Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Because I'm a spoiler whore

The incorrigible Michael Ausiello of TV Guide has a very cute interview with Lauren Graham on the homepage. Check it out if you want to see how much Lauren infuses herself into "Lorelei" and if you want Studio 60 scoop (but I'm betting you'll want to watch for the cuteness that is Michael and Lauren).

And, because I'm a spoiler whore, here is a link to a preview of tonight's GG episode. Don't say I didn't warn you. (Make sure you scroll down to get past 7th Heaven, unless you like that sort of thing. And no, there's no judgmental tone here whatsoever!)

Gilmore Girls tonight!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Oh, I know what day it is. Do you?


Which I mean in a very mature way. I do.

But -- squeeeeeee! New photos from the upcoming Order of the Phoenix!

I dare you to convince me that you do not want that photo of the inestimable Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge printed on a t-shirt that you can wear everywhere and point to at significant conversational junctures. Does it or does it not signify all that is I beg your pardon, young man?!

Plus, looks like all the boys have gone and gotten judicious haircuts. This much we know about the director, David Yates: strong tonsorial decision-making.

We now return you to posts not slumming in Teen Beat territory.

Fish in a barrel

Scoop notes that Mr. and Mrs. Federline will be singing a duet on K-Fed's upcoming "album." The name of the tune? I kid not at all: "Crazy."

Sometimes, you don't even have to try.

Six Degrees for Brothers and Sisters

These new shows were so lackluster, I can barely stay awake to write this post. And I'm so under-enthused that they don't deserve their own post each. Pretty much, it's the game of six degrees at Brothers and Sisters. Follow me:

Calista Flockhart as "Kitty" interviews for a TV job, potentially working and falling in love with Josh Hopkins, last seen on "Pepper Dennis" and who co-starred with Calista on "Ally McBeal."

Balthazar Getty, who plays "Tommy," works once again with Ron Rifkin, "Uncle Sal," who was also evil Sloan, boss to Balthazar's "Agent Tom" in Alias. Bathlazar and Ron also worked with JJ Abrams, who created Alias as well as Felicity, where Sarah Jane Morris, who plays Balthazar's wife in Brothers and Sisters, was Noel's bride in the finale. And JJ Abrams is the guy who hand-picked the producers and writers for Six Degrees, which is such a snooze fest that I can't even remember what happened.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Gee, Shonda, could the theme be ... time? (Part 2)

Our continuing coverage of the Grey's Anatomy season premiere ...

9:31 pm PST /12:31am EST
Seren: I thought bubonic plague was, like, treatable with penicillin? How is that these folks are doctors and don't know that? George! Unknot your panties!
MeiMei: Zzzzz...oh what was that? Poorly contrived moment in the locker room?

9:32 pm PST / 12:32am EST
Meredith: Dark and twisty.
Seren: Meredith? Shut up. No, seriously.
MeiMei: Hee hee. I know what you mean, Mere! It's okay! Dark and twisty can be fun. Fun, yes, fun. Oh, I think I'm delirious.

9:33 pm PST / 12:33am EST
Seren: Thank you, Callie, for that sneer. And the flaring nostril? Nice. And I'm calling it -- best line of the episode: "I'm that girl in the back of the class who eats her hair." Aren't we all? Except for McMelty Face. Boo, McMelty Face! Boo!
MeiMei: Hee hee! (As MeiMei removes hair from her mouth) I love Callie!

9:34 pm PST
Seren: Izzy's on the bathroom floor? Like, how have people been peeing all night?

9:36 pm PST / 12:36am EST
Derek: Just . . . one . . . second . . . (cue ticking and, then, flashback)
Seren: Oh, wait, I'm sorry, I don't know if I've quite figured out. What's the theme of the episode? Something having to do with . . . nope, it's gone.
MeiMei: Is this a true flashback? Because Meredith looks so pretty here, like she hate a hamburger. I bet her locker was the one that didn't have food in it. I'm not surprised Izzy's had food. She's beautiful.

12:38am EST
MeiMei: Poor Bailey. She's having a really bad day.

