Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga Talk to Barbara Walters

Adam Lambert Barbara Walters special The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs
Tonight ABC aired the Barbara Walters special The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009. With intriguing personalities like Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga, and political figures Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin, the special easily could have been 2 hours. As it was, each person was limited to mere sound bytes, though Walters is fairly good at giving us unexpected peeks into people's psyches with her strategically placed questions.

I personally loved Walters' and Adam Lambert's conversation about his overtly sexual displays at the AMAs. Lambert's pop performance, which included passionate kissing of both boys and girls, a simulated sex act, and an aura of S&M, was considered too racy to even be shown unedited on Walters' show. His NC-17 antics shocked audiences and caused an uproar in the press. Good Morning America canceled his scheduled performance, considering him too hot to handle.

I assumed Lambert's performance was completely staged and planned to be outrageous, just like shock pop princess predecessor Madonna. But as the AMAs performance was censored for the west coast feed, many questioned why no one knew what he was up to beforehand--after all, they do rehearse everything ahead of time.

Lambert's response to his sexual free-for-all? "Adrenaline." With a sweet smile and sparkling eyes, Lambert confessed "I got excited," indicating that much of his passion rose out of the moment, rather than being designed as part of the spectacle. Which, if true, makes him a lot more charming. Though certainly Lambert has always aimed to push the envelope, the idea that he may have pushed it farther because he was so wound up in the action on stage is a lot more endearing than the thought of him just going through the motions to get a reaction. And the fact that it was impromptu definitely goes along with the idea that the AMAs didn't get the performance it had been expecting. Impulse or strategy? You decide.

Lady Gaga Barbara Walters special The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 screencaps images photos pictures screengrabsNo stranger to shocking antics, the soft-spoken Lady Gaga proved to be a surprise to Barbara Walters. Walters may have been under the same impression as Gaga's father, who she confessed thought she was mentally ill the first time he saw her perform. Thankfully Gaga and her family are on the same page now, and apparently understand her mix of music, dance, and performance art that have made her prominently stand out from the crowd.

Like Lambert, Gaga seemed intent to prove purer motives than are usually attributed to her. She said she wanted to be a role model for young kids, to help them feel that it's okay to be their own person. She wanted them to avoid feeling like a freak, the way she did in school. I'm sure there are a lot of people who still find Lady Gaga freaky, but she is very popular and successful, and there are plenty of people who appreciate her self-expression.

Pop music has gone through a long stretch of homogeneous Barbie types, so Lady Gaga's and Adam Lambert's more unusual qualities are definitely refreshing. And if they tilt the world landscape a little more towards acceptance, and allow kids to fly their freak flags proudly, then that certainly can't be a bad thing.

Watch a taste of the Barbara Walters special on the ABC site.

PHOTOS: Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009, screencaps c2009 ABC News, ABC.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cake Boss -- "Colorful Characters & Christmas Costumes"

Buddy Valastro Renee Faris Cake Boss Colorful Characters & Christmas Costumes holiday party cake shoe makeup jewelry screencaps images pearls pictures photos screengrabs capturesCake Boss Buddy and artist Renee work on a holiday party cake in "Colorful Characters & Christmas Costumes."
(*Click* pic for larger image.)

Buddy and the Cake Boss crew were back tonight with holiday larks, laughs, and large, lavish cakes. At the start of "Colorful Characters & Christmas Costumes", Buddy has a consultation with larger than life drag queen Miss Richmond, whose putting on a holiday show and needs a cake she can jump out of. It's a priceless scene as the usual gregarious Buddy gets overwhelmed by Miss Richmond's squeals and squees and non-stop chatter.

Buddy shares the wealth by bringing the even more alarmed Mauro down to help him "take measurements" to make sure they create a cake large enough. It's clear Buddy just brought Mauro down to watch him squirm, and everyone has a laugh as Miss Richmond goes ga-ga for Mauro.

Cake Boss drag queen cake Colorful Characters & Christmas Costumes Toni Walton Christine Campanelli Catherine Valleau Buddy Valastro screencaps pictures photos images screengrabs capturesThe Cake Boss crew also has a bit of fun when they build the frame for the cake, and nominate Frankie to stand in it to check the size. They put the frame over his head as he stands there, and it's going fine until, as Buddy tells us in voiceover "it gets stuck on his butt!" The whole crew, including Frankie, howls with laughter as he stands there, stuck with a cake box as a tutu.

The frame is remade, and the scrumptious vanilla, fudge, and strawberry cake is piled up to create a tower. Buddy adds rice crispie at the top for sturdiness, in case Miss Richmond leans on the cake when she breaks out the top.

Buddy and a few of his Cake Boss crew bring the cake to Miss Richmond's show, but the cake is too large to fit inside. Miss Richmond has a split second panic attack (and we get to see Buddy's hilarious impression of this later), but then quickly recovers herself and orders her manager to bring the whole audience outside.

As Miss Richmond shimmies into the cake and the boys bring down the lid, Buddy asks "Is it straight?" We hear Miss Richmond's muffled droll reply "I wouldn't say that." There's a small pause, and then all the Cake Boss boys burst out laughing as they get the joke.

The small crowd gathers, Miss Richmond stands up out the top of the cake wearing her Christmas tree costume, and the crowd goes wild. They love it, especially when she leans over and plants a big kiss on Mauro's forehead, leaving a giant lip print there. Everyone's happy, it's a huge success, and Buddy tells us that it probably turned out better than if they'd actually gotten the cake on the stage.

For the second cake of the show, Buddy and the Cake Boss crew put together a gorgeous girly-girl cake for a bunch of young women's holiday party. Delivery boys Anthony and Stretch drool over the two girls who show up for the consultation, and Buddy chastises the boys later as they beg to be allowed to deliver the cake.

Buddy stacks up the beautiful layers of the square cake, then puts the Cake Boss girls to work adding bling--pearls and jewels, a gold shoe, make-up, presents, gift bags, and more. It's a multi-colored, shining, boutique beauty, and the crew is thrilled with the result. They're even more thrilled with the idea of playing a prank on Anthony and Stretch--so Buddy tells the boys they can deliver the cake as long as they dress up as Elves. Before you can say "Fifth Avenue hotties", Anthony and stretch are wearing green tights and pointy hats and dancing a jig.

While Buddy tells us that some girls might like elves (and we do), the boys are running around town in elf costumes, carrying a cake, and trying to find the right address. They finally get to the party, and the gorgeous cake overshadows their male charms at first. The girls gush endlessly over all the cute and meticulous details of the Cake Boss specialty, and so Anthony finally decides to speak up and tell the story of how they wore the elf costumes just to get to see the girls. Then the boys ask for their numbers. Classy guys, classy. Nice and subtle. I'm not so sure the girls were into these elves, but you never know.

As a last crowning glory to the episode, the Cake Boss crew voted which of the "pretty men" would look best as a drag queen for the day. Whoever won got to strut their stuff down in the bakery for the day. As they showed the pics of all the guys, I kept thinking Buddy's brother-in-law Joe was the prettiest--and yep, he won the prize. He made a pretty nice looking woman, with great legs (turns out he's a firefighter as well as a baker, so he's in great shape)!

The Cake Boss crew were snorting and giggling as Joey handed out cookies to the shocked and amused customers, telling people "I lost a bet" and "Hurry up, these shoes are killing me." Once again, Cake Boss entertains us with both the incredible skill of the bakers and the joy of their good-natured goofing off. After a few episodes of too much yelling and engineered drama, it was great to see the Cake Boss I love back to its friendly ways.

Watch Cake Boss on TLC, Monday nights at 9/8c. Check your local listings for encore episodes and repeats of the series.

PHOTOS: Buddy and Renee assess their work on the Holiday party cake; Buddy works on Miss Richmond's cake while Toni, Christine, and Catherine bustle in the background; Cake Boss "Colorful Characters & Christmas Costumes", c2009 TLC.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Glee Gets Ousted for Reality TV

Glee screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesFox once again makes an interesting scheduling choice, involving one of the network's most popular shows. Apparently musical dramedy Glee will have a "winter finale" on December 4, reports, and won't pick up the plot again until mid-April. The reason for this 4 month+ layover?

Why, so American Idol can be the lead-in for a new reality show titled Our Little Genius--a competition show for precocious children. Oh boy. I can hardly wait to not watch that.

The good news for me is that the four month gap in Glee programming will allow me to catch up on this critically acclaimed series--which up till now I've been missing only because I've gotten sucked in by the Wednesday competition, Modern Family and Cougar Town.

Glee will get a new Tuesday timeslot in April, following American Idol. While scheduling changes aren't usually the best choice, in this case it's a good thematic pairing and might be a boost for Glee. Since fans are pretty diehard, hopefully they'll be willing to wait four months AND switch days--but it sure seems like a pretty big gamble for a show that's already doing well for the network.

Watch Glee for now on Fox, Wednesday nights at 9/8c.

PHOTO: Glee screencap, c2009 Ryan Murphy Productions, 20th Century Fox Television.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NBC Nabs Doctor Who

David Tennat Doctor Who The Girl in the Fireplace screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures NBC pilot series
I've been crushed at the imminent loss of David Tennant as the brash, funny, sexy, and wickedly intelligent Doctor Who. His final episodes on the brilliantly reduxed series will air this November and December on BBC One, and in December on BBC America (no idea why the first installment is delayed a month in the US). I wasn't sure anything could console me, but now I see news that NBC has snagged Tennant for a pilot.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the show will be about "a panic-attack-prone attorney [who] teaches his clients to represent themselves". That does sound like a promising comedy premise, and Tennant is very good at both broad physical comedy and sly delivery of clever witticisms. The other thing I've learned from seeing Tennant on Doctor Who (and in the miniseries Casanova) is that he also has a wonderful talent for poignant drama--and the capability of seamlessly weaving drama and comedy together, which is no easy task.

David Tennat Doctor Who The Girl in the Fireplace screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures NBC pilot series
NBC has been faltering in the ratings for some time now. The sad thing is, that they've actually made a lot of interesting attempts at bringing quality to the screen (Kings, Southland), but they don't back up their dramas with the proper support and abandon them before they've had a chance to truly succeed. Tennant is a real charmer and could be a huge draw for NBC. We'll have to hope they either change their strategy, or that the new Tennant pilot gets explosive enough ratings to guarantee it a permanent slot.

David Tennat Doctor Who The Girl in the Fireplace screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs Sophia Myles Moonlight Madame de Pompadour captures NBC pilot series
I don't think I could bear to lose Tennant a second time, so lets hope the new show is worthy of his talents. Knowing the American audience, I'm guessing it's too much to hope for that Tennant will get to use his lilting Scottish accent--but perhaps we have a shot at the English accent he adopts for Doctor Who.

PHOTOS: David Tennant as Doctor Who (and a hint of Moonlight's Sophia Myles as Madame de Pompadour), Doctor Who "The Girl in the Fireplace" screencaps, c2006 BBC.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Barbie Ruins Three Rivers and White Collar

Dr. Doctor Andy Yablonski Alex O'Loughlin Amber Clayton Dr. Lisa Reed Three Rivers Where We Lie screencaps images photos smile grin pictures
Why, Three Rivers, why? After I just talked about episode 5, "Code Green", and how much I enjoyed the lack of "blonde Barbie" doctors, Three Rivers introduces a...blonde Barbie doctor. And as a love interest for Dr. Andy Yablonski (Alex O'Loughlin), no less.

I knew we were in trouble two weeks ago, when they got rid of Andy's wife as soon as they introduced her. Now in "Where we lie", they throw Dr. Lisa Reed (Amber Clayton) into his arms, in the midst of one of the worst scenes I've seen on TV in awhile. Now admittedly, the cliche-ridden dialogue of Reed's childhood trauma was bad enough, but Clayton's delivery was awkward and completely unconvincing.

And I hate to bang on the same drum, but it would be nice if they could hook up Yablonski with a more substantial woman. O'Loughlin is a decent-sized guy, and yet you can see in the photo above that Clayton barely makes it into the frame with him. Add to that the fact that all I could focus on in their "emotional" scene was how her collar bone was jutting out of her baggy clothes. Could Hollywood PLEASE let women eat already?

Three Rivers has so many good qualities and good characters. It's a shame they feel they have to ruin it with a love interest storyline that is flimsy, cliched, and unsatisfying in several different ways.

Neal Caffrey Matt Bomer Lauren Cruz Natalie Morales White Collar Flip of the Coin screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capture glasses agentThen we have White Collar, the new Matt Bomer (Chuck) vehicle from USA. White Collar had a delightfully slick, sexy, and fun pilot episode. There was an intriguing plot, interesting characters, and a wonderful rapport between Bomer's white collar criminal Neal Caffrey and Tim DeKay's FBI agent Peter Burke.

