Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
[Yes, Isaac, you can pick
Thursday, March 22, 2012
P.S. In re-watching Season 4 with the AMC reruns, I'm struck by how completely foreshadowed Don's decision in "Tomorrowland" was. Very excited for Sunday -- who doesn't like the beginnings of things?
I auditioned for Norm, or the part that became Norm, anyway. I was actually on my way out the door, and I stopped and turned and looked into the writers’ room and said, “Do you have a bar know-it-all?” And they looked up, and I think it was Glen Charles who asked, “What are you talking about?” So I stepped back in the room and explained that it’s a necessity for a bar know-it-all, especially in a New England bar. He’s the guy that everybody defers questions to. Whether the answers are right or wrong, it doesn’t make any difference. [Laughs.] You just need someone with a voice of authority to answer the questions or settle any bar bet or controversy. So I gave them an example—I made up what I thought the character would be like—and they started laughing to the point that I was able to leave with my dignity. Two days later, I got the call that they wanted to try that character out for seven episodes. And 11 years later, I was still there.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Lieutenant Daniels steps up in a big way. So does Shardene -- each of them choosing to do the right thing, and not what's expected - at great personal risk. Poot and Bodie, on the other hand, nervously lead each other in the opposite direction, convincing themselves they have to do what they know is wrong, but believe is necessary to stay in the game. And then there's D'Angelo, who knows that he could have chosen a different path, could have warned his friend more strongly to keep him out of the game, and realizes too late the consequences of his silence.
Where's Wallace at? ... Where's the boy, String?... Where's Wallace? That's all I wanna know.
We can't do this without spoilers.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
- We've talked in the past about the Studio 60 problem--in which that show constantly jammed down our throats how brilliant, edgy, and funny the show within the show supposedly was, yet whenever we saw segments from the show within the show, it didn't deliver on that promise. 30 Rock has solved that problem in an intriguing way, by basically acknowledging that TGS is not actually good at all (even though 30 Rock itself is), and this week, Smash addresses that problem by having outsiders come to see Marilyn! (they've never formally put an exclamation point on the end, but it has to be there, right?) and tell the characters that it's a hot mess. It's an interesting way of reoslving the issue, and we'll see if it works.
- Interestingly, both Smash and Marilyn! share a common thread--in both cases, the original songs are pretty damn great ("Let Me Be Your Star" is a darn fine opening number, "20th Century Fox Mambo" and "National Pasttime" are both nice big production numbers, and "History Is Made At Night" is a good character/romance song), but the book, in both cases, has problems. For Marilyn!, I have no idea what the take on Monroe is--I think it's "naif seduced by fame gets lost in it," but without an ending. For Smash, we're all over the place, and only seem to be really working when we're focused on the show itself (if Debra Messing's rebellious teenage son disappeared forever, would anyone actually mind?).
Of course, even when it's working, there are questions--apparently, no one (not even longterm friends) knew that Ivy's mother was an uber-famous Broadway star? I'm pretty sure that when Mamie and Grace Gummer read for parts, folks know who their mother is, even if there's a different last name (amusingly, looks like Grace Gummer is going to show up in future episodes). I'm still watching, because the musical numbers are pretty darn great, but I'm hoping the show finds a way to fix its book problems and make its characters likable again (pretty much all of them, save Tom and maybe Karen, seem like pretty awful people at this point).
Subway and Starbucks remain 2-3 on the overall "restaurant chain" list, and the list of fastest-growing chains (with sales of at least $200M) is topped by Five Guys, Chipotle, and Jimmy John's.
Monday, March 19, 2012
- 2 PM--gather at the Art Institute for museum going and excitement. Particularly since it's Sunday, a visit to Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is in order.
- Post Art Institute (ETA 5 PM)--Dinner, drinks, both, or neither (your choice) at a local restaurant near the Art Institute. Suggestions are invited in the comments.
ETA: Further info for those coming. Folks will gather around 2 at the Michigan Avenue entrance of the Art Institute between the lions. Amy will be wearing/carrying an orange scarf. Drinks/dinner will be at Exchequer, which boasts a 4 star review from Roger Ebert, so that's worth something. If you want more info, contact Amy as above.