Summary of “Ringer Top 100 TV Episodes: When Do TV Shows Peak?”

We can examine whether the growing pains that Apatow described-and the hypothetical decline that Rogen alluded to-are typical of TV shows on the whole.
TV shows aren’t necessarily subject to the same forces that govern human maturation and mortality, but there is a pattern to their progression and a point at which they typically peak.
To trace the life cycle of the average TV series, we gathered episode-by-episode IMDb user ratings for the nearly 1,500 shows with at least 5,000 votes.
Granted, the quality of a creative endeavor like a TV episode can’t be quantified as easily as an athlete’s exploits: As writer/producer Alec Berg says via direct message, “The very best episodes of an unbelievably innovative show may meet with a thunderous lack of response from an audience. They don’t get it, at all.” In some cases, Berg adds, the audience rating may be less a direct reflection of a show’s merit and more a measurement of when viewers “Start to ‘get’ the show and when they tire of it.”
As it turns out, the conclusions we can draw from the stats align in some ways with what casual TV viewers might expect, as well as what TV creators have told us about the process of producing long-running shows.
To generate our TV aging curves, we filtered out documentaries, any show in the sample with only one season, and all active shows with fewer than five seasons, so as not to skew the trajectories by including series that are still in the early stages of their life cycles.
The average quality for all shows combined is close to the top end of the 1-10 range because the sample is restricted to series that were popular enough to draw the minimum number of votes required to qualify.
“After a season or two, writers on successful shows get plucked with overall deals or a pilot, not unlike a championship team losing players and front-office personnel. Supporting actors that gained traction on a drama get a series commitment on another show and now you can’t use them anymore. New stars get movies and realize they’ve committed themselves to a TV show for seven series and now wish they hadn’t, and on some occasions their performance suffers.” Witness the swoon that The West Wing went into as creator Aaron Sorkin dealt with stress and budget constraints and finally left the series along with colleagues including Falls.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood anniversary: I was Mr. Rogers’s actual neighbor”

This year marks the golden anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – 50 years since the children’s TV staple was first broadcast nationally – and a flood of high-profile tributes is well underway.
There’s a postage stamp commemorating Fred Rogers, the show’s affable host; a star-powered PBS special; a documentary; and coming later this year, a Rogers biography and a biopic starring Tom Hanks as Rogers.
From all these adoring tributes, it is clear that Rogers and his show are considered a national treasure.
As a kid, I never liked Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Maybe the reason I found Mr. Rogers so unbearable was because his trademark solicitude toward children seemed fake to me.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was produced in my hometown Pittsburgh, which gave the show an outsize presence there.
Mr. Rogers himself, as I found out one day, lived a mere two blocks from me.
An aura of saintliness hangs over the creator of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and it’s well deserved.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What “M*A*S*H” Taught Us”

The “M*A*S*H” television series, inspired by Altman’s film, débuted in the fall of 1972, on CBS. Although not immediately a hit, the network believed in the show, and by Season 2 it had garnered a significant following.
In his director’s commentary for the film, recorded for the 2000 DVD release, Altman calls the show “The antithesis of what we were trying to do,” and claims not to know or like any of the people involved with it.
Gary Burghoff, the only featured actor to appear in both the film and the series, treasures both experiences, and told me that Altman’s resentment probably stems from the fact that the show’s popularity came to almost entirely eclipse the influence of his film.
“We needed an attractive, funny guy,” the show’s original producer and co-creator, Gene Reynolds, told me, “a leading man, a hero, someone who could carry the show.” Reynolds had seen Alda onstage in New York and was convinced that this was the guy.
“David Ogden Stiers’s Major Charles Winchester, another character created for the TV series, arrives in Season 6, a far more nuanced foil for Hawkeye and B.J. But there was no replacing Burghoff when he left the show, a year later, at his own initiative. While Alda had long since become the marquee face of the series, Burghoff’s Radar was, in a sense, its gentle heart. Corporal Walter O’Reilly, an Army clerk”fresh out of high school,” is the first character introduced in the novel, in Hornberger’s very first sentence.
If the show had always been brighter than either the book or the film, it had also been warmer, but that brightness becomes a bit garish in its last years as the series seems to drift completely out of the orbit of Hornberger’s original vision.
The show’s final season, which began in the fall of 1982, saw some valedictory returns to form, but the coup de grace is the show’s final episode, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” the two-hour “movie” that is, for all intents and purposes, the end of “M*A*S*H.” Roughly three out of four people watching television the night of the finale tuned in.
Unlike Hornberger’s novel, or Altman’s film, in the television “M*A*S*H,” the characters show a deep love and respect for each other, and a large part of the show’s tremendous appeal has to do with the ways in which it could model healthy, open communication, and the vital importance of community.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five Reasons Why 2018 Has Been the Year of the TV Sophomore Slump – Rolling Stone”

The Handmaid’s Tale, Luke Cage, Westworld, Legion, 13 Reasons Why, Jessica Jones and Sneaky Pete were among the second-year shows to disappoint, frustrate and/or inspire reevaluations of their acclaimed debut seasons.
There are a lot of different reasons for how and why the first group of shows went awry.
If there’s a Grand Unified Field Theory to the phenomenon, it’s this: Like second novels and albums, sophomore seasons of TV dramas have an awfully hard time living up to the original, while comedies are much more immune to this.
TV shows don’t always work that way, but at minimum, there’s often a sense in freshman-show writers’ rooms to put the most vital and resonant material into that first year to make as big an initial splash as possible.
13 Reasons Why embarrassingly contorted itself this way and that to re-solve a mystery its first season had exhaustively solved, simply because the show was apparently too popular to cancel.
On top of that, one way TV execs are trying to break though the cluttered programming environment is with flashy, high-concept work that can more easily get attention rather than “Here’s a really well-executed variation on a thing you’ve seen three dozen times already.” Together, this means that a lot of shows are in the hands of screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, etc.
TV isn’t “Movies, but longer” – and a lot of shows are in the hands of people who never learned that.
Sophomore slumps are so frequent throughout TV history, you could probably find 1960s TV criticism along the lines of, “Ugh, again with the twists, Rod Serling?” Truly great shows manage to come back strong the year after and the ones that don’t make it clear pretty quickly that it’s all downhill from here.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mel Brooks: Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man”

Mel Brooks has just turned 92, and, as far as anyone can tell, he is unaltered.
At other times, he murmurs rapidly, teenage-style, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” No one is ever likely to miss a Mel Brooks joke, since he speaks, sometimes roars, with great precision.
On Broadway, in 2007, Brooks and the director Susan Stroman mounted a musical version of the material, a show that Brooks now calls “Lugubrious.” It was only moderately successful, so he cut about 40 minutes, bringing the entire evening down to about two hours, and that version has been playing at the Garrick Theatre in London since last September.
On one occasion, Reiner asked him, “How do you differentiate between tragedy and comedy?” and Brooks answered, “If I’ll cut my finger, that’s tragedy. Comedy is if you walk into an open sewer and die.”
Brooks hit emotional pay dirt by teasing the sensitivities of the Jews, and he did it even more aggressively 13 years later in History of the World: Part I. That movie, an alarming pastiche-masterwork panned by several critical stiffs, including me, might be called a celebration of barbarous behavior throughout the ages-in the caves, during the Roman Empire, during the Spanish Inquisition, in the court of Louis XVI. Brooks again made musical comedy out of Jewish suffering-this time the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, with strung-up bearded Jews tormented by a singing-and-dancing Grand Inquisitor while merry nuns, also giving Jews a hard time, shed their habits and dive into a pool one after another like Esther Williams’s swimming chorines.
A few years later, he wound up writing gags and skits for the legendary comic Sid Caesar, whom he had first met in the Catskills during World War II. By 1950, Brooks was in Caesar’s writers’ room, which eventually included such luminaries as Lucille Kallen, Mel Tolkin, Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, and Woody Allen, all of them laboring for the great man’s TV shows and specials: most famously Your Show of Shows, which ran from 1950 to 1954, and then Caesar’s Hour, which ran from 1954 to 1957.
He turned to Brooks without warning and said, “Here is a man who was actually at the scene of the crucifixion 2,000 years ago.”
Mel Brooks comes to his office in Culver City from Monday to Friday.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A More Or Less Definitive Guide To Showing Up For Friends”

Showing up for other people is hard to describe, but you know it when you see it, or when someone does it for you.
The thing about showing up is that it’s not exactly easy.
Truly showing up for others requires you to do something that can be even harder – to show up for yourself first.
Showing up for yourself is what will allow you to be a better and more present friend/partner; will prevent resentment, one-sided relationships, and burnout; and will help you figure out exactly what showing up for your people should look like in practice.
Occasionally, we’ll get to make a grand enough gesture to light up several bulbs at once, but for the most part, showing up is best done one small, quiet act by small, quiet act.
As firm believers in the power of showing up – as people who have showed up for others, and who have felt the transformative, life-saving power of having people show up for us – we’ve put together a long list of ways to show up for your loved ones.
Because the more of us who show up for each other regularly, the more strands of lights we collectively turn on, and the brighter all of our paths become.
If you know in your heart that you *haven’t* been showing up for them, be honest about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “7 Days With the 2018 Jimmy Awards Finalists”

