Monday, April 28, 2008

THE WB RETURNS!!!!

Warner Brothers has announced the creation of a new website (thewb.com) where viewers will be able to watch episodes of their favourite classic WB shows for free right on their computers. 

This uber TV fan, for one, can't wait to get her hands on those unreleased on DVD seasons of Everwood and Jack & Bobby. Hopefully the network that was responsible for so many revolutionary shows can also lead the way in providing complete seasons of cancelled television online. Here's hoping the shows they choose to stream are the right ones and not 7th Heaven and Reba

To vote for the shows you'd like to see online see the poll to the right of this page. 

The Winner of Big Brother 9 is....

Adam? 

well that was anticlimactic. 

As has become the standard for the notoriously unfair reality show, one of the least interesting and/or deserving houseguests wins the entire game. 

The only difference between this and previous finales was that the jurors demonstrated more pettiness, less class and less thoughtfulness than any jury I can remember. As was expected, Matt (who has been out of the house for months now and has generally comported himself well) and James and Joshuah (who lost their tempers and acted ridiculously out of line on occasion but who were generally intelligent and somewhat rational) were the only jurors who managed to keep their cool and ask (somewhat) fair and objective questions. Nutbag Chelsia, unpredictable and bitter Sheila, and upbeat yet pissed off Sharon and Natalie all couldn't see past their own evictions in order to rationally evaluate the game play of the final two. And thus, the least deserving of the two undeserving finalists won half a million dollars- oh well. 

Consolation: one of my least favourite players (James) won the "America's favourite juror" money. Why is this a consolation? Because James was good at Big Brother. He was despicable. He was superior and hypocritical and gross and a very bad dresser... BUT he played the game well. He was no Dr. Will, not even an AllStar Danielle, but he showed me how little I can like someone and still respect that they know how to play the game. That said, he never should have come back into the house after his eviction, it was a completely unfair advantage. 

BUT...

If the game were fair we would have seen Parker and Alex make a bigger impact on the game. If the game were fair Allison would have stood a chance. If the game were fair Matt would have stuck around longer. If the game were fair Ryan would have beaten Adam because the jury would have recognized that being a good player and being a well-liked guy who you want to give the money to are 2 very different things and the best player should always win. 
Then again, no one ever said Big Brother was fair. 

Back to You gets Back to the Funny


The most recent episodes of mediocre classic sitcom Back to You have been a return to the best the show can be. After post-strike changes that resulted in the loss of the weather girl Montana (played by Studio 60's Ayda Field), and the recasting of Chuck and Kelly's daughter Gracie (from spunky and smart to cute and innocent), Back to You came back missing some crucial pieces but making the most out of what they had left. While revered sitcom veterans Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton's stories are always boring and their chemistry forced, the supporting cast and their B stories haven't been failing to make the 22 minutes worth the watch as of late. Josh Gad and Fred Willard are great as the producer Ryan and the sports caster Marsh respectively and, as I've said numerous times when reviewing this show, Ty Burrell shows off his impeccable comic timing time and again as the show stealing field reported Gary Crezyzewski. Burrell is the perfect antidote for the mediocrity that sometimes infects this show. The most recent episode "Hug and Tell" is no exception. When Gary realizes he is the only person whom the security guard doesn't hug, he sets out trying to figure out what it is about him that makes him un-huggable. After withstanding a hilarious scene of abuse from Marsh and Ryan in which they cathartically vent about his unintentionally cold demeanor and arrogance, Gary confronts the security guard, only to find that the animosity stems from a harsh review Gary had written in grade school about a production of Grease in which the security guard had played Kinicki. It's these B stories (Gary being attacked while reporting on a bizarre convention, Ryan and Gary discovering the frightening sexual murals in Marsh's home and Marsh trying to choose a new sign off catch phrase) that make the show anything more than just a bad conventional comedy unworthy of its prestigious cast, crew and creative team. Completely worth a watch just for the sake of the supporting cast, don't discredit Back to You before really giving it a chance. That said, if you feel like making a contribution to television comedy may I suggest inundating FOX studios with letters calling for the return of the original Gracie, a new deal for Ayda Field, less of Heaton and Grammer and MORE TY BURRELL!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Special Buffy/Angel Podcast

Check out the newest episode of the MY TV Podcast and hear Kelly and guest host Rachael debate the ins and outs of the Buffy/Angel-verse. 

and for more from Rachael check out her film review website "I watch movies then talk about them" by clicking the link below. 

