Mike’s Prattle


Archive for July, 2009

More Game of Thrones casting/Doctor Who Series 5 starts filming

Posted by Mike on July 20, 2009

GoT casting here

Sean Bean’s certainly great news, although not particularly astonishing given his turn as Boromir in Lord of the Rings. Much more exciting for me was to see Harry Lloyd picked for Viserys. Lloyd was spectacular as a young schoolman turned alien in one of the best of the modern Doctor Who two-parters starting with Human Nature, and played a very different Will Scarlett in BBC’s Robin Hood, two parts which showed a wide range for the young actor. Viserys I guess will be played closer to the former role, and Lloyd can do snooty and scheming like noone’s business. Mark Addy plays King Robert and Jack Gleeson, his son Joffrey. So far so good…

Here’s Martin’s blog post.

Speaking of Doctor Who, series 5 began filming today, with some nice pix of cast, including new companion Amy Pond played by Karen Gilman, who’s truly a knock out. This to me is one of the best parts of the series, seeing how its reinvented over and over again for a modern audience, so I’m excited to see it underway and love the fact they’re going back to the Hartnell years for the TARDIS look.


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Here’s who I think should win (some of) the Emmys

Posted by Mike on July 16, 2009

I will bold my pick and comment and am cutting out those I don’t have much of a say in.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Entourage • HBO
Family Guy • FOX
Flight Of The Conchords • HBO
How I Met Your Mother • CBS
The Office • NBC
30 Rock • NBC
Weeds • Showtime

I’ve only seen about 1/3 of this season’s episodes because I’m just catching up with it, but I’d give this category to The Big Bang Theory easily and have no doubt after catching up I’ll feel the same way. I think the nominees really missed the boat on this one. Entourage was at its nadir, Family Guy just completely sucks now, I couldn’t finish season 1 of Conchords, I haven’t seen any of the last season of How I Met Your Mother but it’s never been laugh out loud funny to me, The Office was pretty strong this last year so it’s the best on the list, 30 Rock I could never stay with because I never found it particularly funny, just quirkily amusing, and while Weeds is a LOT better this year, I didn’t think much of it last season. Big Bang is nearly always funnier than all of these.

Outstanding Drama Series
Big Love • HBO
Breaking Bad • AMC
Damages • FX
Dexter • Showtime
House • FOX
Lost • ABC
Mad Men • AMC

No question on this one, Breaking Bad’s still the best drama on television, definitely the most challenging, best acted, directed and written and I keep up with every single program on this list. I’d switch out In Treatment with House which is growing weaker by the year. I dunno if Chuck counts as a drama since it’s also a comedy but I’d switch it with Lost. And while Damages season 1 was fabulous and 24’s last season was terribly week, I’d almost switch their places this year (except that I find it hard to take 24 this seriously). Friday Night Lights was another one that could have been close. So my top 3 would be Breaking Bad, In Treament and Chuck with Big Love 4th and Mad Men 5th.

Outstanding Miniseries
Generation Kill • HBO
Little Dorrit • PBS

I’m about halfway through Little Dorrit, but am finding it tedious as I generally do with the average Dickens milieu. Gen Kill started out pretty awful but grew stronger as it went on.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central
Late Show With David Letterman • CBS
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO
Saturday Night Live • NBC

Probably The Daily Show on this one, Maher close behind. Most of these shows are terribly up and down though, I don’t watch Letterman and I only picked up SNL again after the presidential campaign got started. It hasn’t deserved to be on an Emmy list for at least a decade. Funny how left wing this list is. 😀

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Jemaine Clement, Flight Of The Conchords • HBO
Tony Shalhoub, Monk • USA
Steve Carell, The Office • NBC
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock • NBC
Charlie Sheen, Two And A Half Men • CBS

Parsons easily. Funniest guy on TV. The rest of these guys don’t hold a candle to him.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad • AMC
Michael C. Hall, Dexter • Showtime
Hugh Laurie, House • FOX
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment • HBO
Jon Hamm, Mad Men • AMC
Simon Baker, The Mentalist • CBS

This is a tough one. Probably Gabriel Byrne for In Treatment this year because he was just incredible in what was probably the most grueling job among any of these. I’d be surprised to see Cranston get a repeat but would be OK with it. Laurie’s always great, but the writing isn’t as good as it was. Dunno the Mentalist. Hall and Hamm are always good but I don’t see em above the pack this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? • ABC
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program • Comedy Central
Tina Fey, 30 Rock • NBC
Toni Collette, United States Of Tara • Showtime
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds • Showtime

I don’t watch the first three on this list, so will have to go with Toni Collette who should be getting more of a Drama award on this one than a Comedy one, but she was great with the multipersonalities. Have no idea why Parker ever gets nominated, she seems to play the same woman (herself) in everything. Queue blank look and lazily sassy line and it’s the same shtick.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters • ABC
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer • TNT
Glenn Close, Damages • FX
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men • AMC
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace • TNT

Don’t watch most of these shows, and I’m dead even with Close and Moss in the ones I do. But I’d put Collette over either. I think most of the best acting in this category probably should go to supporting actresses.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Kevin Dillon, Entourage • HBO
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother • CBS
Rainn Wilson, The Office • NBC
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock • NBC
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock • NBC
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men • CBS

Based on previous seasons I’d go with Harris, his Barney is pretty well played, but since I haven’t seen S4…. McBrayer’s also good but along with Morgan, just played a bit too over the top for my tastes. Rainn Wilson’s good too, but only when he’s also not over the top.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
William Shatner, Boston Legal • ABC
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal • ABC
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad • AMC
William Hurt, Damages • FX
Michael Emerson, Lost • ABC
John Slattery, Mad Men • AMC

Aaron Paul for sure, absolutely brilliant this year in one of this season’s finest character arcs. This is a strong category too just about everyone here is good, although Shatner’s not really doing anything he hasn’t since Season 1 of BL.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies • ABC
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live • NBC
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live • NBC
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock • NBC
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty • ABC
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds • Showtime

Would have to go with Kristin Wiig on this one, she’s practically half the reason SNL is even watchable lately. Don’t find the rest of these all that funny. Williams and Perkins? Really?

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Rose Byrne, Damages • FX
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • ABC Studios
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment • HBO
Hope Davis, In Treatment • HBO
Cherry Jones, 24 • FOX

I’d give this to the actress who played the young college student on In Treatment on I think it was Tuesdays, in fact it’s hard to believe she didn’t get this over Davis and Wiest who were certainly very good. Byrne’s always good as was Cherry Jones as the prez. Actually Sandra Oh is pretty good too, but I run screaming everytime the character’s anywhere near my TV, but we can probably chalk that up to the acting right? Not that I could stand Grey’s Anatomy for long (didn’t see a minute of this season).

OK that’s enough…

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Brooks Hansen – The Chess Garden

Posted by Mike on July 8, 2009

I just finished this book. I’d have to say it’s probably one of the five finest pieces of fiction I’ve ever read in my life and would easily bump one of the 15 from one of my latest posts. I hope to talk about it more at some point in the near future, but it’s going to take a while to settle, it’s as moving and profound a work of art as I’ve experienced in a while. So dense I’m not sure where I’d start…

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