I liked that even though Burke was the straight man to Caffrey's charming con man, Burke was smart and cunning and worthy of respect. He's also got an attractive and intelligent wife at home (Tiffani Thiessen), and had a no-nonsense, efficient right-hand woman in Diana (Marsha Thomason). I say "had", because after the pilot, Diana disappeared.

So now, instead of having a cool, classy woman who is immune to Caffrey's charms, White Collar introduced Lauren Cruz (Natalie Morales)--the Barbie FBI agent who first appears in a hooker outfit showing off her impossibly tiny figure. And then we get the obligatory flirting with Caffrey, which just plunges the show into typical cliche.

Tim DeKay Peter Burke Agent White Collar Flip of the Coin screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captureMorales at least seems to be an okay actress, but her believability as an FBI agent is seriously strained. Word is that Thomason had scheduling conflicts that prevented her from doing the full series of White Collar, but her IMDB page only lists a guest spot on General Hospital, which doesn't seem like that big of a conflict.

It's more likely that USA decided Matt Bomer's attractiveness was skewing the audience too much to the female side. The antidote: add some eye candy to bring in the men. Unfortunately, they also seem to have diminshed the slickness and intelligence of the plotlines, focusing more on flirting and sexual antics. We don't need 12 characters telling us how hot Caffrey is--we can figure that out on our own, thanks.

White Collar is also in danger of making Burke the foil, instead of an equal partner to Caffrey, and that will be a HUGE mistake. DeKay is charming and sexy, too, and it's more fun to see the two boys taking down criminals as a team instead of clever boytoy and bumbling FBI lackey. They haven't taken it that extreme, yet, but I worry they're heading in that direction.

USA and CBS, please listen--dump the Barbies and cliches and focus instead on what's awesome about the shows and characters you're creating.

Watch Three Rivers on CBS, Sunday nights at 9/8c. Watch White Collar on USA, Friday nights at 10/9c.

PHOTOS: Alex O'Loughlin as Dr. Andy Yablonski, Amber Clayton as Dr. Lisa Reed, Three Rivers "Where We Lie" screencap, c2009 CBS; Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, Natalie Morales as Agent Lauren Cruz, White Collar "Flip of the Coin" screencap, c2009 20th Century Fox, USA network.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Supernatural -- "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester"

Jensen Ackles Dean Winchester Supernatural The Curious Case of Dean Winchester screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures
takes a little Halloween break from the Apocalypse storyline to bring us a little Benjamin Button-esque age play with "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester". The boys and Bobby discover a 900 year old witch who plays poker--not for money, but for years. Win, and you're 25 years younger. Lose, and you're 25 years older. Or more.

Guess what--mostly everyone loses. The witch Patrick (charmingly played by Hal Ozsan) is pretty much immortal from all the years he's got saved up. What this episode is really about, though, is Bobby. On pretense of finding the secret poker game, Bobby actually goes in to play a hand, in an attempt to get his youth and legs back. Unfortunately, he loses.

Jared Padalecki Sam Winchester Supernatural The Curious Case of Dean Winchester screencaps images pictures photos screengrabs capturesWhile Sam's at the hotel wondering where everyone went, Dean sits in on a game to win Bobby's normal age back. He buys back Bobby's years, but loses double himself, putting himself at 80. Sammy nearly shoots him when he sees senior citizen Dean in the hotel room.

Chad Everett does a great job as older Dean, and it's funny to see and hear Dean's youthful expressions and dialogue coming out of an 80 year old. It's a tough gig, but you really do believe it's Dean as the episode progresses, so much so that it's a shock when young Dean reappears at episode's end.

Bobby is a great character, and we got to see just how bad his pain and depression has gotten in this episode. He truly feels he's worthless as a hunter, as a person, and has nothing to live for save an Apocalypse. His suicidal tendencies leave Sam and Dean speechless, and Dean is particularly wounded.

The two had a great scene in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", where Dean tells him he understands how he feels (having now been older himself), but that Bobby still has value to him. That Dean can't do any of this without him. And that he won't hear anymore crap about Bobby ending it all. Bobby is moved, and grateful. And then of course they both have to act manly and macho and gloss over the whole thing.

We also get some interesting dynamic between the witch and his girlfriend. I like that Patrick wasn't really malicious. He'd just sort of lost any concept of the value of life, and even though he didn't set out to kill anyone, he didn't mind if they died. And he had fun toying with everyone, drunk as he was with immortal power. Quick-witted, clever, and with a wicked sense of humor, even Dean had to admire him.

He gets a dose of reality, however, when his girlfriend decides to end it all, and nearly takes him along with her. She's decided living forever isn't all it's cracked up to be, now that she's buried her aged daughter. Her assumption is that she'll see them on the other side, though Supernatural has hinted in the past that this might not actually be what happens.

So, while The Curious Case of Dean Winchester was one of the lighter sort of "one-off" Supernaturals, it still had some serious, darker elements. Which as actor Jim Beaver says in a great interview on TVOvermind, "it wouldn't be Supernatural without some dark stuff."

PHOTOS: Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Supernatural "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester" screencaps, c2009 Warner Bros., CW.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Castle -- "Vampire Weekend"

Castle Nathan Fillion Richard Castle Mal Reynolds Firefly costume space cowboy Captain Tight Pants
Okay, Castle "Vampire Weekend" had three awesome things going for it tonight. This Halloween episode began with the strapping on of a very familiar gun and donning a brown coat and everyone at home is thinking "Ohnotheydidn't!" Well, they did. We got to see Richard Castle donning a Halloween costume he identified as "Space Cowboy"--a hilarious and cheer-worthy nod to Nathan Fillion's former role as Captain "Tight Pants" Reynolds in Firefly.

As an added punch, his daughter asked, "Didn't you wear that like five years ago?" Nice one.

The second nicely done portion of Castle tonight was the plot. The stake-in-the-heart murder of a pretend vampire was a case with plenty of twists and turns and real complexity. It's a big jump in quality from season one Castle, and the balance between humor and drama is getting a lot steadier.

The third truly admirable high scoring element of "Vampire Weekend" was an example of actual responsible parenting. I've always loved Castle's mature and clever daughter, and the nice relationship that they have. In this episode, he gives her permission to attend a senior party with the caveat that she call if anything starts to go a way she doesn't like.

Things go awry with a drunk friend, the daughter calls, and Castle behaves as a parent should--he rushes to her side, and calls the parents of the friend to let them know what's happened. It was refreshing to not see another "rebellious teen" angle that so many shows and films do now, and also no "cool parent" garbage where the kids get away with murder. Castle is still a cool and loving dad, and his daughter learns the benefits and the unfortunate peer struggles of being a responsible kid.

So once again Castle succeeds in being a nice fluffy entertainment show that actually has quality and value. Not a bad combination. And Fillion still wears the space cowboy look well.

Watch Castle on ABC, Monday nights at 10/9c.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Give Three Rivers a Chance

Alex O'Loughlin Dr. Doctor Andy Yablonski screencaps images pictures photos Three Rivers video
Wow. Three Rivers, the CBS medical drama starring Alex O'Loughlin and Alfre Woodard was truly excellent tonight. The episode, "Code Green", centered on a bus crash involving high school football players. Three Rivers actually began with an entire scene devoted to the team, the dynamics between a few players and a nerdy assistant "wannabe". I was impressed because the scene wasn't just some quick random sketching of characters. They actually gave the nerdy kid a great sardonic wit, and captured perfectly that stupid high school crap we all went through.

Three Rivers combines the action and suspense of the high pressure environment of the ER and transplant units with the rollercoaster of human emotion and drama. While it's got plenty of realistic surgery shots, it doesn't focus on the gore or just the big life/death situations. In "Code Green" we also see the struggle of deciding whether to keep a permanently damaged leg or replace it with a fake one, and we learn why you should never break protocol and tell the family a heart is on the way before you're certain that it is.

Dr. Doctor Sophia Jordan Alfre Woodard Three Rivers screencaps images photos pictures video
One thing that's happened a lot this TV season is that I see talented actors in a show and wish that they were back in their previous canceled series. I confess that when I saw the pilot of Three Rivers, I thought it was respectable enough, but wished O'Loughlin were back in Moonlight, and Woodard back in My Own Worst Enemy. While I still miss both those programs, after tonight I feel Three Rivers has a lot more going for it than I originally expected.

Daniel Henney Dr. Doctor David Lee Three Rivers screencaps images photos pictures video
O'Loughlin, as Dr. Andy Yablonski, offers a nice center for Three Rivers to revolve around. He's steady, capable, caring, and very human. Woodard's Dr. Sophia Jordan has a little harder edge to her, and there was an excellent scene with her and Dr. Lee (X-Men: Wolverine's Daniel Henney) in "Code Green", where she tells him the cold hard truth about what factors into life and death in the ER:

Three Rivers aims to be realistic, and thoughtful, but it also harkens back to old school doctor shows where you admired the docs and cared about the patients and a lot of times things work out well. With all the bloody horror and bad news on TV (both in TV dramas and on the real life news), it'd be nice to have something that tries to see some good in all the bad.

The main cast and guest stars on Three Rivers have been excellent. I really like Katherine Moennig (The L Word) as Dr. Miranda Foster. I'm sick of all the empty-eyed hair-flipping Barbie doctors on medical shows, and it's refreshing to see a no-nonsense, intelligent, and interesting female instead. Foster is good at her job, but sometimes has difficulty with the social skills required to deal with the tricky emotional situations that occur. What Moennig does so well is show what's inside--that Foster probably cares more than anyone about her patients, even if she doesn't always know the right thing to say.

Recent articles have been somewhat grim on the fate of Three Rivers. The ratings haven't been stellar, which could be due to a number of factors--too many doctor shows, the flawed pilot, or the ridiculously annoying way the shows get backed up due to the preceding football game overrunning its alotted time.

There haven't been any murmurs from CBS about cancellation, luckily, so here's hoping that by the end of the 13 episode initial run, Three Rivers will have found an audience. If tonight's episode "Code Green" was any indication, Three Rivers deserves it.

Watch Three Rivers on CBS, Sunday nights at 9/8c.

PHOTOS: Alex O'Loughlin as Dr. Andy Yablonski, Alfre Woddard as Dr. Sophia Jordan, and Daniel Henney as Dr. David Lee, Three Rivers "Code Green" screencaps, c2009 CBS Television Studios.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday Night Live -- Gerard Butler Photo Bumpers and Videos

Gerard Gerry Butler Saturday Night Live SNL screencaps photo bumpers pictures images screengrabs screencaps video
Ahh, the SNL photo bumpers from last night's Saturday Night Live episode! Hopefully my straight male readers will forgive me while I g-guh over Gerard Butler's pictures. The man is still as strong, hot, sexy, and gorgeous as ever. And goofy, which is just how we like him. If you're here for the funny, scroll down for a couple video sketches from the show, and a link to more. Oh, and P.S., *click* the pics for slightly larger versions!

Gerard Gerry Butler Saturday Night Live SNL screencaps photo bumpers pictures images screengrabs screencaps video
Looking for my review of the episode? Click here for the Saturday Night Live -- Gerard Butler October 17, 2009 post.

Gerard Gerry Butler Saturday Night Live SNL screencaps photo bumpers pictures images screengrabs screencaps video
You couldn't have a Saturday Night Live with Gerry Butler without doing a spoof on 300, complete with near-nekkid outfits and plenty of man love:

Gerard shows his beastly side, and who knew a clock and candelabra could be so naughty...

This link is as much about Gerard's hilarious performance as it is about Jason Sudeikis' dancing, Kenan Thompson's singing, and James Franco wondering WTF he was thinking when he agreed to sit in on an SNL

You can enjoy more SNL vids over at the NBC site, and see more of the photo bumpers as well, though they've deprived us of the bare-legged kilt shots. Damn.

PHOTOS: Gerard Butler photo bumpers, Saturday Night Live, c2009 NBC.

Saturday Night Live -- Gerard Butler, October 17 2009

Gerard Butler Will Forte Saturday Night Live SNL screencaps images photos pictures promo October 17 2009Gerard Butler and Will Forte in a promo for tonight's SNL.

Wow. That hasn't happened in awhile. I actually laughed--a lot--at tonight's Saturday Night Live. With freewheeling, just-happy-as-#$%^!-to-be-here host Gerard Butler and the cast doing barely controlled insanity, it's the most conistently funny SNL I've seen in way too long.

Click here for Gerard Butler SNL photo bumpers and sketch videos!

The night started strong with a political opener that was spot on--President Obama getting so angry at his Republican rivals over health care that he hulks out--into The Rock Obama. Yes, that's right, we got to see Fred Armisen transform into The Rock, who was pretty funny as he combined smooth Obama calmness with angry Hulk arm-detaching.

Gerard Butler then did the monologue, talking about how he generally did two types of films: shirt off (action), and shirt on (sensitive role). To show his range, he sang "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera--then fended off groups of warriors, ninjas, and Kristin Wiig--who threatened him at knife point to take off his shirt. Sadly, he disarmed her and his shirt stayed on.

Gerard Butler monologue from Lilián López Camberos on Vimeo.

Next up, Kenan Thompson did a hilarious commercial spoofing rap star cliches, selling extra bubbly wine made for pouring over women's behinds--it's one of those things that can't be explained in print. It was just satirical and crazy and just plain funny--a sketch Eddie Murphy would have been proud of in his SNL days.

Other highlights included the two gay guys from Jersey talking about Obama's proposed repealing of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military, and then a 300 sketch about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the Spartan army. Playing on gay themes in 300 isn't all that original, but seeing all the guys in leather panties and chestplates was funny enough, and all the silly puns worked. They also took a playful jab at Butler, with Leonidas' men saying no one was convinced he was even born in Greece--frustrated, Leonidas presented them with a stone tablet birth certificate. (Butler is a great actor, but he definitely is known for his dodgy accents.)

Weekend Update's Seth Meyers tried to ignore the boy in the balloon story since "it wasn't news", until the balloon itself showed up. That's SNL at its ridiculous best, when a helium balloon floats into frame and says "Hi, Seth," in a forlorn voice.

One of the latest sketches had Kenan Thompson giving it his all as a singing talk show host who ignores his guests--one of whom happened to be James Franco--as he continually bursts into song. This was a riot because of everything going on in the background, for each time he launched into a new song, more people would come onto stage--backup singers, dancers, and Gerard Butler pimped out in white suit and big white sunglasses and a cane. And you haven't lived until you've seen Jason Sudeikis in a red track suit and gold chain doing the running man. Sudeikis was doing some serious moves back there, all in perfect white boy hilarious style.

And then there was the Beauty and the Beast sketch, with Wiig and Butler--where the Beast confessed he thought she was the beast. Once again you kind of have to see it to believe it, with trash talk by the clock and the beast, and you don't even want to know what's been going on with the tea pot. Then there's Lumiere, who's only attracted to candelabras--though once in college he dated a menorah.

To add to the fun, sponsor Budweiser was the only one who had commercials tonight--and as a trade for this monopoly of air time, they gave us behind the scenes clips of dress rehearsals of previous SNL sketches. There was Darrell Hammond getting extra friendly with a burro, and Jimmy Fallon and Sean Hayes cracking up even more than they did on the air at Will Ferrell and his mini-cellphone-using character. Even better was Harvey Keitel giggling uncontrollably during a Native American casino sketch, no doubt because it was impossible not to laugh at Rob Schneider wearing long raven hair in double braids--which Keitel was also sporting.

All in all, one of the more entertaining Saturday Night Live episodes I've seen. It was just pure bedlam and that's when it's the best. Since I knew Gerard Butler was ridiculously good-natured and goofy in real life, I was hoping it would transfer over to the show and it did. Here's hoping they bring him back again--he may not be quite as crazy as Alec Baldwin, but he's pretty game for general insanity.

Watch Saturday Night Live on NBC, Saturday nights at 11:30/10:30c.

PHOTO: SNL promo screencap, c2009 NBC.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kings on DVD

Kings Sebastian Stan Prince Jack King Silas Ian McShane screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesKing Silas (Ian McShane) lashes out at his son, Prince Jack (Sebastian Stan) in Kings.

Thanks to Clarissa over at TVOvermind for giving us the heads-up that the too-soon canceled drama Kings is out on DVD. It may seem crazy to put a half-season of a canceled drama into a formal DVD release, but Kings is that good. I heartily recommend it for the story (a retelling of David and Goliath), the eloquent dialogue, the beautiful cinematography, and for just pure entertainment value. It's a mix of drama, spirituality and mysticism, action, romance, and morality tale woven into a rich tapestry of juicy scenery-chewing goodness.

The performances of the ensemble cast are stellar. Ian McShane as the King and Susanna Thompson as his wife Queen Rose put in fantastic performances, playing up the melodrama to the hilt--but to me, Sebastian Stan was a revelation. With each episode, he added another layer to his ambitious, damaged, repressed, vengeful, vulnerable and lustful Prince Jack. I'm glad Stan still has work on the delightful Gossip Girl, though it's still a pale shadow of the delicious role he had on Kings.

Christopher Egan as David was so ethereally pretty it was hard to believe he was real at first, but he developed his character more and more with each episode. Marlyne Afflack hovered at the King's right hand as Thomasina, and wowed us with the emotional depth she gave her gutsy character. I truly lament the "what-could-have-beens" of this excellent series.

Check out my reviews and recaps of Kings, and get Clarissa's take on the Kings DVD at TVOvermind.

PHOTO: Kings screencap, c2009 UMS, NBC.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Southland Canceled Before Second Season

Southland canceled murder crime board screencaps images photos series
Wow. Here's a perfect example of the irritating nature of modern network TV. After shoving awesome series Kings out of its intended primo Thursday night TV spot to the no-man's land of Sunday (then Saturday, then summer burn-off purgatory) to make way for their new golden child Southland, NBC up and cancels Southland before its second season even debuts.

HitFix reports that NBC's decision was partially due to Southland's dark nature but mostly due to money. NBC must be in serious financial woes if they decided it was good to can a show that had already shot 6 episodes, and had won modest ratings the spring before. What's the point, after all, of creating quality dramas and then bailing on them before they have a chance to do you any good?

Southland gun screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs canceledI'll admit, they were right about their assessment of the show's dark nature scaring off some viewers. I never watched Southland, because I just wasn't in the mood for another depressingly realistic show about the worst elements of mankind. I was also feeling loyal to Kings, a lovely show that got royally screwed, if you'll forgive the pun. So NBC for sure wasn't going to have me as a viewer for the show.

Despite that, I do feel sorry for the talented actors in the Southland series who are now unexpectedly out of work. This is especially rough for them since it's happened at the start of the season, when most decisions on pilots are already made, including the mid-season fill-ins.

For Southland fans, NBC promises to try and air the 6 episodes that were made at some point, but I'm not sure how invested folks will want to be in a series that will just drop off in the middle of the action. Once again the fans get burned by network cancellations. But hey, there's always Jay Leno on 5 nights a week if you're looking for edgy drama--oh wait, never mind.

ETA: TV Series Finale reports that Southland is being shopped around to other networks and cable stations, so there's always a possibility you'll see more of the show on another channel.

PHOTOS: Soutland screencaps, c2009 John Wells Productions, Warner Bros. Television.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Joseph Fiennes Mark Benford FlashForward pilot screencaps images pictures photos screengrabs captures car crash
Okay, I admit it. I'm already hooked on FlashForward. This mystery/action/drama is startling, intriguing, and chock full of great actors. I didn't watch many previews for FlashForward, so although I knew the basic premise--that all the world passes out for 2 minutes, 17 seconds and while they're out they have visions of the future--but it never occurred to me the consequences of people all falling asleep at the same time.

When our hero Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) falls asleep, he's in the middle of a high speed chase with his partner Demetri Noh (John Cho) at his side. When Benford wakes up, he's upside down in his car on the freeway. Climbing out of the broken glass, Benford gets up to see utter devastation. Imagine the LA freeways, choked with traffic doing 60 miles and hour, and suddenly everyone blacks out.

The implications are terrifying. Plane pilots knocked out as planes are taking off or landing. People falling asleep in the bathtub. Patients dying in the middle of surgery with the doctors passed out on the floor next to them.

Joseph Fiennes Mark Benford FlashForward pilot screencaps images pictures photos screengrabs captures car crash close-up
As the smoke clears, Benford and the FBI office try to make sense of what's happened all over the world. They try to piece together facts, and then they start discussing their visions. They discover that some of them overlap, with matching facts, and that they all took place 6 months in the future on the same date and time.

This is where both the mystery and the drama begins. Benford sees himself returning to his former alcoholism, and his doctor wife Olivia (Lost's Sonya Walger) sees herself with another man. Benford's partner Noh sees nothing at all, which he comes to realize may very well mean he's dead in the future.

Tonight our cast of characters find themselves on paths leading to the futures they saw. Benford, who saw flashes of a bulletin board with all their work on the FlashForward case, finds the leads he saw in his vision panning out. Olivia meets the man in her vision at the hospital, Lloyd (Jack Davenport), the father of one of her young patients. And it turns out that Mark and Olivia's daughter recognizes the son from her vision.

After being convinced by fellow agent Janis Hawk to add his non-vision to the FBI's "Mosaic" website, where everyone in the world is trying to match up their visions to make sense of them, Noh gets a phone call from a mysterious woman. She tells him she saw his post on the Mosaic board, and that she has unsettling news--in her vision she saw an agency document that said Noh had been murdered a month previously.

To keep us on a further unsettling vibe, Benford finally gets his daughter to open up about her scary vision. And she mentions the name of the dangerous man he and Noh had almost apprehended the day before--a man who appears to have been awake during the FlashForward.

I always consider it a good sign for a series when it grabs me right away. It's rare for a series to hit the ground running, but when you've got Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger, John Cho, Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order: CI, ER), Lynn Whitfield (The Women, Without a Trace), BrĂ­an F. O’Byrne (The International, Brotherhood), and luscious Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Coupling), it makes it easier.

While there are a few awkward or duh moments here and there, I'm willing to overlook them for now because of all the great suspense and drama. I really had been skeptical that Shakesperean actor Fiennes could play tough FBI agent, but that classical training apparently means you can do anything. He's physically strong, emotionally conflicted, clever, capable, and sexy. The perfect flawed hero for the FlashForward story.

Watch FlashForward on ABC, Thursday nights at 8/7c.

The Mentalist Season 2 Episode Recaps

Simon Baker Patrick Jane The Mentalist The Scarlet Letter leather couch thinking Elvis screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures
Just wanted to let you all know that I'll be doing The Mentalist recaps all season for TVOvermind. I'll keep links for "The Mentalist Recaps" in both sidebars, and you can always bookmark this post for up-to-date direct links for each episode.

The Mentalist is a fantastic show about a California Bureau of Investigations (CBI) team and their eccentric but effective consultant, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker). A former charlatan psychic, Jane nonetheless possesses extraordinary skills of perception and intuition that help him notice and interpret small details others might miss. His years of pulling the wool over people's eyes has also given him insight into the many ways to read and manipulate both witnesses and suspects into giving up what they know.

Jane is a complex character, goofy and irreverant on the surface, but vulnerable, angry, and tortured on the inside. In his former life, he made the mistake of taunting the serial killer Red John, which got his wife and child murdered. Jane bides his time helping the CBI with murder investigations, all the while working to bring Red John to justice.

Robin Tunney stars alongside Baker as Jane's boss Teresa Lisbon. She's one of the few believable female law enforcers on TV, and her push and pull working relationship with Jane is fun to watch. There's also just a whisper of occasional flirting, enough to keep it interesting without being a sappy romantic distraction. The rest of the cast is also strong, with characters that bring smarts and humor to The Mentalist.

Watch the show on CBS, Thursday nights at 10/9c. And check out my recaps each week at TVOvermind:

Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.01 "Redemption"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.01 "Redemption"

Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.02 "The Scarlet Letter"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.03 "Red Badge"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.04 "Red Menace"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.05 "Red Scare"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.06 "Black Gold and Red Blood"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.07 "Red Bulls"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.08 "His Red Right Hand"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.09 "A Price Above Rubies"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.10 "Throwing Fire"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.11 "Rose Colored Glasses"
Mini Recap -- The Mentalist 2.12 "Bleeding Heart"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.13 "Redline"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.14 "Blood In, Blood Out"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.15 "Red Herring"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.18 "Aingavite Baa"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.19 "Blood Money"
Full Recap -- The Mentalist 2.23 "Red Sky in the Morning"

PHOTO: Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, on his "thinking couch", The Mentalist, "The Scarlet Letter" screencap, c2009 Primrose Hill Productions, Warner Bros. Television, CBS.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hank and The Middle Pilot Reviews

Kelsey Grammar Hank Pryor Melinda McGraw Tilly Pryor Hank pilot screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesMelinda McGraw and Kelsey Grammar in Hank.

Oh dear. Last night we had two sitcom premieres on ABC for Kelsey Grammar's Hank and Patricia Heaton's The Middle. My overriding thought is that I wish we had both these stars back on the air in the unfortunately short-lived series Back to You (that was unfairly killed by the writers' strike).