There are now 40 participating regions across the nation; each of these chapters hosts its own awards ceremony, selecting one actor and one actress to represent the region on the national stage in New York City at the Jimmy Awards.
Half of the students are split into four groups – two groups of Best Performance by an Actor nominees, two groups of Best Performance by an Actress nominees.
My lack of a red T-shirt is the SOLE thing preventing my passing myself off as a Jimmys nominee.
These Jimmys nominees have grown up with social media, and their awareness of social media’s potential to make or break someone is acute.
Close to midnight, my No. 1 Jimmys fan status is threatened by a voice note message I receive from Taylor Trensch, who is fresh out of his post-show talkback with the young nominees.
Lalama lays down the law as the first group leaves, assigning two-time Jimmys nominee Mark Mitrano as dance captain.
SPEAKING OF THE BOYS! Three hours into this endeavor, with nine female nominees still left to sing, the male nominees must be dismissed for their lunch break, since their solo session starts in just an hour.
Benanti invites all 80 nominees back onstage for the announcement of the eight finalists.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Watched ‘The Simpsons’ for the First Time Ever and I Couldn’t Stand It”

“I designed this course for a semester, and I really didn’t expect so many students to show up. But I had 500 the first year.” The class became so well known it was even recognized by Simpsons writers and featured in the episode “Little Girl in the Big Ten.”.
You might as well call me Frank Grimes, because I absolutely hate Homer, and couldn’t stand watching the show mostly due to his character.
In “Homer’s Enemy,” Marge cooks a nice lobster dinner so Homer can reconcile with Frank Grimes.
Through flashbacks, we learn that every time Marge is pregnant, Homer apparently gets so angry he rips his hair out.
Mr. Burns erects the sign “Don’t forget: you’re here forever,” which Homer covers in Maggie’s baby photos so that the sign reads “Do it for her.” Cue the “Awwws.” Because Homer had feelings about his own child for approximately three seconds on screen, it’s a touching episode.
In “Homer Badman,” when Homer goes to a candy convention, Marge is his candy mule.
A lot has been said about race in The Simpsons and 90s shows more broadly-I don’t need or want to dive into that here more than I already have.
If you love The Simpsons and the show is special to you, that’s great.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The best TV of 2018 so far”

Final episodes of long-running shows are fiendishly difficult to pull off, let alone final seasons, and a list of subpar TV conclusions would be long and exhausting, much like those shows’ finales.
Atlanta’s stellar sophomore year was subtitled Robbin’ Season, a reference to a real-life period of increased crime around the holidays, but it was also a potent metaphor for this season’s general aura of unease.
On the evening of May 11, the cop comedy was renewed by NBC. The 24 hours in between were an emotional roller coaster, but if you were watching closely after the show returned from winter hiatus, you were prepared for it: Brooklyn Nine-Nine threw a preemptive Viking funeral at the end of its fifth season, saying farewells to beloved characters like Doug “The Pontiac Bandit” Judy and making preparations for the wedding of Jake and Amy.Brooklyn cops, new girls, last men, and the end of a sitcom lineup for the ages.
The show outdoes itself in the second season; it’s both more pointed and restrained than the first.
Season three might have been set in Italy, but the love story that unfolds in season four is much worthier of the operatic treatment.
We’re only halfway into the first season, but Pose has earned its place among the best that 2018 has to offer.
In its second season, the show kept scaling new heights by branching out, turning their talents to a sweet Southern mom trying to get her gay son to come back to the church, and a trans man navigating a brand new life.
A devastating episode of American Crime Story is the season’s best yet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 50 best podcasts of 2018”

Stuart Goldsmith’s interview podcast sees top billing comedians give insights into how they bring out the laughs, whether it’s Katherine Ryan demonstrating her “Benevolent roast” or Shappi Khorsandi pinpointing her need to perform with a rant about her childhood.
Cariad Lloyd’s award-winning podcast about death is touching and, at times, downright hilarious, with guests including Sara Pascoe, Adam Buxton and David Baddiel.
Dry your eyes: there isn’t a new Streets album, but there is a Mike Skinner podcast.
Jonathan Zenti isn’t the most prolific podcaster and he admits that nothing will top his first episode, Host’s Fat, in which he talks about how he feels about being overweight.
He’s right: it’s one of the most incredible podcasts you’ll hear; full of honesty, raw emotion and an insight into why society has such a problem with people who take up more space in the world.
Good music podcasts are hard to come by, not least because you can’t really play music on a podcast for reasons of copyright.
After putting faux-advice podcast Mouth Time on ice last year, they’ve launched The Reductress Minute, a recap of the site’s best stories of the week, plus some all-time classics.
Dan Savage gives the best love and lust advice around in his distinctly NSFW podcast.

The orginal article.