Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You want some mystery with your logo?

Ever since I unveiled the blog logo (designed, again, by blog reader/commenter David Loehr), I frequently get questions from people (either on the blog or on Twitter) asking me to either explain the theme, or to identify one or more of the four people (the worst was when a bunch of you didn't recognize Mickey from "Rocky" and I briefly felt older than Methuselah), or about where you can look back at the old ones.

This week's theme was, I thought, fairly self-explanatory (see the photo accompanying this post), but some people didn't recognize one or more of the "Sex and the City" actresses sporting their atypical looks. (If you're curious, here are some brief YouTube clips of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte rocking said looks.)

After the jump, I have a question about the logos, as well as links and a key to all the logos I've used so far.

So here's what I'm curious about: when, if at all, do you want me to explain who and what each logo is about? Right away, with a post you can click on as soon as you get frustrated? Wait a few days? Right when I'm about to shift over to the next one? Or would you prefer I keep it mysterious for a while, and then occasionally do a post like this one?

Talk amongst yourselves, and here are all the oldies (in most cases, I'm referring to character names, rather than actors):

The original logo (three summer rewinds, plus Tony) - Dick Winters (Band of Brothers), Ziggy Sobotka (The Wire), Dana Whitaker (Sports Night), Tony Soprano reading The Star-Ledger

Badass men - Al Swearengen (Deadwood), Sayid Jarrah (Lost), Michael Westen (Burn Notice), Omar Little (The Wire)

"Mad Men" - Pete, Betty, Don, Joan

Badass women - Sarah Walker (Chuck), Sydney Bristow (Alias), Emma Peel (The Avengers), Zoe Washburne (Firefly)

Bald cops - Theo Kojak (Kojak), Andy Sipowicz (NYPD Blue), Frank Pembleton (Homicide), Vic Mackey (The Shield)

Eccentric rich dudes - Jimmy James (NewsRadio), Bruce Wayne (Batman), Charlie Crews (Life), Montgomery Burns (The Simpsons)

NERDS! - Doogie Howser, Sam Weir (Freaks and Geeks), Chloe O'Brian (24), Chuck Bartowski (Chuck)

"EZ Streets" - Jimmy Murtha, Theresa Conners, Cameron Quinn, Danny Rooney

TCA Award winners John Carter (ER), Saul Mother-Frakking Tigh (Battlestar Galactica), Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory), Betty Draper (Mad Men)

"Mad Men," take two (complete with "Mad Men" font) - Roger, Peggy, Don, Joan

Classic sitcom straight men (and woman) - Mary Richards (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Michael Bluth (Arrested Development), Alex Rieger (Taxi), Dave Nelson (NewsRadio)

Gender benders Max Q. Klinger (MASH), Jacqueline "Jake" Pratt (Young Americans), Kip "Buffy" Wilson (Bosom Buddies), Tara "Buck" Gregson (United States of Tara)

Four faces of Ted Danson - Cheers, Becker, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Damages

Police those moostashes! - Peter Benton (ER), Norman Buntz (Hill Street Blues), Thomas Magnum (Magnum, PI), Sarah Silverman (2009 Emmys)

Great coaches - Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights), Mickey (Rocky), Herb Brooks (Miracle), Norman Dale (Hoosiers)

Mad scientists - Professor Frink (Simpsons), Walter Bishop (Fringe), Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (The Muppet Show), Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Grown-up girls of "Freaks and Geeks" - Busy Philipps (Cougar Town), Joanna Garcia (Privileged), Lizzy Caplan (Party Down), Linda Cardellini (ER)

Movie-to-TV adaptations that didn't suck - Oscar Madison (The Odd Couple), Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights), Karen Sisco (Karen Sisco)

Canadians - Doug McKenzie (SCTV), young Alanis Morissette (You Can't Do That On Television), Constable Benton Fraser (Due South), Robin Scherbatzky (How I Met Your Mother)

Aliens - Mr. Spock (Star Trek), Mork from Ork (Mork and Mindy), George Francisco (Alien Nation), Anna (V)

Military heroes - Carwood "Lip" Lipton (Band of Brothers), Jonas "Snake Doctor" Blane (The Unit), Brad "Iceman" Colbert (Generation Kill), Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Battlestar Galactica)

Bizarro "Sex and the City" Sarah Jessica Parker as a nerd (Square Pegs), Kim Cattrall as a Vulcan (Star Trek VI), Cynthia Nixon as Eleanor Roosevelt (Warm Springs), Kristin Davis as Charlotte as a dude (the episode "Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl")

53 comments:

dez said...

I think you should throw up a post right away so we can commence guessing, which would also avoid people derailing other threads with constant questions about what your logo means or who the people are in it :-) You can give the answer whenever you feel like (or confirm it once someone guesses correctly).

FoundNemo said...

I'm in college and don't have much background knowledge on tv. Most of the older stuff I watch I pick up from comments on this blog. I like to guess on the logo, but it's often over my head. Never knowing can be frustrating. I think I like the random key, but if possible indexed somewhere so I can find it again.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get the latest logo. No offense to the SatC women, but I actually thought the left-most one was Dana Carvey in drag, the center-right one was Dave Foley in drag, and the right-most one was a feminine-looking man playing a woman dressing up as a man (OK, maybe my logic there was too convoluted). So I thought the theme was "men in drag", except I couldn't figure out how Kim Cattrall fit into that.

christy said...

Couldn't you just have one post, similar to this one, that you update with the new one each time, and just have a permanent link to it in the sidebar? Fourfour recently did something like that.

I feel like posting a new blog about it every time would kind of ruin the fun and the elegant simplicity of it. And then you'd have a weekly blog about your own blog logo.

7s Tim said...

I second what dez said. Set up a post for comments to have a home, but don't reveal right away.
you can play the rules on when you explain it fast and loose, depending on how frustrating it seems to be to people, but not right away-- or at least after a jump.

Byron Hauck said...

When you post the answer in an @reply to someone on Twitter, everyone who's following you does NOT see it unless the browse into your feed explicitly. So that's a way you can let the answer be available without telling anyone who's still trying to guess.

Robert Cervantes said...

I agree with not telling us for a few days. So post something telling us new logo. We take a guess. And when you are ready to tell us the answer, bump up said post with an update.

One of the winners could get automatic entry into your mailbox column. Seems like a lot of your readers would get all giddy if they got such a mention.

purpletoonlink said...

Themes I got right away:
• Badass women
• NERDS!
• Four faces of Sam Malone
• Mad scientists
• Grown-up girls of "Freaks and Geeks"
• Canadians
• Aliens
• Bizarro "Sex and the City"

I'm not sure what sort of method I'd prefer. I'm fiercely competitive, so I think I'd quite like one that just said 'Okay, GO!' and whoever got it first was.. well.. the best at that game.

Fernando said...

My vote is unveil the answer right b4 you post the next one. (ie, if u do a mad men on, dont reveal the theme/answers until ur ready to put up the next one)

Rinaldo said...

I don't particularly care how soon or late you reveal it, but I would like it to be in some predictable location that I can find if I want to.

I don't follow every series you write about (this is true of most of us, right?), so I don't read all of every post, and therefore I might miss the explanation. In fact I have missed a lot of them. I'm very glad to have the full list here.

Alan Sepinwall said...

My concern about doing it as a contest is that it gives unfair advantage to anyone who happens to be at the blog at that exact moment, you know? People are reading in multiple time zones - and some on multiple continents - and lead their own lives where reading this blog isn't (and shouldn't be) the top priority, so there's no one set time that would work for everyone getting to see the debut at once.

AdamW said...

How about a Twitter or blog posting when a new one goes up, with a link to a regularly updated 'explainer' like this one for folks who just can't stand the suspense. You could close the comments on the explainer so you didn't have to police it, and discussion of each new logo would go in the "announcement" post.

If you wanted to do the contest thing, you could draw from among all correct answers within 24 hours of the posting or something; that would help cure the time zone problem, but maybe a contest is more hassle than you want to deal with for free...

Brian said...

I'm just disturbed that Drag Kristin Davis looks just like Wil Wheaton.

My vote is to leave it a mystery and do a wrap up every few months similar to this post.

Tausif said...

I would like to see a post on the logo right away.

dez said...

I don't think you need to have a contest. It's fun to guess even without a tangible prize (besides, I like having bragging rights to things) :-)

srpad said...

My vote would be for you to throw up a post when a new banner comes up so people have a place to discuss it and then a few days later bump the post and provide the answer.

Bobman said...

Funny, if I don't know what it is, I just right click the image, "view file", and the filename almost inevitably gives it away, or is at least a very good hint.

For example, this one is "whatsalanwatching-satc.jpg"... and even if you dont' know, a quick Google tells you SATC is "Sex and the City".

Mario said...

How about just a small sidebar along with the "about me" "recommended reading" "interviews" etc. with a link that says "logo themes" and on that linked to page a running list, most recent on top, of the themes.

Kelly said...

i like to take a guess, but most of the time i dont have the breadth of tv knowledge to get me through (i was quite excited that i got the 'grown up girls from freaks and geeks' one!! and this current SATC one I knew it was the SATC girls, and that it was charlotte dressed up like a man from one episode, but i could not get what the actual theme was)

my vote would be to either put up a post to let ppl comment and guess (no contest needed) where you could reveal the answer when you choose OR to put up a post right when you switch to a new logo.

i hate having to wait...looking back at a lot of these i remember back to when I tried to figure out what they were, but it doesnt mean so much to me so many months later.

april said...

I agree with Rinaldo. I don't care about the format as long as there's a uniform location. Sometimes, I see it on Twitter, sometimes, I happen to catch a post. I can guess maybe every other one, but sometimes, they stump me (like any time it gets too boy or geek because I'm neither).

Paul Outlaw said...

Please don't make it Twitter-connected...

I like the idea of a post when you switch logos in which people guess the theme and the characters/actors and you give/confirm the correct answer.

JanieJones said...

I am with Dez. I also would not like it turned into a contest. I like to guess. Makes the blog logo more intriguing :)

Sam Sevr said...

I didn't watch Sex and the City and I STILL feel like a complete doofus for not getting it. I recognized SJP from Square Pegs and I got Cynthia Nixon. I just thought it was Hot Women Uglied Up. (oh come on, look at SJP and Cythia and come to a different conclusion!)

As for when to reveal the theme, I vote for right before you change it but I'm cool with a periodic roundup post like this. Either way it'd be nice to have a link to always get back to any of the explanations.

sc said...

i like the idea about putting a link for the answer on here, so anyone who wants to wait and try to figure it out can, and anyone who wants to know right away can do that as well.
Would seem to be the best way to appeal to everyone.

Bobman said...

I just thought it was Hot Women Uglied Up. (oh come on, look at SJP and Cythia and come to a different conclusion!)

We're talking about Sarah Jessica Parker here? Hot women? Really?

belinda said...

Would love to see the lot of them maybe as a list somewhere, or like this one, maybe a post every now and then with all the links - I've missed a few of these banners, and it's nice to see the old ones too.

I like guessing them, so what sc's post said seems like a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I love your logo variations, and I don't mean to nitpick, but that is NOT the Mad Men font.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Second question, for anyone still reading: how do you feel about logo reruns? There are gonna be weeks where I'm just going to be out of ideas, or where I just miss one of the old ones (I could, frankly, leave the mustache one up for the rest of time).

Anonymous said...

I'm with Rinaldo in wanting it to be in a predictable location. I found myself scanning through comments on shows I don't watch in case you'd answered one I was puzzling over there.

Kelly said...

i think reruns are fine, especially for some of the favorites!

april said...

I totally think it's fine to repeat or keeping the same one up for a time. Life has more important priorities than a blog banner.

Andrew said...

I like the idea of announcing new banners with a blog post that gives commenters a bit of time to try to figure out each theme (no need for a contest/prize beyond bragging rights.)

Reruns? Always fine.

srpad said...

Since it is just a fun little thing how could anyone complain about reruns? That's fine.

Hatfield said...

I enjoy trying to figure it out (the eccentric rich guys one was the most difficult for me), so if you wait a while that would be great. As for re-runs, I don't think I'm ever going to be tired of Al Swearengen or Omar Little, so the badass dudes one would be welcome anytime. Maybe replace Sayid or Westen with Jayne or Mal from Firefly though.

Heather said...

I like guessing it first but yeah, throw up a post but with a spoiler jump explaining it. The blog logos are much fun though and keep it up.

Whiskey said...

reruns are fine with me! And I do want to be able to know or confirm the theme by the time you're ready to switch over to a new one. I liked the idea of having a predictable place to go look for the answer, tho I do like the "challenge" of having to wait a few days for it...

For that matter, I wouldn't mind you having a weekly "open thread" for us to come and "visit" with you and comment about random stuff, LOL. Maybe it was due to fever-induced delirium, but last week I was thinking about how cool it'd be to have Joel McHale, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson all together in a show, riffing off one another on topical stuff for at least an hour (or three). In my mind, it'd be something like ESPN's PTI. And I immediately thought of you and our little group here. Could just be part of the Mad Men withdrawal process...

Anonymous said...

I read your blog in Google Reader, so I don't see your logo unless I come to the blog to read or post comments. So a post indicating when you've changed the logo might be nice.

Nicole said...

I think a post to comment on the new logo would be great. I follow you on Twitter and check the site daily so I catch your new posts.

I also think that you should wait 24 hours before revealing the answer.

Brandy said...

I love reruns if you missed them the first time, their new to you.

NBC dropped that ad campaign and yet now seems like a good time for them to revive it.

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I like having this aggregated post of previous logos because I sometimes just read from RSS and miss seeing that week's logo. Having them all collected in one place makes them easier to search for and to catch up on.

Anonymous said...

right away please

Mo Ryan said...

I feel stupid but I didn't realize you were creating new ones every week.

I'd be fine with some logos sticking around for longer, or old favorites making return appearances.

shar said...

I prefer a post like this one then I can go back and click on all the ones I didn't really pay attention too.

M.A.Peel said...

I'm fine with whatever you decide. I was, however, bothered that Kristen Davis's picture, I believe, is from SaTC, whereas the others are from other work. It felt like the equivalent of mixing parts of speech in prose.

Chip said...

Reruns are fine with me, and I Like the idea of putting up a post upon changing the logo to allow commenters to guess/argue for a few days before you confirm.

I also second the recommendation for a weekly open thread. It is annoying to read commenters who threadjack because they want to discuss a show you did not review. On open thread could give your readers who are fans of a show like True Blood a place to talk with each other.

Pamela Jaye said...

I think a predictable place would be good. Like something linked in the same way you have some shows in the sidebar
Mad Men
HIMYM
Answers to my logo

You could put the Guess my logo separately (or not - i'm not sure whether together would be messy, I haven't worked with labels/tags a lot yet. I just got fed up and moved my BakulaNews to blogger recently - and then, just the body frame (yeah, frames, ick. i know)

Love the idea of open thread. It catches the miscellaneous crud. I had to go thru three pages of old posts before I found a Grey's post I could append to, yesterday. (cause I hadn't the sense to use they search box. sigh. just occurred to me. i'll bet last untethered thing I tried to find was ER or House)

But anyway, open threads are nice. Gosselins Without Pity does one per week. They get immense (cause they are GWOP), but people sort of talk amongst themselves. (Don't know what GWOP will do when the show goes off, hear they are discussing)

Timing. don't know. I just came to figure out whether I should bother watching the Prisoner. If not, I get 6 hours back on the DVR.

Anonymous said...

I think you should do a new mustache one, just because the first one left out Ron Swanson.

bettyd said...

I recognized almost all of the people, but I'm a dolt about connecting them together.

Is there a way on this blog software to do a "hover" feature that would tell the answer? Or use the "Ain't It Cool News" method of "invisotext" (white color text on white background) that you have to highlight to see.

Anonymous said...

Kristin Davis as a dude is blowing my mind right now.

7s Tim said...

For the second question, not only are reruns fine, but variations on the theme are fine. you could end up with 4 different moustache logos that you could rotate through when hell freezes over and they make that deadwood teevee movie. just an example.

Muz said...

Man, I was racking my brains for when Wesley Crusher had a mo (it being Movember after all). One of the holodeck episodes, I was thinking.
Then: "It's who...?"

Glad I wasn't only one.
Anyway, I think redecorate as often as you feel necessary. Be as obscure as you like. Critics flexing their expansive cultural experience is the whole idea.
Maybe explain the last one just as a new one goes up and let discussion of the new one go round and round for its lifespan. And I'm not fussed about repeats, since you asked.

Cheers

Andrew said...

If you ever decide to do a great TV mustaches, take 2, Michael Imperioli's 'stache from Life on Mars (US) was epic.

Pamela Jaye said...

did you ever decide?