The Cultural Gutter

dangerous because it has a philosophy

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

RIP, Elizabeth Peña

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Actor Elizabeth Peña has died. Peña appeared in both film and television including, La Bamba (1987), Batteries Not Included (1987), Blue Steel (1989), L.A. Law, Lone Star (1996),  The Incredibles (2004), Justice League, Prime Suspect and Modern Family. NPR remembers Peña. The Guardian has collected clips of Peña’s work. Latino Review, The New York Times, […]

High diving boards, banana costumes,
and other risks worth taking

Normal Rockwell Boy on High Dive

I come from a family of eggheads, so summer camp for me was usually something like Mini University. We’d play with metal shavings and magnets, or compete to design the most aerodynamic paper planes, but one of the things we also got to do was use the Olympic swimming pool with a full size, triple-decker […]

RIP, Kate O’Mara

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Actor Kate O’Mara has died. She performed the Rani in Doctor Who, Caress Morell in Dynasty, Mademoiselle Perrodot in The Vampire Lovers and Alys in The Horror of Frankenstein. O’Mara also had roles in Absolutely Fabulous, The Avengers, The Saint, Danger Man / Secret Agent, The Persuaders and Adam Adamant Lives!  The Guardian, Digital Spy […]

RIP, David Brenner

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Comedian and actor David Brenner has died. The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times have obituaries. The Comics’ Comic and The Hollywood Reporter remembers Brenner. Here’s Brenner’s first appearance on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. Like this:Like Loading…

Star Wars Filibuster, Animated

Patton Oswalt’s multi-franchise super-movie described in his Star Wars filibuster from Parks and Recreation, animated. Like this:Like Loading…

Fictional Floor Plans

Interior Designer Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde’s floor plans for houses and apartments from The Simpsons, Frasier, Sex and the City, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Up, Seinfeld, and Friends. (Thanks, James!) Like this:Like Loading…

RIP, Bonnie Franklin

Actress Bonnie Franklin has died. Franklin was best known for her role as Ann Romano in the sitcom One Day At A Time, but performed on stage as well as on television. Here she is performing in the Tony Awards in the 1970s. The New York Times has an obituary. Like this:Like Loading…

50 Wonderful Things in 2012

Linda Holmes shares 50 wonderful things at NPR’s Monkey See blog. Like this:Like Loading…

RIP, Larry Hagman

Actor and director (Son of Blob) Larry Hagman has died. The Guardian has an obituary. Joe O’Shea wrote a profile on Hagman’s birthday last September, which included Hagman talking about what he wanted done with his remains: “I would like to be minced. Did you ever see Fargo, when they put the guy in the […]

Recapping The Jetsons: “Elroy’s TV Show”

At Paleofuture, Novak watches The Jetsons and the debates about television depicted in the episode, “Elroy’s Tv Show”: “The episode highlights the perennial debate over the role of TV programming in the American home. The latter half of the 20th century saw numerous fights over the regulation of TV programming and the battles were especially vicious […]

RIP, Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Hemsley has died. Hemsley was most famous as George Jefferson on the tv show, The Jeffersons and Deacon Ernest Frye in Amen. “Years after [The Jeffersons] ended, Hemsley frequently encountered fans who asked him to reenact George’s famous strut from the show’s opening credits. Hemsley said it was inspired by the Philly Slop, a […]

Breaking Bad + Laugh Track

Breaking Bad re-imagined as an ABC sitcom. Like this:Like Loading…

In Defense of Liz Lemon

At The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum feels compelled to defend30 Rock character Liz Lemon in the face of recent “Liz Hate.”  “[O]ne of the most radical things about 30 Rock [has always been] the way it has continually punctured Liz’s image of herself as a spunky brunette underdog.”  A reader suggests everyone read Tiger Beatdown’s, […]

Nick Offerman Interview

It’s the LA Weekly Blog Food Interview with Parks and Recreation‘s Ron Swanson, oops… actor Nick Offerman. Like this:Like Loading…

