Friday, October 30, 2009

9 Television Actors/Actresses That Need To Be Fired

After hearing the news that Ashley Simpson and Colin Egg were fired from Melrose place I happily rejoiced in the fact that they didn’t just simply cancel the show instead they looked at the possible problems (i.e bad acting, characters not working) and decided to fix it. It is a much better solution than giving up on a potentially good show. Here is my opinion on other television actors that should be canned in order to increase the quality of the show.

1. Jamie Lee Kirchner, Mercy – I actually don’t have a problem with her as an actress (although she has a very “harsh” look to her that I find unappealing), yet her character is so one-sided and boring. I am surprised that they haven't cancelled the show already, but if they are planning on giving it a chance to grow - then they definitely need to add some characters with more punch.

2. Katie Cassidy, Melrose Place – Since they are bringing in new actors anyway, they might as well get rid of Katie as well. She is no Amanda Woodward. I don't buy her as a high powered career girl, nor is she believable as the manipulative bitch that she is supposed to portray. And she has a lazy eye (sorry, it bothers me!)

3. Kenan Thompson, SNL - It’s pretty rare that I watch an episode of SNL, but on occasion they will have an interesting host (i.e Justin Timberlake) and I will make a point to watch. Every scene that I have ever watched that featured Keenan caused me to cringe. I remember him from All That and he wasn’t funny then either. I don’t understand how he has managed to keep his job considering I have read several reviews of SNL that say the same thing – Keenan sucks!

4. Dianna Agron, Glee – I actually really like the character, but the actress is so blah. She plays Quinn Fabray, who is supposed to be a gorgeous, popular cheerleader but I honestly wouldn’t look twice at her. Lea Michele (who plays Rachel Berry - the "geeky" under-dog character) is far more interesting looking ( in a good way). It doesn't help that Dianna plays the character a little too cheesy, while the other actors seem more grounded. It might be the tight ponytail that she rocks in every episode that really bothers me.

5. AnnaLynn McCord, 90210 - I can not even tell you how much I hate this actress. Besides the fact that she is hideous to look at (my friend and I actually refer to her as horse-face..) and she looks like she is at least in her late 30’s (she claims she is only 21) - she can’t act! I might over look the ugliness if she was an amazing actress, but she isn’t – so I ask myself how does someone like this get such a lucrative role? Obviously she is sleeping with someone who has influence (she was also on Nip/Tuck as the “hot,” seductive daughter of Julia’s lover). Her character on 90210 is actually a great character (and funny!) but it is completely ruined by AnnaLynn's acting abilities because she has no emotion in her face and her voice is completely monotonous. Hands down worst actress on television.

6 & 7. Tracey Morgan & Jane Kradowski, 30 Rock – I’ve already written about my disdain for them (as actors and characters). The show would absolutely the best comedy on t.v if they didn’t show up and ruin every episode.

8. Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men – I hate Peggy Olsen and I sooo want to love her. She has the potential to be an amazing character. She's an early feminist, assertive, intelligent and firm, but she's also really sweet and endearing – I should be rooting for her, but yet I wait for the day when she is replaced (by Joan perhaps?). I love ever other character on that show, so it’s a shame that the most intricate character is also the least likeable. I can't quite put my finger on why I hate her so much, but I feel that there was a different actress playing the part I might like her. She is also another actress that looks much older than she claims to be (she is only 27 a full year younger than me, yet she looks like she’s 40).

9. Everyone on Heroes that isn’t an original cast member – I loved the first season of Heroes, but it has progressively gone from amazing to practically unwatchable over the years. Every year they seem to promise us big changes but most of those changes involve introducing new characters which is completely unnecessary – none of these new characters have ever worked and none of them have lasted more than one season, so why continue this nonsense? Just bring the show back to focus on the fabulous original characters and the show would strive - I promise.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Thoughts on 5 Recently Released DVD's: Part 4

1. Year One - This film could have been a satirical comedy about history and the origins of religion (the obvious inaccuracies of the bible etc) - Yet, in actuality it is a lame excuse for a comedy that was mostly hard to watch (i.e over the line gross-out humor like Jack Black eating shit and Michael Cera urinating on his own face). The film cost over 60 million dollars to make which must have been a huge pay check for Jack Black, because the production value was amateur and cheap looking. I feel sorry for Arrested Development alums Michael Cera and David Cross. I also cringed when Olivia Wilde appeared on the screen - why would she stoop so low? I literally did not laugh once. Could possibly be the worst film of the year.

