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May 31, 2011

Which new summer shows should you try?

Tomorrow is June, and summer TV will be starting! Here are eight new shows that I think might be worth a peek, depending on your interests . . .

If you like unconventional, possibly wacky, lawyer shows . . .

Try Franklin & Bash on TNT on June 1:

or USA Network's Suits on June 23:

If you're looking for science fiction . . .

Try TNT's Falling Skies on June 19:

or Alphas on Syfy on July 11:

If you miss football season . . .

Try USA Network's Necessary Roughness on June 29:

If you need a fix of supernatural teens . . .

Don't miss MTV's Teen Wolf on June 5:

or The Nine Lives of Chloe King on ABC Family on June 14:

And if you prefer your teen drama straight up . . .

Look for ABC Family's Switched at Birth, premiering June 6:

Posted by Kat at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2011

TV Trailer: Hell on Wheels

This doesn't look anything like what I expected, actually. But it does look awesome.

Posted by Kat at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2011

Time for this week's TV news!

Pirates! Families of PIs! Excitement of all sorts! Read about it in my column at TheTelevixen.

Posted by Kat at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2011

TV Trailer: Teen Wolf

I haven't found an embeddable version, but you should head over here and watch the three-minute trailer for the MTV show that will be starting in June. I haven't seen the original, but I'm kind of excited about this. I mean, just look at that wee baby werewolf with his floppy hair! And TYLER HOECHLIN. I love Tyler Hoechlin. (And I never really noticed that he sort of looks like Michael Trevino until he was being all big-brother-wolfy here and I had to do a double-take.)

Posted by Kat at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2011

TV news for April 3!

Watch me try to avoid passing along April Fool's jokes as fact in this week's Caffeine column.

Posted by Kat at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2011

This weekend's TV news...

Just realized I never posted the link to this Sunday's column at TheTelevixen. Enjoy! Note: sci-fi fans, especially, should be sure to click over this week, because there's a lot of that sort of news.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2011

This week's TV news...

... starts with a picture of Matt Bomer, so you probably want to head on over to TheTelevixen to check it out.

Posted by Kat at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2011

TV Trailer: The Killing

I love murder mysteries, and I really love the idea of a murder investigation that won't be wrapped up in one episode (but also doesn't turn into an ongoing serial killer arc) the way most procedurals do. So I'm EXTREMELY excited about The Killing, which starts on AMC on April 3:

Posted by Kat at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2011

Ayelet Waldman & Husband to Write/Produce TV Show

This is by far the best news of the day, and cannot possibly wait for my weekend TV news column: Ayelet Waldman, one of my favorite novelists and essayists, is working on a show for HBO along with her husband, writer Michael Chabon. And it's about MAGIC and WORLD WAR II. I mean, seriously, Waldman writing about magicians battling Hitler? How many of my favorite things can they possibly combine? Did they create the idea for this show out of my dreams? If I hadn't already been convinced to get HBO for Sorkin's new show, I would be now.

Posted by Kat at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

Pilot Review: Breakout Kings

Breakout Kings, which premiered on A&E Sunday night, is about two mismatched U.S. Marshals who put together a team of convicts to catch fugitives. So it's basically exactly at the crossroads of White Collar and Chase as far as plot, and that's also where it seems to be as far as quality. It's nowhere near as good as White Collar - few shows are - but the pilot was at least watchable, unlike Chase. The plot involving the fugitive they had to catch was neither particularly interesting nor particularly poorly done, but the characters were different enough to warrant a second look. (I'll watch practically anything if I really like the characters.) Unfortunately, my favorite character seems to have been replaced after the pilot, and there's a solid chance that they're going to slip into the rut of having each character have One Big Issue that makes them Quirky and Interesting. But for now, I'm curious enough about the evolving dynamics of the group to keep watching. You can watch the pilot online here.

Posted by Kat at 07:29 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2011

Here's your weekly TV news!

Head on over to my column at TheTelevixen for news on renewals, guest spots, pilot casting, and more.

Posted by Kat at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

Another Game of Thrones trailer!

I'm excited about this show and I don't even get HBO. Sigh.

Posted by Kat at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2011

Another Terra Nova promo...

I remain highly uncertain about this whole thing, but it is looking shiny...

Posted by Kat at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

Listed: 11 Actors I Like Who Haven't Been Cast in Pilots Yet

1. Colin Hanks
2. Janel Moloney
3. James Badge Dale
4. Bradley Whitford
5. Jason Dohring
6. Alexis Bledel
7. Sabrina Lloyd
8. Jenny Wade
9. Diana Maria Riva
10. Dominic Keating
11. Josh Malina

Posted by Kat at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2011

Sunday TV News!

In lieu of Morning Coffee today, please head over to TheTelevixen for my roundup of all the TV news of the week. And sheesh, there's a lot of it.

Posted by Kat at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2011

New Falling Skies Trailer! With Steven Weber!

Look! Look! New Falling Skies trailer!

I want to say "No one told me Steven Weber was going to be in this!!!" but I suppose it's possible that I knew and forgot. But no, IMDb doesn't seem to know about it, so I probably didn't. It's also unclear whether he's in more than just the pilot. But! Still! This is looking . . . well, very War of the Worlds, I guess, but also worth a try. Other main discovery from this new promo: Noah Wyle's name has more syllables than I thought it did.

Posted by Kat at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2011

Pilot Review: Mad Love

During the first few minutes of Mad Love, I honestly started wondering whether it had started as a How I Met Your Mother spoof that someone had managed to get on the air. It has the "I'm going to tell you a story" voiceover, the New York setting, the same age and demographic . . . and the main character, Ben Parr, looks kind of like Ted Mosby and sounds exactly like him. Oh, yeah, and Sarah Chalke was actually on HIMYM. So . . . yes, this is totally derivative. And yet! And yet. By the end of the episode, I wanted to see more. I mean, it's not gripping or genre-bending or anything, and I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about it or talking about it when I'm not actually watching it, and . . . well, the fact that I couldn't remember any of the characters' names when I started writing this should tell you something, especially since one of them has my name. But the cast is likeable (I have a soft spot for Sarah Chalke), it's funny enough, and I really want to see how they're going to deal with the chemistry between the main characters' best friends, who supposedly hate each other. And you know what? After six seasons of waiting to see how Ted met the freaking mother, watching a show where the couple gets together in the first episode is pretty refreshing. You can watch the pilot of Mad Love for free on CBS.com, and the second episode tonight on CBS at 8:30/7:30c. (Right after HIMYM, of course.)

Posted by Kat at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)

Pilot Review: The Chicago Code

The Chicago Code started a few weeks ago, but I've been sort of putting off writing this because . . . I guess I don't have a lot to say. Don't get me wrong: I like it. A lot. It's one of the more promising new dramas I've seen recently. But "It's really good! You should watch it!" isn't a very interesting review. But it is really good, and you should watch it. I don't tend to be interested in run-of-the-mill cop shows, but this has enough interesting character stuff and political stuff to hook me. The cast is solid, and the characters have enough history and sparks between them that there are any number of directions in which things could go. Give it a try. You can watch the first two episodes on FOX.com and catch the third on FOX tonight at 9/8c.

Posted by Kat at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2011

This week's TV news . . .

Head over to TheTelevixen.com to read this week's roundup of TV news. TONS of pilot casting this week!

Posted by Kat at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2011

Dear Ron Moore,

I grumbled at the end of BSG. Okay, a lot of us did. Maybe I did more than grumble. There might have been some yelling at the TV involved. Because it made no sense. And I'm not just talking about the last episode. The whole last season was frustrating. Maybe two seasons. Maybe most of the show. Why are they hearing Hendrix in their heads? What happened to all the corners of everything? If your tagline is "They have a plan," shouldn't you, I don't know, HAVE A PLAN? So many questions. Enough that I more or less swore off watching more of your shows, if you were going to mess with your audience like this.

And I successfully resisted Caprica! But now . . . now you have a new show. With detectives. And magic. "Harry Potter for grown-ups" is being thrown around a lot. I love detectives, and magic. And then you had to go and cast Stockard Channing, as if I could resist her! And then! And then! Frakking Jamie Bamber! Fine, Ron Moore. FINE. I will watch your show.

No love, Begrudgingly yours,

Posted by Kat at 07:31 AM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2011

Pilot Review: Traffic Light

FOX's Traffic Light is another of the ubiquitous new relationship/group of friends sitcoms, and the pilot was . . . okay. I didn't hate any of the characters at first sight, and I didn't turn it off from boredom or annoyance, and for me and sitcoms, that's actually saying a lot. On the other hand, I don't really remember much about any of the characters, and the one I'm most interested in learning more about is dead, which might explain why he seems interesting in the first place. I can't remember any particularly funny lines. I expected the car phone (car phone??) gimmick to be intolerable, but it was . . . not that bad. I know, I know, damning with faint praise here. But really, the non-awfulness made me think it might have potential, and I'll give it another episode or two. If you're only in the market for one new sitcom, I certainly would not pick this up over Mr. Sunshine, but really, you could do worse.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2011

Pilot Review: Mr. Sunshine

Let me start by saying, again, that I'm not that much of a sitcom fan. Honestly, I'm not sure whether that means that the fact that I liked Mr. Sunshine means it's really good for the genre, or whether it means genre fans won't like it. But anyway, yes, I liked it. Going in, I was hoping for lots of Matthew Perry using sarcasm to veil his vulnerability while walking quickly down hallways, and that's exactly what I got. There are other good points to the show, and I'll get to a few of those in a moment, but basically, if you like Matthew Perry doing his Matthew Perry thing, you'll like this show, and if you don't, you won't. His character so far isn't particularly different from Chandler Bing or Matt Albie in speech and mannerism, although he does have a self-centeredness and resistance to relationships that those characters didn't necessarily have.

Allison Janney, as always, was wonderful. I'm usually not a fan of such over-the-top comedy, but the writing and her acting were good enough that her character worked for me. She has an aptitude for physical comedy - think of the falling in the pool scene on The West Wing, for example - and I'm glad she's getting a chance to show that in this show. The rest of the supporting cast was fine, and I'm sure I'll care more about them as the season progresses.

I was afraid I was just seeing things I wanted to see when I decided the show felt like a Sorkin show, but Troy Patterson agrees: "The timing and pace recall the work of Aaron Sorkin, which is the point." It helps that the episode was directed by frequent Sorkin collaborator Thomas Schlamme, and I'll be curious to see how much of that feeling is retained in future episodes with other directors.

The show isn't perfect, of course - I was more interested in the characters and dialogue than the plot itself, and some of the relationship set-up was pretty clumsy. But I definitely liked it enough to keep watching. You can watch the pilot here, and the next episode on Wednesday at 9:30 on ABC.

Posted by Kat at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2011

Premieres Tonight: Mr. Sunshine

It's a happy, happy day, because Matthew Perry and Allison Janney are both back on my TV! Mr. Sunshine premieres on ABC tonight, with Perry as sports arena manager Ben Donovan, a self-centered playboy who decides to make some changes when he turns forty. Honestly, the premise doesn't sound all that mind-blowing, but Matthew Perry and Allison Janney. I'll take my Sorkin alums wherever I can get them, and it can't possibly be as bad as Past Life. A few more Sorkin connections: Studio 60's Nate Torrence is also a regular, and Tommy Schlamme is an executive producer and directed tonight's pilot, which I hope means we'll start the episode following Perry as he walks quickly through the arena's offices and end with a swirling shot rising upward from the arena itself. And can a Christine Lahti cameo be far away? I certainly hope not.

Posted by Kat at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2011

TV Trailer: Terra Nova

I remain, er, skeptical, but FOX has at least succeeded in making this a big enough deal that I'll tune in for an episode or two to see what they do with it.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2011

Trailer: The Kennedys

I'm actually really excited about this, even though I'm not at all sure I get the Reelz Channel. But playing on TV means it's more likely to make it to DVD, right?

The Kennedys | Barry Pepper | Greg Kinnear | Katie Holmes | Tom Wilkinson | Movie Trailer | Review

Posted by Kat at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2011

SNL: Eisenberg/Samberg/Zuckerberg, and Bachmann

I've got to hand it to SNL. I didn't watch live - there were, oddly enough, two other things I cared more about TiVoing in that timeslot - but this is pretty much the first time ever that they've gotten so much buzz on Twitter that I've looked up not one but two videos first thing Sunday morning.

First, a meeting of the Zuckerbergs:

And the Michele Bachmann cold open:

Posted by Kat at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2011

Pilot Review: Being Human

So, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost get an apartment together . . . no, it's not a joke. It's the premise of the new SyFy channel show Being Human. And it's better than it sounds, really. It's a remake of a British show by the same name, and so my hopes weren't overly high, although in this case I haven't seen the original so I was going into the pilot blind. And it was delightful! In one of the first scenes, the vampire actually talks about Byron, and honestly, they had me right there. He and his werewolf buddy are both trying to stop hurting people, but you know, they're not saints. So they decide to team up, get an apartment, and help each other. The apartment, of course, is already inhabited by the ghost of a young woman who died there. The show would be enjoyable as just a slice-of-life of these three trying to make it in the human world, but it looks like there are some bigger things going on, too. There's some sort of vampire overlord who wants to pull our vampire back into his gang, for one thing. And our werewolf doesn't exactly seem to have the sunniest past. And the ghost? All she wants to do is stop haunting the freaking apartment, but she's afraid that if she leaves she'll lose everything she once had. It looks like Being Human will have the perfect mix of humor, heart, and supernatural action. I'm in. You can catch up for free online at SyFy Rewind.

Posted by Kat at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2011

Pilot Review/Comparison: Skins

The new MTV show Skins is a copy - "remake" implies more creativity than is displayed here - of the popular British show of the same name, so I decided to watch the pilots of both shows back to back in order to more easily compare them. If you've somehow managed to not hear about this, Skins is a drama about a group of teenagers drinking and doing drugs and having sex. And it's amazing how two shows with almost identical content could have such different tones. The British version never quiet loses sight of the fact that, behind all their crazy behavior, the characters are people who actually care about things, and care about each other. (Plus, it's funny.) The MTV version, on the other hand, feels almost clinical: it has cut out the heart and the humor both, and what's left is a dull catalog of bad behavior. MTV is getting a lot of heat for the "immoral" content of the show, but I wasn't scandalized or offended by this pilot. I was just bored.

Posted by Kat at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2011

Pilot Review: Fairly Legal

I watched USA's new legal-ish drama Fairly Legal last night, because as I've said, I like pretty much every show USA makes. And so far, this one seems . . . fine. Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi) is a lawyer-turned-mediator with a complicated family life and a really annoying habit of being late for everything. I know a lot of people were excited about Shahi getting a show, but I'm not sure I'd ever seen her in anything; for me, the draw was Michael Trucco of Battlestar Galactica and Castle, who plays Kate's ex-husband. The cast is solid all around, and Virginia Williams as Kate's maybe-not-so-wicked stepmother was an unexpected delight.

But as far as the plot . . . meh. The legal issues dealt with in the pilot weren't particularly interesting. But I'm not sure that's the point. They did provide a good basis for establishing the characters and the dynamics of their interactions, which is more important for a pilot, at least to me. I'm intrigued enough by these characters' stories and how they all work and live together to keep watching. It just occurred to me that USA's "Characters Welcome" motto probably explains a lot of why I like all their shows. I want compelling characters who have complex, multi-level interactions with each other. If the cases of the week are interesting too, well, that's a bonus. Kate Reed and company aren't as compelling as the Lawson brothers or Neal Caffrey or Mary Shannon yet, but they have potential, and I'm willing to give them some time to get there.

Posted by Kat at 10:24 AM | Comments (3)

January 20, 2011

TV Trailer: BBC's Outcasts

JAMIE BAMBER. Ahem. No, really, this is a serious show about post-apocalyptic, um, something. JAMIE BAMBER. io9 has the details. Although "Could this series finally fill the void that the end of Battlestar Galactica left in our hearts?" made me giggle, unless by "void" they mean "blind rage."

Posted by Kat at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2011

Pilot DNF: Harry's Law

I tried to watch the pilot of Harry's Law last night. I really did. But I hated every moment and turned it off in disgust after five minutes. I like Kathy Bates in some roles - she made a great Miss Hannigan, for example - but here she was supposed to be funny, I guess, and just . . . wasn't. Call me a boring stick-in-the-mud, but opening with a scene of a supposed adult watching cartoons and smoking pot in her office is not the way to make me have any sympathy for her or the show. She's supposed to be a brilliant patent attorney, but she's suddenly decided that she's bored of her perfectly good job and nice lifestyle and so, unlike the rest of us who manage to show up at our jobs every day, she should be able to do whatever she want. Oh, boo hoo. (Is this really the economic climate in which to make a show about someone choosing to throw away a career?) It's WAY too Elizabeth Gilbert for me. And then, still within the first five minutes, someone trying to kill himself by jumping off a building lands on her and then she gets hit by a car, and she's totally uninjured. That is a level of nonsense up with which I will not put, and I didn't even get to the part where she starts a law practice in a shoe store. I just can't do it. Not even for my darling Nate Corddry.

Posted by Kat at 06:48 AM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2011

Of Fairly Legal and Other USA Shows...

A few people have asked me when various USA shows are coming back, so hey, let's take a look!

First, they have a NEW show, Fairly Legal, premiering next Thursday (the 20th) at 10/9c. It seems to be about a lawyer who becomes a mediator. You know, okay, a quick aside. Before I started writing this post, I hadn't even bothered to look up a trailer for Fairly Legal. And yet I'm planning to watch it. USA is now one of two networks whose new (scripted) shows I will try sight unseen, just because I tend to like so many of the shows they already air. (The CW is the other, and USA has a better track record as far as getting me to keep watching their shows beyond an episode or two.) So, good job with branding and keeping a coherent creative vision, USA!

(Okay, I was also going to watch it because Michael Trucco is in it, and I have high hopes that I will find him totally dreamy if he is, for once, not trying to interfere with a couple I love. As is his wont.)

As far as USA's other shows, here's a schedule of when they're coming back:

White Collar: Tuesday, January 18, 10/9c
Royal Pains: Thursday, January 20, 9/8c
In Plain Sight: Spring 2011
Burn Notice: Summer 2011
Psych: Summer 2011
Covert Affairs: Sometime in 2011

Posted by Kat at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2011

TV Trailer: Skins

MTV's version of Skins starts Monday. Here's a trailer. Shorter version: lots of drugs and underage drinking. Filmed and then running backwards, for no apparent reason. Let's hope the show itself isn't like that.

I'm not really expecting to be into this, but I'll watch an episode or two and let you know. Perhaps I'll watch some of the British original first so I can be properly outraged at whatever changes MTV has made.

