Brothers & Sisters

Why is it that the few shows on network TV that I actually really like are on so late (well, 10pm)?

Besides Boston Legal, another show I’m always as season behind with is Brothers & Sisters. I love B&S so much. Great stories, great, smart writing, and the actors & actresses are so well cast. Like Boston Legal, it fully deserves every award it’s won. I’m just getting around to watching Season 2.

Speaking of picking up on shows late, I finally got around to watching that show Mad Men that everyone in the world has watched except me. I enjoy that too and need to find season 2 online or hope they put it back up on On Demand.

I will leave with clips of B&S:

Mad Men opening credits:

and Simpsons parody of Mad Men:

I heart Alec Baldwin

I was very late jumping on the Alec Baldwin wagon. I’d heard his name, but never really paid attention to him until he did his guest appearance on Friends and on Will & Grace. And now I see what all the fuss is about. I watch 30 Rock loyally, for many reasons besides Alec. His character on there is great and now I’ve started following Alec’s articles on HuffPost. He had a nice one yesterday about Hillary as Obama’s Secretary of State:

Hoping Hillary Says Yes.
Sitting less than ten feet from Hillary Clinton at an RFK Memorial event in New York this week, I was overwhelmed by the presence and power the woman carries with her wherever she goes. Charming and poised as she was inundated by admirers, I could not help but think how hard it was, in some sense, to vote for Obama over Senator Clinton. I was momentarily overcome thinking how I wish both of them could have won.

I’ll leave with Alec Baldwin clips:

30 Rock

On meeting Sarah Palin:

See the rest of the article above.

Boston Legal again

This week from Netflix, I got the latest season of Boston Legal, which is now in its last season. I love Boston Legal and never get to watch it during the normal airing since it’s on past my bedtime.

I did get a boost out of my cynicism after Obama’s election, but I think my general cynicism about the way media works still lives. I think that ABC doesn’t like having a show like Boston Legal that’s actually 1) intelligent and 2) isn’t scared to really legitimately criticize the government. Part of me thinks these may reasons why ABC wants to be rid of BL. I don’t think BL will become irrelevant though after the Bush years. That was my thought initially for why it might be getting cancelled, but I’m sure more material would come up for them to do good cases on.

If I’m not mistaken, Boston Legal has seemed to get more and more critical of the current political climate. James Spader’s character, Alan Shore, really stands out as one of those rare lawyers that is actually in it for the true good will of his clients and the society at large, while really attacking the injustice in the politics of today. He always gets cases that are dead on with what’s going on in the news at the time. I just watched an episode where Alan Shore had the opportunity, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, to represent a mentally handicapped man being sentenced to death for allegedly raping a child. In his argument, he ended up going off on the US Supreme Court and how they really are following their own ideology rather than actual justice. Here’s his speech:

[livevideo id=BDB754D9D649445783C70D8AD7480A8C/603492/alan-shore-argues-before-the-s.aspx]
Alan Shore argues before the Supreme Court

This current election:

On euthanasia:

Passive euthanasia closing from Boston Legal’s “The Mighty Rogues”

And here are few more clips of this important and necessary show.:

On prescription drugs:

Jerry Esponson’s character:

Very petty annoyance

Ok, so a few days ago when I did my “Yay! Obama won!” post, I really, really wanted to supplement it with a video clip of Homer Simpson doing his “USA! USA! USA!” chant, but I couldn’t find a clip anywhere on YouTube, Google Video or MySpace video of it. And being a trained librarian (though i’m not working as a librarian), I tried all kinds of search terms. You’d think that since Homer’s USA chant is such a classic part of pop culture (at least I think it is!), it would be readily available. It looks like Fox hasn’t gone crazy taking down Simpsons clips, so why hasn’t someone put up any of these (or one of those medley videos some people post, that would have done too)?

Anyway, it feels nice to be bugged by something stupid like that for a change. I think now that Bush & Co are gone we can get bugged by things like this again. 🙂

Since I’m talking about Simpsons, I’ll put a couple clips I came upon up. The first was one from this past Sunday’s episode when Homer tried voting for Obama, but the voting machine kept jumping his vote to McCain:

A Ralph Wiggum video medley:

Dr. Nick:

What’s wrong with Alaska?

I think we’re all learning more about the state of Alaska politics lately. Sarah Palin’s insanity and now Ted Stevens is on the brinks of winning his Senate seat again, despite just being 84 and a convicted with 7 felony charges. And here we were hoping maybe Sarah Palin could get booted out when she’s up for re-election, but they just might vote her in again.

So much for my dream that most Alaskans were cool like the characters on Northern Exposure (which was actually taped in Washington State, a little outside Seattle):


Pondering the “What if’s”…

I will admit Tim Russert wasn’t always perfect, but in reading through my usual round of blogs, there’s always a discussion and update about what happened on the Sunday morning talk shows. I have wondered how Tim Russert would have handled an interview with Sarah Palin or McCain. I would imagine Tim Russert would really ask Sarah tough questions and leave her leaving with a blanker look than she had during her other interviews. I’m sure he’d ask Obama & Biden tough questions too, but I think there’s so much he would be able to corner McCain/Palin with that they’d be stumped with. There’s absolutely no one on the major networks now that I can see doing the kind of job he would have done. Tim Russert was actually intelligent, had a vast knowledge of history and was really an all around great guy and I think in this election circus, his voice is one that is sorely needed.

Of course there’s nothing we can do, but you can always imagine.

Thinking of people I wish had stayed around until at least next year, I’ve been thinking how much fun George Carlin would be having right now with Sarah Palin (and McCain). I don’t have the creativity to think of the kind of jokes or cracks Carlin would make, but comedians now are having so much fun with McCain/Palin that a legend like Carlin would probably one up all of them. Of all the folks I watch now, I think the one closest to Carlin’s comedy style has to be Bill Maher. I think Maher touches on many of the thoughts Carlin would have during this whole cycle, but I think Carlin would add his special Carlin touch that no comedians now have.

