lohud.com

Sponsored by:

Remote Access

The T.V. Blog

Should you watch NBC’s Community tonight?

September
17

In a nutshell: You betcha!

NUP_136156_1557

Community‘s a quirky little comedy that fits right in amongst NBC’s other Thursday night quirkfests: The Office and 30 Rock. (Sorry, I can’t muster up much enthusiasm for Parks and Recreation – at least not based on last season’s lackluster laughs.)

It’s a little bit snarky, sure – but personally, I’m a big fan of the snark.

Joel McHale excels as a slimy lawyer who needs a college degree and fast – don’t ask, it’s a long story – so he enrolls at Greendale Community College. A supporting cast of oddballs – including Bedford’s Chevy Chase in his first regular TV gig since SNL – rounds out the show nicely, too.

Check out my full review of the first episode here – and check out the show yourself at 9:30 p.m. tonight!

(Photo courtesy of NBC)

Posted by Heather Salerno on Thursday, September 17th, 2009 at 8:00 am |
| | 2 Comments »

’30 Rock’ rules Emmy nominations, along with some fresh faces

July
16

There were the usual suspects among this morning’s Emmy nominations (anyone connected to “30 Rock,” Tony Shalhoub), but adding slots to the main categories allowed voters to sneak in a few surprises.

The biggest ones?

“Family Guy” and “Flight of the Conchords” are in contention for Best Comedy, Sarah Silverman is up for Best Comedy Actress and Jim Parsons got snaps for his portrayal of an uptight nerd in “The Big Bang Theory.”

There was some surprise in who was missing from the list, too.

None of the “Desperate Housewives” were nominated.

Neither was America Ferrera of  “Ugly Betty,” who won a trophy in 2007.

“Grey’s Anatomy” isn’t up for Best Drama.

Those results can be justified –  none of the above had a stellar year – but there were some snubs too terrible to be ignored.

Not a single nomination for the harrowing series finale of “The Shield?”

No love for Josh Holloway of “Lost,” after showing serious emotional range this season? (Good to see recognition for Michael Emerson, though.)

“The Big Bang Theory” shut out of Best Comedy contention?

Come on.

In terms of sheer odds, “30 Rock” is sure to do well at the awards ceremony, considering it garnered a whopping 22 nominations, including five for the main and supporting actors. (Including Tracy Morgan!)

The HBO movie “Grey Gardens” came in next with 17 nods, followed by AMC’s “Mad Men” with 16.

Click here to read a full list of nominees in all of the major categories.

And here’s what we’ve got to say about Neil Patrick Harris – who also scored a nomination for “How I Met Your Mother” – hosting of the Sept. 20 Emmy ceremony?

It’s going to be LEGEND-wait for it-ARY.

(Photos courtesy of NBC, FOX, CBS and AMC)

Posted by Heather Salerno on Thursday, July 16th, 2009 at 9:35 am |
| | 1 Comment »

Alec Baldwin reflects on that wacky voicemail and the extremes it pushed him to (though no mention of his daughter)

June
18

I’m always surprised, when I read that a big star gave an interview to Playboy, to realize that Playboy still exists.

Usually that realization overshadows whatever revelation the interview reveals. In the case of Alec Baldwin’s chat with the mag, which appears in the July/August issue, it’s about a tie.

According to TVGuide.com — no, I’m not linking directly to Playboy’s Web site, sheesh — Baldwin pondered suicide in the aftermath of his voicemail tirade at his 11-year-old daughter being published online.

You remember that tirade, right? No? Well, here it is…

Alec Baldwin, unleashed

That was pretty bizarre, and I was inclined to give him something of a break on the grounds that moms and dads lose their cool from time to time. Then again, he’s a public figure not shy about saying what he thinks about other public figures, and it’s not like he sounded too remorseful about his words so much as he was about getting caught.

From what he told Playboy, it sounds like he still doesn’t quite get it. To him, it seems to be all about his battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

“I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me,” Baldwin said. “If I committed suicide, [ex-wife Kim Basinger’s side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.”

Seriously? This from a guy who champions the plight of alienated fathers. What about alienated kids?

I can’t imagine this does much for 30 Rock‘s off-season buzz, especially on the heels of an off-kilter third season. But hey, it should be a boon for Playboy’s newsstand sales.

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 9:17 am |
| | Comments Off on Alec Baldwin reflects on that wacky voicemail and the extremes it pushed him to (though no mention of his daughter)

Advertisement

Old reliable: 30 Rockers still making news for all the wrong reasons

May
22

I like Rip Torn a lot, but I have to wonder why he or any other public figure who likes to tie one on doesn’t just  hire a driver for such occasions.

