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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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Top Downloads turned out to encompass every Tunes list in the history of I Tunes. So… we got the music world on a string. What did our Idols come up with?

Anoop tackled Usher, and his ” Caught Up” was competent, but pitchy. He also lacked a certain swagger in the vocals. Simply too smooth for his own good. He is a masterful balladeer, for sure, but balladeers do not a career have anymore.

Megan, god bless her heart, tried to do Bob Marley’s ” Turn The Lights Down Low”. and failed. I really love Megan as a person, she looks like a blast. But that was horrible. Bob Marley verges on an untouchable artist ( not quite there). Very unhappy with that.

DWP came with Rascal Flatt’s ( I called the artist!!!!!). “What Hurts the Most” is a song about losing the love of your life. Yeah. Dead Wife PIMPER. And whatever the judges  are smoking needs to be banned of the planet. it may be good shit, but it’s causing them to lose their minds.

I felt gross after watching DWP sing, so I did a tequila shot in the thirty seconds Allison’s tape was rolling, and then stood stunned as she massacred ” Don’t Speak”. That was not pretty. I love her, but it really wasn’t that good. I hope the borderline positive  reviews the judges gave her singing will save her ass from the bottom. But after last week’s revelatory performance, such a let down.

Scott came out with a better haircut ( thank God), his piano, and some Billy Joel ( thank God). I knew he’d gravitate to Billy if he had the chance, and he would knock Billy out of the park. He sounded his best since the audition- confident, on key, and mellow. He knew this song backwards, and the piano was great.

Matt went with The Fray. I do not like the Fray. No. Matt needs to knock it out of the park, and he sounds off pitch immediately. On the electric piano this time, he got better vocally as the song continued, but  I’m disappointed. I really wanted him to take a real risk with Kings Of Leon or something bluesy soulful rocker style.

Lil had to go with Celine, didn’t she? Come on. That is the most ridiculous song choice ever. ” I Surrender”? It’s not even a decent Celine song “decent” and ” Celine” is an oxymoron). She has some pitchy moments. No, not feeling it. What the hell is wrong with Lil? She was awesome in her semi-final performance. This is getting to be a huge train wreck.

The judges crack pipes must have been in use during the commercial break.

Adam does Wild Cherry? He’s doing ” Play That Funky Music”? Are you KIDDING ME?????????? Adam, nonononono… I was just starting to like you. This is insane, dude. No. No. No.

But then the music starts. And it’s bass heavier, not so disco like, and a pretty interesting revision of a disco classic. He allows himself some shriely moments, but I kinda enjoyed it against my better, music cool judgement.  It’s at least new and interesting. Everyone else has been so safe.I guess I am coming around.

Did Kara just say Studio 57? Studio 54, you moron. 54.

Kris closes the night with ” Ain’t No Sunshine”. Perfect song choice for the folk dude.  He’s on piano, not breaking out the funky Bill Withers guitar licks. And I am really loving it. ” Ain’t No Sunshine” is one of my favorites songs of all time. He even does a bit of the funk on the break. Love it.

Top Three- Kris, Adam, and Scott.

Bottom three- Megan, Matt, and Danny, but I bet Danny’s safe and Anoop will be bottom three ( cursed at first).

Megan, I adore you, but it’s time to go home.

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Announcement!

I shall be live blogging the Grammy awards starting Sunday at6 pm Mountain ( 8 pm Eastern, etc, etc…). Look for updates every commercial break.

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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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Barney’s got a MOM! And she will be played by Patricia Conroy, best known as the Matriarch on Six Feet Under.
Bonus casting for the 4-15 Episode labelled ” The Stinsons”- Barney has a ” wife and kid” on hire to fool mommy, and the ” wife” is going to be played by Brooke D’Orsay ( Kristy on TBBT- you know, the Whore of Omaha.)
Coolness.

