Wednesday, May 23, 2012

’Big Bang Theory’ star Jim Parsons comes out as gay

’Big Bang Theory’ star Jim Parsons comes out as gay

First of all, good for Parsons for being comfortable enough with himself as a person and secure enough in his career in Hollywood that he doesn't feel he has to remain in the closet, professionally.

Second of all, why is this even considered news? It's not news when someone is heterosexual - why the need to clarify that someone is gay?

Jim Parsons is an excellent comedic actor. That is all that should matter.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The music we love on television shows we love

So the last few years I've been on a concert kick - my favorite shows are by musical artists who write and play their own stuff and who play some of the smaller, more intimate venues. I've been to Madison Square Garden once for a concert. I've seen most of my live performances at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park or the general admission venues of Webster Hall and Terminal 5.

But what does this have to do with television, you ask.

Everything, as it turns out. I don't listen to the radio. I don't watch Youtube or use Pandora or even really ever buy CDs. But I watch television. A lot of it. And ever since the likes of The O.C. and One Tree Hill, television shows have been using songs by talented, up-and-coming artists, probably because they come much cheaper than the big names and big songs, but also because, I think, they tend to be more lyrical, which might speak more to what's going on in episode. Many bands and artists nowadays can point to a television show as being their first big break.

It was only this year that I realized that most of the music I listen to, most of the artists and songs that I love, come from tv, that I heard it first on one of my shows. This year alone I realized that every concert I went to featured a song I first heard on The Vampire Diaries and/or Grey's Anatomy. Here are some of my favorite songs from some of my favorite artists that I first heard on some of my favorite television shows. Enjoy! And I'd love to hear from you - what songs or musicians did you fall in love with after hearing them on a television show?

"Never Say Never" by The Fray on The Vampire Diaries (saw them last month)

"Cosmic Love" by Florence and the Machine on Grey's Anatomy (saw her last week...and last year)

"How to Save a Life" by, again, The Fray on, again, Grey's Anatomy

 "Breathe In, Breathe Out" by Mat Kearney on Grey's Anatomy (saw him last year - twice - and twice before that...)

 "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane on Grey's Anatomy (saw them two years ago and two years before that...and going to see them again this summer!!)

"I Don't Wanna Be" by Gavin DeGraw on One Tree Hill (finally getting to see him in concert this summer!)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vampire Diaries Season Finale and Community congrats

I almost can't even talk about this episode yet - it was so emotionally, gutwrenchingly draining, which is standard fare for this show, but even more so. I think it was partly seeing Elena's life pre-Salvatore brothers and all things evil and vampire, a time when her parents were still alive. And it was partly that there was so much death - I haven't been this emotionally battered and bruised by a television show since the reign of Joss Whedon with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. It's exhausting. Anyway, stop reading now if you haven't seen the episode yet because there are spoilers ahead y'all:

Klaus was a "bad guy" but the initial impression that Alaric had killed him was still a shock. Alaric's storyline had, unfortunately I think, run it's course what with Isobel and Jenna both being gone and with Matt and Jeremy around to take over as human vampire hunters, should the need arise. But it was still awful to see him go. Elena "breaking up" with Damon was heartbreaking. Caroline thinking Tyler was dying was heartbreaking. Jeremy getting to say goodbye to Alaric via his ghost-seeing powers had me in tears. But the worst for me was the intertwined scenes of the Gilbert car crash off of Wickery Bridge into the river from the past with Matt and Elena's crash into the river in the present. I was literally bawling through that scene. My boyfriend kept looking at me like I was insane. I try to explain to him all the time that it's on a teen network and stars teens but this is not a kid's show.

I'm a huge TVD book series fan - I have been for 20 years. This show doesn't follow established TVD lore directly but it has always followed it loosely and close enough, so of course Elena had to die. That's what happens. Elena dies and she becomes a vampire. That's the way the story always went so of course that's the way the story has to go. But it was still shocking and heartbreaking to see.

Question for next season: In the books, once Elena became a vampire, much of the action shifted to her human friends. The problem is, the whole premise has been based on the dilemma of how a human and a vampire can love each other. If Elena is now a vampire, what becomes the central conflict? I trust the showrunners to be able to figure out something both compelling and realistic (as realistic as a show about vampires can get - though of course, the emotion behind the conflicts has always been realistic).

