Posts concerning television

Breaking Bad/“Felina”

18:57 13 Oct 2013

This fan-made tribute to the series is excellent. If you haven’t watched the entire series already, don’t click through.

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Dropping the San Francisco Chronicle

23:54 19 May 2013

I’ve been a subscriber to the San Francisco Chronicle for almost 13 years, the entire time I’ve lived in the city. I started that subscription because I was used to living in a household where newspapers were a daily staple, and because I wanted to support local journalism. I also felt that major cities should have newspapers and I should thus support the city paper.

And now I’m ending my subscription.

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Breaking Bad Remix Video

12:30 02 Sep 2012

Don’t watch this if you haven’t seen seasons one and two of Breaking Bad yet.

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Caprica Cancelled… And Few Notice

23:58 28 Oct 2010. Updated: 01:20 29 Oct 2010

Battlestar Galactica seemed to me to be a rather successful series. This is probably because know a lot of people who watched it, but it did survive through four seasons and has been hailed as the most successful science fiction series in years. It also generated a fair amount of discussion, and I had conversations about it with a lot of friends. But no-one I know said anything to me about Caprica, and I think this is because no-one I know was watching it. And now it’s dead.

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Banksy Starts The Simpsons

23:50 15 Oct 2010

You’ve probably seen this already, as it’s gotten a fair amount of publicity, but just in case:

I love the closing shot, and the overall idea is pretty good, but… there’s something unnerving about it. I know it’s The Simpsons, but still, they go so over the top with it that it undermines serious critique. Is that the point? Is it supposed to undermine that critique? Or is it supposed to power it? Should we be happy because it got on television, or sad because it’s unlikely to make any difference whatsoever? Happier because this particular apparent scathing attack on global capitalism was brought to me by the United Mileage Visa Signature card?

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The Wire’s Greatest Lines

14:20 11 May 2010

Dammit, now I feel like I have to watch the whole thing again.

(Spoilers, so you probably shouldn’t play these unless you’ve seen all five seasons.)

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The Office Model of the Office

13:29 15 Apr 2010

I haven’t watched much of either the British or American versions of the show, but am nevertheless going to recommend three posts by Venkatesh Rao which use the American version to illuminate interesting aspects of office life:

Long, but definitely worth it.

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“Let’s Enhance”

16:29 07 Mar 2010

A particularly inane trope:

In case the point isn’t crystal clear: you can’t do that. There are no image enhancement programs that let you know what the data missing at the point of capture is.

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Pure Cheese, with Sunglasses

12:45 02 Oct 2009

Not real cheese, but the cheese of amazing overacting. I got this from my friend John Summerlot, and had to share it due to the sick fascination it engendered. It’s a compilation of David Caruso’s one-liners from the beginning of CSI: Miami episodes. (Note: I can’t stand CSI, or CSI: Miami, or the other offshoots, but that didn’t seem to impede the pull of this particular set of clips.)

The question is, can you be sure it’s cheese—
puts on sunglasses
when it’s served Miami-style?
exits left
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Fox News on ‘Pure Genes’ and ‘Pure Society’

22:44 09 Jul 2009

It can be so easy to forget how widespread views like this are, although in fairness Brian Kilmeade’s two co-hosts don’t seem to share his zeal for race purity:

I particularly like how he cites marrying Italian and Irish as being the opposite of race purity. At first I thought he meant “pure Americans” marrying Irish or Italian people, but he might have meant that it’s especially bizarre to mix those two specific races. (With a name like “Brian Kilmeade”, I suspect some Irish background is likely.) Either way, it also seemed very likely that his citing of “Italian and Irish” mixing was a lighthearted attempt to cover for his actual concern, which was probably mixing “white” with much darker skin tones.

Regardless of what he was concerned with, seeing “racial purity” espoused on contemporary television, even Fox, was rather shocking to me.

Here’s a chaser from The Onion.

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Toyota/The Ring

23:55 21 Nov 2008. Updated: 17:13 28 Jan 2009

Over the last month or so, via various references on forums and in articles, I’ve somehow become aware of a television ad, or set of ads. They’re part of the Toyota “Saved By Zero” campaign, and people hate them.

Toyota have apparently come up with television ads so irritating that not only do people go to the effort of making the clip below, but people who don’t watch television (like me) nonetheless have enough cultural awareness of the ads’ nature to appreciate it.

(Vaguely on the subject of cars, I think that a buy one truck, get another truck free” promotion clearly indicates the arrival of financial/economic apocalypse.)

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On-Demand Television

23:58 28 Oct 2008. Updated: 17:26 28 Jan 2009

I haven’t had a television feed for a few years now, ever since I decided that cable television just wasn’t worth paying for. I was paying more than fifty dollars per month for something that I almost never used, and worse, that I mostly didn’t like using when I did watch it.

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Revisiting Twin Peaks via Photos

22:34 20 Oct 2008. Updated: 17:28 28 Jan 2009

The In Twin Peaks blog is a collection of photos taken of the show’s iconic locations. Very simple, very well done, and something about it brings me right back to when the show was on in the early 90s, when I used to watch it with my family, and when it seemed like everyone in my school watched it that night as well.

Of the photos, I think that this pair is my favorite.

(Via MetaFilter.)

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Local News at its Best

22:55 13 Oct 2008. Updated: 17:31 28 Jan 2009

I’ve never been to Oklahoma, but I have to say that this article by Tulsa-area media, about a child’s doll allegedly spouting Islamic or Satanic slogans, doesn’t make me want to visit…

It’s so obviously people reading way too much into indistinct sounds, and the article does nothing but feed paranoia and sensationalism while applying no critical thinking whatsoever to the reporting. I know none of that is shocking, but still, this is ridiculous.

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No Fine For ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’

20:28 21 Jul 2008. Updated: 18:08 28 Jan 2009

Four years later, an appeals court has thrown out the FCC’s ridiculous fine for Janet Jackson’s infamous Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction”.

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Some Snooker Clips

23:57 01 May 2008. Updated: 01:58 02 May 2008

Snooker is an oddly hypnotic sport to watch. I used to get sucked into it when it was on television in Ireland, but it’s not the kind of thing that gets airtime here (and I don’t watch television per se here anyway). You can still find it on YouTube, which is great, but to really watch it for a long time you need high quality and a large screen.

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The Wire and Education

23:50 06 Dec 2007. Updated: 00:53 07 Dec 2007

I’ve been watching the fourth season of The Wire, and it’s amazing, just like the previous three seasons. Gritty and depressing in parts, but amazing. This season has a significant focus on the public school system in Baltimore, and stands as a scathing critique of that system.

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The Daily Show Online

23:39 21 Oct 2007. Updated: 02:40 22 Oct 2007

Viacom’s new site for The Daily Show is quite good. I love the show, but didn’t watch it that often even when I had a television feed. And now, all its archives are available online in one massive time sink.

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Sesame Street Pinball Cartoon

23:38 19 Oct 2007. Updated: 02:39 20 Oct 2007

This video is the “one to twelve” pinball cartoon that used to be on Sesame Street. I recall it as being my favorite thing on the show, apart perhaps from some of Kermit the Frog’s reporting (I always loved Kermit). I remember watching the show and hoping for the pinball cartoon, and not being sure why.

Watching it now reminds me of that feeling, reminds me of the Bronx, and makes me consider the state of consciousness I had as a child. It must have been quite different to have been so fascinated by the shows I was fascinated by, and yet there’s a very strong common thread of thought from that child to who I am now. And it’s still fun to watch the cartoon…

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23:56 23 Jun 2007. Updated: 01:48 24 Jun 2007

I’ve been watching the third season of Deadwood, and it’s amazing.

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HBO’s Rome

23:44 13 Jun 2007

I recently watched the first season of HBO’s Rome. Like most of the series that HBO produces, the quality of the production is extremely high, including the acting, directing, and writing.

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Watching the French Open

10:16 05 Jun 2007. Updated: 17:42 06 Jun 2007

The French Open is my favorite tennis tournament, and possibly my favorite sporting event. I’ve always loved clay court tennis, and it’s the premier clay court event. It doesn’t get as much attention as Wimbledon, which is more or less its opposite—grass and clay are at the extremes in terms of tennis surfaces, with the various types of hard court (and possibly carpet) in the middle.

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No Television Yet Lots of Sports

23:44 11 Apr 2007

Despite unplugging my television more than a year ago, and hence watching almost no sports in the interim, I still have the desire to do so. And particularly the urge to watch Yankees games.

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