'Psych' just did it: the holiday episode that plays off the now classic 1946 Christmas movie 'It's a Wonderful Life.' It's become a holiday staple for sitcoms, but as our countdown of 11 'Wonderful' spoofs shows, it's not just for sitcoms ... and it's not always just for the holidays, either.
Good news for fans of celebrity gossip dished out by a gay man with a love for MS Paint: popular online muckraker Perez Hilton is coming to VH1 as the host of What Perez Says, a series of one-hour specials that Hilton himself is describing as "like PerezHilton.com come to life, but even juicier." The new series debuts in September.
I suppose it's somewhat ironic that Perez is becoming part of the celebrity world he so gleefully attacks on his blog. Of course, in this age when almost everyone is a celebrity in some form or another, it's not too surprising.
When YouTube was first launched, there was no way its founders could have predicted how popular it would become, or that TV networks and cable channels would use the service to provide clips to the masses. But, what of those independent and unknown filmmakers and aspiring comic actors who make their own videos with their friends? It's bad enough those uploaded videos are so easily lost in the shuffle among the millions of other videos, but the presence of NBC and CBS don't exactly help, either.
That is, unless you're sneaky.
Not that there is anything wrong with that. NCIS does as good a job as anybody at mixing the two facets. As the story moved along though, there was something of an ongoing story that continued to develop. I'm referring to the ever evolving relationship between Tony and Ziva. Their bickering and fighting has proved quite entertaining in the past, but as season four has progressed, things have slowly been changing. It's a nice bit of writing the team is doing as they've taken their time to let this all come out.
But they do love our TV. And according to The New York Times, American TV is as popular in Europe as ever, with shows like the Lost, Grey's Anatomy, the various CSIs, House, Monk, and even Six Degrees popping up on primary broadcast channels all over the continent. American TV is so popular that the UK independent Channel Five is starting a new digital channel called Five US, which will show nothing but American programming. The resurgence is due to a combination of higher-quality product from the U.S. and lower production budgets in Europe, says the Times article.
The last time American TV was so popular in the Old Country? The '80s, when the most popular U.S. shows were Dynasty, Dallas, and The Dukes of Hazzard. At least Europeans have better taste these days.
It's live-action, which might upset some of the cartoon purists out there, but heck, at least it isn't Saved by the Bell. Starting on July 10, Adult Swim will be airing episodes of Pee-wee's Playhouse, the hysterical multi-Emmy award-winning children's series featuring Paul Reuben as everyone's favorite idiot manchild. We've known for awhile now that Adult Swim was making plans to incorporate more live-action into its programming block, and while I would love to see more of an effort made to showcase original animated work, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think this was pretty damn cool. Then again, yet another part of me worries that once the thrill of nostalgia wears off I'll be pining once again for something new and original. My brain might have to shut down if it continues to argue with itself in this manner.
Paul Reubens created the popular character in 1978, and the show debuted in 1986. Adult Swim's airing of the series will coincide with its 20th anniversary. The series will air Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. EST, and all forty-five original episodes will be shown, including the rare Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.
Bugs Bunny is by far the most unflappable character in cartoons, an insouciant thorn in the side of anyone who seeks to do him harm, and the only one able to maintain his cool while everyone around him is going insane. I've come up with five of my favorite Bugs Bunny shorts of all time, and it wasn't easy. I managed to pare the list from eleven down to seven, and finally, down to five. Here they are:
What's Opera, Doc? (1957): "Spear and magic helmet?" A later entry into the Looney Tunes library, this has come to be recognized as one of the best animated shorts of all time. The basic plot of Elmer hunting Bugs and Bugs thwarting his every attempt is still evident here, but it's amplified by the great musical score, Maurice Noble's amazing background art, and a tragic love story that's actually rather touching in its own unbalanced way. I also love this exchange between Elmer (as Siegfried) and Bugs (disguised as Siegfried's love interest, Valkyrie Brunhilde):
Elmer: [singing] Oh Brunhilde , you're so lovely.
Bugs: [singing] Yes I know it, I can't help it.
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of your favorite shows, in order, every week.
(S01E01) It is clear, right from the opening scene of this first episode of Strangers with Candy, that the people behind the show knew exactly which notes they wanted to strike and exactly the kind of world they wanted to create around Jerri Blank, the forty year old self-described 'boozer, user, and loser' who is trying to get back on track by starting high school all over again. The opening sequence -- a school assembly in which a swaggering policeman warns kids against the danger of drugs while somehow making the drugs seem appealing -- has a great meta moment when the educational filmstrip starts, and shows the policeman making the exact same introduction and then showing a film within a film. Tiny surreal moments like this pop up throughout the rest of the show's run, which is just one reason some of us latched onto the series while it remained largely ignored by most television viewers.
(S10E13) I've never quite understood the allure of buying clothing that has been made to look faded, torn, and worn out before you even have the chance to wear them out naturally. Keeping my T-shirts from cracking and fading used to frustrate the heck out of me, and now they're selling them that way. I guess the lesson is never underestimate the American consumer's ignorance and desire to conform, especially if they happen to be in high school.
In last night's episode, Bobby and Joseph want desperately to be invited to a popular girl's party. They think if they could just get an awesome pair of pre-faded jeans they'll be cool enough to get an invite. Hank refuses to buy the jeans for Bobby, since he, like myself, thinks they're asinine. He tells Bobby that if he had a job and earned his own money, he would be his own man and able to purchase whatever he wanted. Bobby gets a job holding arrows on a street corner for available apartments, and demonstrates his new skills at the breakfast table: 'Where's the kitchen? Why, it's over there.'
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