September 23, 2010

can. not. wait.

Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows. Hurry up, November 19.


September 19, 2010

fall 2010 schedule: abc

Ok, the major premiere week is upon us, so I need to get going. Here's ABC...

Monday

Dancing with the Stars
11th season premieres: September 20
my take: The contestants are Jennifer Grey, Audrina Patridge, Florence Henderson, Margaret Cho, Brandy Norwood, Bristol Palin, David Hasselhoff, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Rick Fox, Michael Bolton, Kyle Massey, Kurt Warner. I won't watch, but my money's on Baby.

Castle
2nd season premieres: September 20
my take: There are many things about this show that I really liked last year - Nate Fillion is so fun to watch, and the actors that play his daughter and mother are perfect. It took me a while to come around on Beckett though (especially that bizarre hair cut). I'll keep watching for now, but I'm not interested in the back-and-forth lovey stuff between Castle and Beckett.

Tuesday

No Ordinary Family
1st season premieres: September 28
my take: It's a clever premise about a family with super powers, but has the potential to be super cheesy. I think I'll skip this. For those who like Michael Chiklis (The Commish/The Shield) and Julie Benz (Dexter), you may want to tune in. You'll also recognize Autumn Reeser and Stephen Collins (dad from 7th Heaven).

Dancing with the Stars Results

Detroit 187
1st season premieres:
September 21
my take: I'm not going to complain that this is another cop show. Really, I'm not. ABC actually doesn't do many of these, so I will be fair. I think we have The Wire to thank for featuring cities other than NYC. The premise is pretty basic - a downtown Detroit precinct and all that it means. You'll recognize Michael Imperioli (who can only play gangsters and cops), but many of the others are newcomers.

Wednesday

The Middle
2nd season premieres:
September 22
my take: This show is not appointment television for me, but I did catch a few episodes last season. It's actually hilarious. Between this and Modern Family, ABC definitely got it right when casting the kids. A super talented and funny trio in this show.

Better with You
1st season premieres: September 22
my take: This is ABC's only new fall comedy. Considering the booming success of Modern Family and the relatively strong numbers for The Middle and Cougar Town (all new last year), I'd say things are looking good for another outing from ABC, but I'm not immediately pulled in. Despite good cast members like Joanna Garcia and Debra Jo Rupp (mom from That 70s Show), the premise - basically two daughters and their contrasting relationships - bores me.

Modern Family
2nd season premieres:
September 22
my take: I have a teeny tiny fear that Modern Family is getting over-hyped after the much deserved Emmy wins. But I don't even care. I love it and can't wait for it to come back.

Cougar Town
2nd season premieres: September 22
my take: I don't know why I was oddly embarrassed to admit this last year, but I like this show almost as much as Modern Family. The ensemble cast is hilarious. Thank god they overcame that horrendous title.

The Whole Truth
1st season premieres: September 22
my take: Another new drama for ABC. Another law drama for the world. This one stars Maura Tierney and Rob Morrow as Assistant DA and defense attorney paired against each other each week - and follows the cases from beginning to end. I'm sure it will be a solid show, but I think I will pass on it.

Thursday

My Generation
1st season premieres:
September 23
my take: I feel like this could be really bad or really good. The premise is a documentary-style drama about members of an Austin, Texas high school class of 2000, which follows them 10 years later. I'm intrigued enough by the creativity of the plot to check it out. A lot of newcomers in the cast, but you'll recognize some from failed series and teen shows.

Grey's Anatomy
7th season premieres:
September 23
my take: Oh why, oh why to I continue to watch it? Because it's a train wreck that you can't look away from. And last season's finale was perfect proof of that.

Private Practice
4th season premieres: September 23
my take: Anyone still watch this? I really don't have many bad things to say about it, but there is just too much on Thursday nights. Something has to give.

Friday

Secret Millionaire
1st season premieres: TBD
my take: No

Body of Proof
1st season premieres:
TBD
my take: Guess what? This show is about crime. Because television viewers only love shows about crime. This one features Dana Delaney as a medical examiner, so I assume we're mostly dealing with murder crime. The kind that gets the best ratings. You'll also recognize Jeri Ryan and Geoffrey Arend (Mr. Christina Hendricks). No thanks.

Sunday

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
8th season premieres:
September 26
my take: Ty is officially looking haggard these days. Can't blame him. Damn show makes me cry every time I catch a minute of it.

Desperate Housewives
7th season premieres: September 26
my take: I don't watch, but can someone give me a reason why this show hasn't retired? Possibly because of Vanessa Williams joining the cast this season? It just seems so tired.

Brothers & Sisters
5th season premieres:
September 26
my take: Too much drama for me, but I know many people love this show. Heard about some pretty significant cast shake-ups, so we'll see if/how that affects the ratings.

In summary:

  • If you're looking for V, it's coming back in the spring.
  • Most looking forward to the return of: Modern Family and Cougar Town
  • New shows I'll check out: My Generation and possibly Better With You

September 3, 2010

fall 2010 schedule: nbc

Last night, I was perusing the next week two weeks of scheduled programming on my DVR because that's what I do during my free time), and there they were....new season premieres!

It's time to get down to business and analyze the full fall schedule. In past seasons, I've broken down the schedule by day of the week, but decided to go by network this year. So, we'll do NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and CW/Misc. over the next week (premieres will start rolling out the week of 9/13). We'll look at new and returning shows, and at the end, I'll give you a rundown on what will be on my personal TV schedule this fall.

NBC

This network was my bad boyfriend last season. We were in a big fight, but now I'm back for more. Will I ever learn? He has a lot to prove with new shows this season after wiping out the 10:00 hour block last year with the Big Fat Late Night Snafu (although, there are surprisingly few new shows on the schedule).

Monday

Chuck
4th season premieres: September 20
my take: I'm so glad Chuck earned its rightful place on the fall schedule this year. However, only 13 episodes were ordered - an additional 9 are contingent on good ratings this fall. Last season was great and set up some really interesting game changers. When we last saw him, Chuck had promised sister Ellie that he would leave the CIA. What will he do? We should be meeting Chuck's mysterious mom in the near future too. If you haven't watched already, I highly recommend jumping on the Chuck train.

The Event
1st season premieres: September 20
my take: You've probably seen one of the 2,000 promos for The Event this summer. You'll recognize: Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood (playing the president), Laura Innes (ER), Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls), and many others in a very recognizable TV cast. The premise is purposely elusive described as a "conspiracy thriller" centered around Sean Walker (Ritter) investigating the mysterious disappearance of his fiancee during which he uncovers a huge U.S. government cover-up. Based on the cast and the fact that it's not a cop or legal drama, I will check this out.

Chase
1st season premieres: September 20
my take: A Jerry Bruckheimer-produced US Marshall action drama doesn't peak my interest really. Kelli Giddish (Past Life) plays Annie Frost, a Texas Marshall. Her crew includes Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives), Cole Hauser (the redhead dude from Good Will Hunting), and Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break). I feel like this show is the perfect illustration of NBC trying to get their ER/NYPD Blue mojo back. I may check out the pilot, but I'm not really an action junkie, so this probably isn't for me.

