Friday, June 30, 2006

TV Boyfriends: Chris Turk

If it weren't for the whole "married to and expecting a child with Carla" situation, I think Turk and I could have had something. Unfortunately, I'll have to get by with adoring him from afar weekly on Scrubs. His mischievous personality, rock-solid friendship with J.D., and sweet/snarky relationship with Carla make him an absolute pleasure to watch.

Reasons why Carla is one lucky lady:

- Turk loves Lando and doesn't disguise his inner geek.

- He knows the value of a well-placed kung-fu blowout -- and comes well-prepared with tearaway scrubs. Yes, those would absolutely come in handy.

- He's a doctor, so he's got smarts and a job Mom would approve of.

- He can dance if he wants to. He can leave his friends behind--and come boogie with me. ;)

- He knows his place in the relationship. (Turk: "Dr. Miller accused me of being sexist. Me! I'm marrying Carla - who do you think wears the pants? And the shirts... and the shoes... and sometimes my underwear.")

- He has a competitive, playful nature.
Turk: "Let's play Steak."
J.D.: "What?"
Turk: "Steak. The first person to finish their steak is the winner of Steak."

- His overly serious facial expressions and pelvic thrusting could take a girl to air band utopia (see below).

Like Jason Segel, Donald Faison has long been a favorite of mine. I remember back when he wasn't "jeeping" behind Dionne's back in Clueless and wasn't intimidated by Elena in Felicity. (We can just forget about that little Sabrina, The Teenage Witch indiscretion.)

WB gets a little classy

Word from Variety via TV Guide is that on its last day of programming, the WB will air the first episodes of some of its signature series: Buffy, Angel, Felicity, and Dawson's Creek.

That's a fairly classy move (out of character for the WB?), so it doesn't seem quite right for the network's final goodbye. Personally, I'd love if the WB were willing to celebrate their successes and failures over the years by airing some bad pilots along with the good.

How about some Tarzan with a pre-Prison Break Dr. Tancredi? Or the pilot of Zoe, Duncan, Jack, and Jane, with the always smokin' pre-Lex Michael Rosenbaum? There's a lot of crap to celebrate along with the quality. I like what the WB is trying to do, but they could rock a whole other set of less-than-stellar shows as well for a send-off that's truly representative of their programming over the years.

What forgotten or fondly remembered show would you like to see the WB say farewell to on its last night?

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Talking a page from GMMR's book, I'm giving some love to YouTube today.

Some gems I've discovered:

- Scrubs' funniest moments and bloopers

- All three parts of Nobody's Watching, an unsuccessful (but funny) pilot from the creators of Scrubs (the TV Addict even included it in his funniest quotes of the week)

- Pure, exuberant hilarity, tangentially related to Veronica Mars

- I've only seen a couple episodes of House, but these two clips from the season two finale might be reason enough for me to Netflix the first couple seasons. I'm such a sucker for unresolved sexual tension.

- A reminder about why I love Luke and Lorelai, and why last season's finale was so painful. If the writers would give us great moments like these between Lorelai and Christopher, maybe I wouldn't be so hell-bent on L&L.

- Ohhh....and just one more for all you Jam fans. (You probably already have it bookmarked.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Location, location, location

While I was out and about in the world for a few days last week, I got to thinking about the locations where many of my favorite shows are set. So I thought I'd compile a little location list.

Most common location: New York. (Friends, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Rescue Me, CSI:NY...are there shows that aren't set in New York?)

Most dangerous place for a witty young crime-fighter: fictional Southern California (See Neptune and Sunnydale)

Best for a medical drama: A big city that isn't New York. (See Chicago Hope, ER, Grey's Anatomy, St. Elsewhere, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman...just kidding.)

Place I'd like to vacation: Stars Hollow (Festivals with strange themes, troubadours, gorgeous scenery, and one lovely inn. Eccentric, but great for a short term stay. Plus, I might be able to bump into those Gilmore Girls and have a rapid-fire chat filled with pop-culture references. Groovy!)

Place I'd most like to live: Everwood. Sob!

Place I'd least like to live: Wisteria Lane. (I'd like to be able to have a romance that's normal, functional, and drama-free. I'm pretty sure that's verboten for the ladies of Desperate Housewives.)

Most "out-there" location: Farscape. The uncharted territories RULES!

Best for someone in witness protection program: Springfield. Do The Simpsons live near an ocean? Are they landlocked? What's the climate? What state are they in? No one knows--and it's a safe bet no one could find you there.

What are some favorite fictional places in the TV-verse that you'd like to visit? Or that you would avoid like the plague?

Clunk. Thonk. Bwack.

I admit it. I watched Kyle XY last night. I'm not proud of myself, but I am still the same girl who once watched The Secret World of Alex Mack, and I was sort of bored and eating Frosted Mini-Wheats and maybe I just regressed back to the mental state of an eleven year old for a bit. What?! It happens! Whatever the case, watching Kyle XY seemed like a good idea at the time.

The title of this post refers to the noise that the script from Kyle XY made when coming from my television. The dialogue was clunky. The voiceovers were wooden. I get that he's supposed to be a boy without emotion, but he talks about his feelings in his sterile narratives, so presumably he feels something? And does he or does he not grasp the English language? If you know the word 'mathematics' you probably know the word 'picture.'

Anyway, I wasn't expecting quality, I was expecting entertainment, and Kyle XY delivered...marginally. The previews for upcoming episodes look like a bit of an improvement over the pilot, so perhaps I'll tune in again. I am something of a masochist, after all.

Though bellybutton-free Matt Dallas is a relative newcomer, I did spot one familiar face: The dad is played by Bruce Thomas, who also played the UPS guy who inspired hairdresser Paulette to learn the bend-and-snap in Legally Blonde. Hee. He's also a dead ringer for Bruce Campbell--which explains why he had the formidable role of 'Mini-Ash 3' in Army of Darkness (one of my favorite cheesy flicks).

Also...was that Alex Krycek I saw lurking around in a truck, spying on the wonder boy? Is anyone else square enough to admit they watched this and spotted him too?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Superhero sidekicks...trend watch?

It looks like appearing in a supporting role in a superhero film is the new black for some of TV's second bananas. First, we've got Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) enjoying some screen time in My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Now, we've got Sam Huntington, aka Luke the drug-filled-piƱata smuggler from Veronica Mars. Sam won the coveted role of Jimmy Olsen in the new Superman Returns movie coming out tomorrow.

