Entries from November 2009

A&E and History Channel: TV Premieres this week

November 30th, 2009

A lot of my favorite shows are going on hiatus soon: V, Glee, The Vampire Diaries. In the interim, there are some great new shows to fill the void. Thankfully, A&E and The History Channel, who consistently bring us quality programming, are bringing back old favorites and mixing them in with some new hits.

A&E:

Steven Seagal Lawman: Yes, that Steven Seagal. I wasn’t sure what to think of this show. We know Seagal as an action star whose movies have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. But, this show is about his other life. It is based around Seagal’s real life experience as a Deputy in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. He has been working with them for over 20 years. He has also helped train Parish officers in firearms and hand-to-hand combat. In addition, he holds a 7th degree black belt in Aikido. I was pleasantly surprised by Seagal and the show, and very impressed. I thought the concept was interesting and unique. I never knew Seagal had this background, and his real passion for serving the people of Jefferson Parish shined through. He was serious when he needed to be, but also had a great sense of humor and rapport with his department. And he could really move! I was floored by his Aikido skills and ability to train others. He might be this huge movie star, but he really is dedicated to being a “lawman.” I highly recommend this show even if you aren’t a Seagal fan. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, and definitely worth checking out. It premieres this Wednesday, December 2nd at 10 pm on A&E with 2 back-to-back episodes.

Check out the trailer here: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/IHIvI7wG8oA]

And enter my awesome Lawman giveaway here! Who doesn’t love free stuff?

Hoarders: The 2nd season premiere of Hoarders starts with a woman named Augustine, whose problems resulted in her own son being taken away from her. Full of resentment and bad blood, Jason (her son) returns to confront her hoarding problems. He had moved cross country and hadn’t talked to his mother in four years. His sister, who raised him, also takes part in this intervention of sorts. I am fascinated and disgusted by the people on this show (which I suppose is an appropriate reaction). In this episode, they found 2 dead cats and hauled around 8,000 pounds of garbage out of her house. I really liked the therapist, and her approach to this broken up family and Augustine’s mindset. A&E has some really great programming, and I am definitely planning on watching more Hoarders. The 2nd season premiere is tonight at 10 pm on A&E. It pairs up with A&E’s other hit show Intervention which premieres at 9 pm. Be sure to tune in!

Check out a sneak peek here: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLFmnnw13a4]

The History Channel:

Pawn Stars: I had caught a few episodes of this show before, and was intrigued by the concept. It centers around three generations of the Harrison family who run a pawn shop (grandfather, son, and grandson). In the 2nd season premiere, someone brings in a musket from the 1600s, a propeller from Charles Lindbergh, and a key chain that supposedly belonged to Willie Nelson. I wish I was able to find treasures worth a ton of money, but it was fun to live vicariously through these people. I enjoyed the family dynamic at the pawn shop, and I think it’s a fun show for anyone interested in history and artifacts. I especially liked when they brought in experts to assess and explain items people had brought in. Pawn Stars premieres tonight at 10 pm on The History Channel. Two great shows on one night is what the DVR was built for!

Also, check out my WWII in HD History Channel giveaway here! More free stuff!

Happy Slapsgiving from The TV Chick!

November 26th, 2009

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday! Enjoy this video of Marshall’s third slap (one of my favorites), which dubbed the holiday Slapsgiving!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVUekHmY87M]

REVIEW: Glee: "Hairography"

November 26th, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Even though it’s a holiday, over here at the TV Chick, I can’t neglect one of my favorite shows. And since Glee will be on hiatus in a couple of weeks (after the next 2 episodes, it’s not coming back until April), I need to get in all the Glee thoughts I can.

Last night’s episode centered around the Glee Club getting ready for sectionals. Mr. Schuester thought that Sue was leaking his set list to his competitors. Schue goes over to the schools to ask if they are spying, and finds out both are very unique glee clubs. Eve guest stars as the director of one of the clubs at an urban school for girls, and since they have no auditorium or facilities to practice in, Schue invites them to have a scrimmage. They perform “Bootylicious” (it was a Beyonce sort of night), and use hairography (crazy shaking of your hair) to distract from their actual performance. It freaks Schuester out however, and he decides that his Glee club needs to use hairography. They perform a mashup of “Crazy in Love” and the title song from the musical “Hair.”

Meanwhile, another theme of the episode is distraction. Quinn asks Kurt to makeover Rachel, so Finn will be distracted. She wants to “test drive” Puck to see if maybe she wants to be with him. Kurt, who as we know is in love with Finn, does a completely ridiculous makeover on Rachel (possibly the same outfit Olivia Newton John wore in Grease–but if we learned anything from that movie, isn’t it that they both need to meet in the middle?) He wants to sabotage her chances at Finn, but in the end, they both realize they don’t stand a chance with him.

Also, Terri decides to distract Mr. Schuester by getting him a new car to work on while she figures out what to do with the whole baby situation. Terri’s sister tells her that Quinn should babysit for her crazy kids so that she will definitely want to give up the baby. Quinn asks Puck to babysit with her, and despite his constant texting, they come to the realization that they can be good parents. In the middle of babysitting, Quinn decides to distract the kids by showing them a live music video. Puck plays the guitar and Quinn sings “Papa Don’t Preach.” Not only is this song fitting, but I thought again it gave Dianna Agron a great chance to shine. She has an amazing voice (all the Glee kids do), and one thing I love about this show is that while we will (and want to) hear Lea Michele solos and Matthew Morrison belt it out, everyone gets their moments in the spotlight. In the end, Quinn finds out Puck was actually sexting (with Santana), and decides that she is still in love with Finn. She tells Terri she can have the baby, because she wants it to have a good father.

At the end, the Haverford School for the Deaf (the other competition) comes to scrimmage with Glee. They start to sing/sign “Imagine,” by the Beatles and it is incredibly touching. Slowly, Mercedes joins in, and then Artie, and then the entire Glee club. They clearly learned how to sign this song and it just showed such togetherness. A School for the Deaf having a show choir could have been a big joke (and there were some funny moments with their Glee Club director being partially deaf), but instead it was this wonderful display of compassion and understanding. I am getting chills just writing about it, and it would be a big lie if I said I did not shed a few tears. Oh Glee, you get me every time.

After seeing this performance, Schuester decides that his Glee Club doesn’t need hairography. He adds a number that is just them, sitting on stools, singing True Colors. This is one of my favorite songs, and one of my favorite moments from the episode. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) gets the big solo, which is great, and the song really wraps up the episode so nicely. Forget the drama, the slushees, the makeover sabotage, they are all friends and working towards the same goal.

But true to Sue Sylvester’s colors (see what I did there?), we see her talking to the directors of the competition, and telling them they should split the songs between them, and she’ll make sure her Glee Club performs last. Eve says she is always trying to teach her girls not to steal and cheat, and she won’t set a bad example. The other director just can’t hear Sue.

The only thing I thought was missing from this otherwise absolutely fantastic episode was a few more songs. I miss the solos (I was hoping Kurt might have another one). I also know that not everyone is a big fan of Terri, and this episode had a lot of her. I personally think she’s great. I think she adds a bit of hilarity to the show and also, I want to know what happens with the baby and her marriage. Mr. Schuester wouldn’t be the same guy if he didn’t have Terri in his life, and I think she adds a good dynamic to the show. The stars are the Glee kids, and I think most every episode showcases them beautifully, but sometimes you need a dash of others in there as well.

In any case, I can’t wait to see what sectionals bring and what other musical numbers come about. I am ridiculously sad that there are only 2 episodes left until the show takes a hiatus until April, but I will just have to fill my Glee void with the music!

Quotes of the episode:

“She manages to dress like a grandmother and a toddler at the same time.” -Kurt about Rachel

“It’s like cool epilepsy.” -Brittany about Hairography

And because I know you love the music as much as I do, here is Quinn and Puck’s performance of Papa Don’t Preach:

 

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4027341&w=425&h=350&fv=ID%3DCEGInBlogPlayer%26amp%3BreleasePID%3Dnv8oVkhrZk1BPRbV1q2_Nt0eDNGV_FMO%26amp%3BplayerId%3DEmbed%26amp%3BskinUrl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.eonline.com%2Fstatic%2Fvideoplayer%2Fplatform_players%2Fswf%2FskinCEGPlayer.swf%26amp%3BlocId%3DUS%26amp%3BSWF_URL%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.eonline.com%2Fstatic%2Fvidoeplayer%2Fplatform_players%2Fswf%2F]

INTERVIEW: Eric Stonestreet (Cameron) from Modern Family

November 25th, 2009

Modern Family is quickly becoming a favorite show of mine. Since the pilot, I had high expectations for this comedy, and they have all been met. The show centers around an atypical family, and their interconectedness and everyday lives. It is incredibly hilarious, heart-felt, and full of great moments. Ed O’Neill plays Jay, the patriarch of the family, who is married to a younger woman (Sofia Vergara) and his stepson Manny (who is 10 and drinks coffee, reads the newspaper and has a crush on his cousin). Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen play an “old” married couple, with three kids. And then there is Cameron and Mitchell, a gay couple who recently adopted a baby. Earlier in the season, I spoke with Jesse Tyler Ferguson who plays Mitchell. Recently, I had the chance to chat with Eric Stonestreet (who plays Cameron), about his role of a clown in this week’s episode, his improv background, and fan reactions to his character. I even got the scoop on a prank he plans to play on Jesse.

I love Modern Family. You have had such a great season so far. What has been your favorite part of filming the show?

I would say my favorite part of filming the show is honestly having a job. First and foremost because I feel like I’m sort of a working man’s actor, sort of a journeyman actor — I’ve been doing it for thirteen years. The best part so far has been having a job, everything else sort of — the love and support of critics and viewers is all really just icing on the cake for me. You know, obviously I love playing the character. The character is a great character. Not to simplify your question, but there’s so many good things that I could never pick a favorite. I just love working with the people I am working with, it’s a joy.

This week, you are going to be featured as Fizbo the Clown. Can you talk a little bit about what that was like to film, and whose idea it was — since I know you have a background in it.
Yeah, what happened was — during the pilot I was talking about my clown character that I did as a kid. I was very fascinated with clowns from about age five on and by age nine — my grandma Louise was making clown outfits for me, and by eleven I was performing at kid’s parties, and wanted to join the circus and perform for people all over the world. There’s an article that you’ll see in the episode of the show that’s a real article written about me, in Kansas City. We were talking about that, and the writers and producers of the show decided that they wanted to incorporate my clown character into an episode and now America’s going to get to meet Fizbo the Clown.

That’s awesome. You also have a background in improv, at Second City and Improv Olympic in Chicago, has that ever worked its way onto the show?
Oh of course, you know, we always get to play with the words a little bit. I mean obviously, it’s 98 percent scripted, and we stick to the script, but there’s always an opportunity to throw our own take on things, and we do it in interviews and we do it in moments. But yeah, absolutely there’s improv, but for the most part it’s all scripted. You know, really, my improv background suits me just for the style of the show, to keep it loose and free and natural and not too stuffy.

Your character Cameron is very beloved, and incredibly hilarious. Have you had any interesting fan reactions to your character?

(laughs) Well, you know, being that I’m different than Cameron in that I’m a straight, straight, female loving man…the biggest, fun aspect of it is some of the support that I’ve gotten from some of my male fans. It’s very much appreciated. And I take it all as a compliment, and I would say that’s probably been the biggest thing. Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] gets very jealous, because girls are after him, and guys are after me, and we need to figure out how to switch those two things around.

You and Jesse (who plays Mitchell) have really great chemistry. Did that come instantly?
You know, I think it’s speaks to sort of — we’re both pretty normal, regular guys. I mean, Jesse has the New York Broadway experience, and I come from sort of the improv — guest-starring and commercial world of Los Angeles. But I think just we have a lot in common as far as what we think is funny, and we have a lot in common of how we care and treat other people, and yeah I think we just liked each other. I think that’s a fundamental element. It certainly, with actors, can be manufactured, not everybody on every show likes each other. We happen to have gotten a really great group of people that I think because of our journeys individually to this project — specifically our journeys in our careers — has sort of prepared us and trained us to not take anything for granted, take everything with a grain of salt, and just be very thankful and humble about all the success that sort of is starting to trickle in.

On such a funny set, I’m sure there have been some great behind-the-scenes moments. Have there been any great pranks?
I think we’re starting to get into that world now. I think we’re all familiar enough — I think I have a prank. I can’t tell you what the prank is but I have a prank that I want to pull on Jesse, that involves his stand in. We all have stand-ins that stand there very nicely while they light the shot. And I have a prank idea that I can’t tell you publicly what it is, because you’ll give it away, but you can tease that I have a prank coming on Jesse. But I think pranks are going to come in season 2 — if we are lucky enough to get a season 2 — when we’re all familiar with each other. But Ty is hilarious. Julie is the one we all have to watch out for. Julie’s the one with the wicked sense of humor.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 9 pm on ABC to see Eric Stonestreet play Fizbo the Clown, and other awesome things that come along with Modern Family.

ADVANCE REVIEW: V: "It's Only The Beginning"

November 23rd, 2009

V has only a few episodes under it’s belt so far this season, but I am really enjoying it. I have to admit that I am still way behind on Flash Forward, but V I have been keeping up with (not that it’s been terribly hard to do so). V centers around a group of “Visitors,” or aliens, who visit planet earth in huge ships, claiming that they come in peace and wish to share technology with people on earth. Anna (Morena Baccarin) is the V leader who is strikingly beautiful and calming in her own way. The Vs bring into questions issues of devotion, worship and whether they are just arriving or if they’ve been there all along.

The way ABC has chosen to break up the season is to air 4 episodes in a row, and not air a new one until 2010. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I can say that the mid-season finale — if you can call it that — was very successful. The episode centers around the resistance movement (at this point it consists of Georgie played by David Richmond-Peck, Father Jack played by Joel Gretsch, Erica Evans, played by Elizabeth Mitchell, and a V himself Ryan Nichols, played by Morris Chestnut), and their plans to take down the Vs. Meanwhile, Erica’s son is getting much more involved with the Vs, and it becomes very clear that the Vs are using him for some ulterior motive. The Vs also give Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) an exclusive story about the healing centers (which Anna plugs on TV throughout the episode). The Vs claim their medical technology is incredibly advanced and far beyond anyone’s imagination.

But back to the resistance group, which I think is interesting and unique. Each person contributes something different. They make one small step towards progress at the end of the episode, but I don’t want to spoil anything. We also learn more about Anna’s relationship with the Vs, and about the 5th Column (the V resistance group).

This episode left me with a ton of questions, but I don’t feel like that is a bad thing. I think the season is moving at a pretty good pace, even though I want instant gratification. I want to know more about “getting connected,” which was brought up by a V in the last episode. I want to know more about the leader of the 5th column, and whether there are more traitors. I realize I just have to be patient to wait for the answers, but there is one thing that is for sure…V is keeping me very interested and very entertained. And at the same time, it is very grounded (for a show about aliens and all). The characters are well developed and well acted, and I only wish I knew more about some of Anna’s right hand men and women. I can’t wait to see how the season progresses, and I really look forward to when it pairs up with LOST in 2010.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 8 pm on ABC to see “It’s Only The Beginning.” I can’t wait to hear your thoughts as well!

Q&A with Tiffani Thiessen (Elizabeth Burke) from White Collar

November 20th, 2009

White Collar has quickly become one of my favorite new shows. It’s exciting, action-packed, and not to mention one of the most beautifully shot series I have seen. It centers around the unlikely partnership between FBI Agent Peter Burke and Ex-Con Man Neil Caffrey (Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer respectively). The show also has an incredible supporting cast: Willie Garson, Natalie Morales and Tiffani Thiessen (who plays Elizabeth Burke, Peter’s wife). I recently had the chance to participate in a conference call with Tiffani (one of my childhood heroes, of course), where she talked about her new role, the USA network and what drew her to the project.

 

On what made her want to be a part of the show: Ever since I read the script, which has been a little over a year ago now, I fell in love with it.  I fell in love with the characters.  I fell in love with the show, and more and more, when the cast was brought together, the more excitement I had for the show and wanting to be a part of it.  This is really the first time I feel like in my whole entire career which has been over 25, 26 years of doing this that I finally feel like I’m kind of playing a role a little closer to home for me, which is kind of exciting.

 

 

On the audition process: It was an interesting audition process.  I’ll be totally honest.  I went in and read for this before they even cast Tim’s role of Peter.  I did great.  I was put on a short list, and then months go by and didn’t hear back because they hadn’t cast the role of Peter yet. Then, they finally cast the role of Peter with Tim, which I was ecstatic about because I was such a huge fan of Tim’s work that I was hoping to get called back again and be able to read with him.  They actually had moved on and started looking at some other girls for the role.  Funny enough, they were looking at girls younger than I was, which I thought was kind of funny.  A month or so goes by, and they have not cast the role of Elizabeth. I finally got a call again.  They said they really wanted to bring me back again and see what the chemistry could be like between Tim and I, and we blew it out of the park.  The moment I met him and we read, it just was right.  It just fit perfectly, and so I read with him once for a chemistry read, and then I went in and tested for the show with him with a couple other girls.  I was told that USA usually takes a few weeks to make decisions, but I was told later that night that I got the role, so I was very excited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On her character’s background:  I think you’ll start to see background on all of our characters, especially the guys.  Surely, this show is definitely the guys’ show.  It’s Matt and Tim’s show, and Willie and I definitely play more of a supporting role, but you will definitely see much more of me in the further episodes as you’re coming along.  Last week or two weeks ago you saw a little bit more of what I really do for a living and kind of my career, which is really nice to kind of see because we really never saw that in the pilot, and it was something that we kind of came up with actually after we shot the pilot. They’re definitely putting more of what I do outside of my relationship with Tim into the show a little bit, and that’ll continue on even, hopefully, in seasons from here on out, which hopefully there’ll be five to ten years of White Collar.  In general, I can’t give you exact specifics, ideas of what’s going to be happening, but I can promise you you’ll see a lot more of her.

 

 

 

 

 

On becoming a new mother (she is expecting):   You know, that’s a very good question in the sense that I really don’t know being that I am a first-time mom, so it’ll be a very different kind of thing for me being that I’ll be working and being a mother at the same time.  There are millions of people who do it.  My mom did it herself, so I know I can handle it, but it’ll be a very new experience, so it’s hard to say what is going to be like.  It’ll be all brand new for me.

On whether her pregnancy will be incorporated into the show: I don’t know.  That’s actually going to be up to the writers and the executive producers and USA and Fox and everybody involved.  I’m going to be still somewhat not too pregnant along when we’re finally coming to the end of the season.  We really don’t have too much more left, so it’s really up to them if they want to.  I’m open to whatever they feel.  We tried to time it to a certain degree so I wouldn’t show too, too much.

 

 

On her character’s relationship with Peter:   I don’t know if I would actually use the word strained.  I think in every marriage there’s always the challenge of making time and making priorities in their relationship when people have careers, and what you will start to see more and more is my career, being that it takes up a lot of my time as well.  I think it’s going to give a lot of, not so much looking into Peter’s career and how it affects our marriage.  There’s also my side of it as well. I think she is very understanding to that.  She’s been living with it for so long and knows what he does for a living, and she knows what she married.  I don’t think there’s a strain to it.  I think there’s a challenge.  I think probably the challenge is the word I could use for that.  I think what Neal brings into it is that I think my husband on the show is very kind of black and white in the way he thinks, and I think Neal is definitely much more colorful, and I think he will definitely teach my husband a little more of the colorful side of being romantic and all those things that you do need in a marriage as well.

On her on-screen marriage: I really try, and Tim and I both have long talks about this as well as our creator, Jeff, that we really wanted this to be a relationship that does work on TV, not one that has a lot of problems, not one that you constantly see drama, which you see a lot on TV. Funny enough, Tim and I come from marriages that work, that really do work like that, so I think we really take it from just our own experiences.  Tim’s been married for quite some time to a wonderful woman and has two great kids.  My husband and I have this wonderful relationship and humor has a lot to do with it, communication, all those things I feel that are so, so important.  I take those just being from my parents who’ve been married for over 45 years.  My grandparents were married for 67 years.  It’s important, so I feel like I take from my own life and really try to bring what I can to the relationship and the characters.

 

 

 

On whether she wants to direct an episode of White Collar:  Yes, they definitely know directing is something that’s in my thinking of wanting to do more and more, and it all really just depends on time and all that.  I wanted to make sure that when we started the show my focus was on my character and what I’m doing as an actress.  Now with my new role coming as a mother, it’s going to be a little more challenging, but it’s definitely something I want to do more of, so yes.

 

 

On what her 2nd choice career would be:   It’s so funny.  Last year when we did the pilot, we really didn’t know what Elizabeth’s character was going to do for a living.  They had some ideas, and they kind of changed it, and then I had come to Jeff Eastin, our creator of the show and said, you know, it’s funny.  I think it could work, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do if I wasn’t an actor.  I’d always wanted to be an event planner, and I think it could work really well for Elizabeth’s character being that she’s in New York City.  We could really show the city in a different light, and they loved it.  I have to say funny enough, that was my idea, and that’s exactly what I would do if I wasn’t an actor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  On how her previous roles have prepared her for this one:  It’s funny.  I think I’ve made this statement before a few times, but it is really true is that this is the first character in over 25 years of me doing this that I actually feel like it’s the closest to me that I’ve played in all the different shows and movies that I’ve done in my career.  I think it’s more about myself and my own experience that I can bring to Elizabeth.  She has this really solid wonderful marriage.  I feel like I have that with my own husband.  She’s career-driven, which I feel like I am.  It’s all those things that you put towards a character like her that I feel that are definitely very much me.

 

 

On being a part of a USA Network show: [It’s] absolutely exciting.  I tell them this all the time that I feel blessed to be on such an amazing network.  This is the first time I’ve ever done a cable show, and I’m utterly thrilled and over-the-moon with the fact that they’re so supportive and they’re so behind their shows, and they really do give such a great chance of us really trying to make it.  It’s nice.  It’s nice to feel like we’re really wanted in a sense and really have a lot of passion behind us.  It’s a lovely, lovely feeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  On the challenges she has faced creating a new character, when people remember her for her past roles:  Yes, well, it’s bittersweet at times.  There’s good and bad.  There are people who of course followed my career and who have loved the shows that I’ve done in the past and are always up to seeing something new of myself or any of my past co-stars, which is really wonderful.  Then there’s always people who have opinions, and of course, that’s how the world works, and that’s A-OK. Some people were really open and loving to the fact that I’m actually playing a role that’s quite different than what I’ve played in the past.  Like I said, it’s definitely much more close to home for me, this character, but some people had a hard time with it.  Some people didn’t believe the relationship between Tim and I, which is so funny to me because we had chemistry from day one, but that’s how the entertainment business works.  That’s how people are, and that’s okay.  Everybody has their opinions.

 

 

 

 

 On what makes White Collar a show that should last many seasons:   Well, I think a few reasons.  People are already enjoying it.  We’ve had a lot of great feedback and a lot of great critics really loving the characters and the storylines and the show and us on it, which is exciting, the fact that we are on a network like USA.  They are so behind us, and they really put us out there, and it’s nice to have the passion behind us because I think that helps a lot.  These network shows, sometimes they don’t give it a chance, and it’s nice to know that we have somebody who’s really given us a chance.  I think we, knock on wood, I think you’re going to see us for awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

  On her favorite moment so far:  Wow, that’s hard.  I think there are a couple episodes coming up that I’m definitely a little heavier in, which is kind of nice to really get to explore my character a little bit, but each episode is so exciting and so fun, and it’s such a ride that it’s hard for me to pick out one more than the other or one little bit more than the other.  That’s a hard choice.  I have to think about that a little longer, and I know we wouldn’t have time.

 

 

On being  a part of a male dominated cast: It’s great, actually.  It’s not my first time, so I feel like I’m definitely, I have the experience.  With past shows, I did a show called Fastlane that was literally me and two guys.  It’s funny.  I don’t know why, but I tend to gravitate to shows that have a lot of male co-stars. I grew up with two brothers, so I guess it’s just normal for me to be around guys.  It’s fun.  It’s where I feel comfortable, I have to say.

 

 

 

 

On the pressure of the business: It’s all there.  It will never go away.  I don’t think our business and the entertainment business in general will ever just be okay with how people are.  I think we’re in a business that critiques everything we do, and you kind of just take it with a grain of salt.  I look at my grandmother, and I think she’s aged beautifully, so I hope that I could be a smidgen of how she’s aged. There’s nothing you can do.  All you can do is take of yourself and do the things that make you feel good and make you healthy and age appropriately, but there’s always going to be people out there are going to say something, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Like I said, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

 

 

On her input regarding Elizabeth’s character development: It’s interesting.  We are very lucky to be on a show (and that’s all of us across the board) that our executive producers and writers are very open to anything we have to say, which is so nice because not a lot of shows are like that.  They believe a collaboration always works best, and not that we are there writing the show, nor is that what we’re supposed to be doing, but they’re always very open to any time we have a question or concern or have an idea, they’re always open.  It’s nice to be able to get on the phone or sit down with them and talk with them about it, and we all feel that way, which is really great.

 

 

 

 

On whether we will see an episode centered around Elizabeth: I don’t know.  That’s a question that really I can’t answer.  Again, I say the show really is Matt and Tim.  It’s their show, and it was from day one.  I knew that coming in.  I came in knowing that this role was supportive, which I was completely happy with. It’s funny.  I’ve been doing this for so long that I was actually okay not having to work every day and having the weight of a new show on my shoulders.  As well as I really just fell in love with this character, and I fell in love with the cast that they started to put together, but you’ll see definitely, there’s an episode coming up that I’m much more heavy in, and you’ll see that every now and then that I’ll be a little heavier in certain episodes. It’s not something you’re going to see every week because, again, it’s not my show.  I’m a supportive role on the show.

 

 

 

 

 

On what she would tell viewers about why they should tune into White Collar: Oh gosh, well, besides having really cute guys on the show, it’s definitely the type of TV and movies that I like to see.  I’m a huge fan of The Thomas Crown Affair and those kinds of feels of movies and shows and 48 Hours, which is so interesting, Catch Me If You Can, things like that.  If people are really into those kinds of movies and those kind of story-telling, they have to watch this show.  It is so absolutely entertaining.  The characters are so rich and so fun to watch and follow. As well as you see New York City in a completely different way.  It’s shot in a beautiful way.  It’s interesting, a lot of shows that are shot in New York City can be a little more dark and gray, and this show really, I think, kind of captures New York City in a really beautiful light, and it’s nice.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 10 pm for an all new episode of White Collar!

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: Glee: "Ballad"

November 19th, 2009

I can’t promise that I will not have 1,000+ words to say about this week’s episode of Glee, because I just love the show so much. This week’s episode, titled “Ballad” centered around the Glee club learning ballads to sing to their partners. Mr. Schuester explains that ballads say in song what you can’t express in words. Rachel chooses Mr. Schuester (they pick names out of a hat) which results in her falling for him (if only for an episode). We also learn about Susie Pepper who fell in love with Schue in the past. I absolutely adored Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison’s rendition of Endless Love, but this storyline might have been the only one I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about. The rest of the pairs were brilliant: Mercedes and Puck, Finn and Kurt, and Quinn and Artie are the ones that stand out in my head.

When Finn and Kurt pair together, Finn reveals his anxieties about Quinn and the baby. Kurt reveals his love/crush (albeit silently) for Finn, and helps him express his feelings through song. Finn chooses “I’ll Stand By You,” for his ballad while he sings to the sonogram of “his” baby. Kurt chooses to sing “I Honestly Love You,” but we don’t get to hear it because the entire Glee Club has decided to sing a ballad to Finn and Quinn. I’ll talk more about that later.

Mercedes and Puck get together to sing and Puck reveals that he’s actually Quinn’s baby’s father. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the Glee club finds out. But Mercedes makes a good distinction between a baby daddy and a baby’s father. I still think that if Puck wants to step up, he should and can be a father. But the whole Quinn pregnancy is a mess. Later on in the episode, Finn goes over to Quinn’s house for dinner and decides to sing a ballad to her to express his feelings (and break the news to her unknowing parents). He had practiced with Kurt, and calls him in the bathroom for moral support. (One of the best lines of the night was: “I have to go, they’ll think I’m pooping”) After Finn talks to Kurt, he belts out “You’re Having My Baby,” to Quinn. Quinn’s father (who they set up to be this Conservative, Glenn Beck loving curmudgeon) gets angry and kicks his daughter (and Finn) out of the house. There haven’t been many moments where Quinn (played by the lovely Dianna Agron) is given a chance to shine. Most of the time we see her pairing up with Sue in a Cheerios outfit trying to take down Glee. This scene was really emotional, and Dianna played it so well. It was incredibly heart wrenching and realistic. With last week’s rollercoaster of emotions episode, you run the risk of turning it into a sadder show than it is, but I think that this episode had just the perfect amount of emotion paired with comedy with a dash of Kurt. In the last scene, the Glee club sings to Quinn and Finn “Lean on Me,” and yes, I will admit, I shed a few tears.

I love every episode of Glee. To me, this season has been truly perfect so far. This episode may not have been a stand out favorite of mine, but ballads are always great, especially from this talented cast. I liked that the Glee Club came together to support their friends, and it shows that the show might be full of slushees and drama, but it has a lot of heart. Another one of my favorite moments which I didn’t touch upon before was when Mr. Schuester sings to Rachel to try and get her to understand it’s inappropriate to have a crush on him. He sings a mashup of “Young Girl” and “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” while she and Emma watch. At the end, they both have fallen for him even harder. It was one of those moments that I just thought was so clever and creative. Of course Emma, who wants to help Mr. Schuester with this little problem, would just end up lusting after him. Clearly, I can’t wait to see what happens with the numerous love triangles. I just don’t know how I’m going to manage when the first 13 episodes have finished and I have to wait for the back 9. I’ll probably just have to have a Glee marathon. Whew, I did it in about 800 words. You. Are. Welcome.

Favorite quotes of the episode:

“Ballad, from the English word Ballad. Who knows what this means?” -Mr. Schuester
“It’s a male duck.” -Brittany

“I hope I don’t have to sing to the duck.” -Brittany

“It means I’m very young, and you’re afraid to stand close to me.” -Rachel

And here is the Glee cast’s performance of Lean On Me for your enjoyment:

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3958461&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

ADVANCE REVIEW: Modern Family "Great Expectations"

November 18th, 2009

This week’s episode of Modern Family centers around Claire and Phil’s anniversary. Phil wakes Claire up to shower her with gifts, but Claire’s gift falls far short. She ends up getting the bass player from Spandow Ballet (after several viewings, I still am not sure I spelled that right) to play a private concert for them. This band has supposed significance for them, but I don’t want to spoil too much. Edward Norton’s Izzy is just incredible. Who knew he had such great comedic timing?

Meanwhile, Cameron and Mitchell reunite with their oldest friend Sal (played by the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Banks), who has no inhibitions. Several times during their night out, Sal implies that she wants to kill Lily. I don’t want to spoil every hilarious joke, so I’ll let you tune in for the clever one-liners. We discover later on that Sal is acting out for a reason, and Cameron and Mitchell end up having to comfort her.

While all of this hilarity is going on, it is “Jay’s night,” where Jay hosts a sleepover with all the grandchildren. Hayley wants to attend a party with Dylan, and Luke thinks Jay is dying. And of course there is Manny, who shamelessly flirts with his cousin Hayley.

I like that this episode, while full of extremely funny moments, also gets to the heart of things. The show is a comedy, but at the core, it is about a family (as crazy, dysfunctional and atypical as it may be). Phil and Claire might have this marriage that appears quite ridiculous on the surface (Phil is this goof-off dad who wants to be his kids’ friends, and Claire is this more serious, on top of things mom), but deep down, they really love each other. And Jay might be this patriarch figure who has made fun of his family from the outset, and is married to quite the firecracker, but deep down, he really loves his diverse family.

When I first heard of Modern Family before it premiered, a friend described it to me as “The Office” but with a family. I have a ton of love and respect for The Office, but Modern Family has really found it’s footing as a unique show. There is absolutely nothing like it on TV, and that is such a great thing. I can’t wait to see Fred Willard, Minnie Driver and all the other guest stars they have up their sleeves. It has been an amazing season so far, and I can’t wait to see more.

Be sure to tune in tonight for an all new episode of Modern Family at 9 pm on ABC. And next week I will be posting my interview with Eric Stonestreet (Cameron).

REVIEW: How I Met Your Mother: "The Playbook"

November 17th, 2009

Last night’s How I Met Your Mother, entitled The Playbook, centered around Barney’s antics after his breakup with Robin. Any episode that centers around Barney Stinson, has me hooked from the beginning. I’ve said before that I think he is one of the greatest characters on television (if not the greatest), and this episode truly featured him in the best way. Barney used The Playbook, which contained ridiculous ways of picking up girls, to well, you guessed it. It all started when Barney picked up a girl that was supposed to go out with Ted (Lily was setting them up). He used the “play” entitled Lorenzo Von Matterhorn, where he creates an internet celebrity persona and then gets the girl to look up his fake news stories and website, thus winning her over with his “celebrity.” Some other favorites were the “SNASA:” convincing a girl he was a part of “Secret NASA,” and he’s been to the smoon (secret moon), “The Ted Mosby:” where he goes up to a girl with a wedding ring and says he’s been left at the altar, the “Mrs. Stinsfire,” where he dresses up like Mrs. Doubtfire and becomes a house mother to a sorority, and the “He’s Not Coming,” where he goes to the top of the Empire State Building and says “He’s not coming,” to every girl until one actually believes him and seeks his comfort. While all of this playbook greatness is going on, Lily is trying to take away Barney’s playbook, because she thinks he can’t be up to his old ways anymore after his relationship with Robin. Meanwhile, Ted and Marshall pick on Robin, saying now that she’s not interested in a relationship and just “focused on her career,” she will be married in no time.

This episode may not have had a ton to forward the plot along, or find out who the mother is (but really, that may not really happen until the last episode), but The Playbook was pure brilliance. As HIMYM tends to do, I assume this will actually come out in book form sometime soon. The writers are just so creative and brilliant. The best play however, was not mentioned above, it was the final play, entitled The Scuba Diver. Barney had ripped this play out of The Playbook so the gang couldn’t read it. Ultimately it ended up that he planned/knew about the entire thing: that Lily stole the playbook, that she set the Empire State Building girl up, that she would try to interrupt the Scuba Diver “play” and that in the end, he would get the girl by voicing his non-existent insecurities. Basically, Barney Stinson is, and will forever remain, the player, and not the played.

I would have liked to see more Marshall in this episode, but I really love the way Barney has become such a strong character. Every episode, he truly pushes the boundaries, and it’s always hilarious. I still question whether Barney and Robin should have stayed together (although I feel like maybe another hookup is in their future), but I understand that the creative team needs Barney to stay true to himself. Eventually the player will settle down, but not quite yet…because we still need many more playbooks, bro codes, and lemon laws…you son of a beetch.

How I Met Your Mother airs on Monday nights at 8 pm on CBS.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ryan Hansen (Kyle) from Party Down

November 16th, 2009

party_down_2009_fulllineup_960x3855Party Down is one of the funniest shows on television, and a breakout hit of last year. However, because of it’s mid-season placement and it being on Starz network, I don’t think it’s gotten all the attention it deserves. Created by Rob Thomas (creator all all things awesome, but especially Veronica Mars), as well as his team John Enbom, Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd, this show is creative, hilarious, wonderful, and full of talent. It stars a couple of Thomas’ Veronica Mars cohorts: Ken Marino and Ryan Hansen, as well as the unstoppable talents of Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplan, and Adam Scott. The show centers around a catering company (aptly titled Party Down), made up of LA wannabee actors and actresses who cater on the side. Ron (Ken Marino) is their Michael Scott-esque manager, who always screws up in some hilarious way. The show has already started filming its second season, which will premiere this spring. I recently got a chance to chat with Ryan Hansen about the show, his character, the upcoming season, and what makes this show so incredibly unique.

