Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

television

mar
13
2012

'West Wing' Babies | Vanity Fair

Juli Weiner writes, “Just as ‘All the President’s Men’ made newspapers seem cool—imagine!—and propelled legions of baby-boomers into journalism, so Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The West Wing’ has inspired a new generation with its vision of a Washington brimming with lofty ideals. Six years after the series finale, the Sorkinization of politics is still under way.”

jan
27
2012

Farewell To An Unlikely Hero: Why 'Chuck' Packed Such A Potent Punch | Monkey See | NPR

Linda Holmes writes, “Against overwhelming odds and in spite of eternally low ratings, Chuck’s life and death speaks in surprisingly potent ways to how television is changing. More than anything, Chuck is a story about the rise of the fan … And Chuck fans, in their businesslike enthusiasm, sold themselves as a product.”

sep
28
2011

Did I notice you dropping three cubes of sugar in my tea in a scandalous manner?

— McSweeney's: Masterpiece Theatre's Missed Connections (source)

aug
21
2011

Fauxgo

Fun Tumblr blog collecting logos designed for fictional companies in television / film. (Via Swiss Miss)

aug
08
2011

How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad … 23 years ago | Ars Technica

Chris Foresman writes, “One interesting characteristic of Star Trek: The Next Generation — one that separated it from the original series and most of the early films — was its widespread use of smooth, flat, touch-based control panels throughout the Enterprise-D. This touch interface was also used for numerous portable devices known as PADDs, or Personal Access Display Devices. These mobile computing terminals bear a striking resemblance to Apple’s iPad — a mobile computing device largely defined by its smooth, flat touchscreen interface.”

may
11
2011

Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch | NYTimes.com

Michael Pollan on how American cooking became a spectator sport, and what we lost along the way.

apr
28
2011

I guess it’s better to have people think we’re trying to say something than to be quite sure we’re saying absolutely nothing.

— Tina Fey, on fans looking for meaning in '30 Rock' (source)

feb
18
2011

Karma is a bitch. Unless you can’t say “bitch” in the Washington Post, in which case karma is, uh, a fickle strumpet or something.

— 'Jeopardy' champion Ken Jennings, on competing against a computer (source)

jan
19
2011

Special Effects Reel

(If you can’t see the video above, it’s available on Vimeo.) Special effects house Brainstorm Digital has a pretty cool video showcasing special effects work done for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. For the most part (aside from that gruesome …

oct
09
2010

Smell Like a Monster

Sesame Street’s Grover talks about the word “on” in this Old Spice commercial parody. The original:

may
05
2009

chart crazy

Honey, this is the graphics department. We can make as many graphs and as many charts in as many colors on as many kinds of paper as you want.” Last night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother had a …

oct
10
2008

this american life

In the interest of posting something other than regurgitated del.icio.us links, here’s a Chris Ware-animated segment from the most recent season of television’s This American Life. Ware also animated a segment for the show’s first season. (Link via The Beat, …

mar
06
2008

kitchen night off

I had written MasterCard’s “Priceless” ad campaign off as having lost all its charm through overuse, but this new ad is actually rather cleverly done: (I missed seeing it when it apparently first ran during the Oscars — I’d skipped …

mar
05
2008

quote of the day: control

I am so excited to follow [the Ohio and Texas primary election] returns that I am not following these returns. I am TiVoing CNN at home. I like to touch my TV screen whenever John King touches his TV screen. …

jan
24
2008

don't shop when you're hungry, no no no

During my brief tenure in Okinawa (1988-89), the only English-language TV station was run by the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). The television shows were typically a season or two behind the U.S., and in lieu of ads, …

dec
08
2007

who is andrew jackson?

Interesting bit of political trivia from yesterday’s episode of Jeopardy: The Democratic Party’s symbol dates back to 1828, when this man was called a jackass in his run for the presidency

nov
21
2007

the great wakkorotti

(If you can’t see the video above, it’s available on YouTube.) It’s silly and juvenile, but it still makes me laugh this Thanksgiving Eve.

oct
01
2007

wonky nerdy

After a long hiatus, my TiVo suddenly started recording episodes of The West Wing again. The episodes in question were from those first few seasons when the show was especially good. But looking at the episode descriptions, the show sounds …

sep
29
2007

more than that

By random chance, I happened upon a Web site to a vary similar domain name this this one earlier today — MoreThanThat.net (vs. MoreThanThis.net). The kicker: It’s a short-lived (Aug.-Nov. 2006) fansite for Jim and Pam of The Office. Granted, …

jul
21
2007

once more, with feeling

Last night, I went with some friends to the Buffy Singalong at the Avalon Theatre in DC. Yes, a singalong to the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer musical episode “Once More, With Feeling.” For some reason, in talking about this, I …