Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Lubrary Additions: Two Books, One Signed by Gilda Radner

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Every now and then you see an item outside your sphere of collecting interests at a good price and go “I want that!” This is one of those times.

  • Radner, Gilda and Alan Zweibel. Roseanne Roseannadanna’s Hey, Get Back to Work! Book. Long Shadow Books, 1983. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine copy with a few small sports to page block edges. Inscribed by Radner and Zweibel: “Thanks/a lot to/Tim/Gilda Radner” and “”To Tim-/You just brought back/a million great/memories when you/handed me this book./Al”

    Bought in a lot with:

  • Zweibel, Alan. Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story. Villard Books, 1994. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a clipped price. Early Saturday Night Live writer’s memoir of working with Radner.

    Roseanne Roseannadanna's

    Radner Sig

  • Among the areas I occasionally contemplate starting book collections in are the early history of Apple Computer and the original cast of Saturday Night Live. (Warning: Get off my lawn ahead.) I know that Saturday Night Live is about as edgy as a bowling ball these days, but the original SNL was groundbreaking, daring and funny as hell. So when I saw this in that 70% off sale I bought so many SF books in, I snapped it up. Bought for $40.49.

    Though Radner was the best female cast member in the original cast, the Roseanne Roseannadanna character was far from her best bit (see the Judy Miller Show, where she plays a hyperactive girl for that), but she died young enough that books signed by her are not particularly common.

    Two tidbits on Alan Zweibel:

  • On Weekend Update, the Roseanne Roseannadanna character would often read letters written by “a Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey” In fact, there is a real Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who was Zweibel’s brother-in-law.
  • Zweibel wrote the young adult novel North, upon which Rob Reiner’s famously horrible movie of the same name was based.
  • Mike Judge Has A New TV Show: Silicon Valley

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    The creator of Office Space, Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill has a new (live action) TV show on HBO called Silicon Valley.

    The first episode is up free:

    I’ve seen about half of it. It’s reasonably funny, but some of the geek characters are a bit too cliched…

    John Belushi on The Luck of the Irish

    Monday, March 17th, 2014

    Because a lot of people have been searching for this on St. Patrick’s day, and the old video appears to have died, here’s a new version.

    Watch more video from the Top Picks channel on Frequency

    The Complete Monty Python Reunion Press Conference

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013

    In case you hadn’t heard, Monty Python’s Flying Circus is reuniting for a live show at London’s 02 Arena next July 1st.

    Because I like Monty Python, and because I’m not above blatant click-bait, here’s a video of the entire press conference announcing the reunion.

    Random Notes:

    1. The sound seems screwed up after about 5 minutes, but you can still hear them.

    2. Love the wrong names.
    3. Love Gilliam’s Mr. Bill shirt.
    4. Carol Cleveland looks really, really good for her age.

    Quick Impressions: Almost Human Surprisingly Good

    Sunday, November 17th, 2013

    By accident I tuned into Fox just as Almost Human was premiering, expecting to watch The Simpsons, and actually got sucked in, almost against my will, since I had zero initial interest in a cop/robot buddy series.

    But what what the show is actually doing is broadcast American TV’s first serious attempt to rip-off Blade Runner and much of the entire cyberpunk canon for a cop show, and it actually does (considering the constraints of the form) a halfway decent job of it. The cop/robot interaction is (thus far) only a subplot to the main story of an injured cop returning to the force just as the powerful criminal syndicate that killed his partner and blew off his leg has returned to the scene. Surprisingly, none of the science fiction elements struck me as egregiously stupid, and they actually seem to have put some thought into the near-future setting of the show. Michael Ealy (Dorian the robot partner) hits the underplayed robot cop part very well, Mackenzie Crook brings brings some Whovian British Geek charm to the department’s robot specialist, and Karl Urban is pretty good as the lead; he needs to dial back his Gruff Stoic setting about 15%, but is otherwise fine. I could do without the “look, here’s a flying whatsit at the edge of the scene-bump just to say it’s SF” trope, but it’s not annoying.

