on that beat — Emily Nussbaum, Bill Carter, Todd VanDerWerff, etc. — has ever summarized the “pilot” process as cleanly and succinctly as Pulp Fiction’s Jules Winnfield. Here he is, explaining Marsellus Wallace’s wife’s claim to fame: “The way they pick TV shows is they make one show; that show’s called a pilot. Then they show that one show to the people who pick shows, and on the strength of that one show, they decide if they want to make more shows. Some get chosen and become television programs. Some don’t, and become nothing. She starred in one of the ones that became nothing.” The news out of this week’s Television Critics Association press tour was that Fox chairman Kevin O’Reilly was making the bold move of eliminating pilots from the television equation. On closer examination, the change is much more specific; he’s eliminating pilot season, one of the organizing principles for TV’s fall-centered schedule. That’s a good start. But the initial reports were more promising. They should kill pilots altogether. … Read More
The word “geek” gets tossed around casually these days, it’s meaning still evolving in our Internet-obsessed age, but when it comes to pop culture’s depiction of geeks in love, things are largely the same. The stereotype of the socially awkward loner would have us believe that male and female geeks are incapable of dating, maintaining healthy relationships, and making the sex. But fictional geeks have proven that they are fully capable of meeting that special someone. They even have some pretty great advice to share with us. Geekadelphia co-founder Eric Smith covers the same tips for real-life geeks in his soon-to-be published The Geek’s Guide to Dating from Quirk. In the spirit of geek love, we share advice from ten of pop culture’s greatest geeks to guide you on your romantic quest. … Read More
Here at Flavorwire, we do our level best to engage in rational, reasoned, thoughtful criticism. But there are elements of our culture that are simply out of our analytical grasp: the films, music, authors, television shows, etc. that we hate with no reasonable explanation. Welcome to Irrational Hatred Week, in which your Flavorwire staffers share what we loathe in a variety of media, and do our best to figure out why. Today’s Irrational Hatred topic: TV. … Read More
As one television season comes to its inevitable end, and a number of our favorite shows have either finished for the summer (or for good) we’ve compiled a suggested reading list of books to binge on and fill the void of your favorite shows while we wait impatiently for them to return next season. Readers and television bingers alike, don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments. … Read More
Arrested Development fans are busy counting down the hours until Season 4 premieres this Sunday at midnight on Netflix, and here at Flavorwire, we’re no different. So, we’re passing the time by declaring this Arrested Development Week, all leading up to a Recap-a-thon on Sunday, when our own Jason Bailey will review the whole season, episode by episode. Click here to follow our coverage.
By now, the common wisdom is that Arrested Development’s original three-season run was influential and groundbreaking — but what, specifically, do we owe to the show? The dubious film career of Jason Bateman? David Cross appearing in those Alvin and the Chipmunks movies? The forgotten Fox animated flop Sit Down, Shut Up? Hardly. For your consideration, a brief survey of television programs that may never have existed were it not for the Bluth crew. … Read More