Friday, May 29, 2009

Tonight Show: Part 2

Awww, that was a nice Tonight Show goodbye to Jay. I feel bad about my candor in the previous post. Good Luck, Jay. See you Monday night, Conan.

New York Times "Leno Take Final Bow on Tonight Show"

The Tonight Show: Dear Jay...

I like you, I really do. You're affable, decent, entertaining. There is not a nasty bone in your body. But I hate to say this. I hardly watched your Tonight Show. When it came to the 11:35pm timeslot, I was a Letterman girl. Yet, for pre-bedtime viewing, I've even forsaken my old late night buddy for a dose of Stephen Colbert before I turn off the light and roll over.

Now don't take this the wrong way, but I adored Johnny, and wanted Dave to succeed him. As much as I admire you, I never took you seriously as the host of the longest running night time talkshow. For decades it was led by a list of television legends. Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Johnny Carson - they broke the concrete for the late night talk show medium, re-definining it with each decade, adding edginess, intelligence, sophistication, controversy and silliness with each turn of the commercial break, each guest spot, each sketch. They were hip, smooth, smokey and sly with a good boy, middle America sense of the everyman.

Not that you don't share the same, it's just that your jokes relied on the yuk-yuk side of humor. And, well, comedy is subjective. Your monologues meant well. They appealed to a vast viewership, but I found them average. Your need to please was all too palpable. Your style more loud than stylish. What Johnny made smooth, you made digestible for mass consumption. What Johnny made hip, you transitioned into a colorful Hollywood circus. Careers were born on his show. I'm not really sure whose career was made on yours. The strange thing is - Hugh Grant and his starring role as embarrassed actor - sort of made you. When he came on to answer to all the talk about soliciting a prostitute, your ratings soared beyond Dave's and never looked back.

I've had some brushes with Jay-ness. I ran into you at Universal Studios while doing a stint for "Jay Walking". It was a nice highlight in a featureless trip to Los Angeles. Back in the old Late Night Letterman days, I once rode a west side elevator with you at 30 Rock. You had a box of props in your hands. Riding your way up to the 14th floor, preparing to guest on his show, I could sense the ideas clicking in your head. Those were good days - when you two were in cahoots. Competition and ambition can change people, I guess.

Your last show airs tonight. It doesn't feel the same as when Johnny bowed out. It just feels just what it is - you're moving from 11:35pm to 10:00pm now. It's not that I can't wait for you to leave, it's just that I miss Conan something fierce, and the sooner he takes over, the happier I'll be. Nothing personal. Friends?

Still, congrats are in order for seventeen years of The Tonight Show. Good Luck with 10pm!

Conan will be appearing tonight on Jay's final Tonight Show. He takes over as host on Monday, June 1st.

Let the Conan era commence...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Comedians I Love Featured in the NYTimes

Our website (NYTimes.com, my day job - not this blog) has previewed some cool features on comedians, one from Sunday's Magazine. I hold them near and dear to my tormented, twisted, laughing heart.

The Making of Zack Galifianakis
New York Times Sunday Magazine


New Video Game? Who You Gonna Call?
New York Times, Arts & Leisure


Read yourself silly.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Party Down: Season Finale

Due to the weekend haze that came upon me this past Memorial Day, the season finale of Party Down temporarily washed clean from my memory like the Naval whites of our NYC Fleet Week visitors. But it happened, and I watched. And I loved.

It's easy to see why the new Starz comedy, featuring a bunch of Hollywood dreamers surviving on minimum wage at the L.A. catering firm "Party Down", has become the coolest show to watch. The humor is not only sharp, but the cast is phenomenal. It enjoys the cool, effortless comedic timing of Jane Lynch, who due to her commitment with Fox to co-star in the new series Glee, was replaced late season by the flighty and fabulous Jennifer Coolidge. Adam Scott, with his slack eyed sexiness, maintains a vibe of hopelessness as Henry Pollard, the former actor who gives up on his dreams while dragging his past glory as a beer pitchman on his back like a cross. He leans on Casey Klein (played by cute Lizzy Caplan) with the hope that love will keep him going, but as a down on her luck comedian, her heart is focused on career success. Ryan Hansen as Kyle Bradway enlivens the archetype California blond guy bound to become famous in some surfer slacker reality show, and Martin Starr is perfect as the dry, sci-fi geek screenwriter hopeful Roman Debeers, who will most likely be bumming it out in a studio writers room, brainstorming sketches or breaking stories for an A-list comedic film star one day.

