Summary of “How Breaking Bad Became a Phenomenon”

Breaking Bad was not a ratings hit, not a household name, not a show that earned a spot in the zeitgeist for several years.
A show about a guy cooking crystal meth and he’s the hero? What did I expect? When I got a call from my agent saying, “Hey, the folks at AMC want to meet with you about your project,” I said, “Which project?” That’s how far gone I was.
We thought the show would be male-skewing, so there’s forty to fifty million men who will be coming off this event, and this is what we would launch Breaking Bad into.
Looking back, there were countless moments like that where Breaking Bad shouldn’t have succeeded, but the material was strong enough to overcome it.2007 – 2008: HIGHS & LOWSOn November 5, 2007, the Writers Guild of America began a strike that would last four months, halting production on more than 60 shows.
Coverage at the time noted that the show was bucking the usual downward trend; most serialized dramas see their audience shrink over time, while Breaking Bad’s kept growing.
Aaron Paul: Breaking Bad was one of the first series people binge-watched, because the first three seasons all plopped onto Netflix at once.
Melissa Bernstein: Vince is actually a masterful marketing mind, and at every turn he had great ideas about how to make the show indelible, how to make it stand out, how to make it really specific in the marketplace.
We were putting so much energy into these little campaigns, these guerrilla tactics, that it was a shock at some point to realize, Oh my god, people are actually watching the show! We had been in a very grassroots place, thinking, How do we get five more people to watch? And the show finally just took on a momentum of its own around Season Four.Aaron Paul: We lived and breathed these characters.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Using Comedy to Strengthen Nigeria’s Democracy”

“If you do a comedy show, you’re going to step on toes,” he said.
P.M.I. was trying to make a polished TV show using equipment that, as one member of the team said, you might find at a U.S. community college.
To help the troupe, Case e-mailed Kevin Bleyer, a former writer for “The Daily Show.” Bleyer has a boyish face that is at odds with his deep baritone.
Over all, Bleyer and Case were interested less in whether someone could structure a joke than in whether the person was well versed in the news and had a point of view that could give the show critical bite.
To find a host, Graeme Moreland had haunted comedy shows in Lagos.
“He’s now using Hollywood talk. He says ‘If this show tanks,’ whereas the international-development language would be something like ‘If this show doesn’t find its audience,’ or ‘If this show-‘”.
At one point, he argued to Case that the talent should wear Nigerian caftans instead of Western suits, showing him a variety of colorful fabrics.
Case disagreed, saying that the show had to look like other Channels programming.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Using Comedy to Strengthen Nigeria’s Democracy”

“If you do a comedy show, you’re going to step on toes,” he said.
P.M.I. was trying to make a polished TV show using equipment that, as one member of the team said, you might find at a U.S. community college.
To help the troupe, Case e-mailed Kevin Bleyer, a former writer for “The Daily Show.” Bleyer has a boyish face that is at odds with his deep baritone.
Over all, Bleyer and Case were interested less in whether someone could structure a joke than in whether the person was well versed in the news and had a point of view that could give the show critical bite.
To find a host, Graeme Moreland had haunted comedy shows in Lagos.
“He’s now using Hollywood talk. He says ‘If this show tanks,’ whereas the international-development language would be something like ‘If this show doesn’t find its audience,’ or ‘If this show-‘”.
At one point, he argued to Case that the talent should wear Nigerian caftans instead of Western suits, showing him a variety of colorful fabrics.
Case disagreed, saying that the show had to look like other Channels programming.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman”

What could Letterman do outside the limitations of network television that he hadn’t already done, and would a David Letterman series still seem relevant given that the late-night world has moved on?
The first episode of the show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, is out now, featuring President Barack Obama.
As it turns out, there’s quite a few things that Letterman is able to do outside the bounds of network TV. And when compared to the quick-turnaround, snarky tone that permeates so much late-night material today, Letterman’s honesty and degree of emotional introspection don’t just make him still relevant; they make him absolutely essential.
Perhaps the most obvious way that My Next Guest Needs No Introduction breaks from Letterman’s other shows is that it’s not a daily, or even weekly, talk show in the way that audiences are used to thinking about them.
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is funny, but it is Letterman – replete with his now trademark beard – using his skills as a conversationalist first, and a comedian second.
“We will redeem the soul of America,” Lewis says when Letterman asks him about the damage he feels the Trump administration is doing to the country, and it’s hard to imagine any of Letterman’s previous shows being able to deliver the moment with such weight and earnest resolve.
There’s a sense of self-reflection, as if Letterman is reassessing his own life and success It’s also due to Letterman himself.
It’s thoughtful, funny, and moving, but more than anything else, it is proof that David Letterman still has something to say.

