MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

Gaga-inspired life lessons through songs about your own personal brand of self-loathing

By MSN TV Apr 27, 2011 8:18AM
'Glee'/FOXBy Rachel Stuhler



This week's lesson at McKinley High is acceptance, brought on by Finn (Cory Monteith) accidentally elbowing Rachel (Lea Michele) in the face. When her broken nose offers up the opportunity for free plastic surgery, Rachel struggles with her self-esteem. And thanks to Santana's (Naya Rivera) acid-laden insults, the rest of group is bothered by their own feelings of inadequacy. Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) concocts a Gaga-inspired life lesson by asking the kids to sing about their own personal brand of self-loathing.


Bing: More about 'Glee' | Video: Full episodes and clips of 'Glee'


In other news, the battle for Prom King and Queen rages on as Lauren Zizes (Ashley Fink) tries to steal the crown from Quinn (Dianna Agron). The fighting gets dirty when Lauren unearths pictures of Quinn back when she was an acne-spotted, overweight brunette with dubious taste in sweaters. But the plan backfires and the school suddenly sees the always picture perfect Quinn as one of them. And Emma (Jayma Mays) is finally forced to deal with her raging OCD, which has impossibly gotten worse since she was abandoned by the hot Dr. Carl (John Stamos).


"Unpretty," TLC/"I Feel Pretty" from "West Side Story"

As Rachel toys with the prospect of a nose job, she realizes she must identify what her ideal face would look like. In a slightly "Single White Female" move, she zeroes in on Quinn's perfect little button nose and asks her sometimes-friend to pose for the surgeon. Rachel doesn't know at the time, but Quinn's nose is just as fake as the one the doctor wants to create for Ms. Berry herself. The two girls grapple with teenage insecurities through a duet/mash-up of TLC's ‘nineties hit "Unpretty" and "I Feel Pretty" from "West Side Story."


"I've Gotta Be Me," Walter Marks, in the style of Sammy Davis, Jr.

Finn is upset that Quinn is encouraging Rachel to change her natural appearance, and to show his support for being okay in your own skin, he and Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) team up for a jazzy rendition of Sammy Davis Jr.'s "I've Gotta Be Me." Too bad Santana refuses to heed this advice; still unable to deal with coming out as a lesbian, she enlists Karofsky (Max Adler) to serve as her official "beard."


"Somewhere Only We Know," Keane

Part of Santana's plan is to bring Kurt (Chris Colfer) back to McKinley (and the glee club), win the love of the school, and then make her own Machiavellian bid for Prom Queen. She succeeds by forming an anti-bullying squad with Karofsky, who offers Kurt a partially honest apology. The Warblers are so sad to see him go, they make a lunchtime trip to McKinley to serenade their goodbyes with Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know."



"As If We Never Said Goodbye" from "Sunset Boulevard"

It's not Kurt's style to just let his return pass unnoticed. He turns his love for his friends into a heartfelt version of "Sunset Boulevard's" "As If We Never Said Goodbye." We love you too, Kurt.



"Barbra Streisand," Duck Sauce

Once Kurt's back on home turf, his first order of business is to talk Rachel out of her crazy plan. He invokes the sacred name of Barbra Streisand and forms a flash mob at a Lima mall, apparently to show her that if random masses of strangers are okay with her nose, she should be too.



"Born This Way," Lady Gaga

For the piece de resistance, the kids gather together to sing Lady Gaga's anthem of acceptance, "Born This Way." They each wear shirts emblazoned with the parts of themselves they hate, ranging from Mercedes' (Amber Riley) "no weave" to Kurt's fantastic "I like boys."



"Glee" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.


'Glee' goes Gaga with one very special (90-minute) episode

By Sona Charaipotra Apr 26, 2011 2:56PM
Photo courtesy FOX
Tonight's the big night! 

"Glee" goes GaGa with the very special, very-hyped 90-minute, bullying-focused episode titled "Born This Way," and it's all about acceptance tonight.

