Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TV Round Up - last week of August/early September

I've been embroiled in a bunch of family drama these past several weeks (don't you just love family sometimes?); so I haven't had any time to watch television. My poor Tivo and Tifaux have been working overtime and their little memories are filled to capacity.
But let's talk about some of the things I managed to watch this week. Keep in mind, most of this stuff aired days ago and in this day and age of Twitter and live blogging, none of my comments are really that fascinating. That's not stopping me from sharing them though.

Project Runway from 8/26
The team challenge episode for this season was superb television. Gretchen's spectacularly crazy spiral on the runway, the appalling treatment of Michael C. by the rest of his team, and best of all the AMAZING smackdown of Gretchen from one Tim Gunn were some of the best moments this show has had in some time.

Huge - 1st (and hopefully not last) season finale
You guys? I loved this quirky gem of a show so much. Yes it's a teen drama on the ABC Family channel. And yes, it was about teens at a fat camp for the summer. But boy oh boy it was so much more than that. The stories, dialog, and the characters that were created for this show was some of the best written stuff for tv that I've seen in some time. The tv show is better than the book. And the book is great! Teens talked and acted like real teens. The actors playing the kids at the camp were, guess what Hollywood?, actually overweight, and not some weird slightly bloated thin person or someone thin in make-up and prosthetics. No fat suits! Nikki Blonsky who was in the film version of the musical Hairspray was one of the leads, and she was so great; she has real dramatic talent. And I loved that they didn't really showcase her singing talent in a forced way (like some shows could've/would've done).Sure, her character and another one end up writing some songs together, but it was done in a very organic way, that made sense with the character development. And the singing was not at all canned, produced, or auto-tuned. 
You really cared about every single person and I really can't tell you the last time I experienced television characters, especially teen television characters that were so, well, deep.
The finale was just as superb as the whole season has been. My only complaint is that it really left me hanging. I'm dying to know how everyone fairs by the end of summer camp. Will I have to wait until next year?! I don't know how ABC Family does their seasons. Or if the show was even picked up for a second season; but if that dumb show they have about gymnasts can get a 2nd season, certainly Huge can right? They totally deserve it!

Memphis Beat season finale
Another quirky freshman drama; another cop drama on TNT, but hey if it's working for the network why mess with the formula? This one starred Jason Lee as MPD detective Dwight Hendricks who moonlights as a blues singer who has an affinity for Elvis songs. It also starred the always good Alfre Woodard, Celia Weston, and a surprisingly good DJ Qualls who finally found the right character and balance for his inherent weirdness. Jason Lee sure does have a beautiful singing voice. Who knew? No seriously, did people know this? I know about Lee being a former pro skateboarder, and a Scientologist etc. But I did not know that he could sing; and play guitar and bass. He should consider putting an album out. Maybe he already has and I'm just out of the loop; that would mean I'd have to give up my Jason Lee fan club membership card I guess. The show's writing was a little inconsistent throughout the season, but I can't say that there was any episode that I hated.
Which can't be said about another TNT drama HawthoRNe. This show and I had a very dramatic dvr-breakup last month because I hated Jada Pinkett-Smith's character so much. You know when the power of shirtless Michael Vartan can't save a show for me, there's something wrong.

Big Brother -
Sigh...the people I had picked to win in my office pool all got eliminated, the last being Brendon who really played an excellent game and just barely missed staying in the house (as HOH no less) for another week. Oh well, I really don't want anyone left in the house to win but if I had to choose I guess I'd go with Britney.

2010 Emmys -
I'll quickly just say that I was over the moon about Eric Stonestreet and the Modern Family wins. Can't wait for that show to come back into my life.
And that opening number from Jimmy Fallon et al was effin' brilliant.

True Blood
Season 3 has been better than I could've hoped for. I've said it before, Alan Ball and the rest of the writers are doing an excellent job of incorporating various plots and characters from the books into the television show, while creating totally new and interesting characters. Case in point the two men pictured above, Kevin Alejandro and Joe Manganiello. They play Jesus and Alcide respectively; Alcide is a beloved character from the book and Joe was the top choice from fans of the book who emailed and tweeted Alan Ball with suggestions to have him play Alcide. He's perfect in the role and I can't wait to see what next season brings. Jesus on the other hand is a brand new character created for the show and such a welcome addition. I love Alejandro's chemistry with Nelsan Ellis who plays Jesus's love interest Lafayette.
Speaking of my beloved Lafayette and Nelsan Ellis, how cute is he in this picture from a cast Emmy party with actor Marshall Allman who plays newcomer Tommy Mickens/Merlotte.

Needless to say, I'm super psyched for the True Blood season finale happening in a couple of weeks. And then it's time for all of the new and returning Fall tv shows. It's my favorite time of the year!

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