TV’s Greatest Dysfunctional Families

It’s been almost a decade since Jennifer Saunders graced us with a new episode of Absolutely Fabulous, much to the dismay of fans around the world. But thanks to the magic of the BBC, where it’s never impossible to revive a great show, Patsy and Edina are finally back. To celebrate AbFab‘s 20th anniversary (yes, that makes us feel old), the original cast reunited for three half-hour specials — and the first one airs Sunday night, on both BBC America and Logo.

Having seen the first one, we can safely say that Saunders hasn’t lost her touch. Among other developments, we learn that one of the characters is in prison — and while it’s probably not who you’d think, nothing we could learn about the three generations of Monsoon women would shock us at this point. So, as an homage to one of our favorite dysfunctional families on the small screen, we’ve rounded up ten more we wouldn’t want to see on Thanksgiving but can’t stop watching on TV. … Read More

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The 10 Worst Moms on Television

Most people argue with their mothers here and there, but deep down, almost everyone loves their mother. Similarly, while our mothers may not like all of our life decisions, they are usually proud of us overall. Unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate.

This is particularly true when it comes to the mothers of some of our favorite television characters. If a show has a maniacal, neurotic, foul-mouth or otherwise messed up main character, chances are there is an even worse mother that caused such behavior. Here are a few of our favorite terrible television mothers. … Read More

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10 Shows We Wish Would’ve Quit While They Were Ahead

Last night House returned in its eighth season on Fox to less than stellar ratings. We don’t know about you, but we’re not surprised. What more can possibly happen on this show? The last season ended with a crash, literally, when Gregory House drove his car into long-time crush Cuddy’s house, and this season begins with his release from a short stint in jail. He’s already done the rehab thing. He’s already done the almost dying thing. So what now? Perhaps a DNR would have been in order at the conclusion of Season 6. But we know how House, and even more so, producers, feel about letting go. Below the jump, we’ve rounded up a few other series that should’ve walked away a few seasons before they did — and some that still haven’t. Add to our list in the comments! … Read More

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

Today at Flavorpill, we decided that any iPhone app that can save your life is probably worth downloading. We were a little disturbed by the Photoshop fun happening in Newsweek’s “Diana at 50″ cover. We could barely recognize Anna Faris as a cropped brunette. We drooled over Curbed NY’s… Read More

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The 10 Most Memorable ’00s TV Theme Songs

Now that we’ve gone to the trouble of compiling our lists of the most memorable TV themes of the ‘80s and ‘90s, it would seem irresponsible (not to mention totally at odds with our obsessive-compulsive nature) not to carry on into the 2000s — in spite of the fact that TV theme songs all but disappeared in the decade, replaced on most shows by a quick title hit (though sometimes an ingenious and musical one) and credits rolling under the opening scenes.

However, a few shows (particularly on cable) managed to keep the opening theme song alive, while others took the fifteen to thirty seconds allowed by their networks and made something special of them. As before, it’s not just about an appropriate theme for great show (enough about the Buffy theme already); it’s about a catchy tune that fixes itself in your cranium, one that you not only sing along with when the show starts, but that even pops into your head during the day, or works its way into your shower-crooning repertoire. Our playlist is after the jump, and you can drag and drop your picks into the comments. … Read More

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10 TV Shows That Started Out Great But Went Bad

If you happened to be paying attention to Twitter around 11pm Sunday night, then it won’t be a surprise to you that viewers were tremendously frustrated with the way the first season of AMC’s The Killing ended. Although initially among the most promising new series of the year, it’s been trying audiences’ patience with its sloppy story line and poor character development for several episodes. In fact, when Nina Shen Rastogi at Slate graphed critics’ assessments as the season progressed, she discovered a pronounced downward trend. The Killing‘s precipitous plummet got us thinking about other shows that started out great but eventually lost steam. Our list of ten TV series that went bad is after the jump. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. George Clooney’s The Ides of March, an adaptation of Beau Williams’s play Farragut North, which was inspired by events in Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential primary campaign, will open the Venice Film Festival on August 31st. The film’s all-star cast features Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, and Evan Rachel Wood.… Read More

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10 TV Characters That Need to Be Killed Off

As the stand-off between Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner and AMC continues (and, unfortunately, pushes the Season 5 premiere date back into 2012), a troubling detail has emerged: to save money, Weiner has been asked to cut six characters over the next three seasons. Since Mad Men is, of course, the most important show on television, the web has been full of speculation as to who will or should get the boot. And that got us thinking about some other TV characters we think our favorite shows would be better off without. The first 10 we’d kill off are after the jump. Tell us who you’d add in the comments. … Read More

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A Brief History of Pop Culture’s Stoned Female Characters

There are relatively few female stoner characters in pop culture — a fact that seems surprisingly given a recent study that shows that while teen boys are more likely to smoke pot than their female counterparts, the girls are more likely to become addicted. And while there is currently a stoner road trip comedy in development with Natalie Portman entitled Best Buds,who knows when the mom-to-be will actually find time to star in and produce it. So in the meantime, we’ve come up with a list of women from film and TV to help you get your heavy-lidded lady fix. … Read More

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21st-Century Sitcoms That Will Still Be Funny in 2026

Will audiences of the future find 30 Rock funny, the way we still enjoy I Love Lucy and Cheers? That’s the question Salon critic Matt Zoller Seitz poses in a smart piece arguing that today’s cultural reference-laden sitcoms, or “footnote shows,” as he calls them, all come with an expiration date. In fact, Seitz points out, early episodes of the show that launched the trend, The Simpsons, are already incomprehensible to kids.

While we agree that series like Community may not have decades-long shelf lives, we do believe that plenty of 21st-century sitcoms have what it takes to make generations of fans laugh. After the jump, we list ten shows we think will pass the test of time. Add your suggestions (and feel free to take exception with ours) in the comments. … Read More

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