February 27, 2009

tgif top 10

I don't have a car. It's not really practical for city life. But sometimes I really wish I had a one - especially on weekends, so I could bust out of this town and hit the open road. Ok, not really. I just want to go to Target.

Plenty of super cool cars have been featured in television shows, here are my favorites.

Top 10 TV Cars:
  1. The Jetsons' flying car (probably the best family car ever)

  2. The Scooby Doo bus

  3. Knight Rider (the Hasselhoff version)

  4. The Flintstones' family car (seems odd that Fred was not more physically fit)

  5. Eric Foreman's station wagon (I still love That 70s Show intro)

  6. The Brady family station wagon (who didn't love the Grand Canyon episode?)

  7. Magnum P.I.'s red Ferrari (a huge part of his appeal)

  8. The Monkee Mobile (anyone remember this one?!)

  9. Miami Vice black Ferrari (white sport jacket required)

  10. The Dukes of Hazard's - had to look this one up - Dodge Charger

February 26, 2009

tv quote of the week

Detective Charlie Crews: "Bobby, how come you never see a baby pigeon? You worked downtown all those years, did you ever see a baby pigeon?"

Officer Bobby Stark: "You're right. Where the hell are all the baby pigeons?"

Show: Life
Episode: "Hit Me Baby"

February 25, 2009

top 36: round two

Tonight was the second group of 12 from the top 36. This week was a rough...not many standouts.

Ryan is looking extra casual. Seems a little too casual...like he arrived late and didn't have time to visit wardrobe, so he went on with whatever he was wearing.

Jasmine - She's young, but seemed mature and professional during Hollywood week. She's singing "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles - big shoes to fill. Seems like a bad song choice for her. Or she's just trying too hard. I was expecting her to be one of the best, but not really seeing it. Looking sexily at the camera is just awkward. She's definitely sweet and "commercial" as Randy said, so maybe that will earn her some votes.

Matt - A dueling piano player by trade. He was really good during Hollywood week when he was behind the piano. He sings "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay. I actually kind of like it, but I'm not sure if that's because I like the song. He seems a little out of breath, but so does Chris Martin. Ok, really out of breath. I'm slightly worried about him. Judges didn't like it - mostly criticized song choice, but Simon called it horrible. It seems like the judges still really like him and are pushing for him by reiterating his piano performance during Hollywood week.
Jeanine (from DC!) - I don't really remember her from tryouts, which is surprising because she's really outgoing and bubbly. She sang "This Love" by Maroon Five. I'm not loving it. She's wearing these god awful daisy duke jean shorts and a tuxedo jacket with black sequents on it. I can't get past the outfit. It's so bad. So bad. I think she's singing, but I can't see past the jean shorts.

Norman Gentle - I cannot believe this guy made it to the top 36. Don't get me wrong, I love the act, but I'm so surprised Simon let this one come through. It proves that Idol is trying to work the ratings, and how much the producers determine who goes through to voting rounds. He's definitely entertaining. He sings "I'm Telling You I'm not Going" from Dreamgirls. It's ridiculous, but I have to say it's refreshing. Favorite moment - he called out "Doogie" when he saw Neil Patrick Harris (can I say how much I love that he keeps turning up?)

Allison: Here's another one who I don't remember at all from tryouts, although she is definitely out there and confident. She's 16 and singing "Alone" by Heart. She's actually rockin it. Her vocals are really good. I like this little punk. She reminds me of a funkier version of Kelly Clarkson. Judges all agree that she's the best so far. She needs to work on the speaking parts though.

Kris: I don't remember this guy either. Where have I been? I love "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson - it's a quintessential childhood song for me. He's doing pretty well. He's fun and cute. He seems a little bland, so this song was a good choice to liven things up. I expect he'll get some votes. Simon, Randy and Paula like him, but Cara was on the fence.

