New Girl

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In tonight’s round-up of the best news and notes that didn’t grow up to be bigger stories, we’ve got all genres. Star Wars and Jurassic Park representing the genre known as geek bait, Iron Man 3 in the corner of superhero flicks, Spring Breakers in for whatever the hell genre its in, and You’re Next in for some horror. As you can see above, it’s some serious horror.

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Sound of My Voice A filmmaking couple infiltrate a cult in search of the truth regarding its enigmatic leader Maggie (Brit Marling), but the longer they stay the more one of them comes to believe her claims. The situation grows more dangerous when Maggie makes a spectacular claim and asks one of them to kidnap a specific young girl. Marling co-wrote the film with director Zal Batmanglij, and they’ve created a thought provoking, suspenseful and often surprising indie that feels bigger than it is by virtue of the ideas at play. Marling also delivers a spectacularly charismatic performance that just may have viewers lining up for a sip of her Kool-Aid.

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Channel Guide - Large

The precocious child; the old grump with a heart of gold; the plucky young woman, looking to make it in the big city all on her own, who spins around in the middle of a busy street with a big, stupid grin on her face while wearing a hat. For better or worse, these sorts of characters have been and, most likely, will always be a part of the TV landscape. They’re templates that take all of the pesky guesswork out of creating a show. Over the years, familiar archetypes are re-imagined and deconstructed to reflect the changing values. This is why we have the wholesome Brady Bunch in the ’70s and the dysfunctional Bundys of Married with Children in the ’90s. And then, sometimes, new constructs are born. But you know all of this. We may be in the midst of a TV renaissance but that doesn’t mean that shows aren’t leaning hard on archetypes—these five in particular are getting a lot of play.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

Ah, the Golden Globes. The redheaded stepchild of award show season – a veritable island of misfit toys in terms of pop cultural offerings. Ridiculous as they oftentimes may be, the picks of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are now among us, and up for the inevitable scrutiny of the Internet as a whole. Film nominations aside, the small screen selections for this year’s statuettes are as random as ever. With regular contenders ineligible for nomination (Mad Men), and former heavy-hitters now struggling to stay relevant (I’m looking at you, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy), the pool of nominees is a hodgepodge one – often seeming as shallow as Paris Hilton. So just which shows should take home the statues when the Golden Globes are telecast January 15th? Here’s my breakdown of the nominees – from the way-to-go to the WTF.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

Mad Men, Dexter, Game of Thrones—it’s such a great time for instrumental TV theme songs. But what about themes with lyrics, themes that follow the example set by classic shows like The Brady Bunch, Rawhide, The Jeffersons, and even The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Sadly, this variety of signature tune is a dying breed, seemingly destined to go the way of the laugh track. OK, so no one’s really bemoaning the near extinction of the laugh track but, as TV lovers, we should be concerned about the current lack of title music that we can actually sing along to. Whether we like it or not, the words to the themes from Gilligan’s Island, Cheers, Charles in Charge, Friends, Family Matters, and The Greatest American Hero, are floating around in our heads. Simple rhyming verses like “if the teacher pops a test, I know I’m in a mess, and my dog ate all my homework last night, riding low in my chair, she won’t know that I’m there, if I can hand it in tomorrow it’ll be all right” have become culturally significant. But what will this generation’s TV theme song legacy be? Here’s a list of series, all premiering within the last 10 years, that are keeping this proud vocal tradition alive with their original music (that is, songs composed specifically for the program) and predictions of whether or not these themes will stand the test of time.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

On the Zooey Deschanel-led New Girl, titular character Jess Day is an aloof, offbeat, and (let’s face it) awkward twenty-something, forced to move in with three random guys after a tough breakup. She wears thick-framed glasses, watches Dirty Dancing on a loop, and even weaves Lord of the Rings quotes into regular conversation at the blink of an eye. On paper, well, she’s not that far from myself- another Woody Allen-loving, Star Wars-quoting, sometimes bespectacled gal. So why is it that week after week, I find myself increasingly annoyed with her overly twee behavior?

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Earlier today FOX unveiled their fall schedule which I’m sure left us all excited for the prospect of a new Abrams show. And just to keep that excitement alive they have now released some trailers for all their new series, including Terra Nova, Napoleon Dynamite, and Alcatraz. So without any ado whatsoever, here are the latest promos for all of FOX’s new prime time programming:

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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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