Tag Archives: NBC

This Week 9/19 to 9/24

We’ve had a week of discovering just how much my life is ruined by not having internet access. (How much, you ask? SO MUCH.) Anyway. Ducks are in something resembling a row-like formation, approximately, so now here we are: a This Week post for the first time in MONTHS. It’s almost like I’m making a legitimate effort or something.

TONIGHT:
8pm – Eureka on Syfy (season finale!)
10pm – Castle on ABC (season premiere!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS (season premiere!)
10pm – The Playboy Club on NBC (series pilot!)

Really, Monday nights at 10? Really? Of course I’m going to be watching Castle, no question there. But it’s the principle of the thing. Also going on tonight: Ashton Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men debut. (Am I the only one who thinks the title should be changed to One and Two Half Men?) AND, two hours later, Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. Somewhere out there is a marketing genius.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS (season premiere!)
8pm – Glee on FOX (season premiere!)
9pm – NCIS: LA on CBS (season premiere!)
9pm – New Girl on FOX (series pilot!)
9pm – Ringer on the CW

So I haven’t watched the pilot of Ringer yet…or the finale of Glee. Probably going to watch NCIS prime and then New Girl (just to finally put my morbid curiosity to rest).

WEDNESDAY:

Apparently I’m going to spend Wednesday catching up from Tuesday and Monday. Or maybe I’ll give in to the temptation to watch the pilot of Revenge at 10pm on ABC.

THURSDAY:
8pm – Charlie’s Angels on ABC (series pilot!)
9pm – Person of Interest on CBS (series pilot!)
10pm – Prime Suspect on NBC (series pilot!)

What is Prime Suspect doing on Comedy Thursday? Can anyone explain this?

FRIDAY:
8pm – A Gifted Man on CBS (series pilot!)
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS (season premiere!)
9pm – Fringe on FOX (season premiere!)
9pm – Supernatural on the CW (season premiere!)

I don’t know what CSI: NY is doing on my schedule – I pretty much stopped watching. I don’t know what Fringe is doing on my schedule – I’m now two and a half seasons behind or some damn thing. I do know what Supernatural is doing on my schedule – just finished S4, so as soon as I slam down S5 (so to speak), I’m working it in because that show is freaking awesome.

SATURDAY:

Saturday is not even a day on TV.

And now I have to go do my last Fall is Fun post REALLY REALLY QUICKLY before I end up staying at this Starbucks for an awkwardly long time. Enjoy your week! Premieres, guys! Funandnews!

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FALL IS FUN: New Series for 2011/2012 – NBC

And now for the NBC installment! (See my posts on FOX and ABC for more Fall Fun.) Of everything I’ve looked at so far, I’m most anticipating NBC’s new lineup. There’s some good stuff here. Bonus points to any person who picks up on my Firefly reference. It’s not actually that hard to find.

PRIME SUSPECT
Premieres Thursday September 22 at 10pm

I’m going to make the unusual move of starting with the show I am least thrilled about. Prime Suspect is the remake of a hit British series that starred…Helen Mirren. Yeah. You’re feeling that immediate gut reaction of “what dumbass decided this was a good idea?” aren’t you? And you should. Because seriously: as if the rampant remakes weren’t bad enough, NBC now trying to pass off Maria Bello as a suitable replacement for Helen Mirren. I don’t mean this as an insult to Maria Bello in any way but, Bitch Please.

If that were my only objection to Prime Suspect, I would attempt to get over it because the honest truth is that remakes are not always a poor choice (see: The Office, also on NBC). But I actually have an even greater objection, which is the premise of the show itself: woman in a man’s world. I beg the pardon of any turn-of-the-last-century suffragettes who are rolling around in their graves as we say this, but Can We Just Get On With It Already? Perhaps in British society (which I know very little about), about a decade ago (when the original series premiered), this might have been a premise worth spending time on. But in this day and age, looking at the growing number of series featuring female cops without the flavor of sexism, the theme seems outdated and backward to me. Is there a reason we can’t have a show about a badass female cop where the focus is on the badassery, rather than on the femaleness? Or any type of character – doctor, lawyer, private detective, whathaveyou. House is not about the fact that Gregory House is a man being a doctor, it’s just about that he is a doctor. So wouldn’t the truly progressive thing to do be to just make a show about an awesome lead, and leave the character’s gender as an ohbytheway?

