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Published: 4 months ago

Farewell Stephen Colbert

Which brings us to tonight’s word: End of an era.

There are very few times when the expression “end of an era” is really deserved.
This is one of them. At least, for me.

From Even Stevpehn (or is it Even Stephven?) to The Colbert Report, I basically grew up on Stephen Colbert (TM) (not to be confused with Stephen Colbert). Yes, that sounded dirty.
In the 9+ years the show has (or should I say had) been on the air, I have never missed a single of the 1,447 episodes.

Longtime readers of this blog also know how much I care for the show. In fact, one of my earliest post (over six years ago!) was a simple embed of one of my favorite all-time bits: “Charlene (I’m Right Behind You)”.
There have been several other posts on the subject (like yet another Charlene song).

Right this moment, I don’t have profound things to say about Stephen Colbert (TM) or The Colbert Report that haven’t been said better this past week (and over the years).
Maybe one day, after having processed the end of The Report, I’ll write a piece that’s a little bit deeper or enlightening (yeah, right).

But I just wanted to post something tonight because, well–

I’m going to fucking miss this show.

I’m going to miss the political and cultural satire (duh).
I’m going to miss the amazingly eclectic choice of guests.
I’m going to miss Better Know a District, Cheating Death, Colbert Platinium, the ThreatDown, Yawhweh or No Way, Thought for Food, Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger, the Atone Phone–all the other hilarious segments. Too many to count.
I’m going to miss the annual unveiling of his portrait.
I’m going to miss the On Notice board.
I’m going to miss Charlene.
I’m going to miss The Word.

Above all though, I’m going to miss Stephen Colbert (TM).

He’s immortal now, so maybe we’ll see him return to our screens (Highlander reboot anyone?).
In the meantime, we’ll have to be content with The Late Show. I already posted back in April my mixed feelings about the death of Stephen Colbert (TM) in favor of the CBS spot.
It’s way too early to tell what kind of show it will be, but it certainly won’t be The Colbert Report.
That show is gone. The Wikipedia entry replacing “is” with “was”.

I salute you Stephen Colbert (TM). Thank you for 17 years of you.

And that’s the word.

Until next time, I’ll see you in health!

Published: 7 months ago

Lost is 10 years old

Tonight we celebrate the ten-year anniversary of one of the most iconic and ground-breaking shows in TV history.
And no, I’m not talking about LAX.

ABC’s Lost has had an impact on the television landscape larger than even other decade-long shows. Whatever thoughts about its declining quality, it is impossible to neglect how much influence it has had on the industry. Not only a production level, or even visual, but also in terms of storytelling.
For all its flaws, Lost was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and experiment.

Personally, there’s no doubt Lost was one of the most influential shows in my life (regardless of its last two seasons). Not only was I involved with the fan community since literally day one (yay The Fuselage), it was also the purveyor of lessons in bending writing conventions.
I may go into greater details as to why Lost was so important to me (you can see a glimpse of it through the long-standing site tag).
But in the meantime, let’s celebrate the show that was.

In honor of the anniversary, I am pinning the great articles we posted during “Lost Week” (almost five years ago, around the series finale).
Check them out:

How Lost revolutionized storytelling

Before telegraphed flashsideways and magical caves, there was a time when Lost told its complex and often surprising story through other means. The mythological show brought to television seldom used attributes to entertain and mystify its audience. Here’s how the groundbreaking series revolutionized television storytelling.

Hindsight: Quotes from Lost’s Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof

Many, and I mean many, mysteries have been left unsolved on Lost. Even worse, there has been over the years a lot of double-talk from the series’ showrunners, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Let’s take a look at six seasons of misguided attempts at trying to convince the fans that, don’t worry, answers are coming.

A letter from a Lost writer

(who was apparently just an intern from Bad Robot)

It was real. Everything that happened on the island that we saw throughout the 6 seasons was real. Forget the final image of the plane crash, it was put in purposely to f*&k with people’s heads and show how far the show had come. They really crashed. They really survived. They really discovered Dharma and the Others. The Island keeps the balance of good and evil in the world. It always has and always will perform that role.

Lost Finale Thoughts: Artificiality at its best (and worst)

written by guest-poster Lordy

One word can describe the Lost series finale: Artificiality. Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy to be Darlton while writing the series finale of, arguably, the most-talked about TV series since the creation of the Internet. But summarizing that the show would be satisfying only for “believers”, a.k.a. viewers that wouldn’t obsess over mythological answers given in the finale, is ultimately a very cynical way of saying “if you don’t like that your version of the show living in your head is not the story we want to tell, that’s YOUR problem”.