But I save my person favorite for last. Ken Marino as Ron Donald is a sweet, yet complicated character - in the same vein as Michael Scott. Once a hard living party animal nerd, we find Ron in a state of stoic redemption, passionately striving to be the consummate manager. He endeavors to please, but often fails. Ron stands apart from the rest of the Party Down staff. For them, the job is a time killer for a paycheck. They dwell in a lackluster haze, out doing each other in personal dramas and ambition, orbiting around Ron in a state of de-attachment. Yet, Party Down is Ron's life, his career. After all, there's that SoupR Restaurant franchise he wants to own one day. Marino harnesses sympathy much like Carell. It lives in his pores. He can make you laugh while laying in his own vomit, or crying in a closet, but you know there is something profound there.

No word on season two just yet, but it's due to happen. Co-creators/writers Rob Thomas and John Enbom (along with Paul Rudd and others) didn't anticipate how successful the show would be, so the cast ensemble needs to be confirmed, but all in good time.

Here's a snippet from Party Down, season one:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Breaking Bad

Sunday's episode of Breaking Bad has been haunting me: Jesse spiraling further into the heroine abyss, Walt's torment for his partner's addiction. Daddy's little girl being born. Daddy's little girl being bad. Daddy's little girl dieing.

Perhaps I'm getting as hardened as Walter White. Indeed, it was horrid to watch Jane die. However, in the context of this story, it had to be done. She welcomed Jesse to heroine, joining their use like it was a grand romantic bond. This was hard to take. Claiming a stake in the money stash she had no right to claim was as infuriating to me, the viewer, as it was to Walt. Her death keeps Walt's dark secret alive. Her death sets Jesse free.

Major props to Krysten Ritter, whose beauty and sensitivity to the role made you love Jane, hate Jane, and mourn Jane. Aaron Paul's portrayal of Jesse continues to floor me. He really deserves an Emmy. Seriously.

Walter's paternal love for Jesse adds more texture to their multi-layered relationship. It's beautiful and sad, tragic and exasperating. Walter's own son doesn't even share this type of bond. Walter Jr. and Walt are de-attached beings, existing in a family tree that's rotten to the core. Yet, Jesse is part of his dark secret life, the personal "self" he perpetuates with mind games and driving ambition, infused with near death instances and violent scenes, dipping their toes in murder, facing death in Tuco's face. What cultivated from this web of deceit was empathy for Jesse, an uncle-like care for his welfare that went beyond business. What do you make of that? It's a bittersweet discovery.

And baby Holly was finally born. I'll wager a guess that Ted Beneke will be taking care of that child by the time this show ends. That is - if he stays out of white crime jail or avoids death.

Next week is the season finale, and somebody else is going to die. Cannot wait.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Taking Chance will be aired on HBO this weekend. Please watch this incredibly moving film.

HBO FIlms: Taking Chance


We'll never forget.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Photo of Conan, like the cool one below, courtesy of New York Times

Memorial Day Weekend is here. There is a pool that awaits me, martinis with my name on it, and comedy, possibly at UCB, in my future. Unless I'm watching 30 Rock reruns (now broadcasting in the background), or my DVD's of Mr. Show come in the mail, TV's a definite no these next few days. Summer has arrived. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Conan O'Brien Has Re-Located

Photo courtesy of New York Times
NYT Magazine Article: Heeeeere's Conan!

Conan's in Los Angeles. Say it isn't so, but it is. Twelve more days until he premieres on The Tonight Show. I'm happy for his promotion, but my New York heart is breaking. Guess I'm going to have to move to California now. Wild fires and earthquakes notwithstanding.






The Colbert Report: Stephen Keith

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Difference Makers - Stephen Keith
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage

Glee

Think Friday Day Nights meets Disney's High School Musical, and you have Glee, Fox's new dramedy that premiered last night on Fox. Strange brew since it's a combo of two types of shows that are polar opposites in story, character and theme - but the usual teenage angst flows. It follows the trials, tribulation and acne cream world of a high school Glee Club intent on making waves among the Glee Clubs of other schools that compete in national competition. Although filled with some heart, it carries the usual archetypes of school nerds versus the mean jock conceit, the gay boy and the wheelchair bound geek, but there is a satirical edge, with underdog yearnings that no doubt will be rewarded with glory in a blaze of sparkling song and dance numbers.