I’m sure Prime Suspect will be a perfectly passable crime procedural. It may even include some really great performances from, yes, Maria Bello, as well as the rest of what looks like a rather outstanding cast. It’s a perfectly good show, I’m sure. But I worry about the moral/social forces at work here.

GRIMM
Premieres Friday October 21 at 9pm

The preview for Grimm is disconcertingly awesome. And by that I mean I find it disconcerting that it is awesome. Mostly because it is forcing me to reconsider my initial, even-less-informed opinion of the show.

See, initially, I was very very wary of this idea. Crime procedural based on fairy tales? Come on now. Obviously I was interested and planning on watching, but I wasn’t actually expecting it to last (or even be worth lasting). The biggest concern for me was endurance. For other paranormal-edged procedurals of this sort (see: The X-Files, Supernatural, etc), “the fairy tale episode” tends to be just that. One episode. So stretching that out into a series? Chancy. Sure, you can do the Little Red Riding Episode, the Hansel and Gretel Episode, the Snow White Episode. But eventually you are going to run out, especially if you are limited to Brothers Grimm variety Western folklore stories.

Thus were my concerns, until I heard the three most important words in the preview: spoken by a badly injured woman in a hospital bed, “You’re a Grimm.” What is a “Grimm” and what exactly does that mean? I have no idea. But it does mean Something. And that was the turning point for me, where I veered away from resignation of failure to a cautious sort of hope. It’s hard to explain in brief terms exactly what I mean by “show mythology.” Effectively, it’s what makes The Vampire Diaries actually good, rather than just another shitty CW show with (slightly) more neckbiting. It is a Good Thing. Also a Good Thing: it looks like werewolves might finally be getting some love on this series, and it’s about damn time (but that is a rant for a later date). One last exciting thing, and its a Really Exciting Thing: one of the producers is David Greenwalt (Angel, Buffy).

I don’t know what all of this means for Grimm’s chances of survival. It could still fail miserably. Especially since it’s starting out in the Friday Death Slot. And, for all I know right now, I could be getting all worked up for something that ends up being awful afterall. But oh my dear and fluffy lord I hope not.

SMASH
Midseason

If you loved Glee when it started but have become increasingly disenchanted with its tween-audience-mongering as it has gone on, you are not alone, and you are not without hope. At least, not if you’re anything like me.

Glee celebrates people who love musical theatre, and that’s fine and lovely and commendable. But Smash is a celebration of theatre itself, of the business and the people in it. So, yes, there is a certain amount of narcissism at work here. But when narcissism includes bona fide Broadway star Megan Hilty (who you may or may not know as the only person to out-Galinda Kristin Chenoweth), it is hard to complain. Particularly when she is part of an ensemble cast that also includes Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Anjelica Huston, and Katharine McPhee. It sounds like I should be making this cast up, but I’m not.

The story of Smash is the creation of a musical about Marilyn Monroe, from inspiration to production. It goes at the process from all angles – actresses are most prominently featured, of course, but Debra Messing’s lyricist character is a close second. The show will feature original songs, and all the wonderful nonteenybopper drama the world of theatre has to offer.

I, theatre geek extraordinaire, am Ridiculously Excited about this show. I worry about it’s chances. Musicals do not survive well on TV, with the one obvious exception. And if Smash is trying to compete directly with Glee, it is going to lose because, well, it is. But if it can capture the folks disenchanted with Glee‘s childishness and also a new audience looking for something singy and dancey but a bit more mature, it just might be able to stick around.

AWAKE
Midseason

The premise of Awake is possibly the most fascinating premise to hit television in the past decade. The main character, a detective played by Jason Issacs (you probably know him as Lucius Malfoy), is in a car crash with his family and afterward finds his existence split into two realities: one where his wife survives, one where his son does. And, apparently, the two realities start to collide. If I have to explain to you how fascinating this is, how broad the potential for craftiness and excellence, then maybe you should just watch the upcoming Napoleon Dynamite cartoon and not worry your pretty little head. Personally, I am going to watch every single episode of this that I can, as it airs. Because its quite possible the show won’t last very long, and I expect every second to count.

And that is pretty much all I have to say about that. I am REALLY looking forward to this show.

Bonus Mention:
The Playboy Club (premieres Monday September 19 at 10pm). I haven’t made up my mind whether I’m interested in this or not. The title is a bit off-putting, as is the getting-tireder-every-second ’60s setting. BUT, well, boobs and dead people and a promised appearance by Sean Maher. I’m having an understandably hard time resisting the pull.

Feel like I missed something? That’s probably because I have absolutely no interest in seeing it. If you want a full Fall/Midseason schedule, I suggest Zap2It’s nifty interactive chart, which will provide you with a nifty little interface and handy links to check out the titles you don’t recognize.

This Week 3/7 to 3/12

So yeah. I guess I’m back.

I’ve spent the last…however long its been…mostly hacking away at my To-Watch list of old. Progress so far: Seasons 1 and 2 of Damages, Seasons 1-3 of Dexter, rewatching Season1 of Dollhouse, attempting to watch The 4400, and then also watching hours and hours of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Next up is Season 1 of The Closer, and I’m very excited.

BUT. Time goes on. New things air. And I try to keep up, or at least catch up.

MONDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
8pm – The Event on ABC (2-hour midseason return!)
9pm – The Chicago Code on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy

Of these four, I’m only current on The Event, and that’s only because there haven’t been any new episodes since my Great Catch Up of early January. Actually, I haven’t even started The Chicago Code yet. But people I trust tell me I should, so.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – White Collar on USA

GWYNETH PALTROW IS BACK ON GLEE!!! (Which reminds me. I finally caught back up on Glee after my period of disenchantment. And I LOVE IT again. Good times.)

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – Justified on FX

Question for Wednesday: is Mr. Sunshine worth watching? I’ve been curious.

THURSDAY:
9pm – Bones on FOX
10pm – Facing Kate on USA

This week on Bones: continuation of the “sniper arc” I keep hearing about. What makes that actually exciting: Arnold Vosloo!

FRIDAY:
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS
9pm – Fringe on FOX

I really need to catch up on Fringe. I miss it.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Zach Galifianakis and Jessie J.) on NBC

In Big Screen Brain news, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau. Expect a review in the next couple of days.

My Favorite Guest Actors – Issue 2

I’m pulling this feature out of the deep recesses of early Melted Brain because, well, writing reviews takes thinking and that’s hard so I don’t want to but I do want to post something so this is the best I could come up with. These men (yes, all men this time – I don’t know why, but I have a hard time remembering or getting really attached to female guest actors) are some of my very very favorite guest actors. They’ve all appeared on several of my favorite shows and, I’ll be honest, they all have that capacity to be excellently creepy. I am nothing if not consistent in my tastes. Here we go!

Arnold Vosloo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He tends to be cast as “The Middle Eastern Guy” and it is in that capacity that he has appeared on several of my favorite shows. Most notably, he played the slipperiest, trickiest, most difficult-to-find-nevermind-kill main 24 villain, Habib Marwan, on Day 4. He has also appeared on Chuck and NCIS and, most recently, on Bones (and that role is being reprised soon as the touted “sniper arc” moves forward). Generally, it is versatility that impresses me in an actor. But that isn’t really what gives Arnold Vosloo his appeal. Instead, what most impresses me about his various performances is the consistent steadiness in his carriage. No matter what he is doing or saying, there is always a certain element of…class, I guess you could call it. Nervousness and wavering are just not in his vocabulary and, really, it’s that steadiness that makes him so appealing and intimidating as a villain. And there is nothing better than an effortlessly intimidating villain. Except for maybe an effortlessly intimidating might-not-actually-be-a-villain, which is also an archetype he plays.

