You never know who you're going to bump into on the red carpet, and this week my colleague Gregory Ellwood got a chance to interview Tom Bergeron at the D23 Expo. Though the host with the most was there to promote "Disney Legends," Greg asked him about "Dancing with the Stars" and the new, shorter format. While ABC had aired a separate results show in previous seasons, going forward the celebrity dance competition will combine performance with results.
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LOS ANGELES—My ears are still ringing. Last night, one of my closest friends, her two teenage daughters and I attended the Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater here. The show is an extremely fast-paced two-hour event that salutes teens’ favorite TV actors and shows, movie stars and films, musicians and athletes.
[More after the jump...]
I’d forgotten that teenage girls will scream at and for anything, so throughout the night, several thousand girls would raise the decibels to beyond earsplitting any time one of the following happened: 1) ANYONE associated with “Pretty Little Liars” took the stage 2) ANYTIME there was a Miley Cyrus mention or sighting 3) WHENEVER One Direction performed, accepted an award, was nominated for an award or was spotted in the audience 4) EVERY TIME a celebrity, no matter how minor--and we’re talking even “Dance Moms” level C-List, not even “Duck Dynasty" — walked through the audience and 5) They just felt like screaming, which is, pretty much, all the time.
After the show, Olivia (15), Jacqueline (13) and I (no longer a teenage) graded each of the performances and a few of the other show highlights.
One Direction: “Best Song Ever”:
Just in case you're having a bad day -- maybe you've been stuck in traffic, or you're feeling less than attractive -- you may want to watch this clip. There is, in fact, someone who's had a much worse day than what you're having; the guy with the 132 pound scrotum.
Dean Norris describes shooting the "Breaking Bad" premiere's final scene
"The last scene was really interesting," says Dean Norris of that final scene. The first take of the script was written to be violent and hard, he says. "Bryan and I thought it turned out okay," he adds, "but we weren't entirely satisfied. It was weird that this happened, because usually on Breaking Bad scripts you show up and it's written in such a way that you kind of flow right into it. But we felt uncomfortable; it seemed like too much." PLUS: Vince Gilligan explains the season premiere, what a powerful ending, why "Breaking Bad" had no choice with that ending, Is "Hero Hank" a red herring?, "Breaking Bad" smashes straight through audience anticipation, "Breaking Bad's" theme played with meth lab equipment, how was "Talking Bad"?, the case against "Breaking Bad," why Skyler White is the best "Bad" character, who is Kevin Cordasco?, Badger's "Star Trek" story gets animated, and Bryan Cranston on directing the season premiere.
Jimmy Fallon reveals an exact replica of his "Late Night" set, across the hall
Fallon is moving into the replica studio -- which once housed Letterman and Conan's "Late Night" shows -- so that his current studio can undergo a "Tonight Show" renovation.
Lea Michele pays a touching Teen Choice Awards tribute to Cory Monteith
Watch her get emotional at last night's ceremony.
This is John Oliver's final week guest-hosting "The Daily Show"
Jon Stewart returns on Sept. 4. PLUS: Oliver turns up in the wrong studio for Jimmy Fallon.
Jimmy Fallon transforms into Walter White
"Late Night" will unveil its "Breaking Bad" parody in September.
Amy Poehler & Aubrey Plaza pretend to make out
Check out their demonstration for the paparazzi.
"The Following" adds Connie Nielsen
The "SVU" vet will play a love interest for Kevin Bacon.
A review of last night's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I scroll past "This Week in Nip Slips"...
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Show:"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (FOX)
Airs:Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.
The Pitch: I don't need to make up a sarcastic pitch for this one. You take two writers from "Parks and Recreation," add the directors of 21 Jump Street" (the movie) and throw in a cast led by Andy Samberg and the pitch is pretty straight-forward.
Quick Response: With that pitch and that pedigree comes certain expectations and if you come into the "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" pilot expecting a fully baked, perfectly balanced comedic concoction, you may find yourself a bit disappointed. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is one of this fall's better comedy pilots, but it also fits into the "I liked spending 22 minutes in this world and I think I like the characters, but I didn't really laugh" category, which has a handful of entries. Everything in the pilot is nicely understated, starting with Andy Samberg, who I always find appealing disarming when he dispenses with the archness that infects (for better and for worse) so many of his "Saturday Night Live" personae. Instead of gunning for laughs, Samberg just establishes nice chemistry with Melissa Fumero and also with Andre Braugher, who has immediate fun tweaking the "Terse minority authority figure" convention. Also welcomingly near-natural are Joe LoTruglio and Chelsea Peretti, who could have played their roles as "wacky sidekicks," but don't. After being frustratingly wasted on "Arrested Development," Terry Crews is back in form as well and he winkingly slots "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" into the Vocational Irony Narrative genre with my favorite line from the pilot. What "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" instantly succeeds with is establishing the rhythms and rapport of the precinct room, swiftly introducing characters who could believably occupy the same space and showing the early connections between them. That's one of Dan Goor and Michael Schur's great achievements on "Parks and Rec" and the pieces are in place for more of the same here. [The undiscussed cast diversity is also a minor miracle -- This looks vaguely like I'd imagine a Brooklyn station would look, albeit with slightly prettier, funnier people.] I wish the pilot had a bit more comedic energy. The pilot uses a murder as the case-of-the-week and I sense that the show wants its procedural aspects to have at least some zip, but instead there's a lag every time anybody does any police work. That the couple action-for-laughs scenes fall a bit flat is also a letdown if you happen to have been a fan of "21 Jump Street," which really nailed the mix of adrenaline and laughs. For the show to work, the writers will need to hone the consistency of its comedic flow. There's value to the wacky cameos (FOX is promoting Fred Armisen's five seconds heavily), the goofy flashback cutaways, to the reference humor and to the near-parody elements and I have little doubt that the show can successfully integrate all of them in the future, but for a pilot it all left the comedic voice a little thinned.