The group of young singers plucked from teenage land are remarkably accomplished for adolescents in one school alone. However, Rachel, played by Lea Michele, is a show stopper, sporting amazing vocal chops and major ambition, lamenting to her teacher and Glee Club coach Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morris) that she wanted to be "Somebody" before her school days are over. I just kept thinking, honey - go on some auditions, who cares about these pimply, narcisistic idiots? Most of those cheerleaders are going to be disgruntled Botox'd injected divorcees hitting on their sons' friends at their graduation parties. You'll be on Broadway. Give it time.

Nevertheless, there is some sweetness laced within the usual predictable story lines. Will Schuester is married to his high school sweetheart. The wifey is ambitious in her mid-range sales person job at a linen store. She's deliberately everything that's wrong. Overly sweet. She's pert. Cloying. Loves to flash the plastic and believes she deserves to shop 'til she drops. Now she's pregnant - which makes Will question his job choice since finances aren't so good when your wife buys three wood carved toilet cleaners from Pottery Barn and keeps a "Christmas Closet" in her house filled with newly purchased crap. You know they're done. Meanwhile, Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), fellow teacher and germ fetishist has a major crush on Will, has befriended him, and is showing signs of being the better girl by saying all the right things. I think you get the picture.

Still, very sweet show. It's for the Disney and American Idol lover in you.

Last night's Glee pilot was a one time peek. It won't be returning to Fox's schedule until Fall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How I Met Your Mother Season Finale

Here's my shout out to the wonderful season finale of How I Met Your Mother last night. It was an episode of leaps of faith that defied the fear of plunging into the abyss. Ted's story with the surprise party, his dedication to a lame career boosting project, and the goal fight, really hit home for me. Sometimes you are so stuck on an old goal, an old vision, you begin to hate everything in your life. You have to change something, make that jump despite being frightened of the consequences, frightened of leaving your comfort zone, and frightened of abandoning a dream you're used to chasing, but had grown out of long ago. Thanks to Marshall's sudden decision to make his own jump across the precipice, and Lily's sage wisdom (mixed with eye rolls of snark), the message of this episode really put some thought in my mind. Seriously. This show. A sitcom I watch only occasionally, really made me think.

Barney and Robin's funny "Mosby" tango was also a great plunge into fearful territory, admitting their love, yet not admitting it. How I adore Neil Patrick Harris and his Barney ways.

I guess we are only seeing the beginning of how everyone's mother's were met. More to come next season.

Monday, May 18, 2009

ABC's Comedy Announcements

Warning: There will be subjective whines and snarkiness here because most of these comedies don't look interesting to me. But...here goes...

ABC will be bringing Courtney Cox back to prime time in Cougar Town, a show about a 40 year old mother who is on the dating scene once again. (Ugh. Really? CBS has this show. It's called The New Adventures of Old Christine.)

Kelsey Grammar will also be returning to the prime time slate with Hank, a sitcom about a former tycoon who loses his job and spends more time with his family. (Snore...)

Patricia Heaton (oh God..no) in The Middle . As the New York Times states, she will be portraying "the matriarch of a working-class Midwestern family." It sounds like a Debra Barrone redux. Bring the aspirin and a cold pak, we're in for it.

Modern Family will be a documentary-style look at three families, one them led by Ed O'Neil (Married with Children). (Huh? That woke me up. Looks interesting.)

ABC is bringing back Better Off Ted and Scrubs - the television show that will not die.

Not coming back is Christina Applegate's Samantha Who. That's truly a shame. It was a solid show. The network couldn't work out a cost cutting budget. Also, after being the lead in to Dancing with the Stars, Samantha didn't stand alone after being let go from the sparkly reality show's airspace on the sked. Sadness. Applegate deserves better.

Upfronts: Comedies - Sons of Tuscon and Accidentally on Purpose

One of the announcements coming down from programming brass on Fox today is the green light for Sons of Tuscon. Buzz is the network is really hot for this one. It stars Ron Snuffkin (Reaper) as a grifter hired on by three brothers who need a replacement dad to help run their sporting goods store while their real one is in jail. It sounds like this could be worth watching, and the word is, it could be the next big comedy hit. I think I could dig this.

CBS has added Accidentally on Purpose to next season's plate. It will star Jenna Elfman (Dharma and Greg) as a woman whose brief affair gets her pregnant, and changes her life around. (Sounds like it's based on the book by the same name).

Ricky Gervais Returns to HBO

With Upfronts week upon us, my mind is buzzing just from the Fox schedule for next week alone. It all looks like reality shows, animated comedies and dramas. However, in the middle of the mire, HBO has announced plans for a new animated series based on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's highly acclaimed and massively downloaded podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show. The series will have thirteen episodes due to will air in 2010. The show will revolve around Karl Pilkington, Gervais' and Merchant's bald, strange sidekick, whose otherworldly notions of life have been an object of fascination for the duo and fans alike.

