Friday, September 30, 2011


I just noticed that David ("They got the mustard out") Fury is now an executive producer on Fringe. He previously worked on Buffy, LOST, 24.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

AS-P's New Show

Amy Sherman-Palladino has a new show on the way.

New Quote of the Day

I added Brainy Quote's widget to the Lavertory (off to the right of my posts, below the Kenneth the Page, Wittgenstein, and Leonard Cohen epigraphs). Enjoy.

My quotes were better, but for now this will do.

Dan Harmon Interview

Salon interviews Community's showrunner.

"Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What's Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions"

Is this too much to ask?

More Proof That the Right Wing Shouldn't Do Humor

That's what Andrew Sullivan rightly claims:

From Jerusalem Post editor Caroline Glick. This is what happens when neocon fanatics think they have a sense of humor (hathos warning):

"The Great Right Hope - The Ideal Candidate"

Jon Stewart takes to Camera Three to deride Republican indecision about their POTUS candidates.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2012 - The Great Right Hope - The Ideal Candidate
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"The Cult of Linda Hunt"

Jace Lacob contemplates it.

25 mind-bending sci-fi and fantasy art mashups

Tremendous fun.

Cordelia, Spike, Kaylee, and "Supernatural"

TV Guide offers this tantalizing news:

On October 21, Buffy alums Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters reunite on Superatural to play battling couple Maggie and Donald Stark. His problem: Maggie is a powerful witch.

Also, Jewel Staite will play the onetime teenage friend of Sam in an episode (7.3), "The Girl Next Door," directed by Jensen Ackles set to air on October 7. According to the IMDB, her character's name? Amy Pond.

New Wrinkle in the Nigerian Phishing Scam

Just received a version of the classic scam but this time from "Abida Gaddafi wife of late Khamis Gaddafi the son of Colonel Gaddafi the Libyan leader who died in NATO air raid in Tripoli."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Heard on "The Hour" (BBC America)

My father always said that a hero is someone too afraid to run away."
--Hector Madden

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here Comes "Moby"

My course on Melville's Moby-Dick has been approved by the Graduate Committee and will probably be offered Summer 2012.

Heard on ""Meet the New Boss" (SUPERNATURAL 7.1)

I know God and you're no God.
--Death to Castiel (echoing Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)

Heeard on "Neither Here Nor There" (FRINGE 4.1)

Electronic Store Clerk: Mind if I ask what you need these for?
The Observer September (very matter-of-factly): I need to erase someone from time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harper's Index Facts

-- Seventy-one percent of current U.S. debt was accumulated during Republican presidential terms.

-- Two-thirds of debt-ceiling elevations since 1960 have been signed into law by Republican presidents.

-- In 1961 the percentage of corporate profits paid in taxes was nearly forty-one; now it is less than eleven.

-- Seventy-five percent of the increase in corporate profit margins since 2001 has come from depressed wages.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

Netflix's Apology (on "Conan")

My favorite new option: "The Blind Side" plan, which perpetually supplies the customer with Blind Side DVDs.

"Fresh" "Bad"

Terry Gross interviews Vince Gilligan (creator of Breaking Bad) (here as well), Aaron Paul (Jesse), and, earlier, Bryan Cranston.

Arwen and the Ring Wraiths

Watching The Fellowship of the Ring on Starz (how can you not?).

The scene in which Arwen races the Ring Wraiths to the river ("The Flight to the Ford") on Asfaloth and then inundates them with a wave of stampeding water is one of my favorites in all of film history.

Quote of the Day

I began doing Quote of the Day in 2008. Sorry to announce that I am going to suspend it for a time and perhaps permanently.

Michele and the Meat

Why exactly did her handlers see this as a photo "opportunity"?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Heard on the Charlie Sheen Roast

The only reason you got on TV in the first place is because God hates Michael J. Fox.
--Anthony Jeselnik

New "Telegenic" is Up

You can read it here.

The Prophetic Ensley Guffey, "Breaking Bad"

Almost a week ago, long before last night's masterful episode of Breaking Bad ("Salud"), my dear friend Ensley Guffey wrote:

I think Jesse's trip to Mexico is an attack by Gus on the cartel. How much you wanna bet that we see the don from "Hermanos" again soon? I remember a young Hector on the phone in the cold open to "One Minute" in season 3, talking (sarcastically) about Gus "the chicken man" as the "grand generalissimo," and I think that was an unwittingly prescient observation. We saw last week just how long, and how patiently, Gus has been working towards his goals, and how he holds a grudge until it dies and then has it stuffed and mounted. "Will this be the day?" How often does he go visit Hector and natter on at him as Hector wonders whether or not this time Gus will kill him, as he has seen to the destruction of Hector's entire extended family? Christ, what a cold fucker! I predict that Jesse is bait for a larger operation against the Cartel, that Gus' "Si" this week does not mean "Yes, I agree," but rather "Yes, there will be a war." We'll see. Also, Dale and I have a running theory that the series will end with the Whites having taken Saul's advice about disappearing into new identities, whether through Federal witness protection or otherwise, and we will close with Walt teaching chemistry at some little high school somewhere, reduced in fact to the little man he always feared he was. Good stuff!

Nailed it (about "Salud"). We will check back a year from now to see if he predicts the end of this unmatched television masterpiece.

Sick of ESPN Shtick

I watch way too much ESPN, and I just want to go on record as being sick to death of all the various shticks of the hosts.

Please, Boomer, Stewart Scott, and the gang--no more. You have now become annoying cliches.

Quote of the Day (9/19/11) ("Seinfeld" Week)

"The Pitch" (Seinfeld, 4.3)

Russell Dalrymple: So, what have you guys come up with?
Jerry: Well, we thought about this in a variety of ways, but the basic idea is I would play myself...
George Costanza: May I...?
Jerry: Go ahead.
George Costanza: I think I can sum up the show for you with one word: nothing.
Russell Dalrymple: Nothing?
George Costanza: Nothing!
Russell Dalrymple: What does that mean?
George Costanza: The show is about nothing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"FNL," Margo Martindale, Kyle Chandler Acknowledged


These three awards (Best Writing in, Best Supporting Actress in, Best Actor in a Dramatic Series) almost made me cry.

Jesse Pinkman Delivers

So in that very funny Emmy Awards Office sketch Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman shows up in Scranton to deliver crystal meth to . . . . Creed Bratton.

But of course.

"Steve was delicious!"

I love this macabre but hilarious Snickers ad.

Man-eating sharks in a focus group--very Far Sidean.

Fred Rogers, Prayer

A moving post on The Dish.

For an earlier Laverytory on the late Mister Rogers go here.

Quote of the Day (9/18/11) ("Seinfeld" Week)

"The Fire" (Seinfeld, 5.20)

Cosmo Kramer: The bus is outta control. So I grab him by the collar, I take him out of the seat, I get behind the wheel, and now I'm driving the bus.
Jerry: Wow.
George Costanza: You're Batman.
Cosmo Kramer: Yeah, yeah, I am Batman. Then the mugger, he comes to and he starts choking me. So I'm fighting him off with one hand and I kept driving the bus with the other, ya know. Then I managed to open up the door and I kicked him out the door, ya know, with my foot, ya know, at the next stop.
Jerry: You kept making all the stops?
Cosmo Kramer: Well, people kept ringing the bell!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Richard Selzer

Richard Selzer (1928- ), physician and author, on the campus of Yale University, 1991. Photographed by me.

Dick, Crumb


The Remodel

Now almost done.

Thanks Jason and company. Thanks Sarah for your advice.


Just watched this on Showtime and rather enjoyed it. It caught my attention because Buffy's Anya--Emma Caulfield--stars.

Quote of the Day (9/17/11) ("Seinfeld" Week)

"The Little Kicks" (Seinfeld, 8.4)

It's more like a full-body dry heave set to music.
- George on Elaine's dancing

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Wisdom of Claire Dunphy

Your kids don't need to know who you were before you had them; they need to know who you wish you were, and try to live up to that person. They're gonna fall short, but better they fall short of the fake you than the real you.
—Claire Dunphy, “The Kiss” (Modern Family, 2.2)

Television I Will Be Following, 2011-2012

I just set up for the first time MyFuton on The Futon Critic website. Here are "my shows."

