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Posts Tagged ‘HBO’

Emily Nussbaum‘s latest NY Mag piece definitively declares the upcoming Fall TV slate to be the season of “The She-Runner”. A new ruling class of female Show runners, writers and actresses, spreading the big, bad female agenda on TV’s nation-wide. Rawr.

this seems appropriate here

Nussbaum writes that all of the Major Networks’ new comedy pilots are, mostly, helmed by females and star a fresh sort of female lead. They each, in one way or another, present a more “hard-edged” woman. Gone are the days of the dough-eyed dork (although the sole exception, and Nussbaum acknowledges it, is New Girls and happens to star just that in its’ lead Zooey Deschanel). What’s “exciting” is how this crop breaks free from former wimpy female leads of the past and instead depicts a grittier breed. Here we have the modern woman. More willing to declare her opinion. Move over Betty Draper, it’s Peggy-on-steroids time.

And my reaction? Meh.

It’s definitely refreshing to have more women on the screen and to have them in starring roles. But, have you watched the trailers for these shows? I mean, really? Uh-Oh. Yikes!

But, I’ll probably give them all a chance. I’m a fan of a lot of these female writers. Especially, New Girl scribe, Liz Meriwether. I also highly recommend Molly Mclear’s blog (she’s joined the writing room for 2 Broke Girls). I’m just really hoping these trailers are the worst of what’s to come and that we can expect more than these one-note, “unconventional” female leads.

Lena Dunham

However, I will say, I’m thrilled to hear Nussbaum enjoyed Girls. Lena Dunham‘s HBO series is something I’ve been looking forward to, anxiously, since renting Tiny Furniture months ago. But calling it the “Great Lady Hope of HBO” might be a tad pre-mature.

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Julianne Moore is going to play Sarah Palin in an HBO film.

Even though she’s a gifted actress,

and even though she’ll  probably net a few noms from this picture,

and even though she looks great in business casual clothes,

I don’t want her to do it. Not her, not anybody with actual talent. There are better stories, there are better roles, there are people more worthy of this budget, of our attention.

Let’s stop celebrating mediocrity for awhile.

Image: PEOPLE.com

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She liked this one. I much preferred hers.

When you’re right, you’re right.

“Everybody knows I’m a motherfuckin’ Mormon.”

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I intended to write about Breaking Bad tonight. It’s been ridiculously wonderful lately. I flipped on the TV for some background noise and came across the season finale to Russell Simmons Brave New Voices

The show follows the 45 teams in the Youth Poetry Slam. These teens are ridiculous! Do you ever watch people that make you feel inadequate? The young people are honest, surprisingly confident, and fearless. Brave doesn’t begin to describe it.

They are some of the best slam poets in the country, age be damned. It’s impossible to watch them without being inspired, learning a thing or two, and challenging a few pre-conceived notions.

Invest an hour. Invest five or six. This show is impossible to describe, but a must see.

Here’s the first episode.

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no1detectivemos_468x309

Last week I DVR’d the premiere of HBO’s newest offering, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Don’t let the two-hour opener scare you off. It’s an excellent program with a heart and a ton of potential.

The show is based off the novels of Alexander McCall Smith. Like the books, the show revolves around Mma Ramotswe, (played byR&B songstress Jill Scott) a young woman born and raised in Botswana. After the death of her father, she leaves  her small rural community and opens up a detective agency in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital city.

Mma is a unique and intriguing character. She left her abusive husband after suffering physical abuse that lead to a miscarriage. Despite her challenges, she is a survivor. She’s witty, confident, and headstrong. She’s complemented by her uptight, dedicated, secretary Grace Makutsi (played by Anika Noni Rose).

It’s nice to see Black women (not to mention Africa) portrayed in such a positive light. Representations like this are not easily found on television. I found myself just as absorbed in the ornate fabrics, customs and landscape of Gaborone as I did with the mysteries of the pilot episode.

This could be a result of the late Anthony Minghella’s beatufiul direction. This was one of the last projects he worked on before his death last year. In fact, he wrote, produced and directed the pilot. The fingerprints of this exceptional artist coupled with the beautiful locations in Botswana make for a truly engrossing viewing experience.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency has a little something for everyone. The mystery and intrigue you’d expect from a detective show, an adorable blossoming romance, some witchcraft, some solid one-liners and some incredibly engaging backstories.

After one episode, this show definitely proved itself DVR worthy, and I look forward to making it a permanent addition to my Sunday night line-up.

Image: Jamati.com

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This is the biggest week in edubTV history. To whoever is coming to this blog (it’s actually a lot of folks looking for Lauren Graham pics…awkward) thanks! On to the updates.

  • Big Love is totally wonderful this season and I’m loving it even more now that HBO isn’t backing down from LDS. Turns out they’re stepping on some pretty big-name toes in the Mormon community.
  • Anything involving Jason Bateman and Will Arnett will probably end up on my DVD rack. This viral video is doing wonders for their new show Sit Down, Shut Up.
  • Another internship for you in the TV industry, this time at the Travel Channel.
  • And finally, my favorite non-TV related link of the week: Bad Paintings of Barack Obama. Keep refreshing the page for some real gems. Some of these people needed to hear, “No, you can’t.”

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I’m in DC for the Inauguration! Here are the awesome TV related sightings I’ve had so far:

  • Staying at a friend’s house. His roomate saw Kevin Nealon at Lucky Bar. No details on Weeds.
  • Lots of camera crews around. Walked past the MSNBC mobile studio. Waved excessively.
  • Went to the  *finally finished* American History Museum after a 10-year wait. (Long story) Saw Kermit the Frog, the Puffy Shirt, Steven Colbert’s portrait, an exhibit about television and the Vietnam war,  and a striking Abe Lincoln impersonator
  • Remember Spike from last season of Top Chef? He runs a super burger joint right by Capitol Hill. Had a delicious burger there and saw Spike cooking up burgers on the line.

Back at home for Inauguration? You can watch all the action on HBO, online at Hulu or just pick your favorite news source.

I may not be back in the blogging swing of things until next week but I’ll try to keep updating the Twitter.

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  • Has Friday Night Lights always been on Hulu? I might’ve just missed it. Seasons 1 and 2 are on the site which means you can find me in front of my computer for the next several days. I don’t think I’ll finish in time for the January 16 return but it’s worth a shot.
  • Tim Allen and his wife Jane are expecting their first baby together. I only tell you so I have an excuse to link to the best mugshot ever.
  • This 2001 clip of Obama on Check, Please!, a local food review show is making its way around the internet. I also like corn cakes Mr. Obama. That’s going to be my opening line when we meet at the inauguration.
  • Kathy Griffin is no longer banned from The View. Hopefully she makes an appearance sometime soon. Anyone else watch her with Anderson Cooper on New Years Eve? A-Maz-Ing!
  • Sanjaya’s album is finally coming out creepers! This cover art will make your brain-box explode.
  • And finally, my favorite non-TV related link of the week: Instructables.com. This handy site will teach you how to do just about anything. Unrelated: This week my mom helped me sew up my very own Slanket (some of you may know it better as the Snuggie). Best invention ever. Make it yourself. It’s cheaper and you get to pick a cooler fabric.

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Howdy Ho! This week was a snap.

Marry: Jason Segel

I took a vacay all last week and I spent a majority of my time truly relaxing. To that end, I watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I’m knee deep into How I Met Your Mother on DVD. I started with season 1 on Friday and I’m already on the last disc of season 2. Segel shines on the silver and small screen and it’s made my vacation pretty awesome. He seems like a really genuine and funny guy. Plus he plays the piano and wants to bring back the Muppets. Love, love, love. The only sour note? He may be dating Drew Barrymore. PS: Why haven’t Segel and Michael Cera ever been cast as brothers?

Bop: John Adams

My love for HBO’s John Adams is no secret but I re-watched the first three installments with the family over the weekend and it…was…AWESOME. Haven’t seen it yet? Watch it chumps!

Kill: The Old Doc’s Returning For The Final Season of ER

I will miss ER. I used to be a pretty big fan and I’ve watched some of the episodes this season. But let it be known, not every single doctor (dead or alive?!) whos ever worked at County needs to come back to say goodbye. Case in point, no one needs to “bump into” Dr. Corday. Nobody.

