The Power of a Friend’s Recommendation

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

We know that what a friend says about something, a restaurant, a store or even a TV show or movie matters more than reading a review from a stranger.  That truth powers a lot of what we do with Snackdish, from seeing what your friends are watching and enjoying, to users voting and validating what has been tagged.

Users can now write reviews for their favorite TV shows and movies

Users can now write reviews for their favorite TV shows and movies

Because of that we added a new feature that harnesses this power: Reviews.  Yes, reviews are often the basic bread and butter of many sites.  And it was not initially part of Snackdish because we did not see it as a strong differentiator, or something users would be clamoring for.  But we were wrong.  While not a differentiator, we see that users do want to post reviews about TV shows and movies they have watched.  People have things to say!

We LEARNED.  And now we have added that feature into Snackdish.  Like other items that users can add, users can post these Reviews to Facebook to share with their friends.  Additionally, also when you go to a TV show or movie you can read reviews to help you decide if you should tune-in and start that new TV show, or watch that movie this weekend.

What we also learned is that reviews are highly social and create a lot of conversation points between the user and their friends driving deeper engagement and value for users.  And that is the idea. Snackdish is a place where users can have fun and share what they love about TV shows and movies.

So have fun writing those reviews and sharing them with your friends.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Development, Friends, Mobile, Movies, TV | Comments Off on The Power of a Friend’s Recommendation

The Superpower of Fandom

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

A question often asked about Snackdish, and most startups, is how are you going to make money.  I often provide a short answer that Snackdish needs to provide an engaging experience to customers first, otherwise all other grand ideas do not matter. However, as Snackdish continues to grow and get great traction from customers, a longer term plan is falling into place.  That plan is to connect content owners (studios, networks, et al) to their fans by providing a platform that sends the right message at the right time to drive greater engagement.

This is a natural fit because the power of fans is that they not only love their TV shows and movies, but that they also amplify and extend the popularity of them by their extensive engagement.  Vocal viewers are tastemakers, and can be important connectors that  help generate tipping points across their social graph and beyond.

Snackdish Viewing Cluster 86D

Big data provides insights into viewing segments to shows, adjacent shows, timing, and how they engage their friends.

However, many of the existing platforms have not built out or have the tools or maximize this opportunity.  For example, on Facebook, it is hard to identify who are active watchers of a show. The problem is that they either “liked” a show along time ago, but are not actively watching it anymore.  Or more likely, they watch a set of TV shows or movies, but have not “liked” it or do not use the check-in feature and therefore are invisible and inaccessible to advertisers and content owners.

Our first focus is on developing engaging experiences that encourage viewers to tune-in to what they watch. But at Snackdish we are not limited by using incomplete data points even if fans don’t “tune-in” every time they watch a TV show.  We are still able to build out their TV show and movie viewing habits with big data to know: if, how, and when they are actively engaged.  This means you have the power to correctly identify your fans, and put the right message at the right time in front of them, and know with confidence that you get the response you wanted.

Think about it. Would you rather advertise to a person who “liked” Grey’s Anatomy sometime in the last 10 years, but that’s all you know; or would you rather advertise to a person who is actively “tuning-in” to the show over the past four months, and we can also identify if they are a binger, or consistently watch the show Thursday night, and if they are sharing their tune-in thru social media?

Users can see what their friends are watching.

Users can see what their friends are watching.

Additionally, we continually build out viewers’ entire viewing profiles of all the TV shows and movies they consume using the same big data modeling  techniques.  This provides insights to what set of shows viewers watch to get better actionable insights to what other programs they watch. These different, accurate, and focused segments allow advertisers to craft the right message and call to action.  Again, using our Grey’s Anatomy viewer, it becomes powerful to understand what other shows they are watching within your network, or library, and just as much what they watch that you would not anticipate and how that informs who you should reach out to.

Lastly, why do advertisers reach out to viewers who are already actively engaged?  Two reasons. One, you need to maintain engagement, and continue to make that engagement richer.  The second is breadth. Engaged fan viewers are tastemakers, and can influence their friends provided they have an effective megaphone.  Gaining a loyal viewer watching a TV show might have seemed like a big win in the old days, but today we want them not only to watch that TV show, but engage socially and bring their friends into that universe too.  And Snackdish makes that easy to do.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Development, Movies, TV | Comments Off on The Superpower of Fandom

Snackdish Launches New Tune-in and Achievement Board

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

 

Following the lean startup model, Snackdish recently created and deployed a new “Tune-in & Achievement Board” to Snackdish users to test. Why did we do this? Because we heard feedback from users that they liked seeing what their friends were watching, but users also wanted to see more information about themselves and their friends mashed up Snackdish Tune-in Boardtogether. From that we sent out our first fast prototype to users using our email management platform.
“We want to make sure we are on track, giving consumers what they really wanted, and have the flexibility of making adjustments before we just started coding it within the app,” said Kevin Hall, CEO of Snackdish.

The Tune-in & Achievement Board brings forward a user’s total tune-ins since joining Snackdish, and compares that to the number of tune-ins their friends have. This count is also broken out by movies and TV shows to show users where they spend most of their time; and gives a sense of where they fit, and how they are participating relative to their friends. The Tune-in board also makes similar counts and comparisons for the number of tags, votes, comments and Shared Tune-ins. Snackdish also uses predictive analytics creating “challenges” for individual users, to move up to the next level of achievement among their friends.

Tune-in Board Details

A view of the achievements section with count of comments, tags, votes, and shared shows.

Snackdish will continue to send the tune-in board to its users, with the plans of ultimately adding it to the app when it is fine tuned. Additionally, an in app tune-in board can allow for achievement for specific categories: from
types of tune-ins, to the types of tags that users create (like Favorite Quotes, Music).

So stay tuned, and tune-in with Snackdish to start getting credit for all of your great movie and TV watching.
Download the app here if you have not already started using Snackdish.

 

 

 

 

Apple Snackdish Download

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Development, Movies, TV | Tagged | Comments Off on Snackdish Launches New Tune-in and Achievement Board

The New Snackdish App for iOS

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Snackdish just developed and launched its new mobile app for iOS.  And we are excited finally to put this in people’s hands after so much hard work developing it.  “We know we need to let people use Snackdish when they want, where they want, and how they want,” said Kevin Hall, CEO and Founder of Snackdish, “and that is why mobile was an obvious place to go to.”

Snackdish in theater mode.

Snackdish in theater mode.

One of the big insights that Snackdish added for mobile, was a darkened theater mode function that allows users to use the app without bothering others in a movie theater, or even at home on the couch.  We know how irritating it can be when someone pulls out a bright white screen at the theater, and we saw that an opportunity to resolve, and were inspired by the low light applications for pilots and astronomers.

The core idea for Snackdish is to empower people to share what they watch with their friends and also to see what their friends are watching.  This accelerates connections between them and their shared shows, fosters conversations, and lets people just have fun.  Snackdish truly believes what makes TV shows and movies so fun is the ability to talk about them with your friends, and learn more about the shows, and its characters.  (See what fans have added for the TV show Scandal.)

You can see what your friends are watching.

You can see what your friends are watching.

What we noticed is that when friends get together they ultimately talk about what TV shows and movies they are watching. And inevitably, they find out they are watching the same shows. But there was no effective way to make that connection earlier, and that was a lost opportunity.  That is where Snackdish was born. So we made sure Snackdish made those social connections not only posting out to Facebook, but also notifying a user when someone else starts watching the same TV shows or movies you watch, or has commented on a tune-in or tag you made, and being able to explore friends’ tune-ins with easy to understand displays.

So download Snackdish, get your popcorn, and tune-in to your favorite show now!

 

Apple Snackdish Download

 

 

 

Follow us!  And if you like this, then share with your friends!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Friends, Mobile, Movies, TV | Comments Off on The New Snackdish App for iOS

Snackdish App Designed for Moviegoer Use

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

 

Snackdish is now developing a mobile app as part of the its continued growth.  “We need to meet Snackdish users where they go. We’ve heard that loud and clear.  And that means a mobile app for when you are out at friends, on the couch all weekend binging your favorite show, or out watching a new movie in the theaters,” says Snackdish founder Kevin Hall.

But while having a mobile app may not be novel, what is a big deal is that the new app will also be specifically designed for moviegoers to use while watching movies out at theaters.  “We realized the opportunity that we could design the new app to actually allow moviegoers to use Snackdish during the movie, so they don’t have to stop using their phone,” continues Kevin.

Snackdish Home Screen

Snackdish Home Screen in darkened Theater Mode

We understand that this might be controversial, and some might have a negative reaction to this development.  There have long been spoken and unspoken rules about how moviegoers are supposed to behave (which mostly means sitting there quietly) which really prevents innovation and new behaviors to emerge.  And putting your phone away has been one of those rules.

However, there are some cracks in the monolith which encourage change.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show has long encouraged active audience participation.  Cosplay is becoming a more important component for new releases, like The Dark Knight Rises. There have been special singalongs, like The Sound of Music.  And many theaters now have special “New Parent” screenings which lets new parents bring their infants without worrying that their children are bothering others.

Snackdish sees in this the opportunity to let different moviegoer communities emerge, and let them do what they want.  “I’ve been to an opening night movie aimed squarely at teenagers, and if you think you can force them to not use their phones, or basically not let them do anything they want; you’re not being realistic,” says Kevin.  But it also opens the door to fundamentally change what behavior is allowed in a theater period.  

Just one button can totally change everything.

Just one button can totally change everything.

And the new app will be developed with a “Theater Mode” function which will be similar to night mode displays seen in airplane cockpits. This both reduces the glare for the user, but also reduces the visibility of the screen so other moviegoers will not to be able to see the screen in a meaningful way.  We expect this theater mode function will truly liberate moviegoers who still want to use their phone, but without negatively impacting other moviegoers.  “I had this idea when I was out looking at stars.  Stargazers used a low red light to look at star charts, which prevented them from ruining their night vision and without bothering others,” says Kevin.

Snackdish is running a Crowdfunding Campaign to implement this idea.  “The campaign is both about getting financial support, but also about having a conversation and building an engaged moviegoer community,” says Kevin.  

The crowdfunding campaign will run from now thru early August, with app development quickly following it. So expect the Snackdish app in theaters near you by end of summer!

 

Follow us!

twittergray

fbookgray

 

 

And if you like this, then share with your friends!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Movies | Comments Off on Snackdish App Designed for Moviegoer Use

More Stars than in Heaven

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Marilyn Monroe’s niche in the mausoleum (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles in the vicinity of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards, take an hour out of your busy day to visit the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. A hundred years ago, the cemetery was surrounded by dirt roads and grasslands. Now, as it is entirely surrounded by high-rise buildings and is no longer even visible from the street. It’s a good bet that the vast majority of drivers passing on nearby Wilshire Boulevard have no idea it’s even there. In fact, it’s a bit tricky to find even if you know where it is – it always takes me a couple of tries to locate the alley which serves as the unassuming entrance.

Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. (Photo credit: Oleg Alexandrov)

Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. (Photo credit: Oleg Alexandrov)

The Westwood Cemetery was established in 1905 as Sunset Cemetery, the burial ground for the sleepy village of Westwood, CA. It is just 2 ½ acres, miniscule by most cemetery standards. By contrast, Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills sprawls over hundreds of acres. If you are into dead celebrities, both are worth a visit. The Westwood Cemetery, however, has more entertainment industry luminaries interred or entombed per square foot than any cemetery in the world.

Marilyn Monroe’s niche in the mausoleum(Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Marilyn Monroe’s niche in the mausoleum (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Marilyn Monroe has a niche in the mausoleum, stained pink from all the smooches left over time. Billy Wilder’s tombstone is sure to elicit a chuckle for those that recognize the reference to what is probably the most famous line from his film, SomeLike It Hot. Wilder was also the screenwriter of Sunset Boulevard: a movie which famously opens with the screenwriter star (William Holden) floating dead in the swimming pool of a Sunset Boulevard mansion. It seems that Billy Wilder had a sense of humor about his chosen profession.

Billy Wilder’s tombstone, (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Billy Wilder’s tombstone, (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Marilyn Monroe’s is the most visited gravesite at Westwood Village Memorial Park. Legend has it that Joe Dimaggio had roses sent to her every week for as long as he lived. And Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, is rumored to have purchased the burial spot next to her for his future resting place (it remains unmarked). The second most visited gravesite is probably Natalie Wood’s, who died a tragic death by drowning, and was the star of Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, and Splendor in the Grass. Just one row down from Natalie Wood’s grave lies Col. Hogan of TV’s Hogan’s Heroes, Bob Crane, (another actor with a tragic Hollywood death). Three rows down is the grave of actor Eddie Albert, star of the Green Acres TV sitcom about a New York lawyer who drags his spoiled wife out to live on a farm (played by Eva Gabor, also buried here). In this same area is the gravesite of actress Donna Reed who won an Oscar in 1955 for her supporting role in From Here to Eternity. She also played Jimmy Stewart’s wife, Mary, in the 1946 Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, but she may only be known to some as Miss Ellie, from her role on the original Dallas TV series.

Rodney Dangerfield’s headstone: “There goes the neighborhood.”

Rodney Dangerfield’s headstone: “There goes the neighborhood.”

There are simply too many luminaries to recount, giving a new twist to MGM’s claim from the 1940’s that they had “more stars than there are in heaven.” Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, the original Odd Couple, are buried not far apart. Dean Martin, Carroll O’Connor, Brian Keith, Don Knotts, George C. Scott, Burt Lancaster, James Coburn, Karl Malden, John Cassavetes, Robert Stack, Eve Arden, Eva Gabor and John Cassavetes. Rodney Dangerfield’s headstone reads, “There goes the neighborhood.”

Curiously there are still open plots and crypts, along with evidence of recent internments. How does this place not fill up? There’s the unmarked empty crypt next to Marilyn Monroe and some empty spots in the grass aren’t really empty at all: a blank space just beside Lew Ayers (nominated for an Oscar in 1948 for Johnny Belinda) is where Frank Zappa was buried with no marker. A few yards away lies Roy Orbison’s unmarked grave.

Frank Zappa's unmarked grave. (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Frank Zappa’s unmarked grave. (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

In addition to all the movie stars, Westwood Cemetery has its share of movie moguls, such as Darryl F. Zanuck, authors like Truman Capote, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch (author of Psycho), Sidney Sheldon and the previously mentioned Billy Wilder. Musicians are represented as well; Mel Tormé, Minnie Riperton, “the world’s greatest drummer” Buddy Rich, and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys are interred here.

A version of this article also appeared on marcommman, Marketing Communications for the Everyman.

By the way, today is Marilyn Monroe’s birthday. She was born June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles and died August 5, 1962 in her Brentwood home, just a couple miles from the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Celebs, Movies, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on More Stars than in Heaven

The Last Man on Earth Survives!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Okay, I was wrong when I predicted (prior to its premier) that The Last Man on Earth wouldn’t survive! (“Mark my words, this is a one season show.”) This Sunday’s show, Sunday 9:30/8:30c on FOX, is the session finale, and Fox has announced that it will renew the show for a second season. Watch it alone, or tune-in to Snackdish and share the experience with your friends, anytime.

The Last Man On Earth -Will Forte – Snackdish

The Last Man On Earth starring Will Forte

The Last Man On Earth -Will Forte – Snackdish (2)Despite my initial doomsday prophecy, I had high hopes for The Last Man on Earth before it began. My prediction that it would be cancelled was based on the assumption that it was too quirky and too limited a concept to hold up over the long term. And therein lies the secret (I believe) to its initial success. The show is not as original as the premise promised. It is actually a conventional (i.e., pandering, insipid) situation comedy superimposed on a post-apocalyptic world. Which is why I lost my initial enthusiasm after the first few episodes. At that point all the players had taken their places and I could predict how each episode would play out. And it’s hard to like a show when you dislike the main character. (Sorry Phil/Tandy Miller, but you are a wretched human being.)

The Last Man On Earth - picking who gets to be POTUS

The Last Man On Earth – picking who gets to be POTUS

But I’ve kept watching because I’m giving the writers the benefit of the doubt: I assume they are making me uncomfortable for a reason. I have another reason for sticking with the show which I didn’t anticipate before it premiered. After the series began I became a belated Walking Dead fanatic, binge-watching all the way up to Season 5. The two TV shows share the same basic premise, but couldn’t be more different. Walked Dead is about trying to retain some humanity in an inhumane world (along with lots of skull bashing), while The Last Man on Earth seems to be trying to flip that notion on its head. Last Man is often about the need people have to keep up the appearance of propriety when in reality their true motivations and intentions are impure. Last weeks’ episode “The Tandyman Can” showed some renewed promise in that direction, spreading the awfulness amongst the entire cast of characters. Let’s hope that trend continues in the season finale.

What do you think? Do you like The Last Man on Earth sitcom? Are you glad that it will be returning next season?

Follow us!

twittergrayfbookgray

And if you like this, then share with your friends!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Last Man on Earth Survives!

We Know How Many Are Alive on Last Man on Earth

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

As we have been watching The Last Man on Earth, we have loved watching each new arrival spoil Phil Miller’s plans.  And we started wondering, how many people might really be left, and who might actually show up in Tucson.  So we asked our data science team to take a look, and we find the show has given us some data to work with. 

New Arrivals Melissa and Todd bonding.

New Arrivals Melissa and Todd bonding.

For review, we know that Phil Miller looked like The Last Man on Earth, and toured North America looking for others-but without luck.  We also know he left bread crumbs with his “Still Alive in Tucson” billboards.

But only after two years did a few others start to show up at maybe one person per week.  Now Tucson has a constituency of seven, plus one cow.

So we took the famous Drake Equation (below) which is used to calculate the probability of communicating with life outside earth, which includes the probability it was there, intelligent and had the capability to communicate; and re-purposed it for our calculations.  In a sense, we are trying to understand a similar probability.

DrakeEquation_Snackdish

 

In this case we need to estimate how many survivors are left, the knowledge of where they should meet up, the ability to travel there, the desire to travel, and ultimately the ability to make it to there-in this case Tucson.

When we do this calculation we estimate that Phil and the gang might expect about 60 more arrivals in the coming years, making 67 survivors total.   His “Alive in Tucson” signs are a significant contributor to all these arrivals per our calculation.  And without those signs, then Phil truly would be alone because the ability to communicate with others is one of the biggest early factors in joining up with others.  This actually is a genius stroke (maybe a surprise coming from Phil, or a nugget of his true potential?) because when we think about other survivors, we don’t think it is likely that a survivor would both search the whole country AND leave signs for others along the way.

Alive in Tampa

Alive in Tampa

The calculation is sensitive to how many survivors we start the model with.   The US Office of Management and Budget lists about 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the US (even Alaska, but not Hawai’i).  And here Phil helped us. Phil probably specifically visited many of these and drove through the rest on his way to other areas in his search for other survivors.  This tells us we cannot put too many persons in each MSA otherwise Phil would have likely bumped into someone after visiting the top 150 MSAs—the big cities (Tucson is 53, Tampa is 18).  In fact, if we estimate a person in each of the top 150 MSAs, we calculate Phil should have found 7 other survivors—but missing 143 others.  Maybe those seven survivors were also drunk in their own Margarita pools.  But knowing Phil’s bad luck, it is understandable he missed those seven. (Or maybe we seeded the model with too many survivors.) But, maybe Phil should have tried fireworks, after all that seemed to work out well.   

We also put a person each in the second tier MSAs that we mention Phil drives through but we show that he ultimately misses those survivors.

However if we start to add more survivors then it becomes even more likely that Phil would have found someone.   For example, if we scale the top MSAs with 10 persons, then Phil should have found 70 other survivors.  But since he found none, then this value is likely too high.  Also something else funny would happen–if 10 persons were in each MSA, then those survivors would have likely found each other, creating small communities with associated and importantly noticeable activity like agriculture, noise, movement, and maybe most importantly electricity and lighting.  This would have increased the odds dramatically of finding these other survivors.

So while this helps us define the upper end of the range, how do we determine the lower end of the range?  In this case, we can use the actual arrival rate of survivors to work backward using the Poisson distribution to help us.

What we know is that 6 survivors have shown up. Now we need to estimate the total time which is not precise but close enough here.  Start first with Melissa (Week1). Carol (Week2). Carol and Phil are married (Week3).  Todd arrives (Week4).  Carol and Gail arrive (Week 5/6) and “new” Phil arrives shortly after (Week 6/7).  These two values: the number of weeks, and number of arrivals, allows us to calculate the average which is 1 about survivor per week.  When I up level this statistic to a 28 day month, the average is 4. And the graph here shows what the distribution of arrivals should look like.  54% of the months should see 3-5 new arrivals.  But it is possible to have no arrivals 1.8% of the time and a 5% chance that 7 could show up any month. That is what is fun about the Poisson you could wonder if that is it, then one day a VW bus might pull up with 7 people in it.

Don't read this chronologically as in how many arrivals in the coming months.  Instead this reads what is the probability that 2 persons will come, 3 persons, et al.

Don’t read this chronologically as in how many arrivals in the coming months. Instead this reads what is the probability that 2 persons will come, 3 persons, et al.

But the implication of this simple analysis is clear, at the end of a year, there would be about 52 survivors in Tucson. But this might be too simplistic and too early to trend.  After all we should expect some decay, or dropoff, as the pool of potential survivors gets smaller over time, and we should not expect 52 survivors per year forever, and maybe not even in the first year.

So ultimately we reduced the total number of initial survivors by 25% for a total of 289.  This then gives 65 survivors who will ultimately make it to Tucson with 43 arriving in year 1, 13 in year 2, and 4 in year 3, then some stragglers in the years that follow.  If we start to go lower than the 25% reduction, then it becomes more unlikely that so many survivors would have shown up so far (A 50% reduction for example, gives us 1 survivor per month average, and there is only a 2% chance of getting 4 survivors in a month which we have already seen.)

So that is it, we estimate the US population at 289 survivors, plus or minus.

So in the coming seasons we could expect a small but vibrant community.  But it will be up to the Gods (and the writers) how much Tucson will ultimately grow.

Until then we will enjoy watching what happens.  But what we do know is that Phil is likely to be continually frustrated no matter who comes.

Check out what fans tagged for their Favorite Moments, Quotes and more on Snackdish’s Last Man On Earth page.

 

Follow us!

twittergray

fbookgray

 

 

And if you like this, then share with your friends!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in TV | Comments Off on We Know How Many Are Alive on Last Man on Earth

Mad Men: The Beginning of the End and the End of an Era

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

The first of the final seven Mad Men episodes aired last Sunday at 10/9 p.m. central on AMC. With just six hours remaining, it is the beginning of the end for the show and the characters we have come to know since its premier in 2007. The question on everyone’s mind is, just how exactly will it end?

MadMen013

In recent interviews the head writer and showrunner, Matthew Weiner, has claimed that he knew from the start where the story would end, just not exactly how it was going to get there. Weiner was a writer on the final years of the Sopranos series and had a hand in that memorable finale, so we know that he has some experience in creating a dramatic ending. I’m hoping that the conclusion of Mad Men won’t be as cryptic, but I’m sure that whatever happens it will be the subject of much discussion, criticism and analysis. (David Chase was the head writer and showrunner on the Sopranos, asking Weiner to join his writing team on the strength of his script for the Mad Men pilot.)

Many viewers believe that Don Draper will die in the finale episode. There is no denying that death has been a common theme throughout the series. And the guy (Don) depicted in silhouette in the opening credits is not likely to survive that 30 second free fall. But I’d like to think that having toyed with death in the Sopranos finale, Weiner will choose some other fate for Don. In fact, the real Don Draper is already dead, so why kill him again? And Matthew Weiner makes a point of confounding audience expectations, so I don’t think he will do the obvious thing here.

My bet is that the ending, like the beginning, will have something to do with cigarettes. In the very first episode, S1, Ep1: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Don must come up with a way to sell Lucky Strikes in the wake of the 1960 Reader’s Digest report linking cigarettes to cancer. In last week’s episode we overheard President Nixon on the TV announcing his plans to withdraw 150,000 troops from Vietnam, which puts the series timeline at April 20, 1970. That same month Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banning the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio starting on January 2, 1971. Coincidence?

How do you think Mad Men is going to end? Share your thoughts with your fellow fans on Snackdish and Facebook.  

By the way, the last TV commercial for cigarettes was shown at 11:59 p.m. on January 1, 1972 during a break on The Tonight Show. It was a 60-second ad for Virginia Slims. A “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” retrospective, from suffragette to woman’s libber (and then, uhm, to lung cancer).

Follow us!

twittergray

fbookgray

 

 

And if you like this, then share with your friends!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in TV | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Mad Men: The Beginning of the End and the End of an Era

40 Very Hard to Find Easter Eggs    

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Easter Eggs are those little hidden secrets the creators, or writers of movies and TV shows like to hide, and then see who if anybody notices them.  Easter Eggs can be vocal quotes or references to earlier movies, copied routines like the Duck Soup mirror routine.  And more often visible properties, or items displayed on screens like coordinates to real locations, or websites or other TV shows or movies playing in the background.

Archer_Snackdish

Code that fans have to convert to hexadecimal from Archer.

This last season, fans of Archer have been tracking Easter Eggs in a season long trail of  over 40 Easter Eggs that the creators hid into the series.  These Easter Eggs were so difficult, and cumulative, the creators did not think anyone would be able to find and follow them all to their final destination. 

But fans have, because they can combine their knowledge together on sites like Snackdish that help fans share what they know, and learn from each other.  “The nice thing about Archer is the fans are … always looking out for this kind of thing,” said Mark Paterson, lead motion designer for Archer. “I was banking on them knowing to be looking for stuff. They have previously shown that they have found stuff.”

Likewise, anyone who has seen the Toy Story movies, and given them a second look, may notice the ongoing references to The Shining, and its Overlook Hotel, and Room 237.

ToyStory_2_Snackdish

Room 237 hidden on the license plate of this garbage truck from Toy Story 3.

“Easter Eggs are becoming another important part of the movie and TV experience, and fans really love it” says Snackdish founder Kevin Hall.  “Creators are let’s say getting very creative, and often adding very personal Easter Eggs to their shows.”

 

ToyStory_Snackdish

That carpet looks familiar, yes it’s the carpet from the hallway in the Overlook Hotel.

 

 

So if you want to learn more about the shows you are watching, go to Snackdish, check out what fans are adding, and if you see an Easter Egg, add it, and share it with your friends on Snackdish and Facebook.

Follow us!

twittergray

fbookgray

 

 

And if you like this, then share with your friends!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
Posted in Easter Eggs | Comments Off on 40 Very Hard to Find Easter Eggs