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October 1, 2014

'Firefly,' Fillion, Fans and the Future

Taking a break from his responsibilities in the fantasies of women across the globe, former 'Firefly' and current 'Castle' star Nathan Fillion mentioned recently that if he won the lottery, the first thing he would do is buy the rights to 'Firefly' and then distribute it on the Internet. Rather than just taking the statement as the same idle if-I-won-the-lottery speculation we all do (I'd build...

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TV 101: An Open Letter To Apple, Google and Roku (From the Future!)

Dear Apple, Roku, Google, Sony and all the other companies who are gearing up to connect our TVs to the internet: Greetings from the future! As you will one-day know, ever since a well-meaning historian tried to warn Archduke Ferdinand of his (SPOILER ALERT!) 1914 assassination and accidentally caused 'Two and a Half Men' to happen, time-traveling has been illegal here in the future. Luckily...

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TV 101: Frak You!! Seven Examples of Censorship That Made TV Better

This week, PETA helped make a completely forgettable Chrysler commercial into something funny and kind of wonderful. The ad in question is for something called the "Dodge Big Tent Event", which is designed to both move end-of-model-year vehicles and test America's tolerance for misusing the word "event". In it, as cars roll out of a tent, Michael C. Hall of 'Dexter' narrates that the "event...

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TV 101: 'Jersey Shore' And Philosophy (OR The Tao of GTL)

The other day I was Googling for pictures of Christina Hendricks naked researching 'Mad Men' online and discovered that there's a new book called 'Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing Is as It Seems'. 'Mad Men' thus joins the ranks of 'The Sopranos', 'The Simpsons' and 'Lost' as TV shows that have earned their own '...and Philosophy' books. If you've never passed the "New and Noteworthy" table at...

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TV 101: How 'American Idol' Screwed Up The Judge Search

Sometime in the far future, after the zombie apocalypse and the Seldon-predicted collapse of the empire, historians will look back at this period and try to puzzle out just who Simon Cowell was. A king? A sentient robot? A god? It'll be hard for them to understand -- did a British guy in a nipple-hugging sweater really have more ink written about him than Lady Gaga and Lindsey Lohan combined? ...

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TV 101: What Soccer, Comic-Con and George Steinbrenner Have In Common

Last week on vacation, I read the book 'Soccernomics' by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. It's a kind of 'Freakonomics' for soccer, but they mention the NFL enough that none of the bullies at the beach beat me up too badly for reading it. One of the many points that the authors make is that sports teams that actually try to turn a profit inevitably begin to death-spiral. The best teams are...

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TV 101: LeBron Shames Himself

LeBron James went on TV last week and made everybody in America hate him. The reason for all that hatred couldn't have been just what his decision actually was. I mean, the guy moved from Cleveland to Miami -- the only justification you need for that is to remind people that you moved from Cleveland to Miami. The only two people who think that's a bad move are Ian Hunter and Dan Gilbert and...

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TV 101: Why Hulu Plus Will Change The Way You Watch Television

Last week Hulu announced plans for its new Hulu Plus service. Immediately following the announcement, internet commenters from around the world did something they rarely do: complained long and loud about the details of the announcement. "The price is right, but they're still going to have ads? No thanks!" "So let me get this straight, they're giving us access to all the seasons of 'Arrested...

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TV 101: Things You Don't Know About Making A TV Show (Or: Mea Culpa)

Blogging about television is a lot like going to marriage counseling: you have the best of intentions, but for the most part, you just wind up doing a lot of bitching. I'd like to say that I've never engaged in the easy sport of blog-bitching, but in order to make that claim, I'd have to delete everything I've ever written here on TV Squad, then make a midnight ninja-run at the Googleplex in...

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TV 101: 'Futurama' And Three Alternate Universes I'd Like To Live In

Rejoice, America! 'Futurama' returns this week with brand new episodes. Between that and the world cup, all I need now for my summer to be complete is for Spike to greenlight my pitch, 'Christina Hendricks and Jenna Fischer put on Leia-Style Metal Bikinis and Wrestle for the Right to Make Me a Bacon Sandwich' (working title). However excited I am about the return of 'Futurama', part of me can't...

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