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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: tv, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Screen Novelties Creates ‘Elf’ X-Mas Special For NBC

The funny stop motion specialists at Los Angeles-based Screen Novelties have created a new hour-long holiday special "Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas."

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2. First Look: Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Series

At New York Comic Con earlier this month, Disney-owned Marvel unveiled test footage from its "Guardians of the Galaxy" animated series, which will premiere in 2015 on Disney XD's Marvel Universe programming block.

0 Comments on First Look: Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Series as of 10/23/2014 12:32:00 AM
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3. First Look: French-Produced ‘Peanuts’ Shorts

Our first look at the 'Peanuts' series produced by Angoulême, France-based Normaal Animation.

0 Comments on First Look: French-Produced ‘Peanuts’ Shorts as of 10/22/2014 8:54:00 PM
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4. 6-Minute Preview of CN Mini-Series ‘Over the Garden Wall’

Last weekend at New York Comic Con, Cartoon Network screened the following six-minute preview of their new show "Over the Garden Wall" created by former "Adventure Time" creative director Pat McHale.

0 Comments on 6-Minute Preview of CN Mini-Series ‘Over the Garden Wall’ as of 10/13/2014 2:17:00 PM
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5. A Win for Diversity in the News

It finally feels like autumn is here and if you don’t mind us saying, we’ve been “fall-ing” for all the diversity-related stories that have been in the news recently! Here are a few that we were especially excited to read:

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash SatyarthiMalala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating for girls’ rights to education, and Indian children’s right activist Kailash Satyarthi, both won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for their fight against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education. In light of the recent violence that has broken out between India and Pakistan along the border of the disputed, mainly Muslim region of Kashmir, the Nobel Peace Prize committee said it was an “important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”

In the entertainment industry, we’ve been seeing more positive changes when it comes to representation and shonda rhimes the hollywood reporterdiversity in television and movies. Shonda Rhimes, creator of the popular TV shows Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, was featured on the cover of The Hollywood Reporterwhere she talked about her success and what she’s learned from previous on-set controversies. Rhimes is also executive producer of the new TV show, How to Get Away with Murder, which just recently got a full season order from ABC along with Black-ish. Sullivan & Son, a TV show that is written by and stars Steve Byrne, is also renewed for its second season. Steven Byrne is an Irish-Korean American, one of a handful of writers of color that has found success in Hollywood. The fall television programming this year has been great for diverse representation, which is a breath of fresh air considering an infographic we did on the Emmy Awards.

On the movie front, Lionsgate is teaming up with Women in Film to create a series of short films based on the Twilight franchise. According to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, only 7% of major film directors around the world are women. Whether you’re a fan of the Twilight series or not, we love the fact that an effort to get more female directors out there is a good thing!

There’s no denying the fact that computer science is a popular field to get into; however, Google recently looked over their annual diversity reports and found that 70% of their workforce is male, with 61% being white. In an effort to get more women to take an interest in coding, Google announced that they were launching a new program called Made with Code that “includes a mix of coding projects, partnerships with youth organizations, and $50 million in funding Google says will help get more females involved in the field of computer science.”

Some of the Girls at Made to Code from Tarrant County

See any stories that we missed? Feel free to share them in the comments! Happy Friday everyone!


Filed under: Dear Readers, Diversity 102, Diversity, Race, and Representation, Lee & Low Likes, Musings & Ponderings, TV Tagged: computer science, diversity, google, how to get away with murder, kailash satyarthi, made with code, malala yousafzai, nobel peace prize, scandal tv show, shonda rhimes, twilight series, women in film

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6. Traditionally-Animated ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ Series in Development

Halifax, Canada-based media company DHX Media has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Animation to adapt "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" into a "traditionally-animated" TV series.

0 Comments on Traditionally-Animated ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ Series in Development as of 10/10/2014 11:33:00 AM
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7. ‘Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo’ Preview (Exclusive)

Animated TV series don’t often receive lavish ‘art of’ book treatment, but Adventure Time is unlike your average TV show. Next Tuesday, October 14, Abrams will release the massive 352-page Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo, documenting the show’s visual and creative process. The book was authored and designed by Cartoon Brew’s very own Chris McDonnell, who is the editor of our popular Artist of the Day section. The following images represent a small sample of the 500-plus images that will be included in the book. Click to enlarge and read the captions. Pre-order Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo on Amazon for $24.92. (All images TM and © 2014 Cartoon Network.)

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8. Right Now: Classic Animation All Night Long on TCM

If you're looking for something cartoon-related to watch tonight, Turner Classic Movies is running an entire evening's worth of animation.

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9. ‘Gravity Falls’ Does Stop Motion Ray Harryhausen Tribute

The latest episode of Gravity Falls, which is done in an anthology format a la The Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror,” includes an ambitious tribute to stop motion legend Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) with actual stop motion animation that references Harryhausen films like The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. Harryhausen appears in the episode as “Harry Claymore” and there are plenty of inside jokes about the animation process, as well as a stop motion gag about Gumby. The stop motion segment, “Clay Day,” starts in the video below at around the 13:25-minute mark. Unfortunately, the video is cropped, but you’ll get the idea: (Thanks, HarryhausenFan)

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10. Pen Ward Quit ‘Adventure Time’ Because It Was Driving Him Nuts

There's a startling revelation in a new "Rolling Stone" piece about Cartoon Network's hit series "Adventure Time": creator Pen Ward hasn't been running his show since sometime during season 5.

0 Comments on Pen Ward Quit ‘Adventure Time’ Because It Was Driving Him Nuts as of 10/3/2014 2:03:00 PM
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11. Your Legend of Korra recap post

The Legend of Korra’s fourth and final season, Book 4: Balance, returns this Friday! You’ll be able to watch here. Trying to catch up with all three seasons in one day is a pretty tall order, but luckily the weekend will soon be here! The first three books (as seasons are called Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra) are available streaming on Nick.com.

Avatar: the Last Airbender follows Aang, the last airbender, who survived the Air Nomad genocide from the Fire Nation. Together with his friends Sokka, Katara and Zuko, Aang fights to prevent the Fire Nation from taking over the whole world, all the while mastering all four elements.

The Legend of Korra is the direct sequel to Avatar: the Last Airbender, taking place 80 years after the end of ALTA. Korra, upon discovering she was the avatar at the age of four, was placed under the direct care of the Order of the White Lotus and learned to water-, fire-, and earthbending. Korra sneaks away from the Order of the White Lotus compound to learn airbending from Tenzin, the son of Avatar Aang, in Republic City.

Important Terms

Elements: Air, Water, Earth, and Fire.

Bending: The ability to control one of the aforementioned elements, i.e. waterbending. A person who bends an element is known as a bender.

Avatar: one person who has the ability to control all four elements. The avatar is born into one of the four nations and learns to bend the four elements. The Avatar is supposed to help maintain balance between the Four Nations and the spirits.

The Four Nations

Four Nations: Air Nomads, Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom, Water Tribe.

Team Avatar: the team of people who help and fight alongside the Avatar.

Pro-bending: a sport where benders fight each other with the elements. There are three benders per team: water, fire, and earth.

Order of the White Lotus: a formerly secret order that transcended the Four Nations to share philosophy and wisdom. Later, on the orders of Avatar Aang, they search and protect the next Avatar.

Red Lotus: a group that splintered off from the original White Lotus because they thought that the Order of the White lotus had become the bodyguards of the Avatar. They sought to free the world of its governments and have humans and spirits coexist. During Book 3, Zaheer leads them.

 The Major Players

Team Avatar:

Team Avatar: Asami, Mako, Korra, Bolin and Pabu (from left to right).

Korra: Korra is from the Northern Water Tribe. She is born when Avatar Aang, the protagonist of Avatar: The Last Airbender died. Korra can bend all four elements.

