Monday, March 25, 2013

Programming note

It's been far too long since I updated this blog, especially with hockey content. I've been trying to limit my computer time outside of work for health reasons, so let's just pretend that I'm on injured reserve. I hope to be back soon to help punish anyone who tries to take down Brendan Gallagher.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My PaleyFest 2013: Tuesday Night Live

I'm not in Los Angeles for PaleyFest - an annual television festival with nightly panel discussions featuring the cast and creators of popular shows - this year. So I'm just imagining what I'd do if I was there.

I'm a little behind, so here are recaps of what happened at the panels on two Tuesday night comedies.

Night 5: The New Normal
(I skipped Night 4, and it was a Community panel, and the Internet will never forgive me, even if I make them all necklaces with @ signs on them.)

Sometimes it's fun to go to a panel of a show that you don't really care for, just to get a sense of how other people respond to it. That's what The New Normal is for me. The humour doesn't really resonate with me, but interestingly enough, it's quite reminiscent of a few well-loved classic comedies that didn't resonate with me, either. Regardless, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to see Ryan Murphy in person.

Ryan Murphy has a creative mind like no other - Popular, Nip/Tuck, and Glee are proof of that. (Not the show that you think Glee is. The show that it should be. Yes, there's a difference.) And, from what I had heard, he has this weird, manic, creative energy, which I just had to see for myself. Plus, Andrew Rannells is hilarious on Girls, and I figure he's probably hilarious in real-life, too.
Oh, and did I mention that the panel was moderated by John Stamos?
John Stamos was there. Some people said some stuff. I did not get to meet John Stamos, and I walked away disappointed, like George Michael Bluth.

Night 7: The Mindy Project
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I really, really like Mindy Project star Chris Messina. I didn't think he would do TV, ever, nor did I think that this show would get a second season because not enough people realize how genuinely funny it is. I was wrong on both counts.

Mindy Kaling is sweet and hilarious, the kind of person I wish I could be friends with. (We could go on shopping trips with Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence! As long as I don't have to buy a sequined sweater like the one she was wearing, because I do not want one.) She's assembled a great cast. Beth Grant's character doesn't really do it for me, but the actress is hilarious. Ed Weeks is just as charming as he is on the show, but he's nowhere near as smarmy or as strange. Ike Barinholz's sense of humour showed just how much he adds to the show, when I erroneously thought that he wouldn't have been a good addition to the cast.

I basically just stared at Chris Messina the whole time and laughed when I found out that the writer's room is extremely divided on whether his character should get together with Mindy.

I tried to get Mindy's attention after the panel to tell her that I enjoyed her book (more on that in a later post), but I didn't get to, and that made me sad. So I asked myself, what would Mindy do? And made myself feel better by doing a bit of online shopping.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My PaleyFest 2013: The Newsroom

I'm not in Los Angeles for PaleyFest - an annual television festival with nightly panel discussions featuring the cast and creators of popular shows - this year. So I'm just imagining what I'd do if I was there.

Night 3 (Part 2): The Newsroom

Oh man, have I been waiting for this. I hate this show so much. I like watching television because it's an inanimate object that can't be condescending towards me, and yet Aaron Sorkin manages to ruin that. He claims that smart girls have more fun, but I have a feeling that if my IQ were lower, I might not notice the speechifying and the relentless misogyny that he's so incredibly fond of.

And to top it off, it was moderated by Piers Morgan, a man whose purpose I have yet to understand.

I may hate this show, but I made sure to get front-row seats to this panel. Why? Because it was scripted that Sorkin would call on me to ask a question and exactly recreate the opening scene of the pilot, because that's his idea of meta humour? No. (But that happened, by the way.) It was so that I could create a character out of his now-infamous interview with a Globe and Mail reporter: Internet Girl!

Internet Girl isn't a superhero, but she can be. She wears a dress, because she's a girl. Maybe her dress looks like this:
Maybe she had her Twitter handle screen-printed onto the hem of it. Maybe she wears Tina Fey glasses and pearl earrings and a necklace with an @ sign on it.* Maybe there's a newspaper and a Criterion blu-ray in her purse, because she reads newspapers (when the journalists aren't being insufferable) and she watches films. Oh, and maybe she's covering up her tattoo of Nyan Cat.

*I actually have pendants with @ signs on them, somewhere, I think. So if anyone wants a necklace, I might be able to oblige.

However, Internet Girl isn't at the panel to find out more about how the main character, a white man, is "on a mission to civilize." She learned that already in history books, and it didn't end very well. And she's not there to get spoilers for season 2, because Michael Ausiello or Kristin Dos Santos will provide those anyway. (That's what the Internet is for.) No, she's just there to sarcastically live-tweet the whole thing on her iPad, which happens to have this picture printed onto its case:
She ignores most of the cast's ramblings anyway, because who needs a bunch of fake news media personalities patting themselves on the back for discussing The Big Issues that plagued America two years ago? She mostly went to see if Chris Messina would show up, because he's the closest thing she had to a reason to watch the show. (She doesn't care about Olivia Munn's legs.)

She does her best to rile Sorkin up, and while all of the yes-men rush the stage to laud the cast and whatnot, she attempts to high-five him, since he famously hates girls who can't high-five. (No word on boys, though.)

Oh, and she ignored Alison Pill, who looks awfully happy for someone who allegedly just broke off her engagement to Jay Baruchel.

