James Bonded.

Posted by on

"...this would be his biggest, populist role."It’s official: on Friday, Daniel Craig was plopped in a boat (apparently they have yet to secure a sponsor for the agent’s kickin’ ride yet) and steered up the Thames for a press conference on his being cast as the next James Bond (David Sillito at the BBC has details from that). Of course, this announcement had been scooped by the Daily Mail several days ago, not to mention by Craig’s mother, who, as Hugh Davies at the Telegraph reports, cheerfully trilled on Thursday (press embargo be damned!): "Obviously we are thrilled to bits. It has come at a very good time in his career. He has worked extremely hard all his life – and this would be his biggest, populist role. I think he could bring something very interesting to the part. It will be life changing."

Craig will be either the sixth or seventh James Bond (depending on whether you count Sean Connery twice, a la Grover Cleveland) (and assuming you don’t count David Niven, Woody Allen or anyone else in the 1967 "Casino Royale" spoof) — the Boston Globe has a slide show of the Bonds we’ve known, if you need to refresh your memory, while the LA Times has a more entertainingly captioned picture sidebar beside Mary McNamara‘s deconstruction of what, exactly, we want in an international super-spy:

[Ian] Fleming wanted his man to be a cipher — an avid bird watcher, he named 007 (the 00 indicates a license to kill) after the author of "Birds of the West Indies." The closest thing to an actual description of the man who has come to be a symbol of sleek, suave masculinity is actually found in "Casino Royale." In it, Vesper Lynd (Bond’s love interest du jour) remarks that Bond "reminds rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless."

"The image of James Bond conjures charisma," said Seattle-based illustrator Mike Grell, who has drawn Bond for two graphic novels. "But [the casting of Craig] follows with what Fleming wrote. Bond was not unattractive, but there was a cruelty about his mouth and he was more real than Hollywood has portrayed him."

We’ve always found it odd that Fleming imagined his international man of mystery as a meaner Cricket, but whatever. Sharon Waxman at the New York Times take the business angle, offering a smattering of explanations as to why it took so very long to choose Craig, who was apparently always the first choice for Barbara Broccoli, who’s long controlled the rights to the franchise.

Both Peter Howell at the Toronto Star and Karl Heitmueller at MTV offer ways to fix the franchise (Heitmueller being a bit more serious that Howell, who suggests that the new "Casino Royale" start off with Pierce Brosnan back in place as Bond, only to kill him off so that Craig can arise and assume his name and agent number). Director Martin Campbell has been promising a new, stripped-down, darker and hipper Bond all over the place (the dreaded "reinvention"), and Chris Hastings, Nina Goswami and David Fickling at the Telegraph bring us word of some of the changes already being put in place (beyond Craig’s blondness). Co-producer Michael G. Wilson shares that "Neither Miss Moneypenny nor Q will appear. Neither of them are in the book. The film will update the novel but stick very closely to the storyline. In the story, Bond is just joining the service."

We’re at best barely interested in this whole affair, despite our fondness for Mr. Craig. Mostly we’re thrilled by this recent spate of franchise reimagining — everything bleaker, darker, grittier, yes! We’d like "The Smurfs" as a grim futuristic fable about genetic engineering and conformity, please…or maybe "Alice in Wonderland" with Alice as a gun-toting, unstable waif, or a London pubgoer on a Saturday night, or a comatose girl dreaming about Marilyn Manson? Oh, right, right, right.

+ Latest Bond ‘not shaken’ by media (BBC)
+ My son is Bond, James Bond (Telegraph)
+ My name is Bond, James Bond… (Boston Globe)
+ Bond gets roughed up (LA Times)
+ Bond Franchise Is Shaken and Stirred (NY Times)
+ Speculating on the Bond market (Toronto Star)
+ Saving Agent Bond (MTV)
+ Ah, Miss Moneypenny. I’m afraid we will not require your services (Telegraph)



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.