Torn, who was busted near his Connecticut home in December for driving drunk with a Christmas tree tied to his car, was given probation this week in the case. The 78-year-old was approved for admission into an alcohol education program, but he gets to keep his license.

It was his third such arrest, the prior two coming in New York, including one that came two  years earlier after his car struck a tractor-trailer on Hardscrabble Road right up the road in North Salem. Torn pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, paid a fine and surrendered his license for three months.

A week before that, fellow 30 Rock funny man Tracy Morgan was busted for driving drunk on the upper West Side, his second DWI arrest in a year. At least he seemed to get the message that drunken driving isn’t cool, making public show of his ankle monitor but otherwise keeping his name out of such headlines.

But while those two have been on the straight and narrow, Alec Baldwin continues his pattern of woes, thankfully unrelated to alcohol or automobiles.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 10:30 am |
| | 9 Comments »

The 30 Rock finale recap: Kidney Now!

May
18

I didn’t even watch the 30 Rock finale until last night, so down on the show I’ve been this season.

Through two seasons it was the surest laugh on TV. This third season, though, the mojo isn’t quite gone, but it’s been on life support at times. But as the winter turned to spring, things began to look up. And while it never regained its old form, to my taste, it did finish strongly with a hilarious, if less than momentous finale.

The highlight, for me as a child of the 80s, was Alan Alda’s character walking on set and saying to Tracy and Kenneth, “A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show.

Such a great, split-second callback to the MASH finale, the most watched episode of television in history, in which Alda’s Hawkeye basically cried about a chicken that turned out to be a baby.

OK, enough history. And enough with Jack’s family issues. We get it: guilt-ridden, dysfunctional Irish people are hilarious. The point was made in the brilliant “The Fighting Irish” in Season 2, and the poor horse has been beaten mercilessly ever since.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

NBC Finale Thursday: The end of a beginning, a centennial event and Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife

May
14

Here’s the rundown for tonight’s comedy line-up on NBC. I’ve been in a kind of denial about the approaching season’s end, but this is it for the season for me. I haven’t given much thought to summer fare yet, either.

Oh well, let’s enjoy it while it lasts — which is just a few more hours.

8:30 PM — Parks and Recreation

Rock Show Leslie attends an important meeting with a local bigwig while her sub-committee members go to Andy’s first concert since breaking his legs.

That is the worst picture of Rashida Jones since she left The Office. Not only is it decidedly Filippelli-ish, but it’s about as far a cry as you could get from the glam look she was sporting last week. I’ve never seen a woman be so pretty when smiling and so off-putting with a frown.

All I can say about this one is that it looks like a mega-dose of Chris Pratt’s Andy, which is to say, mucho awesome. He’s been the funniest thing about this show through the first five episodes of this short season, so funny I don’t think I can even repeat any of his band names. OK, Just the Tip, but that’s it.

It sounds strange to split Leslie up from her crew when this is the last glimpse we’ll have of the show before sometime in October. Hopefully, by then the show will return with its own voice apart from its Office roots but without sacrificing any of the funny it’s already bringing.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 11:00 am |
| | Comments Off on NBC Finale Thursday: The end of a beginning, a centennial event and Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife

Advertisement

Judah Friedlander of ’30 Rock’ goes on a standup tour

May
13

“30 Rock” fans know Judah Friedlander as Liz Lemon’s trucker hat-wearing head writer, Frank Rossitano.

But being that funny doesn’t come easy: Friedlander has spent the last 20 years as a standup comedian. And that’s what he’ll be doing for the next few months while “30 Rock” is on its summer hiatus.

You can check out Friedlander on the show’s season finale tomorrow night, of course.

And if you want to see more of him in person, go to his web site for his comedy tour dates. (That’s also where you can order one of the hats Judah wears on “30 Rock.)

I got the chance to interview Judah recently about all of this and more: among other things, I asked why he calls himself the “World Champion.”

Check it out here in The Journal News.

And tune in here tomorrow when my esteemed colleague and Remote Access’ usual “30 Rock” expert, Brian Howard, will give everyone a preview of the season finale!

(Photo courtesy of NBC)

Posted by Heather Salerno on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
| | Comments Off on Judah Friedlander of ’30 Rock’ goes on a standup tour

The 30 Rock recap: The Natural Order

May
3

I would watch a show based entirely around Jane Krakowski, Tracy Morgan and wild monkey.

30 Rock‘s “The Natural Order” packed lots of laughs: Florida is America’s Australia; Colleen had to change hotels because the concierge has a beard and she’d rather not get raped; and Simon Cowell is the new Kruschev.

