Television

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Fall Arts Preview

Hogan Family Heirs

It’s sometimes easy to forget here in this Golden Age of Television, with your Breaking Bad and your Mad Men and your collection of Wire DVDs you keep forcing your friends to borrow that the medium is still, more often than not, about repackaging familiar storylines, similar characters and redundant settings. This is why there’s an endless barrage of cop Read More

Pop Culture

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The Undead Hordes Are Singing

I never set out to hear “Blurred Lines.” No one listens to Robin Thicke songs on purpose. But there it was, coming from, literally, everywhere. On commercials, on the radio, in stores, at work, just leaving work, on the way home from work, on the other end of my phone when my grandmother calls and just starts humming it, being barked in harmony by a pack of wild dogs roaming the alley behind Beauty Read More

Pop Culture

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Being Walter

Of all the great tragedies facing us as a society, the fact that there are only eight remaining episodes of Breaking Bad has to rank among the most dire. (Sorry, overpopulation, peak oil and the continued existence of the word “selfie.” You had your chance.) It’s a sad time for fans, yes, but it’s also bouncing-off-the-walls exciting as we get to the final run of one of television’s best series at 9 p.m. August 11 on Read More

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Blast Vegas: Needs More Sharks

Give credit to the savvy marketing robots at Syfy, they tuned right into the inherent draw of setting their sub-Bruckheimer dreck in Las Vegas. Who isn’t going to tune in to see the Bellagio knocked down a couple of times? We’ve already seen the White House blown up in a hundred different movies. Time to mix it Read More

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Gymhouse Rock

Stepping into a nondescript office park on Arville Road, I enter a bizarre soundstage. A ball-capped, pajama-ed, athletic-looking children’s-TV character sleeps in his bed. Flies buzz his smelly toes. Sunshine filters through the window. He rises, rubs his eyes and launches into his best—that is, funniest—Saturday Night Fever impression. The original musical track, “Disco Daddy,” is bass-heavy, kick drum-thumpin’, club-ready, four-on-the-floor Read More

TV

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Girls … With Children

I started thinking about moms in American pop culture, ironically, while watching an episode of Girls. Specifically, it was the scene in which two of the series’ (platonic, female) twenty-something protagonists bond by way of a shared bath. My first thought was, I have never casually bathed with a friend while discussing my relationship problems. My second was, I would literally pay someone if they could guarantee me a bath that no one else would try to climb into. You see, I have a toddler. He is there when I Read More

Showstopper

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Open letter to Travel Channel: Green-light Civillico series

Dearest, darling Travel Channel execs: Make a decision—the right one. Grant our own Jeff Civillico, afternoon-show headliner at the Quad, his TV show. You aired his pilot, Vegas Strip Search, on April 6. You told me you’re still considering whether to send it to series, based on the ratings. Jeff told me: “The ratings were pretty standard for what it was, which was a Saturday afternoon [show] with no promotion. It didn’t move the needle one way or another. There’s talk about re-airing it at a different time. We’re waiting to hear final Read More

Real Steel Cage Match

When, inevitably, Skynet comes online and the robot apocalypse begins, you’ll be able to trace it back—as you can with so many terrible decisions—to Las Vegas. Not only do we have the drones being controlled out of Nellis (and how long will it be before they’re knocking on your door, wearing Groucho glasses and pretending to be a helpful repairman to gain access into your home?) but now the Robot Combat League is tearing up the SyFy network Tuesdays at 10 p.m., with running fight commentary by KXTE-FM 107.5 morning host Dave Read More

Television

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‘Vegas’ Faces Renewal Roulette

Has the faux-Lamb been led to slaughter? Search the bean counters for a bloody knife. Fortunes in network television being as tied to numbers (the ratings variety) as any spin of the wheel or deal of the cards in this town, the fate of CBS’ freshman drama Vegas—starring Dennis Quaid doing a fictionalized take on ex-Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb—is a pair of airborne dice about to skid across the green Read More

Television

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AMC Documents the Odd and Sometimes Curious Characters of the Venice Beach Freakshow

AMC’s latest foray into the people-with-exceedingly-weird-jobs reality subgenre is Freakshow—which should be familiar to those who experienced the short-lived Freaks at O’Sheas. While it’s a milieu that should lend itself to breezy high camp, it sometimes feels like spackle in the network’s schedule around The Walking Dead airings while we all wait for a new season of Mad Read More