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Archive for the ‘jim parsons’ Category

I spend more time in the fandom of this show than I do for any other.  I also admit that in a perfect world, I’d be writing it and the Leonard-Penny relationship would have never been an issue. 

But I don’t write it. I’m also not a fanfic writer or even much of a fanfic fan ( though I’ve read some doozies in my life for various fandoms). But I am a WRITER, so even if I might prefer Penny showing Sheldon the ways of the world, it’s not my place to question the writers of this show about their choice. After all, it annoys me when a world I have crafted so meticulously over time gets ripped by a vocal group of fans without knowing what the ultimate endgame is. While I believe I know what the endgame for this show is, I really don’t have a clue. Plus, Chuck Lorre surprises me more than most sitcom writers.

The guys have returned from the arctic looking like wooly mammoths ( except Sheldon, who looks like Evil Spock from ” Mirror Mirror”). They settle in at home, and Leonard goes to tell Penny he’s home. Broken sitcom convention # 1: Normally, there would be some give and take, with the couple’s kiss coming towards the end of the episode ( see: Ross and Rachel, Friends, ” The One Where Ross Finds Out”). These writers have Penny and Leonard making out before the credits.

Turns out, Sheldon believes he has proven String Theory at the North Pole. Also turns out that his comrades have fudged the results to make him happy ( seriously, Sheldon in close quarters for three months? I’m in love with Sheldon, fer chissakes, but I would have gone along with the sled dog plan myself). This has Sheldon confronting the very happy at the moment Leonard, who admits to it quickly, and also admits to the plots they came up with to murder Sheldon ( really did like the idea of tying someone to four different sled dog teams and yelling mush). Heartbroken, Sheldon retreats to his room, where Penny attempts to cheer him up by first singing ” Soft Kitty” ( ” I’m not sick.” ” I don’t know what your sad song is.” ” I don’t have a sad song, I’m not a child!”), then trying to relate a story about losing out her spot as head cheerleader. She also manages to spoil a bit of Star Trek, which causes Sheldon to cry even harder.

After suffering the humiliation of informing the Physics department that he did not, in fact, prove string theory, Sheldon is mocked by Kripke at work- twice. Devastated, Sheldon resigns and takes off to Texas, where Mom is. Penny insists that Leonard goes and bring him home ( all S/P shippers together- awwwwww). It doesn’t take much- Mary Cooper just insists that evolution is an opinion, which sends atheistic Sheldon into a tizzy, and he heads home, where this will promptly be forgotten by next week.

The show ends with Leonard and Penny in bed together, where, let’s face it, it’s really weird.

Jim Parsons can do no wrong. The show always works best when Sheldon is the center of the episode and we are forced, along with the rest of the cast, to try and balance Sheldon’s unique world view with the structure of ” normal” society. This took it one step further. Sheldon is a character very much in control at all times, and it was fun to see him breakdown a bit. Everyone has their breaking points. We just discovered Sheldon’s.

As for the other story, Leonard and Penny- I’m curious to see where this is going to go, I admit it. I want to see how this idea, so unpopular with a segment of the show’s fandom, plays out. I know a lot of people complain of the lack of chemistry between Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, especially since the chemistry between Parsons and Cuoco is electrifying. But I find they do have chemistry together. I enjoy their scenes together. I find their chemistry quieter, less intrusive than non-existant. It’s atypical of the sitcom standard to put the less explosive couple together.  The fangirl in me may be disappointed, but the writer in me is curious to see what the writing team has in store for us.

Grade- A-

PS- I could handle a spinoff of just Sheldon’s mom. Laurie Metcalf is a genius.

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5:50 Going for a quick cigarette outside before awards begin.

6:00 Opening spiel, then NPH singing in a white dinner jacket. Yummy.

6:04 ” I grew up on television.”

6:05 Shaiman and Whitman wrote the song. Knew it.

6:07 Tour of the Emmy set.

6:09 Funny Emmy clip reel.

6:11 Jon Hamm ( sigh) and Tina Fey ( sigh). Supporting Actress in a comedy.

6:12 WTF Chenoweth?

6:13 The winner is… Kristin Chenoweth (stunner shocker but happiness!) She sobs her way funnily through her speech. I wanna hug her.

6:08 Comedy categories first. I’m suddenly very nervous for hubby Jim Parsons.

6:21 Some Neil and Hodgman funnies, then a convenient plug for HIMYM.

6:22 So surprised 30 Rock won a writing award. (Sarcasm)

6:27 Jon Cryer wins. Why?

6:28 One very pissed off NPH/30 Rock fan right here. ARGH!

6:33 I’m very worried about the rest of my picks. I’m 1 for three. The one- writing.

6:35 Justin Timberlake presenting Actress in a Comedy series. And he’s funny and charming.

6:36 Toni Colette wins. I’m way off tonight. I’m trying to figure out what tonight is gonna be. Watch Charlie Sheen win in a couple of minutes.  This is turning into a nightmare show for me 9 although I like Toni and Kristin, I like their shows, but I honestly thought they wouldn’t win).

6:39 NPH asks Cryer to show the envelope. It really does say ” Jon Cryer”.

6:41 The GG girls turn it over to Tina and JT, who thank Lorne Michaels for their Guest Actor wins. Then the GG girls present  Best Comedy direction to The Office’s Jeff Blitz.

6:48 Rob Lowe presenting Actor in a comedy. He mocks himself.

6:52 I’m gonna drink an entire bottle of wine right now and drown ,y tears because Jim Parsons did not win.

7:29 I have spent the last forty minutes trying to fix a computer crash. Rundown- Reality shows no surprise, mini/TV movies are pretty ho hum. Dr. Horrible- hilarious! Love the buffering jokes. And Captain Hammer to boot. Jessica Lange beats out Drew Barrymore.

7:59 Apparently Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco were on stage with Jim Parsons when he presented. I didn’t notice as I laid at the foot of my TV stand staring worshipfully at a comedy God who was robbed of his Emmy. Really, I need a life.

8:01 I do not have a problem. All of you shut up.

8:02 Jimmy Fallon won as a member of the SNL writing team, right?

8:03 Jimmy is making me laugh. He hasn’t done this since he was on SNL.

8:05 It has to be “Motherlover”. Seriously.

8:05 It’s the Oscars team. Are you kidding me?

8:06 Ricky Gervais. Worshiping at the feet of the king.

8:07 ” Me, again.” HA!

8:08 Gervais present best comedy variety show to The Daily Show. Never disappointed when TDS gang wins. As I am also much in ,love with Jon Stewart. Have been since his MTV talk show in the mid 90s.

8:16 Prezzie time. But no Prezzie speech. Thank God.

8:17 Drama time. Great. Night should be ending soon. Crushing disappointments tonight. Cryer/Baldwin just took me out.

8:19 LL and Chris O’Donnell not funny at all. Supporting Actor goes to… Michael Emerson. My best friend Rosie probably just screamed with joy. I still couldn’t tell you what role he played.

8:21 Chris and LL also doing Supporting Actress. And that award goes to Cherry Jones.  Who is a theater goddess, so we are delighted.

8:23 In Memorium.

