Today is Australia Day, which means millions of Aussies around the world are celebrating the discovery of their homeland in 1788. At TV Squad, we're celebrating by watching clips of 'Summer Heights High' and thinking about our favorite Australian TV actors.
Believe it or not, many of our biggest small screen stars aren't actually Americans -- they just play ones on TV. Take, for example, Portia De Rossi, hilarious actress and successful memoir author (not to mention wife of Ellen DeGeneres). Betcha forgot she comes from the land Down Under. Same with Ryan Kwanten, shirtless 'True Blood' star and all-around charming guy. Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning 'United States of Tara' star Toni Collette? Yep, a true-blue Sydneysider.
Seven years is a darn good run for a TV show. In fact, if it had been a British series, it might have ended after 30 episodes – unless you're talking Coronation Street which is a freak of TV.
But here's the thing about Without A Trace, it's been a solid show with a strong set of characters who've had a chance to shine as much as possible within the confines of a procedural. Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone was terrific. The high point in many an episode for me was when Jack lost it and got in someone's face. His personal life was generally a mess, so LaPaglia had lots of chances to show the troubled side of his character.
If you haven't heard yet, last night's season finale of Without A Trace has ended up being the series finale. CBS decided to cancel the show. But did it feel like a series finale, or did it just feel like another episode because they didn't know it was ending when they filmed it? Would you have rather have seen this show renewed instead of Cold Case and Numb3rs?
The reason? The usual: ratings and money. The sources say that the ratings that each show gets just don't warrant a renewal for another season. But another source says that they might try to convince the stars and staff to take a pay cut so they can do another year.
I can't say I would miss either of these shows. For a while there, Cold Case was a very effective drama, telling some rather interesting stories and using period music to get the emotion across. I never warmed to Without a Trace. It's not a bad show, it's just that I decided to watch it one night and the episode ended with them finding the body of the kid who was missing the whole episode. What a downer. So I didn't watch it again.
Well, in TV, outsourcing is also taking place. Parts that were once strictly American roles -- requiring a real, colloquial U.S. voice -- are being played by foreigners. The thing is, many of these roles are being brilliantly played by actors donning American accents -- they're doing a great job.
Think about it; some of the best performances on TV feature foreigners with great American accents, like Hugh Laurie on House and Jonny Lee Miller on Eli Stone. Two of Her Majesty's loyal subjects, two wonderful American voices. The Brits are all over the dial.
But did you know that Anthony LaPlaglia (Without A Trace) and Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) are Australian? It's true. And they're not alone. There are a lot of other actors who were not brought up speaking like typical Americans who sound like they were.
Therefore, you tell us: who are your choices for the best American accents on television right now? Give us your thoughts on who should be nominated for TV Squad's Excellence in Outsourcing Award.
The biggest mystery, however, is who is Sam's baby daddy? I'm a little behind on my Without a Trace, but I know she has had affairs with both her boss and her co-worker, but I thought those were both over. Montgomery is having a hard time keeping that a secret. She says, "I have to bite my tongue because I'm busting to tell everybody. There are a number of people in the mix. I think it will be quite surprising." Sounds like Sam's been sleeping around!
Clearly, George Clooney and Brad Pitt are more important than the writers over at Without A Trace.
Defamer reports that the air conditioning for the writer's offices at the CBS show has been turned off, because they are filming Ocean's 13 right next door and they don't want the sound of the air conditioners to ruin the sound recording of the movie sequel. Says someone on the scene:
"As a result, the staff is sweltering in heat equivalent to the surface of the sun (this is the Valley, after all) and it doesn't seem as though the injustice will end any time soon. The writers are calling on all of their brethren in the television realm to rise up in solidarity, pelting those responsible with (possibly killer) tomatoes until this grave situation is resolved."
Ha. I like it when they reference killer tomatoes.
- Anthony Lapaglia's Jack gets some action on Without A Trace, as he strikes up a romance with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Lapaglia says that the two are at "a hot dog stand" and he "plants a big one on her." I'm assuming that means a kiss, and "hot dog stand" isn't a euphamism for something else.
- Matt Roush reviews the controversial new series The Book Of Daniel (he also likes the season opener of Battlestar Galactica but calls Four Kings "a generic dud.")
- Did Alfred Hitchcock actually work on his TV show or just host it? Who used to pitch Paul Masson wines on TV? And what's the deal with Snuffleupagus? The Televisionary knows all.
- In the print edition: a Q and A with Jill Hennessey, a behind the scenes look at the Cold Case Sprinsteen episode, and a guest column from designer Isaac Mizrahi.
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