Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Daze

What a mellow holiday season it has been. Me, word weary, burnt out and gearing up for a new year - television, resting up for the second half of the season. I'll leave the television blogging to the capable and impressive hands of Televisionary, Give Me My Remote .  I've placed a self imposed vacation from blogging, bereft of ideas, sitting on the mid-season hiatus and routine fatigue. One thing that has kept me going is the fun I had at the amazing Aimee Mann Third Annual Christmas show back on December 18th at the Nokia theater in NYC. It was a cozy, tune filled evening, rocking with jokes and songs that included the melodic and humorous personalities of Mann, Nellie McKay, and Grant Lee Phillips. Comedian Paul K. Tompkins wove stand up and vaudevillian chuckles throughout this old timesy, radioshow-type show.

This isn't really television related; however, SNL's Fred Armisen performed some oddball characters on stage, and some familiar television faces, who could not attend in person, participated in a filmed version of the Aimee Mann version of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol", all placed in installments throughout the evening. Those on film were Mann's husband, singer songwriter Michael Penn as Marley, previously mentioned Paul K. Thomkins, host of VH1's "Best Week Ever", as the ghost of Christmas past, "The Office's" John Krasinski as The Ghost of Christmas Present, and actor, now comedic actor John C. Reilly as The Ghost of Christmas future. "Arrested Development's" Michael Cera (also Apatow new found icon) reluctantly played Tiny Tim with all the hatred and bitterness of a young Hollywood actor pissed at predictable stereotype casting. He's hellaciously funny.

The Christmas road show hitched their wagon up to the Tarrytown Music Hall the next night, which I had the luck to have bagged some great seats to re-live the fun in a more intimate venue, only to be kept home by a horrible winter storm - part of a treacherous new winter season - promising to be a real doozy with spring far off in the hazy future. However, in the meantime, I will look forward to Mann's next Christmas tour, but not before the buttery heat of wonderful summer befalls our weary, cracked skin and winter bones.

The film used throughout the show is up on YouTube. Here it is for all who did not see the performance...

Aimee Mann's Christmas Carol - Part 1

Part 2
Part 2/12 - Casting Tiny Tim in Aimee's Christmas Carol
Part 3
Happy New Year...

Now, back to my champagne...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SAG Award Nominations

The awards season continues to bust out at the seams with more nominations announced byanother organization that enjoys giving the creatives a good pat on the back. This time the beleaguered and almost fractured Screen Actor's Guild announced their favorite people for 2008.

Again, this is a TV centric site, so I'm posting the TV hopefuls.

And the nominees are:
PRIMETIME TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
RALPH FIENNES / Bernard Lafferty - "BERNARD AND DORIS" (HBO)
PAUL GIAMATTI / John Adams - "JOHN ADAMS" (HBO)
KEVIN SPACEY / Ron Klain - "RECOUNT" (HBO)
KIEFER SUTHERLAND / Jack Bauer - "24: REDEMPTION" (FOX)
TOM WILKINSON / Benjamin Franklin - "JOHN ADAMS" (HBO)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
LAURA DERN / Katherine Harris - "RECOUNT" (HBO)
LAURA LINNEY / Abigail Adams - "JOHN ADAMS" (HBO)
SHIRLEY MacLAINE / Coco Chanel - "COCO CHANEL" (Lifetime)
PHYLICIA RASHAD / Lena Younger - "A RAISIN IN THE SUN" (ABC)
SUSAN SARANDON / Doris Duke - "BERNARD AND DORIS" (HBO)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
MICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan - "DEXTER" (Showtime)
JON HAMM / Don Draper - "MAD MEN" (AMC)
HUGH LAURIE / Gregory House - "HOUSE" (FOX)
WILLIAM SHATNER / Denny Crane - "BOSTON LEGAL" (ABC)
JAMES SPADER / Alan Shore - "BOSTON LEGAL" (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
SALLY FIELD / Nora Walker - "BROTHERS & SISTERS" (ABC)
MARISKA HARGITAY / Det. Olivia Benson - "LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT" (NBC)
HOLLY HUNTER / Grace Hanadarko - "SAVING GRACE" (TNT)
ELISABETH MOSS / Peggy Olson - "MAD MEN" (AMC)
KYRA SEDGWICK / Dep. Chief Brenda Johnson - "THE CLOSER" (TNT)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy - "30 ROCK" (NBC)
STEVE CARELL / Michael Scott - "THE OFFICE" (NBC)
DAVID DUCHOVNY / Hank Moody - "CALIFORNICATION" (Showtime)
JEREMY PIVEN / Ari Gold - "ENTOURAGE" (HBO)
TONY SHALHOUB / Adrian Monk - "MONK" (USA)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE / Samantha Newly - "SAMANTHA WHO?" (ABC)
AMERICA FERRERA / Betty Suarez - "UGLY BETTY" (ABC)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon - "30 ROCK" (NBC)
MARY-LOUISE PARKER / Nancy Botwin - "WEEDS" (Showtime)
TRACEY ULLMAN / Various Characters - "TRACEY ULLMAN’S STATE OF THE UNION" (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
DEXTER (Showtime)
HOUSE (Fox)
MAD MEN (AMC)
THE CLOSER (TNT)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 ROCK (NBC)
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
ENTOURAGE (HBO)
THE OFFICE (NBC)
WEEDS (Showtime)

The 15th Annual SAG awards will air live on Sunday, January 25th on TBS.

SAG Strike Talk...

As an admirer of good acting, and an empathizer for those struggling actors who are not in the top 1% notables in the guild, I hope SAG gets a fair deal. However, with the economy as it is today, I fear now is not the time to strike. But that is not for me to decide, nor is it my business. I'd just hate to see colleagues out of work during this very difficult time.

