Quo Vadimus

Friday, April 30, 2004


Fun Movie News. #078:

Sorkin and Schlamme.

Sports Night enthusiasts may recall Sam Donovan's (William H. Macy) Farnsworth riff, from episode 2.3:





Hi, Sam.


How's it goin'?


It's going fine.


I just came in here to get some coffee.


There's coffee at the Craft Service table.


Hmm, not so much. I'm sorry, is it Jim-Bob?








I thought it was Jim-Bob.




Take a walk with me, would ya?




It's a surprise.




Do you guys know who Philo Farnsworth was?


(BEAT) Philo Farnsworth?




What's going on?


He invented television. I don't mean he invented television like Uncle Milty, I mean he invented the television.



In a little house in Provo, Utah. At a time when the idea of transmitting moving pictures through the air would be like me saying I've figured out a way to beam us aboard the Starship Enterprise.


Yeah, look--


He was a visionary and he died broke and without fanfare. The guy I really like though was his brother-in-law, Cliff Gardner. He said to Philo, "I know everyone thinks you're crazy, but I want to be a part of this. I don't have your head for science, so I'm not gonna be much help with the design and mechanics of the invention. But it sounds like in order to do your testing, you're gonna need glass tubes."


J.J., I don't think there's really--


See Philo was inventing a cathode receptor, and even though Cliff didn't know what that meant or how it worked, he'd seen Philo's drawing and he knew they were gonna need glass tubes and since television hadn't been invented yet, it's not like you could get 'em at the local TV repair shop.
"I want to be a part of this", Cliff said, "and I don't have your head for science. How would it be if I taught myself to be a glassblower? And I could set up a little shop in the backyard. And I could make all the tubes you'll need for testing." (BEAT) There oughta be Congressional medals for people like that.


Maybe so--


I've looked over the notes you've been giving over the last year or so, and I have to say that they exhibit an almost total lack of understanding of how to get the best from talented people.


Excuse me, but--


I've also read pieces that Dan and Casey have published in magazines from Sports Illustrated to The New Yorker, and it's hard for me to understand why anyone would want them to write like Keith or Kenny or Craig. We're gonna ask Dan and Casey to write like Dan and Casey for a while, see if that doesn't help us out.


I don't think it's up to you to decide--


Day to day creative decisions'll be made by the show's Executive Producer, Dana Whitaker. She's the most capable and interesting producers I've met in live television and if she goes someplace else she'll bury you.


Mr. Donovan--


Her two chief associates could easily have the top spot on another staff. The crazy guy-- Jeremy-- If you asked him where he lived, I don't think he could tell you within three streets. He never goes home. The brunette? Natalie? She prays before a show. She doesn't know I've seen her, but I have. I think it's nice, but she needn't bother. There's nothing anyone can do for her that she's not capable of doing for herself. You said before that for whatever reason, I seem to be able to exert authority around here. I assure you, it isn't because they like me. It's because they knew two minutes after I walked in the door that I'm somebody who knows how to do something. I can help. I can make glass tubes. That's what they need. One last thing: The first and last decision making authority on this show will rest with Isaac Jaffee until Isaac Jaffee says otherwise. And if you disrespect him again in my presence, I'll re-dedicate the rest of my life to ruining the rest of yours. If you think I'm just mouthin' at you, ask around about me, I have absolutely no conscience about these things.


Sam, why did you bring us out here?


'Cause the exit's right there. That's all. The meeting's over.

posted by Linus | 7:32 AM

Thursday, April 29, 2004


The lady next to me said she found it "depressing."

The first report from a test screening of the Americanized The Office.

Nice comment from "Baba-Lou". Ha ha.

posted by Linus | 12:14 PM

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Gaahl is very fussy about food.

Absolutely no innards.

posted by Linus | 5:51 PM


Making sandwiches.

The Onion A.V. Club talks to David Carradine.

posted by Linus | 7:45 AM

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


RIP. #011:

Hubert Selby Jr.

posted by Linus | 10:14 PM


Words of Wisdom. #011:

From Chan Marshall's "My Life in Music" in the new issue of Spin:

B. THE GO-GO'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAT (I.R.S., 1981) "In fourth grade, MTV happened, and I really liked the Go-Go's and Duran Duran. I remember 'We Got the Beat' came on the radio, and my mom said, 'Those girls aren't really playing their instruments. Their boyfriends went to the studio, and the girls are just faking it.' It pissed me off because I knew she was a liar."

posted by Linus | 5:41 PM


Oops, first in a series. #001:

I had the peach dream again?