Sam (who, despite a certain weakness of character on VM, I've always thought was sorta cute) will also be starring in Kristen Bell's next film, Fanboys, about a group of Star Wars fans who trek to Skywalker Ranch to view Episode I before its release. Maybe this time she really will spike his juice box and have her way with him! (Though, seeing as how Sam starred in Jungle 2 Jungle, I could see why she might take a pass on that.)

What's next for this burgeoning trend--T.R. Knight as Robin? Liza Weil as Aquagirl?

John Krasinski: hot even with weird hair

I randomly stumbled across an old Kodak commercial featuring a bizarrely coiffed John Krasinski. I remember being quite amused by it back in the day, though I had no idea who he was at the time. Enjoy!

And if you're all about JKras, GMMR has some adorkably awesome pics of John on the set of his new movie with Mandy Moore. Oh, to be an umbrella within those hands, that I might touch that geek!

(Yeah, I know I'm the real geek here.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rescue them from controversy

With the extreme packing I had to do for last week's trip, I didn't get a chance to watch and recap Rescue Me last Tuesday when it aired. Perhaps that's for the best, however, since the close of the show featured a violent sex scene between Tommy and his wife, Janet, that I'd have had difficulty describing.

I'd read the brief spoilers from Andrea Roth (Janet) in TV Guide's interview, so I was a bit prepared for the scene. However, Andrea's comments led me to believe that there would be a clearer demarcation between the violence and the sex. Instead, the line between physical pain and sexual pleasure was a lot subtler than I'd anticipated, and after the scene ended I came out feeling closer to Andrea's comment "you're not really sure what the hell happened."

While I wasn't sure quite what I'd seen, some viewers saw things all too clearly for their liking. They saw Tommy's actions as an unquestionable rape, something unforgivable, a storyline that rendered the show unwatchable.

For a show that bases much of its popularity and appeal on pushing the boundaries of what's appropriate, Rescue Me may have finally found an issue that's a little too far outside their viewers' comfort zone. Creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan gave a post-ep interview addressing some of the negative response to the scene. Tolan also posted comments on Television Without Pity defending the scene.

After watching the episode, reading viewer comments, and absorbing Leary and Tolan's responses, I'm still not exactly sure what to think.

When I first watched the scene, I was reminded of the stairway sex between Tom and Edie in the recent movie A History of Violence. Both are violent sex scenes that start off motivated by anger, then midway through change into something (arguably) motivated by desire. Admittedly, the transition from violence to lust is more evident in History; it didn't come off as clearly as the people behind Rescue Me would have liked.

So why write a scene like this at all, if it's so apt to incense viewers? I'm hoping it's not simply to push buttons. I'm hoping they felt it was important. Maybe to show us that under the anger, there's love. Maybe to demonstrate that whatever emotions are present, these two characters connect on a base level. Or maybe they're just putting something out there that's dirty and repugnant.

In the end, it's up to the viewer to decide.

Why XY?

Overwhelmed by the outpouring of responses to last Wednesday's post, I'm happy to get back up and blogging. I'll start off with a short post to ease myself back in the swing of things.

In fact, it won't just be short, but kind of creepy. I've been feeling a bit violated by the heavy promotion of the new ABC Family show Kyle XY on many of the TV sites I frequent. This bizarre, blue-eyed, bellybutton-less pretty boy (who actually looks a tad like one of my sister's ex-boyfriends) keeps popping out of the ads on the side of my screen with a stupefied expression I assume is meant to look naive and questioning. It's unnerving.

I can't find a good image of it, but if you visit the TV Guide website, you can get visually violated all on your own. Kreepy Kyle will be more than happy to tell you his show airs on Mondays at 8PM. You can also check out a Q&A with Matt Dallas, who seems decidedly less creepy in interview form, and gives some background on his show and character.

ABC Family has an uneven track record of original movies and series. I'm not ashamed that I loved Lucky 7 (featuring a pre-Grey's Anatomy McDreamy!), but wasn't exactly wowed by Celeste in the City. Maybe I'll give this a try, if only to see if Matt can keep up that expression for a whole 44 minutes. (Nicholas Cage holds the record for maintaining one expression throughout a project; see his continued "longing" face throughout City of Angels.)

Note: I just watched Season 2 of Entourage on DVD, and noticed that Matt Dallas appears in a brief scene as a producer's boy-toy. He's a cute guy--wonder why ABC Family decided to up the creep factor in all his online ads?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Note to my blog buddies

Hello random readers of TV and Sympathy!

I'll be taking a brief and much-needed vacation over the next few days, so don't expect much new content. However, I'll be back and raring to go on Monday! While I'm out, I'd love to have your comments about what you'd like to see more of (or heck, less of!) on the site. Any shows you think I should be watching that I'm not? Curious about what I think about movies, not just TV? Just want to rave about how much you're digging World Cup soccer or the World's Strongest Man competition?

Whatever's on your mind, leave me a comment to let me know. Catch y'all next week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The well of lost plots

In a few recent critiques of Rescue Me, I've been reading about how they sometimes bring up plots and then never seem to go anywhere with them. Watching old episodes of Felicity has also brought this problem to mind. I think it's a fairly common practice for a show to bring up a plotline, tease viewers along with it for a few episodes, and then never decide how to resolve it, so they simply let it drop. I can think of a few examples offhand:

Felicity: Political activism seems to be an oft-used plot device that's brought up and quickly dropped. In her sophomore year, Felicity quickly became involved with the student health center and school presidential campaign. By junior year, her political side was nowhere to be seen. (See also Abbott, Amy on Everwood re brief entanglements with liberal activism.)

Dawson's Creek: Anyone remember Eve? She was the snake with the apple to poor virginal Dawson at the start of season three, promising a world of adventures and hedonism. Well, until she mysteriously disappeared without the audience ever finding out a resolution about how exactly she fit into the Lindley family.

Battlestar Galactica: Roslin is Pithia the prophet, who needs an arrow that will guide everyone to Earth. Seriously? There was a fair amount of religion and mysticism for a show that usually doesn't deal with such fuzzy motives. However, at this point they seem to have put it aside a bit.

Veronica Mars: Even the best shows can suffer from this problem. Spy pens and dead rats aside, there's also the case of Lucky's relationship to the Manning's or the child abuse at the Manning's. However, with a crew this continuity-focused, it's possible we'll see more information come to light in season three.

Can you think of any plotlines from your favorite shows that were dropped like a hot potato when the writers no longer knew what to do with them?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Just wishin' and hopin'

It can be difficult to support one's TV addiction on a budget. I don't spring for the good cable package, so I don't get to check out Entourage or Deadwood or anything that's good on Showtime. (Is there anything? Tell me what I'm missing.) However, I do occasionally splurge on DVD sets--most recently, Everwood, which wasn't really a splurge because it is dirt cheap right now, people.

