How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Studio 60 Was Better When It First Came Out

I remember when the famous phrase "Live from Studio 60, it's Friday Night In Hollywood!" used to mean something. Back then, when the show first came out, I'd stay home every Monday night just to make sure I didn't miss an episode. There was such a buzz around the show in the weeks leading up to its premiere because it was something new, something no one had ever seen before. But ever since Judd Hirsch left, the show's totally gone downhill.

Even by just watching the show in those early days, you felt like you were part of something special. It was truly the first of its kind—so revolutionary that it immediately spawned imitators like 30 Rock. I don't know whether it was better writing, hip musical guests like Three 6 Mafia, or the whole novelty of being the first-ever show about a late-night sketch-comedy show, but regardless of whatever made it so great in those days, it has certainly not aged well.

I don't even understand why anyone watches it anymore.

In Studio 60's heyday, they would do this thing where Judd would come out before the opening credits and deliver this long, angry monologue about the current state of network television. I used to sit in front of the TV, just waiting for him to unleash his famous catchphrase, "It's not going to be a very good show tonight." But they haven't done that for a while.

I wish they would just get rid of this current cast and start from scratch.

Back when the show first hit the airwaves, they were constantly coming up with new, interesting characters, like Amanda Peet's manipulative but well-intentioned NBS president "Jordan McDeere," or Matthew Perry's hilarious stressed-out-writer character "Matt Albie."

I'd say they introduced eight to 10 great characters in the first episode alone, but then they kept using those same exact characters in every single show. Sure, they put them in slightly different situations and gave them new dialogue, but they got really old really fast. How many times do I have to see a "Matt and Danny" scene or a "Jordan and Jack" scene? Three or four times per show? It's just lazy.

They've fallen into the trap of using the same tired old formula week in and week out, just because they know it works. Every episode, it's a cold open that sets up a conflict, followed by the opening credits, followed by acts one through six, almost always ending with a neat little resolution and a new cliffhanger. And they keep drawing on the same overused topics—TV networks, network sponsors, sketch comedy… Talk about milking a premise for all it's worth. Okay, we get it already. I understand this is the format that made the show popular, but you can't rely on it forever.

Maybe it was just a matter of the show being in the right place at the right time. The nation was still reeling from the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the Pope had just made those insensitive comments about the Muslim religion, and we were all on edge about the E. coli spinach scare. Studio 60 provided the escape we needed every Monday night. But as the times have changed, the show just seems less and less relevant.

Then again, maybe it's me. Maybe I've just matured and my tastes have changed since it first premiered, and the show was always this bad. Maybe if I go back and watch the first episode again, I'll realize that it's not as good as I thought it was when I was younger.

Oh well, I guess I'll still keep watching though, since there's really nothing else on Mondays at 10 p.m. But I just can't shake the feeling I've seen the same four or five shows over and over since it debuted.

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