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July 24, 2014

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DGA Nominations for the best in TV in 2009

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 12th 2010 1:41PM
mad_men_finale_amcThere's been so much action going on with the TCA and the midseason returns and what-not that we sort of missed the announcement for the DGA Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television nominations for 2009. It's quite an interesting bunch, as much for what and who's included and who and what were left out.

Since the DGA noms come from the directors themselves, these awards are indicative of what the professionals really think of their peers. Very illuminating, if you ask me. Check it out, category by category, and feel free to comment on my comments.

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The Middle, Cougar Town and Modern Family all get a second season - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 12th 2010 1:16PM
ABC logoSteve McPherson, ABC Entertainment president, just reported that all three of its remaining Wednesday comedies, Cougar Town, Modern Family, and The Middle, have all been picked up for a second season.

McPherson was very happy with the shows' performances and he decided to let everyone know about the renewal right at the top of his conference.

More later...

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Review: Modern Family - Up All Night

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 7th 2010 11:47AM
Benjamin Bratt, Modern Family: Up All Night(S01E11) You know, I thought Jay was far too clever to be wooed by Colombian charm -- and I'm not talking about Gloria. I think most of us wouldn't mind being charmed by her.

Benjamin Bratt turned in a solid, and charming, performance as Manny's father Javier. He absolutely nailed the elements of the douchebag father who tries to make up for broken promises and absence with gifts and fun, fun, fun. It works on the kids, while they're young, and apparently it works on adults as well.

But it was the kids that were the linchpin of this episode, in a way. They provided the opening narrative to the episode, including Luke trying to figure out what "talking black" means and Alex being told to grow up and act more like an adult; a statement brilliantly followed up with Phil acting absolutely ridiculous with Luke.

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How will Benjamin Bratt do on Modern Family?

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 4th 2010 10:05AM
modern_family_benjamin_brattLast night there was a fresh, new episode of Brothers & Sisters on ABC. I was so elated that I nearly jumped from my chair to see a non-rerun. Well, this week were sorta/kinda back from vacation as a bunch of shows will be airing new shows. For that, I say, "Hooray!"

One I'm really looking forward to seeing is Wednesday's Modern Family with Benjamin Bratt guesting as Manny's father. The reason for my anticipation is this: I haven't liked any of the guest turns on Modern Family thus far this year. I thought Shelley Long was over-the-top as Jay's ex-wife, the mother of Claire and Mitchell; Fred Willard was basically a cameo as Phil's dad; and in one episode, Elizabeth Banks and Ed Norton embarassed themselves as bizarre characters.

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Best and Worst TV of 2009: Jason's List

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 21st 2009 5:06PM
Daniel Wright2009 was a good year for television. It offered the resurgence of the comedy on network television, and the continuing growth of original programming on cable. In all honesty, I don't think I could just do a list of what was great and what was horrible on television because I would need pages and pages.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the things that really stood out this year. Sorry, Mad Men fans, but even though this was a great third season and an amazing finale, I expect it at this point. It's the only way I could come up with to keep my list manageable.

Also, as a point of protest I did not include Jon, Kate or the balloon boy hoax. These events got more attention than they deserved already this year, and I feel bad I even mentioned them.

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Best and Worst TV of 2009: Allison's list

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 20th 2009 9:24AM

glee_fox_cast
What a year! Once we got over the WGA strike, the networks kicked it into high gear and got busy making TV. Except for NBC. Even Jeff Zucker has admitted that NBCU has failed to respond to the need for new programming.

Fortunately, the other channels have been busy and there's been a lot of great television... and some that's just plain awful. But I'm a half-glass full kind of person and I have good feelings about 2009. However, since I don't want to repeat my list from last year, I'll just mention that I could put these 2008 best choices -- Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, NCIS, The Big Bang Theory and Mad Men -- on my list again. But I'm going to go for an all new list and, thankfully, I had plenty of 'bests' to choose from.

Best
1. Glee. If there was ever a show that was made just for my personal taste, this is probably it. I love the singing and dancing. I get the characters. It even tickles me that I had just as much angst with bullies in high school as these kids. Every episode hasn't been perfect, but it's perfectly fine that they keep striving.

