Did you know that Warner Bros. made an entire unaired Blazing Saddles TV series just so they could skirt a contract issue with Mel Brooks? Or that the GEICO cavemen had a sitcom? Hats Off Entertainment’s Forgotten Failures is a great series about these and other obscure sequels and reboots.
THE BEST Video Essays
Michel Gondry’s music videos, TV shows, and films deftly combine humor, childlike whimsy, and in-camera effects to entertain our brains. In this clip from Polyphonic, essayist Noah LeFevre explains how Gondry’s background as a percussionist has influenced his work through rhythmic, repetitive, and redundant imagery.
We’ve all heard of Captain Marvel, but the character has a long and complicated history, mired in lawsuits that gave birth to oddities like the UK’s “Marvelman.” Nerdwriter explains how the long lost character was resurrected and became the forefather of today’s of dark and flawed anti-hero characters.
Despite its jangly and upbeat sounds, Gorillaz’s 2005 hit Feel Good Inc. was actually a sharp criticism of the music industry and consumer culture. Polyphonic offers up a great analysis of the track and its music video, and why it’s so clever in the way it delivers its message.
These days, you can’t go more than a few hours without encountering some gadget with a human-sounding voice. The Science Elf provides a concise look at the history of machine-made speech, from early mechanical devices through modern voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.
We live in a time when people flinch at even the slightest giveaway of plot points. But does knowing the outcome of a story actually decrease one’s enjoyment of a story, or does it actually enhance the experience? Thomas Flight explores the science of how spoilers affect us.
(Spoilers) If you’ve never seen The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, stop what you’re doing right now and watch it. It’s one of our faves. Kyle Kallgren of Brows Held High explains why Buckaroo is so much better than most of today’s superheroes.
There was a time when cartoons were created mostly for kids, but these days, some of the best satire out there turns up in animation. Video essayist Will Schoder opines on why it’s often easier to poke fun at society’s foibles in cartoon form rather than live action.
(Gore) We’ve seen plenty of Breaking Bad tributes and video essays, but we’ve got to hand it to Filmscalpel and Larry Erens for keeping it fresh with their take, which focuses on Walter White’s de-evolution as told through his relationship with firearms and explosives.
Wisecrack is back with another deep-dive into the Rick and Morty multiverse. This time they break down the classic episode The Ricks Must Be Crazy, and how Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s use of good story structure makes each episode as satisfying as possible.
Video essayist Kaptain Kristian takes a look at one of our favorite animated shows ever, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen and their writers infused the show with geek culture, intricate plots, one of the best comedic ensembles ever, and a balance of cynicism and hopefulness.
The Film Theorists’ Frame By Frame argues that Star Trek’s creators cribbed several tropes from submarine films for his TV show, such as mutiny and making blind decisions. We think that these elements are present in many movies where a group of people are left on their own.
Kaptain Kristian takes a look at one of our favorite bands. Created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz is a modern-day supergroup, with a constantly changing lineup, a free-flowing, enigmatic style, and fronted by a stable of four archetypal animated characters.
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