T: This season is rapidly winding down. That said, not too much tonight (M will probably add though).
CBS has How I Met Your Mother. As uneven as this show can be, I think it’s had a pretty good season. And the chemistry of the this cast is rare and just gets better year after year. It’s also been fun to see Alyson Hannigan blossom with her pregnancy. 2 Broke Girls is next. TV’s dirtiest comedy is so much fun. And so dirty! You can’t believe you’re watching CBS at 8:30 sometimes! I half-heartedly reco Hawaii 5-0. I’m basically over it save for the cinematography. It’s been renewed. But trust me on this: it will not run the 12 seasons the original did. 8p-9p, 10p.
I still give ABC’s Dancing with the Stars a few minutes of time (truth be told, more each week!). It’s an easy DVR show—watch what you want and skip what you don’t. 8p-10p.
M: I can’t believe that, with your half-hearted recommendations, you still won’t try out The Voice. I’ll be watching. Let’s go Jamar & Juliet! If anything, maybe Christina will piss off more people.
Late Night Round Up (with a little Daytime thrown in): Diane Keaton is on Ellen this afternoon. She’s so amazing. She’ll be great with Ellen. Jay Leno has Rashida Jones on The Tonight Show. Can I say just how radiant, gorgeous Rashida Jones is?! I love this girl. Steve Martin is on, too. Eh. Dave’s got Carrie Underwood on Late Show. Jimmy Kimmel Live has a Mauiloveschachi fave, Jonny Lee Miller. The always yummy Vanessa Williams is along for the ride. For Ellen, check your local listings. 11:35p, 12am.
T: Say what you will about Whitney on NBC (and there is much to be said…not ALL bad…but), but this is one funny chick. And Deadline.com announced she’s going to have her own talk show, backed by her fiercest champion, Chelsea Handler. I love this girl and I think this show will be great.
My only question is…how many of these cable talk shows can we have? Chelsea is amazing. Kathy is amusing. But a total rip off of Chelsea. Is Whitney going to be more of the same? It’s definitely time to reinvent the wheel.
But I am cautiously optimistic!
M: Hmmm. I’ll probably check it out. Curious as to whether I’ll like her less scripted self. My assumption is that her stand-up is written out in advance - seems that way during the roasts.
T: Veep is fantastical. Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned herself her next Emmy after two eps. Just damn fucking funny (I’ve got both eps for you, M). Besides the fact she can do no wrong and, totally, totally overachieves, the entire cast is fab. And the writing is comically brilliant. You can’t say this about many shows, but this show is 1000% unique.
And I am finally back on the Mad Men wagon. I thought it sucked all of last year. And for most of this year. Tonight, they finally REALLY got back on track. And I fucking love Megan. Poor, pretty Sally really saw a lot tonight. The writing was tight, the characters were totally themselves. And there was no Betty! Which always makes things better.
When Eddie Izzard voices over the emergency procedures for the theater, you know you’re in for a ride. What About Dick? is one of the funniest live theater events I’ve ever seen. Insane cast - absolutely insane. Creator Eric Idle called this group of British (and areas surrounding) comedy all-stars “comedy porn.” I’m still singing Billy Connolly’s rousing “Lonely Trout” song in my head; and if I can find the lyrics, I’ll post them for you. (Not a musical, but there was a sing-along).
It’s a clever, silly farce and I laughed every minute; at the intended dialogue, the ad libs, and the fuck ups. (My favorite: Billy Connolly, as the utterly incomprehensible Inspector McGuffin, takes his place in front of the mic, stands there waiting for a minute, and then mutters, “Whenever your fucking rrrrready,” to his castmates, who quickly scurry to their places.)
Most of the cast played multiple roles. Tracey Ullman was magnificent. Eddie Izzard is sexy, hilarious, and a genius; and Tim Curry, with that deep baritone voice, is a not-so-closeted gay riot as Reverend Whoopsie. Jane Leeves and Sophie Winkleman are absolute pros. Russell Brand, of whom I am a fan, was funny; but was totally outclassed on this stage. Understandable - live theater is a unique animal, and most of these folks have been doing it for a long time.
The plot synopsis from the website, because I couldn’t possibly describe it, gives you a sense of the writing and humor:
“The astonishing cast we have assembled to work on my Dick is a comedy writer’s wet dream…“It’s comedy porn.”- Eric Idle
Idle callsWHAT ABOUT DICK?an “Emotion Picture for Radio,” set between 1910 and eight o’clock, which tells the story of young Dick (Russell Brand) who is studying philosophy and gynecology at Oxford; his two cousins: Emma, (Jane Leeves) an emotionally retarded English girl; her kleptomaniac sister Helena (Sophie Winkleman) and their dipsomaniac Aunt Maggie (Tracey Ullman) all live together in Kensington in a large, rambling, Edwardian novel. When the Reverend Whoopsie (Tim Curry) discovers a piano on a beach, a plot is set afoot that can be solved only by a private Dick, the incomprehensible Scottish sleuth Inspector McGuffin (Billy Connolly) who with the aid of Sergeant Ken Russell (Jim Piddock) finally reveals the identity of the Houndsditch Mutilator.
Described by Idle as “Oscar Wilde on acid, or like Downton Abbey, only even funnier,” “Dick”begins with the birth of the personal vibrator, invented in Shagistan in 1898 by Deepak Obi Ben Kingsley (Eddie Izzard), and tells the story of the subsequent decline of the British Empire as seen through the eyes of a piano.
What About Dick? has one more date at the Orpheum Theater in LA tonight, and there are just a few $50 balcony seats left. If you don’t have plans, go see this once in a lifetime comedy gem.
ABC gives us the first of the last three eps of Desperate Housewives. It’s been a long, roller coaster ride with this show. But I would say it’s been worth it. While the quality has often been questionable, they have always been blessed with a talented cast. (Teri Hatcher aside.). And seeing Eva Longoria blossom has been a treat. Marc Cherry says he’s had the finale in his head from the beginning. Let’s hope it’s worthy of this really great final season. Next up is GCB. Its future is definitely in peril. But it’s so much fun. Had DH's ratings not fallen off so much this season we'd probably be seeing a better performance from GCB. But it is what it is. Catch it while you can and we’ll see just how ABC’s development came out. It’s worthy of a season 2. 9p-11p.
The Amazing Race is new over at CBS. Still the gold standard of reality shows. We’re winding down the season so tension will be high. Followed by the season finale (sniff) of the best written show on television, The Good Wife. Possible shake-up at Lockhart Gardner. Alicia drama with Peter (could we get him written off? But I suppose he makes a good spoiler). What else will we learn about Kalinda? She is easily one of the most fascinating characters on TV EVER. Watch tonight and catch up over the summer if TGW has eluded you. It’s such a WONDERFUL show. 8p-10p.
Showtime gives us the gifts that are Nurse Jackie and The Big C. NJ is always great when it focuses on Grace and tonight is one of those nights. I don’t agree with some critics who have turned on Gabourey Sidibe. I think she’s done an outstanding job on The Big C. And her brother/sister relationship with Adam is very sweet. Showtime is doing everything right at the moment. We all know that can shift on a dime. Let’s savor while we can. 6p satellite, 9p cable.
AMC has The Killing and a resurgent Mad Men. I’ve been especially critical of MM the last season and most of this one. I will remain cautiously optimistic we’re on an upswing. Sally has a part in the show tonight and I love that little girl. So things are looking promising. 6p-8p satellite. 9p-11p cable.
HBO has the must watch new show Veep. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is beyond phenomenal in this crazy role. And she can say Fuck like no one else. It’s such an inventive little show that doesn’t feel like a little show. This is HBO’s answer back to Showtime (which, trust me, kicks HBO in the teeth to do after dominating for so many years). 7p satellite, 10p cable.
Let’s start with the venue. We were first time McCabers. And it definitely won’t be the last. This guitar shop with a makeshift concert venue in the back is so perfectly intimate and lovely. Acoustics were perfect. The seating was perfect. Could not reco a concert here more.
And then there was Susanna. Ray’s probably one of her biggest fans. And I love her too. She was off the charts entertaining tonight. Her voice, which I feel is one of the most unique in all of pop music (she shares that with Belinda), was so rich and full. I don’t feel that always comes out on the radio. From her new material (GREAT!) to some of the Bangles material, she treated us to a feast of music magic. Interspersed throughout it all was banter with us, the audience, that was very intimate (yes, that word again) and vulnerable and real. She presented what I would imagine is the true Susanna Hoffs. Different from when we’ve seen her with The Bangles. Not better, per say. Just more…her. The new stuff, like I said, was great (and maybe we can get R to talk more about that), but I tell you what, Eternal Flame gets me every time. We’re talking slight tears. It’s one of those songs that just takes you back. In this case, to childhood…and to R. She was just so fantastic tonight.
A few other notes. Her husband, who has directed the blockbuster movie franchises Austin Powers and Meet the Parents was so doting and helpful to many in the audience. (I’m guessing the place holds about 100 people.) It was extremely sweet to see him watch her singing. And to see him running around greeting people and being an all around awesome dude. Good on you, Jay Roach. You are one stand up dude.
I should probably mention that, aside from sounding better than she ever has, Susanna looks astonishingly beautiful. Beauty comes with age these days. And she’s overflowing with beauty. And if there’s been work done, it’s the best, most natural I have ever seen.
Finally, she has a bandmate named Brazzel. OK. It’s Andrew Brassel. But it sounds like Brazzel. And he’s awesome. Great guitarist and back up singer.
Just all around a wonderful night. To look over and see R’s smile was worth its weight in gold.
R: Set List (from the sold out 8pm show):
Different Drum (Stone Poneys cover) (M: LOVE this song! Linda Ronstadt’s early days)
NBC has Who Do You Think You Are new again tonight. Only watch if you like Rob Lowe. Personally, I think it will be very self indulgent. (M: I’ve heard his autobiography is fascinating.) (T: Ray loved the book. I can’t be bothered.) Next up is Grimm. Still a reco. Nothing remarkable, but I applaud NBC for keeping something original, and good, on Friday night. 8p-10p.
That’s it! I don’t even have a Late Night Round Up for you! It’s that barren tonight. Get used to that as Summer approaches.
Two editors of this blog: TJ (T) and Michele (M). We live in LA (Valley and Westside, respectively), and love music, TV and film; although we often disagree on our preferences. Hence, the sometimes schizophrenic nature of our blog.
T: This question amuses me.
M: My paranoid self feared that it was in response to “we’re incredibly smart…” and then we kick off a statement with “And.” So I edited our “About us” again.
(T: Even as an English major, I’ve just never had a problem with starting a sentence with “and.” It’s the way I speak. And I’ve always felt it was a comforting and natural way of writing. That said, I have no problem with this. But also, this person can suck it.)
T: We’re all new tonight. One of the last nights like this of the season. Enjoy!
CBS has The Big Bang Theory. I’m almost prepared to call this my favorite show on television. The chemistry this cast has, the amazing writing and continuity, the direction…they all add up to magic. Tonight we have Walowitz’s bachelor party with Sheldon giving a speech. Just imagine. Skip to 9p and Person of Interest. Probably the most unique new show of the season. I don’t want to run out and watch, but every time I do, I enjoy it. Then we have The Mentalist. Despite any of M’s protests, this is a great show. Extremely well written. I love how clever it is. That’s not a word I’d use to describe many, if any other, shows at all. A great night on CBS. 8p, 9p-11p.
Community kicks things off on NBC. This is another gem to savor while you can. Ratings have never, ever been good, but it has had the good fortune to air on a network that can’t buy ratings. Depending on the (I predict, disastrous) results of development, I’d say Community has a 50/50 shot at coming back. I hope it does. Next is 30 Rock. Creatively, it’s all over the place. But I still come back for more. If only for Kenneth. Skip 9p and settle in for Parks and Recreation. Parks and Rec is one of the reasons to be glad television was invented. Yes, it’s that good. 8p-9p, 9:30p.
Over at ABC we have Missing. Catching up on this one, but it’s good! Yeah, M has her (non-watcher) problem with the show. Yeah, it’s about finding a kid. And where do they go from there. I don’t know. But I do know it’s an American television show shot on location in Europe, Asia, Russia, etc…It’s worth your while (if your DVR will allow!).
Late Night Round Up: Chelsea Lately has Alison Brie. She’s so awesome on Community and so awesomely different as the poor wife of ass Pete on Mad Men. Jay has the magnificent Diane Keaton on The Tonight Show. This chick can do no wrong in my book. Jimmy Kimmel Live is perfection. He’s got the beautiful Emily Blunt, the beautiful Dave Salmoni (google him is you don’t know him, seriously) and Adam Lambert (keep on trying, dude!). Jimmy Fallon has the amazing Jason Segel. In my eyes, this dude can do no wrong. 11p, 11:35p, 12a, 12:35a.
Most of ABC’s lineup is in repeats, but the little treasure that is The B in Apt. 23 is new. It really is a great show—perfectly cast (once you get past the memory of the lead’s death on Breaking Bad—possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen on scripted television!), great writing and direction. It’s a great show—even if it did take over for the also great Happy Endings. Next up, we get a new Revenge! I can’t keep saying “this show is my favorite new show of the season,” but, this show might be my favorite new show of the season. It is so deliciously soapy and campy. 9:30p-11p.
TV Land has Hot in Cleveland and Happily Divorced. I take a lot of crap for watching these from M, but both are really funny shows. Well written (for what they are—a throwback to the ’80s) and perfectly cast. They are worth your while, even if M continues to be a pill about them. 7p satellite, 10p cable.
Our little South Park boys are back on Comedy Central. Can you believe SP has been on since the mid nineties? We’re coming up on 15 years. That’s so incredible. If you ever can catch it, there was a docu on the show not long ago…it was fascinating to hear Matt and Trey talk about how they do each show in one week (rare, very, for animation). Still sharp, on target and funny after all these years. 7p satellite, 10p cable.
Survivor is new on CBS. All these years later, I can still get into the show. And this season is good. One of the better, in my opinion. 8p.
E! gives us our weekly (except for M, who can’t seem to record it) serving of The Soup. Nobody is as snarky as Joel McHale. And he’s just perfect! 7p satellite, 10p cable. (M: Yep - not in there. Will have to watch ON Demand)
Not much to reco for Late Night tonight, but we do have a jewel of show business on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Carol Burnett. A true living legend. 12:35a.
M: The semi-finalists were selected tonight, and thankfully, my faves move forward.
After the prerequisite 10 minutes of fluff/flashbacks, the show kicked off with a performance by Florence + the Machine’s new single “No Light No Light.” I love Florence. Her voice is evocative of Kate Bush or Tori Amos, and MAN does she put on a show. I did think the dancers were a little distracting - maybe I’m turning into Blake. But a really nice score for The Voice. On to the contestants, narrowing down to the semi-finalists:
America saved Tony Lucca. Really? Stop it, America! He is an adequate singer with not enough charisma. Katrina Parker should have been a shoe-in, but I’m sure Tony’s established, biased fanbase must have voted him in, just like the Republican party — more organized & less discerning.Listen with your ears, not your pre-adolescent girly eyes! Blake called it when Katrina did her “save” performance - he said, “I know America voted for Tony last night, but you’re the best singer on Adam’s team.”
Mathai and Katrina sang off. Mathai did a fun song called “Cowboy Casanova,” which I, of course, have never heard. It’s from Carrie Underwood, so I’ll give T some props - he probably knows it & I thought it was a fun song. Katrina did Pink’s ”Perfect” (actually, it’s “Fucking Perfect,” but this IS broadcast TV). Much better than Mathai’s performance again.
Adam chose Katrina, rightfully so. I do think Tony was the better choice over Mathai, so the right two go into the semi-finals.
Team Cee Lo
America saved Jamar Rogers. Now that makes sense. He killed it last night, as he does EVERY TIME. Good choice. (Didn’t love his dreads in a headband, though)
Cheesa performed “Already Gone.” It was ok - up and down for me. I thought she did a GREAT job last night with “I Have Nothing.” I love her presence and her power; but she needs the right songs, and this wasn’t it. She has a low range, and can pull out the power; but she struggles with righer ranges with power at the same time. That came through tonight & it just sounded off.
Juliet Simms did Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” T may be surprised to hear that I LOVE this song. She did a good job. It wasn’t my favorite performance of hers, still better than Cheesa’s but she completely deserves to move forward.
Cee Lo chose Juliet, and I’m so happy to see one of my faves move on.
Next week is going to be tough, as so many of my faves face off!
(Footnote: in doing photo research for this, I saw that Erin Martin blamed Cee Lo for her elimination. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/voice-eliminations-erin-martin-cee-lo-green-nbc-311008 What? You asshole! Your voice is mediocre, and you pronounce words incorrectly in some misguided way, thinking that makes you sound unique (although you sound like 40% of the other female contestants on The Voice. You should have gone home long ago — Cee Lo championed you. Grow up, you ungrateful little twit!)
M: Baz Luhrmann creates visually stunning timeless period pieces (oxymoron intentional) accompanied by some of the most surprising and amazing soundtracks I’ve ever heard.
T: Isn’t it crazy he’s only directed five films?! I have to say, I even loved Australia. I know it didn’t do all that much, but I was very entertained. I’m looking forward to this as well. Just please, no more Chanel 5 commercials…EVER…with Nicole (face doesn’t move) Kidman.
Just seeing amazing artists I know; plus the magic of discovering new music. I should have braved the heat, dirt, and faux LA hippies.
T: While this has never been my scene to begin with, it sounds like hell on earth. I’ve heard of horrible bathroom situations and 6 hour drives back to LA. Sounds awful.
M: I will brave the portapots & the drive any day for good music. It’s the pretentious LA crowd, and the greed of the promoters demanding you buy a 3-day pass, that give me pause. Also, New Orleans Jazzfest is always better.
M: Me or Prince? I’m almost more offended if you say the “gross” is for Prince. He’s not my type (although I wouldn’t turn down a night just out of curiosity), but he is one of the best musicians in the world today. Hands-down. Validated by every major credible music publication. Not debatable.
(T: I know you love him. I just find him to be this tiny little thing. One that maybe had one good album and a few good singles after that. Another agree to disagree. I just don’t like the dude’s music.)
T: I’ve hated just about every movie he’s done. And all this press about The Dictator is making me sick. His Oscar Red Carpet stunt was just that. A stunt. This guy is a one trick pony.
What say you, M?
M: I say you put this up to bait me! Yeah, Bruno sucked, but you didn’t think Borat or Da Ali G Show were hilarious? Anyone who defaces Ryan Seacrest is A-OK with me. AND I’ve had the good fortune to see The Dictator in an early screening & it was hilarious. But maybe I’m wrong. Let’s see what today’s headline is on Deadline.
Sacha Baron Cohen Steals the Show at Paramount Presentation: CinemaCon
Well, his in-character speech probably wasn’t that funny, right? Let’s see a few pieces of it:
“I thought I was going to be the only dictator here tonight,” “Imagine my surprise when I found out Jeffrey Katzenberg would be here.”
He told exhibitors: “I hope you show my film on all of your screens… Trust me, there are bigger bombs than John Carter.” Staying with the riff, he urged Disney to “just shoot the executive” responsible for the film. “Wait a minute, you did” — referring to studio chief Rich Ross’s firing.
By way of introduction, Baron Cohen claimed to have starred in movies such as “When Harry Kidnapped Sally, The 14 Year Old Virgin, and The Planet Of The Rapes“.
As he told the industry audience, “My film will be released on May 16. As for your families, we’ll see.”
That’s more comic gold than in an entire episode of the SNL you continue to defend.