Rolling Stone declares The Sopranos the greatest TV show

Alright, everyone gather ’round, we have another Top 100 list to fight over. This time, Rolling Stone put together its list of what it considers the greatest television shows of all time . The top of the list is pretty much what you’d expect – The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, et al. … Continue reading “Rolling Stone declares The Sopranos the greatest TV show”

Alright, everyone gather ’round, we have another Top 100 list to fight over.

This time, Rolling Stone put together its list of what it considers the greatest television shows of all time . The top of the list is pretty much what you’d expect – The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, et al. – but as with all these similar lists, we liked seeing that rounded out the rest of the top 100. Rolling Stone included game shows, talk shows, animation, and reality TV in addition to scripted series, so they cast a wide net.

Best of all, Rolling Stone didn’t intentionally try to get such an eclectic mix. They sent ballots out to a wide range of television industry figures, and the results they got back just happened to be such a jumble. It reflects well on the past, present, and current state of television: even if the Difficult Men genre still gets the most accolades, TV is a unique space where Jeopardy and The Golden Girls can live side-by-side.

New Acquisitions – September 2016, Part 2

Yes, part two! A steady stream of DVDs continues to flow into the library, and we’re getting them on the shelves for you. This month in particular had a focus on international films, so let’s talk about those. Pictured above is A Town Called Panic, the first stop-motion film ever screened at the Cannes Film … Continue reading “New Acquisitions – September 2016, Part 2”

Yes, part two! A steady stream of DVDs continues to flow into the library, and we’re getting them on the shelves for you. This month in particular had a focus on international films, so let’s talk about those.

Pictured above is A Town Called Panic, the first stop-motion film ever screened at the Cannes Film Festival. We’ve added a number of movies nominated for the Goya Award (Spain’s equivalent of the Oscar), like Marshland, Living is Easy With Eyes Closed, and the animated foosball comedy Underdogs. We’ve also expanded our collection of Arabic films with My Father is on the Tree and Ghazal Al Banat.

If you want to expand your film appetite beyond our shores, this is a great month to start. Follow on to see what else we have…

Home Use Collection:

Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 7 – HU DVD 7146
Episodes, Season 4 – HU DVD 10519
Girls, Season 4 – HU DVD 10833
Hadaka no Shima = The Naked Island – HU DVD 12868
Rothko’s Room – HU DVD 12877
Un-Natural State – HU DVD 13223
The Cat Returns – HU DVD 13290
Corpse Bride – HU DVD 13291
The Prophet – HU DVD 13292
April and the Extraordinary World – HU DVD 13293
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – HU DVD 13294
A Town Called Panic – HU DVD 13295
Winnie the Pooh – HU DVD 13296
When Marnie Was Here – HU DVD 13297
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – HU DVD 13298
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – HU BLU 13298
The Secret of Kells – HU DVD 13299
Der Staat Gegen Fritz Bauer = People v Fritz Bauer – HU DVD 13303
Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony – HU DVD 13305
Salāmah fī khayr = Everything is Fine – HU DVD 13306
Gabriel Over the White House – HU DVD 13308
The Immortal Story – HU DVD 13309
Ghazal Al Banat – HU DVD 13310
My Golden Days – HU DVD 13311
The Club / Fábula – HU DVD 13312
Shan Ha Gu Ren = Mountains May Depart – HU DVD 13313
A Taste of Honey – HU DVD 13314
The German Doctor – HU DVD 13323
Aferim! – HU DVD 13324
La Isla Mínima = Marshland – HU DVD 13325
Vivir es Fácil Con los Ojos Cerrados = Living is Easy With Eyes Closed – HU DVD 13326
Pelo Malo = Bad Hair – HU DVD 13327
Underdogs – HU DVD 13328
Baran – HU DVD 13329
Hababam Sinifi Merhaba / Hababam Sinifi Askerde – HU DVD 13330
The Judge – HU DVD 13345
102 Minutes That Changed America – HU DVD 13346
The Accused – HU DVD 13347
Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood – HU DVD 13348
Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story – HU DVD 13349
A Married Woman – HU DVD 13350
A Coffee in Berlin – HU DVD 13352
American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson – HU DVD 13353
Space Men – HU DVD 13354
A Murder in the Park – HU DVD 13355
Immigration Battle: Inside Washington’s Fight Over Immigration – HU DVD 13356
The Perfect Crime – HU DVD 13357
Murder of a President – HU DVD 13358
The Mine Wars – HU DVD 13359
Netanyahu at War – HU DVD 13360
Rak Ti Khon Kaen = The Cemetery of Splendor – HU DVD 13362
Bonnie & Clyde – HU DVD 13363
Troublemakers – HU DVD 13377
Sunset Song – HU DVD 13378
Robert Motherwell and the New York School: Storming the Citadel – HU DVD 13379
Peace Officer – HU DVD 13380
Stardust Stricken, Mohsen Makhmalbaf: A Portrait – HU DVD 13381
No Home Movie – HU DVD 13382
Of Men and War – HU DVD 13383
Movie Movie – HU DVD 13384
Simon – HU DVD 13385
The Human Face of Big Data – HU DVD 13386
JFK & LBJ: A Time for Greatness – HU DVD 13387
Modern Romance – HU DVD 13388
The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew and Associates – HU DVD 13390
La Chienne – HU DVD 13391
La Conquête = The Conquest – HU DVD 13405
Quai d’Orsay = French Minister – HU DVD 13406
Confirmation – HU BLU 13407
Diplomatie = Diplomacy – HU DVD 13408
Romeo & Julian – HU DVD 13410
Law & Order, Season 3 – HU DVD 14188
Happy Days, Season 1 – HU DVD 14189
Mork & Mindy, Season 1 – HU DVD 14475
Mork & Mindy, Season 2 – HU DVD 14476
Mork & Mindy, Season 3 – HU DVD 14477
Mork & Mindy, Season 4 – HU DVD 14478
3rd Rock from the Sun, Season 1 – HU DVD 14479
3rd Rock from the Sun, Season 2 – HU DVD 14480
3rd Rock from the Sun, Season 3 – HU DVD 14481
3rd Rock from the Sun, Season 4 – HU DVD 14482
3rd Rock from the Sun, Season 5 – HU DVD 14483
3rd Rock from the Sun, Season 6 – HU DVD 14484

