Saturday, January 24, 2009

Can't keep up with 'Lost'?

This is all you need to know.

How is this that Jorge Garcia has not even been nominated for an Emmy yet?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Isn't this what American Idol is really about?

Last night, on the premiere of "American Idol," Ryan Seacrest high fived a blind auditioner. And isn't that what this show is all about -- people making fools of themselves? In this case, it was Ryan, most of the time it's Paula or the contestants, but isn't that really why we still watch "Idol" in its eighth season? I mean, is any one out there still taking this seriously as a way to choose new talent, after all the fixed contestants and top 10s featuring people who can barely carry a tune? Here's the moment from last night's show that everyone wants to see.

"American Idol" continues tonight on Fox from 7 to 9 p.m.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Revolutionary Road vs. Mad Men

WARNING: SPOILER SPOILER BIG FAT SPOILER. If you have not seen "Revolutionary Road" yet, though I recommend against it, do not read this post, as I give away major plot points. This is not intended as a review of "Revolutionary Road," only a comparison of it to the stellar AMC drama "Mad Men."

While I was suffering through the overrated drama "Revolutionary Road" the other day, I was thinking about AMC's "Mad Men."
Now "Mad Men" gets more than its share of accolades, so this is not a question of "Mad Men" being underrated or anything. But I could not believe how "Revolutionary Road" botched a subject "Mad Men" tackles so well, and with such a great cast to boot.
I'll have to revisit "American Beauty" to be sure, but I think most of the blame must lie squarely at the feet of director Sam Mendes. Was "Beauty" this hamhanded, though? The major problem I found with "Road" is the need for it to scream its theme out to me to over and over, when "Men" has similar themes - marital discontent, midlife crisis - I mean don't most dramas have these themes without the need to broadcast them so obviously?
Take the character of the neighbor, played by Michael Shannon. There is no such character in "Mad Men," to show up at pivotal moments of the movie to tell us THIS MARRIAGE IS A FRAUD!!!, but we seem to get the point that Don (Jon Hamm) and Betty (January Jones) don't have it all together. "Road" would never have been content with the final scene of season two, which I will not give away, because I respect it too much. Suffice it to say it did not include a long voiceover to tell us what was going on in the character's heads, or a crazy man yelling it at us.
My colleague Josh Larsen of noted when I finally got him to check out "Mad Men" that this was really a show about the women - and these were interesting, developed women. I can't even believe Kate Winslet took the part of April Wheeler, whose idea of true non-conformity is to move to Paris, where I can assure her, they have mortgages, boring neighbors and soccer games as well (only they call them football games). Maybe she was thinking once she got there Jack, er, Frank would just want to draw her naked all the time .... sorry, wrong movie.
If you thought "Revolutionary Road" was deep, check out "Mad Men" some time. It'll blow your mind.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jack's back!

Hurry Jack! There's not enough time!

"24" came back with a vengeance Sunday and I was surprised at how much I missed it, but the premiere was a reminder of what has always been the best thing about the show. Its ideals are like political comfort food.
In this case, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is pulled out of a Senate hearing on his torture methods to essentially do the same thing again. I mean, the agent he's with is begging him to torture a guy in minutes. Then there's the new president, played by character actress Cherry Jones. Her main plot involves stopping a genocide in Africa that bears a striking resemblance to Darfur. Yet, unlike our country, which has spent years arguing over the definition of the word genocide, this president is taking decisive action. Ahhhhh, that feels good....
Janeane Garofalo also joins the cast as an FBI agent who is kind of a Chloe type. She'll do for now, but we want the real thing asap.
Jack has finally found someone who listens to him, Agent Walker (Annie Wersching). He says "that's not the right call," and she actually listens! Who knows what'll come of this , but it's pretty exciting.
I don't know about that ending though. Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) kind of looked like a teenager who had just been grounded when he was glaring at Kiefer. "I'll teach you for taking away my xBox," he said with his eyes.

"24's" 2-night premiere continues Monday at 7 p.m. Central on Fox.