Tuesday

Biggest Loser
10th season premieres: September 21
my take: Somewhere around season 5, this show started disturbing me. Many of the cast members do tremendous work to change their lives. But something about the game of it all - the melodrama perpetrated by NBC, throwing the weigh-ins, etc. - started to creep me out, so I don't watch anymore.

Parenthood
2nd season premieres: September 14
my take: Watch this show! This is probably my most anticipated returning show. We got a short season last spring, and I just really loved it. There are still come kinks to work out - namely the grandparent story, which seemed rushed last season. But overall, great characters, real problems, and fun to watch. My favorites are Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman - great chemistry as mother and daughter.

Wednesday

Undercovers
1st season premieres: September 22
my take: Another new show that NBC has put a lot of promo power behind. This is a Mr. & Mrs. Smith style show starring Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Steven and Samantha Bloom (decidedly less interesting than their real names). The two were the best spies in the history of the CIA, but retired 5 years ago to get married and open a flower shop. Now, they're reluctantly getting back in the game. Interesting premise, but I'm not chomping at the bit for this one either. More cops and bad guys. I'll probably watch the pilot - if only because it's directed by EP JJ Abrams.

Law & Order: SVU
12th season premieres: September 22
my take: I'm starting to think I only watch this out of habit.

Law & Order: Los Angeles
1st season premieres: September 23
my take: Why did they cancel the mothership series only to do another spinoff? Another cop show! This feels very CSI: Miami to me. Not planning to watch. If you're interested, the cast includes familiar faces like Terrence Howard, Skeet Ulrich, and Alfred Molina.

Thursday

Community
2nd season premieres: September 23
my take: Community turned into one of my favorite new comedies last season. The start was shaky, but they hit a stride and finished very strong. That paintball episode? Genius. I'm a sucker for television and film allusions, and these writers know how to do it. Joel McHale leads the pack well, but costars Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, and Alison Brie (better known as Trudy Campbell) are the bread and butter.

30 Rock
5th season premieres: September 23
my take: I'm still not really watching 30 Rock regularly. Don't hate me. I know it's good, just not appointment TV for me.

The Office
7th season premieres: September 23
my take: News of this being the last season for Steve Carrell puts the pressure on for a good finish. Luckly, Carrell (because he's classy) gave the writers enough notice to write a well-planned exit for Michael Scott. I think we're all hoping it involves Holly. I haven't decided how I feel about a post-Carrell office. This show has always been a favorite of mine, so part of me hopes it will just end on a high note and finish the series this year. At the same time, there's a whole lot of talent among the cast and writers, so it could be fun to see a rebirth with a new boss. I vote for promoting within.

Outsourced
1st season premieres: September 23
my take: The only new comedy of the fall for NBC, so there's a fair amount of pressure to live up to the Thursday night comedy block. The premise is an American novelty goods company whose call center has been outsourced to India. Newcomer Ben Rappaport plays Todd Dempsey, young middle manager who moves to India to manage the office. I feel like this could walk a very line between funny and stereotypically insensitive, no? A lot will depend on the writing and the performances, so I'm willing to give it a try.

The Apprentice
?? season premieres: September 16
my take: NBC is bringing back the original (non-celebrity) Apprentice. Not sure how I feel about this in the Thursday 10:00 timeslot, a position usually reserved for their best dramas - maybe they're dodging the competition on other networks by trying to provide a totally different option? Either way, not watching.

Friday

School Pride
1st season premieres: October 15
my take: New reality show produced by Cheryl Hines and Denise Cramsey about communities coming together to renovate their local school. The style seems very similar to Extreme Makeover: Home, so I'll probably cry.

Dateline NBC
1100th season premieres: September 24
my take: Don't care.

Outlaw
1st season premieres: September 15
my take: I really don't understand why this isn't on Thursday nights instead of Apprentice. Shouldn't they swap? The last of NBC's new fall shows, this one stars Jimmy Smits as a playboy and gambling Supreme Court justice who becomes frustrated with a flawed system, quits the job, and forms a traveling private practice to tackle the most controversial cases across the country. An interesting concept, but I'm worried it will beat us over the head with right/wrong/moral/hot button issues. Smits probably makes it worth a look though.

In summary:
  • Most recommended returning shows: Chuck, Parenthood, and Community
  • New shows I'll be checking out: The Event, Outsourced, possibly Outlaw and Chase
  • Between the returning and new shows, NBC is officially the law and order network this season. It might be the first time in two decades without a medical drama on this network (RIP Mercy).
  • With reruns on Saturdays and football on Sundays, NBC has never put anything new and scripted on weekends, staying out of the CBS/ABC competition on Sunday nights.
  • Looking for Parks and Recreation? Me too. Unfortunately, it was relegated to a spring start for reasons unknown (Amy Poehler's pregnancy was not a factor since they worked well into early summer to bank episodes). I will miss it this fall.

What say you? What will you be watching on NBC this fall? Any new shows tickle your pickle? Leave some comments! Fall 2010 will be the season of comments. Don't let me down!

September 2, 2010

90210

Thanks to the Fug Girls for celebrating this day the way it deserved to be celebrated.


August 29, 2010

2010 primetime emmy awards

Emmys are here again. Here are a few thoughts while I'm watching....

Right away, that might be the best Emmy opening ever. I loved all of it. Jon Hamm dancing on stage with the Glee kids and Hurley? Love love love.

Up first is comedy - and I'm a sucker for a montage.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet
I could not be happier about Eric's win. His performance is really so amazing in every episode. I do think Neil Patrick Harris is still owed recognition for Barney Stinson, but I'm really glad to see Modern Family receive a much-deserved award.

Fellow nominees:
Chris Colfer, Glee
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Modern Family goes back to back with another award for best comedy writing.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Jane Lynch
So so so perfect. This award really couldn't have gone to anyone else this year. She did a great job with her speech and looks lovely.

Fellow Nominees:
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Man

Betty White in SNL and Neil Patrick Harris in Glee won for best guest role in a comedy yesterday. Glad for NPH, but sad Mike O'Malley didn't win for his portrayal of Kurt's dad in Glee. And Glee picked up its first award of the night for comedy director, Ryan Murphy. Well deserved.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons
Best Emmys ever! So happy for him. He works so hard and that character is one of the best on comedic television right now.

Fellow Nominees:
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

No repeat winners yet - is this unprecedented?

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Edie Falco
I'll admit that I haven't seen the show, but I've heard great things, and I'm glad to see her in another great role.

Fellow Nominees:
Lea Michelle, Glee
Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara

Brief focus on reality programming...the only award presented was Best Reality-Competition series, which went to Top Chef after what I believe was a nine-year reign for Amazing Race. It's the year of breaking streaks!

And onto drama...

First award went to writing for Mad Men. Matthew Weiner was guaranteed some hardware tonight. Italic

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Aaron Paul
I think it's time for me to add Breaking Bad to the Netflix queue. I would have liked a last-chance trophy for Terry O'Quinn, but oh well.

Fellow Nominees:
Martin Short, Damages
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Archie Penjabi
She definitely wasn't my prediction, but great to see her win. Her performance is very subtle in The Good Wife, so I'm glad she was recognized. But I still love Joanie best of all.

