Apr 28, 2011

TV Review: The Office -- Michael Scott's Farewell

When will I see you again?
Tonight was the last episode for Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Manager at Dunder Mifflin, and before we watched it we were absolutely sure what would happen: tearful goodbyes, meaningful moments, and Michael Scott's car exploding as he drove away from the office he's called home for so long (okay, not really - they still have to bring him back in a year or two for Sweeps). Instead, the affair was rather small, with Michael pretending that he had another day at the office in order to keep people from being overly emotional and to quell his own feelings about the situation. It was a very non-Michael Scott moment, and it really capped off his emotional maturity arc of this season. On his last day in the place he loves the most, Michael spends a little time with each of his co-workers who are basically family

Apr 25, 2011

Blast From the Past: Discovering iTunes

Editors Note: Guest Blogger Poticklly will occasionally be going back into his old days of online journaling and post entries that pertain to pop culture.  For your enjoyment, here is Poticklly discovering iTunes:


So It has been a landmark day in the [redacted] household. I, The youngest [redacted], had a wonderful day! In the morning, the middle child (my sister, not my daughter) showed me how to use the itunes thingy on our computer. I proceeded to download 13 hours of music from CDs I own onto this little program. It was surprisingly easy. I was very proud of myself because I rarely have the opportunity to accomplish things on Saturday mornings. I then played some of the music. [It] was wicked awesome."

 CDs? Quaint!

Apr 23, 2011

Doctor Who: New Season, Higher Stakes

To quote Neil Diamond, Doctor Who is "coming to America...today!" The new season, following everyone's favorite Doctor, kicks off tonight in Monument Valley, and boy is it going to be crazy. We here at Tableau Your Mind haven't opined openly about our love of the good doctor, but the show has been a growing obsession of ours for quite some time (the new version: still haven't gotten to watching Doctor Classic. And each season (or series), we've seen the stakes get higher and higher. The first season was about a battle on board a fake game show ship. Last season saw the Doctor recreating ALL OF EXISTENCE to ensure that Amelia Pond survived. Needless to say, things have gotten more intense and way more complicated. So, in this game of higher stakes, what kind of crazy - and usually family friendly - antics can we expect this season? After the jump, check out the top eleven possibilities for this year, and the probability that each will occur.

Apr 21, 2011

30 Rock: 100 Episodes, 20 Hours of Comedy

The 100th episode of 30 Rock may not have been the show's best hour (the bar is set SO high), but it gave fans pretty much everything that they wanted: meta commentary, tons of guest stars, flashbacks, and some emotionally resonant character notes. Let's take a look back, shall we? (Also, click to enlarge the pictures - They're meant to be enjoyed at the highest definition!)

Jealousy, Love, Betrayal, Comedy
Down to the plot:
Due to a gas link in the GE Comcast Kabletown building, everyone in the TGS is experiencing vivid, nostalgic (not to mention convenient) flashbacks and hallucinations. Janitor Michael Keaton needs to fix the leak fast, as the 100th episode of 30 Rock TGS with

Apr 20, 2011

30 Rock: 100 Episodes...Whuck?!

Liz Lemon--Making Frazzled Look Good
If someone had told me, at the end of 30 Rock's first season, that the show would reach 100 episodes, I would ask if I could huff what he was huffing. Yet tomorrow, the show that was expected to fail (due partly to the clear success that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip would be) will reach that magical number. This opens the show up to syndication and means that for the next ten years or so America will be over-run with 30 Rock Marathons on TBS or some other channel that is equally very funny. Check back in on Friday for a review of the 100th episode of 30 Rock and the seminal (not Seminole) episodes that have shaped it and stood out as particularly awesome! Have suggestions of great, classic Rock ? Leave it in the comments!

Apr 19, 2011

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Gets Her Joe Biden On!

BEST NEWS EVER THIS WEEK ALERT!!! When it was announced that a pilot was being ordered for Armando Iannucci's (In the Loop) new show Veep and was starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, we were ecstatic. We here at Tableau Your Mind are big fans of the film In the Loop and The New Adventures of Old Christine, not to mention Seinfeld or anything else Julia Louis-Dreyfus has ever been in. Well, now the show has been picked up to series by HBO!!!

This is amazing, and it gets amazing-er. The show is about a senator who becomes Vice President (of the United States, not of "Killing It", because Louis-Dreyfus is already the President of Killing It) only to become quickly disillusioned by the job. There are a million reasons that this show is going to be great, but, for the sake of brevity, check out the top 9 after the jump:

Apr 14, 2011

Scream 4: Looking Back

Tomorrow marks the release of Scream 4, and to say that I am excited is a gross understatement. I am not particularly fond of scary movies (and especially not the torture-porn gross fests of recent years), but the Scream franchise is always a favorite of mine. Firstly, it’s incredibly meta and self-referencing. One of my least favorite things in scary movies is when characters act as though they’ve never heard of a scary movie before in their lives, and it’s exhausting. If anything, the characters in Scream know way too much about scary movies and talk about slasher movies as if everyone is watching them, all the time. They know the conventions of killers, yet they still fall into their traps. Death, it seems, is inevitable.   
Who will the killers be this time?
Scream movies are also a cut above the rest by being ball-droppingly hilarious. Half of the characters are in the films for comedic effect, and usually the jokes land (except for in the not funny, not good, but not terrible Scream 3).  Scream again succeeds by having very human killers. The stabbers in Scream don’t attack you in your nightmares or trap you in a room and force you to chop off your own limbs. No, they just run at you with a knife, occasionally tripping over an ottoman or falling prey to a well-aimed freezer door.  These aren’t the killers of dreams, these are just regular serial killers, which makes them all the more frightening.

What really makes these movies interesting is the characters, who are interesting, vital, and (though often ultimately dead) feel very much alive. So, in an effort to still my beating heart (beating in fear and anticipation), I will attempt to look back and rank all of the characters in the Scream franchise. It’s incredibly subjective, so I look forward to your dissension in the comments [Major Spoilers Ahead]:

Apr 12, 2011

Harry Plotter: Movie 2

Despite being based off of what I consider the weakest book in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is not the worst movie in the canon. It's probably the second worst. Spoilers Ahead.

When Kenneth Branagh can't save your movie, you know you're screwed
The thing that saves the movie once again is the stellar casting.  While Kenneth Branagh doesn't make sense as Gilderoy Lockhart on paper (Lockhart being a little younger and dashing in the novels), he proves to be an inspired choice.  Branagh downplays the charm

Apr 11, 2011

Theater Review: The Motherf**ker With The Hat

Who is the Motherf**ker who left a hat in Veronica's apartment (and, by extension, who is f**king Veronica)? This is the question that sets up the action in THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT, the Stephen Adly Guirgis-written and Anna D. Shapiro-helmed play which opened tonight at the Shoenfeld.  It's a quick, breathless ride that carries with it themes of infidelity, alcoholism and addiction, the limits and rules of friendship, and the trials and tribulations

Apr 10, 2011

Harry Plotter: Book 2

As always, Spoilers Ahead (the book came out 12-13 years ago, so, really, come on!).

"Ack! My wand broke! What a convenient and hilarious plot point!"
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was published in 1998 (1999 in the United States) and follows Harry Potter and his angst-ridden band of miscreants as they embark on their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The plot of the book revolves around The Heir of Slytherin, the final descendent of Salazar Slytherin. This heir opens the mythical “Chamber of Secrets” and unleashes a terrible evil on Hogwarts to rid the school of impure wizards, or wizards with non-magical parents.  The suspects are many, including

Apr 4, 2011

Film Review: Win Win

I went into Win Win with relatively few expectations. Multi-hyphenate (writer, director, actor) Thomas McCarthy did write and direct two of my favorite films of the past decade, The Visitor and The Station Agent. However, he also acted in Little Fockers, so it was a pretty even playing field.

Deleted Scene?
Let me just say now that Win Win is as close to a perfect film as I have seen in the past few years. It’s a quiet, unassuming movie that grabs the audience with wonderful character notes, impeccable acting, and natural dialogue and scene progression. It follows the life of Mike Flaherty (played by Paul Giamatti), a New Jersey lawyer and wrestling coach who suffers from anxiety attacks brought on by the stress of a failing practice, an about-to-fall-over tree in his front yard, money problems, the lies he’s telling his wife (the wonderful Amy Ryan), and the general, self-perceived suckiness of his life. Through a series of gentle lies, he takes on guardianship of one of his clients in order to stave off financial ruin. He soon takes responsibility, not only for his elderly client (Burt Young’s Leo Poplar), but also for the old man’s abused, wrestling savant grandson Kyle Timmons, played with stone-faced, flat-voiced depth by newcomer Alex Shaffer. Mike finds a joy through Kyle’s skill in the wrestling arena but is plagued by the knowledge that the lies he has constructed may fall down at any moment.

In his previous films, McCarthy specialized in men separate themselves from the world only to have life forced onto them by outside forces.  Peter Dinklage’s Finbar McBride in The Station Agent, Richard Jenkins’s Walter McVale in The Visitor, and Ed Asner’s Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s

Apr 3, 2011

Comic-Con: Embracing the Nerd

Hey there, Tableau-niacs. The purpose of Tableau Your Mind is to explore as many aspects of pop culture as possible, and to do so we will be reaching out to Guest Bloggers to fill in the metaphorical cracks of the popular universe. Recently, Guest Blogger Eau de la Trine spent some time in Chicago for C2E2 (the Chicago equivalent of Comic-Con) and had a few stories to tell:

Eau de la Trine

Walking into the convention center at this year's C2E2 in Chicago instantly takes me back. Now, I'm not talking about the cartoon nostalgia evoked by the sight of a middle aged man

Apr 1, 2011

Grey's Anatomy: The Musical?

Hey there, Tableau Your Mind readers. make sure to click on the links in the 
post for even more info and video awesomeness.
"Nobody Knows Where They Might End Up
Nobody Knows"
When a show lasts as long as Grey’s Anatomy has, a musical episode is always a possibility.  And usually, though extremely campy, musical episodes of television can be a lot of fun. Scrubs had a manic energy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer killed with loopy lyrics in the surprisingly emotional songs, and Ally McBeal was predictably hallucinogenic. So, it would have been easy to look forward to the Grey’s Anatomy musical episode, ready for the amazing songs and strange rationalization for why everyone is singing (demon curse?).  However, while Grey’s has shone during almost all of their season finales, there have tended to be problems with “Event” episodes.  It’s hard to forget the crap-fest that was the three-episode ferry crash that signified the end of the show’s creative boom that had lasted two and a half seasons (I was so in love with those seasons I even joined the Facebook group Bug Me During Grey's Anatomy And I'll Insert This Scalpel Into Your Spleen).  Two years ago, episodes like the ferry crash eps and other, mediocre episodes (occasionally filled with ghost sex) had all but convinced me to stop watching Grey’s. But around that time the show STOPPED SUCKING, stopped being overly preachy and started investing again in
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