William Shatner's New Interview Show Might Be Amazing
On Monday night, the Biography Channel (that’s channel 143 for New Yorkers with Time Warner*) premieres “Aftermath with William Shatner,” a show where Shatner interviews people who were briefly famous and briefly in the news and then receded, like Private Jessica Lynch and the DC Sniper (the DC Sniper!) While it appears most or all interviews will be on the phone, there’s still the strong possibility of transcendence, as the three other people who watched Shatner’s Raw Nerve can attest.
* It’s funny how just having that number strongly increases a person’s chance of DVRing a high-on-the-dial show, at least if they’re lazy like me.
"When I first screened ‘Happiness’ at Telluride years ago, this college kid came up to me afterwards," Solondz recalls. "He was a little drunk, and he said, ‘Awesome. I loved the movie. That was great. And when that kid was raped — that was hilarious!’ "
Solondz winces before going on to say, “What do you do? I knew that I was in trouble. I knew I was playing with fire. There’s not much I can do about it without sapping the film of its life force.”
I remember seeing Happiness at the art house theater in Tallahassee and being in awe of Solondz for achieving the impossible and making that storyline funny. To me, it almost seemed like that was the goal of the movie, the creative stumbling block: make the most horrible thing in the world part of a series of funny, farcical scenes, that I think are the best work he’s ever done. (Though I haven’t seen it in years.)
It was like that old joke about the kidnapper and the kid walking into the woods and the kid saying “I’m scared” and the kidnapper saying “You’re scared? I’m the one who has to walk back alone!” If I can tell that joke to my parents and get a solid laugh, why can’t Solondz take the same basic concept even further? I had never seen humor that dark before that movie, and it was eye-opening: Whoa, no humor is off-limits if it’s done right. If it wasn’t intended to be humor (and there’s absolutely no way I believe it wasn’t), it’s not really such an achievement. It’s just trying to shock, and anyone can do that.
From the Mad Men syco-fan site I love to love to hate to love:
"It is possible that season 4 will cover the northeast blackout, which occurred on November 9, 1965. Given that the blackout occurred a little after 5 PM, it is quite possible that some characters may be stuck in an elevator.
Who would like to see stuck in an elevator together? It could be characters with a past history, like Pete and Don, or characters that you don’t often see together, like Burt and Peggy. Personally, I’m hoping Don and Joan get stuck together. They are two highly secretive characters, who are both aware of the game and how to play it, but not entirely happy with their lives. What do you the rest of you think? What pairings/groupings are you hoping for?”
1. No. This is the kind of thing people make fun of MM for! Cramming history into the show in the most obvious and distracting ways possible.
2. Hey remember the NBC Must See TV “Blackout Thursday” sweeps stunt? It was in like 1995 and three of the four sitcoms, Friends, Mad About You, and the short-lived Madman of the People all had a blackout on the same night and people got stuck in tunnels and ATM lobbies with each other, just like this proposed MM storyline. Anyway, that’s how hack it is. (It’s so hack, in fact, that despite also being NYC-based, Seinfeld was the one show in the lineup that didn’t have a blackout story that night. Self-respect.)
3. Everyone would hope it would be Don and Joan. Like, DUH!
If you were like me and obsessed with rabies as a kid, or if you’re on the fence as to whether I am an actual real-life crazy person, you will like this post on The Awl that I wrote: Down the Rabbit Hole: A Guide to Rabies Videos.
At the bar, Irishmen (but not Irishwomen) have their own etiquette about paying for drinks. When a man buys the first drink, he leaves the change, a stack of bills, on the bar, and when a friend comes by, he asks, “What will you have?” The bartender takes the money from the bar, returns the…
My dad, also Irish, taught me this method, too. He and his friends picked it up from the old timers at the Larchmont Tavern, who told them to “leave your money on the bar if you want to be taken seriously.” With a friend last week, a bartender asked us if we worked at bars, since the only people he knows who leave money on the bar are bartenders.
The Irishwomen part may refer to the country custom of women never actually sitting at the bar. The men go to the bar and bring the drinks to them.
In New York this would only work with hundred dollar bills.
I’m of the mind that there is nothing more unimaginative or amateur or cliche than a Howl spoof. But I haven’t had coffee yet, maybe that’s why. It has, though, been done to death.
UPDATE: I mean no offense to the writer, who at least deserves credit for taking it further than most. It’s not bad, it’s just been done. And I was grumpy this morning and now I feel like this was too mean.
Wait, why don’t men just freeze up a bunch of their sperm and then get vasectomies so women don’t have to take crazymaking hormonal birth control anymore? Do people already do this? Has nobody ever thought of this?? This!
According to the Wikipedia vasectomy page which features many photographs of balls, men are advised to freeze some sperm before the procedure, but what I’m talking about is this being done EN MASSE and being a THING.
Of course, then we would have to have all these backup cryogenic facilities with redundant samples located all over the world like Google servers in case one goes down and some sperm would inevitably be lost and some things would probably happen that could be the basis for a college freshman’s hard Sci Fi short story. But maybe it’s what would save the economy! Sperm jobs, hello? I just think this idea should be explored. Famous sports players, for example, would certainly love this idea.
(On second thought, maybe this post does have a degree of originally unintended satirical properties.)
"As this young girl with "Telephone"-esque soda cans in her hair gushed over the sound system, she actually said, "Thank you for letting me be what I want to be!" My stomach turned. I felt like finding that girl, shaking her and commanding her to conform."
The interview with Dane Cook on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast this week was amazing. Cook’s style of comedy still isn’t for me, and I find his fans unsavory, but after hearing this I no longer think he stole jokes (the argument was always pretty flimsy anyway.) I also have to say that I kind of respect the guy now. It’s a totally compelling interview (though if you’re not a regular WTF listener, it’s okay to skip Marc’s whining about quitting nicotine in the first ten minutes or so.)