Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mallory Archer's office art

Cutting cable was wonderful. What a good decision. Upon leaving I was offered cable for the same cost of the internet service (still the best in Denver,) that is basically free, and even that was not appealing because of all the extra nonsense and irritation that comes with it, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, advertisements, programs of pure advertising and so on. I don't want it.

I've been binge watching "Bob's Burgers" and "Futurama" and now "Archer."

One of the things that is really great about Netflix is that you can stop the action and study the background for their extra little cartoonist touches that are missed for going by too quickly to take in. For example, Bob's Burgers intro constructs the same scene of Bob, his family, the restaurant with a funeral home on the left and shop on the right, the name of the shop on the right changes with each episode to something amusing like the Bart Simpson writing on the chalkboard, "PFETA, Meat is Murder," "Trot's All Natural Fertilizer," "Meth I Can Methadone Clinic," "Extra Moist Yoga," "The Horse Renderer," and so on.  Then groups of mice run across the sidewalk and converge in front of the shop then a van speeds into the scene and stops directly in front of the burger restaurant with an amusing name on the van for an extermination company that changes with each episode, "Rats All Folks Exterminators," "Stan Vermin King of Vermin," "The Pest Pesterior," "Ratty Shack," "Chester the Depester," "The Mice Girls," "Wicked Witch of the Pest," and so on. It's fun. And completely missed without stopping to read because it appears onscreen for only half a second and very easily overlooked. I didn't see any of this until Netflix. The ending too incorporates amusing elements of the show while running credits. It's the same back of the restaurant scene with characters appearing in the service window and Bob scratching his butt, while people are dancing and singing and playing around him each time. Unfortunately, Netflix shrinks that to a smaller inset while they cue up the next episode.

I'm fairly certain that Futurama does something similar with their intro. I'll have to look at the NYC billboard that flashes onscreen for something amusing each episode while people are flashing through the transporter tube. I bet it changes each time. I didn't think to look today. Plus, on Netflix the intro doesn't show each time. It's just an additional cartoonist touch that is easily overlooked.

Likewise, the cartoon "Archer" is filled with fine touches. In season 1 episode 2, "Training Day" Archer goes into the office of the engineer who designs spy equipment, the equivalent of Q in James Bond films except entirely taciturn, he stays on his handheld device the whole time Archer is talking to him. In the background are shelves of storage bins with amusing labels, but the action must be stopped to read the labels because they appear for only a second, "Air Tools," "Poison," "Guns," "Tap & Die," "Hopes & Dreams," "Cuffs & Darts," etc.

The main character's mother is the head of the intelligence agency and the walls of her office are covered with art that I find attractive, to each their own taste. It's frameless with the canvas wrapped around the edges such as you see on design shows, and house flipping shows, and that you can buy online. I thought as I watched, "Hey! I can buy that." It's easily done. Just copy it from the show and produce it though any of the outfits online that offer this type of service. (They always offer a tremendous discount for your first order.) It's amazingly inexpensive and an impressive service, and widely used, and you can do so much with it. For a few hundred bucks you can copy the entire office. But first you must find good copies.

So I looked.

Turns out it's real art and the real life artist is suing FX for copyright infringement. This came up immediately searching [archer, art, mallory's office] They used her art without her permission. Just like I intend to do, except they did it for financial gain.

This clip shows the art fairly well but only in part. Other clips on YouTube show it better but they must be sorted though and they're all at an angle drawn in perspective and all too poor quality to use. And this is Google images showing Michel Leah Keck's work for much better copies.

I Don't Want to Hear It, Michel Leah Keck

The Best is Yet to Come, Michel Leah Keck

See? Those two actual paintings are in this key frame. No fair!

Something tells me this doesn't interest you. Something tells me you don't care for the art one single bit. Something tells me this idea is useless to you and that you find cartoons uninteresting BANG!

I just now killed the little bird telling me negative things and kicked it over the balcony.

The best thing about Netflix is it delivers on the promise that cable reneged. Cable was supposed to be subscribers pay to avoid commercials but then cable could not resist the double payment stream from subscribers and from advertisers. And now having what cable denied it is very weird switching from Netflix back to pre-cable over the air programming and being subjected to wholly unrelated advertising content interrupting its programming. It's jolting. With OTA, I go, mute, mute, mute, mute, mutie, mute, mute, until the whole effort becomes wearisome, and back to Netflix for comfort. Even though it's still mostly background chatter and and flickering lighting. Otherwise it'd be like a Zen Buddhist temple over here, not so bad, actually, but still, it's good to have something going on, connection to the world at large, some sign of life besides my own thoughts. 


Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

I liked your observations and report!

AprilApple said...

Congratulations on your divorce with cable.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

A great many college-level lectures and how-to instructional videos are free on the internet. For example, last night I was watching how to groom the fur on my dog's ears.

Thirty-five dollars and a GoogleCast will get that kind of stuff onto the TV.

They're not fictional stories, not preferable substitutes for living in the real world, is the downside for most people, I guess.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, I for one, found that tidbit about the art in Archer and the law suit very interesting. Nice art too. Archer is very funny in a dry sort of way.

