The Persistent Cult of Arrested Development

The Persistent Cult of Arrested Development — Vulture.

Jessica Walter in a classic Lucille Bluth moment on Arrested Development. “The drive-by outburst wasn’t an ad lib. “The wink was mine. Whore was not. That was our genius writers,” Walter said in an article on classic Lucille GIFs by Vulture’s Denise Martin.

Here comes “Arrested Development” again. A lot of people could care less, I assume, but there are some that feel like Will Leitch who wrote this excellent in-depth article on Vulture.

The resurrection is the direct result of the happy-go-tireless advocacy of a small but rabid group of superfans who have become, over the seven years since the show went off the air, a kind of cult—the best kind of cult. Amazingly, ­executives have actually listened to us, even thinking it was good business sense to do so. 

Netflix is releasing the entire new season (the first since 2006) of 15 episodes on May 26 for streaming. A whole lot of TV nerds (me, included, I suppose!) will be giddily streaming away watching one of the oddest, smartest and most demented TV series ever created. The new series will be dissected in minute detail by Bluthites, so there’s no reason for me to think of anything pithy to say about it all in advance.

Looking back, I’m not sure that there was a more sublimely ridiculous TV moment than this one, rendered in kinetic typography:

What the World is Reading…

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Not your grandpa’s reading material.
Image: Front porch, Sunday Afternoon, Vincennes, Indiana, 1941. Photo by John Vachon for Farm Security Administration/WPA | Wikimedia Commons

…on my blog.

I’m endlessly fascinated by statistics. (Don’t judge.) According to WordPress, here are the 10 most read pages/posts on my blog in the last week, month, and year.

LAST SEVEN DAYS
1. Home Page
2. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube
-originally posted Jan. 4, 2013 — fascinated by the legs this one has
3. Gay Teen Boys and Highschool Romance
-originally posted Jan. 26, 2013 — link to a great story on HuffPo
4. Jake Silbermann: Just My Type
-originally posted Apr. 30, 2013 — link to Silbermann’s terrific essay + my thoughts
5. How the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling Could Upend the Immigration Debate
-originally posted May 4, 2013 — link to great analysis on BuzzFeed and my thoughts
6. EastSiders Debuts on LogoTV.com
-originally posted Apr. 18, 2013 — one of many posts about Kit Williamson’s great crowd-funded gay Web series
7. Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love
-originally posted Mar. 11, 2013 — glad this post has a long tail as, socio-culturally speaking, it’s wildly important in understanding perceptional shifts. (Also, they are adorable.)
8. Durang’s Best Chekhovian ‘Spike’
-originally posted Apr. 30, 2013 — a quick piece about “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” and the Tony Awards. A tangential companion to the Jake Silbermann piece at No. 4.
9. Pine Valley Is Open for Business Again
-originally posted Apr. 29, 2013 — a riff on the premiere of the online roboot of “All My Children”
10. Gay West Point Cadet Escorts Boyfriend to Winter Weekend Formal
-originally posted Feb, 6, 2013 — another one with surprising legs

LAST 30 DAYS
1. Home Page
2. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube
3. Pine Valley Is Open for Business Again
4. EastSiders Debuts on LogoTV.com
5. Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love
6. Gay Teen Boys and Highschool Romance
7. Chris Kluwe, Minnesota Vikings Punter, Rocks
-originally posted Apr. 3, 2013 — headline says it all!
8. Like Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Ticked Off at American Dramas. Again.
-originally posted Nov. 12, 2012 — riff on American vs. European soaps and how backward American soaps are … even when there is some forward progress.
9. Seven Reasons to Watch (or Rewatch)  ‘The Outs’
-originally posted Apr. 4, 2013 — BuzzFeed list about one of my favorite Web series
10. Jake Silbermann: Just My Type

