TV Review: AWAKE – Season 1 – “The Little Guy”

Dylan Minnette in AWAKE - Season 1 - "The Little Guy" | ©2012 NBC/Neil Jacobs

Stars: Jason Issacs, Laura Allen, Dylan Minnette, Cherry Jones, Steve Harris, Wilmer Valderrama, BD Wong Writer: Kyle Killen Director: David Slade Network: NBC, airs Thursday night Original Telecast: March 8, 2012 After establishing the very complex work of AWAKE where cop Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) finds himself living in two different realities – one where a car accident claimed his wife and one where the crash claimed his son, this second episode “The Little Guy” settles into a really nice groove. The concept could still be challenging for normal viewers, but this episode makes the conceit go down real smooth, …Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Let’s Be Bad”

Megan Hilty in SMASH - Season 1 - "Let's Be Bad" | ©2012 NBC/Will Hart

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Julie Rotenberg & Elisa Zuritsky Director: Jamie Babbit Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: March 5, 2012 “Let’s Be Bad,” as an episode, is all over the place, but on the plus side, the SMASH writers have backed off on a couple cliches. They went hog wild on the others, though, including a final scene you could see coming from the back balcony far corner with restricted sight lines in that sound dead corner of the auditorium. We start out with Julia (Debra Messing) still behind on pages …Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: AWAKE executive producer Howard Gordon and star Wilmer Valderrama on their new mind-bending series

Laura Allen, Jason Isaacs and Dylan Minnette in AWAKE poster - Season 1 | ©2012 NBCUniversal/Jim Fiscus

In AWAKE, which premieres tonight, Thursday March 1 at 10 PM on NBC, Jason Isaacs plays police detective Mike Britten. Britten and his wife and son are involved in a terrible car accident. When Britten recovers, his wife is alive and their son has died – except when Britten goes to sleep, he wakes up in a different reality where his son has survived but his wife has perished. The change extends to Britten’s work life – in the reality where his wife is alive, Britten’s detective partner is Steve Harris’ experienced Isaiah “Bird” Freeman, whereas in the other existence, …Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “The Cost of Art”

Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright in SMASH - Season 1 - "The Cost of Art" | ©2012 NBC/Patrick Harbron

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: David Marshall Grant Director: Michael Morris Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: February 27, 2012 There is no getting around it that SMASH is a fun show to watch. The singing and dancing are wonderful fun. The original songs don’t suffer too much from Andrew Lloyd Webber syndrome (beating you over the head with soulful sappiness and the tendency to become insidious ear worms). In fact, the  featured production number in this episode “The Cost of Art,” I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl, …Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: PARENTHOOD star Sam Jaeger on Season 3 and writing Children’s books

Sam Jaeger is Joel Graham in PARENTHOOD - Season 2 | ©2012 NBC Universal/ Mitchell Haaseth

PARENTHOOD began life as a feature film comedy/drama about a large family. It was adapted into a half-hour television series that ran for twelve episodes in 1990-1991. However, the premise seemed so solid that it was revived as an hour-long drama on NBC in 2010. It is now nearing the end of its third season, Tuesdays at 10 PM. Sam Jaeger plays Joel Graham, who is married to Erika Christensen’s character Julia, youngest daughter of the large Braverman clan. This year, Joel and Julia, who already have a little girl together, have attempted to adopt the baby of a pregnant …Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Enter Mr. DiMaggio”

Megan Hilty and Michael Swift in SMASH - Season 1 - "Enter Mr. DiMaggio" | ©2012 NBC/Will Hart

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Theresa Rebeck Director: Michael Mayer Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: February 20, 2012 The testament of a good show is to be able to turn it on, intending to watch a few minutes, and getting sucked in to watch the whole thing. That’s what happened while watching SMASH, the “Enter Mr. DiMaggio” episode. I was only going to check out how things held up after the first two stellar weeks, and well, I was sucked right back into the series. Of course, with the good, …Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “The Callback”

Megan Hilty in SMASH - Season 1 - "The Callback" | ©2012 NBC/Patrick Harbron

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Theresa Rebeck Director: Michael Mayer Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: February 6, 2012 After an amazing premiere episode, SMASH settles into its second episode “The Callback” with the same great writing and directing and adds some more drama to the mix. Above all, the series knows who these characters are and the actors fit them like a glove already (and we’re only two episodes in). That’s rare in network television, but that speaks volumes for the work that went into creating SMASH. As the title …Read On »

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TV Review: SMASH – Season 1 – “Pilot” – Series Premiere

Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty in SMASH - Season 1 | ©2012 NBC/Mark Seliger

Stars: Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston Writers: Theresa Rebeck Director: Michael Mayer Network: NBC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: February 6, 2012 Of all the new TV series, SMASH seemed to be the least appealing to me. My initial perception, like many, that it was a more adult version of GLEE set in the world of Broadway. It looked like it had limited appeal across the board. Then something magnificent happened. I actually watched the pilot episode and was blown away. Granted, I am reviewing the “Pilot” episode, but since the second episode was …Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: SMASH producers Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank bring Broadway to NBC

Brian d'Arcy, Frank Houston, Jaime Cepero, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Raza Jaffrey in SMASH - Season 1 | ©2011 NBC/Mark Seliger

Getting an original musical onto Broadway is an epic undertaking. Getting a scripted network TV series depicting the travails of getting an original musical onto Broadway magnifies that epic undertaking into what some might consider realms of sanity-challenging difficulty. However, NBC and executive producer Steven Spielberg are bringing forth SMASH, which premieres tonight, Monday, at 10 PM. SMASH is about the creation of a new musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe. Debra Messing and Christian Borle play the songwriting duo who launch the project. Anjelica Huston plays their hard-nosed producer and Jack Davenport plays the temperamental director. Megan Hilty and …Read On »

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Interview: Ben Schwartz builds a HOUSE OF LIES

Episode 102

Showtime’s HOUSE OF LIES, now in the midst of its first season Sundays at 10 PM and already renewed for next year, is based on a memoir by real-life former management consultant Martin Kihn. In the series, Don Cheadle plays Marty Kaan, the leader of a group of corporate management consultants whose vocabulary of head-spinning slick-speak can dazzle clients into ignoring the b.s. raining down upon them. Marty’s minions include Kristen Bell’s Jeannie Van Der Hooven, Josh Lawson’s Doub Guggenheim and, last but not least, Clyde Oberholt, played by Ben Schwartz. Schwartz, who recurs on NBC’s PARKS AND RECREATION as …Read On »

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