Tis the season of reruns, so LA TV Insider Examiner should have a lot of time on our hands, right? Wrong! Tis (also) the season of reminiscing, and that is exactly what we’re going to do this week…take you down the short memory lane that was 2010. We will bring you our favorite interviews from the past year, as well as our favorite television shows (new and returning), favorite guilty pleasures, and maybe even a few surprises along the way.
LA TV Insider Examiner’s Favorite Articles of 2010:
Life Unexpected: Bringing TV Back To Where It Belongs (*My very first piece as LA TV Insider Examiner) – The face of television is changing. The way we watch television has been changing, as well. Nowadays so many people record and tune in whenever they have the time– or pop in headphones and log online at work the following morning– rather than watch a show in its regular time slot. And in the face of these evolving times, why should the term “mid-season replacement” bring the same old sense of doom it once did? If the CW’s new example, Life Unexpected, is any indication, mid-season may just become the new fall, and the show itself may just bring the art of television back to its much simpler roots! (January 2010)
The CW is television’s leading network when it comes to music integration – Traditional story elements crafted in the minds of writers and carried out by the various departments of production have usually included creations such as costume and set design. Countless papers have been written– and college courses taught– on how these often seen but not always noticed pieces of a show came together to enhance the overall quality of the viewing. More and more these days, though, pieces of the puzzle that have to be added in after wrap has been called (namely FX and music) are being considered as just as integral elements. The latter of those is something that– until now– most shows utilize on a case-by-case basis (see CBS’ Cold Case). The CW, the industry’s leading network on trying to stay ahead of the trends, though is revolutionizing the music movement within its programming. (January 2010)
Danny Pudi, the break-out star of NBC’s Community, is also ruling the web – Danny Pudi is a fast-talker, but the kid is smart, too. Ask him a question– any question, really– and he is able to fire off an answer immediately, barely even pausing for breath. It is as if he can anticipate exactly what you want to know and start formulating his own thoughts before you even finish yours. His energy and intelligence in that way greatly mirror that of his NBC Community character, Abed, a Greendale student with an interest in film studies and an encyclopedia of knowledge about pop culture in his brain. (April 2010)
Days of our Lives stars speak out about working with Frances Reid – Frances Reid, who was the last living original cast member from Days of our Lives, passed away in February 2010, after being away from her longtime fans for about two years. NBC held a memorial event for her at their commissary earlier this spring, inviting back past co-stars of Reid to grieve with those who knew her best. Deidre Hall was one such actor who returned to her old stomping ground; she performed a stand-up act about Reid, whose sense of humor was as rich as her ability to inspire and teach the younger generation actors with whom she worked. (June 2010)
Donnie Wahlberg chats about playing a cop in Rizzoli & Isles as well as Blue Bloods – It is the CBS-TV TCA party in Beverly Hills, and hot off his Blue Bloods presentation alongside co-star Tom Selleck– and still looking quite daper in his crisp white suit– Wahlberg chats casually with reporters and network executives. Mid-interview, he is pulled away to take a photo with network president Nina Tassler who must be a huge fan because she keeps him in conversation for a bit. “It’s cause I’m rugged,” Wahlberg jokes, when told that his cop show is the most believable of the new fall season. (August 2010)
Spotlight on Nikita’s Maggie Q, who is too endearing not to watch! – Film action actress Maggie Q has a new-old CW show. Her reboot of Nikita is being compared to Alias for the “tough chick” lead role, but because Maggie Q’s character is an agent that has gone rogue against those who have trained her and who is subsequently training a spy on the inside to take down the operation, the stakes are a bit higher. (August 2010)
Showtime scores again, finding the candor in cancer in The Big C – Cancer isn’t an inherently funny disease. But modern depictions of it in pop culture have managed to strike strong, successful characters with it only to show them rising above and becoming even stronger, and dare Examiner say it, even better people for what they went through. Now Showtime is proving that is still the case, even when it’s a terminal diagnosis. (August 2010)
Terriers: Not just your average law and order drama! – LA TV Insider Examiner grew up knowing Donal Logue as a somewhat hapless but always fun-loving dad on a family sitcom (Grounded for Life). So viewing him now in Terriers is a bit surprising. In fact, it’s the same phenomenon that made many John Lithgow fans when they saw him make what they assumed was a star turn as serial killer Arthur Mitchell on Dexter last season. If you only knew him as an off-beat alien trying to blend into American society (3rd Rock from the Sun), seeing him get naked with his wife in a tub and stalk women was unnerving. But at the FX TCA presentation last month, Logue shared with reporters that great dramatic work was always what he trained for and what he wanted to do. And watching him in the new P.I. drama Terriers, one can’t help but notice that he truly is a natural. (September 2010)
My how you’ve grown: A look at Life Unexpected’s second season premiere – There are moments watching “Ocean Uncharted” where you may audibly exclaim “What show is this?” From simple (and perhaps even unintentional) homages to Dawson’s Creek and the newer Pretty Little Liars (through new teacher Shaun Sipos’ secret with Lux) and Melrose Place via a character making a (hopefully non-permanent) exit on a motorcycle down a deserted road, show creator Liz Tigelaar and the CW network have truly taken the events to the next level, exploding both emotionally for the characters as well as physically in one particular scene for one particular landmark of the show. (September 2010)
My Generation will make you laugh, make you cry, and most importantly, make you think – So much of My Generation seems to be about building these characters up and letting the audience in on their greatest hopes and dreams but showcasing them in a way that proves they never saw them as something too distant: they had the cocky confidence that told them they really were about to get everything they ever wanted; they deserved everything they ever wanted. But for a few of them– like so many of us– reality set in and was much harsher than we ever could have imagined. (September 2010)
Yvette Nicole Brown writes her own story line for Shirley on season two of Community – “I would love if they did like some real brightly colored romantic comedy,” Brown said. “I think Shirley’s character lends itself to hope and faith and sunshine and rainbows, and if she did get a love interest I would love it if it was an homage to While You Were Sleeping or Sleepless in Seattle and the whole look of the show changed for that one episode and it was just sunny and bright and pink or whatever. It was just Shirley’s dream come true as she finds the love of her life. That would be awesome.” (September 2010)
Dexter Morgan is an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a Hefty bag – Now what? Those two simple words hold so much promise and yet so much fear all at the same time. They can mean the exhilaration of a jumping off point for a whole new life or the “in your tracks” stopping fact that one has absolutely no idea how to recover from what has just occurred. (September 2010)
The mid-season finale of The Event will leave you wanting more – After three months and ten episodes, The Event is coming to a mid-season end tonight on NBC. Though some more answers about Sophia (Laura Innes)’s people came out last week, the network is holding strong to the promise that by tonight’s episode’s end we will know even more, including exactly what the power she holds over her people is. Well, we’ll believe it when we see it. (November 2010)
CBS has its eye on Kristoffer Polaha and so do we! – Though Polaha can easily embody the fun, loose, anything-goes type of guy, he is a serious actor. Sure, some of it is just raw, innate ability, but he works hard to cultivate his craft, too. He puts his whole body, mind, and soul into his performances; he becomes the character. Now, we know what you’re thinking: that’s what acting is, and that’s what all actors do. Right? Well, in a perfect world, yes. Acting is so much more than just reading lines off a page, and one has to be completely committed to every second of it. Polaha is, and in doing so he raises the bar for any and all of his scene-mates. (November 2010)
Tonight on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Dee delivers her baby! – …Wait, already? This might just be the fastest pregnancy in television history! But before the baby comes, the guys decide the truth must. So they throw a house party and invite all of her past boyfriends (and one-night-stands) in order to deduce the baby daddy by themselves. Yes, this includes one-offs like Lil Kev (Kyle Davis), as well as longer term “loves”. And let’s look back on some of Dee’s most memorable “relationships” while we have this second, shall we?(December 2010)
Dexter Morgan may have finally found a woman who is his equal…and she’s not Lumen – Before this (fifth) season of Dexter began on Showtime, a major change was made behind-the-scenes. Clyde Phillips, the showrunner from the 2006 premiere, bowed out, and in his place came Chip Johannessen. The series is much buzzed about as it is, and Phillips choosing to end season four with such shocking and emotional images certainly upped the ante. Trinity, and Phillips, left a big ole’ mess for Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) and Johannessen to clean up. In order to pull it off, everyone would have to be on their A-game. And amazingly, they have delivered. (December 2010)
And in the spirit of giving for the holidays, we’re going to leave off the “worsts” but you can probably imagine what we consider those, since there are some shows we just never, ever write about!
What a year 2010 was! Thanks for joining LA TV Insider Examiner this year for television news, reviews, and interviews. We are already planning some big things for 2011, including more advance reviews of the mid-season programs, some exciting interviews and features, and live, breaking TCA coverage. Make sure you’re subscribed to this page and following us on Twitter so you stay up-to-date with all of the TV Buzz!