Friday, October 31, 2008

My Ode to Dr. Cooper Freedman

My ode may prove a bit too long
and some, I'm sure, will think I'm wrong, 
but I feel I must do my part
to show how Coop has touched my heart. 

In Private Practice season one, 
Dr. Coop was lots of fun. 
To Violet Turner, his best friend, 
he'd be loyal to the end. 

A doctor and a hero to
parents of kids with the flu, 
pediatrics was what Coop did best, 
in charm and skill he topped the rest. 

But with women Coop was not so great, 
he simply couldn't find a mate. 
Then Cooper's heart began to sing
when he met Dr. Charlotte King. 

In season 2 their romance grew
though Cooper's friends never knew. 
But finally he told Vi
to her, you see, he could not lie.

And now Coop just wants to know
where the relationship can go. 
but that is not what Charlotte wants, 
his sappiness she often taunts. 

But Cooper knows she loves him back, 
not just 'cause he's good in the sack. 
He's funny and sweet and loyal and kind, 
a better man would be hard to find. 

So Charlotte finally gave in, 
telling Coop "ok, you win". 
She showed him who she really was 
Coop's heart, I'm sure, was all abuzz. 

Cooper's sweetness broke her shell, 
though Charlotte King was one tough sell. 
Their relationship I now approve, 
at first I flinched, now I'm in the groove. 

I'll always love Dr. Cooper,
Paul Adelstein, the actor,'s super.  
And now with plots on the right track, 
I know that Shonda's got his back. 

Want to know where you can see
"Past Tense"? It's on ABC!
Go and watch this episode,
the one that inspired my Cooper ode. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Angry Objections of the Week

I'm not very impressed with the world at this very moment. So, though I am slightly obsessed with Chuck Bass, Netflix and BU Shakespeare Society's Twelfth Night this week, I will instead be handing down a list of complaints and grievances. 

So, my big objections of the moment are as follows: 

The People Who Run the SYTYCD Tour
What's the wrong way to cap off a great concert? Telling fans who have been waiting outside in the cold to meet their favourite dancers that they won't be allowed to take pictures with them. These dancers will only get a couple months of fame, that's it, why not let them and their fans enjoy it while it's there? So, instead of getting to meet Katee, Twitch and Mark and having a giddiness inducing new album of photos, my friend Lauren and I left the rope line at 11:30, cold and empty handed.*

The World Series Results
While shivering in line only to be later told that the dancers wouldn't even make it outside until after midnight, Lauren checked her iPhone and reported that the Philadelphia Phillies had won the World Series. While I'm happy for former-Jay Matt Stairs, I'm pretty disappointed in Philadelphia's win. I was avidly cheering for the Tampa Bay Rays to win the series; they came back from years of last place finishes to win the toughest division in the majors (American League East) by a pretty big margin. They have a great young team that's up through the farm system, not bought and sold, and they played the best season of anyone. A team like that deserves a World Series win. 

*a positive review of the So You Think You Can Dance concert to come. 

One Tree Hill makes with the funny

You've gotta hand it to One Tree Hill, it knows exactly what it is. Last night's episode was, if anything, a self aware comedy hour. Sure it had it's big dramatic plot twists and its romantic melodrama, but for the most part One Tree Hill just spent an hour making fun of itself.

Here are some of last night's highlights: 

-When Sam asks Jamie if he'd ever done anything wild, he replies with a list of outrageous plot points that were actually a part of the over-the-top series: getting kidnapped by his nanny, almost dying in the pool, getting chased through a cornfield by a psychopath, etc...

- When faced with the prospect of having a movie made out of Lucas' autobiographical novel, most of the occupants of Tree Hill went about choosing actors to play them, at which point Nathan aptly pointed out the ridiculousness of the age of actors who play teenagers (it's worth noting here that James Lafferty was only 18 when he began playing Nathan, though his costars were all in their 20s and meant to be playing 15-16 year olds). Brooke then took a stab at The CW (their home network) by saying that the movie studio will probably pick "a CW brat" to play her, but then took a minute to point out that "at least they're hot". 

- The show brought back Peyton's long lost brother Derek (who hasn't been mentioned in years) along with other references to the show's previous 5 seasons such as Peyton's psycho stalker, Mouth's high school girlfriend Gigi, Brooke and Nathan's sex video and the Brooke/Lucas/Peyton love triangle. 

