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Thursday, Jul 28, 2011
The Onion News Network didn't break any new ground, but it treaded over old ground so deftly to make the format seem completely fresh. Portlandia was another matter entirely.

High Point Number 8: IFC’s Two Great Comedies


I really had no intention to watch either of the two IFC original series Portlandia and Onion News Network. I loved the Onion newspaper and the videos they put on their website, but I didn’t imagine that it would translate well to regular cable TV. Things began to change when I saw a link to a long excerpt for Portlandia on the Internet. When I learned from watching the clip Carrie Brownstein, best known before now as the co-guitarist/singer/songwriter of the legendary band Sleater-Kinney (and let me confess right here that for me Sleater-Kinney was a band that could do no wrong… until they decided to go on permanent hiatus) was, along with Saturday Night Live vet Fred Armisen, going to headline the show, I knew I had to give it a view. And since Onion News Network followed, I decided to give it a shot, as well.


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Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011
PopMatters continues its 10-day countdown of some of the high and lowpoints of the 2010 to 2011 TV season. This time up... the superlative BBC drama Being Human and the oh-so-sad, watered down SyFy version of the show.

Highpoint Number 9: Mitchell’s Arc in Season Three of the BBC series Being Human


After two spectacular seasons, the only question was whether Being Human—the critically acclaimed BBC series about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who live together—would continue the standard of brilliance it had already laid down. The great news is that it did. Although Annie and George’s (and his girlfriend Nina’s) stories continued to new and interesting places, Season Three was dominated to a degree previously unknown by the story of the vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner).


In the first two seasons he had been merely the most compelling character on an overall superb show, but even while splitting the overall narrative, his story reached fever pitch this year. Season Two ended with Mitchell driven to commit unspeakable horrors, horrors so terrible that one had to ask whether he had gone beyond the pale. Had he crossed the point beyond which there was no redemption?


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Monday, Jul 25, 2011
Today, PopMatters kicks off a 10-day countdown of some of the high and lowpoints of the 2010 to 2011 television season beginning with the superlative Mad Men and the sad on-going strength of reality shows.

With the Emmy Nominations having been announced for the July 2010 to July 2011 television year, another season is officially concluded. Thanks to a sudden rush of outstanding end-of-the-year shows, what once looked like it was going to be a mediocre to average television season unexpectedly became strong.


Although the Emmys will announce the 2011 winners at its annual show on 18 September, I want to take some time to look back on some of the high and lowpoints of the past season. Beyond doubt this is not exhaustive although it’s certainly a personal list; these were some of the things that either most delighted or most upset me as a television viewer this year. 


For each day for the next two weeks I am going to reflect back on one major highpoint and one major lowpoint of the 2010-2011 television year. And since everyone loves a countdown, let’s start with Number 10:


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Thursday, Jul 7, 2011
by Michelle Eggers
In honor of Transformers: Dark of the Moon's release this past weekend, we tip our hats to all the amazing robots and robettes who've entertained us through the years.

(Xomba.com)—In honor of Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘s release this past weekend, we tip our hats to all the amazing robots and robettes who’ve entertained us through the years. Whether they are adorable, hilarious, terrifying, sultry, humane or just straight-up bad ass, they offer us something that no human counterpart ever could: they can recharge our cell phones.


 
10. Teddy (A.I. Artificial Intelligence, film, 2001) Voiced by Jack Angel


Who was it that said robots can’t be cuddly? Truth be told, I’d put this character higher on the list, but then most of you would spit at me. In an attempt at objectivity, I’ll recognize that Teddy maybe didn’t have the deepest of roles or character development, but, you know what? He is so adorable he’s in the Top 3 list of Things That Make Me Melt, and he displays the kind of loyalty and simplistic wisdom most of us wish we had in our lives. Also, he’s the most perfect teddy bear I’ve ever seen outside of a teddy bear picnic, and look at that walk, guys! I tear up almost every time I see that lil guy stumble so preciously over his furry paws. OK, you can move on to the next robot. I’m just going to snuggle in a warm blanket with this one for a bit.


Memorable robot quote: “I am not a toy.”



Tagged as: list this, robots
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Tuesday, Jul 5, 2011
What does the savvy, obsessive or lonely TV fanatic do with this free time? If you're inclined to watch TV on DVD this summer, I recommend these five.

For many, summer represents a respite from the year’s overly filled TV dance cards. High-quality June, July, and August programming like Louie and Breaking Bad is still the exception, not the rule. What does the savvy, obsessive or lonely TV fanatic do with this free time? Watch more TV, of course.


Since the medium’s first introduction on DVD, playing series catch up has become a fact of summer life. Arguably, no show represented this better than Lost. Nonsensical even to the dedicated, Lost was basically unwatchable to the uninitiated; cries of “Smoke-what?” – “Constant-who?” – “Island-where?” plagued those trying to bring new viewers into the fold. Plowing through seasons’ worth of its episodes became a summer staple, as suggested by the series’ huge DVD sales.


Lost might unfortunately (or thankfully, depending on who you ask) be over, but its legacy lives forever, especially as TV has grown increasingly serial.


If you’re inclined to watch TV on DVD this summer, I recommend these five:


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