Why fans of the Swanson 'stache shouldn't feel too bad.
Amy Poehler has some comforting words for "Parks and Recreation" fans who wish that her co-star Nick Offerman and the mustache he wears as parks department boss Ron Effing Swanson had been nominated for an Emmy right along with her.
"A lot of people don't know that there's a separate Emmy for people's mustaches," Poehler told me a few hours after getting the good Emmy news. "Ron Swanson's mustache will be the Tony Shalhoub of mustaches."
More from Poehler after the jump...
Some aggravating omissions, but also some deserving newcomers.
Emmy voters tend to be conservative, predictable or lazy, depending on how charitable you want to be towards them, which leads to the same series and actors being nominated again and again and again. But the 2009-10 TV season was so loaded with memorable new series that even Academy members with their heads deepest in the sand couldn't help but notice, and then nominate many of them.
Click here for a complete list of Emmy nominees.
There were still plenty of lame "once a nominee, always a nominee" picks - "30 Rock" got 15 nominations for its worst season by far - and a number of superb newcomers (and relative newcomers) were either marginalized ("Treme" and "Parks and Recreation" only picked up two nominations apiece, though at least one for "Parks and Rec" was Amy Poehler as lead comedy actress) or shut out completely ("Community" and FX's incredible "Sons of Anarchy," which had one of the three best seasons of any drama on television last year), but the drama and comedy series categories featured five first-time nominees, and all the series acting categories featured at least one, and at times several first-time nominees.
The Emmy-winning AMC drama is back on July 25.
From the Department of Why I Love My Job: this morning, the FedEx truck arrived with the "Mad Men" season four premiere, which gives me two and a half weeks to fully process it so I can have my review ready to go as soon as AMC finishes airing the episode on Sunday, July 25.
Per the usual gentleman's agreement on this sort of thing(*), I can't/won't say anything about the content of the premiere - including when it takes place, since Matt Weiner likes to treat the setting as a surprise for the audience - but I will say that I enjoyed it thoroughly from start to finish. Don at one point makes a reference to how the press loves to build people up so they can tear them down, and if Weiner threw that in as a preemptive strike against some kind of critical backlash this far into the run, I don't think he needs to worry.
(*) Not everyone in the media will stick to that agreement, of course, so let's remember the usual No Spoilers rule around these parts. If you've read something elsewhere that gives more detail about what happens - or when it happens - please do not mention anything in the comments here. Thanks.
Much as I'd love to invite you all over to watch it with me when I take my second pass through it, I can't. But if you want to at least get a sense of the look of season 4 - and try to search for clues about what's going on and when - HitFix has up a gallery of 17 new photos from the season. Enjoy, and I look forward to discussing the show with you here as much as I did back in the old digs.
What reality show could the NBA superstar copy?
My productivity has gone to hell this week because of one man: LeBron James.
I'm a Knicks fan, and after a decade of misery and humiliation, and after two years spent gutting the (admittedly heinous) roster for a shot at this one guy, I'm far more invested in the LeBron free agent sweepstakes than I should be. As a member of the media, I understand how the business works, and therefore that at least 99% of the tweets and blog posts and ESPN interviews about what "league sources" and "a source close to the James camp" know about where LeBron is going are bogus - because it's more important to report anything at all and have content than wait for the right info - yet I can't stop reading every damn one of them.
I said to a friend yesterday that I finally understand all those people who are constantly scouring the tabloids for new news bout the Jake/Vienna "Bachelor" split. This is completely meaningless, and yet the soap opera of it has consumed me.
So of course last night LeBron went and made the link even more overt by telling ESPN he wants to announce his decision in a one-hour primetime ESPN special on Thursday night. (And I love that in the linked story, "independent sources" had to confirm the LeBron/ESPN talks to an ESPN reporter. In-bred 21st century media, boys and girls.) The sportswriters I follow on Twitter (and goodness knows I've added a lot of them since July 1) have mostly been aghast, both at LeBron's desperate need to be the center of attention and at the idea of a one-hour special to reveal something that can probably be dealt with in 10 minutes or less.