LAST 12 MONTHS
1. Home Page
2. New Kids on the Block — All My Children, That Is
-originally posted Mar. 17, 2013 — Cady McClain tweeted this link and the thing just exploded. The viral power of social media.
3. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube
4. Like Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Ticked Off at American Dramas. Again.
5. Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love
6. “Bare” Off-Broadway: Cover It Up [review]
-originally posted Dec. 9, 2012 — my thoughts on the disappointing revival of “Bare”
7. Pine Valley Is Open for Business Again
8. Gay Teen Boys and Highschool Romance
9. Sam Champion Engaged: ‘GMA’ Weather Anchor Comes Out, Plans To Marry Rubem Robierb
-originally posted Oct. 6, 2012 — I don’t understand this one at all. I was just being snarky; I didn’t think anyone cared!
10. ‘Scut Farkas’ Takes Bully Battle to Court
-originally posted Dec. 20, 2012 — this one pops up every now and then, maybe when people see Zack Ward on TV? No idea.

A FEW OTHER TIDBITS
15. Grandmother’s Pound Cake
-seriously, a cake recipe? I mean, it’s a good cake, but….
19. In With ‘The Outs”
-one of my many posts on this Web series, which I think is terrific
39. John Lithgow, the National Theatre, and my own Name-Dropping Memory of the Best New Year’s Eve Ever
-my story about spending New Year’s Eve with Sir Ian McKellen
51. Eine Kleine Ukulele Muzik
-link to a great video: the Queen of the Night aria accompanied by ukulele
53. Cleveland Street Comes to Broadway
-a review of “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” which I loved (as did this year’s Tony nominating committee)

TAKEWAYS
-People are eclectic.
-You can’t pinpoint what people will read.
-Interesting how some posts that you never thought would be that popular, are. Consistently.
-Thanks for reading — whatever is is you like to read!

P.S. — If you read it and like it … hit the LIKE button! Thanks!!

Texts From Hillary Named Tumblr Of The Year By Shorty Awards

Texts From Hillary Named Tumblr Of The Year By Shorty Awards.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli,  LibyaThis Tumblr has been one of my guilty pleasures over the last year or so. TFH transcended it’s blog origins and became a full-blown meme with everyone submitting TFH’s all over the place. I love that power of social media to spur creativity on.

Now, if we could just get that pesky world peace problem solved!

New Kids on the Block — All My Children, That Is.

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Emmy Award-winning actress Cady McClain returns to serial drama and to one of her signature roles, Dixie Cooney Martin on the online reboot of All My Children. Photo: cadymcclain.com.

Here’s a cut from Cady McClain. It’s a terrific piece and any soap fan should take a few moments and read it and think about what she’s saying.

I want to talk about the new young people on All My Children, and why I think (and hope) the audience should give them a chance.  I am not known for blowing smoke up anybodies hoo-ha, right? Let’s just start with that as a baseline for this conversation!

via Let’s Talk About the Kids (of All My Children!) | Cady McClain.

Alert readers will not be surprised at all to learn that I am an enormous fan of continuing drama and what a powerful medium I believe it to be. I also believe that we are just at the beginning of a new era wherein we can harness the Internet as a new platform to tell stories. We don’t know quite how to do it yet, and that makes it exciting. It’s just as exciting as when the pioneers of television — like Irna Phillips — were figuring out how to take Papa Bauer’s family from mythical radio Springfield to mythical television Springfield and make The Guiding Light into a television program that viewers watched.

Phillips had two protégés in those early television days — William J. Bell and Agnes Nixon. And as influential as Phillips was in early television, one could argue that Agnes Nixon has an even more powerful legacy of harnessing the power of continuing drama to tell stories that have tremendous social impact. In 1962, Nixon penned the story of Bert Bauer’s cancer scare on The Guiding Light, before you could say “cancer,” “uterus,” or “Pap smear” on television. On Another World, she created young troublemaker Rachel Davis, who was seen by many as the prototype for her most famous creation, Erica Kane on her landmark serial All My Children.

Erica Kane (Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler [almost Roy] Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marrick Marrick Montgomery) is the most popular character in the history of daytime drama in the U.S. Erica lied, cheated, cajoled, married, married, loved, lost, shocked the world, forced a bear to stand down, had daytime’s first legal abortion and, after 41 years on the air, she was still the most fascinating character ever created for television.

Skip to the point, please.

Fine. Here it is: people get wrapped up in soap operas. People begin to think of actors as the characters they play because they see them in their homes every single day. People get crazy obsessed. People don’t like some things ever to change.

Cady is making a tremendous case for the young people who are new to playing characters established in the previous broadcast incarnation of All My Children. She’s saying, “Approach this with an open mind. It’s different. But it’s good.” What I’m saying is a little less nice. I’m saying, “Change happens. Get the hell over it.” And if you can’t, don’t watch.

Eighty-five year old Agnes Nixon is working her ass off to deliver a product, a powerful story, in an untested medium. Prospect Park is investing millions of dollars in this experiment. Cady McClain and many of the “old guard” actors are putting their careers on the line for this new venture. The least you can do, if you are, in fact, a fan of All My Children, is to watch with an open mind. You might learn something. You might enjoy it.

And if you don’t? If this venture fails? Well, at least they tried. That’s what artists and innovators do. They try. Again and again and again. And no one thanks them enough for being fearless enough to try.

Me on online soap resurrections (with links to other serial related posts).

Me on annoying recent gay developments in daytime.

3/18/13 — Hulu just released their “Save The Date” trailer. Thought I’d stick it in if you haven’t seen it yet.

Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love

Let’s Watch Two Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love and Go on a Nut-Gobbling Adventure: VIDEO| News | Towleroad.

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Jonathan Russell, right, “Your Favorite Gay Marine,” known as Russmarine2014 on YouTube, and his boyfriend, Matt, open up about their lives in a round of “Boyfriend Tag.” Image links to his YouTube channel.

 

I had already discovered “Russmarine2014” on YouTube before Towleroad and Huffington Post Gay Voices posted, but this piece deserves a reblog.

Why? Because it is the perfect example of how much the world has shifted since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on Sept. 30, 2011. That’s barely 18 months ago, if you’re keeping track.  Imagining a military — a Marine Corps — that allows gay men and women to flourish being who they are is almost unbelievable to this 48-year-old, who in a much, much younger guise carried, in the 1993 March on Washington for Gay Rights, a sign that said “Stop Discrimination: End the Military Ban.” What we got was DADT. It took nearly two more decades before we achieved real, honest-to-God equality.

What Russ is doing, by showing those outside of the military his life as an out Marine, by showing his audience straight Marine allies who are ambivalent about his sexuality, by talking about parents who are not as welcoming as he had, perhaps, hoped, he is educating all of us through sharing his experiences. It is a rich, potentially groundbreaking (however unwitting) example of “the new normal.” And he’s to be commended for it.

(Also, he’s just stinkin’ adorable.)

Gay Web Dramas Flourish

Gay web dramas flourish as TV networks cling to the status quo | Television & radio | guardian.co.uk.

Good article in The Guardian about the proliferation of gay-themed content in web series and how this might be the next new content delivery method for this type of entertainment. (Duh.) As Husbands co-creator Jane Espenson says, “We consider Husbands television. It’s just television that arrives in a different box.”

Some us have been ahead of The Guardian in reporting this. Ahem. See many links below. H/T Tommy Heleringer’s Facebook.

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(l-r) Hunter Canning, Sasha Winters and Adam Goldman star in the exceptional Web series, The Outs. Photo: Interview/Unusually Fine Photography

More HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE to get you started.

Fun History of the Ampersand

I’m an admitted grammar geek, you know, and — or rather & —  I’m really getting a kick out of these quick little videos from leftside-rightside.com. This one contains a whole bunch of facts that I had no idea about! I love it when you can learn something cool when you’re not even trying!