FacebookTwitter

2012 Emmys: And the nominees are…

By on Jul 27, 2012 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

This year’s Emmy nominees were announced as I was basking in the sun in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (shameless gloating, I admit), but you better believe I still checked out the list as soon as I could. Here are my thoughts on this year’s selections. Once again, HBO reigns supreme with an astonishing 81 nominations across the board. Just like HBO’s old motto touts, it’s not TV; nay, I’d argue that it’s super-TV. Camera operator Hector Ramirez and producer Sheila Nevins have earned the most lifetime Emmy nominations as of this year with 68 and 59 noms, respectively. If Mad Men wins for Outstanding Drama Series this year, it will have won that award five times—surpassing Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and The West Wing for the record. Modern Family is the most-nominated comedy this year with 14 noms, Mad Men is the most-nominated drama with 17, American Horror Story is the most-nominated miniseries with 17, and Hemingway & Gellhorn is the most-nominated TV movie with 15. (And that last one is a surprise because I’d read pretty lukewarm reviews of Hemingway & Gellhorn.) Jon Hamm has been nominated for an Emmy 8 times but has never won, and Michael C. Hall has been nominated 7 times without a win. But in terms of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, there can be only one! (And it might very well be neither of them, eh, Cranston?) Community has finally been nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series category… still not as an Outstanding Comedy Series. On the drama side, Parenthood has finally been recognized, but only in a nomination for Jason Ritter as an Outstanding Guest Actor. (Not to say I wouldn’t agree with that choice.) It’s telling that Glee only received 3 nominations this year, compared to 19 for it’s first season and 12 for its second. Not so much of a sophomore slump as a junior slump. Conversely, Breaking Bad has only received more and more nominations each year, with almost twice as many nominations for this season than for last. Meanwhile, Parks and Recreation is enjoying its most-nominated year, but that it wasn’t nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series speaks to the wealth of great comedy on TV today. Anyone who says that SNL has gone downhill should acknowledge that it has never received more nominations per year than it has in the years since 2009. Let’s hear it for the funny ladies! This year there are seven nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Every single adult star of Modern Family has been nominated. American Horror Story and Missing were smart to nominate themselves in the less-competitive miniseries categories: American Horror Story because it’s an anthology series (with a new story every season) and Missing because, well, it was cancelled. Two of my favorite categories are buried deep in the nominations press release: Main Title Design (for which American Horror Story, New Girl, Strike Back, Great Expectations, and Magic City were nominated) and Main Title Theme Music (for which Touch, Homeland, Page Eight, Hell on Wheels, and Great Expectations were recognized). I’m gratified that Betty White is once again nominated, this time as the host of the senior-prankster show Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. God, I gotta see Homeland. I’d like to name a cat after Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock...