    Actually, the most problematic bits are on the police procedural end rather than the SF end. The building they work in looks entirely too clean, sparse and modern to be a real police office (like everything else, Blade Runner did it better with a real lived-in look); it’s too clean even for the already too clean CSI look. Ditto the “look at my spacious, open city apartment on a cop’s salary.” And you can already tell which characters (“Hi there, I’m the love interest!”) are going to be doing which buddy cop cliches. You have bits of The Dark Knight and (I’m guessing) Saw in the “over-complicated villain plotting” device. And it has the “lots of shoot-outs” modern cop/action show trope going on, which may or may not be a problem, depending on the direction they take.

    I’m actually planning on watching this, which may be my first regular non-animated US broadcast series since, geeze, maybe Homicide: Life on the Streets. (I’m not much of a TV watcher, what with all the writing and book buying and Internetting and the Glavin!)

    But despite that, it blends the cyberpunk and police procedural bits pretty (plus obvious dollops of The Caves of Steel and Starsky & Hutch). It’s obviously got money behind the production, which goes pretty far in TV. J.J. Abrams is the executive producer, so it’s possible the characters will turn into idiots further down the line. And it’s not as a good a cyberpunk police procedural as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. But for now I actually think it may be worth your attention.

    2013 Comikaze Cosplay Expo Video

    Saturday, November 9th, 2013

    Putting this up because I’m sure that John DeNardo will want to know about it for SF Signal, and in no way because it has lots of attractive, scantly clad women in it…

    Silly me. I didn’t even know the U.S. had a cosplay expo.

    Also: Oh my…

    Maybe You Shouldn’t Read This Post If You’re Depressed

    Monday, October 7th, 2013

    Ever now and then you come across something interesting, but you wonder “What the hell do I say about this?”

    I was looking for some scary gifs when I came across this. There are a few in the, but it seems to be mostly depressing black and white gifs for suicidal teenage girls.

    Like this:

    Or this:

    Interestingly enough, more than half seem to be of stunningly beautiful actresses from popular culture. And, naturally, there’s a lot of Nine Inch Nails references.

    And this is pretty striking:

    Anyway, if you find yourself making or posting these gifs, maybe you should read this.

    Consider this more an act of reportage than commentary…

    Guillermo Del Toro Simpsons‘ Couch Gag is Awesome

    Saturday, October 5th, 2013

    This came out two days ago, and already has over 6 million hits, but I still thought Guillermo Del Toro opening couch gag for The Simpsons forthcoming “Treehouse of Horror” episode was too awesome (and too full of SF/F/H references) not to share.

    Hat tip: Hank Wagner’s Facebook feed.

    And Now Here’s Something We Hope You’ll Really Like!

    Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

    June Foray, voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and about a thousand other characters, awarded a lifetime achievement Emmy. And not only was she still around to receive it, at age 95, she’s still working!

    To celebrate, here’s a timely instructional video:

    Hollywood Auction Alert

    Saturday, July 27th, 2013

    Hollywood auction house is having another big auction of film memorabilia, including a few interesting SF-related items:

  • The fourth issue of the fanzine Imagination, which includes Ray Bradbury’s first published story.
  • Willis O’Brien’s very shoggothian concept art for an unproduced film called The Bubbles, featuring “bubble-like creatures in Baja, California that devour everything in their path.”

  • Electrodes from both the James Whale Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein.
  • A diving helmet from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Concept art from Forbidden Planet.
  • Charlton Heston’s torn Planet of the Ape pants, plus ape masks.
  • Props from Alien and Aliens
  • A bunch of Star Wars posters and props.
  • Lots of The Bightmare Before Christmas props and sets.
  • Some Matrix stuff, both from the good one and the crappy ones.
  • That farking annoying robot from The Black Hole.
  • Frank’s bunny mask from Donnie Darko.
  • Enough stuff from The Wizard of Oz. and The Sound of Music to start your own museum.
  • Plus Bruce Lee’s nun-chucks, Conan’s sword, the Terminator’s gun, Jason’s machete, Maximus’ axe, Legalos’ arrow, Indiana Jones’ whip, Jack Sparrow’s sword, Captain Kirk’s phaser, a Ghostbusters proton pack, The Comedian’s pistols, Freddy Kreuger’s fingernails, Rambo’s knife, James Bond’s gun, and Scarface’s “little friend.”

    The auction is online in a “Flipbook” format, evidently invented because HTML was insufficiently annoying.