2. State of Play - So, this film had the impossible task of re-telling the sublime BBC mini-series in a feature film (basically, it had to cram 6 hours of an intricate story into 2 hours). Why was such a task ever green-lit to begin? It is obviously going to fail. It wasn't a horrible film - it just had no point. The film basically "dumbs down" the original and only focuses on two aspects of the story which is the representation of politics in the media and corporate conspiracies. I also have to say that the original cast was far superior than this film (the original had James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Kelly McDonald, Polly Walker and Marc Warren). Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe (ew), Robin Wright (Penn?) and even Rachel McAdams were all very dull and ineffective in creating any real suspense.

3. Management - Not even a remotely realistic love story. I'm not sure how many women would answer the door for a strange man knocking on their hotel room door, let alone let them in. I'm also pretty sure if that same man showed up at their work (which is across the country), that any sane woman would call the police and report a stalker. So, if you get over that fact (which I just can't), the film is o.k. It's sweet, quirky and earnest thanks to an endearing performance by Steve Zahn. Jennifer Anistons character bothered me because she was so bland, which I don't think she was supposed to be (otherwise why would Zahn's character fall in love with her?). I think Jennifer Aniston's interpretation of "normal" women is "dull" women. She basically recreated her character in The Good Girl, just dressed nicer.

4. Away We Go - I loved this movie. It was actually a lot better than I expected. The chemistry between Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski was surprisingly great. I was highly impressed with the acting abilities of these two non-movie stars. The biggest achievement in the film was their ability to create such realist, flawed characters. The plot was about a young couple trying to find their place in the world after learning that they are going to have a baby - they travel to different places to decide where they want to "settle down". Each place they visit ends up being a sort of a lesson of "what not to do" as a parent. While it was pretty obvious where they would end up, the ride was extremely entertaining filled with very colorful characters - my favorite being Maggie Gyllenhaal as the free-spirit, "new age" mother.

5. Lymelife - Critics called this film a copy of The Ice Storm, while I see the comparison (suburban angst) - I do not feel like they were the same film at all. The biggest difference is that I actually didn't like The Ice Storm, while I found this film very interesting. I absolutely loved the characters, adored the Culkin brothers, was delighted by Emma Roberts and found the ending exciting.

5 Reasons "New York, I Love You" is a Disappointing Film

"New York, I Love You" was a good film, However it had the potential to be a great film. Here is why I am disappointed...

1. Paris Je T'aime was incredible - It's very difficult for the average film goer to see short films, even the ones nominated for Academy Awards - so I was psyched when this film was released because it was a collection of short films or "vignettes" all with the same goal - to pay a cinematic tribute to the city of love. An idea to gather some of the most creative directors, actors and writers to create this homage was so fantastic, I thought that this idea could continue to many amazing cities around the world. The problem with New York, I Love You is that it misses the point of reflecting on the most amazing city in the world - instead it recounts mini love stories using NYC as a background (which has already been done before -Woody Allen, Ed Burns, etc)

2. The directing styles were all too similar - I guess the Paris version has the advantage of having better directors - and by "better" I mean directors with a more distinct aesthetic style (The Coen Brothers, Wes Craven, Alexander Payne, Gus Van Sant etc.). With this version, I could not tell a difference between stories - It felt like one director creating a film featuring vignettes about "slice of life" living in NYC. The only difference was that some of the stories had character voice overs - that is it! The only vignette that felt completely different was the one written by Anthony Minghella - and because it was different it actually felt out of place from the rest of the film.

