DID YOU READ

Highlights of the “O Brother Where Art Thou” Soundtrack

george-clooney-o-brother

Posted by on

“O Brother Where Art Thou?” is one of the Coen Brothers’ most crowd-pleasing films, but it’s not just for the creative re-imagining of Homer’s “The Odyssey” as a Depression-era Southern fable starring George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped convicts. It’s also for what happened after the cons on the run manage to reinvent themselves as bluegrass musical sensations, The Soggy Bottom Boys. Their rendition of a “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorry,” a traditional American folk song — first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky — was a toe-tapping ear worm that took the movie from the silver screen to radio stations and CD players across the nation. (What, it came out in 2000, iPods weren’t a thing yet). With the success of that song and contributions to the soundtrack from the likes of Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, T Bone Burnett and Gillian Welch, the soundtrack to “O Brother Where Art Thou” went platinum EIGHT times. CMT included it on it’s 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music. Rhapsody called it one of the “Country’s Best Albums of the Decade” list. NPR included the soundtrack on their list of “The Decade’s 50 Most Important Recordings.” The accolades were completely justified too. The combination of traditional tunes with modern country voices was evocative and eminently listenable. After you tune in to “O Brother Where Art Thou” Sunday at 8:45 p.m. ET, be sure to pick up the soundtrack, too.

Here are a few of our favorite songs from the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack:

The Soggy Bottom Boys “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow”:

Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch “I’ll Fly Away”

Alison Krauss “Down To The River To Pray”

Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch “Nobody But The Baby”

“O Brother Where Art Thou” airs on IFC on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8:45 PM ET and Monday, Jan. 28 at 12:00 AM ET

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.

Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr and more of our favorite musical guests on Portlandia

j-mascis-dinosaur-jr-portlandia-fred-carrie

Posted by on

This Friday at 10/9c, legendary Dinosaur Jr frontman J. Mascis, Quasi/Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag drummer Janet Weiss and indie rock darlings Dirty Projectors all stop by Portlandia to take part in a soon-to-be legendary Battle of the Gentle Bands. (You can watch a clip here.) Portlandia has a three season long history of having incredible musicians swing by for guest starring roles, but that’s what you get when you have two indie rockers — and more important, huge music fans — at the helm. Here are some of the incredible musicians that have stopped by the Portlandia set with Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen so far:

The Smiths’ Johnny Marr

Corin Tucker/Colin Meloy/James Mercer at The Deuce

Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent

Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock

Joanna Newsom

video player loading . . .

Miranda July

video player loading . . .

Eddie Vedder

Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

What to watch on IFC tonight: The Coen Brothers’ “O Brother Where Art Thou”

george-clooney-o-brother

Posted by on

Only Joel and Ethan Coen could reimagine Homer’s “The Odyssey” as a Depression-era Southern fable starring George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped convicts. The jailbirds bust out of prison and embark on a voyage that made Ulysses’ trip look like a walk in the park on a sunny day. The film chronicles the surreal exploits of the escapees as they make their way through the outlying areas of the South on the hunt for buried treasure — and, in the particular case of Ulysses Everett McGill (Clooney), a reunion with his estranged wife (Holly Hunter) and kids. Along the way, they are tempted, thwarted and toyed with to varying degrees by many strange characters, including three seductive “sirens,” a one-eyed cyclops in the form of a traveling salesman (John Goodman) and a ruthless lawman (Daniel von Bargen) hot on their trail — and manage to reinvent themselves as bluegrass musical sensations The Soggy Bottom Boys. Let’s all watch a toe-tapping tune by the boys:

“O Brother Where Art Thou?” is one of the Coen Brothers’ most crowd-pleasing films, which is why we’re showing it tonight at 7:45 p.m. ET. Watch the trailer now and then tune in tonight at 7:45 p.m. ET before a new episode of Portlandia kicks off at 10/9c:


“O Brother Where Art Thou?” airs on IFC tonight at 7:45 PM ET; Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8:45 PM ET; Monday, Jan. 28 at 12:00 AM ET

Powered by ZergNet