Downton Abbey: The Manor’s Worst Kept Secrets

by Ethan Alter January 23, 2012 6:01 am
<i>Downton Abbey</i>: The Manor’s Worst Kept Secrets

Downton Abbey is a beautiful estate with friendly hosts, lush grounds and a helpful staff. It also happens to be the worst place in England to keep a secret, as evidenced by last night's episode. Here are the supposedly confidential pieces of information that everyone in the house was buzzing about... even though they weren't supposed to be.

Downton Abbey: The House’s Biggest Feuds

by Ethan Alter January 15, 2012 10:05 pm
<i>Downton Abbey</i>: The House’s Biggest Feuds

The second episode of Downton Abbey's second season literally brought the war home, as the Crawley clan began sharing their opulent house with a legion of wounded soldiers in desperate need of a peaceful place to convalesce. But with all the tensions running through Downton at the moment, those poor guys might find more relaxation back in the trenches. Here are the biggest feuds that are currently making life in the house difficult.

Downton Abbey: Love Is in the British Air

by Ethan Alter January 9, 2012 12:43 pm
<i>Downton Abbey</i>: Love Is in the British Air

PBS's sudsy period soap Downton Abbey returned for Season 2 last night and we fell hard for this addictive upstairs/downstairs look at the goings-on in an early 20th century British manor house all over again. Granted, the season premiere was a more somber affair than much of last year, starting, as it did, in the midst of World War I. Downton's heir, Matthew Crawley is on the front lines, dug deep in the trenches at The Somme, as is the estate's former footman, the duplicitous Thomas Barrow. Back home, Matthew's mother Isobel is tending to the wounded soldiers that have been sent back from the continent and welcomes a new nurse into the hospital: the Earl of Grantham's youngest daughter, Sybil. Her sisters are asserting their independence in their own ways -- Edith is learning how to drive, while Mary tries to put her brief romance with Matthew behind her and finds a new man, newspaper magnate Richard Carlisle. As for the Abbey's staff, they're trying to deal with the loss of Lord Grantham's valet, John Bates, whose scheming wife blackmailed him into leaving the manor... and his One True Love Anna Smith. In Bates's absence, the butler Mr. Carson assumes too many responsibilities and overworks himself into exhaustion. Unfortunately for him, things are about to get even busier around the house thanks to Isobel's plan to turn Downton into a convalescence home for the returning veterans.

NewNowNext Awards: The Most Fabulously Ridiculous Awards Show of the Year

After the recent lackluster Comedy Awards on Comedy Central, I thought I needed a break before the TV Land Awards air Sunday. But as I was watching RuPaul's Drag Race, I saw footage from the red carpet at the NewNowNext Awards and just couldn't help checking it out. And I'm glad I did, because while the actual awards part was entirely pointless (it wasn't like they were handing out Oscars, after all), the telecast was filled with over-the-top insanity and so many things I personally adore. Plus, 30 Rock and Lady Antebellum didn't win anything! Oh, and did I mention that this whole thing came in under an hour and a half? Or that James Van Der Beek was the host? Yeah, it had it all. Here are the highlights:

Happy Town: About As Exciting As Watching Bread Rise

by Angel Cohn April 29, 2010 6:00 am
<I>Happy Town</I>: About As Exciting As Watching Bread Rise

After watching not only the first episode of Happy Town (which aired last night) but also the next two, I'm left feeling quite ambivalent about this show. It has a decent cast (Amy Acker, Steven Weber, Sam Neill, M.C. Gainey and Frances Conroy), but considering that it's about a town with a serial killer, I found myself surprisingly bored by the pacing and the plotting.

Sit Down, Shut Up: It Comes From the Land Down Under

by Angel Cohn April 16, 2009 4:04 pm
<I>Sit Down, Shut Up</I>: It Comes From the Land Down Under

All you crazed Arrested Development fans out there who have been waiting for just a little taste of something more and can't wait for the movie can whet your appetites on Sunday when the new animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up premieres. It's a cartoon adaptation of an Australian live-action show, and is from the AD creator Mitch Hurwitz. It also features the vocal talents of Arrested alums Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Winkler, as well as some SNL talents like Kenan Thompson and Will Forte. Hurwitz and Forte hopped on a conference call recently to ostensibly answer questions from the press, but mostly ended up talking to each other. The highlights of this chaotic call are below.

Party Down: Catering To Our Comedy Needs?

by Angel Cohn March 21, 2009 2:00 am
<I>Party Down</I>: Catering To Our Comedy Needs?

Starz debuted their new comedy series Party Down tonight. It's got an incredible pedigree. It's from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas, Mars writers John Enbom and Dan Etheridge and genuinely all-around funny guy Paul Rudd. Not too shabby. And the cast is chockablock full of former Mars stars. It's a veritable reunion of sorts. And it is a show about cater-waiters living in LA, biding their time until they get their big breaks. Which means that every week we get a different party with more wacky guests. Seems like the makings of a laugh riot, right?

NBC Cancels Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy

by Mindy Monez November 13, 2008 9:57 am
NBC Cancels <I>Lipstick Jungle</I> and <I>My Own Worst Enemy</I> And the cancellations begin! As much as I've been enjoying weecapping My Own Worst Enemy for all you nice people, not to mention watching Christian Slater do some sexy kung fu movies every week, quite often shirtless, after the way the show dropped off in entertainment value since the pilot, I'm fine with it being canceled. At this point, it's unclear whether Monday's episode will be pulled from the schedule, or if NBC will decide to show the remaining five that have been shot. Either way, the series has wrapped for good after shooting only nine episodes, due to crap ratings. Sigh, I will miss seeing Christian Slater every week. Can we work on getting him a better series, Hollywood? Now, on to Lipstick Jungle.

Christian Slater Talks My Own Worst Enemy, Karate, Etc.

by Mindy Monez October 8, 2008 2:51 pm
Christian Slater Talks <I>My Own Worst Enemy</I>, Karate, Etc.

Christian Slater enters the wild and crazy world of TV espionage (it's a lot scarier than real espionage, you know) in My Own Worst Enemy Monday night, so I joined a few other blogger types on a party line with the star to chat about the show, his love of spy movies, karate, why Pump Up the Volume rules (and it does), and more. I've seen the pilot episode, and honestly? Pleasantly surprised by it. It really is a lot better than it looks, and I was happy to find out from Christian himself that Alias alum John Eisendrath, who knows a thing or two about running a spy series, has a hand in the show. Get the rest of the highlights from the call after the jump!

<I>Americatown</I>, Land of 64 Ounce Sodas, Donut Baskets and Grim Forecasts Hey, there's finally some good news about that terrifying tailspin the country's currently in! It's inspired a promising new HBO series! Yayyyyy, we're saved! Deets: Americatown is set 40 years in the future, when, following the aftermath of a string of national disasters, oil crises and financial drama, Americans start moving to other cities, forming Chinatown-esque "Americatowns" within them. Being the minority in a new city and all, Americans then find themselves on the most un-fun side of the immigration debate in their new countries, facing deportation threats, general hostility and crappy restaurant jobs. Yeah, I thought it sounded pretty bleak too, until I remembered Wee Britain's Fat Ammy's American Style Restaurant from Arrested Development. And actually Wee Britain itself, come to think of it, and thought, you know, maybe these Americatowns are just about like, donut mountains and ten gallon hats and stuff. Maybe this thing's a comedy! No? It's a likely prophetic view of our future? Oh God, we're all doomed. Console yourself with a Fat Ammy's clip, after the jump.

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