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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Best of TV 2006

So, it's the end of the year and here are my picks for the Best of TV of 2006 (and yes, that includes ALL of 2006). I thought it was a great year, so I had to up my usual top 10 to a top 20, and some good shows that had potential to be on, were sadly cut short (Love Monkey, Smith, The Nine) so never really given the time to grow into a possible great show.

So here is my list, compiled from a mix of what I think had the best quality, was my favorites to watch, the ones I look forward to most, and which entertained, thrilled, made me laugh, and moved me the most. My first three picks have made me cry (whether from laughter or emotional involvement), and to be honest, from 4-8 could all be mixed around in any order, and I would be okay with it, and again from 9-15.

1. Everwood - Like I said back in June, it combined comedic and dramatic heartfelt family drama into one powerful and realistic hour every week in Everwood, Colorado. By year 4, we had grown to love all the warmful joys and irritating realities of the Brown and Abbott's in what is one of, if not the, best family drama's ever. Never boring or panders, never simplistic but always hilarious, and all with a pitch perfect cast.


2. The Office - Hilarity ensues in the Dundler Mifflin Paper Supplies Office with all the absurdities of the daily grind, all while we get emotionally involved in Pam and Jim's relationships and even idiot boss Michael's life. From Dwight to Toby to Oscar, Angela, Stanley, Phyllis, Ryan, Kelly, Kevin, Creed, Meredith and now add in Karen and Andy from the new office and it was a very great year for us voyeurs.


3. Friday Night Lights - More than just about football, it's about life around a high school in small town America. It's about family, friendships, loyalty and growing up, and Friday Night Lights looks at it all in an unflinching manner. Gritty and real, it's almost too painful to watch yet somehow it elicits such joys in the little great moments of life, that it moves me to tears so far in every episode.


4. Grey's Anatomy - Yes, Meredith was annoying at times, Izzie's love for Denny and her decision to cut the cord was idiotic, and Burke and Christina's conspiracy to hide his shaky hand was just plain dumb, but nothing on TV made us want to yell at the TV, scream at the characters, laugh at the lines, and enjoy all the melodrama within the halls of Seattle Grace. In essence, the great smart soap opera that intelligently goes beyond justifying itself as a guilty pleasure so that there no longer has any guilt involved.


5. Veronica Mars - Smart and sassy Veronica Mars lives in the dark and twisted town of Neptune and helps solve cases as a detective, be it in high school or at college. From solving the case of a school bus crash, to a series of rapes at Hearst College, Veronica is our woman for the job!


6. Lost - Infuriating and frustrating, yes, but always fascinating and compelling. Still gives me the shivers in every episode, and we get frustrated because they make us care so much about the Losties as we discover who they really are. The show is a huge cryptic puzzle and while we have no idea if we may ever get an answer, its basically a breakdown of regular people (we think) dealing with an impossible situation. An arthouse drama in serial format, with a bit of mystery thrown in.


7. Arrested Development - The final episode alone should be enough to place this show onto any classic TV shows list, but the story of the Bluth family came to a (sadly early) conclusion but never without gigantic laughs.


8. Weeds - Mary Louise Parker's fierce and funny performance as Nancy Botwin is only matched by her amazing ensemble (Elizabeth Perkins as her ferocious friend Celia, Martin Donovan as the calmly FBI Drug Enforcement Office who marries Nancy, Justin Kirk as her lovable id brother-in-law Andy, Kevin Nealon as the lazy politician Doug, Tonye Patano as the mother of all weed distributor Heylia and Romany Malco as Nancy's new partner Conrad), as we follow Nancy as she opens up her own operation growing weed herself (with partners Conrad, Doug and Andy) and gets herself entangled with the law, or so to speak, all while dealing with two kids and a blackmailing nanny.

9. Ugly Betty - Who would think that at the beginning of the year, we would be watching and loving an ugly Betty on Thursdays at 8pm? A perfect balance of campy gay fashion fun, heartwarming moments and some nice dramatic twists, all with characters that move beyond their initial stereotypes in story arch's that always takes a nice twist of oddity from the normal Hollywood plots (that eventual makeover for Betty? Hilarious!). With quotable comedic lines spat out from every characters mouths, all who have some sort of charm and lovability (in what other show would you fall in love with nasty Marc or Becky, or heck, even Wilhelmina?) and the relationship between Betty and her boss Daniel is special and has stayed away from creepiness. They make no apologies (Justin would not exist in another show, or done poorly at least) and Ugly Betty, the show, and the character are proud of exactly what they are and that is just fantastic!


10. How I Met Your Mother - From Barney's lines to Lily and Marshall's painful breakup and roller coaster relationship to avoiding the usually inevitable boring and tedious relationship when the main characters finally get together (Robin and Ted), this show has grown more and more enjoyable every week. Will the words Slap Bet or Let's Go To the Mall every be the same? Legendary!