In-Library Titles:

Pioneers of African-American Cinema – DVD 13304
City of Trees – DVD 13307
My Father is on the Tree – DVD 13351
Lighting the 7th Fire – DVD 13361

What last night’s Emmys mean for diversity on screen

via Yahoo Last night’s Emmy Awards highlighted the diversity of the nominees and winners, especially in contrast to this year’s widely derided Oscars. The 2016 Emmys featured shows, stories, and artists from a wide spectrum of race, gender identity, and disability. Plus, we’re happy any time Key & Peele wins an award. Nooice! The Chicago … Continue reading “What last night’s Emmys mean for diversity on screen”

via Yahoo

Last night’s Emmy Awards highlighted the diversity of the nominees and winners, especially in contrast to this year’s widely derided Oscars. The 2016 Emmys featured shows, stories, and artists from a wide spectrum of race, gender identity, and disability. Plus, we’re happy any time Key & Peele wins an award. Nooice!

The Chicago Tribune published a great summary of why this year’s ceremonies were different and how that different mattered creatively. Featuring an increasingly higher numbers of non-white nominees doesn’t just capture the country more accurately; it also leads to greater diversity in subject matter, and the huge range of shows at the Emmys – including Master of None, Mr. Robot, and Orphan Black – reflects how media changes when you bring in new perspectives and voices. (There’s also the added benefit that diverse representation may help ratings.)

If the Emmys are a sign of the general direction television is heading, diversity in perspective, representation, and talent are intertwined and growing. Take note, film!

Do some TV shows work better un-binged?

So today, a contentious issue came up in Media Services: one of our staff members gave up watching HBO’s Deadwood. One reason it didn’t click, they thought, was that episodes might not play as well when watched one after another. Unlike some shows with slowburn stories that make sense to watch in extended sessions, maybe … Continue reading “Do some TV shows work better un-binged?”

So today, a contentious issue came up in Media Services: one of our staff members gave up watching HBO’s Deadwood. One reason it didn’t click, they thought, was that episodes might not play as well when watched one after another. Unlike some shows with slowburn stories that make sense to watch in extended sessions, maybe Deadwood flowed better with a week between episodes.

We tried to figure out if there was some consensus or scholarly thoughts on this subject, and of course, opinion is split. On the one hand, Grantland once made the strong argument that binge-watching “allows you to completely ‘immerse’ yourself in the world of your new favorite show.” “By binge-watching,” they say, “you are spending quality time with the characters, forming a deep emotional connection with them.”

On the other hand, NPR‘s Fresh Air points to The Jinx as an example of how rationing out a show through serialization gives the story more time to breathe. “Embracing new technology doesn’t mean abandoning old storytelling forms that work,” David Bianculli says.

Screenrant has similarly mixed thoughts. Some binge-watched shows benefit from a compressed narrative, but that sacrifices the opportunity to let those shows percolate between episodes.

Obviously, watching a show on DVD with a week between episodes is an artificial constraint, but changing the time dimensions in how you watch something does seem to have an effect on how it’s received. And kudos to you if you have the power to hold back that long.

Can someone give Mr. Robot a lamp?

from the trailer for season 4 of The Americans Current great television dramas are dark. We don’t just mean in terms of content, like Mr. Robot or the extremely tense The Americans. They are, literally, dark. Vulture‘s Kathryn VanArendonk wrote a great column about this phenomenon and how this impacts our perception of the shows. … Continue reading “Can someone give Mr. Robot a lamp?”

from the trailer for season 4 of The Americans

Current great television dramas are dark. We don’t just mean in terms of content, like Mr. Robot or the extremely tense The Americans. They are, literally, dark.

Vulture‘s Kathryn VanArendonk wrote a great column about this phenomenon and how this impacts our perception of the shows. VanArendonk compares Halt and Catch Fire and Silicon Valley: both shows are set in the same sunny California region, but because Halt and Catch Fire looks constantly gloomier even in daytime, it registers as a more serious show. This problem compounds itself. We associate bright colors with comedy, and so dramas are rarely brightly colored anymore. Compare this with Mad Men even a few years ago – or any of the USA Network’s former crime shows with extremely bright skies.

This seems like a problem from the same well as the orange-and-teal color correction of blockbuster movies. Audiences want dramas and comedies, and the presentation of those genres becomes polarized and exaggerated.

New Acquisitions – September 2016

With the first week of classes almost in the bag, we have the Labor Day weekend to look forward to. And with a tropical storm possibly bearing down on us, what better way than to escape a long, stormy weekend than grabbing a few movies? We’re continuing to add new films to our collection that … Continue reading “New Acquisitions – September 2016”

With the first week of classes almost in the bag, we have the Labor Day weekend to look forward to. And with a tropical storm possibly bearing down on us, what better way than to escape a long, stormy weekend than grabbing a few movies?

We’re continuing to add new films to our collection that classes are using this semester, but we’re also getting more blockbusters, critical favorites, and historically significant movies – like BellaDonna of Sadness, a Japanese animated film that has never been available since 1973.

Other interesting titles this month include ESPN’s riveting documentary series OJ: Made in America; Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead; and The Mermaid, the highest-grossing Chinese movie ever. (And we also got the extended cut of Batman v Superman, which runs a whopping three hours.)

We could go on and on this month, but we’ll just let you read the list. Follow the link to see what’s new for September…

Home Use Collection:

Brief Encounter – HU BLU 4233
Veep, Season 4 – HU DVD 5980
Game of Thrones, Season 5 – HU DVD 10025
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – HU DVD 10317
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – HU BLU 10317
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 – HU DVD 10318
Maroc en Musiques – HU DVD 13225
Cartoon Roots – HU DVD 13226
Cartoon Roots – HU BLU 13226
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – HU DVD 13239
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – HU BLU 13239
Eisenstein in Guanajuato – HU DVD 13245
Eye in the Sky – HU DVD 13246
Cinderella – HU DVD 13247
Emptying the Skies – HU DVD 13248
Kanashimi no Beradonna = Belladonna of Sadness – HU BLU 13255
Boy & the World – HU DVD 13257
Boy & the World – HU BLU 13257
The Great Mouse Detective – HU DVD 13262
The Great Mouse Detective – HU BLU 13262
Midnight Special – HU DVD 13263
Miles Ahead – HU DVD 13264
Sisters – HU DVD 13265
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – HU DVD 13266
House of Cards, Season 4 – HU DVD 13270
The Walk – HU DVD 13273
Under the Cherry Moon – HU DVD 13274
The Mermaid – HU DVD 13275
Only Yesterday – HU DVD 13276
Jackie Robinson – HU DVD 13277
Knight of Cups – HU DVD 13278
Silicon Valley, Season 2 – HU DVD 13282
The X-Files, The Event Series – HU DVD 13284
Lisbon Story – HU DVD 13287
Embrace of the Serpent – HU DVD 13288
OJ: Made in America – HU BLU 13289
OJ: Made in America – HU DVD 13289
Edifício Master – HU DVD 13300
Aparecidos = The Appeared – HU DVD 13301
La Jaula de Oro – HU DVD 13302
The Last Man on Earth, Season 1 – HU DVD 14295

In-Library Titles:

Métodos Anticonceptivos = Contraceptive Choices – DVD 13187
The Complete Uncensored Private Snafu: Cartoons from World War II – DVD 13229
Dpa’ Bo’I Lung Pa = The Valley of the Heroes = Ying Xiong Gu – DVD 13235
How to Smell a Rose: A Visit With Ricky Leacock in Normandy – DVD 13236
Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großstadt; Melodie der Welt – DVD 13261
Kumu Hina: The True Meaning of Aloha – DVD 13285
The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War with the United States – DVD 13286

