Friday, December 26, 2014

Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Friday, April 27, 2012, 11:43 AM

Too inside television? Yeah, probably. But last night NBC’s smartest sitcoms, Community and 30 Rock, presented the kind of sharp mockery that makes real TV fans drool in their popcorn.

First up, Community with an episode that was a rather brilliant satire of NBC’s long-running crime-and-punishment fable, Law & Order. The sound, the graphics, the narrative style, all faithfully followed Dick Wolf's perennial procedural.

POSTED: Friday, April 27, 2012, 10:30 AM

Everyone alright? Good. We made it through hell week on American Idol with minimal damage.

But last night was the type of elimination show that really tries fans’ souls. The filler they are using this season on Idol – Tommy Hilfiger traps the kids in his creepy wardrobe? – has been particularly toxic. Last night there was that massive blowout tribute to prog rock joined at the end by the actual members of Queen who had the bad taste to survive the ‘80s. Then the junket to the TMZ office/studio/bilge pump.

But Idol was just warming up. They brought out some creature who was apparently drawn by Maurice Sendak – wait, that was Casey Abrams? – to introduce last year’s 7th place finisher, Stefano Langone. Wait, it’s just Stefano now? Anyway, he sang his new single. Wait, what was his old single?

POSTED: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 10:29 AM

Ah, Queen night on American Idol. Think of it as the desert outside the gates of Quarth on Game of Thrones. It is a Garden of Bones for amateur singers.

You know how many Idol singers have survived Queen night intact? Precisely one. Adam Lambert.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 10:19 AM

Gladys is not a name you hear much nowadays. You won’t be hearing it at all on Dancing with the Stars after pipless soul giantess Gladys Knight was eliminated in the sixth week of the competition.

It came down to another dance duel, a jive-off if you will, between Knight and Roshon Fegan. The result was probably inevitable when you ask a 67-year-old to compete against a 20-year-old at one of the friskiest dance genres, but it still seemed poignant, following as it did, Motown night, when performers like Smokey Robinson and the Temptations reminded us of how important Gladys’s contributions to R&B have been.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 4:19 PM

Hotel chain Howard Johnson's is apologizing to a fictional character Don Draper for something they didn't actually do.

"Mad Men" fans will remember from Sunday's episode that Don Draper lost it on Sunday's episode after learning that the heated pool at the Plattsburgh Howard Johnson's was closed. As a mea culpa, HoJo will give a free stay to anyone named Don Draper. From the press release:


POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 1:32 PM

Short prologue just to ensure we’re all on the same screen: Y’all know Kiernan Shipka. She’s Sally Draper, the spooky little girl with daddy issues on Mad Men.

And in this corner we have James Van Der Beek who played the tortured artistic high school soul Dawson on Dawson’s Creek. More recently, in a surprisingly funny turn, Van Der Beek is playing a pompous version of himself on the blistering new ABC comedy Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 11:02 AM
'Smash' gets its Mumbai on with spectacular results

For several years I kept a small TV in the kitchen connected to nothing but its own antenna. It picked up a strange array of local signals, including on Saturday mornings, a UHF station that would broadcast Indian Bollywood musicals. I got kind of hooked on them because the music was exotic, the energy was so high and I loved the fact that everyone in the cast, even the older folks, even the villains, jumped enthusiastically into the dance numbers.

Last night, Smash made those Saturday musical matinees look bland. Karen and Dev are out to dinner at an Indian restaurant with Rebecca (Uma Thurman) when Karen falls into this extraordinary reverie.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 4:51 PM

David Beckham walks into a Burger King. It’s no joke. It’s a commercial. And he orders “one of those new strawberry banana smoovies”. The girl at the counter goes into a romantic swoon. Cue the swelling violin music. Suddenly Beckham, who was casually dressed (was half his shirt untucked? I think it was) is wearing a spectacular suit and he seems to be glowing. The girl sighs, cupping her chin in her hand. In her imagination, he calls her “beautiful”. So far your typical Madison Avenue tripe. Then the commercial takes a hard right turn.

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