Saturday, November 29, 2008

Top 16- Group Viennese Waltz

More Canadian Dancing

While back in Toronto this week I've been working on catching up on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. I've gotten through 2 more weeks, through the eliminations of Tamina and Joey, leaving 14 dancers on the stage.

My current opinions are that...

-I underestimated Natalli. Not only is she a better dancer than I gave her credit for, she's also incredibly passionate, sweet and endearing. I eat my "suzygirl" words.

- I still adore Nico and love Arassay. They are without a doubt the best couple. I'm very proud to have called him as my favourite from his very first audition.

- Francis is still wonderful. His and Natalli's partnership is a steaming plate of hotness.

- Lisa and Vincent are the most dependably good dancers on that stage and have proven themselves to be engaging characters as well. They're officially my favourite couple #2.
- Allie and Danny are cute but I expected more from them.


- the Canadian judges are too... Canadian. During the audition process, their kindness and support worked well for the show, taking much of the cruelty out of the initial first weeks. But as the show progresses, it seems as if 3/4 of each episode is spent on the judges telling everyone how great they were, even if they were mediocre. Being nice is all well and good but they can't forget that what makes judges like Mia Michaels and Lil' C good is constructive criticism, not blind encouragement.

Videos of my favourite dances to date to come.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Obsessions with a Theme!

Let me preface this post with an apology 1) for the fact that I haven't posted since Saturday and 2) for the fact that I won't be posting regularly again until next week. I'm on vacation see, not at my normal location or on my regular TV schedule.

That will not stop me, however, from posting a new batch of weekly obsessions.

This week I've been catching up on all the Saturday Night Live episodes I've missed because 1)they aren't posted online, 2) I don't have TiVo in Boston and 3) I have better things to do on Saturday nights than actually watch the show. These 3 months of episodes that I've caught up on in the past 3 days are the inspiration for this week's obsessions. So, without further ado, I present to you my Saturday Night Live-themed obsession list:

Seth Meyers
First of all, he's the head writer and is thus responsible for every bit of funny that the show produces. I like writers. He's also an incredibly charming "Weekend Update" anchor. He's fun and laid back without laughing too much at his own jokes (*cough*jimmyfallon*cough*). And when Amy Poehler left to have her baby, Seth handled "Update" by himself while also taking a moment to give Amy a shout out and say how much they missed her. Oh, and he's got that adorable smile too.

Bill Hader
Easily one of the best character actors on the show, Bill Hader is consistently funny, always dead on with impressions and never over the top. You know who's funny? Vinnie Vedecci's funny. And what about that Dick VanDyke impression, or his There Will Be Blood milkshake sketch, Albus Dumbledore, Tim Gunn,... the list goes on and on.
Justin Timberlake
I love Paul Rudd. And even though he did a very respectable job hosting SNL, all I remember from that episode is Justing Timberlake. Not only did his part in Beyonce's "single ladies" parody make me laugh more than any other sketch, his stint on "Weekend Update" had me in serious stitches. He does a better Nicholas Fehn than Fred Armisen, a better Target Lady than Kristen Wiig and he does it all at top speed. Funny, funny man that JT. I'm not his biggest music fan but I'd watch him do comedy any day.

Sarah Palin
I can't even remember who hosted the night that she was on. I remember Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels, Alec Baldwin and Marc Whalberg were all there (because she was onscreen with them) but that's it. I don't remember anything else about that night because she was so fantastically funny. First the writers, Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin made a great show of having her backstage watching Tina do an impression of her then having Alec mix them up. Then Amy Poehler hit it out of the park with a "Weekend Update" rap with Seth Meyers and Palin boogieing in the background. Palin was so charming, easy going and willing to poke fun at herself on the show that I almost forgot that she was still, well... Sarah Palin.


Brian Williams
Comedy comes from the most random places. This list includes only 2 comedians (Meyers and Hader); the others are singers, "politicians" and news anchors. It was odd and it was unexpected, but Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News anchor) was the funniest host I've seen in a long time (Tina Fey, of course, excepted). His self deprecating opening monologue and "typical day at the office" sketch were hilarious and his impression of a shy fireman on "Bronx Beat" was terrific. Who knew?

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I don't think I have loved an episode of Ugly Betty as much as I loved this one in a VERY long time. Not only was Betty's storyline engaging, Daniel had multiple lovely good guy moments, Christina and Amanda both made amusing appearances, Wilhelmina's storyline was a very humanizing one and the episode was very Marc heavy as well as featured a wonderful Justin subplot. And you all know how I feel about those two fabulous men, they are my favourite characters hands down. 

Is it wrong that the entire time Betty was pitching for YETI, I was cheering for Marc? The very idea that Betty didn't know how much Marc wants to be an editor was almost insulting, how self involved do you have to be to miss that? I'm glad she gave up her place to let him in though. After all, who would Betty be if she couldn't martyr herself to cover up her selfish flaws? I loved Marc in this episode. I was proud of his presentation and all the work he put into it. And I understood when he sank low enough to tell Betty that she was accepted because of her race, he was hurt and his seriously bitchy tendencies came to the forefront. The final phone call between Betty and Marc was very sweet, I'm glad that the writers didn't let the episode end on a negative Marc note. And Wilhelmina's acknowledgment of him at the end, so touching! I think Betty is always at its best when showcasing the amazing Julliard-trained talent that is Michael Urie. 

And speaking of flamboyant yet flawless, Justin is my other favourite, oft ignored character. This episode was his obligatory "my friend won't be my friend because I don't fit in with his friends" episode; and even if the story's been done a thousand times before, no one has hit it out of the park quite like Marc Indelicato (with the help of Ana Ortiz). But the chemistry between Justin and his friend Randy made me wonder: how long will it be before Justin officially comes out and is given a love interest? There's a wealth of Justin stories to be told, as long as the writers are brave enough to jump into that territory. 