Megan: She was one of my favorite auditions. Singing "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. I want her to be good -I love her full arm tattoo for some reason. She's refreshing and seems comfortable on stage - not trying too hard. Singing is a little shouty though...not sure the judges will like it. Seems like the judges are pulling for her in the same way they were for Matt.

Matt the Welder: There are two Matts and I forgot to note last names, so this is Matt the Welder. Because he's a welder, and the producers like to tell us this. He's a regular blue collar guy. He picked "If You Could Only See" by Tonic. I don't like this song at all. He's doing fairly well, and I do have a soft spot for husky boys who can sing, but I see him as more of a fun bar singer. Judges were not enthused.

Jesse: She's a single mom from Minnesota. She looked straight out of a greasy diner at the first audition, but she just warmed me up with her pre-performance tape. She seems cool and normal. She picked "Betty Davis" by Kim Carnes, and it's perfect for her voice. I really like this one. Ok, apparently the judges didn't really agree. Paula is a fan, but Simon called her "too cool for school." He has a point. She's talking back to the judges way too much. Don't do that.

Kai: We saw a lot of him during auditions. He's the one who's taking care of his sick mother full time. Ok, producers. You win. I like this guy. He picked "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" by Jimmy Ruffin. Little afraid that Simon's gonna call him a cruise boat singer. Ahh he said hotel singer - I was close. Others said old-fashioned and forgettable.

Mishavonna: She's singing "Drops of Jupiter" by Train. I don't love this song at all, but I actually like her version better. She's super cute. You can tell she's had mic training and looks like she's having fun. Simon called her cold and old. Not promising.

Adam: Producers definitely saved the "favorite" for last just like last week with Danny. He's singing Rolling Stones "Satisfaction" - finally someone takes a risk. He theater trained - was in Wicked a think, and it's pretty obvious. He comes across as way more comfortable on stage than the others - perhaps a little cocky. He's not really my style. He's lucky he's on a night with a weak bunch of boys. Paula loves to love him. Simon is on the fence. "Da bomb" escaped Randy's lips.

My Girl Picks:
1) Allison 2) Megan/Jesse

My Boy Picks:
1) Adam 2) Kris

Wild Card:
Norman Gentle (because why not?)

Paula Notes: Her eyes appeared half closed for the entire eveing.

February 22, 2009

things i liked about the oscars

Running list while I was watching this wicked long program...

Hugh Jackman is sexy hot and classy. Also, just such a talented stage pro. Good choice. And I love that he's cracking up during the opening musical montage.

Anne Hathaway. Cool surprise and very well-played.

Love the opening presentation for Best Supporting Actress by five ladies who've won this award in the past. What a line up. And so nice to have each of them describe the nominated roles.

Yay for Penelope Cruz! Vicky Christina Barcelona was so weird and crazy and fun - and Penelope played the kind of character where you forgot it was her. She had a beautiful speech.

The Screenplay presentations by Steve Martin and Tina Fey are pretty cool too. Milk wins for best original. Speech made me tear up. (cry count: 1) Slumdog won for best adapted. I'll admit it, I'm totally on the Slumdog train.

Jenny Anniston presenting! She looks great - hair and dress are fun and so is she. Of course, they cut to Angelina.

A Japanese guy called Kunio Kato won for best animated short film. He doesn't speak English well, but he thanked his pencil, and said "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto." I love him.

Benjamin Button won for Art Direction and Makeup. If this film was going to get any awards, I'm glad it got these two. The art direction and makeup magic was amazing.

I love the thematic montages - Romance, Comedy, Documentary - and the fact that they used all different kinds of movies.

I really like how they're setting up the backgrounds during the presentations to match whatever award is presented.

Ben Stiller as Joaquin Phoenix was pretty funny. Presented Slumdog with Cinematography - definitely worthy, but I think the guy accepting was wearing white Crocs. What?

Seth Rogen is looking sharp.

Is it possible that I'm experiencing Beyonce fatigue? Does she have to be everywhere? Ok, forget it. I do love this musical montage. The kids from High School Musical and Mamma Mia are too cute. The musical is back!

