vidgo television screen

Streaming Startup VIDGO Hints at the Future of Streaming Television

When the first of the streaming services appeared at the dawn of the previous decade, it appeared that they are hinting at a new era in television entertainment that will leave cable television obsolete. Fast forward a decade, and cable TV is still a thing. While streaming TV has grown big time, cable TV has managed to be relevant even today. But, it appears that the biggest blow against cable TV was yet to come, as a hitherto unknown startup is all set to shake the ground below cable TV industry. VIDGO is the new streaming service on the scene, which is effectively a complete replacement for cable TV. Here is what you should know about this service.

Live Cable TV

VIDGO will offer live linear programming of cable TV. In other words, you can enjoy cable TV channels on VIDGO, without actually binding yourself to a cord. Also, you can now pay for only those channels that you enjoy. Frankly speaking, VIDGO is not the first to bring cable entertainment to streaming world. Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have already done that. But, Sling TV brings very limited entertainment options by offering only 20+ channels. As for Vue, although it does offer as many as 90+ channels, it is prohibitively expensive. Its basic package itself costs around $50, which essentially puts it in the same range as cable.

The exact number of channels that will be offered under VIDGO has not yet been clarified by the company behind it.

vidgo cut the cable cord

A La Carte Television

VIDGO has hinted that it will allow its subscribers to build their own packages of their favorite channels. However, VIDGO has not clarified how this will be put into action in reality. They could offer bundles of different channels, and allow the subscribers to add or remove these bundles from their package, or provide complete flexibility to them to add or remove individual channels. If the latter is true, then it could mean a monumental shift in the entire television entertainment industry. Gone will be the days when you would have to pay for even the channels you don’t like just because they were bundled with the channels that you want. Complete flexibility of choice.

This feature will be the first of its kind. Neither the cable TV providers, nor any other streaming service offers this level of flexibility to its subscribers. Naturally, people will pick only those channels they like and completely get rid of the ones they don’t watch anyway. Now, they pay for only what they see.


Among VIDGO’s bouquet of offers is the much awaited sports content. Thus, you can keep yourself entertained with everything happening in the world of sporting events throughout the year.

Inclusion of sports entertainment in their offering is a great move on part of VIDGO, as it puts it firmly in the elite club of streaming services that offer sports, which currently includes only two members other than VIDGO. Sports channels are the last string binding the TV viewers firmly to the cable television. Now, with the entry of VIDGO, sports lovers can finally cut their cord. Already more than a quarter of Millennials have disconnected cable TV service and are completely depending on streaming services for their TV entertainment. This phenomenon will get a huge boost once VIDGO is available across America.

vidgo baseball sports

Complete Flexibility – Anywhere, Any Device

VIDGO is offering multi device streaming from the ground up. This means that all packages with the service come with multi device streaming feature. No matter which of VIDGO’s packages you sign up for, you will be able to stream the service on more than one of your devices. Thus, you can enjoy VIDGO on any device of your choice. All you need is an internet connection. This can be a Wi-Fi connection, or a 4G data connection.

Whether you are travelling for work, sitting in a restaurant, hanging out in a park, or just lazing away on your own porch, you can always enjoy all the entertainment that VIDGO has to offer. The convenience of VIDGO is not limited to any place, but also the devices. You can enjoy VIDGO on a host of devices, including smartphones, and smart TVs. Thus, you can lie on your couch and enjoy VIDGO on the big 60-inch TV in your home, or use it on your smartphone while you are travelling.


Of course, pricing is one of the major criteria in deciding which video streaming service you wish to subscribe to. Perhaps, that is why people behind VIDGO are taking their own time to come out with the complete pricing structure.

Other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Prime Video offer certain packages in less than $10 range. But, considering the nature of the services offered by VIDGO, mainly live linear programming, these services are not the right comparison. Indeed, VIDGO is a complete replacement for cable television, and hence it should be compared to that. When you do that, you will see that VIDGO is a huge bargain. It will save you hundreds of dollars over a year. Even the company’s co-founder and president, Robert Kostensky, has claimed that VIDGO will be the lowest cost solution that offers such a big catalog of channels on so many devices. There is no doubt that VIDGO is a winner as far as pricing is concerned.

vidgo television service

No Hidden Costs

VIDGO’s team has been very clear about the fact that there will be no hidden fees when it comes to their services. For a fact, you will be paying exactly what you calculated based on your consumption of the service. You won’t have to install a new device in your home; you won’t have to enter a long-term contract with the company; you won’t have to pay any rental for the devices. More importantly, there are no formalities like credit checks. You get what you pay for, and you are charged for nothing else. There are only two components of your payment here. One is the subscription fee, and the other is the payment towards on-demand content. That’s all.