11. Heroes - At parts frustrating because some of the clunky dialogue and cheesy moments stall the usually zippy show. Dark (though at times too dark) and light, its popcorn fun at its best with some great characters about regular people discovery their new talents and forced to become heroes (and note, not superheroes) to save the world.

12. Scrubs - Consistently balancing absurd slapstick humour with emotionally human moments, it can always be reliable for saving our heart and soul.


13. The Loop - New college graduate gets a real grown-up person's job at an airline company only to realise the corporate world is even crazier than living with his idiot brother and 2 other young and naive roommates. Fiercely funny particularly at work and Bret Harrison is a great central foil for the zaniness that surrounds him.


14. Project Runway - Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum lead a pack of designers as they fight their way to New York Fashion Week. Bitchy, plotting, sewing, and frocks, the design world comes alive as we watch amateurs try to become professionals all under the insightful but biting eyes of the judges (Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and Heidi). Reminds me of my days back in architecture school in the studio. Who knew fashion could be so much fun?


15. Entourage - The boys were back but Ari, up to his usual antics finally pushes Vince and co. to the breaking point as the boys each try to forward their own careers (Turtle as music producer to Saigon, Drama as always to get his own agent, and Vince and Eric making their way through e politics of Hollywood as Vince wants to make a movie for passion while under a deal for Aquaman 2. Not as great as season 2 but boy have we grown to love this overgrown boys bunch.


16. So You Think You Can Dance - So I dismissed this show at first because the first season never really kept my attention, but by the time the auditions were through, we knew we had a very special bunch of dancers this year and I was hooked. Travis, Benji, Heidi, Martha, Donyelle, Allison, Dimitri, Ryan, Natalie and Ivan danced to routines from choreographers Mia Michaels, Shane Sparks, Wade Robson and more and gave us some joyous and sexy moments (like the Sexy Back routine, Hide and Seek, Calling You, Sexy Love, Ramalama etc. etc) that thrilled us and made watching these amateurs perfect their talent such a hoot to watch.


17. The New Adventures of Old Christine - Finally a traditional family sitcom that is funny, modern and relevant.


18. Brothers and Sisters - Not perfect yet but the Walker clan is definitely fun to watch amongst all the messiness within the funny family drama, in part due to Everwood's Greg Berlanti addition as showrunner partway through this first season, and one to watch for.


19. My Name is Earl - Always funny and surprisingly heartwarming with some of the best guest appearances around (who knew Roseanne would be such a welcome sight again?). Plus, any show that shows Jaime Pressly as funny as she is as Joy deserves recognition.


20. Bones - A procedural yes, but one that really makes us care about the characters and doesn't just become a case-of-the-week show. Plus its very funny which helps the mood.

Consistently good shows left off the list:

Everybody Hates Chris

The Amazing Race

House

Men in Trees

Help Me Help You

ER

Shows presumed dead or almost dead that have improved vastly in the second half of 2006:

The OC - Seriously, how did this show resurrect itself from practically dead to fabulously wonderful again in its 4th season. Ironically all initiated with the death of a main character. Who would have thunk Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser) would be the saviour for the show, even making Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) funny and changing the show from the Seth and Summer show to the Taylor and Ryan show? Bonus points for Melinda Clarke's emotional performance of the damaged Julie Cooper.

Desperate Housewives - What a horrible sophomore slump but as the housewives have done time and time again in their lives, the show is slowly clawing its way back to its first seasons' excellency.

Survivor: Cook Islands - Finally someone smart wins for controlling the game based on a numbers game, after being in the underdogs tribe we rooted for, plus add a double backstabber in Jonathan, a lovelorn kook in Billy and some genuinely smart strategic moves (finally, a hidden immunity idol used properly).

Questionable but entertaining shows nonetheless:

Boston Legal

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Gilmore Girls

Alias

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

30 Rock

Shows I hear/know are great but haven't had the chance to see the whole season this year yet so are left off my list.

Big Love

Rome

Battlestar Galactica

24

Life on Mars

The Wire

Dexter

Here is my Best of TV list from June 2006 for the 2005/2006 TV Season

Here is the list of Best of TV 2005 when Everwood first shot to the top of the list.


More After the Jump...

Children of Men - Movie Review


Clive Owen finds himself in a situation semi-forced to save a child's life from men with guns. Hmm... why does this sound familiar to me? Not you, but you will find out on September 7, 2007.

