As self-appointed Masters of the Universe awash in our hard-earned wisdom, we often write off the millennial generation as whiny and unwilling to sacrifice for success. We're usually wrong. This may be especially true when it comes to the next generation of creative talent that will hopefully extend the Golden Age of Television into the next decade and beyond. At the Cable Show, 4 filmmaking teams from New York Film Academy, Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago, Loyola Marymount and UCLA got only 48 hours to each put together a completed short film as part of NCTA's “Film Challenge.” Each team had to shoot at least some footage within the LA convention center (and any other footage within a 7 mile radius), feature a kite and use the line “the future is today” somewhere in the film's dialogue. On Wed, the results were revealed in Imagine Park, and of the 4 excellent efforts, 2 stood out–NYU Film Academy's “Deliver Us” about a peaceful protest that gets big results and Columbia College Chicago's “The Parting Glass” about 2 brothers choosing different paths. Each included the kind of subtext and symbolism you'd expect from a much longer production timetable. Deliver Us won the top $10K prize, with one judge, actor Rutger Hauer, complementing the team's “great eye” for storytelling–quite a feat considering that the film's only line of dialogue is the one required by the contest. The Parting Glass, meanwhile, also made good use of spare dialogue, with judge Charles Segars of Ovation noting an “economy of words” that conveyed so much. To be fair, the other 2 teams also turned in laudable if perhaps less polished efforts, with Loyola's “Kite Dream” spinning a sweet tale about the reunion of mother and son, and UCLA's “Superfamous” offering a biting satire of society's celebration of bad behavior. Could some of these kids could be the Vince Gilligans, Matt Weiners and Lena Dunhams of the future? Who knows? Maybe the future is today. – Michael Grebb

“Playing House,” Tues, 10p, USA. The so-called 'Golden Age of Television' usually refers to a surge in quality cinematic dramas on the cable dial. Yet there's a growing roster of quality cable comedies, too, including “Portlandia” ( IFC), “Broad City” ( Comedy Central), “Archer” ( FX) and “Louie” (which returns to FX Mon, 10p). Adding to the fun is this wacky series, whose improv-savvy co-stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham play childhood friends with a neurotic mix of anxiety, guilt and humor. — “Silicon Valley,” Sun, 10p, HBO. There are plenty of laughs in this spoof of youth and money run amok, yet this week's ep effectively touches themes that will ring true with viewers, including corporate culture in a start-up, nerds trying to out-cool the competition with extravagant parties and the anxiety of those who weren't invited to said parties. While we mentioned several of cable's finer comedies (above), count HBO's “Silicon Valley” and “Veep” as among the most trenchant satires around. — “Granite Flats,” Sun, 9p ET, BYU TV. This family friendly small-town mystery series gets a shot of dramatic energy Sun when Christopher Lloyd joins as strange but passionate HS English teacher and Cary Elwes plays a suspicious operative. The latter takes a moment to warm up; not Lloyd, whose opening scene is terrific. – Seth Arenstein

The Daily


Doing Good

Telemundo in partnership with Comcast ’s Internet Essentials and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation has gifted more than 2,000 laptops and free internet service for a year to folks in the U.S. The donations

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