- Jenna Sliter
- Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm addicted to great television. I'm on a mission to share with you what I think are the best of the best when it comes to shows and mini-series. Long format visual storytelling is my entertainment of choice. I've got a lot to say, so stay tuned..... P.S. I am under some sort of invisible legal obligation to state that I do not own any of the photos posted herein unless otherwise specified and if you see any of your images and would like me to credit you or take it down (‘cus you’re just a meanie), please contact me
Sunday, June 26, 2011
On Thursday night, USA premiered their latest two hot dudes in suits show, aptly titled “Suits”. Gabriel Macht is the slick, high powered attorney who specializes in closing the deal. When he’s promoted to senior partner by big boss lady Gina Torres, Macht’s Harvey Specter is tasked with finding himself an associate.
The law firm of Pearson Hardman only hires Harvard graduates, but apparently they tend to be the blandest, narcolepsy inducing people in the world. Harvey is impressed and inspired when he accidentally interviews Mike Ross while Ross is in the process of outrunning the cops with a briefcase full of Mary Jane.
Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is a slacker, but he’s got the information retention abilities of rain man. He may have gotten kicked out of the world of higher education, but he makes his bucks taking law school entrance exams….until he meets Harvey that is. I like that name….Harvey. You don’t hear it too often. But it does sound like trouble.
Also at Pearson Hardman are paralegal extraordinaire Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and partner Louis Litt played by Rick Hoffman, that guy….you know, that guy….that plays a jackass in everything, but he’s really good at it.
I think this mentorship relationship could be interesting to watch. I like the style. If you watch “White Collar” then check this show out. It’s definitely in the same vein. Attractive men. Fashionable wardrobe. An element of sophistication. What more could you ask for in a summer series? (and I don’t mean that derogatorily). I'll definitely be giving this one a shot.
Thursdays at 10pm on USA
Imagine your neighbor has a dog. Now imagine that while the entire world sees a frisky little puppy, all you see is a churlish, Australian man in a dog suit. This is the premise of the new FX series "Wilfred". Based on a short film which was then turned into an Australian series by Jason Gann (who plays the titular role), "Wilfred" stars Elijah Wood (but maybe you know him as Frodo).
In the pilot episode, Ryan (Wood) is desperately trying to commit suicide only his overly interfering sister M.D. prescribes him sugar pills instead of anxiety pills. It's the next morning when he meets Wilfred who gives him a new outlook on life.
I've been looking forward to this show since it was first announced and especially when the promos first started airing. The comedy is a little raunchy (just the way I like it). The concept is fabulous and tone is playful. Until now, as I research the show to write this post, I had no idea that the series was based on existing material. I hope they aren't going all "Skins" and remaking the Australian show shot for shot. Honestly, I don't understand the point of that. Just go watch the original. Why are some people so concerned with accents? You know what I say? Love an Australian or an Englishman...or anyone else with a hot accent. Annnnyywaaayyyyyy....check it out.
(don't miss the My Dog Smokes section)
Thursdays at 10pm on FX
Monday, June 20, 2011
I suppose you could say that I've grown into a bit of a scifi geek. I like enough to want to go to ComicCon. Maybe next year. Anyway, Sunday night was the two hour premiere of TNT's much anticipated "Falling Skies" starring Noah Wylie. The series was created by Robert Rodat, screenwriter of the The Patriot and Saving Private Ryan. This seems to be his first foray into scifi.
They were off to a good start in my book by giving the back story through a child's perspective. Yes, even in a post apocalyptic world, we need art therapy. Alien space ships started docking over major cities (kinda like District 9). They began killing adults and capturing children. Now the resistance battles for survival. Noah Wylie is Tom Mason, a history professor turned commando, fighting to keep his children safe. Mason uses his knowledge of military history to strategize and educate his fellow rebels. His wife was killed soon after the arrival. There are three Mason sons, Hal, Ben and Matt. Ben has been captured and fitted with what the survivors call a harness. It's a bio-mechanical contraption connected on the back. The alien intruders' ultimate plan is unknown. There are two types of invaders. The first are called Skitters. They are spider like creatures that are very agile and seem to be partly organic. The second are referred to as Mechs. These are reminiscent of old school Cylons. They are totally metallic and shoot bullets.
