Airing on IFC, Portlandia begun as a series of web sketches done by the SNL stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen and has now grown into compilation show based in Portland, OR and filmed on-location.Portlandia-cow

In 2011, Carrie and Fred made their first Portlandia debut with a fairly odd pilot episode. With little premise given, viewers were taken into the city of Portland where the lives of various characters were being portrayed around town. The main characters in every skit are played by Carrie and Fred, and what originally started as a seemingly random compilation show now has returning personalities, most popularly Toni (Carrie) and Candice (Fred) from the Women & Women First feminist book store.

The often-absurd show started off a little rough, but has since been absorbed into pop culture and is set to return for its sixth season next year, and a seventh season in 2017.

Perhaps what makes the series so unique is the fact that the two lead actors have admitted they use real houses and buildings for all of the scenes. When it first aired, Portlandia was rejected by many of the locals, as the show can easily be viewed as an insult to Portland (and all of its inhabitants), but now the citizens take it in good fun and many volunteer their homes and shops for filming.


While Carrie and Fred portray all of the main characters, various guest stars have come on the show over the years, including Jeff Goldblum and Jack McBrayer. Every episode consists of multiple scenes, with Carrie and Fred switching characters, costumes, and sometimes genders, for each. The lives of all of Carrie and Fred’s characters tend to intertwine, and the show has frequently filmed so that Fred and Carrie appear multiple times (in different characters) within the same scene in order to stage arguments and conversations between the personalities.

Portlandia also has a few inside jokes for those aware of Portland’s politics. While Kyle MacLachlan poses as the city’s mayor in the show, the actual mayor – Sam Adams – has made his own appearance as the assistant mayor, further proving the good spirit of Portland’s citizens.

The pilot episode immediately began by showing off the much-loved “weirdness” of Portland as Fred tells his friend (Carrie) over the phone about the city where the 90s are still alive. He breaks into song to be followed by joined by musically-inclined unicyclists, midgets, and other bizarre characters. When the song ends, viewers get to jump ahead to the life of two other characters in Portland (also played by Carrie and Fred) who are questioning a waiter on the life of the chicken they’re considering ordering. After they’re given directions to the farm where the chicken was raised, they end up getting sucked into a cult, and the remainder of the show follows their adventure.

Even if you only watch a few minutes into the pilot episode, the weirdness and fun of Portlandia will quickly be apparent. While many aren’t sure of how to take it, fans have admitted that once they manage to grasp the idea (and realize there isn’t much of a plot), they find themselves laughing at the antics of the various characters.

Many fun-hearted Portland citizens have taken the show in all of its glory, and some admit it that many of the scenes portray the uniqueness of Portland perfectly.

Untitled-1While many critics have been harsh on the show, fans have ranked it high. Portlandia has won seven awards, including 2 Primetime Emmys. It’s also gotten 12 nominations and its viewership continues to grow.  The last count showed that half a million tuned in to watch Portlandia on IFC, but the show has also gained more fans after it was added to Netflix, where more people were able to discover the series.

Even though some critics aren’t raving about the show, the network is definitely certain that fans love it, and they’re obviously pretty sure that fans won’t be tuning out anytime soon, as this is the second time since the series began that it has been renewed early for not one, but two seasons. So, Portlandia fans can continue to enjoy the crazy skits until at least 2017.

As for the actors, both have expressed the joy they get out of writing the skits and filming the show. Carrie admitted in a recent interview that she never thought the web skits (which she called “ThunderAnt”) would ever grow into such a popular and successful show, but both actors confirmed that the weirdness of Portlandia will be continuing into the future.

Continue Reading

Four Surprising Facts about Shiloh


Siloh is one of the most popular children’s books of all time. The book is regularly assigned to school-age children and has been adapted into multiple forms of media, including a feature-length film and a stage play. The book, which was published in 1991, tells the story of a young boy who vows to save an abused dog from his neighbor. The book features complex themes and morals and is sometimes challenged in libraries because of its mature themes. How much do you really know about Shiloh? Let’s take a look at some surprising facts about the original book, its film adaptation, and Shiloh himself.

The book was inspired by real events
The author of the book, Phyllis Naylor, was inspired to write Shiloh based on real life events. While visiting friends in West Virginia, Naylor came across an abused, frightened dog that was following them along a river. After returning home that night, Naylor told her husband that she believed the dog was being abused, questions she asked herself inspired Shiloh: “What if I knew who was abusing it? What if I knew who it belonged to? What if the dog kept running to me?”  The dog was later adopted by Naylor’s friends.

The book has received many honors
The original book earned multiple awards and honors in the field of literature. Its awards include the John Newbery Medal; the Sequoyah Children’s Book Award; the Mark Twain Readers Award; the William Allen White Children’s Book Award; and was included in the 2000 list of Top 100 Children’s Books.


The book–and film–have sequels
Many readers who were assigned the original book in elementary school may be surprised to learn that both the book and film have sequels. In 1996, Naylor published Shiloh Season and in 1997, she published the final book in the trilogy, Saving Shiloh. Both books were adapted into film in 1999 and 2006.

The film is very different from the book
Although the film follows the same general idea as the book, there are many differences. In the film, Marty’s family is very wealthy; in the book, his family is poor. Judd in the film is an outsider who moves into town, while in the book he has lived in town all his life. Additional scenes and characters were added to the film to introduce more of an external plot.





Continue Reading

The Walking Dead TV Series

twdrvAdapted by Frank Darabont patently; The Walking Dead, an American horror series was premiered on 31st October 2010. The idea for this show was taken from Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard’s popular comic series with the same title.

The Walking Dead predominantly follows Rick Grime who is a devoted police officer. He had been shot while he was on duty making him end up in a hospital. After several years when he recovered from coma and got back to his senses, what he discovered was hard to digest. He was the only human alive and the world was under supremacy of zombies. The flesh eating ones. The dead ones. The Walking Dead. Rick was unable to place out that what had happened behind him.

He began the search for his missing wife and son. He wandered and reached Atlanta where he met Glenn; another survivor. Rick headed off to a camp with Glenn where he found his wife and son as well as a group of few other survivors. They went through pain, got hurt physically as well as mentally, lost their loved ones, cried but yet did not lose hope. Their adventure continued, making each of them emerge out as a survivor.

A splendid job is done on the zombies in The Walking Dead. Soulless, dull, bloody, skin hanging, mouths chomping, and vacant eyed zombies adds to the horror of the show. They blankly stalk a human being and try to kill them. And to kill a zombie, one has to pull the trigger and insert bullet in their head. Overall the suspense sustains throughout the show making it dynamic as well as engaging.

It seemed that the makers had picked up well-judged cast but as the show progressed, most of the flaws were pointed out in the characters. Undoubtedly, the cast was amazing but somehow the coordination between them lacked. They did not give their best shots in the scenes where it was required. But in later seasons, they improved and won the hearts of their audience.

Being a horror drama hybrid, the show needs to be understood by parents. There are a lot of violent scenes involving blood, guns, dead bodies, half eaten corpses and other creepy stuff. It have few un-bleeped swearing which you may not find appropriate for your kid. Moreover sexual content is also a part of The Walking Dead which is unsuitable for children under 18.

After making into the top rankings of best television shows of 2010, The Walking Dead series progressed and improved. The suspenseful story developed and the character’s personal lives were discoursed in more detail. Their continuing efforts to survive the sprints kept the excitement and interest of the viewers alive.

It did not bore the audience at all but had amazed them in every sense. They got involved and kept on asking for more. The show has magnificently launched its four seasons and now everyone awaits for the fifth blockbuster to arrive. Check here to find the television service provider in you area that offers AMC TV.

Continue Reading

The Walking Dead – From Comic to TV

The long road from literary interpretation of a concept to another media, such as television or film.  When a novel goes from book form to movie form, for example, it can sometimes be a long road, rife with trouble.  There is no guarantee what is there on the page will translate well to a different medium and sometimes changes must be made to fulfill the potential of the work.  It must be done, however, because a book (or comic book) is not a movie and vice versa.

walkingdadcomicBut of course by doing this, you risk alienating the core fans of the original work.  But then again, if you stick too closely to the original work, you run the risk of not translating well to TV.  The Walking Dead is no different in this respect.  It seems everyone is happy for the most part in what they have done with regards to the show.  It does not look like the comic book fans are all that rabid anyway, to be honest.  It is not the same level as The Lord of the Rings, for example.  Fans of that franchise are hardcore.

The Walking Dead have garnered fans mostly due to the TV show on AMC, a highly successful program about a fictional Zombie Apocalypse.  It had a leg up, before it even became a show, thanks in large part to the involvement of Frank Daramont, the writer/director of The Shawshank Redemption.  With he and Gale Anne Hurd of Alien, The Terminator and other big time film franchises fame, The Walking Dead was up and running hardcore.

walkingdeadtvAfter only 6 episodes, the second season was picked up almost instantly and the order was more than doubled to 13, than expanded to 16 for both the third and fourth seasons.  Wham, bam, thank you ma’am!  The Walking Dead was a success right out of the gate, in part to the already established fan base of the comics.

With AMC promoting the hell out of it and other companies jumping on board with other media, the show seems unstoppable.  It has a foundation for success and with such talented people on board, there seems no chance of it running afoul of its fans, much like the vaulted Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Peter Jackson crushed that and it appears they are taking a page from his playbook.

Continue Reading

The “Carrie” TV Show That Almost Happened

Stephen King’s Carrie propelled him into stardom. Brian DePalma’s 1976 adaptation was critically acclaimed. The newest remake, starring Chloe Grace Moretz  is having box office success. But did you know that Carrie White was almost the star of her own TV show?

carrieThe story of the show-that-almost-was begins with the little-known but, at the time, highly anticipated TV mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie. This mini-series adaptation was produced and written by Bryan Fuller and starred Angela Bettis as the titular telekinetic Carrie. This TV adaptation of Carrie was actually one of the most hotly awaited shows of the season—Carrie had always been a popular favorite among horror fans, and the TV series promised to be “more faithful” to King’s original work.carrie-buiding-burning

The verdict on that aspect was a little murky—the TV series did use a lot more material from the book, including a framework that placed the entire film in a flashback—but there was something that the TV series added which was definitely not in the original novel or 1976 film adaptation. This “something” was the fact that Carrie White, rather than dying in her home (as in the 1976 film) or on the roadside (as in the book) actually lives to tell her story. Or, as the series finale and producer Bryan Fuller indicate, to “help those with similar powers.” In Florida, of course. (If you’re going to run away after a rampage that kills your classmates and your mother, might as well choose somewhere warm!)

