Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TV Roundtable

Jim: It's roundtable time.  We did a long roundtable which we're splitting into two parts.  This is our TV roundtable and our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com.  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.  You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim: So let's start with TV.  Maybe end there.  VEEP just started its new season.

Betty: Oh, goody.  Another Emmy for Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  She's won 5 times in a row for the first 5 seasons of VEEP.  No one wants to point out the obvious (a) she doesn't deserve 5 wins, no one does and (b) her White privilege keeps worthy nominees of color from winning.  I'm sorry, I used to like her but five wins a row?  She looks like a greedy person.  She should ask not to be nominated this year so that others can win.

Ruth: I would agree with Betty --

Betty: And Ava and C.I., they've made the same point here.

Ruth (Con't): Yes, they have.  It's unfair.  Tracee Ellis Ross is only one of many women who have done great work in the same period of time that the Emmys have been handing out the annual Julia Louis-Dreyfus award.  And, let's be honest, no one watches VEEP.

Rebecca: Which is to me the most important part.  No one cares about the Emmys anymore because they refuse to nominate deserving performers from well watched shows.  Okay, Ava and C.I. have repeatedly noted that Patricia Heaton deserves an Emmy for THE MIDDLE.  They don't even like Heaton but they note she's deserving.  And THE MIDDLE is a show people watch.

Jess: Heaton's also a past nominee for EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND.  And it makes their tastes look questionable when she's doing better work now than she did then and she can't even get a nomination.  It's all about politics and it shouldn't be.  I don't like Heaton's politics but I'd have no problem with her being nominated for her work on THE MIDDLE -- or even winning for that work because she is doing strong work.

Jim: Biggest surprise of the spring season?


Ty: That was a shocker.  Ava and C.I. were right about it was dumb to keep from Scotty that her son was her son.  And once that came out, the show went into high gear.  It was easily the best broadcast hour of the spring.

Mike: I really loved it.  In fact, as disappointed I was in the 24 reboot, I was thrilled by what they did on BLACKLIST REDEMPTION.

Cedric: And Mike called me about it and I ended up watching all the episodes on HULU.  It was a tight show.

Dona: That's the only broadcast show I liked this spring.  I think they could have done more to promote the show.  Most of the people I know -- including in my own family -- my dad, my brother -- who watched it were guys.  I think a lot of people missed out on the fact that besides being a strong action show, it was also a show with a lot of levels.

Mike: Absolutely.

Ann: And it was a show with a well balanced cast.  Not one of those all White casts or shows where there's one token person of color.

Betty: Wasn't it funny how the reunion of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER escaped criticism for being so all White?  There was Kendra but heck, they didn't invite her to the ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY reunion.

Stan: THE WB got away with so much -- the same was true of DAWSON'S CREEK.

Marcia: And CHARMED just had the underutilized token African-American detective unless it was when Debbi Morgan was on.

Rebecca: That show needed a lot more Debbi Morgan.  She was so much more believable than --

Kat: Alyssa Milano as a mermaid!

Rebecca: Exactly.

Ann: Alyssa Milano as anything.  I think the show should have ditched Phoebe and kept Pru.

Trina: Alyssa Milano was the Cheryl Ladd of the show -- she got by on 'boob acting' -- heavily featuring her boobs in shots.  At least Cheryl Ladd had a sincere smile.

Jim: I could see Cheryl Ladd being a guest on THE GREAT INDOORS.

Rebecca: That is a show that CBS needs to bring back for a second season.  I blogged about COMMUNITY at my site and was rarely impressed with anything actor Joel McHale did.  I am so much more positive about his acting here.  He's doing a great job as the lead of this sitcom.

Jim: Everyone seems to like that show.

Cedric: It's a funny show.

Wally: And there aren't a lot of those around.  ABC needs to get rid of SPEECHLESS for sure.  That show is not funny and they seem to think they can use the young male lead as their shield against criticism.  They can't.  It's just not funny.

Jim: Anyone beside Tracee Ellis Ross that anyone feels should be nominated for an Emmy?

Mike: Jennifer Lopez. Her work on SHADES OF BLUE is excellent and so much better than anything she's done before.  It stands with OUT OF SIGHT among her dramatic performances. I'd also note it's a shameful omission that Sofia Vergara has never won an Emmy for MODERN FAMILY.

Stan: I'd agree with those assessments.  I'd like to see Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon get nominations for FEUD.   Don't know the name of the actor who plays Klaus on THE ORIGINALS but he should get nominated.

Marcia: Joseph Morgan.  He deserves an Emmy.  I'd love to see THE ORIGINALS nominated period.  It's a great show and it's having its best season so far currently. Riley Voelkel deserves to be nominated for her work as Freya.  This is an amazing show.  The whole cast is wonderful but I'd pitch those two especially.

Trina: I'd say Nicole Kidman for BIG LITTLE LIES.

Jim: Yes, absolutely.  But let's include Ava and C.I. now because they praised the show but three e-mails came in complaining that they gave away the secret in their review.

Ava: We did not read the novel.  We did not read the scripts.  We watched two episodes before we wrote our review.  We felt it was obvious that Ziggy's father was already in the cast and we're sorry that some feel we spoiled it for them.  C.I.?

C.I.: We know Nicole -- who gave a defining performance, give it up for Nicole -- and we know David E. Kelley.  Please note that we have repeatedly not reviewed David's shows because we feel it wouldn't be fair because he is a friend.  We made an exception on this one because Nicole was so wonderful and because a few people seemed to forget how great David E. Kelley can be.  He's no Aaron Sorkin.  His characters aren't potato heads delivering monologues.  He writes real characters and you get involved with them.  Nicole was perfectly cast and we -- Ava and I -- keep hoping that the site's going to shut down soon -- THIRD -- so we felt we should go ahead and review this one.  But as Ava said, we didn't have scripts or anything.  We had the first episode and the second episode.  That's all we had when we wrote that review and only learned it was based on a book from the credits.  I agree with all the Emmy contenders already mentioned but I would add Alexander Skarsgard to the list.  He was creepy and scary as Perry, the abusive husband of Nicole's character.  He went places that weren't safe and predictable and he came up with an original character and not some sketch.  I think he deserves to be nominated.

Jim: You saw no scripts and heard nothing regarding the plot.

Ava: No.  Laura Dern, I think it was, had praised Nicole's performance early on when they started shooting.  That's about all the information we had.

Jim: Speaking of spoilers -- a lot of e-mails have come in asking if you're going to review the return of PRISON BREAK.

Ava: Because our original review said so much?

Jim: "Prison Break Tease" was the title.  Let me quote from it:

Armed with a pout and delivering every line in some sort of tribute to Cher's variety hour work,
while the big talk inside the prison is Michael's looks, we kept expecting Miller to hop ontop of an upright piano and break into a few verses of "I Saw A Man And He Danced With His Wife."

A friend swears that Miller's playing Michael as a "power bottom" and the character is just waiting for the "right man to call his bluff." We'd argue that our friend put way too much thought into the series -- far more, in fact, than the writers have.

Ava: I sometimes miss those days.

C.I.: Agreed.

Ava: We were so snarky.

C.I.: And so accurate.

Ava: Now we try provide context and be media analysts.  We don't get to have as much fun.

Jim: In terms of outing, that's not your big one.  You did a review -- and it's the only one you've changed after it went up without making a note that you'd changed it -- in which you spoke of the three gay actors on the show.  After it went up?

Ava: We heard from one of the three.  We thought he was officially out.  He wasn't.  He's out to people he knows, like us, but he wasn't -- and still isn't -- out.  So we went in and changed our review.

C.I.: And there's no note because this would come up at some point and then people could go through and figure it out.

Rebecca:  But back to PRISON BREAK, Wentworth is now out and, indeed, is a power bottom.  Maybe in it's limited return, Went can hop on the upright piano and sing a little of "I Saw A Man And He Danced With His Wife"?
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