Every once in a while, The Guardian or Rolling Stone will put out a list of the “100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” or something along those lines. The Wire, more often than not, always lands near the top. It was ranked 1st on Entertainment Weekly’s list, and the WGA ranked it as the 9th greatest show ever made. However, it won zero Emmys, was always dwarfed in ratings by HBO’s other darling The Sopranos, and very much like the oppressive nature within the show, it struggled and fought to get renewed each year. But it’s the only show I know of that tackles real world problems in the landscape of urban development.
For the past few weeks, we at Era of Good Feeling have been struggling to put into words our thoughts regarding society’s status. To be honest, we’ve never taken any sort of political stance and often times have avoided doing so. It has never been our nature to side with political viewpoints. But the silence from us has lasted far too long, and the public dissolution going right now is only fueled by it. That being said, we stand with our black and LGBTQ friends who have made us better people and the world a better place, and who continue to fight for their lives and what they believe. We are here for you.
During this month’s Super Bowl and Oscar ceremony, Quibi finally unveiled their first advertisements ushering us into a new world of mobile content. The commercials didn’t show too much, only a teaser of what was to come. But even based off the advertisements, I still don’t think the public is aware of what Quibi actually is.
There’s a line somewhere early on in HBO’s Chernobyl, in which Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) explains to Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) about how to put out the fire from the exploded nuclear reactor, in which Legasov states “You’re dealing with something that has never been seen before on this planet.” This line, essentially, is what encapsulates what’s so special about the HBO mini-series – the capability of human self-destruction, and the many layers of how the show can be analyzed.
For the non-writers outside of the Hollywood sphere, there’s been a change happening lately that’ll likely impact how your favorite shows are made. Last month, the ATA (Association of Talent Agents) failed to update its policies in accordance with their contract with the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America), which expired on April 7th. As a result, the WGA asked its members to fire their agents if they did not comply with the WGA’s demands of a change of contract, which has to deal with how agents are paid via staffing and payments of their clients.
Harmony Korine has always been that outlier of a filmmaker – one doesn’t seem to figure out where the artist ends and the man begins. And during his nearly 30 year career, he’s always played that card like a magician: you don’t call upon him to show you a trick. Rather, he calls upon you.
A lot has been said about Aziz Ansari as of late, especially since a year ago when allegations were made against him. So, as a result, it was natural to initially feel a little disconnected. And y’know what? He’s okay with that. He understands. But also, he just wants to set things right, put things on an equal playing field. Because what happened on the opening night of his L.A. run was not just comedy, but a sprite lesson on how to think critically, to get people to finally start questioning things at face value.
As you may have heard, the Oscar nominations were revealed a few weeks ago, leading to a splendid surprise of many firsts. First Marvel film nominated for best picture, first time two foreign film directors are nominated for best director since ’76, first time a filmmaker has been nominated for both director AND cinematographer in the same year… but also – Netflix’s first nomination for anything… at all, nevertheless being nominated for best picture. Finally, the streaming giant that has gone against every precedent and normality that traditional Hollywood films participate in – box office numbers, theatrical windows, etc. – has achieved the status of “Best Picture nominee.” But it begs the question: why do they want it so bad?