Apparently the new Trek movie, Fringe, and whatever it is he does over at Lost these days, isn't enough to fill up J.J. Abrams' day. That's a good thing. He'll be too busy to notice that you are downloading the leaked Fringe pilot. Through Bad Robot, Abrams is set to produce a new project, turning an article from the New York Times into a feature film. J.J.'s overlords at Paramount have purchased the rights to a recent article titled "Mystery On Fifth Avenue."
That article, written by Penelope Green, tells the story of a luxury apartment on Fifth Avenue that has some unique architecture. After dropping $8.5 million on the place, the new owners brought in an architectural designer to liven the place up for the kids. The remodel included hidden compartments, puzzles, poems, and messages. There is even a book and a soundtrack that goes with it. How that translates into a movie remains to be seen, but Abrams has some help from a couple television veterans as he tries to figure that out. Maya Forbes (The Larry Sanders Show) and Wally Wolodarsky (The Simpsons) are on board to write the feature. I'm thinking Panic Room meets Jumanji, with time traveling aliens.
My first impression of this show is that it has a great cast. Al Madrigal is a very funny guy who has been kept off of TV for way too long. You may remember that Al was the star of the aborted sitcom The Ortegas a few seasons ago. I have always thought Chris Klein was funny but never got a chance to show it off and, of course, Jeffrey Tambor has now become a fixture in the comedy landscape due to his brilliant work on Larry Sanders & Arrested Development.
Madrigal plays the doorman of the building named Jesus, who insists that you pronounce his name like the well-known savior. Klein is Marty, a tenant of the building and best bud of the new tenant, Josh (Fran Kanz). Tambor plays Uncle Sol, the veteran of the building who used to write scripts for Three's Company. Ironic, in a way, since Tambor actually starred in the Three's Company spinoff, The Ropers.
"Extreme Makeover: Baghdad Edition": A new wall for the folks in Baghdad... and they don't seem to be too happy about it. The timing of "That wall is totally impenetrable -- oh, boy" made me laugh a little too hard. However, the Dennis Al-Menace joke caused me to feel a little foolish because there was a five second delay before I understood it.
Tambor and his wife Kasia welcomed daughter Eve to the world on December 10th. Jeffrey Tambor's most recent television outing - Twenty Good Years - with John Lithgow went south about as fast as you'd expect a network sitcom starring two AARP card holders to, but his genius card was handed out a long time ago with series like Larry Sanders and Arrested Development under his belt. Tambor and Kasia also have a two-year old son, and get this, his 31 year-old daughter has a son the same age. So, Tambor's children and grandchild are of the same generation. Chaplin-esque, isn't it?
This would explain why it was such an unprecedented joy for me to spend time reveling in the frivolity of my own TV desires this holiday season. I have been given a momentary, guilt-free license to indulge. And, I pass that license on to you. Feel free to offer up your own television wishes in the comments section. I couldn't recommend it to the recovering Catholic portion of our readership more.
The first show - Clatterford - is being compared to the Golden Girls with Lumley and Saunders playing women's club members in a small English town. Lumley is an eccentric stirring up trouble, and Saunders is the town busybody. Dawn French and Sue Johnston are also on board.
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