Archive for the 'American TV' Category

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A fresh coat of Oscar brilliance.

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An update to last years 31 Days of Oscar spot produced by Fresh Paint for TCM, a little late after award season I know, but still one of the most creative executions of what is essentially just a collection of clips I’ve seen.

Out with the Sci, in with the Fy.

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While opinion remains mixed, I’m still a huge fan of the SciFi to SyFy rebrand, and think its one of the more clever name changes we’ve seen recently.

To mark the dumping of the old brand, Syfy have produced a series of idents wiping the old logo away to make room for the new. BBC Three did a very cute and similar thing when they relaunched last year.

A portrait of True Blood’s return.

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If there’s one thing I love more than a good cast photo (like the cast of the Sopranos on a boat, or the cast of Scrubs.. also on a boat), its a good cast promo.

Full or overly symbolic references and imagery, its the kind of stuff you can only get away with when your playing outside the bounds of the shows usual narrative (or at least a dream sequence) and quite frankly no one does it better than HBO.

Take for example the series return of True Blood, set to the Bob Dylan track “Beyond Here Lies Nothing” is a beautiful moving portrait, open to intrepretion of what we might be able to expect from the latest instalment of the vampire thriller.

Another show that was rampant in there use of seasonal teasers was Six Feet Under, watch some examples after the jump.

Continue reading “A portrait of True Blood’s return.” »

MTV Brasil launches Acesso.

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Brazillian based agency Santa Motion have created this strange yet compelling opening sequence for a new MTV show called Acesso.

The broad concept behind the video is about how information changes people, an idea represented through the various transitions. MTV Latin America have always pumped out really interesting stuff, including this from a few years back.

Kath and Kim: Australia v America.

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Comparing the opening titles of the original Kath and Kim to the American remake, its clear this isn’t going to be a line-for-line remake. Most importantly though, for the millions of American’s who will meet Kath and Kim for the first time this Thursday on NBC, I think they might just enjoy themselves.

The pilot made its pre-air debut on iTunes not long ago. All you need to do to download a copy if you’re outside of the States, is get yourself an iTunes account.

From the makers of Six Feet Under: True Blood.

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True Blood is the latest creation from Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under and American Beauty screenwriter. Just like Six Feet Under, the main titles for True Blood have been designed by Digital Kitchen, who also did the opener for Dexter.

The high concept premise behind True Blood revolves around the co-existence of vampires and humans in the southern US state of Louisiana. And from the pilot episode at least, it appears Ball intends to draw on vampires and their recent “outing” into mainstream society as an allegory for the struggle to achieve homosexual rights, racial equality and acceptance.

The gritty and compelling opening sequence, accompanied by the track Bad Things by Jace Everett, even goes so far to feature a sign saying “God Hates Fangs”, an obvious play on the famous protest signs of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Homer Simpson gets a colonoscopy (for charity).

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In a rare show of solidarity, three of the big commercial networks in the US dedicated an hour of commercial free programming to broadcast the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon. With the usual mix of serious appeal and humour, the highlight of the night was Homer Simpson’s fantastic voyage into his own colon.

NBC, ABC and CBS simulcast the event Friday night with all money raised going to the translational cancer research, which “encourages scientists to collaborate rather than compete, translating basic science into applicable therapies for patients.”

Welcome back NBC.

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The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock are three of the best shows on television, they’re all broadcast by NBC on Thursday nights, and they all made their post-strike returns to our screens just a few days ago.

These three shows have all received Peabody Awards in recent years, and given the chance I’ll happily go on about how important good comedy is.

NBC has a strange place in my heart, and although its unfair to judge any network by the sum of its parts, its undeniable that NBC has some amazing individual programs, and from this outsiders opinion appears to foster quality in its programming, sometimes at the expense of immediate ratings gratification.

Whether its The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Friday Night Lights, or Saturday Night Live, no other network delivers as much of my television content as NBC, which is quite an achievement, and also a little sad that its not an Australian channel.

SNL and the cultural institutions of comedy.


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Not surprisingly, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip reignited an interest in Saturday Night Live for me. Sure Studio 60 over romanticised the importance of late night comedy, and its place as a cultural institution, but I still wouldn’t change an episode.

Comedy and satire are important (as I went on about here), and although SNL isn’t perfect, its still pretty good. Locally however, while The Chaser may not have the long history that SNL does, it has been having the actual, tangible impact on Australian culture that Studio 60 claimed its show-within-a-show was having.

This week SNL was hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who pokes fun at himself in this ‘digital short’, the second video is from an earlier ‘digital short’ this season where Andy Samberg serenades Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

CBS and the almost idents.

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Of all the North American television I watch.. and there’s a lot, it would seem that less of it comes from CBS then probably any other major network. And while any network that brings me Letterman deserves my respect, my life would probably continue to exist if I stopped watching Old Christine and How I Met Your Mother.

The videos are short ID spots (sans audio) that started running on CBS last week, and while these certainly look great, the United States isn’t exactly known for its idents in the same way as the UK, so don’t expect S4/C-esque extravagances or cultural commentary.

– Thanks for the videos Mitch.