Privileged Defies The TV Rules

First let me say that this week's episode of Privileged ("All About the Haves and Have Nots") was oodles better than the last. 

Now on to my point. 

TV has rules by which most shows play. Rules about archetypes and morality and edginess and socio-economic statements and what couplings work best. Privileged, since it began, has been dancing on the edge of many of those lines, but it wasn't until this episode that it became clear just how against the grain this show really is playing (like my beautifully mixed metaphors?). Now I'm not saying that breaking the rules is a bad thing in this case, it's just curious for a show that is by no means a groundbreaking piece. 

The most notable of these convention defiances? Many characters are the opposite of who you would assume they would be. 

Let's start with Megan. She's the star, the lead, the cute, sweet, ambitious and smart quirk ball whose story we're following, but she's certainly no Rory Gilmore. She's judgemental and selfish and can't appreciate what she has while preaching to others that they are being ungrateful. And Charlie; he's the super sweet, reliable best friend right? but Jim Halpert would be ashamed. Charlie is, in many ways, just as selfish as Megan. He's secretive and grumpy and self-pitying. At first the reality that these 2 characters aren't as wonderful as the TV rules would have dictated made me sad, but then I realized that the writers of Privileged were giving me unexpected characters to love in their place. 

You're not supposed to love the alcoholic and irresponsible father, but he was charming and polite and honest. The slutty playboy next door should not be the love interest you're cheering for but Will has all the makings of, as Gossip Girl would say, a "knight in shining Armani". And the spoiled little rich girls aren't supposed to be better people than the deserving poor girl who's thrown into their world. It's the rules; Dan has to be morally superior to Chuck and Nate, Rory has to be more well adjusted than Paris, Brandon has to be more responsible than Steve and Betty, of course, has to have better family values than Daniel and Alexis. But Rose and Sage proved in this episode that Megan's got nothing on them. They were gracious hostesses, not showing an ounce of classist judgement, even when the Smiths descended into yet another inappropriate bickering match. And their quest to help with prom dresses for underprivileged teens and earn volunteer hours? Perfect. Not to mention their brilliant sisterly dynamic. Now that Sage has toned down a bit I'm really coming round on her (though I would prefer a different actress). 

So, like when Joss Whedon got me to like murderous vampires and Josh Schwartz got me to like a moody loner with a penchant for punching people and Shonda Rhimes got me to like 2 brutally honest man-whores and Tina Fey got me to like a Republican corporate sell-out, kudos to Rina Mimoun for daring to break the rules and challenge my assumptions. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Next to Go

According to Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly, CBS has announced that they're breaking up with The Ex-List. I am very sad for TV's loss of Alex Breckenridge and Adam Rotherberg as Bella's best friends, and especially sad that Rachel Boston won't be returning as Bella's sister Daphne. The show as a whole I'll miss less. And as for Bella herself, I'm going to assume that her soulmate was the surfer dude. 

For Ausiello's Report Click Here

Can We Please Talk About How Much I Loved This Week's Gossip Girl?

Ok, we're talking about how much I loved this week's Gossip Girl

Though I've always had a bit of a weakness for them, frivolous teen shows almost never get me fully on board because they almost never succeed in making me like all of their characters. For every Seth Cohen there's a Marissa Cooper, for every Brooke Davis there's a Lucas Scott and for every Noel Crane there's always a Ben Covington. 

And so was the case with Gossip Girl last year. I loved Blair and Serena, hated Jenny and Vanessa, and flip-flopped on Dan, Nate and Chuck. 

But this year I literally like them all. Some more than others; Serena, Dan and Vanessa have made me pretty mad at times but they generally come out ahead; Jenny sometimes makes pretty bad decisions but she's turned around from my least favourite character of last year to one of my favourites this year; and Nate's pretty darn charming these days. And then there's Blair and Chuck: love, love, love, love, love. Is there a sexier, more engaging couple on TV? Find me one, prove it. 

This week's episode (in which Jenny's dreams come true in more fantastic ways than 1 and Blair and Chuck lay it all on the line) 
was fantastic. It had everything a standard GG episode has (great clothes, fun stories, a roller-coaster pace, catchy dialogue, high production values,...) and so much more. This week had me cheering out loud and admitting how much I really do love this show, it's so not a guilty pleasure, I'm proud of said love. This week's fantastic showing has even put a couple of GG actors on the My TV Awards nomination shortlists, a first for the show. 

Be sure to check out the fabulous new episode of Gossip Girl entitled "Pret-a-Poor-J" when it gets posted on thecw.com later this week. 

Brothers & Sisters This Week


My God I love Kevin Walker. and Scotty too. 

That is all. 

The Real Drama

Let's face it, the real television drama of the fall is the 2008 US Presidential Election. 

Thus, I feel it is appropriate to share with you this gut-busting video from jibjab.com. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Apparently It Wasn't A Coincidence

... that The West Wing predicted the future. They may not have known how close the democratic primaries would be or the approximate age of the 2008 Republican nominee when they wrote the prophetic final 2 seasons, but apparently the parallels between Matt Santos and Barack Obama aren't an accident at all. 

Check out this article that I just stumbled upon wherein writer Eli Attie claims that Obama was in their heads all along. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On the Big Screen

This weekend I went to see The Secret Life of Bees, which was full of wonderful surprises. Yes, Dakota Fanning's talent did survive puberty. No, apparently singer/actors are not always substandard, Queen Latifa, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson were all wonderful in their roles in the film. Yes, Paul Bettany is so phenomenally talented that he can make even the most tyrannical of characters sympathetic. And some CW actors have, like bees, secret lives; One Tree Hill's Hilarie Burton has a small role in the film, which she fits like a glove. The real wonder, though is Tristan Wilds, who may be a boring character on this season's worst show (90210) but he also has a secret life as a fantastic actor, playing the important role of Zach in the film. So before you write Burton and Wilds off for their day jobs, make sure to go see them shine amongst some brilliant co-stars in The Secret Life of Bees

A Tedious Ex List

This week's ex, surfer boy Shane, was pretty cool. I thought he deserved at least a two episode arc. But it is promising to know that even though he left to go to El Salvador, Bella didn't cross him off the list yet, she claims he's "still in play". 

And though this was the only week in which I've liked the A story so far, the B stories and my beloved supporting cast fell dramatically short this week, Daphne only getting a couple lines and Viv and Augie's entire story being about a shower head. 

Even at her best, Bella isn't enough to make me tune into this show, the supporting cast needs to up their game again. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Note about SNL Thursdays

Though I'm very excited to get 30 Rock back, I'll be sad to see SNL Weekend Update Thursdays go. I don't have time to watch the full show every week so having 22 minutes of just the political stuff was really great. Politics has always been a Saturday Night Live forte and Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler are great Weekend Update hosts. 

This week, though, viewers were forced to sit through an Andy Samberg segment in which he "interviewed unregistered voters" but actually just spent the entire time vomiting on unfortunate SNL cast members. From what I've seen, Andy Samberg doesn't do much other than vomit on people. Hasn't anyone ever told him that vomit isn't funny? 

The Office is Officially Back

One of the best things this show ever did was give Michael Scott a partner in crazy. Holly grounds him, keeps him from crossing into that unfunny insane territory he's populated for the last 2 years. She also brings out his sweet side, which has always been there but often got overshadowed. And Holly is just crazy enough herself that we can believe that she would be with Michael. They're perfect together, and this episode only proved that even more. 

And you know who else was great this week who I haven't liked in years? Dwight. Dwight was really great this week. It was a humanizing episode for him; he had lovely moments of regret over the Angela situation that were undercut perfectly by just the right amount of Dwight craziness. 

Oh, and Phyllis got some screen time. Actual screen time. Like B story screen time. It was nice. I've always liked Phyllis. 

It was hilarious when Jim cowered at the sight of Roy, afraid of getting hit. I liked that he got nervous and went to go visit Pam and then realized that he had nothing to worry about and remembered to trust her. 

And I liked the auction a lot. 

Overall it was a lovely episode. Hilarious, touching and just generally really, really good. 

A Quick Note

I missed Gossip Girl this week and have only just caught up. 

I loved it. The episode was titled "Chuck in Real Life" and was the perfect balance of Chuck-iness. Easily the best character, the right dose of Chuck can make any episode awesome. 

In other news, I really like Eric van der Woodsen. He's a pretty cool kid. I like his and Serena's relationship a lot and I like his honesty when it comes to Lily. 

Also, Blair Waldorf can do no wrong. I love her. I say this every week, but it's still true so I thought I'd reiterate. 

Pretty Pretty Daisies

There were so many things that were lovely about this week's Pushing Daisies

There were fantastic guest stars: 
Debra Mooney (Everwood), David 
Arquette (Never Been Kissed- one of my favourite teen movies ever)

The mystery of the week was awesome: frescorts= hilarious! a business founded by a high school outcast, through which you can hire a
 friend. 

Emerson's character got a lot of backstory filled in. 

The development of Chuck and Olive's friendship is really endearing. 

Lee Pace could not be more adorable. 

I loved the moral or the story and the lesson that was learned: being alone is ok and before you can be good for anyone else you need to be good on your own. 

And the show is just all around beautiful. Everything from Chuck's costumes to Olive's apartment to the lighting to Lee Pace's smile and Anna Friel's freckles- everything's just so pretty!

Fan-freaking-tastic!!!

The woman who is inarguably on top of the world with multiple Emmy wins, the most talked about SNL political impression since Bush Sr., and a massive cult following, has done it again. 

Check out the fabulous season 3 premiere of 30 Rock a week early over on NBC.com or Hulu.com and see why Tina Fey (the writer and the performer) deserves everything she's got. 

The episode is hilarious and heartfelt and pretty close to perfect, with Liz right at its center, a host of wonderful guest stars and an emphasis on the amazing Liz/Jack dynamic. 

For a woman who's Emmy speech contained the words "I'd like to thank my parents for instilling me with a confidence that far exceeds my talent", she couldn't be any more talented. But that very self-deprecating humour is one of the many fantastically endearing features of Tina Fey. 

Tina Fey for world domination. Because, after all, I am 100% certain that she is better than everyone else. 
(that was a Baby Mama joke, by the way)

Gary Unfunny

Gary Unmarried is not a funny show. It's sort of like the Back to You of this TV season. It's not funny but it doesn't make you cringe that much and it's only 22 minutes so you watch it when you're bored. 

The funniest thing about the show? Gary's son Tommy, played by Ryan Malgarini (who you may remember as Lindsay Lohan's little brother in Freaky Friday). 

Private Practice stops and starts

I have loved Private Practice so far this year. But this episode threw me a bit. 

Complaints and Grievances
It was great to see Addison back in the OR. That's where she belongs. That's what she's good at. Surgery and personal connections are not mutually exclusive and yet Addison is turning her back on a opportunity to save lives and do what she loves in order to deliver babies at a health spa? Even if giving up surgery really is what she wants (though it clearly isn't), isn't it sort of her duty to be where she can make the biggest difference? Especially since not many people can save lives like she can. 

And what was with the firefighter? In the past 2 episodes we've been treated to stories that were morally fascinating, that actually fell into grey areas. And this week we get a heroic and manly firefighter who has post traumatic stress disorder and finds comfort wherever he can but doesn't have the guts to trust that his men will respect him no matter what? Let's give people a little more credit than to assume that they would care more about your undergarment choices than the 3rd degree burns that cover your entire body and the fact that you got them by being a selfless hero. 

And of course that kid wasn't a sociopath. That kid was a teenager. A teenager who'd just lost his dad. It's one thing for Violet to be suspicious after the mother's obsessive allegations but she should really have enough professional perspective to be able to tell that she was dealing with a perfectly balanced, grieving teenager and nothing scary. And as for that mother, what kind of person is that ready to assume the worst of her own child? Especially at a time when not only did he clearly need her support, but he was consumed with looking out for her. A narcissistic sense of entitlement is one of the key symptoms of sociopathy and this kid was curled up in a little ball, was the truth not obvious? And by the way, just because you don't see someone cry doesn't mean that they don't. 

The Good News
As much as Violet (Amy Brenneman) bothered me in this episode, her final speech to Naomi was my favourite in the episode. It is a reality that the show had yet to explore that when Addison arrived, Violet lost her place as Naomi's go-to person. And now that she's not speaking to Addison, for Naomi to turn to Violet as a replacement is completely unfair. I liked that she stood up and said "come talk to me when you want to talk to ME", I get it, I liked it.  

Also, this was the first time I have ever liked the character of Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland). She was very human in this episode, which somehow made me forget how much I've always disliked her. KaDee also scored some serious points on ABC.com's Private Practice Podcast, where she comported herself beautifully and came off as very intelligent and thoughtful. Also interviewed on the most recent ABC.com podcast is Chris Lowell (Dell). 