http://livejournal.com/users/rn4_8_7

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Farewell to Bob Kelso

Last night's episode of Scrubs marked the exit of a key player at Sacred Heart since the show began: chief of medicine Bob Kelso. Unaware that he was leaving the show, this avid viewer was sure that they would save his job and Kelso would go on terrorizing his employees until the show's final moments. What the show did, however, was surprise me with an excellent farewell to a hilarious character. As Kelso reminisced to a naieve intern, Elliot and Carla persuaded the entire hospital staff to come to Kelso's defense and convince the board to save his job. Once they were victorious, however, Kelso quit on his own terms, walking out and taking his portrait with him. It was an excellent farewell to the character who gave us some of the show's best lines, including my all-time favourite exchange: 

Dr. Kelso: In order to save us some time, I shall be calling all the males "Daves" and all the females "Debbies". 

Debbie: [excitedly] Debbie is actually my name! 

Dr. Kelso: Then in fairness to the others, you will be "Slagathor".

Gigantic event, a Once in a Blue Moon Occurance, The Biggest Thing In 2 Years...

THE OFFICE WAS ACTUALLY FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!

It wasn't mildly amusing with a side of sweet. It wasn't a funny B story and an absurd A story. It wasn't a couple good one liners here and there. It was ACTUALLY funny. 

Michael wasn't over the top. In fact, he was just the right amount of awkward ("I'm a bank teller... Ryan told me to always tell people you work in finance") and Dwight was just the right amount of weird (pouring out the drink the girls bought him was great). Having Ryan be over the top allowed those 2 (who usually overplay their quirks) to be a little more subtle and thus actually funny. The addition of Ryan's friend who Dwight thought was a hobbit was excellent. 

In the B story it was funny to see some of the other office workers getting annoyed with perfect couple Pam and Jim when Jim accidentally got them locked in the office then Pam hit Meredith in the head with the football.  I liked that the show was OK with making fun of Pam and Jim a bit instead of just leaving them be like the beloved popular kids in a high school show. Jim's accurate assumption that the cleaning staff only spoke Spanish was hilarious and Toby's subtly hitting on Pam then saying he's moving to Costa Rica and running away was HILARIOUS. The more Toby the better. 

It's episodes like last night's that make putting up with mediocre 4th seasons worth it. 

Grey's Returns

... and speaking of bromance, one of the best on TV just returned in all their mcglory last night on ABC's Grey's Anatomy. In an altogether pretty good episode the show stealing scene belonged to Marc Sloan (McSteamy) in the elevator with his best friend Derek Shepherd (McDreamy). "I thought it would just be us. After Addison, after Meredith, I thought it would just be us... There are women everywhere but there's only one person I can talk to". Sloan's honest confession of how he feels about his friendship with Derek and Derek's new relationship with Nurse Rose was a long time coming and didn't disappoint. These McFriends are better together than Meredith and Derek ever were. 

Other episode highlights include The Chief's conversations with Karev and Issy on the topic of 'the contest'. Karev the underdog and Issy the lion are 2 of my favourite characters and those scenes were lovely. Also great: Miranda Bailey, Erica Hahn, Callie Torres and Christina Yang in all their usual awesomeness (I'm especially liking Yang's insecurities for once). I even liked Meredith and Lexi's story lines (which NEVER happens)

Kudos on a strong return to TV Shonda and crew. 

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Big Brother: A Bromance Prevails!!!

Though the ultimate Bromance (Will and Boogie: AllStars) was cut down at final four, this year's final 2 bromance isn't the first. In season 5 the all-male power alliance of 'The Four Horsemen' had two of their members as the season's final 2 (Drew and Cowboy). 
Women, on the other hand, can't seem to be able to form a strong alliance to get themselves through to the end. In fact, whenever the final 2 have been 2 women they have been enemies: Season 3's Danielle wound up in the final 2 against Lisa instead of her loyal ally Jason and Season 4's Alison and June couldn't have liked each other less. Considering some of the best players in BB history have been female (Allstars Danielle, Janelle, Alison and Nakomis most notably along with season 8's Jessica) is there a reason that their friendships don't get them to the end when the men's can? Is the precedent set by Chilltown (Boogie and Will) too much to live up to?

Watch Adam or Ryan (here's hoping for Ryan) be crowed as the winner of Big Brother 9 on Sunday on CBS. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Top 20 Characters of the Buffy/Angel-verse

  I've just finished watching the entire series of Angel on DVD. Now that my consumption of the Buffy cannon is complete I feel a little analysis is necessary. The best way I can think to do this is to analyse by character (my favourite aspect of the two spectacular shows). And thus I give you my run down of the 20 best characters in Joss Whedon's fantasy universe of vampires and slayers:

1) Wesley Wyndam Pryce (Alexis Denisof)
In every incarnation (the goofy failure of a watcher we meet in Buffy's third season, the wounded loner of Angel's fourth season or the romantic martyr in Angel's series finale), Wesley is the most engaging and multi-faceted character in the Buffy/Angel-verse. Played perfectly by the incomparable Alexis Denisof, Wesley's journey was that of brave defiance, tragic heartbreak, incredible longing, fierce loyalty and unparallelled growth. His flaws only make him stronger, more sympathetic and human. 




2) Anya/Anyanka (Emma Caulfield)
Like many brilliant characters, Anyanka was supposed to be a small part, but when Joss realized how very interesting the vengeance demon now trapped in a teenage life was she transitioned into a permanent member of Buffy's scoobie gang. In fact, she become the most entertaining and interesting character in the lot. Unused to being human, the newly re-named Anya's adjustment to mortal life was at times bumpy but always intriguing and poignant. Everything from her hilariously literal interpretations of things to her lack of understanding of customs to her beautifully innocent love for Xander to her resolution to fight alongside her friends and her eventual death make Anya, the former demon, one of the most human characters there is. 


3) Spike (James Marsters)    
Like Anya, Spike was simply a villain, brought in to cause some havoc in Sunnydale then scuttle out of the way like any other big bad. Thank God that's not what happened because without Spike, Buffy (and later Angel) would not have been the same series. This British bad ass not only gave us some amazing fight scenes and a good deal of the best one liners in TV history, he also had possibly the most pronounced character arc ever. His transition from rebellious villain to neutered love-lorn puppy to soulful and selfless hero is pure writing and performance genius and makes Spike one of the most popular television characters ever, and most rightly so. 



4) Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter)
When executive producer David Greenwalt insisted on bringing the sunny and superficial Cordelia over to Angel after her graduation from Sunnydale High he couldn't have been making a better decision. On Angel Cordelia blossomed from the sometimes sweet and always funny spoiled princess into the moral centre of a group of true heroes. When the true Cordelia made her exit at the end of Angel's third season (later to appear only as a divine manifestation or possessed by an evil spirit) she was a completely different girl than the one she'd been 6 years earlier on Buffy. She was smart, independent, caring, strong, loyal, down to earth and heroic. Cordy kept Angel inspired, Gunn in line, Wesley sane and Fred brave and in doing so saved the world, even after she had left it far behind. 


5) Winifred 'Fred' Burkle (Amy Acker)
Everything from crazy in a cave to the elegant object of multiple men's desire to the tough and ingenious head of Wolfram & Hart's science division, Fred transformed on a daily basis, never losing the innocent sweetness that made her so unique in the first place. The brilliance that is the beautiful Amy Acker's superb talent can't be challenged once you see her play all these parts rolled into one superbly lovely character AND the intense other worldly goddess who takes over Fred's body in Angel's final season. With a unique turn of phrase and an incomparable capacity for empathy, Fred is such a wonderful character that when she's in danger all Angel has to say to rally the troupes to save her is "Winifred Burkle". 



6) Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan)
Buffy's best friend and saviour of the world many timesover, Willow is a fan favourite in the Buffyverse. Her independent spirit, sunny outlook, innocent and trusting nature and fierce intelligence and 
magical ability make Willow one of the most endearing and coolest characters out there. Too cool, in fact, for the cool kids. Oh, and did I mention she turned evil when the love of her life was killed? If we're talking intense emotion Willow's got it. And if we're talking meaningful relationships with other characters, Xander saved the world with his love for Willow so clearly she's got the meaningful connection thing down as well. 


7) Darla (Julie Benz)
The meanest vamp on the block, Darla defined the sexy villainess, sending Angel reeling with her very presence. After her premature death on Buffy, Darla's reappearance at the end of a somewhat dreary first season of Angel infused the show with an intense energy that she carried with her until her triumphant self-sacrificing death in season 3. In fact, Darla'sdeath to save her unborn child from her own soul-less self was perhaps the most meaningful death on the show. 




8) Faith (Eliza Dushku)
In the grand tradition of Whedon characters who spend time being ultimate heroes AND ultimate villains, Faith is pretty close to the top of the list of the best of both worlds. Her descent into villainy with the Mayor in season 3 of Buffy, her redemption in season 4 of Buffy and season 1 of Angel and her reappearance to save the world twice over in the space of a couple weeks in season 4 of Angel and 7 of Buffy make for some of the most memorable episodes of both shows. This bad ass slayer is one of the verse's coolest characters, walking the line between good and 
evil and seeking redemption for her sins. 



