Monday, July 31, 2006

Will viewers gobble up these serials?

I feel like TV shows traditionally can be lumped into one of two categories: shows with stand-alone episodes that you can view in almost any order you like (procedurals, some sitcoms), and shows with ongoing storylines that you have to watch sequentially (24, anyone?).

I've always been a fan of the latter, though I understand that there is quite a strong following for the former--people who like Law & Order or CSI. Personally, I prefer shows with continuing plot threads because they don't seem to exist in one moment in time. They allow for character development and the feeling that you are really a part of the lives you're witnessing onscreen.

Not everyone prefers that, certainly. That's fine--to each his own, and all that. I can see the value in being able to dip into a show whenever you feel like it and not feel completely lost. To be so familiar with characters and enjoy that familiarity, knowing that they won't have changed the next time you happen to check in with them. There's something comforting and relaxing about that, I'm sure. And it definitely requires less ongoing attention and mental energy than a serial.

However, I enjoy expending my mental energy on TV. I like to become involved in the lives of the characters and to feel the weight of time pass in their lives. I've liked hybrid shows, like The X-Files, that had some stand-alone episodes and some mythology episodes. In fact, I think many of my favorite shows, have been shows that blend one-shot episodes with larger plot lines--BtVS and VM, for example. I just need something to propel me forward from one episode to the next.

While I could go on and on about why serialized shows appeal to me, Matt Roush at TV Guide does an interesting overview of how the upcoming TV season is heavily weighted in favor of the serialized drama. So what's behind it? Perhaps the success of shows like Lost and Prison Break, which require sequential, multi-episode viewing in order to fully understand, has influenced network executives.

However, for many of these serialized shows to succeed, it may be integral that the networks give them time to grow. So often shows get cancelled if they don't perform as expected right from the start. But if a show is allowed to keep improving and building an audience, there's little more satisfying than watching plots run their natural course and play out as they should.

Reading Matt's post, it occurs to me the serializing a show isn't enough to make it interesting to me. I don't just need something, I need compelling characters that I care about in order for it to be worthwhile viewing, in my opinion.

So what type of shows do you prefer? Do you think that the influx of serial shows in the schedule spells disaster, or that some have a chance for survival?

Friday, July 28, 2006

TV Boyfriends: Lee "Apollo" Adama

This can have my hand anytime. Since recently becoming obsessed with the Battlestar Galactica Season Three promo, I've been giving Apollo a lot of thought...not that I didn't do that already. Listen: imagine there's less than 50,000 people left to choose from (less than 25,000 if you're picky about gender). With those odds, when you find an relatively stable guy who's this attractive, you stop looking and start obsessing.

Of course, with a sample size that small, you're not going to find the perfect guy. But let's see how close Apollo comes.


- If your Viper needs piloting, look no further. This guy knows how to handle his bird with finesse.

- Loyal beyond reason. If you're lost or hurt, he'll search for you and care for you beyond what you'd expect or hope for.

- When he grins, he lights up a room. It's a smile so open and boyish, it could make you forget about the constant threat of human extinction by Cylons.

- If you do something wrong -- like, say, shoot him -- he'll forgive you. (Note: this may not extend to making out with other guys in front of him.)

- Insert witty comment here while I just stare at his abs. Or arms. Or jaw. Ack! So much chiseled flesh, cannot look away!


- Already involved with Dualla (just physical?) and Kara (definitely emotional).

- Father, dead brother, and ditched fiancee issues lead to him being just a wee bit tortured. (Fortunately, he wears angst well.)

- May have developed an addiction to noodles during year on Galactica while protecting New Caprica.

I think it's a safe bet to say that if the charming Jamie Bamber, who plays Lee, were ever to use his genuine British accent on the show, I'd probably spontaneously combust.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

IIIIII don't want to work, I just want to...

You guessed it--I want to watch TV all day!

Well, not quite. I do like my day job. But work has been quite busy this week, which explains the dearth of posts (or at least their brevity and lack of creativity). Since I've been so focused on work, I thought I'd do a brief post about my top ten TV workplaces! And before you ask: no, Doublemeat Palace is not on this list. (I suppose I could have listed "the graveyard" but that seems a tad morbid.)

Here they are classified ads for each position, in no particular order:

1. The West Wing
Description: Seeking young, well-educated, quirkly attractive American citizens. Democrats preferred.
Requirements: Must have 1) a sense of civic duty 2) the ability to talk very, very quickly 3) experience sublimating sexual frustration into quality work.
Benefits: A sense of purpose in life and the feeling that you're contributing to the greater good.

2. The Dragonfly Inn
Description: Seeking well-dressed, customer service-oriented front desk clerk with a desire to serve the whims and charms of small town occupants and visitors.
Requirements: Must be able to tolerate manic and eccentric colleagues and customers. No college education required, but must be able to think on your feet.
Benefits: All the witty banter and gourmet food you can stomach.

3. SD-6 (or the CIA or APO)
Description: We'd tell you, but we'd have to kill you.
Requirements: Fluent in at least 10 spoken and programming languages. Skilled with blades and weapons of all kinds. Willing to let yourself, and your personal relationships, take a hit for the job. Strong sense of patriotism. Superman (or Superwoman) complex optional.
Benefits: The knowledge that you could take anyone out. At any time. No questions asked.

4. The Daily Planet
Description: Seeking trained investigative reporter for regular columns, features, and the occasional Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial.
Requirements: Must not suffer from vertigo. Spelling skills not necessary. Myopia encouraged. Must be dogged, determined, resourceful, and a closet romantic.
Benefits: One-on-one interviews (and more) with one of the planet's most eligible bachelors.

5. Dunder Mifflin
Description: Seeking qualified salesperson with intimate, detailed knowledge of paper products and trends.
Requirements: Must be college educated, creative, assertive, communicative, and willing to be bored out of your skull by never using any of the skills or qualities previously listed.
Benefits: One amazing coworker.

6. Angel Investigations
Description: Seeking intelligent office manager with an interest in the occult.
Requirements: Must be able to wield an axe/crossbow, read ancient Etruscan, communicate with clients in the great beyond and in the office. Comfortable helping carry 240+ years of baggage.
Benefits: High probability of hook-up with hot coworker/boss--provided you're hot for a room-temperature body.

7. Mars Investigations
Description: Seeking detail-oriented, innately curious, efficient receptionist. Occasional undercover and surveillance work may be involved, at your discretion, if you have any discretion.
Requirements: Must have a PhD in snark and an above-average sense of personal responsibility. Must be canine-friendly. Hazy ethical boundaries a plus.
Benefits: Your boss will walk through fire for you. Plus, dirt on potential friends, boyfriends, and coworkers is just a mouse click away.

8. Seattle Grace
Description: Seeking medically trained intern for life-saving and liaisons.
Requirements: Scalpel skills essential. Must be able to tolerate negative feedback, function with minimal sleep, and flourish under pressure.
Benefits: Around every corner, you'll run into an attractive coworker who can cut you right to the heart--literally. Plus, there's always someone to gossip about.

9. Dean & DeLuca
Description: Seeking unskilled laborer for part-time counter job. No room for promotions--menial workers only sought.
Requirements: Must be able to take direction in heavily-accented English, be comfortable wearing a hairnet, and be open to stockroom shenanigans.
Benefits: Muffins, bagels, croissants, coffee, and all the black baseball caps you could dream of, plus a new lifelong friend, your boss.

10. Central Perk/Monk's Restaurant (tie)
Description: Seeking skilled waitress/hostess with 10+ years experience in a busy cafe environment.
Requirements: Must be able to deal with idiosyncratic, rude, self-involved regulars who may hit on you with little regard for your feelings.
Benefits: All the coffee you can drink and bragging rights to having witnessed some of the most bizarre interactions and conversations between New Yorkers.

Honorable Mention: FYI, Stuckeyville Lanes, Sports Night, WNYX, the FBI, and CTU.

Note: For a real office experience, check out Brian Baumgartner's blog over at TV Guide. Like me, the cast of The Office is at work again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The Television Critics Association held their awards ceremony on Sunday. While the TCA Awards aren't highly publicized, it seems that they're respected by people in the business. The ceremony was hosted by Mary Lynn Rajskub (better known to 24 viewers as Chloe) and surprisingly boasted a high number of star attendees (probably because they let the winners know beforehand so they'll be likely to show up).

I posted a bunch of the nominees back in May, and the winners are listed below:

"Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

"The Office" (NBC) (my pick)

"Lost" (ABC)

Steve Carell ("The Office") (Lauren Graham will never win anything. Ever.)

Hugh Laurie ("House") (my pick)

"My Name Is Earl" (NBC) (my pick)

Of the categories I looked at, I batted .500. Not bad! Though I still really would've loved for Lauren Graham to take home an award, I'll admit Steve Carell deserved it as well. (You can see his acceptance speech over at GMMR.)

One critic, Tim Goodman, offers his inside point of view about the ceremony and the winners at his blog. From his description, the TCA awards are more offbeat, intimate, and low-key than other awards shows. They aren't exactly thought of as the redheaded stepchild of awards shows, but they're far away from having the spotlight and cache of the Emmy awards.

Speaking of the Emmy's, they're just a scant month away now. TV Guide has full coverage and predictions. I guess they aren't familiar with the concept of procrastination! (I'll try to get to my predictions and wish-would-be-winners up soon.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So jealous: not just a song featured on VM

Veronica Mars fans might know the Tegan & Sarah song "So Jealous" from the Season Two episode Green-Eyed Monster. However, it's also an accurate description of me this week as I read through all the great accounts of people's experiences at Comic-Con and TCA. Though I'm sad to have missed all of it, I'm particularly bummed that I didn't get to enjoy the Veronica Mars Comic-Con panel on Saturday. However if, like me, you'd like to live vicariously through those who did attend, you're welcome to enjoy all the lovely links below.

- TV Guide's Daniel Manu, who acted as moderator for the panel, shares a few highlights. (Only slightly spoilery.)

- Pop Candy's Whitney Matheson, who geeked out over all sorts of comic-related and unrelated goodness, including the VM panel.

- The ever-amazing has interviews up with Ryan Hansen (aka Dick "sometimes you don't need the prettiest horse" Casablancas") and Jason Dohring (aka Logan, my favorite maternal-expletive-spewer).

- Cast pics from the TCA's can be found at GMMR. Man, is Kristen Bell pretty!

- Video interviews with KBell and the adorable Dohrings can be found at Eonline (scroll down). It's sweet to see Jason give his wife the same I'm-so-into-you look that Logan gives Veronica.

- It is almost universally acknowledged that the highlight was Ryan doing a bit of Michael Jackson-inspired dancing and a backflip. Check him out!

Oh - and for you BSG fans who've been scouring the net for Comic-Con dish, go check out Maureen Ryan's blog.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tremors of psychitude

So, a couple weeks ago I told you all how excited I was to check out the new USA show Psych. Well, I'm happy to report that I've watched the show, and it was everything I was looking for.

PsychI'll be up front and admit that I'm predisposed to like any show that quotes Reality Bites (Shawn to Mr. Stick-Up-His-Ass detective: What's your glitch?). But it's more than just the pop-culture references that make this show a worthy addition to my weekly viewing schedule. It's the fact that like its main character, Psych doesn't take itself too seriously.

The show is perfect for a Friday night - light, funny, and requiring minimal brain power. James Roday, as main fake psychic detective Shawn, has charm to spare and a face that sparks with mischief. His pent-up energy propels him from each case to the next, punctuated by spastic 'psychic episodes' that are hilarious and embarrassing to watch. Dulé Hill, as his buddy Gus, is along for the ride, doing his best to keep Shawn out of too much trouble, and helping out with a clue here and there. The pair have great chemistry, and as I suspected, it's fun to see Hill letting loose with a role that's outside Charlie territory.

Case in point: do yourself a favor and watch the "Man in the Mirror" Psych Out - you'll be treated to a new side of Hill.

I don't mind that the mysteries aren't so complex or aren't very credible. I don't tune in for the mysteries, I tune in for the characters. And from their tagline, that's just the way the USA network would want it.

Friday, July 21, 2006

TV Ex-Boyfriends: Clark Kent/Superman

Sure, the internet was all atwitter with most-downloaded-Lois, but it was Clark who really caught my eye in the late summer of '93 when Lois & Clark premiered. From the moment he took to the skies in spandex, he owned my pre-teen heart.

Was it his irresistible maroon suit jacket/light blue shirt/patterned tie ensembles that made that heart flutter? The bashful smile and sidelong glance he'd send Lois' way? The fact that coupledom with Clark meant never having to say you're sorry you couldn't open a jar? Probably all of the above--a combination of physical strength combined with emotional vulnerability for maximum attractiveness.

Let's just review how Clark/Kal-El/Superman ranks on the scale of super-dateability.

Moral fiber: 10. "Integrity" is Superman's middle name. This is a guy who says he fights for truth, justice, and the American way...instead of fighting for booze, injustice, or the right to party, like so many of today's modern men.

Intelligence: 8. As a newspaper reporter, Clark knows his way around a sentence. He also ought to have an impressive grasp of geography in order to fly himself around the planet without getting lost. However, I docked points for his inability to dispose of that pesky kryptonite stuff in a lasting manner.

Sense of humor: 8. Though some consider puns the laziest, lamest form of humor, my grandfather would most certainly approve of Clark's aptitude for punniness. After Clark stops an escaping suspect by trapping him with a spare tire, Lois asks him, "How'd you catch up with him?" His response: "He got tired." Guffaw!