Anyway, when Russert and Carlin died earlier this year, I did think of how much we would need them during this election and now that we’re here, I’m really noticing their absence. So, once again, Russert and Carlin, rest in peace. But I’m grateful to have Bill Maher here making us laugh during this election.

I will leave with some recent clips of Bill Maher’s New Rules:

Oct 24, 2008

Oct 17, 2008

Oct 10, 2008

Network shows canceled in their prime

And now that I think of it, it’s generally ABC that has canceled quality shows prematurely.

Sunday night during a commercial break in Desperate Housewives, I learned that one of my favorite shows, Boston Legal, is entering its final season (season 5). WTF? Unfortunately I don’t catch Boston Legal enough because it’s on past my bedtime, but I always take it out from Netflix when the new seasons are released. It’s such an awesome and timely show, I always like that their cases have gone with what’s going on in the country…intelligent design, terrorism, homophobia, etc. and James Spader plays such a great lawyer and argues so well for important causes. If I ever need a lawyer, I’d want Alan Shore representing my case. And I love the friendship between Alan Shore and Denny Crane. William Shatner’s Denny Crane is a great and funny character too. Boston Legal and its actors have deserved all the Emmys they won.

So, ABC seems to be making another mistake by canceling a great show after only 5 seasons. Of course now Scrubs is supposed to be coming to ABC for its final season (and of course I don’t like that NBC has treated Scrubs like crap and does this to them in the last season).

At least, though, ABC gave Boston Legal five good years and didn’t cancel it after 19 episodes like they did with My So-Called Life or after 12 episodes like Freaks and Geeks.

I will leave with clips from these good shows that were canceled in their prime:
Boston Legal – James Spader’s character Alan Shore talks about the US government keeping the truth from their citizens:

Boston Legal – Jerry Espenson, the character with Asperger’s:

My So-Called Life, the pilot episode:

Freaks & Geeks:

The McCain Wander

A friend posted this today and I practically fell off my chair laughing. If you noticed during the last debate, McCain spent a whole lotta time wandering aimlessly around the stage and even walked in front of the camera at the end.

The Huffington Post put up a video montage today of comedians taking on McCain’s wandering…there’s some from Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and of course SNL. Enjoy and laugh your ass off.

See it here:

Tim Burton’s Take On Alice in Wonderland

Last week I came upon an article that Tim Burton will be doing an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

The blog INFDaily has some First Looks at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It will be a mix of live action and CGI animation, which will be really interesting to watch. And, of course, Tim Burton’s favorite Johnny Depp will be in this film playing the Mad Hatter! He’s always so perfect for the roles he gets cast for in Burton’s films and I can totally see him as the Mad Hatter. Playing the White Queen will be Anne Hathaway and playing the Red Queen will be Helena Bonham Carter. To get a little take on the two Queens, read the Queen Alice chapter from Through the Looking Glass.

It seems the film will be closely based on Carroll’s works, so I’m really anxious for it to come out. Unfortunately it won’t hit theaters till sometime in 2010, but it sounds like it will be great. I’ve always loved the Alice stories, and of course anything Lewis Carroll, and almost did my senior seminar on Alice stories and other nonsense stories. I always get excited to see Lewis Carroll artifacts or anything related to his work and I love the idea of Tim Burton taking this project on. I generally like Tim Burton’s work and like that he doesn’t butcher original works like Disney does. I liked that his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was actually based on the Roald Dahl book more than the 70s film with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Of course I loved the old 70s Willy Wonka (I could swear the creators of that one had drugs on the brain, it’s so very trippy), but Burton’s was more Dahl (who was also pretty trippy in his own way).

Anyway, I found an online version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. There are also online versions full with John Tenniel’s illustrations, here’s Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. I still love browsing through these stories.

I will leave with some clips from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland , which is probably the only Disney movie I actually like, even though it isn’t that close to the original Carroll book.:
The Merry Unbirthday Party

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The Caterpillar

The Cheshire Cat

Farewell Blue Eyes, Rest in Peace

Well, I’m glad I haven’t had to write up a memorial post for awhile, but I’m sorry about the one I’m writing one up for today. Today, actor, philanthropist and all around great guy Paul Newman died at age 83. I’ll admit that the only films I’ve seen with Paul Newman were The Hustler and The Color of Money (though I just put a bunch of his big films on my Netflix queue). I have known him mostly for all the great charity works he’s done and his commitment for bringing good into the world. And, of course, I love his Caesar salad dressing….so very good. And I will continue to purchase and love his Newman’s Own products that still adorn the grocery store shelves (and still donate profits after taxes to progressive causes).

The best obit I came across today was from the Huffington Post and there’s an excellent slide show on Vanity Fair’s website.

I will leave with some clips that honor Mr. Newman:

from the Newman’s Own website:

Paul occasionally referred to Newman’s Own as the “joke that got out of control” and would express astonishment at its success. Despite this humorous approach, Paul was committed to the company’s business and to providing top-notch quality – he brought all-natural food products to a wide audience long before it was fashionable. And he was one of the greatest recyclers, giving back to charity all the money he earned from the sale of Newman’s Own products.
Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good

Newman’s Own has grown into a powerful and lasting expression of Paul Newman’s generosity. The Company has generated over $250 million in proceeds that have been donated by Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation to thousands of charities worldwide.

On his interest in philanthropy:

Paul being interviewed on Inside the Actor’s Studio:

Meryl Streep speaks about Paul Newman:

A short clip from The Hustler:

and from The Color of Money

and Cool Hand Luke

and finally Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid:

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