Mark Pellegrino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This actor has a peculiar talent for portraying both innocuous benevolence and brute violence…often in the same character. The two best examples of this disparity are Jacob of Lost and Paul of Dexter. He is totally believable as a loving father/guardian type, as well as an abusive power-hungry sonofoabitch, and somehow he even carries off the transition between those two elements. It is thoroughly amazing. But, it is a little sad that he is being more and more typecast in that sort of role – other recent examples include appearances on Supernatural and Being Human. Though losing the opportunity to seem him anywhere at anytime would be sad, I would love to see Mark Pellegrino get his own show – preferably something that gives him a chance to show off a bit more versatility.

Titus Welliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving right along to Mark Pellegrino’s opposite number from Lost, The Man In Black. Fittingly enough, he is somewhat the opposite as an actor. Titus Welliver shares the talent for straddling two seemingly incompatible personality traits within the same character. For him, the combination seems to be enigmatic menace and almost sissyish emotionality. My favorite role of his is Kyle Hollis from Life, a murderer-for-hire turned evangelist. It was the brief clip of that character’s preaching hellfire and damnation that really sold me on this man’s talent. That talent is yet another point chalked up on the board for “Reasons Why I Should Start Watching The Good Wife.” Also, he gets major bonus points in my affections for having one of the coolest names ever.

Tony Todd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Todd is a bamf, straight up. The man is basically built to play menacing characters. He’s also got one of those excellent, excellent voices. He has played characters on both sides of the moral spectrum, but I definitely prefer his villains. He played General Juma on Day 7 of 24 and was pretty much solely responsible for what I consider to be the best (and by “best” I mean “most terrifying and exhilarating and adrenaline-rushy”) fifteen minutes of the season, possibly of the series. I’ll be totally honest and admit that he’s not my favorite because of his range, or even because of his talent. It’s pretty much just because he plays awesome villains and/or intimidating authority figures and any appearance he makes is sure to be good times.

Callum Keith Rennie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I’m being totally honest, I should probably start off this paragraph by being straightforward and admitting that, yes, part of the reason I enjoy Callum Keith Rennie so much is because he is attractive. But seriously, mostly I love him because he plays excellent creepers. My favorite role of his so far is probably Leoben of Battlestar Galactica because, thanks to the chance to bounce of the sheer brilliance of Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck, he got to dig his heels way deep in and explore that delicious moral gray area. His character from 24 (yes, 24 again), Vladimir Laitanan is a close second, but that’s probably because not only do I love charming-but-terrifying, I really love Russians. I was going to say “He’s another who I’d love to see have his own show.” But then I went to imdb and found out that he DOES – he plays the lead role, a detective with multiple personality disorder, in a Canadian show called Shattered. Guess what just jumped to the top five in my Need To Watch list.

This Week 1/31 to 2/5

My top priority for this week: first season of Dexter!! Everything else will have to wait.

MONDAY:
8pm – Chuck on NBC
8pm – Human Target on FOX
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – The Cape on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy
10pm – Harry’s Law on NBC

Need to actually watch the first couple episodes of Harry’s Law.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
10pm – White Collar on USA

WEDNESDAY:
9pm – Human Target on FOX
10pm – Face Off on SyFy

Two new Human Target episodes in one week? Really?

THURSDAY:
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
9pm – Nikita on the CW
9pm – Bones on FOX
10pm – Fairly Legal on USA

First Glance on Fairly Legal is in the works.

FRIDAY:
9pm – Fringe on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

Man, I really ought to catch up on Fringe one of these days.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Dana Carvey and Linkin Park) on NBC

First Glance: The Cape

Reader Challenge: Keep your eyes peeled for the alliterative passages! (I’m not really sure how it happened, but they just kept popping up.) There are more than there ought to be, considering I wasn’t trying to do that.

Four episodes in and I still can’t believe I’m saying this (but I must): The Cape is surprisingly awesome. It isn’t really quality television programming, per se. But it is exactly as good as it ought to be for what it is.

Basically, The Cape is the television iteration of a comic book. Or, alternatively, an extended superhero blockbuster movie. It maintains the fairly straightforward, rather simplistic story format of each, as well as the blend of pseudo-realism and heavy stylization that characterizes superhero fiction in general. I’d argue it is formatted more similarly to paper comics; each episode is equivalent to an issue, split into smaller chapters, each of which is announced by what is basically a title page. (During the pilot, before I figured out what the titles were, I was not only confused but vaguely disapproving. Now that I understand what’s going on, I’m actually a fan of the presentation.) Since much of the show revolves around a comic book, the stylization is a rather creative and definitely effective technique. You just need to watch the opening credits to see that the aesthetics of the show are awesome.

There is no lack of stylization in any aspect of The Cape. It is, arguably, more style than substance (at least so far). It is filmed with the idea of comic-style images in mind – it’s a technique that worked wonderfully for Heroes. The visual similarity to comic book images extends into color choice, set design, and even the casting. No, really: if you look at them, there is not a single one who cannot easily be imagined into a cartoon character.

As far as casting goes, The Cape is populated by individuals who have been chosen more for look and persona than any amount of nuance in their performance. David Lyons (Vince Faraday) is just the right mix of abs, altruism, and border-line asinine determination. His voice and his manner would be just a little too puppy dog if he were trying to pass for a tougher, more epic superhero. But for a guy who lurks in corners, is trained by circus performers, and goes around calling himself “The Cape”, it works. He couldn’t hold the show up by himself, but he doesn’t necessarily have to.

The supporting cast is much more entertaining, naturally; but they are all only as excellent as they should be, without threatening to overshadow the central character. Summer Glau is, well, Summer Glau. I hate to say it because I love her, but there’s just not a whole lot of acting going on. Her role so far is a cross between watered-down River Tam and a ballerina. The situation is, sadly, made worse by the fact that her character’s storyline so far is painfully predictable. BUT. She is Summer Glau. So “Orwell” (real name X Fleming) is sexy and droll and yet still childlike and charming. Not new, as I say, but not unwelcome either.

Keith David, arguably best known as the voice of Goliath the Gargoyle, plays ring master and bank robber Max Malini to perfection. Between his voice and his eyebrows, he manages to give the two sides of the character – wise old trainer and happy resident of Moral-Gray-Area-Ville – an individual flourish of overwrought sardonic-ness. Also, he rocks some seriously rad Tuareg jewelry. His circus underlings, Rollo (Martin Klebba), Ruvi (Anil Kumar), and Raia (Izabella Miko) are obvious caricatures – no layers there – but unarguably entertaining. Not a whole lot of time is spent at Max Malini’s circus now that The Cape has his own fantastically aesthetic batcave (capecave?), but that time is unfailingly enjoyable.

Naturally, it is the humdrum humans who are least spectacular. And really, that’s the fault of the roles rather than the actors. It takes longer to warm up to characters who aren’t flashbanging their way across the screen making cheesy one-liners and forcing you to either like or hate them immediately. I’m still formulating my opinions about Dana (Jennifer Ferrin), Trip (Ryan Wynott), and Marty (Dorian Missick), but they are definitely growing on me.

The best roles are always the villains, and Chess aka Peter Fleming aka James Frain is no exception. In the pilot there seemed to be some question about whether or not he was going to have an accent or not. Now that the accent has been embraced, it is much easier to concentrate on his snobbish Brit businessman excellence. He is massively fun to watch, and plays the role with just enough of a tongue-in-cheek twist to make dressing in an all-white Western sheriff outfit seem like something the character would actually do. (And, even more impressive, managing to not look any more ridiculous than intended.) “Chess” has been killed in the world of The Cape so, unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of the CREEPY-AS-HELL snake eyes in red leather which is CREEPY AS HELL. Thankfully, Vinnie Jones fills the evil theatricality void by playing his usual money-man mobster-type bad guy…with awesome reptile makeup.

There are many things to enjoy about The Cape. It is well-made, beautifully orchestrated, and achieves exactly what it wants to in terms of creating a world and a story. Unfortunately, people don’t seem to be getting particularly swept up in said story. Ratings for The Cape are not encouraging. (It doesn’t help that its main timeslot competition is FOX’s Lie to Me, which airs immediately after perennial House.)I think part of that is due to the fact that the promos just looked so stupid. I mean, I almost didn’t watch the show because of them (and I have low standards!). That was the immediate problem that got The Cape off to a slow start. Well, that and the fact that it is called “The Cape” and revolves around a superhero named “The Cape” and no-one has been able to take capes seriously since Edna Mode of The Incredibles.*

The on-going problem is that there just isn’t much substance to back up all the style. My main concern is that the writers just won’t be able to come up with enough story to keep the show going…and it looks like they won’t even have all that many episodes to fill. Time was, a superhero could go through basically the exact same routine every week with a different opponent and everybody was thrilled. But we are living in a post-Nolan-Batman world. People demand more depth to their superhero fiction. And that is a good thing, no question. Still, it is kind of sad to live in a world where the classic superhero model – misunderstood good guy repeatedly saves the world without recognition or ego – isn’t enough anymore.

I really am enjoying The Cape in all its stylistic simplicity. But I’m not especially invested. And neither, it seems, is the rest of the television-viewing audience. Too bad, so sad. Not, however, a tragedy. I honestly believe that The Cape is worth watching as far as its own merits are concerned. I also honestly believe it is doomed to fail (could be quickly or via slow, painful slide) so unless you have plenty of time on your hands, don’t bother. There are better, or at least more dependable, things to watch…probably.

*They have managed to make the cape itself a tool rather than an accessory. Yeah, the disappearing act and cape-as-weapon bits are a tad silly. But how much sillier are capes that just hang there? I ask you.

Oh THAT Guy!: The Cape Edition

The Cape has conveniently stepped forward not only as a good way to spend Monday nights, but also as a reminder of a new batch of familiar faces that most people can’t quite manage to match names to.

Pasha D. Lychnikoff

Selected Appearances:
The Cape “Kozmo” as Russian Commander (2011)
Undercovers “A Night to Forget” as Warner Kominsky (2010)
Leverage “The Ice Man Job” as Head Goon (2009)
Star Trek as Romulan Commander (2009)
Indiana Jones 4 as Russian Solder (2008)
Chuck “Chuck vs. The Undercover Lover” as Victor Federov (2008)
Deadwood [multiple episodes] as Blazanov (2005-2006)
Alias “Passage: Part 1” as Zoran Sokolov (2002)

Basically, he’s the go-to “Russian Guy.” (Seriously. You look at his imdb credits and half of the roles don’t have names and are instead identified by descriptors to the tune of Russian, Russian Guy, Russian Bad Guy, Classy Russian Bad Guy, and so forth.) And he does a great job at all that, displaying the whole range from creepy to sadistic to clueless. But apparently he’s got some genuine acting chops that little guest roles just don’t show up. Another reason for me to make Deadwood a priority.

