Sorting through the DVR: Animal Practice, Emily Owens M.D. bite the dust; Last Resort & Nashville get a season pass

Why can’t you be on a GOOD show? (Jordana Spiro & Zach Gilford)

Today NBC officially cancelled Animal Practice, but I cut it out of my DVR schedule two weeks ago.  Not only was it painfully not funny, but it was making me start to dislike two actors whom I normally like very much: JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Justin Kirk.  They deserve better.  Over the years I’ve learned the difference between giving new shows a chance and watching them despite the fact that I hate them.  So, after one episode Made in Jersey got the boot (both on my personal DVR and the CBS schedule) because it was just atrocious.  I tried to stick with Mob Doctor (another show that I was watching mostly due to the likability of Jordana Spiro and Zach Gilford) but after three episodes of crappy mob stories combined with even crappier cases of the week, I just couldn’t anymore.  Other shows that were swings and misses for me: 666 Park Avenue (which I found SO boring and slow), Emily Owens M.D. (which makes me so sad because Mamie Gummer is so great whenever she guests on The Good Wife but this show is no good), Revolution (which may have suffered for not having ANY actors that I wanted to watch and definitely suffered under the weight of Tracy Spiridakos’ bad acting) and (though I’m still watching because I’m pretty convinced it’s going to be canceled sooner rather than later and I want to get all the man-candy in while I can) Chicago Fire is just a glorified rip off of Third Watch which wasn’t great to begin with. 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

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Scott Foley On Over

J'adore.

There are a few actors and actresses who have my undying love thanks to one or two early performances that have stuck with me.  Joshua Jackson, who was a part of my early TV loving years as Pacey on Dawson’s Creek, is basically the only reason I started watching Fringe (a decision that I couldn’t be happier about).  Busy Philipps, also a Dawson’s Creek alum, really won my devotion with Freaks and Geeks and is frequently the best thing about Cougar Town which is a great show anyway.  Mandy Moore because she’s Mandy Moore and she is awesome (also because of her ridiculous MTV talk show/music video show the summer of 2001 – FHM Intern Posse, What What!).  Michael Vartan for being so amazingly sexy and adorable on Alias.  I won’t watch them in everything they do (not even Michael Vartan can make HawthoRNe an entertaining show), but I will give everything they do a shot.  Another performer to add to that list: Scott Foley.  As Noel on Felicity, he was the R.A. of my dreams.  I swear to god, that guy has a soft focus lens and romantic lighting on him at all times.  He makes everything he’s in instantly better.  He was even able to make Grey’s Anatomy exciting for me again this past season.  So the latest news that he has joined the cast of True Blood for its fifth season (the fourth season begins airing this Sunday on HBO) has me all atwitter.  Truth be told, I’m not the biggest True Blood fan, but I watch it because I want to know what all the internet buzz is about on Monday mornings.  However, the addition of Scott Foley to the cast is a definite check in True Blood’s plus column. [tvline.com]

Fringe Season Finale – Wait, Where’s Peter?

Future Peter and Olivia: still adorable (Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv)

Last week’s penultimate episode of Fringe ended with Peter waking up in the middle of a war zone sometime in the future full head of hair in tact (Joshua Jackson will be very lucky if he ages as well in real life).  While I as shocked and in awe of the turn of events, I was also a little bummed that the writers were falling back on jump into the future trope that so many other shows have been doing lately (Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, there are others).  I have been so consistently impressed with Fringe’s imagination and innovation and the whole future thing feels done.  Well, last night’s season finale restored my faith. Continue reading

Fringe Starts the Machine

Walternate and Brandonate (John Noble and Ryan MacDonald) start the machine.

Every time we get a glimpse of the other universe on Fringe I wonder if I would have so much disdain for the alternate versions of our heroes if the whole story had been told from their perspective.  I mean, Walternate is Walter, but with an ice cold demeanor that just makes him so creepy.  I wonder if we had learned his story first, would I be so creeped out?  Yes.  Yes, I would.  He’s creepy.  God, even Brandonate is creepy and evil.  I have grown to like Fauxlivia a bit, but I think most of that has to do with the fact that she’s a mother now and I can’t be mad at her for that.  She definitely showed that she is capable of love when she was in our world and I sort of feel bad that Walternate is using her like a puppet the way he is.

Olivia and Nina (Anna Torv and Blair Brown) confer regarding the machine.

So Walternate and Brandonate used the tiny blood sample from Fauxlivia’s son to extract Peter’s DNA and turn the machine on.  The first thing the machine did was make a rancher, his right hand man and a whole herd of sheep disappear.  Nina’s panic that the machine came on was pretty unnerving.  If there’s one thing that Nina has always brought to this show it has been a calm, rational center in the middle of all of the weird alternate universe stuff.  If she’s freaked out, you know it has to be bad.  Because the machine “turned on by itself” everyone assumed that Peter was no longer necessary to turn it on – of course, they don’t yet know that Peter has a son. Continue reading

Fringe: Animated and High on LSD (Updated)

A new addition to the Fringe worlds - Inside Olivias mind.

I think last night’s episode of Fringe was perhaps its riskiest, most romantic installment to date.  In a way, it was a sort of hero’s quest to find and rescue Olivia from herself.  The story told in this episode was complex and yet told with a simplicity that this show doesn’t often use.  There have definitely been past episodes of Fringe that have left me more confused than I like to admit, but this episode made total sense within the universe the writers have created.  It all added up to a story that was powerful, sweet, dynamic and that moved the story of the season forward just enough to keep me completely hooked. Continue reading

Fringe: “A Compassionate Soul Vampire”

The "Fringe" team

Before I get into this week’s episode, I’d like to point your attention to an article that ran in last week’s Entertainment Weekly extolling the virtues of Fringe.  It comes from a place of true passion and devotion and states everything good about this show in a clear, concise way.  Hopefully, if you’re not already watching this show (shame on you!) it will get you to give it a try.  In a way, I wish I could watch Fringe with new eyes and see each episode without the knowledge of the ones before them in order to be able to tell you why its so good from that perspective, but I can’t.  All I can say is that I’ve been a dedicated viewer of Fringe since the beginning and each week it gets deeper and more interesting and more impressive in its storytelling and characterizations.  It has been a worthy commitment in my opinion and one I’m glad I’ve made. Continue reading

Faux-livia Bugs Out on “Fringe”

Fringe gets gross. (Those bugs ate their way out of that guy!)

First of all, one of my favorite things about Fringe is how gross it can be and this week’s episode was no exception.  Did you see those bugs eating their way out of their host humans?  Totally gross.  And totally awesome.  I am also loving the alternate universe plot and the way the three actors with characters in both universes are handling it.  Despite the fact that the original and alternate versions of these characters grew up in completely different universes, they still come from the same DNA.  It’s an interesting case of nature vs. nurture and each actor’s take on that debate is really great to watch.

Not only does Faux-livia smile more, she has red hair (vs. Olivia's blonde).

Anna Torv plays Olivia in our world as closed off, timid when it comes to emotions, and yet totally fearless when it comes to her job.  Faux-livia, on the other hand, is quicker to smile, more willing to let herself make emotional connections and in general just more open.  As the two worlds get closer and cross each other more often, Torv has started playing Faux-livia closer to the vest and making Olivia almost raw to the touch.  There are beautifully subtle differences in the way she looks at each world that may seem imperceptible but give each character her own personality.  I still think Faux-livia is oddly jarring and insincere whereas our Olivia is overly cautious but somehow that makes me love her more.  Our Olivia needs a hug.  Faux-livia needs to be shoved out a window. Continue reading

The Best Show You’re Not Watching: “Fringe”

I cannot believe that I am actually going to bat for a sci-fi show, but here I am.  ”Fringe” is one of my top five shows on the air right now.  If I ever watched TV live (which I really try not to do) it might be the only show that I watched live.  Every week, I live in anticipation of what trippy, demented road this show is going to lead me down and I can’t say I’ve been too disappointed.

When the show first aired, the only reason I watched was because I am a huge fan of Joshua Jackson and devoted J.J. Abrams follower.  And honestly, the show got off to a shaky start – it was more wimpy than creepy-cool.  However, once it wrapped up it’s first major arc and the characters got settled into a comfortable relationship, it felt like this show really picked up the pace and the storylines became like a train barreling past the stations instead of like the trolley car stopping every six feet.

This season’s first long arc has explored the realities of two parallel universes as they converge and retract from one another.  I am so pumped for this week’s fall finale, when the discovery is finally made that the Olivia from our universe has been trapped in the alternate universe, fighting to get back.  This trailer only makes the anticipation that much sweeter.

Fox has decided to move “Fringe” to Friday nights starting in January.  For a fan like myself, this is kind of depressing news.  Putting it on Thursday nights (the most competitive night of the week) may have shown the network support “Fringe” had, but it also meant a more uphill battle for viewers.  Friday nights may not be the death knell they once were (especially because there is so much more interesting, original programming being tested out on Fridays these days), but wouldn’t a Monday or Tuesday slot help this deserving show find its audience?

So, do me a favor?  Don’t let TV lose Joshua Jackson again.  Don’t sentence “Fringe” to a far too early death.  Go get the DVDs, get caught up online, and plant your ass in front of the TV on Friday nights.  I’m telling you, this show is worth it.