Tag Archives | Television

Sci-Fi Master Philip K. Dick Comes to TV

Earlier this year Amazon Studios teased the forthcoming Philip K. Dick TV series “The Man In The High Castle” at San Diego Comic Con. Now it’s about to launch, this Friday, November 20th, and the Wall Street Journal ponders why it took so long for Dick’s pantheon of work to make it to television:

Thirty-three years after his death, Philip K. Dick, the mad genius of science fiction, has finally come to television.

Mr. Dick’s stories of shifting realities, frayed perceptions and what it means to be human have been the source of at least 11 film adaptations such as “Blade Runner” and “Total Recall.” This fall, his work is being adapted for TV for the first time. “The Man in the High Castle,” a series based on his 1962 novel, makes its debut Friday on Amazon Prime. “Minority Report,” a TV sequel to the 2002 film based on one of Mr.

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How Watching ‘Mr. Robot’ Made Me Paranoid About Getting Hacked

Interesting to see that people still get excited – or paranoid – over a good old-fashioned television series, in this case Arthur Baxter writing about Mr. Robot at the New York Observer:

“Where did you grow up?”

“I love dogs. Oh, you have a dog? What’s its name?”

“My friends used to call me Spiderman. How about you, did you have a childhood nickname?”

MR. Robot

You answer these questions and your new friend laughs with you about your silly nickname. Your new friend then plugs your information into a program they have on their computer, which generates millions of password combinations. They attempt to hack into your email account. They succeed.

Mr. Robot is the latest show to introduce us to the world of hacking. The show features protagonist Elliot, a security engineer at the cybersecurity company AllSafe. Mr. Robot focuses on Elliot’s attempt to hack into E Corp, the largest conglomerate in the world (and AllSafe’s client) and eliminate all debt.

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New Star Trek Series Coming in 2017 on CBS All Access

Star Trek

As television continues to thrive in its golden era 2.0, CBS is planning on jumping into the fray with a revamp of Star Trek. The show will be accessible through CBS All Access, CBS’s “digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.” This will be the first series produced specifically for All Access. Expect to see more of this from the big networks as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Amazon, Netflix, etc. continue pushing out popular shows.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.”

Are you trekkies excited? I’ve only seen The Original Series. (Thanks, Dad!) But I am looking forward to this. Just don’t fuck it up, CBS.

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Graffiti Artists Punk Showtime’s ‘Homeland’

The hit TV series “Homeland” has long been criticized for it’s inaccurate portrayal of Arabic culture so it’s especially delicious to see the graffiti artists hired to decorate the set of a refugee camp depicted in the current season with slogans mocking the American-Israeli television staple.

Homeland is watermelon (al watan bateekh) (watermelon is a word often used to indicate that something is a sham or not to be taken seriously) (photos courtesy of the artists)

Homeland is watermelon (al watan bateekh) (watermelon is a word often used to indicate that something is a sham or not to be taken seriously) (photos courtesy of the artists)


One of the artists, Egyptian Heba Amin, explains on her blog why they did it:

What’s wrong with Homeland’s political message? The very first season of “Homeland” explained to the American public that Al Qaida is actually an Iranian venture. According to the storyline, they are not only closely tied to Hezbollah, but Al Qaida even sought revenge against the US on behalf of Iran. This dangerous phantasm has become mainstream ‘knowledge’ in the US and has been repeated as fact by many mass media outlets.

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Psy-Ops and Learned Helplessness

From 2007, Peter Chamberlin writing at the Atlantic Free Press:

For many years, American society has lived under a state of siege. We have constantly been bombarded, every minute of every day, with psychological conditioning that is meant to lead us into a state of hopelessness. We are addicted to the source of this Pavlovian conditioning – television. This medium serves as an extension of the government propaganda apparatus, pumping-up the fear and anxiety levels, until the people become numb, convinced that we are helpless in a roiling sea of great dangers. We are literally being scared to death, so that we will give-up, roll over, and play dead. They want our surrender to be assured before they take the final steps to murder our democratic-Republic.

The people don’t understand that they are the source of all power within this Republic. Our task, as we fight those who seek to force nuclear war against Iran upon us, is to remind the people of their power and their freedom to reject another illegal, immoral war, to be fought on behalf of Israel.

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Finale Prep: Your ‘Mr. Robot’ Conspiracy Theory Field Guide

Are any of you into the TV series Mr. Robot? It’s developed something of a cult following, not least for its conspiracy and hacker culture dog whistles. The show’s finale was delayed from last week due to the live broadcast shootings in Virginia, but if you’re planning on catching the show tonight, Grantland has a convenient “conspiracy theory field guide” to use on your second screen:

Two weeks ago, I hadn’t really paused to think about how idiotic all my passwords are. If you asked me about honeypots or raspberry pi(e)s I’d assume you were talking Winnie the Pooh or sickly-sweet deserts. The closest I’d come to experiencing true paranoia about consumerism and brands was the hell of submitting to a baby shower registry. (Seriously, though: Big Baby is no joke.) And then I started binge-watching Mr. Robot.


If you’re reading this, I don’t have to explain to you what Mr.

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Television Viewing Linked to Higher Injury Risk in Hostile People

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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences via ScienceDaily:

People with hostile personality traits who watch more television than their peers may be at a greater risk for injury, potentially because they are more susceptible to the influence of television on violence and risk-taking behaviors, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.

The research, published online in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, suggests that a reduction in television viewing and content rating systems geared not just to age, but also personality traits, may reduce injury risk.

“Television viewing is very pervasive, with televisions in almost 99 percent of American households. And injuries cause more than half the deaths among people ages 1 through 44. This means that even modest reductions in television viewing, particularly among people predisposed to hostility, could have major positive outcomes for public health,” said lead author Anthony Fabio, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health.

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True Detective Season 2, Breaking Bad, & Weaponized Memes


Photoshop Art by Jasun Horsley

There were high expectations for the second season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and a lot of people were disappointed by what they got. It became a form of strange enjoyment for many viewers to “hate-watch” the show and then bitch about it afterwards via social media. Why was the show so ferociously maligned? Besides the usual sort of backlash that occurs when an artist (Nic Pizzolatto) gains a too-rapid reputation as a cultural hero, only to have it stripped away by the same voices that gave it to him, there was also something subtler and darker at work.

While discussing the show with an H.P. Lovecraft-exegetist, Heather Poirier, she brought up the idea of the American Dream as a weaponized meme. Poirier suggested that people who pursue their happiness based on unrealistic ideals become carrier of a cultural virus and have to destroy parts of themselves in order to attain their goals—or even just to feel like they are attaining them.… Read the rest

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These Cartoon Conspiracy Theories Will Ruin Your Childhood

Depending on your age, different kids’  TV cartoons will likely have been seminal influences on your childhood. Now if the cartoons were really leeching subversive ideas into the consciousness of those kids, what’s the long term effect? Could we attribute the emergence of hallucinogenic rave culture in ’90s UK to all those acid-themed episodes of The Magic Roundabout?

magic roundabout

VH1’s Christopher Rosa suggests that a whole slew of conspiracy theories might just ruin your favorite cartoons. Maybe it explains the explosion of conspiracy theory stories in all sorts of unlikely places … like VH1!

If you’re a late ’80s/early ’90s baby, then you’re probably familiar with the golden age of cartoons; the RugratsHey Arnold!, and Scooby Doo weren’t just TV shows, but ways of life. But of course Internet trolls have to crap all over our childhoods and publish conspiracy theories that suggest our favorite cartoons weren’t as innocent as we thought.

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