The Office

Tina Fey’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Has All the Promise (and Some of the Problems) of Early ’30 Rock’

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the new show from 30 Rock team Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and its first season appeared today on Netflix. The show sets up its concept in a tight two minutes: Kimmy (Ellie Kemper, best known for The Office and her supporting role in Bridesmaids) was abducted at 14. She has spent the past 15 years of her life in an apocalypse bunker. … Read More

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15 Fictional TV Characters’ Pop Culture Halloween Costumes

Many people argue that the magic of Halloween disappears once you’ve grown up, but let’s be honest: dressing up is always fun. Pop culture provides us with endless ideas for Halloween costumes, whether it’s a favorite TV character, the many iterations of Lady Gaga, or some clever take on an Internet meme. And because TV writers are just as informed by media as we are, their fictional television characters will often also end up in pop culture-inspired costumes. From Bob’s Burgers to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, here are 15 of the best pop culture costumes in television. … Read More

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Why Can’t Ricky Gervais Leave David Brent Alone?

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

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Why So Many TV Shows Peak in Season 3

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10 Career-Changing Music Moments in the Last 10 Years of TV

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

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Now That Fox Has Killed “Pilot Season,” Let’s Go Ahead and Kill TV Pilots

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

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Dating and Relationship Advice From Pop Culture’s Greatest Geeks

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

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