Summary of “TV Shows Are Too Long Now”

Drew Magary on the scourge of streaming television unshackled from time constraints.
At the end of the day, all I wanna do is sit in my chair with a frosty beverage and maybe catch up on a little prestige TV. Then I check the running time for the episode and I’m exhausted all over again.
I’m far from the first spoiled asshole to stand up and cry out, “Stop the TV, I wanna get off!” But what really exacerbates the problem is that showrunners, unshackled from the old time restraints of broadcast television, are elongating every episode of every show, and it’s become a goddamn scourge.
The very small amount of goodwill I’m willing to extend that show gets severely tested when I queue up an episode and I’m greeted with a running time of 1:23.
If you needed more time to complete a story arc, you had to fill out nine different network forms to get clearance for a TO BE CONTINUED disclaimer.
Back at the turn of the century, NBC still lorded over primetime with their Thursday night comedy block of Must See TV. Jeff Zucker was in charge at the time, and he came up with the truly awful idea of exploiting the popularity of shows like Friends by supersizing them into larger time slots.
A running time that should be the exclusive domain of a series finale will now appear in, like, the third episode of the season.
Reed Hastings of Netflix once derided the old model of television as “Managed dissatisfaction,” and yet it is not much more satisfying to sit there and decide if you really wanna invest all your time in 13 sporadically timed episodes of a single series that might end up sucking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “John Mulaney Is Happy to Be Here”

John Mulaney performed his biggest show to date with a tear in his hip.
Sometime last summer, Mulaney knew something was wrong; soon, an MRI confirmed that he’d sustained a labral tear, just in time to refine his new special, Kid Gorgeous, and then record it at New York’s historic Radio City Music Hall.
“One thing I’ve learned is, there’s not these elephants in the room the same way you think there are,” Mulaney says.
Since Mulaney’s conclusion, Mulaney himself has released The Comeback Kid, his widely acclaimed second hour-long special; had a successful run on Broadway with the stage version of Oh, Hello, the beloved sketch premise developed with longtime collaborator Nick Kroll; and finished a yearlong tour, culminating in the Netflix hour Kid Gorgeous at Radio City, the first installment of a multispecial deal.
Of course, there’s the name Kid Gorgeous, complete with art that depicts Mulaney almost literally cherubic, framed by a halo.
Mulaney’s biggest project in the years between Mulaney and Kid Gorgeous is a testament to pursuing specific passions over consensus next steps, especially if those passions involve diner menus and the bathroom policies at Zabar’s.
Oh, Hello splices Mulaney’s eye for detail with the broad, committed character work that Kroll specializes in, a complementary skill set Mulaney says has cross-pollinated over time.
“A new take would be great. Some sort of silly side road would be great.” Mulaney’s response to that perceived desire is a lengthy diatribe comparing the president to a horse loose in a hospital, Kid Gorgeous’s only direct mention of what Mulaney calls “The current sitch.” The effect isn’t unlike the “Why buy the cow?” bit from The Comeback Kid-an analogy that starts off as clich├ęd, but snowballs its way to novelty by pushing the hypothetical to its breaking point, then several lines past it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Left Its TV Side Behind”

Five years after Marvel effectively created its Cinematic Universe, the company’s TV division launched an equally bold venture: a plan to bring the movie’s universe to the small screen.
The connection between Marvel TV and Marvel Movies as a cohesive universe has been stretched thinner and thinner-if not outright ignored-as the production headache of trying to line up different shows with different styles and different audiences on different networks has grown.
Here’s the a brief timeline of how the grand Marvel Cinematic Universe split apart.
Whedon’s comments were followed over the years by similar echoes from both the movie side of things from Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige, to comments from Marvel head of TV Jeph Loeb about the Netflix characters being kept out of the films.
As the growing distance between the events of Marvel TV and the Marvel movies became greater and more public, the message from Marvel changed: “It’s all connected, but you’re never going to get to see any of them.”
Perhaps one of the strangest divergence points between the movie plans and the TV side of Marvel came with the announcement of an Inhumans movie as part of Marvel Studios’ plans for its third phase of movies.
After Kevin Feige wrested control of Marvel Studios out from under Perlmutter to report directly to Disney, Bleeding Cool reported hearing a story that at the time seemed inconceivable: the Inhumans movie was being scrapped, allegedly to avoid giving the Marvel TV Department the “Win” of having set up the Inhumans in a major way before the movie came out.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe still represents a laudable idea that was mostly always too ambitious to work: a shared universe of movie franchises, weaving in and out of each other, a decade of continuity across blockbuster after blockbuster.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Remembering Harry Anderson: A Magician Hiding in Plain Sight”

So began the patter that Harry Anderson often used to introduce his signature trick, his show closer, the Monarch Monte.
Most people know Harry Anderson as Judge Harold T. Stone, the affable star of NBC’s Night Court, which ran for nine seasons from 1984 to 1992.
During one sketch in the show, Anderson plays himself shooting magician Doug Henning in the head and killing him.
“When Harry sees what Penn & Teller have attained, he is envious,” Anderson’s friend Mike Caveney writes in his memoir of Anderson.
Officials from FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, even the City Council knew that if it wanted to speak to residents in the French Quarter, it had to face Harry Anderson and the Quarter Rats at Oswald’s.
Harry Anderson leaves behind a legacy that is as diverse as the many hats he wore, both literally and figuratively, throughout his life.
For a man who claimed to never be an actor, Harry Anderson did plenty of acting.
At the conclusion of the Monarch Monte routine in Anderson’s old stage show, he would say, “I gave this game a lot of thought over the years since I saw it the first time. I wondered why in the hell do the marks keep running to play a game they haven’t beaten in over 5,000 years? All I could conclude was it was so damn simple it was irresistible. And it isn’t really the cards you’re up against. It’s the man who shuffles those pasteboards. He’s the one you’ve got to keep your eye on.” The real Harry Anderson was private, someone most of us never knew.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Where Hollywood Goes to Get Its Restaurant Sets”

“You can’t work in film and not have experience creating around food or drink. In the early days, my parents were doing a lot of ’50s-type shows, so we had a diner counter, jukeboxes, a drive-in set dressing. Those were our first real restaurant props we had: We could do a ’50s diner set, but not much else.”
Every restaurant featured on How I Met Your Mother had pieces from Prop Heaven, although the gang’s go-to bar, MacLaren’s Pub, was a permanent set.
While Central Perk was a permanent set on Friends, basically any restaurant scene outside that beloved, fictitious coffee shop included rentals from Prop Heaven.
What are your larger-scale pieces for restaurant or bar settings?
We have tiki bars, a ’50s diner, a Cheers-type bar, a cowboy bar, a seafood restaurant, and a juice bar set.
I started buying fixtures and furnishings that are in that style, not even specifically for restaurant sets.
Has a certain type of restaurant set been trickier to nail?
A client will rent out a huge set or restaurant, and then when you see the scene on screen, it’s just a close-up shot on the characters’ faces.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Pressing Questions ‘Westworld’ Brings Into Season 2”

So just to refresh: The first season of Westworld took place entirely in an amusement park where the 1 percent of the 1 percent pay huge sums of money to visit an old-timey Western town populated with humanoid robots, which the show calls “Hosts.” The hosts, who are frequently beaten, murdered, and raped, don’t have a say in this arrangement, and following the rise of a software “Glitch” which slowly allows the hosts to retain their memories, the hosts bug out and-in the finale-embark on an uprising.
What Happens to the Park Now? When we left off, the perpetually endangered damsel in distress, Dolores, killed park creator Robert Ford as a battalion of naked hosts proceeded to open fire on the Man in Black and the Delos board of directors.
Most of the worker-bee employees who maintain and reboot the hosts are dead or have fled.
So how will the hosts reboot without the maintenance employees? Will hosts learn to repair and reboot themselves? Or will hosts who get killed stay dead? Also, while we’re talking about the intricacies of these hosts, do they need to be charged? If so, is the host version of “Dying” running out of battery? Could the fear of being without a charger be the empathetic bridge that allows humans and hosts to forge peace? The process of rebooting hosts has been left murky by the showrunners, and Nolan told EW in November 2016 that the show would reveal the answers soon.
The Maze wasn’t real-it was a metaphor for Dolores and the rest of the hosts’ inward journey to reach consciousness-but in Season 2, William is going to get what he wanted, anyway.
How Does Bernard Fit Into All of This? Bernard was revealed in Episode 7 to be a host created by Ford to replicate his late friend and creative partner, Arnold.
With Ford dead, Bernard has a better understanding of the hosts of anyone in the entire show, and he’s now armed with his memories as well.
Considering his final line of Season 1 was “These violent delights have violent ends”-the line Arnold used to trigger the hosts on the path toward consciousness-perhaps he’s going to attempt to find the middle ground and try to channel Arnold.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cardi B Is a New Rap Celebrity Loyal to Rap’s Old Rules on ‘Invasion of Privacy'”

