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Links 1 through 10 of 203 by Chad Orzel tagged television

Not once in any Star Wars movie does someone pick up a book or newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or chapbook handmade by an aspiring Jawa poet. If something is read by someone in Star Wars, it’s almost certainly off of a screen (and even then, maybe being translated by a droid), and it’s definitely not for entertainment purposes. As early as the 1990s-era expanded Star Wars books and comic books, we’re introduced to ancient Jedi “texts” called holocrons, which are basically talking holographic video recordings. Just how long has the Star Wars universe been reliant on fancy technology to transfer information as opposed to the written word? Is it possible that a good number of people in Star Wars are completely illiterate?

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Captain Kirk's Enterprise was a ship of phaser-happy explorers always pressing onward toward the next undiscovered planet on which they could stage a fistfight; in comparison, Captain Picard's Enterprise is a calm, sleek vessel of end-of-history galactic administration — a kind of faster-than-light embassy, complete with chamber music concerts. There's very little fighting; there's a great deal of personal growth and trade-pact negotiation. Many, many episodes turn on the decidedly nonstandard TV plot of something has gone wrong with a diplomat.

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As a kid, I remember watching Star Trek at 7:00 on Saturday nights with my Mom. At the time, it struck me as the most amazing show ever made, even though I frequently only half-understood what was going on.

Through the miracle of streaming video, I’ve recently introduced my kids to Kirk and Spock. And I’ve been reintroduced with adult eyes.

Seeing again as an adult a show you loved as a kid is a little uncanny. It’s recognizable, of course, but everyone seems so much younger. Now the subtexts aren’t nearly as subtle, and it seems more 60’s than futuristic. But the cheesiness of some of the effects has a charm of its own.

The Wife is duly mortified, of course; to her, Star Trek is of a piece with Renaissance Faires and Hobbitry. Affection for Star Trek, in her mind, is a sort of voluntary cultural exile. I think she’s half expecting that the kids and I will start wearing Vulcan ears around the house and speaking Klingon at the table.

But the kids don’t carry that baggage.

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I never met Steve Sabol, but I wish I could have worked for him. His father, Ed, founded NFL Films, but Steve defined what it became: the finest cinematic reflection of a sport in absolute totality, consciously designed to amplify an intellectual viewing experience through emotional means. If that sounds unnecessarily complicated and verbose — fine. It’s still the truth. With the possible exception of Pete Rozelle, no other men influenced the way casual audiences think about football as deeply as Ed and Steve Sabol. And while it was the father who built the foundation, it was the son who erected the superstructure.?log=out

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How Kermit the Frog is the perfect model for an academic administrator.

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The A.V. Club begins a detailed rewatch of Animaniacs, one of SteelyKid's favorites. Unusually for the Internet, the comments are also pretty good.

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You've been blown off your couch and knocked from your barstool with disbelief — even though you know it's coming. The structure of an "NBA on TNT" broadcast never really changes, so you always know! Still: Cue the beer spit take and the salsa sliding off the nacho you can't remember to put into your gaping mouth. Because you can never bring yourself to believe that it's happening. Again.

Craig Sager is wearing the ugliest clothes you've ever seen.

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When I started researching the history of Animaniacs, I contacted creator Tom Ruegger to see if he could fill in some gaps. I expected a few sentences in response to my questions, but Mr. Ruegger sent back seven pages of awesomeness instead. So if you happen to be searching for the real story behind Animaniacs, you’re in the right place.

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Many of you are cool. Keep the good memories. You're always welcome in the Neighborhood. But I see people yakking on their cell phones while some poor clerk is trying to help them - like the guy on the other side of the counter doesn't even qualify as a human being, because he's got a nametag. I see you treating waiters and neighbors and employees like they're garbage, like they're invisible. I see you driving like you're the goddamn Road Warrior.

You know what breaks my heart? It's partly because you've got too much friggin' self-esteem. And it makes me think that's my fault. I spend my whole life trying to make the world a better place, and you nasty ridiculous people are the result? No. Fuck that. Because I will rise from the grave, and I will take you bastards out. One by one. I'll come after you, Crow-style.

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After recently watching three seasons back-to-back-to-back (god help me), the only thing that I can say with any certainty that Ancient Aliens is either the product of a badly disordered mind or was designed to be a drinking game for skeptics:

Every time an ancient astronaut theorist refers to “ancient texts,” DRINK!
Every time the narrator (the delightfully-named actor Robert Clotworthy) begins an episode or a segment with the name of a location or a noun instead of a sentence, DRINK!
Every time the the narrator asks a question that should be answered with an immediate, “Of course the hell not,” DRINK!
Every time an apparently not crazy physicist, folklorist, or scholar gets cut off right before they say, “…but that doesn’t mean that ancient aliens existed,” DRINK!
When an idea that was speculation in one sentence magically becomes the premise of the next segment, DRINK!
Every time the narrator says, “And if so, why?” DRINK!

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