Two things that seem highly unbelievable yet are totally true: Somehow, Dancing with the Stars is about to begin its 17th season, and when it does, one of the dancing competitors will be Bill Nye. Yes, everyone’s favorite television “science guy” (all due respect to Neil deGrasse Tyson) will compete against 11 other celebrities in the popular dancing reality show, and hopefully, he’ll be wearing his trademark bow-ties. As Nye explained in a blog post today, it’s all in the name of science — and for the love of space:
In order for us to carry out our mission to get the world — our world — excited about and supportive of space exploration, we need to engage people everywhere. The show is watched by millions. I’ll be there as your CEO of The Planetary Society and a student of Carl Sagan. Buzz Aldrin appeared on this show three years ago.
Space fans have been waiting a long time for a sequel to Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking documentary series Cosmos — 33 years, to be exact. Next year they’ll finally get that long-awaited follow-up, and it’ll be hosted by everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which will air on Fox in 2014, is meant to take the groundwork of Sagan’s brilliant 1980 series and expand it for modern audiences. It will also, according to Tyson, build on that show’s ability to be more than just a televised science book.
“[Cosmos] spent time learning—exploring—how to make science matter to you, as a human being, as a citizen, as a species with the capacity to reflect on its own existence. And those kind of messages are timeless,” Tyson told reporters following a screening of the documentary at Comic-Con International in San Diego. “They’re layered onto whatever is the science of the day, but it’s the science of the day that gives us knowledge about how to think about our place in the universe.”
Do women like Game of Thrones? Depends on whether you consult the articles people write on the subject, or the actual demographic data, since they often come to very different conclusions. Shortly after the the 2011 debut of HBO’s medieval drama, a scathing New York Times review dismissed the series as “boy fiction” and inexplicably suggested that the show was oversexualized (mostly using naked women) “out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise.” More recently, Thrillist posted an insulting article called “Why Your Girl Hates Game of Thrones” whose reasons included ”[women] hate gross things,” “it’s hard to follow,” and “it reminds [women] of the kids that used to play magic [sic] cards in the cafeteria.” (As if that’s a bad thing to be reminded of?)
While this doesn’t track with our experiences — we know just as many women as men who love the show, including Wired’s knowledgeable Game of Thrones recapper, Senior Editor Laura Hudson — the myth persists that Thrones is just guy stuff. So, as fans of math, gender equality, and any show that heavily features Daenerys Targaryen (above), we decided to find out: Do women actually hate Game of Thrones?
Nope - and we can prove it.
You’ve been reading or watching Game of Thrones. You’ve lovingly lingered over the descriptions of Gray Wind running into battle with Rob. You cried for Lady and cheered when Nymeria used Joffrey’s arm as a chew toy. Perhaps you’ve even caught yourself looking back over your lease agreement and wondering if “dire wolf” qualifies as an exotic pet.
AUSTIN, Texas — Each year, movie nerds flock to the South by Southwest Film Festival for the chance to see scads of movies at the cinephile-friendly, beer-serving Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Ritz Theater. This year, however, Alamo Drafthouse is offering something for TV fantasy nerds too — a gallery show of original Game of Thrones art.
That’s right. The brains behind Mondo – the Alamo collectible-art division responsible for all of those rad movie posters – have asked a talented crew of artists to make original pieces based on the HBO show. The result is a series of eight screen prints and nearly 30 pieces of original art – the latter of which, along with two of the screen prints, will be on display at a Mondo gallery event beginning Friday and running through March 14.
[More @ Underwire]
Praised for over a decade as one of the smartest, most idiosyncratic webcomics to grace the digital space, Chris Onstad’s Achewood has operated on an intermittent schedule since the creator announced an indefinite hiatus in March of 2011. At the time, Onstad admitted that comics might not be the best medium for the characters anymore, and now the somewhat reclusive creator has announced the next step for the strip and its cast of eccentric anthropomorphic animals: It may soon become an animated television show.
The future of TV isn’t in an HBO boardroom or on the CBS lot in Studio City; it’s not sitting on Aaron Sorkin’s laptop or buried deep in Dan Harmon’s Tumblr archive. It’s next door to a Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood—the corner lot of low-slung real estate that online-video juggernaut Machinima calls home.
Inside, the decor is pre-post-collegiate: arcade games, fanboy swag, and the occasional wafting odor of recently nuked pizza pockets. One executive’s office features a wall sculpture of Han Solo encased in carbonite. The place brings to mind the world’s largest man cave.
Yet it’s one of the biggest online video producers there are. In December 2012, Machinima-related properties scored 262 million unique viewers worldwide and 2.6 billion video views. In the previous 12 months, the network was viewed more than 20 billion times. During 2012′s E3 videogame convention, it racked up 14.4 million unique views on one day alone and 455 million total video views for the week. For nine of the 12 months in 2012, ComScore’s Video Metrix service ranked it the number one independent channel on YouTube.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve posted our year-end roundups of the best television, top albums, and most underrated movies of 2012. We thought we made some pretty good choices, but since no list is ever going to be comprehensive in the eyes of the fan whose favorite didn’t make the cut, Wired readers had some suggestions of their own. With the help of your generous and in no way angry comments, we’ve compiled a new list of 10 TV shows, movies and albums that deserved props in 2012 — as dictated by you.
…also DUHHHH, ADVENTURE TIME = BEST EVERRRR
Frankham openly admits that the snippets of life that Witness captures are just pieces of a larger pie, but he hopes that the stories themselves, combined with the experiences of the photographers, are enough to draw people in and at the very least help them begin to be more active consumers of the news from the ongoing wars across the globe.
“It’s definitely a Trojan horse,” he says. “I’m using the photographers to pull an audience into heavier subjects and conflicts that were not getting the time or the representation they deserved. And in the end I actually hope the audience has more questions than answers.”
Read more about how HBO’s Witness goes inside the pulse-pounding world of conflict photography over @ Raw File.
It’s easy to assume reality TV is the place where bad TV went to hide when the rest of TV got a lot better. Like that old Wild West town where criminals congregate, reality TV is often perceived as the last, “vast wasteland”: uncouth, desperate, lawless.
But while some shows seem irredeemably bad (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, anyone?), others offer an indication of good things to come. In fact, by turning all of us into virtual anthropologists, reality TV may lead to the improvement – dare I say it – of Western civilization. Reality TV may even be the next stage in the evolution of television.
Read more @ Wired Opinion.