MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

Heather Morris and 'Glee' pals get down and dirty in their new Funny Or Die viral

By Sona Charaipotra Jan 11, 2011 3:02PM
Photo courtesy FOX
Okay, so the real breakout star on "Glee"? I think we all agree at this point that Heather Morris, who plays Brittany, steals the show every time. Be it her deadpan ditziness or those sizzling dance moves, she's got us wanting to give her all the star solos.

Now she's taking the badass behavior one step further with the Funny Or Die video "Nuthin' But a 'Glee' Thang," a kickin' take on Dr. Dre's classic "Ain't Nuthin' But a G Thang" -- complete with cameos from "Modern Family" star Sophia Vergara and slew of "Glee" mates, including Matt Morrison, Naya Rivera, Corey Monteith, and Harry Shrum. 

Morris penned the catchy riff with pals Ashley Lendzion, a writer-actress who's done shorts and small turn in "He's Just Not That Into You," and Riki Lindhome, whom you may recall from turns on "Gilmore Girls" and "House," or the film "Last House on the Left."

Vergara rocks a Sue Sylvester tribute track suit in the video, but confesses to the camera that her real "Glee" love is Heather herself. "Comparing Jane to the rest of the cast is like comparing the great barrier reef to dog shit," she says on the one hand, before noting in secret that she doesn't want Heather to know of her love because "I don't want her to think I'm just a crazy fan who doesn't know the difference between TV and reality." 

Yup, cue the musical number, which talks about crazy Gleeks stalking Matt Morrison (Mr. Schue), Naya Rivera (Santana) and Corey Monteith (Finn), who, in keeping with character (or perhaps reality), can't dance even in this video. There are some classic lines, like the following:

"Ain't nuthin but a Glee thang baby/ Matt Morrison's abs drive me crazy/ Tried to make him mine/ Cops had to taze me/ Undeniable/ This isn't going to faze me."

But the best is the completely random reference to cream-cicles (which, yes, are delicious), and an unexpected-yet-fun "Gossip Girl" kiss-off. Take a look:
Which "Glee" cast member are you most likely to stalk? 
 

Flaming C, the superhero alter ego of the late night host, made his TV debut last night

By MSN TV Jan 11, 2011 12:19PM

On a recent episode of his TBS talk show, Conan O'Brien joined Bruce Timm of DC Comics to create a new superhero, one based on the pompadoured-likeness of the late night host, complete with red beard, Blackberry-holder on his belt and loafers. But when Timm gave the sketch to Conan, he never imagined what might come next: His actual cartoon debut.

O'Brien showed a clip last night from "Young Justice," a Cartoon Network series about teenage superheroes, that also featured -- wait for it -- The Flaming C, Conan's self-styled superhero. See the clip:

"Conan" airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. ET/PT on TBS.

 

What to look forward to in January and February

By Miss Sarah Jo Jan 10, 2011 10:08PM

Lights Out F/XIt is finally time for the network mid-season replacements and new cable dramas to debut, and for some old favorites to come back.  Here is a list of what I am looking forward to watching and (hopefully) covering on the blog.

 

Lights Out’ (F/X, Tuesdays at 10 PM starting January 11): There was a ton of good buzz coming from critics over the last few weeks, and show runner Warren Leight was behind one of the strongest seasons of HBO’s ‘In Treatment’.  F/X has a history of doing right by stories set in these kind of hyper-masculine and violence-drenched worlds.  Of course, F/X does a LOT of hyper-masculine and violent shows, which raises the specter of burnout for some fans. Bonus points for co-starring Pablo Schreiber, who broke my heart in season two of ‘The Wire’.

 

Community’ (NBC, Thursdays at 8 PM starting January 20): As I wrote in the TV Top Ten of 2010, this show has built up tremendous goodwill with me for simply surprising me week-to-week. For a while, it seemed that the writers had gone to the well of pop-culture movie parodies once too often, but they redeemed themselves with some deep and heartfelt quiet character studies for the extremely talented cast. They also managed the best use of Betty White in this past year.

 

Parks and Recreation’ (NBC, Thursdays at 9:30 PM starting January 20): Wait, you already knew that. Is everyone all caught up? Are you as fond of the adorable April Ludgate (“I like people, places, and….thiiiinnnggs.”) and Ron F’ing Swanson (“I like saying no. It lowers their enthusiasm.”) as I am? Bonus points for casting Adam Scott and making me a bit less sad that ‘Party Down’ isn’t on the air anymore.

 

Archer’ (F/X, Thursdays at 10 PM starting January 27). Full disclosure: I have not yet watched any of the episodes from last year’s season. But after hearing a brief audio clip on this essential podcast, it is completely obvious this animated spy-move spoof is screamingly funny and aimed at my sense of humor. Archer, where have you been all my life?  I plan to do my best to catch up and share thoughts about season two.