Fellow Nominees:
Sharon Gless, Burn Notice
Rose Byrne, Damages
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men

Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston
Coach Taylor would tell me to be respectful, but inside I'm kicking tires at Riggins Riggs.

Fellow Nominees:
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie, House
Matthew Fox, Lost
Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Guest actor and actress in a drama series went to John Lithgow in Dexter and Ann Margaret in Law & Order: SVU. No surprises there. Best dramatic direction went to Steve Shill for Dexter.

Musical tribute to 24, Lost, and Law & Order was pretty funny. I'll admit that Jimmy Fallon is an excellent mimic.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick
Tammy Taylor, you're my girl.

Fellow Nominees:
Glenn Close, Damages
Connie Briton, Friday Night Lights
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
January Jones, Mad Men

Switching gears toward the final approach...variety, music, and comedy specials.

I have to say, that variety montage was not Leno-friendly. Not that I'm complaining. Looking back I realize how much material that situation provided for all other late night comedians except for him.

Summary of the variety awards:

  • Best variety special went to the Tony Awards. Bored, but really nice speech by that dude who I don't know.
  • Best variety direction went to Bucky Gunts for the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony. Huge job, so more power to him. If I'm not mistaken, this is NBC's first award of the night (on its own network). Wah wah.
  • The Daily Show wins for variety series for the 3rd year in a row. Still glad Conan was nominated, but it was probably never going to happen.
AMEN to everything George Clooney said in his acceptance speech for the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.

Sorry, skipping the mini-series/TV movie category. Lovely, lovely. Claire Danes looks beautiful, and I definitely need to see that Temple film. Al Pacino is starting to look like a caricature of himself.

Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men
Third consecutive year, and I can't argue with that. Still the most mesmerizing show on my TV every week.

Fellow Nominees:
True Blood
Lost
Dexter

Breaking Bad
The Good Wife

Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family
Yes! So happy about this one. Such a great show. Watch this show! Also, I love Manny's outfit. Pimp.

Fellow Nominees:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Glee
Nurse Jackie
The Office
30 Rock

That's it! Good job Jimmy!

August 9, 2010

nbc fall preview show

Excited for fall television? Most of the shows are back in full swing taping their new seasons - yipee! We'll get into the detailed schedule in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here's a handy little promotional fall preview from NBC:

August 8, 2010

south america is a long way from dillion, texas

Are we ready to see Matt QB#7 Saracen in another role? Well, we're going to have to be. Zach Gilford has been cast as a series regular in a new fall show called Off the Map.

If you haven't heard about it, Off the Map is a new ABC drama coming in September by Shonda Rhimes - creator and excecutive producer of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. That's right, Shonda will have THREE medical dramas on primetime next season. For better or worse, she has pretty much cornered the market on this genre, you have to admit.

Gilford will play a plastic surgeon joining a team of doctors at medical clinic in a small town in South America. A plastic surgeon? Isn't Matt Saracen - I mean Zach Gilford - a little young to be a medical school graduate?

I wasn't particularly excited for another medical drama, but a bit more intrigued with this new addition. What say you? Ready to see him outside of Dillion?

Editor's note: That's probably not the most relevant photo for this story, but I love it. So tough.

August 4, 2010

much belated thoughts on 2010 emmy noms

Since I haven't been writing about many shows lately, why not do a post about almost every show on primetime television? Here are my thoughts on the 2010 Emmy nominations (nearly a month late, but who's counting?).

Programming note: the Emmys will be broadcast on August 29th on NBC. Jimmy Fallon will host. He's no Neil Patrick Harris (last year). I've always liked Jimmy Fallon in sort of an indefinable way. I like SNL, I like the Red Sox, he seems nice and normal and cute. What's not to like, right? I don't know. I just have no interest in watching his late show. I don't find him that funny, and he always seems just a little too awestruck by all of his guests. It borders on disingenuous. Am I alone in this? I wish he had stayed out of the hosting game and just played the funny, lovable best friend in comedies for the rest of his life.

Anyway, on to the nominations...

Outstanding Comedy Series
30 Rock has won for the last three (maybe four?) years. Time for some new blood, and that new blood is Modern Family! The best comedy BY FAR last season. I can't wait for it to come back. Glad to see Glee get a nod, although I still have trouble seeing them in the straight comedy category.

Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO
Glee, FOX
Modern Family, ABC
Nurse Jackie, Showtime
The Office, NBC
30 Rock, NBC (won last 3 years)

Outstanding Drama Series
I'm happy with all of the nominations in this category - a good variety that shows the strengths of both cable and network dramas this year. Not a surprise, but I'm happy to see Lost get some recognition for its final season. I wouldn't even mind a win even though I'm pretty sure that won't happen. Mad Men is likely to get a third consecutive trophy, and I can't argue with that.

Breaking Bad, AMC
Dexter, Showtime
The Good Wife, CBS
Lost, ABC
Mad Men, AMC (won last 2 years)
True Blood, HBO

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
I hate to say it, but I think it's time to end the reign of Jack Donaghy. I can't even remember the last non-Baldwin that won in this category. Steve Carell has never won - perhaps the recent press around his expiring contract will inspire some votes. He completely deserves it. Obvious props to the amazing Jim Parsons, but he has plenty of time to collect some trophies. And I don't think Schuester deserves it over any of these guys yet - with the exception of Monk, who just won't GO AWAY.

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David as Himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester, Glee
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, Monk
Steve Carell as Michael Scott, The Office
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock (won last 2 years)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
COACH TAYLOR FOR THE WIN!

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, Breaking Bad (won last 2 years)
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, House
Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard, Lost
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Lea Michele gives a Broadway-worthy performance every week, and it will probably go to one of the Showtime ladies, but I wouldn't mind a nod to Amy Poehler for a superior second season of Parks & Rec.

Lea Michele as Rachel Berry, Glee
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell, Old Christine
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Parks And Recreation
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, United States Of Tara (won last year)

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
TAMI TAYLOR FOR THE WIN!

Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, The Closer
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, Damages (won last 2 years)
Connie Britton as Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife
Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson, Law & Order: SVU
January Jones as Betty Draper, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
SO happy to see a much-deserved nod to Chris Colfer. I find it impossible to choose between the men of Modern Family (leaning a little toward Ty), so I'll pick NPH. Please give him a trophy before HIMYM officially goes down the tubes (who still says that and what does it even mean?).

Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, Glee
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, Two And A Half Men (won last year)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Tough one! I hope Andre Braugher's nomination brings more eyes to Men of a Certain Age. That show is really so good. I wouldn't mind a repeat trophy for Michael Emerson one bit. As much as I love everything that comes out of John Slattery's mouth on Mad Men, but I don't think you can compare his work to that of Terry O'Quinn. He could use some credit for sure.

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad
Martin Short as Leonard Winstone, Damages
Terry O'Quinn as John Locke, Lost
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, Lost (won last year)
John Slattery as Roger Sterling, Mad Men
Andre Braugher as Owen, Men Of A Certain Age

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
I love me some Sofia Vergara, whose comedic hops may go overlooked on Modern Family. Gloria is perfection. But my heart belongs to Sue Sylvester on this one. Also, does Two and a Half Men have naked pictures of the entire voting pool?

Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester, Glee
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock
Holland Taylor as Evelyn Harper, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Great to see some recognition for a USA show that isn't Monk. I like all of the ladies from The Good Wife and Mad Men, but I think Elisabeth Moss is most deserving this year. Amazing performances from her last season.

Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen, Burn Notice
Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons, Damages
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris, Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Mad Men

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
Stick it to 'em Conan.

The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central (won last 2 years)
Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO
Saturday Night Live, NBC
The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, NBC

Outstanding Reality Program
I'm consistently amused by Antiques Roadshow always getting nominated and relieved that Housewives are nowhere on this list. Kathy for the win.

Antiques Roadshow, PBS
Dirty Jobs, Discovery Channel
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, ABC
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List, Bravo
MythBusters, Discovery Channel
Undercover Boss, CBS

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program
The Amazing Race has won SEVEN years in a row. Ehh why not? Keep it going.

The Amazing Race, CBS
American Idol, FOX
Dancing With The Stars, ABC
Project Runway, Lifetime
Top Chef, Bravo

Guest Roles
I won't list all of the nominations, but here's who I'd like to see win among the guest actor and actress nominees this year:

Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper, Mad Men
Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke, Lost
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Mike O'Malley as Burt Hummel, Glee
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes, Glee

July 30, 2010

pacey con!

"People ask me why I do it. I do it because Pacey Witter is the greatest character in television history. Ever. Period."

- Joshua Jackson

July 29, 2010

herc!

Hey, it's me. The underachieving summer blogger. Although it may not seem that way, my summer of television has actually been quite awesome. I am officially caught up and butt crazy in love with Friday Night Lights. Last weekend, I finished the third season. I have yet to get started on the current season though - need a little breather to collect myself.

I won't attempt a full assessment of my FNL experience quite yet, but I will be mentioning the show in upcoming posts - since I've been living and breathing it for the last two months. Oddly enough, I remember watching the first couple of episodes when FNL first premiered, and it didn't really catch me. But as my favorite TV bloggers continually praised it and rabid fan support led to the network "creativity" of marketing it through DirectTV, I knew I had to give it another shot. So glad I did.

Gross summary: I would argue that these are some of the most well written (if not the best) teenagers in the history of television. Between the photo editing, the music, and the casting, I join the chorus of fans wondering why this show doesn't have 100 Emmys. That's not even including the amazing performances by Kyle Chandler (Coach) and Connie Briton (Mrs. Coach) - finally nominated this year - and the seemingly effortless work by Zach Gilford (Matt), Adrienne Palicki (Tyra), Jesse Plemons (Landry), and pretty much everyone else, including the wonder that is Tim Riggins.

Wait! That wasn't the point of this post. I can't even help it. I could go on and on. The point was to highlight one of the smaller, great roles in FNL - that of Herc played by Kevin Rankin. The story of Jason Street could have gone to a teenage-angst-melodrama bad place. But thanks to the writing and performance by Scott Porter (6), complemented so well by Rankin, I would argue it turned out to be a near perfect story. Texas forever.

Kevin Rankin co-starred in NBC's short-lived medical drama Trauma last season. In a semi-under-appreciated show, Rankin's character stood out as the best for me. So, I was really glad to see that he will be on our TV screens again this season. According to Ausiello, Rankin has been has a Patrick Jayne's brother-in-law on the CBS drama The Mentalist. This show isn't quite appointment television for me, but I do keep it on the DVR and enjoy watching. It's clever and easy to watch with great performances from Simon Baker (Jayne). Rankin's character is a con artist womanizer, and there's a possibility for recurring status.

Happy as I am for Rankin, I will not let this hinder my mental image of Herc traveling the globe with the quad rugby team spreading wisdom and breaking hearts on an international stage.

June 27, 2010

mad men season 4 promos!

It's a promo bonanza for Mad Men! I promise to start posting about non-Mad Men topics soon.

For instance, we need to talk about Friday Night Lights. I'm 4 episodes into season 1. WHERE THE HECK HAVE I BEEN THIS SHOW IS AMAZING.

All of these are character-specific and non-spoiler promos using footage from season 3. Each gives us a reminder of where we left each character last season. Who's your favorite?

General "where we left off" promo for season 4:



Don:



Betty:



Roger:



Joanie:



Pete:



Peggy:

June 20, 2010

5 more weeks!


June 9, 2010

quick reference for returning summer shows

We'll be getting into what's new on the television schedule this summer soon (so much!), but here's a quick guide for when to expect returning shows to premiere:

Just for fun, *** inidicates what I'll definitely be watching.

June (some happened already - sorry!)

1: Wipeout on ABC (admittedly watch this from time to time. so funny)
1: America's Got Talent on NBC (they lost me when Hoff departed)
3: Royal Pains on USA ***
3: Burn Notice on USA
6: Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime (heard this is good. anyone?)
6: Ice Road Truckers on History
6: The Next Food Network Star on Food Network
7: The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family
7: Last Comic Standing on NBC (probably tune in to see Craig Robinson do his thing)
13: Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami on E! (for real?)
13: True Blood on HBO (summer Netflix project for me)
20: Leverage on TNT ***
22: Hawthorne on TNT (this show is terrible)
24: Futurama on Comedy Central
27: Entourage on HBO (need to catch up!)
27: Hung on HBO
28: Make It or Break It on ABC Family *** (sorry, can't help it)
29: Rescue Me on FX (final season, but I need to catch up)

July

12: The Closer on TNT
13: Warehouse 13 on SyFy
25: My Boys on TBS ***
25: Mad Men on AMC *** (duh)
29: Jersey Shore on MTV

August

3: Shaq vs on ABC
9: Dating in the Dark (good god, I can't believe this is coming back)
16: Weeds on HBO (another Netflix project this summer)

June 8, 2010

a gleeful sendoff

If you're using a magnifying glass, there's a lot of beef to be had with Glee. Mostly, continuity issues like Emma disappearing for multiple episodes and Quinn's pregnant belly missing for most of the season until she gives birth to a toddler who was one month premature.

However, I'm choosing to ignore all of that and just love Glee for Glee. The season finale was so fun for many reasons, including:
  • Journey. I mean, come on. What better way to end the season than with a giant cheeseball tribute to a cheeseball band? Don't Stop started it all. I cried.

  • Kurt's sailor hat.

  • Finn blurting out "I love you!" to Rachel before their performance. Such a teenage boy.

  • The girls' competition costumes. And Artie's competition hair. So dapper.

  • In the judges' room, when Sue realizes she cares about those kids.

  • Sue likening Will's hair to a briarpatch with racist Disney characters singing about the bayou.

  • Emma screaming at Figgins for cutting glee (although I thought Will's subsequent love profession was a little out-of-left-field)

  • Sue wanting hand sanitizer after shaking Will's hand so she doesn't "catch poor"

  • Everything about Jonathan Groff. Damn, that boy can perform.
What do we think about Ausiello's scoop about John Stamos being cast as Emma's dentist boyfriend? Weird, but I kind of love it.

