Anyway, for all our delightful late-night japes, it’s important to remember that nearly every actor who has stepped into a Batman film—from Michael Keaton to George Clooney to Heath Ledger—has faced this same sort of knee-jerk ridicule, and only occasionally deserved it. Also, that Ben Affleck is an increasingly mature actor who has by now earned the benefit of the doubt that he may surprise, no matter what’s asked of him. And it’s also important to remember that, ultimately, you are powerless before the machine, your voice a mere mewling in the dark that will be inevitably silenced either by acceptance or grudging acquiescence, because you know damn well you want to see what happens when Ben Affleck plays Batman.
—  Sean O'Neal, “Ben Affleck is the Batman you deserve right now,” The A.V. Club
“The comedy in the past 10 years prior to our show had an edge to it. It was satirical. There was a cynicism about the comedy,” Baer adds, thus delineating New Girl from the Swiftian morbidity that has characterized series such as Modern Family and Parks And Recreation, which trade in the blackly hollow laughs born of the paralytic horror of terrorist attacks. Baer concludes, “What our show came along at the right time for—this weird alchemy that happened—is that we were willing for the first time to go, It’s okay to feel again.” (“Is it okay to feel again?” a tremulous, wide-eyed nation asks Siri, to which she proudly avers, “Yes, it looks like it’s okay to feel again.”) Indeed, it’s been a long 11 years, but the tiny porcelain hand of Zooey Deschanel has finally pulled us from the ashes. [via Vulture]

- Sean O'Neal, The AV Club

Seriously, the funniest blurb writer on the Internet.

Full article here.

Fox News says The Walking Dead is brainwashing Americans, Without Irony

Always out to decry brainwashing in any form that doesn’t directly serve it, Fox News has exposed yet more TV making viewers witless and single-minded in the wrong way by arguing that The Walking Dead is “seriously hurting American society”—that bumbling assemblage of oafs who are always but one unsavory pop culture moment away from killing each other and having sex with the skulls. Fortunately, the more healthily paranoid Fox News audience have received early warning to don their protective anti-skull-sex helmets from Fox Health News senior managing editor Dr. Manny Alvarez, whose years of experience as an OB-GYN has made him expertly qualified to handle babies.

“Hate me all you want, or call me paranoid and misinformed,” says “Dr. Manny,” instantly predicting and therefore negating all criticism, “but there is one common theme that is pervasive in American pop culture today: violence. Even more specifically, zombie violence. The idea of a zombie-infested world inspires fantasies of monsters possessed by an uncontrollable rage to kill, and viewers get a thrill imagining what it would be like to participate in this new world order.” And, he argues, those daydreams of an ominous, monster-filled “new world order” only serve as distractions from the other, slightly less monstrous new world order Fox News would prefer you focus on.

“With this country heading towards a socialized system of government, in which officials don’t want you to think or focus on what is important for your own personal growth, I’m sure they’re more than happy to let you obsess over something as stupid as zombies. And in turn you ultimately become the zombie,” said Alvarez of this nefarious attempt to cloud a dulled and impressionable public’s thinking with nightmares of imaginary bogeymen coming for their very lives, which only draws attention away from worrying about how Obamacare will end freedom. Alvarez implicates everything from zombie video games to “Zombie Runs” to the National Institute of Health’s “how-to guide on dealing with a zombie outbreak”—a guide that was actually created by the Center for Disease Control, as a successfully publicity-grabbing way of getting otherwise-disinterested Americans to learn about disaster preparedness—as part of this system shamelessly indoctrinating the public with imagination and useful information.

“Give me a break. As a doctor and scientist, I know one thing for sure: When you’re dead, you’re dead,” writes Dr. Manny, providing the kind of blunt, tell-it-like-it-is truth Fox is known for, and which can only be achieved after a career of studying vaginas, then correctly identifying which one belongs to a dead person. “Our brains should be less focused on imaginary zombie hordes and more focused on harnessing the tools that we need in order to enhance our lives, whether it be music, education, science or the classics. Entertainment should help us soothe our brains so that we can ease our minds of some of the stress from our daily lives,” he concludes.

Alvarez then returned to work at the one channel entirely devoted to stoking panic about faceless groups of enemies, in between spreading fear and distaste for culture, education, and science.

The main offending scene—which involves Brenda Song dressing up in a ‘sexy Asian schoolgirl’ outfit/Sailor Moon costume we’re not really supposed to call ‘sexy’ in polite society—will remain, with network executives responding by saying that, eventually, ‘You will see that Brenda Song’s character is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand.’ Even when she’s asked to be a living erotic manga-based masturbatory fantasy for laughs, and she makes the empowered decision to comply. (Because how else will she get the upper hand, unless all the lower hands are busy?)

The lucrative yet unenviable task of adapting the final installments of The Hunger Games franchise has fallen to one Danny Strong, who Variety notes is currently enjoying fame for his dual Emmy wins in an effort, as always, to distract from the fact that, no, he is famous for playing Jonathan on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Jonathan has employed these tactics with increasing frequency of late, scripting the HBO films Recount and Game Change and recently transforming their success into a gig adapting Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and a CBS pilot, much like he once transformed into a demon to fight Buffy before she kicked him square in the stomach, revealing his strength to be an illusion.

Jonathan will now use his acumen for politically charged stories and familiarity with girls who can kick his ass to handle The Hunger Games’ concluding political uprising, likely adding “screenwriting for one of the most successful modern film franchises” to a list of reasons why we’re supposed to stop calling him Jonathan, which is such a Jonathan scheme. Of course, some others may point out yet again that he was also on Gilmore Girls and Mad Men, but these people are just being reductive, and it’s not fair to Jonathan. 

Oh, I love you, A. V. Club,85989/

HBO continues to be that guy with the Pynchon paperback on the train, adapting as many books into TV shows as it can so that you’re all made aware that HBO reads, has a rich intellectual life, and probably doesn’t even own a television to watch itself.

Sean O'Neal March 27, 2012 The AV Club

HBO developing series based on The Madonnas Of Echo Park


“It’s all very illuminating to people who have read and watched and adored Harry Potter—which is a group that, unfortunately, does not include me. Fortunately, through the magic of IM, I was able to reach out to our departed Harry Potter expert Genevieve Koski (who’s helped me out twice before) to make sense of this. For Harry Potter scholars, this conversation is considered a substitute for the text.”

- The theavc’s Sean O'Neal on J.K. Rowling’s new short story about Harry Potter as an adult.

Like O'Neal (and to the disappointment of my girlfriend wormwoman), I too have never gotten into Harry Potter.

Read the full AV Club article here: