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September 17, 2014

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The (Annotated) 'Lost' Reading List

by Ryan McKee, posted Jan 19th 2010 6:00PM
Historically, TV shows don't give their viewers homework. They avoid make any allusion that viewers should be reading more literature than gobbling another 'Jersey Shore' marathon.

However, fans of 'Lost' ('Lostheads,' 'Losters') have become accustomed to jumping on their computers immediately after the Bad Robot production logo finishes. While fan message boards help casual viewers understand some nuances, hardcore Others research references in philosophy, religion, science, and literature. They hope to discover what the hell it all means.

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George W. Bush canceled Reading Rainbow

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Aug 29th 2009 2:30PM
LeVar Burton, host of 'Reading Rainbow' Did you watch Reading Rainbow yesterday? If you missed it, that's too bad, because PBS' third-longest running show (behind only Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood) ended its 26 year run on Friday.

According to NPR, the children's program is being cut from the PBS stable of educational programming because of ... wait for it ... the Bush administration.

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Ten ways I plan to cope with the WGA writers strike

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 7th 2007 1:26PM
Strike rat on dutyI know I have a problem. I don't need anyone to tell me that I was a child of television and it's been in my life all my life. Yes, I read. Yes, I listen to music. And, obviously I write.

But most of my writing these days is about television!

I recall the last writers strike. It was during that time that I wrote a really horrible horror novel to occupy my time outside of my day job. I'm not doing that again this time. I refuse to spend weeks writing dreck just because the television and film writers are on strike.

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BET wants you to read a %$#ing book

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 26th 2007 7:02PM

BETSatire is a tricky sword to wield, and BET's current efforts to call attention to some of the less-favorable aspects of current black culture are proof of that. First, there was We Got to Do Better (formerly Hot Ghetto Mess), a series whose pilot episode was so schizophrenic I actually developed twelve different personalities while watching it. Never have I seen a TV series struggling so hard to figure out its own identity.

All of the press that came out before it read that the series would use amateur footage of people acting untoward as a means to show how we need to improve (the clips show people of all races), but the first episode kept jumping back and forth between straight satire and host Charlie Murphy sincerely pleading to the audience to improve themselves. Imagine Stephen Colbert dropping his facade every two minutes to say, "this is a joke" -- that's what watching We Got to Do Better was like.

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Oh no, it's TV Turnoff Week again

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 23rd 2007 8:31AM

TV TurnoffEvery April we can be sure that several things will happen: the weather will alternate between warm/sunny and cold/rainy, kids will enjoy spring vacation before going back to school for the end of the year push, and a bunch of people will decide "hey, this is the week I won't watch television!" for some reason.

Yup, it's that time of year again. Today is the start of TV Turnoff Week (they've changed their name to "The Center For Screen-Time Awareness"), that week when all the misguided souls around the country decide to shut off their televisions and read a book and eat salad. Or so they'd have you believe. I write about this every year, and a couple of years ago even debated a guy on MSNBC about it, so I won't rehash all the points here. Check out this post, where I give all the reasons why this week is such a silly idea.

In short, don't celebrate TV Turnoff Week this week. To quote Jim Halpert on The Office when Pam told him to get a life, "but who will watch my television?"

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The Good Book, Shatner-style

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 28th 2007 11:01AM

william shatnerSo what is it about William Shatner? Is he cool because he doesn't know how uncool he is? Is he cool because he knows he's uncool? Has he found some way to straddle the line between lame and cool, thus remaining an enigma that will confound us for all time? Whatever it is, no one else has that "Shatner thing" that ol' Bill brings to all his projects.

On a video interview on his Web site ShatnerVision, Shatner mentioned he was trying to sell a recording of himself narrating the Book of Exodus backed by a full symphony and three-hundred and fifty singers. Well, he said it was a "revised version" of Exodus, which is good because I imagine sitting through a verbatim reading of that particular Book would be quite an endurance test.

Shatner recorded the reading with the Arkansas Symphony in 2005, and according to the Symphony's Web site, the CD will be released sometime this year.

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