9) Oz (Seth Green)
Joss Whedon says that when he wrote the character of Oz he wanted to write a character who was "so cool he could see how cool Willow was" and he did. Oz may have turned into a gigantic fanged beast every full moon but the rest of the time he was the definition of cool; the kind of cool that is so cool it can make anything cool and has no need to be cool. 






10) Charles Gunn (J. August Richards)
and speaking of cool. Gunn is cool, even when he's singing "three little maids from school". With a big brain and an even bigger heart, the "muscle" of Angel's crew proved that he was more than he seemed. Who wouldn'tswoon over how far he would go for his love for Fred? and when Gunn screwed uphe wouldn't rest until he'd atoned for his actions; his sense of justice was incomparable. 






11) Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head)
Buffy's father figure was more than just the exposition man. He was the group's guide post and source of strength. Giles' own tumultuous past informed every decision he made from murdering human Ben in order to rid the world of evil Glory to cautioning Willow against relying too heavily on magic to leaving Buffy so that she could learn to stand on her own. 






12) Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon)
The sidekick, the third wheel, the moral support, Xander may have been the only scoobie with nothing supernatural to offer the group but his incredibly relatable character gave viewers a way into the 
show. He was the 'everyman' in extraordinary circumstances but his love for the people around him was in itself so noteworthy that his otherwise unimpressive character became somewhat remarkable.  






13) Angel (David Boreanaz)
Less remarkable for his own somewhat tedious mythology and more notable for what he meant to other characters, the presence of Angel in both shows was central to the development of almost everyone. His relationships with Cordelia and Wesley were some of the most meaningful in the verse and Buffy's sacrificing her own happiness with him and killing him in order to save the world revealed more about the nature of sacrifice and her destiny as the slayer than even her sacrificial suicide in season 5. 




14) Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar)
She had to make the list somewhere. Even though I find the supporting characters far more engaging than either Buffy or Angel, it must be acknowledged that they are the centre of their shows and without their stories there would be nothing to tell. Buffy kicked butt. She inspired others, and saved the world even when wallowing in self 
pity, and she did it in high fashion while spouting clever comments. 






15) Andrew Wells (Tom Lenk)
Hahahahaha. Thatis all that needs to be said about Andrew. In a season (Buffy season 6) filled with misery and brooding, Andrew and his cohorts lifted the series back into the realm of lighthearted with their turn as the season's "big bads". Returning as one of the "good guys" in season 7, Andrew provided the expected comic relief and came through with the occasional incredibly touching moment such as his scene in the hospital with Anya and his recounting her death to a heartbroken Xander. 





16) Lilah Morgan (Stephanie Romanov)
This femme fatale of Wolfram & Hart may have been tedious at first but through her relationship that wasn't a relationship with Wesley she grew into a complicated and fascinating villain and queen of the "grey area". Even after her death, Lilah's commanding presence was intriguing and her relationship with Wesley when she was alive added unexpected layers to both of their characters, no one ever truly knowing what they really meant to one another. 





17) Harmony Kendall (Mercedes McNab)
It wasn't until she was killed at her high school graduation that Harmony was finally released from her constraining role as Cordelia's sidekick and allowed to become the hilarious character she was. As a vampire, Harmony returned on Buffy and Angel as the most comically clueless vampire there ever was, a bizarre love interest for Spike and a surprisingly good (if somewhat untrustworthy) assistant to Angel. Promoted to regular cast 
member for the final season of Angel, Harmony added some much needed girly spunk to the mix in the absence of Cordelia. 


18) Tara Maclay (Amber Benson)
Love lesbian Willow or hate her, the Willow and Tara relationship was beautiful. Tara brought out a brilliant strength in Willow and Willow's presence in Tara's life gave her the sense of self to stop hiding in the shadows. 








19) Drusilla (Juliet Landau)
This crazy vampire's relationship with Spike solidified within the verse's mythology that soulless vampires can, in fact, feel love. She played a crucial role in the dynamic of the core four vampires and their familial hierarchy (Darla sired Angel who sired Dru who sired Spike), and her insane amounts of crazy not only made Dru interesting, they also made her intensely scary as the unhinged villainess loose on Sunnydale and LA throughout both series. 





