Vision

Upload: Do You Really Want to Live Forever?

I just finished watching the 10-episode first season of Upload, which just got renewed for a second on Amazon Prime only seven days after its debut. The show's an oddball take on the afterlife in which anyone can be uploaded to a virtual world shortly before death and still interact with their loved ones. Robbie Amell plays a handsome but shallow app developer who dies under suspicious circumstances in his self-driving car. Andy Allo is his "angel," the tech support rep guiding him through ... (read more)

Enter the TV Deadpool Contest

For the last 10 years I've been competing in the Ted Marshall Open, a contest to predict 10 shows on broadcast TV that will be cancelled during the coming season. Mike Burger began the game 17 years ago as the Alison La Placa Open, naming it after a great comedic actress who starred in the short-lived shows Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs, Duet, Open House, Stat, The Jackie Thomas Show and Tom. When La Placa lost her sense of humor about the name in 2008 and sent a cease and desist ... (read more)

Fargo Reviewer on Refinery 29 Races to Conclusion

I'm a huge fan of Noah Hawley's Fargo TV series, which just completed its third season on FX. This post contains spoilers, so bail out now if you're avoiding them. I enjoyed the season but thought it didn't live up to the greatness of the earlier ones. For most of the season, the villain V. M. Varga lacked a protagonist formidable enough to be a credible challenge. It wasn't until the final third when the bridge-playing parolee Nikki Swango brought up her game to put his evil scheme in ... (read more)

The Adam West Series That Wasn't: Lookwell

Adam West died Friday at age 88. As a child of the '70s, I thought West was a giant of Hollywood. I watched the Batman TV movie and show as often as they came on. When cable TV arrived and my parents let us watch movie channels with precious little oversight, it was quite a shock to see him in The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. Holy titillation, Batman! West was underrated as a comic actor. His deadpan Batman performance was legendary, but he could do a lot more than that. Around 15 years ago a ... (read more)

Jonathan Franzen Also Hated Mac Dude

A few years ago, in one of Apple's last big marketing campaigns while Steve Jobs was alive, the company mocked Microsoft by having Justin Long portray a Mac and John Hodgman a PC in TV commercials. Long's comfortably scruffy dude in sneakers was supposed to be cool, while Hodgman's pudgy businessman was supposed to be a dork who couldn't quite catch up to the times. I wrote in 2007 that the commercials were doing something for Microsoft it couldn't do for itself -- make the company lovable. ... (read more)

Memo to Self: Don't Anger Elisabeth Moss

There's an amusingly awkward exchange between Mad Men actor Elisabeth Moss and New York Times interviewer Andrew Goldman in a new Q&A: Q: You were brought up as, and continue to be, a Scientologist. I feel as if everyone who's not a Scientologist sees it as a cult. Does this bother you? Moss: It doesn't bother me, but I don't want to talk about it. For me, you gotta make up your own mind about anything in your life, whether it's a relationship or a job or religion -- or Pilates. Q: You said of ... (read more)

Republicans Run Attack Ads on Charlie Crist

The Florida Republican Party recently began running a TV ad here that attacks former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republican who left the party and became an independent during his unsuccessful 2010 Senate run. The ad shows old clips of Crist praising President George W. Bush and Sarah Palin and declaring he was "about as conservative as you can get." That statement turned out to be as true as Mitt Romney calling himself a progressive when he wanted to be governor of liberal Massachusetts. Crist ... (read more)

Longevity, Health and Charlie Sheen

Last night's episode of Two and a Half Men ended with this end-of-show text from series creator Chuck Lorre, who puts vanity cards at the end of his shows that only can be read by pausing the TV: I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I've had chest x-rays, cardio stress tests EKGs and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce ... (read more)

Democracy: The Least Bad Option

A ... (read more)

Rainn Wilson: Failure Was Good for Me

Two years ago, Rainn Wilson of The Office was the lead star in The Rocker, a movie that cost $15 million to make and only earned $6.8 million. It opened on 2,784 screens and earned $1,180,836 the first weekend -- only $424 per theater. Wilson didn't take the failure well, he recently admitted in an New York Magazine interview: I was literally in my car at five-thirty in the morning and I started to weep ... as I drove down the 105 Freeway. They said, "It's just like Kelsey Grammer when he did ... (read more)