John and Dan Bell (a.k.a. “The Bell Bros”) were already SundanceTV fans, but still RECTIFY newbies. After binging on the series, the Webby Award-winning game and design twins reflected on what made the series so addicting. Check out how they’ve doubled the love.
THE APPROVAL MATRIX panelist, and TV Guide critic Matt Roush discusses over-sharing, Mad Men’s half-finale and his curiosity for Brad Pitt’s stories.
As Neal Brennan and the crew made final preparations before the cameras started rolling for the first-ever episode of SundanceTV’s new series, THE APPROVAL MATRIX, “Big Jay” Oakerson, a comedian and friend of Neal’s, kept the crowd revved up by vamping with a slew of off-color jokes. Big Jay is typical low-brow brilliant. He skewered people in the audience for what they looked like, where they were from, what they do. Among his targets were a couple of college kids from Jersey, a middle-aged writer of erotic fiction, and an attractive blonde in the second row. No one was safe.
Executive producer of THE APPROVAL MATRIX, Michael Hirschorn, reveals the key ingredient to making a TV show, what it’s like to accept an award while wearing shorts, and who he thinks will surprise viewers the most on the show.
Q: How does The Approval Matrix TV show expand on the original New York magazine back-page grid? Any drastic changes to format?
A: I would say it’s quite different. The magazine’s back page is a quick, witty insider take on the week just past. The TV show uses the act of choosing where a pop culture person, place, or thing goes on the matrix to spark a smart and funny conversation about culture.
Q: What was the key to bringing the grid to life?
A: The key was giving everyone on the show the chance to say exactly where each item would go. We decided to turn each item into kind of a play block, like kids play with in kindergarten, so people could put them in nice stacks, place them where they wanted, or even have hissy fits and throw the blocks like 5 year-olds.
Q: What are you most excited about on the show?
Guest stars in any TV series are important, but they’re even more so on Law & Order–without them there wouldn’t be anyone for the DAs and ADAs to grill! Below are some of the famous faces who have shown up specially to commit crimes. Who was the best at being bad?
J. Smith-Cameron–who plays Daniel’s mother, Janet Talbot, on RECTIFY–knows a thing about being a mom. And not just onscreen. Here she shares her insights about Janet’s outfits, her mothering style and her own signature dish (hint: It’s not pecan pie).
Q: Janet always seems on the verge of breaking down or bursting into tears. How do you maintain that kind of emotional tension?
A: That’s one of the challenges of the part. She does put a lot of energy into keeping it in, keeping that wall up, yet maintaining some kind of grace. She’s got a lump in her throat at all times; it’s her coping mechanism. This show is an actor’s dream–the man who created it, Ray McKinnon, is an actor as well–and that’s definitely written into the part.
Q: She has these very put-together outfits, and she often seems to be clutching her purse. Do those physical details help define the character for you?
Go behind closed doors of Washington, D.C. as Whisper members share some more secrets.
THE APPROVAL MATRIX premieres tonight, and featured panelist, comedian and actress Whitney Cummings gives us her short and sweet decisions on social media, re-framing Lowbrow, and uncensored celebrity.
Fans of New York Magazine’s “wildly popular” backpage feature and pop culture devotees around the world are gearing up for the premiere of THE APPROVAL MATRIX, August 11, 11/10C on SundanceTV. Moviefone previews an episode featuring discussion of binge-watching and bad TV endings, while host Neal Brennan appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
The “Which RECTIFY Character Are You” personality test has revealed that most SundanceTV viewers gravitate toward the odd ducks and passionate outsiders. 71% of you discovered an affinity with Amantha, Daniel and Bobby Dean, while just 29% found a little more in common with the straight arrows.
New York City-based author, podcaster, and comedy writer-performer Julie Klausner gives her advice to Millennials, admits her fear of James Franco’s genius, and knows exactly who she’d like to see uncensored.
Q: What social media platform encourages the most despicable lowbrow behavior and why?
A: Snapchat. Unless the kids have a new way of showing each other their private parts and I have yet to know about it. Put it away, Millennials!
Q: Which highbrow TV show had the most despicable jump-the-shark moment? What was it?
A: Oh, when Freddy, the “magical black man” character on House of Cards, got an offer for his rib shack to become a chain restaurant. That was the minute I gave up on House of Cards season two. Soon, they abandoned the Zoe death storyline, the deep web was forgotten except for that one guy’s guinea pig, and all that talk about a threeway was really just good old-fashioned gay sex that was commenced once Robin Wright gave her blessing.
This is a tie with Homeland’s entire third season, with all the Brody torture and that time Carrie dipped out of a yoga class as a cover to act on behalf of Brody’s awful daughter. And then she gets caught at the end, and Javadi is like “You’re in good shape. Must be all that yoga.” MUST BE ALL THAT YOGA is not a thing a terrorist says!!!!!