Hank is pretty awful. Grammar stars as Hank Pryor, a ridiculously wealthy entrepreneur that for unspecified reasons loses everything. He and his attractive wife and two children are forced to downsize and move back to wife Tilly's (Melinda McGraw) hometown. The whole sitcom is just creaky from the start, looking like a community theater stage play as Hank and Tilly stand outside their former residence and have an awkward conversation about moving on to better things.

I've never liked humor for the sake of humor, whether it fits the characters or not. Hank, who had up to this point been a powerful CEO, apparently moves to a house he's never seen. I doubt that when Hank opened up his first business, he bought a building without looking at it first. But of course this allows us the "funny" moments of the family seeing the dump of a home for the first time.

The show has a few funny moments, and tries to have its heart in the right place by having Hank learn how to bond with his kids again. But thus far it's just too stilted and forced, and Grammar looks like he's forcing himself to go through the motions. Critical reviews seem to be harsh, and I don't think this series will last.

As for The Middle, this one has more promise, but I've never been a fan of sitcoms that celebrate the art of bad parenting. I appreciate that the Indiana family in The Middle is more real and identifiable than the family in Hank, and there are some funny moments--as when Frankie (Patricia Heaton) tells her complaining, slacker, boxer-short-clad teenage son "I can't hear you when you don't have pants on."

Heaton plays the frazzled Erma Bombeck-esque imperfect working mom well, and I do like that while hubby Mike (Scrubs' awesome Neil Flynn) are exhausted by their three nutty children, they still love and care about them. I also like that the children, even the teenage son, listen to their parents and don't think that they're losers. I really despise shows where the kids are smarter and more obnoxious than their parents, and thus far that doesn't seem to be happening here.

It's the little things that I found funny in The Middle, like the board behind Mike's desk at work that says "Days on the job without an accident: 1". After an explosion in the quarry, that goes down to zero. I found the big, spectacular failure moments less amusing, especially when they trampled on a redeeming moment for awkward daughter Sue (Eden Sher).

If The Middle learns to tone down the "quirkiness" and doesn't beat the Charlie Brown repeat loser syndrome to death, I could keep tuning in. And I'd also like to see the show stay on the air just to keep SNL alum Chris Kattan on TV, though I hope they give him a little more to do as Frankie's pal at work.

Watch Hank and The Middle on ABC, Wednesday nights at 8/7c.

PHOTO: Hank pilot screencap, c2009, ABC Studios.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Good Wife Pilot Review

Julianna Margulies Alicia Florrick The Good Wife Pilot screencaps images pictures photos screengrabs capturesI was almost afraid to review The Good Wife, because I didn't want to jinx it. This new political/courtroom/family drama has ER alum Margulies at center stage, along with "Mr. Big" Chris Noth (Sex and the City, Law & Order), Sports Night and In Treatment vet Josh Charles, and wonderful comedy actors Christine Baranski and David Paymer.

The Good Wife pilot gives us a wonderful mix of intrigue, scandal, workplace and marriage struggles, the troubles of a working mother who also happens to be a humiliated public figure, and a compelling retrial of a murder case. If The Good Wife can manage to keep juggling all of these elements well, it could be a hit. The humor is smart and well-placed, and keeps it from being too stuffy like Margulies' previous failed law drama, or too overwrought like TNT's Raising the Bar.

I've written at length about the story and strengths of the pilot in my TVOvermind The Good Wife review. Please do check it out.

The Good Wife airs on CBS, Tuesday nights at 10/9c.
PHOTOS: Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, The Good Wife pilot and promo screencaps, c2009 CBS Television Studios.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heroes Premiere

Heroes Peter Petrelli Milo Ventimiglia Noah Bennet Jack Coleman Heroes Orientation Push Jump Fall screencaps pictures images photos HRG glasses screengrabs captures premiere videoTonight the Heroes premiere kicked off with a bang with "Orientation" and "Push, Jump, Fall." While there are still a few annoying plot developments to roll our eyes over, mostly the series premiere was enjoyable and tapped into a lot of what we loved about Heroes season one. I liked that Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) is still operating in his shades of gray, but he's starting to feel a pull towards the whiter side. The way his life has fallen apart has made him rethink his strategy, and his dealings with Peter, Tracy, and Danko in this episode play into that.

Heroes Peter Petrelli Milo Ventimiglia powers fight Ray Park circus freak knives fast speed attack ability screencaps images photos screencaptures captures screengrabs Orientation Push Jump Fall premiere video
I also love love love that Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) is back in our hearts as a hero, using his powers for good as an overachieving paramedic. He's still got his angsty side, neglecting his own needs in an effort to make up for all the things he's screwed up in the past as "hero". We also get to see him use his powers and grab a new one from a mysterious circus member with mad speed and slashing skills. Seeing Ray Park and Ventimiglia duke it out was one of the highlights of this Heroes episode. A confident Peter is a beautiful thing to behold.

With the events of last season's Heroes, I thought Sylar might be pushed into the background, perhaps to let actor Zachary Quinto focus on his movie career. Not so, Heroes fans. Sylar is back with a vengeance as Matt's mental mischief-maker, as well as making his presence known within the new "Nathan" and Mama Petrelli's visions.

Read up on every detail of the two hour premiere episode in my full Heroes "Orientation; Jump, Push, Fall" recap at Yahoo!

PHOTOS: Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli, Jack Coleman as Noah Bennet; Ventimiglia and Ray Park; Heroes "Orientation; Jump, Push, Fall" screencaps, c2009 NBC Universal Studios.

Castle Premiere

Nathan Fillion Richard Castle porn cop police women girls Deep in Death screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesSo, Castle starts with its usual cheesiness and has Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) posing for a magazine article with two porn cop girls. Whatever. The episode, "Deep in Death" also includes Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) stripping down outside a police van to don a sweater-as-dress so that she can pretend to be a loose woman with a bad Russian accent, going quickly undercover into a Russion mob poker game to rescue Castle. What-ever.

The good news is, Castle does seem to be a little tighter and more riveting than the episodes I caught last season. The murder mystery was a lot more suspenseful, and wasn't just a barely-thought-out backdrop for Castle and Beckett's banter. As per usual, Fillion is a joy to watch. He makes inappropriate jokes at crime scenes that Law & Order's Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) would be proud of, and turns on his cocky and reckless charm as he tries to bluff his way through a game of poker with tattooed mobsters.