Quote of the Day (9/16/11) ("Seinfeld" Week)

"The Masseuse" (Seinfeld, 5.9)

This woman hates me so much, I'm starting to like her.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"TV Goes to Hell" Arrives

This is my 20th book, but I never fail to be excited when the first copies arrive, as the book Stacey Abbott and I edited (along with the brilliant assistance of Jen Hale at ECW) did today.

Thanks to all the contributors.

"Rick Perry's HPV Vaccine Mandate"

Bachman, of course, always pro-choice, especially when that choice is cervical cancer.

Colbert at his reductio-ad-absurdum best.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rick Perry's HPV Vaccine Mandate
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Quote of the Day (9/15/11) ("Seinfeld" Week)

"The Beard" (Seinfeld, 6.14)

Jerry: He went back? What do you mean he went back?
Elaine: He went back.
Jerry: I don't understand it. You were having such a great time, the sex, the shopping.
Elaine: Well here's the thing. Being a woman, I only really have access to the, uh... equipment, what, thirty, forty-five minutes a week. And that's on a good week. How can I be expected to have the same expertise as people who *own* this equipment, and have access to it twenty-four hours a day, their entire lives.
Jerry: You can't. That's why they lose very few players.
Elaine: Yeah, I guess I never really stood a chance.
Jerry: Well there's always a place for you, on our team.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bruce Springsteen Releases New Sci-Fi Concept Album About Struggles Of Poor Miners Working On Mars

Bruce goes to the Red Planet.

Marcus Recht on "Buffy"

My friend Marcus Recht's book on Buffy (in German) is out. Congratulations Marcus.

Heard on the "Colbert Report"

My guest tonight is former Vice-President Al Gore, unless the Supreme Court decides it should be someone else.
--Stephen Colbert

Quote of the Day (9/14/11) ("Seinfeld" Week)

The Alternate Side [3.11]

Agent: Unfortunately we ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the reservation.
Agent: I know why we have reservations.
Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to hold the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Betsy Ross's Vagina

Come on! The debate set already looked like the inside of Betsy Ross's vagina. Or so I've been told.
--Jon Stewart on the Excessive Chauvinism of the CNN Republican Debates

Quote of the Day (9/13/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

I come from a stupid family. During the Civil War my great uncle fought for the west.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Monday, September 12, 2011

Heard on "True Blood" S4 Finale

I am so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her unbelievably stupid name! FUCK SOOKIE!

Walt and Mike

I would watch a whole show of just Walter pissing off Mike. Walter: “Is this going to be a regular thing now? Meth cooking and corpse disposal?” Mike: “Shut up and grab a barrel. And if you ever plan on calling the cops on one of my guys again, you go ahead and get two barrels.”
--Donna Bowman thinking of "Bug" (Breaking Bad, 4.9) on Onion TV Club

Quote of the Day (9/12/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Two More Photos (Stabs from the Past)

Rachel's Mother's Day Out class picture (Rachel is the first child on the right in the back row).

Joyce (expecting Sarah) and Rachel (probably early 1986).

Quote of the Day (9/11/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

I like to date schoolteachers. If you do something wrong, they make you do it over again.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our Dear Departed Charley

A photographic memory found in a drawer.


Talking about Buffy around the world, it has become quite clear that Riley Finn (Marc Blucas) is a mostly hated (if not the most hated) Buffyverse character.

But Blucas has had a post BtVS career. He was in such films as Knight and Day and, as the article from TV Guide below indicates, is now a regular on Necessary Roughness.



Russell Davies is the George Lucas of television.
--A poster on Onion TV Club after the final episode of the awful Miracle Day.

Quote of the Day (9/10/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

When I was a kid I got no respect. When my parents got divorced there was a custody fight over me ... and no one showed up.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Perry Accosts Paul

This was during a commercial break at last night's Republican debate, in which Paul constantly needled Perry.

Portrait of an SOB. Adios mo'fo?

Our Perception of a TV Show

When it comes to TV shows, it’s easy to forget the importance of perception. We can think of an episode, or an entire season, as a sort of single entity, and then act like that entity can be marked as “good” or “bad,” quality-wise. Simple enough, right? Like, “The third season of Breaking Bad is one of the best seasons of any show in the history of television.” That’s a bold statement, and it’s certainly possible to disagree with it, but nobody argues that you can’t say it at all. And once it’s said, if you do agree with it, that group of 13 episodes becomes more than its individual parts. You rewatch it, you see connections between scenes you might not have noticed before, that might not even have been intended by the show’s creators. And when you go into the next season, you expect that level of quality to continue, which is good and bad. On the plus side, it means every new scene, even the most mundane, will be viewed with an eye presuming genius. On the down side, if those new scenes don’t start delivering on the same (and I mean the exact same) promises the last season provided, people will get restless. It’s a dangerous line to walk.
--Zach Handlen (recapping the firs episode of Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy)

Galileo, Rick Perry

The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense. Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.
--Rick Perry in Last Night's Republican Debate, Defending His Skepticism on Climate Change

I have no idea how to parse this. It was the Church which sought to silence (outvote) Galileo, a fundamentalist orthodoxy of the sort Perry seems to admire. It was not until 2000 that the Pope finally apologized for its mistakes in the matter. Does Perry expect us to wait for over 300 years for Climate Change to settle?

Perry on Unemployment

"We don't have high unemployment in Texas," [Perry] noted with pride, "because if you don't have a job, we kill you."

Andy Borowitz claims Perry said this in last night's debate.

Quote of the Day (9/8/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

What a childhood I had. Once on my birthday my ol' man gave me a bat. The first day I played with it, it flew away.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


I had a terrible education. I went to a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.
--Woody Allen

Hat tip to Judy Bluestein-Levin.

Quote of the Day (9/7/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

What a childhood I had. My mother never breast-fed me. She said she liked me as a friend.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Apple Pie

In order to make an apple pie from scratch you must first create the universe.
--Carl Sagan

Hat tip to Bethany Stoller

Breaking News - AMC Renews "Breaking Bad" - Network Orders 16 Episodes to Conclude Series |

You could easily convince me that Breaking Bad's narrative would wrap up this season. And now the news that the final season (Five) will be more episodes than usual. What do Gilligan and company have up their sleeves.

Breaking News - AMC Renews "Breaking Bad" - Network Orders 16 Episodes to Conclude Series |

Tip of the hat to Ensley Guffey.

Quote of the Day (9/6/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

They say 'love thy neighbor as thy self' , what am I supposed to do jerk him off too?
--Rodney Dangerfield

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Twin Towers in the Movies

A nice compilation by Dan Meth.

One omission: the Twin Towers were initially visible (in the rearview mirror) in Tony's opening credits drive from NY to NJ in Seasons 1-3 of The Sopranos. Beginning with Season 4 (which aired in the Fall of 2002) the Towers are gone.

Twin Tower Cameos from Dan Meth on Vimeo.

Quote of the Day (9/5/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy. I told him I want a second opinion. He said okay you're ugly too.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Addy, 9/3/11

We watched Addy last night at Sarah and Jason's house.

Quote of the Day (9/4/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

In my life I've been through plenty. when I was three years old, my parents got a dog. I was jealous of the dog, so they got rid of me.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Saturday, September 03, 2011

"The Buffyverse Catalog"

Don Macnaughtan's Buffyverse Catalog is about to be published by McFarland.

A book-length bibliography of Joss Whedon's creations. A landmark.

Quote of the Day (9/3/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous, everyone hasn't met me yet.
--Rodney Dangerfield

Friday, September 02, 2011

Koestler on Humor (from "Janus")

[T]o analyze humour is a task as delicate as analyzing the chemical composition of a perfume with its multiple ingredients—some of which are never consciously perceived, while others, sniffed in isolation, would make us wince.

If we could change our moods as quickly as we jump from one idea to another, we would be acrobats of emotion; but since we are not, our thoughts and emotions frequently become dissociated. It is emotion deserted by thought that is discharged in laughter.

Quote of the Day (9/2/11) Rodney Dangerfield Week

I tell ya, I grew up in a tough neighborhood. The other night a guy pulled a knife on me. I could see it wasn't a real professional job. There was butter on it.
--Rodney Dangerfield