Required Reading: Tony “Seinfeld” Soprano and a Subversive Blockbuster

By  · Published on June 30th, 2014


The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.

There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

“How Seinfeld Paved the Way For Tony Soprano” – Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture uses its 25th anniversary to point out the show that proved terrible human beings could earn massive ratings.

“But these reassuring qualities were superficial. Seinfeld was defiantly not lovable. First, there was its New York–iness. Seinfeld was not just a show that happened to be set in New York, like The Odd Couple or Taxi. It was specifically about Manhattan life in a way that should have alienated every other part of the country. Actually, it may have been even more specific than that: It was, in fact, a show about the idealized, compacted, cartoon version of New York imagined by displaced New Yorkers who’d settled in Los Angeles, where Seinfeld was taped, and didn’t plan on moving back anytime soon but still reserved the right to complain about the lack of good bagels and a decent mass-transit system. But its formal daring was even more distinctive. For all its baseline technical excellence (every line and transition timed with whip-crack precision), Seinfeld was never content merely to amuse. It seemed to loathe the idea that audiences might get too comfortable with it. David admonished the writing staff that there would be “no hugging, no learning” in the scripts, and there wasn’t. Ever. “

“Transformers: Age of Extinction is the most brilliant and subversively political film you’ll see all year” – The Bitter Script Reader offers a million words on how Michael Bay is making bombastically bad movies to point out that we’re letting him (in fact, encouraging him) to make bombastically bad movies.

“On the Schizophrenic Presentation of Transformers: Age of Extinction” – Speaking of which, Brian Collins at Badass Digest scratches his head to the bone trying to understand the movie’s technical hopscotch.

“Boom and Bust: 10 Best Michael Bay Explosions” – Kate Erbland (in her first post for Rolling Stone!) says goodbye to Paris and Alcatraz.

“What does it feel like working within the Hollywood studio system?” – Screenwriter Ken Miyamoto offers his answer to the Quora question by relishing everyday magic.

“Roger Ebert’s oldest, least-read reviews reveal the writer he’d become” – Great time capsule excavation from Noel Murray at The Dissolve, digging through some complicated (sometimes sophomoric) work that acts as a reminder of how you become as good as Ebert: write after writing and then write more.

Related Topics:

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector [email protected] | Writing short stories at Adventitious.