8:33 Hot vampires!

8:35 Ellen Burstyn and Michael J. Fox present directing for drama.

8:36 The award goes to the E.R. dude.

8:37 Now they present drama writing. I’m guessing… Mad Men.

8:38 Yeah, shocker again (Sarcasm).

8:39 Yeah, I’m one of those guys at Starbucks with a computer or notebook, writing away.

8:40 Simon ” Hot accent” Baker is presenting the actress drama award to Glenn Close. I am WAY OFF  with these damn acting awards this year. WTF?

8:44 Right now I’m kinda hoping Hugh Laurie wins and makes me 0-for-eight for acting awards.

8: 48 Dana Delaney presents Actor in a drama.  Bryan Cranston wins. This is the one I get right. And he rightfully deserves it. His performance is searing.

8:52 Bob Newhart presents Best Comedy. And drones on a bit.  But has some good lines.

8:54 30 Rock. Which is about as surprising as me eating peanut M&Ms.

8:56 I have never been so unhappy to see Cat Deeley in my life. I want my final award.

9:00 Emmys are going over.

9:00 I’m actually looking forward to Criminal Minds.

9:01 Sigourney Weaver presents best drama to Mad Men. No effing surprise.

That is it for the night and the year. Early surprises in acting awards turn into a night where many repeat winners come along.  Still crushed about Jim Parsons losing. May never be okay again…

Can’t wait until The Big Bang Theory premieres tomorrow night.

Till the next one ( Golden Globes in January, everyone!)

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Best Drama

Big Love

Breaking Bad

Damages

Dexter

House

Lost

Mad Men

I know Mad Men  is the mega buzz show right now, I know Lost fans think that it is THE GREATEST SHOW EVER ( they’re wrong). House  and Dexter both buckled under their previous genius this past season, Big Love is pretty bland for something that’s supposed to be so controversial ( it’s just another family drama). Damages  has bright spots, almost all involving Glenn Close, but is wildly inconsistent. My pick is the searing, surprising Breaking Bad, which is quickly surpassing even Mad Men as my new favorite cable drama.

Best Comedy

Entourage

Family Guy

Flight of the Conchords

How I Met Your Mother

The Office

30 Rock

Weeds

I’m picking 30 Rock because the only sitcom better than it isn’t even nominated. ( All Big Bang Theory fans unite in your grief!) It’s not that 30 Rock is undeserving, it’s just that TBBT is much more consistent.

Best Television Movie

Coco Chanel

Grey Gardens

Into The Storm

Prayers for Bobby

Taking Chance

It was just sheer brilliance.

Best Reality Competition Series

The Amazing Race

American Idol

Dancing With The Stars

Project Runway

Top Chef

This is obviously a case between what I want and what I know. Project Runway  is one of my favorite shows in history, but it can’t compete with the exotic locales and sheer scope of CBS multiple award winning reality show.  The fact is, The Amazing Race is amazing.

Best Reality Series

Antiques Roadshow

Dirty Jobs

Dog Whisperer

Intervention

Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D List

Mythbusters

Kathy Griffin FTW.

 

Best Variety, Music, or Comedy Series

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Late Show with David Letterman

Real Time with Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live

I’m sorry. I love Jon and Stephen to death, you know it, I know it. But Bill Maher has been a favorite of mine for years. I still disagree with ABC’s decision to scrap him, I admire HBO for not letting him go away into that good night, and Religulous was a thought provoking scream. Give him a goddamn Emmy.

Best Actor Drama

Simon Baker The Mentalist

Gabriel Byrne In Treatment

Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad

Michael C. Hall Dexter

Jon Hamm Mad Men

Hugh Laurie House

While I’m still smarting about Hugh Laurie being Emmyless, Bryan Cranston is giving the best performance on television right now. I’m thinking Laurie’s time may have passed and James Spader has his Emmy.

Best Actor Comedy

Alec Baldwin 30 Rock

Steve Carrell The Office

Jermaine Clement Flight of the Conchords

Jim Parsons The Big Bang Theory

Tony Shaloub Monk

Charlie Sheen Two And A Half Men

Without question, Parsons is putting together a comedic performance that will go down in history. There is a very thin line he dances on between eccentric genius and hateful ass, but he plays it beautifully. For a character with little insight into the human condition, Parson’s Sheldon comes off as the most human of all. A lot of that credit must go to Parsons, who has an innate goodness and loads of charm. The two headed monster that is Alec Baldwin and Steve Carrell still have an excellent chance of winning, and one must never count Tony Shaloub out ( the Emmys love the guy). But my heart and soul believes that Parsons actually DESERVES it.

Best Actor Mini Series or Movie

Kevin Bacon Taking Chance

Kenneth Branagh Wallander: One Step Behind

Kevin Kline Cyrano de Bergerac: Great Performances

Brendan Gleeson Into The Storm

Sir Ian McKellan King Lear: Great Performances

Keifer Sutherland 24: Redemption

I never thought I would get a chance to see McKellen do Lear. I’m glad I got that chance, albeit on PBS. The highlight of my TV viewing life.

Best Actress Drama

Glenn Close Damages

Sally Field Brothers and Sisters

Mariska Hargitay Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Holly Hunter Saving Grace

Elisabeth Moss Mad Men

Kyra Sedgwick The Closer

Elisabeth Moss is so freakin’ good as Peggy Olson she has to win or there is no justice in this universe.

Best Actress Comedy

Christina Applegate Samantha Who?

Toni Colette United States of Tara

Julia Louis- Dreyfus The New Adventures of Old Christine

Tina Fey 30 Rock

Mary Louise Parker Weeds

Sarah Silverman The Sarah Silverman Program

Long time readers know I want to be Tina Fey when I grow up.

Best Actress Mini Series or Movie

Drew Barrymore Grey Gardens

Jessica Lange Grey Gardens

Shirley MacLaine Coco Chanel

Sigourney Weaver Prayers For Bobby

Chandra Wilson Accidental Friendship

It will be either Drew or Jessica, and I’m going with the former, because we forget what a good actor she is amongst the crazy that is her life.

Best Reality Host

Tom Bergeron Dancing With the Stars

Phil Keoghan The Amazing Race

Heidi Klum Project Runway

Padma Lakshimi and Tom Colicchio Top Chef

Jeff Probst Survivor

Ryan Seacrest American Idol

I have a bizarre crush on Tom Bergeron. And Cat Deely isn’t nominated.

Best Supporting Actor Drama

Christian Clemenson Boston Legal

Michael Emerson Lost

William Hurt Damages

Aaron Paul Breaking Bad

William Shatner Boston Legal

John Slattery Mad Men

Best supporting categories are the most prime for surprises, though if you have seen Breaking Bad, you know this is no surprise. Paul gives as good as he gets.

Best Supporting Actor Comedy

Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men

Kevin Dillon Entourage

Neil Patrick Harris How I Met Your Mother

Jack McBrayer 30 Rock

Tracy Morgan 30 Rock

Rainn Wilson The Office

Because I will not rest until Barney Stinson is awarded an Emmy.

