Tag Archive for TV

Return of quality TV

I was so excited last week to find that Six Degrees wasn’t cancelled after all. I hadn’t really been following this show in terms of it’s life or death status… I just assumed since it was a serious and quiet kind of drama with really good actors, that I enjoyed, but hadn’t been on for months, that it was toast!

Nice to see it’s still bread.

I am a sucker for the interconnected storyline format and this one does it well. Introducing lots of interesting characters and then slowly showing connections developing between them, often connections the characters have no idea are there.

In it’s return last week, a few of the connections were revealed to the characters… and one was resolved in a slightly cop-out way… but it was satisfying, and the more I think of it, I don’t know what else they could have done. (For those of you watching, I’m talking about the public defender/limo driver connection.) The photographer/widow storyline, however, was revealed to the characters in an interesting way and in resolving that storyline, they opened up an interesting love triangle… So, that has potential.

I mentioned great actors earlier and two of my favorite actors to watch are in this series, Campbell Scott and Hope Davies. Campbell Scott is the progeny of George C. Scott and the great late Canadian actress Colleen Dewhurst (who everyone in my country remembers seeing as Marilla in the Anne of Green Gables TV movie in the 70’s. Or was that the 80’s? I just looked it up. It was 1985. My memory is going.)

Hope Davies… I just think she’s cool. In the early 90’s I was in New York on business and went to the half price ticket booth in Times Square at lunch to see what I could get for that night. One of the available plays was Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). It was playing off-off (probably a few more offs) Broadway with some unknown actors. I’d heard of the play. I knew the playwright was a Canadian. Anyway. I went to see it and was blown away. I thought it was the most clever, funniest play I’d ever seen.

About 4-5 years ago, the play was being done here in Toronto with the playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald (also a novelist and actor) in the lead. I jumped at the chance to see the play again… And was really let down. It just didn’t click for me in the same way. Felt flat.

So what’s the point of this rambling departure? And just how many degrees of separation is it from Hope Davies?

Well, after my disappointment I looked through my old theatre programs (I save stuff like that) and the reason it had been so amazing in NY became evident. The lead was Hope Davies and one of the male leads was Liev Schrieber. Talk about seeing two interesting actors before they were famous.

Anyway, always been a fan of hers. She always makes cool choices. If you’ve never seen The Secret Lives of Dentists, you can rent it and see her and Campbell Scott together in a film. Very strange and interesting movie… Dennis Leary’s in it too…

So, I’ve gone totally off topic… But was really glad to see Six Degrees on TV again. (And Molly… I think I saw an ad that Friday Night Lights is back, too.

Is anyone else watching Six Degrees? Am I the show’s only fan?

It is called "Grey’s" Anatomy

Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, read no further.

I am a big fan of this show. Big fan of Shonda Rhimes. That woman can write. She’s one of my new heros. I thought last night’s episode (the past weeks’ little trilogy of episodes) was great.

It’s not that I thought they’d kill off Meredith. Like I said, the show’s called Grey’s Anatomy. It’d be hard to kill off Dr. Grey. But the show has killed off some very likable and sympathetic characters in the past, so the very slim chance she might actually die made me just a tiny bit scared.

But really, we didn’t need to think she might die in order to be interested in that episode. The fact that she gave up fighting in the water and why. The horrible things her mother said to her. Derek’s obvious commitment to her. (especially since we’ve been given reasons to doubt him in the past.) Addison’s obvious sadness in realizing Derek’s feelings for Meredith. The deepening of the Christina/Meredith friendship. “You’re the one person I wanted to tell.” And that little bit with Denny and Izzie at the end? Heartbreaking and not entirely predictable. Because of everything else going on, I thought she was about to say something nice to Callie. With hindsight, that little encounter with Denny was obvious, but there was enough misdirection (at least for me) that it was a tender, heartwrenching little surprise.

Yes, in that episode the “will Meredith live” question was almost the frame for the other subplots, not the main plot, so it didn’t matter that we all knew she’d live.

And having her nearly die seems like smart writing to me. I mean, Meredith’s character needs to change and evolve. But she’s deeply scarred. You can’t make a deeply scarred character simply do a 180 without motivation. This past sequence of events culminating in a near death experience may provide a believable catalyst for her to change. (Assuming that’s where the writers take it.) Much more satisfying than her changing simply because she falls in love. (Not that her falling in love isn’t satisfying… (That scene last week when Derek was carrying her out of the water just about killed me.) I guess I just like to see a character grow for reasons other than love. Especially when the character isn’t capable of love unless they change. (Guess that’s why I sucked at writing romances…)

I’ve heard some critics of this show say they find Meredith’s character whiney. I don’t agree. I love her character. I love all the characters on the show. They’re flawed. They’re 3 dimensional. And this latest group of shows where we saw more about her relationship with her mother and how that holds her back, explains much of her “malcontent” nature, if in fact she has one.

Can’t wait to see where they take her character and this show.

Hot Danny?

Okay.

So the latest cheesy reality show snagged me tonight. (Because I could care less about American football. Don’t even know who was playing and wasn’t that excited to see Prince in the half-time show.)

In this new show, six potential Danny’s and six potential Sandy’s are competing for the roles in a new Broadway production of Grease.

The producers have given “cute” names to each of the contestants to help we, the viewers, remember them, and my least favourite of the bunch has been dubbed “Hot Danny”.

He’s slick, I’ll give him that, but he’s arrogantly overconfident about his chances of winning. Hot? (Okay, in the shirtless shot they showed of him in his previous career as a model he does have great abs…) But his hair!!! Yuck. And his dance moves and the way he looks at the camera make me think Gay-Bar-Go-Go-Dancer Danny, not Hot Danny. (Actually, his hair doesn’t look as bad in this photo as it does on stage. It totally overwhelms him. He’s got this tiny face and Texas-Beauty-Queen hair.

Okay, this post is super mean. But am I wrong? Anyone else watch?

Decisions, decisions

Okay, what evil-powers-that-be put the Golden Globe awards on the same night as the second part of the premiere of 24? Evil. Evil! (Shakes fist at the heavens.)

And the second episode of “Little Mosque on the Prairie” is airing in Canada tonight, too… And I thought the pilot episode was pretty funny–by Canadian sit-com standards, anyway.

How come, after 6 or so weeks of NOTHING on TV (during which I was able to discover Nip/Tuck and Battlestar Galactica on DVD) is everything I want to watch on on one night? (Oh, and BSG is on tonight, too… but I’m still a couple of seasons behind there.)

Thank goodness for “time shifting”. I won’t be able to catch all 3, but should be able to see both the GG’s and 24 — if I stay up really late watching one on the Vancouver station, thus breaking one of my new years resolutions about watching TV past midnight.

Sigh.

(But I love the Golden Globes… drunken acceptance speaches… fabulous!)

Grey’s Anatomy

Okay, so I waxed poetic (I wish) on the first season of Grey’s Anatomy on the DWT talk blog… but suddenly want to add something more current on the topic.

I’ve read criticisms on other blogs etc. of Izzie’s character. “How can we sympathize with a character who’s beautiful, smart and then inherits 8 million dollars from a man she was barely engaged to?”

I beg to differ….

Is someone immune from pain because she’s pretty? Because she has money?

I find her character one of the most interesting ones on that show. (Okay, Christine is hands down the most interesting character, but I also like Izzie… and George….)
Izzie’s total white trash. Grew up poor. But because she was smart and pretty, (Yes, I concede it took both, but that, in itself, is interesting) she became a doctor.

Then she falls in love with a dying man. Dying man dies and turns out to have money he bequeaths to her.

Some say this makes things easy for Izzie. I think it adds to her difficulties/complexities. She doesn’t NEED the money. She’s conflicted by having it. She’s full of guilt and sadness and feelings of not being worthy and getting by on her looks….

I LOVE this character.

Deeply complex.

I’m done….

How does Kate keep her eyebrows plucked?


A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting my aunt, who is not a fan of Lost. I made her watch it anyway. When I asked why she didn’t like it, her major complaints were things like: why hasn’t Hurley lost more weight. I admit I’ve wondered the same thing, on occasion, but they explained that partially with the food from the hatch, and I was surprised during one of the early episodes this season to find out how few days they’ve actually been on the island. (42? Can’t remember, but it was fewer than I thought.) And really, worrying about those kind of details misses the point and the fun of Lost in my opinion.

Still…watching it tonight I had to wonder… How does Kate keep her armpits so hairfree? Her eyebrows so nicely plucked?

Hmmmm…..

Toby on Rockstar


Toby got more talented when he darkened his hair. Does that make me prejudiced? Seriously, I’ve never been a big fan of his, in spite of recognizing he has talent. Kind of like Patrice. Something was missing even if I couldn’t put my finger on it.

But when he darkened his hair for tonight’s show, picture above is pre-darkened, I decided what had been missing was edge. His too blonde hair made him look too surfer boy pretty to front a heavy metal band in my opinion.

One contestant early on, can’t remember which one, was kicked off largely because he made the fatal mistake of singing a Duran Duran song. Sorry, but Toby has always looked and sounded more Duran Duran than Supernova to me. But tonight, he rocked.

Maybe the cover does matter as much as the book?

That said, I’m back to rooting for Lukas or Storm. Dilana has lost me. She started the show all self-deprecating and “I don’t know what I’m doing here”. Then she got all this attention and turned into an overconfident monster. And now she’s just getting boring and I can’t help but think the bad things happening to her are karma. Also, it appears song writing may be her kryptonite.

Exciting. I’m such a sucker for that show.

Firefly

Okay, I totally missed this series when it was on TV. I’m not a huge sci fi person and don’t even remember hearing about it. But last year, my good friend Sinead talked me into seeing the movie SERENITY and I was blown away. Now I’m watching the DVD of the FIREFLY series and if you’ve never seen it, you should.

I mean a western set in space—what’s not to love? Such a cool mix of futuristic elements and the American west of the 1800’s. Makes sense, too… I mean, why wouldn’t the new frontiers go a little wild west when they start to be colonized?

Joss Whedon is a great writer. The characters are all unique and the more episodes I watch, the more questions he sets up so you can’t wait to see the next episode to find out what happens.

Check it out!