And if this preview of the Warblers singing Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" at McKinley High is any clue, tonight's episode promises to be another Kurt-centered tearjerker. (Major spoiler: Kurt isn't wearing a Dalton Academy uniform!)

Here's a sneak peek:
Will you be tuning in to "Glee" tonight?


Does anyone really care?

By Sona Charaipotra Apr 26, 2011 2:34PM
Photo courtesy CBS Evening News
Okay, so this is supposed to be a big deal in the TV world: Katie Couric confirmed to today that she would be leaving her gig on "CBS Evening News" sometime in the near future.

"I have decided to step down from 'CBS Evening News,'" she told the celeb magazine earlier today. "I'm really proud of the talented team on 'CBS Evening News' and the award-winning work we've been able to do in the past five years, in addition to the reporting I've done for '60 Minutes' and 'CBS Sunday Morning.' In making the decision to move on, I know the 'Evening News' will be in great hands, but I am excited about the future."

So what exactly does the future hold for Couric. Well, she doesn't know exactly. With nothing ironed out quite yet (details, People reports, are "still being discussed"), Couric says, "I am looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling. The bottom line is that I love doing all kinds of different stories. I have a lot of areas of interest, and I want to be able to fulfill all of that."

Essentially, like many of us, Katie is abandoning ship without another to jump into. But the bigger question is, does anyone really care? In these days of the 24-hour news cycle and life in motion on the Internet, most Americans hardly turn to newspapers or the evening news in the way they had in the past, even in the midst of happy-happy stories like the Royal Wedding or political dramas like the recent budget wars. In fact, combined, all three network evening news broadcasts are barely pulling in two million viewers. A sad fact, but true. And given that the latest soaps to be knocked off the TV sked bore similar numbers daily, could the evening news survive much longer?

Do you watch the evening news? Or do you get your daily dose elsewhere?

Tags: news

Veteran comedy actor discusses working with son on ABC comedy

By MSN TV Apr 26, 2011 12:31PM

'Happy Endings'/ABCBy Minh Nguyen
Special to MSN TV


Damon Wayans has been making us laugh with hit shows like "In Living Color" and "My Wife and Kids" for years. Wayans will be appearing on ABC's new comedy, "Happy Endings," Wednesday, April 27, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC as the father to his real life son's (Damon Wayans Jr.) character Brad.  Wayans plays an uptight father who will get a new lease on life once he gets a medical clearance. MSN TV had a chance to chat with Damon Wayans Sr. on being a Wayans, Eliza Coupe on the set and how he lightened the mood on "Happy Endings."


Bing: More about ABC's 'Happy Endings' | Video: Watch full episodes and clips


MSN TV: You and your family were an inspiration for us from "In Living Color." It was nice to see a family get along, work so well together and entertain us.


Damon Wayans: We really hate each other. We pretend.


You pretend to like each other?


Yeah. (Laughing)


How excited are you to be returning to ABC to play your son's father on "Happy Endings?"


I am very excited to play my son's dad as I know that role. I just love him to death so it's been really fun to see him start his career off and not do the Wayans brothers thing -- not that there's anything wrong with that. He's finding his own way. That's beautiful to me. I support him.


Can u please tell us a bit about the character you will be playing?


He is Brad's (played by Damon Wayans Jr.) dad. My character doesn't really know how to say, "I love you." He felt that taking care of his son and raising him was enough. In life, that's really not enough. The episode is about me saying that to him, and I have a really hard time, because my father never said "I love you" to me.


On "Happy Endings?"


My father in real life won't shut up with that "I love you" stuff.


"Happy Endings" is just starting its run. What was it like being on set for this new show? Was the cast bonding yet?


The cast is wonderful. We laugh a lot. Eliza is hilarious. She should be in sketch comedy. She is really, really funny. We just got along. It was like a family. I loved the way the show runners encourage the cast to improvise and play around and play it different ways. It is a very relaxed set. It is reminiscent of a Wayans brothers set. It's just fun. People hug, love and talk. It's Season 1, though.


Do you think they were intimidated when you came on because of your vast experience?


They might've been, but I did a prep fall just to loosen them up. That's what I do. I come in, I fall down and I hit my head on the camera, just so everyone knows I'm coming. (Laughing)


You've starred in a popular sitcom before. What advice do you give your son or others in the cast?


The advice I gave my son is to really find your character and find his voice. Television is a thing that people get very familiar with. They want to hear your voice in their head. You get back to Archie Bunker and George Jefferson, "I Dream of Jeannie", "I Love Lucy"  ... these are all the shows that you view because of the characters. When you find a really great character, you can't just say anything. That character wouldn't just say anything -- only say things the character would say. I think that my son embraced that.


How did you get approached to play this role?


My son was talking to the show runners, and they asked him, "Would your dad be on the show?" My son asked me, and I said, "Heck yeah!" It was pretty easy.


You have a huge family of actors and performers. Is it any surprise at all when your kids want to enter the family business?


No, I think all of us are very hesitant because we want them to really want it. There is a lot of pressure because you're a Wayan. People have certain expectations or a preconceived idea of what the funny will be. I think it is intimidating for my children and the other children in this family, but when they see it and they get that little twinkle in their eyes, we know what that is.


I just took my niece and my nephew with Shawn to see Janet Jackson. On the way there, they didn't know who Janet Jackson is. They know Michael, but they didn't know Janet, because they're only 10 and 8. My nieces are singers and performers, and when they saw Janet, they were blown away. They stood on the chair and watched with their mouths open, amazed, soaking everything up. It was beautiful to watch.


We read that your son, Damon Wayans Jr., did not initially use your family name. Was that your idea or his?


No, that was him. He used Kyle Green. I took him out on the road with me, and he didn't want that pressure. He would come on stage and people can be mean. "Bring out your dad. Bring out Sr." It was hard on him, so he would go on as Kyle Green. When he was working with me, people would say throughout his whole set, "That's his son. When he does that, he looks just like his father." So, he said, "You know what, I'm just going to use Damon Jr."

Now, he's come into his own. I think a tough road was great for him because, first of all, it's good to test him out to see if he has a love of the game. And two, it just makes him stronger like a warrior. Warriors aren't born they're made.


What else are you working on?


I am about to shoot a pilot on CBS which is based on Colin Cowherd's life. He is an outspoken sports radio guy who is married to a beautiful wife. He has a crazy ex-wife and a beautiful woman on his show. He is trying to manage three women in his life.


"Happy Endings" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.


Information is doled out slowly on day five of the investigation

By Miss Sarah Jo Apr 24, 2011 11:13PM

Brent Sexton in Describing a television series as "slow" can be automatically be construed as a criticism in some quarters.  Using other descriptive terms such as "deliberate" or "restrained" just tarts up the fact that certain shows parcel out their information over a longer period of time, and in that sense, "The Killing is much closer in tone to AMC's stately "Mad Men" than the action-packed "Breaking Bad".  Ultimately, it may require more patience from the viewer, but the pay-offs (once they come) can be just as rewarding.  After going over the events of "Super 8", there was actually interesting movement on several fronts in solving the murder of Rosie Larsen.

The cops: Bennet Ahmed is still definitely in the mix as a suspect after a) a shaky-at-best alibi for the night of the murder, b) a pretty brunette wife who also happens to be a former student and c) a healthy supply of the same chemical found all over Rosie's body. Good for Linden for covering all her bases and building up the case, despite Holder's heavy-handed "let's get this scumbag" bulldozer techniques. Seriously, how has she not blown up at him yet; it seems only a matter of time before he alienates and/or scares away a potential helpful witness by treating everyone like a potential serial killer.  Thankfully, it now is more likely his surreptitious phone call had to do with an estranged family (wife/girlfriend? mother?) than any secret sabotage against his partner.  In any case, Sarah seems perfectly capable of screwing herself up by getting too involved with her cases; "I'm a different person now" is her weak retort to Rick's skepticism.

The campaign: Betty Draper's little brother (OK, fine…"Jamie") proves himself a good little double-agent, as he successfully ferrets out the mole as well as his backer (Nathan and Yitanes, respectively).  Too bad this whole plot line feels minor at best, a waste of time at worst.  The push/pull between Gwen and Darren about the political benefit of getting closer to the Larsens is more nuanced, and Billy Campbell does a good job of conveying the real pain underneath his attempts to decide if the ends (winning the election) justify the means (intruding on a family's genuine grief).

The family:  The deep suffering continues for both parents, with very different results. Mitch seems to be quickly losing her connection to her children, her husband, and reality itself, as she continues practically sleepwalking through her days. Meanwhile, Stan is repressing his deeply felt agony for the sake of being the "strong" father figure, but his emotions are roiling just beneath the surface. Brent Sexton absolutely killed the scene of his breakdown in the gas station bathroom, and his chilling order to Belko to go ahead and poke around the school portends some ominous developments for the future.

  • Mayor Adams still seems a bit cartoonish. "Fruits"? It's a generational thing I know, but still.
  • It is excellent that the show acknowledges how not everyone will rally around a family when tragedy strikes. Sometimes it is easier to pretend not to see you in the grocery store.
  • Most heart-breaking moment: Denny at the kitchen table, after his older brother threatens to tattle on him to their parents: "Go ahead. They don't care about us."
  • Anyone else feverishly scanning the images from that movie for clues?

The East Dillon Lions learn some hard lessons about the unfairness of life

By Miss Sarah Jo Apr 22, 2011 10:16PM
"Friday Night Lights" is a show that works best when it skates right up to the edge of sentimentality or cliché, narrowly averting both with understated writing and acting. Both were on display here in the main plotline. After winning their first game, the Lions seem to be in worse shape than before. Due to football politics, Luke's clean hit on the other team's quarterback is declared illegal, and he is suspended. Adding insult to injury, the team is not ranked despite beating a highly ranked team.  Coach Taylor's gruff instructions to his team to (basically) suck it up and play football were balanced by his dawning realization that the Lions were indeed being unfairly penalized.  It all led to that final, goose-bump inducing moment, when Coach gave an unspoken challenge to his depressed and disheartened players, by simply writing "STATE" on the whiteboard.

But first, it is necessary to deal with some worrisome plot developments.  Julie Taylor has seemingly chosen the only college in the U.S. where the first week isn't filled with freshman social activities, as well as sorority pledging, athletic events, and assigned study groups. Consequently, she is feeling lonely and directionless, and sets herself up as catnip Derek Bishop, flirty TA.  Keeping Aimee Teagarden around just to have her involved in soapier romances would be quite a waste. It is extremely disappointing if the creators of such strong female characters feel like they have to go back to the (dry) well of the inappropriate student/teacher relationship for Julie

Fortunately, the Tami storyline was redeemed a bit by introducing Epyck, the "nightmare" student referred to last week.  This was a triumph of heartfelt and straightforward dialogue and performance ("If you don't have someone at home who cares about you, who cares about your grades, I'm sorry. You don't deserve that and it isn't fair.").   Now that Tami has taken a step back from her gung-ho do-gooder persona, perhaps there will be a more realistic depiction of what it takes to reach these kinds of sullen and distrustful students.

"STATE". Well, we've got our season finale, right? There's no doubt the Lions will get there, but will they win? Either way, it will be a journey worth taking right along with them.

  • The whole "rally girl" phenomenon is so distasteful, and it is good that they are presenting it clearly, as not just sunshine and cookies. It's probably too much nuance to ask of an hour-long network drama, but it would be interesting to explore how damaging it is to girls like Maura who internalize the stereotypes so blithely accepted by the entire community.
  • Sure, it's hard to swallow that major universities like USC and Georgia are aware of Vince Howard at East Dillon High, but it did give the opportunity for Michael B. Jordan to play the hell out of the heart-warming scene where he shows his mother all the letters of intent.
  • Mindy is going to be an awesomely funny substitute mother for a teenager.
  • Becky and Luke are still super-cute together, but I can't imagine his parents would be thrilled at them getting back together.
  • "Boy, I got your message loud and clear."

With one week left till Steve Carell departs, "the Office" cast offers a tearjerker of a farewell

By Sona Charaipotra Apr 22, 2011 9:46PM
Photo courtesy NBCIn the seven seasons it's existed, I never expected "the Office" to become such a tearjerker. But as the producers ramp up the emotion in Steve Carell's last few episodes, it's becoming just that. 

First there was that three-hanky proposal, and this week, a sweet send-off that may just be one of the more memorable moments the show has ever offered up. 

As Carell's Michael Scott wrapped up his final Dundie Awards, his replacement DeAngelo Vickers (guest star Will Ferrell) cohosting, Michael's long-suffering employees decided to express that vast river of emotion they'd been feeling in song -- and one from "Rent," at that (no doubt the inspiration of Broadway baby Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms). Conspicuously missing: Scott's right-hand man Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), which suggests we have another tearjerker of a goodbye coming up next week, when Carell finally walks off set for good. 

In the meantime, in case you missed it, here's the sweet send-off:

Catch Carell's final "Office" appearance next Thursday at 9 p.m. on NBC in a very special 50-minute episode.

'Double Trouble' brings the second season to a darkly amusing conclusion

By Miss Sarah Jo Apr 22, 2011 11:05AM

Can you count how many "season finale" clichés were featured and then subverted in this episode?  First and foremost, a life-changing alteration in the main character, as Sterling falls sincerely in love for the first time, and even quits drinking (kind of). Next, an "explosive" final shootout, where everyone runs out of ammunition.  And finally, a beautiful terrace wedding that ends in the tragic loss of one mad scientist's van.  Yeah, yeah - Katya also dies, but I really don't think we are meant to be too broken up about that.

All of the double-crosses, betrayals and misjudgments piled on top of each other to create more frenetic plotting than outright funny one-liners, but overall "Double Trouble" was full of the kind of outrageously shocking jokes (Pam sitting on the toilet was something we can never ever EVER un-see) and honest action sequences we have come to expect from "Archer."  Any show that inserts an extended homage to "The Six Million Dollar Man", complete with shot-by-shot remake of the opening credits and a fake Oscar Goldman voice, is automatically in the top TV comedies, animated or live-action. Kudos to Adam Reed and everyone involved for turning out a second season of endlessly quotable dialogue, ingenious spy shenanigans and non-stop perversion. See you in the danger zone again soon.

  • "What in the name of pre-paid venereal disease do you think you're doing?"
  • "Then you're as dumb as you are stupid."
  • Guys, don't hate the playa, hate the game.
  • It was great to get a featured role for Krieger, and nice to see the return of his hologram Japanese fiancée.
  • "No words. My words have failed me."
  • Lemon Party Chairman
  • "If I tell you all at once, your head might explode. Along with comb over."
  • "This deuce ain't gonna drop itself!"
  • "Something about stripes and solids?"
  • Holograms have mothers? Who knew?
  • "Don't engage him. From there, it's all just orcs and gollums and balrogs."
  • Most giggling-inducing running gag: Malory's complete ineptitude with the phones. ("I bet Mother is pressing star again.")
  • "How do explain this?" "Bad parenting?"
  • "And mustaches."
  • Sy Berg. Of course.
  • "You have sown the wind and now you shall reap…the Barry."
  • "All ashore from the SS Date Rape."
  • "Totally being sarcastic about the Georgia O'Keefe posters. Do not do that."
  • "The unholy abomination of metal fused with flesh that now stands before you."