Best Supporting Actress Drama

Rose Byrne Damages

Hope Davis In Treatment

Cherry Jones 24

Sandra Oh Grey’s Anatomy

Dianne Weist In Treatment

Chandra Wilson Grey’s Anatomy

Chandra Wilson is truly the heart and soul of Grey’s.

Best Supporting Actress Comedy

Kristen Chenoweth Pushing Daisies

Jane Krakowski 30 Rock

Elizabeth Perkins Weeds

Amy Poehler Saturday Night Live

Kristin Wiig Saturday Night Live

Vanessa L. Williams Ugly Betty

Jane Krakowski is one of my favorite actresses of all time.

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Emmy Nominees Announced!

Below are the nominees for the major categories of the Emmys nominations released earlier today. I will post my thoughts and picks in the near future, but needless to say, the Emmy voters got more right than usual, but why do people who hate television so much get to select what is the best of television?

 

Best Drama

Big Love

Breaking Bad

Damages

Dexter

House

Lost

Mad Men

Best Comedy

Entourage

Family Guy

Flight of the Conchords

How I Met Your Mother

The Office

30 Rock

Weeds

Best Television Mini Series

Generation Kill

Little Dorrit

Best Television Movie

Coco Chanel

Grey Gardens

Into The Storm

Prayers for Bobby

Taking Chance

Best Reality Competition Series

The Amazing Race

American Idol

Dancing With The Stars

Project Runway

Top Chef

Best Reality Series

Antiques Roadshow

Dirty Jobs

Dog Whisperer

Intervention

Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D List

Mythbusters

Best Variety, Music, or Comedy Special

Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush

Ricky Gervais: Out Of England

Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut A Bitch

The Kennedy Center Honors

Chris Rock: Kill The Messenger

Best Variety, Music, or Comedy Series

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Late Show with David Letterman

Real Time with Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live

Best Actor Drama

Simon Baker The Mentalist

Gabriel Byrne In Treatment

Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad

Michael C. Hall Dexter

Jon Hamm Mad Men

Hugh Laurie House

Best Actor Comedy

Alec Baldwin 30 Rock

Steve Carrell The Office

Jermaine Clement Flight of the Conchords

Jim Parsons The Big Bang Theory

Tony Shaloub Monk

Charlie Sheen Two And A Half Men

Best Actor Mini Series or Movie

Kevin Bacon Taking Chance

Kenneth Branagh Wallander: One Step Behind

Kevin Kline Cyrano de Bergerac: Great Performances

Brendan Gleeson Into The Storm

Sir Ian McKellan King Lear: Great Performances

Keifer Sutherland 24: Redemption

Best Actress Drama

Glenn Close Damages

Sally Field Brothers and Sisters

Mariska Hargitay Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Holly Hunter Saving Grace

Elisabeth Moss Mad Men

Kyra Sedgwick The Closer

Best Actress Comedy

Christina Applegate Samantha Who?

Toni Colette United States of Tara

Julia Louis- Dreyfus The New Adventures of Old Christine

Tina Fey 30 Rock

Mary Louise Parker Weeds

Sarah Silverman The Sarah Silverman Program

Best Actress Mini Series or Movie

Drew Barrymore Grey Gardens

Jessica Lange Grey Gardens

Shirley MacLaine Coco Chanel

Sigourney Weaver Prayers For Bobby

Chandra Wilson Accidental Friendship

Best Reality Host

Tom Bergeron Dancing With the Stars

Phil Keoghan The Amazing Race

Heidi Klum Project Runway

Padma Lakshimi and Tom Colicchio Top Chef

Jeff Probst Survivor

Ryan Seacrest American Idol

Best Supporting Actor Drama

Christian Clemenson Boston Legal

Michael Emerson Lost

William Hurt Damages

Aaron Paul Breaking Bad

William Shatner Boston Legal

John Slattery Mad Men

Best Supporting Actor Comedy

Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men

Kevin Dillon Entourage

Neil Patrick Harris How I Met Your Mother

Jack McBrayer 30 Rock

Tracy Morgan 30 Rock

Rainn Wilson The Office

Best Supporting Actor Mini Series or Movie

Len Cariou Into The Storm

Tom Courteney Little Dorrit

Ken Howard Grey Gardens

Bob Newhart The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice

Andy Serkis Little Dorrit

Best Supporting Actress Drama

Rose Byrne Damages

Hope Davis In Treatment

Cherry Jones 24

Sandra Oh Grey’s Anatomy

Dianne Weist In Treatment

Chandra Wilson Grey’s Anatomy

Best Supporting Actress Comedy

Kristen Chenoweth Pushing Daisies

Jane Krakowski 30 Rock

Elizabeth Perkins Weeds

Amy Poehler Saturday Night Live

Kristin Wiig Saturday Night Live

Vanessa L. Williams Ugly Betty

Best Supporting Actress Mini Series or Movie

Shohreh Aghdashloo House of Saddam

Marcia Gay Harden The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

Janet McTeer Into The Storm

Jeanne Triplehorn Grey Gardens

Cicely Tyson Relative Stranger

Best Actor in a Guest Role Drama

Ed Asner ER

Ted Danson Damages

Ernest Borgnine ER

Michael J. Fox Rescue Me

Jimmy Smits Dexter

Best Actor in a Guest Role Comedy

Alan Alda 30 Rock

Beau Bridges Desperate Housewives

Jon Hamm 30 Rock

Steve Martin 30 Rock

Justin Timberlake Saturday Night Live

Best Actress in a Guest Role Drama

Brenda Blethyn Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Carol Burnett  Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Ellen Burstyn  Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Sharon Lawrence Grey’s Anatomy

CCH Pounder No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Best Actress in a Guest Role Comedy

Jennifer Aniston 30 Rock

Christine Baranski The Big Bang Theory

Tina Fey Saturday Night Live

Gena Rowlands Monk

Elaine Stritch 30 Rock

Betty White My Name Is Earl

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It’s that time of year, folks! This Thursday, the Emmy nominees will be read out by former nominee Chandra Wilson and sure to a first time nominee Jim Parsons. It’ll make my five am wake up call somewhat bearable to have this on the TV.

Below is the list of nominees I suspect will happen and frankly, pretty much as it should be.

Best Supporting Actor- Drama

Jeremy Davies (Lost)

Walton Goggins ( The Shield)

Robert Sean Leonard ( House)

John Noble ( Fringe)

Aaron Paul ( Breaking Bad)

William Shatner ( Boston Legal)

I’m not a watcher of Lost, but everyone I know has been raving about Davies’ performance this season. I’m troubled more by the fact Goggins has NEVER BEEN NOMINATED. Tragic. Also quite tragic is Leonard, who also has NEVER BEEN NOMINATED. What the hell, Emmys? Goggins and Leonard both have been the heart of their respective shows, and Goggins’ character went down swinging in The Shields final season. Leonard still doesn’t have a lot to do on House, but there were moments toward the end of the season where you see how important he really is to the show’s mythology. Noble’s delightfully off kilter performance on Fringehas been the most consistent thing about the show. Aaron Paul goes toe to toe with the incomparable Bryan Cranston every week and survives. And lastly, William Shatner is William fucking Shatner. He’s James T. Kirk and you’re not. Suck it.

Dark horse pick- Zachary Quinto (Heroes)

The best thing about this show for the past two seasons is Quinto’s steady, ferocious turn as the psychopathic Sylar. Bad writing doesn’t detract from this singular performance.

Best Supporting Actress- Drama

Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)

Rose Byrne (Damages)

Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy)

Christina Hendricks ( Mad Men)

Alison Pill ( In Treatment)

CCH Pounder (The Shield)

Again, Britton is on a show I don’t watch, but everyone keeps raving about her in particular. Byrne is on a show with a strong female lead and she holds her own beautifully. Heigl may be a brat, but she brought some soul back to GA after the ghost sex ( again, bad writing should not detract from a good performance). Hendricks is so stunning that it’s easy to forget her subtle work in Mad Men. Pill has been the only patient in the second season of In Treatmentthat I felt was compelling enough for me to turn into watch every week. And Pounder’s beleaguered Claudette remains one of the great female characters in the cannon of cop dramas.

Dark horse pick- Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)

The true heart and soul of GA, she deserves it more than Heigl, but lacks the star power of the movie star, or the shock and awe storyline. But when I do sit and watch this show, she’s the real reason why.

Best Supporting Actor-Comedy

Adam Baldwin (Chuck)

Neil Patrick Harris ( How I Met Your Mother)

Simon Helberg ( The Big Bang Theory)

Tracy Morgan ( 30 Rock)

Jeremy Piven ( Entourage)

Jason Segel ( How I Met Your Mother)

I honestly think Baldwin’s Col. John Casey is Chuck‘s best acting shot- because even though he’s a closed off grunting hard ass, Baldwin never let’s us forget his humanity or his humor. The fact Harris has not won an Emmy is one of the great crimes. Helberg’s horny nerd from hell is surprisingly well drawn for a character that was originally an after thought. Piven still rocks the world on Entourage.Morgan’s dim witted comedian is now my favorite character on a show full of brilliant writing and acting. Segel has been so good for so long on HIMYM.He may get outshone by Harris’ flashier role, but it’s time to give Segel some lovin’,  too.

dark horse pick: Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)

Oh. My. God. Naivete has never been so funny.

Best Supporting Actress- Comedy

Portia de Rossi ( Better Off Ted)

Jenna Fisher ( The Office)

Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)

Jean Smart (Samantha Who?)

Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

Vanessa L. Williams (Ugly Betty)

de Rossi has a habit of appearing on quirky comedies ( see: Ally McBeal, Arrested Development), but her ice queen boss takes the cake. Fisher still makes me care about the Jim-Pam story by being true to the moment. Krakowski’s over the top deluded diva had some brilliant moments this season ( in blackface, no less.) Smart won last year, and she still shines as Samantha’s over bearing mom. Smulders went from being the weak link on HIMYM to being it’s hidden gem, and I love the Canadianisms she clearly contributes to the writers for those awesome scripts. Betty  may be fading fast, but Williams’ Wilhemina is still the grandest grande dame of them all.

Dark horse pick- Alyson Hannigan ( How I Met Your Mother)

It’s tough to leave Hannigan out, since she had a truly great season despite being pregnant for most of it ( and absent for four weeks). Her Lily, the beer guzzling, potty mouthed kindergarten teacher, is a bright light in my dreary life.

Best Actor-Drama

Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment)

Michael Chiklis (The Shield)

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

Jon Hamm (Mad Men)

Hugh Laurie (House)

Denis Leary ( Rescue Me)

Byrne’s detailed performance as a shrink in need of help of his own is one of the finest wrought of the year. Chiklis (  former winner for this role) went down and was brilliant in the way he portrayed his character’s twisted logic and decaying worldview. Cranston is nearly unstoppable as the teacher with nothing to lose. Hamm’s suave, subdued performance seems to be almost forgotten with the bright lights of the women this season, but he was darkly brilliant.  Laurie is a perennial nominee and will be till his show ends or he wins one of these goddamnedthings. He’s so singularly brilliant he deserves every accolade.  And even though Rescue Me had an off season, Leary just keeps getting better. 

dark horse pick- Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)

Because it’s a tough category, I don’t know if he’ll squeeze in.  But from what I have heard, Chandler’s performance is one of the best on TV.

Best Actress-Drama

Glenn Close ( Damages)

Mariska Hargitay ( Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)

January Jones ( Mad Men)

Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)

Anna Paquin ( True Blood)

Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

Close won last year. Her ferocious turn this year is even better. Hargitay is another perennial nominee who delivers solid performances year in, year out. Jones and Moss both shined on a show that saw their character grow from meek women used by the men in their lives to fiercely independent minded pre feminist heroines. Paquin’s accent may be distracting, but her slightly slatterly, tempermental Sookie is a gem. And Sedgwickis just so good I had to include her. 

dark horse pick- Mary McDonnell ( Battlestar Galactica)

Another show I never quite got around to watching, another performance I have heard nothing but praise for, another show leaving the air, last shot for the gold.

Best Actor-Comedy

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Kyle Bornheimer (Worst Week)

Steve Carrell ( The Office)

Lee Pace ( Pushing Daisies)

Jim Parsons ( The Big Bang Theory)

Charlie Sheen ( Two And A Half Men)

We have a couple of clueless bosses ( Baldwin’s Machiavellian Jack Donaghy, Carrell’s hapless Michael Scott). We have a smooth talking womanizer on a show i personally hate but kind of like him on it despite myself ( Sheen’s jingle writer Charlie Harper). We have a newcomer on a show that was cancelled just as it began to find it’s footing ( Bornheimer), playing a spazz to end all spazzes. We have a charming pie maker who can raise the dead on a single touch, making it really hard to make out with his girlfriend ( Pace’s melancholic Ned). And then we have a genius comic creation, a genius who is both OCD and clueless ( Parson’s hilarious Sheldon Cooper).

dark horse pick- Zachary Levi (Chuck)

My favorite performance by any comedic actor this year was in Chuck season two finale, at turns sad, charming, and thrilling. The show would not work without him. I hope Emmy voters notice.

Best Actress- Comedy

Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)

Toni Colette ( The United States of Tara)

America Ferrera ( Ugly Betty)

Tina Fey (30 Rock)

Julia Louis Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)

Mary Louise Parker (Weeds)

Applegate is well liked in the industry and I liked her on her show. Colette has a really tough road to hold and does it admirably well. Ferrera still sparkles through the dreariness that is Ugly Betty. Fey is my hero and I want to be like her when I grow up. Louis Dreyfus is on a much improved show that she was always good on ( now, she’s pretty fantabulous). Parker handles the more dramatic moments of her drug dramedy as effectively as the high comedy moments.

dark horse pick- Kaley Cuoco ( The Big Bang Theory)

It’s easy to dismiss her as another blonde starlet on a TV show, but she is so much more than that. She grounds the four male leads in a snese of reality, she’s the every(wo)man we need to handle the world of these four geniuses. Her role is harder than it looks and she does it better than I ever thought she would. Her growth as an actor this past season is welcomed.

Best Drama

Breaking Bad

House

In Treatment

Lost

Mad Men

The Shield

It honestly will come down to the two AMC dramas, but as much as I love Mad Men, I think Breaking Bad is even more ground breaking, earth shattering, and ultimately, a better show.

Dark horse pick- Friday Night Lights

Critics love this show to the point of  column over saturation. Give it an Emmy nod.

Best Comedy

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory

How I Met Your Mother

The Office

Two And A Half Men

The United States Of Tara

If anything beats 30 Rock, I’ll be surprised.

Dark Horse pick- Better Off Ted

It’s original! It’s fresh! It’s new! It actually is really good. And it was a mid season replacement. I would not be adverse with Emmy handing some love over to this show.

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First, the good news.

Best Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Years of Devotion to How I Met Your Mother and Scrubs has been painful at times, as both of these hilarious but criminally under watched shows suffered from time slot shifts and near cancellation more than once. But HIMYM‘s fifth season was all but assured this year as it experienced a small uptick thanks to it’s new lead in. Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady’s superior Friends meets Seinfeld meets SciFi convention multicam sitcom has quickly become the most reliable funny show on the boob tube.

Best Comedic Performance- Male

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

The lanky actor with a slight lisp and a gift for comedic OCD reactions has been the breakout  star on a solid ensemble cast. A virtual unknown before the show, he has quickly become the front man for the cast, doing more press than all the others four combined. And if anyone has seen his spots on Craig Ferguson, he is charming, funny, and Un-Sheldonlike. But nothing tops TBBT Christmas episode, in which Sheldon hugs Penny ( Kaley Cuoco)- that is physical comedy at it’s best.

Best Comedic Performance- Female

Jane Krakowski as Jenna on 30 Rock

She has always been funny ( look at her character on Ally McBeal), but this year, Jenna has been inspired, even profane ( black face? Seriously?). Jane and Tracy Morgan are making a brilliantly idiotic comic team. Jenna’s vacuous presence makes up for a more uneven season.

Best Drama Series

Chuck (NBC)

Okay, it’s one of the funniest shows on TV. But this spy dramedy mashup is also one of the most affecting shows I have ever had the privilege to watch. The Josh Schwartz /Chris Fedak run show has vastly improved in it’s second season ( and it’s first, strike shortened season wasn’t bad to begin with). Wildly inventive while being almost religiously devoted to geek world references ( plus a deep love of the 80s- the show adores Spies Like Us to the point of ridiculousness, but you love every minute of it). Bonus- an awesome soundtrack. Well, it is a Josh Schwartz show.

Best Dramatic Performance- Male

Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski, Chuck

We in the know and who loved Less than Perfect  remember Levi as being comically gifted ( and a great singer- ” Luck be A Lady” was a series highlight for me). But his portrayal of the Nerd Herder with a government computer in his brain is a gentle mix of comedy and pathos. He breaks my heart as often as he makes me laugh. And now that he knows kung fu, I’m all agog. Brilliant.

Best Dramatic Performance- Female

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olsen, Mad Men

As the girl who walks into the mean manly man world of advertising, she delivers a subtle, heart breaking performance. She has suffered tremendously for her ambition on both a personal and a professional level, but do not mistake her for a pushover. Moss, so winning on The West Wing as Zoey Bartlett, has really grown into a spectacularly nuanced actress.

Best Series Finale- Till it wasn’t

Scrubs (ABC)

In perfect cohesion with the rest of the series. Everyone was there. Hooch really is crazy. Beardface, Snoop Dogg Intern/Resident, Gloria, even those who have passed. A sweet sentimental moment where J.D. ( Zach Braff- still so good here) sees his future. Small cameo by Bill Lawrence himself. Then ABC ruins my deep affection for this perfect episode of a much beloved network cannon fodder show by bringing it back for a ninth season. It still is a moving show, but I can’t imagine Scrubs without J.D.

Best Series Finale That Is Actually A Finale

ER (NBC)

The Thursday night lead out for fifteen seasons, ER  stopped being the big focus of NBC somewhere around the time George Clooney left. Lord knows I barely watched it in the last decade. But I tuned in all the same. And it, too, was a perfect finale. In fact, it really wasn’t a finale at all. Yes, old timer cast members came back for a visit, but it felt organic, not forced. The episode mirrored the pilot in many ways, yes, but it felt like it was true to the show as a whole. It was special because it wasn’t special.

And now the bad:

Worst “Comedy”

Kath and Kim ( NBC)

Just not funny. Too bad. I love Molly Shannon.

Worst ” Drama”

Knight Rider ( NBC)

This show wasn’t that good in the 80s when Hasselhoff was the MAN. Did Silverman and co. really think it would work now?

Moments from the season that should be remembered:

  • Adam Lambert’s gorgeous version of ” Mad World”, Kris Allen’s stunning rendition of ” Falling Slowly”, Allison Iraheta ‘s exquisite ” Someone To Watch Over Me”, and whatever that note was that Danny Gokey let loose at the end of ” Dream On” which wasn’t even human. ( American Idol)
  • An injury plagued season of Dancing With The Stars that was more entertaining than it had any right to be.
  • Barney Stinson is in love with Robin Sherbatsky!
  • While we’re on the topic of HIMYM, damn, they did the lamest/coolest job of hiding Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders pregnancies.
  • I cannot reiterate how hilarious the hug Sheldon gave Penny in the Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory is. Just genius.
  • Chuck Bass says ” I love you”. Twice.
  • The entire second season of Chuck. This show is so much better than Heroes.
  • House losing his mind. Kutner’s suicide. Amber. Huddy sex that wasn’t real.  ( House).
  • The performance of Harvey Keitel in the short but glorious run of ABC’s Life On Mars. yes, I was the person watching.
  • Barack Obama elected to the office of President of the United States of America. ( every network imaginable).
  • The Daily Show
  • The White Stripes showing up to sing ” We Are Going To be friends” on Conan O’Brien’s last Late Night
  • Jimmy Fallon not totally sucking as he took over Conan’s slot.
  • Jimmy is still no match for Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show.
  • The Colbert Report
  • Hugh Jackman hosting the Oscars. The Theater geek in me died a glorious,rapturous death. I loved most of it.
  • Gray Gardens
  • Almost everything on the Food Network’s prime time sked.

So this lead me to the question of the day. What was your highlight of the 2008-2009 TV season?

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Happy Birthday Wishes

jimhotHappy birthday to Jim Parsons, who is 36 today. He still is the best thing on the TeeVee machine at this moment.

You heard me.

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I normally look upon stunt casting with a wary eye. When done right ( Paul Rudd’s sweet Mike on the final two seasons of Friends, Leslie Jordan’s wickedly fey Beverley on Will and Grace), it’s magical. When done just because ( Britney on anything), it’s cloy and distracting. It’s best if the stunt casting makes sense. It’s better when the guest star gets smashing lines. TBBT had been doing the stunt casting thing well. Till this week.

Summer Glau, star of The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox ( but produced by WB- hence the crossover), is actually quite dynamic on her show ( she’s honestly the best thing about it). But she was wasted on this episode with mostly monosyllabic answers to the constant attention of Howard and Raj. When the guest star gets no real funny lines on a sitcom guest spot, you have to wonder.

Fortunately, the Penny-Sheldon dynamic was fabulous despite the fact they were barely on screen together. Kaley Cuoco is truly turning into a charming and funny lead as the show goes on, because even without the guys to play off of, she was great, nonchalantly painting her nails as Jim Parson’s Sheldon gives wackadoodle directions to get his flash drive out of his locked desk drawer. ( The show is getting better with it’s callbacks recently, with mentioning of Howard’s new “relationship” with Leslie Winkle and the come back of “wackadoodle”). Jim Parsons, gifted physical comedian, spent nearly the entire episode sitting down, but still managed to be utterly delightful every second he was on screen. Johnny Galecki’s Leonard was also great this week, as he is having a ” I hate Sheldon” week and needles him more than usual ( but still plays peacemaker between Sheldon and a nosy Penny).

Things we learn this week:

  • Given enough time, Howard can actually come up with a clever pick up line.
  • Given the opportunity, Raj will steal that pick up line.
  • Penny has a job playing Anne Frank in a small 99 seat theater above a bowling alley. Hey, it’s an acting job, folks.
  • Sheldon keeps his flash drive locked in his desk, but the key for the desk in in his room, and nobody is allowed in his room.
  • Sheldon is way obsessed about trains.
  • Raj is susceptible to the placebo effect, and apparently cannot read labels on beer bottles.
  • Howard, though in a relationship, has a flawless reason to try and sleep with Summer Glau- ” It’s Summer Glau!”
  • The guys go to the Apple Store and mock the people at the Genius Bar.
  • Sheldon has a new packing system involving RDF tags, a scanner wand, and a complex cross referencing system.
  • Sheldon takes all the fun out of sarcasm, according to Leonard.
  • Sheldon’s vote outweighs the other three.
  • Sheldon is wary of voiding warranties, but is more obsessed with keeping season 1 of BSG on TiVo. Leading me to ask- don’t they have the DVDs?
  • Sheldon’s MeeMaw calls him ” Moonpie” because he is so ” nummy, nummy”. And only MeeMaw can call him that. For the first time, Sheldon shows a streak of sentimentality.
  • Leonard is reading Noble Laureate George Smoot’s ” Wrinkles in Time”.
  • Are you meaning to tell me Penny doesn’t know a USB port from a power button?

Overall, there were funny moments, but the use of Summer Glau was limited, and the real story got lost to the B story, simply because Jim and Kaley shine as the adversarial friends.

Penny line of the week: ” What up, Moonpie?”

Sheldon line of the week:’ It’s like talking to a chimp.”

Howard line of the week: ” One beer and it’s like he’s M. Knight Charmalamalan.”

Raj line of the week: ” You got me. Now, what are you gonna do with me?”

Leonard line of the week : ” Looks like you’re between a rock and a crazy place.”

Grade- B

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First off, look for Craig Ferguson (sexy Scot from The Late Late Show) battle Jimmy Fallon starting on March 2, 2009 in a unique way. Craig is taking to the Prime Time CBS lineup to promote his show on the 2 and 9. Paris Hilton will join him the first Monday, so we care less about that than the following week when- yes- the one, the only comic genius Jim Parsons will be there with Craig- as Sheldon, no less ( Dr. Cooper M.Sc Ph.D Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!) There will be five interstatials over the course of the night, which take place at Craig’s “home” over TV Dinners. Paris is set to be guest on Craig’s actual job on the same night, but there is no confirmation of the same being true for Jim the following week, though I’d bet on it, as Craig has had Jim on his show three times in the last four months and seems quite fond of him ( IMO, Jim is a great talk show guest- charming and witty, with a quick mind to able to keep up. On his first Late Late Show appearance, he told Craig that the show’s official mugs were highly toxic, causing Craig to throw them around the studio.) Best news of the day… or it was until…

It is official, from NBC itself. Conan O’Brien will have a sidekick on The Tonight Show, and that sidekick will be Andy Richter.

I have died and gone to heaven. Thank you, comedy gods. And bring back the staring contest.

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Christine Baranski and Jim Parsons

Christine Baranski and Jim Parsons

Think about Friends and the two primary love stories that happened on that show. Both the Ross and Rachel dynamic and the Monica and Chandler dynamic had the underlying foundation of friendship. Ross and Rachel, though, not being enormously close at the beginning of the series, entered into a romantic relationship fueled by sexual desire, low self esteem, fits of jealousy, and temper tantrums. It was after that original break up and several close calls over the years that you began to see a maturation of the relationship, cemented in the birth of the baby that only happened due to a moment of what I’m sure is self pity on both their part, and the eventual realization that frankly, they had been a couple the entire time, though they tried to deny it. It was an evolution of character, for sure, but it was annoyingly long and painful over ten seasons that the writers literally had to write the ending they did, or else they would have been shot at like wild dogs. The Monica- Chandler relationship, though, was less melodramatic in tone, more real, a natural evolution of an existing friendship that was already pretty close, and as mature as a relationship can get because, after all, it’s Friends.

Why do I bring up a show that is in constant reruns but has been off air for six years? Well, as I was watch this week’s episode of TBBT, I was struck by the balance that Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady, and the writing staff are bringing to the Leonard- Penny relationship. They have formed a friendship that appears pretty solid, sweet, caring, and gentle, but the obvious crush Leonard has on Penny hangs over them both. It’s not the total focus of their relationship, but neither ignore it. At the same time, both characters show a surprising impulsive nature. Penny’s is more obvious ( this episode having a prime example), but Leonard’s impulsive behavior is more damaging to his immediate interests. he cannot for the life of him keep his mouth shut, and it interferes in his goals. He cannot shut off his brain, and therefore he ends up spouting of what really should be part of his inner monologue.

Needless to say, this episode ends up giving a lot of food for thought about Leonard as a person. Tie what I just wrote into this weeks Slate article ( and I must say, a pretty good one) about Sheldon having Asperger’s.  I’m not overly familiar with the diagnostics of Asperger’s, just what I’ve read on Wikipedia, but I share some of those traits- active but odd, certain routines, pursuit of narrow interests, disjointed, quick speech patterns. and I know I’m not the most empathetic person in the world, and I am a ginormous klutz. I do not believe I have Asperger’s, as there are many of the characteristics I do not have. I always considered myself a raging misanthrope, a cynic, a pessimist, a fatalist. Chuck and Bill insist Sheldon is not an Aspie, and Jim Parsons ( genius- there is a person I wouldn’t mind having a conversation with) tows the party line pretty well while acknowledging there is no way Sheldon could be anything else but one.( His answers in the Variety series were a tightrope act without a net on this issue.) This plays into this weeks learn about Leonard episode as we finally figure out the reason why Leonard actually puts up with so many of Sheldon’s quirks and is always prepared to knuckle under.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Dr. Beverly Hofstadter. Some may call her an analytical cold fish. I call her Sheldon in a dress. Leonard calls her “mother”.

First off, my kids want Rock Band ( I admit, I do as well, but the price tag is enough to make you pause). This weeks cold open has the guys playing the zeitgeist consuming game. It was funny, but not as funny as last week’s episode of Sheldon abandonment. Leonard’s phone call to his mother wasn’t as funny as say- Sheldon’s phone call with his mother in episode 2-7 The Panty Piñata Polarization. But when Penny runs into Beverly at the broken elevator, we get an idea of why Sheldon doesn’t faze Leonard, as Dr. H launches into a theory of the passivity of the tenants due to the dust on the sign and tape blocking the door ( and I must say that in theory, she is absolutely correct, but in practice, fixing it means no more stairway walk and talks). Penny asks an innocuous question about Leonard when he was little ( ” I think you meant young, he’s always been little.”) that turns into a therapy session with a neuroscientist as Penny blubbers on about no longer being ” Slugger” to her dad. Sobbing Penny leaves Dr. H by Leonard’s door, and his mother informs him that all he needs to do to get Penny into bed is find out the brand of cologne her father wears. Who knew it’d be that easy?

This leads to a scene similar to one we’ve seen played out by Sheldon and Leonard a couple of times dealing with sustenance. Leonard tries desperately to please his mother with tea, but the oolong, loose tea, steeped three minutes, milk warmed separately, a teaspoon of raw sugar cup is cold, like mom. Sheldon is clearly taken with Dr. H, whom he sees as an ideal mother- analytical, smart, emotionally efficient, not prone to hitting you with a bible because you don’t eat brussel sprouts. Although a particularly disturbing side of Sheldon comes out when he gets excited by the prospect of viewing the Power Point presentation of her paper on her sex life with Leonard’s father ( and poor Leonard for having to deal with that issue, because he’s clearly been forced to observe it).

Leonard ends up taking Mom to work, where Howard and Raj have way too much fun at Leonard’s expense. Apparently, Leonard is the black sheep of his family, a lowly physicist, while his younger brother is a tenured law professor at Harvard, and his sister is on her way to curing diabetes. Leonard gets them back by telling his mother that Raj can’t speak to women unless he’s drunk and that Howard still lives with his mother. Raj’s case piques her interest a bit, but Howard’s amuses her more than anything- ” An adult Jewish male living with his mother is so common as to be sociological cliché.”, then deduces that they both have a pathological fear of women that they hide by developing an ersatz homosexual marriage ( leading Leonard to crow ” You brought your husband to work!”) This sets up a classic old married couple style fight between Raj and Howard involving Howard always having to speak for Raj around women,  an incident at the comic book store, and the fact Raj says that Howard never wants to talk about what’s really the issue at hand. What does Sheldon get out of this exchange? ” You went to the comic book store without me?”

Leonard, having decided that alcoholism is a valid career move, goes to Penny, and the two of them get wasted on white wine while Sheldon goes to the hospital for a brain scan with Dr. H. The two clearly Vulcanesque people have drawn the conclusion that they are exceedingly comfortable together, and are shocked that someone ” as workaday” as Leonard is their link. This leads to a scene where  Sheldon and Dr. H have a discussion about doing… something, needless to say, it’s filled with sexual innuendo, which is disturbing coming from Sheldon.

Leonard and Penny have moved on from white wine to tequila shots. Drunk, Penny allows Leonard to lick salt of her neck ( he gets very into it, I must say), and after his shot, discovers his lime in Penny’s mouth. Make out session begins ( he spits that lime out and it got some major air, dudes), and it moves into the bedroom, where those impulsive behavior issues come into play. Penny impulsively decides to sleep with Leonard. Leonard impulsively tells Penny that sleeping together is a Freudian nightmare that he’s frankly okay with. That gets him kicked out of bed, out of the apartment, and he returns across the hall to find his mother and Sheldon singing along to Rock Band. That’s what he was trying to convince her to do.

The closer was a bit of a downer considering how funny the show was in the middle. Dr. H goes to leave, giving an obligatory hug to her son ( if you can call it a hug at all). Penny and Leonard have no bad feelings about the night before ( and  they never, ever have to talk about it). On the way down the stairs, Penny again falls into the trap and ends up sobbing about her parents, prompting Dr. H. to ask her to fly to New Jersey and have a brain scan. Penny sniffs ” Will it help?”.  ” Well, it would certainly help me,” Dr. H intones.

TBBT had it’s cast on fire this episode- everyone got a good line in, it was balanced evenly between the three leads, the two supports, and the guest star. Johnny Galecki, who had been reduced to being the reactionary to Penny and Sheldon the past season finally got a half hour to shine. Sure there were outdated pop culture references that weren’t funny a decade ago ( JarJar Binks? Really? Although Simon Helberg’s impression was spot on. His gift for mimicry surprises me every single time), but I don’t care that much. I love this show.

Sheldon quote of the night: ” I’d like to do the math.” How exceedingly perfect.

Grade- A-

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ATTENTION: ALL BIG BANG THEORY FANS
Please remember that the show tonight, a fresh, brand spanking new episode that has Leonard’s mom visiting is on tonight AFTER Two and A Half Men, due to the Presidential News Conference. On the West Coast, they will be airing a Christine repeat, followed by HIMYM, then the two Chuck Lorre sitcoms. Please
remember to tune in and watch CBS comedies tonight. Thank you.

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Jim Parsons for Funny Or Die

I laughed, but then again, I’m weird and I’d adore Jim if he stood there reading the telephone book.

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After years of being crushed by no noms for The Gilmore Girls and Buffy, the Emmy decided to boost my spirits ( and Jim Parsons and The Big Bang Theory’ s chances) by expanding major categories like acting and best series to six nominee slots instead of five. This rule has been broken so many times in the last decade it really doesn’t matter, but it will make things interesting- like will those close ones now expand to seven picks? Will it shake up the acting races? Will 30 Rock cease to win everything ( I doubt it, but you gotta wonder)?

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You just knew Leonard wanted to have three seconds to himself every once in a while. We get a half hour of Sheldon a week. Imagine living with the guy…

Leonard, you see, needs to use a specific laser for an experiment, but it’s only available after hours, so he’s pulling the night shift at the lab. He told Sheldon he would be unavailable to drive him to work and that Sheldon would need to make other plans, but Sheldon ignored that advice and still expects to be chauffeured by Leonard. There’s also a bit with stimulating Star Wars sheets ( which leads to the question- Stimulating how, Sheldon?) and a snarky remark about the stagnant state of Leonard’s career.  Leonard proceeds to tell Sheldon to take the bus, but Sheldon refuses since buses have no seat belts and they won’t allow him to lash himself to the seats with bungee cords. When that proves fruitless, Sheldon knocks on Penny’s door, and invokes the favor clause built into friendships. Penny agrees to drive Sheldon, who nitpicks about her check engine light ( it’s been on for a month), Penny’s drinking coffee while driving, her route up Euclid Avenue, her not slowing down for speed bumps, and decides to pepper her with arcane trivia and science games.  Penny shows remarkable restraint until Sheldon starts up about the engine again, and she pulls over and kicks him out of the car.