Availability of Service

VIDGO is an OTT streaming service. All it needs is an internet connection. If you have an internet connection, whether it is on your phone, computer, or some other compatible smart device, you will be able to enjoy VIDGO. Unlike cable TV, it is not subjected to frequent technical difficulties. Moreover, wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection, you will be able to enjoy VIDGO eventually. Initially though, VIDGO is being launched in select few cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and so on. So, not everybody will be able to avail the service right away. They will have to wait a bit more.

After the initial launch, the VIDGO plans to make the service available across the country by the end of this year. Whether that will happen in phases across different cities, or there will be a blanket launch across the country is yet to be seen. Either way, VIDGO will have millions of potential cord-cutters residing in other parts of the country in anticipation of the launch of this service in their city.


VIDGO has provided a sneak peek into the interface of their software  and it is surprisingly user-friendly for a service that has just been launched. There is a favorites menu for quick access to the most viewed content, so that you can enjoy your favorite channels without having to search for them every time. The icing on the cake is the automatic cloud DVR, which enables you to record all your TV programming so that you never miss your shows. Not to mention the huge on-demand content on offer, which includes even the first-run movies. No wonder the entertainment industry is holding its breath, in anticipation of the arrival of the future of television entertainment.

vidgo remote control

Streaming television

Comparison of TV Streaming Services 2016

If you are planning to cut the cord, there are some really well-known names in the TV streaming arena. Each of them have been wooing the consumers by upgrading their interfaces, providing a better selection of entertainment, and what not, at an affordable price. So, which are those services that have got the right mix to be worthy of your subscription this year? Here are the top contenders.



No introductions are needed here. This is the big daddy of streaming services. What started as a DVD delivery service has now transformed itself into one of the most popular streaming services. There is no record of exactly how many movies are listed on this platform. But, it is certainly in terms of hundreds of thousands. When it comes to TV shows, Netflix was not the best service to opt for, but now it has started offering shows that are exclusively aired on Netflix. These include the likes of House of Cards, Orange in the New Black, and others. The quality of original content on Netflix has been highly acclaimed by the audiences and the critics alike.

Anyone can sign up for a Netflix account by paying a monthly fee of just $9. There is also a platinum pack offered by the service that gives the subscriber access to their bouquet of 4K content and also the ability to stream content on up to four devices at once.

Since Netflix is one of the pioneers in the streaming industry, it is available on almost all kinds of streaming devices. Whether it is a gaming console, or a smartphone, Netflix is available on all of them. The Netflix app is also available in all the app stores.

A big factor that adds to the appeal of Netflix is the fact that it has been ad-free. Also, the user interface of Netflix has been optimized over the years to make it really easy to navigate. The recommendation system is pretty good too.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime

This is not a shocker either. When Amazon started its own streaming service, people had high expectations from it and Amazon did not disappoint. The streaming service from Amazon is pretty neat. Earlier, the collection of media on Prime was nowhere near Netflix. But, thanks to brand Amazon, the service has signed partnerships with the likes of Warner Bros. Now, the Amazon Prime library offers an impressive array of entertainment to its subscribers. The service quality is similar to Netflix, with a lot of movies and shows on offer. Amazon Prime also includes many original series in its lineup, including Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Alpha House, and so on.

Amazon Prime formerly used to offer only an annual subscription of $99 (which comes out to be $8.25 per month). On the other hand, the monthly membership is being offered at $10.99.

This service is also easily available on all kinds of devices you can think of. There are also added perks of subscribing to Amazon Prime. You get free two-day shipping on your Amazon orders. If you frequently make purchases online, this is absolutely the best service to go for.

Hulu Plus

Hulu came into existence when media giants like Fox, NBC Universal, and Disney-ABC came together in 2007. Initially introduced as a free service, Hulu enjoyed massive support from the viewers. This is the service to go to if you are looking for a service to watch television shows. Most of the other streaming services make television shows available much later the live telecast of the season on cable. But with Hulu Plus, subscribers get to watch TV shows within days or even hours of it airing on television. 

The service costs $7.99 per month, but even the premium version of Hulu Plus comes with ads. There is an advertisement at 10-minute intervals, which might get annoying for some users. But, it is not very different from watching TV on cable, but much cheaper. Hulu Plus is available on all kinds of devices. This is really the service to go for if you are a TV buff.

Sling TV

Slingtv take back tv

Sling TV is the service to go for when you want the flexibility of a streaming service, plus the content delivery of cable television. This ideal combination comes for a premium price of $20 a month fee. The one thing that distinguishes it from other streaming services is the access to sports channels like ESPN.

Moreover, Sling TV comes with none of the installation costs or contracts. So, basically there are absolutely no hassles of a cable connection, but the subscribers can enjoy more than 200 channels in around 18 languages. Sling TV does not do really well in terms of availability to the users. The Sling TV app works only on Apple devices, Xbox One, Roku TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick.


Youtube ad free

This has to be the most popular platform for streaming free videos on the internet. The site hosts a dizzying array of content. You can practically find videos on anything and everything on YouTube. The platform is really easy to navigate, but just because of the volume of content, it may be difficult to find exactly you want quickly. The best way is to subscribe to your favorite channels so that once you find a YouTuber, you like, so that whenever they post a new video, you get a notification. The collection of movies on YouTube is not as extensive as other services either.

There is also an on-demand premium service from YouTube, wherein you can rent or even buy movies. These can range anywhere from $0.99 to $19.99.

You can run YouTube on any and every device. The only requisite is an active internet connection.


Which service suits you best depends on the type of content you enjoy. If you like to binge watch television shows, then Hulu Plus is the best service for you. If you are a movie buff, Amazon Prime and Netflix should be your pick. Try Sling TV if you want the cable experience for a better price and added convenience. However, if you are looking for free content or movies to buy, services like YouTube should be your thing. 

You can find more information about the Best TV Streaming services by clicking here.

Noël Wells as Rachel and Aziz Ansari as Dev Shah

Master of None, Master of Shocking, Hilarious, and Sweet Surprises

Master of None is an American comedy series that premiered on Netflix in November, 2015. Created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, the series is about a 30-year-old man, Dev Shah, and his life struggles in the city of New York as an actor. The show title is inspired and taken from the figure of speech, “Jack of all trades, master of none”. The title itself is a suggestion from Aziz Ansari. Ansari has stated that it took him about a month to come up with a suitable title for the series. As often happens in this industry, both the creators of the show had not finalized upon a suitable title until they had finished producing the first season of the show.

Lena Waithe plays Denise

Lena Waithe plays Denise

The first season of Master of None consists of only 10 episodes, each with running time of 26 to 31 minutes. Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari are also the executive producers of the show along with Dave Becky, David Miner and Michael Schur. The production companies supporting the show are Alan Yang Pictures, Oh Brudder Production, Fremulon, Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment. The show is solely produced for broadcasting on Netflix.

The main protagonist of the show, Dev Shah, is portrayed by Aziz Ansari. Shah is a commercial actor, who attempts to make his way through life in the New York City. His best known work so far is a Go-Gurt Commercial. The role of Dev’s primary love interest, Rachel, is played by the American actress and comedian, Noel Wells. She works as a music publicist.

Azis even casted his own parents to play themselves in the show

Azis even casted his own parents to play themselves in the show

The show also introduces three friends of Dev Shah. Arnold Baumheiser, played by Eric Wareheim, is what Ansari describes as “token white friend” of Dev. The two of the share a common passion, which is food. Kelvin Yu plays the role of Dev’s another friend, Brian Cheng. He is an American, but his parents are Taiwanese immigrants. While the role of Arnold is based on the real-life friendship between Ansari and Eric. Also, the character of Brian is based on Alan Yang, who is Ansari’s great-looking friend in real-life. The last member of the Dev’s friends circle in New York City is Denise, portrayed by the actress, Lena Waithe. While Denise’s character was not originally represented as a lesbian, the show creators later decided to give the character Waithe’s real-life personality.

Other than these, there are many recurring roles such as Benjamin, Todd, Colin Salmon and Ansari’s real life parents, Fatima and Shoukath. Also, there have been guest appearances made by Noah Emmerich and Claire Danes as well.

Dev s character has a bromance with Arnold played by Eric Wareheim

Dev’s character has a bromance with “Arnold” played by Eric Wareheim

The show has gained a good critical acclaim right from the beginning of the series. It was rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and scored 8.9/10 based, on the 53 views from the audiences. Moreover, it registered a score of 91/100 on Metacritic too. Many critics noted it as fresh, humorous and charming.