Here's my wish list of DVDs that I'd love to have to help me through the summer hiatus:

Sports Night: It's been on my list for frickin' ever. TV Squad is doing recaps of the first season, and I'd love to be able to rewatch, then read their commentary. Alas.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: It probably won't be that great. But...Bruce Campbell! Abel Koontz! Chaps! I kind of have to watch it.

Veronica Mars: Season Two: She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine. (August 22)

Sex and the City - The Complete Series: Since apparently I am Miranda, I think it only logical that I own the whole series chronicling the ups and downs of my love life, fashion sense, haircut, and road to personal enlightenment. Also, SatC reminds me of many fond memories trying to track down stray episodes from various Blockbusters in the Berkeley environs. Classic!

Dawson's Creek - Season Three: Shameful? Yes. Watchable? Yes. This is the season where Joey and Pacey get together and the teenage girl inside me breathes a happy sigh of relief. OMG Joey-Pacey OTP!!1! (Ahem! Allow me to repress her and let's move on, shall we?)

What am I missing? Maybe the first season of House, which I think might be obliging to all members of my household? Everything Battlestar Galactica for a re-watch? Lois & Clark or Smallville to get me revved up for the Superman movie?

Also, now that my TV on DVD week is over, it's left me with quite a thirst for commentary. What should I turn my attention to next - any commentary you've been craving?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

TV on DVD: Veronica Mars

I know what you may be thinking to yourself: "But Joobie, I own the Veronica Mars DVD's and I haven't seen hide nor hair of a DVD commentary anywhere on their person!" Rest easy, fair reader. You haven't missed some commentary Easter eggs. Due to an undesirable DVD production schedule, there are indeed scant extras available to us VM fanatics.

However, creator Rob Thomas with his godlike powers was kind enough to throw us fans a peace offering in the form of an mp3 commentary, available through his website,

So let's see what he has to say.

- Rob composed the piece of score that plays over the cold open. On his computer! Multitalented!

- Rob has watched commentaries for two things: Say Anything and The Office. (US or UK, I wonder? Must be UK.)

- He wanted to create a girl who had no friends, so that a burgeoning friendship would make viewers feel good about her.

- The students in the opening scene are actual students who came in on a Saturday.

- The "OMG we could go to prom together" was a scene that they auditioned potential Weevils and Veronicas with. The original line was "When I want you to open your mouth, you'll hear me unzipping." Dirty!

- Rob wanted the pool in Veronica's apartment to look like the Karate Kid apartment. The network did not, so they cleaned it up in post-production

- Originally they wanted to use the Coldplay song "Don't Panic" instead of "Just Another". (Wow. Who knew Rob Thomas = Denis Leary? Well not exactly. One uses far less profanity.)

- Daran Norris (Cliff) and Rob Thomas have been friends since they were three years old. (All together now...awww!)

- Even before casting Enrico Colantoni" (Keith), Rob Thomas was a huge Galaxy Quest fan. (Good. Now I can still respect him.)

- They didn't have Kyle Secor (Jake) for a the pilot; they cut his parts in later.

- Amanda Seyfriend was "about 100X better than everyone else" they saw for the role of Lilly.

- Originally Lilly was found in the ocean, but that was apparently too "dark and creepy" for the network, so they switched it out.

- "What's the matter with you people" scene was added after they cast Jason Dohring because he was so, so good.

- Francis Capra didn't want to say the "Weevil love you long time" line. (Also, I just noticed that he's younger than me. That's disturbing.)

- Shelly Pomroy is played by the real-life cousin of the real-life Shelly Pomroy, who is a friend of Rob's. (And you didn't want to name a nicer character after your friend, Rob? I guess there are only so many Wallaces to go around.)

- Kristen Bell came up with real tears for the morning after scene, four times in a row.

- Was Kristen what Rob Thomas imagined for Veronica? Yes - but he thought she'd be a brunette.

- Alona Tal was the second choice to play Veronica. She's a native Israeli and auditioned right off the plane. They later created the role of Meg for her.

- The bong Veronica plants in Logan's locker was original supposed to be penis shaped. Consequently, "I'm pretty sure you won't be getting your cock bong back" was Kristen Bell's favorite line from the original script.

- Important philosophical question: Do gang members wear helmets? Rob thought it was 'uncool' but the network really preferred that they put them in helmets. Happily, the helmets were able to disguise that many of the extras weren't high-school age.

- Rob loves that Jason checks his nose in the mirror as the car drives away. (I love it too. I also love Jason Dohring. And from his signature in Austin, he loves me too. )

- Wallace tested a bit "weak" with audiences.

- Originally we were supposed to find out that Veronica's paternity was in question in the pilot. (Whew! Too early. Good call to put it later.)

Liked these tidbits? Cue up your DVD and have a listen!

Friday, June 16, 2006

TV on DVD: Firefly

Certainly I'm not aglow with happiness over The WB/CW's treatment of Everwood, but there never was a story of more scheduling woe than that of the Firefly and her crew. Dumped on the wasteland that is Friday night, poorly promoted, and aired out of order, Joss Whedon's kick-ass sci-fi Western Firefly suffered right from the get-go. Still, it managed to build a seriously devoted fan base, the Browncoats, and even morph into a decent big-screen hit in the movie Serenity.

In a bit of a departure, I'm going to talk about the commentary not from the pilot, but from the episode "Objects in Space," the last episode that was filmed, which has commentary from Joss, who wrote and directed the episode and created the series.

Joss' commentary is different because it's the most high-level and the least anecdotal. He talks more about the development of the story and what he's trying to achieve dramatically, and how, rather than saying "this scene was difficult to write" or "Nathan kept giggling like a schoolgirl throughout the scene." We hear more about his inspirations and influences, which can be good for people who want to know about the creative process, but bad for people who just want to know the behind-the-scenes gossip.

- Joss wanted to do an episode where River really became a part of the group.

- Joss wrote the theme song for Firefly the day before he wrote the pilot, on the day he pitched the show. (My roommate loves this song and sang it often when we were watching Firefly. It, uh, does not get old. Really! Okay, yes it does.)

- When Joss was 16, he had an epiphany while watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He just suddenly understood that "real life was happening" right then. He later read Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea, which spoke to the pain of being aware of things and their existence--just the very fact of that objects exist. We cannot stop existing or changing. "Nothing can exist only slightly."