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I totally thought it was Wednesday yesterday so you got your Hump Day Updates ahead of schedule. Now I am going to totally blow your mind and do Marry, Bop or Kill today. I missed last week and I’ll be out of town this weekend so I figured I owe you one. Let’s get to it!

Marry: Bob Crowley

Bob Crowley, a physics teacher from Maine, was crowned champion of Survivor: Gabon on Sunday. At 57 he’s the oldest winner and for my money, the nicest. He played the game well, but fairly. He was affable, creative (two fake immunity idols?!) and really seemed to enjoy every part of the experience. Plus he turned his buff into a bowtie. Charm isn’t dead folks.

Bop: Rhys Darby as Murray on Flight of The Conchords

Season 2 of the hilarious HBO musical-comedy premiered online at Funny or Die.com. Jemaine and Bret are outstanding as usual but the oft-forgotten shining star of this show is lowly band manager Murray Hewitt played to near perfection by Rhys Darby. Murray’s awkward quips continue to steal the show and I cannot wait to see the second episode in January. Darby is so good on FOTC I may even check out his new movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey…or at least watch it On Demand a year from now.

Kill: Planet Hollywood – New York

Planet Hollywood invites celebrities to make handprints in cement. Which starlet just graced PH:New York with her presence? Danielle Fishel. Don’t remember her? She was Topanga on Boy Meets World. We’ve officially run out of celebrities. Who’s next? The little girl from the Pepsi commercials?

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I’m watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. Everytime I watch this, I think about having a son and naming him Linus.

Lucy: You think you’re so smart with that blanket. What are you gonna do with it when you grow up?

Linus: Maybe I’ll make it into a sportcoat.

You tell her Linus! Don’t let anyone change you.

On to the updates.

  • This guy guessed the EXACT PRICE of his Showcase on the Price Is Right today. The exact price folks. It hasn’t happened since 1972. Despite this, Drew Carrey appeared unimpresed. Even the other contestant freaked out a bit. I think she was mad because on any other day she would’ve won by a landslide.
  • Britney Spears went Christmas Caroling with Ellen. It was pretty hilarious. I’m glad she’s keeping it together for those little ones of hers.
  • 27 years later, police have finally uncovered the mystery behind the murder of Adam Walsh, the  son of America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh. The murderer? Ottis Toole, a serial killer who died behind bars in 1996.
  • I love a good talk-show debate on gay marriage and boy have there been some good ones lately. Melissa Etheridge proverbially bitch slapped Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View today and Jon Stewart had a great discussion with  Mike Huckabee on The Daily Show last week.
  • Where do you find America’s teen sweethearts after dark? Hanging out with fans at a local sex toy shop. Stay tuned for High School Musical 4: F’ It, Let’s Just Have Sex Already.
  • And one more thing: Peter Falk (best known as Columbo) has Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Oh, and finally my Favorite Non-TV Related Link of the Week: Sporcle.com, officially the best time waster on the internet.

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Lately it feels as if HBO has been spiraling down a path of no-good, poor choice making shamefulness. After I gave up on Entourage I felt there was little programming worth even reading about on the premium channel I once loved.

However, it’s all looking up and the hope can be found in Summer Heights High the Australian mockumentary starring and written by Chris Lilley. Much in the fashion of Christopher Guest’s brilliant dry witted films, Lilley has created a fun, hilarious new approach to depicting high school.

Lilley plays three different characters throughout the show, an 8th grade thuggish boy Jonah, a private school girl transfer student cleverly named Ja’mei, and the drama teacher, Mr. G.

The show highlights the Lilley’s improvisational skills and quick-wit. Lilley, the mastermind behind the hit series We Can Be Heroes, weaves in and out of narratives smoothly with impeccable timing. Each character fulfills a certain role, playing off stereotypes while still creating fresh and smart perspectives. If you don’t appreciate Mr. G’s promotion, you certainly lack a sense of humor!

Summer Heights High airs at 10:30 PM EST on HBO.

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