In 2015, the show won the American Film Institute Award under the category of Offline Selection – TV Programs of the Year. Further, it has also been nominated for Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe Award, and NAACP Image Award in the year 2016, whose results are still pending. 

american pickers logo new season

American Pickers TV Series – Real or Scripted?

The reality television series, American Pickers, first premiered on January 18th, 2010. It can be viewed on the History Channel. So far the series has 8 seasons and outside of the United States it is known simply as The Pickers. Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz carry the show. They are antique and collectible “pickers.” Together the duo search for items that they resell, use for personal interest, or give to specific clients. Another key player in the television show is a woman named Danielle Colby who takes charge of Mike’s office meanwhile Mike and Frank are on the road and doing their own business. Frank has a shop of his own where he sells the items he finds, called Frank Fritz Finds and Mike owns Antique Archeology. Colby helps the guys find some good places to look for antiques and other top picks, but sometimes they wing-it on their own. There have been a few occasions where they will revisit a location.

american pickers h2

Throughout the series Frank and Mike explore many different places. They look through homes, sheds, barns, outbuildings, and anywhere else where items have accumulated. They talk to a variety of different people, including hoarders and other collectors. Both Mike and Frank have particular interests that they especially enjoy collecting. Mike, who has been collecting since before he was five years old, tends to have an eye for penny-farthings, antique bikes, and Volkswagens—particularly air-cooled ones. Frank, on the other hand, likes Hondas, oil cans, and old toys. Many rare and unusual findings have appeared on American Pickers.

IMDb gives the series 6.9/10 stars, whereas gives it 8.3/10. A lot of people enjoy the television show, calling it funny and entertaining. It has been called educational and it resembles other shows out there like Pawn Stars or even Antique’s Roadshow. According to one review the “joy of discovery” is one of the biggest reasons the series is fun and entertaining to watch. There are numerous people who vigorously attack the show and others who defend it. There are a couple of primary thoughts among critics. Some say that Mike and Frank are jerks who rip people off and take advantage of others who don’t know the value of their possessions. In the show’s defense fans say that they are just acting like any middle-man would, and that they are professional. One review says that by the same logic Apple might be just as seedy, when considering the cost of production for their products verses how much they are sold for. The other primary way that the series is attacked is because, although it is on the History Channel, it has very little real history. In this regard one review claims that it is a good show regardless of the channel it is on and that History has stopped featuring shows that have to do with History. Is that the fault of American Pickers?

american pickers gnomes

Another large point of interest when it comes to the series is whether or not it is real or fake. It has been called a “scripted flop” and others say that it is alright for a staged TV show. There has been debate about this fact and some attention paid as to whether or not the series is in fact a true reality television show.

There is, evidently, some scripting in every reality television series—or at least the majority of them. This scripting may be done to a varying degree depending upon how “real” the show is striving to be. Even the most realistic reality TV shows may have an individual repeat a line they had said for the camera. Footage and time-line may also be altered to make the series of events more coherent and easier to understand.

american pickers circus stuff

When it comes to how much is scripted on American Pickers it seems to come down to a matter of personal opinion, as there are articles vowing that the series is fake and others who swear it is the real deal. Some people are even of the mindset that it is 100% staged. It has been stated that the two show leads, Mike and Frank, were friends prior to the show, but not actually business partners. Prior to this Mike is said to have been a safety and fire inspector. Frank has a slightly more convincing story for having been on the show, however, as it has been his hobby to collect antiques long before America’s Pickers.

Danielle is said to be an outright actor who does not in fact do any of the real work of an office manager. She appears as quirky and interesting. Evidently Danielle worked previously as a burlesque performer and female roller-derby star. Her only connection to the show was her friendship with Mike, otherwise, it has been said that she had no knowledge of antiques or any other qualifications. It would seem that the biggest reason she is even on the show, at least according so some people, is her sex- appeal.

danielle american pickers

Evidently all of the film shots of Mike and Frank traveling and driving together in their vehicle are fakes. The dialog between them while in the car together happens on a set and the pictures of the vehicle traveling are said to be taken from different locations. Some also state that the picks themselves have been worked out long before the scenes of haggling and negotiation are shot.

