Entries from February 2010

NYC by the Numbers: Nurse Jackie Promo

February 26th, 2010

I recently received this video promo for the new season of Nurse Jackie from the lovely people over at Showtime. This promo is so wonderful and unique, I just had to post it. Big shout-out to the Showtime math whizzes who had the unfortunate task of crunching these NYC numbers (you’ll see what I mean when you watch the video), but I’m just glad it wasn’t me.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

And be sure to tune in to Showtime on March 22nd for the 2nd season premiere of Nurse Jackie. Much more coverage to come!

INTERVIEW: Ben McKenzie (Officer Ben Sherman) from Southland

February 25th, 2010

Southland is a wonderful, gritty, in depth look at the lives of members of the LAPD. It doesn’t follow the traditional formula that most procedural dramas adhere to, rather it focuses on the work and home life of all of the characters. It has an outstanding cast, and I was so glad it got picked up by TNT after NBC dropped it. I loved The OC, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to talk to Ben McKenzie. We talked about his former OC persona Ryan Atwood, the many layers to his new character Ben Sherman, and what makes Southland so unique.

Ben is on the brink of moving on to Phase 3, and finishing his probationary period to become a full member of the LAPD. Can you talk a little bit about what that’s been like.
It’s another sort of mini milestone in his experience in the LAPD. I think it’s one of the more gratifying experiences, because everyone who joins the LAPD starts out as a P1 — phase one of their probationary period and then rises through the ranks, as far as they want to rise. But you have to go through the first three phases as a probationary officer to join the force in a full position. It’s like I don’t know — graduating from high school or something or college…or whatever your last educational thing is. You’ve now done all of the homework, and you’ve been given some responsibility, but now you’re out and you’re actually going to do it on your own, as a full member. So it’s cool, and I think it was a nice way to kind of jump in to the new season — he needs sort of one wrap around, bigger event to happen within the episodes — I think that’s kind of a cool one, because it’s kind of nicely juxtaposed at the end of that episode, I’ve just passed a test basically, and I’m celebrating a new phase of my life, where Regina King — her character — is bemoaning a loss of a chapter in her life, with her partner in the hospital. And it’s a nice juxtaposition there of one rookie who’s still a little bit got his head in the clouds, a little kind of on cloud 9 about the excitement and joy over all the possibilities, and a veteran who’s experiencing the opposite.

Absolutely. And Ben has been through quite a journey from the beginning of season 1 until now. What has that been like for you?
It’s been fantastic. I love making the show, shooting it, the actual process of filming it, being out on the streets of LA all over town, working with a fantastic crew. I’ve done a lot of my work really with Michael Cudlitz — 75 percent or more of my work is with him, and he’s really a joy to work with. And then I also like all the other stuff in addition to the shooting of it — the training, the preparation, I don’t know there’s just a lot of aspects of the show that I can relate to and the character that I can relate to. I’ve found it a rewarding experience and I hope it can keep going on.

Are you anything like your character?
Yeah, actually I think I’m quite a bit like my character. I think I’m more like Ben Sherman, than I am Ryan Atwood…far more so. I grew up in a pretty well off family. My father is a lawyer, like Ben Sherman’s father is a lawyer. My father’s a nice guy (laughs) but I grew up a nice upper middle class kind of existence, and there are aspects of Ben Sherman’s personality: his ambition and his intelligence and his work ethic that I would certainly like to aspire to (laughs) I would certainly like to believe I share with him…sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t…but I can definitely relate to him. And I can definitely relate to him seeing stuff on the street and being completely blown away by what’s happening in front of him because I didn’t grow up in Beverly Hills but I was sheltered in the same way that everyone is sheltered, from the realities of being on the street as a cop, you just don’t see this kind of stuff every day. It’s really powerful stuff. Some of it’s very sad, some of it’s very disturbing, some of it’s very inspiring–it’s the whole gamut of emotions–and some of it’s very funny.

You are best known for playing Ryan Atwood on The OC, and Ben Sherman’s a very, very different character. Are there pieces of Ryan Atwood in Ben or are they totally different and you keep them completely separate?
I’m not overly protective (laughs) of my work. I think the reality of acting, particularly acting on film or on screen in television or film, is that you’re always bringing yourself to the character. And you’re always using whatever your natural innate kind of talent and skills and/or just your personality to the part. So you know, it’s not as though I’m playing a one-legged pirate with a lisp. I always bring myself to the part and that’s the only way you can do it I think. Because particularly on our show, we’re shooting with hand-held cameras that’s maybe six inches from your face, if you’re trying to do a [English accent] performance [end English accent], you’re going to look like a freaking idiot. Just keep it natural, and keep it relaxed and stay within what feels reasonable and right to you, while still kind of pushing the boundaries and making sure that whatever your motivations are, whatever your objectives are in the scene, are being played to the fullest of their ability if that makes any sense. I don’t think you have to do a lot of high level, analytical Ben Sherman stands up straighter or walks different from playing football in 3rd grade, you know, it’s me. He’s me, and I’m him, I just happen to be a cop. I happen to have a certain history, psychological profile here, and what he did, and that’s what happened.

