Archive | February, 2010

Note: Speaking of Comedy

11 Feb

I’ve said that How I Met Your Mother is my favourite comedy of. all. tiiiiiiime. And it’s true. But I do want to mention a couple of tiny little wee showverlaps involving another fave comedy (that may now be cancelled, I can’t really find the information anywhere online) My Boys. It’s a charming little show starring Jordana Spiro, who no one has ever heard of, as Chicago sports reporter P.J. Franklin, who mostly hangs out at an Irish pub with her best male pals (hence the title), her brother, and her best gal pal. Most people have never heard of this show, because it doesn’t air on one of the big three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) or on the little brother of the big three (FOX) or even on one of the uber-cool trendy cable networks (HBO, AMC). No, My Boys airs on TBS, a network so lame it can’t even compete with MTV, ABCFamily, The CW,  Bravo, ScyFy, Showtime, or even VH1. TBS has an amazing lack of original programming, kind of the way I assume AMC was before it was overhauled.

Because My Boys languished for so long on a sub-par shitbrick of a network, very few people even knew of its existence. The only time it got any press was when co-star Kyle Howard started dating Lauren Conrad of The Hills. It’s real social commentary that Lauren, who is essentially a talentness and not overly intelligent person (she is engaging and seemingly congenial enough. and pretty, which is really what counts anyway) is way more famous than Kyle, who is funny and a pretty good actor (best known, unfortunately, for his role as a pothead surfer in the Jack Black/Colin Hanks slight-amuse-fest Orange County). But I digress. The point is, the show’s funny and I like the character development and people should check it out.

I think maybe because My Boys has been on hiatus for so, so long, the actors have had loads of time to showverlap. For example, I spotted the deadpannest of deadpanners Jim Gaffigan (who is spit-your-beer-out hilarious as P.J.’s brother Andy on the show) as Murray’s best friend Jim on another one of my (few) comedies Flight of the Conchords. In case you don’t recognize his name, this is what ol’ Jimbo looks like:

If you happen to remember his appearance on FOTC then congratulations! You’re not smoking as much weed as you thought! If you don’t you can find the YouTube video for “Friends” by FOTC to see Jim’s cameo as, well, Jim.

Another crossover is between My Boys and How I Met Your Mother. In an episode also starring Joanna Garcia of Gossip Girl and the brief-but-kinda-cool Privileged we get a short glimpse of Jamie Kaler who plays the idiotic skirt-chaser Mike on My Boys as a less idiotic and only chasing one skirt (Joanna’s character) marine biologist named Jim. Can we not think of other names? Anyway, here’s a picture of Jamie, too. He’s a ginger. Don’t be afraid. Just no sudden movements, ok?

Watch My Boys sometime and you’ll see that it’s quality, even if it’s likely to be off the air for good!

You May Not Know You Know…

11 Feb

Benjamin Koldyke. Here’s an actor that looks to me like Superman after he’s hung up the cape and tights and retired to suburbia. Square jaw? Check! Side-parted black hair? Check! Steely gaze? Check! And yet, instead of looking ready for a fight he looks like a big puppy dog ready to mow the lawn.

The cool thing about Ben, here, is that his showverlaps include the rarest of rareties: The comedy/drama showverlap! And, oh my, what a showverlap it is, too! His characters could not be more different, right on down to their sexual orientations. What’s also kind of extraordinary about this showverlap is that both Ben’s roles are taking place right now, in the current season of the shows in question. And they are…Big Love and How I Met Your Mother! Surprised? I was too!

I first spotted Benjamin in the season opener of this year’s dose of Big Love as the closeted gay man/state appointed Juniper Creek trustee Dale Tomasson: The fact that Tomasson is secretly gay makes him a more interesting character. The fact that he’s secretly gay and doing it with Alby Grant makes him really, really interesting and also a little creepy. I mean, Dale’s hot! He could have his pick of relatively non-threatening and sane handsome dudes. But, no. He chooses Alby for his tryst. I can’t wait to find out how it all plays out for nice guy Dale. I have a feeling it won’t end well. Think bunny boiling.

And then, for a complete 180, there’s Ben’s performance on H.I.M.Y.M. On that show, possibly my favourite comedy of. all. tiiiiiiime, he plays Robin’s co-anchor Don Frank. Don is kind of a jackass and is really jaded by the world of morning news shows having co-anchored about a billion different shows in his career. He refuses to wear pants. He drinks on air. He’s totally hilarious. Robin hates him, but does she looooove him? When Don’s behaviour took a turn for the better last episode (he even put on a pair of chinos!) Robin saw him in a new light. I have a feeling darling Don is going to end up faring better than delusional, doomed Dale.

You May Not Know You Know…

2 Feb

Robert Wisdom is well known to anyone who watched Supernatural last season. He was the decidly non-angelic angel Uriel. He used his deep voice and evil stare to full effect in that role. His douchebaggery was such that I rooted for an untimely demise for Uriel, but it turned out, once he was gone, that I kind of missed Robert Wisdom’s simmering aggression and James Earl Jones-style cadence. Poor me! I was a bit sad…

Until, that is, I became a Johnny-Come-Lately viewer of HBO’s now defunct The Wire. Universally acclaimed as one of the Best. Shows. Ever!! The Wire is chock full of excellent actors. With so many characters involved, and with the cast changing each season, there is of course ample showverlap opportunity. Imagine my happy surprise in beginning the third season and noticing the presence of my old pal Robert Wisdom in the role of Major Howard ‘Bunny’ Colvin, esteemed commanding officer of the South East division and general hard-ass. I haven’t seen too much of Colvin yet, but what I have seen I like. He’s a bit old school and tough, but he also seems intelligent, nuanced, and genuinely interested in helping his community. Kind of like Uriel lite!

Sarah Drew. Probably not a name you’ve heard of unless you were a serious Everwood fan. Are there even serious Everwood fans? I mean, it wasn’t a very good show, was it? Even according to someone who enjoys the old WB style teen dramas. Correct me if I’m wrong, Everwood-ites! In any case, Sarah Drew is an actress who has been on my radar for her appearances in pretty much every show I watch. Cold Case as the daughter of a murdered DJ. Glee as the Mr. Shuester – stalking Suzy Pepper (and, man, did they fuggify her for that one – she was almost unrecognizable!) Supernatural just last week as teen-nerd-witch-turned-briefly-into-demon Nora (who kills one of her best friends while possessed and then acts like it’s no bigs two hours later – hilarious!)

So, basically, this gal gets around. For real, she gets a lot of work. But her real tour-de-force was her stellar turn as Salvatore Romano’s wife beard on Mad Men. That’s her! Kitty Romano! With the 1960’s press and curl hairdo! And the red lips! And all that pent-up sexual frustration! Her work as Kitty was all moist-eyes and “It seems good that my husband is willing to clean up while I relax after supper but it just isn’t normal for 1963! Damnit!” nervous smiles. Her performance, meeting Mad Men standards, is pretty understated, but the audience knows that Kitty’s on to Sal’s light loafers, especially when it becomes painfully clear that when Ken Cosgrove comes over for dinner Salvatore no longer views his wife as the prettiest thing in the room!