Character names can be one of the toughest challenges for an author. How to find one imbued with meaning? One that stands out? One that feels personal, yet unique? Well … how about just using your own name? In more cases than you might expect, that’s what authors do: They put themselves, under their own names, into their stories. It doesn’t necessarily happen often, but it is common enough that there’s a term to describe it: “self-insertion.” And it’s a long, time-honored tradition; back in the late 1300s, Chaucer included himself as not just a chronicler but one of the characters in The Canterbury Tales.
Most authors will agree that there’s a bit of themselves in every one of their stories, but it’s quite something different to be a named character in your own text. What do you do with yourself in your own story? Just sneak in for a brief cameo? Reveal yourself as a godlike persona? Could you kill off your fictional self?
All of those things happen, and have happened—just check out these eight examples of authors who were able to script how their story ends, at least on paper.
Feeling a bit beaten down by the constant stream of big-budget, blockbuster superhero films that have been ruling the box office for the last fifteen years or so? You’re not alone. After many years of global dominance, superhero films are still going strong…but there seem to be some signs of fatigue; while innovative films like Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse are still met with rapturous applause, there seems to be a bit less enthusiasm for the inevitable live-action superhero sequels regularly coming down the pipeline.
But there’s good news: there are plenty of other films based on comic books and graphic novels already out there—and not all of them feature superheroes! The next time you’re looking for something a little different, or just need a break from the latest revamped origin story or gritty reboot, check out these seven boffo films adapted from comics/graphic novels—most of which prove you don’t need to have a superhero around to tell a fantastic story!
No one can know who’ll come out on top at the 2023 Emmy Awards — you know, the ones actually being held in 2024 due to the strikes — at least, not until the envelopes are opened. But until then, we can always look at where the Emmys have been — specifically, 20 years ago. Turns out that 2003’s Emmy wins and nominees were both familiar (one outlet commented at the time on how they looked a lot like the previous year’s) and harbingers of the future, as cable channels beyond HBO began to make big category inroads. So, let’s take a backward glance …
As headlines have been informing us recently, censorship is very much alive and well across the United States—but there’s a difference between a book you’re not allowed to read and one you simply can’t read. The subset of non-censored reading material out there that actively seems to dare readers to make any sense of it is deep and vast. From codices to puzzles to straight-up art projects, books that aren’t meant to be read (or are essentially impossible to read) present the bibliophile with a true conundrum: Just how hard should you have to work to read and enjoy a book?
Here, then, are six publications that you’re free to try to track down, but which have a seriously select group of readers nonetheless…
This much television means that every series is trying — in one way or the other — to top every other series, which means things can get seriously weird, fast. It also means that some perfectly award-worthy moments can go overlooked in the rush to Emmy season. Well, don’t worry that you’ve missed the best of the best, or the strangest of the strange, because we’ve sifted through thousands of hours of TV and hundreds of series to bring to your attention just a few of the incidents, scenes and off-the-wall moments that we suspect are not going to end up with actual honors other than the purely fictional 2023 Envy Awards!
When the Quinta Brunson-created “Abbott Elementary” first premiered late in 2021 on ABC, no one could have predicted the strange position it would occupy in the 2023 Emmy race. Having won three Emmys for its first 13-episode midseason run just last July, the series picked up eight more nominations for the 22 episodes of Season 2.
But that’s not exactly what makes the ABC show unique this year. Instead, it’s this: “Abbott Elementary” now occupies a kind of last-man-standing position. It’s the only broadcast series this year to receive a show nomination — and its actors (Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James and Tyler James Williams) the only broadcast series actors to be nominated in lead or supporting roles for comedy, drama or limited series.
The critical instant within an Emmy nominated episode — what we here at The Envelope like to call its “key scene” — is often best-defined by the writer (or writers) who crafted it. But in this unusual Emmy season in which writers are on strike, we’ve reached out to producers, editors and directors to lend insight into that moment that encapsulates the season, a character arc, or even puts the whole series into perspective. Writers, we miss you — but we still want to honor your work. Here, then, are 11 of the 13 episodes nominated for writing in comedy and drama this Emmy season. See if you agree with their “key” moments:
Ten episodes, 10 different looks, including a large barbecue, a sleazy casino and a dinner theater. Such was the challenge posed to production designer Judy Rhee when she signed on to work with Rian Johnson on his episodic Peacock series “Poker Face,” and she leaped in with both feet. Result? A first-ever Emmy nomination, for “The Orpheus Syndrome” episode, which is steeped in Hollywood below-the-line history and stars Nick Nolte and Cherry Jones.
It’s the kind of assignment Rhee was perfect for, with decades of working on such shows as “Jessica Jones” and “Better Call Saul” and the movie “Art House.” Rhee chatted with The Envelope on a recent Zoom call about making the modern look retro (and vice versa), why she bases herself on the East Coast — and doing excellent work that, ideally, goes ignored by audiences.
A wide variety of networks, streamers and other platforms basked in their nominations earlier this summer, but that was less true 20 years ago, when broadcast networks dominated — along with a few choice spots for HBO, FX and A&E. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of drama to spread around in the supporting categories, including a winner who’d walked out on his show in search of a salary bump, a breakthrough for a longstanding character actor — and a milestone for original cable programming. What did those categories look like in 2003? Cast a glance back with us …