“Turn, you stern merchants of forgetfulness,
you mincing forgetters of consequence, turn!
Tend to your sad taxonomy, your numb ontology,
your proud happenstance of secular wheels!”
—The Mirror Thief
Martin Seay’s big, intricate debut novel, The Mirror Thief, came out earlier this year to much anticipation (at least in the insular world of people who read Publishers Weekly). Continue reading →
Joss Whedon got basically his whole stable of actors to film an irreverent PSA on exercising your civic rights to vote. (This should hardly need saying, but don’t read the comments.)
“Do we want to just be the white male anti-hero network? We need to try to broaden out.”
–an FX exec, on turning down Breaking Bad
At Hitfix, Alan Sepinwall writes about the ascendancy of FX, which is apparently due in large part to the creative direction of the network head, John Landgraf. (via Longform.org)
AV Club wrote a great review of This Is Us, but it paled in comparison to this delightful Gilmore Girls-related exchange in the comments:
Elliott Holt writes on the return of omniscient narrators in contemporary fiction, comparing them not to God, but to a smartphone (via the NYTimes)
If there’s one drawback to the fact that this is the golden age of TV, it might be the fact that it can spark discontent with regular old network TV shows, where the pilot introduces you to the whole cast of characters in broad, archetype-inspired strokes and people express their feelings by stating exactly what they are feeling.
Designated Survivor is one such show. In the beginning, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman is lounging in jeans and a sweatshirt to watch the State of the Union from afar. One minute he’s a meek, minor Cabinet member about to be fired from his job; the next, the Capitol explodes and he is sworn in as President. The first ten minutes, in between explosions, serves as a series of not-so-gentle reminders that you are not watching Jack Bauer. He is meek! He wears spectacles! He cooks breakfast for his kids! At one point, he even defers to the President’s opinion! Basically he is everything Jack Bauer is not! But when he is thrust into a situation that requires strength and leadership, will he be able to rise to the role? WHO CAN TELL?! (My guess is yes. Otherwise this show would be on HBO.)
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I was very sad to learn today that Curtis Hanson had died. He is known for LA Confidential and 8 Mile much better than this little-known gem, which grossed $33 million at the box office (with a budget of $55 million… ouch).
In Wonder Boys, Michael Douglas plays Grady Tripp, a writing professor with a never-ending novel manuscript, a pregnant mistress, and a suspicious editor. It’s in that category of intellectual indie-style movies that don’t seem to have a plot and yet are chock-full of events (this one has a murder and a car chase, among others, that have very little to do with the actual meat of the story). And it’s based on a novel—Michael Chabon’s of the same name, also extremely good—which means that it was always inherently in danger of plotlessness.
Am I not making it sound great? Trust me, it is. Yeah, it’s quirky; yeah, it’s got Tobey Maguire in it and he’s kind of annoying sometimes; yeah, a lot of us are kind of over that quirky-indie-movie-that-goes-nowhere genre. But—especially if you’re a writer, but even if you’re not—you should Totally. Watch. This.
Here are eight reasons why.
Jonathan Coulton appears in person to sing the last previouslies of the season, sitting outside Gustav’s apartment: Ella died, Red recovered, Luke’s protesting, Laurel’s staying, and the threesome are scheming.
Inside the brownstone, Laurel is telling Rochelle and Gustav that the key is the thirty-eight-day countdown, not the war or the internment camps, which were just a distraction. (Technically, the internment camps weren’t a distraction, they were something Laurel made up because she saw some blueprints for hothouses.) After Gustav bangs on his window to shush the troubadour outside, Laurel says that it’s all about the hothouses, because the bugs need cherry blossoms to spawn. Gustav says they need the full blueprints, so Laurel agrees to get them from Gareth, and says that Luke is working on stopping the budget. Before she leaves, Gustav calls her back. They put their hands together and say they’re in this together. “It’s us against the world,” says Rochelle. Yay!
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Previously on Braindead: Gareth saw Wheatus’s earbug, and Jonathan Coulton agrees with me that Wheatus really should’ve closed the door. Laurel and Rochelle beat up said earbug. Headmaster Charleston tricked Luke into thinking the CIA wanted him and Laurel to leave Wheatus alone. Daddy Healy is infected. Wheatus ate brains out of Tupperwares. And that’s pretty much season one.
Luke tells Laurel about the whole giving-up-on-the-bugs thing, and Laurel pretty much immediately sees through it. “The real CIA?” she asks. Luke says yes, although let’s remember he was getting a security brief in what appeared to be the lobby of the CIA, so, it didn’t LOOK super real. Laurel asks him why, if her battle royale with Wheatus kept the CIA from arresting him, they didn’t just, you know, arrest him later. Excellent point. But Luke, blind with ambition, says to let the professionals do their jobs.
Continue reading →
Vulture has a complete breakdown of this fall’s TV reboots. Obviously we’re excited for Gilmore Girls here at Adversion; we’re also definitely going to be watching Westworld.
Read Fusion.net‘s breakdown of why this year is a good one for women of color on TV (financially, at least… we still feel pretty bad for Mindy that her new love interest sucks so bad).
One of the smartest literary blogs I follow is Word and Silence by Tim Miller. This week, he posted a link to an exquisitely scathing NYT piece on Thomas Wolfe by Harold Bloom.
We liked Braindead this summer, but apparently the Kings are planning to have larger bugs each season, so we’re not sure we can in good conscience hope for it to be renewed. The first season bugs are disgusting enough! (via MovieNewsGuide.com)