Asami Sato: The only nonbender on Team Avatar. Asami is the owner of Future Industries, a company that makes cars known as the Sato-mobile and other technology.

Mako: former street rat turned cop. Former captain of the pro-bending team the Future Industry Fire Ferrets. Mako is a firebender and both Korra and Asami’s ex-boyfriend. He is Bolin’s older brother.

Bolin: formerly an actor and pro-bender, he is the funny-man of Team Avatar. He is an earthbender and has the special ability to lavabend. He is Mako’s younger brother.

Other important characters

Katara: Aang’s wife, waterbending master and Korra’s teacher.

Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya: Aang’s children. Tenzin is an airbender, and Korra’s airbending instructor. Kya is a waterbender. Bumi is a retired Fire Nation general who later gains the ability to airbend after Harmonic Convergence. You may refer to them as the “cloudbabies.”

Pema: Tenzin’s wife, a nonbender.

Jinora, Ikki, Meelo, and Rohan: Pema and Tenzin’s children. All airbenders. You may refer to them as the “airbabies.” Jinora is the first airbending master in a generation.

Lin Beifong: Chief of Republic City Police, metalbender. Toph Beifong’s daughter.

Book 1: Air

Korra has a difficult time learning how to airbend, because she’s unable to tap into the spiritual side of bending. She joins a pro-bending team known as the Fire Ferrets. An anti-bending movement known as the Equalist Movement gains in popularity. The leader, Amon, wants to get rid of bending and benders. Korra tries to balance learning to airbend, practice with the Fire Ferrets and defeating Amon. Korra finally learns to airbend, when Amon seals off all of her other bending abilities.

Book 2: Spirits

Six months after the end of Book 1, Republic City has a president who is supposed to represent the interests of benders and non-benders alike. When a spirit attacks at a festival that Korra attends, she decides to focus on learning spirit-bending instead of airbending, and her uncle Unalaq becomes her teacher. Unalaq tricks Korra into opening the spirit portals. Unalaq wants to join with a dark spirit to become the Dark Avatar and destroy the Avatar cycle. Korra learns of Won, the first Avatar. With the help of Jinora, Korra defeats Unalaq. Spirits and humans were never meant to live apart, so Korra doesn’t close the Spirit Portals. The world enters a new age where spirits and humans live together.

Book 3: Change

The spirits are disrupting life in Republic City, but Korra can’t get them to live peacefully with humans. When reports of people suddenly gaining the ability to airbend reach Korra, she travels with Tenzin, his family, and team Avatar to restore the Air Nomads. The Red Lotus, a criminal organization that tried to kidnap Korra when she was young, escapes from prison. The Red Lotus’s leader, Zaheer, is one of the new airbenders. Zaheer and his cronies go on a quest to rid the world of its leaders and the Avatar. Zaheer kills the Earth Queen and Ba Sing Se descends into chaos.

When Zaheer threatens all the new airbenders to get to Korra, Korra risks her life to save them.

Several weeks later, we see Korra in a wheelchair getting ready to attend Jinora’s airbending master ceremony. Jinora, Avatar Aang’s granddaughter becomes the first airbending master in a generation. Tenzin announces that the airbenders will regain their nomadic roots

Korra returns with her parents to the Northern Water Tribe to heal.

Legend of Korra returns THIS FRIDAY.

The trailer: with Korra kicking major butt and new hair!

Watch the opening clip.

This is a clip of Kai and Opal airbending some bad guys!

I hope you’re just as excited to return to Republic City as I am!


Filed under: recap post, TV Tagged: Avatar: the Last Airbender, Bryan Konietzko, Korra, legend of korra, LOK, Michael DiMartino, Nickelodeon

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12. How ‘Adventure Time’ Revitalized Post-Apocalyptic Storytelling

There’s too much post-apocalyptic fiction around, in books and movies, TV and games. I’d toss the lot into a dumpster now, except for "Adventure Time."

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13. Don Hertzfeldt Created The Opening For Tonight’s ‘Simpsons’ Season Premiere

Tonight Don Hertzfeldt will join the ranks of directors who have created an opening "couch gag" for "The Simpsons."

0 Comments on Don Hertzfeldt Created The Opening For Tonight’s ‘Simpsons’ Season Premiere as of 9/28/2014 3:54:00 PM
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14. Your Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Recap

Stacy Whitman, Publisher of Tu Books, Stacy Whitman photoexplains why she loves Sleepy Hollow and tells us what we need to know to jump into season 2 next week. Spoilers ahead, so beware!

I never really considered myself a fan of the original Washington Irving “Sleepy Hollow” tale. It scared me as a kid, and not in a good way.

So when I started seeing posters advertising the show last year, I shrugged, despite the fact that the show was going to star a woman of color in a lead role.

As I heard people talk about how wonderful the show was, I caught up on the first few episodes and quickly became a Sleepyhead (as we fans call ourselves), spurred on by the storytelling in the show itself and the fun that actor Orlando Jones created for us as he fangirled his own show on the Internet.

If you didn’t quite get the show when it first started, we understand. We’ve been there. But that doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on all the fun this year. Sleepy Hollow is not only one of the most diverse dramas on network TV right now, it’s also one of the most fun. Come over to the dark side and become a Sleepyhead – you won’t regret it!

Note: If you have Hulu Plus and a wide-open weekend, we recommend you stop reading right now and just go binge watch entire first season on Hulu Plus right now (or just the pilot, which is available to everyone). Or, if you need a TL;DR right now (stands for too long, didn’t read) you can just check out this clip from Fox that will catch you up in 60 seconds:

Otherwise, read on for our highlights!

The Characters

Ichabod Crane: British, but fought with the Patriots in the Revolutionary War. During a Revolutionary War battle, Crane sees a masked Redcoat (the Horseman, we discover) coming at him. The Redcoat deals him a lethal blow, but Ichabod is able to cut off the man’s head before he collapses. Several hundred years later (welcome to 2013!), Ichabod wakes up in a cave and digs himself out of his own grave.

Lt. Abbie Mills: Sheriff’s Lieutenant in the quiet town of Sleepy Hollow, Abbie is preparing to leave for Quantico to join the FBI when she witnesses the murder of her Sheriff by the Headless Horseman. Skeptical by nature, a series of strange happenings convinces Abbie that there’s no need to head to Quantico: there is plenty of trouble afoot right in Sleepy Hollow. 

Captain Frank Irving: Abbie’s boss. Captain Irving at first denies that anything supernatural is going down in Sleepy Hollow. He can’t stay in denial forever, though…and may know more than he’s letting on.

 Andy Brooks: Abbie’s coworker Andy (played by the always lovable John Cho) is killed off in the very first episode, but death can’t keep him away. In subsequent episodes Brooks returns, as an agent of the Headless Horseman who, once in a while, is still able to protect Abbie.

Katrina Crane: Ichabod’s dead wife is a witch and trapped in Purgatory. She’s giving him visions from beyond the grave to help him figure out why he was awakened along with the Headless Horseman.

Jenny Mills: Abbie’s sister. Jenny was put into a mental institution years ago after she admitted to seeing a strange demon as a teenager. She may be the only one in Sleepy Hollow who’s not a little bit crazy, though.

Sleepy Hollow 1

What You Need to Know

 The answers are found in Washington’s Bible. This one keeps coming up, so take note.

The Headless Horseman is Death, the first Horseman of the Apocalypse. His goal is to bring about the end of the world, with as much misery and mischief along the way as possible. Ichabod and Abbie are the two witnesses spoken of in the Book of Revelation, and their job is to see the signs of and hopefully be able to prevent the return of the Four Horsemen who wish to usher in the Apocalypse.