3. Almost insulting to New Yorkers - First, I will agree with many other critics on this - there was not nearly enough cultural diversity (mostly everyone was white and middle-class and of course - attractive). Second, apparently everyone in NYC smokes. Third, in a post- 911 world, it is almost distracting to do a film about NYC and not mention it - this film could have easily taken place in 1999. I can literally think of a dozen ideas about paying homage to NYC and I think this film does a disservice to New Yorkers by ignoring its obvious history. Maybe I am just being overly protective of my favorite city?

4. The film is completely lost in mediocrity - I think if a viewer has not seen the Paris version, they might enjoy this version. But because I had the pleasure, I found this version completely mediocre - I can not even tell you what my favorite vignette is because all of them were pretty bland. I guess I would say the one directed by Brett Ratner (surprisingly) simply because it was the most entertaining. There were a few humorous twists and turns in a couple of stories and I enjoy most of the actors/actresses featured - although I felt most of them were portraying a stereo-typed version of a "New Yorker".

5. It was the only film that I was anticipating this fall! - I really have no interest in seeing anything else in the theaters until the end of November. This was the one film that I was highly anticipating and it did not meet my disappointing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

4 Reasons Why I Recommend Watching "The Invention of Lying"

1. It's extremely unique - I assumed from the trailer that it was sort of similar to Liar,Liar or Yes Man, however it is actually very different. The film paints a completely "new" world for the audience - a world where no one can tell a lie (it's not possible and never was...until now) which opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It asks the question "What would the world be like"?....which brings me to #2.

2. It's about religion (from an obviously Atheistic point of view)!! - Obviously they didn't advertise the religious context of the film for good reason (i.e the over zealous religious people who would throw a fit). The film doesn't shy away from the biggest question of all - "What would the world be like if there were no religion?" (Because all religion is just a bunch of lies...get it?). The answer is that the world would actually be pretty dull and depressing if there wasn't something to believe in...such as an "after-life". So, the film doesn't really say anything bad about religion per se...just that it is not realistic (or scientific...or the truth..). I love that Ricky Gervais is an Atheist and made a film about Atheism and masked it as a romantic's absolutely brilliant.

3. The beginning is really funny - The novelty of the film is that it basically makes fun of everyone for being so gullible and easily persuaded. It works really well for the first 40 minutes, but then the novelty wears off and the audience laughter became less and less. It also becomes a little repetitive - we get it Jennifer Garner is out of Ricky's "league" because he is not her "genetic match" and she doesn't want "little fat kids with pudgy noses". I would still recommend it though...for it's unique story alone.

4. Surprise Cameos - I won't say who (otherwise it would ruin the "surprise"!)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

7 More Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon

Since the networks keep canceling good television shows, I am going to keep pointing out their mistakes! Here are more shows that should have been given a chance.

1. Conviction - Now you know how I am frustrated with all of the Law & Order spin-offs, but I actually really liked this one - mostly due to the exceptional cast. Stephanie March reprised her role from Law & Order: SVU as Alex Cabbot and the plot of the series revolved around the lawyers that work in the NYC District Attorney's office. The other actors included Julianne Nicholson, Eric Balfour (obviously a favorite of mine - he was on The O.C and Six Feet Under), and Anson Mount. Although the story takes place at the DA's office, most of the show is about the characters personal lives and how it effects each case they are given. The show was smart and sexy and had the potential to be like Grey's Anatomy if it was given a chance - it was not renewed for a second season due to low ratings (another dumb NBC decision).

2. Dark Angel - How can a show created by James Cameron, starring a hot newcomer (Jessica Alba) about genetically enhanced humans living in a future post-apocalyptic world not be genius? It was pre-Alias and even more pre-Dollhouse and sort of paved the way for Jennifer Garner and Eliza Dushku to kick-ass as tough, independent women. The show had me on the edge of my seat every week, that is until the second season when FOX moved the show to Friday nights (keep in mind this was 9 years ago - way before I had a DVR). Friday night is where shows go to die and every executive at FOX was aware of this when making the decision to move the show. So after losing almost 1/2 of it's viewers the show was sadly canceled, but still highly regarded as paving the way for great Sci-Fi television.