The Prime Times: Next Season’s Guest Stars Edition

By on Jun 25, 2012 in In Brief | 0 comments

This installment of the Prime Times is all about the cool guest stars we’ll all get to see on our favorite shows… in a few months’ time. Sorry for the blue balls, folks. With the seventh-season premiere a torturous three months away, Showtime has released a teaser-trailerfocusing on the fallout from last season’s “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain with a knife” finale. More details are surfacing about the second season of FX’s creepfest American Horror Story. Now we know that Jessica Lange will play a nun and administrator (presumably in the 1960s-era East Coast insane asylum, which was previously announced as the season’s setting). And filling out the cast are Adam Levine and James Cromwell. ER reunion ho! Maura Tierney will recur on the next season of The Good Wife, sharing the screen once again with Julianna Margulies. According to Deadline, Tierney will play “a self-made millionaire who has become the doyenne of Chicago Democratic politics.” (Have I mentioned that I’m a self-made hundredaire who has become the doyenne of East Harlem television-news reporting?) Casting Gods, take notice! Michelle Williams is positively itching to play a bit part on Cougar Townalongside her best friend and Dawson’s Creek costar Busy Philipps. After not being picked up by ABC, Devious Maids—the latest pilot from Marc Cherry of Desperate Housewives fame—is headed to Lifetime. And that’s good because Susan Lucci seems like an actress who belongs on Lifetime. Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Ray Romano will have a recurring role in the next season of Parenthood, playing a photographer who may possibly come between Sarah and Mark. Television personalities getting their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame include Bryan Cranston, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch, Katey Sagal, Matthew Perry, and… Mentalist Simon Baker? No doubt hoping to expunge his time served on A Gifted Man, Patrick Wilson will guest-star in the next season of HBO’s Girls, playing a maybe-sorta-possible love interest to Lena Dunham’s Hannah. Have I mentioned that I’m wildly jealous of Lena Dunham for being a year older than me and, like, 1,000 times more famous? (And maybe, like, 4 times more talented as a writer!) Vulture has a great article on the television artistes who have nominated themselves for Emmys this year… no matter how questionable their work is. Stop me when you hear someone/something deserving of Emmy gold: Jennifer Love Hewitt, the actress… Jennifer Love Hewitt, the director… Joe Jonas… I Hate My Teenage Daughter… Supah Ninjas… Sophia Bush of One Tree Hill… Downton Abbey fans, if you’ve been hankering to sneak a peak at Shirley MacLaine in action as Martha Levinson, mother of Lady Cora, here’s your chance. The latest guest-star to be announced for the next season of Californication is that most upstanding citizen Marilyn Manson. The second annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards were announced last week, and here’s a handy breakdown of the winners, thanks to EW.com: Best Drama Series Homeland Best Actor in a Drama Series Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad Best Actress in a Drama Series Claire Danes – Homeland Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Giancarlo Esposito – Breaking Bad Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Christina Hendricks – Mad Men Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Lucy Liu – Southland Best Reality Series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Best Reality Series – Competition The Voice Best Reality Show Host – TIE Tom Bergeron – Dancing With the Stars Cat Deeley – So You Think You Can Dance Best Talk Show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Best Comedy Series Community Best Actor in a Comedy Series Louis C.K. – Louie Best Actress in a Comedy Series — TIE Zooey Deschanel – New Girl Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Ty Burrell – Modern Family Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Julie Bowen – Modern Family Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Paul Rudd – Parks and Recreation Best Animated Series Archer Best Movie/Miniseries Sherlock Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Julianne Moore – Game Change Most Exciting New Series The Following  The Mindy Project Nashville  The Newsroom Political Animals No huge surprises there, but a lot of delight. And that last category, Most Exciting New Series, is especially fun. And, for any of you still reading, please enjoy this truly horrible scene from Ringer. Maybe now I’m not regretting never having...

