Olive Kitteridge – Pulitzer Prize to HBO

Watching Olive Kitteridge starring the magnificent Frances McDormand (most famous for her Oscar winning performance in Fargo but don’t forget her in Almost Famous)  and the even more lovely Richard Jenkins (unfortunately totally overlooked for what should have been an Oscar winning performance in The Visitor – Netflix it today!) is a testament to television to bring back the mini-series, but further proves that network television will never go that route. Continue reading “Olive Kitteridge – Pulitzer Prize to HBO”

The Downside to Binge Watching

So having gone under a minor medical procedure, I found myself with time on my hands and felt that time is best spent binge watching the first season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Bad decision.

Now don’t tell me. I already know that I’m behind the times. That AMERICAN HORROR STORY, or AHS for short,  just finished its third season and the fourth was just announced. But I just didn’t get around to watching all the episodes consecutively and it is just a show that needs you to watch them in order. But my experience is a big let down and that seems to be because I have a love/hate relationship with Ryan Murphy. Continue reading “The Downside to Binge Watching”

Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick – Colossal Failure

What else is there to say about poor Lindsay Lohan? The cute youngster from PARENT TRAP is gone and in it’s place is a depressing, sad, and terribly confused adult. She’s crashed and burned so many times that it’s hard to keep routing for her and unfortunately, her turn in Lifetime Television’s LIZ & DICK doesn’t do anything to improve her status.

The story is simple – a timeline arc of the stormy, lustful, love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. But the execution is…well…just wrong.

Lindsay phones in her performance. Her inflection isn’t near the soft, high, impish-like voice of the real Elizabeth. It’s more of a scraggily, smoker’s cough that we have all heard in every interview she’s ever given.  And can we talk about the difference in physiques? Where are the curves that Elizabeth made famous? And the weight fluctuations that made the news? Were you too proud to wear padding, Lindsay? The only thing she does to look remotely like Elizabeth Taylor is slap on a brunette wig and stuff her cheeks like a squirrel stowing nuts.

Poor,  poor Lindsay.

It doesn’t help her that her co-star Grant Bowler (a very cute New Zealander, who you might remember from TRUE BLOOD) who is a least twenty years older than Lindsay, doesn’t come close to exhibiting the booming personality of Richard Burton. He at least tries to convey a believable performance. Lindsay doesn’t. It leaves Grant to try to act by himself and so the movie is a colossal failure.

Overall, Lindsay’s performance is very much like watching a little girl play dress up that has no hope in ever fitting in the clothes. She just doesn’t care and because of that she should step aside for the thousands of young actresses that do. And who will show up. Ready to work.

ABC’s Once Upon A Time – Making Fairy Tales Cool

So, I’m finally getting caught up on ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME. When it premiered its first year, my Sunday nights were already occupied ( I think) with GAME OF THRONES and since I have given up my DVR so I may cut down on my exorbitant amount of television viewing and maybe spend some of my free time outside to breathe some fresh air, I wasn’t able to watch all the episodes of season 1.

Now, thanks to the Season 1 release on DVD (not to mention the lack of commercials), I’m halfway through the first season and have enjoyed (the commercial packed) the few episodes aired so far of Season 2.

The world building is exceedingly well done. Starting with the ten-year-old boy Henry (Jared Gilmore) venturing out to find his birth mother Emma (Jennifer Morrison – some might remember her from HOUSE) in order for her to free his town of Storybrooke from the evil queen’s (Lana Parrilla from SWINGTOWN – did anybody actually watch that show?) spell, the show’s creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are smart to begin everything in the real world. Their smartness is then complemented by good writing that has the plot flip back and forth between flashbacks of the fairy tale world and present day – an often tiresome device, but it works tremendously well with this show and gives the fairy tales a new, cooler look and feel.

It does lead however, to some over the head bashing of character traits – the queen is overly dramatic, plus she is really mean and evil – we get it. Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) – Mary Margret in the real world – is soft and mushy, not to mention sweet and good and over the top weepy. It gets a little boring. But the smartness of the show’s creators again moves into play when at the end of Season 1 they break the curse – but a true happily ever after is not in anybody’s future – tossing some of the main characters through a wormhole-like thing back to the fairy tale world. SMART STUFF!

What proves to be the continuing winning factor is the great performance of Robert Carlyle as Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin. Some might remember him from his heart-warming performance in THE FULL MONTY or his hard-hitting turn in TRAINSPOTTING. He is marvelous and the backstory that the writers have created for him makes his character at one moment deliriously evil and then tragically sweet. Ingenious.

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Storybrooke gang this season. What do you think is  going to happen?

The Neighbors – It’s So Wrong, But Jami Gertz Makes It Right

Let me start off this post with a proclamation of my absolute love for Jami Gertz. Ever since she first appeared on SQUARED PEGS and headlined the movie JERSEY GIRL (NOT the atrocious Kevin Smith film, but the cute David Burton Norris picture also starring Dylan McDermott – Netflix it), and starred in THE LOST BOYS I have been a big fan of the Gertz. Although I will admit I didn’t dig her last sitcom STILL STANDING – but that’s another post.

She is the main reason I tuned into the pilot of THE NEIGHBORS (Wednesday nights on ABC at 8:30 EST) and is the only reason I tuned in the next week. The plot is enormously contrived – aliens landing on our planet and for the past ten years have never interacted with humans. Unbelievable. No amount of suspension of disbelief can get me aboard that train. But the comic chops of Jami Gertz really make me pull for this show. Her timing has never been better and she has great chemistry with her alien co-star newcomer Toks Olagundoye and her totally human husband Lenny Venito.

The last episode shows promise of the show’s growth. It spoofed REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY (complete with gold lame dress) with a commentary on how silly it is to be watching television on a telephone. Think about it.

The silliness of this show might be its reason for death. Or it could be its savior. Hard to know. But until the decision is made, I’m going to keep watching and routing for Jami – and waiting until the holiday season to see her in UNDERCOVER CHRISTMAS (filmed in 2003 and usually shown on the Hallmark of Lifetime channels)  – it’s a crap movie, but she makes it shine.