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April 23, 2014

lifeonmars

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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Gretchen Mol and Other "Almost It" Girls: Starlets Who Never Quite Made It Big

by Daynah Burnett, posted Nov 22nd 2009 6:36PM
Just this past week, HBO announced the addition of Gretchen Mol to the cast of its upcoming series 'Boardwalk Empire,' starring Steve Buscemi as Atlantic City gangster Nucky Thompson. With a string of respectable supporting roles, Mol's made a career out of not-quite making it, starting with her famous 1998 'Vanity Fair' cover that asked the entirely premature question: "Is Gretchen Mol Hollywood's New It Girl?"

But though Mol didn't exactly fade into obscurity (she earned kudos for her eye-opening turn in the indie 'The Notorious Bettie Page' and co-starred in ABC's short-lived 'Life on Mars'), neither did she become the huge success the industry predicted she would be. What happened? Was it luck, timing, bad choices or simply a case of too much hype? Whatever that case, Mol's casting got us thinking about other "Almost It" girls that Hollywood left behind about as quickly as it tried to make them mega-stars.

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Gretchen Mol to join Boardwalk Empire

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 18th 2009 9:34AM
An American AffairGretchen Mol, who was last seen in last season's short-lived American television version of Life on Mars and in the feature An American Affair, will be going to HBO for the series Boardwalk Empire. She's scheduled to have a recurring role as a showgirl. The series is being produced by Martin Scorsese.

Gretchen Mol was on Life on Mars with Michael Imperioli, who was also on The Sopranos on HBO and was in Scorsese's Goodfellas. Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi also appeared on The Sopranos. In short, all these people know each other and it's definitely a case of cast inbreeding. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Seriously, Gretchen Mol is a terrific actress and was fantastic in The Notorious Bettie Page. Given the talent already behind Boardwalk Empire, it was likely to be a fantastic series. Now its volume just went up to 11.

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NBC to adapt UK's Prime Suspect

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 3rd 2009 2:08PM
Helen_Mirren_Prime_SuspectIs it cynical of me to question the wisdom of NBC trying to adapt the British detective series Prime Suspect for American TV? It probably is, but after the disappointment of Life on Mars (I know, some of you liked the ABC version, but I was not in that camp), I have worries about the way American writers and producers rework excellent British TV shows and suck the life out of them in the process.

What makes Prime Suspect particularly of concern is that the British show had a great actress starring in it. Helen Mirren has deserved every award -- Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe -- that she's received. As the tough-as-nails detective chief inspector Jane Tennison, she was simply amazing.

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What are you looking forward to catching up with this summer?

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 30th 2009 3:01PM
SkinsIn the DVR era, I have this new problem/blessing that happens to me every year. I jump on board these shows and then just get too busy to keep up with them and they pile up and sit there on my DVR unwatched. As an example, I just finished "Chapter 5" of John Adams last night; damn that's a good mini-series. But now that 99% of the network shows are wrapping up their seasons, I'm looking at three months of solid catch-up time.

I can also use the time to try out series I've always wanted to get into but just haven't for some reason or another; I'll use that "no time" excuse again. With more videos streaming online at Hulu (thanks ABC), seasons coming out ever faster on DVD and more vintage shows coming out the field is wide open. Of course, I'm probably taking on more than I can handle, but dammit I'm excited!

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Harold Perrineau: The TV Squad Interview

by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 15th 2009 11:04AM
harold perrineau the unusuals
Harold Perrineau is worried. He's worried that viewers won't give his new show, The Unusuals, a chance. He has a valid concern: The Unusuals, which just premiered, is on Wednesday nights at 10, on ABC; otherwise known as the post-Lost timeslot (of doom).

ABC is showing faith in The Unusuals. After all, it's not stuck in the Friday night graveyard or anything. The post-Lost slot is tricky though; shows generally don't do well there. It could be that the minds of everybody who watches Lost are so blown, they can't even stick around for another hour of television. Whatever it is, the quirky cop show Life On Mars recently died a sad death there. Will this quirky cop show do better? Harold Perrineau certainly hopes so.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. We talk about plot points in the recently aired pilot, some spoilers for upcoming episodes, as well as the fate of Michael, Perrineau's character on Lost.

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On the Set: 'Life on Mars'

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 1st 2009 6:00AM
Life on MarsTonight marks the series finale of ABC's 'Life on Mars.'

The show, an American version of a Brit series of the same name, stars Jason O'Mara, Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol and developed a cult following despite only one season on the airwaves.

Unfortunately, there weren't enough fans to warrant a second installment. (Reminding us of that other recent short-lived '70s-set series 'Swingtown' -- oh, 1970s, why must all the good shows that depict your awesome polyester wardrobes, feathery hairstyles and outrageously outdated mores be killed off so quickly? We're not counting 'That '70s Show,' and we think you know why.)

But, ahem, AOL TV was granted an exclusive on set visit to 'LOM,' where we got our '70s fix, but good.

So what was life actually like on 'Mars'? Read through our post to see the highlights (and then shed a tear for the passing of this fine, fine show -- we're nostalgic already).

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Life on Mars promising closure in series finale (yeah, it's canceled)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 3rd 2009 10:02AM
Harvey Keitel and Jason O'Mara in Life on MarsYou know how those wacky British like their shows in short bursts with beginnings, middles and ends? Well maybe that's what ABC is thinking of when they announce that Life on Mars will finish its run with its 17th episode. They're promising a satisfying sense of closure, including answers as to why Detective Sam Tyler finds himself in 1973.

