Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Roundup: The week's TV picks, podcast connections, and more

Nurse Jackie

Showtime

Here's the news, "Nurse Jackie" isn't funny, it has funny moments, but it's a drama, take note TV Academy. [Photo courtesy Showtime]

If you have been watching Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" this season you will know that the show has gone to a very dark place and any humor that occurs is meant to highlight the drama. That's because "Nurse Jackie" is, and has always been, a 1/2 hour drama despite the TV Academy's insistence on nominating and awarding Edie Falco with Emmys for "Best Actress in a Comedy," something that should not happen this year if the Academy wishes to preserve what little credibiity it may have left. Delving deep into a battle with addiction and the collapse of her family, moments of levity are few and far between. On the flip side, Louis C.K. won resoundingly this weekend at the 2nd annual Comedy Awards in New York City (look for our report on the event here tomorrow) and we had better see similar honors bestowed upon FX's "Louie" this Fall, an innovative comedy show that delves into drama.

Read More...

The Roundup: 'In Plain Sight' at Paley; NBC juggling both Mitt & Sarah Silverman issues?

NUP_143118_0192.jpg

Robert Ascroft

Mary McCormack as stars as Mary Shannon in USA's "In Plain Sight" which will be featured at the Paley Center tomorrow night. - Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network

Mitt Romney is considering an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" as if the opportunity has been offered. I'm sure, if anybody cares to look, that in the recent past Romney has decried the humor on "SNL," so would this be another "pivot" by his campaign? Since when did we allow "flip flop" to be rebranded as "pivot"? Hey "SNL" writers, there's a sketch in that concept right there. While last week's "SNL" with Josh Brolin as host wasn't terrible, it didn't seem to have too many high points either, other than some well-deserved and accurate California-bashing. Unfortunately the show somehow didn't properly leverage the considerable talents of Brolin. Live TV isn't easy and "SNL" should always get the benefit of the doubt, so we're looking forward to some new episodes.

Also in NBC-related news is the molehill-to-mountain conversion of a Sarah Silverman tweet that conservative media is trumpeting as the latest salvo in the liberal "War On Women." The tweet, a joke about consuming (and eliminating) a burrito with a reference to Roe vs Wade, has not spurred NBC to can the new series that Silverman is developing for the network. Terminating Silverman's show would definitely be a sexist move, as the network has kept Alec Baldwin employed despite his disruption of a plane flight that could have resulted in Federal charges.

Read More...

The Roundup: News from the FX network upfronts + this week's TV picks & events

Justified 2012 Season Finale

FX Networks

Tonight FX's "Justified" celebrates its season finale before the team heads to NYC in May to pick up their second Peabody Award. Do not miss this finale!

A week and a half ago the FX networks held their spring upfronts at the Lucky Strike bowling alley in New York City. Upfronts, if you are not familiar with the term, are events where networks invite current and potential advertisers to see the demographics, statistics, and potential return on investment the advertiser could benefit from if they support the programming of the network. It's a businesss meeting, chock full of presentations and are usually followed up with a meal, drinks, and schmoozing with network executives, TV showrunners, writers, and talent. FX, as is typical of the network, takes the idea of the upfronts to another level by renting out an entire bowling alley, commissioning show-specific jerseys, and pitting teams of cast and crew against each other. Compare that to the stodgy rubber chicken events the other networks seem to be content with and you can understand how 

Read More...

The Roundup: FEARnet premieres "Holliston," don't miss our DVR This!

Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" returns this Sunday

Showtime Networks

Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" returns this Sunday.

Keith Olbermann has been fired again, this time from Current TV, where he never really seemed to settle in, so it should not have been a surprise to anybody. The question I have for you is, should I transcribe an interview I made with former Vice President Al Gore, show host Cenk Uyger, and former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm? The interview will not shed any light on the Olbermann situation so I'm concerned that it will appear as a fluff piece on the network. Let me know here in the Comments.

TV highlights of the week include a new NBC's premiere of "Best Friends Forever," a new "SNL," and the season premieres of "Nurse Jackie," "The Big C," and "The Borgias." Lots of great late night guests this week even though "Chelsea Lately" is on hiatus. Look for details in DVR This! below.

Read More...

The Roundup: April 1st is a fool's paradise of TV

"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO this Sunday.

Looks like the hype worked as AMC secured its biggest audience ever for "Mad Men" with Sunday's premiere. It felt a little long to this viewer so I'm eager for the hour-long episodes. AMC is on track to pummel us with another 2-hour premiere, this time it's "The Killing" next Sunday at 8pm which is way too soon, making AMC look overeager to keep their momentum going.

Next Sunday is a veritable traffic jam of quality shows, from Fox's "Bob's Burgers" at 8:30pm, to the season premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones," to Comedy Central's world premiere of "Jo Koy: Lights Out" at 10pm. Throw in Discovery's "Frozen Planet," Showtime's "Shameless" and "House of Lies," and PBS' "Great Expectations" and you have over 10 hours of "must-see" TV crammed into a 3 hour block. It's particularly frustrating to note that there is virtually no new programming on Saturday nights yet a deluge of it on Sundays. When will this programming trend change course?

Read More...