Category Archives: Television
Television programs that have entered our nerd radar.
While serving as a groomsman at the wedding of a long-time friend, casual conversation with your fellow groomsman evolved into an elaborate, comedic brainstorming session of hypothetical wedding plans for your future possible nuptials. Ideas put forth included the following elements: a luche libre mask, a Klingon bat’leth, a bouncy castle, chimpanzees, a multilingual officiant who speaks High Valyrian, and Danzig songs.
To the chagrin of your significant other, part of you finds the Klingon bat’leth idea intriguing and the Danzig music an interesting choice for the reception.
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 265 (or Temporal agents and the displacement fields they rode in on…)
While discussing your thoughts on the Spierig brothers’ time travel film Predestination, starring Ethan Hawke, you talked about how it was not quite the “temporal policeman catching criminals” film the trailer made it out to be, due to headache-inducing plot twists you predicted 45 minutes prior to their revelation in the film.
You also repeatedly expressed a determination toward finding and reading the Robert Heinlein story “All You Zombies” upon which the film is based, in order to verify the origin of the aforementioned twists.
To which your significant other replied, “So essentially, you were hoping for a feature length version of Time Trax?”
“Would that have been too much to ask?” you responded, adding, “It’s not like I was expecting a Timecop remake. At least Time Trax had some panache… and an artificial intelligence computer assistant disguised as a credit card.”
Your favorite gift received during the holiday season involved DVDs of Time Trax, a 1990s television series about a time traveling lawman, which you hadn’t seen in twenty years.
You recently saw the film Pompeii, which you enjoyed mostly because of Kiefer Sutherland’s performance as a villainous Roman senator.
However, you kept getting distracted each time he appeared in a scene because you were consumed by the following thought as the trailer below played in a loop inside your mind’s eye:
“Jack Bauer is coming back… Jack Bauer is coming back…”
Now that Stephen King has joined Twitter, part of you wants to just tweet the man all day as if he was your pen pal.
However, you know that this is an ill-advised course of action, as it is fueled by nerd-guided admiration for an author’s body of work rather than an invitation to annoy Stephen King with constant tweets not unlike the following:
“When are you going to be on Sons of Anarchy again?” or “What’s your favorite pizza topping?”
Having read Misery, you can appreciate the need for boundaries between author and reader, especially if the roles were reversed.
You did tweet him once to welcome him to Twitter and a second time to ask if he was aware that NBC’s Revolution makes a lot of references to his works. After all, they just aired an episode titled “Captain Trips” about an outbreak.
Does that remind anybody of anything King related?
Upon seeing the trailer for the upcoming Robocop film, starring Joel Kinnaman of AMC’s crime drama The Killing, you are struck by one thing while sitting in that movie theater. It is not that this looks like it has a chance of being a fresh, inventive take on this tale (if the almost robot-ninja way Robocop looks and moves doesn’t ruin it). Nor is it the interesting cast that includes Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman.
No… you are struck silent by the stupefying question that a grown man seated behind you asks another, as a moment of quiet descends in the theater once the trailer ends.
The question: “Is that a remake?”
And with that, I present the trailer…
You have recently begun using the interactive recommendation program called “Max” on your Netflix streaming account, which suggests titles to watch by way of a programmed series of pithy voice-over prompts, saying things like, “I think you’ll really like this one,” or “Do you trust me?”
However, your interactions with this program have been frustrating, and have caused a few strange looks from those who have entered the room in time to hear you yelling things at your television, not unlike the following:
“Way to go genius! Why in the hell would I want to watch that person’s second stand-up comedy special since I just selected ‘Not Interested’ when you suggested his first stand-up special five seconds ago?”
You’re childhood enjoyment of the Captain Planet cartoon series lends itself to a surprising appreciation for the four-part Funny or Die comedic saga in which Don Cheadle portrays a rather insane Captain Planet.
Click on the links below to behold, what I like to call, The Downfall of Captain Planet…
A group of people you don’t know are conversing nearby, as you exit a building. You clearly overhear the phrase “lamb’s blood.” Though you are a bit alarmed at this phrase, and have no idea of the actual context of the conversation, part of you would find it amusing to approach them and interject the following:
“Excuse me, but you aren’t planning on killing a djinn by chance, are you? I only ask because in order to destroy that particular supernatural creature, the lamb’s blood needs to already be on the dagger or it won’t work. Also, it’s a good idea to have backup on hand as the touch of a djinn can render you incapacitated via psychic attack as it feeds off of your life-force.”
Having recently discovered this interview segment with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, on the “Pixarification” of today’s film industry (by which he means a trend toward appealing to “family friendly” audiences at the expense of the visceral, thought-provoking, grown-up movies of the 1970s). I thought I’d share his thoughts with you, my avid readers. What are your thoughts on the points sai Boyle brings up? Does his new film, Trance, meet his intended goals?
