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Cat's Cradle is coming to TV, Jessica Jones, and nostalgia for the VHS age.

Thursday November 19th 2015

People Talking About TV

“But that sort of sensory, tactile nostalgia was not what author Todd VanDerWerff focused his piece on. Rather, he complains that it’s harder to find obscure titles on streaming (say what?) and it’s more expensive to keep up to date with everything than it was during the days of VHS proliferation. This leads us to believe that he either had a magical video store inside his house with a free copy of every movie and show ever produced or, more likely, that his memory has turned hazy with time. Streaming offers viewers FAR more opportunities to discover new titles on the cheap than home video ever could.” Decider has a rebuttal to Todd VanDerWerff’s piece about how streaming will never live up to home video. My first job was in one of those magical indie video stores film nerds dream of, and believe me, you think it was bad when Battlestar Galactica temporarily disappeared from Netflix? How about when some jerk just stole or lost a VHS tape of something that was out of print? Streaming is so much better, and if it’s not currently streaming, at least you can usually just go get it cheap on DVD, or track it down somewhere online.

“When I heard the news that Netflix had signed on to a four-episode continuation of Gilmore Girls, I had a thought that I believe everyone else should have had: I hope they hire a new costumer.” I’ve been watching the first season of The O.C. again, and hooo boy, it is not just the Gilmore Girls who fared badly thanks to the fashions of the early 2000’s. I am thankful that it’s not a well photographed time in my life, or that I wasn’t on a popular TV series Hervey week.

“The show is certainly popular enough to justify its existence, but will it still be The Walking Dead once you’ve essentially turned it into a video game? After all, a proper Walking Dead theme park experience would only give you a single bullet, surround you on all sides, and encourage you to turn the gun on yourself. Without depressing angst and ongoing dread, a Walking Dead ride could be just be a zombie shoot-em-up.” Apparently The Walking Dead is popular enough that there might be a theme park ride based on the show.

The Business

Fargo’s Noah Hawley will write and produce Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle as a limited series at FX. I am definitely watching the hell out of that.

I hope you weren’t too attached to Kurt Sutter’s The Bastard Executioner, because it’s not coming back for a second season.

Syfy has greenlit 12 hours of Channel Zero, an anthology series whose first season will be based on the “creepypasta” story Candle Cove. I am probably not going to watch this because that story is creepy as hell.

ABC Family, soon to be Freeform, which I will continue to make fun of, has picked up Dead Of Summer, a summer camp set horror story from the creators of Once Upon A Time.

E! has announced that The Soup will end its run on December 18th, which means there is now not a single show I would consider watching on E!

Casting: Cary Elwes has joined the cast of Max, Lena Dunham’s next show for HBO. John Cena will be the host of American Grit, the newest show on TV that will make you feel truly out of shape. It’s a team challenge that will have to complete military grade and survival themed challenges. Harry Hamlin will play a recurring character on Epix’s Graves. Greg Grunberg will guest star on Life in Pieces.

TBS is developing Hype, a “gritty half-hour comedy” about the Miami art scene from Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting.

Thanks to having The Walking Dead as its lead-in, Into the Badlands is now this season’s highest rated premiere. Sorry Blindspot and Supergirl.

ABC has ordered extra episodes of The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family and Black-ish.

Speaking of scripts, if you have an idea that you think Amazon would like, they just updated their script submission policy to include dramas.


What To Watch

I don’t have a lot of TV time this weekend, but the time I do have will be spent watching Netflix (and Marvel’s) Jessica Jones.

The reviews are coming in, and they are all good. Alan Sepinwall calls it the darkest, and best of the Marvel shows, Maureen Ryan called it one of the year’s most distinctive dramas. There are a ton of other ones, but you get the point.The trailer is here.

