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“Arrested Development” Arrives on IFC

“Arrested Development” Arrives on IFC (photo)

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“I’m doing the time… of my life!” “Arrested Development” is coming to IFC — yes, all three seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning comedy series.

We’ll be launching the show on Sunday, October 25 at 10pm, and from there will be airing two episodes back-to-back, Sundays at 10pm, and Tuesdays at 9pm in the Automat.

Created by the Academy Award-winning team of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, “Arrested Development” stars an ensemble cast led by Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Henry Winkler, Jeffrey Tambor, Will Arnett, Jessica Walter and Portia de Rossi. The show, which originally aired on FOX from 2003-2006, follows the Bluths, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family and is presented in a pseudo-documentary format, incorporating hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos and historical footage.

“Arrested Development” earned itself a spot on Time Magazine‘s 100 Greatest Shows of all time list.

Have a favorite quote from the show? Leave it for us in the comments.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

What to Watch on IFC in October

What to Watch on IFC in October (photo)

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Monty Python fans are going to love this month on IFC. And if you’re not a Python fan, get the hell out! Just kidding — now is a good time to introduce yourself to the troupe that defined comedy. Beginning October 18th, tune in for a six-day Python-a-thon, including the premiere of the IFC original doc “Monty Python: Almost the Truth, The Lawyer’s Cut,” a series highlighting the rise of the famed comedy team, and features interviews with all the surviving Pythons as well as SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon, Russell Brand and many more. And all week long, catch an original Python film including “The Life of Brian,” “Live at the Hollywood Bowl,” and the classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Also in the mix is the sketch comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” which airs all week, as well as Mondays at 7:30pm and Fridays at 11pm.

10052009_arresteddevelopment.jpgKicking off October 25th, “Arrested Development” will be making IFC its new home. The comedy series focuses on the dysfunctional Bluth family household after the patriarch is sent to prison for engaging in dirty financial practices. Catch it every Sunday at 10pm with back-to-back episodes.

Also this month, in honor of the season, IFC presents Indie Screams, two weeks of indie horror beginning October 18th and leading right up to Halloween. Just a few films being served up: Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects,” the equally freakish “Strangeland,” the teen-wolf frightfest “Ginger Snaps” as well as classics like Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and his follow-up “Eaten Alive.” And because some vacations aren’t always a day at the beach, we’ve got “Motel Hell,” “Turistas” and “Cabin Fever.” There’s more, so be sure to check out the full schedule for all the horrifying films airing in October.

PREMIERES THIS MONTH:

    • ANNIE HALL Winner of numerous Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director, Woody Allen created a romantic-comedy masterpiece about a neurotic New Yorker who falls in love with the dynamic Annie Hall. Premieres Thursday, October 8th @ 10pm.
    • MOTEL HELL Unsuspecting travelers fall victim to a sadistic farmer. Premieres Friday, October 9th @ midnight.
    • TURISTAS A group of travelers come across an evil secret after getting stranded in a small village on a paradise island. Premieres Monday, October 19th @ 7:25pm.
    • SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE Willem Dafoe gives a memorable and Oscar-nominated performance in this film about the strange occurrences which took place during the making of Nosferatu. Premieres Saturday, October 24th @ 8pm.
    • JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 The Creeper is back, and he’s brought his appetite with him in director Victor Salva’s sequel to his popular 2001 sleeper that finds the creature snacking on a bus of high school basketball players and cheerleaders. Premieres Friday, October 30th @ 7:15pm.

In the Company of “Men” with John Krasinski

In the Company of “Men” with John Krasinski (photo)

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John Krasinski never got a chance to meet David Foster Wallace, the brilliant writer who’s best known for his epic novel “Infinite Jest,” and who took his own life a year ago this month. But when the “Office” star decided to adapt Wallace’s 1999 short story collection “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” into his directorial debut, the two spoke by phone, which is how the actor was given the author’s blessing.

Reverential to its insightful and caustically funny source material, the film version of “Brief Interviews” stars Julianne Nicholson as an anthropological doctoral candidate working on an ambitious research project: to uncover the secrets of the repulsive male psyche by interviewing the depraved, the misogynistic and the jerkiest of the jerks. Krasinski himself turns up as one of the subjects (some of whose monologues are dramatized), as do Bobby Cannavale, Dominic Cooper, Will Arnett and Lou Taylor Pucci. Krasinski and I had our own brief interview over why Wallace’s book meant so much to him, whether men are just walking hormones, and why he doesn’t join his “Office” mate Rainn Wilson on Twitter.

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Bishop Allen’s Justin Rice

Bishop Allen’s Justin Rice (photo)

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Justin Rice from Brooklyn’s, Bishop Allen, has been piling on film roles for awhile but in the last year has begun to make an actual career out of it. Rice most recognizably appeared with his bandmates in 2008’s “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.” They performed as themselves after Michael Cera’s band plays at the club. Since then, in 2009 alone, Rice has acquired three indie credits, the forthcoming “The Mountain, the River and the Road,” IFC film’s “Alexander the Last,” and the recent, “Harmony and Me.”

(Bishop Allen. Photo by Sebastian Mlynarski)

His music is generally used if not prominently featured in these films and such is the case in the slacker comedy “Harmony and Me” which also stars Bishop Allen bandmate, Keith Poulson. Don’t be surprised if Rice keeps landing roles, he seems inextricably linked now with a group of indie filmmakers. Though “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” was not that well received, it’s a feather in his hat. It’s probably Michel Cera who takes the hit on that one, if not director Peter Sollett who has since made the transition to TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some quality TV, but you know what I mean.

Special screenings of “Harmony and Me” are showing at MOMA through the 24th in NY.

Bishop Allen Tour Dates announced:

10/27/09 Cambridge, MA – Middle East Downstairs
10/29/09 Montreal, QC – Il Motore
10/30/09 Toronto, ON – El Mocambo
11/01/09 Pontiac, MI – The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom
11/02/09 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
11/03/09 Omaha, NE – Slowdown
11/06/09 Vancouver, BC – The Media Club
11/07/09 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
11/08/09 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
11/09/09 San Francisco, CA – The Rickshaw Shop
11/10/09 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
11/13/09 Austin, TX – Mohawk
11/14/09 Ft Worth, TX – Lola’s
11/15/09 Little Rock, AR – Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack
11/21/09 Brooklyn, NY – Bell House

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