While defenders of the series say that some of it might indeed be scripted, such as conversations, they also say that it is still a reality televisions series. In response to the allegation that Danielle is an actor some believe that she actually does work in the shop as a manager. It is also true that Mike Wolfe sells the antiques he buys—at least this is admitted by a viewer who claims that the series is completely staged. It has also been said, by America’s Pickers Believers, that the picks themselves couldn’t be staged because it is evident in many of the episodes that the “piles of junk” have been sitting around for years. Whether or not you think it is a reality television show depends on where you draw the line between reality television and TV that is fully staged, scripted, and overall fictionalized. When you sign up for one of the Dishnet Satellite Internet Plans you can stream all the old and new episodes of American Pickers.

roy east coast old car

table streaming television

New Television Service Provider

Technology is prevalent in most homes across the United States. Television, in particular, is extremely popular and one of the oldest and most enduring forms of electronic entertainment that has withstood the decades. There are countless people who watch TV; the market for the industry is huge. There are 100 million television households, 35 million of them watch satellite, 48 million watch cable, seven million are LEC customers, 21 million are cable cutters, and 40 million consumers use Netflix. There are, of course, connected devices like ROKU and Apple, and connected televisions like the Vizio and the Samsung. Recently ESPN found that there have been three million disconnects in the past year alone. There are multiple reasons for this. Many people are beginning to consider cable as too expensive a luxury and are dropping it and others, particularly Millennials, are finding new more tech-savvy and inexpensive ways to watch their favorite programs.

future technology new ways to stream live television

Currently some of the leading television companies are DIRECTV, Dish Network, Comcast XFINITY, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable. There is a completely new television service set to launch in the United States sometime in November. The service will contain live local channels, like like NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS; national content providers such as Discovery, Scripps, and Disney-ABC; premium services like Showtime, Starz, and HBO; Sports programming such as local content, professional, and collegiate; music videos and music channels, and VOD—movies—including first run titles.

DIRECTV offers premium channels like HBO, in addition to DIRECTV HD Extra Pack, DOGTV, Playboy TV, Showtime, VIVID TV, Starz, and PENTHOUSE TV. DIRECTV offers Sports packages like Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, DIRECTV Sports Pack, and MLS. There are many packages at various prices. The initial price and package is 145 channels for $19.99, there are also packages for $34.99 for 220 channels, $39.99 for 240 channels, and $89.99 for 315 channels.

Dish Network offers local channels like ABC, the CW, and CBS, as well as over 200 channels in HD, specialty channels like Sony Movie Channel, GMC, Baby TV, Epix, The Blaze, Playboy TV, and Encore. Dish has featured sports channels like NFL, and NFL REDZONE, Goal Line, and BTN. For $19.99 Dish offers 55 channels, and the $39.99 package offers 290 channels.

 has the standard networks like ABC, CBS, and Fox. It has premium channels such as Showtime, Starz, The Movie Channel, Cinemax, and HBO. XFINITY has 3D and HD program options. TV Packages start at $49.99 for about 400 television channels.

new technology tv

AT&T U-verse offers channels like ABC, ABC Family, Discovery, Fox, and others. It features premium programming like Cinemax, Showtime, HBO, Starz, Encore, and epix. AT&T has HD and sports packages as well covering NBA League Pass, ESPN Full Court, Fox Soccer HD Plus, and Gameplan.

Time Warner Cable 
has HBO, The Movie Channel, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz. It offers sports packages like NBA League Pass, Center Ice, TWC Sports Pass, and Direct Kick. Time Warner Cable also offers basic channels like ABC, NBC, and CBS. Time Warner Cable
Starting at $29.99 Time Warner Cable offers 200 channels. For $49.99 200 channels are available plus Music Choice Channels and On Demand shows.

The new television provider has a media vault where home movies and pictures can be stored and delivered on the cloud. There are no contracts, no professional installations, and everyone qualifies – there are no credit checks.

The service offers a basic package at $29.99 offering 175 channels and a premium service at $49.99 with 250 channels, both sports and movies.

This new television provider can be used on many various devices, such as smart TVs, game consoles, streaming media players, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, smartphones and tablets, and PCs and laptops. It will work on connected devices, the PC and Mac, watches, Mobile iOS and Android, and on iPads and tablets.

