Entries Tagged as 'Television'

‘Appropriate Adult’ (2011)

'Appropriate Adult' 2011 Appropriate Adult (2011) is a two-part dramatization of the life of  Fred West (1941–1995) a rural. British serial killer that operated in the British Midlands for over 30 years.

The twist is that the filmmakers concentrate upon the relationship between West and his Social Worker, Janet Leach, when he she is brought in to assist West in the mid-90s.

In the UK, the term ‘Appropriate Adult’ has been given to the advocates of mentally deficient citizens and children, much like a Social Worker.

Fred West was a piece of work — blue collar, illiterate and mentally impaired. West had been brought up in an abusive household where he was likely the victim of the sexual predations of both his parents. West also suffered numerous non-fatal head injuries that may have contributed to his disposition. [Read more →]

“Boardwalk Empire” (2010)

Boardwalk Empire is this Fall’s new HBO drama starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Johnson (1883–1968), Atlantic City’s Prohibition-era Mayor. The combination of boardwalk Carney hijinks and organized crime here make this into vintage HBO — an interesting cross between Carnivale and The Sopranos . Martin Scorcese directed the 70 minute pilot.

The unsurprising thing is that it works really, really well. The Prohibition-era paradigm shift is similar enough to our own era of ascendant faith to make it relevant. The first scene features Buscemi’s Johnson speaking before a local Temperance group and the environment is as colorful and bannered as a Baptist tent revival. As colorful as Johnson’s life of whoring, dealmaking as the mayor and political boss of New Jersey’s Sin City. [Read more →]

Top Ten Lists: 2000-2010 – Sci-Fi

Just this past week, I stated seeing ‘Best of’ lists all over the place, specifically, the ‘Best’ science-fiction of the last decade. Typically, such all of the lists I found looked something like this:

1. ‘Children of Men’
2. ‘Moon’
3. ‘District 9′ [Read more →]

“Fringe” (2008)

Not just another X-Files knock-off. Really.

Before that damnable show went off the air 6 years ago, all of the major broadcast networks — NBC, ABC and CBS each tried to catch some of Chris Carter’s alt.conspiracy.ufo fire.

Fringe ‘s distinction is that the show is hard science-fiction, a rare event for network television — HARD science-fiction , is based on real science, not fantasy, not urban mythology and not old Saturday matinée fare. Though there are plenty of whiz-bang moments in there, most of the spectacle on Fringe is derived from current available technology. [Read more →]

“Mad Men” (2007)

Before I get to struggling with a review, let me start by saying it’s brilliant.

I can’t believe that I sat on the 13 episodes of the first season as long as I did. Actually, I can — my estimation of AMC as a broadcast network is so low, that yes, I’d second-guess anything that they’d broadcast after 20 years of PG-edited, non-Turner ‘American Movie Classics’ — (‘ Quigley Down Under ‘, anyone?) — that we’ve enjoyed with commercial interruption for the past 5 years.

Somehow, AMC come into the epic bildungsroman that is ‘Mad Men’. [Read more →]

“The Middleman” (2008)

During a summer that’s seen an effort of recycling everybody’s syndicated childhood programming — Get Smart , Speed Racer , live-action versions of ‘The Hulk’ and ‘Iron Man’ — some of the good stuff is getting lost over at ABC Family. “ The Middleman ” is Javier Grillo-Marxuach ‘s television adaptation of his eponymous series of graphic novels .

But The Middleman isn’t just some dime-store comic book property, it’s a fun, literate and self-conscious treatment of semi-secret agents, superheroes and villains, a pop-culture c onfiture that rivals anything Joss Whedon and the Gilmore Girls ever offered up in zither’s fast-paced talk-fests. While I’ve not read the comic book , it is said to be ingenious.
[Read more →]

BSG: 04×09 – “The Hub”

Did anyone see BSG last night? I ask because the show seems to be suddenly be taking on a lot of pre-sequel Matrix Gnosticism — not that I feel entirely capable of making that sort of judgment,it just seems that the show’s themes are departing the ‘canon’ of Western, Hegelian rationalism.

To summarize, this episode follows Roslin, Starbuck and Baltar aboard the ‘missing’ Cylon Base-Star as they scheme to destoy the Cylon Resurrection Hub, the device that guarantees the Cylons’ ‘eternal’ life.

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS TO FOLLOW* [Read more →]

“Gossip Girl” (2007)

Anyone watching Gossip Girl ?

Sure, the demographic of the show seems entirely teenaged, classist and synthetic but this show has become a guilty pleasure of sorts.

My thing about the show is that it’s this uncanny mash-up, patched together from disparate precedents — specifically,  Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel franchises and the Cruel Intentions movie franchise of the ’90′s, both of which Sarah Michelle Gellar circulated, just as did her foes. Eliza Dushku (Faith in BtVS , Echo in Dollhouse ) made various appearances as the central blonde’s raven-haired antagonist, while Gellar was a brunette in Intentions , playing opposite the always-already blonde Reese Whitherspoon. [Read more →]

‘The Long Tail’ and the future of film (and tv)

About 4 years ago, with the UK launch of the new Battlestar Galactica , people were saying that the old network model of commercial programming was irrevocably broken — the new Galactica was co-sponsored by the UK’s SkyTV (a Rupert Murdoch subsidiary, like the US’ Fox Networks) and by some massive miscalculation, the US partner Universal Television’s SciFi Channel never thought that fans might redistribute the show on their own, by upoading DVR’ed episodes to the internet.

And so it went.

More recently, however, I’ve been seeing talk of The Long Tail and the new economics of media rental outfits like Netflix, Blockbuster and Gamefly that are capable of offering a larger inventory than the old brick-and-mortar stores, simply because they don’t have to make their entire inventory available at multiple localized stores: Because they deliver their rentals by mail, it’s unnecessary for them to operate at that ‘local’ level. Fact of the matter is, these new virtual rental and distribution agents do more business than the brick-and-mortar stores [Read more →]

“Connections” (1978)

James Burke creator of ˜Connections™ In 1978, British Science Historian James Burke created a series of documentary programs for the BBC called ‘Connections ‘.

In the first episode, “ The Trigger Effect ” he examines the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 , which took down the electrical grid of the entire Eastern seaboard, from Maine to Philadelphia. Though I’m sure that the event girded us against future disasters of that sort, a mandatory viewing of the program might have made the Bush Administration better prepared for 9-11, Katrina and put us in a position to deal with the inevitability of Peak Oil. Throughout the series, Burke does the unusual thing of connecting Mankind, Nature and Technology.

Ah, the ’70′s, an age when ‘objectivity’ was a stronger certitude… today, so many of our decisions are mediated by opinion polls and Faith-based nonsense. I encourage everyone to investigate this series. It is available from the usual sources for and arm or a leg, or you can just fire-up Google Video where much of the series is available for free.

Episode #1 – The Trigger Effect