Here alone are three possible Cardis: switchblade Cardi, empowerment-seminar Cardi, pan-Latin-unifier Cardi.
It’s more reminiscent of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when New York rap was beginning to test its pop edges.
Though it’s a debut album, it’s by no means a debut: Cardi B has been famous for years already, first as a libertine social-media slice-of-life comic, and later as an effervescently campy reality-television standout.
Cardi proves it’s a lie: The skills she has been deploying to hilarious effect in her other careers are exactly the ones that make her music so invigorating.
For someone who only started rapping a few years ago, that stylistic versatility is striking – it shows Cardi to be a quick study.
In a recent interview with Ebro Darden for Apple’s Beats 1, she spoke openly about wanting to improve as a rapper and working with a more experienced rapper and songwriter, Pardison Fontaine, to improve her technical skills.
The work of becoming a great rapper is something that’s rarely spoken about, but Cardi has been open about her education process, an implicit acknowledgment that her path to success has been unusual.
It’s not enough for Cardi to win on those terms – she wants to succeed on the old ones, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The Office’: Oral History of The ‘Dinner Party’ Episode”

The dinner party was Jan and Michael’s attempt to show off their happy home; instead, they showed off how utterly dysfunctional their relationship was.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, we tracked much of the cast and crew for an oral history of the landmark episode.
Greg Daniels: In the very beginning, the episode was called “Virginia Woolf” in my notes, and the idea was to have Jim and Pam have this super-uncomfortable night seeing all the awkwardness of Michael and Jan’s relationship and watching it melt down in front of them, in a comedy version of the Albee play.
II. The Unraveling of Jan Levinson-GouldAt the same time that Jim and Pam became a perfect couple, Michael and Jan – who had lost her job at Dunder Mifflin corporate before moving to Scranton – were coming apart at the seams.
There are some nice moments, like Dwight taking Michael in at the end, or Jan trying to glue the Dundie [award] back together or Michael trying to take the blame with the police, so it wasn’t too dark, in my opinion.
V. Setting the Stage at Michael’s CondoViewers first saw Michael Scott’s condo in the Season Two episode “Office Olympics,” where he bought it from a real estate agent played by Carell’s real-life wife, Nancy Carell.
Paul Feig: My first episode was “Office Olympics,” which, ironically, involved finding Michael’s condo.
Jan accuses Pam of having had a past relationship with Michael, and eventually gets into such a nasty fight with Michael that the police are called in.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld?”

It’s been twenty years since Seinfeld went off the air, twice as long as the show actually ran, and in that time, Jerry Seinfeld’s efforts to distance himself from his role as “Jerry Seinfeld” have been few and far between.
Unlike his co-stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander, Seinfeld’s primary role, from his stand-up days to the show that made him famous to his latest venture, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, has been a version of himself.
Our fondness for “Jerry Seinfeld” is boundless – episodes of Seinfeld continue to air non-stop throughout the world at all times of the day, something that has made him a very, very wealthy man – but Seinfeld the real human has, understandably, changed.
Seinfeld, undoubtedly one of the funniest men in comedy for decades, drives beautiful cars, and shoots the shit with his likewise successful and famous friends.
Stripped of the affable fiction of his show – which was almost entirely about the ways Seinfeld did not like to be inconvenienced – it’s not hard to imagine the real world Seinfeld having graduated into a series of petty annoyances that are so far beyond the realm of the familiar that they barely register as human anymore.
“Jerry, did you bring your car?” Norm asks as Seinfeld calls to say he’s nearby.
“Seinfeld” infamously set out to turn traditional comedy structure on its head – no hugging, no learning – to brilliant effect, but it goes a long way toward explaining what’s missing from Comedians In Cars: There are no stakes.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Jerry owned a Porsche on Seinfeld.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hyper-efficient gas engines, next-gen wind turbines, and more early-stage wonders”

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD-Last week’s ARPA-E summit was full of big ideas about the future of energy, and nowhere was that more evident than on the summit’s show floor.
In the basement of the sprawling Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, dozens of academic institutions and companies set up booths to show off what they had been working on with their grant money.
From cars to recycling to electricity-generating turbines to biofuels, the warehouse temporarily turned into a montage of early-stage ideas.
Most importantly, it also showed off the breadth of ARPA-E’s work: though the Department of Energy’s early-stage grant program has at times been cast as an accelerator for renewable energy exclusively, ARPA-E projects span a variety of fuels and even include some non-energy projects whose application could save industry a significant amount of energy.

The orginal article.