Children of Men takes place in the distant future of 2027 where people have become infertile and the world has basically gone to shits. Britain is capturing all refugees and forcing them into internment camps to be deported, which of course is retaliated by rebel fighters (with one group led by Julianne Moore and Chiwetel Ejiofor). Julian (Julianne Moore) captures her former husband Clive Owen's Theo to help protect Kee, a refugee who is somehow pregnant, a first in 18 years. From there on, it's basically one big long stressful and suspenseful chase scene amidst a gloomy looking Britain (or Sarajevo 1990's or Iraq now) with some help from a hippie Jasper (Michael Caine) and a few others along the way.

The film is well made by Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y tu mamá también), and well acted, and while the overtones of the depressing outlook of the world is actually worrisome because it basically could happen, the whole movie boils down to one long chase scene and somehow I still felt a bit emotionally uninvested into the film.

7.5/10 or B


More After the Jump...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Shameless Plugs for 2007

I don't even know why I'm plugging for New Line (can't even afford to get crew gifts I hear? Seriously, aren't you under Time Warner? And didn't you have the Lord of the Rings movies under your belt? Doesn't exactly scream poor now does it?), but while I'm in the musical mode, I felt it was the biggest missed opportunity that they didn't put a trailer of the new Hairspray movie musical coming July 20th 2007 before Dreamgirls (the movie musical). The new official Hairspray site is totally up by the way and apparently run by the girl who was doing the unofficial (and now official) blog (or something like that, maybe she's just doing the official blog). Zac Efron is looking quite snazzy in the new hairdo. Can't wait to see Michelle Pfeiffer camp it up as Velma Von Tussle. Didn't love the stage musical (it was cute but okay, not great except for the last song "You Can't Stop The Beat") but I'm still excited about seeing the movie version (based on the musical based on the movie). So who are we suspecting as the young actor who left behind his secret Toronto boyfriend? And which young starlet (known to be out in Hollywood only) left behind a Canadian health trainer girlfriend to go back to her regular girlfriend?

In the meantime, I also noticed they finally set a release date for Shoot 'Em Up, the new Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci movie. The title basically fills in any plot holes you may have by the way (I still can't believe those actors took these roles). So the September 7, 2007 date doesn't really bode well for the movie considering usually the late summer/early fall is usually a movie dumping ground (though not as bad as January at least) for bad movies. Plus apparently they are doing some re-shoots in the next month or so. Let's hope editing does wonders.

Well, here's a first look at the trailer they presented at Cannes. Wonders what you can find on the net these days...



Of course now that we know that the latest 007 Bond film Casino Royale rocks, this doesn't bode well for Shoot 'Em Up.


More After the Jump...

Dreamgirls - Movie Review

So yes, I finally got to see Dreamgirls, the iconic musical now made into a movie. I assume people already know about it so this will be brief, though half my friends I went with didn't even realise it was based on a stage musical, or had ever heard of it. Seriously, who are these people and why am I friends with them again? (Two had never heard of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Seriously. I think I need new friends).

So basically as it seems every reviewer and blogger out there has already noted, Dreamgirls the movie is a good movie but not a great one, and not the saviour of the movie year that we all hoped it would be. Even though it has Oscar written all over the previews, I don't think it should be there, but it was definitely a better adaptation than Rent (which is based on a musical I LOVE) and The Producers (which is based on a musical I didn't love). Still, it's no Moulin Rouge or Chicago.

"...bitch, move out of my spotlight and stop stealing the movie. I'm the famous one and I deserve the Oscar. You lost American Idol for godsakes".

So yes, everything said and hyped about Jennifer Hudson as Effie, the talent behind the singing girls group within the movie who gets booted for beauty Beyonce... er... Deena, is to be believed. She IS the movie and pulls off a remarkable and believably powerful performance. Along with Helen Mirren in The Queen and Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, you might as well just hand Jennifer Hudson the Oscar now to save us the time since the three pretty much have no competition at this point (and have pretty much sweeped all the critics awards at this point). Remember. I was NOT a JHud fan from American Idol. I liked her more than Fantasia but I didn't love her (though I did think she was booted off a bit too early). Still, she not only has the sass as Effie, and the voice to pull of the song Jennifer Holiday OWNED up to this year, she made me totally forget she was JHud and lived and breathed Effie, even as the single mother in the later years (even though she's pretty young in real life). Still, it boggles my mind that we will probably be hearing Jennifer Hudson as American Idol loser and Oscar Nominee soon enough but she totally deserves it.

Now, Beyonce isn't bad, it's just that she basically plays herself. The surprise standout for me (other than JHud) was Eddie Murphy, who has (almost) redeemed himself for Pluto Nash amongst a few others. Anika Noni Rose also deserves kudos for her underated performance as the OTHER Dreamgirls.

Still, I was actually a little disapointed with the production design of the whole thing (it looked a little... lacking somehow) though it IS John Myhre (who I'm told is a complete imbicile who keeps lucking out with a great Art Department team) and keeps getting Oscar nominations because he gets movies that are BUILT to get nominations (no matter who got the job... see Chicago or Memoirs of a Geisha).