Appearance: 11. They don't call him "The Man of Steel" because he likes ironworking, people.

Sex appeal: 10. Power corrupts, and absolute power to save the world corrupts my brain with its smoking hotness. Plus, costumes!

The numbers don't lie (and neither does Superman). If you won his heart, he'd be loyal for the rest of your life...which, let's face it, might be short since you'd immediately become the prey of every twisted supervillain in the vicinity of Metropolis.

As a teenage girl, I was certain dating Clark would be worth whatever tragedy might befall me. However, as I aged my tastes changed. Superman is the ultimate good guy. As far as fictional boyfriends go, I started to like the bad boys a little better, so the time came when Clark and I had to go our separate ways. However, Dean Cain, his portrayer, will always hold a special place in my heart as my first star crush.

Fun fact: Dean was the first guy to audition for the part of Superman in Lois & Clark. They initially thought he was too young; good thing they came around!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

TV tidbits

- According to this interview, Ron Livingston is totally right for my sister. Except for that pesky twelve-year age gap.

- Prison Break is going to have to look for another mistress of evil, since VP Patricia Wettig won't be coming back. Maybe they'll recast her, like her undead bro Terrance Steadman.

- Alan Sepinwall, one of my favorite TV critics, has a great and quite candid interview with David Rosenthal, new Gilmore Girls showrunner. (Note: it's a bit spoilery.)

- America Ferrera, who headlines the new show Ugly Betty, reminded me why it would suck to work in Hollywood. Though they make her look a bit homely in the show, America definitely begs a bad pun about her name and one of this country's famous songs. She's a doll.

- Thoughts on laugh tracks. Interesting tidbit: when doing Friends, they often had to turn down the audience reaction because it sounded so much like a laugh track. Who knew?

- For some reason, I decided to watch a bunch of Friends bloopers. If you need a laugh, I heartily recommend this and this and this.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

BSG giddy!

Since the hiatus between new Battlestar Galactica episodes has been so long already, I thought I might not get too excited for the new episodes. I was wrong.

There's a new trailer floating around for Season Three, and it has left me in an absolute tizzy. Watch it! Then come be in a tizzy with me!

I'm going to do my darnedest not to get too spoiled for the new season, but it's hard because I know there's already a lot of information out there. Maybe I'll just have to limit myself to rewatching the entire show to get pumped for Season Three. New Caprica, woo!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Candles are, like, so passe!

In honor of the lovely Kristen Bell's 26th birthday (felicitations, Kristen!), I present 26 of my favorite Veronica quotes. It occurs to me that not all of these quotes read that funny; it's a tribute to Kristen's awesome delivery that they all come off smart and snappy onscreen.

Let me know if you've got a favorite!

1. "I mean, if it's as big as you say, I'll be your girlfriend. We could go to prom together!"
2. "You wanna know how I lost my virginity? So do I."
3. "Just as God made me."
4. "Sometimes people find it very difficult to say no to me."
5. "I'd believe cartoon birds braided your hair this morning."
6. "Just be glad I don't flip my hair. I'd own you."
7. "I have that exact same platitude-a-day calendar at home. It's how I know beauty comes from within."
8. "I could write down that I met Kid Rock every weekend at the Hedonism Lodge for sensual massage and smoothies, but that doesn't make it true."
9. "You must feel really safe at night, when the dragons come."
10. "If you want people to leave you alone, Mandy, or better yet, treat you with respect, demand it. Make them."
11. "It's all fun and games until one of you gets my foot up your ass."
12. "I bet on you, and I lost. I've been doing that my whole life. And I'm through."
13. "What are you saying, you're not pretty?"
14. "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you're near?"
15. "I remember that summer. He was a roadie for White Snake, I was singing backup for Boyz II Men."
16. "The only way I'd ever make two grand in a week working at the Hut is if they installed a pole."
17. "You know sometimes, when I'm feeling a little, I don't know, glum, I like to get a little Pirate love."
18. "You're here for your looks. Why don't you leave the heavy thinking to me, sugarpants. Now go make yourself pretty."
19. "Because saving your ass with comment, it works better for me."
20. "So when you rented The Thomas Crown Affair, McQueen, or Brosnan?"
21. "And if it were in, say, Maine, I'd be excited. But it's in Neptune, so I'm not excited. I'll go, but just to skip school, which excites me."
22. "You undercounted the sassy."
23. "Think back eighteen years: small, blonde, baby. Born ready."
24. "Dancing around in your underwear with the curtains open is always good. And if you're in chat rooms, and they suggest meeting face to face, do it in an abandoned railroad car down by the river side."
25. "You'd have the cops crawling all over you. Right? What do you think, Madison?"
26. "Easygoing Veronica Mars. That's what the kids at school call me."

