Baby safety gate or one of the most iconic couches in pop TV history? You, make the call -April 1, 2020
I have some pretty mixed feelings about the High Fidelity TV show (it was fine in some ways, wildly disappointing in others). But my love for the movie still rides high.
There’s a really good oral history about the film, marking its 20th anniversary, at Consequence of Sound. It includes this blurb about the TV show from the movie’s screenwriters:
DEVINCENTIS: I didn’t see the TV show. I read the pilot, and I was kind of stunned to find our writing in their script. Like, a lot of it. Just lifted from the screenplay of the movie and dropped down into the TV show. I’d never seen anything like it.
PINK: They really embraced our vision and took it further in some ways and spun it in other ways, and good for them. The problem is that it’s a remake of our movie. It’s not not a remake. You can’t look at the TV show and look at our movie and think that the TV show was not a remake. I don’t know how with an honest face you could make that determination.
DEVINCENTIS: The TV show was supposedly an adaptation of the book, not an adaptation of the movie—that’s what the credits say. Yet, there were entire scenes, concepts, shots, and dialogue lifted directly from the movie — again not from the book — without any credit or attribution. Like, even an Easter egg in-joke I laid in to a record store scene for a friend — the meaning of which the TV writers could never know — was simply lifted and dropped into their teleplay with the rest of it.
As of yesterday, Community has started streaming on Netflix. The cultural cache of the show has diminished in recent years, but it might be a show worth revisiting.
Emily Van der Werff on the show as seen through 2020 eyes:
There are elements of Community that play differently to modern eyes, particularly the attraction between grown-ass adult Jeff (McHale) and actual-18-year-old-when-the-show-starts Annie (Brie). It drew plenty of criticism when the show aired, but it plays differently in light of revelations about Harmon’s sexual harassment of a young staffer in his writers’ room. (He has since apologized, in one of the few genuinely exemplary apologies of the #MeToo era.) And the show’s attempts to tell jokes about race could be ... a little tone-deaf, to be generous.
But Community’s handful of misfired jokes and one romantic plotline that never really went anywhere don’t negate it from being one of the all-time great TV sitcoms. Don’t just watch Community because I love it. Watch it because, if literally anything I wrote above — even just the words “Donald Glover” — makes you think you might love it, you almost certainly will.
Meanwhile there’s a less dignified end for series Empire. It will have its final season cut short. Episode 19, which was part-way through being shot when production shut down for the stupid virus, will now be re-edited into being a final episode.
Jason Kilar was the media executive who launched Hulu back in the day. The service was revolutionary at launch, bringing together content from three of the competing TV networks while introducing a new way to watch broadcast TV shows online. The difficulty of that task has since given Kilar, a product guy at heart, huge cred within the industry.
He left Hulu quite a few years ago, but today he’s back in the spotlight as the new head of WarnerMedia just a month before it launches the new HBO Max streaming service.
If you watched the story about rat erotica artwork on Last Week Tonight this week, you would be well-served by reading an interview on Newsweek’s website which interviews the executive producer of the TV auction. He explains that they were all fully aware of the scandalous nature of the art, but played it straight for reasons of integrity.