Dan Harmon’s Circle

You know that movie with the guy who sees some pattern everywhere? Community‘s Dan Harmon is that guy. (via @glinner) Like this:Like Loading…

Fandom is Magic

In the year 2001 I discovered a magical world. Not Harry Potter (that was a few years later) and not the Internet (although it was responsible), but a world that captured my attention and hasn’t let go ten years later. It has to do with fanfiction; unpaid fiction that is written by fans of a […]

The Office Romance

Does shipping undermine romance? “The shipper-oriented vision of romance, in which it’s all nothing-nothing-nothing-BOOM! KISSING! has a tendency to devalue actually being happy in favor of being constantly stimulated by drama.” Linda Talks more about love, “Jam” and The Office (US) here. Like this:Like Loading…

Joke only about your face, Willis!

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I’d like to change speeds this time out, and cast an eye towards the idiotbox instead of the silver screen. Our location will be New York, where a cast of characters featured a wealthy widower named Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain), who lived in a luxurious penthouse with his nubile teenage daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato). As […]

Well-rendered Television

The show’s opening sequence starts with a woman in a black bodysuit facing off against a hulking monster. When she finishes him off with a jump-kick, the music swells and the words “Game Over” come up. “Did you ever wonder what happens after the game ends?” a voice reminiscent of Laurence Fishburne intones. “Welcome to […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Author Philip Pullman talks about the work of William Blake at The Guardian: “My mind and my body reacted to certain lines from the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, from ‘Auguries of Innocence,’ from Europe, from America with the joyful immediacy of a flame leaping to meet a gas jet. What these things meant I didn’t quite know then, and I’m not sure I fully know now. There was no sober period of reflection, consideration, comparison, analysis: I didn’t have to work anything out. I knew they were true in the way I knew that I was alive. I had stumbled into a country in which I was not a stranger, whose language I spoke by instinct, whose habits and customs fitted me like my own skin.” (via Kate Laity)

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    At Sequential Art, Ryan Carey deconstructs and reconstructs Jack Kirby’s OMAC . “In order to better understand OMAC, then, we’ll be taking things one piece at a time here — we’ll look at where the ideas came from, how they related to other views of the future popular at the time, where Kirby was, creatively and professionally, in 1974, and ultimately try to decipher precisely why all of this ended up in the shape it ultimately did.  After that, we’ll concern ourselves with the real nitty-gritty of examining each and every one of the series’ eight issues, before taking a look at how, and in what form, the legacy of both the character and the book continue, and evolve, to this day.”

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    Video of illustrator and character designer Katsuya Terada drawing and talking about his work. (via @aicnanime)

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    A 1,300-year-old Egyptian book of spells has been translated. “Among other things, the ‘Handbook of Ritual Power,’ as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.”

    ~

    Zack and Steve go through and review Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Module S-1: The Tomb Of Horrors at WTF, D&D?!…so you don’t have to.

    “Steve: Most of the opening paragraph is a warning about difficulty. ‘You’ll never find the demi-lich’s secret chamber’ and the tomb is fraught with “terrible traps, poison gases, and magical protections.” It’s telling you not to play the adventure.

    Zack: Not just in that part. In the DM’s notes section at the start, Gygax explicitly warns Dungeon Masters that if your players enjoy killing monsters they will be unhappy with the adventure.

    Steve: ‘This module is only for parties that enjoy dying immediately and repeatedly.’ Oh, man, we’re not going to play though this thing are we?”

    ~

    Dr. Nerdlove takes a brief break from helping the nerd get the girl to address something that’s been bugging him. “Pardon me while I go off on a bit of a media criticism/ rant here. So I’ve been enjoying the *hell* out of The Flash lately except for one thing: Iris Allen. Her character is screen death; every time she’s around, everything comes to a screeching halt.

    The problem is: it’s not her fault, it’s the writers. Rather like Laurel Lance in the first two seasons of Arrow, she has Lois Lane syndrome. Her (like Laurel and Lois) entire character arc is based around being ignorant of events that literally everyone else in her life is aware of.”

    ~

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