Friday, February 8, 2013
I had so many story idea's in my 'to do' file about the boob tube, I decided to devote today's post to television. Given it is February Sweeps, the networks are throwing their best, and worst, to bring in the numbers. I thought the image above (from a 2010 profile of Michael Stokes) fit the theme nicely!
Check out today's birthday's HERE: & HERE:
I stopped watching Smash at about episode 4 or 5 last season. I has the rest on the DVR for awhile, but after a couple of months I knew that I really didn't have the interest to bother finishing them. It did not bode well for me, that I found the most interesting character to be Raza Jaffrey as Dev Sundaram, who was given the boot at the end of the season. I think the fact the show is set in the Broadway world is a tough sell to begin with, but I also felt my major negativity came from the casting of Katherine MacPhee. Katherine is nice singer, and obviously has some talent, but there is also something intrinsically unlikable about her. I can't put my finger on it, but it is palatable. I think the producers actually might have been better off using this and casting her as Ivy and Megan Hilty, written more as the villain, was hard not to love. Debra Messing was also confusing, it was almost as if the producers surgically removed the energy she brought to the screen when playing Grace.
NBC's relentless promos actually worked, having me tune into Season 2. Not for Jennifer Hudson (whom I love) but for a song. 'Broadway, Here I Come', was used briefly in the promo, and it's haunting melodic quality had me wanting to hear more. Jeremy Jordan sang the song in the season 2 premier and the song, and his incredible voice, did not disappoint. In fact, after the first half hour or so, the show actually picked up and drew me in.
The most interesting, and new, storyline was Karen's meeting Jeremy Jordan's Jimmy and his best friend Kyle played by Andy Mientus. I zeroed in especially on Andy as his character was instantly the more interesting of the two. With just a few scenes, he introduced a complex young writer, obviously deeply love with his best friend, and straight business partner. Although Andy did not get to sing in the episode, with his extensive stage credits, hopefully it is just a matter of time. You may have heard the ratings for the premier were not pretty, but hopefully if word gets out that season 2 is much improved, many might return to what could be a huge season for the show, or a disastrous one! Jeremy Jordan may be getting most of the buzz, but I will tuning back in for Mientus!
Andy's previous theater credits include: Carrie (MCC Theater), Spring Awakening (Hanschen, 1st National, dir. Michael Mayer), February House (New York Stage and Film, dir. Davis McCallum), Rent (Mark, Pioneer Theatre Company), 2 NYMF Outstanding Individual Performance awards. Readings: new work for The Public, Roundabout, McCarter, Diner (Kathleen Marshall, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson), Bare (as Peter), Let Loose the Horses (score by The Rescues). Recordings: Out of Context by Michael Patrick Walker. Film: Central Park Joker. Training: PA Governors School for the Arts, University of Michigan.
In all my research on Andy, whenever I read an account or review of his work, he was always pointed out as a favorite, someone who stood out in each production he was a part of. He certainly stood out in his first couple of episodes of Smash and I hope he gets many moments to shine!
Crazy Like Me
Although I love me some Mariska Hargitay, SVU has really not been watchable since the departure of Christopher Meloni. I don't think I have watched one episode this season, partly due to not really knowing when it airs anymore. NBC has a problem with scripted dramas and SVU's February Sweeps stunt with Tyson was beyond nauseating. The show has a long history with creative stunt casting, but this time their desperation got the best of them, and their judgement. To me, it undid much of the what the show liked to describe as the good they did for victims, and victims rights. The ratings have been on the decline for awhile and although there was a time I loved to watch, I would not be surprised, or disappointed if Tyson delivered the final blow.
Thanks to DVD though, we can always return to OZ!
If your a regular reader of FH, you most likely know I love images of butt cleavage. I have written about it a few times on the blog. While some seem to need the full alert Monty to be satisfied, a little cleavage is often more than enough for me.
Designing Women, Anthony and Vanessa (1990)
I am not sure anyone has ever researched a male history television butt crack, but I would love the job! I think the first time I remember seeing a little crack was on a 1990 episode of Designing Women. In the episode, there is a storyline exploring why it is that many handymen end up flashing a bit of crack. The episode ends with Mary Jo's electrician Rusty briefly flashing his cleavage as he exits.
12 years later Dan Aykroyd showed his ample gluteal cleft in a SNL sketch. Although I am sure it was not the first time male cleavage graced the boob tube, it it one of the earliest that I could find online.
Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live, Nerds & The Norge (1978)
Chris Pratt, Parks & Recreation (2012)
This season there have been more than a few prime time cracks on display. this past Autumn I featured the Pratt Crack, Chris Pratt that is from an episode of Parks & Recreation. This past week, New Girl's Max Greenfield also gave us a little peak of what is below the belt in back. There is not quite enough evidence to suggest it is a trend, it can't be a coincidence that all of the examples I have been able to find were done for laughs. Given the strict rules sent out for this weeks Grammy's, I don't think One Direction are going to be wearing their really low cut pants, but I am hoping the media is starting to relax with showing a bit of male skin on TV.
Max Greenfield, The New Girl (2013)
I am at work when most talk shows air, but thanks to my DVR, I can scan the tv listings and set a recording for anyone I might want to see or listen to. There was a time when being a great talk show guest was an art. It was about more than just promoting a movie, a television show, or more likely these days, a brand or product. It used to be about promoting a talent. Talk shows were closer to variety shows, and talent, wit, humour and the ability to be funny in the moment, were of great importance. Telling a story well was important and being boring was not an option. Johnny Carson and Joan Rivers would have made mince meat out of the yawn fest that is someone like Kristen Stewart. There are a few celebrities who to me, are talk show poison. People who pull down any talk show by being DVR Repellent. If when scanning the guide, any of these ten names appear, I know instantly, not to bother.