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Top TV Stories of 2009: The return of the sitcom

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 18th 2009 2:09PM
Community
I'm always amazed at how people haven't learned from TV history. Back in the early eighties, everyone and his mother was saying that comedy was dead, mainly because of then-cutting-edge dramas like Hill Street Blues were dominating the air, while the best in comedy that the networks could come up was crap like Pink Lady and Jeff. Then The Cosby Show, Cheers, Family Ties, and Night Court came around, and all of a sudden comedy was back.

So it's not a big surprise that comedy is making a big comeback a quarter-century later. Times are tough, and people want to laugh. It also helps that on a few networks (NBC, of course), low ratings and little inventory have given shows like The Office and 30 Rock a chance to find and grow an audience. The seeds sewn by those shows have grown in a major way, as three of the four networks now have successful comedy lineups.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Six shows you should be watchin'

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 18th 2009 10:02AM
Modern FamilyOn the sixth day of Festivus, TV gave to me ... six shows you should be watching.

Every fall TV season brings out a new crop of fresh shows and despite the fact that some of them are ridiculously good, they slip through the cracks and not many people watch them. Not all of these are new and not all of them are suffering in the ratings, but some could still use your eyeballs. So take this list as a gentle nudge to start tuning in if you haven't already, because all six of these shows really are appointment television right now.

Modern Family (ABC; Wednesdays 8:30) -- Easily the best new comedy of the Fall '09 season, Modern Family has very quickly risen up most critics' lists and even nabbed a Golden Globe nomination earlier this week. The show features a spectacular ensemble cast that tackles just about any family related issue from dating to divorce by putting one of the most unique spins on the genre in recent memory. With the show on hiatus until January, now would be a great time to catch up on the first half of the season and if you don't, Fizbo the ass kicking clown, will, you know, kick your ass.

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Screen Actors Guild award nominations for TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 17th 2009 11:33AM
sag_statuetteEvery day it seems that we have nominations to announce. Yes, we are in award season and today it's the Screen Actors Guild's turn. On Saturday, January 23, 2010, at 8 p.m. on TNT and TBS, the winners of the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air live from Los Angeles. Here's the nominees in the main categories and some thoughts on each:

Drama Ensemble: The Closer; Dexter; The Good Wife; Mad Men; True Blood

Interesting that CBS's The Good Wife made the cut, especially over Lost or House or Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy or Damages or Friday Night Lights. And I love The Closer, but the inclusion here is a surprise. I guess NCIS would be too big a surprise to get recognized.

Comedy Ensemble:
30 Rock; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Glee; Modern Family; The Office

Glee and Modern Family are freshmen, but clearly excellent ensemble comedies. And for Curb Your Enthusiasm, are they honoring the Seinfeld team all over again? Also, where's The Big Bang Theory?

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Seven shows a-thrivin'

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 17th 2009 11:03AM
john lithgowOn the seventh day of Festivus, TV gave to me... Seven shows a-thrivin'.

The 2009-2010 season is a great one to be on TV-- especially for returning dramas and new comedies. If we had 20 days of Christmas, I probably could have filled the list with shows that were either thriving right out of the gate or making a resurgence after being on the air for several years. As it is, we just have seven slots, so here are some noteworthy series that are thriving this year.

Dexter
I've always liked Dexter, but it's never been appointment TV for me. I've generally been content to wait until the season came out on DVD and knock all of the episodes out in a weekend. However, after a creative dip in season 3, I've found myself positively glued to my television every Sunday night that season 4 has aired. John Lithgow absolutely made the season as the creepy Arthur Mitchell. Plus the finale? I know some of you saw the big twist coming at the end, but I certainly did not. Who doesn't like to end a season with their jaw on the floor?

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All Joel wants for Festivus

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 16th 2009 11:25AM
Alison BrieIf anyone has followed our Festivus festivities for the last four years, you'll remember that every year I ask for certain gifts to appear under my aluminum pole, and it never happens. So if I were to air any grievances this year, that would be it.