Yes, the mini-series adaptation of Carrie was actually intended to be the lead-in for a television series about Carrie White living in Florida and helping people who also have telekinetic or similar psychic powers. The TV series, of course, never happened. Why not? It may boil down to the fact that while the miniseries actually had stellar ratings, the critical and fan reception was not so kind to this adaptation. In addition to radically altering the ending in order to work as a tie-in for a potential series, the writers decided to absolve Carrie of blame during the infamous “prom scene,” by having her go into a source of helpless, but murderous, trance.


Regardless of your feelings on the “trance scandal,” the fact remains—a TV series starring Carrie White as a telekinetic camp counselor was just never meant to be.

Continue Reading

AT&T U-verse Home Phone

Now a days you are subject to get laughed at if you have a landline. The days of home phones seem to be close to over. But when I was searching for an Internet and cable service a couple months ago and came across these deals with AT&T U-verse Bundles. I couldn’t pass up this offer. The bundle came with Internet, TV, and a Home Phone line for around $80 per month. I didn’t need a home phone but it came a long with the deal, so why not?at&t-lilly

I’ve actually come to discover that it’s a great significance having a home phone line again! I use the pay-as-you-go payment plan for cell phone service and there have been many times when I have run out of minutes and didn’t have the funds or ability to get more minutes. When this happens I know that if my friends, family, or work really need to get in touch with me that they have the ability to do so.  Also, if I lose or misplace my cell phone I always know that I have a back up way of communicating with those that I need to communicate with over the phone.

It’s also a great thing to have an alternate phone line to your cell phone incase you feel like keeping your cell phone number more discreet. For example, I work at a BBQ restaurant where they give out a phone list to every employee so if someone needs a shift covered they can contact each other and handle it without the manager having to do so themselves. I have had experiences where certain employees have used my number for purposes not related to work. Now, I provide my home phone line as my number for the phone sheet so that I can avoid text messages from certain employees.


Having a home phone line again has been much more beneficial than I ever would have anticipated.


Continue Reading

Tinder App Is Very Popular

Tinder, one of the most popular digital dating programs to hit the scene in a while, showed up in October of 2013. It has become so popular by its use of the single most important piece of technology in anyone’s daily routine- the smartphone.tinder-app-download-image

The app provides users with the ability to scroll through hundreds of profiles from Facebook looking for the most appealing ones. Due to its game-like user-interface, many users feel more comfortable using this app than others. It takes the edge off and relieves the nerves a little right before the big hookup. To date, users have found over 100 million matches and have rated more than seven billion profiles. Until July 15, 2013, only iPhone users could enjoy the pleasures of mobile app dating. However, starting on the 15th, Tinder will be offering an Android-friendly app, which seems fair, since Android makes up to 70 percent of smartphone markets.

Tinder announced its inclusion of an Android app by telling fans that it would launch the app as soon as it got one million requests through various social media sites. After only 800 thousand positive requests, Tinder decided to give Android fans what they were clamoring for. The set up for the Android app is comparable to that of the iPhone app and still very easy to use. With a basic interface and millions of profiles at the fingertips, billions of users have found a way to flirt on-the-go.


Since Tinder is global, people are finding matches from all parts of the world. The app serves its purpose for mutual flirting, even on a global basis.
This app is not for those that want to find a long-term relationship online. It is geared more towards 20-somethings that are just looking for some company and light entertainment.

Continue Reading

Protect Your Facebook Account

After a quick look at the privacy settings on Facebook it is easy to get confused or discouraged and quit before you start. Don’t give up. Follow this how-to on putting your account’s privacy settings where you want them.facebook-bulge

First, look on the right hand side of the upper part of the screen, where the picture of the gear is. It is a round icon with a hole in the middle of it. Click on it. It will give you access to the “General Account Settings” where you can choose an email you don’t use for other accounts, like your banking accounts, for example. You can also choose a new password if you haven’t changed yours in a while.

Second, on the left hand side of the page, click the link for “Security”. Enable “Secure Browsing”. This makes sure your account is private and not open for viewing by the public. Enable “Login Notifications” because it provides you with a clear picture on who is accessing your account and the location the person is accessing it from. Also, enable “Login Approvals” to make sure that you get a code through text when someone tries to sign into your account using an unfamiliar device. You will also have the chance to close any sessions you don’t recognize as yours.

Thirdly, go back to the left hand side of the page and click the “Privacy” link. You should set the “Who can see my stuff” setting to “Friends” and look through the “Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in” section. Under the “Who can look me up?” section, select “Friends” and choose “Off” for the “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” section.


With these easy steps, you can protect your personal information and Facebook account.

Continue Reading