I am more excited about Jessica Jones than The Man In The High Castle, but not by much. Though the reviews aren’t quite as glowing. The A.V. Club gave it a B-, and EW gave it a B+, and the Variety’s review felt about the same. I loved the look of the pilot, and with the Cat’s Cradle news and now this, the high school version of me would be very excited about TV this week. EW has everything you need to know about the show before you binge watch.

Matthew McConaughey (who has one of those names I still have to double check EVERY time I type it) is the host of this week’s episode of SNL, and the promos are very him. The musical guest this week is Adele, who will be everywhere for the next 3 months thanks to the new album.

Syfy is releasing the pilot for The Expanse online on Monday, and I know several people, besides myself,  who are really excited about this. Watch it online here.

Lifetime made Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow, (which was an idea from 1968 that never got used,) into a movie, and it looks exactly like a Lifetime movie but with weird creatures. Fortunately for the kids lost in the woods they are actually friendly and not like the creatures from The Village. Here’s a review, and the trailer. It premieres on Saturday, but will likely be on repeat throughout the week.

If your holiday viewing tends to lean more towards zoning out while watching a yule log burn, then perhaps Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride is just the thing. I applaud any entry into the Slow TV genre, and a 5 hour train journey through Denali National Park definitely fits the bill.

Vulture has the 15 best Seinfeld episodes to watch if you somehow missed it the first time around, and also some suggestions for how to convince someone who doesn’t like football to watch Friday Night Lights.

Do you have a Roku? If so The CW Seed app has all 22 episodes of Pushing Daisies, the delightfully weird Bryan Fuller show that is the polar opposite of Hannibal. I highly recommend this one for anyone who likes brightly colored everything and handsome men who make pies for a living.

Here’s some other things that are on this week: the holiday episode of Lip Sync Battle featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie premieres tonight. The Trevor Noah: Lost In Translation stand-up special airs on Comedy Central on Sunday, and the same night Nick Offerman is the guest star on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so don’t miss that. On Thanksgiving afternoon NBC has the National Dog Show, which seems like the perfect thing for households who don’t watch football. The 28th has the premiere of Showtimes’s The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs, about how the CIA behaved under the Bush administration. Sunday the 29th has the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, which can only mean bad news for Alexandria.

Since I am off next week doing various Thanksgiving type activities, here’s a list of some excellent recent TV you could catch up on over the break. Master Of None, Casual, You’re The Worst, Arrow (this season is great) Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Indian Summers, The Knick, any episode of American Experience, Limitless, Bob’s Burgers, Fargo, Catastrophe, Please Like Me, and Parts Unknown.

Odds and Ends

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has ever lived with a cat, but it turns out cats won’t perform when you want them to, even if they are professional acrobatic cats and they are appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Tom and Lorenzo have photos of the costumes from NBC’s The Wiz Live! and forget the costumes, though they are pretty great, and just give me Toto. He’s adorable.

Vulture has a recap of Conan’s visit to Armenia, where he butchered the language, had a walk on on a soap opera, and also herded some sheep.

Trailers: Yay! It’s a trailer for Agent Carter, and the whole team seems to have relocated to L.A. I’d watch that. The full trailer for the second season of Transparent pretty much gives away what happens in the second season of Transparent, so don’t click if you don’t want to know. Here’s the first trailer for The Coat of Many Colors, the movie about Dolly Parton’s life. The teaser trailer for Netflix’s Chelsea Does is very Chelsea HandlerHulu has released a teaser for 11.22.63, the James Franco starring limited series about trying to prevent JFK’s death.

The Kickstarter for a book of Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham slash fiction and art is already more than twice over its goal, so that’s good news for people who just wanted them to just kiss already.

Ellen has scared people 121 times, so they made a supercut. Taylor Swift getting so scared she falls down is still the best one.

Let’s end this week with this amazing video that basically sums up the entire decade of the 1980’s in five minutes. People were really fond of breakfast cereal in the 1980's.

That’s all for this week, and also next week, but I will return on December 1st with lots on The Walking Dead midseason finale. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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