Love British TV? See where those shows are meant to take place

Have you ever seen one of those experiments where people from other countries try to identify the United States? Let’s admit that we’re just as bad with the United Kingdom. Unless you’ve spent some time over there, everything that ends in “-shire” sounds interchangeable. And when it comes to television and movies, we just sort … Continue reading “Love British TV? See where those shows are meant to take place”

Have you ever seen one of those experiments where people from other countries try to identify the United States? Let’s admit that we’re just as bad with the United Kingdom. Unless you’ve spent some time over there, everything that ends in “-shire” sounds interchangeable. And when it comes to television and movies, we just sort imagine everything taking place in a big, inspecific British countryside.

So for the rubes among us, graphic designer Tim Ritz (an AU alumnus!) put together a map of where major shows from the United Kingdom are set. As you can imagine, London hosts at least two dozen shows, but the rest of the country is littered with other hotspots. Finally seeing where Derbyshire fits into the local map gives Pride & Prejudice a whole lot more context.

Of course, the map also points out that many of these shows weren’t filmed on-located. Wolf Hall, set at Hampton Court Place in London, was shot at “various castles,” which just leads us right back to our original vague idea of what England looks like.

You can own a piece of Mad Men history – even just an ashtray

Prop auctions are so irrationally fun. A pen might be worth a few cents, but if that pen appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, my god, it’s worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. The chance to own a small piece of a movie or television show is the chance for a connection to art and … Continue reading “You can own a piece of Mad Men history – even just an ashtray”

Prop auctions are so irrationally fun. A pen might be worth a few cents, but if that pen appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, my god, it’s worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. The chance to own a small piece of a movie or television show is the chance for a connection to art and characters we love.

Which means that you, too, can buy the box that Peggy’s walking with in that GIF.

In commemoration of the year since Mad Men‘s finale, the show’s propmaster Ellen Freund will be auctioning over 1000 props from the show, including typewriters, office decor, and, of course, drink sets. Now you can buy the empty decadence of Sterling Cooper without actually destroying your life and alienating your family!

The auction begins on Wednesday, June 1st, but you can browse the items for sale right now. If you really, really want the model ship on Pete Campbell’s desk, it can be yours.

Why do TV characters who love coffee not actually drink coffee?

Want to ruin every television show you’ll watch for the next week? Look at the cups people drink coffee from. Critic Myles McNutt has noticed the prevalence of people drinking coffee on TV. It’s an easy way to make characters seem relatable and gives them a reason to stand around or meet together. But something … Continue reading “Why do TV characters who love coffee not actually drink coffee?”

Want to ruin every television show you’ll watch for the next week? Look at the cups people drink coffee from.

Critic Myles McNutt has noticed the prevalence of people drinking coffee on TV. It’s an easy way to make characters seem relatable and gives them a reason to stand around or meet together. But something has been bugging him for years: their cups are almost always empty. Actors gesture around with cups that should be splashing around or at least have a little weight.

This is a common production flaw, but rather than mock it, McNutt uses it to make a point about the challenging nature of film production. Filling prop cups with liquid could be a nightmare if they spill, especially if they contain real coffee. In the often tightly budgeted world of television especially, having a realistic Starbucks cup is the lowest priority item.

If you want to play along at home, McNutt started #EmptyCupAwards for people similarly annoyed by this. Just don’t get sucked down a black hole of noticing every production shortcut.

Browse the history of the small screen in our new television filmography

We recently added dozens of television shows, bringing our collection total to nearly 400 television show. The time seemed right to assemble a formal list of every series in our collection, so after weeks of hard work and formatting from our staff, we bring you our new Television Shows filmography. In addition to the master … Continue reading “Browse the history of the small screen in our new television filmography”

We recently added dozens of television shows, bringing our collection total to nearly 400 television show. The time seemed right to assemble a formal list of every series in our collection, so after weeks of hard work and formatting from our staff, we bring you our new Television Shows filmography.

In addition to the master list of shows, we’ve broken up our television collection by genre and, most importantly for television studies, the era the show was released. For the most part, that means distinguishing them by decade (80s shows were very different from 90s shows), but the filmography also sets space aside for the two “Golden Ages” of television in the 50s and 2000s. If you just want to study or watch post-war Leave It to Beaver-type sitcoms, you can now find what we have in stock much more easily.

(It might seem bizarre to put Reno 911! in the Second Golden Age of Television, but it rode the same wave as other critically acclaimed scripted shows!)

We hope this filmography makes your research in television just a little easier. If you’re looking for something similar in the realm of film, we have a separate section of films by subject area.