Director Carl Franklin sets a great tone in the pilot. It's a combination of the dramatic, foreboding music and dark, sometimes guerilla like cinematography. Being a Dreamworks production, the special effects are stellar.
When it comes down to it, like all great science fiction, it's about the people. It's about families being torn apart and kids making birthday wishes that they could go back to school. There's a moment when Matt, the youngest gets a toy for his birthday. The entire camp watches as he rides this skateboardy thing around and for a moment they all forget that they are about to march off to war.
In my opinion, Wylie was a great casting choice. He's so likeable, believable as an academic and pretty attractive with that scruff and dirty war clothes.Sorta what I picture a young Robert Langdon to look like before they cast Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code. Tom is a good man and an inevitable hero. Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) is Dr. Anne Glass, former pediatrician, current trench medic. Veteran action actor Will Patton is Captain Weaver, a military man who believes civilians are just a liability. Hard to keep the human race going with a leader like that. In addition to combating the invading aliens, 2nd Mass (our group of good guys) has to deal with a troop of bandits led by ex-con John Pope taking hostages. It'll be interesting to watch as the remaining population struggles to keep their humanity in the face of such adversity. So far, I like it. I'll definitely be giving this one a shot. TNT has been making a big push for it, so I have a feeling it will be a huge hit or a horrible flop. My bet is the former, but I'm not a betting woman, so please don't hold me to that.
Sundays at 10pm on TNT
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The year is 2040. Earth has become uninhabitable. A group of pioneers settle on the planet Carpathia in a city they call Forthaven. In the pilot, President Richard Tate commands the wife of Expeditionary Mitchell Hoban (Bamber) to spy on him. With good reason, he was planning a coup. The wife, Karina is found nearly dead. Hoban freaks out and figures he's better off on the lam with their young son Linus. Now security officers Fleur and Cass are ordered to track him. Pres. Tate is supported by the Head of Protection and Security, Stella Isen (Hermione Norris). She's a hardass, but we see her vulnerability in her desperation to hear from her family still on Earth.
There's a transporter on it's way to Carpathia with the last of the surviving humans from Earth. Isen is hoping her family made it on to the ship. Mabius is VP of the Evacuation Program and is on his way to Forthaven, that is if the transporter can make it. It seems they're having a bit of car trouble.
I like the direction and the score, but the scenes shot inside Forthaven are too light. There's not enough contrast. It's almost distracting. Many of the actors and characters very likable. I'm very interested to know what Hoban knows about Tate and Isen. If you were a fan of "Survivors", "Being Human", "Primeval", "Doctor Who" or "Battlestar Galactica", you should give this one a try. The previews for next week look veeeeerryyyy dramatic.
Stay Tuned...I will.
Saturdays at 9pm on BBC America
I love a great theme song. One that you can't help but sing/hum along to every single time. Here are a few of my favorites.
"Sons of Anarchy" - This Life by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers
"Firefly" - The Ballad of Serenity by Sonny Rhodes
"How I Met Your Mother" - Hey Beautiful by The Solids
"Dexter" - Dexter Main Title by Rolfe Kent
"Luther" - Paradise Circus by Massive Attack
"Bones" - Bones Theme by The Crystal Method
"Psych" - I Know You Know by The Friendly Indians
"Hawaii Five-O" - Opening Theme by Morton Stevens
"The Inbetweeners" - Gone Up In Flames by Morning Runners
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" - Theme Song by Will Smith and QD3
These are just ten of my favorites. Which theme songs keep your head boppin'?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
John Michael Higgins plays Peter, Fran's ex-husband who's still living in the house as Fran takes on the dating world. She's accompanied by best friend Judi (Tichina Arnold) and her flower business employee Cesar. The cast is rounded out by the parental units played by Rita Moreno and Robert Walden.