SAG is splitting into various factions: West Coast versus East Coast, and actors who don't want a strike, and actors who do. Cries that AFTRA is trying to absorb SAG into one melting pot run rampant. It's all a mess. Here are the petitions on both sides.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flight of the Conchords Season Two Premiere

The boys are back! Brett and Jemaine will grace our tired flatscreens with funny, goofy sexiness come January 18th when their offical season premiere airs on HBO, bringing some New Zealand love and Murray, Mel, Doug and Dave into the mix. For those who simply cannot wait (since thanks to last year's writer's strike, we've waited enough), the people of www.funnyordie.com have exclusives rights to sneak peak the first episode from December 17th through December 21st. This a sight for sore, network weary, stunt casting tired eyes. View entire episode below:


"Flight of the Conchords" Season premiere will air Sunday, January 18th on HBO. (Go to www.hbo.com/conchords to visit the official site.),

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

This isn't specifically television related, but so many amazing stars of television and big screen participated in this hilarious tribute to Proposition 8, which was voted down in California this past election day. John C. Reilly and Jack Black put this mock community theater performance on for Funny Or Die. It's like "Where's Waldo". Can you spot the celeb? Funny. Thought provoking. I feel like I'm back in my high school drama club.


....And A Rant for Today...

Speaking of Jack Black, whom I love so very dearly since he's given me the most orgasmic laughs in my life: There is a rumor, now turned fact, that he will be guesting on the after Super Bowl episode of "The Office". He will be playing a character - not himself.

Now, I love me some Jack - but having a celeb of his fame on this show about simple, regular people is so against everything "The Office" is about that I'm - well - disappointed that they had to resort to stunt casting. It started off with a cast of unknowns, who are now as glamorized and established as the rest of them with the publicity machine turning up the heat, and the circle of friends getting sexier and exclusive. Sexy half nude pictures of Jenna, John dating a starlet like Emily Blount - we're losing them to the red carpets, sexy pictorial spreads, paparazzi snapshots and hushed rumors that are part of Hollywood fame. It was bound to happen. But now that the quality of "The Office" has decreased in the past two seasons, and the stock of it's cast members has increased, it feels as though a wonderful show is taking a hit thanks to the spoils of success. It's great that all is going well for them, but I feel the purity (and nothing is pure in L.A.) is going stale. It's the end of the innocence, so to speak.

Update: NBC has announced that Jack Black, Jessica Alba and Cloris Leachman will be guest starring in the stunt casted, star studded post Super Bowl one hour special of "The Office" on February 2nd. The big stars on board will be playing fictional characters in a bootleg movie the gang at Dunder Mifflin will be viewing. This definitely appears to be a clever move, but I'm still wary of how this will work out. Oh, "Office" - why are you forsaking me? Rick Porter of Zap2It knows of what I speak, in a recent blog that sings the blues over this latest stunt by NBC.

Monday Morning Hangover: Another SNL Controversy and Amy's Goodbye

Well, her return was a surprise and short lived. Amy Poehler, whose last show appeared to be one month ago when the birth of her son took her off the show, confirmed last Saturday this was indeed to be her last SNL. Surprising, since her reappearance the past two weeks, and the info that her NBC sitcom will most likely premiere next fall, sparked hope that she'd make it through the end of this season in my mind. Sadly that is not the case. Her announcement and goodbye was given on "Weekend Update", happily interrupted before she choked up and the tears flowed by Fred Armisend as New York Governor David Patterson, who wandered in from a previous "Update" bit where his blindness caused some funny yet awkward moments. More on that later. I'm sad to see our Amy go, but I look forward to the amazing comedy we're going to enjoy from her for years to come.


There were undoubedly the usual naysayers on this edition of SNL, not finding it funny, but I found the whole show hilarious. It's questionable whether Americans introduced to Laurie as Dr. House understand that sketch comedy is Hugh's specialty having been the second half of the Fry and Laurie comedy team years before.

Since this was the last show of the year, Christmas was in the air, and all sketches were tinged with the holiday spirit. One sketch had a family seated at dinner, yelling with pure annoyance and hatred, constantly telling one fed up family member who constantly stood to leave, "Judith...sit down!" before suddenly breaking into a sing a long of "Silent Night". A wedding sketch with Laurie as an bizarre family friend was chuckle worthy, and reminded me of Hugh's previous character incarnations on "A Bit of Fry and Laurie".

Seeing Maya Rudolph join Amy in "Bronx Beat" with their British butcher as the special guest, marveling at his "intellegent" accent was a great contribution from the old girls of SNL, both on the precipice of other things, doing these characters one last time.

Kanye West, who changed the usual backdrop of the SNL music stage into a Lite Bright electric video game as he bounced around with 80's shades singing into that microphone that distorts your voice like Cher's in "Believe". His performance was much better than I expected. I never expect much.




What I did expect was some backlash from Fred Armisen's portrayal of a bumbling blind Governor Patterson, who of course is not bumbling, but quite bright and aware of his world than this encarnation. As per Newsday, some New Yorkers felt that the sketch went "out of bounds", and perhaps it did. However, Patterson seems to be a man of good humor, and most likely can take such a dig. Yet, others strongly disagreed. The National Federation of the Blind of New York's president Carl Jacobsen stated the portrayal was a "cheap shot reaching for a cheap laugh at the expense of a whole class of people." He has a valid point, and it's a shame that SNL decided to chose Patterson's disability as the crux of the joke. But nothing is out of bounds with the show, seeing that the 2008 elections have placed it back on the map. I won't deny, I laughed the laugh of shame, shaking my head as Fred wandered back in shot, lamenting to myself through shameful giggles..."This is so bad...so bad they're doing this..."



Photos Courtesy of NBC Universal Media

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SNL: Guest Hose - Hugh Laurie

I feel like Hugh Laurie and I go way back. A fan since the mid-80's when he was well known in Britain as the second half of "A Bit Of Fry and Laurie", I've followed Hugh through stages of his career from television to film. He has made a mark in the USA for his portrayal of House in the series of the same name. Laurie has the sketch comedy chops, and his stint as guest host of SNL last year proved that he will join the special club of actor/comedians who work the live skit genre with great skill. Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlack, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, to name a few, are part of that group. Laurie takes his place in the lineup of repeat hosts in tonight's second guesting job by Laurie. (I wish Stephen Fry was somewhere in the wings ready to join him, but I guess that's a Christmas wish I won't get this year.) Musical guest is Kanye West.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Office: Moroccan Christmas

"Angela is sleeping with Dwight!" And the crowd is stunned. Phyllis is about to pull off the party of the year with ethnic flair while inflicting punishment on Angela for all her sins. Meredith's hair flamed like a flambe while wallowing in the buzz of Absinthe, other booze and Splenda , and intervention by the highly unqualified Michael sets the tone for last night's Christmas installment of The Office, "Moroccan Christmas.