I still have the song "Dreamgirls" running through my head but probably more from the thousands of times I've played the Original Cast Recording, but I would watch this version again solely for the JHud Effie portions again (but fast forward all the others). Nice to see Loretta Devine from the original cast (as well as Crash, Boston Public, Grey's Anatomy) get a little cameo and song, but it would have been cool if Jennifer Holiday (who apparently wasn't even invited to the premiere) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha, ER) made an appearance too. (Sheryl Lee Ralph who seemed to be the constant professional, even when she did a cheap Canadian made TV pilot here, was totally nice but even MORE sweet when I asked her about her Dreamgirls days. I think she was shocked that in a cast and crew of mostly Blacks, it was the non-Black person that knew about her from that (or at least the only one to mention it to her), and I always got a special wink or nod from the set after that. So funny).

In the meantime, this Dreamgirls gets a 7.5/10 or a B.


More After the Jump...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Sadly, I've been working my other gig (someone has to pay the bills) so I've been slacking on the blogging (which is really just slacking at work so hey, who am I to complain? but alas, the season is over for this year and we will have to wait to see if we get picked up for another season (which apparently is 99% a done deal, whew)).

I'll be posting my Best of TV 2006 list, Best of Movies 2006 list and finally, the Top 10 Things That Entertained Me in 2006 list over the next week or two and maybe a rundown of the great live stuff I've seen (since it was a damn good year). Here again is the link to my Best of Music of 2006 list.

The NY Times two Theatre Critics, Ben Brantley and Christopher Isherwood listed their best of year lists, both which include Spring Awakening. Woot woot! Now go see it!

Also, here's also the longer clip of Spring Awakening.

Can you guess that Spring Awakening will make it into the Top 10 of 2006 list?


More After the Jump...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

iPod Playlist - Spring Awakening

Yes Yes, are you sick and tired of me talking about Spring Awakening yet? Then get TICKETS and make it a sell out show and I will stop.

Anyways, here's are mp3's of the songs The Bitch Of Living (of which I have previously posted a video for and can be found on the website where you can also hear the full song to Totally Fucked), and here is The Mirror Blue Night (all thanks to ModFab).


More After the Jump...

Survivor: Cook Island Finale

Finally watched the Survivor: Cook Island Finale last night after being off the continent this weekend (and I don't mean that as a euphemism for being sedated Friday from the hospital testing, I'm being literal this time), and my man Yul won! Woohoo!

Though really, by the time they had the final four to Sundra, Becky, Ozzy and Yul, I didn't really care since I liked them all (and yes, I do believe Becky played the game well along with Yul though just much quieter and under the radar). Still, Yul had the game down pat. Poor Adam, the last white man left and booted out of the game. Hehehe...(sorry). Sundra and Becky's fire making skills was nice and fair but ended up being very anticlimactic when neither could make fire with the flint.

I wish the Reunion parts were longer though since I enjoy seeing the contestants dishing out things after (though I guess in more boring years, nothing really gets revealed) and even last night, since no one seems bitter, not much biting back. Still, I wanted Brad to clear up that JP rumour, and what's with JP on Janice Dickinson? Is that for real? Is that something to be applauded?

So there ends Survivor: Racist Island which wasn't as controversial as we thought/hoped it would be, but ended up being pretty good nonetheless with some Jonathan/Candice jump ship, and Yul/Becky smarts, and the betrayed underdog team surviving until final four! Always love the underdog story!


More After the Jump...

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Office - Ho Ho Hoes No Mo's

A Benihana Christmas

Brilliant Christmas episode with Carol dumping Michael, rival parties from Angela and a newly teamed up Karen and Pam, and the funniest two second appearance by Oscar.

The IV from my hospital visit this morning (no biggies, just checking up, it ended up being nothing serious thank goodness) is leaving me groggy and I'll be in and out for the next few weeks so Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and I'll be posting by Best of TV, Movies and Top 10 things of 2006 over the next couple weeks.


More After the Jump...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Golden Globe Nominations

Okay, so the one day I can sleep in and come to work late (our office Christmas/Wrap party was last night. Woohoo! I'll be partially and temporarily unemployed in one more day! Cannot WAIT!), they had to announce the Golden Globe nominations and every blogger out there already made their quick comments. Oh sure. Thanks a lot.