This box of awesome comes out in traditional retail boutiques today (it was previously available here).

Here's an excerpt from the Pop Matters review:

"The other three discs provide the episodes themselves. These follow the rich sketch tradition of hit-or-miss, but the Kids are notable for some of the most fascinatingly experimental misses in comedy history. One bit that stands out is a short film featuring McKinney in a cycle of waking from dreams in bed with different people until he finally wakes up next to some peaches. How confident must a comedy team be to include such an involved non-sequitur (or at least, what seems like a non-sequitur; any interpretations of this sketch are welcome) not only in their first season, but early in their first season?"

McKinney is in this sketch, but he never enters the dream cycle! And the fruit in question is most certainly a single pear. "Some peaches"! I knew I should have applied for PM's "Fruit Editor" position.

posted by Linus | 10:26 AM


Book of the Moment. #007:

Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America - Steve Almond (2004, Algonquin Books).

Resident QV blurber:

"This book will, yes, make you hungry, but it will also make you grateful—for wit, for self-effacing humor, for joyful obsessiveness, for the precise and loving use of language to crack open and celebrate our oddness—in short, for a writer as funny and big-hearted as Steve Almond. It's about candy, yes, but also it's about America, which seems to be Bigging itself towards mediocrity as it flees from the quirky virtuosic individuality on which it was founded, and of which this book is such a wonderful example." — George Saunders

I should probably check out Almond's story collection, My Life in Heavy Metal, although about a year ago, I flipped through it at a bookstore and saw that the titular story includes a list of "hair metal" bands and the band Britny Fox is spelled "Brittney Foxx". I was, of course, appalled and quickly reshelved it.

posted by Linus | 8:33 AM


What was I thinking?

Great Salon inteview with "Drew the Intern", who just completed a two-episode run on NBC's The Restaurant.

Here's the best stuff:

Did you have any idea of how you would be portrayed on the show?

From what I understand, they make me look really, really bad. Whatever. I'm really not that bad. I might seem a little cocky at times, but under no circumstances am I a monster.

Were you ever told how to behave?

There was no coaching involved, no scripting. I'm not an actor. I was doing this because it was a chance for me to get my name out there and to hang with the top people in the business. You can't regret an experience, positive or negative, when you've learned something from it.

And what did you learn from this experience?

Don't insult the boss. Don't call the boss names. I shouldn't have ever said what I said. I would apologize to Rocco if I could.

Yeah, what were you thinking when you called Rocco "Captain Douchebag"?

What was I thinking? I was thinking he was a douchebag!

I had a lot of problems with Rocco. I could tell when I first shook his hand that he didn't like me. He insulted me and called me names over the phone, so instead of making a scene in the restaurant, I just simply called him a name. Maybe it wasn't the right time, the right place, the right person or the right name, but it turned the entire show around.

Is it a little weird to become a TV reality show character, to go from being Drew Abruzzese to being "Drew, the intern from hell"?

Oh god. The first day I was reading all that stuff, I was freaking out. I was like, what are they doing? They're making me out to be a jerk-off! But now my name is in every major newspaper in the U.S. I'm like, I'll be as bad as you want me to be. If I knew all I had to do was be a dick, I would've done that five years ago, because now I'm getting all this publicity.

Jeffrey called me yesterday and was a little upset. He feels bad about how they were making me look. I was like, who cares? Let's just have fun. A year from now, who's really going to remember this anyway?
UPDATE: Selling your soul.

posted by Linus | 8:04 AM

Monday, April 26, 2004


Iconic to the pre-school class.

Who the hell wouldn't want Carroll (Thanks, Joe!) Spinney, the actor who plays Big Bird, to be their commencement speaker? Apparently there is a contingent of idiotic Villanova seniors, led by cretin columnist Joe Mordini, who are not pleased with this choice. And school officials are promoting the fact that Spinney will not show up in costume as if that would make it worse. Flabbergasting stuff.

posted by Linus | 3:47 PM