After spending a couple of days in the field in Berkeley, I can report that Chez Pannise Cafe is delicious, knitting is more physically difficult than I expected and that Berkeley Bowl West is so full of tremendously beautiful vegetables and makes such astonishing breakfast burritos that I would like to pitch a tent there and never leave. If I could, I would give you all one of the gorgeous little baby cauliflowers, or the delightfully named Dinosaur Kale the Bowl has on offer. But because that is impossible, you have to settle for today’s dispatch of pop culture news.
-The news that Television Without Pity is not only biting the dust, but that NBCUniversal will be taking its manifestly excellent archives offline is a tragedy for contemporary television criticism, especially given the role played in the careers of writers like Linda Holmes, Emily Nussbaum, Tara Ariano and the Fug Girls. There’s been a great deal written about this development, but I am partial to these considerations from Margaret Lyons and Charlie Jane Anders.
-The University of Iowa has denied permission for “Girls” to film on campus, thwarting plans to shoot Hannah Horvath’s inevitable misadventures on location. I understand the school’s rationale–filming is genuinely pretty disruptive, as I learned when “Mona Lisa Smile” spent a day on my undergraduate campus. But “Girls” has been so good when it has ventured out of New York that I am sorry not to see the show get a chance to linger there, and for the school miss a chance to benefit from the show’s lovely cinematography.
-“The Wolf Of Wall Street” apparently means that finance bros are a hot topic for television now. If that is going to be the case, I would be fascinated to see a show that is the smarter version of “Mixology” and told from the perspective of so-called “bottle girls,” maybe a riff on this New York Magazine piece.
-If you want an example of how states use film and television production tax credits to compete against each other, this Hollywood Reporter story about the rivalry between Georgia and Louisiana is a good place to start.
-Putting aside all considerations of the relative ridiculousness of a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie from Michael Bay, I find it fascinating that we are getting reboots of franchises like this one and “Robocop” that have as their basic assumption that urban crime is out of control in a moment when crime rates are actually extremely low: