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Countdown To The Emmy Awards!

IN THE September 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2011 Articles,
and:Contributors,
andBooks & Tales,
andTV
SECTIONS

by KRL staff

The Emmy Awards show is this coming Sunday evening at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Fox. During this week KRL is going to review some of the nominated shows with a new review going up each day. We will also be reposting some of our older reviews of Emmy nominated shows! To learn more about the Emmys and this year’s broadcast go to their website.

We’re ending the countdown to the Emmys with a review of a show we can’t believe isn’t nominated in any of the main categories this year! How I Met Your Mother has been nominated in several of the main categories many times in the past and it just seems a shame that this great show isn’t this year!

How I Met Your Mother Review
by Jessica Ham

We’ve all been told about how our parents met. It’s always some sappy romantic story that makes us groan half-way through it out of boredom. But this show will not bore you at all. How I Met Your Mother recounts how the main character, Ted Mosby, met the mother of his children. But this is not like the ordinary telling of parents meeting. In this show, he recounts every event in his adult-life that led up to meeting the mother, not just the meeting itself. HIMYM follows him & his friends lives: Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), and Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders).

The show is set in New York City. Most of the episodes take place in Ted & Marshall’s apartment and a bar called MacLaren’s, where the gang meets on a regular basis. Ted, the main character, is a hopeless romantic architect with a mind too big for most of his friends to understand. He is constantly searching for “the woman of his dreams”. Marshall, a very tall innocent lawyer, is Ted’s best friend. They were roommates in college and share an apartment throughout many of the seasons. Lily, a tiny talkative kindergarten teacher/painter, is Marshall’s fiancé who he met in college. Barney, a handsome playboy obsessed with suits, is Ted’s other best friend. He tries to make Ted a playboy as well and constantly makes fun of Ted’s obsession with true love. Robin, a Canadian tomboy news caster, is a close friend but new to the group. Ted thinks she is the “woman of his dreams” but we shall see.

How I Met Your Mother had my heart since the first episode I watched. The writing is the greatest I’ve ever seen and the character development is outstanding. You really feel like the characters are real people. I find myself rooting for Ted to make a relationship work, Lily and Marshall to stay together, Barney to find another conquest, and Robin to land a real news casting job. These people feel like my friends. I also laugh hysterically throughout every episode. HIMYM airs every Monday night at 8 on CBS. Don’t miss out on the greatest show of our generation. The new season begins on Monday, September 19.

How I Met Your Mother is nominated for Outstanding Art Direction For A Multi-Camera Series, Outstanding Cinematography For A Multi-Camera Series, Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series,
Outstanding Picture Editing For A Comedy Series (Single Or Multi-Camera), and Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic). Several of the other shows have been nominated in similar categories but we have only listed their main category nominations–we just felt How I Met Your Mother deserved some sort of recognition here.

Jessica Ham is 18 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; with dreams of being on Broadway, she’s right at home covering Entertainment.


The Killing Review
by Jesus Ibarra

This is a repost of a review from the May 28, 2011 issue.

Ever get mad about the fact that cases on regular crime procedurals get solved super fast on TV? (I’m looking at you CSI, Law and Order, Bones, etc.) Well if you want to see how cases in the real world (well, almost real but close enough) get solved, then you are going to love The Killing, AMC’s ambitious import from overseas that sucks you in with a thirteen episode murder mystery of who killed Rosie Larsen.

The Killing cast members Joel Kinnaman & Mireille Enos

Set in Seattle, Washington, The Killing sets an ominous tone right off the bat in the premiere, with the constant gloom and rain making the city itself an excellent character and adding to the suspense of the show. Each episode is a day in the investigation of the Rosie Larson murder by Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Detective Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman). Throughout each episode, we learn more details about the case, and more about the personal lives of both detectives. There is also a subplot that could still be tied to the murder, but it isn’t clear as of yet – a mayoral race between two politicians.

