Here's another project for Avon Barksdale to fund.
You done good, AMC.
For some reason, the news today has made my little movie-and-comic-book-nerd heart grow three sizes.
Eight is the magic number in today's TV news.
Ricky Gervais started this decade on the fringes of British radio. He'll start the next one hosting a major awards show (the Golden Globes, airing Jan. 17, 8PM ET, NBC). In between, among many other considerable achievements, he co-created and starred in what many would consider to be not only one of the best television shows of the decade, but of all time: The Office, seven and a half hours of perfectly calibrated, sometimes agonizing, dark comedy. As his opportunity to reach his biggest viewing audience to date approaches, Gervais spoke to us and other media outlets about his ground-breaking show, its U.S. version and his favorite American programming.
If you're a fan of non-superhero comic books and you're not particularly squeamish, you've probably read and enjoyed writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon's tour de force series, Preacher. Their tale of small-town preacher Jesse Custer, the love of his life Tulip and his vampire best friend Cassidy was less about Custer's super-ability to make anyone do what he says (the byproduct of being possessed by an angel/demon half-breed) and even less about his mission to track down an on-the-run God. It was more about the lengths two friends and two lovers will go to in order to protect each other... as well as about trying to come up with the nastiest visuals comicdom had ever seen, from the man who had sex with meat to the boy who had "a face like an arse." Sounds like it would have made a great HBO series, right? Apparently, wrong.
When it comes to TV, there are way more fabulous and high-profile roles for moms and the poor dads get the short shrift. However, we spent
minutes weeks hunting through Wikipedia and our collective minds the annals of television for the best and worst TV dads that we could remember. Well, at least these are the ones that left an indelible mark on us, and not with wire hangers or anything (though we may not put that past some of the dastardly daddies on our naughty list). So in honor of Father's Day, here's our slapped together long-awaited list in alphabetical order (because we just couldn't decide if Jack Bristow or Keith Mars would be the No. 1 perfect patriarch).
In the wake of Ted Kennedy's sad passing, some particularly interesting factoids are emerging about the senator. Namely, that along with quality time spent with his family and friends, he also chose to spend his final days watching every single episode of 24 on DVD. A sound decision -- albeit perhaps an odd one (considering all the political assassinations that occur on the show) -- since 24 is one of the most consistently entertaining (minus a bum season or two) and compelling series of the past decade, if not ever. If I knew I didn't have much time left, Jack Bauer would probably take my mind off of it. Which got us thinking about the shows we'd recommend that the average person with a terminal illness watch if they haven't already before they pass away -- and the shows they should most definitely not waste their precious hours on.
It's bait and switch time y'all. Variety is reporting that movie director Alexander Payne (of Sideways and Election fame) is developing a dramatic comedy series for HBO titled Hung about the trials and travails of a well-hung (badum bum) Everyman. Can I just say it's about mother effing time? I wonder if they'll employ any type-casting methods, or if prosthesis will suffice. Speaking recently with Daily Variety, series scribe Collete Burson said this of the main character: "Think of him like Spider-Man. He's an average guy who gets in touch with his innate superpowers." Is that what the kids are calling it these days? And does the Spidey analogy mean we'll be treated to close-ups of tight spandex bodysuits? Cuz if so, count me in!
In another TV/movie switcheroo, Sopranos genius David Chase has inked a deal with Paramount to begin work on his first feature-length movie. No word yet on the film's subject matter, but Chase's camp is quick to say that the plot will not explore the same ground as The Sopranos did, i.e. no wise guy narrative. And not to worry, this movie will have no bearing on any future plans to take the Sopranos to the big screen. Phew.
As The Wire comes to a close, three TV critics past and present discuss which HBO series is the best TV drama ever: Matt Zoller Seitz argues for David Milch's Deadwood, Time Out New York's Andrew Johnston for David Chase's The Sopranos, and the Star-Ledger's Alan Sepinwall for David Simon's The Wire. The podcast was recorded in a diner, so if you're listening on headphones, look out for the crashing-dishes background noise, but it's a fun eavesdrop on an argument many of us have probably had.
I've watched exactly one episode of Deadwood and didn't care about it one way or the other, so I can only speak to the other two, but I considered Sopranos the best show ever for years, and resisted watching The Wire because people tended to praise it in a way that suggested that I was bound to be disappointed. I started watching The Wire in November; I've now watched every episode except the series finale, and in my opinion it's the better show -- considerably. I still love Sopranos and always will, I defended that finale and will continue to, but I rewatched some S2 eps recently and I couldn't believe how slow they felt. Every ep of The Wire feels jam-packed with story, ten pounds of awesome in a five-pound bag.
Anyway, you can find the podcast here, or at Seitz's or Sepinwall's blogs. Feel free to step to the comments there to cast your own vote, or discuss it here on our forums.