Show, don't disappoint me!!

And just a quick note - congrats to Community for getting renewed today. It's only a 13-episode order right now, but 13 episodes of Community is better than nothing. This show deserves to be nurtured, so thanks NBC for sticking with it. Now bring back Parks and Rec, too!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Courteney Cox’s ’Cougar Town’ saved, headed to TBS

Courteney Cox’s ’Cougar Town’ saved, headed to TBS

This is great news for the cul-de-sac crew...Cougar Town was lucky to get even three seasons on ABC - this show is too quirky for a large network. On TBS, it won't need ratings that are as high and maybe the smaller network will nurture the show a little more, be a little more patient. Though sometimes this show is just too zany, much like its predecessor Scrubs, it's also funny and heartfelt, much like its predecessor Scrubs - you can tell there is real affection amongst the characters, and Bobby and Andy's bromance totally fills the void left by no more Turk and J.D. - what with Gus and Shawn from Psych over on USA, looks like all the best bromances will be on the small networks now!

Sorry y'all got cancelled by ABC, but thank you TBS for taking this show under your wing!

Television god Joss Whedon rocks the heck out of Marvel's The Avengers

Ok, so it's not a tv show, but it's brought to you courtesy of Joss Whedon, television god and hero. I finally got to see Marvel's The Avengers last night and it was vintage Whedon - dry, deadpan, sarcastic wit; dizzying action sequences and fight scenes and lots of 'em; and of course, a kickass heroine who doesn't take crap from anyone, can hold her own with the boys, and doesn't muss her hair and make-up in the process. If there's one thing Whedon knows, it's how to write a strong female character any young girl would be proud to look up to, and yet still show her to have human emotions. Whedon does not do the damsel in distress, that's for sure.

I knew Whedon had directed the movie but I did not know until the credits that he had a big hand in the screenplay as well, though I could see Whedon all over the writing - anyone who has ever seen Mal and Jayne bicker on Firefly could tell there was something familiar about Captain America and Iron Man's repartee; and the Hulk's definitive interruption of Loki's "I am a god" rant was classic Buffy versus the First Evil showdown in the episode "Amends."

Needless to say, if you haven't seen this movie, go see it, now - it's not often you get to enjoy an awesome action movie that is also well written. And this one is definitely both. There's a reason I wrote my senior thesis on how shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer illustrate and elevate television as art. (And I'm not just saying that so Whedon will hire me one day...but really, Joss, call me - we'll do lunch!) :)

Marvel's The Avengers
Joss Whedon, television god and personal hero

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tina Fey, Jon Stewart take it to Zach Galifianakis as ’Between Two Ferns’ jumps to cable

If you haven't seen "Between Two Ferns" on Funny or Die, you are missing out on some of the biggest laughs you will ever experience. Zach Galifianakis does awkward deadpan so well that you want to cringe but you're shaking too hard from the laughter. I'm sure these eps were great. Can't wait to check 'em out....

Tina Fey, Jon Stewart take it to Zach Galifianakis as ’Between Two Ferns’ jumps to cable

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday's here: the best night of television

Grey's Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, Parks and Recreation, Community...these are just some of the shows that clutter up my DVR on a typical Thursday night. If you read this blog, you know I extol the virtues time and time again of TVD, one of the best written shows on tv on any night, not just Thursdays - and Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy has finally returned to the fold, yay! If you don't watch Parks and Rec or Community, start - both are on the bubble and may not return next season. P & R is as funny, earnest, and heartfelt as ever and I still want to move to Pawnee, Indiana, especially now that I know Paul Rudd as Bobby Newport, Leslie's dumb, spoiled but very sweet campaign appointment, also lives there. Community is sometimes a tad too wacky and quirky, but it's still funny and original and just so clever...and Grey's is still my guilty pleasure, although after suffering a serious slump a few seasons back, it's hit a creative resurgence, thanks in great part to some of the cast additions, namely Eric Dane, Chyler Leigh, and Jesse Williams. So, hopefully I'll get home from work in time to watch and erase all my built up shows from last night before I put my poor DVR to serious work again tonight - that poor piece of technology is probably so happy the television season is almost it aware that many of the cable networks now run summer seasons? Oh well - tv, tonight! Watch it!
Jesse Williams as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey's Anatomy.

steven r mcqueen 1 Steven R. Mcqueen
Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries.