TV Review: Suburgatory

E: So if you read this space, you know I’m not such a fan of sitcom.  Sitcoms, they are not my cup of tea.  Sitcoms can just feel so desperate, trying to make a joke about every little thing.  And so often there’s the canned laughter and the “ha ha, aren’t we eccentric, look at us!” malarkey.  It’s really hard to be actually, honestly funny for a whole half hour at a time, and eventually I get kinda bored if they don’t mix the funny in with other stuff.

But folks, sometimes a show can strike a sort of tone with a really clever point of view, a funny little angle on the world.  Suburgatory does that.  I really liked this show.

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Revenge: Trust

E: Since our first review was so glowing, I think I’m going to get into a few things I don’t flat out love about the show, in addition to the details that I did love.

M: Admittedly, we didn’t go into huge depth with that one, it was more of an initial impression than a review I’d say.  There are some things I have reservations about, too.  So hit it up, sis, what didn’t you love? Continue reading

TV Review: Revenge

E: This, my friends, was everything that I hoped Ringer would be.  Though much less buzzed about, it’s full of suspense, danger, clever twists, and genuine emotions.  Summer in the Hamptons – in the person of golden, gentle Emily Thorne – first seduces, and then destroys.

M: Agreed, the pilot sets up what looks to be a focused, stylish and entertaining season.  I have concerns about long-term sustainability, but those can be dealt with in season two or three.  It already feels like they have solid arc for the first season (if they don’t rush things), and a solid character to base it around.

C: I too was surprised by this one. In fact, I’ll pay it one of the highest compliments a Quibbling Sibling can pay: it reminded me little of Veronica Mars. Continue reading

The Good Wife: A New Day

E:  Dialogue worthy of The West Wing – with hallway walking? Check.  Something awfully reminiscent of that scene in Buffy where the house gets knocked down (and don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about)? Check.  Ferreting out the real killer like Perry Mason?  Check.  That’s right, friends.  That is our show – the best of all possible worlds (political, personal and legal). It’s thoughtful, it’s funny, and it’s sexy as hell. It’s everything you’ve ever liked about your old favorites, wrapped up neatly in one unbelievably packed hour, and it’s finally here.  Happy days are back again!

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Castle Review: “Rise” (Season Four Premiere)

C: Tonight was what one might call a “Mr. Hyde episode” of Castle. Most people I know who watch this show enjoy it for the witty banter, the gargantuan charm of the actors, the rapport between the characters, and the outrageous worlds they dive into when investigating murders (steampunk, soap operas, spycations…). And then every now and then, an episode comes along where every one of those things disappears.

E: Heh. Hyde episodes. Let’s make it a thing. I do hate it when Castle doesn’t actually feel like Castle. To have fewer jokes makes sense, but I don’t get why they feel like they can’t have any in a “serious” episode.

M: It’s like it tries to be a different show entirely when they do “heavy” episodes, like the ones dealing with the overarching plot.  Like you, I don’t know why they can’t keep the spirit of the show the same.

E: It wasn’t too bad as an episode of ER, though. Continue reading

Emmy 2011: Post-Mortem

E:  YES, PBS!

Last night’s Emmy awards contained few major surprises, but they were there, and not least among them was pulpy Downton Abbey‘s upset of pedigreed serious Mildred Pierce, the presumed winner in the movie or miniseries category.  Mildred Pierce has been sitting on my dvr since it aired; on the one hand, it’s a brilliant cast lead by Kate Winslet, but on the other, it looks depressing as hell.  I’ll be the first to admit that Downton Abbey was just soapy costume fun,  and not a patch on true masterpieces like North & South or Miss Austen Regrets, but still, it was quite enjoyable.  It’s about time PBS got recognized for what they do so well!  And it was a treat to see Rebecca Eaton of our own local PBS station (WGBH) first getting a shout out from Julian Fellows during his writing win and then getting on stage herself as a producer.

I’ll say it again.  Yay, PBS!

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2011 Emmys: Non-Prediction Wishlist

E:  I’m not saying all, or even any of this is going to happen, but this is what I want out of this year’s Emmy telecast, taking place tonight.

First off, some real comedy gold from host Jane Lynch.  The Emmy’s have been tremendously lucky in their recent choice of hosts – Jimmy Fallon killed last year, and Neil Patrick Harris is a reliably dapper and amusing host.  Jane Lynch might be best known now as Coach Sue Sylvester on Glee, but her roots go deep into improv comedy, from Chicago’s peerless Second City troupe to the Christopher Guest films.  She shone in the brilliant family favorite Best in Show.  Heck, I cried laughing when she and Bill Maher did that dramatic reading of Anthony Weiner’s text messages.  So Jane, I have expectations!  A great opening number.  Witty repartee during the show.  I am counting on you – especially when looking forward (gulp) to Eddie Murphy hosting the Oscars.  Emmy’s done well with blond lesbians before. You better bring it, sister!

And as always, I love the dresses.  I’m no fashionista, but what girl doesn’t like seeing a raft of pretty frocks?  This is good stuff, and I love it.  So bring on the glam, girls!  And guys, no heinous beards or doofy hats, okay?

I have far fewer expectations when it comes winners.  Modern Family and Mad Men are likely to clean up, and I don’t watch either of those shows, so I’m not emotionally invested in that.  I was emotionally invested in some of the so called “creative” awards which were already announced – my heart was crushed to find that Cat Deeley lost to Jeff Probst in the Best Reality Show Host.  Voters, you need to stop acting like sheep and actually watch this woman weave her magic.  I suppose, however, that as long as Cat comes to the show in one of her fascinating gowns, I’m glad to know in advance and not get my heart broken on Emmy night.

Obviously I’m rooting for The Good Wife cast to take home some of their acting nods.  I don’t have any illusions about the show winning for itself, but Archie Panjabi might possibly repeat (though I hear Margo Martindale of Justified has supporting actress locked up, and perhaps Panjabi’s win was too based on buzz and shock).  The best chance, as I see it, is that Julianna Margulies might capture the lead actress award which she was robbed of last year.  Here’s hoping!  I would be shocked – though happily – to see Josh Charles or Alan Cumming or Christine Baranski take home a prize, though of course I’d love that too.

Will there be sentimental wins for Steve Carrell, Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler for their final seasons in lauded roles?  Maybe Carrell will top the comedy leader board, but it seems more likely that Britton and Chandler’s reward was their nominations.  Jon Hamm and (hurrah!) Julianna Margulies are the ones the pundits are predicting. I don’t want to get too sanguine about Julianna, though, because I was pretty sure she had a good shot at the trophy last year, too.  Will host Jane Lynch win her comedy supporting category, even after the dreck she was given to work with this season?  I don’t know, but I’d love to  see Betty White give an acceptance speech.

Which brings me to my last Emmy wish. I wish for the acceptance speeches to be more than just thank you lists!  I realize this is your big moment, people, but you’re entertainers in front of a live audience!  Use your platform!  Entertain us!  Be funny!  Cry!  I don’t care what.  Surprise me.  That’s always the best.