“Frankly, it felt weird to be watching TV at a film festival. A movie is a closed loop: it begins and an hour and a half or two or three hours later, it ends.”
Said co-creator Trey Parker one day earlier this month: “There are times where we go, ‘How do we tell Comedy Central we don’t have a show?’ This is one of those.” Dave Itzkoff watches how they pull it off.
The streaming pioneer is spending $6 billion a year on making shows. “Out of the blue Netflix comes into the market and says, ‘We’re going to give you a number [to license a network show],’ ” says one television agent. “For the studios, it was, ‘Holy shit. Do we even need a cable sale?’ They all got addicted to crack. Nobody really thought they’d be a competitor on the originals market. They used stuff from the studios and became important. Now you see the backlash.”
“The participants in these psychodramas [as the makers called them], which continued to air on public access channels into the ’90s, were not professional actors, but members of a UFO cult re-enacting their memories of past lives on film. They were part of Unarius, a self-described ‘spiritual school’ that offers self-improvement ‘based on the interdimensional understanding of energy.'”
You know that moment you’re watching something and your interest makes you “invest” in the show and its characters. Netflix thinks it’s the “thriller/horror/ crime” genre that seems to get viewers committed earliest. The hardest to addict you? Shows like “Gilmore Girls. There’s a cool chart of favorite shows in this article that shows you the fan tipping point.
“How did we get the blue regime that [Paul] Hebert’s actually quantified, and many others have observed? It’s not like there’s some centralized Web design authority dictating these things. Anecdotally, Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook is blue because he’s red-green colorblind, and Google has said the color clicked best in rigorous A/B tests. But the underlying reason may be that design, like art, imitates life.”
The Motion Picture Association of America rates movies – G, R, M-18, etc. But “power creates its own temptation. MPAA itself has been accused of rating independent films more harshly than those produced by MPAA’s own member studios. And this year, a class action lawsuit seeks to force MPAA to use its ratings system to eliminate tobacco imagery from children’s films.”
It’s a fine song, but “it has soundtracked dozens of deaths and breakups, and been belted in too many singing competitions to count. Because it telegraphs emotion – both mournful and hopeful – and involves some vocal acrobatics, it has become shorthand for Big Emotional Moment and employed by performers looking to stamp themselves with authenticity. Here’s a brief history of how pop culture has tortured Mr. Cohen’s creation over the years.”
“Last night, as Rami Malek, Courtney B. Vance, Regina King, and Sterling K. Brown all won major acting awards, Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari picked up recognition for their writing, and Key & Peele won for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, the inclusiveness of the ceremony really did seem worth celebrating. But how diverse were this year’s winners, really? And how did they compare to years before?”
“Toronto is now so big – 290 features and 110 short films in 2016 – that it is a festival of festivals. You could attend TIFF and happily spend 10 days at a European art-house festival, a documentary festival or a short-film festival. TIFF programmers are forever dreaming up new categories, acknowledging the golden age of television, for example, with a slate of TV shows added last year.”
“The dawn of Netflix shows like Orange is the New Black proved that shows could be successful outside of the normal network calendar, and networks like Showtime, Starz, AMC, and even Lifetime began investing in one-off, “event series” to take advantage and make their usual downtime profitable.”
Basically, The People v. O.J. Simpson cleaned up at the Emmys. Did anyone else win? Check the list.
“This year’s Emmys broke new ground up and down the ballot,” but that doesn’t mean the winners will be any different.
“If we say that black lives matter, then you’ve got to see black lives mattering and having meaning, and that’s not just coming from the heightened moments. That’s coming from the everyday moments, the real life that we live. So the question is can that be narratively compelling. I think it is.”
“A revolution is happening, but in its own quiet English way, because people work fucking hard, and it’s hard to live, and everyone’s had enough of being fucked over.”
“Is it a coincidence that the networks most famous for giving showrunners a long leash and a plenty of creative freedom are doing so well? Hmmm. Something to think about … “
“Obviously much has changed, but too many new movies just play the tokenism game, using minorities as accessories or emblems of the white character’s presumptive good intentions — like the Prius parked in the driveway.”
“This fall, broadcast television will turn its attention to the battle of the straight white man to assert his masculinity in an increasingly alien world. And you won’t need to wait until the first presidential debate to see it. The male protagonists of several new sitcoms are not as belligerent as the male protagonist of the election. (A possible exception: the one who wields a broadsword.) But they are besieged. At home and in the office, they find themselves struggling to prove that they matter in a world they no longer exclusively run.”
Among other criticisms, the MPAA contends the study treats all state film production incentive programs the same and ignores how different sized incentive programs may have more or less impact.
“The alleged carjacker is strapped to a chair as the video stream goes live and a distorted voice is heard describing his crimes. Footage is then shown of an attack before the words ‘Guilty or Not Guilty? You Decide …’ flash up on screen alongside a website address. The verdict is overwhelmingly guilty and the man is killed by lethal injection while the camera is running.”
“Terrible product ideas are a dime a dozen, but what about ideas that are fascinating, and perhaps executionally sound, but conceptually flawed? How often do they come about? And how often is it that they stick around the market for 17 years, despite fairly limited public interest? … On September 18, 1996 – 20 years ago this week – a startup firm released a device that meant to bring the internet to the living room.”
“Dubbed into Spanish and Portuguese, [What is Fatmagul’s Fault?] has been a big hit across South America over the past year. In Argentina alone, episodes are viewed by more than 12 million people. And the show is far from a one-off, with a growing number of Turkish TV dramas among the most watched programmes across the continent.”
To women in an international industry with a depressing record on job equity in the key creative roles, the sunny but no-nonsense Serner is a guru delivering a message of cheerful determination. To hear her tell the story, at a recent TIFF industry panel about how to get more women working as film directors, all it takes is willpower to overcome systemic discrimination and unconscious bias. The Swedish numbers now vary from year to year, but in the best years, half of publicly funded film projects are lead by women, not because the institute set quotas but because it insisted that the individual commissioners who decide on funding become aware of the issue.
Anyone who watches only “good” television reveals himself as a television skeptic. Anyone who likes only “good” television reveals himself as an automaton.
“The chair of the BBC, Rona Fairhead, is to step down after Theresa May indicated she would have to apply again for the job she was reappointed to by David Cameron just four months ago. In a statement, Fairhead said that after ‘much thought’ she had concluded it was appropriate not to re-enter the appointment process.”
“Spock’s inner struggle embodied the conflict at the heart of the series. It pitted unchecked, anarchical emotion against stoic rationality, atavism against civilization, present against future. … Picard and his crew were all human carbon copies of Spock – even-keeled, rational, and almost impossibly ethical. … That left little room for identification. You could aspire to be more like Picard, the very model of compassion and culture, but you could never truly understand his moral universe. He was nothing like us twenty-first-century humans. He was too alien.”
“It’s a joyful, noncynical story of women and their progression in this world.”
“On night one, Game of Thrones took home nine wins, Diane Warren picked up an Emmy for the powerful anthem ‘Til It Happens to You’ and Margo Martindale earned a record breaking win for guest actress in a drama series on The Americans.”
“I wish my mom and dad were here because they would really love this s—t.”
“The Chairman’s new proposal… violates the Communications Act and exceeds the FCC’s authority,” Comcast claimed in a statement provided to Multichannel News and other outlets.