June 7, 2010

nerding out for chuck

I just finished re-watching the third season finale of Chuck. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - you should be watching this show.

Chuck has something for everyone:
  • Action: crazy kung fu fights, gun play, jumping off and out of buildings, explosions, car chases, and of course amazing hot girl fights
  • Music: a truly unique rock cover band called Jeffster
  • Comedy: from the nerds at Buy More to Colonel Casey to Chuck himself, I laugh out loud every week
  • Love: even if you're not a Chuck/Sarah shipper, Chuck's sister Ellie and her husband Awesome are enough to make you swoon (by the way, I'm so glad they gave Awesome and Ellie more to do this season).
Most importantly, I'm so so impressed with how this show manages to keep things fresh every season with a new surprise and twist at almost every corner. Even this year when I thought things would end neatly given an uncertain future of the show (they were somewhat unexpectedly given an episode extension), we're left with a really intriguing and mysterious set up for next season. It's always unexpected, always entertaining, and always fun. Something you really can't say about many shows these days.

Thankfully, NBC ordered 13 episodes for fourth season of Chuck next year with a good chance for an additional nine episode order (fingers crossed). So, hit Netflix or Hulu this summer and watch the first three seasons. It would be such a fun summer DVD show. I promise you won't regret it.

June 5, 2010

rebirth

My absence is inexcusable. Millions of readers have wept daily without my television ramblings.

Okay, slight overstatement. But I do apologize to those who stop by from time to time only to find a grossly neglected blog during arguably the most exciting part of the television season - May sweeps, season/series finales, network upfronts, and the start of summer series.

I'll be starting up again this week with some thoughts on the end of a few important shows (LOST) and seasons as well as a look at what's new for the summer and what to expect from the networks in the fall.

If Britney can come back from this, the blog can recover.

April 30, 2010

how did i not know about this?

...or did I know about this and think it was a dream? Allison Janney has a secret role in the May 11th episode of Lost called "Across the Sea". Two of my favorite things coming together. A mild explosion just occurred in my brain.

Thanks to Will Keck at TV Guide Magazine for the juicy tease story about Allison's role in one of the last episodes of the series. Read it!

Not too spoilerly highlights from the article...

No one's officially saying what role she'll be playing in the episode.

This episode should provide a lot of answers about Jacob, Man in Black, and their histories.

The writers practically (and geniusly) wrote this part for her not expecting her to do it.

She went out of her way to make her schedule work. Seriously, how awesome is Ms. Janney?!

April 29, 2010

a peek at lowe on parks & rec

Thanks Ausiello for this first glimpse of Rob Lowe on Parks & Recreation. I'm super excited for him to join the show. I've been loving this season, but I do think they could use some fresh blood. The effort to fit Ann and Mark into each episode is starting to seem awkward (Paul Schneider is leaving the show, so I assume a breakup is looming). Hopefully, Lowe and fellow newcomer Adam Scott will only enhance a show that has secured a spot among my favorite comedies.

For a little scoop from Ausiello: But Lowe’s character, Chris Traeger, will be brought in to fix Pawnee's budgest crisis. He will win everyone over with his “very optimistic, positive, forward-thinking” attitude, according to EP Michael Schur. Sounds a lot like our friend Miss Knope.

April 22, 2010

best food ever

I'm not necessarily a lover of food shows. I never took to Top Chef like I thought I would. But two things excite me about Best Food Ever, the new food series from TLC: John Goodman and sandwiches.

The series, premiering May 3rd with an episode entirely devoted to sandwiches (which, let's face it, is the best thing about having opposable thumbs), will feature popular dishes and restaurants from across the country.

And John Goodman narrates.

Mr. Goodman, if you know what's good for you, you'll visit Flo's Clam Shack in Newport, Rhode Island. Order steamers, clamcakes, and chowder. Dipping is encouraged.

April 19, 2010

missed connections documentary

Not TV-related really, but this sort of fascinates me.

April 12, 2010

conan's big news

He found a home!


Conan has signed a deal for an 11:00 show 4 nights a week on TBS*. Not many people saw that coming! Rumors of FOX or possibly a premium cable spot have been swirling for weeks. Here are some of the latest details on the TBS deal.

Having not yet read any of the reactions or analysis from smart people who know about this stuff, I think I like it. TBS has been re-branding as a comedy network for the past couple of years, and we've seen some decent programming come out of it (My Boys being a favorite of mine). I've never seen George Lopez's new show (now moving to midnight after Conan), but this seems like a solid pairing, and Lopez has been building some momentum for late night on TBS for the past few months.

I also think there's an advantage to the 11:00 timeslot versus 11:35 for Leno and Letterman. Among the young audience especially, viewership of late night local news is dwindling. Personally, I'd much rather hop over to Conan right after my 10pm shows. I'm not likely to stay awake through the later programs anyway (still love you, Kimmel).

Twitter, blogs, and entertainment news will be all abuzz with this news today. Feel free to post your thoughts here!

*special thanks to Memphis Steve

April 5, 2010

props to southland's shawn hatosy

I watch a lot of television. All kinds. I can rely on many shows to deliver noteworthy moments every week - shows like Mad Men and lately Modern Family make me want to post clip after clip on this blog.

Other shows fall further below the radar with actors who will likely never receive golden statues, but still deserve recognition for some great performances. Shawn Hatosy's performance in last week's episode of Southland called "What Makes Sammy Run?" was one of those for me.

If you don't know, Southland was a discarded NBC cop series dropped by the network for being "too gritty" but quickly picked up by TNT. Although it remains to be seen if the show will live to see a third season, TNT proved to be a good home for their second season.

There are a few kinks with the characters and storytelling that need to be worked out, but this show has something special that many cop dramas haven't since the days of NYPD Blue and Homicide. The stories written and performed for Ben McKenzie (Officer Ben Sherman) and Michael Cudlitz (Officer John Cooper) have been particularly strong.

All of that said, nothing has moved me more than Shawn Hatosy's performance as Detective Sammy Bryant last week. There were no monologues or action scenes, nothing too crazy, but just damn good, subtle dramatic acting. I won't give too much away, but these scenes involved a young boy who has appeared continually throughout the series. He's a kid living in a gang-ridden neighborhood in a family with a deep history of crime and gang activity. Detective Bryant is trying to save this kid from that life by encouraging his other interests, which include reading books that most young boys wouldn't go near. It's a sad ending for this kid (though not the one you would expect) and the raw emotion and grief that Bryant feels is beautifully played by Hatosy. It's the kind of scene that sweeps you up and gets your heart racing.

I've been a fan of Hatosy's since his performance in the Farrelly brothers' comedy Outside Providence, which took place in the area where I grew up. Shawn, if Saved by the Tube was handing out little golden statues, there'd be one with your name on it. Made of chocolate.

Check out "What Makes Sammy Run?" on the TNT site, which has full episodes available. TNT also runs repeats quite often if you want to catch up on this season. That episode alone has me on board for season three. What say you, TNT?

March 30, 2010

lost: the package

Like many, I have very mixed feelings about The Package being Desmond. On one hand, I'm glad to see him and see how he fits into the final chapter as well as how he fits into sideways world. It's always been clear that Desmond plays a critical role in the mystery and history of the island. But on the other hand, I'm sad for Penny and Charlie left behind on that houseboat! I hope I'm not wrong in assuming Widmore's people didn't hurt them in the process.