One theory that we're told can be ruled out is the coma that the UK original used to explain Sam Tyler's time travel. It would make the mystery kind of anticlimactic if they used the same explanation. We're also not told if Annie will finally punch Ray once and for all for being a misogynist bastard

The UK version of the series was an actual hit, but designed for the limited format completing two eight-episode runs. Meaning the US iteration, which is being canceled due to low ratings, will still run one episode longer than its successful predecessor. It was a creative decision to end the UK series after two seasons.

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What to Watch Wednesday, Feb. 11

by Kim Potts, posted Feb 11th 2009 5:00AM
American Idol'American Idol'
(8PM, Fox)
There have already been some big surprises since 'Idol' began Hollywood rounds last week, namely the ouster of early favorites Rose Flack and Donny Osmond's nephew, and the hits are likely to keep on coming tonight as the final 36 are revealed.

The contenders will then be divided into three groups of 12, with each group performing across the next three Tuesdays. The top female and male vote-getter, plus the third-place vote-getter (regardless of gender) automatically advance to the top 12, followed by the return of the Wild Card round in which the judges pick the final three top 12-ers.

Assuming Simon, Paula, Randy and Kara can actually agree long enough to choose them.


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Life on Mars: The Dark Side of the Mook

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 5th 2009 4:39AM
Life on Mars(S01E09) Finally, we get a continuation of the cliffhanger phone call ending from November! Mind you, it was kind of weird (notice that the song about the white room with black curtains played while Sam walked into a white room with black curtains). I wish they showed this episode first, as it was the better episode of the two and really showcased Michael Imperioli's talent as Detective Ray Karling.

Gene Hunt seems to be a big fan of 70's pop culture, as he keeps referring to it in his interview. Ray, on the other hand, keeps using the pseudo-profanity that Disney only permits. Ray also thinks of very colorful and amusing metaphors. It becomes cartoonish after a while. The episode also prodigiously used the slo-mo effect to the point where I thought they must have had to fill time.

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What to Watch Wednesday, Jan. 28

by Kim Potts, posted Jan 28th 2009 5:00AM
top chef'Top Chef: New York'
(10PM, Bravo)
It's all about football everywhere on the tube this week, even 'Top Chef,' where the remaining contestants -- Carla, Fabio, Jeff, Hosea, Jamie, Leah and Stefan -- square off against seven former 'Top Chef's to see who can whip up the best Super Bowl-themed vittles.

Among the cooks of seasons past who'll try to school the newbies in the ways of pigskin-appropriate fare: Andrew and third-place finisher Spike from season four, Camille from season three and season two's Josie.

Far be it from us to tell the foodies their business, but we say you can never go wrong with that tailgate party classic, Grape Jelly Meatballs.


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TV Squad Ten: Most outrageous characters on TV

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jan 6th 2009 11:02AM
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother

Random House defines outrageous as highly unusual or unconventional; extravagant; remarkable. It's as though they've been watching TV, and wrote their definition to fit some of the crazy characters on television shows today.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. I love these larger-than-life characters, played to perfection by the talented actors who grace these roles. Some fit in perfectly with their surroundings, others stand out like a sore thumb amongst castmates. One thing they all have in common, though, is that watching them is pure entertainment.

Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker on The Mentalist)

Jane doesn't quite have the social graces to blend into society, and that's why I love him. The frumpy suits, the obnoxious antics, and the constant pushing of the envelope make for some good TV. From card counting in the casino to reading Lisbon's mind; hypnotizing suspects to making a sandwich in a victim's home, Jane's done it all. Unconventional, to say the least.

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Best and Worst of 2008: Debbie's list

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jan 2nd 2009 9:00AM
finale of Rosie Live

How can we enter a new year without celebrating the last year's best and worst TV? Not a lot of the new shows were impressive, but I've been entertained for the last year, so I can't complain.

In making out my lists, I realized I must be a half-full type of gal, because even my worsts aren't that bad, and I had a heck of a time coming up with them.

So, here are my lovin'-life, lovin'-TV best and worst lists for 2008:

Best new show -- Leverage
Man, I love everything about this show -- the chemistry between the characters, the quotable quotes, the clever jobs, the flashbacks. It's the most entertaining hour on television right now. Thank you, TNT!

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All Kona wants for Festivus

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 19th 2008 7:29PM
Since I'm still new enough at TV Squad not to exist on the "Meet the TV Squad" page, this is my first Festivus. It's nice to be able to dig deep into my heart for all of my TV wishes in hopes that some internet fairy will grant them and make the television landscape just a little bit more awesome... for me, at least.

Without further ado, here is what I want for Festivus:
  • Christina Hendricks and the rest of the Mad Men cast should guest-star on more shows. Ever since I started watching Mad Men, I've noticed Hendricks popping up places. She's on an episode of Without a Trace here, an old episode of Cold Case there... I love me some Joan Holloway and Mad Men isn't returning soon enough. I loved seeing Jon Hamm host SNL, and I'm super excited about his upcoming guest stint on 30 Rock. More please!

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On the 9th day of Festivus, TV gave to me... - VIDEOS

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 15th 2008 5:13PM
hugh laurie...Nine foreign Americans

With all of the starry-eyed, out-of-work Midwesterners who litter Sunset Blvd., one would assume that our television landscape would be similarly populated with corn-fed blonds. You would, however, be wrong. In fact, there are a ton of non-Americans who have come to Hollywood to take all of our primetime show-starring jobs.

What's fun for me is watching the shows to see who does a good version of an American accent, and who needs to spend a little more time with their dialect coaches. Below are nine stars who've jumped the pond to come to the good ol' U. S. of A.

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