DID YOU READ

Fix, Olivia Wilde, Tao Ruspoli

Fix, Olivia Wilde, Tao Ruspoli (photo)

Posted by on

You may be aware by now of actress Olivia Wilde. I guess she’s been in every glossy guy spread from Maxim to GQ in a bathing suit. She’s also made her mark on TV in House M.D., and unfortunately the show beloved by the Bush twins, The OC. But she’s not all vapid teen drama, in fact she came to my attention with “Tron Legacy” where we she will play a “loyal confidant to Kevin Flynn.” Tron 2.0, as it was formerly called, will be first rate cinema spectacle when it’s released in 2010 and should cement Wilde as a real star. You know the kind who reads, campaigns for progressive politics and is genuinely interesting.

Her parents, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, (Olivia took the show name “Wilde” from Oscar) are hotshot investigative journalists. “‘Olivia was exposed to a lot of very clever people when she was little,” [Leslie Cockburn told GQ]. She recalls Olivia eavesdropping one night on a conversation between Richard Holbrooke and Mick Jagger–until the Rolling Stone turned around and shooed Olivia to bed. “How many girls were told to go to bed by Mick Jagger?”

Olivia added “I’d fall asleep listening long before I understood what they were talking about,” she says. “I appreciated the constant excitement, the murmur of all these engaged conversations. Christopher Hitchens used to babysit me when I was young” [GQ]

One can only imagine the myriad effects a radical contrarian like Christopher Hitchens could have upon the formative years of a young girl. I bet she likes a good argument and a great glass of wine. But enough speculation, Olivia is in a film by Tao Ruspoli called “Fix” that opens November 20th that has piqued my interest. It’s based on a true story about Ruspoli’s brother and how after a drug conviction he was given the choice of rehab or 3 years in prison. The trick was that he had to show up before a limited deadline and pay a huge deposit to the rehab clinic to be admitted.

The film (like the real event) is a race across LA by “documentary filmmakers Bella and Milo” to get Milo’s blown out brother, Leo, from jail to rehab before the deadline. They get hampered by strange characters while also trying to find the money to admit him – perhaps a lucrative but ironic drug deal will prove the only way to make it happen.

“Fix” features music by Dead Prez , Ima Robot, Simon Dawes, Beautiful Girls, and Nico Stai. The handsome director and Founder of The Los Angeles Filmmakers’ Cooperative, Tao Ruspoli, is married to Olivia Wilde in the real world, sorry you drooling dreamers.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

Posted by on
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

maryhartman

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

ikea heights

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

fresno

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

soap

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

cooks2

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

darkplace

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

attitudes

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

peaks

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

invitation

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

stomach

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)

joey

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

acorn

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

pointplace

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

spoils

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.

spoilsdying


15. All My Children Finale, SNL

allmychildren

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.

Jack McBrayer Conan Weiners Circle

All Smiles

5 Funny Jack McBrayer Videos That’ll Have You Grinning

Catch Jack McBrayer in the final three episodes of Todd Margaret season three tonight at 10/9C on IFC.

Posted by on
TBS

Bright, shining, and with a smile from here to his native Georgia, Todd Margaret star Jack McBrayer is the perfect actor to play any role that calls for serious pep. Best known for his work on 30 Rock and his various appearances on Conan O’Brien’s late night programs, Jack has amassed a slew of classic scenes and hilarious performances.

To get you ready for the final three episodes of Todd Margaret season three (airing tonight at 10/9c on IFC), here are five hilarious Jack McBrayer clips that’ll have you smiling from ear to ear.

1. Jack and Triumph Visit Chicago’s Weiner’s Circle, Conan

Nicest guy in the world Jack McBrayer is put through the ringer when Conan sends him to the brutally honest Weiner’s Circle in Chicago, an establishment that earns much of its business by insulting the customers. But Jack exacts his revenge — and gets to don a vendor hat as well — when he enlists Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to unleash a barrage of killer put-downs.


2. Sherlock Doug, Todd Margaret

With the unexpected third season of Todd Margaret, Jack takes over the role of Doug from actor-director Spike Jonze and puts his usual jubilant spin on the character. But when he consigns to investigate the disappearance of another Todd Margaret character, he becomes a cold-hearted flatfoot in search of his perp. (Of course, he’s still pretty chipper.)


3. Jack Struggles to Talk Over Triumph’s Quiet Reading, The Tonight Show

The rapport between Jack and Triumph proved to be too valuable to abandon, so the duo kept the act going when they visited Jimmy Fallon on the set of The Tonight Show. But like the classic “straight man/comic relief” acts from the Vaudeville era, Jack can’t seem to get in a word in edgewise as he keeps getting upstaged by the canine answer to Don Rickles.