This new TV service does not have any extra monthly fees nor any fees for set up boxes or DVR. It has true “video on the go” not “TV everywhere.” The product is 4K ready as content becomes available. It can be activated online and there one can experience the best online customer service. An individual is free to call support regarding sales and customer service. The new TV provider supports 5 simultaneous streams per account whereas Dish Sling only has 1. The content (United States programming) and streaming rights are set to expand internationally. The product is also the lowest cost solution to deliver LIVE television to all devices and connected televisions. It has proprietary technology, national programmer, and ISP relationships.

The awesome television streaming service will launch in November of 2015 in 15-20 markets in the USA. In 2016 the remaining markets will be launched, providing full United States coverage. Fall of 2016 marks the launch of international markets.

future television technology

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New Television Technology

Every year or two people expect to be wowed by the latest breakthroughs in technology geared specifically for entertainment. There is a lot going on in that department, because that is what people want and what they will pay for. New television technology in particular has seen a lot of revolutionary new developments recently, all of which are geared towards improving the quality of entertainment people get. Who doesn’t want better colors, sharper charity, lighter and bigger screens, and the amazing new technology which comes along with it all, making new and greater things possible? As technology advances the horizon of possibilities does too, and the way which we enjoy our favorite movies and TV shows becomes increasingly more vivid and realistic.

One of the new television technological terms on the scene is called “4K resolution” also known as UHD or Ultra High Definition, giving a new and redefined meaning to the old and simple high definition. UHD essentially means there are more pixels than HDTV, providing for higher resolution. Exactly how many more pixels? A TV with 4K resolution has at least 3840×2160 pixels. There also exists the “4Kx2K” which has a resolution of 4096×2160 pixels. The frame rates are also higher and the color is better and more realistic than regular HDTV.

OLED television technology is also new, it stands for organic light-emitting diodes. OLED is a step above regular LED televisions because they are lighter, thinner, and have a better picture. Each individual pixel can be turned off or on, making the contrast ratio genuinely infinite and providing for the possibility of absolute black.

Quantum dot technology is also relatively new and here to produce better colors and brighter images; they are essentially very small particles which produce different colors depending on individual size; each size produces a different wavelength of color. Quantum dot technology is semiconductor nanocrystal technology and it allows for deeper blacks and better image uniformity. The colors are similar to those of OLED television technology, but quantum dot technology is also generally cheaper. Unlike quantum dots, however, OLED allows for better contrast, absolute black, and wider viewing angles than quantum dots.


The other exciting aspect of this new television technology is that you can combine different aspects of technology together. For example, quantum dot technology can be combined with 4K resolution for an even more advanced and high-tech television. Another possibility is HDR which can be combined with OLED.

HDR stands for high dynamic range. An HDR television allows for a greater contrast ratio than other ordinary televisions, making for an even better picture. HDR televisions provide brighter whites and darker blacks, especially when coupled with OLED. With HDR there is a wider range of light, plus extra brightness.

The possibilities are ever growing, these are just some of the latest inventions in television technology. Next year there will be even more breakthroughs, and who knows how we will enjoy entertainment in a decade from now. The sure thing is that technology will continue to evolve and revolutionize the way society experiences entertainment.




Things You didn’t Know About Veep.

Veep (a play on the shortened title for the Vice President, VP) is an HBO original comedy series that stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s a show that portrays a British understanding of American politics. Set in the office of fictional Vice President Selina Meyer, Louis-Dreyfus’ character, Veep focuses on her career as a politician. Veep is a spin-off of another show, The Thick of It, also produced by Armando Iannucci, and thus occurs in the same universe.

Veep follows the life of Vice President Selina Meyer, a former Maryland Senator, and a previous presidential candidate. While this character had drawn criticism for being a reference to Sarah Palin, Armando Iannucci has assured audiences and critics alike that she’s not. In fact, Meyer’s character is purposefully fictional with no basis in real life. The running joke of Veep is that Meyer’s political party is never revealed. Moreover, she’s portrayed as a sort of political animal simply trying to survive the aggressive nature of American politics. The very point of Selina Meyer is that she has a traceable political history, unlike Palin, who seemed to just appear from nowhere.

Selina Meyer, despite her position as Vice President, is also a sympathetic character. She’s not a politician in the traditional sense. She’s just a tiny piece of a much bigger machine, an old and failing machine whose use is coming to an end. She never really reaches her goal. Instead, she’s always just cleaning up other people’s messes, usually in the form of mitigating public relations.


Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who grew up in and around D.C. noticed the similarities between her life as a well-known actress and the lives of politicians. She travels by motorcade. When her fans notice her, she falls back into character, taking on the role of Vice President Selina Meyer. Because of her proximity to Washing D.C. during her childhood, show creator Armando Iannucci found her knowledge on the political culture invaluable.

In creating the show, Armando Iannucci had no particular actress in mind, but was delighted when he was introduced to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. To prepare herself for the role, Louis-Dreyfus did a lot of research in the form of questioning chiefs-of-staff, vice presidential speechwriters, and even Al Gore himself. She wondered if political speakers had to follow specific guidelines during the speeches, and whether the Secret Service actually followed certain politicians to the bathroom at night. She also studied tapes and videos of politicians giving speeches, careful to watch their body language and hand gestures. She studied these movements until she was able to execute them perfectly.

Iannucci commented on her perfecting a particular gesture “that no one else does in real life.” Of this particular action, Louis-Dreyfus explained, “You make a fist and then you move your thumb on top of the bent fingers, like you’re ready to have a thumb fight with someone. It’s not a natural human gesture. It tries to straddle both sides, you know? To be powerful, but not aggressive.”


Veep is a refreshing looking at American politics, told from an outsider’s perspective. It grants the audience a chance to look at politics without grimacing or changing the channel. It’s a definite change of pace from other such political shows, which were typically dark and brooding. Veep is the opposite of that—providing an introspective look into American politics, while allowing audience to laugh at the bleakness of its affairs.  Click right here to find more home entertainment opportunities on the Internet.


Everything You Need to Know About Nightmare Before Christmas’s Zero

Zero the dog is one of the fan-favorite characters from the popular stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition to appearing in the original film, Zero has appeared in various spin-offs and other media related to the Nightmare Before Christmas franchise. Whether you’re a new fan to the film or a diehard ‘Nightmare’ fanatic, the following is everything you need to know about Zero.

He’s not the only ‘undead’ Burton dog

Dogs have played a role in three of Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated films: Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie. In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Zero is a ghostly dog who is the loyal companion of Jack Skellington; in Corpse Bride, Scraps is the former dog (now a skeleton of his former self!) of the main hero, Victor; and in Frankenweenie, Sparky is raised from the dog by his young, science-loving owner after his untimely passing.

He makes appearances in several video games

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge is a video game sequel to the original film. Although Zero doesn’t plain a main role in the story, and is not a playable character, the player makes use of Zero several times in order to sniff out bad guys and clues. The player can even visit Zero’s home during the game!

Zero also makes appearances in several Kingdom Hearts games, although is only seen in the background for both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Zero alerts the main character and Jack Skellington to any “Heartless” monsters nearby.

Nobody knows who provided Zero’s vocal effects

The barks, growls and other noises heard from Zero during The Nightmare Before Christmas film were voiced by an unknown person! To this day, the source of Zero’s voice in the original film is unknown. Some people believe that it may have been Bill Farmer or Frank Welker, who both performed work on the film.

the-nightmare-before-christmas-zeroZero was meant to parallel Rudolf

The character of Zero was meant to parallel aspects of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer—and it’s not just his bright red nose that connects him to the most famous reindeer of all. Another parallel between the two is that it is Zero who leads Jack Skellington to the Christmas Tree door which leads him to Christmas Town and sparks his desire to make Christmas his own!


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Michonne Adds Some Mystery to the Apocalypse

Something about Michonne had us hooked from her first appearance. Perhaps it was her valiant and shadowy entrance. After all, a hooded, Katana-wielding figure with zombie minions probably has a hard time not drawing attention. She also set the tone during this entrance by rescuing Andrea. Following her introduction, her personality has remained strong and enigmatic throughout the series.

Fans of the show have taken a liking to Michonne, who stands out among the rest. Her strong, dark features and unique appearance compliment her intricate personality. Her weapon of choice is the katana, and the show features plenty of scenes of walker decapitations at her hand. She doesn’t hesitate, she is never afraid, and she does what needs done. Also, katanas are much more exciting than gunfire, we must say.


On that note, Michonne also seems to have good instincts. Upon Michonne and Andrea’s capture and arrival at Woodbury, she immediately didn’t trust The Governor- and fans of the show will know what a great decision that is. She plays a big role in discovering The Governor’s ill intent and eventually stabs him during a confrontation. The stab through the eye with a shard of glass doesn’t kill The Governor (though it makes an impression that will never be forgotten), but she continues going on runs in an attempt to find him. She is obviously vengeful, and dedicated to her strong will. When asked why she’s looking for him, her detached self simply gives an “I don’t know”.

