Tuesday, July 28, 2009

These Days The Good Roles For Actresses Are On TV

In Mary's current Critic's Notebook essay in The Los Angeles Times, Mary examines why it may be a bigger deal to star in movies but the good roles for women are all on the television. Looking at the current career of of actresses like Katherine Heigl who are increasily cast in movies as the "post modern shrew" Mary shows that the real meat of the acting profession for women is in the TV aisle.

"There are more and better roles for women on one season of "Brothers and Sisters" and "Big Love" or "Damages" and "Desperate Housewives" than there will be in an entire year of Hollywood films. Roles that require depth and wisdom and boundless energy, that demand of their performers the dramatic flexibility and exploration of character. Roles that don't seem to punish them simply for being women."


"While Heigl and other stars are stuck in narrow, nasty movie roles, women get to do just about anything on TV. "They can chase down aliens ("Fringe"), converse with angels ("Saving Grace"), race through jungles and time continuums ("Lost"), catch serial killers while wearing hats and high heels ("The Closer") and play both sides of the legal field with the likes of William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden ("Damages)."
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

"The Storm": Keep Firing Those Rays!

"Keep firing those rays!" is my new code phrase for dialog which may cause bubbles in brain or worse. Mary's review is almost as much fun as The Storm wants to be.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

BBC's "Being Human" Is Populated With Down To Earth Vampires

This smart-sounding entry about three twenty somethings who happen to be a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost --stay with me now-- is a show something like the "love child of Friends and Dexter." Mary's review in The Los Angeles Times.

But despite more than a few laugh-out-loud moments, "Being Human" is no sitcom, no "Will & Grace" with monsters (although the friendship between the two "men" is so smart and sweet, so absolutely non- Judd Apatow, you do begin to think there is hope for us all). Creator Toby Whithouse takes all the themes associated with the cursed and the damned very seriously, and if his exploration of them is less baroque than other franchises, it promises to be even more effective.

Addiction is the obvious comparison, and Whithouse makes it nicely -- the relationship between John and Lauren (Annabel Scholey), the woman he hopes is his last victim, plays like classic junkie love, with the insatiable need to literally consume the object of desire.

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The Final Days Of Dr. Who

David Tennant, the 10th Dr. Who, will be appearing in four new episodes on from BBC before he makes way for Matt Smith. But the episode this Sunday sounds "ripping" from Mary's review in the Los Angeles Times.

"...we are plunged headlong into the middle of it with a shapely thief in black spandex (Michelle Ryan) stealing a priceless gold goblet. As she attempts to make her getaway on a London bus, she is quickly joined by a gadget-fiddling Doctor in standard piercing-gaze ADD-chat mood. Just as the bus is about to be stopped by the British version of SWAT, it slips through a wormhole and winds up in the middle of a desert in a galaxy far, far away."
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

T.O. On VH-1 Is A Big Hit In Buffalo

Should have taken Mary's advice about "Wanted" and now I am sending a note to NBC asking for my valuable hour back! But I will have to check out TO. Mary's review makes it sound like the kind of goffiness that is excellent after a day in which your brain has turned to mush and if you like football or Buffalo.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

To Catch A Terrorist: "Wanted" On NBC

Well it isn't the OC, that's for sure. Mary's review in the Los Angeles Times points out the crossing and blurring of lines in this reality show about tracking terrorists which includes real terrorists. Does the CIA know about this? The show is "Wanted" on NBC Monday:

"When NBC announced it would be airing the new series "The Wanted," more than a few people expressed some concern. Following the exploits of a former Navy Seal, a former Green Beret and an investigative journalist as they track down known terrorists who, through one legal loophole or another, are "hiding in plain sight," "The Wanted" seemed in danger of blurring all sorts of famous lines: between objectivity and activism, between journalists and their sources, between investigation and entertainment.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Television Must Pay For Movie's "Labor Pains"

I think the first paragraph says it all but Mary's review of the Lindsay Lohan straight to TV movie has a little bit more about films, television and celebrity.

Aren't sorry you never saw that one-card while you were standing in line at the cineplex? Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dark Blue: TNT Bruckheimer Style

It isn't your mother's Mod Squad. 

From Mary's review in the Los Angeles Times:

With its high-power, torture-shock opening, booming soundtrack and mean-streets lighting, “Dark Blue” clearly passed through the hands of someone who knows a bit about blockbusters. That would be executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who brings his singular talents to TNT via a tale of a group of undercover cops so deep and damaged and unlike their fellow officers that the line between cover and identity, between truth and justice is perpetually blurred.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Miami Social: Wearisome Fabulousness

Oh, Bravo...or not.  You will either love this newest of the Bravo Real Life type reality shows or you will count the days until MAD MEN (33 days to go).

Mary's review is here in the Los Angeles Times.

Here is a taste: 

When Americans get tired of watching wealthy narcissists spend money, drink cocktails and say nasty things about each other, Bravo, home to the "Real Housewives" franchise and more recently "NYC Prep," is going to be in big trouble. 

Until then, however, there's “Miami Social.”

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Teddy Did We Really Know Ye?

A new major documentary on the Senator from Massachusetts (and last living brother of the Kennedy clan that produced a war hero, a president, a senator who might have been a president) reminds us of a different Teddy Kennedy. Mary reviews the HBO picture here:

"Still, for all the epic familiarity of Kennedy's story, there are surprises and important reminders -- Kennedy's campaigning for reelection from the hospital after a plane crash almost left him paralyzed; President Nixon's attempts to bring him down -- in one chilling conversation, Nixon says he doesn't care if this Kennedy gets shot too.)"

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Drop Dead Diva Is Lifetime's Clever New Comedy...And Did We Mention Margaret Cho?

Drop Dead Diva introduces Brooke Elliot in a snappy comedy which will include many special guest stars in this Heaven Can Wait meets Ugly Betty sort of plot. Mary's review is a yes...hey it's summer! Oh. Did we mention it also stars Margaret Cho?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Warehouse 13" On SyFy (Sci-Fi Channel)

If you saw some of the teaser commercials you might get the idea that this Warehouse 13 is a magical warehouse like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark where all the mystical stuff nobody knows what to do with is kept?  Right! Mary's review in the LA Times makes this sound as much fun as we hoped. Tonight on the re-named Sci-Fi Channel. Oh yes, renamed to SyFy.

"The X-Files" meets "Fringe" by way of "The Librarian" with a little " Indiana Jones" and maybe even "Bones" thrown in for good measure, "Warehouse 13" is unapologetically and delightfully derivative, happily plucking the best stuff from our favorite shows and leaving all the heaviness behind. In this loud and angry world of post-mythology and damaged heroes, how nice to see a television show satisfied with being simply entertaining.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Return Of Miss Marple (And Just In Time)

The classic Masterpiece Mystery! comes at the end of a hectic couple of weeks in the celebrity-industrial complex.  How nice to have class acting in a class act in the best of all mystery series.

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Oscar Season Now In Trade Paperback $14.00

The classic mystery novel and today’s paparazzi coincide in this engaging, insider’s look at Hollywood in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards.

She is one of the very few reporters allowed to witness pre-telecast rehearsals and for years has covered Oscar night from the celebrity side of the red carpet and backstage during the show.

A recent recipient of an L.A. Press Club and American Association of Features Editors Awards for her industry coverage, she has interviewed innumerable stars and directors, and used her experience to craft this deliciously entertaining whodunit.

Wide audience: This novel will fascinate the many readers captivated by Hollywood and the celebrity lifestyle, while also appealing to mystery devotees and fans of smart, entertaining women’s fiction. It’s equal parts Jackie Collins, Michael Tolkin, and Sue Grafton.