TV

Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

2.19.14: Jeopardy, Law & Order, Sad YouTube, Sexism & Nick Fairall

Credit Esther Vargas via flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth, we take a trip to the land of Trebek for a lesson on Jeopardy theory. And who doesn't love a good Netflix binge? But what if that Netflix binge takes a year and a half and covers 20 years worth of episodes? We hear from the man who watched 456 episodes of Law & Order to document the use of computers in the show.

Next, we head over to Sad YouTube, a project meant to highlight humanity in a sea of negative YouTube comments.

Our last two segments bring us back to reality. First, a look at sexism in the Philosophy department of University of Colorado-Boulder. And finally, NHPR's Amanda Loder visits the NH ski club of a US Olympian. 

2.19.14: Jeopardy, Law & Order, Sad YouTube, Sexism & Nick Fairall

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Word of Mouth
1:29 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Meet The Artist Who Was Commissioned To Watch 456 Episodes Of 'Law & Order'

Credit The Perps Worst Nightmare via flickr Creative Commons

In an effort to explore our cultural relationship with computer technology, artist Jeff Thompson watched 20 years worth of Law & Order – a total of 456 episodes – and documented when computers were used and how.  The project was commissioned by the arts and technology organization Rhizome.

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Word of Mouth
1:44 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Tech Trends To Look Forward To In 2014

The Sony Curved LED HDTV
Credit Sony

50 years ago, inspired by the 1964 World’s Fair, Isaac Asimov wrote an article for the New York Times envisioning what the world might look like in 2014. Among his predictions: “By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button.  Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Breakfasts will be "ordered" the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books.” While we may not have “automeals,” many of Asimov’s predictions were remarkably prescient. Now that we have time on our side, let’s discuss the technology forecast for 2014. Tech analyst and writer Tim Bajarin joins us.

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Word of Mouth
1:11 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

How Selling Out On TV Became Indie Rock's Saving Grace

Credit millerfarm via Flickr Creative Commons

The relatively unknown song "Daylight" by Brooklyn-based band Matt and Kim was featured in a 2009 Bacardi commercial, and by the following year went gold, selling over 500 thousand copies and sweeping Matt and Kim into the mainstream. Not so long ago, selling your music to ad agencies was considered the lowest form of selling out, a sure-fire way to lose hard-core fans. Today many musicians see it as the only way to make a living. And fans, for the most part, seem to be turning a blind eye. 

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Wed August 7, 2013

The Real Life Walter White?

Credit via buzzfeed.com

Breaking Bad follows a high school science teacher who cooks up meth with a former student, kicking off a fast slide into murder, extortion and unsavory partnerships as a bona fide drug lord. Too crazy to be true…right? Well, maybe not. In 2011, police in California arrested Stephen Kinzey; professor by day, outlaw biker and meth distributor by night. Kinzey has been out on bail since his initial arrest. The preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the case against him is strong enough to go to trial was scheduled for June, it’s since been delayed.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote about the real-life Walter White for BuzzFeed, and took the time to talk with us. She’s also a frequent contributor to The Atlantic, and The New York Times among others.

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Word of Mouth
3:30 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Top 5 Characters That Got "Gender Swapped"

Credit Battlestar Wiki

After we explored the possibility of the next Doctor Who becoming a woman, we got to thinking about all the other characters we’ve come to love over the years that were supposed to be - or originally were - the opposite sex.

We’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 Gender Swapped Characters.

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Word of Mouth
4:39 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

5 Shows We Hate-Watched in 2012

Credit random ideal via Flickr Creative Commons

A new TV trend has emerged, "hate-watching," or staying true to shows that make you feel a little bit bad about yourself the morning.


This year we found hate-watch blogs on TV Guide, The Root, and TV.com, among other places. We've also compiled our own list, curated by Senior Producer and resident television addict Rebecca Lavoie.


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Word of Mouth
10:59 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Are Re-Runs Good For You? Are Re-Runs Good For You?

dafyd via Flickr Creative Commons

With the glut of content available on Netflix, cable, and even YouTube, summertime TV longer has the monopoly on re-runs. Well, a new study reveals that watching reruns doesn’t only kill time. It may actually be good for you.  Tom Jacobs is a science writer with Pacific Standard.

Plus...we did a little man-on-the-street survey about re-runs, asking regular folks, "What show or movie can you watch over and over again?" 

Word of Mouth
11:39 am
Mon May 14, 2012

The Upside of Piracy...

(Photo by phreneticgamer via Flickr)

TV is big right now. Premium channel series like Mad MenGirls, and Game of Thrones are the stuff of water cooler and Twitter conversations, leaving those without access to cable in quandary…do they patiently await the iTunes, or Netflix release? Or give in, and illegally download fresh episodes? Even law-abiding viewers admitted to pirating Downton Abbey from British television before it made it to PBS.

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Word of Mouth
11:17 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Shunned (Working Title)

(Photo by Twinxamot via Flickr Creative Commons)

These days, there’s a reality TV show for every hobby, lifestyle, income bracket, family situation, and even religious persuasion.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Mon February 20, 2012

'Awake': Can A Risky New Drama Break A Streak Of Bad Luck?

Jason Isaacs as Michael Britten in NBC's Awake, from writer Kyle Killen.
Lewis Jacobs NBC

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 9:16 am

This piece was not my idea. It was Linda Holmes'. If you're reading this blog, you probably share my regard for her take on popular culture. So my ears pricked up when she suggested I look into doing a radio piece on Kyle Killen.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:54 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Books to get you through 'til Sunday

Historian Simon Schama calls it another example of British television’s “cultural necrophilia”. Well then, bring out your dead…the Downton Abbey miniseries now airing Sunday nights on PBS has invigorated public television, revved up sales of cloche hats and maxi skirts, and has publishers scrambling to appeal to readers who devour period dramas.

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