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INTERVIEW: Tom Everett Scott (Detective Russell Clarke) from Southland

February 24th, 2010

Southland is a procedural drama that focuses on the lives of LAPD officers. It was dropped by NBC, then picked up by TNT, in a great move by the network. On March 2nd, TNT will air 6 new episodes of the show, and I can tell you that from the first few I have seen, they are pretty fantastic. I have loved Tom Everett Scott since “That Thing You Do,” so I was thrilled to be able to speak with him. He plays Detective Russell Clarke now, and has come along way since his boy band movie days. We talked about his career, working with Regina King, and a scary ride-along moment.

You’ve had quite an extensive career. What was so special about Southland?
I think that just I’ve always been a fan — I was such a big fan of ER. And literally, it was one of my favorite shows ever. And then just being an actor and looking for meaningful work that also helps pay the bills, it’s challenging and I think when I read the pilot script for Southland — which at the time was called LAPD — I just got this great feeling, and strong desire to be a part of it. So I just kind of focused all my energy, and got my agent to get in there and battle for me, and then I became a part of a show that I really am proud of.

Your character, Detective Russell Clarke, is severely injured last season, and possibly not returning to the force this season. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Well, my character does return to the show after the final episode of last season, when he got shot. But his role – he faces a challenge physically after the surgery. And it’s difficult to return the police work.

And your partner on the show is played by Regina King. What has it been like working with her?
Well, she’s just one of the most wonderful people that I’ve ever met, and we hit it off right away. We really do get along, and it was such a pleasure to have that kind of relationship on and off camera, so I just love working with her. Bottom line.

Before you came on this show, did you do any research about detectives? Did you meet any members of the LAPD?
We did. We did quite a bit of it actually, and I think that’s kind of the way that John Wells and his producing team do this kind of thing. You know, with ER, where they did all that medical research, and made sure that it was a very accurate show. They did the same thing for Southland. So we got right out there in police cars, and going on shifts with them, they’re called ride-alongs. So you do ride-alongs with like a Sergeant. And I did about four or five, maybe six…over all different parts of the city, and it was really eye-opening. It was interesting to see that side of the city that I live in. And I never really spent any time with cops, you know, other than negative experiences when you get pulled over for speeding or whatever it is, rolling a stop sign…it was a really cool way to meet them, and learn about the people we’d be playing. And it was a very rich, rewarding experience. I learned all the stuff to make it look good — also, it’s my job, to make it look good, so we learned how to shoot, we learned how to cuff people, just the whole attitude.

Do you have a favorite story from one of your ride-alongs?
Yes, I do. There’s been so many. There were a lot of crazy things that happened, it was a lot of fun. One of my favorite things that happened was the first ride-along I went on, was in South Central, and my cop asked me if I wanted to wear a bullet proof vest. I asked him if he was wearing one, and he said yes absolutely. And I was like, well, yeah I mean, I’m going to be sitting in the car with you, right? I mean, you have one on! I want one. And then he talked me out of it! He was like, if I were you I wouldn’t wear one. And I was like really? And he was like yeah, you’d probably find it really uncomfortable, and you know, so I said okay. And we rode around, and like the first call we responded to was pursuit of a suspect with a gun.

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EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY from the Gleekdom!

February 23rd, 2010

Only 7 weeks from the return of Glee…but who’s counting right??

Recently, FOX released this lovely sneak peek at the back 9, and I know I watched it many, many times!

If you’re as big of a Glee fan as I am, you probably watched for details and little clues as to songs/relationships/future kisses, and noticed this gem:

So to thank all of our readers for being so awesome during the hiatus, the members of “The Gleekdom” (my site included) have a great Giveaway to announce! You know how much I enjoy giving away free stuff…who doesn’t?! And for a show like Glee, THIS is awesome.

We have 5 of these Team Finn shirts to give away! Who wouldn’t want one?? To quote Emma Pillsbury “Yay Glee! Glee kids hooray!”

