One-hour to Oscar…and live blogging and final musings

Yep. It’s that time again this year.

And yes, like other award shows, I will be live blogging the whole thing.

I’ve been lucky enough to see every nominated film and while I think we are probably going see Argo take home the big prize, but I gotta say, controversial as it has been Zero Dark Thirty was a brilliant film. Far more morally ambiguous with a deeper emotional core ZDT was  a lot more complex and had to function on a higher level than Argo. That being said, I’ll be perfectly happy with an Argo win. 

Actually I’ll be fine as long as any movie other than Les Mis wins. Cuz, c’mon…really?

So settle back, get your snacks, figure out your bathroom breaks and meet me back here at 8:30 for Seth Macfarlane, what I imagine will be a slew of inappropriate and maybe funny jokes, and Hollywood doing what it does best…celebrating itself.


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SNL Classics: Jimmy Tango’s Fat Busters (aka Ride the Snake)

I remember everyone being so surprised when Jim Carrey’s SNL hosted in 1996. Considering his years on In Living Color, his ability to perform even the most odd and bizarre of sketches, should not have surprised anyone.

Plus I find this sketch really emphasizes Carrey’s incredibly physicality – with both body and face.

Pardon me while I try to find a version of the video that non Hulu+ subscribers can see

“Combining the miracle of modern technology with the secrets of ordinary street junkies!”

Jimmy Tango should totally make a guest appearance on the last episodes of Breaking Bad.

Personally, I don’t need Jimmy Tango and his magical meth to make me cry when I see a tree.

The manic clapping, the sleeping in your oven, the knowledge the you are now the’s all worth it.

Plus, the awesome phrase: RIDE THE SNAKE (ride the snake)

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So….about that Superbowl commercial

Not that one,

or that one

This one:

Apparently this cost the Church of Scientology 8 million dollars. That’s right — 8. Million. Dollars. And it said absolutely nothing. And anything it DID say, well, it seems to be counter-intuitive to anything and everything we have been hearing about Scientology over the past few years.

It just seems odd to put an ad for your religion alongside ads for Doritos, cars, and summer movies. As Sesame Street used to say, “one of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong…”


(I wonder what Xenu thinks of all this…)

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What it’s like to shoot Game of Thrones in Iceland

Full disclosure: I’ve been to Iceland. It is as gorgeous and as cold and as foreign as you think it is. Desolate and beautiful in places, lush and beautiful in others.

I cannot imagine a better location for Beyond the Wall than Iceland.

I love the idea that all the frost and icicles we’ll see starting March 31 are real. It takes integrity and a little insanity to say “Yes, let’s go shoot in this blizzard beaten landscape with 5 hours of day light, rather than sit in our warm, cozy studios and make pretty pictures on the computer.” And despite all those amazing clips of what they DO do with CGI on the show, every so often having this bit of reality makes such a difference.

Even though this was a very short behind-the-scenes peek, we are getting some good shot of characters, especially Mance Rayder played by Ciarán Hinds. And it’s nice to see Gareth Keenan alive and well.

Julius Cesar himself

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How I Met Your Mother will end next year

I’m so glad CBS listened when the entire internet begged it to let How I Met Your Mother go off into the sunset, its honor and integrity still mostly intact.

It was announced today that CBS has renewed HIMYM for the 2013-14 season and that will be its 9th and final season.

This is good on many levels:

1. All the leads are free to pursue other things, which is great as long as this doesn’t mean we’ll be getting more Smurfs sequels.

2. We have an end date by which we will FINALLY know who the titular mother is.

3. With Barney and Robin’s wedding later this season, how many more story lines are there to tell, apart from the reveal of the mother? Do we need more trumped up drama just to fill an episode? (The answer, by the way, is no)

4. They can start planning now to give us a series finale that will be satisfying  if not  a little bittersweet. HIMYM has excelled in giving us humor with some real emotional moments. Like Scrubs before it – because I am only counting Scrubs episodes until JD left – I hope we get a finale that ties up loose ends, looks forward to the future, and respects the world it created. For those of us who have hung on this long, I think we want something that is at its heart true to the core of the show.

And we have a few things to look forward to apart from the mother – primarily…the final slap. I’d even be happy with a secondary Slapsgiving episode, just because.

I’ll be sad to say goodbye, but I’m glad the show will end gracefully and on its own terms.

Plus, we’ll always have the mall.

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SNL Classics: Cooking with the Anal Retentive Chef

There were several of these, possibly the most memorable being the time the Anal Retentive Chef cooked with the Creole chef played by John Goodman. But there is something about the low-level insanity of this Anal Retentive Chef sketch that makes it work.

My sister and I have sat there reciting every single step of how to throw out trash: put your refuse into 2 connected paper towels, wrap that in aluminum foil, put the wrapped aluminum foil package in a brown sandwich bag, which is then taped shut in the center. And on days when I’m dragging down a drippy bag of garbage to the bins, I must say, the system has its pluses…

This sketch also serves as a reminder that there will never be another Phil Hartman. His prissiness never edged into insult and he embodied that character with every single movement and gesture. The man was a comic genius who could do more with a voice and a hat than some can do with an entire studio behind them.

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Best of 30 Rock’s Dr. Spaceman

I am refusing the believe that 30 Rock is actually going to be ending this Thursday night.

Without Liz, Jack, Kenneth, Tracy, and the rest of the TGS gang (note: Hazel Whatshername is NOT on this list), I don’t know how I will survive. How else will I learn not to go with a hippie to a second location or that it is possible for one to eat their father pig?

In trying to slowly wean myself from 30 Rock by watching a slew of clips, I came across this great collection of Dr. Leo Spaceman scenes. Chris Parnell will continue to be amazing as Cyril on Archer, but he will always be Dr. Spaceman to me.

Personal favorite, this exchange between Dr. Spaceman and Tracy:

Tracy: Doctor Spaceman, when they check my DNA, will they tell me what diseases I might get, or help me to remember my ATM pin code?
Dr. Leo Spaceman: Absolutely. Science is whatever we want it to be.

That’s Surgeon General Spaceman to you

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Greatest Jon Hamm photo ever

At least according to Vulture


Tony Danza wishes he were as cool as little Jonny Hamm!

It is the sexy + funny that really makes Jon Hamm special. The one without the other just wouldn’t cut it. I mean, how many other very very attractive, critically acclaimed dramatic actors would do this:

Case closed.

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How The Office surprised me this week

As The Office limps towards the finish line of its ninth and finale season, something odd happened this week.

It managed to surprise me.

Ever since Pam and Jim got married and settled into married bliss, they’ve been boring. Sure there have been little petty arguments and spats, but they’ve mostly just been pushed to the side as a plot arc that has run its course. This season they introduced the idea that Jim might be able to get out of the paper racket and start working somewhere he would really enjoy, the kicker being that the job would be in Philly. For the most part, this turn of events hasn’t wielded too much rich material; it was nice seeing Dwight all sad that Jim was leaving but we’ve already seen them share a “moment” in the past so it wasn’t wholly satisfying.

We’ve been waiting for the point where the cracks in Jim and Pam’s marriage start to show. The point where Pam’s constant caring for the kids and doing her job and just keeping the entire Halpert family machine chugging along just comes to a break. The point where Jim, probably exhausted from the commuting and emotionally torn from having to leave his family each week, snaps.

Finally, we got it and it was more emotional than I would have expected.

Pam was supposed to get the video from Cece’s dance recital, but she got a call in the middle of it letting her know that she got the commission to do Scranton’s Irish American Cultural Center Mural, and she didn’t end up recording it. Of course all she wanted to do was share this moment with her husband and get the “Beesley!” that she knew he would give her, the exclamation that let her know how proud he was of her and how much he loved her.

Meanwhile, Jim was in Philly and having a difficult day of his own. He was angry he couldn’t make it to the dance recital after having worked on it with Cece and he was frustrated that his company had just lost a main investor. All he wanted was a little bit of home on a miserable afternoon to make his day a little brighter.

The argument itself, as raw and honest as it was, wasn’t the part that surprised me. It was Pam’s subsequent breakdown and the final breaking of the fourth wall when the camera man, Brian, went to comfort her. Pam was so full of helpless and heartbreak, how could he not want to help her as she sat there and cried “What am I doing wrong, Brian?”.  After 9 years of filming them, you’d imagine the film crew would have developed feelings for their subjects and it would make sense that it would take a moment like this to make them break the rules and interfere.

While I am still wary of how this show will make its last lap around, if we can get a few more scenes of real emotion, either full of joy or sadness, I will feel a lot less pathetic for having stuck with the show for the entire run.

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All you need to know about Adam Levine’s SNL episode

Adam Levine admitted it himself — this is him overreaching and trying acting.

But there was some funny last night. Not much, but some…

First off, Adam’s monolog. Sure the Voice spoof was a given, but it was cute – it’s always great to see Andy Samberg back on SNL and it was a bit of a surprise to see Cameron Diaz and Jerry Seinfeld – and at least the writers gave us what we (and Samberg and his lotion) were all waiting for:

Isn’t this the real reason we were all watching?

The next sketch that actually made me laugh out loud was the Sopranos Diaries promo from the CW, the same network that is trying to make us think that The Carrie Diaries is a good idea.

Bobby Moynihan has been on a roll lately and does a dang fine Tony Soprano. Kate McKinnon’s Carmela is a thing of beauty.

And, of course, with Samberg showing up in the monolog it only makes sense that we would get a Lonely Island digital short. This one describes pretty much what I think YOLO really should encompass.

That shot of them without teeth is fairly disgusting. But I did enjoy seeing Adam Levine in crazy homeless man get-up, tin foil hat and all, along the side of the road with his YOLO sign.

The other sketches were mostly forgettable. I am happy to watch Bill Hader scream in falsetto, but the entire sketch itself just didn’t stick. The soft rock rumble between Maroon 5, Train, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer (who IS certifiably insane) never became strange enough to work. I didn’t care for the “MTV Catfish” bit or the Adam and Janet sketch which really just went no where once it became clear that Adam Levine wasn’t really going to take off his pants.

Lately the last sketch or two of the evening has been fertile ground for the writing staff, letting their freak flags fly once there’s only ten minutes or so left in the episode. This week we got yet another chance to love Jason Sudekis’s Joe Biden in “Biden Bash” – a bash you know you’d buy tickets for if it only existed.

I’m going to miss this when Sudekis finally departs.

So overall not godawful, but mostly unmemorable.

Oh and since I didn’t comment on last week’s JLaw hosted episode (mostly because it just made me sad) here is my favorite bit from the episode:

It was Jennifer Lawrence’s shouted “No we’re NOT!” that sold it. Though we didn’t need that whole “Hobbitz in the Hood” or “Grumpy Old Hobbits” shtick. The real concept was entertaining enough.

The less said about Top Dog Chef, the better.

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