Jennifer Lawrence -- newly minted A-list star of The Hunger Games and current Oscar nominee for Silver Linings Playbook -- made her first appearance in the battle arena known as Saturday Night Live over the weekend. And just like her alter ego, Katniss Everdeen, she didn't get off to the smoothest start, botching her opening monologue (the Best Actress smackdown was a decent idea, but Lawrence seemed too nervous to really execute it) and struggling through the first few (admittedly terribly written) sketches. But around the halfway mark, she found her groove and finished strong with some pretty funny material. Here's a rundown on Lawrence's losers and winners:
"Basic Lupine Urology" (a sly Dick Wolf reference) was the title of last night's Community episode, but they probably should have just gone ahead and called it Advanced Law & Order Studies. Because that was about as spot-on a spoof as we've seen from this show -- or, indeed, any series -- in recent memory. If we're being honest, we probably laughed more at the Ken Burns parody from a few weeks back, but execution-wise, this one both recreated and sent up its source material with the kind of expert precision that can only come with years of wasted nights and weekends watching marathons of Law & Order repeats.
Reports are saying that Chris Meloni is done with his very lengthy run on Law & Order: SVU and while this is probably devastating news for die hard fans of that show, we're excited that it gives the talented actor a chance to spread his wings and do something else for a while. He was amazing on Oz and cracks us up on Sesame Street and in the Harold and Kumar movies (not to mention his sweater-fondling work in Wet Hot American Summer). So here are the other shows that we think should scoop Chris Meloni up stat.
The unthinkable has happened. After eight seasons, Law & Order: Criminal Intent will be without lead detective Robert Goren for the first time, as Vincent D'Onofrio will be leaving the show to do more film work. And he's not alone, either -- Kathryn Erbe (Det. Eames), Julianne Nicholson (Det. Wheeler) and Eric Bogosian (Capt. Ross) are all leaving the show, as well. Who does that leave? Pretty much just new hire Jeff Goldblum, who just finished his first season as Det. Nichols. While it can't feel good to have all of your fellow cast members quit on you, we're glad Goldblum is sticking around, because now he can be the lead detective in a show cast entirely by us! Well, almost -- they've already replaced Nicholson with Saffron Burrows, formerly of My Own Worst Enemy. But here's who we think should fill the rest of the vacant spots.
The Law & Order franchise is not what it once was. The original series (plain old L&O) has gone through cast shake-up after shake-up, and just had one of its weakest seasons. Special Victims Unit is full of superstar talent -- America's sweethearts Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, plus their cranky back-ups Ice-T and Richard Belzer -- but each episode of that show finds a way to ignore their special victims mandate. Only Criminal Intent, exiled to the USA Network, has continued to do what it does so well with the same two leads it's always had. It's the best show in the franchise, and it's only going to get better with this season's changes. If you didn't watch Sunday night's Season 8 premiere, here are our reasons for you to tune in for Episode 2.
While Law & Order: SVU and L&O: Original Recipe have been getting on my nerves lately by veering into ridiculous territory, Criminal Intent has always had one foot in the bizarre, thanks to the constant hulking presence of part-genius, part-madman Det. Robert Goren. In last season's finale, Goren's world crumbled around him, so I'm looking forward to seeing him pull himself together in the new season, especially now that he'll be trading nights with Jeff Goldblum. ("Chris Noth... out!") Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, who plays Goren's partner Eames, held a conference call to promote the new eighth season, and we got some quirky details out of them.
The Law & Order franchise of shows is known for the caliber of its guest stars. From movies, TV and theater, they come to play victims -- or, more often, perpetrators -- of horrible crimes. And to kick off the new season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the producers scored a couple of doozies. Luke Perry, formerly of Jeremiah, Oz and the original 90210 plays the father of a troubled boy, and Sara Gilbert of Big Bang Theory and Roseanne fame plays a rape victim who had to give up her child. The two of them participated in a conference call recently with show producer Neal Baer, and they talked a lot about the process of playing such intense roles -- including a certain Dylan McKay... read on for the highlights of the conference call.
I'm being serious! According to a recently published report, Law & Order and so-called "must-bleed" TV shows of its ilk (CSI, Criminal Minds, The Closer and what have you) that depict death and violence are linked to people buying and eating more food. Something about when being faced with one's own mortality -- because violent, ripped-from-the-headlines murders really get you thinking on a deeper level -- it's easier to rationalize eating that entire can of Pringles. Not that I've done that.
The biggest problem for the new TBS comedy Ground Floor isn't that it's yet another workplace sitcom, but that it's a workplace sitcom with a premise that's already been achieved to perfection by the likes of The Office, The IT Crowd, and Enlightened. Ground Floor may have a very similar concept as those three (the cultural and financial differences between the self-absorbed higher-ups upstairs and the everyday people working beneath them, literally and figuratively), but it lacks one key element that made them rise above the pack: an original sense of humor.
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