Lost Finale Thoughts: From The End to the beginning

Once upon a time, author Stephen King issued a challenge to the Lost writers: “Minus the continuing presence of David Duchovny, X-Files blundered off into a swamp of black oil, and in that swamp it died. If J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and their band of co-conspirators allow something similar to happen with Lost, I’m going to be even more pissed, because this show is better. Memo to Abrams and staff writers: Your responsibilities include knowing when to write The End.” Flash-forward to five years later: the 100-minute long Lost series finale, abstemiously entitled The End, airs on ABC.

Published: 1 year ago

The Case Against the Late Show with Stephen Colbert (or Wag of the Finger)

Today it was confirmed that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman on CBS’ Late Show.
Today is a sad day.

As a big fan of Stephen Colbert, I am not happy.
The Colbert Report is–was (*sigh*) the smartest dry-wit satire on television. It surpassed The Daily Show years ago in that regard.
This kind of feels like my parents are divorcing.

It is, truly, the end of an era.

The Report

I’ve been watching the Report since it premiered in 2005. Since truthiness was “The Word” and he danced with Barney Frank, all the way through his Peabodys, Emmys, On Notices, Olympic try-outs, shaved head, the HD transition, and Better Knows (plus bonus Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear). Ever since it began, I count it among 3 still-on-the-air shows I haven’t missed a single episode of (with The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live). I’ve also attended a few tapings because, well, I love it.

(RIP Ham Rove. Never forget.)

The brilliance of the Report has, and will always be, its ability to shine a grotesque light on complex political or social problems.
It transcended The Daily Show’s mere “news mocking” a while ago, and it has only grown stronger since.
The Colbert Report made us laugh, but it also made us care. The show successfully exposed political maneuverings that only someone with the reach of an entire nation (the Colbert Nation that is), could showcase in its ugliness. PACs, political campaigns, congressional hearings, over-expenditures, social issues. Take your pick.

Many have written better pieces praising the genius that is The Colbert Report, so I’ll simply say this:
When The Colbert Report finally ends, it will be great loss to American television.

The Character

In addition to losing The Colbert Report, we’re also losing the most important member of the Colbert Nation.
In fact, despite having watched over a thousand episodes, I still don’t really know Stephen Colbert. I only know Stephen Colbert (c).

The greatness of the Report, and what clearly has drawn such a fan base, is the genius that is Stephen Colbert (c).
His caricature has been so honed over the years, that Colbert is the only person to have a Wikipedia entry for himself and his alt persona.
I’ve seen Colbert in Exit 57 and Strangers with Candy, and both were fun, but neither approach the power he has when he is Stephen Colbert (c).

Having a character that is a caricature gives him (and us) an excuse to say things he would not otherwise be able to express. In other words, freedom.
Do people remember Stephen Colbert (c)‘s take-down of George W. Bush at the Correspondents’ Dinner?
The true success of the character is how he uses that character. He gives us an uncomfortable reflection of our society, all through comedy.

His amazing interview skills were able to be used because of the freedom to “grill” political guests, or controversial people.
Stephen Colbert is clearly extremely talented, yet all the things that we (the audience) appreciate about him have almost entirely been through the lens of Stephen Colbert (c).

If the #CancelColbert campaign has taught us anything, it’s that we need Stephen Colbert (c) now more than ever.

The Late Show

I don’t think network late-night has seen anything remotely “edgy” or political since–well–ever.
And this trend will probably continue given that Late Show with Stephen Colbert will not be hosted by his character.
He is apparently bringing his entire Report staff over, but will they be able to produce the same comedic genius they have been for the past decade?

What I fear most is that, simply put, Stephen Colbert’s talents will be wasted on a a-political network late show.
He’ll have twice the screen-time to fill, on a network, with the FCC breathing down his neck, and mainstream stars to interview. And all without Stephen Colbert (c).
Of course, all of this is still over a year away, and nobody really knows what The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is going to look like.
But regardless of the end-product, it is almost a guarantee that it won’t be as subversive, as political, as satirical, or even as funny as The Colbert Report.
Because it just can’t.

I’m happy for Stephen Colbert.
I’m just not happy for the rest of us.

And that’s the word.

Published: 1 year ago

Five Hundred