Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nichols and May on the Quiz Show Scandal

This excerpt is from The Fabulous Fifties, a true "spectacular" from CBS in 1960. Hosted by Peter Fonda, it featured a variety of established stars, films by Ray and Charles Eames, and sequences with new up and coming comedians Mike Nichols and Elaine May. In this one, which is the sort of improvised dialogue they were becoming famous for, the two discuss the TV quiz show scandal.

Moral issues, still beat real issues.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Tough, But Fair: A Message to My TV Criticism Students

Here's a conversation you might want to have with yourself:
Did I remember to italicize the title of the TV show I wrote about in my column?
If yes: Of course, that's what I was told before and it is an easy rule to follow (or look up if I am unsure). I'm going to get on with my weekend!
If not: Why is it I cannot remember to do this?
What impact will this have on my grade?
What does this potentially signal about my future, that I can't take care of this small thing, the neglect of which seriously undermines my writing?
What can I do to remember to italicize the titles of TV shows next time?
I don't know. But I hope I can remember.
Something to think about.
Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

If Game of Thrones "The Mountain and the Viper" was Pee Wee's Big Adventure

I finally caught up with this week's Game of Throne's episode, "The Mountain and the Viper" last night. I more or less woke up thinking about the final scene. But then I began thinking about the similarities the whole episode shared with one of my favorite films from the 1980s, Pee Wee's Big Adventure. It made it all a little less traumatic.

The similarities grow as it goes along, starting with the blooming but must be doomed romance between Grey Worm and Missandei. Grey Worm is bathing and thinking thoughts you didn't think unsullied thought. He watches Missandei and she notices and covers herself but not after standing up to give him a full view. Dany and Missandei talk about those thoughts everyone thought unsullied didn't think, but Missandei says no I'm pretty sure he was thinking what you're thinking.

Then Missandei and Grey Worm share a moment. It's clear these two have the hots for each other. Everyone can see it. But Grey Worm isn't just unsullied. He's a loner-- a rebel.

Meanwhile, Ramsey Bolton uses Theon to convince Moat Cailin to surrender (and get flayed). Will this be the trick that finally gets this particular bastard his dad's approval?

Dad asks him...


He says Ramsey Stone, but dad says, "Ramsey Bolton!" It is a tender moment.


Back in the Vale, Little Finger is getting questioned about the mysterious decision of his new wife to jump out the moon door. He's like, "I loved her but she was mixed up," and they are like yeah whatever let's see what Sansa says.


Then Sansa shows up and says she's going to tell everything and Little Finger is worried but then Sansa backs up his story and he's like YES!


Also, Sansa now has cleavage.

Nearby, sister Arya arrives in the custody of the Hound who has brought her to get a ransom from her Aunt Lysa Arryn. But then he finds out he came all this way for nothing--Aunt Lysa is dead!

There's no basement at the Alamo!


 Arya laughs, and the Hound is more like "Doh!"


Finally, it's time for the event we've been waiting for all: Oberyn vs. the Mountain. Oberyn is drinking and dressed light. The Mountain is the Mountain. But Oberyn says he's not going to die today, he just has a gymnastic routine that doesn't allow for wearing armor.

For a while, he spins around while the Mountain chases him around the ring.

Oberyn makes it clear he is out to avenge the death of his sister and for a while the fight is really going his way.

But then Oberyn's mouth gets him in trouble. The Mountain grabs him and with a gentle squeeze...

He makes Oberyn's head look something like this:

Tywin Lannister jumps to his feet and gloats, pronouncing the verdict of the trial by combat. Finally, he gets to execute his son!

The end.