IN ADDITION to the T-shirts, we will also be gifting iTunes songs to 5 additional lucky winners! You know the music…it’s always playing in the background between scenes on Glee! By the Swingle Singers, winners will receive:

“A Fifth of Beethoven”
“Moonlight Sonata”
“Golliwog’s Cake Walk”
“Flight of the Bumblebee”
“Soul Bossa Nova”

Winners of the iTunes portion of our giveaway must live in the United States or Canada in order to receive iTunes songs as gifts. T-Shirt winners can live anywhere!

 Here’s how to enter:

1. Visit one or more of “The Gleekdom websites.”

GleeHab

Gleek Report

Glee Dork

Gleeks United


What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear?

The TV Chick (That’s me!)

2. Leave a comment on the Giveaway entry. Enter at any one of our sites. For more chances to win, enter at all of them!

3. For even more chances to win, bring new followers to The Gleekdom on Twitter! An extra entry for every RT or @Gleekdom shoutout!

You can visit each site in The Gleekdom, but please limit it to one comment per person at each site, please. Each comment enters you into both the Team Finn shirt and the music lotteries.

The Gleekdom Giveaway closes at 9pm EST on Tuesday, March 2. Winners will be announced the following day! Happy Glee in 7 Weeks Day!! Good luck!

REVIEW: Life Unexpected “Truth Unrevealed”

February 23rd, 2010

Last night’s episode of Life Unexpected was quite amazing. So many important things happened, and so many things were left unresolved. The title “Truth Unrevealed” fits perfectly with the episode, which showcased the incredible acting ability of the entire cast. The episode centered around the Baze/Cate/Ryan love triangle. At the beginning of the episode, Cate wakes up to find Baze using their bathroom because he stayed over again. Of course, this pisses off Ryan who tells Cate that it has to stop. Lux is getting ready for Bug’s hearing, which Baze told her she could skip school for. Later, Jamie accuses Baze of losing his touch with women. Jamie identifies a girl in a coffee shop he should try to pick up, and he fails miserably. Baze admits to Jamie that he slept with Cate about a month ago, and Jamie accuses him of having a thing for her (which he denies of course).

At the radio station, there is much confusion amongst the callers about Cate’s former and present love life. Everyone seems to like Ryan but not Cate. After their show, Corporate shows up to hold a meeting about their ratings and likeability. It turns out one of the “corporate” bosses is Trina, who Baze tried to pick up in the coffee shop. (The scene between Baze and Trina is pretty hilarious). Trina tells Ryan and Cate that Baze will be their co-host the next day to clear up the confusion about Cate’s life. The next day, Baze joins the two of them in the studio and it turns into a Cate bashing session, where he shares with listeners that she dated her dictionary in high school. It then comes out that something happened between Baze and Cate post high school, and Ryan questions Cate about it. She tells him nothing happened and that she also wants less Baze in her life. Cate goes to tell Baze this, and walks in on him shirtless (I can’t say I didn’t love this moment) about to have sex with Trina on the pool table. She storms out, and Baze follows her. She says there is nothing between them despite Baze claiming otherwise and asking her why she continues to lie every day to her fiancee.

Meanwhile, in Lux world, she goes with Bug to his hearing and his lawyer encourages him to take a plea where he would only spend 6 months in jail as opposed to 2 years. Lux encourages him to take the deal, but he insists that he isn’t guilty and doesn’t want to comply. She tells him to do it for them, so they don’t have to put their relationship on hold for 2 years. He tells Lux to talk to Jones so he can drop the charges. At school, Lux talks to Jones who says he will drop the charges if Bug gives him his motorcycle. She explains that he won’t give it up, his dad gave it to him, but Jones will only drop the charges under those conditions. Bug reluctantly agrees, and after school, Lux notices Jones having trouble starting the bike. She helps him and shows him where Bug grew up. Bug’s dad was abusive, his mom was an addict and he still has nothing. In a sweet moment, Jones tells Lux that Bug has her. He agrees to give the bike back and still drop the charges, but not without trying to kiss Lux first. They return to Cate’s house where Bug is waiting. Bug gets incredibly defensive and insults Lux telling her to go be with Abercrombie (kind of a great nickname for Jones if you ask me) and that “White Bread” just wants to know what it’s like to be with damaged goods. (I believe my mouth dropped open at this line). Lux tries to explain that nothing happened and that Jones is giving his bike back, but he won’t have any of it. Bug punches Jones, and Cate pulls up in the nick of time and orders Bug off her property.

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REVIEW: Make It Or Break It “The Great Wall”

February 23rd, 2010

Last night’s episode of Make It Or Break it centered around a fundraiser to bring China’s team to The Rock. Sasha is mad about the team that was sent overseas to China, and wants to challenge them to a meet with his dream team in the United States. However, what Sasha fails to tell the gym mothers prior to their planning this fundraiser is that he hadn’t even invited China yet. He was waiting for the US to lose to China so he could invite them. The gym mothers hold a meeting to try and come up with good fundraising ideas, and settle on Bingo, at the Pizza Shack.

