“Scream Queens” is a television series that is like bubblegum for the viewer: fun to pop in your mouth and chew for a little while, but eventually it loses its flavor and you need to spit it out. It’s a gum that has a taste that is not for everyone, but if you have a longing for some retro Bazooka and like the funny comics on the wrapper, your cravings will be quenched.
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HBO’s “The Leftovers” is something special, a series that ventures beyond the realm of what television attempts to cover.
“American Horror Story” is finally back with its fifth season and it did not disappoint. The anthology series has made some serious changes: Jessica Lange bowed out, Lady Gaga is the new lead and the new sinister location is a once-glamorous-now-dodgy hotel in Los Angeles. However, even with these fresh new changes, the show seems to have returned back to its roots; victims get tortured and killed in their residence by an ensemble of other-worldly oddities that have a routine to their madness and run through the drill like it’s just another day. Sound familiar? Season one featured the same type of formula: New residents of a haunted house falling prey to the ghosts that haunt it. Season five takes place in the same city, has a similar plot and even guest stars the realtor that sold the horror house in season one. This is not necessarily a bad thing; I personally thought the first season was one of the best in the series and established the distinctive world of “AHS.” With “AHS: Hotel,” there is enough change to keep viewers intrigued and hopefully enough diverse material to stand as its own unique story. So far, it is looking good. Already in the first episode there is a deadly foursome, a ghoulish spawn of bloodsucking children, a serial killer with a bowler hat and a “Pan’s Labyrinth”-type monster with a lethal strap-on dildo.
An affair is a universal concept; a taboo that has been frowned upon in a society that stresses monogamy. Known to wreak havoc and stain reputations, it’s the big no-no to anyone in a committed relationship. A quick fling could quickly and mercilessly ruin everything you once took for granted. It stems from passion and almost always ends in tragedy, yet it is constantly happening all around us. Why jeopardize all that you have? Why betray the ones you love? Why betray yourself? These questions are explored to the fullest in Showtime’s “The Affair.”
Carly Aquilino’s first time on stage was short-lived: at her first ballet recital, when the curtains rose, Aquilino promptly jumped off stage.
“Vanity project” isn’t exactly an insult. Contrary to certain websites’ critiques, “vanity project” can actually be a compliment. It represents an artist creating for themselves, building a work specifically for and around their ego. It means that, whatever the product is, it’s an expression of that artist at that single moment in time: the “honesty” that so many music fans feel is missing in modern music.
The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards stormed onto prime time Sunday, with Taylor Swift taking home two major awards and Kanye West receiving the Michael Jackson Vanguard Video Award. Miley Cyrus came back after her 2013 performance as host, but her tasteless jokes and awkward cutaways left much to be desired.
The school year is almost over, and spring TV is just heating up. In the limited amount of time we have left together, I figured I would write a totally arbitrary awards column, partly because there’s not really any new TV happening this week. What follows is a number of awards I’ve given to shows throughout the year: Awards named after my favorite examples from other shows. Look, the point of this exercise is not to reinvent the wheel—or the awards column—just to bestow awards to those I deem deserving.
With eyes set on next semester’s legislative session, three members of the Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Committee announced their candidacy for committee chair Monday.
We’re back, baby. Last Sunday night, the great television experiment known to us mere mortals as “Game of Thrones” continued its meteoric ascent into our hearts and minds. Viewers have all been waiting for it, and when the first four episodes leaked online yesterday, thousands of our weaker brethren downloaded it. It’s easily the biggest thing to happen on television this year. As such, it is only fitting that I use the space provided to sing its praises (as well as make some make some minor complaints). Warning—spoilers from Sunday’s episode, and some mild book-reader nit-picking follows.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the moment we’ve—or at least I’ve—been waiting for all semester has finally almost arrived. The world is three days from the premiere of the fifth season of “Game of Thrones.” Because I am very excited, I thought it might be useful to go through what we may expect from this season and what I, an accursed book reader, want from what has the potential the best season yet.