The Blog Post Where Plot Twists Go to Die

By on Mar 21, 2012 in Inanities | 0 comments

Or, Everything That’s Ever Been Spoiled For Me Try as hard as I might, there’s no escaping spoilers in my role as (amateur) TV critic. As I’ve said before, I’m incapable keeping up with all the worthwhile, buzz-worthy, quality TV on the air today. And while most blogs and publications are good about preceding spoilers with warnings and burying plot reveals in the body of an article instead of leading with them, others are not so conscientious. And even with the diligent outlets, there is a statute of limitations with spoilers—at a certain point, after an arbitrary amount of time has passed, it has to be allowable to rehash and discuss major plot points without recrimination. So I don’t always blame the spoil-er for the spoiling; I just regret that it happened (unless I just don’t care). At the risk of paying the sin forward, here are all the twists that have been ruined for me—only posted for the amusement of curious readers! For those of you who are reading this on my blog, I’ve redacted the spoiler so that you have to highlight it to read it. For those of you who are reading this on an RSS feed, you might be S.O.L. This is a veritable minefield of killjoy spoilerage, so proceed with caution. And have fun! The Walking Dead: I knew that there was a substantial plot twist recently and that actor Jon Bernthal has been making press circuits, so I had my suspicions—and I’ve since found out that, yes, Shane dies. Dexter: To the dismay of my boyfriend, who got me into the show, I had long since read that the Trinity Killer killed Dexter’s wife Rita. Game of Thrones: I forget how I read it, but I knew that whatever character Sean Bean plays is beheaded even before HBO the sensationalistic (and, might I add, clever) promotional poster that depicts his head on a pike. Desperate Housewives: Thanks to a full-page article in Entertainment Weekly and a clip that ran on one of the morning shows, I now know that Mike Delfino dies. (Interestingly, many other TV fans were spoiled when the plot twist was referenced in the Nicollette Sheridan trial days before the episode aired.) I’m not devastated about it; I’ve been dragging my heels on watching my Housewives backlog anyway. Battlestar Galactica: Dammit, TV Guide. Here I was innocently leafing through their BSG issue when, all of a sudden, I came across a picture of four of the final five Cylons (and I’m not saying who here because I’m still hoping to get my boyfriend into the show). The Amazing Race: Every season, I inevitably fall behind on this competition show, and more often than not, I hear about who won the big shebang. Grey’s Anatomy: I’m pretty sure I knew that Denny died before I caught up with the seasons I’d missed on Netflix. And now that I’m covering the show for Wetpaint, I’m privy to a lot of spoilers. I was allowed to watch one screener this season which had a disclaimer asking critics not to reveal “what happens to Henry” in that episode. Gee, can you guess? Once Upon a Time: I found out that the sheriff died, breaking the heart of the Jennifer Morrison character, but I don’t feel too upset about it because a) I’ve only watched one episode, and b) I hear that death isn’t permanent on that show anyway. Gossip Girl: I knew that Dan and Blair became romantic while I was still boycotting the show. And now that I’ve seen it happen, I don’t hate the idea! Parenthood: A thumbnail on Hulu gave away the fact that not only did Jasmine forgive Crosby, but they got married, too. So You Think You Can Dance: My boyfriend and I heard who had won the latest season (Melanie, was it?) as we were still watching the first few episodes. It didn’t really matter, though, because the season was so uninspiring that we didn’t even finish watching it. Six Feet Under: I know that the Peter Krause character (Nate?) has some sort of stroke which makes him start saying nonsensical words right before he dies. The West Wing: I think I remember that the Jimmy Smits character wins the election, replacing Jed Bartlet as president. I also know that Leo dies by virtue of the sad fact that the actor, John Spencer, passed away in the midst of the series. The X-Files: I knew that Mulder was abducted because I remembered seeing him practically flayed by alien technology in a FOX promo years before I watched it. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I know that Buffy’s mom dies. And maybe the Alyson Hannigan character, too? The Wire: The kid played by Tristan Wilds shoots some girl in a car…? Is that right? And also, does Omar die? Friday Night Lights: One of the teens commits murder? Maybe? Alias: I’m pretty sure I Googled out spoilers (but I don’t remember which) back in the days before I wanted to stay pure. Lost: Actually, no! I’m adding this to the list because I think I actively dodged spoilers pretty effectively. Take...

The Prime Times: Figure It Out Edition

By on Mar 9, 2012 in In Brief | 0 comments

Here’s all the TV news you need to know (read: a dozen news items you don’t need to know but are fun anyway). A Baltimore man was arrested on a handgun charge recently, and he happens to share the same name as a notorious character on The Wire: Omar Little, Jr. FOX chose not to renew Terra Nova for a second season, but word on the street is that Netflix is interested in picking it up. Keri Russell has joined the FX pilot “The Americans,” as a KGB spy living with an arranged husband in Washington D.C. during the 1980s. Nickelodeon is bringing back 1990s game show Figure It Out, in which a panel of celebrities have to parse out the layperson-guest’s unique talent. Sigourney Weaver is set to play a divorced-First-Lady-turned-Secretary-of-State in a new series on USA entitled Political Animals. A&E is developing a series called Bates Motel, which provides the backstory of Norman Bates, the killer in Psycho. Matthew Perry will make a return to dramatic television in a multi-episode arc on The Good Wife. The cast of Parenthood lent their lip-syncing talent to a music video for Landon Pigg (boyfriend of series star Mae Whitman), and it’s adorable. (The video is embedded at the end of this post, too.) Speaking of which, Bill O’Reilly has his panties in a bunch that Parenthood aired a scene in which 16-year-old Drew has sex with his girlfriend. Let alone that Parenthood is just about the most endearing, innocuous show you’re ever likely to find on the tube. FOX has American Idol, NBC has The Voice, and now ABC is trying to get in the celebrity-mentored singing competition game with Duets. The show will feature Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Nettles, and Robin Thicke finding talented voices and performing duets with them until America picks one winning duo. The crew of FOX’s drama Alcatraz happened to knock on the door of a woman whose parked car was impeding the filming of a car at the same time as said woman was having a cardiac event. Thanks to their fast acting, the woman lived to tell the tale, saying, “The next thing I knew, it looked like 10 handsome men were in my room. […] I clearly needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t know what was happening to my heart.” Glee is planning a Whitney Houston tribute episode. That the episode in which Mercedes sang “I Will Always Love You” aired mere days after Houston’s death was apparently just a...

