Posts filed under 'All Things TV'

Series Finale: Chung chung!

Did y’all forget in your Lost-mania that the veritable TV institution that is Law & Order is also ending? Tonight, in fact! Yes, the cruel hacks at NBC have bumped our beloved cops-and-lawyers procedural off the air after 20 years, just one season short of the record set by Gunsmoke. Fun fact: Law & Order debuted six months after my youngest brother was born. That’s not really relevant to anything, but I do tend to measure time with his life. Like the time he mentioned how awesome “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is and I was compelled to yell that he was FOUR, GODDAMMIT, FOUR when Kurt Cobain died. For another angle, S. Epatha Merkerson has been playing Lt. Van Buren since your precious mindfucker J.J. Abrams was working with Jim Belushi. And now it is ALL NO MORE. Sob.

We're gonna get you, Dick Wolf.

My favorite period of the show is the Lennie Briscoe–Benjamin Bratt–Angie Harmon stretch, which happened to coincide with my high school years. (Yes, I know his name is Jerry Orbach. I saw him at Daily Soup once. It was the highlight of my early years in New York.) But I also really enjoyed the Jesse L. Martin years, although you could have fooled me that he was on the show so long. Seriously, ten years?! That’s one of the many great things about Law & Order; thanks to the city’s tax subsidies, the show gave literally hundreds of New York theater actors a way to earn a more comfortable living and still do stuff like Hedwig and the Angry Inch off-Broadway. Ha! I was right! I actually guessed that!

Further: I never really cared for Dennis Farina and I missed the whole “Is this because I’m a lesbian” WTFery altogether. But lately I’ve become engrossed in what I think is a late-period renaissance. They’ve been doing some extremely satisfying headline-ripping for the past couple seasons, Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson are wonderful as Lupo and Bernard, and I just love Linus Roache’s cute, pinchy little face and the way he gets all shirty about Constitutional issues. The show also gave us this frigging EPIC discourse on Center Stage, which cross-references all the grown-up actors with their episodes of Law & Order, from Original Recipe to Criminal Intent. I kind of wish they’d do the same thing with Can’t Hardly Wait and Six Feet Under.

I was also Batman's dad. Yeah, Linus, I know. Tell Christian Bale to call me, will you?

Even though the reruns are on TNT, well, all of the time, I am quite sad that Law & Order is coming to an end, and for such a crap reason as, pick one: Dick Wolf didn’t want to cut his fee, the cast is too expensive (I find that difficult to believe), or NBC wants to concentrate on launching Law & Order: Los Angeles. Those are all dumb reasons, and are great examples of the skid toward crappiness that the Peacock network has been on these past few years. That’s the subject of another rant, but for now suffice to say that I am very disappointed and I will miss Law & Order so, so much. And not just for the possibility of seeing famous people in my neighborhood. Although that time I saw Chris Noth on University Place was AWESOME and really impressed my mom when I called her ten seconds later. Farewell, cops who are a little handsy with civil liberties, righteously indignant ADAs, smarmy defense lawyers, and crotchety old DAs. I will see you in the reruns. Chung chung!

ETA: Also! Olympic champion and outspoken Law & Order fanatic Lindsey Vonn makes a special appearance on tonight’s (er, right now’s) episode. Look at this! How effing cute is that?! I have held a Vancouver Olympic medal (it was Seth Wescott‘s) and Sisto and Anderson look as excited as I was. Dammit, I love everything about this show.

2 comments May 24th, 2010

HBO Does The Pacific

So I just finished watching Part 10 of HBO’s miniseries The Pacific. This is obviously a weird time to write about a TV show, when it’s over, but I can’t shake the last emotional echoes. So I’m going to work some of them out here. And if you’d like to experience the whole thing, HBO will be running the entire miniseries in two marathons next weekend (fittingly, Memorial Day). Parts 1-5 will be Sunday starting at 2, with Parts 6-10 on Monday. I’ll be drunk in the Bahamas, but if you have the intestinal fortitude to watch this whole miniseries in two giant blurts, good on you.

Humor fails me.

To recap: The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. And then some nice young men went and fought a horrific jungle war on a series of rocky little knobs and many of them died and many more were maimed and some came home. And then Mad Men happened, and now you understand why Don and Roger are alcoholic pathological liars.

Not really. I mean, some of that happened, yes. But there’s more. The miniseries, brought to you by the team behind Band of Brothers, begins with Pearl Harbor and follows two small groups of soldiers during the Pacific war.

Click to continue reading “HBO Does The Pacific”

1 comment May 17th, 2010

I’m Sick of Your Shit: Whiny Soda Lady

Hi, guys. Long time no whine. I’m just popping in here to rant briefly about how much I hate this ad the cumbersomely named New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes is running against Governor Paterson (NEW JERSEY!)’s proposed tax on bottled drinks like soda and juice.

Oh my Christ on a tiny little crutch. Seriously, she might as well be saying, “How dare you infringe on my right to feed my child highly processed corn sugar in liquid form! Respect mah authoritah!”

Now, I don’t watch a lot of commercials. I have a tifaux, after all. And even though my new HD box (YEEEEESSSSS, HD BOX) is kind of glitchy and bitchy and likes to randomly NOT RECORD THE SOUP, I still record almost everything and watch it at least a little delayed. But I do occasionally watch live TV. Take, for instance, last Sunday, when I watched like seventeen consecutive hours of USA’s Law & Order: SVU Ripped From the Headlines marathon. And I saw that commercial like thirty times. I was ready to punch that whingeing hag by the end of it. God, lady. Suck it the fuck up. Don’t make me list all the things I can see in that kitchen of yours that indicate you can afford an extra five frigging bucks a week. Give your kid water. Mix your whiskey with seltzer, like I do. Brew your own damn iced tea. Or just save up the bottles and get the deposits back. Voilà, taxes canceled out.

And tell the American Beverage Association, which paid for that ad, to shove it. Same to the state of Iowa, with their billion dollars a year in corn subsidies.

P.S. Friends, I promise my shameful hiatus will end soon. I plan to write about Justified and In Plain Sight quite soon, and at the end of the month the fourth season of Friday Night Lights will begin airing on NBC, and I’ll start up the recaps again. Sorry for sucking lately.

3 comments April 19th, 2010

New show alert: Flashforward

Guess who’s going to be on TV tonight? Yeah, John Krasinski and Joel McHale, tall, hot and funny, whatever. The really important addition to Thursday nights is my beloved John Cho, who joins Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger, and Dominic Monaghan in ABC’s FlashForward, which starts tonight at 8.

Bro, I'm glad we suited up.

Bro, I'm glad we suited up.

John, whom some of you will insist on calling Harold from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle/Escape From Guantanamo Bay (or you could call him Mr. Sulu, that would be fine), is not making his first foray into TV. He had a recurring role on the short-lived and tragically underwatched but really quite enjoyable Kitchen Confidential in 2005, and he guest-starred on How I Met Your Mother in 2007.

In fact, I have been rewatching HIMYM on DVD for the past two weeks or so, and damn, but that is just a funny show. The older stuff (can you believe this is season 5? Me neither!) really holds up, and as someone whose stomach turns a little when couples baby-talk to each other, it amazes me that I’m still cool with the whole Lily-Marshall cooing-at-each-other thing. I think my goodwill toward them dates to the pilot, when they got engaged, had sex on the kitchen floor, and then, when Lily noticed a Pop Tart under the fridge, Marshall said, “Dibs.”

Anyway, there have been two weird coincidences in my rewatching. The first is the show’s deep love of Patrick Swayze. First, there was Barney’s co-opting of the Dirty Dancing story for his losing-my-virginity tale in season 2, then, the literal (offscreen) Swayze sighting in an episode I watched last night, the one in which John Cho seduces Marshall with Kobe lobster and Swayze into becoming an evil corporate lawyer. I find it some sort of strange cosmic error that I’m watching these now, a week after Swayze died.

