Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
The new 'Glee' actors aren't afraid of having their characters disliked
's Brody and Becca Tobin
's Kitty were first introduced in last Thursday's "Glee
" premiere and it probably isn't shocking that some fans are a bit wary of the new characters.
Brody has already been positioned as a potential romantic impediment between Lea Michele's Rachel and Cory Monteith's Finn, making him a threat for fans invested in that core relationship.
Kitty, meanwhile, was introduced as the meanest of mean girls, a character seemingly designed to make viewers yearn for even the relative early kindnesses of Dianna Agron's Quinn.
Shortly before the "Glee" premiere, I sat down with Geyer and Tobin to discuss the potential of being disliked by Gleeks, at least initially.
Geyer, in particular, eagerly owns up to the idea that Brody might not instantly be loved, but explains that the character is part of an attempt to bring something "a little bit more adult" to "Glee."
And for her part, Tobin relates Kitty to her own days as a bit of a high school mean girl and promises that she'd begun to like her character a little more.
Check out the interview. As a bit of context, seconds before the camera started rolling, Geyer and Tobin were chatting and comparing ages. I believe they're both 26, so my initial question was to ask about stepping back in time to play high school and college students.
"Glee" airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.
How well would Lisa Whelchel and Jeff Kent hide their celebrity secrets?
Welcome to The Philippines. Jeff Probst arrives via power boat, because that's the way Jeff Probst rolls. Lots of islands. Lots of animals. Lots of storms. And... Lots of contestants, already divided into three tribes. Hi, Jeff Kent. "I've seen pressure," Kent says, hoping people won't recognize him. Better pray there are no second baseman groupies this season, Jeff! Zane has a Frankenstein's monster tattoo on his arm, because the monster picked a flower for the little girl (before strangling her). "I can strangle you or pick you a flower," Zane says. Blair Warner! Lisa tells us that she's different from Blair and that she doesn't plan on talking about "Facts of Life" all the time. Boo. I wanted to watch "Survivor: Lisa Talks About 'Facts of Life' All The Time." The castaways don't know that Mike Skupin, Russell Swan and Jonathan Penner are arriving via a different boat. Russell says he's smacking "Survivor" back this time. Jonathan is on fire to win and he can taste it and see it. And speaking of fire, Mike doesn't view falling into it as a failure and he's in love with being able to come back.
Which singers attract the attention of Britney, Demi and the other two?
Welcome to another week of "The X Factor."
Just a little warning: This live-blog will pause at 9:30 ET as I change over to live-blogging the season finale of "Big Brother." It'll resume again at 9:30 Pacific when I switch over from the "Survivor" premiere. Yup. Tonight's a triple-recap night. Check back tomorrow to see if I survived.
And now... On to Wednesday's "X Factor"...
Dan and Alan talk 'Treme,' 'Partners' and Emmys
Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
After a day off for Rosh Hashanah, it's time for the regular, weekly installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
This week's installment is mostly dedicated to a ton of Emmy predictions blather. It's a lot of the same thing that Sepinwall and I have been doing in his predictions blog posts, only this time... It's with our voices! I'll leave it for you to decide if that's an improvement.
We also talk about the new season of HBO's "Treme" and we got a head start on Monday's premiere of CBS' "Partners."
Expect two podcasts next week as premieres kick into high gear!
Here's today's breakdown:
"Treme" (00:01:10 - 00:19:15)
"Partners" (00:20:00 - 00:29:45)
Emmy Predictions (00:29:50 - 01:23:45)
Listener Mail - First Show Cancelled (01:23:50 - 01:32:30)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Murphy explains why Cyrus earned his place in the finale
Either Cyrus or Chehon will be named America's Favorite Male Dancer and either Tiffany or Eliana will be crowned as America's Favorite Female Dancer.
Last Monday, I sat down with excitable "So You Think You Can Dance" judge Mary Murphy
to discuss the season and the Final 4.
Our conversation came before last Tuesday night's performance episode and Nigel Lythgoe's controversial decision to publicly tell Cyrus that he wouldn't be voting for him due to his relative lack of formal proficiency when compared to Chehon.