This episode may not have enticed "Office" fans who are in favor of light hearted comedy, but for those of us who were dismayed by the silliness and out of character behavior of last week's Chair-Copier competition, it was a welcomed change. Not all Christmases need to be happy and bright. Although it was disturbing to see Meredith screech like a caged animal at the mention of her being an alcoholic, and have a fighting match with Michael at the rehab center, the cringe worthiness was in line with Gervais' dark vision of the original British show. Seeing Meredith's hair on fire was starling. Viewing Dwight hock a highly coveted doll to desperate Dads was evil and funny. Jim punking Dwight in the cold open was predictable, and didn't have the same bite as past pranks, however, those who hated this episode seemed to have loved seeing the old Jim/Dwight interaction. Include me on loving anything that involves Jim having a go at Dwight, but this prank felt familiar. (In season two he moved Dwight's desk to the men's room, making up a classic Halpert joke that to this day doesn't not get old).

Michael is clueless as ever as he rounds up the crowd for an intervention. He is clearly out of his depth. After years of seeing Meredith get out of control with alcohol, ultimately effecting her behavior (belly dancing and whirling like a dervish in last night's fare, and let's not forget season two's Christmas Party episode when she flashed Michael her boobs) to the point where the rest of the crew admits to her that she has a problem. Sadly, she's in denial. Alcoholism isnt' funny. It wasn't shown as funny here. The point of the humor is on Michael, his need to help people using television and dramas as his point of reference. When he applies knowledge he gained from "Intervention" on A&E or any other show he may have viewed, he finds that he's jumped into the deep end. The laughs are on him, not Meredith's condition.

It's great to have Toby back. Poor sorry sad sack Toby tries to impress his daughter by buying the highly prized unicorn doll, only to find out that Dwight sold the last one to Darryl. Begging to buy it off him, he unknowingly purchases an African American version.

The piece de resistance of the episode was the Phyllis/Angela dynamic which has been brewing ever since last season's "Goodbye Toby" finale when Mrs. Vance walked in on Martin and Schrute getting to business behind a desk. She held that secret over Angela's head, taunting her during various party planning, making Angela a slave. Angela thought Phyllis was a push over, but she pushed the wrong button. When the truth was announced to the unsuspecting group it was a surprise. We knew Phyllis had some devlish ways, but never this. I loved it. Call me evil, but I did. After years of Angela's bible thumping, critical judgements, snickering name calling (whore, hussy, office mattress, "I've seen the way you look at him" to Pam) it was karma time for Ms. Martin. The ending was heart wrenching, disturbing. Andy emerging from the breakroom as everyone knows Angela is boinking Dwight but him is sad, eliciting great sympathy for the guy. The group looks at Angela like the hussy she is as tears well in her eyes. Poor Andy. Too bad, Angela. Phyllis' actions may have been over the top to some, but for me it was retribution toward a woman who has been unfaithful to her fiance, and cold as stone to others.

Overall, it was like a eating a rich dark chocolate bar. Delicious, bitter, yet pleasing to the palate. After my disappointment with last week, to which I was in the minority (I swear I feel like either fans are forgetting the main point of this show and the characters, or I'm watching a different show), it was a fascinating bit of strangeness that may not reach the same heights of episodes past, but was indeed memorable. Indeed, it was also a nice break from Jim and Pam, whose relationship is one for celebration, but has been fraught with brief moments of angst and over the top boldness of a new Pam Beesly, whose improvement in character has made her an entirely different person. She seemed more in character here, but her talking head with Jim was so silly. Why does she need to feel she knew about the love triangle? In the past, Pam would have been joking and in shock with Jim, making an incredulous remark - not feel the need to prove she was right. I don't know where the writers are going with her. Her new assertion doesn't mean that she always has to prove her righteousness. Also, Jim's comment to Andy about "taking requests" while he played the sitar was a bit harsh, albeit chuckle worthy. In hindsight, after Angela and Dwight were outed, it seems even more jerky. So, perhaps the writers are making them less than perfect. Who knows? I'm tired of the future Halperts, and pushing them in the background was a relief. The fact it was a nice break makes me sad. They were compelling characters whose development has been a mixture of confusion (Pam), and wasted opportunity for growth in Jim.

Although The Office will not have new episodes until January, they are currently filming shows that continue into the New Year, culminating in the highly tauted one hour special after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1st.

Here's a two minute replay:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Golden Globe Nominees Announced

The Hollywood Foreign Press came out with their annual Golden Globe nominees this morning. Although they say this is a barometer on who will be getting Emmy and Oscar nods in the next year, I think it's just a big fashion show for skeletons. They seem to be kind of a joke, but hey, we love the red carpet. Since last year was a bust due to the WGA strike (their nominations came out earlier this week, scroll down to view), this year's red carpet will be an opulent mess of dresses and bones trying to out do each other.

There's Angelina Jolie at left winning a statue. I don't know what she won it for, but I actually don't care. Look at that dress! It's sending radon fumes from my monitor into my brain. The glare...

This is a blog about television comedy, more precisely, television comedy I like, with the exception of certain dramas I adore as well as talkshows; however, there are so many other programs of note (i.e. John Adams, Recount) nominated, proving that good quality television out there, just not on the major four networks.

Television Nominations: (Copied and pasted from the Golden Globes Website. You think I'm going to type all this? I have a day job, and a meeting in fifteen minutes).

