If you’re not a total dork who’s constantly checking imdb.com and annoying your friends with useless tidbits of information about what obscure episode of some show “blahblahblah” was on in 2006 this probably isn’t the blog for you. This is my blog devoted to just these types of references to mostly character and bit-part actors who make up the landscape of tv land! If you are that kind of dork for whom this stuff gets the heart palpitating: Welcome!
I know it’s been a while, and I haven’t been a good blogger at ALL, but I’m committed this time…really! So, after more than a year-long hiatus I’ve decided to resume the Showverlaps! blog, and this time it’s for reals, ya’ll! I forgot how much I love this stuff!
I will be adding some new shows to the ol’ repetoire and, unfortunately, some older favourites (Cold Case, My Boys, Big Love) will no longer be mentioned as much as they’ve been cancelled since last year. However, some cancelled or ended shows (Greek, Life on Mars) will likely still show up, as Greek only ended a month ago, and I only just watched Life on Mars on Netflix.
There are new shows on my radar, too, such as the silly but appealing Pretty Little Liars and the guilty pleasure gymnastics-fest Make It or Break It, both courtesy of ABCFamily. I recently became a disciple of Community and watched the first half of the second season in one day! And Boardwalk Empire? Pretty awesome. HBO is still killing it, for the most part, and I can’t wait for the return of BE and the pulpy True Blood! It’s also been a good year for mini-series…like the sublime Mildred Pierce, the epic Pillars of the Earth, and the down-and-dirty The Borgias.
Let’s get back into the swing of things, shall we?
So, like many folks out there I’m LOVING the new AMC series The Killing (showverlap to follow tomorrow)! Wow, AMC is hitting it out of the park these days what with Mega-hits Mad Men and Breaking Bad and the strange-but-lovable The Walking Dead.
Read on for brand new showverlaps, starting with…
You May Not Know You Know…
Ok, so chances are you do know Gretchen Mol, you just might not know from where!
You see, kids, once upon a time in the late ’90’s, Gretchen was plastered onto the cover of Vanity Fair with a headline asking if she was the next It Girl. She wasn’t. However, she has had a successful if non-headlining career on stage, screen, and small screen since then. And she just so happens to have been an instrumental part of my new favourite Netflix show that was cancelled after one season: Life on Mars. She played Annie Norris, the super-cute ’70’s era lady cop with the heart of gold and the brain of steel, and, not for nothing, but her hairdo was completely amazing. I can’t imagine what the show would have been like without her performance, which stood out even in a cast that included the formidable Harvey Keitel and a mustachioed, wise-cracking Michael Imperioli. And her style? I mean, she was just so perfectly suited to the 1973 version of a foxy gal, it was hard to believe she would belong in another era. Except that I already knew our Gretch could pull that off due to a stellar cult-forming performance in The Notorious Bettie Page and because of her totally fabulous work on another one of my fave shows…the wonderful Boardwalk Empire!
Let me just say that Boardwalk Empire is one of those shows that has everything, whether you want Academy Award-calibre actors (Steve Buscemi, etc), boobs and bloody massacres (but not quite up to the ridiculous standards of, say Starz’s Spartacus, which in my house is routinely called “Lords of Cock”), dames with attitude and glamourous wardrobes, or political intrigue. I mean, this show’s for you if you want one or all of the above. Sometimes I refer to it as “Triple B,” standing for Booze, Broads, and Bullets. It’s old-timey gangster but with a finesse and class that’s unparalleled.
In a cast that includes old favourites like former Wire standout Michael K. Williams (Omar!!!!!) and several indie-movie darlings of the not-too-distant past, Gretchen Mol sizzles and surprises every time she’s on the screen as the showgirl, all around classy broad, avid reader, and (very very young) mother to up-and-coming gangstah Jimmy Darmody. She’s one of those rare actresses who can pull off “smart” while wearing a feather headdress: Eat your heart out, Cher/Christina Aguilera/Elizabeth Berkeley!
We go from two shows with actual, ahem, critical acclaim to two shows that, well, don’t have much of that jazz. But they’re both fun shows, and this man is their common link:
If you recognize him you are either:
a) a fan of SciFi shows/movies by Joss Whedon
b) a 13-year-old girl who considers him a “real adult”
Like many young women, I have been subjected to Science Fiction television by my boyfriend. It was, at first, against my will. I resisted. But then, one cold winter night, I relented, and allowed him to pop Battlestar Galactica into the dvd player. Not the original one, the one with all the hot guys (more about them tomorrow…there’s a new Battlestar showverlap that made me very happy two nights ago!). In any case, with BSG as a starting point, we eventually worked our way through several other SciFi series. Some were really, really bad (like Caprica, which deserved cancellation). In fact, most space shit made these days is bad (V? It’s sort of a D-). But one show was pretty good. Or at least OK. Or at least a good warm-up for the movie they made after the series was cancelled.
That series was called Firefly. It didn’t make me fall asleep, which was good, mostly because the character development was well done. On the other hand the theme song is the worst piece of crap I’ve ever heard. But that’s neaither here nor there. The point is the show had a character named Dr. Simon Tam and, while he sort of looked like the kind of guy that might put something in your drink at a frat party, he ended up being a lovable nerd…kind of like the Professor on Gilligan’s Island. Dr. Tam was, of course, played by Sean Maher, and he was good. Especially when he was saving someone’s life, or when he had his shirt off. Or both.
I was very surprised to see Sean show up in the most unlikely form of a National Gymnastics Committee (or whatever it’s called on the show) regulator on Make It or Break It. In this role, he’s the heavy, making Emily give up her social life for her spot on the National Team and checking in on her all the time, I mean, it’s, like, so unfaiiiir! Sorry. You don’t care. I have to suspect, however, that his character’s motives for keeping such a close eye are not entirely tied to Emily’s career, and that he might have the hots for her mom, Chloe, who’s the biggest MILF around and with whom he has mad chemistry, such as it is on the show. I only say this because, if there weren’t going to be fireworks, why would they hire such an adorable piece of cheesecake to play a gymnastics paper-pusher? Just saying…