posts categorized "Television"

March 28, 2008

'Mad Men'

Madmenboys By Ray Richmond

They came hundreds strong Thursday night to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood -- a movie house built in the early 1960s -- to celebrate a series that celebrates the early '60s in all of its cigarette-smokey, martini-guzzling, sexist glory: AMC's "Mad Men."

It sneaked on the air last July as the first original dramatic series offering in AMC history, under the radar and decidedly out of mainstream earshot. But as TV Guide critic and moderator Matt Roush assured last night, it won't be sneaking up on anyone anymore even if it's 48 years out of date. (Aaron Staton, left, Vincent Kartheiser and Rich Sommer. Photo courtesy of Kevin Parry/Paley Center for Media)

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March 22, 2008

'Dancing with the Stars'

Dancing_278x150 By Barry Garron

It might have been a good way to open the night's program on "Dancing with the Stars."

"We wanted to have them waltz around the stage but, frankly, it's a little too small," said Pat Mitchell, Paley Center for Media president and CEO.

Even if the stage was too small for waltzing, it was large enough to hold all 14 members on the Friday night panel: two co-hosts, two judges, one executive producer, three professional dancers, five current and past celebrity dancers and program host Mark Steines of "Entertainment Tonight." (Tom Bergeron, left, and Samantha Harris during a show. Getty Images photo)

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March 21, 2008

VIDEO: 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' reunion

By Lesley Goldberg

With fans who stood in line for more than 24 hours to get a seat for Thursday's Paley Center reunion event,"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is the show that fans refuse to give up, and creator Joss Whedon is right
there with them.

Whedon was the patriarch during Thursday's sold-out Scooby reunion, and despite some notable absences, the "Buffy" family did what all great families do: laugh, talk about their feelings, fears and future. 

After the Paley Center pulled out its photo album and kicked off the evening with a scene featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar on "All My Children," feelings took center stage when a screening of Season 6's musical episode "Once More, With Feeling" got some of the "Buffyologists" at the sold-out event singing along as if they were along for the ride on a family road trip. 

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March 20, 2008

'Friday Night Lights'

Kelly_minka_278x150 By Daniel Carlson

It's unfair to judge the "Friday Night Lights" panel at Paley by the standard set by the Judd Apatow panel two nights earlier, but I still find myself doing it. In part it's because the Apatow group was predictably and consistently entertaining, never really letting the laughter or energy die down. And you realize how special that is when you attend other panels that, for all their highlights, still come across more as a series of mumbled speeches than a nonstop party. But like I said, that's unfair, and the "Friday Night Lights" panel was still a solid one, with insight from the producers and some enjoyable stories from the cast.

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March 19, 2008

'Chuck' vs. the Paley Festival


By James Hibberd

"Chuck" vs. the Writers Strike

A question from a Paley Festival audience member for "Chuck" co-creator Josh Schwartz:

"Do you think Chuck is going to be able to keep his zen attitude, even as he continues to investigate grisly crimes in Los Angeles?"

Awkward pause.

"Um, that's not us," Schwartz says. "That's another NBC show -- 'Life.'"

Another question: "Couldn't Chuck solve his problem by just traveling back in time and not opening the email that downloaded the government secrets into his brain?"

"Uh, yeah, Chuck can't time travel," Schwartz says. "You're thinking of NBC's 'Journeyman.'"

OK ... so that exchange didn't actually happen.

But, c'mon. It's tough enough to keep track of where the shows disrupted by the writers strike left off now. How fuzzy are viewers going to be when "Chuck," "Life," "Pushing Daisies" and other freshman shows return in the fall after nearly a year off the air?

That's a question that Schwartz does address (yes, for realsies this time).

"The idea is to reset the show [next season] and remind viewer where we left off, what they've missed, and take it up a notch," Schwartz says.

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March 18, 2008

VIDEO: Judd Apatow & Co. -- A 'reverse roast'

By Daniel Carlson

Events like Paley Fest, a TV festival put on by the Paley Center for Media, are always rife with contradictions: The stars on hand are inherently private people talking about their public lives, etc. But it's also a task in its own right to even go to one of these things, to drop the veneer of distance and cool on which Angelenos pride themselves and to go somewhere and cheer for the men and women who worked on a TV show that moved you. There's no greater way to sum up the weird dichotomy of the whole thing than in Judd Apatow, a writer, producer and director who's riding a wave of pop success after toiling for two decades making shows you probably didn't watch, or at least weren't aware included Apatow in their ranks.

His CV is basically the greatest hits of TV series that were praised by critics and beloved by a small, devoted audience but rejected by the kind of simple viewers who prefer "Dancing With the Stars." (Then again, in a sad programming move meant to make sure everybody feels welcome, Paley Fest is devoting an entire night to "Dancing With the Stars," which is too terrifying to think about.) Overall, though, watching Apatow and his cohorts share the stage, tell stories about their careers and generally screw around has the same relaxed, easygoing and consistently hilarious air as Apatow's movies. It wasn't so much a panel as it was a group of friends hanging out, friends who share the same goal of making honest, sharp comedy.

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