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

  1. DEXTER (SHOWTIME)
    Showtime/John Goldwyn Productions/The Colleton Company/Clyde Phillips Productions
  2. HOUSE (FOX)
    Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions
  3. IN TREATMENT (HBO)
    Sheleg, Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
  4. MAD MEN (AMC)
    Lionsgate Television
  5. TRUE BLOOD (HBO)
    Your Face Goes Here Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

16. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

  1. SALLY FIELD – BROTHERS AND SISTERS
  2. MARISKA HARGITAY –LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT
  3. JANUARY JONES – MAD MEN
  4. ANNA PAQUIN – TRUE BLOOD
  5. KYRA SEDGWICK – THE CLOSER

17. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

  1. GABRIEL BYRNE – IN TREATMENT
  2. MICHAEL C. HALL – DEXTER
  3. JON HAMM – MAD MEN
  4. HUGH LAURIE – HOUSE
  5. JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS – THE TUDORS

18. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

  1. 30 ROCK (NBC)
    Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little Stranger Inc.
  2. CALIFORNICATION (SHOWTIME)
    Showtime Presents in association with Aggressive Mediocrity, And Then...
  3. ENTOURAGE (HBO)
    Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
  4. THE OFFICE (NBC)
    Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille LLC, Universal Media Studios
  5. WEEDS (SHOWTIME)
    Lionsgate Television

19.BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL

  1. CHRISTINA APPLEGATE – SAMANTHA WHO?
  2. AMERICA FERRERA – UGLY BETTY
  3. TINA FEY – 30 ROCK
  4. DEBRA MESSING – THE STARTER WIFE
  5. MARY-LOUISE PARKER – WEEDS

20. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

  1. ALEC BALDWIN – 30 ROCK
  2. STEVE CARELL – THE OFFICE
  3. KEVIN CONNOLLY – ENTOURAGE
  4. DAVID DUCHOVNY – CALIFORNICATION
  5. TONY SHALHOUB – MONK

21. BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  1. A RAISIN IN THE SUN (ABC)
    Sony Pictures Television
  2. BERNARD AND DORIS (HBO
    Trigger Street Independent Productions in association with Little Bird and Chicago Films and HBO Films
  3. CRANFORD (PBS)
    A Co-Production of BBC and WGBH Boston.
  4. JOHN ADAMS (HBO)
    Playtone in association with HBO Films
  5. RECOUNT (HBO)
    Spring Creek/Mirage Productions in association with Trigger Street Productions, Everyman Pictures and HBO Films

22. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  1. JUDI DENCH – CRANFORD
  2. CATHERINE KEENER – AN AMERICAN CRIME
  3. LAURA LINNEY – JOHN ADAMS
  4. SHIRLEY MACLAINE – COCO CHANEL
  5. SUSAN SARANDON – BERNARD AND DORIS

23. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  1. RALPH FIENNES – BERNARD AND DORIS
  2. PAUL GIAMATTI – JOHN ADAMS
  3. KEVIN SPACEY – RECOUNT
  4. KIEFER SUTHERLAND – 24: REDEMPTION
  5. TOM WILKINSON – RECOUNT

24. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  1. EILEEN ATKINS – CRANFORD
  2. LAURA DERN – RECOUNT
  3. MELISSA GEORGE – IN TREATMENT
  4. RACHEL GRIFFITHS – BROTHERS AND SISTERS
  5. DIANNE WIEST – IN TREATMENT

25. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  1. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS – HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
  2. DENIS LEARY – RECOUNT
  3. JEREMY PIVEN – ENTOURAGE
  4. BLAIR UNDERWOOD – IN TREATMENT
  5. TOM WILKINSON – JOHN ADAMS
WiFi from New York to Los Angeles are probably jammed with the calls to agents and publicists either thanking them or firing them, depending on whether or not your name was called.

It's also worth noting that the WGA announced their nominations a few days ago:

WGA TELEVISION NOMINEES

DRAMATIC SERIES

Dexter, Written by Scott Buck, Daniel Cerone, Charles H. Eglee, Adam E. Fierro, Lauren Gussis, Clyde Phillips, Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, Tim Schlattmann; Showtime

Friday Night Lights, Written by Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Brent Fletcher, Jason Gavin, Carter Harris, Elizabeth Heldens, David Hudgins, Jason Katims, Patrick Massett, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, John Zinman; NBC

Lost, Written by Carlton Cuse, Drew Goddard, Adam Horowitz, Christina M. Kim, Edward Kitsis, Damon L. Lindelof, Greggory Nations, Kyle Pennington, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Brian K. Vaughan; ABC

Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Jane Anderson, Rick Cleveland, Kater Gordon, David Isaacs, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Marti Noxon, Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner; AMC

The Wire, Written by Ed Burns, Chris Collins, David Mills, David Simon, William F. Zorzi, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos; HBO

COMEDY SERIES

30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Andrew Guest, Matt Hubbard, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Ron Weiner; NBC

Entourage, Written by Doug Ellin, Jeremy Miller, Ally Musika, Steve Pink, Rob Weiss; HBO

The Office, Written by Steve Carell, Jennifer Celotta, Greg Daniels, Lee Eisenberg, Anthony Farrell, Brent Forrester, Dan Goor, Charlie Grandy, Mindy Kaling, Ryan Koh, Lester Lewis, Paul Lieberstein, Warren Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Michael Schur, Aaron Shure, Justin Spitzer, Gene Stupnitsky, Halsted Sullivan; NBC

The Simpsons, Written by J. Stewart Burns, Daniel Chun, Joel H. Cohen, Kevin Curran, John Frink, Tom Gammill, Stephanie Gillis, Dan Greaney, Reid Harrison, Al Jean, Billy Kimball, Tim Long, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Bill Odenkirk, Carolyn Omine, Don Payne, Michael Price, Max Pross, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, Matt Warburton, Jeff Westbrook, Marc Wilmore, William Wright; Fox

Weeds, Written by Roberto Benabib, Mark A. Burley, Ron Fitzgerald, David Holstein, Rolin Jones, Brendan Kelly, Jenji Kohan, Victoria Morrow, Matthew Salsberg; Showtime

NEW SERIES

Breaking Bad, Written by Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Patty Lin, George Mastras, J Roberts; AMC

Fringe, Written by JJ Abrams, Jason Cahill, Julia Cho, David H. Goodman, Felicia Henderson, Brad Caleb Kane, Alex Kurtzman, Darin Morgan, J.R. Orci, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Zack Whedon; Fox

In Treatment, Written by Rodrigo Garcia, Bryan Goluboff, Davey Holmes, William Meritt Johnson, Amy Lippman, Sarah Treem; HBO

Life on Mars, Written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Becky Hartman Edwards, David Wilcox, Adele Lim, Bryan Oh, Tracy McMillan, Sonny Postiglione, Phil M. Rosenberg, Meredith Averill; ABC

True Blood, Written by Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Nancy Oliver, Chris Offutt; HBO

EPISODIC DRAMA - any length - one airing time

“Don’t Ever Change” (House), Written by Doris Egan & Leonard Dick; Fox

“Double Booked” (Burn Notice), Written by Craig O’Neill & Jason Tracey; USA

“Gray Matter” (Breaking Bad), Written by Patty Lin; AMC

“Pilot” (Breaking Bad), Written by Vince Gilligan; AMC

“Pilot” (Eli Stone), Written by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim; ABC

“There’s Something About Harry” (Dexter), Written by Scott Reynolds; Showtime

EPISODIC COMEDY - any length - one airing time

“Believe in the Stars” (30 Rock), Written by Robert Carlock; NBC

“Cooter” (30 Rock), Written by Tina Fey; NBC

“Crime Aid” (The Office), Written by Charlie Grandy; NBC

“Crush’d” (Ugly Betty), Written by Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally; ABC

“Succession” (30 Rock), Written by Andrew Guest & John Riggi; NBC

“Vote for This and I Promise to Do Something Crazy at the Emmys” (My Name is Earl), Written by Greg Garcia; NBC

LONG FORM - ORIGINAL - over one hour - one or two parts, one or two airing times

An American Crime, Written by Tommy O’Haver & Irene Turner; Showtime

“Pilot” (Fringe), Written by JJ Abrams & Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci; Fox

Recount, Written by Danny Strong; HBO

LONG FORM - ADAPTATION - over one hour - one or two parts, one or two airing times

Generation Kill, “Episode 6,” Teleplay by Ed Burns, Story by David Simon & Ed Burns, Based on the book by Evan Wright; “Episode 7,” Teleplay by David Simon, Story by David Simon & Ed Burns, Based on the book by Evan Wright; HBO

John Adams, “Episode 1, Join or Die,” Teleplay by Kirk Ellis, Based on the book by David McCullough; “Episode 2, Independence,” Teleplay by Kirk Ellis, Based on the book by David McCullough; HBO

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Teleplay by John Pielmeier, Based on the book by Kim Edwards; Lifetime

ANIMATION - any length - one airing time

“Apocalypse Cow” (The Simpsons), Written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox

“The Debarted” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox

“E Pluribus Wiggum” (The Simpsons), Written by Michael Price; Fox

“Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words” (The Simpsons), Written by Tim Long; Fox

“Life: A Loser’s Manual” (King of the Hill), Written by Dan McGrath; Fox

“Strangeness on a Train” (King of the Hill), Written by Jim Dauterive; Fox

COMEDY/VARIETY - (INCLUDING TALK) SERIES

Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Writers Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Dan Cronin, Kevin Dorff, Daniel J. Goor, Michael Gordon, Berkley Johnson, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Matt O'Brien, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg; NBC

Late Show with David Letterman, Head Writers Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel, Writers Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Steve Young, Tom Ruprecht, Lee Ellenberg, Matt Roberts, Jeremy Weiner, Joe Grossman, Bill Scheft, Bob Borden, Frank Sebastiano, David Letterman; CBS

Real Time with Bill Maher, Writers Bill Maher, Billy Martin, Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Danny Vermont; HBO

Saturday Night Live, Head Writers Seth Meyers, Andrew Steele, Paula Pell, Writers Doug Abeles, James Anderson, Alex Baze, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Charlie Grandy, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, John Lutz, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Paula Pell, Simon Rich, Marika Sawyer, Akiva Schaffer, Robert Smigel, John Solomon, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Kent Sublette, Jorma Taccone, Bryan Tucker, Additional Sketches by Robert Carlock; NBC

The Colbert Report, Head Writers Allison Silverman, Tom Purcell, Rich Dahm, Writers Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Peter Groz, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Laura Krafft, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Meredith Scardino; Comedy Central

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Head Writer Steve Bodow, Writers Rory Albanese, Rachel Axler, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Tim Carvell, Wyatt Cenac, J.R. Havlan, DJ Javerbaum, Rob Kutner, Josh Lieb, Sam Means, John Oliver, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS

2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Written by Billy Kimball, Aaron Lee, Jennifer Celotta, Rainn Wilson; IFC/AMC

Jimmy Kimmel’s Big Night of Stars, Written by Jimmy Kimmel, Gary Greenberg, Molly McNearney, Bryan Paulk, Ned Rice, Jon Bines, Will Burke, Rick Rosner, Jake Lentz, Sal Iacono, Tony Barbieri; ABC

DAYTIME SERIALS

As the World Turns, Written by Jean Passanante, Leah Laiman, Courtney Simon, Lisa Connor, David A. Levinson, Peter Brash, Richard Culliton, Susan Dansby, Cheryl Davis, Leslie Nipkow; CBS

One Life to Live, Written by Ron Carlivati, Carolyn Culliton, Elizabeth Page, Aida Croal, Shelly Altman, Janet Iacobuzio, Christopher Van Etten, Anna Theresa Cascio; ABC

CHILDREN'S EPISODIC & SPECIALS

“Elmo's Christmas Countdown” (Sesame Workshop), Written by Joey Mazzarino; ABC

“Spencer's 18th Birthday” (South of Nowhere), Written by Arika Lisanne Mittman; The “N”

“The Un-Party” (Imagination Movers), Written by Scott Gray; Disney Channel

CHILDRENS SCRIPT- LONG FORM OR SPECIAL

“Polar Bears” (The Naked Brothers Band), Written by Polly Draper; Nickelodeon

DOCUMENTARY - CURRENT EVENTS

“Bush's War: Part One” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk; PBS

Depression: Out of the Shadows, Written by Larkin McPhee; PBS

“Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” (NOVA), Written by Joseph McMaster; PBS

“Rules of Engagement” (Frontline), Written by Arun Rath; PBS

“The Medicated Child” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria; PBS

DOCUMENTARY - OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil & The Presidency, Written by Carl Byker; PBS

“Kit Carson” (American Experience), Written by Michelle Ferrari; PBS

“Secrets of the Parthenon” (NOVA), Written by Gary Glassman; PBS

The Jewish Americans, Episode Two: "The Best of Times, The Worst of Times (1924-1945),” Written by David Grubin; PBS

The Truth About Cancer, Written by Linda Garmon; PBS

NEWS - REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT

ABC Weekend News, Written by Joel Siegel, Karen Mooney, David Muir; ABC

“Up to the Minute” (CBS News), Written by Matt Nelko; CBS

NEWS - ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“Exonerated” (60 Minutes), Written by Tom Anderson and Jenny Dubin; CBS

“Show Me the Love: Amazing Pen Pal Connection” (Good Morning America), Written by Raquel Hecker; ABC

“The Warren Buffett Challenge: Are the Rich Taxed Enough?” (Good Morning America), Written by Lisa Ferri; ABC

“Yankee Stadium and the New Gilded Age” (Bill Moyers Journal), Writers Bill Moyers & Michael Winship; PBS

RADIO NOMINEES

DOCUMENTARY

Black History Month, Written by Anthony J. McHugh; CBS

NEWS - REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING

Edmund Hillary Obituary, Written by Steven Gosset; CBS

Passages, Written by Gail Lee; CBS

Paul Harvey News, Written by Stu Chamberlain; ABC

The Passing of George Carlin, Written by Thomas A. Sabella; CBS

World News This Week, Written by Marianne J. Pryor; ABC

NEWS - ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY

Katie Couric’s Notebook, Written by Paul Farry; CBS

Our Fathers’ Magic Carpet, Written by Mike Silverstein; ABC

The Happy Birthday Controversy, Written by Joel Siegel, John Cochran; ABC

Tributes, Written by Gail Lee; CBS

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday's Lament for Thursday

I've got to admit it. I'm not feeling it for "The Office" these days. It's like the light has been turned off. I'm no longer in love. This is actually a relief because my infatuation with this show has been tiring. It's just a television show, but the world of Dunder Mifflin drew me in like a vacuum. Their drudgery was my life. Jim was the guy that I always wanted to marry, and Pam was the girl I could understand, what with her lack of confidence, the kindness for others, the bite in her humor, and the pranks. The girl ruled.

However, characters are changing, the pacing is different, the fan boards are barking against people like me who think Ms. Beesly has become another person. Long time viewers are claiming this is the best season since season two, which dumbfounds me. It's been the opposite. The writers are suffering from fatigue and it feels like Ben Silverman is telling them to pump up the contrivance, pump up the silliness and pump up the volume of Pam's hair. "30 Rock" is now my drink of choice. No emotional attachment to characters, just plain zany fluff and fun with a dash of heart. But having said that, tomorrow is Thursday's hour of power comedy. Despite NBC's strange decision regarding Leno and the line up of daily talkshows, killing off hours of potential scripted television, "The Office" was the number one comedy of the week, gaining viewership and kicking butt in the 18-49 demographic. That's what matters. Not my bellyaching.

Tomorrow's episode of "The Office" is called Moroccan Christmas. As per the promos, Phyllis is decking the halls Moroccan style, testing Angela's patience as she ditches the tree and swipes baby Jesus into a drawer. Meredith suddenly combusts, her hair aflame. After all, what's Christmas without the annual Yule Meredith glowing by the tree?

"The Office: Moroccan Christmas" airs Thursday night on the beleagued and almost be-feathered NBC at 9pm EST/8pm CST.











"30 Rock's" episode on Thursday is "Christmas Special". Liz's parents decide to go to a couples-only retreat for Christmas, leaving her alone for the holidays. To fill the loneliness, our gal Lemon participates in a children's charity. Jack Donaghy, trying to get the hell away from his overbearing mother Colleen has his plans foiled....again! The cast of TGS change their Christmas plans to prepare a big Holiday Special.

The amazing, fabulous, perfectly cast Elaine Stritch makes her usual guest appearance as Jack Donaghy's mother - all vinegar and spice and everthing sarcastic. Oh, how I love this woman!

"30 Rock: Christmas Special" will air on Thursday at 9:30pm EST/8:30pm CST.

Ho...Ho...Ho....

(Photos courtesy of NBC Universal Media)

Monday, December 8, 2008

NBC Gives Leno 10pm Timeslot


The New York Times is reporting NBC will announce on Tuesday that Jay Leno will be given the 10pm timeslot for a new show. This was announced after comments by Jeff Zucker at a UBS conference indicated the network was considering cutting prime time programming by several hours a week.

This move will prevent Leno from leaving the peacock network for a competitor (ABC was a contender), and provide a standard pre-affiliate news lead in. This should make the O&O stations happy. Stripping a first run talk show in prime time's 10pm slot, usually occupied by drama or reality, with a host of Leno's stature, is a first. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/business/media/09leno.html?_r=1&hp.)

Jimmy Fallon Gearing Up for "Late Night"

When Jimmy Fallon was announced as the "Late Night" successor to Conan O'Brien earlier this year, eyebrows furrowed and a chorus of "Huh?" spread out across the land like wild fire. His name had been bandied about as a possible replacement for O'Brien, but once it was confirmed, there were cries of despair. Was he up to the task? Would he be talkshow host material? Would viewers who found him annoying be won over?

It also confirmed what was now the inevitable to "Late Night" fans - especially those of us who dwell in New York: Conan is leaving us for Hollywood. The east coast boy is going out west, replacing Jay Leno, the top rated host of the top rated "Tonight Show". It was painful. Maybe I'm just jealous. I wish Executive Producer Jeff Ross would remember me from all those years ago at Broadway Video, hire me, and take me along. But either way, it's going to be hard to see Conan replaced by anyone, much less Fallon.

I'd like to see what Jimmy can do. Expectations on his debut are fraught with doubt, but that's nothing new. When Conan was announced as Letterman's replacement back in 1993, he was a total unknown entity. A comedy writer for the Simpsons and SNL, he would occasionally appear as a background character on the Saturday show. His first few years of hosting "Late Night" were a constant wait and see experiment. O'Brien's toe touched the line of failure many times, with one sharp move surely to send him over the edge into cancelation; yet, as cooler heads prevailed, allowing his style and humor to take root and build a following, he claimed his stake in the talk show landscape. A whole generation of college students and comedy fans grew up laughing with O'Brien despite his rough start. So, you never know what time and patience by the network and fans will bring to Fallon.

The dye is already cast: Fallon is behind the scenes ramping up for his new hosting duties, which will begin on NBC March 2nd. NBC .com will be getting him started with a video blog starting tonight at 12:30am, (www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com). It will provide a behind the scenes look into the new Late Night, providing Fallon with a virtual introduction process, giving viewers a taste of his style, and what to expect. He does have some big shoes to fill, but he has to start somewhere. I'm kind of rooting for Jimmy, but I'm really going to miss Conan. Badly. It won't be the same without him on "Late Night", and seeing him on "The Tonight Show" won't make that any better.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

SNL: Guest Host - John Malkovich and Poehler Surprise

Tonight's Live with guest host John Malkovich and musical guest T.I. Malkovich is currently starring in "The Changeling".




Update: I will admit that whenever SNL is on, depending on the host, I watch the first fifteen minutes, then start to wander around the room while it glows in the background. I surf the internet, create a new playlist on iTunes and start figuring out how long I'm going to stay up. Yes, I have no life.

Last Saturday's SNL was no different. I remember Malkovich reading "T'was The Night Before Christmas" to kids, and recall a somewhat funny sketch about twin brothers freaking out over getting a calculator for Christmas. But the main event was the return of Amy Poehler. It's not clear if she will return for limited appearances, but who cares? There she was as Hillary Clinton, in all her wigged out, jaw clenching glory. Viewing her back in the Weekend Update seat was a sight for sore eyes. It will be sad to finally see her go. If that was her final appearance, then I'm glad it's on NBC.com to savor.


Friday, December 5, 2008

"30 Rock: Reunion"


"Suck on it you whittling iHop monkies! Lemon Out!"

If Pam Beesly's bitchiness has emerged from the depth of her passive aggressive soul, then I'm pleased to celebrate the evil bitchery that is Liz Lemon. This is bitchery I can believe in because Liz is me, and I am Liz, and I can relate to pouring on the vinegar just to get by. Last night's episode entitled "Reunion" hit the spot with some good time memories for Liz that aren't quite as she remembers them. Also, Don Geiss wakes up from his coma to name himself the CEO of GE forever, and Jack tries to skulk away to Florida to wallow in a bevy of babes, only to end up in snowy White Haven, PA with Liz, back home for her twenty year high school reunion. "I want to go to there" has already been heavily quoted by the watercoolers of blogs alike, but I have to add it here. Yes. I want to go to there too. This show will never not rock.

It appears that not only was Liz a big time, overweight geek (as expressed by Jack above) with braces and a short hair perm, but she was a snarky aggressor who frightened all the popular kids with cutting remarks and giant sized insults that cut them so bad, they needed therapy. Svelte, sassy successful Liz sashayed her way into the party like she was walking onto a yacht (as the song goes), thinking she's the bomb, only to realize the stares and glares are of hatred. Jack is mistaken for Larry Braverman, the popular cool kid from way back, and plays along, only to end up playing Seven Minutes in Heaven in a closet with Liz, ultimately saving her from being "Carrie-d", all ending up in a get-a-way when his pretend former girlfriend introduces him to "their son".

Back at the homestead, Kenneth is stealing laughs in the elevator from the real comedians. Since our favorite Page has apparently taken on the job of comedian, Jenna and Tracy switch jobs by giving tours and being Kenneth in all his southern baptist weirdo glory.


"30 Rock airs on NBC on Thursdays at 9:30am EST/8:30pm CST

Two Minute Replay:

"The Office: The Surplus": Team Copier!

Put me in, Coach Halpert and Coach Martinez. I am firmly a member of your team. There is nothing worse than having to make last minute copies for a meeting, only to have the dumb copier jam or ripple your paper. I can deal with a less than stellar chair as long as it holds me up, but if my boss asks ten minutes before a meeting with the board for twenty stapled copies, and the Canon in the print room spits out nothing in defiance, I'll take one of those crappy chairs Pam keeps bitching about and throw it out over eighth avenue, past the stunt climbers who scale the walls of my office building, straight onto the rooftop of Port Authority, and don't think I won't. Ok, maybe I wont. But I'll have the burning desire.

Fandom on the internet is exploding with gushing love for this episode. I was bothered by this one.  In my view, last night's “The Surplus” was a weird and wooly offshoot of bizarre world that resembled its old self only in the office togetherness the copier-chair competition provided.  There were lots of strange, over the top moments that felt like The Office; however, this show will always feel different to me. I guess that's the after effects of Jim and Pam's gloriously uniting.  Or, perhaps it's just the writers, in their attempt to make Pam a new confident being in love with the man who gives her everything, are losing the concept of Pam's character, making her into a nagging, annoying anti-Pam.

Still there were some jolly times. With a $4,300 dollar surplus in the branch's budget, Michael announces the good news to the team at Dunder Mifflin that it’s theirs for the spending. They immediately split up into two factions: Team Copier - which consists of Oscar and Jim, who has avoided asking Pam to make copies for him since they've started dating, so he's had to toil over the crappy, hungry piece of hulking crap that calls itself a copier; and Team Chair - headed up by...what's this? Pam not playing on the same side of the team with Jim? Jim is thankfully not too badly whipped, and holds his ground.  The two separate factions kiss Michael's ass in ways close to prostitution in the minds of the DM drones, whose level of tolerance for Michael's thin skin and need for attention is ultra low to begin with.  Pam leads the comfy chair people, the team who needs to sink their butts into lumbar support while they answer phones, do crosswords and play Solitaire. She butters up Michael with a girly sexyness she never would have used back in the day since it humiliated her- a trait in which she held our sympathy and admiration.  Kiss that Pam goodbye.  I guess her sex appeal is the reward for "Fanciness".   Jim and Oscar make Michael feel like 'da man' by taking him out for lunch where Italian deserts are brought back as a Halpert peace offering to the viperess Ms. Beesly, who dumps it in a trash can.  Ef you, Pam.  Hey, Halpert, does Team Copier sell tee shirts?  


Meanwhile in the land of Schrute, Angela and Andy visit Dwight’s sprawling beet farm to plan their wedding. It’s the same story. Dwight is as proud as a rooster, clucking around his own farm, knowing that he still holds Angela since he’s still doing her behind Andy’s back. Andy – that sweet bozo face, that guileless, prone to anger man – is clueless. It’s to a point where I actually hate Dwight and Angela. There is no compassion culled for these two as Dwight snickers behind Andy’s back while Angela sneaks over to the Schrute barn for sex at night. But I digress. The sneaky wedding by Dwight, which ran Angela firmly into the arms of Andy in broad office daylight, was way too over the top for my taste. The best part of the whole scenario was the German Amish Reverend. He was cute, and so “There Will Be Blood-ish” with his puritan aura.


Michael was on his game. Can Carell do no wrong? What about that ass dance out the door? The need to ask Hank the security guard for his opinion, only to throw him out when he took his sweet time to figure things out? All were joyfully funny. Oscar is gaining new ground as a prominent player in this show, and I love it. He adds rational thought to Michael’s childish view with exasperation and subtle humor. May Oscar find that man of his dreams. He was too good for Gil.

Ok, back to Pam. Can someone please let me know what happened to her? She left for New York back in September (or in Dunder Mifflin world - July), and this other person who calls herself Pam came back and became a thoroughly annoying bitch. 

This isn’t Pam. I’m sorry fan sites who snark over fans like me who don’t enjoy this new incarnation. This isn’t the Pam I had hoped to see. I’m not a staunch feminist, but I found it distasteful for her to claim that “Since I’ve been here, I’ve had two engagement rings and only one chair”, implying that she’s bagged two men giving them the sexy frizzy haired, understated Pam charm, but can’t get a damn new chair. So new sexy Beesly, fresh from the hot streets of NYC, juts out her boobage,  jujjes up her hair and paints on the lipstick to use what the good Lord gave her to get her way. Wow. That was hilarious to everyone, I bet. Not to me. It negated all the pain Pam went through all those years of covering herself with cardigans and blouses, skirting old man glares from Creed, off color remarks from Michael and boob jokes, only to tart herself up to get her way…to get CHAIRS. The fact that it didn’t specifically work was good comedy, but it came with a bad taste. Shouting for Michael to “show his ass” didn’t ring true with me. I hear a chorus of "lighten ups" and eyerolls from the internet. But I don't care. But to quote the Pam I used to love, "I am what I am....that's Popeye".

The final scene worked for me. Not only was Jim's kiss extremely hot, it upped the ante, and Pam will enjoy a lovely afternoon trying to copy four collated stapled sets, which should take twenty seconds on a new copier, but will take her at least an hour on this useless husk of a machine. Enjoy your new chair, Pam!

Can someone explain how the chairs won out?

I love competition in sports, but my tolerance for competitive sitcom scenarios with known allies suddenly pitted against each other is really low. I’m even bothered during episodes of “I Love Lucy” when the Mertz’s and the Ricardo’s fight, so I’m pretty bad with going with the flow on this storyline.


Next week’s episode is “Moroccan Christmas”. Apparently Meredith’s hair goes up in flames. Oh Jeebus have mercy on your birthday.

"The Office: Moroccan Christmas" airs on NBC Thursday December 11th at 9pm EST/8pm CST.

NBC Two Minute Replay:




Photos courtesy of www.such-a-dork.com. (Thank You!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...

With the exception of "Later With Jools Holland" and the "Austin City Limits", music television with smart interview and performance is hard to come by these days. Elvis Costello, a legend in the world of post punk exploration, a chameleon in music style with a flair for humor and a gift for chat, has a been a ripe personality for the talk show picking. After being courted by various producers to head up his own talker, he's found his niche in “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…” which premiered last night on The Sundance Channel with Sir Elton John as guest. It was a remarkable hour of in depth, honest discussion about the music that inspired both Sir Elton and Elvis alike, as well as the ways of the music industry, the power of image, the luck and the unsung heroes (such as Laura Nyro and David Ackles) who never reached the same height of fame, but were important influences to their own style. In this installment, Costello graciously lent his own common experiences with John for lively discussion with pitch perfect pacing and comfort in the role of interviewer. Indeed, Sir Elton, whose own gift of gab is legendary, was insightful, playful and meaningful. It’s probably the best interview I’ve ever seen with him, and I attribute this to Costello’s natural ability to drive good conversation. The intimate atmosphere between the talking heads and the audience is a pleasing concoction as well.

Musical performance and interview were interwoven throughout the hour with Costello sharing the stage with Sir John in a jam of various songs written by noteworthy personal influences. I presume Costello will join his musical guests in performance going forward.

Much like “Inside The Actor’s Studio”, Costello’s new show is funny, riveting and definitely a must see, must DVR kind of show. It’s interesting to note that “Spectacle” came to fruition thanks to David Furnish, Sir Elton’s partner. He approached Costello with a Canadian producer who envisioned the perfect show for the singer’s sensibilities and style. Elton also had an important role in championing the show, so producing him as first guest was a nice touch.

Other guests to grace Elvis’ stage will be President Bill Clinton, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright, The Police to name just a few. The schedule of shows and guest can be found on www.elviscostello.com/splash/.

“Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…airs on the Sundance Channel on Wednesdays at 9:00pm EST.