Finally, the third plot of the show, which is probably the freshest part about it, is how the community of Seattle, more specifically the family of Rosie Larson, deal with a horrible death. Michelle Forbes, as Rosie’s mother, gives some of the best, gripping, gut wrenching acting I have ever seen; I wouldn’t be surprised if she got some Emmy love for her work. Enos as Sarah Linden is my favorite part of the show because her acting is so subtle that it’s incredible. She captures her character’s struggle to keep all the balls juggling in her life: a fiancé waiting for her to move on from her job, being a great detective and the consequences that come with it, and being a single mother to her teenage son. The show has some great writing, solid acting, and is a slow burn mystery that will suck you in.

Around the middle of the show you will probably feel a little frustrated with this slow type of mystery, being used to quick reveals, as was I, but don’t worry because the show will then reveal certain details or big events that will hook you back in. My only complaint of the show is the amount of red herrings there are, because it’s always the little details that reveal more about the Rosie Larson murder, if you pay close attention. But don’t let that stop you from watching this amazing show, because it shows why AMC dominates in drama. Check it out!

You can learn more about this show on its website. You can catch up on episodes On Demand with Comcast, and there may be other options as well. Otherwise, be sure to check this show out when it comes out on DVD-definitely worth it!

The Killing is nominated for Best Drama Actress Mireille Enos and Best Supporting Actress Michelle Forbes.

Jesus Ibarra is 18 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; with a love of all media, he’s always on the lookout for the best finds.


30 Rock Review
by Terrance V. Mc Arthur

In the Beginning, Lorne Michaels created Saturday Night Live, and it was good…for a few years. Then it was bad, and better, and worse, and pretty good, and it came to pass that Tina Fey did walk upon the studio land of Rockefeller Center, and she was funny…especially when she was making fun of Sarah Palin.

And it came to pass that the Lorne did cause a deep sleep to fall upon Tina, and he did take her funny bone to make unto him a new show, and the Lorne did ask unto Tina what he should call this new show, and she did call it 30 Rock…and it was pretty funny.

So…Tina was a major factor in the revival of SNL, and Lorne has used her talent to anchor this show. She stars as Liz Lemon, producer writer of a sketch comedy show that broadcasts from 30 Rock, the nickname for 30 Rockefeller Center, the home of SNL. The featured cast member is the talented and erratic Tracy Jordan, played by the talented and erratic Tracy Morgan, formerly of SNL. Jane (Ally McBeal) Krakowski plays the off-the-wall Jenna Maroney, who wants to be a star and will do anything to reach her goal, no matter how wrong-headed her actions might be.

Much of the wrongheadedness comes from Jack Donaghy, a network executive supervising (annoying) Liz. As played by Alec Baldwin, he is pompous, ultra-conservative, and likely to believe that anything he thinks is a good idea.

Jack McBrayer’s Kenneth character has morphed from a mere page to a leader in Tracy’s posse of yes-men. Kenneth reminds me of the goofy, balding guy in the air traffic control tower in Airplane, manically spouting nonsense.

Of course, nonsense is normal in this show, where satirical shots at past and present newsmakers are to be expected. Where else would you see the former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, playing Jack’s former girlfriend…Condoleeza Rice? Tracy appearing in a cop movie directed by Kim Jong-Il? Reality is not an option, here, and a closer connection to the world as we know it would probably be a bad idea..

I had never seen a complete episode of any of this year’s Comedy Emmy nominees. I may start watching this one.

30 Rock is nominated for Best Comedy Series, Comedy Actor Alec Baldwin, Comedy Acress Tina Fey and Supporting Comedy Actress Krakowski.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He is currently writing a stage adaptation of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild for the Fresno County Public Library’s next The Big Read. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.


Harry’s Law Review
by Lorie Lewis Ham

This is a repost of a review that went up this past April.

If you have been following KRL you know that I’m a huge fan of the TV show Castle, but another show has arisen over the past months that is in competition with Castle for my heart, which interestingly enough is on at the exact same time—Harry’s Law.

Thanks to the beauty of TV being available On Demand and on the internet I have to say I honestly didn’t realize until this week that they were on against each other—I almost never watch anything live. So it was kind of funny when that dawned on me.