The demon Abbie and Jenny saw as teens was the start. This event turns out to be the beginning of the end—the start of this round of machinations to end the world. Only Jenny admitted to seeing the demon (landing herself in a mental institution) and she becomes an important link between Abbie, Ichabod, and Moloch, the demon putting everything into motion.

Ichabod and the Horseman are linked. This I tell ya, brother/ Can’t kill one without the other…

The Horseman is actually…Arthur. Who’s Arthur? Some chump who used to be Ichabod’s best friend and Katrina’s former fiancé, back in the day. Katrina left him and later fell in love with Ichabod. Arthur, in his fury, agreed to become Death. The world would have ended back then had it not been for Ichabod killing him in battle. Talk about a bad end to a love triangle.

Katrina had a son by Ichabod. He didn’t know it at the time of his (not permanent) death, though. That son was whisked away by Abbie’s ancestors, only to end up buried alive. His name is Sleepy Hollow 2Jeremy.

There is a way to unlink Ichabod and the Horseman. A person called a Sin Eater has the ability to literally eat someone’s sin, and I honestly have no idea how this unlinks Ichabod from him, but it does.

The Sin Eater in question is Henry Parrish, who all along has seemed to be an ally in the fight against Moloch, but in the very last episode, we come to find out he’s … not such a nice guy. In fact, he’s Jeremy, Katrina and Ichabod’s son, with a lot of power and a lot of parental resentment. He helps Ichabod and Abbie enter Purgatory to rescue Katrina, but it all goes wrong, and as Ichabod and Katrina leave Purgatory—leaving Abbie behind there—Jeremy reveals his true nature as the Horseman of War. He whisks his mother off to Moloch and buries Ichabod alive…

And now you’re where we all are, two Horsemen down, and waiting for next Monday with bated breath! Join us as we live-tweet our reactions to the season 2 premiere on Monday on @leeandlow and @tubooks!


Filed under: Educator Resources Tagged: diverse television, pop culture, Sleepy Hollow, tv

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15. Diverse Fall Shows We’re Looking Forward to:

This year’s Emmys had an unfortunate lack of diversity. But, never fear! Fall 2014’s TV season is about to start and there are some amazing diverse offerings on the horizon.

Returning:

Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes’s medical drama returns for its eleventh season.

Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as a modern day Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, returns.

Sleepy HollowSleepy Hollow normalizes POC characters as leads in a fantasy-world setting, in which their POC-ness isn’t an “issue” but definitely a part of who they are as characters. It tackles historical issues like slavery head-on (for example, Ichabod’s reaction to Abbie being a cop), and it centers Abbie’s experience as the hero of this tale.

Ultimately, it’s epic and funny and fascinating—it tells a good story.

Scandal, Shonda Rhimes’s political thriller, returns with Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope.

Premiering:

Fresh off the Boat is the first sitcom starring Asian Americans since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl in 1994. There are 18.9 million Asian Americans in the US. It’s time to see some positive representation! Fresh off the Boat

The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore will replace Comedy Central’s Colbert Report.

Black-ish, starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, follows a middle-class African American family in a mostly-white neighborhood.

Selfie looks fun and funny, a fresh take on My Fair Lady, with a nicely diverse cast across the board.

Cristela, “in her sixth year at law school, is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. However, she’s a lot more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate.”

How to Get Away with MurderHow to Get Away with Murder stars two-time Oscar nominee, Viola Davis, as “the brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating, who gets entangled with four law students from her class “How to Get Away with Murder.””

Jane the Virgin is a retelling of Venezuelan soap-opera Juana la Virgen staring Gina Rodriguez.

Survivor’s Remorse, produced by LeBron James, follows Cam Calloway, a young basketball prodigy who is thrust into the limelight after getting a multi-million dollar contract with a professional team in Atlanta.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Galavant is about a dashing hero, determined to reclaim his reputation and his “happily ever after” from the evil King Richard. Karen David stars as Isabella. It’s unclear from the previews what role Isabella will ultimately play overall, but Karen David is the top-billed woman in the cast, so we have hopes her character will be important!

Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney

Gotham, WB’s new origin story on Batman and several villains, will have Jada Pinkett Smith in the role of Fish Mooney. Zabryna Guevara will star in the role of Sarah Essen.

Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments what diverse shows you’re looking forward to this fall!


Filed under: Diversity, Diversity, Race, and Representation, Race Tagged: African/African American Interest, Asian/Asian American, diverse television, diversity, fall 2014, Multiracial, new tv shows, Race issues, television, tv

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16. Orange is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison Piper Kerman

Piper used to run drug money for her then-girlfriend. 4 years after she got out of the game (when the girlfriend asked her to start running drugs, too) she was arrested. They also charged her with conspiracy and was subject to harsh mandatory minimum laws, so she plead guilty to hope for leniency at sentencing. She then waited. The US wanted to try the head of the operation, but needed to extradite him and wanted Kerman to testify against him as a civilian, not a prisoner. 6 years after pleading guilty, Kerman was sentenced to 15 months in minimum security.

This memoir focuses a bit on her life before Danbury, but mostly looks at her year in prison and what she learned about herself, the institution, and the societal and political structures we have in place to keep landing people there. Kerman does not have a lot of sympathy for our drug sentencing laws--especially the prosecutorial catch-all of the conspiracy charge. She knows how lucky she was in having the resources to have good legal counsel and saw many, many, many women who did a lot less than she did go down for a lot more time.

It is pretty eye-opening to the realities of the prison system--how it sets people up to fail, how it doesn’t actually fix our issues, but also the camaraderie underneath as people turn to each other to build family and support mechanisms in order to survive (mostly emotionally, though a bit physically).

One thing I appreciate about Kerman is she never denies that she did wrong. She never says she didn’t deserve to go to prison. In fact, it was in prison that she finally came face-to-face with the realities of the drug trade--not the people who go down for being in it, but the addicts and the what addiction does to people, families, and communities. And she doesn’t turn away from facing it and dealing with her shame and guilt (both moral and legal) head-on.

It’s an easy read, written in short sections and vignettes, part personal story, part character sketches of the people and scenes around her. The pacing works really well to move it ahead quickly. That said, it would benefit from tighter editing. I think many were originally written as a series of essays, and so some characters are introduced with the exact same language multiple times while others show up out of left field with no context given.

But, let’s be honest--I picked this up because I’m a fan of the show and wanted to check out the source material. So, how does the book compare? Well, book-Piper has a much better head on her shoulders than TV-Piper. She’s much more aware of her privilege and also knows how to keep her head down to avoid trouble and extra time. I often want to smack TV-Piper up against the head with a clue-stick when it comes to socioeconomic issues, but not so much with book-Piper (but, book-Piper also has the benefit of hindsight). Book-Larry is also much more together than TV-Larry.

Also, not surprisingly, there is a lot less drama in the book than the show. While Piper does eventually come face-to-face with her ex-girlfriend, it’s not until the end, and there are no lingering attraction issues. We also don’t get a good look at many of the other women in Danbury with Piper. Some of the nicknames are the same (Pennsatucky, Big Boo, and Delicious instead of Tastee) but they don’t have backstories and often the personalities we see on screen are nothing like the glimpses we see in the book. Other characters don’t have names, but you see some character traits to make them recognizable (such as the Russian kitchen boss, or the strict, older bunkmate, the aging hippie who teaches yoga and the activist nun) but the stories aren’t quite the same. On the reasons is in prison, you don’t ask, so Kerman just didn’t know the backstory of a lot of her fellow inmates.

I do recommend it to most people, but especially fans of the show. It’s fascinating and a fun read that doesn’t bog down, despite the repetition issues I mention above. Also, if you do watch the show, it’s really interesting to see which parts are TV and which parts are actually true.


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17. An Oxford Companion to being the Doctor

If you share my jealousy of Peter Capaldi and his new guise as the Doctor, then read on to discover how you could become the next Time Lord with a fondness for Earth. However, be warned: you can’t just pick up Matt Smith’s bow-tie from the floor, don Tom Baker’s scarf, and expect to save planet Earth every Saturday at peak viewing time. You’re going to need training. This is where Oxford’s online products can help you. Think of us as your very own Companion guiding you through the dimensions of time, only with a bit more sass. So jump aboard (yes it’s bigger on the inside), press that button over there, pull that lever thingy, and let’s journey through the five things you need to know to become the Doctor.

(1) Regeneration

Being called two-faced may not initially appeal to you. How about twelve-faced? No wait, don’t leave, come back! Part of the appeal of the Doctor is his ability to regenerate and assume many faces. Perhaps the most striking example of regeneration we have on our planet is the Hydra fish which is able to completely re-grow a severed head. Even more striking is its ability to grow more than one head if a small incision is made on its body. I don’t think it’s likely the BBC will commission a Doctor with two heads though so best to not go down that route. Another example of an animal capable of regeneration is Porifera, the sponges commonly seen on rocks under water. These sponge-type creatures are able to regenerate an entire limb which is certainly impressive but are not quite as attractive as The David Tenants or Matt Smiths of this world.

Sea sponges, by dimsis. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.
Sea sponges, by Dimitris Siskopoulos. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.

(2) Fighting aliens

Although alien invasion narratives only crossed over to mainstream fiction after World War II, the Doctor has been fighting off alien invasions since the Dalek War and the subsequent destruction of Gallifrey. Alien invasion narratives are tied together by one salient issue: conquer or be conquered. Whether you are battling Weeping Angels or Cybermen, you must first make sure what you are battling is indeed an alien. Yes, that lady you meet every day at the bus-stop with the strange smell may appear to be from another dimension but it’s always better to be sure before you whip out your sonic screwdriver.

(3) Visiting unknown galaxies

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field telescope captures a patch of sky that represents one thirteen-millionth of the area of the whole sky we see from Earth, and this tiny patch of the Universe contains over 10,000 galaxies. One thirteen-millionth of the sky is the equivalent to holding a grain of sand at arm’s length whilst looking up at the sky. When we look at a galaxy ten billion light years away, we are actually only seeing it by the light that left it ten billion years ago. Therefore, telescopes are akin to time machines.

The sheer vastness and mystery of the universe has baffled us for centuries. Doctor Who acts as a gatekeeper to the unknown, helping us imagine fantastical creatures such as the Daleks, all from the comfort of our living rooms.

Tardis, © davidmartyn, via iStock Photo.
Tardis, © davidmartyn, via iStock Photo.

(4) Operating the T.A.R.D.I.S.

The majority of time-travel narratives avoid the use of a physical time-machine. However, the Tardis, a blue police telephone box, journeys through time dimensions and is as important to the plot of Doctor Who as upgrades are to Cybermen. Although it looks like a plain old police telephone box, it has been known to withstand meteorite bombardment, shield itself from laser gun fire and traverse the time vortex all in one episode. The Tardis’s most striking characteristic, that it is “much bigger on the inside”, is explained by the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, by using the analogy of the tesseract.

(5) Looking good

It’s all very well saving the Universe every week but what use is that without a signature look? Tom Baker had the scarf, Peter Davison had the pin-stripes, John Hurt even had the brooding frown, so what will your dress-sense say about you? Perhaps you could be the Doctor with a cravat or the time-traveller with a toupee? Whatever your choice, I’m sure you’ll pull it off, you handsome devil you.

Don’t forget a good sense of humour to compliment your dashing visage. When Doctor Who was created by Donald Wilson and C.E. Webber in November 1963, the target audience of the show was eight-to-thirteen-year-olds watching as part of a family group on Saturday afternoons. In 2014, it has a worldwide general audience of all ages, claiming over 77 million viewers in the UK, Australia, and the United States. This is largely due to the Doctor’s quick quips and mix of adult and childish humour.