3. Six Degrees - I love the idea behind the whole Six Degrees of Separation theory and had even thought that it would be great to create a show with this theme behind it - leave it to JJ Abrams to steal my idea! It's a little different then what I had in mind, but all the same - I loved the show. It was about 6 very different strangers living in NYC. At different points through out the series their lives would connect with one and other. The cast was great and each episode was really interesting. This years FlashForward is doing the same type of thing (every one's lives interconnect in some significant way) on a much more universal scale. I've only actually seen the first 6 episodes of Six Degrees because then NBC (!!) pulled it off the air, then aired a few episodes without even telling anyone, then pulled it off again - then canceled it. I'm still awaiting the DVD.

4 & 5. Fat Actress & The Comeback - Fat Actress is seriously one of the funniest shows that has ever aired and I am saying that as a non Kirstie Alley fan. I do appreciate her now - the show was self-deprecating, down-right humiliating and bitingly satirical and the best part is that it is based on Alley's actual life as an overweight actress trying to make her way through Hollywood. The show also had the advantage of the incredibly talented comedian Rachel Harris as Alley's assistant and a hilarious recurring cameo of Mayim Bialik (yes, Blossom). The Comeback was a similarly themed show about a former television actress (played by Lisa Kudrow) trying to make a "come back" in Hollywood. The show was created in faux-documentary style, which made it pretty realistic (and actually quite sad - which I think alienated viewers). Kudrow was absolutely brilliant and proved to everyone that she is Phoebe no longer (she even scored another Emmy nomination). Both of these shows lasted for like 2 seconds (Fat Actress - 7 episodes, The Comeback - 13 episodes), which is a shame because they were both exceptional television.

6. Unscripted - This show is similar to The Comeback and Fat Actress, in that it was about struggling actors, however this show was actually "unscripted", making it interesting. The three actors were Bryan Greenberg (October Road), Krista Allen (George Clooney's ex) and Jennifer Hall (um..I got nothing) and it actually followed them around to their current projects, meetings with agents and an acting class (o.k the class was fake - the professor was played by Frank Langella). It mixed documentary with fictional film, the A-list with the D-list and the professional with the personal lives of actors. It was like an American version of Extra's (which by the way - should be would be awesome!). Plus it had crazy cameo's (Brad Pitt, Shia Labeouf, Keanu Reeves, Merly Streep). The show only lasted one season, which is a shame - I think they should have continued the show and changed the actors every season. Oh well.

7. The Ex List - I never watch CBS shows, but last fall I decided to give this show a shot -mostly due to Elizabeth Reaser (she was the infamous "Jane Doe" that Karev falls for in Grey's Anatomy) - and guess what? I actually liked it. It was fun, cheesy and girly but in a good way. The premise was that Bella (Reaser) gets a psychic reading that tells her that she has already met (and dated) her future husband - so now she has to date all of her ex's to find out who Mr. Right is. Cute, right? I was happy to find a new show and that it was on CBS - because the network is known for giving their shows room to grow before canceling them (which is ironic because most of their shows suck). However, due to creative differences between the writer and the network - the show was canned...just my luck!

Friday, October 9, 2009

4 Reasons Why I am Pissed at NBC

1. They canceled "Southland" before they even aired any of season 2 - I'm not saying Southland is the greatest show on t.v, but it certainly deserves some time before being canceled. The acting was fantastic, the plots were intricate and Ben McKenzie is HOT! Hello...that is reason enough to keep it on the air! Plus, they left off with a pretty big cliff-hanger in season one - at least have the decency to let the audience know how it ends. They already shot 6 episodes of the next why not air them? I really hope another network picks up the series and it ends up winning a ton of awards and making tons of money in ad NBC can suck it.

