Thursday, July 10, 2014

Emmy Nominations

 

The Emmys are coming!  The Emmys are coming!  Unfortunately not for everyone, but there are some deserving nominees along with the snubs.

Among those that I would be happy to see win include AMC's Breaking Bad, for its stellar swan song, along with stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul; Matthew McConaughey, who is poised to make history should he win for his role in HBO's True Detective (if he does, he'll be the first actor to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year); HBO's Game of Thrones, which is a tremendously exceptional series, and star Peter Dinklage, who has one hell of a screen presence; and Netflix's Orange is the New Black, which I'm not sure belongs in the Comedy category, but I guess if that gives it the best chances - it has one of the best female ensemble casts around.

Serious snubs include the amazing Tatiana Maslany for her many diverse roles on BBC America's Orphan Black, all of which she portrays to perfection; USA's Suits - by far one of the best series, writing and casts on the air; AMC's The Walking Dead, which failed yet again to break into the main categories; and - and I may get stoned for this - CBS' Survivor and Jeff Probst in the Reality Show Competition and Host categories (yes, I care, at least here).


All that being said, here is the full list of nominees:

OUTSTANDING DRAMA
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
True Detective

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Clare Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards

OUTSTANDING ACTOR, DRAMA
Bryan Cranston,  Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Games of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
Margo Matrindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Kate Mara, House of Cards
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Kate Burton, Scandal

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA
Paul Giamatti, Downton Abbey
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex
Joe Morton, Scandal

OUTSTANDING COMEDY
The Big Bang Theory
Louie
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Veep

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black

OUTSTANDING ACTOR, COMEDY
Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle,  House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
Matt LeBlanc,  Episodes
William H. Macy,  Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate Mulgrew, Orange is the New Black
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Fred Armison, Portlandia
Tony Hale, Veep

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY
Natasha Lyonne, Orange is the New Black
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Joan Cusack, Shameless

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Steve Buscemi, Portlandia
Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Louis C. K., Saturday Night Live
Gary Cole, Veep

OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION HOST
Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Anthony Bourdain, The Taste


OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon


OUTSTANDING TV MINISERIES
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
Fargo
Luther
Treme
The White Queen


OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE
Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: His Last Vow
The Trip to Bountiful


LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon

LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Idris Elba, Luther
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing On the Edge
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven
Allison Tolman, Fargo
Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow



 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review - Mystery Girls


No.  No, no no.

I was a big fan of the original Beverly Hills 90210 that aired for a decade, and I enjoy seeing people from shows of the past reunite in new stuff, so I tuned in to this ... show ... which stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling.  So sorry I did.

This is a bad TV, my friends.  Bad writing, bad acting, so gaudy in its production design and way too over-the-top, which seems to be a trend for ABC Family comedies (see Melissa and Joey and the Young and Hungry).  This feels more like a show you'd see on Disney or Nickelodeon, being that it's so hammy and exaggerated. 

THE LOWDOWN

Mystery Girls is about follows two former detective TV show starlets brought back together by a real-life mystery. Charlie Contour (Garth) is a suburban housewife and mother, while Holly Hamilton (Spelling) longs for her glory days in the 90's when she was on television. Both of their lives are disrupted when Nick (Miguel Pinzon), a witness to a crime and a ‘Mystery Girls' fanatic, will only speak to the infamous duo, and the former friends must reunite and put their TV crime-solving skills to the test.

Now, I watched the episode entitled "Death Becomes Her," which is labeled Season 1 Episode 1, which implies it's the first episode of the series.  It's logical, then, that this first episode would set up the series and resemble the description presented by the network, as pilots usually do.  BUT IT DIDN'T!!!  This first-aired episode explained nothing about who these women are or what they do, nothing about their 90's show, no clear setup that they have a detective agency.  Suffice to say, I'm thoroughly baffled by what I was watching and as I write this, my brow is crinkled in utter confusion. 


Not to mention I would NEVER buy these women as detectives.  TV detectives, sure, in a comic way.  But the fact that we're supposed to believe these actresses (I'm talking about Garth's and Spelling's characters) then give the profession a go ... I guess I can see why it would be a funny premise, but it so doesn't work.  AT ALL.  It's so bad, I still can't believe I made it through the episode. 

Poor Garth seems to be taking her role seriously, giving her straight-man all and trying perhaps to recapture the mild success she had when she co-starred with Amanda Bynes in What I Like About You, her first post-90210 foray into episodic television.  Maybe she's just glad to be acting again.  She still looks great.