Desire To Watch Again: The pieces are all here and they just need to gel a tiny bit more for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" to become a winner. FOX is doing "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" no favors in pairing it with the toxic "Dads" as a lead-in. As likable male-driven comedies go, "Enlisted" would have been much more compatible and it wouldn't surprise me to eventually seem these two together. Then again, it also wouldn't surprise me to see "Raising Hope" migrate back to 8 p.m. if "Dads" fails fast and hard and while that wouldn't help the demographic flow FOX is pretending it's going for, it would at least have one funny show leading into another potentially funny show leading into the "New Girl"/"Mindy" hour.
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show'
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
This week's episode of "True Blood" was equal parts poignant and gory, not always successfully so. Though storylines need to be wrapped up as we go roaring into the season finale next week, the juxtaposition of a fond farewell to Terry Bellefleur and the brutal conclusion of Bill and Eric's efforts to save their vampire kin from human captors was sometimes moving but often jarring. Yeah, I get it -- the horrors that made Terry want to die are probably similar to the horrors we're seeing in the human-vampire battle. Fine. I just think it's hard to switch focus after you've shown someone getting their genitals ripped off.
If I could snap my fingers and magically see any movie that already exists right now, there is no question in my mind what film I'd watch. I have been fascinated by the stories about the Jerry Lewis film "The Day The Clown Cried" since the very first time I heard about it.
And why wouldn't I be? The premise is fairly audacious, and the idea that Lewis finished it, looked at it, and immediately ordered it to be buried forever only makes it that much more enticing. I am just as interested in art that fails as I am in art that succeeds, because I think those failures can be incredibly revealing about the artists and the decisions they were making. Jerry Lewis is someone I have grown up watching, and my feelings about him have changed repeatedly over the years. There were times I liked him, times I hated him, times I have considered him both overrated or unjustly overlooked, and when you look at his career as a whole, there's almost no way to dismiss that he is a major part of Hollywood's comedy and filmmaking history.
My own kids have been introduced to his work. The first film I showed them of his was "The Bellboy," and they ended up watching it three times in a week, watching certain scenes repeatedly each time they screened the film. It's amazing to see how far ahead Lewis seemed to think at times, and how he also couldn't resist some of the cheapest gags possible. He appears to be at war with his own sense of taste at times, and that only makes it more interesting to watch his work.
I reviewed AMC's "Low Winter Sun" earlier in the week. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Were you wowed by Mark Strong and/or Lennie James, or did you find the whole thing to be quality drama paint-by-numbers? If you watched the original British series with Strong as Frank, how did this start compare? Did you like the use of Detroit locations? Did the presence of James Ransone evoke "The Wire" in a good way, or invite unfair comparisons? (And ditto for David Costabile and "Breaking Bad.") And will you watch again?
I'm fairly lukewarm on the show, but will keep sampling it for a bit. If my opinion changes dramatically one way or the other later in the season, I'll check back in with another review. In the meantime, have at it.
"Breaking Bad" is back for its final eight episodes, and I have a review of tonight's premiere coming up just as soon as Scotty beams the pies into space...
I never thought we'd reach this part of the competition and Gina Marie, Amanda AND Aaryn would still be in the race. But, go figure. Candice and Judd were sent packing on Thursday, and we're now left with a smattering of smart power players, bullies, floaters, idiots and racists (some contestants, of course, fall into multiple categories). Yay!
"I am Groot!"
If Vin Diesel's not-so-subtle hint today on Facebook is indeed accurate, then it looks like the "Fast and Furious" star could be providing the voice for one of the strangest Marvel characters to make the jump to the big screen so far.
I think it's pretty clear that I've been enthusiastic about James Gunn's film version of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," and I particularly dig the idea that they're playing the film as comedy as much as action or science-fiction. I've seen that Comic-Con footage twice now, and I am just fascinated by the entire production. Gunn is starting to look like an inspired choice for the project, and his casting seems to me to be dead on. I'm not sure Chris Pratt would have been at the top of any list for any Marvel movie for me, but now that I've seen him as Star Lord, I think it's a natural fit. Zoe Saldana is rocking the green, as is Dave Bautista, and I think I could watch a whole movie of John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz just discussing various alien prisoners.