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Planes and Pinot Noir.

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"So, you had a pretty big scare up there, huh?""What are the chances, when a passenger jet disintegrates, of the survivors consisting only of people uniformly blessed with good looks, sculpted bodies and an agent?" asks David Thompson at the Independent. "Lost," probably the most cinematic show on network television, is making its debut on UK TV (and honestly, it’s TV, the fact that there’s a fat guy in a major role, even as the expected comic relief, is revelatory (unless, we suppose, he’s a working class schlub married to some inexplicably hot, smart wife, and they have half-hour-long domestic hijinks), and Thompson takes the opportunity to go over some of the great plane crashes of film, including "The English Patient" and our personal favorite, "Alive" (Ethan Hawke eating his rugby teammate is oddly affecting, or maybe we just saw it at an impressionable age).

Karl Heitmueller at MTV looks at Hollywood’s poking at a general societal vulnerability — the fear of flying (Lord knows, there’s more edge and justification to that fear these days, though Heitmueller for the most part avoids this less funny angle) in honor of the upcoming Wes Craven film "Red Eye" and Jodie Foster vehicle "Flightplan." We love to see this nod:

Most of the time, our fears of flying are based on realistic potential for a mechanical failure or grisly act of nature. But in our crazier moments, we might worry about, oh, gremlins on the wing. Such was the case in "Twilight Zone: the Movie" (1983), where a panicked passenger (John Lithgow) cannot convince anyone else on board that a little green monster is trying to destroy one of the engines. The giddy balance of terror and humor — "You big silly!," the girl in the seat in front of Lithgow squeals. "You used to be a normal person once!" — captures the feelings of millions of passengers who never fully get used to air travel.

Never did quite capture the weird charm of the original, though.

We’d always been told that airlines, as a rule, didn’t show films that depicted any in-air mishaps, but once, flying from New York to London on Virgin, we caught "Fight Club" running on loop on one of the channels on our screen, with its fascinatingly graphic (though imagined) plane collision. And, come to think of it, the whole "replacing the seat-back safety cards with images of people screaming and dying" wasn’t so appropriate either. We were enraptured, couldn’t look away.

Meanwhile, and unrelated (unless you want to draw parallels about the fear of making an uneducated wine order at a restaurant and looking silly), both Jerry Shriver at USA Today and Harry Mount at the Telegraph take a look at how "Sideways," with its poetic monologues on the pleasures of a particular fermented grape, has affected Pinot Noir sales. "About 1.17 million cases were sold in the past nine months, a 44% increase over the same period a year ago, according to ACNielsen figures," Shriver says of the US, while Mount says that "[i]n Britain, Oddbins has reported an increase in sales of Pinot (and a 20 per cent decrease in Merlot) since Sideways came out."

+ Plane crazy: a brief history of the screen plane crash (Independent)
+ Rewind: Add ‘Red Eye’ And ‘Flightplan’ To The Roster Of Unlikely In-Flight Movies (MTV)
+ Pinots from heaven (USA Today)
+ How Pinot Noir became a star (Telegraph)


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.