So why is it that Widmore brought Desmond back to the island? Is he one of the candidates? (I'm sure I should know that by now) Is Widmore even concerned with/aware of this concept of candidates? If UnLocke is trying to get all of them off the island, is Widmore trying to keep them on?

The kidnapping of Jin brought him even further away from Sun (on the island, although he was kidnapped in both worlds) Reunite these two already! So frustrating! However, the geophysicist's interest in his mapping of the magnetic fields on the island makes me think that we'll be looking further into this aspect of the island, which I like. Moving away from the heaven/hell mythology into the scientific mystery of the island continues to peel the onion giving us more answers (hopefully).

As for the sideways story, Jin and Sun not being married and dating in secret certainly presented a very different reality for them. How Juliet setting off the bomb made that happen, along with Jack having a son, Sayid's girl marrying his brother, Sawyer becoming a cop, etc. is really fascinating. With six (SIX!) episodes left, I'm ready to start learning what this alternate universe is intended to teach us.

So, we know Kate and Claire are not candidates. I'm not surprised about Claire seeing as she's taken quite a different path from her friends. But why not Kate? What's different about Kate? She never died and came back to life, she came returned to the island with the others, she's been with the gang all along. What's the deal?

Just a few observations from a devoted, but a relatively clueless Lost viewer.

Note to ABC: Get rid of that stupid V countdown clock. So distracting and annoying.

March 29, 2010

really, i couldn't love this more

Mayim Bialik as a "potential love interest" for Sheldon Cooper? The confusing and troubling idea that Sheldon Cooper is something other than asexual? Possible recurring role?

March 28, 2010

much delayed thoughts on richard alpert

The long awaited Richard Alpert back story! I have to say, immediately following episode, I was a little disappointed. But as I've thought about about it, there's more to like than I initially realized. Some of my disappointment was probably due to the high expectations. I really wanted this episode to bring a lot of answers, but it ended up confirming a lot of what we already know. Regardless, Nestor Carbonell had a performance of a lifetime.

Here's what we learned:
  • The island is essentially a Hellmouth. Or is it? This theory of the island as a gateway to hell or some kind of purgatory has been floating around since season one. I like that we got more clarity from Jacob and his wine bottle metaphor, but I'm still hoping the root of Lost isn't only in this heaven/hell concept. There's a lot of science there - between the Dharma project and Widmore's obsession - not to mention time travel and Daniel Farraday. That needs to be factored in
  • Given the physical prowess he displayed fighting Richard, it's pretty clear that Jacob probably let Ben kill him. Did he decide it was time for the candidates to figure it out in a Jacob-less island?
Here's what I'mstill wondering:
  • Richard was not forgiven for his sins by that priest and ended up on the island. I think we can find examples of the theme forgiveness of sins (on different levels) for all of the Losties. Is their behavior on the island supposed to earn them this forgiveness?

  • If this is a Hellmouth, why can people be killed? Does this mean they pass on to whichever afterlife awaits them? Is that why women can't have babies?

  • Again, if this is a Hellmouth, where did the Oceanic 6 go when the returned home? Was that some kind of test for the candidates? If so, did they pass by coming back? I guess we still don't know if Kate is a candidate.

  • Has Ben grown up in a Hellmouth? That certainly explains a lot. What about others who lived in the Hellmouth, but grew up and moved on like Eloise Hawking and Widmore?

  • What about Desmond punching in the code in the hatch? Was that also come kind of test?

  • At the end, was Isabelle telling Richard to let go and die? I didn't understand what she was releasing him from, but I sort of think it's time for Richard to take a good long nap.

  • Perhaps most importantly, can we trust Jacob's explanation of things? Richard certainly doesn't seem to anymore.
A few other bits to note:
  • Are we supposed to believe that, after 150 years, Richard can dig up that necklace on the first try? I can't even remember which underpants I'm currently wearing.

  • The actor playing the original Man in Black definitely appeared to be a doing a Terry O'Quinn impersonation this time, right? I'm sure that was an intentional direction, and I liked it.

  • Cheesey as it was, I definitely cried during the Ghost moment between Richard, Isabelle, and Hurley.

  • Per the opening scenes, we now know Sun is the Kwon on the candidate list.

March 15, 2010

a tale of two brunettes

Sarah Shahi, formerly of one of my favorite shows - Life (RIP), will star in yet another new USA drama called Facing Kate. The show has been picked up for 11 episodes in a addition to a 90-minute pilot scheduled to air sometime in summer or fall. The show is paired with USA's other new female-led show Covert Affairs staring Piper Perabo.

Facing Kate features a top litigator (Shahi), who's frustrated with bureaucracy and decides to become a mediator. Other cast members listed on IMDB include Ethan Embry (so good in his recent House guest role) and Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica).

I really liked Shahi as Dani Reese in Life, but I worry that she really relied on Damian Lewis for chemistry in that role. It will be interesting to see how she fairs as the lead. (THR)

Speaking of chemistry, People is reporting that Mr. George Clooney's lady friend Elisabetta Canalis will have a 5-episode role in season five of Leverage, scheduled to begin this summer. If you don't watch this little heist show, you should. I swear, it's the best kept secret.

I'm not too familiar with Canalis' background, but she'll be joining a very talented bunch, so I have high hopes for her. Hopefully, this role will do more for her than that unfortunate red satin situation from Oscar night.

There's a joke about heists and Ocean's 11 and Clooney and girlfriends somewhere in there. I don't have the brain power.

March 14, 2010

parks and rec casting news

Thursday nights have become such a happy time. For three reasons: Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office. As much as I love the ABC comedies this season, NBC's nose dive into the abyss is greatly helped by these three comedies (30 Rock also great, but I don't watch as religiously).

The Office has been a favorite for a long time. Though I'm starting to see the end of the road for Dunder Mifflin, this season (especially with the addition of Kathy Bates!) has been great. And Community gets funnier every week - Abed and Troy are particular favorites.


But the point of this post is to update you on some cast shake-ups at Parks and Rec. While the show struggled a little bit during the first season, they have really hit their stride this year (the show has already been renewed for a third season). I'm loving Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, and Aubrey Plaza's work. Amy Poehler is a given - her scenes with Nick Offerman's Ron Swanson have been great lately.

A few weeks ago, you may have heard that Rob Lowe will be joining the cast later this season and will stay on at least into the beginning of next season. I love this. Personally, I think Rob Lowe is at his (non-Sam Seaborn) best in comedy, especially this dry style of awkward humor. I can't wait to see him in Pawnee.

Lowe will also be joined by Adam Scott, another addition to the cast beginning later this season. You'll recognize Scott from many roles in movies like Step Brothers, Knocked Up, Leap Year, and most recently in HBO's Party Down. He's hilarious. Supposedly, the two will play a pair of government specialists sent to Pawnee to help the town through some tough times.