Plus/Minus isn't embellishing, because it doesn't own an eyelash curler.

A whole lot has happened in the last two weeks, hasn't it? Some things were expected (Jennifer Lawrence got that Oscar) and some weren't (Habs lost to the Islanders.)


+ Carey Price made a save from the bench. If that doesn't go on his all-time highlight reel, then I will need to speak to some video editors.
+ Max Pacioretty got his scoring groove back!
+ 2  Congratulations to Francois Bouillon on his 500th game as a Hab, and to the team for their 20,000th franchise goal.
+ Actually, thanks for all of the goals over the weekend!
+ The Gallys did an excellent job of taking a prank in stride and walking around like some kind of millennial Night at the Roxbury spinoff.
+ Anthony Bourdain owns a Habs jersey:

+ Hamilton Bulldogs won at the Bell Centre! (A Plus within this Plus for Jarred Tinordi, due to personal preferences, and to Nathan Beaulieu, whose game is as good as his swag, or something.)
+ You know what? I'm giving a Plus to Jay Feaster. I can't say that giving an offer sheet to Ryan O'Reilly was a good idea, but it was lots of fun while it lasted.
+ The Parks and Recreation wedding was better than most weddings I've been to. (I hope none of my friends or relatives are reading this.)

- Dear Habs: I love you, and that is why you have to stop losing to the Islanders.
- Can our injured players come back already?
- Despite all of the thinkpieces that have been written about this, I have to add my two cents: Seth MacFarlane was supposed to be the "edgy" comedian who gets to entertain the world by hosting the Oscars. And yet he relied on tired jokes about women, bits that ran too long, and just a hint of anti-Semitism. With any luck, Neil Patrick Harris will do a much better job next year.

February sweeps are over, so that means that TV is slowing down for a couple of weeks in order to gear up for the end of season. With the exception of Scandal, I guess. Should I start preparing now for the inevitable frenzy of first-round playoffs vs season finales?

Monday, March 4, 2013

My PaleyFest 2013: Revolution and Once Upon A Time

I'm not in Los Angeles for PaleyFest - an annual television festival with nightly panel discussions featuring the cast and creators of popular shows - this year. So I'm just imagining what I'd do if I was there.

Night 2: Revolution

The most impressive thing about NBC's Revolution is that it might be the first post-Lost thriller series* to actually live up to its hype and get really good ratings. Also, it was created by Eric Kripke, who made a fun, genre-busting, classic rock hit out of Supernatural and used all of that to make a completely different series, which turned out to be the biggest hit of this season.

I wore my Supernatural T-shirt to this panel, because it's a great shirt. 

I don't watch Revolution regularly, so I was a bit off-put by the die-hard fans who treat Revolution almost exactly like some people treated Lost. (Then again, that happened to me during Modern Family's rookie season, when some fans at Paley seemed to think it was Arrested Development.)

I listened to every word that fell from Eric Kripke's mouth, cheered for Canadian girl Tracy Spiridakos, and maybe shrunk down into my chair every time I looked at Giancarlo Esposito, because he scares me just a little bit. In fact, he was the reason why I didn't do any loserish autograph-seeking in the parking lot and instead just enjoyed a good Saturday night in L.A.

*that's a polite way of saying that it's a Lost ripoff

Night 3: Once Upon A Time

I love this show. I do. But I can't hold a candle to the show's most hardcore fans. Oncers are a whole other breed of superfan. I lost count of how many girls I saw dressed up as Emma Swan. (I didn't, obviously, because I'm only slowly coming around on Emma, as well as Jennifer Morrison's performance.)

I sprang for tickets on the ground floor so that I could join the maniacs who rush the stage for autographs as soon as the panel ends. I swear it has nothing to do with my mad respect for Robert Carlyle or the fact that Josh Dallas is so cute. It especially has nothing to do with my writer-crush on co-creator Eddy Kitsis, going back to my last time at PaleyFest.

But I was polite and sat there and laughed and listened and totally did not plot ways to steal Josh Dallas from Ginnifer Goodwin, because that would be wrong. And because I don't stand a chance. Heck, I probably don't even stand a chance with Captain Hook, regardless of the fact that removing his eyeliner is like putting kryptonite in Superman's hand. (He was wearing khaki pants. Khaki pants! The only reason why those get a free pass is because writer-crush is wearing coral pants. Coral pants.)

Most importantly, I did not bring up creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz's past as writers for high school shows. Because I did that last time, and they didn't appreciate it.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My PaleyFest 2013: The Walking Dead

I'm not in Los Angeles for PaleyFest - an annual television festival with nightly panel discussions featuring the cast and creators of popular shows - this year. So I'm just imagining what I'd do if I was there.

Night 1: The Walking Dead

A show that I'm too squeamish to watch (people without jaws, y'all) but the first night of PaleyFest is always worth going to - you get to give yourself a sense of how the theatre is laid out, meet some people and see what other panels they're going to, and watch the PaleyFest intro video. (It features clips of each show featured in that year's festival, and usually the show that gets the biggest cheers will have the best panel.)

So I sat up on the balcony and shielded my eyes during the preview of the next episode, because ew. Regardless of this, I walked up to the microphone during Q&A and offered my services as showrunner because they'll probably need a new one in about ten months.

And then I was grateful for the fact that the episode preview grossed me out because I would otherwise have been so hungry and food isn't allowed in the theatre.