It also reminded me a lot of Season 1’s “Jack-tor.” There, Tracy played on Liz’s latent racial guilt, over assuming he couldn’t read, in order to score special treatment. This time, though, he played on her demands that he do what’s expected of everyone else so he could make her give up her own special treatment.

After watching her struggle with that five-gallon water cooler bottle, I reached one conclusion: Tina Fey shouldn’t do physical comedy.

That gibbon, on the other hand, should be Conan’s first guest.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
| | Comments Off on The 30 Rock recap: The Natural Order

Save Chuck! Oh, and check out tonight’s comedy lineup on NBC

April
30

Well, I’m down to three shows that I watch regularly and they’re all on Thursday nights.

Chuck, Heroes, Sarah Connor, BSG and Flight of the Conchords have all called it a season. I kind of wish what remained were spread out a little more. It makes for a solidly funny but exhausting effort for this whiny TV blogger.

Before I lay out the must-see lineup, I want to remind you all to check out PleaseSaveChuck.com for the latest on the efforts to save the best show on television. The NBC upfronts are Tuesday, so a decision on Season 3 is imminent. Watch the show on Hulu, buy a Subway footlong, send a letter to Ben Silverman and tell your friends. Saving Chuck is the must crucial task facing our nation. You know, besides all the other stuff.</p>

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 10:01 am |
| | 4 Comments »

Advertisement

The 30 Rock recap: The Ones

April
27

Some people can get a way with jokes that others just can’t, and that kind of self-awareness is a nice comedic asset.

How else to explain the hilarity of Liz Lemon shouting “Puerto Rican!” every time she saw Salma Hayek’s Elisa. Tina Fey can pull that off, and she knows it.

“The Ones” was a pretty classic 30 Rock episode. It had pratfalls (Lutz running into a wall and having a TV fall on him), sight gags (Dot Com turning Tracy’s Angie tattoo into one of a gay lion named Tangiers) and dark humor (Jenna trying several times to murder Kenneth to lure her EMS crush back). There was even a bi-curious joke.

Elisa: Really? That’s your guess? That I’m a man? Do you want to see me naked?

Liz: Sort of.

Ostensibly, this was a relationship episode, though thankfully, the mushy stuff didn’t get in the way of the yuks.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
| | Comments Off on The 30 Rock recap: The Ones

The 30 Rock recap: Jackie Jormp-Jomp

April
17

Who wouldn’t want to hang around with a bunch of lazy women, drinking, getting botox injections and generally letting your brain atrophy? So what if the only downside is the occasional fight scene?

Liz got a taste of an alternate existence, one in which she doesn’t have to eat her lunch in a bathroom stall or live in a building she doesn’t even know has a gym or vending machines. One in which she BM’s like a rock star.

But two weeks off for molesting a corporate hatchet man is one thing. Telling Jeffrey Weinerslave to drop his Dockers just so you can take another six weeks, well that’s just avoiding reality. And the reality is that the TGS world crumbles without her. That it crumbles even with her is besides the point.

You can only live the life of an Indigo Girl for so long.

“Jackie Jormp-Jomp” was such an annoying title that I wasn’t even looking forward to this episode. That it turned out to be the latest title for Jenna’s rights-less Janice Joplin biopic redeemed it perfectly.

While she got a glimpse of life after death and Liz got a glimpse of how the jobless half lives, Tracy got a taste of authority and Kenneth apparently learned that the Today Show cast are not as sweet as they appear on camera.

A much better episode than last week’s “Cutbacks,” in my opinion, and a great stab at mixing things up without the distraction of guest stars or strange settings.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

The 30 Rock recap: Cutbacks (to the writing budget?)

April
13

I’d say 30 Rock has earned a mulligan for the resurgence it’s had over the last several weeks, so I’m not too peeved that Thursday’s episode, “Cutbacks,” was a bit of a letdown.

For a show that at it’s best is more than the sum of its parts, this one was decidedly the opposite of that. A lot happened, and when it ended I wondered what I’d missed. It was like that precalculus course I took twice in college.

But the weird thing is that I’d expect to really enjoy an episode that parallels Office Space, what with GE/Sheinhard’s equivalent of the two Bobs, Liz’s Steve Jobs-unveiling-the-iPhone impersonation and her subsequent decision to sleep her way to a bigger departmental budget. Kenneth was even mistaken for a serial killer. This should have been an epic episode.

But it didn’t work that well for me, and I don’t know what the missing ingredient was. It sure wasn’t Pelican Brief references, because it had those in spades.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 11:45 am |
| | Comments Off on The 30 Rock recap: Cutbacks (to the writing budget?)

