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AmericaFinland

5 things Finnish people ask me about America, thanks to Hollywood

AmericaFinland

I’ve lived in Finland for nearly 5 years after moving here from the United States. I’ve been asked many questions by curious Finns over the past few years, usually starting with “Why did you come here?” (to go to university) quickly followed by “But why did you stay here?” (because I love it here). After a couple of drinks, the conversation often turns to American stereotypes, in particular the American stereotypes and tropes that are portrayed in movies and television. A good part of the entertainment that the world consumes comes from Hollywood, so most Finns have seen the same tropes over and over and are left wondering whether it’s a case of Hollywood invention or Hollywood reflecting real life in the United States.

When it comes to American stereotypes, there are plenty to take your pick from. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common questions that I’ve been asked about life in the United States, based on what movies and TV are telling the world.

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Smoking Man

7 TV sci-fi villains we’d love to see back on our screens

Heroes are pointless without a proper villain to challenge them, serve as the foil, and most importantly – drop some of the most quotable lines of all time. A truly exceptional villain can take a mediocre science fiction television series to new levels, or make an already great series even more memorable. From uncomfortably relatable to full-on madness, villains are usually far more interesting than the goody-two shoes heroes that they love to torture. Let’s take a look at seven sci-fi villains that we’d love to see back on our screens in all their villainous, evil glory.

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Orangeisthenewblackfacts

18 facts that will change the way you watch Orange Is the New Black

orange1Last year, Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black burst onto the scene and shattered our conventions about television viewing, quickly becoming one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed series of 2013. Taking place in a women’s prison, the character-driven series deftly combines drama and comedy, introducing us to a cast that has intrigued audiences with fascinating backstories and beautifully-written characters.

Orange Is the New Black returns on June 6th with its much anticipated 2nd season, so here are 18 interesting facts about the show to get you ready!

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5 Seventies sci-fi TV shows we’d love to see remade today

The 1970s was such a turbulent, colourful decade that it’s sometimes forgotten that it also produced some of the best loved TV programs of all time. Series like “Little House on the Prairie,” prime time soap operas such as “Dallas” and iconic comedies “M*A*S*H,” “All in the Family” and “Happy Days.” were all followed by millions. The wealth of entertainment on offer was no different in the realm of science fiction, with tons of brilliant series gracing our screens. Such was the diversity that it’s tough to pick five we’d love to see make a comeback, but we set our phasers on retro and gave it our best shot, nonetheless.

The Six Million Dollar Man

If you weren’t lucky enough to have watched this the first time round, you’d be forgiven for not knowing this series gave birth to the phrase “we have the technology”.

It also gave birth to Steve Austin, an unlucky astronaut who suffered such a horrendous crash while flying a test aircraft, the only choice was to build him bigger, stronger and faster. How did Richard Anderson do this in the 1970s? By giving him new “bionics” legs, a right arm, and eye, which meant he could fight crime with superhuman power.

While the wonders of technology were the theme, the actual tech itself never really got explained. But it didn’t matter because by slowing down the action and adding incredibly catchy sound effects, we were convinced that Steve Austin was the high tech future of crime fighting.

We think the opening credits of The Six Million Dollar Man, 90 seconds of pure 70s perfection, warrant a remake alone. Question is who could be the next Lee Majors?

Space: 1999

In 1999, Moonbase Alpha is a scientific research colony and watchdog over silos of atomic waste from Earth stored on the Moon’s far side. Alas, this seemingly flawless plan goes awry when an explosive chain-reaction of the waste blasts the Moon out of Earth orbit and the Solar System.

From the British producers of Thunderbirds, Space: 1999 starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain leading a group of eggheads trying to figure out how to get home. Taking a cue from 2001. A Space Space Odyssey, Space: 1999 perpetuated the idea that the future would look white, smooth, and clean.

Like all great sci-fi shows it had casting changes and a premature cancellation. Rumors of a movie version or a reboot continue long after the year 1999 has passed.

We for one wish Moonbase Alpha would come baaaaaaaaack!

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

This campy ’70s series, starring Gil Gerard as the titular hero, was created by producer Glen A. Larson, of Battlestar Galactica fame. Based on a pulpy comic strip icon, Buck was a NASA pilot who while on a mission into deep space, suffered an accident, which sent him into cryogenic stasis and returns him to Earth five centuries later.

Happily, he was thawed our to discover the insanely sexy Col. Wilma Deering eager to help him readjust to life in the future. Accompanied by Dr. Huer, robot sidekicks Dr. Theopolis and Twiki, best remembered for his catchphrase “beedee-beedee-beedee, and later the doddering Dr. Goodfellow Buck fought cosmic menaces such as Princess Ardala and her dad, Emperor Draco of the Draconians.

Logan’s Run

Continuing on from the success of the classic 70s movie of the same name, the 1977 series follows Logan 5 and Jessica 6 on their quest to find Sanctuary and leave behind the doomed utopia where no one could live past 30.

While it lasted only 14 episodes, this show nails the quintessential look of 70s sci-fi better than anything else. One notable episode, written by David Gerrold under a pseudonym, pulled a nice switcheroo by featuring a time traveler from our era encountering Logan and company on their journey, thus blowing minds in multiple time streams.

Blake’s Seven

Created by Doctor Who alum Terry Nation, Blake’s 7 who was inspired by classic Westerns as well as by the tropes of dystopian sci-fi. It’s lead character is escaped prisoner Roj Blake, a freedom fighter turned against Earth’s Terran Federation. His willingness to let the ends justify the means makes him an unusual TV hero.

It is at times dark and pessimistic, but the characters maintain a classically British stiff upper lip in their titanic struggle. What it lacked for in high-budget special effects, it made up for in plot and subversive politics.

A very different affair from our other four choices, Blake’s Seven is arguably the series most worthy of remake, simply because it resonates so strongly in so many way with life in the 21st Century.

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10 must read quotes about television from history’s most creative men

On September 30th it will be 84 years since the world’s first television broadcast. Television, named after Latin and Greek words meaning “far sight”, is arguably one of the most influential technologies ever invented. Since the 1950s it’s been the main medium for melding public opinion and now an incredible 78 percent of the world’s households own at least one TV set. Yet throughout its long and illustrious history it’s been the subject of much criticism. Here’s ten writers, film makers, musicians and poets who who got turned off by the tube.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” – John Lennon

“Seeing a murder on television… can help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.” – Alfred Hitchcock

“Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.” – T. S. Eliot

“I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.” – Orson Welles

“What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.” – W.H. Auden, The Dyer’s Hand

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

“If we were to do the Second Coming of Christ in color for a full hour, there would be a considerable number of stations which would decline to carry it on the grounds that a Western or a quiz show would be more profitable.”  – Edward R. Murrow

“Television: chewing gum for the eyes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.” – Roald Dahl

“I haven’t had a TV in 10 years, and I really don’t miss it. ‘Cause it’s always so much more fun to be with people than it ever was to be with a television.” – Chuck Palahniuk

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