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The BBC hopes you like Agatha Christie, vampire boy bands, and in the age of streaming do we need opening credits?

Thursday August 25th 2016

People Talking About TV

“And now it’s time for other shows to follow in their footsteps, especially looking at you, streaming originals. While the intention of opening credits are to establish a show’s identity and buckle you in, they currently serve the exact opposite purpose. When we’re breezing through a handful of episodes at a time, opening credits are merely a minute that we waste either begrudgingly sitting through them, or trying to scan past them to the moment where the show actually starts. We know what we’re watching, we know what it’s about, and we know who’s in it. Please spend all the time you possibly can telling that story, not throwing a binge-watching speed bump our way in the form of quirky/moody music over images of the actors we’re already committed to spending hours watching.” A plea for an end to opening credits.  I’ve been rewatching the first season of Homeland, and while there are some credit sequences I am happy to watch every time (True Detective S1, Stranger Things, Bob’s Burgers) this is not one of them. I think in the age of binge watching if you include an earworm of a song in your credit sequence, I am looking at you Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you are a terrible person. Jane the Virgin did away with credits, but the previously ons are the best on TV, so maybe shows just need to get creative.

“You can walk in and buy motherboards, and the processors and the memory chips, and the fans and all that stuff. You get this big shopping cart full of parts, you take it home and you slap it together, and you got yourself a computer. Those kinds of places just did not exist anywhere else, and anybody who worked in the Valley would have stories about taking some out-of-town visitor to Fry’s, and just watching their mouths gape open.” Great recap of this week’s Halt and Catch fire episode from the author’s parents, who worked in Silicon Valley in the 1980s.


The Business

The BBC will adapt seven Agatha Christie stories over the next four years, and I am in. Their recent adaptation of And Then There Were None was great.

The Disney Channel ordered a pilot for Forever Boys, about a 1950s boy band who got turned into vampires, who are thinking of making a comeback. That's like a dream for a ton of teens, a boy band that never gets old, and never breaks up so one of them can put out a solo album.

Honestly, I am amazed that it’s taken this long for there to be a Lifetime movie about Britney Spears. Britney will arrive sometime in 2017. At least we will get another take on the matching denim outfits.

Casting: Underground has cast Fringe’s Jasika Nicole as an abolitionist, and Under the Dome’s Aisha Hinds as Harriet Tubman.

Here’s the current list of everyone on SNL for the upcoming 42nd season.

Survivor’s Remorse has been renewed by Starz for a fourth season.

The ratings for Zoo went up again. 4.9 million people watched it live this week!


What To Watch

Two shows return this week, one bad, one excellent. The Strain is back on Sunday, but thankfully Corey Stoll’s terrible wig is not. You’re the Worst returns for a third season on Monday and I am so excited. I love this show and the terrible, terrible people that are on it. The trailer is here.

Shut Eye, Hulu’s drama about a psychic who might be experiencing visions that are actually real, arrives Monday. Here’s the trailer. It stars Jeffrey Donovan, who was so great on the second season of Fargo, but for most people will probably always be yogurt enthusiast Michael Westen from Burn Notice.

“If your main complaint about The Sopranos was that there was too much about suburban entitlement and psychiatry and not enough scenes where people discuss how they're going to kill somebody and then kill them, this show is made for your needs.” More praise in this review of Gomorrah, Sundance’s Italian (in Italy) mob drama, which returned this week.

So everyone made a big deal about Netflix getting Slow TV, the Norwegian import where time consuming things like chopping wood and long train rides happen in real time, but they are actually more like documentaries, and to me, have too much talking. I guess I just want a cross between the Christmas Day yule log feed and the Primitive Technology guy who builds stuff without talking.

If you want to watch something weird, io9 ranked the 14 weirdest episodes of Quantum Leap. I am afraid to rewatch this show, because I watched it a lot when I was a kid, and what if it’s really bad?

My homework for the weekend is to get caught up on Zoo, because I need a good laugh. As I mentioned above I am rewatching season one of Homeland, and then reading The A.V. Club’s recaps which is fun because nobody knew that the show was about to go nuts. I am also still watching Felicity, I still haven’t watched The Get Down, and I'm still working my way through the excellent second season of Chef’s Table. 

Odds and Ends

Previously TV wants to know if this ad for Crystal Pepsi is peak 90s, and as someone who consumed a lot of Pepsi (adult me wants to ask teen me why when Coke was right there) I can confirm that yes, yes it is. And also that Crystal Pepsi was gross. My high school thankfully banned it because they decided we could fill the bottles with vodka, which sounds like something they heard about on Dateline, but we could have also filled water bottles with vodka. My school didn’t teach critical thinking, BTW.

Trailers: This Dirk Gently trailer doesn’t tell you much about the show, but there’s a corgi. This is a terrible trailer for Poldark, but at least the show is back next month! Here’s a teaser trailer for the third season of The Fall. I love icy Gillian Anderson so much.

Stranger Things News Roundup: I am loving all of the 80s style posters people are making for the show. Parks and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz addressed the rumors that Steve Harrington is actually Jean-Ralphio’s real father.  Both shows are set in Indiana, and the timeline works. Plus giant hair! S U R V I V E, the band behind the show’s excellent score, is going on tour.

The Tonight Show played “Hungry Hungry Humans” with Donald Glover and the U.S. Women’s gymnastics team, and I think Jimmy finally found someone more competitive than he is. He’s still a sore loser though, as we learned the next night when he got eliminated immediately at Musical Beers.

Someone re-made The X-Files opening credits with Gabe the Dog. Not as good as the Kavinsky cover though. God I love the internet sometimes.


That’s a wrap for me for this week, but I will return on Tuesday with more. Thanks for reading. Oh, and please pass this on to any TV obsessed friends. Many thanks!

-Alana Cloutier

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