Tag Archives: Claire Danes

Golden Globes Nominations: Stars In Their Eyes

The Golden Globes nominations are in, and it’s a doozy, you guys. On one hand, there are some categories that are so great, I can’t even choose my favorite. On the other, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continues to be crazy by snubbing the greats such as Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation and Melissa McCarthy and continuing to nominate Glee (do they even watch this season, or are they stuck in season 1?) and nominating Ryan Gosling twice but neither for Drive. Not to mention, they’re continuing the tradition of what NY Magazine’s Vulture blog calls “Random Piper Perabo Nomination”, in which a random actress starring in a new USA Network show somehow gets a Best Actress Drama nod. This year the honor goes to Callie Thorne. I’m guessing Gabrielle Anwar’s agent forgot to get on that?

But despite the doozy-ness of this year’s nominations, the HFPA does assure us of two things: it’ll be an interesting red carpet what with the hottest stars in Hollywood all getting nominated (Clooney, Gosling, Pitt, Jolie, Theron, DiCaprio…) and we’ll have an even more interesting ceremony what with Ricky Gervais hosting (again!) and ready to insult and offend those glittering A-listers. So in a way, I can’t hate on them for their glaring snubs. Good job, HFPA!

Alright. Now let’s get straight to the nominees. This year, I’ll only be picking My Favorites (see the SAG Nominations post below) instead of the usual “Who I Think Will Win” and “Who I Want To Win” because the old format is just too much work. 🙂 Besides, my predictions tend to be wrong anyway. I’d make the worst psychic in the world.

Well let’s not waste any more time and dive in!

MOTION PICTURE

Best Picture, Comedy/Musical:

The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris

My Week with Marilyn
50/50

My Favorite: Now this is one of those categories that I mentioned above, that almost all the nominees are so great and so well deserving of the nods that I can’t choose a favorite! I haven’t seen The Artist and My Week With Marilyn (that’s a “Comedy”?) but Bridesmaids, Midnight In Paris and 50/50 were all so amazing in different ways and choosing between them is like choosing which one of my imaginary children is my favorite. It’s impossible! So I’m not going to choose, and instead just hope that The Artist isn’t going to beat them all (though it probably will).

Winner: The Artist

Best Picture, Drama:

The Help
The Descendants
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
Warhorse

My Favorite: Okay, this is hard because out of all the movies nominated, I’ve only seen The Help and The Ides of March. So I can’t really make an objective assessment. And I know a lot of people hate The Ides of March, but I actually like it. Maybe it’s the Clooney/Gosling of it all, or maybe it’s because of my lack of understanding of politics in general, but I enjoyed that movie very much. Since I’m not sure which to choose, I decided to go with the movie I haven’t seen but critics raved about and written by the Dean of my favorite fictional Community college Dean Pelton Jim Rash, The Descendants. And if it wins, Clooney will get up on stage too, so win-win, right?

Winner: The Descendants

Best Actress, Comedy:

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Kate Winslet, Carnage
Jodie Foster, Carnage

My Favorite: This category is the worst for me because I’ve only seen Bridesmaids and thus can only choose Kristen Wiig because I don’t know how good everyone else was in their respective movies. I have a feeling that it’ll go to Charlize Theron though, she’s always been a go-to choice for HFPA.

Winner: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Actor, Comedy

Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love

My Favorite: The HFPA is so cruel for making me choose between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling. They’re my imaginary boyfriends, I love them equally! However, despite enjoying Gosling’s performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love (and that glorious, glorious abs), I was crying and laughing the whole time during 50/50, and it’s all because of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s heartbreaking performance, so I’m sorry, Gosling, but I’m going to give it to Gordon-Levitt. Hey, it rhymes! (Also, Jean Dujardin will probably best them both)

Winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Actress, Drama:

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

My Favorite: Well, this is easy. I’ve chosen  Viola Davis as my favorite to win the SAG Awards, so I guess now I’m going to choose Tilda Swinton. Though seeing that both are up against Merryl Streep, I’m guessing it wouldn’t matter. That woman almost never loses, the HFPA LOVES them some Streep!

Winner: Merryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Actor, Drama:

George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Michael Fassbender, Shame

My Favorite: Okay, this is also the category that leaves me torn because you know my love and devotion to both George Clooney and Ryan Gosling. I can’t choose between them. I want to be wedged between them. And add some Michael Fassbender in that sexy man-sandwich while I’m at it. No, seriously though, I heard Clooney was all shades of amazing in The Descendants, I thought Ryan Gosling was great in The Ides of March and practically every critic I know raved about Fassbender’s raw and naked (both figuratively and literally) performance in Shame. So really. How can a girl choose? I’ll be happy if it goes to either one of them. Sorry Pitt and Leo!

Winner: My perennial fantasy boyfriend George Clooney for The Descendants, of course!

Best Director:

Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
George Clooney, Ides of March
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

My Favorite: I’ve been a huge fan of Woody Allen movies since I first saw Annie Hall a million years ago so despite the incredible lineup, he’s my favorite to win. And that is all.

Winner: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Supporting Actress:

Octavia Spencer, The Help
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

My Favorite: I really need to see The Descendants one of these days because that girl from that awfulsome ABC Family show Secret Life Of An American Teenager, Shailene Woodley, actually got nominated here and from what I read in various blogs and publications, it was well-deserved. It really makes me curious because she wasn’t at all impressive in American Teenager, but I guess it’s because the materials she had to work with weren’t all that great to begin with. Anyway! The only movie I’ve seen in this category is The Help so I guess Octavia Spencer is my favorite. Chastain was great too, but Spencer is pretty amazing!

Winner: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Supporting Actor:

Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method

My Favorite: Duh, Albert Brooks, simply because Drive is my favorite movie of 2011. And he was pretty awesome in it!

WINNER: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

TELEVISION

TV Series, Drama:

American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Boss
Game of Thrones
Homeland

My Favorite: No doubt, Homeland. I love American Horror Story like Tate Langdon loves his gimp suit, but Homeland has all the makings of an award-winning show. It is so well-written and brilliantly acted, it’s the best new show this year.

Winner: Homeland

TV Series, Comedy:

Enlightened
Episodes
Glee
Modern Family
New Girl

My Favorite: Despite not loving the fact that Glee is nominated again even though they so don’t deserve it this year, I have to praise the HFPA for nominating the brilliant but highly underrated Laura Dern comedy Enlightened. It’s about time that little show gets some love! And so, even though it may probably lose to Modern Family, or even worse, Glee, it’s still my favorite to win.

Winner: Modern Family

TV Actress, Comedy:

Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

My Favorite: I’m like so in love with Amy Poehler right now and ecstatic that even though Parks and Recreation got snubbed again, she got the nomination she so rightly deserved. So yeah, Poehler FTW! However, considering the mass (but polarizing, I admit) appeal of Zooey Deschanel, she may actually take home the Globe this year!

WINNER: Laura Dern, Enlightened

TV Actress, Drama:

Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

My Favorite: Claire Danes, of course! She’s just phenomenal as Bipolar but brilliant CIA analyst Carrie Mathison and she deserves all the accolades she can get her hands on!

Winner: Claire Danes, Homeland

TV Actor, Drama:

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammar, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damian Lewis, Homeland

My Favorite: Oooh I want to say Bryan Cranston so bad because he is amazing in Breaking Bad and the show was so unjustly snubbed, I feel like he needs to win to make it alright. However, at the end of the day my heart is with Damian Lewis, whose portrayal of Sgt. Nicholas Brody, returning POW turned terrorist, gave a whole new meaning to the word brilliant. But if either of them wins, I’m a happy camper.

Winner: Kelsey Grammar, Boss

TV Actor, Comedy

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
David Duchovny, Californication
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

My Favorite: Matt LeBlanc. He was really funny in Episodes, his character is like Joey Tribbiani playing Matt LeBlanc. And I always love actors who are game at making fun of themselves, so I say give him the award!

Winner: Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Best Supporting Actor, TV

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

My Favorite: Eric Stonestreet. It’s not like I watch the others in the list. Though seeing that Guy Pierce won the Emmys last September for Mildred Pierce, he may actually win this one.

Winner: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Best Supporting Actress, TV

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

My Favorite: Jessica Lange, no question about it. Especially after last Wednesday night’s episode. Who knew that a Ryan Murphy horror show would actually boast some of the most incredible acting that I’ve ever seen on television? It’s not just Lange who is excellent, even the relative newcomers like Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga (who’s only ever acted in one movie prior to this show) are incredible. And that goes for the slew of guest stars too such as the incomparable Zachary Quinto, Frances Conroy, Kate Mara and Lily Rabe. Mark my words, American Horror Story will be the one to watch at next year’s Emmys!

Winner: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story

And there you have it, this year’s Golden Globes nominees. Who do you think will bring home the top honors? Whose nominations are you most excited about? Whose snubs are you most bummed about? I’ll be updating this list next month after the Awards Show telecast so check back in then!

Xoxo

Binky Bee

Pilot Watch, Week 1: What You Should Watch, and What’s Not Worth Your Time

"I'm on TV" By Patrick J. Adams

It’s official, Fall TV 2011 is here! And this time I am sharing with you my thoughts on the new pilots that are premiering from now to October just so you can decide for yourself if they truly are worth your time and a slot in your DVR. Of course, I’m only human and I can’t possibly watch all of them so the pilots I’m reviewing are only the shows I recommended in my 3rd Annual Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall plus a few others that I find interesting. And I’m only reviewing the pilots, which means I’m not responsible for whatever happens next. Some pilots start out strong and yet the season as a whole turns out to be a giant waste of time (e.g AMC’s Rubicon), so keep that in mind while you’re reading this and the subsequent posts.

Having said that, the first week of Fall TV turns out to be pretty busy because of this new strategy from the networks where they release the pilots early on iTunes or web to generate interests, which means I have seen more pilots this week than I did last year around the same time. The shows that have been released early are Fox’s The New Girl, NBC’s Whitney, Showtime’s Homeland and The CW’s The Secret Circle (though the latter’s only released on iTunes a mere days before the actual premiere so it doesn’t really matter). I’m reviewing all of them plus The CW’s Ringer and NBC’s Up All Night in this post, which means we have a lot to go through and we better get started!

1/ Ringer, The CW, Tuesdays 9/8c.

Sarah Michelle Gellar hasn’t been back on television since Buffy wrapped its seventh and final season, so it’s safe to say a lot of people miss her and are glad to see she’s back. Sadly, I wish she had returned in a much stronger show than Ringer. The premise is already a little shaky, about an addict/former stripper who, after being a witness in a murder trial, decides to assume her twin sister’s identity and discovers all too late that her sister’s life is not all it’s cracked up to be, but I let it slide because let’s face it, it’s The CW. However, it’s not just the premise that is shaky in this pilot, everything else is bordering on the ridiculous too. In fact, one thing I can say about this show is that it’s so bad, it’s good. If you want to watch it ironically, of course.

The problem with Ringer is that it tries a little too hard and takes itself way too seriously. There’s almost no humor the entire hour of the pilot, everyone’s so serious, so angry, so sad, so betrayed and at the end so murderous. The mystery behind the woman that is Siobhan Martin, who has an obsession with mirrors and has no qualms about faking her own suicide and hiding out in Paris where she can lounge in a room full of mirrors and smoke (I assume French) cigarettes while being four-weeks pregnant, is way too convoluted and frankly, not that interesting, really. Her twin, Bridget, who assumes her identity, is also not that interesting of a person for us to want to invest our time in getting to know her for 22-episodes. And don’t even get me started on the infamous boat scene, that actor Ryan Devlin tweeted as “Best New Comedy of The Year” for its sheer ridiculousness and appalling production value. The pilot for Buffy had better production value than that!

The only redeeming factor of this show is British actor Ioan Gruffurd, who plays Siobhan Martin’s husband. Not only is he easy on the eyes, he’s enigmatic on screen too. But will the writers be able to give him the material worthy of his talents? Only time will tell.

Verdict: Not Worth Your Time.

2/ Up All Night, NBC, Wednesdays, 10/9c.

Both Christina Applegate and Will Arnett have had their share of failed TV shows. Applegate’s Jessie and Samantha Who? were both canceled way too early and Arnett’s Arrested Development and Running Wilde suffered the same fate. They’re both really talented, really funny people though and I kept hoping they’d land a hit show so I could see them on my TV regularly. Thankfully their new show Up All Night, from SNL writer Emily Spivey and executive producer Lorne Michaels, seems to have all the making of a hit NBC comedy: great script, great actors and it is laugh-out-loud funny.

Up All Night tells the story of married couple Reagan and Chris, who try to find balance as she goes back to work full-time and he stays at home with the baby. This show can easily go the stereotypical working mom/stay-at-home dad route, where the wife is racked with guilt for going back to work and the husband is resentful for having to go on play dates and change diapers all day long, but to the credit of creator Emily Spivey, it chooses not to go down that road. Instead it tells the hilarious journey that both Reagan and Chris have to take as they try to make parenthood work; whether it’s Reagan having to babysit her boss needy Ava (played by the always hilarious Maya Rudolph) at work or Chris having to navigate the confusing aisles of the giant grocery store. They’re both equally hapless and they’re not exactly what you’d call the perfect parents, but they’re trying and anyone who’s ever been a working parent (or really just a parent) can immediately relate.

Up All Night is charming, sweet, fresh and honest. It doesn’t paint an exaggerated picture of a young family trying to make it work but it doesn’t play down the reality of marriage and parenthood either. And with a solid rating for its premier episode, I have a feeling that this time Christina Applegate and Will Arnett have finally found themselves a hit.

Verdict: Watch It or You’ll Regret It.

3/ The Secret Circle, The CW, Thursdays, 9/8c.

Because The Vampire Diaries was such a success, The CW decided to pick up The Secret Circle, a show based on another young adult novel series by LJ Smith and adapted by the same people behind The Vampire Diaries, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, which I predict guarantees another hit for the network. And after watching the pilot, I have a feeling my prediction will come true because not only is the show a good match to its lead-in, The Vampire Diaries, it is the kind of show tweens and teens – The CW’s target demo – are crazy about. It’s got the supernatural (witches), attractive people (almost the entire cast), catchy soundtrack, and a season-long mystery that is revealed slowly with a lot of intrigues along the way. For the adults however, this show is not as easy to get into as its lead-in The Vampire Diaries.

First of all, even though us adults don’t mind a show about witches so much (we I watched Charmed, didn’t we I?), the thought of a group of teenagers possessing supernatural powers that let them control nature, is a little disconcerting. Teens, with their raging hormones and questionable judgments, shouldn’t have that much power. Second, the bad girl character in the show tries a little too hard to channel those crazy teen witches in The Craft, which makes her painful to watch. And finally, as Emily Nussbaum of NY Magazine said on her twitter, a show about witches without “wit” tends to bum us out. At least those of us over 25.

However, this show does have Gale Harold and he makes an awesome sexy murderous sociopath (I think a cross-over with The Vampire Diaries needs to happen just so his character can go toe-to-toe with psychotic Damon), and The Vampire Diaries didn’t have a strong pilot yet it keeps getting more and more awesome now that it’s in its third season, so don’t count this show out yet. It may very well surprise us all.

Verdict: Give It At Least Half A Season.

4/ The New Girl, Fox, Tuesdays, 9/8c, (starting Sept 20).

Without a doubt, this pilot got the most buzz and praise during the Upfronts, and apparently it’s so good that Fox decided not to reshoot it despite one of the leads, Damon Wayans Jr, quitting the show because of his commitment to Happy Endings that got picked up for a second season over at ABC. And there’s a good reason for it. It’s one of the funniest, most adorable (though Fox would want you to call it “simply adorkable” Really, Fox?) pilots I have ever seen in a long time. I got as excited about this show as I did with Glee two years ago, and as you all know I became a die-hard Gleek ever since (I even watched The Glee Project, so there).

The New Girl, that tells the story of Jess Day, a socially awkward but kindhearted girl who moves in with three guys after getting dumped by her boyfriend, gets it right because it’s just funny right out of the bat. Not to mention, the friendship between Jess and the guys feels natural. We see why those guys don’t want to get in her pants (she spends all day and night crying and watching Dirty Dancing), and we understand why at the end they truly do care about her. Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day is not only adorable, she’s hilarious too. Sure at first it’s hard to believe someone like her can be that unlucky in love, but she sells it well – with Jess making up a theme song for herself or picking up guys at a bar with a “Howdy, cowboy” pick-up line. And at the end, it feels like these four people are our best friends and we just want to hang out with them every night.