The orginal article.

Summary of “With ‘The Chi,’ Lena Waithe Heads Home in Search of the Real Chicago”

A fellow Chicago native who is an executive producer and one of the stars of “The Chi,” said Ms. Waithe stressed during filming how important it was for the show to pay homage to her city.
They employed a crew comprised almost entirely of locals, shot on location and filled the soundtrack exclusively with music by Chicago artists like Chance the Rapper and Kanye West.Thanks to the new show, and acting roles on “Master of None” and “Transparent,” she’s slowly becoming a Chicago celebrity, too.
As he got closer, he recognized Ms. Waithe and yelled to the principal, “It’s all good! I knew she was famous!”.
“Even white people are tired of watching white people’s shows.”
“We’re all kind of chipping away,” Mr. Ansari said, referring to Ms. Waithe, Ms. Rae, and Donald Glover.
Ms. Waithe agrees, and made it a point to tell her peers.
A month later, at the brunch in Chicago, Ms. Waithe, wearing a tie-dye T-shirt, ripped jeans and red-and-white Air Jordan sneakers, elaborated on her speech’s message.
“Because wherever I go, the Chi goes with me,” Ms. Waithe said of her hometown.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Do Cartoon Villains Speak in Foreign Accents?”

Gidney, an associate professor in child study and human development at Tufts University who specializes in sociolinguistics, saw Scar’s accent as part of a disturbing pattern in the film: Foreign accents and non-standard dialects were being used to voice all of the “Bad” characters.
The kicker: In many of the cases studied, villains were given foreign accents.
The study found that most of the heroic characters in their research sample were American-sounding; only two heroes had foreign accents.
The most wicked foreign accent of all was British English, according to the study.
From Scar to Aladdin’s Jafar, the study found that British is the foreign accent most commonly used for villains.
Henchmen or assistants to villains often spoke in dialects associated with low socioeconomic status, including working-class Eastern European dialects or regional American dialects such as “Italian-American gangster” None of the villains in the sample studied seemed to speak Standard American English; when they did speak with an American accent, it was always in regional dialects associated with low socioeconomic status.
“What general sociolinguistic theory would suggest,” Gidney added, “Is that American adults tend to evaluate British dialect as sounding smarter.” Funny characters, on the other hand, often speak in German or Slavic accents, as well as in regional American dialects associated with the white working class.
To Gidney, the common denominator in all of these vague foreign accents is “The binary distinction of ‘like us'” versus “Not like us.” “Villainy is marked just by sounding different,” he added.

The orginal article.

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Season 1 of LOST is still some of the best television I’ve seen.
From “Walkabout” to “Numbers,” the first season of Lost has some real gems.
Lost would eventually delve into time travel, metaphysics, and convoluted supernatural wars, but in season one, it was just a show about flawed people trying to hunt for boar.
In season 4 episode 9, “The Shape Of Things To Come,” Ben Linus and Charles Widmore have a delightful exchange in which it’s revealed that the two have been rivals for a very long time.
The biggest is Christian Shephard, Jack’s dead father, who began appearing on the island as early as season 1.
I don’t care that much that we never found out why Libby was in a mental institution-a big cliffhanger at the end of season 2 episode 18, “Dave”-or who shot at the outriggers in season 5 episode 4, “The Little Prince.” But it does bother me that Lost bailed on key character storylines, like Ben’s childhood girlfriend, Annie, who was introduced in season 3 as a pivotal part of the Others’ leader’s life, then never seen again.
In season 4 episode 6, “The Other Woman,” a character remarks that Juliet reminds Ben of “Her”-presumably Annie-and Ben’s relationship with Juliet is also explored in some chilling ways, as we learn that he thinks she belongs to him.
The only reason they’re in the show is to make the viewer think that Jin got off the island with Sun, so the episode can then pull a “Gotcha” twist by revealing that his scenes were just part of a flashback, and in fact he’s actually dead. But wait! He’s not actually dead, as is made obvious in season five.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What We’re Excited for in 2018”