D.W. Moffet guest stars in the pilot as Fran's first date post marriage. If I were him, I'd run in the other direction. Not only is she still living with her ex, she fed him food that could've killed him.
It's your classic multi camera, studio audience sitcom with exaggerated physicality and jokes. Not my usual bag, but I like the premise. We'll see, maybe I'll give it a try. Wanna take bets on how long before the voice is just too much to take?
Wednesdays at 10:30pm on TVLand
Melanie and Marko. They are the real deal. I agree with Nigel. Melanie is Queen Beast. Travis blew me away for the second time tonight in this breathtaking number set to a gorgeous Ingrid Michaelson song. With nearly every dance he creates, Travis brings a tear to my eye.
Tyce's Broadway number was good, but not sure that I like either of those dancers. You can't get more Broadway than Jess. That could be annoying. Hope he can do some other styles. Clarice just doesn't stand out to me.
SYTYCD made a wonderful choice in bringing on LXD choreographer Christopher Scott. I'm not the biggest fan of hip hop. I used to groan every time a NappyTabs routine came on screen, but I love Scott's style. Ryan and Ricky, two contemporary dancers did pretty darn well out of their element. Ricky could be a favorite for me, we'll see. The Forget You routine with Ashley and Chris was cute, but a bit fluffy.
Sensational Sonya! She brings it again with a powerful routine for Caitlynn and Mitchell who ended up having to sit out due to an elbow injury. Season 7's Robert stepped in and if you ask me, he out-danced her. He portrayed much more strength than Caitlynn despite her being the actual contestant. I even went back and watched it a second time and my eye still went to Robert. Based on his 8 second autobiography and rehearsal tape, I'd be just fine if Mitchell were the first boy to leave.
Although it didn't feel very Latin, Jason Gilkison created a very energetic number well performed by Miranda and Robert. As Megan said, it was a delight. The retro feel of the costumes and the fast footwork made it F.U.N. Jason's second number with Iveta and Nick had the same fun element, but when you put the Quickstep to Ballroom Blitz, it's still the Quickstep. :(
One of aspects of this show that I love is the music (not all of it mind you). Sometimes, it can introduce me to or remind me of songs that I adore. It makes me want to go out an buy it. When Christina Perri's Jar of Hearts was danced to last summer, I immediately logged onto iTunes. Tonight, I must download In For The Kill by La Roux
I am digging the fact that you can now vote via text and online. When you vote online, you can even have it published on Facebook, so everyone knows who your favorite dancers are. Honestly, I stopped voting a few seasons back because I couldn't get through...ever. I HAVE A VOICE AGAIN! You can bet I'll be voting for just about anything Travis does.
Stay Tuned....and check back tomorrow for my comments on the results show.
P.S. No one got a ticket for the Hot Tamale Train. Maybe it did get derailed. *knock on wood* If it didn't, I nominate Cat. She looked HOT in sparkly black mini.
This is a competition! Send someone home! I can't stand it when they don't cut anyone. I think that the judges didn't agree with America so they decided to out vote us. Not cool, Nigel. Not cool.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Gloria and her two sons recently moved in with her recovering addict baby brother, Davey. I'm not sure of his profession, but the house is way too nice for a cop's salary in LA. In her sons' eyes, she's superwoman, spending all night solving a case and/or sewing costumes for the school play. It's a little too much if you ask me. Mama's gotta sleep some time.
When she's pounding the pavement as a homicide detective, Shepphard is accompanied by partner Michelle Dulcett played by Tisha Campbell-Martin. Two women? That could be a volatile partnership. It has it's advantages I'm sure, but come on....that could get messy. Shepphard and Dulcett report to Lieutenant Felix Valdez, another procedural veteran - Miguel Ferrer. So far, he seems to be the same character as in "Crossing Jordan". Not good.
In the pilot episode our duo is investigating the murder of an adulterous businessman. Big surprise, one of the mistresses did it. I tend to like the more gritty cop shows, but if you're in the mood for a lighter procedural and don't have anything else to watch on Sunday nights, give it a try. For me, this one's not DVR worthy yet. I'll give it one more week though since I saw "The Shield" alumna Kenny Johnson aka Lem aka the husband in my dreams in the previews. I tried to watch "Saving Grace" for him, but that one didn't work out either. I love strong women leads, especially in male dominant roles, but I haven't found a woman cop show that I really like. Maybe some day. I can dream can't I?
Sundays at 10pm on Lifetime
You may not know this, but we're approaching television's 70th birthday. Not the invention, but the anniversary of the first licensed broadcast. What did people do before TV? I'm well aware that I watch waaaaaay more than the average person, but imagine if it never existed....
How would we spend our evenings? Until I left for college, I thought everyone spent the primetime hours in front of a television set. It never occurred to me that you could do other things, because that's what you did in my house.
How would you get breaking news. Well this is more relevant to pre-internet times (i.e. my childhood). Without TV, no one would have known/cared about the O.J. chase.
How would you bond with your co-workers who you have nothing else in common with? Think about how much water cooler talk is about TV and if you'd talk to the weirdos about anything else.
How else would you know about the Showtime Rotisserie Machine or the Sham Wow? There are some pretty cool products advertised on television. Plus, infomercials are a great way to cure insomnia. And think about all those agouraphobes that can still enjoy shopping.
What would you arrange the furniture in the living room around? Have you ever moved into a new apartment or house and not set up the living room based on where the TV would go? I guess we'd have to sit and look at each other. AWWWWWWWKK-WARRRRRD.
My passion for television is a result of my enjoyment/yearning for stories. I'm a visual person, so I'd much rather see a tale play out than just read or hear it. A series allows you to invest in characters more interesting or different than yourself. You can see the world and learn just about anything. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate how addictive TV can be. It can totally hinder your social well being if you let it. You've figured out that this is my problem, right? In any case, it makes me happy. So thank you to all those scientists that made sitting on your ass in your underwear while watching a marathon of "Battlestar Galactica" possible. We are grateful for your contribution to science and society.
Friday, June 10, 2011
The one exception to my no reality TV rule, is "So You Think You Can Dance" or SYTYCD. I picked this show up at the beginning of season 2 when the commercials of dancers literally falling on their faces forced me to tune in. The auditions were so ridiculously funny that I just kept watching. But just because I watch SYTYCD, doesn't mean we can chat about "Dancing with the Stars". I love SYTYCD because they are mostly trained dancers or street dancers busting their asses, not celebrities looking to make a comeback.
I skipped the auditions this year. They get longer and longer each season. Last night was the episode announcing the top 20 for season 8. There have been many changes over the last few seasons and this year is no different.
First off, we're back in a studio. The Kodak Theater stage was very limiting. It was frustrating to watch these dancers seem so confined. The studio stage is a better space to perform in. Some of the best routines included the stairs and catwalks.
Secondly, they returned to delivering the best/worst news of these young dancers lives via the green mile. Last year, the judges drove to the houses to tell the top 30 or so dancers if they were in or not. Sooooo uncomfortable that I fast forwarded through it all. Imagine a celebrity like Debbie Allen coming to your house and telling you that you're not good enough for the show in front of your whole family with cameras on you. That would totally suck.
Thirdly, we're back to the top 20. Last season, they experimented with the All Stars (former contestants returning to partner with current contestants). With the added dancers, they cut the contestants down to 10. I reeeeaaaally didn't like this. The compromise this year was to have a top 20 and bring the All Stars back when they get down to 10. I guess I can live with that.....like I'd stop watching anyway.
So, who are the judges this year? Of course Mr. Nigel Lythgoe is back as resident judge and he's accompanied by Mary Murphy after missing season 7 while she was battling cancer. I'm very happy that Mary is healthy, but I can't say that I'm glad she's back. That woman gets on my nerves! Can we please derail the fricken' Hot Tamale Train already? The guest judges really don't impress me this year. Tyce Diorio is the only guest judge that I like. Last season ballroom choreographer Toni Redpath bugged me. She had nothing that say that I cared to hear. Do we need another ballroom judge in Jason Gilkison? Lil' C...there are no words or maybe way too many. The newest addition to the show is Robin Antin of the Pussycat Dolls. If you could see my face as I type Pussycat Dolls you'd know exactly how excited I am about that. I'll give you a hint....NOT AT ALL! I miss you Mia Michaels and Wade Robson!!!!!!!!!! But I can't forget the most delightful host on television, Ms. Cat Deeley.
Sooooo, down to last night's episode. As the top 20 were announced, groups of the newest contestants performed routines. I really enjoyed the first, created by Canadian Contemporary Choreographer Stacey Tookey. Contemporary is my FAVORITE style of dance. The Hip Hoppers did a pretty cool routine choreographed by Dave Scott. Looks like we might have some good poppers this year. Although I love Sonya Tayeh, her jazz number wasn't the best I've seen from her. Glad she's back this season. She brings a much needed edge to the show. I stopped paying attention during the ballroom and tap numbers. Just don't care. Really? Two tappers?
Had a smile on my face watching a routine by one of the best up an coming contemporary choreographers who just happens to be my favorite SYTYCD contestant of all time, second season runner up Travis Wall. I heart you Travis. As Cat said, it was joyful. More awesomeness with Legion of Extraordinary Dancers choreographer hitting us with a hip hop routine for all the guys. Side note (in this very long post) if you haven't checked out LXD, youtube them! I saved the three hour long Academy Awards ceremony on my DVR for over a year when they performed to the nominated scores. The Geisha girls were iiiinnnnteresting....let's just leave it at that. Tyce brought home the show with a great routine for all 20 dancers.
So, sorry for the unusually lengthy post, but I LOVE THIS SHOW! Thanks for reading if you stuck with me. Leave me some comments with your favorite dancers, choreographers and judges.
Wed & Thurs at 8pm on Fox
www.fox.com/dance - you can see all the performances from last night
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
With few options, Regina and Daphne along with Grams move into the Kennish guest house. What better way to get to know the child someone else raised than by living 50 yards away.
Obviously, being on ABC Family, the demographic is tweens, teens and parents. I'm none of those, but I like it. The premise brings up a lot of questions. How would you react? Think about the mothers. Imagine you found out that your biological daughter has a handicap or that after raising a deaf child, the one you meant to have is perfectly healthy. Would Daphne be deaf if she'd grown up in family with money? Bay seems like she's going to take it all the hardest as Daphne seems like the perfect replacement with a disability for added sympathy. Then again, Daphne's going to mainstream for the first time. But Bay was the one that noticed something was wrong when her blood type didn't match her parents and pushed for genetic testing. Now she's got to live with the guilt of putting all of these events into motion. But does she need to feel guilty? It's Family Channel. I bet there will be more good than bad, otherwise they kind of suck at what they do.
I'm sure anyone can find something to relate to in the multiple family dynamics. For all those parents and even grandparents always saying there's nothing on television but drugs and murder, here's something else. Wholesome family drama. I'm sure there's a bunch of inspirational bonding to come. I'll give this one a few more episodes and see where it goes. Check out the first episode online.
Mondays at 9pm on ABC Family
Monday, June 6, 2011
Usually we see cop partners after they've been together for a while. They've always got that bond, that I've got your back no matter what goes down, no matter how bad it is thing. It's rare that we as the audience get to see how that bond came to be. I think we saw a little of that in this episode. Watching Holder completely be there for Linden is so sweet. He's seeking forgiveness for the bad he did when he was using. Holder is doing his best to make amends. It's heartbreaking to listen to him leave message after message on his sister's answering machine with no response. A man that really wants a family is incredibly endearing. It's like he's a baby bird that I want to nurse back to health...if I didn't hate/wasn't terrified of birds.
My fellow couch critic/roommate Beth had an insight that has been right in front of me from the beginning. "The characters are just as much of a puzzle as the actual crime." We could feel it coming when it was revealed that Holder had gotten hooked on meth when he was undercover. There's been just as much of a cloud over Linden. When she finally starts sharing with Holder, we find out that her mother abandoned her at the age of five. Another revelation is that Reggie's relationship to Linden is as her social worker.
