April 26, 2014

Alfred's Birthday Fundraiser...

His cuteness Alfred is my best fur friend, and today the little dude is seven years old! So while we may have a toy or two for the little furball, it is a tradition on alfred lives here to mark this occasion in a bigger way

So in honour of the birthday of the world's cutest canine, also known as Alfie, Alfredo, Eggplant, Furball, ADD Alfred, Ewok, Moocho Poocho, Beagle Wannabe, Alfie Poop, Little Dude, The Instigator and Have-Many-Needs Havanese, ... here's the deal… 

As I know that Alfie is more pampered than your average pooch, we are gonna celebrate his birthday by raising money for the animals in tougher circumstances. For every comment left on this post today and tomorrow, April 26 and 27, we will donate $1 from Alfie's allowance to the Humane Society… so leave a comment!

How much money will Alfie raise this year?

April 20, 2014

TV Season Almost Wrap Up...

How I Met Your Mother ended its run last month, and Scandal wrapped its season last week, and now we we will see endless season finales, some memorable, others deservedly under the radar (The Middle… who watches that?)..

With the advent of HBO and Netflix the TV season is no longer just September through May, and now what's left of the traditional TV season is wrapping up… here are some highlights and lowlights… what were your favourites?

The Best...

A terrific cast led by Kerry Washington leads the crazy fast West Wing meets Dynasty political soap, which just wrapped season three about the Washington 'fixer' Olivia Pope and dirty politics, terrorists, secret government spy agencies, family drama, and murder… if you are not hooked yet, go back to season one and start there. Addictive.

The Good Wife
Starting the season with a  resetting of the series by breaking up the law firm, and then killing off a central character partway through, with great cases and prickly family drama all around, this was the best season yet of a smart suspenseful award-winning modern classic. Great drama.

NBC Late Night
Things got interesting with the forcibly retired Jay Leno not giving a fuck and getting cranky and funny in his last few months, and then funny and enthusiastic Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers coming onto the scene with their new shows… late night is really the only time NBC is worth watching. 

Honourable Mention To…
Looking - HBO's gay Sex And The City (okay, gayer Sex And The City) started off slow but became touching and real and totally entertaining 
Mr Selfridge's much improved second season
Downtown Abbey's fourth season lacked the heartbreak of #3 but was still sudsy intriguing drama
Days Of Our Lives' charming same-sex wedding storyline

The 'Meh' Mediocrity Awards…
Two shows that were great and are now just ok...
The Voice - Looking forward to new coaches next season, as this year was too familiar -- more of the same makes it miss-able
Dallas - still sudsy fun, and the show shines when Judith Light appears as the cocaine-loving evil matriarch, but other than that are missing JR Ewing more than good writing should have let us

The Worst...
How I Met Your Mother -  many seasons of laughs and warmth were wrapped up with a claustrophobic not-so-funny season and an annoying cheat of a finale. Thumbs down.
The View… you lost me at Jenny McCarthy.
Revenge/Crisis/Hostages/ Revolution/Resurrection … aside from the soapy Revenge which I gave up on after season one, these generic names were new generic shows that were skippable even from the previews...

Gotta Catch Up On...
True Detective (never seen), Breaking Bad, and season 2 of House of Cards (loved season one)…

What is on your 'best of' TV list?

April 17, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris heats up...

Now that How I Met Your Mother has ended its long run, Emmy winner and former Doogie Howser child star Neil Patrick Harris is headed back to Broadway as the lead in a revival of Hedwig And The Angry Inch.

Harris will be wearing heels and fishnets in the play, and for the new Vanity Fair he is wearing a snake down his pants, as photographed by Annie Leibowitz.

Clearly this guy is out to change his image… and he has enough talent to pretty much pull anything off (rumour has it he was a contender for Letterman's job). Hopefully there is another sitcom on the horizon.

Here is the out actor in more typical photo, with his partner David Burtka and their kids… these guys are just way too cute together…

Now he should head back for another gig hosting the Tonys (for which he won an Emmy), and guest-starring on Glee (another Emmy)...

April 3, 2014

Holy crap! TV is killing off the all good ones!

Over the last couple of weeks two of my favourite shows, Scandal and The Good Wife, have had surprise twists and killed off major characters… both were surprising and heartbreaking and great drama. And both created really valuable social media buzz for these already buzzy shows.

The Good Wife killed off leading man Will Gardner in a truly shocking moment, as the actor playing him, Josh Charles, wanted out of the series after five seasons. While he was not the 'bad' husband, Gardner was the true love of the 'good' wife and this death will play out for the run of the series.

Scandal killed off James Novak, the White House spokesperson and husband of Chief Of Staff Cyrus Vance, as a plot twist, and therefore said goodbye to actor Dan Bucatinsky, the only actor to so far win an Emmy for Scandal.

Downton Abbey killed off two main characters in season 3, then was relatively peaceful in this year's season 4. Thankfully.

Next weekend I am binge watching House Of Cards season 2, and I know from the internet chatter I am trying to avoid that there is gonna be death there too.

And I don't even watch The Walking Dead, which apparently kills off main characters all the time. Man I could not take that.

High-profile deaths work on dramas -- they add surprise and drama, they give other characters a big story line to be involved  in and react to, and potentially reinvent and reinvigorate the story line with a whole new trajectory. And in an era of PVR and TV on demand and Netflix, surprise buzzy twists encourage us to watch live, to believe again in appointment television.

The risk is of course that once the character is gone and the drama has moved on, if fans were especially attached to that character will the stay with the show? If not, the show fades away, or we get a Bobby Ewing back-from-the-dead "it was all a dream" ridiculous plot twist. Lesson learned there -- mourn the character quickly and move on, don't dwell forever … if the show misses the character too long, the audience will also.

Downtown Abbey stumbled a bit in season 4 post deaths, then found its way. Brothers and Sisters handled the death of Rob Lowe's character so badly and so slowly that many of us -- or at least me -- got bored and gave up on the show. I think The Good Wife and Scandal writers are smart enough to touch our hearts and move on, but we'll see as the season plays out.

To the producers of my other favourite show, The Big Bang Theory, I say HANDS OFF, don't kill anyone, even in a super-sensitive How I Met Your Mother kind of way.

However, if the producers of 2 Broke Girls or Revolution need a jumpstart, please kill of a main character… hell, kill them all off!