Just hittin’ up some links, have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend everyone!
Has there ever been a more cautionary Hollywood story than Gary Coleman? His parents stole his child-actor money. He ended up working as a security guard. He’s constantly hounded by people asking him to say “Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis.” He’s stuck in what seems to be an abusive, self-destructive marriage. I’m mean, that’s like the superfecta, right? Throw in a story about him drinking himself into a stupor every night and you would have had the ultimate Hollywood sob story. However his tale is going to end, hopefully it’s not with the headline that starts “42-year-old former child actor.” Good luck, Arnold. See, that’s what I’m talking about! Thirty years later and we still only know him as Arnold.
(3:17 p.m. UPDATE: News is coming out now that Gary Coleman has died. Just a terrible story about a guy who was swallowed up by Hollywood and was forced to live the rest of his life almost destitute because his parents stole his money. The last few eyars, the only times I heard him talk was when he was on Stern, and he just sounded like a jaded, angry guy. No one should have to go through life the way he did, hopefully his pain is over now.)
Even though I think Michael Ausiello is a little full of himself, I’ve always enjoyed reading his stuff first at TV Guide and now at EW. He’s one of the few people I think can match my passion for truly good TV. So I’m always interested when he comes out with his Dream Emmy Ballot every year around this time. Even though nominations don’t come out until July 8, announced this year by two of the breakout comedic stars of the year Joel McHale and Sofia Vergara, it’s a pretty good time to look ahead. I’m down with a bunch of his nominees, like his undying support of Friday Night Lights and its cast, Martin Short for Damages, Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy and Parks and Recreation higher on the NBC comedy pecking order than The Office and 30 Rock. But Parenthood love? My Canadian cousin who first turned me on to Arrested Development was trying to push Parenthood on me last week, but even she admitted it’s pretty much Brothers and Sisters Lite. And Brothers and Sisters is lite as it is. So I’ll pass there and respectfully disagree. Regina King in Southland? No thanks. She came off more whiny and desperate to me than anything, and they didn’t do enough to establish the relationship between her and Skitch Patterson last year for her to be so broken up about his time in the hospital. the best drama actor is the one that bugs me the most though, not having Jon Hamm in the lineup. don’t know what more the guy would have to do to win, let alone be nominated. I’d have to say any list without him is null and void. I’ve even warmed on Timothy Olyphant as a contender for Justified, but there’s no way Peter Krause should be nominated over him, I don’t care how good he might be in Parenthood. Fast forward to the 3:20 mark if you want to see why exactly he deserves this award, and watch the whole recap to know why this was the best episode of TV this year.
And it is the end of the season, so it’s time for networks to start patting themselves on the back (Fox, CBS) or looking to next year to start all over again (ABC, NBC). It can’t be understated of how disastrous the year was for NBC, it may have been the worst season for a broadcast network in TV history. Consider going into the year it had no legitimate, consistent, scripted top 20 ratings hits. None. So it came up with four new shows, two of which are little-watched but got renewed (Community, Parenthood) and two of which were canned (Mercy, Trauma). To make matters worse, Trauma was reportedly one of the most expensive shows of the year. Then it canceled its longest-running show (Law & Order) and mercifully cut ties with the show that two years ago the network was ready to turn into a franchise. Not fun. Then there was the Jay Leno experiment that couldn’t have gone any worse if the other three networks conspired to sabotaged it themselves and has been covered here and other places to the point that if you don’t know about it by now, you just woke up from a two-year coma. Just a terrible, terrible year. People have even stopped making “NBC sucks” jokes because it’s not even funny anymore, it’s just sad. Already for next year, they’re going to have to deal with the possibility of Steve Carell leaving The Office. Yeesh.
Isn’t it a little early for Ellen Page to be turning to TV, a low-paying HBO show to boot? I know things haven’t been particularly rosy since Juno — Smart People and Whip It are her only two wide-release movies since the 2007 Oscar nomination — but it screams desperate that she’s already going to TV. I guess she gets to keep some of her street cred by playing the “Hey, it’s HBO, ever heard of The Sopranos?” card, but with Inception about to be a $150 million hit, she’s got to be getting some juice back, right? I thought the same thing when Zach Galifianakis signed up for Bored to Death on HBO last year, and that did absolutely zilch for his career and didn’t make anyone forget that he starred in G-Force. So it stands to reason not much is going to come from Page turning to an HBO series.
Now that we’re clear of Iron Man 2, it’s time to start looking toward Iron Man 3 and think about what needs to change in the franchise. This isn’t to say I didn’t like IM2, I did. It just seemed to be missing something, although I can’t put my finger on what. Other than Don Cheadle mailing it in postage due, that is. The one thing that does jump out — more action. Three scenes of any kind of action just didn’t seem to be enough, and the in-between stuff seemed to drag the movie down. In the first one, it raised the movie up. So either more action or better exposition and execution of the in-between stuff, pick one.
There is no sourcing for this so it could be someone just conjuring up names in his head and seeing if anyone will believe him, but there seem to be five definitive names to play the next Peter Parker. I feel old looking at them, because I don’t know who four of these five kids are. The only one I know is Jamie Bell, and I haven’t seen him do anything substantial since Billy Elliot (naughty language alert, amazing scene though), though that just missed my cut for best movies of the last decade. And if Peter Parker is supposed to be going back to high school int he reboot, doesn’t that immediately eliminate him anyway? He just turned 24 and will be 25 by the time it starts shooting next year. And he’s not American! British people would raise holy hell if an American played James Bond, so I’ll throw a temper tantrum if a British kid played Peter Parker. Pass.
Yay, it’s our first box office battle of the year! Or at least the summer. Let’s just say it’s the first good one since Presidents Day with Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2. The problem is that I couldn’t find a less-compelling duo. A Jerry Bruckheimer movie and the continuation of the story that makes men look like idiots? Can I just go and see Iron Man 2 again?
Wanna guess who Sandra Bullock won’t be thanking this summer in her speech at the MTV Movie Awards? Here’s a hint — he rides a motorcycle, he’s kinda crazy, he likes chicks with tattoos on their heads and he thinks it’s a funny joke to give the Nazi salute. Although that actually sounds like a cool acceptance speech.
Reflecting more on the 24 finale, I liked it just as much as I did Monday night, and that’s pretty rare. Usually after a couple days of reflection, I find silly plot points that bug me, but this was good TV and a good note to go out on. Seeing that Fox 56 24-second recap at the gym the other night almost made me cry, and the countdown to zero for the first time ever was hokey but cool at the same time. So I’m glad to see Kiefer Sutherland was enthused about it too, even though he can’t remember the season 3 finale when Jack had to kick heroin. The finale is worth another look, especially the Chloe shoots Jack scene (53-minute mark) and Jack’s good-bye (1:20 mark).
I actually meant to watch the FlashForward finale, but from this, it seems like a good thing I didn’t. It’s really too bad, because the show started so well. There were just too many plot holes that looked like Sunnydale after Buffy blew up the Hellmouth for me to keep watching, and it seemed like they never overcame them.