Posted by Kat at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2011

Tonight: Lights Out

FX's new boxing drama, Lights Out, premieres tonight at ten. (If, like me, you have way too many shows on Tuesdays at ten, you'll be happy to hear that FX will be repeating it at eleven, and a few other times as well.) Now, I'm not particularly into boxing, but this looks really good. Or so say TheTelevixen, Zap2It, and Alan Sepinwall of HitFix. (Mo Ryan dissents.) This one is definitely worth a look. And I can't decide whether the fact that I kept assuming the commercials I saw for it were for The Fighter will ultimately help or hurt it.

Posted by Kat at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)

Trailer: Genuine Ken

Wait, what? WHAT? I was going to say this was the most baffling reality show ever but, sadly, that would be a lie. But seriously, these guys are competing to be . . . most like a Ken doll? Okay . . .

So many questions! Like: What do they win, other than blue hospital bracelets? Has anyone ever thought Ken was a good role model? Does Ken have a cohesive personality among his many iterations? Is he really who most people would pick as the best boyfriend? Has anyone told these people that Barbie is fictional?

Posted by Kat at 07:29 AM | Comments (3)

January 10, 2011

The Cape: Don't bother. No, REALLY.

I watched all two hours of the premiere of NBC's The Cape last night. They're replaying it at nine tonight, but please: learn from my experience. Don't invest two hours of your life into this dreadful show. Because really, it's bad. I can deal with cheesy, or silly, or not-that-great. And I'm not all that into superheroes or comics, so I'm not complaining about what it's doing in regards to the conventions of the genre or whatever. It's just: The plot made no sense. The writing was laughably bad. And the acting was utterly without spark.

As I said, I'm no expert, but I'd assume that for a superhero show to work, the audience needs to buy into the hero himself in some way: either sincerely as a hero, or in an "oh, this says interesting things about his psyche" way as a conflicted character. David Lyons didn't give us much to go on. Sure, he's pretty, but he's (badly) trying to hide an Australian accent, and it makes it sound like he can't actually string a sentence together. And, to be fair, he wasn't given much to work with. The character is fundamentally boring. And at one point, when he arrived to save the day, I burst out laughing. I don't think that's what they were going for.

Joss Whedon favorite Summer Glau was the star who most people were excited for in this show, and she's better than Lyons, at least, but the writers couldn't decide whether they wanted her to be a damsel in distress, a sassy sidekick, or an omniscient spiritual advisor, and it's really a mess. And she's a blogger who can remotely take over people's computers, which was just one of many technological questions I had about the show. I mean, I know it's a different world, and maybe things will be explained later, but I found these questions distracting rather than intriguing.

Oh, man, and I haven't even mentioned the "Carnival of Crime" that The Cape gets mixed up with, or the wife's unnecessarily long flashbacks that still tell us nothing, or the monkeys running around, or the freaking cape itself. Or the dwarves. Or the awful Borat reference. Oh, you get the idea. If you want a more articulate and specific takedown, read Alyssa.

One thing I will give it: The Cape gave Richard Schiff (Toby from The West Wing) a paycheck. And he's quite good, as always. Really, he comes across as an adult in a kids' school play, because he's so much better than anything else here. But it's not worth watching this, even for him. (Actually, if you must: He's in the second hour of the two-hour block, called "Tarot." He appears briefly at the beginning, then 26 minutes in, then on and off 40 minutes in until the end. You're welcome.)

A few people have been musing about how NBC could even think this was worth putting on the air, never mind giving a major mid-season push. I think the answer is basically that NBC still has nothing. Remember, this is the network that tried to convince us that Outlaw was worth watching a few months ago. (And Chase. And The Event. And I'd like to put Outsourced on this list, but apparently people actually watch that.) Actually, now that I think about it, a lot of this is still the aftereffects of the late night issue. Last year, NBC cut 1/3 of their prime time shows for Leno's failed show, and they're still scrambling to catch up. But they've got to do better than this.

Posted by Kat at 07:37 AM | Comments (2)

January 09, 2011

Tonight on PBS: Downton Abbey

If you like British TV and/or costume dramas, you really don't want to miss Downton Abbey, premiering tonight on PBS's Masterpiece Classic.

Watch the full episode. See more Masterpiece.

I haven't seen a screener or anything, but so many critics whose opinions I respect have raved about it that I feel completely comfortable telling you to watch it. It's a family drama set in pre-World War I England, on a big estate, so there's drama with the servants as well as the main family. Like so many great British dramas, it centers on "a crisis of inheritance," this time amid the vanishing Victorian way of life. But really, since June Thomas has seen it and I haven't, you should read her review here. And then watch. I will be.

P.S. There's a vicious rumor going around that they cut a bunch out of the series for the American version. This is not true! It got started because the play time is shorter because they took out the commercials. So worry not.

Posted by Kat at 10:20 AM | Comments (3)

January 08, 2011

American Experience: "Robert E. Lee"

I've been reading Gone with the Wind - and just saw the movie for the first time - so I've been on something of a Civil War kick, and was excited to see that American Experience is nicely in synch with me. Their recent episode on Robert E. Lee was particularly well done. With a historical personality so closely associated with one event - in this case, of course, the war - there's a fine line to walk between providing enough context for the person's life and making it all about the war. This episode did a good job of giving enough information on the war to make Lee's involvement intelligible without letting that one aspect take over. I didn't really know anything about Lee's personal life before watching this, but he was quite an interesting guy, and now I really want to know more about his wife. (Anyone know if there are any good biographies of her?) You can watch the episode online here, and if you want more Civil War stuff, they're rebroadcasting their episode on Grant this coming Monday. Check your local listings!

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

January 06, 2011



Seriously, Arthurian anything is my weakness. I am SO EXCITED about this show. I think Starz usually streams their shows via Netflix, but if not, this might be what pushes me over the edge to upgrading my cable package. Or forcing my parents to DVR it all and visiting frequently. Or something.

Posted by Kat at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/20/10)

Better With You, "Better With Fighting" - So we're doing this "every episode starting with 'Better With'" thing, are we? Sigh. I actually laughed out loud a few times at this episode! I think it's quietly becoming one of my favorite new shows.

Sister Wives, "A Fourth Wife to Be" & "Four Wives and Counting . . ." - Wedding episodes! Man, this is fascinating. I hope there will actually be another season. The women all seem really nice and fun and I kind of think they should just get rid of the guy, but . . .

Private Practice, "Short Cuts" - I'd been sort of putting off watching this show because it's gotten so ridiculous, but of course I enjoyed it. Even when the plots are ridiculous, the emotions and interactions feel very real. And I love the addition of Derek's sister Amelia this season.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/19/10)

How I Met Your Mother, "Architect of Destruction" - Oh, show! I've missed you! And with this episode, it felt like you were back to your old self! This was a thoroughly enjoyable episode. The characterization was good and it was funny, and too often this show only hits one or the other of those notes.

NOVA, "Secrets of the Parthenon" - I realized part way through that I'd actually seen this before, but I watched it anyway, because, you know, Greeks! Recommended for anyone interested in ancient Greece or in restoration of historical structures.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/18/10)

The Mentalist, "Red Carpet Treatment" - I don't know how Rigsby is standing it, because Van Pelt is ripping MY heart out here. But it's setting up some good Cho/Rigsby interaction, so I'm happy with that. Anyway, overall, this was a good episode, and I'm glad Red John wasn't really a main point for once.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2010

Trailer: The Walking Dead

Confession: I don't like zombies. I get that they're very in right now, but I just don't understand the attraction. They're . . . icky. (Yes, I understand that vampires are also dead and conceptually icky, but at least they're often sexy and generally have good hygiene. That's really all I ask.)

But on the other hand: This looks freaking amazing. And I'm sure I'll give in and watch at least the first episode if only to understand what everyone's going on about. Anyone else?

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

What I Watched Last Night (10/15/10)

The Defenders, "Las Vegas v. Reid" - This second episode was just as slick and fun as the pilot. I'm not really into this show yet, but the leads are charming and charismatic and it's some nice escapist fun. And the cases were surprisingly interesting, although I don't even want to ask if they were at all legally plausible.

The Mentalist, "The Blood on His Hands" - Rigsby seems to have a new girl! His scene with Van Pelt in the car was great - they're both really solid, understated actors. Yes, I apparently care about that subplot more than about the murder. I never liked Kristina Frye much, so I can't bring myself to get too worked up about her story, but I was happy that the cult stuff was back. And I'm always happy to see Rebecca Field and Eric Winter pop up.

Better With You, "Better With Ben" - Super Sensitive Steve in the B plot was awfully reminiscent of Ted Mosby, no? Anyway, the A plot was cute, about whether Ben is considered part of the family, as seen through the Christmas card. And this family is nutty about their Christmas cards. Anyway, I'm still really liking this show, mostly because of the interactions between the various characters. I wouldn't say it went so far as to make me laugh or anything crazy like that, but I smiled a few times.

Hawaii Five-0, "Malama Ka Aina" - Honestly, I tend to watch this at the end of the evening and not pay all that much attention to the details of the plot. I mostly appreciate the pretty, both of the actors and the setting. I was excited about the football bit in this one, and I'm still loving the bromance between O'Loughlin and Caan.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/14/10)

The West Wing, "The Stackhouse Filibuster" and "17 People" - I know, I know, this isn't helping me catch up on Fall TV. But Wednesdays are generally the evenings when I go to my friends' house and make them watch West Wing. (I know, it's so nice of me.) These are two great episodes, and I'd forgotten that they were back to back. They really bring home - as though we needed a reminder - just how great the writing and acting was on the early seasons of this show.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/13/10)

Glee, "Duets" - This was a refreshingly solid episode, with neither annoying guest stars nor Sue, so I was happy. Of course, I had some quibbles, but nothing that takes away from my sheer delight at Finn and Rachel's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" or Sam and Quinn's "Lucky" or Kurt and Rachel's "Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy." I'll do another bullet points post on this.

Castle, "Punked" - Steampunk! Duels! Alexis (and others) in love! Another good episode. I'll have a full recap at TheTelevixen.com soon.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/12/10)

Sister Wives, "Third Wife in Labor" and "1st Wife's 20th Anniversary" - I know I should call this show a guilty pleasure, but it's so fascinating on so many levels - psychologically, anthropologically, theologically, sociologically - that I can barely bring myself to be ashamed. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

How I Met Your Mother, "Subway Wars" - Robin wants to prove she's a real New Yorker by seeing Woody Allen, crying on the subway, killing a cockroach, and some other things. So they all have a race, and . . . well, it's complicated, but it allows for an episode of cute little moments between various characters, especially Robin/Barney and Robin/Lily.

Gossip Girl, "Goodbye, Columbia" - Oh, they're pretending like they go to school! Cute! This episode was pretty good, except that I'm ready to be done with Juliet now. (But at least Eva's gone.) But really, I'll put up with practically anything as long as I have feuding Chuck and Blair back like this. The visiting professor's reaction to them ("Oh my God! You students are psychotic!" And fleeing the school altogether) was perfect, and really brought home how those two are operating on a completely different level than anyone else.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2010

What I Watched Last Night (10/11/10)

No Ordinary Family, "Pilot" - Cute! A quick pilot review of this will be coming later today.

Community Season 1, Disc 2 - I'm trying to catch up so I can watch the current season, and boy, do these 20-minute episodes go quickly. Really, this show is just as good as everyone says. It somehow manages to be delightfully snarky and earnestly heartwarming all at once. Watch it!

Bones, "The Maggots in the Meathead" - This was the Guido episode. Meh. I'll have a full recap up at The Televixen soon.

Law & Order: Los Angeles, "Echo Park" - I was excited because the episode description mentioned a cult, but there was nothing very cultlike. Oh well. It was fine, and I'm happy that Teri Polo (Sports Night, The West Wing) is back on TV. I'm not terribly attached to this show yet, but I'll keep watching it for now until it becomes clear which of the new shows are sticking around and I make a final decision on my show list.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2010

Remembering Jackie Burroughs

I found this a little late, but Sullivan Entertainment has posted a few tributes to the late Jackie Burroughs:

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2010

Pilot Review: Better With You

Better With You is a pretty traditional sitcom about two sisters and their parents. The older sister has been living with her boyfriend for years but says she doesn't want to get married; the younger one is marrying someone she has only known for a few months. Hilarity ensues. Supposedly.

I've watched a few episodes of this, and I can't really decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, it's not particularly funny, or original. On the other hand, the cast is great - especially Joanna Garcia and Debra Jo Rupp - and it's comforting in sort of the same way as reruns of Friends and Frasier are. It's a nice twenty-minute break of watching pretty people in pretty apartments have pretty problems. I'll probably keep watching.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2010

Pilot Review: The Whole Truth

I finally watched the first episode of The Whole Truth yesterday, and I am . . . emphatically lukewarm about it, if such a thing is possible. The leads were fine, but not particularly great. The case was fine, but not particularly intriguing. I did like the supporting cast. Morrow and Tierney have some chemistry, so I am somewhat interested to see how that goes. I hate that they're claiming to be the first show to show both sides - Raising the Bar, anyone? - but the format does seem okay in general. I guess I'll watch one more episode and see how it does.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2010

Save Lone Star!

I usually avoid the "Save Show xyz!" campaigns, but seriously, folks, Lone Start was SO good, and you should give it a chance. Check out Zap2it's "Save Lone Star" campaign here and the Facebook page for the campaign here. And watch Lone Star tonight on Fox at 9 p.m. Eastern. Please.

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (3)

September 24, 2010

Pilot Review: The Defenders

Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell are ethically ambiguous defense attorneys with hearts of gold. In Las Vegas. That's . . . pretty much the premise here. And you know what? It was fine. And fun. Except there's not a lot to make it stand out from all the other legal shows. I have no particular love of Las Vegas, but O'Connell's character is charming, and I really liked two of the supporting characters: Jurnee Smollett as a young idealistic lawyer with a sketchy past, and Teddy Sears as the opposing ADA. Teddy Sears was made to play a lawyer, really. (See also: Raising the Bar.) I'll give this one another episode or two to see if it grabs me.

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2010

Pilot Review: Hawaii Five-0

Alex O'Laughlin: Pretty.
Scott Caan: Pretty.
Daniel Dae Kim: Pretty.
Grace Park: Pretty.
Hawaii: Pretty.
Anything else you need to know?

Okay, okay, fine. This was pretty good! The action was slick, there was just enough character development to keep me intrigued, and as I've mentioned, it's really really pretty. But I'll admit that what really hooked me was the developing bromance between O'Laughlin's and Caan's characters. They had me at "Let's just not talk." "You mean right now, or ever again?" And then they sealed the deal with "Your brain must be a miserable place. I need a beer." Of course, looking at that now, I'm not sure it makes much sense out of context. So, clearly, you must see the context. Watch the premiere online if you missed it, and join in the fun next week.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2010

Pilot Review: Running Wilde

Running Wilde is a sitcom about a rich, obnoxious, self-involved playboy (Will Arnett) who's carrying a torch for his childhood sweetheart, now an obnoxious do-gooder (Keri Russell) living in the Amazon with her obnoxious environmentalist boyfriend and her obnoxiously-named daughter Puddle. He gets them to move back to the States so he can try to make her a worse woman before she makes him a better man, or something. Yes, completely unrealistic. Completely silly. And yet oddly watchable!

Okay, it wasn't a coincidence that I used the word "obnoxious" four times in that first sentence. The two main characters both have a long way to go to make me care about them. But the show as a whole was better than I expected! And I don't even have the fond associations that many people have with Arnett and Russell, as I didn't watch their previous shows. I expected to hate the little girl narrator, but she was actually rather delightful. And the set-up is quite like a romance novel, and that could be good or bad. But I'm willing to hang around for a little while to find out.

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

September 20, 2010

Pilot Review: Lone Star

Lone Star premieres tonight on FOX. Should you tune in? I'm going to slightly surprise myself by saying yes. It's the story of a con man living a double life in the world of Texas oil. My main question going in to the pilot was pretty obvious: Could they make this guy doing all this horrible stuff into a sympathetic character about whom I wanted to watch a whole show?

Well . . . yes and no. I'm not entirely sold on Bob, the main character, although he's certainly charming - that's his whole game, really - and he does seem genuinely conflicted about his actions. He was basically forced into the life by his father, which seems like it's somewhat of a too easy out the show is trying to give him and the audience. "It's okay to like him! It's not his fault he's a horrible person!" I'm unconvinced, but he's interesting enough to make me want to see if and how he resolves these aspects of himself. And regardless of whether he winds up being a good guy, the mechanics of his double life make compelling television.

Aside from that main issue, the show it's solid: it's beautifully filmed, well-written at least most of the time (with a touch of heavy-handedness, but I'll forgive that in a pilot), and full of good performances. (Adrianne Palicki shines, as always.) The setting is very Texas, but manages not to seem fake. (So far as I know, it's all filmed in Texas, although not necessarily in the towns it says it's in.) And the music really stood out to me, which I didn't expect, but which is always a delightful characteristic of a show. Overall, I'll be watching this one, at least for a while.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2010

Other Stuff I Watched This Week

(This is a weekly roundup of quick thoughts on shows that aren't getting their own posts this week.)

Nikita, "2.0" - Overall, this show still feels disjointed, and like they're doing somewhat random and coincidental things with the plot in order to get us to the slick action sequences. I did like the explication of the history between Nikita and Alex, though, and by the end of the episode at least that plotline seemed less random than it did at first. I suppose I'll keep watching, but I'm still not sold.

Terriers, "Dog and Pony" - I really like the relationship plots on this show so far, but the actual job in this episode was kind of boring. I did like the continuity from last week's job, though. And I thought there were some instances of "shocking" lines or scenes that were there just to shock, not for any good plot reason.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2010

Pilot Review: Outlaw

Outlaw, the new Jimmy Smits legal show, officially premieres tonight, but NBC aired a preview of the whole pilot earlier in the week, and I was kind enough to watch it so you don't have to. Really. DON'T.

June Thomas watched it the night before I did, and she warned me that it was "worse than The Deep End." Now, this might not mean much to you, because no one watched The Deep End. Except me. And June. You know why? Because it was awful. And yes, Outlaw is worse. The premise is kind of dumb. The writing is abysmal. The characterization is heavy-handed. Most of the acting is laughable. And it goes without saying that all the legal stuff is completely unrealistic.

One good note: I don't think Jimmy Smits is capable of being anything but charming. His acting range runs from "sincere awkwardly charming" to "smarmy and fake-ly charming," and he's definitely on the smarm end of the spectrum here, but still. Even this show can't really make him hard to watch, and he's doing pretty well given the material thrust upon him.

Honestly? I'll probably watch a few more episodes, out of loyalty to Smits (and director Marcos Siega), and to see if it continues to be this awful or somehow manages to get even worse. But if you don't have any ridiculous TV loyalties or need to see complete trainwrecks, I'd pass on this one.