2. The Jay Leno catastrophe - I was really upset when I heard they chose to give Leno the 10pm time slot Monday thru Friday in lieu of 5 potential new shows, yet I understood why they did it. Leno is a cash machine - and even though I don't find him funny at all, the rest of America does. However, now that it is disrupting my t.v shows (it's the reason Southland was canned - there was no time-slot because it is a "grown-up" show that should be on after 10pm), I am offended.

3. They haven't canceled bad shows - O.k if you need to get rid of some shows - at least pick the bad ones...Mercy and Trauma have both proved to be pretty disappointing and Heroes just keeps getting worse.

4. There are 3 "Law & Order's"!! - I find it hard to believe that having all 3 of these shows is necessary...can't we combine them or something to make room for creative and artistic television?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Thoughts on the 11 New T.V Shows to Watch

1. Community - The first episode was a little blah, but the show has promise. I do appreciate that they acknowledged that the show is like watching The Breakfast Club and therefore dedicated the pilot to the late John Hughes. It keeps improving with every episode, which is a good sign. Every character is interesting - obviously I enjoy Joel, but I also like the girl that "looks like Elizabeth Shue" and the actress that is also on Mad Men - it took me a while to figure out who she was. It just needs that extra "funny" to make it a great comedy.

2. Glee! - I declare this the BEST NEW SHOW of the season. I am completely in love with this flawless show and everyone must start watching it so FOX doesn't cancel it! I anticipate an amazing performance every episode - I can't decide which one is my favorite so far...I think I will go with "This is How We Do It", although I enjoyed "Poison" as well (side note: remember when Turk auditioned for the air band on Scrubs?? Aaaah memories). The show deals with real issues of teenagers (i.e sex, pregnancy, coming out, being different, fitting in...pretty much everything you can think of) however, it is never preachy or cheesy. Jane Lynch kills every one of her scenes. I hope she continues to be a strong presence on the show.

3. The Vampire Diaries - Love it! So far, it has completely captured my interest. I love the main girl, Elena played by Nina Dobrev. She is adorably sweet. I love Donnie from Corona (I mean Stefan, played by Paul Wesley). I don't love Boone - he is a little too over dramatic for my taste and he wears too much blush. The show is a little bit Buffy, a little bit Party of Five, a little bit Dawson's Creak. It's completely addictive and I am excited to see where the show goes next. Will Stefan be exposed? Will Elena fall for Damon? Will the annoying brother stop whining?

4. Cougar Town - This show just needs to toned down a little bit, it could be really good. The acting, characterizations, plots and punch-lines are just too over the top. I really like the single mother and son relationship, I also like Jules (Courtney Cox) relationship with her 2 very different friends - one is a younger, irresponsible club-hopper played by Busy Phillips (from the beloved Freaks and Geeks), the other is a mature mother and wife played by Christa Miller (from Scrubs). Also, if you are a General Hospital fan you will see Sonny's lawyer Diane Miller delivering some very awful punch-lines. In short, I like the show (it was MUCH better than I expected) - but if it doesn't get better soon, I will probably stop watching it.

5. Melrose Place 2.0 - So, I was right that Ashlee Simpson is really awful, but after the first episode aired I realized why she was cast - An amazing resemblance to Laura Leighton a.k.a the infamous Sydney Andrews. The whole premise of the new Melrose is "who killed Sydney?", too bad that I don't really care. I'm not all that interested in any of the new characters, except maybe Auggie - he's kinda hot. I can't wait for Amanda Woodward's (Heather Locklear) return. Oh and it was a great idea to cast Kimber from Nip/Tuck.

6. Trauma - So, the first episode was pretty unmemorable, as was the cast. The episode revolved around the aftermath of a helicopter crash that effects all of the characters - it jumps to a year after the crash and conveniently, exactly one year later there is another catastrophe and one of the victims decides to come back to work. The storyline was obviously contrived and convenient. I decided to give it another try by watching the second episode, but wasn't really impressed. It also reminds me of the other new show Mercy (also unmemorable), so I kept confusing the characters with that show. I don't recommend.