Harry’s Law is as you may guess a law drama, created by Emmy Award winner David E. Kelley. Harriet (Harry) Korn, played by the wonderful Kathy Bates, is a very successful patent attorney who becomes bored and disillusioned with her cushy job. When her attitude gets her fired, she decides to make a fresh start. Her new life literally hits her on the head when someone trying to commit suicide falls on her. When Harry leaves the hospital she ends up in a rough section of Cincinnati. Distracted by a ‘For Rent’ sign across the street, she steps off the curb and is accidentally hit by a car driven by another corporate lawyer named Adam Branch (Nate Corddry).

Harry ends up opening a law practice with her assistant Jenna (Brittany Snow) in the building she saw for rent, that was once a shoe store. Jenna finds the wonderful inventory left behind and decides they should also sell shoes to help pay the bills. The young man who fell on her, Malcolm (Aml Ameen), ends up coming to her for help with his criminal case, and Harry finds herself suddenly a criminal attorney. Oddly enough, also looking to do something more with his life, Adam joins her firm. Add in the quirky lawyer Tommy Jefferson that keeps popping up in episodes, and you’ve got quite an interesting and eclectic cast.

Despite its somewhat bizarre start, Harry’s Law tackles social issues that most law shows don’t. Harry becomes involved in the neighborhood she has moved into and finds herself helping those in the neighborhood who are in such great need of a champion such as her. Harry is tough and always gets the job done, but is also very down to earth and real, often struggling with the choices she must make. This show is not only interesting and fun, and sometimes funny, it is inspiring. It makes you believe in heroes again, and makes you want to get out there and make a difference too. It also gives you hope that a person is never too old for a fresh start.

So while Castle will always be a winner when it comes to just great stories, fun characters, and wonderful eye candy and great acting in Nathan Fillion, Harry’s Law is a show that leaves you feeling challenged and ready to go out and change the world. What better balance could you find in favorite shows, and thank goodness for On Demand and internet so I don’t have to choose!

Sadly Harry’s Law season finale is this Monday, April 4 at 10 p.m. on NBC. But you can still catch some of the previous 11 episodes on Hulu and on the show’s website.

Harry’s Law is nominated for Drama Actress Kathy Bates.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


The Good Wife Review
by Deborah Williams

Inspired by the downfall of Eliot Spitzer and the wife who stood beside him during his media ordeal, The Good Wife (CBS) has completed its second season with seven Emmy nominations.

In the category of Best Series Drama, the entry is Episode 5, “VIP Treatment.” A Nobel Prize winner is accused of sexual assault by a hotel masseuse, and Lockhart Gardner has 4 hours to decide whether to take her case. Morality, backroom dealing and “undercover” investigations play out against a political dinner where Peter Florrick tries to reclaim his political career after serving time in prison.

Nominees:

Best Actress, Drama: Julianna Margulies (Alicia Florrick). The episode, “In Sickness,” gives buttoned-down Alicia a chance to let loose with all the emotion contained over the last two years. Just when it looked like she was moving past her husband’s sex scandal, she finds out that he also had a fling with Kalinda, her office friend. Alicia confronts both of them and also has to explain to her children. There’s strong material here but I prefer the episodes where Margulies keeps her feelings inside while conveying a world of emotion in her face.

Best Supporting Actress, Drama: Archie Panjabi’s (Kalinda Sharma) nomination comes for the second to the last episode of the season, “Getting Off.” The producers chose an episode that shows her in confrontation with Alicia and features a strong emotional response. I would have picked the powerful and sexy Episode14, “Net Worth,” where she clashes intellectually and physically with investigator Blake Calamar. Go back and see this one if you missed it. Panjabi won in this category last year.

And Christine Baranski (Diane Lockhart) is also nominated in this category for the “Silver Bullet” episode. Baranski is so tough and masterful in this role that one almost forgets her comedic turns in Mama Mia!, Cybill, Big Bang Theory and Ugly Betty. This episode features the return of her gun-expert boyfriend (Gary Cole). Diane being romantically pursued while holding an assault rifle is a great visual, which Baranski carries off with the right note of seriousness and wry self-awareness.