But 2009's a new year, so I have a new list of gripes and wishes that I hope get fulfilled in 2010:
  • That I get the power to bend space and time. That's the only way I'll be able to watch and/or record the coming Monday slate: HIMYM, House, and Chuck will all be on at 8 PM. Maybe I need to wish for a couple of TiVo HD XLs to appear under my pole.
  • Speaking of Chuck, I hope they follow up last year's bang-up finale with a great third season. And I hope people watch.
  • That season two of Breaking Bad comes out on DVD soon so I can catch up in time for season three.
  • That more people discover that Conan's actually doing a good job on The Tonight Show.
  • That Comcast gives Jay Leno his own show... in daytime.
  • Southland does better ratings on TNT than they ever would have on NBC.
  • Continued laughs from rookie comedy sensations Modern Family and Community.
  • Alison Brie's phone number.

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2010 Writers Guild Award nominees announced

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 16th 2009 9:38AM
writers_guild_america_logoRound up the usual suspects. That would seem to be the appropriate line when you look at the nominees for the 2010 Writers Guild Awards. That doesn't mean that all these nominees are not worthy; they are some of the best 2009 television for sure. It's just that inevitably some shows are left out in favor of the tried old faves.

For instance, in the comedy category, can you really put Modern Family in and completely diss The Big Bang Theory? I can't. I'm not even happy about the annual goopfest for 30 Rock, a sitcom that I've grown tired of -- but that's just me. I'd prefer How I Met Your Mother to get some time, or United States of Tara or Nurse Jackie or The Middle. All four of those show have been superior to 30 Rock -- to me.

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Christmas memories from the week gone by in sitcomland

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 13th 2009 2:02PM
The Office: Secret SantaI know not much time has passed, but let's review the Christmas memories from some of TV's sitcom this past season because if you ask me, they were sort of all over the map. Someday maybe I'll hold one of these in my heart like the On a scale from one to ten, with ten being classic, there were none that will live on in the annals of TV history, but there were a couple worth writing about.

The Office
I found this entire episode a downer. The economy is in the toilet and we all know it. Heck, I don't know anyone who isn't worried about having a job in 2010. So we can feel for the fact that Dunder-Mifflin is hanging by a thread. But it's hardly hilarious fodder for a holiday half-hour.

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All Kona wants for Festivus

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 11th 2009 1:01PM
sue sylvesterI finally, and with great difficulty got the tree up, I've somehow gotten roped into holding a cookie exchange at my house this weekend, and I have glitter in places where glitter should not be. What's that smell? It smells like Festivus to me. While the main thing I want this year is to just lie very, very still in a dark room for a week or so, this is a TV blog, so let's talk about what TV could do to make me happy!

  • Stop with the long hiatuses already! I don't get to see a new episode of V until March, and I'm being forced into leading a Glee-less existence until April. Give it up already! If you have 3 months between new episodes, it's a new season, why not call it that? You know what I have been doing for the past 11 weeks? Watching the first 11 episodes of Dexter. This week, I will be watching episode 12, and then the season will be over. It's efficient and satisfying. The networks need to get on board.

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Review: Modern Family - Undeck the Halls

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 10th 2009 1:30AM
Modern Family: Undeck the Halls
(S01E10)
I think we all know the holiday season is about learning from our mistakes, and then trying to make amends, right?

Well, that's what it's about in the extended Pritchett family. It's the first Christmas for Jay and his new family, but he's a little surprised when Manny starts bringing some Colombian Christmas traditions into the family. Cameron and Mitchell take Lily for her first Christmas photo with Santa Claus, only to be disappointed when a shift change brings a less realistic Mr. Claus to the chair. Cam has his own mini-crisis, though, because of a troupe of carolers he has some history with.

The craziest of all of this is what went down at the Dunphy household. As a parent of a ten-year old, I know I've struggled with having to go through with whatever threat I make during a disciplinary lecture. It taught me to be careful of what I say, because I may not want to go through the hassle of taking all the toys out of his room and putting them in the garage.

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