Advertisement

No Office or 30 Rock tonight, but at least you’ve got me…right?

April
2

I’m somewhat at a loss here on a Thursday with no Office or 30 Rock to look forward to tonight.

But never fear, your faithful Remote Accessory is here with a few items to get you through the off-week. Just a few, mind you.

For starters, here’s the link to Liz Lemon’s 1-800-OKFACE ad from last week’s 30 Rock.

One question: if they don’t take credit cards, how do you pay the 70 cents a minute? I’m only embedding the actual scene from the episode because the faux ad expires in two days.

<object width=”425″ height=”246″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.hulu.com/embed/uiqHhbrXVp-gJPYCiOBStA”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><embed src=”http://www.hulu.com/embed/uiqHhbrXVp-gJPYCiOBStA” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=”true”  width=”425″ height=”246″></embed></object>

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
| | Comments Off on No Office or 30 Rock tonight, but at least you’ve got me…right?

The 30 Rock recap: Apollo, Apollo (I dare you not to liz)

March
27

I lizzed multiple times during last night’s 30 Rock, mostly when we got a glimpse of Kenneth’s muppet-esque worldview, but also when the deaf lip-reader protested at the site of young Jack ralphing.

“I was staring at his mouth!”

This hasn’t been a liz-worthy season, on the whole, but we’ve gotten back-to-back strong episodes now, and “Apollo, Apollo” reminded me of why I loved this show before anyone was even watching it. It was absurd with undercurrents of mean and sad.

Mean, you ask? Liz could have warned Jenna about that open latch on her harness, which you knew was going to be an issue as soon as it was pointed out minutes earlier. Liz let her fall like a rag doll out of spite. Me, I would have said sleeping with Dennis was punishment enough.

Sad, you ask again? Anything relating to Jack’s pre-bubble youth is inherently sad. In this case, though, it was a happy moment from his boyhood that contrasted with has sad, lonely adulthood at 50. But things didn’t get bogged down by emotion. Instead, the slightly pathetic way Jack dealt with the contrast fed some hilarious gags.

But best of all, it all came together in the end, as the best 30 Rock episodes do.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 10:24 am |
| | Comments Off on The 30 Rock recap: Apollo, Apollo (I dare you not to liz)

The 30 Rock recap: The Bubble

March
23

People don’t really appreciate what it’s like for guys like me and Jon Hamm.

Being exceptionally good looking and charming has its drawbacks. Aside from the free desserts when we dine out, the cops who always let us off with a warning rather than a ticket and the endless lines at movies, clubs and concerts that we never have to wait in, it can be pretty tough inside The Bubble.

No one just tells you what they really think. They’re too busy complimenting you. It ain’t easy, believe me.

In other news, the moon is made of ribs, as Will Ferrel-as-Harry-Caray used to say.

It’s been a while since I really enjoyed two straight episodes of 30 Rock, and I can’t remember the last time both 30 Rock and The Office were especially good on the same night. But Thursday marked both milestones. (I recapped The Office‘s “New Boss” here.)

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at 11:24 am |
| | 25 Comments »

Advertisement

The 30 Rock recap: The Funcooker

March
16

The first thing I did after 30 Rock ended was go to the Urban Dictionary and look up Funcooker. Nothing.

Unlike the other term that was referenced in the show — no, I’m not repeating it or linking to UD here — there’s no such thing as a funcooker, as far as I can tell. Well, there wasn’t until Tracy made up a meaning for it as he bared his hind quarters on national television. Network advertisers have all the fun, huh?

I cringe when I read a review that calls an episode of a show a “return to form” or a “classic” episode, mainly because it’s so subjective. That said, I’ve been disappointed with this entire season, and “The Funcooker” truly felt to me like it could have aired in the show’s first or second season. It wasn’t just funny — this season has been plenty funny. It’s that it felt to me like 30 Rock always used to feel: original, off-beat and kind of silly.

Read the rest of my reaction and watch the full episode and clips from Tracy Morgan’s stint on SNL after the jump…

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 10:53 am |
| | 2 Comments »

Tonight’s Office and 30 Rock preview — But first, some not so nice words about the state of my favorite show

March
12

I am about to make myself very unpopular with many Office fans by saying I think the show has never been as good as it was before “Casino Night.”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s been great, just not as great as that run of 28 episodes over the first two seasons when the show had something definitive to say about the drudgery and mostly unintentional comedy of office life. It adhered to a mock documentary conceit and put character development and story ahead of sitcom cliche.

