Archive for the 'Television' Category

Talking Television

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

As I’ve gotten older and free time has gotten scarcer, I don’t obsess about new and returning fall television as I once did. That said, I still watch plenty of TV, and we haven’t talked TV in a while. Here’s what’s on the rotation currently, and why:

The Mindy Show: not hilarious, but charming and funny enough to keep going with
Happy Endings: bizarre and often hilarious
Arrow: comic-book geek guilty pleasure, heavier on the guilt
Nashville: soapy, woman-centered guilty pleasure, heavier on the pleasure
Modern Family: for now. Feeling very been-there, done-that.
Parks and Rec: Love this funny, sweet show. From season 3 on, this has been a consistent entertainment.
30 Rock: last season, and they’re pushing some interesting boundaries.

We tried Elementary (another woman-violent procedural), Last Resort (didn’t see the hype) and Ben and Kate (almost cute enough but not quite.), all just once.

Currently watching past seasons of Downton Abbey, Homeland, Friday Night Lights.

Looking forward to return of Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

I read all of Alan Sepinwalls reviews of my shows at Hitfix. He’s got a smart, informed commenting base, unlike Entertainment Weekly’s, which is regularly horrible and hateful.

What are you watching that’s worthwhile?

DVD & Movie Bender

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Long weekend plus stitches in my leg from having a non-melanoma but atypical mole removed meant permission to sit on my a$$ the long Thanksgiving weekend. Woo hoo! Here’s what we watched.

Friday Night Lights Season 2. I’m glad people warned me that this season is silly and to persevere. Otherwise, I wouldn’t, because it’s as if the writers threw ever cliche at the screen they could think of: murder! drug dealers! love triangle! Also, they ended season 2 with a surprise pregnancy, as they did season 1. Keeping the faith that Seasons 3 to 5 are as good as people say.

Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban. With the kids for family movie night. The day after, my husband G. Grod and I were in the kitchen discussing whether we should buy the whole series of movies, or just borrow from the library. I said I didn’t care for them that much and was leaning to the latter when 9yo Drake said, “Hello? I’m standing right here! I LIKE them.” And we now have the entire set on Blu ray. I do like film 3 better than the previous 2, it’s darker and the kids are growing up.

Planes Trains and Automobiles. John Hughes’ first movie for grownups. Thought we might watch it with the kids, but was glad we didn’t, give the eff-ing scene in the middle. But a good one for Thanksgiving.

Our Idiot Brother. Carolyn said she liked it, and she was right. This was dumb but entertaining and sweet like its main character.

The Amazing Spider Man. Again, with the kids. I just love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.

Skyfall. G. Grod and I saw Goldeneye on our second date, in 1995. We’ve been going to see Bond movies for 17 years. This was entertaining, though overlong and doesn’t at all hold up under even light consideration.

And, to finish out the weekend, we watched the pilot of Homeland, since everyone gushes about it. I was immediately sucked in. Can’t wait to tear through it.

The Wire, Season 4

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

After taking more than a year off after Season 3 of The Wire, my husband and I watched Season 4 in a blaze. This is the one about the kids, the schools and the mayoral race, and I flat-out loved it. This is my favorite of the seasons thus far, and I think it was because of the kids. Like always, the series breaks my heart then builds it back up. It gives and it takes away. Phenomenal storytelling and characterizations. If you haven’t watched, you should. And winter re-run season is a great time. Go spend some time in Baltimore.

HOLY CATS, PEOPLE! The complete series is at amazon right now for $82. What are you waiting for?

“Slings and Arrows” Season 1

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

A Canadian television series now available on DVD, Slings and Arrows was recommended at Mental Multivitamin. My thoughtful husband got it for me immediately, and then (as so often happens) it languished on our shelf, gathering dust.

(Oh, my, has it really be over THREE YEARS since that recommendation, and likely that long it’s been on the shelf?)

Last week we pulled it out, and went through the first season’s 6 episodes in quick succession. It’s about a Shakespeare festival theater in Canada, its struggles to make survive and put on a credible version of Hamlet. Oliver is the fussy director, Ellen is the aging actress, Geoffrey is the former-star-who-had-a-famous-breakdown, and Rachel McAdams plays a likable ingenue. It’s mostly funny, with some tragedy and romance thrown in for good measure. The cast is enormously engaging, as is the play within the show. I look forward to Season 2, which I’m waiting for from the library.

Parks and Rec returns tonight!

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I don’t care that you haven’t seen it before and neither does Linda at NPR, who does a great job of explaining why you should be watching this show:

while bittersweet comedy is a wonderful thing, not all great comedy has to have much bitter in it. Some of it is mostly sweet and still great.

Good comedies are rare, and Parks and Rec is really good. Try it if you haven’t yet.

“Firefly” (series) and “Serenity” (2005)

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

TV critic Alan Sepinwall, who blogs at Hitfix now, revisits TV shows on DVD during the summer. This years he’s doing Joss Whedon’s Firefly and The Wire Season 3. My husband and I were fans of Firefly during its short-lived time on the air, and thought it would be fun to watch it again in one swell foop and read Sepinwall’s recaps. And it was, indeed, mostly swell.

The series, which ran for only 14 episodes, was a space opera western. Mal Reynolds was a rebel war veteran who used his spaceship to run dodgy business throughout the galaxy. He has a crew of four: his right-hand woman, Zoe; her husband, the pilot Wash; mechanic Kaylee; and hired muscle Jayne. There are also a few passengers: Inara, a Companion (i.e. space prostitute); Shepherd Book, a preacher with a murky past; and another couple of guys.

I’ll get my big problems out of the way first. One, this is another example of how supposed feminist Joss Whedon maybe isn’t such a paragon. Space prostitute? Really? It might have worked if he’d followed up on what’s stated in the show–Companions are celebrated and revered, almost worshipped. Instead, they go for cheap shots from both Mal and customers about hookers, which make it more akin to 50’s westerns than millenial sci-fi. Further, the series and movie fails the Bechdel test–none of the women characters ever talk together about anything other than men.

Second, it was recently brought to my attention that while Whedon posited a future cultural mishmash of US and Chinese cultures, the series and the movie have almost no Chinese or even Asian characters, EVEN AS EXTRAS.

And yet, I still found this a darn entertaining show. Nathan Fillion is charming as Mal, a knight in sour armor. Zoe and Kaylee are smart and strong female characters, even if they could have been developed more as individuals than in relation to the men. The mystery is involving. My favorite element, though, was Adam Baldwin (now on Chuck) as Jayne Cobb. He is hilarious and steals many of his scenes.

In perhaps the oddest turn of events, Firefly, though canceled by Fox, had such a strong and dedicated fan following that Whedon was able to find a producer who liked the series and was willing to gamble on a feature film. Whedon’s challenge, then, was to make a film that would appeal to both fans of the series and newcomers and further, answer a bunch of the questions left open when the series ended. Seeing Serenity again confirmed and enhanced my opinion from when I saw it in theater: mission accomplished, Joss and crew. Well done.

Serenity is fast-paced entertainment, with impressive effects given its small budget, and a remarkably tight plot given the many things it had to accomplish. Also, probably not coincidentally, there’s hardly anything about Inara as a space prostitute. What it does best, though, is highlight one of the strengths of the series: its diverse, engaging and charming cast.

I recommend both the series and the movie, as well as the recaps Sepinwall is doing this summer. After Whedon’s most recent series, the to-me disappointing Dollhouse, rewatching this made me wish he could get another series that might last. It’s been a long time since Buffy.

A Short Post on TV

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

It occurred to me as I settled down on the basement couch to watch TV last night that I have two types of shows I watch: ones I look forward to and must watch ASAP, and ones that can linger on the Tivo. As time has grown more scarce, I’ve given up the “maybe it will get good again” or the “it’s pretty good, sometimes” shows.

Two shows I left behind this year and never looked back on were House and The Office.

Shows that I like but can postpone include How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, At the Movies and Top Chef Masters. I’m a little sad to note that both Project Runway and Top Chef original recipe are both in this category, too, as they used to be in the next one.

But the can’t-wait shows, the ones I know will be on Facebook and the internets within minutes of their ends? First and foremost, Breaking Bad, then in chrono order, Glee, Modern Family, Community, Parks & Rec, and Dr. Who.

How about you?

The Sneaky Geek

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

On a recent Saturday night, my husband G. Grod and I sat down to watch the Doctor Who David Tennant finale, “The End of Time part two.” We’d not been thrilled with part 1, so were hoping for a strong finish. We got what we felt was a stronger, yet not really a strong, finish. The scenes with Wilf were worth the price of admission, though, especially the final scene. As we knew would happen in the end, David Tennant began to glow and writhe, and suddenly there was a new guy standing there, apparently disappointed he wasn’t a redhead. (Videos here.)

I’m still not ginger.

G and I switched off the television, expressed our mild disappointment, voiced hope for Matt Smith, the new Dr. Who, and the new show runner, Steven Moffat, then I got up to go upstairs. I rounded the corner, and nearly fell over in surprise.

There was 6you Drake, staring at me with wide eyes. (For those who have seen Drake, you know he has huge eyes to begin with.)

“You scared the daylights out of me! What are you doing up?” I said, startled and displeased.

Drake held up his hand as if to ward off a scolding. “Mom, what was all that light coming out of that guy’s head? And why was there a different guy there?”

I put my hand to my forehead. G. asked, “How long have you been there?” but we both knew it had probably been for nearly the entire not-6yo-appropriate show. G chastised himself for not checking; he’d heard a noise earlier, and thought Drake had run downstairs to get a book or toy. I gave G a wave meant to convey, “no use now; let’s just get on with it” and herded Drake upstairs.

“It was energy coming out of his head,” I told him, “and the new guy was a different body, not a different person.” Drake seemed placated by this. When he put his head down on the pillow, he shot right back up again.

“I can see him!” he said, excitedly.

“Who?” I asked, pun unintended.

“The guy with the light in his head!” Drake continued to put his head down, pop it up and count till finally G and I left, as Drake didn’t seem much bothered by THE SCARY IMAGE SEARED UPON HIS BRAIN. The next day he told me he’d seen the face 31 times.

I’m not sure if it makes it more or less annoying, and more or less amusing, but Drake did the same thing a year and a half ago, for one of the season finale episodes with the Daleks. He snuck down, hid for most of the show, was discovered at the end, and pestered us with questions about the weird machines with the weird voices.

Please remind me to keep an eye out for him at the end of Season 5. I think he’s gaining his geek bona fides, though.

Fall 2009 Television

Monday, September 14th, 2009

I found Entertainment Weekly’s 2009 Fall TV preview disappointing. What used to be a week-long analysis of what to see and what to skip was over after a quick perusal.

New shows I’ll be adding: Glee and Community.

Continuing and returning shows: Mad Men, House (ahem, a proper medical caduceus only has one snake. Two snakes is Mercury, and marketing), How I Met Your Mother, Top Chef, Project Runway, 30 Rock, Office, Parks & Rec (for now), and Dollhouse (for now).

I find myself a little embarrassed about how excited I am about the new season of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, a PBS show I actually like to watch with my kids.

“Mad Men” Season 3

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Heads up: Mad Men season 3 debuts this Sunday on AMC at 10p/9 Central. Don returned to Betty, hat in hand (literally) at the end of last season. There will be a jump ahead in time, so we’ll see when that lands us with the Drapers and the crew at Sterling Cooper.

For an incisive analysis of Season 2’s camera work, Film Freak Central has a great retrospective and comparison to Hitchcock. I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me before that Betty is so like Hitchcock’s icy tormented blondes.

And for fun, design a Mad Men icon of yourself here if you haven’t already. Here’s mine, though I’m annoyed that they don’t have a hair shade that’s outright red, like Joan’s:

Girl Detective Mad Men Icon

The Wire: Season Two

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

One summer, two seasons of The Wire so I could follow along with Sepinwall, and it’s well worth watching, as almost everyone but us knew.

Season Two goes beyond the drug culture of Season One, though it’s more than tangentially related to it. A serious crime at the docks becomes the new focus and brings viewers into the dying culture of the stevedores. The Sobotka famiy–Frank, his son Ziggy and nephew Nick–are the main characters this season. Most of the Police are struggling in their new lives, at least until Prez tries to get the band back together. McNulty becomes a bit player as others take the stage, with both Kima and Daniels getting more air time. As in Season One, nothing is simple and everything connects and loops back on itself. Like the Greek tragedy it pays homage to, The Wire’s stories and characters are riveting and moving–Stringer Bell is cold, McNulty’s a mess, Amy Ryan’s Bedie is beyond sympathetic, and trickster figure Omar continues to shock and amaze.

G. and I are taking a break for vacation, and will have to see whether we’ll try for Season Three before the fall TV season begins. At this point I’d like to continue through to the end. I’ve had one major development spoiled for me, and would like to keep it at one.

How to Cook, Not How to Eat

Monday, August 10th, 2009

In Michael Pollan’s recent NYT magazine cover story, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch” he writes about the TV/food continuum that started with Julia Child and now includes at least one network devoted to Food and a slew of other food and cooking shows.

Pollan makes the distinction that Julia Child was about taking the fear out of cooking and teaching people HOW to cook, where today’s shows like Top Chef are less about day-to-day cooking skills and more about a high level of technical skill. Today’s TV chefs are fun to watch, but Pollan claims they may actually discourage people from cooking, as what they’re doing is impractical or impossible for a home cook (molecular gastronomy, anyone?)

Pollan acknowledges that the shows do seem to give audiences a familiarity with ingredients formerly reserved for chefs and specialty stores. He claims this makes people better restaurant patrons. I feel instead it makes me a more educated cook. I also think he overstates the case about how disparate the shows are from reality, too.

But you do have to wonder how easily so specialized a set of skills might translate to the home kitchen – or anywhere else for that matter. For when in real life are even professional chefs required to conceive and execute dishes in 20 minutes from ingredients selected by a third party exhibiting obvious sadistic tendencies? (String cheese?) Never, is when. The skills celebrated on the Food Network in prime time are precisely the skills necessary to succeed on the Food Network in prime time. They will come in handy nowhere else on God’s green earth.

Really, Mr. Pollan? How long has it been since you’ve cooked for children, especially small ones? Almost every day, I start to prepare the family supper, my kids wander in, telling me how hungry they are in plaintive voices. I offer several suggestions; most are rejected. My preparation is usually interrupted for a negotiation while I try to figure out what will placate them, not spoil their dinner and is reasonably healthful. Even if I get initial buy in, what I produce is often rejected. So yes, I am quite familiar with having to prepare small plates, sometimes involving string cheese, for sadistic consumers while trying to do other cooking activities in a short amount of time.

In fact, here’s a Top Chef Quickfire challenge idea, Bravo: have the chefs prepare a family dinner while also feeding a hungry, whiny 3yo, while also keeping the kid safe in the kitchen.

Back to Pollan’s article, though. He finds that cooking and weight are inversely related. The more one cooks, the less one weighs and vice versa. He acknowledges that different households have different families–single parent and double working parent homes are going to have less time, energy and inclination to cook. He doesn’t, though, offer good solutions for this.

There’s where Mark Bittman is a busy person’s friend. Bittman offers great ideas for seasonal food cooked simply on his blog, Bitten, as well as in his book, Food Matters. His recent article of “101 Salads for the Season” contains very little actual cooking, but still uses whole ingredients in the manner Pollan recommends.

Pollan’s ideas are good, but they’re more ideal than practical. For that, visit Bittman and check out his books. And watch food TV if you want, as inspiration or entertainment. I’ve found good recipes for the family, gotten good ideas like mixing rice into green salads, and learned the lesson that Pollan states, too:

the key to victory on any of these shows comes down to one factor: bacon. Whichever contestant puts bacon in the dish invariably seems to win.

Insert Appropriate “Hamlet” Quote Here

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Did anyone else besides me think longingly of jetting to England last year to see Dr. Who’s David Tennant as Hamlet? Well, no need for regrets. PBS will be showing Tennant’s Hamlet as part of Great Performances in 2010. I am thrilled.

Summer TV: Torchwood, Dr. Who and Ted

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Aside from Season 2 of Breaking Bad, which feels like it ended ages ago, I haven’t watched much new TV this summer. I really wanted to like Bravo’s Fashion Show, and I tried; I really did. Top Chef Masters has been pretty good, though not quite as diverting as the original recipe. Three things stood out, to me though: Torchwood, Dr. Who and Better Off Ted.

In lieu of Torchwood Season 3, creator Russell T. Davies did a five-night miniseries for the BBC called “Children of Earth”. The series up to this point was often entertaining, but wildly uneven. The miniseries took the team, left in shambles at the end of Season 2, and roughed them up a bit more.

An alien race uses Earth’s children as speakers, and wants to take a lot of them away. Though Davies says otherwise, the production value on the mini felt top notch. The drama was riveting, and most of the acting, particularly by the actor who played John Frobisher, was great. By the end, when things get very tense, I sat on my couch with a lump in the pit of my stomach, eyes wide and waiting, hoping for a redemptive ending.

That said, it was perhaps too dark. Part of Torchwood’s charm, when it works, is its goofy, raunchy sense of humor. There wasn’t enough of that here. Along that line, John Barrowman, who plays Torchwood leader Capt. Jack Harkness, does better, IMO, as the grinning, swashbuckling hero than when he tries to emote. He made a couple tough decisions in the last episode, and I think either alone might have made it harder for me to like him as the lead. Both together were pretty damning. I’ll be interested to see what Torchwood looks like when it returns, but I do think the miniseries is the way to go.

The Doctor Who movies, “The Next Doctor” and “Planet of the Dead” did a much better job of maintaining the character’s and series’ wacky sense of humor but also dealing with dark, sad or scary things. David Tennant’s Doctor acknowledged the losses in his past, but didn’t go out of character in reaction to them. “The Next Doctor” was shown in the UK at Christmas time, and was really good, not only in comparison to last year’s Titanic-themed, Kylie Minogue-starring mess. “Planet of the Dead” was suspenseful and entertaining, with some sweet and funny and sad thrown in for balance.

For funny, though, I’m glad that ABC ran its additional episodes of Better Off Ted. The main character is good, but it’s the kooky characters orbiting him and how he’s affected by them that really brings the funny. I’m thrilled ABC renewed this, and it will join 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother and The Office in my upcoming comedy lineup, to break up the bleakness of shows like Torchwood and the upcoming season 3 of Mad Men.

Finished: “The Wire” Season 1

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

My husband G. Grod and I just finished The Wire, Season 1. We’re going to try to watch some movies and tv (Top Chef Masters and Fashion Show) before we start season 2.

My favorite character, of many, I think has to be Omar. Here, then, for others who have or will watch Season 1, are links to Alan Sepinwall’s S1 rewind posts for Wire Newbies, with reader comments:

1. “The Target”
2. “The Detail
3. “The Buys
4. “Old Cases
5. “The Pager
6. “The Wire
7. “One Arrest
8. “Lessons
9. “Game Day
10. “The Cost
11. “The Hunt
12. “Cleaning Up
13. “Sentencing

No spoilers, please. You never know what someone is reading and at what point they’re watching. I can field discussion about S1 details by email, though.

“The Wire” on DVD

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

or, I finally got got.

For years, I’ve heard what a great show The Wire was. It was so great the love for it was even parodied on Stuff White People Like. Anytime it was mentioned, someone was certain to say some variation on “You haven’t seen it? It’s great! You must!”

Since summer is mostly reruns, and since tv critic Alan Sepinwall is helpfully re-watching and posting about season 1 (last summer) and season 2 (this summer), and since my friend The Big Brain finally got his DVDs back from somebody else to lend to me, I started watching. The first episode was good, but it didn’t strike me as having the heroin-like addictive properties others had ascribed to it. So I watched the next episode, then the next. It was about episode three or four that I was hooked like everybody else. I’d come to love this crazy menage of complex characters.

Which made it all the more difficult when something bad happened last night to one of them (no spoilers here, I swear). But that didn’t stop me from wanting to blaze right into the next episode–I find it difficult to restrict myself to just one episode a night, since they’re almost a full hour long.

I’m two-thirds through season one, and I’m here to tell you: if you haven’t seen The Wire, it’s great. You must!

“Sports Night” on DVD

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I buy more books than I can read, and more dvds than I can watch. But dvds of television shows are especially difficult. They seem like they’ll be fun, easy and enjoyable, yet they actually require sustained attention. Then, when I lapse, I feel the need to go back to the beginning and start again, consuming even more time.

In 2002, ABC released a dvd set of Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin’s half-hour comedy that ran for two seasons before he decided to focus on The West Wing. I’d seen the episodes before, taping them on VHS from some rerun marathon. G. Grod and I started watching them again on DVD but stopped somewhere in season 1. Then Shout Factory announced last year that they’d do a 10th anniversary collection, with better quality transfers and extras. Did I buy it even though I already had the set from six years ago that I hadn’t finished?

What do you think?

I was encouraged because tv critic Alan Sepinwall is re-watching and posting about the episodes during summer reruns. (So far he’s done “Pilot” and “Apology“) Because of that, and because I’ve set up a semi-regular watching schedule with friends, I stand a chance of watching all the episodes again.

If you didn’t catch Sports Night in any of its go ’rounds, I recommend it highly. It’s about the crew of a third-rate sports show on a low-rated network. The banter is fast and funny, and the characters quickly endear themselves. It’s one of the few shows that many argue never jumped the shark. (Perhaps its secret was that Ted McGinley was in the cast from the get go, not brought in later.) If you like Sorkin’s writing (The American President, A Few Good Men, The West Wing), or if you just like good television, check it out.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2″

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

My husband and I bought the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 dvd set when it came out, watched a few episodes, then put it away. We had no idea where we’d ended, so we went back to the beginning, starting with Season 1, episode 1. Buffy is a fun show with a dark sense of humor and a way with theme and metaphor. Season 1 was Buffy finding her bearings in Sunnydale and battling the Master, an ancient vampire bent on, what else, releasing hell on earth.

Season 2, though, digs deeper and even darker. The series moves away from some of the sillier “monster of the week” episodes, and spends more of its time on the bad guys: Spike, Drusilla, and a friend turned foe. It still finds time for the funny, though.

Oz: Yeah. Hey, did everybody see that guy just turn to dust?
Willow: Uh, well, uh… sort of.
Xander: Yep. Vampires are real. A lot of them live in Sunnydale. Willow will fill you in.
Willow: I know it’s hard to accept at first.
Oz: Actually, it explains a *lot*.

Nasty stuff happens to characters we’ve come to love, and we get to see how it affects them over time. I found the two-parter in the middle, “Surprise” and “Innocence”, along with the season finale, wrenching stuff. The Amazon reviewer sums it up well, I think: “This is some of the best TV ever made, period.”

While the media is abuzz over a silly rumor about Buffy that will likely never come to pass, do yourself a favor: ignore the gossip and revisit the original series. It’s a perfect show for the summer season of reruns.

“Dollhouse” update

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

I agree with many viewers that Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse is getting better as it goes, and hope Fox has the sense to renew both it and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I think they make a great Friday double feature, especially now that Battlestar Galactica is over (sniff) and when they’re on, they’re on.

In general, I think the best Dollhouse eps have been the ones that focus on the mythology, and not just Echo.

I have some questions about last night’s episode “Briar Rose”, and since Sepinwall hasn’t posted yet, I’m squirming with impatience to wonder online about them. Don’t read on if you haven’t yet seen it, though I’ll try to be vague.

  • Wow, how about that reveal? Nice one.
  • I thought the “Victor” actor did a great job channeling the other character he was imprinted with.
  • Good fight scene with Ballard. Penikett practice Muay Thai and does his own fighting. I didn’t notice if the other actor was doing his own fighting.
  • Did you notice that “Whiskey” was an address to someone in the room, not a request for a drink? (Whiskey is W in the NATO’s phonetic alphabet word, the naming device for the dolls.) Which of those present is a doll? Topher, Adele, Boyd, Dr. Saunders? I think they strongly hinted in the “Spy in the House of Love” ep that Adele could be a doll. Are they all dolls?
  • And the final scene in the elevator. As they say on 30 Rock
  • In Praise of Half-Hour Comedies

    Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

    These shows make me laugh:

    How I Met Your Mother
    Better Off Ted
    30 Rock
    The Office (US)
    Parks and Recreation

    And at the end of a long day, I really appreciate that. I’m still laughing days later at Liz Lemon wrapped in a Slanket singing “Workin’ on my night cheese…”

    Check them out if you haven’t, and give them more than one episode, too. The new ones, Ted and Parks, are still getting their legs, but look quite promising.

    For those of you who miss At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper, Rotten Tomatoes now has a pretty good, pretty entertaining and informative movie show. (Announcement and link to show at