Arts

9:48am

Thu August 20, 2015
Monkey See

Television 2015: A Whole Lotta Guys In Ties

This is one in a series of essays running this week and next about the state of television in 2015. The series is based on developments at the recent Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., where broadcast and cable networks, along with streaming services like Netflix, presented new and existing shows to TV critics and reporters.

If television is so interesting right now, why do parts of it seem so old-fashioned?

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7:03am

Thu August 20, 2015
Book Reviews

Gothic Poetry And Grim Necessity In 'Shattered Wings'

Courtesy of Roc

Aliette de Bodard's first novel outside her Obsidian and Blood Aztec fantasy-mystery trilogy has a touch of Silly Fantasy Name problem, where florid compound words take over the page. Set in a Paris devastated by a war between factions of fallen angels, The House Of Shattered Wings is packed with sensuous description, and characters with names like Asmodeus, Samariel and Elphon.

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7:03am

Thu August 20, 2015
Book Reviews

'The Automobile Club' Tours Egypt's Troubled History

Emily Bogle NPR

To find a beginning can be a complicated thing for an author. Not as tough, usually, as finding an end, but it has its own challenges. The blank page, the first line, the headlong entry into a new world populated by nothing more than your imagination? It's intimidating.

In his new novel, The Automobile Club Of Egypt, the beloved, best-selling, award-winning Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany finds an interesting solution. He starts his book three times.

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5:02am

Thu August 20, 2015
Television

'SNL' Alumni Mine Humor From Serious Cinema In 'Documentary Now!'

Originally published on Thu August 20, 2015 5:16 pm

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader send up the classic documentary Grey Gardens in the first episode of their new TV series, Documentary Now!
Tyler Golden IFC

Former Saturday Night Live cast members Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader are making TV together again. Tonight their new show, Documentary Now!, which features fake documentaries satirizing some of the most famous nonfiction films, premiers on IFC.

To sell the faux-class and seriousness of what's about to unfold, it's presented as a golden anniversary show of the best documentary films hosted by none other than Oscar-winner Helen Mirren.

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4:59pm

Wed August 19, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Rosenwald' Celebrates 'The Greatest Philanthropist You've Never Heard Of'

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 6:54 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:59pm

Wed August 19, 2015
Monkey See

Television 2015: Too Much In Too Many Ways

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 7:02 pm

House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, is one of the many (many) shows now available on your TV — and in other places, too.
David Giesbrecht Courtesy of Netflix

A few days into our essay series on the state of television in the summer of 2015, I sat down with Audie Cornish on All Things Considered to get a few of the basics down. We talked about the sheer volume of scripted shows, the struggles of networks to get attention for what's great, and all the ways you can get television into your eyes and ears.

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4:59pm

Wed August 19, 2015
Theater

'Waitress' Serves Dark, Funny Fare With A Musical Twist (And A Side Of Pie)

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 8:55 pm

Waitress tells the story of Jenna (Jessie Mueller), a diner waitress who is stuck in a stifling, abusive marriage and yearns for a better life.
Evgenia Eliseeva Courtesy of The American Repertory Theater

Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus has a knack for developing works that make it to Broadway. She premiered Finding Neverland, Pippin and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., before bringing those productions to Manhattan. Now, Paulus has another potential hit on her hands: her musical adaptation of the 2007 indie film Waitress.

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4:59pm

Wed August 19, 2015
Arts & Life

As More Women, Minorities Win Hugos, 'Sad Puppies' Blast Sci-Fi Awards

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 6:39 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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3:58pm

Wed August 19, 2015
Goats and Soda

You Asked, We Deliver: A Portrait Of The World's Finest Panama Hat

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 5:02 pm

This Panama hat woven by Simon Espinal may be the finest one ever made.
Roff Smith for NPR

"Would like to have seen a photo of the completed hat."

That's what one commenter noted when we ran a story on Aug. 8: "He's Just Woven The World's Finest Panama Hat. But Who Will Buy It?"

Now, we did have a nice photo of the hat weaver himself, Simon Espinal, who lives in Pile, a village hidden in the hills of Ecuador's coastal lowlands.

And there is a close-up of the top portion of the hat, which gives a pretty good idea of what it looks like.

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3:47pm

Wed August 19, 2015
Television

With 100th Episode, Larry Wilmore's 'Nightly Show' Has Found Its Voice

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 4:41 pm

Larry Wilmore is the host of The Nightly Show, a satirical news show that airs on Comedy Central.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Though Larry Wilmore had always hoped to be a performer, his early career was as a comedy writer. He wrote for shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and In Living Color, and he created The Bernie Mac Show. He moved in front of the camera as The Daily Show's "senior black correspondent" in 2006. So when Stephen Colbert ended The Colbert Report last year, Comedy Central tapped Wilmore to host the replacement show.

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