20) Lorne (Andy Hallett)
and last but not least, the host of the infamous karaoke bar on Ange lost some of his pizazz when he became an everyday player, but Lorne's special sparkle still deserves to make the list. His unique ability to read people when they open their hearts to sing was a fascinating plot and character device while the addition of details of his family life in Pylea added depth to the character. Lorne was always quick with the one liners and could always be counted on for a fun (if slightly condescending) nickname for Angel, making him a great addition to the show. 



For more Buffy/Angel goodness be sure to download the upcoming Buffy/Angel special on the My TV podcast. The podcast is available on iTunes, the link is on the right hand side of this page. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Robin Sparkles... Again


So How I Met Your Mother brought back Robin Sparkles- desperate? Yeah. Effective? well,... yeah. It wasn't up to the calibre of "slap bet" (the original Robin Sparkles episode) but this week's HIMYM was pretty funny. The accents weren't even slightly accurate and thus simply annoying but the plot was fun, the B story (other characters' revertigo) was amusing, the music video was priceless and it's always fun to see Dawson on TV again (James Van Der Beek guest starred in the episode as an old boyfriend/video boy).  

My favourite/least favourite part of the episode though was the slew of Canada jokes. One of HIMYM's go to jokes, the Canada references always make me laugh. And as a Canadian living in the US I can tell you that that's exactly how it goes down. My friends laugh at me all the time for my pronunciation of "about", for saying "washroom" instead of "restroom", for never having been to some of the more famous American chain restaurants and for carrying around something called a "loonie". They also adamantly believe that I celebrate "Celine Dion Day". Because of this, the Canadian joke section of the show made me laugh out loud, but I was also acutely aware that my friends who watch the show now have new ammunition. Until now the use of the word "Zamboni" hadn't yet occurred to them, I'm sure it has now. 

Oh, and Robin and Barney hooked up- that should make for some fun awkwardness I suppose. 

Feel the Family Love

The current TV landscape leaves little to complain about. Snobbish academia folk may scoff and cite the low-life nature of many game shows, the preposterous, adrenaline-driven drivel that are some action shows and the formulaic routine that dominates some sitcoms. In response to these people I simply smile knowingly and proudly shout the names of unique and sharp sitcoms like Aliens in America, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother and Samantha Who, of touching and and engaging hour-long dramadies like Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty and Boston Legal, and of perfectly plotted and character driven dramas like Lost and Friday Night Lights

In such a spectacular landscape it is difficult to pick a favourite. Even so, I think I have. There's one show that I look forward to more than any other every week. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me stand up and cheer. The characters are lovable AND believable, the relationships are transcendentally real and the stories are entertaining and heartfelt. This show not only gives me warm fuzzies, cold shivers and butterflies every week, it also makes me proud to be my brother's sister and my parents' 
daughter. And that show is Brothers & Sisters

The impeccable cast couldn't be better and the writers are perfection personified. The Walkers may be somewhat dysfunctional but when it comes down to it they couldn't function any better if they never had a single fight. This week's episode, in which Nora contemplated moving to DC with her beau Isaac, was particularly touching as her children worried about losing her. Meanwhile, the show's 
secondary family is coming together as Rebbecca searches for the truth about whether William Walker is really her father. 

Check out this Sunday's episode (entitled "Separation Anxiety") of my favourite family on ABC.com. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Heart-y Helping of Scrubs

OK, yes I realize that's a really stupid title for a post but it really sums up the 2 episodes of Scrubs I just watched (catching up online on what they've aired since their hiatus). 

Oftentimes extremely funny but not consistently so, the best thing Scrubs has going for it is that it really is a heartfelt show. The two most recent episodes have focused on JD's friendships with Turk and Elliot, Turk and Carla's marriage and JD, Turk and Carla's roles as parents. There have been touching patient-based story lines as well. They were very lovely, for lack of a better word. 

Easily my favourite story in the episodes, however, had very little to do with any of the characters mentioned above. It was the Janitor's story in the most recent episode (entitled "My Manhood"). Feeling as though no one cared about his opinion, the Janitor, with his 'brain trust' (Ted, Doug and Lloyd), publishes a newspaper called 'The Janitorial'. He publishes false information about Dr. Cox and when he asks why he is torturing him, the Janitor replies: "Because you called me stupid. Now I've been called a great many horrible names in my life, backstabber, zebra poacher, Josh, and I've accepted these because to each of them there is a degree of truth. But, I am not, nor will I ever be, stupid". I loved that storyline. One of the few insults that can really get to me is being called stupid and I love when the Janitor stands up for himself. You Go Janitor. 