Clearly, most of these guys don't watch a lot of reality TV (as opposed to Bill Simmons, who tweeted, "It's the dramatic season finale of The LeBrachelor!"), because anyone who has knows there are many, many, many ways to pad out a few minutes worth of content into at least an hour. After the jump, I have some thoughts on which reality show models LeBron might try to follow...
The Syfy series returns for another season.
"Warehouse 13" returned last night on Syfy, and that's another one on my long list of shows I watch from time to time but never feel strongly enough about to write about. (In that hierarchy, I'd say it ranks above Syfy's very similar "Eureka," simply because I enjoy the Eddie McClintock/Joanne Kelly partnership and the presence of Saul Rubinek more than I care about anyone on "Eureka.") The premiere had some good guest turns by Roger Rees and Jaime Murray, plus one of the show's cooler bits of steampunk, and I'm curious what those of you who watched thought of it.
Another Canadian cop drama seems out of place on CBS.
As the American broadcast networks have tried to find a financially-viable way to air scripted programming in the summer, they’ve frequently tried reaching beyond our borders for help. Foreign shows, whether straight-up imports or co-productions where the American network shares the cost, are a lot cheaper, and can justify the lower ratings that come in summer. So far, though, only one particular type of foreign series has really resonated with American audiences:
Canadian police dramas.
CBS is now airing the third season of “Flashpoint,” which has been such a sturdy performer that the network has on occasion aired it during the regular season. ABC’s “Rookie Blue” (“Grey’s Anatomy” with cops) has been one of this summer’s few scripted success stories (though airing after “Wipeout” certainly doesn’t hurt, since public appetite seems bottomless for people going splat into mud pits). If CBS’ “The Bridge” (which has a two-hour debut Saturday at 8) is a hit, we’ll officially have a trend, and you’d better be ready for more shows where the cops are called “Constable” and the streets look really clean.
I’m not so sure about the prospects for “The Bridge,” though. It has an unusual premise and a strong lead performance by Aaron Douglas, but not all the execution is great, and it feels like it’s on the wrong network, on the wrong night.
Ricky Gervais plays the world's unfunniest doctor.
A brother's love, and a captain's choice.
The character actor and 'Glee' semi-regular wows by playing himself in a podcast.
You know Stephen Tobolowsky. You may not know the name, but you know the face, and the voice, and at least one of the many indelible characters he's played over the past 25 years: goofy Ned Ryerson in "Groundhog Day" (one of the few actors to ever consistently draw more laughs than Bill Murray in scenes opposite Bill Murray), as frightening Klan leader Clayton Townley in "Mississippi Burning," as amnesiac Sammy Jankis in "Memento," bath-loving Hugo Jarry on "Deadwood" or, most recently, former glee club leader Sandy Ryerson on "Glee," to name just a few.
He's a quintessential Hey, It's That Guy!: talented and versatile, and more closely identified with one or two specific roles than a more familiar leading man. After "Mississippi Burning," he was typecast as a heavy for a while, then "Groundhog Day" made people view him as a comedian, then "Memento" reversed field back to the drama side. "And now with Sandy Ryerson," he told me, "people think of me as a pedophile."
But as much as I love some of those classic Tobolowsky performances ("Bing!"), the most impressive one may not be in any movie or TV show, and it doesn't involve him slipping into a new kind of character. It's on a podcast, The Tobolowsky Files, where the only role being played is Stephen Tobolowsky himself.
And it's fantastic.
(More, obviously, after the jump.)
Coach begins to understand the implications of his presence in East Dillon.
Once, again, I reviewed all the episodes for this season of "Friday Night Lights" on my old blog as they aired on DirecTV. Because I can't bring content from the old blog over here, each week I'm going to link to those reviews so you can see what I and the DirecTV audience thought of them back in the fall, then discuss them here.
This week: "The Lights of Carroll Park," in which Eric begins to realize that his presence in East Dillon has the potential to do more than build up the football program, and in which viewers are teased with a potentially awesome "Wire" reunion that never quite materializes. Go read the review and - keeping in mind that we will not be discussing, or even hinting at, anything that happens in episodes that have yet to air on NBC - tell me what you thought of the episode.