Supporting Actor presentation is doing the same thing with the five previous winners, I really like this. What does Kevin Kline have against his upper lip? I think Alan Arkin just called him Seymour Phillip Hoffman.

Heath Ledger wins and is accepted by his family. (cry count = 2)

I know all the sound tech and editing awards are important, but I'm getting bored. Ok, for some reason, the Sound Mixer awardee for Slumdog really got me. (cry count = 3)

Jerry Lewis is a class act.

Original Song performances were really cool. Pretty amazing that the guy who wrote the score for Slumdog - A.R. Rahman - also performed most of the songs.

The remembrance reel gets me every time. I loved loved that they had Queen Latifah sing during it. I always forget that she has a beautiful voice. Oh Paul Newman. (cry count = 4)

Danny Boyle wins for Best Director. Pretty sure it's the law by now. I loved that he complimented the quality of the show itself. He seems like a genuinely good guy.

Finally Best Actress. They're doing the same thing with the previous winner presenters. Have I mentioned that I love this? Sophia Loren? Shirley MacLaine? I mean, come on.

KATE WINSLET. Yay! I just love her.

Best Actor presenters...I would like to have a dinner party and invite all of you...with no dates.

Richard Jenkins is a hometown boy that I know from local theater in Rhode Island, who's been around for years in a million roles. I love The Visitor, and I'm so glad people are getting to put a name with a face for a guy who is truly a master of his craft.

But Sean Penn won. Of course he gets political, but I do appreciate the message. Although, he did not thank his wife. Poor form.

I really love how they presented the Best Picture nominees...universal themes intertwined with films from the past. Am I gushing at this point?

Slumdog wins. The kids are too much. (cry count = 5)

This was a great show - one of the best I can remember. They did it up style this year.

February 20, 2009

project runway update/tgif top 10

I'm taking today's top ten list as an opportunity to update on a very important issue: the fate of Project Runway. According to a Washington Post article yesterday, things aren't looking good for season six, which is actually filming finale scenes during New York Fashion Week right now. But we ain't seen it, have we? Normally, by this time, we would nearly on time with filming having started to watch in October or November. Not so much this season because the show's producers, the Weinstein brothers, are still in a legal battle with Bravo.

You may remember the Weinsteins sold Project Runway to Lifetime (I know, what?) last April for $200 million for five seasons. Brave/NBC sued for breach of contract claiming they were not offered the right of first refusal (a chance to submit a counter-bid before it was sold). Then, Lifetime entered the ring with it's own lawsuit, one that I don't quite understand.

The Post article explains the situation well, but sufficed to say, we are at the mercy of the New York court system with no end in sight, and the finalist designers had to hide back stage for anonymous fashion shows in New York this week, so the ending wouldn't be leaked in the case that this season (the first to be set in LA) ever sees the light of day. How sad.

I guess business is business, but this all seems a little greedy to me. I never liked that Harvey Weinstein - does he even have anything else to fall back on? And Bravo did make Project Runway their "brand," as many other shows mimic the format. They would be lost without it. And personally, I don't think Angela Lansbury needs a party dress fashioned from a ficus plant on Lifetime.

Anyway, here are my top 10 favorite Runway designers just for fun. I'm guilty of loving the obvious ones - not necessarily the winners, but the most flamboyant and/or endearing.

In no particular order...
  1. Austin Scarlett (Season 1) There's a man who owns his style

  2. Daniel Vosovic (Season 2) Just cute and talented.

  3. Robert Best (Season 3) LOVED HIM
  4. Kayne Gillaspie (Season 3) LOVED HIM TOO

  5. Christian Siriano (Season 4) I know, I can't help it.

  6. Chris March (Season 4) Please be my friend.

  7. Jack Mackenroth (Season 4) Wish we could have seen more...

  8. Jerell Scott (Season 5) Sunshine and happiness.

  9. Stella Zotis (Season 5) Badass.

  10. Kelli Martin (Season 5) Not as well known, but I just liked her style.

February 19, 2009

some daisies news

Following, Pushing Daisies' tragic cancellation and abrupt season ending, we've all been waiting for the news about the final three episodes. Until today, I thought ABC was contractually obligated to run them. Apparently, not the case.