You’ve done it! You’ve conquered the cybermen, exterminated the daleks, and saved Earth (we’re eternally grateful of course). Why not take the Tardis for another spin and adventure through more of Oxford’s online products?

Image credit: Doctor Who poster, by Doctor Who Spoilers. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.

The post An Oxford Companion to being the Doctor appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. First Look: Disney’s ‘Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero’

In addition to "Star Vs. The Forces of Evil," Disney TV Animation is producing a second action/comedy series slated to debut on Disney XD in 2015: "Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero."

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19. Disney TV Inks Deals With Aaron Springer, Jhonen Vasquez, Jesse LeDoux, and Ryan Quincy

Disney TV Animation announced an unusual series of pilot deals and projects today with an un-Disney-like roster of creators.

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20. Nick Yanks ‘Korra’ From TV, Moves Series To Online Platforms

In a first-of-its-kind programming move that even surprised the show's creators, Nickelodeon will remove "The Legend of Korra" from its network schedule, and premiere the remaining episodes of season three exclusively on digital platforms.

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21. SDCC ’14: Bryan Fuller reveals season 3 Hannibal spoilers

 By Hannah Lodge

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[Spoilers for the show up to and including season 2 below - obviously! - Steve]

Hannibal show runner Bryan Fuller revealed some early details for the upcoming third season at Comic Con panel and press events Thursday, including the likely inclusion of Gillian Anderson as a series regular next year, the return of several characters whose lives were left hanging in the balance, and a shift in time.

Fans attending the Hannibal panel were treated to an early spoiler when cast member Raul Esparza, who plays Doctor Frederick Chilton, was confirmed to be returning for season three in spite of taking a bullet to the face at the end of season two.

Espara said he knew his character would survive what appeared to be his bloody end, and revealed in a press conference that he’ll have a crucial role in the future of the series.

“I know that I’m instrumental in catching him,” Esparza said. “He’s going to become my prisoner. Doctor Bloom is involved.”

Fuller also revealed in the press event that guest star Gillian Anderson, who plays the role of Bedelia Du Maurier, is currently in negotiations to become a regular on the series.

“Bedelia is the smartest character on the show,” he said.

Fuller said the third season would take place a full year after the events in the season 2 finale, giving the audience a glimpse at Hannibal and Bedelia’s life on the run, which he described as Talented Mr. Ripley-esque.

Caroline Dhavernas (Doctor Alana Bloom) also attended the events and confirmed she would be participating in the upcoming season, though she would not reveal exactly what had happened to her character.

“She will be back, but I’m not sure in what state,” she said. “I know she will be a changed woman, and will continue on with a different way of life.”

In addition to the time jump, season three will feature flash backs (including one with guest star Eddie Izzard) and will focus less on the procedural episode-of-the-week and more on the manhunt for Hannibal.

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22. First Look: Cartoon Network’s ‘Over the Garden Wall’ Mini-Series

Last week at San Diego Comic-Con, Cartoon Network offered the first look at "Over the Garden Wall," a ten-episode fantasy mini-series that will debut this fall.

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23. Comedy Central Teases 1980s Crime Parody ‘Moonbeam City’

Scheduled to debut in 2015, Comedy Central's "Moonbeam City" is described as an absurdist take on the sex-drenched crime dramas of the 1980s.

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24. Watch The Comic-Con Preview of ‘Mike Tyson Mysteries’

Warner Bros. Animation's "Mike Tyson Mysteries" is a throwback to the celebrity-endorsed TV cartoons of the 1970s and '80s, but the comedic twist is that the "celebrity" is a wife-beating, drug-abusing, flesh-biting, convicted rapist.

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25. Disney Tries Something New With ‘Star Vs. The Forces of Evil’: A Woman Creator

It's always amusing when people criticize Walt Disney for being sexist because of the way he ran his company over 70 years ago, while completely overlooking the contemporary Disney Company's abysmal track record of promoting women into top creative positions.

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