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  • NBC rejects a PETA ad set to air during the Superbowl. Because vegans can’t possibly be football fans, you know.
  • The couple in Once had a fairy tale year last year. They fell in love, were in the best movie of 207, and won an Oscar for writing one of my favorite songs. Sadly, they have ended their two year relationship.
  • A woman has octuplets in California. And the eighth one was a surprise. I’m just thinking she’s nuts to attempt to try and breastfeed them all ( note- lactation supporters do not gang up on me- I breast fed my own kids, but seriously, all eight? No.)
  • Matt Damon states the obvious, Bill Kristol is an idiot, James Bond is a misogynist sociopath. Wait, say what on that last one?
  • Three arrested in the Bahamas for extortion after they try to scam $25 million from the Travoltas to prevent pictures of Jett’s lifeless body from making rounds. I am never going to the Bahamas.
  • Wikipedia contemplates rule changes after obits appear for Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd.
  • Donny Osmond lets slip he’ll be on Dancing With The Stars. Expect a Foxtrot to ” One Bad Apple”, a waltz  to ” Puppy Love”, and a rhumba to ” Any Dream Will Do”.
  • Project Runway filming at Bryant Park despite having no airdate for season six.
  • Mike White ( writer, Chuck And Buck, actor, School Of Rock, famed apatow crowd reject) to appear on The Amazing Race with his gay activist dad. This will be interesting…
  • Natascha McElhone ( Californication, The Truman Show) lost her husband to a heart attack only a few months ago while pregnant with their third child. This weekend, she finally brought him out into public, and his name is Rex.
  • Government decides to postpone mandatory conversion to digital from analog till this summer, angering fans who have put off sweeps viewing till March, and PBS, who will lose $22 million dollars due to the delay.
  • Rick Warren’s magazine Purpose Driven Connection debuts with an interview with President Obama. I guess they both meant it when they talked about post-partisanism.
  • M.I.A. is thrilled with her Oscar nom, but the real question is- will she be able to perform? She’s due to give birth on February 8- Grammy night ( which will explain her absence), and the Oscars are only a mere two weeks later.
  • Geeks, rejoice! Red Dwarf is returning.
  • Daniel Radcliffe invites the Obama girls to visit Hogwarts with him.
  • ABC has approved pilots of V ( yes, based on the early 80s sci-fi mini series classic), Lost In The 80s ( The Wonder Years meets Fast times At Ridgemont High meets The Ice Storm– I so wanna see it now…)
  • Marvel is being sued for $750 million because they ain’t sharing the Spidey pie.

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If your like me and  pissed off at the quality of The Office this season ( not as funny as it could be…) but miss the glorious Michael-Holly romance, well, yee-haw, Amy Ryan is desired back by our favorite NBC comedy not starring Tina Fey. They are currently hammering out a deal for her to return for the season finale and are looking for some permanance. While not yet final, this would make me the happiest girl in the world.

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NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, God of comedy and musical theater and Dr. Horrible himself, will be hosting SNL this Saturday, January 10. Everybody has the right to be crazy about this news. Do a dance of joy! It will be legen- wait for it- dary.

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Actor Van Johnson: 1916-2008

Most people would recognize the face if not the name. Van Johnson was a huge star in the 40s and 50s. But like many of the era, he fell away from favor as acting styles changed and the grittier Method style became fashionable. He was actually a really good actor, and a teen heart throb before the idea became fashionable. He appeared in some lighter fare- In the Good Old Summertime with Judy Garland ( and a cameo by a toddler Liza Minelli, but I digress…), but I will remember him always as Lt. Steve Maryk, one of the lead mutineers in The Caine Mutiny. He would later go on to star across the country in regional and dinner theater productions, landing on Broadway a few times as well, and a specatcular career as a guest star on many of the best shows of the 70s and 80s. He had been out of commission for the better part of the 90s, popping up occasionally to talk about those greats he worked with on PBS and other documentaries about film history. He was one of the last to experience the real studio system, an underrated star and actor, and the film world just lost another great.

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Oscar Host Announced

Imagine my surprise while wandering about HuffPo today when I came across the news that Hugh Jackman was tapped as Oscar host. To those of us who actually watch the Tony Awards, this is awesome news, as Hugh’s previous hosting gigs were the theater honors. He can actually sing and dance, unlike some other previous hosts, but I hope that he only does in order to make fun of everyone. And he is frickin’ funny- I laughed out loud when watching the Tonys, I remember, although what made me laugh may be lost to the wind. I say brave, bold choice, Oscar. I applaud it.

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Every year this mythical group of foreign journalists who write about Hollywood deign to call up the press to announce this list of movies and actors and writers and directors they like and then a month later throw a deliciously over the top party with food and booze and hand out some knick knack. Last year they didn’t, as the writers, alas, were on strike. But this year…

Well, this year, I’m trying to figure out WTF is wrong with them. Where the hell is The Dark Knight? Christopher Nolan?  Come on, people.

Truth is, I still am trying to figure out whether the commerce of Hollywood should ever meet the true art of Hollywood, and the Golden Globes surprisingly went with the art in the nominees this year. In Bruges? Seriously, I love the movie, and the three leads were on my list of great performances before I cut it due to laziness. But three nominations? I thought maybe, MAYBE, Colin Farrell would sneak in, but really?