Spelling, who is supposedly the brainchild behind this debacle, is playing ditzy dumb to the hilt, which is not funny at all, just very sad.  I know her personal life is a bit of a train wreck right now, and maybe she just needs to go and have fun with an old friend, and that's great.  But not when it's this awful.  She does not have her dad's knack for creating entertaining TV.

Pinzon's Nick is like Sean Hayes' Jack (Will & Grace) on a hundred Red Bulls.  The former worked.  The latter does not.  This whole show doesn't work.

I will not be watching any more of Mystery Girls - unless they scored a cameo by Shannen Doherty, which would be worth suffering through 22 more minutes of for the sheer madness it would inevitably be.  But maybe I'm missing something, so feel free to check it out for yourselves ... if you absolutely have nothing better (laundry, getting your privates waxed, watching paint dry, listening to a symphony of nails being drawn down a chalkboard ...) to do.

Mystery Girls airs Wednesdays at 8:30pm on ABC Family.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Farewell, Drop Dead Diva

 

Last night we bid goodbye to a really delightful series, Drop Dead Diva, which aired on Lifetime for six seasons.

DDD had actually been cancelled early last year but response from fans drove the cable net to bring the show back for a shortened last season, giving it the chance to wrap things up.

I wish I could say I loved the finale, but it felt too much like a regular run-of-the-mill episode rather than a goodbye.  Plus I was still wrestling with a decision the writers made a few weeks ago that didn't really have the time to play out, given there were just a few episodes left in the series run.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The premise of DDD is that a beautiful model, Deb, was killed in a car accident, but when she gets to heaven, she hits a "return" button on her welcoming angel's computer keyboard and gets sent back into the body of a lawyer, Jane, who had just died after being shot.  Deb went on to live Jane's life, maintaining her own soul and personality but meshing with Jane's intelligence and law know-how. 


The star, Brooke Elliott, pulled this duality brilliantly and was so likeable in the role.  Her on-screen love was Grayson (Jackson Hurst), who happened to be Deb's fiancee and worked in Jane's law firm.  During the course of the series, Grayson fell in love with Jane, and this last season finally learned that Jane was in fact Deb.

Then a few weeks ago Grayson, who was planning to propose to Jane, was shot outside the courthouse and eventually died, which was a dark turn for this rather light-toned show.  Grayson went to heaven and himself pushed the "return" button and came back into the body of a man, Ian, who had just been executed on death row, having been convicted of murder.  He calls Jane and lets her know that he - Grayson - is back.  Jane comes to his defense and in a whirlwind, proves that Ian was in fact innocent of the crime, gets him freed and jumps right back into her relationship with him.

Of course, no one can understand how Jane could be with someone just weeks after supposedly losing the love of her life (except her best friend Stacy (April Bowlby), who has known all along that Jane is the reincarnated Deb).  But again, we only have three episodes left at this point, so, in order to have a happy ending which this kind of show demands, Jane's friends and coworkers have to come around to accept Jane and Ian together.  It was rather forced and leaves us kind of hanging, which I'm not happy with.  The finale gave us a little montage of Deb/Jane and Grayson/Ian's love story at the end, and then it was over.


So that's it.  Again, I really loved this show and its quirky, likeable characters andthe  twists-and-turns its law cases (the fastest resolved in judicial history, but hey, suspension of disbelief) took in each episode.  I just wish we'd gotten a better, more fulfilled sendoff.

Catch up with past seasons of Drop Dead Diva now on Netflix.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Farewell, Casey Kasem

 

Casey Kasem, who had one of the most recognizable voices in the world, has passed away at the age of 82.


Best known for his radio presence as the longtime host of America's Top 40 and "Long-Distance Dedications," he also voiced dozens of cartoon voices, most notably Shaggy from Scooby-Doo but also Robin on Superfriends and Alexander on Josie and the Pussycats.


For me, he'll always be the voice of G-Force leader Mark on Battle of the Planets, one of my favorite cartoons growing up.

His famous sign-off was "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."  Here's hoping Kasem is now among the stars himself.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Viewing - Have a Blast!

Welcome to Summer, TV Tourists!  No longer are these inter-season months a vast wasteland of repeats.  There's plenty of terrific viewing, both returning and premiering.  Here are just a few of my faves that are coming back:

 

Suits (Returning June 11 on USA) is one of the best shows on television. With a top-notch cast - including Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle and Sarah Rafferty - brilliant writing and fantastic stories, I can't recommend catching up with this show enough.


