A Valentine’s Day Comedy Special

If you watch a lot of stand up and comedy shows on Netflix, you probably got a notification about “Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special.” Since I had no other plans, I decided to watch it (also because I saw Fred Armisen on one of the thumbnails). I had no idea what to expect because I don’t really know much about Bolton. I do love a random Netflix comedy special that didn’t have a lot of publicity leading up to it!

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It was weird, dirty, and original. It was great. Scott Aukerman (“Comedy Bang Bang”) and Akiva Schaffer (The Lonely Island) co-directed the special with an all-star cast. Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Maya Rudolph, and Will Forte are just a few of the comedians who appear in the show. There is singing, dancing, sketches, and weird romance (and maybe even an appearance from Santa Clause). I don’t want to give too much away so I’m going to stop. But if you don’t like SNL, then you’re probably going to hate Michael Bolton’s special, so don’t watch it. If you DO Like SNL and you wouldn’t mind if it even went a step further, then why are you still reading this? GO WATCH!

‘La La Land’ Review!

[SPOILER ALERT!]

Let me start by saying I have been listening to the La La Land soundtrack non-stop ever since I saw it two weeks ago and I am obsessed. I absolutely LOVED the movie. With that being said, I cannot believe it got 14 Academy Award nominations! I do think they deserve it, but I just can’t imagine it up against the more serious films.

Set in the present day, the musical is about two people who are trying to make it in Hollywood, one pursuing an acting career, one pursuing a music career. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling each delivered heartfelt performances. They immersed themselves into their roles and really became Mia and Sebastian. I particularly enjoyed J.K. Simmons’ cameo because I think he is amazing in everything he does. I also loved the cinematography and the montages (I personally think there aren’t enough montages in modern day films). There is honestly nothing bad I can say about La La Land (yes, I was okay with the ending because I knew they were happy and got what they wanted. I mean, let’s be real, we knew they weren’t going to end up together because they each wanted very different things and they had to let go of each other in order to throw themselves into their work).

La La Land (2016)
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone)

I appreciated that there weren’t many characters to worry about. They didn’t inform us about some of the cast from the beginning but I didn’t find myself asking questions like, “did Mia move out of her apartment?” or “did the roommates get what they wanted?” because it was irrelevant. The writers and director did a great job of sticking to the two main storylines.

I think that they even got away with the planetarium scene because it is a musical and anything can happen in musical! The dance, music, and pure joy of the film was truly contagious and it made me wish it was real life.

Louis C.K.’s web series, ‘Horace and Pete’ comes to an end

Louis C.K. created, wrote, produced and starred in a web series called Horace and Pete that is exclusively available on his website for purchase. He ended the show without any warning to its fans until after the final episode was released. The season has ten episodes, which, now that the show has ended, can be purchased for $31. When the episodes were being released, the pilot was $5, the second episode was $2, and the rest were $3. Louis C.K. said that each episode costed $500,000, which has not yet been paid off from purchases. The show co-starred Steve Buscemi and had guest stars like Edie Falco, Jessica Lange, Aidy Bryant, Nina Arianda, and Alan Alda. Even with the wide variety of stars and big names on the credits, the comedian chose not to do any type of promotion for his show, which is highly unusual. He did say that now that the show has ended, he is dying to talk about it (and hopes that by the end of the summer, the show will pay itself off).

I watched the first episode of the show (I found out about it from one of my professors). From what I saw, it looked as though it was filmed like a stage production. In other words, they were very long takes and almost no cuts; the camera would just follow the actors around on the set. What Louis did was an interesting experiment for himself. It does not really prove much for the rest of the industry because there are probably very few actors who would have a successful show just by posting it on their website without any type of promotion, not even a single tweet. The material in each episode was very topical at the time it was released, which shows that it was filmed very recently. There would be a television on in the background showing Donald Trump saying something he said two days before the episode was released. I do plan on watching the rest of the show because it is unique and and refreshing, as it is not a traditional, formulaic series. It is funny, yet every time I laughed, I also questioned whether that line was supposed to be humorous. It was uncomfortable, in a way, which made it that much more enjoyable and desirable to watch. As Louis C.K. said in a press release to fans, Take your time watching it. Give it time. It doesn’t really follow any rhythms that you’re used to. So watch that one and wait a week and think about it.”

 

Original Article: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/louis-ck-horace-and-pete-ends-1201755083/

NBC Changes its Advertisement Strategy

For as long as television has been around, the different shows and news segments have been largely supported by advertisements. Now, NBC is seeking to change the whole way advertising works on network television. On Monday, February 29th, there were a few extra segments on some of the shows at night, including on the season premiere of “The Voice,” and on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” On the former, there was a short interview with last season’s winner and on Seth, he had an extra comedy sketch. The best part is that these additional segments actually cut into commercial time. This new outlook on advertisement is a result of the decline in ratings, which we can assume has to do, in part, with too many commercials. “You never know that the ratings fell because of it, but your intuition and every bone in your being says it must have had some effect,” Mr. Wieser said.

Though it was only a total of 11 more minutes of content, it’s the start of a new type of advertising that viewers might not despise. If I had not read about it, I don’t think I would’ve recognized it as a disguised advertisement. Everyone hates commercials and we all know that the only thing they are good for is to get a snack or run to the bathroom. Most people have a DVR or TiVo that they use to record their favorite shows so they can fast forward through the commercials, which causes the advertisers to lose money because their product or service is not reaching an audience. However, if an additional interview or comedy segment does not look like a commercial, viewers will not fast forward through it. Personally, I wouldn’t mind less commercial time and more product integration and placement, or even these “extra” segments on shows. I hope this new technique gets advertisers the results they want so we don’t have to sit through as many agonizing commercials.

 

Here is the article to read the full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/business/media/tv-networks-recast-the-role-of-commercials.html?em_pos=large&emc=edit_nn_20160229&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=71438604&referer=&_r=1