Tag Archives: HBO

Big Sunday September 30 – Set The DVR – Premieres

30 Sep

Oh my, there are 6 shows premiering tonight.  I can’t decide which one I am the most excited about I guess Homeland and Revenge are tied for first, then The Good Wife (Kalinda’s husband!!!), Dexter and Once Upon a Time. Curiosity has me checking out 666 Park Avenue, that and Terry O’Quinn.

 Boardwalk Empire continues its third season tonight on HBO, do you like Bobby Canavale’s performance, so far I think it is too one dimensional psycho gangster. He needs some depth and a backstory. 

Thank goodness I get the east cost feeds for Showtime and HBO, I get to see Dexter at 6pm instead of 9pm and Homeland at 7pm instead of 10pm.

The Mentalist season premiere is tonight at 10pm on CBS and Fox’s Sunday night line up returns starting at 9pm.

Homeland

Episode: The Smile
A former asset threatens Carrie’s peace; Brody learns Nazir may not be happy with a nonviolent approach; Dana lets a secret slip

Revenge

Episode: Destiny
With the ante even higher after last summer’s events in the Hamptons, Emily must plan her next move.

The Good Wife

A state trooper targets Zach, putting Alicia on the offensive; Kalinda decides to face her problems; Diane and Will explore the firm’s financial issues.

Dexter

Episode: Are You …?
Deb tries to cover up involvement in Travis’ murder; Detective Mike Anderson has an unfortunate run-in; Quinn and Batista make amends; LaGuerta rethinks the Bay Harbor Butcher

Once Upon a Time

Episode: Broken
As fairytale characters awaken from Queen Regina’s curse, they are not transported back to their home; Prince Phillip and his traveling companion realize they will be facing a deadly foe.

666 Park Avenue

Episode: Pilot
Jane and Henry are offered a chance to manage a premier apartment building in New York; while the couple is seduced by the intoxicating lifestyle of the Upper East Side, supernatural forces in the building make Henry and Jane question their decision.

Boardwalk Empire

Episode: Bone for Tuna
Nucky reluctantly joins Margaret to receive a high honor from the church; Gyp makes a one-time deal with Nucky; Van Alden regrets trying to socialize; Margaret pitches her women’s clinic; Lucky and Meyer protect their investments.

The Mentalist

As Jane tries to determine Lorelei’s (Emmanuelle Chriqui) connection to Red John, the team and the FBI collaborate on an investigation into the murder of a hotel employee.
 

 

 
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Friday September 21st What You Should Watch

21 Sep

As the Presidential Race heads into the homestretch check out Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO every Friday 10pmEST/7pmPST

Also on cable the Kelsey Grammer drama Boss on Starz 9pmEST/6pmPST

ABC is all new tonight with Shark Tank, What Would You Do and 20/20.

 

Boss

Episode: Backflash
Tensions at the housing project escalate from unrest to rioting; Kane’s past haunts him when he quietly seeks treatment at an alternative clinic.
 

Shark Tank

The sharks question the morality of a potential investment; two business partners have professional surfer Lakey Peterson demonstrate how their exercise equipment works; a man presents a personal style system.
 
 

Boardwalk Empire – Under The Boardwalk

16 Sep

The third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire opens on New Year’s Eve 1923, the roaring 20’s are in full swing and prohibition is a gangster’s best friend. It’s hard to believe that the stock market crash is a mere 6 years away.  Nucky’s new adversary is Gyp Rosetti played by the wonderful Bobby Cannavale, if the premiere is a promise of things to come we are in for one heck of a season. Just like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, don’t tell Gyp he makes you laugh, or offer to help him change a tire.

It is also clear, if it wasn’t when Nicky killed Jimmy at the end of last season in the first ten minutes of this season when he confronts Nate the thief, that Nucky is in full on gangster mode, no ambiguity, no questions.  

Margaret continues to assert her independence, even as she plays dutiful wife to the man she continues to grow apart from and despises.  At the end of last season she signed over his highway windfall to the catholic church. This season she is using his money to fund a project at St. Theresa’s Hospital, that will educate women about pre-natal care. Margaret started down an interesting road last year, I hope her character continues to grow and develop in this direction.