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

September 16, 2010

Pilot Review: Nikita

Nikita was one of the most-hyped new shows this season, but honestly, I was pretty underwhelmed by the pilot. And thinking back, the fact that the main message of the marketing was "Look how beautiful our cast is!" should have been a sign. And they're right! They're very pretty! And there isn't any one thing I can put my finger on as being wrong with this show. It was just kind of boring. The first half kept me interested, with the explanation of the whole program that really seems like something out of Joss Whedon, but then my attention started drifting. But I'll give it another episode or two to see if it finds its footing and hooks me.

A few things I did like:

1) Lyndsy Fonseca, all grown up!
2) Overall, the parallel plots between Nikita and Alex were nicely done.
3) I like that there are guys in the program - gets rid of some of the Dollhouse-like weirdness.
4) The reveal of the connection and communication between Nikita and Alex was nice.
5) There was a senator! I'll give a second look to shows that involve politicians.
Did any of you watch it? Will you be tuning in again tonight?

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

Pilot Review: Terriers

I'll admit that Terriers wasn't a show that really jumped out at me when I read about it, but enough critics were raving that I decided to give it a try. And it was pretty good! The premise: A blue collar ex-cop and his pal do unlicensed PI-type stuff in San Diego. In this first episode, at least, the mystery itself wasn't particularly surprising or compelling, but the tone of the show was what grabbed me. It was very slow, but by the end of the episode I decided that was actually a plus. The relaxed pacing fit perfectly with the somewhat aimless characters, and I liked those characters more than I expected. This is obviously something of a buddy show, but the female supporting characters - a girlfriend, an ex-wife - were a lot stronger and more interesting than they often are in guy shows. There have been a lot of Veronica Mars comparisons being thrown around, but other than the obvious similarity of PIs in San Diego, I really didn't see the similarity. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Terriers is its own show, and after the pilot, I'm intrigued in spite of myself. I'll be tuning in.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2010

Polygamy everywhere!

In case you haven't heard, polygamy is in, and the part of me that loves crazy drama AND religious studies is so excited.

Premiering tonight on Lifetime, The 19th Wife:

The book on which it's based is supposed to be good, so I'm looking forward to it. And it stars Matt Czuchry (Gilmore Girls, The Good Wife)! And Chyler Leigh (Grey's Anatomy)! And the annoying lady from Brothers and Sisters, but I'm choosing to focus on the other two!

And honestly? I will totally break my "no reality TV" rule for Sister Wives, starting later this month on TLC:

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2010

Pilot Review: Hellcats

They had me at "I don't trust any culture that builds pyramids." More after the jump . . .

I was really quite skeptical about Hellcats. But it's on the CW, and I have learned to just watch whatever new shows they put out, because otherwise I will be sucked in and decide I want to catch up 100 episodes later and it will take me forever. (Hello, Supernatural and One Tree Hill!) It's generally safer to give them the benefit of the doubt. In this case, I'm glad I did, as I spent much of the episode grinning, and already can't wait for next week. Hellcats isn't going to be the next great drama or anything, but the pilot was a solid hour of ridiculously fun escapism.

The premise: This is one of those shows where the premise is slightly ridiculous, so it's best to just accept it and move on. Marti (Aly Michalka of AJ and Aly) is a serious, sarcastic, vaguely rebellious college student who takes up cheerleading because her academic scholarship was cut. She used to be a gymnast, so at least it makes sense that she's good. And the team needs her, because the athletics director (played by a very yummy Aaron Douglas) is threatening to cut the program if they don't place at Nationals. How Glee! That similarity annoyed me slightly, but it's a useful device for explaining why Marti is given any chance at all. She is thrown into the simulanteously uber-peppy and super-competitive cheerleading world, and there's the expected culture clash, bonding, and learning from each other.

I actually wasn't all that wild about Marti - I'm hoping I like her better in future episodes - but I LOVED the head cheerleader, Savannah (Ashley Tisdale). They start out as adversaries and end up as roommates, of course, but I was very glad that the show didn't go the easy route of making them hate each other. They're very different, but some affection and loyalty is springing up already. Savannah plays by the rules, and her world is shaken when these rules are disrupted. Her line that completely won me over? "Well, if we're going to improvise, shouldn't we make some kind of plan?" It was obvious at that point that we were kindred souls.

The supporting characters are fine, so far. Marti has a rather Dawson-like best friend, and a somewhat annoying mother, and then there are all the other cheerleaders, coaches, etc. They all clearly have a convoluted back story that I'm looking forward to learning about in future episodes. The music is fun, and so are the cheerleading routines, of course. I'm a sucker for anything set on a campus. And the ending, with a montage of famous cheerleaders (Ruth Bader Ginsburg!) leading into the new team walking into a competition together - set to a song with the lyrics "We are not what you think we are" - gave me goosebumps. Yup. The CW has hooked me again.

Two other quotes I liked well enough to write down:
"Democracy's a bitch." "Apparently so are you."
"Do you invent your own catty metaphors or is there like a book?"

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

September 08, 2010

My Ten Favorite Returning Shows

This top ten was much easier to decide! Also, the letter G is making a surprisingly strong showing:

The Good Guys
The Good Wife
Gossip Girl
The Vampire Diaries
And you?

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

Ten, er, Twelve New Shows to Check Out

Here are the new shows I'm most optimistic about, based on previews, published reviews, tweets from critics, and conversations with people who have seen screeners. I was going to do a top ten list, but I realized there are seven shows I'm actually excited about, and five others that look promising, so! The first tier:

Blue Bloods
Boardwalk Empire
The Event
Hawaii Five-0
The Walking Dead
And the second tier: Shows about which I am cautiously optimistic:
Lone Star
My Generation
Which new shows are you planning to try?

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

My 5 Favorite New Summer Shows

In alphabetical order:

The Bridge
The Good Guys
Pretty Little Liars
Agree? Disagree? Which were your favorites?

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2010

Fall TV Premiere Date Index

A bunch of people have asked me for a list of when TV shows are coming back. Here you go! This list is alphabetical by show name; if you want to see a listing by date, try here. If I'm missing a show you're looking for, let me know in the comments and I'll look it up for you. Over the next few days, I'll have a series of posts looking at each prime time hour and giving my impressions on the various shows.

Notes: A star before a show means that it's new; the rest are returning. Click on the name of a show to visit the official site. If a premiere is on a different day or time than the normal show, that information will follow the regular scheduling info. Let me know if you have any questions!

*$#*! My Dad Says, CBS, Thursdays at 8:30, 9/23

30 Rock, NBC, Thursdays at 8:30, 9/23
90210, CW, Mondays at 8, 9/13

Amazing Race, The, CBS, Sundays at 8, 9/26 at 8:30
America's Next Top Model, CW, Wednesdays at 8, 9/8
American Dad, FOX, Sundays at 9:30, 10/3
Apprentice, The, NBC, Thursdays at 10, 9/16

*Better With You, ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30, 9/22
Big Bang Theory, The, CBS, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
*Big C, The, Showtime, Mondays at 10:30, 8/16
Biggest Loser, The, NBC, Tuesdays at 8, 9/21
*Blue Bloods, CBS, Fridays at 10, 9/24
*Boardwalk Empire, HBO, Sundays at 9, 9/19
*Body of Proof, ABC, Fridays at 9, possibly 9/24?
Bones, FOX, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
Bored to Death, HBO, Sundays at 10, 9/26
Brothers and Sisters, ABC, Sundays at 10, 9/26
Burn Notice, USA, Thursdays at 9, 11/11

Castle, ABC, Mondays at 10, 9/20
*Chase, NBC, Mondays at 10, 9/20
Chuck, NBC, Mondays at 8, 9/20
Cleveland Show, The, FOX, Sundays at 8:30, 9/26
Community, NBC, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
Cougar Town, ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30, 9/22
Criminal Minds, CBS, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, Thursdays at 9, 9/23
CSI: Miami, CBS, Sundays at 10, 10/3
CSI: NY, CBS, Fridays at 9, 9/24

Dancing with the Stars, ABC, Mondays at 8, Tuesdays at 9, 9/20
*Defenders, The, CBS, Wednesdays at 10, 9/22
Desperate Housewives, ABC, Sundays at 9, 9/26
*Detroit 1-8-7, ABC, Tuesdays at 10, 9/21
Dexter, Showtime, Sundays at 9, 9/26

Eastbound and Down, HBO, Sundays at 10:30, 9/26
*Event, The, NBC, Mondays at 9, 9/20
Extreme Makeover Home Edition, ABC, Sundays at 8, 9/26

Family Guy, FOX, Sundays at 9, 9/26
Fringe, FOX, Thursdays at 9, 9/23

Glee, FOX, Tuesdays at 8, 9/21
Good Guys, The, FOX, Fridays at 9, 9/24
Good Wife, The, CBS, Tuesdays at 10, 9/28
Gossip Girl, CW, Mondays at 9, 9/13
Grey's Anatomy, ABC, Thursdays at 9, 9/23

*Hawaii Five-0, CBS, Mondays at 10, 9/20
Hell's Kitchen, FOX, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22 at 8
*Hellcats, CW, Wednesdays at 9, 9/8
House, FOX, Mondays at 8, 9/20
How I Met Your Mother, CBS, Mondays at 8, 9/20
Human Target, FOX, Fridays at 8, 10/1

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX, Thursdays at 10, 9/16

*Law & Order: Los Angeles, NBC, Wednesdays at 10, 9/29
Law & Order: SVU, NBC, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
League, The, FX, Thursdays at 10:30, 9/16
Lie to Me, FOX, Wednesdays at 8, 11/10
Life Unexpected, CW, Tuesdays at 9, 9/14
*Lone Star, FOX, Mondays at 9, 9/20

Medium, CBS, Fridays at 8, 9/24
Men of a Certain Age, TNT, Mondays at 10, 11/29
Mentalist, The, CBS, Thursdays at 10, 9/23
Middle, The, ABC, Wednesday at 8, 9/22
*Mike and Molly, CBS, Mondays at 9:30, 9/20
Modern Family, ABC, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
*My Generation, ABC, Thursdays at 8, 9/23

NCIS, CBS, Tuesdays at 8, 9/21
NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, Tuesdays at 9, 9/21
*Nikita, CW, Thursdays at 9, 9/9
*No Ordinary Family, ABC, Tuesdays at 8, 9/28

Office, The, NBC, Thursdays at 9, 9/23
One Tree Hill, CW, Tuesdays at 8, 9/14
*Outlaw, NBC, Fridays at 10, 9/17
*Outsourced, NBC, Thursdays at 9:30, 9/23

Parenthood, NBC, Tuesdays at 10, 9/14
Private Practice, ABC, Thursdays at 10, 9/23
Psych, USA, Wednesdays at 10, 11/10

*Raising Hope, FOX, Tuesdays at 9, 9/21
Rules of Engagement, CBS, Mondays at 8:30, 9/20
*Running Wilde, FOX, Tuesdays at 9:30, 9/21

*School Pride, NBC, Fridays at 8, possibly 9/24
*Secret Millionaire, ABC, Fridays at 8, no date yet
Simpsons, The, FOX, Sundays at 8, 9/26
Smallville, CW, Fridays at 8, 9/24
Sons of Anarchy, FX, Tuesdays at 10, 9/7
Supernatural, CW, Fridays at 9, 9/24
Survivor: Nicaragua, CBS, Wednesdays at 8, 9/15

*Terriers, FX, Wednesdays at 10, 9/8
Two and a Half Men, CBS, Mondays at 9, 9/20

Undercover Boss, CBS, Sundays at 9, 9/26 at 10
*Undercovers, NBC, Wednesdays at 8, 9/22

Vampire Diaries, The, CW, Thursdays at 8, 9/9

*Walking Dead, The, AMC, Sundays at 10, 10/31
Weeds, Showtime, Mondays at 10, 8/16
*Whole Truth, The, ABC, Wednesdays at 10, 9/22

Posted by Kat at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2010

Emmy Awards Opening Number!

The whole ceremony was pretty good, but honestly, the high point was the opening. This was just . . . amazing. There are no words. Watch it.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2010

Emmy Live Blog!

We'll try to get started by 6:30 Eastern. Feel free to add your own comments!

Posted by Kat at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

Emmy Coverage Info and Links

First - I will be blogging tonight in the form of a CoverItLive chat, so you can come and chat along in real time! And it's also just easier for me than republishing the post over and over. The post with the chat will appear above this one. I'll probably put it up there now, with a start time of 6:30 Eastern. I may start a little early if I get home earlier, but we'll see. I'll be doing some Advanced TiVo Hijinks to see as much of the red carpet shows as possible, and then watching the ceremony live.

Second - need more Emmy liveblogs and coverage? Here are a few sites I'll be reading:
E! Online
Entertainment Weekly
Give Me My Remote
The Go Fug Yourself girls at Vulture
Live Feed at The Hollywood Reporter
The New York Post's Popwrap
TV Guide

Posted by Kat at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2010

Programming Note: Emmy Awards Live Blog!

Since a few people have asked - I will indeed be live blogging the Emmy awards on Sunday! Whether I blog some of the red carpet depends on what time I get home from a quick trip, but I'll definitely be around for the actual ceremony.

Question: If I made it more like a chat so you all could comment as we go, would anyone be interested? Or should I just do it as a normal post updated over and over?

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2010

TV Stars Singing in the Shower

This is really just . . . ridiculously adorable.

Posted by Kat at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2010

Melissa & Joey

I was very proud of myself for watching a new should THE NIGHT IT PREMIERED and writing about it immediately to have a post up the next day. Except . . . I really didn't like Melissa and Joey. Or, more precisely, I sat through seven minutes of Melissa and Joey before deciding I couldn't be bothered. As I've said many times, I don't tend to be a sitcom fan, so I'm probably just not the right audience for this. But I found it thoroughly unfunny, and I don't have the sentimental attachment to Melissa Joan Hart (a.k.a. Sabrina and Clarissa) or Joey Lawrence (of, um, Blossom, I guess? And other stuff?) that's making others give it more of a chance. I mean, there was nothing OBJECTIONABLE in the seven minutes I watched. If this is your sort of show, you will probably like it. If that makes sense. I just couldn't convince myself to be interested.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2010

Which fall shows are you excited about?

People keep asking me if there will be any new fall shows worth watching. The real answer, of course, is "Probably, but it's too soon to tell." But I wrote about five that look promising over at Alyssa's place this morning. I'll try more than that, of course, because you never know what will end up grabbing your attention. Or being inexplicably awful. Or being great but getting cancelled immediately anyway. So it's good to keep your options open at the beginning of the season. How about you? What are you planning to try?

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 23, 2010

MTV's New Feel-Good Reality Show Is Horrifying

On MTV's new reality show, If You Really Knew Me, a program called Challenge Day goes into high schools for a day to do various trust-building and secret-telling activities that are designed to help students get to know each other and deal with problems like gossip, racism, clique drama, etc. Practically everyone I've talked to who watched it loved it. And I get why, more or less. I do. There were some powerful stories presented, and it was touching to see the kids hug and cry and maybe make some new friends. But overall, I found the whole thing kind of horrifying and really stressful to watch. (My heart was racing for the entire hour, and not in a good way.) And the more I think about it, the more aspects of it bother me.

1. I more or less believe that the motivations of the adults involved in Challenge Day are sincere and good, but using kids' secrets and emotions to profit a major television network is just icky. And yes, I realize that this type of emotion-peddling is the basis of a lot of reality TV, but when it actually takes place in a school, it just feels more wrong somehow. The Challenge Day leaders are telling the kids that it's all about respect and feeling loved and celebrated, and MTV is telling us that it's all happening for our entertainment, and probably to make us feel like we're somehow supporting social change by watching it, without any actual effort on our part. There's a definite disconnect there.

2. And yes, I realize that the kids all consented to appear on the show. Not all kids in the school participated. But still. If your friends are all going to be doing something, or your teacher wants you to do it, and it's a chance to be on MTV, I can see a lot of kids giving in and doing it and then regretting it later, when they realize just how revealing it was. And the kids who don't go on the show don't exactly get off scot-free. When one boy gets up and says that there's a lot of racism on the football team, say, the other football players who aren't participating have to live with the repercussions of that without getting a chance to tell their side of the story.

3. The whole thing is an introvert's nightmare. Even aside from the fact that the subject matter is focused on things that people wouldn't want to talk about anyway, just being put into a group of random classmates and forced to talk about feelings, while being filmed for national TV, sounds terrifying. I know some people wouldn't have this problem, but it's definitely one reason why I found the show incredibly stressful to watch.

4. The fact that Challenge Day is a one-day program seems ridiculous. Sure, some people might have made friends or felt better about very specific situations. There were lots of tears and hugging, which makes the audience, at least, feel good. But nothing really changes in a day, and the adult organizers didn't even present any real solutions. A lot of the follow-up focused on the football team racism issue I mentioned above, but the actual plan put into place was that the football players would make sure no one in the school was allowed to be a loner (Why not?), and go out of their way to talk to people they didn't know in the halls. How this would deal with racism wasn't addressed.

5. A lot of kids revealed very personal information to their small groups and to the larger group. Even if all of them were caught up in the spirit of the day and had the best of intentions at the time, I don't for a minute believe that will last. Maybe I'm just cynical, but all I could think was "They're giving so much ammunition to their enemies!" In a few months, when the excitement has faded and the MTV cameras are gone, someone is going to have a bad day, and remember some secret revealed by someone they never really liked anyway, and lash out with it. A lot of people could end up getting hurt, and it's pretty irresponsible on the part of the adults involved.

6. Addressing racism and other types of discrimination in schools is a perfectly valid goal. But more of the show focused on the fact that the school was filled with cliques and gossip, and this was seen as something awful that should be stamped out. But . . . why? I don't think it's possible, but say you could somehow keep some kids from forming cliques. How would that in any way help prepare them for the world outside of that one situation? I have never encountered a school or work setting that wasn't full of cliques and gossip. It's just a fact of life. Instead of trying to do the impossible and make these kids all like each other, it would be more useful to actually prepare teens to deal with the cliques and gossip and online privacy issues and other social situations that they'll have to deal with as adults. Teens don't really need to be taught to tell secrets, and in some cases, it would more helpful to teach them how to keep their private lives private.

Posted by Kat at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)

July 22, 2010

Harry's Law, Now with Nate Corddry

I can never remember which Corddry is which, and I swear I have nothing against Rob Corddry, but I tend to think of Nate as "the Corddry I like," primarily because of his work on Studio 60. So, on one level, I was delighted to read that he will be starring on Harry's Law. I'm glad he's getting work and it will be nice to see him back on my TV. On the other hand, he's replacing the British guy on the show, so that means fewer fun accents. And the character has been rewritten to be the son of the Kathy Bates character, which could be good but could also be really really bad, if they go the traditional comedy route of overbearing mother with ineffective adult son. And I wish he were going to be on a show I was already planning to watch. I was undecided about this one, but if it's Kathy Bates and Nate Corddry, I'll have to give it a try. Of course, it's not on the fall schedule, so maybe by the time it starts, enough other shows will have been cancelled and/or I'll have given up on them that I'll have time to watch this.

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2010

Trailer: Sherlock

In theory, I am extremely skeptical of modernized adaptations of the classics. In actuality, this trailer for Sherlock pretty much won me over.

It's made by Steven Moffat of Doctor Who, and it definitely has a similar flavor - self-aware, serious and funny in turns or all at once, modern but somehow traditional. It has a cast full of solid British actors, and Holmes and Watson seem perfect for their roles. The trailer included enough references to the original works to satisfy fans (or this fan, at least) without seeming heavy-handed. It's hard to tell from a trailer like this, but I hope the show combines some of the fun action elements of the recent Sherlock Holmes movie with the traditional TV procedural format that is, more or less, modeled after the original Conan Doyle stories anyway. (And yes, that's Muse playing in the background, for those keeping track at home.) This series starts airing in the UK next week, and PBS says they'll play it over here eventually, but they haven't announced a date yet. I'll let you know when I hear anything.

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (2)

More Summer Shows I'm Not Watching

A few more shows I tried, briefly, and gave up on . . .

Huge: Yes, I understand that this is supposed to be groundbreaking and empowering and whatever. Except you'd think it would be more empowering if it weren't completely filled with cliches, stereotypes, and fat jokes. I watched about the first half hour, so it's possible it got better from there, but it didn't make me care about any of the characters so I didn't bother hanging around to find out. I was really only trying this for Gina Torres, and she wasn't in it enough to make it worth it.

The Glades: I only got ten minutes into this one before giving up. The lead looks like a poor man's Nathan Fillion, but seems to be devoid of every bit of Fillion's considerable charm. Florida is far from my favorite place, and this was just . . . boring, and clumsy, and so unmemorable that now, a week or so later, I'm struggling to remember anything about the show, never mind why I didn't like it. (Maureen Ryan warned us. I should have listened.)

Memphis Beat: Got about twenty minutes into this one before I got too sick of Elvis references to continue. And I like Elvis! I mean, I'm not a huge fan, but nothing against him. It seemed like this show was trying to be gritty and quirky at the same time, and it just didn't work for me. Look, this wasn't awful. If you're in the market for a procedural, you could do worse. But with all the procedurals out there, this one just didn't grab me.

Posted by Kat at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2010

The Cop Show I'd Rather Watch

There are a lot of cop shows out there. I mean, even I'm watching a bunch of them, and I don't even particularly like cop shows as a genre. But I realized the other day that almost all of them are set in cities. Where's the cop show set in the suburbs or a small-but-not-excessively-quirky town? Sure, there wouldn't be enough major crime to make it a procedural, but a character-driven drama combined with day-to-day cop stuff could totally work. (The closest to this I can think of is, God help us, certain seasons of 7th Heaven. I'm thinking more along the lines of Friday Night Lights.) The police setting invites all sorts of interpersonal conflicts: Someone's spouse doesn't like the hours. Someone's kid is acting up. And how do the cops deal with knowing all sorts of stuff about the people they see at the grocery store or church every week? What exactly do the cops do all day? Really, there are endless possibilities here. Someone should make a show like this! (Or have they already? Did I miss it? That's quite possible.)

Posted by Kat at 04:00 PM | Comments (3)

July 14, 2010

What fall shows should I cover?

Because I'm insane (and hate summer), I've been starting to work on my plans for fall. Yes, this means I have a TV spreadsheet going already. So! You should tell me which shows you'd like me to write about each week in the fall. Obviously, I'm only going to watch/write about shows I like, but that still leaves more shows than I can probably keep up with posting about, so it would be great to know what you all would like to see here. I've already had a few requests for The Vampire Diaries, which is probably my favorite current show anyway, so that's definitely on this list, and I have something special planned for Gossip Girl. What else?

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2010

Scoundrels: Yup, it's awful.

I finally got around to checking out ABC's Scoundrels last night. Everyone said it was awful. I'd hoped everyone was wrong, because I like Leven Rambin (Mark Sloan's long-lost daughter on Grey's Anatomy) and Vanessa Marano (Luke's long-lost daughter on Gilmore Girls), but nope. I couldn't even get through the whole pilot. Ah well. Giving up on that clears up some space on my TiVo, at least.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 08, 2010

Emmy Nominations, Part I

If you haven't noticed, I LOVE AWARDS SHOWS. The Emmy nominations have been released, so clearly I must tell you what I think of them all. I'm going to try to muster some sort of opinion for every category, just for fun, so we'll see how that goes. This first post will be the more minor categories, or those I care less about for whatever reason. To save space, I'll just put the category name and my pick, not the whole list of nominees. And if I feel strongly that someone else would be better, I'll add that. You can find all the nominations here.

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance: I've seen none, but - Seth Green! Oz! Must be on Oz's side!

Outstanding Animated Program: Again: seen none. (Okay, I've seen bits of The Simpsons and South Park, but not the episodes for which they are nominated.) I think I will go for Disney Prep & Landing here, as I am in favor of people making semi-decent Christmas specials as often as possible.

Outstanding Short-format Animated Program: Seen none, but the nominations are four Cartoon Network (of which I am not particularly a fan) to one Disney, so I'm rooting for Disney. (Yes, I realize they can never really be an underdog, but...)

Outstanding Art Direction For A Multi-Camera Series: HIMYM! That will likely be my pick for anything involving sitcoms. Just to warn you.

Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series: Uh, Glee! Sure. Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what goes into "Art Direction," but the Glee pilot was extremely well-constructed, so.

Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie: Seen none. But I'm sure Return to Cranford was just lovely.

Outstanding Art Direction For Variety, Music Or Nonfiction Programming: Wait. Okay. The Tony ceremony nominated was last year, but the rest were this year. I think. Neither the Super Bowl Halftime Show nor the Tonys were put together very well, and I'm pretty neutral on SNL and anti-Idol, so I'll go with the Academy Awards.

Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series: The only one I watch is Glee, but I do think their casting is quite good.

Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series: I'm actually going to go with FNL here, I think. My pick would have been The Vampire Diaries, because they found three leads who have amazing chemistry with each of the others, and an exceptionally strong supporting cast.

Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special: Seen none, so I suppose I'll go with the "Jane Austen is always the answer" theory and pick Emma.

Outstanding Choreography: I've only seen the Academy Awards, so sure. I probably would have put something from Glee in here. I think the second Kristin Chenoweth episode, actually.

Outstanding Cinematography For A Half-Hour Series: Weeds is a half-hour series? Really? I had no idea! Huh. Anyway, I watch none of these regularly, but I have vaguely positive impressions of 30 Rock, so we'll go with that.

Outstanding Cinematography For A One Hour Series: I've seen none of these specific episodes, but Mad Men has good cinematography in general, so sure. Oh, wait, I did see that episode of FlashForward, but meh. I'll stick with Mad Men.

Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie: Seen none, but I'm sure The Pacific had great cinematography.

Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming: Seen none, but I've heard good things about America: The Story of Us.

Outstanding Cinematography For Reality Programming: Er. I watched one season of The Amazing Race and they had some good cinematography then. I guess.

Outstanding Commercial: I didn't even know this was a category! I can't think of any of these offhand, but I always like Coke commercials. Was that the Olympics one? Hm.

Outstanding Costumes For A Series: I don't actually watch The Tudors - I don't get those fancy stations - but I've seen enough pictures to know the costumes are very pretty. I'd throw The Vampire Diaries into this category, too, because the costume people adapted really well to suddenly having to do 1864 flashbacks.

Outstanding Costumes For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special: Emma!

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series: Glee! I wasn't crazy about "Wheels," so I'll go with the pilot.

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series: Oddly, I have seen none of these, so I guess I'll go with Mad Men, as at least I've seen other episodes of that show. I'd go for David Boreanaz for "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole" (Bones) - I'm still astonished that he managed to direct such a complex episode and do such amazing acting in it - or Marcos Siega for "Miss Mystic Falls" or "Founder's Day" (The Vampire Diaries).

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special: Oh, I don't know. I'm sure The Pacific was great.

Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series: I'll go for The Colbert Report in Iraq.

Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special: Um . . . the Olympics.

Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming: Seen none. Feel obliged to be in favor of Monty Python, just in general.

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series: Seen none of these specific episodes, so Mad Men, I guess.

Outstanding Picture Editing For A Comedy Series (Single Or Multi-Camera): Seen none. 30 Rock? I guess?

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Miniseries Or A Movie: Seen none, but heck, The Pacific looks like I'd like it!

Outstanding Short-Form Picture Editing: John Hughes tribute!

Outstanding Picture Editing For A Special (Single Or Multi-Camera): Seen none, but hey, I like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in general!

Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming: Seen none. I suppose I'll stick with America: The Story of Us.

Outstanding Picture Editing For Reality Programming: Seen none. Meh. Top Chef? Sure.

Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series: Hey, look, Castle! Wheee! I would put one of the Vampire Diaries flashback episodes on this list.

Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special: Hah. The styling for HIMYM's "Doppelgangers" episode was indeed quite good.

Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or A Movie: Hey, look, Emma again.

Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media - Nonfiction: I'm not even sure what this means. Top Chef, I guess?

Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media - Fiction: Uh, the Star Wars thing looks kind of nifty.

Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) For Variety, Music Or Comedy Programming: Olympics!

Outstanding Main Title Design: I saw a few episodes of Human Target, but apparently the title design made no impression on me. I suppose I'll go with The Pacific.

Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic): Castle!

Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic): I don't remember the Academy Awards makeup being particularly noteworthy, but that's the only one I've seen.

Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Non-Prosthetic): Fine, The Pacific.

Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special: Castle!

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score): Ooh, Psych!

Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score): I don't think I've heard any of these, so I'll keep assuming The Pacific was good.

Outstanding Music Direction: The Olympics Opening Ceremony did have some good music.

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics: HIMYM! Loved "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit."

Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music: The Justified theme is good. I'm also quite fond of the Psych theme, which was not nominated.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Seen none, but I liked Michael Sheen's Tony Blair in The Queen. And obviously Ian McKellan is just generally awesome.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Seen none, but how could anyone vote against Dame Judi Dench? That would just be wrong.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie: Seen none, but I have seen the other version of Patrick Stewart's Claudius, so I feel comfortable saying he should win.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Seen none, but hey, Kathy Bates! Susan Sarandon! They're both good, in general.

Outstanding Miniseries: I have seen neither The Pacfic nor Return to Cranford, and I really want both. So. I can't decide, actually.

Outstanding Made For Television Movie: Seen none. Endgame was supposed to be really good, though.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special: Only one I saw was Hope for Haiti Now. I was fine, for a telethon, I guess.

Outstanding Special Class Programs: I don't remember either of the award shows nominated being particularly good, so once again, I will go with the Olympics.

Outstanding Children's Program: I've heard good things about iCarly, and actors I like have guest starred on it, so sure.

Outstanding Children's Nonfiction Program: Okay, I know nothing about either of these. But boy, this sounds like a cheerful category, huh?

Outstanding Nonfiction Special: Seen none. I guess I'll go for Teddy: In His Own Words, because I am a sucker for Kennedy stuff.

Outstanding Nonfiction Series: American Experience is consistently good.

Outstanding Reality Program: MythBusters, I guess.

Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking: I have . . . absolutely no opinion on any of these, it seems.

Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series: I don't think I've seen any of these specific episodes, but I think I'll go with Fringe.

Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special: Sheesh, I really need to watch more miniseries next year. Fine. The Pacific.

Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Single Or Multi-Camera): Seen none. I guess I'll go with Teddy again.

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour): Glee!

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Miniseries Or A Movie: Gee, think The Pacific might win this?

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation: Seen none. 30 Rock, I guess.

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Or Music Series Or Special: Oh, the Oscars, I guess.

Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming: Seen none. I guess I'll go with The National Parks.

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series: Stargate Universe . . . I'm trying to remember the episodes. "Air."

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special: Let's just give all the awards to The Pacific and get it over with.

Outstanding Stunt Coordination: I haven't sene this episode of Chuck, but I'd think the show deserves this award in general.

Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series: I don't know exactly how all these technical awards are defined, but hey, The Daily Show!

Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special: Uh, the Oscars.

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special: Seen none. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that The Special Relationship had good writing. As it's more dialogue-centric than The Pacific. Presumably.

Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special: I think this was the NPH Tonys. His stuff was good, so I'll go with that.

Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming: Seen none, but again, I've heard good things about America: The Story of Us.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2010

Tater Tops: Funny Folks

My mother has been known to tell me that I have no sense of humor. I think that's taking things a bit far, but it's completely true that I am rarely inclined to watch comedies. This means that my picks for the Funny Folks categories were really, really easy, and also that I'm sure there are a lot of other funny people on the list, but since I don't watch the shows, I just don't know.

Favorite Funnyguy: The only one of these I watch regularly is How I Met Your Mother, although I'm just starting to get into Chuck. But Neil Patrick Harris is in fact completely hilarious on HIMYM, so I will happily vote for him. I watch so few comedies that I'm not even sure I have anyone to add to the list. (Again, my first thought was "Xander!" and then I had to remind myself that Buffy is in fact off the air. Alas.) Oh! What about James Roday from Psych? I don't think he'd beat NPH, for me, but I'd definitely nominate him. (I'm assuming The Good Guys is too new to be nominated in any of these categories, by the way.)

Favorite Funnylady: And here, the only one I watch regularly is Glee. I am the one person on earth who doesn't particularly like Jane Lynch's character, but I do think Heather Morris's Brittany is hilarious in a wonderfully understated way, so my vote goes to her. "Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?" "I'm pretty sure my cat's been reading my diary." "I bet the duck's in the hat." Ahem. I'll stop. Is there anyone I would nominate? Hm. Cobie Smulders is pretty funny on HIMYM. Yes, I watch exactly three comedies. Never mind!

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2010

Tater Tops: Couple Showdown

The next set of categories now open to voting are all about couples.

Best Couple: Huh. Booth and Brennan are not actually a couple, folks. But if they were, I'm pretty sure they'd be better than any other couple on this list. Therefore, I don't know whether to vote for them. I like Cristina and Owen on Grey's, but I'm not sure they particularly stand out as "best." On Glee, I want Emma and Will to be a good couple, but I'm not completely convinced they will be. Jury's still out. I do adore Finn and Rachel together, so they might actually get my vote.

Couples I would have put on the list: Angela and Hodgins (Bones). Chuck and Blair (Gossip Girl). Elena and Stefan (The Vampire Diaries), even though I am on Team Damon. Maybe even Meredith and Derek from Grey's - I really like the way the show is letting them be in a more mature and settled place now.

Oddest Couple: I'm not sure I'm getting the point here. I mean, I assumed this meant "couple who seemed most unlikely but got paired together" or something, but - Vanessa and Dan? I mean, seriously, has there ever been a more obvious couple? They may be my least favorite couple, but they're not odd. Alex and Lexi make sense together, too. Robin and Don from HIMYM are a little odd, I guess, but I think that's more a function of poor writing than of the characters themselves - the show was always telling us how great they were together but never let us see it. Neither of the Glee couples on the list were really couples. I mean, Sue and Will? What? He asked her out and then stood her up. That does not a couple make. I guess Mercedes and Puck dated for most of an episode, which is like forever in high school, and they were . . . kind of odd, I guess. Sure.

Couples I would have put on this list: Um, Stephanie and what's-his-name from My Boys. Maybe Jenna and John from Vampire Diaries, but maybe not. Hrm. I just thought "Xander and Cordelia!" and then had to remind myself that just because I've been watching a show doesn't mean it's actually on now. Sadly. Um, Sheldon and Charlotte from Private Practice.

Love Triangle You're So Over: Stefan/Elena/Damon? Are you kidding me? That triangle's barely getting started, and for once, I actually really like both couples and am somewhat torn. I'll give them at least another five years to drag this out before they lose me. I didn't hate the Cristina/Owen/Teddy thing as much as most people seemed to, but I'm ready for everyone to move on and for Teddy to get her own plotlines that aren't all about Owen. I am pretty over both Glee triangles, but especially the Finn/Rachel/Jesse one, because I hated Jesse from day one.

Polygons I'd put on this list: How about the entire freaking ensemble of Private Practice? Seriously, that whole mess that starts with Addison now includes, on one side, Pete, and so Violet, so Sheldon, so Charlotte, so Cooper, and on the other side Sam, and so Naomi, so Gabriel and William. That's everyone. Dell (who had a thing for Naomi way back when, did he not?) is basically only left out of this list because he's dead. Lucky guy. Teen mom Maya has the most calm and stable relationship on this show.

I was going to put someone from Gossip Girl on the list, but I think what I'm actually over is Jenny Humphrey's entire existence, and not the Serena/Nate/Jenny or Blair/Chuck/Jenny triangles specifically. Because they're barely even triangles. They're just Jenny being evil and crazy. Ooh, but I am over the Rufus/Lily/Billy Baldwin nonsense.

I'm disappointed that there was no category for Least Favorite Couple - couples that made sense together, that weren't odd, but that viewers hated. Dan and Vanessa from Gossip Girl should clearly be at the top of that list. Beckett and Anders Demming from Castle. Rufus and Lily from Gossip Girl. And there are undoubtedly some couples I hate within that whole Private Practice mess.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2010

Tater Tops: Shockers

(Warning: Because of the nature of these categories, there are spoilers for season finales involved!)

Watch with Kristin's next categories for Tater Tops awards voting are now up.

Best Shocker: The only ones of these I saw were Vampire Diaries and Grey's. While the Grey's finale was suspenseful - and extremely well done - I'm not sure I'd exactly call it shocking. The Katherine/Elena switch on Vampire Diaries definitely was, and the whole last few minutes of that episode (the switch and the various things it caused) were so shocking that I still couldn't believe it when I watched it again last night.

Moment That Made You Want to Throw Out Your TV: Honestly? None of these. (And I've seen all but the Life Unexpected one.) I mean, that doesn't mean I necessarily liked them, but when I want to throw out my TV, it's generally because some is acting completely out of character, and/or something off-the-wall happens for no good reason just to mess with the plot/break up a happy-but-"boring" couple/get ratings/whatever. And I don't think any of these qualified.

I don't understand why either Grey's moment is even on the list. I've gathered that people hate the Owen/Teddy storyline, but I don't get why, at all. People are complicated. Of course he has conflicting feels about his ex, with whom he survived a war! Same with the Lexi/Alex/Mark thing. Her boyfriend was dying! There are various reasons why she might have said "I love you," regardless of how, exactly, she meant it, or whether her ex-who-wants-her-back was in the room. The reason I still watch Grey's is that even when the actual plotlines are wacky, it stays very emotionally real, and these moments were no exception.

Bones - do I want them together? Yes. Was I a little frustrated with her refusal? Of course. But was it in character for her? Yes, completely. Glee - I actually wanted to throw my TV out the window basically any time Jesse was on screen, but I don't think that's what they mean here, and the particular moment they mention was kind of weird but not really surprising or out-of-character or anything. Gossip Girl - again, not my favorite moment, but it made perfect sense for those characters at that point. And I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I'm honestly not at all convinced that Chuck really did anything wrong (I mean, by his and Blair's standards, not mine) here.

So what moments did make me want to throw out my TV? Barney and Robin breaking up for no reason. Practically any time Izzy was around this season of Grey's, although I seem to have blocked much of it out of my memory. A large chunk of Vanessa and Dan's screen time on Gossip Girl, although more out of boredom than anything else. Most of this season of Private Practice, but especially Dell's utterly unnecessary death. Oh, and Castle going off with his ex-wife right after Beckett breaks up with Anders for him. (No, I apparently never bothered learning the character's name. Sam? No, that was Anders's first name. Checking . . . Tom Demming. Huh. Apparently he will always be Anders [from BSG] to me.)

Posted by Kat at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

The Gates: These are not the vampires you're looking for.

Well, okay, who am I to judge? Maybe these are exactly the vampires you're looking for. But they certainly weren't the ones I was looking for. I've written here before that I'll try anything with vampires. (My best friend's response: "This is what's wrong with America today." I know, I know.) But "try" doesn't necessarily mean "become a fan of" or even "keep watching." My love of certain vampire properties (the Buffyverse, Vampire Diaries, the Vampire Academy books, etc.) is something of a double-edged sword here. It means that I'm more likely to try other vampire stuff, sure. But it also means that my standards are higher, or at least more particular. When evaluating a new vampire show, there's always a question at the back of my mind: When I'm in the mood for vampires on my TV, will I ever pick this over reruns of Buffy or Angel or The Vampire Diaries or even Moonlight?

And the answer in the case of The Gates is - well, probably not. It's hard to say after just one episode, so I'll probably watch a few more, but this is one of those shows that I inevitably start hoping get cancelled quickly so I don't have to really decide whether to commit to watching. I mean, it isn't awful. It's just . . . blah. There are vampires and werewolves (or shifters?) and various other as-yet-unspecified magic types, but none of them were particularly interesting in the pilot. Virtually none of the mythology or mechanics of the world have been explained yet, so it's hard to know how to react to some seemingly-significant actions. (Are vampires expected to feed on people? Does the little girl know she's controlling her skateboard with her brain? etc.) The show splits its time more or less evenly between teens and their parents, which is a concept I rather like, but the parents, so far, are just boring. The high school social dynamics are vaguely interesting, but you can get that on a lot of shows.

The pilot did touch upon two ideas I found intriguing. The first was how a high school with a large concentration of children with special abilities - and special abilities that are different from one another - would work. On most shows, there are only a few supernatural folk, so they're outliers, and the focus is usually on staying secret and/or fitting in. Here, where abilities seem to be an open secret (and not a secret at all, among some), they can play with issues like how to coach a football team made up of a mix of humans and werewolves without having any of the kids wind up seriously hurt because others don't know their own strength.

And the other issue, basically, is whether having a school, and a town, like that is worth it at all. A vampire couple discusses how the wife feels that she doesn't fit in with the affluent suburban lifestyle of her neighbors, but the husband is worried about what would happen to their (telekinetic? maybe?) daughter anywhere else, especially among less civilized vampires. (They would eat her, he implies. Vampiric codes of conduct weren't really established yet in the pilot.) Should children be confined to small slices of a carefully-selected world in order to keep them safe, or is it worth trying to integrate into the larger society, even if their differences might put them in danger?

If The Gates can actually use its Stepfordian setting and sundry supernatural characters to examine issues like these, rather than getting bogged down in the Desperate-Housewives-with-fangs melodrama, then it could turn out to be worth watching. But this is ABC, on Sunday nights, in the summer. So I'm not holding my breath, and I'm dusting off my Buffy DVDs, just in case.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2010

Tater Tops: Breakout Star

One of my favorite TV journalists, Kristin Dos Santos at E!, runs fan-voted Tater Tops awards each year. I figured I might as well link you to them and tell you my picks as they happen - I think she does a category or two a day. First up: Breakout Star. I don't watch Community or Modern Family (I know, I know) so that knocks out about half of each list of nominees.

Among the men, I am compelled (hah!) to vote for Ian Somerhalder whenever possible, although I'm not entirely convinced that he wasn't already more of a star than most of these actors, seeing as how he was on Lost and all. (Also, I swear Somerhalder wasn't on the list the first time I looked at it, last night. Huh.) I would not be sad if his vamp brother Paul Wesley got it, or either of the listed guys from Glee (Matthew Morrison or Cory Monteith), although I would have put Mark Salling on the list too - he certainly seems to be more of an unexpected star than Morrison or Monteith. I love Jesse Williams on Grey's, but I don't think he's quite at the level of the other guys as far as star power goes.

Among the women - in addition to the shows listed above, I don't watch The Office either, so I have no opinion there. Life Unexpected drove me nuts and I gave up on it, so Robertson doesn't get my vote either. This leaves Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries and three ladies from Glee, and among that group, Dobrev seems the clear winner. She plays two characters impeccably, and neither are exactly easy roles. Lea Michele is a close second, though. Jane Lynch was already a star, was she not? And, honestly, I like her Glee character exponentially less than everyone else in the universe seems to. Finally, I might be paying too much attention to semantics here, but while I'd definitely call Heather Morris a breakout something, "star" seems like a stretch for that role.

I'm trying to decide if there was anyone else I would have added to these lists . . . Mark Salling, as I'd mentioned. Maybe Malese Jow from Vampire Diaries. Maybe someone from Parenthood? (I've still only seen the pilot of that, but one of the teenage girls is getting a lot of buzz, right?)

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2010


SyFy's new show Haven starts next week, and I finally just remembered to watch a promo. It looks pretty good!

I thought Eric Balfour looked weirdly familiar in that clip, and I couldn't figure out why - did Veritas: The Quest really make that much of an impression on me? Then I kept reading back in his IMDb profile and realized I probably remembered him from Six Feet Under, and definitely remembered him from a teeny but memorable (at least to me, apparently) role as Frat Boy Going After Zoey Bartlet on an early episode of West Wing. AND he was Jesse on the first few episodes of Buffy! Now I am wondering how I managed to entirely miss this Valemont thing he was in last fall, as it sounds right up my alley. Huh.

I'll spare you my contemplation of whether I recognize Emily Rose from her TV work or just from red carpet pictures. But anyway! This looks like a fun summer sci-fi show! And it's set in Maine! So I think it will be worth a try.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2010

Not Every Conspiracy Is a Theory.

Okay - any show that defines the three branches of government in its promo has my attention:

And really, it just looks intriguing in general. Apparently you can watch the whole pilot at AMC's Rubicon site. I haven't had a chance yet, so I don't really know what the whole deal is, but codes! Chess! Conspiracies! Sign me up!

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2010

Random Tony Awards Thoughts

I've been going to bed early recently, so the fact that I stayed up to watch the Tony Awards last night means that I am SO TIRED this morning and cannot possibly write up my notes on Royal Pains as I'd intended. So here are some random thoughts about the Tony Awards instead.

1. I'm not particularly a Sean Hayes fan, by which I mean that I wasn't wild about his character in Will and Grace and haven't really seen him in anything else. But I thought he was a perfectly competent host. I mean, fine, if we can't have Neil Patrick Harris host everything (why not?) - it coud have been a lot worse.

2. His make-out session with Kristin Chenoweth was a nice jab at the Newsweek thing, without belaboring the point. I know people tend to be love/hate with Chenoweth, but I love her and I thought all her bits in the show were perfectly charming.

3. I honestly had no idea that Daniel Radcliffe was so short. Or Katie Holmes was so tall. Or something. (According to IMDb, he's 5'8" and she's 5'9", but if that's true, then she was wearing 9-inch heels or something.)

4. I'd never even heard of Million Dollar Quartet, but it looked pretty interesting.

5. Angela Lansbury! She was wonderful. Of course.

6. American Idiot looked way better than I'd expected, and reminded me that I still haven't figured out what about 40% of the lyrics to "Holiday" are.

7. Why can they never mic people properly at the Tonys? I remember they had this issue last year, too. I mean, of any award show, this one should understand the whole live/on-stage concept!

8. Related: I'm not going to give Lea Michele all the blame for all the popping with her microphone. But she did seem to be trying a bit too hard. Can we just go ahead and cast her in the revival of Funny Girl already and get it over with?

9. Matthew Morrison, on the other hand, was perfection, as usual, as far as I'm concerned. I would happily watch an entire show of him singing and dancing, and now I'm quite looking forward to his album.

10. They ended on time! Good job, show!

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2010

Previously on Royal Pains...

(For some reason, the blog isn't letting me make new categories, so I will go back and try to make a Royal Pains category later.)

I started watching this entirely because of Mark Feuerstein (Cliff from West Wing), and I was a little surprised by how much I ended up liking it. The four core characters are all sympathetic but multidimensional, and I think the concierge doctor concept means that the whole thing is different enough that the lack of realism doesn't bother me the way it does with most medical shows. Season two starts tonight on USA, and I actually just finished catching up on season one last weekend, so here's a quick recap of where things stand going into the new episodes:

Hank: Decided to stay in the Hamptons permanently, but I read somewhere that this mythical "after Labor Day" will never actually arrive on the show. Summer forever? Enh, I suppose.

HankMed: Thriving, but bankrupt, because Evan invested their money with his (and Hank's) estranged father and now it's gone.

Evan: Disappeared, presumably in pursuit of said father and money.

Jill and Hank: Hank goes after Jill at the end of the finale, but Charlie answers Jill's door and make Hank think they've gotten back together.

Jill and Charlie: Charlie refused to sign divorce papers, but at the end of the finale Jill finally made him move out.

Jill's Clinic: On hold, I think, because she feels badly about accepting money from Boris because Boris had her throw out his blood sample.

Boris: Dying, and being mysterious. So, you know, the norm.

Divya: After thinking about backing out, she went through with the big engagement ceremony for her arranged marriage. But they can't actually make her move to London, can they? HankMed, and the show, would collapse without her.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (1)

Summer TV Blogging

With the summer season currently starting, I'm going to try something I've been wanting to do for a while - regular TV blogging. I already write about TV, but I want to try writing every week about certain shows. I'm not going to attempt summaries or recaps - there are plenty of other sites that do that well. The format of my posts may vary based on the show and the issues that interested me in a particular episode, but I'll commit to posting something about each episode. I'm going to start with the second season of Royal Pains (which starts tonight on USA, but I won't be able to watch until tomorrow) and the CW's Thursday Vampire Block (reruns of The Vampire Diaries and Moonlight). As new summer shows get started, I'll write about whichever pilots I watch, and then pick which shows to keep writing about. And if this test run goes well over the summer, I'll continue with the "real" TV season in the fall.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

New Summer & Fall 2010 Shows: Cable


Covert Affairs, Summer, Tuesdays at 10

What It Is: A spy-in-training is summoned to CIA headquarters before her training is done, because the CIA is . . . using her as bait for her ex-boyfriend? Or something? Maybe?
Snap Judgment: USA has so many good shows that I will try anything new they put out.
Verdict: I'm in.


Memphis Beat, Summer, Tuesdays at 10

What It Is: More cops! These ones are in Memphis, so at least that's different.
Snap Judgment: Oh, I don't know. There's not much to go on. I like Alfre Woodard, and the guitar and whiskey stuff makes this look sort of like a certain type of detective novel I like, but it's hard to say. I might not bother in the fall, but it's summer . . .
Verdict: I'll try one episode and see.

Rizzoli & Isles, Summer, Mondays at 10

What It Is: A Boston detective and M.E. from different backgrounds team up to solve crimes.
Snap Judgment: Another procedural! But this one has three things going for it: It's based on Tess Gerritsen's novels (which I haven't read, but have heard good things about). It's set in Boston. And both main characters are female, which should give it a new and possibly interesting dynamic. Also, I loved Angie Harmon in Women's Murder Club, and Lee Thompson Young (Jett Jackson) seems to be all grown up and hot, which is startling but certainly not bad. And I really like the emphasis on relationship they mention in the video. So.
Verdict: I'm in.

Franklin & Bash, Fall
What It Is: A buddy lawyer show.
Snap Judgment: Because Mark-Paul Gosselaar's last lawyer show for TNT went so well?
Verdict: Oh, I'll probably try it, because I actually really liked Raising the Bar.


Are We There Yet?, Summer, Wednesdays at 9

What It Is: A blended family learns to get along.
Snap Judgment: Hey, it's the sister from Smart Guy! But - enh. It was mildly amusing, I guess.
Verdict: Pass

Neighbors from Hell, Summer

What It Is: A cartoon about demons moving to earth.
Snap Judgment: I guess if you like this sort of thing you might like it? Yeah, I know that's a very helpful statement.
Verdict: Not for me.

ABC Family

Pretty Little Liars, Summer, Tuesdays at 8
It won't embed, but here's a preview.
What It Is: A group of estranged friends. A town full of secrets. A missing girl. Etc. (Based on a series of young adult novels, by the way.)
Snap Judgment: Sudden realization: Lyndsy Fonseca and Lucy Hale are two different people! I was wondering how she was doing this, HIMYM, AND Nikita all at once. Anyway! I haven't quite been able to get a handle on whether this is paranormal or what, and the "town full of secrets" thing has been done a lot, but I like high school shows and mysteries, so I'll watch.
Verdict: They had me at "From the producers of The Vampire Diaries."

Huge, Summer, Mondays at 9
What It Is: Teens at a weight loss camp.
Snap Judgment: Meh. Hard to say without a promo or anything. But I love Gina Torres.
Verdict: May give it a try for Torres, may not bother.

Melissa and Joey, Summer, Tuesdays at 8
What It Is: A politician has to take responsibility for her niece and nephew, and hires a male nanny.
Snap Judgment: Again, hard to say without a promo. But hey, politics! I don't know.
Verdict: We'll see.

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2010

New Summer & Fall 2010 Shows: FOX

Bob's Burgers, Fall, Midseason, Sundays at 8:30
What It Is: A cartoon about Bob and his burger joint.
Snap Judgment: I am even less interested in FOX's Sunday night cartoons than I am in reality shows, which is saying a lot.
Verdict: Pass

The Good Guys, Summer, Mondays at 9
This one has actually started - you can watch the pilot here.
What It Is: Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks are mismatched Dallas cops. Hilarity ensues.
Snap Judgment: Hilarity really does ensue. I can't really be at all neutral about this one, considering my Atlantic article and my fan site.
Verdict: Yes, please watch it.


What It Is: "A provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil." There's a con man with two families, and other soapy things.
Snap Judgment: More Texas, for those keeping score. This could either be really good or completely ridiculous, or maybe both. Too early to say.
Verdict: Worth a watch.

MasterChef, Summer, Tuesdays at 9
What It Is: Amateur chefs compete while being trained, I guess, by Gordon Ramsay.
Snap Judgment: Meh. Another cooking reality show.
Verdict: Pass

Mixed Signals, Spring, Tuesdays at 9:30

What It Is: A sitcom! About friends! Trying to balance love and friendship! I AM SHOCKED.
Snap Judgment: The promo was almost impressively unfunny, and not even the presence of Colin from Love, Actually can make me want to watch this.
Verdict: No thanks.

Raising Hope, Fall, Tuesdays at 9

What It Is: A totally unprepared young man finds out he has a baby and moves her into the home of his wacky, dysfunctional family.
Snap Judgment: I expected to hate this, but the promo was slightly endearing. Probably not enough to make me watch, though.
Verdict: Meh.

Ride-Along, January, Mondays at 9

What It Is: More cops! These ones are in Chicago.
Snap Judgment: It looks like there's enough politics and interpersonal stuff going on here to keep me interested. And there's an alderman! But there are a lot of cop shows. Off the top of my head, I'd put this one above the Detroit one but below the Selleck one.
Verdict: I'll try an episode or two.

Running Wilde, Fall, Tuesdays at 9:30

What It Is: A rich playboy tries to win back his childhood sweetheart, the housekeeper's daughter, who is now a humanitarian with a mute daughter.
Snap Judgment: I really wanted this to be good, because I have a soft spot for the childhood sweetheart thing and the rich playboy with a heart of gold thing. But the promo wasn't particularly interesting or funny. I may give it a try anyway, just in case.
Verdict: I'll probably try an episode.

Terra Nova, Midseason?
What It Is: In 2149, the planet is dying, and scientists open a portal to prehistoric Earth to try to save the human race by sending settlers back in time. Or something.
Snap Judgment: I kept telling this one to friends like a joke. "Did you hear the one about Steven Spielberg, Brannon Braga, and people from Avatar making a dinosaur show set in the future? No, really, they're doing that." It sounds completely ridiculous, but it's a sci-fi show on network TV, so I'll probably give it a try. If they manage to cast anyone good, that could help.
Verdict: I'll try it, but I'm pretty much expecting a mess.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2010

New Summer & Fall 2010 Shows: NBC

The Event, Fall, Mondays at 9

What It Is: Assassination plots! Disappearances! CIA cover-ups! And yet none of these are "The Event"!
Snap Judgment: I want this to be good, because I like mysteries. And yet I am deeply skeptical of open-ended mystery shows, because the plot often suffers when things have to be kept going indefinitely. So I'd be more positive about this if it were a movie or miniseries. But the promo was intriguing. And, hey, Scott Patterson (Luke from Gilmore Girls)!
Verdict: I'll try it and end up simultaneously addicted and annoyed. (See also: Battlestar Galactica.)

Chase, Fall, Mondays at 10

What It Is: U.S. Marshals in Texas hunt fugitives.
Snap Judgment: U.S. Marshals certainly seem to be having a moment (In Plain Sight, Justified), and is it me or is every other new show set in Texas this year? Good job with those tax breaks, Texas! This looks . . . I don't know, it looks fine. But it didn't particularly grab me, and it doesn't have any actors I feel strongly about.
Verdict: Might try an episode if I even remember it exists by the time it starts.

Undercovers, Fall, Wednesdays at 8

What It Is: Married, retired spies are reactivated by the CIA.
Snap Judgment: This looks like loads of fun. Action, romance, humor, likeable leads. (Hey, it's Martha's sister from Doctor Who!) The only thing I didn't like about the promo was the repeated use of the nonword "sexpionage."
Verdict: I'm in.

Law & Order: Los Angeles, Fall, Wednesdays at 10
What It Is: I think the title is pretty self-explanatory.
Snap Judgment: There's no promo OR cast yet, so . . . I don't know. I love procedurals, but I've only ever seen two episodes of any of the Law & Orders, mostly because I refuse to start watching shows in the middle. Should I take this chance to get in at the beginning? I don't know. Probably depends on who's in it.
Verdict: Reserving judgment until there's a cast, at least.

Outsourced, Fall, Thursdays at 9:30

What It Is: After the novelty product catalog call center he runs is outsourced to India, an American guy moves there to run it. Hilarity ensues, theoretically. (It seems to be based on this movie.)
Snap Judgment: I . . . I . . . I don't know! I usually hate uncomfortable humor and especially that based on cultural differences, but there was something about the promo that I found oddly appealing. And I already want to know what happens with the shy girl. And it's in India! Just watching the promo made me want Indian food.
Verdict: I guess I'll try it. Maybe.

Love Bites, Fall, Thursdays at 10

What It Is: An anthology show about "modern romance."
Snap Judgment: First, I feel fairly strongly that a show called Love Bites should involve vampires, and this does not. Second, I don't really understand the concept - "anthology show"? What? Third, the promo didn't do much for me. But fourth, I love Greg Grunberg, Jordana Spiro, and Kyle Howard, although the presence of the latter two makes me worry for the future of My Boys. So this might be one I end up trying for the cast rather than the concept.
Verdict: I'll try an episode or two.

School Pride, Fall, Fridays at 8

What It Is: Like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition but for schools.
Snap Judgment: I think getting volunteers to remodel schools is an admirable idea, but I don't really have any interest in watching them do so.
Verdict: Pass

Outlaw, Fall, Fridays at 10

What It Is: A playboy Supreme Court justice resigns to go back to practicing law, trying to be there for "the little guy."
Snap Judgment: Jimmy Smits!!!! I'd actually rather watch a drama about him on the Supreme Court than off it, but I won't be picky. (Two of the other regulars also appeared on The West Wing. One worked for Smits' character there too. Heee.)
Verdict: They had me at Jimmy Smits.

Losing It with Jillian, Summer, Tuesdays at 10

What It Is: Some sort of family weight loss show, with, I think, the woman from The Biggest Loser.
Snap Judgment: This didn't sound interesting enough for me to break my "no reality shows" rule, so honestly, I didn't even watch the preview I embedded above.
Verdict: Pass

Persons Unknown, Summer, Mondays at 10

What It Is: A bunch of people are kidnapped and put in a house together and . . . mysteries! It's unclear.
Snap Judgment: Another mystery show, but this one is a miniseries, and the promo actually says "By the end of summer, answers will be known." I will reward them for this revolutionary promise by watching their show. They'd better not let me down.
Verdict: I'll watch.

America's Next Great Restaurant, Midseason?
What It Is: Like Top Chef but the contestants want to start restaurant chains.
Snap Judgment: Hmm. This actually sounds vaguely interesting.
Verdict: I'll probably stick with my no-reality policy, but I might consider it.

Breakthrough with Tony Robbins, Midseason?
What It Is: Tony Robbins. On TV.
Snap Judgment: I am not exactly a fan of NLP, or most self-help authors in general.
Verdict: Run, far away.

The Cape, Midseason?

What It Is: A good cop in a corrupt city becomes a superhero to fight back.
Snap Judgment: I was momentarily disappointed that this wasn't about Cape Cod, but - Summer Glau! Superheroes! And the promo was completely charming.
Verdict: I'm in.

Friends with Benefits, Midseason?

What It Is: A sitcom about a group of friends looking for love. How original!
Snap Judgment: OMG! It's Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas from Veronica Mars), all grown up! I didn't really want to like this promo - I mean, cue obnoxious "hook-up culture" trend pieces, for one thing - but I kind of did.
Verdict: I might give it a try.

Harry's Law, Midseason?

What It Is: Kathy Bates quits her big corporate job and starts a law firm in an abandoned shoe store with a bunch of misfits. No, really.
Snap Judgment: I was deeply skeptical, but the promo did a lot to win me over, including giving a fair amount of screen time to a hot British guy. And Kathy Bates is always wonderful. So . . . maybe?
Verdict: We'll see.

The Paul Reiser Show, Midseason?

What It Is: "A comedy based on Paul Reiser's real-life experiences."
Snap Judgment: I've watched just enough Mad About You to have vaguely warm and fuzzy feelings toward Reiser, and a show about the daily life of a famous actor could be really interesting. But I'm not sure that's what this is. But it might be. Hm.
Verdict: Might try an episode or two, if I have time.

Perfect Couples, Midseason?

What It Is: A sitcom about three couples who are overinvolved in each others' lives.
Snap Judgment: Wait, Kyle Howard's in this one too? Is this some plot by NBC to make me watch all their shows because I find him endlessly charming? The promo itself was . . . fine.
Verdict: Fine. FINE. I cannot resist Kyle Howard.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2010

New Summer & Fall 2010 Shows: ABC

Better Together, Fall, Wednesdays at 8:30

What It Is: One sister has been with her boyfriend for nine years. The other gets engaged after seven weeks. Family is thrown into an uproar. Etc.
Snap Judgment: I . . . can't decide. Parts of the promo were cringe-inducing, and parts were actually intriguing. I love Joanna Garcia and Debra Jo Rupp. I don't tend to like sitcoms. There were grammar jokes. I DON'T KNOW.
Verdict: I guess I'll try it. Maybe.

Body of Proof, Fall, Fridays at 9

What It Is: After an accident, a neurosurgeon can no longer operate and becomes a medical examiner.
Snap Judgment: I like Dana Delaney. I like Nicholas Bishop. I like procedurals. I like characters with tortured pasts. I don't feel particularly strongly about this show, but it seems like something I will like.
Verdict: Sure!

Detroit 1-8-7, Fall, Tuesdays at 10

What It Is: Faux-documentary drama about homicide detectives in Detroit.
Snap Judgment: It looks good, but I'm not big on cop shows or the faux-documentary style. I don't know.
Verdict: Will probably pass.

The Gates, Summer, Sundays at 10

What It Is: A gated community full of secrets - but in addition to the usual sex and lies stuff, there are vampires and . . . other things. (Werewolves? Not sure.)
Snap Judgment: Looks like supernatural soapy fun, and Robert H. Wolfe (DS9, Dresden Files) is a producer, so that's a point in its favor.
Verdict: I'll give anything with vampires a try.

Happy Endings, Midseason

What It Is: A couple breaks up and tries to stay friends with their group of friends.
Snap Judgment: I was skeptical, and I usually don't like sitcoms, but the promo was rather charming. Bonus points for using some good music, too.
Verdict: I'll try an episode or two.

Mr. Sunshine, Midseason

What It Is: Ben owns a sports arena and is turning 40 and reevaluating his life.
Snap Judgment: Are you kidding? Matt Perry! Allison Janney! Nate Torrence! Tommy Schlamme! The girl from Joey! SIGN. ME. UP.
Verdict: I can't wait.

My Generation, Fall, Thursdays at 8

What It Is: Another faux-documentary, this one about students in the high school class of 2000 and their lives ten years later.
Snap Judgment: I feel like I should watch this, since it's about people exactly my age. But the promo just didn't grab me.
Verdict: Pass.

No Ordinary Family, Fall, Tuesdays at 8

What It Is: After a mysterious plane crash, a family gets superpowers.
Snap Judgment: Intriguing. I'm in favor of more superheroes on TV, and I like the blend of regular problems with the superhero stuff. And it looks pretty self-aware and funny.
Verdict: Worth a try.

Off the Map, Midseason

What It Is: Grey's Anatomy in the jungle.
Snap Judgment: I pretend like there's a chance I won't watch any show Shonda Rhimes puts out, but it's all an act. As much as Grey's and Private Practice might drive me crazy at times, she's pretty thoroughly got me.
Verdict: Fine! I'll watch.

Rookie Blue, Summer, Thursdays at 9

What It Is: Grey's Anatomy but cops. (Copper, as seen in the promo above, seems to be the Canadian name.)
Snap Judgment: It looks . . . fine. If it were a fall show, I probably wouldn't bother, but since it's summer, I'll check it out.
Verdict: I'll try an episode or two.

Scoundrels, Summer, Sundays at 9

What It Is: A family of criminals tries to go straight after the father goes to prison.
Snap Judgment: Again, probably wouldn't bother in the fall, but it looks like a fun summer diversion. Plus I love Vanessa Marano, Leven Rambin was good on her Grey's stint, and it should be interesting watching Patrick Flueger play twins.
Verdict: I'll try it.

Secret Millionaire, Fall, Fridays at 8

What It Is: Millionaires go "undercover" to live in poor neighborhoods, give some money away, and feel good about themselves.
Snap Judgment: Blech.
Verdict: No thanks.

The Whole Truth, Fall, Wednesdays at 10

What It Is: A legal drama that splits its focus between the defense and the prosecution.
Snap Judgment: I don't know. It doesn't sound as fresh and new as it seems to think it is - Raising the Bar, for one, did the same thing. And the female lead just left the show, so my opinion may change based on how they recast the role. I do like Rob Morrow.
Verdict: Meh.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2010

New Summer & Fall 2010 Shows: CBS

Blue Bloods, Fall, Fridays at 10

What It Is: Tom Selleck (completing our Friday Night Cop Mustache Block) is at the head of a family of New York cops.
Snap Judgment: I wasn't at all interested in this until I watched the promo, but now I'm intrigued. I'm not a particular fan of cop shows, but I love family dramas, so I'll probably watch a few episodes to find out whether this focuses more on the cop stuff or the family stuff.
Verdict: I'll try a few episodes.

The Defenders, Fall, Wednesdays at 10

What It Is: Jerry O'Connell and Jim Belushi are crazy criminal defense attorneys in Las Vegas.
Snap Judgment: I enjoyed the promo in spite of myself, so I'll probably start watching in spite of myself. We'll see if I actually like it. Bonus: Teddy Sears is in it, and I love him.
Verdict: I'll try one episode, and then decide.

Hawaii Five-O, Fall, Mondays at 10
What It Is: I'm assuming I'm the only one in the universe who has no idea what the original was about. This is a remake. Cops in Hawaii, it seems.
Snap Judgment: So, who takes the writers of Star Trek and stars from Moonlight, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica and thinks "Hey! I know! Let's make a cop show!" I mean, really? That said - well, those exact reasons are the reasons why I'll watch it. Plus, Hawaii looks pretty, and I'm all for shows set in unusual locations.
Verdict: FINE, I'll admit it: They had me at "Alex O'Loughlin."

Mike and Molly, Fall, Mondays at 9:30

What It Is: Mike and Molly meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love.
Snap Judgment: I like Melissa McCarthy, but I didn't smile once during the promo, and I have absolutely no interest in an entire show centered around joking about people's weight.
Verdict: Skip.

$#*! My Dad Says, Fall, Thursdays at 9:30

What It Is: This, as a sitcom, starring William Shatner.
Snap Judgment: I suppose I should be impressed that they managed to make Shatner so thoroughly unfunny. I mean, that takes skills. But mostly I'm worried about what this awful show will make people think about Twitter.
Verdict: No way.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

May 25, 2010

More Foyle's War!!!!!!!!

Yes, I realize I've now used up my daily quota of exclamation points, but really, this news is that exciting. Due to a TiVo issue, I somehow hadn't realized that PBS had been showing new episodes of Foyle's War in May. I'd vaguely heard that there were supposed to be new episodes at some point, but I'd had no idea that they were done and out there. But they are! And if you also missed them on PBS, you can get the DVDs a week from today. They're already at the top of my Netflix queue.

Posted by Kat at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2010

New Summer & Fall 2010 Shows: CW

There are promos out for most, if not all, of the shows that got picked up by the networks for fall. (And some new summer shows, too.) I watched them all, so you don't have to. You're welcome.

First up: CW!

Nikita, Fall, Thursdays at 9

What It Is: Assassins! Really pretty ones! Yes, based on La Femme Nikita. Nikita is a rogue assassin with another assassin hunting her down. I think. And other stuff.
Snap Judgment: If Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries have taught me anything, it's that CW dramas are worth a try. This one looks stylish and fun.
Verdict: I'm in.

Hellcats, Fall, Wednesdays at 9

What It Is: An academically-minded college student whose scholarship falls through has to join the school's competitive cheerleading team. (Why? That's slightly unclear, but I assume there's a scholarship for cheerleaders or something.)
Snap Judgment: I was actually more optimistic about this before I saw the 2-minute clip, which is clearly supposed to come across as sexy and high-energy but was actually just pretty boring. But I'm assuming the actual show will have a more balanced plot-to-cheerleading-routines ratio. And again, see what I said about about CW dramas.
Verdict: I'll try a few episodes.

Plain Jane, Summer

What It Is: "Plain" girls get makeovers and then dates with their crushes.
Snap Judgment: I am most certainly not a reality TV fan. And especially not a makeover show fan, or a dating show fan, and this seems to be both. And there's something just so patronizing about a show like this being on The Network of Beautiful People, which is basically CW's raison d'etre.
Verdict: No way in hell.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2010

CW's Fall Promo Video

I don't have anything particularly interesting to say about this. It's just . . . nicely done, and it captures the flavor of the network very well. And it makes me want to watch their shows that I don't already watch, even those I tried and didn't like. (I'm looking at you, Life Unexpected. Should I give you another try?) Except America's Next Top Model. I watched a season of that and I can't think of anything that could ever make me want to watch it again.

Posted by Kat at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2010

The Most Incredibly Exciting Week Ever

Okay, that may be overstating things a little, but seriously, folks, there's a lot of exciting pop culture stuff going on in the next week or so. Here's a rundown of the things that interest me. (Notes: All times are Eastern. Here's an explanation of "upfronts".)

Thursday, May 13
8 p.m.: The Vampire Diaries season finale (The episode description promises death and destruction. Damon says he wants to eat cotton candy and steal Stefan's girl. Yes, please!)
10 p.m.: Private Practice season finale (Okay, I'm not actually that excited about this, but apparently a main character will die, so there's that.)

Friday, May 14
Robin Hood and Letters to Juliet come out. No, I'm not expecting cinematic greatness from either, but as I am a fan of Matthew MacFadyen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and laughably bad historical movies, in the former case, and Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, silly Taylor Swift songs, and Italy, in the latter case, I am looking forward to both of these.

Monday, May 17
9 p.m.: Gossip Girl season finale (Blair responds to Chuck's ultimatum and, as usual, Jenny does something that makes us want to kill her. Necessary preparations: watch An Affair to Remember; buy scotch.)
10 p.m.: Castle season finale (I'm rather hoping this will see the end of Anders Demming getting between Castle and Beckett, but we'll see. It's too early in the series for Castle and Beckett to get together, anyway.)
Muse's new single, "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)," is released. (On a Monday? Yeah, I don't know.)
NBC and FOX Upfronts

Tuesday, May 18
9 p.m.: Neil Patrick Harris guest stars on Glee. Joss Whedon directs. (I don't need to explain why this is exciting, do I? Didn't think so.)
11 p.m.: Bradley Whitford on Chelsea Lately
The Demon's Covenant, the second book in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon trilogy, is released.
The third album of songs from Glee comes out.
ABC Upfronts

Wednesday, May 19
8 p.m.: The Good Guys preview episode (If you're unclear on my feelings about this, um, head over here.)
Google I/O 2010 begins.
CBS Upfronts

Thursday, May 20
8 p.m.: Bones season finale (They're saying it's going to be shocking and polarizing, again. So I'm a little worried. But at least no alternate realities this time!)
9 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy season finale
10 p.m.: The Mentalist season finale
Google I/O 2010 ends, so we'll hopefully have an Android-as-hotspot announcement by then.
CW Upfronts

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

May 10, 2010

The Hottest Characters on TV Right Now

I'm sure you've all noticed that I enjoy making lists. The other night while I was doing dishes or something, I started absentmindedly creating a list of the top five most attractive characters currently on TV. I was somewhat astonished that I got stuck at four. I can come up with these four who stand out, and then the next tier has 15 or so guys and I simply cannot decide who to elevate. Of course, if I were to wait a week or so, this problem would go the other way, because The Good Guys would be out and I'd probably want to include both of the male characters from that. But anyway! Here are my top four, at the moment, and than an incomplete list of honorable mentions. (Caveats: the order among the four changes based on my mood. As usual, I am judging by looks, personality, and whatever else, not just looks.) And hey, how about a quote from each? Because if there's anything I like almost as much as lists, it's quotes.

1. Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (Ian Somerhalder)
"It's Founder's Day. I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl."

2. Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight (Frederick Weller)
"Here's to the best friend I've ever had, could ever hope to have, a girl for whom no man will ever be good enough, I hope you know that... I love you and I wish for you nothing but a lifetime of happiness."

3. Seeley Booth from Bones (David Boreanaz)
"I'm the gambler. I believe in giving this a chance. Look, I want to give this a shot."

4. Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
"You and I are magnetic. You can feel it. Our pull is as undeniable as ever. I love you. Saying it was hard, but I did. And I've never looked back."

Interestingly, two of those (Marshall and Booth) are in law enforcement of some sort, and the other two are . . . very much not. One could even call them criminals. If one wished.

Honorable mention: Robert McCallister and Justin Walker from Brothers and Sisters, Rick Castle from Castle, Will Schuester from Glee, Will Gardner from The Good Wife, Derek Shepherd and Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy, Raylan Givens from Justified, Patrick Jane and Wayne Rigsby from The Mentalist, Adam Braverman from Parenthood, Pete Wilder and Sam Bennett from Private Practice.

Posted by Kat at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

The Hottest Characters on TV Right Now

I'm sure you've all noticed that I enjoy making lists. The other night while I was doing dishes or something, I started absentmindedly creating a list of the top five most attractive characters currently on TV. I was somewhat astonished that I got stuck at four. I can come up with these four who stand out, and then the next tier has 15 or so guys and I simply cannot decide who to elevate. Of course, if I were to wait a week or so, this problem would go the other way, because The Good Guys would be out and I'd probably want to include both of the male characters from that. But anyway! Here are my top four, at the moment, and than an incomplete list of honorable mentions. (Caveats: the order among the four changes based on my mood. As usual, I am judging by looks, personality, and whatever else, not just looks.) And hey, how about a quote from each? Because if there's anything I like almost as much as lists, it's quotes.

1. Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (Ian Somerhalder)
"It's Founder's Day. I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl."

2. Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight (Frederick Weller)
"Here's to the best friend I've ever had, could ever hope to have, a girl for whom no man will ever be good enough, I hope you know that... I love you and I wish for you nothing but a lifetime of happiness."

3. Seeley Booth from Bones (David Boreanaz)
"I'm the gambler. I believe in giving this a chance. Look, I want to give this a shot."

4. Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
"You and I are magnetic. You can feel it. Our pull is as undeniable as ever. I love you. Saying it was hard, but I did. And I've never looked back."

Interestingly, two of those (Marshall and Booth) are in law enforcement of some sort, and the other two are . . . very much not. One could even call them criminals. If one wished.

Honorable mention: Robert McCallister and Justin Walker from Brothers and Sisters, Rick Castle from Castle, Will Schuester from Glee, Will Gardner from The Good Wife, Derek Shepherd and Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy, Raylan Givens from Justified, Patrick Jane and Wayne Rigsby from The Mentalist, Adam Braverman from Parenthood, Pete Wilder and Sam Bennett from Private Practice.

Posted by Kat at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2010

Happy Town, anyone?

Anyone planning to try the new ABC show Happy Town tonight? I have to admit that the promos have done absolutely nothing for me. They haven't really given that much of an impression of the show itself, just a vague horror-like theme. Maybe. I think. (I just read this description and it helped a little, but doesn't it sound kind of like the backstory of the prefab families that come with The Sims?) And Alan Sepinwall's review doesn't do much to make me more hopeful.

But the cast. Oh, the cast. First of all, it has Steven Weber, and as a matter of policy, I will watch at least an episode or two of any show that employs one of the Studio 60 regulars. But if Weber weren't enough - Amy Acker (That Joss Whedon Girl)! Sam Neill (Merlin - no, the other Merlin)! Geoff Stults (the firefighter Kinkirk brother from 7th Heaven)! Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under)! So. I'll give it a try, although I'm not expecting much. I'll let you know how it goes.

Posted by Kat at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

April 23, 2010

One last bit of Shakespeare today...

Next week on PBS:

William Shakespeare + David Tennant + Patrick Stewart = WIN

Posted by Kat at 10:29 PM | Comments (1)

April 22, 2010

Covert Affairs

The promo for the new USA show Covert Affairs:

I don't really have anything interesting to say about this, other than that it looks promising, so go read Alyssa. Actually, here's the one thing I have to say: I was planning to watch this even before I saw the promo, because I'm spending a lot of time playing catch-up on USA shows I didn't watch from the beginning, and a lot of their shows are really really good. So at this point, I'll give practically any new show they come out with a chance. That's pretty impressive for a basic cable network.

Posted by Kat at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2010

Why I Won't Be Watching Romantically Challenged

I watched the premiere of Romantically Challenged last night. Now, a caveat up front: I'm generally not much of a sitcom fan. I think the only current ones I watch are How I Met Your Mother and My Boys. I generally prefer my shows to be an hour and my comedy to be mixed with drama. But a few friends were excited about this one, so I figured I'd give it a try.

But even given my indifference toward sitcoms, this show failed for me on a few levels. First of all, there were the common sitcom issues: laugh track. Overacting. "Jokes" that weren't funny. I think I laughed twice during the half hour, but now, the next morning, I can only remember one funny line: "I didn't really grow up in New York. I grew up on Long Island." And that's not even that funny, and I'm not sure how well it plays out of the New York area.

The acting was . . . not great. The two guys were serviceable, at least, and if the show was focused on the dynamic between them, I might watch. I know Alyssa Milano has a lot of fans, but from this, I can't say I understand why. She came across as tense, wooden, fake, and thoroughly unfunny. (I thought she did better in her guest spot on Castle, in which she more or less just stood there and looked fragile.) And the actress who played her sister - well, she came across as a mediocre actress trying to be Kristin Chenoweth. Which meant she basically just ended up as annoying.

But there are lots of questionably funny sitcoms out there, and usually I can take or leave them. This one I actively disliked, because the humor - or, more frequently, the unsuccessful attempts at humor - came from a really questionable place. It took a very antagonistic stance toward its main character. Sure, a lot of comedies are centered around jokes at the expense of the main character(s), but the viewer usually gets the impression that the show is on the character's side, when it comes down to it. That was not the case here. Rebecca (Milano) was barely even a character. She was a collection of stereotypes thrown together for the purpose of mocking them.

Quick recap: Rebecca receives an invitation to her ex-husband's wedding so her friends and sister convince her she needs to start dating again. She glances around their regular coffee shop (no, really) and finds a guy to go out with, because God forbid the writers exert themselves and come up with a way for her to meet the guy. At her friends' suggestion, she lies about her son's age to make herself sound younger, and then also lies about other stuff for no apparent reason. She says a picture of her 15-year-old son is actually her ex, and the guy buys it, which . . . I don't even know. ANYWAY. Once her lies are eventually revealed, the show implies that she shouldn't have lied because it just makes her more worthless and pitiful - but there's no suggestion that she shouldn't have lied because she was worth dating as she actually was, without feeling the need to change herself.

In another "Is lying actually bad?" subplot, Rebecca's teenaged son passes off one of the adult character's short stories as his own. As you can probably predict, this is actually a set-up for jokes in which the teacher says the stories aren't very good and the actual author, who is supposed to be a writer of some sort, is offended. But no one seems concerned about the cheating aspect. And, I don't know, it's not like I demand my TV shows adhere to some high moral standard. I'll defend Gossip Girl with my last breath, for heaven's sake, and some absolutely reprehensible things have happened on that show. But they always happen for a reason. Here, it was just - careless. A cheap laugh. And it made the teenager into another non-character.

The other main subplot was about one of the men (and I remember the name of neither character, nor their supposed relationships with Rebecca, so you can see how memorable this all is. Actually, I had to look up Rebecca's name, too) who starts dating a woman who wants to be spanked, among other things that the man finds objectionable. In a general sense, this subplot was playing for laughs the idea that a woman who is sexually assertive, and who knows what she wants, is scary and unfeminine and necessarily emasculates her partner. And - seriously, haven't we gotten past that yet?

More specifically, it was this subplot that brought the line that almost made me turn off the TV right then; I'm paraphrasing, but it was something close to "I have to go over there and beat the crap out of her so she'll love me." I understand that it was trying to be a joke about consensual behavior, but it missed. It became an unfunny "joke" about domestic violence instead. I won't say that TV shows shouldn't be allowed to joke about that, or any specific subject. I'm all for freedom of speech, and pretty much any subject can be used effectively in fiction. But I have no interest in watching something that treats this serious subject so carelessly as to use it in a throwaway line that wasn't even funny.

Posted by Kat at 03:20 PM | Comments (2)

April 14, 2010

TV Couple Quiz Answers

Okay, apparently these quotes were harder than I thought, because the most anyone got without hints was 2. Christine (kiss_me_cassie) and Katie (politiKitz) - let me know what show you want me to try! Here are the answers:

1. "Better than kissing my dog." - Gus Pike and Felicity King, Avonlea

2. "Are we done here?" "I'm almost certain we're not." - Matt Albie and Harriet Hayes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

3. "No one writes songs about the ones that come easy." - Logan Echolls and Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars

4. "Get a soul." "Get a brain." - Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan, Bones

5. "All the girls think you look really hot in this shirt." "Gimme that." - Josh Lyman and Donna Moss, The West Wing

6. "Cross away, for I have no problem with this, as you are my girlfriend and she is my sister." "Then why are you talking like Theodoric of York?" - Jeremy Goodwin and Natalie Hurley, Sports Night

7. "Eight letters. Three syllables. Say them and I'm yours." - Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl

8. "You unbelievable moron. You've known me for fifteen years. Flirt with me." - Casey McCall and Dana Whitaker, Sports Night

9. "Rules are rules, right?" "Maybe I'm sick of the rules." - Wayne Rigsby and Grace van Pelt, The Mentalist

10. "Welcome to reality, superstar." "Well, I never did much like reality." - Rick Castle and Kate Beckett, Castle

11. "I hate that it's so hard, and that you can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did because you did it to me. Oh God, I wish that I wished you dead. I don't. I can't." - Buffy Summers and Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Posted by Kat at 08:07 AM | Comments (1)

April 09, 2010

TV Couple Quiz, with a Prize!

NOTE: I forgot a really important one, so if there was no #11 when you looked, look again.

It's Friday. Let's play a little game! Here's how it works:

1. I'll give you a list of quotes that have to do with my favorite 'ships (couples on TV shows I want[ed] to get together). The order is random. There could be more than one from one show.
2. You see how many names and shows you can get. No Googling!
3. Leave a comment with your guesses. I'll screen the comments for a while so you won't be influenced by other people's answers.
4. Whoever gets the most answers correct gets to pick out a TV show I don't watch, and I'll give it a try (as long as it's available on Netflix/online/whatever).
Ready? Here we go!

1. "Better than kissing my dog."

2. "Are we done here?" "I'm almost certain we're not."

3. "No one writes songs about the ones that come easy."

4. "Get a soul." "Get a brain."

5. "All the girls think you look really hot in this shirt." "Gimme that."

6. "Cross away, for I have no problem with this, as you are my girlfriend and she is my sister." "Then why are you talking like Theodoric of York?"

7. "Eight letters. Three syllables. Say them and I'm yours."

8. "You unbelievable moron. You've known me for fifteen years. Flirt with me."

9. "Rules are rules, right?" "Maybe I'm sick of the rules."

10. "Welcome to reality, superstar." "Well, I never did much like reality."

11. "I hate that it's so hard, and that you can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did because you did it to me. Oh God, I wish that I wished you dead. I don't. I can't."

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (4)

February 25, 2010

American Idol vs. Google Voice

As I've mentioned, Katie Stevens, a girl from my small hometown, is on American Idol this season. She has now made it to the top 24, which means that, on Tuesday night, I was trying to figure out how to actually vote on the darn thing for the first time ever. And I couldn't do it. I got a busy signal a few times, which seemed reasonable, but then it just kept ringing and ringing. I IMed a friend who's a regular Idol watcher. "Is it supposed to just ring? Is something supposed to HAPPEN?" Yes, he assure me, something was supposed to happen. I was supposed to hear a recording that thanked me for voting. This never, ever happened.

On a hunch, I turned off Google Voice (which I LOVE, except for now this one issue) for this one call and tried again. Success! I immediately got the recording I had been told I should get. So. It turns out that I am not too dumb to vote for American Idol after all, and I can assure you that that is a relief. If you're using Google Voice and are not sure how to turn it off for such purposes, here are some quick instructions:

1. Open the Voice app. (NOT the Dialer.)
2. Go to the Menu (menu button on my phone) and select Settings.
3. Select Making Calls.
4. Select "Ask every time I make a call."
Now, when you go to your Dialer and enter a number, it will ask you whether to call with Google Voice or not. You can select no for these voting calls and yes for everything else.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2010

Your worlds-colliding Hollywood news of the day

Jane Kaczmarek has been cast in a pilot called Who Gets the Parents? about a divorcing couple and their adult children. Playing her ex will be Adam Arkin, who you may know as Dr. Stanley Keyworth, trauma therapist to Josh on The West Wing. Josh, of course, was played by Kaczmarek's real-life ex, Bradley Whitford. Two of the children will be played by Andrew West and Derek Richardson. Kaczmarek and Arkin are both fine actors, so I'll be checking out this one if it actually makes it on the air.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (2)

February 18, 2010

TV's Top Couples, Round One

Round One voting has begun in the TV's Top Couples tournament. There are 64 couples, paired into 32 matches. Vote for your favorite from each pair. A few observations:

1) Can anyone figure out what order they're in? In other similar tournaments, contestants have been alphabetical.

2) Seriously? Seriously? There are this many couples and they're making me choose between Josh/Donna and Buffy/Angel in ROUND ONE? Unfair.

3) I'm disappointed in several who apparently didn't make the top 64. I can forgive them, I suppose, for snubbing Studio 60 and Avonlea. But where are Meredith and Derek? No one but Cooper and Charlotte from Private Practice? No one but Helo and Athena from BSG? No one from The Mentalist? Ridiculous.

4) I absolutely love that the tenth Doctor and Rose made the list, and that they are thoroughly trouncing Denny and Izzie.

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

Why I will NOT watch Caprica

I thought the premise of Caprica sounded interesting. And it's getting great reviews. I've been TiVoing it, but I hadn't actually been able to bring myself to watch any of it. Then I read this, and realized I never would. (That piece also made me decide I need to brunch this weekend. Read it! It will apparently change your life.)

As Elon says, "Fool me once, shame on Battlestar Galactica. Fool me twice..." I liked some of Battlestar Galactica. The beginning of it. Okay, I really liked "33," and a few other episodes were okay too. I was more or less okay with the trajectory of the show in the first season, but I thought it went downhill very quickly from there, and by the end it was a complete mess.

Now, I'm not saying that TV writers should have the entire plots of multiple-season shows worked out before they even start. I am saying that if one of your show's taglines is "They have a plan," you should, you know, have a plan. BSG had such potential, until it became clear that the writers thought they were Deep or something and saying Important Things about things but didn't bother to come up with a coherent plot or explanations for things. So now, even though their new show sounds good, I Just. Don't. Trust. Them.

I deleted it from the TiVo this morning. More space for the Olympics!

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2010

Chuck shippers are giving all of us a bad name.

Something happened on this week's episode of Chuck that has fans up in arms. Coincidentally, I just started watching the show the other day (via Netflix), so at this point I don't really understand the controversy. (There's some info here.) But I can tell it has something to do with the Chuck/Sarah relationship not going the way people want. Honestly, at four episodes in, I would be inclined to ship Casey/Sarah, but it should be obvious to anyone who has eyes and has maybe seen a TV show before that Chuck/Sarah is the endgame here.

So, first of all, people, calm the heck down. It's a TV show. Nine times out of ten (I'm looking at you, Battlestar Galactica), the obvious couple will get together by the end of the show, so relax and enjoy the ride. Because you know what happens when they get that couple you love together? Either the show ends, the show gets bad, or they break them up for no reason. (Grey's Anatomy is a notable exception to this at the moment, but I think that's only working because there are so many other couples on the show that are not stable.) Wouldn't you rather wait until the end of the show and let them get together for good, instead of watching them break up?

Second: People are talking about organizing a boycott of the show until the writers do what the fans want. STOP IT. A boycott will only make the rating go down so the show gets cancelled. And I don't care how much you love the show or how many Subway sandwiches you ate or whatever last season to keep it from getting cancelled. It doesn't make the show yours. It's someone else's intellectual and artistic property, and they have every right to do what they want with it. You, of course, have every right to stop watching if you no longer like the show, but that's different from trying to force them to change course.

But the real problem here is that this controversy is leading to a lot of articles like this that define shippers as "people whose enjoyment of a show hinges entirely on the progress of a romantic couple." No. That's just not what it means. Look, I'm a shipper. I ship TV character, book characters, whatever. I ship race car drivers, for God's sake. But I'm completely capable of watching a show for other reasons, regardless of how my favorite couple is doing. I watched Veronica Mars. I survived seven seasons each of The West Wing and Gilmore Girls. I kept watching Buffy after Angel left. I don't think any of the couples I liked ever got together on Enterprise. We're on season five of Bones and they haven't gotten together, and I'm still watching. I generally watch shows if I like the writing and the characterization and the plot. Having a couple to root for adds to the fun, but it isn't the be all and end all of TV watching for me. And this goes for pretty much all the shippers I know, and I know a lot of them.

So, Chuck people, please stop it. The rest of fandom will thank you.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)

February 02, 2010

Poor Kermit!

I heard the Lady and the Tramp song on a commercial, so I glanced up at the TV and saw Taye Diggs. And then Miss Piggy. By that point I was thoroughly confused. I eventually figured out it was this:

It's cute, and I certainly can't blame Miss Piggy for finding Taye Diggs dreamy. Don't we all? But what about poor Kermit? Aww.

Posted by Kat at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2010

Curse you, American Idol!

I watch a lot of scripted TV, but reality TV has never been my thing. I've watched a season each of a few of the competition shows (Amazing Race, Project Runway), and my best friend recently reminded me that we once watched a season of The Apprentice. (I had apparently managed to block that out of my memory.) But in general, they don't really pull me in, and I had completely resisted American Idol. Until now.

Really, I'm pretty convinced that American Idol deliberately set out to lure me in this year. First, they announced that they were having guest judges. And who do they get? Two of my favorite actor/singers, Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris. "Fine," I thought. "I'll watch their episodes. But that's it."

So then - then! - they put someone I sort of know on the show. Here's Katie Stevens:

Katie is from my small hometown in Connecticut, and her brother and my brother were in the same grade and played soccer together and stuff. I haven't seen her in years, but I vaguely remember her from soccer games and such. My parents say she's a nice kid; she sang at a wedding they attended a few months ago. So now, of course, I have to watch and vote as long as she's on. Sigh. I had no idea American Idol would go to such lengths to make me watch.

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2010

What should my parents watch next?

My parents aren't big TV-watchers. They don't really watch any traditional once-a-week shows, except for maybe Dancing with the Stars. But I've gotten them hooked on TV on DVD. They've gone through Bones and just finished The West Wing. They liked the former well enough, but they LOVED the latter. What should I have them watch next? I have a few ideas but I'm curious to see what you all think.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2010

SAG Awards Liveblog

8:00: I don't even know who's hosting. Now they're just . . . introducing a lot of people? I'm not sure why. Anna Paquin's dress is a mess.

8:02: Now people are introducing themselves! Stop with the introductions! Edie Falco gives the President's bio instead of her own, which is kind of awesome. Aww, Cory Monteith. I won't complain about his intro.

8:04: Maybe there is no host. Here's Kate Hudson and Justin Timberlake. Her dress is bizarre - the front covers everything and the back isn't there at all. Are they hosting or presenting? I can't even tell. Okay, presenting. Male Actor in a Comedy Series. I watch none of these shows, and find it ridiculous that neither Matthew Morrison nor Neil Patrick Harris were nominated. Alec Baldwin wins and hugs his brother. Aww. Larry David is not clapping for him. Baldwin's speech is very pro-union. Negotiations coming up soon! Please don't go on strike, actors.

8:09: Inglourious Basterds people introducing a clip of the movie. Can someone please explain the "Basterds" spelling to me? Diane Kruger's shoulder is still bothering me. My brother loved this movie, but I think my dad didn't like it. I assume that means I wouldn't like it either, but I should probably give it a try.

8:10: It seems like someone tried really hard to make Simon Baker less attractive, but yay for his actual accent. I've already talked about Anna Paquin's dress, but - wow. Really not nice. This is Female Actor (Actress? Not sure how they phrased it) in a Comedy Series. Again, I don't watch any of these shows, and Lea Michele was robbed. But Tina Fey wins! I support that, on principle. She makes an NBC joke, of course.

8:15: Commercial for Valentine's Day. I know it looks awful, but I still want to see it, because that cast! I'll wait for Netflix, though.

8:17: It just occurred to me that I didn't eat dinner. Or, um, lunch. Next commercial break, I should heat up some leftovers.

8:19: We're back! Jane Lynch! We are "celebrat[ing] the artistry of funny." Hey, Danny Kaye! Is this just a sequence of random funny moments from things? Why? Some of them are not very funny. Lots of dancing. Lots of hitting. Most of these were not from this year, by the way. Okay. That was random.

8:22: Kyra Sedgwick and Ray Romano, for Outstanding Comedy Ensemble. Ray Romano says he's going off-script but it seems very planned. Okay, nominees. I should really start watching 30 Rock. I want Glee to win this, of course. And - they did! Yay! They all look so adorable and happy. And something about the way Matthew Morrison and Cory Monteith just hugged made me want to go look for teacher/student slash. Jane Lynch is doing the speech. "We also have the largest cast."

8:27: Precious stars introducing their movie clip. I should probably see this movie too, huh?

8:28: Helen Mirren, silver all over. Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. I wanted to see Invictus but I think I missed it. Ooh, I want to see The Last Station too. I adore Christopher Plummer. I haven't seen any of these movies so I think I'm rooting for Plummer, although I loved Tucci in Julie and Julia. It goes to Christoph Waltz. His speech is a little incoherent. But he looks like he's actually crying, so points for that.

8:33: Commercial! Let's get food.

8:36: Okay, back with leftover spaghetti. They just showed a commercial for The Pregnancy Pact. I might feel compelled to liveblog that tomorrow. Just to warn you.

8:38: We're back! Felicity Huffman and Alec Baldwin. Felicity can't read the teleprompter. Aww. Alec is reading it all. Man, I miss Sports Night. This is Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series. The only one of these I watch is The Good Wife. And Julianna Margulies wins! Oh, there's Matt Czuchry hugging her. She's thanking the writers. I'm actually about ten episodes behind on this show. I should catch up. She pronounces Matt's last name "ZOOK-ri." Good to know. Thanking the cast, now her parents. They call her after every episode. Aww. Snakes on a Plane joke!

8:43: Jenna Fischer and Benjamin Bratt, drinking on stage a la Ricky Gervais. Is it real? Unclear. Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series. I'm pulling for Simon Baker but assuming Michael C. Hall will win. Yup. I loved him on Six Feet Under but have yet to watch Dexter. He's the second one (I think) to say the word "union" in his speech. Uh-oh. He seems to have taken the weird shiny suit torch from Mark Saling and Taylor Lautner last week.

8:46: Carey Mulligan introducing the clip from An Education. I really want to see this because I love Nick Hornby. And she's pretty adorable. I was unsure about her dress on the red carpet but I'm liking it here.

8:47: Christina Applegate and Chris O'Donnell, wearing blue ribbons. For Haiti? Not sure. I thought last week they were wearing red ribbons for Haiti. This is Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series. Again, The Good Wife is the only one I watch, but I'm guessing it will go to Dexter or Mad Men. (I know, I need to watch Mad Men.) Oh, or maybe they're feeling quirky and will give it to True Blood? Nope, Mad Men. (Have I mentioned how weird it seems that the award is called "the Actor"? It makes a lot of the statements awfully clunky.) Wow, Elisabeth Moss is very sparkly, and I like her hair here better than it was at the Golden Globes. Jon Hamm jokes that he told them all to grow beards and they didn't.

8:53: Commercial for From Paris With Love. Totally want to see that. I mean, John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers together? Hee!

8:57: Now for Ken Howard, the president of the Screen Actors Guild. This is only the 16th annual awards? Huh. He's talking about how great the actors are, but I'd like this to be a little more uniony. He's thanking George Clooney for the telethon. Back to the union. "We're all in this together," blah blah. Now thanking the Armed Forces. And the fellow entertainment unions. "We're all in this together." Again.

9:00: Sandra Bullock, introducing The Blind Side? No! Introducing Betty White for the life achievement award. I still can't decide how I feel about the top of Sandra's dress. She finds Betty White annoying because she makes her feel like a slacker. "She starred in four different shows called The Betty White Show. Four. Most people would stop naming shows after themselves after three." Lots of talk about how many Emmys she has, which seems a little weird at a different award show. Time for the Betty White bio movie, with a voiceover that really makes it sound like one of those documentaries they make for middle schools.

9:04: Apparently Betty White sings. I did not know that.

9:07: Wow, this is going on forever.

9:11: People have clapped for over a minute. Now Betty is speechifying. Honestly? I haven't seen much she's done and so don't really care much about this part.

9:18: Laura Ashley makes mattresses? This thought brought to you by a Sleepy's commercial.

9:19: Extraordinary Measures trailer. I am disappointed in the lack of "I already work around the clock!" And now a Men of a Certain Age ad. I wish I'd started watching that.

9:20: Anna Kendrick and Stanley Tucci. Odd combination. Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. I have seen none of these. Drew Barrymore wins for Grey Gardens, which I didn't watch on principle, because isn't the whole point of the original that it's so unbelievable but actually true? Drew is stammering. "Again, I'm not used to this." Drew? If you have to say "again," you should be used to this. I do not find her messes of speeches cute or endearing. At all.

9:24: Here are three guys from The Hurt Locker. I'm afraid I didn't catch their names. I really hope this wins instead of Avatar for at least SOMETHING tonight.

9:25: Michelle Monaghan and Jon Hamm. Her dress also has only one sleeve, which I didn't even notice because of its blinding sparkly stripes the last time I saw it. Overall, a definite fail. This is Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. I haven't seen any of these either. I sort of want Kevin Kline to win for Cyrano de Bergerac just because. Nope, Kevin Bacon. Kyra Sedgwick is very cutely excited for him. I'm not sure I like the black tie on black shirt with black jacket thing Bacon has going on.

9:29: Sigourney Weaver, whose dress also looks like it is falling off her shoulder and is generally sack-like. She's introducing the In Memoriam bit. I wonder if she wore black deliberately because of that? Oh, gosh, I forgot about Natasha Richardson. Ohh, Brittany Murphy. Ron Silver! I'm pretty sure that was a West Wing clip they used for him. I always wonder how they decide what order to put people in. It's obviously not alphabetical or chronological by date of birth or death. Patrick Swayze! Okay, now I'm all sad.

9:39: Morgan Freeman for Supporting Actress in a Feature Film. Penelope Cruz is very sparkly. Once again: seen none of these. I'm sorry; apparently I never watch anything. Mo'Nique wins. Shocking! Her dress is all nipply and clingy and - well, actually, it just looks like she needs to wear a slip. It's also pretty wrinkled. My father would not let me go out in a dress in that condition, is all I'm saying.

9:43: And now a bunch of people from Nine. I wanted that to be good - I love musicals - but I keep hearing it wasn't, so I'll wait for DVD.

9:50: Meryl Streep! I was uncertain about her patterned dress and big belt on the red carpet, but I think she's making it work. We're at Male Actor in a Leading Role. I haven't seen any of these but I'm pulling for Colin Firth as a matter of principle. (And I want to see all of them, actually.) And . . . Jeff Bridges. Again. He's saying "you guys" a lot. My father wouldn't approve of that either, while we're on the subject. He is rambly. They're telling him to wrap it up. He refuses. He's recommending his over-the-phone singing coach. Once again, he's making them show his wife, which is nice.

9:55: Warren Beatty. No jokes. Short intro. They must be out of time. Female Actor in a Leading Role. Helen Mirren should win because that's how the universe just works, right? She wins everything because she's awesome? Ooh, but Meryl Streep is up for Julie and Julia, and I DID see that! Three times! Oh my God! Sandra Bullock beat out them plus the Precious girl and Carey Mulligan? I am honestly shocked. Wait, Tim McGraw was in The Blind Side? THAT Tim McGraw? Huh. Okay, Bullock's speech is pretty cute, especially the part about her husband.

10:00: George Clooney, to present Cast of a Motion Picture. He just made some Betty White joke I didn't quite get. Again: I have seen none of these, but I want The Hurt Locker to win because of the Golden Globes situation. Nope! Inglorious Basterds. I have never seen a Tarantino movie. Perhaps this shall be the first.

10:03: And we're out!

Posted by Kat at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

SAG Red Carpet Liveblog

Red carpet time! I'm starting a little late, so I'm fast forwarding through boring people to catch up . . .

6:22: Chris Colfer wants Julie Andrews to be on Glee! Yes! Wonderful idea. And Jenna Ushhowitz looks lovely.

6:27: Betty White's dark blue stripes are kind of unfortunate.

6:30: Patricia Arquette's dress looks extremely uncomfortable. And Tracy Morgan's date's dress looks like it's strangling her. And - his pickup line is "I'm going to get you pregnant"? Really?

6:33: I have never seen True Blood, but I approve of the cast's clothing choices so far.

6:35: Aww. Carey Mulligan brought her best friend. And Sarah Hyland seems to be having some sort of issue with her dress falling off.

6:38: Cory Monteith! Breaking: no A-list actresses hit on him at the Golden Globes. Also! He's single. His suit is much less shiny than it was at the Golden Globes, so that's a plus.

6:39: Stana Katic's dress looks like it would be really hard to pull off, but I think she's making it work. And I love her hair.

6:41: I feel like Christina Applegate's dress includes several elements I usually dislike, but somehow the combination works.

6:44: Amber Riley: It is not hard for us to find out your age. Stop trying to be cute.

6:46: Billy Baldwin is Alec Baldwin's date for the evening. They are making fun of Stephen. Hee. Alec seems annoyed that Giuliana keeps asking whether things in It's Complicated were in the script. Of course they were! Wait, he and Steve Martin are hosting the Oscars? Huh.

6:55: I didn't catch the name of this person from Modern Family, but her black and white one-sleeve thing is a bit alarming. I'm over the one-sleeve thing in general, actually.

6:57: Please show us the rest of Anna Kendrick's dress, glam cam. I thought she was actually really good in New Moon. Shades of Cordelia Chase, no?

6:58: Tina Fey, asking who criticized her dress last week. I actually liked her Golden Globes dress. Obviously she's playing it safe this week. I like the purple but her dress has this weird gaping pockety thing right in front that is really unflattering. And I feel this neckline really calls for a necklace.

7:01: Jane Lynch! Giuliana made her a PBJ. Hah. Her dress is nicely swoopy. I love full skirts, and it's an interesting blue.

7:02: Justin Timberlake! Not sure about the dark shirt. But he's cute so he gets a pass.

7:03: Oh, Mark Salling. No fad diets, please. I am iffy on the two-tone suit.

7:07: Wow. Sarah Paulson's Holly Hunter impression really is right on, huh? As soon as Hunter started talking, I thought "Huh, that's the person Sarah Paulson imitates!"

7:11: Speaking of Sorkin alums, there's Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy! Macy tweeted that Paul McCartney gave him his scarf, fwiw.

7:15: Someone is wearing very unfortunate white feathers, but they didn't put her name up and I don't quite recognize her.

7:17: They could stop this "Gigi" and "Ross-Ross" thing ANY TIME NOW. And Diane Kruger's dress looks like it's falling off one shoulder, although I'm sure it was designed that way.

7:18: Lea Michele's dress is pretty but I honestly don't think anyone's neckline needs to be at their belly buttons. I love her hair down and curly, though. Oh, yes, Justin Timberlake would also be a great guest star.

7:20: Julia Louis-Dreyfus's dress is quite possibly the worst yet, but I love how she's talking about Giuliana's dress instead.

7:22: Justin Timberlake! I've decided that the blue shirt is okay, but the issue is the bowtie being blacker than the suite. Wait. Why is Giuliana dancing?? Stop, please. JT says he'd be on Glee! Yay! And now he's talking about the Facebook movie. Also yay. He looks sort of like T.J. Thyne, no? I never noticed that before.

7:29: Sandra Bullock seems to have lost track of her husband (?). I can't decide whether I like her dress. It almost looks like she's wearing should pads. Hrm.

7:30: Amber Riley's dress doesn't quite fit.

7:32: Matthew Morrison! Apparently Giuliana is feeling him up and he's very muscular. He has a man crush on Justin Timberlake. Yes! Get him on Glee! They're showing him and Chace Crawford on the glam cam 360 thing. I kind of love that he and Chace are buddies. Now he's talking about his record deal. He'll be recording on the weekends. He looks extremely nice, by the way. Of course.

7:34: Marion Cotillard is doing slightly better with the clothes thing than she'd been doing lately, but it's awfully feathery.

7:35: Jon Hamm's beard is delightful. That is all.

7:35: I would like Nancy Carrell's dress if it were all one color. Alas, it is not.

7:36: I don't watch Kyra Sedgwick's show, but I like her dress.

7:41: The E! guy is talking about the new Footloose movie. I thought that had been cancelled?

7:43: Paula Patton, repeat after me: The front bustle never works.

7:44: Julianna Margulies's neckline has a little too much going on there.

7:45: John Krasinski is looking dapper. Jennifer Carpenter's dress is just baffling. Are her sleeves longer than her skirt? Jessalyn Gilsig has unfortunate crotch-area gathering on her dress.

7:48: Indy Racing League commercial! Nifty. And yes, that means I am now caught up.

7:52: Michelle Monaghan's dress makes my eyes hurt. Hey, Colin Firth! Lovely as always. And they cut right from Colin to Matthew Morrison. Are they trying to kill me with the hotness?

7:54: Agh! The architecture of Drew Barrymore's dress is alarming. Helen, Mirren, however, is beautiful as always.

7:58: Adam Lambert: not watching American Idol. Hah.

Posted by Kat at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

A few thoughts on the Haiti telethon

(Here's the link, in case anyone needs it: Hope for Haiti Now.)

1. I knew I wasn't going to be home when the telethon aired, so I TiVoed it. I think that says a lot about what a huge cultural event they managed to make it, that anyone would even think to TiVo a telethon. So good job to the organizers for getting so many huge names.

2. I will admit that I didn't give, because a) I already donated elsewhere (Doctors without Borders) and b) I wasn't comfortable giving to anything associated with Yele, just in case.

3. It really, really bugged me that they didn't give names for any of the performers (or actors/other celebrities doing the talking parts). I recognized some, but certainly not all, and I would have liked to know who they were.

4. I am biased against anyone who isn't Jeff Buckley (even Leonard Cohen - I know it's his but the Buckley version is just sublime) but I have to say that Justin Timberlake (and someone else I didn't recognize) did a nice job of "Hallelujah." I will be buying at least that one and the Jay-Z one when they get up on iTunes. (I might just get the whole album. I am undecided.)

5. I unabashedly love Taylor Swift's records, but I'm always disappointed with her performances I see on TV.

6. "Like a Prayer" is probably my favorite Madonna song, but it seemed like an odd choice in this context. The choir sounded nice but also seemed weird, given the song.

7. Songs in the telethon that have also been on Glee: three that I caught. No real point there, except maybe that in all cases I preferred the Glee versions.

Posted by Kat at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

Conan's Goodbye

Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever watched the Tonight show, regardless of host. But I've seen enough clips and such to know that I find Conan way funnier than Leno. But anyway. That's not the point. The point is that this is an amazing goodbye:

Classy. Makes me like him even more. The musical number was great too:

All that? That makes me want to watch whatever he does next. Well played, sir.

Posted by Kat at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2010

Aaron Sorkin Alums on New Shows

(Note: All lists in this post are alphabetical, because I'm insane.)

It looks like the following new shows have been picked up (or at least greenlit as pilots). (And let me know if you know of any to add to the list.)

Code 58: Tim Matheson (directing), Diana-Maria Riva, Bradley Whitford
Happy Town: Steven Weber
Mr. Sunshine: Matthew Perry (and Thomas Schlamme!)
Parenthood: Peter Krause (and Thomas Schlamme!)
Past Life: Richard Schiff

In addition to the following already on:

Brothers and Sisters: Rob Lowe
Desperate Housewives: Felicity Huffman, Kathryn Joosten, Brenda Strong
The Good Wife: Josh Charles
House: Lisa Edelstein
Mad Men: Elisabeth Moss
Psych: Dule Hill
United States of Tara: Nate Corddry
Weeds: Mary-Louise Parker

Someone! Go grab Tim Busfield, Allison Janney, Sabrina Lloyd, Josh Malina, Janel Moloney, Sarah Paulson, Amanda Peet, Teri Polo, Martin Sheen, and Jimmy Smits and make an awesome ensemble show! Thank you.

Posted by Kat at 11:54 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2008

Foyle's... Peace?

Good news for British mystery fans! It seems that Foyle's War is being reincarnated as Foyle's Peace. Can't wait!

Posted by Kat at 12:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2008

The Lost Children of Rockdale County

The PBS documentary The Lost Children of Rockdale County had been referenced in several articles I'd read recently, but I'd never actually seen it, so it finally occurred to me to get it from Netflix. It was... interesting. Quick summary: a syphilis outbreak among teenagers leads to the exposure of a secret teenage culture of ridiculous amounts of group sex and various other destructive behaviors. You can see more at PBS's site about the documentary. I thought the Frontline people did a good job of interviewing the teens and their parents; I was amazed at how much they got several of the teens to tell them. (The cute blonde 13-year-olds using their stuffed animals to show the interviewer what they meant by various sexual terms and positions was pretty disturbing.) But while the filmmakers did a pretty good job of uncovering what happened, I didn't think they did as well as they thought they had at figuring out why. They put most of the blame on indulgent and/or negliglent parents with too few rules, and also mention TV, alcohol, the fact that there was nothing to do in the town... but something is missing. It would have been improved by the addition of some academics - developmental psychologists, sociologists, even anthropologists - to put it in a larger cultural context. I guess my basic problem with the documentary was that there are lots of places that have bored teenagers with too much alcohol and too little supervision, so why did this particular problem happen in this particular place? I wanted Jared Diamond to come in at the end to tell me what it was about this town that made fairly normal factors produce such abnormal results.

Posted by Kat at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2005

I feel old.

My favorite show, Gilmore Girls, seems to have won four Teen Choice awards. I'm honestly not sure how to feel about this. Well, I do feel old. But other than that. It's just... odd.

On the one hand, I am, of course, glad that such a great show is getting attention, and that people are watching it. Especially since shows I like tend to get canceled. (Keeping my fingers crossed here.) On the other hand, though, part of me really just doesn't want my favorite show to be a big "teen hit." Not that I didn't know it was aimed toward teens, of course. But it's just like the issue with young adult books--I worry that people won't give them a fair chance because of the "teen" label.

Posted by Kat at 09:24 PM

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