Category: Just Out Of Frame

Prequels and Sequels to TV Shows We Want to See

This year, X-Files fans were treated to a revival of their favourite show and also the announcement of a prequel book series to be released in January of 2017. With the fashion of the moment being to revisit old material, we began thinking about TV shows that would benefit from the sequel or prequel treatment, and here are some of our favourites. Prequels The Shield The Shield was a show that managed to stick its landing so well that the idea of a sequel would only taint its fantastic ending. However, a prequel focusing on a young Vic Mackey...

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Comic-To-Film Primer: Luke Cage

To conclude our exploration of Blaxploitation, we’re stepping away from the silver screen and turning to the paneled pages of comic books. After Marvel Studios and Netflix’s one-two punch of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, they’re ready to turn their attention to another corner of Marvel’s neighborhood, one where the shades of gray are quite literally defined by black and white. You may think you know Luke Cage already, but we’ve got the info that will have you shouting “Sweet Christmas!” before the series airs. So settle back, crank up the Isaac Hayes, and discover everything you need to know...

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Meaning and Pain on Infinite Jest’s 20th Anniversary

In David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College, he talks of finding meaning in the “boredom, routine, and petty frustration” of everyday life. He talks of turning “a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation” into something not only meaningful but also sacred. Much of life is cramped, crowded, and unimaginably, skull-numbingly boring. The time spent waiting for the bus in the rain seems to far outweigh the time spent being the places where the bus is supposed to take us. In order for one to live a fruitful and (there’s that word again) meaningful life, one has...

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Horace and Pete & the Peculiar Appeal of Louis C.K.

A few weeks ago, in the midst of the continuing political unrest brought about by the then-current Iowa Caucus, stand-up comedian and cinematic provocateur Louis C.K. released the first episode of his new series Horace and Pete, entirely unannounced on his personal website. The series has since gone on to feature three episodes so far, each of which has lasted the duration of approximately an hour and a half, and each has surprised audiences with understated clarity, socially aware acuity, and piercing cultural insight. At one point over the course of the premiere episode, Steve Buscemi, who plays Pete...

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When Movie Directors Direct Television

For the past decade or so we’ve lived in a golden age of TV. It is now perfectly acceptable for a movie star to headline a TV show, and not a star whose light has dimmed but a big star, and it is also not a huge surprise to see an episode or two of these shoes to be directed by a superstar director. There are different kinds of director involvement when it comes to TV. There are shows which a director has developed and thus they take a huge role in like Steven Soderbergh with The Knick or The Wachowskis and Sense8. With these shows the director’s influence is writ large in every scene from character traits to choice of music or writer. Another type relies on a director being an executive producer on the show and they come in to direct the pilot and then are simply a credit and an occasional mouthpiece for building hype for the show. Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, Prison Break, House, and Sleepy Hollow all have recognisable names linked to them and Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Brett Ratner, Bryan Singer, and Len Wiseman each directed the pilot episode of the show they executive produce. Finally, we have the guest director. You’ll be watching a show and at the beginning of a random episode in the season a credit will appear that you recognise....

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Five Years of Portlandia

It’s almost hard to believe, but the original IFC sketch comedy show Portlandia has already been on the air for a total of five seasons, and five years since the show’s debut season in 2011, it has quickly become one of my favorite shows. Even when I haven’t kept up with the antics featured by the show’s co-stars, co-writers, and co-creators Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, I have managed to keep the spirit of many of the program’s original cast of characters in mind whenever I have needed a slight pick me up. Starting from the pilot episode, Portlandia...

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Sherlock: The Abominable Bride Offers Minuscule Impact

Overview: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson travel back to the late 1800s to solve a perplexing case involving a vengeful bride who just won’t stay dead, while Sherlock attempts to face one of his biggest demons once and for all. Distributed by Fathom Events; 2016; PG-13; 110 minutes. My Dear Watson: Fans of the BBC television series Sherlock have been chomping at the bit for more episodes for two whole years, so anticipation for this special event has been, needless, to say, pretty palpable. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman don their hats and their snarky banter and pick up the spirit of...