Ken Davitian

Selected Appearances:
The Cape “Tarot” as Store Owner (2011)
Chuck “Chuck vs. The First Kill” as Uncle Bernie (2009)
Get Smart as Shtarker (2008)
ER “Such Sweet Sorrow” and “Family Business” as Zakar Papazian (2000 and 2007)
Borat as Azamat (2006)
The Closer “To Protect & to Serve” as Mr. Sarcasian (2006)
Six Feet Under “I’m Sorry, I’m Lost” as Krikor Hovenessian
Gilmore Girls “Take the Deviled Eggs…” as Jesus (2002)

As you can surmise, Mr. Davitian’s resumé consists largely of second banana ethnic guy or fat guy roles. But hey. It’s a career. He isn’t working all the time, but he pops up every once in awhile just long enough to be recognized and disappear again. Without ever playing a particularly memorable single character or giving any particularly memorable performance (possibly excluding that whole Borat thing), he has managed to make himself a familiar face to, well, most people I’m guessing.

Martin Klebba

Selected Appearances:
The Cape [multiple episodes] as Rollo (2011)
CSI:NY “Uncertainty Rules” as Calvin Moore (2010)
Bones “The Dwarf in the Dirt” as Todd Moore (2009)
Scrubs [multiple episodes] as Randall Winston (2004-2009)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation “The Chick Chop Flick Shop” as Dickie Jones (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2, and 3 as Marty (2003, 2006, 2007)

Yeah. He’s the midget (or whatever the politically correct term is these days). And if you don’t recognize him, you’ve been living in a hole for the last decade or so. His specific schtick is “the little guy who can kick your ass.” He usually plays pro wrestlers, convicts, and other various and sundry minor league bad-guy types. Never any sort of serious villain. But definitely an adversary or sidekick type.

Anil Kumar

Selected Appearances:
The Cape [multiple episodes] as Ruvi (2011)
– K-Ville “Game Night” as Yasif (2008)
Life “What They Saw” as James White (2007)
Six Feet Under “A Coat of White Primer” as Dr. Perry Amaral (2005)
24 [multiple episodes] as Kalil Hasan (2005)
Jag “Persian Gulf” as Fardad (2004)
Law & Order: SVU “Honor” as Jalil Amir (2000)

Anil Kumar’s career has included a surprising amount of range. Yes, he’s played his share of “The Indian Guy” and “The Middle Eastern Guy.” But he also spends a good amount of time playing skilled and or classy professionals. The three roles I know him from are Persian terrorist cell member Kalil from 24, gay (bi?) upper-class murderer James from Life, and circus hypnotist slash bank robber Ruvi from The Cape. If that’s not a display of range, I don’t know what is. (In less critical mode, I am a big fan of the salt-and-pepper beard look on him.)

This Week 1/24 to 1/29

Coming this week from Melted Brain: one Big Screen Brain, three (maybe four) First Glances, and one Oh THAT Guy. I just need to figure out when to write them all.

ANYWAY. SCHEDULE.

MONDAY:
8pm – Chuck on NBC
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – The Cape on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy
10pm – Castle on ABC

New Castle! My week is horribly sad when it doesn’t start with a good hour of snarky crimesolving.

TUESDAY:
10pm – White Collar on USA

Dear Tuesday,
Suck less.
Love,
Melted Brain

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – Blue Bloods on CBS
10pm – Face Off on SyFy

Blue Bloods has been upgraded from Fridays. I guess that means it’s doing well. And, reminder, Face Off is a special effects makeup competition show.

THURSDAY:
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
9pm – Nikita on the CW
9pm – Bones on FOX
10pm – Fairly Legal on USA

FRIDAY:
9pm – Fringe on FOX

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Jesse Eisenberg and Nicki Minaj) on NBC

Now THERE is an SNL lineup I am dying to miss. Also on NBC: US Championship Figure Skating, Ladies Free Skate. (Looks like I’ll be getting a call from my grandmother later this week…)

This Week 1/17 to 1/22

Well, the Golden Globes are tonight. I’ll see about doing a post on that. Maybe. For now, the schedule for the coming week. Woo.

MONDAY:
8pm – Chuck on NBC (midseason return!)
8pm – House on FOX
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – The Cape on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy (series pilot!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS
10pm – Harry’s Law on NBC (series pilot!)

I should probably just take House off of my schedule. I’m not watching it and, from what I hear, that’s not a terrible loss.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
10pm – Southland on TNT
10pm – White Collar on USA

I have now removed V, Detroit 1-8-7, and No Ordinary Family from my schedule. Because, honestly, it just isn’t gonna happen. Ever.

WEDNESDAY:

Oh great. American Idol is starting again. (Bones marathon on TNT or NCIS marathon on USA? I think so.)

THURSDAY:
9pm – Bones on FOX (midseason return!)
10pm – Fairly Legal on USA (series pilot!)

Thank goodness for this Thursday!

FRIDAY:
9pm – Fringe on FOX (midseason return!)

…you’ve got to be shitting me. Fringe‘s Friday Death Slot premiere is titled “Firefly“? Can we spell “death sentence”? Jesus.

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

Waiting until January is not The Event

Yes, Asa, you were correct and I admit it.

It can fairly be said that, now I have seen the first ten episodes, I do regret not having started watching The Event sooner. In a television world now without 24, Heroes, and Lost, The Event has successfully filled the gaping hole left in the hearts of sci-fi fans…and without trying so hard that it comes up an obvious second.

What sets The Event apart from its predecessors is the presentation. It requires undivided attention from the viewer, but it does not demand that attention. The show almost tricks the audience into believing it is boring, until it pulls some ridiculously creepy stunt out of nowhere. Except not actually out of nowhere, because everything that happens fits into the narrative…somewhere.

The first few episodes, I felt like I needed to make myself a timeline to figure out exactly what was happening when and what the actual chronological order of events was. Now that the story has become more or less linear, the confusion is considerably less. And so is the excitement. The first three episodes were characterized by melodrama in the same class of, say, Lost or 24. Lots of fights, lots of booms, a little narrative progress, but mostly content to grab the audience’s attention. It took a few more episodes before something happened to keep that attention.

Visually, The Event matches the tone of the narrative. The cinematography is a bit reminiscent of the semi-voyeuristic, close-up ridden camera work of 24. But there are a lot more sweeping, cinematic sequences, and the overall colorscheme is actually rather light and airy. There’s little harshness to be found.

The thing about The Event is that it is so…calm. Even though all of these epic things are happening, the story twists and turns are allowed to stand alone without being punctuated by ridiculous, overbearing, dramatic sound effects a la JJ Abrams shows or constantly, melodramatically shouted swears a la Jack Bauer. People get shot, people die, bombs are set off, yes. But the greatest off-putting comes from quiet, creepy moments like little girls with old lady faces.

And maybe that is this show’s greatest trick. It doesn’t feel the need to force itself on you every single moment, but it does provide just enough reminders to keep you watching because you never know when the next crazy thing is going to happen.

The storytelling method – technique and pacing – are impressive. But The Event also has its disappointments. I’ve yet to get really attached to any of the characters. They’re all so-so at best. The president (Blair Underwood) wavers between being irritatingly moral and disturbingly short tempered. The two central action stars, Sean (Jason Ritter) and Simon (Ian Anthony Dale), are interesting to watch but not particularly connectable, despite efforts to make them so. Oddly, I find myself most drawn to Leila (Sarah Roemer), but I couldn’t tell you why. The two characters who disappoint me the most are Sterling and Sophia; the first because I expect so much from Zeljko Ivanek and am not getting it; the second because the character is half Laura Roslin, half Kathryn Janeway, but Laura Innes is not even a quarter so fascinating or chasimatic as those two.

I can’t say that The Event has moved me or captured me in any monumental way. It’s not…exciting enough. (That isn’t quite the word I want, but I can’t think of the one I’m looking for.) But all the elements needed to make a great sci-fi show are more or less in play. I definitely have hopes that this series will grow and develop given time. Hopefully that time will be given.