The good news is, the final three will be televised. But not on TV. They will be presented a Paley Festival in April in LA. Paley Fest is an annual television conference sponsored by the Paley Center for Media that basically consists of a bunch of promotional panels featuring writers, directors and actors from different shows. It's a dream, but super expensive and nearly impossible to get tickets if you're not an influential journalist or blogger (shockingly, I'm not there yet).

Kind of an odd choice, but this speaks to the enormous critical and creative acclaim for Daisies - this is a group that would want to see it through to the end. Good that at least some people will get some closure on this amazing series - Bryan Fuller is said to be introducing the screening. Hopefully, we'll see them when/if the season 2 DVD comes out.

Still no word on whether ABC will air the final Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money episodes, but it's not looking good. Good news is, ABC has a buttload of new shows coming in March/April - more on those later.

February 18, 2009

goodbye conan

Friday marks the end of a era in late night television: Conan's last Late Night show after 16 years. At my age, I don't really know a late night without Conan, but I know it was a rocky start for him. Lorne Michaels first produced Late Night, and Conan (former SNL writer) was his baby, but definitely not a favorite among skeptical network executives. Conan was weird and quirky - plus he had a sidekick, Andy Richter. It was all too unfamiliar for older execs - and audiences agreed. Ratings were uneven, and he was almost fired weekly. He didn't fit the mold, but that soon started to resonate with the younger generation of late night viewers. Eventually, he gained a really strong following.

I know it's a pretty big deal that Conan is taking over The Tonight Show, but I have developed two schools of thought (in my own head) on this subject:

One: this show is iconic American television with a history of comedy legends like Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson - all of whom had very different styles, and all of whom caused some "hoopla" when the transition happened. After the Letterman/Leno fallout, NBC chose Leno, he has enjoyed the top spot in late night television for his entire reign. This is a huge deal and a lot of pressure for Conan.

Two: Isn't it just going to be Conan an hour earlier? TV critics are making a big deal about the fact that Conan has never "guest-hosted" The Tonight Show, as Leno often did for Carson. He's been hosting his own show in the exact same format for 16 years. Will it really be a big stretch? Sure, The Tonight Show is a more high-profile, so more top tier actors and musicians will appear, but as a viewer, I think I'll just enjoy having Conan on earlier, so I don't fall asleep. (We won't speak of the new 10pm Leno show that makes this argument even stronger - NBC, we're still in a huge fight.)

But, then I need to get out of my own head and start thinking like a media professional, which oddly enough, I sort of am. It's about the audience. The hour difference between Late Night and The Tonight Show is huge in terms of audience. The earlier slot gets, on average, a much broader, diverse, slightly older, more working/middle class audience. By Late Night, most of that audience as gone to bed leaving a younger, college age or young professional audience. That's a big difference. And that's why Leno has always beat out Letterman - he's just more accessible. He's humble in his denim on denim off-set casual wear and collection of cars. Sure, he makes fun of politicians and celebrities, but manages to do it in a likable way. Letterman - and I do like him - comes off as a bit of a jackass.

Where will Conan fit on this spectrum? His coolness factor has faded in recent years - he has Jon Stewart to thank for that - but maybe that's a good thing? He is a master of self-deprecating humor, but he's still a Harvard educated, freakishly tall man. Will people relate to him? Will Tonight Show fans just watch because they're loyal to the network/show? Is there really competition anymore or is it more of a Coke/Pepsi scenario now? CBS is ready to renew Letterman's contract, so they came to play. And ABC is considering scrapping the long-running Nightline to throw Kimmel into the ring. I'd like to see that play out - it raises the bar for all three.