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A Very Murray Christmas Offers An Elegiac Experience

There are plenty of moments sprinkled throughout actor Bill Murray and writer-director Sofia Coppola’s latest creative collaboration that ring with the same spark of ingenuity and charm that made them such an unexpectedly attractive pair in the modern movie masterpiece that was Lost in Translation in 2003. A little over a decade later, A Very Murray Christmas is a bit of a culture shock, offering what is an elegiac, variety show special, with plenty of its featured star’s oddball charisma throughout, and little bit of the spirit of its titular holiday at its thematic center. Add a splash of...

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The Best References to Star Wars on TV

Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon. Mention Wookies, Jedi, or the Force to anyone and nine times out of 10, you’ll be understood. It permeates our culture so strongly that long before The Force Awakens was a twinkle in JJ Abrams’ eye and Star Wars became ubiquitous in the mainstream, it was already pretty prevalent in terms of toys, clothes, and references in popular culture. With that view in mind, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite television references to the greatest franchise ever made: … The X-Files – “Small Potatoes” An episode of the show’s fourth season, “Small Potatoes”...

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The 15 Best Performances in the History of The Voice

The week we have all been waiting for is finally here. After months, if not years, of anticipation, eager fans everywhere will finally know: Who will win Season 9 of The Voice? In all seriousness, at the risk of sounding like a Midwestern housewife, I’ve been a fan of The Voice from season one when the talent search program separated itself from its peers by ditching any disruptive novelty. Because the contestants seem to be filtered and pre-screened, the show can skip the embarrassing open tryouts and avoid the mean-spirited weeks of laughing at folks whose talent might not...

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The Flash/Arrow Mid-Season Review

Overview: The Flash takes on Zoom while Green Arrow takes on Damien Dahrk, as a powerful, immortal enemy builds up in the background. The CW; 2015; TV-14; 18 episodes. Set-Up for Tomorrow: In the fall of 2013, the television series Arrow used the episode before its second mid-season finale to introduce Barry Allen, a forensic scientist who would someday become the superhero known as The Flash. It was a bold move: using an entire episode for what essentially was a backdoor pilot to a series that could’ve gone really bad really quickly. However, fast forward two years later, and...

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Mid-Season Review

Overview: The agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fight off Hydra while facing the threat of the uncanny Terrigen outbreak. ABC; 2015; TV-PG; 10 episodes. Many Heads, One Tale: After a series-defining, comeback, second season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had the next task of using the storylines and characters that worked really well in Season 2 in a follow up season that would hopefully prove that their one good season wasn’t a stroke of luck. Thankfully, the folks over at ABC struck hard and fast with a half-season that was action-packed, full of heart, and full of Marvel fun. The biggest achievement of...

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Jessica Jones Finds the Heroism in Humanity

Overview: A private investigator with superpowers must find a way to save a girl accused of a murder she didn’t commit by stopping the mind-controlling madman who shattered her world years ago. 2015; ABC Studios/Marvel Television; TV-MA; 13 episodes. The Pulse: The kid gloves are off; Jessica Jones doesn’t go in for bullshit. There’s nothing mild-mannered, emotionally false, or apologetic about Marvel’s latest entry. It’s not a superhero show and it never tries to be one. Instead, Jessica Jones operates as an eerie thriller with one foot in the muddy morality of noir and the other in the bloody...

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Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Spice Girls Lyrics

As if 2000 wasn’t a difficult enough year, with starting a brand new century and recovering from the irrational Y2K fear. While my parents were still looking for all the money they had hidden under their mattresses, I was drying my pubescent tears with my Emma Bunton beach towel over the devastation that was the imminent breakup of The Spice Girls. Although Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) abruptly left the group in 1998, it wasn’t until November 20, 2000 when Mel C. announced that she too was going her own way when the group’s destruction seemed inevitable. And inevitable it...

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