Why Stephen A. Smith Should Really Take a Seat

ESPN

ESPN

Recently, ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith got a tap on the wrist by ESPN for making victim-blaming comments about domestic violence toward women. At first, he tweeted (in a series of tweets, that is) an apology to fellow ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle, who called him out on his remarks, but didn’t hesitate to reiterate his victim-blaming. Then, he tweeted a longer apology after deleting some of his previous tweets. Then he apologized on-air Monday on “First Take.” Whew.

Smith has a history of using his platform on ESPN First Take to say some ignorant, problematic stuff. But one that comes to mind for me is one he made back in May 2014 in response to viewer backlash over his support of Mark Cuban’s comments related to bigotry and prejudices. The Dallas Maverick’s owner, in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, said that we all have prejudices “in one way or another,” and he went on to say that if he saw “a black kid in a hoodie…late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street.”

Stephen, as he is wont to do, didn’t appreciate the backlash, and, among encouraging respectability politics and other things, made the point that instead of Continue reading

Trailer: “Orange Is The New Black” Season 2

Lionsgate Television / Tilted Productions / Netflix

Lionsgate Television / Tilted Productions / Netflix

With a successful first season on Netflix, we’re finally getting more from Piper Chapman and the ladies in the women’s federal prison. From the looks of it, Piper is paying a solitary price for the incident with Pennsatucky. But once again, she’s trying to lay low, playing the “model inmate”. We’ll see how that goes.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see one of my favorites Miss Claudette, played by Michelle Hurst. Hurst was in a car accident in January which put her in a coma, but thankfully she has been doing well.  [SPOILER]  It looks like her character arc ended when Miss Claudette got sent to a maximum security prison, which is unfortunate because Miss Claudette’s story was one of the more compelling ones to me.

Otherwise, we get a look at a new character who looks like she may be a threat from Red’s past.

Take a look at the trailer below: Continue reading

Acts and Scenes: The Structure of “Modern Family”

ABC / 20th Century Fox Television

ABC / 20th Century Fox Television

Some say TV is predictable. Well, it is. And the genre of the show you’re watching doesn’t matter, because if it’s reality or drama or comedy a formula is followed. Modern Family  is no different. There’s always some form of variation, but usually, it sticks to a standard form. Makes things easier for writers, and let’s be honest: we like predictability. Keeps things stable. Continue reading

Preview: Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World”

Disney Channel

Disney Channel

It’s here! We finally get to see actual footage from the pilot episode of Girl Meets World. After the news that a spin-off of the 90’s sitcom Boy Meets World would be coming to Disney Channel, I was excited, but a little wary. Enter some updates and confirmations, on-set interviews, plus a cast photo, and things fell into place. In the first preview of the show, Cory and Topanga’s daughter Riley attempts to sneak out the house with her bestie Maya (the equivalent of Shawn Hunter, tbh).

If I’m being honest, the show looks just the same as everything else on Disney Channel, as far as sets and cinematography go, but hopefully having the original creator, Michael Jacobs, and the original writers will bring variety to programming currently on Disney. Continue reading

Episode Review: Modern Family – “Hit and Run”

We’ve talked about a lot of industry stuff surround Modern Family thus far: writers, awards, production and cast stuff and (my favorite so far) character profiles – but why do all that background chatter if we never look at an actual episode? Look no further than episode 305, “Hit and Run”. It’s one of my favorites. Continue reading

The Syndication Status of Modern Family

USA / 20th Century Fox Television

ABC / 20th Century Fox Television / USA

Years ago, hit sitcoms didn’t reach syndication status until they were off the airwaves of their home network for a while. Like most things in media the timeline has jumped significantly. USA announced last spring that  Modern Family would be in syndication on the network as USA attempts to expand into the comedy realm. The move proved to be a fairly successful one. As the show entered its fifth season on ABC, ratings for reruns on USA have been fairly solid.

Coincidentally, USA has been much more effective at using transmedia to engage viewers of the Modern Family programming block, especially on their heavily promoted Modern Family Fridays Continue reading

Character Conflicts: Modern Family

ABC.com / 20th Century Fox Television

ABC.com / 20th Century Fox Television

Sitcom or drama, what good is a show without conflict? Modern Family being the comedy it is does this with humor. Essentially, there are plot points in different episodes that pair characters who are fundamentally different and see how they work through their differences. Sometimes they don’t work through them so much as gripe about them and make passive-aggressive remarks, but that’s what makes these conflicts so funny. Continue reading

Trailer: “The Giver”

The Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company

Let’s talk about how great of a day this has been for trailers. First Peanuts, now we get a look at The Giver! I remember reading Lois Lowry’s 1993 classic back in 8th grade. It was the first book in a while that I enjoyed so much I couldn’t put it down. Since then (and that was in 2006), there was chatter about a movie adaptation, but set backs kept happening. Finally, production gets going and here we are.

Producer Jeff Bridges himself plays the title character and Meryl Streep plays the questionable Chief Elder. Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent) plays protagonist Jonas, and Alexander Skarsgård and Katie Holmes play his parents. My biggest problem was that Taylor Swift was in the movie (she plays Rosemary), but thankfully for me, there’s not much of her in the trailer (lol can you find her?) . Hopefully that’s an indicator of how much she’s in the movie.

Watch the trailer below! Continue reading

Trailer: “Peanuts” by Schultz

20th Century Fox / Blue Sky Animation Studios

20th Century Fox / Blue Sky Animation Studios

Remember way back in October almost two years ago when I mentioned that the Ice Age folks were making a “Peanuts” movie? Well now it has a release date and a trailer!

Blue Sky Animation took Charles Schultz’s iconic Peanuts Gang and used CG animation to bring them to the big screen. This is the first time cute little Charlie and his friends will be in a feature-length 3D movie. Purists can rest assured that it won’t be a mess, so before they start complaining, it’d be good to know that son Craig Schultz’ and grandson Bryan Schultz will be producing. Cornelius Uliano is also on board as a producer and writer, but his past work has been shorts he’s written, directed, and produced.

Enough chatter. See the trailer below! Continue reading

“Modern Family” Does the Internet

ABC / ABC.go.com

ABC / ABC.go.com

We live in a modern age. ABC knows that, so they’ve incorporated social media and the Internets into Modern Family. Still, it’s a comedy, so there’s no Story Sync a la Breaking Bad and AMC going on here. ABC doesn’t do much on the digital side for the show, other than offer still shots of previous episodes and full episodes for all of 2 days on the website (that’s an exaggeration, but still).

One exception to the pretty dismal digital offerings is the offer scrapbooks that give more detailed looks at the plot lines of different episodes. Continue reading