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Showing posts with the label Rewind

BuzzFeed: "Lost Changed My Life In More Ways Than I Can Count"

“Guys, where are we?” At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Lost Changed My Life In More Ways Than I Can Count," in which I revisit the 10th anniversary of Lost 's premiere and look at how my life has changed in the time since the show first began. I saw the pilot episode of Lost a few months before it premiered on ABC exactly 10 years ago today — on Sept. 22, 2004. I was working in television development at the time, and a box of pilots — they may have even been on VHS tapes — had just arrived from a talent agency. My co-workers and I gathered in a tiny, cramped office to sort through the 30–40 screeners, most with titles and premises now forgotten, to find our copy of Lost. Damon Lindelof was an unknown name to us then, but we were addicted to Alias, the trippy espionage drama from Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams, who had also won our hearts with the wistful Felicity. Twitter and social media as we now know them did not yet exist and, while we had followe

BuzzFeed: "Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces Makes You See Fire Walk With Me In A Different Way"

David Lynch unveiled nearly 90 minutes of deleted and extended scenes to his 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me at a Los Angeles theater last night. It was intense and weird. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces Makes You See Fire Walk With Me In A Different Way," in which I look at the so-called Missing Pieces from Twin Peaks — the deleted scenes from David Lynch's Fire Walk with Me — unveiled by Lynch last night at the world premiere in Los Angeles. WARNING: The following contains information about the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer. If, by some chance, you are reading this and haven’t finished the more than two decades-old series, stop reading before you are spoiled. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me , David Lynch’s follow-up prequel to cult classic television series Twin Peaks , has always been an odd beast. It recounts the final seven days of the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), whose inexplicable and brutal

BuzzFeed: "What If Seinfeld Had Used Suggested Hashtags?"

Don’t forget to tweet using the hashtag #iwasinthepool. #MustSeeTV indeed. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest post, "What If Seinfeld Had Used Suggested Hashtags?" in which I imagine a world in which Twitter existed when Seinfeld was on the air and if NBC had used suggested hashtags on-screen for some of the show's most memorable moments. What a world indeed. Seinfeld creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld may have claimed that the show — which ran on NBC from 1989 to 1998 — was about nothing, but devotees of the beloved comedy know that that’s not exactly true. Individual episodes centered around some facet of everyday life (from marble rye to a cologne that smells like you just came from the beach) and many of those so-called nothings have since become iconic moments in popular culture. While Twitter didn’t exist when Seinfeld was on the air originally, imagine a world in which NBC could have guided our social media-based thoughts with those now-ubiquitous

BuzzFeed: "Clueless Comes of Age"

When Amy Heckerling set out to make a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma , few imagined that the director would create a new classic and one of the most quoted films ever. The Alicia Silverstone comedy turns 18 years old today, but, let’s be honest, Clueless is timeless. At BuzzFeed, you can read my first feature for the site, " Clueless Comes of Age," in which I write about Clueless turning 18 years old today, which is horrifying on so many levels. Amy Heckerling’s Clueless, inspired by the winking spirit of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma, was released in theaters 18 years ago today, which means that it has officially reached adulthood. For a movie about the vapidity of adolescence, the fact that nearly two decades have come and gone since Clueless first hit theaters cuts through me like a knife. I was nearly 18 years old when the Alicia Silverstone film came out, and I saw it on opening weekend, a hot July night in 1995, the summer before I went to college.

The Daily Beast: "Rewind: BBC’s Iconic Political Thriller House of Cards Still Captivates"

Ahead of David Fincher’s American remake of House of Cards , which launches on Netflix in February, I revisit the original British potboiler and find that it still thrusts a steely rapier under the viewer’s skin. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Rewind: BBC’s Iconic Political Thriller House of Cards Still Captivates," in which I reflect upon the legacy and vitality of 1990 British miniseries House of Cards , ahead of Netflix's American remake--premiering Feb 1 and starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, and Robin Wright--from David Fincher and Beau Willimon. Netflix, the now-ubiquitous digital streaming service, will enter the original programming arena with its upcoming American remake of House of Cards , from writer Beau Willimon ( Farragut North ) and director/executive producer David Fincher ( The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ). The series, which launches Feb. 1, stars Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, and Robin Wright in roles that are now as iconic as the

The Daily Beast: "Dark Shadows for Dummies"

Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows doesn’t require a deep knowledge of the '60s gothic-horror TV show, but it helps—and my glossary and character gallery explain all! Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Dark Shadows for Dummies," in which I offer a fairly comprehensive glossary of characters, terms, and places from 45+ years of Dark Shadows continuity, several series, films, and a plethora of other materials. What is Parallel Time? Who is Angelique Bouchard? What is Widow's Hill? It's all in here. In the more than 45 years since Dark Shadows first premiered as an afternoon soap opera on ABC in June 1966, the series created by Dan Curtis has spawned numerous feature films, novels, television series, comic books, and even hit singles. Evolving from a standard soap opera into a supernatural horror-fest—overflowing with vampires, witches, ghosts, and H.P. Lovecraftian ancient beings (remember the Leviathans?)— Dark Shadows was a forerunner for m

The Daily Beast: "The Enduring Thrills of Dark Shadows"

Nearly 50 years ago, Gothic soap Dark Shadows hooked audiences with its spooky storylines and before-its-time remorseful vampire. Ahead of Tim Burton’s movie adaptation, a new DVD version of the show--a limited edition $600 complete series containing all 1220+ episodes packaged in a coffin--comes out Tuesday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read "The Enduring Thrills of Dark Shadows ," in which I reflect upon the enduring legacy of afternoon soap opera Dark Shadows and its influence upon popular culture today. I grew up watching both the 1991 revival series (which aired during primetime on NBC during the Gulf War) and the original, watching whatever scraps I could get my hands on from VHS tapes at Blockbuster and syndicated runs of the show. It remains a magical experience unlike anything on television to this day. In Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows , due in theaters Friday, Johnny Depp puts on the fangs of immortal vampire Barnabas Collins, awakened from his centuries-old

The Daily Beast: "Rewind: Rome Burns in I, Claudius"

Thirty-five years ago, PBS captivated audiences with the blood-and-sex-laden ancient-Roman soap I, Claudius , which is still influential. A new DVD version comes out Tuesday. Over at The Daily Beast, it's the first of a new series called Rewind, which will look back at a television show or film that has proven to resonate. You can read my latest feature, "Rome Burns in I, Claudius ," in which I take a look at PBS' ancient Rome-set drama, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of its U.S. broadcast this year. I, Claudius celebrates the 35th anniversary of its U.S. broadcast this year. A rapt and devoted audience consumed this spellbinding ancient-Rome period drama when it first aired in 1976 on the BBC in the U.K., and in 1977 on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre. Starring Derek Jacobi as the titular character and featuring some of the best boldface names in British acting circles, the Emmy Award–winning show—which ran 12 episodes and is today being released as a remaster

The Daily Beast: "Twin Peaks' Strange Reunion"

"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." Twenty years ago today (yes, precisely to the day), Laura Palmer's killer was unmasked for Agent Dale Cooper and Sheriff Truman on ABC's seminal series Twin Peaks . Tonight, many of the original cast members of the haunting and harrowing series will reunite on-screen for the first time in two decades on USA's Psych , which airs its Twin Peaks homage episode, "Dual Spires," tonight at 10 pm ET/PT. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Twin Peaks ' Strange Reunion," in which I explore the enduring legacy of Twin Peaks and speak with the series' co-creator Mark Frost and Laura Palmer herself, Sheryl Lee, about the groundbreaking drama series and where things went wrong, and speak with Psych 's star James Roday (who penned tonight's "Dual Spires" episode) about his Twin Peaks obsession (one that rivals my own). All this plus, a damn fine gallery featur

Friday Night Lights Watch: Courage and Conviction on Season Four of FNL

Earlier this week, I finished watching Season Four of Friday Night Lights and, wiping away the manly tears that fell from my eyes, I'm already anxiously awaiting the start of the fifth and final season this fall. Over the course of the summer, my wife and I have gone back and watched all four seasons of Friday Night Lights and fallen in love with this remarkable and heartfelt drama series, which in its fourth season inverted its premise to present even more complications for the central couple of Eric and Tami Taylor (Emmy Award nominees Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton), who found themselves under attack from a number of directions at once. From the school board, from the townspeople, from parents, from those who would see them fail rather than triumph. (If you missed my earlier posts about the first three seasons, you can read my thoughts on Season One here , Season Two here , and Season Three here .) Whereas the first three seasons presented a series of struggles both marital

Friday Night Lights Watch: Dreams Deferred (and Achieved) on Season Three of FNL

Last night, we finished watching Season Three of Friday Night Lights . I'm still recovering, emotionally, from the end of a season that brought the promise and potential back to this extraordinary series. I had no doubts that the series would come back around and be able to find its true creative direction (one without murder conspiracy cover-up plots or capital-D Drama) after the uneven and truncated second season , which screamed of network interference and, no sooner did it finally begin to find its way again, the season was cut short due to the writers strike. While I had extreme doubts about the second season, I knew that the writers--with Jason Katims at the helm--could bring back the emotional resonance and connection that the groundbreaking first season of Friday Night Lights had so effortlessly pulled off. My belief wasn't mislaid: with Season Three, the writers not only brought back the very elements that had made the series a success but built upon them, continuing

Friday Night Lights Watch: Examining the Flawed Second Season

I heard a lot of negative things about Season Two of Friday Night Lights , which I finished watching over the long weekend as part of my Friday Night Lights catch-up. After the strength of the freshman season, Season Two of Friday Night Lights almost feels like a different series altogether. While there were some beautiful moments that stood out, they were just moments rather than a cohesive season of taut storyelling. It's a stark contrast to the first season of Friday Night Lights , where each episode managed to build on the one prior to create a staggering portrait of a small town that perfectly captured, as I said last week, the ebb and flow of real life. Not so with Season Two, where the main network note seemed to have been to inject Drama into the series. Yes, Drama with a capital d, rather than the more nuanced and studied drama of the first season. Here, everything had to be bigger, had to be bolder, and had to be broader than ever before. Yes, watching from the first ep

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: I Am Now Officially a Friday Night Lights Convert

Confession time: I'm a recent convert to Friday Night Lights . In the world of television, it's often necessary to make a judgment based on a pilot episode of a series. In fact, one job I held in Hollywood made it absolutely necessary to do just that: determine what would be a worthwhile series based on the pilot script and then the shot pilot. With financial investments on the line, it was imperative that one make a snap judgment based on a single episode of a series. In a lot of cases, that initial judgment proves to be the correct one. But sometimes, the pilot doesn't quite match the full potential of the subsequent series. When I originally watched the pilot for NBC's Friday Night Lights , it didn't click with me. I found it preachy, saccharine, riddled with some awkward dialogue, and placing far too much emphasis on the football aspect. I wrote off the series for a bit and then, when I heard about the creative struggles of Season Two, I opted not to go back and

Rewind: "Monarch of the Glen"

I'll admit that I found the BBC's Monarch of the Glen to be a little, well, twee the first time I caught an episode on BBC America. When Monarch 's first season was released on DVD a few years back, I decided to give the series a second chance and placed it in my Netflix queue. Happily, I quickly became enchanted by this Scottish drama about the conflicting forces of familial duty and personal desire and eagerly consumed the series' subsequent seasons on television. Over the past few years, Monarch has quickly become one of my favorite series, a cozy cup of tea before bedtime in television form. Granted, Monarch of the Glen is a drama series so chaste that characters seem to fall in love and propose after nothing more than a first date and a peck on the cheek, but that's all part of the charm of this wacky, whimsical family drama, set in the gorgeous Scottish Highlands. At the start of the series, prodigal son Archie MacDonald (Alastair Mackenzie) arrives at Glen

Rewind: "Battlestar Galactica: The Mini-Series"

Don't ask me why I've resisted the pull of the Sci-Fi Channel drama Battlestar Galactica for quite this long. It might have something to do with the almost religious obsession my co-worker maintains for the show, which knows no bounds. I'm not much of a sci-fi geek. I was never into Star Trek in any of its zillion permutations ( ST: The Next Generation , Voyager , Deep Space Nine , or... the rest) and have only recently discovered Doctor Who as a valid entertainment option. So forgive my ignorance then, as I've never seen the original Battlestar Galactica that the new series is based on. On a whim last weekend, I decided to Netflix the 2003 mini-series of Battlestar Galactica and see what all the fuss was about, as the show recently wrapped its second season on Sci-Fi last month (well, what the network is calling Season 2.5, anyway). And something magical and rather mysterious happened: I was instantly hooked. Not just hooked but sucked into the drama, which was f

Rewind: "Dark Shadows"

I was planning on writing this column for a while now but with the recent death of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis on Monday, I figured that now would be the best time to take a look back at one of television's most seminal shows, Dark Shadows , and its many incarnations over the years. After all, what other television series can boast a long-running daily soap, a nighttime drama, two features, and a pilot among its checkered past? I first discovered Dark Shadows in its 1991 incarnation, a nighttime drama for NBC that had the unfortunate distinction of airing--and getting preempted--during the network coverage of the Gulf War. I immediately fell in love with the show and its blend of campy horror and soapy drama and set out to immerse myself in the show's lore, seeking out VHS tapes of the original serial from the 1960s and 1970s and scouring the bookstores for books about the series. And later, while watching Buffy 's resident vampire-with-a-soul Angel struggle with his