Jonathan Poritsky

Best Slogans and Blogsplosion!

While try­ing to gather my thoughts on No Country For Old Men, I couldn’t help but update myself on the lat­est and great­est from the WGA strike. A quick googling will find a num­ber of crit­ics, Jamie Lee Curtis chief among them, who are unim­pressed by the writ­ers’ slo­gans on the picket line. Well, I have cer­tainly found the best one out there, as well as a few oth­ers that are enjoy­able. No sur­prise the win­ner came from the WGAe. Drumroll please:

The Winter of our DISSED CONTENT

(It’s noth­ing against those LA writ­ers, but I am yet to notice Shakespearean puns com­ing from their throngs of rallyers)

Some other decent fare:

Don’t Write Til it’s Right

More Money, More Funny

I Wrote This (I promise it seems more clever scrawled on posterboard)

Nick Counter Hates Puppies and Babies

Ellen Is No Friend of Mine, Because She Crossed My Picket Line


Also for your view­ing pleasure…The WGA strike rules are incred­i­bly strict for both mem­bers and non-members. But hey, writ­ing is just one of those things you can do by acci­dent some­times, and writ­ers don’t know what to do with all this free time. So they have turned to about the only for­mat they can work on, the inter­net. Writers are offer­ing up some pretty great blogs, for both news and get­ting some jokes off their chest. Get it while it’s hot folks.

United Hollywood
Late Show Writers On Strike
Scribe Vibe @ Variety

Each of those sites will lead to a ton of other writer-centric blogs. Also check out a new blog devoted to the real vic­tims of the strike, non-union film and tv employ­ees whose jobs are either in jeop­ardy or have already got­ten the axe. Hopefully we can all stay off that list.

Get Back In That Room

It’s a sen­si­tive time, but hilar­ity will get us through it much eas­ier. Below, an hilar­i­ous video that shows how des­per­ate the writ­ers are to get some of that cre­ativ­ity out. Watch closely for the best picket sign around.

The Office vs. 30 Rock: The Battle for Thursday Night (Done Right)

So here we are, near­ing the end of 2007, and we can all sit back and enjoy the fact that NBC once again has a pow­er­house of a Thursday night. Can the old glory days be just around the cor­ner? Is Ben Silverman the Warren Littlefield? Are we look­ing at the early offer­ings of shows that will make it past 200 episodes? Let’s discuss.

The Office: An American Workplace

After a short first sea­son, the execs over at the pea­cock opted to give it a go with this British import and offer up a full sea­son in ’05-’06. The result was a net­work smash hit that went on to pull in the Best Comedy Series Emmy and became a tent­pole of the weekly lineup, not to men­tion a some­what lucra­tive income gen­er­a­tor via its con­stant num­ber one spot at iTunes.

In the third sea­son, the show went to new heights of com­edy, espe­cially excit­ing since it was head­ing into ter­ri­tory the orig­i­nal never even had the chance to get to. Still, for this hum­ble critic, the sea­son felt a lit­tle fat in the mid­dle. It opened with a pow­er­house series of episodes, explor­ing a new office in Connecticut and build­ing on the ten­sion of Jim’s failed attempt at dat­ing Pam. And again, as we neared the end of the sea­son it was a fas­ci­nat­ing web of rela­tion­ships and future opportunities.

But the episodes in between those high points felt a lit­tle rote to me. My biggest bone of con­tention was that Michael Scott seemed to be near­ing a fool­ish­ness more akin to Homer Simpson since the tenth sea­son of that Fox main­stay. Thankfully, the mak­ers deliv­ered a won­der­ful fin­ish to the sea­son, set­ting up for great fourth sea­son in the fall. Just as they did at the end of sea­son two, they ended with a slew of unan­swered ques­tions, keep­ing us all sali­vat­ing over the summer.

But then it came back on the air. Read on…

HBO">A Love Letter to HBO

My dear­est Home Box Office,Over the years I have only been able to see a frac­tion of the films that come outm for until I am a full time critic, I must use my own time and money to seek out first runs. I regret miss­ing many of them. Some of them, I never even had an inten­tion of see­ing, but had wished I had the will power to see every film, rather than the ones I want to see. Let us not for­get that we, as view­ers, are only one small part of the equa­tion in film creation.Thank good­ness for you, HBO.

Films I would never seek out come to my liv­ing room directly. When I don’t feel like going out­side, chang­ing clothes, or bathing, you are there to com­fort me with them, enlighten my mind, and arouse my crit­i­cal pen.I shouldn’t even have to men­tion your orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming, which has raised the bar in both doc­u­men­tary and nar­ra­tive forms. The abil­ity to on-demand most any­thing you’ve made in these last few genius years makes my $11 a month ever more worth it.I do not look for­ward to the prospect of us part­ing as a find a new apart­ment. Alas, the room­mates and I must decide. But I make this promise, I will do every­thing I can, for where will I be with­out another sea­son of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” this fall?Yours,Jon

The Weekend Cleanup

I don my Pauline Kael hat again, which matches per­fectly with my Gene Shalit socks. But good­ness me, I only wish I could match all this with the dork­face of A.O. Scott. Here goes kids. Read on…

Sympathy for the Philly Jew

Review: “Bob Saget: That Aint Right“For those unawares, Bob Saget was a nice Jewish boy just like myself at one point. In fact, he grew up in the same gen­eral area as me, and was even mar­ried at Beth Sholom, a syn­a­gogue near my home­town which was famously designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.There was much promise for the young Mr. Saget, who won a Student Academy Award for his doc­u­men­tary “Through Adam’s Eyes”, made while he attended Temple University, my Alma Mater. The film appar­ently dealt with his nephew’s expe­ri­ence with surgery. Knowing first­hand the his­tory of Temple’s film pro­gram, this would make him one of the first classes of the restruc­tured film pro­gram there, with an empha­sis on the ver­tié styled doc.A decade later, he found him­self, pos­si­bly awk­wardly, rep­re­sent­ing the father of a nation on ABC’s “Full House”. And from that lucra­tive gig he found him­self tak­ing up the reigns on a show that would prove to be the most impor­tant for­mula for web con­tent another decade later, “America’s Funniest Home Video” (which begat YouTube). Of course, it must have been a whirl­wind through the roar­ing nineties, hav­ing shown so much promise as a doc­u­men­tar­ian in that form’s orig­i­nal hey­day, then find­ing one­self stuck in the sink­hole of prime­time formula. So now he makes another for­ray into media, try­ing to win over sudi­ences as a stand-up comic. What’s fas­ci­nat­ing about this oddly enter­tain­ing spe­cial is that it’s his lack of recog­ni­tion that makes him such a won­der­ful screen char­ac­ter. Read on…