Source: Variety

NBC Renews Chuck, But on a Tighter Budget

Good news for Chuck fans who campaigned with Subway heros and petitions, anxiously awaiting a decision on their beloved show. NBC has finalized an agreement with Warner Brothers television to produce thirteen episodes for next season, with some belt tightening on the budget. At least Zachary Levy lovers will continue to get more Chuck fixes for the time being.

Source: Variety

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Surprise Guest Appearance Lift SNL's Season Finale

As if having Will Farrell and Green Day weren't cool enough, there were some insane surprise guests in last night's terrific SNL season finale. It wasn't just the welcomed return of Farrell's George Bush or Alec Trebek (with Daryl Hammond in place as his arch nemesis Sean Connery), it was the walk of SNL fame cameos that added a twist. Tom Hanks appeared as himself (although a bit more...dumb) in a redux of the beloved Jeopardy! sketch, with Norm MacDonald showing up be-wigged and moustacheod as Burt Reynolds. Maya Rudolph appeared as a crazy person singing about Sasquatch in the Funeral sketch. Amy Poehler picked up from where she left off earlier this season, pairing up with Seth Meyers for a Weekend Update that featured my personal favorite, Farrell as Harry Carey's spirit from the great beyond.



To top it off, more cameos by Paul Rudd, Artie Lange, Elisabeth Moss and Anne Hathaway in a funny and rousing version of "Goodnight Saigon" as cast and guests came to the stage.

That's SNL put to bed for the summer. The Presidential campaign of 2008 solidified the show's contribution to the political arena, making news alongside the news makers, winning the prestigious Peabody in the process. The show might not have always be funny, but it revitalized its place on the political satire platform, a spot, that up until this year, was growing a bit stale alongside the sharp, hip wit of Stewart and Colbert.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

SNL Season Finale Tonight

Will Farrell will be hosting tonight's season finale of Saturday Night Live with musical guest Green Day. Farell has been promoting his summer flick Land of the Lost, based on the children's television series, but without the children and more love story. It will be in theaters June 5th.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Office Finale Aftermath

"We are one of those couples with a long story when people ask us how we found each other."

My how Michael has grown. Steve Carell never ceases to amaze with his sensitivity in a delicate moment. I've been hating on Michael lately with his vindictive assy gestures toward the branch, but one episode can turn that feeling around. His long gazes to Holly and held back words that hung in the air crumbled my heart. Amy Ryan is so satuated in talent, it's hard to begin. Her dorkability and playfulness was touching ("Extrie, Extrie, Read all about it!"). AJ, played handsomely by Rob Huebel (who I'm adoring right now) lent a sense of bittersweet subtlety, remaining posed amid Michael's digs. Although he's seen in small doses, it was clear Holly's new love was a kind person who really loved her. Michael himself was impressive. Instead of being a baby, selfishly crashing Holly's happy relationship, he laid off, seeking solace in letting nature take its course, because he has all the time in the world. Lovely to see Michael embracing the Zen of it all.


Other than that - nothing much happened in this episode. There was a company picnic. There was a volleyball game. Charles is a total jag. Michael and Holly performed a sketch about Dunder Mifflin showcasing its history through a Slumdog Millionare questionnaire and letting it slip that the Buffalo branch is history (Hello, Brian Stack! Hey Tanster!). Dwight found a really creepy friend who told Angela she's a whore, only for Schrute to defend her. Ugh. Not that relationship again. Pam sort of twisted her ankle and was forced to go to the hospital just for liability issues. Something about x-rays and tests...but nothing much.

Oh wait....


THE FREAKING HALPERTS ARE PREGNANT!!!!!


Those amazing, awesome lovebirds are going to have a mini-Halpert! Holy freaking THOR!!!!! Thank you sweet Jeebus! That baby was just begging to be born. The wedding will happen fine, good. But this? This is awesome rolled in a blanket. I take back all my annoyance for these two.



The improbables and mild contrivances don't matter to me right now, and there were a few. (Since when is Pam a Volleyball queen when last year's "Job Fair" episode had her speak of hating Gym, and getting out of playing Volleyball due to PMS?) Nonetheless, I will take this uneven and disappointing season five and replay the highlights in my mind. The thought of a Halpert baby will make me happy on a hot summer day as reruns fill prime time and the Mets break my heart.