The second coincidence is the Cho episode showing up the night before the FlashForward premiere. I will be honest, as much as I deeply loved Joseph Fiennes back in 1998, I have not given him much thought lately. And I have such lingering resentment against Lost for the two season I wasted on that show that I definitely wouldn’t give it a watch for Walger or Monaghan. But Cho? I love Cho. He makes everything better.

And this one time, he called me! That was great. His kid picked up the phone during the interview and started mashing buttons, which was adorable. So, FlashForward! Might be great, might not. I will give it a try.

2 comments September 24th, 2009

Fall premieres: Things I am watching

Hello, friends. Long time, lots of bad TV. Well, with the exception of What Would Brian Boitano Make? and brand! new! shiny! Project Runway on Lifetime. But starting, erm, last week, the long summer drought has ended, and we’re getting factory-direct new episodes of scripted TV, which is awesome. Herein, a few things I am looking forward to, and a few more I am giving up on.

Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw!

Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die. Huh? Look at that chiseled jaw!

As you may know, Gossip Girl returns for a third season tonight, with everyone on the show attending NYU because they are too poor/stupid/antisocial for Yale, Brown, and gen pop (Blair and Dan, Serena, and Chuck, respectively). I suppose it doesn’t even matter if I point out yet again that NYU costs more than Yale, and that CCNY would actually be more on these dimwits’ intellectual levels. I don’t think I’ll be following the Gossips too much this year, because everything became both unbelievable and unbelievably boring last year. And although I do enjoy watching boys make out almost as much as Dan (our Dan, not Lonelyboy. Well, I think Lonelyboy likes it too) does, the prospect of Chuck sucking face with this guy isn’t going to bring me back.

A show I will be following, religiously? Castle! Because Nathan Fillion is a very nice man and it’s fantastic to see him finally get a second season of something. The man works hard, selling the hell out of the show via Twitter, and also he sometimes shows up on Craig Ferguson’s show wearing a kilt. Which is the kind of commitment we like to see in our tall, dark, and handsome Canadians. Besides that, the show itself is quality. It was a midseason replacement last year and turned out to be a nice blend of procedural and romantic dramedy, with Fillion providing most of the giggles and the quite lovely Stana Katic playing the straight man. Also, his interaction with his TV daughter is wonderful. Seriously, I may be most excited about the return of Castle, and that’s saying a lot, since back in April I was inappropriately anxious to find out if Amy Brenneman would survive having her belly sliced open by that psychotic woman from Alias and Felicity.

I am also very excited about How I Met Your Mother, and not just because my crush on NPH really doesn’t care that he’s gay (remember what I said about boys making out? Yeah, I could stand to see a little PDA on the Emmy red carpet, is all). I’ve been rewatching the early seasons of HIMYM on DVD, and honestly, I just love that show. It’s so sparkling and delightful, and even SagetTed doesn’t weird me out anymore. I am really in no hurry to find Your Mother, as that might bring the show to an end, and I just love it too much. More Barney! More Marshall! More everyone!

Avec Eric is like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, but with less swearing, fewer snide remarks about my beloved Food Network, and far more inventive use of a toaster oven. Famous, fantastic French chef Eric Ripert travels the world for boar hunts and visits to the greatest restaurants there are, then he whips up something tasty in his palatial home kitchen. And he does it all with the most wonderful accent, a sense of humor, and a deep sense of respect for food, people who grow food, people who kill food, and people who eat food. If you only know him from Top Chef, record the show. There are no commercials! And it’s just incredibly relaxing and beautiful. If Eric Ripert’s accent doesn’t make your ears purr, I will refund your money.

