Happy birthday, Matt!

Happy birthday to Matt Weiner, creator and showrunner of Mad Men!

matthew_weiner_21387

Enjoy your day… then get back to work! Us Maddicts are missing the show something fierce!

HELL YES!

HBO recently released the teaser trailer for season 2 of Boardwalk Empire:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-B8RjzOwG8

It’s gonna be epic!

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-06-26

  • @Deanoandrews Scott and Bailey is OK once you realize it’s about Scott and Bailey, not their cases. Like an updated Cagney and Lacey. #
  • Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! 🙂 #
  • Well, I always said @ebertchicago was a jerk. So there you go. #
  • Methinks @TimKarr doesn’t understand the concept of “free speech”. #
  • “You love Shake n’ Bake. You used to put it in your coffee.” #
  • A new Yes album, really? #
  • Commencing FB photo dump in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1! #

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Thursday’s News Roundup

– The FBI finally arrested Whitey Bulger yesterday after a 16 year hunt. It only took ten years to track down Bin Laden. What’s next? Finding Jimmy Hoffa?

– The Archbishop of Canterbury was guest editor New Statesman, a position he used to criticize the British government’s austerity measures. Which is funny, because the Archbishop of Canterbury is the last person who should be critical of the leadership of others. The Anglican Communion has imploded on his watch, yet he has time to criticize David Cameron for cutting programs to keep the British government from drowning in debt. It’s like Herbert Hoover complaining about Jimmy Carter’s “leadership skills”.

– North Carolina’s gas tax is set to become the third highest in the nation. Maybe it’s because the state is shrinking (thanks to Jill Wagner for the link!).

– Is Gordon Ramsey’s star waning? So few people turned up to audition for his show MasterChef that producers “enhanced the crowd” by digitally copying the people who did. Nice.

– When a California man’s cable went out, he called Cox Cable and threatened to kill himself. The Cox technician, taking no chances, called the cops on the man.

– Someone is leaving huge bags of vomit outside a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Philadelphia. Police don’t know if the perpetrator(s) have a beef with the chain, or are perhaps paid to dispose of the waste and are just being lazy.

– Ever seen a $156,679 bar tab? Now you can, as someone took a picture of the receipt from when the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins recently visited the Foxwoods Casino.

– Lastly, New York magazine has a good “nostalgia piece” about the 1988 film Heathers. How has it aged? Read the article and find out!

2011 TV at the Half

The year is almost halfway done. Let’s take a look at what worked on TV so far, what didn’t, and what fell somewhere in between. And let’s wonder why the Brits are kicking the Yanks’ ass in the TV department…

THE EXCELLENT

The Shadow Line (BBC) – A drug kingpin is mysteriously granted a pardon and released from prison… and on his way home he’s shot and killed. This series is about how both sides – the police and the underworld – investigate the crime, and how neither side can claim the moral high ground. This series is already generating comparisons to The Wire, and for good reason: it has a gigantic cast of morally realistic characters in which the police aren’t necessarily “good” and the gangsters not necessarily “bad”. Early episodes have a lot of nice touches. There’s one scene where a pair of police officers have a conversation about the murder at a police station whilst a pair of gangsters simultaneously have a similar conversation at their hideout. The scene is edited so that the police ask a question and the gangsters answer it, or vice versa. It’s not unique, but the length of the scene allows the viewer to learn a great deal of information in a short time, and it’s not too long to be annoying, like an SNL skit. And the cast is full of heavy hitters like Christopher Eccleston (who plays a reluctant successor to the murdered man), Stephen Rea (as “Gatehouse”, a mysterious man behind the scenes) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (as DI Jonah Gabriel, a cop who developed amnesia thanks to a gunshot to the head, and who may not be the “good” cop he thinks he is). Highly recommended.

the_shadow_line

Silk (BBC) – For a British lawyer, there are few honors higher than becoming Queen’s Council. Having the initials “QC” after your name means you can get a job in almost any law firm in the realm, and you’ll probably even be able to pick and choose your clients or causes at will. “Taking silk”, from the distinctive silk robes QCs wear in court, is British legal slang for becoming a QC. This show features two attorneys – Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) and Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) – fighting to become QCs. There’s also a “case of the week”, as well as lots of gameplaying and backstabbing from other members of the firm, including their respective interns, Nick Slade (Tom Hughes) and Niamh Cranitch (Natalie Dormer, with her natural blonde hair!). The show was created by Peter Moffat, a former barrister and creator of other classic Brit legal dramas like Kavanagh QC, North Square and Criminal Justice. It’s a serious drama that’s also great fun and, according to experts, is quite realistic… except that the actors are generally “too young and pretty” for the average British law firm.