Here's a highlight reel:



Honorable mention to Stanley for being the king of cool.

"I don't usually enjoy the the-a-ter, but this is delightful"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Congrats to The Office: 100th Episode!


The Office will be airing its 100th episode tonight! Since 2005 the cast and crew have brought us 100 amazing episodes with the folks at Dunder Mifflin. Congratulations to the fantastic cast ensemble, the terrific group of writers who make me think and vent and analyze plot lines and character development (even if I don't always agree), and to the great crew whose family atmosphere is felt over the airwaves. This fan and blogger thanks you for the goodness. Can't wait for the show tonight.

Here's coverage from Variety and THR:

Variety: Office Romance Stays Strong

Variety: Bratton Blurs Reality on "The Office"

Variety: British Model Tweaked for U.S. "Office"

Hollywood Reporter: The Office 100th Episode

Hollywood Reporter: Q&A with Greg Daniels

A Night of Finales

Summer beckons. My beach bag, filled with suntan lotion, beach towel and pool pass has waited in the back of my closet as fall turned to brittle winter. But hello to summer means goodbye to some television favorites for the season. Tonight is season finale night for NBC's comedy Thursday lineup (at least the part I watch).


Airs tonight on NBC at 8:30pm EDT/9:30pm CDT

The casts are off Andy's legs. What better way to test them out then to perform at a gig. Leslie tries to balance out her personal and professional life while everyone on her staff heads out to watch Ann's boyfriend shred the guitar.


The Office: Company Picnic
Airs tonight on NBC at 9:00pm edt/8:00pm cdt

Is the photo above a spoiler? Story: It's a warm and muggy day in Scranton. Thunder rumbles in the distance as fear quakes across the corporate park. Jim and Pam, driven to madness by Michael's neediness, poisons his cup of morning milk and sugar. He gasps his last breath. They frantically try to cover up clues to the murder. They cackle. He is dead. The fearsome annoying master is dead.

Not in this episode. It's just Michael dieing inside after finding out Holly and AJ will be at the company shindig entitled "Company Picnic". There will be twists of ankles and Michael trying to win back the affection of Holly who has moved on, while Michael grits his teeth and calls AJ fattie to cut him, even though he's totally rocking.


Even if the Nashua couple goes down in flames, I'm still shipping AJ and Ms. Flax. They are so fricking cute. It's like a Jim and Pam redux - Nashua version. Also, it's nice to see Rob Huebel and Amy Ryan back, with the hope of seeing them again next season.


30 Rock: Kidney Now!
Airs tonight on NBC at 9:31pm edt/8:31pm edt

When we last left Jack, his newly discovered biological father Milton dropped the kidney bomb: he needed one. Oh joy! He has a son with a spare kidney! The look on Jack's face could crush a truck. In tonight's episode, Jack tries to help his new dad without going under the knife by rounding up a bevvy of celebs for a benefit show to get Milton a new organ. Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Clay Aitken are summoned under duress to perform in the feel good show of the year.

Meanwhile, now that Liz is enjoying the fame of the new "deal breaker" catch phrase, Jenna forces her to go on a trashy talk show to promote it. Tracy is invited by his high school to speak at graduation, but Kenneth has to help him overcome his embarrassing school memories.

It's been a real treat to see Alan Alda as Jack's dad. I'm holding out hope we have a Colleen sighting tonight just to see Elaine Stritch. A finale without Elaine is like, as Black Adder once said to Queenie, "... a broken pencil. Pointless".

So goodbye old season, and hello summer time. These shows will return when the calendar flips the page to September.

Absolutely Fabulous USA Killed By Fox, Sweetie Dahling

Rosanne Barr once tried to produce an American version of Absolutely Fabulous, but failed. Fox tried to develop the series for next season's schedule, but it also hit a dead end. Ding Dong American AbFab is dead and not a moment too soon. Lets not tamper with perfection. No one will be able to replicate the wonderous comedic timing and chemistry of Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders, nor the wacky Britishness of it all.

Source: DeadlineHollywoodDaily

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of This Week's Television So Far

When television is good, it curls my toes with delight. Clever, silly comedy or riveting dramas can teleport me from reality to a happy realm I want to inhabit until end credits come tumbling down my screen. Sporting events, sitcoms, even a heartfelt moment on a reality show can be pretty swell.

But when television is bad it really pisses me off. Of course there are buttons on the remote you can push to take away that horrid program, but the eyes cannot turn away. Even programming I enjoy can leave me pacing around a room shouting out WTF's and Why? Why? Why? It can be a hodgepodge of the good, the bad and the ugly. Here's a list of what stirred me this week.

The Good:

The Office. Kelly and Andy's "Dance Off". Miss Kapoor showing the Nard Dog that the booty don't lie.


Parks and Recreation. One of my favorite things is Tom's way of messing with Leslie when taking dictation. Example: Leslie's recitation of her speech, "It was a great learning experience because my Mom cast a long shadow" translates to thus: "Marlene Griggs Knope is morbidly obese." Yes. This show is going to rock. Give it a chance. It's getting there.


Jessie in Breaking Bad. I just wanted to hug this lost pot head druggie last Sunday when he realized his smoking persona isn't "meet the dad"material. When his girlfriend's father came knocking, she pretended Jessie was just the neighbor. Poor, Jess - he was so eager to meet him too. Shows the dilemma he faces in his life: drug war lord over comic book geek who could go straight if he just believed in himself, and if Walt would get out of his hair. Loved the "Apology Girl" note under the door.


Saturday Night Live. Justin Timberlake takes over studio 8H with the usual sketches that always win for me, such as the sequel to "Dick in a Box" called "Motherlover", the dude on the sidewalk that sings, and The Barry Gibbs Show.


Walt White in Breaking Bad. Seriously, he's so good at being bad, that I don't want to hate him, but I do. Once the supreme milk toast Mr. Cellophane, Walt cut his bad ass teeth killing a few drug lords and facing the sadistic wrath of the demonic Tuco, hardening him into a bad mutha effer. He thought he could get out of the business, but the power he has garnered is a drug itself. It's to a point where he' doesn't give a crap about his family anymore - it's all him now.


Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, Mets Weekly. The Michaels took to the broadcast booth at Citifield and did some totally stonking hilarious play by play on the weekly Mets round up on SNY. If they want to give Gary, Keith and Ronnie a break for a few games, I'd be happy to hang out with these guys for nine innings. Their new show Michael and Michael Have Issues will premiere on Comedy Central in July.

"Baseball is like a snowflake." (No two games are alike)


The Bad


Celebrity Apprentice. I wouldn't watch this show if Malcolm McDowell himself came into my room decked out in Clockwork Orange attire forcing my eyes open to view this dreck. The only reason I even know about it is due to the ad nauseum promos and the fact it just HAS to make news. Piecing together the clips seen, it appears Momma Rivers won the whole enchilada. Nothing a little ranting and death threat action can't do. Sales on Joan Rivers' QVC schmata and bangles will definitely be going through the roof now.


The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Watching a Bon Jovi concert with a sea of mullets hammering their heads to "You Give Love a Bad Name" is more poetic than watching the cat fights these broads will dish out. But having seen a clip of one Jersey wife bitchily chirping to another her despair over not being invited to a club, making the put upon Principessa ask her sad friend "When are you going to get your period?", just makes me to watch this. Damn you, swamps of Jersey.



Skylar White on Breaking Bad. This isn't bad as it is annoying. When is Skylar going to give birth to that baby? She's been pregnant for two years now. Every time I see her she makes me feel bloated and stretched. That's her previously born kid throwing up in the pool.


The Ugly

Dwight on The Office. There is nothing more upsetting than seeing a future isolationist like Dwight pretend he's a character from Silence of the Lambs and feeding Phyllis like a mule. What's even worse is that he's doing it in his undershirt. Rainn Wilson is a fetching bloke, but as Dwight, his tee-shirt moments burn my eyes.


Daniel Murphy - Mets Vs. Braves - 5/12/09. Why? Why? Why?

Well, at least the Mets won.



Most Viewed DVD of the Week
:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

30 Rock Season Finale

"Kidney Now!" is the season finale of 30 Rock. It will be a star studded showing with Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Clay Aitken, and I shutter to think of who else will be joining this motley crew of glorious stunt casting, but the storyline of Jack Donaghy finding out that his biological dad is Alan Alda (or Milton Greene), and he needs a kidney, should be pretty priceless. Hope Colleen shows up to settle the score.

There are exclusive sneak peak videos of 30 Rock's season finale over at SpoilerTV.com. Check it out.

Sneak Peak for The Office Season Finale



NBC has provided some glimpses into this Thursday's season finale of The Office entitled "Company Picnic". Looks like Charles Miner is back to being a total ass to Jim, and Jim takes the assery in stride - until he's pushed by Miner into a firey rage of fiendish anger as the demons from hell soar from Halpert's mouth onto Charle's head with bloody vengence, feeding on his eyeballs - oh wait. Maybe not. But that would sure look good in IMAX. The real IMAX.

Meanwhile, Dwight's an idiot. Kevin cannot play volleyball, and Jim and Pam's adorableness in the afternoon sun is making me sleepy. So sleepy. Turn it up a notch, writers! Or better yet, hire me. I've got some ideas.

Seeing Amy Ryan return alongside Rob Huebel who plays AJ "The Boyfriend" is enough to make me all light and fluffy happy like a cloud. Just a quick look and I already like these two as a fictional couple. I'm going to go further and rattle some windows here. I don't want Michael to win Holly back. He doesn't deserve her. Or she doesn't deserve him, or however that bizarre Scott saying goes.

I know...I know. All Office fans are rooting for for a reconciliation between the former HR Rep and Michael, but after his behavior of late, Scott has pretty much fallen out of favor with me. Of course, the writers will provide an attempt to show us how much Michael and Holly are "soul mates", much along the lines of Jim and Pam, but I'm not buying it. Besides, we've been down this road before with the future Halperts, having already witnessed Karen getting hurt as a price for the wonderous union of Jim and Pam (which I cheered despite really feeling Fillipelli's pain.) Let's not see another innocent significant other fall wayside to the whims of the writers who think they are giving us a satisfying coupling in Michael and Holly. In the writing world, it's kind of lazy. Michael has been a less than sympathetic figure this season for me to want Ms. Flax to run into his arms.

But if Michael does end up with Holly one day, I hope it will be due to Michael having spiritually grown. If Michael can just see himself the way others see him, he'd be more settled. If he could only be more sensitive to the situations of others, not care how things relates to him or how they can make HIM feel better, then he might stand a chance in holding onto Holly in my mind. I also hope that if they do unite, it's in the last season of the show, and that it's a result of an organic progression whereby Holly and AJ just naturally break up. I don't want their love to be blown asunder, but if Michael and Holly are made for each other, then let it be...but let Michael travel down that lonesome road all by himself for a while. Let him earn it. However, he might be a more complicated soul than that.

But for now, I'm "Team AJ". I love me some Rob Huebel (Human Giant, I Love You Man) so there is a wee bit of a soft spot for the boyfriend who wants to build Holly a house. I mean... Come on! He's awesome. But if the writers make him a d-bag, I will be heading into the summer like an agitated wasp, and I will sting...oh boy will I sting.

Yay Rob Huebel and Amy Ryan!

There's supposed to be a "twist" in Thursday's episode that will make us freak out over the summer. Spoilers show it could be a Jim and Pam moment caused by an injury at the picnic. So many speculations are being chattered about, so I won't spoil anything here, but could it change the course of The Office? Is the "twist" about Michael? I'm exhausted. Whatever.

The Office
"Company Picnic" airs this Thursday on NBC at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT.

Bummer Tuesday: Fox Cancels "Sit Down Shut Up"

Not that I'm a big fan of animation, but Fox just canceled Sit Down Shut Up before it even had a moment to live on the airwaves for a minute or two, and that's, well...a bummer. Produced by Michael Hurwitz, the same guy who helped bring Arrested Development to our world, it was a kooky look at the life of the staff of a school, with enough hooks to have made me love animated comedy just a bit more. Voiced by Will Arnett, Kristin Chenoweth, Henry Winkler and Jason Bateman, to name just a few, it was a fast paced, oddball series in the same vein as Family Guy and King of the Hill - just a tad more bizarro, like the Bluths, but drawn with bright colors. It felt like it could have gained some ground because it was pretty damn good. Oh well. Say goodbye to Sit Down Shut Up before you all even had a chance to get to know it.

Speaking of Kristin Chenoweth, NBC has officially passed on David Kelly's Legally Mad, a drama about a Chicago law firm that was to star the Broadway songstress. NBC will be losing one million dollars paid out to Warner Bros for not taking it to series. Could that mean the peacock is making room on the schedule for Chuck next season? Speculations are flying.

Source: Variety

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Dana Carvey Show

Back in the mid-1990's, when Dana Carvey left SNL, he embarked on his own prime time television sketch show for ABC-TV. It co-starred pre-Daily Show Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert both fresh from the stages at Second City and co-written by Rob Smigel (Late Night with Conan), Louis C.K. (Lucky Louie) and Robert Carlock (30 Rock). It was a laugh riot, edgy, frenetic, snarky series that only lasted seven episodes due to controversy and digs toward sponsors. However, it lives on in the mythical annals of "Brilliant But Canceled" as a classic cult series killed off before it could take off.