What originally drew you to the character of Kyle and the Party Down?
Well for Party Down — I had been on the show Veronica Mars with Rob [Thomas] and I loved working with him a whole bunch and Paul Rudd was doing this and Dan Etheridge and John Enbom. So initially it was the people who were involved with it is why I was so stoked to be a part of it. And then they told me who else was going to be in it and I thought that I shouldn’t be in it because I wasn’t qualified but then they said No! You’re going to be in it! So I said “Okay, I’ll do it.”

(laughs) And do you see any of yourself in your character at all?
Zero. I’m completely opposite…no it’s based off of my life…no it’s based off…I think there’s a little bit of all of us in each of our characters, which is what makes it kind of funny and really real. Hopefully, not too much of my character — well there’s a little bit that’s kind of like me, but hopefully not too much…if that makes any sense.

(laughs) Yeah, it makes sense. Have you ever done anything that crazy to get a role?
Well I used to do — back in the day, I would — I think it was like Joan of Arcadia or something. It was kind of serious role. And in the audition, maybe it was like a page or two in–and I’m like thanks for having me, I can do a back flip. And they’re like oh that’s great. And so I just did a back flip. And they’re like “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! You get the part.” So yeah, I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff. I used to do back flips all the time in auditions for no reason. Just so they would remember the back flip and not my audition.

He can do a back flip, we should give him this part!
Yeah, exactly! It works.

Have you ever worked in catering or as a waiter?
You know, I actually haven’t. The closest I did to waitering — I was the merch guy at a Hard Rock Cafe. I sold tee shirts and pins. So I was around a lot of waiters, but I didn’t actually waiter. But I did that for a couple months. I worked at a grocery store — I did that for a couple weeks.

Are there any LA actor types that you draw inspiration from to play your role?
Yeah. I mean, I’m not going to name anyone obviously. But just from going out to little events and things and auditions and stuff, I kind of draw from seeing certain guys and there’s so many people like Kyle in Los Angeles. And I’m not far from it, which is sad. But hopefully I’m far enough from it where I can make it believable — wait what? I lost myself, Alix help me!

It’s all good.
There’s guys in Los Angeles who are definitely like that…I’m not going to name anyone.

No I figured you wouldn’t sell out anybody. And so can you give a little teaser of what might happen on Season 2 of Party Down? Especially now that you have this new role on a movie, and Ron may be running a Souper Crackers?
Yeah, so obviously, in Party Down style, not everything that says it’s going to happen, happens for the better. So, obviously everything goes to shit, and we all end up catering still. You can be sure that we’ll still be catering. I think Jane Lynch gets married, that’s a fun episode. She’s coming back, and Kristen’s coming back — Kristen Bell.

Can we expect any more Veronica Mars cast member cameos on the show?
Last season there was a bunch. This season, well Kristen’s for sure coming back. I don’t think anyone else this season. Maybe, but I can’t remember.

party_down_01-1And Party Down is such a unique show with a unique premise. What do you think makes this show work so well as a comedy?
Well I think that they’re really playing a lot of the realities of Los Angeles, which is a lot of people come out here to make it and they end up doing a crappy job until then. And a lot of the reality is — you don’t really make it. So I feel like it’s a very real, and it’s like the opposite of the Entourage scene, so it’s kind of just refreshing to see something that’s not always the jack pot. It’s kind of a funnier, darker side of Hollywood, which a lot of people don’t really talk about. They like to talk about the Hollywood dream, and not the Hollywood dreamers. Ooh that was good.

That was real good!
(laughs)

And you do a lot of charity work. Do you still work with Invisible Children?
Oh yeah, I’m still heavily involved with Invisible Children. We’re actually going to a little event, I think Vanity Fair is throwing them a party which is super cool. You know, Vanity Fair, that’s like bad ass. So yeah, still heavily involved with Invisible Children and I haven’t been back to Africa in like a year but I’m planning on going very soon. It’s pretty cool!

What other projects — TV or Movie — do you have coming up?
I did a little movie this summer with my buddy Travis Van Winkle, who I did Friday the 13th with, and the director of Wedding Crashers, and his name is David Dopkins. And it’s a fun little indie comedy that may or may not come out. So that was cool. Other than that, just sticking with Party Down. Hoping it will last another ten years, because we all love doing it so much.

What would you tell viewers to get them to watch Season 2 of Party Down?
I would say hey, you know remember that funny person Megan Mullally from Will and Grace? Well, she’s on it now! You should watch that!

(laughs) I have to ask, since there’s a lot of buzz around making a Veronica Mars movie. Do you have any scoop on that?
No, unfortunately, I don’t. I remember hearing a lot more about it six months ago. I haven’t really heard anything about it lately, so the economy? I don’t know.

And do you have a favorite episode of Party Down that you’ve filmed?
This season or last season?

Either one!
Well I have a feeling that next week is going to be one of my favorites. I don’t know. But it’s the Party Down company picnic, which I think will be a lot of fun to shoot. Because we’re all in normal clothes, and we play kick ball and stuff. There was an African American funeral that we shot a little bit ago which I thought was a lot of fun because this guy who plays the blues, teaches me how to sing the blues. That was fun. They’re all fun.

Do you have a favorite episode from last season that you liked especially?
Yes, last season, the Senior Singles Seminar was really fun, with Ed Begley Jr. I like that one!

Unless you have anything to add about Party Down’s great-ness, I think we’re good.
Yeah, I think we covered it. Thanks for watching the show, you’re so rad!