On the surface, Behind the Candelabra is the perfect HBO movie.
It has a gleaming creative pedigree, led by superstar director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Magic Mike) and uber producer Jerry Weintraub.
It has a scandalous story with a new look at an old time, exploring the relationship of closeted, pop-classical pianist Liberace with house husband Scott Thorson in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s....
As Amazon uses public feedback to choose new series I wonder: Can a TV outlet outsource its gut to consumers?05/22/13 Blog
Now that news is starting to trickle out about which pilot episodes online retailer Amazon is picking up as its first original series, I have just two questions.
Is the general public really the best judge of which pilots will make the best series? And is a pilot process really transparent when the company conducting it offers little public information about the process?
Ginger Gadsden, morning and noon anchor at St. Petersburg CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10, will be leaving the station when her contract expires on June 30.
But at this time of layoffs and cutbacks in media, Gadsden, who has tired of working the morning shift, has no other job lined up. And she’s still committed to leaving.
“You know that feeling you get when you’ve made up your mind and you’re at peace with it?” said Gadsden, who came to work at WTSP in 2006. “That’s what I’m feeling. For me, it’s not sad, it’s exciting.”
After seven years of waking up at 2 a.m., Gadsden explained, she decided it was time to leave the morning shift. But WTSP, which placed former Miami anchor Charles Billi alongside longtime anchors Heather Van Nest and Reginald Roundtree in the station’s evening newscasts, declined to move her to a later schedule.
“I don’t think your body is made to wake up at 2 a.m., no matter how long you do it,” she said. “But (WTSP) has solid anchors in the evening; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I understand. I’m just grateful I got a chance to work with such great people.”
Gadsden has been the most consistent element of WTSP’s morning show, which has changed co-anchors and format during her tenure while struggling in the ratings against rivals. She came to WTSP after a stint anchoring USA Today Live from Virginia.
WTSP news director Peter Roghaar said weekend morning anchor Allison Kropff would succeed Gadsden; the station is currently looking for someone to replace Kropff, who came to the station from WVLT-TV in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2011.
“Ginger’s a wonderful person and we’re sad to see her go,” Roghaar said. “We offered her an opportunity to remain as the morning anchor and she chose differently."...
05/21/13 The Feed
Ginger Gadsden, morning and noon anchor at St. Petersburg CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10, will be leaving the station when her contract expires June 30.
But at a time of layoffs and cutbacks in media, Gadsden, who has tired of working the morning shift, has no other job lined up. And she's still committed to leaving.
"You know that feeling you get when you've made up your mind?" said Gadsden, who came to WTSP in 2006. "That's what I'm feeling. For me, it's not sad, it's exciting."...
As the music world expresses sorrow over the death today of Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, I can’t help remembering a personal story about my brief time working with a member of one of the best classic rock bands in history.
The short version: I think I convinced Manzarek to write his best-selling 1998 autobiography, Light My Fire: My Life with the Doors.
Mad Men fans can be a fickle, exacting bunch.
Two weeks after swooning over an episode featuring a merger of the Sterling Cooper ad firm with a competitor, some Mad Maniacs online were already fed up with the series, courtesy of Sunday’s surreal, drug-fueled episode, “The Crash.”
My theory: the show moves at such a snail’s pace sometimes, that developments which would seem less momentous on a different show take on gigantic proportions in the Mad Men universe.
Two weeks ago, uniting Don Draper’s nemesis Ted Chaough in the same firm and bringing along a more confident Peggy Olson, seemed a move pregnant with possibilities. But the last two episodes have spent so much time avoiding obvious storylines that they have felt flat and redundant, particularly on Sunday.
Mad Men creator Matt Weiner also worked on HBO’s The Sopranos, which seemed to take perverse pride in pissing off some of its fans with dream episodes which essentially kept plotlines running in place while delivering absurdist visuals and clues to deeper motivations of the characters.
Weiner seems to achieve the same result on Mad Men in different ways; earlier, with a fever dream Draper had while ill, and on Sunday night, with a episode centered on a crazed weekend in which almost every major character gets hopped up on a mysterious injection delivered by a doctor brought in by Jim Cutler, L.A. Law alum Harry Hamlin’s oddly perverse accounts manager. (it's interesting that this happens when both Ted and office manager Joan Harris were out; Joan with an illness and Ted attending a funeral.) Click here for more on Cutler's Dr. Feelgood.
Draper becomes obsessed with the idea of comfort through mothering, as we learn via flashbacks that he only seemed to get such comfort as a young teen from a prostitute who worked in the brothel where he lived. She also deflowered him in the process, creating the weirdly toxic ball of need for mothering, sexuality and comfort Draper often displays, only to reject it later, once he’s found a woman willing to provide it.
Unfortunately, this is stuff we already guessed weeks ago, when we saw that Draper’s stepmom had to sleep with the brothel’s owner in order for them to stay there. Watching his stepmom beat him after his loss of virginity was revealed did help to explain why the adult Draper could care less when she died of stomach cancer – but that’s something else any sharp-eyed fan could guess.
The reason fans like me hate these surreal sequences is because Mad Men requires so much attention to detail for viewers, anyway. We’re constantly picking apart episodes to decode meaning – setting an entire episode in a fever dream caused by drugs drops all kinds of new details to consider, when most of them won’t be relevant.
Weiner also took time to drop an unsavory character of color into the mix, capping Sunday’s episode with scenes in which a an older black woman snuck into Draper’s home while he and wife Megan were out, telling his children she was their grandmother.
The woman, who called herself Grandma Ida, knew the names of the children, Draper’s name and details about their lives which seemingly no random burglar could possess. Which left me wondering whether the incident would blowback on Draper’s black secretary in the future – does she have an addled relative who took advantage, somehow?
In the end, you have children who are supposed to be spending a weekend with their father stuck in an apartment, threatened by a burglar while dad is off tripping on energy injections and pining over his lost mistress.
More and more, Mad Men is putting the test to an essential question every viewer asks before they sit down with such a challenging series:
Do I really want to spend this much time with these people?
If Mad Men presents many more episodes like “The Crash,” I know what my answer will be. ...
05/20/13 The Feed
The new primetime PBS show featuring Charlie Rose likely will not affect the air time of Tampa public affairs show Florida This Week, even though the network has asked stations nationwide to broadcast Rose's program at 8:30 p.m. Fridays — the local program's current timeslot.
That's because officials at Tampa PBS affiliate WEDU-Ch. 3 "really don't want to move Florida This Week," said spokeswoman Allison Hedrick, noting the public affairs show hosted by WMNF-FM news director Rob Lorei has developed a following at 8:30 p.m. Fridays....
As SNL says goodbye to Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis I wonder: Why don't they get better finales?05/19/13 Blog
No James Carville. No Barack Obama. No Joe Biden. No unctuous game show host leading a bizarro competition, like “What's My Name?” ($10 million to provide the name of your apartment building doorman.)
Still, Saturday Night Live’s presumed farewells to three of its most prominent players did manage to be touching in an odd way, offering backhanded goodbyes to guys who have been on the show since the Bush administration.
Jack of all trades Bill Hader seems to be the only one who officially confirmed his departure, leaving SNL after eight years. Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis, who have been on the show 11 years and eight years respectively, are also reportedly leaving. Weekend Update host Seth Myers, who is taking over NBC's 12:35 a.m. Late Night show when Jimmy Fallon becomes the Tonight Show host in February 2014, could still appear in the show's fall episodes, so he didn't get similar treatment.
The closest we came to a farewell was a fake Top of the Pops segment featuring Armisen, Hader and Sudeikis (with Taran Killian) as a British punk band playing a song “It’s a Lovely Day.” Eventually, they were joined by 90s alt rockers such as Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and Aimee Mann (along with Armisen's Portlandia collaborator Carrie Brownstein) in the same way former castmember Kristen Wiig was serenaded by Mick Jagger on her last show last year. And who knew Sudeikis could actually play drums?...
05/19/13 The Feed
On the surface, Behind the Candelabra is the perfect HBO movie.
It has a gleaming creative pedigree, led by superstar director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Magic Mike) and uber-producer Jerry Weintraub.
It has a scandalous story with a new look at an old time, exploring the relationship of closeted, pop-classical pianist Liberace with house husband Scott Thorson in the late '70s and early '80s....
See clips from new CBS fall shows featuring Robin Williams, Dylan McDermott, Kal Penn and J.B. Smoove05/17/13 Blog
We Are Men
Tony Shaloub, Kal Penn and Jerry O'Connell are among the guys in an apartment complex filled with divorcing or divorced guys.
The Crazy Ones
Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are a father/daughter team running an advertising firm in Chicago; Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley is one of the producers....
Showtime has finally released an official trailer for the final season of its groundbreaking drama Dexter, due back at 9 p.m. June 30, much earlier than usual.
The premium cable channel has moved Dexter’s final season out of the crosshairs of fall, when all the broadcast networks and AMC’s popular The Walking Dead are all competing for viewers.
It’s an interesting move, because Dexter was one of the first cable shows to buck the trend of avoiding network TV in the fall, moving its start of new episodes to the end of September. Moving back to summer feels like a full circle turn, along with an acknowledgement of how the series’ popularity may have slipped.
In the clip, we see Michael C. Hall's serial killer Dexter Morgan watch as his police officer sister Deb unravels following the climax of last season, where she killed a fellow cop who had discovered her brother’s secret.
Will she finally turn him in and stop the madness? The trailer sure makes it look that way.
Check it out below:...
Whether soul belter Candice Glover or country crooner Kree Harrison is crowned winner of American Idol tonight, two things are clear:
The show will welcome one of its best singers in years into the winners' circle.
And fewer people than ever will actually care.
That was made plain last week, when judge Randy Jackson announced he'd be leaving the show next season amid rumors that all the judges would get the boot (since then, US Weekly has reported new judge Nicki Minaj will also leave the show, which would backtrack on gushing comments she made a few weeks ago about staying as long as they wanted her.)...
Whenever it comes to television, I've grown used to Stephen King breaking my heart.
Time and again, he's brought adaptations of interesting and compelling novels to TV, only to wind up with stuff that is too uninspired (Steven Weber trying to outdo Nicholson in a remake of The Shining?) too boring (Pierce Brosnan moping through a limp redintion of Bag of Bones) or too dumb (The Langoliers. 'Nuff said.)...
Agents of SHIELD:
Super Fun Night...