It was, however, to the detriment of my favorite movie this year, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which is nowhere to be found.

James Franco was going to be here, I was sure of it- for Milk. Josh Brolin is ( and the twenty minute I’ve seen of this film has a lot of Brolin in it, so I can say- wow, dude). But I truly did love his stoned slacker pot dealer in Pineapple Express, so whatever, man. I got me some F&G action on Golden Globe night. Just with Daniel, not Nick. Damn, I preferred Nick, always.

Kate The Great Winslet scores two more and god almighty, better win something. With Saint Meryl pulling in some surprising mixed reviews for Doubt, Penelope Cruz dominating the critics awards in the supporting category, Viola Davis’s Doubt role being called ten of the single greatest in recent screen history… Kate might sneak a win in the best actress category, but I’m still convinced The Reader is too flawed a film to make much impact come Oscar time.

The Mamma Mia nominations in Musical/Comedy were no suprise, as the film is an international smash in The Dark Knight proportions. $ 700 million? Not bad. Granted, I think the film itself is crap, though the music remains delightful. And Meryl was great. But with the sunny performance by Sally Hawkins garnering real buzz, I think she’s the one who’ll grab it from St. Meryl if the true mess that Mamma Mia is actually clicks in HFPA’s… okay, that was generous, even for me. HFPA has no brain.

Shocker ( but by all means, not undeserving at all, if you’ve seen it)- Tom Cruise’s nomination for Tropic Thunder. Robert Downey Jr., again, was expected ( he’s on my bloody list for this year, you know, and I said this was the better performance of the two). Also some smiles for the stars of Last Chance Harvey, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, who both scored nods for a film I had completely forgotten was coming ( and hence, have not seen). No love for Cate Blanchett in Benjamin Button, lost to a stunning Kristin Scott Thomas. Burn After Reading tops Sarah Marshall, Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express? I can’t fault the other three films and I already mentioned the sheer international phenom that is ABBA, but this Coen brothers production didn’t impress me and it seems any of those three soon to be classic comedies could easily replace it.

I also predict all music awards to go to Clint Eastwood. Because he’s Clint Eastwood and those are the noms he got this year ( no best actor- i’m going to have to pour my friend Rose a stiff one. She had him as a sure thing for Grand Torino. So do I- for music. Seriously. Who else should win it- Miley Cyrus?)

The television side of it is even more predictable. Except for the fact that the show HFPA got behind was True Blood. Buffy is a way better show about vampires, I’m sorry. But they also seem fond of In Treatment, with good reason- certain episodes were unbelievably fascinating. It doesn’t always work, and some of those patients were more annoying than necessary, but I was impressed. But as you know, without my beloved Criminal Minds on the list, and me still being ambivalent about three quarters of House M.D.‘s fourth season, my money’s on Mad Men, which is simply the best show on television right now.

Except for maybe 30 Rock, which started off strong this season ( season three- I’m still shocked it got this far. Silverman has got to be president of the Tina Fey fan club). I frankly think the wrong actress for Mad Men got nominated ( Elisabeth Moss, where are you?)

Love to Neil Patrick Harris, who must win. Because he’s that fucking brilliant. I’m just saying. ( okay, profanity may not be called for but- aw, fuck it).

It’s also safe to say John Adams will sweep the TV Movie/ Miniseries categories. Again, some things are sure bets, and sometimes, sure bets are deserving of their stature.

I have only one question about the TV nominees. Just one, and then I’ll leave and get on with my life.

Why the hell is Tony Shaloub nominated again for Monk? I’m with Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly- Jim Parsons seems to be a better choice. I also agree with Ken about Debra Messing/ Julia Louis Dreyfus.

And with that, all, I bid adieu. My picks are in the previous Golden Globes posts in bold. I sucked last year, so it’s best not to take my choices and bet on them. Just so you know.

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This week in entertainment

  • Bravo and Lifetime both are banned from airing an episode of Project Runway until they figure out if the Weinsteins broke the first look clause of their NBC-Universal contract by selling season six to Lifetime instead of allowing NBC ( who owns Bravo) the right to pick up.
  • Britney’s new single is released. Not impressed.
  • David Cook’s new single is released. More impressed by that.
  • The Emmys were held last week and AMC scored a major victory by being the first basic cable network to win an Emmy for Best Drama. Tina Fey, though, remains the big winner, as 30 Rock sweeps the major comedy series categories.
  • Heather Locklear has been arrested. I feel really sorry for Ava Sambora.
  • Men everywhere let out a strangle cry and plot murder for hire as Scarlett Johansson marries Ryan Reynolds in Canada.
  • Dancing With The Stars premieres, and Ted McGinley is voted off before the show gets cancelled.
  • Lakeview Terrace the number one movie, Forbidden Kingdom the number one DVD, Sunday Night Football won the Nielsens, Metallica tops the album charts, and Christine Feehan’s Dark Curse tops fiction charts.
  • SNL has a fifty percent rating bump YTY thanks to Sarah Palin and the the rest of the fun that is the election.
  • Fox cancels Do not Disturb after three episodes. Mercifully ( it was heinous).
  • Buffy is coming back to TV! On HBO! Sarah Michelle Geller to appear in Wonderful Maladys.
  • Paul Newman passed away, as did Marpessa Dawn ( Eurydice in Black Orpheus), Connie Haines ( a singer), Nappy Brown ( a R&B musician), and Jazz drummer Earl Palmer.

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One of my mother’s favorite movies of all time was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. She was a Robert Redford fan, and I can recall her swooning over the man, but as gorgeous as Redford was ( and still is), I was always more fascinated by Paul Newman. It was those blue eyes, icy and flashing with wisdom.  He was captivating, even when I was young.

When I became one of those movie snobs more inclined to watch Italian neo realism than Hollywood blockbusters, a Newman film would always bring me back to the land of congealed snow. Whether it was his undisciplined Rocky in Somebody Up There Likes Me, his brooding ( if chastened by the production code) Brick in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, his Fast Eddie in both The Hustler and The Color Of Money,  Hud, Luke, Harper, Butch, Judge Roy Bean, Henry Gondorff, Reggie Dunlop, Michael Colin Gallagher, Frank Galvin, or his Sully Sullivan, I came back for Newman. He was a product of his time, an actor who fell into it and who studied with Lee Strasberg, at the end of the studio system and at the beginning of the hyphenates. Newman was a great actor, who made it look easy on screen, and with matinee idol looks and actual talent, he made a huge impact in the late fifties.

But Newman was more than a pretty face. He was politically active, supporting Eugene McCarthy against Lyndon Johnson, and George McGovern against Nixon. He turned down Dirty Harry for it’s politics, donated to the Nation to keep it going, and then, of course, his active support for Ted Kennedy and his vocal support for equality rights for marriage. Newman was unapologetic about his politics, and held fast to them through out his life, even dropping former friend Charlton Heston when Heston became a fervent right winger. He was also one of the best known philanthropists in the world, creating the Newman’s Own brand of popcorn and salad dressing, and donating millions over the last three decades to children’s charities.

Newman was nominated nine times for an Oscar- for best actor in The Hustler, The Color Of Money, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Verdict, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Absence Of Malice, and Nobody’s Fool, and for best supporting actor inThe Road to Perdition. He won for The Color Of Money, and was also awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy in 1994, as well as a career achievement award. He was also nominated for five BAFTAs, two Palm d’ors, a DGA award, four Emmys ( of which he won one, as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Empire Falls), 14 Golden Globes ( he won six), a Tony nomination ( for a revival of Our Town in 2003), and numerous critics and fan awards. One of the first actors to direct outside the studio system, he ended up directing six projects, all interesting, including a famed TV version of The Shadow Box, and the 1987 version of The Glass Menagerie.

Newman was also famed for his long, fifty year marriage to actress Joanne Woodward, which is an eternity and a half in Hollywood.  Woodward was his second wife, and they had three children together ( he also had three children with his first wife, Jackie Witte).  They worked on eleven films together, and Newman directed his wife to an Oscar nomination for Rachel, Rachel.

Newman’s acting trailed off in the nineties, as his love for auto racing took over. Owner of a CHAMP racing team with Carl Haas, Newman had raced Le Mans and admitted that it was it was where he felt the most at home.

My favorite Newman moment happens to be the entire film The Verdict, and I hold fast that it is his single greatest performance. His alcoholic attorney grasping at his last chance case, and he’s offered money to settle. In what I’m sure is frank Galvin’s only true noble move in his life, he says

“That that poor girl put her trust into the… into the hands of two men who took her life. She’s in a coma. Her life is gone. She has no home, no family. She’s tied to a machine. She has no friends. And the people who should care for her – her doctors… and you and me – have been bought off to look the other way. We’ve been paid to look the other way. I came here to take your money. I brought snapshots to show you so I could get your money. I can’t do it; I can’t take it. ‘Cause if I take the money I’m lost. I’ll just be a… rich ambulance chaser. I can’t do it. I can’t take it.”

Paul Newman passed away today, after a battle with cancer, in his home near Westport, Conn. He was 83, and surrounded by his wife, children, and close friends.

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