May she live to be 100! (And may the show generate sufficient quotage to mark that milestone.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Veronica heart...Jim?

Have you ever wondered what characters on your favorite TV shows would think of other TV shows? With my level of obsession with all things television, I certainly have. Ever since Spike professed his love of Passions, I've been entertained and surprised by the tuning tastes of my TV friends. We've got evidence of a few cross-network fans, including George Michael and Maeby watching Veronica Mars, Dwight enjoying Battlestar Galactica, and J.D. absorbed in Grey's Anatomy.

And now, thanks to the Neptune Navigator, we have an idea of whether Gia Goodman would rate Supernatural as any good and, more importantly, what Veronica and Logan might think of Season 1 of The Office (US). We're lucky enough to be privy to a fictitious IM chat/critique of the first season.

This, my friends, is great writing. It's smart, it's funny, it's in-character, and it's available here. If you like Logan-Veronica conversations that are snarky and full of subtext, look no further than the Neptune Navigator, brought to you by some lovely people who put their summer free time to good use. (Props to the Navigator staff...and pleas to keep writing, since it's a looong time till October 3rd.)

TV-free? You're not better than me.

In an excellent recent article from the Connecticut Post, writer Amanda Cuda talks about why people who don't watch TV have nothing to be proud of.

Cuda defends television as a valuable source of information and entertainment, making the case that people who don't watch TV out of some elitist idea that they are "too good for TV" are really the ones missing out. To all those people who are superior about watching television, she has this to say:

"By eliminating an entire source of information and entertainment from your life, I argue that you are actually less enlightened than me and my tube-viewing brethren."

Just--WORD. As an avid reader, I've certainly been guilty of judging people for choosing not to read books of any sort. However, I'd never considered that the same idea could be applied to television as a valid source of information. Shame on anyone for outright denying TV as worthy of their time.

Cuda's writing is intelligent, insightful, and pro-Veronica Mars, so it definitely strikes a chord with me. The ideas she discusses in the article are things that have come to my mind over the many years I've been watching TV (and enduring other people's opinions about it). However, I hadn't found the time or the words to voice those ideas as she did. Sure, I've described TV as just another art form, but I didn't go into my reasoning as concisely and articulately as Ms. Cuda.

Damn, now I totally wish I could write good. Hee.

Friday, July 14, 2006

TV Boyfriends: Ari Gold

He's brash, he's assertive, he's acerbic. He's the guy you love onscreen but that would be torturous to date. He's Ari Gold.

Life with Ari would be a challenge, at best. But it might just be worth it because this Hollywood super-agent has what he wishes all his clients had: it. You know what I mean? That spark, that drive, that magnetism that makes him impossible to forget. Would you be offended if he tried to end an argument by asking you to "hug it out, bitch"? Definitely. Would spending a significant amount of time with him drive you to homicide? Maybe. But before the bitter end, he'd probably be a lot of fun.

Reasons I'd be happy to pledge my undying loyalty to Ari:

- He is harsh but fair. He expects the best from you as well as from himself. Just see if you can pass the interview.

- He'll stop at nothing to make you happy. Your stress is his stress. Your success is his success. Do you want Mandy Moore maligned in the papers? Pushed off your current project? Killed? He'll do it.

- He insults because he loves. At least, that's what Lloyd tells himself.

- He's a sweet-talker: "We're gonna dent that headboard. No bullshit. I guarantee you! You will not walk right tomorrow." Who wouldn't be seduced by that?

- He's pretty. Really! Great suits, great skin.

- Any guy that will dance with you to Stevie Wonder, in the middle of the night, on the sidewalk in front of your house, when he's drunk and at his lowest, and somehow make it seem charming, has my vote.

The fact that Ari is played by Jeremy Piven is no small coincidence. I've been a Piven groupie for years, back when he was on Rob Thomas' other genius show, Cupid. (The fact that Cupid isn't on DVD is a crime.) From an interview with TV Guide, Piven seems like an intelligent, honest guy, quite different from his character. Still, he's got Ari down to an art, as the recent Emmy nomination proves.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Boy toys...who knew they could talk?

Next Tuesday, July 18th, TBS is going to start running Let's Talk About Sex and the City, a six-week special wherein the some of the show's male cast members will provide a little commentary to spice up choice episodes.

