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October 25, 2014

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Rescue Me: Play

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 20th 2009 12:28AM

Andrea Roth and Denis Leary
(S05E07) "Yeah ... my wife always has a problem when she's surrounded by douchebags." - Tommy

As much as I've enjoyed the renewed focus on 9/11 that Rescue Me has delved into this season, you have to admit that it has taken away from the other big part of this show: the Gavin family. Tommy's relatives have always been a huge part of what makes this show so great, especially his immediate family. We haven't really seen all that much Gavin family interaction since Connor was killed, but it seems the narrative has finally reached a point where that tragedy is far enough in the past that it's safe once again to put Tommy and Janet in the same room with booze and a bed. Thank god.

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Uma Thurman heads to HBO for The Zinc Bed

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 25th 2007 9:30PM

uma thurmanUma Thurman is set to star alongside Paddy Considine and Jonathan Pryce in My Zinc Bed, an adaptation of David Hare's 2000 play expected to air on HBO sometime next year.

The movie focuses on an alcoholic, Considine, who has an affair with his boss' wife, played by Thurman. Hare is involved with the project, which is being directed by Anthony Page, who has directed for television several times, including the Masterpiece Theater miniseries Middlemarch.

Hare's other projects include the screenplay for The Hours, for which he received an Oscar nomination in 2003.

Thurman previously appeared on HBO in 2003's Hysterical Blindness.

[via TV Filter]

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Sorkin penning play about television

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 23rd 2007 4:22PM

philo t farnsworthAfter expressing an interest in becoming involved with a Broadway musical based on the Flaming Lips' album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, television's Aaron Sorkin has announced he's developing a Broadway play about television called The Farnsworth Invention. The name comes from Philo T. Farnsworth, the man often credited with inventing the first TV. The play focuses on Farnsworth and his rival, David Sarnoff, as they fight over who should get credit for the invention, and which direction the medium should take.

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Moral Orel: School Pageant

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 11th 2007 9:51AM

moral orel(S02E16) This was probably the most sitcomesque episode of Moral Orel so far; I think it could have played on network television without any issues, which is saying something for a series that has been challenged by the censors on more than one occasion.

But let's not confuse "sitcomesque" with "formulaic," because even if a plot centering on a school pageant has been done before, it hasn't been done in the super-pious town of Moralton, where everyone loves Jesus, and Christian folk bands tell folks to think with their heart and "put a motorboard on your aorta."

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HBO and BBC may adapt short plays

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 9th 2007 12:02PM

Caryl ChurchillAccording to the Hollywood Reporter, HBO and the BBC are adapting Caryl Churchill's short play A Number for HBO. This could be the first in a series of short play adaptations for HBO.

A Number will star Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans. Wilkinson plays a father who encounters his cloned sons ten years later. Ifans will play both sons. James MacDonald directed the original stage play and will also direct the one-hour show for HBO.

Of course, whether the idea works or not will depend on how good the material is and whether it adapts well to television. Nevertheless, I like the idea of doing a series of one-shot "plays" for television that can stand or fail on their own. It wouldn't be too dissimilar to anthology series like The Twilight Zone, offering something completely new each time.

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How the old Doctor Who theme was composed - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 31st 2007 9:03AM

synthesizerI'm one of those people who needs a creative outlet or I start to go insane. When I'm not pounding out posts about TV on this blog, I'm usually writing something else, or drawing, or playing around with my four-track recorder. My love of music and the creative process attracted me to the video below, which runs about eight minutes and gives a rather detailed account of how the theme to the old Doctor Who series was both composed and performed. I have never seen a single episode of any incarnation of Doctor Who, but that really doesn't matter, I was just fascinated by how all this equipment, most of which is now completely obsolete, was used to create the futuristic theme for the show.

If you're a Doctor Who fan, check it out. If you're a fan of electronic music, check it out. If you're neither of those things, then I have nothing for you. Try checking back later.

[via Brad Sucks]

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Sean Combs bringing A Raisin in the Sun to ABC

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 13th 2006 7:02PM

sean combsA Raisin in the Sun, the famous play by Lorraine Hansberry, is being adapted as a three-hour ABC TV movie starring and executive produced by Sean Combs, who has reunited the recent Broadway cast. The movie will also feature Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, John Stamos and Sanaa Lathan (Stamos spoke with our own Joel Keller about it here). Hansberry's play, which was the first written by an African-American to be produced on Broadway, centers on a black family in Chicago who anxiously await an inheritance of ten thousand dollars. The cast have all appeared in the Broadway version, which garnered Tonys for Rashad, McDonald and (a nomination for) Lathan. The TV movie is being executed produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago) along with Combs. The movie will debut on ABC sometime in 2007.

A Raisin in the Sun was also made into a movie in 1961, featuring the original Broadway cast.

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Captain N coming to DVD

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 21st 2006 2:02PM

captain nLike Saturday Supercade followed Atari in the '80s, Captain N: The Game Master followed the success of Nintendo in the '90s. Not unlike The Last Starfighter, in which a young man's video game skills are utilized to defeat an evil alien army, Kevin's talent for defeating various Nintendo games results in his being turned into a cartoon a la Kid Video and sucked into a strange land inhabited by a menagerie of product placements.

I was a Nintendo geek, so I remember watching this growing up, though not much of it has stayed with me. Watching some clips on YouTube, it's easier to see now that the show was essentially a half hour commercial like pretty much any other series based on a toy or game. There were some interesting touches, such as the use of video game sound effects. Ultimately, though, it's a half hour of bad dialogue and bad animation. Perhaps it would have some nostalgic value to folks my age, but it's mostly a relic of its time.

The four-disc set will be available February 13, 2007 from Shout! Factory.

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Nick tells kids to go outside

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 1st 2006 9:00PM
nickelodeonYesterday while I was looking around the Web for links to add to this post, I noticed that Nickelodeon's Nick.com site had a scroll on it telling kids to go outside and play in honor of the Worldwide Day of Play. The network also went off the air for a few hours, replacing programming with a similar scroll. That's sound advice, of course, but I pretty much had the same reaction I did when TV Land did the same thing recently in honor of Family Day. Won't people just change the channel? I don't fault Nickelodeon for trying, but people are conditioned to automatically hit the clicker when something appears on screen they don't like, whether it's a show they hate, and annoying commercial, or words on the screen telling them to go outside.

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Strangers with Candy: Dreams on the Rocks

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 16th 2006 8:05AM

strangers with candy

(S01E03) I don't think there was ever a bad episode of Strangers with Candy, but if someone were to put a gun to my head and force me to name my least favorite episode, it would probably be this one. I think my main problem with it was actor Jacob Pitts, who plays "Craig Snow" in this episode. While I'm sure Pitts is a fine actor in his own right, he didn't seem to jibe with the cast the way their other guest stars tend to do. Strangers exists in its own weird universe, and one of the great things about the series is that everyone who is in it, whether it be the main characters or side characters, understands the pacing and rhythm, and their performances are pitch perfect. However, like any great jazz combo, you toss in one mediocre trombone player and everything starts to seem a little off.

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Debbie does Chekhov?

by Adam Finley, posted May 2nd 2006 12:08PM

breast implantsThis fall, the Fox Reality Channel will be airing a three-episode series titled My Bare Lady, which will take four female porn stars out of their usual element and place them on the London theater stage, where they will perform "legitimate" theater. The ladies will have only a short time to get their acting chops together for the performance in London's West End, where an audience will decide if they have what it takes.

Now, this seems interesting and all, but also just a tad condescending. The implication seems to be that porn is easy and real acting is difficult. In the interest of fairness, I think the "real" actors who train these women should themselves have to act in a porn movie. Memorizing your lines is one thing, maintaining an expression of eternal ecstasy while coated in honey and hanging upside down from a set of indoor monkey bars is something else entirely. And I speak from experience.

[via Chroma]

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More on the Family Guy video game

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 18th 2006 1:01PM
family guy video gameHey, remember those upcoming Family Guy video games I mentioned? Well, there's still no official release date set, but there is some information about what the game will be exactly. 2K and High Voltage, the developers of the game, are calling it "interactive humor." You'll play Peter, Stewie, and Brian, each with different objectives but with paths crossing throughout the video game. Your adventures through Quahog will involve combat and puzzle-solving skills. In addition to the main characters, there will also be cameo appearances by over two hundred of the show's extras, including the evil monkey. There does seem to be some apprehension among gamers about the development team behind the new game, but I guess we'll wait and see. The screenshots look pretty cool, but that's not the best way to tell if the game will be worth it or not.

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Whoopi's soccer team

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 5th 2006 11:05AM

soccer ballWhoopi Goldberg's new series about an all-girl soccer team in New York City will premiere this Sunday on Nickelodeon at 7 p.m. Goldberg developed Just for Kicks as a way of exploring the double standard that surrounds girls in sports, and to show how these young ladies can participate in rough sports and still be "girls" without having labels applied to them like "butch" and "tomboy" (though in my experience it's always the "tomboys" who wind up as total hotties when they get older). If nothing else, I admire the spirit of the show, and its message of female empowerment. The first episode will focus on a team of cheerleaders, one of which tries to convince her friends that soccer is a cool sport. You know, if they really wanted to cover everything they'd have a bunch of boys join the cheerleading squad, too. I'm just saying.

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All public access leads here

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 13th 2006 11:45AM

scrabbleNormally I wouldn't mention local programming on TV Squad, since it would only be of interest to those who live in the same city I do (in this case, Minneapolis). However, three nights ago I may have discovered the most ingenious use of public access television I've ever seen. I don't remember the time, but I know it was after midnight. I've watched public access before, but this time I found myself encountered with an odd paradox. What I was seeing on the screen was so intriguing I couldn't change the channel, and at the same time, it was one of the most boring things I had ever seen in my life. A young man was playing Scrabble with people who called in. He sat off to the side, and "your" letters sat facing you. Since it was live, there was no editing. You actually had to wait while he spelled something, and then wait for someone to call in to spell another word. The whole show was like some kind of dadaistic, Warholian endurance test. It may have been the ultimate public access moment, the kind of parallel television universe that could only be created by normal people with too much time on their hands.

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