A.V. Club: Great Job, Internet!

For the A.V. Club's "Great Job, Internet!" series, I wrote about an artist, Hannah Rothstein, who took a series of photographs of Thanksgiving meals plated like different artists.


...Some of the images are as you would expect: The Piet Mondrian separates cranberry sauce, green beans, and stuffing into perfect, gravy-delineated rectangles, and the Georges Seurat forms a pumpkin out of dots of corn kernels. Others take more artistic license—like the Picasso-inspired meal served on the shards of a broken plate. (And the Rothko? It lives up to the description Jane Siegal gave the artist’s work on Mad Men: “Smudgy squares.”)...

Click through to read the entire post at The A.V. Club.

Photo: Hannah Rothstein. NB: She's selling prints of the photos, with a portion of the proceeds benefittnig the SF-Marin Food Bank.



Bustle TV Coverage: 10/13/2014 to 11/16/2014

Recently on Bustle, I...

...seethed with jealousy that Chris Pratt braids Anna Faris' hair, just one of the many reasons they're the perfect couple.

...cooked up some easy, cheap Gotham Halloween costumes.

...found out why Mr. Wonderful is called that on Shark Tank, and looked into where you can buy one of the products that I liked, but the sharks didn't. I would make a lousy Shark.

...sought out the comic origins of the tattooed stranger and Agent Triplett on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

...theorized that everything Victoria Gotti knows about reality stardom, she learned from her mobster father.

...found the perfect match for Briana on Are You the One, because it isn't Curti. 

...predicted that Amber is going to be the Snooki of Slednecks

...speaking of Snooki, who is her fiance, anyway? This guy

The Daily Traveler: Ghost Tours

Scariest Ghost Tours for Halloween

Explore haunted spaces, meet scary spirits, hear dark legends—and, yes, maybe learn a little history—on these ghost tours.

Boroughs of the Dead
New York City

Tour: The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour takes guests through some of New York City's most famous haunts, including the "House of Death," (pictured) a house that is haunted by 22 spirits—including (possibly) the ghost of Mark Twain, who lived there for a year.

What Else You'll Pass: St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, McSorley's Tavern, the Public Theatre, the Merchant's House Museum, and Washington Square Park.

You Might Meet: A boy who haunts the sixth floor of Hayden Hall at New York University. He hanged himself there more than 20 years ago; now he spends his time opening and closing drawers and moving furniture around.

FYI: All of Boroughs of the Dead's tour guides are writers who specialize in horror and speculative fiction (and a few of them are actors, too)—so they know how to tell a good ghost story.

Tours meet at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, 131 E 10th St, New York, NY, 646-932-0680; boroughsofthedead.com. Tours last two hours and cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Click through to see the full slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler

Photo Courtesy of Boroughs of the Dead

TV Review: 'Marry Me'

...Even if The New Girl and The Mindy Project have modeled some success, 2014’s crop of TV rom-sitcoms—A to Z, Manhattan Love Story, and Selfie—will have to figure out what they would do if they were lucky enough to make it to a second season. Do they extend the will-they-or-won’t-they tensions, or is that just stringing audiences along? Or, might the couples get together in a season finalé, fundamentally changing the blueprint of the show for a sophomore season?

These longer-term questions aside, the single-camera Marry Me distinguishes itself by focusing on a couple who is together from the beginning. In the premiere episode, airing 14 October, Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino) have already been through their meet-cute, fallen in love, and spent six years together. The series premiere focuses on their bumpy engagement.

With this history in place, the show is free to focus on the comedy portion of the relationship, rather than the earliest, more sentimental stage. That doesn’t mean this rom-sitcom leaves out emotional moments; it’s clear that Annie and Jake really care for each other. Flashbacks to their initial meeting and the first time each says, “I love you” briefly deliver blushing first moments of love for viewers interested in that stage. That said, these early moments look ahead to the problems ahead, as Annie and Jake’s awkwardness gives way to scenes of abject embarrassment. Wilson and Marino are skilled enough performers that they can sell the tender scenes as well as the more exaggerated comedy... 

Click through to read the full review at PopMatters.
 