Saturday, April 19, 2008

30 Rock: another quotable 22 minutes of funny

Kenneth (on voting): "it's a sin to choose so I just write in the lord's name"
Jack (reply): "that's Republican, we count those"


Tracey: "now, if you'll excuse me Nixon asked me to take some stuff off his wikipedia page"


Liz: "if reality TV's taught us anything it's that you can't keep people with no shame down"


-Jack tries to make Tracey the new black celebrity face of the Republican party until he realizes that black people will never vote Republican so he has Tracey encourage black people not to vote at all. VERY FUNNY!!!

-Liz almost succumbs to the allure of her loser ex-boyfriend when he re-enters her life after saving someone from being hit by the subway. They reminisce over their first meeting (wondering why "The Hours" isn't called "The weeks" it's so long) and the time they spent making fun of joggers in the park ("I'm gonna run around in a circle so I can live longer"). QUITE FUNNY!!

-Kenneth bonds with an aged TV star who tells him bizarre stories of his times at NBC. A LITTLE LESS BUT STILL PRETTY FUNNY!

YAY FOR THE FUNNY!!!!!!!!! This show continues to impress. 

The Office's second post-strike episode

The A story was stupid. Michael wants a new girlfriend. 
 
The B story was boring. Andy and Kevin fight for their parking spaces back. 
 
The C story was lovely. Jim and Pam jokingly discuss getting engaged. Jim reveals that he bought a ring a week after they started dating. The anticipation of what will no doubt be an incredibly beautiful television moment begins.  

THE MY TV AWARD WINNERS

After a long wait, the winners of the 2007 My TV Awards are finally announced.                       

For expanded commentary on the winners check out the podcast by clicking the link to the right. 

Without further ado, I give you the 2007 My TV Award Winners: 


Best Drama

Brothers & Sisters

Best Comedy

Ugly Betty

Best Reality/Game Show

Kid Nation

Best Actor in a Drama

Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)

Best Actress in a Drama

Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters)

Best Actor in a Comedy

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Best Actress in a Comedy

Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Kelly Bishop (Gilmore Girls)

Best Reality Star

Danny (So You Think You Can Dance)

Best Reality Host/Judge

Mia Michaels (Judge/Choreographer- So You Think You Can Dance)

Best Writing for a Drama

Veronica Mars

Best Writing for a Comedy

Pushing Daisies

Best Costumes

Pushing Daisies

Best Network Lineup

ABC

Best Guest Star

Allison Janney (Studio 60)

Most Ridiculously Good Looking Male

Wentworth Miller (Prison Break)

Most Ridiculously Good Looking Female

Kate Walsh (Grey’s Anatomy/ Private Practice)

The Marry- Me Award

Wentworth Miller

The Be-My-Best-Friend Award

Tina Fey

The Moment of the Year Award-

The Walkers jump in the pool (Brothers & Sisters)

Sabra and Neil’s top 6 Mandy Moore jazz routine (SYTYCD)***

Betty goes to Henry’s apartment- “Defying Gravity” (Ugly Betty)***

*** Honorable mention

 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Desperate Housewives is back... and exactly the same as ever


Desperate Housewives returned last Sunday with the first episode of the final part of their strike-addled season. The episode was a very typical one of this season. 

- Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman shine and completely steal the episode with their story line of Lynette turning to Bree for guidance in choosing a new religion. These two standout actresses are consistently the best reason to watch the show. They're hilarious and heartwarming. 

- As per usual, Susan was annoying and pointless.

- Though Gabby's story had some sweet moments, it was overall pretty boring.  

- Katherine was less amusing than usual but still a great addition to the show. Nathan Fillion being a great addition to the cast, I'm hoping they keep her husband Adam around even though he's left her. 

a Starcrossed 'Reunion' Reunion

As part of their effort to get viewers caught up after the overly long hiatus that the writers' strike caused, ABC has been providing their hit shows with special videos available online at ABC.com. Among the recaps are what ABC is calling "starcrossed" which feature 2 actors from different ABC shows interviewing each other. The first features Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives and Christina Applegate of Samantha Who. They are very funny and actually a good watch. The second video features Dave Annable of Brothers & Sisters and Chyler Leigh from Grey's Anatomy. Their interview is actually kind of boring, but one thing makes it interesting: the reason these two were paired together for the video is that they used to be co-stars on a brilliant but cancelled FOX mystery show called Reunion

Reunion was incredibly addictive and had everyone I know on the edge of their seats for half a season until it was prematurely cancelled. The producers were never given a chance to solve the mystery for the audience. The cast of Reunion was a noteworthy one. They were all incredibly beautiful and engaging talents who were either coming off a hit TV show or went on to star in one: Matthew St. Patrick was coming off of huge success on Six Feet Under. Will Estes and Sean Farris were well known for their respective brilliant but cancelled series before Reunion (American Dreams and Life as we Know it), Alexa Davalos and Amanda Righetti had both experienced success as recurring guest stars on massive hits like Angel and The OC. Dave Annable and Chyler Leigh, however, have since experienced incredible success, landing themselves principle roles in two of ABC's best shows and biggest hits. 