Sounds like fun, right? It'll be nice to get a little male perspective on one of the first shows to represent the female perspective on sex and relationships. However, don't get too excited yet: we won't be getting interviews with some of the main men from the show: Big, Aidan, Smith, Aleksandr, or Trey. Nope, the participating hotties include:

- Blair "this cookie loves you" Underwood
- Mario "laugh/man whore" Cantone
- Evan "sweaty and sweet" Handler
- Willie "she's fashion roadkill!" Garson
- David "you're the one" Eigenberg

Over the years, Sex and the City had scads of attractive men in great bit parts in addition to those with recurring roles: Bradley Cooper, Dan Futterman and Bobby Cannavale, to name a few. I know my sister will be disappointed that there's no Ron Livingston in the list of interviewees. Post-It faux-pas aside, she definitely thinks Berger is spark-alicious.

Steve's my personal favorite -- fitting since I am Miranda -- but I've also got a soft spot for Harry and think Big was pretty steamy while cooking veal or serenading Carrie. Who was your favorite match for the Manhattan ladies? (Keep in mind that if you say Aleksandr, I'm going to disagree. Vehemently.)

If you need some help making up your mind, you can view clips of the interviews on the TBS website now. Though they complain about the fashion on the show, they all look quite dashing in their boy-band-esque matching white suits.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rescue Me from spoilers?

I've said before that I try to avoid spoilers about my favorite shows whenever possible. (Now that intel about the season three premiere of Veronica Mars has surfaced, it's becoming increasingly difficult.)

However, I don't avoid spoilers for all the shows I watch. In that vein, I just noticed a Rescue Me spoiler from Ask Ausiello: The season's penultimate episode — airing Aug. 22 — is going to be insane. One major character will die, another will tie the knot, and a third will suffer a stroke — all in that order.

I'm flummoxed. I don't even have good guesses for these three people! But August 22 is a long way away, and knowing the speed with which RM usually spins their plot twists, I'd believe they can pull it off.

Any guesses? Which characters do you think will be croaking, eloping, and stroking?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The VM/BSG connection

Battlestar Galactica and Veronica Mars have lots of things in common: great writing, stellar acting, and a devoted fan base.

But did you also know they have The Education of Max Bickford in common? I'm guessing you didn't. Max Bickford was a show starring Richard Dreyfuss that ran for just one season back in 2001. Why is it notable? Because it starred Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck! With 'punky' pink hair!) as Dreyfuss' daughter and Rob Thomas (god of Neptune and Mars) was a writer for the show. Who knew such quality would come out of a show watched by so few? Certainly not me -- I never caught an episode. (And it isn't out on DVD, so it looks like I never will.)

Did any of you catch it and want to offer commentary? Was it boring? Did it offer glimpses of burgeoning genius? Comment to fill me in.

And, in other Veronica Mars news, Neptunesite is reporting that we'll be seeing more of Sheriff Lamb next season. Excellent! By "more" I'm hoping that means "with less clothing," but Michael Muhney is such an awesome guy that I'll take whatever I can get.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Maeby baby

Speaking of other people I'd like to see matriculating at Hearst next season on VM, how about Alia Shawkat, Maeby from Arrested Development? She did a great job in last season's Rapes of Graff episode, and since her storyline was never really resolved, I think she absolutely must make an appearance in the fall.

This summer, however, Alia's starring in a new TV movie, Not Like Everyone Else, which airs tonight at 9PM on Lifetime. It looks a bit melodramatic, but based on Alia's interview with TV Guide it sounds like she's interested in taking on some meatier dramatic parts, so that probably explains her choice of this role. (I say, if she wants to play someone involved in a witch hunt, she'd be a great Abigail Williams in The Crucible.)

If you're not into goth teen TV movies, you can always wait for Season Three of AD to be released on August 29th.

Whatever Alia decides to do in the future, she sounds like a down to earth, funny girl, so it should be a pleasure to watch. That said, my vote is for her to come back to Veronica Mars...and bring Ann Veal (Mae Whitman - Alia's real-life best friend) with her.

Mac attack!

For all you Mac fans out there, there's an interview with Tina Majorino at Backstage.

We all know Mac's going to Hearst with Veronica, and we know Rob Thomas is trying to make Tina a regular, so it sounds like we should be seeing more of her next season. Great news, since Mac is one of my favorite characters. I'm curious to see how different she'll be in the wake of everything that happened with Cassidy in the season finale. Will there be Mac 2.0? Hard to imagine what that might be like, since Mac 1.0 was more like Veronica 2.0.

I'm also still waiting to see something in the future about Mac and her biological family. Ever since Ep. 1.11, Silence of the Lamb, I've been wanting to see some little follow-up to show that Mac's still connected with her birth mom. Maybe if Tina's around more in Season Three, we could get an episode where the truth comes out? Happy to help write it, Rob. ;)

If you're a Mac person, check out the interview. It's pretty interesting that Tina's managed to cover three projects with a strong cult following. If she becomes the next pilot in the next Serenity movie or shows up as the next cylon, she'll really be covering her fan bases. Guess there is life after Waterworld.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Psyched! (Yeah, it writes itself.)

USA Network, which I don't ordinarily watch except for the odd movie, has a new series premiering tonight. Psych stars the mischievous-looking James Roday and Charlieeeeeeee....ahem...Dulé Hill of West Wing fame. Roday plays Spencer, a slacker with keen observational skills who fakes being a psychic to help solve crimes. Hill plays his best friend, who's pulled into Spencer's capers somewhat unwillingly. Paired with another humorous crimedy, Monk, it seems like a fun, fluffy way to spend a Friday night.

(Yes, I just made up the word crimedy. Crime + comedy? I think it works. It has the benefit of sounding a bit like criminy, which is one of my favorite antiquated exclamations.)

If you visit the show's website, you can test out Spencer's "psychic" skills for yourself. While I think Spencer will be a fun character, I'm more looking forward to increased screentime for Dulé, who wasn't featured too prominently in the final season of The West Wing. And if James and Dulé don't do it for you, you can always enjoy Corbin Bernsen.

The website for the show also has a trailer along with various blogs and clips, so you can get a flavor of whether you might like it. The trailer features the song Blister in the Sun, which I will forever remember as the song Angela Chase did her "I'm over Jordan Catalano" dance to in My So-Called Life, so it's already got that going for it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Shammy nominations are in!

I've decided that if you fail to recognize Lauren Graham as a nominee for Lead Actress in a Comedy, your awards show is a sham. Therefore, this post will be in regards to the recently announced Shammy nominations (formerly known as the Emmy nominations). Rather than posting all the nominees (which GMMR was already kind enough to do), I'll just be listing a few of my yays and nays.


- Denis Leary: Leary managed to make a fiery, controversial, politically incorrect character lovable. He's utterly captivating in this role.

- Steve Carell and The Office. This show, and the character, improved by miles in the last season, so it's very rewarding to see them recognized.

- G.O.B. and Ari. I would love to see these two characters interact, and I'd love it if either Jeremy Piven or Will Arnett took home the award, as they are both highly deserving.

- Jaime Pressly is a white-trash wonder, and I'm so glad they nominated her.


- Stockard freakin' Channing? I know the Shammy voters love her, but really, people! You should be ashamed of yourselves.

- No hombres from Grey's? No T.R. Knight? Isaiah Washington? Patrick Dempsey? No sir: we get Alan Alda and Oliver Platt instead.

- Total Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica shut-outs are a slap in the face to people who love good television. I hope Kristen, Rico, Jason, Mary, and Eddie know they are all tops in the viewers' (and many critics') eyes, even if the Shammy voters said otherwise.

Once smoke stops pouring out of my ears, I'll write another post with my favorites and my anticipated winners from the list of Shammy nominees. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a gallon of "Highly Caloric Consolation" ice cream.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


The Emmy nominees are announced tomorrow, and word on the street is that a few never-nominated shows might just have a chance of appearing in the list. While I'm not one to get my hopes up, a part of me is filled with glee at the idea that Veronica Mars, Rescue Me, Battlestar Galactica, Gilmore Girls, or indeed anyone from my long dream Emmy ballot appear on the list. (I created the ballot before I watched RM, which explains its absence.)

GMMR will be posting the nominees live in the early AM, since she's lucky enough to be an East Coaster. I love TV, but I don't exactly 5:35-in-the-morning love it. Once I see the list, you can bet I'll begin posting my thoughts with a fury. (Fingers crossed the second definition of fury, not the first.)

Before the announcements, you can stop by EW for their cage match poll about potential Emmy newbies. Though I voted for Jaime Pressly, I've got to admit that in a knock-down, drag-out fight, Kelly Bishop could probably beat the tar out of her and Alyson Hannigan.

We'll see her round the Battlestar

The talented and awesome Jane Espenson, who has written for Buffy, Gilmore Girls, and beyond, is now penning an episode of Battlestar Galactica.

Jane tells all about her episode in this interview--though of course by 'all' I mean nothing at all about her episode, the plot of the show, or any season three storylines or circumstances (since they're trying to keep all that stuff under lock and key). Instead, she talks more about why she loves the show and her experience writing for it.

Jane knows whereof she speaks (and writes). She has an excellent blog where she discusses the craft of writing for all us hopefuls. She offers numerous tips, ideas, and encouragement for anyone who's dreamed of writing for television. If you've ever considered writing a screenplay or script, Jane's blog just might be the invaluable resource of practical information you've been looking for.

And, if you're not of the writing bent, you can always read it to find out what she has for lunch every day. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Confessions of a Teenage-Drama Queen

In a recent article on The Evolution of the Teen Drama Series, TV Blend analyzes a few key dramas that have had an effect on the way television is programmed to teens today.

The article highlights:
  • Beverly Hills, 90210
  • Party of Five
  • My So-Called Life
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Veronica Mars

I agree that these shows paved the way for later programs. Certainly the kids of The OC couldn't have lived it up in So Cal if Beverly Hills 90210 hadn't existed, and I doubt if the young people of Everwood would have been able to emote their way through a day without My So-Called Life before them. But there is one glaring omission: where is the influential (if uneven) Dawson's Creek?

Though the quality of the acting, writing, and storylines on DC varied greatly over the years, it was among the first shows to try having teenagers use dialogue that wasn't dumbed down--the way teenagers would arguably talk if they felt the need to exercise their SAT vocubulary 24-7. Realistic? Certainly not, but it at least tried to act as if teens were intelligent. And unlike MSCL, it was actually successful.

On the evolutionary timeline of the teen drama, it's somewhere in the middle. Not an australopithecus like BH, but certainly not an upright-tool-user like VM. No, Dawson's is probably in the range of homo erectus (particularly appropriate given the show's focus on genitalia).

I agree with writer Kelly West that teen dramas are evolving to offer less "soap fluff" and more well-written characters with complex, realistic storylines. Still, today's teen dramas have a ways to go to be considered non-fluffy fare in the eyes of the general TV-viewing public. When shows like Veronica Mars are considered by the Emmy voters, and when we no longer feel the need to put a "teen" disclaimer before the word drama, then the genre will really have made strides.

Monday, July 03, 2006

For my consideration

Since the lovely invention of TV on DVD, my past few summers have been spent in the company of a few great shows. I'll always remember the summer of 2003 as the time I spent sublimating post-college depression via obsessive Alias DVD rewatching, last summer as the season I devoured Farscape, and this summer as full of Tommy Gavin swearing and tearing his way through the first and second seasons of Rescue Me. However: Rescue Me is pretty short. Its first two seasons pretty much comprise one normal season for a network TV show.

So, I still need a bit more TV to fill the void until September (or October...damn you BSG!). I'm hoping all of you, with your vast and infinite knowledge of television, can help me make a decision. (Even if that decision is, "yes, Joobie, watch them all!" since I am notoriously indecisive myself.) Here's what I'm considering:

Supernatural: Taken in by some YouTube fanvids (some shamelessly celebrating Jared Padalecki's body of work, some piecing together the show's funniest moments), I've been thinking about giving this show a try. Now, I'm not averse to hot men, and I do love good man-banter, but I'm not sure the plots or the characters will be interesting enough to keep me watching. Opinions? Or just want to rave about how Jensen Ackles' ass is worth the price of admission? Speak out, sister! (September 5)

The Wire: The first season has been toiling on my Netflix list for some time, not quite making the transition to the top of the queue. I've read numerous great reviews of the show, and it's something a little different from my normal angsty-romance or bantery-comedy fare. Dominic West has sort of a rakish charm, and the acting overall is supposed to be stellar. It's been a while since I tried a crime drama, but perhaps if the characterizations are strong enough and the ongoing storylines involving enough, this would be a good chance to get back into the genre.

Doctor Who: Since I loved Farscape and BSG, I think this just might be a logical next step for me. I've read a number of comments about how great and revitalized the show was with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, and that it's easy to jump in even if you don't know the decades of backstory. And although I'm spoiled for the first season, I think DW's blend of whimsy and drama could be a pleasure to watch even knowing the outcome already. There's a bit of amour, too, isn't there? Unresolved sexual tension is my raison d'etre. (July 4)

Slings and Arrows: Reading the description of the show, which follows the exploits of a "dysfunctional Shakespearean theatre group," I'm pretty much sold. Knowing that it also stars Rachel McAdams, who I'd watch in almost anything, definitely helps to seal the deal. The first season just came out on DVD, and though it's a pretty short series, it might be enough to fill the TV gap. Plus, at only 6 episodes, it's a small time investment for something that could be quite funny and irreverent.

So, what do you all recommend? You're welcome to think outside the list; these are just some ideas I've been mulling over. And keep in mind that I'm the kind of gal who watched Sidekicks in its entirety last night, so I can set the bar for entertainment value pretty low when I feel like it.