Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 Rock 2006-2013

30 Rock-Out of the two series about a look behind the scenes of a comedy sketch show you were the one that didn't get canceled after one season (Still miss Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). You were a series about a head TV writer (Who happens to be female), her boss and the "cast of characters" they were in charge of.

Goodbye to...

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) the head writer and creator of TGS (The show within the show) You were always running around frantic, making sure everyone had their lives together before your own.

Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) A man who started as Vice President for East coast TV for NBC and its parent company GM and who always wanted to be better and richer and pushed others out of the way as he climbed his way to the top of the company. You know your typical Republican.

Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) A woman really only into herself (She married a Jenna impersonator) Co-star of TGS and Liz's best friend.

Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) What can I say about you? No really you were a difficult man to figure out  can someone really be that unintelligent and childlike and be rich and famous?

Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) My favorite and the one who made me laugh the most. Southern naive NBC Page/Janitor ( I think NBC pages are very cool one let me pretend to be a weather girl when I visited 10 years ago).

And the rest Producer Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit) who always had family issues and the writers in the writing room Frank (Judah Friedlander) the one with the hats and Toofer (Keith Powell) The smartest one in the bunch and Finally Tracy's entourage Dot Com (Kevin Brown) and Grizz (Grizz Chapman) who were always there to support Tracy no matter how stupid his ideas were.

TGS and 30 Rock may be gone but you will live on forever (in syndication)

Good luck Tina and the rest of the cast and crew on their future endeavours!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In Memory

Today is the 5th annvesary of  the day Heath Ledger died below is what I wrote to EW one year later and to this day the best thing I have gotten published

Even though I cried when I saw my EW I was reminded of why I truly admired Heath Ledger and love everything he was a part of. In fact he was one of just a handful of actors who I went to the movies to see. Which brings me to a day I’ll never forget, the day I went to the multiplex for a Heath Ledger mini-movie-a-thon. I walked up to the counter with money in hand and asked for two separate tickets, one for Casanova and another for Brokeback Mountain.Casanova was showing first so I entered the theater, with only a handful of others, found the perfect seat and waited for the lights to go down.  When it was over I had a smile on my face as I re-entered the line with my other ticket in hand.  Anyway it turned out Casanova was longer then I planned and by the time I got into the theater showing Brokeback Mountain the only seat left was in the second row!  But my eyes adjusted and by the time the credits rolled I was smiling again.  When I got back into my car the two movies seemed to become one and I felt like I had just seen a, longer then normal, movie which happen to star the always wounderful,never the same role twice Heath Ledger. Thank you for remembering Heath Ledger one year later.  He was one of the best and I hope we never stop talking about him. He was something special and this fan will never forget what it was like watching him on the big screen.
All my Heath Ledger ticket stubs
This is the article as printed in Entertainment Weekly Feb. 13 2009

Private Practice 2007-2013

Yes most of what I write here is positive that is because I only watch what I like,  I'm not a critic I don't get paid so I stick with what I know and enjoy. This unfortunately cannot be said about The Greys Anatomy spin-off Private Practice. I watched the first episode of this Shonda Rhimes series because I am a fan of Tim Daly and Taye Diggs but even they couldn't get me to like and to continue watching the show. None of the characters were likable and even though they were all professional adults they all complained about each other and their "terrible" lives like a group of whiny teen girls. The lead character Addison (Kate Walsh) was a doctor who helped women get pregnant but couldn't have kids herself and that was all she talked about. Even though I didn't care for her I still tried to watch but then the writers really made me mad when they killed off the only character I did like. Dell was the in-office assistant and studying to be a mid-wife and was the only one in the bunch who seemed happy, that was until his drug addicted ex girlfriend came back into his life with their young daughter-Spoiler Alert-She dies from an meth explosion, Dell also gets killed off and his daughter has to go and live with his sister which she does not want to do so you would think these doctors, his 'friends" one of who wants a kid of her own would take Dell's daughter in but NOOOO! That was it and I never watched another episode after that! I would never go to any of these doctors (no matter how good looking Taye Diggs is). I am sure there is more to say but this show was just not worth my time.

Sorry Private Practice but you were mean and should have been canceled years ago. Good luck to Tim and Taye in the future. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Goodbye to Fringe 2008-2013

FRINGE- You were a strange and at times confusing little series but I liked you.

You had everything a Sci-Fi geek to could ask for-odd cases about the supernatural, a team to save us, parallel universes and a cow.

It is hard to explain what you were and what happened each week to someone who never watched but I will give it a try.

Let me start with Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) who was the first character we met who was an agent for the Fringe department which is part of the U.S. government whose job it was to "fix" strange events before the population learns about them (See X-Files or Torchwood). On her first case she needs some outside help and tracks down a man named Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and asked him to get his father Walter (John Noble) who is a scientist and is the only one who can help out of the mental hospital. Once Walter is freed they set up his lab in the basement of Harvard University.

As much as I liked the set up and each episode I think I will miss the characters most of all.
  Olivia, Who Walter found as a little girl and as he studied her realized she had a power to move through parallel worlds.
  Peter, His son who isn't his son but just as smart.
  Astrid (Jasika Nicole), Walter's assistant whose name he always forgot.
  Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick), The head of Fringe Department
  Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) Head of Massive Dynamic a corporation that is behind most of the strange occurrences
and my favorite
  Walter Bishop, The smartest man on the team. Is an old man who acts like a kid. Funny, Sweet, always a joy to watch and the kind of guy I would want watching my back if I am in trouble or stuck in another world.

Here is to J.J Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci the creators of the show and their cast on crew! Congrats on this good series.

FRINGE- You were  a strange and at times confusing little series but I liked you. Thank you for 5 amazing years.

Downton Abbey!

Season 3 has begun but I have been wanting to write about this series since it 1st premiered. As a fan of British TV it is nice to have a show that many other Americans enjoy. Who would have thought that a series about an upper class family and the servants who work for them in the early 20th century would be so good and popular? Downton Abbey is well written, well directed and has some of the best acting on TV.

If you haven't seen it let me sum up the plot. Downton Abby is a large beautiful estate that has been in the Crawley family for generations. The family consists of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), his American wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), their three daughters Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and finally there is Robert's mother Violet, Countess of Grantham (The always wonderful Maggie Smith). Working for all of them is the downstairs staff made up of Mr. John Bates (Brendan Coyle) Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) Mrs. O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran), Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan), Anna (Joanne Froggatt) Daisy (Sophie McShera), Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol), Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) and Tom Branson (Allen Leech). Here is when the story really begins-With three daughters Mr. Crawley has no male aer to past Downton Abby on to when he no longer can take care of it enter their distant cousin Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and his mother Isobel (Penelope Wilton). In order to keep Downton in the family Mary must marry Matthew but refuses...maybe?

Three seasons in and a lot has happened, to sum up and fast forward to where we are now-Spoiler Alert--Sybil is married and living is Ireland with the ex-chauffeur Tom and of course her father does not approve, Mr. Bates married Anna but is now in jail after being accused of murdering his wife, Thomas, the snake, has taken over duties with taking care of Mr. Crawley, Mary and Matthew after many non starts and other relationships have decided to get married and Cora's mother (Shirley MacClaine) has arrived from America to attend, and most important the family has lost all their money.

If all this sounds confusing trust me at times it can be but I just like to think of it as a elaborate and fun British soap opera. Like I said a lot has happened so if I forgot something or mis-said something please feel free to add it on and comment. I welcome any detail you can add.

I want to finish by saying that this family and their "staff" have been through war, illness, love found and lost, affairs, scandals, and anything else you can imagine. In the end all of the characters are the real heart of the series and that is what makes it worth tuning in for every week (even if the season is short and you never know when it will return)

One final note-Having to have someone help you get dress and change your clothes 4 times a day would really suck.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Womb-A Film Review & Darling Companion

Important thing to know when you are picking a movie to watch-You never know what you are going to get when you watch a film because you happen to like an actor starring in it. This happened to me recently while I was flipping through channels and came across a film with a one word title-Womb. This title interested me and when I read the info and saw Matt Smith's name I decided (as a loyal Whovian) to check it out.

The story is about a woman named Rebbecca (Eva Green) who as a kid meets Thomas (Matt Smith) and there is an instant connection. The first 45 minutes as their childhood progresses feels slow but when Rebbecca has to move out of the country only to return as a young adult the pace picks up, some. Rebbecca and Thomas re-connect and then tradegy strikes.

Here is when things get weird and a little creepy. There will be plot spoilers from here on so read at your own risk (skip to QUICK TAKE)--- He is dead and Rebbecca, using a controversial technique decides to give birth and raise Thomas's clone. Her lover as her son? Time goes on. Rebbecca gives him the same name, feeds him and baths him. As he grows up and touches her she seems to have sexual feelings for him, what would Freud say? Thomas does everything that a kid does, he makes friends (although no one comes to his birthday party) plays in the sand (they live on a beach) and grows up. Before the viewer knows it Thomas is the age he was when he "died" (and we get to see Matt Smith again). Of course Rebbecca has also grown older and when Thomas gets a girlfriend she seems to be jealous of her (told you it was strange). Eventually Thomas realizes who he was. is and you can guess what happens next.

I guess this genre can be called sci-fi but it is also a interesting study of love and lost. The film is 2 hours and there is very little dialogue but it is beautiful to look at (even if it just Matt Smith you're looking at) I am glad I found it but I don't know if I can recommend it. If it sounds like something you want to see check out Womb.

QUICK TAKE--Darling Companion- A film synopsis

Speaking of watching a film for an actor I also caught a film called Darling Companion. A woman, Beth (Diane Keaton) and her adult daughter, Grace (Elisabeth Moss) find an injured dog along side a busy road, they name him Freeway and the woman takes him into hers and her husbands Joseph (Kevin Kline) home. Grace ends up marrying the vet,Sam (Jay Ali) who helped them at their Colorado mountain cabin. While they are away on their honeymoon Joseph takes Freeway for a walk in the woods and loses him. Beth blames him and with help from Joseph's sister Penny (Dianne Wiest) her new husband Russell (Richard Jenkins) Penny's son Bryan (Mark Duplass) and the cabin's caretaker Carmen (Ayelet Zurer) they begin to look for Freeway. Do they find him? Can Beth and Joseph's marriage be saved? Is Carmen really psychic? To find out watch Darling Companion

Friday, January 4, 2013

Les Miserables A Musical Film-My Thoughts

I have loved musical theater for most of my life (The Phantom of the Opera stares down at me as I sleep). For years I have heard bits and pieces of the music and knew part of the story of Les Miserables but I waited, I waited until a version of this famous musical became a MUST SEE for me and now there is one.

This musical film Les Miserables Directed by Tom Hooper (Academy Award winner for The King's Speech) and Screenplay written by William Nicholson (based on the stage book which in turn was based on the novel by Victor Hugo) made my long wait worth it. The story is about a man named Jean Valjean. After spending 19 years for stealing bread for his sisters son he is released from prison only to be forced on parole for the rest of his life. Valjean is played to perfection by the amazing and wonderful Hugh Jackman.

Years later Jean Valjean changes his name and has made himself a good living as the owner of a factory. It is here where he briefly meets a young unwed woman named Fantine who has a young daughter named Cosette (first played by Isabelle Allen) to take care of. Although the character isn't in the story for long the awesome Anne Hathaway, through her songs, "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Come to me" plays Fantine with such real emotion that she leaves behind a memorable and heartbreaking impact. Chasing Valjean all these years is an inspector named Javert played by Russell Crowe, now Crowe may not have been the best singer in the cast but he truly acted the part and became the man that I believed wanted to catch this "thief".

Let's go back to Jean Valjean, he is now a few years older and has kept his promise to watch over and raise Cosette who is now a young woman played by the talented Amanda Seyfried. The two have been living undetected and peaceful in the city of Paris, that is until a new Revolution begins! One of its leaders is a young man named Marius played by the charming Eddie Redmayne, he sees Cosette across a busy street and immediately he falls in love with her. He then asks his friend another young woman named Eponine, who is in love with him, played by Samantha Barks and who knew Cosette when they were kids to help him find her. Eponine reluctantly finds the house where father and daughter live and Marius goes to her and she to him and the love connection is made. If you know the story then you know what happens next, if not well I am not going to spoil it for you :)

Everyone in this cast about a story of love and courage is a joy to watch including the always entertaining Sacha Baron Cohen as Thenardier the great Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier, Marius's friend and fellow leader Enjolras played by Aaron Tveit and Gavroche played by Daniel Huttlestone. Because it is ALL singing every song within the original is in the film (With many to choose from including "Who am I", "Master of the House", Do You Hear the People Sing?", "One Day More", "A Heart Full of Love" and "On My Own" I would have to say that my favorite is "RED AND BLACK" sung by Enjolras and Marius to get the people to join the revolution . It is in my opinion that Hooper's choice of having the actors sing "live" as they became the characters was a smart idea and may have even helped with their performances.

The entire look of the film was beautiful and when the movie ended and the credits began to roll I wasn't the only one crying and applauding in the theater. I truly felt as if I had just watched a musical on the Broadway stage. Days later and I am still humming along to the music in my head.

Even if you are not a fan of this or any musical (20 mins in you will be)---