4. New Breaking Bad Drug Lord, Conan

Few television series reached the dramatic tension of Breaking Bad largely due to the phenomenal actors. But Conan discovers that one pivotal scene from the show was woefully miscast. Take a look at who was hired to play Walter White’s latest rival. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


5. Backwards Day, 30 Rock

30 Rock had one of the greatest ensemble casts in a television comedy, and Jack played a huge role in that. (His Kenneth the Page character ending up being immortal was just a bonus.) But if you happened to miss the series when it aired, check out this easter egg of Jack McBrayer’s dedication to learning how to phonetically say a phrase backwards. When the scene plays in reverse, you’ll see he nailed it.

48 Hrs

Law & Disorder

The 10 Funniest Cops In Movie History

Catch Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hrs. this month on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Ah, the action comedy. The magic of the movies makes “cracking jokes while waving a gun” hilarious instead of terrifying. With Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hrs. airing this month on IFC, we raise our coffee and doughnut to the law-enforcement officers who never fail to make us laugh.

10. John McClane, Die Hard series

Whether it’s through his own suffering, his action-packed one-liners, or the way he scribbles “HOHOHO NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN” on dead bad guys, John McClane is the only cop we want to be stuck in a building full of terrorists with.


9. Martin Riggs, Lethal Weapon series

riggs

The Lethal Weapon films were Mel Gibson’s most famous (fictional) encounter with the law. A suicidal ex-Special Forces soldier-turned-loose-cannon-cop, Riggs is only held together by his dedication to the law, his hatred of criminals, and his incredibly long-suffering partner Sgt. Murtaugh. Speaking of…


8. Roger Murtaugh, Lethal Weapon series

murtaugh

Riggs is famous for being the unpredictable, madcap comedy character, but he’s only hilarious thanks to the heavy sighs of his straitlaced partner Murtaugh. Without Danny Glover’s comic reactions Riggs would just be a lunatic running around with a gun screaming at people.


7. Det. Inspector Lee and Det. Carter, Rush Hour series

The pairing of Chris Tucker’s motormouth wisecracker and Jackie Chan’s cool, high-kicking martial artist was such a potent combination, it went on to inspire several sequels and imitators. (Kevin Hart should send Tucker residual checks from those Ride Along movies.)


6. Schmidt and Jenko, 21 Jump Street series

The Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill reboot of the classic ’80s TV series redefined the buddy comedy by going meta and flipping the genre’s cliches on its head. We never thought we’d say this, but we’re actually looking forward to 23 Jump Street.


5. Jack Cates and Reggie Hammond, 48 Hours

hammond

To be fair, with Eddie Murphy’s hilarious felon hauled around by Nick Nolte’s police officer, there’s technically only one “funny cop” between the two of them. But getting away with ridiculous abuses of regulations in service of doing the right (and funniest) thing is what 48 Hours  is all about. We wouldn’t have the buddy cop comedy genre without these two. Click here to see all airings of 48 Hrs. on IFC this month.


4. Nicholas Angel, Hot Fuzz

angel

In Edgar Wright’s hilarious take on action movie tropes, Simon Pegg’s supercop is sent to cool his heels in the sleepy town of Sandford. It’s hard to say what’s funnier: how he reacts when he realizes a small town doesn’t need him to deal with vast murder conspiracies and explosive action scenes, or how he reacts when it does.


3. Marge Gunderson, Fargo

marge

Frances McDormand’s inimitable Marge Gunderson chases down incredibly inept criminals while heavily pregnant. Her down-to-earth demeanor is funnier in context than any action hero’s murderous puns ever were. We still laugh when we think about Marge yelling “He’s fleeing the interview! He’s fleeing the interview!” as William H. Macy’s lowlife Jerry Lundegaard makes a break for it.


2. Frank Drebin, Naked Gun series

drebin

Leslie Nielsen began his spot-on parody of stiff cops way back in the Police Squad! days. He took his act to the big screen, with a film series that managed to make even O.J. Simpson funny. Heck, Frank Drebin could make your own murder conviction sound hilarious.


1. Axel Foley, Beverly Hills Cop

foley

Eddie Murphy is the unquestioned star of ’80s cop comedies. Beverly Hills itself is barely big enough to contain his charisma. If this is a fish-out-of-water comedy, he’s a blue whale and the water is a crystal decanter of Perrier. Fun fact: Beverly Hills Cop was originally a Stallone film. Eddie made it a major comedy smash pretty much single-mouthed. Click here to see all airings of Beverly Hills Cop this month on IFC.

Powered by ZergNet