Tag Archives | Television

True Detective Season 2, Breaking Bad, & Weaponized Memes

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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?

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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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Steven Spielberg To Adapt Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ For TV

BraveNewWorld FirstEdition.jpgI don’t doubt that Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World is on many a disinfonaut’s list of top novels. Apparently it’s one of Hollywood stalwart Steven Spielberg’s favorites too and now he has the green light to turn it into a television series for Syfy, per the Hollywood Reporter:

The Emmy-winning team behind Syfy’s Taken is reuniting for another science fiction classic.

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is adapting Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World as a scripted series for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Brave New World — ranked fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library — is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. Humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in “hatcheries.” Those who won’t conform are forced onto “reservations,” until one of the “savages” challenges the system, threatening the entire social order.

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LA Times: “If Clinton loses this election, it will not be television’s fault.”

The left oriented press criticized the Republican National Committee in 2013 for accepting a resolution that would ban CNN and MSNBC from covering the republican candidacy debates.

WHEREAS, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton; and

WHEREAS, these programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election; and

WHEREAS, airing this programming will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks…

RESOLVED, that if CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor…

The rhetoric from critics is the same argument we have all heard over the years…”you mean fox news is biased?” “They at least report news, Fox is nothing but bias” and so on.… Read the rest

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David Lynch Doubts Return Of Twin Peaks In 2016 Due To “Complications”

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David Lynch has expressed doubts about Twin Peaks returning in 2016 due to “complications.”

Welcome to Twin Peaks has the story:

Worrying reports are coming in from readers of Welcome to Twin Peaks who attended the opening of the Between Two Worlds exhibition in Brisbane and the disturbing news is being confirmed by the Twittersphere: David Lynch last night raised doubts about the widely announced return of Twin Peaks on Showtime in 2016.

During a sold out Q&A event and conversation with David Strattan at QPAC, the director and artist was asked whether “Twin Peaks was definitely happening.” David Lynch, breaking his self-imposed code of silence, responded: “I don’t know. There are complications.

Check out the rest hereWelcome to Twin Peaks will continue providing live updates at their site.

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The Brilliant ‘Black Mirror’

Have any disinfonauts checked out British TV series Black Mirror? A friend recently recommended it to me and a couple of Netflix streams later I’m a true believer (but please Endemol, don’t create an American version as rumored by Variety – it won’t work).

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It’s a kind of Twilight Zone for the 21st century and has earned an enthusiastic review from the New York Times Magazine:

One of the most disturbing moments in the British TV series “Black Mirror” is what appears to be a passionate love scene. The episode takes place in a version of the future where most people have had small devices, called “grains,” surgically implanted in their heads that can record and replay their memories on demand. As the encounter progresses, it is revealed that the couple are actually having dull and mechanical sex, their eyes grayed out as they both tune into their grains to watch memories of their previous trysts, from an earlier, steamier time in their relationship.

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Welcome to Hollyweed: Why TV Is Going to Pot

Marijuana mania is sweeping the United States, from Wall Street to Hollywood, or “Hollyweed” as the Hollywood Reporter dubs it:

The television industry is catching up with film and learning that pot sells in Hollywood. As more states join the legal marijuana movement and the drug becomes less taboo in the country, entertainment industry insiders say interest in weed-related storylines is at an all-time high.

Showtime series “Shameless,” for instance, which follows Chicago’s dysfunctional Gallagher family and stars William H. Macyand Emmy Rossum, will embark on a major weed arc later this year. The network is also responsible for the mother of all television pot tales, “Weeds,” which starred Mary-Louise Parker as soccer-mom-turned-drug-dealer. The series blazed trails (and spliffs) from 2005 to 2012 and helped put Showtime on the original-programming map.

Showtime isn’t the only pot-obsessed programmer, though; CNBC is in Season 2 of its series “Marijuana in America,” and “60 Minutes” struck ratings gold with a recent pot segment that drew in a whopping 17 million viewers.

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New ‘X-Files’ Returning To Fox

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I’m sure there’s more than a few X-Files fans among disinfonauts, so you’ll be interested to learn that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are (probably) going to revive their X-Files personae in a revamp of the Chris Carter series to air on Fox, per Deadline:

Following the success of Fox’s 24 limited series, the network is looking to bring back another iconic drama series, The X-Files. Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman today confirmed chatter that the network is in talks for a new installment of Chris Carter’s cult supernatural drama, which starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Newman went on to say he was “hopeful” about the outcome.

Later, fellow Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden said that the conversations so far have been only logistical, looking at windows when the key X-Files players, creator Carter and stars Duchovny and Anderson, are available. She confirmed that a potential X-Files followup will star the original leading duo of Duchovny and Anderson.

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Atheists Unveil Anti-Christmas TV Specials

“Yes, Virginia, there is a ‘War on Christmas’,” declares the Washington Times, reporting on AtheistTV‘s holiday lineup:

Conservatives have been mocked for insisting there’s an ongoing war on Christmas, but now it looks like they may have simply been ahead of their time.

American Atheists unveiled Wednesday the “War on Christmas” line-up on its television channel, AtheistTV, featuring “original programs proclaiming the truth about Christmas on December 24 and December 25, featuring scholars and celebrities from the atheist community.”

Atheist TV

“Christmas is hard for many atheists, so we will provide programming free from superstition and fairy tales that allows families to watch together and not worry about being preached at,” American Atheists President Dave Silverman said in a statement.

Conservatives like Fox News talk-show hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly have long warned of a “War on Christmas,” citing moves by retailers, public schools and local governments to remove references to Christmas from displays and celebrations.

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Remembering the Max Headroom Incident, One of the Creepiest Hacks Ever

I actually learned about this on Reddit just a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t heard of the Max Headroom Incident, you’re in luck because Klint Finley recounts this bizarre, but legendary hacking event over at Wired.

via Wired:

Around 9 o’clock on November 22, 1989, Chicago residents witnessed this epic hack. The evening news sportscast cut out, and a person in a strange mask appeared, dancing around in front of a spinning piece of metal—a rather dark incarnation of Max Headroom, the rather inexplicable character at the heart of the British TV series Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into The Future and two subsequent TV shows. On these shows, Headroom had a tendency to interrupt the broadcasts of the fictional TV station Network 23, but this wasn’t an authorized appearance by the character. It was a real pirate transmission.

After about 30 seconds, WGN’s technicians were able to override the pirate signal.

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