Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Roundup: Palin to attack HBO's 'Game Change'

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This week there's a big focus on "Game Change," the dramatization of Sarah Palin's involvement in the 2008 election which premieres on HBO at 8pm on Saturday. The problem for Palin is that the movie is done very very well. Julianne Moore, while not getting the Palin accent down very well, really brings Palin to life. Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris round out the top of the bill with excellent performances. Watch Palin and the conservative right wing stagger from their latest round of gaffes to rally against what is a remarkable piece of storytelling (without actually seeing it - kind of like male conservative pundits weighing in on women's health). "Game Change" shows just how close the country was to putting an unscrupulous incompetent in immediate succession to the presidency. Thankfully Saturday is bereft of other TV distractions, watch "Game Change."

Tonight Fox is relaunching "Breaking In," a Christian Slater comedy vehicle that most people considered cancelled when it disappeared from the airways last year. Was it cheaper for Fox to move forward through a prescribed number of episodes than paying a heft termination fee to Slater? We may never know. I'm a fan of Slater's but he has been a part of an extraordinary number of failures on television in a leading role. I love Megan Mullaly but I can't see how she could carry this unless there's been a complete overhaul of the writing department but the struggle intrigues me and it may be worth witnessing. Speaking of Mullaly, she and husband Nick Offerman of "Parks and Recreation" were guests on Marc Maron's WTFpod yesterday.

Also on TV is the launch of season 2 of the comedy/horror cult fave "Bite Me" on FearNET. If you find yourself laughing to gory scenes in "The Walking Dead," "Bite Me" is the show for you. FearNET has been adept in making the comedy/horror connection and "Bite Me" is no exception. The show premieres at 8pm tonight online.

Today comedian Doug Stanhope releases his new album, "Before Turning The Gun On Himself..." You will have seen Stanhope last season on FX's "Louie" in one of the funny-yet-darker episodes, capturing one of his most PG performances. The album was recorded in Salt Lake City and it sounds like a small, intimate show, with a lot of energy per audience member. Stanhope presents a hilarious, yet somewhat bleak interpretation the world that polarizes listeners - I have yet to find people who "kind of like" or "kind of don't like" Stanhope. I particularly enjoy Stanhope's take on the media, TV, and movies, and he didn't disappoint with this album. I'm very happy to be able to share this track with you, "Dr. Drew is to Medicine What David Blaine Is to Science," but be aware that it is NSFW and put some headphones on if you are in the office. There are plenty of new topics in the album as well as some revisiting of Stanhope's issues with children and the regulation of drugs. Stanhope never waters down his stuff, so I can't say that "Before Turning The Gun On Himself..." presents any material that could be considered "accessible" to neophytes. The album is simply another chance to catch a great set from an uncompromising comedian.

Just this January, comedian David Cross said that there wasn't a possibility for a live "Mr. Show" tour to happen this year, but frequent show collaborator, John Ennis, hinted that such a tour, complete with show co-creator Bob Odenkirk, was in the works. You can hear a clip of Ennis discussing the cult comedy favorite from the Alternative To Sleeping radio program on WCDB out of Albany, NY.

"Justified" fans will not only be happy to know that there is a new episode on at 10pm tonight on FX but also that the network has picked up the series for a fourth season.

DVR This: Tonight: "Raising Hope" (Fox, 8pm), "Justified" (FX, 10pm), "SouthLAnd" (TNT, 10pm) - and thank you LA Times for following my lead and continuing to write up "SouthLAnd.," Joel McHale is on Ferguson | Wednesday: "Happy Endings" (ABC, 9:30pm), "Psych" (USA, 10pm), Jon Hamm & Kumail Nanjiani on "Conan," Julianne Moore, Josh Wolf, Arden Myrin, Dov Davidoff on "Chelsea Lately" | Thursday: "Inside Comedy" with Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner (Showtime, 8pm), "Parks and Recreation" (8:30pm, NBC), "Archer" (FX, 10pm), Jeff Wild, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Bobby Lee on Chelsea | Friday: "Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO, 8pm), "Portlandia" season finale (IFC, 10pm) | Saturday: "Game Change" (HBO, 8pm) | Sunday: "Bob's Burgers" (Fox, 8:30pm), "Luck" (HBO, 9pm),  "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 10pm), "House of Lies" (Showtime, 10pm), "Californication" (Showtime, 10:30pm)

Events: Somehow there are a few tickets left for the "Sons of Anarchy" session tomorrow night at PaleyFest - there will be a ton of cast members there in addition to the series' brilliant and unfiltered creator, Kurt Sutter (who you should be following on Twitter, BTW). There will be a lot of hardcore fans so be sure to get there well before the 7pm show time if you want to get better seats, get "Sons of Anarchy" tickets here and review the full offerings of PaleyFest2012. There are still tickets for tonight's "Parks and Recreation" - GO already! If you like television and live in the Greater Los Angeles Area, there is nothing better, recognize how fortunate you are. | Tonight is the Laugh For Sight benefit at the Hollywood Improv. Comedy superstars performing include: Bill Burr, Greg Fitzsimmons, Kevin Nealon, Christopher Titus, and more. | Greg Proops does his free Vodkast at Bar Lubitsch tomorrow night at 7:30pm. Be there to hear it first! | At the Hollywood Improv Lab this Thursday, nifty sketch group The Awkward Kids performs "Human Behavior 2." | Also Thursday, Dork Forest! at NerdmeltLA with Mary Birdsong and Eddie Pepitone.

Other Media: Starting this Thursday, a new podcast will be launched by Nerdist, called The JV Club. Created and hosted by accomplished writer and actor Janet Varney, who also happens to be a co-creator and co-producer of SF Sketchfest. The show will feature interviews with women that host Janet Varney feels in some way set an example for girls who are trying to find their voices and be comfortable in the world, as well as for women who are making sense of their career goals, their families, and their experience of what Varney calls "adult-lescence." The premiere episode will have guest Christina Hendricks of AMC's "Mad Men." The podcast will be available, beginning this Thursday, at the podcast page of Nerdist.

This Saturday HBO premieres "Game Change," the story of Sarah Palin's involvement in the 2008 election, and KCRW's "The Business" talks to its director, Jay Roach, and writer, Danny Strong and it's well worth the listen.

Tomorrow NBC will be releasing several animated web episodes of "Community," the show that's been on indefinite hiatus yet isn't canceled (we hope). Here's an example below:

 

Last week Martin Short was on "Conan" and the show's warm-up comic, Jimmy Pardo, continued his series of guest assaults on "The Pardo Patrol":

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