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February 13, 2012

Trailer: Whit Stilman's "Damsels in Distress"

I have nothing but love for Stilman's "Metropolitan" and "Last Days of Disco." Okay, "Barcelona" left me a bit cold. But I have watched Metropolitan at least 35 times. I love that film. Unabashedly. Warts and pacing issues and muddled characterization and classist overtones and all. So the prospect of another Stilman film full of pathetic deadpanners coming to grips with their emotional limitations is pretty much fucking catnip to me. Also, great cast.

Who wouldn't want a DEADWOOD-themed valentine?

Tomorrow is a very special cocksuckin’ Valentine’s Day … | Calamity Jon, Save Us!

February 10, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking Liz Lemon: From Woman To Little Girl; Or, why 30 Rock has been awful for the last three seasons

The Incredible Shrinking Liz Lemon: From Woman To Little Girl : Monkey See : NPR
Over the course of six seasons, Jack has been fully transformed into a condescending, all-knowing daddy, and Liz has been fully transformed into a needy little girl who is eternally terrified of displeasing him. She's always had a grudging respect for him, but now she simply reveres him and trusts his judgment more than hers. She was once frazzled but smart, harried but competent, capable of wrangling a bunch of crazy people and then slumping at the end of the day, exhausted but minimally victorious. Now, she's just dumb, incapable of making her own decisions, and her relationship with Jack is entirely out of balance. It's a common problem in comedy series that relationships and characters gradually have their funniest qualities exaggerated to the point where, ironically, they're no longer funny. There was always a strong element of bizarro mentoring in Jack's relationship with Liz — a twisted version of Lou Grant and Mary Richards. It led to some of the show's strongest moments. But as they stand now, Liz is as clueless and lost as Tracy and Jenna, and her once-grounded friendship with Pete (Scott Adsit), who was her one nominally sane ally, is essentially gone. This is, as a friend of mine recently noted, the opposite of what Parks And Recreation did with Leslie Knope. She's been fleshed out from a cartoonishly goofy boss to a warmly devoted — but still funny and skewed — public servant. Her relationship with Ron Swanson has become more equal, more respectful, with more give-and-take, and that's all made the show funnier and better.

February 03, 2012

See the cast of Downton Abbey dressed like 21th century people

I love me some Downton Abbey. Sure, it can be overly patriarchal at times but that is kind of the point. The old ways crumble in the face of electricity, modernization, and World War Uno. The servants are basically slaves. The plot and bearing rides the razor thin edge between hitting the tropes of the genre and self-mockery. But damn if the actors don't sell the fuck out of it. Especially Matthew and Mary. PAPERMAG - Downton Abbey Stars On-Screen Vs. Off-Screen

February 02, 2012

HBO's VEEP looks promising

The showrunner did In The Thick Of It and In The Loop which are two of the funniest, filthiest, most astute political comedies ever made. So yeah, this could be amazing? A Big Year for Political TV Shows—With a Twist | ThinkProgress
As does Veep, HBO’s terrific comedy about a female Vice President dealing with needy staffers, a president who ignores her, and a press corps that picks up on her every misstep. The sitcom, which premieres April 22, certainly is heightened and ridiculous, but the pilot nails the rhythms of speech and attitudes in Washington, along with the obnoxious and prickly gatekeepers and the minor screw-ups that become major catastrophes. “I want it to be right. I want it to be accurate,” creator Armando Iannucci, the force behind In the Thick of It and In the Loop, told me at the Television Critics Association press tour. “I want to know the dull stuff. What time do people get in in the morning? Who do they sit next to? If someone calls from a newspaper or a television show, who takes the call? How do they issue a retraction?” He and star Julia Louis-Dreyfus told me that they continue to consult with advisors on both sides of the aisle in the city, and from what I’ve seen of the show, that care and attention pay off. When a prominent and aged Senator dies, the Vice President muses about the last time she saw him: “He was full of bourbon, and he grabbed my left tit.” Later, when Amy (Anna Chlumsky, who appears to be Iannucci’s current muse), her chief of staff signs her own name to a condolence card for the man instead of the Veep’s, she moans of the screwup “it’s going to look like the Veep couldn’t be bothered to sign a condolence card for one of the most celebrated perverts on the senate.” And the show mines a lot of humor out of the Veep’s lame attempts at humor, a perfect example of official Washington squareness. “I have stepped into the president’s shoes this evening and who knew he wore kitten heels,” the Veep says to kick off a speech. ” Just kidding. He’s more of a stilettos guy.” Sometimes, politics is both small, and small-minded (as is also the case with Hulu’s first original scripted series Battleground, about campaign workers in a Wisconsin Senate race).