Monday, August 29, 2011
It's been a very up and down summer for my guilty reality fix. It started with a twist that could have been wonderful (Chilltown! The Renegades!) and ended up mediocre (The Donatos? Brenchel?) and a cast of clueless newbies who couldn't get their act together.
Read on for my week by week recount of the summer so far.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
by Kelly Bedard
Chris Colfer stepped up to the plate and delivered an uneven season one home safely. Darren Criss pulled season two back from the brink of absurdity. Since we know we can't rely on Ryan Murphy to do it, who is going to save Glee's third season? Sunday night gave us that answer.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Hulu could be the greatest invention of all time. And that’s not just hyperbole. What started off as a great, consistent on-line streaming source of legal television has quickly begun to rival Netflix in terms of “great ways to discover old series you always meant to watch but never did and also catch the occasional weird ass art movie without having to pay for it.”
This week’s awesome catch-up is a cult classic that I never really realized was probably the most influential sitcom of the past 15 years: Spaced. The British series, which you’ve probably heard your geekier and semi-pretentious friend talk about from time to time, was the birthplace of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright’s particular brand of pop culture-obsessed, good-natured humor. This is what drew me to start watching the episodes at 11 o’clock last night. But what kept me marathoning the scant 14 episodes was that Spaced turned out to be a funny, sweet, unique show that also probably changed the way smart people make television.
Monday, August 08, 2011
Friday, August 05, 2011
My TV Award nominee Brooke Elliott is back and bubbly-sweet as ever as the body-swapped Jane/Deb hybrid. Whether she’s belting out a showtune, putting the smackdown on a powerful corporation or gazing heartbreakingly at her prodigal soul mate Grayson, Jane is as sympathetic a heroine as can be. Sometimes her Deb-ness gets to be overwhelming but the writers always give her something like that superbly self-worthy voicemail scene to remind us that she’s got even more spine than she does sparkle.
The biggest dynamic change heading into the Lifetime series’ third season is the coupledom of Jane’s confidantes Fred and Stacey. To hell with Sam and Diane, I am loving the stability of this relationship. Independently, Fred and Stacey are my favourite characters on Diva and showrunner Josh Berman has found a way to make them a unit without sacrificing any of their individual awesomeness. Rather, they’ve quickly sunk into a comfortably sweet routine that allows them to explore their own stories then come back together for a one-off episode about Fred faking having a mother. The highlight of their relationship story so far was the wonderful awkwardness of Jane giving Fred way-too-intimate/incredibly helpful hints about Stacey’s “preferences”. Given Jane’s level of intimacy with both characters, there’s the potential for a never-ending supply of funny stories for Fred and Stacey as a low-key and stable couple. Here’s hoping the writers allow them to be the Monica and Chandler, leaving the dramatic stuff to the flakier couples.
The season so far has been rife with delights from a surprise appearance by Louis Van Amstel as Teri (Margaret Cho)’s dance partner (you’ve got to love the meta fun that shows like Dancing with the Stars make room for) to the short but sweet and character-affirming arc of the BFD (Boyfriend Doctor), Ben Shenkman. The case against the sperm bank was probably my favourite law story so far (wonderfully touching), and while I’m glad Grayson didn’t get married, anyone who thought he actually might doesn’t know the first thing about scripted television.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Berman and his happy-go-lucky crew of adorableness back in my life every week. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.