Today we learn some valuable life lessons. Always pay your taxes if you want to be on reality TV. Families that perform together, stay together. And don't let your children watch TV if they have bad teeth.
Last Saturday's SNL wasn't that great an episode overall, but one sketch, a parody of The Closer called The Looker starring Penny Marshall as interrogator, was very funny by itself, but it was its intro that was so amazing it has kind of taken over my life a little bit. It featured Kristen Wiig as Kyra Sedgwick, screaming "Confeyuss!!!" a couple times at a perp in that inexplicable Southern accent she does on the show that Angel is always complaining to me about, and I just can't stop saying it. I say it to everyone I know. I say it to inanimate objects. I'm probably going to start saying it to strangers soon. Last night I cracked the case of who in my building was stealing my wireless and clogging the hell out of my bandwidth and I, in all complete seriousness, considered pounding on their door and laying into them with "Confeyuss!!!" for 43 minutes and calling it a TNT series. That's how incredible this intro was. Clip after the jump.
The premiere episode of the excellent TNT drama The Closer is tonight. As I mentioned in today's GTC, it's kind of schlamazing. In a nutshell: Brenda and Fritz have moved in together and are still adjusting to cohabitation and its attendant maelstrom. A photojournalist is trailing Brenda -- and getting in the way of her investigation, which raises some interesting questions about voyeurism and the moral responsibilities of the press. At the center of the action is an arson crime that sees the return of season one's homicidal pyromaniac Billy Croelick, whose chemistry with Brenda is ... sizzling. In anticipation of the TV event of the, um, week (?), I had the opportunity to do a little round-table thingy with the show's star Kyra Sedgwick, whose no-BS New York gal personality stands in sharp contrast to the spitfire Southern sweetheart Brenda Johnson. I guess that's why they call it "acting." Here are the highlights:
The SAG Award nominations have come out; nothing hugely troublesome or scandalous, but I do have a handful of quibbles, starting with Sally Field. Field does a great job as Nora Walker on Brothers & Sisters, but it's an ensemble show, yet Field still gets all the lead-actress noms, it seems like, and Rachel Griffiths gets overlooked. And again, Field isn't bad or anything, but she's working with prime Emmy bait, and she's hardly subtle; I kind of don't get it. I also don't get the Sedgwick lovefest; I like her too, usually, and I like the show well enough, but that Closer role is tic-y as all get out, and the portrayal isn't getting any less hectic as time goes on. Do these academies just want to prove that they watch basic cable?
And of course Jeremy Piven gets another nod for the Ari role on Entourage, and Tony Shalhoub another nom for Monk, both of which we can file under "I" for "it worked for a couple of seasons because we hadn't seen that sort of thing before, but we get it now, and you haven't shown us anything new in a few years." Actors can continue to do good work in the same role year after year, of course, and it's another two actors I like very much, but when you keep seeing Spader's name in these lists, and Hugh Laurie, just the same people over and over with only a couple minor variations each year, it's hard not to feel like there's a certain laziness behind it. "Well, I don't watch Saving Grace, but the critics say Holly Hunter is very good in it." "Well, Laurie's doing twice the work because of the accent, so I'll just nominate him." Hugh Laurie's still entertaining as Greg House, but he's not doing anything we haven't seen him do before -- and even if these same guys really are the best TV had to offer in the last year, acting-wise, it's hard to trust that when we've seen them all before.