In Reunion Annable and Leigh played best friends who were dancing around the issues of unrequited love and sexual tension between them. They also played cynical and weathered older versions of their characters under investigation for murdering their former best friend. The two were my favourite characters on Reunion and it was great to see them together again. 

PS: Though its cancellation opened up Dave Annable to join the Walker family which will always be a blessing, let Reunion stand as an example of why FOX is the worst network in existence. Its cancellation policies are out of control and detrimental to the television landscape. (for more examples see Wonderfalls, Arrested Development, Kitchen Confidential and countless others). 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CBS Comedies: a stop and go situation



That said, The Big Bang Theory is just getting started. The hilarious episode, entitled "The Jerusalem Duality", was another laugh out loud 23 minutes. Sheldon, the scene stealer and clear star of the show, decides to go for the Nobel peace prize when his physics dreams are dashed by the arrival of a 15 year old genius. The episode began with (forgive the pun) a bang, with the line "here's the problem with teleportation", then followed Sheldon as he attempted to find his new calling and eventually decided that building a second Jerusalem in Mexico would solve the crisis in the Middle East.  Meanwhile, his friends, who he has annoyed to no end by hanging around while they work (watching Raj for 10 minutes then designing a simple piece of software that could replace him, and saying to Wolowitz's fellow engineers "hello oompa loompas of science"), attempt to hook the 15 year old genius up with a girl to distract him and thus get Sheldon back into physics and off their backs. Needless to say, the episode was hysterical. 
 
My only concern would be that they may be focusing on Sheldon too often. He is the funniest so by all means he should get a lot of screen time, but overusing your most popular character can be dangerous. When Fonzie was the centre of Happy Days he wasn't as endearing as when he was used in smaller doses. How I Met Your Mother's restraint when it comes to Barney is a good example: he is very central and gets more screen-time than the other supporting players on a consistent basis but Ted is still the central figure in the show. That's how Barney has stayed funny, he's not overused. Sheldon has been the main feature of many of the most recent episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I only hope that the writers are able to keep him from becoming irritating by not overusing him, it would be a real shame if such a fantastic character became unlikeable. 
 
But why be morbid? he hasn't been overused yet and the show is utterly fantastic, I'm sure there's more awesomosity to come should CBS go on to take the show through multiple seasons. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

BB9-Natalie falls from grace as Sheila steps it up

Sheila wins HOH after a big, annoying show from Natalie. Natalie, the former best player in the house has no idea she's been targeted and keeps making the target bigger. Now, she's being strategically back doored. I've made my peace with the fact that a floater (player who makes very few strategic moves and doesn't start to play the game until very late into it) will win this game and thus am not complaining about her success but rather am simply proud of Sheila for knowing how to play and get out her target. While they had to work for weeks to get James evicted, Sheila's plan to evict Natalie is well thought out and should go off without a hitch (assuming anyone other than Natalie wins POV). 

Sheila, the 45 year old former model/single mom with an insane temper, a few screws loose, a tendency for tears and a complete lack of prowess when it comes to challenges, may in fact prove to be the strategist that this season's been lacking. Sheila is the one player to make repeated Big Brother references, making her the BB expert of the season. As Eric taught us last year, knowledge of how the game has been played and won in the past can be a huge asset. If she can keep her temper and emotions under control, Sheila may make it as far as her 2 dream men (season 2's winner Dr. Will and season 8's winner Evil Dick- coincidentally, neither of whom are known for winning competitions. They are, however, both known for emotional manipulation of other players- something Sheila could never master). This year's dark horse, Sheila probably won't win but she's made it far and is having such a successful HOH rule that she has to be given credit. 

And speaking of subtle strategists who deserve credit, let's hear it for my new pick to win this season: Ryan. The man knows how to play the alliance game. There isn't a single person in that house who wouldn't take him to final 3 and everyone but Sheila would probably take him all the way to the finale. Targeted early on hfor his unfair advantage and evil girlfriend Jen,
Ryan managed to overcome the initial threat, survive a house-wide hatred of his partner Allison and a subsequent eviction and become the least targeted person in the house. The man's got mad friend-making skills, the whole hou
se would trust him with their life. This many sides haven't been played this successfully since Will and Boogie convinced every All-Star that they were the 3rd member of Chilltown.

Ryan's officially got my vote this year. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

BB9- James is finally ousted

Chelsia left with less class than anyone in Big Brother history, Josh tried too hard and left with a weird preachy flourish, but when James, one of my top 5 least favourite players of all time (not because he was a bad player but because his hypocrisy was intolerable, his immaturity unimaginable and his general James-ness horribly annoying), left he left perfectly. He knew he was going (as all 3 of them did), made his amends with that, fought strategically but not unrealistically to stay, understood when to give up, remained in good spirits throughout the live show, was gracious and courteous to his housemates after the vote was announced, left with a smile and didn't say anything he would late regret. Well done Mr. Pink Mohawk. 

And well done Adam for taking the risk necessary to finally get that kid out. His team got scared and was much to hard on him for not nominating James in the first place but Adam knew (as I posted last week as a strategy for Natalie) that the only way to get out the big competition winner is to 6 finger back door them season 5 Nakomis style. And though he lost his nerve part way through, that is exactly what Adam did. Good on him.  

As for Natalie, the house is onto her as the next biggest threat- I'm worried. Natalie deserves the win. She's the best player in the season and, though the best player never wins, she really should be the last person standing- especially after they finally ousted the other brilliant player (horrible James). The way things are going, however, I see the win going to some random person who played a mediocre game like in every other season except 2. (explain this to me: Lisa over Danielle? Jun over Alison? those are both prime examples of a useless player winning against a disliked but excellent strategist). Here's hoping these idiotic houseguests get distracted and Natalie lays low for a while, preserving her until closer to the end, or she wins and wins and wins Janelle style, giving them no option but to keep her around. 

Favourite Moment of the Week: the jury house. Matt (an entertaining player who flip flops between being a complete low life and the most relatable person around) is stuck in the jury house with crazy Chelsia and bitchy Josh- the poor boy is going insane. I love it. I haven't laughed so hard since he left.  

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Aliens in America: love, love, love


Ongoing tensions between American and Islamic culture came to a head in yet another lovely episode of Aliens in America this week on The CW. With fewer laugh-out-loud moments than one has come to expect from this show and a bit more corn, this episode was sweet and clearly important but was not one of the strongest the show's ever had. That said, it was still wonderful and really spoke to the message of the show. The B story with Justin and his dad was very sweet as well. It's always nice to see a little more Luke Danes. Amy Pietz is an amazing comedic talent and Adhir Kalyan plays Raja so endearingly that I wish he were my best friend. I love this show. 

Check out the most recent episode online at cwtv.com

Barney's stalker search: Legendary!

If last week's How I Met Your Mother was all A story, this week was all B story and neither suffered at all for it. Barney's quest to find his mystery scorned stalker girl was hilarious. The rest of the cast got some quality screen time in too. There were references to some classic episodes (Ted Mosby, Architect for example) and just general Barney awesomeness. The stories he comes up with to sleep with women are priceless. The highlight of the episode was most definitely when he's describing the multiple times he's been slapped in the past couple weeks and his friends have to figure out why he goes to specific places (a hardware store, a pet store, a museum) to pick up women: "you're a struggling artist looking for his muse?", "you're a millionaire jewel thief searching out the thrill money can no longer provide?", "you're going blind and are trying to soak up all the beauty in the world before it all goes dark?"

Barney's apology speech at the end was sweet and his whispering in Robin's ear was hilarious.I loved the competition to lower down the search for the girl March Madness style. 
I'm so happy to have Barney back. 

BB9- Dear Natalie,

The correct answer was: 

- take James up on his deal to work together. 
- nominate Josh and Sharon
- veto Sharon
- put up James
- backdoor him

that way James can't take himself off the block- AGAIN and if for some reason the nominations don't get vetoed you've still got James "on your side"

Instead she screwed it up and James is still in the house... and will always be in the house if this keeps up. 

Josh stepped up as a better player last night. His turning on Sharon didn't surprise me at all- it was good strategy and simply made me laugh. 

Note: James SHUT UP!!! Everyone is battling for themselves, everyone has been targeted, everyone has been lied to (by you in fact) and you've had an unfair advantage (the twist came in a convenient week). Also, put on pants. 

PLEASE JAMES DON'T WIN HOH!!!!!