Unfortunately, these two new additions come with the news that Paul Schneider will be leaving his role as Mark Brandanawicz. Mixed feelings here. During the first season, it seemed like Mark would serve as Leslie's unrequited love. I was glad they moved away from that, but as Ann's boyfriend this season, there hasn't been much for him to do (not very much for Ann either come to think of it). I like Schneider as an actor, but it seems like a good idea for him to move on. Apparently, all partings are amicable, and we probably have not seen the last of Brandanawicz.

March 13, 2010

glee news

On Saturday, Paley Fest featured a Glee panel (for the non-geeks among us, this is the annual television festival put on by the Paley Center).

As excited as I am for the return of Glee, I've really tried to stay spoiler-free during this hiatus. Not that Glee is particularly plot heavy, but I love experiencing the music and guest star surprises during each episode, so I'm trying to steer clear of casting news, etc.

But of course, we need a few tidbits to hold us over until the show's return on Tuesday, April 13. Here are a few fun moments and very light spoilers from the panel:

  • Unlike some of the other panels, almost the entire cast (I think Lea was missing?) and all three co-creators were on the panel, garnering the festival's largest audience to date.

  • There will be an episode in season two with original music.

  • The role of Sue Sylvester was specially written for Jane Lynch. Best decision ever made in the history of pilot writing.

  • Kurt will have a boyfriend in this coming spring season.

  • Amber Riley (Mercedes) tried out for American Idol and didn't even make it to the judges.

  • Two words: Joss Whedon

  • Four letters: AC/DC
If you want all the dirty detailers, a few bloggers came through with really comprehensive reports:

The Futon Critic

Watch with Kristin

Ausiello Files

March 2, 2010

coming up in march

March is a welcome friend for those of us who have fallen victim to an ungodly amount of snow this winter. But March also means some new television and the return of some favorites (and not so favorites).

Here's what's new this month. Anything look interesting to you?

Parenthood (NBC, March 2)
Unless you live in a hole, you've seen the promos for NBC's new family dramedy Parenthood. I've read some very mixed reviews from the critics, but I'm definitely keeping an open mind. Lauren Graham and Coach back in my life is nothing to complain about. Although, I'd prefer this show at 9:00 - up against The Good Wife and White Collar at 10:00 is tough for me.

Marriage Ref (NBC, March 4)
There was a preview premiere after the closing ceremonies, but I missed it because I was in Olympic mourning. Anyone watch? This isn't typically my kind of show, but looks kind of entertaining. I may tune in this week.

Players (Spike, March 2)
Half hour comedy about two brothers who run a sports bar. One brother (Matt Walsh of Daily Show fame) is a free-spirited guy who is living out his fantasy of owning a bar. The other brother (Ian Roberts) is more uptight trying to keep the focus on the bar turning a profit. Probably won't make my schedule, but I'm intrigued after reading that the script is mostly improvised (the first of many Curb copies, I'm sure).

The Pacific (HBO, March 14)
One of those times when I really wish I would buck up and pay for premium channels. I've heard really good things about this one. Produced by Hanks, Spielberg, and Goetzman, you really can't go wrong. It's a 10-part miniseries about the Pacific Theater of WWII. I'm already adding it to the Netflix queue.

Sons of Tucson (Fox, March 14)
I feel like this show has been "coming soon" forever. Three young boys hire a conman to act as their father when real dad goes to prison. This show has the potential to be darkly hilarious - similar to Malcolm in the Middle - but a lot is riding on the writing, since the plot is so twisted.

Justified (FX, March 16)
Just learned about this one, and I'm pretty intrigued. An hour-long procedural drama about a US Marshall with a cowboy complex (played by the great Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood). He's reason enough to check this out.

Ugly Americans (Comedy Central, March 17)
If any network can make this work, it's Comedy Central. An animated comedy about a social worker who helps creatures like vampires, mermaids, and zombies adjust to normal life in New York City. I'm sensing all kinds of double entendre.

Returning in March:

Gossip Girl (March 8) - Billy Baldwin comes in as Serena and Eric's daddy!

90210 (March 9) - I never watched the first half, but this will be summer trash for me.

Melrose Place (March 9) - A lot hinges on the ratings for the second half of the season.

Celebrity Apprentice (March 14) - A small part of my really wants to see Cyndi take on Sharon.

Nurse Jackie (March 22) - I really need to catch the first season on DVD.

United States of Tara (March 22) - Here's hoping more viewers tune in to this award winner.

10 Things I Hate About You (March 30) - I'm just going to say it. I loved this show.

V (March 30) - They REALLY need to bring it for me to care about this show's return.

FlashForward (March 30) - Ugh, I just don't know.

March 1, 2010

some casting news

A few casting bits from the past few weeks that seemed worth mentioning...

I'm still only one season two of my way-overdue ride on the Gossip Girl train, but I loved the news that Billy Baldwin was cast as Serena's estranged daddy. (Ausiello)

NBC has decided to push back its remake of the legendary British series Prime Suspect. Apparently, they have yet to find a star to match the perfection of Helen Mirren. Hmm... Debra Winger looks interesting in her upcoming Law & Order guest spot. Too young? (TV Guide)

The Office's Craig Robinson (Daryl) will be the new host of Last Comic Standing on NBC. I keep forgetting about this show, but usually find it to be fun summer entertainment. Congrats Craig! (THR)

Really looking forward to seeing Cynthia Watros (Libby from Lost) in her upcoming arc as Wilson's first wife on House. (Ausiello)

ABC's pilot Freshmen about three first-year Members of Congress who share a DC rowhouse has a new addition: Ben Lawson from The Deep End. He showed some promise in the short-lived series. Assume the Aussie will plan an American here? (THR)

William Shatner has been cast in the Shit My Dad Says pilot. I had wanted a no-name actor in this role, but it should be pretty hilarious to see Shatner spew out those lines. (THR)

Durmot Mulroney has been cast in the aforementioned Rockford Files pilot for NBC. Hmmm... I was looking for someone a little more...butch? Quirky? He may surprise us. (Variety)

One of my very favorites, Becki Newton (Amanda from Ugly Betty) was cast in a fall pilot called Love Bites for NBC. Fingers crossed the role is worthy of her awesomeness. Becki will be joined by Jordana Spiro (another favorite from My Boys on TBS) as the only other series regular - not sure what that means, but I certainly hope it doesn't mean the end of My Boys! (THR)

February 28, 2010

goodbye vancouver

Though I haven't written about the Olympics over the last two weeks, that doesn't mean I wasn't glued to every second. Every Cris Collinsworth emotional back story, every unlikely (and otherwise unimportant) rivalry, every victory and every devastating loss that I suddenly found myself caring about.

The Olympics are great. If for no other reason than to remind us of the ridiculous talent on this planet. So, here are a few closing thoughts on Vancouver 2010:

Vancouver 2010 was the year of pretty athletes. Between Vonn, Mancuso, Lysacek, Rochette, Virtue, Moir, Ohno, Miller, and just about every bobsled brakeman I could see, it was just a ridiculous pile of pretty.

There's a lot of Lycra involved in just about every winter Olympic sport. Hey, it keeps them warm.

I could do without Mary Carillo's "learn about Canada" segments. More Collinsworth.

He's absolutely amazing, but I'm worried Shawn White isn't as nice anymore.