Now let me take a minute to talk about Chris Lowell, 'cause he's a pretty cool guy. He definitely has the looks and charm to be the pretty boy, but he is so much more than that. Lowell has a spark, a sort of fun sweetness and a bumbling side that makes him incredibly endearing. But he also has proven time and time again that he's got a lot of depth beneath those pretty pretty eyes, he's so much more three dimensional and real than anyone that good looking ever seems. He was my favourite on Life As We Know It, definitely the sweetest of Veronica Mars' boyfriends and his character Dell on Private Practice may just be the best thing about The Oceanside Wellness Group and I'm so glad that he's back. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UnderPrivileged

UNDERACHIEVEMENT, UNDERACHIEVEMENT!!!!!!!!

Boo I say, Boo. 

Such promising characters, none of whom I like after the most recent episode. 

BOOOOOOOOO

Please Improve Ms. Mimoun. 

I Stole this from Rachael

Since I never claimed to be anything even resembling a real American, I figure a little plagiarism (from Rachael's Movie Website) can't possibly hurt my score on John Stewart's quiz. And since this is hilarious and I don't watch John Stewart regularly enough to have found it myself, I had to steal so that I can share this with you (all 2 of you who read this, one of whom is Rachael, making this whole thing deliciously redundant). 

See the irony is that if I actually were American, it would be clips like this, in which much of America is mercilessly mocked, that would make me proud to be an American. Not only just to be part of a country in which someone can be that witty, but to be part of a country in which someone can be that celebrated for any form of dissent. 

In any case, the man is funny and he's got a point. 

Roses Are Red...

Violets are Blue
I watch Valentine
and so should You. 
I don't care what anyone says, I love Valentine.

This week's episode was yet another delightful hour full of warm fuzzies. And this week's romantic hero? Possibly even more adorable than the 2 utterly adorable romantic heroes of the weeks before. The devoted best friend, Roland, was swoon worthy in episode 1. The sweetly romantic perfume scientist, Morgan, was lovely in episode 2. 
But Tucker, episode 3's leading man, topped them all. A true theatre lover, Tucker was a struggling artist who owned and operated his own black box theatre; writing, directing, producing, acting,...the works. I'm sure you can imagine the kinds of scenes in this episode: him seeing through the flighty screen actress' party girl demeanor, seeing what she's really capable of and helping her to bring out her real talent, etc... needless to say I quit my game of tetris, stared at the screen, lay my cheek in my hand and sighed "ah me" at the sight. It was hopelessly cheesy, but as is the case with Notting Hill (which they mocked in the episode, by the way, I did not appreciate that), I loved the cheese. Even more so than I have every previous week, because I'm a sucker for a thespian. 

But here's the problem: there are only 3 love stories and now Valentine has done them all. Sure they can throw in new variations and obstacles, but ultimately the show is doomed to repeat itself now. Don't believe me? Think about it, every story is one of the following: 

Love Story #1: the natural progression. This is Morgan and Nisha in episode 2 "Daddy's Home". They met, they fell in love, an obstacle or 2 got in their way, and that was pretty much the story. This is Romeo & Juliet, Marius & Cosette, Buffy & Angel, Meredith & McDreamy, Marshall & Lily. 


Love Story #2: the best friends. Roland and Joanna from the Pilot. They met, they bonded, they leaned on each other, supported each other, grew to need each other, but were most likely in love with other people. Then one day one of them actually sees the other, in a way they've never looked at them before. Then voila! love. Sometimes perfect, often unrequited and most frequently played out on TV. This is Beatrice & Benedick, Emma & Knightley, Monica & Chandler, Jim & Pam, Dawson & Joey. 


Love Story #3: the enemies: Tucker and Vivi from episode 3 "Act Naturally". They don't like each other, often because of inaccurate first impressions, unfortunate circumstances or someone doing something stupid at the wrong time. Then, like the best friends, they start to see each other, respect each other then WHAM, they're making out. This is Kate & Petruchio, Elizabeth & Darcy, Anne & Gilbert, Veronica & Logan, Lyla & Riggins. 

And episode 4... wait, there's nothing left. Time to re-use and recycle, reduce is out of the question, I like this show too much to reduce. 

yes I just made an environmental strategies joke- don't judge me. 

WATCH VALENTINE!!!!! Your heart will thank you. 