So here I am coming in late piping in with my 2 cents (in Canadian dollars). Generally speaking, nothing completely shocking (except Bobby? Seriously?). Middle of the road but nothing I can get too huffy about. Some omissions like United 93, Sandra Oh, Ryan Gosling, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski and Friday Night Lights, but whatever. Some expected omissions like Veronica Mars and the cast, and Battlestar Gallactica, who I think will join Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the always overlooked.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

BABEL
BOBBY
THE DEPARTED
LITTLE CHILDREN
THE QUEEN

Again, Bobby? Really? I haven't seen it, wanted to, until it got trashed in the reviews. Where is United 93? Everthing else seems fine. Would have liked The History Boys to be up there too.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

PENÉLOPE CRUZ - VOLVER
JUDI DENCH - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL - SHERRYBABY
HELEN MIRREN - THE QUEEN
KATE WINSLET - LITTLE CHILDREN

No real complaints here although at this point, can't we just hand Helen Mirren the Oscar and get on with life again?

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

LEONARDO DICAPRIO - BLOOD DIAMOND
LEONARDO DICAPRIO - THE DEPARTED
PETER O’TOOLE - VENUS
WILL SMITH - THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
FOREST WHITAKER - THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND


2 for Leo huh? I'm actually not going to complain because I actually do think he's a pretty good actor. Still, just like Helen Mirren, can't we just hand Forest Whitaker the Oscar and get on with life?

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
DREAMGIRLS
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
THANK YOU FOR SMOKING

Three of the movies (Borat, Sunshine, Smoking) I thought were good films but I didn't think they were GREAT films, so this whole category seems a bit underwhelming (but not unexpected) for me. I think I would lean towards Thank You for Smoking, at least until I see Dreamgirls which I know I'll enjoy anyways but I'm not sure it's going to be GREAT either.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

ANNETTE BENING - RUNNING WITH SCISSORS
TONI COLLETTE - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
BEYONCÉ KNOWLES - DREAMGIRLS
MERYL STREEP - THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
RENEE ZELLWEGER - MISS POTTER

As much as I didn't LOVE Little Miss Sunshine, I did like all the performances including Toni Collette's. Still, I think Meryl MADE the movie for The Devil Wears Prada. You gotta hand it to her, there's a reason why she has the reputation for being the best actress of our time.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

SACHA BARON COHEN - BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
JOHNNY DEPP - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
AARON ECKHART - THANK YOU FOR SMOKING
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR - KINKY BOOTS
WILL FERRELL - STRANGER THAN FICTION

As much as I thought Borat was overated, I will give Sacha Baron Cohen and standing O for playing the part continuously. Still, I simply LOVED Aaron Eckhart's performance in Thank You For Smoking. Love Chiwetel Ejiofor usually but he's done better parts.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

CARS
HAPPY FEET
MONSTER HOUSE


Only saw Cars but loved it.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

APOCALYPTO (USA)
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (USA/JAPAN)
THE LIVES OF OTHERS (GERMANY)
PAN’S LABYRINTH (MEXICO)
VOLVER (SPAIN)

Love how they squeeze in two American films into the Foreign Language Film category. Only saw Pan's and Volver so far and no plans to see Apocalypto, but my heart's for Volver. Not a perfect film but still something to faun over.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

ADRIANA BARRAZA - BABEL
CATE BLANCHETT - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
EMILY BLUNT - THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
JENNIFER HUDSON - DREAMGIRLS
RINKO KIKUCHI - BABEL

Glad to see Blunt, Hudson, and Kikuchi come from nowhere to get nominations.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

BEN AFFLECK - HOLLYWOODLAND
EDDIE MURPHY - DREAMGIRLS
JACK NICHOLSON - THE DEPARTED
BRAD PITT - BABEL
MARK WAHLBERG - THE DEPARTED


I love how this list would seem more expected in the Best Actor category a few years ago. At this point, I think I would lean towards Mark Wahlberg actually as I felt Jack Nicholson was just playing the over-the-top "Jack Nicholson" he usually plays (whereas in About Schmidt, I found he was actually ACTING).

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

CLINT EASTWOOD FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
CLINT EASTWOOD LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
STEPHEN FREARS THE QUEEN
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ IÑÁRRITU BABEL
MARTIN SCORSESE THE DEPARTED


Leo twice I can deal with. Clint twice? Hmm... Not when you omit Paul Greengrass for United 93 or Bill Condon for Dreamgirls (how can it be nominated so much and have no director?).

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

GUILLERMO ARRIAGA - BABEL
TODD FIELD & TOM PERROTTA - LITTLE CHILDREN
PATRICK MARBER - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
WILLIAM MONAHAN - THE DEPARTED
PETER MORGAN - THE QUEEN

Note how Bobby wasn't in Screenplay or Director. How DID it get the Best Picture Drama nom? It's not like all the actors in it (apparently half of Hollywood) could even vote for it since this is the Hollywood Foreign Press. Maybe the HFP just hoped that all those stars might just show up instead if Bobby was nominated.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

24 (FOX)
BIG LOVE (HBO)
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
HEROES (NBC)
LOST (ABC)

Not a bad list. At least nothing offensive is on it (anything on CBS... hmm note: CBS may be the number one network but it pretty much airs lame/boring shows). I can dream that Friday Night Lights or Veronica Mars made the list but I'll remain happy with what they have. I know there's a lot of haters of Lost right now, but I'm not one of them (thank goodness I have an ally in Jace at Televisionary).