Seemingly every year that it’s been on the air, “Community” has been moved, cancelled or resurrected. In fact, it’s happened so often that we “Community” fans have even created a hashtag (#sixseasonsandamoive) to express our exasperation with the show’s fluctuating status, the latest example its resurrection at the hands of Yahoo Screen, which prompted thousands to young Americans to ask whether or not Yahoo was still a thing.
The lineup for the 2015 Revelry Music and Arts Festival was released Sunday, with Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment and the Chainsmokers among the headliners. The third annual festival will be held May 2, with stages on Library Mall and the Memorial Union Terrace.
Like most everything else, television is all about relationships. From “The Sopranos” to “Community,” all great shows use personal relationships as a fulcrum to lift up the rest of the plot around them. However, when shows (especially dramas) forgot about the world outside of a marriage or a friendship, when things turn inward just a little bit too much, your show starts to suck.
“The Walking Dead” is back, baby! Finally, after months of waiting, one of my favorite television shows is back in its familiar Sunday night slot(s). The first half of the fifth season represented one of the biggest television 180s that I’ve ever seen; last year, the show had the pacing and stumbling of Rick Grimes walking down railroad tracks, and now it's as exciting and suspenseful as it’s ever been. Naturally, between this most welcome surprise and the tension that was the midseason finale, I’ve been ready to get back on the road with our heroes for a while now.
Last week, I may have mentioned that this time of year is where TV goes to die. however, what I dod not take into account is that it’s trailer season! Not one but two super-amazing, awesome trailers debuted over the past week: one for season five of “Game of Thrones” and the other for “Wet Hot American Summer.” We knew that a “Game of Thrones” trailer would be forthcoming, and rather than shoot my “GOT” wad this early in the semester, I’ll just say that it was awesome. Like, really awesome. But the real exciting (and kind of unexpected) news of the day belongs to the “Wet Hot American Summer” teaser.
Over the past year, one of the newest and best rivalries in TV history began and is now officially heating up. As Netflix continues to produce original content, Amazon has thrown its hat into the ring and now has come up with its first bona fide hit, “Transparent,” which stars Jeffrey Tambor as a father struggling to tell his children about his desire to be a woman, is garnering ridiculous amounts of praise. Amazon versus Netflix is a rivalry that would have been inconceivable even three years ago. Then, most of the world didn’t even know “House of Cards” was going to be a thing, and Amazon was just somewhere you went to compare prices with whatever you wanted at Target. If you had told me then that both of these companies would be serious players in the TV market, I would probably have laughed at you and made a joke about whatever was funny three years ago (Snuggies? Sarah Palin? I have to be close).
This month, both Marvel and DC revealed their predicted movie schedules through 2020. The second “Avengers” movie comes out in May, and superheroes and their ilk continue to invade our television screens. We’ve seen everything from prequels (“Gotham”), to companion shows (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and everything in between (literally everything else). We know now that the superhero model is a popular, insanely high-grossing construct with universes and story lines expansive enough to continue going on forever. The real question is whether or not we’ll continue to watch week in, week out after the thrill is gone.
Record Routine: TV on the Radio mourn their fallen friend and comrade with austere and unvarnished pop music on Seeds
Shortly after the release of Nine Types of Light in 2011, TV on the Radio’s bassist Gerard Smith passed away after a brief battle with lung cancer. Now several years later, TV on the Radio have delivered Seeds, which is in many ways a eulogy to Smith, expressing the band’s collective overcoming and acceptance of his loss.
Sustainability is one of the key elements of any television show. For comedies, it may be the most important element. Once a show stops being funny, it’s (normally) cancelled. Of course, the longer a show runs, the less likely it is to be cancelled regardless of quality (looking at you, “Family Guy”). And, obviously, the longer a comedy runs, the harder it is to come up with new, unique situations and the easier it is to fall back on what worked before. Rarely do you find a show that does not stagnate—even “Seinfeld” was not as good at the end. Yet, “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”—which borrows a lot from “Seinfeld”—is atop the short list of shows you still have to watch.