Obsessions: Oct 15-22

Dexter Season 2
Almost, if not as, good as season 1, Season 2 (which I finished yesterday) had me hooked to the very end. The season solidified my opinion that Michael C Hall is the best TV actor of his generation and also threw even more light on the talents of Julie Benz (Rita), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), Lauren Velez (Laguerta), David Zayas (Angel) and Erik King (Doakes) than the previous season had. I can't wait to see what season 3 has in store. 

Rob Lowe on Brothers & Sisters
So far this is a pretty standard season for my favourite family drama. The one thing that's really seperating it from previous seasons? A new sort of distinction for Robert McCallister (Rob Lowe). In seasons past, Robert has served mostly just as Kitty's husband, an idealistic stock character who sometimes moved the plot along, a fifth business if you will. But this season, Robert has already had more than one rousing speech that not only mad me cheer but also alienated most of the Walker family- I'm loving it. His recent decision to hire Kevin only promises more fantastic Rob Lowe-y goodness to come. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thank You Robin

thank you for saying what I've been thinking since season 2, that Ted has disappeared. It's been years since he's been the guy who stole the blue french horn and made it rain, and his decision this week to take someone else's wedding plans and get married early only proved how far he's slipped away from his romantic side. 

In tonight's episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted, obviously, didn't get married and Stella was finally confirmed not to be the mother. But most importantly, Robin finally put a voice to my regrets about Ted's character arc. 

With Stella gone, we should be treated to another lovely Ted love story someday soon; and, in the meantime, here's hoping that Robin's honest words will remind Ted how to be the guy he once was. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

My 30 Favourite Shows of All-Time

(well, those already off the air)

  1. The West Wing
  2. Slings & Arrows
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  4. Angel
  5. Mad About You
  6. FRIENDS
  7. Veronica Mars
  8. Sports Night
  9. Will & Grace
  10. M*A*S*H
  11. Six Feet Under
  12. American Dreams
  13. Gilmore Girls
  14. Frasier
  15. Dawson’s Creek
  16. Golden Girls
  17. Boy Meets World
  18. All in the Family
  19. Arrested Development
  20. Seinfeld
  21. Everwood
  22. Sex and the City
  23. Jack & Bobby
  24. Popular
  25. Aliens in America
  26. Alias
  27. Joan of Arcadia
  28. Spin City
  29. The OC
  30. Freaks and Geeks

Brothers & Sisters Takes Me Back

... to those glorious years of the Bartlett administration, when it wasn't uncommon for a top notch character to hire someone from the opposing political party to work for them. In fact, it was a point of pride. Characters would often say of president Bartlett that "he likes smart people who disagree with him", which is why such wonderful characters as Ainsley Hayes, Cliff Calley, Joe Quincy and Arnold Vinnick had jobs. 

One of Bartlett's most valued advisers (and one of the show's greatest characters) was one Mr. Sam Seaborn, an idealistic and principled young man, destined for the seat of the president one day. Sam was very much against the idea of hiring a Republican (as he was a Democrat), at first, though he became Ainsley's closest ally within the west wing. Sam Seaborn was played by Rob Lowe. 

Flash forward. Mr. Lowe now stars on a favourite show of mine, Brothers & Sisters, as a charismatic and idealistic Republican Senator, Robert McCallister, who has just given up his bid for President. His communications director, Kitty Walker, has just resigned in order to publish a book. 

Now here's the good part: the wonderful people over on the Brothers & Sisters writing staff pulled out an oldy but goody when Robert was hiring his new communications director. Taking one directly out of the Bartlett playbook, Robert offers the job to the staunchly liberal Kevin Walker. 

Not only did this make me incredibly happy because Kevin is my favourite of the entire Walker clan, but it meant that even under the guise of Republicanism, Sam Seaborn is still very much around today. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jack & Bobby


Thommas Schlamme and Greg Berlanti. That's all that really needs to be said. 

Jack & Bobby (the WB's only really heartbreaking cancellation decision) was a show of epic proportions. It somehow managed to be a real political show, reflective of Thommas Schlamme's great work on The West Wing, while also simultaneously being a heartfelt family drama and a fun teen show, like Greg Berlanti's masterpiece Everwood

Christine Lahti (Schlamme's real life wife) was sublime as Grace, the liberal intellectual whose 2 extraordinary sons would change American history forever. 

Whether you are politically minded or not, you should watch Jack & Bobby on thewb.com, it's a television revelation. 

High Drama on TheWB.com


I love thewb.com. 

I loved The WB when it was on and now I love their new website where you can watch hours of long lost TV online. 