- Kaylee is an emotional "in" for the viewer; we feel what she feels. Often Mal also serves this purpose of the audience perspective.

- Though they're both killers, what separates River and Early, the bounty hunter, is that she has a heart. River takes the meaninglessness of things and imbues them with a kindness. For Early, he stays detached and dissociated, which is why he's able to do the horrible things he does.

- Of the scene where Early sexually intimidates Kaylee, Joss thought: "This is one of those scenes that you write, and then you worry that maybe you're not as good a person as you thought you were."

- Joss got many thanks for adding the "shirtless Simon" scene to the show. (Yeah...Sean Maher isn't exactly an eyesore.)

- He listened a lot to the score from Gattaca while writing the episode.

- The exchange about the midget arsonist is one of Joss' favorite things he's ever written.

- The moral according to Joss: "If nothing we do means anything, then the only thing that means anything is what we do." That's if there even is a moral, which there really isn't.

- Aloneness (not loneliness) is the most common theme in everything Joss feels and does.

- The long steady shot at the end shows that all the crew is connected, to River as well.

It makes me a bit sad to be posting this on a Friday, when by all rights I should have been posting about how excited I was that a new episode of Firefly was going to air. Boo to narrow-minded network programmers who can't see the potential of a show run by a visionary like Joss.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

TV on DVD: Grey's Anatomy

It's so surprising and pleasant when a midseason replacement show turns out to be great. The Office, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, a year and a half ago, Grey's Anatomy all defied my expectations of the typical filler that networks toss in when their other shows don't perform how they'd like.

The Season One Grey's Anatomy DVD is short on episodes (only 9) but has a few good extras, including one pilot commentary with creator Shonda Rhimes and director Peter Horton, and another with Katherine "Katie" Heigl (Izzie), T.R. Knight (George), and Sandra Oh (Cristina). Lots of fun insights into how the show is filmed and how much they've learned since shooting the first episode.

Let's get it on...kind of like Meredith and McDreamy in the pilot...

- In the morning-after scene, both Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey got completely naked. They had minimal prodding from the directors--and great chemistry right from the start. Those exhibitionists! The brief opening scene is where Shonda wanted viewers to "fall in love with Derek" right away.

Casting Call

- Alex was not in the original pilot. He was a response to a request that they have 'more guys'. Initially Burke was going to be so much more of an asshole, but when Isaiah was brought on they needed someone else to deal with that. Can you imagine the show without Justin Chambers? I can't.

- Chandra Wilson transforms when she gets in character; in real life is one of the sweetest people in the world.

- Sandra Oh came in to read for Bailey and they offered it to her, but she was more interested in Cristina.

- Jim Pickens was the only person they wanted for the Chief, the only person who read, and the network said yes immediately. Sweet!

Real vs. Fake

- Ellen did a lot of takes of throwing up without complaining. It wasn't real vomit (of course); it was apples or applesauce, that kind of thing.

- Isaiah Washington learned the entire surgery and performed it over and over for 8 hours straight, saying all the instructions, etc. to the nurses. Too bad they only made a brief montage with a song playing instead of Isaiah's lines. All that memorization went unappreciated...until now! Wooooo - go Isaiah!

- The shot of the brain during the rhythmic gymnast's surgery was a real brain. Ew! (Also, with the extreme dopeyness of the girl, I wasn't sure she actually had one.)

Outside the Operating Room

- Originally the interns were going to hang out in the morgue, rather than the tunnels underneath the hospital. Everybody loves the tunnels now. (Me too--the morgue would be too morbid. It doesn't fit the effervescent tone of a lot of the show.)

- They've tried to stay away from the 'patient of the week' syndrome; it's more how the doctors deal with the patients and feel about them.

- During the scene after the surgery where Meredith talks to McDreamy, he only says "Yeah" - his other direction was just to "enjoy her". (Yeah, he did okay. If charm were a sport, Patrick Dempsey would dominate.)

- Shonda expected through the whole pilot process that the closing scene where Meredith goes to see her Alzheimer's-afflicted mom would get push-back and be cut. (Again, I'm glad it wasn't. I think it hit the right tone for the show and made me want to see where the story would go.)

The second set of DVD's, with a whopping 27 episodes, sounds like it'll have a bunch of great extras as well. We can look forward to savoring it, and every glorious hair on Patrick Dempsey's head, on September 12th.

Oh, and by the way? Even Shonda Rhimes makes a "shades of gray" pun about her own show. I feel a lot better about my dumb puns now. Whew!

C'mon, c'mon, go watch some clips

Behind The Office cast, the good people who make Rescue Me are probably second on my list of people with whom I'd like to work.

In John Scurti's anti-blog for TV Guide, you can learn about the man, the myth, and the madness behind his character, Kenny 'Lou' Shea. You can also learn about numerous fake behind-the-scenes antics. Scurti has a wicked tongue and a way with words, and his entries entertain even as they make me concerned for the mental well-being of all those involved with the show. He'd be an intelligent and irreverent guy to banter with in front of or off camera.

For more evidence on why the team would be great to work with, check out a few behind the scenes clips from the show. The crew really seems to love making fun of each other and themselves. I'm all about self- and team-mockery, so I'd fit right in.

Since I'd be one of the few ladies on the show, I'd probably miss Diane Farr. As a viewer, I miss having her around. I know she's over on Numb3rs now (where she doesn't have to haul around the heavy firefighter equipment), but I could understand if you don't want to watch that; it ain't no RM. I've respected Diane for a long time after her classy response to a broken engagement: she sent out a smart, wry card to all her wedding invitees ("Picked the wrong guy. Gave him the wrong finger."), then founded a greeting card company for awkward situations just like hers. She could haul me out of a flaming building anytime.

Can't get enough Rescue Me info? Check out the blogger chat with Denis Leary (reveals some plot points), or, if you're big into the music of the show, check out the Music Lounge on the FX website. You can listen to clips of all the songs on the soundtrack and read liner notes from Denis Leary.

TV on DVD: The Office

It's hard to endure a summer free of "That's what she said"s...unless you have your very own Michael Scott at your office. (Shudder.) But we'll get through it--through a combination of repeats (tonight's ep is "Email Surveillance", one of my favorites), commentary (duh), and gritty determination (you've got that, right? RIGHT?).

The repeat will wait for tonight. On to the commentary!

This time, we've got commentary on the pilot episode, and it's loaded: we get comments from the director and the US executive producer, along with John Krasinski (Jim), Jenna Fischer (Pam), Rainn Wilson (Dwight), B.J. Novak (Ryan), and Steve Carell (Michael). (I totally did not just type Jim Krasinski, then have to correct myself. For the record.)

- The pilot was shot maybe 6-8 months earlier than the rest of the episodes.

- Dwight unlocks his phone from a drawer in the pilot. This is total continuity to the "Conflict Resolution" episode, when it's explained that Jim filled it with nickels as a prank.

- Rainn used to be an acting teacher.

- Some of the actual office staff, like the accountants, are in the group scenes of the pilot.

- NBC didn't try to get rid of any of the smaller, quiet moments in favor of more jokes. It's good because those "uncomfortable moments and long pauses" really set the tone of the show. (Good call, NBC. Now why don't you treat Scrubs better? And while you're at it, get Everwood renewed. Atta network.)

- The network actually wanted to play up the Jim-Pam relationship; that's one of the only notes they gave them. John and Jenna improvised a lot during the pilot. During one of their scenes together, the director told them to "just flirt."

- The casting director said to Jenna 1) don't wear makeup - be as plain as possible 2) dare to bore her.

- Audition ad libs included Dwight hitting on Pam after hearing she broke up with Roy and Dwight being suspicious of Jim giving him a glass of water. One of Jenna's audition scenes was the scene where Pam breaks down crying. They cut a line in that scene that said "You're a sad little man."

- The first question Jenna asked when she got the role was "Did John Krasinski get the role of Jim?" (OMG JAM IS SO MFEO...ahem.)

- Unlike Pam, Jenna couldn't keep a straight face during Steve's "Six Million Dollar Man" scene. They eventually had to shoot her stuff separately.

- It was too hard to make the jello-encased coffee mug work; they used silicon instead. (What a relief. Now I can quit trying to replicate it! But whatever will I do with my caseful of lemon Jello?)

Season One came out on DVD August 16th last year. So when will they announce the Season Two DVDs? Let's hope they're as loaded with commentaries as the first set.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

TV on DVD: Felicity

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been watching a lot of classic Felicity episodes - complete with commentary.

Some of the commentary I particularly enjoyed was on two back-to-back episodes--one with Keri Russell and Scott Speedman (Ben), and one with Keri and Scott Foley (Noel).

The chemistry in Keri's commentary is different with each Scott. It's interesting that each one brings out a different side of her, much like Ben and Noel both brought out different sides of Felicity. With Speedman, Keri's much sillier, mocking herself and her costars, embarrassed by everything, dissolving into fits of giggles. With Foley, she's more sentimental, quieter, cracking fewer jokes.

I know that actors are not their characters. Still, it's interesting to think how different things might have been if Foley had ended playing Ben, as he was originally cast.

Enjoy a little compare-and-contrast below.

Keri and "Speedy"

- Speedman describes her short haircut as "trim and pubic-like," which induces a Keri giggle fit. He later says that when he first met Keri, "I saw your hair before I saw you" and thought, Man, she is way too pretty.

- He was too self-conscious to ever watch the Felicity episodes while they aired. Speedy's acting philosophy: "If you don't know what to do, smile." (This philosophy is very evident in his awkward scenes with Keri.)

- Speedman to J.J. Abrams: "Somehow you managed to get me to do a swimming episode and wear a speedo, and for that I'll never forgive you." (Don't worry, J.J. - you have the thanks of fangirls everywhere.)

- Speedman has a terrible, terrible fear of public dancing. It's a "wake up in a cold sweat at 4am" sort of fear. Meanwhile, Keri Russell is terrible at drawing.

- In a scene where Ben is meant to be looking at Felicity lustfully, Scott describes himself as looking more stoned and staring at dip. "More hungry than horny," as he puts it, saying clearly he should have asked for another take. Later on in the episode, when Ben fails to show up for a meeting with Felicity, Scott jokes: "What a nutbag. You know where he is, he's probably at an all-you-can-eat place." Keri and I both fight off laughter.

Keri and Foley

- Keri and this Scott get as involved with the storylines as viewers did. When Keri liked an episode, she wished her life was really like that. Scott Foley says something similar about how close he felt to the characters; that he truly was affected and sad when Felicity didn't choose Noel. (This may be because, as Keri and Foley put it, they're the corniest, most sentimental people on the show. Foley: "Who doesn't like Kenny Loggins?")

- Keri's favorite episode was the pilot.

- Robert Patrick Benedict (Richard) and Scott Foley waited tables together back in the day.

- Keri Russell and Amanda Foreman (Meghan) both used to watch The Bachelorette, then talk about it together.

- Scott Foley and Keri Russell have a conversation about their pets, as if they're not even being taped. Keri has cats. (It's a little sad because Scott mentions his ex-wife, who he met on the set.)

Through all the commentary, their love of the cast and crew comes through. They describe the creators as passionate and extreme. Example: After Keri's first talk show experience went badly, J.J. came with her to do Jay Leno. This was such a special show that Keri wouldn't ever want to do another TV show. Too bad for us!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

TV on DVD: Rescue Me

In my efforts to provide better-quality recaps of Rescue Me, I've been watching the first season on DVD, and I must say, I'm loving the show. Denis Leary has created one hell of a character for himself in Tommy Gavin: sarcastic, fiery, emotional, disturbed, sexy, brave, and hostile. If Logan Echolls decided to grow up and fight fires, I imagine he'd turn out a lot like Tommy.

The pilot commentary by Denis Leary and executive producer Peter Tolan, who co-wrote the episode, is surprisingly informative. Unlike some of the other commentary I've heard, they don't ramble about unrelated things and they remember the episode quite well. What also surprised me is that cussing in the commentary is bleeped out. What the #$%@? Cussing is to Denis Leary as cuddling is to a puppy; it's natural, and I like watching it.

So let's get down to the details:

- The speech Tommy gives to new firefighters is based on a real speech given by a friend of Denis'. Mike Lombardi, who plays Siletti, had to watch the speech as part of his prep.

- Denis Leary is a habitual line-stepper. They said he couldn't give the finger, but he did it anyway. They also wanted to take out some of the racial slurs, and the line "surrounded by fags", but Leary wouldn't budge.

- Denis' son found the theme song, "C'mon C'mon." Originally, they had some slower music and fewer cuts, but Denis wanted something energetic that would bring to mind an engine roaring out of the firehouse. When they re-cut it with the new song and faster pace, everyone was happier. To quote Denis: "Again, I was f---ing right, and the world was wrong."

- The throwaway joke where the Chief asks Garrity to get a box and he brings back a bag was improvised.

- Leary sneaks in t-shirts all the time, often for the Leary Firefighters Foundation or other organizations.

- The hepatitis gag (where they trick the Probie into leaving the urine and stool samples on the Chief's desk) is an actual gag from a real firehouse. The "river of piss" is also based on real life. Consequently, I am really gagging now.

- They filmed a scene where Tommy spies on his ex-wife dressing across the street; Andrea Roth went topless for the scene and they had to clear the whole street for privacy, but it ended up being cut.

- The chick who comes on to Tommy in the pilot, Marissa Clark, was one of the two finalists in on the show Outback Jack, which prevented her from appearing in later episodes. (I remember her! She was less emotionally available than Natalie. Yes, I admit I watched Outback Jack. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.)

- There's some very morbid discussion of how firefighters are trained to make it easy for searchers to find their bodies. If a firefighter knows he or she is going to die, they're trained to put their axes or badges somewhere prominent to help locate or identify them.

- "The bitch" is a real nickname firefighters have given for the fire.

- The scene with Denis Leary and the therapist who visits the firehouse was performed in one take. What a pro!

- The whole idea for the show actually began as an idea for a movie, which came to Denis Leary while listening to Coldplay's Don't Panic. Leary ended up using the song at the close of the pilot episode.

Unfortunately, I don't think the second season contains any commentaries; I'll have to make do with the behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Walk or kill to buy this DVD

For Chuck Norris fans, today is a day to do a roundhouse kick of joy. Today, the Complete First Season of Walker: Texas Ranger is released on DVD.

According to Chuck Norris Facts, "When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side." Now that the series is coming out on DVD, Mr. Norris can continue his world domination.

Also, if you're looking for a double dose of kickin' ass and taking names, you might consider picking up the sixth season of MacGyver, also released today.

To truly OD on awesome, invest in the eighth season of Frasier. We all know those Crane brothers were really ninjas in their spare time. Maybe if you buy the DVD, you'll get to see cut footage of them administering roundhouse kicks to their patients as a special sort of therapy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

TV on DVD week begins with AD

This week, the focus is all on TV on DVD. I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite tidbits from the DVD commentary on some of my favorite shows. You can look forward to fun factoids from Rescue Me, Felicity, Firefly, Grey's Anatomy, Veronica Mars, and The Office.

First up: Arrested Development, with commentary on the pilot episode by series creator Mitchell Hurwitz, lead actor Jason Bateman, and co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo. AD is (was) one of my favorite shows and has some of the funniest sight gags, throwaway jokes, and characters in the history of television. As they state themselves, "It's Royal Tenenbaums shot like COPS."

Jason Bateman gets things starting off right by expressing how happy he is to be doing the commentary: "I'm an actor, I love to hear myself talk, so I'm here with bells on." Too bad more of the actors weren't able to participate in the commentary, but Jason's self-mockery will have to do.

Random bits of information to impress and astonish your friends:

- The biggest influence on the tone of the show was the reality TV fad. (To which I say: Thank God it didn't turn out like Bachelorettes in Alaska.)
- Maeby's name comes from a combination of Mitchell Hurwitz' children's names: Maisie and Phoebe.
- They really loaded the show with jokes and extra material that would eventually be cut. Mitchell's motto was: "I want this show to be so funny that we could throw like half of the stuff away and not even notice." Seems like it worked, because whole storylines were often cut.

- The kiss between George-Michael and Maeby was Alia Shawkat's first kiss.
- Even in the pilot episode, they included the ...on the next Arrested Development scenes. In that case, it was a kind of "buy this show and see this stuff" teaser.
- Jeffrey Tambor originally joined AD as a guest star, who wasn't meant to be part of the ongoing series. Mitchell Hurwitz casually invited him to take part in the pilot for a couple days' work, and it stuck.
- David Cross got to pick his character, Tobias, who he really enjoyed playing because it was so different from himself. (Oh, come on, David. We know you're a never-nude too.)
- On Tony Hale's audition tape for Buster he was giving a massage to something off-camera, then at one point simply said 'heeey brother' and the creators knew he was the right guy.
- They created insta-chemistry between George-Michael and Maeby by making them opposites: one fearful, one fearless; one close to parents, one not at all.
- Michael Cera was "maybe the best improviser" on the show because he stayed in character, stayed serious, even after his lines were finished and between takes. But, not surprisingly, David Cross did the most improvisation overall.

Oh, how I miss the Bluths and their wacky ways.

We've got the "ev", what about the "erwood"?

So far, only the first season of Everwood is out on DVD. Only getting the first season is only getting one fourth of the story. What about the rest?

Sounds like we might have to deal with disappointment; more Everwood seasons aren't coming out on DVD anytime soon. Unless the Season One DVDs start selling bigtime, additional seasons may never be released, since the studios seem to care more about profit than about engendering fan loyalty. Lovely.

However, don't despair! Everwood will begin appearing on ABC Family in the fall, according to TV Guide's Matt Roush. No details on when specifically, but it's good news nonetheless.

For all of us who succumb to the siren song of TV on DVD, Everwood's currently appearing at #8 on Amazon's list of top-sellers. It's on sale for the incredible bargain price of just $16.99 - buy it now to experience a great show (and increase the chances that additional seasons will be released).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday movies on TV funhouse

Today, let's celebrate random dudes in film.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion) (12pm, A&E): Is it arts, or entertainment? I'd argue neither, but it does have a choreographed dance sequence with Alan Cumming, so maybe the former.

Erin Brockovitch (2:30pm, TNT): Aaron Eckhart is awesome and a total chameleon. Watch this movie for him as Julia's heart of gold next-door biker boyfriend. Oh, and maybe for her Oscar-winning performance.

Sorority Boys (3pm, Comedy Central): I've been curious about Michael Rosenbaum ever since he was included in a segment of MTV's Cribs, showing he not only owned a karaoke machine, but sings Wham! on it.

Hidalgo (4pm, AMC): I'd watch Viggo Mortensen read a cereal box. I wouldn't, however, pay for it, which is why I didn't see this in theaters. Watch it now to feel the heat. (Of the Sahara. Perverts.)

Sunset Boulevard (5pm, TCM): William Holden, face-down in a pool, is one of my favorite images from a movie ever. Who gives good voiceover? This guy.

Highlander (8:15pm, AMC): Clancy Brown has been in a lot of movies - lots of them voiceover as well. He's even played Lex Luthor in Superman: The Animated Series! Maybe he and Rosenbaum could have a Lex-off.

Old School (8pm, TBS): Vince Vaughn knows how to turn a phrase. Earmuffs! Stereo City commercials! Snoop Dogg! Also, my sister hasn't seen this movie. I have urged her to do so because (1) she can see Ellen Pompeo before she went Grey, (2) it was partly filmed at UCLA as my roommate watched, and (3) it is very, very funny.

Wouldn't Sunset Boulevard and Old School make a lovely double feature? One of them truly is old school, and the other one just has Will Ferrell's flabby ass.

Friday, June 09, 2006

TV Boyfriends: Marshall Eriksen

The tagline of How I Met Your Mother might be "Haaaaaave you met Ted?" but personally, I'm more interested in meeting Marshall. Sure, Barney's funny, but Marshall's the true catch of the bunch: sweet, smart, a little strange. The kind of guy you could bring home to Mom but who'd also be a formidable opponent at strip Scrabble or an excellent executive mischief consultant.

He and Lily may be temporarily broken up, but that won't last long; Marshall's too rare and remarkable a specimen to be given up for some foray into San Franciscan independence. Here are a few reasons why Marshall rocks:

- He has a healthy libido. "You know who likes long distance? Girls. It is all talking and no sex. Kill me now."
- The Olive Theory shows he's a total romantic.
- He makes one sexy (gay?) pirate and has a keen understanding of the art of coordinated costumes.
- He hearts the environment.
- He's got smarts (See exchange with Barney re: the oldest profession. Barney: "I bet even Cro-Magnons used to give cave hookers an extra fish for putting out." Marshall: "So then the oldest profession would be fisherman. Kaboom! You've been lawyered.")
- His sense of humor is delightfully random, like costuming the anchor on the TV during the morning newscast for extra flavor.
- He rocks a suit. Really. Whew! If looking that hot while selling out is wrong, I don't want him to be right.

Jason Segel, who plays Marshall, seems like a pretty great catch as well. I've been a fan since his days on the awesome, dead before its time Freaks and Geeks, and I absolutely bubbled with glee during his guest spot on Alias a couple years back. Also, he was cool enough to have a cameo in Lollilove, Jenna Fischer's movie; in her commentary she mentions a short movie he made as a joke for his girlfriend, which gave Jenna the idea to make a film herself. Pretty groovy.

In summary: Marshall and Jason are both five-star dudes. Stay classy, TV Boyfriends.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Scrubber's delight

Zach Braff has a new website up with a sneak peek at his new movie, The Last Kiss. The movie is a remake of L'Ultimo Bacio, an Italian film from a couple years ago, and is also starring a couple other faces well-known to TV viewers: Rachel Bilson, of The OC fame, and Jacinda Barrett, who somehow managed to find non-trashy fame outside of The Real World.

I'm really interested to see how the movie will translate to American culture, since it seemed to focus on a generation of very Italian "mammoni", or at least men who've resisted growing up. It's being written by Paul Haggis, who also wrote Million Dollar Baby and Crash, which already suggests that it'll have a different tone than the original Italian version. I'm also curious to see how Zach will do in a role that might be something of a stretch to him.

The Last Kiss is scheduled for release on September 15th.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Change: it's not just for your piggy bank

This may sound like a no-brainer, but for a show to be truly meaningful to you, you often have to watch it during the right time in your life. The same thing is true of any kind of art - books, movies, paintings, poems, music; what you connect with at one time in your life may be completely different than if you'd encountered it years earlier or later. Watching Buffy as a teenager was revelatory for me, but who's to say whether watching it later in my life would have the same effect?

My point is, your relationship to a piece of art changes over time as you change. This makes it interesting to go back and rewatch shows you loved at one time from a new perspective. Sometimes, you feel just the same, and other times, you feel completely differently.

I've been thinking all this because I've been watching Felicity again, right from the beginning. When I first watched 'The Fugue', the episode in which she loses her virginity, I was furious with Felicity. What was she thinking? She wasn't supposed to sleep with some poser sensitivo art student punk! (Insert adolescent fuming here.) But rewatching the episode, I'm surprised by how much Felicity's actions don't bother me this time around. Certainly, I'm not applauding Simon Rex as her choice for the deflowering man of the hour (poor!), but I'm not upset at Felicity like I was back then.

It's more than just feeling differently about certain aspects of the show - it's connecting with things you didn't the first time around. For example I didn't remember this exchange from the first season finale, where Felicity's debating whether to go with Ben on a road trip or Noel to Berlin, but I absolutely loved it on rewatch:

Felicity: "I can't go with you because that would make me the Devil!"
Ben: "You are not the Devil." ...
Felicity: "What if I am, then what?"
Ben: "Then I'd still want you to come with me."

Cute and sweet and earnest as Noel was, he was always the safe choice for Felicity. When I first watched Felicity, I wanted her to make the safe choice. I wanted her to make the choice that wouldn't put her heart at risk, because Ben was almost certain to disappoint her. But that wasn't what Felicity wanted. She wanted the challenge, someone to make her feel alive and complicated, who would let her make mistakes because he'd make them too.

Maybe my taste has just changed from font-loving geeks to swim-loving delinquents, but I don't think that's it. I think it's that I now have empathy and respect for the struggle to choose between what looks right on paper and what feels right to you. Felicity made the decision that was right for her. She, and I as a viewer, just had to do a bit of living to understand that.

Has your opinion of any shows changed between your first viewing and a later viewing? What about music or movies?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'm shocked they didn't (over)use the song "Heroes"

One of the new shows this fall that I'm really looking forward to is NBC's Heroes, in which normal people awaken with extraordinary powers like teleportation, telepathy, levitation, and all kinds of interesting stuff. I'd caught a very brief Milo Ventimiglia-centric teaser a few weeks back, and now NBC has the full four and a half-minute clip up.

You can go to the NBC site to watch it. The plan is for it to air Mondays at 9 in the fall. Wow, I just realized that's the same time as Everwood. Just as Nina was not meant to replace Julia, in no way is Heroes meant to replace Everwood, but it might still be good.

Bonus Cast Member Trivia: It stars Greg Grunberg, who I have loved since his early days as Sean-the-Smoothaise-king on Felicity, Hayden Panettiere, who once played Ally McBeal's shark-jumping daughter, and Adrian Pasdar, who's married to the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks.

Monday, June 05, 2006

If I were bitter, I'd call it Overwood. But I'm not.

I had trouble enjoying last week's episode of Everwood. Not because the episode was bad; on the contrary, it was wonderful and heartfelt and well-written, classic Everwood. No, I couldn't properly enjoy it because I was all too aware that it was one of the last episodes I'd ever get to enjoy.

It's like the last day of a visit with a friend or to a place you know you won't see again. You want to soak in every minute, every nuance, but so many of the things you say and do already feel like goodbyes that you can't properly enjoy it. One thing it made me aware of: Everwood is certainly going before its time. There's much more for these characters to express and experience, and I'll miss them dearly.

However, I'm a perennial optimist, so I'm already wondering what some of the wonderful actors from this show will be doing next. Here are my completely off-the-wall fantasy suggestions for a few of our beloved Everwood denizens:

Sarah Drew (Hannah): I know Deadwood is nearly over, but I'd love to see Sarah do something completely different, like a period drama. Can't you just see her as a bonneted prostitute, swearing her way through town? Just me, then.

Chris Pratt (Bright): Let's all say hello to the new intern/male nurse on Scrubs! Silly humor is right up his alley. Plus, maybe we'd get to see if he can dance like Turk.

Treat Williams (Andy): I'd like to see our favorite confident surgeon take on the Cylons over on Battlestar Galactica. His commanding presence would fit in well with the whole military atmosphere of the show, and he could vie with Edward James Olmos for Mary McDonnell's affections. Solid.

Gregory Smith (Ephram): Sensitive, smart, knows how to deal with difficult women...I'm thinking he could take a jaunt over to Stars Hollow to romance Rory on Gilmore Girls. His bantering muscle would get some much-needed exercise.

Tom Amandes (Harold): It's a stretch, but I think Tom can do anything, and I'd like to see him more hardened and driven. I'm thinking he should be the agent hunting down the escaped Michael Scofield over on Prison Break. Dr. Abbott with a gun and an agenda? Badass.

Emily Van Camp (Amy): Sweet, neat Amy needs to get down and dirty. Let's put her on Lost! We can grubby her up, give her a really tawdry backstory, and let her run wild, possibly with a spear of some sort.

Stephanie Niznik (Nina): Even though I really loved Keith with Alicia, I think I could handle Veronica's dad dating someone this sweet and down-to-earth. We already know he likes blondes and she can handle her honey's challenging children. It's a win-win! To Veronica Mars she goes!

Of course, my ideal fantasy would be for the entire cast and crew to replace those smarmy youngsters on One Tree Hill. They could keep the essential relationships of the show (half brothers, friends, couples, and so on), but the writing and acting would improve about 300%, thereby rendering it watchable.

Show runner Rina Mimoun has moved on. I'll try my best to enjoy tonight's finale, then do the same.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What would your favorite character be watching?

For some reason a lot of today's movies reminded me of some TV characters.

Dazed and Confused (12PM, E!): It's in Pam's top three. So suck it.

American Gigolo (12:30, WE): Lorelai, Lane, Rory, and Sookie were very disappointed not to see this during Lane's bachelorette party. Don't let yourself suffer the same fate.

Road Trip (1:50, TBS): Okay, Felicity would probably not enjoy this movie, but I just watched the season one finale and I know she chooses the road trip with Ben, so it seems sort of fitting.

Heathers (5PM, Sundance): JTT probably watched this before taping Weapons of Class Destruction, in order to deliver his spot-off Christian Slater impression.

Cruel Intentions (8PM, ABC Family): I'm pretty sure this must be the favorite movie of all the One Tree Hill kids, for all their sordidness. I'm also kind of appalled that this is on the ABC Family channel. What are children meant to be learning from this?

I've learned one thing: I'll be watching Rescue Me instead of movies on TV today.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Smokin' hot

Just as I suspected I would, I loved Rescue Me. Pitch black humor? Just my style. Men heckling each other? Music to my ears. Plus, some great lines and disturbing stuff throughout. My favorite exchange was about snakes:

Tommy: Snakes, that's some real Satan-type bullshit right there.
Franco: Just thinking about some legless, leathery...what's the word I'm looking for here...?
Chief: Cock.

Hee. Dirty! This show knows how to combine the silly (Tommy taunting Franco about the snake only to get freaked out by a "snake" himself) with the spiteful (Janet sleeping with Johnny) and the horrific (Janet telling Tommy she was glad their son died so he couldn't turn out just like Tommy) with the heroic (Tommy bringing a little girl back to life).

Though if it weren't so good, I'd probably watch it anyway. Why? 'Cause Denis Leary just fans my flames. He's a hunka burnin' love, a pyromaniac's dream, and other bad fire-related metaphors for hotness. The Ref, sure, everybody likes that, but I actually liked Two If By Sea. That's a fan...or maybe just a gal with bad taste.

To get my RDA of Tommy Gavin, I might try to watch the first season this weekend (with the bonus of getting caught up enough on RM to do some recaps for GMMR). Should be fun!

An uphill Battlestar

For weeks I've been saying Battlestar Galactica deserves an Emmy. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. As fate would have it, the likelihood of a BSG Emmy nom just increased, if only a bit. It turns out that SciFi knows a good thing when they've got it, and they're running a nice shiny Emmy campaign for the show.

It's nice to see a network taking good care of one of its shows...even if SciFi is making all of us BSG devotees wait until frakkin' October for new episodes.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fleecin' it out

Today we have the pleasure of not just one but four episodes of The Office. True, they're all repeats, but the beauty of a show this layered and hilarious is that you'll catch things on rewatch that you missed the first time. With all the actors staying in character in the background, the reaction shots are reason enough to watch the show.

Tonight they're airing:

The Fire: I missed this episode the first time around, so I'm really excited to see it this time. That reminds me of NBC's abysmal rerun campaign a few years back: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!" There is a spork, and I am gagging myself with it.

Halloween: I've seen Dwight as Darth Sidious. If I had a spirit inhabiting my body like Phoebe once did, watching this episode would be the "now, I've seen everything" moment that would allow my spirit to depart for the great beyond.

The Client: Michael manages to be marginally competent at his job, and sublimely incompetent at writing an action screenplay. One of the best table reads ever results.

Performance Review: The only thing I can recall about this episode is Jim and Pam trying to convince Dwight that it was Friday rather than Thursday. It's probably at about this point in the series that my ardor for Jim began to take hold, interfering with my focus on other storylines.

If you really want to go for an Office bonanza, you could watch Lollilove, which Jenna Fischer, aka Pam, wrote and directed with her husband, James Gunn. I watched it this morning, and got a great start to my day. Lollilove is a mockumentary about a couple who decide to start a charity handing out lollipops to homeless people. It's self-deprecating, politically incorrect, and funny as hell. I'll probably do a longer post about it another time, but it's definitely a must for Office-ianados, as GMMR puts it.