Malcolm in the Middle
White's de-evolution from a cancer-stricken high school chemistry teacher to a ruthless meth-dealer is rapidly accelerating, and Cranston spoke about what he's learned from playing such a morally ambiguous character. "It really isn't about glorifying drug use or drug making ... it's about a man's poor decision-making. What I've learned from this experience is that anyone, even the meekest person among us, could become a horrible, dangerous person," he told Matt Lauer.
One man, or rather two of him, have changed my perception on that phobia forever. Musician Fredrik Larsson has put together a beautiful rendition of TVs greatest tunes using nothing but a keyboard, an acoustic guitar and a DNA perfect clone of himself.
Trust me when I tell you this: the 'Charles in Charge' theme never sounded this, well, listenable.
Suffice it to say: The Hendricksons of 'Big Love' are more than a tweak or two away from being a healthy family.
And, thankfully for our quirky TV family-lovin' hearts, they're not alone. Sometimes the inner-family workings of TV kin lead to comedy, i.e. The Bluths of 'Arrested Development' and the Pritchett family on ABC's new hit 'Modern Family,' and sometimes it leads to dead wives in the bathtub or dead husbands in the shower, on dramas like 'Dexter' and 'Dallas.'
Since Lucille Ball, television has been a bastion of funny ladies, and the '00s were no exception. Like Lucy, many of the women on this list played second fiddle to no one. And those that weren't the stars of their own shows managed to steal the scene anyway the moment they got in front of the camera.
The '00s will probably go down in television history as one of those decades where the sitcom sputtered and almost died -- again! But it's alive and well now, with an amazing turn-around in 2009. But, as this list proves, it was never truly in danger. Throughout the decade these women provided plenty of laughs in both the hour and half-hour formats, proving that as long as we want to laugh, there will be brilliant actresses around to crack us up.
Here's our list of the top funny ladies of the decade:
I wasn't really prepared to like The Middle. I had no expectations, really, because aside from knowing that it was Patricia Heaton's latest sitcom, there had been very little scuttlebutt about it. So, when I tuned in, I expected the typical Patty Heaton I had seen for years on Everybody Loves Raymond or the upscale version I'd watched on Back to You.
Well, what a surprise when I saw her on The Middle. This is a Patty I had never seen before, and I not only liked her character, I admire her performance.
Maybe that's because TV dads never spend much time at work. (We're pretty sure everyone's fathers would sign up for that!) Step into the wonderful make-believe world where every day is Father's Day, and join us as we count down our 20 favorite TV dads.
Golden Girls star Bea Arthur died this morning in Los Angeles. She was 86. This is actually a bit of a shock. Not that 86 is young, but she always seemed healthy and spry, even in the last few years, doing her stage show and guest starring on various TV shows and endless specials.
All of these lists are starting to get more and more specific. This one is a list of the ten best sitcoms since 1980. Soon we'll have the 8 1/2 best hour long dramas that appeared between 1988 and 1994 on Sunday nights (that start with "J").
But lists always get us talking and this one has some great picks. Arrested Development fanatics will be glad to see their show on the list (I won't tell you where you'll have to click the link above), along with shows like Scrubs, Cheers, and Sports Night. But there is one show that is obviously missing. There might be more than one show that isn't on the list that should be, of course, but this show stood out to me immediately. Can you guess what it is? I'll name it after the jump but don't click ahead until you read the list and guess yourself.
Miss Guided is the story of Becky Freeley, who returns to the same high school she went to as a teenager as a guidance counselor, sorta, kinda like Welcome Back, Kotter. But Becky wasn't a sweat hog in her high school days -- she was an ugly duckling with braces and teenage anxieties. Now, as an adult, she hopes to be able to handle HS with more elan. Becky's hopes hit a speed bump when she meets the sexy mechanic-turned Spanish teacher, Tim (Kristoffer Polaha), whom she likes...a lot. Then, she learns that the new English teacher is Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns), her former nemesis back in school. And wouldn't you know it, Lisa likes Tim, too!
AMC already has one critically acclaimed and Golden Globe nominated drama under its belt with the brilliant Mad Men. A second new series, Breaking Bad, hopes to follow that success, beginning in January. Malcolm in the Middle's Bryan Cranston stars as a high school chemistry teacher who turns to a life of crime in order to support his family after he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. If it's half as good as Mad Men it'll be twice as good as most of what's on TV.
But not content to wait around to see how Breaking Bad does critically and commercially, Variety reports that AMC has no less than four more shows in various stages of development, including two westerns. Westerns haven't been able to find success on the broadcast networks in years. Now by "Western" I'm talking the John Wayne/Clint Eastwood brand of Westerns with gunfights and saloon whores, not the likes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which did find an audience but was a very different kind of show.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- Chris Sligh was so like-able until he got eliminated this week on American Idol.
- One is staying and one is going. But what's really the difference between Miss USA and Miss America?
- Frankie Muniz is desperate to be known for something other than "Malcolm in the Middle," but I'm not sure if a Mohawk makes me believe him as a race car driver.
And I found out that Bradley Whitford is a lot like Josh Lyman, except for ... well, I'll let him explain that.
- 8pm: The
West Wing series finale (NBC, preceded by a one hour retrospective)
- 8pm: The Simpsons
season finale (FOX)
- 8pm: Survivor season finale (CBS - two hours and then a one hour reunion show)
- Malcolm in the Middle series finale (FOX - not sure what time yet)
- 9pm: Law and Order: CI season finale (NBC)
What are you going to be watching?