 

I don't think ABC expected this show (returning June 19) about rookie cops to take off, but I'm glad it did.  It has a great ensemble cast and is very entertaining and a stand-out among the many police-centered shows, probably because of its summer slot.


 

I love a show with terrific female leads.  Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander are a great ... well, if there were a female word for bromance, they're the epitome of it.  I'm curious to see how they'll handle the tragic loss of castmate Lee Thompson Young - who committed suicide last year - on the show (returning June 17), but however it is done, I trust it will be handled well.  The cases they solve aren't always original, but the way these ladies tackle and solve them is what makes the show.


 

Considering my age, I guess this would have to qualify as a guilty pleasure for me.  But if that's the way it has to be, so be it ... love the show (returning June 10)!  But dammit, who the frak is A????



Consider this show (airing now on ABC) another guilty pleasure ... it ain't Shakespeare, it's just sexy, trashy fun.  But ain't that what summer is all about?  Can't wait to see how they hide Alyssa Milano's growing baby belly (hint:  big purses!).

 

The good news here is, no waiting week-to-week!  You get to stream all 13 episodes of the new season as fast as you can watch them (starting June 6).  And catch up on Season 1 the same way!

 

Stephen King's supernatural mystery series is back for Season 2 (returns June 30), with the horror master penning the season premiere and even making a rare cameo.  It's an intriguing series and I look forward to learning more about just who - or what - is behind the mysterious dome.


 

Ok, so we have to wait till August for this (return date TBD on BBC America), but I'll manage somehow!  Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor ... so intrigued!

There are also many new shows to check out as well:

The Last Ship (TNT) - June 22


The Musketeers (BBC America) - June 22
Tyrant (FX) - June 24
 Extant (CBS) - July 9
The Strain (FX) - July 13
Married (FX) - July 17
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (CW) - July 30

Happy viewing!!






Sunday, May 18, 2014

Farewell, Barbara Walters

 

It was a very emotional week leading up to television legend Barbara Walters' final on-screen appearance (though I'm sure she'll pop up sometime, somewhere ... Dancing With the Stars?), which was on the show she created 17 seasons ago, The View

The program had some epic moments, particularly when everyone who has ever been a co-host - 10 in all, among them past hosts Meredith Viera, Debbie Matenopolous, Joy Behar, Lisa Ling, Star Jones, Rosie O'Donnell, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and current hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, and Jenny McCarthy - came on to share their favorite Barbara memories.  Another was when many of the top newswomen and TV personalities today - among them Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Jane Pauley, Katie Couric, Connie Chung, Gayle King, and others - came out in tribute to the legacy Barbara is leaving behind ... charting the course for women to have careers in the field.

I will certainly miss her "Most Fascinating People" specials every year, and have missed her Oscar specials since she stopped doing them a couple of years ago.  Hard to believe she's walking away from all of it, but she has said she's certain the time is right.  Whether she'll go the way of Johnny Carson, who was never seen publicly after his retirement from the Tonight Show, only time will tell.

In any case, Barbara Walters has left an indelible mark that will be honored and a legacy that will be cherished for decades to come.


Adieu, Barbara.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Upfronts - Updates

There's been new news on the upfronts ... front, including more renewals/cancellations and more shows picked up.

CBS has let the axe fall hard, cancelling The Crazy Ones, Intelligence, Friends With Better Lives, Bad Teacher, and Hostages.  They have picked up two spinoffs of two of their hit series, bringing NCIS: New Orleans and CSI: Cyber to the airwaves.  They have also gone with Madam Secretary, The Odd Couple reboot starring Matthew Perry, Scorpion, The McCarthys, and Stalker.  The press had reported that How I Met Your Dad  had been green-lighted, but apparently they had jumped the gun ... it's not confirmed to be part of the upcoming season.

 

The alphabet net has renewed Tim Allen's Last Man Standing and the country music-based Nashville, as well as the ever-popular Shark Tank and The Bachelor.  They have pink slipped Suburgatory and Super Fun Night.

 

The peacock net has pulled the plug on on Revolution and, very sadly, Community (no six seasons and a movie *sniff*) and picked up Bad Judge, Mission Control, One Big Family,  and renewed Hannibal and About a Boy.  No word yet on Parenthood.

There are SO many new shows coming later this year, I don't know where they're going to all fit!  I guess between the fall and mid-season, things will find a place ... especially after shows start getting inevitably cancelled.



I'll keep you posted as updates come about!