After work, Sheldon runs into Leonard in the cafeteria, where he expects a ride home. Howard agrees with Sheldon’s opinion that Leonard said that he wasn’t able to get a ride to work. Leonard said nothing about the ride home. Howard regrets this decision when Sheldon is denied and expects a ride home with Howard, which involves Howard’s scooter and Euclid avenue’s speed bumps. Convinced Howard is trying to kill him, Sheldon is again abandoned and calls Raj. When that appears to no longer be an option, Sheldon returns to Penny for a ride to Pottery Barn to return the star Wars sheets. Penny slams the door.

The gang decides to proceed with an intervention, and set up an appointment for Sheldon at the DMV. He proves to be a giant ass there as well, and the DMV lady stamps a learner’s permit just to get rid of him. At home, Howard sets up an elaborate simulator ( Sheldon’s desire to drive the batmobile is denied). It proves to be a disaster, and later, while still trying to learn how to drive, Sheldon ends up on the second floor of the Glendale Galleria and crashes into the pet store. Sheldon decides he is ” transcending the situation” and quitting, as he is a Homo novus, and simply too evolved for the plebian task.  He then moves into his office at the university. Leonard conveniently decides to forget to tell him the experimient is over, just for some peace and quiet. After all, when Sheldon comes back, Leonard is the permanent chauffeur again.

A moderately successful outing, as it’s all A story and a lot of Sheldon. The drving simulator stuff is pretty hilarious.  There are great lines for Jim Parsons, but the rest of the cast aren’t given enough to do.

Grade- B-

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Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon. Oh, Sheldon. You wonderful, arrogant, narcissistic jackass. You cannot boil people and relationships down to algorithms. No matter how hard you try. You may be a genius, but you forget- with imperfect creatures like humans, there are simply too many variables.

Last week’s episode was a bit of a let down, but this week, with Jim Parson’s socially clueless Sheldon centre stage, the show hit a good one for the most part. We start with one of the greatest cold opens ever. Sheldon and Raj are debating the best kind of pudding- Raj is in favor of Tapioca, Sheldon is 100% correct in say chocolate ( chocolate fudge pudding, to be precise). Sheldon then attempts to regale his table with a fact about the plant tapioca comes from, but Leonard, Raj , and Howard refuse to allow him to finish his thought, allowing Jim Parson’s physical comedic gifts shine through as Sheldon desperately tries to interject his arcane knowledge and gets shot down. He spasms, contorts, and as desperation sets in, literally looks as though he’s about to fall apart, until Leonard deems it cruel to continue. Sheldon explodes, then drinks water in the most ridiculously desperate way imaginable. ” You promised you’d stop doing that,” he tells Leonard bitterly afterwards.
Sheldon has a bit of a conundrum. See, he needs a certain lab at the university. This lab is apparently under the control of one Barry Kripke ( see last weeks episode- the dude with the speech impediment that only Raj mentioned. Leonard informs our beloved egomaniac that Kripke only allows his friends to use the equipment Sheldon needs, which causes Sheldon to decide to-*GASP*- make Kripke his new friend. Of course, he does this in the most Sheldon way imaginable. He creates a questionnaire ( which seems to resemble an S.A.T. judging from everyones reaction to it). When that proves to be enormously frustrating for him ( he’s upset his friends don’t take the questionnaire seriously, although to their credit, they answered it), he takes to the next logical step- the children’s book section of the local bookstore, which leads to Sheldon meeting a little girl and unaware of social niceties, he comes off as looking beyond creepy. Leonard pulls him away before the inevitable happens.
Reading Stu the Cockatoo Is New At the Zooallows Sheldon to create a greaseboard with the title algorithm on it. He calls Kripke and follows it till he reaches a loop. Howard remedies this by giving him an escape, which cause Sheldon to remark, ” I’m surprised you saw that.”  Howard remarks on how he finds it amazing Sheldon has any friends at all.

Sheldon’s out was to go indoor rock climbing with Kripke. This ends rather amusingly with Sheldon, who’s fear of heights is ” non-existent” but his fear of falling very real, passing out about halfway. I was actually shocked Sheldon even attempted it, as Sheldon is not known for taking any risks at all. But he manages to get Kripke to come over for food ( leading to him deciding that Penny’s name is not hot enough and renaming her. Howard’s little aside about not looking so bad considering actually end up making the last episode now funnier, which is a major comedic achievement). The rest of the gang, not pleased with this new friendship with someone who essentially amounts to a geek who bullies than simply because he’s only a tad less geeky than they are,are then infomed that Sheldon can only afford in his life four friends. Leonard is safe as he is the roomate, Penny because of the fact that she adds something different, and Howard- well, I’m not even sure why, other than Sheldon was miffed Raj answered the lycine question wrong on the questionnaire, so Raj was eliminated from Sheldon’s friend list. But when Sheldon tries to get Kripke to allow him access to the equipment he needs, Kripke informs him that there is a schedule he has no control over. Sheldon, non plussed about the futility of his efforts,  simply decides Kripke is now out and gives Raj the dumplings.

Strong work from Jim Parsons throughout the series means that Sheldon episodes are more likely as the series continues. That’s an issue with breakout characters on sitcoms, particularly ones as well played as Sheldon. But everyone had a few jabs and one liners, and Leonard finally got a chance to tell Penny how he and Sheldon became friends ( basically, he was allowed to be Sheldon’s roommate as long he didn’t whistle). But it was truly a Sheldon moment, and it shined. I laughed, I laughed, I laughed some more. And thank God for quick closers, as we see the guys staring up at a passed out Sheldon, dangling from a harness as he again failed to make it up the rock climbing wall. It was less than ninety seconds. Brilliant.

Grade- B+

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Michael Phelps, the 2008 Summer Olympics

Seriously, it’s an achievement that transcends nationality. Eight gold medals in the pool, and the guy becomes an instant celebrity.

Kristy Yamaguchi, Dancing With the Stars

The spring season was far superior to the recent fall one, despite the telegraphed ending. There was no way Kristy could lose outright, as she had the poise, elegance, and flexibility engineered into her figure skater’s soul. But the touching back story presented made me shed a tear, and her beautiful family made me smile. No one deserved it more. And her dancing? Phenomenal.

Heath  Ledger as the Joker, The Dark Knight


I finally saw it people. And it blew me away. Never big on Batman ( I prefer Batman, though, to Superman, but the X-Men rock my universe), But Ledger’s deliciously over the top, yet oddly restrained mad man just made me smile, then I remembered what we lost, and the sadness can be all consumming.

Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

3

An astonishing comic performance from start to finish, a man blessed with impeccable timing and a fastidiousness that puts Niles Crane and Felix Unger to shame. But most crucially is despite Sheldon’s arrogant and haughty demeanor, we adore him, mostly because he really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about social mores and conventions, but also because he is actually surprisingly sweet in his own geektastic way, as the Saturnalia miracle hug he gave Penny indicated. It’s enough for this reviewer to admit that, yeah, I have a bit of a crush. I would not, however, give him a healthy ovum to grow his own Leonard Nimoy. That borders on supervillain-esque. And yet, I like how supervillain-esque Sheldon is. Jim Parsons is a comedic gem, and damn it, he deserves that Emmy slot currently taken up by Charlie Sheen ( I know I’m digressing, but the Emmys voted the wrong Chuck Lorre comedy into the awards- The Big Bang Theory is far superior).

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