 

The Chicago Code’ (Fox, Mondays at 9 PM starting February 7). Another one that has had amazingly good word-of-mouth from critics, and show runner Shawn Ryan has my undying loyalty for ‘The Shield’ and the late and much beloved ‘Terriers’.  Apparently, there have some changes to the pilot since it first screened, but this is one that no TV fan can really miss.

 

Justified’ (F/X, Wednesdays at 10 PM starting February 9) was one of the most purely entertaining shows of 2010, with an embarrassment of talented actors playing a rogue’s gallery of Southerners with a capital S.  It spun riffs on Elmore Leonard’s tasty dialogue and found unexpected depth in two parallel father/son relationships. All this, and Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat. You really can’t ask for much more.

 


So, what are you looking forward to watching this winter?

 

Salma Hayek to produce mini-series version of 'Wicked' for ABC

By Sona Charaipotra Jan 10, 2011 4:09PM
Photo courtesy Marc Platt ProductionsIf you've been wondering what Idina Menzel's first post-"Glee" TV gig will be, well, she may just have found it.

Salma Hayek is once again donning her producer's cap as her production company, Ventanarosa, nabs rights to Gregory Maguire's 1995 bestseller "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." The book -- a riff on the old "Oz" tale told from the Wicked witch's perspective -- previously spawned the hit 2003 Broadway production. "Glee" guest star Menzel originated the title role, while her pal -- and fellow "Glee" guester -- Kristin Chenoweth played the good witch.

Hayek's eight-hour mini-series, which landed at ABC, will be adapted solely from the book, as the production company doesn't have any rights to the Broadway version, which was produced by Hollywood biggie Marc Platt. The rights for a film version of the Broadway show have been at Universal Pictures for several years, and may still be developed.

No word yet on whether Hayek's company will reach out Menzel or Chenoweth. Perhaps we'll see Hayek -- who cameo-ed as a sassy magazine editor on her earlier production, "Ugly Betty" -- turn up in the title role herself?

Who would you like to see get "Wicked" on TV?

 

Showtime's new drama starring William H. Macy should take center-stage Sunday night

By Sona Charaipotra Jan 7, 2011 3:50PM
Photo courtesy ShowtimeWilliam H. Macy has always been a cut above when it comes to TV. The Oscar-nominated (for "Fargo") actor has been very selective when it comes to his time on the small screen -- limited to stints on "ER" and "Sports Night," really. So it's no surprise that his first real foray into TV stardom is a John Wells cable drama unlike those we've seen before.

The show, "Shameless," is an adaption of the British hit by the same name, is one of two new Showtime series debuting Sunday that are exports -- the other is "Episodes." It features Matt LeBlanc as a crazy-making actor who drives batty two Brit TV producers, imported across the pond to remake their hit series, of course. 

A sharp, incisive, if occasionally meandering look at the bottom rung of American economics, 
"Shameless," which premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. on Showtime, stars Macy as Frank Gallagher, the drunken, unemployed and generally deplorable single dad head of one very dysfunctional family, who lie, cheat, steal and do what they must to get by. 

He's got six kids, but don't you go feeling sorry for them. This working-class Chicago clan's got cunning and smarts to spare, so they'll get by just fine -- despite dad. Rounding out the cast are Emmy Rossum ("Mystic River," "The Day After Tomorrow") as Fiona, the most dependable of the bunch, while Cameron Monaghan ("Fringe," "Three Rivers"), Emma Kenney, Ethan Cutkosky, and Jeremy Allen White make the rest of the Gallagher clan. With deep, carefully developed storylines, these kids more than hold their own against the likes of Macy, who challenges them to do their biting, amazingly real best. And then there's Joan Cusack, who steals scenes as an eccentric neighbor.

As far as Sunday night fare goes, "Shameless" should add an interesting edge to the options. The storylines may be slow in unfolding, but the hold-their-own cast makes it well-worth it to spend a few Sunday nights exploring their lives. 
"Shameless" premieres this Sunday at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
 

We'll be seeing some familiar faces -- and concepts this fall

By Sona Charaipotra Jan 6, 2011 3:04PM
Photo courtesy Sony Pictures
Now that the networks have started announcing what we can expect to see on the air this fall, it seems we'll be greeted by a lot of familiar faces -- and concepts. Yup, business as usual. So here's some of the more newsworthy green-lights.

On the familiar faces front, as usual, we've got the triumphant return (and eventual failure?) of "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander, who's had several turns at bat since the show wrapped in 1998, including the short-lived "Bob Patterson" in 2001 and the short-lived "Listen Up" in 2004. This time around, he lands at CBS as a down-and-out actor who moonlights at his wife's detective agency. 

Comedian Cedric the Entertainer, meanwhile, sets up shop at ABC with a comedy about a retired baseball star who ends up as a radio host. Also on tap is Damon Wayans, who gets a meta on a comedy about a TV dad who's anything but the ideal father at home. ABC's also revamping James Cameron's 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger drama "True Lies" as an hour-long action-drama.   

NBC's nabbed Chelsea Handler's memoir, "Are Your There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea" for a comedy pilot, but no word on whether the controversial talker would star. 

Concept-wise, they've also decided it's time to revamp "The Munsters," with a modern-day take on the monstrous clan. Then there's "Emerald City," a riff on the old "Oz" tale, set in New York City. 

CBS has a rehash of the old drama "The Wild Wild West" in the works, while ABC goes even more old school with its take on Shakespeare's classic tragedy "Romeo And Juliet." Yes, really. 

And last, but certainly not least, there's FOX's adaptation of the 2005 Will Smith hit comedy "Hitch" as a scripted drama (at least according to Entertainment Weekly)? Really, drama? 

In any case, TV execs are once again sticking with the safe bets. And given the quick death knell issued to some of the more mediocre fare this season (yes, we're looking at you "My Generation"), perhaps it's the smart thing to do. But it sure doesn't leave much room for breakout smashes like "True Blood" or "Mad Men."

What do you think? Will tried and true have you tuning in this fall? Or are you hankering for something new?
 

Grayson and Jules get on the same page in 'No Reason To Cry'

By Miss Sarah Jo Jan 6, 2011 1:22AM

Cougar Town - No Reason to Cry

Trying to analyze or dissect a show as frothy and fun as ‘Cougar Town’ sounds like the definition of an exercise in futility. But the home truths that emerge out of the normal sitcom hi-jinks can take you by surprise.


Take Ellie and Andy’s conflict in tonight’s episode – Andy makes Ellie look foolish by giving her the wrong names for people she doesn’t remember.  She takes it in stride and actually seems to enjoy it; what upsets her is when Andy pulls “their” prank on Laurie. Understandably, since as she says “the joke thing was OUR thing”.  Only when he thinks of an even better prank (writing fake apology notes to people under her name) and promises to keep it just between the two of them, is she mollified. Indeed, it can be hurtful to see something you thought was special to you and your partner exposed to other people, even with the best of intentions.  ‘Cougar Town’ found a cute way to acknowledge and resolve that dilemma, however lightly.


It also found a good way to lead up to Grayson and his beady little rat eyes finally telling Jules that he loves her. She actually brings up some very real potential issues about their dissimilarities. But by Grayson honestly telling her that they are very different people and that she is “an idiot” for wanting them to be “compatible”, it saved the moment from being too saccharine; instead, it was genuinely earned.


Well-done, Cul-de-sac Crew.


Enough of these DEEP thoughts; let’s get to the bullets:

  • The product placement really skated up to the edge of icky.  I realize that ever since the ’30 Rock’ Snapple extravaganza, it is considered okay to acknowledge and make fun of a (necessary) evil, but the shirt and the cap and the can smack in the middle of the camera shot. I mean, if it wasn't sold by a talking dog, it would have indeed been icky.
  • Where is the Facebook page to “Make Tom A Part of The Gang”? I’d sign up.
  • Oh Kirsten. I just cannot get attached to you when I know that Dan and Laurie are destined to be in love (I hope). You were funny when you ‘broke’ Bobby, though.
  • “It doesn’t pass the ridiculous test.”
  • “Really? Bug hookers?” “That’s the title!”
  • “He does keep a pencil in his neck fat, so he’s clearly smart.”
  • Laurie’s coffee ordering extravaganza = best Taye Diggs description ever.
  • New Year's Resolution: Embrace Our Stupid Title & Lose Six Pounds
 

The Kardashian clan scores a third spin-off with E!'s latest reality show, 'Khloe And Lamar'

By Sona Charaipotra Jan 5, 2011 2:00PM
Photo courtesy OK MagazineJust when you thought you'd seen as much of the Kardashian clan as you could possibly stand, there's more.

E! announced today that the celeb network has greenlit a third spin-off from it's reality hit, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." The tentatively-titled "Khloe And Lamar" follows the first successful spin-off, "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami," and the upcoming second sequel, "Kourtney And Kim Take New York," which debuts January 23rd.

Khloe and husband of just over a year Lamar Odom, an LA Lakers star, wed in September 2009 after a well-documented month-long courtship. Since then, the L.A.-based basketball player and the well-traveled reality star have had an equally-well-documented long distance marriage. The Kardashians' reality series followed the couple as they bought and settled into their first home together. 

The network has ordered eight episodes of the new series, which will follow "the outspoken Kardashian sister and the Los Angeles Lakers star invite cameras into their home, where Khloe's brother Robert Kardashian has become a semi-permanent houseguest." Which, I guess, should make for some interesting family drama.  

So aren't people sick of the Kardashian sisters yet? Apparently not. Or at least that's what E! is counting on. "Khloe and Lamar are such a dynamic couple that we just knew we had to give them their own series," E! executive vice president Lisa Berger told Deadline