Q: Who is the most brilliant at reframing lowbrow behavior so it seems acceptable?
Daniel wakes up in George’s trailer and finds that Trey has left without him. He starts biking back to Georgia.
Though Gabriel Mann’s original score provides the majority of RECTIFY‘s soundtrack, music supervisor Linda Cohen works alongside creator Ray McKinnon to pick just the right outside tracks for certain special moments.
Here’s everything you need to get ready — get social, get inside, get visual, get ahead — before the premiere on Mon., Aug. 11 at 11/10c.
This week, The A.V. Club celebrates RECTIFY’s cinematography and art direction, while Entertainment Weekly digs into series themes of “dreams and hallucinations”. See what everyone is talking about, watch the entire first episode of RECTIFY Season 2 right now.
THE HONORABLE WOMAN is captivating audiences and critics everywhere from TIME to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The new series has been hailed as an “extremely impressive” exploration of both family dynamics and international politics and a “brilliantly acted” showcase for stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Stephen Rea.
Can't get enough of the mystery and intrigue that is THE HONORABLE WOMAN? Step right this way! We've got more interactive insider info plus just a few surprises for you.
What do Hershel’s farm on The Walking Dead, the Holden family residence on RECTIFY, THE RED ROAD’s New York-New Jersey border towns and Halt and Catch Fire’s Dallas-in-the-’80s milieu all have in common? Geographically speaking, about 130 miles of Georgia highway.
Last season on DREAM SCHOOL, celebrity chef and food truck aficionado Roy Choi cooked up a delicious summer meal with the students. Check out his very own take on salsa verde below, and add it to Roy Choi’s Blackjack Quesadilla for the perfect summer dish.
SundanceTV’s new series, inspired by New York magazine’s pop culture roundup, is premiering Mon., Aug. 11 at 11/10c. To prep, we spoke to showrunner Rory Albanese (The Daily Show) about “showbiz,” working with host Neal Brennan and how it feels to win an Emmy.
Q: How does THE APPROVAL MATRIX show expand on the original New York magazine back-page grid?
A: Mainly because the original version is in a magazine and this one is on the TV. Also, this version is hosted by the hysterically funny and super duper brilliant Neal Brennan, and I don’t use the term “super duper” lightly.
Q: What are you most excited about on the show?
A: I’m most excited about the field pieces that I was a correspondent in. Because this will without a doubt be my one-way ticket to super duper fame and a lifestyle equivalent to that of Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact after these shows air, I’m guessing Leo and I will become best friends and spend all of our free time on yachts covered in models. Thank you, SundanceTV, for turning my life into one of riches and b*tches. (Apparently I use the term “super duper” more than I realized).
Q: How did you meet host Neal Brennan? What makes you a good team?
Have you ever lied for a good reason? These Whisper members have. Read on for their best excuses, and then tune in to THE HONORABLE WOMAN on Thursdays 10/9c on SundanceTV for more tales of deception.
Eight years ago. In a holding cell in Gaza, Nessa and Atika wake to the sound of a man screaming.
Cut to present day. Nessa sleeps with a bodyguard filling in for injured Nathaniel. She then reveals she has deduced the new bodyguard’s identity: an undercover MI5 agent working for Sir Hugh.
Bruce McKinnon, who plays Ted Talbot Sr. on RECTIFY, discusses Southern culture and his life before acting.
Q: To what degree is southern culture a character in the show?
A: I think it needs top billing. [Laughs] that’s one thing that’s wonderful about doing shows on location. To try and replicate that in some artificial way or film it somewhere else, I think to a certain extent can take away from the depth of the show… Even our background actors who are local add such a depth to it and they have a sense of the movement of the South… But, yes, it’s high priority for our show. It’s just the pacing and the To Kill a Mockingbird flavor.
Q: Ted Sr. is something of a strong, silent type, a caretaker. How do you view your character? Do you relate to him at all?
If you’ve ever been watching an episode of Law & Order and experiences a sense of deja vu, that’s probably because you already know the crime. While facts and outcomes might changed, Law & Order’s on-screen cases are sometimes ripped from the headlines about real-life crimes.
The host of SundanceTV’s new series — inspired by New York magazine’s back page pop culture roundup — talks about some of the most surprising moments that happened during the shoot and his predilection for lowbrow brilliant news.
Q: What are you most excited about on the show?
A: I like all six episodes, but I’d say my little disagreement with Jon Stewart is interesting. Also, I told Willie Geist that he looks like a stock photo of a white person. So that was nice.
Q: How did you choose the topics that are featured on the episodes? Do you have a favorite?
A: Rory Albanese, Michael Hirschorn and I batted around a bunch. Ultimately, it’s what subjects could sustain a 45 minute discussion. My favorite [episode] is probably “America’s Hall Monitors” about the snitch culture pervading our glorious nation.
Q: How did you meet showrunner Rory Albanese? What makes you a good team?