There are several references made to Carrie Duncan, who is attempting to fly solo across the country.  Obviously the men think she should stay home and serve her husband. Given that women are currently under attack in this in country by narrow minded men its no coincidence we have this bit of  business. Women only got the right to vote in 1920, that’s less than a 100 years ago ladies.

Al Capone and the Chicago crew have their hands full with territory issues and solve their problems the good old fashion way.

Nucky and Margaret throw an elaborate Egyptian themed New Year’s Eve Party, where we are introduced to Nucky’s new girlfriend Billie.  I want to be invited to Nucky’s next party he gives the best gifts, diamond jewelery for all his guests.  The big news, Nucky is only selling to Rothstein, if anyone wants to buy they need to go to Rothstein. Gyp is not happy with this change, he calls Nucky a bread stick in a suit. Which is actually pretty funny, if he wasn’t so scary.

The greatest changes come in the form of Eli and Van Alden, both men shells of their former selves. Much credit is due to the actors who portray these characters, Shea Whigham and Michael Shannon. Both have fallen so far over the last two seasons, and their despair is made more real by their portrayer.  In a scene out of the Godfather, when Michael makes an innocent pretend to be a made guy, Van Alden walks into a flower shop where Capone is about to whack O’Banyon. O’Banyon makes Capone think Van Alden’s sample case is a weapon. It works and Capone is scared off, O’Banyon offers Van Alden a job. Van Alden loses the sales contest, so we all know he is going to the gangster for work. Way to bring him back in the action and the character full circle.

Gillian, Jimmy’s mother portrayed by Gretchen Mol, gives me the creeps, even before we found out she molested her son, she made my skin crawl.  Having her raise Jimmy and Angela’s son fills me with fear for that child, I can only hope that with Richard around he becomes the childs protector and perhaps he has to kill Gillian before the season is out to protect the child. Gillian has started a business, a brothel, what else would we expect.

Richard, sure he has killed 60 men, but somehow that doesn’t seem to bother me, he has become my favorite character on the show. Certainly the most sympathetic and likeable, I just want to hug him and make him feel better.  Richard is looking out for Jimmy’s son, keeping the memories of his parents alive, much to Gillian’s chagrin. Richard kills Manny Horvitz and his driver as revenge for killing Angela last season.

And of course my favorite gangster of them all Arnold Rothstein, played by the brilliant Michael Stuhlbarg. If you don’t belive me all you need to to is compare his work in Boardwalk with his work in Men In Black 3, unless you knew his name you would have no idea this was the same man.

This show has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the talent, there isn’t a weak link in this chain.

This promises to be a great season, even darker than the last two, and I couldn’t be more excited that Nucky and the crew are back.

Friday Night Fights – What to Watch

7 Sep

Fight Cancer

September 7, 2012 Show

The 2012 Stand Up To Cancer Show

Building on two historic fundraising telecasts in 2008 and 2010, Stand Up To Cancer will return to primetime television on Friday, September 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET & PT). Executive producers Gwyneth Paltrow and Joel Gallen will join Stand Up To Cancer’s production team to deliver a one-of-a-kind show featuring performances from top recording artists, and celebrities from film, television and sports engaging viewers with powerful stories and a moving call-to-action.

This star-studded appeal will continue to build public support for groundbreaking translational research accelerating the delivery of new therapies to patients, getting them from the “bench to the bedside” as quickly as possible. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across various institutions to collaborate.

ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising special on Friday, Sept. 7, to be broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. BIO, E!, ENCORE, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN (Lifetime Movie Network), Logo, MLB Network, mun2, Palladia, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STYLE, TBS and VH1 have also committed to carry the Stand Up To Cancer telecast, with other cablers expected to, as well. The program will include a celebrity phone/multi-media bank that will allow viewers to interact with participating talent. Viewers will also be able to donate via text-to-give and at standup2cancer.org. One hundred percent of all public donations will go directly to cancer research.

The first two SU2C telecasts took place on September 5, 2008 and September 10, 2010, and have been viewed in more than 190 countries. To date, more than $180 million has been pledged for SU2C’s innovative cancer research. Since 2008, SU2C has made grants to seven multi-disciplinary “Dream Teams” of researchers as well as to 26 young innovative scientists who are undertaking high-risk, potentially high-reward projects to end the reign of cancer as a leading cause of death in the world today. Sixty-eight institutions are currently involved.

The Newsroom – Won’t Get Fooled Again

27 Aug

The Newsroom aired it’s season finale last night on HBO, entitled, “The Greater Fool”, which also happens to be the title of the cover story Brian (Mac’s Ex) did on Will and News Night 2.0. The article was a scathing attack, it has been out for weeks and Will is taking it very hard. So hard in fact that he is mixing Effexor, Bourbon and naproxen, causing him to vomit blood and lands him the hospital.

The finale was a mixed bag, between mad cap silly MacKenzie freak outs, Maggie’s sidewalk rant at the Sex and The City Tour bus, and how neatly the hacking scandal was wrapped up, and Leona’s about face. I think the show was done shooting before it even aired and before they knew it was going to be renewed. That could explain why nothing was really left hanging, it even looked like Will and Mac were getting back together.

I still love the show, but I had a lot of issues with the finale. It was too staged, too obvious, the montage set to The Who‘s “Baba O’Reilly” was supposed to be one of those moments when the hero and the troops rally and we rally with them, the music pumping, the in your face we will rise again, came across as insincere and didn’t get me going at all. Because I never felt our Newsroom folk were really that down and out.  Haven’t thy been rallying like this all season, didn’t we just see a scene like this last week when Will decided to drop Casey Anthony and go back to the old format proving Brian wrong.

Let’s discuss what didn’t work, the way MacKenzie and Sloan are written and portrayed. MacKenzie has become more and more shrill as the weeks have progressed.  She is completely unprofessional, and her emotional outbursts are an insult to women, who manage to get through their workdays without screaming at the top of their lungs and pouting or making moon eyes at their ex while they beg to know what the voicemail they never got said. Sloan is supposed to be this highly intelligent woman, but Sorkin manages to diminish her by making her socially inept and overly concerned with the size of her ass.  Cliche

 Its been a while since I watched the West Wing, but I don’t recall CJ, or Donna being written this one dimensional or insulting. I know Sorkin has it in him to write better female characters, so let’s hope he pulls it together for next season or just like the Republican party woman will be turning off Newsroom in droves. 

I knew that Jim and Maggie couldn’t end up together,(well not this season anyway) but to have her move in with Don! Really!  Maggie would be far more interesting, if she had said no to both and worked on some character development before she took on her next relationship. Lisa had just pointed out to Maggie that she and Don are no any further along in their relationship than they were a year ago. And all Don has to do it light some candles, spread some rose petals and all of sudden this grand gesture makes up for what a jerk he is. Oh Maggie, and Aaron Sorkin, this isn’t a 1990’s rom-com, is Katherine Heigl joining the case next season.

What did work, the 3 big moments that needed to, thereby redeeming the finale.

The confrontation scene with Leona and Reese, the fake out with the envelope, Sam Waterston really makes every scene he is in, I hope he is nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for his work on this show, he elevates all those around him. The opening banter between Will and Leona was tight, great barbs.  The fake out with the beef stew recipe, while not new, was effective and the perfect middle finger to Reese.

Will finally finds out it wasn’t a hallucination, it was Mac at Northwestern holding up those signs, the signs that prompted his speech. A speech I happen to agree with, and an America I long to have back.

The Greater Fool, is an economic term, they rely on him to buy long and sell short, self delusion and ego propel him, his belief that he can  succeed where others have failed. We need The Greater Fool.  Anytime someone is called a “fool” on TV I am always reminded of Shakespeare’s use of the Fool character, he always turned out to be the smartest character in the play. King Lear anyone.

The final moment, the pay off if you will.  The girl who asked Will the question at Northwestern that started it all is applying for an internship. It takes Will several hours to realize who she is and when he confronts her, she says she has been watching the show and she wants to be The Greater Fool. Congratulations Don Quixote, your mission was not in vain.

We all have the potential to change, to hear the message and change.

What will next season bring, who knows, I hope they keep the good and tone down the personal lives hysterics.

Stop Making me cry Aaron Sorkin or Why The Hell Aren’t You Watching The Newsroom

6 Aug

I spent the weekend watching Aaron Sorkin’s new show on HBO, The Newsroom. I have been watching every week, but something made me sit and watch all 6 episodes back to back twice, once on Saturday and again on Sunday. I capped off my weekend with last night’s new episode, the superb “5/1”.

I am going to admit right up front I am a huge Sorkin fan, from West Wing to Moneyball, he is an immensely talented writer, and I don’t care if he preaches to me, or educates me.  The beauty of The West Wing all those years ago was it taught us, it made us think about the world we lived in, the society in which we all take part.

Just like West Wing, The Newsroom is both educational and entertaining, it is made up of characters that are fleshed out, characters that are deeply flawed and endearing. Sorkin has assembled an outstanding cast lead by Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterston.

Three of the seven episodes that have aired so far have left me in a puddle of tears at the end. The first, “I’ll Fix You” dealt with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, next “Amen” and finally last night’s “5/1”. 

“5/1” was the best Newsroom so far, set against the backdrop of the night we killed Osama Bin Laden, the episode furthered the Jim/Maggie relationship, introduced a really interesting plot point about TMI and provided a cautionary tale about mixing Vicodin and weed. 

The episode opens at a party in Will’s apartment, the Newsroom gang has gathered to celebrate Newsnight’s 1 year and 1 week anniversary.  Charlie (Sam Waterston) gets a call from an anonymous source telling him he will get a call from the White House Press Secretary later in the evening.  The purpose of this call is to establish the anonymous source’s credibility, the source has a much bigger story to tell Charlie and he needs to make sure Charlie will believe him.   As the audience we all know that the party will be over soon, everyone will hae to head into the office to get ready for the President’s address. Until then we get enjoy some interesting scenes of the team interacting in a social setting.

We are treated to Jeff Daniels and Jim Gallagher showing off their musical talents (both accomplished singer/musicians) on a duet of “Sunshine (Go Away Today)”.   Next up, Maggie over hears Lisa telling Jim she loves him, which prompts Maggie to tell Jim if he doesn’t love her he should break it off.  I wonder how long it will take for Jim and Maggie to get together? Will there be the big kiss in the finale, we all know the big Don/Maggie break up is coming, or is Don going to propose in a last ditch effort to keep her.  Is a Don/Sloane pairing on the horizon?

Speaking of Don and Sloane, they spend the entire episode, along with Elliot trapped on the tarmac at La Guardia airport. As usual Don is freaking and pisses off the flight attendant, even though it is a bit contrived and his “bad passenger” behavior is actually a set up for the big reveal at the end it works.  Because it’s Don and being bugged eyed and freaking is what he does best.

Another bit of business that I found rather humorous was Will being high. It raised an interesting question, I wonder how many times that has happened in real life. I can’t imagine every anchor is sober 24 hrs a day, isn’t it possible one of more had a few too many an then went on the air because there was no way they were going to miss out on a huge story. 

What I liked most about the episode was Sorkin found a way to weave in representatives from the groups hit the hardest on 9/11. The airlines, NYPD and Fire, and the workers from the twin towers. When each found out that Bin Laden was killed it brought home the reason why we should have never given up the hunt for Bin Laden under Bush.  The people who died, the thousands who were affected, those people deserved the justice his death brought. Sorry, but I just couldn’t turn the other cheek on this one.

The moment when Don told the pilot on his flight, a United flight, was when I started crying and didn’t stop until the credits. That moment took me back to 9/11 and the week of endless news, culminating in the service at the National Cathedral in Washington on Friday. I remember a country united, and now a decade later we are country as divided as we were during the civil war. What happened to us?

That is what Newsroom asks, in its pilot Will says “we aren’t the greatest country, but we can be again”.

How do we get back there?

Sunday 6/9 What You Should Watch

10 Jun

Say good-bye to Mad Men, welcome back True Blood.

Mad Men wraps up season 5 tonight, while I find it hard to belive that they can top the last two episodes, I wouldn’t put it past Matt Weiner to have something up his sleeve.  How you top, prostitution, suicide and Peggy’s departure is anyone’s guess.

The Tony Awards hosted Neil Patrick Harris air at 8 on CBS.

The Killing airs its second to last episode, we are only two episodes away from finally learning who killed Rosie Larsen. I wonder if AMC will renew this show and if Joel Kinnaman will return.

Highly recommend Gilrs on HBO

The Killing

Sarah and Holder have the killer within reach; the Richmond campaign prepares for Election Day; the Larsens attempt a return to normalcy

Mad Men

Episode: The Phantom
There are opportunities for everyone; Pete meets a stranger on a train

The 66th Annual Tony Awards

At the Beacon Theatre in New York, the annual ceremony honors excellence on Broadway; Neil Patrick Harris hosts.
 

True Blood

Sookie and Lafayette clean up a mess; Bill and Eric receive a visit from the Vampire Authority; Alcide’s werewolf pack goes after Sam; Jessica enjoys her freedom; Jason is visited by Steve Newlin; Alcide warns Sookie.

Girls

Hannah starts work at Grumpy Café; Marnie finds it difficult to support Hannah; Jessa is confronted by her former boss; Shoshanna goes on a date.

TV Tid Bits – Ratings – Once and Hot Guys

22 Oct

The Love Boat

Image via Wikipedia

I havent’ watched broadcast TV on Saturday nights since ABC cancelled the greatest Saturday night line up, The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.  Who knew Lauren Tewes was a cokehead, Gopher would grow up to be senator and Ricardo Montalban was the orignal world’s most interesting man.  Khan!!!!!!!

I watch cable, HBO, Cinemax and Starz always première a new movie on Saturday, odds are I have already seen it, but I still check it out.

A little TV news

Friday night ratings.

  • Ratings are defined as the estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.  
  • Share (of Audience) is defined as the percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

For example, last night’s Blue Bloods had a 1.7% rating with a 5% share, for the adults 18-49 demo. That means 1.7% of TVs were tuned to Blue Bloods, 5% is the number of people (not homes) were watching.  Even though they had 10 million viewers,  ABC’s 20/20 still won the time slot because they had a 2.1 ratings and a share of 6, but only 7.6 million viewers. 

The key demographic, is adults 18-49, this is the demo that advertisers like the most because that demo is more likely to be swayed by advertisers and spend money. If you want to attract top advertisers and get them to buy ad time, you want your show to score with that group.

When you look at how one of your favorite shows is doing, and you are trying to determine if it will be cancelled keep the Adults 18-49 demo number in the forefront of your mind.  TV By The Numbers has the full breakdown for last night.  

Tib bits courtesy or TVLine

First up your guide to Once Upon a Time, I give this shows a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the first season. We will definitely be discussing this on on Monday. 

Your guide to Once Upon a Time

Next Pan Am, this show is growing on me, it’s still on the DVR and I catch up when I can. Happy to hear Goran Visnjic is going to be gracing my TV screen again. Yummy!!!

Scoop on Goran Visnjic’s Pan Am stint

Army Wives Casting Scoop

Have a good night.

Sunday – What to Watch

16 Oct

This is what I am watching tonight, how about you? Episode descriptions complements of www.zap2it.com

The Good Wife – CBS – 9pm EST (could be delayed because of football)

Alicia takes on a pro bono case where a witness becomes the prime
suspect; Diane and Will ponder the future of the firm.

Boardwalk EmpireHBO 9pm EST –

Nucky considers a risky legal maneuver; Jimmy and Mickey head to
Philadelphia; Eli worries about the Commodore’s ability to lead; Chalky is
cornered at work and at home; Van Alden’s agents target Mickey’s warehouse;
Richard lets down his guard.

Dexter – Showtime – 9pm EST –

A serial killer from Dexter’s past returns and Debra is
uncomfortable in her new job.

Homeland – Showtime – 10pm EST –

The Brody family prepares for a television interview; Carrie’s
team closes in on an Al Qaeda plot.

Honorable Mention

The Amazing Race, Pan Am and The Walking Dead

What are you watching and why, if you make a strong case for your show perhaps I will make room on the DVR.

 

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