2012 Pilot Watch

By on Feb 8, 2012 in Previews | 0 comments

I’ve barely had the opportunity to check out this current season’s new shows (damn you, full time job!), but it is indeed February which means the networks are busy ordering pilots for next fall. After studying the lineup provided by EW.com, I’ve made the following observations. Warning: harsh and perhaps unfair first impressions ahead! Remakes are no longer en vogue but are still extant: NBC has producer Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) putting his own spin on The Munsters in a pilot called Mockingbird Lane, and ABC and the CW are both developing Beauty and the Beast adaptations. Some pilots’ titles are very literal, which can either be a good thing (Fox’s comedy Prodigy Bully) or a bad thing (CBS’s drama Widow Detective and ABC’s drama Devious Maids). Other terrible titles abound throughout the list. I love the idea of ABC’s period drama from Shonda Rhimes (about the opening of a luxury New York hotel in 1895), but I can’t stand the title, Gilded Lillys. CBS’s comedy about a playboy blogger who lands a hosting gig on public radio sounds funny, but the title Living Loaded makes it sound like low-rent entertainment. And though it’s a great word and super-fun to say, Scruples is just too weird of a moniker for ABC’s drama about a woman who goes from zero to Beverly-Hills-boutique-owning hero. I have no inclination to watch another Dick Wolf procedural. Can you guess what NBC’s Chicago Fire is about? That said, NBC has a lot of potential on its dramatic slate. Beautiful People chronicles an uprising of a robot servant class. The Frontier satisfies all my Oregon Trail nostalgia. Bad Girls sounds like a grittier version of the “Cellblock Tango” sequence in Chicago. County, a story about a hospital struggling with both its morality and its funding comes from producer Jason Katims and star Jason Ritter, whose joint work on Parenthood rocks. And hey, Midnight Sun has Alaska and communes and conspiracies! CBS’s drama Quean has two strikes against it. The title, which I presume to be the protagonist’s surname, sounds like a fetishistic sex act. And the description is seriously dated: “An edgy and independent millennial-hacker girl teams up with an Oakland police detective to solve crimes.” Uh, “millennial-hacker girl”? Hey, 1999 called: it wants its logline back. Furthermore, dear writers of CBS’s Friend Me, making Groupon your protagonists’ employer—and, frankly, calling your comedy Friend Me—reeks of a desperate ploy to appear current. Roseanne Barr is returning to scripted TV in NBC’s comedy Downwardly Mobile, in which she plays the mother hen of a trailer park filled with down-on-their-luck characters. I’m down with that premise, but I’m seriously biased against multi-camera sitcoms (i.e. sitcoms with three-sided sets, unnatural lighting, and laugh tracks). I think this show would be a lot more appealing if the trailer park were more of a world and less of a set. Otherwise funny people like Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, and Mindy Kaling are writing comedies that sound pretty blah. Then again, I can’t imagine Friends had an exciting logline either. The supernatural once again gets a lot of play this pilot season, especially on ABC. In Gotham, a woman discovers an unseen, magical world in New York City that reinvents familiar landmarks in an “otherworldly manner”. (Consider my curiosity piqued.) And in 666 Park Ave., a couple becomes the managers of a historic and supernatural apartment building. (Sort of an old conceit, but an evergreen one.) The CW is creating a prequel to Sex and the City based on author Candace Bushnell’s novel The Carrie Diaries. Bear in mind that the network already tried doing an 80s-set spin-off of Gossip Girl, and that never got off the ground. The Selection, a drama pilot in the works at the CW, is about a young girl from a poor family who is, well, selected to compete to become an embattled country’s queen. It’s not The Hunger Games, but it sounds awfully close. Continuing TV’s fixation with the 1960s (read: Mad Men, The Playboy Club, Pan Am), CBS is developing a drama about Ralph Lamb, a real-life rodeo cowboy in who became a Las Vegas sheriff in that decade. I love the era, I’m curious about the premise… might I be lassoed in? I’m also intrigued by J.J. Abrams’ latest project, NBC’s drama Revolution, which features a society suddenly devoid of energy. (I’m assuming we’re talking energy sources here.) But my favorite premise is that of ABC’s Last Resort, a drama about a submarine crew that goes rogue, stations the craft in a NATO outpost, and stakes their place as a new nuclear...