Best Supporting Actor, Drama: Alan Cumming as Eli Gold, Peter Florrick’s campaign manager and cynical political operative, shows another side in the “Silver Bullet” episode when he finds that he has feelings for a woman whose life he is setting up to ruin. To add another layer of interest, Eli’s daughter shows up. Good news is that Cumming is signed up for another season and Parker Posey will appear as his ex-wife.

Best Supporting Actor, Drama: Josh Charles (Will Gardner) is nominated for “Closing Arguments,” the season finale. Here, Charles gets to show the many faces of Will Gardner that we have been introduced to over the last two years. There’s the Will who wants to win at all costs, the one who dances close and over the moral line while going the distance for a client and the one that just wants to win. There’s also the Will who’s been carrying a torch for Alicia since college. In this episode, he makes his move to create the “right moment” for them. And yes, the elevator scene is terrific.

Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Michael J. Fox (Louis Canning). The recurring character of Canning is a sly, opposing lawyer, who is unashamed to use his physical frailty as a courtroom ploy. In the “Real Deal” episode he starts on one side of the case and then gets partnered with Alicia on judge’s orders.

Who will win? Margulies is a popular favorite in the Best Actress category. As so often happens, having multiple actors from the same show in the supporting categories will probably split the vote. Fox is both popular and deserving with an outstanding character to work with and could well take home another Emmy.

Play catch-up? Recaps and full episodes are available online and both seasons can be bought through Amazon. If you are new to the series, this one is well worth watching from the start.

What’s New? The Good Wife creators sometimes say they made a mistake in naming the show and have set out to show that this is no Hallmark series, so the new campaign features Margulies in a negligee. Guest actors for Season 3 will include Harvey Fierstein and Lisa Edelstein (House). The season starts with a move to Sundays on September 25 at 9 p.m./8 central.

Deborah Harter Williams works as a mystery scout, seeking novels that could be made into television. She blogs at Clue Sisters and was formerly a mystery bookstore owner.


The Big Bang Theory Review
by Terell Byrd

“I LOVE that show!”

I heard that same sentence over and over this last week when I told people that I was writing this essay. I have been a long time fan of the comedy, but I did not realize how many other people watch the series.

The premise is simple; two geeky guys have been roommates in an apartment in Pasadena, California for five years. A beautiful blond girl moves into the unit across the hall. Funny situations abound.

There is so much more to the show than a simple synopsis can convey. The central characters, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) are physicists who work at a nearby university. Leonard is a normal, Charlie Brown sort of guy. Sheldon is a child prodigy turned thinking machine with more rules and eccentricities than his tall, painfully thin frame seems capable of holding. They have become comfortable in their routine and isolated world.

They eat Chinese food one day per week, Thai another. They play role-playing games one night per week with their friends from the university Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg). The four have much in common besides their work in science.They love Star Trek and comic books; they have all been bullied as nerdy children; and (at the beginning of the series) none of them have dates, but all dream of a girlfriend.

Into this world of ivory-tower study by day and galactic imagination at night, arrives the new tenant across the hall. Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is a lovely girl from Nebraska who is working as a waitress until she gets her big break in acting. She has just broken up with one of a long line of large, good looking boyfriends who can deadlift weights four times larger than their IQs.

Penny becomes fascinated by the four guys who are so different from what she is accustomed to. The guys are stunned by actually being able to talk to a pretty girl. Over time the five develop real friendships and Penny becomes one of their circle.

The show is popular because it is truly unique; it has original takes on even the most ordinary sitcom plots. It has an excellent, versatile ensemble cast. There are extraordinary creative scenarios and situations. I did not watch the show until it went into reruns the first year (20007-2008). That was only about six weeks in 2007. The Big Bang Theory was the only survivor of the new season on CBS that year – the year of the long writers strike. I watched the second episode and was hooked.

Jim Parsons has one Emmy already for his role as Sheldon and it is well deserved. It is not easy to make such a strange character into a believable, living breathing person. Parsons is an actor to watch. He will have a mantel full of awards in the next ten years.

Big Bang Theory is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Jim Parsons.

Terell Byrd is a native Fresnan, who was born, raised, & educated locally. She graduated from Fresno Pacific with a B.A. in Classical Studies & Psychology. In the course of a mad gypsy life, she has taken classes in Electrical Engineering, broken into bank vaults at night & worked as a Tax Examiner for the IRS. She now lives quietly, with more cats than she admits to, spending her free time doing accounting.