What are the chances Apolo Ohno has Bob Costas' job in 2010? (first, lose the soul patch)

The US athletes were not only the most decorated, but the best dressed in the games. Although, I'm not sure if I approve of the faux-denim snow boarding pants.

Favorite NBC commentators: Scott Hamilton (figure skating), Dick Button (figure skating), Jonny Moseley (skiing), Ted Robinson and Andy Gabel (short track), Dan Jansen (speed skating). Obviously, I'm a fan of the former athletes.

Question: Are you supposed to put your hand over your heart during the US National Anthem? Or is that just the pledge of allegiance? Someone needs to make a ruling and share it with all future Olympic gold medalists.

Least favorite commentators: Sandra Bezic (figure skating) who's always bitchy, and whichever bobsled commentator kept using the phrase "cat fight" to describe a disagreement between a female German bobsled driver and her former brakeman.

Favorite couple: You gotta love the Olympic love stories. My favorite this year was the Chinese couple that took gold in pair skating - Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.

Best gold medal presentation: Ice dancing couple Virtue and Moir. They looked like they were having so much fun up there busting out "Oh Cananda"!

The closing ceremonies were such a hoot! I always think of them as so boring and somber. What a fun way to close it out by displaying all that is funny and talented about Canada. Gotta love any country that will make fun of itself on an international stage.

February 26, 2010

lost connections: the substitute and lighthouse

Work, travel, and an Olympics trance has left this blog shamefully neglected through the month of February. This is unacceptable, I know. But, I will make up for it in these last days of the month, I promise.

First, a BIG blog on Lost. The last two episodes - "The Substitute" and "Lighthouse" - have been all about revealing connections between the Lost cast of characters. All of this coming together to (hopefully) start bringing us some answers as the conclusion quickly approaches. I still haven't come to terms with that. Let's look at some of those connections...

Starting with connections we see in the "The Substitute":

In new LA, Locke comes home to his lovely Helen, who's planning their wedding! How amazing does Katey Segal look? Just when I thought Locke's new life looked quite nice, he's fired from his grim cubicle job. Back in new LA, Locke runs into Hugo, who coincidentally owns Locke's former company. Always lovable, Hurley offers him a job through the temp agency he also owns. And that brings us to Rose! She's running the temp agency, and she's just as awesome off island. The interaction among all three of them is all about what the island took away from them - Locke's situation due to his disability, Hurley's fortune due to his luck, and Rose's outlook on life due to her cancer.

Most importantly, Locke has another connection in new LA. In his a new job as a substitute health teacher he meets NONE OTHER THAN WHINY, NERDY BEN LINUS, EUROPEAN HISTORY. How perfect is the character of new LA Ben Linus? It's exactly what I would imagine non-island Ben to be doing when he grew up.

We learn about the connection among "the candidates" as described by Smoke Monster Locke. After he recruits Sawyer for his mission to the cave, we discover the names of the candidates written all over the wall. We are to believe that the uncrossed names are the remaining candidates: Shephard, Reyes, Jarrah, Kwon, Locke, Ford. What about Kate?

Of course, this is all linked to the connection between Jacob and the man in black (now Smoke Monster Locke). In the cave, they find a balance - made equal by one black rock and one white rock. I think the symbolism is fairly obvious. Jacob and the man in black (now Smoke Monster Locke) where maintaining some sort of equilibrium on the island. By killing Jacob (and throwing the white rock into the ocean), the man in black has tipped the scale in his favor.

On the beach, a new pack has emerged: Ben, Frank, Sun, and Ilana. I imagine we'll start to see more about the significance of their connection. They bury Locke's body and head to the temple where Ilana promises Sun she will find Jin if he's alive. Ben's eulogy for Locke was very touching. Sorry I murdered him. Beautiful words

And now the connections in this week's "Lighthouse":

This time, we see Jack's life in new LA, and this story mostly revolves around the connection with his surprise son David. Throughout our time with Jack, we've seen the theme of paternity. A constant struggle with his feelings of responsibility over the fellow survivors. Most obviously, his reason for being on Oceanic in the first place - bringing his father's body home. These feelings are what eventually bring him back to the island. The connection between Jack and his young son is obviously strained until Jack is able to convince him that he could never fail in his eyes, and he just wanted to be part of his life - words he never heard from his own father. But what if Christian's treatment of Jack was preparing him for the island all along? When we will know the true history behind Christian's connection to that island?

David brings us to perhaps the most surprising connection of the episode - Jack running into Togan at the piano concert. A fellow father with similar worries for his young son - both men are leaders on the island with the well-being of their followers resting on their soldiers. There is definitely a kinship between the two men - now we see this on and off the island.

We also have a brief connection to Claire when she is mentioned in Christian's will. I expect we'll see more of Jack getting to the bottom of this mystery in new LA.

The first connection we see on the island this week is the psychic one between Hurley and the seemingly dead Jacob, who needs Hurley to help "someone find this island". We later learn this was all about helping Jack better understand his place on the island. As a way of convincing Jack to join this journey, Jacob instructs Hurley to tell him: You have what it takes. Something Jack never heard from his father. During their way, Jacks says: "I came back here because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think that this place could fix me." What if it's his job to fix the island?

During Jack and Hurley's journey, we have small connections to the other survivors coming across Shannon's abandoned inhaler and Kate herself. The obvious rift between Jack and Kate at this point is tough to watch - it's obvious Kate agreeing to follow Jack's plan to detonate the bomb was her last time following him (at least for now). She has her own mission now - to connect with Claire.

When Jack and Hurley arrive at their destination - a never-before-seen lighthouse, we see the connection between the candidates presented in a different way - as degrees on a compass. It seems Jacob used this as some sort of tool for find and tracking the candidates.

Back in the jungle, Claire has been scrapping around surviving for the past three years. Looking very Rousseau-like indeed. She has been disconnected from the rest of the survivors all these years - namely Aaron - until she finds Jin. She helps free him from an animal trap. But apparently, she's built up quite the reputation among the temple people. And she claims that Christian (her father) and her "friend" told her that the temple people have her baby. Jin tries telling Claire the truth about Aaron - that Kate was caring for him for the past three years - but after she kills another one of the temple people, he decides it's best to lie for now and try to get them back to the temple.

Questions:
  • What's the ultimate purpose of the candidates? Are they supposed to keep going until only one is left? Is the last one Jacob's successor?
  • Did Smoke Monster Locke choose Sawyer or was coming upon him in Dharmaville a coincidence?
  • Who was the young boy that Smoke Monster Locke chased into the jungle? Was he one of the kids at the temple? We know Richard couldn't see him, but Sawyer could. He has blood on his hands, but we assume it isn't his.
  • Will Ilana collecting some of Jacob's ashes have any significance?
  • By leaving the island, is Smoke Monster Locke trying to use Sawyer as some kind of vessel to return to the real world? What will they find when they get there?
  • Which Kwon is a candidate? Should we assume Jin since Sun didn't time travel with the others? But Kate did, why isn't Kate a candidate? Or Rose or Bernard?
  • What about Jack discovering a scar that he doesn't seem to remember having? Will we start seeing more clues of island life among those in new LA?