So, with 2 uncompromisingly funny, fashionable and sympathetic gay characters leading the pack in this wonderful episode, there's really only 1 word for it: fabulous!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Owen, Christina, Callie, Bailey, Alex, Marc and guests= a very happy me

In stark contrast to this week's other Shondaland offering, Grey's Anatomy made me very very happy this week. It, of course, had some serious problems: the extreme idiocy of the interns, Izzy going crazy for no reason when she's been perfectly sane for years now, every that has anything to do with Denny, Lexi or Sadie. But the rest of it, it was all fabulous. 

Bailey played a small but wonderful part in the episode. The concept of teaching has been a very important part of this season, recent intern stories throwing specific light on the failings of the residents as teachers. In this episode the audience was reminded of how great a teacher Bailey was. While Meredith and Christina were flying solo on the emergency surgery, Bailey was right by their side guiding them through as helpfully as when Burke taught Izzy how to cook a turkey. Bailey refused to give her former interns a speech this week when they asked her what to do, she knows she taught them well and forced them to make their own speeches and learn to teach their interns. Her scene with Callie at the end was also a highlight of the episode. 

And speaking of Callie, she was absent from most of the episode but the time she spent on screen was some of the best of the episode. "Married, betrayed, gay, abandoned", Callie's had a tough year, then she got her nose broken by a disturbed patient. The point of that thinly veiled metaphor? Callie and Sloan. Their friendship is one of my favourites in the show and if it takes him fixing her broken nose for their awesomeness to come across I'll take it. 

Sloan, in general, was amazing this week. Always one of my favourites, Mark Sloan showed his gooey side again this week not only in comforting Callie (while maintaining their love/hate banter) but by helping a 13 year old girl who felt guilty that her dad was in the hospital. 

Karev tapped into his gooey side for a minute as well in this episode when he told Izzy that he can handle messy and that he's not going anywhere. This, of course, shed light on how incredibly ridiculous she is being in holding onto a dead guy when the amazing Alex is right in front of her, but what can you do. Karev was also the doctor in charge of my favourite medical story of the night...

Will Bailey and Mary Cherry's poop transplant. That's right. The story of a likable hypochondriac (Leslie Grossman from Popular) who overreacted to a pimple and took antibiotics, causing her to need a fecal transplant from her adorable husband (Josh Malina, Sports Night, The West Wing) was my favourite medical story. Not only was I incredibly excited to see both guest stars, but the dynamic between the couple was really engaging and their chemistry was dead on. It was simple, it was funny and it was very sweet. 

Everything else I loved about the episode had to do with Christina Yang. If there's one thing I like about the horrible new character of Sadie, it's what her existence says about Meredith and does to Christina. As the executive producers of the show (Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers) pointed out in The Official Grey's Anatomy Podcast this week, Sadie confirms that Meredith is a serial best friend-er. She develops close bonds with the best person around, then moves on when she moves on in her life. Christina, obviously, doesn't work like that. That's why she's so threatened by Sadie. I think that's an incredibly cool beat to play for both Christina and Meredith, and one that hasn't been explored much on TV. Christina's completely founded jealousy and the fierce loyalty she proved yet again in this episode show just how great a friend she really is. Man she's cool. 

And the other Christina thing I loved? OWEN HUNT. I'm completely obsessed with Owen Hunt and Kevin McKidd (the actor who plays him). He's unlike any character we've ever seen on Grey's Anatomy. He barely did anything in this episode and I was still glued to the screen hoping he'd come back on and when he did I was far from disappointed. I'm very proud of the writers for not jumping on giving Christina a new love interest. Burke left and it was an entire season before the possibility of something new came along, and even now the characters are left dancing around the issue. That pickiness is very true to Christina's character, a character that I would be very mad if they screwed with. 

In My Office Dreams

In my Office dreams....

Pam really does like the house Jim bought. She also really didn't like graphic design and is not giving up her life to be with Jim. 

Holly comes back. I love Toby but the opposite effects that the 2 HR reps have on Michael is the tie breaker. Michael in love is much more interesting than Michael's hate. 

Dwight tells us more about his "perfect crime", that was my favourite part of this week's episode. 


Ryan is forced to clean out the microwave as punishment for being a douche bag. 

PS: By the way, this is my 300th post, YAY!

So Many Problems

This week's Private Practice made me kind of mad. It had so many problems I barely know where to begin. 

Let's start with Addison, because that's where the focus of the show should be. I used to love Addy, she was one of my favourite doctors at Seattle Grace and though she's been immature much of the time since she's arrived at the LA co-op, she's generally been an OK character. This week she crossed the line into someone I wanted off the screen as soon as possible. Not only did she act incredibly stupidly and immaturely in her relationship with Kevin but she also was completely unprofessional in dealing with an issue of morality at work. She threw multiple fits about loyalty within a marriage, preaching at people when she was the one who cheated on Derek. Her standards are lower, her wit is less cutting, her genius is hidden, her compassion is preachy, her hair is too dark, her skin is too tan and she wears too much makeup. I miss the Addison of Seattle Grace. 

Next, why does Dell have a kid? That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. And while I'm all for deepening his character (God knows the show could do with more Chris Lowell), giving him a weird teen pregnancy/ex with a drug problem past doesn't seem like the right way to do it. 

And if Charlotte's opening her own practice won't we now have 2 boring private practices and no interesting hospital? 

Another problem: why does everything Sam and Naomi do professionally have to tie in metaphorically (but not at all subtly) into their personal lives? Naomi's speech about the man who will always love his wife could not have been more contrived. 

And finally, if you have Alexis Denisof, don't give him a thankless role. At least when his equally brilliant former Angel co-star Amy Acker was on Private Practice (in the season premiere) she got some screen time and a legitimate moral dilemma. The superb Mr. Denisof just got to say "I love them" a couple times then be glared at by Addison (and the many people watching at home who now hate him). Why he took that role I'll never know, but it saddened me to see my beloved Wesley treated so badly by a batch of writers. 

Cooper did his best but even he couldn't save this show. 

Thanks for nothing Shonda & Co. 

ABC lets me down

While I was at a friend's place for dinner tonight someone asked a hypothetical question: "if the TV only had 3 channels, which 3 channels would you want them to be?". I replied "ABC, NBC and CBS... or maybe The CW, or Bravo... definitely ABC". Then I came home and did the rounds of my favourite TV news websites and my heart broke; ABC has cancelled Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone, effectively making me eat my words. 

For years now ABC has been my favourite network. While Fox is loading up on action/adventure and CBS is mostly dependent on reality, ABC seemed to be making a point of scheduling intelligently scripted shows. They had tons of them, contributing to making last season (strike aside) one of the best in recent TV history. 

But the cancellation of 2 of my favourite shows and 1 that I wish I'd had time to watch leaves me wondering what ABC's offering this season that the other networks don't have. The only shows they've kept on the air are tried and true ratings and/or Emmy winners and they haven't given me a single new show to care about. 

My TV schedule will certainly seem much bleaker without Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money to give it a little colour. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kelly expands her horizons

This week I got the opportunity to contribute to another great TV website ( Famed for their outspoken reviews and columns, the writers on CliqueClack are company that I am very proud to keep. I hope to work with them again in the future. 

 Click Here to read the article. 

A permanent link to CliqueClack is now available in the links list on the right of this page. 

The Amazing Race: a family affair

After 13 seasons (only 1 of which I watched I think), The Amazing Race has me inexplicably hooked. I don't know why I did it but the other day I just had to watch the first episode of the season on Now here I am, 2 days and 8 episodes later, waiting anxiously for Sunday's new episode. I'd forgotten how much fun this show is, and I can always afford to watch yet another show! You already know about my love for Nick and Starr if you read this week's obsessions list, but here's where I stand on the rest of this year's runners:

I'm not sure whether I just prefer people who chose to run the race with family (seeing as the siblings are my favourite team) but I absolutely love mother/son combo Toni and Dallas. Toni is incredibly impressive not only running the race at her age but keeping up with her super-athletic son. She's tough and together and willing to try anything. And Dallas! 1) he gets serious points just for running with his mother, not to mention singing her praises and telling her how proud he is every other minute. 2) he's got a crush on Starr (easily the most deserving of all the girls), which is adorable. This dark horse team has definite winning potential, coming in close to the top every single week. If the show doesn't end with a predictable Nick and Starr win, I'd really love to see these 2 take the prize home (a distinct possibility, remember that power couple Rob and Amber didn't win).

I also really liked the nerdy best friends who were eliminated week 3. Some of the smartest contestants, Mark & Bill made their only stupid mistake and misread a clue, resulting in a game-ending 30 minute time penalty. 

Misreading the rules seem to be a common theme in this season. My absolute least favourite team, Kelly and Christy, misread them all the time, making stupid mistakes while talking non-stop about how smart and resourceful they are. Their proudest achievements are their divorces and they always talked about how their ex-husbands used to make them iron tablecloths. They called frat boy team Andrew and Dan "Dandrew", wore short shorts to religious nations, yelled at cab drivers for not speaking English and accused Starr of having sabotaged their sports bras. Your basic "God, do I have to watch these people?" nightmare. 

Other morons include overly competitive and irrational Sarah and her abusive hippy boyfriend Terence, the kind of people who accuse the other players of being rude for not stopping to say hi but then show absolutely no respect for cab drivers, shop clerks and other members of the service industry in countries that they visit. They also called each other "babe" incessantly, which drove me nuts. 

And in the "You are annoying and or dumb but well-meaning so I don't mind as much" category are southern belles Marisa and Brooke, frat boys Andrew and Dan and separated couple Ken and Tina. 

And the couples I have no opinion about because they weren't around long and/or were boring when they were: Aja and Ty, Anthony and Stephanie, and Anita and Arthur. 

The good news is that with this week's episode marking (finally) the elimination of Terence and Sarah, the only people still in the race are a) my favourites and b) people who I don't mind one bit. 

4 teams remain. Bumbling frat boys Andrew and Dan won't last much longer, leaving only flawed but functional separated couple Ken and Tina standing in the way of one of my favourite teams winning the million dollars. I'm hoping that it comes down to Toni and Dallas vs. Nick and Starr, at which point the later will probably win (deservedly so) but I kind of wish the former would, 'tis poetical. 

Obsessions: Nov 12-19

Nick and Starr Spangler
This week I decided to give The Amazing Race another try. I'll write a full review in a minute but for now I just had to add my favourite team to my obsessions list. The dynamic brother/sister team was my absolute favourite within the first episode. I think they have the perfect relationship to win; siblings push and support each other in just the right way. And then they started to win. They run the race better than anyone else while also finding the perfect balance of innocent sabotage and cooperation with the other teams, resulting in them winning almost every leg so far. So, after 8 episodes the level headed, conniving and supportive brother and his spitfire sister who didn't even flinch when faced with wolfing down a plate of sheep's butt, made my obsessions list. Then (yes it gets better), I looked them up, to find a little backstory for this post and found out that Nick is officially my favourite person ever! He's a musical theatre performer, fresh off the leading role in The Fantastiks off-Broadway, with a tenor/baritone range, a degree from Tisch and credits that include Jamie in The Last Five Years (my favourite role ever written). I am officially obsessed. 

Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Paul Rudd in Role Models
I never thought I could love McLovin but I love McLovin since he traded in his fake ID for a super cool cape and a sword made of coloured foam. As role play enthusiaste Augie Farks in Role Models, Mintz-Plasse isn't all about touching boobies anymore, he's about melting hearts. And yes I know I'm cheesy, deal with it. Paul Rudd is equally lovable as a sardonic downer who lacks direction until he's hit with court ordered mentoring duties. Rudd's pitch perfect performance as Danny Donahue was the heart of the movie. A movie I loved by the way, in case you couldn't tell. 

Mad Men
I resisted as long as I could but eventually I had to give in to the critical obsession of the year- Mad Men. It's slow at first and takes itself painfully seriously, but ultimately Mad Men was engaging enough to change my mind about it. After watching just the first season my current views are that I love all things Don Draper (scandalous personal affairs included), despise Pete (obviously), think that Betty is a lunatic and that Peggy is a moron with hypocritical tendencies. Joan and Rachel seem to be the only women with their heads on straight, but that doesn't actually bother me much because I tend to prefer male characters anyway and Don alone is enough to sway me towards the show. Still, a woman I can relate to would be a nice addition to the show. 

My Best Friend's Wedding 
My friend Lauren and I watched in the other day and I was reminded why it's one of my all-time favourites. Everyone who compared Made of Honor to it last year could not have been more off-base. In Made of Honor the male lead falls for his best friend when she goes away for a long time. He tries to break up the wedding so that he can marry her instead, having seen her in that way for the first time. That's not at all what My Best Friend's Wedding is about. Julianne could not love Michael more, but she's never in love with him. She chases him because the idea of him marrying some girl she doesnt know scares her, she's afraid of losing him. That's why the ending is what it is. Julianne doesnt lose Michael by letting him go to marry Kimmy, he comes back (in my favourite moment of the movie) to say goodbye to her, leaving her to dance with George knowing that even if his soul mate is someone else, she'll never lose Michael's love. 

Luke Macfarlane as Scotty Wandell
This adorable Canadian actor stole my heart a couple years ago when he first appeared as a love interest for Kevin on Brothers & Sisters. Now that the two characters are married, we get to see lots more of Scotty and Luke continues to melt my heart with every smile. This week he shone extra brightly as he showed Scotty's strength and ambitions while maintaining his caring and understanding nature while forgiving Kevin for being a moron. 

Lost's New Season- poster predictions

With the new posters for Lost's 5th season spreading like wildfire over the Internet (AICN, The TV Addict, Dans Media Digest), there are a few things that really need contemplation. 

1) Why does the above poster exclude original castaways Jin, Claire and Michael but include freighter folk Charlotte, Miles and Farraday when the other poster does the opposite?

2) If Jin and Michael died on the freighter and Desmond has sailed off with Penny, why are they still in the promos? Does this mean that Desmond (a favourite of mine) may not have disappeared to live happily ever after? Is it possible that Penny may join him as a regular "Lost-ie"? Might there still be hope for Jin's survival? Do we still have to put up with Michael (the worst castaway ever!)? 

3) Last we saw John Locke alive he was with the mysteriously age-less Richard on the island that has "been moved". Will Richard not play a prominent enough role this season to merit poster status? How will Locke end up off the island, under a pseudonym and in a coffin? He is pictured above as part of the island group, will he reunite with them or is it just representative of his geographic location?

4) The show's central love triangle (Jack, Kate, Sawyer) takes center stage on the above poster, Kate and Sawyer's eyes fixed on each other through their dividing line. Will we learn more about Jack and Kate's engagement? Will Kate and Sawyer ever be reunited? Will Sawyer move on (possibly with Juliet?) on the island? What was it that Sawyer whispered to Kate before jumping from the helicopter in last season's finale?

5) Look at how they're standing; Sawyer's front and center in the island group, standing opposite Jack. Will Sawyer be taking the reigns as leader of the island group with the departure of Jack?

6) What the heck happened to Claire? Is she dead? Alive? Living in between worlds? Is that why her and the apparently-dead Michael and Jin were left off the poster that divides the group by physical location? 

7) Farraday (and others) were in a lifeboat on their way back to the island when it disappeared. I guess we're supposed to assume they were taken with it since there was no sign of them stranded in the ocean and Farraday appears safely on the island side of the line in the above poster. 

8)And, is there anyone NOT excited about Lost's season 5 premiere on January 21 at 9pm on ABC?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The First of a 2 Part Privileged

So apparently Rina Mimoun has a fear that makes Megan's fear of lulls sound rational. Ms. Mimoun (Privileged's showrunner) is apparently deathly afraid of Sam&Diane-syndrome. Based on the idea that 'will they or won't they' tension is a lot more interesting than an actual relationship, the term refers to Cheers' infamous "opposites attract" couple and is the reason that so many shows work so hard to keep would-be lovers apart. 

On last night's Privileged, Mimoun and her writers jumped through hoops to keep our heroine Megan from being with her hot neighbour Will. First he wanted to date other people, then she dumped him because they "are cut from different cloths", then they got back together just in time for him to reveal that he's being sent to Brazil for 6 months on a photoshoot. So Megan got to be with her "opposites attract"/"will they or won't they" love interest for 1 episode. Awesome. Here is where I'd like to point out that the characters of Monica and Chandler only got better after they hooked up and that the world didn't fall in love with Logan Echolls until Logan Echolls fell in love with Veronica Mars. 

That criticism aside, I really enjoyed last night's Privileged. It's nice to see Charlie (a character with tons of potential and an annoying track record) back to being a good friend to Megan. While a good "I'm secretly and unrequitedly in love with my best friend" storyline is generally enjoyable (see Jim & Pam, Ross & Rachel, Barney & Robin), Charlie's just didn't work for me in the first part of the season. A good Eponine story requires putting your friend's happiness above your own, even it hurts to be around them. What Charlie did was moan and complain then ignore Megan without an explanation. As far as Megan knew, her best friend had turned his back on her when she hadn't done anything wrong. That's not love (friendly, romantic or otherwise), it's mean. But now Charlie's figured it out. He may still be secretly in love with Megan and he may be making a mistake by moving too fast with his new girlfriend but at least he's back to being a good guy. 

In other news, I don't care about Rose's schoolwork or Laurel's love affair though they're not irritating to watch, to say the least. At this point I really just care about Will, Megan and sometimes Charlie, so here's hoping that something stands in the way of Will being flown off the Brazil and the Megan/Will relationship is given enough time to make the audience care about keeping them together. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brothers & Sisters Love

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, 
Scotty, Scotty, Scotty, Scotty, 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Figured It Out

I'm watching Mad Men season 1 on DVD and Pete is bothering me even more than his slimy character is supposed to.  Now I've finally figured out why. 

Pete Campbell is played by Vincent Kartheiser, the actor behind the worst character ever written by Joss Whedon (Connor on Angel). Connor was whiny, rash and violent as well as responsible for spearheading some of the worst plotting in history (season 4 end of the world anyone?).

No wonder Mad Men's face of youthful ambition bothers me so much, he's a grown up version of the face of the Apocalypse. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

EW's Hits and Misses

I finally got my copy of Entertainment Weekly's "Entertainer of the Year" Double Issue and found that it was full of unexpected delights and disappointments. 

Let me start off by wondering... what was it that put Robert Downey Jr. over the top in the competition between him and Tina Fey for the #1 spot? In my opinion, Tina (who came in second) was a shoe-in, she was chosen as the "readers' pick" after-all. And while I applaud Downey Jr.'s fantastic comeback and his wonderful performances in both Iron Man and Tropic Thunder, I can't help but point out that Ms. Fey not only had a hit movie and multiple Emmy wins this year but she also runs the most critically beloved sitcom around, hosted the best SNL of the year, was a spokesperson for the WGA strike and was behind the most talked-about political impersonation of the decade. I think the choice here should have been obvious, too bad EW doesn't agree. 

That said, I seriously applaud their choice for the #3 spot- The Cast & Crew of The Dark Knight. Easily the best movie of the year, The Dark Knight was a rarity in a film climate that sees a huge polarization between deep message movies with brilliant character acting and big budget, high grossing hits. And it wasn't just Heath Ledger that made it that; it was the entire team, from director Chris Nolan to Christian Bale, the caped crusader, to the unparalleled supporting cast. 

Next on the list, in the #4 spot is The 'Gossip' Girls. While I may not agree with their numerical position on the list, I agree that the scope of their influence on youth culture in the past year definitely merits them a spot. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester have redefined youthful glamour, taking us back to the days of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, when elegance reigned. I commend EW on their unpretentious acknowledgment of a show that so many  turn their noses up at. 

A couple people on the list mean very little to me. Stephenie Meyer (#5), Lil Wayne (#6), The Jonas Brothers (#9), Katy Perry (#21) and Leona Lewis (#24), I suppose, made significant contributions to the worlds of Young Adult Fiction and Music this year but their influence certainly didn't reach me. Though basing this entirely on how often I hear their names, Stephenie Meyer and The Jonas Brothers were probably wise choices. 

I understand #7, Rock Band. Rock Band, Sing Star and Guitar Hero are phenomenons that are pretty hard to ignore and it's cool that EW thought to include something from outside the film/tv/music/books world. 

The women of Sex and the City (#8), Meryl Streep (#11), The Stars of Bravo(#12) and James Franco (#13) are all favourites of mine but I'm not entirely convinced that they had standout years. 

# 10, "The Talking Heads" is an interesting choice. Instead of directly awarding Presidential Politics a spot on the list, EW chose to award the #10 spot to the people who talked about them: Jon Stewart, Katie Couric, Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity, The Women of The View, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Campbell Brown and Stephen Colbert. An interesting choice, but not one I disagree with. 

Wall*E (#14), Coldplay (#15), Elizabeth Banks (#16), Jon Hamm (#19) and Michael Phelps (#23) all make sense for the list. Kid Rock (#18) and Richard Jenkins (#22), on the other hand, I don't think make much sense at all. 

Facebook being all the way at #20 creates mixed opinions in me. On one hand I'm glad that EW thought to include it at all. On the other hand, explain to me how Kid Rock had more influence than a tool that revolutionized the way people use the internet. 

And, last but far from least, are my favourite two inclusions on the list: Yunjin Kim & Daniel Dae Kim (#17) and Neil Patrick Harris (#25). Two of my favourite Lost actors, finally being recognized for being arguably the best and most underrated talent on the island is incredibly refreshing. And who doesn't love NPH? With a TV cult following, an Emmy nod, a hit movie and a revolutionary online series this was definitely a good year for #25.

Other than that, the only thing I have to say is that while I'm happy that someone is acknowledging the surprising breakout talent that is Tristan Wilds, I've been a fan of Kat Dennings' since her 2001 WB series Raising Dad. 7 years makes her officially NOT a breakout star. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Dearest Marc,

As Betty said this week "I know you're a good person". You may be prickly, you may run scared when faced with commitment, you may be ambitious, conniving, and a tad bit bitchy but none of that is the point. Cliff's perfect. Don't let your screw up end your relationship. Fight god dammit, fight. And don't be afraid of getting hurt. 


Why Grey's Why?

This week's Grey's Anatomy was stupid. That's what it was. It was stupid people doing stupid things for stupid reasons and giving stupid explanations for them. 

Let's start with the stupid things that the characters did. 

-Lexipedia and her band of merry moronic intern followers. What gives you the idea that cutting yourselves open for the purpose of stitching each other up is a good plan? And your total ineptitude at covering it up? Ridiculous. I knew I didn't like the new interns, not to mention whiny and pathetic Lexi who has somehow become their leader, but COME ON. 

- Sloan, why would you set your sights on Lexi? Why? You belong with Callie. 

- Derek, don't get involved in Meredith's relationship with Lexi, she'll only resent you for it. 

- Izzie, don't you dare mess up this thing with Karev, don't you dare. 

Now, onto the stupid things that Shonda and Co. have done. 

- There is NO need for a new intern who has "please hate me" written all over her face. She's already presumptuous, entitled, show offingly "daring", inexplicably British and stepping on the turf of beloved characters like Christina. Step off girly, don't think viewers have forgotten that they were trained to hate you as Vaughn's wife on Alias. I understand the desire for new blood on the show but threatening established friendships and giving us a weird Christina/Izzie hybrid is not the way to go. 

- The new heart surgeon? Weird, creepy, and absolutely not a believably capable surgeon. Aspergers may have served for the purposes of a nice little ending speech about the sometimes cruelly sarcastic nature of Seattle Grace but it would not become a surgeon as it is a disease that's victims thrive on order and predictability, the OR is too unpredictable and fast-paced for that. Also, it may be a social disorder but the people I know who suffer from it somehow manage to not be upsettingly off-putting, she was just yucky as a person, disease or no. Hopefully cardio attending #4 will be someone different and somewhat tolerable. 

- This week's surgeries. I didn't care about a single one. FAILURE. 

- Denny is dead. Not only is Denny dead but he has been for quite some time. The writers seem to be grasping at straws, trying to recapture the magic that was their show in the second season, when Denny was around. He may have been one of the 
show's most popular characters but he had his time and place, and this is not it. This is the time for Alex and Izzie. Having Denny 
inexplicably haunting Izzie not only makes her seem crazy (like Alex's previous girlfriend), it also undermines her love for Alex 
(not to mention the whole Gizzie thing) and moves her backwards in her arc. Denny was great but he died and Izzie mourned and she (literally) went from Denny's arms to Alex's and that's where she needs to stay. There's no point in moving her and the show backwards, it's frustrating, disappointing and not good for the future of the show. 

And now, the redeeming good stuff. 

- Dr. Owen Hunt. Kevin McKidd is fantastic (moment of silence for Journeyman). Hunt is engaging and different from the other doctors (whenever he graciously bows to someone else's expertise I feel like applauding). And his chemistry with Sandra Oh's Christina? almost as good as Isaiah Washington's, which is pretty darn note worthy. 

- Hahn's exit. It was controversial, unexpected, quick and sad for the lovely person that Brooke Smith is reputed to be. But it's a good thing for the show. I always thought that Callie as a lesbian was a bit of a stretch (remember when George was her McDreamy?) and the character of Erica herself seemed more like a caricature of a "tough gal" than an actual character. Truth be told, I'm glad to see her go. 

- Callie. Sara Ramirez hit this episode out of the park as Callie coming to terms with Erica's departure. She didn't overplay her misery (hello early season 3 Izzie) but let it simmer, slightly visible, beneath the surface until she exploded into a typical "I'm miserable about one thing but talking about something else entirely" Grey's Anatomy monologue. And Sloan's ever present and helpful shoulder to cry on? The perfect reminder of their strong yet complicated relationship. That relationship consistently has me at the edge of my seat, whether they're getting it on in the on-call room or crying in the OR. 

- and Karev. I love him. There should be more of him. He's so sweet to Izzie. If she hurts him I'll scream; you can't force a guy to open up like that just to trample on his heart, it's just not fair. 

So that's Grey's. Though there was plenty to love, this week "I could hardly forebear hurling things at [my TV screen]". 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Very FRIENDly Night

First of all let me beg your forgiveness for the impossibly bad pun in that title. 

Now, on to business. 

Tonight was a night full of FRIENDS (the 90s NBC sitcom, in case you didn't catch on). Jennifer Aniston's highly anticipated guest appearance on 30 Rock was pretty funny and FRIENDS references were everywhere (the episode was even named "The One With the Cast of Night Court" after FRIENDS' signature episode title format). 

But the real comedy of the night was not provided by the Emmy winning headline stealer, but rather by her former co-star Paul Rudd (who played Phoebe's husband Mike). Tonight I saw his new movie Role Models, which he both co-wrote and starred in, and it was fantastic. 

I loved Rudd on FRIENDS as well as in Clueless and he has been one of the most consistently funny aspects of the many Apatow movies he has appeared in. In Role Models, free from the Apatow umbrella and in a rare leading role, Rudd really shines. 

The movie's premise (2 screwups get court-ordered community service to mentor kids) doesn't hold a lot of promise but the movie itself delivers beyond all expectations. The characters are all, with a few exceptions, really engaging. The writing (both plot and dialogue) is very clever (as well as delightfully film reference-laden). The film is perfectly cast (the impossible happened, I liked the McLovin kid, I loved him in fact), the story is sweet yet somewhat surprising and I laughed the entire way through. 

So though NBC's reliable Thursday night comedy lineup delivered on their average, the silver screen was the winner of this FRIENDS-filled night. 

NBC claims a few more lives

I'm sad to report the cancellation of My Own Worst Enemy

I'll admit, I wasn't watching. Though I really liked the first 2 episodes, My Own Worst Enemy inexplicably became the show that I put off watching and never got around to. I still haven't seen the rest of the episodes. 

Despite my own failings, I'll be disappointed to see the show go. It had an interesting concept, excellent pacing and a standout cast. But Sadly, a couple weeks is not a long enough run to put any of the show's great team into the running for My TV Awards, they had been on my contention lists. The show is definitely a loss for television. 

NBC also cancelled Lipstick Jungle. To that, I say "who cares". 

Top Chef returns

I jumped on the Top Chef bandwagon last summer after watching an SNL rerun in which they made fun of last season's Chicago deep dish pizza challenge. At the time, the series (Top Chef, not SNL) was part way through airing its 4th season in Canada (the US run of the show having been finished months earlier). 

I was hooked instantly. Earlier in the summer I'd discovered Project Runway, the only way to improve on that great show is to forget about dresses and make risotto instead! and that's what Top Chef is. It has an effective format, engaging judges and host, diverse contestants, interesting challenges and the right balance between interpersonal and competition-based drama. 

In last night's season 5 premiere (available on, we were introduced to 17 new contestants who will be competing in this year's competition in New York City. Two were eliminated in the first episode, falling victim to an apple-based quickfire and a "cuisines of NY neighbourhoods" elimination challenge. 

There are some promising personalities, though there are also a couple people who will drive me up the wall (there's a crazy woman who consulted her "spirit guides" on how to cook Russian food). And though we're still at the point in the season when it's impossible to remember who everyone is, the dishes all looked good enough to instill confidence that this will be another great season of Top Chef

*the photos are the winning and losing dishes from this week's elimination challenge, respectively. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Privileged recovers some lost ground

Last night's Privileged was the best it's been in awhile. Rose got to shine brighter than Sage, Megan relapsed into "good person" territory, Will's character was expanded to reveal more depth, we were given a break from the underwhelming character of Charlie, Everwood's Sara Drew guest starred and the audience finally got to see the hookup we've all been waiting for. 

Good save Rina. 

Obsessions Nov 6- 12

I'm frightfully busy tomorrow, thus I am posting my weekly obsessions now. 

Brokeback Mountain
I have to admit that I never got around to seeing it in theatres even though I have a profound love for 3/4 of it's stars (I never really warmed to Michelle Williams), it has somehow slipped through the cracks all these years. So tonight, I finally watched it (netflix, I love you). Besides being a really wonderful movie that was nowhere near as drawn out as people warned me it was, Brokeback Mountain is yet another example of how glad the world should be to have Jake Gyllenhaal and how sad it should be to have lost the genius of Heath Ledger. 


Seth Rogan
Weird, I know. Totally inconsistent with my usual opinion, yes. Totally based on how much I love his goofy, sweet, nerdy, Canadian character Ron on Undeclared, also yes. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Grammatical Misconduct

If TV writers can manage to create multi-faceted characters, intricate plot lines, memorable jokes and poignant dramatic moments, why can't they seem to grasp proper English grammar?

On this week's Gossip Girl, Dan "the writer" Humphrey said "I feel really badly about that". To "feel badly" is to have your sense of touch impaired, to "feel bad" is to have negative feelings. Dan really should know the distinction. 

And then there was the educated and clever Samantha Newly who said "another good thing about my friends are...". Her subject is singular, her verb should be too. 

Not to be a Ted Mosby about this or anything, 'cause Lord knows I cannot use a comma properly to save my life, but shouldn't someone be in charge of fixing those kinds of stupid mistakes? Isn't that what interns are for? 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Night Medical Advice

Headaches, nausea and signs of depression brought on by sub par comedy attempts, tired plot lines, inconsistency in Barney Stinson's values and the sight of Jason Segal in bad drag.

A hearty dose of maniacle supervillain laughter, the unauthorized use of military spy satelites, and 4 or 5 rounds of Klingon Boggle is sure to have you back on your feet within the half hour.  

The View on The Election

Every once in awhile I wish I actually watched this show. It's a really cool concept and has a distinct unscripted quality that most talk shows lack.

Here is the culmination of more than a year of squabbling about who will be the next president of The United States, the episode from the day after Barack Obama was elected.

Kudos to Elizabeth for displaying infinite grace after the defeat of her beloved Republican party.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Shiny, Pretty and Grey

The TV Addict classified this week's Grey's Anatomy as "Ugly" but I'm here to defend Shonda and Co. The Addict is fallible after all. 

I thought this week's Grey's was lovely. It was sweet and sincere with just a tad of fun. 

Shepperd and Bailey's patient and her husband were so lovely. That story was great. 

I love some good Meredith/Christina friendship scenes. 

The chief got to play comedy, it worked. 

I'm really liking Hunt, I like that he's beginning to see Christina as a "finely aged Scotch" again. 

To be honest, I'm glad to see Hahn go, I was never as attached to her as some other beloved characters; here's hoping Sloan picks up some of her slack! 

and it was nice to see Denny again and the consequences of Izzie's past. And I'm reassured that Izzie is committed to being with Alex, even in the face of Denny's memory, which makes me happy. 

Undeclared: typical Apatow

It's official, I don't like Judd Apatow. Now this statement may break a few hearts but it needs to be said. I've given him shot after shot after shot; seen most of his films and both TV shows (Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared) in their entirety, and after this most recent chore I've decided to come to terms with the fact that I simply don't like his style. 

Now, the Apatow cannon does have plenty of things going for it. I applaud his faith in young talents like Jason Segal, who not only stars in one of my favourite sitcoms (How I Met Your Mother) but also wrote and starred in hands down the best Apatow movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Apatow deserves some partial credit for the Michael Cera (Superbad) phenomenon when he transitioned to the big screen. I didn't entirely hate Knocked Up (though I disliked a lot of it). There are moments in Freaks & Geeks in which I can definitely relate to the characters and there are a couple moments in Undeclared that make me laugh. End of good things. 

I've been told that I don't like Apatow because he's too vulgar for my tastes; he is, but that's not the problem. I've been told that I don't relate to his characters for whatever reason and that gets in my way; I don't, but again, not the issue. The issue is that I don't think the man's funny. Let's set aside all the penis and bong humour-based films for a moment and focus on TV, because if the man can't get me on his side after 2 TV shows, he'll never convince me to like him. 

This week I gave Undeclared a shot; I figured it had the best chance out of anything to impress me.  It didn't fail miserably but it wasn't a rousing success either. Here's my assessment:

1) Let's start with some good... I really liked Ron. Though I've always flip flopped on whether or not I like Seth Rogan, he was my favourite thing about Undeclared. He was so cute with his shorter hair and glasses. Ron, though still maintaining his "Im a college guy, I must do college guy things"-ness, was ultimately very sweet. He gave his friends a hard time but ultimately if they needed to be forcibly brought to a doctor he would come through. Seth Rogan is officially in my good graces (so long as I try and forget that Superbad was based on his life). 

2) It's always nice to see familiar faces. I know Jay Baruchel (Steven) from his days on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Monica Keena (Rachel) played Abby Morgan on Dawson's Creek, Busy Phillips, Samm Levine and Martin Star from Freaks & Geeks all showed up, Jenna Fischer (The Office) had a tiny role and frizzy hair, Amy Poehler (Head RA Hillary) is Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell (the illegal paper-writing guy) is Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller (Eric's former step-dad) is Ben Stiller. 

3) On occasion, I laughed. I liked Lloyd's existential crisis, the sexiled roommates in the rec room were amusing, the boys narrating the Girls Gone Wild video was a hoot and the gang torturing Lucien and the frat was pretty funny. 

4) But overall, I didn't. Fart jokes are not funny. Vomit jokes are not funny. Neither are poop jokes, virgin jokes, erection jokes, fat jokes, people being idiots, people being humiliated, people getting buckets of things dumped on them or anything to do with Adam Sandler. 

5) I hated Lizzy. I didn't much like Rachel either but I really hated Lizzy. 

6) What was the point of Steven's dad? Not funny. Not sweet. Not interesting. 

7) Though Ron, Lloyd and Marshall were all pretty decent characters to follow, Steven was not a worthy protagonist. Easily the least interesting male character, Steven was not someone I cared about at all. 

In the end I realized that if Undeclared had premiered this season I would have watched it. I'd have watched it but not cared that much if it weren't around, sort of like Gary Unmarried

So, like most Apatow fare, Undeclared had some funny moments and some sweet ones but mostly wasn't funny enough considering the pedigree of those involved in its production. 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Sentiments Exactly

Click Here to find out what I'm talking about. 

thanks to Rachael (I Watch Movies then Write About Them) for the link. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Desperate Guest Stars Shine

Desperate Housewives this week provided a couple wonderful blasts from the past. 

First we were treated to Six Feet Under's Ruth Fisher (Frances Conroy) guest starring as Carlos' "enthusiastic" massage client. 

Then came the best part of the evening (Lynette and Tom's heartfelt rehearsal space encounter aside), seeing Mrs. Landingham and Debbie Fiderer (Mrs. Landingham's replacement) 
playing rebel rousing sisters. During the run of The West Wing, where they both played president Bartlett's secretary, who would have thought that stellar comediennes Kathryn Joosten and Lily Tomlin would share screen time plotting revenge on a devious neighbour. 

Even when the housewives themselves fail to enthrall, DH never disappoints with the guest stars.

Big Barenaked Banging............... or what you will

This week's Big Bang Theory was, like fan favourite Dr. Sheldon Cooper, genius. 

When a new grad student, Ramona, takes a liking to Sheldon, he embraces the idea of someone fawning over him, until it gets to a point where he needs to invoke something called "the godzilla clause" to get rid of her. 

The brilliant Barenaked Ladies (who sing the theme song) may have been an inspiration for this episode with their song "Be My Yoko Ono" which figured into the episode in a hilarious montage about Ramona taking over Sheldon's life. 

The Big Bang geeks, The Barenaked Ladies and an inspired story angle? What more could I ask. 

Obsessions/Complaints of the Week: Oct 30-Nov 5


BARACK OBAMA, The Presidential Election and The American People
I'm the proudest Canadian you will ever find, at least in Boston. But last night I found myself insanely jealous of my American friends. Not only was their election a celebration the scale of which Canada has never seen, but they now have a leader unlike anyone has ever seen. I wished that I could live under Obama's inspiring leadership and I wished that I'd had a vote in electing him. And I was proud, I was proud of the country I live in 8 months out of the year, the country who can't even seem to vote for the right person to win So You Think You Can Dance, I was proud that they got it right when it really mattered. 


The world (The CW especially) needs Valentine, if only to combat some of the unromantic, cheese-less ideals that are so prevalent on TV today. I resent the modern notion that if it's corny it can't be good, isn't cool or deserves to be laughed at. Sentimentality is vastly underrated and I will miss Valentine dearly for the its sweetness. 

How dare he opt out of the final 2 years of his contract with the Jays! We need AJ, he's tough and talented and cool and entertaining as hell and with the fates of Marcum and McGowan up in the air medically, we need someone with AJ's strikeout power on the mound come the spring. 

Why didn't Marshall get to tell a story in this week's episode of How I Met Your Mother. We got to hear from Barney, Lily and Robin but Marshall got left behind. I miss my favourite 6 foot 4 Minnesotan. 

Goodbye Bellick

Like Charlie Pace (Lost) before him, Prison Break's Brad Bellick (played by Wade Williams) drowned this week, sacrificing himself to save his friends and their mission. 

Starting off as one of the show's principle antagonists, Bellick was one of Prison Break's many "love to hate" characters. As the series progressed Bellick spent a couple of years as the outsider, not a part of Scofield's group but not on the right side of law either. By the fourth season, Sucre having vouched for him, Bellick became one of the good guys, often somewhat questionable in morals but usually pretty dependable. 

This week's ending was the perfect way to say goodbye to such a roller coaster of a character. Bellick was ultimately redeemed in his end and will be remembered as an integral part of the show. 

Love Hurts

It seems that one of my favourite new shows of the season (one of very few) has bitten the dust this week, proving once again that in order to survive on The CW you have to feature filthy rich teenage girls and hot guys in expensive cars. 

With the loss of Valentine, the TV landscape finds itself in need of a good deal of love. 

in other news, Kath & Kim, a sitcom I watch but don't care much about, has been picked up for a full season. This marks NBC's second odd pickup of the year (they've already given a full season to the critically hated and unpopular Knight Rider).  

for the full story click here

Fiction pales in comparison

I live in a world of fiction. I've always subscribed to the theory that minds are more easily changed with stories than with speeches. And while reality often disappoints, I've been able to spend years alongside the honorable heroes, charming leaders and valiant world servants of television. 

But as of tonight, as of this very moment, all that has changed. No longer is Jed Bartlett the best man to occupy the oval office. No longer do the highest ideals belong to Sam Seaborn. No longer is Toby Ziegler the leading authority on sparkling oratory or Josh Lymon the most impressive political operative. 

Now we have a real hero on our hands; someone so good and smart and optimistic and inspiring that it's difficult to believe that he's really real. But he is. 

Barack Obama has a story; he has more than one. He has a rags to riches story, an underdog story and an epic love story. He has an intellect that can dazzle even the most elitist scholar, a presence so powerful that he commands every ounce of attention in the room and a smile so endearing that one can't help but place all their faith in him and his high ideals. His campaign is a story of struggle, of controversy, of change and the possibility of greatness; his election is a story of hope. 

Obama and what he means for the future of The United States seems too good to be true, a TV ideal. But here's the thing, this time, it really is true and no fiction could ever compare.