In the end, Conan created an incredible show in an unprecedented time slot. He's a pro and has a place in TV history regardless of what happens next. Jimmy Fallon starts right away on March 2 - we'll talk about that later.

Here's a clip from Conan's Late Night premiere - an interview with John Goodman. Too funny.

February 17, 2009

idol top 36: round one

Audition rounds on Idol are hit or miss for me. I like to watch, but I mostly save them on my DVR and watch while I'm folding laundry on the weekends. Hollywood week is similar, but it starts to suck me in with the drama. By the time the judges chose the top 36, I'm settled in for the season.

Tonight was the first round of the top 36 performances - the first live show of the season. Let's see if I have this right - the top 36 are broken into 3 teams of 12. Each week, a 12 team competes for the top 3 spots (top boy, top girl, and the next highest vote earner). That will give us 9 at the end of three weeks, then the judges will pick additional 3 wild cards for the top 12, who move on to the big stage. Do I have it?

I'm not sure how often or how much detail I will be using to blog on Idol this season. I'm guessing it will be some combination of ranting, silly 14-year-old girl swooning, and pretending to be a Hollywood record producer.

Here's what I have for you this week. A few words on each of the contestants, and my picks for who should go on to the next round.

Jackie: The girls were much weaker than the boys, but I didn't mind her. She's charming, and she picked a tough song to sing (Little Less Conversation, Elvis). Did not love the Sandra Dee pants with hi-top sneakers.

Ricky: Who is this guy? Nice voice, but boring. Judges really like him though.

Alexis: Cute and sassy singing Aretha. I think she "created" this image, but it seems to work for her. The judges are eating it up.


Brent: Again, who is this guy? Nice, normal, country singer. Snooze.

Stevie: Cute and 17, but she doesn't have the chops for this stage.

Anoop: Love him. He sang Angel of Mine by Monica. I used to love that song! He's genuine and talented, but awkward. America will love him. Don't know if he'll get the votes, but I'm guessing he would be a judge wild card pick.

Casey: Super cute, but horrendous song choice (The Police?!?).

Michael: This is that guy who works on a oil rig. Come on, America loves him. He's having fun and looking comfortable singing the always likeable Gavin DeGraw song. Fun.

Ann Marie: She should be selling me software at a marketing conference.

Stephen: Yikes. At heart, I think he's a piano crooner, but he tried to do some sort of Motown version of Michael Jackson's Rock With Me. As Paula said, you can't touch that song.


Danny: This boy had me from the very beginning. He can probably thank the producers for that, but he just seems like a genuinely good guy with real talent. And obviously not too worried about cool guy image because he sang Mariah Carey - and rocked it.

My boy picks:
1) Danny 2) Anoop

My girl picks:
1) Alexis 2) Jackie

Wild card:

Paula Notes: Standing ovations, slurring, mullet formation on top of head.

shameless love: lauren graham

From time to time, I try to sound mildly intelligent and analytical about television, but sometimes TV fandome is just about shameless love for actors and characters. So, I'm starting a new semi-regular, probably random series called Shameless Love.

Lauren Graham is my first installment. She will forever be Lorelei to me, but this promo photo for her upcoming run in Guys and Dolls is just love. Up next for Lauren - she's making an hour-long comedy pilot for ABC that sounds pretty good - it's a dark comedy with Lauren playing a self-help guru who is a complete mess. Hopefully, coming in the fall.

February 13, 2009

tgif top 10

It's Valentine's Day this weekend, so I'm going for thematic list. I'm am a complete sucker for the will they/won't they television couple. Even though I know a show can't (and shouldn't) be all about the star-crossed storyline - so it is what keeps viewers tuning in every week (ok, probably more so for the ladies).

So, here are my top ten favorites. I'm not talking about regular couples - no Cliff & Claire or Mike & Carol. I'm talking about the couples that always come so close, but never get there. The ones that make you want to tear your hair out, but you keep watching like it's a bloody train wreck. The best examples are those that are surrounded by a storyline and cast that's excellent in its own right.

