Looking Back on Deadwood, 10 Years Later
Certain TV shows arouse a love in their audience so strong it can last for years after they’re over. Deadwood is a case in point. Created by David Milch for HBO, the Western lasted just three seasons before it was taken away from us, too soon, in 2006. But its shocking portrait of vice on the American frontier lingers in the mind more powerfully than many shows that ran for twice as many episodes.
Matt Zoller Seitz, New York magazine’s TV critic, certainly agrees: “I never miss an opportunity to work Deadwood into the conversation, as a legitimate point of comparison with other shows or films or because I just love talking about it,” he writes. Seitz has left a trail of Deadwood tributes across the internet; he now marks its 10-year anniversary with a thrilling documentary narrated by Jim Beaver (who played Ellsworth on the show), from RogerEbert.com and HitFix.
Chance the Rapper Collaborates With Skrillex on “Coast Is Clear”
Chance the Rapper seems determined to win over the whole music world before he even releases his first proper album. Since he released his triumphant mixtape Acid Rap last spring, he’s gone after indie and electronic music fans (with his collaboration with James Blake), hip-hop heads from all sides of the spectrum (with his collaborations with Lil Wayne and Childish Gambino, among others), and even the teenyboppers (with his collaboration with Justin Bieber).
His latest collaboration has him going after the dubstep kids by hooking up with Skrillex. These collaborations work because Chance is so versatile—he spends most of “Coast Is Clear” playing in the middle ground between singing and rapping—but as with the Lil Wayne track, the production sounds more Chance than Skrillex. There are no wubs or bass drops, just Chance’s signature horns and bouncy energy. The song itself is pretty straightforward. “I think the coast is clear, let’s go” Chance rap-sings, trying to persuade a girl to sneak out of the club with him. He might just as well be speaking to Skrillex’s fans.
Fantastic Mr. Fox Is Every Bit as Wes Anderson-y as You Thought
There are few modern-day directors who fit so easily into the auteur theory as Wes Anderson, whose stylistic patterns are well studied by now, nearly 20 years after his debut feature, Bottle Rocket. In “The Fox & Mr. Anderson,” filmmakerkogonada points out the many visual parallels between the director’s one fully animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox and his live-action films.
The similarities in the camera work and mise-en-scène will likely be unsurprising to fans, but they will also, I suspect, be a treat. Enjoy.
We Don’t Know Much About Orphan Black Season 2, but It Looks Awesome
In the Season 1 finale of Orphan Black—the sci-fi thriller starring the incredibly talented Tatiana Maslany as seven (and counting!) clones at the center of a genetic conspiracy—the stakes were raised to dazzling heights. As is the case for pretty much every installment of the BBC America series, it’s much easier to watch the plot twist itself into complicated knots again than it is to actually recap it; briefly, Sarah’s daughter Kira went missing, her birth mother was murdered, and she was forced to kill her mentally disturbed biological twin Helena.
Watch Obama on Between Two Ferns
Last summer, according to the New York Times, the executive producer of Between Two Ferns, the absurdist faux-cable-access talk show hosted by Zach Galifianakis, “approached the White House with the idea” that President Obama appear on the show to promote the Affordable Care Act.
Rather surprisingly, the president went for it. Even more surprisingly, the result, which was released this mornign and which you can watch above, works pretty well not only as a pitch for healthcare.gov, which gets an extensive plug, but also as an episode of Between Two Ferns.
The True Detective FAQ
As Rust Cohle warned us at the end of Episode 3 of True Detective, “This is a world where nothing is solved.” At the end of the first season, the show didn’t so much explain all the answers as gesture towards them, leaving us to fill in the blanks (or, perhaps, plot holes). Below, we take our best crack at answering the finale’s big questions.
True Detective Does Have a Woman Problem. That’s Partly Why People Love It.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a piece about True Detective’s relationship to its female characters, in which I argued that the superficial and sometimes exploitative way that it treated the women who appeared on the show—prostitutes, corpses, mistresses, a nagging wife—was intentional, a reflection of its heroes’ blinkered worldview and the very masculine, Southern cop culture they inhabited, and not the show’s own perspective.
Last night’s finale made a hash of my case. Would that it had not.
Relax With This Live Stream of Captivatingly Placid Pigs
If your week is off to a rough start—for reasons perhaps related to True Detective’s disappointing season finale—I commend you to soothe your nerves with a live feed of highly adorable heritage pigs rooting through hay. Modern Farmer has chosen just the right time to launch its Pig Week, the online centerpiece of which is the somewhat cruelly named HamCam. (It is a follow-up to the website’s wildly popular GoatCam and LambCam, which aired during Goat Week and Sheep Week, respectively.)
Modern Farmer’s camera will be fixed all week long on the pigs’ pen on Pettitoes Farm in Warwick, Mass. The American Guinea Hogs are small, hairy, and black, and they seem to spend most of their time snuffling around and chomping on hay. No amount of description can fully convey how captivatingly placid these majestic animals appear; they seem to get excited only when their owners give them food scraps at 4 p.m. every day. I suggest keeping the HamCam in an open tab throughout the day and checking back any time you feel your pulse heading north of normal. Go, start watching right now.
Spoiler Special: True Detective
On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies—and the occasional TV show—in full, spoiler-filled detail. Below, Willa Paskin, David Haglund, Jessica Winter, and Forrest Wickman discuss Season 1 of HBO's anthology series True Detective. Who turned out to be the Yellow King? What theories were confirmed or dispelled by the finale? And did writer and creator Nic Pizzolatto's storyline end on a satisfying note or in a frustrating haze?
What Did That Yellow Tie Really Mean? True Detective Costumes Explained.
Now that True Detective’s first season has concluded with a controversially straightforward finale, superfans are left to wonder whether creator Nic Pizzolatto intentionally littered the show’s manhunt with seemingly endless Easter eggs, red herrings, and self-referential clues, or whether the show’s vast conspiracy was all in our minds, man. I talked with costume designer Jenny Eagan about the black stars, yellow ties, and creepy flowers that popped up on key characters throughout the show, and what they all really meant.