Other facets of her past and personality make appearances throughout the series, though. Her partner, Andrea, often feels saddened and frustrated by how little Michonne will share about herself. Some viewers likely feel this way as well, as Michonne is a popular character with an exciting role. Those who have read the comic series that The Walking Dead TV show is based off of will have some inside information, but we won’t spoil that here. Of course, things don’t always play out as in the comic, and nobody knows for sure what will unfold.

While her past is yet to be revealed, the show’s producers have done a stand-up job of weaving in hints. The most significant occurred after Lori dies giving birth to baby Judith. Remarks about there being no way to express a parent’s grief after losing a child cause a strong reaction in Machonne. Additionally, she begins crying when she holds Judith in her arms. Could she have been a parent in her past, and did she suffer the grief of this kind of loss as well? We don’t have all the answers, but that would be our guess. She also displays sensitivity throughout the series, trying her hardest to save others, provide comforts in some way, and taking huge risks to protect the survivors. She’s detached, but still has heart.michonne-walking-dead-sword

In any case, Michonne is a character to keep your eyes on as the season continues. It may be hard to top a glass shard through the eye, but something tells us she will continue making huge impacts as time goes on- especially since The Governor is coming back into the picture.


The Simpsons Halloween Special

Nearly everyone knows of Homer’s love for donuts and Marge’s iconic blue hair-do. It is an astonishing feat that The Simpsons has remained on the air for the many years it has been on. One of the most successful animated shows, The Simpsons has been entertaining audiences and invoking laughter for over two decades. Surprisingly, it still airs new shows that are fresh in content and delivery. The Simpsons remain as enjoyable as ever, and the show will likely remain a cornerstone of animated television for years to come.

Recently, The Simpsons aired its Halloween special: Treehouse of Horror XXIV (yes, that does say 24). Considering many shows fail to last twenty-four episodes let alone twenty-four renditions of the same holiday special, one has to wonder if it’s actually any good. The answer? The Simpsons continually delivers fresh content, and the Halloween specials are no exception. While it may be difficult to live up to the great specials of Halloween’s past which featured Simpsons renditions of  “The Raven” and “The Monkey’s Paw,” this year’s special was as satisfying as one of Homer’s delicious sprinkled doughnuts.


An enjoyable opening (impressive to the max, actually- I would recommend viewing it several times for full effect) featuring spooky transformations and plenty of beheadings to satisfy more ‘hardcore’ Halloween lovers gives way to the three stories in this special. The first involves a twisted Dr. Seuss story featuring our favorite family. Homer plays the ‘Fat in the Hat’ (try saying that a  few times fast without laughing!) and shows up for creepy adventures with Bart, Lisa, and Maggie while Marge is away. They travel the town, accompanied by parodies of Cat in the Hat rhymes, and Homer causes havoc. He goes on a killing spree, terrorizing the town, until the end where Maggie impales him with an umbrella. It sounds much darker than it is, though this amount of violence isn’t too uncommon for the show. As far as dark humor goes, viewers will be satisfied at this twisted version of a well-known children’s tale.


The second story grows even more bizarre and begins with Bart flying a kite. To make a long story short, he ties the kite around his neck while he sleeps and gets beheaded by a passing helicopter. He awakes with his head sewn to Lisa’s body, and the two must learn to function with two heads. A humorous turn of events and a very comical ending rounds off this short story. It was very ‘typical Simpsons’ and good for a laugh or two. The third story takes place at a carnival. Homer is a strong man and Marge is his fiance, working as a trapeze artist. Moe plays a circus freak with a valuable emerald ring he intends to give Marge in exchange for her hand in marriage. Homer catches wind of this and tricks Marge into marrying Moe with the intent to kill him and acquire the ring. It was a personal favorite (quite a sucker for the sepia style, and the carnival theme is just the perfect setting for this kind of humor), though all the stories were terror-ifically well-done.

Renewed yet again for a 26th season, one can only wonder what laughs Treehouse of Horrors XXV will scare up. An IT parody with Krusty perhaps? Schoolbus ride to Heck? Even MORE heads rolling? Tune in to find out what season 26 will spell out for one of our favorite TV families. Hop over here if you are looking for a fabulous cable provider so you don’t miss any episodes.