The Dana Carvey Show has been available on YouTube in snippets for a while now, and many a fan such as myself have been getting a nice taste of the comedy that ruffled network executives feathers, such as a bit where President Clinton breast fed puppies and kittens; however, enjoying Carvey's show in its entirety will become easier with a DVD to be released on Tuesday, and episodes streaming on Hulu.com.

The New York Times published an article today, and inspired me to bring this fantastic show to light on this blog. Here's the full article for a more professionally written piece by a writer who isn't too lazy on a Sunday to flesh out this story. Dave Itzkoff writes, "Comedy Ahead of its Time: If That Time Ever Comes.

Click here to see the The Dana Carvey Show on Hulu.

From the Minisode Network, here's an abbreviated episode:

Mother's Day Sunday: SNL with Justin Timberlake

Happy Mother's Day to all! Here's a rare Sunday afternoon round up after an awesome SNL last night.

Justin Timberlake has become part of the pantheon of favorite SNL hosts. Alongside Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks, he is one of those performers who know how to do this show, easing into the adrenaline of live television

Timberlake returned to SNL last night with an array of hilarious sketches that kept me glued to the show long after Weekend Update. He even joined Ciara for the musical number.

Some highlights: The "Dick in a Box" guys came by with a Mother's Day edition called "Motherlover" that will surely spread virally around the internet starting today. Awesome cameos by the gorgeous Susan Sarandon and the fabulous Patricia Clarkson.




Timberlake on the streets singing smack to his competition:




Personal favorite of the night: Timberlake creates the "Classic" Peg, friend to that weird lady from "Teeerget". Brilliant. Do I smell a new recurring character?



More thrilling surprise show ups, this time on Weekend Update. Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine bring some Star Trek to the house:



And of course...Jimmy Fallon drops by for some awesomeness.





Season finale next week with host Will Farrell and musical guest Green Day.


Photo courtesy of NBC Universal

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cafe Disco: YMCA!

Imagine having a disco hang out at work, a place you can pop down to when you're feeling stressed. Michael Scott imagined it, and made it come to life in "Cafe Disco" - a get-away where you can boogie away the tension and get away from it all - in the old offices of MSPC - in the basement. As Kevin would say: "Niiiiice". Or is it?

This episode, entitled "Cafe Disco", is a prime example of the subjective nature of comedy. You either love seeing Dwight act out Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs by cutting the back of Phyllis' blouse to tend to her ailing back, while feeding her a carrot like a horse, or you find it stupid, disturbing, and an act of humiliation toward an older, overweight woman. You either enjoy seeing Michael acting out, grabbing attention, keeping people from working once again by throwing tantrums to get them to stop working and dance the afternoon away, or you'd rather see a more fleshed out, work related plot. You either want to see Jim and Pam elope, or you want a wedding. It's the yin and yang of Office viewership - the polar opposites of what people find entertaining.

"Cafe Disco" was a strange brew of a story, stretched out with lots of dance scenes and a possible Jim and Pam hike to Youngstown, Ohio for a quickie marriage. Thank Thor that didn't happen. The future Halpert's love is too big to have legally completed in the middle of nowheres-ville. The YMCA dance at episode's end gave us a precursor, a quick glimpse into how much fun a real wedding would be for these two. Can you imagine it? Pam doing the dorky "Pam Dance" in a wedding dress, and Jim pogo-ing like a seven foot bamboo shoot in his tuxedo shirt and tie while all their friends and family are having a blast, celebrating the union? Please. This must happen. And it will! Not a quickie elopement. So "Yay" for the Halperts getting on board with a "wedding" wedding. After five years of Jim Pam angst, they deserve a blow out. And so do we.

Am I being a little too paranoid, or are the writers hinting that Kelly and Andy could be the next romantic coupling? Please. No...more...in-house relationships! There is a world outside of Dunder Mifflin with single people waiting for a cute meet. No more silly incestuous couples please. And no more Nard Dog heartbreak. That boy needs a cute girl and Kelly just needs to be with Ryan or some dude who likes J-Lo wannabes and gangsta rap.

Also, I'm not loving the new receptionist. Do I have to get to know this girl?

This episode was filled with lots of blahs for me. However, the scene below was simply fantastic, and might be the reason why more people loved "Cafe Disco" than others. It ends with some heart, and may be the only part of this episode I will watch a few more times.

Kevin and Lynn making out against the wall? Awesome.



The Office season finale "Company Picnic" will air next week.