Along with expressions of grief and shock, James Gandolfini’s untimely death prompted many critics to reflect on Tony Soprano, the actor’s defining role. And to the blogosphere’s credit, a solid chunk of that debate has centered not just on what Tony’s influence has changed in the world of television, but also what it hasn’t: since The Sopranos went off the air, audiences have seen a physician Tony (Greg House), a 1960s Tony (Donald Draper, of course), and a politician Tony (Francis Underwood), but we’ve yet to meet a female Tony. The absence of women from television’s current crop of antiheroes has been well noted by everyone from Flavorwire’s own Jason Bailey to The Atlantic’s Akash Nikolas, who offer a host of explanations for why women have yet to receive the Soprano treatment. But the reason there hasn’t been a female Tony Soprano may be that Tony isn’t a fitting template for women antiheroes — and creating convincing ones may require moving beyond The Sopranos, not following in its footsteps. … Read More
“You can’t write poetry on a computer,” says Quentin Tarantino, and he can’t write his screenplays on one either — he does it old school, longhand, in a notebook, putting his words in typewritten form at the last possible second. It may make him sound like a Luddite, but he’s far from the only one; plenty of Hollywood’s most successful scribes prefer to work by hand, at least in the early stages. This week, we found out that Lawrence Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back in longhand as well, and a trip down the Internet rabbit hole turned up several more popular films that were worked out by hand before they made it to the screen. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we learned a few things we didn’t know about holiday songs. We found out why English writer Alan Moore turned his back on Hollywood. We learned that something beautiful happens when you throw boiling water over a balcony in Russia. We read Popular Mechanics’ 110 predictions for the next 110 years. We watched Big Boi read How the Grinch Stole Christmas. … Read More
This week, we were probably inordinately excited to hear that AMC is planning to air all 18 episodes of The Walking Dead in black and white. This is such a cool idea, especially considering that the original comic was done completely in grayscale line-drawings. Indeed, the network has explained that the black and white treatment is meant to “give the series a Universal Monsters feel as well as mimicking the artistic style of the comic.” The news got us to thinking about some other TV shows we’d like to see get the old-timey treatment — whether based on their period or just their visual style. Click through to see our picks (plus a few doctored screenshots) and let us know what we missed in the comments! … Read More
Does the world need another movie about teenage boys from the suburbs who start a rock ‘n’ roll band just as Beatlemania is starting to take hold? Probably not, but since the movie in question is also the feature film directorial debut of Sopranos creator David Chase, we’ll take it. His first project to see the light of day since since that show ended in 2007, Not Fade Away finds him returning to New Jersey and reuniting with James Gandolfini, who plays a rigid ’60s dad who seemingly embodies the generation gap. Fans of Chase will recognize his touch in the vivid, detailed visuals — but the guys’ exuberant, idealistic energy adds an extra jolt of revolutionary youthfulness. As reticent as we are to indulge Boomer nostalgia, this might just make our must-see list. Watch the first trailer for Not Fade Away, which opens December 21st, below. … Read More
TV audiences apparently can’t get enough of Sherlock Holmes. With tonight’s premiere of Elementary, fans now have two shows starring the legendary fictional detective to choose from: the BBC’s acclaimed Sherlock, which produces just three episodes per season and airs in the US on PBS, and the new American version. The CBS series finds Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes detoxing in New York, in the care of Lucy Liu’s Watson. Although we find the chemistry between those two promising, we’re not sure primetime needs another Sherlock Holmes.
Of course, both Sherlock Holmeses are just incarnations of an archetype TV dramas love: the rogue good guy. That realization got us thinking about characters we see far too often. So we’ve created a list of tired types we wish TV writers would lay off, at least for a while. Leave your additions in the comments. … 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
Dallas premieres tonight, and if you’re the kind of person who worships HBO’s three Davids (Simon, Chase, and Milch), you probably aren’t that excited. After all, this isn’t just a primetime soap opera — it’s a reboot of a primetime soap that already ran for 13 seasons before calling it quits two decades ago. Now, we don’t blame you for being skeptical about Dallas; we are, too. But don’t dismiss it just because it’s a soap.
As we mentioned a few months ago in a defense of Downton Abbey, plenty of what we think of as quality TV shows fit the basic requirements for a soap opera. Although definitions vary, most sources agree that the category encompasses melodramatic serial dramas with multiple storylines and episode-ending cliffhangers. With those guidelines in mind, we’ve revealed which critical darlings are secretly soap operas, after the jump. … 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
Tomorrow, Jim, Michelle, Stifler, and friends are heading back to high school. The American Pie crew — who we were first introduced to back in 1999 — will be getting the class together again for American Reunion. In order to prepare ourselves for the flashback, we’ve put together a brief pop culture primer that reviews some of the biggest trends and happenings that year. Prince partied like it was 1999 in 1982, but we’re bringing it back in 2012. So, let’s get way too ponderous about The Matrix, dust off that copy of Harry Potter, and panic about Y2K all over again. Head past the break for a look at 1999, and leave your favorite memories in the comments below. … Read More