We have Direct TV as well as using streaming content through Roku: Netfix, Amazon Prime, Pandora for music and lots of other choices. The Direct TV remote allows us to pause and rewind. We use it all the time to stop and have conversations about the shows, yell at the talking news commentators and stop so we can get snacks or whatever. We can record shows and watch later, skipping through the commercials. The pause function allows us the same luxury. Pause for about 15 minutes and then skip skip skip right through the half hour show. The other thing it does is if we stumble on a show we are interested in but it has already started....we can ask it to record from the beginning of the show. We don't get to skip the commercials with that function.

The stop and rewind is extremely valuable because my husband is a master at noticing discrepancies in the shows. Things like an actress hair dipping over the eyes and suddenly dipping the other direction. Shirt buttoned/unbuttoned. One time he noticed that the bandolier on a soldier had X number of bullets and then in the next scene a different number. He even knew how many in each scene. WHAT!? How can you notice this and count the bullets. So we go back and, sure enough....he is right.

Loving Netflix right now and catching up on some shows we missed. We are in charge!!! The networks can take a hike. You aren't the boss of us :-)

rhhardin said...

When cable came out here, the saleslady showed up at the door, noticing that I had not signed up.

"I hate TV," I said.

"But this has 300 channels," she argued.

deborah said...

Great art tip.

I was wondering yesterday about how costs add up for various sources. If you get Netflix so you can watch House of Cards, etc., Hulu so you can watch Community, Acorn so you can watch British shows, eventually it adds up. Oh, well, at least you're getting what you want. I don't have cable, just internet. I figure when my kids visit we can go to my sis's or a sports bar to watch the big games.

Archer is hysterical. I was guffawing by the first 15 seconds. But after a couple seasons the unending potty humor gets old, so it's 'ok, I only have so many hours left in life, and there are too many other things I can watch.' But I think I will dip back in once in a while.

Leland said...

I have to admit; I like DirecTV. I may not like all their content, but I like their business and it doesn't seemed degraded since acquired by AT&T. That, more than anything has kept me with cable. I also have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Hulu seems the least used, as its best role is allowing me to watch current season episodes for series I may have come into late. As I watch much less TV, there's not much current stuff I feel I've missed.

I'm definitely more of the gamer in terms of ways to pass time. As I kid, I wanted to influence the story, and that hasn't changed.

Watching YouTube (quickly becoming a favorite to hear opinion which matches my own), I've seen Archer clips. I've thought about binge watching, and tried it once but didn't make it through the first episode. I'm not the observer that Chip is. I prefer to listen than watch. I think Archer is more visual than auditory. I might try again during the holidays.

Methadras said...

I cut the cable when I moved out of my house and into my condo. Haven't looked back since. Just internet with Time Warner/Spectrum and I got a Netflix 4K account which I have to say has been phenomenal to watch on my 4k TV I got last year. LG makes a great panel by the way. I was at Costco the other day and the cost of TV has dropped to the point of absurdity. A 55 inch 4K tv for about $500 - $600 is insane. Thank you free market.

Between torrenting TV shows and Netflix, I never really need cable ever again. I can barely keep up to be honest. In fact, I've had to put off my comic book reading and reading in general to keep up with the shows I watch. My comics miss me. :D

Trooper York said...

I agree with Leland that Hulu is great for following current shows. That was the only thing I worried about when I cut out the cable. As Meth says if you have a Smart TV with youtube and the Internet you don't miss cable at all.

Since I dropped the NFL and the NBA and only listen to baseball on the radio I don't need cable at all.

Mumpsimus said...

When I was watching Mad Men some years ago, I saw a kitschy wall-hanging in someone's apartment, and realized that we'd had the exact same one hanging on the wall of our house in the 1960s. The odd thing is, it was the product of a paint-by-number kit. I wonder how such a thing found its way to a Hollywood prop warehouse.

Leland said...

Between Apple autocorrect and my desire to comment even when I don't have the time; I really miss my grammar skills.

Chip Ahoy said...

Mumpsimus, that's interesting. And funny.

Was it a painting of birds used in the apartment where they did LSD?

Or "April in Paris?"

This page [paintings used in +"mad men"] seems thorough.

And this page is similar with a bit more information.

Apparently paintings were an important part of Mad Men. There are a lot of sites devoted to them. Viewers were impressed. They were carefully chosen for everyone's office and board room etc. Only a few are mentioned in people's apartments and homes. It's a great collection of paintings. Very well thought through. Impressive.

Mumpsimus said...

Chip: it was in Joan's apartment, in one of the earlier seasons. A faux-Chinese scroll painting of a red-painted bridge across a wooded gorge. It's not in either of the two sites you linked (but thanks for the links -- interesting stuff).

Mumpsimus said...

In fact, here it is!

Leland said...

Speaking of art and TV shows; we watch Fixer Upper! and even purchased a dining room table from the Magnolia Collection. Just sayin.

Chip Ahoy said...

Thanks Mumpsimus. I guess the "paintings on 'Mad Men'" didn't even consider it a painting. It's not mentioned anywhere.

I notice the house flipping show named "Flip or Flop" featuring a young married couple in California, I think, and quite popular, hires a designer that brings in rented furniture to stage their remodeled home and they ALWAYS use these same frameless wrap around canvases that I was talking about. I see them all the time. And the ones that I see are fantastic. And I KNOW they just pulled an image off the internet and enlarged it to stretch around a wooden frame.