In the interview, Murphy and I talk extensively about the difference between "favorite" and "best" dancer and she explains her own perspective on what Cyrus has achieved this season.
Check it out...
Which new shows are worth watching and which should be destroyed?
Normally I do separate "Best" and "Worst" galleries for the various new fall TV shows, but this year I just squished 15 notable shows together into a single gallery.
"Why?" you might ask.
First off, I do it for you, dear readers. This way, you're only clicking through 15 pictures, rather than 20. Aren't I conscientious?
But more to the point, I think that combining my Best & Worst galleries is reflective of the degree of ambivalence I feel towards most of this year's new shows. I doubt that I'm going to have the time to write many full reviews this season. I don't have the time and I feel pretty awful about that fact. As you know, there's nothing I enjoy so much as writing 2000 words to say, "Meh." If, however, I were to be reviewing these new shows, there isn't a single one that would get an "A" or "A-" or even a "B+" grade from me. I like "Vegas" and "Nashville
" and "Last Resort
" and "Ben and Kate
," I have reservations on each. Last year, there were four or five "A-" or "B+" pilots.
I have less reticence to call out the bad pilots, but other than "Beauty and the Beast
," I'm not sure I could rank them. There's a lot of bad.
And then there's a pile of so-so that this gallery is ignoring. So don't ask me where "Revolution," "Animal Practice," "Made in Jersey" and a couple other shows are. I might regret not coming down definitively on the "Good" or "Bad" side after a week or two, but for now, I'll just shrug.
Check out the gallery!
What's in store for Cam as 'Bones' begins Season 8
s are all about priorities. You have to know what you want to discuss and if you have limited time, you can't dilly-dally in getting there.
And that's why my very first question for "Bones
" co-star Tamara Taylor
wasn't about any of the pivotal things that happened to Cam Saroyan in last season's finale -- no less an expert than Patricia Belcher's Caroline Julian called Cam the hero of the finale -- or any key developments going forward.
Nope. I wanted to talk about "Invasion of the Mother Suckers," the blaxploitation homage B-movie that surfaced last season and featured Cam in her pre-Jeffersonian days.
So yes, this interview touches on Season 8, which premieres on Monday (September 17) night. Taylor and I discussed her appreciation of more serialized storytelling and how that ties into the Pelant arc. We also talked about why it was nice to see Cam respected for what she did in the finale.
"Invasion of the Mother Suckers."
What made the 'My Boys' star gravitate towards drama this year?
Between her tomboy sportswriter on TBS' "My Boys," her scene-stealing airhead in "Must Love Dogs," her Doomsday-loving cult groupie on "Dexter" and her gangster-treating MD on FOX's "The Mob Doctor
," the only commonality is the actress playing the parts.
Last week, I sat down with Spiro to discuss "Mob Doctor" and Grace Devlin, who is self-explanatorily balancing her obligations as a doctor and her debt to the mob. We chatted about why she targeted a drama pilot this development season, how morally and ethnically compromised Spiro wants to see Grace become and, because I was distracted by the prayer-tinged poster behind her, the show's particular approach to faith.
"The Mob Doctor" premieres on Monday, September 17 at 9 p.m. on FOX.
Will Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey bring more than starpower?
I've been regularly covering "American Idol" since the very beginning of its second season and, on Sunday morning I woke up to a whole new show.
With nary a warning to West Coast reporters who might have wanted to cover a fairly large -- by network TV standards -- story, FOX officially revealed
at 7:18 a.m. Pacific Time that Randy Jackson will be joined on the "American Idol" judging panel next spring by Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey.
When it comes to the most popular show on television, FOX has an erratic track record for secret-keeping. While Steven Tyler's exit this summer was an effectively detonated surprise, Jennifer Lopez scooped the network on her exit with a radio interview, just as Paula Abdul's tweets caught the network flatfooted several years back. This was the judging panel we all knew was coming, whether or not we woke up early on a Sunday to report it or not. Carey had already been formally announced back in July, Minaj and Urban had been rumored for weeks and Randy is Randy, so this was more of a confirmation than a grand announcement.
