Sunday, April 11, 2004

Weekend roundup:

A good review from the Washington Post of Janet Jackson's hosting of SNL this weekend. I thought it was better than usual, but then this is the first time I've watched in a couple years. The Good Times spoof was pretty hilarious, as well as the home movie and the Condi Rice imitation. The Post writer also discusses the FCC's recent censorious turn, pointing out that before Howard Stern got fined he'd recently started criticizing Bush on air. Hmm.

Wonder Falls: So by now everyone knows that Wonderfalls, the critically acclaimed new show that I championed a couple weeks back, has already gotten the axe after just 4 episodes. Thirteen were completed, and apparently they tell a whole story arc, but FOX won't ever air them, even in the summer on some crappy night and timeslot. There is, however, hope for a DVD release. (DVD releases seem oddly independent from network success: Angel has sold very, very well on DVD yet still got the axe this year.) Why pay so much for a show you won't even dump in some obscure timeslot? Did the episode about the priest and nun offend someone? Is FOX just more interested in more bad game shows ("reality shows")? I don't know. Neither does Tim Goodman, but he wrote the most interesting article on it I could find. I don't understand why the use of story arcs is considered a problem--the game shows like Survivor do it, complete with the "previously on..." treatment. If viewers are motivated, they'll join a story midstream, and a great story is a great motivator.

Found out about an interesting book about Katharine Hepburn last week, one which has been reissued recently for the second time. It's called Katharine Hepburn: Star as Feminist by Andrew Britton, and eminent critic Robin Wood calls it not only one of the best books on Hepburn, but one of the best on any Hollywood star. The whole question of how Hepburn's work is and isn't feminist really interests me, and if nothing else the book is an excuse to look at her body of work in a thoughtful way. I found a copy at Borders this weekend and plan to read and post more about it soon.

FAIR recently issued a press release called "Pundits to Kerry: Move Right." It's an interesting look at the advice Democratic presidential noms typically receive from mainstream pundits and how it's worked out for them. I saw Clinton on the campaign trail in '92, and the man was on fire, a galvanizing speaker, decidedly populist. And he won--twice. FAIR might be on to something.

A bit of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer trivia: Kristine Sutherland (aka Buffy's Mom) is married to John Pankow, the guy who played Ira on Mad About You.

Lastly, a NYTimes piece on Hollywood directors trying to get a slice of the video game pie. The VG market recently surpassed Hollywood in annual profits, and this is just the latest example of the tilt in entertainment.


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