The Spider-Man Video Game Victor Luckerson: Though it was Spider-Man who helped kick off this century’s superhero obsession at the megaplex, his presence in video games has been comparatively muted.
For more than a decade I’ve been waiting for a game that could fully realize the potential of Activision’s Spider-Man 2, which captured the thrill of web slinging between the skyscrapers of New York but was weighed down by a repetitive, GTA-lite mission structure back in 2004.
Video Games About Pirates Ben Lindbergh: Next year’s most anticipated video game may be Rockstar’s Western sequel Red Dead Redemption 2, but I still expect to spend more time in 2018 on the virtual open seas than the virtual open range.
In theory, video games about pirates should have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the industry’s ongoing ramp-up in processing power; the limitless environments, pretty waves and water, and persistent online worlds common in today’s big-budget games should suit simulations of the pirate life perfectly.
The most storied pirate games, Monkey Island and Sid Meier’s Pirates!, are decades old.
Sea of Thieves, a cooperative, online-only shared-world game from Rare, adopted a cartoony, light-hearted look and is due out in March.
Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones which will arrive in the third or fourth quarter with both a single-player campaign and online combat, borrows and builds on the ship-combat component of 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the best pirate game in recent memory.
Gaming’s pirate treasure has been buried too long.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 50 Best Podcasts of 2017”

The best shows don’t paint themselves into a corner.
The show follows her train of thought, taking listeners through unexpected twists and turns where they find out flamingos can drink boiling-hot water, robust mite communities live on our faces, and why no one ever sees a living armadillo.
Each show title starts with “What if” to tell the listener exactly what to expect, but others are more rhetorical.
DTRThis sponsored-by-Tinder podcast made by Gimlet Creative puts the show host in the driver seat to swipe on behalf of random DTR listeners.
An episode from the show’s sixth season recounts a tear-jerking story of a woman giving her son up for adoption, and her struggle to let him go; the episode then abruptly cuts to clips from 1980s TV talk shows on which she appeared after reuniting with him as an adult and the confusing feelings it brought up in her.
The show’s raw approach immediately gets listeners to let their guard down and invites them to think differently about the anonymous nature of human existence.
Though the show stops short of straightforward advocacy, a side effect of these stories is making listeners wonder about prison reform.
Much is made of its thematic multiple-act structure around a topic, but the brilliance of the show is best seen across a span of episodes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best TV Episodes of 2017”

There’s no time - or point - to get into that argument right now, but let us just affirm that we still believe in the power of the episode, that 30- or 60-minute segment of a TV series that shifts expectations, changes circumstances, and embodies a show’s larger themes.
BoJack is at its best when it breaks the mold, and this pair of episodes shows why.
Master of None, “Thanksgiving” Shea Serrano: The best TV episode of 2017 is the “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None.
The Good Place, “Michael’s Gambit” Kate Knibbs: The first-season finale of NBC’s fizzy-smart The Good Place aired in January 2017, which emotionally feels like it was 25 years ago but still counts for the purpose of this exercise, because it’s one of the greatest episodes of television I’ve ever seen in my damn life.
American Vandal takes the leap in “Premature Theories,” when the protagonist/lead investigator Peter Maldonado decides to upload the first part of his documentary - the first four episodes of the show - to YouTube.
In 22 minutes, after 10 years of believing it impossible, knowing full well that there were still eight more episodes to go, Tartakovsky convinced me - as in, I truly believed - that Jack was about to die.
My wife and I snorted the first two seasons without much of a break between episodes, but our viewing history for Season 3 reveals two-plus months of slow going before a breakthrough, day-before-Thanksgiving spree in which we consumed the last six episodes in one sitting.
Nathan for You, “Chili Shop/Massage Parlor” Jordan Coley: There are many episodes of Nathan for You where it’s clear that the small business owner who has agreed to appear on the show is at least mildly aware that Nathan Fielder - graduate of “One of Canada’s top business schools with really good grades” - won’t actually help make their small venture more successful.

The orginal article.