However, the cliffhanger we’ve all been waiting for is if Payson got through her surgery. Outside of the gym, Sasha is training Kaylie and Emily quite hard, and making them run on rough terrain while timing them. He tells them to go again, and they question it. Sasha explains that Payson would never complain, as Payson comes running up the hill. She made it! I mean, there was never a doubt in mind she wouldn’t survive surgery, but it was so nice to see her running. When she finishes, she immediately turns back to go again and improve her time. But not everything is great in the Keeler household. Payson’s surgery wasn’t covered by insurance (since it wasn’t “essential”) so Kim meets with a realtor to see about selling the house. The realtor tells her that she could sell and get out of her loan but she would still be in debt.

Later in the episode, Payson goes to see her physical therapist to get the go-ahead to start training. He tells her she can start the next day. However, when she returns to the car where her mother is waiting, she tells her that she’s not ready to train yet.

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VIDEO PREVIEW: Life Unexpected “Truth Unrevealed”

February 22nd, 2010

In the haze of the Olympics (which I do love), many new shows have been in reruns. Thankfully, there have been new episodes of the CW show “Life Unexpected.” By now, you know how much I love this show. It has only gotten better since the pilot and that is a hard feat since it started out so wonderfully. Tonight’s episode, titled “Truth Unrevealed,” features Baze filling in for Ryan as a co-host on the radio show. Here are some great video previews of tonight’s episode!

Liz Tigelaar (the amazing creator) previews the episode:

Clip #1 from “Truth Unrevealed:”

Clip #2 from “Truth Unrevealed:”

Clip #3 from “Truth Unrevealed:”

Be sure to tune in tonight to the CW at 9 pm for “Truth Unrevealed.”

Q&A: Simon Cowell from American Idol

February 22nd, 2010

This week begins the live performance shows on American Idol. I haven’t been watching every single episode, but I am excited to see the top 24. I feel that when these shows start, I am finally able to get to know each contestant as opposed to remembering one snippet from their auditions or Hollywood week. And whatever your feelings on the show may be, you have to love (or love to hate) Simon Cowell. He may be full of snarky comments, but he is one of the most respected people in the music industry. I’m pretty sad this will be his last season, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with him. He talked about his replacement rumors, who he wants to be a mentor this season and whether he really doesn’t get along with Ellen.

When you look at the musical landscape of contemporary music at this point, does it seem important to you that a woman win this year?
It depends what she’s like.  I kind of know where you’re going.  We’ve had a few years now of guys winning the show and I would say there is definitely a better chance of a girl winning the show this year, certainly than last year.

What would be the right type of woman to win, do you think?
When you talk about the landscape, I think you’re absolutely right; you want somebody who represents what is going on at the moment.  I’d love to find a Taylor Swift, somebody who’s relevant rather than just a contest winner.

How often are you overruled by the other judges?
Well, this was a difficult one because it all happened so quickly.  I think in hindsight it would have been much easier, but it couldn’t happen this way, that we could have had maybe five or six days to think about it and really review the performances.  But we had limited time and decisions were made relatively quickly on the day.  Then when you watch it back you think, “You know what?  I could have made different decisions here.”

Is that maybe why you’re moving to your own show?
No, it’s not.  Look, this happens on the shows I do in other countries.  There’s always a moment when you look at something and think, “I’ve made a decision,” but you just have to live with that.  Luckily, they can always re-audition the following year.

Today Steve Lillywhite made a video to be your replacement. We’ve also heard Howard Stern and Perez Hilton are people in the running, or think they’re in the running, as your replacement.  Who of those people would be your pick?  What do you think someone who would replace you would need to have?
Who was the first guy you said – Steve Lillywhite?

Yes.
The record producer?

Yes.  He made a video this morning.
Okay.  Is he handsome?

He’s fairly attractive.
Well, that’s not good enough, is it?  You have to be good looking.  Secondly, I think you just have to know what you’re talking about.  I think more and more now I’m starting to realize with these shows that we have to put people on the shows who actually know what they’re talking about rather than guessing.  They really have to have experience so you don’t just criticize, but you can actually offer constructive advice as well. And Howard, I know Howard’s name has been in there for a while, but I’m fairly certain that there hasn’t been an approach at any time for Howard to do the show.

What about Perez?
Perez – Perez would be funny.  You know, he has a good taste in music, he’s a personality.  I mean, that could work.