I’ve seen the pilot of Community. It is quite funny, and of course, Joel McHale can do no wrong. I hope it prospers magnificently. I’ve also seen the pilot of Trauma, which is quite unintentionally funny in places, but you know I will watch whatever Peter Berg throws at me. You know who’s interesting on that? Cliff Curtis, who plays a crazy adrenaline junkie helicopter paramedic. He kind of wins the TV Diversity Sweepstakes (at first I thought he was Indian, but he’s actually from New Zealand. And once played Pablo Escobar! Far better than Adrian Grenier did). Speaking of Peter Berg, I have no idea what’s going to happen on Friday Night Lights when it returns to DirecTV, but I will be there. Er, here. In my office, where we have DirecTV. I understand that Riggins will be back (RIGGINS!!) but not Tyra. And Matt Saracen is sticking around Dillon to break our hearts like five thousand more times. Plus, Coach and Mrs. Coach! I almost forgot how deeply I love Friday Night Lights, you all.

And that is kind of it. Yeah, there are other returning shows I’m looking forward to, and I will give a looksee to Flash Forward, The Good Wife, and Modern Family, but with Jay Leno effectively blacking out five hours of primetime a week to me, this appears to be what my DVR will be filled with this fall. And! The Daily Show returns tonight! That is making me very happy. What are y’all looking forward to?

2 comments September 14th, 2009

Toeing the line of taste: Dexter’s season four promo picture

dexter-4I’m generally pretty hard to offend, so I don’t particularly care one way or the other — but I imagine this promo for Dexter’s fourth season is going to piss some people off.

They were pretty brazen with the previous campaigns, with Dexter’s smiling mug covered with blood spatter, but people get crazy about babies.

Even if it’s just a pants-crapping toddler with ketchup on his face.

Thoughts?

5 comments June 22nd, 2009

Music: PJ Harvey on Letterman

Hey kids — got nothing of substance for you today, but here’s a clip of PJ Harvey and John Parish on Letterman (via Sterogum). Tomorrow I’ll try to have something for you on the premiere of True Blood.

The intro is cute — it’s David Letterman riffing on PJ’s awkward album title — A Woman A Man Walked By. He basically seems completely at peace with the fact that he’s a bit out of touch with the music the kids are listening to.

As far as the performance itself, PJ is barefoot and cute, despite the fact that the music is artfully ambiguous and slightly eerie.

June 15th, 2009

In Mal We Trust

Ladies and gentlemen, I understand some of you may be having a difficult week (all of this waiting for Star Trek is killing me). To assuage that, I present, without comment, Nathan Fillion in a kilt.

At some point in the future I will write about Castle. For now just know that I am enjoying it.

2 comments May 7th, 2009

Should I pick up a new show?

So I’ve been thinking about starting to watch Rescue Me. I know they just started a new season, but I’m thinking about Netflixing it from the beginning. I have reasons.

picture-3

1. Firemen. Firemen are excellent. I especially like when the ones at the Houston and 6th Ave. station come to the grocery store in their big ladder truck. Of course, I have enjoyed shows about people I don’t really like before, like convicts and spoiled rich children. But I much prefer shows about groups of people I like, such as hot football players and hot pediatricians.

2. I like Denis Leary a lot.
He’s one of those older, kind of assholish guys who really do it for me (also: Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher). He’s also buddies with Jon Stewart from way back, which means he has to be at least moderately good people.

3. Michael J. Fox is on it this season! That would totally not apply to the previous four, but anything Michael J. Fox does is pretty awesome.

4. The ads for season 5 are awesome, with the firefighters being like 200 feet tall and marching around New York looking world-weary. I find these advertisements as appealing as they can be without making me watch the show (I have too much stuff at 10 on Tuesdays; seriously, it’s a problem).

Clearly, I don’t have enough stuff to do and have really been getting enough sleep lately, so I should pick up a new show to become obsessed with. Thoughts?

3 comments April 29th, 2009

The Best Part of the Oscars

Since they eliminated the clips, here is the best part of last night’s Academy Awards ceremony.

The good stuff starts about 2:00 in.

February 23rd, 2009

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