I won’t say it jumped the shark that night in May 2006 — though even Happy Days aired 100 episodes after Fonzie did just that — but I will say the show took a sharp turn away from what it set out to be and instead started becoming a very funny show with a moderately wide appeal but not a heck of a lot of what once made it great.

If it’s a criticism to call it not quite great, so be it. I still love the show, have never missed an episode and tap in to the online fandom on a daily basis. I hardly rewatch episodes anymore like I used to, though. And as much as I’ve enjoyed this season, all the episodes seem to run together with few standouts and no real sense in my mind what the overarching story is.

Think I’m crazy, confused or just plain wrong? Fair enough, but here’s someone who shares my view and expresses it very well. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 10:30 am |
| | Comments Off on Tonight’s Office and 30 Rock preview — But first, some not so nice words about the state of my favorite show

For the first time in a while, Thursday means both The Office and 30 Rock

March
5

It’s been a while, but The Office is back and is paired with a new 30 Rock.

The promos and episode summaries have me thinking we’re in for a pretty good night of TV between the two, from an utterly changed Frank to the worst place to pick up women this side of the morgue. Here’s what they’re all about…

9 p.m. “Blood Drive” — It’s Valentine’s Day at the office. Michael meets a mysterious woman at a Valentine’s blood drive. Dwight and Kevin pair up with single women at the office “Lonely Hearts Party.” Meanwhile Jim and Pam are banished from the office for being too publicly affectionate, and have an awkward lunch with Phyllis and Bob.

9:31 p.m. “Goodbye, My Friend” — Liz befriends a pregnant teenaged donut shop employee, in an attempt to adopt her baby. Back on set, Jenna vies for more attention from the TGS staff as her birthday approaches, but Kenneth’s plan to combine her party with one for Tracy derails her efforts. Meanwhile, Jack agrees to go on a guys’ night out to keep his mind off of his absent girlfriend, and bonds with Frank over their daddy issues.

I’ll be back with my thoughts, and a few cool links, after the jump.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
| | Comments Off on For the first time in a while, Thursday means both The Office and 30 Rock

Advertisement

30 Rock preview: Jalisa…or is it Larry King?

February
26

There’s no new Office tonight, but 30 Rock returns from a week off and it’s bringing a couple of newsy guest stars with it.

Don’t get alarmed. Steve Martin, Megan Mullally and Oprah are nowhere to be seen. No these are actual newsies: Larry King and Meredith Vieira. Exciting, right?

Here’s the episode summary. The photos are from the episode, which NBC is calling “Jalisa” and “Larry King,” because they apparently couldn’t make up their minds.

Jack considers taking the next step with Elisa, but will he be ab

le to choose between his commitment to her and his demanding career? Meanwhile, Tracy’s interview on “Larry King Live” sends New York City into a panic. Out in the chaotic city, Liz Lemon recruits Kenneth to venture out to Queens to retrieve her lost cell phone from a surly cabbie.

By the way, did you happen to catch the Republican response to the President’s speech the other night?

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
| | Comments Off on 30 Rock preview: Jalisa…or is it Larry King?

No new Office or 30 Rock so let’s look what lies ahead

February
19

There’s not a lot of The Office or 30 Rock in the near future.

In fact it’s reruns only tonight, with the hilarious “Baby Shower” and the less hilarious “Retreat to Move Forward,” respectively. But it’s a good time to look ahead and see what’s in store for future Peacock Thursdays.

30 Rock returns next week, Feb. 26, with “Larry King,” which may or may not actually be titled “Jalisa.” Here’s the summary…

Jack considers taking the next step with Elisa, but will he be able to choose between his commitment to her and his demanding career? Meanwhile, Tracy’s interview on “Larry King Live” sends New York City into a panic. Out in the chaotic city, Liz Lemon recruits Kenneth to venture out to Queens to retrieve her lost cell phone from a surly cabbie.

I don’t give a %*&# about Jack’s next step with Elisa, but I expect great things from Tracy’s interview old Larry. Rounding it out with some heavy Kenneth action should offset the plodding story of Jack’s love life.

A week later, on March 5, both shows return. Check out the summaries after the jump.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
| | 20 Comments »

Advertisement
About this blog
Grab a snack, pull up a comfy seat and join our staff as they share their thoughts on your favorite shows. Tune in daily for their comments and post your own on such hit shows as "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "The Office," "American Idol," "24," "Heroes" and more.

Subscribe
Remote Access Podcast | Get iTunes

Daily Email Newsletter:

AddThis Feed Button



My site was nominated for Best Entertainment Blog!


Poll