That means that the only thing to analyze about the "American Idol" judges is what mindset this quartet reflects for FOX and its most important property going into Season 12. To my mind, it becomes a coin-flip between "insecurity" and "desperation."
I get the idea that FOX and "Idol" might be insecure, but I wonder if they've jumped the gun on "desperation" and let the marketplace dictate creative changes that toss out the basic ethos of the show.
Alternate universe tale of a hit CW show is awful, but kinda watchable
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Show:"Cult" (The CW) [Midseason]
The Pitch: "What if the people who watched "Lost" (or "Jericho" or "Fringe" or "Community") weren't just obsessed with their favorite shows? What if they were dangerously obsessed?" or "It's 'Twin Peaks' meets 'The L.A. Complex' only BAD."
Quick Response: Of the "three or four audaciously weird, wacky and possibly terrible (but possibly terribly addictive) new dramas" I've mentioned are premiering at midseason, "Cult" is perhaps the king, only I'm already prepared to remove the "possibly" caveat in front of "terrible." I'm fairly sure that "Cult" is terrible, but it's also almost certainly going to be the kind of show that I won't be able to turn off out of fear that I'm going to miss the next bonkers, disconnected-from-reality plot twist or character development. Right from the top, you have to take "Cult" with a grain of salt, because it's about the fanatical fans of a wildly popular CW show. So you know that Rockne O'Bannon's script is taking place in an alternate reality. And the pilot's take on the television business and Internet fandom and Los Angeles is similarly disconnected from logic and the actual living, breathing world around us. Every second is goofy and yet director Jason Ensler has decided that everything should be played with a straight-forward earnestness that wouldn't have been my personal storytelling instinct at all. Hand this exact script to somebody wanting to channel their inner David Lynch and this could be almost "Mulholland Drive"-esque. In that context, the wooden lead performances by Matt Davis and Jessica Lucas would just be elements of the surrealism. But this isn't "Twin Peaks" and Davis and Lucas are simply having a really hard time convincingly delivering the lines in the twisty script, which becomes almost unexpurgated mythology-blather and TV meta-commentary at a certain point. I feel especially bad for Davis, who had the role of his career on "Vampire Diaries" and now is forced to retreat back into Soap Opera Leading Man blandness. If the "Cult" producers are smart, they'll let Davis' character go down a conspiratorial rabbit hole and go increasingly insane. That's where Mr. Ernesto Riley would shine. The most intriguing element of "Cult" is the show-within-a-show in which Robert Knepper plays a deranged cult leader. Nobody will be surprised to learn that Robert Knepper is a lot of fun as a deranged cult leader. Knepper was on "Prison Break" and later seasons of "Heroes," so if anybody knows how to take painful dialogue and sell it, it's him. Also maintaining some dignity is Tom Amandes, also good enough that his presence grounds the ludicrousness around him. But yeah, "Cult" makes "Do No Harm" and "The Zero Hour" feel like they take place in a recognizable universe. Well hey. These things just snap. Right off.
Desire To Watch Again: I watched a whole season of "Ringer" and I'll probably do the same with "Cult." And I think "Cult" has the potential to maybe be the kind of guilty pleasure that "Ringer" never became. So while I'm not "looking forward" to watching more of "Cult," I just know with certainty that I will. And hey... It's better than "Beauty and the Beast." A lot better. That's not saying anything.
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Next Caller'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Following'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Family Tools'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Infamous'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'How To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's '1600 Penn'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Zero Hour'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Do No Harm'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'The Carrie Diaries'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Malibu Country'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'The New Normal'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Guys with Kids'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Mindy Project'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Partners'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Nashville'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Made in Jersey'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Mob Doctor'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Animal Practice'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Last Resort'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Vegas'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's '666 Park Avenue'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Chicago Fire'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Ben and Kate'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Elementary'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Arrow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Neighbors'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Revolution'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots entries