9:39 pm PST
Seren: Bailey is not going soft. Bailey is not going -- Bailey is not -- oh, dangit. Well, Omar is making me a little verklempt, too. But, Bailey? Dang.

9:40 pm PST / 12:40am EST Commercial break
Seren: No, seriously, penicillin. That's it.
MeiMei: Well, the show has a really good medical advisor, so it's bound to be pretty accurate.
Seren: Really? Really? Is it possible that I've been underestimating the threat of the bubonic plague all this time? (Contemplative pause.) Hey, also, why is Richard avoiding his wife? I knew I should have re-watched the finale. Wasn't there something with his wife revealing she knew about the affair to blackmail him into the prom?
MeiMei: Oh, yeah, I remember something like that. Hey, are these real flashbacks? Like to the the first season?
Seren: I have no idea. I didn't watch that season.
MeiMei: They must be from earlier episodes. McMelty Face looks pretty in them.
Seren: I'm beginning to think that maybe we're not the best qualified people to be blogging this show right now.

12:45am EST
MeiMei: Bailey wishes she could turn back the clock and make it yesterday. Oh, Grey's writers! Do me a favor: that cliche ball you're running with right now? Drop it. DROP IT!

9:46 pm PST
Derek: Seriously, no.
Seren: Not willing to touch George's fevered brow? George, honey, call me. I'm right here, with my wrist prepped.

12:47am EST
MeiMei: George called Derek an ass! George called Derek an ass!

9:48 pm PST / 12:48am EST
Seren: Callie is my favorite.
MeiMei: Oh, Chris O'Donnell. I remember you as Robin. Fly, little birdie, fly away!

9:50 pm PST / 12:50am EST
Seren: Oh, it looks like MeiMei's going to be right about the girl with the glasses, and -- no! whoa! The girl with the glasses was a red herring! It's the girl with the striking blue eyes I never really noticed!
MeiMei: I may be right! I may be right! Oh, doh. Neither one of us is right.

9:57 pm PST /12:57am EST
Derek: I was going to come over this morning, but --
Meredith: I heard. The quarantine.
Seren: I wish my life were so exciting that I could just casually say, Oh, well, I would have been there, but -- the quarantine.
MeiMei: Why didn't Meredith express more concern for Derek? I mean, Callie flew into George's arms and he's her McDreamy. God, there's such a difference between the way Callie expresses her feelings and the way Meredith expresses hers. They both are not shy, but Meredith says things in such a self-absorbed, pitiful way that makes me want to smack her and say, "Grow up!" while Callie is so earnest that I want to hug her.

9:58 pm PST /12:58am EST
Seren (hearing the first few bars of final montage music): No! No, it can't be! It is! MAT KEARNEY!
(Seren fumbles for her cell, can't find a signal, and spends the final montage lurching around her apartment trying to find one.)
MeiMei: This sounds vaguely familiar ... where have I heard this song before? And Time. Time. Time. How many fucking times are they going to say that word? Shonda, we get it!

9:59 pm PST /12:59am EST
Christina: Don't ever die.
MeiMei: Stupid show. (Grabs nearby tissue box.)
Seren: Oh, dangit. (Stops lurching to sob briefly. And then, more lurching. Finally, a signal!)MeiMei, MeiMei! Do you know who that -- (The music credit comes up.)

MeiMei: He's everywhere! Seriously.

Gee, Shonda, could the theme be ... time? (Part 1)

To celebrate the opening of the TV season, we here at M&C decided to assign our entire staff to covering the Grey's Anatomy season premiere. Thanks to a little judicious DVRing on the East Coast (combined with a good deal of self-control on MeiMei's part, and a well-timed nap), we are able to bring you breathless-second-by-breathless-second commentary -- in stereo.

Spoilers below. Not many, unless finding out that Callie gets 80% of the awesome one-liners ruins the mystery of the episode for you. But still.

One hour before showtime

MeiMeiLn: You'll never guess who I keep seeing everywhere. Everywhere.

Seren: Elvis.

MeiMeiLn: Mat Kearney.

Seren: No freakin' way.

MeiMeiLn: Yes, here and here and here and here.

Seren: Oh, and here.