DVD Review: 'Obvious Child'

...If there’s a problem with Obvious Child, it’s born of the movie’s strengths. It’s a relief to see a movie that doesn’t treat abortion as a ordeal, and it’s refreshing to see a man in a romantic comedy be an idealized fantasy object. However, the combination of these two elements makes the film light on conflict. It’s important to Obvious Child to keep the abortion regret-free, so once the decision to end the pregnancy is made, it doesn’t continue to drive the narrative. The focus shifts to the relationship between Donna and Max, but he never seems to anger no matter how bad Donna’s behavior gets. Donna goes through ups and downs on her own accord, but nothing is too extreme...

Click through to read the full review on PopMatters.

Bustle TV Coverage 10/6/2014 to 10/12/2014

I'm about to leave for vacation, but I was able to squeeze in a few Bustle posts before I go. Last week, I...

...speculated that Gotham will have Osborn Cobblepot turn into The Penguin sooner rather than later.

...uncovered Charles Michael Davis' pre-The Originals roles. You can totally tell he was a model.

...investigated a few TV stars' wives. Click through if you're looking for information about the spouses of Sleepy Hollow's Tom Mison (she's pretty crafty), or Supernatural's Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles (both actresses). 

Image: Jessica Miglio/FOX



TV Review: 'Mulaney'

...Mulaney knows enough to feature a ringer or two, beginning with Martin Short, who plays his loopy comedian and game-show-host boss, Lou Cannon. Short is a tremendous physical comedian, and he can sell the gags that Mulaney can’t quite pull off. Thankfully, the show makes great use of Short’s talents. Not only does he careen around the set, he has ingenious comic timing. Cannon tells Mulaney that he likes “fast setups and slow punch-lines,” which seems to apply to Short himself, though there are times when his fast setups are followed by rapid-fire punch-lines, too.

Not every character is so well served by the material. Mulaney and Motif’s third roommate, Jane (Nasim Pedrad), is especially problematic. Though Pedrad doesn’t sound like a stand-up, Jane is obviously underdeveloped, and thrown into subplots that focus on typical—if not offensive—female storylines and stereotypes...The offense only gets worse when you realize that she’s the only one of the three roommates who, after the first few episodes, doesn’t have a clear profession. (Motif and Mulaney are both, predictably, comedians.) She’s another female character on TV who’s defined by her relationships with men, whether it’s her platonic friendship with Mulaney or her train-wreck romances. If Mulaney really seeks to emulate Seinfeld, it should seek to turn Jane into as vibrant and singular a character as Elaine Benes...

Click through to read the full review at PopMatters.




Bustle TV Coverage: 9/22/2014 to 10/5/2014

Fall TV means lots and lots of Bustle posts. Recently, I...


...marveled at how much British TV David Tennant has done that hasn't hopped the pond.

...coped with the loss of Trophy Wife by tracking down Michaela Watkins' other projects.

...discovered that it's super weird to see H. Jon Benjamin and Dan Mintz, who play Bob and Tina Belcher on Bob's Burgers, talking to each other in real life.

...traced the Elliott Gould's career highlights leading up to his across-the-hall hippie neighbor role on Mulaney.

...made a slideshow of all the guest stars coming to The Simpsons this season (including Don Hertzfeldt, an animator who did an amazing couch gag for the premiere).

...placed The Simpsons in the timeline of the longest-running shows on television (it's getting up there).

...uncovered Stephanie Beatriz's theater background before Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

...discovered Ryan Hansen's elusive wife, who was Kristen Bell's best friend and only witness at her wedding.

...caught up with both Sabrina and Jeremiah from Return to Amish.



TV Review: 'Gotham"

'Gotham' Is No Place for Nice Guys

...From the series premiere, it looks like Gotham fits somewhere between Burton’s and Nolan’s creations, not quite as stylized as the former, but not quite as contemporary as the latter. It’s dark—even the daytime scenes feel overcast—and the streets feature little retro touches, like checkered cabs. The striking visuals make clear that Gotham really is about the city first and foremost. While the first episode mostly follows Gordon, it does so to explore the city’s institutions (legal and illegal), how they overlap with each other, how each vies for control.

The institutions are premised on the individuals they affect as well as those who wield power. And, like most first episodes, this one offers a quick overview of the series’ players. Gotham feels like a fully populated town, almost akin to The Simpsons’ Springfield. Batman fans will recognize a few of the names, like Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley), and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). Since it’s too early in the Batman timeline for them to give in wholly to their villainous tendencies, right now they’re just townsfolk, however eccentric...

Click through to read the full review at PopMatters.