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The Spirit Awards Nominations

The Spirit Awards Nominations (photo)

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Spend the morning with Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner on IFC as they announce the nominees for the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards. While we can’t all fit in the hallowed halls of The London West Hollywood Hotel where the announcement is being made, we will be hosting a live webcast of the announcement right here on IFC.com. The actors will announce the nominees for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Tuesday November 30, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. PT, so join us at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET.

2010 was an incredible year for independent film. The Spirit Awards are the vanguard event in independent film, recognizing the achievements of independent filmmakers and promoting independent film to a wider audience.Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include Someone to Watch Award, Truer Than Fiction Award, and Producers Award. We can’t wait to see who is nominated for their outstanding work this year.

As previously announced, the 26th edition of the Spirit Awards will be hosted by none other than Joel McHale. The ceremony will be held at the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 26 at 2:00 p.m. and will air the same day exclusively on IFC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

If you have to go to work to pay off that Black Friday credit card bill and will miss the webcast, don’t worry: we will be posting the list of nominees on ifc.com/spiritawards right after the announcement.

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.

All the News Fit to Read Aloud: The Onion News Network is Coming

All the News Fit to Read Aloud: The Onion News Network is Coming (photo)

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Watch out CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Come January, there’s going to be a new cable news outlet in town. The Onion News Network will premiere on IFC January 21 at 10 PM. And these news hounds don’t waste their time factchecking or researching. They just report the news straight. That’s why they are the most popular 24-hour news outlet in America. And with more attack satellites and secret surveillance cameras in homes, businesses, and high-level government offices, the Onion News Network is truly the most powerful name in news.

The best news team on television includes Tucker Hope who brings “Today In History” to life, while Jean Anne Whorton takes us “Behind the Facts.” Multi-talented on air personality, Brooke Alvarez hosts fast-paced trusted news source “FactZone” and offers solutions to the world’s most-complicated problems on “In My Sights”. You can meet the rest of the news team here, or just wait for them to introduce themselves on Jan. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Be sure to stick around to watch Portlandia premiere at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Set your DVRs for the future.

Here’s a small sample at the impending news tsunami heading this way:

The Onion News Network will premiere on IFC January 21 at 10 PM

Joel McHale to Host 2011 Spirit Awards

Joel McHale to Host 2011 Spirit Awards (photo)

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Exciting news today from Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. They just announced that Joel McHale will serve as host for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Yes, THE Joel McHale from television’s “The Soup” and “Community”.

The 26th edition of the awards will be held back at the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 26 at 2:00 p.m. The awards ceremony will air exclusively on IFC on February 26 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The announcement of Joel McHale as host comes hot on the heels of the news that actors Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner will be announcing the Spirit Award nominees on November 30th.

“Joel’s unique brand of comedy is perfectly in line with IFC’s ‘slightly off’ sensibility,” said Jennifer Caserta, Executive Vice President & General Manager, IFC. “We’re thrilled he’s hosting this year’s Awards. This is a real perk for viewers.” We whole-heartedly agree.

To give you a taste of what you might expect from the host, here’s a clip of Joel’s brand of slightly off humor from his show, “The Soup”. Yep, those are the Kids in the Hall:

And here he is with David Cross:

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