And . . . the curtain rises.

9:02 pm PST/12:02am EST
Seren: Well, of course it's George who goes in. I love George.
MeiMei: His hair looks so good. And hee hee: Meredith the prez of people with crappy lives. Hee hee. The way her friends looked at her like she was crazy and the way she looked knowing that she was is so familiar to me--I totally identify with that. Oh my god. Did I just say I identified with Meredith?

9:04 pm PST / 12:04am EST
Bailey (over Denny's body): I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.
Seren: And now I'm crying. Four minutes in.
MeiMei: I hate that I'm teary.

9:05 pm PST
Christina to Meredith: Oh, what did you do now?
Seren: And there's my first cackle of the season.

9:06 pm PST/12:06am EST Commercial break
Seren: What happened to McMeltyFace? She looks even worse than last season.
MeiMei: She lost ten more pounds. Even her hair, which I love, looks gross.
Seren: Does that explain the old skin, too? I think we need Madrid to make the call on the BMIs of American television actresses, too.

9:11 pm PST
Christina: All McGuilty . . .
Seren: How much do I love Sandra Oh? I am of the Church of Oh.

Alex working on the dumpster baby...
MeiMeiLn: That's a great mechanical baby. Much better than what we use at work.

12:12am EST
MeiMei: The use of the ticking timer is already tedious and it's only twelve minutes into the show!!!

9:13 pm PST / 12:13am EST
Seren: Those are some creepy Village of the Damned Catholic school girls, all dead on the inside, plaid on the outside.
MeiMei: They look way younger than fourteen. In the game of Who's My Mommy?, my bet is on little four-eyes. It's the glasses. Dead giveaway. It's always the homely looking one who has the darkest secrets. (JUST KIDDING!)

9:14 pm PST
Seren: The baby belongs to the silent one.

9:15 pm PST / 12:15am EST
Quaranting guy extra workin' his ten seconds of screen time like the rent is due: "You two are quarantined."
Seren: Two may enter, but only one leaves. My money's on George.
MeiMei: How frickin' convenient that George and McDreamy are thrown together. Shonda, have you ever heard of subtly crafting a plot moment? What's that? Oh, I didn't hear you.

9:16 pm PST/12:16am EST Commercial break
Seren: I can't help it -- Open Season looks good.
MeiMei: Doesn't George's hair look significantly better?
Seren: Good call.

9:18 pm PST
Seren: Why is Richard avoiding his wife?

12:20am EST
MeiMei: I love Callie. I love how awkward yet determined she is. I love that she OUTSHINES Meredith.

9:21 pm PST / 12:21am EST
Christina: No clean clothes.
Seren dabs her eyes.
MeiMei: (REFUSING TO BE EMOTIONALLY MANIPULATED BY THIS SHOW AND BLINKING RAPIDLY LEAST SOMETHING LEAK OUT OF HER EYES) There's something so appealing about Izzy on the floor and how her friends lie on the floor with her. It's visually arresting and also gives the actors a freebie, meaning it automatically establishes a sense of despair even before the actors have to act. (Yeah, you heard me, Pompeo. I mean you.)

9:23 pm PST /12:23am EST
Seren: Man, they're making me like Addison.
MeiMei: Finally, we see the moment when the Montgomery/Shepard marriage fell apart. Interesting choice of the costume department to put Addison in nothing but panties and a black t-shirt. Why do I have more sympathy for Addison than Derek right now? And seriously, how gorgeous is their NYC brownstone? Ugh, I hate this show...hate how Seattle looks so smart and stylish and how NYC looks so sleek and modern. I've lived in both those places and they're NOTHING like that.

9:25 pm PST
Seren: Now that you mention it -- the sound of ticking is oppressive.

9:29 pm PST Commercial break /12:29am EST
Seren: Do there seem to be more commercials than usual?
MeiMei: Yeah, like, every two minutes.
Seren: I just can't be happy about Callista Flockhart returning to television. I can't.

9:30 pm PST /12:30am EST
Seren: Hey -- "Gone Daddy Gone" -- I call continuity error! Oh, wait. Not the Gnarls Barkley version. The original. God, I love the Femmes. But also, by all that is holy, what is up with the ticking?
MeiMei: Poor George. I would seriously so dump Meredith as a friend if I were him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Checking in with the other guy who ran "West Wing"

Smith, the second show I've watched of the new fall season has a lot in common with the first I watched. It has a multi-name cast that leaves you cheering (How, for example, can you not get behind seeing Jonny Lee Miller every week?), one of the folks who ran West Wing writing and exec. producing (John Wells, also of ER, or as you also might think of him, the man who gave us Clooney, amen), and a ton o' hype.

But there is a crucial difference: This show is the awesome.

(Whereas Studio 60, well, y'all know how that one struck me. )

All my remarks should probably be prefaced with the reminder that I don't have HBO, so it may be that my experience with gritty crime shows is not sufficiently broad. But even if this one is HBO-lite, I don't care. In fact, HBO-lite on broadcast TV is all the good and minimal of the things that make me squeamish. (For example, I totally loved Kill Bill, Vol. 1, on TNT this last weekend: All the fun of Tarantino, none of the wooziness of an uncut version. Turns out, when it comes to ultraviolence, I like to be sheltered.)

Smith has a movie feel, as well. Maybe it was the criminals-behind-the-heist ethos or the fact that a character got shot and then blown up on a boat, but it felt akin to The Usual Suspects. And I mean that in a good way.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Notes on the new season (so far)

So, I watched my first show of the new fall TV season: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. And I'm sorry to report that my response was not so much exuberant. I mean, this from the man who gave me Sports Night? I don't think so.

To start with, what up with the pacing? Whole scenes meandered and occasionally outright stalled. For example, was the ten-years-of-my-life-I-want-back shot of that inconsequential alleyway behind the inconsequential club really, really important? That kind of lingering on scenery I expect from CSI, because there are clues and a crime victim somewhere about, but the only thing murdered in that alleyway last night was my attention span.

Even the title seems slowed down and weirdly imbalanced. Whyfore "on the Sunset Strip"? What is its purpose, its significance? I just -- why?

Worse, there was very little zing in the dialogue -- it was underwritten and underdelivered. Yes, I just said that about a script allegedly written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Thomas Schlamme. It was as if guest star Felicity Huffman had been directed to give her three whole lines as if she were addressing really inexpert lip readers -- and I've seen that woman chew through Sorkin-speak like it was candy. Poor Bradley Whitford seemed drained of all color, mono in tone, mono in emotion. If I weren't so busy blaming the script, I'd go so far as to say he was miscast. That's how much chemistry he lacked with his fellow performers.

The only person who managed to make something of the dialogue at times was (am I saying this right?) Matthew Perry (who seems to be falling nicely between Fat Chandler and Scary Thin Chandler these days, though clearly somebody needs to stage an intervention on the hair gel). But then maybe that's because Matt's character gets to do more than one thing: he starts out addled and amusing, but then surprises with the delicacy of his response to his friend's fall from sobriety. And then there's his sudden, almost reptilian professionalism when he starts running the show. I don't remember there being a Mean, Hard-nosed Chandler, and whoa, Mr. Perry nails it.

But is that enough to recommend the show? When the show makes everyone else seem like pale facsimiles of their former selves? (Have I even mentioned Timothy Busfield, Amanda Peet, Sarah Paulson, D. L. Hughley, or Nate Corddry? There's a reason for that.)


By which I mean, one more episode, because that's the kind of TV romantic I am.

Also up this week: Grey's Anatomy is back! Mmmmm.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Go, Sarah, go!

I love Sarah Polley. Followed her career for years from the Road to Avonlea to The Sweet Hereafter to Go to Guinevere (with Sandra Oh!) to My Life without Me (with Scott Speedman!) and Dawn of the Dead. The girl can sing, too. I have soundtracks with her original songs. And now she can add director to her list.

Sarah Polley kicks ass

She's fresh, unpretentious and totally hates the celebrity thing. But she's on my celebrity radar. Oh yes. As bright as any other star, only not as crazy...like, say, her co-star from Go, a certain Kate Holmes.