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

PATRICIA ARQUETTE - MEDIUM
EDIE FALCO - THE SOPRANOS
EVANGELINE LILLY - LOST
ELLEN POMPEO - GREY’S ANATOMY
KYRA SEDGWICK - THE CLOSER

I'm going to assume Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey's (see below) nominations really represent for the rest of the cast (Chandra Wilson, Sandra Oh, T.R. Knight, etc) since, while they are good actors, are the weakest of Grey's Anatomy's. I'm just not a fan of Patricia Arquette, love Sedgwick but not the show, and Edie Falco is always reliable and the best part of The Sopranos. As for Lilly, I know there are lot of you haters out there but I think she does a great job with Kate, so Televisionary, I'm on your side!

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

PATRICK DEMPSEY GREY’S ANATOMY
MICHAEL C. HALL DEXTER
HUGH LAURIE HOUSE
BILL PAXTON BIG LOVE
KIEFER SUTHERLAND 24


As much as I'm disappointed with House the show lately, Hugh Laurie remains the REASON to watch it, so my love is for him. Haven't seen full episodes of Dexter or Big Love but always been a big fan of Hall and Paxton. Meanwhile, Dempsey is far overated on Grey's Anatomy (I would have even preffered homophobe Isaiah Washington) and ditto with Keifer Sutherland on 24 (gasp, Yes I said it). 24 is a great show but Keifer just lucked out into the central role. He's not BAD on it, but I don't think he's one of the major reasons that make the show so great.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
ENTOURAGE (HBO)
THE OFFICE (NBC)
UGLY BETTY (ABC)
WEEDS (SHOWTIME)

I think I would have prefered to see Scrubs or How I Met Your Mother instead of Desperate Housewives but I won't stir it up too much for fear of losing the other 4 GREAT shows listed. Almost a perfect list. Again, at least DH doesn't offend me (like if The King of Queens were to get nominated or something).

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL

MARCIA CROSS - DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
AMERICA FERRERA - UGLY BETTY
FELICITY HUFFMAN - DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS - THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE
MARY-LOUISE PARKER - WEEDS

I wish there were a spot for Tichina Arnold from Everybody Hates Chris or Jenna Fischer from The Office but again, nothing offends me here. Even though DH had a lackluster second season, and better third, Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman always do great work. America Ferrera IS what makes Ugly Betty from good fun to GREAT television, and Parker and Dreyfus are fantastic in their mother roles.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

ALEC BALDWIN - 30 ROCK
ZACH BRAFF - SCRUBS
STEVE CARRELL - THE OFFICE
JASON LEE - MY NAME IS EARL
TONY SHALHOUB - MONK

Okay. Here is something that OFFENDS me. Monk? Again? Tony Shalhoub is usually great but ENOUGH ALREADY. The show stinks and yes hes quirky and zany but there were far better actors out there this year (John Krasinski in The Office, Kevin Connolly in Entourage, Tyler James Williams or Terry Crews in Everybody Hates Chris)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

EMILY BLUNT - GIDEON’S DAUGHTER
TONI COLLETTE - TSUNAMI, THE AFTERMATH
KATHERINE HEIGL - GREY’S ANATOMY
SARAH PAULSON - STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP
ELIZABETH PERKINS - WEEDS

Ah yes, the weird supporting categories from EVERYTHING and ANTHING on television. I'm shocked Katherine Heigl is recognized as I find she tends to get overlooked with Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh around even though her performance is just as good. Still, where's Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh's nominations? Perkins totally deserves it (and I think the win) for Weeds and love Paulson who I think is the best thing about Studio 60 as I've noted in my Best New People list (along with America Ferrera and Masi Oka). Meanwhile, Blunt and Collette have a second nomination (along with Helen Mirren with TWO more and Ejiofor with another one for TV movies or miniseries). That's a lot of double nominations which is great but at the same time, share the wealth people.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

THOMAS HADEN CHURCH - BROKEN TRAIL
JEREMY IRONS - ELIZABETH I
JUSTIN KIRK - WEEDS
MASI OKA - HEROES
JEREMY PIVEN - ENTOURAGE

I can't believe Neil Patrick Harris isn't on the list for Barney in How I Met Your Mother but I'm totally for Kirk, Oka and Piven's noms.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Best of Music for 2006

Remembering that I tend to like my poppy music with deep hooks, and I kinda cheated with this list, but here is what I deem as the Best of Music of 2006

1. New Musicals - Spring Awakening The Musical – Eugene O’Neil Theater – lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik, High School Musical – The Disney Channel

One is a complete jump forward in musical storytelling, one is a jump back to the classic campy fun of musicals. Both are about young teenagers discovering love (or so to speak). One has a cast album with a parental advisory, the other is perfect for kids of all ages.












