Portlandia

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.

Portlandia-tennis

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

carrie-fire

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.

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