When visiting the site be sure to check out High Drama, a crazy cool documentary series about a high school on Cape Cod's production of The Wizard of Oz. The politics of high school theatre are always fascinating and this series is no exception. It's the real High School Musical, only way better. 

My next thewb.com adventure? Getting to watch my favourite brilliant-but-cancelled show, Jack & Bobby, which is finally available again. 

George's Day

George O'Malley is not a favourite character of mine. In fact, were someone who knows me pretty well to read character descriptions of the Grey's Anatomy characters, they might say that I should like George the best, but I don't. I think he's whiny and simple and selfish. I think he talks too much and promises the world but then is ultimately not that good a doctor or a person. 

That said, this week was a good week for George O'Malley. 

He passed his intern exam. He helped a kid get through surgery. He comforted an upset mother. He took charge in motivating Christina, Izzy and Meredith to get out of dermatology. Somehow, this week, George wasn't whiny, incompetent or selfish but rather strong, funny and capable. And though his inability to see Lexi's misguided feelings towards him demonstrates the same disregard for others that he showed during the Callie misstep, George had an episode this week in which he was entirely more acceptable than usual. 

Other winners this week include Callie's hilarious freaking out, 
Bailey's equally hilarious advice, Izzy's speech to Alex while scrubbing in, Christina's obsession with the dermatology residents, Derek demanding $20 from Alex and that fantastic surgery in which Sloan pulled off a guy's face. 

Losers include Meredith's incessantly selfish whining, the same Mer/Der conflict for the 100th time, the lack of Sloan, the idea that Christina would ever lay down on the job, Erica's slightly creepy obsession and extreme character imbalance. 

I'm Off Balance


That's how this week's episode of The Office made me feel. 

It was a terrible episode. I laughed only once in the entire thing (when Angela tried to take the baby's picture amongst garden vegetables). It was over the top. I haven't liked Jan since season 2. The episode was, in a lot of ways, very sad. My stomach churned when Michael was cold to Holly and I panicked when Jim and Pam couldn't connect. 

But then there were the last 2 scenes. The final 2 scenes of the episode were some of the best I've ever seen. They were heartrendingly human without being preachingly so, I loved it. Those final 2 minutes or so made me forget what I didn't like about the episode (until I looked at the notes I'd made for this post). 

Let's start with Jim and Pam, because I'm saving my favourite for last. This, like the episode near the end of last season when the rest of the office workers were getting annoyed with the couple, showed Jim and Pam less as a perfect TV romance and more as a real human couple. Their inability to connect long distance that day rang incredibly true. When they left each other messages at the end of the day, missing each other by seconds again, they were completely in sync despite everything. I loved it. That moment was every bit as romantic as their swoon worthy kiss in the season 2 finale. 

And speaking of romantic, I almost broke down in tears when Michael finally connected with Holly. Michael may be insane but that makes it all the more rewarding when he finds someone who's insanity fits with his, and he found that person at the end of season 3, in Holly. With Jim's help, Michael's friendship with Holly has grown throughout the season until this episode which served as the turning point for them. It could have gone either way. He could have screwed it up, followed his old love for Jan into a further unhealthy situation or he could have walked away from Jan and followed something new. The writers and actors pulled this off beautifully, my heart was pounding, hoping Michael would find wisdom somewhere. When he pulled Holly into that hug at the end it was as perfect a moment as Michael Scott could ever be a part of. And the sweetness of his final testimony proved what viewers have known since we first met Holly, that she fits him better than Jan, her baby or anything or anyone else ever could. 

Mr. Matthews Back on TV

In The Ex List's 3rd episode one character was given a chance to shine, Bella's father. Though he was in the pilot episode, his scenes were so brief that I failed to notice that he's played by none other than William Russ, Mr. Allan Matthews (of Boy Meets World) himself. He's very much the same character: the all American, hard working dad who's a former Navy officer, really into football and a tad overprotective. Welcome back Mr. Russ, you've been missed. 

In other news, I still hate Bella (this is definitely never going to change) and still love her friends (also, not likely to change). The B story this week was dominated by best friend Vivian (Alexandra Breckenridge), whom I kind of love, while mildly amusing sidekick Cyrus (Amir Talai) got a mildly amusing story involving the sale of home security systems and Bella's amazing old friend Augie (Adam Rothenberg) and fantastic sister Daphne (Rachel Boston) were relegated to bit parts. 