Since this show technically hasn’t premiered yet, I can’t tell if the rating’s going to be stellar but considering that its lead-in is the juggernaut that is Glee, I’m sure it’ll be a success. Those who have seen it on iTunes have been quite chatty on Twitter about how funny it is, so it’s only a matter of time before the rest of America catches on.

Verdict:Watch It or You’ll Regret It.

5/ Homeland, Showtime, Sundays, 10/9c (starting Oct 2).

Ever since 24 ended, domestic terrorism on television starts to lose its popularity. Sure, both ABC and NBC tried to put a sci-fi spin to the genre, with FlashForward and The Event, and both have failed spectacularly. When it comes to domestic terrorism, we somehow prefer it to stay as close to reality as possible for some reason. And with Homeland, the genre is finally resurrected post-24 and from the looks of the pilot, this show is every bit as intriguing and interesting as 24, but better because it’s smarter, deeper and a lot more complex, in a good way.

Homeland tells the story of a CIA analyst (Claire Danes) who becomes convinced that a returning MIA Marine (Damian Lewis) has been turned by Al-Qaeda and is planning an attack on US soil. For much of the pilot, we are left to wonder if Danes’ character is right and the whole thing is not just a figment of her paranoia, mostly because she’s taking anti-psychotics, utterly obsessive and well, acting a little nuts, while Damian Lewis’ character makes good speeches and grills burgers for his family. But the show is smart enough to give hints of Lewis’ deception, mostly through flashbacks, and we remain conflicted on who to believe, until about the last five minutes when we are finally convinced that Danes’ character is brilliant albeit a little nuts, and she’s right. A terror is imminent and Damian Lewis’ character is the key.

One thing that makes Homeland interesting is that the show relies heavily on the characters, and they’re all flawed. An unstable CIA analyst, an emotionally-disturbed and possibly brainwashed “hero”, a conflicted wife who doesn’t know if she still loves her returning husband – they make this show more than just a race against time to stop a terror attack. If you want a smarter, better 24, you might want to give this one a try.

Verdict: Watch It or You’ll Regret It.

6/ Whitney, NBC, Thursdays, 9.30/8.30c (Starting Sept 22).

The Fall 2011 season is definitely a women-friendly season, with so many women-centric shows premiering, and Whitney is one of them. Comedienne Whitney Cummings creates, writes and acts in this new NBC comedy that will debut next Thursday along with the return of NBC’s Thursday Night Comedy. And it’s a little tricky reviewing this show because it’s so Whitney-centric, my dislike can be easily misinterpreted as a dislike to her as a person, and it’s not true at all because I like her just fine and I even follow her on Twitter. Her show however, is just not that funny.

The problem with Whitney is that it feels so… old-fashioned compared to the other Thursday night NBC Comedies. First, it’s a multi-camera sitcom, while Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock are all single-camera, second, it’s actually taped live in front of a studio audience, which in this day and age feels dated. But I didn’t mind all that if the show is actually really fresh and funny like in the case of How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory (at least in their earlier seasons). The jokes on Whitney, however, are just as dated as the format. If the show premiered in 1993 pre-Friends, I’d totally get on board, but this is 2011 and it feels a little “been there, Friends has done that”.

It doesn’t mean that Whitney is horrible, it’s actually not. There are some funny, sincere moments that I enjoyed but sadly there aren’t enough of them. Most of the time it just seems like everyone’s trying real hard to get the studio audience to laugh, and it just comes across as sad. There is a possibility that as the season progresses, this show will find its footing and gets better with time, but at this point I’m a little skeptical. With Thursday night being one of the most crowded nights of television, does anyone even have time to give this show a try?

Verdict: Not Worth Your Time.

And that’s all the pilots I’ve watched this past week. I’ll be back next week to review The Playboy Club, Two Broke Girls, Revenge, Person of Interest and maybe even Hart of Dixie (Josh Schwartz tweeted that it’ll be available for early viewing on iTunes starting Sept 22, but we’ll see!).

I shall bid adieu for now and I’ll see you all here next week!

Xoxo

Binky Bee