I LOVE UPFRONTS! (AKA Zach Gilford is coming back to my TV Screen)

Oh how I've missed you Matt Saracen

The best part about upfronts is getting to see which of my favorite actors are going to be back after long absences.  Yesterday, Fox announced that it was picking up The Goodwin Games starring my old fave Scott Foley.  They also announced that they were moving forward with a show called The Mob Doctor starring Jordan Spiro (of the late, lamented My Boys).  I didn’t really have much of a reaction to this.  I give every show a chance at the beginning of the year and I always liked Spiro so I knew going into it that The Mob Doctor would at least get one viewing on my DVR.  Then I read this description from The Daily Beast:

From creators Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva) and Robert Wright (Knight Rider) comes this medical drama, which revolves around a young female thoracic surgeon (My Boys’ Jordana Spiro) who juggles her workload with another job: she’s secretly a mob doctor who is working off a debt incurred by her ne’er-do-well brother. The pilot episode was directed by Michael Dinner (Justified), who also serves as an executive producer on the drama, which also stars Jaime Lee Kirchner, William Forsythe, Zach Gilford, James Carpinello, and Jesse Lee Soffer.

Yes, you read that correctly.  A Friday Night Lights alum is coming back to TV after a way-too long absence.  ZACH GILFORD!!!  YAY!!  Now, this show is going to turn into something that I actually root for.  God, I hope it’s good.

 

Series I wish I could see for the first time, again

Good God, they were young when Party of Five started.

There are some television experiences that are completely linked to a certain period of time in my life: Party of Five will always equal my high school best friend and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream; I will never be able to think of the first time I watched Veronica Mars without being transported to my New York apartment; I can still feel the awful carpet of my first place in LA whenever I watch the Friends series finale.  But just because I cherish the memories of the first time I saw a show, doesn’t mean I don’t wish I could erase them and watch all over with fresh eyes.  Sure, I can watch a series years after the first time and have a completely different experience, but it’s not the same as getting to discover all of the twists and turns without any sort of baggage or expectation.  If I could go back and start fresh with any series it would be:

FNL, so fresh and innocent.

1. Friday Night Lights – I have watched the entire  Friday Night Lights series at least three times, but nothing compares to the first light of discovery.  When it first aired, I cried at the most unexpected moments and found catharsis and comfort in it.  There was something so special about the first time around.

Claire Danes on My So-Called Life

2. My So-Called Life – I cannot watch My So-Called Life without reverting to a teenager.  There is a part of me that wishes I could watch it for the first time now with a little life experience to give me perspective.

I can't imagine how much context I missed on Lost.

3. Lost - When I first started watching Lost I was watching purely for entertainment value.  Therefore I missed all of the historical/mathematical/scientific references along the way.  Sure I could go back and re-watch with that in mind, but the pop-culture conversation is kind of over.  I wish I could have been more of a part of it at that time.

What would you watch again for the first time?

Why Cougar Town is the coolest (AKA a love letter)

Courtney Cox & Busy Philips

Remember two years ago when Cougar Town premiered and everyone was bemoaning the fact that Courtney Cox was in a sitcom about an older woman dating a younger guy?  Well, turns out, the writers were just using that premise as a trojan horse to get the show on air because it’s not about that anymore (and hasn’t been since the show’s, like, 6th episode).  But, because it’s pretty hard to change the title of your show mid-way through the first season and then even harder to do so going into the second season, the writers and producers have been stuck with Cougar Town ever since.  Luckily, they are extremely aware of how crappy this title is and use their opening credits to bash it.  Those bashings are just one reason why Cougar Town is the coolest.  Another reason?  It has a great cast who actively participate in its promotion – not just through official ABC avenues, but by interacting with the show’s fans both online and in person.  (I tweeted Busy to find out who makes her dress in the photo at left – she responded! It’s by Thakoon.  It also comes in this gorgeous pattern.) Continue reading

What I Watched on my Christmas Vacation: Sons of Anarchy

Why didn’t anyone tell me that Sons of Anarchy is amazing?  Because I  needed something to watch last week while I was home and decided to give it a try and I honestly couldn’t stop watching.  I finished the entire series (well, so far) in a week and have started to watch it again from the beginning because I loved it so much.  I can’t remember the last time I felt this good about discovering a new show to love.  Well, perhaps when I discovered Battlestar Galactica, but that show was over by the time I got around to watching it.  With Sons, I have more new episodes to look forward to – though not soon enough. Continue reading

Emmy Awards: Best Moments

The view from our seats.

I went to the Emmy Awards last night!  I wanted to tweet throughout the ceremony, but for the first two hours twitter wouldn’t refresh on my iPhone and then the battery basically died.  Clearly, if I am ever lucky enough to be invited to another awards show, I’ll have to plan my technology better.  Regardless, it was still amazing and so much fun and really different than watching at home.  First of all, despite the fact that I sat through all of the commercial breaks instead of fast-forwarding through them (let’s face it, even though I can watch the show live on the west coast, I still try to record it at the start so I don’t have to sit through the commercials), the show had a really brisk pace and felt like it was moving along at a pretty good clip.   Continue reading

A Tribute To Friday Night Lights

Clear eyes, Full hearts. . . CAN'T LOSE!

Friday Night Lights is ending its five season run tonight on NBC and despite the fact that the finale aired on DirecTV months ago and the DVDs of the final season have been available, I have yet to be spoiled at all and could not be more grateful.  Of all the shows that have come and gone in these five years, FNL is by far my favorite.  I have loved its highs (the season one finale parade set to “Devil Town”) and felt saddened by its lows (the misguided attempt at melodrama with the Tyra/Landry murder plot during the second season) but my devotion never wavered.  As much as it sucks that FNL never got the ratings or kudos that it deserved (it took four stellar seasons for it to be nominated for an Emmy), NBC did its best to show its faith in it by partnering with DirecTV to give it another chance.  They never really capitalized on the opportunity that DirecTV gave them, but at least the writers got a chance to end it on their own terms.  I will miss this show and all of the characters more than I can say, but I guess that’s what DVDs are for.   Continue reading

EMMY NOMINATIONS!!!

How adorable is Melissa McCarthy reacting to the news that she was nominated for an Emmy? (with Joshua Jackson and Television Academy Chairman John Shaffner)

No joke, I had a dream about the Emmy nominations last night.  Mostly it was about me being at the nomination announcement, but I woke up with a giddy anticipation which was kind of fun.  Part of me was a little reluctant to find out the full list of nominees, because until I did that, I still had hope for some of my favorites.  But most of me was just super excited to see who was nominated.  I taped the announcement this morning (as much as I love TV, no way am I waking up at 5:30am to watch these things live) and was rewarded with seeing Melissa McCarthy’s stunned reaction to hearing herself nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy.  I kind of like that the nomination announcements for these award shows have become a thing.  It’s kind of weird, but kind of fun at the same time.  Plus, a little Joshua Jackson first thing in the morning never hurt anyone.

Overall, there were some shoe-ins and some great surprises (Cat Deeley!  Matt LeBlanc!  FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!), but the supporting actor categories were supremely disappointing to me.  The biggest snub is definitely Nick Offerman’s exclusion from the supporting actor in a comedy category as well as the total shut out of Fringe (especially the lack of nomination for John Noble and Anna Torv).  But I think we have to be excited about the surprises we did get and keep our fingers crossed that there aren’t any sweeps or repeat winners this year.  HBO leads the nominations with 104 with the next highest number of nominations going to CBS who received 50 nominations in total.  Mildred Pierce was the most nominated of all programs with 21, Mad Men wins in the drama category with 19 nominations, Modern Family topped the comedies with 17, and in reality American Idol came out ahead with 10 nominations (I am happy to report that So You Think You Can Dance came in second with 8 nominations – 4 of those in the Outstanding Choreography category).

The full list of nominees (including all of the technical awards that I don’t really understand) can be found on the Emmy website, after the jump a list of the main categories and my gut reactions. Continue reading

My Emmy Wish List

In just a few short days (Thursday July 14 at 5:35am PST) the 2011 Emmy nominees will be announced by Joshua Jackson (Fringe) and Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) from Los Angeles.  Until then, I can kid myself into believing that my favorites (who are almost NEVER on these lists) have a shot at being nominated.  (Please Note: This is not my emmy prediction list.  There’s no way in hell most of these people will be nominated.)

I'm already sad to see Friday Night Lights go. Not to be nominated (and win!) for an Emmy would just add insult to injury.

Best Drama Series

Friday Night Lights – Thanks to an epically strong final season and 4 prior years of being ignored, no show deserves a nomination more.

The Good Wife – This show fires on all cylinders and got through the “sophomore slump” by not getting into it in the first place.

Justified – I only discovered Justified this year, but man oh man is it just SO awesome.

The Vampire Diaries – Laugh all you want, but I will go to the mat for The Vampire Diaries.  Thanks to great pacing, an eclectic cast and intense drama, it has proven itself unworthy of The CW stigma.

Fringe – Genre shows have a hard time at the Emmys, but there is no logical reason why Fringe should not be included on their list.

Southland – Totally overlooked and under-appreciated, Southland had some of the most emotionally gripping and heart stopping drama of any show last year. Continue reading

Covert Affairs & The Nine Lives of Chloe King: Two New Ways to Spend Your Summer

This is not a good look for a supposedly good CIA agent.

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m totally buying what ABC Family and USA are selling.  While none of their shows could technically be called “good” they are all exceedingly entertaining and easy to watch – in other words, perfect summer fare.  Last week marked the return of USA’s Covert Affairs starring Piper Perabo as a CIA secret agent and this week ABC Family’s new summer series The Nine Lives of Chloe King premiered.  Neither one of these series have great dialogue, plots or acting, but it’s the summer time.  Time to throw all of my serious judgement out the window and just relax and enjoy the fluff that TV is offering me.  Time to turn off my brain and accept that someone as helpless as Annie would be chosen to be a secret agent without any back up.  Time to just go with the idea of the existence of a race of cat-like gods and believe that Chloe is their leader.  But come fall, I expect my TV to get much more serious. Continue reading

More awards! The Television Critics Association announces its nominees

As impossible as this is to imagine, another television group has announced the nominees for its awards.  Not to be confused with the Critics Choice Television Awards, the Television Critics Association represents journalists and hands out the TCA awards while the Critics Choice is given by the Broadcast Television Journalist Association which represents television and online journalists.  It seems silly to keep these two groups separated, but I’m going to go ahead and imagine that there is some lifelong blood-feud going down between them and just assume its best that they stay far, far away from one another.

"ER" was awarded the TCA's Heritage Award in 2009, but never took home the award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama

I really like the categories of the TCA awards.  They put all of the contenders for acting awards into two categories (drama and comedy) that honor individual achievement without separating for gender.  That’s far more interesting than calling someone the “best actor/actress” and pits lead actors/actresses against supporting actors/actresses which I think is pretty cool. I’m sad not to see anyone from Friday Night Lights represented, but they are nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama and Program of the Year, so I guess that makes up for it.  Also interesting, the TCA’s have a category specifically for new programs, but those programs can also be nominated in the categories for returning programs (ie: Game of Thronesis nominated for both Outstanding New Program and Outstanding Achievement in Drama).

The fact that Nick Offerman is hosting is a great excuse to use this photo.

That’s just sort of fun!  I think it’s kind of cool that they have a list of nominees for Career Achievement instead of just choosing one person to honor each year (and that the category houses all different types of contributions to the television landscape from acting to producing/creating to hosting).  But the award that sets the TCA apart from all others is the Heritage Award which honors a program that’s long been dead – or in the words of the TCA press release: “has culturally or socially impacted society” – (past winners include ER, The Wire and Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  How utterly random and amazing!  These awards aren’t televised, but the ceremony is being hosted by Nick Offerman so it’s a shame that we all won’t get to watch them.  All of the nominees after the jump!

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