Could you address the stories about you and Ellen not getting along?  Can you also tell us what you miss most about Paula?
I wouldn’t say that we didn’t get on well.  I don’t know Ellen that well.  It was a difficult position for her because she started work on the Hollywood Week, which is quite a difficult show to do.  There was one story I read that I turned up an hour late or something and that she wanted to film.  I mean, the truth was I think I turned up 15 or 20 minutes late because I did a press conference earlier in the day and they did start filming, but that wasn’t a particular problem.  But no, there was no fallout.  I was trying to guide her through the week and that was about it, really.

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Olympics Fever: Do You Have It?

February 18th, 2010

I’m going to take today to digress from my usual posts. There’s not a lot of new TV on these days, which is mainly because of the Olympics. I realize that the Olympics aren’t a “show” per se, but they are on TV, and therefore fair game for a site about TV to write about them. I adore the Olympics. I will admit, the summer games are my favorite (I am entirely partial towards gymnastics) but the winter Olympics sucks me in as well. Coming in, I was most excited about figure skating but I found myself loving speed skating and moguls. Curling is about the only sport I can’t get into (sorry for those curling lovers out there!)

Tonight is the long program for men’s figure skating. If you follow it at all, Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir have been skating together/against each other since they were 12. Each Olympics, they have both failed to medal, and this year is said to be their year (at least Lysacek’s). Weir is outgoing, outspoken, and wonderful. In an exhibition routine last year, he skated to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” if that gives you any indication of his personality. He also has a Sundance Channel series about him called “Be Good, Johnny Weir.” Lysacek is much more reserved. He is super serious and hard working (not to say that Weir isn’t), and the reigning World Champion. However, that doesn’t mean that the odds are in his favor. A reigning World Champion hasn’t won gold in an Olympic Games since Scott Hamilton in the ’80s. After the short program, Weir is in 6th and Lysacek in 2nd. I thought Weir was drastically underscored in the short program, and hope that he is able to medal. It’s a tight race at the top though, so we’ll see what happens. There’s also Plushenko (Russian), reigning Olympic champion, who has returned to skating and is a contender for gold. It’s sure to be an exciting night!

I also caught some of the snowboard cross and ladies downhill skiing. Lindsay Vonn and Shaun White are two very recognizable faces of the games (at least here in the US) and they both won gold medals last night. And of course, who could not root for Shani Davis and Apollo Anton Ohno in speed skating?

Another thing I love besides the competition is the clothing. I think deep in my heart, I want to be an Olympic athlete. So every Olympics, I have to resist the urge to buy a ton of apparel. For the Beijing Olympics, I bought 2 jackets (probably not the smartest decision I have ever made), and this year, I am contemplating finding some way to get my hands on those adorable mittens. And possibly the medal stand USA jacket…

So what I want to know is — do you have Olympic fever? What are your favorite sports? Are you enjoying the coverage/hating the coverage? What event are you most looking forward to? Or are you just biding your time until glorious new episodes of your favorite TV shows come on?

Glee News Roundup and First Look Video

February 17th, 2010

55 days until Glee returns, but who’s counting right? There has been a lot of news lately about the show so I thought I’d tie it all together nicely. Also, last night FOX released their newest promo for the back 9. If you are trying to stay spoiler free (why?), there’s really not too much they give away here. Things I observed: Glee club singing Hello/Goodbye, another Emma/Will kiss, Rachel wearing a “Team Finn” shirt, Terri’s back, Sue/Schue showdown, Sue talking about Madonna (this episode is going to be epic), and was there maybe a scene where Will sings to Emma or they sing a duet? Only time will tell!

And now here’s your dose of Glee news:

  • Kristen Chenoweth is returning
  • Idina Menzel will be guest-starring (although rumor has it that she will not be acting with Kristen)
  • J-Lo will be guest-starring
  • Jane Lynch is singing in the back 9. One word: Madonna
  • Judging from a picture posted on Naya Rivera’s twitter (she plays Santana), there might be a kiss shared between her and Heather Morris, who plays Brittany
  • The show will be casting three new characters for next season, which will be chosen by an open audition/casting call and the process will be featured on some sort of reality show or special.
  • We knew about this before the first 13 episodes ended, but it bears repeating: All. Madonna. Episode.
  • There will also be an episode with all original songs written by professional songwriters (and maybe one by Ryan Murphy??) I’m pretty excited about this. It’s just one episode with no covers, and I think it will be great.

And without further ado, the video promo/first look we’ve all been waiting for: (I have watched it about 5 times already)

Glee returns to FOX on Tuesday, April 13th.