No child can appreciate the pain a mother goes through when she believes a son is missing...let alone while she's investigating the kidnap and murder of a teenage girl. But Holder had the right idea..."kick his ass".....
Only two more episodes left this season. I haven't heard any news that the series has been picked up for a second season, but I'd definitely be down to watch Linden and Holder solve another case. There's a quiet intensity about this show that immediately drew me in and kept me coming back. Some people have been hating on "The Killing" saying that the pacing is too slow. Guess what, a murder investigation takes more than 42 minutes. What do you think? Are you enjoying the Danish influence?
Sundays at 10pm on AMC
Friday, June 3, 2011
I never thought I'd be able to take Becky Newton seriously after she was so convincing as airhead receptionist Amanda on "Ugly Betty". Turns out, she can play normal. Well if you call a pregnant NYC chef carrying her sister's baby normal. Newton's Annie is accompanied by best friend Cassie, played by Krysten Ritter. Totally loving her right now as I'm catching up on season 2 of "Breaking Bad".
Out in San Francisco, Carter (Kyle Howard) loses his job just as he's about to get married and he's competing with a vibrator for his fiancee's orgasm. He may be down, but he's got the support of pal, Steve Howey. Another cast member that I grew to love while playing a fool. Now if only he had the haircut he sported in "Reba". This long hair is killing me.
On their way from Venice, CA to Miami Greg Grunberg and Craig Robinson cross paths with Jennifer Love Hewitt (playing herself). She just happens to be on Judd's (Grunberg) celebrity exempt list. You know the list, like from "Friends". Constance Zimmer is Colleen(but Pamela Adlon filmed the pilot), Judd's super cool wife. Plus the two of them have a bunch a awesome tattoos since Judd owns a tattoo shop.
All in all, very cute. I like the characters a lot. They're endearing and relatable. The opening credits were short, but cool. They had a great music supervisor for the pilot. I heard at least 4 great songs in the first third of the hour PLUUUUSSS...any show that references "Battlestar Galactica" is on it's way to winning my heart. This was a strong pilot. I can' really understand how this was the show that bumped when there was so much crap on this past season. Really NBC? You chose "Harry's Law" over a fun, quirky and actually entertaining series for a 10pm timeslot? Sometimes, I just don't get it. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun summer series about the trials of love and dating, check it out.
Thursdays at 10pm on NBC
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Gosselaar is Peter Bash, a young attorney that literally screwed himself out a great job when he slept with the boss' daughter. Despite his undeniable charisma and ability to charm a judge and jury, Bash was forced to practice law elsewhere....elsewhere being the house he shares with his best mate. Meyer is Jared Franklin, son of a successful attorney that rather take up for the little guy than be a puppet for the man. In addition to being upstanding (insert sarcasm font here) attorneys at law, Franklin & Bash really know how to throw a party.
In the pilot episode the pair meet Stanton Indorf played by Malcolm McDowell. I found it funny that there is a poster of "A Clockwork Orange" in the man cave. Anyway....Indorf brings on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to pump some life into his stuffy firm.
I like the rooting for the little guy element balanced with the dirty tricks that are played to win a case. When I say dirty, I mean wrong, but amusing and reeeaaally ballsy. Come on, they're ambulance chasers and proud of it. At their new firm, Franklin and Bash will be going head to head with the boss' nephew on a weekly basis. Apparently Reed Diamond does his best work playing lawyer and cop douche bags. Still glad to see him. Oh, I almost forgot. Jared and Peter couldn't move into these new cushy jobs without their paralegal and researcher who just happen to be an ex-con and an agoraphobe. LOVE Pindar. He could be my favorite character. Plus we share the same fear of birds. Dude knows what he's talking about. Click on the TV and hear Pindar's words of wisdom.
The pacing is good. The jokes are funny. The characters are surprising and likeable...even when you think "are you fricken' kidding me?" Definitely a good summer show. Plus they had those hilarious commercials. If you're looking for something to watch on Wednesday nights, check it out!
Wednesdays at 9pm on TNT