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 245 (or “Is that a terrifying, classic film villain on your TV screen, or are you just happy to see me?”)
The thought occurs to you that if your younger self from twenty years ago were suddenly transported in time to the present, the world would seem very both fascinating and a bit scary, just based on the fact that you have a digital video recorder that allows you to record high definition versions of television programs without a VCR, which you can use to fast forward commercials.
Furthermore, two of the television shows on your DVR are centered around terrifying film villains Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter, the latter being broadcast on a major television network, which bewilders your younger self even as it confounds your present self, considering that people once found shows like Married With Children and The Simpsons edgy and controversial.
Someone interrupts you while you are watching Vikings on the History Channel, saying, “For a second, it looked like you were watching Sons of Anarchy,” to which you reply:
“Actually, one could say that Norse Vikings were the Medieval equivalent of biker gangs… awesome beards and hair included.”
*Yes, I know, two consecutive Vikings posts. I couldn’t resist. I cry your pardon… a little.*
You have become so enthusiastic about the History Channel’s new scripted historical drama, Vikings, that you have decided that any second dog you get in the future will be named “Ragnar Lothbrok” after the show’s main character. You find it amusing and cool to treat this full Viking name as a first name for a pet, as you want to one day routinely say:
(1) “Come here Ragnar Lothbrok.” (2) “Where are you Ragnar Lothbrok?” (3) “Ragnar Lothbrok, it’s time for a walk.” (4) “Ragnar Lothbrok doesn’t like that cat who keeps coming around. He keeps growling at it.”
Recently, when asked what television shows you are following you had to break it down by country, as you watch shows from: America, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and France.
While you are viewing the film Shadow of the Vampire for the first time in years, you remember why this John Malkovich/ Willem Dafoe movie is arguably one of the best vampire films of all time… it’s equal parts creepy and hilarious. Released in 2000, this film presents a fictionalized account of the making of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s 1922 film, Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror). The version of events presented in Shadow of the Vampire has Murnau (Malkovich) hiring an actual vampire in the role of Count Orlock, telling lies to his cast and crew about his star being a “method actor” named Max Schreck (Dafoe).
What follows is perhaps one of the greatest examples of an egomaniacal director trying to control a difficult, uncooperative star… though in this case, the star is a bitter, ugly, centuries-old vampire who wants to eat the crew. Dafoe’s “Orlock/ Schreck” is what a vampire should be: dangerous, scary, evil-looking, and tragic. You find yourself repulsed by him, and yet sympathize with the sadness that permeates his immortal existence.
It is during this latest viewing, that you wish that they would make a prequel to Shadow of the Vampire depicting the agreement first made between Murnau and Schreck prior to making Nosferatu. You envision the film being shot much like My Dinner with Andre, in that the whole movie is a conversation between Murnau and Schreck about their agreement as well as their views on life, its meaning, and their life experiences.
After viewing the trailer for Shadow of the Vampire presented below, ask yourself: Who wouldn’t want to see such a prequel?
While you have kept up with the HBO vampire drama True Blood since it first premiered, you have privately debated whether or not to discontinue viewing it each season, as it just seems to get more campy and absurd each year. Thus, when a die-hard fan of the show asked you how wonderful you would feel if the universe depicted in the series was a reality, you respond as follows:
“If I spent my life living in a True Blood universe, I think I’d spend my life annoyed with everyone around me, muttering, ‘You’ve got be kidding me’ everyday, until undereducated werewolves or overly whiny vampires attacked me and put me out of my misery.”
The J. J. Abrams television series Fringe recently ended its five-year run on FOX, leaving an empty space in the world of nerds that was once filled with alternate universes, Red Vines, bald mystery men, and “show-me” cards. As a tribute, we thought it appropriate to show a couple of YouTube videos that pay homage to the show, and its most unique character, Dr. Walter Bishop, portrayed by John Noble.
This compilation highlights many funny Walter Bishop moments up to 2010. If you have yet to see the show, this video will give you a taste of some rather great moments for which to anticipate.
This is a rather sentimental tribute video to the show's journey, but Fringe deserve some sentiment… it was a truly solid television series.
How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 222 (or “Live from New York, Louie C.K. will be bringing the funny!”)
You were so excited to find out that comedian (and genius) Louis C.K. is hosting the November 3 broadcast of Saturday Night Live that you actually marked it down in your smartphone calendar so that you would not forget about it.
During your brief childhood experience as a goldfish owner, you picked out a fish that resembled the pet fish, “Abraham,” owned by Arnold Jackson (played by the late Gary Coleman) from the 1978 situation comedy Diff’rent Strokes, which you also named Abraham.
Recently, you were asked to identify your ideal career, which took all of your willpower to not answer as follows:
“Preferably, I’d go with a line of work in time travel, but my second and third choices would be ‘intergalactic explorer/ lothario’ or a maester in Westeros.”