Someone emailed my office trying to remember the names of two TV shows, possibly British, that aired on U.S. public TV in the 1980s. Can you and your wayback goggles help? [more inside]
My friend has taken a vow to only watch television shows that have socially conscious casting and writing, and she's doing this by applying what I'll call "The Nanton Test." Can you recommend well-written shows that fit the bill? [more inside]
On a scale from 1 to "Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice", what are the most standout examples (for better or worse) of fake accents in movies and on TV shows? [more inside]
I'd like to give up watching tv. I watch 1 to 2 hours a day now and it's a huge waste of time. What are your hacks for giving it up? [more inside]
Looking for a way to show my toddler Mr. Roger's Neighborhood Episode 1525, or something similar. [more inside]
Know of any good drama-ish TV series that are great to dive into? [more inside]
Here's another "choose my entertainment for me" question: If I like "Alias" and "The Night Manager"—smart, not-too-gory, lots of twists and turns—what else will I like? [more inside]
I am currently finishing Season 2 of Downton Abbey with the war just ending. How would you grade Seasons 3 through 6? Is it worth the time commitment given my concerns? [more inside]
There's a book used as a prop on the tv show Elementary and I'm wondering if it's real or not. [more inside]
Most every other company I've seen can grind to a halt on certain days depending on who calls in sick and how many, who is on vacation, etc. How does broadcast and other "must go on" stuff like that deal with these kinds of personnel issues? Do they just have a 3-deep bench of understudy people for every role that usually aren't doing much and step in in case of emergencies? Do they borrow people from other studios with an understanding that it will be reciprocated? Do the unions help somehow?
Can someone please explain this odd tv image effect that I've noticed for several years [more inside]
Toddler WanKenobi & I have been all about Fred Rogers lately. We've seen a few episodes that have broken the fourth wall in interesting ways, and I'd like to see more. [more inside]
I want to buy and download videos of children's tv programs and films so that they can be watched when we don't have internet access (in the car, for example). [more inside]
I have a vague memory of watching a movie on local TV Saturday afternoon (this would have been in the late 90s). Family hires a new babysitter, she turns out to be a witch & does witchy stuff. I remember she was blonde and there were lots of yellow & orange tones in the shots. I'm also pretty sure there was a shot of her levitating. I already have determined it is NOT the 1990 Friedkin film "The Guardian", though the witch did look similar. Any ideas?
I have a memory of a documentary on British television, possibly in the early 00s about blogging culture, which had interviews with key figures, but I can't remember the title. Any ideas?
For example, why can't I see the network news shows in real time on my computer? For that matter, why don't they steam their entire lineups, ads and all? They'd reach more viewers, and surely it's not that expensive. Yes, I understand that local affiliates decide what and when to broadcast. But why don't the locals just stream a mirror of their broadcasts (which don't require cable or satellite etc)?
Our TV, a stately Sony Trinitron that's served us since 1999, is dying. We need a new 42 inch-ish TV. I have no idea what to look for in this new flat/plasma/HD market. All I want to avoid is that godawful HD thing where old movies look like cheap soap operas and everything is too sharp and flat. No interest in a smart TV or 3D or anything like that. What should I buy to make our media diet of old movies and Netflix TV shows look the best?
What process happens when a TV studio produces an electronic signal and then sends it along to be displayed on your TV at home? Where does the signal go and how does it get there?
My two-year-old daughter is obsessed with Paw Patrol. I'm not in love with the gender representation on the show. What shows are similar but with better diversity in terms of gender? [more inside]
What are your FAVORITE "Documentary-style" TV shows that aren't reality shows, currently airing in the US? [more inside]
Just finished binge watching all of Young Montalbano and Detective Montalbano. Great stuff. What I would like to find is something equally binge worthy, but in French. Genre not important, just engaging characters and/or stories. DVD by preference. [more inside]
Wondering about an odd bit of dialog (spoiler-free) in Downton Abbey, Season Six, ep 1. [more inside]
What do you consider the most underrated TV show to air during the past year? [more inside]
Back in the early days of Australian television — back before I was born — there was a show on the ABC called "Lens on Lilliput". It was a show of its time where basically they showed the view from a microscope. My wife's uncle wants to hear the theme again and although all the family of his age remember the show, they can't remember the theme. Google has been of almost no use to me here and I'm hoping that maybe someone might be able to help.
My hubs and I were talking earlier about the character "Flo" in the the Progressive commercials and got to wondering... who was the first Flo-like character? I'm thinking Mr. Whipple of "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" fame, I'm sure there must have been someone earlier than that. [more inside]
I’m a television documentary executive/producer/writer/director. Earlier in my career, I did some some basic editing, but it was never my specialty. For the last dozen years, I have hired editors and post supervisors to handle everything, so I’m terribly out of touch with the best options out there. Can you help? [more inside]
I work for a small, community-owned, fiber optic Internet and telephone start-up and we want to provide customers — and potential customers — with options on how to use our services to (legally) watch their favorite programming. Looking to the hive mind for suggestions. [more inside]
I’m not a luddite, but I’ve been left in the dust by TV technology. Help us start streaming, please. [more inside]
When I was ten or so, I remember catching a TMNT-style animated show with a 50s theme. What was it? [more inside]
There was a TV show, early 80s, probably on PBS. Short subject, less than 20 minutes, squeezed in between shows. It was all about Emerging Future Tech! Like microcomputers, art in tech, digital stuff. The host was Laurie Anderson. It has FALLEN off the FACE of the EARTH. [more inside]
In the past few years, most of my mainstay pop culture sites for movie reviews and TV recaps and reviews have shut down or declined drastically in appeal. I need suggestions for replacements to check out that aren't defunct, or sites I already know about that don't fit the bill; I'm not expecting a voluble community, as I'm happy with just good site writers with a good grasp on pop culture and an intelligent perspective. So not AV Club, not Fanfare, not Vulture or TVLine or Entertainment Weekly but somewhere new; a lot more detail follows. [more inside]
I've tried to rip an mp4 of an episode of Wire in the Blood (Season 1 Disc 3 : Justice Painted Blind) from an immaculate disc on my iMac using the lastest Handbrake. It only rips the first part (48:35) then stops. [more inside]
I picked up a reel of film at an estate sale the other day. It is only labeled "Hoot Gibson Show #36." [more inside]
Can anybody give me some examples of characters in film, television, or literature who incidentally have an illness or disability (i.e., their illness or disability does not somehow become a central plot device)? [more inside]
The recent FPP on Aziz Ansari, made me wonder exactly how much Indian Americans are under represented on television. According to the 2010 census, Indian Americans are roughly 0.9% of the U.S. population, but what percentage of TV actors are Indian American? The only statistics I was able to find on representation of minority groups lumped all minorities together. Can anyone point me to a good source for this type of information?
I just got a one-week Nielsen TV diary in the mail for November 5-12 -- including a crisp $1 bill to help grease the wheels. Yay! Unfortunately most of the shows I watch regularly, like Silicon Valley, Louie, Key & Peele, and Rick and Morty are on hiatus (or over) right now. I'm already planning to catch Last Week Tonight and Colbert's Late Show, but what other worthy television (that doesn't require a lot of prior familiarity) should I give my coveted (if minuscule) 18-34 ratings boost to? [more inside]
This Halloween animation about a kind witch and two children aired on broadcast television sometime in the early 1980s. Because I was only 6 or 7-years-old, I remember very little. Please, help me this identify this show. [more inside]
I've always been more of a TV person than a movie person. Now I think I'd like to get more serious with my interest, and really delve into the history and theory of television, both in terms of the shows themselves and the industry behind them. Help me get started with this! [more inside]
Over the past few months I have been watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix for the first time - I never watched while the series was on TV - and for the most part, I have really enjoyed it. However I recently started Season 6 (out of 7) and have not been super pleased with it so far. Given that a revival seems to be in the cards, should I power through? [more inside]
Long shot, but I'm trying to identify an old TV episode. British, 1988-1990, a one-off episode in some late-night strand, probaby BBC2... [more inside]
I've reached my jerk quota in the real world, so I'm looking for some good TV shows (preferably on netflix or amazon prime streaming) that aren't about jerks. [more inside]
We had a black and white tv set when I was a child. We switched over to color at some point in the early '80s and we, along with tens of millions of other American consumers, never looked back. At some point, I suppose they must have stopped selling black and white tv sets [more inside]
Why are new TV shows, such as USA's Mr. Robot and AMC's Fear The Walking Dead, running 65 or 66 minutes? Are we getting more show, more ads, or a little of both? How widespread is this practice and can we expect it to continue? In future syndication, will episodes be cut to fit in one-hour time slots?
Where can I find the TV Guide list of the 25 greatest television stars that includes Ted Danson as #2? [more inside]
So the first episode of This Is England '90 just came out, and it's my very favorite show. Problem: how do I watch it in the US? [more inside]
A relative is insisting I watch an episode of a house hunting show he recently caught on HGTV Canada. The episode was set in Victoria, BC, and among the properties featured were a float home and an expensive condo, which was the winning property. He's fairly certain the show was part of the House Hunters franchise, but with the main show having over five hundred episodes, as well as some likely looking spin-offs (International, Million Dollar Homes, Houseboat Hunters, and Tiny House Hunters), I've had no luck finding the episode I'm looking for. Does this ring any bells?
In the late 1980s, I remember seeing something on television that featured some kids picking up a signal/broadcast from outer space. The broadcast contained an alien news show. It was a standard type of news show with male and female aliens at a news desk with an inset in the top corner. The aliens were sort of heavy-set, not your generic, skinny bug-eyed aliens. I don't think it was intended to be scary but it kind of freaked me out as a 7-year old and it has stuck with me to this day. [more inside]
Help me chose a TV (like a Roku) or similar, that can play netflix, youtube, any webpage, and preferably my girlfriend's ATT U-verse live account (it has a website login). If it matters I'll be buying it used on craigslist or refurbished. [more inside]
In the U.S., PBS has announced it will show the new (and last) season of Downton Abbey starting January 3, 2016. I've tried searching, but I can't find the date when Downton Abbey season six will debut on ITV in the UK. I know that it will end on December 25, 2015 with a Christmas episode, but when this fall is it starting?
Are young adults nostalgic for Barney and Friends? [more inside]