7. The Beautiful Life - What a train wreck. Obviously, I don't even have to say how bad the show was since it was justly canceled after only 2 aired episodes. I only watched the first episode and I'm not even sure how I made it through the whole thing. Mischa Barton was awful on The O.C , but it was over-looked because the show was solid - however, when you put such an atrocious actress with such poor writing you end up with...this. I question how this show ever got put on the air to begin with.

8. FlashForward - The Pilot episode was pretty intense, very Lost like. There was a lot of information given during the "flash forwards" and I am a little nervous that I was actually supposed to remember all of it? Because I don't. I do remember a kangaroo (only bc a voice over told me to during a commercial - which was awkward) and the date of the "flash forward" - April 29th 10pm, which I assume will be the season finale. I think the creators of these types of shows need to understand that if a show takes too much energy to follow, people will just get frustrated and lose interest. This is why these high concept shows tend to fail (i.e Six Degrees, The Nine). I'm not saying I want them to dumb down the concepts, I think there just needs to be a balance of "watchablilty" (I'm pretty sure I just made up a word) and complex story telling. I do love the cast...Dr. Corday from E.R and Commandor Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean, but where is Charlie?? He was heavily featured in the advertising but has yet to appear.

9. Modern Family - Thank goodness - finally an actual "funny" show. I am happy that this show exceeds my expectation every week. The first episode was a little iffy, but the following episodes were hilarious. Ty Burrell is amazingly funny as Phil "the cool dad". He's what I imagine Michael Scott would be like as a father. He just tries a little too hard - it's almost painful to watch him dancing to High School Musical and speaking teen lingo incorrectly (he thinks WTF means "why the face?"). The gay couple, Cameron and Mitchell - although a little too stereotypical - are also very funny. It also has a "wholesome message" at the heart of every episode which is cute.

10. Eastwick - I like this show in all of its cheesy glory, however I am pretty sure it will be canceled soon. I think they did a really good job with casting, especially the Darryl Van Horne character. I enjoy the way the women are discovering their mystical powers and the mystery surrounding the characters - It's just not as addictive as it should be. Fans of the film will notice that Veronica Cartwright reprises her role from the original film, although she has a different name. There is also another General Hospital actor, the guy that plays Christina's douche bag boyfriend pretty much plays the exact same character in Eastwick. It's nice that ABC likes to keep it in the family...

11. Mercy - Like I said, pretty unmemorable. The beginning of the pilot is exactly like HawthoRNe - complete with a rebellious nurse, homeless person and an inexperienced newcomer. I will give the show one more episode to impress me, but it's not likely that I will continue to watch it.

*The new show V has yet to air...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 Reasons Why I Enjoyed "Jennifer's Body".

I enjoyed "Jennifer's Body", I wouldn't say it was fantastic or anything - but it was exactly what I expected. Here are reasons why I liked it...

1. Megan Fox did a respectable job - Unfortunately for her, she is being blamed for the devastatingly low box office numbers. Since this really is her first "starring" feature, I think we should cut the girl some slack. Truth be told - I don't think I would have interest in the film if Megan wasn't in it. I think that the real problem was that the expectation for this film was too high - just because it was written by Diablo Cody doesn't mean it was going to be as big as Juno.

2. Destined to be a cult classic? - It was actually really funny. There were several little quips that stick in my memory and make me smile ("Got a tampon"?). I feel like maybe once more people actually watch it (via DVD..) it will be greatly appreciated for it's witty and sarcastic dialogue.

3. I miss Adam Brody - Let's face it - whether he is playing Seth Cohen on The O.C or the lead singer of a Satan worshipping emo band in this film, he is really just being Adam Brody (I mean it's not really a stretch seeing as he is the drummer of the awesome band Big Japan). But I don't care, he was the most entertaining part of the movie and I miss him!!