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Source of My Blake Love

In honor of his new role as judge and choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, here is a video of Blake McGrath and his partner Ashle performing my favourite routine from season 1 of the US version.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obsessions: Oct 9-15

Yes I love So You Think You Can Dance Canada and I am partial to NBC's new show My Own Worst Enemy and a big shout out to James Ehnes is required as his Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra last Saturday made my month, but there is one winner for this week's obsessions...

Little Mosque on the Prairie season 3. 
One of very few Canadian shows I actually watch, Little Mosque is absolutely adorable and consistently funny. I watched the first 3 episodes of the season on iTunes tonight and they were lovely. Centering around the Rayyan/Amaar dynamic, the episodes had a bittersweet melancholy to them that undercut the prairie sweetness perfectly. 

Quote of the season so far:

Rayyan: ... otherwise there'll be a 500 pound elephant in the room
Sarah: Wouldn't that be a pretty small elephant?
Rayyan: Well, it has to fit in the room. 

The Ex List Googling Game

The most recent episode of The Ex List affirmed my previous review. I still hate Bella but I still love her sister and her friends. In honour of these great supporting characters, here is the drinking game they invented while Googling their exes. Research never sounded so fun. 

Enjoy. 

  • Pick someone to drink if you find an ex in a news article
  • You drink if they involve criminal activity
  • If your ex has a family page you have to drink
  • Drink if they have a myspace page (unless they’re a musician)
  • But if their myspace photo is hot you can make someone else drink
  • Wedding and birth announcements each count for a drink
  • If they have a blog you do a shot
  • If your ex is something awesome you can make everyone take a shot

What I'm Watching

Now that most of the fall TV schedule is underway, I thought it'd be a good idea to let you know what I'm watching this season so you'll know what I'll be writing about. Without much ado at all, my list is as follows...

red= must watch, most likely to write about
blue= will watch regularly, might not write
green= will only watch when I can
purple= we'll see

SUNDAY
8pm- Valentine (CW) 
9pm- Desperate Housewives (ABC) 
10pm- Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

MONDAY
8pm- Prison Break (FOX)
        - Gossip Girl (CW)
        - The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
8:30- How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
9pm- One Tree Hill (CW)
9:30- Samantha Who? (ABC) 
10pm- My Own Worst Enemy (NBC) 
          - Boston Legal (ABC)

TUESDAY
9pm- Privileged (CW)

WEDNESDAY 
8pm- Pushing Daisies (ABC)
        - Little Mosque on the Prairie (CBC)
        - So You Think You Can Dance Canada (CTV)
8:30- Gary Unmarried (CBS)
9pm- Private Practice (ABC) 
9:30- Do Not Disturb (FOX): already cancelled
10pm- Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

THURSDAY
7:30- So You Think You Can Dance Canada (CTV)
8pm- Ugly Betty (ABC)
8:30- Kath and Kim (NBC)
9pm- Grey's Anatomy (ABC) 
        - The Office (NBC)
9:30- 30 Rock (NBC): premieres Oct 30

FRIDAY
9pm- The Ex List (CBS)

SATURDAY
11:30- Saturday Night Live (NBC)

WHAT's TO COME
- Dexter (after I finish season 2 and catch up online)
- The New Adventures of Old Christine 
(CBS, once I catch up) 
- My Boys (when it eventually returns to TBS)
- Friday Night Lights (coming to NBC, midseason)
- Dollhouse (FOX, midseason)
- Scrubs (ABC, midseason)
- Lost (ABC, midseason)
- Rules of Engagement (CBS, midseason)


My Own Worst Enemy










I have not been this engaged in an action adventure show since Alias. It took Christian Slater 3 seconds to get my attention. I was busy doing something else when I turn on My Own Worst Enemy, out of mild curiosity and a sense of duty more than anything else. I was half paying attention, compiling a list for the post that will follow this one and WHAM there's Christian Slater, starring straight into the camera and speaking in that terrifying psychopath voice that will always and forever sound like Heath Ledger's Joker. And the show didn't let up from there. The plot zoomed, leaving the viewer running to keep up with the show's dense mythology. But that mythology did get explained, if you were able to hold on until the end, giving the viewer a solid base to understand the story but leaving enough mysteries to keep up the intrigue. I had zero intention of making room for another action-adventure show on my radar but I'm going to have to find space for My Own Worst Enemy because both Henry and Edward have me hooked.