‘Marco Polo’, Netflix’s Next Big Thing, Debuts Friday

Marco Polo, the next big thing from Netflix, will land at last on Friday after being buffeted for weeks in a media storm of questions, among them: Will the lavish limited series help Netflix in its quest to capture ground in the international marketplace? Will the $90 million production, filmed in Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia, top the streaming company’s stellar successes with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black? Will the release designed for binge-watching (all 10 hours of the first season …

Love the TV series “House of Cards”? You’ll adore the novel

  Starting on Valentine’s Day, Netflix airs its second season of House of Cards. Which means a lot of folks will be snuggling up with Kevin Spacey as a ruthless Congressman named Francis Underhill. Spacey isn’t playing the first political villain named Francis, however. Instead he’s playing the American incarnation of a character who first appeared 25 years ago in an English novel. This week, Sourcebooks is re-releasing House of Cards as an e-book. (The print edition arrives March 11.) …

Ricky Gervais’ ‘Derek’ Puts Laughs in a Nursing Home

The global success of The Office gave Ricky Gervais carte blanche to follow his creative whims. In the 12 years since then he has served as a scorched-earth host at the Golden Globes and produced a hilarious podcast series, The Ricky Gervais Show. His  TV programs Extras and Life’s Too Short (both aired stateside on HBO) have been classic Gervais: alternately funny and mean-spirited. His newest TV series, Derek, begins streaming its entire first season on Netflix on Thursday. Much about the show will be …

Binge Watch These Odd, Fun New Shows

Orange is the New Black – the latest original show from Netflix, and maybe its strongest so far – is a tough series to categorize. The story of Piper Kerman, a young, happily engaged woman sent to federal prison for a long-ago crime, isn’t exactly a comedy, though it has funny moments. It’s also not a drama, at least not in the contemplative, moody mold of recent new entries like The Bridge and Ray Donovan. Orange is the New Black, …

Thursday Tech: Life after the Rental Store

(via Scott Clark) So Blockbuster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which probably shouldn’t surprise you… my neighborhood Blockbuster store just closed up shop not quite a month ago. I’m pretty old-school about movie rentals. (By which I mean, I still do it.) So when my roommate and I decided we were going to do a girls night in tomorrow, I figured I’d roll down to my neighborhood Blockbuster and grab a movie. Nope, can’t do that anymore. Wait, don’t …