2. Dallas Green – for his solo band’s Sometimes Album – City and Colour, “The Grace” – Neverending White Lights ft. Dallas Green, “Boiled Frogs” – Alexisonfire

Yes, Dallas Green is in all three, which if you heard them back to back, you may be surprised. Still, as City and Colour had the best album of the year, and "The Grace" was the best song of the year.


3. Songs from So You Think You Can Dance
Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” and “My Love”, Imogen Heap's “Hide and Seek”, Ne-Yo’s “Sexy Love

Dancing was never so fun to watch when set to these 4 songs.



4. Rascal Flatts
– “What Hurts the Most Song


A croony and corny country ballad at its most addictive.



5. Albums from Boys featured on Grey’s Anatomy
The Fray’s How To Save a Life , Snow Patrol’s Eyes Open, Gnarls Barkley’s St Elsewhere, Matt Kearney’s Nothing Left to Lose

Not your typical Boy bands.

























6. Edgier Attitude Female Pop
- The Veronica’s – “I Could Get Used To This” Song, Nelly Furtado – “Maneater

Fun stuff from Girrrrrrls.














7. The All American Rejects – Move Along Album


The catchiest and most fun rock/pop album of the year.


8. Political Pop – Dixie Chicks – “Not Ready To Make Nice”, John Mayer – “Waiting for the World to Change

Finally Pop Music has a little F#*K You in it.



9. UK Whining
KeaneUnder the Iron Sea Album, EmbraceThis New Day Album, Lily AllenAlright, Still Album

From across the pond, more lyrical ditties with enchanting melodies that found itself on repeat no matter where I was in the world.



10. Raul Esparza’s Performance of “Being Alive” in Company
, Barrymore Theater

Mesmerizing and redefines the classic Broadway song to a whole new level. A star making performance.

Honourable Mentions: Josh Rouse’s “Sad Eyes Song, Three Days Grace – “Animal I Have Become Song, Orson – “No Tomorrow Song, Teddy Geiger – Underage Thinking, The Feeling – In Concert at Koolhaus, Josh Turner's "Your Man" and "Would You Go With Me" Songs


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There's Hope Yet

The musicals High Fidelity and Spring Awakening have been averaging about 45-50% capacity. That's BAD. Both opened within 3 days of each other last week. However, High Fidelity got trashed in the reviews, while Spring Awakening got amazing reviews.

Now, they just announced High Fidelity will close its $10 Million production later this week while Spring Awakening got a big boost in the box office with a tune of $2 Million in advance sales (and let's hope it grows) since Monday when reviews came out.

So yeah! There is some justice in the world on Broadway! Hmm... that reminds me, I'd better get my tickets to see Spring Awakening again FAST...

Meanwhile, Degrassi: The Next Generation is going to be syndicated in the United States soon, 5 days a week!


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Friday Night Lights - Blocking Moves

If you haven't been watching Friday Night Lights yet, why not? The show moves to Wednesdays at 8pm starting Dec 27th by the way in a 3 episode marathon for people to catch up with.

It's Different for Girls

I have to tell you though for the uninitiated that while the show is beautifully realisitic and sometimes realistically harsh, Friday Night Lights is also a very funny show, just not your typical sitcom funny.

Watching Coach Taylor subtly battle QB Saracen over dating his daughter was some of the funniest moments on television. When an already nervous Saracen gets the death stare from Kyle Chandler's Coach (who I agree with TV Gal, in that his hair alone should get an Emmy nomination), then Coach piles on the football homework as a block, we find the hilarious but genuine emotions come through in a typical family drama. When Julie ends up helping Saracen with the homework, Tami's snide comments to the failure of Coach's block was priceless.

Jason Street moves back home. Smash continues to USE but an old old reaquainted friend in Waverly (and the reverend daughter) isn't buying the SAT story. Lyla is completely ostricized from the school for two-timing Jason, and Buddy Garrity is informed of the harsh words flying through the net about Lyla. The school (and football team) are out to cheer on the cheerleaders at their meet but battles within the cheerleaders hurts Lyla emotionally, though she finally shows up strong for the final meet.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Best New People

So I'm delaying my music list (cause I think I will have to re-arrange things to fit in the Cast Recording of Spring Awakening which is technically out today) but I wanted to do this list for a while (nothing majorly surprising since we've all been loving these people for the past 3 months), but here is who I think are the Best New People from New Shows of this Season. I also say People because it combines both the actor and the character as well.

As much as I love Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock, or Marc and Justin from Ugly Betty, I had to narrow it down to one person per show, the actor and character that most defines whats so great about that show. Here are my 10 new BFF in no particular order:

America Ferrera as Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty

I mean, the show is CALLED Ugly Betty but still, many shows with a title character often end up with a title character who is the most boring of them all (I'm talking to you Dawson), but America Ferrera totally lights up this show as Betty Suarez and while the show could still exist in a campy hilarious world without her, it wouldn't be as heartbreaking or sweet at the same time and we (and Daniel Meade) know that Mode is better with her there.

Derek Richardson as Patrick Bachelor in Men in Trees


His character name says it all, but when Marin Frist swooped into the town of Elmo, bringing with her a tag-along Annie (Emily Bergl), we get to watch Patrick fall into the sweetness of first love. Anne Heche is fantastic (don't look shocked.) as Marin, but as Marin discovers singledom, we are reminded through Derek Richardson's wonderfully naive and woeful Patrick Bachelor's take on fresh love, why we put our hearts on the line time after time.

Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura on Heroes

Comic book geek redefined. Masi Oka as Hiro brings hilarity and excitement to the dark world Tim Kring has created as we go along for the ride to Save the Cheerleader, Save the World. More than any other character on the show (though Hayden Panettiere's Claire Benett comes a close second) do we see ourselves reflected, which is pretty amazing considering Hiro is from Japan and barely speaks English. But when he's excited, we are too, when he's scared, we are frightened by what's happening on screen, and when he's ready to find the sword and do battle against evil, we too want to rise up against Sylar.

Zach Gilford as Matt Saracen in Friday Night Lights

When Matt Saracen is called up to play as QB, and become a team captain, for a team he has barely been on the field for, we get to watch as this stuttering teenager tries to become the man that he wants to be. Only, the boy that he is is still quite a man, as he singly takes care of his dementiad grandmother while taking on part time jobs to pay the bills. Zach Gilford imbues this nervous boy with heart and grace as Matt Saracen as he tries to figure out his place in life, high school, love and football.

Matthew Rhys as Kevin Walker in Brothers & Sisters


Much like Zach Gilford's Matt Saracen on Friday Night Lights, Matthew Rhy's Kevin Walker is the central heart and soul within the drama of the Walker family. Always trying to be reasonable and morally good while still making mistakes and coming to grips of his role within his family, and without, Kevin Walker subtly makes this show fun to watch. Sure, Sally Fields is having a field day as Nora, Dave Annable gets to plunge into dramatic darkness as drug addicted Justin, Calista Flockhart finally drops the annoying Ally McBeal ticks as Kitty, and Rachel Griffiths gets to play the sane one as Sarah, but every character seems most linked to Kevin Walker now, in part I think to Matthew Rhy's solid portrayal of a flawed but trusted brother.

Suzy Nakamura as Inger on Help Me Help You

Inger, or any of the characters on Help Me Help You, could have easily become live cartoon characters. The cast transforms this neurosis comedy into fully fleshed people, but it is Suzy Nakamura as Inger who totally enwraps her socially awkward/inept character with a soft realism, making her the most relatable character that needs help. All done hilariously of course.

Lizzy Caplan as Kat Warbler on The Class

This one is really more for Lizzy Caplan alone for playing the caricature of Kat Warbler (not her fault, every character on The Class is a caricature) with a fierce bemusement of sartorial remarks, much like how we watch the show.

Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock

Alec Baldwin runs with it. As Jack Donaghy, Alec is totally whacked out, spitting lines out with barely a blink of the eye. Kooky is an understatement but Alec Baldwin plays the GE Microwave Oven Chief/TV Exec as if this were his last role on earth, and it works.

Sarah Paulson as Harriet Hayes on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

I've always been a fan of Sarah Paulson's so I'm finally glad she's been given the role of Harriet Hayes, the conservative comedian/actor (based on Kristin Chenowith). Sarah Paulson fully gives Harriet a soul and depth in yet another role that could have been played as one-dimensional. She can bounce off the quick Sorkin quips along with the best and her on-off affair with Matt (Matthew Perry, coming a close second from this show, and obliterating any signs of Chandler) are make this show bounce at its best.

Victor Garber as Ron Trott on Justice

Victor Garber licks his chops and chomps on everyone else like a shark at a surfing competition as Ron Trott, the unstoppable defence lawyer out for Justice. His mouth says yes, but the eyes glimmer with a sense of rightful duty no matter what yes answers to. Garber's Trott tosses off comments as if everyone were an idiot, which of course, is highly entertaining to us.


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