Top 10 Will They/Won't They TV Couples:
  1. Tony and Angela (Who's the Boss) - One of the earliest and best examples - they finally got together in the end, and the show just wasn't the same.

  2. Ross and Rachel (Friends) - We all spent a better part of the 90s agonizing over this one. I loved how they ended it.

  3. Jim and Pam (The Office) - These two get me every time. The chemistry and nerd love is played to perfection. Thankfully, the writers strike a perfect balance between them and the rest of the super cast.

  4. Mulder and Sculley (X-Files) - Here's a completely different format - one of the first shows to pull off such strong chemistry in a pretty intense genre. I was always rooting for them.

  5. Donna and Josh (The West Wing) - Some of the best dialogue written between two characters in the history of television.

  6. Luke and Lorelei (Gilmore Girls) - I know I gush over this show frequently, but it is justified in this case. The two actors worked so well off of each other and managed to master the comedy and drama of it.

  7. Joey and Pacey (Dawson's Creek) - I know you were waiting for Joey and Dawson. But no! It was all about Joey and Pacey for me.

  8. Kevin and Winnie (The Wonder Years) - What I loved about this show was how the writers mad
    e you feel like it was the end of the world - or the best moment in the history of the world - when these two broke up and got back together repeatedly, exactly how it would feel if you were that age.

  9. Doug and Carol (ER) - I think a lot of people forget that this elderly series began the first episode with Nurse Carol's near-deadly suicide attempt. The show was so much more character-driven back then, and their story played was disturbingly realistic.

  10. Carrie and Big (SATC) - That last scene in Paris where she chases him up the stairs and trips him, and they laugh at each other. So good.

Honorable mention goes to Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. I simply cannot choose between those boys.

AHHH...I just realized I forgot Brennan and Booth from Bones. Sometimes I worry that I am the only one who watches this show (although the ratings are always good), but I just love these two.

February 12, 2009


I've been away, so just had a mini DVR Lost marathon. Again, I'm completely unqualified for this, so I will divide my thoughts into the categories that best describe my viewing experience (from the last few episodes).

Things I loved:
  • Getting a little background on Danielle and her French colleagues. How sad.
  • Sawyer watching Kate deliver Aaron.
  • Sun pulling a gun on Ben.
  • Hurley completely content and happy in LA County lock up.
  • JIN.

Things that completely confused me:

  • Nose bleeds. Stop that.
  • Christian. I do not get him at all. I thought he was just traveling to Australia to see his daughter, Claire, and then crashed on the island? What's the deal? Is he the man behind the curtain?
  • Ben. Bad or good? It's making me crazy.
  • Pretty sure I called scary church lady being Farraday's mom, but I guess that was obvious. What's not obvious is who the heck she is.
  • If everyone needs to go back to the island, does that include Jin and Sun's baby?

Favorite Moment: Sawyere's reunion with Jin (notice pattern)

Least Favorite Moment: Kate being mean to Jack. You're supposed to always be "with him."

dwts. who's excited?

I never end up watching this show, but I always say I'm going to when I see the line up. They really brought it this season. Shawn Johnson is totally going to wipe the floor with Lil' Kim. Should also be interesting to see the newly drug-free-born-again-Steve-O.
  • Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska
  • Actor Gilles Marini and two-time DWTS champ Cheryl Burke
  • Rapper Lil' Kim and season seven champ Derek Hough
  • Actress Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
  • Pop star Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts
  • Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and season six champ Mark Ballas
  • Reality star Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer
  • Rodeo star Ty Murray and first-time Dancing pro Chelsie Hightower
  • Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff
  • Country singer Chuck Wicks and two-time champ Julianne Hough
  • Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell and Tony Dovolani
  • Actor David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson
  • Singer Jewel and first-time Dancing pro Dmitry Chaplin