Future TBS late night host Conan O’Brien began his “Legally Prohibited” tour this week, and here’s your first look: O’Brien doing a ridiculously cockneyed Thom Yorke impression while singing Radiohead’s signature hit, “Creep”. This was just the sound check, so the show must be amazing. If you have tickets for a future date, however, you may want to avoid videos of the tour so it won’t spoil any of the surprises you paid at least 40 dollars for. This one should be okay though because, again, it’s just the sound check. But what a sound check!
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Last week, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon featured the first ever television appearance of Liquid Liquid, who performed their classic 1981 deep cuts “Optimo” (non-televised and seen above) and “Cavern”, which was sampled infamously and illegally by Grandmaster Melle Mel’s anti-drug anthem “White Lines” (and allegedly recorded when they were slammed out of their minds on coke). Less unearthly and rhythmically disorienting than the originals (possibly due to the show’s acoustics), the band still nevertheless prove themselves to be insanely adept at their craft.
FOX’s Sons of Tucson has only aired four episodes, but the network has now announced that the new series is canceled. Imdb.com lists 13 completed episodes, but it isn’t known if any of them will air at a later date.
I watched the show, but found that it needed some work. The concept, streetwise brothers hiring a slacker to pretend to be their father so that they can stay out of foster care, was interesting, but the show had its problems. While much of the show focused on the often illegal exploits of “fake dad” Ron, weak storylines were put upon the kids, who showed more acting potential. However, the last few moments of the last episode showed some promise, in which Ron took the time to teach his neglected pretend son how to throw a baseball. Also keep in mind that there isn’t really much else on Sunday nights. What do you think? Are you going to miss Sons of Tucson?
As any fan knows, Lost does not feature an opening credit sequence (aside from the title screen), but a little hangup like that isn’t going to stop fans from imagining what one would be like.
Throughout its broadcast history, various fan made interpretations have surfaced, many of which are hilarious for their erroneous juxtaposition.
The first theme montage to gain traction is this one, and it’s notable for actually composing an original theme. The cheesiness of the song completely ignores the often brooding and somber tone the show thrives on. Something about it screams “syndication”:
The next one to surface screams “syndication”, but much more intentionally. Here’s Lost... if it were Baywatch.
If you went to go search on iTunes for the Baywatch theme immediately after watching that, you are not alone.
The latest take on Lost‘s opening credit sequence takes a page from the Saul Bass playbook. This ‘60s style credit sequence mimics Bass’s work on such classic films as Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest. It’s more visually pleasing than funny, but there a few clever visual puns in there to make viewers chuckle.
Last but not least, although this next video isn’t exactly a take on Lost‘s opening credit sequence, it deserves to stand with the rest of these clips.
Ladies and gentlemen, witness “Hurley in the USA.”
As filmmaker Kimberly Reed appeared on Oprah to discuss her film Prodigal Sons, a banner ran across the screen reading “Kimberly—born a boy”. With its soft purples and powdery feminine font this caption drew a soft, but immovable line between the purposes of the guest and the host on the show. While Oprah focused on Reed’s gender change as a personal journey that all can take heart from, Reed takes a far broader approach to transformation. In fact, one of the most important aspects of Prodigal Sons is that transgender issues are not the sole focus of the film. While exploring her gender is central to the film, Reed places her own transition against that of her adopted brother Marc—a man whose history of brain trauma and memory loss gradually destabilize him even as astounding secrets from his own past come to light. What unfolds is a tightly crafted story of how identity is formed and frayed and how families bind those identities with love and struggle. Oprah’s focus on the other hand is with “Kimberly—born a boy”. She questions Reed’s inner life as both a boy and a woman and talks with Reed’s mother and high school friends about their surprise at Reed’s revelations. While Oprah is always sympathetic and never once condescending, these are the same questions that have been aired and answered since the first transvestites and transgendered persons appeared on TV talk shows. From Donahue to Sally Jesse Raphael to Jerry Springer, the questions remain the same and the fascination with transgender issues stays fixed and immobile, in need of a transition itself.
Giving Oprah her due, her emphasis on Reed’s transformation matches her oft-espoused philosophies of self-determination in a more palatable fashion than the complexities of Prodigal Sons. Oprah goes so far as to advise viewers who may find Reed’s gender switch strange or even repulsive to look into their own lives for the self that needs to transform. Couched in such benevolence, it’s hard to fault Oprah for the focus on the simplistic and more sensational side of Reed’s story. Thankfully Reed’s elegant self-possession speaks as much about her comfort with the intelligence and complexities of her work as it does about her gender. To see Reed talking with Oprah is to see a confident woman who made a challenging film. To see Prodigal Sons is to see a film that tackles the inter-relations of gender, mental illness, and family love. In doing so, it may be the first documentary that places transgender issues on equal and normative footing with all other aspects of identity, memory, and self.
For more on Prodigal Sons and Kimberly Reed on Oprah, go to: oprah.com.