silk

Mad Dogs (Sky) – Four high school friends – John Simm and Philip Glenister from Life on Mars, Marc Warren (Band of Brothers) and Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Survivors) – take a trip to Spain to celebrate the early retirement of a fifth friend, Alvo (Ben Chaplin). But all is not what it seems. Alvo is coy about his line of work, and takes a few heated phone calls from his “associates”. When Alvo winds up dead, it’s up to the other four to figure out what’s happened. As the series goes on, the friends become ever more paranoid about Alvo’s “associates” and corrupt local cops.. and you can almost feel the tension coming through your TV set. I almost wanted to hide behind something while watching the last two episodes! And Alvo’s murder scene is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen on TV! The series ends abruptly on a cliffhanger… but fear not: season 2 is coming in 2012.

mad_dogs

Continue reading “2011 TV at the Half”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-06-19

  • @OfficialKat Happy birthday, Kat! 🙂 #
  • Dallas celebrates LeBron James Day: everyone gets to leave work 12 minutes early today! #
  • Good job, Boston. You beat the British, now you beat British Columbia! #
  • @AngelaSarafyan The egg! 🙂 http://tinyurl.com/2eamv87 #
  • You can't handle the cute! http://t.co/FlI8t19 #
  • Adam Carolla is coming to ATL. I looked at tickets just for kicks: $62.50 ea? No thanks… especially when 25% of that is a service charge! #
  • "You know that talk is cheap, and those rumors ain't nice. And when I fall asleep I don't think I'll survive the night." #

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Quote of the Day

“Nancy Grace, in addition to being the most obnoxious, hate-filled, exploitative wacko bitch anywhere on the public stage, is deeply dishonest, manipulative and phony, and is utterly impervious to shame or guilt over her many instances of malfeasance. The fact that CNN has given that insane harpy a public forum in which to practice her evil, despite the public record of her dishonesty and clear lack of regard for the basic tenets of law, is the greatest indictment of the character of CNN’s management that I can imagine.”

– SDMB member Starving Artist

The 30 Day Music Challenge (Part 3)

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably heard of the “30 Day Music Challenge”. Basically, you post a link to a song or YouTube clip every day for a month. Some versions have silly rules, like “Day 1 — A song that makes you think of your best friend”. While I have accepted the challenge, I’m not following those rules. I’m just making it up as I go.

Here are the songs for days 21-30; part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

Day 21: “Hair and Skin” by Mazzy Star

Around thirteen years ago I had a massive crush on French supermodel Laetitia Casta. And thanks to software that automated the downloading of pictures from websites and newsgroups (alt.binaries.pictures.supermodels.laetitia-casta!), I soon had a collection of 5000+ pictures of her. Sometimes, late at night, I’d smoke and cue up a slideshow of the pics, with each picture set to display for a fraction of a second. I’d then put on some headphones and crank up this song. It was my way of indulging in my own obsession.

Bonus info: This song was originally written and performed by the LA band Green on Red, whose drummer, Keith Mitchell, left the band to join Mazzy Star. So I guess that’s why they covered it.

 

Day 22: “We Used to Be Friends” by The Dandy Warhols

Yeah, I know it’s just a TV show. And yeah, I know was FOUR YEARS AGO, too. But you know what? Dawn Ostroff can still burn in hell for canceling Veronica Mars. There, I said it.

Day 23: “Skin” by Madonna

Madonna’s Ray of Light album helped me get through a really dark period of my life. Sure, the album won 4 Grammys, won the praise of music critics everywhere, made Rolling Stone’s “500 Best Albums of All Time” list, and sold 20 million copies. But even with that, it’s still a criminally underrated album. Here’s one of my favorite songs from the album, the non-single track “Skin”.

Continue reading “The 30 Day Music Challenge (Part 3)”

Friday Funny

I know this has been on the ‘Net for months, and really, it’s only repeating the same six frames over and over and over again. But this just totally cracks me up! I mean, I’ve watched it like… six times since last night, and still giggle when I see it. Who knew that Ned Flanders was a Daft Punk fan?