Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Weekly Buffet: The Tube

News in the world of television has been sparking up to an extreme level in the last couple days with further developments on one exciting new project after the next. 

That box in our living room continues to prove that some of the most genius work is being done on a daily basis on the small screen. Even with all the new shows to fall in love with, there is still plenty to discover from the past.

From an American legend, to an American joke, and to an acclaimed short lived American show which is new to some, and adored by others-here is a taste of the week in TV:

MaClaine Does Downton


The residents of  Downton Abbey have their hands deep in the trenches of WWI, and even with several climactic Season Two episodes yet to air, it would be believed that this PBS masterpiece couldn't get any better. But wait, it happened.

Some vital and incredible information released this week about the upcoming production of Season Three is even leading to brief fainting fits onto chaise lounges-Downton Abbey fans are just that fancy.

Next year there will be a face off of epic proportions; the dames vs. the classy broads as Shirley Maclaine struts her way across the pond, and ventures into the world of Downton. In truly genius casting, she will play the mother of Lady Grantham.

As mother in laws, the entire season will have Maclaine and Maggie Smith in a perpetual side-eye starring contest, and, better yet, a war of classy early 1900's rebuttals.

Can't. Wait.

TV Flashback: Sports Nights

That leaning pose needs to be brought back. [SOURCE]

Resurrecting TV shows for an audience unaware of its existence, or was too young to enjoy (like me!), is one of the most enjoyable elements of the instant streaming capabilities of Netflix.  

As an avid list reader (and compiler) one show perpetually shows up on many lists that detail critically acclaimed greats that were canceled too soon; and that is why I'm thrilled to finally have caught up on the short lived series, Sports Night.

Aaron Sorkin must be a sports fan. Coincidentally, his recent Oscar nomination as co-writer of the screenplay for Moneyball is not his first successful foray into the world of baseball.

Way back in '98, he created and penned Sports Night, a show that didn't find his characters in a dugout, but instead placed them bustling through the halls of a TV studio with last minute scripts and only 30 seconds to air. The crazed filled antics of working on a live late night cable sports show is equally as nail-biting as a tie game at the bottom of the ninth.

From the opening scene, Sorkin's quintessential smart banter and quick pacing makes Sports Night instantly top-notch, even as the show slightly struggles to find its identity as either a comedy or drama. Painfully, the beginning of the first season has a distracting laugh track. Ouch.

Thankfully, they discovered rather quickly that the show was masterful at both being humorous and dramatic without all that forced fake laughter.

Peter Krause and Felicity Huffman, who are still succeeding at being glorious on TV, lead the cast through two seasons, which also finds William H. Macy showing up with a fantastic mustache that adds even a pinch more amazing. No secret, those three would make me adore anything.

Sometimes, but not always, the shows with one or two seasons are the most memorable. Like My So Called LifeFreaks and Geeks, and Pushing Daises, Sports Night, with only a short amount of time, created a perfect little world with no flaws, where each episode can be enjoyed endlessly.

That's A Game Changer

If possible, there is something better than Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and that is Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in the HBO movie, Game Change.

Based on the book of the same name, the film follows the craziness that was the 2008 Presidential election.

Literally, this is bringing back the sweat inducing nightmares I had which involved that woman smiling behind the desk in the oval office. 

I'll get off my soap box and move on to a more serious topic, and an age old question: WHO (WHO!), will play the raving beauty that is Cindy Mccain? I can see that face lift from my house.

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