Reddit
Reddit

10 Things We Learned From Carlton Cuse’s AMA

Reddit
Reddit

Over the past two decades, Carlton Cuse’s name has become synonymous with compelling television as a writer and producer on shows like Lost. Currently, Cuse has got a rather full plate with four series on the air: The Strain, Bates Motel, The Returned, and the upcoming Colony. On Thursday, Cuse took part in a Reddit AMA in which he opened the floor to any and all questions (yes, even those same Lost questions he has been asked—and already answered—dozens of times). Here are 10 things we learned from (and about) Cuse.

1. HE PLAYED A WATER BOY IN DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS.

Cuse had a good laugh when he was reminded of the small role he played in Paul Mazursky’s 1986 film, Down and Out In Beverly Hills. “That's amazing, that you found that,” he replied, and explained that, “I was friends with Ellen Chenoweth, the casting director of that movie, and she brought me in for an audition with Mazursky. I think she thought it would be fun to put me in the movie, and I guess, had an image of me being a good ‘water boy.’ It was incredibly fun. If you look at my IMDb page, you could draw the conclusion that I was an actor who turned writer, but truth was, I did a bunch of little parts at the beginning of my career just for fun. My aspiration was to always be a writer. But I had fun playing these little small parts in various projects.”

2. HE HAS BEEN TOLD HE LOOKS LIKE RON PERLMAN.

When asked, “Has anyone ever told you you look like Ron Perlman,” Cuse told a story about how he “was having dinner with Guillermo del Toro in Toronto one night, in an outdoor restaurant, and a guy walks up to us, stops at the railing, and says ‘Oh my god, I can't believe the two of you are having dinner together! You guys are two of my absolute favorite creative people! Guillermo, you're my favorite director’ and then he looked at me and said, ‘Ron, you're my favorite actor!’ I think he was profoundly disappointed to learn that I was not the actual Ron Perlman.”

3. IT'S CUSE WHO ANNOUNCES WHAT HAPPENED “PREVIOUSLY ON” HIS SHOWS.

When asked whether it was his voice fans of The Strain heard each week recapping the previous episode, Cuse confirmed this fact, saying, “I do the ‘Previously On’ for all my shows.” When pressed further on the topic as to why all of the most ambitious show on television do that same recap, Cuse surmised that, “Serialized storytelling is, in my opinion, a deeper and more fulfilling form for television, but it’s hard for people to watch every episode of every show, or necessarily remember what happened in last week's episode, therefore the networks wants those serialized TV shows to start with a recap that puts the audience back in the mindset of the show, and reminds them of some of the important things that happened that will be relevant for the upcoming episode.”

4. THE KEY TO A GREAT REBOOT IS TAKING OWNERSHIP OF THE MATERIAL.

When asked about his opinion on the reboot trend, and how Bates Motel fits into that, Cuse explained that, “I think, for [co-creator] Kerry Ehrin and I, the key to our reboot was making sure that we were not in the shadow of the original movie [Psycho]. Which is why our version is a contemporary prequel. It feels like the key to any of these reboots is finding a way to really take ownership of the material, while at the same time still acknowledging the source material. I am a huge admirer of Christopher Nolan and how he took ownership of the Batman franchise with The Dark Knight trilogy. I think that's a perfect example of how someone can take a pre-existing franchise and make it their own in the best possible way.”

5. HE LIKES HIS VAMPIRES SCARY.

“When I was approached about turning The Strain trilogy into a TV show, there were two things that attracted me,” Cuse said. “One was collaborating with Guillermo del Toro, and the second was the idea of reclaiming vampires as horrific creatures. I love that core idea in the books by Guillermo and Chuck Hogan. I, too, was very tired of vampires being depicted as brooding, romantic dudes with girl problems. It was time to take back the night!”

6. HIS FAVORITE SHOW IS VEEP.

“Absolutely next-level comedy,” is how Cuse describes the HBO series. “I can't believe how good it is. Everybody who makes that show is absolutely at the top of their game.”

7. BRUCE CAMPBELL IS THE HARDEST WORKING MAN IN SHOW BUSINESS.

In discussing The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Cuse said, “That was the first show I created, and it remains incredibly close to my heart. Bruce Campbell, honestly, is the hardest-working man in show business, and also just so funny, zany, and wonderful. I really suffered a lot of pain when that show was canceled. I think had we been in a different time slot, it would've gone on for a long time; I miss it a lot. I usually see Bruce at Comic-Con, and it's one of the things I most look forward to when I'm down there.”

8. FANS MISINTERPRETED THE LOST FINALE.

When asked whether there were any misinterpretations of his work that he’d like to clear up, Cuse explained that, “At the very end of the finale of Lost, there are a bunch of images of the plane wreckage on the beach. And those were meant to be a quiet, emotional transition from the ending of the show. Unfortunately we didn't have a bunch of footage of each of the locations; when you're making a TV show, you don't shoot extra footage. So we didn't plan that people would interpret what we meant to be a breath of air at the end of the show to be some sort of final twist that all the characters were dead all along, or something like that (which some people did). It was hard, on Lost, to do anything that wouldn't be interpreted as being a part of some larger construct because of the nature of the show. But that's something I think we—in hindsight—would have tried, to find some other footage there, to make our intentions clearer."

9. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET ANY MORE OUT OF HIM ABOUT LOST.

When asked if he could share just one mind-blowing revelation that no one knows about the series, Cuse asserted that, “Damon and I feel pretty strongly that we want to let that show stand on its own, and allow people to speculate about their own solutions, and theorize about the show. I think it's not great to be back-filling information five years after the show's ended.”

10. BEING ABLE TO SHARE YOUR VOICE IS THE ULTIMATE MARK OF SUCCESS.

“I think success is getting to a place in life where you're able to truly express your inner-self,” said Cuse. “I see that as the journey of my career. We all have a special, unique inner voice, and I think if you are able to share that voice with others in your work or your life—that (for me) is one definition of success."

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Zach Hyman, HBO
10 Bizarre Sesame Street Fan Theories
Zach Hyman, HBO
Zach Hyman, HBO

Sesame Street has been on the air for almost 50 years, but there’s still so much we don’t know about this beloved children’s show. What kind of bird is Big Bird? What’s the deal with Mr. Noodle? And how do you actually get to Sesame Street? Fans have filled in these gaps with frequently amusing—and sometimes bizarre—theories about how the cheerful neighborhood ticks. Read them at your own risk, because they’ll probably ruin the Count for you.

1. THE THEME SONG CONTAINS SECRET INSTRUCTIONS.

According to a Reddit theory, the Sesame Street theme song isn’t just catchy—it’s code. The lyrics spell out how to get to Sesame Street quite literally, giving listeners clues on how to access this fantasy land. It must be a sunny day (as the repeated line goes), you must bring a broom (“sweeping the clouds away”), and you have to give Oscar the Grouch the password (“everything’s a-ok”) to gain entrance. Make sure to memorize all the steps before you attempt.

2. SESAME STREET IS A REHAB CENTER FOR MONSTERS.

Sesame Street is populated with the stuff of nightmares. There’s a gigantic bird, a mean green guy who hides in the trash, and an actual vampire. These things should be scary, and some fans contend that they used to be. But then the creatures moved to Sesame Street, a rehabilitation area for formerly frightening monsters. In this community, monsters can’t roam outside the perimeters (“neighborhood”) as they recover. They must learn to educate children instead of eating them—and find a more harmless snack to fuel their hunger. Hence Cookie Monster’s fixation with baked goods.

3. BIG BIRD IS AN EXTINCT MOA.

Big Bird is a rare breed. He’s eight feet tall and while he can’t really fly, he can rollerskate. So what kind of bird is he? Big Bird’s species has been a matter of contention since Sesame Street began: Big Bird insists he’s a lark, while Oscar thinks he’s more of a homing pigeon. But there’s convincing evidence that Big Bird is an extinct moa. The moa were 10 species of flightless birds who lived in New Zealand. They had long necks and stout torsos, and reached up to 12 feet in height. Scientists claim they died off hundreds of years ago, but could one be living on Sesame Street? It makes sense, especially considering his best friend looks a lot like a woolly mammoth.

4. OSCAR’S TRASH CAN IS A TARDIS.

Oscar’s home doesn’t seem very big. But as The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland revealed, his trash can holds much more than moldy banana peels. The Grouch has chandeliers and even an interdimensional portal down there! There’s only one logical explanation for this outrageously spacious trash can: It’s a Doctor Who-style TARDIS.

5. IT’S ALL A RIFF ON PLATO.

Dust off your copy of The Republic, because this is about to get philosophical. Plato has a famous allegory about a cave, one that explains enlightenment through actual sunlight. He describes a prisoner who steps out of the cave and into the sun, realizing his entire understanding of the world is wrong. When he returns to the cave to educate his fellow prisoners, they don’t believe him, because the information is too overwhelming and contradictory to what they know. The lesson is that education is a gradual learning process, one where pupils must move through the cave themselves, putting pieces together along the way. And what better guide is there than a merry kids’ show?

According to one Reddit theory, Sesame Street builds on Plato’s teachings by presenting a utopia where all kinds of creatures live together in harmony. There’s no racism or suffocating gender roles, just another sunny (see what they did there?) day in the neighborhood. Sesame Street shows the audience what an enlightened society looks like through simple songs and silly jokes, spoon-feeding Plato’s “cave dwellers” knowledge at an early age.

6. MR. NOODLE IS IN HELL.

Can a grown man really enjoy taking orders from a squeaky red puppet? And why does Mr. Noodle live outside a window in Elmo’s house anyway? According to this hilariously bleak theory, no, Mr. Noodle does not like dancing for Elmo, but he has to, because he’s in hell. Think about it: He’s seemingly trapped in a surreal place where he can’t talk, but he has to do whatever a fuzzy monster named Elmo says. Definitely sounds like hell.

7. ELMO IS ANIMAL’S SON.

Okay, so remember when Animal chases a shrieking woman out of the college auditorium in The Muppets Take Manhattan? (If you don't, see above.) One fan thinks Animal had a fling with this lady, which produced Elmo. While the two might have similar coloring, this theory completely ignores Elmo’s dad Louie, who appears in many Sesame Street episodes. But maybe Animal is a distant cousin.

8. COOKIE MONSTER HAS AN EATING DISORDER.

Cookie Monster loves to cram chocolate chip treats into his mouth. But as eagle-eyed viewers have observed, he doesn’t really eat the cookies so much as chew them into messy crumbs that fly in every direction. This could indicate Cookie Monster has a chewing and spitting eating disorder, meaning he doesn’t actually consume food—he just chews and spits it out. There’s a more detailed (and dark) diagnosis of Cookie Monster’s symptoms here.

9. THE COUNT EATS CHILDREN.

Can a vampire really get his kicks from counting to five? One of the craziest Sesame Street fan theories posits that the Count lures kids to their death with his number games. That’s why the cast of children on Sesame Street changes so frequently—the Count eats them all after teaching them to add. The adult cast, meanwhile, stays pretty much the same, implying the grown-ups are either under a vampiric spell or looking the other way as the Count does his thing.

10. THE COUNT IS ALSO A PIMP.

Alright, this is just a Dave Chappelle joke. But the Count does have a cape.

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HighSpeedInternet.com
The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
HighSpeedInternet.com
HighSpeedInternet.com
most popular Netflix show in each country map
HighSpeedInternet.com
most popular Netflix show in each country map key
HighSpeedInternet.com

If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation?

HighSpeedInternet.com recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

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