Glee Review
by Jessica Ham

Here is a reposting of a review of Glee KRL did in May of 2010.

Musical theatre came to the Fox network in the fall of 2009. Glee, Fox’s most popular show right now, is the story of McKinley High School’s Glee Club and their struggle to keep the club going. It features high school senior and quarterback of the football team, Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), and drama queen high school sophomore, Rachel Berry (Lea Michele). Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), director of the Glee Club, is constantly fighting with Cheerios (cheerleaders) coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Sue is trying to tear the Glee Club down so her Cheerios can have more money for useless things like a nutritionist.

Left to right: Finn, Quinn, Puck, Mercedes, Sue & Will, Artie, Tina, Kurt, Rachel

This show features wonderful musical classics such as, “Don’t Stop Believing,” “I’ll Stand By You,” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” This spring they had an entire episode dedicated to Madonna. Glee appeals to all types of people: cheerleaders, jocks, geeks, Goths, disabled; they are all welcome and featured in the show. I know there are many people in the world who do not like musicals, but Glee is so much more than that. It is relatable, danceable, singable, it is everything and more. You will not regret watching this show I guarantee it. This fall on Tuesday nights at 9pm, flip the channel to Glee and be ready to be amazed.

 
Glee is nominated for Best Comedy Series, Supporting Comedy Actor Chris Colfer (from Clovis), and Supporting Comedy Actress Jane Lynch.

Jessica Ham is 18 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; with dreams of being on Broadway, she’s right at home covering Entertainment.


Modern Family Review
by Terrance V. Mc Arthur

When it premiered, I didn’t watch Modern Family. From the ads, it looked like it demeaned gays, Hispanics and families, and I wasn’t interested. The show won last year’s Emmy for Outstanding Comedy, but I still didn’t watch it. Finally, I watched a pair of episodes and….yeah, it’s demeaning, but it’s fun-ny—and it carries a lot of truth along with the laughs. Image

The show centers on several modern American families, families that don’t always fit the Ozzie & Harriet/ Father Knows Best pattern, but TV comedies threw away that mold when All in the Family debuted in 1968. The “Modern” families are all related to Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill), whose second wife is a sexy Latina, Gloria (Sofia Vergara), who has a precocious-but-chubby son, Manny (Rico Rodriguez). In the Dunphy family, Jay’s daughter Claire (Julie Bowen) is married to Phil (Ty Burrell), with three children. The third family matches Jay’s son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) with his life-partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), and the two men have adopted an Asian toddler.

Modern Family moves at a furious pace that recalls the screwball comedies of the 1930’s, scattering shots at all sorts of targets. There are silly linguistic misunderstandings because of Gloria’s accent that go back to Chico Marx. Good kids get into bad situations, just like in Leave It to Beaver. Fortunately, O’Neill’s character isn’t as obnoxious as his Al Bundy was on Married with Children. The Dunphy girls are the traditional good-girl and the “pretty” one, each one hating and envying the other. The same-sex couple fits some bigoted stereotypes, yet there is a real humanity in their problems, and love in their concern for their little Lily.

With creators who have written and produced shows that ranged from Frasier, Wings, and Golden Girls to Greg the Bunny, it’s not surprising that the production is crisp and sharp. O’Neill is wonderful portraying a man who might be an embarrassment to his children, but comes across when it’s crunch time. Young Rico Rodriguez shines as Jay’s stepson, probably the most reality-aware character in the cast.
Vergara is all bounce and wiggle, and Bowen and Burrell manage to turn the war of men and women into a spectator sport.

After two seasons of avoiding this show, my wife and I have suddenly become fans. If that could happen, maybe I should try investing in some lottery tickets…………Naahh.

Modern Family is nominated for Best Comedy Series, Supporting comedy actor Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill & Eric Stonestreet, Supporting comedy actress Julie Bowen & Sofia Vergara.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He is currently writing a stage adaptation of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild for the Fresno County Public Library’s next The Big Read. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.

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