Once again Castle gives us great rapport between Castle and his mom and lovely daughter. I find myself in the same place I was last year--Katic just doesn't cut it for me. Sure, some of the writing is cheesy, but a more skilled actress could make it work better. But when I'm constantly aware of Katic's ever-changing hair styles and inner-lid eyeliner, I'm thinking something must be lacking in the performance.

Katic is fine in quieter moments, and small doses. I wish Castle would change tack, and make the show all about Castle himself. We could see him on his travels as he tries to do research for his books, flirting with women, schmoozing unsavory types, and getting himself into trouble. He could occasionally cross paths with Beckett, who would bail him out of jams--or he could assist on random cases.

This would greatly improve Castle, I think, by focusing on its strengths--Fillion and the gals that make up Castle's family. It would also avoid all of the awkward wrangling they keep doing with the plot to make it feasible that a mystery author would be continually working on police cases.

I'll keep watching for Fillion, but I suspect Castle won't take on the "must-see" spot in my schedule. If something more intriguing comes along in that timeslot, I'll probably be watching that and will catch Castle in reruns--or maybe online. Right now it's an enjoyable piece of fluff, and if they keep the investigative aspect interesting and cut back on the cheesecake a little (and Katic's distracting eyeliner), I'll be happy to tune in every Monday.

Watch Castle on ABC Monday nights, at 10/9c.

PHOTO: Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, with friends, Castle "Deep in Death" screencap, c2009 ABC Studios.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Emmy Awards 2009 Random Thoughts

Justin Timberlake Emmy Awards 2009 61st smile screengrabs screencaps captures images photos pictures videoEmmy presenter Justin Timberlake,
as he's interviewed by E! correspondent Ryan Seacrest.

So, here we are, after the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. It was certainly not as awful as last year's awards ceremony, and it started to pick up about halfway through, but it's still just not all that exciting. A lot of things that were supposed to be funny just weren't, and that violent Family Guy clip was just disturbing.

I love Neil Patrick Harris, and he was relaxed and confident--but sometimes he was almost too relaxed. While he definitely had his wry moments, he often seemed to be a little bored himself, as if he was saying lines that he didn't find all that funny either.

I did enjoy the way they split the Emmy awards ceremony into genres, focusing on all the comedy awards at once, then all the drama. It helps us stay a little more focused when they're speeding through categories at lightening speed--when you see the same players in several categories in a row, you start to figure out who they are.

And what was with all the same players? I mean, the comedy writing category was 90% 30 Rock. No one else wrote a comedy last year? Not for Big Bang Theory? How I Met Your Mother? Two and a Half Men? Weeds? Entourage? Rules of Engagement has episodes with a fantastic line every 3 seconds--how can they not get recognized? The whole incestuous industry lovefest of 30 Rock needs to end. I respect Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin and Jack McBrayer, but I just don't see how this show is considered consistently funnier than anything on the air.

Click here for Red Carpet video.

Also, apparently no one had a worthy guest star in drama except for Law & Order: SVU. Just instantly off the top of my head I know that Cold Case gets a lot of fabulous guest stars on their show. I realize additional rules can create a whole new set of inequities, but I think they should consider a limit on two nominations per category for the same show. Having 5 or 6 noms in one category for the same show just seems like laziness rather than a recognition of true merit.

Emmy Awards 61st primetime Justin Timberlake presenter grin Ryan Seacrest screencaps images pictures photos screengrabs captures video
Other thoughts on the show: I think Tina Fey did deserve her award for her Sarah Palin impression on SNL, and I loved that Justin Timberlake won for his stint on SNL. While many musicians land acting gigs just because fame opens doors, Timberlake is actually a good actor and ridiculously funny. He takes his multi-faceted career seriously, and I admire him for that.

I also love that he completely cracked up and had to pause in his presenter duties when he caught sight of Sarah Silverman's proudly displayed mustache during the comedy actress noms. I don't always get Silverman's brand of humor, but she does have her strokes of genius (the famous "I'm f**king Matt Damon" vid) and this Emmy moment was one of them. It wasn't just the mustache; it was the noble pose she held while the camera was on her. Too, too funny.

And back to Justin, I also loved that he presented wearing glasses. As did hottie Simon Baker of The Mentalist. And Dana Delany. And Michael J.Fox. And more. While some of the styles were a bit on the nerdy side (I was wondering if it was an extension of the comedy actresses wearing goofy glasses for their noms), I'm happy just to see rims on pretty people no matter the cause, representing for all those who don't have 20/20 vision on their own. Glasses rule, people, remember that.

Click here for Red Carpet video.

As for more funny Emmy stuff, I did like when Neil Patrick Harris introduced the nominees with obscure credits from their resume. His grandiose delivery of "Photographer #1 in Spin City" (Jimmy Fallon) and "Charles Elderberry in ABC Afterschool Special: Schoolboy Father" (Rob Lowe) may have made me spit a few times. It was funny and also showed you how famous actors pay their dues before (and after) hitting the big time.

There were also some good moments in video clips where directors and writers advised up and comers how to achieve success. Favorite advice included "Hire Glenn Close" and "Learn to tell people to go to hell in such a way that they really want to go there."

Sarah MacLachlan has a gorgeous voice as always and did a beautiful rendition of "I Will Remember You" for the In Memoriam segment. Sadly, this once again did not stop people from clapping for their favorite people. The only good news was they seemed to clap for everyone, rather than letting applause die away for the lesser known behind the scenes folks. We lost a lot of amazing people this year, and so many were too young. It was heartbreaking as each name and face appeared. I do think it was perfect that they showed Patrick Swayze in both North and South and his last role on The Beast.

While there was humor, and a few bright spots, and a few surprises, the Emmy Awards still weren't all that engaging as a whole. Part of it is the disconnect between industry insiders and the average viewing public. Like the Oscars, where most of the nominated films have very small box office numbers, the basic and pay cable nominees at the Emmys are a mystery to many viewers.

It's also pretty boring when the same people win year after year. With all the quality and variety of television available now, there's no excuse for the same shows to keep sweeping all of the awards every year. It starts to feel like high school all over again, where only the "cool kids" get to go up on stage again and again. And again.

You can see all the winners over at IMDB and check out some Best & Worst highlights over at E!Online.

PHOTOS: Justin Timberlake, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Fallon, Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson, Emmy Awards Red Carpet, E!Online screencaps, c2009 E! Entertainment.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin