1. May is, yes, the start of summer movie season, but for hardcore TV fans, it's also when you find out if your favorite shows live and/or die. Now, considering the two shows in danger this year that anyone cares about are the inconsistent but enormously entertaining Chuck and the even-more-inconsistent but occasionally fascinating Dollhouse, things feel a bit more muted than usual, but it all kicked off this morning with NBC listing a bunch of shows that would be coming back, then listing even more shows still on the bubble. Time's James Poniewozik sorts it all out.
["The answer, from co-chair Ben Silverman and sundry other executives, has something to do with 'positivity,' 'real life and living,' characters who 'make you feel good' and 'who may have their flaws, but they come out on the side that's right.' Basically, it would appear to be the same kind of vaguely positive image networks generally pitch to advertisers, with perhaps a smidge of communitarian age-of-Obama hoo-hah thrown in for trendiness. Also, it involves a lot of Jay Leno."]
2.Memos to Hollywood. Over at The New York Times, A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis offer up ways for Hollywood to make their big-budget blockbusters better.
["To: John Lasseter
From: Manohla Dargis
I'm psyched that you and the guys at Pixar Animation Studios are finally making a movie with a girl as the lead character and with a woman as director, no less—another first for you! Congrats! Of course we have to wait until 2011 to see The Bear and the Bow, but on behalf of 51 percent of the population, I salute you."]
3. Matt Maul passes on this link to a Wired article about the search for the smoking pig in the swine flu case. I agree with him that the term "smoking pig" would make for a great rib joint or dive bar.
["Scientists have traced the genetic lineage of the new H1N1 swine flu to a strain that emerged in 1998 in U.S. factory farms, where it spread and mutated at an alarming rate. Experts warned then that a pocket of the virus would someday evolve to infect humans, perhaps setting off a global pandemic."]
4. David Lynch has been road tripping around the United States and talking to everyday Americans about their concerns and stuff. Now, he's posting it all on the Web. It's just a press release for now, but you can watch the intriguing trailer here.
["ABSURDA has the pleasure to announce the launch of INTERVIEW PROJECT on June 1st, 2009. INTERVIEW PROJECT is a 121 part documentary series presented by legendary filmmaker David Lynch. The series will air on his website, davidlynch.com, with a new episode premiering every three days for an entire year."]
5. Finally, today, travel with us back to the late '40s, when British filmmakers used U.S. tax dollars to sell the Marshall Plan via a series of short films in this BBC news piece.
["Now, a number of the Marshall Plan films have been shown to audiences at the Barbican Centre in London as interested archivists bring a cross-section of the films together as Selling Democracy to show them to contemporary audiences in the US and Europe."]
Quote of the Day:
"He who wants to change the world should already begin by cleaning the dishes." -Paul Carvel
Image of the Day (click to enlarge): Oh, Google. How could anyone hate you and your lawn-mowing goats?
Clip of the Day: All right. No politics today! Let's watch Neil Patrick Harris do a magic trick. And, if you can't watch Hulu, here's a remix of the Slap Chop infomercial for good measure.
"Links for the Day": A selection of Links that will hopefully spark discussion. Comments encouraged. Suggestions for links are also welcome. Please send to email@example.com.